On Baptism, Against The Donatists

The Seven Books of Augustin, Bishop of Hippo, On Baptism, Against the Donatists

NPNF (V1-04)

Philip Schaff

acknowledge the perfectness of baptism, he would correct his waywardness, he would teach him
Catholic truth.


Chapter 17.—32. Marcellus of Zama1809 said: "Since sins are remitted only in the baptism of
the Church, he who does not baptize a heretic holds communion with a sinner."1810
33. What, does he who holds communion with one who does this not hold communion with a
sinner? But what else did all of them do, "in judging no one, or removing from the right of
communion any one who entertained a different opinion"? Where, then, is the Church? Are those
things not an obstacle to those who are patient, and tolerate the tares lest the wheat should be rooted
out together with them? I would have them therefore say, who have committed the sacrilege of
schism by separating themselves from the whole world, how it comes that they have in their mouths
the judgment of Cyprian, while they do not have in their hearts the patience of Cyprian. But to this
Marcellus we have an answer in what has been said above concerning baptism and the remission
of sins, explaining how there can be baptism in a man although there be in him no remission of his

Chapter 18.—34. Irenæus of Ululi1811 said: "If the Church does not baptize a heretic, because
it is said that he has been baptized already, then heresy is the greater."1812
35. The answer is: On the same principle it might be said, If therefore the Church does not
baptize the covetous man, because it is said that he has been baptized already, then covetousness
is the greater. But this is false, therefore the other is also false.

Chapter 19.—36. Donatus of Cibaliana1813 said: "I acknowledge one Church, and one baptism
that appertains thereto. If there is any one who says that the grace of baptism exists among heretics,
he must first show and prove that the Church exists with them."1814


Zama was in ecclesiastical province of Numidia. For Marcellus, see Cypr. Ep. lxvii.


Conc. Carth. sec. 53.


Ululi (Ullita, Vallita) in ecclesiastical province of Numidia.


Conc. Carth. sec. 54.


[Cibaliana (Cybaliana), most probably in ecclesiastical province of Africa Proconsularis.] Donatus, as contemporary
bishop, occurs in Cypr. Epp. lvii. bis. lxx. bis.


Conc. Carth. sec. 55.