On Baptism, Against The Donatists

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

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Philip Schaff

were traitors, inasmuch as they are convicted by their own Council; and that the deeds of those
who went before them do reflect on them, since they throw in our teeth the deeds of our ancestors.

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Chapter 26.—50. Also another Lucius of Membresa1830 said: "It is written, ‘God heareth not
sinners.’1831 How can he who is a sinner be heard in baptism?"1832
51. We answer: How is the covetous man heard, or the robber, and usurer, and murderer? Are
they not sinners? And yet Cyprian, while he finds fault with them in the Catholic Church, yet
tolerates them.

Chapter 27.—52. Also another Felix of Buslaceni1833 said: "In admitting heretics to the Church
without baptism, let no one place custom before reason and truth; for reason and truth always
exclude custom."1834
53. To him our answer is: You do not show the truth; you confess the existence of the custom.
We should therefore do right in maintaining the custom which has since been confirmed by a plenary
Council, even if the truth were still concealed, which we believe to have been already made manifest.

Chapter 28.—54. Another Saturninus of Abitini1835 said: "If Antichrist can give to any one the
grace of Christ, then can heretics also baptize, who are called Antichrists."1836
55. What if another were to say, If a murderer can give the grace of Christ, then can they also
baptize that hate their brethren who are called murderers? For certainly he would seem in a way
to speak the truth, and yet they can baptize; in like manner, therefore, can the heretics as well.

1830

Membresa was in ecclesiastical province of Zeugitana. For Lucius, see Bk. VI. c. 38.

1831

John ix. 31.

1832

Conc. Carth. sec. 62.

1833

Buslaceni (Cussaceni) is probably Byzacium, the capital of province of Byzacium, since we know that it was also called
Bizica Lucana; others place it in Africa Proconsularis. For Felix, cp. Bk. VI. cc. 19 and 23.

1834

Conc. Carth. sec. 63.

1835

Abitini (Avitini) was in ecclesiastical province of Africa Proconsularis. For Saturninus, cp. cc. 15, 16.

1836

Conc. Carth. sec. 64.

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