On Baptism, Against The Donatists

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

NPNF (V1-04)

Philip Schaff

Chapter 38.—74. Felix of Gurgites1857 said: "I give my judgment, that, according to the precepts
of the holy Scriptures, those who have been unlawfully baptized outside the Church by heretics, if
they wish to flee to the Church, should obtain the grace of baptism where it is lawfully given."1858
75. Our answer is: Let them indeed begin to have in a lawful manner to salvation what they
before had unlawfully to destruction; because each man is justified under the same baptism, when
he has turned himself to God with a true heart, as that under which he was condemned, when on
receiving it he "renounced the world in words alone, and not in deeds."

Chapter 39.—76. Pusillus of Lamasba1859 said: "I believe that baptism is not unto salvation
except within the Catholic Church. Whatsoever is without the Catholic Church is mere pretense."1860
77. This indeed is true, that "baptism is not unto salvation except within the Catholic Church."
For in itself it can indeed exist outside the Catholic Church as well; but there it is not unto salvation,
because there it does not work salvation; just as that sweet savor of Christ is certainly not unto
salvation in them that perish,1861 though from a fault not in itself, but in them. But "whatsoever is
without the Catholic Church is mere pretense," yet only in so far as it is not Catholic. But there
may be something Catholic outside the Catholic Church, just as the name of Christ could exist
outside the congregation of Christ, in which name he who did not follow with the disciples was
casting out devils.1862 For there may be pretense also within the Catholic Church, as is unquestionable
in the case of those "who renounce the world in words and not in deeds," and yet the pretense is
not Catholic. As, therefore, there is in the Catholic Church something which is not Catholic, so
there may be something which is Catholic outside the Catholic Church.


Chapter 40.—78. Salvianus of Gazaufala1863 said: "It is generally known that heretics have
nothing; and therefore they come to us, that they may receive what previously they did not have."1864
79. Our answer is: On this theory, the very men who founded heresies are not heretics
themselves, because they separated themselves from the Church, and certainly they previously had


Gurgites was in ecclesiastical province of Byzacium. For Felix, cp. Bk. VI. cc. 19, 33, 40; Bk. VII. cc. 10, 28.


Conc. Carth. sec. 74.


Lamasba was in ecclesiastical province of Numidia.


Conc. Carth. sec. 75.


2 Cor. ii. 15.


Mark ix. 38.


Gazaufala (Gazophyla) was in ecclesiastical province of Numidia.


Conc. Carth. sec. 76.