On Baptism, Against The Donatists

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

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Philip Schaff

God—that is to say, in the Church of Christ—in which none dwell save those that are of one heart
and of one mind, as the Holy Spirit says in the Psalms, speaking of ‘God that maketh men to be of
one mind in an house.’ 1896 Finally, the very sacrifices of the Lord declare that Christians are united
among themselves by a firm and inseparable love for one another. For when the Lord calls bread,
which is compacted together by the union of many grains, His body,1897 He is signifying one people,
whom He bore, compacted into one body; and when He calls wine, which is pressed out from a
multitude of branches and clusters and brought together into one, His blood,1898 He also signifies
one flock joined together by the mingling of a multitude united into one." These words of the
blessed Cyprian show that he both understood and loved the glory of the house of God, which house
he asserted to consist of those who are of one heart and of one mind, proving it by the testimony
of the prophets and the meaning of the sacraments, and in which house certainly were not found
those envious persons, those malevolent without charity, who nevertheless used to baptize. From
whence it is clear that the sacrament of Christ can both be in and be administered by those who are
not in the Church of Christ, in which Cyprian himself bears witness that there are none dwelling
save those who are of one heart and of one mind. Nor can it indeed be said that they are allowed
to baptize so long as they are undetected, seeing that the Apostle Paul did not fail to detect those
of whose ministry he bears unquestionable testimony in his epistle, saying that he rejoices that they
also were proclaiming Christ. For he says of them, "Whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is
preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice."1899

Chapter 51.—99. Taking all these things, therefore, into consideration, I think that I am not
rash in saying that there are some in the house of God after such a fashion as not to be themselves
the very house of God, which is said to be built upon a rock,1900 which is called the one dove,1901
which is styled the beauteous bride without spot or wrinkle,1902 and a garden enclosed, a fountain
sealed, a well of living water, an orchard of pomegranates with pleasant fruits;1903 which house also

1896

Ps. lxviii. 6; cp. LXX. and Hieron.

1897

John vi. 51.

1898

Matt. xxvi. 26-29.

1899

Phil. i. 18.

1900

Matt. xvi. 18.

1901

Cant. vi. 9.

1902

Eph. v. 27; cp. Retract. ii. 18.

1903

Cant. iv. 12, 13.

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