On Baptism, Against The Donatists

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

NPNF (V1-04)

Philip Schaff

8. For in the Council itself Castus of Sicca says: "He who, despising truth, presumes to follow
custom, is either envious or evil-disposed towards the brethren to whom the truth is revealed, or is
ungrateful towards God, by whose inspiration His Church is instructed."1272 Whether the truth had
been revealed, we shall investigate hereafter; at any rate, he acknowledges that the custom of the
Church was different.


Chapter 6.—9. Libosus also of Vaga says: "The Lord says in the gospel, ‘I am the Truth.’1273
He does not say, ‘I am custom.’ Therefore, when the truth is made manifest, custom must give
way to truth."1274 Clearly, no one could doubt that custom must give way to truth where it is made
manifest. But we shall see presently about the manifestation of the truth. Meanwhile he also makes
it clear that custom was on the other side.

Chapter 7.—10. Zosimus also of Tharassa said: "When a revelation of the truth has been made,
error must give way to truth; for even Peter, who at the first circumcised, afterwards gave way to
Paul when he declared the truth."1275 He indeed chose to say error, not custom; but in saying "for
even Peter, who at the first circumcised, afterwards gave way to Paul when he declared the truth,"
he shows plainly enough that there was a custom also on the subject of baptism at variance with
his views. At the same time, also, he warns us that it was not impossible that Cyprian might have
held an opinion about baptism at variance with that required by the truth, as held by the Church
both before and after him, if even Peter could hold a view at variance with the truth as taught us
by the Apostle Paul.1276

Chapter 8.—11. Likewise Felix of Buslacene said: "In admitting heretics without the baptism
of the Church, let no one prefer custom to reason and truth; because reason and truth always prevail
to the exclusion of custom."1277 Nothing could be better, if it be reason, and if it be truth; but this


Seventh Conc. Carth. under Cyprian, the third which dealt with baptism, A.D. 256, sec. 28. These opinions are quoted
again in Books VI. and VII.


John xiv. 6.


Conc. Carth. sec. 30.


Ib. sec. 56.


Gal. ii. 11-14.


Conc. Carth. sec. 63.