On Baptism, Against The Donatists

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

NPNF (V1-04)

Philip Schaff

to that false doctrine or division, this they convicted in the light of the truth, and healed. The points,
however, which remain to be considered in the letter written by Jubaianus, must, I think, when
looking at the size of this book, be taken in hand and treated with a fresh beginning.


Book IV.
In which he treats of what follows in the same epistle of Cyprian to Jubaianus.
Chapter 1.—1. The comparison of the Church with Paradise1333 shows us that men may indeed
receive her baptism outside her pale, but that no one outside can either receive or retain the salvation
of eternal happiness. For, as the words of Scripture testify, the streams from the fountain of Paradise
flowed copiously even beyond its bounds. Record indeed is made of their names; and through what
countries they flow, and that they are situated beyond the limits of Paradise, is known to all;1334 and
yet in Mesopotamia, and in Egypt, to which countries those rivers extended, there is not found that
blessedness of life which is recorded in Paradise. Accordingly, though the waters of Paradise are
found beyond its boundaries, yet its happiness is in Paradise alone. So, therefore, the baptism of
the Church may exist outside, but the gift of the life of happiness is found alone within the Church,
which has been founded on a rock, which has received the keys of binding and loosing.1335 "She it
is alone who holds as her privilege the whole power of her Bridegroom and Lord;"1336 by virtue of
which power as bride, she can bring forth sons even of handmaids. And these, if they be not
high-minded, shall be called into the lot of the inheritance; but if they be high-minded, they shall
remain outside.

Chapter 2.—2. All the more, then, because "we are fighting1337 for the honor and unity" of the
Church, let us beware of giving to heretics the credit of whatever we acknowledged among them
as belonging to the Church; but let us teach them by argument, that what they possess that is derived
from unity is of no efficacy to their salvation, unless they shall return to that same unity. For "the


Cypr. Ep. lxxiii. ad Jubaian. 10.


Gen. ii. 8-14.


Matt. xvi. 18, 19.


Cypr. Ep. lxxiii. 11.