On Baptism, Against The Donatists

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

NPNF (V1-04)

Philip Schaff

whether He would so give it to others also, or whether He would have His own baptism in such
wise, that at whosesoever hands it was given, whether by a man that brought forth fruit a hundredfold,
or sixtyfold, or thirtyfold, whether by the wheat or by the chaff, it should be known to be of Him
alone; and this he learned through the Spirit descending like a dove, and abiding on Him.


Chapter 14.—16. Accordingly we find the apostles using the expressions, "My glorying,"1502
though it was certainly in the Lord; and "Mine office,"1503 and "My knowledge,"1504 and "My
gospel,"1505 although it was confessedly bestowed and given by the Lord; but no one of them ever
once said, "My baptism." For neither is the glorying of all of them equal, nor do they all minister
with equal powers, nor are they all endowed with equal knowledge, and in preaching the gospel
one works more forcibly than another, and so one may be said to be more learned than another in
the doctrine of salvation itself; but one cannot be said to be more or less baptized than another,
whether he be baptized by a greater or a less worthy minister. So when "the works of the flesh are
manifest, which are these, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousnness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred,
variance, emulations, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, drunkenness, revellings, and such like;"1506
if it be strange that it should be said, "Men were baptized after John, and are not baptized after
heretics," why is it not equally strange that it should be said, "Men were baptized after John, and
are not baptized after the envious," seeing that Cyprian himself bears witness in his epistle concerning
envy and malignity that the covetous are of the party of the devil, and Cyprian himself makes it
manifest from the words of the Apostle Paul, as we have shown above, that in the time of the
apostles themselves there were envious persons in the Church of Christ among the very preachers
of the name of Christ?

Chapter 15.—17. That therefore the baptism of John was not the same as the baptism of Christ,
has, I think, been shown with sufficient clearness; and therefore no argument can be drawn from
it that baptism should be repeated after heretics because it was repeated after John: since John was
not a heretic, and could have a baptism, which, though granted by Christ, was yet not the very
baptism of Christ, seeing that he had the love of Christ; while a heretic can have at once the baptism


1 Cor. ix. 15.


Rom. xi. 13.


Eph. iii. 4.


2 Tim. ii. 8.


Gal. v. 19-21.