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Title: Writings in Connection with the Donatist Controversy
Author: Augustine, Aurelius
Language: English
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NOTICE TO SUBSCRIBERS

EDINBURGH, _April 1872_.

Messrs. Clark have much pleasure in publishing the Second Issue of
the Works of ST. AUGUSTINE, viz.:--

    WRITINGS IN CONNECTION WITH
    THE DONATIST CONTROVERSY.

    THE ANTI-PELAGIAN WORKS OF ST. AUGUSTINE,
    Vol. I.

They thank their Subscribers for the kindness with which this new
enterprise has been received, and they assure them that no pains
will be spared either by Editor or by Publisher to make it worthy
of success.

The First Issue of Second Year will be published about OCTOBER,
and will comprise the First Volume of the LETTERS, and probably
the TREATISES against FAUSTUS the MANICHÆAN.

Now that the ANTE-NICENE SERIES is complete, they trust that as
many as possible of those who have subscribed to it will extend
their Subscriptions to the WORKS OF ST. AUGUSTINE.

They take this early opportunity of intimating that they intend to
follow this Series with the WORKS OF ST. CHRYSOSTOM, but it is by
far too early to make any more definite announcement.

An early remittance of the Subscription for Second Year of ST.
AUGUSTINE will greatly oblige.



  THE WORKS
  OF
  AURELIUS AUGUSTINE,
  BISHOP OF HIPPO.


  _A NEW TRANSLATION._


  Edited by the
  REV. MARCUS DODS, M.A.


  VOL. III.

  WRITINGS IN CONNECTION WITH THE
  DONATIST CONTROVERSY.


  EDINBURGH:
  T. & T. CLARK, 38, GEORGE STREET.
  MDCCCLXXII.



  PRINTED BY MURRAY AND GIBB,
  FOR
  T. & T. CLARK, EDINBURGH.

  LONDON,      HAMILTON, ADAMS, AND CO.
  DUBLIN,      JOHN ROBERTSON AND CO.
  NEW YORK,    C. SCRIBNER AND CO.



  WRITINGS
  IN CONNECTION WITH THE
  DONATIST CONTROVERSY.


  Translated by the

  REV. J. R. KING, M.A.,
  VICAR OF ST. PETER'S IN THE EAST, OXFORD;
  AND LATE FELLOW AND TUTOR OF MERTON COLLEGE, OXFORD.


  EDINBURGH:
  T. & T. CLARK, 38, GEORGE STREET.
  MDCCCLXXII.



CONTENTS.


  ON BAPTISM, AGAINST THE DONATISTS.

  BOOK I.

                                                        PAGE

  He proves that baptism can be conferred outside the
  Catholic communion by heretics or schismatics, but
  that it ought not to be received from them; and that
  it is of no avail to any while in a state of heresy or
  schism,                                                 1

  BOOK II.

  In which Augustine proves that it is to no purpose
  that the Donatists bring forward the authority of
  Cyprian, bishop and martyr, since it is really more
  opposed to them than to the Catholics. For that he
  held that the view of his predecessor Agrippinus, on
  the subject of baptizing heretics in the Catholic
  Church when they join its communion, should only be
  received on condition that peace should be maintained
  with those who entertained the opposite view, and that
  the unity of the Church should never be broken by any
  kind of schism,                                        31

  BOOK III.

  Augustine undertakes the refutation of the arguments
  which might be derived from the Epistle of Cyprian to
  Jubaianus, to give colour to the view that the baptism
  of Christ could not be conferred by heretics,          54

  BOOK IV.

  In which he treats of what follows in the same
  Epistle of Cyprian to Jubaianus,                       79

  BOOK V.

  He examines the last part of the Epistle of Cyprian to
  Jubaianus, together with his Epistle to Quintus, the
  letter of the African Synod to the Numidian bishops,
  and Cyprian's Epistle to Pompeius,                    115

  BOOK VI.

  In which is considered the Council of Carthage, held
  under the authority and presidency of Cyprian, to
  determine the question of the baptism of heretics,    150

  BOOK VII.

  In which the remaining judgments of the Council of
  Carthage are examined,                                195


  ANSWER TO LETTERS OF PETILIAN.

  BOOK I.

  Written in the form of a letter addressed to the
  Catholics, in which the first portion of the letter
  which Petilian had written to his adherents is
  examined and refuted,                                 231

  BOOK II.

  In which Augustine replies to all the several
  statements in the letter of Petilianus, as though
  disputing with an adversary face to face,             255

  BOOK III.

  In this Book Augustine refutes the second letter which
  Petilianus wrote to him after having seen the first
  of Augustine's earlier Books. This letter had been
  full of violent language; and Augustine rather shows
  that the arguments of Petilianus had been deficient
  and irrelevant, than brings forward arguments in
  support of his own statements,                        405

  ON THE CORRECTION OF THE DONATISTS.

  A Letter of Augustine to Boniface, who, as we learn
  from Epistle 220, was Tribune, and afterwards Count
  in Africa. In it Augustine shows that the heresy of
  the Donatists has nothing in common with that of
  Arius; and points out the moderation with which it was
  possible to recall the heretics to the communion of
  the Church through awe of the imperial laws. He adds
  remarks concerning the savage conduct of the Donatists
  and Circumcelliones, concluding with a discussion of
  the unpardonable nature of the sin against the Holy
  Ghost,                                                479

  INDEX.                                                521



PREFACE.


The schism of the Donatists, with which the treatises in the present
volume are concerned, arose indirectly out of the persecution under
Diocletian at the beginning of the fourth century. At that time
Mensurius, bishop of Carthage, and his archdeacon Cæcilianus, had
endeavoured to check the fanatical spirit in which many of the
Christians courted martyrdom; and consequently, on the death of
Mensurius in 311, and the elevation of Cæcilianus to the see of
Carthage in his place, the opposing party, alleging that Felix,
bishop of Aptunga, by whom Cæcilianus had been consecrated, had been
a _traditor_, and that therefore his consecration was invalid, set
up against him Majorinus, who was succeeded in 315 by Donatus. The
party had by this time gained strength, through the professions that
they made of extreme purity in the discipline which they maintained,
and had gone so far, under the advice of another Donatus, bishop
of Casæ Nigræ in Numidia, as to accuse Cæcilianus before the Roman
Emperor Constantine,--thus setting the first precedent for referring
a spiritual cause to the decision of a civil magistrate. Constantine
accepted the appeal, and in 313 the matter was laid for decision
before Melchiades, bishop of Rome, and three bishops of the province
of Gaul. They decided in favour of the validity of the consecration
of Cæcilianus; and a similar verdict was given by a council held at
Arles, by direction of the Emperor, in the following year. The party of
Majorinus then appealed to the personal judgment of the Emperor, which
was likewise given against them, not without strong expressions of his
anger at their pertinacity. This was followed by severe laws directed
against their schism; but so far from crushing them, the attack seemed
only to increase their enthusiasm and develope their resources. And,
under the leadership of Donatus, the successor of Majorinus, their
influence spread widely throughout Africa, and continued to prevail,
in spite of various efforts at their forcible suppression, during the
whole of the fourth century. They especially brought on themselves
the vengeance of the civil powers, by the turbulence of certain
fanatical ascetics who embraced their cause, and who, under the name of
Circumcelliones, spread terror through the country, seeking martyrdom
for themselves, and offering violence to every one who opposed them.[1]

Towards the close of the century, this schism attracted the attention
of Augustine, then a priest of Hippo Regius in Numidia. The controversy
seems to have had for him a special attraction, not merely because
of its intrinsic importance, but also because of the field which it
presented for his unrivalled powers as a dialectician. These the
Donatists had recently provoked, by inconsistently receiving back into
their body a deacon of Carthage named Maximianus who had separated
himself from them, and by recognising as valid all baptism administered
by his followers. Hence they naturally shrank from engaging in a
contest with an antagonist who was sure to make the most of such a
deviation from the very principles on which they based their schism;
and, on the other hand, Augustine was so firmly convinced that his
own position was impregnable, that he seems to have thought that if
he could only secure a thorough and dispassionate discussion of the
matter, the Donatists must necessarily be brought to acknowledge not
only their theoretical errors, but also the practical sinfulness of
their separation from the Church. Throughout the controversy, however,
he appears to have put out of sight two considerations: first, the
influence of party spirit and prejudice in blinding men to argument;
and, secondly, the necessity of treating his opponents in a logical
discussion as on an equal footing with himself. The first was in
some degree an unavoidable element of disappointment; but Augustine
made concession yet more difficult on the part of his opponents, by
expecting them to acknowledge his superior position as a member of the
Catholic Church, whose duty it was to expose the error of their views.
He practically begs the very point at issue, by assuming that he,
and not the Donatists, was in the Catholic communion; and though his
argument is conducted independently of this premiss, yet it naturally
rendered them more unwilling to admit its force.

This dogmatism was of less consequence in the first pamphlet which
Augustine published on the subject,--his _Alphabetical Psalm_, in which
he set forth the history and errors of the Donatists in a popular
form,--since it was not intended as a controversial treatise, but
only as a means of enlightening the less educated as to the Catholic
tenets on the question in dispute. His next work, written in answer
to a letter of Donatus of Carthage, in which the latter tried to
prove that the baptism of Christ existed only in his communion, is
unfortunately lost; and we can only gather hints as to the further part
which he took in the controversy during the next few years from certain
of his letters, especially those to the Donatist Bishops Honoratus
and Crispinus.[2] From the former he claims the admission that the
exclusiveness of the Donatists proves that they are not the Church of
Christ; and his letter to the latter contains an invitation to discuss
the leading points at issue, which Crispinus seems to have declined.

In the year 400 he wrote two books _Against the Party of Donatus_,
which are also lost; and about the same time he published his
refutation of the letter of Parmenianus in answer to Tichonius, in
which he handles and solves the famous question, whether, while abiding
in unity in the communion of the same sacraments, the wicked pollute
the good by their society.[3]

Then followed his seven books _On Baptism_, included in this volume, in
which he shows the emptiness of the arguments of the Donatists for the
repetition of baptism; and proves that so far was Cyprian from being on
their side, that his letters and conduct are of the highest value as
overthrowing their position, and utterly condemning their separation
from the Church.

Not long after this, Petilianus, bishop of Cirta or Constantina, the
most eminent theologian among the Donatist divines, wrote a letter
to his clergy against the Catholics, of which Augustine managed to
obtain a copy, though the Donatists used their utmost care to keep
it from him; and he replied to it in two books, written at different
times,--the first in the year 400, before he was in possession of the
whole letter, the remainder in 402. To the first book Petilianus made
an answer, of which we gather the main tenour from a third book written
by Augustine in reply to it. It appears to have been full of vehement
abuse, and to have assumed the question in dispute, that the existence
of the true Church, and the catholicity of any branch of it, depended
on the purity and orthodoxy of all its ministers; so that the guilt or
heresy of any minister would invalidate the whole of his ministerial
acts. Hence he argued that Cæcilianus being the spiritual father of the
so-called Catholics, and having been a _traditor_, none of them could
possibly have been lawfully baptized, much less rightfully ordained.

Augustine admits neither of his assumptions; but, leaving the guilt
or innocence of Cæcilianus as a point which was irrelevant (though
practically the case against him utterly broke down), he addresses
himself to the other point, and argues most conclusively that all
the functions of the clergy in celebrating the rites of the Church
being purely ministerial, the efficacy of those rites could in no way
depend upon the excellence of the individual minister, but was derived
entirely from Christ. Hence there was a certainty of the grace bestowed
through the several ordinances, which otherwise there could not
possibly have been, had their virtue depended on the character of any
man, in whom even an unblemished reputation might have been the fruit
of a skilled hypocrisy.

The third treatise in this volume belongs to a later period, being
a letter written to Bonifacius, the Roman Count of Africa under
Valentinian the Third. He had written to Augustine to consult him
as to the best means of dealing with the Donatists; and Augustine
in his reply points out to him his mistake in supposing that the
Donatists shared in the errors of the Arians, whilst he urges him to
use moderation in his coercive measures; though both here and in his
answer to Petilianus we find him countenancing the theory that the
State has a right to interfere in constraining men to keep within the
Church. Starting with a forced interpretation of the words, "_Compel_
them to come in," in Luke xiv. 23, he enunciates principles of coercion
which, though in him they were subdued and rendered practically of
little moment by the spirit of love which formed so large an element
in his character, yet found their natural development in the despotic
intolerance of the Papacy, and the horrors of the Inquisition. It is
probable that he was himself in some degree misled by confounding the
necessity of repressing the violence of the Circumcelliones, which was
a real offence against the State, with the expediency of enforcing
spiritual unity by temporal authority.

The Donatist treatises have met with little attention from individual
editors. There is a dissertation, _De Aur. Augustino adversario
Donatistarum_, by Adrien Roux, published at Louvain in 1838;[4] but
it is believed that no treatises of this series have ever before been
translated into English, nor are they separately edited. They are in
themselves a valuable authority for an important scene in the history
of the Church, and afford a good example both of the strength and the
weakness of Augustine's writing,--its strength, in the exhaustive way
in which he tears to pieces his opponent's arguments, and the clearness
with which he exposes the fallacies of their reasoning; its weakness,
in the persistency with which he pursues a point long after its
discussion might fairly have been closed, as though he hardly knew when
he had gained the victory; and his tendency to claim, by right of his
position, a vantage-ground which did not in reality belong to him till
the superiority of his cause was proved.

  J. R. KING.

  OXFORD, _March 1870_.

FOOTNOTES:

[1] Aug. _De Hoer._ c. 69; _Enarr. in Ps._ 132, secs. 3, 6; _C.
Cresc._ iii. 46, 47; _C. Gaudentium_ i. 32.

[2] _Epist._ xlix. li.

[3] Vol. ix p. 34, etc.

[4] The other works bearing on this controversy are mentioned in
the exhaustive volume of Ferd. Ribbeck, _Donatus und Augustinus_
(Elberfeld, 1858).--ED.



THE SEVEN BOOKS OF AUGUSTINE,

BISHOP OF HIPPO,

ON BAPTISM, AGAINST THE DONATISTS.[5]



BOOK FIRST.

 HE PROVES THAT BAPTISM CAN BE CONFERRED OUTSIDE THE CATHOLIC COMMUNION
 BY HERETICS OR SCHISMATICS, BUT THAT IT OUGHT NOT TO BE RECEIVED FROM
 THEM; AND THAT IT IS OF NO AVAIL TO ANY WHILE IN A STATE OF HERESY OR
 SCHISM.


CHAP. I.--1. In the treatise which we wrote against the published
epistle of Parmenianus to Tichonius, we promised that at some future
time we would treat the question of baptism more thoroughly;[6] and
indeed, even if we had not made this promise, we are not unmindful
that this is a debt fairly due from us to the prayers of our brethren.
Wherefore in this treatise we have undertaken, with the help of God,
not only to refute the objections which the Donatists have been wont to
urge against us in this matter, but also to advance what God may enable
us to say in respect of the authority of the blessed martyr Cyprian,
which they endeavour to use as a prop, to prevent their perversity
from falling before the attacks of truth. And this we propose to do,
in order that all whose judgment is not blinded by party spirit may
understand that, so far from Cyprian's authority being in their favour,
it tends directly to their refutation and discomfiture.

2. In the treatise above mentioned, it has already been said that the
grace of baptism can be conferred outside the Catholic communion,
just as it can be also there retained. But no one of the Donatists
themselves denies that even apostates retain the grace of baptism;
for when they return within the pale of the Church, and are converted
through repentance, it is never given to them a second time, and so
it is ruled that it never could have been lost. So those, too, who
in the sacrilege of schism depart from the communion of the Church,
certainly retain the grace of baptism, which they received before
their departure, seeing that, in case of their return, it is not again
conferred on them; whence it is proved, that what they had received
while within the unity of the Church, they could not have lost in their
separation. But if it can be retained outside, why may it not also be
given there? If you say, "It is not rightly given without the pale;"
we answer, "As it is not rightly retained, and yet is in some sense
retained, so it is not indeed rightly given, but yet it is given." But
as, by reconciliation to unity, that begins to be profitably possessed
which was possessed to no profit in exclusion from unity, so, by the
same reconciliation, that begins to be profitable which without it
was given to no profit. Yet it cannot be allowed that it should be
said that that was not given which was given, nor that any one should
reproach a man with not having given this, while confessing that he
had given what he had himself received. For the sacrament of baptism
is what the person possesses who is baptized; and the sacrament of
conferring baptism is what he possesses who is ordained. And as the
baptized person, if he depart from the unity of the Church, does not
thereby lose the sacrament of baptism, so also he who is ordained, if
he depart from the unity of the Church, does not lose the sacrament
of conferring baptism. For neither sacrament may be wronged. If a
sacrament necessarily becomes void in the case of the wicked, both
must become void; if it remain valid with the wicked, this must be
so with both. If, therefore, the baptism be acknowledged which he
could not lose who severed himself from the unity of the Church, that
baptism must also be acknowledged which was administered by one who by
his secession had not lost the sacrament of conferring baptism. For
as those who return to the Church, if they had been baptized before
their secession, are not rebaptized, so those who return, having been
ordained before their secession, are certainly not ordained again; but
either they again exercise their former ministry, if the interests of
the Church require it, or if they do not exercise it, at any rate they
retain the sacrament of their ordination; and hence it is, that when
hands are laid on them,[7] to mark their reconciliation, they are not
ranked with the laity. For Felicianus, when he separated himself from
them with Maximianus, was not held by the Donatists themselves to have
lost either the sacrament of baptism or the sacrament of conferring
baptism. For now he is a recognised member of their own body, in
company with those very men whom he baptized while he was separated
from them in the schism of Maximianus. And so others could receive
from them, whilst they still had not joined our society, what they
themselves had not lost by severance from our society. And hence it
is clear that they are guilty of impiety who endeavour to rebaptize
those who are in Catholic unity; and we act rightly who do not dare to
repudiate God's sacraments, even when administered in schism. For in
all points in which they think with us, they also are in communion with
us, and only are severed from us in those points in which they dissent
from us. For contact and disunion are not to be measured by different
laws in the case of material or spiritual affinities. For as union of
bodies arises from continuity of position, so in the agreement of wills
there is a kind of contact between souls. If, therefore, a man who has
severed himself from unity wishes to do anything different from that
which had been impressed on him while in the state of unity, in this
point he does sever himself, and is no longer a part of the united
whole; but wherever he desires to conduct himself as is customary
in the state of unity, in which he himself learned and received the
lessons which he seeks to follow, in these points he remains a member,
and is united to the corporate whole.


CHAP. II.--3. And so the Donatists in some matters are with us; in
some matters have gone out from us. Accordingly, those things wherein
they agree with us we forbid them not to do; but in those things in
which they differ from us, we earnestly endeavour that they should come
and receive them from us, or return and recover them, as the case may
be. We do not therefore say to them, "Abstain from giving baptism,"
but "Abstain from giving it in schism." Nor do we say to those whom
we see them on the point of baptizing, "Do not receive the baptism,"
but "Do not receive it in schism." For if any one were compelled by
urgent necessity, being unable to find a Catholic from whom to receive
baptism, and so, while preserving Catholic peace in his heart, should
receive from one without the pale of Catholic unity the sacrament
which he was intending to receive within its pale, this man, should he
forthwith depart this life, we deem to be none other than a Catholic.
But if he should be delivered from the death of the body, on his
restoring himself in bodily presence to that Catholic congregation
from which in heart he had never departed, so far from blaming his
conduct, we should praise it with the greatest truth and confidence;
because he trusted that God was present to his heart, while he was
striving to preserve unity, and was unwilling to depart this life
without the sacrament of holy baptism, which he knew to be of God, and
not of men, wherever he might find it. But if any one who has it in his
power to receive baptism within the Catholic Church prefers, from some
perversity of mind, to be baptized in schism, even if he afterwards
bethinks himself to come to the Catholic Church, because he is assured
that there that sacrament will profit him, which can indeed be received
but cannot profit elsewhere, beyond all question he is perverse, and
guilty of sin, and that the more flagrant in proportion as it was
committed wilfully. For that he entertains no doubt that the sacrament
is rightly received in the Church, is proved by his conviction that it
is there that he must look for profit even from what he has received
elsewhere.


CHAP. III.--4. There are two propositions, moreover, which we
affirm,--that baptism exists in the Catholic Church, and that in it
alone can it be rightly received,--both of which the Donatists deny.
Likewise there are two other propositions which we affirm,--that
baptism exists among the Donatists, but that with them it is not
rightly received,--of which two they strenuously confirm the former,
that baptism exists with them; but they are unwilling to allow the
latter, that in their Church it cannot be rightly received. Of these
four propositions, three are peculiar to us; in one we both agree. For
that baptism exists in the Catholic Church, that it is rightly received
there, and that it is not rightly received among the Donatists, are
assertions made only by ourselves; but that baptism exists also among
the Donatists, is asserted by them and allowed by us. If any one,
therefore, is desirous of being baptized, and is already convinced that
he ought to choose our Church as a medium for Christian salvation, and
that the baptism of Christ is only profitable in it, even when it has
been received elsewhere, but yet wishes to be baptized in the schism
of Donatus, because not they only, nor we only, but both parties alike
say that baptism exists with them, let him pause and look to the other
three points. For if he has made up his mind to follow us in the points
which they deny, though he prefers what both of us acknowledge to what
only we assert, it is enough for our purpose that he prefers what they
do not affirm and we alone assert, to what they alone assert. That
baptism exists in the Catholic Church, we assert and they deny. That it
is rightly received in the Catholic Church, we assert and they deny.
That it is not rightly received in the schism of Donatus, we assert
and they deny. As, therefore, he is the more ready to believe what we
alone assert should be believed, so let him be the more ready to do
what we alone declare should be done. But let him believe more firmly,
if he be so disposed, what both parties assert should be believed, than
what we alone maintain. For he is inclined to believe more firmly that
the baptism of Christ exists in the schism of Donatus, because that
is acknowledged by both of us, than that it exists in the Catholic
Church, an assertion made alone by the Catholics. But again, he is
more ready to believe that the baptism of Christ exists also with
us, as we alone assert, than that it does not exist with us, as they
alone assert. For he has already determined and is fully convinced,
that where we differ, our authority is to be preferred to theirs. So
that he is more ready to believe what we alone assert, that baptism
is rightly received with us, than that it is not rightly so received,
since that rests only on their assertion. And, by the same rule, he
is more ready to believe what we alone assert, that it is not rightly
received with them, than as they alone assert, that it is rightly so
received. He finds, therefore, that his confidence in being baptized
among the Donatists is somewhat profitless, seeing that, though we both
acknowledge that baptism exists with them, yet we do not both declare
that it ought to be received from them. But he has made up his mind to
cling rather to us in matters where we disagree. Let him therefore feel
confidence in receiving baptism in our communion, where he is assured
that it both exists and is rightly received; and let him not receive it
in a communion, where those whose opinion he has determined to follow
acknowledge indeed that it exists, but say that it cannot rightly be
received. Nay, even if he should hold it to be a doubtful question,
whether or no it is impossible for that to be rightly received among
the Donatists which he is assured can rightly be received in the
Catholic Church, he would commit a grievous sin, in matters concerning
the salvation of his soul, in the mere fact of preferring uncertainty
to certainty. At any rate, he must be quite sure that a man can be
rightly baptized in the Catholic Church, from the mere fact that he has
determined to come over to it, even if he be baptized elsewhere. But
let him at least acknowledge it to be matter of uncertainty whether a
man be not improperly baptized among the Donatists, when he finds this
asserted by those whose opinion he is convinced should be preferred to
theirs; and, preferring certainty to uncertainty, let him be baptized
here, where he has good grounds for being assured that it is rightly
done, in the fact that when he thought of doing it elsewhere, he had
still determined that he ought afterwards to come over to this side.


CHAP. IV.--5. Further, if any one fails to understand how it can be
that we assert that the sacrament is not rightly conferred among the
Donatists, while we confess that it exists among them, let him observe
that we also deny that it exists rightly among them, just as they deny
that it exists rightly among those who quit their communion. Let him
also consider the analogy of the military mark, which, though it can
both be retained, as by deserters, and also be received by those who
are not in the army, yet ought not to be either received or retained
outside its ranks; and, at the same time, it is not changed or renewed
when a man is enlisted or brought back to his service. However, we must
distinguish between the case of those who unwittingly join the ranks of
these heretics, under the impression that they are entering the true
Church of Christ, and those who know that there is no other Catholic
Church save that which, according to the promise, is spread abroad
throughout the whole world, and extends even to the utmost limits of
the earth; which, rising amid tares, and seeking rest in the future
from the weariness of offences, says in the Book of Psalms, "From the
end of the earth I cried unto Thee, while my heart was in weariness:
Thou didst exalt me on a rock."[8] But the rock was Christ, in whom the
apostle says that we are now raised up, and set together in heavenly
places, though not yet actually, but only in hope.[9] And so the psalm
goes on to say, "Thou wast my guide, because Thou art become my hope,
a tower of strength from the face of the enemy."[8] By means of His
promises, which are like spears and javelins stored up in a strongly
fortified place, the enemy is not only guarded against, but overthrown,
as he clothes his wolves in sheep's clothing,[10] that they may say,
"Lo, here is Christ, or there;"[11] and that they may separate many
from the Catholic city which is built upon a hill, and bring them down
to the isolation of their own snares, so as utterly to destroy them.
And these men, knowing this, choose to receive the baptism of Christ
without the limits of the communion of the unity of Christ's body,
though they intend afterwards, with the sacrament which they have
received elsewhere, to pass into that very communion. For they propose
to receive Christ's baptism in antagonism to the Church of Christ, well
knowing that it is so even on the very day on which they receive it.
And if this is a sin, who is the man that will say, Grant that for a
single day I may commit sin? For if he proposes to pass over to the
Catholic Church, I would fain ask why. What other answer can he give,
but that it is ill to belong to the party of Donatus, and not to the
unity of the Catholic Church? Just so many days, then, as you commit
this ill, of so many days' sin are you going to be guilty. And it may
be said that there is greater sin in more days' commission of it, and
less in fewer; but in no wise can it be said that no sin is committed
at all. But what is the need of allowing this accursed wrong for a
single day, or a single hour? For the man who wishes this licence to be
granted him, might as well ask of the Church, or of God Himself, that
for a single day he should be permitted to apostatize. For there is no
reason why he should fear to be an apostate for a day, if he does not
shrink from being for that time a schismatic or a heretic.


CHAP. V.--6. I prefer, he says, to receive Christ's baptism where both
parties agree that it exists. But those whom you intend to join say
that it cannot be received there rightly; and those who say that it can
be received there rightly are the party whom you mean to quit. What
they say, therefore, whom you yourself consider of inferior authority,
in opposition to what those say whom you yourself prefer, is, if
not false, at any rate, to use a milder term, at least uncertain. I
entreat you, therefore, to prefer what is true to what is false, or
what is certain to what is uncertain. For it is not only those whom
you are going to join, but you yourself who are going to join them,
that confess that what you want can be rightly received in that body
which you mean to join when you have received it elsewhere. For if you
had any doubts whether it could be rightly received there, you would
also have doubts whether you ought to make the change. If, therefore,
it is doubtful whether it be not sin to receive baptism from the party
of Donatus, who can doubt but that it is certain sin not to prefer
receiving it where it is certain that it is not sin? And those who are
baptized there through ignorance, thinking that it is the true Church
of Christ, are guilty of less sin in comparison than these, though
even they are wounded by the impiety of schism; nor do they escape a
grievous hurt, because others suffer even more. For when it is said
to certain men, "It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in
the day of judgment than for you,"[12] it is not meant that the men of
Sodom shall escape torment, but only that the others shall be even more
grievously tormented.

7. And yet this point had once, perhaps, been involved in obscurity and
doubt. But that which is a source of health to those who give heed and
receive correction, is but an aggravation of the sin of those who, when
they are no longer suffered to be ignorant, persist in their madness to
their own destruction. For the condemnation of the party of Maximianus,
and their restoration after they had been condemned, together with
those whom they had sacrilegiously, to use the language of their own
Council,[13] baptized in schism, settles the whole question in dispute,
and removes all controversy. There is no point at issue between
ourselves and those Donatists who hold communion with Primianus,
which could give rise to any doubt that the baptism of Christ may not
only be retained, but even conferred by those who are severed from
the Church. For as they themselves are obliged to confess that those
whom Felicianus baptized in schism received true baptism, inasmuch as
they now acknowledge them as members of their own body with no other
baptism than that which they received in schism, so we say that that is
Christ's baptism, even without the pale of Catholic communion, which
they confer who are cut off from that communion, inasmuch as they had
not lost it when they were cut off. And what they themselves think that
they conferred on those persons whom Felicianus baptized in schism,
when they admitted them to reconciliation with themselves, viz., not
that they should receive that which they did not as yet possess, but
that what they had received to no advantage in schism, and were already
in possession of, should be of profit to them, this God really confers
and bestows through the Catholic communion on those who come from any
heresy or schism in which they received the baptism of Christ; viz.
not that they should begin to receive the sacrament of baptism as not
possessing it before, but that what they already possessed should now
begin to profit them.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. VI.--8. Between us, then, and what we may call the genuine[14]
Donatists, whose bishop is Primianus at Carthage, there is now no
controversy on this point. For God willed that it should be ended by
means of the followers of Maximianus, that they should be compelled
by the precedent of his case to acknowledge what they would not
allow at the persuasion of Christian charity. But this brings us to
consider next, whether those men do not seem to have something to say
for themselves, who refuse communion with the party of Primianus,
contending that in their body there remains greater sincerity of
Donatism, just in proportion to the paucity of their numbers. And even
if these were only the party of Maximianus, we should not be justified
in despising their salvation. How much more, then, are we bound to
consider it, when we find that this same party of Donatus is split up
into many most minute fractions, all which small sections of the body
blame the one much larger portion which has Primianus for its head,
because they receive the baptism of the followers of Maximianus; while
each endeavours to maintain that it is the sole receptacle of true
baptism, which exists nowhere else, neither in the whole of the world
where the Catholic Church extends itself, nor in that larger main body
of the Donatists, nor even in the other minute sections, but only in
itself. Whereas, if all these fragments would listen not to the voice
of man, but to the most unmistakeable manifestation of the truth, and
would be willing to curb the fiery temper of their own perversity, they
would return from their own barrenness, not indeed to the main body of
Donatus, a mere fragment of which they are a smaller fragment, but to
the never-failing fruitfulness of the root of the Catholic Church. For
all of them who are not against us are for us; but when they gather not
with us, they scatter abroad.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. VII.--9. For, in the next place, that I may not seem to rest
on mere human arguments,--since there is so much obscurity in this
question, that in earlier ages of the Church, before the schism of
Donatus, it has caused men of great weight, and even bishops whose
hearts were full of charity, so to dispute and doubt among themselves,
saving always the peace of the Church, that the several statutes of
their Councils in their different districts long varied from each
other, till at length the most wholesome opinion was established,
to the removal of all doubts, by a general Council of the whole
world:[15]--I therefore bring forward from the gospel clear proofs,
by which I propose, with God's help, to prove how rightly and truly
in the sight of God it has been determined, that in the case of every
schismatic and heretic, the wound which caused his separation should
be cured by the medicine of the Church; but that what remained sound
in him should rather be recognised with approbation, than wounded by
condemnation. It is indeed true that the Lord says in the gospel, "He
that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me
scattereth abroad."[16] Yet when the disciples had brought word to
Him that they had seen one casting out devils in His name, and had
forbidden him, because he followed not them, He said, "Forbid him not:
for he that is not against us is for us. For there is no man which
shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me."[17]
If, indeed, there were nothing in this man requiring correction, then
any one would be safe, who, setting himself outside the communion of
the Church, severing himself from all Christian brotherhood, should
gather in Christ's name; and so there would be no truth in this, "He
that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me
scattereth abroad." But if he required correction in the point where
the disciples in their ignorance were anxious to check him, why did our
Lord, by saying, "Forbid him not," prevent this check from being given?
And how can that be true which He then says, "He that is not against
you is for you?" For in this point he was not against, but for them,
when he was working miracles of healing in Christ's name. That both,
therefore, should be true, as both are true,--both the declaration,
that "he that is not with me is against me, and he that gathereth not
with me scattereth abroad;" and also the injunction, "Forbid him not;
for he that is not against you is for you,"--what must we understand,
except that the man was to be confirmed in his veneration for that
mighty Name, in respect of which he was not against the Church, but for
it; and yet he was to be blamed for separating himself from the Church,
whereby his gathering became a scattering; and if it should have so
happened that he sought union with the Church, he should not have
received what he already possessed, but be made to set right the points
wherein he had gone astray?

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. VIII.--10. Nor indeed were the prayers of the Gentile Cornelius
unheard, nor did his alms lack acceptance; nay, he was found worthy
that an angel should be sent to him, and that he should behold the
messenger, through whom he might assuredly have learned everything
that was necessary, without requiring that any man should come to
him. But since all the good that he had in his prayers and alms could
not benefit him unless he were incorporated in the Church by the
bond of Christian brotherhood and peace, he was ordered to send to
Peter, and through him learned Christ; and, being also baptized by
his orders, he was joined by the tie of communion to the fellowship
of Christians, to which before he was bound only by the likeness of
good works.[18] And indeed it would have been most fatal to despise
what he did not yet possess, vaunting himself in what he had. So
too those who, by separating themselves from the society of their
fellows, to the overthrow of charity, thus break the bond of unity,
if they observe none of the things which they have received in that
society, are separated in everything; and so any one whom they have
joined to their society, if he afterwards wish to come over to the
Church, ought to receive everything which he has not already received.
But if they observe some of the same things, in respect of these
they have not severed themselves; and so far they are still a part
of the framework of the Church, while in all other respects they are
cut off from it. Accordingly, any one whom they have associated with
themselves is united to the Church in all those points in which they
are not separated from it. And therefore, if he wish to come over to
the Church, he is made sound in those points in which he was unsound
and went astray; but where he was sound in union with the Church, he
is not cured, but recognised,--lest in desiring to cure what is sound
we should rather inflict a wound. Therefore those whom they baptize
they heal from the wound of idolatry or unbelief; but they injure them
more seriously with the wound of schism. For idolaters among the people
of the Lord were smitten with the sword;[19] but schismatics were
swallowed up by the earth opening her mouth.[20] And the apostle says,
"Though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have
not charity, I am nothing."[21]

11. If any one is brought to the surgeon, afflicted with a grievous
wound in some vital part of the body, and the surgeon says that unless
it is cured it must cause death, the friends who brought him do not, I
presume, act so foolishly as to count over to the surgeon all his sound
limbs, and, drawing his attention to them, make answer to him, "Can it
be that all these sound limbs are of no avail to save his life, and
that one wounded limb is enough to cause his death?" They certainly do
not say this, but they entrust him to the surgeon to be cured. Nor,
again, because they so entrust him, do they ask the surgeon to cure
the limbs that are sound as well; but they desire him to apply drugs
with all care to the one part from which death is threatening the
other sound parts too, with the certainty that it must come, unless
the wound be healed. What will it then profit a man that he has sound
faith, or perhaps only soundness in the sacrament of faith, when
the soundness of his charity is done away with by the fatal wound of
schism, so that by the overthrow of it the other points, which were in
themselves sound, are brought into the infection of death? To prevent
which, the mercy of God, through the unity of His holy Church, does
not cease striving that they may come and be healed by the medicine of
reconciliation, through the bond of peace. And let them not think that
they are sound because we admit that they have something sound in them;
nor let them think, on the other hand, that what is sound must needs be
healed, because we show that in some parts there is a wound. So that in
the soundness of the sacrament, because they are not against us, they
are for us; but in the wound of schism, because they gather not with
Christ, they scatter abroad. Let them not be exalted by what they have.
Why do they pass the eyes of pride over those parts only which are
sound? Let them condescend also to look humbly on their wound, and give
heed not only to what they have, but also to what is wanting in them.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. IX.--12. Let them see how many things, and what important things,
are of no avail, if a certain single thing be wanting, and let them
see what that one thing is. And herein let them hear not my words,
but those of the apostle: "Though I speak with the tongues of men and
of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a
tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand
all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that
I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing."[22] What
does it profit them, therefore, if they have both the voice of angels
in the sacred mysteries, and the gift of prophecy, as had Caiaphas[23]
and Saul,[24] that so they may be found prophesying, of whom Holy
Scripture testifies that they were worthy of condemnation? If they not
only know, but even possess the sacraments, as Simon Magus did;[25]
if they have faith, as the devils confessed Christ (for we must not
suppose that they did not believe when they said, "What have we to do
with Thee? I know Thee who Thou art, the Holy One of God"[26]); if they
distribute of themselves their own substance to the poor, as many do,
not only in the Catholic Church, but in the different heretical bodies;
if, under the pressure of any persecution, they give their bodies with
us to be burned for the faith which they like us confess: yet because
they do all these things apart from the Church, not "forbearing one
another in love," nor "endeavouring to keep the unity of the spirit in
the bond of peace,"[27] insomuch as they have not charity, they cannot
attain to eternal salvation, even with all those good things which
profit them not.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. X.--13. But they think within themselves that they show very
great subtlety in asking whether the baptism of Christ in the party of
Donatus makes men sons or not; so that, if we allow that it does make
them sons, they may assert that theirs is the Church, the mother which
could give birth to sons in the baptism of Christ; and since the Church
must be one, they may allege that ours is no Church. But if we say that
it does not make them sons, "Why then," say they, "do you not cause
those who pass from us to you to be born again in baptism, after they
have been baptized with us, if they are not thereby born as yet?"

14. Just as though their party gained the power of generation in virtue
of what constitutes its division, and not from what causes its union
with the Church. For it is severed from the bond of peace and charity,
but it is joined in one baptism. And so there is one Church which
alone is called Catholic; and whenever it has anything of its own in
these communions of different bodies which are separate from itself,
it is most certainly in virtue of this which is its own in each of
them that it, not they, has the power of generation. For neither is
it their separation that generates, but what they have retained of
the essence of the Church; and if they were to go on to abandon this,
they would lose the power of generation. The generation, then, in each
case proceeds from the Church, whose sacraments are retained, from
which any such birth can alone in any case proceed,--although not all
who receive its birth belong to its unity, which shall save those who
persevere even to the end. Nor is it those only that do not belong to
it who are openly guilty of the manifest sacrilege of schism, but also
those who, being outwardly joined to its unity, are yet separated by
a life of sin. For the Church had herself given birth to Simon Magus
through the sacrament of baptism; and yet it was declared to him that
he had no part in the inheritance of Christ.[28] Did he lack anything
in respect of baptism, of the gospel, of the sacraments? But in that
he wanted charity, he was born in vain; and perhaps it had been well
for him that he had never been born at all. Was anything wanting to
their birth to whom the apostle says, "I have fed you with milk, and
not with meat, even as babes in Christ?" Yet he recalls them from the
sacrilege of schism, into which they were rushing, because they were
carnal: "I have fed you," he says, "with milk, and not with meat: for
hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet are ye able. For ye
are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and
divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I
am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?"[29] For
of these he says above: "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of
our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there
be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together
in the same mind, and in the same judgment. For it hath been declared
unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chlöe,
that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one
of you saith, I am of Paul, and I of Apollos, and I of Cephas, and I
of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye
baptized in the name of Paul?"[30] These, therefore, if they continued
in the same perverse obstinacy, were doubtless indeed born, but yet
would not belong by the bond of peace and unity to the very Church in
respect of which they were born. Therefore she herself bears them in
her own womb, and in the womb of her handmaids, by virtue of the same
sacraments, as though by virtue of the seed of her husband. For it is
not without meaning that the apostle says that all these things were
done by way of figure.[31] But those who are too proud, and are not
joined to their lawful mother, are like Ishmael, of whom it is said,
"Cast out this bond-woman and her son: for the son of the bond-woman
shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac."[32] But those who
peacefully love the lawful wife of their father, whose sons they are by
lawful descent, are like the sons of Jacob, born indeed of handmaids,
but yet receiving the same inheritance.[33] But those who are born
within the family, of the womb of the mother herself, and then neglect
what they have received, are like Isaac's son Esau, who was rejected,
God Himself bearing witness to it, and saying, "I loved Jacob, and I
hated Esau;"[34] and that though they were twin-brethren, the offspring
of the same womb.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XI.--15. They ask also, "Whether sins are remitted in baptism in
the party of Donatus:" so that, if we say that they are remitted, they
may answer, then the Holy Spirit is there; for when by the breathing
of our Lord the Holy Spirit was given to the disciples, He then went
on to say, "Baptize all nations in the name of the Father, and of the
Son, and of the Holy Ghost."[35] "Whose soever sins ye remit, they
are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are
retained."[36] And if it is so, they say, then our communion is the
Church of Christ; for the Holy Spirit does not work the remission
of sins except in the Church. And if our communion is the Church of
Christ, then your communion is not the Church of Christ. For that is
one, wherever it is, of which it is said, "My dove is but one; she is
the only one of her mother;"[37] nor can there be just so many churches
as there are schisms. But if we should say that sins are not there
remitted, then, say they, there is no true baptism there; and therefore
ought you to baptize those whom you receive from us. And since you do
not do this, you confess that you are not in the Church of Christ.

16. To these we reply, following the Scriptures, by asking them to
answer themselves what they ask of us. For I beg them to tell us
whether there is any remission of sins where there is not charity;
for sins are the darkness of the soul. For we find St. John saying,
"He that hateth his brother is in darkness."[38] But none would
create schisms, if they were not blinded by hatred of their brethren.
If, therefore, we say that sins are not remitted there, how is he
regenerate who is baptized among them? And what is regeneration in
baptism, except the being renovated from the corruption of the old man?
And how can he be so renovated whose past sins are not remitted? But
if he be not regenerate, neither does he put on Christ; from which it
seems to follow that he ought to be baptized again. For the apostle
says, "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on
Christ;"[39] and if he has not so put on Christ, neither should he be
considered to have been baptized in Christ. Further, since we say that
he has been baptized in Christ, we confess that he has put on Christ;
and if we confess this, we confess that he is regenerate. And if this
be so, how does St. John say, "He that hateth his brother remaineth
still in darkness," if remission of his sins has already taken place?
Can it be that schism does not involve hatred of one's brethren? Who
will maintain this, when both the origin of, and perseverance in schism
consists in nothing else save hatred of the brethren?

17. They think that they solve this question when they say: "There
is then no remission of sins in schism, and therefore no creation of
the new man by regeneration, and accordingly neither is there the
baptism of Christ." But since we confess that the baptism of Christ
exists in schism, we propose this question to them for solution: Was
Simon Magus endued with the true baptism of Christ? They will answer,
Yes; being compelled to do so by the authority of holy Scripture. I
ask them whether they confess that he received remission of his sins.
They will certainly acknowledge it. So I ask why Peter said to him
that he had no part in the lot of the saints. Because, they say, he
sinned afterwards, wishing to buy with money the gift of God, which he
believed the apostles were able to sell.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XII.--18. What if he approached baptism itself in deceit? were
his sins remitted, or were they not? Let them choose which they will.
Whichever they choose will answer our purpose. If they say they
were remitted, how then shall "the Holy Spirit of discipline flee
deceit,"[40] if in him who was full of deceit He worked remission
of sins? If they say they were not remitted, I ask whether, if he
should afterwards confess his sin with contrition of heart and true
sorrow, it would be judged that he ought to be baptized again. And
if it is mere madness to assert this, then let them confess that a
man can be baptized with the true baptism of Christ, and that yet his
heart, persisting in malice or sacrilege, may not allow remission of
sins to be given; and so let them understand that men may be baptized
in communions severed from the Church, in which Christ's baptism is
given and received in the said celebration of the sacrament, but that
it will only then be of avail for the remission of sins, when the
recipient, being reconciled to the unity of the Church, is purged from
the sacrilege of deceit, by which his sins were retained, and their
remission prevented. For, as in the case of him who had approached
the sacrament in deceit there is no second baptism, but he is purged
by faithful discipline and truthful confession, which he could not be
without baptism, so that what was given before becomes then powerful
to work his salvation, when the former deceit is done away by the
truthful confession; so also in the case of the man who, while an enemy
to the peace and love of Christ, received in any heresy or schism the
baptism of Christ, which the schismatics in question had not lost from
among them, though by his sacrilege his sins were not remitted, yet,
when he corrects his error, and comes over to the communion and unity
of the Church, he ought not to be again baptized: because by his very
reconciliation to the peace of the Church he receives this benefit,
that the sacrament now begins in unity to be of avail for the remission
of his sins, which could not so avail him as received in schism.

19. But if they should say that in the man who has approached the
sacrament in deceit, his sins are indeed removed by the holy power of
so great a sacrament at the moment when he received it, but return
immediately in consequence of his deceit: so that the Holy Spirit
has both been present with him at his baptism for the removal of his
sins, and has also fled before his perseverance in deceit so that they
should return: so that both declarations prove true,--both, "As many of
you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ;" and also,
"The holy spirit of discipline will flee deceit;"--that is to say,
that both the holiness of baptism clothes him with Christ, and the
sinfulness of deceit strips him of Christ; like the case of a man who
passes from darkness through light into darkness again, his eyes being
always directed towards darkness, though the light cannot but penetrate
them as he passes;--if they should say this, let them understand that
this is also the case with those who are baptized without the pale of
the Church, but yet with the baptism of the Church, which is holy in
itself, wherever it may be; and which therefore belongs not to those
who separate themselves, but to the body from which they are separated;
while yet it avails even among them so far, that they pass through its
light back to their own darkness, their sins, which in that moment had
been dispelled by the holiness of baptism, returning immediately upon
them, as though it were the darkness returning which the light had
dispelled while they were passing through it.

20. For that sins which have been remitted do return upon a man, is
most clearly taught by our Lord, in the case of the servant whom He
found owing Him ten thousand talents, and to whom He yet forgave all at
his entreaty. But when he refused to have pity on his fellow-servant
who owed him a hundred pence, the Lord commanded him to pay what He
had forgiven him. The time, then, at which pardon is received through
baptism is as it were the time for rendering accounts, so that all
the debts which are found to be due may be remitted. Yet it was not
afterwards that the servant lent his fellow-servant the money, which
he had so pitilessly exacted when the other was unable to pay it; but
his fellow-servant already owed him the debt, when he himself, on
rendering his accounts to his master, was excused a debt of so vast
an amount. He had not first excused his fellow-servant, and so come
to receive forgiveness from his Lord. This is proved by the words of
the fellow-servant: "Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all."
Otherwise he would have said, "You forgave me it before; why do you
again demand it?" This is made more clear by the words of the Lord
Himself. For He says, "But the same servant went out, and found one
of his fellow-servants which was owing[41] him a hundred pence."[42]
He does not say, "To whom he had already forgiven a debt of a hundred
pence." Since then He says, "was owing him," it is clear that he had
not forgiven him the debt. And indeed, it would have been better, and
more in accordance with the position of a man who was going to render
an account of so great a debt, and expected forbearance from his lord,
that he should first have forgiven his fellow-servant what was due to
him, and so have come to render the account when there was such need
for imploring the compassion of his lord. Yet the fact that he had
not yet forgiven his fellow-servant, did not prevent his lord from
forgiving him all his debts on the occasion of receiving his accounts.
But what advantage was it to him, since they all immediately returned
with redoubled force upon his head, in consequence of his persistent
want of charity? So the grace of baptism is not prevented from giving
remission of all sins, even if he to whom they are forgiven continues
to cherish hatred towards his brother in his heart. For the guilt
of yesterday is remitted, and all that was before it, nay, even the
guilt of the very hour and moment previous to baptism, and during
baptism itself. But then he immediately begins again to be responsible,
not only for the days, hours, moments which ensue, but also for the
past,--the guilt of all the sins which were remitted returning on him,
as happens only too frequently in the Church.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XIII.--21. For it often happens that a man has an enemy whom
he hates most unjustly; although we are commanded to love even our
unjust enemies, and to pray for them. But in some sudden danger of
death he begins to be uneasy, and desires baptism, which he receives
in such haste, that the emergency scarcely admits of the necessary
formal examination of a few words, much less of a long conversation,
so that this hatred should be driven from his heart, even supposing
it to be known to the minister who baptizes him. Certainly cases of
this sort are still found to occur not only with us, but also with
them. What shall we say then? Are this man's sins forgiven or not?
Let them choose just which alternative they prefer. For if they are
forgiven, they immediately return: this is the teaching of the gospel,
the authoritative announcement of truth. Whether, therefore, they are
forgiven or not, medicine is necessary afterwards; and yet if the man
lives, and learns that his fault stands in need of correction, and
corrects it, he is not baptized anew, either with them or with us.
So in the points in which schismatics and heretics neither entertain
different opinions nor observe different practice from ourselves, we
do not correct them when they join us, but rather commend what we find
in them. For where they do not differ from us, they are not separated
from us. But because these things do them no good so long as they are
schismatics or heretics, on account of other points in which they
differ from us, not to mention the most grievous sin that is involved
in separation itself, therefore, whether their sins remain in them, or
return again immediately after remission, in either case we exhort them
to come to the soundness of peace and Christian charity, not only that
they may obtain something which they had not before, but also that what
they had may begin to be of use to them.

CHAP. XIV.--22. It is to no purpose, then, that they say to us, "If
you acknowledge our baptism, what do we lack that should make you
suppose that we ought to think seriously of joining your communion?"
For we reply, We do not acknowledge any baptism of yours; for it is
not the baptism of schismatics or heretics, but of God and of the
Church, wheresoever it may be found, and whithersoever it may be
transferred. But it is in no sense yours, except because you entertain
false opinions, and do sacrilegious acts, and have impiously separated
yourselves from the Church. For if everything else in your practice
and opinions were true, and still you were to persist in this same
separation, contrary to the bond of brotherly peace, contrary to
the union of all the brethren, who have been manifest, according to
the promise, in all the world; the particulars of whose history,
and the secrets of whose hearts, you never could have known or
considered in every case, so as to have a right to condemn them; who,
moreover, cannot be liable to condemnation for submitting themselves
to the judges of the Church rather than to one of the parties to
the dispute,--in this one thing, at least, in such a case, you are
deficient, in which he is deficient who lacks charity. Why should we go
over our argument again? Look and see yourselves in the apostle, how
much there is that you lack. For what does it matter to him who lacks
charity, whether he be carried away outside the Church at once by some
blast of temptation, or remain within the Lord's harvest, so as to be
separated only at the final winnowing? And yet even such, if they have
once been born in baptism, need not be born again.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XV.--23. For it is the Church that gives birth to all, either
within her pale, of her own womb; or beyond it, of the seed of her
bridegroom,--either of herself, or of her handmaid. But Esau, even
though born of the lawful wife, was separated from the people of God
because he quarrelled with his brother. And Asher, born indeed by the
authority of a wife, but yet of a handmaid, was admitted to the land
of promise on account of his brotherly good-will. Whence also it was
not the being born of a handmaid, but his quarrelling with his brother,
that stood in the way of Ishmael, to cause his separation from the
people of God; and he received no benefit from the power of the wife,
whose son he rather was, inasmuch as it was in virtue of her conjugal
rights that he was both conceived in and born of the womb of the
handmaid. Just as with the Donatists it is by the right of the Church,
which exists in baptism, that whosoever is born receives his birth;
but if they agree with their brethren, through the unity of peace they
come to the land of promise, not to be again cast out from the bosom of
their true mother, but to be acknowledged in the seed of their father;
but if they persevere in discord, they will belong to the line of
Ishmael. For Ishmael was first, and then Isaac; and Esau was the elder,
Jacob the younger. Not that heresy gives birth before the Church, or
that the Church herself gives birth first to those who are carnal or
animal, and afterwards to those who are spiritual; but because, in the
actual lot of our mortality, in which we are born of the seed of Adam,
"that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural, and
afterward that which is spiritual."[43] But from mere animal sensation,
because "the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of
God,"[44] arise all dissensions and schisms. And the apostle says[45]
that all who persevere in this animal sensation belong to the old
covenant, that is, to the desire of earthly promises, which are indeed
the type of the spiritual; but "the natural man receiveth not the
things of the Spirit of God."[44]

24. At whatever time, therefore, men have begun to be of such a
nature in this life, that, although they have partaken of such divine
sacraments as were appointed for the dispensation under which they
lived, they yet savour of carnal things, and hope for and desire
carnal things from God, whether in this life or afterwards, they are
yet carnal. But the Church, which is the people of God, is an ancient
institution even in the pilgrimage of this life, having a carnal
interest in some men, a spiritual interest in others. To the carnal
belongs the old covenant, to the spiritual the new. But in the first
days both were hidden, from Adam even to Moses. But by Moses the old
covenant was made manifest, and in it was hidden the new covenant,
because after a secret fashion it was typified. But so soon as the
Lord came in the flesh, the new covenant was revealed; yet, though
the sacraments of the old covenant passed away, the dispositions
peculiar to it did not pass away. For they still exist in those whom
the apostle declares to be already born indeed by the sacrament of
the new covenant, but yet incapable, as being natural, of receiving
the things of the Spirit of God. For, as in the sacraments of the old
covenant some persons were already spiritual, belonging secretly to the
new covenant, which was then concealed, so now also in the sacrament
of the new covenant, which has been by this time revealed, many live
who are natural. And if they will not advance to receive the things of
the Spirit of God, to which the discourse of the apostle urges them,
they will still belong to the old covenant. But if they advance, even
before they receive them, yet by their very advance and approach they
belong to the new covenant; and if, before becoming spiritual, they
are snatched away from this life, yet through the protection of the
holiness of the sacrament they are reckoned in the land of the living,
where the Lord is our hope and our portion. Nor can I find any truer
interpretation of the scripture, "Thine eyes did see my substance, yet
being imperfect;"[46] considering what follows, "And in Thy book shall
all be written."[47]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XVI.--25. But the same mother which brought forth Abel, and
Enoch, and Noah, and Abraham, brought forth also Moses and the prophets
who succeeded him till the coming of our Lord; and the mother which
gave birth to them gave birth also to our apostles and martyrs, and all
good Christians. For all these that have appeared have been born indeed
at different times, but are included in the society of our people; and
it is as citizens of the same state that they have experienced the
labours of this pilgrimage, and some of them are experiencing them,
and others will experience them, even to the end. Again, the mother
who brought forth Cain, and Ham, and Ishmael, and Esau, brought forth
also Dathan and others like him in the same people; and she who gave
birth to them gave birth also to Judas the false apostle, and Simon
Magus, and all the other false Christians who up to this time have
persisted obstinately in their carnal affections, whether they have
been mingled in the unity of the Church, or separated from it in open
schism. But when men of this kind have the gospel preached to them, and
receive the sacraments at the hand of those who are spiritual, it is as
though Rebecca gave birth to them of her own womb, as she did to Esau;
but when they are produced in the midst of the people of God through
the instrumentality of those who preach the gospel not sincerely,[48]
Sarah is indeed the mother, but through Hagar. So when good spiritual
disciples are produced by the preaching or baptism of those who are
carnal, Leah, indeed, or Rachel, gives birth to them in her right as
wife, but from the womb of a handmaid. But when good and faithful
disciples are born of those who are spiritual in the gospel, and either
attain to the development of spiritual age, or do not cease to strive
in that direction, or are only deterred from doing so by want of power,
these are born like Isaac from the womb of Sarah, or Jacob from the
womb of Rebecca, in the new life of the new covenant.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XVII.--26. Therefore, whether they seem to abide within, or are
openly outside, whatsoever is flesh is flesh, and what is chaff is
chad, whether they persevere in remaining in their barrenness on the
threshing-floor, or, when temptation befalls them, are carried out as
it were by the blast of some wind. And even that man is always severed
from the unity of the Church which is without a spot or wrinkle,[49]
who associates with the congregation of the saints in carnal obstinacy.
Yet we ought to despair of no man, whether he be one who shows himself
to be of this nature within the pale of the Church, or whether he more
openly opposes it from without. But the spiritual, or those who are
steadily advancing with pious exertion towards this end, do not stray
without the pale; since even when, by some perversity or necessity
among men, they seem to be driven forth, they are more approved than if
they had remained within, since they are in no degree roused to contend
against the Church, but remain rooted in the strongest foundation of
Christian charity on the solid rock of unity. For hereunto belongs what
is said in the sacrifice of Abraham: "But the birds divided he not."[50]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XVIII.--27. On the question of baptism, then, I think that I have
argued at sufficient length; and since this is a most manifest schism
which is called by the name of the Donatists, it only remains that on
the subject of baptism we should believe with pious faith what the
universal Church maintains, apart from the sacrilege of schism. And
yet, if within the Church different men still held different opinions
on the point, without meanwhile violating peace, then till some one
clear and simple decree should have been passed by an universal
Council, it would have been right for the charity which seeks for unity
to throw a veil over the error of human infirmity, as it is written,
"For charity shall cover the multitude of sins."[51] For, seeing that
its absence causes the presence of all other things to be of no avail,
we may well suppose that in its presence there is found pardon for the
absence of some missing things.

28. There are great proofs of this existing on the part of the blessed
martyr Cyprian, in his letters,--to come at last to him of whose
authority they carnally flatter themselves they are possessed, whilst
by his love they are spiritually overthrown. For at that time, before
the consent of the whole Church had declared authoritatively, by the
decree of a general Council,[52] what practice should be followed
in this matter, it seemed to him, in common with about eighty of
his fellow-bishops of the African churches, that every man who had
been baptized outside the communion of the Catholic Church should,
on joining the Church, be baptized anew. And I take it, that the
reason why the Lord did not reveal the error in this to a man of such
eminence, was, that his pious humility and charity in guarding the
peace and health of the Church might be made manifest, and might be
noticed, so as to serve as an example of healing power, so to speak,
not only to Christians of that age, but also to those who should come
after. For when a bishop of so important a Church, himself a man of
so great merit and virtue, endowed with such excellence of heart and
power of eloquence, entertained an opinion about baptism different
from that which was to be confirmed by a more diligent searching
into the truth; though many of his colleagues held what was not yet
made manifest by authority, but was sanctioned by the past custom of
the Church, and afterwards embraced by the whole Catholic world; yet
under these circumstances he did not sever himself, by refusal of
communion, from the others who thought differently, and indeed never
ceased to urge on the others that they should "forbear one another
in love, endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of
peace."[53] For so, while the framework of the body remained whole,
if any infirmity occurred in certain of its members, it might rather
regain its health from their general soundness, than be deprived of the
chance of any healing care by their death in severance from the body.
And if he had severed himself, how many were there to follow! what a
name was he likely to make for himself among men! how much more widely
would the name of Cyprianist have spread than that of Donatist! But
he was not a son of perdition, one of those of whom it is said, "Thou
castedst them down into destruction;"[54] but he was the son of the
peace of the Church, who in the clear illumination of his mind failed
to see one thing, only that through him another thing might be more
excellently seen. "And yet," says the apostle, "show I unto you a more
excellent way: though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels,
and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling
cymbal."[55] He had therefore imperfect insight into the hidden mystery
of the sacrament. But if he had known the mysteries of all sacraments,
without having charity, it would have been nothing. But as he, with
imperfect insight into the mystery, was careful to preserve charity
with all courage and humility and faith, he deserved to come to the
crown of martyrdom; so that, if any cloud had crept over the clearness
of his intellect from his infirmity as man, it might be dispelled by
the glorious brightness of his blood. For it was not in vain that our
Lord Jesus Christ, when He declared Himself to be the vine, and His
disciples, as it were, the branches in the vine, gave command that
those which bare no fruit should be cut off, and removed from the
vine as useless branches.[56] But what is really fruit, save that new
offspring, of which He further says, "A new commandment I give unto
you, that ye love one another?"[57] This is that very charity, without
which the rest profiteth nothing. The apostle also says: "But the
fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness,
goodness, faith, meekness, temperance;"[58] each of which begins with
charity, and with the rest of the combination forms one unity in a kind
of wondrous cluster.[59] Nor is it again in vain that our Lord added,
"And every branch that beareth fruit, my Father purgeth it, that it may
bring forth more fruit,"[60] but because those who are strong in the
fruit of charity may yet have something which requires purging, which
the Husbandman will not leave untended. Whilst, then, that holy man
entertained on the subject of baptism an opinion at variance with the
true view, which was afterwards thoroughly examined and confirmed after
most diligent consideration, his error was compensated by his remaining
in catholic unity, and by the abundance of his charity; and finally it
was cleared away by the pruning-hook of martyrdom.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XIX.--29. But that I may not seem to be uttering these praises
of the blessed martyr (which, indeed, are not his, but rather those of
Him by whose grace he showed himself what he was), in order to escape
the burden of proof, let us now bring forward from his letters the
testimony by which the mouths of the Donatists may most of all be
stopped. For they advance his authority before the unlearned, to show
that in a manner they do well when they baptize afresh the faithful
who come to them. Too wretched are they--and, unless they correct
themselves, even by themselves are they utterly condemned--who choose
in the example set them by so great a man to imitate just that fault,
which only did not injure him, because he walked with constant steps
even to the end in that from which they have strayed who "have not
known the ways of peace."[61] It is true that Christ's baptism is
holy; and although it may exist among heretics or schismatics, yet
it does not belong to the heresy or schism; and therefore even those
who come from thence to the Catholic Church herself ought not to be
baptized afresh. Yet to err on this point is one thing; it is another
thing that those who are straying from the peace of the Church, and
have fallen headlong into the pit of schism, should go on to decide
that any who join them ought to be baptized again. For the former is a
speck on the brightness of a holy soul which abundance of charity[62]
would fain have covered; the latter is a stain in their nether foulness
which the hatred of peace in their countenance ostentatiously brings
to light. But the subject for our further consideration, relating to
the authority of the blessed Cyprian, we will commence from a fresh
beginning.

FOOTNOTES:

[5] This treatise was written about 400 A.D.

[6] _Contra Epist. Parmen._ ii. 14.

[7] Comp. v. 23, and iii. 16, note.

[8] Ps. lxi. 2, 3. Augustine translates from the Septuagint. The
English version is: "From the end of the earth will I cry unto Thee,
when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the Rock that is higher than
I. For Thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the
enemy."

[9] Eph. ii. 6.

[10] Matt. vii. 15.

[11] Matt. xxiv. 23.

[12] Matt. xi. 24.

[13] The Council of Donatist bishops, held at Bagai in Numidia, A.D.
394. Cp. _Contr. Crescon._ iii. 52, 53.

[14] Quodam modo cardinales Donatistas.

[15] See below, on ii. 9.

[16] Matt. xii. 30.

[17] Mark ix. 38, 39; Luke ix. 50.

[18] Acts x.

[19] Ex. xxxii.

[20] Num. xvi.

[21] 1 Cor. xiii. 2.

[22] 1 Cor. xiii. 1, 2.

[23] John xi. 51.

[24] 1 Sam. xviii. 10.

[25] Acts viii. 13.

[26] Mark i. 24.

[27] Eph. iv. 2, 3.

[28] Acts viii. 13, 21.

[29] 1 Cor. iii. 1-4.

[30] 1 Cor. i. 10-13.

[31] 1 Cor. x. 11. _In figura_; [Greek: tupichôs]; A. V., "for
ensamples."

[32] Gen. xxi. 10.

[33] Gen. xxx. 3.

[34] Mal. i. 2, 3; Gen. xxv. 24.

[35] Matt. xxviii. 19.

[36] John xx. 23.

[37] Song of Sol. vi. 9.

[38] 1 John ii. 11.

[39] Gal. iii. 27.

[40] Wisd. i. 5.

[41] Debebat. It is necessary to depart from the A. V., "owed," as
Augustine founds an argument on the use of the imperfect tense. Gr.
[Greek: ôpheilen].

[42] Matt. xviii. 23-35.

[43] 1 Cor. xv. 46.

[44] 1 Cor. ii. 14.

[45] Gal. iv.

[46] Ps. cxxxix. 16.

[47] So Augustine from the Septuagint: [Greek: epi to biblion sou
pantes graphêsontai]. A.V., "In Thy book were all _my members_ written."

[48] Non caste; [Greek: ouch agnôs]. Phil. i. 16.

[49] In the _Retractations_, ii. 18, Augustine notes on this passage,
that wherever he uses this quotation from the Epistle to the Ephesians,
he means it to be understood of the progress of the Church towards this
condition, and not of her success in its attainment; for at present the
infirmities and ignorance of her members give ground enough for the
whole Church joining daily in the petition, "Forgive us our debts."

[50] Gen. xv. 10.

[51] 1 Pet. iv. 8.

[52] See below, ii. 9.

[53] Eph. iv. 2, 3.

[54] Ps. lxxiii. 18.

[55] 1 Cor. xii. 31, xiii. 1.

[56] John xv. 1, 2.

[57] John xiii. 34.

[58] Gal. v. 22, 23.

[59] Botrum.

[60] John xv. 2.

[61] Rom. iii. 17; from which it has been introduced into the
Alexandrine MS. of the Septuagint at Ps. xiv. 3, as it is quoted by
Migne, and found in the English Prayer-book version of the Psalms.

[62] Charitatis ubera.



BOOK SECOND.

 IN WHICH AUGUSTINE PROVES THAT IT IS TO NO PURPOSE THAT THE DONATISTS
 BRING FORWARD THE AUTHORITY OF CYPRIAN, BISHOP AND MARTYR, SINCE IT
 IS REALLY MORE OPPOSED TO THEM THAN TO THE CATHOLICS. FOR THAT HE
 HELD THAT THE VIEW OF HIS PREDECESSOR AGRIPPINUS, ON THE SUBJECT
 OF BAPTIZING HERETICS IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH WHEN THEY JOIN ITS
 COMMUNION, SHOULD ONLY BE RECEIVED ON CONDITION THAT PEACE SHOULD BE
 MAINTAINED WITH THOSE WHO ENTERTAINED THE OPPOSITE VIEW, AND THAT THE
 UNITY OF THE CHURCH SHOULD NEVER BE BROKEN BY ANY KIND OF SCHISM.


CHAP. I.--1. How much the arguments make for us, that is, for catholic
peace, which the party of Donatus profess to bring forward against us
from the authority of the blessed Cyprian, and how much they prove
against those who bring them forward, it is my intention, with the
help of God, to show in the ensuing book. If, therefore, in the course
of my argument, I am obliged to repeat what I have already said in
other treatises (although I will do so as little as I can), yet this
ought not to be objected to by those who have already read them and
agree with them; since it is not only right that those things which
are necessary for instruction should be frequently instilled into men
of dull intelligence, but even in the case of those who are endowed
with larger understanding, it contributes very much both to make their
learning easier and their powers of teaching readier, where the same
points are handled and discussed in many various ways. For I know how
much it discourages a reader, when he comes upon any knotty question in
the book which he has in hand, to find himself presently referred for
its solution to another which he happens not to have. Wherefore, if I
am compelled, by the urgency of the present questions, to repeat what I
have already said in other books, I would seek forgiveness from those
who know those books already, that those who are ignorant may have
their difficulties removed; for it is better to give to one who has
already, than to abstain from satisfying any one who is in want.

2. What, then, do they venture to say, when their mouth is closed[63]
by the force of truth, with which they will not agree? "Cyprian,"
say they, "whose great merits and vast learning we all know, decreed
in a Council,[64] with many of his fellow-bishops contributing their
several opinions, that all heretics and schismatics, that is, all who
are severed from the communion of the one Church, are without baptism;
and therefore, whosoever has joined the communion of the Church after
being baptized by them must be baptized in the Church." The authority
of Cyprian does not alarm me, because I am reassured by his humility.
We know, indeed, the great merit of the bishop and martyr Cyprian; but
is it in any way greater than that of the apostle and martyr Peter, of
whom the said Cyprian speaks as follows in his epistle to Quintus? "For
neither did Peter, whom the Lord chose first, and on whom He built His
Church,[65] when Paul afterwards disputed with him about circumcision,
claim or assume anything insolently and arrogantly to himself, so as
to say that he held the primacy, and should rather be obeyed of those
who were late and newly come. Nor did he despise Paul because he had
before been a persecutor of the Church, but he admitted the counsel
of truth, and readily assented to the legitimate grounds which Paul
maintained; giving us thereby a pattern of concord and patience, that
we should not pertinaciously love our own opinions, but should rather
account as our own any true and rightful suggestions of our brethren
and colleagues for the common health and weal."[66] Here is a passage
in which Cyprian records what we also learn in holy Scripture, that
the Apostle Peter, in whom the primacy of the apostles shines with
such exceeding grace, was corrected by the later Apostle Paul, when
he adopted a custom in the matter of circumcision at variance with
the demands of truth. If it was therefore possible for Peter in some
point to walk not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, so as
to compel the Gentiles to judaize, as Paul writes in that epistle in
which he calls God to witness that he does not lie; for he says, "Now
the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not;"[67]
and, after this sacred and awful calling of God to witness, he told
the whole tale, saying in the course of it, "But when I saw that they
walked not uprightly, according to the truth of the gospel, I said
unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the
manner of the Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the
Gentiles to live as do the Jews?"[68]--if Peter, I say, could compel
the Gentiles to live after the manner of the Jews, contrary to the rule
of truth which the Church afterwards held, why might not Cyprian, in
opposition to the rule of faith which the whole Church afterwards held,
compel heretics and schismatics to be baptized afresh? I suppose that
there is no slight to Cyprian in comparing him with Peter in respect to
his crown of martyrdom; rather I ought to be afraid lest I am showing
disrespect towards Peter. For who can be ignorant that the primacy of
his apostleship is to be preferred to any episcopate in the world? But,
granting the difference in the dignity of their sees, yet they have the
same glory in their martyrdom. And whether it may be the case that the
hearts of those who confess and die for the true faith in the unity of
charity take precedence of each other in different points, the Lord
Himself will know, by the hidden and wondrous dispensation of whose
grace the thief hanging on the cross once for all confesses Him, and
is sent on the selfsame day to paradise,[69] while Peter, the follower
of our Lord, denies Him thrice, and has his crown postponed:[70] for
us it were rash to form a judgment from the evidence. But if any one
were now found compelling a man to be circumcised after the Jewish
fashion, as a necessary preliminary for baptism, this would meet with
much more general repudiation by mankind, than if a man should be
compelled to be baptized again. Wherefore, if Peter, on doing this,
is corrected by his later colleague Paul, and is yet preserved by the
bond of peace and unity till he is promoted to martyrdom, how much more
readily and constantly should we prefer, either to the authority of a
single bishop, or to the Council of a single province, the rule that
has been established by the statutes of the universal Church? For this
same Cyprian, in urging his view of the question, was still anxious to
remain in the unity of peace even with those who differed from him on
this point, as is shown by his own opening address at the beginning of
the very Council which is quoted by the Donatists. For it is as follows:

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. II.--3. "When, on the calends of September, very many bishops
from the provinces of Africa,[71] Numidia, and Mauritania, with their
presbyters and deacons, had met together at Carthage, a great part
of the laity also being present; and when the letter addressed by
Jubaianus to Cyprian, as also the answer of Cyprian to Jubaianus, on
the subject of baptizing heretics, had been read, Cyprian said: 'Ye
have heard, most beloved colleagues, what Jubaianus, our fellow-bishop,
has written to me, consulting my moderate ability concerning the
unlawful and profane baptism of heretics, and what answer I gave
him,--giving a judgment which we have once and again and often
given, that heretics coming to the Church ought to be baptized, and
sanctified with the baptism of the Church. Another letter of Jubaianus
has likewise been read to you, in which, agreeably to his sincere and
religious devotion, in answer to our epistle, he not only expressed his
assent, but returned thanks also, acknowledging that he had received
instruction. It remains that we severally declare our opinion on
this subject, judging no one, nor depriving any one of the right of
communion if he differ from us. For no one of us sets himself up as a
bishop of bishops, or, by tyrannical terror, forceth his colleagues to
a necessity of obeying, inasmuch as every bishop, in the free use of
his liberty and power, has the right of forming his own judgment, and
can no more be judged by another than he can himself judge another.
But we must all await the judgment of our Lord Jesus Christ, who alone
has the power both of setting us in the government of His Church, and
of judging of our acts therein.'"

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. III.--4. Now let the proud and swelling necks of the heretics
raise themselves, if they dare, against the holy humility of this
address. Ye mad Donatists, whom we desire earnestly to return to the
peace and unity of the holy Church, that ye may receive health therein,
what have ye to say in answer to this? You are wont, indeed, to bring
up against us the letters of Cyprian, his opinion, his Council; why
do ye claim the authority of Cyprian for your schism, and reject his
example when it makes for the peace of the Church? But who can fail
to be aware that the sacred canon of Scripture, both of the Old and
New Testament, is confined within its own limits, and that it stands
so absolutely in a superior position to all later letters of the
bishops, that about it we can hold no manner of doubt or disputation
whether what is confessedly contained in it is right and true; but
that all the letters of bishops which have been written, or are being
written, since the closing of the canon, are liable to be refuted
if there be anything contained in them which strays from the truth,
either by the discourse of some one who happens to be wiser in the
matter than themselves, or by the weightier authority and more learned
experience of other bishops, or by the authority of Councils; and
further, that the Councils themselves, which are held in the several
districts and provinces, must yield, beyond all possibility of doubt,
to the authority of universal Councils which are formed for the whole
Christian world; and that even of the universal Councils, the earlier
are often corrected by those which follow them, when, by some actual
experiment, things are brought to light which were before concealed,
and that is known which previously lay hid, and this without any
whirlwind of sacrilegious pride, without any puffing of the neck
through arrogance, without any strife of envious hatred, simply with
holy humility, catholic peace, and Christian charity?

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. IV.--5. Wherefore the holy Cyprian, whose dignity is only
increased by his humility, who so loved the pattern set by Peter as to
use the words, "Giving us thereby a pattern of concord and patience,
that we should not pertinaciously love our own opinions, but should
rather account as our own any true and rightful suggestions of our
brethren and colleagues, for the common health and weal,"[72]--he,
I say, abundantly shows that he was most willing to correct his own
opinion, if any one should prove to him that it is as certain that
the baptism of Christ can be given by those who have strayed from the
fold, as that it could not be lost when they strayed; on which subject
we have already said much. Nor should we ourselves venture to assert
anything of the kind, were we not supported by the unanimous authority
of the whole Church,--to which he himself would unquestionably have
yielded, if at that time the truth of this question had been placed
beyond dispute by the investigation and decree of a general Council.
For if he quotes Peter as an example for his allowing himself quietly
and peacefully to be corrected by one junior colleague, how much more
readily would he himself, with the Council of his province, have
yielded to the authority of the whole world, when the truth had been
thus brought to light? For, indeed, so holy and peaceful a soul would
have been most ready to assent to the arguments of any single person
who could prove to him the truth; and perhaps he even did so,[73]
though we have no knowledge of the fact. For it was neither possible
that all the proceedings which took place between the bishops at that
time should have been committed to writing, nor are we acquainted with
all that was so committed. For how could a matter which was involved
in such mists of disputation even have been brought to the full
illumination and authoritative decision of a general Council, had it
not first been known to be discussed for some considerable time in the
various districts of the world, with many discussions and comparisons
of the views of the bishops on every side? But this is one effect of
the soundness of peace, that when any doubtful points are long under
investigation, and when, on account of the difficulty of arriving
at the truth, they produce difference of opinion in the course of
brotherly disputation, till men at last arrive at the unalloyed truth;
yet the bond of unity remains, lest in the part that is cut away there
should be found the incurable wound of deadly error.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. V.--6. And so it is that often something is imperfectly revealed
to the more learned, that their patient and humble charity, from which
proceeds the greater fruit, may be proved, either in the way in which
they preserve unity, when they hold different opinions on matters of
comparative obscurity, or in the temper with which they receive the
truth, when they learn that it has been declared to be contrary to
what they thought. And of these two we have a manifestation in the
blessed Cyprian of the one, viz. of the way in which he preserved unity
with those from whom he differed in opinion. For he says, "Judging
no one, nor depriving any one of the right of communion if he differ
from us."[74] And the other, viz. in what temper he could receive the
truth when found to be different from what he thought it, though his
letters are silent on the point, is yet proclaimed by his merits. If
there is no letter extant to prove it, it is witnessed by his crown of
martyrdom; if the Council of bishops declare it not, it is declared by
the host of angels. For it is no small proof of a most peaceful soul,
that he won the crown of martyrdom in that unity from which he would
not separate, even though he differed from it. For we are but men;
and it is therefore a temptation incident to men that we should hold
views at variance with the truth on any point. But to come through too
great love for our own opinion, or through jealousy of our betters,
even to the sacrilege of dividing the communion of the Church, and
of founding heresy or schism, is a presumption worthy of the devil.
But never in any point to entertain an opinion at variance with the
truth is perfection found only in the angels. Since then we are men,
yet forasmuch as in hope we are angels, whose equals we shall be in
the resurrection,[75] at any rate, so long as we are wanting in the
perfection of angels, let us at least be without the presumption of
the devil. Accordingly the apostle says, "There hath no temptation
taken you but such as is common to man."[76] It is therefore part
of man's nature to be sometimes wrong. Wherefore he says in another
place, "Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, be thus minded: and
if in anything ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto
you."[77] But to whom does He reveal it when it is His will (be it in
this life or in the life to come), save to those who walk in the way
of peace, and stray not aside into any schism? Not to such as those
who have not known the way of peace,[78] or for some other cause have
broken the bond of unity. And so, when the apostle said, "And if in
anything ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you,"
lest they should think that besides the way of peace their own wrong
views might be revealed to them, he immediately added, "Nevertheless,
whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule."[79]
And Cyprian, walking by this rule, by the most persistent tolerance,
not simply by the shedding of his blood, but because it was shed in
unity (for if he gave his body to be burned, and had not charity, it
would profit him nothing[80]), came by the confession of martyrdom to
the light of the angels, and if not before, at least then, acknowledged
the revelation of the truth on that point on which, while yet in error,
he did not prefer the maintenance of a wrong opinion to the bond of
unity.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. VI.--7. What then, ye Donatists, what have ye to say to this?
If our opinion about baptism is true, yet all who thought differently
in the time of Cyprian were not cut off from the unity of the Church,
till God revealed to them the truth of the point on which they were in
error, why then have ye by your sacrilegious separation broken the bond
of peace? But if yours is the true opinion about baptism, Cyprian and
the others, in conjunction with whom ye set forth that he held such
a Council, remained in unity with those who thought otherwise; why,
therefore, have ye broken the bond of peace? Choose which alternative
ye will, ye are compelled to pronounce an opinion against your schism.
Answer me, wherefore have ye separated yourselves? Wherefore have ye
erected an altar in opposition to the whole world? Wherefore do ye not
communicate with the Churches to which apostolic epistles have been
sent, which you yourselves read and acknowledge, in accordance with
whose tenor you say that you order your lives? Answer me, wherefore
have ye separated yourselves? I suppose in order that ye might not
perish by communion with wicked men. How then was it that Cyprian, and
so many of his colleagues, did not perish? For though they believed
that heretics and schismatics did not possess baptism, yet they chose
rather to hold communion with them when they had been received into the
Church without baptism, although they believed that their flagrant and
sacrilegious sins were yet upon their heads, than to be separated from
the unity of the Church, according to the words of Cyprian, "Judging no
one, nor depriving any one of the right of communion if he differ from
us."

8. If, therefore, by such communion with the wicked the just cannot
but perish, the Church had already perished in the time of Cyprian.
Whence then sprang the origin of Donatus? where was he taught, where
was he baptized, where was he ordained, since the Church had been
already destroyed by the contagion of communion with the wicked? But
if the Church still existed, the wicked could do no harm to the good
in one communion with them. Wherefore did ye separate yourselves?
Behold, I see in unity Cyprian and others, his colleagues, who, on
holding a council, decided that those who have been baptized without
the communion of the Church have no true baptism, and that therefore it
must be given them when they join the Church. But again, behold I see
in the same unity that certain men think differently in this matter,
and that, recognising in those who come from heretics and schismatics
the baptism of Christ, they do not venture to baptize them afresh. All
of these catholic unity embraces in her motherly breast, bearing each
other's burdens by turns, and endeavouring to keep the unity of the
Spirit in the bond of peace,[81] till God should reveal to one or other
of them any error in their views. If the one party held the truth,
were they infected by the others, or no? If the others held the truth,
were they infected by the first, or no? Choose which ye will. If there
was contamination, the Church even then ceased to exist; answer me,
therefore, whence came ye forth hither? But if the Church remained, the
good are in no wise contaminated by the bad in such communion; answer
me, therefore, why did ye break the bond?

9. Or is it perhaps that schismatics, when received without baptism,
bring no infection, but that it is brought by those who deliver up
the sacred books?[82] For that there were _traditors_ of your number
is proved by the clearest testimony of history. And if you had then
brought true evidence against those whom you were accusing, you would
have proved your cause before the unity of the whole world, so that
you would have been retained whilst they were shut out. And if you
endeavoured to do this, and did not succeed, the world is not to blame,
which trusted the judges of the Church rather than the beaten parties
in the suit; whilst, if you would not urge your suit, the world again
is not to blame, which could not condemn men without their cause being
heard. Why, then, did you separate yourselves from the innocent? You
cannot defend the sacrilege of your schism. But this I pass over. But
so much I say, that if the _traditors_ could have defiled you, who
were not convicted by you, and by whom, on the contrary, you were
beaten, much more could the sacrilege of schismatics and heretics,
received into the Church, as you maintain, without baptism, have
defiled Cyprian. Yet he did not separate himself. And inasmuch as the
Church continued to exist, it is clear that it could not be defiled.
Wherefore, then, did you separate yourselves, I do not say from the
innocent, as the facts proved them, but from the _traditors_, as they
were never proved to be? Are the sins of _traditors_, as I began to
say, heavier than those of schismatics? Let us not bring in deceitful
balances, to which we may hang what weights we will, and how we will,
saying to suit ourselves, "This is heavy and this is light;" but let
us bring forward the sacred balance out of holy Scripture, as out
of the Lord's treasure-house, and let us weigh them by it, to see
which is the heavier; or rather, let us not weigh them for ourselves,
but read the weights as declared by the Lord. At the time when the
Lord showed, by the example of recent punishment, that there was
need to guard against the sins of olden days, and an idol was made
and worshipped, and the prophetic book was burned by the wrath of a
scoffing king, and schism was attempted, the idolatry was punished
with the sword,[83] the burning of the book by slaughter in war and
captivity in a foreign land,[84] schism by the earth opening, and
swallowing up alive the leaders of the schism, while the rest were
consumed with fire from heaven.[85] Who will now doubt that that was
the worse crime which received the heavier punishment? If men coming
from such sacrilegious company, without baptism, as you maintain, could
not defile Cyprian, how could those defile you who were not convicted
but supposed betrayers of the sacred books?[86] For if they had not
only given up the books to be burned, but had actually burned them with
their own hands, they would have been guilty of a less sin than if
they had committed schism; for schism is visited with the heavier, the
other with the lighter punishment, not at man's discretion, but by the
judgment of God.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. VII.--10. Wherefore, then, have ye severed yourselves? If there
is any sense left in you, you must surely see that you can find no
possible answer to these arguments. "We are not left," they say, "so
utterly without resource, but that we can still answer, It is our will.
'Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master
he standeth or falleth.'"[87] They do not understand that this was
said to men who were wishing to judge, not of open facts, but of the
hearts of other men. For how does the apostle himself come to say so
much about the sins of schisms and heresies? Or how comes that verse in
the Psalms, "If of a truth ye love justice, judge uprightly, O ye sons
of men?"[88] But why does the Lord Himself say, "Judge not according
to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment,"[89] if we may not
judge any man? Lastly, why, in the case of those _traditors_, whom they
have judged unrighteously, have they themselves ventured to pass any
judgments at all on another man's servants? To their own master they
were standing or falling. Or why, in the case of the recent followers
of Maximianus, have they not hesitated to bring forward the judgment
delivered with the infallible voice, as they aver, of a general
Council, in such terms as to compare them with those first schismatics
whom the earth swallowed up alive? And yet some of them, as they cannot
deny, they either condemned though innocent, or received back again
in their guilt. But when a truth is urged which they cannot gainsay,
they mutter a truly wholesome murmuring: "It is our will: 'Who art
thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth
or falleth.'" But when a weak sheep is espied in the desert, and the
pastor who should reclaim it to the fold is nowhere to be seen, then
there is setting of teeth, and breaking of the weak neck: "Thou wouldst
be a good man, wert thou not a _traditor_. Consult the welfare of thy
soul; be a Christian." What unconscionable madness! When it is said
to a Christian, "Be a Christian," what other lesson is taught, save a
denial that he is a Christian? Was it not the same lesson which those
persecutors of the Christians wished to teach, by resisting whom the
crown of martyrdom was gained? Or must we even look on crime as lighter
when committed with threatening of the sword than with treachery of the
tongue?

11. Answer me this, ye ravening wolves, who, seeking to be clad in
sheep's clothing,[90] think that the letters of the blessed Cyprian
are in your favour. Did the sacrilege of schismatics defile Cyprian,
or did it not? If it did, the Church perished from that instant, and
there remained no source from which ye might spring. If it did not,
then by what offence on the part of others can the guiltless possibly
be denied, if the sacrilege of schism cannot defile them? Wherefore,
then, have ye severed yourselves? Wherefore, while shunning the
lighter offences, which are inventions of your own, have ye committed
the heaviest offence of all, the sacrilege of schism? Will ye now
perchance confess that those men were no longer schismatics or heretics
who had been baptized without the communion of the Church, or in some
heresy or schism, because by coming over to the Church, and renouncing
their former errors, they had ceased to be what formerly they were? How
then was it, that though they were not baptized, their sins remained
not on their heads? Was it that the baptism was Christ's, but that it
could not profit them without the communion of the Church; yet when
they came over, and, renouncing their past error, were received into
the communion of the Church by the laying on of hands, then, being
now rooted and founded in charity, without which all other things are
profitless, they began to receive profit for the remission of sins and
the sanctification of their lives from that sacrament, which, while
without the pale of the Church, they possessed in vain?

12. Cease, then, to bring forward against us the authority of Cyprian
in favour of repeating baptism, but cling with us to the example of
Cyprian for the preservation of unity. For this question of baptism had
not been as yet completely worked out, but yet the Church observed the
most wholesome custom of correcting what was wrong, not repeating what
was already given, even in the case of schismatics and heretics: she
healed the wounded part, but did not meddle with what was whole. And
this custom, coming, I suppose, from apostolical tradition (like many
other things which are held to have been handed down under their actual
sanction, because they are preserved throughout the whole Church,
though they are not found either in their letters, or in the Councils
of their successors),--this most wholesome custom, I say, according to
the holy Cyprian, began to be what is called amended by his predecessor
Agrippinus. But, according to the teaching which springs from a more
careful investigation into the truth, which, after great doubt and
fluctuation, was brought at last to the decision of a general Council,
we ought to believe that it rather began to be corrupted than to
receive correction at the hands of Agrippinus. Accordingly, when so
great a question forced itself upon him, and it was difficult to decide
the point, whether remission of sins and man's spiritual regeneration
could take place among heretics or schismatics, and the authority of
Agrippinus was there to guide him, with that of some few men who shared
in his misapprehension of this question, having preferred attempting
something new to maintaining a custom which they did not understand how
to defend; under these circumstances, considerations of probability
forced themselves into the eyes of his soul, and barred the way to the
thorough investigation of the truth.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. VIII.--13. Nor do I think that the blessed Cyprian had any
other motive in the free expression and earlier utterance of what he
thought in opposition to the custom of the Church, save that he should
thankfully receive any one that could be found with a fuller revelation
of the truth, and that he should show forth a pattern for imitation,
not only of diligence in teaching, but also of modesty in learning;
but that, if no one should be found to bring forward any argument by
which those considerations of probability should be refuted, then he
should abide by his opinion, with the full consciousness that he had
neither concealed what he conceived to be the truth, nor violated the
unity which he loved. For so he understood the words of the apostle:
"Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. If
anything be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his
peace."[91] "In which passage he has taught and shown, that many things
are revealed to individuals for the better, and that we ought not each
to strive pertinaciously for what he has once imbibed and held, but
if anything has appeared better and more useful, he should willingly
embrace it."[92] At any rate, in these words he not only advised those
to agree with him who saw no better course, but also exhorted any
who could to bring forward arguments by which the maintenance of the
former custom might rather be established; that if they should be of
such a nature as not to admit of refutation, he might show in his own
person with what sincerity he said "that we ought not each to strive
pertinaciously for what he has once imbibed and held, but that, if
anything has appeared better and more useful, he should willingly
embrace it."[92] But inasmuch as none appeared, except such as simply
urged the custom against him, and the arguments which they produced in
its favour were not of a kind to bring conviction to a soul like his,
this mighty reasoner was not content to give up his opinions, which,
though they were not true, as he was himself unable to see, were at
any rate not confuted, in favour of a custom which had truth on its
side, but had not yet been confirmed. And yet, had not his predecessor
Agrippinus, and some of his fellow-bishops throughout Africa, first
tempted him to desert this custom, even by the decision of a Council,
he certainly would not have dared to argue against it. But, amid the
perplexities of so obscure a question, and seeing everywhere around
him a strong universal custom, he would rather have put restraint upon
himself by prayer and stretching forth his mind towards God, so as to
have perceived or taught that for truth which was afterwards decided by
a general Council. But when he had found relief amid his weariness in
the authority of the former Council[93] which was held by Agrippinus,
he preferred maintaining what was in a manner the discovery of his
predecessors, to expending further toil in investigation. For, at the
end of his letter to Quintus, he thus shows how he has sought repose,
if one may use the expression, for his weariness, in what might be
termed the resting-place of authority.[94]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. IX.--14. "This moreover," says he, "Agrippinus, a man of
excellent memory, with the rest, bishops with him, who at that time
governed the Church of the Lord in the province of Africa and Numidia,
did, when by common counsel duly weighed, establish and confirm;
whose sentence, being both religious and legitimate and salutary
in accordance with the Catholic faith and Church, we also have
followed."[95] By this witness he gives sufficient proof how much more
ready he would have been to bear his testimony, had any Council been
held to discuss this matter which either embraced the whole Church, or
at least represented our brethren beyond the sea. But such a Council
had not yet been held, because the whole world was bound together by
the powerful bond of custom; and this was deemed sufficient to oppose
to those who wished to introduce what was new, because they could
not comprehend the truth. Afterwards, however, while the question
became matter for discussion and investigation amongst many on either
side, the new practice was not only invented, but even submitted to
the authority and power of a general Council,--after the martyrdom
of Cyprian, it is true, but before we were born.[96] But that this
was indeed the custom of the Church, which afterwards was confirmed
by a general Council, in which the truth was brought to light, and
many difficulties cleared away, is plain enough from the words of the
blessed Cyprian himself in that same letter to Jubaianus, which was
quoted as being read in the Council.[97] For he says, "But some one
asks, What then will be done in the case of those who, coming out of
heresy to the Church, have already been admitted without baptism?"
where certainly he shows plainly enough what was usually done, though
he would have wished it otherwise; and in the very fact of his quoting
the Council of Agrippinus, he clearly proves that the custom of the
Church was different. Nor indeed was it requisite that he should seek
to establish the practice by this Council, if it was already sanctioned
by custom; and in the Council itself some of the speakers expressly
declare, in giving their opinion, that they went against the custom
of the Church in deciding what they thought was right. Wherefore let
the Donatists consider this one point, which surely none can fail to
see, that if the authority of Cyprian is to be followed, it is to be
followed rather in maintaining unity than in altering the custom of
the Church; but if respect is paid to his Council, it must at any rate
yield place to the later Council of the universal Church, of which he
rejoiced to be a member, often warning his associates that they should
all follow his example in upholding the coherence of the whole body.
For both later Councils are preferred among later generations to those
of earlier date; and the whole is always, with good reason, looked upon
as superior to the parts.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. X.--15. But what attitude do they assume, when it is shown
that the holy Cyprian, though he did not himself admit as members of
the Church those who had been baptized in heresy or schism, yet held
communion with those who did admit them, according to his express
declaration, "Judging no one, nor depriving any one of the right of
communion if he differ from us?"[98] If he was polluted by communion
with persons of this kind, why do they follow his authority in the
question of baptism? But if he was not polluted by communion with
them, why do they not follow his example in maintaining unity? Have
they anything to urge in their defence except the plea, "We choose
to have it so?" What other answer have any sinful or wicked men to
the discourse of truth or justice,--the voluptuous, for instance, the
drunkards, adulterers, and those who are impure in any way, thieves,
robbers, murderers, plunderers, evil-doers, idolaters,--what other
answer can they make when convicted by the voice of truth, except "I
choose to do it;" "It is my pleasure so?" And if they have in them a
tinge of Christianity, they say further, "Who art thou that judgest
another man's servant?"[99] Yet these have so much more remains of
modesty, that when, in accordance with divine and human law, they
meet with punishment for their abandoned life and deeds, they do not
style themselves martyrs; while the Donatists wish at once to lead
a sacrilegious life and enjoy a blameless reputation, to suffer
no punishment for their wicked deeds, and to gain a martyr's glory
in their just punishment. As if they were not experiencing the
greater mercy and patience of God, in proportion as "executing His
judgments upon them by little and little, He giveth them place of
repentance,"[100] and ceases not to redouble His scourgings in this
life; that, considering what they suffer, and why they suffer it, they
may in time grow wise; and that those who have received the baptism of
the party of Maximianus in order to preserve the unity of Donatus, may
the more readily embrace the baptism of the whole world in order to
preserve the peace of Christ; that they may be restored to the root,
may be reconciled to the unity of the Church, may see that they have
nothing left for them to say, though something yet remains for them to
do; that for their former deeds the sacrifice of loving-kindness may be
offered to a long-suffering God, whose unity they have broken by their
wicked sin, on whose sacraments they have inflicted such a lasting
wrong. For "the Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, plenteous
in mercy and truth."[101] Let them embrace His mercy and long-suffering
in this life, and fear His truth in the next. For He willeth not the
death of a sinner, but rather that he should turn from his way and
live;[102] because He bends His judgment against the wrongs that have
been inflicted on Him. This is our exhortation.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XI.--16. For this reason, then, we hold them to be enemies,
because we speak the truth, because we are afraid to be silent,
because we fear to shrink from pressing our point with all the force
that lies within our power, because we obey the apostle when he says,
"Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke,
exhort."[103] But, as the gospel says, "They love the praise of men
more than the praise of God;"[104] and while they fear to incur blame
for a time, they do not fear to incur damnation for ever. They see,
too, themselves what wrong they are doing; they see that they have no
answer which they can make, but they overspread the inexperienced with
mists, whilst they themselves are being swallowed up alive,--that is,
are perishing knowingly and wilfully. They see that men are amazed, and
look with abhorrence on the fact that they have divided themselves into
many schisms, especially in Carthage,[105] the capital and most noted
city of all Africa; they have endeavoured to patch up the disgrace
of their rags. Thinking that they could annihilate the followers of
Maximianus, they pressed heavily on them through the agency of Optatus
the Gildonian;[106] they inflicted on them many wrongs amid the
cruellest of persecutions. Then they received back some, thinking that
all could be converted under the influence of the same terror; but they
were unwilling to do those whom they received the wrong of baptizing
afresh those who had been baptized by them in their schism, or rather
of causing them to be baptized again within their communion by the very
same men by whom they had been baptized outside, and thus they at once
made an exception to their own impious custom. They feel how wickedly
they are acting in assailing the baptism of the whole world, when they
have received the baptism of the followers of Maximianus. But they fear
those whom they have themselves rebaptized, lest they should receive no
mercy from them, when they have shown it to others; lest these should
call them to account for their souls when they have ceased to destroy
those of other men.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XII.--17. What answer they can give about the followers of
Maximianus whom they have received, they cannot divine. If they say,
"Those we received were innocent," the answer is obvious, "Then you
had condemned the innocent." If they say, "We did it in ignorance,"
then you judged rashly (just as you passed a rash judgment on the
_traditors_), and your declaration was false that "you must know that
they were condemned by the truthful voice of a general Council."[107]
For indeed the innocent could never be condemned by a voice of truth.
If they say, "We did not condemn them," it is only necessary to cite
the Council, to cite the names of bishops and states alike. If they
say, "The Council itself is none of ours," then we cite the records
of the proconsular province, where more than once they quoted the
same Council to justify the exclusion of the followers of Maximianus
from the basilicas, and to confound them by the din of the judges and
the force of their allies. If they say that Felicianus of Musti, and
Prætextatus of Assavæ, whom they afterwards received, were not of the
party of Maximianus, then we cite the records in which they demanded,
in the courts of law, that these persons should be excluded from the
Council which they held against the party of Maximianus. If they say,
"They were received for the sake of peace," our answer is, "Why then
do ye not acknowledge the only true and full peace? Who urged you,
who compelled you to receive a schismatic whom you had condemned, to
preserve the peace of Donatus, and to condemn the world unheard, in
violation of the peace of Christ?" Truth hems them in on every side.
They see that there is no answer left for them to make, and they think
that there is nothing left for them to do; they cannot find out what
to say. They are not allowed to be silent. They had rather strive
with perverse utterance against truth, than be restored to peace by a
confession of their faults.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XIII.--18. But who can fail to understand what they may be saying
in their hearts? "What then are we to do," say they, "with those whom
we have already rebaptized?" Return with them to the Church. Bring
those whom you have wounded to be healed by the medicine of peace;
bring those whom you have slain to be brought to life again by the life
of charity. Brotherly union has great power in propitiating God. "If
two of you," says our Lord, "shall agree on earth as touching anything
that they shall ask, it shall be done for them."[108] If for two men
who agree, how much more for two communities? Let us throw ourselves
together on our knees before the Lord. Do you share with us our unity;
let us share with you your contrition; and let charity cover the
multitude of sins.[109] Seek counsel from the blessed Cyprian himself.
See how much he considered to depend upon the blessing of unity, from
which he did not sever himself to avoid the communion of those who
disagreed with him; how, though he considered that those who were
baptized outside the communion of the Church had no true baptism, he
was yet willing to believe that, by simple admission into the Church,
they might, merely in virtue of the bond of unity, be admitted to a
share in pardon. For thus he solved the question which he proposed to
himself in writing as follows to Jubaianus: "But some will say, 'What
then will become of those who, in times past, coming to the Church from
heresy, were admitted without baptism?' The Lord is able of His mercy
to grant pardon, and not to sever from the gifts of His Church those
who, being out of simplicity admitted to the Church, have in the Church
fallen asleep."[110]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XIV.--19. But which is the worse, not to be baptized at all,
or to be twice baptized, it is difficult to decide. I see, indeed,
which is more repugnant and abhorrent to men's feelings; but when I
have recourse to that divine balance, in which the weight of things
is determined, not by man's feelings, but by the authority of God, I
find a statement by our Lord on either side. For He said to Peter,
"He who is washed has no need of washing a second time;"[111] and to
Nicodemus, "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot
enter into the kingdom of God."[112] What is the purport of the more
secret determination of God, it is perhaps difficult for men like us to
learn; but as far as the mere words are concerned, any one may see what
a difference there is between "has no need of washing," and "cannot
enter into the kingdom of heaven." The Church, lastly, herself holds as
her tradition, that without baptism she cannot admit a man to her altar
at all; but since it is allowed that one who has been rebaptized may
be admitted after penance, surely this plainly proves that his baptism
is considered valid. If, therefore, Cyprian thought that those whom he
considered to be unbaptized yet had some share in pardon, in virtue
of the bond of unity, the Lord has power to be reconciled even to the
rebaptized by means of the simple bond of unity and peace, and by this
same compensating power of peace to mitigate His displeasure against
those by whom they were rebaptized, and to pardon all the errors which
they had committed while in error, on their offering the sacrifice of
charity, which covereth the multitude of sins; so that He looks not
to the number of those who have been wounded by their separation, but
to the greater number who have been delivered from bondage by their
return. For in the same bond of peace in which Cyprian conceived
that, through the mercy of God, those whom he considered to have been
admitted to the Church without baptism, were yet not severed from the
gifts of the Church, we also believe that through the same mercy of God
the rebaptized can earn their pardon at His hands.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XV.--20. Since the Catholic Church, both in the time of the
blessed Cyprian and in the older time before him, contained within her
bosom either some that were rebaptized or some that were unbaptized,
either the one section or the other must have won their salvation only
by the force of simple unity. For if those who came over from the
heretics were not baptized, as Cyprian asserts, they were not rightly
admitted into the Church; and yet he himself did not despair of their
obtaining pardon from the mercy of God in virtue of the unity of the
Church. So again, if they were already baptized, it was not right to
rebaptize them. What, therefore, was there to aid the other section,
save the same charity that delighted in unity, so that what was hidden
from man's weakness, in the consideration of the sacrament, might not
be reckoned, by the mercy of God, as a fault in those who were lovers
of peace? Why, then, while ye fear those whom ye have rebaptized,
do ye grudge yourselves and them the entrance to salvation? There
was at one time a doubt upon the subject of baptism; those who held
different opinions yet remained in unity. In course of time, owing to
the certain discovery of the truth, that doubt was taken away. The
question which, unsolved, did not frighten Cyprian into separation
from the Church, invites you, now that it is solved, to return once
more within the fold. Come to the Catholic Church in its agreement,
which Cyprian did not desert while yet disturbed with doubt; or if now
you are dissatisfied with the example of Cyprian, who held communion
with those who were received with the baptism of heretics, declaring
openly that we should "neither judge any one, nor deprive any one of
the right of communion if he differ from us,"[113] whither are ye
going, ye wretched men? What are ye doing? You are bound to fly even
from yourselves, because you have advanced beyond the position where
he abode. But if neither his own sins nor those of others could stand
in his way, on account of the abundance of his charity and his love of
brotherly kindness and the bond of peace, do you return to us, where
you will find much less hindrance in the way of either us or you from
the fictions which your party have invented.

FOOTNOTES:

[63] Præfocantur.

[64] The Council of Carthage, September 1, A.D. 256, in which
eighty-seven African bishops declared in favour of rebaptizing
heretics. The opinions of the bishops are quoted and answered by
Augustine, one by one, in Books vi. and vii.

[65] Matt. xvi. 18.

[66] Cypr. _Ep._ lxxi.

[67] Gal. i. 20.

[68] Gal. ii. 14.

[69] Luke xxiii. 40-43.

[70] Matt. xxvi. 69-75.

[71] That is, the proconsular province of Africa, or Africa Zeugitana,
answering to the northern part of the territory of Tunis.

[72] See above, c. i. 2.

[73] Bede asserts that this was the case, Book viii. qu. 5.

[74] See above, c. ii. 3.

[75] Matt. xxii. 30.

[76] 1 Cor. x. 13.

[77] Phil. iii. 15.

[78] Rom. iii. 17; see on i. 19, 29.

[79] Phil. iii. 16.

[80] 1 Cor. xiii. 3.

[81] Eph. iv. 3.

[82] Traditores sanctorum librorum.

[83] Ex. xxxii.

[84] Jer. xxxvi.

[85] Num. xvi.

[86] Non convicti sed conficti traditores.

[87] Rom. xiv. 4.

[88] Ps. lviii. 1; though slightly varied from the LXX.: si vere
justitiam diligitis; for [Greek: ei alêthôs ara dikaiosynên laleite]

[89] John vii. 24.

[90] Matt. vii. 15.

[91] 1 Cor. xiv. 29, 30.

[92] Cypr. _Ep._ lxxi.

[93] The former Council of Carthage was held by Agrippinus early in the
third century, the ordinary date given being 215 A.D.

[94] Tanquam lectulo auctoritatis.

[95] Cypr. _Ep._ lxxi.

[96] The general Council, on whose authority Augustine relies in many
places in this work, was either that of Arles, in 314 A.D., or of
Nicæa, in 325 A.D., both of them being before his birth, in 354 A.D.
He quotes the decision of the same council, _contra Parmenianum_,
ii. 13, 30; _de Hoeresibus_, 69; _Ep._ xliii. 7, 19. Migne brings
forward the following passages in favour of its being the Council of
Arles to which Augustine refers, since in them he ascribes the decision
of the controversy to "the authority of the whole world." _Contra
Parmenianum_, iii. 4, 21: "They condemned," he says, "some few in
Africa, by whom they were in turn vanquished by the judgment of the
whole world;" and he adds, that "the Catholics trusted ecclesiastical
judges like these in preference to the defeated parties in the suit."
_Ib._ 6, 30: He says that the Donatists, "having made a schism in the
unity of the Church, were refuted, not by the authority of 310 African
bishops, but by that of the whole world." And in the sixth chapter
of the first book of the same treatise, he says that the Donatists,
after the decision at Arles, came again to Constantine, and there were
defeated "by a final decision," _i.e._ at Milan, as is seen from _Ep._
xliii. 7, 20, in the year 316 A.D.

[97] See above, ch. ii. 3.

[98] See above, ch. ii. 3.

[99] Rom. xiv. 4.

[100] Wisd. xii. 10.

[101] Ps. ciii. 8. "And truth" is not found in the A. V., nor in
the Roman version of the LXX. The Alexandrian MS. adds [Greek: kai
alêtheinos].

[102] Ezek. xxiii. 11.

[103] 2 Tim. iv. 2.

[104] John xii. 43.

[105] He is alluding to that chief schism among the Donatists, which
occurred when Maximianus was consecrated bishop of Carthage, in
opposition to Primianus, 394 A.D.

[106] Optatus, a Donatist bishop of Thaumugade in Numidia, was
called Gildonianus from his adherence to Gildo, Count of Africa, and
generalissimo of the province under the elder Theodosius. On his death,
in 395 A.D., Gildo usurped supreme authority, and by his aid Optatus
was enabled to oppress the Catholics in the province, till, in 398
A.D., Gildo was defeated by his brother Maxezel, and destroyed himself,
and Optatus was put in prison, where he died soon afterwards. He is
not to be confounded with Optatus, Bishop of Milevis, the strenuous
opponent of the Donatists.

[107] The Council of Bagai. See above, I. v. 7.

[108] Matt. xviii. 19.

[109] 1 Pet. iv. 8.

[110] Cypr. _Ep._ lxxiii. to Jubaianus.

[111] John xiii. 10. "Qui lotus est, non habet necessitatem iterum
lavandi." The Latin, with the A.V., loses the distinction between
[Greek: ho leloumenos], "he that has _bathed_," and [Greek: niptein],
to _wash_; and further introduces the idea of repetition.

[112] John iii. 5.

[113] See above, c. ii. 3.



BOOK THIRD.

 AUGUSTINE UNDERTAKES THE REFUTATION OF THE ARGUMENTS WHICH MIGHT BE
 DERIVED FROM THE EPISTLE OF CYPRIAN TO JUBAIANUS, TO GIVE COLOUR TO
 THE VIEW THAT THE BAPTISM OF CHRIST COULD NOT BE CONFERRED BY HERETICS.


CHAP. I.--1. I think that it may now be considered clear to every
one, that the authority of the blessed Cyprian for the maintenance
of the bond of peace, and the avoiding of any violation of that most
wholesome charity which preserves unity in the Church, may be urged on
our side rather than on the side of the Donatists. For if they have
chosen to act upon his example in rebaptizing Catholics, because he
thought that heretics ought to be baptized on joining the Catholic
Church, shall not we rather follow his example, whereby he laid down
a manifest rule that one ought in no wise, by the establishment of a
separate communion, to secede from the Catholic communion, that is,
from the body of Christians dispersed throughout the world, even on the
admission of evil and sacrilegious men, since he was unwilling even to
remove from the right of communion those whom he considered to have
received sacrilegious men without baptism into the Catholic communion,
saying, "Judging no one, nor depriving any of the right of communion if
he differ from us?"[114]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. II.--2. Nevertheless, I see what may still be required of me,
viz. that I should answer those plausible arguments, by which, in even
earlier times, Agrippinus, or Cyprian himself, or those in Africa
who agreed with them, or any others in far distant lands beyond the
sea, were moved, not indeed by the authority of any general or even
provincial Council, but by a mere epistolary correspondence, to
think that they ought to adopt a custom which had no sanction from
the ancient custom of the Church, and which was expressly forbidden
by the most unanimous resolution of the Catholic world, in order that
an error which had begun to creep into the minds of some men, through
discussions of this kind, might be cured by the more powerful truth
and universal healing power of unity coming on the side of safety. And
so they may see with what security I approach this discourse. If I am
unable to gain my point, and show how those arguments may be refuted
which they bring forward from the Council and the epistles of Cyprian,
to the effect that Christ's baptism may not be given by the hands of
heretics, I shall still remain safely in the Church, in whose communion
Cyprian himself remained with those who differed from him.

3. But if they say that the Catholic Church existed then, because
there were a few, or, if they prefer it, even a considerable number,
who denied the validity of any baptism conferred in an heretical body,
and baptized all who came from thence, what then? Did the Church not
exist at all before Agrippinus, with whom that new kind of system
began, at variance with all previous custom? Or how, again, after
the time of Agrippinus, when, unless there had been a return to the
primitive custom, there would have been no need for Cyprian to set on
foot another Council? Was there no Church then, because such a custom
as this prevailed everywhere, that the baptism of Christ should be
considered nothing but the baptism of Christ, even though it were
proved to have been conferred in a body of heretics or schismatics?
But if the Church existed even then, and had not perished through
a breach of its continuity, but was, on the contrary, holding its
ground, and receiving increase in every nation, surely it is the
safest plan to abide by this same custom, which then embraced good
and bad alike in unity. But if there was then no Church in existence,
because sacrilegious heretics were received without baptism, and this
prevailed by universal custom, whence has Donatus made his appearance?
from what land did he spring? or from what sea did he emerge? or
from what sky did he fall? And so we, as I had begun to say, are
safe in the communion of that Church, throughout the whole extent of
which the custom now prevails, which prevailed in like manner through
its whole extent before the time of Agrippinus, and in the interval
between Agrippinus and Cyprian, and whose unity neither Agrippinus
nor Cyprian ever deserted, nor those who agreed with them, although
they entertained different views from the rest of their brethren,--all
of them remaining in the same communion of unity with the very men
from whom they differed in opinion. But let the Donatists themselves
consider what their true position is, if they neither can say whence
they derived their origin, if the Church had already been destroyed by
the plague-spot of communion with heretics and schismatics received
into her bosom without baptism; nor again agree with Cyprian himself,
for he declared that he remained in communion with those who received
heretics and schismatics, and so also with those who were received as
well: while they have separated themselves from the communion of the
whole world, on account of the charge of having delivered up the sacred
books, which they brought against the men whom they maligned in Africa,
but failed to convict when brought to trial beyond the sea; although,
even had the crimes which they alleged been true, they were much less
heinous than the sins of heresy and schism; and yet these could not
defile Cyprian in the persons of those who came from them without
baptism, as he conceived, and were admitted without baptism into the
Catholic communion. Nor, in the very point in which they say that they
imitate Cyprian, can they find any answer to make about acknowledging
the baptism of the followers of Maximianus, together with those whom,
though they belonged to the party that they had first condemned in
their own general Council, and then gone on to prosecute even at the
tribunal of the secular power, they yet received back into their
communion, in the episcopate of the very same bishop under whom they
had been condemned. Wherefore, if the communion of wicked men destroyed
the Church in the time of Cyprian, they have no source from which they
can derive their own communion; and if the Church was not destroyed,
they have no excuse for their separation from it. Moreover, they
are neither following the example of Cyprian, since they have burst
the bond of unity, nor abiding by their own Council, since they have
recognised the baptism of the followers of Maximianus.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. III--4. Let us therefore, seeing that we adhere to the example of
Cyprian, go on now to consider Cyprian's Council. What says Cyprian?
"Ye have heard," he says, "most beloved colleagues, what Jubaianus
our fellow-bishop has written to me, consulting my moderate ability
concerning the unlawful and profane baptism of heretics, and what
answer I gave him,--giving a judgment which we have once and again and
often given, that heretics coming to the Church ought to be baptized
and sanctified with the baptism of the Church. Another letter of
Jubaianus has likewise been read to you, in which, agreeably to his
sincere and religious devotion, in answer to our epistle, he not only
expressed his assent, but returned thanks also, acknowledging that
he had received instruction."[115] In these words of the blessed
Cyprian, we find that he had been consulted by Jubaianus, and what
answer he had given to his questions, and how Jubaianus acknowledged
with gratitude that he had received instruction. Ought we then to be
thought unreasonably persistent, if we desire to consider this same
epistle by which Jubaianus was convinced? For till such time as we are
also convinced (if there are any arguments of truth whereby this can
be done), Cyprian himself has established our security by the right of
Catholic communion.

5. For he goes on to say: "It remains that we severally declare our
opinion on this same subject, judging no one, nor depriving any one
of the right of communion if he differ from us."[115] He allows me,
therefore, without losing the right of communion, not only to continue
inquiring into the truth, but even to hold opinions differing from his
own. "For no one of us," he says, "setteth himself up as a bishop of
bishops, or by tyrannical terror forceth his colleagues to a necessity
of obeying." What could be more kind? what more humble? Surely there
is here no authority restraining us from inquiry into what is truth.
"Inasmuch as every bishop," he says, "in the free use of his liberty
and power, has the right of forming his own judgment, and can no
more be judged by another than he can himself judge another,"--that
is, I suppose, in those questions which have not yet been brought to
perfect clearness of solution; for he knew what a deep question about
the sacrament was then occupying the whole Church with every kind of
disputation, and gave free liberty of inquiry to every man, that the
truth might be made known by investigation. For he was surely not
uttering what was false, and trying to catch his simpler colleagues in
their speech, so that, when they should have betrayed that they held
opinions at variance with his, he might then propose, in violation of
his promise, that they should be excommunicated. Far be it from a soul
so holy to entertain such accursed treachery; indeed, they who hold
such a view about such a man, thinking that it conduces to his praise,
do but show that it would be in accordance with their own nature. I
for my part will in no wise believe that Cyprian, a Catholic bishop, a
Catholic martyr, whose greatness only made him proportionately humble
in all things, so as to find favour before the Lord,[116] should ever,
especially in the sacred Council of his colleagues, have uttered with
his mouth what was not echoed in his heart, especially as he further
adds, "But we must all await the judgment of our Lord Jesus Christ, who
alone has the power both of setting us in the government of His Church,
and of judging of our acts therein."[117] When, then, he called to
their remembrance so solemn a judgment, hoping to hear the truth from
his colleagues, would he first set them the example of lying? May God
avert such madness from every Christian man, and how much more from
Cyprian! We have therefore the free liberty of inquiry granted to us by
the most moderate and most truthful speech of Cyprian.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. IV.--6. Next his colleagues proceed to deliver their several
opinions. But first they listened to the letter written to Jubaianus;
for it was read, as was mentioned in the preamble. Let it therefore
be read among ourselves also, that we too, with the help of God,
may discover from it what we ought to think. "What!" I think I hear
some one saying, "do you proceed to tell us what Cyprian wrote to
Jubaianus?" I have read the letter, I confess, and should certainly
have been a convert to his views, had I not been induced to consider
the matter more carefully by the vast weight of authority, originating
in those whom the Church, distributed throughout the world amid so
many nations, of Latins, Greeks, barbarians, not to mention the Jewish
race itself, has been able to produce,--that same Church which gave
birth to Cyprian himself,--men whom I could in no wise bring myself
to think had been unwilling without reason to hold this view,--not
because it was impossible that in so difficult a question the opinion
of one or of a few might not have been more near the truth than that
of more, but because one must not lightly, without full consideration
and investigation of the matter to the best of his abilities, decide in
favour of a single individual, or even of a few, against the decision
of so very many men of the same religion and communion, all endowed
with great talent and abundant learning. And so how much was suggested
to me on more diligent inquiry, even by the letter of Cyprian himself,
in favour of the view which is now held by the Catholic Church, that
the baptism of Christ is to be recognised and approved, not by the
standard of their merits by whom it is administered, but by His alone
of whom it is said, "The same is He which baptizeth,"[118] will be
shown naturally in the course of our argument. Let us therefore suppose
that the letter which was written by Cyprian to Jubaianus has been read
among us, as it was read in the Council.[119] And I would have every
one read it who means to read what I am going to say, lest he might
possibly think that I have suppressed some things of consequence. For
it would take too much time, and be irrelevant to the elucidation of
the matter in hand, were we at this moment to quote all the words of
this epistle.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. V.--7. But if any one should ask what I hold in the meantime,
while discussing this question, I answer that, in the first place, the
letter of Cyprian suggested to me what I should hold till I should see
clearly the nature of the question which next begins to be discussed.
For Cyprian himself says: "But some will say, 'What then will become
of those who in times past, coming to the Church from heresy, were
admitted without baptism?'"[120] Whether they were really without
baptism, or whether they were admitted because those who admitted them
conceived that they had partaken of baptism, is a matter for our future
consideration. At any rate, Cyprian himself shows plainly enough what
was the ordinary custom of the Church, when he says that in past time
those who came to the Church from heresy were admitted without baptism.

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."[121]
Whether the truth had been revealed, we shall investigate hereafter; at
any rate, he acknowledges that the custom of the Church was different.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. VI.--9. Libosus also of Vaga says: "The Lord says in the gospel,
'I am the Truth.'[122] He does not say, 'I am custom.' Therefore,
when the truth is made manifest, custom must give way to truth."[123]
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.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. VII.--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."[124] 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.[125]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. VIII.--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."[126] Nothing could be better, if it be reason,
and if it be truth; but this we shall see presently. Meanwhile, it is
clear from the words of this man also that the custom was the other way.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. IX.--12. Likewise Honoratus of Tucca said: "Since Christ is
the Truth, we ought to follow truth rather than custom."[127] By all
these declarations it is proved that we are not excluded from the
communion of the Church, till it shall have been clearly shown what
is the nature of the truth, which they say must be preferred to our
custom. But if the truth has made it clear that the very regulation
ought to be maintained which the said custom had prescribed, then it
is evident, both that this custom was not established or confirmed in
vain, and also that, in consequence of the discussions in question,
the most wholesome observance of so great a sacrament, which could
never, indeed, have been changed in the Catholic Church, was even
more watchfully guarded with the most scrupulous caution, when it had
received the further corroboration of Councils.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. X.--13. Therefore Cyprian writes to Jubaianus as follows,
"concerning the baptism of heretics, who, being placed without, and set
down out of the Church," seem to him to "claim to themselves a matter
over which they have neither right nor power. Which we," he says,
"cannot account valid or lawful, since it is clear that among them it
is unlawful."[128] Neither, indeed, do we deny that a man who is baptized
among heretics, or in any schism outside the Church, derives no profit
from it so far as he is partner in the perverseness of the heretics
and schismatics; nor do we hold that those who baptize, although they
confer the real true sacrament of baptism, are yet acting rightly,
in gathering adherents outside the Church, and entertaining opinions
contrary to the Church. But it is one thing to be without a sacrament,
another thing to be in possession of it wrongly, and to usurp it
unlawfully. Therefore they do not cease to be sacraments of Christ
and the Church, merely because they are unlawfully used, not only
by heretics, but by all kinds of wicked and impious persons. These,
indeed, ought to be corrected and punished, but the sacraments should
be acknowledged and revered.

14. Cyprian, indeed, says that on this subject not one, but two or
more Councils were held; always, however, in Africa. For indeed in one
he mentions that seventy-one bishops had been assembled,[128]--to all
whose authority we do not hesitate, with all due deference to Cyprian,
to prefer the authority, supported by many more bishops, of the whole
Church spread throughout the whole world, of which Cyprian himself
rejoiced that he was an inseparable member.

15. Nor is the water "profane and adulterous"[128] over which the name
of God is invoked, even though it be invoked by profane and adulterous
persons; because neither the creature itself of water, nor the name
invoked, is adulterous. But the baptism of Christ, consecrated by
the words of the gospel, is necessarily holy, however polluted and
unclean its ministers may be; because its inherent sanctity cannot be
polluted, and the divine excellence abides in its sacrament, whether
to the salvation of those who use it aright, or to the destruction
of those who use it wrong. Would you indeed maintain that, while the
light of the sun or of a candle, diffused through unclean places,
contracts no foulness in itself therefrom, yet the baptism of Christ
can be defiled by the sins of any man, whatsoever he may be? For if we
turn our thoughts to the visible materials themselves, which are to
us the medium of the sacraments, every one must know that they admit
of corruption. But if we think on that which they convey to us, who
can fail to see that it is incorruptible, however much the men through
whose ministry it is conveyed are either being rewarded or punished for
the character of their lives?

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XI.--16. But Cyprian was right in not being moved by what
Jubaianus wrote, that "the followers of Novatian rebaptize those who
come to them from the Catholic Church."[129] For, in the first place,
it does not follow that whatever heretics have done in a perverse
spirit of mimicry, Catholics are therefore to abstain from doing,
because the heretics do the same. And again, the reasons are different
for which heretics and the Catholic Church ought respectively to
abstain from rebaptizing. For it would not be right for heretics to
do so, even if it were fitting in the Catholic Church; because their
argument is, that among the Catholics is wanting that which they
themselves received whilst still within the pale, and took away with
them when they departed. Whereas the reason why the Catholic Church
should not administer again the baptism which was given among heretics,
is that it may not seem to decide that a power which is Christ's
alone belongs to its members, or to pronounce that to be wanting in
the heretics which they have received within her pale, and certainly
could not lose by straying outside. For thus much Cyprian himself,
with all the rest, established, that if any should return from heresy
to the Church, they should be received back, not by baptism, but by
the discipline of penitence; whence it is clear that they cannot be
held to lose by their secession what is not restored to them when they
return. Nor ought it for a moment to be said that, as their heresy is
their own, as their error is their own, as the sacrilege of disunion is
their own, so also the baptism is their own, which is really Christ's.
Accordingly, while the evils which are their own are corrected when
they return, so in that which is not theirs His presence should be
recognised, from whom it is.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XII.--17. But the blessed Cyprian shows that it was no new or
sudden thing that he decided, because the practice had already begun
under Agrippinus. "Many years," he says, "and much time has passed away
since, under Agrippinus of honoured memory, a large assembly of bishops
determined this point." Accordingly, under Agrippinus, at any rate, the
thing was new. But I cannot understand what Cyprian means by saying,
"And thenceforward to the present day, so many thousand heretics in our
provinces, having been converted to our Church, showed no hesitation
or dislike, but rather with full consent of reason and will, have
embraced the opportunity of the grace of the laver of life and the
baptism unto salvation,"[130] unless indeed he says, "thenceforward to
the present day," because from the time when they were baptized in the
Church, in accordance with the Council of Agrippinus, no question of
excommunication had arisen in the case of any of the rebaptized. Yet
if the custom of baptizing those who came over from heretics remained
in force from the time of Agrippinus to that of Cyprian, why should
new Councils have been held by Cyprian on this point? Why does he say
to this same Jubaianus that he is not doing anything new or sudden,
but only what had been established by Agrippinus? For why should
Jubaianus be disturbed by the question of novelty, so as to require to
be satisfied by the authority of Agrippinus, if this was the continuous
practice of the Church from Agrippinus till Cyprian? Why, lastly, did
so many of his colleagues urge that reason and truth must be preferred
to custom, instead of saying that those who wished to act otherwise
were acting contrary to truth and custom alike?

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XIII.--18. But as regards the remission of sins, whether it is
granted through baptism at the hands of the heretics, I have already
expressed my opinion on this point in a former book,[131] but I will
shortly recapitulate it here. If remission of sins is there conferred
by the sacredness of baptism, the sins return again through obstinate
perseverance in heresy or schism; and therefore such men must needs
return to the peace of the Catholic Church, that they may cease to
be heretics and schismatics, and deserve that those sins which had
returned on them should be cleansed away by love working in the bond
of unity. But if, although among heretics and schismatics it be still
the same baptism of Christ, it yet cannot work remission of sins owing
to this same foulness of discord and wickedness of dissent, then the
same baptism begins to be of avail for the remission of sins when they
come to the peace of the Church,--[not][132] that what has been
already truly remitted should not be retained; nor that heretical
baptism should be repudiated as belonging to a different religion, or
as being different from our own, so that a second baptism should be
administered; but that the very same baptism, which was working death
by reason of discord outside the Church, may work salvation by reason
of the peace within. It was, in fact, the same savour of which the
apostle says, "We are a sweet savour of Christ in every place;" and
yet, says he, "both in them that are saved, and in them that perish.
To the one we are the savour of life unto life; and to the other the
savour of death unto death."[133] And although he used these words with
reference to another subject, I have applied them to this, that men may
understand that what is good may not only work life to those who use it
aright, but also death to those who use it wrong.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XIV.--19. Nor is it material, when we are considering the
question of the genuineness and holiness of the sacrament, "what
the recipient of the sacrament believes, and with what, faith he is
imbued." It is of the very highest consequence as regards the entrance
into salvation, but is wholly immaterial as regards the question of
the sacrament. For it is quite possible that a man may be possessed of
the genuine sacrament and a corrupted faith, as it is possible that he
may hold the words of the creed in their integrity, and yet entertain
an erroneous belief about the Trinity, or the resurrection, or any
other point. For it is no slight matter, even within the Catholic
Church, to hold faith entirely consistent with the truth about even
God Himself, to say nothing of any of His creatures. Is it then to be
maintained, that if any one who has been baptized within the Catholic
Church itself should afterwards, in the course of reading, or by
listening to instruction, or by quiet argument, find out, through God's
own revelation, that he had before believed otherwise than he ought,
it is requisite that he should therefore be baptized afresh? But what
carnal and natural man is there who does not stray through the vain
conceits[134] of his own heart, and picture God's nature to himself to
be such as he has imagined out of his carnal sense, and differ from the
true conception of God as far as vanity from truth? Most truly, indeed,
speaks the apostle, filled with the light of truth: "The natural man,"
says he, "receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God."[135] And
yet herein he was speaking of men whom he himself shows to have been
baptized. For he says to them, "Was Paul crucified for you? or were
ye baptized in the name of Paul?"[136] These men had therefore the
sacrament of baptism; and yet, inasmuch as their wisdom was of the
flesh, what could they believe about God otherwise than according to
the perception of their flesh, according to which "the natural man
receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God?" To such he says: "I
could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even
as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat:
for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
For ye are yet carnal."[137] For such are carried about with every
wind of doctrine, of which kind he says, "That we be no more children,
tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine."[138]
Is it then true that, if these men shall have advanced even to the
spiritual age of the inner man, and in the integrity of understanding
shall have learned how far different from the requirements of the
truth has been the belief which they have been led by the fallacious
character of their conceits to entertain of God, they are therefore to
be baptized again? For, on this principle, it would be possible for a
Catholic catechumen to light upon the writings of some heretic, and,
not having the knowledge requisite for discerning truth from error,
he might entertain some belief contrary to the Catholic faith, yet
not condemned by the words of the creed, just as, under colour of the
same words, innumerable heretical errors have sprung up. Supposing,
then, that the catechumen was under the impression that he was studying
the work of some great and learned Catholic, and was baptized with
that belief in the Catholic Church, and by subsequent research should
discover what he ought to believe, so that, embracing the Catholic
faith, he should reject his former error, ought he, on confessing
this, to be baptized again? Or supposing that, before learning and
confessing this for himself, he should be found to entertain such an
opinion, and should be taught what he ought to reject and what he
should believe, and it were to become clear that he had held this
false belief when he was baptized, ought he therefore to be baptized
again? Why should we maintain the contrary? Because the sanctity of
the sacrament, consecrated in the words of the gospel, remains upon
him in its integrity, just as he received it from the hands of the
minister, although he, being firmly rooted in the vanity of his carnal
mind, entertained a belief other than was right at the time when he
was baptized. Wherefore it is manifest that it is possible that, with
defective faith, the sacrament of baptism may yet remain without defect
in any man; and therefore all that is said about the diversity of the
several heretics is beside the question. For in each person that is to
be corrected which is found to be amiss by the man who undertakes his
correction. That is to be made whole which is unsound; that is to be
given which is wanting, and, above all, the peace of Christian charity,
without which the rest is profitless. Yet, as the rest is there, we
must not administer it as though it were wanting, only take care that
its possession be to the profit, not the hurt of him who has it,
through the very bond of peace and excellence of charity.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XV.--20. Accordingly, if Marcion consecrated the sacrament of
baptism with the words of the gospel, "In the name of the Father, and
of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,"[139] the sacrament was complete,
although his faith expressed under the same words, seeing that he
held opinions not taught by the Catholic truth, was not complete, but
stained with the falsity of fables.[140] For under these same words,
"In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,"
not Marcion only, or Valentinus, or Arius, or Eunomius, but the carnal
babes of the Church themselves (to whom the apostle said, "I could not
speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal"), if they could
be individually asked for an accurate exposition of their opinions,
would probably show a diversity of opinions as numerous as the persons
who held them, "for the natural man receiveth not the things of the
Spirit of God." Can it, however, be said on this account that they do
not receive the complete sacrament? or that, if they shall advance,
and correct the vanity of their carnal opinions, they must seek again
what they had received? Each man receives after the fashion of his own
faith; yet how much does he obtain under the guidance of that mercy
of God, in the confident assurance of which the same apostle says,
"If in anything ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this
to you?"[141] Yet the snares of heretics and schismatics prove for
this reason only too pernicious to the carnally-minded, because their
very progress is intercepted when their vain opinions are confirmed
in opposition to the Catholic truth, and the perversity of their
dissension is strengthened against the Catholic peace. Yet if the
sacraments are the same, they are everywhere complete, even when they
are wrongly understood, and perverted to be instruments of discord,
just as the very writings of the gospel, if they are only the same,
are everywhere complete, even though quoted with a boundless variety
of false opinions. For as to what Jeremiah says--"Why do those who
grieve me prevail against me? My wound is stubborn, whence shall I
be healed? In its origin it became unto me as lying water, having no
certainty,"[142]--if the term "water" were never used figuratively and
in the allegorical language of prophecy except to signify baptism, we
should have trouble in discovering what these words of Jeremiah meant;
but as it is, when "waters" are expressly used in the Apocalypse[143]
to signify "peoples," I do not see why, by "lying water having no
certainty," I should not understand, "a lying people, whom I cannot
trust."

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XVI.--21. But when it is said that "the Holy Spirit is given
only in the Catholic Church," I suppose that our ancestors meant that
we should understand thereby what the apostle says, "Because the love
of God is spread abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given
unto us."[144] For this is that very love which is wanting in all who
are cut off from the communion of the Catholic Church; and for lack
of this, "though they speak with the tongues of men and of angels,
though they understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though they
have the gift of prophecy, and all faith, so that they could remove
mountains, and though they bestow all their goods to feed the poor,
and though they give their bodies to be burned, it profiteth them
nothing."[145] But those are wanting in God's love who do not care for
the unity of the Church; and consequently we are right in understanding
that the Holy Spirit may be said not to be received except in the
Catholic Church. For the Holy Spirit is not only given by the laying
on of hands amid the testimony of temporal sensible miracles, as He
was given in former days to be the credentials of a rudimentary faith,
and for the extension of the first beginnings of the Church. For who
expects in these days that those on whom hands are laid that they may
receive the Holy Spirit should forthwith begin to speak with tongues?
but it is understood that invisibly and imperceptibly, on account of
the bond of peace, divine love is breathed into their hearts, so that
they may be able to say, "Because the love of God is spread abroad in
our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." But there are
many operations of the Holy Spirit, which the same apostle commemorates
in a certain passage at such length as he thinks sufficient, and then
concludes: "But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit,
dividing to every man severally as He will."[146] Since, then, the
sacrament is one thing, which even Simon Magus could have;[147] and the
operation of the Spirit is another thing, which is even often found in
wicked men, as Saul had the gift of prophecy;[148] and that operation
of the same Spirit is a third thing, which only the good can have, as
"the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a
good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:"[149] whatever, therefore, may
be received by heretics and schismatics, the charity which covereth the
multitude of sins is the especial gift of Catholic unity and peace; nor
is it found in all that are within that bond, since not all that are
within it are of it, as we shall see in the proper place. At any rate,
outside the bond that love cannot exist, without which all the other
requisites, even if they can be recognised and approved, cannot profit
or release from sin. But the laying on of hands in reconciliation to
the Church is not, like baptism, incapable of repetition; for what is
it more than a prayer offered over a man?[150]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XVII.--22. "For as regards the fact that to preserve the figure
of unity the Lord gave the power to Peter that whatsoever he should
loose on earth should be loosed,"[151] it is clear that that unity is
also described as one dove without fault.[152] Can it be said, then,
that to this same dove belong all those greedy ones, whose existence in
the same Catholic Church Cyprian himself so grievously bewailed? For
birds of prey, I believe, cannot be called doves, but rather hawks. How
then did they baptize those who used to plunder estates by treacherous
deceit, and increase their profits by compound usury,[153] if baptism
is only given by that indivisible and chaste and perfect dove, that
unity which can only be understood as existing among the good? Is it
possible that, by the prayers of the saints who are spiritual within
the Church, as though by the frequent lamentations of the dove, a great
sacrament is dispensed, with a secret administration of the mercy of
God, so that their sins also are loosed who are baptized, not by the
dove but by the hawk, if they come to that sacrament in the peace of
Catholic unity? But if this be so, why should it not also be the case
that, as each man comes from heresy or schism to the Catholic peace,
his sins should be loosed through their prayers? But the integrity of
the sacrament is everywhere recognised, though it will not avail for
the irrevocable remission of sins outside the unity of the Church. Nor
will the prayers of the saints, or, in other words, the groanings of
that one dove, be able to help one who is set in heresy or schism; just
as they are not able to help one who is placed within the Church, if by
a wicked life he himself retain the debts of his sins against himself,
and that though he be baptized, not by this hawk, but by the pious
ministry of the dove herself.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XVIII.--23. "As my Father hath sent me," says our Lord, "even so
send I you. And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and saith
unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose soever sins ye remit, they
are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are
retained."[154] Therefore, if they represented the Church, and this was
said to them as to the Church herself, it follows that the peace of
the Church looses sins, and estrangement from the Church retains them,
not according to the will of men, but according to the will of God and
the prayers of the saints who are spiritual, who "judge all things,
but themselves are judged of no man."[155] For the rock retains, the
rock remits; the dove retains, the dove remits; unity retains, unity
remits. But the peace of this unity exists only in the good, in those
who are either already spiritual, or are advancing by the obedience
of concord to spiritual things; it exists not in the bad, whether
they make disturbances abroad, or are endured within the Church with
lamentations, baptizing and being baptized. But just as those who
are tolerated with groanings within the Church, although they do not
belong to the same unity of the dove, and to that "glorious Church,
not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing,"[156] yet if they are
corrected, and confess that they approached to baptism most unworthily,
are not baptized again, but begin to belong to the dove, through whose
groans those sins are remitted which were retained in them who were
estranged from her peace; so those also who are more openly without the
Church, if they have received the same sacraments, are not freed from
their sins on coming, after correction, to the unity of the Church,
by a repetition of baptism, but by the same law of charity and bond
of unity. For if "those only may baptize who are set over the Church,
and established by the law of the gospel and ordination as appointed
by the Lord," were they in any wise of this kind who seized on estates
by treacherous frauds, and increased their gains by compound interest?
I trow not, since those are established by ordination as appointed of
the Lord, of whom the apostle, in giving them a standard, says, "Not
greedy, not given to filthy lucre."[157] Yet men of this kind used to
baptize in the time of Cyprian himself; and he confesses with many
lamentations that they were his fellow-bishops, and endures them with
the great reward of tolerance. Yet did they not confer remission of
sins, which is granted through the prayers of the saints, that is, the
groans of the dove, whoever it be that baptizes, if those to whom it
is given belong to her peace. For the Lord would not say to robbers
and usurers, "Whose soever sins ye remit, they shall be remitted to
him; and whose soever sins ye retain, they shall be retained." "Outside
the Church, indeed, nothing can be either bound or loosed, since there
there is no one who can either bind or loose;" but he is loosed who has
made peace with the dove, and he is bound who is not at peace with the
dove, whether he is openly without, or appears to be within.

24. But we know that Dathan, Korah, and Abiram,[158] who tried to usurp
to themselves the right of sacrificing, contrary to the unity of the
people of God, and also the sons of Aaron who offered strange fire
upon the altar,[159] did not escape punishment. Nor do we say that
such offences remain unpunished, unless those guilty of them correct
themselves, if the patience of God leading them to repentance[160] give
them time for correction.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XIX.--25. They indeed who say that baptism is not to be repeated,
because only hands were laid on those whom Philip the deacon had
baptized,[161] are saying what is quite beside the point; and far be it
from us, in seeking the truth, to use such arguments as this. Wherefore
we are all the further from "yielding to heretics,"[162] if we deny
that what they possess of Christ's Church is their own property, and
do not refuse to acknowledge the standard of our General because of
the crimes of deserters; nay, all the more because "the Lord our God
is a jealous God,"[163] let us refuse, whenever we see anything of His
with an alien, to allow him to consider it his own. For of a truth the
jealous God Himself rebukes the woman who commits fornication against
Him, as the type of an erring people, and says that she gave to her
lovers what belonged to Him, and again received from them what was not
theirs but His. In the hands of the adulterous woman and the adulterous
lovers, God in His wrath, as a jealous God, recognises His gifts; and
do we say that baptism, consecrated in the words of the gospel, belongs
to heretics? and are we willing, from consideration of their deeds,
to attribute to them even what belongs to God, as though they had the
power to pollute it, or as though they could make what is God's to be
their own, because they themselves have refused to belong to God?

26. Who is that adulterous woman whom the prophet Hosea points out,
who said, "I will go after my lovers, that give me my bread and my
water, my wool and my flax, and everything that befits me?"[164] Let
us grant that we may understand this also of the people of the Jews
that went astray; yet whom else are the false Christians (such as are
all heretics and schismatics) wont to imitate, except false Israelites?
For there were also true Israelites, as the Lord Himself bears witness
to Nathanael, "Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile."[165]
But who are true Christians, save those of whom the same Lord said,
"He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth
me?"[166] But what is it to keep His commandments, except to abide in
love? Whence also He says, "A new commandment I give unto you, that
ye love one another;" and again, "By this shall all men know that ye
are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."[167] But who can
doubt that this was spoken not only to those who heard His words with
their fleshly ears when He was present with them, but also to those who
learn His words through the gospel, when He is sitting on His throne
in heaven? For He came not to destroy the law, but to fulfil.[168] But
the fulfilling of the law is love.[169] And in this Cyprian abounded
greatly, insomuch that though he held a different view concerning
baptism, he yet did not forsake the unity of the Church, and was in the
Lord's vine a branch firmly rooted, bearing fruit, which the heavenly
Husbandman purged with the knife of suffering, that it should bear
more fruit.[170] But the enemies of this brotherly love, whether they
are openly without, or appear to be within, are false Christians, and
antichrists. For when they have found an opportunity, they go out, as
it is written: "A man wishing to separate himself from his friends,
seeketh opportunities."[171] But even if occasions are wanting, while
they seem to be within, they are severed from that invisible bond of
love. Whence St. John says, "They went out from us, but they were not
of us; for had they been of us, they would no doubt have continued
with us."[172] He does not say that they ceased to be of us by going
out, but that they went out because they were not of us. The Apostle
Paul also speaks of certain men who had erred concerning the truth,
and were overthrowing the faith of some; whose word was eating as a
canker. Yet in saying that they should be avoided, he nevertheless
intimates that they were all in one great house, but as vessels to
dishonour,--I suppose because they had not as yet gone out. Or if
they had already gone out, how can he say that they were in the same
great house with the honourable vessels, unless it was in virtue of
the sacraments themselves, which even in the severed meetings of
heretics are not changed, that he speaks of all as belonging to the
same great house, though in different degrees of esteem, some to honour
and some to dishonour? For thus he speaks in his Epistle to Timothy:
"But shun profane and vain babblings; for they will increase unto
more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a canker; of whom
is Hymenæus and Philetus; who concerning the truth have erred, saying
that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.
Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth firm, having this seal, The
Lord knoweth them that are His. And, Let every one that nameth the name
of Christ depart from iniquity. But in a great house there are not only
vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some
to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from
these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the
master's use, and prepared unto every good work."[173] But what is it
to purge oneself from such as these, except what he said just before,
"Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity?"
And lest any one should think that, as being in one great house with
them, he might perish with such as these, he has most carefully
forewarned them, "The Lord knoweth them that are His,"--those, namely,
who, by departing from iniquity, purge themselves from the vessels made
to dishonour, lest they should perish with them whom they are compelled
to tolerate in the great house.

27. They, therefore, who are wicked, evil-doers, carnal, fleshly,
devilish, think that they receive at the hands of their seducers what
are the gifts of God alone, whether sacraments, or any spiritual
workings about present salvation. But these men have not love towards
God, but are busied about those by whose pride they are led astray,
and are compared to the adulterous woman, whom the prophet introduces
as saying, "I will go after my lovers, that give me my bread and my
water, my wool and my flax, and my oil, and everything that befits me."
For thus arise heresies and schisms, when the fleshly people which
is not founded on the love of God says, "I will go after my lovers,"
with whom, either by corruption of her faith, or by the puffing up of
her pride, she shamefully commits adultery. But for the sake of those
who, having undergone the difficulties, and straits, and barriers of
the empty reasoning of those by whom they are led astray, afterwards
feel the prickings of fear, and return to the way of peace, to seeking
God in all sincerity,--for their sake He goes on to say, "Therefore,
behold, I will hedge up thy way with thorns, and make a wall, that she
shall not find her paths. And she shall follow after her lovers, but
she shall not overtake them; and she shall seek them, but she shall
not find them: then shall she say, I will go and return to my first
husband; for then was it better with me than now." Then, that they
may not attribute to their seducers what they have that is sound, and
derived from the doctrine of truth, by which they lead them astray
to the falseness of their own dogmas and dissensions; that they may
not think that what is sound in them belongs to them, he immediately
added, "And she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil,
and multiplied her money; but she made vessels of gold and silver for
Baal."[174] For she had said above, "I will go after my lovers, that
give me my bread," etc., not at all understanding that all this, which
was held soundly and lawfully by her seducers, was of God, and not of
men. Nor would even they themselves claim these things for themselves,
and as it were assert a right in them, had not they in turn been led
astray by a people which had gone astray, when faith is reposed in
them, and such honours are paid to them, that they should be enabled
thereby to say such things, and claim such things for themselves, that
their error should be called truth, and their iniquity be thought
righteousness, in virtue of the sacraments and Scriptures, which they
hold, not for salvation, but only in appearance. Accordingly, the same
adulterous woman is addressed by the mouth of Ezekiel: "Thou hast also
taken thy fair jewels of my gold and of my silver, which I had given
thee, and madest to thyself images of men, and didst commit whoredom
with them; and tookest my[175] broidered garments, and coveredst them:
and thou hast set mine oil and mine incense before them. My meat also
which I gave thee, fine flour, and oil, and honey, wherewith I fed
thee, thou hast even set it before them for a sweet savour: and this
thou hast done."[176] For she turns all the sacraments, and the words
of the sacred books, to the images of her own idols, with which her
carnal mind delights to wallow. Nor yet, because those images are
false, and the doctrines of devils, speaking lies in hypocrisy,[177]
are those sacraments and divine utterances therefore so to lose their
due honour, as to be thought to belong to such as these; seeing that
the Lord says, "Of my gold, and my silver, and my broidered garments,
and mine oil, and mine incense, and my meat," and so forth. Ought we,
because those erring ones think that these things belong to their
seducers, therefore not to recognise whose they really are, when He
Himself says, "And she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine,
and oil, and multiplied her money?" For He did not say that she did
not have these things because she was an adulteress; but she is said
to have had them, and that not as belonging to herself or her lovers,
but to God, whose alone they are. Although, therefore, she had her
fornication, yet those things wherewith she adorned it, whether as
seduced or in her turn seducing, belonged not to her, but to God. If
these things were spoken in a figure of the Jewish nation, when the
scribes and Pharisees were rejecting the commandment of God in order to
set up their own traditions, so that they were in a manner committing
whoredom with a people which was abandoning their God; and yet for all
that, whoredom at that time among the people, such as the Lord brought
to light by convicting it, did not cause that the mysteries should
belong to them, which were not theirs but God's, who, in speaking to
the adulteress, says that all these things were His; whence the Lord
Himself also sent those whom He cleansed from leprosy to the same
mysteries, that they should offer sacrifice for themselves before the
priests, because that sacrifice had not become efficacious for them,
which He Himself afterwards wished to be commemorated in the Church
for all of them, because He Himself proclaimed the tidings to them
all;--if this be so, how much the more ought we, when we find the
sacraments of the New Testament among certain heretics or schismatics,
not to attribute them to these men, nor to condemn them, as though we
could not recognise them? We ought to recognise the gifts of the true
husband, though in the possession of an adulteress, and to amend, by
the word of truth, that whoredom which is the true possession of the
unchaste woman, instead of finding fault with the gifts, which belong
entirely to the pitying Lord.

28. From these considerations, and such as these, our forefathers, not
only before the time of Cyprian and Agrippinus, but even afterwards,
maintained a most wholesome custom, that whenever they found anything
divine and lawful remaining in its integrity even in the midst of any
heresy or schism, they approved rather than repudiated it; but whatever
they found that was alien, and peculiar 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.

FOOTNOTES:

[114] See above, II. ii. 3.

[115] See above, II. ii. 3.

[116] Ecclus. iii. 18.

[117] See above, II. ii. 3.

[118] John i. 33.

[119] The Council of Carthage.

[120] _Epist._ lxxiii. sec. 20, to Jubaianus.

[121] Conc. Carth. sec. 28.

[122] John xiv. 6.

[123] Conc. Carth. sec. 30.

[124] _Ib._ sec. 56.

[125] Gal. ii. 11-14.

[126] Conc. Carth. sec. 63.

[127] _Ib._ sec. 77.

[128] Cypr. _Ep._ lxxiii. sec. 1.

[129] Cypr. _Ep._ lxxiii. sec. 2.

[130] Cypr. _Ep._ lxxiii. sec. 3.

[131] Above, Book I. c. xi. foll.

[132] Non ut jam vere dimissa non retineantur. One of the negatives
here appears to be superfluous, and the former is omitted in Amerbach's
edition, and in many of the MSS., which continue the sentence, "non
ut ille baptismus," instead of "neque ut ille," etc. If the latter
negative were omitted, the sense would be improved, and "neque" would
appropriately remain.

[133] 2 Cor. ii. 15, 16.

[134] Phantasmata.

[135] 1 Cor. ii. 14.

[136] 1 Cor. i. 13.

[137] 1 Cor. iii. 1-3.

[138] Eph. iv. 14.

[139] Matt. xxviii. 19.

[140] Cp. _Concilium Arelatense_, can. 8. "De Afris, quod propria lege
utuntur ut rebaptizent; placuit ut si ad ecclesiam aliquis de hæresi
venerit, interrogent eum symbolum; et si perviderint eum in Patre, et
Filio, et Spiritu sancto esse baptizatum, manus ei tantum imponatur, ut
accipiat Spiritum sanctum. Quod si interrogatus non responderit hanc
Trinitatem, baptizetur."

[141] Phil. iii. 15.

[142] Jer. xv. 18, quoted from the LXX.

[143] Rev. xvii. 15.

[144] Rom. v. 5.

[145] 1 Cor. xiii. 1-3.

[146] 1 Cor. xii. 11.

[147] Acts viii. 13.

[148] 1 Sam. x. 6, 10.

[149] 1 Tim. i. 5.

[150] He refers to laying on of hands such as he mentions below, Book
v. c. xxiii.: "If hands were not laid on one who returned from heresy,
he would be judged to be free from all fault."

[151] Matt. xvi. 19.

[152] Song of Sol. vi. 9.

[153] Cypr. _de Lapsis_, c. 4.

[154] John xx. 21-23.

[155] 1 Cor. ii. 15.

[156] Eph. v. 27. Cp. _Retract._ ii. 18, quoted above on I. xvii.

[157] Tit. i. 7.

[158] Num. xvi.

[159] Lev. x. 1, 2.

[160] Rom. ii. 4.

[161] Acts viii. 5-17.

[162] Because Cyprian, in his letter to Jubaianus (_Ep._ lxxiii. sec.
8), had urged as following from this, that "there is no reason, dearest
brother, why we should think it right to yield to heretics that baptism
which was granted to the one and only Church."

[163] Deut. iv. 24.

[164] Hos. ii. 5, from the LXX.

[165] John i. 47.

[166] John xiv. 21.

[167] John xiii. 34, 35.

[168] Matt. v. 17.

[169] Rom. xiii. 10.

[170] John xv. 1-5.

[171] Prov. xviii. 1, from the LXX.

[172] 1 John ii. 19.

[173] 2 Tim. ii. 16-21.

[174] Hos. ii. 5-8, from the LXX.

[175] In the LXX., as well as in the English version, this is in the
second person: [Greek: ton imatismon ton poikilon sou].

[176] Ezek. xvi. 17-19.

[177] 1 Tim. iv. 1, 2.



BOOK FOURTH.

 IN WHICH HE TREATS OF WHAT FOLLOWS IN THE SAME EPISTLE OF CYPRIAN TO
 JUBAIANUS.


CHAP. I.--1. The comparison of the Church with Paradise[178] 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;[179] 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.[180] "She it is alone who holds as her
privilege the whole power of her Bridegroom and Lord;" 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.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. II.--2. All the more, then, because we are fighting for the
honour and unity of the Church, let us beware of giving to heretics
the credit of whatever we acknowledge 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 water of the Church is full
of faith, and salvation, and holiness" to those who use it rightly. No
one, however, can use it well outside the Church. But to those who use
it perversely, whether within or without the Church, it is employed to
work punishment, and does not conduce to their reward. And so baptism
"cannot be corrupted and polluted," though it be handled by the corrupt
or by adulterers, just as also "the Church herself is uncorrupt, and
pure, and chaste." And so no share in it belongs to the avaricious, or
thieves, or usurers,--many of whom, by the testimony of Cyprian himself
in many places of his letters, exist not only without, but actually
within the Church,--and yet they both are baptized and do baptize, with
no change in their hearts.

3. For this, too, he says, in one of his epistles[181] to the clergy on
the subject of prayer to God, in which, after the fashion of the holy
Daniel, he represents the sins of his people as falling upon himself.
For among many other evils of which he makes mention, he speaks of
them also as "renouncing the world in words only and not in deeds;" as
the apostle says of certain men, "They profess that they know God, but
in works they deny Him."[182] These, therefore, the blessed Cyprian
shows to be contained within the Church herself, who are baptized
without their hearts being changed for the better, seeing that they
renounce the world in words and not in deeds, as the Apostle Peter
says, "The like figure whereunto even baptism doth now save us, (not
the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good
conscience),"[183] which certainly they had not of whom it is said that
they "renounced the world in words only, and not in deeds;" and yet he
does his utmost, by chiding and convincing them, to make them at length
walk in the way of Christ, and be His friends rather than friends of
the world.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. III.--3. And if they would have obeyed him, and begun to live
rightly, not as false but as true Christians, would he have ordered
them to be baptized anew? Surely not; but their true conversion would
have gained this for them, that the sacrament which availed for their
destruction while they were yet unchanged, should begin when they
changed to avail for their salvation.

4. For neither are they "devoted to the Church"[184] who seem to
be within, and live contrary to Christ, that is, act against His
commandments; nor can they be considered in any way to belong to that
Church, which He so purifies by the washing of water, "that He may
present to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle,
or any such thing."[185] But if they are not in that Church to whose
members they do not belong, they are not in the Church of which it is
said, "My dove is but one; she is the only one of her mother;"[186]
for she herself is without spot or wrinkle. Or else let him who can
assert that those are members of this dove who renounce the world in
words but not in deeds. Meantime there is one thing which we see,
from which I think it was said, "He that regardeth the day, regardeth
it unto the Lord;"[187] for God judgeth every day. For, according
to His foreknowledge, who knows whom He has foreordained before the
foundation of the world to be made like to the image of His Son, many
who are even openly outside, and are called heretics, are better
than many good Catholics. For we see what they are to-day, what they
shall be to-morrow we know not. And with God, with whom the future is
already present, they already are what they shall hereafter be. But
we, according to what each man is at present, inquire whether they are
to be to-day reckoned among the members of the Church which is called
the one dove, and the Bride of Christ without spot or wrinkle,[188] of
whom Cyprian says in the letter which I have quoted above, that "they
did not keep in the way of the Lord, nor observe the commandments given
unto them for their salvation; that they did not fulfil the will of
their Lord, being eager about their property and gains, following the
dictates of pride, giving way to envy and dissension, careless about
single-mindedness and faith, renouncing the world in words only and not
in deeds, pleasing each himself, and displeasing all men."[189] But if
the dove does not acknowledge them among her members, and if the Lord
shall say to them, supposing that they continue in the same perversity,
"I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity;"[190] then
they seem indeed to be in the Church, but are not; "nay, they even act
against the Church. How then can they baptize with the baptism of the
Church,"[191] which is of avail neither to themselves, nor to those
who receive it from them, unless they are changed in heart with a true
conversion, so that the sacrament itself, which did not avail them when
they received it whilst they were renouncing the world in words and not
in deeds, may begin to profit them when they shall begin to renounce it
in deeds also? And so too in the case of those whose separation from
the Church is open; for neither these nor those are as yet among the
members of the dove, but some of them perhaps will be at some future
time.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. IV.--5. We do not, therefore, "acknowledge the baptism of
heretics,"[192] when we refuse to rebaptize after them; but because
we acknowledge the ordinance to be of Christ, even among evil men,
whether openly separated from us, or secretly severed whilst within our
body, we receive it with due respect, having corrected those who were
wrong in the points wherein they went astray. For as I seem to be hard
pressed when it is said to me, "Does then a heretic confer remission of
sins?" so I in turn press hard when I say, Does then he who violates
the commands of Heaven, the avaricious man, the robber, the usurer, the
envious man, does he who renounces the world in words and not in deeds,
confer such remission? If you mean by the force of God's sacrament,
then both the one and the other; if by his own merit, neither of them.
For that sacrament, even in the hands of wicked men, is known to be
of Christ; but neither the one nor the other of these men is found in
the body of the one uncorrupt, holy, chaste dove, which has neither
spot nor wrinkle. And just as baptism is of no profit to the man who
renounces the world in words and not in deeds, so it is of no profit
to him who is baptized in heresy or schism; but each of them, when he
amends his ways, begins to receive profit from that which before was
not profitable, but was yet already in him.

6. "He therefore that is baptized in heresy does not become the temple
of God;"[193] but does it therefore follow that he is not to be
considered as baptized? For neither does the avaricious man, baptized
within the Church, become the temple of God, unless he depart from his
avarice; for they who become the temple of God certainly inherit the
kingdom of God. But the apostle says, among many other things, "Neither
the covetous, nor thieves, shall inherit the kingdom of God."[194] For
in another place the same apostle compares covetousness to the worship
of idols: "Nor covetous man," he says, "who is an idolater;"[195] which
meaning the same Cyprian has so far extended in a letter to Antonianus,
that he did not hesitate to compare the sin of covetousness with that
of men who in time of persecution had declared in writing that they
would offer incense.[196] The man, then, who is baptized in heresy in
the name of the Holy Trinity yet does not become the temple of God
unless he abandons his heresy, just as the covetous man who has been
baptized in the same name does not become the temple of God unless he
abandons his covetousness, which is idolatry. For this, too, the same
apostle says: "What agreement hath the temple of God with idols?"[197]
Let it not, then, be asked of us "of what God he is made the
temple?"[193] when we say that he is not made the temple of God at all.
Yet he is not therefore unbaptized, nor does his foul error cause that
what he has received, consecrated in the words of the gospel, should
not be the holy sacrament; just as the other man's covetousness (which
is idolatry) and great uncleanness cannot prevent what he receives from
being holy baptism, even though he be baptized with the same words of
the gospel by another man covetous like himself.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. V.--7. "Further," Cyprian goes on to say, "in vain do some, who
are overcome by reason, oppose to us custom, as though custom were
superior to truth, or that were not to be followed in spiritual things
which has been revealed by the Holy Spirit, as the better way."[198]
This is clearly true, since reason and truth are to be preferred to
custom. But when truth supports custom, nothing should be more strongly
maintained. Then he proceeds as follows: "For one may pardon a man
who merely errs, as the Apostle Paul says of himself, 'Who was before
a blasphemer, a persecutor, and injurious; but I obtained mercy,
because I did it ignorantly;'[199] but he who, after inspiration and
revelation given, perseveres advisedly and knowingly in his former
error, sins without hope of pardon on the ground of ignorance. For he
rests on a kind of presumption and obstinacy, when he is overcome by
reason." This is most true, that his sin is much more grievous who has
sinned wittingly than his who has sinned through ignorance. And so
in the case of the holy Cyprian, who was not only learned, but also
patient of instruction, which he so fully himself understood to be a
part of the praise of the bishop whom the apostle describes,[200] that
he said, "This also should be approved in a bishop, that he not only
teach with knowledge, but also learn with patience."[201] I do not
doubt that if he had had the opportunity of discussing this question,
which has been so long and so much disputed in the Church, with the
pious and learned men to whom we owe it that subsequently that ancient
custom was confirmed by the authority of a general Council, he would
have shown, without hesitation, not only how learned he was in those
things which he had grasped with all the security of truth, but also
how ready he was to receive instruction in what he had failed to
perceive. And yet, since it is so clear that it is much more grievous
to sin wittingly than in ignorance, I should be glad if any one would
tell me which is the worse,--the man who falls into heresy, not
knowing how great a sin it is, or the man who refuses to abandon his
covetousness, knowing its enormity. I might even put the question
thus: If one man unwittingly fall into heresy, and another knowingly
refuse to depart from idolatry, since the apostle himself says, "The
covetous man, which is an idolater;" and Cyprian too understood the
same passage in just the same way, when he says, in his letter to
Antonianus, "Nor let the new heretics flatter themselves in this,
that they say they do not communicate with idolaters, whereas there
are amongst them both adulterers and covetous persons, who are held
guilty of the sin of idolatry; 'for know this, and understand, that no
whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater,
hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God;'[202] and
again, 'Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth;
fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence,
and covetousness, which is idolatry.'"[203] I ask, therefore, which
sins more deeply,--he who ignorantly has fallen into heresy, or he
who wittingly has refused to abandon covetousness, that is idolatry?
According to that rule by which the sins of those who sin wittingly
are placed before those of the ignorant, the man who is covetous with
knowledge takes the first place in sin. But as it is possible that
the greatness of the actual sin should produce the same effect in the
case of heresy that the witting commission of the sin produces in
that of covetousness, let us suppose the ignorant heretic to be on a
par in guilt with the consciously covetous man, although the evidence
which Cyprian himself has advanced from the apostle does not seem to
prove this. For what is it that we abominate in heretics except their
blasphemies? But when he wished to show that ignorance of the sin may
conduce to ease in obtaining pardon, he advanced a proof from the
case of the apostle, when he says, "Who before was a blasphemer, and
a persecutor, and injurious; but I obtained mercy, because I did it
ignorantly."[204] But if possible, as I said before, let the sins of
the two men--the blasphemy of the unconscious, and the idolatry of the
conscious sinner--be esteemed of equal weight; and let them be judged
by the same sentence,--he who, in seeking for Christ, falls into a
truth-like setting forth of what is false, and he who wittingly resists
Christ speaking through His apostle, "seeing that no whoremonger,
nor unclean person, nor covetous man, which is an idolater, hath any
inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God,"[205]--and then I
would ask why baptism and the words of the gospel are held as naught in
the former case, and accounted valid in the latter, when each is alike
found to be estranged from the members of the dove. Is it because the
former is an open combatant outside, that he should not be admitted,
the latter a cunning assenter within the fold, that he may not be
expelled?

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. VI.--8. But as regards his saying, "Nor let any one affirm that
what they have received from the apostles, that they follow; for
the apostles handed down only one Church and one baptism, and that
appointed only in the same Church;"[206] this does not so much move
me to venture to condemn the baptism of Christ when found amongst
heretics (just as it is necessary to recognise the gospel itself when
I find it with them, though I abominate their error), as it warns
me that there were some even in the times of the holy Cyprian who
traced to the authority of the apostles that custom against which the
African Councils were held, and in respect of which he himself said
a little above, "In vain do those who are beaten by reason oppose to
us the authority of custom." Nor do I find the reason why the same
Cyprian found this very custom, which after his time was confirmed
by nothing less than a general Council of the whole world, already
so strong before his time, that when with all his learning he sought
an authority worth following for changing it, he found nothing but a
Council of Agrippinus held in Africa a very few years before his own
time. And seeing that this was not enough for him, as against the
custom of the whole world, he laid hold on these reasons which we
just now, considering them with great care, and being confirmed by
the antiquity of the custom itself, and by the subsequent authority
of a general Council, found to be truth-like rather than true; which,
however, seemed to him true, as he toiled in a question of the greatest
obscurity, and was in doubt about the remission of sins,--whether it
could fail to be given in the baptism of Christ, and whether it could
be given among heretics. In which matter, if an imperfect revelation
of the truth was given to Cyprian, that the greatness of his love in
not deserting the unity of the Church might be made manifest, there is
yet not any reason why any one should venture to claim superiority over
the strong defences and excellence of his virtues, and the abundance of
graces which were found in him, merely because, with the instruction
derived from the strength of a general Council, he sees something which
Cyprian did not see, because the Church had not yet held a general
Council on the matter. Just as no one is so insane as to set himself up
as surpassing the merits of the Apostle Peter, because, taught by the
epistles of the Apostle Paul, and confirmed by the custom of the Church
herself, he does not compel the Gentiles to Judaize, as Peter once had
done.[207]

9. We do not then "find that any one, after being baptized among
heretics, was afterwards admitted by the apostles with the same
baptism, and communicated;"[208] but neither do we find this, that
any one coming from the society of heretics, who had been baptized
among them, was baptized anew by the apostles. But this custom, which
even then those who looked back to past ages could not find to have
been invented by men of a later time, is rightly believed to have
been handed down from the apostles. And there are many other things
of the same kind, which it would be tedious to recount. Wherefore, if
they had something to say for themselves to whom Cyprian, wishing to
persuade them of the truth of his own view, says, "Let no one say,
What we have received from the apostles, that we follow," with how
much more force we now say, What the custom of the Church has always
held, what this argument has failed to prove false, and what a general
Council has confirmed, this we follow! To this we may add that it may
also be said, after a careful inquiry into the reasoning on both sides
of the discussion, and into the evidence of Scripture, What truth has
declared, that we follow.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. VII.--10. For in fact, as to what some opposed to the reasoning
of Cyprian, that the apostle says, "Notwithstanding every way, whether
in pretence or in truth, let Christ be preached,"[209] Cyprian rightly
exposed their error, showing that it has nothing to do with the case
of heretics, since the apostle was speaking of those who were acting
within the Church, with malicious envy seeking their own profit. They
announced Christ, indeed, according to the truth whereby we believe in
Christ, but not in the spirit in which He was announced by the good
evangelists to the sons of the dove. "For Paul," he says, "in his
epistle was not speaking of heretics, or of their baptism, so that it
could be shown that he had laid down anything concerning this matter.
He was speaking of brethren, whether as walking disorderly and contrary
to the discipline of the Church, or as keeping the discipline of the
Church in the fear of God. And he declared that some of them spoke the
word of God stedfastly and fearlessly, but that some were acting in
envy and strife; that some had kept themselves encompassed with kindly
Christian love, but that others entertained malice and strife: but yet
that he patiently endured all things, with the view that, whether in
truth or in pretence, the name of Christ, which Paul preached, might
come to the knowledge of the greatest number, and that the sowing of
the word, which was as yet a new and unaccustomed work, might spread
more widely by the preaching of those that spoke. Furthermore, it is
one thing for those who are within the Church to speak in the name of
Christ, another thing for those who are without, acting against the
Church, to baptize in the name of Christ."[210] These words of Cyprian
seem to warn us that we must distinguish between those who are bad
outside, and those who are bad within the Church. And those whom he
says that the apostle represents as preaching the gospel impurely and
of envy, he says truly were within. This much, however, I think I
may say without rashness, if no one outside can have anything which is
of Christ, neither can any one within have anything which is of the
devil. For if that closed garden can contain the thorns of the devil,
why cannot the fountain of Christ equally flow beyond the garden's
bounds? But if it cannot contain them, whence, even in the time of the
Apostle Paul himself, did there arise amongst those who were within so
great an evil of envy and malicious strife? For these are the words of
Cyprian. Can it be that envy and malicious strife are a small evil?
How then were those in unity who were not at peace? For it is not my
voice, nor that of any man, but of the Lord Himself; nor did the sound
go forth from men, but from angels, at the birth of Christ, "Glory to
God in the highest, and on earth peace to men of good will."[211] And
this certainly would not have been proclaimed by the voice of angels
when Christ was born upon the earth, unless God wished this to be
understood, that those are in the unity of the body of Christ who are
united in the peace of Christ, and those are in the peace of Christ who
are of good will. Furthermore, as good will is shown in kindliness, so
is bad will shown in malice.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. VIII.--11. In short, we may see how great an evil in itself
is envy, which cannot be other than malicious. Let us not look for
other testimony. Cyprian himself is sufficient for us, through whose
mouth the Lord poured forth so many thunders in most perfect truth,
and uttered so many useful precepts about envy and malignity. Let us
therefore read the letter of Cyprian about envy and malignity, and
see how great an evil it is to envy those better than ourselves,--an
evil whose origin he shows in memorable words to have sprung from
the devil himself. "To feel jealousy," he says, "of what you regard
as good, and to envy those who are better than yourselves, to some,
dearest brethren, seems a light and minute offence."[212] And again
a little later, when he was inquiring into the source and origin of
the evil, he says, "From this the devil, in the very beginning of the
world, perished first himself, and led others to destruction."[213]
And further on in the same chapter: "What an evil, dearest brethren,
is that by which an angel fell! by which that exalted and illustrious
loftiness was able to be deceived and overthrown! by which he was
deceived who was the deceiver! From that time envy stalks upon the
earth, when man, about to perish through malignity, submits himself to
the teacher of perdition,--when he who envies imitates the devil, as it
is written, 'Through envy of the devil came death into the world, and
they that do hold of his side do find it.'"[214] How true, how forcible
are these words of Cyprian, in an epistle known throughout the world,
we cannot fail to recognise. It was truly fitting for Cyprian to argue
and warn most forcibly about envy and malignity, from which most deadly
evil he proved his own heart to be so far removed by the abundance
of his Christian love; by carefully guarding which he remained in
the unity of communion with his colleagues, who without ill-feeling
entertained different views about baptism, whilst he himself differed
in opinion from them, not through any contention of ill will, but
through human infirmity, erring in a point which God, in His own good
time, would reveal to him by reason of his perseverance in love. For
he says openly, "Judging no one, nor depriving any of the right of
communion if he differ from us. For no one of us setteth himself up as
a bishop of bishops, or by tyrannical terror forceth his colleagues to
a necessity of obeying."[215] And in the end of the epistle before us
he says, "These things I have written to you briefly, dearest brother,
according to my poor ability, prescribing to or prejudging no one, so
as to prevent each bishop from doing what he thinks right in the free
exercise of his own judgment. We, so far as in us lies, do not strive
on behalf of heretics with our colleagues and fellow-bishops, with
whom we hold the harmony that God enjoins, and the peace of our Lord,
especially as the apostle says, 'If any man seem to be contentious,
we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.'[216] Christian
love in our souls, the honour of our colleges, the bond of faith, the
harmony of the priesthood, all these are maintained by us with patience
and gentleness. For this cause we have also, so far as our poor ability
admitted, by the permission and inspiration of the Lord, written now a
treatise on the benefit of patience,[217] which we have sent to you in
consideration of our mutual affection."[218]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. IX.--12. By this patience of Christian love he not only endured
the difference of opinion manifested in all kindliness by his good
colleagues on an obscure point, as he also himself received toleration,
till, in process of time, when it so pleased God, what had always
been a most wholesome custom was further confirmed by a declaration
of the truth in a general Council, but he even put up with those who
were manifestly bad, as was very well known to himself, who did not
entertain a different view in consequence of the obscurity of the
question, but acted contrary to their preaching in the evil practices
of an abandoned life, as the apostle says of them, "Thou that preachest
a man should not steal, dost thou steal?"[219] For Cyprian says in
his letter of such bishops of his own time, his own colleagues, and
remaining in communion with him, "While they had brethren starving
in the Church, they tried to amass large sums of money, they took
possession of estates by fraudulent proceedings, they multiplied their
gains by accumulated usuries."[220] For here there is no obscure
question. Scripture declares openly, "Neither thieves nor covetous
shall inherit the kingdom of God;"[221] and "He that putteth out his
money to usury,"[222] and "No whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor
covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom
of Christ and of God."[223] He therefore certainly would not, without
knowledge, have brought accusations of such covetousness, that men
not only greedily treasured up their own goods, but also fraudulently
appropriated the goods of others, or of idolatry existing in such
enormity as he understands and proves it to exist; nor assuredly would
he bear false witness against his fellow-bishops. And yet with the
bowels of fatherly and motherly love he endured them, lest that, by
rooting out the tares before their time, the wheat should also have
been rooted up,[224] imitating assuredly the Apostle Paul, who, with
the same love towards the Church, endured those who were ill-disposed
and envious towards him.[225]

13. But yet because "by the envy of the devil death entered into the
world, and they that do hold of his side do find it,"[226] not because
they are created by God, but because they go astray of themselves,
as Cyprian also says himself, seeing that the devil, before he was a
devil, was an angel, and good, how can it be that they who are of the
devil's side are in the unity of Christ? Beyond all doubt, as the Lord
Himself says, "an enemy hath done this," who "sowed tares among the
wheat."[227] As therefore what is of the devil within the fold must be
convicted, so what is of Christ without must be recognised. Has the
devil what is his within the unity of the Church, and shall Christ not
have what is His without? This, perhaps, might be said of individual
men, that as the devil has none that are his among the holy angels,
so God has none that are His outside the communion of the Church. But
though it may be allowed to the devil to mingle tares, that is, wicked
men, with this Church which still wears the mortal nature of flesh,
so long as it is wandering far from God, he being allowed this just
because of the pilgrimage of the Church herself, that men may desire
more ardently the rest of that country which the angels enjoy, yet
this cannot be said of the sacraments. For, as the tares within the
Church can have and handle them, though not for salvation, but for the
destruction to which they are destined in the fire, so also can the
tares without, which received them from seceders from within; for they
did not lose them by seceding. This, indeed, is made plain from the
fact that baptism is not conferred again on their return, when any of
the very men who seceded happen to come back again. And let not any one
say, Why, what fruit hath the tares? For if this be so, their condition
is the same, so far as this goes, both inside and without. For it
surely cannot be that grains of corn are found in the tares inside,
and not in those without. But when the question is of the sacrament,
we do not consider whether the tares bear any fruit, but whether they
have any share of heaven; for the tares, both within and without, share
the rain with the wheat itself, which rain is in itself heavenly and
sweet, even though under its influence the tares grow up in barrenness.
And so the sacrament, according to the gospel of Christ, is divine and
pleasant; nor is it to be esteemed as naught because of the barrenness
of those on whom its dew falls even without.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. X.--14. But some one may say that the tares within may more
easily be converted into wheat. I grant that it is so; but what has
this to do with the question of repeating baptism? You surely do not
maintain that if a man converted from heresy, through the occasion and
opportunity given by his conversion, should bear fruit before another
who, being within the Church, is more slow to be washed from his
iniquity, and so corrected and changed, the former therefore needs not
to be baptized again, but the churchman to be baptized again, who was
outstripped by him who came from the heretics, because of the greater
slowness of his amendment. It has nothing, therefore, to do with the
question now at issue who is later or slower in being converted from
his especial waywardness to the straight path of faith, or hope, or
charity. For although the bad within the fold are more easily made
good, yet it will sometimes happen that certain of the number of those
outside will outstrip in their conversion certain of those within;
and while these remain in barrenness, the former, being restored to
unity and communion, will bear fruit with patience, thirty-fold, or
sixty-fold, or a hundred-fold.[228] Or if those only are to be called
tares who remain in perverse error to the end, there are many ears of
corn outside, and many tares within.

15. But it will be urged that the bad outside are worse than those
within. It is indeed a weighty question, whether Nicolaus, being
already severed from the Church,[229] or Simon, who was still within
it,[230] was the worse,--the one being a heretic, the other a sorcerer.
But if the mere fact of division, as being the clearest token of
violated charity, is held to be the worse evil, I grant that it is
so. Yet many, though they have lost all feelings of charity, yet do
not secede from considerations of worldly profit; and as they seek
their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's,[231] what they
are unwilling to secede from is not the unity of Christ, but their own
temporal advantage. Whence it is said in praise of charity, that she
"seeketh not her own."[232]

16. Now, therefore, the question is, how could men of the party of
the devil belong to the Church, which has no spot, or wrinkle, or any
such thing,[233] of which also it is said, "My dove is one?"[234] But
if they cannot, it is clear that she groans among those who are not
of her, some treacherously laying wait within, some barking at her
gate without. Such men, however, even within, both receive baptism,
and possess it, and transmit it holy in itself; nor is it in any way
defiled by their wickedness, in which they persevere even to the end.
Wherefore the same blessed Cyprian teaches us that baptism is to
be considered as consecrated in itself by the words of the gospel,
as the Church has received, without joining to it or mingling with
it any consideration of waywardness and wickedness on the part of
either minister or recipients; since he himself points out to us
both truths,--both that there have been some within the Church who
did not cherish kindly Christian love, but practised envy and unkind
dissension, of whom the Apostle Paul spoke; and also that the envious
belong to the devil's party, as he testifies in the most open way
in the epistle which he wrote about envy and malignity. Wherefore,
since it is clearly possible that in those who belong to the devil's
party, Christ's sacrament may yet be holy,--not, indeed, to their
salvation, but to their condemnation,--and that not only if they are
led astray after they have been baptized, but even if they were such
in heart when they received the sacrament, renouncing the world (as
the same Cyprian shows) in words only and not in deeds;[235] and since
even if afterwards they be brought into the right way, the sacrament
is not to be again administered which they received when they were
astray; so far as I can see, the case is clear and evident, that in
the question of baptism we have to consider, not who gives, but what
he gives; not who receives, but what he receives; not who has, but
what he has. For if men of the party of the devil, and therefore in
no way belonging to the one dove, can yet receive, and have, and give
baptism in all its holiness, in no way defiled by their waywardness, as
we are taught by the letters of Cyprian himself, how are we ascribing
to heretics what does not belong to them? how are we saying that what
is really Christ's is theirs, and not rather recognising in them the
signs of our Sovereign, and correcting the deeds of deserters from
Him? Wherefore it is one thing, as the holy Cyprian says, "for those
within, in the Church, to speak in the name of Christ, another thing
for those without, who are acting against the Church, to baptize in
His name."[236] But both many who are within act against the Church by
evil living, and by enticing weak souls to copy their lives; and some
who are without speak in Christ's name, and are not forbidden to work
the works of Christ, but only to be without, since for the healing of
their souls we grasp at them, or reason with them, or exhort them. For
he, too, was without who did not follow Christ with His disciples, and
yet in Christ's name was casting out devils, which the Lord enjoined
that he should not be prevented from doing;[237] although, certainly,
in the point where he was imperfect he was to be made whole, in
accordance with the words of the Lord, in which He says, "He that is
not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth
abroad."[238] Therefore both some things are done outside in the name
of Christ not against the Church, and some things are done inside on
the devil's part which are against the Church.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XI.--17. What shall we say of what is also wonderful, that he who
carefully observes may find that it is possible that certain persons,
without violating Christian charity, may yet teach what is useless, as
Peter wished to compel the Gentiles to observe Jewish customs,[239]
as Cyprian himself would force heretics to be baptized anew? whence
the apostle says to such good members, who are rooted in charity, and
yet walk not rightly in some points, "If in anything ye be otherwise
minded, the Lord shall reveal even this unto you;"[240] and that
some again, though devoid of charity, may teach something wholesome?
of whom the Lord says, "The scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses' seat:
all therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do;
but do not ye after their works: for they say and do not."[241] Whence
the apostle also says of those envious and malicious ones who yet
preach salvation through Christ, "Whether in pretence, or in truth,
let Christ be preached."[242] Wherefore, both within and without, the
waywardness of man is to be corrected, but the divine sacraments and
utterances are not to be attributed to men. He is not, therefore, a
"patron of heretics" who refuses to attribute to them what he knows not
to belong to them, even though it be found among them. We do not grant
baptism to be theirs; but we recognise His baptism of whom it is said,
"The same is He which baptizeth,"[243] wheresoever we find it. But if
"the treacherous and blasphemous man" continue in his treachery and
blasphemy, he receives no "remission of sins either without" or within
the Church; or if, by the power of the sacrament, he receives it for
the moment, the same force operates both without and within, as the
power of the name of Christ used to work the expulsion of devils even
without the Church.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XII.--18. But he urges that "we find that the apostles, in all
their epistles, execrated and abhorred the sacrilegious wickedness of
heretics, so as to say that 'their word does spread as a canker.'"[244]
What then? Does not Paul also show that those who said, "Let us eat
and drink, for to-morrow we die," were corrupters of good manners
by their evil communications, adding immediately afterwards, "Evil
communications corrupt good manners;" and yet he intimated that these
were within the Church when he says, "How say some among you that
there is no resurrection of the dead?"[245] But when does he fail to
express his abhorrence of the covetous? Or could anything be said in
stronger terms, than that covetousness should be called idolatry,
as the same apostle declared?[246] Nor did Cyprian understand his
language otherwise, inserting it when need required in his letters;
though he confesses that in his time there were in the Church not
covetous men of an ordinary type, but robbers and usurers, and these
found not among the masses, but among the bishops. And yet I should be
willing to understand that those of whom the apostle says, "Their word
does spread as a canker," were without the Church, but Cyprian himself
will not allow me. For, when showing, in his letter to Antonianus, that
no man ought to sever himself from the unity of the Church before the
time of the final separation of the just and unjust, merely because
of the admixture of evil men in the Church, when he makes it manifest
how holy he was, and deserving of the illustrious martyrdom which he
won, he says, "What swelling of arrogance it is, what forgetfulness
of humility and gentleness, that any one should dare or believe that
he can do what the Lord did not grant even to the apostles,--to think
that he can distinguish the tares from the wheat, or, as if it were
granted to him to carry the fan and purge the floor, to endeavour to
separate the chaff from the grain! And whereas the apostle says, 'But
in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver,
but also of wood and of earth,'[247] that he should seem to choose
those of gold and of silver, and to despise and cast away and condemn
those of wood and of earth, when really the vessels of wood are only
to be burned in the day of the Lord by the burning of the divine
conflagration, and those of earth are to be broken by Him to whom the
'rod of iron'[248] has been given."[249] By this argument, therefore,
against those who, under the pretext of avoiding the society of wicked
men, had severed themselves from the unity of the Church, Cyprian shows
that by the great house of which the apostle spoke, in which there
were not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and
of earth, he understood nothing else but the Church, in which there
should be good and bad, till at the last day it should be cleansed
as a threshing-floor by the winnowing-fan. And if this be so, in the
Church herself, that is, in the great house itself, there were vessels
to dishonour, whose word did spread like a canker. For the apostle,
speaking of them, taught as follows: "And their word," he says, "will
eat as doth a canker; of whom is Hymenæus and Philetus; who concerning
the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already;
and overthrow the faith of some. Nevertheless the foundation of God
standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are His.
And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver,
but also of wood and of earth."[250] If, therefore, they whose word
did eat as doth a canker were as it were vessels to dishonour in the
great house, and by that "great house" Cyprian understands the unity
of the Church itself, surely it cannot be that their canker polluted
the baptism of Christ. Accordingly, neither without, any more than
within, can any one who is of the devil's party, either in himself or
in any other person, stain the sacrament which is of Christ. It is not,
therefore, the case that "the word which eats as a canker to the ears
of those who hear it gives remission of sins;"[251] but when baptism
is given in the words of the gospel, however great be the perverseness
of understanding on the part either of him through whom, or of him to
whom it is given, the sacrament itself is holy in itself on account of
Him whose sacrament it is. And if any one, receiving it at the hands of
a misguided man, yet does not receive the perversity of the minister,
but only the holiness of the mystery, being closely bound to the unity
of the Church in good faith and hope and charity, he receives remission
of his sins,--not by the words which do eat as doth a canker, but by
the sacraments of the gospel flowing from a heavenly source. But if the
recipient himself be misguided, on the one hand, what is given is of
no avail for the salvation of the misguided man; and yet, on the other
hand, that which is received remains holy in the recipient, and is not
renewed to him if he be brought to the right way.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XIII.--19. There is therefore "no fellowship between
righteousness and unrighteousness,"[252] not only without, but also
within the Church; for "the Lord knoweth them that are His," and "Let
every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity." There
is also "no communion between light and darkness,"[253] not only
without, but also within the Church; for "he that hateth his brother
is still in darkness."[254] And they at any rate hated Paul, who,
preaching Christ of envy and malicious strife, supposed that they added
affliction to his bonds;[255] and yet the same Cyprian understands
these still to have been within the Church. Since, therefore, "neither
darkness can enlighten, nor unrighteousness justify,"[256] as Cyprian
again says, I ask, how could those men baptize within the very Church
herself? I ask, how could those vessels which the large house contains
not to honour, but to dishonour, administer what is holy for the
sanctifying of men within the great house itself, unless because that
holiness of the sacrament cannot be polluted even by the unclean,
either when it is given at their hands, or when it is received by those
who in heart and life are not changed for the better? of whom, as
situated within the Church, Cyprian himself says, "Renouncing the world
in word only, and not in deed."[257]

20. There are therefore also within the Church "enemies of God, whose
hearts the spirit of Antichrist has possessed;" and yet they "deal
with spiritual and divine things,"[6] which cannot profit for their
salvation so long as they remain such as they are; and yet neither
can they pollute them by their own uncleanness. With regard to what
he says, therefore, "that they have no part given them in the saving
grace of the Church, who, scattering and fighting against the Church of
Christ, are called adversaries by Christ Himself, and antichrists by
His apostles,"[258] this must be received under the consideration that
there are men of this kind both within and without. But the separation
of those that are within from the perfection and unity of the dove is
not only known in the case of some men to God, but even in the case of
some to their fellow-men; for, by regarding their openly abandoned
life and confirmed wickedness, and comparing it with the rules of God's
commandments, they understand to what a multitude of tares and chaff,
situated now some within and some without, but destined to be most
manifestly separated at the last day, the Lord will then say, "Depart
from me, ye that work iniquity,"[259] and "Depart into everlasting
fire, prepared for the devil and his angels."[260]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XIV.--21. But we must not despair of the conversion of any man,
whether situated within or without, so long as "the goodness of God
leadeth him to repentance,"[261] and "visits their transgressions
with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes." For in this way "He
does not utterly take from them His loving-kindness,"[262] if they
will themselves sometime "love their own soul, pleasing God."[263]
But as the good man "that shall endure to the end, the same shall be
saved,"[264] so the bad man, whether within or without, who shall
persevere in his wickedness to the end, shall not be saved. Nor do we
say that "all, wheresoever and howsoever baptized, obtain the grace
of baptism,"[265] if by the grace of baptism is understood the actual
salvation which is conferred by the celebration of the sacrament; but
many fail to obtain this salvation even within the Church, although
it is clear that they possess the sacrament, which is holy in itself.
Well, therefore, does the Lord warn us in the gospel that we should not
company with ill-advisers,[266] who walk under the pretence of Christ's
name; but these are found both within and without, as, in fact, they do
not proceed without unless they have first been ill-disposed within.
And we know that the apostle said of the vessels placed in the great
house, "If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a
vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the Master's use, and
prepared unto every good work."[267] But in what manner each man ought
to purge himself from these he shows a little above, saying, "Let
every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity,"[268]
that he may not in the last day, with the chaff, whether with that
which has already been driven from the threshing-floor, or with that
which is to be separated at the last, hear the command, "Depart from
me, ye that work iniquity."[269] Whence it appears, indeed, as Cyprian
says, that "we are not at once to admit and adopt whatsoever is
professed in the name of Christ, but only what is done in the truth
of Christ."[270] But it is not an action done in the truth of Christ
that men should "seize on estates by fraudulent pretences, and increase
their gains by accumulated usury,"[271] or that they should "renounce
the world in word only;"[272] and yet, that all this is done within the
Church, Cyprian himself bears sufficient testimony.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XV.--22. To go on to the point which he pursues at
great length, that "they who blaspheme the Father of Christ cannot
be baptized in Christ,"[273] since it is clear that they blaspheme
through error (for he who comes to the baptism of Christ will not
openly blaspheme the Father of Christ, but he is led to blaspheme by
holding a view contrary to the teaching of the truth about the Father
of Christ), we have already shown at sufficient length that baptism,
consecrated in the words of the gospel, is not affected by the error
of any man, whether ministrant or recipient, whether he hold views
contrary to the revelation of divine teaching on the subject of the
Father, or the Son, or the Holy Ghost. For many carnal and natural
men are baptized even within the Church, as the apostle expressly
says: "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of
God;"[274] and after they had received baptism, he says that they "are
yet carnal."[275] But according to its carnal sense, a soul given
up to fleshly appetites cannot entertain but fleshly wisdom about
God. Wherefore many, progressing after baptism, and especially those
who have been baptized in infancy or early youth, in proportion as
their intellect becomes clearer and brighter, while "the inward man
is renewed day by day,"[276] throw away their former opinions which
they held about God while they were mocked with vain imaginings, with
scorn and horror and confession of their mistake. And yet they are
not therefore considered not to have received baptism, or to have
received baptism of a kind corresponding to their error; but in them
both the perfection of the sacrament is honoured and the delusion of
their mind is corrected, even though it had become inveterate through
long confirmation, or been, perhaps, maintained in many controversies.
Wherefore even the heretic, who is manifestly without, if he has there
received baptism as ordained in the gospel, has certainly not received
baptism of a kind corresponding to the error which blinds him. And
therefore, if returning into the way of wisdom, he perceives that he
ought to relinquish what he has held amiss, he must not at the same
time give up the good which he had received; nor because his error
is to be condemned, is the baptism of Christ in him to be therefore
extinguished. For it is already sufficiently clear, from the case of
those who happen to be baptized within the Church with false views
about God, that the truth of the sacrament is to be distinguished from
the error of him who believes amiss, although both may be found in
the same man. And therefore, when any one grounded in any error, even
outside the Church, has yet been baptized with the true sacrament, when
he is restored to the unity of the Church, a true baptism cannot take
the place of a true baptism, as a true faith takes the place of a false
one, because a thing cannot take the place of itself, since neither can
it give place. Heretics therefore join the Catholic Church to this end,
that what they have evil of themselves may be corrected, not that what
they have good of God should be repeated.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XVI.--23. Some one says, Does it then make no difference, if two
men, rooted in like error and wickedness, be baptized without change of
life or heart, one without, the other within the Church? I acknowledge
that there is a difference. For he is worse who is baptized without,
in addition to his other sin,--not because of his baptism, however,
but because he is without; for the evil of division is in itself far
from insignificant or trivial. Yet the difference exists only if he who
is baptized within has desired to be within not for the sake of any
earthly or temporal advantage, but because he has preferred the unity
of the Church spread throughout the world to the divisions of schism;
otherwise he too must be considered among those who are without: Let
us therefore put the two cases in this way. Let us suppose that the
one, for the sake of argument, held the same opinions as Photinus[277]
about Christ, and was baptized in his heresy outside the communion of
the Catholic Church; and that another held the same opinion, but was
baptized in the Catholic Church, believing that his view was really
the Catholic faith. I consider him as not yet a heretic, unless, when
the doctrine of the Catholic faith is made clear to him, he chooses to
resist it, and prefers that which he already holds; and till this is
the case, it is clear that he who was baptized outside is the worse.
And so in the one case erroneous opinion alone, in the other the sin
of schism also, requires correction; but in neither of them is the
truth of the sacrament to be repeated. But if any one holds the same
view as the first, and knows that it is only in heresy severed from
the Church that such a view is taught or learned, but yet for the
sake of some temporal emolument has desired to be baptized in the
Catholic unity, or, having been already baptized in it, is unwilling
on account of the said emolument to secede from it, he is not only to
be considered as seceding, but his offence is aggravated, in so far as
to the error of heresy and the division of unity he adds the deceit of
hypocrisy. Wherefore the depravity of each man, in proportion as it is
more dangerous and wanting in straightforwardness, must be corrected
with the more earnestness and energy; and yet, if he has anything that
is good in him, especially if it be not of himself, but from God, we
ought not to think it of no value because of his depravity, or to be
blamed like it, or to be ascribed to it, rather than to His bountiful
goodness, who even to a soul that plays the harlot, and goes after her
lovers, yet gives His bread, and His wine, and His oil, and other food
or ornaments, which are neither from herself nor from her lovers, but
from Him who in compassion for her is even desirous to warn her to whom
she should return.[278]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XVII.--24. "Can the power of baptism," says Cyprian, "be greater
or better than confession? than martyrdom? that a man should confess
Christ before men, and be baptized in his own blood? And yet," he goes
on to say, "neither does this baptism profit the heretic, even though
for confessing Christ he be put to death outside the Church."[279]
This is most true; for, by being put to death outside the Church, he
is proved not to have had charity, of which the apostle says, "Though
I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me
nothing."[280] But if martyrdom is of no avail for this reason, because
it has not charity, neither does it profit those who, as Paul says,
and Cyprian further sets forth, are living within the Church without
charity in envy and malice; and yet they can both receive and transmit
true baptism. "Salvation," he says, "is not without the Church."[281] Who
says that it is? And therefore, whatever men have that belongs to the
Church, it profits them nothing towards salvation outside the Church.
But it is one thing not to have, another to have so as to be of no
use. He who has not must be baptized that he may have; but he who has
to no avail must be corrected, that what he has may profit him. Nor is
the water in the baptism of heretics "adulterous,"[281] because neither
is the creature itself which God made evil, nor is fault to be found
with the words of the gospel in the mouths of any who are astray; but
the fault is theirs in whom there is an adulterous spirit, even though
it may receive the adornment of the sacrament from a lawful spouse.
Baptism therefore can "be common to us and the heretics,"[281] just
as the gospel can be common to us, whatever difference there may be
between our faith and their error,--whether they think otherwise
than the truth about the Father, or the Son, or the Holy Spirit; or,
being cut away from unity, do not gather with Christ, but scatter
abroad,[282]--seeing that the sacrament of baptism can be common to us,
if we are the wheat of the Lord, with the covetous within the Church,
and with robbers, and drunkards, and other pestilent persons of the
same sort, of whom it is said, "They shall not inherit the kingdom
of God,"[283] and yet the vices by which they are separated from the
kingdom of God are not shared by us.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XVIII.--25. Nor, indeed, is it of heresies alone that the
apostle says "that they which do such things shall not inherit the
kingdom of God." But it may be worth while to look for a moment at the
things which he groups together. "The works of the flesh," he says,
"are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness,
lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations,
wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness,
revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have
also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not
inherit the kingdom of God."[284] Let us suppose some one, therefore,
chaste, continent, free from covetousness, no idolater, hospitable,
charitable to the needy, no man's enemy, not contentious, patient,
quiet, jealous of none, envying none, sober, frugal, but a heretic;
it is of course clear to all that for this one fault only, that he is
a heretic, he will fail to inherit the kingdom of God. Let us suppose
another, a fornicator, unclean, lascivious, covetous, or even more
openly given to idolatry, a student of witchcraft, a lover of strife
and contention, envious, hot-tempered, seditious, jealous, drunken, and
a reveller, but a Catholic; can it be that for this sole merit, that
he is a Catholic, he will inherit the kingdom of God, though his deeds
are of the kind of which the apostle thus concludes: "Of the which I
tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which
do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God?" If we say this,
we lead ourselves astray. For the word of God does not lead us astray,
which is neither silent, nor lenient, nor deceptive through any
flattery. Indeed, it speaks to the same effect elsewhere: "For this ye
know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, which
is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of
God. Let no man deceive you with vain words."[285] We have no reason,
therefore, to complain of the word of God. It certainly says, and says
openly and freely, that those who live a wicked life have no part in
the kingdom of God.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XIX.--26. Let us therefore not flatter the Catholic who is hemmed
in with all these vices, nor venture, merely because he is a Catholic
Christian, to promise him the impunity which holy Scripture does not
promise him; nor, if he has any one of the faults above mentioned,
ought we to promise him a partnership in that heavenly land. For,
in writing to the Corinthians, the apostle enumerates the several
sins, under each of which it is implicitly understood that it shall
not inherit the kingdom of God: "Be not deceived," he says: "neither
fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers
of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards,
nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God."[286]
He does not say, those who possess all these vices together shall not
inherit the kingdom of God; but neither these nor those: so that, as
each is named, you may understand that no one of them shall inherit
the kingdom of God. As, therefore, heretics shall not possess the
kingdom of God, so the covetous shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Nor can we indeed doubt that the punishments themselves, with which
they shall be tortured who do not inherit the kingdom of God, will vary
in proportion to the difference of their offences, and that some will
be more severe than others; so that in the eternal fire itself there
will be different tortures in the punishments, corresponding to the
different weights of guilt. For indeed it was not idly that the Lord
said, "It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of
judgment than for thee."[287] But yet, so far as failing to inherit the
kingdom of God is concerned, it is just as certain, if you choose any
one of the less heinous of these vices, as if you chose more than one,
or some one which you saw was more atrocious; and because those will
inherit the kingdom of God whom the Judge shall set on His right hand,
and for those who shall not be found worthy to be set at the right
hand nothing will remain but to be at the left, no other announcement
is left for them to hear like goats from the mouth of the Shepherd,
except, "Depart into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his
angels;"[288] though in that fire, as I said before, it may be that
different punishments will be awarded corresponding to the difference
of the sins.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XX.--27. But on the question whether we ought to prefer a
Catholic of the most abandoned character to a heretic in whose life,
except that he is a heretic, men can find nothing to blame, I do
not venture to give a hasty judgment. But if any one says, because
he is a heretic, he cannot be this only without other vices also
following,--for he is carnal and natural, and therefore must be also
envious, and hot-tempered, and jealous, and hostile to truth itself,
and utterly estranged from it,--let him fairly understand, that of
those other faults of which he is supposed to have chosen some one less
flagrant, a single one cannot exist by itself in any man, because he in
turn is carnal and natural; as, to take the case of drunkenness, which
people have now become accustomed to talk of not only without horror,
but with some degree of merriment, can it possibly exist alone in any
one in whom it is found? For what drunkard is not also contentious,
and hot-tempered, and jealous, and at variance with all soundness of
counsel, and at grievous enmity with those who rebuke him? Further,
it is not easy for him to avoid being a fornicator and adulterer,
though he may be no heretic; just as a heretic may be no drunkard,
nor adulterer, nor fornicator, nor lascivious, nor a lover of money,
or given to witchcraft, and cannot well be all these together. Nor
indeed is any one vice followed by all the rest. Supposing, therefore,
two men,--one a Catholic with all these vices, the other a heretic
free from all from which a heretic can be free,--although they do not
both contend against the faith, and yet each lives contrary to the
faith, and each is deceived by a vain hope, and each is far removed
from charity of spirit, and therefore each is severed from connection
with the body of the one dove; why do we recognise in one of them the
sacrament of Christ, and not in the other, as though it belonged to
this or that man, whilst really it is the same in both, and belongs
to God alone, and is good even in the worst of men? And if of the
men who have it, one is worse than another, it does not follow that
the sacrament which they have is worse in the one than in the other,
seeing that neither in the case of two bad Catholics, if one be worse
than the other, does he possess a worse baptism, nor, if one of them
be good and another bad, is baptism bad in the bad one and good in the
good one; but it is good in both. Just as the light of the sun, or even
of a lamp, is certainly not less brilliant when displayed to bad eyes
than when seen by better ones; but it is the same in the case of both,
although it either cheers or hurts them differently according to the
difference of their powers.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXI.--28. With regard to the objection brought against Cyprian,
that the catechumens who were seized in martyrdom, and slain for
Christ's name's sake, received a crown even without baptism, I do
not quite see what it has to do with the matter, unless, indeed,
they urged that heretics could much more be admitted with baptism
to Christ's kingdom, to which catechumens were admitted without it,
since He Himself has said, "Except a man be born of water and of the
Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."[289] Now, in this
matter I do not hesitate for a moment to place the Catholic catechumen,
who is burning with love for God, before the baptized heretic; nor
yet do we thereby do dishonour to the sacrament of baptism which the
latter has already received, the former not as yet; nor do we consider
that the sacrament of the catechumen[290] is to be preferred to the
sacrament of baptism, when we acknowledge that some catechumens
are better and more faithful than some baptized persons. For the
centurion Cornelius, before baptism, was better than Simon, who had
been baptized. For Cornelius, even before his baptism, was filled with
the Holy Spirit;[291] Simon, even after baptism, was puffed up with an
unclean spirit.[292] Cornelius, however, would have been convicted of
contempt for so holy a sacrament, if, even after he had received the
Holy Ghost, he had refused to be baptized. But when he was baptized, he
received in no wise a better sacrament than Simon; but the different
merits of the men were made manifest under the equal holiness of the
same sacrament,--so true is it that the good or ill deserving of the
recipient does not increase or diminish the holiness of baptism.
But as baptism is wanting to a good catechumen to his receiving the
kingdom of heaven, so true conversion is wanting to a bad man though
baptized. For He who said, "Except a man be born of water and of the
Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God," said also Himself,
"Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the
scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of
heaven."[293] For that the righteousness of the catechumens might not
feel secure, it is written, "Except a man be born again of water and of
the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." And again, that
the unrighteousness of the baptized might not feel secure because they
had received baptism, it is written, "Except your righteousness shall
exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no
case enter into the kingdom of heaven." The one were too little without
the other; the two make perfect the heir of that inheritance. As, then,
we ought not to depreciate a man's righteousness, which begins to exist
before he is joined to the Church, as the righteousness of Cornelius
began to exist before he was in the body of Christian men,--which
righteousness was not thought worthless, or the angel would not have
said to him, "Thy prayers and thine alms are come up as a memorial
before God;" nor did it yet suffice for his obtaining the kingdom of
heaven, or he would not have been told to send to Peter,[294]--so
neither ought we to depreciate the sacrament of baptism, even though
it has been received outside the Church. But since it is of no avail
for salvation unless he who has baptism indeed in full perfection be
incorporated into the Church, correcting also his own depravity, let us
therefore correct the error of the heretics, that we may recognise what
in them is not their own but Christ's.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXII.--29. That the place of baptism is sometimes supplied by
martyrdom is supported by an argument by no means trivial, which
the blessed Cyprian adduces[295] from the thief, to whom, though he
was not baptized, it was yet said, "To-day shalt thou be with me in
paradise."[296] On considering which again and again, I find that not
only martyrdom for the sake of Christ may supply what was wanting
of baptism, but also faith and conversion of heart, if recourse may
not be had to the celebration of the mystery of baptism for want
of time.[297] For neither was that thief crucified for the name of
Christ, but as the reward of his own deeds; nor did he suffer because
he believed, but he believed while suffering. It was shown, therefore,
in the case of that thief, how great is the power, even without the
visible sacrament of baptism, of what the apostle says, "With the
heart man believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession
is made unto salvation."[298] But the want is supplied invisibly only
when the administration of baptism is prevented, not by contempt for
religion, but by the necessity of the moment. For much more in the
case of Cornelius and his friends, than in the case of that robber,
might it seem superfluous that they should also be baptized with water,
seeing that in them the gift of the Holy Spirit, which, according
to the testimony of holy Scripture, was received by other men only
after baptism, had made itself manifest by every unmistakeable sign
appropriate to those times when they spoke with tongues. Yet they were
baptized, and for this action we have the authority of an apostle
as the warrant. So far ought all of us to be from being induced by
any perfection in the inner man, if it so happen that before baptism
a person has advanced, through the workings of a pious heart, to
spiritual understanding, to despise a sacrament which is applied to the
body by the hands of the minister, but which is God's own means for
working spiritually a man's dedication to Himself. Nor do I conceive
that the function of baptizing was assigned to John, so that it should
be called John's baptism, for any other reason except that the Lord
Himself, who had appointed it, in not disdaining to receive the baptism
of His servant,[299] might consecrate the path of humility, and show
most plainly by such an action how high a value was to be placed on His
own baptism, with which He Himself was afterwards to baptize. For He
saw, like an excellent physician of eternal salvation, that overweening
pride would be found in some, who, having made such progress in the
understanding of the truth and in uprightness of character that they
would not hesitate to place themselves, both in life and knowledge,
above many that were baptized, would think it was unnecessary for them
to be baptized, since they felt that they had attained a frame of mind
to which many that were baptized were still only endeavouring to raise
themselves.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXIII.--30. But what is the precise value of the sanctification
of the sacrament (which that thief did not receive, not from any want
of will on his part, but because it was unavoidably omitted), and what
is the effect on a man of its material application, it is not easy
to say. Still, had it not been of the greatest value, the Lord would
not have received the baptism of a servant. But since we must look at
it in itself without entering upon the question of the salvation of
the recipient, which it is intended to work, it shows clearly enough
that both in the bad, and in those who renounce the world in word
and not in deed, it is itself complete, though they cannot receive
salvation unless they amend their lives. But as in the thief, to whom
the material administration of the sacrament was necessarily wanting,
the salvation was complete, because it was spiritually present through
his piety, so, when the sacrament itself is present, salvation is
complete, if what the thief possessed be unavoidably wanting. And
this is the firm tradition of the universal Church, in respect of the
baptism of infants, who certainly are as yet unable "with the heart
to believe unto righteousness, and with the mouth to make confession
unto salvation," as the thief could do; nay, who even, by crying and
moaning when the mystery is performed upon them, raise their voices in
opposition to the mysterious words, and yet no Christian will say that
they are baptized to no purpose.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXIV.--31. And if any one seek for divine authority in this
matter, though what is held by the whole Church, and that not as
instituted by Councils, but as a matter of invariable custom, is
rightly held to have been handed down by apostolical authority, still
we can form a true conjecture of the value of the sacrament of baptism
in the case of infants, from the parallel of circumcision, which was
received by God's earlier people, and before receiving which Abraham
was justified, as Cornelius also was enriched with the gift of the
Holy Spirit before he was baptized. Yet the apostle says of Abraham
himself, that "he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the
righteousness of faith," having already believed in his heart, so that
"it was counted unto him for righteousness."[300] Why, therefore, was
it commanded him that he should circumcise every male child in order on
the eighth day,[301] though it could not yet believe with the heart,
that it should be counted unto it for righteousness, unless because
the sacrament in itself was of great avail? And this was made manifest
by the message of an angel in the case of Moses' son; for when he
was carried by his mother, being yet uncircumcised, it was required,
by manifest present peril, that he should be circumcised,[302] and
when this was done, the danger of death was removed. As therefore in
Abraham the justification of faith came first, and circumcision was
added afterwards as the seal of faith; so in Cornelius the spiritual
sanctification came first in the gift of the Holy Spirit, and the
sacrament of regeneration was added afterwards in the laver of baptism.
And as in Isaac, who was circumcised on the eighth day after his
birth, the seal of this righteousness of faith was given first, and
afterwards, as he imitated the faith of his father, the righteousness
itself followed as he grew up, of which the seal had been given before
when he was an infant; so in infants, who are baptized, the sacrament
of regeneration is given first, and if they maintain a Christian piety,
conversion also in the heart will follow, of which the mysterious
sign had gone before in the outward body. And as in the thief the
gracious goodness of the Almighty supplied what had been wanting in
the sacrament of baptism, because it had been missing not from pride
or contempt, but from want of opportunity; so in infants who die
baptized, we must believe that the same grace of the Almighty supplies
the want, that, not from perversity of will, but from insufficiency of
age, they can neither believe with the heart unto righteousness, nor
make confession with the mouth unto salvation. Therefore, when others
take the vows for them, that the celebration of the sacrament may be
complete in their behalf, it is unquestionably of avail for their
dedication to God, because they cannot answer for themselves. But if
another were to answer for one who could answer for himself, it would
not be of the same avail. In accordance with which rule, we find in the
gospel what strikes every one as natural when he reads it, "He is of
age, he shall speak for himself."[303]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXV.--32. By all these considerations it is proved that the
sacrament of baptism is one thing, the conversion of the heart another;
but that man's salvation is made complete through the two together.
Nor are we to suppose that, if one of these be wanting, it necessarily
follows that the other is wanting also; because the sacrament may
exist in the infant without the conversion of the heart; and this was
found to be possible without the sacrament in the case of the thief,
God in either case filling up what was involuntarily wanting. But when
either of these requisites is wanting intentionally, then the man is
responsible for the omission. And baptism may exist when the conversion
of the heart is wanting; but, with respect to such conversion, it may
indeed be found when baptism has not been received, but never when it
has been despised. Nor can there be said in any way to be a turning of
the heart to God when the sacrament of God is treated with contempt.
Therefore we are right in censuring, anathematizing, abhorring, and
abominating the perversity of heart shown by heretics; yet it does
not follow that they have not the sacrament of the gospel, because
they have not what makes it of avail. Wherefore, when they come to
the true faith, and by penitence seek remission of their sins, we are
not flattering or deceiving them, when we instruct them by heavenly
discipline for the kingdom of heaven, correcting and reforming in them
their errors and perverseness, to the intent that we may by no means do
violence to what is sound in them, nor, because of man's fault, declare
that anything which he may have in him from God is either valueless or
faulty.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXVI.--33. A few things still remain to be noticed in the epistle
to Jubaianus; but since these will raise the question both of the past
custom of the Church and of the baptism of John, which is wont to
excite no small doubt in those who pay slight attention to a matter
which is sufficiently obvious, seeing that those who had received
the baptism of John were commanded by the apostle to be baptized
again,[304] they are not to be treated in a hasty manner, and had
better be reserved for another book, that the dimensions of this may
not be inconveniently large.

FOOTNOTES:

[178] Cypr. _Ep._ lxxiii. ad Jubaian. sec. 10.

[179] Gen. ii. 8-14.

[180] Matt. xvi. 18, 19.

[181] Cypr. _Ep._ xi. sec. 1.

[182] Tit. i. 16.

[183] 1 Pet. iii. 21.

[184] Cypr. _Ep._ lxxiii. sec. 9.

[185] Eph. v. 26, 27.

[186] Song of Sol. vi. 9.

[187] Rom. xiv. 6.

[188] _Retract._ ii. 18, quoted on I. xvii.

[189] Cypr. _Ep._ xi. sec. 1.

[190] Matt. vii. 23.

[191] Cypr. _Ep._ lxxiii. sec. 9.

[192] _Ib._ lxxvii. sec. 10.

[193] Cypr. _Ep._ lxxvii. sec. 10.

[194] 1 Cor. vi. 10.

[195] Eph. v. 5.

[196] Cypr. _Ep._ lv. sec. 23.

[197] 2 Cor. vi. 16.

[198] Cypr. _Ep._ lxxiii. sec. 11.

[199] 1 Tim. i. 13.

[200] 2 Tim. ii. 24.

[201] Cypr. _Ep._ lxxiv. sec. 12.

[202] Eph. v. 5.

[203] Col. iii. 5. Cypr. _Ep._ lv. sec. 23.

[204] 1 Tim. i. 13.

[205] Eph. v. 5.

[206] Cypr. _Ep._ lxxiii. sec. 11.

[207] Gal. ii. 14.

[208] Cypr. _Ep._ lxxiii. sec. 11.

[209] Phil. i. 18. Cyprian, like the Vulgate, reads "annuntietur."

[210] Cypr. _Ep._ lxxiii. sec. 12.

[211] Luke ii. 14. "Hominibus bonæ voluntatis;" and so the Vulgate,
following the reading [Greek: en anthrôpois eudokias].

[212] Cypr. _de Zel. et Liv._ c. 1.

[213] _Ib._ c. 3.

[214] Wisd. ii. 24, 25.

[215] Conc. Carth. _sub in._

[216] 1 Cor. xi. 16.

[217] This treatise is still extant. See Clark's Trans.

[218] Cypr. _Ep._ lxxiii. sec. 22.

[219] Rom. ii. 21.

[220] Cypr. _de Lapsis._ c. iv.

[221] 1 Cor. vi. 10.

[222] Ps. xv. 5.

[223] Eph. v. 5.

[224] Matt. xiii. 29.

[225] Phil. i. 15-18.

[226] Wisd. ii. 24, 25.

[227] Matt. xiii. 28, 25.

[228] Matt. xiii. 23; Luke viii. 15.

[229] Rev. ii. 6.

[230] Acts viii. 9-24.

[231] Phil. ii. 21.

[232] 1 Cor. xiii. 5.

[233] Eph. v. 27; _Retract._ ii. 18.

[234] Song of Sol. vi. 8.

[235] Cypr. _Ep._ xi. sec. 1.

[236] Cypr. _Ep._ lxxiii. sec. 12.

[237] Luke ix. 49, 50.

[238] Matt. xii. 30.

[239] Gal. ii. 14.

[240] Phil. iii. 15.

[241] Matt. xxiii. 2, 3.

[242] Phil. i. 18; see on ch. vii. 10.

[243] John i. 33.

[244] Cypr. _Ep._ lxxiii. sec. 13; 2 Tim. ii. 17.

[245] 1 Cor. xv. 32, 33, 12.

[246] Eph. v. 5.

[247] 2 Tim. ii. 20.

[248] Ps. ii. 9.

[249] Cypr. _Ep._ lv. sec. 21.

[250] 2 Tim. ii. 17-20.

[251] Cypr. _Ep._ lxxiii. sec. 13.

[252] Cypr. _Ep._ lxxiii. sec. 13; 2 Cor. vi. 14.

[253] Cypr. _Ep._ lxxiii. sec. 13; 2 Cor. vi. 14.

[254] 1 John ii. 9.

[255] Phil. i. 15, 16.

[256] Cypr. _l.c._

[257] Cypr. _Ep._ xi. sec. 1.

[258] Cypr. _Ep._ lxxiii. sec. 13.

[259] Matt. vii. 23.

[260] Matt. xxv. 41.

[261] Rom. ii. 4.

[262] Ps. lxxxix. 32, 33.

[263] Ecclus. xxx. 23. The words "placentes Deo" are derived from the
Latin version only.

[264] Matt. xxiv. 13.

[265] From a letter of Pope Stephen's, quoted Cypr. _Ep._ lxxiii. sec.
14.

[266] Matt. xiii. 21.

[267] 2 Tim. ii. 21.

[268] 2 Tim. ii. 19.

[269] Matt. vii. 23.

[270] Cypr. _Ep._ lxxiii. sec. 14.

[271] _Ib._ _de Laps._ sec. 4.

[272] _Ib._ _Ep._ xi. sec. 1.

[273] _Ib._ _Ep._ lxxiii. sec. 14.

[274] 1 Cor. ii. 14.

[275] 1 Cor. iii. 3.

[276] 2 Cor. iv. 16.

[277] Photinus, bishop of Sirmium, was condemned and deposed by a
synod held in his own city, in 351, for teaching that there was no
distinction of persons in the Godhead.

[278] Hos. ii. 5-7.

[279] Cypr. _Ep._ lxxxiii. sec. 18.

[280] 1 Cor. xiii. 3.

[281] Cypr. _l.c._

[282] Matt. xii. 30.

[283] 1 Cor. vi. 10.

[284] Gal. v. 19-21.

[285] Eph. v. 5, 6.

[286] 1 Cor. vi. 9, 10.

[287] Matt. xi. 24.

[288] Matt. xxv. 41.

[289] John iii. 5.

[290] Another reading, of less authority, is, "Aut catechumeno
sacramentum baptismi præferendum putamus." This does not suit the
sense of the passage, and probably sprung from want of knowledge of
the meaning of the "catechumen's sacrament." It is mentioned in the
third Council of Carthage as "the sacrament of salt" (Conc. Carth. 3,
can. 5). Augustine (_de Peccat. Meritis_, ii. c. 26) says that "what
the catechumens receive, though it be not the body of Christ, yet is
holy, more holy than the food whereby our bodies are sustained, because
it is a sacrament."--Cp. _de Catech. Rudibus_, c. 26. It appears to
have been only a taste of salt, given them as the emblem of purity and
incorruption. See Bingham, _Orig. Eccles._ Book x. c. ii. 16.

[291] Acts x. 44.

[292] Acts viii. 13, 18, 19.

[293] Matt. v. 20.

[294] Acts x. 4, 5.

[295] Cypr. _Ep._ lxxiii. sec. 19.

[296] Luke xxiii. 43.

[297] In _Retract._ ii. 18, Augustine expresses a doubt whether the
thief may not have been baptized.

[298] Rom. x. 10.

[299] Matt. iii 6, 13.

[300] Rom. iv. 11, 3.

[301] Gen. xvii. 9-14.

[302] Ex. iv. 24.

[303] John ix. 21.

[304] Acts xix. 3-5.



BOOK FIFTH.

 HE EXAMINES THE LAST PART OF THE EPISTLE OF CYPRIAN TO JUBAIANUS,
 TOGETHER WITH HIS EPISTLE TO QUINTUS, THE LETTER OF THE AFRICAN SYNOD
 TO THE NUMIDIAN BISHOPS, AND CYPRIAN'S EPISTLE TO POMPEIUS.


CHAP. I.--1. We have the testimony of the blessed Cyprian, that the
custom of the Catholic Church is at present retained, when men coming
from the side of heretics or schismatics, if they have received baptism
as consecrated in the words of the gospel, are not baptized afresh. For
he himself proposed to himself the question, and that as coming from
the mouth of brethren either seeking the truth or contending for the
truth. For in the course of the arguments by which he wished to show
that heretics should be baptized again, which we have sufficiently
considered for our present purpose in the former books, he says: "But
some will say, What then will become of those who in times past,
coming to the Church from heresy, were admitted without baptism?"[305]
In this question is involved the shipwreck of the whole cause of the
Donatists, with whom our contest is on this point. For if those had
not really baptism who were thus received on coming from heretics, and
their sins were still upon them, then, when such men were admitted to
communion, either by Cyprian himself, or by those who came before him,
we must acknowledge that one of two things occurred,--either that the
Church perished then and there from the pollution of communion with
such men, or that any one abiding in unity is not injured by even the
notorious sins of other men. But since they cannot say that the Church
then perished through the contamination arising from communion with
those who, as Cyprian says, were admitted into it without baptism,--for
otherwise they cannot maintain the validity of their own origin if
the Church then perished, seeing that the list of consuls proves that
more than forty years elapsed between the martyrdom of Cyprian and the
burning of the sacred books,[306] from which they took occasion to make
a schism, spreading abroad the smoke of their calumnies,--it therefore
is left for them to acknowledge that the unity of Christ is not
polluted by any such communion, even with known offenders. And, after
this confession, they will be unable to discover any reason which will
justify them in maintaining that they were bound to separate from the
churches of the whole world, which, as we read, were equally founded
by the apostles, seeing that, while the others could not have perished
from any admixture of offenders, of whatsoever kind, they, though
they would not have perished if they had remained in unity with them,
brought destruction on themselves in schism, by separating themselves
from their brethren, and breaking the bond of peace. For the sacrilege
of schism is most clearly evident in them, if they had no sufficient
cause for separation. And it is clear that there was no sufficient
cause for separation, if even the presence of notorious offenders
cannot pollute the good while they abide in unity. But that the good,
abiding in unity, are not polluted even by notorious offenders, we
teach on the testimony of Cyprian, who says that "men in past times,
coming to the Church from heresy, were admitted without baptism;" and
yet, if the wickedness of their sacrilege, which was still upon them,
seeing it had not been purged away by baptism, could not pollute and
destroy the holiness of the Church, it cannot perish by any infection
from wicked men. Wherefore, if they allow that Cyprian spoke the truth,
they are convicted of schism on his testimony; if they maintain that he
does not speak truth, let them not use his testimony on the question of
baptism.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. II.--2. But now that we have begun a disputation with a man of
peace like Cyprian, let us go on. For when he had brought an objection
against himself, which he knew was urged by his brethren, "What then
will become of those who in times past, coming to the Church from
heresy, were admitted without baptism? The Lord," he answers, "is able
of His mercy to grant indulgence, and not to separate from the gifts
of His Church those who, being admitted in all honesty to His Church,
have fallen asleep within the Church." Well indeed has he assumed
that charity can cover the multitude of sins. But if they really had
baptism, and this were not rightly perceived by those who thought that
they should be baptized again, that error was covered by the charity of
unity so long as it contained, not the discord and spirit of the devil,
but merely human infirmity, until, as the apostle says, "if they were
otherwise minded, the Lord should reveal it to them."[307] But woe unto
those who, being torn asunder from unity by a sacrilegious rupture,
either rebaptize, if baptism exists with both us and them, or do not
baptize at all, if baptism exist in the Catholic Church only. Whether,
therefore, they rebaptize, or fail to baptize, they are not in the bond
of peace; wherefore let them apply a remedy to which they please of
these two wounds. But if we admit to the Church without baptism, we are
of the number of those who, as Cyprian has assumed, may receive pardon
because they preserved unity. But if (as is, I think, already clear
from what has been said in the earlier books) Christian baptism can
preserve its integrity even amid the perversity of heretics, then even
though any in those times did rebaptize, yet without departing from the
bond of unity, they might still attain to pardon in virtue of that same
love of peace, through which Cyprian bears witness that those admitted
even without baptism might obtain that they should not be separated
from the gifts of the Church. Further, if it is true that with heretics
and schismatics the baptism of Christ does not exist, how much less
could the sins of others hurt those who were fixed in unity, if even
men's own sins were forgiven when they came to it even without baptism!
For if, according to Cyprian, the bond of unity is of such efficacy,
how could they be hurt by other men's sins, who were unwilling to
separate themselves from unity, if even the unbaptized, who wished to
come to it from heresy, thereby escaped the destruction due to their
own sins?

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. III.--3. But in what Cyprian adds, saying, "Nor yet because men
once have erred must there be always error, since it rather befits wise
and God-fearing men gladly and unhesitatingly to follow truth, when it
is clearly laid before their eyes, than obstinately and persistently to
fight for heretics against their brethren and their fellow-priests,"
he is uttering the most perfect truth; and the man who resists the
manifest truth is opposing himself rather than his neighbours. But, so
far as I can judge, it is perfectly clear and certain, from the many
arguments which I have already adduced, that the baptism of Christ
cannot be invalidated even by the perversity of heretics, when it is
given or received among them. But, granting that it is not yet certain,
at any rate no one who has considered what has been said, even from a
hostile point of view, will assert that the question has been decided
the other way. Therefore we are not striving against manifest truth,
but either, as I think, we are striving in behalf of what is clearly
true, or, at any rate, as those may hold who think that the question
has not yet been solved, we are seeking for the truth. And therefore,
if the truth be other than we think, yet we are receiving those
baptized by heretics with the same honesty of heart with which those
received them whom Cyprian supposed, in virtue of their cleaving to
the unity of the Church, to be capable of pardon. But if the baptism
of Christ, as is indicated by the many arguments used above, can
retain its integrity amid any defect either of life or faith, whether
on the part of those who seem to be within, and yet do not belong to
the members of the one dove, or on the part of those whose severance
from her extends to being openly without, then those who sought its
repetition in those former days deserved the same pardon for their
charity in clinging to unity, which Cyprian thought that those deserved
for charity of the same kind whom he believed to have been admitted
without baptism. They therefore who, without any cause (since, as
Cyprian himself shows, the bad cannot hurt the good in the unity of
the Church), have cut themselves off from the charity which is shown
in this unity, have lost all place of pardon, and whilst they would
incur destruction by the very crime of schism, even though they did
not rebaptize those who had been baptized in the Catholic Church, of
how bitter punishment are they deserving, who are either endeavouring
to give to the Catholics who have it what Cyprian affirms that they
themselves have not, or, as is clear from the facts of the case, are
bringing as a charge against the Catholic Church that she has not what
even they themselves possess?

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. IV.--4. But since now, as I said before, we have begun a
disputation with the epistles of Cyprian, I think that I should not
seem even to him, if he were present, "to be contending obstinately
and persistently in defence of heretics against my brethren and my
fellow-priests," when he learned the powerful reasons which move us to
believe that even among heretics, who are perversely obstinate in their
malignant error, the baptism of Christ is yet in itself most holy,
and most highly to be reverenced. And seeing that he himself, whose
testimony has such weight with us, bears witness that they were wont
in past times to be admitted without a second baptism, I would have
any one, who is induced by Cyprian's arguments to hold it as certain
that heretics ought to be baptized afresh, yet consider that those
who, on account of the weight of the arguments on the other side, are
not as yet persuaded that this should be so, hold the same place as
those in past time, who in all honesty admitted men who were baptized
in heresy on the simple correction of their individual error, and who
were capable of salvation with them in virtue of the bond of unity.
And let any one, who is led by the past custom of the Church, and by
the subsequent authority of a general Council, and by so many powerful
proofs from holy Scripture, and by much evidence from Cyprian himself,
and by the clear reasoning of truth, to understand that the baptism of
Christ, consecrated in the words of the gospel, cannot be perverted by
the error of any man on earth,--let such an one understand, that they
who then thought otherwise, but yet preserved their charity, can be
saved by the same bond of unity. And herein he should also understand
of those who, in the society of the Church dispersed throughout the
world, could not have been defiled by any tares, by any chaff, so long
as they themselves desired to be fruitful corn, and who therefore
severed themselves from the same bond of unity without any cause
for the divorce, that at any rate, whichever of the two opinions be
true,--that which Cyprian then held, or that which was maintained by
the universal voice of the Catholic Church, which Cyprian did not
abandon,--in either case they, having most openly placed themselves
outside in the plain sacrilege of schism, cannot possibly be saved, and
all that they possess of the holy sacraments, and of the free gifts of
the one legitimate Bridegroom, is of avail, while they continue what
they are, for their confusion rather than the salvation of their souls.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. V.--5. Wherefore, even if heretics should be truly anxious to
correct their error and come to the Church, for the very reason that
they believed that they had no baptism unless they received it in the
Church, even under these circumstances we should not be bound to yield
to their desire for the repetition of baptism; but rather they should
be taught, on the one hand, that baptism, though perfect in itself,
could in no way profit their perversity if they would not submit to
be corrected; and, on the other hand, that the perfection of baptism
could not be impaired by their perversity, while refusing to be
corrected: and again, that no further perfection is added to baptism
in them because they are submitting to correction; but that, while
they themselves are quitting their iniquity, that which was before
within them to their destruction is now beginning to be of profit
for salvation. For, learning this, they will both recognise the need
of salvation in Catholic unity, and will cease to claim as their own
what is really Christ's, and will not confound the sacrament of truth,
although existing in themselves, with their own individual error.

6. To this we may add a further reason, that men, by a sort of hidden
inspiration from heaven, shrink from any one who for the second
time receives baptism which he had already received in any quarter
whatsoever, insomuch that the very heretics themselves, when their
arguments start with that subject, rub their forehead in perplexity,
and almost all their laity, even those who have grown old in their
body, and have conceived an obstinate animosity against the Catholic
Church, confess that this one point in their system displeases them;
and many who, for the sake of gaining some secular advantage, or
avoiding some disadvantage, wish to secede to them, strive with many
secret efforts that they may have granted to them, as a peculiar and
individual privilege, that they should not be rebaptized; and some,
who are led to place credence in their other vain delusions and false
accusations against the Catholic Church, are recalled to unity by this
one consideration, that they are unwilling to associate with them lest
they should be compelled to be rebaptized. And the Donatists, through
fear of this feeling, which has so thorough possession of all men's
hearts, have consented to acknowledge the baptism which was conferred
among the followers of Maximianus, whom they had condemned, and so to
cut short their own tongues and close their mouths, in preference to
baptizing again so many men of the people of Musti, and Assuræ, and
other districts, whom they received with Felicianus and Prætextatus,
and the others who had been condemned by them and afterwards returned
to them.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. VI.--7. For when this is done occasionally in the case of
individuals, at great intervals of time and space, the enormity of
the deed is not equally felt; but if all were suddenly to be brought
together who had been baptized in course of time by the aforesaid
followers of Maximianus, either under pressure of the peril of death or
at their Easter solemnities, and it were told them that they must be
baptized again, because what they had already received in the sacrilege
of schism was null and void, they might indeed say what obstinate
perseverance in their error would compel them to say, that they might
hide the rigour and iciness of their hardness under any kind of false
shade of consistency against the warmth of truth. But in fact, because
the party of Maximianus could not bear this, and because the very men
who would have to enforce it could not endure what must needs have been
done in the case of so many men at once, especially as those very men
would be rebaptizing them in the party of Primianus who had already
baptized them in the party of Maximianus, for these reasons their
baptism was received, and the pride of the Donatists was cut short. And
this course they would certainly not have chosen to adopt, had they
not thought that more harm would have been done to their cause by the
offence men would have taken at the repetition of the baptism, than by
the reputation lost in abandoning their defence. And this I would not
say with any idea that we ought to be restrained by consideration of
human feelings, if the truth compelled those who came from heretics to
be baptized afresh. But because the holy Cyprian says, "that heretics
might have been all the more impelled to the necessity of coming over,
if only they were to be rebaptized in the Catholic Church,"[308]
on this account I have wished to place on record the intensity of
the repugnance to this act which is seated deeply in the heart of
nearly every one,--a repugnance which I can believe was inspired by
God Himself, that the Church might be fortified by the instinct of
repugnance against any possible arguments which the weak cannot dispel.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. VII.--8. Truly, when I look at the actual words of Cyprian, I am
warned to say some things which are very necessary for the solution of
this question. "For if they were to see," he says, "that it was settled
and established by our formal decision and vote, that the baptism with
which they are baptized in heresy is considered just and lawful, they
will think that they are in just and lawful possession of the Church
also, and all its other gifts." He does not say "that they will think
they are in possession," but "in just and lawful possession of the
gifts of the Church." But we say that we cannot allow that they are _in
just and lawful_ possession of baptism. That they are in possession of
it we cannot deny, when we recognise the sacrament of the Lord in the
words of the gospel. They have therefore lawful baptism, but they do
not have it lawfully. For whosoever has it both in Catholic unity, and
living worthily of it, both has lawful baptism and has it lawfully; but
whosoever has it either within the Catholic Church itself, as chaff
mixed with the wheat, or outside, as chaff carried away by the wind,
has indeed lawful baptism, but not lawfully. For he has it as he
uses it. But the man does not use it lawfully who uses it against the
law,--which every one does, who, being baptized, yet leads an abandoned
life, whether inside or without the Church.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. VIII.--9. Wherefore, as the apostle said of the law, "The law is
good, if a man use it lawfully,"[309] so we may fairly say of baptism,
Baptism is good, if a man use it lawfully. And as they who used the
law unlawfully could not in that case cause that it should not be in
itself good, or make it null and void, so any one who uses baptism
unlawfully, either because he lives in heresy, or because he lives the
worst of lives, yet cannot cause that the baptism should be otherwise
than good, or altogether null and void. And so, when he is converted
either to Catholic unity, or to a mode of living worthy of so great a
sacrament, he begins to have not another and a lawful baptism, but that
same baptism in a lawful manner. Nor does the remission of irrevocable
sins follow on baptism, unless a man not only have lawful baptism, but
have it lawfully; and yet it does not follow that if a man have it not
lawfully, so that his sins are either not remitted, or, being remitted,
are brought on him again, therefore the sacrament of baptism should be
in the baptized person either bad or null and void. For as Judas, to
whom the Lord gave a morsel, gave a place within himself to the devil,
not by receiving what was bad, but by receiving it badly,[310] so each
person, on receiving the sacrament of the Lord, does not cause that
it is bad because he is bad himself, or that he has received nothing
because he has not received it to salvation. For it was none the less
the body of the Lord and the blood of the Lord, even in those to whom
the apostle said, "He that eateth unworthily, eateth and drinketh
damnation to himself."[311] Let the heretics therefore seek in the
Catholic Church not what they have, but what they have not,--that is,
the end of the commandment, without which many holy things may be
possessed, but they cannot profit. "Now, the end of the commandment is
charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith
unfeigned."[312] Let them therefore hasten to the unity and truth of
the Catholic Church, not that they may have the sacrament of washing,
if they have been already bathed in it, although in heresy, but that
they may have it to their health.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. IX.--10. Now we must see what is said of the baptism of John.
For "we read in the Acts of the Apostles, that those who had already
been baptized with the baptism of John were yet baptized by Paul,"[313]
simply because the baptism of John was not the baptism of Christ, but a
baptism allowed by Christ to John, so as to be called especially John's
baptism; as the same John says, "A man can receive nothing, except it
be given him from heaven."[314] And that he might not possibly seem to
receive this from God the Father in such wise as not to receive it from
the Son, speaking presently of Christ Himself, he says, "Of His fulness
have we all received."[315] But by the grace of a certain dispensation
John received this, which was to last not for long, but only long
enough to prepare for the Lord the way in which he must needs be the
forerunner. And as our Lord was presently to enter on this way with
all humility, and to lead those who humbly followed Him to perfection,
as He washed the feet of His servants,[316] so was He willing to be
baptized with the baptism of a servant.[317] For as He set Himself
to minister to the feet of those whose guide He was Himself, so He
submitted Himself to the gift of John which He Himself had given, that
all might understand what sacrilegious arrogance they would show in
despising the baptism which they ought each of them to receive from
the Lord, when the Lord Himself accepted what He Himself had bestowed
upon a servant, that he might give it as his own; and that when John,
than whom no greater had arisen among them that are born of women,[318]
bore such testimony to Christ, as to confess that he was not worthy to
unloose the latchet of His shoe,[319] Christ might both, by receiving
his baptism, be found to be the humblest among men, and, by taking away
the place for the baptism of John, be believed to be the most high God,
at once the teacher of humility and the giver of exaltation.

11. For to none of the prophets, to no one at all in holy Scripture,
do we read that it was granted to baptize in the water of repentance
for the remission of sins, as it was granted to John; that, causing the
hearts of the people to hang upon him through this marvellous grace,
he might prepare in them the way for Him whom he declared to be so
infinitely greater than himself. But the Lord Jesus Christ cleanses His
Church by such a baptism that on receiving it no other is required;
while John gave a first washing with such a baptism that on receiving
it there was further need of the baptism of the Lord,--not that the
first baptism should be repeated, but that the baptism of Christ, for
whom he was preparing the way, might be further bestowed on those who
had received the baptism of John. For if Christ's humility were not
to be commended to our notice, neither would there be any need of the
baptism of John; again, if the end were in John, after his baptism
there would be no need of the baptism of Christ. But because "Christ is
the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth,"[320]
it was shown by John to whom men should go, and in whom, when they had
reached Him, they should rest. The same John, therefore, set forth
both the exalted nature of the Lord, when he placed Him far before
himself, and His humility, when he baptized Him as the lowest of the
people. But if John had baptized Christ alone, he would be thought to
have been the dispenser of a better baptism, in that with which Christ
alone was baptized, than the baptism of Christ with which Christians
are baptized; and again, if all ought to be baptized first with the
baptism of John, and then with that of Christ, the baptism of Christ
would deservedly seem to be lacking in fulness and perfection, as not
sufficing for salvation. Wherefore the Lord was baptized with the
baptism of John, that He might bend the proud necks of men to His own
health-giving baptism; and He was not alone baptized with it, lest
He should show His own to be inferior to this, with which none but
He Himself had deserved to be baptized; and He did not allow it to
continue longer, lest the one baptism with which He baptizes might seem
to need the other to precede it.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. X.--12. I ask, therefore, if sins were remitted by the baptism
of John, what more could the baptism of Christ confer on those whom
the Apostle Paul desired to be baptized with the baptism of Christ
after they had received the baptism of John? But if sins were not
remitted by the baptism of John, were those men in the days of Cyprian
better than John, of whom he says himself that they "used to seize on
estates by treacherous frauds, and increase their gains by accumulated
usuries,"[321] through whose administration of baptism the remission of
sins was yet conferred? Or was it because they were contained within
the unity of the Church? What then? Was John not contained within
that unity, the friend of the Bridegroom, the preparer of the way of
the Lord, the baptizer of the Lord Himself? Who will be mad enough to
assert this? Wherefore, although my belief is that John so baptized
with the water of repentance for the remission of sins, that those
who were baptized by him received the expectation of the remission of
their sins, the actual remission taking place in the baptism of the
Lord,--just as the resurrection which is expected at the last day is
fulfilled in hope in us, as the apostle says, that "He hath raised us
up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ
Jesus;"[322] and again, "For we are saved by hope;"[323] or as again
John himself, while he says, "I indeed baptize you with water unto
repentance, for the remission of your sins,"[324] yet says, on seeing
our Lord, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the
world,"[325]--nevertheless I am not disposed to contend vehemently
against any one who maintains that sins were remitted even in the
baptism of John, but that some fuller sanctification was conferred
by the baptism of Christ on those whom Paul ordered to be baptized
anew.[326]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XI.--13. For we must look at the point which especially concerns
the matter before us (whatever be the nature of the baptism of John,
since it is clear that he belongs to the unity of Christ), viz., what
is the reason for which it was right that men should be baptized again
after receiving the baptism of the holy John, and why they ought not
to be baptized again after receiving the baptism of the covetous
bishops. For no one denies that in the Lord's field John was as wheat,
bearing an hundred-fold, if that be the highest rate of increase;
also no one doubts that covetousness, which is idolatry, is reckoned
in the Lord's harvest among the chaff. Why then is a man baptized
again after receiving baptism from the wheat, and not after receiving
it from the chaff? If it was because he was better than John that
Paul baptized after John, why did not also Cyprian baptize after his
usurious colleagues, than whom he was better beyond all comparison?
If it was because they were in unity with him that he did not baptize
after such colleagues, neither ought Paul to have baptized after John,
because they were joined together in the same unity. Can it be that
defrauders and extortioners belong to the members of that one dove,
and that he does not belong to it to whom the full power of the Lord
Jesus Christ was shown by the appearance of the Holy Spirit in the form
of a dove?[327] Truly he belongs most closely to it; but the others,
who must be separated from it either by the occasion of some scandal,
or by the winnowing at the last day, do not by any means belong to
it, and yet baptism was repeated after John and not after them. What
then is the cause, except that the baptism which Paul ordered them to
receive was not the same as that which was given at the hands of John?
And so in the same unity of the Church, the baptism of Christ cannot
be repeated though it be given by an usurious minister; but those who
receive the baptism of John, even from the hands of John himself, ought
to be afterwards baptized with the baptism of Christ.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XII.--14. Accordingly, I too might use the words of the blessed
Cyprian to turn the hearts of those that hear me to the consideration
of something truly marvellous, if I were to say "that John, who was
accounted greater among the prophets,--he who was filled with divine
grace while yet in his mother's womb; he who was upheld in the spirit
and power of Elias; who was not the adversary, but a forerunner and
herald of the Lord; who not only foretold our Lord in words, but also
showed Him to the sight; who baptized Christ Himself, through whom
all others are baptized,"[328]--he was not worthy to baptize in such
wise that those who were baptized by him should not be baptized again
after him; and shall no one think that a man should be baptized in the
Church after he had been baptized by the covetous, by defrauders, by
extortioners, by usurers? Is not the answer ready to this invidious
question, Why do you think this unmeet, as though either John were
dishonoured, or the covetous man honoured? But His baptism ought not to
be repeated, of whom John says, "The same is He which baptizeth with
the Holy Ghost."[329] For whoever be the minister by whose hands it is
given, it is His baptism of whom it was said, "The same is He which
baptizeth." But neither was the baptism of John himself repeated, when
the Apostle Paul commanded those who had been baptized by him to be
baptized in Christ. For what they had not received from the friend of
the Bridegroom, this it was right that they should receive from the
Bridegroom Himself, of whom that friend had said, "The same is He which
baptizeth with the Holy Ghost."

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XIII.--15. For the Lord Jesus might, if He had so thought fit,
have given the power of His baptism to some one or more of His chief
servants, whom He had already made His friends, such as those to whom
He says, "Henceforth I call you not servants, but friends;"[330] that,
as Aaron was shown to be the priest by the rod that budded,[331] so in
His Church, when more and greater miracles are performed, the ministers
of more excellent holiness, and the dispensers of His mysteries, might
be made manifest by some sign, as those who alone ought to baptize. But
if this had been done, then though the power of baptizing were given
them by the Lord, yet it would necessarily be called their own baptism,
as in the case of the baptism of John. And so Paul gives thanks to God
that he baptized none of those men who, as though forgetting in whose
name they had been baptized, were for dividing themselves into factions
under the names of different individuals.[332] For when baptism is as
valid at the hands of a contemptible man as it was when given by an
apostle, it is recognised as the baptism neither of this man nor of
that, but of Christ; as John bears witness that he learned, in the case
of the Lord Himself, through the appearance of the dove. For in what
other respect he said, "And I knew Him not," I cannot clearly see. For
if he had not known Him in any sense, he could not have said to Him
when He came to his baptism, "I have need to be baptized of Thee."[333]
What is it, therefore, that he says, "I saw the Spirit descending from
heaven like a dove, and it abode on Him. And I knew Him not: but He
that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom
thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, the same
is He which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost?"[334] The dove clearly
descended on Him after He was baptized. But while He was yet coming to
be baptized, John had said, "I have need to be baptized of Thee." He
therefore already knew Him. What does he therefore mean by the words,
"I knew Him not: but He that sent me to baptize with water, the same
said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and
remaining on Him, the same is He which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost,"
since this took place after He was baptized, unless it were that he
knew Him in respect of certain attributes, and in respect of others
knew Him not? He knew Him, indeed, as the Son of God, the Bridegroom,
of whose fulness all should receive; but whereas of His fulness he
himself had so received the power of baptizing that it should be called
the baptism of John, he did not know whether He would so give it to
others also, or whether He would have His own baptism in such wise,
that at whose soever hands it was given, whether by a man that brought
forth fruit a hundred-fold, or sixty-fold, or thirty-fold, 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.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XIV.--16. Accordingly we find the apostles using the expressions,
"My glorying,"[335] though it was certainly in the Lord; and "Mine
office,"[336] and "My knowledge,"[337] and "My gospel,"[338] 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; adultery,
fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred,
variance, emulations, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders,
drunkenness, revellings, and such like;"[339] 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?

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XV.--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
of Christ and the perversity of the devil, as another within the Church
may have at once the baptism of Christ and the envy of the devil.

18. But it will be urged that baptism after a heretic is much more
required, because John was not a heretic, and yet baptism was repeated
after him. On this principle, a man may say, much more must we
rebaptize after a drunkard, because John was sober, and yet baptism was
repeated after him. And we shall have no answer to make to such a man,
save that the baptism of Christ was given to those who were baptized
by John, because they had it not; but where men have the baptism of
Christ, no iniquity on their part can possibly effect that the baptism
of Christ should fail to be in them.

19. It is not therefore true that "by baptizing first, the heretic
obtains the right of baptism;"[340] but because he did not baptize
with his own baptism, and though he did not possess the right of
baptizing, yet that which he gave is Christ's, and he who received it
is Christ's. For many things are given wrongfully, and yet they are
not therefore said to be non-existent or not given at all. For neither
does he who renounces the world in word only and not in deed receive
baptism lawfully, and yet he does receive it. For both Cyprian records
that there were such men in the Church in his day, and we ourselves
experience and lament the fact.

20. But it is strange in what sense it can be said that "baptism
and the Church cannot in any way be separated and detached from one
another."[340] For if baptism remains inseparably in him who is
baptized, how can it be that he can be separated from the Church, and
baptism cannot? But it is clear that baptism does remain inseparably
in the baptized person; because into whatever depth of evil, and into
whatever fearful whirlpool of sin the baptized person may fall, even
to the ruin of apostasy, he yet is not bereft of his baptism. And
therefore, if through repentance he returns, it is not given again,
because it is judged that he could not have been without it even in his
sin. But who can ever doubt that a baptized person can be separated
from the Church? For hence all the heresies have proceeded which
deceive by the use of Christian terms.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XVI.--Wherefore, since it is manifest that the baptism remains in
the baptized person when he is separated from the Church, the baptism
which is in him is certainly separated with him. And therefore not all
who retain the baptism retain the Church, just as not all who retain
the Church retain eternal life. Or if we say that only those retain the
Church who observe the commandments of God, we at once concede that
there are many who retain baptism, and do not retain the Church.

21. Therefore the heretic is not "the first to seize baptism," since
he has received it from the Church. Nor, though he seceded, could
baptism have been lost by him whom we assert no longer to retain the
Church, and yet allow to retain baptism. Nor does any one "yield his
birthright, and give it to a heretic," because he says that he took
away with him what he could not give lawfully, but what would yet be
according to law when given; or that he no longer has lawfully what yet
is in accordance with law in his possession. But the birthright rests
only in a holy conversation and good life, to which all belong of whom
that bride consists as her members which has no spot or wrinkle,[341]
or that dove that groans amid the wickedness of the many crows,--unless
it be that, while Esau lost his birthright from his lust after a mess
of pottage,[342] we are yet to hold that it is retained by defrauders,
robbers, usurers, envious persons, drunkards, and the like, over whose
existence in the Church of his time Cyprian groaned in his epistles.
Wherefore, either it is not the same thing to retain the Church and to
retain the birthright in divine things, or, if every one who retains
the Church also retains the birthright, then all those wicked ones do
not retain the Church who yet both seem and are allowed by every one
of us to give baptism within the Church; for no one, save the man who
is wholly ignorant of sacred things, would say that they retain the
birthright in sacred things.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XVII.--22. But, having considered and handled all these points,
we have now come to that peaceful utterance of Cyprian at the end of
the epistle, with which I am never sated, though I read and re-read
it again and again,--so great is the pleasantness of brotherly love
which breathes forth from it, so great the sweetness of charity in
which it abounds. "These things," he says, "we have written unto you,
dearest brother, shortly, according to our poor ability, prescribing
to or prejudging no one, lest each bishop should not do what he thinks
right, in the free exercise of his own will. We, so far as in us
lies, do not contend on the subject of heretics with our colleagues
and fellow-bishops, with whom we maintain concord and peace in the
Lord; especially as the apostle also says, 'If any man seem to be
contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.'[343]
We observe patiently and gently charity of spirit, the honour of our
brotherhood, the bond of faith, the harmony of the priesthood. For
this reason also, to the best of our poor ability, by the permission
and the inspiration of God we have written this treatise on 'The Good
of Patience,' which we have sent to you in consideration of our mutual
love."[344]

23. There are many things to be considered in these words, wherein the
brightness of Christian charity shines forth in this man, who "loved
the beauty of the Lord's house, and the place of the tabernacle of His
habitation."[345] First, that he did not conceal what he felt; then,
that he set it forth so gently and peacefully, in that he maintained
the peace of the Church with those who thought otherwise, because
he understood how great healthfulness was bound up in the bond of
peace, loving it so much, and maintaining it with sobriety, seeing
and feeling that even men who think differently may entertain their
several sentiments without breach of Christian charity. For he would
not say that he could maintain divine concord or the peace of the
Lord with evil men; for the good man can observe peace towards wicked
men, but he cannot be united with them in the peace which they have
not. Lastly, that prescribing to no one, and prejudging no one, lest
each bishop should not do what he thinks right in the free exercise of
his own will, he has left for us also, whatsoever we may be, a place
for treating peacefully of those things with him. For he is present,
not only in his letters, but by that very charity which existed in
so extraordinary a degree in him, and which can never die. Longing,
therefore, with the aid of his prayers, to cling to and be in union
with him, if I be not hindered by the unmeetness of my sins, I will
learn if I can through his letters with how great peace and comfort the
Lord administered His Church through him; and, putting on the bowels of
humility through the moving influence of his discourse, if, in common
with the Church at large, I entertain any doctrine more true than his,
I will not prefer my heart to his, even in the point in which he,
though holding different views, was yet not severed from the Church
throughout the world. For in that, when that question was yet undecided
for want of full discussion, though his sentiments differed from those
of many of his colleagues, yet he observed so great moderation, that he
would not mutilate the sacred fellowship of the Church of God by any
stain of schism, a greater strength of excellence appeared in him than
would have been shown if, without that virtue, he had held views on
every point not only true, but coinciding with their own. Nor should I
be acting as he would wish, if I were to pretend to prefer his talent
and his fluency of discourse and copiousness of learning to the holy
Council of all nations, whereat he was assuredly present through the
unity of his spirit, especially as he is now placed in such full light
of truth as to see with perfect certainty what he was here seeking in
the spirit of perfect peace. For out of that rich abundance he smiles
at all that here seems eloquence in us, as though it were the first
essay of infancy; there he sees by what rule of piety he acted here,
that nothing should be dearer in the Church to him than unity. There,
too, with unspeakable delight he beholds with what prescient and most
merciful providence the Lord, that He might heal our swellings, "chose
the foolish things of the world to confound the wise,"[346] and, in
the ordering of the members of His Church, placed all things in such
healthful wise, that men should not say that they were chosen to the
help of the gospel for their own talent or learning, of whose source
they yet were ignorant, and so be puffed up with deadly pride. Oh, how
Cyprian rejoices! With how much more perfect calmness does he behold
how greatly it conduces to the health of the human race, that in the
writings even of Christian and pious orators there should be found what
merits blame, and in the writings of the fishermen there should nothing
of the sort be found! And so I, being fully assured of this joy of that
holy soul, neither in any way venture to think or say that my writings
are free from every kind of error, nor, in opposing that opinion of
his, wherein it seemed to him that those who came from among heretics
were to be received otherwise than either they had been in former days,
as he himself bears witness, or are now received, as is the reasonable
custom, confirmed by a general Council of the whole Christian world, do
I set against him my own view, but that of the holy Catholic Church,
which he so loved and loves, in which he brought forth such abundant
fruit with tolerance, whose entirety he himself was not, but in whose
unity he remained; whose root he never left, but, though he already
brought forth fruit from its root, he was purged by the heavenly
Husbandman that he should bring forth more fruit;[347] for whose peace
and safety, that the wheat might not be rooted out together with the
tares, he both reproved with the freedom of truth, and endured with the
grace of charity, so many evils on the part of men who were placed in
unity with himself.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XVIII.--24. Whence Cyprian himself[348] again admonishes us with
the greatest fulness, that many who were dead in their trespasses and
sins, although they did not belong to the body of Christ, and the
members of that innocent and guileless dove (so that if she alone
baptized, they certainly could not baptize), yet to all appearance
seemed both to be baptized and to baptize within the Church. Since,
therefore, there be dead men within the Church, who either do not
belong at all to that living dove, or at least do not as yet belong
to her; and since there be dead men without, who yet more clearly do
not belong to her at all, or not as yet; and since it is true that
"another man cannot be quickened by one who himself liveth not,"--it
is therefore clear that those who within are baptized by such persons,
if they approach the sacrament with true conversion of heart, are
quickened by Him whose baptism it is. But if they renounce the world in
word and not in deed, as Cyprian declares to be the case with some who
are within, it is then manifest that they are not themselves quickened
unless they be converted, and yet that they have true baptism even
though they be not converted. Whence also it is likewise clear that
those who are dead without, although they neither "live themselves, nor
quicken others," yet have the living baptism, which would profit them
unto life so soon as they should be converted unto peace.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XIX.--25. Wherefore, as regards those who received the persons
who came from heresy in the same baptism of Christ with which they
had been baptized outside the Church, and said "that they followed
ancient custom," it is in vain urged against them "that among the
ancients heresies and schisms were yet in their very infancy,[349] so
that those were involved in them who were seceders from the Church,
and had originally been baptized within the Church, so that it was not
necessary that they should be baptized again when they returned and did
penance." For so soon as each several heresy existed, and departed from
the communion of the Catholic Church, it was possible that, I will not
even say the next day, but even on that very day, its votaries might
have baptized some who flocked to them. And therefore if this was the
old custom, that they should be so received into the Church (as could
not be denied even by those who maintained the contrary part in the
discussion), there can be no doubt in the mind of any one who pays
careful attention to the matter, that those also were so received who
had been baptized without in heresy.

26. But I cannot see what show of reason there is in this, that the
name of "erring sheep" should be denied to one whose lot it has been
that, while seeking the salvation which is in Christ, he has fallen
into the error of heretics, and been baptized in their body; while he
is held to have become a sheep already within the body of the Catholic
Church herself, who has renounced the world in words and not in deeds,
and has received baptism in such falseness of heart as this. Or if such
an one also does not become a sheep unless after turning to God with
a true heart, then, as he is not baptized at the time when he becomes
a sheep, if he had been already baptized, but was not yet a sheep; so
he too, who comes from the heretics that he may become a sheep, is
not then to be baptized if he had been already baptized with the same
baptism, though he was not yet a sheep. Wherefore, since even all the
bad that are within--the covetous, the envious, the drunkards, and
those that live contrary to the discipline of Christ--may be deservedly
called liars, and in darkness, and dead, and antichrists, do they yet
therefore not baptize, on the ground that "there can be nothing common
between truth and falsehood, between light and darkness, between death
and immortality, between Antichrist and Christ?"

27. He makes an assumption, then, not "of mere custom," but "of
the reason of truth itself," when he says that the sacrament of
God cannot be turned to error by the error of any men, since it is
declared to exist even in those who have erred. Assuredly the Apostle
John says most plainly, "He that hateth his brother is in darkness
even until now;"[350] and again, "Whosoever hateth his brother is a
murderer;"[351] and why, therefore, do they baptize within the Church
whom Cyprian himself declares to be in the envy of malice?[352]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XX. How does a murderer cleanse and sanctify the water?[353] How
can darkness bless the oil? But if God is present in His sacraments
to confirm His words by whomsoever the sacraments may be administered,
then both the sacraments of God are everywhere valid, and evil men whom
they profit not are everywhere perverse.

28. But what kind of argument is this, that "a heretic must be
considered not to have baptism, because he has not the Church?" And it
must be acknowledged that "when he is baptized, he is questioned about
the Church."[354] Just as though the same question about the Church
were not put in baptism to him who within the Church renounces the
world in word and not in deed. As therefore his false answer does not
prevent what he receives from being baptism, so also the false reply
of the other about the holy Church does not prevent what he receives
from being baptism; and as the former, if he afterwards fulfil with
truth what he promised in falsehood, does not receive a second baptism,
but only an amended life, so also in the case of the latter, if he
come afterwards to the Church about which he gave a false answer to
the question put to him, thinking that he had it when he had it not,
the Church herself which he did not possess is given him, but what he
had received is not repeated. But I cannot tell why it should be, that
while God can "sanctify the oil" in answer to the words which proceed
out of the mouth of a murderer, He yet cannot sanctify it on the altar
reared by a heretic, unless it be that He who is not hindered by the
false conversion of the heart of man within the Church is hindered by
the false erection of some wood without from deigning to be present
in His sacraments, though no falseness on the part of men can hinder
Him. If, therefore, what is said in the gospel, that "God heareth not
sinners,"[355] extends so far that the sacraments cannot be celebrated
by a sinner, how then does He hear a murderer praying, either over
the water of baptism, or over the oil, or over the eucharist, or over
the heads of those on whom his hand is laid? All which things are
nevertheless done, and are valid, even at the hands of murderers,
that is, at the hands of those who hate their brethren, even within,
in the Church itself. Since "no one can give what he does not possess
himself," how does a murderer give the Holy Spirit? And yet such an one
even baptizeth within the Church. It is God, therefore, that gives the
Holy Spirit even when a man of this kind is baptizing.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXI.--29. But as to what he says, that "he who comes to the
Church is to be baptized and renewed, that within he may be hallowed
through the holy," what will he do, if within also he meets with those
who are not holy? Or can it be that the murderer is holy? And if the
reason for his being baptized in the Church is that "he should put
off this very thing also that he, being a man that sought to come to
God, fell, through the deceit of error, on one profane," where is he
afterwards to put off this, that he may chance, while seeking a man
of God within the Church itself, to have fallen, through the deceit
of error, on a murderer? If "there cannot be in a man something
that is void and something that is valid," why is it possible that
in a murderer the sacrament should be holy and his heart unholy? If
"whosoever cannot give the Holy Spirit cannot baptize," why does the
murderer baptize within the Church? Or how has the murderer the Holy
Spirit, when every one that has the Holy Spirit is filled with light,
but "he who hates his brother is still in darkness?" If because "there
is one baptism, and one Spirit," therefore they cannot have the one
baptism who have not the one Spirit, why do the innocent man and the
murderer within the Church have the one baptism and not have the one
Spirit? So therefore the heretic and the Catholic may have the one
baptism, and yet not have the one Church, as in the Catholic Church the
innocent man and the murderer may have the one baptism, though they
have not the one Spirit; for as there is one baptism, so there is one
Spirit and one Church. And so the result is, that in each person we
must acknowledge what he already has, and to each person we must give
what he has not. If "nothing can be confirmed and ratified with God
which has been done by those whom God calls His enemies and foes," why
is the baptism confirmed which is given by murderers? Are we not to
call murderers the enemies and foes of the Lord? But "he that hateth
his brother is a murderer." How then did they baptize who hated Paul,
the servant of Jesus Christ, and thereby hated Jesus Himself, since
He Himself said to Saul, "Why persecutest thou me?"[356] when he was
persecuting His servants, and since at the last He Himself shall say,
"Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these that are mine,
ye did it not to me?"[357] Wherefore all who go out from us are not of
us, but not all who are with us are of us; just as when men thresh,
all that flies from the threshing-floor is shown not to be corn, but
not all that remains there is therefore corn. And so John too says,
"They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been
of us, they would no doubt have continued with us."[358] Wherefore
God gives the sacrament of grace even through the hands of wicked
men, but the grace itself only by Himself or through His saints. And
therefore He gives remission of sins either of Himself, or through the
members of that dove to whom He says, "Whose soever sins ye remit,
they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are
retained."[359] But since no one can doubt that baptism, which is the
sacrament of the remission of sins, is possessed even by murderers,
who are yet in darkness because the hatred of their brethren is not
excluded from their hearts, therefore either no remission of sins is
given to them if their baptism is accompanied by no change of heart for
the better, or if the sins are remitted, they at once return on them
again. And we learn that the baptism is holy in itself, because it is
of God; and whether it be given or whether it be received by men of
such like character, it cannot be polluted by any perversity of theirs,
either within, or yet outside the Church.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXII.--30. Accordingly we agree with Cyprian that heretics
cannot give remission of sins; but we maintain that they can give
baptism,--which indeed in them, both when they give and when they
receive it, is profitable only to their destruction, as misusing so
great a gift of God; just as also the malicious and envious, whom
Cyprian himself acknowledges to be within the Church, cannot give
remission of sins, while we all confess that they can give baptism.
For if it was said of those who have sinned against us, "If ye
forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive
your trespasses,"[360] how much more impossible is it that their sins
should be forgiven who hate the brethren by whom they are loved, and
are baptized in that very hatred; and yet when they are brought to the
right way, baptism is not given them anew, but that very pardon which
they did not then deserve is granted them in their true conversion? And
so even what Cyprian wrote to Quintus, and what, in conjunction with
his colleagues Liberalis, Caldonius, Junius, and the rest, he wrote to
Saturninus, Maximus, and others, is all found, on due consideration,
to be in no wise meet to be preferred as against the agreement of the
whole Catholic Church, of which they rejoiced that they were members,
and from which they neither cut themselves away nor allowed others
to be cut away who held a contrary opinion, until at length, by the
will of the Lord, it was made manifest, by a general Council many
years afterwards, what was the more perfect way, and that not by the
institution of any novelty, but by confirming what was old.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXIII.--31. Cyprian writes also to Pompeius[361] about this
selfsame matter, and clearly shows in that letter that Stephen, who,
as we learn, was then bishop of the Roman Church, not only did not
agree with him upon the points before us, but even wrote and taught
the opposite views. But Stephen certainly did not "communicate with
heretics," merely because he did not dare to impugn the baptism
of Christ, which he knew remained perfect in the midst of their
perversity. For if none have baptism who entertain false views about
God, it has been proved sufficiently, in my opinion, that this may
happen even within the Church. "The apostles," indeed, "gave no
injunctions on the point;" but the custom, which is opposed to
Cyprian, may be supposed to have had its origin in apostolic tradition,
just as there are many things which are observed by the whole Church,
and therefore are fairly held to have been enjoined by the apostles,
which yet are not mentioned in their writings.

32. But it will be urged that it is written of heretics that "they are
condemned of themselves."[362] What then? are they not also condemned
of themselves to whom it was said, "For wherein thou judgest another,
thou condemnest thyself?"[363] But to these the apostle says, "Thou
that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal?"[364] and so
forth. And such truly were they who, being bishops and established
in Catholic unity with Cyprian himself, used to plunder estates by
treacherous frauds, preaching all the time to the people the words of
the apostle, who says, "Nor shall extortioners inherit the kingdom of
God."[365]

33. Wherefore I will do no more than run shortly through the other
sentiments founded on the same rules, which are in the aforesaid letter
written to Pompeius. By what authority of holy Scripture is it shown
that it is against the commandment of God that persons coming from the
society of heretics, if they have already there received the baptism
of Christ, are not baptized again? But it is clearly shown that many
pretended Christians, though they are not joined in the same bond of
charity with the saints, without which anything holy that they may
have been able to possess is of no profit to them, yet have baptism in
common with the saints, as has been already sufficiently proved with
the greatest fulness. He says "that the Church, and the Spirit, and
baptism, are mutually incapable of separation from each other, and
therefore" he wishes that "those who are separated from the Church
and the Holy Spirit should be understood to be separated also from
baptism." But if this is the case, then when any one has received
baptism in the Catholic Church, it remains so long in him as he himself
remains in the Church, which is not so. For it is not restored to him
when he returns, just because he did not lose it when he seceded. But
as the disaffected sons have not the Holy Spirit in the same manner as
the beloved sons, and yet they have baptism; so heretics also have not
the Church as Catholics have, and yet they have baptism. "For the Holy
Spirit of discipline will flee deceit,"[366] and yet baptism will not
flee from it. And so, as baptism can continue in one from whom the Holy
Spirit withdraws Himself, so can baptism continue where the Church is
not. But if "the laying on of hands" were not applied to one coming
from heresy, he would be as it were judged to be wholly blameless;
but for the uniting of love, which is the greatest gift of the Holy
Spirit, without which any other holy thing that there may be in a man
is profitless to his salvation, hands are laid on heretics when they
are brought to a knowledge of the truth.[367]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXIV.--34. I remember that I have already discussed at sufficient
length the question of "the temple of God," and how this saying is to
be taken, "As many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on
Christ."[368] For neither are the covetous the temple of God, since it
is written, "What agreement hath the temple of God with idols?"[369]
And Cyprian has adduced the testimony of Paul to the fact that
covetousness is idolatry. But men put on Christ, sometimes so far as to
receive the sacrament, sometimes so much further as to receive holiness
of life. And the first of these is common to good and bad alike; the
second, peculiar to the good and pious. Wherefore, if "baptism cannot
be without the Spirit," then heretics have the Spirit also,--but to
destruction, not to salvation, just as was the case with Saul.[370]
For in the Holy Spirit devils are cast out through the name of Christ,
which even he was able to do who was without the Church, which called
forth a suggestion from the disciples to their Lord.[371] Just as the
covetous have the Holy Spirit, who yet are not the temple of God. For
"what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?" If therefore
the covetous have not the Spirit of God, and yet have baptism, it is
possible for baptism to exist without the Spirit of God.

35. If heresy is rendered "unable to engender sons to God through
Christ, because it is not the bride of Christ," neither can that crowd
of evil men established within the Church, since it is also not the
bride of Christ; for the bride of Christ is described as being without
spot or wrinkle.[372] Therefore either not all baptized persons are
the sons of God, or even that which is not the bride can engender the
sons of God. But as it is asked whether "he is spiritually born who has
received the baptism of Christ in the midst of heretics," so it may be
asked whether he is spiritually born who has received the baptism of
Christ in the Catholic Church, without being turned to God in a true
heart, of whom it cannot be said that he has not received baptism.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXV.--36. I am unwilling to go on to handle again what Cyprian
poured forth with signs of irritation against Stephen, as it is,
moreover, quite unnecessary. For they are but the selfsame arguments
which have already been sufficiently discussed; and it is better
to pass over those points which involved the danger of baneful
dissension. But Stephen thought that we should even hold aloof from
those who endeavoured to destroy the primitive custom in the matter of
receiving heretics; whereas Cyprian, moved by the difficulty of the
question itself, and being most largely endowed with the holy bowels
of Christian charity, thought that we ought to remain at unity with
those who differed in opinion from ourselves. Therefore, although he
was not without excitement, though of a truly brotherly kind, in his
indignation, yet the peace of Christ prevailed in their hearts, that in
such a dispute no evil of schism should arise between them. But it was
not found that "hence grew more abundant heresies and schisms," because
what is of Christ in them is approved, and what is of themselves is
condemned; for all the more those who hold this law of rebaptizing were
cut into smaller fragments.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXVI.--37. To go on to what he says, "that a bishop should be
'teachable,'"[373] adding, "But he is teachable who is gentle and meek
to learn; for a bishop ought not only to teach, but to learn as well,
since he is indeed the better teacher who daily grows and advances
by learning better things;"--in these words assuredly the holy man,
endowed with pious charity, sufficiently points out that we should
not hesitate to read his letters in such a sense, that we should feel
no difficulty if the Church should afterwards confirm what had been
discovered by further and longer discussions; because, as there were
many things which the learned Cyprian might teach, so there was still
something which the teachable Cyprian might learn. But the admonition
that he gives us, "that we should go back to the fountain, that is,
to apostolic tradition, and thence turn the channel of truth to our
times," is most excellent, and should be followed without hesitation.
It is handed down to us, therefore, as he himself records, by the
apostles, that there is "one God, and one Christ, and one hope, and one
faith, and one Church, and one baptism."[374] Since then we find that
in the times of the apostles themselves there were some who had not the
one hope, but had the one baptism, the truth is so brought down to us
from the fountain itself, that it is clear to us that it is possible
that though there is one Church, as there is one hope, and one baptism,
they may yet have the one baptism who have not the one Church; just
as even in those early times it was possible that men should have the
one baptism who had not the one hope. For how had they one hope with
the holy and the just, who used to say, "Let us eat and drink, for
to-morrow we die,"[375] asserting that there was no resurrection of the
dead? And yet they were among the very men to whom the same apostle
says, "Was Paul crucified for you? or were you baptized in the name of
Paul?"[376] For he writes most manifestly to them, saying, "How say
some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?"[377]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXVII.--38. And in that the Church is thus described in the Song
of Songs, "A garden enclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut
up, a fountain sealed: thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates,
with pleasant fruits;"[378] I dare not understand this save of the
holy and just,--not of the covetous, and defrauders, and robbers, and
usurers, and drunkards, and the envious, of whom we yet both learn
most fully from Cyprian's letters, as I have often shown, and teach
ourselves, that they had baptism in common with the just, in common
with whom they certainly had not Christian charity. For I would that
some one would tell me how they "crept into the garden enclosed and the
fountain sealed," of whom Cyprian bears witness that they renounced
the world in word and not in deed, and that yet they were within the
Church. For if they both are themselves there, and are themselves the
bride of Christ, can she then be as she is described, "without spot or
wrinkle,"[379] and is the fair dove defiled with such a portion of her
members? Are these the thorns among which she is a lily, as it is said
in the same Song?[380] So far, therefore, as the lily extends, so far
does "the garden enclosed and the fountain sealed," namely, through all
those just persons who are Jews inwardly in the circumcision of the
heart[381] (for "the king's daughter is all glorious within"[382]),
in whom is the fixed number of the saints predestined before the
foundation of the world. But that multitude of thorns, whether in
secret or in open separation, is pressing on it from without, over
and above the number. "If I would declare them," it is said, "and
speak of them, they are more than can be numbered."[383] The number,
therefore, of the just persons, "who are the called according to His
purpose,"[384] of whom it is said, "The Lord knoweth them that are
His,"[385] is itself "the garden enclosed, the fountain sealed, the
orchard of pomegranates with pleasant fruits." Of this number some live
according to the Spirit, and enter on the excellent way of charity; and
when they "restore a man that is overtaken in a fault in the spirit of
meekness, they consider themselves, lest they also be tempted."[386]
And when it happens that they also are themselves overtaken, the
affection of charity is but a little checked, and not extinguished; and
again rising up and being kindled afresh, it is restored to its former
course. For they know how to say, "My soul melteth for heaviness:
strengthen thou me according unto Thy word."[387] But when "in anything
they be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto them,"[388]
if they abide in the burning flame of charity, and do not break the
bond of peace. But some who are yet carnal, and full of fleshly
appetites, are instant in working out their progress; and that they may
become fit for heavenly food, they are nourished with the milk of the
holy mysteries, they avoid in the fear of God whatever is manifestly
corrupt even in the opinion of the world, and they strive most
watchfully that they may be less and less delighted with worldly and
temporal matters. They observe most constantly the rule of faith which
has been sought out with diligence; and if in ought they stray from it,
they submit to speedy correction under Catholic authority, although,
in Cyprian's words, they be tossed about, by reason of their fleshly
appetite, with the various conflicts of phantasies. There are some also
who as yet live wickedly, or even lie in heresies or the superstitions
of the Gentiles, and yet even then "the Lord knoweth them that are
His." For, in that unspeakable foreknowledge of God, many who seem to
be without are in reality within, and many who seem to be within yet
really are without. Of all those, therefore, who, if I may so say, are
inwardly and secretly within, is that "enclosed garden" composed, "the
fountain sealed, the orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits."
The divinely imparted gifts of these are partly peculiar to themselves,
as in this world the charity that never faileth, and in the world to
come eternal life; partly they are common with evil and perverse men,
as all the other things in which consist the holy mysteries.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXVIII.--39. Hence, therefore, we have now set before us an
easier and more simple consideration of that ark of which Noah was
the builder and pilot. For Peter says that in the ark of Noah, "few,
that is, eight souls, were saved by water. The like figure whereunto
even baptism doth also now save us, (not the putting away of the filth
of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience towards God)."[389]
Wherefore, if those appear to men to be baptized in Catholic unity
who renounce the world in words only and not in deeds, how do they
belong to the mystery of this ark in whom there is not the answer of
a good conscience? Or how are they saved by water, who, making a bad
use of holy baptism, though they seem to be within, yet persevere to
the end of their days in a wicked and abandoned course of life? Or how
can they fail to be saved by water, of whom Cyprian himself records
that they were in time past simply admitted to the Church with the
baptism which they had received in heresy? For the same unity of the
ark saved them, in which no one has been saved except by water. For
Cyprian himself says, "The Lord is able of His mercy to grant pardon,
and not to sever from the gifts of His Church those who, being in
all simplicity admitted to the Church, have fallen asleep within her
pale."[390] If not by water, how in the ark? If not in the ark, how in
the Church? But if in the Church, certainly in the ark; and if in the
ark, certainly by water. It is therefore possible that some who have
been baptized without may be considered, through the foreknowledge of
God, to have been really baptized within, because within the water
begins to be profitable to them unto salvation; nor can they be said to
have been otherwise saved in the ark except by water. And again, some
who seemed to have been baptized within may be considered, through the
same foreknowledge of God, more truly to have been baptized without,
since, by making a bad use of baptism, they die by water, which then
happened to no one who was not outside the ark. Certainly it is clear
that, when we speak of within and without in relation to the Church,
it is the position of the heart that we must consider, not that of the
body, since all who are within in heart are saved in the unity of the
ark through the same water, through which all who are in heart without,
whether they are also in body without or not, die as enemies of unity.
As therefore it was not another but the same water that saved those
who were placed within the ark, and destroyed those who were left
without the ark, so it is not by different baptisms, but by the same,
that good Catholics are saved, and bad Catholics or heretics perish.
But what the most blessed Cyprian thinks of the Catholic Church, and
how the heretics are utterly crushed by his authority, notwithstanding
the much I have already said, I have yet determined to set forth by
itself, if God will, with somewhat greater fulness and perspicuity, so
soon as I shall have first said about his Council what I think is due
from me, which, in God's will, I shall attempt in the following book.

FOOTNOTES:

[305] Cypr. _Ep._ lxxiii. _ad Jubaian._ sec. 20.

[306] See below, Book VII. c. ii.

[307] Phil. iii. 15.

[308] Cypr. _Ep._ lxxiii. sec. 21.

[309] 1 Tim. i. 8.

[310] John xiii. 27.

[311] 1 Cor. xi. 29.

[312] 1 Tim. i. 5.

[313] Cypr. _Ep._ lxxiii. sec. 21; Acts xix. 3-5.

[314] John iii. 27.

[315] John i. 16.

[316] John xiii. 4, 5.

[317] Matt. iii. 13.

[318] Matt. xi. 11.

[319] John i. 27.

[320] Rom. x. 4.

[321] Cypr. _Serm. de Lapsis_, c. iv.

[322] Eph. ii. 6.

[323] Rom. viii. 24.

[324] Matt. iii. 11.

[325] John i. 29.

[326] Acts xix. 3-5.

[327] Matt. iii. 16; John i. 33.

[328] Cypr. _Ep._ lxxiii. sec. 22.

[329] John i. 33.

[330] John xv. 15.

[331] Num. xvii. 8.

[332] 1 Cor. i. 12-15.

[333] Matt. iii. 14.

[334] John i. 32, 33.

[335] 1 Cor. ix. 15.

[336] Rom. xi. 13.

[337] Eph. iii. 4.

[338] 2 Tim. ii. 8.

[339] Gal. v. 19-21.

[340] Cypr. _Ep._ lxxiii. sec. 22.

[341] Eph. v. 27. Cp. Aug. _Retract._ ii. 18, quoted above, I. xvii. 26.

[342] Gen. xxv. 29-34.

[343] 1 Cor. xi. 16.

[344] Cypr. _Ep._ lxxiii. sec. 22.

[345] Ps. xxvi. 8.

[346] 1 Cor. i. 27.

[347] John xv. 2.

[348] In this and the following chapter Augustine is examining the
seventieth epistle of Cyprian to his brother Quintus, bishop in
Mauritania.

[349] Apud veteres hæreses et schismata prima adhuc fuisse initia.
Migne suggests, "hæresis et schismatum"--"there was as yet only the
first beginning of heresy and schisms."

[350] 1 John ii. 9.

[351] 1 John iii. 15.

[352] Cypr. lxxiii. sec. 12.

[353] In this and the next two chapters Augustine is examining the
seventieth epistle of Cyprian, from himself and thirty-one other
bishops, to Januarius, Saturninus, Maximus, and fifteen others.

[354] In the question, "Dost thou believe in eternal life and remission
of sins through the holy Church?" Cypr. _l.c._

[355] John ix. 31.

[356] Acts ix. 4.

[357] Matt. xxv. 45.

[358] 1 John ii. 19.

[359] John xx. 23.

[360] Matt. vi. 15.

[361] Cypr. _Ep._ lxxi., which is examined by Augustine in the
remaining chapters of this book.

[362] Tit. iii. 11.

[363] Rom. ii. 1.

[364] Rom. ii. 21.

[365] 1 Cor. vi. 10.

[366] Wisd. i. 5.

[367] Cyprian, in the laying on of hands, appears to refer to
confirmation, but Augustine interprets it of the restoration of
penitents. Cp. III. xvi. 21.

[368] Gal. iii. 27.

[369] 2 Cor. vi. 16.

[370] 1 Sam. xix. 23.

[371] Mark ix. 38.

[372] Eph. v. 27. Cp. Aug. _Retract._ ii. 18, quoted above, I. xvii. 26.

[373] "Docibilis;" and so the passage (2 Tim. ii. 24) is quoted
frequently by Augustine. The English version, "apt to teach," is more
true to the original, [Greek: didaktikos]

[374] See Eph. iv. 4-6.

[375] 1 Cor. xv. 32.

[376] 1 Cor. i. 13.

[377] 1 Cor. xv. 12.

[378] Cant. iv. 12, 13.

[379] Eph. v. 27.

[380] Cant. ii. 2.

[381] Rom. ii. 29.

[382] Ps. xlv. 14.

[383] Ps. xl. 5.

[384] Rom. viii. 28.

[385] 2 Tim. ii. 19.

[386] See Gal. vi. 1.

[387] Ps. cxix. 28.

[388] See Phil. iii. 15.

[389] Pet. iii. 20, 21.

[390] Cypr. _Ep._ lxxiii. sec. 20.



BOOK SIXTH.

 IN WHICH IS CONSIDERED THE COUNCIL OF CARTHAGE, HELD UNDER THE
 AUTHORITY AND PRESIDENCY OF CYPRIAN, TO DETERMINE THE QUESTION OF THE
 BAPTISM OF HERETICS.


CHAP. I.--1. It might perhaps have been sufficient, that after the
reasons have been so often repeated, and considered, and discussed
with such variety of treatment, supplemented, too, with the addition
of proofs from holy Scripture, and the concurrent testimony of so many
passages from Cyprian himself, even those who are slow of heart should
thus understand, as I believe they do, that the baptism of Christ
cannot be rendered void by any perversity on the part of man, whether
in administering or receiving it. And when we find that in those times,
when the point in question was decided in a manner contrary to ancient
custom, after discussions carried on without violation of Christian
charity and unity, it appeared to certain eminent men even amongst
the servants of Christ, among whom the blessed Cyprian was specially
conspicuous, that the baptism of Christ could not exist among heretics
or schismatics, this simply arose from their not distinguishing the
sacrament from the effect or use of the sacrament; and because its
effect and use was not found among heretics in freeing them from
their sins and setting their hearts right, the sacrament itself was
also thought to be wanting among them. But if we turn our eyes to the
multitude of chaff within the Church, since these also who are perverse
and lead an abandoned life in unity itself appear to have no power
either of giving or retaining remission of sins, seeing that it is not
to the wicked but the good sons that it was said, "Whose soever sins ye
remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain,
they are retained,"[391] yet that such persons both have, and give,
and receive the sacrament of baptism, was sufficiently manifest to the
pastors of the Catholic Church dispersed over the whole world, through
whom the original custom was afterwards confirmed by the authority of
a general Council; so that even the sheep which was straying outside,
and had received the mark of the Lord from false plunderers outside, if
it seek the salvation of Christian unity, is purified from error, is
freed from captivity, is healed of its wound, and yet the mark of the
Lord is recognised rather than rejected in it; since the mark itself
is often impressed both by wolves and on wolves, who seem indeed to be
within the fold, but yet are proved by the fruits of their conduct,
in which they persevere even to the end, not to belong to that sheep
which is one in many; because, according to the foreknowledge of God,
as many sheep wander outside, so many wolves lurk treacherously within,
among whom the Lord yet knoweth them that are His, which hear only the
voice of the Shepherd, even when He calls by the voice of men like the
Pharisees, of whom it was said, "Whatsoever they bid you observe, that
observe and do."[392]

2. For as the spiritual man, keeping "the end of the commandment,"
that is, "charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and
of faith unfeigned,"[393] can see some things less clearly out of a
body which is yet "corruptible and presseth down the soul,"[394] and is
liable to be otherwise minded in some things which God will reveal[395]
to him in His own good time if he abide in the same charity, so in a
carnal and perverse man something good and useful may be found, which
has its origin not in the man himself, but in some other source. For as
in the fruitful branch there is found something which must be purged
that it may bring forth more fruit, so also a grape is often found to
hang on a cane that is barren and dry or fettered. And so, as it is
foolish to love the portions which require purging in the fruitful
branch, whilst he acts wisely who does not reject the sweet fruit
wherever it may hang, so, if any one cuts himself off from unity by
rebaptizing, simply because it seemed to Cyprian that one ought to
baptize again those who came from the heretics, such a man turns aside
from what merits praise in that great man, and follows what requires
correction, and does not even attain to the very thing he follows
after. For Cyprian, while grievously abhorring, in his zeal for God,
all those who severed themselves from unity, thought that thereby they
were separated from baptism itself; while these men, thinking it at
most a slight offence that they themselves are severed from the unity
of Christ, even maintain that His baptism is not in that unity, but
issued forth with them. Therefore they are so far from the fruitfulness
of Cyprian, as not even to be equal to the parts in him which needed
purging.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. II.--3. Again, if any one not having charity, and walking in
the abandoned paths of a most wicked life, seems to be within whilst
he really is without, and at the same time does not seek for the
repetition of baptism even in the case of heretics, it in no wise helps
his barrenness, because he is not rendered fruitful with his own fruit,
but laden with that of others. But it is possible that some one may
flourish in the root of charity, and may be most rightly minded in the
point in which Cyprian was otherwise minded, and yet there may be more
that is fruitful in Cyprian than in him, more that requires purging
in him than in Cyprian. Not only, therefore, do we not compare bad
Catholics with the blessed Cyprian, but even good Catholics we do not
hastily pronounce to be on an equality with him whom our pious mother
Church counts among the few rare men of surpassing excellence and
grace, although these others may recognise the baptism of Christ even
among heretics, whilst he thought otherwise; so that, by the instance
of Cyprian, who saw one point less clearly, and yet remained most firm
in the unity of the Church, it might be shown more clearly to heretics
what a sacrilegious crime it was to break the bond of peace. For
neither were the blind Pharisees, although they sometimes enjoined what
was right to be done, to be compared to the Apostle Peter, though he at
times enjoined what was not right. But not only is their dryness not to
be compared to his greenness, but even the fruit of others may not be
deemed equal to his fertility. For no one now compels the Gentiles to
Judaize, and yet no one now in the Church, however great his progress
in goodness, may be compared with the apostleship of Peter. Wherefore,
while rendering due reverence, and paying, so far as I can, the fitting
honour to the peaceful bishop and glorious martyr Cyprian, I yet
venture to say that his view concerning the baptism of schismatics and
heretics was contrary to that which was afterwards brought to light
by a decision, not of mine, but of the whole Church, confirmed and
strengthened by the authority of a general Council: just as, while
paying the reverence he deserves to Peter, the first of the apostles
and most eminent of martyrs, I yet venture to say that he did not do
right in compelling the Gentiles to Judaize; for this also I say, not
of my own teaching, but according to the wholesome doctrine of the
Apostle Paul, retained and preserved throughout the whole Church.[396]

4. Therefore, in discussing the opinion of Cyprian, though myself of
far inferior merit to Cyprian, I say that good and bad alike can have,
can give, can receive the sacrament of baptism,--the good, indeed, to
their health and profit; the bad to their destruction and ruin,--whilst
the sacrament itself is of equal perfectness in both of them; and that
it is of no consequence to its equal perfectness in all, how much
worse the man may be that has it among the bad, just as it makes no
difference how much better he may be that has it among the good. And
accordingly it makes no difference either how much worse he may be that
confers it, as it makes no difference how much better he may be; and so
it makes no difference how much worse he may be that receives it, as
it makes no difference how much better he may be. For the sacrament is
equally holy, in virtue of its own excellence, both in those who are
unequally just, and in those who are unequally unjust.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. III.--5. But I think that we have sufficiently shown, both from
the canon of Scripture, and from the letters of Cyprian himself, that
bad men, while by no means converted to a better mind, can have, and
confer, and receive baptism, of whom it is most clear that they do
not belong to the holy Church of God, though they seem to be within
it, inasmuch as they are covetous, robbers, usurers, envious, evil
thinkers, and the like; whilst she is one dove,[397] modest and chaste,
a bride without spot or wrinkle,[398] a garden enclosed, a fountain
sealed, an orchard of pomegranates with pleasant fruits,[399] with all
similar properties which are attributed to her; and all this can only
be understood to be in the good, and holy, and just,--following, that
is, not only the operations of the gifts of God, which are common to
good and bad alike, but also the inner bond of charity conspicuous in
those who have the Holy Spirit, to whom the Lord says, "Whose soever
sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye
retain, they are retained."[400]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. IV.--6. And so it is clear that no good ground is shown herein
why the bad man, who has baptism, may not also confer it; and as he
has it to destruction, so he may also confer it to destruction,--not
because this is the character of the thing conferred, nor of the person
conferring, but because it is the character of him on whom it is
conferred. For when a bad man confers it on a good man, that is, on one
in the bond of unity, converted with a true conversion, the wickedness
of him who confers it makes no severance between the good sacrament
which is conferred, and the good member of the Church on whom it is
conferred. And when his sins are forgiven him on his true conversion
to God, they are forgiven by those to whom he is united by his true
conversion. For the same Spirit forgives them, which is given to all
the saints that cling to one another in love, whether they know one
another in the body or not. Similarly when a man's sins are retained,
they are assuredly retained by those from whom he, in whom they are
retained, separates himself by dissimilarity of life, and by the
turning away of a corrupt heart, whether they know him in the body or
not.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. V.--7. Wherefore all bad men are separated in the spirit from
the good; but if they are separated in the body also by a manifest
dissension, they are made yet worse. But, as it has been said, it
makes no difference to the holiness of baptism how much worse the man
may be that has it, or how much worse he that confers it: yet he that
is separated may confer it, as he that is separated may have it; but
as he has it to destruction, so he may confer it to destruction. But
he on whom he confers it may receive it to his soul's health, if he,
on his part, receive it not in separation; as it has happened to many
that, in a catholic spirit, and with heart not alienated from the
unity of peace, they have, under some pressure of impending death,
turned hastily to some heretic and received from him the baptism of
Christ without any share in his perversity, so that, whether dying
or restored to life, they by no means remain in communion with those
to whom they never passed in heart. But if the recipient himself has
received the baptism in separation, he receives it so much the more
to his destruction, in proportion to the greatness of the good which
he has not received well; and it tends the more to his destruction in
his separation, as it would avail the more to the salvation of one in
unity. And so, if, reforming himself from his perverseness and turning
from his separation, he should come to the Catholic peace, his sins are
remitted through the bond of peace and the same baptism under which his
sins were retained through the sacrilege of separation, because that is
always holy both in the just and the unjust, which is neither increased
by the righteousness nor diminished by the unrighteousness of any man.

8. This being the case, what bearing has it on so clear a truth, that
many of his fellow-bishops agreed with Cyprian in that opinion, and
advanced their own several opinions on the same side, except that
his charity towards the unity of Christ might become more and more
conspicuous? For if he had been the only one to hold that opinion, with
no one to agree with him, he might have been thought, in remaining, to
have shrunk from the sin of schism, because he found no companions in
his error; but when so many agreed with him, he showed, by remaining
in unity with the rest who thought differently from him, that he
preserved the most sacred bond of universal catholicity, not from any
fear of isolation, but from the love of peace. Wherefore it might
indeed seem now to be superfluous to consider the several opinions of
the other bishops also in that Council; but since those who are slow
in heart think that no answer has been made at all, if to any passage
in any discourse the answer which might be brought to bear on the spot
be given not there but somewhere else, it is better that by reading
much they should be polished into sharpness, than that by understanding
little they should have room left for complaining that the argument has
not been fairly conducted.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. VI.--9. First, then, let us record for further consideration
the case proposed for decision by Cyprian himself, with which he
initiates the proceedings of the Council, and by which he shows a
peaceful spirit, abounding in the fruitfulness of Christian charity.
"Ye have heard," he says, "most beloved colleagues, what Jubaianus,
our fellow-bishop, has written to me, consulting my poor ability about
the unlawful and profane baptism of heretics, and what I have written
back to him, expressing to him the same opinion that I have expressed
once and again and often, that heretics coming to the Church ought to
be baptized, and sanctified with the baptism of the Church. Another
letter also of Jubaianus has been read to you, in which, agreeably to
his sincere and religious devotion, in answer to our epistle, he not
only expressed his assent to it, but also gratefully acknowledged that
he had received instruction. It remains that we should individually
express our opinions on this same subject, judging no one, and removing
no one from the right of communion if he should entertain a different
opinion. For neither does any one of us set himself up as a bishop of
bishops, or by tyrannical terror force his colleagues to the necessity
of obeying, since every bishop, in the free use of his liberty and
power, has the right of free judgment, and can no more be judged by
another than he can himself judge another. But we are all awaiting the
judgment of our Lord Jesus Christ, who alone has the power both of
preferring us in the government of His Church, and of judging of our
actions."[401]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. VII.--10. I have already, I think, argued to the best of my
power, in the preceding books, in the interests of Catholic unanimity
and counsel, in whose unity these continued as pious members, in reply
not only to the letter which Cyprian wrote to Jubaianus, but also to
that which he sent to Quintus, and that which, in conjunction with
certain of his colleagues, he sent to certain other colleagues, and
that which he sent to Pompeius. Wherefore it seems now to be fitting
to consider also what the others severally thought, and that with the
liberty of which he himself would not deprive us, as he says, "Judging
no one, nor removing any from the right of communion if he entertain
different opinions." And that he did not say this with the object of
arriving at the hidden thoughts of his colleagues, extracted as it were
from their secret lurking-places, but because he really loved peace
and unity, is very easily to be seen from other passages of the same
sort, where he wrote to individuals as to Jubaianus himself. "These
things," he says, "we have written very shortly in answer to you,
most beloved brother, according to our poor ability, not preventing
any one of the bishops, by our writing or judgment, from acting as he
thinks right, having a free exercise of his own judgment." And that
it might not seem that any one, because of his entertaining different
opinions in this same free exercise of his judgment, should be driven
from the society of his brethren, he goes on to say, "We, so far as
lies in us, do not strive on behalf of heretics against our colleagues
and fellow-bishops, with whom we maintain godly unity and the peace
of our Lord;" and a little later he says, "Charity of spirit, respect
for our college, the bond of faith, the harmony of the priesthood, are
by us maintained with patience and gentleness."[402] And so also in
the epistle which he wrote to Magnus, when he was asked whether there
was any difference in the efficacy of baptism by sprinkling or by
immersion, "In this matter," he says, "I am too modest and diffident
to prevent any one by my judgment from thinking as he deems right,
and acting as he thinks."[403] By which discourses he clearly shows
that these subjects were being handled by them at a time when they
were not yet received as decided beyond all question, but were being
investigated with great care as being yet unrevealed. We, therefore,
maintaining on the subject of the identity of all baptisms what must be
acknowledged everywhere to be the custom[404] of the universal Church,
and what is confirmed by the decision of general Councils, and taking
greater confidence also from the words of Cyprian, which allowed me
even then to hold opinions differing from his own without forfeiting
the right of communion, seeing that greater importance and praise were
attached to unity, such as the blessed Cyprian and his colleagues, with
whom he held that Council, maintained with those of different opinions,
disturbing and overthrowing thereby the seditious calumnies of heretics
and schismatics in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, who, speaking by
His apostle, says, "Forbearing one another in love, endeavouring to
keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace;"[405] and again, by
the mouth of the same apostle, "If in anything ye be otherwise minded,
God shall reveal even this unto you,"[406]--we, I say, propose for
consideration and discussion the opinions of the holy bishops, without
violating the bond of unity and peace with them, in maintaining which
we imitate them so far as we can by the aid of the Lord Himself.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. VIII.--11. Cæcilius of Bilta[407] said: "I know of one baptism
in the one Church, and of none outside the Church. The one will be
where there is true hope and sure faith. For so it is written, 'One
faith, one hope, one baptism.'[408] Not among heretics, where there is
no hope and a false faith; where all things are done by a lie; where
one possessed of a devil exorcises; the question of the sacrament
is asked by one from whose mouth and words proceeds a cancer; the
faithless gives faith; the guilty gives pardon for sins; and Antichrist
baptizes in the name of Christ; one accursed of God blesses; the dead
promises life; the unpeaceful gives peace; the blasphemer calls on God;
the profane administers the priesthood; the sacrilegious sets up the
altar. To all this is added this further evil, that the servant of the
devil dares to celebrate the eucharist. If this be not so, let those
who stand by them prove that all of it is false concerning heretics.
See the kind of things to which the Church is compelled to assent,
being forced to communicate without baptism or the remission of sins.
This, brethren, we ought to shun and avoid, separating ourselves from
so great a sin, and holding to the one baptism which is granted to the
Church alone."[409]

12. To this I answer, that all who even within the Church profess
that they know God, but deny Him in their deeds, such as are the
covetous and envious, and those who, because they hate their brethren,
are pronounced to be murderers, not on my testimony, but on that
of the holy Apostle John,[410]--all these are both devoid of hope,
because they have a bad conscience; and are faithless, because they
do not do what they have vowed to God; and liars, because they make
false professions; and possessed of devils, because they give place
in their heart to the devil and his angels; and their words work
corruption, since they corrupt good manners by evil communications;
and they are infidels, because they laugh at the threats which God
utters against such men; and accursed, because they live wickedly; and
antichrists, because their lives are opposed to Christ; and cursed
of God, since holy Scripture everywhere calls down curses on such
men; and dead, because they are without the life of righteousness;
and unpeaceful, because by their contrary deeds they are at variance
with God's behests; and blasphemous, because by their abandoned
acts despite is done to the name of Christian; and profane, because
they are spiritually shut out from that inner sanctuary of God; and
sacrilegious, because by their evil life they defile the temple of
God within themselves; and servants of the devil, because they do
service to fraud and covetousness, which is idolatry. That of such
a kind are some, nay very many, even within the Church, is testified
both by Paul the apostle and by Cyprian the bishop. Why, then, do they
baptize? Why also are some, who renounce the world in words and not in
deeds, baptized without being converted from a life like this, and not
rebaptized when they are converted? And as to what he says with such
indignation, "See the kind of things to which the Church is compelled
to assent, being forced to communicate without baptism or the remission
of sins," he could never have used such expressions had there not been
the other bishops who elsewhere forced men to such things. Whence also
it is shown that at that time those men held the truer views who did
not depart from the primitive custom, which is since confirmed by the
consent of a general Council. But what does he mean by adding, "This,
brethren, we ought to shun and avoid, separating ourselves from so
great a sin?" For if he means that he is not to do nor to approve of
this, that is another matter; but if he means to condemn and sever from
him those that hold the contrary opinion, he is setting himself against
the earlier words of Cyprian, "Judging no man, nor depriving any of the
right of communion if he differ from us."

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. IX.--13. The elder Felix[411] of Migirpa said: "I think that
every one coming from heresy should be baptized. For in vain does any
one suppose that he has been baptized there, seeing that there is no
baptism save the one true baptism in the Church; for there is one Lord,
and one faith, and one Church, in which rests the one baptism, and
holiness, and the rest. For the things that are practised without have
no power to work salvation."

14. To what Felix of Migirpa said we answer as follows. If the one true
baptism did not exist except in the Church, it surely would not exist
in those who depart from unity. But it does exist in them, since they
do not receive it when they return, simply because they had not lost it
when they departed. But as regards his statement, that "the things that
are practised without have no power to work salvation," I agree with
him, and think that it is quite true; for it is one thing that baptism
should not be there, and another that it should have no power to work
salvation. For when men come to the peace of the Catholic Church, then
what was in them before they joined it, but did not profit them, begins
at once to profit them.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. X.--15. To the declaration of Polycarp of Adrumetum,[412] that
"those who declare the baptism of heretics to be valid, make ours of
none effect," we answer, if that is the baptism of heretics which
is given by heretics, then that is the baptism of the covetous and
murderers which is given by them within the Church. But if this be not
their baptism, neither is the other the baptism of heretics; and so it
is Christ's, by whomsoever it be given.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XI.--16. Novatus of Thamugadis[413] said: "Though we know that
all Scripture gives its testimony respecting saving baptism, yet we
ought to express our belief that heretics and schismatics, coming to
the Church with the semblance of having been baptized, ought to be
baptized in the unfailing fountain; and that therefore, according to
the testimony of the Scriptures, and according to the decree of those
most holy men, our colleagues,[414] all schismatics and heretics who
are converted to the Church ought to be baptized; and that, moreover,
all that seemed to have received ordination should be admitted as
simple laymen."

17. Novatus of Thamugadis has stated what he has done; but he has
brought forward no proofs by which to show that he ought to have acted
as he did. For he has made mention of the testimony of the Scriptures,
and the decree of his colleagues, but he has not adduced out of them
anything which we could consider.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XII.--18. Nemesianus of Tubunæ[415] said: "That the baptism
which is given by heretics and schismatics is not true is everywhere
declared in the holy Scriptures, inasmuch as their very prelates are
false Christs and false prophets, as the Lord declares by the mouth of
Solomon, 'Whoso trusteth in lies, the same feedeth the winds; he also
followeth flying birds. For he deserteth the ways of his own vineyard,
and hath strayed from the paths of his own field. For he walketh
through pathless and dry places, and a land destined to thirst; and
he gathereth fruitless weeds in his hands.'[416] And again, 'Abstain
from strange water, and drink not of a strange fountain, that thou
mayest live long, and that years may be added to thy life.'[417] And
in the gospel our Lord Jesus Christ spake with His own voice, saying,
'Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter
into the kingdom of God.'[418] This is the Spirit which from the
beginning 'moved upon the face of the waters.'[419] For neither can
the Spirit act without the water, nor the water without the Spirit.
Ill, therefore, for themselves do some interpret, saying that by
imposition of hands they receive the Holy Ghost, and are received into
the Church, when it is manifest that they ought to be born again by
both sacraments[420] in the Catholic Church. For then indeed will they
be able to become the sons of God, as the apostle says, 'Endeavouring
to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one
body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your
calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God.'[421] All this the
Catholic Church asserts. And again he says in the gospel, 'That which
is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit
is spirit; for the Spirit is God, and is born of God.'[422] Therefore
all things whatsoever all heretics and schismatics do are carnal, as
the apostle says, 'Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are
these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry,
witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions,
heresies, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have
also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not
inherit the kingdom of God.'[423] The apostle condemns, equally with
all the wicked, those also who cause divisions, that is, schismatics
and heretics. Unless therefore they receive that saving baptism which
is one, and found only in the Catholic Church, they cannot be saved,
but will be condemned with the carnal in the judgment of the Lord."

19. Nemesianus of Tubunæ has advanced many passages of Scripture to
prove his point; but he has in fact said much on behalf of the view
of the Catholic Church, which we have undertaken to set forth and
maintain. Unless, indeed, we must suppose that he does not "trust in
what is false" who trusts in the hope of things temporal, as do all
covetous men and robbers, and those who renounce the world in words
but not in deeds, of whom Cyprian yet bears witness that such men not
only baptize, but even are baptized within the Church.[424] For they
themselves also "follow flying birds,"[425] since they do not attain to
what they desire. But not only the heretic, but every one who leads an
evil life, "deserteth the ways of his own vineyard, and hath strayed
from the paths of his own field. And he walketh through pathless and
dry places, and a land destined to thirst; and he gathereth fruitless
weeds in his hands;" because all justice is fruitful, and all iniquity
is barren. Those, again, who "drink strange water out of a strange
fountain," are found not only among heretics, but among all who do not
live according to the teaching of God, and do live according to the
teaching of the devil. For if he were speaking of baptism, he would not
say, "Do not drink of a strange fountain," but, do not wash thyself
in a strange fountain. Again, I do not see at all what aid he gets
towards proving his point from the words of our Lord, "Except a man be
born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of
God."[426] For it is one thing to say that every one who shall enter
into the kingdom of heaven is first born again of water and the Spirit,
because except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he shall not
enter into the kingdom of heaven, which is the Lord's saying, and is
true; another thing to say that every one who is born of water and
the Spirit shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, which is assuredly
false. For Simon Magus also was born of water and of the Spirit,[427]
and yet he did not enter into the kingdom of heaven; and this may
possibly be the case with heretics as well. Or if only those are born
of the Spirit who are changed with a true conversion, all who renounce
the world in word and not in deed are assuredly not born of the Spirit,
but of water only, and yet they are within the Church, according
to the testimony of Cyprian. For we must perforce grant one of two
things,--either those who renounce the world deceitfully are born of
the Spirit, though it is to their destruction, not to salvation, and
therefore heretics may be so born; or if what is written, that "the
Holy Spirit of discipline will flee deceit,"[428] extends to proving
as much as this, that those who renounce the world deceitfully are not
born of the Spirit, then a man may be baptized with water, and not
born of the Spirit, and Nemesianus says in vain that neither the Spirit
can work without the water, nor the water without the Spirit. Indeed it
has been already often shown how it is possible that men should have
one baptism in common who have not one Church, as it is possible that
in the body of the Church herself those who are sanctified by their
righteousness, and those who are polluted through their covetousness,
may not have the same one Spirit, and yet have the same one baptism.
For it is said "one body," that is, the Church, just as it is said "one
Spirit" and "one baptism." The other arguments which he has adduced
rather favour our position. For he has brought forward a proof from the
gospel, in the words, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and
that which is born of the Spirit is spirit; for the Spirit is God, and
born of God;"[429] and he has advanced the argument that therefore all
things that are done by any heretic or schismatic are carnal, as the
apostle says, "The works of the flesh are manifest, which are these;
fornication, uncleanness;" and so he goes through the list which the
apostle there enumerates, amongst which he has reckoned heresies, since
"they who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God."[430]
Then he goes on to add, that "therefore the apostle condemns with all
wicked men those also who cause division, that is, schismatics and
heretics." And in this he does well, that when he enumerates the works
of the flesh, among which are also heresies, he found and declared
that the apostle condemns them all alike. Let him therefore question
the holy Cyprian himself, and learn from him how many even within the
Church live according to the evil works of the flesh, which the apostle
condemns in common with the heresies, and yet these both baptize and
are baptized. Why then are heretics alone said to be incapable of
possessing baptism, which is possessed by the very partners in their
condemnation?

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XIII.--20. Januarius of Lambæse[431] said: "Following the
authority of the holy Scriptures, I pronounce that all heretics should
be baptized, and so admitted into the holy Church."[432]

21. To him we answer, that, following the authority of the holy
Scriptures, a universal Council of the whole world decreed that the
baptism of Christ was not to be disavowed, even when found among
heretics. But if he had brought forward any proof from the Scriptures,
we should have shown either that they were not against us, or even that
they were for us, as we proceed to do with him who follows.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XIV.--21. Lucius of Castrum Galbæ[433] said: "Since the Lord hath
said in His gospel, 'Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have
lost his savour, that which is salted from it shall be thenceforth
good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of
men;'[434] and seeing that again, after His resurrection, when sending
forth His apostles, He commanded them, saying, 'All power is given unto
me in heaven and in earth: go ye therefore, and teach all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the
Holy Ghost,'[435]--since then it is plain that heretics, that is, the
enemies of Christ, have not the full confession of the sacrament,
also that schismatics cannot reason with spiritual wisdom, since they
themselves, by withdrawing when they have lost their savour from the
Church, which is one, have become contrary to it,[436] let that be done
which is written, 'The houses of those that are opposed to the law must
needs be cleansed;'[437] and it therefore follows that those who have
been polluted by being baptized by men opposed to Christ should first
be cleansed, and only then baptized."

23. Lucius of Castrum Galbæ has brought forward a proof from the
gospel, in the words of the Lord, "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if
the salt have lost his savour, that which is salted from it shall be
good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of
men;" just as though we maintained that men when cast out were of any
profit for the salvation either of themselves or of any one else. But
those also who, though seeming to be within, are yet of such a kind,
not only are without spiritually, but will in the end be separated in
the body also. For all such are profitable for nothing. But it does
not therefore follow that the sacrament of baptism which is in them
is nothing. For even in the very men who are cast out, if they return
to their senses and come back, the salvation which had departed from
them returns; but the baptism does not return, because it never had
departed. And in what the Lord says, "Go therefore, and teach all
nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and
of the Holy Ghost," He did not permit any to baptize except the good,
inasmuch as He did not say to the bad, "Whose soever sins ye remit,
they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are
retained."[438] How then do the wicked baptize within, who cannot remit
sins? How also is it that they baptize the wicked whose hearts are not
changed, whose sins are yet upon them, as John says, "He that hateth
his brother is in darkness even until now?"[439] But if the sins of
these men are remitted when they join themselves in the close bonds
of love to the good and just, through whom sins are remitted in the
Church, though they have been baptized by the wicked, so the sins of
those also are remitted who come from without and join themselves by
the inner bond of peace to the same framework of the body of Christ.
Yet the baptism of Christ should be acknowledged in both, and held
invalid in none, whether before they are converted, though then it
profit them nothing, or after they are converted, that so it may profit
them, as he says, "Since they themselves, by withdrawing when they have
lost their savour from the Church, which is one, have become contrary
to it, let that be done which is written, 'The houses of those that are
opposed to the law must needs be cleansed.' And it therefore follows,"
he goes on to say, "that those who have been polluted by being
baptized by men opposed to Christ should first be cleansed, and only
then baptized." What then? Are thieves and murderers not contrary to
the law, which says, "Thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal?"[440]
"They must therefore needs be cleansed." Who deny it? And yet not only
those who are baptized by such within the Church, but also those who,
being such themselves, are baptized without being changed in heart,
are nevertheless exempt from further baptism when they are so changed.
So great is the force of the sacrament of mere baptism, that though we
allow that a man who has been baptized and continues to lead an evil
life requires to be cleansed, we yet forbid him to be any more baptized.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XV.--24. Crescens of Cirta[441] said: "The letters of our
most beloved Cyprian to Jubaianus, and also to Stephen,[442] having
been read in so large an assembly of our most holy brethren in the
priesthood, containing as they do so large a body of sacred testimony
derived from the Scriptures that give us our God,[443] that we have
every reason to assent to them, being all united by the grace of God,
I give my judgment that all heretics or schismatics who wish to come
to the Catholic Church should not enter therein unless they have been
first exorcised and baptized; with the obvious exception of those who
have been originally baptized in the Catholic Church, these being
reconciled and admitted to the penance of the Church by the imposition
of hands."

25. Here we are warned once more to inquire why he says, "Except,
of course, those who have been originally baptized in the Catholic
Church." Is it because they had not lost what they had before received?
Why then could they not also transmit outside the Church what they
were able to possess outside? Is it that outside it is unlawfully
transmitted? But neither is it lawfully possessed outside, and yet it
is possessed; so it is unlawfully given outside, but yet it is given.
But what is given to the person returning from heresy who had been
baptized inside, is given to the person coming to the Church who had
been baptized outside,--that is, that he may have lawfully inside what
before he had unlawfully outside. But perhaps some one may ask what was
said on this point in the letter of the blessed Cyprian to Stephen,
which is mentioned in this judgment, though not in the opening address
to the Council,--I suppose because it was not considered necessary. For
Crescens stated that the letter itself had been read in the assembly,
which I have no doubt was done, if I am not mistaken, as is customary,
in order that the bishops, being already assembled, might receive some
information at the same time on the subject contained in that letter.
For it certainly has no bearing on the present subject; and I am more
surprised at Crescens having thought fit to mention it at all, than
at its having been passed over in the opening address. But if any
one thinks that I have shrunk from bringing forward something which
has been urged in it that is essential to the present point, let him
read it and see that what I say is true; or if he finds it otherwise,
let him convict me of falsehood. For that letter contains nothing
whatsoever about baptism administered among heretics or schismatics,
which is the subject of our present argument.[444]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XVI.--26. Nicomedes of Segermæ[445] said: "My judgment is that
heretics coming to the Church should be baptized, because they can
obtain no remission of sins among sinners outside."

27. The answer to which is: The judgment of the whole Catholic Church
is that heretics, being already baptized with the baptism of Christ,
although in heresy, should not be rebaptized on coming to the Church.
For if there is no remission of sins among sinners, neither can sinners
within the Church remit sins; and yet those who have been baptized by
them are not rebaptized.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XVII.--28. Monnulus of Girba[446] said: "The truth of our mother,
the Catholic Church, hath continued, and still continues among us,
brethren, especially in the threefold nature[447] of baptism, as our
Lord says, 'Go, baptize all nations in the name of the Father, and of
the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.'[448] Since, therefore," he goes on
to say, "we know clearly that heretics have neither Father, Son, nor
Holy Ghost, they ought, on coming to our mother, the Church, to be
truly regenerate and baptized, that the cancer which they had, and the
wrath of condemnation, and the destructive energy of error,[449] may be
sanctified by the holy and heavenly laver."

29. To this we answer, That all who are baptized with the baptism that
is consecrated in the words of the gospel have the Father, and the Son,
and the Holy Ghost in the sacrament alone; but that in heart and in
life neither do those have them who live an abandoned and accursed life
within.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XVIII.--30. Secundinus of Cediæ[450] said: "Since our Lord Christ
said, 'He that is not with me is against me,'[451] and the Apostle
John declares those who go out from the Church to be antichrists,[452]
without all doubt the enemies of Christ, and those who are called
antichrists, cannot minister the grace of the baptism which gives
salvation; and therefore my judgment is that those who take refuge in
the Church from the snares of heresy should be baptized by us, who of
His condescension are called the friends of God."

31. The answer to which is, That all are the opponents of Christ,
to whom, on their saying, "Lord, have we not in Thy name done many
wonderful things?" with all the rest that is there recorded, He shall
at the last day answer, "I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work
iniquity,"[453]--all which kind of chaff is destined for the fire, if
it persevere to the last in its wickedness, whether any part of it
fly outside before its winnowing, or whether it seem to be within.
If, therefore, those heretics who come to the Church are to be again
baptized, that they may be baptized by the friends of God, are those
covetous men, those robbers, murderers, the friends of God, or must
those whom they have baptized be baptized afresh?

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XIX.--32. Felix of Bagai[454] said: "As when the blind leads the
blind, both fall into the ditch,[455] so when a heretic baptizes a
heretic, both fall together into death."

33. This is true, but it does not follow that what he adds is true.
"And therefore," he says, "the heretic must be baptized and brought
to life, lest we who are alive should hold communion with the dead."
Were they not dead who said, "Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow
we die?"[456] for they did not believe in the resurrection of the
dead. Those then who were corrupted by their evil communications,
and followed them, were not they likewise falling with them into
the pit? And yet among them there were men to whom the apostle was
writing as being already baptized; nor would they, therefore, if they
were corrected, be baptized afresh. Does not the same apostle say,
"To be carnally-minded is death?"[457] and certainly the covetous,
the deceivers, the robbers, in the midst of whom Cyprian himself was
groaning, were carnally-minded. What then? Did the dead hurt him who
was living in unity? or who would say, that because such men had or
gave the baptism of Christ, that it was therefore violated by their
iniquities?

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XX.--34. Pollianus of Mileum[458] said: "It is right that a
heretic should be baptized in the holy Church."

35. Nothing, indeed, could be expressed more shortly. But I think this
too is short: It is right that the baptism of Christ should not be
depreciated in the Church of Christ.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXI.--36. Theogenes of Hippo Regius[459] said: "According to
the sacrament of the heavenly grace of God which we have received, we
believe in the one only baptism which is in the holy Church."

37. This may be my own judgment also. For it is so balanced, that it
contains nothing contrary to the truth. For we also believe in the
one only baptism which is in the holy Church. Had he said, indeed, We
believe in that which is in the holy Church alone, the same answer
must have been made to him as to the rest. But as it is, since he has
expressed himself in this wise, "We believe in the one only baptism
which is in the holy Church," so that it is asserted that it exists
in the holy Church, but not denied that it may be elsewhere as well,
whatever his meaning may have been, there is no need to argue against
these words. For if I were questioned on the several points, first,
whether there was one baptism, I should answer that there was one. Then
if I were asked, whether this was in the holy Church, I should answer
that it was. In the third place, if it were asked whether I believed in
this baptism, I should answer that I did so believe; and consequently I
should answer that I believed in the one baptism which is in the holy
Church. But if it were asked whether it was found in the holy Church
alone, and not among heretics and schismatics, I should answer that,
in common with the whole Church, I believed the contrary. But since he
did not insert this in his judgment, I should consider that it was mere
wantonness if I added words which I did not find there, for the sake
of arguing against them. For if he were to say, There is one water of
the river Euphrates, which is in Paradise, no one could gainsay the
truth of what he said. But if he were asked whether that water were in
Paradise and nowhere else, and were to say that this was so, he would
be saying what was false. For, besides Paradise, it is also in those
lands into which it flows from that source. But who is rash enough to
say that he would have been likely to assert what is false, when it is
quite possible that he was asserting what is true? Wherefore the words
of this judgment require no contradiction, because they in no wise run
counter to the truth.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXII.--38. Dativus of Badis[460] said: "We, so far as lies within
our power, refuse to communicate with a heretic, unless he has been
baptized in the Church, and received remission of his sins."

39. The answer to this is: If your reason for wishing him to be
baptized is that he has not received remission of sins, supposing you
find a man within the Church who has been baptized, though entertaining
hatred towards his brother, since the Lord cannot lie, who says, "If
ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive
your trespasses,"[461] will you bid such an one, when corrected, to be
baptized afresh? Assuredly not; so neither should you bid the heretic.
It is clear that we must not pass unnoticed why he did not briefly
say, "We do not communicate with a heretic," but added, "so far as
lies within our power." For he saw that a greater number agreed with
this view, from whose communion, however, he and his friends could not
separate themselves, lest unity should be impaired, and so he added,
"so far as lies within our power,"--showing beyond all doubt that he
did not willingly communicate with those whom he held to be without
baptism, but that yet all things were to be endured for the sake of
peace and unity; just as was done also by those who thought that
Dativus and his party were in the wrong, and who held what afterwards
was taught by a fuller declaration of the truth, and urged by ancient
custom, which received the stronger confirmation of a later Council;
yet in turn, with anxious piety, they showed toleration towards each
other, though without violation of Christian charity they entertained
different opinions, endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in
the bond of peace,[462] till God should reveal to one of them, were
he otherwise minded, even this error of his ways.[463] And to this I
would have those give heed, by whom unity is attacked on the authority
of this very Council by which it is declared how much unity should be
loved.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXIII.--40. Successus of Abbir Germaniciana[464] said: "Heretics
may either do everything or nothing. If they can baptize, they can
also give the Holy Spirit; but if they cannot give the Holy Spirit,
because they do not possess the Holy Spirit, then can they not either
spiritually baptize. Therefore we give our judgment that heretics
should be baptized."

41. To this we may answer almost word for word: Murderers may either do
everything or nothing. If they can baptize, they can also give the Holy
Spirit; but if they cannot give the Holy Spirit, because they do not
possess the Holy Spirit, then can they not either spiritually baptize.
Therefore we give our judgment that persons baptized by murderers, or
murderers themselves who have been baptized without being converted,
should, when they have corrected themselves, be baptized. Yet this
is not true. For "whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer;"[465]
and Cyprian knew such men within the Church, who certainly baptized.
Therefore it is to no purpose that words of this sort are used
concerning heretics.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXIV.--42. Fortunatus of Thuccabori[466] said: "Jesus Christ
our Lord and God, the Son of God the Father and Creator, built His
Church upon a rock, not upon heresy, and gave the power of baptizing to
bishops, not to heretics. Wherefore those who are outside the Church,
and stand against Christ, scattering His sheep and flock, cannot
baptize outside."

43. He added the word "outside" in order that he might not be answered
with a like brevity to Successus. For otherwise he might also have
been answered word for word: Jesus Christ our Lord and God, the Son
of God the Father and Creator, built His Church upon a rock, not
upon iniquity, and gave the power of baptizing to bishops, not to
the unrighteous. Wherefore those who do not belong to the rock on
which they build who hear the word of God and do it,[467] but, living
contrary to Christ in hearing the word and not doing it, and hereby
building on the sand, in this way scatter His sheep and flock by the
example of an abandoned character, cannot baptize. Might not this
be said with all the semblance of truth? and yet it is false. For
the unrighteous do baptize, since those robbers are unrighteous whom
Cyprian maintained to be at unity with himself.[468] But for this
reason, says the Donatist, he adds "outside." Why therefore can they
not baptize outside? Is it because they are worse from the very fact
that they are outside? But it makes no difference, in respect of the
validity of baptism, how much worse the minister may be. For there is
not so much difference between bad and worse as between good and bad;
and yet, when the bad baptizes, he gives the selfsame sacrament as the
good. Therefore, also, when the worse baptizes, he gives the selfsame
sacrament as the less bad. Or is it that it is not in respect of man's
merit, but of the sacrament of baptism itself, that it cannot be given
outside? If this were so, neither could it be possessed outside, and it
would be necessary that a man should be baptized again so often as he
left the Church and again returned to it.

44. Further, if we inquire more carefully what is meant by "outside,"
especially as he himself makes mention of the rock on which the Church
is built, are not they in the Church who are on the rock, and they who
are not on the rock, not in the Church either? Now, therefore, let us
see whether they build their house upon a rock who hear the words of
Christ and do them not. The Lord Himself declares the contrary, saying,
"Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken
him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock;" and a little
later, "Every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them
not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon
the sand."[469] If, therefore, the Church is on a rock, those who are
on the sand, because they are outside the rock, are necessarily outside
the Church. Let us recollect, therefore, how many Cyprian mentions as
placed within who build upon the sand, that is, who hear the words of
Christ and do them not. And therefore, because they are on the sand,
they are proved to be outside the rock, that is, outside the Church;
yet even while they are so situated, and are either not yet or never
changed for the better, not only do they baptize and are baptized,
but the baptism which they have remains valid in them though they are
destined to damnation.

45. Neither can it be said in this place,[470] Yet who is there that
doeth all the words of the Lord which are written in the evangelic
sermon itself, at the end of which He says, that he who heard the said
words and did them built upon a rock, and he who heard them and did
them not built upon the sand? For, granting that by certain persons all
the words are not accomplished, yet in the same sermon He has appointed
the remedy, saying, "Forgive, and ye shall be forgiven."[471] And after
the Lord's prayer had been recorded in detail in the same sermon, He
says, "For I say unto you, if ye forgive men their trespasses, your
heavenly Father will also forgive you: but if ye forgive not men their
trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."[472]
Hence also Peter says, "For charity shall cover the multitude of
sins;"[473] which charity they certainly did not have, and on this
account they built upon the sand, of whom the same Cyprian says, that
within the Church they held conversation, even in the time of the
apostles, in unkindly hatred alien from Christian charity;[474] and
therefore they seemed indeed to be within, but really were without,
because they were not on that rock by which the Church is signified.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXV.--46. Sedatus of Tuburbo[475] said: "Inasmuch as water,
sanctified by the prayer of the priest in the Church, washes away sins,
just so much does it multiply sins when infected, as by a cancer, with
the words of heretics. Wherefore one must strive, with all such efforts
as conduce to peace, that no one who has been infected and tainted
by heretical error should refuse to receive the one true baptism,
with which whosoever is not baptized shall not inherit the kingdom of
heaven."

47. To this we answer, that if the water is not sanctified, when
through want of skill the priest who prays utters some words of
error, many, not only of the bad, but of the good brethren in the
Church itself, fail to sanctify the water. For the prayers of many
are corrected every day on being recited to men of greater learning,
and many things are found in them contrary to the Catholic faith.
Supposing, then, that it were shown that some persons were baptized
when these prayers had been uttered over the water, will they be bidden
to be baptized afresh? Why not? Because generally the fault in the
prayer is more than counterbalanced by the intent of him who offers
it; and those fixed words of the gospel, without which baptism cannot
be consecrated, are of such efficacy, that, by their virtue, anything
faulty that is uttered in the prayer contrary to the rule of faith is
made of no effect, just as the devil is excluded by the name of Christ.
For it is clear that if a heretic utters a faulty prayer, he has no
good intent of love whereby that want of skill may be compensated, and
therefore he is like any envious or spiteful person in the Catholic
Church itself, such as Cyprian proves to exist within the Church. Or
one might offer some prayer, as not unfrequently happens, in which he
should speak against the rule of faith, since many rush into the use of
prayers which are composed not only by unskilful men who love to talk,
but even by heretics, and in the simplicity of ignorance, not being
able to discern their true character, use them, thinking they are good;
and yet what is erroneous in them does not vitiate what is right, but
rather it is rendered null thereby, just as in the man of good hope and
approved faith, who yet is but a man, if in anything he be otherwise
minded, what he holds aright is not thereby vitiated until God reveal
to him also that in which he is otherwise minded.[476] But supposing
that the man himself is wicked and perverse, then, if he should offer
an upright prayer, in no part contrary to the Catholic faith, it does
not follow that because the prayer is right the man himself is also
right; and if over some he offers an erroneous prayer, God is present
to uphold the words of His gospel, without which the baptism of Christ
cannot be consecrated, and He Himself consecrates His sacrament,
that in the recipient, either before he is baptized, or when he is
baptized, or at some future time when he turns in truth to God, that
very sacrament may be profitable to salvation, which, were he not to be
converted, would be powerful to his destruction. But who is there who
does not know that there is no baptism of Christ, if the words of the
gospel in which consists the outward visible sign be not forthcoming?
But you will more easily find heretics who do not baptize at all, than
any who baptize without those words. And therefore we say, not that
every baptism (for in many of the blasphemous rites of idols men are
said to be baptized), but that the baptism of Christ, that is, every
baptism consecrated in the words of the gospel, is everywhere the same,
and cannot be vitiated by any perversity on the part of any men.[477]

48. We must certainly not lightly pass over in this judgment that he
here inserted a clause, and says, "Wherefore we must strive, with all
such efforts as conduce to peace, that no one who has been infected,"
etc. For he had regard to those words of the blessed Cyprian in his
opening speech, "Judging no man, nor depriving any of the right of
communion if he entertain a different view." See of what power is
the love of unity and peace in the good sons of the Church, that
they should choose rather to show tolerance towards those whom they
called sacrilegious and profane, being admitted, as they thought,
without the sacrament of baptism, if they could not correct them as
they thought was right, than on their account to break that holy
bond, lest on account of the tares the wheat also should be rooted
out,[478]--permitting, so far as rested with them, as in that noblest
judgment of Solomon, that the infant body should rather be nourished by
the false mother than be cut in pieces.[479] But this was the opinion
both of those who held the truer view about the sacrament of baptism,
and of those to whom God, in consideration of their great love, was
purposing to reveal any point in which they were otherwise minded.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXVI.--49. Privatianus of Sufetula[480] said: "He who says that
heretics have the power of baptizing should first say who it was that
founded heresy. For if heresy is of God, it may have the divine favour;
but if it be not of God, how can it either have or confer on any one
the grace of God?"

50. This man may thus be answered word for word: He who says that
malicious and envious persons have the power of baptizing, should
first say who was the founder of malice and envy. For if malice and
envy are of God, they may have the divine favour; but if they are not
of God, how can they either have or confer on any one the grace of
God? But as these words are in the same way most manifestly false, so
are also those which these were uttered to confute. For the malicious
and envious baptize, as even Cyprian himself allows, because he bears
testimony that they also are within. So therefore even heretics may
baptize, because baptism is the sacrament of Christ; but envy and
heresy are the works of the devil. Yet though a man possesses them, he
does not thereby cause that if he have the sacrament of Christ, it also
should itself be reckoned in the number of the devil's works.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXVII.--51. Privatus of Sufes said: "What can be said of the man
who approves the baptism of heretics, save that he communicates with
heretics?"

52. To this we answer: It is not the baptism of heretics which we
approve in heretics, as it is not the baptism of the covetous, or the
treacherous, or deceitful, or of robbers, or of envious men which we
approve in them; for all of these are unjust, but Christ is just,
whose sacrament existing in them, they do not in its essence violate.
Otherwise another man might say: What can be said of the man who
approves the baptism of the unjust, save that he communicates with the
unjust? And if this objection were brought against the Catholic Church
herself, it would be answered just as I have answered the above.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXVIII.--53. Hortensianus of Lares[481] said: "How many baptisms
there are, let those who uphold or favour heretics determine. We assert
one baptism of the Church, which we only know in the Church. Or how
can those baptize any one in the name of Christ whom Christ Himself
declares to be His enemies?"

54. Giving answer to this man in a like tenor of words, we say: Let
those who uphold or favour the unrighteous see to it: we recall to the
Church when we can the one baptism which we know to be of the Church
alone, wherever it be found. Or how can they baptize any one in the
name of Christ whom Christ Himself declares to be His enemies? For
He says to all the unrighteous, "I never knew you: depart from me,
ye that work iniquity;"[482] and yet, when they baptize, it is not
themselves that baptize, but He of whom John says, "The same is He
which baptizeth."[483]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXIX.--55. Cassius of Macomades[484] said: "Since there cannot be
two baptisms, he who grants baptism unto heretics takes it away from
himself. I therefore declare my judgment that heretics, those objects
for our tears, those masses of corruption,[485] should be baptized
when they begin to come to the Church, and that so being washed by
the sacred and divine laver, and enlightened with the light of life,
they may be received into the Church,--as being now made not enemies,
but peaceful; not strangers, but of the household of the faith of
the Lord; not bastards,[486] but sons of God; partaking not of error,
but of salvation,--with the exception of those who, being believers
transplanted from the Church, had gone over to heresy, and that these
should be restored by the laying on of hands."

56. Another might say: Since there cannot be two baptisms, he who
grants baptism to the unrighteous takes it away from himself. But even
our opponents would join us in resisting such a man when he says that
we grant baptism to the unrighteous, which is not of the unrighteous,
like their unrighteousness, but of Christ, of whom is righteousness,
and whose sacrament, even among the unrighteous, is not unrighteous.
What, therefore, they would join us in saying of the unrighteous, that
let them say to themselves of heretics. And therefore he should rather
have said as follows: I therefore give my judgment that heretics,
those objects for our tears, those masses of corruption, should not be
baptized when they begin to come to the Church, if they already have
the baptism of Christ, but should be corrected from their error. For
we may similarly say of the unrighteous, of whom the heretics are a
part: I therefore give my judgment that the unrighteous, those objects
for our tears, and masses of corruption, if they have been already
baptized, should not be baptized again when they begin to come to
the Church, that is, to that rock outside which are all who hear the
words of Christ and do them not; but, being already washed with the
sacred and divine laver, and now further enlightened with the light of
truth, should be received into the Church no longer as enemies but as
peaceful, for the unrighteous have no peace; no longer as strangers,
but of the household of the faith of the Lord, for to the unrighteous
it is said, "How then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a
strange vine unto me?"[487] no longer as bastards, but the sons of God,
for the unrighteous are the sons of the devil, partaking not of error
but of salvation, for unrighteousness cannot save. And by the Church
I mean that rock, that dove, that garden enclosed and fountain sealed,
which is recognised only in the wheat, not in the chaff, whether that
be scattered far apart by the wind, or appear to be mingled with the
corn even till the last winnowing. In vain, therefore, did Cassius add,
"With the exception of those who, being believers transplanted from the
Church, had gone over to heresy." For if even they themselves had lost
baptism by seceding, to themselves also let it be restored; but if they
had not lost it, let what was given by them receive due recognition.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXX.--57. Another Januarius of Vicus Cæsaris[488] said: "If error
does not obey truth, much more does truth refuse assent to error; and
therefore we stand by the Church in which we preside, so that, claiming
her baptism for herself alone, we baptize those whom the Church has not
baptized."

58. We answer: Whom the Church baptizes, those that rock baptizes
outside which are all they who hear the words of Christ and do them
not. Let all, therefore, be baptized again who have been baptized by
such. But if this is not done, then, as we recognise the baptism of
Christ in these, so should we recognise it in heretics, though we
either condemn or correct their unrighteousness and error.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXXI.--59. Another Secundinus of Carpis[489] said: "Are heretics
Christians or not? If they are Christians, why are they not in the
Church of God? If they are not Christians, let them be made so.[490]
Else what will be the reference in the discourse of the Lord, in
which He says, 'He that is not with me is against me; and he that
gathereth not with me scattereth abroad?'[491] Whence it is clear that
on strange children and the offspring of Antichrist the Holy Spirit
cannot descend by the laying on of hands alone, since it is clear that
heretics have not baptism."

60. To this we answer: Are the unrighteous Christians or not? If they
are Christians, why are they not on that rock on which the Church is
built? for they hear the words of Christ and do them not. If they are
not Christians, let them be made so. Else what will be the reference in
the discourse of our Lord, in which He says, "He that is not with me
is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad?"
For they scatter His sheep who lead them to the ruin of their lives by
a false imitation of the Lord. Whence it is clear that upon strange
children (as all the unrighteous are called), and upon the offspring of
Antichrist (which all are who oppose themselves to Christ), the Holy
Spirit cannot descend by the laying on of hands alone, if there be
not added a true conversion of the heart; since it is clear that the
unrighteous, so long as they are unrighteous, may indeed have baptism,
but cannot have the salvation of which baptism is the sacrament. For
let us see whether heretics are described in that psalm where the
following words are used of strange children: "Deliver me, O Lord,
from the hand of strange children, whose mouth speaketh vanity, and
their right hand is a right hand of falsehood: whose sons are like
young shoots well established, and their daughters polished after the
similitude of the temple. Their garners are full, affording all manner
of store; their sheep are fruitful, bringing forth plenteously in their
streets; their oxen are strong: there is no breaking down of their
fence, no opening of a passage out, no complaining in their streets.
Men deemed happy the people that is in such a case; rather blessed
is the people whose God is the Lord."[492] If, therefore, those are
strange children who place their happiness in temporal things, and
in the abundance of earthly prosperity, and despise the commandments
of the Lord, let us see whether these are not the very same of whom
Cyprian so speaks, making himself also as one of them, that he may
show that he is speaking of men with whom he held communion in the
sacraments: "In not keeping," he says, "the way of the Lord, nor
observing the heavenly commandments given us for our salvation. Our
Lord did the will of His Father, and we do not do the will of the Lord,
being eager about our patrimony or our gains, following after pride,
and so forth."[493] But if these could both have and transmit baptism,
why is it denied that it may exist among strange children, whom he yet
exhorts, that, by keeping the heavenly commandments conveyed to them
through the only-begotten Son, they should deserve to be His brethren
and the sons of God?

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXXII.--61. Victorious of Thabraca[494] said: "If heretics may
baptize, and give remission of sins, why do we destroy their credit,
and call them heretics?"

62. What if another were to say: If the unrighteous may baptize, and
give remission of sins, why do we destroy their credit, and call
them unrighteous? The answer which we should give to such an one
concerning the unrighteous may also be given to the other concerning
heretics,--that is, in the first place, that the baptism with which
they baptize is not theirs; and secondly, that it does not follow that
whosoever has the baptism of Christ is also certain of the remission of
his sins, if he has this only in the outward sign, and is not converted
with a true conversion of the heart, so that he who gives remission
should himself have remission of his sins.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXXIII.--63. Another Felix of Uthina[495] said: "No one can
doubt, most holy brethren in the priesthood, that human presumption has
not so much power as the adorable and venerable majesty of our Lord
Jesus Christ. Remembering then the danger, we ought not only to observe
this ourselves, but to confirm it by our general consent, that all
heretics who come to the bosom of our mother the Church be baptized,
that the heretical mind, which has been polluted by long-continued
corruption, may be reformed when cleansed by the sanctification of the
laver."

64. Perhaps the man who has placed the strength of his case for the
baptizing of heretics in the cleansing away of the long-continued
corruption, would spare those who, having fallen headlong into
some heresy, had remained in it a brief space, and presently being
corrected, had passed from thence to the Catholic Church. Furthermore,
he has himself failed to observe that it might be said that all
unrighteous persons who come to that rock, in which is understood
the Church, should be baptized, so that the unrighteous mind, which
was building outside the rock upon the sand by hearing the words of
Christ and not doing them, might be reformed when cleansed by the
sanctification of the laver; and yet this is not done if they have been
baptized already, even if it be proved that such was their character
when they were baptized, that is, that they renounced the world in
words and not in deeds.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXXIV.--65. Quietus of Burug[496] said: "We who live by faith
ought with believing observance to obey what has been before foretold
for our instruction. For it is written in Solomon, 'He that is washed
by one dead, what availeth his washing?'[497] Which assuredly he says
of those who are washed by heretics, and of those who wash. For if they
who are baptized among them receive eternal life through the remission
of their sins, why do they come to the Church? But if no salvation is
received from a dead person, and they therefore, acknowledging their
former error, return with penance to the truth, they ought to be
sanctified with the one life-giving baptism which is in the Catholic
Church."

66. What it is to be baptized by the dead, we have already, without
prejudice to the more careful consideration of the same scripture,
sufficiently declared before.[498] But I would ask why it is that they
wish heretics alone to be considered dead, when Paul the apostle has
said generally of sin, "The wages of sin is death;"[499] and again, "To
be carnally minded is death."[500] And when he says that a widow that
liveth in pleasure is dead,[501] how are they not dead who renounce
the world in words and not in deeds? What, therefore, is the profit
of washing in him who is baptized by them, except, indeed, that if he
himself also is of the same character, he has the laver indeed, but it
does not profit him to salvation? But if he by whom he is baptized is
such, but the man who is baptized is turned to the Lord with no false
heart, he is not baptized by that dead person, but by that living One
of whom it is said, "The same is He which baptizeth."[502] But to what
he says of heretics, that if they who are baptized among them receive
eternal life through the remission of their sins, why do they come to
the Church? we answer: They come for this reason, that although they
have received the baptism of Christ up to the point of the celebration
of the sacrament, yet they cannot attain to life eternal save through
the charity of unity; just as neither would those envious and malicious
ones attain to life eternal, who would not have their sins forgiven
them, even if they entertained hatred only against those from whom they
suffered wrong; since the Truth said, "If ye forgive not men their
trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses,"[503]
how much less when they were hating those towards whom they were
rewarding evil for good?[504] And yet these men, though renouncing the
world in words and not in deeds, would not be baptized again, if they
should afterwards be corrected, but they would be made holy by the one
living baptism. And this is indeed in the Catholic Church, but not in
it alone, as neither is it in the saints alone who are built upon the
rock, and of whom that one dove is composed.[505]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXXV.--67. Castus of Sicca[506] said: "He who presumes to follow
custom in despite of truth is either envious and evilly disposed
towards the brethren to whom the truth is revealed, or else he is
ungrateful towards God, by whose inspiration His Church is instructed."

68. If this man proved that those who differed from him, and held the
view that has since been held by the whole world under the sanction
of a general Council, were following custom so as to despise truth,
we should have reason for fearing these words; but seeing that this
custom is found both to have had its origin in truth and to have been
confirmed by truth, we have nothing to fear in this judgment. And
yet, if they were envious or evilly disposed towards the brethren, or
ungrateful towards God, see with what kind of men they were willing
to hold communion; see what kind of men, holding different opinions
from their own, they treated as Cyprian enjoined them at the first,
not removing them from the right of communion; see by what kind of
men they were not polluted in the preservation of unity; see how
greatly the bond of peace was to be loved; see what views they hold
who bring charges against us, founded on the Council of bishops, their
predecessors, whose example they do not imitate, and by whose example,
when the rights of the case are considered, they are condemned. If it
was the custom, as this judgment bears witness, that heretics coming
to the Church should be received with the baptism which they already
had, either this was done rightly, or the evil do not pollute the good
in unity. If it was rightly done, why do they accuse the world because
they are so received? But if the evil do not pollute the good in unity,
how do they defend themselves against the charge of sacrilegious
separation?

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXXVI.--69. Eucratius of Thenæ[507] said: "Our God and Lord Jesus
Christ, teaching the apostles with His own mouth, fully laid down our
faith, and the grace of baptism, and the rule of the law of the Church,
saying, 'Go ye, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of
the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.'[508] Therefore the
false and unrighteous baptism of heretics is to be repudiated by us,
and contradicted with all solemnity of witness, seeing that from their
mouth issues not life, but poison, not heavenly grace, but blaspheming
of the Trinity. And so it is plain that heretics coming to the Church
ought to be baptized with perfect and Catholic baptism, that, being
purified from the blasphemy of their presumption, they may be reformed
by the grace of the Holy Spirit."

70. Clearly, if the baptism is not consecrated in the name of the
Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, it should be considered
to be of the heretics, and repudiated as unrighteous by us with all
solemnity of witness; but if we discern this name in it, we do better
to distinguish the words of the gospel from heretical error, and
approve what is sound in them, correcting what is faulty.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXXVII.--71. Libosus of Vaga[509] said: "The Lord says in the
gospel, 'I am the truth;'[510] He did not say, I am custom. Therefore,
when the truth is made manifest, let custom yield to truth; so that, if
even in time past any one did not baptize heretics in the Church, he
may now begin to baptize them."

72. Here he has in no way tried to show how that is the truth to which
he says that custom ought to yield. But it is of more importance that
he helps us against those who have separated themselves from unity,
by confessing that the custom existed, than that he thinks it ought
to yield to a truth which he does not show. For the custom is of such
a nature, that if it admitted sacrilegious men to the altar of Christ
without the cleansing of baptism, and polluted none of the good men
who remained in unity, then all who have cut themselves off from the
same unity, in which they could not be polluted by the contagion of any
evil persons whatsoever, have separated themselves without reason, and
have committed the manifest sacrilege of schism. But if all perished in
pollution through that custom, from what cavern do they issue without
the original truth, and with all the cunning of calumny? If, however,
the custom was a right one by which heretics were thus received, let
them abandon their madness, let them confess their error; let them
come to the Catholic Church, not that they may be bathed again with
the sacrament of baptism, but that they may be cured from the wound of
severance.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXXVIII.--73. Lucius of Thebaste[511] said: "I declare my
judgment that heretics, and blasphemers, and unrighteous men, who
with various words pluck away the sacred and adorable words of the
Scriptures, should be held accursed, and therefore exorcised and
rebaptized."

74. I too think that they should be held accursed, but not that
therefore they should be exorcised and rebaptized; for it is their
own falsehood which I hold accursed, but Christ's sacrament which I
venerate.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXXIX.--75. Eugenius of Ammedera[512] said: "I too pronounce this
same judgment, that heretics should be baptized."

76. To him we answer: But this is not the judgment which the Church
pronounces, to which also God has now revealed in a general Council the
point in which ye were then still otherwise minded;[513] but because
your charity was unimpaired, ye remained in unity.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XL.--77. Also another Felix of Ammacura[512] said: "I too,
following the authority of the holy Scriptures, give my judgment that
heretics should be baptized, and with them those also who maintain
that they have been baptized among schismatics. For if, according to
the warning of Christ, our fountain is sealed to ourselves,[514] let
all the enemies of our Church understand that it cannot belong to
others; nor can He who is the Shepherd of our flock give the water unto
salvation to two different peoples. And therefore it is clear that
neither heretics nor schismatics can receive anything heavenly, who
dare to accept from men that are sinners and aliens from the Church.
When the giver has no ground to stand upon, surely neither can the
receiver derive any profit."

78. To him we answer, that the holy Scriptures nowhere have enjoined
that heretics baptized among heretics should be baptized afresh, but
that they have shown in many places that all are aliens from the Church
who are not on the rock, nor belong to the members of the dove, and
yet that they baptize and are baptized, and have the sacrament of
salvation without salvation. But how our fountain is like the fountain
of Paradise, in that, like it, it flows forth even beyond the bounds
of Paradise, has been sufficiently set forth above;[515] and that He
who is the Shepherd of our flock cannot give the water unto salvation
to two different peoples, that is, to one that is His own, and to
another that is alien, I fully agree in admitting. But does it follow
that because the water is not unto salvation it is not the identical
water? For the water of the deluge was for salvation unto those who
were placed within the ark, but it brought death to those without, and
yet it was the same water. And many aliens, that is to say, envious
persons, whom Cyprian declares and proves from Scripture to be of the
party of the devil, seem as it were to be within, and yet, if they were
not without the ark, they would not perish by water. For such men are
slain by baptism, as the sweet savour of Christ was unto death to those
of whom the apostle speaks.[516] Why then do not either heretics or
schismatics receive anything heavenly, just as thorns or tares, like
those who were without the ark received indeed the rain from the floods
of heaven, but to destruction, not to salvation? And so I do not take
the pains to refute what he said in conclusion: "When the giver has
no ground to stand upon, surely neither can the receiver derive any
profit," since we also say that it does not profit the receivers while
they receive it in heresy, consenting with the heretics; and therefore
they come to Catholic peace and unity, not that they may receive
baptism, but that what they had received may begin to profit them.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XLI.--79. Also another Januarius of Muzuli[517] said: "I wonder
that, while all acknowledge that there is one baptism, all do not
understand the unity of the same baptism. For the Church and heresy
are two distinct things. If heretics have baptism, we have it not; but
if we have it, heretics cannot have it. But there is no doubt that the
Church alone possesses the baptism of Christ, since it alone possesses
both the favour and the truth of Christ."

80. Another might equally say, and say with equal want of truth:
I wonder that, while all confess there is one baptism, all do not
understand the unity of baptism. For righteousness and unrighteousness
are two distinct things. If the unrighteous have baptism, the righteous
have it not; but if the righteous have it, the unrighteous cannot have
it. But there is no doubt that the righteous alone possess the baptism
of Christ, since they alone possess both the favour and the truth of
Christ. This is certainly false, as they confess themselves. For those
envious ones also who are of the party of the devil, though placed
within the Church, as Cyprian tells us, and who were well known to the
Apostle Paul, had baptism, but did not belong to the members of that
dove which is safely sheltered on the rock.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XLII.--81. Adelphius of Thasbalte[518] said: "It is surely
without cause that they find fault with the truth in false and
invidious terms, saying that we rebaptize, since the Church does not
rebaptize heretics, but baptize them."

82. Truly enough it does not rebaptize them, because it only baptizes
those who were not baptized before; and this earlier custom has only
been confirmed in a later Council by a more careful perfecting of the
truth.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XLIII.--83. Demetrius of the Lesser Leptis[519] said: "We uphold
one baptism, because we claim for the Catholic Church alone what is
her own. But those who say that heretics baptize truly and lawfully
are themselves the men who make, not two, but many baptisms; for since
heresies are many in number, the baptisms, too, will be reckoned
according to their number."

84. To him we answer: If this were so, then would as many baptisms
be reckoned as there are works of the flesh, of which the apostle
says "that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of
God;"[520] among which are reckoned also heresies; and so many of those
very works are tolerated within the Church as though in the chaff, and
yet there is one baptism for them all, which is not vitiated by any
work of unrighteousness.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XLIV.--85. Vincentius of Thibaris[521] said: "We know that
heretics are worse than heathens. If they, being converted, wish to
come to God, they have assuredly a rule of truth, which the Lord by His
divine precept committed to the apostles, saying, 'Go ye, lay on hands
in my name, cast out devils;'[522] and in another place, 'Go ye, and
teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of
the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.'[523] Therefore, first by the laying
on of hands in exorcism, secondly by regeneration in baptism, they may
come to the promises of Christ; but my judgment is that in no other way
should this be done."

86. By what rule he asserts that heretics are worse than heathens I
do not know, seeing that the Lord says, "If he neglect to hear the
Church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican."[524]
Is a heretic worse even than such? I do not gainsay it. I do not,
however, allow that because the man himself is worse than a heathen,
that is, than a Gentile and pagan, therefore whatever the sacrament
contains that is Christ's is mingled with his vices and character,
and perishes through the corruption of such admixture. For if even
those who depart from the Church, and become not the followers but
the founders of heresies, have been baptized before their secession,
they continue to have baptism, although, according to the above rule,
they are worse than heathens; for if on correction they return, they
do not receive it, as they certainly would do if they had lost it.
It is therefore possible that a man may be worse than a heathen, and
yet that the sacrament of Christ may not only be in him, but be not a
whit inferior to what it is in a holy and righteous man. For although
to the extent of his powers he has not preserved the sacrament, but
done it violence in heart and will, yet so far as the sacrament's own
nature is concerned, it has remained unhurt in its integrity even in
the man who despised and rejected it. Were not the people of Sodom
heathens, that is to say, Gentiles? The Jews therefore were worse, to
whom the Lord says, "It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom
in the day of judgment than for thee;"[525] and to whom the prophet
says, "Thou hast justified Sodom,"[526] that is to say, in comparison
with thee Sodom is righteous. Shall we, however, maintain that on this
account the holy sacraments which existed among the Jews partook of
the nature of the Jews themselves,--those sacraments which the Lord
Himself also accepted, and sent the lepers whom He had cleansed to
fulfil them,[527] of which, when Zacharias was administering them, the
angel stood by him, and declared that his prayer had been heard while
he was sacrificing in the temple?[528] These same sacraments were both
in the good men of that time, and in those bad men who were worse than
are the heathens, seeing that they were ranked before the Sodomites for
wickedness, and yet those sacraments were perfect and holy in both.

87. For even if the Gentiles themselves could have anything holy and
right in their doctrines, our saints did not condemn it, however much
the Gentiles themselves were to be detested for their superstitions
and idolatry and pride, and the rest of their corruptions, and to
be punished with judgment from heaven, unless they submitted to
correction. For when Paul the apostle also was saying something
concerning God before the Athenians, he adduced as a proof of what he
said, that certain of them had said something to the same effect,[529]
which certainly would not be condemned but recognised in them if they
should come to Christ. And the holy Cyprian uses similar evidence
against the same heathens; for, speaking of the magi, he says, "The
chief of them, however, Hostanes, asserts both that the form of the
true God cannot be seen, and also that true angels stand beside His
seat. In which Plato also agrees in like manner, and, maintaining
the existence of one God, he calls the others angels or demons.
Hermes Trismegistus also speaks of one God, and confesses that He
is incomprehensible, and past our powers of estimation."[530] If,
therefore, they were to come to the perception of salvation in Christ,
it surely would not be said to them, This that ye have is bad, or
false; but clearly it would deservedly be said, Though this in you is
perfect and true, yet it would profit nothing unless ye came to the
grace of Christ. If, therefore, anything that is holy can be found and
rightly approved in the very heathens, although the salvation which is
of Christ is not yet to be granted to them, we ought not, even though
heretics are worse than they, to be moved to the desire of correcting
what is bad in them belonging to themselves, without being willing to
acknowledge what is good in them of Christ. But we will set forth from
a fresh preface to consider the remaining judgments of this Council.

FOOTNOTES:

[391] John xx. 23.

[392] Matt. xxiii. 3.

[393] 1 Tim. i. 5.

[394] Wisd. ix. 15.

[395] See Phil. iii. 15.

[396] Gal. ii. 14.

[397] Cant. vi. 8.

[398] Eph. v. 27; cp. Aug. _Retract._ ii. 18.

[399] Cant. iv. 12, 13.

[400] John xx. 23.

[401] Conc. Carth., introduction.

[402] Cypr. _Ep._ lxxiii. sec. 22.

[403] Cypr. _Ep._ lxix. sec. 11.

[404] De baptismi simplicitate ubique agnoscendam consuetudinem. Migne
approves of the reading of some MSS., "De baptismi simplicitate ubique
agnoscenda," etc., "maintaining the custom of the universal Church to
acknowledge everywhere the identity of baptism."

[405] Eph. iv. 2, 3.

[406] Phil. iii. 15.

[407] Bilta was in Mauritania.

[408] Eph. iv. 4, 5.

[409] Conc. Carth. sec. 1.

[410] 1 John iii. 15.

[411] This section is wanting in the MSS. and in the edition of
Amerbach, so that it has been supposed to have been added by Erasmus
from Cyprian (Conc. Carth. sec. 2),--the name Felix, which is not found
in Cyprian, being derived from the following section of Augustine.
Migirpa, or Misgirpa, was in Zeugitana.

[412] Adrumetum was an ancient Phoenician settlement, made a Roman
colony by Trajan, on the coast of the Sinus Neapolitanus, some ninety
miles south-east of Carthage.

[413] Thamugadis, a town in Numidia, on the east side of Mount
Aurasius. The whole opinion of Novatus (Conc. Carth. sec. iv.) is
omitted in the MSS.

[414] The words in Cyprian are, "sanctissimæ memoriæ virorum." The
decree referred to is one of the Council held by Agrippinus.

[415] Tubunæ, a town in Mauritania Cæsariensis.

[416] Prov. ix. 12, according to the LXX. version, the passage being
altogether absent in the Hebrew, and consequently in the English
version. The whole opinion of Nemesianus is wanting in the MSS. and
in the edition of Amerbach; and in that of Erasmus it is somewhat
different, having been subsequently revised by the Louvain editors to
bring it into harmony with the answer of Augustine and the text of
Cyprian (Conc. Carth. sec. 5).

[417] Prov. ix. 18, according to the LXX. version only.

[418] John iii. 5.

[419] Gen. i. 2.

[420] Viz. baptism and the laying on of hands; the latter sacramental
ordinance being similarly spoken of by Aug. _Ep._ lxxii. sec. 1, as
efficacious only when preceded by Catholic baptism.

[421] Eph. iv. 3-6.

[422] Quoniam Spiritus Deus est, et de Deo natus est. These words
are found at the end of John iii. 6 in the oldest Latin MS. (in the
Bodleian Library), and their meaning appears to be, as given in the
text, that whatsoever is born of the Spirit is spirit, since the Holy
Ghost, being God, and born of, or proceeding from God, in virtue of His
supreme power makes those to be spirits whom He regenerates. If the
meaning had been (as Bishop Fell takes it), that "he who is born of the
Spirit is born of God," the neuter "de Deo natum est" would have been
required. To refer "Spiritus Deus est," with Migne, to John iv. 24,
"God is a Spirit," reverses the grammar and destroys the sense of the
passage. The above explanation is taken from the preface to Cyprian by
the monk of St. Maur (Maranus), p. xxxvi., quoted by Routh, _Rel. Sac._
iii. 193.

[423] Gal. v. 19-21.

[424] Cypr. _Ep._ xi. sec. 1.

[425] Prov. ix. 12, according to the LXX. version.

[426] John iii. 5.

[427] Acts viii. 13.

[428] Wisd. i. 5.

[429] John iii. 6.

[430] Gal. v. 19-21.

[431] Lambæse was one of the chief cities in the interior of Numidia,
on the confines of Mauritania.

[432] Conc. Carth. sec. vi.

[433] Castrum Galbæ was also in Numidia.

[434] Matt. v. 13. "Id quod salietur ex eo, ad nihilum valebit."

[435] Matt. xxviii. 18, 19.

[436] Recedendo infatuati contrarii facti sunt. Dr. Routh, from a Ms.
in his own possession, inserts "et" after "infatuati,"--"have lost
their savour and become contrary to the Church."

[437] Prov. xiv. 9, from the LXX.

[438] John xx. 23.

[439] 1 John ii. 9.

[440] Ex. xx. 13, 15.

[441] Cirta, an inland city of the Massyli in Numidia, was rebuilt by
Constantine, and called Constantina.

[442] See below, on sec. 25.

[443] Ex Scripturis deificis.

[444] There are two letters extant from Cyprian to Stephen, No. 68,
respecting Marcianus of Arles, who had joined Novatian, and No. 72,
on a Council concerning heretical baptism. It is clear, however, from
_Ep._ lxxiii. sec. 1, that this Council, and consequently the letter
to Stephen, was subsequent to the Council under consideration; and
consequently Augustine is right in ignoring it, and referring solely
to the former. Dr. Routh thinks the words an interpolation, of course
before Augustine's time; and they may perhaps have been inserted by
some one who had Cyprian's later letter to Stephen before his mind.

[445] Segermæ in Numidia.

[446] Girba, formerly Meninx, an island to the south-east of the Lesser
Syrtis.

[447] In baptismi trinitate. "Quia trina immersione expediebatur, in
nomine Patris, Filii, et S. Spiritus."--_Bishop Fell._

[448] Matt. xxviii. 19.

[449] Erroris offectura. Other readings are "offensa" and "effectura."

[450] Cediæ has been identified, but perhaps without sufficient reason,
with Quidias, or Quiza, in Mauritania Cæsariensis.

[451] Matt. xii. 30.

[452] 1 John ii. 18.

[453] Matt. vii. 22, 23.

[454] Bagai, or Vacca, in the interior of Numidia. See on I. v. 7.

[455] Matt. xv. 14.

[456] 1 Cor. xv. 32.

[457] Rom. viii. 6.

[458] Mileum, or Mireum, a Roman colony in Numidia, noted as the seat
of two Councils.

[459] Hippo Regius, the see of Augustine himself, was on the coast of
Numidia.

[460] Badis in Numidia.

[461] Matt. vi. 15.

[462] Eph. iv. 3.

[463] Phil. iii. 15.

[464] Abbir Germaniciana was in Zeugitana.

[465] 1 John iii. 15.

[466] Thuccabori was perhaps the same as Tucca in Byzacene.

[467] Matt. vii. 24.

[468] Cypr. _Serm. de Laps._

[469] Matt. vii. 24, 26.

[470] It is pointed out by the Louvain editors that this passage shows
that Augustine considered our Lord's precept to comprehend everything
contained in the Sermon on the Mount.

[471] Luke vi. 37.

[472] Matt. vi. 14, 15.

[473] 1 Pet. iv. 8.

[474] Cypr. _Ep._ lxxiii. sec. 12.

[475] Tuburbo was in Zeugitana.

[476] Phil. iii. 15.

[477] See above, III. cc. xiv. xv.

[478] Matt. xiii. 29.

[479] 1 Kings iii. 26.

[480] Sufetula was a town of Byzacene, twenty-five miles from Sufes, of
which the name is a diminutive.

[481] Lares was a town of importance in Byzacene.

[482] Matt. vii. 23.

[483] John i. 33.

[484] Macomades was in Numidia.

[485] Flebiles et tabidos. This is otherwise taken of the repentant
heretics, "Melting with the grief and wretchedness of penitence;" but
Bishop Fell points out that the interpretation in the text is supported
by an expression in c. xxxiii. 63: Mens hæretica, quæ diuturna tabe
polluta est.

[486] Adulteros. So all the MSS. of Augustine, though in Cyprian is
sometimes found "adulterinos." In classical Latin, however, "adulter"
is sometimes used in the sense of "adulterinus." Cassius seems to have
had in mind Heb. xii. 8, "Then are ye bastards, and not sons."

[487] Jer. ii. 21.

[488] Vicus Cæsaris is unknown, unless it be the same as Nova Cæsaris
in Numidia.

[489] Carpis was in Zeugitana, on the borders of Tunis.

[490] Fiant. Another reading in some MSS. of Cyprian (not found in
those of Augustine) is, "quomodo Christianos faciunt," which is less in
harmony with the context.

[491] Matt. xii. 30.

[492] Ps. cxliv. 11-15, from the LXX.

[493] Cypr. _Ep._ xi. ad Clericos, sec. 1.

[494] Thabraca was on the coast of Numidia, the frontier town towards
Zeugitana, at the mouth of the Tucca.

[495] Uthina was in Zeugitana.

[496] Burug or Burca was in Mauritania Cæsariensis.

[497] In the Eng. version this is, "He that washeth himself after
touching a dead body, if he touch it again, what availeth his
washing?"--Ecclus. xxxiv. 25.

[498] _Contra Parmenianum_, II. x. 22.

[499] Rom. vi. 23.

[500] Rom. viii. 6.

[501] 1 Tim. v. 6.

[502] John i. 33.

[503] Matt. vi. 15.

[504] Ps. xxxv. 12.

[505] Cant. vi. 9.

[506] Sicca was in Zeugitana.

[507] Thenæ was in Byzacene.

[508] Matt. xxviii. 19.

[509] Vaga was in Numidia.

[510] John xiv. 6.

[511] Thebaste was in Numidia.

[512] Ammedera and Ammacura were in Numidia.

[513] Phil. iii. 15.

[514] See Cant. iv. 12.

[515] Ch. xxi. 37.

[516] 2 Cor. ii. 15.

[517] Muzuli is perhaps the same as Mazula in Numidia.

[518] Thasbalte was in Byzacene.

[519] Leptis the Lesser was in Byzacene, the Greater being in Tripoli.

[520] Gal. v. 21.

[521] Thibaris, perhaps the same as Tabora in Mauritania Cæsariensis.

[522] Mark xvi. 15-18.

[523] Matt. xxviii. 19.

[524] Matt. xviii. 17.

[525] Matt. xi. 24.

[526] Ezek. xvi. 51.

[527] Luke xvii. 14.

[528] Luke i. 11, 13.

[529] Acts xvii. 28.

[530] Cypr. _de Idol. Vanitate_.



BOOK SEVENTH.

IN WHICH THE REMAINING JUDGEMENTS OF THE COUNCIL OF CARTHAGE ARE
EXAMINED.


CHAP. I.--1. Let us not be considered troublesome to our readers, if we
discuss the same question often and from different points of view. For
although the holy Catholic Church throughout all nations be fortified
by the authority of primitive custom and of a general Council against
those arguments which throw some darkness over the question about
baptism, whether it can be the same among heretics and schismatics that
it is in the Catholic Church, yet, since a different opinion has at one
time been entertained in the unity of the Church itself, by men who are
in nowise to be despised, and especially by Cyprian, whose authority
men endeavour to use against us who are far removed from his charity,
we are therefore compelled to make use of the opportunity of examining
and considering all that we find on this subject in his Council and
letters, in order, as it were, to handle at some considerable length
this same question, and to show how it has more truly been the decision
of the whole body of the Catholic Church, that heretics or schismatics,
who have received baptism already in the body from which they came,
should be admitted with it into the communion of the Catholic Church,
being corrected in their error, and rooted and grounded in the faith,
that, so far as concerns the sacrament of baptism, there should not be
an addition of something that was wanting, but a turning to profit of
what was in them. And the holy Cyprian indeed, now that the corruptible
body no longer presseth down the soul, nor the earthly tabernacle
presseth down the mind that museth upon many things,[531] sees with
greater clearness that truth to which his charity made him deserving
to attain. May he therefore help us by his prayers, while we labour
in the mortality of the flesh as in a darksome cloud, that if the
Lord so grant it, we may imitate so far as we can the good that was in
him. But if he thought otherwise than right on any point, and persuaded
certain of his brethren and colleagues to entertain his views in a
matter which he now sees clearly through the revelation of Him whom he
loved, let us, who are far inferior to his merits, yet following, as
our weakness will allow, the authority of the Catholic Church of which
he was himself a conspicuous and most noble member, strive our utmost
against heretics and schismatics, seeing that they, being cut off from
the unity which he maintained, and barren of the love with which he
was fruitful, and fallen away from the humility in which he stood, are
disavowed and condemned the more by him, in proportion as he knows that
they wish to search out his writings for purposes of treachery, and are
unwilling to imitate what he did for the maintenance of peace,--like
those who, calling themselves Nazarene Christians, and circumcising the
foreskin of their flesh after the fashion of the Jews, being heretics
by birth in that error from which Peter, when straying from the truth,
was recalled by Paul,[532] persist in the same to the present day.
As therefore they have remained in their perversity cut off from the
body of the Church, while Peter has been crowned in the primacy of the
apostles through the glory of martyrdom, so these men, while Cyprian,
through the abundance of his love, has been received into the portion
of the saints through the brightness of his passion, are obliged to
recognise themselves as exiles from unity, and, in defence of their
calumnies, set up a citizen of unity as an opponent against the very
home of unity. Let us therefore go on to examine the other judgments of
that Council after the same fashion.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. II.--2. Marcus of Mactaris[533] said: "It is not to be wondered
at if heretics, being enemies and opponents of the truth, claim to
themselves what has been entrusted and vouchsafed to other men. What is
marvellous is that some of us, traitors to the truth, uphold heretics
and oppose Christians; therefore we decree that heretics should be
baptized."

3. To him we answer: It is indeed much more to be wondered at, and
deserving of expressions of great praise, that Cyprian and his
colleagues had such love for unity that they continued in unity with
those whom they considered to be traitors to the truth, without any
apprehension of being polluted by them. For when Marcus said, "It is
marvellous that some of us, traitors to the truth, uphold heretics and
oppose Christians," it seemed natural that he should add, Therefore
we decree that communion should not be held with them. This he did
not say; but what he does say is, "Therefore we decree that heretics
should be baptized," adhering to what the peaceful Cyprian had enjoined
in the first instance, saying, "Judging no man, nor removing any from
the right of communion if he entertain a different opinion." While,
therefore, the Donatists calumniate us and call us _traditors_, I
should be glad to know, supposing that any Jew or pagan were found,
who, after reading the records of that Council, should call both us
and them, according to their own rules, traitors to the truth, how we
should be able to make our joint defence so as to refute and wash away
so grave a charge. They give the name of _traditors_ to men whom they
were never able in times past to convict of the offence, and whom they
cannot now show to be involved in it, being themselves rather shown to
be liable to the same charge. But what has this to do with us? What
shall we say of them who, by their own showing, are unquestionably
traitors? For if we, however falsely, are called _traditors_, because,
as they allege, we took part in the same communion with _traditors_, we
have all taken part with the traitors in question, seeing that in the
time of the blessed Cyprian the party of Donatus had not yet separated
itself from unity. For the delivery of the sacred books, from which
they began to be called _traditors_, occurred somewhat more than forty
years after his martyrdom. If, therefore, we are _traditors_, because
we sprang from _traditors_, as they believe or pretend, we both of us
derive our origin from those other traitors. For there is no room for
saying that they did not communicate with these traitors, since they
call them men of their own party. In the words of the Council which
they are most forward to quote, "Some of us," it declares, "traitors to
the truth, uphold heretics." To this is added the testimony of Cyprian,
showing clearly that he remained in communion with them when he says,
"Judging no man, nor removing any from the right of communion if he
entertain a different opinion." For those who entertained a different
opinion were the very persons whom Marcus calls traitors to the truth
because they upheld heretics, as he maintains, by receiving them into
the Church without baptism. That it was, moreover, the custom that they
should be so received, is testified both by Cyprian himself in many
passages, and by some bishops in this Council. Whence it is evident
that, if heretics have not baptism, the Church of Christ of those days
was full of traitors, who upheld them by receiving them in this way. I
would urge, therefore, that we plead our cause in common against the
charge of treason which they cannot disavow, and therein our special
case will be argued against the charge of delivering the books, which
they could not prove against us. But let us argue the point as though
they had convicted us; and what we shall answer jointly to those who
urge against both of us the general treason of our forefathers, that
we will answer to these men who urge against us that our forefathers
gave up the sacred books. For as we were dead because our forefathers
delivered up the books, which caused them to divide themselves from
us, so both we and they themselves are dead through the treason of
our forefathers, from whom both we and they are sprung. But since
they say they live, they hold that that treason does not in any way
affect them, therefore neither are we affected by the delivery of the
books. And it should be observed that, according to them, the treason
is indisputable: while, according to us, there is no truth either in
the former charge of treason, because we say that heretics also may
have the baptism of Christ; nor in the latter charge of delivering
the books, because in that they were themselves beaten. They have
therefore no reason for separating themselves by the wicked sin of
schism, because, if our forefathers were not guilty of delivering up
the books, as we say, there is no charge which can affect us at all;
but if they were guilty of the sin, as these men say, then it is just
as far from affecting us as the sin of those other traitors is from
affecting either us or them. And hence, since there is no charge that
can implicate us from the unrighteousness of our forefathers, the
charge arising against them from their own schism is manifestly proved.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. III.--4. Satius of Siccilibba[534] said: "If heretics receive
forgiveness of their sins in their own baptism, it is without reason
that they come to the Church. For since it is for sins that men are
punished in the day of judgment, heretics have nothing to fear in the
judgment of Christ if they have obtained remission of their sins."

5. This too might also have been our own judgment; but let its author
beware in what spirit it was said. For it is expressed in terms of such
import, that I should feel no compunction in consenting and subscribing
to it in the same spirit in which I too believe that heretics may
indeed have the baptism of Christ, but cannot have the remission of
their sins. But he does not say, If heretics baptize or are baptized,
but "If heretics," he says, "receive forgiveness of their sins in their
own baptism, it is without reason that they come to the Church." For
if we were to set in the place of heretics those whom Cyprian knew
within the Church as renouncing the world in words alone and not in
deeds, we also might express this same judgment, in just so many words,
with the most perfect truth. If those who only seem to be converted
receive forgiveness of their sins in their own baptism, it is without
reason that they are afterwards led on to a true conversion. For since
it is for sins that men are punished in the day of judgment, those
who renounce the world in words and not in deeds have nothing to fear
in the judgment of Christ if they have obtained remission of their
sins. But this reasoning is only made perfect by some such context as
is formed by the addition of the words. But they ought to fear the
judgment of Christ, and to lose no time in being converted in the truth
of their hearts; and when they have done this, it is certainly not
necessary that they should be baptized a second time. It was possible,
therefore, for them to receive baptism, and either not to receive
remission of their sins, or to be burdened again at once with the load
of sins which were forgiven them; and so the same is the case also with
the heretics.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. IV.--6. Victor of Gor[535] said: "Seeing that sins are forgiven
only in the baptism of the Church, he who admits heretics to communion
without baptism is guilty of two errors contrary to reason; for, on
the one hand, he does not cleanse the heretics, and, on the other, he
defiles the Christians."

7. To this we answer that the baptism of the Church exists even among
heretics, though they themselves are not within the Church; just as
the water of Paradise was found in the land of Egypt, though that land
was not itself in Paradise. We do not therefore admit heretics to
communion without baptism; and since they come with their waywardness
corrected, we receive not their sins, but the sacraments of Christ.
And, in respect of the remission of their sins, we say again here
exactly what we said above. And certainly, in regard of what he says
at the end of his judgment, declaring that he "is guilty of two errors
contrary to reason, seeing that on the one hand he does not cleanse
the heretics, and on the other he defiles the Christians," Cyprian
himself is the first and the most earnest in repudiating this with the
colleagues who agreed with him. For neither did he think that he was
defiled, when, on account of the bond of peace, he decreed that it was
right to hold communion with such men, when he used the words, "Judging
no one, nor removing any from the right of communion if he entertain a
different opinion." Or, if heretics defile the Church by being admitted
to communion without being baptized, then the whole Church has been
defiled in virtue of that custom which has been so often recorded here.
And just as those men call us _traditors_ because of our forefathers,
in whom they were able to prove nothing of the sort when they laid
the charge against them, so, if every man partakes of the character
of those with whom he may have held communion, all were then made
heretics. And if every one who asserts this is mad, it must be false
that Victor says, when he declares that "he who admits heretics to
communion without baptism, not only fails to cleanse the heretics, but
pollutes the Christians as well." Or if this be true, they were then
not admitted without baptism, but those men had the baptism of Christ,
although it was given and received among heretics, who were so admitted
in accordance with that custom which these very men acknowledged to
exist; and on the same grounds they are even now rightly admitted in
the same manner.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. V.--8. Aurelius of Utica[536] said: "Since the apostle says that
we ought not to be partakers with the sins of other men,[537] what else
does he do but make himself partaker with the sins of other men, who
holds communion with heretics without the baptism of the Church? And
therefore I pronounce my judgment that heretics should be baptized,
that they may receive remission of their sins, and so communion be
allowed to them."

9. The answer is: Therefore Cyprian and all those bishops were
partakers in the sins of other men, inasmuch as they remained in
communion with such men, when they removed no one from the right of
communion who entertained a different opinion. Where, then, is the
Church? Then, to say nothing for the moment of heretics,--since the
words of this judgment are applicable also to other sinners, such
as Cyprian saw with lamentation to be in the Church with him, whom,
while he confuted them, he yet tolerated,--where is the Church, which,
according to these words, must be held to have perished from that very
moment by the contagion of their sins? But if, as is the most firmly
established truth, the Church both has remained and does remain, the
partaking of the sins of others, which is forbidden by the apostle,
must be considered only to consist in consenting to them. But let
heretics be baptized again, that they may receive remission of their
sins, if the wayward and the envious are baptized again, who, seeing
that they renounced the world in words and not in deeds, were indeed
able to receive baptism, but did not obtain remission of their sins, as
the Lord says, "If ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will
your Father forgive your trespasses."[538]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. VI.--10. Iambus of Germaniciana[539] said: "Those who approve
the baptism of heretics disapprove ours, so as to deny that such as
are, I will not say washed, but defiled outside the Church, ought to be
baptized within the Church."

11. To him we answer, that none of our party approves the baptism of
heretics, but all the baptism of Christ, even though it be found in
heretics who are as it were chaff outside the Church, as it may be
found in other unrighteous men who are as chaff within the Church.
For if those who are baptized without the Church are not washed, but
defiled, assuredly those who are baptized outside the rock on which the
Church is built are not washed, but defiled. But all are without the
said rock who hear the words of Christ and do them not. Or if it be the
case that they are washed indeed in baptism, but yet continue in the
defilement of their unrighteousness, from which they were unwilling to
be changed for the better, the same is true also of the heretics.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. VII.--12. Lucianus of Rucuma[540] said: "It is written, 'And
God saw the light that it was good, and God divided the light from
the darkness.'[541] If light and darkness can agree, then can there
be something in common between us and heretics. Therefore I give my
judgment that heretics should be baptized."

13. To him the answer is: If light and darkness can agree, then can
there be something common between the righteous and unrighteous. Let
him therefore declare his judgment that those unrighteous should be
baptized afresh whom Cyprian confuted within the Church itself; or let
him who can say if those are not unrighteous who renounce the world in
words and not in deeds.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. VIII.--14. Pelagianus of Luperciana[542] said: "It is written,
'Either the Lord is God, or Baal is God.'[543] So now either the Church
is the Church, or heresy is the Church. Further, if heresy be not the
Church, how can the baptism of the Church exist among heretics?"

15. To him we may answer as follows: Either Paradise is Paradise, or
Egypt is Paradise. Further, if Egypt be not Paradise, how can the water
of Paradise be in Egypt? But it will be said to us that it extends even
thither by flowing forth from Paradise. In like manner, therefore,
baptism extends to heretics. Also we say: Either the rock is the
Church, or the sand is the Church. Further, since the sand is not the
Church, how can baptism exist with those who build upon the sand by
hearing the words of Christ and doing them not?[544] And yet it does
exist with them; and in like manner also it exists among the heretics.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. IX.--16. Jader of Midila[545] said: "We know that there is but
one baptism in the Catholic Church, and therefore we ought not to admit
a heretic unless he has been baptized in our body, lest he should think
that he has been baptized outside the Catholic Church."

17. To him our answer is, that if this were said of those unrighteous
men who are outside the rock, it certainly would be falsely said. And
so it is therefore also in the case of heretics.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. X.--18. Likewise another Felix of Marazana[546] said: "There is
one faith, one baptism,[547] but of the Catholic Church, to which alone
is given authority to baptize."

19. What if another were to say as follows: One faith, one baptism, but
of the righteous only, to whom alone authority is given to baptize?
As these words might be refuted, so also may the judgment of Felix be
refuted. Do even the unrighteous, who are not[548] changed in heart in
baptism, while they renounce the world in words and not in deeds, yet
belong to the members of the Church? Let them consider whether such a
Church is the actual rock, the very dove, the bride herself without
spot or wrinkle.[549]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XI.--20. Paul of Bobba[550] said: "I for my part am not moved if
some fail to uphold the faith and truth of the Church, seeing that the
apostle says, 'For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief
make the faith of God of none effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true,
but every man a liar.'[551] But if God be true, how can the truth of
baptism be in the company of heretics, where God is not?"

21. To him we answer: What, is God among the covetous? And yet baptism
exists among them; and so also it exists among heretics. For they among
whom God is, are the temple of God. "But what agreement hath the temple
of God with idols?"[552] Further, Paul considers, and Cyprian agrees
with him, that covetousness is idolatry; and Cyprian himself again
associates with his colleagues, who were robbers, but yet baptized,
with great reward of toleration.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XII.--22. Pomponius of Dionysiana[553] said: "It is manifest that
heretics cannot baptize and give remission of sins, seeing that no
power is given to them that they should be able either to loose or bind
anything on earth."

23. The answer is: This power is not given to murderers either, that
is, to those who hate their brothers. For it was not said to such as
these, "Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and
whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained."[554] And yet they
baptize, and both Paul tolerates them in the same communion of baptism,
and Cyprian acknowledges them.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XIII.--24. Venantius of Tinisa[555] said: "If a husband, going
on a journey into foreign countries, had entrusted the guardianship
of his wife to a friend, he would surely keep her that was entrusted
to his care with the utmost diligence, that her chastity and holiness
might not be defiled by any one. Christ our Lord and God, when going to
the Father, committed His bride to our care: do we keep her uncorrupt
and undefiled, or do we betray her purity and chastity to adulterers
and corrupters? For he who makes the baptism of Christ common with
heretics betrays the bride of Christ to adulterers."

25. We answer: What of those who, when they are baptized, turn
themselves to the Lord with their lips and not with their heart? do
not they possess an adulterous mind? Are not they themselves lovers
of the world, which they renounce in words and not in deeds; and they
corrupt good manners through evil communications, saying, "Let us
eat and drink; for to-morrow we die?"[556] Did not the discourse of
the apostle take heed even against such as these, when he says, "But
I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his
subtilty, so your minds also should be corrupted from the simplicity
that is in Christ?"[557] When, therefore, Cyprian held the baptism of
Christ to be in common with such men, did he therefore betray the bride
of Christ into the hands of adulterers, or did he not rather recognise
the necklace of the Bridegroom even on an adulteress?

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XIV.--26. Aymnius of Ausnaga[558] said: "We have received one
baptism, which same also we administer; but he who says that authority
is given to heretics also to baptize, the same makes two baptisms."

27. To him we answer: Why does not he also make two baptisms who
maintains that the unrighteous also can baptize? For although the
righteous and unrighteous are in themselves opposed to one another, yet
the baptism which the righteous give, such as was Paul, or such as was
also Cyprian, is not contrary to the baptism which those unrighteous
men were wont to give who hated Paul, whom Cyprian understands to have
been not heretics, but bad Catholics; and although the moderation
which was found in Cyprian, and the covetousness which was found in his
colleagues, are in themselves opposed to one another, yet the baptism
which Cyprian used to give was not contrary to the baptism which his
colleagues who opposed him used to give, but one and the same with it,
because in both cases it is He that baptizes of whom it is said, "The
same is He which baptizeth."[559]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XIV.--28. Saturninus of Victoriana[560] said: "If heretics may
baptize, they are excused and defended in doing unlawful things; nor
do I see why either Christ called them His adversaries, or the apostle
called them antichrists."

29. To him we answer: We say that heretics have no authority to baptize
in the same sense in which we say that defrauders have no authority
to baptize. For not only to the heretic, but to the sinner, God says,
"What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest
take my statutes in thy mouth?" To the same person He assuredly says,
"When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him."[561] How
much worse, therefore, are those who did not consent with thieves, but
themselves were wont to plunder farms with treacherous deceits? Yet
Cyprian did not consent with them, though he did tolerate them in the
corn-field of the Catholic Church, lest the wheat should be rooted
out together with it. And yet at the same time the baptism which they
themselves conferred was the very selfsame baptism, because it was
not of them, but of Christ. As therefore they, although the baptism
of Christ be recognised in them, were yet not excused and defended in
doing unlawful things, and Christ rightly called those His adversaries
who were destined, by persevering in such things, to hear the doom,
"Depart from me, ye that work iniquity,"[562] whence also they are
called antichrists, because they are contrary to Christ while they live
in opposition to His words, so likewise is it the case with heretics.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XVI.--30. Another Saturninus of Tucca[563] said: "The Gentiles,
although they worship idols, yet acknowledge and confess the supreme
God, the Father and Creator. Against Him Marcion blasphemes, and some
men do not blush to approve the baptism of Marcion.[564] How do such
priests either maintain or vindicate the priesthood of God, who do not
baptize the enemies of God, and hold communion with them while they are
thus unbaptized?"

31. The answer is this: Truly when such terms as this are used, all
moderation is passed; nor do they take into consideration that even
they themselves hold communion with such men, "judging no one, nor
removing any from the right of communion if he entertain a contrary
opinion." But Saturninus has used an argument in this very judgment of
his, which might furnish materials for his admonition (if he would pay
attention to it), that in each man what is wrong should be corrected,
and what is right should be approved, since he says, "The Gentiles,
although they worship idols, yet acknowledge and confess the supreme
God, the Father and Creator." If, then, any Gentile of such a kind
should come to God, would he wish to correct and change this point in
him that he acknowledged and confessed God the Father and Creator? I
trow not. But he would amend in him his idolatry, which was an evil in
him; and he would give to him the sacraments of Christ, which he did
not possess; and anything that was wayward which he found in him he
would correct; and anything which had been wanting he would supply. So
also in the Marcionist heretic he would acknowledge the perfectness of
baptism, he would correct his waywardness, he would teach him Catholic
truth.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XVII.--32. Marcellus of Zama[565] said: "Since sins are remitted
only in the baptism of the Church, he who does not baptize a heretic
holds communion with a sinner."

33. What, does he who holds communion with one who does this not hold
communion with a sinner? But what else did all of them do, in judging
no one, or removing from the right of communion any one who entertained
a different opinion? Where, then, is the Church? Are those things not
an obstacle to those who are patient, and tolerate the tares lest
the wheat should be rooted out together with them? I would have them
therefore say, who have committed the sacrilege of schism by separating
themselves from the whole world, how it comes that they have in their
mouths the judgment of Cyprian, while they do not have in their hearts
the patience of Cyprian. But to this Marcellus we have an answer in
what has been said above concerning baptism and the remission of sins,
explaining how there can be baptism in a man although there be in him
no remission of his sins.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XVIII.--34. Irenæus of Ululi[566] said: "If the Church does
not baptize a heretic, because it is said that he has been baptized
already, then heresy is the greater."

35. The answer is: On the same principle it might be said, If therefore
the Church does not baptize the covetous man, because it is said that
he has been baptized already, then covetousness is the greater. But
this is false, therefore the other is also false.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XIX.--36. Donatus of Cibaliana[566] said: "I acknowledge one
Church, and one baptism that appertains thereto. If there is any one
who says that the grace of baptism exists among heretics, he must first
show and prove that the Church exists with them."

37. To him we answer: If you say that the grace of baptism is identical
with baptism, then it exists among heretics; but if baptism is the
sacrament or outward sign of grace, while the grace itself is the
abolition of sins, then the grace of baptism does not exist with
heretics. But so there is one baptism and one Church, just as there is
one faith. As therefore the good and bad, not having one hope, can yet
have one baptism, so those who have not one common Church can have one
common baptism.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XX.--38. Zozimus of Tharassa[567] said: "When a revelation has
been made of the truth, error must give way to truth; inasmuch as Peter
also, who before was wont to circumcise, gave way to Paul when he
declared the truth."[568]

39. The answer is: This may also be considered as the expression of our
judgment too, and this is just what has been done in respect of this
question of baptism. For after that the truth had been more clearly
revealed, error gave way to truth, when that most wholesome custom was
further confirmed by the authority of a general Council. It is well,
however, that they so constantly bear in mind that it was possible
even for Peter, the chief of the apostles, to have been at one time
minded otherwise than the truth required; which we believe, without any
disrespect to Cyprian, to have been the case with him, and that with
all our love for Cyprian, for it is not right that he should be loved
with greater love than Peter.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXI.--40. Julianus of Telepte[569] said: "It is written, 'A
man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven;'[570] if
heresy is from heaven, it can give baptism."

41. Let him hear another also saying: If covetousness is from heaven,
it can give baptism. And yet the covetous do confer it; so therefore
also may the heretics.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXII.--42. Faustus of Timida Regia[571] said: "Let not these
persons flatter themselves who favour heretics. He who interferes with
the baptism of the Church on behalf of heretics makes them Christians,
and us heretics."

43. To him we answer: If any one were to say that a man who, when he
received baptism, had not received remission of his sins, because he
entertained hatred towards his brother in his heart, was nevertheless
not to be baptized again when he dismissed that hatred from his heart,
does such a man interfere with the baptism of the Church on behalf of
murderers, or does he make them righteous and us murderers? Let him
therefore understand the same also in the case of heretics.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXIII.--44. Geminius of Furni[572] said: "Certain of our
colleagues may prefer heretics to themselves, they cannot prefer them
to us: and therefore what we have once decreed we hold, that we should
baptize those who come to us from heretics."

45. This man also acknowledges most openly that certain of his
colleagues entertained opinions contrary to his own: whence again and
again the love of unity is confirmed, because they were separated from
one another by no schism, till God should reveal to one or other of
them anything wherein they were otherwise minded.[573] But to him our
answer is, that his colleagues did not prefer heretics to themselves,
but that, as the baptism of Christ is acknowledged in the covetous, in
the fraudulent, in robbers, in murderers, so also they acknowledged it
in heretics.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXIV.--46. Rogatianus of Nova[574] said: "Christ established
the Church, the devil heresy: how can the synagogue of Satan have the
baptism of Christ?"

47. To him our answer is: Is it true that because Christ established
the well-affectioned, and the devil the envious, therefore the party
of the devil, which is proved to be among the envious, cannot have the
baptism of Christ?

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXV.--48. Therapius of Bulla[575] said: "If a man gives up and
betrays the baptism of Christ to heretics, what else can he be said to
be but a Judas to the Bride of Christ?"

49. How great a condemnation have we here of all schismatics, who have
separated themselves by wicked sacrilege from the inheritance of Christ
dispersed throughout the whole world, if Cyprian held communion with
such as was the traitor Judas, and yet was not defiled by them; or
if he was defiled, then were all made such as Judas; or if they were
not, then the evil deeds of those who went before do not belong to
those who came after, even though they were the offspring of the same
communion. Why, therefore, do they cast in our teeth the _traditores_,
against whom they did not prove their charge, and do not cast in their
own teeth Judas, with whom Cyprian and his colleagues held communion?
Behold the Council in which these men are wont to boast! We indeed say,
that he who approves the baptism of Christ even in heretics, does not
betray to heretics the baptism of Christ; just in the same way as he
does not betray to murderers the baptism of Christ who approves the
baptism of Christ even in murderers: but inasmuch as they profess to
prescribe to us from the decrees of this Council what opinions we ought
to hold, let them first assent to it themselves. See how therein were
compared to the traitor Judas, all who said that heretics, although
baptized in heresy, yet should not be baptized again. Yet with such
Cyprian was willing to hold communion, when he said, "Judging no man,
nor depriving any of the right of communion if he entertain a contrary
opinion." But that there had been men of such a sort in former times
within the Church, is made clear by the sentence in which he says: "But
some one will say, What, then, shall be done with these men who in
times past were admitted into the Church without baptism?"[576] That
such had been the custom of the Church, is testified again and again
by the very men who compose this Council. If, therefore, any one who
does this "can be said to be nothing else but a Judas to the Bride of
Christ," according to the terms in which the judgment of Therapius is
couched; but Judas, according to the teaching of the gospel, was a
traitor; then all those men held communion with traitors who at that
time uttered those very judgments, and before they uttered them they
all had become traitors through that custom which at that time was
retained by the Church. All, therefore--that is to say, both we and
they themselves who were the offspring of that unity--are traitors. But
we defend ourselves in two ways: first, because without prejudice to
the right of unity, as Cyprian himself declared in his opening speech,
we do not assent to the decrees of this Council in which this judgment
was pronounced; and secondly, because we hold that the wicked in no
way hurt the good in Catholic unity, until at the last the chaff be
separated from the wheat. But our opponents, inasmuch as they both
shelter themselves as it were under the decrees of this Council, and
maintain that the good perish as by a kind of infection from communion
with the wicked, have no resource to save them from allowing both
that the earlier Christians, whose offspring they are, were traitors,
inasmuch as they are convicted by their own Council; and that the deeds
of those who went before them do reflect on them, since they throw in
our teeth the deeds of our ancestors.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXVI.--50. Also another Lucius of Membresa[577] said: "It is
written, 'God heareth not sinners.'[578] How can he who is a sinner be
heard in baptism?"

51. We answer: How is the covetous man heard, or the robber, and
usurer, and murderer? Are they not sinners? And yet Cyprian, while he
finds fault with them in the Catholic Church, yet tolerates them.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXVII.--52. Also another Felix of Buslaceni[579] said: "In
admitting heretics to the Church without baptism, let no one place
custom before reason and truth; for reason and truth always exclude
custom."

53. To him our answer is: You do not show the truth; you confess the
existence of the custom. We should therefore do right in maintaining
the custom which has since been confirmed by a general Council, even if
the truth were still concealed, which we believe to have been already
made manifest.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXVIII.--54. Another Saturninus of Abitini[580] said: "If
Antichrist can give to any one the grace of Christ, then can heretics
also baptize, who are called Antichrists."

55. What if another were to say, If a murderer can give the grace of
Christ, then can they also baptize that hate their brethren, who are
called murderers? For certainly he would seem in a way to speak the
truth, and yet they can baptize; in like manner, therefore, can the
heretics as well.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXIX.--56. Quintus of Aggya[581] said: "He who has a thing can
give it; but what can the heretics give, who are well known to have
nothing?"

57. To him our answer is: If, then, any man can give a thing who has
it, it is clear that heretics can give baptism: for when they separate
from the Church, they have still the sacrament of washing which they
had received while in the Church; for when they return they do not
again receive it, because they had not lost it when they withdrew from
the Church.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXX.--58. Another Julianus of Marcelliana[582] said: "If a man
can serve two masters, God and mammon,[583] then baptism also can serve
two, the Christian and the heretic."

59. Truly, if it can serve the self-restrained and the covetous man,
the sober and the drunken, the well-affectioned and the murderer, why
should it not also serve the Christian and the heretic?--whom, indeed,
it does not really serve; but it ministers to them, and is administered
by them, for salvation to those who use it right, and for judgment to
such as use it wrong.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXXI.--60. Tenax of Horrea Celiae[584] said: "There is one
baptism, but of the Church; and where the Church is not, there baptism
also cannot be."

61. To him we answer: How then comes it that it may be where the rock
is not, but only sand; seeing that the Church is on the rock, and not
on sand?

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXXII.--62. Another Victor of Assura[585] said: "It is
written, that 'there is one God and one Christ, one Church and one
baptism.'[586] How then can any one baptize in a place where there is
not either God, or Christ, or the Church?"

63. How can any one baptize either in that sand, where the Church is
not, seeing that it is on the rock; nor God and Christ, seeing that
there is not there the temple of God and Christ?

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXXIII.--64. Donatulus of Capsa[587] said: "I also have always
entertained this opinion, that heretics, who have gained nothing
outside the Church, should be baptized when they are converted to the
Church."

65. To this the answer is: They have, indeed, gained nothing outside
the Church, but that is nothing towards salvation, not nothing
towards the sacrament. For salvation is peculiar to the good; but the
sacraments are common to the good and bad alike.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXXIV.--66. Verulus of Rusiccada[588] said: "A man that is a
heretic cannot give that which he has not; much more is this the case
with a schismatic, who has lost what he had."

67. We have already shown that they still have it, because they do not
lose it when they separate themselves. For they do not receive it again
when they return: wherefore, if it was thought that they could not give
it because they were supposed not to have it, let it now be understood
that they can give it, because it is understood that they also have it.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXXV.--68. Pudentianus of Cuiculi[589] said: "My recent
ordination to the episcopate induced me, brethren, to wait and hear
what my elders would decide. For it is plain that heresies have and
can have nothing; and so, if any come from them, it is determined
righteously that they should be baptized."

69. As, therefore, we have already answered those who went before, for
whose judgment this man was waiting, so be it understood that we have
answered himself.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXXVI.--70. Peter of Hippo Diarrhytus[590] said: "Since there is
one baptism in the Catholic Church, it is clear that a man cannot be
baptized outside the Church; and therefore I give my judgment, that
those who have been bathed in heresy or in schism ought to be baptized
on coming to the Church."

71. There is one baptism in the Catholic Church, in such a sense that,
when any have gone out from it, it does not become two in those who go
out, but remains one and the same. What, therefore, is recognised in
those who return, should also be recognised in those who received it
from men who have separated themselves, since they did not lose it when
they went apart into heresy.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXXVII.--72. Likewise another Lucius of Ausafa[591] said:
"According to the motion of my mind and of the Holy Spirit, since
there is one God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and one Christ,
and one hope, one Spirit, one Church, there ought also to be only one
baptism. And therefore I say, both that if anything has been set on
foot or done among the heretics, that it ought to be rescinded; and
also, that they who come out from among the heretics should be baptized
in the Church."

73. Let it therefore be pronounced of no effect that they baptize,
who hear the words of God and do them not, when they shall begin to
pass from unrighteousness to righteousness, that is, from the sand to
the rock. And if this is not done, because what there was in them of
Christ was not violated by their unrighteousness, then let this also be
understood in the case of heretics: for neither is there the same hope
in the unrighteous, so long as they are on the sand, as there is in
those who are upon the rock; and yet there is in both the same baptism,
although as it is said that there is one hope, so also is it said that
there is one baptism.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXXVIII.--74. Felix of Gurgites[592] 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."

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.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXXIX.--76. Pusillus of Lamasba[593] said: "I believe that
baptism is not unto salvation except within the Catholic Church.
Whatsoever is without the Catholic Church is mere pretence."

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 savour of
Christ is certainly not unto salvation in them that perish,[594] though
from a fault not in itself, but in them. But "whatsoever is without
the Catholic Church is mere pretence," 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.[595] For there may be pretence 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 pretence 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.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XL.--78. Salvianus of Gazaufala[596] 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."

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 what they received there. But
if it is absurd to say that those are not heretics through whom the
rest became heretics, it is therefore possible that a heretic should
have what turns to his destruction through his evil use of it.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XLI.--80. Honoratus of Tucca[597] said: "Since Christ is the
truth, we ought to follow the truth rather than custom; that we may
sanctify by the baptism of the Church the heretics who come to us,
simply because they could receive nothing outside."

81. This man, too, is a witness to the custom, in which he gives us the
greatest assistance, whatever else he may appear to say against us. But
this is not the reason why heretics come over to us, because they have
received nothing outside, but that what they did receive may begin to
be of use to them: for this it could not be outside in any wise.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XLII.--82. Victor of Octavus[598] said: "As ye yourselves also
know, I have not been long appointed a bishop, and therefore I waited
for the counsel of my seniors. This therefore I express as my opinion,
that whosoever comes from heresy should undoubtedly be baptized."

83. What, therefore, has been answered to those for whom he waited, may
be taken as the answer also to himself.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XLIII.--84. Clarus of Mascula[598] said: "The sentence of our
Lord Jesus Christ is manifest, when He sent forth His apostles, and
gave the power which had been given Him of His Father to them alone,
whose successors we are, governing the Church of the Lord with the
same power, and baptizing those who believe the faith. And therefore
heretics, who, being without, have neither power nor the Church of
Christ, cannot baptize any one with His baptism."

85. Are, then, ill-affectioned murderers successors of the apostles?
Why, then, do they baptize? Is it because they are not outside? But
they are outside the rock, to which the Lord gave the keys, and on
which He said that He would build His Church.[599]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XLIV.--86. Secundianus of Thambei[600] said: "We ought not to
deceive heretics by our too great forwardness, that not having been
baptized in the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ, and having therefore
not received remission of their sins, they may not impute to us, when
the day of judgment comes, that we have been the cause of their not
being baptized, and not having obtained the indulgence of the grace of
God. On which account, since there is one Church and one baptism, when
they are converted to us, let them receive together with the Church the
baptism also of the Church."

87. Nay, when they are transferred to the rock, and joined to the
society of the Dove, let them receive the remission of their sins,
which they could not have outside the rock and outside the Dove,
whether they were openly without, like the heretics, or apparently
within, like the abandoned Catholics; of whom, however, it is clear
that they both have and confer baptism without remission of sins, when
even from themselves it is received by men, who, being not changed for
the better, honour God with their lips, while their heart is far from
Him.[601] Yet it is true that there is one baptism, just as there is
one Dove, though those who are not in the one communion of the Dove may
yet have baptism in common.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XLV.--88. Also another Aurelius of Chullabi[602] said: "The
Apostle John has laid down in his epistle the following precept: 'If
there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not
into your house, neither bid him God speed: for he that biddeth him God
speed is partaker of his evil deeds.'[603] How can such men be admitted
without consideration into the house of God, who are forbidden to be
admitted into our private house? Or how can we hold communion with
them without the baptism of Christ, when, if we only so much as bid
them God speed, we are partakers of their evil deeds?"

89. In respect of this testimony of John there is no need of further
disputation, since it has no reference at all to the question of
baptism, which we are at present discussing. For he says, "If any come
unto you, and bring not the doctrine of Christ." But heretics leaving
the doctrine of their error are converted to the doctrine of Christ,
that they may be incorporated with the Church, and may begin to belong
to the members of that Dove whose sacrament they previously had; and
therefore what previously they lacked belonging to it is given to
them, that is to say, peace and charity out of a pure heart, and of a
good conscience, and of faith unfeigned.[604] But what they previously
had belonging to the Dove is acknowledged, and received without any
depreciation; just as in the adulteress God recognises His gifts, even
when she is following her lovers; because when after her fornication
is corrected she is turned again to chastity, those gifts are not laid
to her charge, but she herself is corrected.[605] But just as Cyprian
might have defended himself, if this testimony of John had been cast
in his teeth, whilst he was holding communion with men like these, so
let those against whom it is spoken make their own defence. For to the
question before us, as I said before, it has no reference at all. For
John says that we are not to bid God speed to men of strange doctrine;
but Paul the apostle says, with even greater vehemence, "If any man
that is called a brother be covetous, or a drunkard," or anything of
the sort, with such an one no not to eat;[606] and yet Cyprian used
to admit to fellowship, not with his private table, but with the
altar of God, his colleagues who were usurers, and treacherous, and
fraudulent, and robbers. But in what manner this may be defended has
been sufficiently set forth in other books already.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XLVI.--90. Litteus of Gemelli[607] said: "'If the blind lead the
blind, both shall fall into the ditch.'[608] Since, therefore, it is
clear that heretics can give no light[609] to any one, as being blind
themselves, therefore their baptism is invalid."

91. Neither do we say that it is valid for salvation so long as they
are heretics, just as it is of no value to those murderers of whom we
spoke so long as they hate their brethren: for they also themselves are
in darkness, and if any one follows them they fall together into the
ditch; and yet it does not follow that they either have not baptism or
are unable to confer it.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XLVII.--92. Natalis of Oea[610] said: "It is not only I myself
who am present, but also Pompeius of Sabrata,[610] and Dioga of Leptis
Magna,[610] who commissioned me to represent their views, being absent
indeed in body, but present in spirit, who deliver this same judgment
as our colleagues, that heretics cannot have communion with us, unless
they have been baptized with the baptism of the Church."

93. He means, I suppose, that communion which belongs to the society of
the Dove; for in the partaking of the sacraments they doubtless held
communion with them, judging no man, nor removing any from the right of
communion if he held a different opinion. But with whatever reference
he spoke, there is no great need for these words being refuted. For
certainly a heretic would not be admitted to communion, unless he had
been baptized with the baptism of the Church. But it is clear that the
baptism of the Church exists even among heretics if it be consecrated
with the words of the gospel; just as the gospel itself belongs to the
Church, and has nothing to do with their waywardness, but certainly
retains its own holiness.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XLVIII.--94. Junius of Neapolis[611] said: "I do not depart from
the judgment which we once pronounced, that we should baptize heretics
on their coming to the Church."

95. Since this man has adduced no argument nor proof from the
Scriptures, he need not detain us long.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XLIX.--96. Cyprian of Carthage said: "My opinion has been set
forth with the greatest fulness in the letter which has been written
to our colleague Jubaianus,[612] that heretics being called enemies of
Christ and antichrists according to the testimony of the gospel and the
apostles, should, when they come to the Church, be baptized with the
one baptism of the Church, that from enemies they may be made friends,
and that from antichrists they may be made Christians."

97. What need is there of further disputation here, seeing that we have
already handled with the utmost care that very epistle to Jubaianus
of which he has made mention? And as to what he has said here, let us
not forget that it might be said of all unrighteous men who, as he
himself bears witness, are in the Catholic Church, and whose power of
possessing and of conferring baptism is not questioned by any of us.
For they come to the Church, who pass to Christ from the party of the
devil, and build upon the rock, and are incorporated with the Dove,
and are placed in security in the garden enclosed and fountain sealed;
where none of those are found who live contrary to the precepts of
Christ, wherever they may seem to be. For in the epistle which he wrote
to Magnus, while discussing this very question, he himself warned us at
sufficient length, and in no ambiguous terms, of what kind of society
we should understand that the Church consists. For he says, in speaking
of a certain man, "Let him become an alien and profane, an enemy to the
peace and unity of the Lord, not dwelling in the house of God, that is
to say, in the Church of Christ, in which none dwell save those who are
of one heart and of one mind."[613] Let those, therefore, who would lay
injunctions on us on the authority of Cyprian, pay attention for a time
to what we here say. For if only those who are of one heart and of one
mind dwell in the Church of Christ, beyond all question those were not
dwelling in the Church of Christ, however much they might appear to
be within, who of envy and contention were announcing Christ without
charity; by whom he understands, not the heretics and schismatics who
are mentioned by the Apostle Paul,[614] but false brethren holding
conversation with him within, who certainly ought not to have baptized,
because they were not dwelling in the Church, in which he himself
says that none dwell save those who are of one heart and of one mind:
unless, indeed, any one be so far removed from the truth as to say
that those were of one heart and of one mind who were envious and
malevolent, and contentious without charity; and yet they used to
baptize: nor did the detestable waywardness which they displayed in
any degree violate or diminish from the sacrament of Christ, which was
handled and dispensed by them.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. L.--98. It is indeed worth while to consider the whole of the
passage in the aforesaid letter to Magnus, which he has put together
as follows: "Not dwelling," he says, "in the house of 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.'[615]
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,[616] 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,[617] 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 pretence or in truth, Christ
is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice."[618]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. LI.--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,[619] which is
called the one dove,[620] which is styled the beauteous bride without
spot or wrinkle,[621] and a garden enclosed, a fountain sealed,
a well of living water, an orchard of pomegranates with pleasant
fruits,[622] which house also received the keys, and the power of
binding and loosing.[623] If any one shall neglect this house when it
arrests and corrects him, the Lord says, "Let him be unto thee as an
heathen man and a publican."[624] Of this house it is said, "Lord,
I have loved the habitation of Thy house, and the place where Thine
honour dwelleth;"[625] and, "He maketh men to be of one mind in an
house;"[626] and, "I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into
the house of the Lord;"[627] and, "Blessed are they that dwell in Thy
house, O Lord; they will be still praising Thee;"[628] with countless
other passages to the same effect. This house is also called wheat,
bringing forth fruit with patience, some thirty-fold, some sixty-fold,
and some an hundred-fold.[629] This house is also in vessels of gold
and of silver,[630] and in precious stones and imperishable woods. To
this house it is said, "Forbearing one another in love, endeavouring
to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace;"[631] and, "For
the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are."[632] For this house is
composed of those that are good and faithful, and of the holy servants
of God dispersed throughout the world, and bound together by the unity
of the Spirit, whether they know each other personally or not. But we
hold that others are said to be in the house after such a sort, that
they belong not to the substance of the house, nor to the society of
fruitful and peaceful justice, but only as the chaff is said to be
among the corn; for that they are in the house we cannot deny, when the
apostle says, "But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold
and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and
some to dishonour."[633] Of this countless multitude are found to be
not only the crowd which within the Church afflicts the heart of the
saints, who are so few in comparison with so vast a host, but also the
heresies and schisms which exist in those who have burst the meshes of
the net, and may now be said to be rather out of the house than in the
house, of whom it is said, "They went out from us, but they were not
of us."[634] For they are more thoroughly separated, now that they are
also divided from us in the body, than are those who live within the
Church in a carnal and worldly fashion, and are separated from us in
the spirit.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. LII.--100. Of all these several classes, then, no one doubts
respecting those first, who are in the house of God in such a sense as
themselves to be the house of God, whether they be already spiritual,
or as yet only babes nurtured with milk, but still making progress,
with earnestness of heart, towards that which is spiritual, that such
men both have baptism so as to be of profit to themselves, and transmit
it to those who follow their example so as to benefit them; but that in
its transmission to those who are false, whom the Holy Spirit shuns,
though they themselves, so far as lies with them, confer it so as to
be of profit, yet the others receive it in vain, since they do not
imitate those from whom they receive it. But they who are in the great
house after the fashion of vessels to dishonour, both have baptism
without profit to themselves, and transmit it without profit to those
who follow their example: those, however, receive it with profit, who
are united in heart and character, not to their ministers, but to the
holy house of God. But those who are more thoroughly separated, so as
to be rather out of the house than in the house, have baptism without
any profit to themselves; and, moreover, there is no profit to those
who receive it from them, unless they be compelled by urgent necessity
to receive it, and their heart in receiving it does not depart from the
bond of unity: yet nevertheless they possess it, though the possession
be of no avail; and it is received from them, even when it is of no
profit to those who so receive it, though, in order that it may become
of use, they must depart from their heresy or schism, and cleave to
that house of God. And this ought to be done, not only by heretics and
schismatics, but also by those who are in the house through communion
in the sacraments, yet so as to be outside the house through the
perversity of their character. For so the sacrament begins to be of
profit even to themselves, which previously was of no avail.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. LIII.--101. The question is also commonly raised, whether baptism
is to be held valid which is received from one who had not himself
received it, if, from some promptings of curiosity, he had chanced to
learn how it ought to be conferred; and whether it makes no difference
in what spirit the recipient receives it, whether in mockery or in
sincerity: if in mockery, whether the difference arises when the
mockery is of deceit, as in the Church, or in what is thought to be
the Church; or when it is in jest, as in a play: and which is the more
accursed, to receive it deceitfully in the Church, or in heresy or
schism without deceit, that is to say, with full sincerity of heart;
or whether it be worse to receive it deceitfully in heresy or in good
faith in a play, if any one were to be moved by a sudden feeling of
religion in the midst of his acting. And yet, if we compare such an
one even with him who receives it deceitfully in the Catholic Church
itself, I should be surprised if any one were to doubt which of the
two should be preferred; for I do not see of what avail the intention
of him who gives in truth can be to him who receives deceitfully. But
let us consider, in the case of some one also giving it in deceit,
when both the giver and the recipient are acting deceitfully in the
unity of the Catholic Church itself, whether this should rather be
acknowledged as baptism, or that which is given in a play, if any one
should be found who received it faithfully from a sudden impulse of
religion: or whether it be not true that, so far as the men themselves
are concerned, there is a very great difference between the believing
recipient in a play, and the mocking recipient in the Church; but that
in regard to the genuineness of the sacrament there is no difference.
For if it makes no difference in respect to the genuineness of the
sacrament within the Catholic Church itself, whether certain persons
celebrate it in truth or in deceit, so long as both still celebrate
the same thing, I cannot see why it should make a difference outside,
seeing that he who receives it is not cloaked by his deceit, but he is
changed by his religious impulse. Or have those truthful persons among
whom it is celebrated more power for the confirmation of the sacrament,
than those deceitful men by whom and in whom it is celebrated can exert
for its invalidation? And yet, if the deceit be subsequently brought
to light, no one seeks a repetition of the sacrament; but the fraud is
either punished by excommunication or set right by penitence.

102. But the safe course for us is, not to advance with any rashness of
judgment in setting forth a view which has neither been started in any
provincial Council of the Catholic Church nor established in a general
one; but to assert, with all the confidence of a voice that cannot be
gainsaid, what has been confirmed by the consent of the universal
Church, under the direction of our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Nevertheless, if any one were to press me--supposing I were duly seated
in a Council in which a question were raised on points like these--to
declare what my own opinion was, without reference to the previously
expressed views of others, whose judgment I would rather follow, if
I were under the influence of the same feelings as led me to assert
what I have said before, I should have no hesitation in saying that
all men possess baptism who have received it in any place, from any
sort of men, provided that it were consecrated in the words of the
gospel, and received without deceit on their part with some degree of
faith; although it would be of no profit to them for the salvation
of their souls if they were without charity, by which they might be
grafted into the Catholic Church. For "though I have faith," says the
apostle, "so that I could remove mountains, but have not charity, I
am nothing."[635] Just as already, from the established decrees of
our predecessors, I have no hesitation in saying that all those have
baptism who, though they receive it deceitfully, yet receive it in the
Church, or where the Church is thought to be by those in whose society
it is received, of whom it was said, "They went out from us."[636] But
when there was no society of those who so believed, and when the man
who received it did not himself hold such belief, but the whole thing
was done as a farce, or a comedy, or a jest,--if I were asked whether
the baptism which was thus conferred should be approved, I should
declare my opinion that we ought to pray for the declaration of God's
judgment through the medium of some revelation, seeking it with united
prayer and earnest groanings of suppliant devotion, humbly deferring
all the time to the decision of those who were to give their judgment
after me, in case they should set forth anything as already known and
determined. And, therefore, how much the more must I be considered to
have given my opinion now without prejudice to the utterance of more
diligent research or authority higher than my own!

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. LIV.--103. But now I think that it is fully time for me to bring
to their due termination these books also on the subject of baptism, in
which our Lord God has shown to us, through the words of the peaceful
Bishop Cyprian and his brethren who agreed with him, how great is the
love which should be felt for catholic unity; so that even where they
were otherwise minded until God should reveal even this to them,[637]
they should rather bear with those who thought differently from
themselves, than sever themselves from them by a wicked schism; whereby
the mouths of the Donatists are wholly closed, even if we say nothing
of the followers of Maximian. For if the wicked pollute the good in
unity, then even Cyprian himself already found no Church to which he
could be joined. But if the wicked do not infect the good in unity,
then the sacrilegious Donatist has no ground to set before himself for
separation. But if baptism is both possessed and transferred by the
multitude of others who work the works of the flesh, of which it is
said, that "they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of
God,"[638] then it is possessed and transferred also by heretics, who
are numbered among those works; because they could have transferred it
had they remained, and did not lose it by their secession. But men of
this kind confer it on their fellows as fruitlessly and uselessly as
the others who resemble them, inasmuch as they shall not inherit the
kingdom of God. And as, when those others are brought into the right
path, it is not that baptism begins to be present, having been absent
before, but that it begins to profit them, having been already in them;
so is it the case with heretics as well. Whence Cyprian and those who
thought with him could not impose limits on the Catholic Church, which
they would not mutilate. But in that they were otherwise minded we feel
no fear, seeing that we too share in their veneration for Peter; yet in
that they did not depart from unity we rejoice, seeing that we, like
them, are founded on the rock.

FOOTNOTES:

[531] Wisd. ix. 15.

[532] Gal. ii. 11.

[533] Mactaris was in Byzacene.

[534] Siccilibba was in Zeugitana.

[535] Gor is variously supposed to be Garra in Mauritania, or Garriana
in Byzacene.

[536] Utica, the well-known city in Zeugitana, where Cato died.

[537] 1 Tim. v. 22.

[538] Matt. vi. 15.

[539] Germaniciana Nova was in Byzacene.

[540] Rucuma was in Zeugitana.

[541] Gen. i. 4.

[542] The position of Luperciana is unknown.

[543] See 1 Kings xviii. 21.

[544] Matt. vii. 24-27.

[545] Midila was in Numidia.

[546] Marazana was in Byzacene.

[547] Eph. iv. 5.

[548] Nec ... mutati. "Nec" is restored by Migne from the MSS.

[549] Eph. v. 27. See _Retract._ ii. 18, quoted on I. xvii. 26.

[550] Bobba was in Mauritania Tingitana.

[551] Rom. iii. 3, 4.

[552] 2 Cor. vi. 16.

[553] Dionysiana was in Byzacene.

[554] John xx. 23.

[555] Tinisa was in Zeugitana.

[556] 1 Cor. xv. 33, 32.

[557] 2 Cor. xi. 3.

[558] Ausnaga was in Zeugitana.

[559] John i. 33.

[560] Victoriana was in Byzacene.

[561] Ps. l. 16, 18.

[562] Matt. vii. 23.

[563] Tucca was in Numidia.

[564] He is alluding to Stephen, bishop of Rome, of whom Cyprian says
in his seventy-fourth epistle (to Pompeius): "Why has the perverse
obstinacy of our brother Stephen burst out to such a point, that
he should even contend that sons of God are born of the baptism of
Marcion, and others who blaspheme against God the Father?"

[565] Zama was in Numidia, famous for Hannibal's defeat by Scipio.

[566] Ululi and Cibaliana were both in Byzacene.

[567] Tharassa was in Numidia.

[568] Gal. ii. 11.

[569] Telepte, or Thala, was in Byzacene.

[570] John iii. 27.

[571] Timida Regia was in Zeugitana.

[572] Furni was in Zeugitana.

[573] Phil. iii. 15.

[574] Nova was in Zeugitana.

[575] Bulla Regia was an inland town of Numidia.

[576] Cypr. _Ep._ lxxiii. sec. 20.

[577] Membresa was in Zeugitana.

[578] John ix. 31.

[579] Buslaceni is probably Byzacium, the capital of Byzacene, since we
know that it was also called Bizica Lucana.

[580] Abitini was in Byzacene.

[581] Aggya, probably the same as Aggiva.

[582] The position of Marcelliana is unknown.

[583] Matt. vi. 24.

[584] Horrea Celiae was a village of Byzacene, ten miles north of
Hadrumetum.

[585] Assura was in Zeugitana.

[586] See Eph. iv. 4-6.

[587] Capsa was in Byzacene.

[588] Rusiccada was at the mouth of the Thapsus, in Numidia.

[589] Cuiculi was in Numidia Cæsariensis.

[590] Hippo Diarrhytus was on the coast of Zeugitana.

[591] Ausafa was in Zeugitana.

[592] Gurgites was in Byzacene.

[593] Lamasba was in Numidia.

[594] 2 Cor. ii. 15.

[595] Mark ix. 38.

[596] Gazaufala was in Numidia.

[597] Tucca was in Mauritania Cæsariensis.

[598] Octavus and Mascula were in Numidia.

[599] Matt. xvi. 18, 19.

[600] Thambei was in Byzacene.

[601] Isa. xxix. 13.

[602] Chullabi, or Cululi, was in Byzacene.

[603] 2 John 10, 11.

[604] 1 Tim. i. 5.

[605] Hos. ii.

[606] 1 Cor. v. 11.

[607] Gemelli was a Roman colony in Numidia.

[608] Matt. xv. 14.

[609] Illuminare; baptism being often called [Greek: phôtismos].

[610] Sabrata, Oea, and Leptis Magna, were the three cities whose
combination gave its name to Tripolis. The privilege of bishops to
give their votes by proxy in a Council appears to have existed in very
early times, and is perhaps referable to the example of St. Paul's
interference in the Council of Achæan Bishops, though absent in body, 1
Cor. v. 4.

[611] Neapolis was in Zeugitana.

[612] Cypr. _Ep._ lxxiii.

[613] Cypr. _Ep._ lxix. sec. 4.

[614] Phil. i. 15, 17.

[615] Ps. lxviii. 6, from the LXX.

[616] John vi. 51.

[617] Matt. xxvi. 26-29.

[618] Phil. i. 18.

[619] Matt. xvi. 18.

[620] Cant. vi. 9.

[621] Eph. v. 27; cp. _Retract._ ii. 18.

[622] Cant. iv. 12, 13.

[623] Matt. xvi. 19.

[624] Matt. xviii. 17.

[625] Ps. xxvi. 8.

[626] Ps. lxviii. 6, from the LXX.

[627] Ps. cxxii. 1.

[628] Ps. lxxxiv. 4.

[629] Matt. xiii. 23; Luke viii. 15.

[630] 2 Tim. ii. 20.

[631] Eph. iv. 2, 3.

[632] 1 Cor. iii. 17.

[633] 2 Tim. ii. 20. In _Retract._ ii. 18, Augustine says that he
thinks the meaning of this last passage to be, not as Cyprian took it,
_Ep._ liv. sec. 2, that the vessels of gold and silver are the good,
which are to honour; the vessels of wood and earth the wicked, which
are to dishonour: but that the material of the vessels refers to the
outward appearance of the several members of the Church, and that in
each class some will be found to honour, and some to dishonour. This
interpretation he derives from Tychonius.

[634] 1 John ii. 19.

[635] 1 Cor. xiii. 2.

[636] 1 John ii. 19.

[637] Phil. iii. 15.

[638] Gal. v. 19-21.



THE THREE BOOKS OF AUGUSTINE,

BISHOP OF HIPPO,

IN ANSWER TO

THE LETTERS OF PETILIAN, THE DONATIST,

BISHOP OF CIRTA.



BOOK FIRST.

 WRITTEN IN THE FORM OF A LETTER ADDRESSED TO THE CATHOLICS, IN WHICH
 THE FIRST PORTION OF THE LETTER WHICH PETILIAN HAD WRITTEN TO HIS
 ADHERENTS IS EXAMINED AND REFUTED.

_Augustine, to the well-beloved brethren that belong to the care of our
diocese, greeting in the Lord._


CHAP. I.--1. Ye know that we have often wished to bring forward into
open notoriety, and to confute, not so much from our own arguments as
from theirs, the sacrilegious error of the Donatist heretics; whence it
came to pass that we wrote letters even to some of their leaders,--not
indeed for purposes of communion with them, for of that they had
already in times past rendered themselves unworthy by dissenting
from the Church; nor yet in terms of reproach, but of a conciliatory
character, with the view that, having discussed the question with us
which caused them to break off from the holy communion of the whole
world, they might, on consideration of the truth, be willing to be
corrected, and might not defend the headstrong perversity of their
predecessors with a yet more foolish obstinacy, but might be reunited
to the Catholic stock, so as to bring forth the fruits of charity.
But as it is written, "I am for peace, but when I speak they are for
war,"[639] so they rejected my letters, just as they hate the very
name of peace, in whose interests they were written. Now, however,
as I was in the church of Constantina, Absentius being present, with
my colleague Fortunatus, his bishop, the brethren brought before my
notice a letter, which they said that a bishop of the said schism had
addressed to his presbyters, as was set forth in the superscription
of the letter itself. When I had read it, I was so amazed to find
that in his very first words he cut away the very roots of the whole
claims of his party to communion, that I was unwilling to believe
that it could be the letter of a man who, if fame speaks truly, is
especially conspicuous among them for learning and eloquence. But some
of those who were present when I read it, being acquainted with the
style and character of his composition, gradually persuaded me that
it was undoubtedly his address. I thought, however, that whoever the
author might be, it required refutation, lest the writer should seem to
himself, in the company of the inexperienced, to have written something
of weight against the Catholic Church.

2. The first point, then, that he lays down in his letter is the
statement, "that we find fault with them for the repetition of baptism,
while we ourselves pollute our souls with a laver stained with guilt."
But to what profit is it that I should reproduce all his insulting
terms? For, since it is one thing to strengthen proofs, another thing
to meddle with abusive words by way of refutation, let us rather turn
our attention to the mode in which he has sought to prove that we
do not possess baptism, and that therefore they do not require the
repetition of what was already present, but confer what hitherto was
wanting. For he says: "What we look for is the conscience of the giver
to cleanse that of the recipient." But supposing the conscience of
the giver is concealed from view, and perhaps defiled with sin, how
will it be able to cleanse the conscience of the recipient, if, as he
says, "what we look for is the conscience of the giver to cleanse that
of the recipient?" For if he should say that it makes no matter to
the recipient what amount of evil may lie concealed from view in the
conscience of the giver, perhaps that ignorance may have such a degree
of efficacy as this, that a man cannot be defiled by the guilt of the
conscience of him from whom he receives baptism, so long as he is
unaware of it. Let it then be granted that the guilty conscience of his
neighbour cannot defile a man so long as he is unaware of it, but is it
therefore clear that it can further cleanse him from his own guilt?

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. II.--3. Whence, then, is a man to be cleansed who receives
baptism, when the conscience of the giver is polluted without the
knowledge of him who is to receive it? Especially when he goes on
to say, "For he who receives faith from the faithless receives not
faith, but guilt." There stands before us one that is faithless
ready to baptize, and he who should be baptized is ignorant of his
faithlessness: what think you that he will receive? Faith, or guilt?
If you answer faith, then you will grant that it is possible that a
man should receive not guilt, but faith, from him that is faithless;
and the former saying will be false, that "he who receives faith
from the faithless receives not faith, but guilt." For we find that
it is possible that a man should receive faith even from one that is
faithless, if he be not aware of the faithlessness of the giver. For
he does not say, He who receives faith from one that is openly and
notoriously faithless; but he says, "He who receives faith from the
faithless receives not faith, but guilt;" which certainly is false when
a person is baptized by one who hides his faithlessness. But if he
shall say, Even when the faithlessness of the baptizer is concealed,
the recipient receives not faith from him, but guilt, then let them
rebaptize those who are well known to have been baptized by men who in
their own body have long concealed a life of guilt, but have eventually
been detected, convicted, and condemned.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. III.--For, so long as they escaped detection, they could not
bestow faith on any whom they baptized, but only guilt, if it be true
that whosoever receives faith from one that is faithless receives not
faith, but guilt. Let them therefore be baptized by the good, that
they may be enabled to receive not guilt, but faith.

4. But how, again, shall they have any certainty about the good who are
to give them faith, if what we look to is the conscience of the giver,
which is unseen by the eyes of the proposed recipient? Therefore,
according to their judgment, the salvation of the spirit is made
uncertain, so long as in opposition to the holy Scriptures, which say,
"It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man,"[640]
and, "Cursed be the man that trusteth in man,"[641] they remove the
hope of those who are to be baptized from the Lord their God, and
persuade them that it should be placed in man; the practical result
of which is, that their salvation becomes not merely uncertain, but
actually null and void. For "salvation belongeth unto the Lord,"[642]
and "vain is the help of man."[643] Therefore, whosoever places his
trust in man, even in one whom he knows to be just and innocent, is
accursed. Whence also the Apostle Paul finds fault with those who said
they were of Paul, saying, "Was Paul crucified for you? or were ye
baptized in the name of Paul?"[644]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. IV.--5. Wherefore, if they were in error, and would have perished
had they not been corrected, who wished to be of Paul, what must we
suppose to be the hope of those who wished to be of Donatus? For they
use their utmost endeavours to prove that the origin, root, and head
of the baptized person is none other than the individual by whom he
is baptized. The result is, that since it is very often a matter of
uncertainty what kind of man the baptizer is, the hope therefore of the
baptized being of uncertain origin, of uncertain root, of uncertain
head, is of itself uncertain altogether. And since it is possible
that the conscience of the giver may be in such a condition as to
be accursed and defiled without the knowledge of the recipient, it
results that, being of an accursed origin, accursed root, accursed
head, the hope of the baptized may prove to be vain and ungrounded. For
Petilian expressly states in his epistle, that "everything consists
of an origin and root; and if it have not something for a head, it is
nothing." And since by the origin and root and head of the baptized
person he wishes to be understood the man by whom he is baptized, what
good does the unhappy recipient derive from the fact that he does
not know how bad a man his baptizer really is? For he does not know
that he himself has a bad head, or actually no head at all. And yet
what hope can a man have, who, whether he is aware of it or not, has
either a very bad head or no head at all? Can we maintain that his very
ignorance forms a head, when his baptizer is either a bad head or none
at all? Surely any one who thinks this is unmistakeably without a head.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. V.--6. We ask, therefore, since he says, "He who receives faith
from the faithless receives not faith, but guilt," and immediately adds
to this the further statement, that "everything consists of an origin
and root; and if it have not something for a head, it is nothing;"--we
ask, I say, in a case where the faithlessness of the baptizer is
undetected: If, then, the man whom he baptizes receives faith, and not
guilt; if, then, the baptizer is not his origin and root and head,
who is it from whom he receives faith? where is the origin from which
he springs? where is the root of which he is a shoot? where the head
which is his starting-point? Can it be, that when he who is baptized
is unaware of the faithlessness of his baptizer, it is then Christ who
is the origin and root and head? Alas for human rashness and conceit!
Why do you not allow that it is always Christ who gives faith, for
the purpose of making a man a Christian by giving it? Why do you not
allow that Christ is always the origin of the Christian, that the
Christian always plants his root in Christ, that Christ is the head of
the Christian? Do we then maintain that, even when spiritual grace is
dispensed to those that believe by the hands of a holy and faithful
minister, it is still not the minister himself who justifies, but that
One of whom it is said, that "He justifieth the ungodly?"[645] But
unless we admit this, either the Apostle Paul was the head and origin
of those whom he had planted, or Apollos the root of those whom he had
watered, rather than He who had given them faith in believing; whereas
the same Paul says, "I have planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the
increase: so then neither is he that planteth anything, nor he that
watereth, but God that giveth the increase."[646] Nor was the apostle
himself their root, but rather He who says, "I am the vine, ye are the
branches."[647] How, too, could he be their head, when he says, that
"we, being many, are one body in Christ,"[648] and expressly declares
in many passages that Christ Himself is the head of the whole body?

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. VI.--7. Wherefore, whether a man receive the sacrament of baptism
from a faithful or a faithless minister, his whole hope is in Christ,
that he fall not under the condemnation that "cursed is he that placeth
his hope in man." Otherwise, if each man is born again in spiritual
grace of the same sort as he by whom he is baptized, and if when he who
baptizes him is manifestly a good man, then he himself gives faith,
he is himself the origin and root and head of him who is being born;
whilst, when the baptizer is faithless without its being known, then
the baptized person receives faith from Christ, then he derives his
origin from Christ, then he is rooted in Christ, then he boasts in
Christ as his head,--in that case all who are baptized should wish
that they might have faithless baptizers, and be ignorant of their
faithlessness: for however good their baptizers might have been, Christ
is certainly beyond comparison better still; and He will then be the
head of the baptized, if the faithlessness of the baptizer shall escape
detection.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. VII.--8. But if it is perfect madness to hold such a view (for
it is Christ always that justifieth the ungodly, by changing his
ungodliness into Christianity; it is from Christ always that faith
is received, Christ is always the origin of the regenerate and the
head of the Church), what weight, then, will those words have, which
thoughtless readers value by their sound, without inquiring what
their inner meaning is? For the man who does not content himself with
hearing the words with his ear, but considers the meaning of the
phrase, when he hears, "What we look to is the conscience of the giver,
that it may cleanse the conscience of the recipient," will answer, The
conscience of man is often unknown to me, but I am certain of the mercy
of Christ: when he hears, "He who receives faith from the faithless
receives not faith, but guilt," will answer, Christ is not faithless,
from whom I receive not guilt, but faith: when he hears, "Everything
consists of an origin and root; and if it have not something for a
head, is nothing," will answer, My origin is Christ, my root is Christ,
my head is Christ. When he hears, "Nor does anything well receive
second birth, unless it be born again of good seed," he will answer,
The seed of which I am born again is the Word of God, which I am warned
to hear with attention, even though he through whom I hear it does
not himself do what he preaches; according to the words of the Lord,
which make me herein safe, "All whatsoever they bid you observe, that
observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do
not."[649] When he hears, "What perversity must it be, that he who is
guilty through his own sins should make another free from guilt!" he
will answer, No one makes me free from guilt but He who died for our
sins, and rose again for our justification. For I believe, not in the
minister by whose hands I am baptized, but in Him who justifieth the
ungodly, that my faith may be counted unto me for righteousness.[650]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. VIII.--9. When he hears, "Every good tree bringeth good fruit,
but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit: do men gather grapes of
thorns?"[651] and, "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart
bringeth forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure
bringeth forth evil things;"[652] he will answer, This therefore is
good fruit, that I should be a good tree, that is, a good man; that
I should show forth good fruit, that is, good works. But this will
be given to me, not by him that planteth, nor by him that watereth,
but by God that giveth the increase. For if the good tree be the good
baptizer, so that his good fruit should be the man whom he baptizes,
then any one who has been baptized by a bad man, even if his
wickedness be not manifest, will have no power to be good, for he is
sprung from an evil tree. For a good tree is one thing; a tree whose
quality is concealed, but yet bad, is another. Or if, when the tree is
bad, but hides its badness, then whosoever is baptized by it is born
not of it, but of Christ; then they are justified with more perfect
holiness who are baptized by the bad who hide their evil nature, than
they who are baptized by the manifestly good.[653]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. IX.--10. Again, when he hears, "He that is washed by one dead,
his washing profiteth him nought,"[654] he will answer, "Christ, being
raised from the dead, dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over
Him:"[655] of whom it is said, "The same is He which baptizeth with the
Holy Ghost."[656] But they are baptized by the dead, who are baptized
in the temples of idols. For even they themselves do not suppose that
they receive the sanctification which they look for from their priests,
but from their gods; and since these were men, and are dead in such
sort as to be now neither upon earth nor in the rest of heaven,[657]
they are truly baptized by the dead: and the same answer will hold good
if there be any other way in which these words of holy Scripture may
be examined, and profitably discussed and understood. For if in this
place I understand a baptizer who is a sinner, the same absurdity will
follow, that whosoever has been baptized by an ungodly man, even though
his ungodliness be undiscovered, is yet washed in vain, as though
baptized by one dead. For he does not say, He that is baptized by one
manifestly dead, but absolutely, "by one dead." And if they consider
any man to be dead whom they know to be a sinner, but any one in their
communion to be alive, even though he manages most adroitly to conceal
a life of wickedness, in the first place with accursed pride they claim
more for themselves than they ascribe to God, that when a sinner is
unveiled to them he should be called dead, but when he is known by
God he is held to be alive. In the next place, if that sinner is to
be called dead who is known to be such by men, what answer will they
make about Optatus, whom they were afraid to condemn though they had
long known his wickedness? Why are those who were baptized by him not
said to have been baptized by one dead? Did he live because faith was
in his company?[658]--an elegant and well-turned saying of some early
colleagues of their own, which they themselves are wont to quote with
pride, not understanding that at the death of the haughty Goliath it
was his own sword by which his head was cut off.[659]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. X.--11. Lastly, if they are willing to give the name of dead
neither to the wicked man whose sin is hidden, nor to him whose sin
is manifest, but who has yet not been condemned by them, but only to
him whose sin is manifest and condemned, so that whosoever is baptized
by him is himself baptized by the dead, and his washing profits
him nothing; what are we to say of those whom their own party have
condemned "by the unimpeachable voice of a general Council,"[660]
together with Maximianus and the others who ordained him,--I mean
Felicianus of Musti, and Prætextatus of Assura, of whom I speak in the
meantime, who are counted among the twelve ordainers of Maximianus,
as erecting an altar in opposition to their altar at which Primianus
stands? They at any rate are reckoned by them among the dead. To this
we have the express testimony of the noble decree of that Council of
theirs which formerly called forth shouts of unreserved[661] applause
when it was recited among them for the purpose of being decreed, but
which would now be received in silence if we should chance to recite
it in their ears; whereas they should rather have been slow at first
to rejoice in its eloquence, lest they should afterwards come to mourn
over it when its credit was destroyed. For in it they speak in the
following terms of the followers of Maximianus, who were shut out from
their communion: "Seeing that the shipwrecked members of certain men
have been dashed by the waves of truth upon the sharp rocks, and after
the fashion of the Egyptians, the shores are covered with the bodies
of the dying; whose punishment is intensified in death itself, since
after their life has been wrung from them by the avenging waters, they
fail to find so much as burial." In such gross terms, indeed, do they
insult those who were guilty of schism from their body, that they call
them dead and unburied; but certainly they ought to have wished that
they might obtain burial, if it were only that they might not have
seen Optatus Gildonianus advancing with a military force, and like a
sweeping wave that dashes beyond its fellows, sucking back Felicianus
and Prætextatus once again within their pale, out of the multitude of
bodies lying unburied on the shore.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XI.--12. Of these I would ask, whether by coming to their sea
they were restored to life, or whether they are still dead there? For
if still they are none the less corpses, then the laver cannot in
any way profit those who are baptized by such dead men. But if they
have been restored to life, yet how can the laver profit those whom
they baptized before outside, while they were lying without life, if
the passage, "He who is baptized by the dead, of what profit is his
baptism to him," is to be understood in the way in which they think?
For those whom Prætextatus and Felicianus baptized while they were
yet in communion with Maximianus are now retained among them, sharing
in their communion, without being again baptized, together with the
same men who baptized them--I mean Felicianus and Prætextatus: taking
occasion by which fact, if it were not that they cherish the beginning
of their own obstinacy, instead of considering the certain end of their
spiritual salvation, they would certainly be bound to vigilance, and
ought to recover the soundness of their senses, so as to breathe again
in Catholic peace; if only, laying aside the swelling of their pride,
and overcoming the madness of their stubbornness, they would take heed
and see what monstrous sacrilege it is to curse the baptism of the
foreign churches, which we have learned from the sacred books were
planted in primitive times, and to receive the baptism of the followers
of Maximianus, whom they have condemned with their own lips.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XII.--13. But our brethren themselves, the sons of the aforesaid
churches, were both ignorant at the time, and still are ignorant, of
what has been done so many years ago in Africa: wherefore they at any
rate cannot be defiled by the charges which have been brought, on the
part of the Donatists, against the Africans, without even knowing
whether they were true. But the Donatists having openly separated and
divided themselves off, although they are even said to have taken part
in the ordination of Primianus, yet condemned the said Primianus,
ordained another bishop in opposition to Primianus, baptized outside
the communion of Primianus, rebaptized after Primianus, and returned
to Primianus with their disciples who had been baptized by themselves
outside, and never rebaptized by any one inside. If such a union
with the party of Maximianus does not pollute the Donatists, how can
the mere report concerning the Africans pollute the foreigners? If
the lips meet together without offence in the kiss of peace, which
reciprocally condemned each other, why is each man that is condemned
by them in the churches very far removed by the intervening sea from
their jurisdiction, not saluted with a kiss as a faithful Catholic, but
driven forth with a blast of indignation as an impious pagan? And if,
in receiving the followers of Maximianus, they made peace in behalf of
their own unity, far be it from us to find fault with them, save that
they cut their own throats by their decision, that whereas, to preserve
unity in their schism, they collect together again what had been parted
from themselves, they yet scorn to reunite their schism itself to the
true unity of the Church.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XIII.--14. If, in the interests of the unity of the party of
Donatus, no one rebaptizes those who were baptized in a wicked schism,
and men, who are guilty of a crime of such enormity as to be compared
by them in their Council to those ancient authors of schism whom the
earth swallowed up alive,[662] are either unpunished after separation,
or restored again to their position after condemnation; why is it
that, in defence of the unity of Christ, which is spread throughout
the whole inhabited world, of which it has been predicted that it
shall have dominion from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends
of the earth,[663]--a prediction which seems from actual proof to be
in process of fulfilment; why is it that, in defence of this unity,
they do not acknowledge the true and universal law of that inheritance
which rings forth from the books that are common to us all: "I shall
give Thee the heathen for Thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of
the earth for Thy possession?"[664] In behalf of the unity of Donatus,
they are not compelled to call together again what they have scattered
abroad, but are warned to hear the cry of the Scriptures: why will they
not understand that they meet with such treatment through the mercy
of God, that since they brought false charges against the Catholic
Church, by contact as it were with which they were unwilling to defile
their own excessive sanctity, they should be compelled by the sovereign
authority of Optatus Gildonianus to receive again and associate with
themselves true offences of the greatest enormity, condemned by the
true voice, as they say, of their own general Council? Let them at
length perceive how they are filled with the true crimes of their own
party, after inventing fictitious crimes wherewith to charge their
brethren, when, even if the charges had been true, they ought at length
to feel how much should be endured in the cause of peace, and in behalf
of Christ's peace to return to a Church which did not condemn crimes
undiscovered, if on behalf of the peace of Donatus they were ready to
pardon such as were condemned.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XIV.--15. Therefore, brethren, let it suffice us that they should
be admonished and corrected on the one point of their conduct in
the matter of the followers of Maximianus. We do not ransack ancient
archives, we do not bring to light the contents of time-honoured
libraries, we do not publish our proofs to distant lands; but we bring
in, as arbiters betwixt us, all the proofs derived from our ancestors,
we spread abroad the witness that cries aloud throughout the world.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XV.--16. Look at the states of Musti and Assura: there are many
still remaining in this life and in this province who have severed
themselves, and many from whom they have severed themselves; many
who have erected an altar, and many against whom that altar has been
erected; many who have condemned, and many who have been condemned;
who have received, and who have been received; who have been baptized
outside, and not baptized again within: if all these things in the
cause of unity defile, let the defiled hold their tongues; if these
things in the cause of unity do not defile, let them submit to
correction, and terminate their strife.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XVI.--17. As for the words which follow in his letter, the
writer himself could scarcely fail to laugh at them, when, having made
an unlearned and lying use of the proof in which he quotes the words
of Scripture, "He who is washed by the dead, what profiteth him his
washing?" he endeavours to show to us "how far a _traditor_ being still
in life may be accounted dead." And then he goes on further to say:
"That man is dead who has not been worthy to be born again in true
baptism; he is likewise dead, who, although born in genuine baptism,
has joined himself to a _traditor_." If, therefore, the followers of
Maximianus are not dead, why do the Donatists say, in their general
Council, that "the shores are covered with their dying bodies?" But if
they are dead, whence is there life in the baptism which they gave?
Again, if Maximianus is not dead, why is a man baptized again who had
been baptized by him? But if he is dead, why is not also Felicianus of
Musti dead with him, who ordained him, and might have died beyond the
sea with some African colleague or another who was a _traditor_? Or, if
he also is himself dead, how is there life with him in your society in
those who, having been baptized outside by him who is dead, have never
been baptized again within?

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XVII.--18. Then he further adds: "Both are without the life of
baptism, both he who never had it at all, and he who had it but has
lost it." He therefore never had it, whom Felicianus, the follower of
Maximianus or Prætextatus, baptized outside; and these men themselves
have lost what once they had. When, therefore, these were received
with their followers, who gave to those whom they baptized what
previously they did not have? and who restored to themselves what they
had lost? But they took away with them the form of baptism, but lost
the veritable excellence of baptism by their wicked schism. Why do you
repudiate the form itself, which is holy at all times and all places,
in the Catholics whom you have not heard, whilst you are willing to
acknowledge it in the followers of Maximianus whom you have punished?

19. But whatever he seemed to himself to say by way of accusation
about the traitor Judas, I see not how it can concern us, who are
not proved by them to have betrayed our trust; nor, indeed, if such
treason were proved on the part of any who before our time have
died in our communion, would that treason in any way defile us by
whom it was disavowed, and to whom it was displeasing. For if they
themselves are not defiled by offences condemned by themselves, and
afterwards condoned, how much less can we be defiled by what we
have disavowed so soon as we have heard of them! However weighty,
therefore, his invective against _traditors_, let him be assured that
they are condemned by me in precisely the same terms. But yet I make
a distinction; for he accuses one on my side who has long been dead
without having been condemned in any investigation made by me. I point
to a man adhering closely to his side, who had been condemned by him,
or at least had been separated by a sacrilegious schism, and whom he
received again with undiminished honour.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XVIII.--20. He says: "You who are a most abandoned _traditor_
have come out in the character of a persecutor and murderer of us who
keep the law." If the followers of Maximianus kept the law when they
separated from you, then we may acknowledge you as a keeper of the
law, when you are separated from the Church spread abroad throughout
the world. But if you raise the question of persecutions, I at once
reply: If you have suffered anything unjustly, this does not concern
those who, though they disapprove of men who act in such a way,[665]
yet endure them for the peace that is in unity, in a manner deserving
of all praise. Wherefore you have nothing to bring up against the
Lord's wheat, who endure the chaff that is among them till the last
winnowing, from whom you never would have separated yourself, had you
not shown yourself lighter than chaff by flying away under the blast of
temptation before the coming of the Winnower. But not to leave this one
example, which the Lord hath thrust back in their teeth, to close the
mouths of these men, for their correction if they will show themselves
to be wise, but for their confusion if they remain in their folly: if
those are more just that suffer persecution than those who inflict
it, then those same followers of Maximianus are the more just, whose
basilica was utterly overthrown, and who were grievously maltreated by
the military following of Optatus, when the mandates of the proconsul,
ordering that all of them should be shut out of the basilicas, were
manifestly procured by the followers of Primianus. Wherefore, if, when
the emperors hated their communion, they ventured on such violent
measures for the persecution of the followers of Maximianus, what would
they do if they were enabled to work their will by being in communion
with kings? And if they did such things as I have mentioned for the
correction of the wicked, why are they surprised that Catholic emperors
should decree with greater power that they should be worked upon
and corrected who endeavour to rebaptize the whole Christian world,
when they have no ground for differing from them? seeing that they
themselves bear witness that it is right to bear with wicked men even
where they have true charges to bring against them in the cause of
peace, since they received those whom they had themselves condemned,
acknowledging the honours conferred among themselves, and the baptism
administered in schism. Let them at length consider what treatment they
deserve at the hands of the Christian powers of the world, who are
the enemies of Christian unity throughout the world. If, therefore,
correction be bitter, yet let them not fail to be ashamed; lest, when
they begin to read what they themselves have written, they be overcome
with laughter, when they do not find in themselves what they wish to
find in others, and fail to recognise[666] in their own case what they
find fault with in their neighbours.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XIX.--21. What, then, does he mean by quoting in his letter the
words with which our Lord addressed the Jews: "Wherefore, behold, I
send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes; and some of them ye
shall kill and crucify, and some of them shall ye scourge"?[667] For
if by the wise men and the scribes and the prophets they would have
themselves be understood, while we were as it were the persecutors of
the prophets and wise men, why are they unwilling to speak with us,
seeing they are sent to us? For, indeed, if the man who wrote that
epistle which we are at this present moment answering, were to be
pressed by us to acknowledge it as his own, stamping its authenticity
with his signature, I question much whether he would do it, so
thoroughly afraid are they of our possessing any words of theirs. For
when we were anxious by some means or other to procure the latter
part of this same letter, because those from whom we obtained it were
unable to describe the whole of it, no one who was asked for it was
willing to give it to us, so soon as they knew that we were making a
reply to the portion which we had. Therefore, when they read how the
Lord says to the prophet, "Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like
a trumpet, and show my people their transgression,"[668] these men
who are sent to us as prophets have no fears on this score, but take
every precaution that their crying may not be heard by us: which they
certainly would not fear if what they spoke of us were true. But their
apprehension is not groundless, as it is written in the Psalm, "The
mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped."[669] For if the reason
that they do not receive our baptism be that we are a generation of
vipers--to use the expression in his epistle--why did they receive the
baptism of the followers of Maximianus, of whom their Council speaks
in the following terms: "Because the enfolding of a poisoned womb has
long concealed the baneful offspring of a viper's seed, and the moist
concretions of conceived iniquity have by slow heat flowed forth into
the members of serpents?" Is it not therefore of themselves also that
it is said in the same Council, "The poison of asps is under their
lips, their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness, their feet are
swift to shed blood; destruction and unhappiness is in their ways, and
the way of peace have they not known"?[670] And yet they now hold these
men themselves in undiminished honour, and receive within their body
those whom these men had baptized without.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XX.--22. Wherefore all this about the generation of vipers,
and the poison of asps under their lips, and all the other things
which they have said against those which have not known the way of
peace, are really, if they would but speak the truth, more strictly
applicable to themselves, since for the sake of the peace of Donatus
they received the baptism of these men, in respect of which they used
the expressions quoted above in the wording of the decree of the
Council; but the baptism of the Church of Christ dispersed throughout
the world, from which peace itself came into Africa, they repudiate,
to the sacrilegious wounding of the peace of Christ. Which, therefore,
are rather the false prophets, who come in sheep's clothing, whilst
inwardly they are ravening wolves,[671]--they who either fail to detect
the wicked in the Catholic Church, and communicate with them in all
innocence, or else for the sake of the peace of unity are bearing with
those whom they cannot separate from the threshing-floor of the Lord
before the Winnower shall come; or they who do in schism what they
censure in the Catholic Church, and receive in their own separation,
when manifest to all and condemned by their own voice, what they
profess that they shun in the unity of the Church when it calls for
toleration, and does not even certainly exist?

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXI.--23. Lastly, it has been said, as he himself has also
quoted, "Ye shall know them by their fruits:"[672] let us therefore
examine into their fruits. You bring up against our predecessors their
delivery of the sacred books. This very charge we urge with greater
probability against their accusers themselves. And not to carry our
search too far, in the same city of Constantina your predecessors
ordained Silvanus bishop at the very outset of his schism. He,
while he was still a sub-deacon, was most unmistakeably entered as
a _traditor_ in the archives of the city. If you on your side bring
forward documents against our predecessors, all that we ask is equal
terms,--that we should either believe both to be true or both to be
false. If both are true, you are unquestionably guilty of schism, who
have pretended that you avoid offences in the communion of the whole
world, which you had commonly among you in the small fragment of your
own sect. But again, if both are false, you are unquestionably guilty
of schism, who, on account of the false charges of giving up the sacred
books, are staining yourselves with the heinous offence of severance
from the Church. But if we have something to urge in accusation while
you have nothing, or if our charges are true whilst yours are false, it
is no longer matter of discussion how thoroughly your mouths are closed.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXII.--24. What if the holy and true Church of Christ were to
convince and overcome you, even if we held no documents in support of
our cause, or only such as were false, while you had possession of
some genuine proofs of delivery of the sacred books? what would then
remain for you, except that, if you would, you should show your love
of peace, or otherwise should hold your tongues?[673] For whatever, in
that case, you might bring forward in evidence, I should be able to say
with the greatest ease and the most perfect truth, that then you are
bound to prove as much to the full and catholic unity of the Church
already spread abroad and established throughout so many nations, to
the end that you should remain within, and that those whom you convict
should be expelled. And if you have endeavoured to do this, certainly
you have not been able to make good your proof; and being vanquished or
enraged, you have separated yourselves, with all the heinous guilt of
sacrilege, from the guiltless men who could not condemn on insufficient
proof. But if you have not even endeavoured to do this, then with most
accursed and unnatural blindness you have cut yourselves off from the
wheat of Christ, which grows throughout His whole fields, that is,
throughout the whole world, until the end, because you have taken
offence at a few tares in Africa.[674]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXIII.--25. In conclusion, the Testament is said to have been
given to the flames by certain men in the time of persecution. Now
let its lessons be read, from whatever source it has been brought to
light. Certainly in the beginning of the promises of the Testator this
is found to have been said to Abraham: "In thy seed shall all the
nations of the earth be blessed;"[675] and this saying is truthfully
interpreted by the apostle: "To thy seed," he says, "which is
Christ."[676] No betrayal on the part of any man has made the promises
of God of none effect. Hold communion with all the nations of the
earth, and then you may boast that you have preserved the Testament
from the destruction of the flames. But if you will not do so, which
party is the rather to be believed to have insisted on the burning of
the Testament, save that which will not assent to its teaching when
it is brought to light? For how much more certainly, without any
sacrilegious rashness, can he be held to have joined the company of
_traditors_ who now persecutes with his tongue the Testament which
they are said to have persecuted with the flames! You charge us with
the persecution: the true wheat of the Lord answers you, "Either it
was done justly, or it was done by the chaff that was among us." What
have you to say to this? You object that we have no baptism: the same
true wheat of the Lord answers you, that the form of the sacrament
even within the Church fails to profit some, as it did no good to
Simon Magus when he was baptized, much more it fails to profit those
who are without. Yet that baptism remains in them when they depart, is
proved from this, that it is not restored to them when they return.
Never, therefore, except by the greatest shamelessness, will you be
able to cry out against that wheat, or to call them false prophets clad
in sheep's clothing, whilst inwardly they are ravening wolves; since
either they do not know the wicked in the unity of the Catholic Church,
or for the sake of unity bear with those whom they know.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXIV.--26. But let us turn to the consideration of your fruits.
I pass over the tyrannous exercise of authority in the cities, and
especially in the estates of other men; I pass over the madness of the
Circumcelliones, and the sacrilegious and profane adoration of the
bodies of those who had thrown themselves of their own accord over
precipices, the revellings of drunkenness, and the ten years' groaning
of the whole of Africa under the cruelty of the one man Optatus
Gildonianus: all this I pass over, because there are certain among you
who cry out that these things are, and have ever been, displeasing to
them. But they say that they bore with them in the cause of peace,
because they could not put them down; wherein they condemn themselves
by their own judgment: for if indeed they felt such love for peace,
they never would have rent in twain the bond of unity. For what madness
can be greater, than to be willing to abandon peace in the midst of
peace itself, and to be anxious to retain it in the midst of discord?
Therefore, for the sake of those who pretend that they do not see the
evils of this same faction of Donatus, which all men see and blame,
ignoring them even to the extent of saying of Optatus himself, "What
did he do?" "Who accused him?" "Who convicted him?" "I know nothing,"
"I saw nothing," "I heard nothing,"--for the sake of these, I say, who
pretend that they are ignorant of what is generally notorious, the
party of Maximianus has arisen, through whom their eyes are opened, and
their mouths are closed: for they openly sever themselves; they openly
erect altar against altar; they are openly in a Council[677] called
sacrilegious and vipers, and swift to shed blood, to be compared with
Dathan and Abiram and Korah, and are condemned in cutting terms of
abhorrence; and are as openly received again with undiminished honours
in company with those whom they have baptized. Such are the fruits of
these men, who do all this for the peace of Donatus, that they may
clothe themselves in sheep's clothing, and reject the peace of Christ
throughout the world that they may be ravening wolves within the fold.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXV.--27. I think that I have left unanswered none of the
statements in the letter of Donatus, so far at least as relates to what
I have been able to find in that part of which we are in possession. I
should be glad if they would produce the other part as well, in case
there should be anything in it which does not admit of refutation.
But as for these answers which we have made to him, with the help of
God, I admonish your Christian love, that ye not only communicate them
to those who seek for them, but also force them on those who show no
longing for them. Let them answer anything they will; and if they
shrink from sending a reply to us, let them at any rate send letters
to their own party, only not forbidding that the contents should be
shown to us. For if they do this, they show their fruits most openly,
by which they are proved to demonstration to be ravening wolves
disguised in sheep's clothing, in that they secretly lay snares for
our sheep, and openly shrink from giving any answer to the shepherds.
We only lay to their charge the sin of schism, in which they are all
most thoroughly involved,--not the offences of certain of their party,
which some of them declare to be displeasing to themselves. If they, on
the other hand, abstain from charging us with the sins of other men,
they have nothing they can lay to our charge, and therefore they are
wholly unable to defend themselves from the charge of schism; because
it is by a wicked severance that they have separated themselves from
the threshing-floor of the Lord, and from the innocent company of the
corn that is growing throughout the world, on account of charges which
either are false, and invented by themselves, or even if true, involve
the chaff alone.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXVI.--28. But it is possible that you may expect of me that I
should go on to refute what he has introduced about Manichæus. Now,
in respect of this, the only thing that offends me is that he has
censured a most pestilent and pernicious error--I mean the heresy of
the Manichæans--in terms of wholly inadequate severity, if indeed
they amount to censure at all, though the Catholic Church has broken
down his defences by the strongest evidence of truth.[678] For the
inheritance of Christ, established in all nations, is secure against
heresies which have been shut out from the inheritance; but, as the
Lord says, "How can Satan cast out Satan?"[679] so how can the error of
the Donatists have power to overthrow the error of the Manichæans?[680]

CHAP. XXVII.--29. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, though that error is
exposed and overcome in many ways, and dare not oppose the truth on
any show of reason whatsoever, but only with the unblushing obstinacy
of impudence; yet, not to load your memory with a multitude of proofs,
I would have you bear in mind this one action of the followers of
Maximianus, confront them with this one fact, thrust this in their
teeth, to make them hold their treacherous tongues, destroy their
calumny with this, as it were a three-pronged dart destroying a
three-headed monster. They charge us with betrayal of the sacred books;
they charge us with persecution; they charge us with false baptism:
to all their charges make the same answer about the followers of
Maximianus. For they think that the proofs are lost which show that
their predecessors gave the sacred volumes to the flames; but this
at least they cannot hide, that they have received with unimpaired
honours those who were stained with the sacrilege of schism. Also they
think that those most violent persecutions are hidden, which they
direct against any who oppose them whenever they are able; but whilst
spiritual persecution surpasses bodily persecution, they received with
undiminished honours the followers of Maximianus, whom they themselves
persecuted in the body, and of whom they themselves said, "Their feet
are swift to shed blood;"[681] and this at any rate they cannot hide.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXVIII. Finally, they think that the question of baptism is
hidden, with which they deceive wretched souls. But whilst they say
that none have baptism who were baptized outside the communion of the
one Church, they received with undiminished honours the followers
of Maximianus, with those whom they baptized in schism outside the
Donatist communion, and this at least they cannot hide.

30. "But these things," they say, "bring no pollution in the cause of
peace; and it is well to bend to mercy the rigour of extreme severity,
that broken branches may be grafted in anew." Accordingly, in this way
the whole question is settled, by defeat in them, by the impossibility
of defeat for us; for if the name of peace be assumed for even the
faintest shadow of defence to justify the bearing with wicked men
in schism, then beyond all doubt the violation of true peace itself
involves detestable guilt, with nothing to be said in its defence
throughout the unity of the world.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXIX.--31. These things, brethren, I would have you retain as the
basis of your action and preaching with untiring gentleness: love men,
while you destroy errors; take of the truth without pride; strive for
the truth without cruelty. Pray for those whom you refute and convince
of error. For the prophet prays to God for mercy upon such as these,
saying, "Fill their faces with shame, that they may seek Thy name, O
Lord."[682] And this, indeed, the Lord has done already, so as to fill
the faces of the followers of Maximianus with shame in the sight of all
mankind: it only remains that they should learn how to blush to their
soul's health. For so they will be able to seek the name of the Lord,
from which they are turned away to their utter destruction, whilst they
exalt their own name in the place of that of Christ. May ye live and
persevere in Christ, and be multiplied, and abound in the love of God,
and in love towards one another, and towards all men, brethren well
beloved.

FOOTNOTES:

[639] Ps. cxx. 7.

[640] Ps. cxviii. 8.

[641] Jer. xvii. 5.

[642] Ps. iii. 8.

[643] Ps. lx. 11.

[644] 1 Cor. i. 13.

[645] Rom. iv. 5.

[646] 1 Cor. iii. 6, 7.

[647] John xv. 5.

[648] Rom. xii. 5.

[649] Matt. xxiii. 3.

[650] Rom. iv. 25, 5.

[651] Matt. vii. 17, 16.

[652] Matt. xii. 35.

[653] See below, Book II. vi. 12.

[654] So the Donatists commonly quoted Ecclus. xxxiv. 25, which is
more correctly rendered in our version, "He that washeth himself after
the touching of a dead body, if he touch it again, what availeth
his washing?" Augustine (_Retract._ i. 21, sec. 3) says that the
misapplication was rendered possible by the omission in many African
Mss. of the second clause, "and touches it again."

[655] Rom. vi. 9.

[656] John i. 33.

[657] Cp. _Contra Cresconium_, Book II. xxv. 30: "Ita mortui sunt, ut
neque super terras, neque in requie sanctorum sint."

[658] Migne suggests as an emendation, "quod Deus illi comes erat," as
in II. xxiii. 53, xxxvii. 87, etc.

[659] 1 Sam. xvii. 51.

[660] That of Bagai. See on _de Bapt._ I. v. 7.

[661] Ore latissimo acclamaverunt. The Louvain edition has "lætissimo,"
both here and _Contra Crescon._ IV. xli. 48.

[662] Num. xvi. 31-35.

[663] Ps. lxxii. 8.

[664] Ps. ii. 8.

[665] Qui talia facientes quamvis improbent. A comparison of the
explanation of this passage in _Contra Crescon._ III. xli. 45, shows
the probability of Migne's conjecture, "quamvis improbe," "who endure
the men that act in such a way, however monstrous their conduct may be."

[666] Nec in se agnoscunt. The reading of the Louvain edition gives
better sense, "Et in se agnoscunt," "and discover in themselves."

[667] Matt. xxiii. 34.

[668] Isa. lviii. 1.

[669] Ps. lxiii. 11.

[670] Ps. xiv. 5-7, from the LXX. only.

[671] Matt. vii. 15.

[672] Matt. vii. 16.

[673] "Obmutescatis" is the most probable conjecture of Migne for
"obtumescatis," which could only mean, "you should swell with
confusion."

[674] See below, II. xvi. 36, III. lvii. 69, lviii. 70; and _Contra
Cresconium_, III. xxix. 33, IV. lvi. 66.

[675] Gen. xxii. 18.

[676] Gal. iii. 16.

[677] That of Bagai.

[678] Veritatis fortissimis documentis Catholica expugnat; and so the
MSS. The earlier editors, apparently not understanding the omission of
"ecclesia," read "veritas."

[679] Mark iii. 23.

[680] See II. xviii. 40, 41.

[681] Ps. xiv. 6, from the LXX. only.

[682] Ps. lxxxiii. 16.



BOOK SECOND.[683]

 IN WHICH AUGUSTINE REPLIES TO ALL THE SEVERAL STATEMENTS IN THE LETTER
 OF PETILIANUS, AS THOUGH DISPUTING WITH AN ADVERSARY FACE TO FACE.


CHAP. I.--1. That we made a full and sufficient answer to the first
part of the letter of Petilianus, which was all that we had been able
to find, will be remembered by all who were able to read or hear what
we replied. But since the whole of it was afterwards found and copied
by our brethren, and sent to us with the view that we should answer
it as a whole, this task was one which our pen could not escape,--not
that he says anything new in it, to which answer has not been already
made in many ways and at various times; but still, on account of the
brethren of slower comprehension, who, when they read a matter in
any place, cannot always refer to everything that has been said upon
the same subject, I will comply with those who urge me by all means
to reply to every point, and that as though we were carrying on the
discussion face to face in the form of a dialogue. I will set down
the words of his epistle under his name, and I will give the answer
under my own name, as though it had all been taken down by reporters
while we were debating. And so there will be no one who can complain
either that I have passed anything over, or that they have been unable
to understand it for want of distinction between the parties to the
discussion; at the same time that the Donatists themselves, who are
unwilling to argue the question in our presence, as is shown by the
letters which they have circulated among their party, may thus not fail
to find the truth answering them point by point, just as though they
were discussing the matter with us face to face.

2. In the very beginning of the letter PETILIANUS said: "Petilianus,
a bishop, to his well-beloved brethren, fellow-priests, and deacons,
appointed ministers with us throughout our diocese in the gospel,
grace be to you and peace, from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus
Christ."

3. AUGUSTINE answered: I acknowledge the apostolic greeting. You see
who you are that employ it, but see from what source you have learned
what you say. For in these terms Paul salutes the Romans, and in
the same terms the Corinthians, the Galatians, the Ephesians, the
Colossians, the Philippians, the Thessalonians. What madness is it,
therefore, to be unwilling to share the salvation of peace with those
very Churches in whose epistles you learned its form of salutation?

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. II.--4. PETILIANUS said: "Those who have polluted their souls
with a guilty laver, under the name of baptism, reproach us with
baptizing twice,--than whose obscenity, indeed, any kind of filth is
more cleanly, seeing that through a perversion of cleanliness they have
come to be made fouler by their washing."

5. AUGUSTINE answered: We are neither made fouler by our washing, nor
cleaner by yours. But when the water of baptism is given to any one in
the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, it is
neither ours nor yours, but His of whom it was said to John, "Upon whom
thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, the same is
He which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost."[684]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. III.--6. PETILIANUS said: "For what we look to is the conscience
of the giver, to cleanse that of the recipient."

7. AUGUSTINE answered: We therefore need have no anxiety about the
conscience of Christ. But if you assert any man to be the giver, be
he who he may, there will be no certainty about the cleansing of the
recipient, because there is no certainty about the conscience of the
giver.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. IV.--8. PETILIANUS said: "For he who receives faith from the
faithless, receives not faith but guilt."

9. AUGUSTINE answered: Christ is not faithless, from whom the
faithful man receives not guilt but faith. For he believeth on Him
that justifieth the ungodly, that his faith may be counted for
righteousness.[685]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. V.--10. PETILIANUS said: "For everything consists of an origin
and root; and if it have not something for a head, it is nothing: nor
does anything well receive second birth, unless it be born again of
good seed."

11. AUGUSTINE answered: Why will you put yourself forward in the room
of Christ, when you will not place yourself under Him? He is the
origin, and root, and head of him who is being born, and in Him we
feel no fear, as we must in any man, whoever he may be, lest he should
prove to be false and of abandoned character, and we should be found
to be sprung from an abandoned source, growing from an abandoned root,
united to an abandoned head. For what man can feel secure about a man,
when it is written, "Cursed be the man that trusteth in man?"[686] But
the seed of which we are born again is the word of God, that is, the
gospel. Whence the apostle says, "For in Christ Jesus I have begotten
you through the gospel."[687] And yet he allows even those to preach
the gospel who were preaching it not in purity, and rejoices in their
preaching;[688] because, although they were preaching it not in purity,
but seeking their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's,[689]
yet the gospel which they preached was pure. And the Lord had said
of certain of like character, "Whatsoever they bid you observe, that
observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do
not."[690] If, therefore, what is in itself pure is preached in purity,
then the preacher himself also, in that he is a partner with the word,
has his share in begetting the believer; but if he himself be not
regenerate, and yet what he preaches be pure, then the believer is born
not from the barrenness of the minister, but from the fruitfulness of
the word.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. VI.--12. PETILIANUS said: "This being the case, brethren, what
perversity must it be, that he who is guilty through his own sins
should make another free from guilt, when the Lord Jesus Christ says,
'Every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, but a corrupt tree bringeth
forth evil fruit: do men gather grapes of thorns?[691] And again: 'A
good man, out of the good treasure of the heart, bringeth forth good
things: and an evil man, out of the evil treasure, bringeth forth evil
things.'"[692]

13. AUGUSTINE answered: No man, even though he be not guilty through
his own sins, can make his neighbour free from sin, because he is not
God. Otherwise, if we were to expect that out of the innocence of the
baptizer should be produced the innocence of the baptized, then each
will be the more innocent in proportion as he may have found a more
innocent person by whom to be baptized; and will himself be the less
innocent in proportion as he by whom he is baptized is less innocent.
And if the man who baptizes happens to entertain hatred against another
man, this will also be imputed to him who is baptized. Why, therefore,
does the wretched man hasten to be baptized,--that his own sins may be
forgiven him, or that those of others may be reckoned against him? Is
he like a merchant ship, to discharge one burden, and to take on him
another? But by the good tree and its good fruit, and the corrupt tree
and its evil fruit, we are wont to understand men and their works, as
is consequently shown in those other words which you also quoted: "A
good man, out of the good treasure of his heart, bringeth forth good
things: and an evil man, out of the evil treasure, bringeth forth evil
things." But when a man preaches the word of God, or administers the
sacraments of God, he does not, if he is a bad man, preach or minister
out of his own treasure; but he will be counted among those of whom it
is said, "Whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do
not ye after their works:" for they bid you observe what is God's, but
their works are their own. For if it is as you say, that is, if the
fruit of those who baptize consist in the baptized persons themselves;
you declare a great woe against Africa, if a young Optatus has sprung
up for every one that Optatus baptized.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. VII.--14. PETILIANUS said: "And again, 'He who is baptized by
one that is dead, his washing profiteth him nothing.'[693] He did not
mean that the baptizer was a corpse, a lifeless body, the remains of
a man ready for burial, but one lacking the Spirit of God, who is
compared to a dead body, as He declares to a disciple in another place,
according to the witness of the gospel. For His disciple says, 'Lord,
suffer me first to go and bury my father. But Jesus said unto him,
Follow me, and let the dead bury their dead.'[694] The father of the
disciple was not baptized. He declared him as a pagan to belong to the
company of pagans; unless he said this of the unbelieving, The dead
cannot bury the dead. He was dead, therefore, not as smitten by some
death, but as smitten even during life. For he who so lives as to be
doomed to eternal death is tortured by a death in life. To be baptized,
therefore, by the dead, is to have received not life but death. We
must therefore consider and declare how far the _traditor_ is to be
accounted dead while yet alive. He is dead who has not deserved to be
born again with a true baptism; he is likewise dead who, having been
born again with a true baptism, has become involved with a _traditor_.
Both are wanting in the life of baptism,--both he who never had it
at all, and he who had it and has lost it. For the Lord Jesus Christ
says, 'There shall come to that man seven spirits more wicked than the
former one, and the last state of that man shall be worse than the
first.'"[695]

15. AUGUSTINE answered: Seek with greater care to know in what sense
the words which you have quoted from Scripture in proof of your
position were really uttered, and how they should be understood. For
that all unrighteous persons are wont to be called dead in a mystical
sense is clear enough; but Christ, to whom true baptism belongs, which
you say is false because of the faults of men, is alive, sitting at
the right hand of the Father, and He will not die any more through
any infirmity of the flesh: death will no more have dominion over
Him.[696] And they who are baptized with His baptism are not baptized
by one who is dead. And if it so happen that certain ministers,
being deceitful workers, seeking their own, not the things which are
Jesus Christ's, proclaiming the gospel not in purity, and preaching
Christ of contention and envy, are to be called dead because of their
unrighteousness, yet the sacrament of the living God does not die even
in one that is dead. For that Simon was dead who was baptized by Philip
in Samaria, who wished to purchase the gift of God for money;[697] but
the baptism which he had lived in him still to work his punishment.

16. But how false the statement is which you make, that "both are
wanting in the life of baptism, both he who never had it at all, and he
who had it and has lost it," you may see from this, that in the case of
those who apostatize after having been baptized, and who return through
penitence, baptism is not restored to them, as it would be restored
if it were lost. In what manner, indeed, do your dead men baptize
according to your interpretation? Must we not reckon the drunken among
the dead (to say nothing of the rest, and to mention only what is well
known and of daily experience among all), seeing that the apostle
says of the widow, "But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she
liveth?"[698] In the next place, in that Council of yours, in which
you condemned Maximianus with his advisers or his ministers, have you
forgotten with what eloquence you said, "Even after the manner of the
Egyptians, the shores are full of the bodies of the dying, on whom the
weightier punishment falls in death itself, in that, after their life
has been wrung from them by the avenging waters, they have not found
so much as burial?" And yet you yourselves may see whether or no one
of them, Felicianus, has been brought to life again; yet he has with
him within the communion of your body those whom he baptized outside.
As therefore he is baptized by One that is alive who is clothed with
the baptism of the living Christ, so he is baptized by the dead who is
wrapped in the baptism of the dead Saturn, or any one like him; that
we may set forth in the meanwhile, with what brevity we may, in what
sense the words which you have quoted may be understood without any
cavilling on the part of any one of us. For, in the sense in which
they are received by you, you make no effort to explain them, but only
strive to entangle us together with yourselves.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. VIII.--17. PETILIANUS said: "We must consider, I say, and declare
how far the treacherous _traditor_ is to be accounted dead while yet in
life. Judas was an apostle when he betrayed Christ; and the same man
was already dead, having spiritually lost the office of an apostle,
being destined afterwards to die by hanging himself, as it is written:
'I have sinned,' says he, 'in that I have betrayed the innocent blood;
and he departed, and went and hanged himself'[699] The traitor perished
by the rope: he left the rope for others like himself, of whom the Lord
Christ cried aloud to the Father, 'Father, those that Thou gavest me
I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that
the Scripture might be fulfilled.'[700] For David of old had passed
this sentence on him who was to betray Christ to the unbelievers: 'Let
another take his office. Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a
widow.'[701] See how mighty is the spirit of the prophets, that it was
able to see all future things as though they were present, so that a
traitor who was to be born hereafter should be condemned many centuries
before. Finally, that the said sentence should be completed, the holy
Matthias received the bishopric of that lost apostle. Let no one be
so dull, no one so faithless, as to dispute this: Matthias won for
himself a victory, not a wrong, in that he carried off the spoils of
the traitor from the victory of the Lord Christ. Why then, after this,
do you claim to yourself a bishopric as the heir of a worse traitor?
Judas betrayed Christ in the flesh to the unbelievers; you in the
spirit madly betrayed the holy gospel to the flames of sacrilege. Judas
betrayed the Lawgiver to the unbelievers; you, as it were, betraying
all that he had left, gave up the law of God to be destroyed by men.
Whilst, had you loved the law, like the youthful Maccabees, you would
have welcomed death for the sake of the laws of God (if indeed that can
be said to be death to men which makes them immortal because they died
for the Lord); for of those brethren we learn that one replied to the
sacrilegious tyrant with these words of faith: 'Thou like a fury takest
us out of this present life; but the King of the world (who reigns for
ever, and of His kingdom there shall be no end) shall raise us up who
have died for His laws, unto everlasting life.'[702] If you were to
burn with fire the testament of a dead man, would you not be punished
as the falsifier of a will? What therefore is likely to become of you
who have burned the most holy law of our God and Judge? Judas repented
of his deed even in death; you not only do not repent, but stand forth
as a persecutor and butcher of us who keep the law, whilst you are the
most wicked of _traditors_."

18. AUGUSTINE answered: See what a difference there is between your
calumnious words and our truthful assertions. Listen for a little
while. See how you have exaggerated the sin of delivering up the
sacred books, comparing us in most odious terms, like some sophistical
inventor of charges, with the traitor Judas. But when I shall have
answered you on this point with the utmost brevity,--I did not do what
you assert; I did not deliver up the sacred books; your charge is
false; you will never be able to prove it,--will not all that smoke of
mighty words presently vanish away? Or will you perchance endeavour
to prove the truth of what you say? This, then, you should do first;
and then you might rise against us, as against men who were already
convicted, with whatever mass of invective you might choose. Here is
one absurdity: behold again a second.

19. You yourself, when speaking of the foretelling of the condemnation
of Judas, used these expressions: "See how mighty is the spirit of the
prophets, that it was able to see all future things as though they
were present, so that a traitor who was to be born hereafter should be
condemned many centuries before;" and yet you did not see that in the
same sure prophecy, and certain and unshaken truth, in which it was
foretold that one of the disciples should hereafter betray the Christ,
it was also foretold that the whole world should hereafter believe
in Christ. Why did you pay attention in the prophecy to the man who
betrayed Christ, and in the same place give no heed to the world for
which Christ was betrayed? Who betrayed Christ? Judas. To whom did he
betray Him? To the Jews. What did the Jews do to Him? "They pierced my
hands and my feet," says the Psalmist. "I may tell all my bones: they
look and stare upon me. They part my garments among them, and cast
lots upon my vesture."[703] Of what importance, then, that is which is
bought at such a price, I would have you read a little later in the
psalm itself: "All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto
the Lord; and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before
Thee. For the kingdom is the Lord's; and He is the governor among the
nations."[704] But who is able to suffice for the quotation of all the
other innumerable prophetic passages which bear witness to the world
that is destined to believe? Yet you quote a prophecy because you see
in it the man who sold Christ: you do not see in it the possession
which Christ bought by being sold. Here is the second absurdity: behold
again the third.

20. Among the many other expressions in your invective, you said: "If
you were to burn with fire the testament of a dead man, would you
not be punished as the falsifier of a will? What therefore is likely
to become of you who have burned the most holy law of our God and
Judge?" In these words you have paid no attention to what certainly
ought to have moved you, to the question of how it might be that we
should burn the testament, and yet stand fast in the inheritance which
was described in that testament; but it is marvellous that you have
preserved the testament and lost the inheritance. Is it not written
in that testament, "Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen
for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy
possession?"[705] Take part in this inheritance, and you may bring what
charges you will against me about the testament. For what madness is
it, that while you shrank from committing the testament to the flames,
you should yet strive against the words of the testator! We, on the
other hand, though we hold in our hands the records of the Church
and of the State, in which we read that those who ordained a rival
bishop[706] in opposition to Cæcilianus were rather the betrayers of
the sacred books, yet do not on this account insult you, or pursue
you with invectives, or mourn over the ashes of the sacred pages in
your hands, or contrast the burning torments of the Maccabees with the
sacrilege of your fear, saying, "You should deliver your own limbs to
the flames rather than the utterances of God." For we are unwilling
to be so absurd as to excite an empty uproar against you on account
of the deeds of others, which you either know nothing of, or else
repudiate. But in that we see you separated from the communion of the
whole world (a sin both of the greatest magnitude, and manifest to all
mankind, and common to you all), if I were desirous of exaggerating,
I should find time failing me sooner than words. And if you should
seek to defend yourself on this charge, it could only be by bringing
accusations against the whole world, of such a kind that, if they
could be maintained, you would simply be furnishing matter for further
accusation against yourself; if they could not be maintained, there
is in them no defence for you. Why therefore do you puff yourself up
against me about the betrayal of the sacred books, which concerns
neither you nor me if we abide by the agreement not to charge each
other with the sins of other men, and which, if that agreement does not
stand, affects you rather than me? And yet, even without any violation
of that agreement, I think I may say with perfect justice that he
should be deemed a partner with him who delivered up Christ who has not
delivered himself up to Christ in company with the whole world. "Then,"
says the apostle, "then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to
the promise."[707] And again he says, "Heirs of God, and joint-heirs
with Christ."[708] And the same apostle shows that the seed of Abraham
belongs to all nations, from the promise which was given to Abraham,
"In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed."[709]
Wherefore I consider that I am only making a fair demand in asking
that we should for a moment consider the testament of God, which has
already long been opened, and that we should consider every one to be
himself an heir of the traitor whom we do not find to be a joint-heir
with Him whom he betrayed; that every one should belong to him who
sold Christ who denies that Christ has bought the whole world. For
when He showed Himself after His resurrection to His disciples, and
gave His limbs to those who doubted, that they should handle them, He
says this to them, "For thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ
to suffer, and to rise again from the dead the third day: and that
repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among
all nations, beginning at Jerusalem."[710] See from what an inheritance
you estrange yourselves! see what an Heir you resist! Can it really
be that a man would spare Christ if He were walking here on earth who
speaks against Him while He sits in heaven? Do you not yet understand
that whatever you allege against us you allege against His words? A
Christian world is promised and believed in: the promise is fulfilled,
and it is denied. Consider, I entreat of you, what you ought to suffer
for such impiety. And yet, if I know not what you have suffered,--if I
have not seen it, have not wrought it,--then do you to-day, who do not
suffer the violence of my persecution, render to me an account of your
separation. But you are likely to say over and over again what, unless
you prove it, can affect no one, and if you prove it, has no bearing
upon me.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. IX.--21. PETILIANUS said: "Hemmed in, therefore, by these
offences, you cannot be a true bishop."

22. AUGUSTINE answered: By what offences? What have you shown? What
have you proved? And if you have proved charges on the part of I know
not whom, what has that to do with the seed of Abraham, in which all
the nations of the earth are blessed?

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. X.--23. PETILIANUS said: "Did the apostles persecute any one? or
did Christ betray any one?"

24. AUGUSTINE answered: I might indeed say that Satan himself was worse
than all wicked men; and yet the apostle delivered a man over to him
for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit might be saved in
the day of the Lord Jesus.[711] And in the same way he delivered over
others, of whom he says, "Whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they
may learn not to blaspheme."[712] And the Lord Christ drove out the
impious merchants from the temple with scourges; in which connection we
also find advanced the testimony of Scripture, where it says, "The zeal
of Thine house hath eaten me up."[713] So that we do find the apostle
delivering over to condemnation, and Christ a persecutor. All this I
might say, and put you into no small heat and perturbation, so that
you would be compelled to inquire, not into the complaints of those
who suffer, but into the intention of those who cause the suffering.
But do not trouble yourself about this; I do not say this. But I do
say that it has nothing to do with the seed of Abraham, which is in
all nations, if anything has been done to you which ought not to have
been done, perhaps by the chaff among the harvest of the Lord, which in
spite of this is found among all nations. Do you therefore render an
account of your separation. But first, consider what kind of men you
have among you, with whom you would not wish to be reproached; and see
how unjustly you act, when you cast in our teeth the acts of other men,
even if you proved what you assert. Therefore it will be found that
there is no ground for your separation.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XI.--25. PETILIANUS said: "Yet some will be found to say, We are
not the sons of a _traditor_. Any one is the son of that man whose
deeds he imitates. For those are most assuredly sons, and at the same
time bear a strong resemblance to their parents, who are born in the
likeness of their parents, not only as being of their flesh and blood,
but in respect of their characters and deeds."

26. AUGUSTINE answered: A little while ago you were saying nothing
contrary to us, now you even begin to say something in our favour. For
this proposition of yours binds you to as much as this, that if you
shall fail to-day to convict us, with whom you are arguing, of being
_traditors_ and murderers, and anything else with which you charge
us, you will then be wholly powerless to hurt us by any charge of
the kind which you may prove against those who have gone before us.
For we cannot be the sons of those to whose deeds our actions bear
no resemblance. And see to what you have committed yourself. If you
should be so successful as to convict some man, even of our own times,
and living with us, of any guilt of the kind, that is in no way to the
prejudice of all the nations of the earth who are blessed in the seed
of Abraham, by separating yourself from whom you are found to be guilty
of sacrilege. Accordingly, unless (as is altogether impossible) you
are acquainted with all men that exist throughout the world, and have
not only made yourself familiar with all their characters and deeds,
but have also proved that they are as bad as you describe, you have no
ground for reproaching all the world, which is among the saints, with
parentage of I know not what description, to whom you prove that they
are like. Nor will it help you at all, even if you are able to show
that those who are not of the same character take the holy sacraments
in common with those who are. In the first place, because you ought
yourselves to look at those with whom you celebrate those sacraments,
to whom you give them, from whom you receive them, and whom you would
be unwilling to have cast up against you as a reproach. And again, if
all those are the sons of Judas, who was the devil among the apostles,
who imitate his deeds, why do we not call those the sons of the
apostles who make such men partakers, not in their own deeds, but in
the sacraments of the Lord, as the apostles partook of the supper of
the Lord in company with that traitor? and in this way they are very
different from you, who cast in the teeth of men who are striving for
the preservation of unity the very thing that you do to the rending
asunder of unity.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XII.--27. PETILIANUS said: "The Lord Jesus said to the Jews
concerning Himself, 'If I do not the works of my Father, believe me
not.'"[714]

28. AUGUSTINE answered: I have already answered above, This is both
true, and makes for us against you.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XIII.--29. PETILIANUS said: "Over and over again He reproaches
the false speakers and liars in such terms as these: 'Ye are the
children of the devil, for he also was a slanderer from the beginning,
and abode not in the truth.'"

30. AUGUSTINE answered: We are not wont to say, "He was a slanderer,"
but "He was a murderer."[715] But we ask how it was that the devil was
a murderer from the beginning; and we find that he slew the first man,
not by drawing a sword, nor by applying to him any bodily violence,
but by persuading him to sin, and thus driving him from the happiness
of Paradise. What then was Paradise is now represented by the Church.
Therefore those are the sons of the devil who slay men by withdrawing
them from the Church. But as by the words of God we know what was the
situation of Paradise, so now by the words of Christ we have learned
where the Church is to be found: "Throughout all nations," He says,
"beginning at Jerusalem." Whosoever, therefore, separates a man from
that complete whole to place him in any single part, is proved to
be a son of the devil and a murderer. But see, further, what is the
application of the expression which you yourself employed in saying
of the devil, "He was a slanderer, and abode not in the truth." For
you bring an accusation against the whole world on account of the sins
of others, though even those others themselves you were more able to
accuse than to convict; and you abode not in the truth of Christ.
For He says that the Church is "throughout all nations, beginning at
Jerusalem;" but ye say that it is in the party of Donatus.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XIV.--31. PETILIANUS said: "In the third place, also, He calls
the madness of persecutors in like manner by this name, 'Ye generation
of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? Wherefore, behold,
I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes; and some of them
ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in their
synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: that upon you may
come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of
righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, son of Barachias, whom ye
slew between the temple and the altar.'[716] Are they then really the
sons of vipers according to the flesh, and not rather serpents in mind,
and three-tongued malice, and deadliness of touch, and burning with the
spirit of poison? They have truly become vipers, who by their bites
have vomited forth death against the innocent people."

32. AUGUSTINE answered: If I were to say that this is said of men of
character like unto yourselves, you would reply, "Prove it." What
then, have you proved it? Or if you think that it is proved by the
mere fact of its being uttered, there is no need to repeat the same
words. Pronounce the same judgment against yourselves as coming from
us to you. See you not that I too have proved it, if this amounts to
proof? And yet I would have you learn what is really meant by proof.
For indeed I do not even seek for evidence from without to enable me to
prove you vipers. For be well assured that this very fact marks in you
the nature of vipers, that you have not in your mouth the foundation
of truth, but the poison of slanderous abuse, as it is written, "The
poison of asps is under their lips."[717] And because this might be
said indiscriminately by any one against any one, as though it were
asked, Under whose lips? he immediately adds, "Their mouth is full of
cursing and bitterness."[718] When, therefore, you say such things as
this against men dispersed throughout the whole world, of whom you know
nothing whatsoever, and many of whom have never heard the name either
of Cæcilianus or of Donatus, and when you do not hear them answering
amid silence. Nothing of what you say has reference to us; we never saw
it; we never did it; we are totally at a loss to understand what you
are saying,--seeing that you desire nothing else than to say what you
are entirely powerless to prove, how can you help allowing that your
mouth is full of cursing and bitterness? See, therefore, whether you
can possibly show that you are not vipers,[719] unless you show that
all Christians throughout all nations of the world are _traditors_,
and murderers, and anything but Christians. Nay, in very truth, even
though you should be able to know and set before us the lives and deeds
of every individual man throughout the world, yet before you can do
that, seeing that you act as you do without any consideration, your
mouth is that of a viper, your mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.
Show to us now, if you can, what prophet, what wise man, what scribe we
have slain, or crucified, or scourged in our synagogues. Look how much
labour you have expended without in any way being able to prove that
Donatus and Marculus were prophets, or wise men, or scribes, because,
in fact, they were nothing of the sort. But even if you could prove as
much as this, what progress would you have made towards proving that
they had been killed by us, when even we ourselves did not so much as
know them? and how much less the whole world, whom you calumniate with
poisonous mouth?[720] Or whence will you be able to prove that we have
a spirit like that of those who murdered them, when you actually cannot
show that they were murdered by any one at all? Look carefully to all
these points, see whether you can prove any single one of them either
about the whole world, or to the satisfaction of the whole world,--in
your persevering calumnies against which you show that the charges are
true in you, which you falsely propagate against the world.

33. Further, even if we should desire to prove you to be slayers of the
prophets, it would be too long a task to collect the evidence through
all the several instances of the slaughter which your infuriated
leaders of the Circumcelliones, and the actual crowds of men inflamed
by wine and madness, not only have committed since the beginning of
your schism, but even continue to commit at the present time. To take
the case nearest at hand. Let the divine utterances be produced, which
are commonly in the hands of both of us. Let us consider those to be
murderers of the prophets whom we find contradicting the words of the
prophets. What more learned definition could be given? What could admit
of speedier proof? You would be acting less cruelly in piercing the
bodies of the prophets with a sword, than in endeavouring to destroy
the words of the prophets with your tongue. The prophet says, "All
the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord."[721]
Behold and see how this is being done, how it is being fulfilled. But
you not only close your ears in disbelief against what is said, but
you even thrust out your tongues in madness to speak against what is
already being done. Abraham heard the promise, "In thy seed shall
all the nations of the earth be blessed;"[722] and "he believed, and
it was counted unto him for righteousness."[723] You see the fact
accomplished, and you cry out against it; and you will not that it
should be counted unto you for unrighteousness, as it fairly would be
counted, even if your refusal to believe was not on the accomplishment,
but only on the utterance of the prophecy. Nay, not only are you not
willing that it should be counted unto you for unrighteousness, but
even what you suffer as the punishment of this impiety you would fain
have counted unto you for righteousness. Or if your conduct is not a
persecution of the prophets, because your instrument is not the sword
but the tongue, what was the reason of its being said under divine
inspiration, "The sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows,
and their tongue a sharp sword?"[724] But what time would suffice me
to collect from all the prophets all the testimonies to the Church
dispersed throughout the world, all of which you endeavour to destroy
and render nought by contradicting them? But you are caught; for
"their sound is gone out into all lands, and their words to the end
of the world."[725] I will, however, advance this one saying from the
mouth of the Lord, who is the Witness of witnesses: "All things must
be fulfilled," He says, "which were written in the law of Moses, and
in the prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning me." And what these
were let us hear from Himself: "Then opened He their understanding,
that they might understand the Scriptures, and said unto them, Thus
it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise
from the dead the third day: and that repentance and remission of
sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at
Jerusalem."[726] See what it is that is written in the law of Moses,
and in the prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning the Lord. See what
the Lord Himself revealed about Himself and about the Church, making
Himself manifest, uttering promises about the Church. But for you,
see that you resist such manifest proofs as these, and as you cannot
destroy them, endeavour to pervert them, what would you do, if you
were to come across the bodies of the prophets, when you rage so madly
against the utterances of the prophets, as not even to hearken to the
Lord when He is fulfilling, and making manifest, and expounding the
prophets? For do you not, to the utmost of your power, strive to slay
the Lord Himself, since even to Himself you will not yield?

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XV.--34. PETILIANUS said: "David also spoke of you as persecutors
in the following terms: 'Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their
tongues have they deceived; the poison of asps is under their lips.
Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness; their feet are swift
to shed blood. Destruction and unhappiness is in their ways, and the
way of peace have they not known: there is no fear of God before their
eyes. Have all the workers of wickedness no knowledge, who eat up my
people as they eat bread?'"[727]

35. AUGUSTINE answered: Their throat is an open sepulchre, whence
they breathe out death by lies. For "the mouth that belieth slayeth
the soul."[728] But if nothing is more true than that which Christ
said, that His Church should be throughout all nations, beginning
at Jerusalem, then there is nothing more false than that which you
say, that it is in the party of Donatus. But the tongues which have
deceived are the tongues of those who, whilst they are acquainted with
their own deeds, not only say that they are just men, but that they
are justifiers of men, which is said of One only "that justifieth the
ungodly,"[729] and that because "He is just and the justifier."[730]
As regards the poison of asps, and the mouth full of cursing and
bitterness, we have said enough already. But you have yourselves said
that the followers of Maximianus had feet swift to shed blood, as is
testified by the sentence of your general Council, so often quoted in
the records of the proconsular province and of the state. But they,
so far as we hear, never killed any one in the body. You evidently,
therefore, understood that the blood of the soul was shed in spiritual
murder by the sword of schism, which you condemned in Maximianus. See
then if your feet are not swift to shed blood, when you cut off men
from the unity of the whole world, if you were right in saying it of
the followers of Maximianus, because they cut off some from the party
of Donatus. Are we again without the knowledge of the way of peace, who
study to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace? and yet
do you possess that knowledge, who resist the discourse which Christ
held with His disciples after His resurrection, of so peaceful a nature
that He began it with the greeting, "Peace be unto you;"[731] and that
so strenuously that you are proved to be saying nothing less to Him
than this, "What Thou saidst of the unity of all nations is false;
what we say of the offence of all nations is true?" Who would say such
things as this if they had the fear of God before their eyes? See,
therefore, if in daily saying things like this you are not trying to
destroy the people of God dispersed throughout the world, eating them
up as it were bread.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XVI.--36. PETILIANUS said: "The Lord Christ also warns us,
saying, 'Beware of false prophets, which come unto you in sheep's
clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves; and ye shall know them
by their fruits.'"[732]

37. AUGUSTINE answered: If I were to inquire of you by what fruits you
know us to be ravening wolves, you are sure to answer by charging us
with the sins of other men, and these such as were never proved against
those who are said to have been guilty of them. But if you should ask
of me by what fruits we know you rather to be ravening wolves, I bring
against you the charge of schism, which you will deny, but which I
will straightway go on to prove; for, as a matter of fact, you do not
communicate with all the nations of the earth, nor with those Churches
which were founded by the labour of the apostles. Hereupon you will
say, "I do not communicate with _traditors_ and murderers." The seed
of Abraham answers you, "These are those charges which you made, which
are either not true, or have no reference to me." But these I set aside
for the present; do you meanwhile show me the Church. Now that voice
will sound in my ears which the Lord showed was to be avoided in the
false prophets who made a show of their several parties, and strove to
estrange men from the Catholic Church, "Lo, here is Christ, or there."
But do you think that the true sheep of Christ are so utterly destitute
of sense, who are told, "Believe it not,"[733] that they will hearken
to the wolf when he says, "Lo, here is Christ," and will not hearken
to the Shepherd when He says, "Throughout all nations, beginning at
Jerusalem?"

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XVII.--38. PETILIANUS said: "Thus, thus, thou wicked persecutor,
under whatsoever cloak of righteousness thou hast concealed thyself,
under whatsoever name of peace thou wagest war with kisses, under
whatsoever title of unity thou endeavourest to ensnare the race of
men,--thou, who up to this time art cheating and deceiving, thou art
the true son of the devil, showing thy parentage by thy character."

39. AUGUSTINE answered: Consider in reply that these things have been
said by us against you; and that you may know to which of us they are
more appropriate, call to mind what I have said before.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XVIII.--40. PETILIANUS said: "Nor is it, after all, so strange
that you assume to yourself the name of bishop without authority.
This is the true custom of the devil, to choose in preference a mode
of deceiving by which he usurps to himself a word of holy meaning,
as the apostle declares to us: 'And no marvel,' he says; 'for Satan
himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no
great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of
righteousness.'[734] Nor is it therefore a marvel if you falsely call
yourself a bishop. For even those fallen angels, lovers of the maidens
of the world, who were corrupted by the corruption of their flesh,
though, from having stripped themselves of divine excellence, they have
ceased to be angels, yet retain the name of angels, and always esteem
themselves as angels, though, being released from the service of God,
they have passed from the likeness of their character into the army
of the devil, as the great God declares, 'My spirit shall not always
strive with man, for that he also is flesh.'[735] To those guilty ones
and to you the Lord Christ will say, 'Depart from me, ye cursed ones,
into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.'[736] If
there were no evil angels, the devil would have no angels; of whom the
apostle says, that in the judgment of the resurrection they shall be
condemned by the saints: 'Know ye not,' says he, 'that we shall judge
angels?'[737] If they were true angels, men would not have authority
to judge the angels of God. So too those sixty apostles, who, when the
twelve were left alone with the Lord Christ, departed in apostasy from
the faith, are so far yet considered among wretched men to be apostles,
that from them Manichæus and the rest entangle many souls in many
devilish sects which they destroyed[738] that they might take them in
their snares. For indeed the fallen Manichæus, if fallen he was, is not
to be reckoned among those sixty, if it be that we can find his name
as an apostle among the twelve, or if he was ordained by the voice of
Christ when Matthias was elected into the place of the traitor Judas,
or another thirteenth like Paul, who calls himself the last[739] of the
apostles, expressly that any one who was later than himself might not
be held to be an apostle. For these are his words: 'For I am the last
of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I
persecuted the Church of God.'[740] And do not flatter yourselves in
this: he was a Jew that had done this. You too, as Gentiles, may work
destruction upon us. For you carry on war without licence, against whom
we may not fight in turn. For you desire to live when you have murdered
us; but our victory is either to escape or to be slain."

41. AUGUSTINE answered: See how you have quoted the testimony of holy
Scripture, or how you have understood it, when it has no bearing at all
upon the present point at issue. For all that you have brought forward
was simply said to prove that there are false bishops, just as there
are false angels and false apostles. Now we too know quite well that
there are false angels and false apostles, and, as the true apostle
says, false brethren also;[741] but, seeing that charges such as yours
may be brought by either side against the other, what is required
is a certain degree of proof, and not mere empty words. But if you
would see to which of us the charge of falseness more truly applies,
recall to mind what we have said before, and you will see it there set
forth, that we may not become tedious to our readers by repeating the
same thing over and over again. And yet how is the Church dispersed
throughout the world affected either by what you may have found to say
about its chaff, which is mixed with it throughout the whole world; or
by what you said of Manichæus and the other devilish sects? For if the
wheat is not affected by anything which is said even about the chaff
which is still mingled with it, how much less are the members of Christ
dispersed throughout the whole world affected by monstrosities[742]
which have been so long and so openly separated from it?[743]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XIX.--42. PETILIANUS said: "The Lord Jesus Christ commands us,
saying, 'When they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another;
and if they persecute you in that, flee yet into a third; for verily I
say unto you, ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till
the Son of man be come.'[744] If He gives us this warning in the case
of Jews and pagans, you who call yourself a Christian ought not to
imitate the dreadful deeds of the Gentiles. Or do you serve God in such
wise that we should be murdered at your hands? You do err, you do err,
if you are wretched enough to entertain such a belief as this. For God
does not have butchers for His priests."

43. AUGUSTINE answered: To flee from one state to another from the
face of persecution has not been enjoined as precept or permission on
heretics or schismatics, such as you are; but it was enjoined on the
preachers of the gospel, whom you resist. And this we may easily prove
in this wise: you are now in your own cities, and no man persecutes
you. You must therefore come forth, and give an account of your
separation. For it cannot be maintained that, as the weakness of the
flesh is excused when it yields before the violence of persecution,
so truth also ought to yield to falsehood. Furthermore, if you are
suffering persecution, why do you not retire from the cities in which
you are, that you may fulfil the instructions which you quote out of
the gospel? But if you are not suffering persecution, why are you
unwilling to reply to us? Or if the fact be that you are afraid lest,
when you should have made reply, you then should suffer persecution,
in that case how are you following the example of those preachers to
whom it was said, "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of
wolves?" To whom it was also further said, "Fear not them which kill
the body, but are not able to kill the soul."[745] And how do you
escape the charge of acting contrary to the injunction of the Apostle
Peter, who says, "Be ready always to give an answer to every man that
asketh you a reason of the faith and hope that is in you?"[746] And,
lastly, wherefore are you ever eager to annoy the Catholic Churches
by the most violent disturbances, whenever it is in your power, as is
proved by innumerable instances of simple fact? Wherefore in such a
case did you not hearken to the voice of the Lord, when He says, "But
I say unto you, that ye resist not evil?"[747] Or, allowing that it
is possible that in some cases it should be right for violent men to
be resisted by bodily force, and that it does not violate the precept
which we receive from the Lord, "But I say unto you, that ye resist
not evil," why may it not also be that a pious man should eject an
impious man, or a just man him that is unjust, in the exercise of duly
and lawfully constituted authority, from seats which are unlawfully
usurped, or retained to the despite of God? For you would not say that
the false prophets suffered persecution at the hands of Elijah, in
the same sense that Elijah suffered persecution from the wickedest of
kings?[748] Or that because the Lord was scourged by His persecutors,
therefore those whom He Himself drove out of the temple with scourges
are to be put in comparison with His sufferings? It remains, therefore,
that we should acknowledge that there is no other question requiring
solution, except whether you have been pious or impious in separating
yourselves from the communion of the whole world. For if it shall
be found that you have acted impiously, you would not be surprised
if there should be no lack of ministers of God by whom you might be
scourged, seeing that you suffer persecution not from us, but as it is
written, from their own abominations.[749]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XX.--44. PETILIANUS said: "The Lord Christ cries again from
heaven to Paul, 'Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? It is hard for
thee to kick against the pricks.'[750] He was then called Saul, that he
might afterwards receive his true name in baptism. But for you it is
not hard so often to persecute Christ in the persons of His priests,
though the Lord Himself cries out, 'Touch not mine anointed.'[751]
Reckon up all the deaths of the saints, and so often have you murdered
Christ, who lives in each of them.[752] Lastly, if you are not guilty
of sacrilege, then a saint cannot be a murderer."

45. AUGUSTINE answered: Defend yourselves from the charge of the
persecution which those men suffered at the hands of your party who
separated themselves from you with the followers of Maximianus, and
therein you will find our defence. For if you say that you committed
no such deeds, we simply read to you the records of the proconsular
province and the state. If you say that you were right in persecuting
them, why are you unwilling to suffer the like yourselves? If you say,
"But we caused no schism," then let this be inquired into, and, till
it is decided whether it be so or not, let no one make accusation
against persecutors. If you say that even schismatics ought not to have
suffered persecution, I ask whether it is also the case that they ought
not to have been driven out of the basilicas, in which they lay snares
for the leading astray of the weak, even though it were done by duly
constituted authorities? If you say that this also should not have been
done, first restore the basilicas to the followers of Maximianus, and
then discuss the point with us. If you say that it was right, then see
what they ought to suffer at the hands of duly constituted authority,
who, in resisting it, "resist the ordinance of God." Wherefore the
apostle expressly says, "For he beareth not the sword in vain: for he
is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath on him that doeth
evil."[753] But even if this had been discovered after the truth had
been searched out with all diligence, that not even after public trial
ought schismatics to undergo any punishment, or be driven from the
positions which they have occupied, for their treachery and deceit; and
if you should say that you are vexed that the followers of Maximianus
should have suffered such conduct at the hands of some of you,--why
does not the wheat of the Lord cry out with the more freedom from the
whole field of the Lord, that is, from the world, and say, Neither
are we at all affected by what the tares and the chaff amongst us
do, seeing that it is contrary to our wish? If you confess that it
is sufficient to clear you of responsibility, that all the evil that
is done by men of your party is done in opposition to your wishes,
why then have you separated yourselves? For if your reason for not
separating from the unrighteous among the party of Donatus is that
each man bears his own burden, why have you separated yourselves from
those throughout the world whom you think, or profess to think, to be
unrighteous? Is it that you might all share equally in bearing the
burden of schism?

46. And when we ask of you which of your party you can prove to have
been slain by us, I indeed can remember no law issued by the emperors
to the effect that you should be put to death. Those indeed whose
deaths you quote most frequently to bring us into odium, Marculus and
Donatus, present a great question,--whether they threw themselves
down a precipice, as your teaching does not hesitate to encourage by
examples of daily occurrence, or whether they were thrown down by the
true command of some authority. For if it is a thing incredible that
the leaders of the Circumcelliones should have wrought upon themselves
a death in accordance with their custom, how much more incredible it
is that the Roman authorities should have been able to condemn them
to a punishment at variance with custom! Accordingly, in considering
this matter, which you think excessive in its hatefulness, supposing
what you say is true, what is there in it which bears upon the Lord's
wheat? Let the chaff which flew away outside accuse the chaff which yet
remained within; for it is not possible that it should all be separated
till the winnowing at the last day. But if what you say is false,
what wonder is it if, when the chaff is carried away as it were by a
light blast of dissension, it even attacks the wheat of the Lord with
false accusations? Wherefore, on the consideration of all such odious
accusations, the wheat of Christ, which is ordered to grow together
with the tares throughout the field, that is, throughout the whole
world, makes this answer to you with a free and fearless voice: If you
cannot prove what you say, it has no application to any one; and if you
prove it, it yet does not apply to me. The result of which is, that
whosoever has separated himself from the unity of the wheat on account
of the offences chargeable against the tares, or against the chaff, is
unable to defend himself from the charge of murder which is involved
in the mere offence of dissension and schism, as the Scripture says,
"Whoso hateth his brother is a murderer."[754]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXI.--47. PETILIANUS said: "Accordingly, as we have said, the
Lord Christ cried, 'Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? It is hard for
thee to kick against the pricks. And he said, Who art Thou, Lord? And
the Lord said, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest. And he,
trembling and astonished, said, Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do? And
the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be
told thee what thou must do.' And so presently it goes on, 'But Saul
arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man.'
See here how blindness, coming in punishment of madness, obscures the
light in the eyes of the persecutor, not to be again expelled except
by baptism! Let us see, therefore, what he did in the city. 'Ananias,'
it is said, 'entered into the house to Saul, and putting his hands
on him, said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto
thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest
receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately
there fell from his eyes as it had been scales; and he received sight
forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.'[755] Seeing therefore that
Paul, being freed by baptism from the offence of persecution, received
again his eyesight freed from guilt, why will not you, a persecutor and
_traditor_, blinded by false baptism, be baptized by those whom you
persecute?"

48. AUGUSTINE answered: You do not prove that I, whom you wish to
baptize afresh, am either a persecutor or a _traditor_. And if you
prove this charge against any one, yet the persecutor and _traditor_
is not to be baptized afresh, if he has been baptized already with
the baptism of Christ. For the reason why it was necessary that Paul
should be baptized was that he had never been washed in any baptism
of the kind. Therefore what you have chosen to insert about Paul has
no point of resemblance with the case which you are arguing with us.
But if you had not inserted this, you would have found no place for
your childish declamation, "See how blindness comes in punishment of
madness, not to be again expelled except by baptism!" For with how much
more force might one exclaim against you, See how blindness comes in
punishment of madness, which, finding its similitude in Simon, not in
Paul, is not expelled from you even when you have received baptism?
For if persecutors ought to be baptized by those whom they persecute,
then let Primianus be baptized by the followers of Maximianus, whom he
persecuted with the utmost eagerness.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXII.--49. PETILIANUS said: "It may be urged that Christ said
to His apostles, as you are constantly quoting against us, 'He that
is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every
whit.' Now if you discuss those words in all their fulness, you are
bound by what immediately follows. For this is what He said, in His
very words: 'He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but
is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. For He knew who
should betray Him; therefore said He, Ye are not all clean.'[756]
Whosoever, therefore, has incurred the guilt of treason, has forfeited,
like you, his baptism. Again, after that the betrayer of Christ had
himself been condemned, He thus more fully confirmed His words to the
eleven apostles: 'Now are ye clean through the word which I have spoken
unto you. Abide in me, and I in you.'[757] And again He said to these
same eleven, 'Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you.'[758]
Seeing, then, that these things were said to the eleven apostles, when
the traitor, as we have seen, had been condemned, you likewise, being
_traditors_, are similarly without both peace and baptism."

50. AUGUSTINE answered: If therefore every _traditor_ has forfeited his
baptism, it will follow that every one who, having been baptized by
you, has afterwards become a _traditor_, ought to be baptized afresh.
And if you do not do this, you yourselves sufficiently prove the
falseness of the saying, "Whosoever therefore has incurred the guilt of
treason, has forfeited, like you, his baptism." For if he has forfeited
it, let him return and receive it again; but if he returns and does
not receive it, it is clear that he had not forfeited it. Again, if
the reason why it was said to the apostles, "Now are ye clean," and
"My peace I give unto you," was that the traitor had already left
the room, then was not that supper of so great a sacrament clean and
able to give peace, which He distributed to all before his going out?
And if you venture to say this with your eyes closed against the
truth, what can we do save exclaim the more, See how blindness comes
in punishment of the madness of those who wish to be, as the apostle
says, "teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say, nor
whereof they affirm?"[759] And yet, unless blindness came in the way of
their pertinacity, it was not a very difficult matter that you should
understand and see that the Lord did not say in the presence of Judas,
Ye are not yet clean, but "Now are ye clean." He added, however, "But
not all," because there was one there who was not clean; yet if he
had been polluting the others by his presence, it would not have been
declared to them, "Now are ye clean," but, as I said before, Ye are
not yet clean. But, after Judas had gone out, He said to them, "Now
are ye clean," and did not add the words, But not all, because he had
now departed in whose presence indeed, as had been said to them, they
were already clean, but not all, because there was one there unclean.
Wherefore in these words the Lord rather declared that in the one
company of men receiving the same sacraments, the uncleanness of some
members cannot hurt the clean. Certainly, if you think that there are
among us men like Judas, you might apply to us the words, "Ye are
clean, but not all." But this is not what you say; but you say that
because of the presence of some who are unclean, therefore we are all
unclean. This the Lord did not say to the disciples in the presence of
Judas, and therefore whoever says this has not learned from the good
Master what He says.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXIII.--51. PETILIANUS said: "But if you say that we give baptism
twice over, truly it is rather you who do this, who slay men who have
been baptized; and this we do not say because you baptize them, but
because you cause each one of them, by the act of slaying him, to be
baptized in his own blood. For the baptism of water or of the Spirit is
as it were doubled when the blood of the martyr is wrung from him. And
so our Saviour also Himself, after being baptized in the first instance
by John, declared that He must be baptized again, not this time with
water nor with the Spirit, but with the baptism of blood, the cross
of suffering, as it is written, 'James and John, the sons of Zebedee,
came unto Him, saying, Master, we would that Thou shouldest do for us
whatsoever we shall desire. And He said unto them, What would ye that
I should do for you? They said unto Him, Grant that we may sit, one on
Thy right hand, and the other on Thy left hand, in Thy glory. But Jesus
said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that
I drink of, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?
And they said unto Him, We can. And Jesus said unto them, Ye shall
indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am
baptized withal shall ye be baptized,'[760] and so forth. If these are
two baptisms, you commend us by your malice, we must needs confess. For
when you kill our bodies, then we do celebrate a second baptism; but it
is that we are baptized with our baptism and with blood, like Christ.
Blush, blush, ye persecutors. Ye make martyrs like unto Christ, who
are sprinkled with the baptism of blood after the water of the genuine
baptism."

52. AUGUSTINE answered: In the first place, we reply without delay that
we do not kill you, but you kill yourselves by a true death, when you
cut yourselves off from the living root of unity. In the next place, if
all who are killed are baptized in their own blood, then all robbers,
all unrighteous, impious, accursed men, who are put to death by the
sentence of the law, are to be considered martyrs, because they are
baptized in their own blood. But if only those are baptized in their
own blood who are put to death for righteousness' sake, since theirs
is the kingdom of heaven,[761] you have already seen that the first
question is why you suffer, and only afterwards should we ask what you
suffer. Why therefore do you puff out your cheeks before you have shown
the righteousness of your deeds? Why does your tongue resound before
your character is approved? If you have made a schism, you are impious;
if you are impious, you die as one guilty of sacrilege, when you are
punished for impiety; if you die as one guilty of sacrilege, how are
you baptized in your blood? Or do you say, I have not made a schism?
Let us then inquire into this. Why do you make an outcry before you
prove your case?

53. Or do you say, Even if I am guilty of sacrilege, I ought not to
be slain by you? It is one question as to the enormity of my action,
which you never prove with any truth, another as to the baptism of
your blood, from whence you derive your boast. For I never killed
you, nor do you prove that you are killed by any one. Nor even if you
were to prove it would it in any way affect me, whoever it was that
killed you, whether he did it justly in virtue of power lawfully given
by the Lord, or committed the crime of murder, like the chaff of the
Lord's harvest, through some evil desire; just as you are in no way
concerned with him who in recent times, with an intolerable tyranny,
attended even by a company of soldiers, not because he feared any
one, but that he might be feared by all, oppressed widows, destroyed
pupils, betrayed the patrimonies of other men, annulled the marriages
of other men, contrived the sale of the property of the innocent,
divided the price of the property when sold with its mourning owners.
I should seem to be saying all this out of the invention of my own
head, if it were not sufficiently obvious of whom I speak without the
mention of his name.[762] And if all this is undoubtedly true, then
just as you are not concerned with this, so neither are we concerned
with anything you say, even though it were true. But if that colleague
of yours, being really a just and innocent man, is maligned by a lying
tale, then should we also learn in no way to give credit to reports,
which have been spread abroad of innocent men, as though they had
delivered up the sacred books, or murdered any of their fellow-men.
To this we may add, that I refer to a man who lived with you, whose
birthday you were wont to celebrate with such large assemblies, with
whom you joined in the kiss of peace in the sacraments, in whose hands
you placed the Eucharist, to whom in turn you extended your hands to
receive it from his ministering, whose ears, when they were deaf amid
the groanings of all Africa, you durst not offend by free speech; for
paying to whom, even indirectly, a most witty compliment, by saying
that in the Count[763] he had a god for his companion, some one of your
party was extolled to the skies. But you reproach us with the deeds
of men with whom we never lived, whose faces we never saw, in whose
lifetime we were either boys, or perhaps as yet not even born. What is
the meaning, then, of your great unfairness and perversity, that you
should wish to impose on us the burdens of those whom we never knew,
whilst you will not bear the burdens of your friends? "When thou sawest
a thief, then thou consentedst with him."[764] If he whom you saw did
not pollute you, why do you reproach me with one whom I could not have
seen? Or do you say, I did not consent with him, because his deeds were
displeasing to me? But, at any rate, you went up to the altar of God
with him. Come now, if you would defend yourself, make a distinction
between your two positions, and say that it is one thing to consent
together for sin, as the two elders consented together when they laid a
plot against the chastity of Susannah, and another thing to receive the
sacrament of the Lord in company with a thief, as the apostles received
even that first supper in company with Judas. I am all in favour of
your defence. But why do you not consider how much more easily, in
the course of your defence, you have acquitted all the nations and
boundaries of the earth, throughout which the inheritance of Christ
is dispersed? For if it was possible for you to see a thief, and to
share the sacraments with the thief whom you saw, and yet not to share
his sin, how much less was it possible for the remotest nations of the
earth to have anything in common with the sins of African _traditors_
and persecutors, supposing your charges and assertions to be true, even
though they held the sacraments in common with them? Or do you say, I
saw in him the bishop, I did not see in him the thief? Say what you
will. I allow this defence also, and in this the world is acquitted of
the charges which you brought against it. For if it was permitted you
to ignore the character of a man whom you knew, why is the whole world
not allowed to be ignorant of those it never knew, unless, indeed, the
Donatists are allowed to be ignorant of what they do not wish to know,
while the nations of the earth may not be ignorant of what they cannot
know?

54. Or do you say, Theft is one thing, delivery of the sacred books or
persecution is another? I grant there is a difference, nor is it worth
while now to show wherein that difference consists. But listen to the
summary of the argument. If he could not make you a thief, because his
thieving was displeasing in your sight, who can make men _traditors_
or murderers to whom such treachery or murder is abhorrent? First,
then, confess that you share in all the evil of Optatus, whom you knew,
and even so reproach me with any evil which was found in those whom I
knew not. And do not say to me, But my charges are serious, yours but
trifling. You must first acknowledge them, however trifling they may
be in your case, not before I on my side confess the charges against
me, but before I can allow you to say these serious things about me
at all. Did Optatus, whom you knew, make you a thief by being your
colleague, or not? Answer me one or the other. If you say he did not,
I ask why he did not,--because he was not a thief himself? or because
you do not know it? or because you disapprove of it? If you say,
Because he himself was not a thief, much more ought we not to believe
that those with whom you reproach us were of such a character as you
assert. For if we must not believe of Optatus what both Christians and
pagans and Jews, ay, and what both our party and yours assert, how
much less should we believe what you assert of any one? But if you
say, Because you do not know it, all the nations of the earth answer
you, Much more do we not know of all that you reproach us with in
these men. But if you say, Because you disapproved of it, they answer
you with the same voice, Although you have never proved the truth of
what you say, yet acts like these are viewed by us with disapproval.
But if you say, Lo, Optatus, whom I knew, made me a thief because he
was my colleague, and I was in the habit of going to the altar with
him when he committed those deeds; but I do not greatly heed it,
because the fault was trivial, but your party made you a _traditor_
and a murderer,--I answer that I do not allow that I too am made a
_traditor_ and a murderer by the sins of other men, just because you
confess that you are made a thief by the sin of another man; for it
must be remembered that you are proved a thief, not by our judgment,
but by your own confession. For we say that every man must bear his
own burden, as the apostle is our witness.[765] But you, of your own
accord, have taken the burden of Optatus on your own shoulders, not
because you committed the theft, or consented to it, but because you
declared your conviction that what another did applied to you. For, as
the apostle says, when speaking of food, "I know, and am persuaded by
the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him
that esteemeth anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean;"[766] by
the same rule, it may be said that the sins of others cannot implicate
those who disapprove of them; but if any one thinks that they affect
him, then he is affected by them. Wherefore you do not convict us of
being _traditors_ or murderers, even though you were to prove something
of the sort against those who share the sacraments with us; but the
guilt of theft is fastened on you, even if you disapprove of everything
that Optatus did, not in virtue of our accusation, but by your own
decision. And that you may not think this a trivial fault, read what
the apostle says, "Nor shall thieves inherit the kingdom of God."[767]
But those who shall not inherit the kingdom of God will certainly not
be on His right hand among those to whom it shall be said, "Come, ye
blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the
foundation of the world." If they are not there, where will they be
except on the left hand? Therefore among those to whom it shall be
said, "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for
the devil and his angels."[768] In vain, therefore, do you indulge in
your security, thinking it a trivial fault which separates you from the
kingdom of God, and sends you into everlasting fire. How much better
will you do to betake yourself to true confusion, saying, Every one of
us shall bear his own burden, and the winnowing fan at the last day
shall separate the chaff from the wheat!

55. But it is evident that you are afraid of its being forthwith said
to you, "Why then, whilst you attempt to place on some men's backs the
burdens of their neighbours, have you dared to separate yourselves from
the Lord's corn, dispersed throughout the world, before the winnowing
at the last day?" Accordingly, you who disapprove of the deeds of your
party, whilst you are taking precautions against being charged with
the schism which you all have made, are involving yourselves also in
their sins which you did not commit; and while the shrewd Petilianus
is afraid of my being able to say that I am not such as he thinks
Cæcilianus was, he is obliged to confess that he himself is such as he
knows Optatus to have been. Or are you not such as the common voice of
Africa proclaims him to have been? Then neither are we such as those
with whom you reproach us are either suspected to have been by your
mistake, or calumniously asserted to have been by your madness, or
proved to have been by the truth. Much less is the wheat of the Lord
in all the nations of the earth of such a character, seeing that it
never heard the names of those of whom you speak. There is therefore
no reason why you should perish in such sin of separation and such
sacrilege of schism. And yet, if you are made to suffer for this great
impiety by the judgment of God, you say that you are even baptized in
your blood; so that you are not content with feeling no remorse for
your division, but you must even glory in your punishment.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXIV.--56. PETILIANUS said: "But you will answer that you abide
by the same declaration, 'He that is once washed needeth not save to
wash his feet.'[769] Now the 'once' is once that has authority, once
that is confirmed by the truth."

57. AUGUSTINE answered: Baptism in the name of the Father and of the
Son and of the Holy Ghost[770] has Christ for its authority, not any
man, whoever he may be; and Christ is the truth, not any man.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXV.--58. PETILIANUS said: "For when you in your guilt perform
what is false, I do not celebrate baptism twice, which you have never
celebrated once."

59. AUGUSTINE answered: In the first place, you do not convict us of
guilt. And if a guilty man baptizes with a false baptism, then none of
those have true baptism who are baptized by men in your party, that
are, I do not say openly, but even secretly guilty. For if he who
gives baptism gives something that is God's, if he is already guilty in
the sight of God, how can he be giving something that is God's, if a
guilty man cannot give true baptism? But in reality you wait till he is
guilty in your sight as well, as though what he proposes to confer were
something that belonged to you.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXVI.--60. PETILIANUS said: "For if you mix what is false with
what is true, falsehood often imitates the truth by treading in its
steps. Just in the same way a picture imitates the true man of nature,
depicting with its colours the false resemblance of truth. And in the
same way, too, the brilliancy of a mirror catches the countenance,
so as to represent the eyes of him who gazes on it. In this way it
presents to each comer his own countenance, so that the very features
of the comer meet themselves in turn; and of such virtue is the
falsehood of a clear mirror, that the very eyes which see themselves
recognise themselves as though in some one else. And even when a shadow
stands before it, it doubles the reflection, dividing its unity in
great part through a falsehood. Must we then hold that anything is
true, because a lying representation is given of it? But it is one
thing to paint a man, another to give birth to one. For does any one
represent fictitious children to a man who wishes for an heir? or would
any one look for true heirs in the falsehood of a picture? Truly it is
a proof of madness to fall in love with a picture, letting go one's
hold of what is true."

61. AUGUSTINE answered: Are you then really not ashamed to call the
baptism of Christ a lie, even when it is found in the most false
of men? Far be it from any one to suppose that the wheat of the
Lord, which has been commanded to grow among the tares throughout
the whole field, that is, throughout the whole of this world, until
the harvest, that is, until the end of the world,[771] can have
perished in consequence of your evil words. Nay, even among the very
tares themselves, which are commanded not to be gathered, but to be
tolerated even to the end, and among the very chaff, which shall only
be separated from the wheat by the winnowing at the last day,[772]
does any one dare to say that any baptism is false which is given and
received in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy
Ghost? Would you say that those whom you depose from their office,
whether as your colleagues or your fellow-priests, on the testimony
of women whom they have seduced (since examples of this kind are not
wanting anywhere), were false or true before their crime was proved
against them? You will certainly answer, False. Why then were they able
both to have and to give true baptism? Why did not their falseness as
men corrupt in them the truth of God? Is it not most truly written,
"For the Holy Spirit of discipline will flee deceit?"[773] Seeing then
that the Holy Spirit fled from them, how came it that the truth of
baptism was in them, except because what the Holy Spirit fled from was
the falseness of man, not the truth of the sacrament? Further, if even
the deceitful have the true baptism, how do they have it who possess
it in truthfulness? Whence you ought to observe that it is rather your
conversation which is coloured with childish pigments; and accordingly,
he who neglects the living Word to take pleasure in such colouring is
himself loving the picture in the place of the reality.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXVII.--62. PETILIANUS said: "It will be urged against us,
that the Apostle Paul said, 'One Lord, one faith, one baptism.'[774]
We profess that there is only one; for it is certain that those who
declare that there are two are mad."

63. AUGUSTINE replied: These words of yours are arguments against
yourselves; but in your madness you are not aware of it. For the men
who say there are two baptisms are those who declare their opinion
that the just and the unjust have different baptisms; whereas it
belongs neither to one party nor the other, but in both of them is
one, being Christ's, although they themselves are not one: and yet the
baptism, which is one, the just have to salvation, the unjust to their
destruction.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXVIII.--64. PETILIANUS said: "But yet, if I may be allowed the
comparison, it is certain that the sun appears double to the insane,
although it only be that a dark blue cloud often meets it, and its
discoloured surface, being struck by the brightness, while the rays of
the sun are reflected from it, seems to send forth as it were rays of
its own. So in the same way in the faith of baptism, it is one thing to
seek for reflections, another to recognise the truth."

65. AUGUSTINE answered: What are you saying, if I may ask? When a dark
blue cloud reflects the rays of the sun with which it is struck, is it
only to the insane, and not to all who look on it, that there appear to
be two suns? But when it appears so to the insane as such, it appears
to them alone. But if I may say so without being troublesome, I would
have you take care lest saying such things and talking in such a way
should be itself a sign of madness. I suppose, however, that what you
meant to say was this,--that the just had the truth of baptism, the
unjust only its reflection. And if this be so, I venture to say that
the reflection was found in that man of your party,[775] to whom not
God, but a certain Count,[776] was God; but that the truth was either
in you or in him who uttered the witty saying against Optatus, when
he said that "in the Count he had a god for his companion."[777] And
distinguish between those who were baptized by either of these, and
in the one party approve the true baptism, in the others exclude the
reflection, and introduce the truth.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXIX.--66. PETILIANUS said: "But to pass rapidly through
these minor points: can he be said to lay down the law who is not a
magistrate of the court? or is what he lays down to be considered law,
when in the character of a private person he disturbs public rights? Is
it not rather the case that he not only involves himself in guilt, but
is held to be a forger, and that which he composes a forgery?"

67. AUGUSTINE answered: What if your private person, whom you deem a
forger, were to set forth to any one the law of the emperor? Would not
the man, when he had compared it with the law of those who have the
genuine law, and found it to be identically the same, lay aside all
care about the source from which he had obtained it, and consider
only what he had obtained? For what the forger gives is false when he
gives it of his own falseness; but when something true is given by any
person, even though he be a forger, yet, although the giver be not
truthful, the gift is notwithstanding true.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXX.--68. PETILIANUS said: "Or if any one chance to recollect the
chants of a priest, is he therefore to be deemed a priest, because with
sacrilegious mouth he publishes the strain of a priest?"

69. AUGUSTINE answered: In this question you are speaking just as
though we were at present inquiring what constituted a true priest, not
what constituted true baptism. For that a man should be a true priest,
it is requisite that he should be clothed not with the sacrament alone,
but with righteousness, as it is written, "Let thy priests be clothed
with righteousness."[778] But if a man be a priest in virtue of the
sacrament alone, as was the high priest Caiaphas, the persecutor of
the one most true Priest, then even though he himself be not truthful,
yet what he gives is true, if he gives not what is his own but what
is God's; as it is said of Caiaphas himself, "This spake he not of
himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied."[779] And yet,
to use the same simile which you employed yourself: if you were to hear
even from any one that was profane the prayer of the priest couched in
the words suitable to the mysteries of the gospel, can you possibly
say to him, Your prayer is not true, though he himself may be not only
no true priest, but not a priest at all? seeing that the Apostle Paul
said that certain testimony of I know not what Cretan prophet was true,
though he was not reckoned among the prophets of God; for he says,
"One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said the Cretians are
always liars, evil beasts, slow bellies: this witness is true."[780]
If, therefore, the apostle even himself bore witness to the testimony
of some obscure prophet of a foreign race, because he found it to be
true, why do not we, when we find in any one what belongs to Christ,
and is true even though the man with whom it may be found be deceitful
and perverse, why do not we in such a case make a distinction between
the fault which is found in the man, and the truth which he has not of
his own but of God's? and why do we not say, This sacrament is true,
as Paul said, "This witness is true?" Does it at all follow that we
say, The man himself also is truthful, because we say, This sacrament
is true? Just as I would ask whether the apostle counted that prophet
among the prophets of the Lord, because he confirmed the truth of what
he found to be true in him. Likewise the same apostle, when he was at
Athens, perceived a certain altar among the altars of the false gods,
on which was the inscription, "To the unknown God." And this testimony
he made use of to build them up in Christ, to the extent of quoting the
inscription in his sermon, and adding, "Whom, therefore, ye ignorantly
worship, Him declare I unto you." Did he, because he found that altar
either among the altars of idols, or set up by sacrilegious hands,
therefore condemn or reject what he found in it that was true? or did
he, because of the truth which he found upon it, therefore persuade
them that they ought also to follow the sacrilegious practices of the
pagans? Surely he did neither of the two; but presently, when, as he
judged fitting, he wished to introduce to their knowledge the Lord
Himself, unknown to them, but known to him, he says among other things,
that "He is not far from every one of us: for in Him we live, and move,
and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said."[781]
Can it be said that here also, because he found among the sacrilegious
the evidence of truth, he either approved their wickedness because of
the evidence, or condemned the evidence because of their wickedness?
But it is unavoidable that you should be always in the wrong, so long
as you do despite to the sacraments of God because of the faults
of men, or think that we take upon ourselves the sacrilege even of
your schism, for the sake of the sacraments of God, to which we are
unwilling to do despite in you.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXXI.--70. PETILIANUS said: "'For there is no power but of
God,'[782] none in any man of power; as the Lord Jesus Christ answered
Pontius Pilate, 'Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except
it were given thee from above.'[783] And again, in the words of John,
'A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.'[784]
Tell us, therefore, _traditor_, when you received the power of
imitating the mysteries."

71. AUGUSTINE answered: Tell us rather thyself when the power of
baptizing was lost by the whole world through which is dispersed the
inheritance of Christ, and by all that multitude of nations in which
the apostles founded the Churches. You will never be able to tell
us,--not only because you have calumniated them, and do not prove them
to be _traditors_, but because, even if you did prove this, yet no
guilt on the part of any evil-doers, whether they be unsuspected, or
deceitful, or be tolerated as the tares or as the chaff, can possibly
overthrow the promises, so that all the nations of the earth should not
be blessed in the seed of Abraham; in which promises you deprive them
of their share when you will not have the communion of unity with all
nations of the earth.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXXII.--72. PETILIANUS said: "For although there is only one
baptism, yet it is consecrated in three several grades. John gave
water without the name of the Trinity, as he declared himself, saying,
'I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but He that cometh
after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He
shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.'[785] Christ gave
the Holy Spirit, as it is written, 'He breathed on them, and saith
unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost.'[786] And the Comforter Himself
came on the apostles as a fire burning with rustling flames. O true
divinity, which seemed to blaze, not to burn! as it is written, 'And
suddenly there came from heaven a sound as of a rushing mighty wind,
and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared
unto them cloven tongues, like as of fire, and it sat upon each of
them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak
with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.'[787] But you,
O persecutor, have not even the water of repentance, seeing that you
hold the power not of the murdered John, but of the murderer Herod.
You therefore, O _traditor_, have not the Holy Spirit of Christ; for
Christ did not betray others to death, but was Himself betrayed. For
you, therefore, the fire in the spirit in Hades is full of life,--that
fire which, surging with hungry tongues of flame, will be able to burn
your limbs to all eternity without consuming them, as it is written
of the punishment of the guilty in hell, 'Neither shall their fire be
quenched.'"[788]

73. AUGUSTINE answered: You are the calumnious slanderer, not the
truthful arguer. Will you not at length cease to make assertions of a
kind which, if you do not prove them, can apply to nobody; and even if
you prove them, certainly cannot apply to the unity of the whole world,
which is in the saints as in the wheat of God? If we too were pleased
to return calumnies for calumnies, we too might possibly be able to
give vent to eloquent slanders. We too might use the expression, "With
rustling flames;" but to me an expression never sounds in any way
eloquent which is inappropriate in its use. We too might say, "Surging
with hungry tongues of flame;" but we do not wish that the tongues of
flame in our writings, when they are read by any one in his senses,
should be judged hungry for want of the sap of weightiness, or that the
reader himself, while he finds in them no food of useful sentiments,
should be left to suffer from the hunger of excessive emptiness. See,
I declare that your Circumcelliones are burning, not with rustling
but with headlong flames. If you answer, What is that to us? why do
not you, when you reproach with any one whom you will, not listen in
turn to our answer, We too know nothing of it? If you answer, You do
not prove the fact, why may not the whole world answer you in turn,
Neither do you prove it? Let us agree therefore, if you please, that
you should not charge us with the guilt of the wicked men whom you
consider to belong to us, and that we should abstain from similar
charges against you. So you will see, by this just agreement, confirmed
and ratified, that you have no charge which you can bring against the
seed of Abraham, as found in all the nations of the earth. But I find
without difficulty a grievous charge to bring against you: Why have
you impiously separated yourselves from the seed of Abraham, which is
in all nations of the earth? Against this charge you certainly have
no means whereby you may defend yourselves. For we each of us clear
ourselves of the sins of other men; but this, that you do not hold
communion with all the nations of the earth, which are blessed in the
seed of Abraham, is a very grievous crime, of which not some but all of
you are guilty.

74. And yet you know, as you prove by your quotation, that the Holy
Spirit descended in such wise, that those who were then filled with
it spake with divers tongues: what was the meaning of that sign and
prodigy? Why then is the Holy Spirit given now in such wise, that no
one to whom it is given speaks with divers tongues, except because
that miracle then prefigured that all nations of the earth should
believe, and that thus the gospel should be found to be in every
tongue? Just as it was foretold in the psalm so long before: "There
is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard." This was
said with reference to those men who were destined, after receiving
the Holy Spirit, to speak with every kind of tongue. But because this
passage itself signified that the gospel should be found hereafter in
all nations and languages, and that the body of Christ should sound
forth throughout all the world in every tongue, therefore he goes on
to say, "Their sound is gone out throughout all the earth, and their
words to the ends of the world." Hence it is that the true Church is
hidden from no one. And hence comes that which the Lord Himself says
in the gospel, "A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid."[789] And
therefore David continues in the same psalm, "In the sun hath He placed
His tabernacle," that is, in the open light of day; as we read in the
Book of Kings, "For thou didst it secretly; but I will do this thing
before all Israel, and before the sun."[790] And He Himself is "as a
bridegroom coming out of His chamber, and rejoiceth as a giant to run
His race. His going forth is from the end of heaven:" here you have
the coming of the Lord in the flesh. "And His circuit unto the ends
of it:" here you have His resurrection and ascension. "And there is
nothing hid from the heat thereof:"[791] here you have the coming of
the Holy Spirit, whom He sent in tongues of fire, that He might make
manifest the glowing heat of charity, which he certainly cannot have
who does not keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace with the
Church, which is throughout all languages.

75. Next, however, with regard to your statement that there is indeed
one baptism,[792] but that it is consecrated in three several grades,
and to your having distributed the three forms of it to three persons
after such fashion, that you ascribe the water to John, the Holy Spirit
to the Lord Jesus Christ, and, in the third place, the fire to the
Comforter sent down from above,--consider for a moment in how great
an error you are involved. For you were brought to entertain such an
opinion simply from the words of John: "I indeed baptize you with
water: but He that cometh after me is mightier than I: He shall baptize
you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire."[793] Nor were you willing to
take into consideration that the three things are not attributed to
three persons taken one by one,--water to John, the Holy Spirit to
Christ, fire to the Comforter,--but that the three should rather be
referred to two persons--one of them to John, the other two to our
Lord. For neither is it said, I indeed baptize you with water: but He
that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to
bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost: and the Comforter, who
is to come after Him, He shall baptize you with fire; but "I indeed,"
He says, "with water: but He that cometh after me with the Holy Ghost,
and with fire." One he attributes to himself, two to Him that cometh
after him. You see, therefore, how you have been deceived in the
number. Listen further. You said that there was one baptism consecrated
in three stages--water, the Holy Spirit, and fire; and you assigned
three persons to the three stages severally--John to the water, Christ
to the Spirit, the Comforter to the fire. If, therefore, the water of
John bears reference to the same baptism which is commended as being
one, it was not right that those should have been baptized a second
time by the command of the Apostle Paul whom he found to have been
baptized by John. For they already had water, belonging, as you say,
to the same baptism; so that it remained that they should receive the
Holy Spirit and fire, because these were wanting in the baptism of
John, that their baptism might be completed, being consecrated, as you
assert, in three stages. But since they were ordered to be baptized
by the authority of an apostle, it is sufficiently made manifest that
that water with which John baptized had no reference to the baptism of
Christ, but belonged to another dispensation suited to the exigencies
of the times.

76. Lastly, when you wished to prove that the Holy Spirit was given
by Christ, and had brought forward as a proof from the gospel, that
Jesus on rising from the dead breathed into the face of His disciples,
saying, "Receive ye the Holy Ghost;"[794] and when you wished to prove
that that last fire which was named in connection with baptism was
found in the tongues of fire which were displayed on the coming of
the Holy Ghost, how came it into your head to say, "And the Comforter
Himself came upon the apostles as a fire burning with rustling flames,"
as though there were one Holy Spirit whom He gave by breathing on the
face of His disciples, and another who, after His ascension, came on
the apostles? Are we to suppose, therefore, that there are two Holy
Spirits? Who will be found so utterly mad as to assert this? Christ
therefore Himself gave the same Holy Spirit, whether by breathing on
the face of the disciples, or by sending Him down from heaven on the
day of Pentecost, with undoubted commendation of His holy sacrament.
Accordingly it was not that Christ gave the Holy Spirit, and the
Comforter gave the fire, that the saying might be fulfilled, "With the
Holy Spirit, and with fire;" but the same Christ Himself gave the Holy
Spirit in both cases, making it manifest while He was yet on earth by
His breathing, and when He was ascended into heaven by the tongues
of flame. For that you may know that the words of John, "He shall
baptize you with the Holy Ghost," were not fulfilled at the time when
He breathed on His disciples' face, so that they should require to
be baptized, when the Comforter should come, not with the Spirit any
longer, but with fire, I would have you remember the most outspoken
words of Scripture, and see what the Lord Himself said to them when He
ascended into heaven: "John truly baptized you with water; but ye shall
be baptized with the Holy Ghost, whom ye shall receive not many days
hence at Pentecost."[795] What could be plainer than this testimony?
But, according to your interpretation, what He should have said was
this: John verily baptized you with water; but ye were baptized with
the Holy Spirit when I breathed on your faces; and next in due order
shall ye be baptized with fire, which ye shall receive not many
days hence;--in order that by this means the three stages should be
completed, in which you say that the one baptism was consecrated. And
so it proves to be the case that you are still ignorant of the meaning
of the words, "He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with
fire;" and you are rash enough to be willing to teach what you do not
know yourselves.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXXIII.--77. PETILIANUS said: "But that I may thoroughly
investigate the baptism in the name of the Trinity, the Lord Christ
said to His apostles: 'Go ye, and baptize all nations, in the name of
the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to
observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.'[796] Whom do you
teach, _traditor_? Him whom you condemn? Whom do you teach, _traditor_?
Him whom you slay? Once more, whom do you teach? Him whom you have
made a murderer? How then do you baptize in the name of the Trinity?
You cannot call God your Father. For when the Lord Christ said,
'Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of
God,'[797] you who have not peace at your heart cannot have God for
your Father. Or how, again, can you baptize in the name of the Son, who
betray that Son Himself, who do not imitate the Son of God in any of
His sufferings or crosses? Or how, again, can you baptize in the name
of the Holy Ghost, when the Holy Ghost came only on those apostles who
were not guilty of treason? Seeing, therefore, that God is not your
Father, neither are you truly born again with the water of baptism. No
one of you is born perfectly. You in your impiety have neither father
nor mother. Seeing, then, that you are of such a kind, ought I not to
baptize you, even though you wash yourselves a thousand times, after
the similitude of the Jews, who as it were baptize the flesh?"

78. AUGUSTINE answered: Certainly you had proposed thoroughly to
investigate the baptism in the name of the Trinity, and you had set
us to listen with much attention; but following, as it would seem,
what is the easiest course to you, how soon have you returned to your
customary abuse! This you carry out with genuine fluency. For you set
before yourself what victims you please, against whom to inveigh with
whatsoever bitterness you please: in the midst of which vast latitude
of discourse you are driven into the greatest straits if any one does
but use the little word, Prove it. For this is what is said to you by
the seed of Abraham; and since in him all nations of the earth are
blessed, they care but little when they are cursed by you. But yet,
since you are treating of baptism, which you consider to be true when
it is found in a just man, but false when it is found in the unjust,
see how I too, if I were to investigate baptism in the name of the
Trinity according to your rule, might say, with great fulness, as it
seems to me, that he has not God for his father who in a Count has God
for his companion,[798] nor believes that any is his Christ, save him
for whose sake he has endured suffering; and that he has not the Holy
Ghost who burned the wretched Africa in so very different a fashion
with tongues of fire. How then can they have baptism, or how can they
administer it in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the
Holy Ghost? Surely you must now perceive that baptism can exist in an
unrighteous man, and be administered by an unrighteous man, and that
no unrighteous baptism, but such as is just and true,--not because it
belongs to the unrighteous man, but because it is of God. And herein I
am uttering no calumny against you, as you never cease to do, on some
pretence or other, against the whole world; and, what is even more
intolerable, you do not even bring any proof about the very points on
which you found your calumnies. But I know not how this can possibly be
endured, because you not only bring calumnies against holy men about
unrighteous men, but you even bring a charge against the holy baptism
itself, which must needs be holy in any man, however unrighteous he
may be, from a comparison with the infection arising from the sins of
wicked men, so that you say that baptism partakes of the character of
him by whom it is possessed, or administered, or received. Furthermore,
if a man partakes of the character of him in whose company he
approaches sacred mysteries, and if the sacraments themselves partake
of the character of the men in whom they are, holy men may well be
satisfied to find consolation in the thought that they only fare like
holy baptism itself in hearing false accusations from your lips. But
it would be well for you to see how you are condemned out of your own
mouths, if both the sober among you are counted as drunken from the
infection of the drunken in your ranks, and the merciful among you
become robbers from the infection of the robbers, and whatever evil
is found among you in the persons of wicked men is perforce shared
by those who are not wicked; and if baptism itself is unclean in all
of you who are unclean, and if it is of different kinds according to
the varying character of uncleanness itself, as it must be if it is
perforce of the same character as the man by whom it is possessed
or administered. These suppositions most undoubtedly are false; and
accordingly they in no wise injure us, when you bring them forward
against us without looking back upon yourselves. But they do injure
you, because, when you bring them forward falsely, they do not fall on
us; but, since you imagine them to be true, they recoil upon yourselves.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXXIV.--79. PETILIANUS said: "For if the apostles were allowed
to baptize those whom John had washed with the baptism of repentance,
shall it not likewise be allowed to me to baptize men guilty of
sacrilege like yourselves?"

80. AUGUSTINE answered: Where then is what you said above, that there
was not one baptism of John and another of Christ, but that there was
one baptism, consecrated in three stages, of which three stages John
gave the water, Christ the Spirit, and the Comforter the fire? Why then
did the apostles repeat the water in the case of those to whom John
had already administered water belonging to the one baptism which is
consecrated in three stages? Surely you must see how necessary it is
that every one should understand the meaning of what he is discussing.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXXV.--81. PETILIANUS said: "Nor indeed will it be possible
that the Holy Spirit should be implanted in the heart of any one by
the laying on of the hands of the priest, unless the water of a pure
conscience has gone before to give him birth."

82. AUGUSTINE answered: In these few words of yours two errors are
involved; and one of them, indeed, has no great bearing on the question
which is being discussed between us, but yet it helps to convict you of
want of skill. For the Holy Spirit came upon a hundred and twenty men,
without the laying on of any person's hands, and again upon Cornelius
the centurion and those who were with him, even before they were
baptized.[799] But the second error in these words of yours entirely
overthrows your whole case. For you say that the water of a pure
conscience must necessarily precede to give new birth, before the Holy
Spirit can follow on it. Accordingly, either all the water consecrated
in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is
water of a pure conscience, not for the merits of those by whom it is
administered, or by whom it is received, but in virtue of the stainless
merits of Him who instituted this baptism; or else, if only a pure
conscience on the part both of the ministrant and the recipient can
produce the water of a pure conscience, what do you make of those whom
you find to have been baptized by men who bore a conscience stained
with as yet undiscovered guilt, especially if there exist among the
said baptized persons any one who should confess that he at the time
when he was baptized had a bad conscience, in that he might possibly
have desired to use that opportunity for the accomplishment of some
sinful act? When, therefore, it shall be made clear to you that neither
the man who administered baptism, nor the man who received it, had
a pure conscience, will you give your judgment that he ought to be
baptized afresh? You will assuredly neither say nor do anything of the
sort. The purity therefore of baptism is entirely unconnected with
the purity or impurity of the conscience either of the giver or the
recipient. Will you therefore dare to say that the deceiver, or the
robber, or the oppressor of the fatherless and widows, or the sunderer
of marriages, or the betrayer, the seller, the divider of the patrimony
of other men,[800] was a man of pure conscience? Or will you further
dare to say that those were men of pure conscience, whom it is hard
to imagine wanting in such times,--men who made interest with the man
I have described, that they might be baptized, not for the sake of
Christ, nor for the sake of eternal life, but to conciliate earthly
friendships, and to satisfy earthly desires? Further, if you do not
venture to say that these were men of pure conscience, then if you find
any of their number who have been baptized, give to them the water of a
pure conscience, which they as yet have not received; and if you will
not do this, then leave off casting in our teeth a matter which you
do not understand, lest you should be forced to answer in reply to us
about a matter which you know full well.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXXVI.--83. PETILIANUS said: "Which Holy Spirit certainly
cannot come on you, who have not been washed even with the baptism of
repentance; but the water of the _traditor_, which most truly needs to
be repented of, does but work pollution."

84. AUGUSTINE answered: As a matter of fact, not only do you not prove
us to be _traditors_, but neither did your fathers prove that our
fathers were guilty of that sin; though, even if that had been proved,
the consequence would have been that they would not be our fathers,
according to your earlier assertion, seeing that we had not followed
their deeds: yet neither should we on their account be severed from the
companionship of unity, and from the seed of Abraham, in which all
nations of the earth are blessed.[801] However, if the water of Christ
be one thing, and the water of the _traditor_ another, because Christ
was not a _traditor_, why should not the water of Christ be one thing,
and the water of a robber another, since certainly Christ was not a
robber? Do you therefore baptize again after baptism by your robber,
and I will baptize again after the _traditor_, who is neither mine nor
yours; or, if one must believe the documents which are produced, who
is both mine and yours; or, if we are to believe the communion of the
whole world rather than the party of Donatus, who is not mine, but
yours. But, by a better and a sounder judgment, because it is according
to the words of the apostle, every one of us shall bear his own
burden;[802] nor is either that robber yours, if you are not yourselves
robbers; nor does any _traditor_ belong to any one either of us or
you, who is not himself a _traditor_. And yet we are Catholics, who,
following the spirit of that judgment, do not desert the unity of the
Church; but you are heretics, who, on account of charges, whether true
or false, which you have brought against certain men, are unwilling to
maintain Christian charity with the seed of Abraham.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXXVII.--85. PETILIANUS said: "But that the truth of this may be
made manifest from the apostles, we are taught by their actions, as it
is written: 'It came to pass that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul,
having passed through the upper coasts, came to Ephesus: and finding
there certain disciples, he said unto them, Have ye received the Holy
Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as
heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what
then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. Then said
Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto
the people, that they should believe on Him which should come after
him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized
in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon
them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and
prophesied. And all the men were about twelve.'[803] If, therefore,
they were baptized that they might receive the Holy Ghost, why do not
you, if you wish to receive the Holy Ghost, take measures to obtain a
true renewing, after your falsehoods? And if we do ill in urging this,
why do you seek after us? or, at any rate, if it is an offence, condemn
Paul in the first instance; which Paul certainly washed off what had
already existed, whereas we in you give baptism which as yet does not
exist. For you do not, as we have often said before, wash with a true
baptism; but you bring on men an ill repute by your empty name of a
false baptism."

86. AUGUSTINE answered: We bring no accusation against Paul, who gave
to men the baptism of Christ because they had not the baptism of
Christ, but the baptism of John, according to their own reply; for,
being asked, Unto what were ye baptized? they answered, Unto John's
baptism; which has nothing to do with the baptism of Christ, and is
neither a part of it nor a step towards it. Otherwise, either at that
time the water of the baptism of Christ was renewed a second time, or
if the baptism of Christ was then made perfect by the two waters, the
baptism is less perfect which is given now, because it is not given
with the water which was given at the hands of John. But either one of
these opinions it is impious and sacrilegious to entertain. Therefore
Paul gave the baptism of Christ to those who had not the baptism of
Christ, but only the baptism of John.

87. But why the baptism of John, which is not necessary now, was
necessary at that time, I have already explained; and the question has
no bearing on the point at issue between us at the present time, except
so far as that it may appear that the baptism of John was one thing,
the baptism of Christ another,--just as that baptism was a different
thing with which the apostle says that our fathers were baptized in the
cloud and in the sea, when they passed through the Red Sea under the
guidance of Moses.[804] For the law and the prophets up to the time of
John the Baptist had sacraments which foreshadowed things to come; but
the sacraments of our time bear testimony that that has come already
which the former sacraments foretold should come. John therefore was
a foreteller of Christ nearer to Him in time than all who went before
him. And because all the righteous men and prophets of former times
desired to see the fulfilment of what, through the revelation of the
Spirit, they foresaw would come to pass,--whence also the Lord Himself
says, "That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those
things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things
which ye hear, and have not heard them,"[805]--therefore it was said
of John that he was more than a prophet, and that among all that were
born of women there was none greater than he;[806] because to the
righteous men who went before him it was only granted to foretell the
coming of Christ, but to John it was given both to foretell Him in His
absence and to behold His presence, so that it should be found that
to him was made manifest what the others had desired. And therefore
the sacrament of his baptism is still connected with the foretelling
of Christ's coming, though as of something very soon to be fulfilled,
seeing that up to his time there were still foretellings of the first
coming of our Lord, of which coming we have now announcements, but
no longer predictions. But the Lord, teaching the way of humility,
condescended to make use of the sacraments which He found here in
reference to the foretelling of His coming, not in order to assist
the operation of His cleansing, but as an example for our piety, that
so He might show to us with what reverence we ought to receive those
sacraments which bear witness that He is already come, when He did
not disdain to make use of those which foreshadowed His coming in the
future. And John, therefore, though the nearest to Christ in point of
time, and within one year of the same age with Him, yet, while he was
baptizing, went before the way of Christ who was still to come; for
which reason it was said of him, "Behold, I send my messenger before
Thy face, which shall prepare Thy way before Thee."[807] And he himself
preached, saying, "There cometh one mightier than I after me."[808] In
like manner, therefore, the circumcision on the eighth day, which was
given to the patriarchs, foretold our justification, to the putting
away of carnal lusts through the resurrection of our Lord, which took
place after the seventh day, which is the Sabbath-day, on the eighth,
that is, the Lord's day, which fell on the third day after His burial;
yet the infant Christ received the same circumcision of the flesh, with
its prophetic signification. And as the Passover, which was celebrated
by the Jews with the slaying of a lamb, prefigured the passion of our
Lord and His departure from this world to the Father, yet the same Lord
celebrated the same Passover with His disciples, when they reminded
Him of it, saying, Where wilt Thou that we prepare for Thee to eat the
Passover?[809] so too He Himself also received the baptism of John,
which formed a part of the latest foretelling of His coming. But as the
Jews' circumcision of the flesh is one thing, and the ceremony which we
observe on the eighth day after persons are baptized is another;[810]
and the Passover which the Jews still celebrate with the slaying of
a lamb is one thing,[811] and that which we receive in the body and
blood of our Lord is another,--so the baptism of John was one thing,
the baptism of Christ is another. For by the former series of rites
the latter were foretold as destined to arrive; by these latter the
others are declared to be fulfilled. And even though Christ received
the others, yet are they not necessary for us, who have received the
Lord Himself who was foretold in them. But when the coming of our Lord
was as yet recent, it was necessary for any one who had received the
former that he should be imbued with the latter also; but it was wholly
needless that any one who had been so imbued should be compelled to go
back to the former rites.

88. Wherefore do not seek to raise confusion out of the baptism of
John, the source and intention of which was either such as I have here
set forth; or if any other better explanation of it can be given, this
much still is clear, that the baptism of John and the baptism of Christ
are two distinct and separate things, and that the former was expressly
called the baptism of John, as is clear both from the answer of those
men whose case you quoted, and from the words of our Lord Himself,
when He says, "The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of
men?"[812] But the latter is never called the baptism of Cæcilianus,
or of Donatus, or of Augustine, or of Petilianus, but the baptism of
Christ. For if you think that we are shameless, because we will not
allow that any one should be baptized after baptism from us, although
we see that men were baptized again who had received the baptism of
John, who certainly is incomparably greater than ourselves, will you
maintain that John and Optatus were of equal dignity? The thing appears
ridiculous. And yet I fancy that you do not hold them to be equals,
but consider Optatus the greater of the two. For the apostle baptized
after baptism by John: you venture to baptize no one after baptism
by Optatus. Was it because Optatus was in unity with you? I know not
with what heart a theory like this can be maintained, if the friend
of the Count,[813] who had in the Count a god for his companion, is
said to have been in unity, and the friend of the Bridegroom to have
been excluded from it. But if John was pre-eminently in unity, and far
more excellent and greater than all of us and all of you, and yet the
Apostle Paul baptized after him, why do you then not baptize after
Optatus? Unless indeed it be that your blindness brings you into such
a strait that you should say that Optatus had the power of giving the
Holy Spirit, and that John had not! And if you do not say this, for
fear of being ridiculed for your madness even by the insane themselves,
what answer will you be able to make when you are asked why men should
have required to be baptized after receiving baptism from John, while
no one needs to be baptized after receiving it from Optatus, unless
it be that the former were baptized with the baptism of John, while,
whenever any one is baptized with the baptism of Christ, whether he be
baptized by Paul or by Optatus, there is no difference in the nature
of his baptism, though there is so great a difference between Paul and
Optatus? Return then, O ye transgressors, to a right mind,[814] and
do not seek to weigh the sacraments of God by considerations of the
characters and deeds of men. For the sacraments are holy through Him to
whom they belong; but when taken in hand worthily, they bring reward,
when unworthily, judgment. And although the men are not one who take
in hand the sacrament of God worthily or unworthily, yet that which is
taken in hand, whether worthily or unworthily, is the same; so that it
does not become better or worse in itself, but only turns to the life
or death of those who handle it in either case. And in respect of what
you said, that "in those whom Paul baptized after they had received the
baptism of John, he washed off what had already existed," you certainly
would not have said it had you taken a moment to consider what you
were saying. For if the baptism of John required washing off, it must,
beyond all doubt, have had some foulness in it. Why then should I press
you further? Recollect or read, and see whence John received it, so
shall you see against whom you have uttered that blasphemy; and when
you have discovered this, your heart will surely be beaten, if a rein
be not set on your tongue.

89. To come next to what you think you say against us with so much
point: "If we do ill in urging this, why do you seek after us?" cannot
you even yet call to mind that only those are sought after who have
perished? Or is the incapacity for seeing this an element in your
ruin? For the sheep might say to the shepherd with equal absurdity,
If I do wrong in straying from the flock, why do you search after
me? not understanding that the very reason why it is being sought is
because it thinks there is no need for seeking it. But who is there
that seeks for you, either through His Scriptures, or by catholic and
conciliatory voices, or by the scourgings of temporal afflictions, save
only Him who dispenses that mercy to you in all things? We therefore
seek you that we may find you; for we love you that you should have
life, with the same intensity with which we hate your error, that it
might be destroyed which seeks to ruin you, so long as it is not itself
involved in your destruction. And would to God that we might seek you
in such a manner as even to find, and be able to say with rejoicing of
each one of you, "He was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is
found!"[815]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXXVIII.--90. PETILIANUS said: "If you declare that you hold the
Catholic Church, the word 'catholic' is merely the Greek equivalent for
entire or whole. But it is clear that you are not in the whole, because
you have gone aside into the part."

91. AUGUSTINE answered: I too indeed have attained to a very slight
knowledge of the Greek language, scarcely to be called knowledge at
all, yet I am not shameless in saying that I know that [Greek: holon]
means not "one," but "the whole;" and that [Greek: kath' holon] means
"according to the whole:" whence the Catholic Church received its name,
according to the saying of the Lord, "It is not for you to know the
times and the seasons, which the Father hath put in His own power. But
ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you:
and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in Judea,
and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."[816] Here
you have the origin of the name "Catholic." But you are so bent upon
running with your eyes shut against the mountain which grew out of a
small stone, according to the prophecy of Daniel, and filled the whole
earth,[817] that you actually tell us that we have gone aside into a
part, and are not in the whole among those whose communion is spread
throughout the whole earth. But just in the same way as, supposing you
were to say that I was Petilianus, I should not be able to find any
method of refuting you unless I were to laugh at you as being in jest,
or mourn over you as being mad, so in the present case I see that I
have no other choice but this; and since I do not believe that you are
in jest, you see what alternative remains.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXXIX.--92. PETILIANUS said: "But there is no fellowship of
darkness with light, nor any fellowship of bitterness with the sweet
of honey; there is no fellowship of life with death, of innocence
with guilt, of water with blood; the lees have no fellowship with
oil, though they are related to it as being its dregs, but everything
that is reprobate will flow away. It is the very sink of iniquity;
according to the saying of John, 'They went out from us, but they
were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have
continued with us.'[818] There is no gold among their pollution: all
that is precious has been purged away. For it is written, 'As gold is
tried in the furnace, so also are the just tried by the harassing of
tribulation.'[819] Cruelty is not a part of gentleness, nor religion
a part of sacrilege; nor can the party of Macarius in any way be part
of us, because he pollutes the likeness of our rite. For the enemy's
line, which fills up an enemy's name, is no part of the force to which
it is opposed; but if it is truly to be called a part, it will find a
suitable motto in the judgment of Solomon, 'Let their part be cut off
from the earth.'"[820]

93. AUGUSTINE answered: What is it but sheer madness to utter these
taunts without proving anything? You look at the tares throughout the
world, and pay no heed to the wheat, although both have been bidden to
grow together throughout the whole of it. You look at the seed sown by
the wicked one, which shall be separated in the time of harvest,[821]
and you pay no heed to the seed of Abraham, in which all nations of
the earth shall be blessed.[822] Just as though you were already a
purged mass, and virgin honey, and refined oil, and pure gold, or
rather the very similitude of a whited wall. For, to say nothing of
your other faults, do the drunken form a portion of the sober, or are
the covetous reckoned among the portion of the wise? If men of gentle
temper appropriate the term of light, where shall the madness of the
Circumcelliones be esteemed to be, excepting in the darkness? Why
then is baptism, given by men like these, held valid among you, and
the same baptism of Christ not held valid, by whatsoever men it may
be administered throughout the world? You see, in fact, that you are
separated from the communion of the whole world in so far as this, that
you are not indeed all drunk, nor all of you covetous, nor all men of
violence, but that you are all heretics, and, in virtue of this, are
all impious and all sacrilegious.

94. But as to your saying that the whole world that rejoices in
Christian communion is the party of Macarius, who with any remnant of
sanity in his brain could make such a statement? But because we say
that you are of the party of Donatus, you therefore seek for a man
of whose party you may say we are; and, being in a great strait, you
mention the name of some obscure person, who, if he is known in Africa,
is certainly unknown in any other quarter of the globe. And therefore
hearken to the answer made to you by all the seed of Abraham from every
corner of the earth: Of that Macarius, to whose party you assert us to
belong, we know absolutely nothing. Can you reply in turn that you know
nothing of Donatus? But even if we were to say that you are the party
of Optatus, which of you can say that he is unacquainted with Optatus,
unless in the sense that he does not know him personally, as perhaps
he does not know Donatus either? But you acknowledge that you rejoice
in the name of Donatus, do you also take any pleasure in the name of
Optatus? What then can the name of Donatus profit you, when all of you
alike are polluted by Optatus? What advantage can you derive from the
sobriety of Donatus, when you are defiled by the drunkenness of the
Circumcelliones? What, according to your views, are you profited by the
innocence of Donatus, when you are stained by the rapacity of Optatus?
For this is your mistake, that you think that the unrighteousness of a
man has more power in infecting his neighbour than the righteousness
of a man has in purifying those around him. Therefore, if two share
in common the sacraments of God, the one a just man, the other an
unrighteous one, but so that neither the former should imitate the
unrighteousness of the latter, nor the latter the righteousness of
the former, you say that the result is not that both are made just,
but that both are made unrighteous; so that also that holy thing,
which both receive in common, becomes unclean and loses its original
holiness. When does unrighteousness find for herself such advocates as
these, through whose madness she is esteemed victorious? How comes it
then that, in the midst of such mistaken perversity, you congratulate
yourselves upon the name of Donatus, when it shows not that Petilianus
deserves to be what Donatus is, but that Donatus is compelled to be
what Optatus is? But let the house of Israel say, "God is my portion
for ever;"[823] let the seed of Abraham say in all nations, "The Lord
is the portion of mine inheritance."[824] For they know how to speak
through the gospel of the glory of the blessed God. For you, too,
through the sacrament which is in you, like Caiaphas the persecutor
of the Lord, prophesy without being aware of it.[825] For what in
Greek is expressed by the word [Greek: Makarios] is in our language
simply "Blessed;" and in this way certainly we are of the party of
Macarius, the Blessed One. For what is more blessed than Christ, of
whose party we are, after whom all the ends of the earth are called,
and to whom they all are turned, and in whose sight all the countries
of the nations worship? Therefore the party of this Macarius, that is
to say, of this Blessed One, feels no apprehension at your last curse,
distorted from the words of Solomon, lest it should perish from the
earth. For what is said by him of the impious you endeavour to apply to
the inheritance of Christ, and you strive to prove that this has been
achieved with inexpressible impiety; for when he was speaking of the
impious, he says, "Let their portion perish from off the earth."[826]
But when you say, with reference to the words of Scripture, "I shall
give Thee the heathen for Thine inheritance,"[827] and "all the ends of
the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord,"[828] that the promise
contained in them has already perished from the earth, you are seeking
to turn against the inheritance of Christ what was foretold about the
lot of the impious; but so long as the inheritance of Christ endures
and increases, you are perishing in saying such things. For you are not
in every case prophesying through the sacrament of God, since in this
case you are merely uttering evil wishes through your own madness.
But the prophecy of the true prophets is more powerful than the evil
speaking of the false prophets.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XL.--95. PETILIANUS said: "Paul the apostle also bids us, 'Be
ye not unequally yoked with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath
righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with
darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath
he that believeth with an infidel?"[829]

96. AUGUSTINE answered: I recognise the words of the apostle; but
how they can help you I cannot see at all. For which of us says that
there is any fellowship between righteousness and unrighteousness,
even though the righteous and the unrighteous, as in the case of Judas
and Peter, should be alike partakers of the sacraments? For from one
and the same holy thing Judas received judgment to himself and Peter
salvation, just as you received the sacrament with Optatus, and, if you
were unlike him, were not therefore partakers in his robberies. Or is
robbery not unrighteousness? Who would be mad enough to assert that?
What fellowship was there, then, on the part of your righteousness with
his unrighteousness, when you approached together to the same altar?

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XLI.--97. PETILIANUS said: "And, again, he taught us that schisms
should not arise, in the following terms: 'Now this I say, that every
one of you saith, I am of Paul, and I of Apollos, and I of Cephas, and
I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye
baptized in the name of Paul?'"[830]

98. AUGUSTINE answered: Remember all of you who read this, it was
Petilianus who quoted these words from the apostle. For who could have
believed that he would have brought forward words which tell so much
for us against himself?

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XLII.--99. PETILIANUS said: "If Paul uttered these words to the
unlearned and to the righteous, I say this to you who are unrighteous,
Is Christ divided, that you should separate yourselves from the Church?"

100. AUGUSTINE answered: I am afraid lest any one should think that in
this work of mine the writer has made a mistake, and has written the
heading _Petilianus said_, when he ought to have written _Augustine
answered_. But I see what your object is: you wished, as it were, to
preoccupy the ground, lest we should bring those words in testimony
against you. But what have you really done, except to cause them to
be quoted twice? If, therefore, you are so much pleased with hearing
the words which make against you, as to render it necessary that they
should be repeated, hear, I pray you, these words as coming from me,
Petilianus: Is Christ divided, that you should separate yourselves from
the Church?

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XLIII.--101. PETILIANUS said: "Can it be that the traitor Judas
hung himself for you, or did he imbue you with his character, that,
following his deeds, you should seize on the treasures of the Church,
and sell for money to the powers of this world us who are the heirs of
Christ?"

102. AUGUSTINE answered: Judas did not die for us, but Christ, to
whom the Church dispersed throughout the world says, "So shall I
have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me: for I trust in Thy
word."[831] When, therefore, I hear the words of the Lord, saying,
"Ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea,
and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth,"[832] and
through the voice of His prophet, "Their sound is gone out through
all the earth, and their words into the ends of the world,"[833] no
bodily admixture of evil ever is able to disturb me, if I know how to
say, "Be surety to Thy servant for good: let not the proud oppress
me."[834] I do not, therefore, concern myself about a vain calumniation
when I have a substantial promise. But if you complain about matters
or places appertaining to the Church, which you used once to hold, and
hold no longer, then the Jews also may say that they are righteous,
and reproach us with unrighteousness, because the Christians now
occupy the place in which of old they impiously reigned. What then
is there unfitting, if, according to a similar will of the Lord, the
Catholics now hold the things which formerly the heretics used to
have? For against all such men as this, that is to say, against all
impious and unrighteous men, those words of the Lord have force, "The
kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and shall be given to a nation
bringing forth the fruits thereof;"[835] or is it written in vain, "The
righteous shall eat of the labours of the impious?"[836] Wherefore you
ought rather to be amazed that you still possess something, than that
there is something which you have lost. But neither need you wonder
even at this, for it is by degrees that the whitened wall falls down.
Yet look back at the followers of Maximianus, see what places they
possessed, and by whose agency and under whose attacks they were driven
from them, and do you venture, if you can, to say that to suffer things
like these is righteousness, while to do them is unrighteousness. In
the first place, because you did the deed, and they suffered them; and
secondly, because, according to the rule of this righteousness, you are
found to be inferior. For they were driven from the ancient places by
Catholic emperors acting through judges, while you are not even driven
forth by the mandates of the emperors themselves from the basilicas of
unity. For what reason is this, save that you are of less merit, not
only than the rest of your colleagues, but even than those very men
whom you assuredly condemned as guilty of sacrilege by the mouth of
your general Council?

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XLIV.--103. PETILIANUS said: "For we, as it is written, when we
are baptized, put on Christ who was betrayed;[837] you, when you are
infected, put on Judas the betrayer."

104. AUGUSTINE answered: I also might say, You when you are infected
put on Optatus the betrayer, the robber, the oppressor, the separater
of husband and wife; but far be it from me that the desire of returning
an evil word should provoke me into any falsehood: for neither do you
put on Optatus, nor we Judas. Therefore, if each one who comes to us
shall answer to our questions that he has been baptized in the name
of Optatus, he shall be baptized in the name of Christ; and if you
baptized any that came from us and said that they had been baptized in
the name of the traitor Judas, in that case we have no fault to find
with what you have done. But if they had been baptized in the name of
Christ, do you not see what an error you commit in thinking that the
sacraments of God can undergo change through any changeableness of
human sins, or be polluted by defilement in the life of any man?

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XLV.--105. PETILIANUS said: "But if these are the parties, the
name of member of a party is no prejudice against us. For there are
two ways, the one narrow, in which we walk; the other is for the
impious, wherein they shall perish. And yet, though the designations
be alike, there is a great difference in the reality, that the way of
righteousness should not be defiled by fellowship in a name."

106. AUGUSTINE answered: You have been afraid of the comparison of your
numbers with the multitude throughout the world; and therefore, in
order to win praise for the scantiness of your party, you have sought
to bring in the comparison of yourself walking in the narrow path.
Would to God that you had betaken yourself not to its praise, but to
the path itself! Truly you would have seen that there was the same
scantiness in the Church of all nations; but that the righteous are
said to be few in comparison with the multitude of the unrighteous,
just as, in comparison with the chaff, there may be said to be few
grains of corn in the most abundant crop, and yet these very grains of
themselves, when brought into a heap, fill the barn. For the followers
of Maximianus themselves will surpass you in this scantiness of number,
if you think that righteousness consists in this, as well as in the
persecution involved in the loss of places which they held.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XLVI.--107. PETILIANUS said: "In the first Psalm David separates
the blessed from the impious, not indeed making them into parties,
but excluding all the impious from holiness. 'Blessed is the man that
walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of
sinners.' Let him who had strayed from the path of righteousness, so
that he should perish, return to it again. 'Nor sitteth in the seat of
the scornful.' When he gives this warning, O ye miserable men, why do
you sit in that seat? 'But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and
in His law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree
planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his
season: his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall
prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind
driveth away.' He blindeth their eyes, so that they should not see.
'Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in
the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knoweth the way of the
righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.'"

108. AUGUSTINE answered: Who is there in the Scriptures that would not
distinguish between these two classes of men? But you in your evil
speak indiscriminately, charge the corn with the offences of the chaff;
and being yourselves mere chaff, you boast yourselves to be the only
corn. But the true prophets declare that both these classes have been
mingled together throughout the whole world, that is, throughout the
whole corn-field of the Lord, until the winnowing which is to take
place on the day of judgment. But I advise you to read that first
Psalm in the Greek version, and then you will not venture to reproach
the whole world with being of the party of Macarius; because you will
perhaps come to understand of what Macarius there is a party among
all the saints, who throughout all nations are blessed in the seed of
Abraham. For what stands in our language as "Blessed is the man," is
in Greek [Greek: Makarios anêr]. But that Macarius who offends you,
if he is a bad man, neither belongs to this division, nor is to its
prejudice. But if he is a good man, let him prove his own work, that he
may have glory in himself alone, and not in another.[838]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XLVII.--109. PETILIANUS said: "But the same Psalmist has sung
the praises of our baptism. 'The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not
want. He maketh me to lie down in the green pastures: He leadeth me
beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the
paths of righteousness for His name's sake. Yea, though I walk through
the valley of the shadow of death,'--though the persecutor, he means,
should slay me,--'I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod
and Thy staff comfort me.' It was by this that it conquered Goliath,
being armed with the anointing oil. 'Thou hast prepared a table before
me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou anointest my head with oil;
my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all
the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for
ever.'"[839]

110. AUGUSTINE answered: This psalm speaks of those who receive baptism
aright, and use as holy what is so holy. For those words have no
reference even to Simon Magus, who yet received the same holy baptism;
and because he would not use it in a holy way, he did not therefore
pollute it, or show that in such cases it should be repeated. But since
you have made mention of Goliath, listen to the psalm which treats of
Goliath himself, and see that he is portrayed in a new song; for there
it is said, "I will sing a new song unto Thee, O God: upon a psaltery,
and an instrument of ten strings, will I sing praise unto Thee."[840]
And see whether he belongs to this song who refuses to communicate
with the whole earth. For elsewhere it is said, "O sing unto the Lord
a new song; sing unto the Lord, all the earth."[841] Therefore the
whole earth, with whom you are not in unity, sings the new song. And
these too are the words of the whole earth, "The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want," etc. These are not the words of the tares, though
they be endured until the harvest in the same crop. They are not the
words of the chaff, but of the wheat, although they are nourished by
one and the same rain, and are threshed out on the same threshing-floor
at the same time, till they shall be separated the one from the other
by the winnowing at the last day. And yet these both assuredly have
the same baptism, though they are not the same themselves. But if
your party also were the Church of God, you would certainly confess
that this psalm has no application to the infuriated bands of the
Circumcelliones. Or if they too themselves are led through the paths
of righteousness, why do you deny that they are your associates, when
you are reproached with them, although, for the most part, you console
yourselves for the scantiness of your section, not by the rod and staff
of the Lord, but by the cudgels of the Circumcelliones, with which you
think that you are safe even against the Roman laws,--to bring oneself
into collision with which is surely nothing less than to walk through
the valley of the shadow of death? But he with whom the Lord is, fears
no evils. Surely, however, you will not venture to say that the words
which are sung in this song belong even to those infuriated men, and
yet you not only acknowledge, but ostentatiously set forth the fact
that they have baptism. These words, therefore, are not used by any
who are not refreshed by the holy water, as are all the righteous men
of God; not by those who are brought to destruction by using it, as
was that magician when baptized by Philip: and yet the water itself
in both kinds of men is the same, and of the same degree of sanctity.
These words are not used except by those who will belong to the right
hand; but yet both sheep and goats feed in the same pasture under one
Shepherd, until they shall be separated, that they may receive their
due reward. These words are not used except by those who, like Peter,
receive life from the table of the Lord, not judgment, as did Judas;
and yet the supper was itself the same to both, but it was not of the
same profit to both, because they were not one. These words are not
used except by those who, by being anointed with the sacred oil, are
blessed in spirit also, as was David; not merely consecrated in the
body only, as was Saul: and yet, as they had both received the same
outward sign, it was not the sacrament, but the personal merit that was
different in the two cases. These words are not used except by those
who, with converted heart, receive the cup of the Lord unto eternal
life; not by those who eat and drink damnation to themselves, as the
apostle says:[842] and yet, though they are not one, the cup which they
receive is one, exerting its power on the martyrs that they should
obtain a heavenly reward, not on the Circumcelliones, that they should
mark precipices with death. Remember, therefore, that the characters
of bad men in no wise interfere with the virtue of the sacraments, so
that their holiness should either be destroyed, or even diminished;
but that they injure the unrighteous men themselves, that they should
have them as witnesses of their damnation, not as aids to health. For
beyond all doubt you should have taken into consideration the actual
concluding words of this psalm, and have understood that, on account of
those who forsake the faith after they have been baptized, it cannot be
said by all who receive holy baptism that "I will dwell in the house
of the Lord for ever:" and yet, whether they abide in the faith, or
whether they have fallen away, though they themselves are not one,
their baptism is one, and though they themselves are not both holy, yet
the baptism in both is holy; because even apostates, if they return,
are not baptized as though they had lost the sacrament, but undergo
humiliation, because they have done despite to it remaining in them.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XLVIII.--111. PETILIANUS said: "Yet that you should not call
yourselves holy, in the first place, I declare that no one has holiness
who has not led a life of innocence."

112. AUGUSTINE answered: Show us the tribunal where you have been
enthroned as judge, that the whole world should stand for trial before
you, and with what eyes you have inspected and discussed, I do not say
the consciences, but even the acts of all men, that you should say that
the whole world has lost its innocence. He who was carried up as far
as the third heaven says, "Yea, I judge not mine own self;"[843] and
do you venture to pronounce sentence on the whole world, throughout
which the inheritance of Christ is spread abroad? In the next place,
if what you have said appears to you to be sufficiently certain, that
"no one has holiness who has not led a life of innocence," I would ask
you, if Saul had not the holiness of the sacrament, what was in him
that David reverenced? But if he had innocence, why did he persecute
the innocent? For it was on account of the sanctity of his anointing
that David honoured him while alive, and avenged him after he was dead;
and because he cut off so much as a scrap from his garment, he trembled
with a panic-stricken heart. Here you see that Saul had not innocence,
and yet he had holiness,--not the personal holiness of a holy life
(for that no one can have without innocence), but the holiness of the
sacrament of God, which is holy even in unrighteous men.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XLIX.--113. PETILIANUS said: "For, granting that you faithless
ones are acquainted with the law, without any prejudice to the law
itself, I may say so much as this, the devil knows it too. For in the
case of righteous Job he answered the Lord God concerning the law as
though he were himself righteous, as it is written, 'And the Lord said
unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none
like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth
God and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity,
although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause. And
Satan answered the Lord, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will
he give for his life.'[844] Behold he speaks in legal phrase, even when
he is striving against the law. And a second time he endeavoured thus
to tempt the Lord Christ with his discourse, as it is written, 'The
devil taketh Jesus into the holy city, and setteth Him on a pinnacle of
the temple, and saith unto Him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself
down: for it is written, He shall give His angels charge over thee; and
in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy
foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou
shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.'[845] You know the law, I say, as
did the devil, who is conquered in his endeavours, and blushes in his
deeds."

114. AUGUSTINE answered: I might indeed ask of you in what law the
words are written which the devil used when he was uttering calumnies
against the holy man Job, if the position which I am set to prove
were this, that you yourself are unacquainted with the law which you
assert the devil to have known; but as this is not the question at
issue between us, I pass it by. But you have endeavoured in such sort
to prove that the devil is skilled in the law, as though we maintained
that all who know the law are just. Accordingly, I do not see in what
manner you are assisted by what you have chosen to quote concerning
the devil,--unless, indeed, it may be that we should be thereby
reminded how you imitate the devil himself. For as he brought forward
the words of the law against the Author of the law, so you also out
of the words of the law bring accusation against men whom you do not
know, that you may resist the promises of God which are made in that
very self-same law. Then I should be glad if you would tell me in
whose honour do those confessors of yours achieve their martyrdom,
when they throw themselves over precipices,--in honour of Christ, who
thrust the devil from Him when he made a like suggestion, or rather
in honour of the devil himself, who suggested such a deed to Christ?
There are two especially vile and customary deaths resorted to by those
who kill themselves,--hanging and the precipice. You assuredly said in
the earlier part of this epistle, "The traitor hung himself: he left
this death to all who are like him." This has no application whatever
to us; for we refuse to reverence with the name of martyr any who
have strangled themselves. With how much greater show of reason might
we say against you, That master of all traitors, the devil, wished
to persuade Christ to throw Himself headlong down, and was repulsed!
What, therefore, must we say of those whom he persuaded with success?
What, indeed, except that they are the enemies of Christ, the friends
of the devil, the disciples of the seducer, the fellow-disciples of
the traitor? For both have learned to kill themselves from the same
master,--Judas by hanging himself, the others by throwing themselves
over precipices.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. L.--115. PETILIANUS said: "But that we may destroy your arguments
one by one, if you call yourselves by the name of priests, it was said
by the Lord God, through the mouth of His prophet, 'The vengeance of
the Lord is upon the false priests.'"

116. AUGUSTINE answered: Seek rather what you may say with truth, not
whence you may derive abusive words; and what you may teach, not what
reproaches you may cast in our teeth.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. LI.--117. PETILIANUS said: "If you wretched men claim for
yourselves a seat, as we said before, you assuredly have that one of
which the prophet and psalmist David speaks as being the seat of the
scornful.[846] For to you it is rightly left, seeing that the holy
cannot sit therein."

118. AUGUSTINE answered: Here again you do not see that this is no kind
of argument, but empty abuse. For this is what I said a little while
ago, You utter the words of the law, but take no heed against whom you
utter them; just as the devil uttered the words of the law, but failed
to perceive to whom he uttered them. He wished to thrust down our Head,
who was presently to ascend on high; but you wish to reduce to a small
fraction the body of that same Head which is dispersed throughout the
entire world. Certainly you yourself said a little time before that we
know the law, and speak in legal terms, but blush in our deeds. Thus
much indeed you say without a proof of anything; but even though you
were to prove it of some men, you would not be entitled to assert it
of these others. However, if all men throughout all the world were of
the character which you most vainly charge them with, what has the
chair done to you of the Roman Church, in which Peter sat, and which
Anastasius fills to-day; or the chair of the Church of Jerusalem, in
which James once sat, and in which John sits to-day, with which we are
united in catholic unity, and from which you have severed yourselves
by your mad fury? Why do you call the apostolic chair a seat of the
scornful? If it is on account of the men whom you believe to use the
words of the law without performing it, do you find that our Lord Jesus
Christ was moved by the Pharisees, of whom He says, "They say, and
do not," to do any despite to the seat in which they sat? Did He not
commend the seat of Moses, and maintain the honour of the seat, while
He convicted those that sat in it? For He says, "They sit in Moses'
seat: all therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and
do; but do ye not after their works: for they say, and do not."[847]
If you were to think of these things, you would not, on account of men
whom you calumniate, do despite to the apostolic seat, in which you
have no share. But what else is conduct like yours but ignorance of
what to say, combined with want of power to abstain from evil-speaking?

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. LII.--119. PETILIANUS said: "If you suppose that you can offer
sacrifice, God Himself thus speaks of you as most abandoned sinners:
'The wicked man,' He says, 'that sacrificeth a calf is as if he cut
off a dog's neck; and he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered
swine's blood.'[848] Recognise herein your sacrifice, who have already
poured out human blood. And again He says, 'Their sacrifices shall
be unto them as the bread of mourners; all that eat thereof shall be
polluted.'"[849]

120. AUGUSTINE answered: We say that in the case of every man the
sacrifice that is offered partakes of the character of him who
approaches to offer it, or approaches to partake of it; and that those
eat of the sacrifices of such men, who in approaching to them partake
of the character of those who offer them. Therefore, if a bad man offer
sacrifice to God, and a good man receive it at his hands, the sacrifice
is to each man of such character as he himself has shown himself to
be, since we find it also written that "unto the pure all things are
pure."[850] In accordance with this true and catholic judgment, you too
are free from pollution by the sacrifice of Optatus, if you disapproved
of his deeds. For certainly his bread was the bread of mourners,
seeing that all Africa was mourning under his iniquities. But the evil
involved in the schism of all your party makes this bread of mourners
common to you all. For, according to the judgment of your Council,
Felicianus of Musti was a shedder of man's blood. For you said, in
condemning them,[851] "Their feet are swift to shed blood."[852] See
therefore what kind of sacrifice he offers whom you hold to be a
priest, when you have yourselves convicted him of sacrilege. And if you
think that this is in no way to your prejudice, I would ask you how the
emptiness of your calumnies can be to the prejudice of the whole world?

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. LIII.--121. PETILIANUS said: "If you make prayer to God, or
utter supplication, it profits you absolutely nothing whatsoever.
For your blood-stained conscience makes your feeble prayers of no
effect; because the Lord God regards purity of conscience more than
the words of supplication, according to the saying of the Lord Christ,
'Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the
kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in
heaven.'[853] The will of God unquestionably is good, for therefore we
pray as follows in the holy prayer, 'Thy will be done in earth, as it
is in heaven,'[854] that, as His will is good, so it may confer on us
whatever may be good. You therefore do not do the will of God, because
you do what is evil every day."

122. AUGUSTINE answered: If we on our side were to utter against you
all that you assert against us, would not any one who heard us consider
that we were rather insane litigants than Christian disputants, if he
himself were in his senses? We do not, therefore, render railing for
railing. For it is not fitting that the servant of the Lord should
strive; but he should be gentle unto all men, willing to learn, in
meekness instructing those that oppose themselves.[855] If, therefore,
we reproach you with those who daily do what is evil among you, we
are guilty of striving unbefittingly, accusing one for the sins of
another. But if we admonish you, that as you are unwilling that these
things should be brought against yourselves, so you should abstain from
bringing against us the sins of other men, we then in meekness are
instructing you, solely in the hopes that some time you will return to
a better mind.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. LIV.--123. PETILIANUS said: "But if it should so happen, though
whether it be so I cannot say, that you cast out devils, neither will
this in you do any good; because the devils themselves yield neither
to your faith nor to your merits, but are driven out in the name of the
Lord Jesus Christ."

124. AUGUSTINE answered: God be thanked that you have at length
confessed that the invocation of the name of Christ may be of profit
for the salvation of others, even though it be invoked by sinners!
Hence, therefore, you may understand that when the name of Christ is
invoked, the sins of one man do not stand in the way of the salvation
of another. But to determine in what manner we invoke the name of
Christ, we require not your judgment, but the judgment of Christ
Himself who is invoked by us; for He alone can know in what spirit He
is invoked. Yet from His own words we are assured that He is invoked to
their salvation by all nations, who are blessed in the seed of Abraham.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. LV.--125. PETILIANUS said: "Even though you do very virtuous
actions, and perform miraculous works, yet on account of your
wickedness the Lord does not know you; even so, according to the words
of the Lord Himself, 'Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have
we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out devils?
and in Thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto
them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.'"[856]

126. AUGUSTINE answered: We acknowledge the word of the Lord. Hence
also the apostle says, "Though I have all faith, so that I could remove
mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing."[857] Here therefore we
must inquire who it is that has charity: you will find that it is no
one else but those who are lovers of unity. For as to the driving out
of devils, and as to the working of miracles, seeing that very many
do not do such things who yet belong to the kingdom of God, and very
many do them who do not belong to it, neither our party nor your party
have any cause for boasting, if any of them chance to have this power,
since the Lord did not think it right that even the apostles, who could
truly do such things both to profit and salvation, should boast in
things like this, when He says to them, "In this rejoice not, that the
spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names
are written in heaven."[858] Wherefore all those things which you have
advanced from the writings of the gospel I also might repeat to you,
if I saw you working the powerful acts of signs and miracles; and so
might you repeat them to me, if you saw me doing things of a like sort.
Let us not, therefore, say one to another what may equally be said on
the other side as well; and, putting aside all quibbles, since we are
inquiring where the Church of Christ is to be found, let us listen to
the words of Christ Himself, who redeemed it with His own blood: "Ye
shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and
in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."[859] You see
then who it is with whom a man refuses to communicate who will not
communicate with this Church, which is spread throughout all the world,
if at least you hear whose words these are. For what is a greater proof
of madness than to hold communion with the sacraments of the Lord, and
to refuse to hold communion with the words of the Lord? Such men at
any rate are likely to say, In Thy name have we eaten and drunken, and
to hear the words, "I never knew you,"[860] seeing that they eat His
body and drink His blood in the sacrament, and do not recognise in the
gospel His members which are spread abroad throughout the earth, and
therefore are not themselves counted among them in the judgment.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. LVI.--127. PETILIANUS said: "But even if, as you yourselves
suppose, you are following the law of the Lord in purity, let us
nevertheless consider the question of the most holy law itself in a
legal form. The Apostle Paul says, 'The law is good, if a man use it
lawfully.'[861] What then does the law say? 'Thou shalt not kill.'
What Cain the murderer did once, you have often done, in slaying your
brethren."

128. AUGUSTINE answered: We do not wish to be like you: for there are
not wanting words which might be uttered, as you too utter these; and
known also, for you do not know these; and set forth in the conduct of
a life, as these are not set forth by you.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. LVII.--129. PETILIANUS said: "It is written, 'Thou shalt not
commit adultery.' Each one of you, even though he be chaste in his
body, yet in spirit is an adulterer, because he pollutes his holiness."

130. AUGUSTINE answered: These words also might be spoken with truth
against certain both of our number and of yours; but if their deeds
are condemned by us and you alike, they belong to neither us nor you.
But you wish that what you say against certain men, without proving
it even in their especial case, should be taken just as if you had
established it,--not in the case of some who have fallen away from the
seed of Abraham, but in reference to all the nations of the earth who
are blessed in the seed of Abraham.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. LVIII.--131. PETILIANUS said: "It is written, 'Thou shalt not
bear false witness against thy neighbour.' When you falsely declare to
the kings of this world that we hold your opinions, do you not make up
a falsehood?"

132. AUGUSTINE answered: If those are not our opinions which you hold,
neither were they your opinions which you received from the followers
of Maximianus. But if they were therefore yours, because they were
guilty of a sacrilegious schism in not communicating with the party of
Donatus, take heed what ground you occupy, and with whose inheritance
you refuse communion, and consider what answer you can make, not to
the kings of this world, but to Christ your King. Of Him it is said,
"He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto
the ends of the earth."[862] From what river does it mean, save that
where He was baptized, and where the dove descended on Him, that
mighty token of charity and unity? But you refuse communion with this
unity, and occupy as yet the place of unity; and you bring us into
disfavour with the kings of this world in making use of the edicts of
the proconsul to expel your schismatics from the place of the party of
Donatus. These are not mere words flying at random through the empty
void: the men are still alive, the states bear witness to the fact,
the archives of the proconsuls and of the several towns are quoted in
evidence of it. Let then the voice of calumny be at length silent,
which would bring up against the whole earth the kings of this world,
through whose proconsuls you, yourselves a fragment, would not spare
the fragment which was separated from you. When then we say that you
hold our opinions, we are not shown to be bearing false witness, unless
you can show that we are not in the Church of Christ, which indeed you
never cease alleging, but never will be able to establish; nay, in real
truth, when you say this, you are bringing a charge of false witness
no longer against us, but against the Lord Himself. For we are in the
Church which was foretold by His own testimony, and where He bore
witness to His witnesses, saying, "Ye shall be witnesses unto me both
in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost
part of the earth." But you show yourselves to be false witnesses not
only from this, that you resist this truth, but also in the very trial
in which you joined issue with the schism of Maximianus. For if you
were acting according to the law of Christ, how much more consistently
do certain Christian emperors frame ordinances in accordance with it,
if even pagan proconsuls can follow its behests in passing judgment?
But if you thought that even the laws of an earthly empire were to be
summoned to your aid, we do not blame you for this. It is what Paul
did when he bore witness before his adversaries that he was a Roman
citizen.[863] But I would ask by what earthly laws it is ordained that
the followers of Maximianus should be driven from their place? You
will find no law whatever to this effect. But, in point of fact, you
have chosen to expel them under laws which have been passed against
heretics, and against yourselves among their number. You, as though by
superior strength, have prevailed against the weak. Whence they, being
wholly powerless, say that they are innocent, like the wolf in the
power of the lion. Yet surely you could not use laws which were passed
against yourselves as instruments against others, except by the aid
of false witness. For if those laws are founded on truth, then do you
come down from the position which you occupy; but if on falsehood, why
did you use them to drive others from the Church? But how if they both
are founded on truth, and could not be used by you for the expulsion
of others except with the aid of falsehood? For that the judges might
submit to their authority, they were willing to expel heretics from
the Church, from which they ought first to have expelled yourselves;
but you declared yourselves to be Catholics, that you might escape the
severity of the laws which you employed to oppress others. It is for
you to determine what you appear to yourselves among yourselves; at any
rate, under those laws you are not Catholics. Why then have you either
made them false, if they are true, by your false witness, or made use
of them, if they are false, for the oppression of others?

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. LIX.--133. PETILIANUS said: "It is written, 'Thou shalt not covet
anything that is thy neighbour's.'[864] You plunder what is ours, that
you may have it for your own."

134. AUGUSTINE answered: All things of which unity was in possession
belong to none other than ourselves, who remain in unity, not in
accordance with the calumnies of men, but with the words of Christ,
in whom all the nations of the whole earth are blessed. Nor do we
separate ourselves from the society of the wheat, on account of the
unrighteous men whom we cannot separate from the wheat of the Lord
before the winnowing at the judgment; and if there are any things
which you who are cut off begin already to possess, we do not, because
the Lord has given to us what has been taken away from you, therefore
covet our neighbours' goods, seeing that they have been made ours by
the authority of Him to whom all things belong; and they are rightly
ours, for you were wont to use them for purposes of schism, but we use
them for the promotion of unity. Otherwise your party might reproach
even the first people of God with coveting their neighbours' goods,
seeing that they were driven forth before their face by the power of
God, because they used the land amiss; and the Jews in turn themselves,
from whom the kingdom was taken away, according to the words of the
Lord, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof,[865] may
bring a charge against that nation of coveting their neighbours' goods,
because the Church of Christ is in possession where the persecutors of
Christ were wont to reign. And, after all, when it has been said to
yourselves, You are coveting the goods of other men, because you have
driven out from the basilicas the followers of Maximianus, you are at a
loss to find any answer that you can make.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. LX.--135. PETILIANUS said: "Under what law, then, do you make out
that you are Christians, seeing that you do what is contrary to the
law?"

136. AUGUSTINE answered: You are anxious for strife, and not for
argument.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. LXI.--137. PETILIANUS said: "But the Lord Christ says, 'Whosoever
shall do and teach them, the same shall be called the greatest in
the kingdom of heaven.' But He condemns you wretched men as follows:
'Whosoever shall break one of these commandments, he shall be called
the least in the kingdom of heaven.'"

138. AUGUSTINE answered: When you happen to quote the testimony of
Scripture as other than it really is, and it does not bear on the
question which is at issue between us, I am not greatly concerned; but
when it interferes with the matter on hand, unless it is quoted truly,
then I think that you have no right to find fault if I remind you how
the passage really stands. For you must be aware that the verse which
you quoted is not as you quoted it, but rather thus: "Whosoever shall
break one of the least of these commandments, and shall teach men so,
shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall
do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of
heaven." And immediately He continues, "For I say unto you, That except
your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and
Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven."[866]
For elsewhere He shows and proves of the Pharisees that they say and do
not. It is these, therefore, to whom He is referring also here, when
He said, "Whosoever shall break one of these commandments, and shall
teach men so,"--that is, shall teach in words what he has violated in
deeds; whose righteousness He says that our righteousness must excel,
in that we must both keep the commandments and teach men so. And yet
not even on account of those Pharisees, with whom you compare us,--not
from any motives of prudence, but from malice,--did our Lord enjoin
that the seat of Moses should be deserted, which seat He doubtless
meant to be a figure of His own; for He said indeed that they who sat
in Moses' seat were ever saying and not doing, but warns the people
to do what they say, and not to do what they do,[867] lest the chair,
with all its holiness, should be deserted, and the unity of the flock
divided through the faithlessness of the shepherds.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. LXII.--139. PETILIANUS said: "And again it is written, 'Every
sin which a man shall sin is without the body: but he that sinneth in
the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world,
neither in the world to come.'"

140. AUGUSTINE answered: This too is not written as you have quoted
it, and see how far it has led you astray. The apostle, writing to the
Corinthians, says, "Every sin that a man doeth is without the body:
but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body."[868]
But this is one thing, and that is another which the Lord said in the
gospel: "All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men:
but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven
him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come."[869] But you
have begun a sentence from the writing of the apostle, and ended it as
though it were one from the gospel, which I fancy you have done not
with any intention to deceive, but through mistake; for neither passage
has any bearing on the matter in hand. And why you have said this, and
in what sense you have said it, I am wholly unable to perceive, unless
it be that, whereas you had said above that all were condemned by the
Lord who had broken any one of His commandments, you have considered
since how many there are in your party who break not one but many of
them; and lest an objection should be brought against you on that
score, you have sought, by way of surpassing the difficulty, to bring
in a distinction of sins, whereby it might be seen that it is one
thing to break a commandment in respect of which pardon may easily be
obtained, another thing to sin against the Holy Ghost, which shall
receive no forgiveness, either in this world or in the world to come.
In your dread, therefore, of infection from sin, you were unwilling to
pass this over in silence; and again, in your dread of a question too
deep for your powers, you wish to touch cursorily on it in passing, in
such a state of agitation, that, just as men who are setting about a
task in haste, and consequent confusion, are wont to fasten their dress
or shoes awry, so you have not thought fit either to see what belongs
to what, or in what context or what sense the passage which you quote
occurs. But what is the nature of that sin which shall not be forgiven,
either in this world or in the world to come, you are so far from
knowing, that, though you believe that we are actually living in it,
you yet promise us forgiveness of it through your baptism. And yet how
could this be possible, if the sin be of such a nature that it cannot
be forgiven, either in this world or in the world to come?

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. LXIII.--141. PETILIANUS said: "But wherein do you fulfil the
commandments of God? The Lord Christ said, 'Blessed are the poor in
spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.' But you by your malice in
persecution breathe forth the riches of madness."

142. AUGUSTINE answered: Address that rather to your own
Circumcelliones.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. LXIV.--143. PETILIANUS said: "'Blessed are the meek: for they
shall inherit the earth.' You therefore, not being meek, have lost both
heaven and earth alike."

144. AUGUSTINE answered: Again and again you may hear the Lord saying,
"Ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and
in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."[870] How is it,
then, that those men have not lost heaven and earth, who, in order
to avoid communicating with all the nations of the earth, despise the
words of Him that sitteth in heaven? For, in proof of your meekness, it
is not your words but the cudgels of the Circumcelliones which should
be examined. You will say, What has that to do with us? Just as though
we were making the remark with any other object except to extract that
answer from you. For the reason that your schism is a valid charge
against you is that you do not allow that you are chargeable with
another's sin, whereas you have separated from us for no other reason
but that you charge us with the sins of other men.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. LXV.--145. PETILIANUS said: "'Blessed are they that mourn: for
they shall be comforted.' You, our butchers, are the cause of mourning
in others; you do not mourn yourselves."

146. AUGUSTINE answered: Consider for a short space to how many, and
with what intensity, the cry of "Praises be to God," proceeding from
your armed men, has caused others to mourn.[871] Do you say again, What
is that to us? Then I too will rejoin again in your own words, What is
that to us? What is it to all the nations of the earth? What is it to
those who praise the name of the Lord from the rising of the sun to
the setting of the same? What is it to all the earth, which sings a
new song? What is it to the seed of Abraham, in which all the nations
of the earth are blessed?[872] And so the sacrilege of your schism is
chargeable on you, just because the evil deeds of your companions are
not chargeable on you; and because you are aware from this that the
deeds of those on whose account you separated from the world, even if
you proved your charges to be true, do not involve the world in sin.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. LXVI.--147. PETILIANUS said: "'Blessed are they which do hunger
and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.' To you it
seems to be righteousness that you thirst after our blood."

148. AUGUSTINE answered: What shall I say unto thee, O man, except that
thou art calumnious? The unity of Christ, indeed, is hungering and
thirsting after all of you; and I would that it might swallow you up,
for then would you be no longer heretics.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. LXVII.--149. PETILIANUS said: "'Blessed are the merciful: for
they shall obtain mercy.' But how shall I call you merciful when you
inflict punishment on the righteous? Shall I not rather call you a most
unrighteous communion, so long as you pollute souls?"

150. AUGUSTINE answered: You have proved neither point,--neither that
you yourselves are righteous, nor that we inflict punishment on even
the unrighteous; and yet, even as false flattery is generally cruel,
so just correction is ever merciful. For whence is that which you do
not understand: "Let the righteous smite me, it shall be a kindness;
and let him reprove me?" For while he says this of the severity of
merciful correction, the Psalmist immediately went on to say of the
gentleness of destructive flattery, "But the oil of sinners shall not
break my head."[873] Do you therefore consider whither you are called,
and from what you are summoned away. For how do you know what feelings
he entertains towards you whom you suppose to be cruel? But whatever be
his feelings, every one must bear his own burden both with us and with
you. But I would have you cast away the burden of schism which you all
of you are bearing, that you may bear your good burdens in unity; and
I would bid you mercifully correct, if you should have the power, all
those who are bearing evil burdens; and if this be beyond your power, I
would bid you bear with them in peace.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. LXVIII.--151. PETILIANUS said: "'Blessed are the pure in heart:
for they shall see God.' When will you see God, who are possessed with
blindness in the impure malice of your hearts?"

152. AUGUSTINE answered: Wherefore say you this? Can it be that we
reproach all nations with the dark and hidden things which are declared
by men, and do not choose to understand the manifest sayings which God
spake in olden time of all the nations of the earth? This is indeed
great blindness of heart; and if you do not recognise it in yourselves,
that is even greater blindness.

       *       *       *       *       *

153. PETILIANUS said: "'Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be
called the children of God.'[874] You make a pretence of peace by your
wickedness, and seek unity by war."

154. AUGUSTINE answered: We do not make a pretence of peace by
wickedness, but we preach peace out of the gospel; and if you were at
peace with it, you would be at peace also with us. The risen Lord, when
presenting Himself to the disciples, not only that they should gaze on
Him with their eyes, but also that they should handle Him with their
hands, began His discourse to them with the words, "Peace be unto you."
And how this peace itself was to be maintained, He disclosed to them
in the words which followed. For "then opened He their understanding,
that they might understand the Scriptures, and said unto them, Thus is
it written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the
dead the third day; and that repentance and remission of sins should be
preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem."[875]
If you will keep peace with these words, you will not be at variance
with us. For if we seek unity by war, our war could not be praised
in more glorious terms, seeing that it is written, "Thou shalt love
thy neighbour as thyself."[876] And again it is written, "No man ever
yet hated his own flesh."[877] And yet the flesh lusteth against the
spirit, and the spirit against the flesh.[878] But if no man ever yet
hated his own flesh, and yet a man lusteth against his own flesh,
here you have unity sought by war, that the body, being subject to
correction, may be brought under submission. But what the spirit does
against the flesh, waging war with it, not in hatred, but in love, this
those who are spiritual do against those who are carnal, that they may
do towards them what they do towards themselves, because they love
their neighbours as neighbours indeed. But the war which the spiritual
wage is that correction which is in love: their sword is the word of
God. To such a war they are aroused by the trumpet of the apostle
sounding with a mighty force: "Preach the word; be instant in season,
out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all long-suffering and
doctrine."[879] See then that we act not with the sword, but with the
word. But you answer what is not true, while you accuse us falsely. You
do not correct your own faults, and you bring against us those of other
men. Christ bears true witness concerning the nations of the earth;
you, in opposition to Christ, bear false witness against the nations of
the earth. If we were to believe you rather than Christ, you would call
us peacemakers; because we believe Christ rather than you, we are said
to make a pretence of peace by our wickedness. And while you say and do
such things as this, you have the further impudence to quote the words,
"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of
God."

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. LXIX.--155. PETILIANUS said: "Though the Apostle Paul says, 'I
therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you, brethren, that ye
walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness
and meekness, forbearing one another in love; endeavouring to keep the
unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.'"[880]

156. AUGUSTINE answered: If you would not only say these words, but
hearken to them as well, you would put up even with known evils for
the sake of peace, instead of inventing new ones for the sake of
quarrelling, if it were only because you subsequently learned, for
the sake of the peace of Donatus, to put up with the most flagrant
and notorious wickedness of Optatus. What madness is this that you
display? Those who are known are borne with, that a fragment may not
be further split up; those of whom nothing is known are defamed, that
they themselves may not remain in the undivided whole.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. LXX.--157. PETILIANUS said: "To you the prophet says, 'Peace,
peace; and where is there peace?'"[881]

158. AUGUSTINE answered: It is you that say this to us, not the
prophet. We therefore answer you: If you ask where peace is to be
found, open your eyes, and see of whom it is said, "He maketh wars to
cease in all the world."[882] If you ask where peace is to be found,
open your eyes to see that city which cannot be hidden, because it is
built upon a hill; open your eyes to see the mountain itself, and let
Daniel show it to you, growing out of a small stone, and filling the
whole earth.[883] But when the prophet says to you, "Peace, peace; and
where is there peace?" what will you show? Will you show the party of
Donatus, unknown to the countless nations to whom Christ is known? It
is surely not the city which cannot be hid; and whence is this, except
that it is not founded on the mountain? "For He is our peace, who hath
made both one,"[884]--not Donatus, who has made one into two.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. LXXI.--159. PETILIANUS said: "'Blessed are they which are
persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of
heaven.'[885] You are not blessed; but you make martyrs to be blessed,
with whose souls the heavens are filled, and the earth has flourished
with their memory. You therefore do not honour them yourselves, but you
provide us with objects of honour."

160. AUGUSTINE answered: The plain fact is, that if it had not been
said, "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake,"
but had been said instead, Blessed are they who throw themselves over
precipices, then heaven would have been filled with your martyrs. Of a
truth we see many flowers on the earth blooming from their bodies; but,
as the saying goes, the flower is dust and ashes.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. LXXII.--161. PETILIANUS said: "Since then you are not blessed
by falsifying the commands of God, the Lord Christ condemns you by
His divine decrees: 'Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!
for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go
in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. Woe
unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and
land to make one proselyte; and when he is made, ye make him twofold
more the child of hell than yourselves. Woe unto you, scribes and
Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint, and anise, and cummin,
and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy,
and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other
undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto
whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but are
within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye
also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of
hypocrisy and iniquity.'"[886]

162. AUGUSTINE answered: Tell me whether you have said anything which
may not equally be said against you in turn by any slanderous and
evil-speaking tongue. But from what has been said by me before, any
one who wishes may find out that these things may be said against you,
not by way of empty abuse, but with the support of truthful testimony.
As, however, the opportunity is presented to us, we must not pass this
by. There is no doubt that to the ancient people of God circumcision
stood in the place of baptism. I ask, therefore, putting the case that
the Pharisees, against whom those words you quote are spoken, had made
some proselyte, who, if he were to imitate them, would, as it is said,
become twofold more the child of hell than themselves, supposing that
he were to be converted, and desire to imitate Simeon, or Zacharias, or
Nathanael, would it be necessary that he should be circumcised again
by them? And if it is absurd to put this case, why, although in empty
fashion and with empty sounds you compare us to men like this, do you
nevertheless baptize after us? But if you are really men like this,
how much better and how much more in accordance with truth do we act
in not baptizing after you, as neither was it right that those whom
I have mentioned should be circumcised after the worst of Pharisees!
Furthermore, when such men sit in the seat of Moses, for which the Lord
preserved its due honour, why do you blaspheme the apostolic chair on
account of men whom, justly or unjustly, you compare with these?

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. LXXIII.--163. PETILIANUS said: "But these things do not alarm us
Christians; for of the evil deeds which you are destined to commit we
have before a warning given us by the Lord Christ. 'Behold,' He says,
'I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves.'[887] You fill up
the measure of the madness of wolves, who either lay or are preparing
to lay snares against the Churches in precisely the same way in which
wolves, with their mouths wide open against the fold, even with
destructive eagerness, breathe forth panting anger from their jaws,
suffused with blood."

164. AUGUSTINE answered: I should be glad to utter the same sentiment
against you, but not in the words which you have used: they are too
inappropriate, or rather mad. But what was required was, that you
should show that we were wolves and that you were sheep, not by the
emptiest of evil-speaking, but by some distinct proofs. For when I too
have said, We are sheep, and you are wolves, do you think that there is
any difference caused by the fact that you express the idea in swelling
words? But listen whilst I prove what I assert. For the Lord says in
the gospel, as you know full well, whether you please it or not, "My
sheep hear my voice, and follow me."[888] There are many sayings of
the Lord on different subjects; but supposing, for example, that any
one were in doubt whether the same Lord had risen in the body, and
His words were to be quoted where He says, "Handle me, and see; for a
spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have;"--if even after
this he should be unwilling to acquiesce in the belief that His body
had risen from the dead, surely such a man could not be reckoned among
the sheep of the Lord, because he would not hear His voice. And so too
now, when the question between us is, Where is the Church? whilst we
quote the words that follow in the same passage of the gospel, where,
after His resurrection, He gave His body even to be handled by those
who were in doubt, in which He showed the future wide extent of the
Church, saying, "Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to
suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day; and that repentance
and remission of sins should be preached in His name throughout all
nations, beginning at Jerusalem;"[889] whereas you will not communicate
with all nations, in whom these words have been fulfilled, how are you
the sheep of this Shepherd, whose words you not only do not obey when
you have heard them, but even fight against them? And so we show to you
from this that you are not sheep. But listen further whence we show
you that, on the contrary, you are wolves. For necessarily, when it
is shown by His own words where the Church is to be found, it is also
clear where we must look for the fold of Christ. Whenever, therefore,
any sheep separate themselves from this fold, which is expressly
pointed out and shown to us by the unmistakeable declaration of the
Lord,--and that, I will not say because of charges falsely brought,
but on account of charges brought, as no one can deny, with great
uncertainty against their fellow-men, and consequently slay those sheep
which they have torn and alienated from the life of unity and Christian
love,--is it not evident that they are ravening wolves? But it will
be said that these very men themselves praise and preach the Lord
Christ. They are therefore those of whom He says Himself, "They come
unto you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
By their fruits ye shall know them."[890] The sheep's clothing is seen
in the praises of Christ; the fruits of their wolfish nature in their
slanderous teeth.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. LXXIV.--165. PETILIANUS said: "O wretched _traditors_! Thus
indeed it was fitting that Scripture should be fulfilled. But in you I
grieve for this, that you have shown yourselves worthy to fulfil the
part of wickedness."

166. AUGUSTINE answered: I might rather say, O wretched _traditors!_
if I were minded, or rather if justice urged me to cast up against
all of you the deeds of some among your number. But as regards what
bears on all of you, O wretched heretics, I on my part will quote
the remainder of your words; for it is written, "There must be also
heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest
among you."[891] Therefore "it was fitting thus that Scripture should
be fulfilled. But in you I grieve for this, that you have shown
yourselves worthy to fulfil the part of wickedness."

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. LXXV.--167. PETILIANUS said: "But to us the Lord Christ, in
opposition to your deadly commands, commanded simple patience and
harmlessness. For what says He? 'A new commandment I give unto you,
That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love
one another.' And again, 'By this shall all men know that ye are my
disciples, if ye have love one to another.'"[892]

168. AUGUSTINE answered: If you did not transfer these words, so widely
differing from your character, to the surface of your talk, how could
you be covering yourselves with sheep's clothing?

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. LXXVI.--169. PETILIANUS said: "Paul also, the apostle, whilst
he was suffering fearful persecutions at the hands of all nations,
endured even more grievous troubles at the hands of false brethren, as
he bears witness of himself, being oftentimes afflicted: 'In perils
by the heathen, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils among
false brethren.'[893] And again he says, 'Be ye followers of me, even
as I also am of Christ.'[894] When, therefore, false brethren like
yourselves assault us, we imitate the patience of our master Paul under
our dangers."

170. AUGUSTINE answered: Certainly those of whom you speak are false
brethren, of whom the apostle thus complains in another place, where
he is extolling the natural sincerity of Timothy: "I have no man,"
he says, "like-minded, who will naturally care for your state. For
all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's."[895]
Undoubtedly he was speaking of those who were with him at the time when
he was writing that epistle; for it could not be that all Christians in
every quarter of the earth were seeking their own, and not the things
which were Jesus Christ's. It was of those, therefore, as I said, who
were with him at the time when he was writing the words which you have
quoted, that he uttered this lamentation. For who else was it to whom
he referred, when he says in another place, "Without were fightings,
within were fears,"[896] except those whom he feared all the more
intensely because they were within? If, therefore, you would imitate
Paul, you would be tolerant of false brethren within, not a slanderer
of the innocent without.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. LXXVII.--171. PETILIANUS said: "For what kind of faith is that
which is in you which is devoid of charity? when Paul himself says,
'Though I speak with the tongues of men, and have the knowledge of
angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a
tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand
all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that
I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And
though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my
body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.'"

172. AUGUSTINE answered: This is what I said just now, that you were
desirous to be clad in sheep's clothing, that, if possible, the sheep
might feel your bite before it had any consciousness of your approach.
Is it not that praise of charity in which you indulge that commonly
proves your calumny in the clearest light of truth? Will you bring it
about that those arms shall be no longer ours, because you endeavour
to appropriate them first? Furthermore, these arms are endowed with
life: from whatever quarter they are launched, they recognise whom
they should destroy. If they have been sent forth from our hands, they
will fix themselves in you; if they are aimed by you, they recoil upon
yourselves. For in these apostolic words, which commend the excellence
of charity, we are wont to show to you how profitless it is to man that
he should be in possession of faith or of the sacraments, when he has
not charity, that, when you come to Catholic unity, you may understand
what it is that is conferred on you, and how great a thing it is of
which you were at least to some extent in want; for Christian charity
cannot be preserved except in the unity of the Church: and that so you
may see that without it you are nothing, even though you may be in
possession of baptism and faith, and through this latter may be able
even to remove mountains. But if this is your opinion as well, let us
not repudiate and reject in you either the sacraments of God which we
know, or faith itself, but let us hold fast charity, without which we
are nothing even with the sacraments and with faith. But we hold fast
charity if we cling to unity; while we cling to unity, if we do not
make a fictitious unity in a party by our own words, but recognise it
in a united whole through the words of Christ.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. LXXVIII.--173. PETILIANUS said: "And again, 'Charity suffereth
long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself,
is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not
her own.' But you seek what belongs to other men. 'Is not easily
provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth
in the truth; beareth all things, endureth all things. Charity never
faileth.'[897] This is to say, in short, Charity does not persecute,
does not inflame emperors to take away the lives of other men; does not
plunder other men's goods; does not go on to murder men whom it has
spoiled."

174. AUGUSTINE answered: How often must I tell you the same thing? If
you do not prove these charges, they tell against no one in the world;
and if you prove them, they have no bearing upon us; just as those
things have no bearing upon you which are daily done by the furious
deeds of the insane, by the luxury of the drunken, by the blindness
of the suicides, by the tyranny of robbers. For who can fail to see
that what I say is true? But now if charity were in you, it would
rejoice in the truth. For how neatly it is said under covering of the
sheep's clothing, "Charity beareth all things, endureth all things!"
but when you come to the test, the wolf's teeth cannot be concealed.
For when, in obedience to the words of Scripture, "forbearing one
another in love, endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the
bond of peace,"[898] charity would compel you, even if you knew of any
evils within the Church, I do not say to consent to them, but yet to
tolerate them if you could not prevent them, lest, on account of the
wicked who are to be separated by the winnowing-fan at the last day,
you should at the present time sever the bond of peace by breaking off
from the society of good men, you, resisting her influence, and being
cast out by the wind of levity, charge the wheat with being chaff,
and declare that what you invent of the wicked holds good through the
force of contagion even in the righteous. And when the Lord has said,
"The field is the world, the harvest is the end of the world," though
He said of the wheat and of the tares, "Let both grow together until
the harvest,"[899] you endeavour by your words to bring about a belief
that the wheat has perished throughout the main portion of the field,
and only continued to exist in your little corner,--being desirous
that Christ should be proved a liar, but you the man of truth. And you
speak, indeed, against your own conscience; for no one who in any way
looks truly at the gospel will venture in his heart to say that in all
the many nations throughout which is heard the response of Amen, and
among whom Alleluia is sung almost with one single voice, no Christians
are to be found. And yet, that it may not appear that the party of
Donatus, which does not communicate with the several nations of the
world, is involved in error, if any angel from heaven, who could see
the whole world, were to declare that outside your communion good and
innocent men were nowhere to be found, there is little doubt that you
would rejoice over the iniquity of the human race, and boast of having
told the truth before you had received assurance of it. How then is
there in you that charity which rejoices not in iniquity? But be not
deceived. Throughout the field, that is, throughout the world, there
will be found the wheat of the Lord growing till the end of the world.
Christ has said this: Christ is truth. Let charity be in you, and let
it rejoice in the truth. Though an angel from heaven preach unto you
another gospel contrary to His gospel, let him be accursed.[900]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. LXXIX.--175. PETILIANUS said: "Lastly, what is the justification
of persecution? I ask you, you wretched men, if it so be that you think
that your sin rests on any authority of law."

176. AUGUSTINE answered: He who sins, sins not on the authority of the
law, but against the authority of the law. But since you ask what is
the justification of persecution, I ask you in turn whose voice it is
that says in the psalm, "Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him
will I cut off."[901] Seek therefore the reason or the measure of the
persecution, and do not display your gross ignorance by finding fault
in general terms with those who persecute the unrighteous.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. LXXX.--177. PETILIANUS said: "But I answer you, on the other
hand, that Jesus Christ never persecuted any one. And when the apostles
found fault with certain parties, and suggested that He should have
recourse to persecution (He Himself having come to create faith by
inviting men to Him, rather than by compelling them), those apostles
say, 'Many lay on hands in Thy name, and are not with us:' but Jesus
said, 'Let them alone: if they are not against you, they are on your
side.'"

178. AUGUSTINE answered: You say truly that you will bring forth out of
your store with greater abundance things which are not written in the
Scriptures. For if you wish to bring forth proofs from holy Scripture,
will you bring forth even those which you cannot find therein? But it
is in your own power to multiply your lies according to your will. For
where is what you quoted written? or when was that either suggested to
our Lord, or answered by our Lord? "Many lay on hands in Thy name, and
are not with us," are words that no one of the disciples ever uttered
to the Son of God; and therefore neither could the answer have been
made by Him, "Let them alone: if they are not against you, they are on
your side." But there is something somewhat like it which we really do
read in the gospel,--that a suggestion was made to the Lord about a
certain man who was casting out devils in His name, but did not follow
Him with His disciples; and in that case the Lord does say, "Forbid
him not: for he that is not against us is for us."[902] But this has
nothing to do with pointing out parties whom the Lord is supposed to
have spared. And if you have been deceived by an apparent resemblance
of sentiment, this is not a lie, but merely human infirmity. But if
you wished to cast a mist of falsehood over those who are unskilled
in holy Scripture, then may you be pricked to the heart, and covered
with confusion and corrected. Yet there is a point which we would urge
in respect of this very man of whom the suggestion was made to our
Lord. For even as at that time, beyond the communion of the disciples,
the holiness of Christ was yet of the greatest efficacy, even so now,
beyond the communion of the Church, the holiness of the sacraments
is of avail. For neither is baptism consecrated save in the name of
the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. But who will be so
utterly insane as to declare that the name of the Son may be of avail
even beyond the communion of the Church, but that this is not possible
with the names of the Father and of the Holy Ghost? or that it may be
of avail in healing a man, but not in consecrating baptism? But it is
manifest that outside the communion of the Church, and the most holy
bond of unity, and the most excellent gift of charity, neither he by
whom the devil is cast out nor he who is baptized obtains eternal life;
just as those do not obtain it, who through communion in the sacraments
seem indeed to be within, and through the depravity of their character
are understood to be without. But that Christ persecuted even with
bodily chastisement those whom He drove with scourges from the temple,
we have already said above.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. LXXXI.--179. PETILIANUS said: "But the holy apostle said this:
'In any way, whatsoever it may be,' he says, 'let Christ be preached.'"

180. AUGUSTINE answered: You speak against yourself; but yet, since
you speak on the side of truth, if you love it, let what you say be
counted for you. For I ask of you of whom it was that the Apostle
Paul said this? Let us, if you please, trace this a little further
back. "Some," he says, "preach Christ even of envy and strife; and
some also of good will. The one preach Christ of contention, not
sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds; but the other of
love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel. What then?
notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ
is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice."[903] We
see that they preached what was in itself holy, and pure, and true,
but yet not in a pure manner, but of envy and contention, without
charity, without purity. Certainly a short time ago you appeared to be
urging the praises of charity as against us, according to the witness
of the apostle, that where there is no charity, whatever there is is
of no avail; and yet you see that in those there is no charity, and
there was with them the preaching of Christ, of which the apostle
says here that he rejoices. For it is not that he rejoices in what is
evil in them, but in what is good in the name of Jesus Christ. In him
assuredly there was the charity which "rejoiceth not in iniquity, but
rejoiceth in the truth."[904] The envy, moreover, which was in them
is an evil proceeding from the devil, for by this he has both killed
and cast down. Where then were these wicked men whom the apostle thus
condemns, and in whom there was so much that was good to cause him
to rejoice? Were they within, or without? Choose which you will. If
they were within, then Paul knew them, and yet they did not pollute
him. And so you would not be polluted in the unity of the whole world
by those of whom you make certain charges, whether these be true, or
falsehoods invented by yourselves. But if they were without, then you
see that even in those who were without, and who certainly cannot
belong to everlasting life, since they have not charity, and do not
abide in unity, there is yet found the holiness of the name of Christ,
so that the apostle joyfully confirms their teaching, on account of the
intrinsic holiness of the name, although he repudiates them. We are
right, therefore, in not doing wrong to the actual name, when those
come to us who were without; but we correct the individuals, while we
do honour to the name. Do you therefore take heed, and see how wickedly
you act in the case of those whose acts as it seems you condemn, by
treating as naught the sacrament of the name of Christ, which is holy
in them. And you, indeed, as is shown by your words, think that those
men of whom the apostle spoke were outside the limits of the Church.
Therefore, when you fear persecution from the Catholics, of which
you speak in order to create odium against us, you have confirmed in
heretics the name of Christ to which you do despite by rebaptizing.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. LXXXII.--181. PETILIANUS said: "If then there are not some to
whom all this power of faith is found to be in opposition, on what
principle do you persecute, so as to compel men to defile themselves?"

182. AUGUSTINE answered: We neither persecute you, except so far as
truth persecutes falsehood; nor has it anything to do with us if any
one has persecuted you in other ways, just as it has nothing to do with
you if any of your party do likewise; nor do we compel you to defile
yourselves, but we persuade you to be cured.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. LXXXIII.--183. PETILIANUS said: "But if authority had been
given by some law for persons to be compelled to what is good, you
yourselves, unhappy men, ought to have been compelled by us to embrace
the purest faith. But far be it, far be it from our conscience to
compel any one to embrace our faith."

184. AUGUSTINE answered: No one is indeed to be compelled to embrace
the faith against his will; but by the severity, or one might rather
say, by the mercy of God, it is common for treachery to be chastised
with the scourge of tribulation. Is it the case, because the best
morals are chosen by freedom of will, that therefore the worst morals
are not punished by integrity of law? But yet discipline to punish an
evil manner of living is out of the question, except where principles
of good living which had been learned have come to be despised. If any
laws, therefore, have been enacted against you, you are not thereby
forced to do well, but are only prevented from doing ill.[905] For no
one can do well unless he has deliberately chosen, and unless he has
loved what is in free will; but the fear of punishment, even if it does
not share in the pleasures of a good conscience, at any rate keeps
the evil desire from escaping beyond the bounds of thought. Who are
they, however, that have enacted laws by which your audacity could be
repressed? Are they not those of whom the apostle says that "they bear
not the sword in vain; for they are the ministers of God, revengers to
execute wrath on them that do evil?"[906] The whole question therefore
is, whether you are not doing ill, who are charged by the whole world
with the sacrilege of so great a schism. And yet, neglecting the
discussion of this question, you talk on irrelevant matters; and while
you live as robbers, you boast that you die as martyrs.[907] And, through
fear either of the laws themselves, or of the odium which you might
incur, or else because you are unequal to the task of resisting, I
do not say so many men, but so many Catholic nations, you even glory
in your gentleness, that you do not compel any to join your party.
According to your way of talking, the hawk, when he has been prevented
by flight from carrying off the fowls, might call himself a dove. For
when have you ever had the power without using it? And hence you show
how you would do more if you only could. When Julian, envying the peace
of Christ, restored to you the churches which belonged to unity, who
could tell of all the massacres which were committed by you, when the
very devils rejoiced with you at the opening of their temples? In the
war with Firmus and his party, let Mauritania Cæsariensis itself be
asked to tell us what the Moor Rogatus[907] suffered at your hands.
In the time of Gildo, because one of your colleagues[908] was his
intimate friend, let the followers of Maximianus be our witnesses to
their sufferings. For if one might appeal to Felicianus himself, who is
now with you, on his oath, whether Optatus did not compel him against
his will to return to your communion, he would not dare to open his
lips, especially if the people of Musti could behold his face, who
were witnesses to everything that was done. But let them, as I have
said, be witnesses to what they have suffered at the hands of those
with whom they acted in such wise towards Rogatus. The Catholic Church
herself, though strengthened by the assistance of Catholic princes
ruling by land and sea, was savagely attacked by hostile troops in
arms under Optatus. It was this that first made it necessary to urge
before the vicar Servanus that the law should be put in force against
you which imposes a fine of ten pounds of gold, which none of you have
ever paid to this very day, and yet you charge us with cruelty. But
where could you find a milder course of proceeding, than that crimes of
such magnitude on your part should be punished by the imposition of a
pecuniary fine? Or who could enumerate all the deeds which you commit
in the places which you hold, of your own sovereign will and pleasure,
each one as he can, without any friendship on the part of judges or any
others in authority? Who is there of our party, among the inhabitants
of our towns, who has not either learned something of this sort from
those who came before him, or experienced it for himself? Is it not the
case that at Hippo, where I am, there are not wanting some who remember
that your leader Faustinus gave orders, in the time of his supreme
power, in consequence of the scanty numbers of the Catholics in the
place, that no one should bake their bread for them, insomuch that a
baker, who was the tenant of one of our deacons, threw away the bread
of his landlord unbaked, and though he was not sentenced to exile under
any law, he cut him off from all share in the necessaries of life not
only in a Roman state,[909] but even in his own country, and not only
in his own country, but in his own house? Why, even lately, as I myself
recall with mourning to this day, did not Crispinus of Calama, one of
your party, having bought a property, and that only copyhold,[910]
boldly and unhesitatingly immerse in the waters of a second baptism
no less than eighty souls, murmuring with miserable groans under the
sole influence of terror; and this in a farm belonging to the Catholic
emperors, by whose laws you were forbidden even to be in any Roman
city?[911] But what else was it, save such deeds as these of yours,
that made it necessary for the very laws to be passed of which you
complain? The laws, indeed, are very far from being proportionate to
your offences; but, such as they are, you may thank yourselves for
their existence. Indeed, should we not certainly be driven on all
sides from the country by the furious attacks of your Circumcelliones,
who fight under your command in furious troops, unless we held you as
hostages in the towns, who might well be unwilling to endure under
any circumstances the mere gaze of the people, and the censure of all
honourable men, from very shame, if not from fear? Do not therefore
say, "Far be it, far be it from our conscience, to force any one to
embrace our faith." For you do it when you can; and when you do not do
it, it is because you are unable, either from fear of the laws or the
odium which would accompany it, or because of the numbers of those who
would resist.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. LXXXIV.--185. PETILIANUS said: "For the Lord Christ says, 'No man
can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him.'[912]
But why do we not permit each several person to follow his free will,
since the Lord God Himself has given free will to men, showing to
them, however, the way of righteousness, lest any one by chance should
perish from ignorance of it? For He said, 'I have placed before thee
good and evil. I have set fire and water before thee: stretch forth
thine hand unto whether thou wilt.' From which choice, you wretched
men, you have chosen for yourselves not water, but rather fire. 'But
yet,' He says, 'stretch forth thine hand unto the good, that thou
mayest live.'[913] You who will not choose the good, have, by your own
sentence, declared that you do not wish to live."

186. AUGUSTINE answered: If I were to propose to you the question
how God the Father draws men to the Son, when He has left them to
themselves in freedom of action, you would perhaps find it difficult
of solution. For how does He draw them to Him if He leaves them to
themselves, so that each should choose what he pleases? And yet both
these facts are true; but this is a truth which few have intellect
enough to penetrate. As therefore it is possible that, after leaving
men to themselves in free will, the Father should yet draw them to the
Son, so is it also possible that those warnings which are given by
the correction of the laws do not take away free will. For whenever
a man suffers anything that is harsh and unpleasing, he is warned
to consider why it is that he is suffering, so that, if he shall
discover that he is suffering in the cause of justice, he may choose
the good that consists in the very act of suffering as he does in
the cause of justice; but if he sees that it is unrighteousness for
which he suffers, he may be induced, from the consideration that he is
suffering and being tormented most fruitlessly, to change his purpose
for the better, and may at the same time escape both the fruitless
annoyance and the unrighteousness itself, which is likely to prove
yet more hurtful and pernicious in the mischief it produces. And so
you, when kings make any enactments against you, should consider that
you are receiving a warning to consider why this is being done to
you. For if it is for righteousness' sake, then are they truly your
persecutors; but you are the blessed ones, who, being persecuted for
righteousness' sake, shall inherit the kingdom of heaven:[914] but
if it is because of the iniquity of your schism, what are they more
than your correctors; while you, like all the others who are guilty
of various crimes, and pay the penalty appointed by the law, are
undoubtedly unhappy both in this world and in that which is to come? No
one, therefore, takes away from you your free will. But I would urge
you diligently to consider which you would rather choose,--whether to
live corrected in peace, or, by persevering in malice, to undergo real
punishment under the false name of martyrdom. But I am addressing you
just as though you were suffering something proportionate to your sin,
whereas you are committing sins of such enormity and reigning in such
impunity. You are so furious, that you cause more terror than a war
trumpet with your cry of "_Praise to God_;" so full of calumny, that
even when you throw yourselves over precipices without any provocation,
you impute it to our persecutions.

187. He says also, like the kindest of teachers, "You who will not
choose the good, have, by your own sentence, declared that you do
not wish to live." According to this, if we were to believe your
accusations, we should live in kindness; but because we believe the
promises of God, we declare by our own sentence that we do not wish to
live. You remember well, it seems to me, what the apostles answered
to the Jews when they were desired to abstain from preaching Christ.
This therefore we also say, that you should answer us whether we ought
rather to obey God or man.[915] _Traditors_, offerers of incense,
persecutors: these are the words of men against men. Christ remained
only in the love of Donatus: these are the words of men extolling the
glory of a man under the name of Christ, that the glory of Christ
Himself may be diminished. For it is written, "In the multitude
of people is the king's honour: but in the want of people is the
destruction of the prince:"[916] these, therefore, are the words of
men. But those words in the gospel, "It behoved Christ to suffer, and
to rise from the dead the third day; and that repentance and remission
of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning
at Jerusalem,"[917] are the words of Christ, showing forth the glory
which He received from His Father in the wideness of His kingdom. When
we have heard them both, we choose in preference the communion of the
Church, and prefer the words of Christ to the words of men. I ask, who
is there that can say that we have chosen what is evil, except one who
shall say that Christ taught what was evil?

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. LXXXV.--188. PETILIANUS said: "Is it then the case that God has
ordered the massacre even of schismatics? and if He were to issue
such an order at all, you ought to be slain by some barbarians and
Scythians, not by Christians."

189. AUGUSTINE answered: Let your Circumcelliones remain quiet, and let
me entreat you not to terrify us about barbarians. But as to whether we
or you are schismatics, let the question be put neither to you nor to
me, but to Christ, that He may show where His Church is to be found.
Read the gospel then, and there you find the answer, "In Jerusalem,
and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the
earth."[918] If any one, therefore, is not found within the Church, let
not any further question be put to him, but let him either be corrected
or converted, or else, being detected, let him not complain.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. LXXXVI.--190. PETILIANUS said: "For neither has the Lord God at
any time rejoiced in human blood, seeing that He was even willing that
Cain, the murderer of his brother, should continue to exist in his
murderer's life."

191. AUGUSTINE answered: If God was unwilling that death should be
inflicted on him who slew his brother, preferring that he should
continue to exist in his murderer's life, see whether this be not
the cause why, seeing that the heart of the king is in the hand of
God, whereby he has himself enacted many laws for your correction
and reproof, yet no law of the king has commanded that you should be
put to death, perhaps with this very object, that any one of you who
persists in the obstinate self-will of his sacrilegious madness should
be tortured with the punishment of the fratricide Cain, that is to
say, with the life of a murderer. For we read that many were slain in
mercy by Moses the servant of the Lord; for in that he prayed thus in
intercession to the Lord for their wicked sacrilege, saying, "O Lord,
if Thou wilt forgive their sin--; and if not, blot me, I pray thee,
out of the book which Thou hast written,"[919] his unspeakable charity
and mercy are plainly shown. Could it be, then, that he was suddenly
changed to cruelty, when, on descending from the mount, he ordered so
many thousands to be slain? Consider, therefore, whether it may not
be a sign of greater anger on the part of God, that, whilst so many
laws have been enacted against you, you have not been ordered by any
emperor to be put to death. Or do you think that you are not to be
compared to that fratricide? Hearken to the Lord speaking through His
prophet: "From the rising of the sun, even unto the going down of the
same, my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place
incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name
shall be great among the heathen, saith the Lord of hosts."[920] On
this brother's sacrifice you show that you look with malignant eyes,
over and above the respect which God pays to it; and if ye have ever
heard that "from the rising of the sun, unto the going down of the
same, the Lord's name is to be praised,"[921] which is that living
sacrifice of which it is said, "Offer unto God thanksgiving,"[922] then
will your countenance fall like that of yonder murderer. But inasmuch
as you cannot kill the whole world, you are involved in the same
guilt by your mere hatred, according to the words of John, "Whosoever
hateth his brother is a murderer."[923] And I would that any innocent
brother might rather fall into the hands of your Circumcelliones, to
be murdered by their weapons, than be subjected to the poison of your
tongue and rebaptized.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. LXXXVII.--192. PETILIANUS said: "We advise you, therefore, if
so be that you will hear it willingly, and even though you do not
willingly receive it, yet we warn you that the Lord Christ instituted
for Christians, not any form of slaying, but one of dying only. For if
He loved men who thus delight in battle, He would not have consented to
be slain for us."

193. AUGUSTINE answered: Would that your martyrs would follow the form
that He prescribed! they would not throw themselves over precipices,
which He refused to do at the bidding of the devil.[924] But when you
persecute our ancestors with false witness even now that they are
dead, whence have you received this form? In that you endeavour to
stain us with the crimes of men we never knew, while you are unwilling
that the most notorious misdeeds of your own party should be reckoned
against you, whence have you received this form? But we are too much
yielding to our own conceit if we find fault about ourselves, when we
see that you utter false testimony against the Lord Himself, since
He Himself both promised and made manifest that His Church should
extend throughout all nations, and you maintain the contrary. This
form, therefore, you did not receive even from the Jewish persecutors
themselves; for they persecuted His body while He was walking on the
earth: you persecute His gospel as He is seated in heaven. Which gospel
endured more meekly the flames of furious kings than it can possibly
endure your tongues; for while they blazed, unity remained, and this it
cannot do amid your words. They who desired that the word of God should
perish in the flames did not believe that it could be despised if read.
They would not, therefore, set their flames to work upon the gospel, if
you would let them use your tongues against the gospel. In the earlier
persecution the gospel of Christ was sought by some in their rage, it
was betrayed by others in their fear; it was burned by some in their
rage, it was hidden by others in their love; it was attacked, but none
were found to speak against its truth. The more accursed share of
persecution was reserved for you when the persecution of the heathen
was exhausted. Those who persecuted the name of Christ believed in
Christ: now those who are honoured for the name of Christ are found to
speak against His truth.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. LXXXVIII.--194. PETILIANUS said: "Here you have the fullest
possible proof that a Christian may take no part in the destruction of
another. But the first establishing of this principle was in the case
of Peter, as it is written, 'Simon Peter having a sword, drew it, and
smote the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. Then said
Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath. F or all they that
take the sword shall perish with the sword.'"[925]

195. AUGUSTINE answered: Why then do you not restrain the weapons of
the Circumcelliones with such words as these? Should you think that
you were going beyond the words of the gospel if you should say, All
they that take the cudgel shall perish with the cudgel? Withhold not
then your pardon, if our ancestors were unable to restrain the men
by whom you complain that Marculus was thrown down a precipice; for
neither is it written in the gospel, He that useth to throw men down
a precipice shall be cast therefrom. And would that, as your charges
are either false or out of date, so the cudgels of those friends of
yours would cease! And yet, perhaps, you take it ill that, if not by
force of law, at any rate in words, we take away their armour from your
legions in saying that they manifest their rage with sticks alone. For
that was the ancient fashion of their wickedness, but now they have
advanced too far. For amid their drunken revellings, and amid the free
licence of assembling together, wandering in the streets, jesting,
drinking, chambering in company with women who have no husbands, they
have learned not only to brandish cudgels, but to wield swords and
whirl slings. But why should I not say to them (God knows with what
feelings I say it and with what feelings they receive it!), Madmen, the
sword of Peter, though drawn from motives not yet free from fleshly
impurity, was yet drawn in defence of the body of Christ against the
body of His persecutor, but your arms are portioned out against the
cause of Christ; but the body of which He is the head, that is, His
Church, extends throughout all nations? He Himself has said this,
and has ascended into heaven, whither the fury of the Jews could not
follow Him; and it is your fury which attacks His members in the body,
which on His ascension He commended to our care. In defence of those
members all men rage against you, all men resist you, as many as being
in the Catholic Church, and possessing as yet but little faith, are
influenced by the same motives as Peter was when he drew his sword
in the name of Christ. But there is a great difference between your
persecution and theirs. You are like the servant of the Jews' high
priest; for in the service of your princes you arm yourselves against
the Catholic Church, that is, against the body of Christ. But they are
such as Peter then was, fighting even with the strength of their bodies
for the body of Christ, that is, the Church. But if they are bidden
to be still, as Peter then was bidden, how much more should you be
warned that, laying aside the madness of heresy, you should join the
unity of those members for which they so fight? But, being wounded by
such men as these, you hate us also; and, as though you had lost your
right ears, you do not hear the voice of Christ as He sits at the right
hand of the Father. But to whom shall I address myself, or how shall I
address myself to them, seeing that in them I find no time wherein to
speak? for even early in the morning they are reeking with wine, drunk,
it may be already in the day, it may be still from overnight. Moreover,
they utter threats, and not they only, but their own bishops utter
threats concerning them, being ready to deny that what they have done
has any bearing on them. May the Lord grant to us a song of degrees, in
which we may say, "My soul hath long dwelt with him that hateth peace.
I am for peace: but when I speak, they are for war."[926] For thus says
the body of Christ, which throughout the whole world is assailed by
heretics, by some here, by others there, and by all alike wherever they
may be.[927]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. LXXXIX.--196. PETILIANUS said: "Therefore I say, He ordained
that we should undergo death for the faith, which each man should do
for the communion of the Church. For Christianity makes progress by
the deaths of its followers. For if death were feared by the faithful,
no man would be found to live with perfect faith. For the Lord Christ
says, 'Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth
alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.'"[928]

197. AUGUSTINE answered: I should be glad to know which of your party
it was who first threw himself over a precipice. For truly that grain
of corn was fruitful from which so great a crop of similar suicides has
sprung. Tell me, when you make mention of the words of the Lord, that
He says a grain of wheat shall die and bring forth much fruit, why do
you envy the real fruit, which has most truly[929] sprung up throughout
the whole world, and bring up against it all the charges of the tares
or chaff which you have ever either heard of or invented?

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XC.--198. PETILIANUS said: "But you scatter thorns and tares, not
seeds of corn, so that you ought to be burned together with them at the
last judgment. We do not utter curses; but every thorny conscience is
bound under this penalty by the sentence which God has pronounced."

199. AUGUSTINE answered: Surely, when you mention tares, it might
bring to your minds the thought of wheat as well; for both have been
commanded to grow together in the field until the harvest. But you fix
the eye of malice fiercely on the tares, and maintain, in opposition
to the express declaration of Christ, that they alone have grown
throughout the earth, with the exception of Africa alone.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XCI.--200. PETILIANUS said: "Where is the saying of the Lord
Christ, 'Whosoever shall smite thee on the right cheek, turn to him
the other also?'[930] Where is the patience which He displayed when
they spat upon His face, who Himself with His most holy spittle opened
the eyes of the blind? Where is the saying of the Apostle Paul, 'If
a man smite you in the face?' Where is that other saying of the same
apostle, 'In stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths
oft?'[931] He makes mention of the sufferings which he underwent, not
of the deeds which he performed. It had been enough for the Christian
faith that these things should be done by the Jews: why do you,
wretched men, do these others in addition?"

201. AUGUSTINE answered: Is it then really so, that when men smite you
on the one cheek, you turn to them the other? This is not the report
that your furious bands won for you by wandering everywhere throughout
the whole of Africa with dreadful wickedness. I would fain have it that
men should make a bargain with you, that, in accordance with the old
law, you should seek but "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,"[932]
instead of bringing out cudgels in return for the words which greet
your ears.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XCII.--202. PETILIANUS said: "But what have you to do with the
kings of this world, in whom Christianity has never found anything
save envy towards her? And to teach you shortly the truth of what I
say: A king persecuted the brethren of the Maccabees.[933] A king also
condemned the three children to the sanctifying flames, being ignorant
what he did, seeing that he himself was fighting against God.[934]
A king sought the life of the infant Saviour.[935] A king exposed
Daniel, as he thought, to be eaten by wild beasts.[936] And the Lord
Christ Himself was slain by a king's most wicked judge.[937] Hence
it is that the apostle cries out, 'We speak wisdom among them that
are perfect; yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of
this world, that come to nought: but we speak the wisdom of God in a
mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world
unto our glory; which none of the princes of this world knew: for had
they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.'[938]
But grant that this was said of the heathen kings of old. Yet you,
rulers of this present age, because you desire to be Christians, do
not allow men to be Christians, seeing that, when they are believing
in all honesty of heart, you draw them by the defilement and mist of
your falsehood wholly over to your wickedness, that with their arms,
which were provided against the enemies of the state, they should
assail the Christians, and should think that, at your instigation, they
are doing the work of Christ if they kill us whom you hate, according
to the saying of the Lord Christ: 'The time cometh,' He says, 'that
whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.'[939] It
makes no matter therefore to you, false teachers, whether the kings of
this world desire to be heathens, which God forbid, or Christians, so
long as you cease not in your efforts to arm them against the family
of Christ. But do you not know, or rather, have you not read, that the
guilt of one who instigates a murder is greater than the guilt of him
who carries it out? Jezebel had excited the king her husband to the
murder of a poor and righteous man, yet husband and wife alike perished
by an equal punishment.[940] Nor indeed is your mode of urging on kings
different from that by which the subtle persuasion of women has often
urged kings on to guilt. For the wife of Herod earned and obtained the
boon by means of her daughter, that the head of John should be brought
to table in a charger.[941] Similarly the Jews forced on Pontius Pilate
that he should crucify the Lord Jesus, whose blood Pilate prayed might
remain in vengeance upon them and on their children.[942] So therefore
you also overwhelm yourselves with our blood by your sin. For it does
not follow that because it is the hand of the judge that strikes the
blow, your calumnies therefore are not rather guilty of the deed. For
the prophet David says, speaking in the person of Christ, 'Why do the
heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the
earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against
the Lord, and against His Anointed, saying, Let us break their bands
asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the
heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall
He speak unto them in His wrath, and vex them in His sore displeasure.
Yet have I set my King upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the
decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I
begotten Thee. Ask of me, and I shall give Thee the heathen for Thine
inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession.
Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; Thou shalt dash them in
pieces like a potter's vessel.' And he warned the kings themselves in
the following precepts, that they should not, like ignorant men devoid
of understanding, seek to persecute the Christians, lest they should
themselves be destroyed,--which precepts I would that we could teach
them, seeing that they are ignorant of them; or, at least, that you
would show them to them, as doubtless you would do if you desired that
they should live; or, at any rate, if neither of the other courses be
allowed, that your malice would have permitted them to read them for
themselves. The first Psalm of David would certainly have persuaded
them that they should live and reign as Christians; but meanwhile
you deceive them, so long as they entrust themselves to you. For you
represent to them things that are evil, and you hide from them what
is good. Let them then at length read this, which they should have
read already long ago. For what does he say, 'Be wise now therefore, O
ye kings; be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with
fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry,
and ye perish from the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little.
Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him.'[943] You urge on
emperors, I say, with your persuasions, even as Pilate, whom, as we
showed above, the Jews urged on, though he himself cried aloud, as
he washed his hands before them all, 'I am innocent of the blood of
this just person,'[944]--as though a person could be clear from the
guilt of a sin who had himself committed it. But, to say nothing of
ancient examples, observe, from instances taken from your own party,
how very many of your emperors and judges have perished in persecuting
us. To pass over Nero, who was the first to persecute the Christians,
Domitian perished almost in the same way as Nero, as also did Trajan,
Geta,[945] Decius, Valerian, Diocletian; Maximian also perished, at
whose command that men should burn incense to their gods, burning the
sacred volumes, Marcellinus indeed first, but after him also Mensurius
of Carthage, and Cæcilianus, escaped death from the sacrilegious
flames, surviving like some ashes or cinders from the burning. For the
consciousness of the guilt of burning incense involved you all, as many
as agreed with Mensurius. Macarius perished, Ursacius[946] perished,
and all your counts perished in like manner by the vengeance of God.
For Ursacius was slain in a battle with the barbarians, after which
birds of prey with their savage talons, and the greedy teeth of dogs
with their biting, tore him limb from limb. Was not he too a murderer
at your suggestion, who, like king Ahab, whom we showed to have been
persuaded by a woman, slew a poor and righteous man?[947] So you too
do not cease to murder us, who are just and poor (poor, that is, in
worldly wealth; for in the grace of God no one of us is poor). For even
if you do not murder a man with your hands, you do not cease to do so
with your butcherous tongues. For it is written, 'Death and life are in
the power of the tongue.'[948] All, therefore, who have been murdered,
you, the instigator of the deed, have slain. Nor indeed does the hand
of the butcher glow save at the instigation of your tongue; and that
terrible heat of the breast is inflamed by your words to take the blood
of others,--blood that shall take a just vengeance upon him who shed
it."

203. AUGUSTINE answered: If I were to answer adequately, and as I
ought, to this passage, which has been exaggerated and arranged at such
length by you, where you speak in invidious terms against us concerning
the kings of this world, I am much afraid that you would accuse me
too of having wished to excite the anger of kings against you. And
yet, whilst you are borne after your own fashion by the violence of
this invective against all Catholics, you certainly do not pass me by.
I will endeavour, however, to show, if I can, that it is rather you
who have been guilty of this offence by speaking as you have done,
than myself by answering as I shall do. And first of all, see how you
yourself oppose yourself; for certainly you prefaced the passage which
you quoted with the words, "What have you to do with the kings of this
world, in whom Christianity has never found anything save envy towards
her?" In these words you certainly cut off from us all access to the
kings of this world. And a little later you say, "And he warned the
kings themselves in the following precepts, that they should not, like
ignorant men devoid of understanding, seek to persecute the Christians,
lest they should be themselves destroyed,--which precepts I would that
we could teach them, seeing that they are ignorant of them; or, at
least, that you would show them to them, as doubtless you would do if
you desired that they should live." In what way then do you wish us
to be the instructors of kings? And indeed those of our body who have
any friendship with Christian kings commit no sin if they make a right
use of that friendship; but if any are elated by it, they yet sin far
less grievously than you. For what had you, who thus reproach us,--what
had you to do with a heathen king, and what is worse, with Julian,
the apostate and enemy of the name of Christ, to whom, when you were
begging that the basilicas should be restored to you as though they
were your own, you ascribed this meed of praise, "that in him justice
alone was found to have a place?"--in which words (for I believe that
you understand the Latin tongue) both the idolatry and the apostasy of
Judas are styled justice. I hold in my hands the petition which your
ancestors presented; the memorial[949] which embodied their request;
the chronicles, where they made their representation. Watch and attend.
To the enemy of Christ, to the apostate, the antagonist of Christians,
the servant of the devil, that friend, that representative, that
Pontius of yours, made supplication in such words as these: "Go to
then, and say to us, What have you to do with the kings of this world?"
that as deaf men you may read to the deaf nations what you as well as
they refuse to hear: "Thou beholdest the mote that is in thy brother's
eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye."[950]

204. "What," say you, "have you to do with the kings of this world,
in whom Christianity has never found anything save envy towards her?"
Having said this, you endeavoured to reckon up what kings the righteous
had found to be their enemies, and did not consider how many more might
be enumerated who have proved their friends. The patriarch Abraham was
both most friendly treated, and presented with a token of friendship,
by a king who had been warned from heaven not to defile his wife.[951]
Isaac his son likewise found a king most friendly to him.[952] Jacob,
being received with honour by a king in Egypt, went so far as to
bless him.[953] What shall I say of his son Joseph, who, after the
tribulation of a prison, in which his chastity was tried as gold is
tried in the fire, being raised by Pharaoh to great honours,[954] even
swore by the life of Pharaoh,[955]--not as though puffed up with vain
conceit, but being not unmindful of his kindness. The daughter of a
king adopted Moses.[956] David took refuge with a king of another race,
compelled thereto by the unrighteousness of the king of Israel.[957]
Elijah ran before the chariot of a most wicked king,--not by the
king's command, but from his own loyalty.[958] Elisha thought it
good to offer of his own accord to the woman who had sheltered him
anything that she might wish to have obtained from the king through
his intercession.[959] But I will come to the actual times when the
people of God were in captivity, in which, to use a mild expression,
a strange forgetfulness came over you. For, wishing to prove that
Christianity has never found anything in kings saving envy towards her,
you made mention of the three children and Daniel, who suffered at
the hands of persecuting kings, and you could not derive instruction
from circumstances not occurring near, but in the very same passages,
viz. from the conduct of the king himself after the miracle of the
flames which did no hurt, whether as shown in praising and setting
forth the name of God, or in honouring the three children themselves,
or from the esteem in which the king held Daniel, and the gifts with
which he honoured him, nothing loth to receive them, when he, rendering
the honour that was due to the king's power, as sufficiently appears
from his own words, did not hesitate to use the gift with which he
was endowed by God, in interpreting the king's dream. And when, in
consequence, the king was compelled by the men who envied the holy
prophet, and heaped calumnies upon him with sacrilegious madness, most
unwillingly to cast him into the den of lions, sadly though he did it,
yet he had the conviction that he would be safe through the help and
protection of his God. Accordingly, when Daniel, by the miraculous
repression of the lions' rage, had been preserved unhurt, when the
friendly voice of the king spoke first to him in accents of anxiety,
he himself replied with benediction from the den, "O king, live for
ever!"[960] How came it that, when your argument was turning on the
very same subject, when you were yourself quoting the examples of the
servants of God in whose case these things were done, you either failed
to see, or were unwilling to see, or seeing and knowing, were silent,
in a manner which I know not how you will defend, about those instances
of friendship felt by kings for the saints? But if it were not that,
as a defender of the basest cause, you are hindered by the desire of
building up falsehood, and thereby turned away either as unwilling or
as ignorant from the light of truth, there can be no doubt that you
could, without any difficulty, recall some good kings as well as some
bad ones, and some friendly to the saints as well as some unfriendly.
And we cannot but wonder that your Circumcelliones thus throw
themselves from precipices. Who was running after you, I pray? What
Macarius, what soldier was pursuing you? Certainly none of our party
thrust you into this abyss of falsehood. Why then did you thus run
headlong with your eyes shut, so that when you said, "What have you to
do with the kings of this world?" you did not add, In whom Christianity
has often found envy towards herself, instead of boldly venturing to
say, "In whom Christianity has never found anything save envy towards
her?" Was it really true that you neither thought yourself, nor
considered that those who read your writings would think, how many
instances of kings there were that went against your views? Does he not
know what he says?

205. Or do you think that, because those whom I have mentioned belonged
to olden times, therefore they form no argument against you, because
you did not say, In whom _righteousness_ has never found anything
save envy towards her, but "In whom _Christianity_ has never found
anything saving envy towards her,"--meaning, perhaps, that it should
be understood that they began to show envy towards the righteous from
the time when they began to bear the name of Christians? What then is
the meaning of those examples from olden times, by which you even more
imprudently wished to prove what you had so imprudently ventured to
assert? For was it not before Christ was born inf the world that the
Maccabees, and the three children, and Daniel, did and suffered what
you told of them? And again, why was it, as I asked just now, that you
offered a petition to Julian, the undoubted foe of Christianity? Why
did you seek to recover the basilicas from him? Why did you declare
that only righteousness found a place with him? If it is the foe of
Christianity that hears such things as these, what then are they from
whom he hears them? But it should be observed that Constantine, who was
certainly no foe to the name of Christian, but rather rendered glorious
by it, being mindful of the hope which he maintained in Christ, and
deciding most justly on behalf of His unity, was not worthy to be
acknowledged by you, even when you yourselves appealed to him. Both
these were emperors in Christian times, but yet not both of them were
Christians. But if both of them were foes of Christianity, why did you
thus appeal to one of them? why did you thus present a petition to
the other? For on your ancestors making their petition, Constantine
had given an episcopal judgment both at Rome and at Arles; and yet
the first of them you accused before him, from the other you appealed
to him. But if, as is the case, one of them had believed in Christ,
the other had apostatized from Christ, why is the Christian despised
while furthering the interests of unity, the apostate praised while
favouring deceit? Constantine ordered that the basilicas should be
taken from you, Julian that they should be restored. Do you wish to
know which of these actions is conducive to Christian peace? The one
was done by a man who had believed in Christ, the other by one who
had abandoned Christ. O how you would wish that you could say, It was
indeed ill done that supplication should so be made to Julian; but
what has that to do with us? But if you were to say this, the Catholic
Church would also conquer in these same words, whose saints dispersed
throughout the world are much less concerned with what you say of
those towards whom you feel as you may be disposed to feel. But it is
beyond your power to say, It was ill done that supplication should so
be made to Julian. Your throat is closed; your tongue is checked by an
authority close at home. It was Pontius that did it. Pontius presented
the petition; Pontius declared that the apostate was most righteous;
Pontius set forth that only righteousness found a place with the
apostate. That Pontius made a petition to him in these words, we have
the express evidence of Julian himself, mentioning him by name, without
any disguise. Your representations still exist. It is no uncertain
rumour, but public documents that bear witness to the fact. Can it be,
that because the apostate made some concession to your prayer, to the
detriment of the unity of Christ, you therefore find truth in what
was said, that only righteousness found a place with him? but because
Christian emperors decide against your wishes, since this appears
to them most likely to contribute to the unity of Christ, therefore
they are called the foes of Christianity? Such folly may all heretics
display; and may they regain wisdom, so that they should be no longer
heretics.

206. And when is that fulfilled, you will say, which the Lord declares,
"The time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he
doeth God service?"[961] At any rate, neither can this be said of
the heathen, who persecuted Christians, not for the sake of God, but
for the sake of their idols. You do not see that if this had been
said of these emperors who rejoice in the name of Christian, their
chief command would certainly have been this, that you should have
been put to death; and this command they never gave at all. But the
men of your party, by opposing the laws in hostile fashion, bring
deserved punishment on themselves; and their own voluntary deaths,
so long as they think that they bring odium on us, they consider in
no wise ruinous to themselves. But if they think that that saying of
Christ refers to kings who honour the name of Christ, let them ask
what the Catholic Church suffered in the East, when Valens the Arian
was emperor. There indeed I might find what I should understand to be
sufficient fulfilment of the saying of the Lord, "The time cometh,
that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service,"
that heretics should not claim, as conducing to their especial glory,
the injunctions issued against their errors by Catholic emperors. But
we remember that that time was fulfilled after the ascension of our
Lord, of which holy Scripture is known by all to be a witness. The
Jews thought that they were doing a service to God when they put the
apostles to death. Among those who thought that they were showing
service to God was even our Saul, though not ours as yet; so that
among his causes for confidence which were past and to be forgotten,
he enumerates the following: "An Hebrew," he says, "of the Hebrews;
as touching the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the
Church."[962] Here was one who thought that he did God service when he
did what presently he suffered himself. For forty Jews bound themselves
by an oath that they would slay him, when he caused that this should be
made known to the tribune, so that under the protection of a guard of
armed men he escaped their snares.[963] But there was no one yet to say
to him, What have you to do (not with kings, but) with tribunes and the
arms of kings? There was no one to say to him, Dare you seek protection
at the hand of soldiers, when your Lord was dragged by them to undergo
His suffering? There were as yet no instances of madness such as
yours; but there were already examples being prepared, which should be
sufficient for their refutation.

207. Moreover, with what terrible force did you venture to set forth
and utter the following: "But to say nothing of ancient examples,
observe, from instances taken from your own party, how very many of
your emperors and judges have perished in persecuting us." When I read
this in your letter, I waited with the most earnest expectation to see
what you were going to say, and whom you were going to enumerate, when,
lo and behold! as though passing them over, you began to quote to me
Nero, Domitian, Trajan, Geta, Decius, Valerian, Diocletian, Maximian.
I acknowledge that there were more; but you have altogether forgotten
against whom you are arguing. Were not all of these pagans, persecuting
generally the Christian name on behalf of their idols? Be vigilant,
then; for the men whom you mention were not of our communion. They were
persecuting the whole aggregate of unity itself, from which we, as you
think, or you, as Christ teaches, have gone forth. But you had proposed
to show that our emperors and judges had perished in consequence of
persecuting you. Or is it that you yourself do not require that we
should reckon these, because, in mentioning them, you passed them over,
saying, "To pass over Nero;" and with this reservation did you mean to
run through all the rest? What then was the use of their being quoted,
if they had nothing to do with the matter? But what has it to do with
me? I now join with you in leaving these. Next, let that larger number
which you promised to us be produced, unless, indeed, it may be that
they cannot be found, inasmuch as you said that they had perished.

208. For now you go on to make mention of the bishops whom you are wont
to accuse of having delivered up the sacred books, concerning whom we
on our part are wont to answer: Either you fail in your proof, and so
it concerns no one at all; or you succeed, and then it still has no
concern with us. For they have borne their own burden, whether it be
good or bad; and we indeed believe that it was good. But of whatever
character it was, yet it was their own; just as your bad men have
borne their own burden, and neither you theirs nor they yours. But the
common and most evil burden of you all is schism. This we have already
often said before. Show us, therefore, not the names of bishops, but
the names of our emperors and judges, who have perished in persecuting
you. For this is what you had proposed, this is what you had promised,
this is what you had caused us most eagerly to expect. "Hear," he says,
"Macarius perished, Ursacius perished, and all your counts perished
in like manner, by the vengeance of God." You have mentioned only
two by name, and neither of them was emperor. Who would be satisfied
with this, I ask? Are you not utterly dissatisfied with yourself? You
promise that you will mention a vast number of emperors and judges of
our party who perished in persecuting you; and then, without a word
of emperors, you mention two who were either judges or counts. For as
to what you add, "And all your counts perished in like manner by the
vengeance of God," it has nothing to do with the matter. For on this
principle you might some time ago have closed your argument, without
mentioning the name of any one at all. Why then have you not made
mention of our emperors, that is to say, of emperors of our communion?
Were you afraid that you should be indicted for high treason? Where
is the fortitude that marks the Circumcelliones? And further, what
do you mean by introducing those whom you mentioned above in such
numbers? They might with more right say to you, Why did you seek out
us? For they did nothing to assist your cause, and yet you mentioned
them by name. What kind of man, then, must you be, who fear to mention
those by name, who, as you say, have perished? At any rate, you might
mention more of the judges and counts, of whom you seem to feel no
fear. But yet you stopped at Macarius and Ursacius. Are these two whom
you mention the vast number of whom you spoke? Are you thinking of the
lesson which we learned as boys? For if you were to ask of me what
number two is, singular or plural, what could I answer, except that it
was plural? But even so I am still not without the means of reply. I
take away Macarius from your list; for you certainly have not told us
how he perished. Or do you maintain that any one who persecutes you,
unless he be immortal on the face of this earth, is to be deemed when
he dies to have died because of you? What if Constantine had not lived
to enjoy so long a reign, and such prolonged prosperity, who was the
first to pass many decrees against your errors? And what if Julian, who
gave you back the basilicas, had not been so speedily snatched away
from life?[964] In that case, when would you make an end of talking
such nonsense as you do, seeing that even now you are unwilling to
hold your tongues? And yet neither do we say that Julian died so soon
because he gave back the basilicas to you. For we might be equally
prolix with you in this, but we are unwilling to be equally foolish.
Well, then, as I had begun to say, from these two we will take away
Macarius. For when you had mentioned the names of two, Macarius and
Ursacius, you repeated the name of Ursacius with the view of showing us
how he deserved his death; and you said, "For Ursacius was slain in a
battle with the barbarians, after which birds of prey with their savage
talons, and the greedy teeth of dogs with their biting, tore him limb
from limb." Whence it is quite clear, since it is your custom to excite
greater odium against us on account of Macarius, insomuch that you call
us not Ursacians but Macarians, that you would have been sure to say
by far the most concerning him, had you been able to say anything of
the sort about his death. Of these two, therefore, when you used the
plural number, if you take away Macarius, there remains Ursacius alone,
a proper name of the singular number. Where is therefore the fulfilment
of your threatening and tremendous promise of so many who should
support your argument?

209. By this time all men who are in any degree acquainted with the
meaning of words must understand, it seems to me, how ridiculous it is
that, when you had said, "Macarius perished, Ursacius perished, and
all your counts perished in like manner, by the vengeance of God,"
as though men were calling upon you to prove the fact, whereas, in
reality, neither hearer nor reader was calling on you for anything
further whatsoever, you immediately strung together a long argument
in order to prove that all our counts perished in like manner by the
vengeance of God. "For Ursacius," you say, "was slain in a battle with
the barbarians, after which birds of prey with their savage talons,
and the greedy teeth of dogs with their biting, tore him limb from
limb." In the same way, any one else, who was similarly ignorant of the
meaning of what he says, might assert that all your bishops perished
in prison by the vengeance of God; and when asked how he could prove
this fact, he might at once add, For Optatus, having been accused of
belonging to the company of Gildo, was put to death in a similar way.
Frivolous charges such as these we are compelled to listen to, to
consider, to refute; only we are apprehensive for the weak, lest, from
the greater slowness of their intellect, they should fall speedily
into your toils. But Ursacius, of whom you speak, if it be the case
that he lived a good life, and really died as you assert, will receive
consolation from the promise of God, who says, "Surely your blood of
your lives will I require: at the hand of every beast will I require
it."[965]

210. But as to the calumnious charges which you bring against us,
saying that by us the wrath of the kings of the world is excited
against you, so long as we do not teach them the lesson of holy
Scripture, but rather suggest our own desire of war, I do not imagine
that you are so absolutely deaf to the eloquence of the sacred books
themselves as that you should not rather fear that they should be
acquainted with it. But whether you so will or no, they gain entrance
to the Church; and even if we hold our tongues, they give heed to the
readers: and, to say nothing of the rest, they especially listen with
the most marked attention to that very psalm which you quoted. For you
said that we do not teach them, nor, so far as we can help it, allow
them to become acquainted with the words of Scripture: "Be wise now
therefore, O ye kings; be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve
the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He
be angry,"[966] etc. Believe that even this is sung, and that they
hear it. But, at any rate, they hear what is written above in the
same psalm, which you, unless I am mistaken, were only unwilling to
pass over, for fear you should be understood to be afraid. They hear
therefore this as well: "The Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son;
this day have I begotten Thee. Ask of me, and I shall give Thee the
heathen for Thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth
for Thy possession."[967] On hearing which, they cannot but marvel
that some should be found to speak against this inheritance of Christ,
endeavouring to reduce it to a little corner of the earth; and in
their marvel they perhaps ask, on account of what they hear in what
follows, "Serve the Lord with fear," wherein they can serve Him, in so
far as they are kings. For all men ought to serve God,--in one sense,
in virtue of the condition common to them all, in that they are men;
in another sense, in virtue of their several gifts, whereby this man
has one function on the earth, and that man has another. For no man,
as a private individual, could command that idols should be taken from
the earth, which it was so long ago foretold should come to pass.[968]
Accordingly, when we take into consideration the social condition of
the human race, we find that kings, in the very fact that they are
kings, have a service which they can render to the Lord in a manner
which is impossible for any who have not the power of kings.

211. When, therefore, they think over what you quote, they hear also
what you yourself quoted concerning the three children, and hear it
with circumstances of marvellous solemnity. For that same Scripture is
most of all sung in the Church at a time when the very festal nature
of the season excites additional fervour even in those who, during
the rest of the year, are more given to be sluggish. What then do you
think must be the feelings of Christian emperors, when they hear of the
three children being cast into the burning fiery furnace because they
were unwilling to consent to the wickedness of worshipping the image of
the king,[969] unless you suppose that they consider that the pious
liberty of the saints cannot be overcome either by the power of kings,
or by any enormity of punishment, and that they rejoice that they are
not of the number of those kings who used to punish men that despised
idols as though they were guilty of sacrilege? But, further, when they
hear in what follows that the same king, terrified by the marvellous
sight of, not only the three children, but the very flames performing
service unto God, himself too began to serve God in fear, and to
rejoice with reverence, and to learn submission, do they not understand
that the reason that this was recorded, and set forth with such
publicity, was that an example might be set both before the servants of
God, to prevent them from committing sacrilege in obedience to kings,
and before kings themselves, that they should show themselves religious
by belief in God? Being willing, therefore, on their part, from the
admonition of the very psalm which you yourself inserted in your
writings, both to be wise, and to receive instruction, and to serve
God with fear, and to rejoice unto Him with reverence, and to learn
submission, with what attention do they listen to what that king said
afterwards! For he said that he would make a decree for all the people
over whom he ruled, that whosoever should speak blasphemy against the
God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego should perish, and their house
be utterly destroyed. And if they know that he made this decree that
blasphemy should not be uttered against the God who tempered the force
of the fire, and liberated the three children, they surely go on to
consider what decrees they ought to make in their kingdom, that the
same God who has granted remission of sins, and given freedom to the
whole earth, should not be treated with scorn among the faithful in
their realm.

212. See therefore, when Christian kings make any decree against
you in defence of Catholic unity, that it be not the case that with
your lips you are accusing them of being unlearned, as it were, in
holy Scripture, while in your hearts you are grieving that they are
so well acquainted with its teaching. For who could put up with the
sacrilegious and hateful fallacy which you advance in the case of one
and the same Daniel, to find fault with kings because he was cast into
the den of lions, and to refuse praise to kings in that he was raised
to exalted honour, seeing that, even when he was cast into the den of
lions, the king himself was more inclined to believe that he would be
safe than that he would be destroyed, and, in anxiety for him, refused
to eat his food? And then do you dare to say to Christians, "What
have you to do with the kings of the world?" because Daniel suffered
persecution at a king's hands, and yet not look back upon the same
Daniel faithfully interpreting dreams to kings, calling a king lord,
receiving gifts and honours from a king? And so again do you dare, in
the case of the aforesaid three children, to excite the flames of odium
against kings, because, when they refused to worship the statue, they
were cast into the flames, while at the same time you hold your tongue,
and say nothing about their being thus extolled and honoured by the
king? Granted that the king was a persecutor when he cast Daniel into
the lions' den; but when, on receiving him safely out again, in his
joy and congratulations he cast in his enemies to be torn in pieces
and devoured by the same lions, what was he then,--a persecutor, or
not?[970] I call on you to answer me. For if he was, why did not Daniel
himself resist him, as he might so easily have done in virtue of his
great friendship for him, while yet you bid us restrain kings from
persecuting men? But if he was not a persecutor, because he avenged
with prompt justice the outrage committed against a holy man, what kind
of vengeance, I would ask, must be exacted from kings for indignities
offered to the sacraments of Christ, if the limbs of the prophet
required such a vengeance because they were exposed to danger? Again,
I acknowledge that the king, as indeed is manifest, was a persecutor
when he cast the three children into the furnace because they refused
to worship his image; but I ask whether he was still a persecutor when
he set forth the decree that all who should blaspheme against the
one true God should be destroyed, and their whole house laid waste?
For if he was a persecutor, why do you answer Amen to the words of a
persecutor?[971] But if he was not a persecutor, why do you call those
persecutors who deter you from the madness of blasphemy? For if they
compel you to worship an idol, then they are like the impious king, and
you are like the three children; but if they are preventing you from
fighting against Christ, it is you who are impious if you attempt to do
this. But what they may be if they forbid this with terrible threats,
I do not presume to say. Do you find some other name for them, if you
will not call them pious emperors.

213. If I had been the person to bring forward these examples of Daniel
and the three children, you would perhaps resist, and declare that they
ought not to have been brought from those times in illustration of our
days; but God be thanked that you yourself brought them forward, to
prove the point, it is true, which you desired to establish, but you
see that their force was rather in favour of what you least would wish
to prove. Perhaps you will say that this proceeds from no deceit of
yours, but from the fallibility of human nature. Would that this were
true! Amend it, then. You will not lose in reputation; nay, it marks
unquestionably the higher mind to extinguish the fire of animosity by
a frank confession, than merely to escape the mist of falsehood by
acuteness of the understanding.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XCIII.--214. PETILIANUS said: "Where is the law of God? where is
your Christianity, if you not only commit murders and put men to death,
but also order such things to be done?"

215. AUGUSTINE answered: In reply to this, see what the fellow-heirs
of Christ say throughout the world. We neither commit murders, and put
men to death, nor order such things to be done; and you are raging much
more madly than those who do such things, in that you put such things
into the minds of men in opposition to the hopes of everlasting life.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XCIV.--216. PETILIANUS said: "If you wish that we should be your
friends, why do you drag us to you against our will? But if you wish
that we should be your foes, why do you kill your foes?"

217. AUGUSTINE answered: We neither drag you to us against your will,
nor do we kill our foes; but whatever we do in our dealings with you,
though we may do it contrary to your inclination, yet we do it from
our love to you, that you may voluntarily correct yourselves, and live
an amended life. For no one lives against his will; and yet a boy,
in order to learn this lesson of his own free will,[972] is beaten
contrary to his inclination, and that often by the very man that is
most dear to him. And this, indeed, is what the kings would desire to
say to you if they were to strike you, for to this end their power has
been ordained of God. But you cry out even when they are not striking
you.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XCV.--218. PETILIANUS said: "But what reason is there, or what
inconsistency of emptiness, in desiring communion with us so eagerly,
when all the time you call us by the false title of heretics?"

219. AUGUSTINE answered: If we so eagerly desired communion with
heretics, we should not be anxious that you should be converted from
the error of heresy; but when the very object of our negotiations
with you is that you should cease to be heretics, how are we eagerly
desiring communion with heretics? For, in fact, it is dissension
and division that make you heretics; but peace and unity make men
Catholics. When, then, you come over from your heresy to us, you cease
to be what we hate, and begin to be what we love.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XCVI.--220. PETILIANUS said: "Choose, in short, which of the
two alternatives you prefer. If innocence is on your side, why do you
persecute us with the sword? Or if you call us guilty, why do you, who
are yourselves innocent, seek for our company?"

221. AUGUSTINE answered: O most ingenious dilemma, or rather most
foolish verbosity! Is it not usual for the choice of two alternatives
to be offered to an antagonist, when it is impossible that he
should adopt both? For if you should offer me the choice of the two
propositions, that I should say either that we were innocent, or that
we were guilty; or, again, of the other pair of propositions, viz.
those concerning you, I could not escape choosing either one or the
other. But as it is, you offer me the choice of these two, whether we
are innocent or you are guilty, and wish me to say which of these two I
choose for my reply. But I refuse to make a choice; for I assert them
both, that we are innocent, and that you are guilty. I say that we
are innocent of the false and calumnious accusations which you bring
against us, so far as any of us, being in the Catholic Church, can say
with a safe conscience that we have neither given up the sacred books,
nor taken part in the worship of idols, nor murdered any man, nor been
guilty of any of the other crimes which you allege against us; and that
any who may have committed any such offences, which, however, you have
not proved in any case, have thereby shut the doors of the kingdom of
heaven, not against us, but against themselves; "for every man shall
bear his own burden."[973] Here you have your answer on the first head.
And I further say that you are all guilty and accursed,--not some of
you owing to the sins of others, which are wrought among you by certain
of your number, and are censured by certain others, but all of you by
the sin of schism; from which most heinous sacrilege no one of you
can say that he is free, so long as he refuses to hold communion with
the unity of all nations, unless, indeed, he be compelled to say that
Christ has told a lie concerning the Church which is spread abroad
among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.[974] And so you have my
second answer. See how I have made you two replies, of which you were
desirous that we should be reduced to choose the one. At any rate, you
should have taken notice that both assertions might be made by us; and
certainly, if this was what you wished, you should have asked it as a
favour of us that we should choose one or the other, when you saw that
it was in our power to choose both.

222. But "if innocence is on your side, why do you persecute us with
the sword?" Look back for a moment on your troops, which are not now
armed after the ancient fashion of their fathers only with cudgels, but
have further added to their equipment axes and lances and swords, and
determine for yourselves to which of us the question best belongs, "Why
do you persecute us with the sword?" "Or if you call us guilty," say
you, "why do you, who are yourselves innocent, seek for our company?"
Here I answer very briefly. The reason why you, being guilty, are
sought after by the innocent, is that you may cease to be guilty, and
begin to be innocent. Here then I have chosen both of the alternatives
concerning us, and answered both of those concerning you: only do you
in turn choose one of the two. Are you innocent or guilty? Here you
cannot choose to make the two assertions, and yet choose both, if so it
pleases you. For at any rate you cannot be innocent in reference to the
same circumstances in respect of which you are guilty. If therefore you
are innocent, do not be surprised that you are invited to be at peace
with your brethren; but if you are guilty, do not be surprised that you
are sought for punishment by kings. But since of these two alternatives
you assume one for yourselves, and the other is alleged of you by
us,--for you assume to yourselves innocence, and it is alleged of you
by us that you are living impiously,--hear again once more what I shall
say on either head. If you are innocent, why do you speak against the
testimony of Christ? But if you are guilty, why do you not fly for
refuge to His mercy? For His testimony, on the one hand, is to the
unity of the world, and His mercy, on the other, is in brotherly love.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XCVII.--223. PETILIANUS said: "Lastly, as we have often said
before, how great is your presumption, that you should speak as you
presume to do of kings, when David says, 'It is better to trust in the
Lord than to put confidence in man: it is better to trust in the Lord
than to put confidence in princes!'"[975]

224. AUGUSTINE answered: We put no confidence in man, but, so far as
we can, we warn men to place their trust in the Lord; nor do we put
confidence in princes, but, so far as we can, we warn princes to put
confidence in the Lord. And though we may seek aid from princes to
promote the advantage of the Church, yet do we not put confidence
in them. For neither did the apostle himself put confidence in that
tribune, in the sense in which the Psalmist talks of putting confidence
in princes, from whom he obtained for himself that an escort of armed
men should be assigned to him; nor did he put confidence in the
armed men, by whose protection he escaped the snares of the wicked
ones, in any such sense as that of the Psalmist where he speaks of
putting confidence in men.[976] But neither do we find fault with you
yourselves, because you sought from the emperor that the basilicas
should be restored to you, as though you had put your trust in Julian
the prince; but we find fault with you, that you have despaired of the
witness of Christ, from whose unity you have separated the basilicas
themselves. For you received them at the bidding of an enemy of Christ,
that in them you should despise the commands of Christ, whilst you
find force and truth in what Julian ordained, saying, "This, moreover,
on the petition of Rogatianus, Pontius, Cassianus, and other bishops,
not without an intermixture of clergy, is added to complete the whole,
that those proceedings which were taken to their prejudice wrongly and
without authority being all annulled, everything should be restored to
its former position;" and yet you find nothing that has either force
of truth in what Christ ordained, saying, "Ye shall be witnesses unto
me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the
uttermost ends of the earth."[977] We entreat you, let yourselves be
reformed. Return to this most manifest unity of the whole world; and
let all things be restored to their former position, not in accordance
with the words of the apostate Julian, but in accordance with the words
of our Saviour Christ. Have pity on your own soul. We are not now
comparing Constantine and Julian in order to show how different they
are. We are not saying, If you have not placed confidence in a man and
in a prince, when you said to a pagan and apostate emperor, that "in
him justice only found a place," seeing that the party of Donatus has
universally employed the prayers and the proclamation in which those
words occur, as is proved by the records of the audience; much less
ought we to be accused by you, as though we put our confidence in any
man or prince, if without any blasphemous flattery we obtained any
request from Constantine or from the other Christian emperors; or if
they themselves, without our asking for it, but remembering the account
which they shall render to the Lord, under whose words they tremble
when they hear what you yourself have quoted, "Be wise now therefore, O
ye kings," etc., and many other sayings of the sort, make any ordinance
of their own accord in support of the unity of the Catholic Church.
But I say nothing about Constantine. It is Christ and Julian that we
contrast before you; nay, more than this, it is God and man, the Son
of God and the son of hell, the Saviour of our souls and the destroyer
of his own. Why do you maintain the proclamation of Julian in the
occupation of the basilicas, and yet not maintain the gospel of Christ
in embracing the peace of the Church? We too cry out, Let all things
that have been done amiss be restored to their ancient condition. The
gospel of Christ is of greater antiquity than the proclamation of
Julian; the unity of Christ is of greater antiquity than the party of
Donatus; the prayers of the Church to the Lord on behalf of the unity
of the Church are of greater antiquity than the prayers of Rogatianus,
and Pontius, and Cassianus, to Julian on behalf of the party of
Donatus. Are proceedings wrongly taken when kings forbid division? and
are they not wrongly taken when bishops divide unity? Is that wrong
action when kings minister to the witness of Christ in defence of the
Church? and is it not wrong action when bishops contradict the witness
of Christ in order to deny the Church? We entreat you, therefore, that
the words of Julian himself, to whom you thus made supplication, may be
listened to, not in opposition to the gospel, but in accordance with
the gospel, and that all things which have been done amiss may be
restored to their former condition.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XCVIII.--225. PETILIANUS said: "On you, yes you, you wretched
men, I call, who, being dismayed with the fear of persecution, whilst
you seek to save your riches, not your souls, love not so much the
faithless faith of the traitors, as the wickedness of the very men
whose protection you have won unto yourselves,--just in the same way
as sailors, shipwrecked in the waves, plunge into the waves by which
they must be overwhelmed, and in the great danger of their lives seek
unmistakeably the very object of their dread; just as the madness of a
tyrant, that he may be free from apprehension of any person whatsoever,
desires to be feared, though this is fraught with peril to himself: so,
so you fly for refuge to the citadel of wickedness, being willing to
look on the loss or punishment of the innocent if you may escape fear
for yourselves. If you consider that you escape danger when you plunge
into ruin, truly also it is a faith that merits condemnation to observe
the faith of a robber. Lastly, it is trafficking in a madman's gains
to lose your own souls in order not to lose your wealth. For the Lord
Christ says, 'If a man shall gain the whole world, and lose his own
soul, what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?'"[978]

226. AUGUSTINE answered: That exhortation of yours would be useful,
I cannot but acknowledge, if any one were to employ it in a good
cause. It is undoubtedly well that you have tried to deter men from
preferring their riches to their souls. But I would have you, who have
heard these words, listen also for a time to us; for we also say this,
but listen in what sense. If kings threaten to take away your riches,
because you are not Jews according to the flesh, or because you do not
worship idols or devils, or because you are not carried about into any
heresies, but abide in Catholic unity, then choose rather that your
riches should perish, that you perish not yourselves; but be careful
to prefer neither anything else, nor the life of this world itself to
eternal salvation, which is in Christ. But if kings threaten you with
loss or condemnation, simply on the ground that you are heretics,
such things are terrifying you not in cruelty, but in mercy; and your
determination not to fear is a sign not of bravery, but of obstinacy.
Hear then the words of Peter, where he says, "What glory is it, if,
when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye take it patiently?"[979]
so that herein you have neither consolation upon earth, nor in the
world to come life everlasting; but you have here the miseries of the
unfortunate, and there the hell of heretics. Do you see, therefore,
my brother, with whom I am now arguing, that you ought first to show
whether you hold the truth, and then to exhort men that in upholding it
they should be ready to give up all the blessings which they possess
in this present world? And so, when you do not show this, because you
cannot,--not that the talent is wanting, but because the cause is
bad,--why do you hasten by your exhortations to make men both beggars
and ignorant, both in want and wandering from the truth, in rags and
contentions, household drudges and heretics, both losing their temporal
goods in this world, and finding eternal evils in the judgment of
Christ? But the cautious son, who, while he stands in dread of his
father's rod, keeps away from the lair of the serpent, escapes both
blows and destruction; whereas he who despises the pains of discipline,
when set in rivalry with his own pernicious will, is both beaten and
destroyed. Do you not now understand, O learned man, that he who has
resigned all earthly goods in order to maintain the peace of Christ,
possesses God; whereas he who has lost even a very few coins in behalf
of the party of Donatus is devoid of heart?

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XCIX.--227. PETILIANUS said: "But we who are poor in spirit[980]
are not apprehensive for our wealth, but rather feel a dread of wealth.
We, 'as having nothing, and yet possessing all things,'[981] look on
our soul as our wealth, and by our punishments and blood purchase to
ourselves the everlasting riches of heaven. So again the same Lord
says, 'Whosoever shall lose his substance, shall find it again an
hundredfold.'"

228. AUGUSTINE answered: It is not beside the purpose to inquire into
the true meaning of this passage also. For where my purpose is not
interfered with by any mistake which you make, or any false impression
which you convey in quoting from the Scriptures, I do not concern
myself about the matter. It is not then written, "Whosoever shall lose
his substance," but "Whosoever shall lose his life for my sake."[982]
And the passage about substance is not, "Whosoever shall lose," but
"Every one that hath forsaken;"[983] and that not only with reference
to substance of money, but many other things besides. But you meanwhile
have not lost your substance; but whether you have forsaken it, in
that you so boast of poverty, I cannot say. And if by any chance my
colleague Fortunatus may know this, being in the same city with you, he
never told me, because I had never asked him. However, even if you had
done this, you have yet yourself quoted the testimony of the apostle
against yourself in this very epistle which you have written: "Though I
bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be
burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing."[984] For if you
had charity, you would not bring charges against the whole world, which
knows nothing of you, and of which you know no more,--no, not even
such charges as are founded on the proved offences of the Africans.
If you had charity, you would not picture to yourself a false unity
in your calumnies, but you would learn to recognise the unity that is
most clearly set forth in the words of the Lord: "Unto the uttermost
part of the earth."[985] But if you did not do this, why do you boast
as though you had done it? Are you really so filled with fear of
riches, that, having nothing, you possess all things? Tell that to your
colleague Crispinus, who lately bought a farm near our city of Hippo,
that he might there plunge men into the lowest abyss of error.[986]
Whence I too know this all too well. You perhaps are not aware of it,
and therefore shout out in security, "We stand in fear of riches." And
hence I am surprised that that cry of yours has been allowed to pass
Crispinus, so as to reach us. For between Constantina, where you are,
and Hippo, where I am, lies Calama, where he is, nearer indeed to our
side, but still between us. I wonder, therefore, how it was that he did
not first intercept this cry, and strike it back so that it should not
reach to our ears; and that he did not, in opposition to you, recite in
much more copious phrase a eulogy on riches. For he not only stands in
no fear of riches, but he actually loves them. And certainly, before
you utter anything about the rest, you should rehearse such views to
him. If he makes no corrections, then we have our answer ready. But for
yourself, if it be true that you are poor, you have with you my brother
Fortunatus. You will be more likely with such sentiments to please him,
who is my colleague, than Crispinus, who is your own.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. C.--229. PETILIANUS said: "Inasmuch as we live in the fear of
God, we have no fear of the punishments and executions which you wreak
with the sword; but the only thing which we avoid is that by your most
wicked communion you destroy men's souls, according to the saying of
the Lord Himself: 'Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able
to kill the soul; but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both
soul and body in hell.'"[987]

230. AUGUSTINE answered: You do the destruction which you speak of,
not with a visible sword, but with that of which it is said, "The sons
of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp
sword."[988] For with this sword of accusation and calumny against
the world of which you are wholly ignorant, you destroy the souls of
those who lack experience. But if you find fault with a most wicked
communion, as you term it, I would bid you presently, not with my
words, but with your own, to ascend, descend, enter, turn yourself
about, change sides, be such as was Optatus. But if you return to your
senses, and shall find that you are not such as he, not because he
refused to partake of the sacraments with you, but because you took
offence at what he did, then you will acquit the world of crimes which
do not belong to it, and you will find yourself involved in the sin of
schism.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. CI.--231. PETILIANUS said: "You therefore, who prefer rather
to be washed with the most false of baptisms than to be regenerate,
not only do not lay aside your sins, but also load your souls with
the offences of criminals. For as the water of the guilty has been
abandoned by the Holy Spirit, so it is clearly filled full of the
offences of the _traditors_. To any wretched man, then, who is baptized
by one of this sort, we would say, If you have wished to be free from
falsehood, you are really drenched with falsity. If you desired to shut
out the sins of the flesh, you will, as the conscience of the guilty
comes upon you, be partakers likewise of their guilt. If you wished to
extinguish the flames of avarice, you are drenched with deceit, you are
drenched with wickedness, you are drenched also with madness. Lastly,
if you believe that faith is identical in the giver and the receiver,
you are drenched with the blood of a brother by him who slays a man.
And so it comes to pass that you, who had come to baptism free from
sin, return from baptism guilty of the sin of murder."

232. AUGUSTINE answered: I should like to come to argument with those
who shouted assent when they either heard or read those words of yours.
For such men have not ears in their heart, but their heart in their
ears. Yet let them read again and again, and consider, and find out for
themselves, not what the sound of those words is, but what they mean.
First of all, to sift the meaning of the last clause, "So it comes
to pass," you say, "that you who had come to baptism free from sin,
return from baptism guilty of the sin of murder:" tell me, to begin
with, who there is that comes to baptism free from sin, with the single
exception of Him who came to be baptized, not that His iniquity should
be purged away, but that an example of humility might be given us? For
what shall be forgiven to one free from sin? Or are you indeed endowed
with such an eloquence, that you can show to us some innocence which
yet committeth sin? Do you not hear the words of Scripture saying, "No
one is clean from sin in Thy sight, not even the infant whose life is
but of a single day upon the earth?"[989] For whence else is it that
one hastens even with infants to seek remission of their sins? Do you
not hear the words of another Scripture, "In sin did my mother conceive
me?"[990] In the next place, if a man returns a murderer, who had come
without the guilt of murder, merely because he receives baptism at a
murderer's hands, then all they who returned from receiving baptism at
the hands of Optatus were made partakers with Optatus. Go now, and see
with what face you cast in our teeth that we excite the wrath of kings
against you. Are you not afraid that as many satellites of Gildo will
be sought for among you, as there are men who may have been baptized by
Optatus? Do you see at length how that sentence of yours, like an empty
bladder, has rattled not only with a meaningless sound, but on your own
head?

233. To go on to the other earlier arguments which you have set before
us to be refuted, they are of such a nature that we must needs allow
that every one returns from baptism endued with the character of him by
whom he is baptized; but God forbid that those whom you baptize should
return from you infected with the same madness as possesses you when
you make such a statement! And what a dainty sound there was in your
words, "You are drenched with deceit, you are drenched with wickedness,
you are drenched also with madness!" Surely you would never pour forth
words like this unless you were, not drenched, but filled even to
repletion with madness. Is it then true, to say nothing of the rest,
that all who come untainted with covetousness to receive baptism at the
hands of your covetous colleagues, or the priests of your party, return
guilty of covetousness, and that those who run in soberness to the
whirlpool of intoxication to be baptized return in drunkenness? If you
entertain and teach such views as this, you will have the effrontery
even to quote, as making against us, the passage which you advanced
some little time ago: "It is better to trust in the Lord than to put
any confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put
any confidence in princes."[991] What is the meaning of your teaching,
I would ask, save only this, that we should put our confidence, not in
the Lord, but in man, when you say that the baptized person is made
to resemble him who has baptized him? And since you assume this as the
fundamental principle of your baptism, are men to place their trust in
you? and are those to place their trust in princes who were disposed to
place it in the Lord? Truly I would bid them hearken not to you, but
rather to those proofs which you have urged against ourselves, ay, and
to words more awful yet; for not only is it written, "It is better to
trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man," but also, "Cursed be
the man that trusteth in man."[992]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. CII.--234. PETILIANUS said: "Imitate indeed the prophets, who
feared to have their holy souls deceived with false baptism. For
Jeremiah says of old that among impious men water is as one that lies.
'Water,' he says, 'that lies has not faith.'"

235. AUGUSTINE answered: Any one that hears these words, without
being acquainted with the Scriptures, and who does not believe that
you are either so far astray as not to know what you are saying, or
deceiving in such wise that he whom you have deceived should not know
what he says, would believe that the prophet Jeremiah, wishing to be
baptized, had taken precautions not to be baptized by impious men, and
had used these words with this intent. For what was your object in
saying, previous to your quotation of this passage, "Imitate indeed
the prophets, who feared to have their holy souls deceived with false
baptism?" Just as though, in the days of Jeremiah, any one were
washed with the sacrament of baptism, except so far as the Pharisees
almost every moment bathed themselves, and their couches and cups and
platters, with the washings which the Lord condemned, as we read in
the gospel.[993] How then could Jeremiah have said this, as though
he desired to be baptized, and sought to avoid being baptized by
impious men? He said it, then, when he was complaining of a faithless
people, by the corruption of whose morals he was vexed, not wishing
to associate with their deeds; and yet he did not separate himself
bodily from their congregation, nor seek other sacraments than those
which the people received as suitable to that time, according to the
law of Moses. To this people, therefore, in their evil mode of life,
he gave the name of "a wound," with which the heart of the righteous
man was grievously smitten, whether speaking thus of himself, or
foreshadowing in himself what he foresaw would come to pass. For he
speaks as follows: "O Lord, remember me, and visit me; make clear my
innocence before those who persecute me in no spirit of long-suffering:
know that for Thy sake I have suffered rebuke from those that scorn
Thy words. Make their portion complete; and Thy word shall be unto me
the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by Thy name, O
Lord God of hosts. I sat not in the assembly of the mockers, but was
afraid of the presence of Thy hand; I sat alone, because I was filled
with bitterness. Why do those who make me sad prevail against me? My
wound is grievous; whence shall I be healed? It is become unto me as
lying water, that has no faith."[994] In all this it is manifest what
the prophet wished to be understood, but manifest only to those who
do not wish to distort to their own perverse cause the meaning of
what they read. For Jeremiah says that his wound has become unto him
as lying water, which cannot inspire faith; but he wished that by his
wound those should be understood who made him sad by the evil conduct
of their lives. Whence also the apostle says, "Without were fightings,
within were fears;"[995] and again, "Who is weak, and I am not weak?
who is offended, and I burn not?"[996] And because he had no hopes that
they could be reformed, therefore he said, "Whence shall I be healed?"
as though his own pain must needs continue so long as those among whom
he was compelled to live continued what they were. But that a people
is commonly understood under the appellation of water is shown in the
Apocalypse, where we understand "many waters" to mean "many peoples,"
not by any conjecture of our own, but by an express explanation in
the place itself.[997] Abstain then from blaspheming the sacrament of
baptism from any misunderstanding, or rather error, even when found
in a man of most abandoned character; for not even in the lying Simon
was the baptism which he received a lying water,[998] nor do all the
liars of your party administer a lying water when they baptize in the
name of the Trinity. For neither do they begin to be liars only when
they are betrayed and convicted, and so forced to acknowledge their
misdeeds; but rather they were already liars, when, being adulterers
and accursed, they pretended to be chaste and innocent.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. CIII.--236. PETILIANUS said: "David also said, 'The oil of the
sinner shall not anoint my head.' Who is it, therefore, that he calls
a sinner? Is it I who suffer your violence, or you who persecute the
innocent?"

237. AUGUSTINE answered: As representing the body of Christ, which is
the Church of the living God, the pillar and mainstay of the truth,
dispersed throughout the world, on account of the gospel which was
preached, according to the words of the apostle, "to every creature
which is under heaven:"[999] as representing the whole world, of which
David, whose words you cannot understand, has said, "The world also
is stablished, that it cannot be moved;"[1000] whereas you contend
that it not only has been moved, but has been utterly destroyed: as
representing this, I answer, I do not persecute the innocent. But
David said, "The oil of the sinner," not of the _traditor_; not of
him who offers incense, not of the persecutor, but "of the sinner."
What then will you make of your interpretation? See first whether you
are not yourself a sinner. It is nothing to the point if you should
say, I am not a _traditor_, I am not an offerer of incense, I am not
a persecutor. I myself, by the grace of God, am none of these, nor
is the world, which cannot be moved. But say, if you dare, I am not
a sinner. For David says, "The oil of the sinner." For so long as
any sin, however light, be found in you, what ground have you for
maintaining that you are not concerned in the expression that is used,
"The oil of the sinner?" For I would ask whether you use the Lord's
prayer in your devotions? For if you do not use that prayer, which
our Lord taught His disciples for their use, where have you learned
another, proportioned to your merits, as exceeding the merits of the
apostles? But if you pray, as our great Master deigned to teach us,
how do you say, "Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that
trespass against us?" For in this petition we are not referring to
those sins which have already been forgiven us in baptism. Therefore
these words in the prayer either exclude you from being a petitioner
to God, or else they make it manifest that you too are a sinner. Let
those then come and kiss your head who have been baptized by you,
whose heads have perished through your oil. But see to yourself, both
what you are and what you think about yourself. Is it really true that
Optatus, whom pagans, Jews, Christians, men of our party, men of your
party, all proclaim throughout the whole of Africa to have been a
thief, a traitor, an oppressor, a contriver of schism; not a friend,
not a client, but a tool of him[1001] whom one of your party declared
to have been his count, companion, and god,--is it true that he was
not a sinner in any conceivable interpretation of the term? What then
will they do whose heads were anointed by one guilty of a capital
offence? Do not those very men kiss your heads, on whose heads you pass
so serious a judgment by this interpretation which you place upon the
passage? Truly I would bid you bring them forth, and admonish them to
heal themselves. Or is it rather your heads which should be healed, who
run so grievously astray? What then, you will ask, did David really
say? Why do you ask me? rather ask himself. He answers you in the verse
above: "The righteous shall smite me in kindness, and shall reprove me;
but let not the oil of the sinner anoint my head."[1002] What could
be plainer? what more manifest? I had rather, he says, be healed by a
rebuke administered in kindness, than be deceived and led astray by
smooth flattery, coming on me as an ointment on my head. The self-same
sentiment is found elsewhere in Scripture under other words: "Better
are the wounds of a friend than the proffered kisses of an enemy."[1003]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. CIV.--238. PETILIANUS said: "But he thus praises the ointment of
concord among brethren: 'Behold how good and how pleasant it is for
brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment
upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard; that
went down to the skirts of his garments; as the dew of Hermon, and as
the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord
commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.'[1004] Thus, he says,
is unity anointed, even as the priests are anointed."

239. AUGUSTINE answered: What you say is true. For that priesthood in
the body of Christ had an anointing, and its salvation is secured by
the bond of unity. For indeed Christ Himself derives His name from
chrism, that is, from anointing. Him the Hebrews call the Messiah,
which word is closely akin to the Phoenician language, as is the
case with very many other Hebrew words, if not with almost all.[1005]
What then is meant by the head in that priesthood, what by the beard,
what by the skirts of the garments? So far as the Lord enables me
to understand, the head is none other than the Saviour of the body,
of whom the apostle says, "And He is the head of the body, the
Church."[1006] By the beard is not unsuitably understood fortitude.
Therefore, on those who show themselves to be brave in His Church, and
cling to the light of His countenance, to preach the truth without
fear, there descends from Christ Himself, as from the head, a sacred
ointment, that is to say, the sanctification of the Spirit. By the
skirts of the garments we are here given to understand that which is at
the top of the garments, whereby the head of Him who gives the clothing
passes on its way. By this are signified those who are perfected in
faith within the Church. For in the skirts is perfection. And I presume
you must remember what was said to a certain rich man: "If thou wilt
be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and
thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come and follow me."[1007] He
indeed went away sorrowful, slighting what was perfect, choosing what
was imperfect. But does it follow that there were wanting those who
were so made perfect by such a surrender of earthly things, that the
ointment of unity descended upon them, as from the head upon the skirts
of the garments? For, putting aside the apostles, and those who were
immediately associated with those leaders and teachers of the Church,
whom we understand to be represented with greater dignity and more
conspicuous fortitude in the beard, read in the Acts of the Apostles,
and see those who "brought the prices of the things that were sold, and
laid them at the apostles' feet. Neither said any of them that ought
of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things
common: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had
need. And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of
one soul."[1008] I doubt not that you are aware that it is so written.
Recognise, therefore, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to
dwell together in unity. Recognise the beard of Aaron; recognise the
skirts of the spiritual garments. Search the Scriptures themselves,
and see where those things began to be done; you will find that it
was in Jerusalem. From this skirt of the garment is woven together
the whole fabric of unity throughout all nations. By this the Head
entered into the garment, that Christ should be clothed with all the
variety of the several nations of the earth, because in this skirt of
the garment appeared the actual variety of tongues. Why, therefore,
is the Head itself, whence that ointment of unity descended, that is,
the spiritual fragrance of brotherly love,--why, I say, is the Head
itself exposed to your resistance, while it testifies and declares that
"repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among
all nations, beginning at Jerusalem?"[1009] And by this ointment you
wish the sacrament of chrism to be understood, which is indeed holy
as among the class of visible signs, like baptism itself, but yet can
exist even among the worst of men, wasting their life in the works of
the flesh, and never destined to possess the kingdom of heaven, and
having therefore nothing to do either with the beard of Aaron, or with
the skirts of his garments, or with any fabric of priestly clothing.
For where do you intend to place what the apostle enumerates as "the
manifest works of the flesh, which," he says, "are these; fornication,
uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, poisonings, hatred, variance,
emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders,
drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before,
as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things
shall not inherit the kingdom of God?"[1010] I put aside fornications,
which are committed in secret; interpret uncleanness as you please,
I am willing to put it aside as well. Let us put on one side also
poisons, since no one is openly a compounder or giver of poisons. I
put aside also heresies, since you will have it so. I am in doubt
whether I ought to put aside idolatry, since the apostle classes with
it covetousness, which is openly rife among you. However, setting aside
all these, are there none among you lascivious, none covetous, none
open in their indulgence of enmities, none fond of strife, or fond of
emulation, wrathful, given to seditions, envious, drunken, wasting
their time in revellings? Are none of such a character anointed among
you? Do none die well known among you to be given to such things, or
openly indulging in them? If you say there are none, I would have you
consider whether you do not come under the description yourself, since
you are manifestly telling lies in the desire for strife. But if you
are yourself severed from men of this sort, not by bodily separation,
but by dissimilarity of life, and if you behold with lamentation
crowds like these around your altars, what shall we say, since they
are anointed with holy oil, and yet, as the apostle assures us with
the clearness of truth, shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Must we
do such impious despite to the beard of Aaron and to the skirts of his
garments, as to suppose that they are to be placed there? Far be that
from us. Separate therefore the visible holy sacrament, which can exist
both in the good and in the bad,--in the former for their reward, in
the latter for judgment; separate it from the invisible unction of
charity, which is the peculiar property of the good. Separate them,
separate them, ay, and may God separate you from the party of Donatus,
and call you back again into the Catholic Church, whence you were torn
by them while yet a catechumen, to be bound by them in the bond of a
deadly distinction. Now are ye not in the mountains of Zion, the dew
of Hermon on the mountains of Zion, in whatever sense that be received
by you; for you are not in the city upon a hill, which has this as
its sure sign, that it cannot be hid. It is known therefore unto
all nations. But the party of Donatus is unknown to the majority of
nations, therefore is it not the true city.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. CV.--240. PETILIANUS said: "Woe unto you, therefore, who, by
doing violence to what is holy, cut away the bond of unity; whereas the
prophet says, 'If the people shall sin, the priest shall pray for them:
but if the priest shall sin, who will pray for him?'"

241. AUGUSTINE answered: I seemed too a little while ago, when we were
disputing about the oil of the sinner, to anoint your forehead, in
order that you might say, if you dared, whether you yourself were not
a sinner. You have had the hardihood to say as much. What a portentous
sin! For in that you assert yourself to be a priest, what else have
you maintained by quoting this testimony of the prophet, save that you
are wholly without sin? For if you have sin, who is there that shall
pray for you, according to your interpretation of the words? For thus
you puff yourselves off in the ears of the wretched people, quoting
from the prophet: "If the people shall sin, the priest shall pray for
them: but if the priest shall sin, who will pray for him?"[1011] to
the intent that they may believe you to be without sin, and entrust
the wiping away of their sins to your prayers. Truly ye are great men,
exalted above your fellows, heavenly, godlike, angels indeed rather
than men, who pray for the people, and will not have the people pray
for you! Are you more righteous than Paul, more perfect than that great
apostle, who was wont to commend himself to the prayers of those whom
he taught? "Continue," he says, "in prayer, and watch in the same with
thanksgiving; withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a
door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also
in bonds; that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak."[1012] See
how prayer is made for an apostle, which you would have not made for a
bishop. Do you perceive of how devilish a nature your pride is? Prayer
is made for an apostle, that he may make manifest the mystery of Christ
as he ought to speak. Accordingly, if you had a pious people under
you, you ought to have exhorted them to pray for you, that you might
not give utterance as you ought not. Are you more righteous than the
evangelist John, who says, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive
ourselves, and the truth is not in us?"[1013] Finally, are you more
righteous than Daniel, whom you yourself quoted in this very epistle,
going so far as to say, "The most righteous king cast forth Daniel, as
he supposed, to be devoured by wild beasts?"--a thing which he never
did suppose, since he said to Daniel himself, in the most friendly
spirit, as the context of the lesson shows, "Thy God, whom thou servest
continually, He will deliver thee."[1014] But on this subject we have
already said much. With regard to the question now before us, viz. that
Daniel was most righteous, it is proved not by your testimony, though
that might be sufficient for me in the argument which I hold with you,
but by the testimony of the Spirit of God, speaking also by the mouth
of Ezekiel, where he named three men of most eminent righteousness,
Noah, Daniel, and Job, who, he said, were the only men that could be
saved from a certain excessive wrath of God, which was hanging over
all the rest.[1015] A man, therefore, of the highest righteousness,
one of three conspicuous for righteousness, prays, and says, "Whiles
I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin, and the sin of
my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my
God."[1016] And you say that you are without sin, because forsooth
you are a priest; and if the people sin, you pray for them: but if
you sin, who shall pray for you? For clearly by the impiety of such
arrogance you show yourself to be unworthy of the mediation of that
Priest whom the prophet would have to be understood in these words,
which you do not understand. For now that no one may ask why this was
said, I will explain it, so far as by God's grace I shall be able. God
was preparing the minds of men, by His prophet, to desire a Priest of
such a sort that none should pray for Him. He was Himself prefigured
in the times of the first people and the first temple, in which all
things were figures for our ensample. Therefore the high priest used to
enter alone into the holy of holies, that he might make supplication
for the people, which did not enter with the priest into that inner
sanctuary;[1017] just as our High Priest is entered into the secret
places of the heavens, into that truer holy of holies, whilst we for
whom He prays are still placed here.[1017] It is with this reference
that the prophet says, "If the people shall sin, the priest shall pray
for them: but if the priest shall sin, who will pray for him?" Seek
therefore a priest of such a kind that he cannot sin, nor need that
one should pray for him. And for this reason prayer is made for the
apostles by the people;[1018] but for that Priest who is the Master and
Lord of the apostles is prayer not made. Hear John confessing this, and
saying, "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin
not. And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus
Christ the righteous, and He is the propitiation for our sins."[1019]
"_We_ have," he says; and "for _our_ sins." I pray you, learn humility,
that you may not fall, or rather, that in time you may arise again. For
had you not already fallen, you never would have used such words.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. CVI.--242. PETILIANUS said: "And that none who is a layman may
claim to be free from sin, they are all bound by this prohibition: 'Be
not partakers of other men's sins.'"

243. AUGUSTINE answered: You are mistaken _toto coelo_, as the saying
is, by reason of your pride, whilst, by reason of your humility, you
are unwilling to communicate with the whole world. For, in the first
place, this was not spoken to a layman; and, in the second place, you
are wholly ignorant in what sense it was spoken. The apostle, writing
to Timothy, gives this warning to none other than Timothy himself, to
whom he says in another place, "Neglect not the gift that is in thee,
which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of
the presbytery."[1020] And by many other proofs it is made clear that
he was not a layman. But in that he says, "Be not partaker of other
men's sins,"[1021] he means, Be not partaker voluntarily, or with
consent. And hence he immediately subjoins directions how he shall
obey the injunction, saying, "Keep thyself pure." For neither was
Paul himself partaker of other men's sins, because he endured false
brethren, over whom he groans, in bodily unity; nor did the apostles
who preceded him partake of the thievery and crime of Judas, because
they partook of the holy supper with him when he had already sold his
Lord, and been pointed out as the traitor by that Lord.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. CVII.--244. PETILIANUS said: "By this sentence, again, the
apostle places in the same category those who have fellowship in the
consciousness of evil. 'Worthy of death,' he says, 'are both those
who do such things, and those who have pleasure in them that do
them.'"[1022]

245. AUGUSTINE answered: I care not in what manner you have used these
words, they are true. And this is the substance of the teaching of
the Catholic Church, that there is a great difference between those
who consent because they take pleasure in such things, and those who
tolerate while they dislike them. The former make themselves chaff,
while they follow the barrenness of the chaff; the latter are the
grain. Let them wait for Christ, who bears the winnowing-fan, that they
may be separated from the chaff.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. CVIII.--246. PETILIANUS said: "Come therefore to the Church, all
ye people, and flee the company of _traditors_, if you would not also
perish with them. For that you may the more readily know that, while
they are themselves guilty, they yet entertain an excellent opinion of
our faith, let me inform you that I baptize their polluted ones; they,
though may God never grant them such an opportunity, receive those who
are made mine by baptism,--which certainly they would not do if they
recognised any defects in our baptism. See therefore how holy that is
which we give, when even our sacrilegious enemy fears to destroy it."

247. AUGUSTINE answered: Against this error I have said much already,
both in this work and elsewhere. But since you think that in this
sentence you have so strong a confirmation of your vain opinions, that
you deemed it right to end your epistle with these words, that they
might remain as it were the fresher in the minds of your readers, I
think it well to make a short reply. We recognise in heretics that
baptism, which belongs not to the heretics but to Christ, in such sort
as in fornicators, in unclean persons or effeminate, in idolaters,
in poisoners, in those who are fond of contention, in the envious,
in drunkards, in revellers; and in men like these we hold valid the
baptism which is not theirs but Christ's. For of men like these, and
among them are included heretics also, none, as the apostle says, shall
inherit the kingdom of heaven.[1023] Nor are they to be considered
as being in the body of Christ, which is the Church, simply because
they are materially partakers of the sacraments. For the sacraments
indeed are holy, even in such men as these, and shall be of force in
them to greater condemnation, because they handle and partake of them
unworthily. But the men themselves are not within the constitution of
the Church, which grows in its members through connection and contact
with Christ, to the exaltation of God. For that Church is founded on a
rock, as the Lord says, "Upon this rock I will build my Church."[1024]
But they build on the sand, as the same Lord says, "Every one that
heareth these sayings, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a
foolish man, which built his house upon the sand."[1025] But that you
may not suppose that the Church which is upon a rock is in one part
only of the earth, and does not extend even to its furthest boundaries,
hear her voice groaning from the psalm, amid the evils of her
pilgrimage. For she says, "From the end of the earth will I cry unto
Thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the Rock that is higher
than I. For Thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from
the enemy."[1026] See how she cries from the end of the earth. She is
not therefore in Africa alone, nor only among the Africans, who send
a bishop from Africa to Rome to a few Montenses,[1027] and into Spain
to the house of one lady.[1028] See how she is exalted on a rock. All,
therefore, are not to be deemed to be in her which build upon the sand,
that is, which hear the words of Christ and do them not, even though
both among us and among you they have and transmit the sacrament of
baptism. See how her hope is in God the Father, the Son, and the Holy
Ghost,--not in Peter or in Paul, still less in Donatus or Petilianus.
What we fear, therefore, to destroy, is not yours, but Christ's;
and it is holy of itself, even in sacrilegious hands. For we cannot
receive those who come from you, unless we destroy in them whatsoever
appertains to you. For we destroy the treachery of the deserter, not
the stamp of the sovereign. Accordingly, do you yourself consider and
annul what you said: "I," say you, "baptize their polluted ones; they,
though may God never grant them such an opportunity, receive those who
are made mine by baptism." For you do not baptize men who are infected,
but you rebaptize them, so as to infect them. But we do not receive
men who are made yours by baptism; but we destroy that error of yours
whereby they are made yours, and we receive the baptism of Christ,
by which they are baptized. Therefore it is not without significance
that you introduce the words, "Though may God never grant them such
an opportunity." For you said, "They, though may God never grant them
such an opportunity, receive those who are made mine by baptism." And
in this, while you intend the meaning to be, "May God never give them
the opportunity of receiving such as are mine," I suppose that, without
knowing what it meant, you said, "May God never make them mine that you
should receive them." For we pray that those may not be really yours
who come over at the present moment to the Catholic Church. Nor do they
come over so as to be ours by right of baptism, but by fellowship with
us, and that with us they may belong to Christ, in virtue of their
baptism.

FOOTNOTES:

[683] Written about the beginning of 402 A.D.

[684] John i. 33.

[685] Rom. iv. 5.

[686] Jer. xvii. 5.

[687] I Cor. iv. 15.

[688] Phil. i. 17, 18.

[689] Phil. ii. 21.

[690] Matt. xxiii. 3.

[691] Matt. vii. 17, 16.

[692] Matt. xii. 35.

[693] Ecclus. xxxiv. 25; see on I. ix. 10.

[694] Matt. viii. 21, 22.

[695] See Matt. xii. 45.

[696] Rom. vi. 9.

[697] Acts viii. 13, 18, 19.

[698] 1 Tim. v. 6.

[699] Matt. xxvii. 4, 5.

[700] John xvii. 12.

[701] Ps. cix. 8, 9.

[702] 2 Macc. vii. 9. The words in brackets are not in the original
Greek.

[703] Ps. xxii. 16-18.

[704] Ps. xxii. 27, 28.

[705] Ps. ii. 8.

[706] Majorinus, ordained by the Numidian bishops in 311 A.D.

[707] Gal. iii. 29.

[708] Rom. viii. 17.

[709] Gen. xxii. 18.

[710] Luke xxiv. 46, 47.

[711] 1 Cor. v. 5.

[712] 1 Tim. i. 20.

[713] John ii. 15-17.

[714] John x. 37.

[715] John viii. 44.

[716] Matt. xxiii. 33-35.

[717] Ps. xiv. 5, from the LXX. only.

[718] Ps. xiv. 6.

[719] Another reading is, "_nos_ esse viperas."

[720] See below, c. xx. 46; and _Contra Crescon_. III. xlix. 54.

[721] Ps. xxii. 27.

[722] Gen. xxii. 18.

[723] Rom. iv. 3.

[724] Ps. lvii. 5.

[725] Ps. xix. 5.

[726] Luke xxiv. 44-47.

[727] Ps. xiv. 5-8, from the LXX., the last verse only being in the
Hebrew.

[728] Wisd. i. 11.

[729] Rom. iv. 5.

[730] Rom. iii. 26.

[731] John xx. 19, 21.

[732] Matt. vii. 15, 16.

[733] Matt. xxiv. 23.

[734] 2 Cor. xi. 14, 15.

[735] Gen. vi. 3.

[736] Matt. xxv. 41.

[737] 1 Cor. vi. 3.

[738] "Perdiderunt," which Migne thinks may be a confusion for
"perierunt."

[739] Novissimus.

[740] 1 Cor. xv. 9.

[741] 2 Cor. xi. 26.

[742] Portenta.

[743] Down to this point Augustine had already answered Petilianus in
the First Book, as he says himself below, III. 1. 61.

[744] Matt. x. 23.

[745] Matt. x. 16, 28.

[746] 1 Pet. iii. 15.

[747] Matt. v. 39.

[748] 1 Kings xviii.

[749] Wisd. xii. 23.

[750] Acts ix. 4, 5.

[751] Ps. cv. 15.

[752] Vivacem Christum.

[753] Rom. xiii. 2, 4.

[754] 1 John iii. 15.

[755] Acts ix. 4-18.

[756] John xiii. 10, 11.

[757] John xv. 3, 4.

[758] John xiv. 27.

[759] 1 Tim. i. 7.

[760] Mark x. 35-39.

[761] Matt. v. 10.

[762] Optatus Gildonianus is the person to whom he refers.

[763] Gildo, from subservience to whom Optatus received the name
Gildonianus, was "Comes Africæ." The play on the meanings of "Comes,"
in the expression "quod Comitem haberet Deum," is incapable of direct
translation. Cp. xxxvii. 88; ciii. 237.

[764] Ps. l. 18.

[765] Gal. vi. 5.

[766] Rom. xiv. 14.

[767] 1 Cor. vi. 10.

[768] Matt. xxv. 34, 41.

[769] John xiii. 10.

[770] Matt. xxviii. 19.

[771] Matt. xiii. 24-30, 36-43.

[772] Matt. iii. 12.

[773] Wisd. i. 5.

[774] Eph. iv. 5.

[775] Optatus.

[776] Gildo.

[777] See above, on xxiii. 53.

[778] Ps. cxxxii. 9.

[779] John xi. 51.

[780] Tit. i. 12, 13.

[781] Acts xvii. 23, 27, 28.

[782] Rom. xiii. 1.

[783] John xix. 11.

[784] John iii. 27.

[785] Matt. iii. 11.

[786] John xx. 22.

[787] Acts ii. 2-4.

[788] Isa. lxvi. 24.

[789] Matt. v. 14.

[790] 2 Sam. xii. 12.

[791] Ps. xix. 3-6, from the LXX.

[792] Eph. iv. 5.

[793] Matt. iii. 11.

[794] John xx. 22.

[795] Acts i. 5.

[796] Matt. xxviii. 19, 20.

[797] Matt. v. 9.

[798] See above, xxiii. 53.

[799] Acts i. 15, ii. 4, x. 44.

[800] Optatus Gildonianus.

[801] Gen. xxii. 18.

[802] Gal. vi. 5.

[803] Acts xix. 1-7.

[804] 1 Cor. x. 1, 2.

[805] Matt. xiii. 17.

[806] Matt. xi. 9, 11.

[807] Mark i. 2; cp. Mal. iii. 1.

[808] Mark i. 7.

[809] Matt. xxvi. 17.

[810] In his treatise on the Sermon on the Mount, Book II. iv. 12,
Augustine again compares the "celebratio octavarum dierum, quas in
regeneratione novi hominis celebramus" with the circumcision on the
eighth day; and in _Serm._ 376 he says that the heads of the rebaptized
were uncovered on the eighth day, as a token of liberty. Cp. _Epist._
II. xvii. 32, and Bingham, _Orig. Sacr._ XII. iv. 3.

[811] Augustine apparently supposed that the sacrifice of the paschal
lamb was still observed among the Jews of the dispersion; cp.
_Retract._ I. x. 2. It was, however, forbidden them to sacrifice the
Passover except in the place which the Lord should choose to place His
name there; and hence the Jews, though they observe the other paschal
solemnities, abstain from the sacrifice of the lamb.

[812] Matt. xxi. 25.

[813] Gildo; see above, xxiii. 53.

[814] See Isa. xlvi. 8.

[815] Luke xv. 32.

[816] Acts i. 7, 8.

[817] Dan. ii. 35.

[818] 1 John ii. 19.

[819] Apparently from Wisd. iii. 6.

[820] Prov. ii. 22.

[821] Matt. xiii. 24-30.

[822] Gen. xxii. 18.

[823] Ps. lxxiii. 26.

[824] Ps. xvi. 5.

[825] John xi. 51.

[826] Prov. ii. 22.

[827] Ps. ii. 8.

[828] Ps. xxii. 27.

[829] 2 Cor. vi. 14, 15.

[830] 1 Cor. i. 12, 13.

[831] Ps. cxix. 42.

[832] Acts i. 8.

[833] Ps. xix. 4.

[834] Ps. cxix. 122.

[835] Matt. xxi. 43.

[836] See Ps. cv. 44.

[837] Gal. iii. 27.

[838] Gal. vi. 4.

[839] Ps. xxiii.

[840] Ps. cxliv. 9.

[841] Ps. xcvi. 1.

[842] 1 Cor. xi. 29.

[843] 1 Cor. iv. 3.

[844] Job ii. 3, 4.

[845] Matt. v. 5-7.

[846] Ps. i. 1.

[847] Matt. xxiii. 2, 3.

[848] Isa. lxvi. 3.

[849] Hos. ix. 4.

[850] Tit. i. 15.

[851] In the Council of Bagai.

[852] Ps. xiv. 3, from the LXX.

[853] Matt. vii. 21.

[854] Matt. vi. 10.

[855] 2 Tim. ii. 24, 25.

[856] Matt. vii. 22, 23.

[857] 1 Cor. xiii. 2.

[858] Luke x. 20.

[859] Acts i. 8.

[860] Matt. vii. 22.

[861] 1 Tim. i. 8.

[862] Ps. lxxii. 8.

[863] Acts xxii. 25.

[864] Ex. xx. 13-17.

[865] Matt. xxi. 43.

[866] Matt. v. 19, 20.

[867] Matt. xxiii. 2, 3.

[868] 1 Cor. vi. 18.

[869] Matt. xii. 31, 32.

[870] Acts. i. 8.

[871] The older editions have, "Quam multum et quantum luctum dederint
Deo (Erasmus alone _ideo_) laudes amatorum vestrorum:" "How much
and how great grief have the praises of your lovers caused to God?"
Migne restored the reading translated above ("Quam multis ... _Deo
laudes_ armatorum vestrorum"), _Deo laudes_ being the cry of the
Circumcelliones. Cp. Aug. in Ps. cxxxii. 6: "A quibus plus timetur _Deo
laudes_ quam fremitus leonis;" and _ib._: "_Deo laudes_ vestrum plorant
homines."

[872] Gen. xxii. 18.

[873] Ps. cxli. 5, from the LXX.

[874] Matt. v. 3-9.

[875] Luke xxiv. 36, 45-47.

[876] Matt. xxii. 39.

[877] Eph. v. 29.

[878] Gal. v. 17.

[879] 2 Tim. iv. 2.

[880] Eph. iv. 1-3.

[881] See Jer. viii. 11.

[882] Ps. xlvi. 9.

[883] Dan. ii. 35.

[884] Eph. ii. 14.

[885] Matt. v. 10.

[886] Matt. xxiii. 13, 15, 23, 24, 27, 28.

[887] Matt. x. 16.

[888] John x. 27.

[889] Luke xxiv. 39, 46, 47.

[890] Matt. vii. 15, 16.

[891] 1 Cor. xi. 19.

[892] John xiii. 34, 35.

[893] 2 Cor. xi. 26.

[894] 1 Cor. xi. 1.

[895] Phil. ii. 20, 21.

[896] 2 Cor. vii. 5.

[897] 1 Cor. xiii. 1-8.

[898] Eph. iv. 2, 3.

[899] Matt. xiii. 38, 39, 30.

[900] Gal. i. 8.

[901] Ps. ci. 5.

[902] Luke ix. 49, 50.

[903] Phil. i. 15-18.

[904] 1 Cor. xiii. 6.

[905] See below, xciv. 217, and _c. Gaudentium_, I. xxv. 28 sqq.

[906] Rom. xiii. 4.

[907] Augustine speaks of the Moor Rogatus, bishop of Cartenna in
Mauritania Cæsariensis, in his ninety-third epistle, to Vincentius,
c. iii. 11. We learn from the eighty-seventh epistle, to Emeritus,
sec. 10, that the followers of Rogatus called the other Donatists
_Firmiani_, because they had been subjected to much cruelty at their
hands under the authority of Firmus.

[908] Optatus of Thaumugade, the friend of Gildo.

[909] Augustine mentions again in his thirty-fifth epistle, to
Eusebius, sec. 3, that Hippo had received the Roman citizenship. His
argument is that, even if not a native of the place, the deacon should
have been safe from molestation wherever Roman laws prevailed.

[910] Emphyteuticam. The land, therefore, was held under the emperors,
and less absolutely in the power of the owner than if it had been
freehold.

[911] Augustine remonstrates with Crispinus on the point, _Epist._ lxvi.


[913] See Ecclus. xv. 16, 17.

[914] Matt. v. 10; 1 Pet. ii. 20.

[915] Acts v. 29.

[916] Prov. xiv. 28.

[917] Luke xxiv. 46, 47.

[918] Acts i. 8.

[919] Ex. xxxii. 28, 31.

[920] Mal. i. 11.

[921] Ps. cxiii. 3.

[922] Ps. l. 14.

[923] 1 John iii. 15.

[924] Matt. iv. 6, 7.

[925] John xviii. 10, 11; Matt. xxvi. 52.

[926] Ps. cxx. 6, 7.

[927] See _Contr. Cresc._ l. III. c. lxvii., l. IV. cc. lx. lxi.

[928] John xii. 24.

[929] Veracissime. Another reading is "feracissime," "most abundantly."

[930] Matt. v. 39.

[931] 2 Cor. xi. 20, 23.

[932] Deut. xix. 21.

[933] 2 Mac. vii.

[934] Dan. iii.

[935] Matt. ii. 16.

[936] Dan. vi.

[937] Matt. xxvii. 26.

[938] 1 Cor. ii. 6-8.

[939] John xvi. 2.

[940] 1 Kings xxi.

[941] Matt. xiv. 8, 9.

[942] Matt. xxvii. 24-26.

[943] Ps. ii.

[944] Matt. xxvii. 24.

[945] Some editions have Varius in the place of Geta, referring to
Aurelius Antoninus Heliogabalus, of whom Lampridius asserts that he
derived the name of Varius from the doubtfulness of his parentage. The
MSS. agree, however, in the reading "Getano," which was a name of the
second son of Severus, the brother of Caracalla.

[946] Optatus defends the cause of Macarius at great length in his
third book against Parmenianus. Of Ursacius he says in the same place:
"You are offended at the times of a certain Leontius, of Ursacius,
Macarius, and others." And Augustine, in his third book against
Cresconius, c. xx., introduces an objection of the Donatists against
himself: "But so soon as Silvanus, bishop of Cirta, had refused to
communicate with Ursacius and Zenophilus the persecutors, he was
driven into exile," Usuardus, deceived by a false story made up by
the Donatists, enters in his Martyrology that a pseudo-martyr Donatus
suffered on the 1st of March, under Ursacius and Marcellinus, to this
effect: "On the same day of the holy martyr Donatus, who suffered under
Ursacius the judge and the tribune Marcellinus."

[947] 1 Kings xxi.

[948] Prov. xviii. 21.

[949] Constitutio quam impetraverunt. Some editions have "quam dederunt
Constantio;" but there is no place for Constantius in this history of
the Donatists, nor was any boon either sought or obtained from him in
their name. The Louvain editors therefore restored "constitutio," which
is the common reading of the MSS.

[950] Matt. vii. 3.

[951] Gen. xx.

[952] Gen. xxvi. 11.

[953] Gen. xlvii.

[954] Gen. xxxix., xli.

[955] Gen. xlii. 15.

[956] Ex. ii. 10.

[957] 1 Sam. xxvii.

[958] 1 Kings xviii. 44-46.

[959] 2 Kings iv. 13.

[960] Dan. iii.-vi.

[961] John xvi. 2.

[962] Phil. iii. 5, 6.

[963] Acts xxiii. 12-33.

[964] The reign of Constantine lasted about thirty-two years, from 306
to 337 A.D. Julian died, after an independent reign, subsequent to the
death of Constantius, of only one year and seven months, at the age of
thirty, in a war against the Persians, in 363 A.D.

[965] Gen. ix. 5.

[966] Ps. ii. 10-12.

[967] Ps. ii. 7, 8.

[968] Isa. ii. 18; Zech. xiii. 2.

[969] Simulacri; and so the MSS. The older editions have "adorandi
simulacra;" but the singular is more forcible in its special reference
to the image on the plain of Dura. Dan. iii.

[970] Dan. ii.-vi.

[971] This is illustrated by the words of Augustine, _Epist. 105, ad
Donatistas_, sec. 7: "Do ye not know that the words of the king were,
'I thought it good to show the signs and wonders that the high God
hath wrought toward me. How great are His signs! and how mighty are
His wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and His dominion
from generation to generation' (Dan. iv. 2, 3)? Do you not, when you
hear this, answer _Amen_, and by saying this in a loud voice, place
your seal on the king's decree by a holy and solemn act?" In the Gothic
liturgy this declaration was made on Easter Eve (when the third chapter
of Daniel is still read in the Roman Church), and the people answered
"_Amen_."

[972] Nam nemo vivit invitus; et tamen puer ut hoc volens discat,
invitus vapulat. Perhaps a better reading is, "Nam nemo _vult_ invitus;
et tamen puer ut volens discat," etc., leaving out "hoc," which is
wanting in the Fleury MSS.: "No one wishes against his will; and yet a
boy, wishing to learn, is beaten against his will."

[973] Gal. vi. 5.

[974] Luke xxiv. 47.

[975] Ps. cxviii. 8, 9.

[976] Acts xxiii. 12-33.

[977] Acts i. 8.

[978] Matt. xvi. 26.

[979] 1 Pet. ii. 20.

[980] Matt. v. 3.

[981] 2 Cor. vi. 10.

[982] Matt. xvi. 25.

[983] Matt. xix. 29.

[984] 1 Cor. xiii. 3.

[985] Acts i. 8.

[986] See above, c. lxxxiii.

[987] Matt. x. 28.

[988] Ps. lvii. 4.

[989] Job xiv., according to the LXX.

[990] Ps. li. 7.

[991] Ps. cxviii. 8, 9.

[992] Jer. xvii. 5.

[993] Matt. xxiii. 25.

[994] Jer. xv. 15-18, according to the LXX.

[995] 2 Cor. vii. 5.

[996] 2 Cor. xi. 29.

[997] Rev. xvii. 15.

[998] Acts viii. 13.

[999] Col. i. 23.

[1000] Ps. xciii. 1.

[1001] Gildo.

[1002] Ps. cxli. 5, from the LXX.

[1003] Prov. xxvii. 6, from the LXX.

[1004] Ps. cxxxiii.

[1005] Compare _Tract. 15 in Joannem_, n. 27: "Messiah was anointed.
The Greek for 'anointed' is 'Christ,' the Hebrew, Messiah; whence also
in Phoenician we have 'Messe' for 'anoint.' For these languages,
the Hebrew, Phoenician, and Syrian, are closely cognate, as well
as geographically bordering on each other." See also Max Müller's
_Lectures on the Science of Language_, series I. p. 267: "The ancient
language of Phoenicia, to judge from inscriptions, was most closely
allied to Hebrew."

[1006] Col. i. 18.

[1007] Matt. xix. 21.

[1008] Acts iv. 32-35.

[1009] Luke xxiv. 47.

[1010] Gal. v. 19-21.

[1011] Apparently misquoted from 1 Sam. ii. 25.

[1012] Col. iv. 2-4.

[1013] 1 John i. 8.

[1014] Dan. vi. 16.

[1015] Ezek. xiv. 14.

[1016] Dan. ix. 20.

[1017] Lev. xvi.; Heb. ix. 7.

[1018] Acts xiv. 22.

[1019] 1 John ii. 1, 2.

[1020] 1 Tim. iv. 14.

[1021] 1 Tim. v. 22.

[1022] See Rom. i. 32.

[1023] Gal. v. 19-21.

[1024] Matt. xvi. 18.

[1025] Matt. vii. 26.

[1026] Ps. lxi. 2, 3.

[1027] That the Donatists were called at Rome _Montenses_, is observed
by Augustine, _de Hoeresibus_, c. xxix., and _Epist._ liii. 2;
and before him by Optatus, Book II. That they were also called
_Cutzupitani_, or _Cutzupitæ_, we learn from the same epistle, and from
his treatise de _Unitate Ecclesæ_, c. iii.

[1028] Lucilla.



BOOK THIRD.

 IN THIS BOOK AUGUSTINE REFUTES THE SECOND LETTER[1029] WHICH
 PETILIANUS WROTE TO HIM AFTER HAVING SEEN THE FIRST OF AUGUSTINE'S
 EARLIER BOOKS. THIS LETTER HAD BEEN FULL OF VIOLENT LANGUAGE; AND
 AUGUSTINE RATHER SHOWS THAT THE ARGUMENTS of PETILIANUS HAD BEEN
 DEFICIENT AND IRRELEVANT, THAN BRINGS FORWARD ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT OF
 HIS OWN STATEMENTS.


CHAP. I.--1. Being able to read, Petilianus, I have read your letter,
in which you have shown with sufficient clearness that, in supporting
the party of Donatus against the Catholic Church, you have neither been
able to say anything to the purpose, nor been allowed to hold your
tongue. What violent emotions did you endure, what a storm of feelings
surged within your heart, on reading the answer which I made, with
all possible brevity and clearness, to that portion of your letter
which alone at that time had come into my hands! For you saw that the
truth which we maintain and defend was confirmed with such strength
of argument, and illustrated with such abundant light, that you could
not find anything which could be said against it, whereby the charges
which we make might be refuted. You observed, also, that the attention
of many who had read it was fixed on you, since they desired to know
what you would say, what you would do, how you would escape from the
difficulty, how you would make your way out of the strait in which the
word of God had encompassed you. Hereupon you, when you ought to have
shown contempt for the opinion of the foolish ones, and to have gone
on to adopt sound and truthful sentiments, preferred rather to do what
Scripture has foretold of men like you: "Thou hast loved evil more than
good, and lying rather than to speak righteousness."[1030] Just as if
I in turn were willing to recompense unto you railing for railing; in
which case, what should we be but two evil speakers, so that those who
read our words would either preserve their self-respect by throwing us
aside with abhorrence, or eagerly devour what we wrote to gratify their
malice? For my own part, since I answer every one, whether in writing
or by word of mouth, even when I have been attacked with insulting
accusations, in such language as the Lord puts in my mouth, restraining
and crushing the stings of empty indignation in the interests of my
hearer or reader, I do not strive to prove myself superior to my
adversary by abusing him, but rather to be a source of health in him by
convicting him of his error.

2. For if those who take into consideration what you have written have
any feelings whatsoever, how did it serve you in the cause which is at
issue between us respecting the Catholic communion and the party of
Donatus, that, leaving a matter which was in a certain sense of public
interest, you should have been led by private animosity to attack the
life of an individual with malicious revilings, just as though that
individual were the question in debate? Did you think so badly, I do
not say of Christians, but of the whole human race, as not to suppose
that your writings might come into the hands of some prudent men,
who would lay aside all thoughts of individuals like us, and inquire
rather into the question which was at issue between us, and pay heed,
not to who and what we were, but to what we might be able to advance
in defence of the truth or against error? You should have paid respect
to these men's judgment, you should have guarded yourself against
their censure, lest they should think that you could find nothing to
say, unless you set before yourself some one whom you might abuse by
any means within your power. But one may see by the thoughtlessness
and foolishness of some men, who listen eagerly to the quarrels of
any learned disputants, that while they take notice of the eloquence
wherewith you lavish your abuse, they do not perceive with what truth
you are refuted. At the same time, I think your object partly was
that I might be driven, by the necessity of defending myself, to
desert the very cause which I had undertaken; and that so, while men's
attention was turned to the words of opponents who were engaged not in
disputation, but in quarrelling, the truth might be obscured, which
you are so afraid should come to light and be well known among men.
What therefore was I to do in opposing such a design as this, except to
keep strictly to my subject, neglecting rather my own defence, praying
withal that no personal calumny may lead me to withdraw from it? I will
exalt the house of my God, whose honour I have loved, with the tribute
of a faithful servant's voice, but myself I will humiliate and hold of
no account. "I had rather be a door-keeper in the house of my God, than
to dwell in the tents of unrighteousness."[1031] I will therefore turn
my discourse from you, Petilianus, for a time, and direct it rather to
those whom you have endeavoured to turn away from me by your revilings,
as though my endeavour rather were that men should be converted unto
me, and not rather with me unto God.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. II.--3. Hear therefore, all ye who have read his revilings, what
Petilianus has vented against me with more anger than consideration.
To begin with, I will address you in the words of the apostle, which
certainly are true, whatever I myself may be: "Let a man so account of
us as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.
Moreover, it is required of stewards, that a man be found faithful.
But with me it is a very small matter that I should be judged of you,
or of man's judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self." With regard
to what immediately follows, although I do not venture to apply to
myself the words, "For I am conscious of nothing in myself,"[1032] yet
I say confidently in the sight of God, that I am conscious in myself
of none of those charges which Petilianus has brought against my life
since the time when I was baptized in Christ; "yet am I not hereby
justified: but He that judgeth me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing
before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the
hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the
hearts; and then shall every man have praise of God. And these things,
brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself; that ye might learn
in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of
you be puffed up for one against another."[1033] "Therefore let no
man glory in men: for all things are yours; and ye are Christ's; and
Christ is God's."[1034] Again I say, "Let no man glory in men;" nay,
oftentimes I repeat it, "Let no man glory in men." If you perceive
anything in us which is deserving of praise, refer it all to His
praise, from whom is every good gift and every perfect gift; for it
is "from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom
is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."[1035] For what have
we which we did not receive? and if we have received it, let us not
boast as though we had not received it.[1036] And in all these things
which you know to be good in us, be ye our followers, at any rate, if
we are Christ's;[1037] but if, on the other hand, you either suspect,
or believe, or see that any evil is in us, hold fast to that saying of
the Lord's, in which you may safely resolve not to desert His Church
because of men's ill deeds: Whatsoever we bid you observe, that observe
and do; but whatsoever evil works you think or know to be in us, those
do ye not.[1038] For this is not the time for me to justify myself
before you, when I have undertaken, neglecting all considerations of
self, to recommend to you what is for your salvation, that no one
should make his boast of men. For "cursed be the man that trusteth in
man."[1039] So long as this precept of the Lord and His apostle be
adhered to and observed, the cause which I serve will be victorious,
even if I myself, as my enemy would fain have thought, am faint and
oppressed in my own cause. For if you cling most firmly to what I
urge on you with all my might, that every one is cursed who places
his trust in man, so that none should make his boast of man, then you
will in no wise desert the threshing-floor of the Lord on account of
the chaff which either is now being dispersed beneath the blast of the
wind of pride, or will be separated by the final winnowing;[1040]
nor will you fly from the great house on account of the vessels made
to dishonour;[1041] nor will you quit the net through the breaches
made in it because of the bad fish which are to be separated on the
shore;[1042] nor will you leave the good pastures of unity, because of
the goats which are to be placed on the left when the Good Shepherd
shall divide the flock;[1043] nor will you separate yourselves by
an impious secession, because of the mixture of the tares, from the
society of that good wheat, whose source is that grain that dies and is
multiplied thereby, and that grows together throughout the world until
the harvest. For the field is the world,--not only Africa; and the
harvest is the end of the world,[1044]--not the era of Donatus.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. III.--4. These comparisons of the gospel you doubtless recognise.
Nor can we suppose them given for any other purpose, except that no
one should make his boast in man, and that no one should be puffed up
for one against another, or divided one against another, saying, "I am
of Paul," when certainly Paul was not crucified for you, nor were you
baptized in the name of Paul, much less in that of Cæcilianus, or of
any one of us,[1045] that you may learn, that so long as the chaff is
being bruised with the corn, so long as the bad fishes swim together
with the good in the nets of the Lord, till the time of separation
shall come, it is your duty rather to endure the admixture of the bad
out of consideration for the good, than to violate the principle of
brotherly love towards the good from any consideration of the bad.
For this admixture is not for eternity, but for time alone; nor is it
spiritual, but corporal. And in this the angels will not be liable
to err, when they shall collect the bad from the midst of the good,
and commit them to the burning fiery furnace. For the Lord knoweth
those which are His. And if a man cannot depart bodily from those who
practise iniquity so long as time shall last, at any rate, let every
one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity itself.[1046]
For in the meantime he may separate himself from the wicked in life,
and in morals, and in heart and affections, and in the same respects
depart from his society; and separation such as this should always be
maintained. But let the separation in the body be waited for till the
end of time, faithfully, patiently, bravely. In consideration of which
expectation it is said, "Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and
He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, upon the Lord."[1047]
For the greatest palm of toleration is won by those who, among false
brethren that have crept in unawares, seeking their own, and not the
things of Jesus Christ, yet show that they on their part seek not to
disturb the love which is not their own, but Jesus Christ's, by any
turbulent or rash dissension, nor to break the unity of the Lord's
net, in which are gathered together fish of every kind, till it is
drawn to the shore, that is, till the end of time, by any wicked strife
fostered in the spirit of pride: whilst each might think himself to
be something, being really nothing, and so might lead himself astray,
and wish that sufficient reason might be found for the separation
of Christian peoples in the judgment of himself or of his friends,
who declare that they know beyond all question certain wicked men
unworthy of communion in the sacraments of the Christian religion:
though whatever it may be that they know of them, they cannot persuade
the universal Church, which, as it was foretold, is spread abroad
throughout all nations, to give credit to their tale. And when they
refuse communion with these men, as men whose character they know, they
desert the unity of the Church; whereas they ought rather, if there
really were in them that charity which endureth all things, themselves
to bear what they know in one nation, lest they should separate
themselves from the good whom they were unable throughout all nations
to fill with the teaching of evil alien to them. Whence even, without
discussing the case, in which they are convicted by the weightiest
proofs of having uttered calumnies against the innocent, they are
believed with greater probability to have invented false charges of
giving up the sacred books, when they are found to have themselves
committed the far more heinous crime of wicked division in the Church.
For even, if whatever imputations they have cast of giving up the
sacred books were true, yet they in no wise ought to have abandoned
the society of Christians, who are commended by holy Scripture even to
the ends of the world, on considerations which they have been familiar
with, while these men showed that they were not acquainted with them.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. IV.--5. Nor would I therefore be understood to urge that
ecclesiastical discipline should be set at naught, and that every one
should be allowed to do exactly as he pleased, without any check,
without a kind of healing chastisement, a lenity which should inspire
fear, the severity of love. For then what will become of the precept
of the apostle, "Warn them that are unruly, comfort the feeble-minded,
support the weak, be patient toward all men; see that none render evil
for evil unto any man?"[1048] At any rate, when he added these last
words, "See that none render evil for evil unto any man," he showed
with sufficient clearness that there is no rendering of evil for evil
when one chastises those that are unruly, even though for the fault of
unruliness be administered the punishment of chastising. The punishment
of chastising therefore is not an evil, though the fault be an evil.
For indeed it is the steel, not of an enemy inflicting a wound, but of
a surgeon performing an operation. Things like this are done within
the Church, and that spirit of gentleness within its pale burns with
zeal towards God, lest the chaste virgin which is espoused to one
husband, even Christ, should in any of her members be corrupted from
the simplicity which is in Christ, as Eve was beguiled by the subtilty
of the serpent.[1049] Notwithstanding, far be it from the servants of
the father of the family that they should be unmindful of the precept
of their Lord, and be so inflamed with the fire of holy indignation
against the multitude of the tares, that while they seek to gather them
in bundles before the time, the wheat should be rooted up together with
them. And of this sin these men would be held to be guilty, even though
they showed that those were true charges which they brought against the
_traditors_ whom they accused; because they separated themselves in a
spirit of impious presumption, not only from the wicked, whose society
they professed to be avoiding, but also from the good and faithful in
all nations of the world, to whom they could not prove the truth of
what they said they knew; and with themselves they drew away into the
same destruction many others over whom they had some slight authority,
and who were not wise enough to understand that the unity of the Church
dispersed throughout the world was on no account to be forsaken for
other men's sins. So that, even though they themselves knew that they
were pressing true charges against certain of their neighbours, yet in
this way a weak brother, for whom Christ died, was perishing through
their knowledge;[1050] whilst, being offended at other men's sins, he
was destroying in himself the blessing of peace which he had with the
good brethren, who partly had never heard such charges, partly had
shrunk from giving hasty credence to what was neither discussed nor
proved, partly, in the peaceful spirit of humility, had left these
charges, whatsoever they might be, to the cognizance of the judges of
the Church, to whom the whole matter had been referred, across the sea.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. V.--6. Do you, therefore, holy scions of our one Catholic
mother, beware with all the watchfulness of which you are capable,
in due submission to the Lord, of the example of sin and error such
as this. With however great light of learning and of reputation he
may shine, however much he may boast himself to be a precious stone,
who endeavours to lead you after him, remember always that that brave
woman who alone is lovely only to her husband, whom holy Scripture
portrays to us in the last chapter of the Book of Proverbs, is more
precious than any precious stones. Let no one say, I will follow
such an one, for it was even he that made me a Christian; or, I will
follow such an one, for it was even he that baptized me. For "neither
is he that planteth anything, neither he that watereth, but God that
giveth the increase."[1051] And "God is love; and he that dwelleth
in love, dwelleth in God, and God in him."[1052] No one also that
preaches the name of Christ, and handles or administers the sacrament
of Christ, is to be followed in opposition to the unity of Christ.
"Let every man prove his own work; and then shall he have rejoicing
in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his
own burden,"[1053]--the burden, that is, of rendering an account; for
"every one of us shall give an account of himself. Let us not therefore
judge one another any more."[1054] For, so far as relates to the
burdens of mutual love, "bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil
the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when
he is nothing, he deceiveth himself."[1055] Let us therefore "forbear
one another in love, endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in
the bond of peace;"[1056] for no one who gathers outside that peace is
gathering with Christ; but "he that gathereth not with Him scattereth
abroad."[1057]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. VI.--7. Furthermore, whether concerning Christ, or concerning His
Church, or any other matter whatsoever which is connected with your
faith and life, to say nothing of ourselves, who are by no means to be
compared with him who said, "Though we," at any rate, as he went on to
say, "Though an angel from heaven preach any other gospel unto you than
that which" ye have received in the lawful and evangelical Scriptures,
"let him be accursed."[1058] While carrying out this principle of
action in our dealings with you, and with all whom we desire to gain
in Christ, and, amongst other things, while preaching the holy Church
which we read of as promised in the epistles of God, and see to be
fulfilled according to the promises in all nations of the world, we
have earned, not the rendering of thanks, but the flames of hatred,
from those whom we desire to have attracted into His most peaceful
bosom; as though we had bound them fast in that party for which they
cannot find any defence that they should make; or as though we so
long before had given injunctions to prophets and apostles that they
should insert in their books no proofs by which it might be shown that
the party of Donatus was the Church of Christ. And we indeed, dear
brethren, when we hear false charges brought against us by those whom
we have offended by preaching the eloquence of truth, and confuting
the vanity of error, have, as you know, the most abundant consolation.
For if, in the matters which they lay to my charge, the testimony of
my conscience does not stand against me in the sight of God, where
no mortal eye can reach, not only ought I not to be cast down, but I
should even rejoice and be exceeding glad, for great is my reward in
heaven.[1059] For in fact I ought to consider, not how bitter, but how
false is what I hear, and how true He is in defence of whose name I am
exposed to it, and to whom it is said, "Thy name is as ointment poured
forth."[1060] And deservedly does it smell sweet in all nations, though
those who speak evil of us endeavour to confine its fragrance within
one corner of Africa. Why therefore should we take amiss that we are
reviled by men who thus detract from the glory of Christ, whose party
and schism find offence in what was foretold so long before of His
ascent into the heavens, and of the pouring forth of His name, as of
the savour of ointment: "Be Thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: let
Thy glory be above all the earth?"[1061]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. VII.--8. Whilst we bear the testimony of God to this and the
like effect against the vain speaking of men, we are forced to undergo
bitter insults from the enemies of the glory of Christ. Let them say
what they will, whilst He exhorts us, saying, "Blessed are they which
are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of
heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you,
and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake."
What He says in the first instance, "for righteousness' sake," He has
repeated in the words that He uses afterwards, "for my sake;" seeing
that He "is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification,
and redemption: that, according as it is written, He that glorieth,
let him glory in the Lord."[1062] And when He says, "Rejoice, and be
exceeding glad, for great is your reward in heaven,"[1063] if I hold in
a good conscience what is said "for righteousness' sake," and "for my
sake," whosoever wilfully detracts from my reputation is against his
will contributing to my reward. For neither did He only instruct me by
His word, without also confirming me by His example. Follow the faith
of the holy Scriptures, and you will find that Christ rose from the
dead, ascended into heaven, sitteth at the right hand of the Father.
Follow the charges brought by His enemies, and you will presently
believe that He was stolen from the sepulchre by His disciples. Why
then should we, while defending His house to the best of the abilities
given us by God, expect to meet with any other treatment from His
enemies? "If they have called the Master of the house Beelzebub, how
much more shall they call them of His household?"[1064] If, therefore,
we suffer, we shall also reign with Him. But if it be not only the
wrath of the accuser that strikes the ear, but also the truth of the
accusation that stings the conscience, what does it profit me if the
whole world were to exalt me with perpetual praise? So neither the
eulogy of him who praises has power to heal a guilty conscience, nor
does the insult of him who reviles wound the good conscience. Nor,
however, is your hope which is in the Lord deceived, even though we
chance to be in secret what our enemies wish us to be thought; for you
have not placed your hope in us, nor have you ever heard from us any
doctrine of the kind. You therefore are safe, whatever we may be, who
have learned to say, "I have trusted in the Lord; therefore I shall not
slide;"[1065] and "In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid
what man can do unto me."[1066] And to those who endeavour to lead you
astray to the earthly heights of proud men, you know how to answer, "In
the Lord put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your
mountain?"[1067]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. VIII.--9. Nor is it only you that are safe, whatever we may be,
because you are satisfied with the very truth of Christ which is in
us, in so far as it is preached through us, and everywhere throughout
the world, and because, listening to it willingly, so far as it is set
forth by the humble ministry of our tongue, you also think well and
kindly of us,--for so your hope is in Him whom we preach to you out of
His loving-kindness, which extends over you,--but further, all of you,
who also received the sacrament of holy baptism from our ministering,
may well rejoice in the same security, seeing that you were baptized,
not into us, but into Christ. You did not therefore put on us, but
Christ; nor did I ask you whether you were converted unto me, but unto
the living God; nor whether you believed in me, but in the Father,
the Son, and the Holy Ghost. But if you answered my question with
truthful hearts, you were placed in a state of salvation, not by the
putting away of the filth of the flesh, but by the answer of a good
conscience towards God;[1068] not by a fellow-servant, but by the Lord;
not by the herald, but by the judge. For it is not true, as Petilianus
inconsiderately said, that "the conscience of the giver," or, as he
added, "the conscience of him who gives in holiness, is what we look
for to wash the conscience of the recipient." For when something is
given that is of God, it is given in holiness, even by a conscience
which is not holy. And certainly it is beyond the power of the
recipient to discern whether the said conscience is holy or not holy;
but that which is given he can discern with clearness. That which is
known to Him who is ever holy is received with perfect safety, whatever
be the character of the minister at whose hands it is received. For
unless the words which are spoken from Moses' seat were necessarily
holy, He that is the Truth would never have said, "Whatsoever they bid
you observe, that observe and do." But if the men who uttered holy
words were themselves holy, He would not have said, "Do not ye after
their works: for they say, and do not."[1069] For it is true that in no
way do men gather grapes of thorns, because grapes never spring from
the root of a thorn; but when the shoot of the vine has entwined itself
in a thorn hedge, the fruit which hangs upon it is not therefore looked
upon with dread, but the thorn is avoided, while the grape is plucked.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. IX.--10. Therefore, as I have often said before, and am desirous
to bring home to you, whatsoever we may be, you are safe, who have God
for your Father and His Church for your mother. For although the goats
may feed in company with the sheep, yet they shall not stand on the
right hand; although the chaff may be bruised together with the wheat,
it shall not be gathered into the barn; although the bad fish may swim
in company with the good within the Lord's nets, they shall not be
gathered into vessels. Let no man make his boast even in a good man:
let no man shun the good gifts of God even in a bad man.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. X.--11. Let these things suffice you, my beloved Christian
brethren of the Catholic Church, so far as the present business is
concerned; and if you hold fast to this in Catholic affection, so
long as you are one sure flock of the one Shepherd, I am not too much
concerned with the abuse that any enemy may lavish on me, your partner
in the flock, or, at any rate, your watch-dog, so long as he compels
me to bark rather in your defence than in my own. And yet, if it were
necessary for the cause that I should enter on my own defence, I should
do so with the greatest brevity and the greatest ease, joining freely
with all men in condemning and bearing witness against the whole period
of my life before I received the baptism of Christ, so far as relates
to my evil passions and my errors, lest, in defending that period,
I should seem to be seeking my own glory, not His, who by His grace
delivered me even from myself. Wherefore, when I hear that life of
mine abused, in whatever spirit he may be acting who abuses it, I am
not so thankless as to be grieved. However much he finds fault with
any vice of mine, I praise him in the same degree as my physician. Why
then should I disturb myself about defending those past and obsolete
evils in my life, in respect of which, though Petilianus has said much
that is false, he has yet left more that is true unsaid? But concerning
that period of my life which is subsequent to my baptism, to you who
know me I speak unnecessarily in telling of those things which might be
known to all mankind; but those who know me not ought not to act with
such unfairness towards me as to believe Petilianus rather than you
concerning me. For if one should not give credence to the panegyrics of
a friend, neither should one believe the detraction of an enemy. There
remain, therefore, those things which are hidden in a man, in which
conscience alone can bear testimony, which cannot be a witness before
men. Herein Petilianus says that I am a Manichæan, speaking of the
conscience of another man; I, speaking of my own conscience, aver that
I am not. Choose which of us you had sooner believe. Notwithstanding,
since there is not any need even of this short and easy defence on my
part, where the question at issue is not concerning the merits of any
individual, whoever he may be, but concerning the truth[1070] of the
whole Church, I have more also to say to any of you, who, being of the
party of Donatus, have read the evil words which Petilianus has written
about me, which I should not have heard from him if I had had no care
about the loss of your salvation; but then I should have been wanting
in the bowels of Christian love.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XI.--12. What wonder is it then, if, when I draw in the grain
that has been shaken forth from the threshing-floor of the Lord,
together with the soil and chaff, I suffer injury from the dust that
rebounds against me; or that, when I am diligently seeking after the
lost sheep of my Lord, I am torn by the briars of thorny tongues? I
entreat you, lay aside for a time all considerations of party feeling,
and judge with some degree of fairness between Petilianus and myself.
I am desirous that you should be acquainted with the cause of the
Church; he, that you should be familiar with mine. For what other
reason than because he dares not bid you disbelieve my witnesses,
whom I am constantly citing in the cause of the Church,--for they
are prophets and apostles, and Christ Himself, the Lord of prophets
and apostles,--whereas you easily give him credit in whatever he may
choose to say concerning me, a man against a man, and one, moreover, of
your own party against a stranger to you? Petilianus therefore reigns
supreme. Whenever he aims any abuse at me, of whatever character it may
be, you all applaud and shout assent. This cause he has found wherein
the victory is possible for him, but only with you for judges. He will
seek for neither proof nor witness; for all that he has to prove in his
words is this, that he lavishes most copious abuse on one whom you most
cordially hate. For whereas, when the testimony of divine Scripture is
quoted in such abundance and in such express terms in favour of the
Catholic Church, he remains silent amidst your grief, he has chosen
for himself a subject on which he may speak amidst applause from you;
and though really conquered, yet, pretending that he stands unmoved,
he may make statements concerning me like this, and even worse than
this. It is enough for me,[1071] in respect of the cause which I am
now pleading, that whatsoever I may be found to be, yet the Church for
which I speak is unconquered.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XII.--13. For I am a man of the threshing-floor of Christ: if
a bad man, then part of the chaff; if good, then of the grain. The
winnowing-fan of this threshing-floor is not the tongue of Petilianus;
and hereby, whatever evil he may have uttered, even with truth, against
the chaff of this threshing-floor, this in no way prejudices its grain.
But whereinsoever he has cast any revilings or calumnies against the
grain itself, its faith is tried on earth, and its reward increased
in the heavens. For where men are holy servants of the Lord, and are
fighting with holiness for God, not against Petilianus, or any flesh
and blood like him, but against principalities and powers, and the
rulers of the darkness of this world,[1072] such as are all enemies
of the truth, to whom I would that we could say, "Ye were sometimes
darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord,"[1073]--where the servants
of God, I say, are waging such a war as this, then all the calumnious
revilings that are uttered by their enemies, which cause an evil report
among the malicious and those that are rash in believing, are weapons
on the left hand: it is with such as these that even the devil is
defeated. For when we are tried by good report, whether we resist the
exaltation of ourselves to pride, and are tried by evil report, whether
we love even those very enemies by whom it is invented against us,
then we overcome the devil by the armour of righteousness on the right
hand and on the left. For when the apostle had used the expression,
"By the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,"
he at once goes on to say, as if in explanation of the terms, "By
honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report,"[1074] and so
forth,--reckoning honour and good report among the armour on the right
hand, dishonour and evil report among that upon the left.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XIII.--14. If, therefore, I am a servant of the Lord, and a
soldier that is not reprobate, with whatever eloquence Petilianus
stands forth reviling me, ought I in any way to be annoyed that he has
been appointed for me as a most accomplished craftsman of the armour
on the left? It is necessary that I should fight in this armour as
skilfully as possible in defence of my Lord, and should smite with
it the enemy against whom I wage an unseen fight, who in all cunning
strives and endeavours, with the most perverse and ancient craftiness,
that this should lead me to hate Petilianus, and so be unable to
fulfil the command which Christ has given, that we should "love our
enemies."[1075] But from this may I be saved by the mercy of Him who
loved me, and gave Himself for me, so that, as He hung upon the cross,
He said, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do;"[1076]
and so taught me to say of Petilianus, and all other enemies of mine
like him, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do."

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XIV.--15. Furthermore, if I have obtained from you, in accordance
with my earnest endeavours, that, laying aside from your minds all
prejudice of party, you should be impartial judges between Petilianus
and myself, I will show to you that he has not replied to what I
wrote, that you may understand that he has been compelled by lack
of truth to abandon the dispute, and also see what revilings he has
allowed himself to utter against the man who so conducted it that he
had no reply to make. And yet what I am going to say displays itself
with such manifest clearness, that, even though your minds were
estranged from me by party prejudice and personal hatred, yet, if
you would only read what is written on both sides, you could not but
confess among yourselves, in your inmost hearts, that I have spoken
truth.

16. For, in replying to the former part of his writings, which then
alone had come into my hands, without taking any notice of his wordy
and sacrilegious revilings, where he says, "Let those men cast in our
teeth our twice-repeated baptism, who, under the name of baptism,
have polluted their souls with a guilty washing; whom I hold to be so
obscene that no manner of filth is less clean than they; whose lot
it has been, by a perversion of cleanliness, to be defiled by the
water wherein they washed;" I thought that what follows was worthy
of discussion and refutation, where he says, "For what we look for
is the conscience of the giver, that the conscience of the recipient
may thereby be cleansed;" and I asked what means were to be found for
cleansing one who receives baptism when the conscience of the giver is
polluted, without the knowledge of him who is to receive the sacrament
at his hands.[1077]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XV.--17. Read now the most profuse revilings which he has poured
forth whilst puffed up with indignation against me, and see whether
he has given me any answer, when I ask what means are to be found for
cleansing one who receives baptism when the conscience of the giver
is polluted, without the knowledge of him who receives the sacrament
at his hands. I beg of you to search minutely, to examine every page,
to reckon every line, to ponder every word, to sift the meaning of
each syllable, and tell me, if you can discover it, where he has made
answer to the question, What means are to be found for cleansing the
conscience of the recipient who is unaware that the conscience of the
giver is polluted?

18. For how did it bear upon the point that he added a phrase which
he said was suppressed by me, maintaining that he had written in the
following terms: "The conscience of him who gives in holiness is
what we look for to cleanse the conscience of the recipient?" For to
prove to you that it was not suppressed by me, its addition in no way
hinders my inquiry, or makes up the deficiency which was found in him.
For in the face of those very words I ask again, and I beg of you to
see whether he has given any answer, If "the conscience of him who
gives in holiness is what we look for to cleanse the conscience of the
recipient," what means are to be found for cleansing the conscience of
the recipient when the conscience of the giver is stained with guilt,
without the knowledge of him who is to receive the sacrament at his
hands? I insist upon an answer being given to this. Do not allow that
any one should be prejudiced by revilings irrelevant to the matter in
hand. If the conscience of him who gives in holiness is what we look
for,--observe that I do not say "the conscience of him who gives,"
but that I added the words, "of him who gives in _holiness_,"--if the
conscience, then, of him who gives in holiness is what we look for,
what means are to be found for cleansing one who receives baptism when
the conscience of the giver is polluted, without the knowledge of him
who is to receive the sacrament at his hands?

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XVI.--19. Let him go now, and with panting lungs and swollen
throat find fault with me as a mere dialectician. Nay, let him summon,
not me, but the science of dialectics itself, to the bar of popular
opinion as a forger of lies, and let him open his mouth to its widest
against it, with all the noisiest uproar of a special pleader. Let him
say whatever he pleases before the inexperienced, that so the learned
may be moved to wrath, while the ignorant are deceived. Let him call
me, in virtue of my rhetoric, by the name of the orator Tertullus,
by whom Paul was accused;[1078] and let him give himself the name of
Advocate,[1079] in virtue of the pleading in which he boasts his
former power, and for this reason delude himself with the notion that
he is, or rather was, a namesake of the Holy Ghost. Let him, with all
my heart, exaggerate the foulness of the Manichæans, and endeavour to
divert it on to me by his barking. Let him quote all the exploits of
those who have been condemned, whether known or unknown to me; and let
him turn into the calumnious imputation of a prejudged crime, by some
new right entirely his own, the fact that a former friend of mine there
named me in my absence to the better securing of his own defence. Let
him read the titles that have been placed upon my letters by himself or
by his friends, as suited their pleasure, and boast that he has, as it
were, involved me hopelessly in their expressions. When I acknowledge
certain eulogies of bread, uttered in all simplicity and merriment, let
him take away my character with the absurd imputations of poisonous
baseness and madness. And let him entertain so bad an opinion of your
understanding, as to imagine that he can be believed when he declares
that pernicious love-charms were given to a woman, not only with the
knowledge, but actually with the complicity[1080] of her husband. What
the man who was afterwards to ordain me bishop[1081] wrote about me
in anger, while I was as yet a priest, he may freely seek to use as
evidence against me. That the same man sought and obtained forgiveness
from a holy Council for the wrong he thus had done me, he is equally
at liberty to ignore as being in my favour,--being either so ignorant
or so forgetful of Christian gentleness, and the commandment of the
gospel, that he brings as an accusation against a brother what is
wholly unknown to that brother himself, as he humbly entreats that
pardon may in kindness be extended to him.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XVII.--20. Let him further go on, in his discourse of many but
manifestly empty words, to matters of which he is wholly ignorant,
or in which rather he abuses the ignorance of the mass of those who
hear him, and from the confession of a certain woman, that she had
called herself a catechumen of the Manichæans, being already a full
member of the Catholic Church, let him say or write what he pleases
concerning their baptism,--not knowing, or pretending not to know,
that the name of catechumen is not bestowed among them upon persons to
denote that they are at some future time to be baptized, but that this
name is given to such as are also called Hearers, on the supposition
that they cannot observe what are considered the higher and greater
commandments, which are observed by those whom they think right to
distinguish and honour by the name of Elect. Let him also maintain
with wonderful rashness, either as himself deceived or as seeking to
deceive, that I was a priest among the Manichæans. Let him set forth
and refute, in whatever sense seems good to him, the words of the
third book of my _Confessions_, which, both in themselves, and from
much that I have said before and since, are perfectly clear to all who
read them. Lastly, let him triumph in my stealing his words, because I
have suppressed two of them, as though the victory were his upon their
restoration.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XVIII.--21. Certainly in all these things, as you can learn or
refresh your memory by reading his letter, he has given free scope to
the impulse of his tongue, with all the licence of boasting which he
chose to use, but nowhere has he told us where means are to be found
for cleansing the conscience of the recipient, when that of the giver
has been stained with sin without his knowing it. But amid all his
noise, and after all his noise, serious as it is, too terrible as he
himself supposes it to be, I deliberately, as it is said, and to the
purpose,[1082] ask this question once again: If the conscience of
him who gives in holiness is what we look for, what means are to be
found for cleansing one who receives baptism without knowing that the
conscience of the giver is stained with sin? And throughout his whole
epistle I find nothing said in answer to this question.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XIX.--22. For perhaps some one of you will say to me, All these
things which he said against you he wished to have force for this
purpose, that he might take away your character, and through you
the character of those with whom you hold communion, that neither
they themselves, nor those whom you endeavour to bring over to your
communion, may hold you to be of any further importance. But, in
deciding whether he has given no answer to the words of your epistle,
we must look at them in the light of the passage in which he proposed
them for consideration. Let us then do so: let us look at his writings
in the light of that very passage. Passing over, therefore, the passage
in which I sought to introduce my subject to the reader, and to ignore
those few prefatory words of his, which were rather insulting than
relevant to the subject under discussion, I go on to say, "He says,
'What we look for is the conscience of the giver, to cleanse that of
the recipient.' But supposing the conscience of the giver is concealed
from view, and perhaps defiled with sin, how will it be able to cleanse
the conscience of the recipient, if, as he says, 'what we look for is
the conscience of the giver, to cleanse that of the recipient?' For
if he should say that it makes no matter to the recipient what amount
of evil may be concealed from view in the conscience of the giver,
perhaps that ignorance may have such a degree of efficacy as this, that
a man cannot be defiled by the guilt of the conscience of him from
whom he receives baptism, so long as he is unaware of it. Let it then
be granted that the guilty conscience of his neighbour cannot defile
a man so long as he is unaware of it; but is it therefore clear that
it can further cleanse him from his own guilt? Whence then is a man to
be cleansed who receives baptism, when the conscience of the giver is
polluted without the knowledge of him who is to receive it, especially
when he goes on to say, 'For he who receives faith from the faithless
receives not faith but guilt?'"[1083]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XX.--23. All these statements in my letter Petilianus set before
himself for refutation. Let us see, therefore, whether he has refuted
them; whether he has made any answer to them at all. For I add the
words which he calumniously accuses me of having suppressed, and,
having done so, I ask him again the same question in an even shorter
form; for by adding these two words he has helped me much in shortening
this proposition. If the conscience of him who gives in holiness is
what we look for to cleanse that of the recipient, and if he who has
received his faith wittingly from one that is faithless, receives not
faith but guilt, where shall we find means to cleanse the conscience of
the recipient, when he has not known that the conscience of the giver
is stained with guilt, and when he receives his faith unwittingly from
one that is faithless? I ask, where shall we find means to cleanse
it? Let him tell us; let him not pass off into another subject; let
him not cast a mist over the eyes of the inexperienced. To end with,
at any rate, after many tortuous circumlocutions have been interposed
and thoroughly worked out, let him at last tell us where we shall find
means to cleanse the conscience of the recipient when the stains of
guilt in the conscience of the faithless baptizer are concealed from
view, if the conscience of him who gives in holiness is what we look
for to cleanse that of the recipient, and if he who has received his
faith wittingly from one that is faithless, receives not faith but
guilt? For the man in question receives it from a faithless man, who
has not the conscience of one who gives in holiness, but a conscience
stained with guilt, and veiled from view. Where then shall we find
means to cleanse his conscience? whence then does he receive his faith?
For if he is neither then cleansed, nor then receives faith, when the
faithlessness and guilt of the baptizer are concealed, why, when these
are afterwards brought to light and condemned, is he not then baptized
afresh, that he may be cleansed and receive faith? But if, while the
faithlessness and guilt of the other are concealed, he is cleansed
and does receive faith, whence does he obtain his cleansing, whence
does he receive faith, when there is not the conscience of one that
gives in holiness to cleanse the conscience of the recipient? Let him
tell us this; let him make reply to this: Whence does he obtain his
cleansing, whence does he receive faith, if the conscience of him that
gives in holiness is what we look for to cleanse the conscience of the
recipient, seeing that this does not exist, when the baptizer conceals
his character of faithlessness and guilt? To this no answer has been
made whatever.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXI.--24. But see, when he is reduced to straits in the argument,
he again makes an attack on me full of mist and wind, that the calm
clearness of the truth may be obscured; and through the extremity of
his want he becomes full of resources, shown not in saying what is
true, but in unbought empty revilings. Hold fast, with the keenest
attention and utmost perseverance, what he ought to answer,--that is,
where means may be found for cleansing the conscience of the recipient
when the stains in that of the giver are concealed,--lest possibly
the blast of his eloquence should wrest this from your hands, and
you in turn should be carried away by the dark tempest of his turgid
discourse, so as wholly to fail in seeing whence he has digressed,
and to what point he should return; and see where the man can wander,
whilst he cannot stand in the matter which he has undertaken. For see
how much he says, through having nothing that he ought to say. He
says "that I slide in slippery places, but am held up; that I neither
destroy nor confirm the objections that I make; that I devise uncertain
things in the place of certainty; that I do not permit my readers to
believe what is true, but cause them to look with increased suspicion
on what is doubtful." He says "that I have the accursed talents of
the Academic philosopher Carneades."[1084] He endeavours to insinuate
what the Academics think of the falseness or the falsehood of human
sensation, showing in this also that he is wholly without knowledge of
what he says. He declares that "it is said by them that snow is black,
whereas it is white; and that silver is black; and that a tower is
round, or free from projections, when it is really angular; that an
oar is broken in the water, while it is whole." And all this because,
when he had said that "the conscience of him that gives," or "of him
that gives in holiness, is what we look for to cleanse the conscience
of the recipient," I said in reply, What if the conscience of the giver
be hidden from sight, and possibly be stained with guilt? Here you
have his black snow, and black silver, and his tower round instead of
angular, and the oar in the water broken while yet whole, in that I
suggested a state of the case which might be conceived, and could not
really exist, that the conscience of the giver might be hidden from
view, and possibly might be stained with guilt!

25. Then he continues in the same strain, and cries out: "What is that
_what if?_ what is that _possibly?_ except the uncertain and wavering
hesitation of one who doubts, of whom your poet says,--

    'What if I now return to those who say,
        What if the sky should fall?'"[1085]

Does he mean that when I said, What if the conscience of the giver be
hidden from sight, and possibly be stained with guilt? that it is much
the same as if I had said, What if the sky should fall? There certainly
is the phrase What if, because it is possible that it may be hidden
from view, and it is possible that it may not. For when it is not known
what the giver is thinking of, or what crime he has committed, then
his conscience is certainly hidden from the view of the recipient;
but when his sin is plainly manifest, then it is not hidden. I used
the expression, And possibly may be stained with guilt, because it is
possible that it may be hidden from view and yet be pure; and again,
it is possible that it may be hidden from view and be stained with
guilt. This is the meaning of the What if; this the meaning of the
Possibly. Is this at all like "What if the sky should fall?" O how
often have men been convicted, how often have they confessed themselves
that they had consciences stained with guilt and adultery, whilst men
were unwittingly baptized by them after they were degraded by the sin
subsequently brought to light, and yet the sky did not fall! What have
we here to do with Pilus and Furius,[1086] who defended the cause of
injustice against justice? What have we here to do with the atheist
Diagoras,[1087] who denied that there was any God, so that he would
seem to be the man of whom the prophet spoke beforehand, "The fool
hath said in his heart, there is no God?"[1088] What have we here to
do with these? Why were their names brought in, except that they might
make a diversion in favour of a man who had nothing to say? that while
he is at any rate saying something, though needlessly, about these,
the matter in hand may seem to be progressing, and an answer may be
supposed to be made to a question which remains without an answer?

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXII.--26. Lastly, if these two or three words, What if, and
Possibly, are so absolutely intolerable, that on their account we
should have aroused from their long sleep the Academics, and Carneades,
and Pilus, and Furius, and Diagoras, and black snow, and the falling
of the sky, and everything else that is equally senseless and absurd,
let them be removed from our argument. For, as a matter of fact, it
is by no means impossible to express what we desire to say without
them. There is quite sufficient for our purpose in what is found a
little later, and has been introduced by himself from my letter: "By
what means then is he to be cleansed who receives baptism when the
conscience of the giver is polluted, and that without the knowledge
of him who is to receive the sacrament?"[1089] Do you acknowledge
that here there is no What if, no Possibly? Well then, let an answer
be given. Give close heed, lest he be found to answer this in what
follows. "But," says he, "I bind you in your cavilling to the faith of
believing, that you may not wander further from it. Why do you turn
away your life from errors by arguments of folly? Why do you disturb
the system of belief in respect of matters without reason? By this
one word I bind and convince you." It was Petilianus that said this,
not I. These words are from the letter of Petilianus; but from that
letter, to which I just now added the two words which he accuses me of
having suppressed, showing that, notwithstanding their addition, the
pertinency of my question, to which he makes no answer, remains with
greater brevity and simplicity. It is beyond dispute that these two
words are, In holiness, and Wittingly: so that it should not be, "The
conscience of him who gives," but "The conscience of him who gives _in
holiness_;" and that it should not be, "He who has received his faith
from one that is faithless," but "He who has _wittingly_ received his
faith from one that is faithless." And yet I had not really suppressed
these words; but I had not found them in the copy which was placed in
my hands. It is possible enough that it was incorrect; nor indeed is it
wholly beyond the possibility of belief that even by this suggestion
Academic fury should be roused against me, and that it should be
asserted that, in declaring the copy to be incorrect, I had said much
the same sort of thing as if I had declared that snow was black. For
why should I repay in kind his rash suggestion, and say that, though he
pretends that I suppressed the words, he really added them afterwards
himself, since the copy, which is not angry, can confirm that mark of
incorrectness, without any abusive rashness on my part?

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXIII.--27. And, in the first place, with regard to that first
expression, "Of him who gives in holiness," it does not interfere in
the least with my inquiry, by which he is so much distressed, whether
I use the expression, "If the conscience of him that gives is what
we look for," or the fuller phrase, "If the conscience of him that
gives in holiness is what we look for, to cleanse the conscience of
the recipient," by what means then is he to be cleansed who receives
baptism if the conscience of the giver is polluted, without the
knowledge of him who is to receive the sacrament? And with regard
to the other word that is added, "wittingly," so that the sentence
should not run, "He who has received his faith from one that is
faithless," but "He who has wittingly received his faith from one that
is faithless, receives not faith but guilt," I confess that I had said
some things as though the word were absent, but I can easily afford
to do without them; for they caused more hindrance to the facility of
my argument than they gave assistance to its possibility. For how much
more readily, how much more plainly and shortly, can I put the question
thus: "If the conscience of him who gives in holiness is what we look
for to cleanse the conscience of the recipient," and "if he who has
wittingly received his faith from one that is faithless receives not
faith but guilt," by what means is he cleansed, from whom the stain on
the conscience of him who gives, but not in holiness, is hidden? and
whence does he receive true faith, who is baptized unwittingly by one
that is faithless? Let it be declared whence this shall be, and then
the whole theory of baptism will be disclosed; then all that is matter
of investigation will be brought to light,--but only if it be declared,
not if the time be consumed in evil-speaking.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXIV.--28. Whatever, therefore, he finds in these two
words,--whether he brings calumnious accusations about their
suppression, or boasts of their being added,--you perceive that it in
no way hinders my question, to which he can find no answer that he
can make; and therefore, not wishing to remain silent, he takes the
opportunity of making an attack upon my character,--retiring, I should
have said, from the discussion, except that he had never entered on it.
For just as though the question were about me, and not about the truth
of the Church, or of baptism, therefore he says that I, by suppressing
these two words, have argued as though it were no stumblingblock in the
way of my conscience that I have ignored what he calls the sacrilegious
conscience of him who polluted me. But if this were so, the addition of
the word "wittingly," which is thus introduced, would be in my favour,
and its suppression would tell against me. For if I had wished that
my defence should be urged on the ground that I should be supposed to
have been unacquainted with the conscience of the man that baptized me,
then I would accept Petilianus as having spoken in my behalf, since he
does not say in general terms, "He that has received his faith from one
that is faithless," but "He that has wittingly received his faith from
one that is faithless, receives not faith but guilt;" so that hence
I might boast that I had received not guilt, but faith, since I could
say I did not receive it wittingly from one that was faithless, but was
unacquainted with the conscience of him that gave it. See, therefore,
and reckon carefully, if you can, what an amount of superfluous words
he wastes on the one phrase, "I was unacquainted with," which he
declares that I have used; whereas I never used it at all,--partly
because the question under discussion was not concerning me, so that I
should need to use it; partly because no fault was apparent in him that
baptized me, so that I should be forced to say in my defence that I had
been unacquainted with his conscience.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXV.--29. And yet Petilianus, to avoid answering what I have
said, sets before himself what I have not, and draws men's attention
away from the consideration of his debt, lest they should exact
the answer which he ought to make. He constantly introduces the
expressions, "I have been unacquainted with," "I say," and makes
answer, "But if you were unacquainted with;" and, as though convicting
me, so that it should be out of my power to say, "I was unacquainted
with," he quotes Mensurius, Cæcilianus, Macarius, Taurinus, Romanus,
and declares that "they had acted in opposition to the Church of God,
as I could not fail to know, seeing that I am an African, and already
well advanced in years:" whereas, so far as I hear, Mensurius died
in the unity of the communion of the Church, before the faction of
Donatus separated itself therefrom; whilst I had read the history of
Cæcilianus, that they themselves had referred his case to Constantine,
and that he had been once and again acquitted by the judges whom that
emperor had appointed to try the matter, and again a third time by the
sovereign himself, when they appealed to him. But whatever Macarius
and Taurinus and Romanus did, either in their judicial or executive
functions, in behalf of unity as against their pertinacious madness,
it is beyond doubt that it was all done in accordance with the laws,
which these same persons made it unavoidable should be passed and put
in force, by referring the case of Cæcilianus to the judgment of the
emperor.

30. Among many other things which are wholly irrelevant, he says that
"I was so hard hit by the decision of the proconsul Messianus, that I
was forced to fly from Africa." And in consequence of this falsehood
(to which, if he was not the author of it, he certainly lent malicious
ears when others maliciously invented it), how many other falsehoods
had he the hardihood not only to utter, but actually to write with
wondrous rashness, seeing that I went to Milan before the consulship of
Banto, and that, in pursuance of the profession of rhetorician which
I then followed, I recited a panegyric in his honour as consul on
the first of January, in the presence of a vast assembly of men; and
after that journey I only returned to Africa after the death of the
tyrant Maximus: whereas the proconsul Messianus heard the case of the
Manichæans after the consulship of Banto, as the day of the chronicles
inserted by Petilianus himself sufficiently shows. And if it were
necessary to prove this for the satisfaction of those who are in doubt,
or believe the contrary, I could produce many men, illustrious in their
generation, as most sufficient witnesses to all that period of my life.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXVI.--31. But why do we make inquiry into these points? Why do
we both suffer and cause unnecessary delay? Are we likely to find out
by such a course as this what means we are to use for cleansing the
conscience of the recipient, who does not know that the conscience of
the giver is stained with guilt? whence the man is to receive faith
who is unwittingly baptized by one that is faithless?--the question
which Petilianus had proposed to himself to answer in my epistle,
then going on to say anything else he pleased except what the matter
in hand required. How often has he said, "If ignorant you were,"--as
though I had said, what I never did say, that I was unacquainted with
the conscience of him who baptized me. And he seemed to have no other
object in all that his evil-speaking mouth poured forth, except that
he should appear to prove that I had not been ignorant of the misdeeds
of those among whom I was baptized, and with whom I was associated
in communion, understanding fully, it would seem, that ignorance
did not convict me of guilt. See then that if I were ignorant, as
he has repeated so often, beyond all doubt I should be innocent of
all these crimes. Whence then should I receive faith, seeing that I
was baptized unwittingly by one that was faithless? For he has not
repeated "If ignorant you were" so often without purpose, but simply
to prevent my being reputed innocent, esteeming beyond all doubt that
no man's innocence is violated if he unwittingly receives his faith
from one that is faithless, and is not acquainted with the stains on
the conscience of him that gives, but not in holiness. Let him say,
therefore, by what means such men are to be cleansed, whence they are
to receive not guilt but faith. But let him not deceive you. Let him
speak; let him not, while uttering much, say nothing; or rather, let
him not say much while saying nothing. Next, to urge a point which
occurs to me, and must not be passed over,--if I am guilty because I
have not been ignorant, to use his own phraseology, and I am proved not
to have been ignorant, because I am an African, and already advanced in
years, let him grant that the youths of other nations throughout the
world are not guilty, who had no opportunity either from their race, or
from that age you bring against me, of knowing the points that are laid
to our charge, be they true, or be they false; and yet they, if they
have fallen into your hands, are rebaptized without any considerations
of such a kind.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXVII.--32. But this is not what we are now inquiring. Let him
rather answer (what he wanders off into the most irrelevant matter in
order to avoid answering) by what means the conscience of the recipient
is cleansed who is unacquainted with the stain on the conscience of
the giver, if the conscience of one that gives in holiness is what we
look for to cleanse the conscience of the recipient? and from what
source he receives faith who is unwittingly baptized by one that is
faithless, if he that has wittingly received his faith from one that
is faithless, receives not faith but guilt? Omitting, therefore, his
revilings, which he has cast at me without any sound consideration, let
us still notice that he does not say what we demand in what follows.
But I should like to look at the garrulous mode in which he has set
this forth, as though he were sure to overwhelm us with confusion.
"But let us return," he says, "to that argument of your fancy, whereby
you seem to have represented to yourself in a form of words the persons
you baptize. For since you do not see the truth, it would have been
more seemly to have imagined what was probable." These words of his
own, Petilianus put forth by way of preface, being about to state the
words that I had used. Then he went on to quote: "Behold, you say, the
faithless man stands ready to baptize, but he who is to be baptized
knows nothing of his faithlessness."[1090] He has not quoted the whole
of my proposition and question; and presently he begins to ask me in
his turn, saying, "Who is the man, and from what corner has he started
up, that you propose to us? Why do you seem to see a man who is the
produce of your imagination, in order to avoid seeing one whom you are
bound to see, and to examine and test most carefully? But since I see
that you are unacquainted with the order of the sacrament, I tell you
this as shortly as I can: you were bound both to examine your baptizer,
and to be examined by him." What is it, then, that we were waiting for?
That he should tell us by what means the conscience of the recipient is
to be cleansed, who is unacquainted with the stain on the conscience of
him that gives but not in holiness, and whence the man is to receive
not guilt but faith, who has received baptism unwittingly from one that
is faithless. All that we have heard is that the baptizer ought most
diligently to be examined by him who wishes to receive not guilt but
faith, that the latter may make himself acquainted with the conscience
of him that gives in holiness, which is to cleanse the conscience of
the recipient. For the man that has failed to make this examination,
and has unwittingly received baptism from one that is faithless, from
the very fact that he did not make the examination, and therefore did
not know of the stain on the conscience of the giver, was incapacitated
from receiving faith instead of guilt. Why therefore did he add what he
made so much of adding,--the word _wittingly_, which he calumniously
accused me of having suppressed? For in his unwillingness that the
sentence should run, "He who has received his faith from one that is
faithless, receives not faith but guilt," he seems to have left some
hope to the man that acts unwittingly. But now, when he is asked whence
that man is to receive faith who is baptized unwittingly by one that is
faithless, he has answered that he ought to have examined his baptizer;
so that, beyond all doubt, he refuses the wretched man permission even
to be ignorant, by not finding out from what source he may receive
faith, unless he has placed his trust in the man that is baptizing him.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXVIII.--33. This is what we look upon with horror in your party;
this is what the sentence of God condemns, crying out with the utmost
truth and the utmost clearness, "Cursed be the man that trusteth in
man."[1091] This is what is most openly forbidden by holy humility and
apostolic love, as Paul declares, "Let no man glory in men."[1092] This
is the reason that the attack of empty calumnies and of the bitterest
invectives grows even fiercer against us, that when human authority is
as it were overthrown, there may remain no ground of hope for those to
whom we administer the word and sacrament of God in accordance with the
dispensation entrusted unto us. We make answer to them: How long do you
rest your support on man? The venerable society of the Catholic Church
makes answer to them: "Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from Him cometh
my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defence;
I shall not be greatly moved."[1093] For what other reason have they
had for removing from the house of God, except that they pretended
that they could not endure those vessels made to dishonour, from which
the house shall not be free until the day of judgment? whereas all
the time they rather appear, by their deeds and by the records of the
time, to have themselves been vessels of this kind, while they threw
the imputation in the teeth of others; of which said vessels made
unto dishonour, in order that no one should on their account remove
in confusion of mind from the great house, which alone belongs to the
great Father of our family, the servant of God, one who was good and
faithful, or was capable of receiving faith in baptism, as I have
shown above, expressly says, "Truly my soul waiteth upon God" (on God,
you see, and not on man): "from Him cometh my salvation" (not from
man). But Petilianus would refuse to ascribe to God the cleansing and
purifying of a man, even when the stain upon the conscience of him who
gives, but not in holiness, is hidden from view, and any one receives
his faith unwittingly from one that is faithless, "I tell you this,"
he says, "as shortly as I can: you were bound both to examine your
baptizer, and to be examined by him."

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXIX.--34. I entreat of you, pay attention to this: I ask where
the means shall be found for cleansing the conscience of the recipient,
when he is not acquainted with the stain upon the conscience of him
that gives but not in holiness, if the conscience of him that gives
in holiness is waited for to cleanse the conscience of the recipient?
and from what source he is to receive faith, who is unwittingly
baptized by one that is faithless, if whosoever has received his faith
wittingly from one that is faithless, receives not faith but guilt?
and he answers me, that both the baptizer and the baptized should be
subjected to examination. And for the proof of this point, out of
which no question arises, he adduces the example of John, in that he
was examined by those who asked him who he claimed to be,[1094] and
that he also in turn examined those to whom he says, "O generation of
vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?"[1095] What
has this to do with the subject? What has this to do with the question
under discussion? God had vouchsafed to John the testimony of most
eminent holiness of life, confirmed by the previous witness of the
noblest prophecy, both when he was conceived, and when he was born. But
the Jews put their question, already believing him to be a saint, to
find out which of the saints he maintained himself to be, or whether he
was himself the saint of saints, that is, Christ Jesus. So much favour
indeed was shown to him, that credence would at once have been given to
whatever he might have said about himself. If, therefore, we are to
follow this precedent in declaring that each several baptizer is now to
be examined, then each must also be believed, whatever he may say of
himself. But who is there that is made up of deceit, whom we know that
the Holy Spirit flees from, in accordance with the Scripture,[1096]
who would not wish the best to be believed of him, or who would
hesitate to bring this about by the use of any words within his reach?
Accordingly, when he shall have been asked who he is, and shall have
answered that he is the faithful dispenser of God's ordinances, and
that his conscience is not polluted with the stain of any crime, will
this be the whole examination, or will there be a further more careful
investigation into his character and life? Assuredly there will. But it
is not written that this was done by those who asked John who he was in
the desert of Jordan.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXX.--35. Accordingly this precedent is wholly without bearing
on the matter in hand. We might rather say that the declaration of
the apostle sufficiently inculcates this care, when he says, "Let
these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon,
being found blameless."[1097] And since this is done anxiously and
habitually in both parties, by almost all concerned, how comes it
that so many are found to be reprobates subsequently to the time of
having undertaken this ministry, except that, on the one hand, human
care is often deceived, and, on the other hand, those who have begun
well occasionally deteriorate? And since things of this sort happen so
frequently as to allow no man to hide them or to forget them, what is
the reason that Petilianus now teaches us insultingly, in a few words,
that the baptizer ought to be examined by the candidate for baptism,
since our question is, by what means the conscience of the recipient is
to be cleansed, when the stain on the conscience of him that gives, but
not in holiness, has been concealed from view, if the conscience of one
that gives in holiness is what we look for to cleanse the conscience of
the recipient. "Since I see," he says, "that you are unacquainted with
the order of the sacrament, I tell you this as shortly as I can: you
were bound both to examine your baptizer, and to be examined by him."
What an answer to make! He is surrounded in so many places by such
a multitude of men that have been baptized by ministers who, having
in the first instance seemed righteous and chaste, have subsequently
been convicted and degraded in consequence of the disclosure of their
faults; and he thinks that he is avoiding the force of this question,
in which we ask by what means the conscience of the recipient is to be
cleansed, when he is unacquainted with the stain upon the conscience
of him that gives but not in holiness, if the conscience of one that
gives in holiness is what we look for to cleanse the conscience of the
recipient,--he thinks, I say, that he is avoiding the force of this
question, by saying shortly that the baptizer ought to be examined.
Nothing is more unfortunate than not to be consistent with truth, by
which every one is so shut in, that he cannot find a means of escape.
We ask from whom he is to receive faith who is baptized by one that is
faithless? The answer is, "He ought to have examined his baptizer." Is
it therefore the case that, since he does not examine him, and so even
unwittingly receives his faith from one that is faithless, he receives
not faith but guilt? Why then are those men not baptized afresh, who
are found to have been baptized by men that are detected and convicted
reprobates, while their true character was yet concealed?

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXXI.--36. "And where," he says, "is the word that I added,
_wittingly?_ so that I did not say, He that has received his faith from
one that is faithless; but, He that has received his faith _wittingly_
from one that is faithless, receives not faith but guilt." He therefore
who received his faith unwittingly from one that was faithless,
received not guilt but faith; and accordingly I ask from what source
he has received it? And being thus placed in a strait, he answers, "He
ought to have examined him." Granted that he ought to have done so;
but, as a matter of fact, he did not, or he was not able: what is your
verdict about him? Was he cleansed, or was he not? If he was cleansed,
I ask from what source? For the polluted conscience of him that gave
but not in holiness, with which he was unacquainted, could not cleanse
him. But if he was not cleansed, command that he be so now. You give no
such orders, therefore he was cleansed. Tell me, by what means? Do you,
at any rate, tell me what Petilianus has failed to tell. For I propose
to you the very same words which he was unable to answer. "Behold, the
faithless man stands ready to baptize; but he who is to be baptized
knows nothing of his faithlessness: what do you think that he will
receive,--faith, or guilt?"[1098] This is sufficient as a constant form
of question: answer, or search diligently to find what he has answered.
You will find abuse that has already been convicted. He finds fault
with me, as though in derision, maintaining that I ought to suggest
what is probable for consideration, since I cannot see the truth. For,
repeating my words, and cutting my sentence in two, he says, "Behold,
you say, the faithless man stands ready to baptize; but he who is to
be baptized knows nothing of his faithlessness." Then he goes on to
ask, "Who is the man, and from what corner has he started up, that you
propose to us?" Just as though there were some one or two individuals,
and such cases were not constantly occurring everywhere on either
side! Why does he ask of me who the man in question is, and from what
corner he has started up, instead of looking round, and seeing that
the churches are few and far between, whether in cities or in country
districts, which do not contain men detected in crimes, and degraded
from the ministry? While their true character was concealed, while they
wished to be thought good, though really bad, and to be reputed chaste,
though really guilty of adultery, so long they were involved in deceit;
and so the Holy Spirit, according to the Scripture, was fleeing from
them.[1099] It is from the crowd, therefore, of these men who hitherto
concealed their character that the faithless man whom I suggested
started up. Why does he ask me whence he started up, shutting his eyes
to all this crowd, from which sufficient noise arises to satisfy the
blind, if we take into consideration none but those who might have been
convicted and degraded from their office?

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXXII.--37. What shall we say of what he himself advanced in his
epistle, that "Quodvultdeus, having been convicted of two adulteries,
and cast out from among you, was received by those of our party?"[1100]
What then (I would speak without prejudice to this man, who proved his
case to be a good one, or at least persuaded men that it was so), when
such men among you, being as yet undetected, administer baptism, what
is received at their hands,--faith, or guilt? Surely not faith, because
they have not the conscience of one who gives in holiness to cleanse
the conscience of the recipient. But yet not guilt either, in virtue
of that added word: "For he that has received his faith _wittingly_
from one that is faithless, receives not faith but guilt." But when
men were baptized by those of whom I speak, they were surely ignorant
what sort of men they were. Furthermore, not receiving faith from their
baptizers, who had not the conscience of one that gives in holiness,
and not receiving guilt, because they were baptized not knowing but
in ignorance of their faults, they therefore remained without faith
and without guilt. They are not, therefore, in the number of men of
such abandoned character. But neither can they be in the number of
the faithful, because, as they could not receive guilt, so neither
could they receive faith from their baptizers. But we see that they
are reputed by you in the number of the faithful, and that no one of
you declares his opinion that they ought to be baptized, but all of
you hold valid the baptism which they have already received. They have
therefore received faith; and yet they have not received it from those
who had not the conscience of one that gives in holiness, to cleanse
the conscience of the recipient. Whence then did they receive it? This
is the point from which I make my effort; this is the question that I
press most earnestly; to this I do most urgently demand an answer.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXXIII.--38. See now how Petilianus, to avoid answering this
question, or to avoid being proved to be incapable of answering it,
wanders off vainly into irrelevant matter in abuse of us, accusing
us and proving nothing; and when he chances to make an endeavour to
resist, with something like a show of fighting for his cause, he is
everywhere overcome with the greatest ease. But yet he nowhere gives
an answer of any kind to this one question which we ask: If the
conscience of one that gives in holiness is what we look for to cleanse
the conscience of the recipient, by what means is he to be cleansed
who received baptism while the conscience of the giver was polluted,
without the knowledge of him who was to receive it? for in these words,
which he quoted from my epistle, he set me forth as asking a question,
while he showed himself as giving no answer. For after saying what I
have just now recited, and when, on being brought into a great strait
on every side, he had been compelled to say that the baptizer ought to
be examined by the candidate for baptism, and the candidate in turn by
the baptizer; and when he had tried to fortify this statement by the
example of John, in hopes that he might find auditors either of the
greatest negligence or of the greatest ignorance, he then went on to
advance other testimonies of Scripture wholly irrelevant to the matter
in hand, as the saying of the eunuch to Philip, "See, here is water;
what doth hinder me to be baptized?"[1101] "inasmuch as he knew," says
he, "that those of abandoned character were prevented;" arguing that
the reason why Philip did not forbid him to be baptized was because he
had proved, in his reading of the Scriptures, how far he believed in
Christ,--as though he had prohibited Simon Magus. And again, he urges
that the prophets were afraid of being deceived by false baptism, and
that therefore Isaiah said, "Lying water that has not faith,"[1102] as
though showing that water among faithless men is lying; whereas it is
not Isaiah but Jeremiah that says this of lying men, calling the people
in a figure water, as is most clearly shown in the Apocalypse.[1103]
And again, he quotes as words of David, "Let not the oil of the sinner
anoint my head," when David has been speaking of the flattery of the
smooth speaker deceiving with false praise, so as to lead the head
of the man praised to wax great with pride. And this meaning is made
manifest by the words immediately preceding in the same psalm. For he
says, "Let the righteous smite me, it shall be a kindness; and let him
reprove me: but the oil of the sinner shall not break my head."[1104]
What can be clearer than this sentence? what more manifest? For he
declares that he had rather be reproved in kindness with the sharp
correction of the righteous, so that he may be healed, than anointed
with the soft speaking of the flatterer, so as to be puffed up with
pride.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXXIV.--39. Petilianus quotes also the warning of the Apostle
John, that we should not believe every spirit, but try the spirits
whether they are of God,[1105] as though this care should be bestowed
in order that the wheat should be separated from the chaff in this
present world before its time, and not rather for fear that the wheat
should be deceived by the chaff; or as though, even if the lying spirit
should have said something that was true, it was to be denied, because
the spirit whom we should abominate had said it. But if any one thinks
this, he is mad enough to contend that Peter ought not to have said,
"Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,"[1106] because the
devils had already said something to the same effect.[1107] Seeing,
therefore, that the baptism of Christ, whether administered by an
unrighteous or a righteous man, is nothing but the baptism of Christ,
what a cautious man and faithful Christian should do is to avoid the
unrighteousness of man, not to condemn the sacraments of God.

40. Assuredly in all these things Petilianus gives no answer to the
question, If the conscience of one that gives in holiness is what we
look for to cleanse the conscience of the recipient, by what means is
he to be cleansed who receives baptism, when the conscience of the
giver is polluted without the knowledge of the proposed recipient? A
certain Cyprian, a colleague of his from Thubursicubur, was caught in
a brothel with a woman of most abandoned character, and was brought
before Primianus of Carthage, and condemned. Now, when this man
baptized before he was detected and condemned, it is manifest that he
had not the conscience of one that gives in holiness, so as to cleanse
the conscience of the recipient. By what means then have they been
cleansed, who at this day, after he has been condemned, are certainly
not washed again? It was not necessary to name the man, save only to
prevent Petilianus from repeating, "Who is the man, and from what
corner has he started up, that you propose to us?" Why did not your
party examine that baptizer, as John, in the opinion of Petilianus, was
examined? Or was the real fact this, that they examined him so far as
man can examine man, but were unable to find him out, as he long lay
hid with cunning falseness?

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXXV.--Was the water administered by this man not lying? or is
the oil of the fornicator not the oil of the sinner? or must we hold
what the Catholic Church says, and what is true, that that water and
that oil are not his by whom they were administered, but His whose name
was then invoked? Why did they who were baptized by that hypocrite,
whose sins were concealed, fail to try the spirit, to prove that it was
not of God? For the Holy Spirit of discipline was even then fleeing
from the hypocrite.[1108] Was it that He was fleeing from him, but
at the same time not deserting His sacraments, though ministered by
him? Lastly, since you do not deny that those men have been already
cleansed, whom you take no care to have cleansed now that he is
condemned, see whether, after shedding over the subject so many mists
in so many different ways, Petilianus, after all, in any place gives
any answer to the question by what means these men have been cleansed,
if what we look for to cleanse the conscience of the recipient is the
conscience of one that gives in holiness, such as the man who was
secretly unclean could not have had.

41. Making, then, no answer to this which is so urgently asked of him,
and, in the next place, even seeking for himself a latitude of speech,
he says, "Since both prophets and apostles have been cautious enough
to fear these things, with what face do you say that the baptism of
the sinner is holy to those who believe with a good conscience?" Just
as though I or any Catholic maintained that that baptism was of the
sinner which is administered or received with a sinner to officiate,
instead of being His in virtue of belief in whose name the candidate
is baptized! Then he goes off to an invective against the traitor
Judas, saying against him whatever he can, quoting the testimony of the
prophets uttered concerning him so long a time before, as though he
would steep the Church of Christ dispersed throughout the world, whose
cause is involved in this discussion, in the impiety of the traitor
Judas,--not considering what this very thing should have recalled to
his mind, that we ought no more to doubt that that is the Church of
Christ which is spread abroad throughout the world, since this was
prophesied with truth so many years before, than we ought to doubt
that it was necessary that Christ should be betrayed by one of His
disciples, because this was prophesied in like manner.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXXVI.--42. But after this, when Petilianus came to that
objection of ours, that they allowed the baptism of the followers of
Maximianus, whom they had condemned,[1109]--although in the statement
of this question he thought it right to use his own words rather than
mine; for neither do we assert that the baptism of sinners is of profit
to us, seeing that we maintain it to belong not only to no sinners,
but to no men whatsoever, in that we are satisfied that it is Christ's
alone,--having put the question in this form, he says, "Yet you
obstinately aver that it is right that the baptism of sinners should
be of profit to you, because we too, according to your statement,
maintained the baptism of criminals whom we justly condemned." When he
came to this question, as I said before, even all the show of fight
which he had made deserted him. He could not find any way to go, any
means of escape, any path by which, either through subtle watching or
bold enterprise, he could either secretly steal away, or sally forth
by force. "Although this," he says, "I will demonstrate in my second
book, how great the difference is between those of our party and those
of yours whom you call innocent, yet, in the meantime, first extricate
yourselves from the offences with which you are acquainted in your
colleagues, and then seek out the mode of dealing with those whom we
cast out." Would any one, any man upon the earth, give an answer like
this, save one who is setting himself against the truth, against which
he cannot find any answer that can be made? Accordingly, if we too were
to use the same words: In the meantime, first extricate yourselves
from the offences with which you are acquainted in your colleagues,
and then bring up against us any charge connected with those whom you
hold to be wicked amongst us,--what is the result? Have we both won
the victory, or are we both defeated? Nay, rather He has gained the
victory for His Church and in His Church, who has taught us in His
Scriptures that no man should glory in men, and that he that glorieth
should glory in the Lord.[1110] For behold in our case, who assert with
the eloquence of truth that the man who believes is not justified by
him by whom he is baptized, but by Him of whom it is written, "To him
that believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted
for righteousness,"[1111] since we do not glory in men, and strive, when
we glory, to glory in the Lord in virtue of His own gift, how wholly
safe are we, whatever fault or charge Petilianus may have been able to
prove concerning certain men of our communion! For among us, whatever
wicked men are either wholly undetected, or, being known to certain
persons, are yet tolerated for the sake of the bond of unity and peace,
in consideration of other good men to whom their wickedness is unknown,
and before whom they could not be convicted, in order that the wheat
may not be rooted up together with the tares, yet they so bear the
burden of their own wickedness, that no one shares it with them except
those who are pleased with their unrighteousness. Nor indeed have we
any apprehension that those whom they baptize cannot be justified,
since they believe in Him that justifieth the ungodly, that their faith
may be counted for righteousness.[1111]

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXXVII.--43. Furthermore, according to our tenets, neither he of
whom Petilianus said that he was cast forth by us for the sin of the
men of Sodom, another being appointed in his place, and that afterwards
he was actually restored to our college,--talking all the time without
knowing what he was saying,--nor he whom he declares to have been
penitent among you, in whatever degree their respective cases do or
do not admit of any defence, can either of them prejudice the Church,
which is spread abroad throughout all nations, and increases in the
world until the harvest. For if they were really wicked members of it
that you accuse, then they were already not in it, but among the chaff;
but if they are good, while you defame their character with unrighteous
accusations, they are themselves being tried like gold, while you
burn after the similitude of chaff. Yet the sins of other men do not
defile the Church, which is spread abroad throughout the whole world,
according to most faithful prophecies, waiting for the end of the world
as for its shore, on which, when it is landed, it will be freed from
the bad fish, in company with which the inconvenience of nature might
be borne without sin within the same nets of the Lord, so long as it
was not right to be impatiently separated from them. Nor yet is the
discipline of the Church on this account neglected by constant and
diligent and prudent ministers of Christ, in whose province crimes are
in such wise brought to light that they cannot be defended on any plea
of probability. Innumerable proofs of this may be found in those who
have been bishops or clergy of the second degree of orders, and now,
being degraded, have either gone abroad into other lands through shame,
or have gone over to you yourselves or to other heresies, or are known
in their own districts; of whom there is so great a multitude dispersed
throughout the earth, that if Petilianus, bridling for a time his
rashness in speaking, had taken them into consideration, he would never
have fallen into so manifestly false and groundless a misconception,
as to think that we ought to join in what he says: None of you is free
from guilt, where no one that is guilty is condemned.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXXVIII.--44. For, to pass over others dwelling in different
quarters of the earth,--for you will scarcely find any place in which
this kind of men is not represented, from whom it may appear that
overseers and ministers are wont to be condemned even in the Catholic
Church,--we need not look far to find the example of Honorius of
Milevis. But take the case of Splendonius, whom Petilianus ordained
priest after he had been condemned in the Catholic Church, and
rebaptized by himself, whose condemnation in Gaul, communicated to us
by our brethren, our colleague Fortunatus caused to be publicly read
in Constantina, and whom the same Petilianus afterwards cast forth on
experience of his abominable deceit. From the case of this Splendonius,
when was there a time when he might not have been reminded after what
fashion wicked men are degraded from their office even in the Catholic
Church? I wonder on what precipice of rashness his heart was resting
when he dictated those words in which he ventured to say, "No one of
you is free from guilt, where no one that is guilty is condemned."
Wherefore the wicked, being bodily intermingled with the good, but
spiritually separated from them in the Catholic Church, both when they
are undetected through the infirmity of human nature, and when they
are condemned from considerations of discipline, in every case bear
their own burden. And in this way those are free from danger who are
baptized by them with the baptism of Christ, if they keep free from
share in their sins either by imitation or consent; seeing that in
like manner, if they were baptized by the best of men, they would not
be justified except by Him that justifieth the ungodly: since to those
that believe on Him that justifieth the ungodly their faith is counted
for righteousness.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XXXIX.--45. But as for you, when the case of the followers of
Maximianus is brought up against you, who, after being condemned by
the sentence of a Council of 310 bishops;[1112] after being utterly
defeated in the same Council, quoted in the records of so many
proconsuls, in the chronicles of so many municipal towns; after being
driven forth from the basilicas of which they were in possession, by
the order of the judges, enforced by the troops of the several cities,
were yet again received with all honour by you, together with those
whom they had baptized outside the pale of your communion, without any
question respecting their baptism,--when confronted, I say, with their
case, you can find no reply to make. Indeed, you are vanquished by an
expressed opinion, not indeed true, but proceeding from yourselves,
by which you maintain that men perish for the faults of others in
the same communion of the sacraments, and that each man's character
is determined by that of the man by whom he is baptized,--that he is
guilty if his baptizer is guilty, innocent if he is innocent. But if
these views are true, there can be no doubt that, to say nothing of
innumerable others, you are destroyed by the sins of the followers
of Maximianus, whose guilt your party, in so large a Council, has
exaggerated even to the proportions of the sin of those whom the earth
swallowed up alive. But if the faults of the followers of Maximianus
have not destroyed you, then are these opinions false which you
entertain; and much less have certain indefinite unproved faults of the
Africans been able to destroy the entire world. And accordingly, as
the apostle says, "Every man shall bear his own burden;"[1113] and the
baptism of Christ is no one's except Christ's; and it is to no purpose
that Petilianus promises that he will take as the subject of his second
book the charges which we bring concerning the followers of Maximianus,
entertaining too low an opinion of men's intellects, as though they do
not perceive that he has nothing to say.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHAP. XL.--46. For if the baptism which Prætextatus and Felicianus
administered in the communion of Maximianus was their own, why was
it received by you in those whom they baptized as though it were the
baptism of Christ? But if it is truly the baptism of Christ, as indeed
it is, and yet could not profit those who had received it with the
guilt of schism, what do you say that you could have granted to those
whom you have received into your body with the same baptism, except
that, now that the offence of their accursed division is wiped out
by the bond of peace, they should not be compelled to receive the
sacrament of the holy laver as though they had it not, but that, as
what they had was before for their destruction, so it should now begin
to be of profit to them? Or if this is not granted to them in your
communion, because it could not possibly be that it should be granted
to schismatics among schismatics, it is at any rate granted to you in
the Catholic communion, not that you should receive baptism as though
it were lacking in you, but that the baptism which you have actually
received should be of profit to you. For all the sacraments of Christ,
if not combined with the love which belongs to the unity of Christ,
are possessed not unto salvation, but unto judgment. But since it is
not a true verdict, but your verdict, "that through the baptism of
certain _traditors_ the baptism of Christ has perished from the world
in general," it is with good reason that you cannot find any answer
to make respecting the recognition of the baptism of the followers of
Maximianus.

47. See therefore, and remember with the most watchful care, how
Petilianus has made no answer to that very question, which he proposes
to himself in such terms as to seem to make it a starting-point from
which to say something. For the former question he has dismissed
altogether, and has not wished to speak of it to us, because I suppose
it was beyond his power; nor is he at any time, up to the very end
of his volume, going to say anything about it, though he quoted it
from the first part of my