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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. IV:
Writings in Connection with the Donatist Controversy.: Chapter 16

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 16.—30.  Another Saturninus of Tucca 1806 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. 1807   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?" 1808

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.


Footnotes

504:1806

Tucca was in ecclesiastical province of Numidia.  For Saturninus, see c. 15-28,  n. 2.

504:1807

He is alluding to Stephen, bishop of Rome, of whom Cyprian says in his Ep. lxxiv. 7 (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, also of Valentinus and Apelles, and others who blaspheme against God the Father?"

504:1808

Conc. Carth. sec. 52.


Next: Chapter 17

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