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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. IV:
Writings in Connection with the Donatist Controversy.: Chapter 24

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 24.—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 Gildonanius:  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 1961 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 honors 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.


Footnotes

528:1961

That of Bagai.


Next: Chapter 25

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