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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. IV:
Writings in Connection with the Donatist Controversy.: Chapter 45

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 45.—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.  Augustin answered:  You have been p. 558 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.


Next: Chapter 46

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