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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. IV:
Writings in Connection with the Donatist Controversy.: Chapter 48

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 48.—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.  Augustin 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;"  2131 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 p. 560 of his anointing that David honored 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.


Footnotes

559:2131

1 Cor. iv. 3.


Next: Chapter 49

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