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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. IV:
Writings in Connection with the Donatist Controversy.: Chapter 6

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 6.—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 Scripture, "let him be accursed." 2348   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 p. 600 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 defense 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. 2349   For in fact I ought to consider, not how bitter, but how false is what I hear, and how true He is in defense of whose name I am exposed to it, and to whom it is said, "Thy name is as ointment poured forth." 2350   And deservedly does it smell sweet in all nations, though those who speak evil of us endeavor 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 offense in what was foretold so long before of His ascent into the heavens, and of the pouring forth of His name, as of the savor of ointment:  "Be Thou exalted, O God, above the heavens:  let Thy glory be above all the earth"? 2351


Footnotes

599:2348

Gal. i. 8.

600:2349

Matt. v. 12.

600:2350

Cant. i. 3.

600:2351

Ps. lvii. 11.


Next: Chapter 7

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