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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. IV:
Writings in Connection with the Donatist Controversy.: Chapter 28

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 28.—33.  This is what we look upon with horror in your party; this is what the sentence of God condemns, crying out with the utmost truth and the utmost clearness, "Cursed is every one that trusteth in man." 2382   This is what is most openly forbidden by holy humility and apostolic love, as Paul declares, "Let no man glory in men." 2383   This is the reason that the attack of empty calumnies and p. 610 of the bitterest invectives grows even fiercer against us, that when human authority is as it were overthrown, there may remain no ground of hope for those to whom we administer the word and sacrament of God in accordance with the dispensation entrusted unto us.  We make answer to them:  How long do you rest your support on man?  The venerable society of the Catholic Church makes answer to them:  "Truly my soul waiteth upon God:  from Him cometh my salvation.  He only is my God and my helper; I shall not be moved." 2384   For what other reason have they had for removing from the house of God, except that they pretended that they could not endure those vessels made to dishonor, from which the house shall not be free until the day of judgment? whereas all the time they rather appear, by their deeds and by the records of the time, to have themselves been vessels of this kind, while they threw the imputation in the teeth of others; of which said vessels made unto dishonor, in order that no one should on their account remove in confusion of mind from the great house, which alone belongs to the great Father of our family, the servant of God, one who was good and faithful, or was capable of receiving faith in baptism, as I have shown above, expressly says, "Truly my soul waiteth upon God" (on God, you see, and not on man):  "from Him cometh my salvation" (not from man).  But Petilianus would refuse to ascribe to God the cleansing and purifying of a man, even when the stain upon the conscience of him who gives, but not in holiness, is hidden from view, and any one receives his faith unwittingly from one that is faithless.  "I tell you this," he says, "as shortly as I can:  you were bound both to examine your baptizer, and to be examined by him."


Footnotes

609:2382

Jer. xvii. 5.

609:2383

1 Cor. iii. 21.

610:2384

Ps. 62:1, 2; cp. Hieron.


Next: Chapter 29

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