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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. IV:
Writings in Connection with the Donatist Controversy.: Chapter 39

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 39.—45.  But as for you, when the case of the followers of Maximianus is brought up against you, who, after being condemned by the sentence of a Council of 310 bishops; 2404 after being utterly defeated in the same Council, quoted in the records of so many proconsuls, in the chronicles of so many municipal towns; after being driven forth from the basilicas of which they were in possession, by the order of the judges, enforced by the troops of the several cities, were yet again received with all honor by you, together with those whom they had baptized outside the pale of your communion, without any question respecting their baptism,—when confronted, I say, with their case, you can find no reply to make.  Indeed, you are vanquished by an expressed opinion, not indeed true, but proceeding from yourselves, by which you maintain that men perish for the faults of others in the same communion of the sacraments, and that each man’s character is determined by that of the man by whom he is baptized,—that he is guilty if his baptizer is guilty, innocent if he is innocent.  But if these views are true, there can be no doubt that, to say nothing of innumerable others, you are destroyed by the sins of the followers of Maximianus, whose guilt your party, in so large a Council, has exaggerated even to the proportions of the sin of those whom the earth swallowed up alive.  But if the faults of the followers of Maximianus have not destroyed you, then are these opinions false which you entertain; and much less have certain indefinite unproved faults of the Africans been able to destroy the entire world.  And accordingly, as the apostle says, "Every man shall bear his own burden;" 2405 and the baptism of Christ is no one’s except Christ’s; and it is to no purpose that Petilianus promises that he will take as the subject of his second book the charges which we bring concerning the followers of Maximianus, entertaining too low an opinion of men’s intellects, as though they do not perceive that he has nothing to say.



That of Bagai.


Gal. vi. 5.

Next: Chapter 40

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