Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. IV:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
Writings in Connection with the Donatist Controversy.: Chapter 51
Chapter 51.—63. Next, listen for a short time to the kind of way in which he has tried to use, in his own behalf, the passages which I had advanced from the writings of the Apostle Paul. "For you asserted," he says, "that the Apostle Paul finds fault with those who used to say that they were of the Apostle Paul, saying, Was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? 2444 Wherefore, if they were in error, and would have perished had they not been corrected, because they wished to be of Paul, what hope can there possibly be for those who have wished to be of Donatus? For this is their sole object, that the origin, and root, and head of him that is baptized should be none other than he by whom he is baptized." 2445 p. 623 These words, and this confirmation from the writings of the apostle, he has quoted from my epistle, and he has proposed to himself the task of refuting them. Go on then, I beg of you, to see how he has fulfilled the task. For he says, "This assertion is meaningless, and inflated, and childish, and foolish, and something very far from a true exposition of our faith. For you would only be right in asserting this, if we were to say, We have been baptized in the name of Donatus, or Donatus was crucified for us, or we have been baptized in our own name. But since such things as this neither have been said nor are said by us,—seeing that we follow the formula of the holy Trinity,—it is clear that you are mad to bring such accusations against us. Or if you think that we have been baptized in the name of Donatus, or in our own name, you are miserably deceived, and at the same time confess in your sacrilege that you on your part defile your wretched selves in the name of Cæcilianus." This is the answer which Petilianus has made to those arguments of mine, not supposing—or rather making a noise that no one might suppose—that he has made no answer at all which could bear in any way upon the question which is under discussion. For who could fail to see that this witness of the apostle has been adduced by us with all the more propriety, in that you do not say that you were baptized in the name of Donatus, or that Donatus was crucified for you, and yet separate yourselves from the communion of the Catholic Church out of respect to the party of Donatus; as also those whom Paul was rebuking certainly did not say that they had been baptized in the name of Paul, or that Paul has been crucified for them, and yet they were making a schism in the name of Paul. As therefore in their case, for whom Christ, not Paul, was crucified, and who were baptized in the name of Christ, not of Paul, and who yet said, "I am of Paul," the rebuke is used with all the more propriety, "Was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?" to make them cling to Him who was crucified for them, and in whose name they were baptized, and not be guilty of division in the name of Paul; so in your case, also, the rebuke, Was Donatus crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Donatus? is used all the more appositely, because you do not say, We were baptized in the name of Donatus, and yet desire to be of the party of Donatus. For you know that it was Christ who was crucified for you, and Christ in whose name you were baptized; and yet, out of respect to the name and party of Donatus, you show such obstinacy in fighting against the unity of Christ, who was crucified for you, and in whose name you were baptized.
1 Cor. i. 13.622:2445
See Book I. cc. 3, 4, 4, 5.
Next: Chapter 52
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