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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. V:
A Treatise on the Merits and Forgiveness...: Chapter 40

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 40 [XXVII.]—A Collection of Scripture Testimonies. From the Gospels.

This reasoning will carry more weight, after I have collected the mass of Scripture testimonies which I have undertaken to adduce. We have already quoted: “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” 332 To the same purport [the Lord] says, on entering the home of Zaccheus: “To-day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” 333 The same truth is declared in the parable of the lost sheep and the ninety and nine which were left until the missing one was sought and found; 334 as it is also in the parable of the lost one among the ten silver coins. 335 Whence, as He said, “it behoved that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” 336 Mark likewise, at the end of his Gospel, tells us how that the Lord said: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” 337 Now, who can be unaware that, in the case of infants, being baptized is to believe, and not being baptized is not to believe? From the Gospel of John we have already adp. 31 duced some passages. However, I must also request your attention to the following: John Baptist says of Christ, “Behold the Lamb of God, Behold Him which taketh away the sin of the world;” 338 and He too says of Himself, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish.” 339 Now, inasmuch as infants are only able to become His sheep by baptism, it must needs come to pass that they perish if they are not baptized, because they will not have that eternal life which He gives to His sheep. So in another passage He says: “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” 340



Luke v. 32.


Luke 19:9, 10.


Luke xv. 4.


Luke xv. 8.


Luke 24:46, 47.


Mark 16:15, 16.


John i. 29.


John 10:27, 28.


John xiv. 6.

Next: Chapter 41

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