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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. V:
A Treatise on the Grace of Christ, and...: Chapter 21

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 21 [XIX.]—Pelagius Avoids the Question as to Why Baptism is Necessary for Infants.

Now it is to no purpose that he says all this. He does not clear himself thereby. Not even they have ever denied the impossibility of infants entering the kingdom of heaven without baptism. But this is not the question; what we are discussing concerns the obliteration 1945 of original sin in infants. Let him clear himself on this point, since he refuses to acknowledge that there is anything in infants which the laver of regeneration has to cleanse. On this account we ought carefully to consider what he has afterwards to say. After adducing, then, the passage of the Gospel which declares that “whosoever is not born again of water and the Spirit cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven” 1946 (on which matter, as we have said, they raise no question), he goes on at once to ask: “Who indeed is so impious as to have the heart to refuse the common redemption of the human race to an infant of any age whatever?” But this is ambiguous language; for what redemption does he mean? Is it from evil to good? or from good to better? Now even Cœlestius, at Carthage, 1947 allowed a redemption for infants in his book; although, at the same time, he would not admit the transmission of sin to them from Adam.


Footnotes

243:1945

Purgatione.

243:1946

John iii. 5.

243:1947

See above, in the preface to the treatise On the Perfection of a Righteous Man, towards the end.


Next: Chapter 22

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