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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. IV:
Writings in Connection with the Donatist Controversy.: Chapter 19

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 19.—32.  Felix of Bagai 1653 said:  "As when the blind leads the blind, both fall into the ditch, 1654 so when a heretic baptizes a heretic, both fall together into death."

33.  This is true, but it does not follow that what he adds is true.  "And therefore," he says, "the heretic must be baptized and brought to life, lest we who are alive should hold communion with the dead." 1655   Were they not dead who said, "Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die?" 1656 for they did not believe in the resurrection of the dead.  Those then who were corrupted by their evil communications, and followed them, were not they likewise falling with them into the pit?  And yet among them there were men to whom the apostle was writing as being already baptized; nor would they, therefore, if they were corrected, be baptized afresh.  Does not the same apostle say, "To be carnally-minded is death?" 1657 and certainly the covetous, the deceivers, the robbers, in the midst of whom Cyprian himself was groaning, were carnally-minded.  What then?  Did the dead hurt him who was living in unity?  Or who would say, that because such men had or gave the baptism of Christ, that it was therefore violated by their iniquities?



Bagai, in church province of Numidia.  See on I. 5. 7.  Among the many of the name of Felix in the letters of Cyprian, lvi., lvii., lxvii; title 1, 6, lxx., lxxvi. bis, lxxvii., lxxix., title and text, it would be unsafe to decide a sure reference to distinguish between this and the other bishops of the same cognomen in this council.


Matt. xv. 14.


Conc. Carth. sec. 12.


1 Cor. xv. 32.


Rom. viii. 6.

Next: Chapter 20

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