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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. IV:
Writings in Connection with the Donatist Controversy.: Chapter 5

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 5.—6.  Do you, therefore, holy scions of our one Catholic mother, beware with all the watchfulness of which you are capable, in due submission to the Lord, of the example of crime and error such as this.  With however great light of learning and of reputation he may shine, however much he may boast himself to be a precious stone, who endeavors to lead you after him, remember always that that brave woman who alone is lovely only to her husband, whom holy Scripture portrays to us in the last chapter of the Book of Proverbs, is more precious than any precious stones.  Let no one say, I will follow such an one, for it was even he that made me a Christian; or, I will follow such an one, for it was even he that baptized me.  For "neither is he that planteth anything, neither he that watereth, but God that giveth the increase." 2341   And "God is love; and he that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and God in him." 2342   No one also that preaches the name of Christ, and handles or administers the sacrament of Christ, is to be followed in opposition to the unity of Christ.  "Let every man prove his own work; and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.  For every man shall bear his own burden," 2343 —the burden, that is, of rendering an account; for "every one of shall give an account of himself.  Let us not therefore judge one another any more." 2344   For, so far as relates to the burdens of mutual love, "bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.  For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself." 2345   Let us therefore "forbear one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace;" 2346 for no one who gathers outside that peace is gathering with Christ; but "he that gathering not with Him scattereth abroad." 2347


Footnotes

599:2341

1 Cor. iii. 7.

599:2342

1 John iv. 16.

599:2343

Gal. 6:4, 5.

599:2344

Rom. 14:12, 13.

599:2345

Gal. 6:2, 3.

599:2346

Eph. 4:2, 3.

599:2347

Matt. xii. 30.


Next: Chapter 6

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