Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers: Series I/Volume IV/Donatist Controversy/On Baptism/Book VII/Chapter 46

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Chapter 46.—90.  Litteus[1] of Gemelli[2] said:  "‘If the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.’[3]  Since, therefore, it is clear that heretics can give no light[4] to any one, as being blind themselves, therefore their baptism is invalid."[5]

91.  Neither do we say that it is valid for salvation so long as they are heretics, just as it is of no value to those murderers of whom we spoke, so long as they hate their brethren:  for they also themselves are in darkness, and if any one follows them they fall together into the ditch; and yet it does not follow that they either have not baptism or are unable to confer it.


  1. Some read Licteus; not unlikely the bishop of Cypr. Ep. lxxvi.
  2. Gemelli was a Roman colony in ecclesiastical province of Numidia.
  3. Matt xv. 14.
  4. Illuminare; baptism being often called φωτισμός.
  5. Conc. Carth. sec. 82.