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Chapter 4.—6.  Next his colleagues proceed to deliver their several opinions.  But first they listened to the letter written to Jubaianus; for it was read, as was mentioned in the preamble.  Let it therefore be read among ourselves also, that we too, with the help of God, may discover from it what we ought to think.  "What!" I think I hear some one saying, "do you proceed to tell us what Cyprian wrote to Jubaianus?"  I have read the letter, I confess, and should certainly have been a convert to his views, had I not been induced to consider the matter more carefully by the vast weight of authority, originating in those whom the Church, distributed throughout the world amid so many nations, of Latins, Greeks, barbarians, not to mention the Jewish race itself, has been able to produce,—that same Church which gave birth to Cyprian himself,—men whom I could in no wise bring myself to think had been unwilling without reason to hold this view,—not because it was impossible that in so difficult a question the opinion of one or of a few might not have been more near the truth than that of more, but because one must not lightly, without full consideration and investigation of the matter to the best of his abilities, decide in favor of a single individual, or even of a few, against the decision of so very many men of the same religion and communion, all endowed with great talent and abundant learning.  And so how much was suggested to me on more diligent inquiry, even by the letter of Cyprian himself, in favor of the view which is now held by the Catholic Church, that the baptism of Christ is to be recognized and approved, not by the standard of their merits by whom it is administered, but by His alone of whom it is said, "The same is He which baptizeth," 1269 will be shown naturally in the course of our argument.  Let us therefore suppose that the letter which was written by Cyprian to Jubaianus has been read among us, as it was read in the Council. 1270   And I would have every one read it who means to read what I am going to say, lest he might possibly think that I have suppressed some things of consequence.  For it would take too much time, and be irrelevant to the elucidation of the matter in hand, were we at this moment to quote all the words of this epistle.



John i. 33.


The Council of Carthage.

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