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Chapter 31.—70.  Petilianus said:  "For there is no power but of God," 2067 none in any man of power; as the Lord Jesus Christ answered Pontius Pilate, ‘Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above.’ 2068   And again, in the words of John, ‘A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.’ 2069   Tell us, therefore, traditor, when you received the power of imitating the mysteries."

71.  Augustin answered:  Tell us rather thyself when the power of baptizing was lost by the whole world through which is dispersed the inheritance of Christ, and by all that multitude of nations in which the apostles founded the Churches.  You will never be able to tell us,—not only because you have calumniated them, and do not prove them to be traditors, but because, even if you did prove this, yet no guilt on the part of any evil-doers, whether they be unsuspected, or deceitful, or be tolerated as the tares or as the chaff, can possibly overthrow the promises, so that all the nations of the earth should not be blessed in the seed of Abraham; in which promises you deprive them of their share when you will not have the communion of unity with all nations of the earth.



Rom. xiii. 1.


John xix. 11.


John iii. 27.

Next: Chapter 32