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Writings in Connection with the Donatist Controversy

Bishop of Hippo Saint Augustine

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Or if those only are to be called tares who remain in perverse error to the end, there are many ears of corn outside, and many tares within.

15. But it will be urged that the bad outside are worse than those within. It is indeed a weighty question, whether Nicolaus, being already severed from the Church,[229] or Simon, who was still within it,[230] was the worse,—the one being a heretic, the other a sorcerer. But if the mere fact of division, as being the clearest token of violated charity, is held to be the worse evil, I grant that it is so. Yet many, though they have lost all feelings of charity, yet do not secede from considerations of worldly profit; and as they seek their own, not[Pg 94] the things which are Jesus Christ's,[231] what they are unwilling to secede from is not the unity of Christ, but their own temporal advantage. Whence it is said in praise of charity, that she "seeketh not her own."[232]

16. Now, therefore, the question is, h. . . Read More