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On The Creeds by St. Augustine

Section 16. In three ways then are sins remitted in the Churchà

16. In three ways then are sins remitted in the Church; by Baptism, by prayer, by the greater humility of penance; yet God doth not remit sins but to the baptized. The very sins which He remits first, He remits not but to the baptized. When? when they are baptized. The sins which are after remitted upon prayer, upon penance, to whom He remits, it is to the baptized that He remitteth. For how can they say, |Our Father,| who are not yet born sons? The Catechumens, so long as they be such, have upon them all their sins. If Catechumens, how much more Pagans? how much more heretics? But to heretics we do not change their baptism. Why? because they have baptism in the same way as a deserter has the soldier's mark: just so these also have Baptism; they have it, but to be condemned thereby, not crowned. And yet if the deserter himself, being amended, begin to do duty as a soldier, does any man dare to change his mark?

Footnotes:

|Characterem.| c17. We believe also |the resurrection of the flesh,| which went before in Christ: that the body too may have hope of that which went before in its Head. The Head of the Church, Christ: the Church, the body of Christ. Our Head is risen, ascended into heaven: where the Head, there also the members. In what way the resurrection of the flesh? Lest any should chance to think it like as Lazarus's resurrection, that thou mayest know it to be not so, it is added, |Into life everlasting.| God regenerate you! God preserve and keep you! God bring you safe unto Himself, Who is the Life Everlasting. Amen. ccOn Continence. [De Continentia.]

Translated by Rev. C. L. Cornish, M.A., of Exeter College, Oxford.

ST. Augustin speaks of his work On Continence in Ep.231, Ad Darium Comitem. [See vol.1. of this edition, p.584. -- P.S.] Possidius, Ind. c.10, mentions it, and it is cited in the Collectanea of Bede or Florus, and by Eugypius. Erasmus is therefore wrong in ascribing it to Hugo on the ground of the style, which is not unlike that of the earlier discourses. It is evidently a discourse, and probably for that reason unnoticed in the Retractations. The Manichæan heresy is impugned after the manner of his early works. -- (Abridged from Benedictine ed. vol. vi.)

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