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WEDDERBURN,‘PROBLEM OF CATHOLICITY’
61
followed a man.’ Answer to the Letter of Parmenian:45
Christ, who is above all things, God, forever blessed, and who has said in all truth con¬
cerning himself‘I am the truth’, responded to his disciples who asked him if he wanted
them to go and gather the tares:‘Leave them both to grow until the harvest’. But Donatus
says that the tares have increased, but that the wheat has lessened. Let them choose whom
they would beheve. Christ, that is to say the Truth, says: ‘The field is this world’, and
Donatus says that the field of the Lord is only Africa. Let them choose whom they would
beheve. Christ, that is to say the Truth, says: ‘At the time of the harvest I shall say to the
harvesters,“First collect the tares”,’ and he explains:‘The harvest is the end of the world’.
But Donatus says that by the schism of his group, before the harvest, the separation of the
wheat and the tares is accomphshed. Let them choose whom they would beheve. Christ,
that is to say the Truth, says: ‘The harvesters are the angels’, but Donatus says that his
colleagues and himself have made before the harvest what Christ said the angels would do
at the time of the harvest. Let them choose whom they would beheve. Of course, the
Donatists call themselves Christians. Well, then, we place before them Christ and Donatus.
If they give their words to Christ and their hearts to Donatus, let them consider.
In the two last places, what is sayd of Donatus may be truly said of the pope, and
what of the Donatists, of the downright papists, who, if they think themselves
the only true church, must say as Donatus and his crew sayd, zizania quidem
crevisse,frumenta vero esse dimimta.46 For they whom they hold to be the zizania
are the far more in number. Ibid.:47 ‘They believe themselves to be just and scorn
others; thus they do not sing the new song, elevated as they are by the pride of
the old man.That communion from which they separate themselves, it is that to
which it has been said, “Sing to the Lord a new song, sing to the Lord, all the
earth.”1 Answer to the Letters of Petition:48
Such men at any rate are likely to say, In thy name have we eaten and drunken, and to hear
words,‘I never knew you,’ seeing that they eat his body and drink his blood in the sacra¬
ment, and doe not recognise in the gospel his members which are spread abroad through¬
out the earth, and therefore are not themselves counted among them in the judgment.
Ibid.:49
for no one who in any way looks truly at the gospel will venture in his heart to say that in
all the many nations throughout which is heard the response of Amen’, and among whom
‘Alleluia’ is sung almost with one single voice, no Christians are to be found. And yet, that
it may not appear that the party of Donatus, which does not communicate with the
several nations of the world is involved in error, if any angel from heaven, who could see
the whole world, were to declare that outside your communion good and innocent men
were nowhere to be found, there is litde doubt that you would rejoice over the iniquity of
the human race....
Here and in many other passages, he sheweth that ther can be no greater
uncharitablenesse then the confining of the church within narrower bounds
45 bk. 2, ch. 2 [vii, 11-12].
‘the tares have increased but the wheat has diminished’.
47 bk. 3, ch. 4[vii, 27].
48 bk.2,ch.55 [vii, 99]; H/orfej,iii,329.
49 ch. 78 [vii, 102]; Works, iii, 347-8.

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