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Epistle VI.—To Sixtus, Bishop.840840    Dionysius mentions letters that had been written by him as well to the Presbyters Dionysius and Philemon as to Stephen, on the baptism of heretics and on the Sabellian heresy.

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1. Previously, indeed, (Stephen) had written letters about Helanus and Firmilianus, and about all who were established throughout Cilicia and Cappadocia, and all the neighbouring provinces, giving them to understand that for that same reason he would depart from their communion, because they rebaptized heretics. And consider the seriousness of the matter. For, indeed, in the most considerable councils of the bishops, as I hear, it has been decreed that they who come from heresy should first be trained in Catholic doctrine, and then should be cleansed by baptism from the filth of the old and impure leaven. Asking and calling him to witness on all these matters, I sent letters.

And a little after Dionysius proceeds:—

2. And, moreover, to our beloved co-presbyters Dionysius and Philemon, who before agreed with Stephen, and had written to me about the same matters, I wrote previously in few words, but now I have written again more at length.

In the same letter, says Eusebius,841841    Lib. vii. ch. 6. he informs Xystus842842    [i.e., Sixtus II.] of the Sabellian heretics, that they were gaining ground at that time, in these words:—

3. For since of the doctrine, which lately has been set on foot at Ptolemais, a city of Pentapolis, impious and full of blasphemy against Almighty God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; full of unbelief and perfidy towards His only begotten Son and the first-born of every creature, the Word made man, and which takes away the perception of the Holy Spirit,—on either side both letters were brought to me, and brethren had come to discuss it, setting forth more plainly as much as by God’s gift I was able,—I wrote certain letters, copies of which I have sent to thee.


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