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Chapter 90.—196.  Petilianus said:  "Therefore I say, He ordained that we should undergo death for the faith, which each man should do for the communion of the Church.  For Christianity makes progress by the deaths of its followers.  For if death were feared by the faithful, no man would be found to live with perfect faith.  For the Lord Christ says, 577‘Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone:  but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.’"22172217     John xii. 24.

197.  Augustin answered:  I should be glad to know which of your party it was who first threw himself over a precipice.  For truly that grain of corn was fruitful from which so great a crop of similar suicides has sprung.  Tell me, when you make mention of the words of the Lord, that He says a grain of wheat shall die and bring forth much fruit, why do you envy the real fruit, which has most truly22182218     Veracissime.  Another reading is "feracissime," "most abundantly." sprung up throughout the whole world, and bring up against it all the charges of the tares or chaff which you have ever either heard of or invented?


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