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633

A Treatise

Concerning

the Correction of the Donatists;

Or Epistle CLXXXV.24652465     Written c. 417.

A Letter of Augustin24662466     In Book 11. c. xlviii of his Retractations, Augustin says:  "About the same time" (as that at which he wrote his treatise De Gestis Pelagii, i.e., about the year 417), "I wrote also a treatise De Correctione Donatistarum, for the sake of those who were not willing that the Donatists should be subjected to the correction of the imperial laws."  This treatise begins with the words "Laudo, et gratulor, et admiror."  This letter in the old editions was No. 50,—the letter which is now No. 4 in the appendix (Benedictine) being formerly No. 185. to Boniface, who, as we learn from Epistle 220, was Tribune, and afterwards Count in Africa.  In it Augustin shows that the heresy of the Donatists has nothing in common with that of Arius; and points out the moderation with which it was possible to recall the heretics to the communion of the Church through awe of the imperial laws.  He adds remarks concerning the savage conduct of the Donatists and Circumcelliones, concluding with a discussion of the unpardonable nature of the sin against the Holy Ghost.24672467     He handles the same thought in Ep. 93.


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