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St. Thomas Aquinas
Explanation of the Sacraments

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Errors concerning baptism
 
There have been certain errors concerning this Sacrament. The first was 
that of the Solentiani, who received a baptism not of water but of the 
spirit. Against them the Lord says: "Unless a man be born again of water 
and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."15 The second 
error was that of the Donatists, who re-baptized those who had been 
baptized by the Catholics. Against them it is written: "One faith, one 
baptism."16 They also err in holding that a man in the state of sin cannot 
baptize. Against them it is said: "He upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit 
descending, and remaining upon Him, He it is that baptizeth."17 It is thus 
seen that a minister who is himself evil does not invalidate either this or 
any of the other Sacraments, because it is Christ who, by the merits of His 
passion, gives to each Sacrament its efficacy; and He is good. The fourth 
error is that of the Pelagians who say that children must be baptized 
because by their regeneration they, as adopted children of God, are 
admitted into the kingdom, but by this regeneration they are not freed from 
original sin.
 
 
 
 



15
. John. iii. 5
 


16
. Eph., iv. 5.
 


17. John. i. 33.




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