Part 4
Chapter 2—Of Redemption

Section 18—Optatus Milevitanus. A.D. 370.

Optatus, bishop of Milevi in Africa, wrote six books, for the seventh is none of his, against the Donatists, in the times of the emperors Valens and Valentinianus,[1] that is, after A.D. 364, and before A. D. 374, in which work stands this passage, which is cited by Monsieur Daille[2] in favor of universal redemption; "Christ," says Optatus,[3] "is the only redeemer of souls, which the devil possessed before his coming; these Christ our Savior has redeemed with his own blood, as the apostle says, Ye are bought with a price.It is certain that all are redeemed by the blood of Christ." But Monsieur Daille should have read on, and transcribed more, when it would have appeared, that Optatus explains these all,of all that believe;for thus he proceeds, "Christ has not sold whom he hath redeemed; souls bought by Christ cannot be sold, that they may, as you would have it (speaking to the Donatists),be redeemed again by you. How can one soul have two masters? Is there another Redeemer? Which of the prophets have declared that another is to Come? What Gabriel speaks again to another Mary? What virgin brings forth again? Who hath done new or other miracles? If there is none but one, qui redimit animos omnium credentium,who redeems the souls of all believers, why do you say, redeem your souls?"


[1] Hieron. Catal. Eccl. s. 120.

[2] Apolog. p. 794.

[3] De Schism. Donatist. 1. 3, p. 80, 81.