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Chapter XXXV.—Desiring the Salvation of Others.

Then said I:  “I pray you, my lord Peter, tell us what is that declaration which you say afforded you evidence of her faith?”  Then Peter:  “It is her asking that her hostess, whose kindnesses she wishes to requite, may be baptized along with her.  Now she would not ask that this grace be bestowed upon her whom she loves, unless she believed that there is some great boon in baptism.  Whence, also, I find fault with very many, who, when they are themselves baptized and believe, yet do nothing worthy of faith with those whom they love, such as wives, or children, or friends, whom they do not exhort to that which they themselves have attained, as they would do if indeed they believed that eternal life is thereby bestowed.  In short, if they see them to be sick, or to be subject to any danger bodily, they grieve and mourn, because they are sure that in this destruction threatens them.  So, then, if they were sure of this, that the punishment of eternal fire awaits those who do not worship God, when would they cease warning and exhorting?  Or, if they refused, how would they not mourn and bewail them, being sure that eternal torments awaited them?  Now, therefore, we shall send for that woman at once, and see if she loves the faith of our religion; and as we find, so shall we act.  But since your mother has judged so faithfully concerning baptism, let her fast only one day before baptism.”

Next: Chapter XXXVI