Chapter 35 [XXXII.]—Pelagius Believes that Infants Have No Sin to Be Remitted in Baptism.
But Pelagius would have the reader pass from this letter to the book which states his belief. This he has made mention of to yourselves, and in it he has discoursed a good deal on points about which no question was raised as to his views. Let us, however, look simply at the subjects about which our own controversy with them is concerned. Having, then terminated a discussion which he had conducted to his hearts content,—from the Unity of the Trinity to the resurrection of the flesh, on which nobody was questioning him,—he goes on to say: “We hold likewise one baptism, which we aver ought to be administered to infants in the same sacramental formula as it is to adults.” Well, now, you have yourselves affirmed that you heard him admit at least as much as this in your presence. What, however, is the use of his saying that the sacrament of baptism is administered to children “in the same words as it is to adults,” when our inquiry concerns the thing, not merely the words? It is a more important matter, that (as you write) with his own mouth he replied to your own question, that “infants receive baptism for the remission of sins.” For he did not say here, too, “in words of remission of sins,” but he acknowledged that they are baptized for the remission itself; and yet for all this, if you were to ask him what the sin is which he supposes to be remitted to them, he would contend that they had none whatever.