Ante-Nicene Fathers/Volume V/Appendix/Anonymous Treatise on Re-baptism/Note by the Edinburgh Translator
Note by the Edinburgh Translator.
Letters of Cyprian to Quintus, to Jubaianus, to Pompey, on “the baptism of heretics;” and to Magnus on “baptizing the Novatians, and those who obtain grace on a sick-bed,” may be found translated in Ep. lxx. (p. 377, supra), Ep. lxxii. (p. 379, supra), Ep. lxxiii. (p. 386, supra), and Ep. lxxv. (p. 397, supra), respectively; and the Letter of Firmilian to Cyprian against the Letter of Stephen, at p. 390, supra, Ep. lxxiv. All these letters are repeated, in extenso, in the Monumenta Veterum.
Eusebius says, by way of introduction to the fragment of a letter written to Stephen by Dionysius of Alexandria, as follows: “Dionysius indited to Stephen the first of those letters which were written on the subject of baptism, when no small controversy had arisen whether they who are converted from any kind of heresy ought to be purged by baptism (because an ancient custom had prevailed, that in receiving such there should only be hands laid upon them, with prayers). Cyprian, who then ruled the Church of Carthage, was the first who judged that they must not be admitted to communion unless they were first purified from error by baptism. But Stephen, thinking that nothing should be innovated contrary to the tradition which had already obtained in that matter from the beginning, was indignant at this. And as Dionysius had already written many letters to him on this argument, he intimates to him finally, that all the churches everywhere, now that the fury of persecution was abated, detesting the turbulent novelty of Novatian, had established peace with one another.”
- Eusebius calls him Novatus.
- See H. E., book viii. chaps. ii., iii, and iv.; and vol. vi., this series.