Part Three: The Pelagian Crisis (411–430)
Edited By Frederick Van Fleteren
Article 289: Emeritus (2)
Two days later on Friday, September 20, 418, the bishops, priests, deacons, and a great number of lay people gathered in the church of Algiers.1 Deuterius was the presiding bishop and Emeritus was present. Secretaries were on hand to act as stenographers. Augustine believed it important that this meeting take place if not for Emeritus’ sake, then for the sake of those in need of enlightenment on the schism.
Emeritus and other Donatists complained of oppression at the hands of Marcellinus in the conference of Carthage (411).2 They protested they had not been permitted to defend themselves properly. After Augustine reported to this assembly the events of the preceding Wednesday, he requested Emeritus present the strongest case for his party and respond in his own behalf.3 Their dispute no longer involved merely these two men. It would be useful for the lay people to hear the dispute. Emeritus had nothing to fear. It would be to his credit either to be victorious in the presence of his co-citizens or to yield to the truth.
Emeritus responded it could already be seen in the acts of the conference of Carthage, if he was the winner or loser and if he had yielded to truth or to power. Augustine asked him why he had come, if he did not wish to speak. He responded he came to answer what Augustine could ask him. Augustine then asked once again why...