CHAPTER XI. HELPIDIUS DISPUTED WELL AGAINST THE MANICHAEANS AS TO THE AUTHENTICITY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT.

21. Furthermore, whatever they had censured in Thy Scriptures I thought impossible to be defended; and yet sometimes, indeed, I desired to confer on these several points with some one well learned in those books, and to try what he thought of them. For at this time the words of one Helpidius, speaking and disputing face to face against the said Manichaeans, had begun to move me even at Carthage, in that he brought forth things from the Scriptures not easily withstood, to which their answer appeared to me feeble. And this answer they did not give forth publicly, but only to us in private, when they said that the writings of the New Testament had been tampered with by I know not whom, who were desirous of ingrafting the Jewish law upon the Christian faith; but they themselves did not bring forward any uncorrupted copies.' But I, thinking of corporeal things, very much ensnared and in a measure stifled, was oppressed by those masses; panting under which for the breath of Thy Truth, I was not able to breathe it pure and undefiled.