~  CXLIV  ~

S. P. Scott, The Civil Law, XVII, Cincinnati, 1932 ).

The Emperor Justinian to Diomedes, Praetorian Prefect.
  We are constantly occupied, as the Most Pious Emperor, Our Father was, in attempts to turn the Samaritans from their heresy and their unreasonable errors to lead them in a better path, and to cure their souls of the diseases with which they are afflicted; but, in most instances, We have not succeeded in accomplishing what We have long attempted. For several of them are so devoted to their insane beliefs that, after having become worthy of being baptized, they have again accepted the evil doctrines which they once renounced; and have induced others to embrace the same heresy with equal ardor. Therefore, it appears to Us to be advisable to amend the ancient law enacted against the Samaritans by Our Father.
  Hence, We prohibit them from becoming heirs, either by will or in case of intestacy, from receiving legacies, or from acquiring anything by way of donation. Neither the Samaritans, nor heretics in general, nor those who pretend to profess the true faith of Christians, without actually believing in it, and observing its rules, shall be entitled to any succession to which they may be called ab intestato; nor can they execute a will, make a donation, or bequeath a legacy; unless those who are entitled to receive them have embraced the true religion, and have manifested their faith by their works; for where none of them are persons of this kind, We order that, after their death, their property shall belong to the Imperial Treasury. Wherefore the rule which Our Father established through indulgence for the Samaritans, and which, having the force of law, gave them the privilege of accepting and transmitting estates, as well as the right to receive and bequeath legacies, shall hereafter be void and have no force whatsoever. If those who adopt the insane belief of the Samaritans should show themselves to be unworthy of the benefit of this constitution, they can blame no one but themselves, since they have rejected the benevolence of God and Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; and they shall forfeit the privileges formerly granted to them by Imperial Majesty, for the purpose of inducing them to entertain a better frame of mind, and to prevent their perpetual adherence to this perverse doctrine.
  We except from the operation of the present law those who acquiesce in the dogmas of the Samaritans, not through any favor to them, but from the fact that they cultivate certain tracts of land whose revenues and tributes are paid into the Public Treasury, and for the reason that, on account of their rusticity, they have been led astray in this respect. For We permit them, even though they have embraced the Samaritan heresy, to appoint as heirs or legatees both their ascendants, descendants, and collateral relatives; if they should continue to cultivate said lands in such a way that the owners thereof can obtain a better income, and may the more readily be able to pay the taxes due to the Treasury. And for the same reason, We enable them to succeed to the inheritance of one another, in case of intestacy; and We also desire that when a tenant expires without leaving any heirs, the owner of the land on which he died shall be entitled to his property, and take the place of the Treasury in this respect, provided he pays the public taxes instead of the deceased. Moreover, We do not permit a Samaritan to hold office, or discharge the duties of civil administration, to bring suit in court, to be admitted to the Association of the Rhetoricians, or to impart instruction to young persons. And if any Samaritan, after having proved himself worthy to receive baptism, should return to his former error and be detected in observing the Sabbath, or in doing anything else which proves that he was only baptized through simulated conversion, We order that he shall be proscribed, and sentenced to exile for life. We subject to the same penalty those persons who, in opposition to the Christian faith, have impiously given him protection. It seems to Us, however, very proper that those who solicit the sacred rite of baptism should not hastily be permitted to receive it, and We desire them to be examined and the advice usually given at the time of initiation to be communicated to them. We also order that those who can, in any way, be influenced by good doctrine shall, in the first place, be instructed in the faith for two years, and become familiar with the Holy Scriptures; and that they then be presented with the sacred baptism, the symbol of redemption, and obtain the fruit of this sacrament, after a sufficiently long repentance. This provision, however, shall not be applicable to the children of Samaritans who, on account of their age, are unable to understand the doctrine of the Church, for We allow them to be honored with baptism without this requirement. No Samaritan shall hold a Christian as a slave, and if he should buy one, he must be restored to freedom. When the slave of a Samaritan adopts the false doctrine of his master, he shall be permitted to obtain Roman liberty immediately, if he embraces the Christian faith.
  Therefore Your Glory will cause what We have been pleased to enact by the present law to be published in the usual manner, and carried into effect.