Sect. 2. The necessity of Paedobaptisme depending on the positive part of the probation. The severall sorts of Anabaptists. Testimonies the onely proof of Institutions.
[ 1] BEfore I proceed I must desire the Reader to consider two things, 1. That the Jewish baptisme is not by me set up as the com∣petent proof, but onely as the ground or foundation (which taken by its self is always very imperfect in respect of the whole fabrick or building,) 2. That the perfect proof being set down to consist Page 7 of two parts, a negative and a positive, the first onely shewing the no incongruity or unlawfulness of baptizing Infants, and the second adding thereto duty and obligation, these two must in all reason remain conjoyned in our discourse, and not be so severed, or considered asunder, as if I thought the former way of negative probation sufficient to do the whole work without the assistance of the latter; This I needed not have said in relation to Mr. T. For the bare negative consideration (that there is nothing in the pattern whence Christs baptisme is copied out, nothing in the copie it self, as far as Christ's words in the Gospel, or the Apostles practice extend, &c.) is perfectly sufficient to refute an antipaedo∣baptist (such as he professeth to be) who undertakes to shew the baptizing of Infants to be unlawfull, but cannot pretend to shew it by any other way, but by producing some either law or practice of Christ or his Apostles to the contrary, which he must be con∣cluded unable to do, if my Negative stand inviolate▪ But I thus interpose (and do it thus early) because the positive part, being indeed the principal, especially when it is also added to the nega∣tive, doth not onely demonstrate it lawfull, but duty, to offer and receive our Infants to baptisme, the judgement and practice of the Ʋniversal Church for 1600 years, (received, as the Fathers with one consent testifie, from the Apostles, as the will of Christ himself) having this force and authority over every meek son of the Church, that he may not without incurring God's displeasure, oppugne or contemne it.
[ 3] And so by this means there is much more performed then was needful, if Mr. T. had been the onely adversary foreseen, even that which may convince all sorts of opposers and disputers in this matter, from *Peter de Bruce and Henry his Scholar, and the Petrobusiani and Henriciani that sprang from them, to Nicholas Storck and John Munzer, Melchior Rinck, Balthazar Hab∣maier, Michael Satelar the Switzers, and so on to Michael Hofman the skinner in the Low Countries, to Ʋbbo and Men∣no of Friseland, and Theodorick Ʋbbo's son, and all their fol∣lowers, which either then lived, and set up in Germany, or are now revived, or copied out among us; This one deduction of this practice (of baptizing Infants) from the Apostles, if it be solid, being abundantly sufficient to make an end of all controversies of Page 8 this kind, It being highly unreasonable that an institution of Christ's, such as each Sacrament is, should be judged of by any other rule (whether the phansies or reasons of men) but either the words wherein the institution is set down, or (when they, as they are recorded in the Scripture, come not home to the de∣ciding of the controversie) by the records of the practice, whether of Christ, or (because he baptized not himself) of the Apostles, however conserved or made known unto us.
[ 4] In a word then, the customary baptisme among the Jews be∣ing first laid onely as the basis and foundation (which, as I said, must be observed to differ from the whole building, being indeed onely, the first and most imperfect part of it) and evidently brought home and applied to every branch of the Christian baptisme, I desire Mr. T. will permit the baptisme of our in∣fants to deduce and evidence it self from the considerations, which are thereunto annexed, both negative and positive, and then make triall how he shall be able to demolish that structure which is thus founded and supported; Meanwhile I shall now con∣sider the severals of his exceptions, having premised thus much in generall.