THE CHARACTER of an ANABAPTIST.
As it was presented to some Lords of His Majestys Right honourable Privy Council, for His Majesty, upon Thursday the 24 of Janua [...]y, 1660.

AN Anabaptist is so called, for being baptized according to the Scriptures, Mat. 3. 6.16. and as the Rubrick and Catechism of the book of Common-Prayer commands and instructs: For the Rubrick commands Dipping, not Sprinkling, nor pouring on Water, but on weak conditions, both in publick and private baptism.Acts 8.38, 39. And the Catechism re­quires Faith and Repentance, which the same Catechism acknowledgeth Infants cannot perform. And this book is owned by the Bishops and Church of England. If Bishops then, Iohn 3.23. and the Church of England do as they command, and are command, as they instruct, and are instructed; Gal. 3.27. are not the Bishops and Church of England all Anabaptists? Rom. 6.3.4. &c.

OH THAT MEN WOULD WALK BY THEIR OWN RULE, OR MAKE A RULE BY THEIR OWN WALKING.Col. 2.12.

The Anabaptist's ONELY RULE for all they endeavour to think, say, or do, are the SCRIPTURES:1 Cor. 15.29. Nor dare they allow themselves or others, in any thing not allowed and appointed by Scripture: So that their Character is in Print, legible to all the World: And whosoever readeth the Scriptures, readeth their very heart. And this Rule the Assem­bly of Divines, both of England and Scotland assert for their onely Rule; against and above all Decrees, Councils, Opinions,Chap. 1 Act. 7. Ancient Writers, and Doctrines of Men, &c. If then the Assembly of Divines, both of England and Scotland be men of their word, are they not all Anabaptists?

OH THAT MEN WOULD DO AS THEY SAY, OR SAY AS THEY DO.Pet. 2.17.

The Anabaptists have particular commands from God in Scripture (far above all Oaths, Covenants, Statutes,Rom. 13.1, 2 and Procla­mations) to fear God, and honour the King: To be subject unto the higher Powers,Ioh. 19.11. acknowledging there is no Power but of God, and the Powers that be, are ordained of God. And to submit to every Ordinance of man for the Lords sake;1 Pet. 2.13, 14. whe­ther it be to the King AS SUPREAM, or unto Governors, as unto these that are sent by Him; for the punishment of evil-doers, and for the praise of them that do well; and not to despise Dominions, nor speak evil of Dignities, 2 Pet. 3.10. nor of the Ruler of the People: But to honour all men, to do good to all men, to pray for all men, for Kings, and all in Authority,Jude 8. to follow peace with all men, to do as they would be done by, to pay tribute to whom tribute is due,Acts 23.5. custome to whom cu­stome, fear to whom fear, honour to whom honour; and to owe no man any thing but Love.Exod. 21.28. If then both Judges and Ma­gistrates, Courtiers and Lawyers concur with the Anabaptists in all these Principles, may we say that Judges and Magistrates,1 Pet. 2, 17. Courtiers and Lawyers are all Anabaptists. Oh that His Majesty never had worse Subjects nor Courtiers! Gal. 6.10. Oh that Ma­gistrates never had greater Opposites, nor more Refractory people to deal with, 1 Tim. 2.1, unless they forbid and hinder them the Worship of God; and then the Anabaptists have these special Rules:

To obey God rather then man. Nor to Fear them that are able to Kill the Body:Heb. 12.24. but to Fear Him who is able to Destroy both Soul and Body in Hell. Therefore to be Holy as He is Holy.Mat. 7.12. To keep the Commandements of God and the Faith of Jesus. To render to no man evil for evil: nor Railing for Railing: nor yet to resist evil; but to Love their enemies.Ro. 13.7, 8. To blesse them that curse them, to do good to them that hate them, and to pray for them that despightfully use them,Act. 4.19.5.29. and perse­cute them. To rejoyce and be exceeding glad when they suffer for righteousness sake. And to suffer for well-doing rather then for evil, but not to suffer as a Malefactor.Mat. 10.28.

OH THAT ALL ANABAPTISTS WERE PERFECT IN THESE RULES;Lu. 12.4.5. For then should the Spirit of Glory and of God rest upon them.1. Pet 1.14.

But every one is not an Anabaptist that is so called.16. Lev. 11.44.19.2.20.7.

Nor, if they once have been, are they still so, unlesse they continue in the Truth, as it is written, They went out from us, because they were not of us, &c. For it is nor the outward washing away the Filth of the Flesh, that makes an Anabaptist; but the inward Answer of a good Conscience towards God, by the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.Apoc. 14.12 In doing whatsoever the Lord hath commanded. And so far as any man comes short of all these Rules, or any other written in the Scriptures,1 Pet. 3.9. so far comes he short of being an Anabaptist; Mat. 5.39.44. For the word (though given or used in Derision or Malice) yet whether it be com­pounded of Ana and Baptistes, or Ano & Baptistes, The first in a Distributive sense, as each Anabaptist is singly baptized, or in an Augmenting sense (like the Hebrew Dagesh) as each Anabaptist is thoroughly and perfectly baptized.1 Cor. 4.12.

The second as relating to a Baptism from Above, joyned to that of Water here below:Mat. 5.10.11.12. They do all excellently set forh the Transcendency of that Ordinance of being Baptized or Dipped in Water, INTO the NAME of the FATHER, of the SON, and of the HOLY GHOST. 1 Pet. 2.21.3.14, 15, 16 18, 18.4.15

But there was a Judas amongst the Apostles, a Simon Magus, an Alexander, a Demas, an Hymeneus, a Philetus, an Her­mogenes, &c. amongst the First Christians.

False Christs, and False Apostles,1 Pet. 4.14. and False Prophets and Ministers of Satan transforming themselves into the Ministers of Christ were all long since foretold.1 Joh 2.19.

Yet it is worth the Noting, that the Profession of an Anabaptist is of that excellency,1 Pet. 3.21. that if any that do but come near Pro­fession of an Anaabptist suffer as Malefactors, through mistake or neglect of their Rule, or as really guilty,Joh. 14.15.15.14. they cause more noise then All the Papists, Episcopal men, and Presbyterians that have dyed, or suffered these 500 years, except the Book of Martyrs.

This Use may be made of All. Mat.

Let Names be lesse odious and Sins more. And amongst whom their are fewest Drunkards, Whoremongers, Swearers,Acts 8. and Blasphemers found; Let that Profession be esteemed to have the greatest Power of godliness and Christianity,1 Tim. 1.20 which Holy Emulation, if once in voge, would stifle (in time) all false Witnesses and Tale-bearers, who are the very bain of Magistrates,2 Tim. 4.10.14. and Ruin of Nations, From which Pest the Lord deliver his gracious Majesty, that his Throne may be established in Righte­ousnesse, to the Peace and Comfort of all his good people, Amen. Mat. 24.11.24. Mar. 13.22.2 Cor. 11.13.15. Matt. 7. 15. Luke 6. 26. 2 Pet. 1.2. 1 Joh. 4.1.

LONDON, Prinred by J. Clowes, for P. C. 1666.

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