The answer, which we have already given, 602 to those who say, “If a sinner has begotten a sinner, a righteous man ought also to have begotten a righteous man,” we now advance in reply to such as argue that one who is born of a baptized man ought himself to be regarded as already baptized. “For why,” they ask, “could he not have been baptized in the loins of his father, when, according to the Epistle to the Hebrews, Levi, 603 was able to pay tithes in the loins of Abraham?” They who propose this argument ought to observe that Levi did not on this account subsequently not pay tithes, because he had paid tithes already in the loins of Abraham, but because he was ordained to the office of the priesthood in order to receive tithes, not to pay them; otherwise neither would his brethren, who all contributed their tithes to him, have been tithed—because they too, whilst in the loins of Abraham, had already paid tithes to Melchisedec.
The allusion is to Heb. vii. 9.
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