Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

And in the form of the Levitical Priesthood, they transform'd themselves; and this was taught for Catholick Do&trine ther, and is still upheld and pleaded for by the Protestant Clerg; thereby wholly denying Christ Jesus come in the Flesh, the End of all Types, Figures, Sha. dows, dc. fee Fr. Howgill, &c. ibid. ;

So Henry 8. being à Papist, and believing che Pope's Doctrine, as also did his Parliament, made a Law, That every one should for out, and pay bis Titbes, as due to God and Holy Church; also a Second Law 'was made in his time, to the like purpofe : But still restrain'd the Trial of Tiches to the Ecclefiaftical Courts.

After him allo Edward 6. in pursuance of his Father's Law, made another for the Pay. ment of Predial and Personal Tithes, under Der nalty of Treble Damages, who also restrained the Tryal to the Ecclefiaftical Courts : There Laws supposed them due to God and Holy Charcb; therefore they required every Man to yield, and fer our his Tithes. is in.

Now these Tiches have been received since di by Persons of divers Professions, who would

be accounted, no Papists ; but 'cis observable, that as the Tithes, Hire, and Benefices have been taken away from any Party of them, that Party hath sensibly declined. And it is lamentable to consider, that chefe Tithes

and forced Maintenance, which were decreed d by the Pope's Canon - Laws, should still be holden up by them chat Profess Reformation

D ;

· and

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

and Separation from the Pope, and to make the Holy Scriptures their Rule of Faith and Practice. · Having thus briefly run over fundry Doctrines, Decrees, Practices, and Opinions, concerning Titles, from the Apostles Time downwards, we find them various, as before appears, and that.che Right of Titbes was never clear, but remain'd in Controversie, even amongst Great and Learned Men, for divers Ages since they came up; yea, amongst many Papists, in the time of the Pope's Domination ; and in allAges, there were those that witliftood the Payment of them, even to this very day; and many of the Martyrs, for that, amongst other things, suffer'd in the Flames.

Now therefore it appears clear, First, That Titbes among the Jews were paid to the Levites and Priefts. Secondly, That they were not for the Levites and Priests only, but for the Strangers, Fatherless and Widows. · Thirdly, When Christ was come, the Levitical Priesthood was taken away, and the Law for Tithes was changed. Fourtbly, That neither Christ nor his Apostles received any Titbes, nor demanded any, nor lefe any Command to others to touch them, or meddle with them at all. Fiftbly, That in the Primitive Times, for the first Three Hundred Years, while the Simplicity of the Gospel was more minded, no Tithes were either claim'd ok paid amongst Christians; but their way of Maintenance was wholly Voluntary, every one as he pleased, all being Free-Gift, as occalon did require. Sixthly, -As the Power of

God.

Godliness came to be loft, and the Mystery of Iniquity began to work, and Men's Imaginations taught, instead of the Doctrine of Christ, and Self fer up, instead of being de

ny'd ; then they began to preach up Tithes, -i fetching their Ground from Mofes, or any

where to get footing for them; tho' after the - Apoftacy was enter'd, they were not paid as

Tithes, but Free Offerings, and as the Bounty El of the Giver; nor were they given ļo the

Clergy only, but to the Poor allo; nor was

it a general receiv'd Doctrine, till the Pope e had fer up his Authority and Dominion over

the greatest part of Europe, many Hundreds

of Years after Christ. Seventbly, After they | were confirm'd by the Pope, and commanded e to be paid, there was no Compulsory Law

made, but only Excommunications. Eightbly, After that, they were accounted an Ecclefiaftical Dury, and never callid a' Civil Right, but were tryed in Ecclefiaftical Courts. Ninthby; Until about the Year 1200. the common Practice was,' for everyone to below his Tenths and Offerings where he pleas'd. Tentbly; They were first brought in as a Duty owing to God and Holy Cburch, and so were required and enforced, from whence it appears, there was no Civil Property or Rigħt in him that claims them; thar First Fruits and Tenths are but a faie invented thing, and claim'd by the Pope, as Successor to the Fewiss. High Priest, as he fays. Eleventhly, Tithes were the same in the Ground and

D

3.

Foun

| be bad conaman. Whatsoever i

Foundation, wberber claim'd by the Priest of

Plea for Self-case Imide oprinter, or by an Abby; and differ'd no

hath not requir ting, bur in the Person of him that possess'd

me to pay them, chem. Lufis, This ihews che degenerate State

required these thi of the Corch, and how Corruption and Er

Chrift "fene out ror crept in amongl Men; after the Power

Teach the Natios of Truth was loft, che Fruit was lo& allo, which caused loch earnel presling unto needfa Contributions. And afterwards, Men would

command you

| but, Wbat Ico fill be owned to be Minifters of Chrift, cho'never Sent of God, neither did they profit the People at

thou distingui

and Caesar's? sh: Bar being set up by Man, and the Golden

Worship, C Cup put into their Hands, full of sweet Wine,

must rulen it relih'd lo well to their Carnal Palates,

what I have chat they swallowed all the Poors Part, and

By this Ru were even drunk with it ; and then sadly poli'd and core one another for great shares

Mabametan

commande of this Cup of Gold; and they that got the

makelt, at Rulers of the Earth on their lide, obtain'd

be alam Laws and Decrees to force the Payment of

• Bui ch Tithes: But in the beginning it was not fo;

halt bro for while the Purity and Simplicity of the

callestir Truth remained, Charity abounded.

kind of Well, Friend William, after this plain Search

First, and Discovery, I need not heed thy Vapouring

That H and Infulting over mé; for the Ground and

and If Rise of thy Great Diana is found out and

mean, manifefted, and thy Legal Righe (o Tithes

as oche laid open. And mut I now go to Mafs, and do many other things, shar Rome, France or Spain require by Law, becaufe I find them noi exprcíly forbidden by Christ? If I lived there,

the i or in Turky or Barbary, this would be a fine i

ii. Plea

Birth-r Fatber? Money Plea for Self-ease and Interelt. But if Chrift hath not required thee to take Fithes, nor me to pay them, may it not be faid, Who bath required these things at our hands ? But when Chrif sent out his Disciples, he bad them Teach the Nations to observe all things, whatsoever he had commanded them : He did not fay, Whatsoever the Pope or Powers of the Earth, command you, in matters I send you about ; but, Wbat I command you. Pray thee, how doft thou distinguish between God's or Christ's things, and Cæfar's ?. If in matters relating to Faith, Worship, Confcience and Priesthood, Cæfar must rule me, and be obey'd ; 'where, or in what I have no Command from God or Cbrift? By this Rule 'I may pay Tithes to Popish and Mabametan Priests, if the Law of the Land commanded me. This is a poor Shift thou makest, and so lame and rotten, thou may'& be asham'd of it.. :

But thou in ihy last Letter thinkest, thou halt brought my Chaos, as' chou ignorantly calleft my former Letters, into some-tolerable kind of Order, p. 70. And

First, My Reasons thou say'st are thefe, That Humane Laws are for Humane Things and I say so till: And by Humane Things, í mean, that every Man, à Clergy-man as well as others, ought to be preserved in his Life, Birth-right, &c. As for Instance; If I am my Fatber's Heir, or have a Portion left me, in Money, Goods, or Estate of Land; which the Law cannot be said to give me a Right

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« VorigeDoorgaan »