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Manifestation of the Spirit is given to every Man to profit withal, 1 Cor. 12: 7.7 and that if any thing be revealed to him that fits by, lec him speak, and let the rest hold their peace; and chat he that Prophesied, spoke to Men for Edification, Exhortation and Comfort ; see 1 Cor. 14. So here every Man ministred as he was enabled in the Gift that God had given him, freely, as he received : So that · the Apostle Peter exhorted, That if any Man Speak, let bim speak as the Oracles of God: If ang Man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God givetb; that God in all things may be glorified, 1 Pet. 4. 11.
Now here is Gospel-Method, Gospel-Order and Government, Gofpel-Ministers, all in their Gifts, freely miniftring, as they freely receive: And God is the same to day, as yesterday, I and for ever.
This then is clear, that as the Reason of Christ's Command abides, and will to the end of the World ; so the Command, for that Reason, abides amongst his People, and will do to the end. If this be granted, as it cannot fairly be denied, then let us see how, and when, and by whom, Tithes were brought in ; and in so doing, I shall Answer all thy Book very fully: And that we may take things before us, and so pass on through Times and Seasons, both according to holy Scriptures of Truth, and other Records I can get ; I shall begin with Abrabam, seeing thou think'At thou hast done thy business fo patly,
with what thou arguest from Abrabam's Giving, not Paying, that's thy word, but Giving the Tenths of the Spoil to Melcbisedec; which was before any Command was given out for Tithes to Levi. :5,
Abraham, in his return from Redeeming his Nephew Lot, with all his Substance, and all the Substance of Sodom and Gomorrab, Gen: 14. 9, 11, 12, 13, was met by Melchisedec, King of Salem, and Priest of the most High God, who blessed Abrabam, and brought ouc Bread and Wine, and gave unto him, and the reft, who were with him ; unto whoni Abrakam gave the Tenths of all the Spoil he had taken from Chedor laomer and the Kings thaç were with him, Gen. 14.20. Heb.7.4. Chryfoftor understands the Text only to be of the Spoils, wbereof Abraham made Melchisedec a Para saker, by giving him the first Fruits of bis Mara tial Performance. - Hierom often files it, The Tenth of the Spoil of the Prey, and of the Vi&tory : See Şelden's History of Tithes, cap. 1. fe&t. I. Now here thou seemeft to ground thy Plea for the paying of Tithes due before the Law, which was only but a free Gift of Abraham's to Melchisedec, of the Spoil he had taken; and that but once, that we read of; take notice of that: Not of his Family's Labour or In: duftry, but of the Spoil of what he had iaken. And it is very clear, ihat it was a voluntary thing, and freely given, by way of Gratitude, ynto Melchifedec, to reguite his Kindness , who broughệ forth Bread and
Wine unto him and his Soldiers, after a great Pursuit, for their Refreshment. Now it doch not appear, that if Abrabam had not given the Tenth of the Spoil, that he had finned; for no Law had been broken, because there was none extant, that we read of; and therefore, by thy own Argument, there could be no Transgression : So that an Example of this Nature cannot be a Binding Law to future Generations, for if the Ministry of this Age will make this a Binding Rule,may we not then require Bread and Wine, for our selyes and Families, of every Parish-Pries, and every Officer for himself and soldiers, at their return from Victorięs; for the one Example is as binding as the other, both of them being voluntary ?
The next Pallage, is Facob's Vow, in Gen. 28. 22. This Stone, said he, which I bave set for e Pillar, shall be God's Howse'; and of all that thout faalt give me, I will surely give the Tenth unto ibee."
Here was an Extraordinary Occasion, and more than Ordinary Appearance from God unto Jacob, as he travelled from his Father to Haran, to take a Wife of his own Kindred; and here lying down, with his Head upon a Stone, Night being come, the Lord appear'd, and said unto him, Gen. 28. 13, 14. I am the Lord God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac ; the Land whereon tbou liest, to tbee will'I give it, and to thy Seed, &c. And in thee, and in sby Seed, shall all the Families of the Earth be
blefled ; So he called the place Betbel, viz. The House of God; because of the Glorious Appearance of God, and of his great Pro. mile made unto him, which he believ'd; And his Heart being open'd, and full with Joy and Faich, he promised to the Lord, saying If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I g0,- fotbat I come again to my Father's House in peace, then fall the Lord be my God, and of all that thou givest me, I will Jurely give the Tenth unto thee; which he performed after Twenty Years, as Josepbus's words import, Antiq. l. 1.c.19. Offering to the Lord the Tenths of his substance, which he bad got ai Haran; after that be return'd to the place, where God appeared to him : But into whose Hands it was given, it appears not, nor what it was done with. '
But this was also a voluntary, Free Gift of Facob, as a return of Thankfulness to the Lord, for his great Promise and Blessing to him and his Seed. . .
But the Lord did not command any. People to pay Tithes, but Ifrael, 'whose Law was given forth Four Hundred and Thirty Years after the Promise, 'Gal. 3. 17. Neither were ihey ever payable, but by the Jews, after they came to the Land of Canaan, and to Levi's Tribe only, to the Jewish Priests, that had no Inheritance allotted by the Lord, of all the Land of Canaan, or beyond Fördan, but only the Tenths, according to the Lord's Command, for the Office of the Priesthood,
and Service of the Tabernacle, Numb. 18. 20, 21, 22, 23, 24.' Now as the Tenths were paid to the Levites, so they paid a Tench of the Tenths unto the Priests, Numb. 18. 26, 28.
And since the Apoftacy enter'd, the late Priests, from this Example, have paid it to the Pope, being, as they reckon him, Chief Vicar upon Earth, &c. Since the Pope's Supremacy ceas'd with us in England, a Law was made to pay the First Fruits to the Crown,' Stat. 26. Hen, 8.,
But it's evident, there were several forts of Tithes and Offerings, spoken of in the Holy Scriptures, which, I hope, I need not mention; so that the Poor, the Widow, the Stranger, had Relief from them, Deut. 16. 1'1. But now, though the Priests of our Times will have the Tithes of many things, besides Corn, Hay, Wool, Lamb, as Pigs, Geese, Fruits, and Roots, with abundance more, as Calves, Foals, Garden-penny, Smoak or Peterpence, which hereafter may be spoken of; yet they leave the Poor, the Widow and Stranger, co be relieved by who will.
After the Second Temple was destroy'd, and the Jews dispers'd, my Author; viz. Francis Howgill, in The Great Case of Titbės revived," page 557. of his Works, faith, Then the Laws of First-Fruits, Offerings and Tithe, with them ceased; for their Doctors determined, That according to the Law, no İnhabitants, but of the Land of Israel, were