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Clergy-Man's Prétence

OF

Divine Right to Tithes, Examined and Refuted.

BEING A Full ANSWER to W.W's Fourth

Letter, in his Book, Intituled, The Clergy's Legal Right to Tithes asserted.

To which he hath also annexed, A Juftification of the Divine RIGHT,

Erroneously so called.

By John Gatton. In the New Law, neither Chrift, nor any of his

Apostles, took Titbes of the People, nor commanded the People to pay Titbes, neither to Priests, nor to Descons. William Thorp, in Fox's A&ts and Monuments, Vol. I. p. 611.

LONDON, Printed and Sold by T. Sowle, in WhiteHart-Court in Gracious-Street, 1703.

130.9.24.

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READER

Friendly Reader, N A Y Writing and Publishing of IV this Book, was briefly occa

Misioned thus: A Friend of mine refusing to pay Tithes to the Priest of the Parish; meerly upon the Account of his Faith and Conscience towards, God; the Priest wrote a Letter to him about it: The Friend, being a plain, honest, laborious Man, not used much to writing, desired that either I or my Son should answer hiim Whereupon 1 wrote a few Lines for him to the Priest, and sent them to my Friend; which; after he had perus’d, and approv’d, he sent them to the Priest: After which, he wrote again, and I ane fwer'd, that, and sent it to my Friend, and he to the Priest; who wrote to me again, and I sent him an Answer to that asso; but not expecting my Letters Should have been put in print, I did not bestow that pains upon them to be so full in every particular, or to clear up Matters fo

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plainly;

plainly, as I might have done. And he finding, as he apprehended, some shortness in them, and as he might conclude, his own addapted so well to his design, he, unknown to me, and contrary to common Justice, causes them to be printed, with a Fourth Letter of his, and sends á Book to my Friend, who transmitted it to me: Unto which, this is an Answer; which I desire thee to read without Partiality or Prejudice, and in a Charitable Mind towards both sides.' . ritie

It is cause of Grief and Sorrow of Heart to me,to fee so much of Self, and the Love of Money, which the Apostle said, was the root of all Evil, abound in this Age, and so lita tle of the Love of God appear; which the Apostte fpeaking of, faith, It seeketh not its own, juffereth long, is kind, envieth vot, vaunteth not it self, is not puffed up; yea, faith he,' It never fails : Prophecies shall fail, Tongues shall cease, Knowledge vanish away; but Paith, Hope and Love, abide ; the greateft of 'which three, is Love ; or, Charity, 1 Cor. 13. And says he, Follow after Charity, and defire Spiritual Gifts, but rather that you may prophecy: He that prophesieth, Speaketh unto Men to Edification, Exhortation, and Comfort; 1 Cor. 14. 1,3. Where it is clear, that this Prophecying, here spoken of, was

preaching

preaching unto Men, in the Love of God, and as Ministers were enabled by Spiritual Gifts, in the Power and Demonstration of the Holy Spirit: As every Man hath received the Gift, even so minister the same one to ano. ther, as good Stewards of the manifold Grace of God, i Pet. 4.10. And so doing, the Body édifies it self in Love, and dwells in Love, Faith, Hope, &c. And these three abide at this Day in the Body of Chrift: For by Cone Spirit are we all baptized into one Body, and all made to drink into onė Spirit, 1 Cor. 12. 13. and Faith works by Love, and gives Victory over the World; and standing in the Power of God, and not in the Wisdom of Man, it brings Men to Hope, and confide in the Lord, who hath in Mercy bestow'd his good Gifts upon them. And as he spared not his own Son, but gave him freely for us all, so shall he also with him freely give us all things; so that if we are Christ's, we are God's; the Lord is our Portion, we shall not want, nor need we fear what Man can do unto us. $o on Him alone, who is God over all, his People depend; to Him do they look, and from him only they have their Expecta tion: And having an Eye to him, that is · Invisible, and feeling his Love abide, they give up in Obedience to him; and when

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