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Council did ordain, "That the Overseers, or Bishops, might di&ribute the Goods; but required, that they should take no parc 'thereof to themselves ; using the Apostle's words, Having Food and Raiment, be there. with content.
Chryfoftom, who lived about the Year 400. notes in Homil. 11. upon the Ats, "That Chr' stian. Converts joyn'd in Societies, and liv'd
in Common, as the Christians did at Feru*salem. Whereby it appears, that no mention was made of Tithes in that Age.
The Church then Lived altogether by the Free Offerings of Land, Money and Goods, and the People were exhorted to Bountiful Contributions for holy Uses; as may be seen in the Writings of Hierom and Chrysostom: Burimi tion appeared in fome that offer'd; which caused Hierom, Ambrose, and others, to press very hard upon the People for - Liberality, in point of Offerings; because it was much lefs than in the Apostles time : Insomuch that Cyprian reproved chem sharply, faying, They gave not so much as was worth: peaking of, Cypr. de Unit. Ecclef.
And it doth not appear, in any old Monuments of Credit, till near the end of Four Hundred Years after Christ, that the Payment of any Tenth Part, as a Tenth, was at all in use; and from the Year Four Hundred, to the Year Eight Hundred, no Canon, or other Law, was generally re
ceived, ceived, to compel the Payment of Tithes; tho* many grew strait-handed, and caus’d many that labour'd among them to complain, and upbraided them with the Jews Tenchs and Offerings, and some to be very Aharp ; yet till the Year Eight Hundred, it appears not,
that it was a received Doctrine generally, . That Tithes pàgbt to be paid.
Now the Apostacy increased ; yet their Offerings and Gifts about this time were brought into the common Treasury, and difpos'd of, on this wise: One Fourth Part to the Priests, out of which every one that laboured had his Portion another Pare for Relief of the Poor, the Sick, and Strangers ; and another Part for Repairing Places of Worship,
hen the Bic shop lived in some place, where the Clergy liv'd with him; from whence he sent them to preach into the Countries, and there they received such Offerings as were made, and brought them into the Treafury. So the Priests had not such a peculiar Power" or Share, but others partook with them, as aforesaid : But now they claim all Tiches, as due, and take them by Porce, having Law tó compel ; of which more hereafter.
Cbryfoftom, in his Doctrine, perswaded even Labourers and Arti. Hom. 43. up
on the Epist, ficérs, to give Bountifully their
Cor. 1. 16. Alms to the Church for Holy Uses, according to Apostolical Ordinances,
relating to the Weekly Offerings, as in the Churches at Corinth, Galatia, Antiocb; and the Jews Liberality was brought as a Precedent; below which, he would not have Christians determine their Charity:
Cyril, Bishop of Alexandria, speaking upon that Pallage of Abrabam, Gen. 14. 23. who after he had gain d the Victory over the King of Sodom's Enemies, and rescued Lot; "When
the King of Sodom offer'd him part of the Spoils; he would receive nothing, but a few Victuals; though, faith be the holy Teachers do war in the behalf of perishing Mankind, yet they do not take any thing from the Men of the World, nor heap up unto them'selves Riches; left the World fhould say, • We have made you Rich. They only; faith
bie, 'ought to receive their SusteDe Adorat. in
nance from the hands of those, Spir.& ver. I. 4. ad finem.
whom they have Converted to
the Faith : For it's Christ's Com. mand, That those that preach the Gospel, fhould live thereby
Take notice of this, Friend William ; and let not Law run chee to act quice contrary io Christ and his Apofles Doctrinel: For it's very hard, unequal, and unrighteous, for thee to force any Man, that receives thee not, nor is parcaker of any Spirituals from thee, to pay thee che Tenth of his Temporals. But hear again ; 1). 1: bunt bio bi ti SI
Profper faith, "They that live
2 tors of nothing ; they neither havé, nor delire to have any cap. 14. thing not poffering their own, but the s common Goods : And what is it, faith be, 'to live of the Gospel But that he, who
láboürs, Tould receive necessary Supplies by them, among whom he labours, without forcing And Further adds, "That tho' Paul himself had power to receive, yet he would not make use of it, left he should occasion an ! Offence ; 'but labour'd with his Hands, being a Tent-maker, that he mighy not be burdensome to the Churches of Chrift,
With him agrees Origen, Homil.15. upon Levit. who faith, 'Peter and John faid, Silver and Gold 'bave I none : Behold the Riches of those, who
were Apostles of Jesus Chrift! But, faith be, les us quickly apply these things to our selves; ' who are prohibited by the Law of Chrift, ' if we have any Regard thereto, to have "Pol! selfions in the Country, and Houses in the
City: What do I say, Poffeffions or Houses? • No, not so much as Two Coats, or to mul! ciply Coats or Money; if we have Food ļ and Raiment, let us be therewith concent.
Hierom also, writing ro Neporianus, a Clergy, man, says, 'I beseech thee, that thou would't • not transform our Spiritual Warfare, into a
Carnal One; nor imagine thou art' in the
camest first into the Clergy, left it be said to thee, Their Lot shall not profit them.
But after the Priests began to covet to be Great, and being, as the Apostle words it, become inwardly Ravening Wolves į turn'd from the Holy Spirit of Christ, that appears in the Inward Man, into the Wisdom of the Flesh; then they fought their own Ends and Exaltation, Honour, Riches, and what not, that's pleasạnç to Old Self, which by Christ's Doctrine is to be denyd, and the Cross raken up daily; and Christ, not Self; followed; Christ, not Popes, and coverous proud Prelates, followed : But this is not plealant fo Fleshly, Carnal, Earthly Man.
Yet I find no Law, Canon, or Constitution of a General Council, that commanded Tithes to be paid, or exprelly supposed them a Duty of common Right, before the Council of Lao teran, held in the Year 1215. under Pope Innocent the Third, hę being grown Great : After which Command of that Pope, no Scruple was made of it by the Priests to take all, and the Poor might shift as they could for themselves : But as Selden in his History of Tithes, c. 7
fect. 2. faith, A Question being put, ; By' what. Immediate Law Tithes were payable ? * Some answered one way, fome another; but the Canonifts, Says be with one Consent, do ground themselves upon fome Paliages of Provincial Councils, of Fathers and Popes.
Here it came on with, who dare contradict the Pope and his Councils ? Bup they were