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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 Apoftle's
words. Having Food and Raiment, be there
witb, content. 1,12 . .i .. Chryfoftom, who lived about the Year 400.
notes in Homil. 11. upon the A&ts, "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 : But about this time, a Coldness in Devo. tion appeared in some 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 cime : Insomuch that Cyprian reproved them sharply, saying, They gave not so much as was wortb Deaking 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 Pay. ment of any Tench 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 ftrait-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 sharp ; yet till the Year Eight Hundred, it appears not, that it was a received Doctrine generally, That Tithes pàgbt to be paid in
Now the Apostacy increased yet their | Offerings and Gifts about this time were
brought into the common Treasury, and dilpos'd of, on this wise : One Fourth Part to ihe Priests, out of which every one that lác boured had his Portion; another Pare för Relief of the Poor, the Sick, and Strangers; and another part for Repairing Places of Worship, and another to the Bishop; and then the Bishop 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 fùch a peculiar "Power" or Share, bur others partook with them, asaforesaid. But now they claim all Tithes, as due, and take them by Porce, having Law to compel; of which more hereafter...?
Cbryfoftom, in his Doctrine, per-::::cinato swaded even Labourers and Arti. Hom. 43. up: ficérs, to give 'Bountifully their
on the Epilt, Alms to the Church for Holy 1.2 Uses, according to Apoftolical Ordinances,
relating to the Weekly Offerings, as in the Churches at Corinth, Galatia, Antiocb; and the Fews Liberality was brought as a Precedent; below which, he would not have Christians determine their Charity i
Cyril, Bishop of Alexandria, speaking upon that Passage of Abrabam, Gen. 14. 23. who after he had gaind 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 themfelves Riches; left the World should say, We have made you Rich, They only; faith
so bile, ought to receive their Suste
om 'nance from the hands of those, Spir.& ver. l.
! whom they have Converted to
! the Paith : For it's Christ's Com. mand, Tbøt those that preach the Gospel, should live, thereby: jieties,
Take notice of this, Friend William zi and let nor Law run chee to act quice contrary io Christ and his Apoftles Doctrinel: cFor it's very hard, unequal, and unrighteous, for thee to force any Man, that receives thee noi, nor is partaker of any Spirituals from thee, to pay thee the Tenth of his Temporals. Buç hear again; samol ist).
Tai: budtbio Osciv0g A Winnie
Prosper faith, "They that live .. of the Gospel, will be proprie De Vįta Con tors of nothing ; they neither have, nor delire to have any Dom ! things not poffering their own, but the s common Goods : And what is it, faith be,
to live of the Gospel But that he, who labours, should 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 fhould occasion an ! Olence ; 'but labour'd with his Hands, being 'a Tent-maker, that he might nor be burden' fome to the Churches of Christ. '
With him agrees Origen, Homil.15. upon Lévit, who faith, Peter and Fohn 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 chefe things to our selves; ' who are prohibited by the Law of Chrift, ' if we have any Regard thereto, to have Porn ! sellions in the Country, and Houfes in the * City: What do I say, Poffeffions or Houses? • No, not so much as two Coats, or iq mul! ciply Coats or Money; if we have Food ļ and Raiment, let us be therewith cóncent.,
Hierom also, writing ro Nepotianus, a Clergy, man, says, 'I beseech chee, that thou would'A • not transform our Spiritual Warfare, into a ? Carnal One; nor imagine thou art in the Clergy, as if thou wert in an Army, getting Spoil. Seek after no more, than when thou ... ; Ca
Crobowed, Chr followed earthly Mamonftitution
camest firft into the Clergy, left it be said to thee, Their Lot fall not profit them. :
But after the Priests began to covet to be Great, and being, as the Apostle words it, becomą inwardly Ravening Wolves ; turnd from the Holy Spirit of Christ, that appears in the Inward Man, into the Wisdom of the Flesh; then they foughệ their own Ends and Exaltation, Honour, Riches, and what not, that's pleasant to Old Self, which by Christ's Doctrine is to be deny'd, and the Cross taken up daily; and Christ, 'not Self; followed; Christ, noc Popes, and coverous proud Prelates, followed: Bur this is not pleasant to 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 Las teran, held in the Year 1215. under Pope Innocent the Third, he 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 themfelves ; But as Selden in his History of Titbes, c. 7. fect. 2. faith, A Question being put; * By what. Immediate Law Tithes were payable ? * Some answered one way, fome another; but the Canonists, Says be with one Consent, do ground themselves upon some passages of Provincial Councils, of Fathers and Popes.
Here it came on with, who dare contradict the Pope and bis Councils ? Bus they were