網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版
[ocr errors]

9 Confounded, I find ; and the best bottom

they could get, was the Pope's Authority, or the Fews; not a Tittle from Christ Jesus, or his Apoftles, to this Day; but the contrary, aş hath been shewed already at large.

I find, the Dominicans and Franciscan Fryars would have it, That Tithes were not of Divine Right, but meer Alms; and these sought to gain a good part therefore to themselves.

About the Years 800, 900, and 1000. I find, Tithes were called, The Lord's Goods ; The Patrimony of sbe. Poor, &c. And the Council of Nants declared, The Clergy should not use them as their own, but

dispose of them to the use of the Poor. But the Council at' Lyons, under Pope Gregory, 1274. Configured, That it should not be Lawful henceforward for Men to give their Tithes at their own pleasure, where they would ; but now they must

pay all to the Mother-Church. And the Council of Trent, 1560. said, Tithes were due to God; and fo concluded, they must be paid to God, and Holy Church,

Thus, by what has been said, it's plain when Tithes came up, and how, and by whom; and who made Laws for the Payment of them, and to whom they commanded them to be paid : And therefore what I said in my Let ters of the Repe, and his Priests

, it is clearly proved from whence those Laws, that.com, pelled shę Payment of Tiches, sprung. So

chc

the Vicar of Bray is fo ftill; Popery, and Sla very, is Papery and Slavery Aill: And therefore deny Self, and own Truth; come out of Babylos, partake not of her Sins, left thou par, take of her Plagues, that will cerrainly come upón her from the great God of Heaven and Earth. But yet, that I may not be short, let us follow the Pope into England a little.

About the Year 600. or foon after, the Pope of Rome fent over Augustin the Monk into England, who was a Canon Regular, by whom Ethelbert, King of Kent, was Converted, and he and his Clergy followed the Example of former- Ages, Bed. lib. 1. 26. and imitared the Practice of the Apostolical Primitive Church, and liv'd in common upon the Offerings of their Converts : And those that rece them, joyn’d into Societies; and out of their Oferings, repaired the Teinples of the Gene tiles, which Pope Gregórg advised not to de: destroy) but convert to Christian Services,

See here the Rise of your High Places : They' Builded some Houses, and callid them eburches, in which the Priests exercised their Sbrivings: And the Pope advised Auguftin, that the English Saxon Church, and the Clergy, should áfer the Community of all things, as it was in the Apostles Days But after a great part of the Nation was brought over to the Popish Fairb, they began to Preach up the Old Roman Doctrine, that Titbes ought to be paid to God,Panel Holy Church, as the Phrase was; and thạc Pàrdonof Sin, and the Jays of Heaven,

were

were merited by Good Works; and the Torments of Melt evaded, by Charity: This made them easily yield to give Tenths, and Lands, and ourward Riches to those called Religious Houses ; so thar Abundance was given, and the Clergy grew Rich and Great ; But how long this Coinmunity continued among the Clergy, doth not fully appear : But till the time of Henry the Third, no Tithes, as Titbes, were generally paid in England, but (as I find by Bede, in Exėmplar. Saxon. l. 3•), a Decree was made (as Lindwood in Constitut. Provincial. informs) thar for every Twenty Shillings Rent, a Parthing a Sunday, as they call'd it

, was to be paid, (for they named the Days after the Heathen Names; one called Sunday, another' Monday, &c.) and the Tenth Part of the Yearly Rent of their Houses.

: As concerning Laws and Canons for Tithes among the Saxons, it is faid, That in the Year 786. Pope Adrian, being grown Great, sent two Legates into England, for Reformacion, as it was call'd, who brought Lercers to Offa King of Merceland, and Alfewold King of Northumberland. Whereụpon Alfewold call'da Council in the North, and offa and Kenulpb. callid anocher for the South; who ordained, That a Tenth Part of the fruits of the Earth should be paid, as it was written in the Law of Mofes, and offa, and the Bifhops and Abbots, subscribed it with a Cross to it: See Selden's Hiffory of Tirbes, cap. 8. fect. 2.

The

The same Author also says, Ibid. fe&t. 4. That Erbelwolf, King of the West-Saxons, in the Year 855. made a Law, that Tithes of all his Lands ņould be given to God, and his Servants, and be freed from all Taxes.

But I find by History, that King Ofa kill'd Etbelbert, and gave a Tenth of his Goods to pacifie. his Ghoft; and that Edgar, being in Love with Etbeldwold's Wife, to obtain his end, murder'd him; upon which the Pope sending forth his Bull; Edgar, to appease him, confirm'd to the Church the Tenth of all the Fruit of his Field, and Cattel, to the Priests and their Succellors: So Murder and Whoredom helped forward the Priests Right of Tithes. And is it not clear what Church that was, and in the dark Nighr of Popery too, against which the first Martyrs testified? And was it a good Law for Princes to give away other Mens Goods, to expiate their own Sins ? Could the giving of them arçone? Is it noc. an acknowledgment of the Pope's Power ta absolve, and a Bribing off the Guilt of Sin against Almighty God by Gifts to a Mortal Man, and chose extorted from a Poor People, 100 ? Is this Protestantism? Is this any other but plain Popery? If it doth deserve a better Name, William, Thew thy Reason for it. is

I remember one ancient Pallage in Story, Thát the Day that Constantine conferrid those Järge Endowments of Tithes, and Rich Benefiçs upon the Church, a Voice was heard from Heaven, saying, This day is Poyfon poured.

into

[ocr errors]

into the Church : Since which time, ii haili been observed by some very Considerate Per fons, That the Riches and great Power of Church-Officers, hath been the Canker of the Church, and Moth of the Stare. ." But let's see a little further what History faith concerning Erbelwolf: When the Danes invaded England, and great Wars came on, he callid a Council

, where were present Berna redus King of Mercia, and Edmund King of the Eaft-Angles; and they, to remove the heavy Judgment that was upon them, gave the Tithe of all the Land to God, and his Servants, as their Phrase then was. So I find King Arbelfan, King Edmund, King Edgar, King Ethelred, King Knute, King Edward the Confeffor, and several Saxon Kings, made feveral Laws for Tithes, as History relates.

And William the Conqueror, when he came in with the Normans, he also confirm'd the Liberties of the Church ; fo Hen. I. and Hen. II. did the like: And King Stephen also, who gave to the Priory of Eye in Suffolk, as may be seen in an Original Charter of his, the Tenths of several of his Mannors for the Pardon of his Sins, and obtaining the Joys of Heaven, for his own Soul, and the Soul of his Father, Motber, Uncle, &c. Selden Hift. of Tithes, c. II.

And another Old Charter fays, That Ralph Bishop of Chicbefter, granted to the Abby of Bastel the Tenths of fundry Mannors, for

the

[ocr errors]
« 上一頁繼續 »