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And in the form of the Levitical Priet bood, they transform’d themselves; and this was taught for Catbolick Do&trine ther, and is still upheld and pleaded for by the Protestant Clergj; thereby wholly denying Christ Jesus come in the Flesh, the End of all Types, Figures, Sha. dows, doc. fee Fr. Howgill, &c. ibid. So Henry 8. being a Papist
, and believing the Pope's Doctrine, as also did his Parliament, made a Law, That every one should set out, and pay bis Titbes, as due to God and Holy Church; also a Second Law 'was made in his time, to the like purpose: But Itill restrain'd the Trial of Tithes to the Ecclefiaftical Courts.
After him allo Edward 6. in pursuance of his Father's Law, made another for the Payment of Predial and Personal Tithes, under Deco nalty of Treble Damages
, who also restrained the Tryal to the Ecclefiaftical Courts : There Laws supposed them due to God and Holy Charcb; therefore they required every Man to yield, and set out his Tithes.
Now these Tithes have been received since by Persons of divers Professions, who would be accounted no Papists; but 'cis observable, that as the Tithes, Hire, and Benefices have been taken away from any Party of them, that Parry hath fenfibly declined. And it is lamentable to consider, that these Tithes and forced Maintenance, which were decreed by the Pope's Canon-Laws, should still be holden up by them that Profess Reformation
and Separation from the Pope, and to make the Holy Scriptures their Rule of Faith and Practice.
Having thus briefly run over sundry Doctrines, Decrees, Practices, and Opinions, concerning Titbes, from the Apostles Time downwards, we find them various, as before appears, and that the Right of Titbes was never clear, but remain'd in Controversie, even amongst Great and Learned Men, for divers Ages fince they came up; yea, amongst many Papists, in the time of the Pope's Domination į
and in all Ages, there were those that withistood the Payment of them, even to this very day; and many of the Martyrs for that, amongst other things, suffer'd in the Flames.
Now therefore it appears clear, First, That Tithes among the Jews were paid to the Levites and Priefts. Secondly, That they were not for the Levites and Priests only, but for the Strangers, Fatherless and Widows. . Thirdly, When Christ was come, the Levitical Priesthood was taken away, and the Law for Tithes was changed. Fourtbly, That neither Christ nor his Apostles received any Titbes, nor demanded any, nor left any Command to others to couch them, or meddle with them at all. Fiftbly, That in the Primitive Times, for the first Three Hundred Years, while the Simplicity of the Gospel was more minded, po Tithes were either claim'd or paid amongst Christians; but their way of Maintenance was wholly Voluntary, every one as he pleased, all being Free-Gift, as occaĝon did requirc. Sixthly, As the Power of
Godliness came to be loft, and the Mystery of Iniquity began to work, and Men's
' Imaginations caught, instead of the Doctrine of Christ, and self set up, inftead of being denyd; then they began to preach up Tithes, fetching their Ground from Mofes, or any where to get footing for them; tho' after the Apoftacy was enter'd, they were not paid as Tithes, but Free Offerings, and as the Bounty of the Giver; nor were they given ļo the Clergy only, but to the Poor also ; nor was it a general receiv'd Doctrine, till the Pope had fer up his Authority and Dominion over the greatest part of Europe, many Hundreds of Years after Christ. Seventbly, After they were confirm'd by the Pope, and commanded to be paid, there was no compulsory Law made, but only Excommunication. Eightbly, After that, they were accounted an Ecclefia Nical Ducy, and never callid a' Civil Right, but were tryed in Ecclefiaftical Courts. Ninthh, Until about the Year 1200. the common Practice was,' for every one to beltow his Tenths and Offerings where he pleas'd. Tentbly, They were first brought in as a Duty owing to God and Holy Church, and so were required and enforced; from whence it appears, there' was no Civil Property or Right in him that claims them; thár Firft Fruits and Tenths are but a late invented thing, and claim'd by the Pope, as Successor to the
Jewish High Priest, as he fays. Eleventhly, Tithes were the same in the Ground and
Foundation, whether claim'd by the Priest of Impropriator, or by an Abby; and differ'd nothing, but in the Person of him that possess’d chem. Lastly, This shews the degenerate State of the Church, and how Corruption and Error crept in amongst Men; after the Power of Truth was lost, the Fruit was lost also, which caused such earnest pressing unto need ful Contributions. And afterwards, Men would till be owned to be Ministers of Christ, tho'never Sent of God, neither did they profit the People at all : But being set up by Man, and the Golden Cup put into their Hands, full of sweet Wine, it relish'd so well to their Carnal Palates, that they swallowed all the Poors Part, and were even drunk with it ; and then fadly pulld and tore one another for great shares of this Cup of Gold; and they that got the Rulers of the Earth on their lide, obtain'd Laws and Decrees to force the Payment of Tithes : Bur in the beginning it was not for while the Purity and Simplicity of the Truth remained, Charity abounded.
Well, Friend William, after this plain Search and Discovery, I need not heed thy Vapouring and Infulting over mé; for the Ground and Rise of thy Great Diana is found out and manifested, and thy Legal Right to Tithes laid open. And înult I now go to Mafs, and do many other things, that Rome, France or Spain require by Law, because I find them not exprelly forbidden by Christ? If I lived there, or in Turky, or Barbary, this would be a fine
Plea for Self- ease and Interest. But if Christ hath not required thee to take Tithes, nor me to pay them, may it not be said, Who bath required these things at our hands? But when Chrilt sent out his Disciples, he bad them Teach the Nations to observe all things, wbatsoever he had commanded them : He did not fay, Whatsoever the Pope or Powers of the Earth, command you, in matters I send you about; but, Wbat I command you. Pray thee, how dost thou distinguish between God's or Christ's things, and Cæfar's? If in matters relating to Faith, Worship, Conscience and Priesthood, Cæfar must rule me, and be obey'd ; 'where, or in what I have no Command from God or Cbrift? By this Rule 'I may pay Tithes to Popish and Mabametan Priests, if the Law of the Land commanded me. This is a poor Shift thou makest, and so lame be alham'd of it.
But thou in ihy last Letter thinķest, thou halt brought my Chaos, as thou ignorantly callest my, former Letters, into some tolerable kind of Order, p. 76. And
First, My Reasons thou fay'st are these, That Humane Laws are for Humane Things and I say fo till: And by Humane Things, I mean, that every Man, a Clergy-man as well as others, ought to be preserved in his Life, Birth-right, &c. As for Instance, If I am my Farber's Heir, or have a Portion left me, in Money, Goods, or Estate of Land; which the Law cannot be faid to give me a Right