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whom and to expiate his own sin, he caused those tithes to become dues in his own doo minions, which were only at the will of the donors before.
About sixty years afterwards, Ethelwolf, a weak and superstitious prince, was worked upon by the clergy to extend tithes as dues to the whole kingdom; and he consented to it under the notion that he was thus to avert the judgments of God, which they represented as visible in the frequent ravages of the Danes. Poor lay-men, however, were still to be supported out of these tithes, and the people were still at liberty to pay them to whichever religious persons they pleased.
About the close of the tenth century. Edgar took from the people the right of disposing of their tithes at their own discre. tion, and directed that they should be paid to the parish-churches. But the other monasteries or lay-houses resisting, his orders became useless for a time. At this period the lay-monasteries were rich, but the parochial clergy poor. Pope Innocent, however, by sending out his famous decree before mentioned to king John, which was to be observed in England as well as in other
places under his jurisdiction, and by which it was enacted that every man was to pay his tithes to those only, who administered spiritual help to him in his own parish, settled the affair ; for he set up ecclesiastical courts, thundered out his interdicts, and frightened both king and people*.
Richard the Second confirmed these tithes to the parishes as thus settled by this Pope; but it was directed by an act, that, in all appropriations of churches, the bishop of the diocese should ordain a convenient sum of money to be distributed out of the fruits and profits of every living among the poor parishioners annually in aid of their living
* To show the principles, upon which princes acted with respect to tithes in these times, the following translation of a preamble to an Act of king Stephen may be produced : " Because through the providence of Divine mercy we know it to be so ordered, and by the Churches publishing it far and near every body has heard, that by the distribution of alms persons may be absolved froin the bonds of sin, and acquire the rewards of heavenly joys: 1, Stephen, by the grace of God, king of England, being willing to have a share with those, who by a happy kind of commerce exchange heavenly things for carthly, and smitten with the love of God, and for the salvation of iny own soul, and the souls of my father and mother, and all any forefathers and ancestors," &c.
- were fra
..- purposes the
whom and to expiate hi: cemis," says those tithes to become minions, which were
...zoiding those donors before. About sixty years
wizally imposed.” a weak and superstiti
confirmed, and upon by the clergy
by the famous to the whole kingd on this subject. it under the notion are, that whereas the judgments
so this reign tithes sented as visibl
never the reason of the Danes. PC wine right as under still to be sups
the preamble to the the people we
chey are founded on to whichever
described therein About tl
holy Church.” Thus, Edgar took
Surope as well as in our disposing
sese changes brought tion, and
been described : and
about also by the same nasteries
were made partly by the became
semons of Monks, partly
Popes partly by the edict chial cle
and partly by the determiby send
wry that I should trace this observe
tions relative to tithes, whether they may eccorial, or vicarial, or whether they may mag to lay-persons. I have already deveed enough of their history for my purse. I shall therefore hasten to state those ther reasons, which the Quakers have to ive, why they cannot pay other ministers of the Gospel for their spiritual labours; or rather, why they cannot consent to the payment of tithes as the particular species of payment demanded by the Church.
Bailed for such to 31
SECTION III. Bairaged wart 20 Horais atspindes i brani The other reasons, as deducible from the history of
Tithes, are the following---first, that they are not in equity dues of the Church--secondly, that the payment of them being compulsory, it would, if acceded to, be an acknowledgment that the civil magistrate had a right to use force in matters of religion--and thirdly, that, being claimed upon an act, which holds them forth as of divine right, any payment of them would be an acknowledgment of the Jewish religion, and that Christ had not yet actually come. The other reasons, which the Quakers have to give for refusing to support other
“ Thus, it seems,” says Judge Blackstone, “the people were frequently sufferers by the withholding those alms, for which among other purposes the payment of tithes was originally imposed.” At length tithes were finally confirmed, and in a more explicit manner, by the famous act of Henry the Eighth on this subject. And here I must just observe, that whereas from the eighth century to this reign tithes were said to be due, whenever the reason of them was expressed, by divine right as under the Levitical law,--so in the preamble to the act of Henry the Eighth they are founded on the same principle, being described therein
as due to God and holy Church.” Thus, on the continent of Europe as well as in our own country, were these changes brought about, which have been described : and they were brought about also by the same means; for they were made partly by the exhortations and sermons of Monks, partly by the decrees of Popes, partly by the edict of Popish Kings, and partly by the determinations of Popish Councils.
It is not necessary that I should trace this subject further, or that I should make di