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the rest of our divines. As therefore the seventh day is not moral, but a convenient recourse of worship in fit. season, whether seventh or other number; so neither is the tenth of our goods, but only a convenient subsistence morally due to ministers. The last and lowest sort of their arguments, that men purchased not their tithe with their land, and such like pettifoggery, I omit; as refuted sufficiently by others : I omit also their violent and irreligious exactions, related no less credibly; their seizing and


who have as good right to tithes as they ; from some, the very beds; their suing

; and imprisoning, worse than when the canon law was in force; worse than when those wicked sons of Eli were priests, whose manner was thus to seize their pretended priestly due by force; 1 Sam. ii. 12, &c., “ Whereby men abhorred the offering of the Lord.” be feared, that many will as much abhor the gospel, if such violence as this be suffered in her ministers, and in that which they also pretend to be the offering of the Lord. For those sons of Belial within some limits made seizure of what they knew was their own by an un. doubted law; but these, from whom there is no sanctuary, seize out of men's grounds, out of men's houses, their other goods of double, sometimes of treble value, for that which, did not covetousness and rapine blind them, they know to be not their own by the gospel which they preach. Of some more tolerable than these, thus severely God' hath spoken ; Isa. xlvi. 10, &c., “ They are greedy dogs ; they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, froin his quarter.” *** And yet they cry out sacrilege, that men will not be gulled and baffled the tenth of their estates, by giving credit to frivolous pretences of divine right. Where did God ever clearly declare to all nations, or in all lands, (and

inone but fools part with their estates, without clearest evidence, on bare supposals and presumptions of them who are the gainers thereby) that he required the tenth as due to him or his son perpetually and in all places ? Where did he demand it, that we might certainly know, as in all claims of temporal right is just and reasonable? or if demanded, where did he assign it, or by what evident conveyance to ministers ? Unless they can demonstrate this by more than conjectures, their title can be no better to tithes than the title of Gehazi was to those things which by abusing his master's name he rooked from Naaman. Much less where did he command that tithes should be fetched by force, where left not under the Gospel, whatever his right was, to the freewill-offerings of men? Which is the greater sacrilege, to bely divine authority, to make the name of Christ accessory to violence, and robbing him of the very honour which he aimed at in bestowing freely the gospel, to commit simony and rapine, both secular and ecclesiastical; or on the other side, not to give up the tenth of civil right and propriety to the tricks and impostures of clergymen, contrived with all the art and argument that their bellies can invest or suggest; yet so ridiculous and presuming on the people's dulness and superstition, as to think they prove the divine right of their maintenance by Abraham paying tithes to Melchisedec, whenas Melchisedec in that passage rather gave maintenance to Abraham ; in whom all, both priests and

; ministers as well as laymen, paid tithes, not received them. And because I affirmed above, begivning this first part of my discourse, that God hath given to ministers of the gospel that maintenance only which is justly given them, let us see a little what hath been thought of that other maintenance besides tithes, which

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of all protestants our English divines either only or most apparently both require and take. Those are fees for christenings, narriages, and burials : which, though whoso will may give freely, yet being not of right, but of free gift, if they be exacted or established, they become unjust to them who are otherwise maintained; and of such evil note, that even the council of Trent, 1. ii, p. 240, makes them liable to the laws against simony, who take or demand fees for the administering of any sacrament: “ Che la sinodo volendo levare gli abusi introdotti,” &c. And in the next page, with like severity, condemns the giving or taking for a benefice, and the celebrating of marriages, christenings, and burials, for fees exacted or demanded; nor counts it less simony to sell the ground or place of burial. And in a state-assembly at Orleans, 1561, it was decreed, “ Che non si potesse essiger cosa alcuna," &c., p. 429, nothing should be exacted for the adıninistering of sacraments, burials, or any other spiritual function.” Thus much that council, of all others the most Popish, and this assembly of Papists, though, by their own principles, in bondage to the clergy, were induced, either by their own reason and shame, or by the light of reformation then shining in upon them, or rather, by the known canons of many councils and synods long before, to condemn of simony spiritual fees demanded. **** Burials and marriages are so little to be any part of their gain, that they who consider well may find them to be no part of their function. At burials their attendance they allege on the corpse; all the guests do as. much unhired. But their prayers at the grave ; superstitiously required: yet if required, their last performance to the deceased of their own flock. But the funeral sermon ; at their choice, or if not, an occasion


offered them to preach out of season, which is one part of their office. But something must be spoken in praise; if due, their duty ; if undue, their corruption : a peculiar simony of our divives in England only. But the ground is broken, and especially their unrighteous possession, the channel. To sell that, will not only raise up in judgment the council of Trent against them, but will lose them the best champion of tithes, their zealous antiquary, sir Henry Spelman; who in a book written to that purpose, by many cited canons, and some even of times corruptest in the church, proves that fees exacted or demanded for sacraments, marriages, burials, and especially for interring, are wicked, accursed, simoniacal, and abominable : yet thus is the church, for all this noise of reformation, left still unreformed, by the censure of their own synods, their own favourers, a den of thieves and robbers. As for marriages, that ministers should meddle with them, as not sanctified or legitimate, without their celebration, I find no ground in scripture either of precept or example. Likeliest it is (which our Selden hath well observed, l. 2, c. 28, Ux. Eb.) that in imitation of heathen priests, who were wont at nuptials to use many rites and ceremonies, and especially, judging it would be profitable, and the increase of their authority, not to be spectators only in business of such concernment to the life of man, they insinuated that marriage was not holy without their benediction, and for the better colour, made it a sacrament; being of itself a civil ordinance, a household contract, a thing indifferent and free to the whole race of mankind, not as religious, but as men : best, indeed, undertaken to religious ends, and as the apostle saith, I Cor. vii. " in the Lord." Yet nut, therefore invalid or unholy without a minister and his pretended necessary hallowing, more than any other


act, enterprise, or contract of civil life, which ought all to be done also in the Lord and to his glory : all which, no less than marriage, were by the cunning of priests heretofore, as material to their profit, transacted at the altar. Our divines deny it to be a sacrament; yet retained the celebration, till prudently a late parliament recovered the civil liberty of marriage from their encroachment, and transferred the ratifying and registering thereof from the canonical shop to the proper cognizance of civil magistrates. Seeing then, that God hath given to ministers under the gospel that only which is justly given them, that is to say, a due and moderate livelihood, the hire of their labour, and that the heave offering of tithes is abolished with the altar ; yea, though not abolished, yet lawless, as they enjoy them ; their Melchisedechian right also trivial and groundless, and both tithes and fees, if exacted or established, unjust and scandalous ; we may hope, with them removed, to remove hirelings in some good measure, whom these tempting baits, by law especially to be recovered, allure into the church.

The next thing to be considered in the maintenance of ministers, is by whom it should be given. Wherein though the light of reason might sufficiently inform us, it will be best to consult the scripture : Gal. vi. 6, “Let him that is taught in the word, communicate to him that teacheth, in all goods things :” that is to say, in all manner of gratitude, to his ability. 1 Cor. ix. 11, “ If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great matter if we reap your carnal things ?" To whom therefore hath not been sown, from him wherefore should be reaped: 1 Tim. v. 17, “ Let the elders that rule well, be counted worthy of double honour; especially they who labour in word and doctrine." By

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