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therefore, of that special hire, must needs be withal abolished, as being also ceremonial. That Tithes were ceremonial is plain, not being given to the Levites till they had been first offered a heaveoffering to the Lord. He, then, who by that law brings Tithes into the Gospel, of necessity brings in withal a sacrifice and an altar ; without which, Tithes by that law were unsanctified and polluted, and, therefore, never thought of in the first Christian times ; nor till ceremonies, altars, and oblations had been brought back. And yet the Jews, ever since their Temple was destroyed, though they have Rabbis and teachers of their law, yet pay no Tithes, as having no Levites to whom, no Temple where to pay them, nor altar whereon to hallow them : which argues that the Jews themselves never thought 'Tithes moral, but ceremonial only. That Christians, therefore, should take them up when Jews have laid them down, must needs be very absurd and preposterous.”

Thirdly. That it appears by the injunctions of our Lord, a's well as by the examples of his Apostles Paul and Peter, that the Ministers of the Gospel are to give their spiritual labors freely, eating such things as are set before them;" and “having food and raiment, to be therewith content,” that when they are not engaged in the work of the Ministry they are to support themselves, if necessity require it, by their own industry ; that they are not authorised to demand, consequently not to force a maintenance from others. Therefore any constrained payment on this account, as it is contrary to the intention of Jesus Christ, is an infringement of the great Christian tenet, that Christ's kingdom being of a spiritual nature, the Magistrate has no right to dictate a religion to any one, nor to enforce payment for the same ; and, therefore, any legal interference in these matters, which are solely between God and inan, is an act of legislation BEYOND THE BOUNDS' OF MAN'S JURISDICTION, and is neither more nor less than a USURPATION OF THE PREROGATIVE OF GOD.

Fourthly. That neither Tithes, nor any other impost, were ever demanded for the support of the Ministers of the Gospel, in the earliest and purest periods of the Christian Church ; nor until nearly 400 years after Christ: after which time those Charities, which before had been solicited as ALMS FOR THE USE OF THE POOR, were, by the craft and avarice of Romish ecclesiastics, converted to their own use, and demanded, as due to them by Divine right, under the revived appellation of Tithes.

Fifthly. That if Tithes are due at all, they are due to the poor, from whose use they have been forcibly diverted, and to whom, in equity, they would still belong; as no Prince can alter the nature of right and wrong :- that they are not justly due to the Church or Clergy, because Offa wished them to be so, to expiate his own crimes ; nor because Ethelwolf wished them to be so, from a superstitious notion that he might thus prevent the incursions of the Danes; nor because Stephen wished them to be so, as his own grant expresses, on the principle “that the bonds of sin might be dissolved, and that he might have a part with those who, by a hapa py kind of commerce, exchange heavenly things for earthly ;” nor because the Popes of Rome wished them to be so, from whose jurisdiction all the subjects of England are discharged by law.

Sixthly. That, the followers of Jesus Christ are not to be lords over God's heritage. But an acknowledgment of human authority in matters of religion is a defence of the conduct of the High Priest and his kindred, when they commanded Peter and John, “ not to speak at all, nor teach in the name of Jesus ;" and, consequently, it is a reprobation of the conduct of these Apostles for their obstinate reply, viz. “ Whether it be right in the sight of God, to hearken unto you more than unto God, judgeye.Acts iv. 18, 19. Itis, also, a defence, of every other act of opposition from persons in authority, not only to the Apostles, but also to Jesus Christ himself. Nor is there any point at which such an acknowledgment can stop, shortof advocating, not only the cause of Mahomet, but also every species of Idolatry that ever was established, from the golden image of Nebuchado nezzar down to Juggernaut of the present day. It is, therefore, impossible for Christians, as such, to pay Tithes, because by every such payment THEY ACKNOWLEDGE THB AUTHORITY OF MAN, AS A LEGISLATOR, WITHIN THE PECULIAR PROVINCE OF GOD.

Seventhly. That all the more modern Acts of Parliament, upon this subject, take the Act of Henry the Eighth as the great groundwork or legal foundation of Tithes ; in the preamble of which it is inserted, that they are “ due unto God and holy Church.” Now this preamble has never been done away, nor has any other prin. ciple been acknowledged instead of that in this preamble, why Tithes have been established by law. It appears, therefore, that Tithes are still collected on the foundation of an assumed Divine right. But Christians, by receiving or paying Tithes on this plea, do virtually renounce their Christianity; and so far, itot only acs knowledge the Jewish religion for themselves, but are conceding to the modern Jews, that Jesus Christ has not yet made his appeara ance upon earth :- or they are denying his authority as Supreme Legislator in his own kingdom.

I mean to conclude with a few observations on the doctrine that is frequently urged, That Tithes are as really the state of the Clergy, as the other nine-tenths are the property of the occupiet of the land.

If the Tithe-claimant had any interest or title whatsoever in the land, he would necessarily be a party in any deed of sale or com


which is not the case. Nor can he control the occupier of any estate in the cultivation of his land; whether to break it up or to lay it down, whether to sow wheat, or barley, or turnips, or vetches ; although, in most cases, the interest of the claimant is materially affected thereby. The only claim he has is on the increase, or rather on the produce, whether of corn, or grass, or cattle. It is, therefore, a charge solely on the skill, capital, and industry of the farmer ; and as one man may possess these in a greater proportion than his neighbour, in that proportion does he contribute more than his neighbour, to the revenue of the Clergy. Besides, the owner of an estate may, if he please, either plant his land with timber, or let it lie wholly neglected and unproductive; in either of which cases there would be no tithe to claim.

Therefore it is not the land, but the capital, skill, and industry of the farmer merely that are tithed.

As a further proof of the property or estate of the Clergy in the land, it is frequently advanced that a man purchasing an estate, subject to a Tithe-charge, buys it at a rate proportionately lower than he would if exonerated therefrom. Certainly, he is aware of the demand to which he is liable; and as he has no means of avoiding it, the estate is by so much the less valuable. So also an estate subject to incursions of wolves would be less valuable than one not subject to such a contingency; but it by no means follows, as a necessary consequence, that the purchaser, because he buys at a proportionately low price, acknowledges the title of the sharer of the fruits of his industry, in one case, any more than he would in the other. Should

any startle at the parallel I have drawn, I beg such to be assured that it is advanced purely by way of illustration, without the slightest reflection upon any person living ; for I have to acknowledge that many of our Clergy are men of the most upright and honorable Characters. But were I speaking of the Clergy of the Church of Rome, by whose artifice and undue influence on the minds of men, these Tithes were obtained from the people, I should be borne out by the Church of England in applying the simile in the strictest sense. When speaking of the oppressive avarice of these men, we find the following expressions : « The ambitious intents and most subtile drifts of the Bishops of Rome.—These special instruments and ministers of the Devil.— The miserable tyranny, raveny and spoil of the most greedy Romish Wolves.God doth curse the blessings, and bless the cursings, of such wicked usurping Bishops and Tyrants.

I am aware that to the preceding questions respecting the right or title of the Clergy, as well as to the further questions, whether

i Homilies of the Church of England. Edit. 1817. 5th and 6th Parts of the 35d Homily.


the practice of taking a tenth of produce, instead of a tenth of increase, be or be not a departure from ancient practice ; whether the present system does or does not operate to the discouragement of agriculture, as well as to many other collateral considerations, a ready answer may be given ; and that is, the laws of the Land. It was no part of my professed intention to inquire whether our ecclesiastical system is or is not consistent with these laws; but to inquire how far it is consistent with the examples and precepts of the Founder of Christianity, and of his Apostles. If it be admitted that the contrary has been satisfactorily proved in the foregoing pages, it becomes a question for the serious consideration of the Professors and Teachers of Christianity, for Christian Legislators, and for Christian Magistrates, whether they are authorised to enforce any Laws that stand opposed to the Laws and Injunctions of Jesus Christ? how they can answer, in the great day of account, for being instrumental in perpetuating a system of usurpation, instituted in the darkest ages of ignorance and superstition, by men whom they themselves call the Ministers of the Devil ?”—whether the laws of Man will, in that day, be a valid plea in the face of the Precepts and Example of Jesus Christ, whose Disciples they profess to be ?






The North of England,







(Continued from Pamphleteer, No. XXIX. p. 260.)


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