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late their practice accordingly upon this principle. No one is ever paid by them for the performance of any office in the Church. If a minister lives at home and attends the meeting, to which he belongs, he supports himself, as St. Paul did, by his own trade. If he goes on the ministry to other meetings, he is received by the members of the Society as he travels along, and he finds meat and drink at the houses of these. His travelling expenses also are generally defrayed in this particular case. But he receives no reward, or fixed or permanent stipend, for his services on these or on any other such occasions. And as the Quakers cannot
pay ministers, so it is a tenet with them that they cannot pay those of other denominations for their Gospel-labours, upon the same principles; that is, they believe that all ministers of every description ought to follow the example, which St. Paul gave and enjoined them, of maintaining themselves by their own hands; they ought to look up to God, and not to men, for their reward; they ought to avoid the character of false teachers, and the imputation of abusing their power in the Gospel. And to these they add a par
ticular reason drawn from the texts quoted, which is not applicable in the former case ; namely, that ministers are not authorized to take meat and drink from those, who are not willing to receive them.
Other reasons why Quakers cannot pay ministers
of the Gospel of other denominations from themselves--these arise out of the nature of the payments made to them, or out of the nature of tithes -history of tithes from the fourth century to the reign of Henry the Eighth, when they were definitively consolidated into the laws of the land.
But the members of this Society have other reasons, besides the general reasons and the particular one which have been given, why, as Christians, they cannot pay ministers of a different denomination from themselves for their Gospel-labours, or why they cannot pay ministers of the Established Church. These arise out of the nature of the
payments, which are made to them, or out of the nature of tithes. But to see these
in their proper light, some notion should be given of the origin of this mode of their maintenance. I shall therefore give a very concise history of tithes from the fourth century, to which period I have already brought the reader, to the reign of Henry the Eighth, when they took a station in the laws of the land, from which they have yet never been displaced.
It has already appeared, that between the middle and the close of the fourth century such ministers of the Gospel, as were able, supported themselves, but that those, who were not able, were supported out of the fund for the poor. The latter, however, had no fixed or determined proportion of this fund allotted them, but had only a bare livelihood from it, consisting of victuals served out to them in baskets, as before explained. This fund, too, consisted of voluntary offerings, or of revenues from land voluntarily bequeathed. And the principle, on which these gifts or voluntary offerings were made, was the duty of charity to the poor, One material innovation, however, had been introduced, as I remarked before, since its institution; namely, that the bishops, and
not the deacons, had now the management of this fund.
At the latter end of the fourth century, and from this period to the eighth, other changes took place in the system, of which I have been speaking. Ministers of the Gospel began to be supported, all of them without distinction, from the funds of the
poor. This circumstance occasioned a greater number of persons to be provided for than before. The people therefore were solicited forgreater contributions than had been ordinarily given. Jerom and Chrysostom, out of good and pious motives, exhorted them in turn to give bountifully to the poor, and double honour to those, who laboured in the Lord's work. And though they left the people at liberty to bestow what they pleased, they gave it as their opinion that they ought not to be less liberal than the antient Jews, who under the Levitical law gave a tenth of their property to the priesthood and to the poor. Ambrose, in like manner, recommended tenths as now necessary, and as only a suitable donation, for these purposes.
The same line of conduct continued to be pursued by those, who succeeded in the
government of the Church, by Augustine bishop of Hippo, by Pope Leo, by Gregory, by Severin among the Christians in Pannonia, and by others. Their exhortations, however, on this subject were now mixed with promises and threats. Pardon of sins, and future rewards, were held out on the one hand; and it was suggested on the other, that the people themselves would be reduced to a tenth, and the blood of all the
who died, would be
their heads, if they gave less than a tenth of their income to holy uses. By exhortations of this sort, reiterated for three centuries, it began at length to be expected of the people that they would not give less than tenths of what they possessed. No right, however, was alleged to such a proportion of their income, nor was coercion ever spoken of. These tenths also were for holy uses, which chiefly included the benefit of the poor. They were called the Lord's Goods in consequence, and were also denominated the Patrimony of the Poor.
Another change took place within the period assigned, which I must now mention as of great concern, Ministers of the Gospel now living wholly out of the tenths,