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whom and to expiate his own sin, he caused those tithes to become dues in his own dominions, 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
paro. chial 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 la 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: I, 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 my forefathers and ancestors,” &c.
whom and to expiate his
zems, sans those tithes to become
were freminions, which were or
wauzolding those donors before.
other purposes the About sixty years
nigally imposed.” a weak and superstiti
confirmed, and upon by the clergy s, by the famous to the whole kingd
on this subject. it under the notior
that whereas the judgments
w this reign tithes sented as visibl
atever the reason of the Danes. Po yine right as under still to be supi
che preamble to the the people we
chey are founded on to whichever
seg described therein About tl
holy Church.” Thus, Edgar took
arepe as well as in our disposing
Diese changes brought tion, and
been described : and to the pa
about also by the same nasteries
were made partly by the became
mons of Monks, partly
Popes, partly by the edict chial cle
and partly by the determiby send mention
way that I should trace this observe
clative to tithes, whether they may ...l, or vicarial, or whether they may ) lay-persons. I have already devenough of their history for my purI shall therefore hasten to state those reasons, which the Quakers have to
why they cannot pay other ministers le Gospel for their spiritual labours; or her, why they cannot consent to the paynt of tithes as the particular species of yment demanded by the Church.
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 and sustenance. “ 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 parțly 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.