THE Maintenance of the MINISTERY.

Wherein is plainely declared how the Ministers of the Gospell ought to be main­tayned: and the true and ancient practise of our Church in this case, shewed to be agreeable to the word of God, and all Antiquity.

Necessary in these times to be read and considered of all sorts of Christians, but specially of such as liue in Townes and Citties.

By RICHARD EBVRNE, Minister of the word.

1. Cor. 9. 11.
If we haue sowen vnto you spirituall things: is it a great matter if we reape your carnall things.

LONDON, Printed for Eleazar Edgar, and are to be sold at his shoppe in Paules Church-yard, at the signe of the Wind-Mill. 1609.

To the right Reuerend Fa­ther in God, Iames by diuine Prouidence, Lord Bishop of Bathe and VVelles, Ri­chard Eburne wisheth in Christ Iesus feli­citie externall, internall, and eternall.

IT is the Custome (Right reuerend father in God) and that vsual, auncient, and appro­ued, of such as publish to the world their writings, to dedicate the same to some or other personage, eminent in the Church or Cōmon-weale. What others ofttimes doe, more for fashion then occasion, for fauour then neede, thereto am I moued and euen compel­led by some Necessitie; because handling an argument somewhat rare (for fewe they be that haue laboured in the like) and though verie profitable for the Church of God at all times, and in these exceeding necessarie, yet not very pleasing to such as either by too much couetousnes, or too little consideration may be carried with vnequal censure to condemne that they like not, or reiect without iust cause, that they vnderstand not; I neede the Patronage of such a one, as by his authoritie countenancing it, might shielde it from iniurie, and by his iudgement approc [...]ing it, defend it from enuie.

And to this purpose, after I had pend this my Treatise of the Maintenance of the Ministerie, bethinking with my [Page] selfe whom to I might offer it, vpon some necessarie & iust causes I resolued to dedicate the same aboue any vnto your Lordship. First▪ in regard of the very subiect and nature of of the worke it selfe: which being such, as wholly concerns the Fabrique (as I may say) of the Church, whereof your Lor: is a principall vpholder; and the estate of the mini­sters in the Church, of which no small number doe labour (if I may so speake) in your vineyard, seemeth properly to require such a one to vndertake the protection thereof, as by his calling and dignitie in the Church, rather then the common-wealth, is enabled thervnto. And then in regard of my selfe who haue heretofore employed the first and no small part of my ministery within your Lordships iurisdic­tion and Diocesse; and now againe (by Gods special pro­uidēce) called back to finish my course within the same, doe acknowledge it to bee my duety to respect aboue other, as the vine vnder whose shadowe I rest, that Architect vnder whom and by whom I am set on worke: and doe hope I may bee bolde to haue recourse as a Soldiour to his owne Captaine, or a seruant vnto his owne Lord, for the patro­nizing of my labours, where my selfe am entertained.

Touching the worke it selfe; The scope whervnto I haue therein principally, & in maner onely aimed, is to declare how necessarie and conuenient it is, That the Ministers of the word in all places, & in each seuerall congregation should bee prouided of due and competent maintenance. In explaining whereof I haue haue shewed, by whom, by what meanes, and in what sort, this maintenāce should be yeelded: with­all, against such as affect new fashions, and whom nothing pleaseth but what is deformed by some innouation, I haue made it apparant that the ancient and most vsuall practise of our land in this case is agreeable to the word of God, & practize of the most auncient and best times. Such indeed as can not iustly by anie pensionarie or other like confused [Page] and strange course be bettered and amended. Where our practize doth digresse, as best thinges seeldome stand anie long time without some corruption and declination from their integritie, I haue in hope of some redresse partlie noted. It is a thing too manifest, that the estate of our ministerie at this day is not such, that we may affirme of it, That it is euery where duely prouided for: & that we that are therin haue no cause for want of maintenance and necessaries for our life to com­plaine. But contrariwise, howsoeuer in many places it is, yet (God be thanked) Such as it ought to bee: yet in not a few, by reason that that course which God himself hath appoin­ted, equitie approued, and ancient practise confirmed, is in­terrupted, and not in anie measure there obserued, it is such as becommeth not the Gospel of Christ: such as not a lit­tle hindereth the prosperitie thereof, in a word such as the ministers themselues haue a iust cause to complaine of, all reasonable men must acknowledge needes amendment; & it behoueth those that are in place and authority therevnto gratiously, to heare, farther to consider of, and speedily and duely to redresse.

Which beeing a worke acceptable to God, needefull for our Church, profitable and honorable for the whole land, will (no doubt) the more be respected, and the sooner bee effected, if it shall please your good Lordship, together with the rest of your brethren (the most reuerend fathers of our Church, looking according to the experience & wisedome that God hath inriched you withall, into the estate of ma­nie distressed and impouerished churches within your Iu­risdictions) to open your mouthes in the cause of the affli­cted, and according to the power & authority, which God hath giuen you for the benefit & edification of the church, indeuour to repaire the ruines, & make vp againe the brea­ches thereof. Wherein you may doe great seruice to the Ch: much further the Gospell, and become euen founders [Page] of manie churches within your seuerall Diocesses, which [...]ow (alas) through vnreasonable customes, cruell▪ and hard compositions, beggerly stypends, small endowments, and non payement of personall tithes, bee in manner desolate; and doe pittie the hearts of all such as duly regard learning and religion, truly loue & respect the ministers of the word, rightly know what becommeth the house of God, and vn­ [...]einedly wish the prosperitie of our Zion, to see howe they lie in the dust. You are the Pillers vpon whom wee doe stay, the mountaines from whence we doe looke for helpe, and the rockes vnder whose shadowes we trust to be assisted and sheltred against the rage and violence of such extremi­ties & miseries as manie of your churches are subiect vnto. And wee hope that the loue you beare to learning, the care you haue of the people committed to your charges, the zeale you carrie vnto the Church of God, and the respect you haue to vs of the ministrie vnder you, of whom manie (hauing not in this plenty and peace wherewith God hath blessed Israel, wherewith parcè & duriter to sustaine their liues) are discouraged not encouraged, vnabled not ena­bled to the worke they should performe, and made euen wearie of their calling, will mooue you, after the Gospell it selfe now throughly setled, and the sects and schismes of our church now quieted, as louing fathers, to relieue what you may, the externall wants of your children; & as good Cap­tains, what lies in you to prouide for the due pay of all such Souldiours as are vnder your hands: that henceforth none of them (as cōmonly yet many are) bee inforced, as it were starting out of the camp, to entangle themselues with the affaires of this life; but attending wholly the seruice where­to they are prest, may please you that haue admitted them, but chiefly Christ Iesus the high Bishop of our soules, & Primate of the whole church, that hath called them to be souldiors.

To further, and (if I may presume so to speake) as it were [Page] to open a way to this so godly, so good and necessary work, I haue, occasioned therevnto aboue manie, (and which I might not with good consciēce not prosecute) as the poore widow offered my mi [...]e, and as a plaine, but a willing hear­ted workman bestowed a little labour. Which if your good Lordship, approouing my sincere and religious purpose a­boue mine abilitie (which, knowing my selfe to be, as from my heart I doe acknowledge the meanest of a thousand▪ & most vnable of many thousands to put my hand to so great a work, and open my mouth in so weightie a cause, I freely confesse is very small) vouchsafe in good part to accept; and whatsoeuer my desert or handling of the cause bee, to affect and fauour the cause it selfe, which for it selfes sake, deserueth all furtherance; that so what I haue spoken in the behalfe thereof, beeing defended from the peruerse iudgement of the ignorant, and iniurie of all, others may bee moued of their abundance to cast in richer gifts, and as God hath fil­led them, like vnto Bezaleel the sonne of Vri, and Ahol [...]ab the sonne of Ahisan [...]ch, with greater knowledge & more plen­tie of his spirit, to adorne & inlarge what I haue but rudely informed, or may be but sparely pointed at: you shall en­courage mee to proceed yet what I may, in that I haue be­gun, till I see it come from seed to fruit, and purchase both the thanksgiuing of many to God for your readines to this worke of the Lord, and the prayers of mee & manie others with me vnto the Almighty for his graces & blessings both spirituall & temporall, to be continued and increased vpon you. The Lorde Iesus vouchsafe vnto you his heauenly gifts, and so guide you by his holy Spirit, that you may sin­cerely set forth his Gospel, & seeke his glory in this world, & in the world to come be crowned by him with celestiall and eternall glorie. Amen.

Your Lor. euer to be commanded in the worke of the Lorde, Richard Eburne.

To the Reader.

ACcept I pray thee (Christian Rea­der) in good parte, what I present vnto thee, to good purpose. Let not my plainenesse displease thee; which for to profit thee, as the fittest phrase for an argument of this forme, I haue more then ordinarily affected. In other stile I might hap­pely more better haue pleased a few, but am assu­red should lesse haue satisfied all. It is the hearers dutie that I principally teach: necessarie therfore I should so expresse it, that they, euen they of mea­nest reach, and slowest capacitie, husbandmen, trades-men, artificers, and whosoeuer else, might fully conceiue me. As heere is whereby to direct the vnlearned, so there wanteth not wherewith to exercise the learned, whether teacher or hearer. Th' one shall find his due, th' other his dutie, more plainlie taught then hitherto by any. To whom this seemeth not enough, occasion at least is offe­red, the way thus opened, to performe more. Mine attempt is no restraint of other mens liber­tie. For the matter, I nothing doubt of thine as­sent [Page] in most points. If in some we dissent, so it be not in the chiefest, the matter is not great. Yeelde mee these, That the Minister ought to haue cer­taine, sufficient, and liberal maintenance: that there­to euery one of anie abilitie, ought (according to his abilitie, and of such goods as hee hath) to con­tribute: That the best meanes to raise it, must needes be that, which God, Gods church, and all Antiquitie haue, by practise, approoued: and for the rest I will not contende, nor when these are duely practised (for of that, questionles we come yet farre too short) any more complaine.

Thus hoping, if my labours like thee, thou wilt wishe to them such successe as thou perceiuest I desire: if not, yet thou wilt affoord me that or­dinarie fauor, which other men in works of lesse moment, & worse argument, doe often obtaine, I wish to thee as much good as thine own heart, christianly affected, can desire.

Thine in the Lord, and for the seruice of the Churche, R. E.

The Argument and Summe of the whole Trea­tise following, according to the Chapters there­of, which may serue in steede of a Table.

¶The first Chapter
  • THe first Chapt. as an Introduction to the whole, i [...] of the Writer of the par­cell of Scripture which in this Treatise is handled, and of the occasion why it was written. And therein is shewed:
    • 1. How necessarie and fit this kinde of doctrine was then and is now.
    • 2. How contrary ministers in these dayes are oftentimes dealt with
    • 3. The principall causes of such ill dealing.
¶The second Chapter
  • SHeweth, That euery one that is taught by the minister, ought (hauing goods) towards his teachers maintenance to be contributarie, and can from that due­tie by no priuiledge, custome, &c. be exempt.
  • God doth assigne and warrant to Ministers their maintenance.
  • They ought to haue it, first and principally in regard of their labour.
  • Which is painefull to themselues, profitable to others.
  • 2. For that they doe not intermeddle in other mens labours & Trades of life.
  • Their maintenance cannot without great sinne be denyed them.
¶The third Chapter
  • BEing a more speciall explication of the hearers duety before in generall sorte onely set downe, declareth:
    • 1. What this word (Goods) vsed in the Text doth signifie.
    • 2. Of what sorte of goods the minister must haue a pa [...]t.
¶The fourth Chapter
  • 1, THat the right & best maner of payment to the minister, is▪ That he be payd his part of euery thing, in its proper kind, as naturally God doth send it.
  • 2. and not by a set Stipend.
¶The fifth Chapter
  • THat toward the Ministers maintenance, euery man ought to contribute pro­portionably, and not voluntarily onely what euery man will.
  • That is tollerable onely in some cases,
  • But generally or ordinarily it is a course very pernitious and euill.
  • Yet how it might be somewhat tollerable.
¶The sixt Chapter
  • [Page]THe Minister must haue [...] his maintenance, not an imagined competent por­tion onely. But specially besides offerings, the Tithes of all things.
  • Which are still due by diuine right: And be of [...]. sorts. viz. Predial & Personal.
¶The seuenth Chapter
  • YEeldeth some speciall reasons, why God vouchsafeth to haue (as his owne.) some part of all mens goods.
  • Why the Ten [...].
  • Why so great a portion, as is Tithes, Offerings, &c. bee hath assigned vnto his Ministers. Where the Reader shall finde diuers weightie cause [...], why Mi­nisters ought to haue, not a beggerly and sparing, but ample and liberall main­tainan [...]e.
¶The Eight Chapter
  • COnteineth Answeres to diuers Obiections, Namely,
    • 1. Touching the vnworthines of the Minister.
    • 2. The greatnes of the Tenth.
    • 3. The wealth of the Minister.
    • 4. Custome.
    • 5. Personall Tithes, which to pay is a benefite.
    • 6. The Statute of Edu▪ De Decimi [...].
  • Why it were to be wished, that for a perpetuall Composition about Personall Tithes, the Custome of the Citie of London, aboue any other, might, the whole Land through, bee put in practise.
¶The ninth Chapter
  • WHat comes by laying out our goods vpon worldly vses.
  • And what, vpon heauenly and spirituall vses.
  • How daungerous an [...] vnprofitable, euen in respect of their outward and temp [...] ­rall estates it is, men to be illiberall, and ouersparing to their Ministers.
  • And on the other side, how gratefull to God, and gain [...]full to themselues to be liberall and bountifull.
¶The tenth Chapter
  • COmprehendeth the Summe and Conclusion of the whole discourse.
  • And declareth some motiues that haue put the Authour of this Treatise in hope, That his labour shall not be without some good effect.

Which God for his Gospels sake vouchsafe, Amen.

THE MAINTE­NANCE OF THE Ministerie.

Gala. 6. 6. 7.‘Let him that is taught in the word, make him that teacheth him parta­ker of all his goods. Be not deceiued: God is not mocked. For whatso­euer a man soweth, that shall he also reape.’

CHAP. I.

  • 1 Of the Writer of this parcell of Scripture, and the occasion why it was written.
  • 2. How necessary and fit, this kinde of doctrine was then, and is now.
  • 3. How contrary therunto Ministers in these daies are ofttimes dealt with.
  • 4. The principall causes of such ill dealing.

THis parcell of Scripture (as the words themselues doe plainly e­nough to euery mans vnderstan­ding declare) is an instruction or direction vnto all Christians, tea­ching them how they ought to deale with their Ministers tou­ching their maintenance: that so they be not discouraged, but in­couraged to labour painfully and profitably among them in the word and doctrine. It doth con­tain three principal parts: that is, first a Precept, secondly a Com­mination, and thir [...]ly a Confirmation: first a Precept, verse. 6. in [Page 2] these words, Let him that is taught, &c. 2. A Commination, in the first member of the 7. verse, Be not deceiued: God is not mocked. 3. The Confirmation, in the latter member of that verse: for whatsoeuer a man soweth, that also shall he reape. The first of these sheweth briefly euery mans dutie in this behalfe. The second is an answere to all such cauils and obiections, as either vngodly or vnwilling people vse to pretend and make for excuse of their carelesnes and neglect of that dutie. The third, by an argument and reason taken partly from the profit and good that shall arise and redound by the due performance of this dutie, to all that carefully obserue it: partly (for that also is implied) from the dis­profit and hurt that doth and will befall them that be carelesse and backward in the practise thereof, confirmeth whatsoeuer in the former is taught.

To the opening of the words themselues before I do come, it wil not be amisse to consider a litle, First of the writer of them, who it was: then secondly of the occasion that might moue him thus to write, what it was.

The writer hereof (as the title or inscription of the Epistle shewes) was the Apostle S. Paul. He being the teacher of this doc­trine, the proclaimer of this precept; who was, as the Apostle of Iesus Christ, so that Apostle which laboured more then any of the rest, and did in sundry gi [...]ts excell them all: hee (I say) tea­ching this kinde of doctrine, which he doth not here alone, but almost in euery Epistle, as 1. Cor. 9. 1. Thess. 5. 1. Tim. 5. &c. his ex­ample and doing therein doth sufficiently shewe vs, that it is a kinde of doctrine, As requisite and necessary for the Church of God, and to be published and taught abroad: So, well beseeming the grauitie of a Preacher in the Church, & befitting the mouth of the Minister of God in the Pulpit. It is a kinde of doctrine, I am not ignorant, as seldome in these dayes handled and dealt withall as any: vpon doubt it seemeth, least people take occasion thereby, to deride them that vtter it, as speaking for themselues, and taxe them as desirous of filthy lucre, rather then respect as the truth, or obey it as is meete. But by this kinde of silence the Ministers themselues haue receiued (I am perswaded) more hurt then possibly they could by speaking: and the Church hath in­curred more detriment, and the Gospell more hindrance by the ignorance thereof, then possibly they could preiudice or re­proach, [Page 3] if it had bene made more knowne.

People know in generall tearmes, and that rather by the ve­ry light of reason, then rules of religion, That the Minister must haue maintenance: and can say, That the labourer is worthy of his hire. But, as their practise often argues, they account hee hath that, when many times it is in name, rather then in deed; in shew, then in substance: that they vse him very well, when they paie him in maner nothing: and do their dutie to the vttermost, euen when they withhold from him the greatest part of his due. Ne­cessary it is therefore that they be better instructed in this be­halfe, and Ministers oftner to teach this lesson: which we finde hitherto, by many badly learned, and worse practised. To encou­rage and imbolden them hereunto, they haue many examples: as of old the Prophet Malachy, who ch. 3. handles it of purpose, reprouing sharply the people of his time, for not performing, as they should, this dutie towards the Lord himself, & the sonnes of Aaron the Lords Ministers. Then our Sauiour himselfe, who assoone as euer he sent abroad his Apostles to preach, prescribeth them what order to obserue for their maintenance, and sheweth them with what right they might demaund, & receiue the same. But specially this our Apostle; who intreating thereof, both of­tentimes and at large, offers himselfe their leader, and (if I may so speake) their companion in this kinde of labour. In whose step [...] while they do but tread, whose course while they do but follow, what cause is there any should either feare the spurning of the contentious, or care for the scorning of the contemptuous?

2. And herein too, I cannot but obserue the prudence & proui­dēce of God, which inspires this kind of doctrine into the mind, and in stils it into the pen of this Apostle rather then any other, whose labours were to come most to light: and who labouring with his owne hands, and liuing for the most part by his occupa­tion, and not vppon the Churches charge, as appeareth, Act. [...]0. 34. and otherwhere (howsoeuer he had power to haue done o­therwise, aswell as the rest of the Apostles, and namely the brethre [...] of the Lord and Cephas) 1. Cor. 9. 4. (was thereby the freest and fittest of all other to speake in this matter: because it could not be ob­iected vnto him, That he preached for himselfe, or sought his owne gaine, and bewraied a co [...]etous minde, &c. Surely, the doc­trine comming from his mouth, could not but thereby be re­ceiued [Page 4] with lesse preiudice then from some other it might haue beene: and being contrary to that himselfe oft times did practise, did plainely shew, That in this his doctrine he did respect the good of the Church and glorie of God, which he knew (whatso­euer his practise was) were ordinarily this way and in this sort to be furthered: and, That his doing and example was no necessary rule, and therefore ought not to binde others; as which was pe­culiar to him, not common to all, who generally must liue legi­bus non exemplis by lawes not by examples, and practise ordinarily according as of God we are all taught: and not, as, without Com­maundement, and without necessitie, vpon some singular and ex­traordinary respect, some few doe.

The occasion that mooued the apostle to write this doc­trine, was no doubt, the care of the Church. 1. He did see euen then, that the hearers of the word began to be weary of weldo­ing, and to be negligent and slacke in ministring their temporall things to their teachers, which bestowed on them spirituall: lea­uing them destitute and vnprouided, whom they ought chiefly to maintaine: which he knew well could not but turne to the great hindrance of the Gospell, and preiudice of their soules. 2. He did also foresee, That in the ages to come euen as it is come to passe in these our daies, people would againe be at the same point, little regarding their ministers so they might enrich them­selues, and be better content to be vntaught, then at charge (as they account it) for teaching. And therefore to meet with these euills, to beat downe such errour and mischiefe betimes, and to to arme vs there-against, as was fitte and necessary, he wrote thus.

Now looke what occasion S. Paul had to write and publish this doctrine at the first; the same, if not greater, is offered now a­gaine to vrge and vtter it. Time was, when people thought no­thing too much for the minister, but could euen finde in their hearts with the Galathiās, Cap. 4. 15. if it were possible, to haue pluckt out their owne eies, to do them good. They offered to the Church in such abundance, that there was rather an excesse then want: for they did account those their best employed goods that went to such vses. Insomuch that as Moses, Exod. 36. 6. was faine to make proclamation thorough the hoast, That none should bring any more stuffe for the work of the Tabernacle, there was already [Page 5] enough and to spare:Cod. lib. 1. tit. 5. leg. 16. so the emperour Iustinian and some other princes were inforced to make lawes of restraint against the ex­cessiue liberality vnto churches. Yea the Popes themselues made some Canons to that purpose. Those daies are now past, the case is altered, and the matter turned cleane vpside downe. It is now be­come a time not offerendi, See also our owne statutes of Mort­maine. but auferendi, not a time to offer and giue to the Church, but to auferre and take from it Euery man, in maner, euen bestudies himselfe how to pull from the ministery that he neuer gaue: & though it be no charge nor cost of theirs, yet think it al too much that it hath. Hence it is, that in many pla­ces of the land, the Churches are so gliebd and gelded, that more then the better halfe of their right and inheritance is transferred vnto new owners: and in places not a few, the whole; only a beg­gerly not a scholerly, a miserable not a ministerlike stipend re­serued. And they into whose hands these things are fallen (a thing to be wondered and lamented) make so little care or con­science thereof, that among an hundred is hardly founde one, that vppon conscience of what he holds (the Churches right) or loue and zeale to the Gospell, or respect to the ministery thereof, or compassion vppon the soules of the people, which (their ministers maintenance kept away) both liue and die as sheepe without a sheepheard,A Christian motion. hath restored any parte thereof to the Church from which it is taken: but among a thousand, nay among them all (so farre as I know) not one, that hath in all this time of the Gospell, reendowed one Church of many, and resto­red the spoiles thereof. Hence it is, that many Patrons of be­nefices forgetting their names and titles, that is, that they be but Patroni, defenders and keepers of their Churches, not Propri­etarij, owners and inheritors, doe prooue latrones, robbers there­of; for mony selling them, and by consequence euen the soules of men, to the very diuell of hell, as Iudas did Christ to the Scribes and Pharisies. Some conveying the gleib or temporali­ties of the Church to their owne possession: Others cunningly reseruing their owne tithes: & in a word, the most part of them (yea though they haue already the fatt and best thereof) not wil­ling to bestow but the scraps and fragments freely: To such an height is Sacriledge and Simonie growne; one way or other, making of that which is or should be beneficium ecclesiae a benefice for the Church, a benefite to themselues, little regarding the [Page 6] while how the people are prouided for, and whom they pre­ferre, so they may come to a good market. Besides those mis­chiefes, the people that are to pay the minister his due, make litle or no conscience how they do it. Many count it not as Gods parte, but reckon it as a priuate right to this and that man: and as they be affected to the party that is to receiue, so are they more or lesse willing to giue; as if it were left vnto their power to limit each man his portion, and the ministers due were to be laid out by euery mans arbitremēt, according to his supposed de­serts, and not according to the rule of God, and right of the Church. Many account it a vertue to pare away what they can from the ministers part, and hold it wisedome and well done, to get all things done by him at as lowe a rate as may be. They thinke they haue done the office of good parishioners, if (to sha­dow their couetousnes or malice, with the colour of iustice) they can deuise any shift and quirke in law how to debarre (I will not say defraud) the minister of any due, and bring him to that state, that he must crouch to them for a peece of bread, and not be incouraged by them to his office: caring little though he do not his office as he should, so they may deale with him for his due as they would.

By all which and other like meanes, too long here to recite, miserable verily is the estate both of minister and people in ma­ny places. The people are not taught as they should be, but liue still in blindnes and errour, in ignorance and superstition, to the no little preiudice and slaunder of the Gospell, dishonor of God, and the exceeding hazard of their soules. They haue mini­sters rather in name then indeede. And as the poets faine of their Tantalus in the waters, in the midst of all abundance and plenty of the word round about them, they remaine needy enough; as fed rather with the sight of the Gospell then the substance, and hauing heard of it rather by fame, then tasted of it indeede. The ministers themselues are many where disabled to do their duty; and beeing but weake and meane of themselues (for such be commonly thrust into such places) are made more weake and e­uen vtterly vnapt, for want of meanes to further & enable them: whereby being giuen to Idlenes and neglect of dutie, they are confirmed therein: or being better disposed, by meere necessitie are inforced thereto; least else they either shame themselues, or [Page 7] sinke vnder the burthen.

Whence these euilles haue, and do spring; if we consider, I cannot [...] other, but that it is principally from these [...]. or [...]. pe­rillous roots: namely first from the roote of all euill, that is from Couetousnes, secondly from contempt of the Gospel, and third­ly from very ignorance. For, to speake nothing of the time past, couetousnes it is that makes sacrilegious patrons at this day, daily to make marchandize of holy things, not their own: to rob and spoile their Churches, and into them to thrust (for desire of gaine) such as are not to the saluatiō but the perdition of the peo­ple. And couetousnes principally it is, that so blindeth and hard­neth many of the people, that they neither do, nor will vnder­stand when they do most open wrong to the Church of God, and manifestly abuse the ministers thereof.

The second cause I take to be the very contempt of the Gospell; a disease too common in all places. There is not that loue and estimation of the word, nor that desire of the preaching thereof, that should be in people. Few they be that account the very feete of them that bring the glad tidings of saluation vnto them beautifull, Rom. 10. 15. or that receiue the preacher thereof as the Gala­thians did Paul,Gal. 4. 4. euen as an Angell of God: Luc. 10. that esteeme the word as the better parte with Marie: and finde it as did Dauid,Psal. 119. & 19.dearer to their soules then thousands of golde and siluer, or sweeter to their tast then ho­nie and the honie combe. For then it could not be, but that as that wise merchant in the Gospell,Math. 13. 45. hauing found one pretious pearle, sold all that he had and bought it; so they would, for loue to the word, spare no cost, and stand at no charge: and as Lidia, Act. 16. 15. hauing receyued the faith, constrained and euen adiured Paul and all his companie, to accept of entertainement at her hands; so they would rather enforce vppon the ministers of the Gospell, more then their due, that they might encourage them to their worke, then debarre them of any thing that is their owne; the rea­dy way to make them wearie of all. He that is hungry wil buy him foode how deare soeuer it be: he that is sicke, will haue physicke what euer it cost him: he that loues play, will spend many times that he can ill spare: And if men hungred after the Gospell as for the bread of life, and counted the preaching thereof the only physicke for the soule: if they tooke asmuch delight therein as many do in vanities; it could not be, but that they would be as [Page 8] ready to imploy their goods for the one as for the other: and not pinch at expenses for this, being lauish and prodigall for those: nor count euen nothing too much for this vse, and foure or fiue times asmuch but little for vses much worse, and lesse ne­cessary a great deale. We haue had the Gospell long, euen so long till wee are wearie of it in a manner, as the Iewes were of Manna. The continuance hath not, as it should, increased our content & delight therein, we tasting more and more the sweetnes thereof; but bred rather contempt. Els it were not possible, but we should entertaine it with better affection, and maintaine the ministerie thereof with greater contentation: not suffering and seeing them to want, whose labours yeeld vs most benefit: nor enuying or begrudging them necessaries, without whom we should be in extreame and miserable penury.

The third cause of these euils, is very ignorance, grosse ig­norance: wherewith many being blinded (as I haue already said, and shall hereafter more shew) do sinne in this behalfe; and not knowing that they sinne, continue in it without remorse, thin­king they performe their dutie at full, when (God knows) they be very farre from it.

To remedie these mischiefes, I see no readier nor better way for such as be ministers, for such I say as bee in the ministery, then following the plot laid out before them by this our apostle S. Paul, To teach & set abroad this kind of doctrine more vsually & largely, which long hath lien as it were buried in silence & ob­liuion: that so the Gospell beeing now replanted amongst vs, men may, after other doctrines more necessary to saluation, learne also the way how to maintaine and continue the Gospell; the wrongs and oppressions hitherto done to the Church, and with much patience endured, may at length somewhat be righ­ted, and the world henceforth begin to be ashamed of the Simo­ny, sacriledge, and other like abhominations, whereby it hath hi­therto, euen in the time of this cleare light of the Gospell, made hauocke of our churches.

CHAP. II.

  • That euery one that is taught in the word, ought (hauing goods) toward his teachers maintenance be contributarie.
  • And can from that dutie by no priueledge, custome, &c. be exempt.
  • God doth assigne and warrant to them their maintenance. They ought to haue it, principally in regard of their labour, which is painefull to themselues, profitable to others.
  • And therefore cannot without great sinne be denied them.
  • Also, for that they do not intermeddle in other mens labors and trades of life.
Verse. 6.‘Let him that is taught in the word, make him that teacheth him parta­ker of all his goods.’

HAuing spoken sufficiently of the writer and occasion of the words, I come now to the words themselues, and first to the precept or commandement, ver. 6. In which (as the speciall branches thereof) may more particularly be obserued, agreeable vnto our purpose, these 3. things. First the persons commaunded, who they be that must contribute vnto the minister, viz Hee, e­uery one that is taught in the word. 2. the reason or cause why he must do it: and that is, because he is taught; because the minister doth teach him, for the Labourer is worthy of his hire. The third is, what he must impart vnto him, namely a parte of all his goods.

I Concerning the persons, that must contribute, conferring these first words of the precept, Let him that is taught with the later of the same verse, viz. make him partaker, &c. we may gather eui­dently, That all and euery person whatsoeuer, which being a hearer of the word doth owe and possesse to his owne proper vse any kinde of goods whatsoeuer, is liable to this pay, subiect to this precept, & within compasse (If I may so speake) of this sta­tute and law of God. This statute and commaundement, I say, reacheth vnto all & singular parishioners, as we tearme them, yea to all hearers of the word whosoeuer both rich and poore, yong and old, maried and vnmaried, housekeeper or not, maister and [Page 10] seruant, merchant and mariner, officer and artificer, tradesman and husbandman, townesman and countryman, or whosoeuer els by profession he be; they all and euery of them, being hearers of the word, and owners or possessors of any kinde of goods whatsoeuer, are lyable to this course, payable to this purpose, and must contribute more or lesse, according to their seuerall abili­ties, to their teacher. As they haue a benefit by him in spirituall things, so must he by them in things temporall. This may plain­ly appeare vnto vs by the words of the Apostle, in that he doth set downe the precept in the singular number. For when as he doth not say, Let them that, &c. but let him that is taught, &c. he declareth manifestly that the precept extends to euery one in particular. No one is or can be exempted from this dutie, but is necessarily to be charged therewith. He onely is excepted, which possesseth no kinde of goods, hath nothing proper to himselfe, deales not (as we say) for himselfe any way, but liues altogether either vnder or by others, as children, prentizes, &c. which are yet wholly vnder the tutele, keeping, & finding of parents, mai­sters, and other like: or such as be extreame poore, and so doe liue, not by their owne goods, but by the goods and almes of o­ther men. This precept is very like vnto that law, which God of old had by Moses giuen vnto his people Israel, as appeareth, Exo. 23. 15. in these words, None shall appeare before the Lord emptie; and is both repeated & explaned, Deut. 16. 17. thus: Euerie man shall giue according to the gift of his hand, & according to the blessing of the Lord thy God, which he hath giuen thee. That is, euery man shal giue according to his abilitie more or lesse: the rich man shall giue according to his riches, a great & liberall portion, and the poo­rer sort of his tenuitie a little also, euery man something: None shall come without any thing at all. Like to this was the lawe of tithes, vnto which euery man was subiect that possessed ought. The tenth was the Lords, and must be paide vnto the Lord, wheresoeuer and with whomsoeuer it was to be founde: as appea­reth, Numb. 18. and otherwhere.

Wherevnto we may finde the practize both of the Iewes in time of the law, and of Christians aswell in the infancie as flou­rishing estate of the Gospel, to haue bene very cōsonant, as may appeare sufficiently for the one, by the hystorie of that poore widowe, Luc. 21. who offered, of her penurie, somewhat into [Page 11] the treasurie of God, aswell as did the rich and wealthy much, of their abundance and superfluities. And yet neither is she blamed by our Sauiour, as doing more then her dutie, more then she nee­ded, but highly commended as dooing her duetie, and but her duetie, cheerefully and liberally: nor are the priests that receiued the offrings, reprehended for taking an offering of a widow so poore, themselues beeing rich: And by the words of the Phari­sey, Lu. 18. 12. who (speaking no doubt according to the generall practise of al) protesteth, That he gaue tithe of al that he did possesse. whereto accordeth our Sauiour, Math. 23. 23. acknowledging for them, That tithed euen the very mint and annis, Rue, and Cum­min, et omne olus, and euery other herbe; and saying, That they howsoeuer they ought to haue done also greater things, yet those they ought not to haue left vndone.

As for the times of the Gospell, Act. 2. 45. we read, how the Church at first, being not otherwise prouided for, So manie as had, either possessions or goods, that is, either lands or moueables, (for so the wordes in the iudgement of learned interpreters doe sig­nifie) sold them, & laid downe the price at the Apostles feete, that thēce distribution might be made to euerie man, poore and rich, hearer & teacher, according as he had neede. And so euery man that was taught in the word, did that way, make him that taught him, par­taker with him of all his goods.

The Gospell once throughly planted, and, by the cōuersion of Constantine and other Emperours and Kings vnto the faith of Christ, setled in peace, this law was more generally and fully as practized, so established and confirmed. For vpon due notice and consideration thereof, euen then vniuersally in all nations, kingdomes and countries that had receiued the faith, landes were giuen and consecrated, and tithes restored to the Church in such a generall, vniforme, godly and goodly sort, both for the maner & the measure thereof, as is yet admirable to as many as note either the action then, or the disposition of people now. To which course, how had it beene possible euer people could so ge­nerally, so vniformely, and so readily haue beene drawne, vnlesse Christians then with one minde and one mouth had ac­knowledged this doctrine here taught them by the Apostle, viz. That it was euerie mans duetie to make his minister partaker of all his goods, and thereupon consented, as it were by diuine inspiration, [Page 12] That for the better successe of the Gospell then, and auoyding of contentions in time to come, such course should be taken as might once for euer yeeld & settle it to the Church. Some may happily thinke, That the Church got these thinges in time of blindnes and popery, when men in superstitious zeale, did they knew not what: but I am fo farre from their opinion, that I assure my selfe, and with great probabilitie can gather and make de­monstration, That those things which are the Churches in right, and properly belong to the maintenance of her ministers, were all graunted and established in their largest, best, and vprightest forme, before popery was planted, euen in the purest and most flourishing time of the Gospell; and that in time of Popery little was added thereunto, but rather much thereof was then, and thereby, taken from the Church: And am readie to prooue and shew, That the very forme it selfe dooth plainely and plenti­fully argue true zeale, great piety & much wisedome with sound knowledge; and not blind zeale and foolish superstition, to haue beene the founders thereof. But of these, more hereafter.

The doctrine and sense of the words beeing thus laid downe, it shal not bee amisse now to consider somewhat withall of such motiues as the words themselues may farther affoord, wherby to moue euery man to the careful and due performance of this duety. To which purpose, [...]t furthereth much, As we haue already seene, who and what persons are commaunded, So to consider likewise, who it is that thus commaundeth: For that, in any law and precept, is a matter of moment, and specially respected. All scripture is by diuine inspiration, and hath not man but God the author thereof. It is not therefore Paul but the Lord aboue, not man but God that maketh this lawe. The person is such as hath authorithy to commaund & power to compell: such as of whose Iustice in decreeing and equity in prescribing, without extreame impiety none may doubt. Such consideration of the person commanding may serue vs to diuers vses & instructions. For,

First it dooth well confirme that already sayd touching the persons that must pay, shewing: That seeing God requireth this duety of euery man that is a hearer of the word, therefore from performance thereof no man can bee free and exempt. For who can discharge a man from obedience to God? As for the lawes that men doo make, beeing but meere humane or­dinances, [Page 13] ciuil constitutions, they that make them, may re­voake them, or except and exempt from the penalty of them whom they will: or a higher power may dispense therewith: but what man may revoake that with God dooth enact? or dispense with those whom God doth bind? [...]t is a ruled case amongst Di­uines, graunted euen in time of greatest ignorance, that against Gods law, no dispensation or decree of man can hold: & shal wee thinke or practize otherwise in our greatest knowledg? Who can giue thee power or leaue to commit murther or adul­tery, to breake the sabboth, or dishonour thy parents, to steale, to oppresse, &c. or make, if how dooest any of these things, that it shal not bee sinne vnto thee? neither can any man giue thee power to breake this law of God, or acquit thee of sinne, if thou dooest breake it. Let men pretend custome, lycence, dispensation, pardon, priuiledge, or whatsoeuer els of like nature in this behalfe, it helps not. For as in the Law it is a Maxime, Null [...]mtempus occurrit Regi, Against the king, Prescription of time holds not: so in Diuinity is this another, Neque Tempus, neque consuetudo, &c. Neither time, nor custome, nor priuiledge, &c. can bee a barre against God. Men may aswel say, That by custome, by licence, by priueledge, &c. they may bee discharged from seruing of God, and hauing any Church, any Sacraments, any publike seruice, and so any religion amongst them. For doubtlesse so farre and so long as they are bound to honor and serue God publikely, to haue the Sacraments administred amongst them orderly, to haue the word preached vnto them effectually; so long and so farre are they and euery one of them bound necessarily iure diuino, by the expresse Law of God, by th'eternal and inuiolable decree of the highest, whose law is surer then that of the Medes and Persians with altereth not, to contribute and yeelde a part of their goods toward the mainte­nance & continuance, the vse and exercise of that Religion, and Ministery among them. Which whoso neglecteth and refuseth to doo, hee dooth thereby, so farre as lyes in him, hinde [...] the seruice of God, shut vp the Church doores, and roote out from among them the Ministery of the Church of God, by which alone those things can bee and are to bee performed.

Secondly, it sheweth vnto vs the equity of the law. God being the law maker, this law must therefore bee most equall [Page 14] and iust. For who should make a iust lawe, if not Iustice it selfe? decree that which is equal and right, if not equitie it selfe? or or­der a thing wisely and excellently, if not wisedome it selfe? Shal not the Iudge of all the world doe right? Genes. 18. 25. Rom. 3. 5.

Thirdly, it warranteth vnto the ministers themselues, their right & title to their maintenance. God commanding the peo­ple to pay, doth allow them to receiue that which is their due. And therefore they may lavvfully and with good conscience take it, bee it much or little; as their owne; because God, who hath authoritie ouer all, and whose is the earth & all therein, hath assigned it vnto them. They challenge not their mainte­nance by warrant of mans law onely, or onely by the rule of equitie, but also iure diuino, by the law of God, who as hee made lawes for the Priests & Leuits that serued at the altar in the time of the law: so hath for his ministers in the time of the Gospell. Which thing this our Apostle plainly testifieth, 1. Corint. 9. 13. where he telleth vs, That as by Gods ordinance, They which mi­nistred about holie things did eate of the things of the Temple: and they which waited at the altar, were partakers with the altar: So also hath the Lord ordained for the time of the Gospel, that they which preach the Gospel should liue of the Gospel. Wherefore if at any time they preaching the Gospell, haue not thereof whereon conue­niently to liue, it is not because God hath not allowed & allotted them sufficient for their labour, but because men iniuriously & wickedly withhold from them one vvay or other, that which is indeede their due. This should aduise men to make conscience hovv they deale with the minister, seeing it is God that hath interessed him to that whereby hee is to liue. For they cannot debarre him of his due, or defraud him of any part of his right, without an open breache of Gods lawe, and manifest infringing of diuine ordinance. Were it not great iniury and sinne to denie a noble mans seruant, or withhold from one of the Kinges offi­cers, the reuenues, the lands, the pension, or other maintenance which his Lord and Maister hath out of his landes, & possessions lawfully giuen him? But no noble mans seruant, no officer of any king or potentate, can haue greater right or better interest vnto any lands, reuenues, pension, or other incomme giuen him by his Maister, then the minister hath to that with is his due, because hee hath it not from man but from God, and holds in [Page 15] right of the truest and highest owner, the Lord of all. In the law of God there is a curse against him that remooueth his neigh­bours landmarke, which his sore-elders had set: Deut. 27. 17. If he bee accursed that remooueth the bounds that men haue laid out, is not hee nigh vnto cursing, and in daunger of Gods great indignation, that remooueth the bounds of the Church, and altereth the right of the minister, which the father of vs all, hath for many generations past, fixed to stand for euer?

This is the principall reason why euery man should pay of his goods to the minister,That is taught. namely (which I obserued to be the second branch of the first gene­ral part of this verse) Because hee is taught in the worde by the mi­nister. The minister dooth teach the word and religion of God, and so ministreth to his hearer the food of the soule: it is but equitie therefore, as hee receiueth spirituall things, that hee ren­der temporall things; and that the minister labouring for him whom hee teacheth, bee likewise payd by him that is taught: for the Labourer is worthie of his hire. Naturall & common reason without Diuinitie can teache euery man that it is but e­quitie, if hee would haue a man take paines and worke for him, that hee dooe pay and content him for it as is fit. Sith then that euery man, euery parishioner doth looke that the minister stould labour and take paynes for him in his mynisterie as occa­sion requireth, it is meet, that hee allow and yeelde him for it condigne recompence. Thou wilt not lightly offer that indig­nitie and iniury to a scholemaister, to haue him to teache thy childe in the schoole halfe or a whole yeare: to a labourer to worke for thee in thy field or barne, a month or a vveeke: to a messenger, to trauaile on thy busines a day or two: or to a Scriuener to write for thee, and it bee but an houre or two, but that thou will pay the one and the other for his labour and worke,Too often practized. as it is woorth, & he deserueth. And wilt thou offer that to thy minister that hee shall attend thee day by day, a weeke, a month, yea a whole yeare together, at Church, and at home, for nothing, or that vvhich is as good as nothing?

But say I these things according vnto man? saith not our Apostle the same also? who, 1. cor. 9. 7. reasoneth thus: Quis militat propriis stipendiis? &c. who goeth a warfare at any time of his owne cost? who planteth a vineyard, & eateth not of the fruite thereof? [Page 16] or who feedeth a flocke, and eateth not of the milke of the flocke? Reade the place: it is worth the perusing. And 1. Tim. 5. 17. writeth thus: The elders that rule wel are worthie of double honour, specially they which labour in the word and doctrine: for (saith hee) the scripture saith Thou shalt not mousle the mouth of the oxe that treadeth out the corne, & The labourer is worthie of his wages. Where you may note, That hee dooth expound himselfe what that double honour, is viz. when besides the cōdigne reuerence yeelded to their per­sons for their office sake, the ministers haue such maintenance also yeelded them as is fit and due: and by conseq. that, it denyed or withheld from them, they are abused and dishonoured. God himselfe doth in his law likewise, Num. 18. 21. alleadge this rea­son as the principal cause why the tenthes and other duties allotted to the sonnes of Leui (who were the priests or ministers of God in those daies) should accordingly bee payd vnto them. Behold (saith God) I haue giuen to the sonnes of Leui all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their seruice which they serue mee in the ta­bernacle of the Congregation, & ver. 31. It is your wages for your seruice. Our Sauiour in like maner liketh this reason so wel, that spea­king of this matter, and shewing his Apostles by what right they might enter into any house, & eate and drink such things as were set before them, and tary in that house without going from howse to house, for one meales meate here, another there, like beggers; vseth no other reason for it but this, For the labourer is worthy of his hire. Math. 10. 10. Luc. 10. 7. And it is so con­sonant not only to religion, but also to all naturall reason and common humanity, that it is hard to finde that man which thin­keth it not requisite to bee obserued; I say not as I haue alreadye sayd, toward his seruants & labourers, but euen towards his very cattel, the beasts of the earth. For who is there but will allow his horse prouander, that hee may trauell well? or his oxe fodder enough, that he may plough well?

Here be goodly comparisons, it may bee some will thinke, & faire proofes. What, from beastes to men? yea, and marke it well. For the comparison though it bee plaine and homely, is not of my inuention. I borrowed it from our Apostle S. Paul, who likes it so vvell, that hee doth vse it in tvvo seueral places of his epistles, viz. 1. Cor. 9. 9. and 1. Tim. 5. 18. and hee did borrow it of Moses, who receiued it of God, as appeareth, Deut. [Page 17] 25. 4. where thus it is written, Thou shalt not mousle the mouth of the oxe that treadeth out the corne. From whence the Apostle doth apply it to his purpose, and shewes, That God in making such a law, did it more for our sakes that bee men and ministers, then for the care hee had of oxen, though them also hee leaues not vncared for: and would thereby giue vs to vnderstand, that if it bee an vnreasonable & hard course to mousle the mouth of the labouring Oxe, and pinch him of his meate, much more it is vnreasonable and vnconscionable to deny to a man that labours any way for thee, his due hire: but most of all, to the minister, that labours for the good of thy soule, nourishment for his body, and conuenient necessaries for his life. And therefore it may wel bee feared, That the keeping and feeding of their oxen and horses, will one day be a testimony against many Christians in this behalfe: because they offer that measure to the minister, which they doo not, nor will dooe, to the oxe that ploughes in their field, or the horse that serueth for their iourney; beeing careful that these bee kept well and fed at full, as knowing that the better they are kept, the better they will labour: but very carelesse for those other, though they pine for want of food, & liue in misery for lacke of necessaries; yea, and yet exclaime and grudge against them too, if they be not as laborious as those that bee duely and wel mainteined; as against idle and carelesse persons vngodly and slack in their ministery, without zeale, &c. as if they had neuer heard or quite forgottē the old prouerb, They that will haue their lampe to giue them light, must maintaine it with oyle accordingly.

The harder that a man dooth worke, the better hee deserues (as wee commonly account) his wages: and the more his la­bours doo profit vs, the willinger wee are to pay him his due. If other men bee the better worthy of wages, because they worke hard; of hire for their labour, because we get well thereby; much more the minister of God: and that whether we respect the greatnes of his labour, or the goodnes of his worke. For it is not, as many account it, an easie, an idle, a pleasant & loytering kind of life, to doo the worke of an Euangelist, but one of the hardest and greatest of all others: nor a needlesse and fruitlesse worke, but of all other the most necessary and profitable that can bee. For to speake nothing of that long and laborious [Page 18] preparation whereby a man is made fit for this worke, by spen­ding all his time, euen from his cradle, till well-neere 30. yeares of age, stil wearying himselfe with many studies, and wasting the wealth of his friends with great and excessiue charges. Is it not (thinke you) a great labour and an hard, to imploy his mi­nistery, attend his study, and execute from time to time those things that appertaine to his charge? They that are any thing acquainted with these kind of exercises, can somewhat tell, how it incombreth their sences, troubleth their mindes, breaketh their sleepe, wasteth their goods, weakneth their bodies, impai­reth their health, and sometimes shortens their daies: And as it is a great labour and painfull to them, so is it exceeding good & profitable to their people. These watch, but for their soules. These fight, but to defend them from their spirituall enemies. These are pastors, but to feed them: shepheards to keepe them from the wolfe: lights, to direct them: salt, to season them. These are ministers to doo them seruice: messengers, to bring vnto them, the glad tidings of saluation: Embassadors on the Lordes behalfe, to intreat them that they would bee reconciled vnto God. These are Gods labourers, and they are Gods hus­bandry: these are Gods builders, they are Gods building. Suffer mee a little to magnifie the office. By the Labours of the minister, wee are begotten vnto the Faith, brought frō darknes vnto light, from the power of Sathan vnto God, stirred vnto repentaunce when wee haue sinned, exhorted vnto our duetie beeing slacke, reprooued when wee offend, confirmed beeing strong, strengthned beeing weake, comforted in heauines, humbled in prosperitie, instructed beeing ignorant, and in a word saued in the day of the Lord: Without them wee could neither know God nor our selues, eschew vice, or ensue vertue; abandon errour, nor follow trueth; shake off infidelity, or receiue the faith: to be short, neither auoyde hell, nor attaine heauen. Wherefore, their worke & labour being so great vnto thēselues, and so profitable vnto vs, if others bee worthy of wages for their worke, they rather: of hire for their labour, much more they: of liberall recompence for their paines, they most of all▪ of loue for their diligence, they of singular loue: of any honour for their indeuours, they of double honour, that labour in the word and doctrine. There must bee an equalitie; They to re­ceiue [Page 19] of our labours, as wee of theirs: and seeing they doo enrich vs in spiritual things, wee to keep them from pouertie & needines at least in temporal things, that so they may labour and euer bee ready and able to labour with ioy and not with griefe; for that is as vnprofitable for vs as grieuous vnto them. If any take my words as of no moment, let him heare yet how the Apostle himselfe, 1. Corinth. 9. 11. speaketh in the same maner, saying: If wee haue sowen vnto you spiritual things, is it a great thing, dooth it seeme such a burthen to your shoulders, such a charge to your purses, if wee reape your carnall things? For, is the ex­change bad to receiue gold for copper, siluer for drosse, pearles for stones, celestial treasures & eternal, for worldly and tempo­rary trash? Other men looke to reape more then they doo sow, (for haruest naturally dooth exceed the seed time) but wee are content to reape both worse and lesse then wee sow; and shall it yet bee thought ouermuch? yea, where other men sow in teares and reape in ioy, shall wee bee infor [...]ed to sow in ioy, and reape in teares? or (more rightly to speake) both to sow and to reape in teares?

Thow seest now (Christian Reader) a farther interest the mi­nister hath vnto his maintenance. It is not only an inheritance and annuitie giuen & assigned him by God, and so due to him, because the Lord hath passed it ouer vnto him by assignation (as also wee shal hereafter see): but it is also due to him by the Law and rule of equitie, because of his labour. Hee deserues it at our hands, and earnes euery penny thereof dearely, before hee hath it: And therefore looke what right the seruant hath to his wages, the labourer to his hire, the very like, as great right and interest hath the minister to his maintenance, and whatsoeuer is his due.

As his right is great, and the cause, why it ought to bee payd him, iust and equall: so is the fault great, and the course very vnequall, if it bee not performed. In the common opiniō euen of wordly men, hee is counted very vnreasonable, and of a bad conscience, that will keep away wages from a seruant, or not pay a workman and labourer his hire. Iudge then, what reason or conscience is it, to keep backe the ministers maintenance which is his wages? to deny or debarre him his due, which is his hire? God dooth so exactly require the performance of that dutie [Page 20] toward hm that worketh in thy field, that in his law hee sets an houre by which it must be payd, Leuit. 19. 13. The workemans hire shal not abide with thee vntil the morning. Hee must bee payd ouernight, the very same day at euen that it is due. Deut. 24. 15. Moses addeth a reason why: least, (saith hee) hee crie against thee vnto the Lord, and it bee sin vnto thee. And in Malac. 3. 5. the Lord laies an heauie curse, and threatens to be swift in Iudgement against them that keep backe the hirelings wages. The Lord beeing thus prouident for the good vsage of the poore labourer in thy barne or field; lookes hee not for as good dealing, and as due payment vnto those that labour in his owne vineyard, and whom he hath sent foorth into his owne haruest? or will he not as speedily and seuerely reuenge their cause, and right their wrongs, when they shall cry vnto him for the iniuries that are offered vn­to them, and for the wrongs and oppressions they receiue and sustaine at the hands of such as keepe backe their hire, & pay not thē their wages, but deny them their iust & appoynted portions? The bread of deceit (saith Salomon) is sweete to a man:Prouerb. 20. 19. & 9. 17but after­ward his mouth shalbe filled with grauell. It is goods cleare gayned, & so much well saued some may thinke, that is gotten from the Church, and kept from the Minister: but if any proue the richer thereby at length, or such goods doe long prosper, I am much deceyued. For sure I am, that there is a God that iudgeth the earth. Thus farre of the principall cause why, viz. in regard euen of de­sert, people ought to yeelde vnto their Ministers due mainte­nance.

Besides which, the same wordes of this parcell of scrip­ture in hand, viz. let him that is taught, and him that teacheth, may yeelde vs yet another reason or cause thereof: and that is, in re­gard, not of that they doe, but (as I may say) in regarde of that they doe not. I meane for that they doe not intermeddle, (for so they should not) in the trades, occupations and professions of o­ther men: but as they are consecrated to god, do giue themselues wholly [...] the Ministerie and seruice of the Church, & so do not by dealing in their trades, take from other men their liuings. In which respect, euen as that was one especiall reason, why the Iewes payd tithes vnto their brethren the Leuits, viz. for that they had none inheritance among them; but that which should haue beene their part, went in common among the rest: so this ought [Page 21] to be one sufficiēt cause, why the Ministers of the Gospell should haue maintenance of and from others, Because they entangle not themselues with the affaires of this life as doo others: which if they did and might doo, would happily bee more preiudice to others then their maintenance now comes too. For were they not called by God to this busines, and set a part for this worke of the Gospel alone, they could set themselues, some to bee Lawyers, some Marchants, some husbandmen, some artifi­cers, &c. which would greatly increase the number of them that bee of such professions, to the no little hindrance of such as liue thereby, and so dooing they might bee able to liue of themselues. But this seeing they doe not, beeing yet all seruants of one God, all members of the same common-wealth, all subiects to the same King, it is reason they bee releeued & proui­ded: for by some other way: least extreame necessitie cōpell them intruding vpon the trades, sciences & professions of other men, to doo that which otherwise they neither should nor would.

CHAP. III.

Being a more speciall explication of the hearers duety, before in generall sort onely set downe, it sheweth; Of what sorte of goods the minister must haue a parte. And what this word (goods) vsed in the text dooth signifie.

Text.‘Make him partaker of all his goods.’

WHereas I obserued in this verse, conteyning the pre­cept, 3. things (to bee specially obserued, viz.) First the persons who must contribute; secondly, the cause why; and thirdly, the matter what: viz. a part of all his goods: I am now come to that point, to examine and discusse, what it is, that hee that is taught must doo for his teacher; that is, make him partaker of all his goods.

This is the point which is Caput Rei, the chiefe of all, as wherein lyes (as they say) the key of the worke, in respect whereof, all that I haue hitherto said, is but little. For that already past, consisteth wholly in generall points: but now follow such as are particular. In laying downe whereof, I know [Page 22] before, that I shal speake directly against some such courses as manie thinke to bee very good, and bring to light some things vnthought off in these daies. And therefore here specially I doo intreat thee (curteous and Christian Reader) to lay aside all passion and preiudicate opinion, and to read mee with such religious affection, and indifferent minde, as be­commeth him that seeketh the truth, and preferreth the minde of God, before the maners of men. My meaning is not to offend any, but to satisfie all: not to contend about any thing, but to examine euery thing by the rule of righteousnes, trying out by the very touchstone of all truth (Gods vndefiled word) what is gold, and what is copper: which cannot but bee as necessary for others to know, as for mee to vtter. Let not man therefore receiue that with the left hand, which I deliuer with the right: For mine owne part, knowing this to bee a very necessary kinde of doctrine for these times; as Paul would not forbeare to set foorth the doctrine of the resurrection to the Athenians, Act. 17. how­soeuer it were accepted: so neither I this. And I will hope still, That as Paul so preaching, though some mocked, others doub­ted, and some dissented, yet some beleueed, and claue vnto Paul: so I thus writing, though some regard it not, others wholly reiect it, yet some and those the better some and sort too, will both accept it, and put it vnto practize. But howsoeuer, veritas non quaerit angulos. Trueth is not ashamed of the light, it seeke [...] no corners.

And now leauing preambles, let vs come to the point. The matter, now to be considered off is, what hee that is taught must doo, viz. Hee must make his teacher partaker with him of all his goods. In these words, 2. things specially doo offer themselues to our consideration. The first is, whereof hee is to let him haue a part. The second is, what part or how much thereof, hee must let him haue. For the first of these, the words are plaine. Hee must haue a part of his goods, that is, of his goods in generall whatsoeuer they bee, and of all his goods, that is, of euery sort of his goods, some, of what kinde or sort soeuer they bee in spe­ciall.

What the Apostle meaneth by goods,Of () his goods. it is no hard thing for any man to cōceiue; seeing all men know, That whatsoeuer it is that a man hath to liue by, & [Page 23] serues eyther ad victum, or ad cultum, to yeeld vs either meate for the belly, or clothing for the backe, are all of them Bona, the goods of this world. If the Apostle had sayd of all his lands, or of all his increase, or of all his fruites, or all his labors, some question and difficultie might haue beene made, what might be the sense; but vsing no word that is any way ambiguous & subiect to equi­uocation, but this word [...] goods, which comprehends in all mens knowledge indefinitely (as Bona amongst the Latins) whatsoeuer a man liues by, there is no place left for any euasion or contention. If any difference at all bee, and that the Apostles words should bee pressed more to one sort of goods then another, the vse of the word with vs, would permit it to bee vnderstand rather of moueable goods, of goods gotten by labour and art, as by trade and occupation, then of land and its increase. For in our English phrase we do com­monly call those kinde of meanes to liue by goods, but the other lands. And accordingly when wee will expresse a mans whole estate, wee say in lands and goods: or put a difference betweene the different estates of men, wee say, One is worth thus much in lands, another thus much in goods: which maner of speech wee finde also vsed in scripture, as Act. 2. 45. where it is sayd, That the godly conuerts sold their possessions and goods; that is, all that euer they had, mooueable and vnmooueable, lands and other thinges whatsoeuer. So that vnlesse wee will vnderstand the word here vsed, to signifie, onely and specially, not lands but other goods, not riches, rising of inheritance & possessions, but such onely as are gotten by arte and labour, which indeed were absurd; wee must take it as reason requires, and all interpreters doo consent, for all that a man hath, all sorts of goods and sub­stance whatsoeuer.

This sense standing for good, and going currant as needs it must; this clause dooth plainely shewe, That such as liue by trades and sciences, by art and labour (as the greatest number do in townes and Cities) are no lesse lyable to this dutie, and bound to contribute toward the maintenance of their ministers, then those that liue by husbandry & tillage, by the fruites and increase of the earth. Many of that sort of men doo presume, that because they haue not lands & fields to yeeld them increase, therefore they ought to pay little or nothing. But, that therein [Page 24] they doo deceiue themselues, these words of our text doo make it as apparant as the light at noone daies. For if that whereby they doo liue, bee goods: if that which they get by their trades and occupations, sciences and industry, arte and labour, bee goods, as wel as that the husbandman getteth by his tillage and increase of the earth, (and that is already so apparantly con­uinced, that it cannot be denyed) then is it cleare that the mini­ster ought to haue a part with them thereof, aswell as with the husbandman in that he possesseth and liues by. As the Minister makes no respect in executing of his Ministerie, whether those he teacheth be husbandmen or merchants, tradesmen or artifi­cers, but teacheth all, ministereth the word and sacraments to all indifferently; so they are to make no difference betweene these and those goods, whether they be gotten by land or by sea, by trade or by tillage, by husbandry or by merchandize, by natures increase or arts industrie: but by that whereby they doe main­taine themselues and liue by, by that and those kind of goods, they must helpe to maintaine him too.

That the Apostle did speake it indifferently of the one sorte of goods aswell as of the other, and intended directly it should be a rule for the one sort of hearers aswel as for the other; there needs no better proofe nor other argument, then the practise of this kind of doctrine in those times. For it is most certaine and easie to be conceiued, by any that hath neuer so small knowledge, and but superficiall vnderstanding in the scriptures, That Christians in those daies were for the most part citizens and townesmen, tradesmen and artificers: and therefore they were the first and most speciall persons that were then to practize thus, and did a­boue all others impart of their goods vnto their teachers. The historie, called The Acts of the Apostles, is full of examples of this sorte: which for breuities sake I leaue to the Reader to be peru­sed.

2. If we call to minde the principall cause and reason, already noted out of the text, why all sorts of men should giue of their goods to this vse, is it not the same to one sorte as well as to ano­ther? If townesmen haue as great neede of teaching as they in the countrey or rather more? If they can no more be without a Minister then the other? why should they not maintaine him as­well as the other?

[Page 25] 3. Goe to the rule of Equitie, which telles vs, that The labou­rer is worthie of his hire: and if by that rule, the townesman, or tradesman, be bound to pay him that worketh for him in his shop, his house, or other busines which cōcerns his body, no lesse then the husbandman is, and dooth and will giue as good wages for such causes as hee: why should hee not pay his minister likewise, that labours for his soule, and doth his best worke, as largely and bountifully as the husbandman dooth?

4. Looke vpon the necessity and state of the minister: And hath not hee that liues in the towne need of asmuch maintenāce as hee that liues in the country? Nay rather hath hee not need of much more? For, needes not his study to be greater? Is not housekeeping, is not diet and apparell, more chargeable vnto him? is there not greater cause of hospitalitie? why then, where there is greatest need, should there bee meanest help? and where is most vse of maintenance, there least bee yeelded?

5. Besides all this, Consider wee whence all men haue their goods. Is it not God, that same God, that giueth his blessing aswel vpō the labours of them that liue by trades, or handicrafts, as vpon the increase of the earth? that maketh men to prospe [...], whether it bee by sea or by land? that giueth the townesman power to get riches, aswel as the countryman? And then seeing it is euery mans duety that hath receiued ought at Gods hand, to honour God therewith, and shewe himselfe thankfull to God, as to the authour & giuer of all things; ought not the tradesman, the townesman, and Citizen doo this aswel as the husbandman? When Salomon, Prou. 3. 9. saith, Honour the Lord with thy riches: or as other translations read, With thy substance, and with the first fruites of all thine increase: dooth hee speake onely of goods that arise by increase of the earth? or dooth hee not rather in the first clause speake generally of all goods whatsoeuer? and in the latter particularly of such as arise by tillage? Read but the note in the margent, and consider.

Thus, by the manifest words of the text, the practise of the doctrine in the Apostles time, the vse of the ministery, the rule of equitie, the state of the minister, and the authour from whom all haue their goods; it appeares, that they that haue one sort of goods aswel as another, ought to pay of that they haue, to the minister for his maintenance.

[Page 26] Let men therefore learne to make more conscience of this matte;, seeing wee plainely see, That as it is a very vnreasona­ble thing to looke that the minister should teach them, & labour in his ministery for them for nothing, beeing flatly against the rule of equitie: so it is also a wicked and vngodly thing; beeing a manifest b [...]each of Gods ordinance & commaundement, who hath ordeined & commaunded, That euerie one that is taught in the word, of those goods that hee hath whatsoeuer they bee, should giue a p [...]t to him that dooth teach him, and so honour the Lord with his substance.

CHAP. IIII.

Sheweth, That the right and best maner of payment to the minister, is. That hee bee payd his parte of euery thing in specie, that is, in its proper kinde, as naturally God dooth send it, and not by a set stipend.

Text.‘Partaker of all his goods.’

HAuing now seene in generall whereof the minister must haue a parte, next wee are to note the same thing in special; that is, in what sort it ought to bee payd vnto him. To which purpose it serueth well, that our Apostle saith not only of his goods, but which is more, of all his goods; that is of euery sorte of his goods some. Hee must, as wee say in this case, bee payd in specie, in the very kind. Otherwise, hee may haue a part of his goods; but not of all his goods: as two pence at Easter, a sheafe of corne at haruest, &c. is a part of a mans goods, but not of all his goods. But then thou giuest him a parte of all thy goods, when then payest him a parte of thy corne, thy hey, and thy cattell, thou hauing corne, hey, and cattel: a part of the fruits of thine orchard and garden, thou hauing orchard and garden: a parte of thy fish and of thy foule, if thou haue taken fish or foule: a parte of thy spoiles taken in warre, thou hauing gotten a bootie in warre: a parte of thy money gotten by thy trade or labour, thou hauing gained by thy trade and labour: in a word, a part of euery seuerall thing which thou doest liue [Page 27] by, and comes to thine hand as thy goods, his s [...]are is many therein aswel as thine owne, how sortes soeuer thow hast.

Thus the children of Israel, Gods owne people, dealt with the priests in their daies, as wee may read in diuers places of those auncient stories; and namely, Num. 31. where it is recorded, That the children of Israel hauing gotten a great booty in [...]arre, they payd out of it (and that by the Lords appointment) the Lords tribute vnto the Leuits, both of the person [...], women sl [...]es; and of the cattell, beeues, asses, and sheepe. Yea of the very iewels they gaue also an offring, of euery sort some, as there they are reckoned vp, vers. 50. Iewels of golde, bracelets, and chaines, rings, earings, and ornaments of the legs. The like haue wee 2. Chro. 31. where it is reported thus; The children of Israel and of Iuda brought vnto the house of God, for the Priests and the Leuits, bullocks & sheepe, corne, VVine, honie, and of all the increase of the field, and the tithes of all things, and laid them on manie heapes. Nehem. 10. and 13. wee doo read how by the commaundement and encouragement of that good Ruler Nehemiah, the whole congregation of Israel, beeing newly returned from the captiuity of Babylon, doo enter couenant with the Lord to doo the like. And that this practise continued euen in our Sauiours time, and not without his ap­probation, wee may gather by his words concerning the Phari­sies, Math. 23. 23. who (as he testifieth) tithed the ver [...]e [...] & rue, annis and cu [...]in, and euery other hearbe. They payd not for the tithe of them; but tithed thē, that is, payde the tithe thereof in its kind. And this saith our Sauiour, they ought to haue done, whereunto accordeth that vain-glorious ostentation of the Pha­risee, Luc. 18. 12. who saith, That hee paid tithe of all that euer hee did possesse.

How much this course of paying the minister euery thing in his owne kinde pleaseth God, wee may easily coniecture by this, That hee allowed none other course amongst his owne people for his seruants the sonnes of Leui, vnto whom notwithstan­ding they dwelt not as mynisters doo now, at home amongst the people in euery seueral City, towne or village, but were resident by themselues, either at the house of God, or in their owne Cities, hee appointed by expresse Law, at their owne charge, as farre as I can gather (which was no smal trauaile and expense) to bring home to them all their dueties, as your may read, Deut. [Page 28] 12. 11. VVhen there shallbee a place which the Lord your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there, thither shall you bring all that I commaund you; that is, your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the offerings of your hands, & all your speciall vowes whi [...] yee vow vnto the Lord. Besides that, whereas there were of the seed of Leui two sortes, Priestes & Leuits, the tenth of all things beeing payd vnto the Leuits in kinde, they (the Leuits) were bound by expresse law likewise, to pay vnto the priests the tenth of that tenth in his kinde also; as appeareth, Numb. 18. 26. and Nehem. 10. 38. neither it is vnlikely, but that that which com­meth from God vnto vs, by the natural course of his prouidēce, which we know to be most innocent and pure, is (beeing retur­ned vnto him) therefore best accepted, because least spotted with the staine of vnlawfull or indirect procurement.

And as this course best of all other pleased God, so hath it likewise most liked the Church of God, and the Christian go­uernors of the Church (as imitators of God) in all ages since: as may and dooth manifestly appeare by the practise of all Christendome, for many hundred yeares together, & by sundry lawes and constitutions both spirituall and temporall, ciuill and cannon; which here to recite were but superfluous.

I may adde further, That not onely the Iewes in time of the lawe, and Christians in time of the Gospell, haue approoued this course, but that likewise it was in practise through the very in­stinct of nature, & light of reason, euen before the Law in time of nature, and where the Law reigned not in its time, amongst the very heathen. For, to speake nothing of the offerings of Cain and Abel, Genes. 4. (because therein is no mention made of any priest, though it bee probable, that they were not offered vp vnto the Lord without a priest; who, seruing at the altar, by the very Law of nature was to participate with the altar) who offered according to their seuerall professions of life, of such things as they had; that is, Cain of the fruits of the ground, and Abel the first borne and fatte of his sheep. Wee haue, Gen. 14. a plaine instance for it in Abraham: who (hauing obteined a great victory against his enemies) is there expressely reported to haue giuen vnto Melchizedec, Priest of the high God, a certaine part of all; that is, as some vnderstand it, of all the goods he had what­soeuer, or of all, that is as others expound it, and the text of scrip­ture, [Page 29] Heb. 7. 4. seemes to cōfirme, of all the spoiles & prey that hee had taken in the warre, of euery sort some. And the like in Iacob, Gen. 28. who there voweth (which no doubt hee, most religi­ously, after performed, Gen. 35. 3.) to giue vnto God of all (that is, of euery kinde of thing according to his kinde) that God should giue vnto him, a certaine part. And touching the heathen, Plinie, an Historiographer of no smal account and credit, reporteth of the Romanes, That they vsed not to spend their wines or new fruites, till the Priestes had receiued a part thereof. And of the Sabeans & Aethiopians, people of the East, That of those spices which those countries yeelded in great plenty & varietie, the custome was, that the merchants might not meddle with any, till the Priests had laid out of euery sort vnto their Gods, their accustomed portions. And of diuers other nations, Festus another story-writer, dooth giue this generall testimony; The people of auncient times vsed to offer of euerie thing a part vnto their Gods. So that before the Law, vn­der the Law, and since the Law, amongst Heathens, Iewes and Christians, the auncient and common, and so the best and most approued practise hath beene, to pay to the Priestes and mini­sters of the Church, Gods part in kind.

Neither is it without great and apparant reason that thus it should bee. For if wee consider of it, wee shall finde that it is euery way the best, most equall, and indifferent course that can bee.

First, it dooth after a sorte correspond vnto that the teacher dooth; while, like as the minister of God dooth impart vnto his hearer in spiritual things all the counsell of God, and deliuers vnto him euery principle of Religion, instructs him in all seuerall duties, and increaseth him in all kinde of Christian knowledge, hiding and keeping backe nothing from him, that God hath appointed him to teach, and behooues the other to learne; as notably our Apostle dooth for himselfe protest, Act. 20. 27: so the hearer againe for his parte, by a kinde of retribution, dooth render vnto his teacher in tēporall things, a parte of all that hee hath, some of euery sorte of goods that God hath blest him withall, hiding and keeping backe from him no kinde of thing, that is once his owne.

2. It is the truest and iustest kind of payment that can bee. For, so the minister may haue his ful due, without diminution or [Page 30] alteration: which how much God respecteth, may appeare by 2. speciall places in his law. The first is, Leuit. 27. 33. where it is sayd, Of that which was the Lords parte, hee that was to pay it, should not looke whether it were good or bad, neither shall hee chaunge it. See, God would haue it as it did rise; else if he did chaunge it, both it & that it was chaunged for, was holie to the Lord, and might not be redeemed. The other place is, Deut. 26. 12. where the people paying their tithes are inioyned to doo it in maner vpon their oathe, with very solemne protestation before the Lord. The summe whereof is this; VVhen thou hast made an end of tithing, then thou shalt saye before the Lord thy God, I haue brought the hallowed thing out of mine house, and also haue giuen it to the Leuit according to thy commaundement. I haue not eaten thereof in my mourning, that is for any necessitie whatsoeuer, nor suffered ought to perish through anie vncleannes; by putting it to any prophane vse; but haue hearkened to the voice of the Lord my God, and doone after all that thou hast commaunded mee. That is, I haue payd euery thing iustly, as in thy law I am appointed. Looke downe therefore from thine holie habitation, euen from heauen, & blesse, &c. As who would say, Hee desired to be blessed and prospered in all that hee had, none otherwise, but according as hee had dealt truely and iustly with God and his ministers in that point: and acknowledged as was iust, and dooth no doubt come still to passe, that there were no hope to prosper well, if hee should defraud God and his ser­uants of their sacred and appointed portions.

3. It is the speediest course whereby the minister may re­ceiue his due, sooner then else hee possibly can or should. For, payd in kind; assoone as it can bee seuered from the rest of that kinde, it may bee payd: which cannot so speedily alwaies bee done, if the owner bee permitted to conuert it first into mony. And this also was a point specially prouided for, in the Law of God; as appeareth,Whereupō S. August. ser. de temp. 219. Exod. 22. 29. where it is sayde: Thine abun­dance, and thy licour shalt thou not keepe backe: that is, thou shalt not defer the payment of them to the priest; for that is meant by keping backe, Si tardius dare peccatū est, quanto peius est non dedi [...]e? as interpreters doo agree, the olde interpreter expressing it thus; Non [...]rdabis offerre. Thou shalt not linger or foreslow to offer it. And another (Tremell▪) thus; Ne differto dare, Deferre not, that is, put not off the payment of it from time to time, but doo it out of hand, so soone as it is payable. [Page 31] And indeed if it bee an offence to God, to keep backe the wages of the [...]ireling, that worketh for thee about thine owne busines, and not to pay him assoone as it is due, as wee are taught Deut. 24. 15. & otherwhere; shall we thinke that hee wilbe pleased, if his workman that labours for vs in his haruest bee payd when it pleaseth vs, at our leisure once in a yeare, happely in 2. yeare, and not so soone as any parte of his maintenance falleth out to bee due vnto him?

4. It is the most necessary course that can bee. For the mi­nister beeing to keepe house, and hospitality too, (for that is required at his hands, 1. Tim. 3. 2. and they must doo it that haue wherewith) hee shal bee the better enabled, yea, and the more occasioned thereunto, receiuing euery thing in kind, and so hauing prouision of one thing or other alwaies at hand. And this is a point so necessary to bee considered of in these daies, wherein charity is growne colde, houskeeping let downe, and hospitality in maner banisht both out of Churchmens and laymens houses; that if by this meanes, viz. by paying the mi­nister his due in kinde it might any whit bee reuoked, and resto­red; that onely good thereof were cause enough why it should with all care bee performed: that so, in so holy and necessary a good worke, men, specially they that should bee men of exam­ple to others, might not bee any way hindred and discouraged, but furthered therein to the vttermost.

5. It is the most certaine and stable course that can bee, as which is least subiect to alteration: because howsoeuer the prices of things dooe rise or fal, and daily change, yet the things them­selues change not. And therefore Nature, which commonly is one, must needs bee the most indifferent and permanent stan­dart betweenes God & man, the minister and his people, that can bee. God seemed to haue respect herevnto, Num. 18. 27. when commanding the Leuits to pay the tenth of their tithes to the priests in kinde, he sayth, that so dooing it should bee recko­ned vnto them as the corne of the b [...]rne, or as the abundance of the wine­presse: that is, it should bee accounted, as if it had beene growne vpon their owne ground: by meanes whereof the priests with them, and they with the people, should still from time to time receiue more or losle, as God gaue the increase, which obserued still, must needes bee the most equal and certaine course how­soeuer [Page 32] the world goe. For so, the minister, as God blesseth the people, shall bee partaker of the blessing; and if they suffer losse, hee likewise shall beare (as is fitte) the burthen equally with them.

Thus by all hitherto sayd, that is, by the practise of all ages, the Law of God for his owne people, and by manifest and ma­nifolde reasons, it may appeare, that the right and best course for payement of the minister is, to paye him in specie, a parte of euery sort of a mans goods, as it dooth arise in his kinde.

Some doo make a question, whether it were better that mini­sters generallie were payd their maintenance by the things in kinde, as commonly they are, or as in some fewe places, by set stipend?

Such a question is sufficiently aunswered by that already sayd. I deny not, but that in cases extraordinary, and in some places, a stipend may prooue more conuenient: but generally and or­dinarilie (for that is the question) to turne all into stipends, must needes bee generallie and absolutely the worst course.

As for that that may bee obiected, touching the toile and la­bour that the minister must haue to receiue his things in kinde, by meanes whereof (they will say) hee is faine to worke and la­bour, specially at haruest time, otherwise then befitteth his calling: I say first, That alwaies needeth not; For, hauing family and keeping house, hee may haue those to labour for him, which can performe such things better and fitter then himselfe; and hee needs not, except it bee for pleasure or re­creations sake, put one finger to that burthen. Secondly, in smaller parishes where the profits of the place are so slender, that hee is inforced to take more paines then others need or doo, the matter is not so great, but that it may without offence bee tolerated; nor so tedious, but that it may soone bee dispatcht. And it were very hard there, that others should doo it for him, and not hee or his: because it is not probable, but that hauing already very little to liue by, hee should by that meanes haue lesse; For, his gatherer or pay-maister would looke to haue a­share with him for his paines. ‘And that is the marke I thinke (and it behooues the Cleargie to consider of it) that many doo shoot at, that would haue ministers brought to stipends, that so their Lay-farmers, or pay-maisters, might get yet more of the mi­nisters [Page 33] profits into their hands, whereof they haue already too much.’

2. Againe, wheras others may obiect against the receiuing of things in kinde, that it breeds much trouble, wrangling & con­tention betweene the minister and his parishioners, the like may bee more iustly feared, in the leuying, imposing, collecting, de­manding and paying of stipends.

3. Lastly, whereas the corruption of patrons and others, that haue interest in the bestowing of liuings vpō Cleargie men, is at this day exceeding great, and doth not a little daily impouerish the ministerie, and spoile our Churches: by stipends, that pest would nothing bee stayd, but rather increased. For whereas now the minister receiuing all things in kinde, whatsoeuer the patron or others receiue of the minister, directly, or indirectly, must bee in secret, knowne to God, and them alone; because the pa­trone cannot take away any part of the gleeb or tithes, but that the worlde also will see & know it: then, hauing all in his hands, and being to pay onely a stipend, it is easie to gather how easily hee might finde the meanes to share what part thereof hee lus­ted, with the minister of the place; and yet vnlesse it bee by the poore mans threed-bare coate, or thin cheekes, the matter neuer bee espied.

All which things considered, I am so farre from liking that stipendary maintenance, that I wish rather the number of sty­pends in our Church might not bee increased but diminished, and (if it were possible) wholly taken away. I meane specially, That whereas there bee diuers Church-liuings in our land, [...]eazed into lay-mens hands, on which onely a set stipend of ten pounds or there about is reserued for the Curat of the place, that that course might bee vtterly cut off; and in steed of that stipend, such a competent parte of the gleeb, tithes, and other profits of the place beeing allotted for a perpetuall Vicar, as might bee fit and able in some tollerable sort to maintaine a sufficient teacher there.

That my motion is very godly, iust and necessary, I doubt not but that all indifferent men will easily graunt. But it will perhaps seeme a matter hard to bee effected.

I graunt, that to enforce any to surrender the whole, because it is their proper inheritance, were Summum ius: but yet I cannot [Page 34] bee perswaded, but that if power perswasiue bee all in vayne, that power coactiue may with great equity, reason, and piety too, bee vsed, to inforce such to surrender so much of that they possesse, as may in lieu of that beggerly stipend, bee a competent mainte­nance for one, that is, though not excellently (as the whole would haue bene) yet competently learned, and able in some measure to discharge the duetie of a Pastor to the people.

This were not to straine the Law, but to put in execution the very true sense and meaning thereof, which by ouer-strict obser­uing of the letter, is abused. For it is out of all question, that when such stipends were allotted, it was intended, That the Churches should still be prouided for, of able ministers, & then thought ‘(The condition of ministers, who were then all singlemen; the s [...]ate of these times, wherein all things to liue by, were foure times at least better cheap then now they are; the disposition of people in their voluntary offerings beeing much more liberall then now it is, &c. beeing considered) that ten pound a yeare or thereabout was a sufficient and schollerlike maintenance.’ But that things beeing so much altered as now they are, the pay it selfe should stand without alreration, is an open & certai [...]e per­uerting of the mind and sense of the Law. And therefore no breach of Law, no wrong to the possessour, no contrarietie to reason; if men will not of their own accord, vpon very consciēce of what is necessary, doo that is fit, that they bee ouer-ruled and enforced thereunto. And I speake herein no more then what our Sauiour did in another case, Math. 12. against such of his time as ouerstrictly stood vpō the very letter of the Law of the Sabboth, telling them that the Sabboth was made for man, & not man for the Sabboth; and therefore it were not an obseruation but an abuse of the Law, to let a man perish on the Sabboth for want of present help. And is it not worse in this case, when through ouerstrict straining of words that had a meaning good enough, many soules are suffered daily to perish, many ministers of the word are dishonoured, the Sabboth from time to time prophaned, and God made offended? No more then what the lawes themselues doo affirme. For in the ciuil Law, Cod. lib▪ 1. Tit. 17. Deleg. & conf. 5. thus wee read: Non dubium est in le­gem committere [...]um &c. that is, There is no doubt but that hee offends against the Law, which retayning the words of the Law, dooth contrary to the meaning thereof. Neither shall hee auoid [Page 35] the penalties set downe in the lawes, who contrary to the minde of the Law, dooth, by a strict prerogatiue of the words, frau­dulently, excuse himselfe. No more then what is practised di­uers wayes in other things. There bee auncient statutes con­cerning the wages of seruants, labourers, &c. agreeable no doubt to those times; but will any reasonable body affirme, that it were fit, they should bee vrged now? And haue not the rates therein set downe, iustly vpon due consideration beene made alterable by later statutes, as of An. 5. Eliz. Cap. 4? What the common pay of schoole-maisters, where no schoole was founded, was wont to bee, few but can tell. But hath not common reason preuailed there against so farre, that now a dayes there is scarce any that wil either accept or offer it? If very conscience & reason can see it requisite to alter the pay for other men, ‘what lets it should not for the minister too; vnlesse it bee that of all other wee respect them least?’ Lastly, nor doo I mooue other then that which long since was by law intended & attempted to bee donc: as may appeare in the abridgement of statutes in the title Appropriations, by these words; Because that much hurt hath come to Parishes by Ap­propriation of Benefices, &c. Bee it enacted, &c. That hence foorth in euery Church so appropriated, a secular person bee ordeined Vicar perpetuall, canonically instituted and inducted in the same, & Couenably endowed by the discretiō of the Ordinary to doo di­uine seruice, and to informe the people, and to keep hospitality there, &c. And that the said statute, viz. (a statute of An. 15. Ric. 2. Cap. 6.) shuld be kept & put in execution, & all Appropriations made since the statute cōtrary thereunto, to be reformed before a certain time, or else to be voyd. An. 4. Henr. 4. cap. 12. Where wee may note, That euen then in time of grossest Poperie and greatest blindnes, the Appropriations of benefices was accoun­ted (as indeed it is) a great hurt and not a benefite to the peo­ple; So necessarie to be reformed and restrained) what might be, that the estates of the land feared not to oppose themselues a­gainst the Pope, the onely cause and cocatrice of those euills: and thought the same not to bee in any measure sufficiently re­formed, vnlesse there were a perpetuall Vicar there endowed, and that so conuenably that hee might bee able to read [...] diuine seruice, 2. to preach, and also 3. to keepe hospitalitie: neither of which, much lesse all, is it possible for him well to doo that [Page 36] hath but such a stipend as wee speake of, or such Vicarage as many at this daie are in the land. Thus it is manifest, That it is a thing but iust and reasonable, that there should in such cases an alte­ration be made. 2. That it were best to bee doone by things in kinde, is also as apparant. By which meanes (a thing that ought not little to bee respected) the minister (each seueral Church beeing endowed) should not liue in that seruilitie vnto lay-men, as now a daies many doo to their pay-maisters: Nor should so many bad and vnworthy men as there are, & (things standing as yet they doo) needs must bee, bee thrust into the ministery; Such places, beeing now capable of none but such as bee most vnworthy and vnlearned, would then (as others are) bee able to entertaine such, as for learning and other gifts required in a minister, were worthy maintenance.

CHAP. V.

That toward the ministers maintenance euery man ought to contribute proportionabely, and not voluntarily, onely what euery man will, That is tollerable onely in som [...] cases. But generally or ordinarily it is a course very euill and per [...]itious. Yet how it might be somewhat tollerable is noted.

Text.‘Make him partaker of all his goods.’

HAuing in the former Chapters spoken of the qualitie of the things whereof the minister is to haue part, wee are now to consider of the quantitie, and examine out how much, or how great a part of euery mans goods hee ought to haue; The hardest indeed, but the chiefest and most necessary point of all the rest. On which, if I dwell somewhat longer then in the other I haue done, I trust the curteous reader, considering how neces­sary and how difficult a point it is, will easily beare with my pro­lixitie. This that wee way finde out, a two fold quantity must be considered of; that is, how much in proportion, & how much in number, &c. For the former, The very words of our Apostle doo at least intimate vnto vs, That there must a certaine Proportion bee obserued by them that giue of their goods to their teacher. For, requiring euery man to giue a part of all his goods, hee shewes [Page 37] plainely enough, that men must giue profacultatū ratione, accor­ding to their ability, and the quantity of the goods they haue, some more, some lesse. Not euery one like much, arithmetically: but euery man alike geometrically; that is, proportionable, ra­tably. As men doo differ in ability and wealth, one hauing more, another lesse: as God hath and dooth blesse men, some with one or two sortes of goods, some with diuers and sundry sorts: so they must blesse God againe by imparting to their minister, a part of their few or many sortes; so that of all, and of each sort of goods, euery man may returne a part. This accordeth well with the course which God appointed vnto his owne people the Iewes, for maintenance of their Priests and Leuits then. Their principall maintenance was a tenth part of all things. Now, who knows not, that where a certaine equall part, as the tenth, twentieth, or xxx. part is allotted, there must needs bee a most equall and exact proportion among all; one paying no more then another dooth according to his abilitie. 2. They had a Law, That three times a yeare, all their males should appeare be­fore the Lord; & none must appeare emptie, but euery one must bring somewhat, of his owne voluntary goodwill; yet with this Prouiso, Deut. 16. 17. Euery man shall giue according to the gift of his hand, and according to the blessing of the Lord thy God which hee hath giuen thee: that is, according to his estate and abilitie. 3. And in their ordinary offerings, for cleansings, for attonements, &c. the richer sorte were appointed their offerings of greater worth, as a bulbocke, a [...]am, a goat; the meaner sorte a lambe, a payre of turtle doues, or two young pigeons. So as, a proportion ac­cording to the ability of the persons was still obserued▪

And this course so liked all wisemen of former ages, that they resolued none fitter then it for the maintenance of the ministers of the Gospel. As if wee doo but looke vpon the maner thereof, obserued for the most part, all Christendome ouer, for many hundred yeares past, viz. That a certaine parte of euery thing bee payd to that vse, may euidently appeare.

That thus it should bee, wee may reason and gather, First, from the rule of equity: which requireth, that euery one bee dealt with indifferently and equally. Now as in other payments of rents, of customes, of subsidies, and the like taxations to Lord and King, to this and that vse, all men will graunt, that there is [Page 38] no indifferency vsed, if men bee not rated and taxed according to their seuerall estates, as their abilities are, in regard of others that are rated aswel as they: so neither in this. Then onely is the matter caried with equalitie, when that rule which the Apostle prescribed in another case is obserued also in this; that is, That Some bee not burthened, that others may bee eased; but vpon like condition, that there may bee an equalitie. 2. Cor. 9.

2. From the vse of the ministery, which is one & the same to all. Euery seuerall person, euery seuerall familie hath like inte­rest in the labours of the minister; & as free, and as full and large vse thereof to all intents, one as another. It is reason therefore, that they contribute toward the maintenance of the same, one asmuch, and as farfoorth as another: This they onely doo which giue equall with others, not in summe, but in proportion. For, a little to a poore & meane man, is asmuch after the rate, as 20. or 40. times so much vnto a richer man, whose estate dooth by like degrees exceed the other.

3. From the honour and duety, that all doo owe to God. For seeing it is God (as I haue before obserued) that giueth to euery man the goods hee hath, bee they more or lesse: why should not euery one according as hee hath receiued, honour God with those his goods, expresse and declare foorth his thankfulnes, as liberally, and as largely for the rate, one as another? It is true, That God respecteth not the gift, but the giuer; and lookes not so much to the value of the offering, as to the heart & dispositiō of the offerer: & therefore did more accept the widowes mite, then the great offerings, and rich gifts of the wealthier sort. But yet I doo not beleeue, that hee would aswel haue accepted a mite, a peece, from the rich mens hands, as from the poore wydowes: or that a rich man by a poore mite or 2. may ordina­rily expresse a rich affection to God, aswel as by offering some greater portion; specially in such a case as this, where men are taught and tolde before-hand,Deut. 16. 17▪ That euery man must bring not absolutely what pleaseth himselfe, how much, or how little hee lusteth,Ecclūs 35. 10. but according to the blessing of God vppon him: that is, ac­cording to his estate and ability: which euen children know, hee dooth not, That hauing very much bringeth very little, and possessing many things, giueth part but of a few.

4. By this meanes, euery man is made q. d. to see with his [Page 39] bodilie eyes, and feele with his very fingers the truth of that Maxime, There is no respect of persons with God; Act. 10. 34. while as all are taught, accustomed and inured to giue of that they haue alike to the honour of God the authour, and to the maintenance of the Gospel and ministery thereof, the meanes of their saluation: and so doo finde and see by daily experience, That God ac­cepteth of euery man according to that hee hath, and not according to that hee hath not, so it bee giuen with a chearefull eye; and expecteth to be honoured of euery man accordingly.

5. If this course of proportion bee not obserued, much iniurie and dammage must needs bee doone vnto the mini­ster: and great cause of scandall and discontent bee ministred vnto the people.

1. To the minister it cannot but bee much iniurie and dammage; if some paying him in good sorte, others, as well able as those, winde out themselues for little or nothing.

2. Offence and discontent must needes arise among the people, if some shal perceiue themselues to be farther charged then others. For who is, or wil be content to bee rated to any payment more then the rest of his neighbours of like state and worth? and bee pleased to beare a great charge of any busines, and that continually from time to time, from yeare to yeare; others aswell or better able, going either altogether free, or alwaies farre lesse charged then hee?

Concerning the former sorte of quantitie, that is, touching proportion, let this hitherto sayd suffice: which how duely it is alwaies and eachwhere obserued, I leaue to the diligent reader with himselfe to consider.

Let vs now proceed to see and enquire of the other kinde of quantitie, that is, how much in number, &c. the minister must haue. Touching which point there bee sundry opinions. Some of them bee but of the vulgar sorte, some againe are the opinions of the learned. Those of the vulgar sorte I could very willingly passe ouer in silence, and let them dye with their authours; were it not partly, that such as bee wise in their owne conceits, would thinke happily what is not direct­ly aunswered, cannot: partly, for that the practise thereof is at this day pernitious to the Church, and preiudiciall to the ministery thereof: and therefore as an euill plant which our [Page 40] heauenlie father hath not planted, needs to bee pluckt vp by the rootes. Of vulgar opinions I will at this time touch but one, which is this: That the minister is to haue no certaintie, but euerie mans good will, euen what they, as their affection leads them, will voluntarily contribute. This opinion reignes commonly among townesmen and tradesmen; who hauing not lands, to yeeld tithes of the increase of the earth, will needs persuade thē ­selues, That of their other goods it is at their owne choise, whether they will giue him ought or nought. This I call a vulgar opinion, because I doo not know that euer any man of learning or knowledge, eyther Diuine or other, did hold the very same.

This may bee a course good enough and tollerable in cases extraordinary: as first in time of trouble & persecution, in which if by vsurpation and violence of tyrants, the Church cannot maintaine her ministers as it should, it must doo it as it may. 2. Where such as properly belōg to one parish, doo either soiourne for a time in another, or els for their ease or other like occasions often resort vnto another. These as they doo by an extraordi­nary, and but a voluntary maner, take benefit of the labours of a minister, so may they in a like sorte (prouided alwaies it bee doone without preiudice of their owne Pastour) yeeld him a benefit of their labours and goods. So for Chappels of ease, &c. In the like nature doo I reckon the practise of many people at this day; who beeing through the corruption of patrones, or other iniquity of the time, destitute of fit and able teachers, doo better prouide for themselues by some extraordinary (but yet certaine) stipend, raised among them by a voluntarie contribu­tion. Which course, as I cannot, where it is sincerely handled, but highly commend, & praise God for the readinesse of heart, which thereby many doo shewe vnto the furtherance of the Gospel: so in it, I cannot but admonish such as bee godlily, and zealously affected, that they take heed they doo not deceiue themselues,Hinc caput mali [...] by deteyning from their owne Pastors, that which properly and by all lawes is their right, to confer it on others; & so disable their owne pastors from dooing that which others performe; feed others with their bread, they the while enfor­ced to gather vp the crums: and wrong themselues, thinking they deale exceeding godly and religiously, when indeed it is (many times) scarce iustly; and looke for praise, where they are [Page 41] scarce free from blame.

In such cases (I say) as these are, the course afore mentioned may be tollerable: but that this is not a fit course ordinarily (the thing wherevpon I stand) and for continuance any where to bee practised, nor it that God prescribeth, which wee s [...]eke after; I shall, I doubt not, make it appeare by many arguments.

First of all, There is no such thing taught vs in the word of God: wee are I say, no where in the scripture taught, That euery man should giue to the maintenance of his minister, but what hee will, asmuch or as little as pleaseth himselfe. This is the way to mainteine & reliue the poore of the parish, & not the Pastour. Concerning the poore, saith our Apostle. 2. Cor. 9. 7. As euery man is disposed in his heart, so let him giue. But concerning the mi­nister, neither S. Paul, nor any Apostle else so speaketh. They alwaies vse such phrases of speech, as import not a beneuolence but a dutie; not an vncertaine almes, but a certaine reward: as in our text, hee must bee made partaker, that is, haue a part of all a mans goods; a maner of speech neuer vsed concerning the poore. So, 1. Cor. 9. Who gooes a warfare at anie time of his owne cost? &c. Whence wee may gather, That as the souldier knowes his paye, the sheep-heard his wages, &c. and depends not on a meere vncerteintie: so must the minister. For, To releiue the poore is a worke of charitie; but to maintaine the minister is a worke of Iustice, & duety: the one must begge; the other demaund: the the one craueth; the other challengeth: th' one hath it by fa­uour & of pitty; th' other by right, and of desert.

If any wil obiect the times of the Apostles & primitiue church; My aunswere is, There was no such practise then. They did not maintain their ministers then as it were by almes: But as we read, Act. 2. and 3. They that had lands & goods sold them, and laid downe the price at the Apostles feet: and so distribution was made; by whom? by the Apostles themselues, Act. 4. 35. & 5. 2. and afterward by the Deacons, Act. 6. To whom? to euery man, hea­rer aswel as teacher. In what sorte or measure? as euery man had need, and was fit and sufficient for him. Were ministers tyed to mens good wills here? when as they were the treasurers for the whole Church? had all at their owne disposition? and had like part as any other had?

Let it bee graunted that then it was so▪ Dooth it follow it must [Page 42] bee so now? There is a difference I take it, twixt a Church vnder persecution, and a Church in peace; a time of trouble, and a time of rest: as also betwixt a Church planting, and a Church plan­ted. In time of persecution, as then, men must doo as they may, and not as they would: and take if their right cannot safely bee had, insteed thereof, what the time will affoord.Mat. 12. 1. And yet that no more proueth or maketh such dooing to bee a Lawe for vs that liue in better daies,1. Sam. 21. 6. then Dauids eating of the shewbread in a time of need dooth argue, that any man might haue doone the like at any time as well as hee: or S. Paules working with his owne hands while hee preached at Corinth & Ephesus, Act. 20. 34. that all mi­nisters must follow some occupation,1. Cor. 4. 12. & liue of themselues, not taking of the people any thing either of duetie or beneuolence.

2. The affections and mindes of people bee not such toward their ministers of the Church as in those times they were.2. Thess. 2. 9. Then they thought nothing too much that was giuen to such vses. Churches had their common treasuries, & euery man striued, who might exceed others in enriching the Churches, in augmē ­ting the treasure thereof:Cap. primo. so that (as before I haue noted) Moses was forced, Exod. 36. to make proclamation, That none should bring any more stuffe for the worke of the Tabernacle. So there was rather cause to restraine the people, and to disswade them from giuing so much, then either to complaine of them (as now) for giuing too little, or vrge & compell them to giue more. But now quite contrary, many thinke all too much that the minister hath: & diuers striue to pull from thē vijs & modis, what they can, as if they accounted those the sweetest morsels that are pluckt out of his mouth, and those goods best gotten, that are wrung from the Church. And therefore if the liberall disposition that was in people then, did mooue the ministers of the Church to rest satisfied with the voluntary oblations of the people, for they were abundantly enough: yet now, as the vncharitable & pittiles affection of many toward the poore in these daies, hath inforced the rulers of our land to draw the wealthier sort to a rate, & cō ­p [...]ll them to giue, not what euery man will (though indeed all almes should be voluntary) but what is meet & necessary: so, and more then so, because this I speake of, hath greater warrant, the illiberalitie of the people to the ministers, their vnconscionable dealing toward them for their labours, dooth require, That a [Page 43] certaintie should bee appointed for them.

3. The maner of oblations & voluntary contributions then, was farre other then now it is with vs. For as the auncient fathers that liued neerest vnto the times of the Apostles doo report, it was the custome of Christians then, both men and women, some­where euerie Sunday, & somewhere menstrua die, euery month (sunday) to make oblation. By which often dooing thereof, though they offered neuer so little at once, but (as one of them calls it) modicam scipem, a smal beneuolence, it could not bee but that it must rise in the whole yeare, to some reasonable quantitie; For as the old saying is, Marie a little make a great. The custome of our Church once was, to offer 4. times a yeare at least: but that is now come, through a worse custome, to once a yeare, at Easier onelie; & then how little it is, it is a thing lamentable, and almost incredible to relate: as little & lesse happely, as in aunciēt times, they did offer at once, that offered euery month, or euery sunday. So that the times, the disposition of people, the maner of offe­ring being so much altered as they are, it is no reason that that course should bee pressed vpon the minister now, which was in practise then. The cases and causes are nothing like.

Secondly, it is against the rule of equitie. Equitie requires, that as hee that paies, knowes what worke to receiue for his pay, so hee that worketh should know what to receiue for his labour. That is, As the parishioner doth know certainly what hee is to require at the ministers hand, ‘as that hee preach thus often at least, minister the Sacraments, read Diuine seruice, in this and that sort, &c. so the minister should know as certainly what hee is to demaund and haue of his parishioner in recompence of his labours:’ & not hee to bee tied to conditions for his dutie, & stand at curtesie for his maintenāce: they allowed to commaund him for that hee is to doo, & hee inforced to intreat for that he is to haue. Thirdly, It is contrary to the practise of all times. Be­fore the lawe, Genes. 47. wee doo read of the Egyptian priests, that they had their lands certaine & reserued vnto them to liue vpō: & (oh that heathens should bee more righteous then Christians) besides that in time of famine, they had an ordinarie of Pharaoh; ver. 22. And before that, wee doo read, cap. 14. of the same booke, That Abrah. payd to Melch. Priest of the high God (and in him is expressed to vs no doubt the common practise of all the [Page 44] godly of those times) hee payd I say, not what he lusted at ad­uenture, but thus much; a certaine portion of all that hee had. In time of the Law, the Priests sonnes and seed of Leui stood not to mens curtesies, but had their tithes certaine; and knew their parts of euery kinde of offering, that came to the altar. And in time of the Gospell, howsoeuer some particulars haue failed; The general practise in all ages, nations & countries whatsoeuer, hath been, and is, that the minister should know (for the princi­pal part of his maintenance) what to demaund, and the people what to pay.

The same course holds currant in all trades, sciences & pro­fessions else. Goe into all Courts of iudgement, haue not euery one their knowne and seuerall fees? Goe into the City, haue not all officers their certaine salaries? Goe out into the field, hath not euery Captaine, Lieutenant, Sergeant, Soldiour, &c. his knowen pay? Goe into the country, hath not euery labourer his ordinary wages? Come home into thine owne house, will thy seruant trust to thy curtesy for his seruice? will any workman worke with thee, either by the day or at taske, without agreement what to haue? And is it not a straunge thing, That should bee thought to bee a course fit and good enough for the minister, which is good for no bodie else? and hee bee inforced to that kinde of dealing, which all others disclaime and vtterly refuse?’

Plutarch, a worthie Historiographer, writes of Licurgus, that famous Lacedemonian Lawmaker, That beeing aduised by one, to plant in the Citie Democracie, that is, popular gouernement in steed of Aristocracie, that is, the gouernement of the chiefe men; hee made only this answere: Begin (saith hee) that, thy selfe; Plant thou first a Democratie in thine owne house. His meaning was, That kind of gouernement would neuer prooue good in a common-wealth, that was so bad, that no man would endure or admit it into his owne house. The like answere and no more I might haue shapen to this obiection: Let them that thinke it good for the minister to stand at mens curtesies, practise it in their owne houses a while, and bring vs word after a while how it frameth: The wiser sort would thereby haue cōceiued enough. But hauing to doo with the vulgar sort, (for it is their opinion that I am in hand with) let wise men beare with me, though I bestowe more wordes then one or two, to stop the mouthes of a [Page 45] multitude.

In euery thing how good or euill it is, is commonly percei­ued by the effectes thereof: it is not a good tree that bringeth foorth bad fruite. If wee goe this way to worke, what good comes there, of this course? of this I meane, That the minister should stand to euery mans curtesie? & take (as they tearme it) their good wills, as if he were their al [...]esman? For mine owne part, I can see none: what others can shewe, I long to see or heare.

Indeed, as in building of the tabernacle in the wildernes in the daies of Moses, Exod. 36. the people there beeing left for that once, to doo euery man what he would according to the willingnes of his heart; they performed it in such sorte as testified the exceeding loue and zeale they had to the seruice and house of God: so people cōtinuing the like course for the maintenance of the ministerie & house of God in these daies, this good might come of it, They might thereby take occasion to shew their great loue and zeale to the house of God, to the ministerie and ministers thereof, by offering and giuing thereto of their owne accord, without Law or compul­sion, as much and as plentifully as others doo (& happely against their wills) by force and constraint of lawe. But it experience may speake her knowledge in this matter; If by mens dealings in this case, by that many doo giue, and would of their owne ac­cord but giue, to this so holy, so good, and so necessary a vse, in such places where they stand vpon it, That they neither ought, nor will doo otherwise, a man shall iudge of their loue, to God & his ministers, of their zeale to his Church and the Gospell; surely we must iudge it to be very colde and small▪ very backward and bad.

Now as there comes no good of this course for ought that I can see: so on the contrary side, I know it and see too often that much euil and hurt comes of it.

As first, It disables the minister vtterly to doo his duetie. For wanting, as that way hee cannot but doo, all necessaries both for his life and his study, how can hee possibly be able, either to study that hee may preach, or preach when hee hath studied?

2. It is the ready way to discourage him from dooing his duety, to make him timerous and fearefull in reproouing of sinne and wickednes; as knowing before hand, that liuing vpon [Page 46] the courtesie and good will of his hearers, if hee but once crosse them (as they tearme it) that is, but once touch the sinne, that such and such do liue in, they will be euen with him for it. Dis­please any in word or deed, and of them ye get nothing.

3. It is the ready way to induce the Minister of God to flatter and soothe the richer sort, in hope of the greater reward and bet­ter Beneuolence at their hands, Both which vices (flatterie and fearefulnes) how pernitious they be in a Minister, who of all o­ther men shuld be most free from respect of persons, no man but may easily conceiue.

4. It discourageth and disables him vtterly, from any good house-keeping and hospitalitie; as who liuing himselfe, like a begger, rather then an house-keeper, knowes not how he shalbe able to keepe house, and giue entertainment to others, beeing certaine of nothing himselfe.

5. It is the sure way to keepe the Minister of God in extreame pouertie: then which, there is not any mischiefe more dangerous to the Church of God. For such is the charitie and good deuoti­on of the most part this way, that if they may hold the Minister at that bay, not one among. 20, I speake within compasse, and that a great deale too: I say, not one among 20. will by his good will, deale with the minister, Ministerlike.

6. It emboldens euery man against the Minister, to vse him for his maintenance at their pleasure. Because, if he will not take their allowance. What they be disposed to giue him, though it be not woorth the taking vp, not the twentieth, happily not the 40. part of his due, hee shall haue nothing at all; seeing by lawe, (as they account and will handle the matter,) hee shall or can re­couer nothing of them.

7. It is such a course, as if it hold a while longer, and be not speedily by due law reformed, will (it may iustly be feared) bring the Ministers of diuers places to very beggery, or the Ministrie of such places to be dissolued. My reason is: many such are resol­ued already, that they owe the Minister nothing, or at least, that he can recouer of them nothing at all but their accustomed offe­rings; that is, two pence a peece at Easter. And if they come once generally (as already many doo) to practise it, we may soone coniecture what the sequell must needs be. And this is a com­mon thing, whatsoeuer any hath vsed of his voluntary to pay, howsoeuer their wealth increase, scant one of an 100. will aug­ment [Page 47] any thing to the minister: but contrariwise, in maner all bee ready vpon any light occasion to abate & giue lesse. And abatement once made, it is neuer bettered againe. So that by all likelihood in a little time it will come to nothing at all.

8. It is such a course and kind of dealing, as if it should (which God forbid) bee practised generally, were the readie way to ouerthrow the Gospell, to beate downe the preaching of the word, and to banish religion out of the land. Goe throughout the land, from Dan to Beersheba, and looke what maner of mi­nisters and ministerie there are in such places, specially, where the minister depends vpon mens goods wills; and finde one place or parish almost, if it bee possible, where the minister liues not in great needines, and the people perish not for want of teaching. Wee haue at this day (God bee thanked) a great number of learned and excellent teachers in the land: but if they should be all brought to such a kind of mainteinance (And how can that hee good for some, which is nought for all?) Doo you thinke within a few yeares, there would bee found halfe the number that now is? Where are able teachers at this day most wanting? and where bee the simplest and meanest ministers commonly found? is it not (where the best need to bee) in townes and Cities? I see no greater, nor almost no other cause then this, for that in such places, The minister hath little or nothing prouided him to liue vpon, but is inforced to take like a begger, what men will give him. And therevpon none of any learning, of any gifts, delight to come into such a place; or alighting on such as it were by chaunce, or vppon some neces­sitie, when hee once sees his entertainment, will long tary there. Such be the effects that come of this kinde of course: now iudge of the tree by his fruites.

9. Lastly, if it bee a good course, commendable, or but tolle­rable in the land, why dooth not some Machiuillian head or other suggest vnto the highe Courte of Parliament, how ne­cessary and profitable it were to bee planted throughout the land? what land and reuenues it might bring to the Crowne, what profits and treasures to the Kings coffers, what inheri­tance for gentlemen, younger brothers, what possessions and habitations for many people in our so populous country, what wages for souldiours, &c. if all the tempo [...]alities, [Page 48] and other certaine emolumentes of the Church were seazed vpon, and the Cleargie left vnto the curtesie and bene­uolence (maleuolence indeed) the offering and good willes of the people: which (as may bee seene in diuers places already) were prouision ynough for them, and would well ynough con­tent them. For why might not all, as well as some, liue on that fashion, and rest vpon the kindnes of their hearers, who would not of conscience see them perish for want? &c. ‘If this were not to bee endured, maruell not much (good Christian and godly Reader) though I seeme vehement against that pestilent practise in few, which were intollerable in all. For, speaking from some experience, I haue seen so much euill & inconuenience thereby, that I cannot but from my heart detest it, and desire and labour what lyes in mee the vtter extirpation thereof. And I doo hope that by this little Anatomie thereof layd before thine eyes, thou wilt bee moued, to confesse and conclude with mee, That a voluntarie contribution for the ordinarie maintenance of the Minister is no where tollerable; and that, it is the duetie of all Christians, as they make conscience of their duetie, to God, respect equitie, haue any loue to the ministerie of the Gospell, and desire the prosperitie thereof, to yeeld the minister a certaine paie, one way or other:’ that so both themselues may know what they ought to pay, and hee what to demaund; & how to recouer it, if it bee withheld.

Though this voluntary maintenance bee (as I haue shewed) a course that Gods word dooth not approiue, that agrees not with the rule of equity and reason, that neither Iewes nor Chris­tians did euer generally practise, a course whereof comes to the Church of God no good, but many euills and perills: yet it is not vnlikely, but that many, vnles there bee soome good lawe to inforce them thereunto, will hardly bee reclaymed from it, and will (say what either I or any else can) sticke to it still. To direct such therefore, the while, to vse (if it bee possible) a bad thing well, and to keep themselues from sin in so dangerous a course; I will for their sakes bestow a little labour, & adde yet a few lines more, to shew them, what measure & proportion they should in reason and equitie keep in this case; that so in some measure, they may satisfie their duety to God, and content the minister of his Church; to whom though they will giue but what they will, yet [Page 49] they are bound in conscience to giue that that is somewhat tol­lerable and reasonable. Reason must take place, though law doo not, and conscience gouerne our actions where compulsion is not. A heathen man being asked what good hee had gotten by his Philosophie? Aunswered; I haue (saith hee) gotten this good thereby, that I can doo those things vnbidden, which other men doe for feare of the lawes. Religion ought to preuaile no lesse with vs. Wee should not need humane lawes to compell vs to our duties, whose consciences are informed by the rule of equitie, That euerie man of his owne accord ought to doo to others, as hee would, if the case were his, bee done vnto. If this bee but right and equal, as I thinke euery reasonable and religious man will graunt it is; Let vs (presupposing for a while that there is no positiue law, either to direct, or compell vs to any thing in this case) consider accordingly, when the minister hath laboured for thee the whole yeare (I am bold now good Reader, to talke somewhat familiarly vnto thee) and hath bestowed vpon thee most liberally and carefully spirituall things, and rests yet all the while vpon thy good will, contented without any agree­ment or certaintie assigned to stand to thy curtesie for tempo­rall things, what, or how much (if thou bee a man of any ability) it is fit and requisite in any reason thou shouldest giue him? I will speake what I thinke: and because it is but a conceit of my owne, a proportion by mee alone in this case propounded, I will speake with the least too. Let the indifferent Reader vouch­safe the reading of it, and then iudge: know throughly what it is, and then censure it as it liketh him. Mine opinion is this; That though the minister doo stand to thy curtesie, yet thou in con­science, I say in conscience and reason, oughtest to giue him no lesse for his whole yeares labour for thee and thine in the mini­sterie, then thou doest or wouldest giue vnto a schoole-maister, for teaching one of thy children a whole yeare. ‘I say it againe. Euerie man ought in conscience, to giue his minister for teaching him, and his whole familie in the word of God, so much at least, I say so much at the least, (for his due is more a great deale many times) as a schoole-maister commonlie hath for teaching one childe.

I know this will seeme much and straunge to such as bee so farre wide of this rate, that by their good willes they will not, nor vsually doo not giue the minister halfe, nor a quarter, no [Page 50] some s [...]ant the tenth parte so much.Note this. But, howsoeuer it seeme to any, That it is a proportion most reasonable, and indeed the lowest rate that reasonably can bee kept, I doubt not to make it most euident and plaine to the vnderstanding of all that bee not willfully blind, and exceeding obstinate in their owne opinions. Neither will I, nor need I goe farre from the Text wee haue in hand; as which of it selfe dooth offer to yeeld mee 3. or 4. very plaine and speciall reasons and argu­ments for it.

First, the Apostle here calleth the minister a teacher, and the parishioner one that is taught: as you would say, a schoole-maister and his scholler. And in the iudgement of interpreters that are very learned, hee dooth vse that maner of speech, pur­posely, to shew, That as it is the dutie of the scholler to main­taine his maister, so it is the dutie of the hearer to main­taine his minister: which who [...]so will not doo, euen among prophane men, is accounted impious and vniust. And indeed what other is the Church but a Diuinitie-schoole, the minister a Lecturer, and the hearers schollers? According wherevnto it is, that Christians at first were called Disciples, that is in plaine English, Schollers.

2. Looke what thou giuest for teaching one of thy children, If thy Schoole-maister deserue it for teaching one alone, doth not the minister deserue so much at the least for teaching thee, & thy whole familie? thee I say, thy wife, thy children, thy seruants, and the straunger that is within thy gates?

3. What dooth the minister teach thee? Hee teacheth thee (saith our Apostle) in verbo. Hee teacheth thee the word of God. Hee reads to thee a Diuinitie Lecture. Hee dooth minister vnto thee spirituall things. Hee speaketh vnto thee (as it is said otherwhere) words whereby thou and all the housholde may bee saued; A kinde of doctrine, then which none is, nor can bee, more excellent, pretious and worthy reward.

Now I pray thee, is it not a reasonable thing and an ordinary, according to the excellencie of the learning that a man tea­cheth, so to giue him greater or lesser pay? Why then is it not reason thou giue him that teacheth thee (and all thine) Diuinitie, that informeth thee to know God, that sheweth thee the way to eternal life, that brings thee the glad tidings [Page 51] of saluation, so much at the least, as thou doost giue a man to teach thy child to read, or write, to vnderstand the Latine or Greeke tongues?

4. What ought to bee his reward? a parte (saith our Apostle) of all thy goods. And that is more I thinke, if it bee well shared, then any man dooth allow to his Schoole-maister for any one child.

But leaue wee for a while the Apostle, and let vs turne our eyes aside to behold the practise of times; that so wee may see how neere others both in our & former daies haue come to this proportion.

1. How did the Israelites maintaine their priests and Leuits? Who knowes not, That by Gods appointment, besides diuers other things that fell to their share, they had the tenth of all things?

Is it likely their School-maisters were maintained in that libe­rall maner? and had another tenth for euery child they taught? I trow not.

2. Looke all England ouer, and behold what prouision our fore-fathers made for ministers, and what for Schoole-mai­sters.

Is it not so, That the meanest benefice in the land almost (that is whole) is better in reuenues then the best schoole? And hath not the minister many times of one, euen a meane man, ten, yea twentie times as much as the Schoole-maister for one Scholler?

3. Doe but enquire in London, where the ministers of the Church are in commendable sorte prouided for; and which may in that respect, bee a glasse and patterne for sundry other Cities and townes in England: and tell m [...], whether the mi­nisters part out of euery house (if hee bee iustly dealt with) bee not commonly so much at least, as a Schoole-maister takes for one Scholler?

4. Remember of such places where Lectures haue beene kept, and preachers maintained by an extraordinary stipend; Is there any such place where they could possibly raise a sti­pend of any meane competencie, but that the inhabitans must be content to contribute therto, viritim, man by man, house by house, for all the better sort, asmuch at the least, as they vsually [Page 52] giue for teaching one of their children?

5. In all reason and equitie, in all reputation & account, is not the minister of the Church, before the maister of the schoole? The schoole is commonly but as it were a step to the ministerie, and a stay for a man till hee bee fit for the ministerie. In all meetings & assemblies, hath he not his place before the schole-maister? is it not reason then, as hee is before him in degree, so hee should bee equall with him at least, in maintenance?

But now a daies with vs, in places not a few, for the most part it is quite contrary. The condition & estate of schoole-maisters, is commonly farre better then the ministers. If a man can get 4 or 5. score schollers, hee shalbe sure to liue like a scholler, nay like a gentleman by them: but though a minister haue so many housholds to his Church, if hee haue nothing to trust to but their good wills, hee liues not like a scholler, but a begger rather. Some would thinke it scant credible, happily if I should say, That a man may haue more maintenance by 40. or 50. boyes in a schoole,Note this well: then by an 100. housholdes, by 400. communicants in a parish: ‘but I doo beleeue it,And see in what miserie many of our ministers doo liue. and can speake it of mine owne knowledge, That it is probable & possible, That a schole-maister may haue better maintenance by 7. or 8. boyes, then a minister by 7. or 8. score housholds. Where it is so, and I thinke if due enquiry be made, it will be found so in many places of our land, the greater our sinne,’ the heauier Gods wrath; the more lamen­table and miserable the estate of our ministerie: can wee say that people doo deale conscionably and liberally with their mi­nisters? and Christianly & thankefully with God? or that mini­sters complaine without cause, and be already euery where duly & sufficiently prouided for? I know that these things will seeme straunge, to such as are not acquainted with them, and doo con­ferre to the maintenance of their ministers in another maner of measure: but I would to God, they were not most true, and that our ministers felt them not.

I hope (good Reader) that by this that I haue said I haue (ac­cording to my purpose) made it euident vnto thee, That such as will needes continue that euill custome, to giue the minister but what pleaseth themselues, yet ought in reason & conscience (if they bee of any abilitie) to pay him so much a peece at least, as they giue a schoole-maister for teaching one of their [Page 53] children. And this rate doo I hold to bee so reasonable and in­different for both sides, that I wish with all my heart, That as Dauid made it a Law in Israel, 1. Sam. 30. 24. That of things gotten in warre, as his part was, that gooeth downe to the battell, so should his part be that bideth by the stuffe, and keepeth the campe: so, in such places where people will not willingly & justly pay as they should, tithes of their labours & gaines, but inforce the mini­ster to stand to their curtesies, till a better Lawe come in place; That either the people themselues, would make it a custome, or the superiours of our land, a law and statute in England, That in steed of those tithes, besides their accustomed offerings and other ex­traordinary prouentions, as his paie is that teacheth in the schoole for euerie scholler; so should his paie bee, that teacheth in the Church for euerie familie: that is, the [...]icher sort to pay as for the best schol­lers, the meaner as for meaner schollers, and the poorer sorte that are payable, as for meanest: that so yet some conuenient portion and proportion, some certaintie might bee obserued & knowne.By this rate, where now of an hundred houshoulds, the minister hath scantten pounds, then of euerie 40. housholds hee could not but haue more. It is a rate so reasonable and easie, that as by it, where the place is any thing populous, as those commonly are where it needs chiefly to bee put in practise; in some cōpetent measure the minister might haue sufficient wherevpon to liue: so by a lesse, such as now is too common, it is not possible in these times, for a man to redeeme himselfe from extreame need, and bee other then very poore. In a word, it is a rate so small and easie, That I more feare, least I sinne against God, and offend his Church in approouing it, then suspect that any which is contrary minded, shall bee able to prooue against mee that it is too great, too hard, and vnreasonable.

I haue held the Reader somewhat long I confesse, vpon this one point, and it may bee some will obiect, altogether without any cause: For (may some say,) As it is not fit indeed, that the minister should bee left to the curtesie of the people, so neither is hee; For by expresse law & statute already in force, hee is euery where prouided for of some certaintie; as of prediall tithes, where they are to be had, & of personal tithes, where the former are not: as appeareth in the Statutes of Ed. 6. An. 2. Cap. 13. De Decimis.

True it is, and not to bee denied, That that Statute dooth in­deed so enact. From which I trust I may bee bold to obserue this one thing farther, for confirmation of that I haue sayd, viz. [Page 54] That it is the iudgement of our whole Church of England, and of all the estates of our land, confirmed in expresse wordes by act of parliament, That the Minister ought to haue a certaintie to de­pend vpon; And that the contrarie, not in mine opinion onely, but in their wise and generall iudgement is, as indeede it is, intolle­rable and vnfit.

But for a full aunswere to the obiection proposed; First, I doe speake of that is practized, not of that is enacted: and doe con­demne that course which now is growne with many into such a custome, that nether that lawe, nor reason, no nor the word of God can hitherto reclaime them from it; and so doe not weary my Reader with waste matter, nor fill my paper with an vnne­cessary discourse.

Secondly, I say, and with all reuerence and Christian humi­litie, prostrate at the feete of my Superiours, desiring and crauing leaue that it may bee free for mee in so great a cause, and that so neerely and so much concerneth the glory of God, and good of this Church, for which euery good man ought to be content (if neede be) to lay downe his life to speake the truth; I say it, That that statute doth in very deed rather say it, then assure it to the minister, shew what he should haue, then enarme him to recouer it. Because whereas it debars him of the defendants oath, the surest and most vsual remedy in al causes of tithes, it is found by long and too too much experience, that thereby (that clause being commonly abused against him) he is also debarred of the thing it selfe that he seekes to recouer. For people being now a daies very apt to abuse any aduantage that law may yeeld, doe easily learne, That if they will but not confesse any thing, the Minister can recouer but what he can prooue; which commonly must needes bee iust nothing: whereby his case becomes such, that vnlesse he will take with quietnesse (as they call it) what they wil of curtesie giue him, by contending for more, he is sure too loose al. No doubt ther were some reasona­ble causes▪ why the oth was forefēded, & it may be the integrity of those times) whē the statute was made) such, that it was presup­posed, mē needed not to be pressed so far, but wold of very con­science to equity & right, of loue to the Church & Ministery, of zeale to God & his Gospel, do that were fit voluntarily, it being but shewed them; or at farthest, vpō examination, acknowledge [Page 55] the trueth freely. But the corruption and backwardnes of these our times shewing wholly the contrary, and beeing such, that I thinke that man to bee as rare as a blacke swanne, that by vertue of that statute, hath of late yeares recouered any thing; & that there bee many hundreds that can iustly alledge, That by abuse or weaknes thereof, they haue done, and doo daily leese in maner all: sure­ly there bee causes more iust (vnlesse some better course bee taken) why it should bee againe permitted them: without the which the ministers may iustly and with griefes enough com­plaine, That that statute (standing as yet it dooth) allowing them a certaintie, viz. personall tithes, in name, dooth take the same from them is very deed, and remittes them to that it seemes to condemne; the mercie and curtesie of the people.

CHAP. VI.

That the minister must haue for his maintenance, not an imagined competent portion: But specially, besides offerings, the tithes of all things; which are still due by diuine r [...]ht: and bee of two sortes, viz. Prediall, and personall.

FRom the opinion of the vulgar sorte, Let vs come (God assisting) to those of the lear­ned. Among whom, some doo hold, That concerning the ministers maintenance, what it should bee, there is nothing certainly determined in the word of God; onely this is therein taught vs, and required, That the minister must haue competent maintenance. This if it be yeelded him, how, whereof, or by whom; so hee haue it, it is no matter. Others bee of the minde, That the scripture teacheth vs, both that the minister ought to bee maintened: and that his mainte­nance ought to bee not an imagined competencie; but specially Tithes, the tenth of the increase of all things.

The former of these opinions (The reuerence & honour that I beare vnto the persons, learning, & iudgement of those that be contrary minded alwaies saued & reserued, because amicus Plato [Page 56] amicus Socrates, sed magis Veritas: Trueth is to bee preferred aboue all men) I doo dislike. For it seemeth vnto mee improbable, that God, who from the very beginning till Christes time (for that neither is nor can be denied) as carefull for them whose Priest­hood was nothing so excellent and worthie honour, as the mi­nisterie of the new Testament, had declared & reuealed, whereby hee would haue the priests of those times to bee maintained: as by tithes, offerings, &c. and did not leaue it to the discretion of men to allot what they imagined to bee competent; should now, in the time of the Gospell onely, the later daies, and worser age of the worlde,2. Tim. 3. 2. 3. wherein his spirite had foretold, That men would bee louers of themselues, couetous, boasters, proude, disobedient to parents, vnthankefull, vnholie, without naturall affection, intemperate▪ despisers of them that bee good, louers of pleasure more then louers of God, hauing a shew of godlines, but denying the power thereof, &c. All and euery which vices in whomsoeuer, and wheresoeuer they reigne, would hinder the condigne entertainement of his ministers: That hee should I say, in these wicked times & perillous daies, leaue thē (the preachers of the Gospell) whose ministerie by farre excelleth the former, to the mercy of the world, and conscience of the worldlie minded to appoint them maintenance, as carelesse how they were dealt with.

2. Whereas the Church of Christ▪ euen from the Apostles times almost, put in practise generally all Christendome ouer, the payment of Tithes for the maintenance of the ministers of the Gospell: shall wee say, They did this, onely as accounting that to bee a fit course, and a competent maintenance for that pur­pose? or shall wee say they did it as accounting that to bee the right course commaunded of God, and which they had lear­ned out of the word of God ought to stand in time of the Gospell, as it did in time of the Law, for the Lordes owne ordinance? To affirme the former is against all apparance of trueth. The expresse wordes of the Fathers and learned that wrote in those times doo plainely (as hereafter shall be shewed) testifie the contrary. Doo wee not see then (graunting the later) that this conceit of a competent maintenance, dooth (which is neither safe nor godly) openly check & crosse the iudgement and practise of all Antiquitie?

3. And forsomuch as wee seeke not what may bee done at [Page 57] some times, and in some cases, but what is Gods ordinance in this case, and therefore ought ordinarily and generally euery where and at all times to bee done: what President and practise in any one age of the Church can any shew for this competent maintainance without tithes, as we can throughout many ages, for the ordinarie maintenance thereof by Tithes? Before the time of the Apostles the ordinary maintenance of Gods ministers was tithes: in the time of the Apostles, it was either by a communitie of all things, or by a voluntary contri­bution: sith their time and a fewe succeeding yeares without any interruption vntil this present day, the ordinary maintenance of the ministers of the Church before Popery, vnder Popery, & since Popery, hath beene by tithes, and not by some other sup­posed competent maintenance. Now is it probable, That should bee Gods ordinance for the ordinary & perpetuall maintenance of his Church (for that is the question) which at no time, in no age of the Church hath beene generally practised by the Church? And that insteed of Gods ordinance (all the lights of his Church beeing blinded) another course of mans inuention should generally from time to time bee approoued and ad­mitted?

4. But bee it supposed, that nothing particular and speciall can bee demanded; but onely the generall, a competent mainte­nance. Let vs enquire, if happely that may bee found, what is a competent maintenance. If any will shew it vs out of the word, thence wee are sure nothing can be shewed vnlesse it be tithes. If Tithes bee not it, I aske first whether it bee more or lesse then Tithes? If they will aunswere more; is there any hope that dis­claiming Tithes, in steed thereof a greater & richer portion may bee obteined? ‘Nay is it not very likely that many doo gladly heare of and fauour this conceit of a competent maintenance, in hope to drawe thereby the authors thereof to ouerthrow themselues, and so get yet a great parte of the tithes and other emoluments of the Church, which hitherto haue escaped the hands of spoilers, as a prey?’ Not a few will quickly learne this kind of Logicke; Ministers are to haue, by their owne confes­sion, but a competent maintenance: & what then should a mini­ster doo with so great a liuing, so much tithes? lesse by halfe is enough for a minister. If one refuse it, yet a great many other [Page 58] will bee glad with it, and acknowledge that they haue liuing sufficient too, &c. 2. If they will say, Lesse then tithes is a competent maintenance; doo they not then iustly prouoke against them the mindes of all that truely fauour learning, and duelie consider how it ought to bee honoured? doo they not then openly, without any colour at all, set open the doore vnto extreame impietie & sacriledge? making way, and as it were iusti­fying it, To haue all Church liuings, tithes, lands, & all long since consecrated vnto God, to bee prophaned, and turned into that whereof the land is already too full (and too lamentable expe­rience hath taught vs, is a great parte of the misery of our mi­nisterie, the ruine of learning and religion among vs) Impropria­tions?

Nay, doo they not speake manifestly against the scope of the scriptures,1. Tim. 5. 17. which teach, That the minister must haue double honour; that is, an honourable and liberall, and not a sparing and poore maintenance?1. Tim. 3. 2. must be a keeper of hospitalitie, and so bee able to entertaine others, aswellas to liue himselfe? must liue of the Gospell, 1. Cor. 9. 14 that is, haue such maintenance for his preaching of the Gospell, that hee may bee able to liue thereby alone, without any intermedling, for lacke of maintenance, in other trades of life: not sparingly and needily neither, but well and wealthily as becommeth his calling, and as did they by the altar, that waited on the altar: which cannot Ordinarily bee done, if his maintenance be lesse then the tenth.

Secondly, I demaund who shall (if the word of God doo not) determine what is competent? Shall the Clergie? It is likely they shall not bee admitted as competent Iudges in their owne cause. Shall the Laitie? What is then to bee expected, but that they will fauour themselues enough, and too much? will there not bee among them, Quot capita, tot sensa, as many men, so many minds. And as men are surprised with the affections of couetousnes, of contempt of the Gospell, disgrace of that calling, neglect of learning, and other like: so is it not likely one will detetmine this to bee competent, and another that, and the fewest of all come any thing neere the marke? and they (the ministers) bee inforced to accept that for competent, which is not, and to take that for suffitient many times, which is halfe lesse then enough?

[Page 59] And what remedie? For (seeing as they say, God hath sayd nothing to this purpose) they must beleeue others & not them­selues, That to be competent, not which they themselues know, but which others say is competent.

If already there had bene no tryall of the practise of supposed competencie, men might happely be thought to feare, where no feare were, and to suspect more then they had cause. But be­cause experience is the surest, though not alwaies the safest tea­cher: let vs heare from it, what (vpon perswasion no doubt, That a competencie onlie was required) men haue already determined vpon that point, and what good beginnings it hath made; and the è culmo spicam, ghesse while it is yet in grasse, what corne it is like to prooue.

1 It is not many yeares agoe, That tenne pound a yeare was held a competent maintenance for a minister, and according­ly some Church-liuings being seazed into lay-mens hands, in lieu thereof, there was allotted backe againe, either a few of the fragments thereof, then worth thereabout, or else a set stipend of like valew.

But how competent a maintenance that hath proued, as we cannot but with griefe consider, and had need with teares lament; so I feare many a damned soule in hell dooth feele. All confesse that such allowance is now incompetent: but who are they that amend it?A godly and necessarie motion. It were reason, that as the temporalities: themselues are by the alteration of times become woorth 4. or 5. happely 10. times so much as they were when such stipends and endowments were allotted out of them; so they should now increase the same accordingly, in such measure (at least) that a man might bee able to liue thereby now, as hee might haue done at that time by such allowance: and fit, in very con­science, That hee that takes all the paines, should haue, if not all, nor one halfe, yet at least a fourth or a fift part of the profit. But men haue so learned S. Paules lesson backward (that is, not Godlines is great gaine, 1. Tim. 6. 6. but gaine is god­lines) that nothing contrary therevnto soundeth well in their eares.

2. For our present daies, what doo men account now to be competent? Bee there not many that thinke twenty pounds a yeare enoughe? The ordinary reckoning and practise [Page 60] is fortie. Some few there be, that are so liberally minded toward the ministers, that they could wish, they had an 100. markes, or an hundred pounds a peece: and that were abundantly enough (if they bee not deceiued) for any minister. So that in all their opinions that talke of a competencie, and would bee the caruers thereof, if ministers will maintaine the generall, & lay-men may determine the particular; from 10. or 20. poūd. to an 100. poūd. is competent maintenance for any minister. But what cōpetency there is in these rates I leaue to others to iudge: this only added, That for mine owne parte, I thinke of them all caeteris Paribus, as once Demosthenes did of the counsels of certaine Orators in his daies which he resembleth to the dyets of sick men,Demosth. in Philip. which neither giue a man life, nor suffer him to die. And, for the opinion it selfe, of this supposed competencie, the more I doo consider thereof, & of the euils and inconueniences and mischiefes that it must needs bring with it (quite contrary to the nature of trueth, whose pro­pertie is, the more it is eyed, the fairer to appeare, & further to allure) the more am I drawne to dislike and reiecte it.

Leauing it therefore, Let vs come to the other opinion, viz. theirs which holde That by Gods ordinance, & Law yet in force, the minister ought to haue the Tithes for his maintenance. Which point I shall with the more alacritie & facilitie intreat of, because diuers euen of those that denie Tithes to bee de iure Diuino, Gods or­dinance for the ministers of the Gospell, doo yet graunt and affirme,Willet in Synop. cont. 5. qu. 6 err. 79. That to the end the minister may haue a competent maintenance, this is indeed, The most safe, indifferent, and surest waie to raise such a maintenance: yea, so excellent and good a way, as none better can come in place thereof.

A thing may bee sayd to be de iure Diuino, 2. maner of wayes: that is, either after a sorte, because it is grounded vpon Gods Law; or else absolutelie, because it is directly commaunded by the Law of God. According to the former sense there be that easily graunt, Tithes bee de iure Diuino: & that (vsing their owne words) in 2. respects. First, in respect of the equitie of the law in paying of Tithes▪ which is this, That the minister ought to liue of the people, and to haue sufficient and competent maintenance by them. Which equitie and substance ef the Law, beeing morall, ought alwaies to continue, beeing grounded vpon the Law of Nature, Thou shalt not mousle the mouth of the oxe that treadeth out the corne. [Page 61] Secondly, in asmuch as the lawes of the land and of the Church (Princes lawes) doo confirme this ancient and excellent consti­tution of Tithes, we are bound iure Diuino, to obey such lawes, beeing agreeable to the word of God; which commandeth obe­dience to our magistrates in all lawfull ordinance. To these wee may adde a third respect: and that is, The obligation wherewith the Church of Christ hath long since bound her selfe to the payment of the Tithes;Hooker Eccl. pol. lib. 5. § 79. hauing for many ages past, consecrated them vnto God. Whereby it commeth to passe, That howsoeuer at the first, Tithes might probably haue seemed mens owne, and men haue had some colour to vse them as they saw good: yet now, beeing made Gods by dedication, beeing giuen vp and yeelded vnto him for the seruice of the Church, they are be­come his proper inheritance; And therefore can not now, without open iniury to God, and his Church▪ without transgres­sion of his Law, bee alienated from God, taken from his Church, and put againe to common vse. Hee (I say) hauing thus long time beene in such sorte inuested with the possession of them, it is now altogether vaine and superfluous, to enquire wether they bee a matter of diuine right? Thus Quodammodò after a sort, in this sense, and in these respectes, the point con­trouerted is graunted. But because this concession doth not sa­tisfie the question it selfe, let vs examine the other sense also.

Now searching the scriptures for this matter, Gen. 14. & 28. wee shall finde that Tithes were payd by holy and godly men, as by Abraham and Iacob, before euer there was any law written, in the time of Nature. Whēce wee may not obscurely gather I thinke, That, to paie the Tenth, is a parte of the morall law; a dutie which God from the beginning required of man as His sacred Right. For those holy P [...]triarkes, no doubt, did nothing in that point, but what it was all mens dutie to performe▪ and are set foorth as examples and Presidents, in whom wee are to see what other godly men of those auncient ages and former times did accu­stome.

And herein I am the more confirmed, for that in prophane histories I doo finde, That the very heathen of those elder yeares, the time of Nature, vsed almost euery where to pay the very same portion, The tenth, vnto their imagined Gods. Some to Iupiter, as the Persians; some to Hercules, or Apollo, as the Ro­manes [Page 62] and Grecians: the Sabees and Aethiopians, to the sundrie gods which their countries worshipped: And in a word, as Fe­stus an auncient Storie-writer doth report, generally, decimam quaeque veteres dijs suis offerebant, All nations of former times offered to their gods the tenth. For how could it be, that all peo­ple, euen those that knew not the true God, yet should herein consent with the true worshippers? but that either by the light of nature, or by auncient tradition receiued euen from Noah and o­ther Patriarks, they had learned, that The tenth was Gods part.

If any will obiect, that the heathen did it by instigation of their gods, diuels indeed: [for, such a thing doth a certaine Chronographer of those times relate,Diod. Sicul. Bibl. lib. 5. cap. 2. as opening the reason how that custome Vouere decimam Herculi, To vow and pay the tenth to Hercules, tooke his beginning; saying, that Hercules (a diuell appearing in such a likenesse) being on a time friendly entertai­ned by Potitius and Pinarius, promised a happy life and increase of wealth, to all such as should offer to him the tenth of all their goods.] This is so farre from ouerthrowing that which I infer, that it helps not a little to the proofe thereof. For why else should it be,Why the diuel desi­red to haue the tenth. that the diuell should claime precisely that part, but because being an enemy to God, and desirous, as enuious of his honour, and as the Ape and imitator of God, to transfer vnto himselfe Gods worship, and to rob him of his glory and due e­uery way; as in sacrifices and oblations, so in tenthes likewise, he did assume and vendicate this part of Gods worship: as if not God, but he had beene the maker and owner of the world, and giuer of prosperitie and riches vnto men vpon earth.

The story of Iacobs payment of tythes carieth a greater shew of repugnancy, because it reporteth that he paide them vpon a vowe. Gen. 28. 20. saying; If God will bee with mee in this iournie which I goe, and will giue me bread to eate, and clothes to put on, so that I come againe vnto my fathers house in peace, then shall the Lord be my God, and this stone (which I haue now set vp as a pillar) shall bee Gods house; and of all that thou (O God) shalt giue me, I will giue the tenth vnto thee. Whereupon it is obiected by some, that Iacob paide them not as a morall duetie, but as a vow.

But that is easily aunswered. First, that Iacob had a respect to the couenant made with Abraham; namely, I will bee thy God and of thy seede, Gen. 17. 7. By vertue of which, hee was bound [Page 63] to shew himselfe thankefull as Gods seruant by outward seruice, whereof tithes were a part: and secondly, seeing it is manifest by manifold examples & practise of godly men, that it is no new thing nor vnusuall with the godly, by vowing to binde themselues to doe that which by the law of God and former duetie they are bound to performe (so to stirre vp their owne slacknesse, and enkindle their zeale to necessary obedience) what letteth but that wee may conceiue the like of Iacob in this case? Hee knew it (no doubt) to bee his duetie, to paye to God the tenth: yet partly to stirre vp his owne care and zeale; part­ly to testifie more apparantly his thankefull heart, which euen before blessings receiued, bethought it selfe what to render to the Lord for the same, receiued: partly, as abhorring and disclay­ming the prophanenesse of the world, which (likely) euen then began euery where to cast away the feare of the almightie, and to detaine to themselues as their owne, Gods part of their riches; he bindeth himselfe by speciall vow, to performe that which hee knew to be, though he vowed it not, his duety to doe. That I straine not his words from his meaning; he himselfe, by his for­mer words, being also a part of his vow, doth beare me witnesse. For, if you note the words well, he voweth three seuerall things. First, that the Lord shall bee his God; that is, That hee would worship and serue none other God. And it is out of al doubt (saith a very iudicious interpretour) that therein hee comprehended the summe of (his) pietie and religion. Secondly, that that stone shall bee Gods house; that is, that there where he had pitched the stone, hee would (as in Gods Tabernacle) serue God, build an altar, and offer sacrifices, &c. as Cap. 35. 1. & 7. verse. Thirdly, that of all that God should giue him, hee would giue the tenth to God; as the proper maintenance that belonged to the house of God, for the sustenance of the priests that should attend on the altar. Here no man I suppose will say, but that it was Iacobs duetie, euen without a vow, to serue and wor­ship God onely, to offer to him Sacrifices, &c. Yet doth he by vow promise to performe it. And therefore as because hee vowes those dueties, it followes not, else hee was not bound to haue done them: so neither doth it follow, because hee vowed tithes, therefore to pay them, was (else) no par [...]e of his dutie. It is more probable a great deale, that being a most religious and [Page 64] wise man, knowing that God delights not in rash and vnlawfull vowes, and knowing the payment of Tithes to bee acceptable vnto God; vpon mature deliberation resolueth, to the end his vow might please God, that should be a part thereof.

Thus notwithstanding any thing that can bee obiected, it ap­peareth by payment thereof before the Law, that to paie the tenth, is a part of the morall law, deriued from the very law of Nature. Whence it followeth, That such payment is in force still: for the morall law is perpetuall, as a duetie taught vnto man from the beginning, to continue to the end, so long as there remaineth a man vpon the earth. Which standing firme, this also must stand for firme, That such Tenth is now due to the ministers of the Gospell, because they are to vs as Gods Substitutes, as were the priests then. And therefore as one saith of Abraham paying Tithes; What Abraham owed vnto God, hee payd it vnto Mel­chizedec, as vnto God himselfe: So, what people owe vnto God (viz. Decimam) they ought to pay vnto the ministers of the Gospell, as vnto God himselfe.

To say it is a morall precept, To maintaine the minister, or to giue God some part of our goods, is but a weake euasion; forso­much as it euidently appeareth, that the Tenthe, and not any other, or any vncertaine part hath beene from the beginning payd vnto God, receiued by his Substitutes, & accounted Gods part: and that God himselfe so soone as hee maketh claime to his right, and once nominateth what it is, claimeth and calleth it by the name of the Tenth, as Leuit. 27. 30. Numb. 18. 20. saying, The Tenth is mine.

2. From the time of Nature, if wee come to the time of the Lawe; all doo know, That from Moses till Christ, the tenth of all things was accounted Gods part, & that the Lord made challenge therevnto as to his owne proper right and peculiar portion. The Tenth of the lande is mine. All tithes are holie vnto the Lorde, and I haue giuen the Tithes vnto Leui and his seed. And herevpon it is, that hee saith, that Hee is their inheritance: and that Malac. 3. 10. hee doth charge the people, that in withholding their Tithes and offerings they had robbed him, &c.

In these speeches and their like, wee must note two things: First the Lords right vnto Tithes. Hee claimeth that parte and none other: not an viij. or xv. or a xx. but the tenth precisely; as his [Page 65] owne proper inheritance. The tenth (saith he, is mine.

True it is, that all wee haue in a sense is the Lords, because All thinges are of him. 1. Chronicles 29. 14. And in that sense it is saide Psa [...]me 24. 1, The earth is the Lords and all that is therein, the round world and they that dwel in it: & Ps. 50. 10. All beasts of the forrest are mine, and so are the cattell vpon a thou­sand hilles. And saith our Apostle, what hast thou O man what euer thou bee, and whatsoeuer thou haue, which thou hast not receiued? But in this case God dooth cla [...]me the tenth to bee his in a more peculiar sense and sort; and that is not Iure Creationis, because hee hath made all: nor Iure Po­testatis, because hee hath the disposing of all; for in these senses the other nine partes are also the Lordes: but Iure Proprietatis siue Reseruationis, in respect of the very proprietie thereof, or by way of reseruation; because hauing giuen all the rest vnto the sonnes of men, he hath reserued vnto himselfe, to bestowe where hee will, the tenth, as his owne immediate right and por­tion, euen in a like manner as a Lord passing away his land to a tenant, reserueth yet for his owne vse, a certaine rent out of it.

The notice and consideration whereof no doubt moued some very learned and iudicious expositors, to intitle tithes by the name of a sacred and holy rent or tribute, as it were insinuating thereby, that as the land of Egypt (Gen. 47.) being sold into the hands of Pharao, there was reserued vnto Pharao, the first part of the increase thereof, as a rent or annuitie thereof, and the peo­ple allowed to take the other foure parts for the seede and for their labour, and for prouision for them and theirs: So the whole earth being Gods, and hee giuing it to the sonnes of men, hee hath not­withstanding for a token and acknowledgement of his soue­raigntie, reserued vnto himselfe, as a rent and sacred tribute for the whole, the tenth of all.

The other thing I note out of the words, is the bestowing of tithes. Tithes (saith God) are [...]ine. But to what vse? I haue giuen them (saith he) vnto the Sonnes of Leui for an inheritance. And why to Leui & his sonnes? for the seruice which they serue mee in the tabernacle, Num. 18. 1. And this teacheth vs, that in Israel so long as Leui serued at the altar, and wayted in the Tabernacle, so long [Page 66] he had right to Tithes. How right? Not Proprio iure, not by his owne proper right, but in the Lords behalfe, and by way of as­signation from the Lord, who had (to speake after our fashion) passed them ouer vnto Leui and his heires so long as their ser­uice did continue. These things being obserued, that is, first, the Lords right vnto Tithes, which cannot but bee perpetuall; then his assignation of Tithes to Leui, which was but temporary; and herewithall that the ministers of the Gospel are to God now in the steed of Leui, & do minister vnto him, not in the same but a more excellent forme; we may with great, and I think vndenia­ble probabilitie gather, that forsomuch as the Lords right vnto the tenth holdeth still, he hath Le [...]its to serue him still, his tem­ple and seruice to be attended still; that stil they ought to receiue that right on the Lords behalfe, which haue succeeded in the steed of those that receiued it heretofore.

To say, that the law of tithes ceased when Leuies seruice ended, is an argument of no force. First, because they were assigned not so much for the persons sake as for the office, the Seruice of God: which continuing though in another forme, doth necessarily require the continuance of the maintenance, vnlesse a better come in place, which is already graunted cannot bee. Second­ly, because the right and so the law of Tithes tooke not his be­ginning at Leui (for the payment of Tithes was not then first instituted, but assigned onely to whom for that time, and in that land, they should bee payd) It is therefore improbable, that the payment of tithes should end with Leuies seruice, which took not beginning thereat; but were Gods, and belonged to the priests of God, when as yet Leui had not the office: but reason & equity doth rather yeeld, that as the priests of God in time of na­ture, had them before Leui, and the law: So the Ministers of the Gospel should haue them now after the law, & since Leuies time.

Farther, we are to consider, that the assignation of tithes made to Leui pertayned onely to them that were vnder the law. Then, that those nations which liued without the law (written) could be no lesse bound to the payment of tithes euen in time of the law from Moses til Christ, then they were before the law from Adam till Moses: whereupon it must follow vndeniably, that howsoeuer the heathen fayled in this as in al other parts of Gods seruice, yet Gods right (for right according to our English prouerbe, neuer [Page 67] rots) continued among them still: and therefore if there had bin among them any godly worshippers, & priests of God, they both would and ought to haue paid tithes to those priests of the high God, & not to the sons of Leui; as Abraham, Iacob, and other godly men of their and former times, did pay the same to the priests that were in their daies. If all this be true, and what thereof can be denied I see not; then forasmuch as the preaching of the Gospel, is but a reuoking of them backe into the right way, that were gone astray, and a restitution of the true worship of the onely true God ouer all the world; what letteth that the ministers of the Gospel should not now haue restored vnto them also, what by continuall right belonged to the priests of God wheresoeuer the law raigned not from Adam vnto Christ? So that whether we consider of the ministers of the Gospel as successours in office (for the substance is still one) either to the seede of Leui vnder the law, or the priests of God without the law, it will be hard to shew why they should not succeede them both in maintenance aswell as in seruice.

Besides this, whereas there are in tithes two things to be con­sidered, that is, the Institution and Assignation, Gods proper and immediate right, and mans mediate and subordinate possession, the one respecting God himselfe as Lord of all, the other man, Gods ministers for the time being: can any man shew, nay wil any Diuine say, that God hath no longer any proper right & interest vnto the temporall goods of men on earth, but hath remitted vnto man that holy rent, that sacred tribute, which once, before the law, and in the law, in signe, and for an acknowledgement of his vniuersall Soueraigntie, he imposed vpon the wolrd? If that may not be affirmed, for all Diuines I thinke hold the contrary: what is or can be that Sacr. vectigal, if it be not Tithes? Who can shew vs any other? 2. or must we imagine, whereas in true wise­dome and good policie, all kings and princes of the world, all landlords, and proprietaries of the earth, doe impose vpon their subiects and tenants, their tributes, customes, rents, &c. Certaine, whereby the one may know stil from time to time, what to de­mand, the other what to pay; that God the fountaine of al wise­dome and author of al good policy, & order, and not of confusi­on, permitteth men now in time of the Gospel (as seeing the tenth to be gra [...]amen Ecclesiae, a burthē too heauy for hi [...] church, [Page 68] an exaction too hard and great for the world now to beare, and therfore repenting him of that course which for more thē 4000. yeares he had approued and continued to honor him with their goods in what proportion and quantitie they lust, to paie for tri­bute to him what they will? whereby neither he that paies it, nor he that on Gods behalfe requires it, may be able to say, This is it: I assure you, it soundeth not in mine eares. And therfore vntill the institution and right of tithes to God, aswell as the assignati­on of them to Leui, be prooued to bee voyd and at an end, I see no sufficient reason to yeeld, either that men ought not to pay them, or ministers to require and receiue them as Gods part stil.

3 From the time of the Law, let vs come to the time of the Gospel, and so from the old Testament (for proofes) vnto the new: & therein for orders sake, first, vnto our text it selfe. Where if we demaund of the Apostle, how much the minister must haue of his hearer, true it is, he doth not say expressely the tenth of all his goods, but a part. Make him (saith hee) partaker of all his goods. But if we may coniecture what, or how great a part hee should meane, forasmuch as we are assured that Saint Paul knew well, that the priests of God before the law, and the Leuits likewise in time of the law, had alwaies the tenth part, and that in the whole scripture there is no certaine parte but that, na­med to bee the Lords, or approued and assigned by name to any that serued in the worke of the Lord: what part may wee imagine that hee meant, but that which hee & all the learned, yea learned & vnlearned knew, had euen from the beginning of the world beene counted the Lords parte, & the priests portion? And it is more probable, that therfore in the new Testament, that point is not so directly handled as it was in the old, because by the old, it was already very manifest; then that the mention thereof was omitted, because it was to grow out of vse. For the alteration needed a speciall declaration, which the continuance needed not. And therefore in my opinion the Apostle must bee vnder­stood to speake of the tenth part, and not of any other, new, and neuer yet in vse. As if hee should say: Let the hearer make his teacher partaker with him of all his goods, according to the or­dinance of God, insuch maner and measure, as from the begin­ning it is not vnknowne that the seruants of God haue euer beene accustomed to receiue. As in a like sense, speaking of [Page 69] a thing already knowne wee say, Let such one haue his due: and in the Gospell, Math. 20. The Lord of the vineyard hauing first agreed with all the labourers for a peny a day, ver. 2. when Euen was come saith vnto his Steward, Call the labourers and giue them their hire. And it is the more probable, because he doth require expresly (as I haue already taught) that this part bee payd in specie in its kinde, and out of all such goods as a man hath, by due proportion, which was and is the true and ancient payment of the tenth. For speaking plainely of the maner how this part should by payd, hee might thereby easily bee conceiued what hee meant concerning the measure. How probable it may seeme to others I cannot tell: but this I know, That these considera­tions haue seemed to some & those very good Diuines (though contrary minded) so weighty, that they haue therevpon yeelded thus farre, That if any place in all the new Testament doo make for Tithes, it is specially this.

If the Apostle bee obscure in this place by reason of the bre­uitie of his writting, let vs see whether hee bee not more plaine in some other where hee is more large. Turne wee backe ther­fore to 1. Cor. 9. where, vpon another occasion hee dooth insist vpon this doctrine of the ministers maintenance. There ver. 13. taking an argument a simili, from them that ministred in the temple about holy things, and waited at the altar, how dooth he conclude? Ita etiam Dominus constituit, &c. So also, hath the Lord ordeined, that they which doo preache the Gospell should liue of the Gospell. Here it seemeth vnto mee, the Apostle plainely tea­cheth, That the same measure and the same maner of mainte­nance, which they had that once serued in the temple, and at­tended at the altar, is now allowed & assigned to them that serue in the Church and preach the Gospell. They were maintained in very liberall & cōpetent sort, so must these. Their maintenance was sealed & certaine, not voluntary, so must these. They were maintained by tithes & oblations, so must these. Their portion was of holy things, that is of Gods part, of things consecrated to God, so must the portion of these bee. Neither is it a matter of equitie onely, that it were fit thus it should be, or a humane con­stitutiō, supposing it were best so to bee: but ita Dominus constituit, or as others read, mandauit, it is the constitution, ordinance or commaundement of the Lord, that this ought to bee. The [Page 70] Lord, who hath a peculiar right to a certaine part of euery mans goods, hath thus appointed. As once God assigned ouer his tithes & other duties to the seed of Leui, because hee had separated them to serue in his Tabernacle: so now their seruice beeing ended, & hee hauing substitute in their roomes for the worke of the Gos­pell, not some certaine families of the earth, but Pastors and Tea­chers, whō it pleaseth him to call; To these, to the end they may liue by their ministerie as the former did by theirs, & bee incou­raged to the worke they haue in hand, hath bee assigned ouer that which the former had, viz. his Tithes and Offeringes. In a word, the Apostle speaking of a kinde of maintenance that is of Gods ordinance & not mans, established by the Lord, not deuised by man, allotted the preachers of the Gospel to liue vpon, & such a one as they had that ministred in the temple, and serued at the altar; let such as bee contrary minded prooue vnto vs, That their maintenance was not tithes: and then, & neuer tell then will wee yeeld, nor shall they bee able to prooue, That ours ought to bee, not Tithes, but some other thing. For it is euident by this place of the Apostle, That such as theirs was, ours must bee.

From this place of the Apostle, let vs proceed to another, & that is, Heb. 7. where hee maketh mention very often of Abrah. his paying tithes to Melch: which though he do to another end, yet by those his wordes, beeing about another matter, he sheweth withall, That Tithes pertaine vnto the ministerie of the Gospell as once they did to that of the temple. First of all it is euident by the Apostles words, that Melchizedec was a figure of Christ: whence it followes that Christ in the person of Melchizedec re­ceiued tithes of Abrahā, & that they are due no lesse to his priest­hood, then to that of Melch. But if Christ had right to tithes be­fore the law, hath he not the same right also since the law, in the time of the Gospell? For his priesthood being perpetuall, so must his right bee too. Farther, if wee consider of Melch. in his owne person, that is, not as a figure of Christ, but as the priest of God; if Melch. had right to receiue them in the behalfe of God, whose priest hee was, how much more Christ, who is a priest for euer af­ter the same order that Melchizedec was?

Touching Abraham, wee may consider of him, either as a priuate man, or as a Patriarke. As a priuate person in paying tithes, what other thing did he, but what was euery godly mans [Page 71] dutie to doo? which (saith a certaine learned writer) is so repor­ted, that thereby it may sufficiently appeare, that it was a custome or ordinarie thing among the godly of those times. And who can shew vs, that the godly are freed from that dutie since the law, which they owed to God before? Or, that God which accep­ted Tithes, as his sacred Right then, hath reiected it now? As a Patriarke, and father of the faithfull, if wee consider him; dooth not hee the father, by performing that duetie, shew in what steps his children ought to walke, whose ofspring wee are, not accor­ding to the flesh, but by that which is the surer side, by faith?

But what is all this to vs, that be ministers of the Gospell? very much euery way. For seeing we are in Christes steed, 1. Cor. 5. 20. & hee that receiueth vs receiueth Christ, Math. 10. 40; as Melch. beeing Dei subrogatus, Gods deputie, lawfully receiued at Abrahams hand what was due to God: so wee on Christes behalfe doo as lawfully claime & receiue of the hand of Christians what is Christes right. Which thing is not improbable that our Apo­stle respected, when 1. Cor. 9. the place before alleadged, he saith, The Lord hath so ordeined: as it were giuing vs thereby to vnder­stand, That such maintenance as the Leuits receiued in the Law as Gods right, for their seruice at the altar: such ought the mi­nisters of the Gospell receiue now in Christes behalfe for their seruice to him in the worke of the Gospell: because as God assig­ned it vnto his Leuits then, so hath Christ (who in the new Te­stament, by that title of Lorde, is commonly distinguished from God the father) vnto his ministers now. And as Abrah. the father of the faithfull was then to pay the tenth to the priests of God, as to God himselfe: so all the faithfull now, are to pay them to the ministers of Iesus Christ, as to Christ himselfe.

Now that I haue shewed warrant and proofe for this point out of scripture, I will adioyne also the testimonie and iudgement of the learned and ancient fathers and others of the Church: who wheresoeuer they speake any thing of tithes, so speake thereof, as generally in their times acknowledged to bee of diuine insti­tution; no man for well nighe a 1000. yeares (the depth of all corruption and blindnes) after Christ gainsaying them. This I do [...], aswell to confirme more fully that I haue auouched, as also to take away all pretext from such as shall thorough ignorance imagine this to bee but mine owne priuate opinion. They shall [Page 72] perceiue that I teach none other thing in this matter, then the auncients for many ages past haue done.

S. Origen liued within 200. yeares after Christ,Origen. not aboue 90. yeares after the death of S. Iohn the Apostle of the Lord. Hee writing vpon the booke of numbers, Hom. 11. and speaking of the Law of Tithes saith plainely, Hanc ego legem. This Law (of Tithes) as also some other, I (saith hee) doo thinke necessary to bee obserued still, according to the letter. And in the same place reproouing the people of his time for not paying tithes, hee hath these words, Quomodo abundat Iusti [...]a nostra? that is, how doth our righteousnes exceed the righteousnes of the scribes, & of the Pharises, if they dare not taste of the fruites of their ground, before that they bring foorth the first fruites to the priests & the tithes be separated for the Leuits? and I dooing none of these things, doo so abuse the fruites of the earth; that the priest knows them not, the Leuit is ignorant of them, and them the diuine altar feeles not? Againe in the same place; Non videtur huiusmodi anima habere memoriam Dei, that is, That person seemes not to remember God, not to thinke, nor beleeue that it is God that hath giuen him the increase which he hath receiued, which he so layeth vp as if God had no part in them. For if hee thought them to bee giuen him of God, he would know also, by rewarding the ministers of the Church, to honour God, with his owne gifts & rewards. And a little after, Indecens & magnū existimo, & impium vt is qui Deum colit, &c. ‘I hold it to bee a thing vnde­cent (saith he) vnworthy and impious, that hee which worship­peth God, and comes into the Church, who knows that the priests and ministers doe waite at the altar, and serue either in the word of God, or ministerie of the Church, should not of the fruits of the earth, which God (causing his sunne to shine, and sending raine in due season) doth giue,’ offer some part to the priests. And where our Sauiour saith, Math. 2 [...]. 23. speaking of Tithes, These ought yee to haue done, and yet not leaue the other va­don [...], that he expoundeth to bee a morall precept no lesse for the vse of Christians then of the Iewes: and so accounteth that by these words our Sauiour gaue his approbation for payment, of Tithes in time of the Gospel. So his iudgement is this, that the law of tithes, is still in force euen according to the letter: that Christ approueth the payment of them: that our righteousnesse [Page 73] doth not exceede the righteousnesse of the Scribes and Pharises, if wee pay them not: that that person forgets his dutie to God with omitteth it: that it is a thing in a Christian, vndecent, vn­worthy & impious not to giue to the ministers of the Church a part of those fruits and increase which God hath giuen him, &c.

Not many yeares after Origen, liued S. Cyprian. Hee, epist. 66. reproouing one Geminius Faustinus a minister, for intermedling in secular affaires,Cyprian. saith, That Ministers haue nothing to doo with se­cular affaires: but as the Leuits had no other busines but to attend the altar, so the Lord had prouided for ministers, that they might not bee drawne by wordly occasions from their holie bu­sines, but might liue honourably maintained with their brethrē, as they who receiued tithes of the increase of the earth. Hee saith that the Lord had prouided such maintenance for his mini­sters, alluding (it may seeme) to the place of the Apostle 1. Cor. 9. where he saith So hath the Lord ordained, &c. So, that is, as the Leuits and priests, ministring in the temple and wayting at the altar, liued of the same.

Three hundred yeares and more after Christ his time liued S. Hierome. Hierome. Hee writing vpon the Prophet Malac. cap. 3. where mention is made of Tithes saith, What wee haue said of Tithes, which once were giuen by the people to the priests and Leuits; vnderstand to hold in the people of the Church that now is. And a little after, The people of the Church (of Christ) are com­maunded to giue tithes. For the farther proofe whereof hee alledgeth S. Paul, 1. Tim. 5. 17. The elders that rule well are wor­thie double honour; expounding the word Honour there to signifie maintenance, and maintenance to bee Tithes.

In the same age though somewhat later,Ambrose. flourished S. Ambrose. In a Sermon de Quadragesima, hee hath these words. Quicun­que recognouerit in se, &c. whosoeuer shal cal to minde that he hath not faithfully payd his tithe, let him now amend that wherein he hath failed. What it is to pay faithfully? but that hee bring at no time, neither lesse, nor the worser sorte of his graine, or of his wine, or of the fruits of his trees, or of his cattell, or of his gar­den, &c.

Neere about the yeare of grace 400. liued S. Chrysostome: who writing vpon, Matthew, Homil. 41. saith directly, Iustitiam, Mi­sericordiam, & fidem. Iustice, mercy and faith hath God com­maunded [Page 74] for his owne glorie, but tithes for the maintenance of his ministers. And Hom. 18. teaching the husbandman how he may be a worthy Christian & doo good works though hee build no Churches, hee saith: Quasi ducta vxore velspōsa, &c. [...]n English; As toward thy wife whom thow hast maried, or thy virgin whom thou hast endowed, so bee thou affected toward the Church. As­sure it a dower: so shall the reward, (or as some read praedium the possession) of blessing bee multiplied vpon thee. For what good will there not come thereof? Is it a small matter I pray thee that thy vinepresse bee blessed? is it little that God of all thine increa­se dooth first receiue his part, the tenth? This furthereth much the peace or prosperitie of the husbandman. In all which words hee dooth onely teache, That men ought to pay tithes, affir­ming it to bee Gods ordinance, & calling them Gods part; but withall giueth these reasons why, viz. 1. because so the minister is to bee mainteined, and it is the meanes to haue a plentifull blessing vpon the rest.

I come now vnto S. Augustine, August. An. 420. who so succeeded the former in time, that when some of them were very aged, hee but began to write. Hee hath written of this matter more then any of the rest. There is extant one whole sermon of his de Decimis, tou­ching Tithes, besides many sentences thereof in other places of his workes, of which I will recite some. Tom. 10. Hom. 48, Hee hath these words:Reddite dictum est Caesari, &c. It hath beene sayd, Giue to Caesar those things that are Caesars, & to God the things that are Gods. Our foreelders therefore abounded in all kind of wealth, because they gaue to God his tenth, and payd to Caesar his tribute. But now because deuotion to God is gone, the oppression of the court is come vpon vs. We haue refused to lay out to God his tenth part, now therefore the whole is taken from vs. The Chequer hath that, which Christ hath not.’

Againe writing vpon the 146. Psalm. hee hath these. Exime partem reddituum tuorum, that is, Lay out a part of thy reuenues or increase. Wilt thou lay out the tenth? lay out the tenth then: though this be but little. For it is sayd thath the Phari­sies gaue the tenth also. And what saith the Lord? Except your righteousnes exceed the righteousnes of the scribes, and of the Pharisies, ‘ye shall not enter into the kingdome of heauen: and he whose righteousnes thine ought to exceed,’ giueth the tenth▪ [Page 75] but thow giuest scant the tenth of the tenth. Likewise Ser. de temp. Serm. 219. de Decimis. Deus qui dignatus est, &c. God (saith hee) which hath vouchsafed to giue vs all that wee haue, vouchsafeth to receiue againe the tenth thereof, yet so as shall bee profitable not for himselfe, but for our selues. And a little after, reprouing them that made no care to pay their tithes, he expostulateth with them in this sorte. Audi indeuota mortalitas; &c. which is. ‘Heare O thou mortal wight without deuotion. Knowest thou that what­soeuer thou hast is Gods? & wilt thou not giue to God the maker of al things any part of his owne? The Lord hath no need of thy goods. God craueth not reward but an hon: he requireth none of thine but his owne. He vouchsafeth to demaund the first fruites & tenthes of that thou hast from him, and doest thou couetously deny him?’ what wouldest thou doo if reseruing the 9. partes to himselfe, hee had left thee only the tenth? Hitherto out of S. Aug. Out of all which his words wee may note these specialties; That he counteth the tenth to bee Gods, as tribute to bee Caesars: calleth it Gods parte: saith that God receiuing it, re­ceiueth but his owne: that long before his time tithes were payd: and expoundeth and applieth the scripture for it; as before him, Origen and others had doone: and affirmeth that the paying of them is the meanes of plentie and blessing from God, as the withholding of them the cause of scarcity & oppres­sion among men, &c.

Long after S. Aug. viz. about Anno 600. liued S. Gregorie. Gregorie. Hee Hom. 16. vpon the Euangels hath these words, Suut offerre in lege, &c. that is. As yee are commaunded in the Law (deare brethren) to offer vnto God the tenth of your goods, so striue to offer also the tēth of your dayes. Wherein expressely he applieth the pre­cept of tithes written in the law vnto Christians, so teaching, or rahter taking it as a trueth without question & cōtrouersie, That Christians are commaunded by Gods Law to pay Tithes.

To whom agreeth Beda, Beda. that liued about an hundred yeares after him: who in a treatise that he intituleth Scintillae insisteth vpon the point, and prooueth by scripture and by fathers, Tithes to bee due, inferring out of S. August. among the rest this sen­tence. ‘Tithes are required of dutie: and them who that will not pay, dooth invade goods that are not his owne, asmuch to say as he is an oppressour or extortioner.’

[Page 76] Of the same minde is Caesar Arelatensis, Caesar Arela. saying; Tithes bee no priuate mans, no lay mans goods, but the Churches right.

To all these, as it were a Summist of them all, I will adioyne Strabo a storie writer,Strabo. who lib. de reb. Eccl. cap. 87. maketh this collection; Decimas Deo & Sacerdotibus, &c: which is to say; That Tithes ought to bee giuen to God and his ministers, Abraham by his facts, and Iacob by his vowes doo insinuate: besides the Law (of God) hath so appointed, and all the holy Doctors (of the Church) doo consent and testifie.’

From particular men let vs come to generall councels: so shall wee see not onely what some, yet of the best, but what all the learned of former ages thought of this matter; consenting as it were vno ore, as vpon a trueth vndeniable, that Tithes euer were, & stil are due, De iure Diuino.

Anno Dom. 580.Concil. Matisc. was held Concil. Matisconens. the second. In the 6. Canon wherof, it was thus decreed; Leges Diuinae Sacerdotib. & ministris Ecclesiarū consulentes, &c. ‘Which in English is to this effect: The Lawes of God prouiding for the priests & ministers of Churches, haue commaunded all people, that, as their inhe­ritance, they should pay them in the holy places the Tenths of their increase; that so beeing intangled with no wordly labours, they may be at leasure to attēd their spiritual ministeries. Which lawes all Christendome haue for many ages past, kept inuiola­bly: wherevpon we doo ordaine & constitute that all people doo bring in their Tithes Ecclesiasticall accordingly. And if any shal contumaciously breake our decrees, let him be excommunica­ted.’

Neere about an hundred yeares before this councell, was held the first councell of Orleaunce, which affirmeth also the same.

In the time of Charlemaigne, Duriens. Sy­nodus. Anno 779. followed Duriens. Sy­nodus: wherein Cap. 10. it was decreed, That Tithes should bee payd, and that they which refused so to doo should hee compel­led therevnto; not only by the excommunications of the Church but also by the officers of the common-wealth.

About 30. yeares then next ensuing, viz. Anno 813. was held Synod. Moguntina. Synod. Mo­gunt. In the which they thus determine; Admonemus vel praecipimus, vt decimae de omnib. dari non negligantur, &c. Wee admonish or commaund (saith this counsell) that Tithes of all [Page 77] things being due by Gods law, ‘bee not neglected to bee payd, because God himselfe hath appointed them vnto himselfe to be payd. For it is to bee feared (marke their reason) lest who­soeuer with draweth from God his due, happely God, for that his sinne doe take from him his necessaries.’

Concil. Rothomag. Concil. Rothomag. is thus cyted by Gratian. Caus. 16. q. 1. Omnes decimaeterrae, siue de frugib. siue de pomis arborum, domini sunt, &c. All the tenth of the earth, whether it bee of fruits of the ground, or of the trees, are the Lords, and they are sanctified vnto him▪ Sheepe, Bullockes, Goates, and whatsoeuer passeth vnder the rod, euery tenth thereof shall bee accounted holy vnto the Lord.

Concil. Tribur. cap. Concil. Tribur. 13. saith thus, Quid si diceret dominus, Nempe meus es homo, mea est terra quam colis, measeminaquae spargis, mea animaliaquae [...]ginas, meus est solis ardor, &c. that is, ‘What if the Lord should say, Truely thou O man thy selfe art mine: mine is the earth which thou tillest: mine is the seede which thou so­west, mine are the cattell which thou feedest: mine is the heat of the sunne, &c. And whereas all being mine, thou which lendest mee but thy hand, deseruedst but only the tenth part, yet doe I allow thee nine parts. Giue me therefore my tenth. If thou wilt not giue mee my tenth, I will take away thy nine: If thou giue me my tenth, I will multiplie thy nine. If any therefore do make a question, why Tithes are payd? Let him know, that therefore they are to be giuē (Two notable reasons) First, that God by such deuotion being pacified, may more abundantly giue vs neces­saries: & secondly, that the ministers of the Church being there­by releeued, may be the more free to the fulfilling of their spi­rituall exercises.’

And in the decrees (the Canon law of all Christendome) Ex­tra de decimis, cap. 14. Parochiano, these words are read; ‘Forsomuch as Tithes haue their institution not from man but from the Lord himselfe, they may be required, as a due debt.

Time will not permit me to recite all: diuers other ancient councels haue determined the same things. These cited, being the common voice and full assent of all the learned of the first and best times, doe plainely and aboundanly testifie That Tithes are still due by Gods law, holy to the Lord, his due ordained by God, &c. They doe not challenge them at all, as due by the rule of equi­ty, [Page 78] much lesse by positiue law and constitution of princes, but by Gods ordinance. True it is, that the lawes imperiall, the lawes of seuerall nations and kingdomes, doe mainetaine and ap­prooue tithes: but we must vnderstand it thus (and so no doubt in auncient times the lawmakers themselues intended) as con­firming and restoring to the Church, that which they had learned by the generall and vncontroulled doctrine of their owne and former ages, to be the Churches in right, as did the godly kings and rulers in Israel, Ezechias, Iosias, Nehemias, &c. which resto­red to the Leuits their appointed portions, and brought againe to the house of God the tithes, first fruits, offerings, &c. which in currupt times had beene withdrawen. This is manifest enough by that already alleadged out of the Fathers. For thereby, it may appeare, that tithes were claimed and paid to the Church, before there were any Christian Magistrates to confirme them by law. For Constantine surnamed the great, who was Emperour about the yeare 300. was long after Origen and Cyprian; and yet hee (as faith Hermannus Gigas) was the first that euer we read of, to haue made any law, that tithes of all things should be paid to al Chur­ches. Foure hundred yeares at least after whose time (as Kranti­us in Metropoli sua lib. 1. cap. 8.Krantius. doth note) it was that Charles the great did also remit to Christians their tributes, and in steede of of them assigned tithes vnto Churches & bishops. And it is yet more apparant by that which antiquity recordeth of Dionisius Dionisius. that was Bishop of Rome before the daies of Constantine almost an hundred yeares, how that he made diuision of parishes, assig­ning seuerall Churches to seuerall ministers, and assigned tithes & lands accordingly vnto them all. Adde to these the testimony of S. Augustine before mentioned, Maiores nostrl, &c. For he, li­uing not aboue an 100. yeares after Constantines raigne, saith yet that their foreelders vsed to pay tithes; giuing vs thereby to vn­derstand that that custome had beene auncient, euen before any princes were Christian, to make lawes to that purpose.

Concerning the present time, if I were alone, hauing so many of the auncients on my side, I neede not feare the cause much. Truth chaungeth not with times; nor is to bee measured by multitude. But God be thanked I am not alone. For howsoe­uer some and those learned men of our Church bee con­trary minded; the greater Number, I assure my selfe, doe goe [Page 79] with mee. I doe but as a le [...]rner, sitting at the feete of so ma­ny worthy Gamaliels, subscribe vnto their reuerend iudge­ments.

If any enquire what the learned of other Churches think, the testimonies of a few may giue vs a probability of the rest. Iunius saith thus;Iu [...]ius. Tithes by allawes (that is, by the law of Nature, of Moses, of Christ; and of nations) haue for euer beene hallo­wed vnto God. R [...]dulphus Gualter Gu [...]lter. though he be Caluins imita­tor, and as it were Commentator in his Homil. vpon Math. cap. 23. dissenting from him in this point, saith plainly, These things (speaking of tithes) ought to bee transferred to the Church of the new testament. And a little after; Nec est quod aliquis deci­marum legem, &c. That is, neither is it to any purpose for any one to say, that the law of tithes was abolished together with the ceremonies of Moses law. For by what arguments may it euer bee prooued, that that law of Tithes was euer by God abroga­ted? Zepperus differs as not in minde,Zepperus. so almost not in wordes from Gualter; for de leg. lib 4. cap. 10. thus he hath: A [...] quibus argu­mentis. &c. And by what arguments shall it be prooued that law of tithes to haue beene by God at any time abrogated? And againe. Quemadmodum in quartodecalogi praecepto; Euen as in the fourth precept of the decalogue, that which is ceremoniall is ceased, the morall parte remayning: so at this time, tithes are a parte of that stipend, which by the law of God and of nature, is due to the ministers of the Gospel, for their labours in their office.

Now that we haue seene, what God, what the auncient Fa­thers and reuerend councels, and some of our late, but learned writers haue determined vpon this point, I trust I may safely without preiudice to the truth, or doubt of errour conclude with them, and maintaine what I haue so oft affirmed, viz. that tithes are still due euen by the law of God; The right and ordinary meanes for maintainance of the minister, & (which is our princi­cipall question) That very part and quantitie which euery man out of his goods increase ought to giue to that vse. Herein If I doe erre, I will not say as Ieremy did, cap. 20. 7. O Lord thou hast deceiued me, and I am deceiued: but this I may well say; The pillers of the Church haue failed vnder me: the lights of the world haue blinded [Page 80] me: the guides of Israel haue led me out of the way: the fathers of the people haue caused me, desiring to walke in their steps, to wander: with whom, so many, so holy, so learned and so auncient, while I doe erre, if the olde prouerbe (Cum Platone errare tutissi­mum) be worthy any respect, I feare and care the lesse.

Well: be it that it bee most true, that the tenth is Gods part and so the ministers,Obiection. yet what is that to such as haue no lands, no fields, no cattel, no fruits of the earth, &c? What is that to trades­men, artificers and other like, which liue by their imployments, by their labour and industry?

To such an obiection I answere thus:Answere. First, Bee it thou haue no lands, no fields, nor cattell, &c. Yet, if thou dwel vpon the face of the earth,Small it is maruaile but thou hast part of the earth more or lesse,Tithes. an orchard or a garden at least. And if thou graunt that Tithes ought to be paid of the fruits of the earth, then must thou by thine owne confession, pay tithe of thine orchard, and thy garden be it little or great, as doth the husbandman of his field, his medow, his cattell, &c. If it be a small matter, yet some­what it is: and where is but little, euen a little is worthy the recei­uing, and it cannot but be sinne to withhold it. Marke but our Sauiours words, Math. 23. And thou shalt see plainely that those minutae decimae small tithes, as the law tearmes them, are to be paid aswel as the greater. For there he speaking of the Pharisies that payd Tithe of their Rue, annis, mint, cummin, and of euery o­ther herbe, all garden hearbs, as euery woman can tell, saith ex­presly, that as they ought to haue done weightier matters: So this, though a small thing, they ought not, (as they did not) to leaue vn­done. Which speach of Christs, as I haue already shewed, in the iudgement of S. Origen containes a precept for Christians now, as well as an approbation of that the Pharisies, in that point, did then. And as we doe spie day at a little hole, and try how good the tree is, by the taste of one of the fruites: So by this little, try­all may be made, and notice taken, how good, or how euil a pay­er of tithes thou wouldest be, if thou hadst possessions and great store of lands and cattell as the husbandman hath. It is our Sa­uiour [...] owne rule and therefore currant, Luk. 16. 10. Hee that is faithfull in the least, he is faithfull also in much: and hee that is vniust in the least, is vniust also in much. If therefore thou haue not great and many tithes to pay, yet pay thou thy few and smaller tithes [Page 81] faithfully. As Zachariah and Elizabeth are commended for iust, in that they walked in all both precepts and ordinances, that is both greater and smaller obseruances of the law of the Lord without reproofe: so is it the part of a iust m [...]n, to make a conscience of euery duty small and great.

Secondly, be it that thou haue no fields, nor lands, nor cat­tell, and such like, that yeeld such kinde of tithes, yet if thou haue other kinde of goods,Personall tithes. there is a kinde of tithe, marke well what I say, there is a kind of tithe to be paide of those kind of goods that thou hast: as of fish, of foules, of spoiles in warre, of money gay­ned by trade,S. August. by art and labour. S. Augustine, as hee wrote of this matter de decimis most of any of the Fathers, so is he playnest of all other. Serm. de Temp. Ser. 219. de dec. he saith di­rectly, Quodsi decim [...]s non habes, &c. But (saith hee) if thou haue not tithes of the fruites of the earth as the husbandman hath, yet whatsoeuer meanes thou hast to liue by, it is of God: & of that whereby thou doest liue, he demandeth tithes. Pay thou therefore tithes of thy warfare, of thy trade, and of thy handy­craft. Thus preached, and wrote, S. Augustine for 12. hundred yeares agoe and therefore it is no new opinion: he goes farther and giues reason why this kind of tithe should be payd as well as the other. Aliud. n. pro terra dependimus, aliud pro vsura vitae pen­samus: that is, The one kinde of tithe we pay for the vse of the earth (which we possesse) the other for vse of our life vpon the earth. Pay therefore O thou mā, whatsoeuer thou be, thy tithes; because thou dost possesse the earth, and because thou art vouch safed thy life: his proofe is; For thus saith the Lord: Euery man shall giue a redemption of his life: and so shall there not bee a­mong them any plague or sicknes. The place of scripture he al­leadgeth, is Exod. 36. 12. Whence this father gathers that e­uery man is to pay to god a tribute of his goods such as hee liues by.

S. Ambrose S. Ambrose. writeth to like effect in a Sermon, he hath de qua­drages. Q [...]icunque recognouerit inse quod fideliter non dederit decimam &c. The same in Pag. 73. Whosoeuer (saith he) shall call to minde that he hath not faithfully paid his tithes, let him now amend that wherein hee hath failed. What is it to pay faithfully? but that he offer and bring at no time, neither lesse, nor the worser sorte of his graine, or of his wine, or of the fruits of his trees, or of his garden, or [Page 82] of his trade, or of his very hunting. With these agreeth S. Gregory, saying (as in the decrees he is alleadged) Extra de dec. cap. 23. Ex transmissa. Fidelis homo, de omnibus quae licitè potest acquirere, deci­mas erogare tenetur. [...]. Euery faithfull man is bound to pay tithes of all such goods, as he can lawfully get.

According hereunto, whereas the first and most auncient lawes, as well temporall as Ecclesiasticall, run in general tearmes, Decimae de rebus omnibus: Tithes of all things; the Canonists and other Lawyers as well of former as of later ages willing and ende­uouring to explane the same by specialities, haue inuēted, appro­ued & hitherto continued that vulgar & knowne distinction of Tithes prediall and personall. By prediall meaning such as arise of the increase of the earth:Pet. Rebuff. tract. de dec. by personall such as arise of goods gotten by labour and industry whether they be gotten (saith a very famous Lawyer) by handicraft, industry, science, warfarre, trafficke, or any other lawfull act. And so doe all agree vpon the point, That euery man is to pay one kinde of tithe or other: viz. prediall if hee be a husbandman, personall if hee be and quate­nus as he is a tradesman, artificer, &c. Of such goods as a man hath and liues by himselfe, they determine that God and his Church must still haue some or other parte. Hee that is taught, of what vocation and course of life soeuer he be, must make his teacher partaker with him of all such goods as hee hath.

Reason and equitie doe consent it should be so. For as in the common-weale, it is but reason that in subsides and other dueties to the King, &c. one sorte of subiect bee taxed as well as another: So in the Church for the seruice of God. It is a weake plea for a trades-man, an artificer, a townesman, a cit­tizen, that is of wealth competent, to say I haue no lands, therefore I ought not to bee seazed to subsidy: it suffiseth that hee bee found worth thus much in landes or in goods. And as bad and weake a reason it is to say, I haue no lands, no corne, nor cattell, therefore I ought to pay no tithe. If thou haue other kinde of goods, pay of those thou hast. God requires a parte of that a man hath; and not of that, hee hath not. Giue therefore to God, that which is Gods, as well as to Caesar that which is Caesars.

2 Further, looke vpon the vse whereunto the tithes are assig­ned by God and man: what is it but the maintainance of [Page 83] the minister? now haue not townesmen vse and neede of the Gospel? of the ministerie? of teachers, as well as husbandmen? Why then is it not reason they yeelde thereunto the due and appointed maintenance as well as they? Haue they other meanes equiualent? wee know of none: the ministers find none. The very law of nature saith The laborer is worthy of his hire, for whom­soeuer it be that he doth labor. Why should any then looke that men should labour for them, gratis. The law of God and man hath appointed this, Tithes to be the hire of the Minister, his wages for his worke in the Gospell. Why then should any sort of people denie or withhold it? They that will haue spirituall things must render temporall. Otherwise, a man hath no reason to account himselfe bound to labour for them as his hearers, that will not intertaine him as their teacher. They that contrary to the law, which saith Forsake not the Leuit, all daies of thy life, forsake the mi­nister, & Keeping from him his appointed maintenance, Deut. 12. leaue him to seeke the bread of his body, where he may; haue no wrong done them,Hos. 3. 4. if they be forsaken, and left without Ephod and without Te­raphim, to seeke for the foode of their soules where they wil; and are little to be pitied though they wander from sea to sea, & from the north to the east,Amos. 8. 12. running to and fro, to seeke the worde of God, and yet finde it not, because they haue brought such famine vpon themselues, and reap but such fruites as their owne hands haue sowne. Their owne bloud bee vpon their owne heads, that will prefer riches before Religion, earth before Heauen, the world before God, & the welth of their body to the health of their soul.

From proofe let vs come to practise: to which purpose if en­quirie and search be made, all ages and times will affoord vs re­cord sufficient, when, where, & by whō such tithes haue bin paid.

The first Tithes that euer wee reade to haue beene paid, were those that Abraham paid to Melch [...]zedec. And what kind of tithes were they? If the common translations of the Bible de­ceiue vs not, the text of holy Scripture, Heb. 7. 4. telleth vs, They were tithes of the spoiles, the tenth of the bootie taken in battell, that is, Personall tithes.

2 Concerning the Isralites whether they paid thē or no I wil not contend. It is as probable, yea, as no. First▪ by the words of the law, which after an enumeratiō of some particulars vseth this general terme al the tēth in Israel, Tithes of al things. Nū. 18. 21. 2. Chro. 31. 5. [Page 84] Secondly, by their certaine and knowne practise in other things, namely in al kind of offerings & sacrifices to be performed vnto the Lord. In those there was no difference among them betwixt one and other, but the one sort were bound to performe them, as wel as the other. The law is plaine for it, Exod. 12. 49. but speci­ally, Nū. 15. 13. Al that are borne of the countrie shall do these things, thus: and one law, and one maner shall serue for both. They that had not beasts of their owne for sacrifice, must buy them of others, &c. Now as they were to prouide thē offerings for the Lord by such goods as they had; likely it is, they were also to pay tithes for the maintenance of the Leuits and priests of God, of such goods as they had. Thirdly we do read Num. 31, That being returned from battel, the Lord did expressely require, by the name of The Lords tribute, a certaine parte of the bootie, as one of 50. & of 500. one, lesse indeede a great deale then a tenth, yet bearing proportion to a tenth. And whether it may be accounted a right personal tēth that is diductis expensis, the expenses diducted, let others iudge. It doth shew vs at least thus much: That God would by some part of that which was gotten, be acknowledged to be the giuer of the whole, and authour of the victorie. And that such custome continued in Israel, we may not obscurely gather, 1. Chro. 26. 26. where we read, That of the battailes and spoiles taken in warre Dauid the king & the chiefe Fathers, the captaines ouer thousands & hundreds, and all the captaines of the armie, and besides them, Samuel the Seer, Saul that had bin King, Abner the son of Ner, Ioab & others, had dedicated (according as the Lord commanded, Nu. 31. say some expositors) such an abundance of treasure, that there were trea­surers, men of great name, elected & deputed for keeping therof.

Fourthly, The Leuits themselues, hauing none inheritance of lands, &c. yet did pay to the priests the tenth of their tenth: & that was accounted vnto thē, as we read Nu. 18. 27, as the corne of the barne, & abundance of the winepresse. If the Leuits themselues that receiued tithes of others must & did pay tithe of that they had, is it not probable, that others of what condition soeuer they were for whom the Leuits serued, did pay of that they had, which might, be acounted vnto thē, as the corne & wine to the husbād-mā, & & as the tenth of the tenthto the Leuits? & doth it not intimate, that by such meanes as a mā hath, & doth himself liue by, he ought to cō ­fer to the maintenance of the minister; who must liue by him, because [Page 85] hee laboureth for him. Fifthly, Luk. 18. 12. our Sauiour brings in a Pharisie speaking proudly I graunt, yet truely thus: I giue tithe of all that euer I possesse. Herevpon I aske first, whether in the person of this one Pharise, bee not expressed vnto vs the ac­tions of them all? and in this point, of the whole nation? then, whether all Pharisies were husbandmen onely, or whether [...]t bee not probable, That some of them were artificers as Paul, Lawiers as Gamaliel, townesmen, as they that dwelt at Ierusaelem, &c And thirdly, if beeing townesmen, tradesmen and artificers, they did giue tithe of all that they possessed, whether it must not ne­cessarily follow, That they gaue Tithes of their trades, labours, stipends, &c. seeing goods gotten that way, bee part of that a man dooth possesse aswell as cattell, corne, &c. and is the same to him, that the field, the tree, the beast, &c. is to the husband­man?

Sixtly, Admit (contrary to so euident probabilities) that the Iews did not pay any personall tithes, yet it followes not by and by, that therefore Christians ought not. For the case is not al­together like. Because their priests and Leuits dwelt together, either at the house of God or in other their owne Cities assigned them as their peculiar possession by the lot of God, vnder the hand of Iehoshuah, and did not dwell so dispersed as the ministers of the Gospell doo and must, viz. in euery Citie, towne and vil­lage. Our maner of habitation therefore dooth necessarily re­quire that which theirs did not: that is, That the minister of euerie place, haue his maintenance according to the place; viz. by prediall tithes where are prediall, and by personall tithes where are per­sonall. Otherwise, seeing in Lawe and equitie too, there is no compartition betwixt ministers of the Gospell as was among Leuits for their tithes; either such places, where prediall Tithes are not, must bee without ministers for lacke of maintenance, or else the ministers hauing little or nothing must (as commonly they doo, but woe bee to them by whom it commeth) liue not like their brethren that haue prediall tithes, minister like; but, as if they were the drudges and dregs of the world deseruing no reward, beggarlike. And to this agree the words of the Apostle who saith, 1. Cor. 9. That the minister should eate (as the sheep­heard) of the milke of his owne flocke: drinke (as the husband­man) of the fruit of his owne wine: be fed (as the oxe) of that [Page 86] corne which himselfe dooth thresh out: and as our text decla [...] plainely) [...]ee made partaker of all his goods, whom hee dooth teach in the word. Which is not obserued, vnlesse as the hus­bandman yeelds him tithe of his corne, of his cattell, of his fruites, &c. so the fisherman yeeld him tithe of his fish▪ the fou­ler of his fowles, the Soldiour of his pray, the hireling of his wages, the tradesman and artificer of their monny gotten by their labour, art & industrie, &c.

3. From the Iewes if we goe to the heathen to search for this matter, their stories doo abundantly testifie that touching their bootres & pray taken in warre it was an ordinary thing with them to pay Decimas the tithes thereof (as Abraham had doone to the true God) to some or other of their imagined Gods. As, [...] Generall among the Greeks, hauing gotten a notable victorie against the Persians, Decimae seposuae, the Tithes of the pray were layd aside to sacred vse, & employed part vnto the ho­nour of Apollo, part of Iup [...]ter, & part of Neptune. Sabellic. Aenead. 3. lib. 2. pag. 339. Camillus Dictator amōg the Romanes, subduing the Veians, Tithes were payd vnto Apollo. Liui. Decad. pri. lib. 5. The Carthiginians payd vnto Hercules the tenth of their Sicilian pray. Dauell. pag. 464. Of other goods to pay the tenth was hap­pily not so vsual among them, yet not altogether without exam­ple. For as Plutarch in Lucullo reporteth of Lucullus a Romane Citizen and a rich, that he obserued the vse of paying tithes to Hercules: so Diodor. Sicul. Biblith. lib. 5. Cap. 2. dooth testifie. That not Lucullus one he, but also many Citizens of Rome, & not onely those of meane wealth, but likewise they that were esteemed the richest of them all, vsed to pay Decimas the tenth of their goods to Hercules. Thus it appeareth that the heathens also vsed to pay personall tithes aswel as prediall.

4. Desc [...]nd wee lastly vnto our selues, that is vnto Christians▪ And what hath beene accustomed all Christendoome ouer for many 100. of yeares together, is not obscure to perceiue nor difficult to gather, by the number infinite almost of Decrees, Lawes, constitutions, discourses & writings that are extant at this day to bee read of all men touching this sorte of tithes aswell as other. Among the which, our owne English. Statutes [...] made since the abādoning of Popery in the daies of the worthy & renowned Kings of most famous memorie, King Henrie the eight, and K. [Page 87] Edward the sixt, deserue remembrance. In the preamble wherof all such as shal attempt to withhold their tithes either prediall or personall are branded with the note of euill disposed persons; and in the body wherof is at large expressed the ne [...]ner how such kind of tithes ought to bee payd. And what? Shall wee offer that vnto the makers of such lawes and constitutions to imagine that they enacted such things as they either knew ought not, or they in­tended should not be put in practise? Or that vnto our forefa­thers & other auncient Christians, That they liued vnder lawes lawlesly? gaue the [...]r superiors leaue to decree what they would, but tooke libertie to themselues to obserue what they listed? & made no conscience to pay such Tithes as the lawes both of the Church and land informed and required them to pay? If wee would; yet the memorie of former times wil conuince vs to our faces, seeing it is not vnknowne vnto the present age in what wealth and good estate the ministers of the Church in former daies as well in towne as country did liue. For how could that bee, except that people then had made a conscience to pay all maner of Tithes, & acknowledge personall tithes to bee no lesse due then prediall?

5. For our owne time it can not bee denied, That in London, and some few other places that are tyed therevnto by auncient composition, (And happie were our land, and blessed shall hee be that effects it▪ if the like were established the whole land ouer) they are still yearely payd, to the glory of God, great good of the Church, & content both of pastour and people. If in other places where such composition lies not; they bee not payd either by computation, or other reasonable composition, yet that they ought to bee payd is a case most cleare. And the withhol­ding of them can bee none other but a most grieuous sinne to God, wrong to his Church, preiudice to learning, hindrance to religion, & decay of our ministery. Of which there is no hope it may bee furnished with learned and able teachers in townes and Cities specially, where at this day they are most wanting, & yet most needfull, to bee had; vnlesse people be drawne either by instinct of conscience, or strength of good & able lawes, to the due, or at least much better performance of this dutie.

Thus scripture, fathers, reason, lawes and practise affirme that there are two sortes of Tithes to bee payd, viz. [...] and Personall. That the tradesman, artificer, &c. must pay a kinde of [Page 88] Tithe of such goods and profits as [...] hath, aswell as the hus­bandman dooth of his.

But, what kinde of Tithe? (for that I willed before to bee noted) what? a full Tenth of all hee receiues, as dooth the husband­man of all that which to him increaseth? herein I acknowledge some difference. Neither will I about it dissent from them in wh [...]se steps I haue traced hitherto. The common determina­tion of the learned and Lawes in this behalfe both is and hath beene, That the tradesman, artificer, &c. shall pay the tenth of his cleare gaines, that is, Expensis d [...]ductis, his ordinary and necessary charges from the whole beeing first deducted. By which aduan­tage it must came to passe, That whereas the husbādman payeth int [...]gram Decimam, an entire Tenth, one of euery Tenne, it may so fall out, according to the greatnes or smalnes of the expen­ses, that the other shall pay but one of xij. or xv. of xx. or xxx. happely of fifty, which yet is still called (rather I thinke for the relation it hath to that number, then for the proportion or quantitie it selfe, and for auoiding confusion) a tithe or Tenth.

See now good Reader, This is that Durus Sermo, that hard saying, that vnreasonable motion, whereof who can abide the hearing? But let no man bee offended without cause. Let all things bee considered well and weighed in equall ballance, and what hardnes, what extremitie, is there in this? whē as the trades­man, the artificer, &c. in regard of his charges, labours, aduen­ture, &c. is so much fauored more then the husbandman, that where the one bath but nine parts for his labour and charges whatsoeuer it bee, th'other may haue 2. 3. 4. or 5. times so many parts or more to himselfe for his charges? What, because it is no reason, by reason of his much charges, and many casualties, hee should pay an entire tenth, which no body dooth demaund no [...] affirme; is it reason therefore, he should pay no tithes at all? honour God with none of his goods? reward the minister that giues him spirituall things, with none of his temporall? What? nothing but his accustomed offerings? For so some sticke not to stand vpon it,viz. 2. pence [...] [...]eece at [...]aster. That they which haue no lands, cattell, &c. ought to pa [...]e nothing but their offerings; except (forsooth) they will of their owne good wills (as if their minister were their almesman) giue him anie more: A speach so deuoide of sense and reason, that I wonder it can come out of the mouthes of such as will seeme [Page 89] to guide their words by reason, and their action by religion. For is there any law that saith: None shall pay Tithes but such as haue lands, cattell, &c? Doth not our owne Statute law, (which yet of all other is most fauourable to the people in this case) and the Canon Law, speake directly of 2. sorts of tithes, Prediall & Perso­nall? And whereas the accustomed offerings are so small, that it is not possible they alone might be able to maintaine a minister in any sorte, no not in the greatest parish in England: may it bee imagined, that any lawmakers should but intend such a thing, viz. To exempt all such from payment of Tithes as haue not lands, &c. knowing that there bee many hundred parishes in the land, where if personall tithes bee not payd, the minister hath and can haue in maner nothing to liue by? There is none I thinke of so little knowledge and experience in the world, but knowes well enough, That in all places the land ouer, wheresoeuer men pay tithes of corne, cattell, &c. to the vttermost, yet they pay these accustomed offerings too. Now mee thinkes, people (knowing this) should of themselues conceiue, that tradesmen, &c. pay not their offerings in lieu of those tithes and other emoluments which husbandmen paye: but that as husbandmen pay the like offerings, notwithstanding their Tithes payd in the largest ma­ner; so themselues should, besides those offerings, pay some thing or other, which might bee somewhat equiualent to the hus­bandmans Tithes. That so it might appeare by their deedes, Phil. Iud. lib. de prae [...] ▪ & hon▪ sacerd. Victus sacer­dotum lautior, argumentum esse potest pietatis publi­c [...]. That they loue the Gospell & ministers thereof, no lesse then the husbandman dooth, & are as worthie thereof as hee. Which thing, without all question, our forefathers and auncient lawma­ters carefully did intend and respect in appointing personall ti­thes: and is only then performed, when they, in one or other maner, are yeelded.

CHAP. VII.

Yeeldeth some reasons and speciall causes, why God vouchsafeth to haue as his owne, some part of all mens goods. Why the tenth. And why so great a portion, as tithes, offerings, &c. are, hee hath assigned vnto his ministers. Where the Reader shall finde diuers weightie causes, why ministers ought to haue, not a beeggerly & sparing▪ but ample and liberall maintenance.

HItherto I haue shewed what right the Church hath vnto Tithes, & proued by sundry arguments drawne from the scriptures, fathers, lawes of nations, rule of equitie, and consent of times, That Tithes both prediall and personall, are still due to the ministers of the Gospell, and ought now in the time of the Gospell by diuine right & ordinance to be payd. Now I hope it will not seeme to the good Reader time ouerlong, nor labour superfluous, to consider somewhat also more specially of the end & reason wherefore it hath pleased God to sanctifie and set a­part vnto himselfe, as a continuall inheritance, any part, or such a part of our temporall goods. Such a consideration can not but bee a profitable and necessarie motiue and incitation to the true & better performance of this kinde of dutie.

Of this point I conceiue that there be 2. principall causes▪ one that respecteth directly & immediately God himselfe; another that respecteth the Church of God.

That which respecteth God himselfe, is the acknowledgment ‘of Gods sole and souereigne Dominion ouer all. God will by by some certaine portion of our goods, returned backe and of­fered vp againe vnto him, bee acknowledged to bee Lord of all.’ I say againe: As God is the giuer of all our wealth, and he onely who blesseth the workes of our hands: so for acknowledgement of his vniuersall Dominion, he will haue a part thereof set a­part for himselfe. This is it the Lord meaneth, when making claime vnto Tithes, offerings, vowes & other hallowed things, hee calleth them his; & speaking of them, tearmeth them Mine offerings, my hallowed things, the Lords tribute, his inheritance, &c. as we read in sundry places of the law; namely, Numb. 18. Leuit. 27. &c. that Salomon meaneth when (as a morall dutie written in [Page 91] the hearts of men by nature) he teacheth euery man, To honour the Lord with his substance, Prou. 3. 9. that the Prophet insinua­teth, when on Gods behalfe he chargeth the people, that in withholding their tithes and offerings, they had robbed and defrauded, not so much the Priests and Leuits, as the Lord him­selfe. Yee haue spoiled me, saith the Lord: wherein? in Tithes & offerings.

Accordingly auncient Diuines counted it currant Doctrine and a kind of speech very agreeable to pietie & trueth, to speake after this maner: Wee offer vnto God our goods as tokens of thankeful­nes, for that wee receiue.Ire [...]aeus. Origen. August.Iren. lib. 4. Cap. 34. Hee which worshippeth. God (saith Origen. in Numb. 18. Homil. 11.) must by gifts and obla­tions acknowledge him Lorde of all. S. August. tract. de Rectitud. Cath. conuers. hath these words, Vnusquis (que) de quali ingenio vel ar­tificio viuit, &c. Euery man of that meanes whereby hee liueth, thereof let him pay to God the Tenth. Let him consider that all is of God, that he liueth by, whether it be the earth, or the wa­ters, or seeds, or all things that be vnder heauen or aboue; & if he (God) had not giuen it vnto him,Decret. Greg. lib. 3. Tit. he had had nothing. And in the decrees, as a Maxime vndeniable, such like preambles and assertions are to be read; Cum autem in signum vniuersalis Dominij, &c. De Decimis. W. Linde­wood. forsomuch as in signe of his vniuersall souereignitie, as it were by a speciall title, the Lord hath reserued Tithes vnto him­selfe, auouching & clayming them to be his owne, &c. And some of our owne later writers very iudiciously,Prouinc. lib. 3. Tit. De Dec. & oblat. See before fol. vpon like considera­tion, haue tearmed tithes and other holy things appropriated vnto God Sacrum vectigal, a sacred Tribute, or rent: Sacred both in regard of the person (God) to whom properly it is due, & of the vse, vnto which God hath assigned it to bee payd.

There cannot bee a clearer trueth then this:Marlor. in Heb. 7. 4. yet so are mens eyes now a-daies blinded with couetousnes, or their minds daseled with ignorance, that a great part of men, euen of ‘men professing godlines and knowledge, seeme to account it a straunge doctrine. Many would faine perswade themselues that for their wordly goods, if they vse them soberly and without ex­cesse, if they get & keep them without the detriment & iniury of others, specially if they goe one degree farther; I meane, if they bestow some small & contemptible portion to some charitable vses;’ they haue discharged their dutie to the vttermost, and God [Page 92] requireth no more at their hands. But indeed wee must know yet farther, That as wee cannot honour God rightly, vnlesse both our bodies & soules bee imployed sometimes meerely in his seruice: and as wee cannot with our bodies and soules religiously & duly serue God, vnlesse some part of our times, as the seauenth day, bee taken cleane away from our wordly busines & vses, and im­ployed wholly in his: so wee doo not and cannot truely and throughly honour him, vnles wee giue vnto him likewise a part of our substance. For are not our goods his, aswell as our daies, and as our selues? why should wee not then honour him with a speciall part of the one, as well as of the other? And vnles with part thereof we acknowledge his supreame Dominion, by whose beneuolence wee haue the whole, how doo wee giue ho­nour to whom honour belongeth, or how hath God the things that are Gods? I would know what nation in the world, did euer honour God, and did not thinke it a point of their duetie to doo him honour with their goods? So that this we may blodly set downe as a principle cleare in nature, an axiome which ought not to bee called in question, a truth manifest & infallible, That men are eternallie bound to honour God with their substance, in token of thankefull acknowledgement that all they haue is from him. To ho­nour him I say with their worldly goods,’ not onely by spending them in lawfull maner, & by vsing them without offence in the world, but also by alienating from themselues some reasonable part or portion thereof, and by offering vp the same to him, as a signe that they gladly confesse his sole and singular Domi­nion ouer all, as a dutie which all men are bound vnto, and a part of that very worship of God, which, as the Law of God and nature it selfe requireth, so wee are the rather to thinke all men no lesse strictly bound therevnto, then to any other natu­rall dutie: inasmuch as the hearts of men doo so clea [...]e to these earthly things, so much admire them for the sway they haue in the world, impute them so generally either to nature or chance, so little thinke vpon the grace and prouidence from which they come, That vnles by a kinde of continual tribute men be inured to acknowledge Gods Dominion, it may bee doubted, that in short time men, would learne to forget whose tenants they are, and imagine that the worlds is their owne, absolute, free and in­dependant inheritance.

[Page 93] Thus it appeareth by the Testimonie of God himselfe, and of godly men from time to time, that as God out of the whole masse of mankind hath reserued to himselfe some, whom he cal­leth his elect: out of the habitations of the s [...]nnes of men, their earthly buildings, some, which he calls his temple, his house: of times & seasons some, his Sabbaths, his solemne feasts: of seruants & attendants, some his Priests & ministers: So likewise of the goods & wealth that mē enioy vpō the earth soe portiō vnto himself, viz. his Tithes & oblations, as his proper right, portion and inheritance.

That God ought to haue some parte of our goods sanctified and offered vnto him, wil happely be soone graunted of the most part to be but necessary iust & reasonable: But may it be possible to shew any reason or cause why God should vouchsafe to make choise of the tenth part rather thē soe other, either greter or lesser?

The maine & surest reason of al is his will: against which (he ha­uing once reuealed that his will is, to reserue the tenth part as his owne) who may dispute? He is not bound alwaies to giue vs a rea­son of his will, which wee know cannot but be iust and wise what euer it be. Of daies and times, why he hath sanctified to himselfe the seuenth day we haue the reason and cause euidently taught vs, viz. because on that day herested frō al his work which he had crea­ted. Gē. 2. 3. Exo. 20: & therfore it behoued that day not the 6. or 8. or any other to be celebrated. If we haue not y like for our goods yet that it is no lesse reasonable and iust, we may not doubt.

2 And reason it selfe must needes teach vs, that it is no reason, if we must giue to God some part of our goods, that it should bee any contemptible portion; as if it were fit to honor God as we re­lieue the poore of the parish, With some cold beneuolence: and ther­fore that Centesima, an hundreth, or which is worse (though oft practised) Millesima, the thousandth parte of our goods were e­nough for him. We shame to bring vnto a Noble man, a prince, a king, any other then some royall and notable present, the best and goodliest we can get: such as may wel beseeme vs to giue, and him to receiue: such as may argue our affection toward him, and procure & win his liking toward vs. How much more then, being to come into the presence of God, and to offer to him of our goods should both reason and religion mooue vs, to the end it may be the better accepted, to offer to him no beggarly nor niggardly parte, but such as may shew a thankfull hearte,1. Chro. 29. 12. and [Page 94] liberall mind: nor of the worst and scruffe, but of the fattest, fay­rest and best of our goods; according as God did, by expresse law, require of his people, Leuit. 22. 19. Deut. 15. 21. & 17. 1. Exech. 43. 22. and being not performed, did in them sharpely reprooue, as yee may read, Mal. 1. 8. Wherefore seeing reason teacheth this, it cannot but conclude withall, That must be a tenth or thereabout.

3 But the likeliest reason that I can coniecture is, the end & speciall vse whereunto God assigned & intended to depute this his portion; which is (as after I shall shew at large) the maintenance of his ministers: for whom it seemeth he accounted the tenth to be a portion so cōpetent, as by which ordinarily together with his offerings, they might in some sufficient and fit measure be able liue: which they could not do vpon a lesse, as the 15. or 20. parte.

And this reason I thinke the whole world in manner (heathen, Iewish & christian) hath in all ages, as, if not obeying, at least yet imitating God, approued & respected, in condiscending to yeeld (as a portion to that vse so competent, that any other more cōpe­tent it were not possible for the wit of man to deuise) that parte, to the maintenance of the priests and Ministers of God and his Church. The farther frō reason (religion I wil not say) this present age; which (dissenting frō the iudgement of God, of ancient & best Christians, besides Iewes and heathen) account the hundredth, yea many times, the thousandth part of the goods to be enough for God, & maintenance sufficiēt for his Church & ministers therof.

4 And as God by expresse law required the best and fairest to be offered vnto him: So in many things men haue obserued (how truely I leaue to others) the tenth as it were naturally to be the best, the very croppe and principall. Insomuch that in old Plautus Plautus. the word Decumanus is vsed for magnus, that is the tenth thing for a great one of that kind: and (as scholers doe know) in other Authors Decumana oua, decimus fluctus, decumana porta, and decumanus limes, are vsed for, or accounted, of others the greatest. So that God requiring the best, and the best and goodliest being naturally the tenth, it seemeth that in deman­ding the best, he meaneth the tenth.

5 Some thing there is also to be considered in the very num­ber it selfe. For it is certaine, that not onely men indued with re­ligion, and true knowledge of God, but euen heathen wise, haue respected much the Numbers of 3. of 7. and of 10. which pro­bable it is they haue done by a certaine secret and speciall in­stinct [Page 95] of natures light, suggesting vnto them 3. as a number my­sticall because of the Trinitie; 7. as a number of holinesse because of the seauenth day; and 10. as a number of perfection, contay­ning in it, and vnder it, al other numbers: as which in the speech and reconing of all nations vnder heauen, take their nominati­on and proceeding still by 10. and from ten to ten. Now (as one saith well) Three being the mysticall number of Gods vnsearch­able perfection within himselfe: 7. the number whereby our owne perfections thorough grace are most ordered: and Ten the number of natures perfections (for the beautie of nature is or­der, and the foundation of order number, and of number ten, the higest we can rise vnto without iteration of numbers vnder it) could nature better acknowledge the power of the God of na­ture, then by assigning vnto him that quantitie, which is the continent of all she possesseth?

6 Law or expresse word of God, whereby he had reuealed to man that he required the tenth rather then any other part, till Moses time we find none: but when as we read that long before Moses the tenth was paide to God, may we not with good proba­bilitie gather, that they knew that God accepted that part grate­fully, & required it rather then any other parte, at their handes?

Let vs also see the other cause, viz. that which concerneth the Church of God: and that is, That so hee might haue wherewith to maintaine those that should attend his Ministerie and seruice in all ages and in all places the world thoroughout.

It cannot be denied, but that God from the beginning of times required of al men to be publikely worshipped & serued: & there­upon it is not possible to name that nation vnder heauen, which liuing in any forme of humane societie, hath not by the meere instinct & light of nature professed a publicke & solemne honor & worship of God. So that whether they haue done it rightly, as did the Patriarks & Church of God frō time to time; or erroni­ously & corruptly, as the heathē that knew not the true God, nor true form of diuine worship: yet they haue al, & alwaies agreed in the matter, viz. that God was publikely to be worshipped, howsoeuer they disagreed and varied in the manner, viz. in what sorte that ought to be done. Secondly, it is as clear and out of all question, that for the due & better celebratiō of that his publik worship & seruice, God ordained from the beginning a publike ministery [Page 96] and priesthood,Heb. 5. 4. and would not that any should presume to inter­meddle in that function,Exod. 28. and vndertake that worke, but such as he himselfe had either ordinarily by men,Num. 3. &. 17. or extraordinarily by himselfe called and chosen thereunto.Ephes. 4. 11. And reason: For if among men, Princes, Lords, &c. will not be serued and attended on, but by men of their owne choise;1. Cor. 12. 28 is it not more probable a great deale, that the King of Kings, and Lord of all Lords, will not be serued in his Church, but by such as himselfe hath thereunto elected and appointed? Now as God would euer haue publicke worship of his owne description; seruants and attendaunts ther­unto of his owne ordination: so it was his will, and his wisdome, to reserue vnto himsel [...]e a parte of the goods, increase and pro­fits of the world▪ that so he might haue of his owne, wherewith to maintaine those his owne seruants. This I take to be cleare by Gods owne speach vnto Moses: when hauing set his marke vpon diuers things, calling them mine offerings, mine hallowed things, my tithes, &c. he addeth, These haue I giuen to the sonnes of Leui, Why? for the seruice which they doe me in the Tabern, and It (viz. the tithes,Philo. Iud. lib. de praem. & [...]. Sacerd. Sed ne quis ex conferentibus, exprobret ac­cipienti suum Beneficium, iu­bentur prius in templū defer­re munera vt tum demū inde sacerdotes de­ [...]umant. offerings, &c.) is your wages for your seruice vnto mee. Which words doe plainely show, that God would that such as attended him, and serued at his altar, should receiue those things as his pay, and not as mens; as from his hand and not from man: in lieu of the wages and reward which for their ser­uice it was fit and necessary, that he their maister & Lord should allow them. Whereupon he [...]aith not to the people (The maner of speech is much to be noted) you shal giue them your offerings, &c. for the seruice they doe you: but I haue giuen them mine, &c. as who say, You shall pay it me, and as mine from my hand shall they receiue it, that so I may pay them out of mine owne purse, with mine owne hands, of mine owne goods, and not they serue mee or I retaine them at other mens cost.Theophi. in 1. Cor. 9 Nec sa­n [...] dixit, vt ex oblationibus e­deren [...], sed ex lacrario, ne uel qui aliquid ca­perent puderet accepti, perinde ac si ab hominibus alerentur: vel qui impartirentur his su [...], insolese erent. Idem. Manducandum afferit, non ex discipulorum facultatibus, sed de Euangelio: ne fortè f [...] ­perbiant quod apostolos sustentarent. Neque. n. inquit, tu his alimoni [...] subministras, sed propri [...] quadam indu­stria, hoc est, E­uangelij [...]nun­ciatio ipsos alit. That they haue, they haue it of me, and from me, it is mine and not yours. Which if you yeeld not to them as I haue commanded you, you rob and defraud me your God, aswell as them my seruants. To this accord the words also of the Prophet Malachie. cap. 3. 8: where God spea­keth [Page 97] thus: Will a man spoyle his Gods? yet haue yee spoiled me. But yee said wherein haue we spoyled thee? in tithes and offerings. Yee are cursed with a curse: for ye haue spoyled me, euen this whole nation. Bring yee all tithes into the storehouse, that there may bee meate in mine house, &c.

Where the Lord againe challengeth al tithes & offerings pro­perly, and in right to be his, calleth the Priests barne his barne, the Priests house his house, and sheweth plainely; that he hath allotted those his duties to them as their mainetenance for the seruice they doe him. It was the least thought the people had, to defraud God, they accounted they had but pinched a few fat bellied priests that had no neede thereof, and kept shorte a sorte of lazie Leuits vn­worthy of it: but God tells them, that in abusing them, he was a­bused; in defrauding them, he was spoyled: because those things which they should haue receiued, were properly his, & not theirs.

Neither were the very heathen so blind and ignorant but that they saw this: and therefore whatsoeuer they vowed and offered vnto their Gods, they deliuered it alwaies into the hands of some or other priests; as they that knew, that God had assigned ouer to his priests & ministers the vse of such things, as should be giuen, consecrated, or offered vnto him. And therefore whereas they themselues made great conscience of touching or prophaning hallowed things, they neuer accounted it a fault, but a freedome and dutie in the priests, to liue thereof.

And truely I cannot therein but commend the religious in­tention of our foreelders, who did euer account the tithes, &c. as none of their owne goods, but, as they did vsually call them, Gods part; as who had learned, that such things properly were due to God himselfe, and therefore did pay them euen of conscience to God, as they that considered & knew that God had giuen them to the Church for the maintenance of the ministery thereof: ‘& know­ing that to rob God, to commit sacriledge, could be no light offence, did often in their Testaments make prouision to pay a certaine sum of mony, as a recompence for tithes forgotten; wheras now no conscience (and much lesse recompence) is made pro dec. ab­latis for tithes any way taken from God and his ministers.’

The same perswasion was no doubt one speciall motiue that induced them to be willing & careful to pay such duties without respect of persons, without grudging & repining, without excep­tion [Page 98] at this man & that; as they that knew and considered, That whatsoeuer men deserue, or may seeme worthy or vnworthy of: yet God, who is the giuer of all is still worthy to receiue his owne part out of the whole, without diminution or alteration: and they still bound, what euer he be that receiues it, to pay the same. A [...]d verily the want of this perswasion is one maine and principall cause, why at this day in many places people pay the minister his maintenance so grudgingly & so badly. They cōsider not, that what they pay, is none of their own, but properly Gods part, due first of all vnto him as an Honorarium wherewith they ought to acknowledg him the supream Lord. They account that they pay to be their own, & they deale with the minister as for mine & thine. And accordingly as they affect the mā, so they presume to deale with him, not thinking that they haue to do with god in this case, more thē in any other ordinary or wordly matter: & therfore as loue or hatred, cōtent or discontēt, couetousnes or equity caries thē, so they deale more or lesse liberally & iustly in this behalfe.

This hath come to passe (I coniecture) a great deale thorough the ministers owne defalt; in that diuers of them, not looking thoroughly into the matter, haue taught people, that Tithes are not now due Iure diuino, and claime tithes & offerings as their tithes & their offerings: wheras indeed if they folowed the phrase of holy scripture, and spake as the word of God teacheth, they should rather call them Gods tithes, the offerings of God, & claime them by the name of Gods part, the Churches right, &c. I doe not deny, but that they may in some sort call them, their tithes, their offe­rings, their duties, &c. because they are by assignation from God become and made theirs: but yet I doubt whether they can with­out sin alwaies so speake; and should not rather, euen in honor of him by whose right they hold, whose receiuers & substitutes they are, speake more properly, and if not alwaies, yet vsuallie cal them as they are, the offerings of God, Gods tithes, &c. This would mooue men that heare it, to be more religious in this pointe. It would strike some better awe, and mooue the conscience of men the more in this case, to vse more sinceritie, equity and liberalitie then commonly they doe.

The Fathers and men of auncient time did neuer almost speake otherwise then thus; Redde Deo decimam: Deus dignatur dec. accipere: decimae Deo debentur: Pay to God his tithes: God vouch­safeth to receiue the tenth: tithes are due to God. And they bring [Page 99] in God claiming in this sort, Giue me my tenth part: if thou wilt giue me my tenth, I will multiply thy nine parts: if thou wilt not giue me my tenth, &c. And if we shal imitate them there­in, we shall doe but as the best haue done.

But to bring the matter to some issue, the point is, that God hath reserued to himselfe tithes, offerings, &c. that so he might haue wherewith Desuo, of his owne proper goods, to maintaine his ministers.

Herein I note a special point of the great and diuine wisdome of God, that would so prouide for his seruants & not leaue them to the curtesie of men. And I would it might be well considered, whether they do not check this wisdom of God, which deny this verity, & affirme, that God (as not so prouident for his seruants, as men of any place or fashion be for theirs) hath prouided them of nothing of his own, but left them to the curtesie of the world, which hates them, and mercy (for the most part) of the mercilesse.

Further consider we, whether God hauing reserued vnto him­selfe a part of that men possesse, & yet to that end specially that therewith he might maintaine, among vs, such as might, being his seruants, guide vs in the way of saluation, bring vs to Ged, win vs to Christ, confirme vs in the truth, &c. and so be our ministers as well as his, ours in the worke of the Lord: Consider, I say, whether it be not a great sin, a notorious argument of extreame ingratitude to God, to defraude them of, or to deny thē that maintenance, those means to liue by, which God hath giuen thē for our good? seeing thevse of their ministery, the fruit of their labors, & seruice in the worke of the Lord, redoundeth properly & specially vnto vs. If a King receiuing tributes, subsidies, &c. of his people, should em­ploy the same in defence of the country, the good of the cōmon­wealth: If a land-lord receiuing fines & rents of his tenants shuld spend the same among thē in keeping of good house, in repay­ring their tenements, in mending their high-waies, &c. we wold easily grant, that such subiects and such tenants were much to be blamed, if they would not willingly pay those payments to the vttermost. God doth so and more then so with vs. He receiueth of vs the tithes and offerings as his Sacrū vectigal his sacred tri­bute, his holy rent: and what doth hee therewith? hee em­ployes it all againe to our good, to our vse, in maintaining worthy Captaines and Souldiers, that may defend the Gospel [Page 100] and continually encounter the enemie of our faith: vpon labo­rers that may worke hard in the worke of the ministery, and be painful in publishing the Gospel, that so we might be builded vp as holy temples and spirituall habitations to himselfe, yea that so we might be exalted to dwell with him in eternall glory. And therefore I think our sin cannot be little, nor our fault excusable, if as it were condemning his wisedome, & enuying our owne fe­ [...]icity, we will not suffer his goods, his portion, to be conuerted to our best profit, nor willingly pay and yeeld him that which is his right, that so we may receiue it againe, not to his but to our owne bene­fit. Hardly, it is likely, would we be drawne, as did many godly Christians in the primitiue church, in our daies some few people do, & as in the iudgement of such as be wise & religious, it is but the duty of all Christians (if need be) to do, viz. (paying our tenth from the Church) maintaine the minister out of the other nine parts, as by allotting him another tenth, because the very tenth is taken away: or giuing him otherwise vnto that which remaineth that which is somewhat competent; seeing wee grudge to him that which is none of ours, but Gods, and so his (the ministers) owne already: that which not by vs, but indeed by God▪ is allo­ted & assigned vnto him. This reason and consideration seemed vnto S. Aug. S. August. Ser. de tem. 219. so good, that speaking of tithes in one whol Sermon thereof, it is the very first that he doth vrge; Deus qui dignatur to­tum dare, &c. God (saith hee) which vouchsafeth to giue vs the whole, doth vouchsafe to receiue againe of vs the tenth, which shal yet redound not to his, but doubtlesse to our profit. How to our pro­fit? but because our outward estate shalbe bettered thereby, by Gods blessing vpon the 9. parts, for that the tenth is iustly paid, as there he shews, and hereafter we shall see: and our inward estate shalbe amended, while the ministery of the Gospel being therby planted and continued among vs, our knowledge, faith, and piety shall thereby be increased. The same also the whole coun­cel of Tribur. Conc. Trib. considered, as appeareth by their words, where sup­posing God to speake thus, Giue me my tithes, &c. they cōclude in this manner; If therefore any man make question, why tithes are paid? Let him know, that therfore they are to be paid, 1. That God by such deuotion being pacified, may more abundantly giue vs (corporall) necessaries: and 2. that the ministers of the Church be­ing therby releeued, may be the more free (from worldly and secular [Page 101] incumbrances) to the fulfilling of their spirituall exercises (the fruite whereof we are to receiue.) For (as it is well knowne) they labour not for themselues, but for others.

And thus appeareth sufficiently the other, that is the second reason, why God hath assumed vnto himselfe part of mens earthly goodes as his owne proper right & inheritance.

But yet, before I proceed any farther, a farther question doth arise, & may bee moued, vpon that last set downe, Namely, why it pleased God to allott out vnto his seruants, his ministers, so great a portion, so honourable maintenance, as (besides offe­rings, vowes and other things consecrated to God, both mo­ueable and vnmoueable) the Tenth is: All which it is certaine, that not without Gods approouement or appointment, the priests and ministers of God in all ages receiued & had: and in this age & time of the Gospell, ought to haue.

For answere herevnto, many and those maine and very appa­rant reasons may be giuen: & they all either expressed in, or deducible out of the word of God: as

1. First, thereby to honour their calling before men, who naturally doo respect them that haue some good meanes to liue by: and contrariwise, contemne and despise such as bee in pouertie, as persons obscure and contemptible. The elders (saith S. Paul, 1. Tim. 5. 17.) that rule well, are worthie double ho­nour, specially, &c. Where, by double honour, in the opinion of al expositors hee meaneth aswell liberall and honourable mainte­nance for themselues, as due reuerence and obedience to them and their Doctrine. The Lord did account it an honour to Aaron and his priesthood to bee well and worthilie maintained, nei­ther can it bee other to the ministers of the Gospell. And if in time of peace and prosperitie men thinke it commendable for men of other degrees and callings to liue in wealth, and haue some abundance of these externall blessings: how can it bee but commendable likewise for the minister of God, to reape some fruite of the same things, to refresh his head with oile, to haue his table wel furnished, & his cup full: That it may not be sayd, that The arke of the Lorde dooth rest in a tent of skins, and lie vnder a couering of goates haire, when men doo dwell in their houses of Cedar, and haue their sieled chambers, 1. Chro. 17. 1. and Hag. 1. 4. And expe­rience dooth shewe, That as howsoeuer men should receiue the [Page 102] faith of our Lord Iesus Christ without respect of persons; yet it is rare to finde the man, that dooth not preferre the man that weareth the gaie cloathing before him in the vile rayment: Iac. 2. 2. so it is hard to finde that people, which dooth not contemne a minister of God, if hee liue in pouertie and basenes; and esteeme him much the more, whatsoeuer his desert bee, that carries some sway in the world, and liues (as wee terme it) in good reputation, and of himselfe.

And when his person is once in disgrace and contempt, what is to bee expected of his labours it is easie to iudge. Salomon ob­serued longe agoe, Ecclesiast. 9. 16. That, Better is wisedome then strength; yet the wisedome of the poore is despised, and his words are not heard. I remember I haue read, how that the Athenians on a time being in a common counsell,Aul. [...]ell. about some weightie matter, one that was but a poore and abiect fellow, gaue indeed best aduise and spake most to the purpose: The chiefe of the Citie considering that it would bee the lesse and worse accepted, if it should be knowne to proceed from such a one, seemed to take no notice thereof; and therefore assembling together another day, caused one that was of greater place & more authoritie with the people, to propound the same aduise againe: and so they fol­lowed it, as the later mans, when indeed it was the formers. And I haue my selfe obserued and seene ere now, that two men prea­ching, the one beeing poore and of no note in the world, and th'other rich and of account for his wealth and liuing, though the poore man hath by many degrees in the iudgement of such as could discerne, and were not affectionate, exceeded th'other, yet hee hath beene farre lesse regarded; and his labours, of the greater number, as scarce worth the hearing, disdaigned & little set by. It is a fault I grant, to respect the doctrine and labours of a man the lesse for his pouerty: but yet it is such a fault, as farre as I can finde, which God will haue amended, not so much by reprehending men for it, as by incouraging and inducing men to take away the cause thereof by maintaining his ministers wel, that they may not fall into contempt. Where that course is not taken, but men will first by disabling and impouerishing the minister bring him into contempt, and then contemne him; as the Philosopher not vnworthily laughed at the folly of them which reiected him when hee came in his old rags, but admitted him [Page 103] curteously when hee returned in trim apparell, as if his new attire had made him to bee another, and not the same man hee was before: so may wee iustly condemne the wickednesse of such as make the minister, by ill and vnworthy maintenance, contemptible; and then hauing themselues made him such, doo vndeseruedly contemne him.

2. Secondly, this is doone, To mooue and draue men to bee wil­ling to vndertak this kinde of calling. For else who almost will be­take himselfe to the ministerie, and bee desirous to become a Diuine, if he see before hand no hope of perferment, no likely­hood of due maintenance to arise thereby? I graunt, that pre­ferment & reward is not the principall end, wherto men should looke: yet when as men are not of that degree and calling by birth, as the seed of Aaron was, but are, in respect of themselues, free to make choise what kinde of studie, what course of life and profession they will follow, it will be hard to finde many that will preferre that calling aboue others; when they foresee, hauing spent their time, their patrimonie, their studies, for many yeares together that way, little or no hope of condigne reward, and fit maintenance. Many will rather (as is daily seene) betake themselues to other professions, to the Law, to Physicke, to the schooles, yea to seruice, &c. wherein they see more hope of maintenance, and a ready way opened vnto preferment and esti­mation in the world. And few parents will there be, that will haue any great desire to train: vp their children of purpose for the ministery, when as they shal perceiue that when a man hath spent vpon one child (if he be a man of any fashion) 2. or 300▪ pounds, thrise or twise asmuch as vpon any of the rest of his children, yet he is farther off from preferment then any of the rest, while it is not easie to attaine any thing vnlesse it bee some beggerly sti­pend, or a peeld benefice scarce woorth the taking vp.

Heathen men could obserue, That Honos alit artes, Tull [...]e. it is ho­nour and preferment that maintaineth any kinde of learning: & that, probata virtus inhonora cessat: vertue though it be com­mended, yet if it be not honoured and rewarded, will soone be discouraged. And wee may obserue, say what men will, ‘That it is maintenance that dooth and will mainteine religion, and pre­ferment that dooth & will draw fit and worthy men to the mi­nisterie:’ That the want of due mainteinance in our land is the [Page 92] principall cause, that religion among vs flourisheth no better: and the lacke of due preferment in our Church the maine and speciall reason, whie our ministerie till this day after so long a preaching of the Gospel, so great a peace of the Church, so large a t [...]me for breeding vp and planting of sufficient men, remaines yet so vnfurnished, as it dooth, of able teachers; one halfe at the least, beeing yet far from any competent sufficiency to that of­fice: Besides many others, who being with learning & gifts very sufficiently qualified, which for want of due maintenance are both discouraged to employ their studies, disabled to doo that which otherwise they would & could performe, & compelled to bend their witts, & spend their time otherwaies.

Would to God therefore the Gouernors of our land would at the length respecte this purpose of God, who hath allotted to his ministers so great and competent a portion, to the end there­by to allure and inuite men to vndergooe the calling: & accord­ingly prouide that euery where the same might in some measure so bee layd out for them, that there might bee apparant hope of preferment, and some certaintie of sufficient and good mainte­nance for such as would betake themselues to that course of life. Then within a little while it would appeare, that there should bee no occasion nor need for furnishing of places, to fil them vp with Tailors, Weavers, or out-worne spend thrifts. The vniuersities like good fruitfull mothers would breed vp & send abroad of her children well neere enowe to supplie such vacations. Many would open their mouthes with ioye, that now byde silent with griefe: not a few would stirre vp the gifts of God in them, which now either like the slouthfull seruant bury them in the earth, or with Martha employ them about things though necessary for themselues, yet lesse necessary for the Church: & some no doubt that for preferments sake, haue halfe against their wills, left this calling, would returne againe from the schoole, Physick, Law, &c. to this most sacred function.

3. A third cause is, to enable them that bee entred into the mi­nisterie, that bee ministers already, to bee faithfull, diligent and as­siduous in their charge; wherevnto they can not but bee the more occasioned, when they haue all their necessary wants ad victum & ad cultum sufficientlie and abundantly supplied: and wherein to faile, they haue either none at all, or farre lesse excuse when [Page 105] as they be not, for want of necessaries, enforced to leaue the word and serue tables. Act. 6. 2. that is, to discontinue their chiefe and principall studies, and betake them to some other calling or courses, to their profession not pertinent. Contrarie to the rule and the minde of the Apostle, who 2. Tim. 2. 4. saith, No man that warreth intangleth himselfe with th'affaires of this life, because hee would please him that hath chosen him to bee a Souldiour, &c. mea­ning, that, as hee that goes to the warres giueth ouer his ordi­narie, priuate and domesticall affaires that so hee may follow his Captaine without [...]et, and doo good seruice vnto his countrie; so should he that betakes him to the ministerie of Christ, forgoe all other vocations & courses of life, as husbandrie, handicrafts, merchandise, schooling, Physicke, Chirurgerie, &c. and follow onely that worke of God, wherevnto only hee is called, which alone will require a whole man. Contrary to the minde of the auncient fathers, who, as wee may conceiue by the words of S. Cyprian, epist. 66. reprooued one Geminius Faustin▪ that had vn­dertaken the charge of pupills, and ouersight of a mans will; as dooing therein against the Canons of the Church then: saying that Ministers haue nothing to doo with secular affaires: but as the Leuits had no other busines but to attend on the altar, so the Lord had prouided for his ministers now, that they might not bee drawne by wordly occasions from their holy busines, but day & night should attend their heauenly and spirituall exercises: & by the words of S. Gregorie, Duaren▪ desacr. eccl. minist. lib. 1. cap. 25. who rebuketh a certaine bishop or mi­nister of his time, for that hee did vndertake to teach grammar, thinking it vnmeete for ministers of the Church to meddle in any secular affaires, & get their liuing by worldly labours. Con­trary to the auncient Canons and Decrees of the Church, as may appeare Decr. Greg. lib. 3. Tit. Ne cler. sec. neg. se immisceant. Contrary to the practise of the best of that sorte in all times, as of Aaron, who left the magistracie wholly to his brother Moses, and held himselfe onely to the seruice of the Tabernacle: of the Apostles, who Math. 4. 20. et. 19. 27. gaue ouer their trades of fishing, &c. and following Christ, endeuoured only this, to be­come fishers of men: and after Christes Ascension, assoone as the Churche was a little encreased, refused any longer to bee en­combred with the seruing of tables, but washing their hands thereof, left the charge of it wholly to others, that so they might [Page 106] giue themselues continualie to praier and ministration of the worde, liuing thencefoorth not vpon the labour of their owne hands, in this or that secular trade, but vpon the charge of the Church: as S. Paul dooth plainly testifie, 1. Cor. 9. 4. where, in defence of himselfe, that yet vpon some speciall & extraordinarie occasion vsed not this power, he saith, Haue wee not power to eate & to drink, that is, to liue vpon the charge of others, without labouring our selues, aswel as the rest of the Apostles and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas? I might adde likewise the example of Christ himselfe, the Prince of all Pastors, who comming once abroad to preach the Gospell, gaue quite ouer that trade of life wherein, as a priuate man, he had spent his time, mar. 6. 3. Iustin. in Apo­log. and betooke himselfe, onely to doo & to teach those things that perteined to the kingdome of God, liuing and susteining him & his, of such goods as by the faithfull that followed him, were ministred vnto him. Luc. 8. 3. Iohn. 13. 29.

I confess, they doo not well, & as they should, to spend their time in worldly busines, as in teaching of schollers, &c. These things were fitter a great deale for men of those professions, thē for any of the ministerie. But say I, who is in fault for this? yow know the old prouerb. Necessitas non habet legem, Need hath no law. It is not fit they should doo thus, but it is better to doo thus then to starue (or steale) for want of necessaries. Emalis mini­mum: Of two euills the lesse is euer to be chosen. A hard shift that a man must be faine to intrude vpon others, because he can not haue that which is his owne. A lamentable thing that whereas in all other trades & courses of life (if a man be of any industrie or meanes) he may be able by his trade and profession alone, to liue w [...]l & somewhat wealthily, for as the old saving is, Ars quae (que) suum alit artificem. Euery arte susteineth his artist: only such is the state of our ministerie in England, that in many places, it is not possible for a man therein, & thereby alone to liue, though parcè & duriter, in any tollerable estate. Which conside­red, no man may iustly deny but that the Gouernors of our Church haue doone well, that in their late Canons, Ca [...]. 78. they haue reserued to the minister of any place the prerogatiue of teaching there aboue any other. A poore supply where better meanes are wanting. And I wish that, Things standing as yet they doo, they might be assisted to the vttermost, to enioye the be­nefit [Page 107] thereof. But on condition that the Gouernors of our land would prouide that in euery place there might be some compe­tent maintenance (a matter with no great difficultie to bee soone effected) for the minister thereof: I could wishe that there were a Law, That no minister should intermedle with any practise or profession but his owne. For, for my part, though I wish well to all the ministers of the Church, and doo know that many of them in these daies doo liue asmuch or more by other meanes as by the ministerie, yet knowing by long & much obseruation & experience, how vnfit & preiudiciall a thing it is to their mi­nisterie, I am so farre from iustifying, liking and commending such courses, wherevnto their owne extreame necessitie, and the iniurie & iniquitie of the time dooth compel them, that I hold their condition therein, a thing to bee pitted more then ap­prooued: and their fact a matter rather to be tollerated then de­fended.

How vnapt and vnable a man is for such a charge & worke as is the worke of the ministerie, when hee is vnprouided of time & meanes to prouide & sustaine himselfe, and furnish his studie, it is no hard thing for any man though vnacquainted with scho­lers life to conceiue. For who can worke & labour that hath not food cōuenient to strengthen his body? who can in his labour doo anything workmanlike & artificially, that wanteth time, tooles & instruments conuenient and fit for the purpose? who can trauaile a iourny that hath not wherewith to defray his ex­penses? Besides that, when a man goes about any thing not with ioy & comfort, but with griefe & discontent, what he is like to effect, let all gesse that euer haue felt any D [...]squietnes of minde or anguish of spirite? Ministers also are men & not Angels, flesh & bloud and not spirite, & therefore when they see themselues neglected of those they labou [...] for, left destitute by them for whom they spend & consume themselues, & for their best and chiefest labours, least & worst rewarded, how can they haue any edge vnto their books, or courage to their studies? Or, to speake nothing of the griefe of mind which must needs assault the mi­nister of God in such a case, is there not iust cause to complaine, when as a mans meanes that way is so slender, that it is hardly sufficient in any measure for very bookes, paper, & other studie expenses? can a man so liue? must hee, not then of very ne­cessity [Page 108] either supplie his wants by other meanes, or if that faile, forsake his studie, giue ouer his book, & conuert that which his studie dooth & would require, to the vse of his life? & then if hee must study without books & helpes, or preach without studie, as many doo, that want times & means conuenient; what good is to be expected at his hands, or fruitfull speach from his mouth, no man but may conceiue that knowes any thing what belongs to a scholler; or, is not so senselesse as to thinke, That it is no more for a minister to preach a Sermon, then for him­himselfe to pull open the pulpit doore. The Philistins feared but little of the Hebrewes, so long as there was neither shield nor speare i [...] Israel. 1. Sam. 13. 19. They knew that a multitude vnarmed could doo no great harme. And I thinke the common enemy of our sal­uation, the diuell, & of our religion the Papist, feares little of such ministers of the Gospell, as are without meanes to liue by or to studie with.Lunae radijs non matu­rescit Bo­trus. They assure themselues such wil doo no great harme to either of their kingdomes; seeing certaine it is, such for the most part, were as good sit stil as labour: better many times to hold their peace, then to bring into the pulpit, as oft they doo & must, such rawe & vndigested matter: and should shew more dis­cretion by beeing more silente, then true zeale by vttering, as busilie as any other that is & may be better prouided, quicquid in buccam venerit, what comes first to hand.

And in such cases I doo maruaile with what conscience men can expect at the ministers hand, That he should labour & teach them as diligently as others that feele none of these wants and greeuances, & (as many doo) murmur or complaine against thē as idle, carelesse, & negligent in their dutie & charge; when they are thus inforced, wil they, nil they, to be encombred about worldie things, & cōtinually distracted from the best. I cannot tell where­vnto better to liken it then to the dealing of the Aegiptians with the children of Israel (Exod. 5.) when they would not allow them any longer straw to make brick withall; & yet, they being infor­ced to seeke for stubble & straw about in the fields, & all the land ouer where they could get it, exacted of thē the whole tale of bricke as in former time, when they had straw allowed thē. So these, they allow not the minister conuenient maintenance as he should, & others haue (happily themselues keep it from him): & he is inforced for want thereof to shift where he can, to put his hand to any labour [Page 109] & spend his godlen time in worldly employmēts: & yet, as if he were prouided for to the vttermost, had nothing to do but attēd his booke, nothing to trouble him, but the care of their soul [...]s, they require him to preach vsuallie, & looke that he should per­forme his dutie (as they call it) and doo the worke of an Euan­gelist, to the vttermost, as they doo or may, that are not distra­cted with any such things: But with as good reason truelie as if a man hauing employed his seruant all day long in busines abroad, should yet when hee returnes all wearied with former labours, at 3. or 4. a clocke at afternoone, require him to per­forme as good a daies worke that euening, as he might haue done the whole day: or (to vse the very phrase of the Apostle. 1. Cor. 9.) mousling the Oxes mouth, should inforce him notwithstanding to labour in the floore, aswell, or as much as he whose mouth is not mousled, but may by eating as he labours, as I [...]nathan did by licking hony as he pursued the Philistians (1. Sam. 14.) continue and repaire his strength.

But to bring this point to a conclusion. As it is fit that the mi­ster labour, so it is fit that he haue maintainance. Dignus est. n. Ope­rarius mercede sua. The laborer is worthy of his hire. And as peo­ple know it is the ministers duty to minister spirituall things: So let them know it is their dutie to minister temporall things. And therefore let the one be as ready to employ their goods, as they would haue the other to employ their gifts: that so the man of God, hauing his Chamber, his bed, his table, his stoole, and his candle­sticke ready prouided for him and his seruant, 2 Reg. 4. 8. & 13. may be willing to turne into the Shunamits house, and bethinke himselfe what hee may doe for her to requi [...]e her great care for him: Act. 10. That so Peter with all his company, being intertained of Cornelius with al kind­nesse and liberalitie, may be incouraged to tary with him, and speake vnto him words whereby he and his may be saued: that so the feete of them that bring glad tidings of good things being preti­ous in ous eies,Rom. 10. they may shew vnto vs the way of saluation: And Christ being intertained of the Samaritanes & intreated to tary a­mong them many moe may beleeue, Ioh. 4. & be turned to the faith. This out of all question better agrees with the mind & coūsell of God, then the measure that many times is offered to his ministers. God is not so bad a maister, as to looke his seruants should at­tend him without wages; nor so ill an husband, as to haue any to [Page 110] labour in his vineyard, and not yeeld him his peny. Hee hath otherwise prouided for them, if men by cruelty or craft bereaue or defraud them not thereof. Let that be yeelded them, and then if they imploy not their function and performe not their duetie with all diligence, let them beare the blame for euer, be censured at the worst, and condemned, yea and punished as idlers and loy­terers doe deserue.

4 Fourthly, this so liberall a portion hath God allowed to the minister, to the end he should be as a patterne vnto euery good worke. 1. Tim. 4. 12. so specially a maintainer of that commenda­ble worke wherby Some haue receiued angels into their houses vna­wares.Grego▪ in Pa­storal. Egentis mentem doct­rinae Sermo non penetrat, si hunc apud e­ius animum ma [...]ns miseri­cord [...]ae non commendat.Heb. 13. 1. I meane hospitalitie which how can he do (as is ex­presly required at his hands, 1. Tim. 3. 2) If he haue not so liberall and plentifull a maintainance as may suffice, not onely to his owne priuate and domesticall necessaries, but also in some good measure redound and exceed to the supply of the want of others. Neither doe I thinke but that this was one speciall cause that induced the Christian world, in auncient times to al­lot to the ministery, not onely that which God required, viz his tithes and offerings, but besides and withall, to the end they might haue wherewith to keep house commodiously, such lands & other emoluments as at this day in many places (God be prai­sed) it yet enioyeth, and in many moe we may perceiue once it had. And (to speake my conscience sincerely in this matter) I ve­rily think, that one maine cause, why God permitted such spoile to be made of Churchlyuings (as at this day we see ther hath bin) was, because the Clergy forgetting to what end so ample main­tainance was alloted them, did for the most part, either coue­touslie conuert it to the enriching of themselues, their kindred and allies: or ryotously dissipate it in vncleannesse, pride, & other excesses. And I doe feare that some like sinnes remaining in our Cleargy at this day, is no small cause, why God in his iudgement against vs, suffers the Church to continue without restitution, that so they might be pressed with want & need amōg thēselues, that are carelesse to ease & succor the wāts & distresses of others.

5 Farther, we may coniecture, that so great a portion God al­lotted to his ministers for their maintainance, partly, that so they might haue wherewith likewise to sustaine in good sort their fa­mily, their wiues, children and others necessarily depending vp­on [Page 111] them. For it was neuer the mind of God, That his priests & ministers should remaine (as the papists dreame) altogether vn­maried & in single life, as may euidently enough appeare by his calling of Aaron a maried mā vnto the high-priesthood: & of the whol Tribe of Leui to his seruice in the tabernacle, which without mariage would within one age haue bin extinct: by Christ his chosing such to be his Apostles as were for the most part maried mē: & by S. Pauls descriptiō of a Bishop & minister of the church, 1. Tim. 3. wher he makes mentiō both of his wife & childrē shew­ing thereby, that that degree being honorable in all, Heb. 13. 4. was notonly tollerable (which the papists deny) but also as lawfull & commendable in him as in any other. Now intēding they should be maried men, as well as any other profession of people, & for­bidding thē to intermedle in worldly affaires, it must follow ne­cessarily, that he intended that their wiues and families should be sustained by the same meanes by which themselues liued, and that the same should be such & so great as might, if occasion ser­ued, suffice therto. Our people are sufficiētly perswaded (I think) concerning the lawfullnesse of mariage in ministers, as well as in others: (and of what minde and iudgement for that matter the ancient & best Christians were, the very liuings themselues anciētly allotted to the ministers of the Church in euery parish, do euidently argue: whereas if they had bin o [...] the Papists mind, some blind cells, small dormitories & stipendary paies had bin fitter for them.) but they bee not alike perswaded, that it is their duetie to giue them such maintainance as may suffice, whether they be maried or vnmaried. No, they thinke they haue notably wel discharged themselues in this point, if they allow them such a sparing portion, as will somewhat tollerably keep a single man. Neither hath this errour done a little harme in our Church. But I stand vpon it, that God hath allowed them, and would that men should allot them such a sufficient part as may suffice them all their life long, whether they be maried or vnmaried. Which of them (not ministers) betakes himselfe to any course of life, but lookes so to get by it, that he may haue wherewith to maintaine himselfe and a family also? And what reason is it that a minister should not expect for, and receiue the like in his profession? Is it not their Vltimum Refugium? the place of their rest? & That wher­vnto when they haue once put their hands, they may not looke [Page 112] backe? If then it will not yeeld them such reasonable contentati­on and sufficiencie to liue vpon, though they haue family and charge, better disclaimed then accepted, and left in time then re­pented of afterward.

6 Neither is it probable, that God had no respect to age, to impotencie, to sicknesse, &c. In respect whereof, because they are such as are incident to men of this calling, as well as of other; no doubt it is, and euer was the Lords will, that they should be so prouided for, that they might haue wherewith to susteine them­selues, if any such thing should befall them.

This may sufficiently appeare vnto vs by that leuiticall law, N [...]m. 4. 47. & 8. 24. whereby he ordained that the Leuits after 50. yeares should be discharged of that part of their office which was hard and laborious, and which they had in the prime and strength of their life susteined; & it should suffice that they were present at the businesse, to assist and ouersee the rest. From which we may gather euidently, that God would, due respect should be had of men in his ministerie, according as either age or other accidents should require: and not they bee cast off, and left pe­nilesse and comfortlesse when their labour failes; verifying in them also the olde prouerbe, A young Seruingman, an old begger: as if their continual and many labours, and the spending of their chiefe strength & best time, deserued no farther compensation, nor other reward, then for the present, and might not purchase them any thing for the time to come. To the like purpose may the example of S. Paul, receiuing reliefe and maintainance from the Philippians long after that he had preached among them,Phil. 4. be very well applyed: neither did they more, or other then their duetie was: which the Apostle noteth, where he saith Yee haue done well, that yee did communicate to mine afflictions: nor did he, in receiuing it, presume farther then was fit and lawfull hee should. For they being still daily bettered and benefited by his former labours which like good seede continued grouth after seed time, he might, if necessitie so required as then it did, with good reason and conscience receiue some reward and recom­pense of his labours passed,Phil [...]m. v. 13. & 19. the fruit whereof remained still, and for the which they did owe vnto him euen their owne selues. If such prouision be not had (as in many places it is not) for our mini­sters, their case and estate cannot but bee miserable. For what [Page 113] shall they do, if by reason of any impotencie befalling them, they neede a Coadiutour? they neede some extraordinary succour? hauing but as it were from hand to mouth. What? Shall they longer then they be able personallie to performe their duties, be behoulding to the almes-house? Nature hath taught the Em­met to gather corne in haruest wherewith to supply her want in winter: and reason and religion both doe aduise men to prouide afore-hand. But if they of al other, which should direct others to follow reason & religion, and be carefull to be helpefull still, but at no time chargeable to others, be held so short, and fed so spa­ringly that their very haruest is, but as the gleaning of grapes after vintage, and their most income, but as the gathering of eares behind the reapers, what must their Autumne & Winter bee, but needy miserie, and what possibility to reserue ought till time of need? A thing abhominable no doubt in the sight of God, who hath alwaies shewed himselfe as vnwilling to haue any beggar in his ministerie, as in Israel.

Thus it may appeare, that there be many, and these very great and weightie causes, why God would his ministers should haue a liberall allowance, and thought it good to assigne ouer to them so great a portion as (in some mens eyes) the tithes & offerings seeme to be. If men will take vpon them to bee wiser then God, and thinke that they can see greater & iuster causes why to take the same (or some part thereof) from them againe, & tye them to a shorter allowance, the euil be vpon their owne heades. For mine owne part, considering how preiudiciall to the mi­nisterie, dangerous to the people, dishonourable to the Gospel, and repugnant to the minde and purpose of God, the beggery impouerishing and spoile of the ministerie is, I say (concluding this point with the words of a certaine learned & iudicious writer of this time) That,Lower. de pa. Eccl. lib. 1. cap. 25. Vide tot [...]. If a man should euen by couenāt & Oath bind him­selfe to the Diuell, to doo his vttermost in oppugning & wasting the kingdome of Christ, he could not attempt it anie waie more directlie then this, viz. By driuing & bringing the ministers of the Church to such straights & difficulties, ‘that hauing not necessarie & conuenient main­tenance for them and theirs, they must of necessitie either giue ouer the ministerie quite, & betake them to some other trade of life wherein they may be able to liue; or else deuoide of all courage and comforte in their office and ministerie, with Sighes and sorrow exercise their function, by [Page 114] occasion whereof others also might be discouraged from applying their mindes to the studie of Diuinitie,’ & not be desirous to bu [...]e pouertie so deare. It was the only plotte and pestilent course that Iulian that Apostata and vtter en [...]my of our faith could deuise to roote out Christianitie withall. He thought it not best by violence & crueltie, as his predecessours had doone, to oppresse and cut off the Christians,Hist. tripart. lib. 6. Cap. 1. & 27. but taking from the Cleargie their preferments priuedleges, stipends & liuings, and exacting of them such sti­pends as before they were wont to receiue, remoouing also out of their places the chiefe & best of the ministers; he resolued, that by such meanes Christians wanting such as might rightly teach and instruct them in faith and religion: in time, by degrees, the religion would of it selfe decay, and they forget their owne pro­fession. And no doubt this is euen a Stratageme of the Diuell himselfe, now hee can no longer averto marte impugne the Gos­pell, thus by keeping downe, disabling and discouraging the mi­nisters therof through need and penury effected by Sacriledge, Simonie, beggerly stipends and other like indirect meanes, to hinder the proceeding and prosperitie of the Gospell at this day among vs. and fill vp the Church with a number nomine, non [...]e, ministers learned and able, rather in name then indeed.

CHAP. VIII.

Conteineth answeres to diuers obiections. as, Touching the vnworthines of the minister. The greatnes of the Tenth. The wealth of the mi­nister. Custome. Personal Tithes. The Statute of Ann. 2. Ed. 6. de Decimis. Why it were to be wished that for a perpetuall composi­tion about personall tithes, the custome of the Citie of London, aboue any other, might the whole land through be put in practise.

Vers. 7.‘BE NOT DECEIVED: GOD IS NOT MOCKED.’

[Page 115] HItherto haue I continued (as thou seest beneuolent Reader) the explication of the former verse, beeing the first general part of the whole parcell of scripture which I haue taken in hand, wherein hath beene shewed somewhat at large the hearers dutie toward his teacher touching his maintenance. Now in order follow, as the seconde generall part of the text, the words proposed. In handling whereof I am to vndertake the answering of such, or at least some such obiectiōs, as are or may be pretēded against that I haue formerly deliuered. wherevnto our Apostle doth giue mee apt occasion in the wordes that now I am come vnto, which (as I noted at first) are a Comination warning euery one to take heed that in this matter (wherein to bee deceiued it is very easie, for that men doo not easily beleeue those things that seeme to sound against their worldly profit) he bee not de­ceiued, neither by others, nor by his owne vaine pretenses. And why? for God is not mocked. And it soundeth as if hee should say thus. I know well ynough what shifts and deuises, what excuses and pretenses many doo and will make to cloake and excuse withall their ingratitude to God, and illiberalitie to his mini­sters, but let men take heed how by friuolous and vaine pre­tenses, they blind their owne and other mens eyes. For God neither can, nor is, nor willbe mocked. Hee searcheth the very hearts and reines & seeth not only what men doo and knoweth to the vttermost their abilities what they are able and ought to doo: but obserueth likewise with what minde either willing or vnwilling, with what affection either of zeale or contempt to the Gospel, of loue or neglect to the ministers thereof, men doo cary themselues in this case. And therefore let men looke to this matter in better sorte, and make more conscience thereof then many doo, knowing & cōsidering well, they haue herein to doo, not only with men, but also with God himselfe, who both dooth and will, as surely as seuerely reuenge the wrongs & op­probries that are offered and doone vnto himselfe and his ser­uants in this behalfe. This is the some and generall sence of the words, the branches whereof are two, an Admonition, Bee not not deceiued, and a reason, God is not mocked. of which I will speake somewhat more, first in generall, then in special ma­ner.

1. By this Epiphonema, BE NOT DECEIVED, the Apostle [Page 116] takes awaye all excuse for not maintaining the ministers of the word, & shewes, that if any excuse be made, though in the iudg­ment of the world ofttimes it seeme iust yet before God it is vn­iust, & hath no place. Many are wot to winde out this way & that. One pretēds that he must maintaine his familie: another denies statly that hee hath whereof to giue or lay out: some beeing ca­relesse thinke that others doo giue enough, so as they need not to giue likewise. I haue got nothing this yeare saith one, and saith another, I haue lost very much. This man pretends the hardnes of the time, the dearth of vittailes, &c. that man com­plaines of the many payments and greeuances that daily are im­posed, and what not? Some crie out against the ministers, They be couetous and haue neuer enough. And there bee that say if that which we, of our good wills, giue them, wiil not content thē they may worke & labour for more as we doo. Haue they not this & that, &c. And indeed who can reckon vp all the idle and vaine pretenses wherewith men doo cloake their sinne, whereby it comes to passe that oftentimes the minister is left destiture, & God prouoked against the people. But saith our Apostle, Be not deceiued, The matter is not so easily & slightly answered. Euery word, that is thus headlongly shot out, is not by and by an alle­gation sufficient. These be but vaine shifts, & wil litle preuaile at length. yet who almost hath not such in his mouth? & thinketh not that he hath sayd enough, & spoken very much to the pur­pose when he hath made some such protestation? For, so willing are men to be soothed in this sinne & so apt through their owne preiudicate affections to be deceiued in this matter, That the slightest reason, the vainest pretense, & simplest argument that can bee, is vnto many good enough, And cause all sufficient to confirme them in their sparing and illiberall humour: but the strongest reason, the plainest proofes, the authoritie of scriptu­res, the iudgement of fathers, decrees of councells, determina­tion of Lawes, consent & practise of all times, are all too weake, & without force to draw them forward & induce them to performe this dutie sincerely, & as they ought. And what is this, but will­fully to be blinde? purposely to abide in errour? and as it were for the nonce casting a mist before their owne eies, to suffer them­selues to bee deceiued?

2. The reason. God is not mocked. that is, first it is a mat­ter [Page 117] of greater moment then you take it. You haue herein to doe with God as well as with men, and you cannot wrong the one, but you shall offend the other. Shew not your selues therefore to be as the vnrighteous indge in the Gospel, that neither feared God, nor cared for man. He that accounts it to be nothing to him, whe­ther the minister be condignly maintained or not, doth sinke or swimme, is farre deceiued. Such vaine and idle pretenses, such carelesnesse and deniall of duetie is none other then a very moc­king of God himselfe, and a kind of scorning and derision of his most excellēt maiestie & glorious name, Which al the world should feare. Which to be no small sinne, the words of the first Psal. alone, may sufficiently teach vs, where the scornfull are placed in the third, that is, the highest degree of wickednesse, whereto well accordeth a saying that S. Hierom hath as he is cited. Decret. caus. 16. q. 1 wherein alluding, as it were to the phrase of the A­postle, Tit. 3. 12. declaring the desperate case of such as bee in heresie, he saith when a man is growne to that height of of sinne, that he will not contribute and giue as he ought, condigne main­tainance and intertainement vnto them that be Apostolike men, and Preachers of the Gospel of Christ, he doth euen (as one that hath made himselfe vnworthy of the Gospel) condemne himselfe.

Secondly, God is not mocked: that is, he is such a one as cannot thorough ignorance in himselfe or shifts in others be deluded: men may be mokt with and beguiled because they be ignorant, and know not the state of euery thing, and of euery person, God not so: men may pretend vnto men pouerty, losses, charges, and what not? and so blind the eies of men at their pleasure: But God is not mocked. He seeth and iudgeth righteously: men may tell the minister that his due is but this and that; and protest that what they offer, is more then their abilitie, then their due, &c. but there is a God which knoweth who speaketh truely and who not, who dissembleth and who dealeth vprightly, vnto whom, if we must (as our Sauiour teacheth, Math. [...]2) Giue an account of euery idle word & vaine speech that scapeth our lips, how much more for such words and protestations whereby any in a matter of such moment, doe goe about purposely to delude and deceiue the mi­nister of God.

Whereof to aduertise people the better to consider what they [Page 118] had to doe, it seemeth to me, first, that God himselfe among his owne people did expresly command euery man, that as well for payment of their first fruites as also of their tithes, he should come into the place which God should choose, and there, before the very altar of God, and in the presence and hearing of the Priest should protest before the Lord his God, in this sort. And Now loe I haue broght the first fruits of the land which thou O Lord hast giuen me, & I haue brought the hallowed thing out of mine house, & also haue giuen it to the Leuit, &c. I haue not eaten thereof in my mourning, nor suffered ought to perish through vncleanes, nor giuē ought thereof for the dead: that is, I haue not conuerted it to any prophane & vn­lawful vse, nor kept it back & any way defrauded the Leuit ther­of: but haue harkened vnto the voice of the Lord my God. I haue done (viz. in this point touching the true paimēt of hallowed things) after all that thou hast commaunded me. Looke downe therefore from thine holy habitation, euen from heauen, and blesse thy people. &c. as you may read more at large in the place it selfe, Deut. 26. A solemne kind of protestation litle lesse in effect then an oath, whereby the party did testifie his vprightnesse in that behalfe, or otherwise made himselfe culpable of notorious abuse of the sacred name of God, which he had called to witnes. Secondly, that the church of God of old did ordaine & accustome, that people, for paiment of their offerings, their personall (or priuy) tithes, and other like, should come into the Church, & there rekon with the minister, there tender & pay him his right, & there offer vp into his hands as vnto God himselfe, that which is holy to the Lord, & seperated for Gods parte; which might be no small mot [...]ue to a reuerent & re­ligious care in this behalfe, if people would consider, that the mi­nister is there in Gods steed, & receiues what is appointed in the honor & name of God: that they themselues doe stand there as it were in the very eye and speciall presence of God who is the searcher of the very heart and reynes: and That therefore it behoues them to deale vprightly and sincerely, to speake truely & vnfainedly, as they that doe know and remember, that they haue then & there to do not with man onely, but with God like­wise, & therefore do abhorre, yea & tremble to vtter an vntruth, and speake a lie, for sauing a little of their worldly goods.

3 And therefore, in such cases, let men take heed, For, God is not mocked: as he cannot (thorough ignorance) be deluded, so he [Page 119] will not be mocked with: men may be mockt with, because they be not able many times, to right themselues, and reuenge or re­dresse such wrongs as are offered and done to them, & therefore must with Patience perforce put them vp: but with God it is not so. Heb. 10. It is a fearefull thing to fall into the hands of the li­uing God, for our God is a consuming fire. Heb. 12. he being a iudge most iust and vpright, both can and will reuenge himselfe of all such, as by their mockeries and shiftings doe abuse and wrong him and his seruants. For

First in regard of his ministers he hath told vs, He that de­spiseth you despiseth me: as on the other side. He that receiueth you, receiueth me. And we are not ignorant what God said once to Samuel, 1. Sam. 8. 7. They haue not cast thee away, but mee haue they cast away: nor of the sentence of Moses to his people, Exod. 16. your murmurings are not against vs (Aaron and my selfe, Gods mi­nisters & seruants) but against the Lord. And we may be assured, se­ing that Christ doth account whatsoeuer is done or giuen to the poore & needy, his little ones, to be done vnto himselfe, Math. 25. 40, 45. much more doth he, and will he so reckon of that which is done to those that are neerer vnto him by their office, and doe as it were represent his owne person, his messengers and special seruants. We read of Dauid, 2 [...] Sam. 10. 4. when his messen­gers that he had sent in kindnesse vnto▪ Hanun King of the chil­dren of Ammon were vnkindly handled and sent backe with ‘shame and discredit, their beards clipt, and their coates cut off at the wast, &c. how grieuously and offensiuely he tooke it; and how wrathfully and extreamely he did reuenge it. Let vs not thinke but that God doth tender as much as euer Dauid did, the cause of his seruants: and if their beards be clipt, and their coat [...]s cut short, I meane, their liuings gelded, and their mainteiance taken from them: if they be made to eate the she [...]s and take the straw, when other haue the kernells and the corne: he both can and will in due time reuenge it. He hath testified, that it shall be easier at the day of iudgement for them of Sodome and Gomorha then for such as will not receiue his messengers,’ whom he hath commanded, departing to shake off against such the very dust of the [...]r fecte for a testimonie. Wherof [...] of their ex­treame ingratitude and contempt of God and his worde, and of Gods wrath and indignation against such contemners.

[Page 120] Secondly concerning himselfe, fearefull and notable euen to this purpose is the example of Ananias and Sapphira his wife, Act. 5. who making a shew to lay downe at the Apostles feete the full price of their land, when indeed they kept backe a great part thereof, are by Saint Peter reprooued in this sort. Why hath Sa­than filled thine heart, that thou shouldest lie vnto the holy Ghost? and Thou hast not lied vnto men, but vnto God. and againe, verse 9. Why haue yee agreed together to tempt the spirit of the Lord? and thereupon by and by for a perpetuall monument of his indignation against such sinnes are smitten (horresco referens, I euen tremble to tell it) both of them, with suddaine and terrible death: with whom, in sinne how neerely doe they concurre that keepe away that, which for many ages past, is consecrated to God and his Church, by the lawes of equitie, of God, of the Church, and of our land: and therefore is not now in their owne power, and can­not without great and apparant sinne be now conuerted, or ra­ther peruerted to any prophane and common vse, and to couer their shame and sinne withall, come into the Church, and pre­sence of the eternal God, and there protest to their minister, that they haue nothing to pay: that they owe him of right but this and that: that they doe not, nor will not deceiue him of a peny, &c. but God is not mocked.

Hitherto of these words in generall tearmes, which being briesly thus run ouer, I will now more largely touch also cer­taine speciall obiections particularly. Them for orders sake (be­ing many) I will sort into 4. ranks, as vnto certaine heads, wher­unto all such may be referred; and they are these, Personal, Gene­rall, Local and Speciall.

Personall I terme such obiections as may be pretended against the persons themselues that should receiue such maintain [...]nce. Against whom their vnworthynesse sometimes is obiected. And that is twofolde, either in life, if they be such as be not of Good conuersation, but giuen to some or other notorious vices: or for learning, if they bee such as can not preach at all, or not so learnedly and excellently as some others doe.

To which one a [...]nswere may serue, viz, That notwithstan­ding any such defects, yet the maintenance, the ordinary maintenance of the minister (for of that do I speake altogether) [Page 121] ought to be in such sort setled vnto him, that it may not be lawful, not easily possible for any priuate persons personall vnworthines to withdraw it, or anie part thereof. People must know, it is not lawfull to requite one wrong with another: ‘not fit that they bee at libertie to withdraw their pay from anie vppon supposed vnwor­thinesse, least they take libertie to pretend vnworthines where there is none,’ and vnder colour of fault in some, offer iniurie to all, and abuse vpon light occasions euen the best. They must yeelde the minister his due howesoeuer. If hee be such a one as deserues it not, the fault beeing not theirs, but his; hee must answere for his faults other wa [...]es. No reason euery man be his owne iudge in his owne cause, least malice or auarice become parties. What is pu­nishable or reformeable, must be referred to superiours on earth, or to God in heauen.

God neuer permitted anie such libertie to his owne people. Whatsoeuer the Priests or Leuites were in their desert, yet the peo­ple without any exception are cōmanded to bring in their tithes and oblations. The Priests are reprooued by the Prophets, and termed Dumb dogs, Deceiuers, Sleepie watchmen, &c. but the people are not aduised and taught by the prophets, therefore to withholde from them their appointed & legall maintenance, neuer was there greater corruption among them, neuer more wickednesse and all kinde of vnworthines then in our Sauiours time: yet he sendeth the leper cleansed to the priest, & bids him offer as was appointed. And sitting ouer the treasurie, and there beholding how men cast in their gifts, commendeth the poore widowe for her riche mite, and approoueth the fact of all, calling it the Offerings, not of the Priests, but of God, Luk. 21. 4. It is also forefended by ancient lawes & ordinances of our Church & land. Among which one is nota­ble, made in the time of King Hen. the 8. An. Dom. 1538. the words whereof are these. Foras-much as by lawes established, euery man is bound to pay his tithes, No man shall by colour of duety omitted by their ministers, deteine his tithes, or be his owne Iudge, but shall truly pay the same as hath bene accustomed without any restrainte or Diminution: and such lack or defalt as they find in their Pastouts and Curates, to call for reformation thereof at the Ordinaries or other superi­ors hands. To this effect we read also in the Decrees, lib. 3. cap. 20. De dec. Tua nobis. Nonnulli vitam clericorū tanquam abhominabil [...]m detestontes, Decimas ijs ob hoc subtrahere non verentur. Verum si. &c. [Page 122] that is, manie detesting the life of Cleargie men as abhominable, feare not for that cause to withdrawe from them their Tithes; But if such parties had due respect vnto God, from whome all their goods do come, they would not offer to diminish the right of the Church, nor presume to de [...]eine their Tithes. And a little after, Seeing that God (whose is the earth and the plentie thereof, the whole worlde and all that dwell therein,) ought not to bee of worse condition then a temporall Lord, that lets out his land to others; It seemeth truely too vnequall, if Tithes which God in token of his vniuersall Soueraigntie hath commaunded to bee payed vnto himselfe, affirming Tithes to bee his, vppon occasion premised: or rather by purposed fraude should bee diminished. And againe; Whereas no man may giue away that which is ano­thers, without the good will and consent of the owne [...] Because therfore we wil not suffer that the right of Churches and church­men vpon any presumption bee diminished, we commaund you, That you doe compell all such as either in respect of their per­sons or of their possessions ought to pay tithes (personall or pre­diall) to the Churches and cleargie-men of your Diocesse, to pay them to the vttermost. I will adde to these a notable saying of a later writer, that is, of R. Gualter Tig. in his Homilies vpon S. Ma­thew. Homil. 269. They obiect (saith hee) that manie doe filthily a­buse Tithes, and therefore they are vnwoorthie to haue them. ‘But this is a bald excuse, For of such abuses, they shall yeelde an account to God, which doe commit such things, not who paye the Tithes. And what reason will excuse him that with-holdes from the needy his necessarie Liuing,’ least happely hee abuse it to surfet­ting and drunkenn [...]s? It is the parte of euerie Christian man to paye to euery man that which is his due, and not to goe about to excuse his owne iniquitie by anothers fault: hitherto hee. Thus it appeareth, neither the law of God, nor of the Church, nor yet anie equitie, doe permit anie vpon a conceit of the ministers vn­worthines any way to with-holde from him his due: but that they are bound to pay it to him, as hee is their minister, and not-as he is so or so worthie a minister. The principall reason why, ex­pressed also in some of the former allegations is worthy to be no­ted, and that is Because the ministers maintenance is not proper­lie his, but Gods part.

[Page 123] The Tithes are Gods, as hath bene before shewed. If he there­fore be not worthy of them, yet God to whom they are princi­pally due, is not vnworthie. And therefore as it cannot be but a great fault to withholde rent from a Land-lord, or denie tribute to a Prince, for the persons sake that is his receiuer: so it cannot but bee an open sinne to denie to God his right, for his sake into whose hand it is to be paid.

I haue insisted vpon this point a little the more, because how­soeuer it bee a thing vnlawfull, yet it is too vsuall with vs, in case of personall tithes.

There are not a fewe which abusing the weakenesse of the Sta­tute that should restraine them, doe take what libertie they lust vpon any occasion to wrong the minister. Which being a prac­tise so apparantly contrarie, not onely to reason and equitie, but also to the word of God and all good practize, I trust, as a thing not tollerable in a Christian common-wealth, (among them that carry any zeale to the Gospel, or loue to them that bring the glad tidings thereof,) shall not long continue (being so apparantly dis­couered) without due reformation.

2, General Obiections I tearme such as may bee made against tithes in generall, or against the whole maintenance of the mini­ster, as this. The Tenth is a portion too great for the minister, and a burthen too grieuous for the people. Lesse a great deale, as a 20. or 40. or but an hundreth parte, seemeth to manie might be enough, if not too-much.

But who shallbee iudge in such a case, what is too-much, or or what but enough? what euery priuate person? or onely this present age? Then indeed Vae vobis, woe to you ministers, Your staie is bad already, and daylie worse and worse it wilbee. There will be then no ende of oppression and crueltie, of fraude and de­ceit, of Symonie and Sacriledge. And why? but because all you haue is thought nowe a dayes of manie to be too-much: And that though there be, in places too many, but little left, yet lesse were enough, But if God, if our forefathers, if all Antiquitie may giue Iudgement and obtaine Audience, sentence is already long agoe past on your side, viz. That the Tenth is but a competent por­tion, and not too much. For

1. First, God assigned not it onely, to his Leuites and Priestes, but together with it, well neere as much more in other [Page 124] things. For as appeareth in the bookes of Moses. Besides the Tithes of all things,The Leuites lot. They had first, 8. Citties with their Sub­burbs of a mile circuit at least, for their habitation. Num. 35. losh. 21. Secondly, theirs were the first fruites of all things both annu­all and naturall: Leuit. 23. 10. and 19. 24 Thirdly, of diuers sortes of sacrifices and offerings, either the whole, or a great, and euer a certaine part was theirs, as Exod, 29. 32. Leuit. 7. 31. and 8. 31 & 10. 14. & 24. 8, 9. and Num. 18. doth appeare. Fourthly, of all co [...]se­crated things, whether it were man or beast, house, or groūd, either the thing it selfe without redemption, or the redemption thereof, at a full and certaine value was the priests. Leuit. 27. Fifthly, in ca­ses of restitution, if neither he to whom the goods belonged, nor any of his kindred could be found, the goods to bee restored, was the Lords, and the priests had it. Num. 5. 8. 6. And lastly, Their inheritance could neuer be diminished, but (notwithstanding any sale) returned still in this Iubile, increased it might be by Dedica­tion. &c. Leuit. 25. 30.

2. As for the Church of Christ; it hath bene generally so farre from accoūting the Tenth too much for the ministers of the gos­pell, That Suasponte of her owne voluntary and free heart, it hath added therevnto (to the ende they might honorablie and condignely be maintained) no small nor few augmentations. Of Constantine the great that worthie Emperour, it is recorded, That ouer & besides Tithes of all things, which hee first of all, by lawes Imperiall con­firmed to the Church,Eu [...]eb. de vit. Co [...]stan. lib. 2. [...]p. 36. & 39. to enriche it withall. First; all such lands, liuings, houses, and fields, &c. as in former times had beene giuen to the Church, and in times of persecution taken away againe, he restored. 2. Of the heathen images which were of purer metall, he made much money,S [...]zomen. H [...]t. eccles. lib. 2. c 4. and gaue that money vnto the Church trea­suries. 3. Out of the publike tributes throughout euery cittie, he deducted a certaine portion, & assigned the same to the Churches and Cleargie of euery place. 4. If anie had dyed in martyrdome without heires, or others of their bloud, & left any goods behinde them, he decreed, the same being enquired out, should be brought into the treasurie of the Church, &c. 5. Whose munificence o­ther Emperours, Kings, Queenes, Princes, and sundry other rich, but deuout Christians, following; by sundrie meanes, The goods and treasures of the Church (saith one,) were wonderfully aug­mented.

[Page 125] 3. If we come neere home, (and by that which remaineth, and the ruines of the rest, iudge of the whole, who so wil but cast his eie vpon that vniforme, general, goodly, & godly course, which once our land-ouer was throughly planted, for the maintenance of our ministerie here in England, shall be not see, That our ancient pre­decessours did account the tithes alone, to be euen with the least? And therefore beside the tithes, To the ende the ministers of God, the Leuites of the Gospel, might haue wheron to liue, as becom­meth the Gospel of Iesus Christ, they did (as it were imitating the best, God I meane in his law, for the Leuites lot) endow euerie se­uerall Church with some reasonable portion of land, called The Gleebe: and 2. ordained likewise, that euerie Christian (of yeares) both man and woman, should of his free accord at certaine times in the yeare, offer vnto God something, more or lesse, according as either God had blest him, or his deuout heart mooued him: 3. vnto which, if we adde the worthie, & those not a fewe dignities & prefermēts without cure of sundry name & title, a great part wher­of (God be praised) remaineth vnto this day, what was there more to be desired, whereby they might testifie their zeale to religion, loue to learning, regard to the ministerie, and (the scope we aime at) That they, in the abundance of their loues vnto their teachers, thought not the Tithas alone to be a reward or maintenance sufficient, much lesse too much for them? How therefore, commeth it to passe, that degenerating from the steps of our owne auncestours, from the example of the primitiue Christians, yea, & from the patterne of all perfection, God himselfe, any should account the tenth, nay the tenth alone, to be too much either for the minister, (or rather God) at their hands to receiue, or the people to pay? As S. Paul said once, speaking of God, 1, Cor. 10. 22. What? are wee stronger then hee? so may I say, What? are wee wiser then he? and then all they which for so many ages past, (as it were) vno ore & animo, with one minde and one mouth agreed, The Tenth to be but enough? Doth knowledge and vnderstanding dwell onely with vs? And hath our age alone the lucke, to espye Nodum in Scirpo, an ouersight that had escaped the eyes of God and men before?

4 Last of all, practize and experience doth shew, that the tithes euen with other emolumēts besides, are many times not enough. For so it ofte falleth out, That either by the smalnes of the place, or greatnesse of desert in the person, the ordinarie maintenance, [Page 126] though yeelded in the best and largest manner, is found manie times to be farre too little, & needeth supplie by other places and meanes. And therefore that is a friuolous obiection, That the Tenth is too much, which God himselfe, the Church of Christ ge­nerally, the Church of England particularly, and our daylie expe­rience affirme to be with the least. It is too much in their eye onely, that sincerely loue not the Church, nor the Gospell: that ‘delight to see the ministers therof (to the end they might be con­temned) in Contempt rather then in honour, in shame then in credit: and desire to make a prey of that which is Gods and his Churches,’ and to bee inriched with that which is not their owne.

2. Of the same nature I take their Obiection to be, that pretend the estate of the minister. Hee hath no neede of these or those profites; say some. For, he hath enough besides: his liuing with­out these is sufficient. A speeche both wicked and absurd. Who hath made them iudges aboue others what is a sufficiēt liuing for the minister? or giuen them power to pare off the superfluitie thereof? All men will acknowledge I thinke, that it were an open wrong, and manifest sinne, to refuse to pay a rent or other debt to a riche man, because he is otherwise (in his conceit) rich enough, and able to spare it. And I see not, but the case is all one, if vpon like pretence a man deteine ought from the minister. Againe, what is this but to enuy at another mans prosperitie? why should anie grudge the minister his liuing for the greatnesse, more then he doth the greatnes of his owne charge in generall, or the wealth of anie of them of his charge in particular? It is not in their po­wer to disburden him of his charge any way: & why then should they presume or attempt to abridge him of his due anie way? If the place bee so spatious and populous, that it may arise yearely to any round Summe, what is that, to anie particular persons, who are no lesse bound to paye their due to the vttermost, then if it were 5. times lesse? For the question is not, what may (in mens spa­ring conceits) suffice such or such a man? but, what in duety and conscience euery man, or any man ought to paye? in which res­pect the payment of one thing and not of another: of one person and not of anoaher; of one part of a parish, and not of another, standes not with equitie. If one part of a parish contribute to­wards [Page 127] the maintenance of the minister well, and as is fit, and an­other little or nothing: if one bodie paye his whole duety, ano­ther deteines the whole, God is dishonoured, the minister de­frauded, the Church wronged.

That which one payes, is no discharge for another, but for himselfe. And as he that payeth doeth but his duety: so he that payes not, doeth not his duety; Neither is hee freed by that which another doeth for himselfe, but condemned, the one hauing indeede no more libertie then the other. Parishes were sorted with inequali­ty at first, not for easing of some, more then others, in maintenāce of their minister, but that by such inequalitie of diuisions, there might be such inequalitie of maintenance as might be fitting to the inequality of the ministers desert or charge.

Which godly and necessary purpose they doe directly crosse, who vpon their owne priuate conceit of a sufficiencie of Lining without their paye, doe attempt to enforce vpon the ministers a kinde of equality in maintenance with others, twixt whom there is no paritie of desert or charge.

Neither do I see, the state of our ministery for maintenance stan­ding as now a dayes it doth, how the minister himselfe can be ex­cused from blame and sinne,Zanc [...]. de Red. lib. 1. cap. 19. in 4. precept. if hee vpon any occasion or meanes, hauing otherwise sufficiently to liue vpon, doe refuse or neglect to receiue of any, or of all, that which is his due, or any part thereof. For by such meanes hee shall cause those of other places to be en­uyed and euill spoken of, that doe receiue or demaund the like: and so hinder the course of the Gospell among them.

2. Hee shall maintaine Auarice if not Sacriledge in his owne people. And 3. which is not lightly to be regarded, hee shall by such meanes (as manifolde experience doth testifie,)Lindewood. Prou. ec [...]l. preiudice for the time to come, both himselfe and his successours, or at least sowe the seeds of dissention,Angl. lib, 3. Tit. de Dec. & Oblat. which will break out whensoeuer any such omitted or neglected duties shall be required.

To which purpose, I doe remember that I haue read a cer­taine ancient Constitution Ecclesiasticall of this our Church of England, wherein after due Censure pronounced against all such as shall vppon anie colour detaine the Tithes and other maintenance of the minister, the ministers likewise are cen­sured [...], that shall, (the feare of God set aside) for feare or fauour [Page 128] of men, [...]mit effectuallie to demaund and seeke to obtaine those rights, which vnto themselues, and their churches of right doe apper­taine.

3. From these let vs come to some other obiections, as to such as be locall, that is, such as concerne some speciall places more then other. Of this kinde, Custome is not the least, nor least vsu­all.

Neither doe I denie but that it is a thing that ought much to bee respected, and doe willingly acknowledge concerning the ve­rie point in question, viz. the ministers maintenance, that in our land and Church of England, it is one principall cause of much good and quietnes betwixt pastour and people, while both, ruled by custome, doe rest satisfied with that, which it, by course of time hath made a law. And so long and so farre as any custome is good and reasonable, accordeth with trueth and equitie, doe say of it, with Saint Aug. Cum consuetudini verit as suffragatur, nihil oportet firmius retineri, Aug. cont, Donat. lib. 4. Cap. 7. when trueth it selfe (and reason) approoueth a cu­stome, nothing ought more firmely to bee reteyned. Non. n. (as saith Tertullian,) possumus respuere consuetudinem, quam damnare non possumus) For we ought not,Tertul. de virg. vel pag. 491. nor cannot refuse that custome which wee cannor condemne.

Where Custome is not such, but is apparātly euill & wicked, be­ing repugnāt either to reason, or nature, or the word of God: &c. for so much as by the very lawes of men,Decret. lib. 1. Tit. 4. a Custome to the ende it may haue the force of a law, ought to be both agreeable vnto rea­son, and lawfully prescribed:De Consu. cap. vlt. we may iustly alledge against it that saying of our Sauiour to the pharisies, Math. 15. 3. Why do you trans­gresse the Commandement of God by your tradition, or Custome? and the lawe of God to his people, Leuit. 18. 30. Keepe ye mine Ordinan­ces (saith God) & doe not anie of those abhominable customes which haue bene before you. Ciprian. E­pist. lib. 2, ep. 3. ad. Caecili. And say with Cyprian, we ought not to attend what anie before vs hath thought fitte to bee done, but what first of all Christ who is before all, did first doe: neither must wee followe the Custome of man, but the truthe of God. For (as the same Fa­ther saith otherwhere) Custome without veritie, is but the An­tiquitie of errour.

These things premised, Bee it nowe, that there is any where such a Custome (as they will call it) risen and vsed, that peo­ple shall not maintaine their Minister, not giue of their goods [Page 129] to him that teacheth them: seeing this is a custome wicked and vnreasonable, as which is directly 1. against reason, which saith, that The labourer is worthie of his hire. 2. against nature, which forbiddeth to mous [...]e the mouth of the oxe that treadeth out the corne. 3. against the word of God, which commaundeth him that is taught to make his teacher partaker with him of all his goods: and biddeth euery man so to honour the Lorde with his substance: Therefore it ought to be broken, and not suffe­red among men. For as it is no good argument to say, it hath not beene our custome to serue and worshippe God, to ho­nour Christ, to haue diuine seruice, to haue any Church, to receiue the Sacramentes, to haue any preaching, to haue other then a Sermon once in a month, or in a quarter, with o­ther like; and therefore we will not now begin to doe it, or to haue any such thing: so it is neither good argument, nor agreeable to good reason to say, it hath not beene our cu­stome, to maintaine our minister, to pay any tithes: to giue him any thing but what wee lust: to bee at any certaintie, and therefore wee will not now begin any such matter. For reason and trueth (as well said S. Augustine) must be preferred before custome. And the Truth being manifested, custome must not be followed, because the Lord said not, I am the custome, but I am the truth.

Yet sometimes custome is falsely prepentended. People count that to be a custome, which is none. For in these cases properly to speake; Custome is an ancient and long continued manner of payment of any kinde of tithe in this or that sorte, in this or that quantitie. And therefore holdes onely de tanto, as I may say, not de toto. It preuailes I meane, and is iustly pretended, when question is about the manner how a thing should be paide, but not for the thing it selfe. For it is a ruled case, or Maxime in the lawe, that Non est mos de non decimando. There is no cu­stome for paying no tithes at all, or no tithe of any one thing. But where any thing hath beene payd for the tithe of such or such a thing, though it be but two pence for that which is worth two shillings, or but twelue pence, where in very deede tenne shillings were with the least, or but the twelfe or fifteenth, or but the thirtieth or fortieth parte of the thing it selfe, cu­stome [Page 130] carries it, be it reasonable or not, that it shall still be paid in no other sorte. Otherwise the denial, or non-payement of any kinde of tithes, is nothing else but a flat deniall, debarring and withholding of a manifest right, and no more makes a cu­stome (how long soeuer it hath been left vnpayd) then doth a a tenants denial [...], or detayning of his rent from his land-lord, prooue and cause it to bee irrecouerable, and not due, when­soeuer he list to claime or sue for it, as a thing whereof the lesse is already payd, the more is behinde and to come. In a word, Then properlie may it be called a custome, ‘when some cer­taintie is knowne, that the Incumbent may bee able to vn­derstande, what is his due, what his predecessours haue, and himselfe ought to receiue, and the parishioners what they are to pay.’

Here it were not in vaine to recite some of those many hard customes and vnreasonable compositions wherewith at this day our ministery is oppressed, that being laid open to the cleare view of all men, they might the easier be discerned, and the sooner (If the case be not desperate) mollified. But as well for auoyding tediousnesse as for other causes, I leaue them to the consideration of the godly and conscionable reader, who being any thing acquainted with the state of our ministerie, may of himselfe obserue diuers such; and doe onely wish that such due regard might be had thereto, that hereafter neither any man may haue cause by writing, nor any minister by grie­uance to complaine thereof: which might easily be effected (if my coniecture faile me not) if one thing alone, not fore­seene at the first, were rightly lookt vnto now. I meane the mu­tabilitie an [...] alteration of times.

For likely it is, that whereas for diuers things, by custome or composition, onely thus much is now payd for the tithe thereof both in towne and countrie, which prooueth now to be farre too little. and the Church and ministery to be thereby greatly hindred, the reason why so small a pay (according to our times) was heretofore either imposed or agreed vpon, (for I thinke that they were setled at first with consent and liking of both sides) was because in those times it had prooued, and was one yeare with another, reasonable, and such as was indifferent [Page 131] as well for the one as the other: and the cause why they are found to be so farre from indifferencie, and so vnreasonable for the one side alone, in these daies, is onely or chiefly the alteration of the times, by which, ground, fruites of the earth, cattell, houses, and all other things titheable, are growne to such a high rate & extreame worth, as in those daies was not imagined they could possibly haue risen vnto with continu­ance. The speciall reason that mooues mee to coniecture this to be the cause is, for that I know that in those times, when such customes and compositions tooke their beginnings (for most of them seeme to be somewhat ancient) not the laytie but the Clergie, the Church-men, were the stronger side, and therefore (questionlesse) would neuer yeelde but to such com­position or Custome, as in their iudgement and knowledge, or conceipt (then) should not be preiudiciall to their Churches. Wherefore if this errour of the times alone were amended, probable it is, that diuers customes and compositions, which now ministers (not without cause) complaine of and grudge at, might stand without dislike on either part. The readiest way to amend it, were to make such rates and payments somewhat alterable▪ that so as prices of things doe rise or fall to any no­table difference, the rates and payments themselues might from time to time, as vpon euery vacation of the benefice, or altenation of the possessour, or other like opportunitie, vary and alter: and not the minister enforced to looke, with his con­tinuall hindrance, when things will come (which happely and verie likely will neuer be) to those old rates and valewes againe: and be faine to liue the meane while, not as his parishioners, ac­cording to the present times; but as no body else doth, accor­ding to the former: as if it were possible for the minister alone, and aboue any others, now a daies to liue well enough, by that which was thought and found, when meanes to liue by, were more then [...]ower times cheaper then now they are, to be but sufficient for him, & euen with the least: or reason that any how­soeuer vnreasonable & preposterous composition should bind as well the succeeding as the present Incumbent: & men haue power to preiudice not only thēselues, because mē may do with their owne as they lust, but also all that [...]ome after them, euen in things that are not their owne, farther then for the vse, and [Page 132] present time.

I come now to the fourth and last sorte of obiections, viz. those which are more special then any of the former, that is such as concerne Personall tithes. Touching which very much is to be spoken and answered, as which of all other are most in question.

It seemes vnto many, a thing most vnreasonable and hard, that personall tithes (such I meane as of Artificers, Tradesmen, Mer­chants, &c. are to be paid) should be demanded. And therefore as if the Statutes and lawes to that purpose made, and yet in force, were a thing against all reason and conscience, they will not a­bide to heare thereof. What? men to pay tithes of their labour, and of their priuate gaines? Tradesmen and artificers to be ac­countable for tithes?

But for answere. 1. That such kinde of persons ought to contribute toward the maintainance of the minister as well as others, is alreadie so plainely and firmely prooued, that any man, not voide of sense and reason, cannot but be satisfied with it.

2 This kinde of contribution, whether any lust to call it a Tithe, or a tribute, or a rate, or a pay, or what else any will, it is not much material; it is the thing it selfe, and not the name that is in question. If the name seeme odious vnto any, let it be chan­ged if it may. Though I thinke there be more reason to retaine also the name, as all our predecessors and lawes haue done, then to alter it.

3 Concerning the quantitie, how much they should pay, this is graunted that such persons are not required to pay as the husband man doth, an entire tenth, but a tenth of their cleare gaines, their expenses and charges being thence deduc­ted.

4 If the quantitie determined doe seeme also (as to many it doth) ouer great, what might be little enough, I cannot easily gesse. And I suppose our predecessors, and the wisest and most learned of all Christendome, which did determine it, saw more cause (and I doubt not but they saw in this matter as much as was to be seene) why so to determine, then any now can shew for the contrary.

Their common allegations are as followeth.

1 They of whom such personall tithes are demaunded, are [Page 133] poore tradesmen, artificers, &c. which hauing no lands, no cat­tel, &c. as hath the husbandman, are not able to pay.

Answere. 1. Where pouertie is truely pretended, their case I grant is to be pittied not burthened. Neither is it intended that ought should be payd, but where it is due. But he is very poore that hath nothing at all to pay. If their gaine and income bee but small, yet according to that it is, as they haue receiued, so ought they to returne againe to God. It is not fit, nor it is not lawfull, because they haue not asmuch as they desire, therefore they should spend Gods part and their owne too, & eate vp that, by which the minister should liue, as well as that which pertei­neth to themselues.

2. But whether pouertie be alwaies iustly pretented (as if none were to be accounted rich, but such as haue lands and cattell) may very iustly be made a question. For if, as a tree is knowne by his fruites, so pouertie or riches may by the effects: then out of all question, if we compare the husbandman and tradesman, the townesman & contryman together in other outward things, as in diet, apparell, house, houshould furniture, building, ex­penses, &c. it will easily and quickly appeare, who is the poorer. And now, is it not strange, that whereas in all other things in worldly matters, the tradesman, &c. oftentimes exceeds the countryman very much, and will bee taken for the richer, & more able person, onely in honouring God with his substance; in vpholding religion with his riches, in maintaining the mini­sterie of the Church with his wealth, he wil not come neere him by manie degrees: but though he delights to haue the fairest house, the best apparell, the furest armour, goodliest furniture, richest table, &c. Whatsoeuer it costeth him: yet is, contented (rather then he wilbe at any charge) to haue the worst teacher, the ab­iectest minister. And is pouertie the true cause of this? is need alwaies iustly pretended? Is that I say, euer the right cause, why now a daies among such vix inuenias locupletem, locupletem dico (they bee S. August. words, not mine) non tam facultatibus sed op [...] ­rib. a man can scant finde a rich man, a man I meane that is rich, not so much in worldly goods, as in good workes, in abilitie as in deeds? Why, that many etsi in dom [...]b. aeuro [...]unt diuites, tamen in Ecclesia sunt mendici, Though at home in their houses they want neither siluer nor gold, that appeare very rich, yet at [Page 134] Church, in the house of God, they seeme to bee very poore: though for their owne priuate and worldly respects, they haue and will finde plentie, yet for the seruice of God, and good of their owne soules, they haue little to spare? I will not say as S. August. dooth, we all worship one Christ, & professe all one reli­gion, but not all with one minde: yet some cause there is, but it is not pouertie, what euer it bee.

It was not thus in former daies, in time of Popery, & among our owne forefathers. There bee some yet liuing that can partly remember, & more that haue heard their fathers tell, That the ministers of the Church liued then no where more richly & wel maintained then in townes and Cities: That diuerse small townes did mainteine 4. or 5. Popish priests in better sorte, then now a daies one minister of the Gospell can be maintained. Yea, as some worthie credit doo write, some Cities, and those not very great, did in those times maintaine 30. or 40. Masse priests, bet­ter then now they doo 3. or 4. preachers of the Gospell. By what meanes they did this, though it bee not much to the mat­ter in question, for all was of their liberalitie & readines of heart toward religion, yet they hauing as small lands as many haue now, and liuing by their trades and sciences as such doo now, it must needes be that they made that care and conscience of their offerings and personall tithes, which dooth not appeare now.

Therefore as the Apostle sayd once to his Corinthians in ano­ther matter, so may I in this. I speake it to our shame; Ours, that do professe the Gospell, that glorie of knowledge, and pre­sume of our zeale vnto the Truth, and speciall loue vnto the Gospell: ours that condemne ignorance and detest Popery: that the children of darknes should be wiser them the chil­dren of light: That they which rightly knew not God, but liued in Idolatrie and all kinde of superstition should be found more righteous in this so materiall a pointe of religion then wee: and bee iustified by our selues (their aduersaries for the Gospells sake) that they did (as indeed they did and doo) better honour and maintaine their vaine teachers, blinde guides and false Prophets, the [...] wee our sincere Pastours, faithfull leaders and true teachers. Indeed it is no new thing, and therefore the lesse wonder. The Egyptian priests had better prouision made [Page 135] for them in a time of penury and famine, then our Euangelicall ministers in the Halcyon daies of all abundance,Genes. 47. peace, & plentie. The Prophets of Baal 450. and of the Groues 400. are fed at I [...] ­zabels table with the best, when as Elias is glad to eate with the Rauens by the riuer Cherith, & other the Prophets of the Lord are susteined in a caue by Obadiah with thin fare (God knowes) bread and Water. 1. Reg. 18. But what may wee thinke of it? may wee not therefore iustly feare, That as our Sauiour protested against his owne nation, that the men of Niniuch, & the Queene of the South should arise against them in the daie of iudgement, and condemne them, because they repented at the preaching of Ionas, Math. 12. and shee come from farre to heare the wisedome of Salomon, but they would not re­pent at his preaching that was greater then Ionas, nor heare his doctrine that was wiser then Salomon: so our Popish forefathers and other blinde Idolaters shall arise in the daie of Iudgement and condemne many of vs, because they had that due and good res­pect to their priests such as they were, which wee haue not to ours, such as they are. They were content many times to empo­uerish themselues to maintaine the Church and enrich the mi­nisters thereof, whereas wee care little how to empouerish the one and spoile the other, so wee may enrich our selues. And if this way they any thing offended, it was in this, That they made their priestes beeing but bad, to bee worse with ouerfeeding, & pampering them too much; wee runne quite into the other ex­reame and (that which is of the two, the worse) do make them that bee good men, and would bee good ministers, many times to bee bad, vnprofitable and contemptible, by pinching them, and keeping from them that which they should liue by: and to the no little detriment of learning, and ruine of religion, turne to our prophane vses, and reserue to our priuate estates, that which in equitie and right, by the Law of God and his Church, should bee employed to a more common good. But take wee heed, God is not mocked. A masked pretence of pouertie will one daye bee a seely shield, and little helpe when God shall bring euery worke into iudgement, & disclose the things that now lye in darknes.

2. Secondly, it is obiected, That those of whom such kinde of tithes are demaunded, doo commonly aduenture much, and so be subiect to many losses, &c. more then the husbandman is: [Page 136] and therefore no reason that they should pay any such tithes.

Answ. 1. That their estates are more casual is not denied. And in consideration thereof, partly it is (I thinke) that by the consent of all, an entire tenth is not required of them, but (as I haue formerly noted) a tēth of their cleare Gaines, diductis Expensis But because it is no reason that they pay so much as the hus­bandman dooth, is it reason they pay nothing at all? I will not here actum agere, Let the Reader thinke of it as God shall moue him: Enough is already sayd touching that point.

2. As for the aduentures and hazards, the great perills and many dangers, which they doo passe & endure, I for my part am so farre from thinking it reason, that in regard thereof they should befreed from yeelding to God or his minister any part of their goods, that thereby I hold them rather, to be the more bound (beeing deliuered out of such perills, and hauing obtey­ned good successe) to shew themselues therfore the more thank­full to God, as vnto whose only great fauour, singular proui­dence, & speciall mercy, they doo (as they ought) impute their safetie and good euent. And of my minde it seemeth were those godly & truelie religious Captaines of Israel in Moses time, who hauing bene at warre, and their whole army beeing but 12000, had fought & vanquished 5. Kings of Midiam, & all their people, and yet found vpon reuiew of their companies, that they had not lost a man, Numb. 31. though they had already by the Lords appointment, parted with one halfe of the bootie, vnto the rest of the people that went not into the field, and of the other halfe had giuen as a tribute to the Lord, of euery 500. one, did father voluntarily ouer and aboue all this, in token of their speciall thankfulnes for Gods so great and vnexpected deliurance, offerd vnto the Lord another rich offering of their Iewels & ornaments which they had pillaged, to the valew of 16750. sekels of golde, a memorable testimonie of their gratefull mindes. They thought it not enough to giue to God as others did, and as was ordinarilie re­quired, but because they had tasted of Gods mercie aboue others, they account it their dutie (as euery godly man should) to giue to God more then others. For, nature, much more reli­gion teacheth, all, that The more a man receiueth, the more hee is bounden. The greater benefits, the greater thankfulnes is requi­red at his hands.

[Page 137] True. But cannot we be thankfull to God,Obiection. though we offer vn­to him none of our goods? we can praise him with our hearts, and with our tongues declare the wonders that he had done, we can exalt his name in the congregation of the people, and tell out his workes with gladnesse.

Or,Answere. To be plaine, we can be content to offer vnto him the oblations of our hearts and our lips, but not of our hands. We can be content,S. Bernard. as S. Bernard very aptly, to this purpose spea­keth) to goe with the wise men to seeke Christ, yea, we will with them fall downe and worship him too, but we be growne too wise with thē to open to him our treasures; That is, the very renting of our hearts, we cannot endure to be tied vnto it. If Paul will make Agrippa a Christian, he must except these bands too. But be not we decei­ued, God is not mocked. He requires that we honour him with our goods, as well as with our bodies and our spirits, for both those and these are his. Which the man after Gods owne heart Dauid, well considered, when (as we read Psal. 116.) hauuing bin in such distresses and troubles, that standing vpon the brincke of the pit of dispaire, he said, All men are lyars, and vtterly deceiued, that say or account of me, that euer I shall es [...]ape these daungers, and be exalted to sit vpon the throne, and yet at length finding Gods mercies so vnmeasurablie heaped vpon him, that he was not a­ble to expresse them, bethinking how to shewe himselfe not vnmindfull thereof, nor vnthankfull therefore, hee did enquire within himselfe, saying; Quid retribuam Domino, &c. What shall I render to the Lord for all the benefits that he hath done vnto me? He resolueth not onely I wili take the cup of saluation, and call vpon the name of the Lord: but also this, verse 15. I will offer a sacri­fice of thanks-giuing according to the law, and I will pay my vowes euen now in the sight of all his people; that is, I will with my goods per­forme such ordinarie duties as the Lord in his law doth require: and I will besides render of my goods such other things as in my trouble I vowed extraordinarilie to giue or offer vp vnto my God, if he should deliuer me out of them. Now if men be so farre from Dauids minde, that (because they haue beene in trouble and danger) they will not onely not vow, nor giue any thing extra­ordinarily, but refuse likewise therefore, to render euen that which God doth ordinarily require, let them take heede, least pretending to draw neere vnto God with their lips, their hearts [Page 138] (whatsoeuer they pretend) be as farre from him as their hands; and insteed of shewing thanfulnesse, they do not openly bewray manifest vnthankfulnesse, and so make themselues vnworthy of future blessings, that be so vngratefull for former.

3 But it is not fit, that the minister should receiue personall tithes: because so he will from time to time, be acquainted with mens seuerall estates, and know as well as they in manner, what they gaine or lose from yeare to yeare.

Answere. But why is it not fit he should know, in some generall sort at least, how god doth blesse or not blesse, prosper or not pro­sper his people? For how they do rise or fal, & what their states alwaies are, hee cannot know, because he is nothing the more ac­quainted thereby with their expenses and spending of that they haue. God thought it to be fit enough among his own people the Iewes: as may appeare by appointing them, 1. To pay the tenth of euery thing. 2. to bring 3. times a yeare euery man his offering according as God had blessed him. In diuerse of their offerings, to offer an offering of greater or lesser valew, according as they were either riche or poore. Againe we doe see, that the husbandman at this day euery where doth account to the mi­nister of God how God hath blessed, inriched and increased him, or otherwise diminished and brought h [...]m low, in euery thing he hath, both great and small. And why shall tradesmen, &c. thinke that not fit for them to doe, which God did iudge to be very fit for his owne people, and which husbandmen neither refuse nor think vnfit? Let others thinke what they will, I doe verily think it to be not onely fit, but also expedient and necessary too, that e­uery man whether he be husbandman or tradesman, doth liue by by land or sea, by natures increase, or by his [...]rte and labour, should let his minister know how God doeth either blesse or not blesse him, that so he (the minister) may be the more oc­casioned, the rather for that it so neerly toucheth himselfe, either to praise God for plentie and aboūdance sent, or to pray to God, where his hand is heauie, for the remoouing therof, and sending of better successe.

Farther, But where som composition lies, vnlesse the minister be made acquainted with the Income & increase or decrease of his parishioners estate by Computation, which way is it possible he shall know what certaintie to demand, or depend vpon? but must [Page 139] (the thing that it most disclaimed, & indeed vtterly intolerable) stand stil to the curtesie & beneuolence of the parishioner. Wher­fore sith it is most vnfit and vnreasonable that the minister be left to mens curtesies & cōsciēces, which now a daies be but short; let such as think it not fit that he should be acquainted with their gains and losses from time to time, condiscend at least to that which neither parte hath any iust cause to except against, that is, some reasonable Composition, as in London alreadie there is: which one yeare with another may be indifferent for both sides.

4 But where is any such Tithe payd? who is there that paies them? Therefore why should we doe otherwise then others doe?

Hereunto though I might answere in a word, We ought to liue by lawes not by examples: And therefore though it were true, that this kind of Tithe were now no where paid, yet this being prooued (as it is) that of right it ought to be paid, such examples of non-paiment doe not iustifie, but make more euill the facte. For, The more trangressors, the greater the sinne. The farther the disease is spread, the more intolerable and needing speedy care, ne pars syncer a trahatur, least al be mard: yet if the willing Reader will vouchfafe but to turne a little backeward he shall there find it sufficiently declared, how long, by whom, & where, those kind of Tithes haue, from time to time beene paid.

Farther I answere that in diuers parts of our land, they are paid in one or other manner namely in the citties of London & Canterburie, as both by practice, and by the statute for that pur­pose extant in print, is euident.

2 Besides London, these kind of Tithes are also paid in diuers other places, in some other manner, as I doe gather, by the very words of the statute touching such tithes; wherein is this Prouis [...], That in al such places where handiecrafts [...] haue vsed in some other manner, (viz. otherwise then by computation of the tenth, the ex­penses diducted) or by compositiō for the tenth proportionably, with London) to paie their tithe, that there the same Custōe of paymēt of tithes shall be obserued & continue stil. For these words do plainly signify that there be such places in the lād, wherby some ancient custome, artificers, trades-men, &c. haue vsed to pay such Tithes though in other manner, then either by the statute generallie is prouided, or in London, &c. particularly is vsed: otherwise that [Page 140] Prouiso were superfluous.

3 Also in fisher townes, the fisher-men doe pay tithe of their fish, and so doe fowlers of their fow [...]e, both which are a kind of personall tithe, as by the manner of payment thereof, and cu­stome of euery place may easily be coniectured.

Now seeing personall tithes are paid in fisher townes, likewise in London & some other places else, after one sort; and in diuers other places after another; and in all other places (of like nature) ought to be paid: it is superfluous to aske where they are paid, and who doe pay any personall tithes? Rather they shew themselues apparrantly worthy blame, that mooued neither by the exam­ple of husbandmen that pay predial tithes, nor of the best of our townes and citties (such without all exception is London, being the head cittie of the whole kingdome) which doe in one or other manner pay personall tithes, and so yeelde the minister a certaine maintenance, will looke onely vpon those, which regarding neither law nor good example, doe not their duetie; and account they doe not amisse, so long as they doe but as such (the worst, not the best) doe.

5 But this were a great charge to townes and citties, where people already, though they doe pay the minister nothing to­ward his maintainance, yet haue inough to do to liue. And were it not a great benefit to them, if they might continue as they doe in many places, that is, giuing that way but what they lust?

Answere, 1. Why should any account that to be a charge and burthen ouer heauie, which others do easily beare, and that, I say not without any griefe, but euen with desire to continue? Be there not diuers places in the land, where prediall tithes being paid to the Church, the minister receiueth yearely more pounds, then shillings in some townes, that yet are the more populous, which neuerthelesse doo not count it a matter of charge, nor repent that euer their predecessors condescended thereunto, but (may count themselues, and) are indeed of all other therby most happy, because they haue those notable meanes which others want, to obteine the best and most learned teachers to reside with them? And what charge, what burthen is it to the Citizens of London, to pay as they do by the house? Doe they complaine thereof? Doe they finde it a beggering & vndooing vnto them? and see that they haue cause to curse the time, that [Page 141] euer such a course was taken betwixt them and their ministers? Nay rather, doo not many of them of their owne liberalitie and loue to the Worde, augment and enlarge it? And dooth not in­fallible experience shew, manifest & manifold reasons conuince, That it was an happy thing for them, that euer so iust & ne­cessary a law was enacted, ‘and so excellent, good & indifferent a course prouided and planted for their ministerie? And that the ministerie of our land, specially in places of like condition, will neuer stand in good estate, nor the people thereof haue due and necessary teaching, till the same or some other like course for personall tithes bee generally and duely planted and setled among vs.’

2. Men ought not to count that a charge (a burthen not to bee admitted, beeing yet absent, nor endured beeing present) without which they cannot well bee. ‘But except men will main­taine a minister,’ they cannot haue, nor indeed are not worthie to haue a minister among them. Wherefore as a tenant counts it no charge to pay his rent, because vnlesse hee pay it, [...]start; he knowes hee cannot dwell in the house: so neither ought the parishioner, who ought to account himselfe no lesse bound to pay to the Church the rights thereof: and bee as willing to yeeld his mi­niste [...] that is due, as hee would him to be to performe the office and duetie of a minister.

3. It is certaine & euident, That our predecessours, ancient & best Christians, did not account it a charge ouer-great to paie their personall Tithes, and maintaine liberally their ministers: nor a benefit to tradesmen, &c. to pay them nothing, and giue them but what they lust. For then they would neuer haue condescended (as it appeareth generally they did) to the pay­ment and establishment of personall aswell as of prediall tithes. And it had been an easie matter for them, while yet no such thing was in practise, and not so much as the name of personall tithes deuised and knowne, to haue admitted no such kind of imposition, but to haue held fast such a priuiledge and benefit: but that, besides reason it selfe, religion had rightly enformed them, that, which couetousnes will not suffer vs to learne, That such freedome was bondage, such ease the worst burthen, and such a benefit the greatest detriment: and therefore it was as ne­cessary for them to impose personall tithes on tradesmen, &c. [Page 142] as prediall on husbandmen, & no more benefit for those to bee free of the one, then these of the other.

4. I appeale to their owne consciences that thus obiect, what benefit it is to any parish, where prediall tithes are due, to haue them taken from the Church, and nothing there to be left, ex­cept it bee some peeld Vicaridge, scant woorth the taking, or some, beggerlie stipend worse then it? I am sure vnlesse they will speake against their owne consciences & all reason: vnlesse they bee of that minde of which it is likely that some are, viz. That, so they might haue their tithes, & other profits, which now the Church dooth or should enioy into their owne hands, they cared little, whether they had any minister, any publike seruice of God, or any teaching at all: they must answere, That (howsoeuer the case now stand,) that is not benefit to the place, but an extreame miserie & plague; seeing by that meanes they of the place must needs haue such teachers, not as are fit, but as they can get & rest contented for the most part, with the dregs and refuse of the Cleargie, whereby the blinde leading the blinds, both fall into the Pitt [...]: whereas if the minister (as in other places) had the whole, they might haue some learned & very able teacher to their Pa­stour; who, carefully attending them, might saue both himselfe, & them that heare him. Now if the matter be well lookt into, what difference is there twixt the one and the other? I meane, if in the one place the minister hath all the prediall tithes kept from him, and in th'other all the personall? and thereby as well the one as the other is a fit receptacle for only the worst and vn­worthiest Pastour? And what is this but as that, a kinde of Im­propriating? vnlesse happely it bee of the two, the more wicked and intolerable. First, because in the other, that the minister hath though it bee but little yet is certaine. Hee knowes what to demaund of euery man, and hath good Lawe for recouery of it, if it bee deteined, in this, not.

2. For the most part it is more in quantitie then the personal tithe is; the number of parishioners or communicants one with the other compared.

3. The other is taken away by Law; this by very fraud, and nothing else but abuse (or at most vnsufficiency and weaknes) of Law.

4. In the other euery parishioner payes his full tithes, if [Page 143] not to whom of right, yet to whom by Lawe, it ought to bee payd: and so is, quod ammo [...], discharged of his debt and dutie to God and the Church: but in this, the parishioner without so much as any cloake or co [...]uert of Law to hide his sinne withall, deteines his tithes to himselfe, and so conuerteth to his owne pr [...]uate vse, that which the other either directly or ind [...]ectly pa [...]es to God and his Church.

5. Finally,Note th [...] well. what benefit it may bee to any people to vsu [...]p this libertie, I know not; vnlesse this bee a benefit, That by this meanes they may at their pleasure abuse, ‘wrong, impoue­rish, persecute, weary out and driue awaye their minister when­soeuer they list. For by this meanes, if a companie of them shal but lay their heads together, vpon any conceipt they haue against the man, to hold him short for his maintenance, and to pay him no more then perforce they must, and both he & they know (how muchsoeuer in very deed his due bee) hee is able by anie lawe [...]et in force to recouer; then it is easie to coniecture what will within a while become of the poore minister. And whether this be not a kinde of persecuting of the Gospell, (and therefore vnfit to bee tolerated where the Gospell is professed) let all men iudge. For if in warres, as experience [...] dooth shew, it bee possible to assault and ouerthrow the enemy aswell by famine, and secreat vnderminings as by open battaile in the field: and it be true which Diuines haue obserued, that there is a kin­de of persecution that is priuy and wrought by subtilitie and policie, and it no lesse dangerous, then that which is open & by planie force and violence; then out of all question, this is as fine a pollic [...]e & as notable a subtilitie, whereby men may perse­cute the minister of God at their pleasure, keep him and driue him from them whē they list, & yet be reputed in the face of the world for none other then good and honest men, yea religious and good Protestants, as any lightly the deuill can deuise. And therefore knowing the whynes of Sathan, I will not mar­uell, if any such as are secreat enemies to religion, and indeed despise and contemne the ministers thereof, what shew soeuer they make vnto the world shall labour and stand vp with tooth and naile to hold fast this (supposed) priuiledge & benefit. But I shal more then marueil, if (this diuelish Stratageme being thus dis [...]uered,) any that sincerely feares God, vnfcinedly loues [Page 144] the Gospell of Iesus Christ, & in trueth & veritie affects the mi­nisters thereof, shall but open his mouth to haue it continued, & such an aduantage & ready meanes for the diuell and his mem­bers, to persecute the ministers of the Gospel, at their pleasure, suffered among Gospelling Christians.’

I haue shewed sufficientlie that it is no benefit to any (what­soeuer some account it) to be freed of personall tithes. Now will I also shewe (for the farther satisfying of all) that indeed it is diuers waies, a great benefit, and the right way to do themselues good to paie them, and so their owne great harme that they doo not.

1. By that meanes, they shall honour God with their riches, as God hath commaunded, Prou. 3. 9. as did Abraham, Genes. 14. Iacob. Genes. 28. the Israelites, Numb. 31. their neighbours and brethren that are husbandmen round about them doo: and all men, by the Law of God and nature are bound, as already is proued and declared in the 6. and 7. Chap. of this treatise at large.

2. They shall procure vnto themselues able and good tea­chers, one of the most principall benefits that God can bestow on men in this life; and not bee subiect, as commonly they are, vnto the worste and vnworthiest of all other. Maintenance for learned men once setled & had, learned men will easily bee had also to accept it: not had, it is vaine to expect or hope for such to come among them. I denie not, but that sometime learned & very worthie and able men doo accept of very meane places. But it is either for very necessitie, making of such as it were a stay till they can bee better prouided for;Dionisium Corinthi. Or it is for a supplie, and by way of augmentation, hauing some better preferment other­where. And then not seldome it so falls out, that delighting to be most with them that best maintaine them, these are left to vn­learned Curates: and so haue indeede learned men rather in name then in deede to their Pastors, according to the measure they offer them, which is a liuing in name, and not in deed; a maintainance in shew, but not in proofe.

3 They shall procure the blessing of God vpon them & their goods, euen in regarde of their outward estates. For (as after I shal shew more fully, Cap. 9. following) God doth blesse thē with plēty & increase of wealth, that duelie pay their tithes, as well personall [Page 145] as prediall, and liberally maintaine the [...]r ministers, whether in towne or countrie: as contrarywise hee [...] them with los­ses▪ shipwrackes, scarcenes, barrennes, pouertie, and neede of all things, that deale otherwise.

4. They shall procure much vnitie, amitie, and good liking betwixt them and their ministers; wheras now there is continu­all dislike, grudge, discontent, griefe, and murmuring on both sides. They think him a man couetous & vnreasonable, one that will neuer be satisfied: he againe counts (as the trueth is) them vnreasonable and vnconscionable in their dealing toward him, that look he shuld rest satisfied with their offerings only, & those other scraps that now and then fall out, togither with what they lust besides to giue him. Which is in truth a kind of beggarly con­dition▪ & so vnseeming a minister of the Gospel, that I hold him worthy much reproofe that shall accept and approoue it.

5. They shall auoid the grudge and enuy of their neighbours, husband-men, and others that pay in good sorte, who (as I haue heard oft with mine owne eares) doe repine and grieue that they should paye so much (yet but their due,) to the maintainance of their ministers, when others better able a great deale in wealth and worth (though not in lands) paye in manner nothing: not the fortieth, nor manie times the hundreth parte that they doe. They ask (not without reason) why one husbandman, his liuing beeing not worth aboue 10. or 20. pounds by the yeare, should yearely paye 20. or 40. shillings a peece at the least; and a Mer­chant, a Clothier, a Trade or handicrafts-man, dispending by his trade or science an hūdreth poūd a yeare at least, esteemed worth 500. happely a 1000. poundes, shall paye scant so manie pence? Or when the husband-man payes somewhat either in Specie. OF by custome and composition for euery thing hee doth possesse, why these shall not pay of anie one thing almost the tenth? For they be not so blinde, but they can see, nor so bad accountāts but they can tell, That if trades-men paid but the tēth of their gaines for anie one commoditie that oft they deale in, it would & must needes be more then that they commonly giue for the whole.

Such inequalitie & vn-indifferency seene betwixt them that be of one parish, one church, one countrey, and one kingdome, and therfore should be as equally and indifferently dealt with, one as another, how can it but offend, and grieue them that be still pres­sed, [Page 146] and beare euer the heauier burthen? And so much the more when they see, That by this meanes many times it is, that they are ill taught, haue had Ministers, and their Ministers liue in need and beggerie: whereas they know well, that if the rest of their neighbors did mainta [...]ne them, and allow them as much a peece, (or but half so much) according to their ability as they do (& in al reasō & equity, besides religiō so they ought) they might haue as able & good teachers as in other places & parishes there bee.

6. Whereas now it oft falleth out, That where the place con­sisteth not of trades-men &c. some of the wealthier sort are faine, (they seeing by the with-drawing and ill payment of the grea­test number their Minister else not able to liue among them) to pay more then is their due: hereby, a due certaintie setled by law, all shall alike according to their estates be lyable to the Mini­sters maintenance, and so he better maintained then before and yet they that before were ouer-charged much eased.

7. Whereas now in diuers places, some well disposed peo­ple, considering their want of teaching, haue of late yeares d [...]ui­sed a remedy by surcharging themselues, that is, by maintaining a preacher besides their Minister: by this meanes they shalbe eased of a great part of that charge. For their owne Minister be­ing condignely sustayned, would oftentimes performe that the other doth.

7. 6. We do pay personall tithes: as they are due, so they are not denyed. Answ. I do not denie, but that diuers trades-men, ar­tificers, &c. doe pay their Ministers somewhat aboue 2 pence a peece, as 4. pence, 12. pence, 2. shill. ten groates, or it may be a crowne, &c. but howsoeuer they may account that ouerplus, to be their personall, or (as they call it) their priuie tithes, and pay it in name thereof: yet for my part I am altogether of another minde, and do verily thinke and take the same to be but a meere offering onely. My reasons are, 1. If Tithes be Decima pars, a tenth part of that a man doth possesse, or of a mans gaines or in­crease, for so the word doth sound, men haue defined Tithes, and the law of God doth determine: then in no sense, can such a scantling or pittance iustly be termed or counted for any Tithe: seeing many times, it is so farre from the tenth, that is not Cen­tesima the hundreth, happely vix millesima pars, scarce the thow­sandth part of that yeares increase, and cleare gaines, and so no [Page 147] way proportinable to tithes, either as gods law, or as mans law doth lay them out.

2. They which pay it, do pay it, not as a thing due and ac­countable as tithes are, but as a matter voluntarie, such are offe­rings: which they may, as they account, and indeed vpon the least spleene in the world against the Minister, do deny to pay, thinking ( [...] a man may beleeue them) that by law he hath right to nothing but his two penie offerings: and that whatsoeuer they pay him more, it is their curtesie forsooth, as a gifte or almes, and not their duetie or his desert.

3. It comes neerer to the quantitie and nature of an offe­ring, which commonly is and hath bene a thing voluntarie, far lesse then the tenth part, variable according to mens minds as well as their estates, &c.

4. Otherw [...]se the right payment of offerings cannot be seene among vs. For that 2. pence which alone they account to be their offering, is enforced by lawe, which requireth not so much onely, but (as I take it, and els it is wrong) somuch at the least of e­uery one, and therefore is not voluntarie. Secondly, that is (as they account it) equall to all: whereas gods lawe (whence the custome of offerings hath his chiefest ground) required it should be more or lesse according to euery mans abilitie, Deut. 16. 17. And it were a shame and discredit to the richer sort, that they should offer, not like rich men much, but as poore widowes euerie man his mite, or as one tearms it, & wel, micas, their [...]rums; as if they reconed of the minister in the, Ch. as of Lazarus at their doores.

5. It was the custome once of our Church of England, to make their offerings 4. times in the yeare at the least. Which though now by a worse custome they be brought all to once; presuppo­sing it were yet invse, if a rich man shuld offer but 4. times a yeare, I would but aske what might be expected from him? what? but an halfe-peny at a time? Could he for very shame, setting aside Deuotion or Religion (though he did pay his tithes besides in the largest maner) cast downe lesse then a groate, sixe pence, or twelue pence at a time? which cast in all at once comes to a like reckoning.

So that euery way this matter considered, make of it what they can, they can make no Tithes of it.

At the most it is but an offering, and that a poore one too, if it [Page 148] be compared with the aboundance which some of those offerers doe possesse, or with the little which it selfe is, in respect of that the husbandman doth pay, or with the maner of offering among the people of the Iewes; who I doubt not by way of volunta­rie offering alone, besides their tithes, their vowes, their first fruites, and their appointed sacrifices, gaue farre more then ma­nie of those of whom I speake, doe giue euery manner of way.

Wherefore I may with good reason and euidence conclude, That they which paye their minister but in such sorte, therein paye him no tithes at all; and so with-hold from him the greatest part of his maintainance, viz. his Tithes, wherein properly the very substance of the ministers maintainance doeth consist: the rest viz. his offerings, beeing but as an ouerplus cast in, and ad­ded to the heap.

Wherein I would to God people would or could see, First how hardly and iniuriously they deale with the minister, in that for his whole yeares labour and paines among them, they yeelde him no ordinarie maintainance at all. For the offering (as I haue sayd) is but as an extraordinry bountie. And therefore speaking of these matters I am wont to say, That he which payes his of­ferings, and other pettie and extraordinary duties, but with­holds his tithes, doth like as if a man making a shewe to paye a man a bushell of corne by heape, should deliuer him but the o­uer-measure, and keepe backe the iust bushell for himselfe. Secondly, how vnconscionable and voyde of due consideration they shew themselues, who seeing the husbandman to pay tithes as well as offerings, and to contribute towards the maintainance of the minister so liberally, That there is scant a man among them whose liuing is worth Com. annis, an 100. pounds, but yeelds the minister 7. or 8. pounds at least, and in places that be fertile and good a great deale more: and diuers tradesmen, &c. (in London I meane) to pay by the house 7. times asmuch at least, as they doe by this voluntary course: yea, knowing that they themselues doe many times giue the minister, more for one houres labour, as at a marryage, a funerall, &c. then this way for the whole yeare, yet can perswade themselues that they doe well, and satisfie their mindes, that they performe their dutie to God and his minister in very good sort?

For what conscience, reason, and equitie is in it, that a man [Page 149] able to dispend by his trade, science, and profession 100. markes, or an 100. pounds yearely, should looke to haue the benefit of a ministers labours, for him and his all the yeare long, for twelue pence, or tenne groates, &c: specially when as an husband-man not of like worth in liuing by farre, giues him as manie or moe pounds?

I hope I haue nowe made it most euident and cleare to the eye of all indifferent persons, that notwithstanding any thing that can to the contrary be obiected, it is both reasonable and necessary that Personall tithes aswell as Predial be payed: & by con­sequent, That the lawes, and namely the Statute of An. 2. Edu. 6. cap. 13. to that purpose made, are, in that pointe, not hard and vn­reasonable, but reasonably equall, and iust. Against the which, howsoeuer some doe murmure and complaine in that respect, yet I would to God, that the ministers had no more cause of complainte then the people haue, by reason of the greeuances, which by occasion, or abuse, at least, of that Satute, concerning personall tithes, they doe endure.

For, if (as I trust it may) it may bee lawfull for them that be grieued to groane, and that feele themselues distressed, to call for helpe, and open their griefes: if in this time and libertie of the Gospell it may be free in defence and furtherance of the Gospel, to speak the trueth; the trueth is, That that Statute (in other re­spects) is ouer-fauourable to the people, (as made altogither or their aduantage) rather then to the minister, and too hard to the minister, not to the people. Namely,

First, in regard of the time allowed for payement, which is at Easter. For, till then by the Statute, the parishioner may choose, whether hee will pay any penie of offerings, or of those personall tithes.

This clause, I assure you, goes harde for the minister. For howsoeuer in some countrey parishes, where are fewe or none, that ought ot paye personall tithes, and the minister hath his li­uing come-in, at other times of the yeare in due sorte, it is no great matter, nor hurt to him to tarrie for his personal tithes and offerings till Easter: yet in Townes and Citties, where the poore minister hath but a little (God knowes) as yet, to liue vppon, to tarrie for all till the yeares ende, and to bee faine (as no doubt manie doe) to borrowe, &c. wherewith to keepe house till [Page 150] Easter, that goes hard. 2. And as the forbearāce of a mans due so long time, cannot but be to him some trouble and hindrance; yet it were well, if he lost nothing thereby in the end: but that is seldome so. For the parishioners who commonly are ready to prey vpon euery aduantage, and ingenious to deuise meanes and shiftes to pay as little as may be, take thereby occasion to shuffle together their whole yeares employments; And then though they haue gayned well in the former quarters of the yeare, if happely they haue lost any thing in the later, the par­son payes for it: whereas if they payd those personall tithes, as the husbandman doth his prediall, or as fishers and fowlers doe their personall, viz. alwaies when they arise, or at the quarters end, as in London, the Minister might happely fare a little better then commonly he doth. Neither is this all: but by this means, 3, if the Incumbent hauing serued 2. or. 3. quarters of the yeare and more, happen to die before Easter, all is lost; he, his wife, family, &c. for a great part of the yeares seruice, shall haue no­thing, but the next Incumbent shal reape the fruits of his whole yeares labours.

Secondly, in regard of the persons exempted by law from such personall tithes, which be, first all common day-labourers, and then in fisher townes, all saue those that haue fish to pay. For of these, the former is a fauour more then the husbandman hath, who, how poore soeuer he be, yet doth and must pay some­what. And then the later is more then a fauour, euen a great pri­uiledge to the wealthy, besides the meaner sort of such townes­men: seeing it is probable, That no towne standes so on fishing, but that there are in it dyuers & they wealthy too, of sundry o­ther trades and occupations, who yet (if I mistake not) go cleare by benefit of the expresse words of the statute; where it were disagreeing neither to reason nor religion, that they should help to maintaine their Minister of that they liue by, aswell as their neighbours that liue by fishing: and not the whole charge rest vpon some few, and the Minister receiue nothing at all of many of them.

Thirdly, in regard of the meanes appointed for recouerie of those tithes: wherein the partie greeued is vtterly debarred of the defendants oath, and per Conseq. of any certaine and readie meanes thereto. Of which point let that suffice which is before [Page 151] spoken.

Fourthly,pag. 54. in regard of the very words of the statute concer­ning the quantitie prescribed. For I do not yet find it agreed, nor explaned by any, what is to be accounted Cleare games.

The common opinion is: That only to be Cleare gaines, and so titheable, which a man putteth vp (as they say) in his purse at he yeares ende, aboue all charges and expenses whatsoeuer: Or which a man at the yeares end findeth his last yeares stocke to be increased, aboue that at the beginning of the yeare it was. But though I know, that neither this way, after this so large a sense, do any almost now a daies satisfie the law, that this neither is nor can be the true sense of the law, I haue many and those apparant reasons: as,

1. So might the Ministers maintenance proue exceeding small, nothing happely some yeares. For it is probable that many trades-men &c. may gaine well, and yet lay vp nothing at the years end, but spend all in housekeeping, gaming, drinking, &c.

2. So there should be no maner proportion, betwixt predial and personall tithes. Because where as the husbandman, how smal soeuer his increase be, yet paies somewhat: the trades-man though he gaine indeed verie much, yet if he haue occasion thereunto, or but will spend all, shall pay nothing. And then wher­as among husbandmen the maintenance of the Minister lies equally vpon them all, both poore and rich, euery one paying more or lesse, according to that he hath; among trades-men it shall lie onely vpon some few, and those the honestest and thrif­tiest onely.

3. So should the practize of that law for personall tithes, vt­terly differ from the practize of the same law in places exempt, as in London, in fisher townes, &c. In which euery man rich or poore, that hath either house or fish, paies accordingly: euerie man spending but his owne, and not the Ministers parte like­wise.

4. By this meanes the Minister stands still at an vncertain­tie and the curtesie of his parishner; (the thing principally disclaimed.) For the parishner what euer hee gaine is still at his choise if he list, to spend all: and may handle the matter so, that though another gaining but 20. pounds, yeeld the Minister 10. or 20. shill [...] yet he gaining an 100. poūds, may not yeeld him [Page 152] twentie pence.

All which absurdities and inconueniences weighed, it is pro­bable, that is not the true sense of the law, vpon, and from which they doe arise.

Another therefore if we seeke, that I take it, must needes be this; That euery such person shall pay the tenth part, not of his gaines absolutely, aboue his first stocke or principall, but of his cleare gaines: that is, of that, which, hauing diducted and abated all such charges & expenses as besides the first penie that he had occasion to lay out, surmounteth towards house-keeping, and in­crease of stocke.

So that wheras in prediall tithes, the husband-man is not al­lowed for his seede, ploughing, weeding, reaping, mowing, shea­ring, carriage, or any other like charges; in personal tithes it is o­therwise: The trades-mā, &c. shalbe allowed (besides his principal, for his expenses in tools, rent, reparations, for carriage, cellerage, custome and other like, and pay Tithe onely of that which ari­seth cleare aboue all such charges, and is lefte him, when hee hath made his full and absolute returne toward his houshold necessaries, or to bee newely imployed as a stocke.

This sense, as any man may easily perceiue, first, is very con­sonant to reason: secondly, beareth some proportion betwixt prediall and personall tithes, in that wel-nigh all trades-men, ar­tificers, &c. may be found lyable more or lesse, to such a kinde of paye: thirdly, admitteth some knowne certainety (the thing specially intended) in euery mans estate: fourthly, it is confir­med by the vsuall practize of the payment of such tithes, in such cases as are out of question, as in London; where paying by the house, euery man whose house is 10. shill. or aboue, of yearly rēt, paies accordingly: of fish, wherof in most places the tithe is paid, not of the iust Tenth, but of the twelfth, & in some places, but of the fifteenth part, 2. or 5. parts (as the expenses may appeare to be more or lesse) being allowed for boate and Sayne, &c. Which doth plainly argue, That the expenses mentioned in the statute, should be vnderstood,Inre, circarem, & ex­trarem. not of all kind of charges whatsoeuer, that a man may bee at, for himselfe and his Trade, the whole yeare thorough, but those onely which are imployed about the very thing it selfe, [...]. lib. 3. fol. 99. as instruments and meanes, or as the principal, or a part of the principal, to bring it (the gaines) to hand. Which kind [Page 153] of charges or expenses once deducted, the remainder, being cleare gaines is to be shared betwixt the gainer thereof, and his minister, toward the maintenance of them both: euen as the husbandman doth his whole increase as naturally it doth arise, without any such deduction.

These things considered, that is, the time of payment, the per­sons exempted, the meanes for recouery, and the ambiguitie of the words, I hope I may without any dāger, wrong, or scādal at al, iustly conclude and affirme, that the statute for personal tithes is not hard, but exceeding fauourable vnto the parishioner: &, That the ministers rather haue great cause, finding by iust & long ex­perience, how men abuse those fauours, and peruert that law, to their great preiudice, the hurt of our ministery, hindrance of the Gospel,Stop not your eares at the crie of the afflicted. and decay of learning, to complaine thereof, & with all earnestnes to craue & desire the magistrats of the land, & al those in whose hands it lies to redresse such euills: that weighing the matter more thoroughly, and considering more seriously of the cause, for the righting of their wrongs for furtherance of the gos­pel & learning, for increase of preachers in the land, they would either alter this statute wholly, and settle in steed of it a perpetuall composition betwixt the incumbent & his parishners for personall tithes, either after the maner of the citie of Londō, or some other like: or else at least, so explane, amplifie and perfit (a common practise in sundy cases euen of [...]inal moment) the present st [...]tute, that al ambiguities and euasions being taken away and stopped, the mini­ster might plainly and directly know, what to demand, and how to reco [...]er it, and the parishioner what and how to pay. Wherein the case being so doubtfull, ambiguous, apt and open to contenti­on as now it is, any reasonable certaintie were much more be­neficiall to the ministerie, then that which now can bee had. And it could not but be a meanes of much peace and concord betwixt pastour and people (a thing worthy to be bought with som loss) who now in this case, wil yeeld in maner nothing, with­out continual contention: which moueth the greater number of ministers, rather to lose in manner the whole, then to be litigious and accounted contentious for a part. The statute was made in such a time, when it was thought a vertue, to nip and abate the height of the Cleargy: and therefore if it do seeme [...]o fauour ra­ther the parishioner then the Pastor, [...]and giue the one aduan­tage to pay little, rather then the other to recouer much, it is not [Page 154] much to be wondered at, or greatly misliked. But now that time it selfe and truth her daughter haue discouered the defects thereof, and the present time affecting (as is necessarie and iust) a learned and able ministerie, it were requisite and a very godly act, if it might so be lookt into, that it might appeare, we are no lesse respectiue of our times, then they of theirs: & as willing to restore to the Church and ministerie what wee finde wanting and need­full, as they to take from them what they thought superfluous and needlesse.

Thow mayest maruell happely (good Reader) why in vrging this matter of personall Tithes, I doo so often mention the cu­stome and order of the Citie of London: but both that thow maist not bee ignorant of my meaning, and bee mooued the sooner to be of my mind, I will not conceale from thee the causes thereof, which are as followeth.

First long and good Experience hath prooued that course, beeing duely and without fraud and corruption practised, to bee very equall and good. Such indeed, as it is hardly possible for the wit of man to deuise in the like case, a better.

2. It is a thing desired of the greatest part of the ministers of our land, whom the case concernes: as which, if it might in case of personall tithes, bee generally planted, would, as already appeares by the practise therof in that one place, make our land, our Church, our ministerie and people much the happier.

3. What course, disclayming that which is found by too long and too much experience to bee very preiudiciall and vnsuffi­cient, should any rather looke vnto, then vnto that, which the head Citie of our Church and kingdome, hath as a spectacle and example to the whole (if men had as great desire to imitate the best as the worst) vpon due and m [...]ture deliberation, established and planted in it selfe, and for the good it findes therein, without any desire of change or alteration, hitherto continued?

4. It could not but bee a thing praiseworthy and goodly, if as there is one Law for prediall tithes, the whole land thorough­out, so there might bee likewise for personall tithes.

5. It is a rate so small, a pay so tollerable, for the people, (& yet where the parish is any thing populous, reasonably compe­tent for the minister also) that a lesser or easier cannot with any reason or equitie bee desired. For it is nothing so much as [Page 155] either the husbandman dooth vsually pay, or as the trades­man & artificer some yeares otherwise, of right ought to pay.

6. Seeing it cannot bee denied, but that by meanes thereof, the ministers of London liue in very good & Scholer-like sorte, in so much that (to the praise thereof bee it spoken) There is not a poore and needy minister among them: The people also seeing thereby their ministerie to bee good, and the Gospell to flourish among them, yeeld it with greate contentation; what haue the ministers of the places, townes and Cities speciallie, offen­ded, that they may not bee as well prouided for as they of Lon­don? Are not their labours and studies as deare vnto them? Are they not Pastours in the same Church, and members of the same kingdome? Or what haue the people of other places, (townes and Cities specially) committed, that they also should not bee as duely prouided for of a good ministerie, and of able teachers, as they of London? Are they not members of the same Church and kingdome,1. Sam. 2. 36 & their soules redeemed with the same price?Math. 9. 36. but that the one as if they were the ofspring of Eli, should bee faine to crouch for a peece of siluer,Amos. 8. 11.and a morsel of bread? and the other like the people of our Sauiours time (but none taking compassion vpon them) should bee left dispersed and scattered abroad to seeke here and there for the word of God, as sheep hauing no sheepheard?

7. If that course planted in London so long time since, euen in time of Poperie, while yet the Law for personall tithes stood in his greatest strength, and the offerings & other deuotions of the people to the Church were 7, I might say infinite times more then now they are, was found euen then to bee most necessarie and fit for both sides, to bee a meanes of great agreement and content betwixt the people & Pastour, and more beneficiall for the Church it selfe, beeing at a certaine composition, then the vn­certaintie of those tithes: No man is able to shew any reason why now, the statute for personall tithes beeing very weake and vn­sufficient, the deuotion and offerings of the people beeing come as it were to nothing, such a compsition and certaintie should not be fittest and most necessarie the whole land ouer.

8. Last of all, Imagine the Londoners did deale at this pre­sent with their ministers as the tradesmen & artificers of many places doe, that is, did yeeld vnto the minister, but two pence [Page 156] a [...] at Easter, and if any thing ouer, yet but what them­selues lift, no certaintie, lesse for his whole yeares labours, and for all dueties commonly, then the country minister, besides his gleebe,Aquilanon c [...]pit muscas. and besides his great and smaller tithes, receiueth for his E [...]ster booke onely; is it probable, or is it possible, there would notwithstanding be in London, as many learned and wor­thy preachers as now there are of the Gospel of Christ, and the preaching of the word flourish and abound therein as now it doth? no man I thinke will be so sencelesse as so to conceiue and affirme; for v [...]i cadauer, [...]bi aquilae. Why then? is it not ea­sie for men to conceiue, If they will not be blin [...], how expedient it were for other places to be prouided for, as it is? and how dange­rous and hurtfull for them that they be not?

The onely thing that I see can here against be obiected,Obiection. is; The state and condition of other places, is not like vnto the Cittie of London. And why? Because in London there is no meanes in the world, in diuers of their parishes (personall tithes being not paid by Computation) how to raise any maintenance, but by the house: but in other places there are some prediall tithes, or other kind of personall tithes, which are and easily may be paid in their kinde.

1 This helpe and augmentation is but in some places only.Answere. For diuers places there are, where the state of the Citie of London and of them in this respect, is all one.

2 Though in some places, there are more prediall tithes then in London, yet the parishes being not so populous, nor the rent of houses so great by a great deale, the personall tithes (though rated according vnto London) must needs be lesse: and so the maintenance, one thing considered with another, not much different.

3 Be it (as in some countrie market townes) that in some places, there are some prediall, or other personall tithes to be paide in kinde; yet doth it therefore follow, that tradesmen, artificers, &c. of such places must goe free, and bee exempted from maintenance of their ministers? Surely that cannot bee but an open iniurie, an apparant sinne. For what is this but to liue by the sweat of other mens browes? an iniury to to their coparishners. And how hath the minister a part of all a mans goods? And what doth he in this case but take wages of one, to [Page 157] do [...] another seruice? or rather being duely and well pay [...] of his parishioners (the husbandmen) serue the other, the trades­men for nought? or of some part of goods, bee de [...]rauded of other sortes? And so whereas his liuing might be sufficient and good, if all did their dutie, now the greatest number withdraw­ing, it is very sparing and little. A double iniurie to the mi­nister.

Some also may happely obiect,2. Obiect. That in diuers places, they bee already rated by the house, though not in proportion as London.

But those rates,Answ. (the times considered, the auailes of the Churche then and now compared) are commonly so small and vnreasonable, that they can with no equitie, reason & conscience bee accounted indifferent & fit to stand. See for this more, pag [...] 129. 130. & 131. in the title of Customes.

CHAP. IX.

Sheweth, how dangerous and vnprofitable vnto men euen in respect of their outward and temporall estates it is, to bee illiberall and ouer­sparing to their ministers. And on the other side how gratefull to God, how profitable and gainefull to themselues, to bee liberall and bountifull towards them.

Vers. 7.‘For whatsoeuer a man soweth, that also shall he reape.’

THis later clause of this 7. Vers. (as I noted in the beginning) is a confirmation of the former clause and doctrine, by an Argument or reason taken ab euentu, from the good or euil euent, and successe, which shall & will (whether men will or no) follow of mens actions, good or euill, equall or vnequall, in this behalfe.

The words may diuersly bee taken. For they may bee refer­red, either to the qualitie of things, as they are commonly read, whatsoeuer a man soweth, that also shall he reape: or to the quantitie, as of some they are expounded, as a man soweth, so shall hee reape. The former sense intendeth, that forsomuch as it is a thing both [Page 158] natu [...]ll and ordinarie, That a man reap such corne as hee dooth sowe; therefore if any doo employe his goods to this so good & necessarie an vse, viz. the Maintenance of the Minister, hee shall reap good fruite thereof accordingly, that is spirituall thinges. But that whosoeuer refuseth to doo, and employeth his goods onely about prophane & worldly matters, hee shall reape there­after: if any, onely worldly commodities. So our Apostle see­meth to explicate his meaning in the next verse, where he saith: for he that soweth to the flesh, shall of the flesh reape corruption: but hee that sow [...]th to the spirite, shall of the spirite reape life euerlasting. For, to sow vnto the flesh is to prouide for the necessaries or pleasu­res of this present life, no respect had of the life to come. That whoso dooth, shal reape that which he dooth sowe, that is, that which will soone be lost, perish & consume; happely besides and withal, shame & confusion. On the other side, the spirite beeing here taken for the spirituall life, to sow vnto the spirite is to res­pect heauen more then earth, the kingdome of God more then the riches of this world, & therevpon so to order our life, that we may aspire to the kingdome of heauen, and so to employ our goods, that they may further vs therein, by procuring vnto vs, by & with them those things that perteine to pietie & religion: not sparing these transitorie goods, so as by them, wee may get vnto vs spiritual, heauenly, & neuer fading treasures.

Hence thence wee learne first, if wee lay out our goods vpon worldly things, to buy vs houses, lands and possessions here on earth, to procure vs wealth and treasures of this life, or which is worse, to maintaine & increase our pleasures & delights: such as wee seeke we shal finde, as we sow we shal reape, that is, at the best hand, such treasures & riches as rust & moath will consume, as thieues may breake in & steale from vs: such as time it selfe will take from vs, or vs from them. For, all these things how dearly soeuer they are bought, how farre soeuer they are sought, how carefully soeuer they are kept, yet doo, must, and will turne to corruption. And then what auaileth all the labour and toile that wee haue taken, all the costes & charges wee haue spent, all the time and trauell wee haue bestowed, in getting to vs such things as will consume and come to nothing, as will be gone euen as soone as they bee gotten, & such as wee can by no meanes cary hence withv [...]?Mat. 16. 26. Specially what profiteth it a man, if hee win the whole [Page 159] world and lose his owne soule? what helpeth it if our barnes be full, our storehouses full, our cellars full, our coffers full, and so full that wee can scarce tell wher [...] bestow more, if that voice once sound in our eares, Thou foole this Night shall they fetch thy soule awaie from thee, and then whose shall all these thinges bee which thou hast gathered? I denie not, but that there is a moderate care, & a lawfull seeking after these things to be permitted and vsed: but beware we, that this bee not either our onely, or our chiefest care. For the end will surely then bee corruption, and not cor­ruption onely, but (as some translate the word in this place) in­teritum, destruction, perdition too. ‘Where these things are so sought, that true treasures are wholly neglected, and on these our wealth & substance is so employed, that little or nothing is bestowed on heauenly things, the returne, the haruest, must needs bee thereafter, that is, want of what wee most need, & losse of that we should chiefly haue found.’

2. Then secondly on th'other side, if wee lay out our goods on spirituall vses, for furtherance of religion, Maintenance of the Ministerie, to haue the Gospell preached, &c. then, as hee that soweth wheat, shal reape wheat: & he that plāteth good trees, shal haue good fruite: so he that employeth his goods to so good, holy & heauenly vses, shal reap, & receiue, accordingly, increase of knowledge, furtherance in religion, & finally by the good vse and plentifull benefit of those things, which by his worldly goods he hath so procured, eternall life. Maruaile not at this. For these things follow by a necessarie consequent one vpon another. Wee cannot be saued but by faith, we cannot haue faith without preaching, we can not haue preaching without maintenance for preachers: If therefore our goods doo yeeld vs the one, we may say, That by our goods wee attaine the other. Wisedome is not to be bought for mony, nor (properly to speake) to be obteined for much gold. Iob. 28. 15. Gold shal not be giuen for it, neither shal siluer be weighed for the price thereof. It shall not be v [...]lued with the wedg of gold of Ophir, nor with the precious Onix, &c. Yet seeing God dooth al things by meanes. 2. Sam. 14 14. Experience doth shew, That mony and goods doo vsually procure learning, learning breedeth knowledge, knowledge causeth vnderstanding and so oftentimes thorough knowledge and learning procured by mony as by meanes, wisedome it se [...]fe is attained. So, saluation. [Page 160] eternall life is the gift of God thorough Iesus Christ our Lord: Rom. 6. 23. and is not to bee atteined of our selues, nor to be obteined with mony, nor any this worldes goods: yet seeing God do [...]th giue his gifts by meanes, seeing maintenance may procure prea­ching, preaching knowledge, knowledge faith, and the end of our faith is the saluation of our soules, 1. Pet. 1. 9. true it is also, that by the good employment of our transitorie goods, wee may (as our Apostle here vseth the Phrase) reape at length life euerlasting. It is not that goods properly which causeth this, but the preaching of the word, the publishing of the Gospell, which (seeing they by whom it must be preached and published vnto, bee men and not Angels; and must liue, not like Chame [...]eo [...], by the aire, but as men with ordinarie maintenance) hardly can bee had without the laying out of our goods. And therefore as Cornelius, Act. 10. beeing told that S. Peter should come and speake to him, wordes whereby hee and all his house should bee saued: knew full well, that hee could not haue Peter to speake those words vnto him, vnlesse hee would send for Peter, receiue him, & entertaine him; (which hee did ioyfully and liberallie) so in vaine it is for vs to looke to haue the Gospell published, the word of God preached, the way of saluation opened among vs, vnlesse wee will with our goods entertaine those by whom it may and should bee done, not standing vpon the charge, so wee may haue the thing.

Looke now which is the best employment. Wee see the fruite of the one and of the other. What wee lay out vpon worldly vses, yeelds vs at the most, but worldly profit: which of it selfe in time, will turne to corruption; happely (which is worse) to destruction, to shame and confusion. What wee laie out vpon religious vses, will yeeld vs at the least, the vse of religion, of the Gospell, of heauenly things among vs; happely (which is chie­fest of all) euerlasting comfort, and eternall life. For the word taught, as seed sowen, is seldome without good fruite, but taketh firme roote in some.

‘Why then, Seeing wee will not spare to lay out much, to get thereby only a little worldly benefit, should we bee sparing and loth to lay out but a little,’ to get vs great store of spirituall and heauenly goods? As God hath allowed vs sixe daies for our owne labours, for worldly works and busines, and requireth but [Page 161] the seuenth, for his seruice, and our spiritual vses: so is he content that of our goods, we imploy nine parts for earthly purposes, for worldly vses, and looketh onely that the tenth part, his owne portion, as the crop and chiefe of our substance, be employed to his honour and our owne good. If this we refuse, and (as if we were all body and no soule, had hope onely of this life, and none of that to come, or cared altogether for this earth, and d [...]sp [...]sed heauen) will imploy all our goods wholly and solely vpon the world, for earthly profit, shall we not shew our selues too vn­mindefull of heauen, vngratefull to God, and [...] to our soules? And shall not the fault bee onely ours, if wee be left without teaching, without instruction, and consequent­lie without saluation? (For where Prophecie faileth, the people pe­rish. Prouerb. 29. 18.) seeing Wee refuse to entertaine such as should teach vs, and count the cost and charge thereof (as we tearme it) better saued? It will goe hard with vs at the last day, the day of reckoning, when euery man must giue account of the employment of all his goods, if we shall aunswere, that we haue employed all vpon prophane and worldly vses. And if, being to giue a reason, why wee wanted the Gospel and liued without preaching, destitute of knowledge and vnderstan­ding, wee bee inforced whether wee will or no (for then truth must be vttered, dissembling will take no place, preten­ses and vaine excuses will not serue, for God will not be moc­ked and deluded) we be inforced I say, to testifie with our owne mouthes, It was, Because wee refused to imploy our goods to any such vses. Let vs not therefore be deceiued, for what a man so­weth, that, onely that, shall he also reape. And hitherto of the for­mer sense.

2 Let vs likewise consider of the other sense of the wordes: which respecteth the quantitie, and intendeth, that as a man soweth, either sparingly or liberally, so shall he reap. He that so­weth sparingly, shall reap sparingly; but he that soweth plenti­fully, shall reap plentifullie; signifying that benefits are not in vaine bestowed vpon the ministers of the Gospel, for they shall returne with greater fruit, euen of worldly increase. For euen as the husbandman that soweth his seed in the field, doth at har­uest receiue the same with great increase: So they that be libe­rall of their goods vnto the preachers of the Gospel, and mini­sters [Page 126] of the word, shall at length receiue fruite thereof, viz. Gods blessing and increase vpon them euen in temporall things: Whereas contrariwise, they which, thinking all to be lost, and as it were so much cast away, that the minister hath from them, and themselues to be impouerished and hindred by imparti [...]g to them of their goods, are therefore sparing and cruell vnto them, shal in steed of plentie finde scarsitie, and reape according to their deserts and doings, penury and want. And to this sense seeme our Apostles words, verse. 9. best to agree, where ioyning this particular doctrine of the ministers mainte­nance with other more generall, he concludeth them all in this sort; Let vs not be weary of well doing: for in due time we shal reap, if we faint not. As it were intimating, That whereas men are loth many times to lay out their goods on necessary and spirituall vses, for feare least so themselues should want, that indeed such laying out is the very direct way, to make the same increase, because it is as the casting of seed into the ground; which, as nature and ex­perience daily teacheth, doth and will returne with great profit, and increase.

This sense if we follow (as some expositors doe, and indeede it agreeth very well with the Scriptures otherwhere) the wordes doe yeeld a twofould reason or cause why to be liberall and not sparing this way: and that is in regard o [...] the euent that will follow vpon it, euen concerning our temporall estate, namely penury and want, if we be sparing and niggardly: 2. plenty and aboundance if we be liberall. I wil speak somewhat of each euent se [...]erally.

The metaphor or similitude, it selfe, of sowing and reaping, which the Apostle in this place vseth, importeth thus much, that as naturally he that soweth but little can reap but little, so he that to this vse, viz. the seruice of God, the maintenance of the minister, bestoweth but little, shall thriue thereafter. Here­unto agreeth that which we read. Mal. 1. 13. You haue offered that which was torne and the lame and the sicke: should I accept this at your hands [...]aith the Lord? But cursed be he which hath in his stocke a male, and voweth and sacrificeth vnto the Lord a corrupt thing: for I am a great king, saith the Lord of hosts, and my name is terrible among the heathen. In which words all they are condemned, that offer to God, they care not what: any thing is good enough. And the pro­phet [Page 127] tells them that they procure themselues by so doing the curse of God; as also is more plainly declared; Cap. 3. 8. where a­gaine thus the Lord expostu [...]ateth with his people: Will a man spoile his Gods? Yet haue ye spoyled mee. But ye say Where in haue we spoyled thee? and he answeres in tithes and offerings. And it follows, Therfore are yee cursed with a curse, for yee haue spoyled me, euen the whole nation. Verse. 5. of the same Chap. there is an heauy commination against such as keepe backe the wages of the hireling. I will (saith God) come neere to you to iudgement, and I wil be a shift witnes against those which wrongfully keep backe the hire­lings wages. It is grounded vpō the law of God. Leu. 19. 13. Deu. 24. 14. 15. The words indeede are spoken in a more large and gene­rall sense then this in question: but seeing that Luk. 10 7. 1. Tim. 5. 18 and Num. 18. 21. the pay and maintenance of the minister is called his hire and wages, that generall including all particu­lars, may well, without any wronge to the text, be applied to this purpose.

Now as God threatning a curse may seeme to allude to his owne law, where pronouncing cures, they are such as con­cerne mens outward estates, according to the expresse wordes thereof Deut. 28. 16. totu [...], Leuit. 26. and other where in sundry places: So what speciall curse and kinde of punishment in this place, he doth meane (in hope such may credit others, as hap­pely will suspect my iudgement) let S. Hierome Hierom. shew it who wri­ting vpon that place of Mal. before alledged. C. 3. 8. doth in the person of God paraphrastically explane it thus? For that yee haue not paid me mine offerings, therefore in f [...]mine and penurie ye are accursed, and me haue yee deceiued and defrauded. Behold the yeare is compleat and ended, and nothing is brought into my treasuries, but all into your owne storehouses: and therefore for the tenths and first fruites, which had beene but a small matter for you to haue giuen me, You haue lost all the plentie of your [...]oss [...]s­sions, and the abundance of your fruites. But that you may know, that this is done by me in mine anger, because yee haue defrau­ded me of my part, I exhort and admonish you, that hence­foorth yee pay me that which is mine, & then will I restore vnto you that which is yours: that is, the other 9 parts▪ which, as S. Aug. obserues,Aug [...]st. God doth oftē take away from them that refuse to [Page 164] pay to God his tenth: his words be plaine, Serm. de temp. 219. Quid auid [...] supputas? Nouem tibi partes retractae sunt, quia decima [...] dare [...]oluisti. August. Whereupon dost thou greedily reckon? The nine parts are taken from thee, because thou woudest not pay the t [...]nth. For, (as he saith a little after) This is the Lords most iust custome, that if thou wilt not giue him his tenth parte, thou shalt bee reuoked or brought to a tenth. What hee meaneth by that speech sheweth A [...]acensis. tract. [...] dec. where citing the said sentence of S. Augustine, Aiacens. he expoundeth it thus: ad d [...]c. r [...]uocaberis, id est, nouem partes amittes. Thou shalt be re­uoked to the tenth, that is, Thou shalt loose thy nine parts. An easie thing with God, if a man withhold from him his tenth, to make him, in steede of gaining a tenth part (which he seekes to gaine by keeping it from the minister) to leese ten times as much another way. Also in the Glosse vpon the decrees, Cap. Maiores, 16. q. 17. S. August. is cited, as saying, that Therfore now a daies there are so often tempestes and sterilities of Sea and Lande, dearth of victu­alls, mortalities and f [...]mines, because people doe not pay to God their Tenthes. And in the sermon before alleadged hee saith directly; What wouldest thou doe, if taking to himselfe the nine parts, God had left thee but the tenth? which surely is euen now done, when as the blessing of the raine being with­held, thy hungry haruest faileth, and either the haile hath smit­ten, or the frost hath scorched thy vintage. And let vs not thinke but that this reacheth farther then to the hus­bandman; vnlesse we suppose with the heathen Syrians, That our God is if the God of the mountaines,1. Reg. 20. 23and not of the vallies, of the land, and not of the sea.

Vnto these two Fathers, I will adioyne the words and de­termination of two auncient Councels, and so the iudgement of many Fathers at once. The one is Concil.Concil.Tribur. Tribur. which Cap. 1 [...]. bringeth in God, speaking thus: Da mihi de [...]imam, &c. Giue me my tenth. If thou wilt not giue mee my tenth, I will take away thy nine. If thou wilt giue mee my tenth, I will multiplie thy nine. The other is Synod.Synod.Arelat.Arelat.4. Cap. 9. which affirmeth that No man can can giue acceptable [...] of the rest, vnlesse first he separate the tenth vnto the Lorde. Which (saith that Coun­cell) hee hath appointed or reserued for himselfe from the begin­ning; and that many grudging to pay that tenth, are therefore oft [Page 165] brought to a tenth parte. According wherevnto it hath beene long since held for a case of conscience among the Canonistes very cleare;Ioan. An­drad. & Ho­stien. in C. propter st [...] ­ril. de Locat. C. That a man not prospering vpon a liuing which he rents, if it bee found that hee hath not vsed to paie his tithes well, his land­Lord is not bound in conscience to abate him his rent; because it is to be presumed, That because he paieth his tithes no better, God doth punish him, and will not suffer him to prosper. And the like sense and notice seemeth at this day to rest,Reuertim. 16. q. 1. Pe­rus. lib. 6. de Decim. cap. 1. &c. as receiued by tra­dition from former times, in the hartes and minds of many of our owne country people, husbandmen, who are found to make such conscience of paying their Tithes, which they very aptly and truelie call Gods part, that they thinke they should not pros­per (as men that haue robbed God himselfe) in the rest of their goods. Which part of godly feare beeing wiped out of the mindes of others, makes them many times to defile their hands with this sinne without remorse: & to vndoe & ouerthrow them­selues without any notice of the true cause thereof.

Now hauing spoken thus much of the disprofit & hurte that ariseth in defrauding the minister of his due, in communicating to him our of goods sparingly, it is easie to gather on the other side, that by conseq. If for illiberalitie and ill dealing, men bee punished, that for Liberalitie and vpright dealing in this kinde, men are blessed of God. For first generallie, That God doth & will blesse them that keep his commaundements & ordinances, is a thing so out of all question, that it were monstrous impietie to doubt of it. And this beeing a principall commaundement, appertayning to the first table, Gods owne immediate worship, it must needs bee likewise, that the greater blessings doo attend vpon it. For God hath sayd, Them that honour mee, I will honour: & they that despise me. shal be despised. 1. Sam. 2. 30. Then for the par­ticular, we haue God himselfe the giuer of all blessings, speaking thus, Mal. 3. 10. Bring ye al the tithes into the storehouse, that ther may bee meat in my house. And proue me now therewith saith the Lorde of hoastes, if I will not open the windowes of heauen vnto you, and poure you out a blessing without measure. And I will rebuke the deuoure [...] for your sakes, and hee shall not destroie the fruite of your ground: neither shall the vine bee barren in the field, saith the Lord of [...]. To this accordeth Salomon, Prouerb. 3. 9. where he saith: Honour the Lorde with thy riches, and with the first fruits of all thine increase. So [Page 166] shall thy Barnes bee filled with abundance, and thy presses bu [...]st with new wine. Neither are the words of the imitatour of Salomon, I meane Iesus the sonne of Syrach, in this case vnworthy to bee re­cited, who Ecclesiasticus. 35. 6. hath thus: The offering of the right­eous maketh the altar fat, and the smell therof is sweet before the Lorde. Giue the Lorde his honour with a good and liberall eie, & diminish not the first fruits of thine hands. In all thy gifts shew aisifull countenance; and dedicate thy tithes with gladnes. Giue vnto the most highe accor­ding as hee hath enriched thee; and looke what thine hand is able, giue with a cherefull eie: for the Lord recompenseth it, and will giue 7. times as much. To these, forsomuch as the Temple and ministerie of the Temple bee Connexa, wee may adde that of the Prophet Haggai, cap. 2. 19. Consider I praie you in your minds, from this daie and afore▪ from the 24. daie of the 9. moneth, euen from this daie that the foundation of the Lords temple was laid. Consider it I saie in your minds: Is the seed yet in the Barne, as yet the vine and the fig-tree, & the Pomgranate and the oliue tree hath not brought foorth. From this daie I will blesse you, viz. with all kinde of plentie, & abundaunce of wealth and riches.

But what are these to vs? These things were spoken to the Iewes,Obiect. and of their times. Answ.

Yes,Answ. they perteine to vs also; for God is no chaungeling. As they shew vs how hee would blesse his owne people, if they did mainteine his priests and Leuits as hee appointed: so, seeing God respecteth his ministers now no lesse then in those times, they doo also shew, That hee will blesse vs too, if wee doo mainteine them, as hee hath appointed. The one is a seruice and sacrifice no lesse acceptable vnto him then the other, as our Apostle also sheweth most excellentlie in the last Chap. to the Philip. V. 10. Now I reioice in the Lorde greatlie, that now at the last, yee are reuiued againe to care for mee. Yee haue done well that yee did communicate vnto mine affliction. Not that I desire a gift, but I desire the fruite which maie further your reckning. Now I haue re­ceiued all and haue plentie. I was euen filled, after that I had receiued of Epaphroditus that which came from you, an odour that smelleth sweet, a Sacrifice acceptable and pleasant vnto God. And my God shall fulfill all your necessities thorough his riches in Christ Iesus, &c. See what words of affection are here. what commendation of this dutie our Apostle giueth. It is a sacrifice acceptable & pleasant [Page 167] to God: he reioiceth at it: he desireth it not so much for his owne need, though hee were in necessitie, as for their riches: that by it their accounte might bee augmented: and for it, God (as hee assureth them) would fulfill all their necessities. Syrach saith, God will recompense it 7. fold. Salomon assureth that so thy barnes shalbee filled: and the presses euen burst with abundance. And God himselfe saith: if they would but prooue him vpon this point, they should see how hee would open the windowes of heauen, and poure downe blessings: that hee would rebuke the Deuourer, and make their land to bee a pleasant land, &c. What words might God haue vsed rather then these, to perswade vs in this point, to stop their mouthes and answere all them, that account the mainteance of the minister to bee a matter of charge, and themselues to bee empouerished thereby? Hee will haue vs to know, that he doth recompense it cum foenore with aduantage; and that it is a surer way to make a man rich, then the imployment of it in any other course.Gen. 39. Potiphars house & all that hee had was blessed for Iosephs sake: 2. Sam. 6. 12. The house of Obed Edom because of the Arke: and the wydowes store by reason of Elias. Euen so men are blessed, bet­tered, and enriched: not beggered,1. Reg. 17. hindered or impouerished by the minister of God, when hee is mainteined as hee should bee. God deales with men in this case▪ as husbandmen with their grounds. The ground which of it selfe is fertile, & yeelds them most store, they toile and keep best, they plant and sow most, that it may the better yeeld them increase: And God, those that shew themselues most thankefull vnto him, by paying duelie his part, most louing vnto, and carefull for their mini­sters, by mainteining them aright, hee doth most blesse: ma­keth their stoare most increase, and their labour best to prosper, that so they may bee more and more able to doo their dutie, and further religion.

1. The godly Iewes beleeued thus: in consideration whereof they vsed of old, to call their Tithes Diuitiarum Sepem, the hedge of their riches;See the sense & vse of this Phrase, Iob. 1. 9. as which did fense and preserue in safetie their, together with Gods part. Rab. Aq. in Pirt-Aboth.

They taught it (as wee haue already seene) for doctrine cur­rant and worthy beleefe, That The Lord dooth recompence this kind of Li [...]eralitie, & (will giue for it 7. times asmuch, Ecclesiasticus, 35. 7. That thereby their barnes should bee filled with abundance, and [Page 168] their presses run ouer with new wine. Phil. Iud. lib. de praem. Sa­cerd. & hon. Al [...]ae (gentes) g [...]meates & coactae vix ta [...]dem confe­runt, pero [...]ae quaestores c [...]u pestem publi­cam, nunc has nūc illas causas fin, endo, [...]ead praes [...]itutū, tempus tribu­ta repraesen­tent. At haec gens Sacerdo­tib. debi [...]am pecuniam libēs gaudensque depromit, quasi nō daret sed acciper [...]t, adde [...]s faustas ominationes & gratiar. ac­tiones popula­riter, idque quotannis, nec viris cessantib. nec mulierib. sed alacrit [...]te spontanea, quanta nullis verbis exprimi potest, confe­rentibus. Prouerb. 3. 9.

And vpon assurance and perswasion thereof vsed to pay their tithes, and other accustomed duties, not as our people often doo, with murmuring and grudging, sparingly & fraudulentlie, as if they counted all lost that went that waye: but cheerefully and gladly, liberallie & most iustlie, as if they accounted them­selues to receiue not to yeeld a benefit: and to bee beholding to the Leuits and priests that they did vouchsafe to accept at their hands such oblations, &c.

2. The deuouter sorte of the heathen thought thus, as with­nesseth Diod. Sic. lib. 5. cap. 2. Biblith. who saith, that many of the R [...]manes vowed & payd their Tithes to Hercules: postea (que) for­tunatiores facti, & afterward became the wealthier: and that the Custome of paying Tithes began of this, That some of the hea­then Gods had told and promised, that whoso would offer vnto them the tithes of all their goods, should haue a happie life, & great in­crease of wealth: which the heathen people beleeuing to bee true, did obserue such payment.

3. That this was also the faith and perswasion of the godly Christians in auncient times, is very manifest by their Testimo­nies, & their practise. For S. August. saith expressely: Our fore­fathers therfore abounded in all kinde of wealth and plentie, be­cause they duely payd to God his tithes, and to Caesar his tribute. And a little after in the same place, in the person of God, he spea­keth thus: what? wouldest thou put out thy goods to increase? wilt thow lay out little, and receiue for it more? Behold, Giue to mee then saith the Lord: I doo receiue little, and giue for it more. And otherwhere. O homines stulti, &c. O men vnwise, what hurte doth God commaunde, (in demaunding the tenth) that hee should not deserue to bee hearde? Thou giuest not this gratis, August. Hom. 48. Serm. de temp. 219. de Decim. Prou. 3. 9. Exod. 30. 12 Conc. Trib. cap 13 which thou shalt receiue againe with great interest. And a few lines following: Loe, Thou hast in the holy scriptures warrant from the Lord himselfe, by which hee hath promised thee, that If thou wilt giue him thy Tithes, thou shalt receiue not only aboundance of fruites, but also health of body. Thy barnes (saith the scripture) shallbee filled with corne, and thy presses flow ouer with wine. And, There shall not be among them any plague nor infirmitie. The Councell of Tribur. (as you heard before) supposeth God to say thus vnto vs; Da mihi [Page 169] decimā, &c. Giue mee the tenth: If thou giue mee the tenth, I will mul­tiply to thee the nine parts: & againe Si ergo quaerat aliquis, Cur deci [...] dantur? Sciat▪ &. If any therefore doe make a question, why tithes are to be paid? Let him know that therfore they are to be giuen, that by such deuotion God being pacified, may more largely afford vs those thing [...] that be necessarie. &c.

It may appeare also by their practise, in that they did so gene­rally euery where, all Christendome ouer, giue vp and establish to the Church their tithes both Predial and personall, 2. continue their oblations, and 3. bestowe vpon the Church sundry endowments of lands & possessions, &c. which how might it be they could possi­bly in so generall, vniforme, large and liberall manner and measure euer haue been induced vnto, had it not been, that they hel & belie­ued this as a truth most certaine & vndoubted, That being liberall to God and his ministers, they should procure God to be liberall vnto them: by dealing fauourably and vprightly with the one, they should obtaine fauour blessing and prosperitie of the other?

Now as the very heathen, the godly Iewes, and the auncient and most religious Christians beleeued this to be true, viz. That by pay­ing to God their tithes, and honoring him liberally with their goods, and by consequence, by maintaining the minister of God in good and liberall sort, they were not the poorer, but the richer, they did not hinder themselues, but made themselues to prosper: ‘So must we beleeue also, vnlesse we do or will imagine, that they all were foolishly deceiued, & did they knew not what, or (which God forbid) thinke that God in making such promises and offers of blessings, and happines, doth but feed & de­ceiue vs with vain words, but draw vs on with friuolous alluremēts to hinder & vndo our selues.’ But Be not we deceiued. God neither will be mockt with in this matter at our hands, nor doth he mocke & delude vs: what he promiseth he will make good. He hath wel wher­withall to doe it. If we sowe plentifully, we shall reape plentifully. God (saith S. Aug.) is alwaies ready to do vs good▪ but he is oft stayed frō doing it,S. August. through the malice & wickednes of men, who wil haue the Lord God to giue them all things, ‘and yet they will not (of that they haue) offer or giue to him any thing againe. Heereof let men conside [...] well. Seria res agitur. It is a matter of importance that is in hand: & such as concernes euery man very much.’ Hereby shall al be tryed. I know that men do now adaies respect profit and gaines not a little: and will not deny, but, that (as the world now goes) men had need to vse any good course they may, to saue and spare, to get [Page 170] and increase their goods. But let men be aduised, that in this matter they run not a wrong course, and whereby they think to saue a little, they leese much: & fearing to lay out any thing, they gaine nothing. In no case more then in this, is that fulfilled which Salomon hath, Prouerb. 11. 24. There is that scattereth, and is the more increased: but he that spareth more then is right, sur [...]ly commeth to pouertie. And ponder aright, whether of the two they ought to beleeue; Humane and carnall imaginations that suppose men are hindred, or God that saith they are enriched thereby: mens vaine fantasie, that say it is a burthen, a charge, a very beggering of the place, to maintaine the minister liberally, or Gods word that teacheth, it is a benefit, the way to riches, the direct meanes to get aboundance, wealth, & pro­speritie: worldly & couetous motions which insinuate, that to haue lesse teaching, and preaching, lesse exercise of religion is most for their profit, and best for the place, or Christ himselfe which testifi­eth and assureth vs, that if we seeke the kingdome of God, which is there principally found, where the preaching of the word is most plenti­full, all these things, these outward, transitorie & worldly things which serue for this present life onely, shall bee added▪ and as it were were ex­abundanti, throwne in vnto vs, and come vnlooked for.

CHAP. X.

Comprehendeth, The summe and conclusion of the whole discourse. And declareth some motiues that haue put the Authour in hope, that his labour shal not be without some good effect: which God for his Gospels sake vouchsafe. Amen.

NOw haue I through Gods Asistāce, broght to an end the expli­cation of this parcell of scripture that teacheth al men the wil & rule of God, touching the ordinarie maintenance of the ministers of his Church. In handling whereof I haue somewhat at large (and yet not so largely as vpon many occasions I might) declared the parti­culars therof in such sort and maner as at the first I purposed them, and the scope whereunto I haue had respect, did require: And haue plainly prooued by apparant reasons,The sum of the whol treatise.euidence of the word of God, the iudgement of the Fathers, and pactise of al times, That the mini­ster of God to the end he may be enabled and not discouraged in his Minist­ry, ought to haue such maintainance, allotted & assured him as is liberal & sufficient, and the same certaine not voluntarie: that so he may as well know, what to receiue for his maintenance as to doe and performe for his office. To [Page 171] this, euery one that is a hearer of the word, must for his part, without re­spect what others doe, according as God hath enabled him yeeld and contri­bute, out of such goods in general, and out of all such goods in speciall, as God hath blest him with with. Wherein no vaine pretenses, no idle excuses can take place, for God will not be mocked. This being Gods rule and measure, that what a man soweth, that also shall he reape.

Touching the practise of this doctrine, He that reades aduisedly what I haue written, shall plainly perceiue, That the auncient and v­suall practise of our Church was agreeable hereunto. For so long as our Ministery enioyed wholly her endowments, her offerings and her tithes: in a word so long as there were in the land none other then Rectories so long as each sort of Tithes Personal as well as Predial were duely paid vnto the Church: so long our ministers could not but be condignely mainteined. From which looke how farre the estate of our ministery at this present is declined, so farre doe we come short of the due and right practise of this doctirne.

The principall cause that hath moued me to handle this argu­ment, hath beene the loue I beare vnto the Church of God, and fer­uent desire I haue to see the Ministerie thereof in our land at length to flourish, or at least to be competentlie prouided for, & redeemed from that seruile condition, needines & contēpt, wherein a great part the­reof doth dwel. The sight and notion wherof cannot but moue the harts of all such as sincerely loue learning and religion, to lament it, & to desire, and, what in them is, indeuour the redresse thereof.

To bring this throughly to passe, the right and best way is, That the true, and ancient practize of our Church in this behalfe, which yet continues (God be praised) in the greatest part of our land, and in most parishes, might be restored into all, and firmely setled a­gaine throughout the same.

But of that seeing there is little hope, the next way is, That the state of our Ministerie for maintenance might be reduced as neere vnto that best and absolute course, as possibly and conueniently might be.

How this might be effected, may be perceyued by that I haue written.

Which I haue published to the world, in hope thereby to occasi­on such of the lay sorte as are godly minded, of their owne accord, so farre as lies in thē, to put the same in practise▪ those that be of the ministerie, better to consider of its estate and miserie, & with mee to open their mouthes in so good and necessary a cause: Neither am I [Page 172] altogether without hope that the same may be some motiue and in­ducement vnto such as be in place of authoritie, to prouide for it by holesome and effectuall Lawes.

The causes and motiues that haue bred and confirmed in mee this hope and expectation are these;

1. For the matter handled the whole treatise throughout, I haue deliuered nothing but the truth, nothing but what is consonant to the word of God▪ to reason & equitie, and to all auncient and good practise. For though I dare not assume vnto my selfe (let no man so vnderstand mee) that euery sentence, euery reason and argument, euery answere is such: yet for the maine points and more generall positions themselues, I hold them to bee so agreeable to trueth, & consonant to reason, that I doubt not to affirme, That therein I haue spoken nothing but the trueth, nothing but what is agreeable to reason and equitie: and therefore ought where wee faile to be put in practise, aswell as where already we are in the right be continued.

2. In regard of the persons whō it concerneth, namely the mini­sters, & those not a few, of our Church, the ministers I say of the Gos­pel, and Preachers of the word of God. Their cause it is that I doo handle, their greeuances that I doo make knowne. And it semeth vn­to mee, That seeing there is regard had of men of all other profes­sions, & vpon due suggestion, conuenient relief & remedies graun­ted & affoorded from time to time for their wants & distresses, there is great reason & cause why we should hope, that they also may ob­tein the like fauour & benefit, the like or greater cause once appea­ring. For, for my part, I can not, nor will not conceiue so euill of those thorough whose hands these things must passe, and by whose meanes principallie this kinde of redresse must come, that they will be vpright & indifferent to all sorts of persons else, & partiall & hard vnto the ministers of the Gospell only. Though it be true, that, The Laytie is alwaies offended with the Cleargie, & ready to hurt them what they can: yet my perswasion is, that this shalbe found true, but only in the vulgar sorte of thē: & that the better & worthier sort, spe­cially they, who are chosen & singled out from all the rest, as men of an vpright hearte & fearing God, wil shew themselues euery way in­different to one as wel as to another: and howsoeuer any passion or affection may sway them this or that waye at home in their priuate affaires, yet beeing in place where only the Commune Bonum of Ch. or countrie is to be respected, they will with the heathen man em­ploied for his common wealth, Simultates deponere, lay aside all grud­ges [Page 173] & passions, & looke only to that which their place and calling, equitie and pietie requireth at their hands.

3. The present time: In which, religion being now throughly set­led, Heresies extirped, Schismes suppressed, & all contentions about doctrine or discipline wel quieted, also knowledge & learning aboū ­ding, & the vse & necessitie of a learned ministerie more then here­tofore appearing, that opportunitie is offered to prouide for the ex­ternall state & good of the Church and ministerie thereof, which in former times was not to bee had.

4. The present estate of our ministerie, which differing farre from that some 30. or 40. yeares agoe it was, necessarilie requireth a bet­ter regard to be had thereof. For then the ministerie was filled vp with Tag, rag, such as the time would yeeld: Taylers, Weauers, Co­blers, &c. and whosoeuer else but would, was made a priest. Whose desert commonly was such, That if they had but x. pounds a yeare, lesse (if their maint. should be proportioned to their merit) was enough for them. But now (God be thanked) our ministery either is, or (if due prouision for them were allotted) presently might bee stoared with able & learned men. And were it not lamentable (what if I sayd intollerable?) That such men, graduates, Preachers, &c. should be faine to serue, (as oft they doo) like those hedge priests, for x. pounds a yeare? And that men, hauing spent their friends wealth, their owne patrimonie, their golden time & best daies, in great and sundry studies, should be inforced to accept of a peeld Benefice not worth aboue 20. pounds, or 30. pounds a yeare? Is this condigne reward for such studies & expenses? & fit maintenance for such men? Surely in mine eye, it is an indignity so great, That with lesse sin a great deale might we continue and keepe still those vnworthie men in the ministerie, then, not prouiding due and competent maint. for them, procure in these: considering that to contemne and abase them that are worthy contempt is in it selfe no great fault; but to make them contempti­ble that deserue honour, and debase them that for their learning & excellent gifts are worthy double honour and great preferment, can be no small offence.

5. Whereas the reuerend fathers of our Church haue by their late Canons prouided, and will no doubt to their vttermost, carefully res­pect the obseruation thereof, viz. that hencefoorth none be admit­ted into the ministerie, but such, as in some tollerable measure be fit therefore; I see not how they can to the full performe this, vntill all their Churches be duely prouided for, of some tollerable & compe­tent [Page 174] maintenance which in many 100. Churches is yet wanting: but must, will they nill they, now & then lay their hands on some vnfit & vnlearned persons; least else, such poore, ransacked and impayred Churches be left wholly destitute. Wherfore, it behooues that bet­ter prouision be made then yet in many places is: til which be done, the fault & cause in mine opinion is rather to be imputed vnto those that, rather then they will duely prouide for Churches, will haue such: then vnto those, that such necessitie compelling, ordeine such to be in the ministerie.

6. This also doth not a little encourage mee, for that I doo not, as affecting innouation and singularitie broach any straunge, new, dif­ficult and vntried course, but (against all such as affect newfangled, confused and deformed platformes) doo, vrge only A Reducing (and that but in some measure) where wee haue by corruption of times digressed, Vnto that course, which alreadie planted in the land, since Po­pery vnder Popery, and before Poperie, hath continued, in most pla­ces is still practized, and for the particulars is such, & of such sorte, as I am assured no reasonable and religious man, but will easily graunt, that it were to bee wished might in all places bee setled.

7. The things in particular that I intimate to need redresse, are so few, so reasonable, so necessary, & so easie to be effected and had, that is to say;

1. An endowment of all Churches; all those Beggerlie stipends that many where yet doo stand, being wholly remooued & doone away.

2. A larger endowment of some Churches, which hitherto are very sparely, badly, and vnreasonablie endowed.

3. A mitigation of some vnreasonable, and ouerhard Customes, prescriptions and Compositions.

4. A due prouision for recouerie of personall tithes, either in kinde by Computation, or (more likely to be obteined) not in kinde, by some reasonable & real composition. These things are I say so few, so reasonable, so necessary, and so easie to bee effected, that verely I doo hope, few or none will oppose thereagainst.

8. Ad to these the effects and vse of these things, namely the in­crease and condigne reward of learning, the furtherance of the Gos­pell, the bettering of our ministerie, the planting of able & worthy teachers (where now they are most seldome found) in the greatest congregations, and by consequence, the peoples owne saluation & eternall good, &c. All which, with other like laudable effects can­not but ensue of the practise hereof, if it were in all places in some [Page 175] good measure setled. There is great desire pretended at this daie of a learned ministerie, & not a few doo see, that the greatest & in ma­ner the only let thereto at this present is want of maintainance. If the desire thereof be as great and sincere, as the meanes to procuremaint▪ is ordinarie and easie to be had, the thing desired will with great facilitie and readines be accomplished.

9. It doth also appeare, that there is great care had, & much desire expressed, to weed popery out of the land, & reduce the fautors ther­of into a better course. To which purpose former lawes haue lately bene much and worthily explained enlarged & corroborated. This can by no one means better [...]e effected, then by encreasing (by means of good maintenance) the number of good & able teachers. Where doe such commōly desire to nestle themselues, but in some obscure and blind places where is little or no preaching? And what Ministers of our Church doe they more fauour, then such as bee ignorant and simple? which argues, The more preachers, the fewer papists; The better Ministerie, the lesse poperie. Light and darknes, preaching and papistrie will neuer dwell together. So that this is one principall way indeed Sine vi et Sanguine to root out and expell from among vs this pestilent religion.

10. Moreouer, I doe see that the performance heereof will tend much to the credit of the Gospell, and praise of vs that professe it: as contrariwise▪ the neglect and omission hereof is to the reproach of the one and shame of the other. For how can it be other then a reproach and dishonour to our land, that God hauing blest it aboue other lands with varietie and plentie of all things, yet no small nūber of the ministers of God therein should liue, as if it were some hungry & barrē soile, in neede & penurie of al things? that professing religion and pretending a zeale vnto the Gospel, we should yet hold in contēpt & vile account the Ministers of the Gospel? & should suf­fer them (as hitherto in many places) to liue by the curtesie of the people, no due maintenence prouided for them? And how can it be but a reproach & discredit to our towns & Cities, to our trades-me & artificers (if they could see their owne shame) that whereas the Mini­sters that liue in the countrie parishes & among husband-men, doe commonly liue in very good sort, equall with the wealthier of the place; such as liue in townes and citties, among trades-men, &c. liue commonly in very poore and needie estate, like vnto the poorer sort: and that among the former, though the parish be not aboue 30. or 40. housholdes, the Minister liues better then among the later, [Page 176] though the parish be an 100. yea 200. housholdes? On the other side, would it not be a great praise vnto vs, and singular testimonie of our sincere zeale vnto the Gospell, if the Ministers thereof were so well respected, and so duely prouided for, that in euery parish there were such tollerable maintenance at the least, for the Minister of the place, prouided and setled, that generally the whole land through, aswell as in London, it might truely be said, That (vnles it be through their owne default) There is not one needie and very poore Minister therein.

These with some other,Phil. Iud. of the leui­ticall priests. which here for very breuities sake I omit, be the Considerations, which, I oft reuoluing in my minde and pon­dering vpon, haue wrought in me that hope and expectation before mentioned. The issue and euent whereof I referre to God alone, in whose hands are the hearts of all men,Nemo Sa­cerdos tam pauper, quin diues videatur. and whose is the cause I haue in hand.

The God of all grace, authour and giuer of euery good gift, so worke in all those that professe the name of Christ, and desire the prosperitie of his Gospell, by the inward operation of his holy spirit, That they may alwaies doo those things that be well pleasing in his sight: and yeeld such Christian & vnfeined obedience to his holy word & ordinance, as may be to the edifying of his Church, furtherance of his Gospel, the good example of others, the euerlasting comfort of their owne soules, & aboue all to the eternall praise and glory of God, the father of our Lord Iesus Christ. To whome with the Father and the holy spi­rite bee all honour and glorie both now and for euer. Amen.

FINIS.

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