GOOD WORKES, If they be well handled. OR, Certaine Projects about Maintenance for Parochiall Ministers. Provision for and Election of Lecturers. Erection and indowment of new Churches in the great out Parishes about London.

2. Sam. 24.24.

And the King said unto Aranah, nay but I will surely buy it of thee at a price, neither will I offer burnt Offrings, unto the Lord my God, of that which doth cost me nothing.

1 Tim. 5.17.

Let the Elders that rule well, be counted worthy of double honor, especially they who labour in the word and Doctrine, for the Scripture saith, thou shalt not muzzle the Ox, that treadeth out the corne, and the Labourer is worthy of his reward.

1 King. 6.7.

The house when it was in building, was built of stone, made rea­dy before it was brought thither, so that there was neither hammer nor Axe, nor one toole of Iron, heard in the house while it was in building.

LONDON, Printed by T. F. for I. S. 1641.

The Epistle to the Reader.

THere is much talke a­mong many men, of ad­vancing the Preaching of the Gospell; but few doe cast, in their thoughts, how to effect it, unlesse by wayes that may be no cost at all un­to themselves, nothing being so base, in their eyes, as the preaching, & Preachers of the Gospell; wher­of for bie and sinister ends, their tongues speak Mag­nifically: they would have Preachers every houre in their Pulpits, but, as they have Beggers at their doores, cloathed in Rags, and bowing downe to them for morsels of bread, and their Sermons like so many suites for a farthing, their preachers must be all of the mendicant order, and above all other orders and ranks of men, live upon their Almes and Benevolence, that beare no farther goodwill to preaching then as it may be a Shooing-horne to their esteeme and gaine; this be­ing their godlinesse, and that their God; more Chur­ches and Preachers they would have, but upon the charge of these they have already by di [...]iding the [Page] mainten [...] ̄ce, that is hardly payed to halves, as if H [...]nun when he ha [...] cut o [...]f Davids servants Garments to the Buttocks, should after have cut them off to the shou [...] ­ders, as being long enough to serve, each of them, a man and his fellow: they would serve God abundantly; but be charged to it very sparingly, esteeming David weake in judgement, for that Speech. God forbid I s [...]ould serve the Lord with sacrifice of that which costs [...] nought. True love is liberall. Benevolentia and Bene­ficentia are never severed; therefore you may know these sheepe in a feigned shew, to be in truth, Lyons by their Claw. I know the thing they desire to be good, and wish the advancement thereof, but abhorre Robbery for burnt Offering. I wish the Gospell, and the preaching of it set forward, as much as any man, accounting it a worke of Piety; but would it should be done in wayes of Iustice and Righteousnesse. The price of a Whore God a [...]orres in his house, and so doth he likewise the pro­moving of his honour by injustice, Vnrighteousnesse cannot advantage holinesse: yet I have seene some e­vils of that nature under the Sunne, masked under pretence of love to more preaching, while there is lit­tle care to maintaine that in honour, or to live answe­rably to that we have already. Yet am not I of their mind, that would keepe both milke and meate from children, because they eat much and thri [...]e little, but would they should be fed to the full; knowing, if they abuse their Food, they shall account for it, to their griefe; but those that fed and provided for them, with joy, their labour and care, for the welfare of the peo­ple, being their Liberavi.

[Page]To further therefore this purpose, I have drawne a rough Breviate of some things, which may promove that, that many talke much of, but doe little to helpe forward, If my Seed fall into good ground, it may beare desired Fruit, if my Projects come to be mana­ged by good Heads and hearts, they may be very hono­rable to God, and profitable to men; for, they be good Workes, if they be well handled. God send my Wood to fall into the hands of that worke-man that hath skill to make Mercury of it.

GOOD WORKES, If they be well handled.

THat the glory of God may be advanced, by the preaching of the Gospell, and the Salvation of mens soules promoved, and love and peace preserved among Ministers and their people, these things may be desired, as tending that way; especially in the City of London, to which Meridian my thoughts are calculated onely, leaving the provision for o­ther places, to men better experienced in them.

First, because in many places where Ministers be willing to preach in the Afternoone, as well as in the morning, on the Lords day, if they might bee encouraged by sufficient maintenance. And be­cause, where either the Minister is not able, or not willing, the peoples Benevolence being uncertaine to the Lecturer they make choice of, they are for­ced to humor the people, often, unworthily, and to make sides and Factions against the Minister, to his great discontent and discouragement, it were to be wished.

First, that in every Parish in London, within the walles especially, where the Benefices are, most of [Page 2] them, incompetent, that a sufficient and indepen­dent maintenance may be provided for the incum­bent.

  • 1. Because, if he be faithfull in his Ministery, or otherwise become displeasing to some part of his people, a dependent and benevolent allowance will be restrained, in whole, or in part.
  • 2. Be he what he will be, it will decay of it selfe in time, by the change of Parishioners, succeeding men being not alwaies of like affections to prece­ding.
  • 3. When Ministers grow old, and have most need of comfort, they are commonly despised, although their former constant labours of youth & strength, have merited never so much respect from the Church: for the new generation, that comes up in their age, proves unto them like the new King, that knew not Ioseph.
  • 4. And because there is great inequality of pay­ing Tythe in London, the rich men, for the most part paying very little; some that are worth many thou­sands, and dwell in houses of 40.50, 60.100 l. per annum, and some more, which pay for Tythe 20. s. 16. s. 10. s. yea 11. s. 9. d. per annum, which is a shamefull thing, so that the Ministers maintenance ariseth, for the most part, from the meane [...] and poorest pepole, in which respect, that little mainte­nance he hath falls short many yeares in a great part; especially in hard, or sickly times; in which, Residence deserves greatest reward.
  • 5. And, for that it is conceived by the Ministers in London (among whom, divers are men of ap­proved [Page 3] Learning, Piety, and Fidelity in their Mi­nistery) that the City-sacriledge is great and mon­strous, and maintained by deceitfull double Leases, and other wicked devices (not practised in any o­ther part of the Kingdome, except London) to avoyd the Decree, whereby the Benefices within the Walles, are meane and poore, and London, a place where all things are deare, and nothing to be had, but by the penny.
  • 6. And, forasmuch as the Citizens doe live in all affluence, and abundance of wealth and riches; which comes in by farre lesse pains then the Coun­try man doth take; whose gaines are, notwithstan­ding, farre inferior, and his Tythe and maintenance payd to his Minister, farre superior, the richest Ci­tizen in London hardly paying so much, as a Coun­try man, that hath but twenty, or ten pound Land per annum, in his occupation.
  • 7. And, that the snare may be taken from off their consciences, which will lye upon them, while the Decree is in force, and so vilely perverted, is it is at the present.
  • 8. And, that Ministers may have a comfortable m [...]intenance, fit to support them, in the City they live in, while they live; and to afford them some­thing, to leave to their wives and children, when they shall dye; that they may not goe on begging, when their Husbands and Fathers are departed from them; and also, that they may be able to re­lieve poore strangers, and other poore, that they are frequented by for succour, farre beyond any Ministers in the Kingdome.

[Page 4]Jn these respects, it might be wished, there were a new Decree made for their maintenance: wherein these things may seeme convenient to the desired purpose.

  • 1. That all houses within the walls, may pay 2.s. in the pound Rent, abating the odde 9.d.
  • 2. That the houses be not valued according to the old Rents, but as they be lett by the prime Leasor, or any other that letts them.
  • 3. That the Tithe be paid, according to the value the house shall be of, as the same value shall rise, or fall, and notstanding still at one stay.
  • 4 That Fines may be cast cast up into the account of the Rent, that the Rich by paying great Fines and small Rents, doe not deceive the Minister, as it hath beene hitherto.
  • 5. Jn case the Rent, or Fine be not certainely knowne, that the Tenant may be put to his Oath, or the house be valued by sixe Parishioners, of ho­nest note, three chosen by the Minister, and three by the Tenant, who shall estimate the house accor­ding to the ordinary rate of other houses, compa­red with it.
  • 6. If any Rent be concealed, and lesse payd then is truely due, whensoever it shall come to light, the arreares may be recoverable on the Landlord, or Tenant, or either of them.

Their rate may bee demonstrate, all things considered, to produce a maintenance, that shall not exceed, but comes short of the Ministers maintenance, paid them, at the making of the Decree.

[Page 5]And the City themselves have advanced their owne Parsonage of Christ-Church, in the increase of Tythe, above that was anciently payed farre a­bove that other Ministers have done in the City.

And it will be so easie a way, to any Citizen, as may be; if he pay any thing considerable to his Minister, which very few of the richer sort doe pay; who pay not so much for the Ministery, as for many idle vanities.

And it will be farre below the Tything in the Countrey, where a Farmer payes foure times the value of any Citizen in London, if not many times foure times.

And it is supposed, if in the Country they might have their Tythe for 2. s. in the pound Rent, one thing with another, they would thinke it very rea­sonable; where a man of 100 pound Rent a yeare, shall scarce get 100. l. in a Lease of 21. yeares, with great labour, and hard fare: whereas here there is lesse labour, and farre more riches gotten, and many a needlesse vanity, that might be spared, enjoyed, at a farre greater rate, without any grud­ging at it.

2. That because there be in London some Al­leys and Houses, that have beene given to severall Parishes, for their poore; that such houses may pay no more Tythe, then hath heretofore beene accustomed, when they were let for Rent to Te­nants.

3 That one certaine Table of Duties, for Marria­ges, Burials, &c. may bee made all over the City, and hung up in every Church Vestery in London, [Page 6] and the certaine daies, and times of the dayes ap­pointed, for the performance of all those Offices, that so the Ministers may not be compelled to attend at all times, when every particular person shall thinke fit, or as their particular occasions shall call for him, withou [...] his good will, and the farther enlargement of his recompence: it being a great hinderance to his study, and other employ­ments, and a druggery very unworthy to be impo­sed on a Minister.

4. The Minister thus provided for: If the Parish shall, in any place, over and above the paines hee is able to take; or desiring, for their contentment to have a Lecturer, that they suppose, may bee more profitable in his preaching, then their Pa­stors. The next care must be, that God may bee glorified, and men built up to Heaven hereby, and not misled by unsound Teachers, which many peo­ple much doate after, neither that the man that is chosen, on pretence, to further the peace of our consciences, be an occasion of disquiet and discon­tent, by Divisions and Factions, occasioned by him, amongst us. To this end three things would bee provided for. The first concernes the Mainte­nance. The second concernes the Man. The third the Election of the Lecturer.

1. First, the maintenance of a Lecturer would be made certaine, and layd upon every house to bee paid constantly to the Lecturer, whosoever he be that is chosen; and not be paid at pleasure, or cal­led back, when people will. This provision is re­quisite.

  • 1. Because when any Lecturer is brought into a Parish, [Page 7] usually two, or three, or five, or more stand for the Lecture, and every one hath some interest in the Parish, more, or lesse: now, when the choice is made, these, whose friends faile of the expected Lecture, will pay nothing to the man that is cho­sen, although chosen by the major part of the Pa­rish: This is evident in daily experience, this yeare, in London.
  • 2. It is fit, that so the Minister, that is the Le­cturer, may preach the word faithfully, and with­out flattery: which a dependent maintenance is seldome so happy, as to be accompanied withall.
  • 3. Thus shall peace and brotherly Love be main­tained, betwixt the Pastour and the Lecturer, and both of them goe hand in hand, and heart in heart, about the worke of their Ministery, and both of them live in peace with the people, and free from those carnall Divisions and Sidings, which usual­ly accompany an arbitrary and benevolent main­tenance.


For the man. That the people may not bring in a man, betweene whom and the Minister there is no sutablenesse in opinion or affection, which is now a disease of many people, who can be plea­sed with no man, but inclining to Brownisme, or otherwise factious, and given to Innovation. And therefo [...]e it might be wished; That no particular man be brought in, against whom the Minister hath good exception: and for that purpose, if hee & his people agree not together, about the choice (for it is not fit they bring any man into anothers [Page 8] charge, against his good liking) that the matter may be referred to the Bishop, or to sixe of the next Ministers to the place where the Lecturer is to be, in case there be no Bishop, that they may or­der the Election, so, that it be no apparant incon­venience to the Minister, to whom the Church belongs.


Concerning the Election, That the Lecturer be chosen onely by the Votes of Housekeepers, and of such Houskeepers, as pay Scot and Lot; and not by them that either receive Almes of the Parish, or pay not to the poore, by reason of poverty, or be unable to pay to the Lecturers maintenance.

Providing before hand, that the maintenance of no Church, that is in present being, be divided and lessened, by erecting of any Chappells d [...] nov [...], see­ing the present maintenance is annexed to every Church by Law, and is the Rights and Priviledges of such Ministers, as be in present possession, that we have protested to maintaine. Yet, for the ad­vancing of Gods glory, and the peoples Salvation, it may be desired.

That course may be taken for erecting Chap­pels, in the great out-Parishes in London, and for the endowment of them, by raising the Tythe in them to 2. s. in the pound Rent, to the worth of every house, not abating the Fines: the surplus­sage of which Tythe, aboue that that is now paid to the Parson, would be levied, and kept in the Chamber of London, till it come to a fit summe to build a Chappell; and then a competent num­ber [Page 9] of houses allotted to that Chappell, and that their Tithe, so much as it is, above the Incum­bents due, goe to the maintenance of the Mini­ster of the Chappell, and the rest reserved in the Chamber to goe on with the building of more Chappels, one after another: and as they be in­creased, to be m [...]intained, after the manner for­merly mentioned.

This worke is very necessary, because those Churches are not capable of the greater part of the Parishioners, some of them, not of the tenth part of them, and some, not of the tenth part of the Communicants; so that generally the youth are altogether neglected: and those Parishes be harbours for all kind of vicious and lewd People, that pretend they have no roome in the Church, which is uncapable to receive those that would wil­lingly repayre to it.

And if this worke were appoynted to be done, many well disposed persons would contribute willingly towards it: in which respect, if any shall give towards Erecting any Chappell, it should be ordered, that the Minister of the Parish shall not hinder that worke, so long as the Tithes, now payd unto him, the dutyes of Mariage, Burials & all other (except the indowment of the new erected Chappell, raised by the inhabitants, by a surplus­sage above what they now pay goe to the Mother Church, which must be there continued, or com­position made for them, that we rob not Peter to pay Paul.

That if the Parishioners, that are allotted to [Page 10] such new Erected Chappell, shall over and above the Tithes and duties to the Mother Church, raise a sufficient maintenance for a Minister, by the surplussage of Tithe augmented; then it may bee lawfull for them to choose their Minister, so often as the place shall be void: and not to have one forced on them by the Parson, that shall be of small benefit unto them. Neither shall the Mi­nister of the new Chappell be turned out, at the pleasure of the Parson, carrying himselfe as he ought by law, nor have any dependance on the Par­son, but the People of the new Chappell, to be the Patron thereof.


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