De non temerandis Ecclesiis, CHVRCHES NOT TO BE VIOLATED.

A Tract of the Rights and Respects Due unto CHURCHES: Written to a Gentleman who having an appro­priate Parsonage imployed the Church to prophane uses, and left the Parishioners uncertainly provided of Divine Service in a Parish neere there adjoyning.

VVritten and first published thirty years since By Sir HENRY SPELMAN Knight.

The third Edition with a new Epistle.

OXFORD, Printed by HENRY HALL Printer to the UNIVERSITIE. 1646.

The Printer to the READER.

THis small Tract, now above two yeares past, was by mee printed for that worthy Knight the Authour thereof, with no intent to have it pub­lished: and being hitherto by mee suppressed from reprinting here at home; I find it to be of late time printed in Scotland (contrary both to the Authours and my expectation) and Dedicated by another man to the Bishops and Clergy there, and so made more publique, being of it selfe private, then was first intended: which (I suppose) had the Authour knowne, or once misdoubted the sequel, in­stead of De non temerandis Ecclesiis, he would have studi­ed another Title, De non temerandis Scriptis alienis: that his writings might not be imprinted, when Benefices are made proper. Wherefore finding many slips in it from his Co­pie, I have (as well in the right of the Authour as of my selfe, (to whom the right of the sole Printing belonged) caused it to be reprinted. And though at the time of the putting it to the Presse, I could not conferre with the Authour, he being then in the Country, yet hath it pleased him since his coming home to adde something more unto it, as his leasure would permit him; which I have annexed to the end thereof. And thus have I attempted to make a private worke publique, lest the faults of other men, should unjustly be cast upon him, that deserved so well in so rare an Argument.

To the Reader.

ALL the vessels of the Kings House are not gold, or silver, or for uses of Honour. Some be common stuffe, and for meane services, yet profitable. Of the first sort, I am sure this Tract is not. Whe­ther of the other or no, I leave that to thy judgement. To deale plainely; my selfe have no great opinion of it; as finding mine owne imperfections, and writing it onely upon a private occasion to a pri­vate freind, without curious observation of matter or method. But having also written a greater worke (much of the same Argument) and intending to publish, or suppresse it, as I see cause: I thought it not unfit (upon some encouragement) to send this forth (like a Pinnesse or Post of Advice) to make a discovery of the Coast, be­fore I adventure my greater Ship. If I receive good advertisement, I shall grow the bolder. Howsoever, take this I pray thee, as it is: and let my zeale to the cause, excuse me in medling with matters beyond my strength.

H. S.

A Letter shewing the occasion of this Treatise to the Worshipfull his most loving unkle FR. SA. &c.

MY good Vncle, the speeches that past casually betweene us at our last parting, have runne often since in my minde; and so (perhaps) have they done in yours. You complained (as God would have it) that you were much crost in the building you were in hand with, upon a peice of gleabe of your Appropriate Parsonage at Congham. I answered, that I thought God was not pleased with it, insomuch as it tended to the defrauding of the Church, adding (amongst some other words) that I held it utterly un­lawfull to keepe Appropriate Parsonages from the Church. &c.

But our talke proceeding, I perceived that as God had al­wayes his portion in your heart, so in this, though it concerned your profit, you seemed tractable. It much rejoyced me, and therefore apprehending the occasion, I will be hold to adde a continuance to that happy motion: (so I trust, both you and I shall have cause to terme it) and besides, to give you some tribute of the love and duty I long have ought you. There­fore (good Vncle) as your heart hath happily conceived these blessed sparkes, so in the name and blessing of God, cherish and enflame them. No doubt they are kindled from heaven, like the fire of the Altar, and are sent unto you from God himselfe, to be a light to you in your old daies (when your bodily eyes faile you) to guide your feete into the way of peace, that is, the way and place from whence they came. So alwaies I pray for you, and rest,

Your loving and faithfull Nephew HENRY SPELMAN.

To the READER.

REader, this small Treatise was 30 yeares since written and published by my Father now deceased; his in­tent was to disswade a prophanation of Church­es, and to perswade a restitution of Tithes and im­propriations to the Church; Wherein although he was not so happy as with Saint Peter at once to convert thousands, yet was he not with him so insuccessefull, as to fish all might and catch nothing; for some were perswaded with what is written, nor can I say that others beleeved not; but rather thinke, that like the young man in the Gospell, they went heavy away, because they had too great possessions to restore.

Mischeifes are with more ease prevented then cured, men sooner disswaded from a reception, then perswaded to a restitution. While therefore the great dissolution of Bishopricks and Deanaries is onely threatned not acted, I have caused a reimpression of this Tract, hopeing that (as at first) it will finde some beleevers, and the rather because written long since, by one, no Levite, himselfe and children as his Ancestours meere Lay-men, not having nor hopeing for any Ecclesiasticall preferrement, and therefore I am confident he tooke his motives solely from the dictates of religion and consci­ence, himselfe practising what he would perswade thee. I know thy argument for retaining impropriations, Abbeys &c. is, the Law hath made them lay-fees, thou didst legally buy them, and therefore mayest lawfully keepe them.

I confesse our Statutes of Dissolution have changed the course of the fee, from a politicke succession to a naturall descent; and un­happily put a lay man in to the Preists place. But tell me if any Sta­tute or humane Law doth or can take away the Dedication or the Consecration of Abbeys, Monasteries &c. discharge or annull the interest which God and his Church hath in them, and for which they were founded, as that hospitality, sicke and feeble men may be maintained, Almes given, and other Charitable deedes be done, [Page]and prayers be there said, as is declared in the Statute. 35. Edw. 1.35: Edw: 1. ca: 1. or can any Statute divert, and dispence with the many and heavy curses of the Church, upon the violators of Church liberties, to which the whole Kingdome hath not onely cried Amen, but by Act of Parliament hath enjoyned the Bishops to curse the violaters. If these be not removed, then remaine they still dedicated, still con­secrated to God; and then seeke and satisfie thy selfe, whether thou having the appropriation and Tithes but as the Abbot had them, and receiving the profit as the Abbot did, art not as the Abbot, tyed in Law and Conscience or one of them to performe the duties: for that he was, appeares by the opinion of all Judges 18. Eliz: Plow. fol. 496. where it is said by the Judges, that none is capable of an appropria­tion (for so the Law calls them) but onely bodies politicke not na­turall, and the reason is because he that hath the appropriation is to be perpetuall incumbent, which a naturall body that must dy could not be. And that body politicke (to have the rectory, the glebe, and tithes) must be Spirituall not Lay. For in that he is made Parson (saith the booke) he hath the cure of the soules of the parishioners, and therefore must be Spirituall, for by the same reason that a patron cannot present a Lay­man to his Church, by the same reason a Lay-man cannot be an Appropriator; For they are both Parsons of the Church, the presented Parson for life, the Appropriator for ever. And there­fore Plowden saith, that the Appropriator, be he Abbot or Prior &c. is as fully incumbent Parson, as if he had beene presented, instituted and inducted: and as Parson shall have his Actions, and that he that is duely made Parson is thereby made possessor of the Parsonage for the spirituall Office,plow. fo. 500. attracts the possessions of the things belonging to the Office, and in that he is Parson, he receives the Tithes not as granted to him, but as things annexed to the Office of a Parson. And Tithes are frequently in our Common Law termed spirituall things because annext to the spirituall Office. By these Bookes and resolutions of the Judges it is cleare that the appropriatour was the incumbent Parson, and had the cure of the soules of the Parishioners,Fol. 33, 35. and that upon the presentation of the appropriatour or upon the dissolution of the Abbey, the Church became voide, and presenta­tive, as other Churches upon resignation or death of the incumbent.

For appropriations (as thou now seest) were but Parsonages [Page]with cures of soules, annext and appropriated to a particular Abbey or Religious house. For when their Fraternities became numerous, & their annuall charge greater then their yearely revenue; providence to provide for their family made them thinke how to increase their income; And themselves being patrons of many rich parsonages, obtained severally (as occasion served) licence from the King, and consent from the ordinary to annex or appropriate that parsonage to their Abbot and his successours for ever, whereby they became perpetuall incumbent parson, and anciently did duely officiate the Cure by one of their Fraternity untill the Statute of Rich. 2. pro­hibited the appropriating any Church,15. Ric. 2. ca. 6. unlesse a Vicar be conveni­ently indowed by the discretion of the Ordinary to doe divine ser­vice, and keepe hospitality;4 H. 4. ca. 12. and the Statute of 4 Hen. 4. ordained that no Religious (as Monkes and Fryers were) should be made Vi­cars to any Church appropriated, but Seculars (as our Ministers now be) canonically instituted and inducted. Upon these Statutes it will concerne the owners of Churches appropriated since 15 Rich. 2. to see, that out of the profits of the Church a convenient summe of money be yearly paid to the poore parishioners,15 Ric. 2. ca 6.4. H. 4. ca 12. and a Vicar indow­ed as the Statute of the 15. of R. 2. appoints, or else the Stat. 4 H. 4. avoids the appropriation, and then the Church becomes againe presentative.

But some will object, that impropriate Churches with their ob­lations and Tythes (the fat of impropriations) are made Lay and Tem­porall, and as Lay and Temporall things disposable at the will of the owner: a doctrine which so nearly concernes the estates and lively-hood of so many men in this kingdome as I shall not averre the contrary, least some Demetrius with his fellowes tumuit about it; yet give me leave to offer thee some opposite considerations, but leave them, and their result to thy judgement and conscience.

Consider first that while God saith, that ye have robbed me of my Tithes and offerings, God claimes the title and interest of them to be in him, not in the Preist nor in the Levite, they being but the usu-fructuarii, God the owner.

Remember too,27. H. 8. ca: 20. 32 H. 8. cap: 7. that our Statutes have declared Tithes to be due to God and holy Church, and thy with-drawing thy Tythes a neg­lecting thy duty to Allmighty God, and then consider that if the Tithes be Gods, it matters not whether his title be by Divine right [Page](as ourDier. 28. H. 8. so 43. tithes are due by the Law of God. ex debito. Co. 2. Wiochest. case. so. 45. b. tithes are due by Divine Right. Law and Lawyers) not to presse that with the resolution of Councells and opinions of Canonists, Fathers, and Divines, quoted by the Author) have taken them to be, or by humane Constitution; for what Statute, what Law, can conclude God, or bind his right? Then weigh how the King (from whom thou claimest) had the Tithes, thou hast, and to what intent he had them.

The Statute of 27. H. 8. gives the King the smaller Abbyes and houses of Religion with their Appropriations and Tithes. To the greater, H. 8. makes his title by grant and surrender of the Abbots, Priors: which between the 27 and 31. H. 8. had been laboured by Cromwell; with some he prevailed by intreaty and good Annuities; with others by the Kings Power & Sword for the Abbots ofR. Whiting. Glas­senbury, Hugh Far­ring [...]on. Reading, andIohn Bech. Goodw. 167. Colchester, whose innocency had made them regardlesse of Threats, and their piety abhorre rewards to betray their Churches; were therefore (saith Goodwin) tenderd theThere was no Oath of Supremacy, untill 1. Eliz. but these that denyed H. 8. to be supream Head of the Church, were indicted upon the Statute 26. H. 8, c 12. since repealed, for that they malitiose op­tantes deside­rantes & vo­lentes depri­vare Domin: Regem de dignitate titu­lo & nominee status s [...] regal. Said that the King was not Supreame Head of the Church. And upon this were Fisher Bishop of Rochester, Sir Thomas More, Exmew, and divers others indicted, con­victed, and executed, by vertue of a Commission of Oyer and Terminer, directed to Audley Lord Chancellour, the Duke of Suffolke, and other Lords, and all the Judges, as appeares by the Reports under the hand of Sir Iohn Spelman, who was then a Judge of the Kings bench. Oath of Supremacy, which they refusing, are, as enemies to the State, con­demned and hanged, others terrified by their examples, leaves all to the dispose of the King, who not resting on that title, procures the Statute of 31. H. 8. c. 13. which reciting (how truly doe thou judge) the Grants, Surrenders, &c. to have been made freely, voluntarily, and without compulsion, gives all the Religious houses, with their ap­purtenances and Tithes, to the King his Heires and Successors (as the Statute 27. of H. 8. did) in as large a manner as the Abbot had the same to dispose thereof at his will and pleasure (but) to the ho­nour and pleasure of Almighty God: nor is there any one word ei­ther in this Statute of the 31. or that of 27. H. 8. to alter or change the primative nature and use of Tithes. And therefore the Statute of the 32. H. 8. calls the withdrawing of thy Tithes, whether pro­priate or impropriate, a neglecting of thy duty to Almighty God, thereby inferring, that the Tithes are still due to God.

Consider that thy impropriate Tithes are yet even in Law called Ecclesiastick, and solely recoverable in the Ecclesiasticall Courts; and [Page]that the Statute of Ed. 6. [...]. Edw. 6. gives one and the same remedy both for the presentative and impropriate Tithe, and therefore must make both, or neither, Lay and Temporall.

Inquire too, whether the Impropriater hath the Cure of Soules, the Abbot had, (especially where no Vicar is endewed) if thou dost find he hath not, know who hath, for the Sheep must not be without a Shepheard, nor he without the milke of the Flock.

Learne by what Statute, what Law, the Impropriator, if freed of the Cure, is yet tyed to repaire the Chancell, as the Abbot did, and as the Abbot (where no Vicar is endew'd) tyed to provide one to officiate divine Service and Sacraments. If impropriate Tithes be temporall things, why doth the impropriator in all Courts make his title in the Churches right? if lay and temporall, why weare they these Ecclesiastique badges?

I cannot for my part think that Statutes which declares Tithes to be due to God and holy Church, which directs (among other things, even impropriate Tithes) to be disposed to the pleasure and honour of Almighty God, which calls the withdrawing thy impropriate Tithes, a neglecting of thy duty to Almighty God. I cannot think that these Statutes did either alter, or intended to alter the Ecclesiastique primative nature and use of Tithes, and the rather because I find that the Lawyers, who likely had the penning of them did hold Tithes due by divine Right, and annext to the spirituall office of the Parson, & consequently not alterable. And then thou that justly condemnest this Parson, or that Vicar, for sometimes neglecting his duty, think with thy selfe what account will be exacted of thee that receiveth the same Salery and wages with the Parson and Vicar; yet dost totally neglect the duty and mispendest all the Church Revenue up­on thy owne private occasions,39. Canon. while the Canon of the Apostles would not permit the Bishop to challenge ought to himselfe, or to dispose among his kindred or friends, but to administer them, Tanquam Deo intuente, to the poore and Fatherlesse. And consonant to that is that inCook. 5. Re­port. fol. 11. Caudris case in the 5th Report, where the Abbot might not dispend the Free almes were the rents and revenues, as appeares by the Sta­tutes. E. 1.24.14. E. 3.17. free almes of the Abbey (much lesse thou Tithes) upon his secular friend, but in hospitality upon the poore, the Fatherlesse, the Stranger, &c. and if so, then the Abbots were but Gods trustees, and as his Almners dispenced them to Gods Pentioners, the poore, the Fatherlesse and Widdow. And doe thou inquire how thou havest [Page]them andSir Edward Cook, in his Mag. Charta. f. 649. in his Comment up­on 2. Edw. 6. touching tithes, quotes the Text in Deut. 14. And the Levite shall come, & the stranger, the fatherles, and widdow, within thy Gates shall eate thereof. Here is (saith he) the right use whereto tithes should be imployed; & surely had they been lay or temporall, then they, no more then other tempo­rall things are tyed to Eccle­siastique uses. And he wrote long after our Statutes, and best knew the power & operation of them. oughtest to dispose them. For I feare that at the last and generall Audit, thou wilt find them great Cloggs to thy accompt, and in the interim, ruines to thy Family; yet I doubt not but thou wilt find probable reasons as well as Law for reteining of Impro­priations and Abbies which thou hast bought, or thy Friends left thee: yet read this ensuing Treatise, the reasons may perswade thee, if not, with me view the insuccesse of Sacrilegious persons.

But before thou canst judge of Sacrilegious persons, thou must know, what is Sacriledge, for such there is, else the Apostle erred, who whilst thou sayest, that thou shalt not commit Idolatry, upbraides thee with, and committest thou Sacriledge.

Sacriledge is the diversion of holy and Ecclesiastique things to prophane and secular use: as Simeon and Levi; Theft and Sacriledge, be evill Brethren, Theft robs thy Neighbour, Sacriledge thy God. Tithes are so undoubtedly Gods inheritance, as though some have curiously disputed his title to them, as how due; yet none but the Im­propriator denies his right to them, as not due: but Tithes and Impro­priations are the subject of the ensuing Discourse, therefore I will offer thee my Conceipt, how Abbies and Monasteries are consecra­ted to God, and ought not to be prophaned by secular use.

It is noted that in all Ages, in all Religions, the Temples of their Gods were accounted holy, and not to be prophaned by secular ser­vice: and this being so universally observed in severall Ages, in differing Empires, contrary Religions, it must needs be by the Com­mand of the universall Monarch God.

Reason taught a Heathen to conclude, Quod ab omnibus gentibus observatum est, id non nisi a Deo sancitum est. Did God by the Law of Nations teach Heathens to keep the Temples of their false Gods as sacred; And doth he not by the same Law Command thee a Christi­an to preserve his owne holy and unviolated?

The Divell, that (to his greater Condemnation) best knowes God, and is therefore his best Counter-fait, gets himselfe among the Hea­then Temples, Priests, Oblations, and to these the Attributes of holy, and sacred; he knew them to belong to God and his Church, and therefore, to be like the most high, usurpes them to him and his.

The Divell knew that the Temple of God which sanctifies the gold that is upon it, must needs be holy it selfe, and sanctifie the ground on which it stands, and therefore the Divell taught his Disciples that [Page]doctrine,Plin. Epist. l. 10. f. 615. Licet aedes sacra Claudij Caesaris collepsa sit, religio tamen occupat solum. Profit could not tempt Trajan to permit publique bathes to be made where once Caesars Temple stood, the holy ground must not be prophaned by secular imployment. Yet thou a Christi­an dost not spare the very Temple of God himselfe. Shall it not (in this point) be easier at the last day for Trajan, then for thee, for if he a Heathen thus esteemed a false God, that must come to be judged, how would he have reverenced, the true and ever living God (had he, as thou) knowne him? but this only argues, and doth not prove a sanctity in Temples.

But God himselfe hath told us in Leviticus, Levit. 27. that Lands and houses may be sanctified to the Lord, but they are redeemable at the value estimated by the Priest, and a fifth part more. But God there tells us that things devoted are most holy to the Lord, Vers. 28. and not redeemable, the reason given by Divines is, because it was given with a Curse, & if that be the reason; doe thou then peruse the Charters of Foun­dations of Monasteries and Abbies, and tell me if they be not devoted and most holy to the Lord. And then, if not redeemable, much lesse I thinke to be taken from the Church; without any satisfaction, or consent of the Triests.

The Charters were usually in these words, Concessi Deo & Ec­clesiae &c. offero Deo &c. confirmavi Deo & Ecclesiae, and these Grants have in our Common Law been adjudged good and valid; our much reverenced Magna Charta, so oft confirmed by Parliament, begin­neth with Concessimus deo quod Ecclesia Anglicana libera sit &c. and Sir Edward Cook in his Comment upon it, saith, What is granted for God, Cook. Magna Charta. fol. 2. quod datum Eccltsiae da­tum deo. Lib. 6. f. 176. cap. 285. is in Law deemed to be granted to God, what is granted for his honour, what for maintenance of his service of his Religion, is granted to and for God, and that antiently these Grants were good in Law.

The Capituler of Charles the great saith, that the Dedications were on this sort, the Founder mentioning in a writing all he inten­ded to give, and holding it over the Altar, spake thus to the Priest: I here give unto God all things conteined in this writing, for the remis­sion of my sinnes &c. and for them for whose good God will accept them, and by these to promote Gods service in sacrifice in Lights, in Susten­tation of the Clergy, the Poore, and in all things honourable to God, and profitable to his Church, and if any man shall take these away (which [Page]God forbid) let him for his Sacriledge give a most strict account to God, to whom they are now dedicated, now devoted.

The Founders of Religious houses, in the conclusion of their Deed, following the example of [...]ra. 6.12. And the God that caused his name to dwell there, destroy all Kings & peo­ple that put to their hands to alter or destroy this house of God. Darius, imprecates a most heavy Curse on them that violate or withdraw their guiftApostolatus Benedictin. in Angl: Apend. secund. f. 60.13. E. 1. ca. 6. Venientibus contra haee & distruentibus ea occurrat Deus in gladio irae & furoris & vindictae & maledictionis aeternae.

And here is to be remembred that Abbies and Monasteries had in them Churches and Chappells which had from the Bishops and Clergy a more particular dedication and consecration, then from their Founders, the Bishop using therein much Almes, many Prayers, and some decent Ceremonies, and after, even to the Dissolution, the Sa­craments, were there constantly administred, and our Ancestors had so reverent an esteeme of Churches, as following the example of Christ, would not permit buying and selling in the Church-yard, but by Parliament prohibites it.

Now consider, that if under the Leviticall Law, which in this was morall and not taken away, the single act of devoting thy house to the Lord, conferred such a Sanctity, such a Holinesse upon it, that it could never be redeemed, but at a fifth part more then the worth, and that valued by the Priest, shall the Founders guift, (which was the dedication in the Leviticall Law) the fervent Prayers and Inter­cessions of the Clergy and Church, the long and frequen administra­tion of Service and Sacraments under the Gospell, shall these adde nothing of Sanctity, nothing of Reverence to it; But even where thy Fathers and Grandfathers for many hundreds of yeares reverently on their knees received mystically the Body and Bloud of Christ, there thou (to avoyd superstition) dost sacrilegiously feed thy Oxe, and thy Asse, and not permitting Christ, as at first, to lye between them, but more uncivill then the Jewish host, turnest him out to make roome for them.

But thou wilt say these Abbies, these Monasteries were Founded and dedicated by Idolatrous Persons, Consecrated by Popish Bishops, and for superstitious uses, and therefore not sacred, nor acceptable to God.

For the unworthinesse of their Persons, and their act, consider Corah and his company, who as God himselfe saith, were sinners against their owne Soules, nor canst thou thinke the sinne small, where [Page]thou findest their punishment so great; for God smites them not as Ʋzziha with leprosie, nor with withered hands as Jeroboam, nor with death like Ʋzza, but to make their punishment answerable with their offence, God doth a new thing in Israel, fire from above con­sumes these, and the earth from beneath, swallowes up those men; and although Moses be commanded to scatter the fire (for Civill Magistrates may quench the fire of Rebellion) yet Aaron the Ecclesi­astique hand must first gather up the Censers, for they were holy, and God gives there the reason why holy, for saith he, they offered them to the Lord. And if so bad men by a single, and so bad an act, did con­secrate their Censers to the Lord, needs must the Pious guift and cha­rity of the Founders, with the often Prayers and Sacraments of the Church dayly used for many yeares, needs must they sanctifie the Church or Chappell where used.

While God spake once from the Bush to Moses, Exod. 3. he Commands him not to draw nigh, and yet at that distance bids him put off his shooes, Joshua. 5.15. for the ground was holy. And Joshua must be barefoot while he spake with the Captaine of the Lords Host, because the ground was holy.

Consider then that if the places be holy, where God spake once to Moses, once to the Captaine of the Lords Host, needs must the Church or Chappell be holy, where God hath so often spoken to thy Fathers in Sacraments and Sermons, and where they to him so often in Prayers and Thankesgiving.

If publique holy actions doe not sanctifie the place where acted, David (though he would not offer to God that which cost him nought) needed not to buy that which he did not offer, the Threshing-floore of Araugna, it had been sufficient for David to pay for the Ox­en and threshing instruments, that must be burnt not restored. The floore remained, but not for Araughnas use, (saith a Learned Divine) for by Davids Sacrifice, the floore was devoted and sanctified to the Lord, and might not return to worldly imployment, which David knew, and therefore bought it.

But thou wilt say, these are Dedications and Sanctions under the Law, not under the Gospell. 'Tis true these were Sanctions under the Law, and were Morall, not Cerimoniall, and therefore remaine un­der the Gospell. Christ that sends thee from the Altar, to be recon­ciled to thy Brother, commands thee to leave thy Guift behind thee at the Altar, and the reason given by Divines is, because thou hast de­voted [Page]it to the Lord, the guift remaines holy, and might not return to the world, for though thy person be not accepted, yet thy guift by thy devoting, is holy to the Lord, as were the Censers, in the case of Corah.

Thou seest that Christ, who would not Peter should strike to re­scue him, his Maister from violence, yet he himselfe strikes to free the Temple from Sacrolege, and thou canst not think that Christ stroke this day to preserve, what he would abolish the next day, the Sancti­on of the Temple.

Dee but consider that of Ananias and Saphirah, and thou wilt conclude, that the Devoting any thing to God, is under the Gospell, a sanctifying it to the Lord, and the withdrawing it, must then be Sa­criledge, which was Ananias sinne, agreed by all Diviner, and Ju­nius in his notes upon it saith, predium Consecrâssent Ecclesiae, they had Consecrated it to the Lord; to conclude, thou canst not violate or irreverently use a Church or Temple, but thou must disrationate St. Pauls argument, who diswades the pollution of thy Body, because it is the Temple of the holy Ghost.

Thou mayst observe our Law books to have held Tythes due by divine right, our Parliaments in their Statutes too, have acknowled­ged Tythes due to God and holy Church and this both before & after the Statutes of Dissolution; & that at this day the Law reckons tythes of impropriate, as well as of presentative Churches to be Ecclesiast­ique things, and if this will not perswade a restitution of such as thou hast, yet let it disswade a reception of more: For I know thou would'st not buy a Title litigious between thee and thy neighbour; and why wilt thou that which (at best) is questionable between thee and thy God, that must judge the Title, and in a Court where thou canst have no advocate but his Sonne, whom thou would'st disin­herit.

But the destruction of Corah perswades more with the Isralites, then the soft voyee of Moses, and such Oratory may take thee, Hell hath frighted some to Heaven; view then the insuccesse of Sacrile­gious persons in all ages, that will prevaile with thee, for had Corah and his Complices been visited after the visitation of other men, thou and I, nay perhaps the whole Congregation of Israell, would have beleived what they said is truth, it sounded so like reason, and appro­ved what they did as pious, it looked so like Religion, but their end [Page]otherwise inform'd them, and better instructed us: I will not trou­ble thee with presidents of forraign Nations, as Bohemia, the Pala­tinat, and Germany, where under colour of Reformation, the ruine of Monasteries, and Religious Houses, mightily inriched for the present both publique and private Coffers, and now the Ravenous War hath both exhausted the wealth, and almost unpeopled the Country; hoc o­men Deus avertat. I will therefore tye my selfe to our owne Coun­try, and story, unhappily plentifull in miserable examples.

I will begin with William the Conquerer; In the first year of his raigne, he fires by his Normaines, St Holl. fol. 7. Peters Church in Yorke. In the 4th, he rifles theHoll. fol. 8. Monasteries, and about theSpeed. f. 429 Camb. But. 259. 18th year of his raigne destroyed 36 Mother Churches in Hampshire, to make his New-Forrest, takes all their Plate, all their Treasure, even the Chalices. In theHoll. 12. Speed. 428. Matt. Par. fol. 10. 13th year of his raign, the Sonne out of his own loynes (Ro­bert of Normandy) Rebels against him, and in Battaile beates his Fa­ther from his Horse, wounds his Person, and (which to him is worse) his honour. About the 19th year, Richard his second (but first beloved) Sonne, sporting in his Fathers New-Forrest, is there strangely killed by the goaring of a Stagge, saithSpeed. 429. Speed, Camb. 259. Camden, by a pestilent Ayre. In the 20th of his raigne, he burnt the City ofHoll. 14. Speed. 431. Matth. Par. fol. 13. Mannts, & Church of S. Maries, with to Anchorites; and comming too nigh the flame, the heat of the fire and his Armes attracts a dissease, and his Horse leap­ing with him, breaks his Riders belly, whereof he dies, and his Body (forsaken of his Nobles and Servants) lyes three dayes neglected, af­ter by the courtesy of a Country gentleman, his Corps is brought to St Speed. 434. Stephens Church in Cane in Normandy, but in the passage the Town Fires and his bearers leave him, and run to quench that, so that dead he goes not quietly to his Grave, whither brought at last is there de­nyed Buriall by one who claimed the ground as his inheritance, for­ced from him by the Duke, all Ceremonies stay untill a composition was made, and an Annuall rent (saithDaniel. 48. Daniell) paid for his Grave, in which before he could be laid, his body swelling, burst to the great annoyance of the Company, he is offensive dead and living, after­wards the towne being taken by an Enemy, his Bones, as unworthy to be inshrined in a Church, are digged up and scatrered like Chaffe before the winde, death denies him rest.

HisSpeed. 429. Grand-child Henry the sonne of Robert, hunting in the New-Forrest, is strucke throw the Jawes with a bough of a Tree, and like [Page] Absalom, found hanging in the thicket of an Oake. His Grandchild William (second Sonne to Robert Dake of Normandy) was made Earle of Flanders, and in a Warre against his Vncle Henry the first, received a smallSpeed. 462. Mat. Par. 71. Milles lat. 77. wound in his hand, and thereof dyed the last of the Conquerors Grand-children by his eldest Sonne.

Robert of Normandy, the Conquerors eldest sonne, disinherited by his Father, is takenStow. prisoner by his brother Henry the first, who puts out both his Eyes, and after 26 yeares imprisonment, Robert Ma. Par. 73. Speed. 467. dyes starved in the Goale at Cardaffe.

William Rufus succeeded his Father in his Crowne and Curse, in his first yeare his NoblesSpeed 440. Mat. Par. 14. Rebell, in his sixth, a great Famine rageth, and such a mortality, as the quick can scarce bury the dead. About theHoll. 22. Speed. 445. 19th yeare of his Raigne, his Treasury is stored by sale of Cha­lices and Church-Jewells. In his 13th yeare, while SirSpeed. 448. Mat. Par. 54. Cervus mag­nus cum ante eum (regem) transiret dis Rex cuidem mi liti. Wal. Tirrel. trahe Diabole. Ex­ijt ergo telum volatile, & obstante ar­bore in obli­quum reflex­um saciens per medium cordis saucia­vit qui subitò mortuus cor­ruit. Walter Tir­ret shoots at a Deare in the New-Forrest, he kills the King, (in the same place where a Church stood) who dyes (beast like) not spea­king a word.

Mills saith, the Arrow glanced from the Deare, Speed, and Mat­thew Paris, from a Tree, and killed the King, but both agree his death to be (as his Fathers) by accident. He dead, his followers (as did his Father's) leave his body and fled; his Funeralls are as his Fa­thers interrupted, for hisMat. Par. ib. Speed 449. Corps were laid in a Colyers Court drawne by one silly leane Beast, (saith the Book) in his passage the Cart brake in foule and filthy wayes, leaving his body a miserable spectacle, pitti­fully goared, and filthily bemired, so, as his Father, he passeth not qui­etly to his Grave, yet at last he is brought bleeding to Winchester, and there buryed unlamented. Speed saith hisSpeed, ibid. bones were after ta­ken up and laid in a Coffer with Canutus his bones; but there they rest not, for in December 1642. Winchester being entered by the Parliament forces, the Organes, Windows, and Chests, wherein the bones of many our ancient Kings were preserved, were by the fury of the souldiers broken, and among others his, and as his Fathers, scat­tered upon the face of the Earth, as not worthy buriall. And this was the third of the Conquerours Issue that was murdered in the New Forrest, where the Doggs licked the blood of Naboth, there they must licke the blood of Ahab, where the sacriledge was com­mitted, must be the place of the punishment.

Hugh Earle of Shrewsbery 11th. Wil. Rusin commanding against [Page] [...] [Page] [...] [Page]the Welchmen in Anglesey, kenneled his Doggs in the Church of S. Frydance, where in the morning they were found madd, the Earle shortly after fighting with the enemy, was with an Arrow shotHoll. 23. dead in the eye, the rest of his body being strangely armed.

Henry the first, the Conquerours fourth Sonne, is his brothers Suc­cessor, he had severall Children, whereof his eldest William, with his brother Richard and Sister Mary, in a calme day areM. Pa f 69. Speed 459. Holl. 41. drowned by the English shore, himselfe eating Lampreis dies on a surfet, and being opened, the stinck of his body and braines M Par. 73. Speed 467. poyson his Physitions, one other of his Daughters mournes her virginity in a Nunnery, and dyes Childlesse, and in the next Generation is his name forgot, Plantagi­net takes the Crowne.

It is observable, that the Conqueror, all his Sonnes and all their Sonnes, dyed untimely deaths, (unlesse thou reckonest the Lamprey Surfet of H. 2. to be naturall) & what theFol. 20. in margine. Author notes of Nabuc. and H. 8. is also true of William the Conqueror (for in the 68. after his destroying St Peters Church at Yorke, which was in his second yeare) his Name is extinct, and his Kingdome is devolved to ano­ther Nation,Speed. f. 46. that the Nor­man time, held 69 year. Plantaginet takes his Crowne, & upon search (I feare) thou shalt find very few Families (among the many thousands) in England, who enjoy their Sacrilegious possessions of Abbies and Impropriations beyond the 68 yeare, and very many that hold them not halfe the time, and none almost but with some notable misfor­tune.

I cannot omit the Sacriledge and punishment of King John, who in the 17th yeare of his Raigne, among other Churches, rifled the Abbies ofHol. 194. Par. f. 287. Peterborough and Croyland; and after attempts to carry his sacrilegious wealth from Lynne to Lincolne, but passing the Wash­es, the Earth in the midst of the waters opens her mouth (as for Korah and his company) and at once swallowes up both Carts, Car­riage, and Horses, all his Treasure, all his Regalities, all his Church­spoyle, and all the Church-spoylers, not oneMatt. Par fo. 287. nec pes unas eva­sit qui regi­casam nunti­aret. escapes to bring the King word; the King himselfe passes the Washe at another place, and lodges that night in Swinsteed Abbey, where the newes and sick­nesse (whereof he dyed) together met him, some say he was poysoned by a Munke of Swinsteed.

William Math Par. fo. 687. Marshall Earle of Pembrooke, the great Protecter both of King and Kingdome, having in the Irish warre forceably taken [Page]from the Bishop of Furnes two Mannors belonging to his Church, was by him much solicited to restore them; but the Earle refusing, was by the Bishop excommunicate, and so dying, was buried in the Temple Church at London. The Bishop sues to the King to returne the Lands, the King requires the Bishop to absolve the Earle, and both King and Bishop goes to the Earles grave; where the Bishop in the Kings presence used these words, Oh William, which lyes here snared in the bonds of Excommunication, if what thou hast injuriously taken from my Church, be with cempetent satisfaction restored either by the King, thy heires, or friend; I then absolve thee otherwise, I ratifie my sentence, Ʋt tuis semper peccatis involutus in inferno ma­neas condemnatus.

The King blames the Bishops rigour, and perswades the Sonnes to a restitution, but the Eldest William answered, He did not beleeve his Father to have got them unjustly, because possessions got in Warre, becomes a lawfull inheritance, and therefore if the doting old Bishop hath judged falsely, upon his owne head be the curse, my Father dyed, seized of them, and I lawfull inherit them, nor will I lessen my estate.

Which the Bishop hearing, was more grieved at the sonnes contu­macy, then the Fathers injury, and going to the King, told him, Sir, what I have said, stands immutable; the punishment of Malefactors is from the Lord. And the curse written in the Psalmes, will fall heavy upon Earle William, in the next Generation shall his name be forgot, and his sonnes shall not share the blessing of increase and multiply, and some of them shall dye miserable deaths, and the inheritance of all be dispersed and scattered, and all this my Lord, O King, you shall see even in your dayes.

With what spirit the Bishop spake it, doe thou judge, for in the space of 25 yeares, all the five Sonnes of the Earle successively, according to their Birth, inherits his Earldome, and Lands, and all dye Childlesse, the name and Family is extinct, and the Lands scat­tered and dispersed; and that nothing might faile of what the Bishop foretoldMatth. Par. 400. & 403. Richard his second sonne is sore wounded, and taken Pri­soner in Ireland, and there dyes of his hurts.

Matt. Par. f. 565. Aune Dom. 1241. Gilbert the third sonne justing at Hertford breaks the Reynes of his Bridle, and falling from his Horse one foot hangs in the stirrop, and he thereby dragged about the field, till rent and torne, and so by a miserable death satisfied the Curse.

But these examples are at too great a distance and not to be dis­cerned, but through the perspective of Antient History, I will therefore come nigher and view Cardinall Woolsey, who from a m ane and obscure root grew to over shaddow all the subjects of England, eminent for Wit as Learning, great in the esteeme and favour of his Prince, laden with home and Forraigne dignities, full of wealth as yeares; in briefe he was, while free from Sacriledge, the great and successefull Counsellor of his Prince, and indeed the Ca­talogue of humane blessings: but about the 17th yeare of Henry the 8th, Woolsey by consent and licence of the King and Pope Clement the 7th,Holl. f. 891. Stow. Good. f. 67. dissolves forty small Monasteries in England, to erect two Colledges, the one in Oxford, the other in Ipswich, thou and I may think this a work of Piety, to destroy the poor Idolatrous Cells of la­sie and ignorant Monkes, to erect stately Cottages for learned and in­dustrious Divines, this God must accept, and prosper both the Act and Acter. No, thou art deceived, he that would not that thou shoul­dest doe evill, that good may come thereof, will not accept an of­fering commenced by Sacriledge in the ruine of 40 Religious Hou­ses, Woolsey layes the foundation of his Colledges, but never sets up their Gates.

About three yeares after the King possesseth his Pallace atGood f. 104. Holl. 909. West­minster, (Whitehall,) the Great Seale is taken from him, his great wealth seised, and himselfe confined to a poore house at Assure, where he remained a time (saithGod. f. 106. Godwin) without necessaries dri­ven to borrow furniture for his house, money for his expences, so as in his speech to the judges he complained, that he was driven as it were to begge his bread, from doore to doore: 21. Hen. 8. he is convi­cted in a Premunire, all his Lands and Estate seised by theHoll. 909. Good. f. 67. Good. 108. King, his Colledge at Ipswich, destroyed before built, that at Oxford receives some indowment and a new name from the King, but is never to be finished. In the 22. H. 8. at his Castle at Caywood, he is by the Earle ofHoll. 915. Northumberland arrested of High Treason, and fent towards London, at Lecester the Lievtenant of the Tower met him, at whose sight he was much affrighted, and to prevent a pub­lique and ignominious death which he feared, he gave himselfe (saithMart. 304.306. Martin) a Purge, Hist. Pont. Rom. & Card. f. 1408. Venenum recepisse, (say they that write the lives, of the Popes & Cardinalls) whereof he dyed, and was ob­scurely buried in Lecester Abby without other memory then his Sa­criledge.

The Cardinall in dissolving his forty Monasteries had used the help of five men (besides Cromwell) whereof two afterwardsGood. f 67. fought a Duell, in which one is slaine, and the survivor hanged for the murther, so each dyed guilty of his own and the others blood; a third becomes Judas-like his own executioner, for throwing him­selfe into a well, he is there drowned; the fourth a great Richman (to whom nothing is so terrible as poverty) lives to begge his bread from doore to doore; the fift, a Bishop, cruelly murthered in Ireland, byStow. a­bridg. f. 498. Thomas Fitz. Garret, sonne to the Earle of Kildare.

I might here remember how Tope Clement the 7th, after his vo­luntary consent to destroy poore Religious Houses, is himselfe for­ced out of hisSpeed. fol. 996. Hist. Pont. Rom. & Card. stately Pallace at Rome, and being besieged at his Ca­stle of St Angelo, is there constrained to eate Asses Flesh, and taking such conditions as a Victorious Enemy would give, is driven to plun­der his own Church to pay his Enemies Army, and at last dyes wret­chedly of a miserable disease: but this is Forraign, and I tyed to home examples.

Thomas Lord Audley, received the first fruits of H. 8 his Sacri­ledge, for in the 24th of his Raigne, the King dissolved (by what meanes I finde not) the Priory of Christ. Church in London, and gave, saithStow. 24. H. 8. Stow, the Church Plate & Lands to Sir Thomas Audley, who upon the dissolution of Monasteries, got that of S. James in lit­tle Walden in Essex, and made it both his Seate, and Place of his Ba­rony, and after left it to Margaret his Daughter and Heire, first mar­ried to Henry Dudley, Sonne to the Duke of Northumberland, slaine at St Quintynes, and dyed without Issue, and after she was second Wife to Thomas Duke of Norfolke who had issue, Thomas Howard, created Lord Walden, being his Grandfathers Title, and to credit his Mothers Inheritance upon the Scite of the Monastery, he began a goodlyAudly Inne. Structure (but attended with the fate of sacrilegious foun­dations) for that much impaires him, and he never perfects that, he met also with other misfortunes, which betiding so Noble a Family, and not yet published to the World, are fitter for thy inquiry, then my Penn.

Cardinall Woolsey being dead, his servant Cromwell succeeds him in his Court, Favour, and Fate, as their birthes were alike obsure, their rise, alike eminent, so alike miserable were their downefall, wonder not at the first part of their fortune, but contemplate the [Page]later; Policy in Kings, preferres able men to high places and honour, for authority, power, and esteeme of the Persons, advantages their actions; of which wise Princes reap the Harvest, the Actors get but gleanings, while the King makes Cromwell a Baron, his Seere­tary, Lord Privy Seale, his Vicegerent in Ecclesiasticis, he doth but faciliate his owne great work of dissolvingSpeed. 10.6. Monasteries, a businesse wherein Cromwell was too much versed, and unhappily too suc­cessefull. Report spake him a great Stickler for the Protestant Re­ligion, and that although the Gospell had lost a Pillar in Queene Anne Bullen, yet was another raised inSpeed 1016.92. Cromwell, for he had caused the Bible to be read, the Creed, Pater Noster, and Ten Commande­ments, to be learned in English, and expounded in everyGood. f. 146. Church, some thought that Cromwell hoped to bury Popery in the ruines of the Abbyes, and thereby give the better growth to the more pure Protestant Religion; how pious soever his intents were in reforming Religion, yet was not the manner of effecting them, it seemes, ac­ceptable to Heaven, for by Parliament in the 31 of H. 8. he per­fected his Dissolutions, and in April, in the 32 of H. 8. he is madeHoll. 950. Earle of Essex, and Lord Great Chamberlaine of England, high in the Kings favour and esteeme, yet instantly, while sitting at the Councell-Table, he is suddainly apprehended and sent to the Tower, whence he comes not forth, untill to hisGoodw. fol. 174. Execution, for in Parlia­ment he is presently accused of Treason and Heresie, and unheard, is attainted. Some do observe that heSir Edward Cook, in his Iurisdiction of Courts, f. 37. saith, that Sir Tho. Gaudy, then a grave Judge of the Kings Bench, after told him, that Crom­vvell was com­manded to attend the Chiefe Iustices, to know whether a man that was forth comming (as being in Prison) might be attainted of high Treason by Parliament, and not called to answer. The Judges ansvvered, It was a dangerous question, and they thought a Parliament would never doe it. But being by the expresse command [...]ment of the King and they pressed by the said Earle (Crom­well Earle of Essex) to ansvver directly, said, That if he was attainted by Parliament, it could not be questioned, whether the Party was called to answer or not; but the Party, against whom this was intended, (said he) was never questioned, but that the first man that suffered by that procee­ding, was the said Cromvvell himselfe. procured that Law of Attaint­ing by Parliament, without hearing the Party, and that himselfe was the first, that by that Law dyed unheard, for in July following, he was thereupon beheaded.

Next consider, that King Henry the eight, who ingrossed Sa­criledge, and retailed it to Posterity, what the Pope permitted Wool­sey (saith Cambden) H. 8. with the assent of his Parliament, per­mits himselfe; the first to catch the Pope, pretends charity, and good [Page]workes (Colledges shall be built) the later to winne the Layety in Parliament was offered with the revenue of religious houses to main­tain 40M. Howes his Preface to Stowes An­nals. Sir Ed Cooks Jurisdiction of Courts. fol. 44. Earles, 60 Barons, 300 Knights, 40000 Souldiers, and for ever ease the Subject of Taxes, and Subsidies, both obtained their de­sires in dissolving, neither perform the ends promised. H. 8th had first furthered Woolsey in his dissolution, and thereby found the way to ruine all the rest.

In theVid. the se­verall Acts. 27. H. 8.31. 27th year of his raign, by Parliament he dissolves the lesser houses & in theH. 8. 31th the great ones, in the37. H. 8. c. 4. 37th all the Colledges, Hospitalls, and Free-chappells, except some few, and possesseth all their lands, goods, and treasure. For the first halfe of his Raigne, (while free from Sacriledge) he was honoured of his Allies abroad, loved of his subjects at home, successefull in his actions, and at peace, as it were, with God and Man; but after his Sacriledge (as in disfa­vour with both) his Subjects Rebell, first in Suffolke, after in Lin­colne, Somerset, Yorkeshire, and the Northerne parts, as also in Ire­land, such dearth of Bread and Corne in England (the Grainery of Christendome) that many dye starved, which hath not been since the 40 of H. 3. And now (like Saul forsaken of God) he falls from one sinne to another. Queen Katherine (the Wise of his Bosome for 20 years) must now be put away, the marriage declared voyd, and he desirous of sonnes, rather then Pillars to bear his name, marryes the LadySpeed. fol. 1040. Anne Bullen, and by her had the Lady Elizabeth, & in the 27th of his Raigne, a sonne borne dead (to his great affliction) the 19 of May, 1536. The 28th of his Raigne she is beheaded, and the next day heSpeed. 1039. marryes the Lady Jane Seymore, who being with Child by him, she (nature unwilling to give birth to the sonne of such a Fa­ther) wants strength to bring forth▪ the Father CommandsSpeed. 1040. her in­seition, and the Mother the 12 of Octob. dyes to give a short life to her sonne, and the fixt of Ianuary, in the 31th year, the King weds the Lady Anne Speed. 1039. Ibid. of Cleve, and in July after is divorced: and in Au­gust following he marries the Lady Katherine Howard, and in De­cember in the 33 of his Raign she is attainted, and dyes on the block; and in July in the 35th of his Raigne, he marryes the Lady Kathe­rine Parre. Here's Wives enough to have peopled another Canaan, Ibid. had he had Jacobs blessing; but his three last are childlesse, and the Children of the two first are by Statute declared28. H. 8. c. [...] illegitimate, and not inheritable to the Crowne.

But himselfe growing aged and infirme, hopelesse of more Chil­dren, and not willing to venture the support of his Crowne and Fa­mily, upon a single and so weake a propt, as was his Sonne Prince Edward. In the35. H. 8. c. 1. 35 year of his Raign he intailes the Crowne upon his Children, after his death they all successively sway his Scepter, and all dye Childlesse, and his Family is extinct, and like Herostratus his name not mentioned, but with his Crimes. His Crowne happily descends to the issue of his eldest Sister, and a Forraign Nation (like Cyrus his) fill his Throne.

Among the many great and active men ayding H. 8. in his disso­lution of Monasteries, & receiving great reward out of his Church­spoyle, Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolke was the cheife, he had four wives, his first the daughter of Nevile, Marqueste Mounteagle, who dyed without issue. By His second wife he had one Daughter, mar­ryed to Stanly, Lord Mountague, but dyed without issue. His third wife was Mary Queen Dowager of France, and Sister to Henry 8th. by her he had one sonne, Henry, and two Daughters, Francis and E­lianor. His sonne was created Earle of Lincolne, but dyed a Child; his Daughter Francis marryed Gray, Marquesse Dorset, and after Duke of Suffolke, who had one sonne Henry who dyed young, Jane Gray his eldest Daughter marryed toSpeed. 1111. Holl. 1099. Guilford Dudley, and was with him Beheaded about 5 Mary. Katharine his second Daugh­ter was marryed to Edward Lord Seymore, Eldest Sonne to the Duke of Somerset, Mary his third Daughter marryed to Martin Keyes, and dyed without Issue. God. f. 244. Ellenor, second Daughter to Charles Brandon, marryed to Clifford Earle of Cumberland a gal­lant Family, lately extinct.

The Queen Dowager dying, Charles Brandon Marryed the Daughter and Heire of the Lord Willoughby of Eresby, who inrich­ed him with two sonnes, Henry and Charles: but the Duke dying a­bout the 36. of H. 8. left his Title and Estate to his sonne Henry, who enjoyed it untill 5. E. 6. then dying of the Sweating sicknesse, left them to his brotherHoll. f. 1066. God. f. 244 Speed. 1100. Charles, who only lived to be his brothers Heire, and Duke of Suffolke; and the same day, and of the same Di­sease which his brother dyed, and with him the Title, Name, and Family of Brandon.

The Statute of H. 8. c. 13. gives the Monastery of Sibeton in Suffolke, to the Duke of Norfolke, and the Chauntry of Cobham in [Page] Kent, to the Lord Cobham, since which time how heavy the hand of Justice hath fallen upon these Noble Families, informe thy selfe from our Annalls.

Consider next the Duke of Somerset, Protector to Edward the sixth, Godwin in his Annalls saith,Godwin. fo. 252. He was a just and pious man, a zealous Reformer of Religion, a faithfull preserver of the King and Common-wealth, save that with the common Error of the time, his hands were deep in sacriledge. In the first yeare ofStat. 1. E. 6. c. 14. Edward the 6 th, he procured the Dissolution of some Chantryes, Free-Chappells, and Hospitalls, left undissolved by H. 8. In the third yeare, he permits (if not procures) his Brother Thomas Lord Seymore, untri­ed, (saithGodwin. fo. 227. Goodwin) to be attainted by Parliament, and shortly after, (not unblamed) signed a Warrant for his Execution, where­upon his Brother lost his Head, and he a friend.

The same yeare his zeale to Reformation, addes new sacriledge to his former; for he defaces some part of St Pauls Stowes Au­nalls. Church, con­verts the Charnell-house, and a Chappell by it, into dwelling Hou­ses, and demolishing some Monuments there, he turnes out the old bones to seek new Sepulchers in the Fields: next he destroyes the Steeple, and part of the Church of St Johns of Jerusalem, by Smith­field, Ibid. and with the stone beginneth to build his house in theSomerset House. Strand, but as the leprosie with the Jewes, with us the curse of Sacriledge, cleaves to the Consecrated stone, and they become insuccessefull, so as the Builder doth not finish his House, nor doth his Sonne inherit it. In the fifth yeare of Edward the 6th, the Duke was indicted, and found guilty of Felony, which was (saith Hollinshead) upon a Sta­tute made the third and fourth of Edward the 6th, and since repea­led, whereby to attempt the death of a Privy Councellour, is Fe­lony, (Godwin saith) upon the Statute of 3. H. 7. but erroniously that not extending to Barons; it is observable that this Law was but the yeare before passed by himselfe, and himselfe the only man that ever suffered by it. The Statute being since repealed;Godwin. fo. 247. Godwin observes and wonders that he omitted to pray the benefit of his Booke, as if Heavens would not that he that had spoyled his Church, should be saved by his Clergy; and it is observable that in the Raigne of Edw. 6th, none of the Nobility dyes under the Rod of Justice, but the Duke of Somerset and his Brother the Lord Admirall, all the Ʋncles the King had, and their Crimes comparatively were not haynous.

Did these men dye the common death of all men, or are they [Page]visited after the manner of all men? if not, beleeve they provoked the Lord, and consider, that if they sinned in the first prophanation, thou that continuest their act, can'st not be innocent.

Here thou mayest see God observing a Decorum in his punish­ment of Sacriledge, the Issue of the Conqueror are strangely (al­most miraculously) slaine in the New-Forrest, where their Father committed the Sacriledge. Woolsey, that by the Kings licence and power, had destroyed 40 Monasteries, is by the Kings power rui­ned, and at last driven to seek entertainment, and an obscure grave in a Monastery; his Agents that had thrust themselves into his sacri­legious imployment, are themselves their owne Executioners, guilty of their owne Blouds.

Pope Clement the 7th, that willingly permitted the spoyle of 40 poore Monasteries, to erect two Rich Colledges, is himselfe ne­cessitated to Plunder his owne rich Church, to preserve his poore decayed Person.

The Lord Cromwell, and Duke of Somerset, commit their Sa­criledge by Acts of Parliament, and by Acts of Parliament they perish every one by the Sword, wherewith he strikes.

And since in the Acts of Parliament for dissolution of Monaste­ries, the whole Kingdome was involved either by their Personall consent as Barons, or their implicite consent in the representative body in the House of Commons, we have just cause to feare and pray, least God still observing his order, and turning our Artillery upon our selves, should make use of a Parliament (whereby our Fathers robbed him) to destroy us their Children.

I have here given thee instance only of such as were the first Actors in the Violation and subversion of Monasteries, least there­fore thou shouldest thinke the crime and punishment endeth with them. Consider with me the condition and successe both of our Common-wealth in generall, and of Private Families in particular before the Dissolutions, and observe them after, and we shall find just cause to thinke there is a cursed thing amongst us; For while our Religious houses stood, they (imploying their Revenues accord­ing to their Donors direction) opened wide their Hospitable gates to all Commers, and without the charge of a Reckoning, welcom­med all Travailers, untill the Statute of 1. Edw. 1. restrained and limited them, and casting their Bread upon the Waters, they relee­ved the Neighbouring poore without the care of the two next Justi­ces [Page]of Peace, or the curse of a Penall Law; while they stood, the younger Children both of Lords and Commons were provided; for without the ruine of their Fathers Estate, or (almost) a charge to their Parents, and not left (as now) often to an unworthy, ne­cessitous, and vitious course of life: we had then no new Lawes, (the off-spring of new Vices) to erect Houses of correction for lewd andVid. 43. E­liz. c. 3. vagrant Persons, to provide stock to bind poore Children Prentises, or to make weekly Leavyes, to maintaine the weake, lame, indigent, and impotent People, to our new charge of an An­nuall Subsidie at least, for these were provided for, those preven­ted by the charity of our Religious Houses, and then the Families and Estates of our Nobility and Gentry continued long through very many descents. But when covetous sacriledge got the upper hand of superstitious charity, and destroyed all our Monasteries, all our Religious Houses, the preservers of Learning, both Divine and Humane, by their Learned workes and laborious Manuscripts, the suppressors of Vice, by their strict, regular, and exemplar life: though some, nay many among them Sonnes of Ely, made the offerings of the Lord to stinck before the People. Then all their Houses, all their Lands, Appropriations, Tithes, and Oblations, [...] Par. Church­es 9232. Cam. Brit fo. 162. 9284. where­of impropri­ate. 3845. comming into the Kings hands, Policy (to prevent a restitution) distributes them among the Layety, some the King exchanges, some he sells, others he gives away; and by this meanes, (like the dust flung up by Moses) they presently disperse all the Kingdome over, and at once becomes curses both upon the Families and Estates of the owners; they often vitiously spending on their pri­vate occasions, what was piously intended for publique Devotion; insomuch that within Twenty yeares next after the Dissolution, more of our Nobility and their Children have been attainted, and dyed under the Sword of Justice, then did from the Conquest, to the Dissolution, being almost five hundred yeares; so as if thou examine the List of the Barons in the Parliament of the 27. H. 8. thou shalt find very few of them, whose Sonne doth at this day inherit his Fathers Title and Estate, and of these few, many to whom the Kings favour hath restored what the rigorous Law of attainder took both Dignity, Lands, and Posterity. And doublesse the Commons have drunke deep in this Cup of deadly Wine, but they being more numerous, and lesse eminent, are not so obvious to observation.

Thou hast seen the insuccesse of H. 8. and his Family, and mayest observe his sacrilegious wealth not to thrive better.

Mr Cam [...]den. fo. 163. Cambden in his Britannia, saith, that in the time of H. 8. after the Dissolution of the lesser Houses, there were remaining 645 Monasteries, (Monuments of our Ancestors piety) built to the honour of God, and propagation of the Christian Faith, Lear­ning, and the releefe of the Poore, as also 96 Colledges, (besides those in the Ʋniversity) 110 Hospitalls, and 2374 Chantryes and Free-Chappells. All which, except some few Colledges, Free-Chappells, and Chantryes, with all their Lands and Wealth, came to H. 8. the Annuall value of the Lands then being very Vast, their Goods and Personall Estate exceeding great, besides the Plun­der of Shrine inestimable, when the Pearle, Gold, and pretious stones of one Shrine filled twoGodwin. fo. 159. Chests so as each took eight strong men (saith Mr Cambden) to carry it.

And although the dissolving of Chantryes, Colledges, and Free-Chappels, in the 37. of H. 8. his Raigne did not yeeld him a Crop equall to the Vintage of his former Reformations; yet was his Har­vest better then the Gleanings of Ruth, though among full sheaves. Speed fol 1011. Speed saith he had 12 Barrells filled with Gold and silver, which Cardinall Woolsey provided for the Pope, Godwin remembers 118840l he had of the Clergy for their Fine in a Premunire, be­sides the great benefit of Forfeitures that accrued by the attainders of many great men, and the multitude of Lones, Taxes, and Subsi­dies, he received from his Subjects, being more (saith Mr Cambden, and Mr Howes) then all the Kings had in 500 yeares before; yet all this accesse of wealth, added to that Masse of 5300000l left him in ready mony by his Father, as appeares by the Close-Roll of 3. H. 8. (saith Sir Edw. Cook. Juris­diction of Courts. fol. 198. Cooke) could not preserve him from want, (the certaine attendant on sacrilegious wealth) wherewith he is so sore pressed, that about the 36 yeare of his Raigne, of all the Kings of England, he alone, Coynes not only baseNon tantum stanneam cu­prinam (que) sed coreaceam pe­cuaiam solus omni [...] regum Ang procude­rs coactus est. Tinne and Coppar, but Lether mony.

And it is observed that since the accession of Abbies and Impro­priations to the Crowne, even the Crowne Lands (which formerly have been thought sufficient to support the ordinary charge of the Crowne,) are now so wasted (absit invidia dictis) as they will scarce defray the ordinary charge of the Kings houshold. And while such bitter streames flow from sacrilegious Wells, though digged by [Page] Kings Subjects, that fin their Cisternes from thence, cannot expect to drinke sweet Waters.

Reynerus Apostolatus Benedict. in Ang. fo. 227. & 228. tells us, and upon good credit, that at the dissolution H. 8. divided part of the Church spoyles among 260 Gent. of Fami­lies in one part of England, and at the same time Thomas Duke of Norfolke, rewards the service of Twenty of his Gentlemen, with the grant of 40l a yeare out of his own Inheritance, and that while not sixty of the Kings Donees, had a Sonne owning his Fathers Estate, every one of the Dukes, hath the sonne of his own Loynes, Flouri­shing in his Fathers Inheritance, and that he could have set downe their severall names had conveniency required it.

Thou maist here expect I should observe the ill successe of parti­cular private men, possessors and owners of Impropriations and Scites of Religious Houses, but to set downe all, would make the porch much bigger then the House, a disproportion, I feare, among other Errors I am already guilty of, and to set downe but a few, would displease thee, while I discover the nakednesse only of thee, thy Pa­rents or Friends. But doe thou, and let every man observe, how of­ten Impropriations and Religious houses; in a short time change and shift their owners, like the Arke not resting, either with the men ofSam. [...]. Ashdod, Gath, nor Eckron, but wearies them out with Emrods, and Mice; curses upon their persons & Estates, but returned to Beth­shemeth and Kiriahjearim to its own place, to the Priest and Levite, not only Obed-Edom, but even all Israel is blessed.

And that thou maist neither doubt, nor yet wonder, at the insuc­cesse of Sacrilegious Persons, first weighing what David prayed a­gainst those that did but say,Psalm. 83. Let us take to our selves the houses of God into our possession; next remember, the many and grievous Cur­ses imprecated by Founders of Religious Houses, and those seconded by their spirituall Mother the17. E. 1. c. 6. Church, she injoyned it by the natu­rall Parent, in severall Acts of Parliament, and canst thou hope good from their blessings, and not feare evill from their Curses? If thou thinkest the Founders Idolatrous, the Church Popish, and there­fore their curses not regardable, let that inEzra. 6. Ezra rectify thy Er­ror, where thou shalt finde Darius finishing what Cyrus began, the second Temple at Jerusalem, then restoring what Nebuchadnezzar had taken, all the Golden and Silver Vessell, then he gives Cattell, Corne, Wine, Oyle, &c. for sacrifices, and addes this curse upon the violators,Ezra. 6. [...] And the God that hath caused his name to dwell there, destroy all, King and People, that put to their hand, to alter and de­stroy [Page]this house of God, which is at Jerusalem, there thou maist ob­serve both an Idolater giving, and a Heathen cursing, yet is his guift acceptable, and his curse prevalent, for thou shalt find Antiochus 1. Mac. 6. Epiphanes his Armies destroyed, himselfe dejected and complaining even to death, of his great tribulation and misery, acknowledgeth that they befall him for his Evill done at Jerusalem, for he took thence the Golden Altar, the Table of the Shew-bread, the vessells of Gold and silver, as thou maist read in the 1. Chap. 1.Mac. Mac. and himselfe dying of a most loathsome disease. And shortly after his sonneMac. 7.4. Antiochus Eupater is slaine, and in the same Chapter thou maist observe Nicanor threatning to burne up the Temple, and pre­sently he first, & after, all his Army is slain, not one escapeth, the head and right hand of Nicanor, which had been lift up against the2. Mac. 3. Tem­ple, is cut off & hung up towards Jerusalem. Heliodorus is sent to Ieru­salem by Seleucus King of Asia, to take the Treasure out of the Tem­ple, and while in the Temple disposing the treasure, he is smitten of God, and ready to dye, untill Onias the High-Priest, at the intreaty of Friends, offers sacrifice for him, and obtaines his life, and Helio­dorus returnes to the King, and declares what befell him, the King, yet thirsting for the Money of the Temple, would send another, and demanding of Heliodorus whom; he answered, thy enemy or a2. Mac. 5. Tray­tor, for if he escape with life, he shall be sure to be scourged, so cer­tain is the punishment of Sacriledge.

2. Ma. 8.33. Calisthenes attempting to burne the Temple, set fire on the gates, and after is himselfe burnt by the Iewes.

2. Mac. 4.39. Lysimacus, called the Church-Rober, commits many2. Mac. 4.2. saeriledges by the instigation of Menelaus; is slain by the2. Mac. 13.5678. treasury of the Tem­ple, and his instigator, is by Antiochus put to a strange Death. For in Berea was a Tower 50 Cubites high, full of Ashes, with a Round in­strument that went downe into the Ashes, wherein they put Sacri­legious persons, and Menelaus (saith the Text) having committed sinnes against the Altar, whose Fire and Ashes are holy, receives his Death by Ashes, not having a Buriall in the Earth.

Alcimus even in his Act of Sacriledge, while pulling downe the1. Ma. 9.55. Temple walls, is stuck with a Palsie and dyes in torment.

Jason that burnt the Porch, Demetrius and other Sacrilegious per­sons all fall under the single Curse of one Heathen: and doest thou think to scape so many Curses of a Christian Church which twice a yeare (being so directed by Parliament) curses the violators of Churehes, and Church Liberties.

But if these judgements and examples cannot fright thy cove­tous soule from Sacriledge, but thy desires of being rich sway thee, then let thy provident good husbandry so far prevaile with thee, as not to meddle with God's and the Levites portion, the Church pa­trimony; but even out of Temporall and Wordly respects for the good of thee, thy Children, Neighbours, and posterity forbear (what pre­tences soever are made) the dissolving Bishopricks and Deaneries.

Remember that of all the specious pretences and large promises made both by Woolsey and H 8. upon their severall Dissolutions, not any one of them is performed; Woolsey neither settles his Col­ledges, nor H. 8. ease his Subjects of Loanes, Taxes and Impropria­tions, maintaines no Souldiers for defence of the Kingdome, nor disposes the Lands, as the Statute directs, to the honour and pleasure of Almighty God, nor indeed to the profit of the Kingdome; if thou weighest the profit and conveniency the Publique had before, with what they have now, the burdens and charges that we have since groaned under, and formerly not knowne; but that evill is only to be lamented, not cured, may we happily prevent the like for the future.

The Lands and Revenue of Bishopricks & Deaneries, clogg'd with long Leases under small Rents, can give but little help in Pay of the Vast Publique Debt; and that with greater damage to the Common­wealth, then the draine of private Purses can be, for this only wea­kens particulars, and for the present; that ruines generally, and for ever for the Priesthood is not with us (as with the Jewes) intayled upon Aaron and his Sonnes: but thine, mine, his, the sons of Nobles, Gentlemen, and Pesants, while all alike able, are all alike interested in the Churches preferment, which in our Nation is the sole Spure, the only reward for Learning, and happily provides for those which otherwise would be burdens to their Parent, mischiefes to the Kingdome, while Colledges, Bishopricks, and Deaneries, conti­nue, thou and thy Neighbour continuest thy Lease at small Rents, thy Sonnes and Grand-child renues it at easie Fines, and by the ac­customed charity of thy Ecclesiastick Landlord, thy continued Lease, not clogged with Liveries, Primer seisins, and Wardships (the curse of Tenures) equalls, if not betters an Inheritance.

But Colledges, Bishopricks, and Deaneries dissolved, their Lands, and Houses must be assigned (as were Monasteries and impropriati­ons) to this Lord or that Courtier, or to that or this Committee-man, and then thy rent (if thou beest continued Tenant) must be racked [Page]to the highest rate, 'till thou ruined by paying so great a Rent, thy Landlord, by receiving the Church-Revenue, and all wee, while under the rodde for the first, be guilty of a second Nationall Sacri­ledge; for shall we not believe this Nationall Warre and generall ru­ine, to be for a generall and Nationall sinne, which cannot be the acts of private and partisular men though infinitely multiplyed, but must proceed from the Acts of the universall Nation, and such I know none, but that Sacriledge of destroying some Churches, some Chap­pells, and robbing others of their Tythes and Indowments, 27. H. 8. 31. H. 8. which is not only connived at, but made lawfull by our Acts of Parliament, to which even every one in the whole Kingdome, by our own Law, is said to be privie and consenting, and thereby guilty of the subse­quent Sacriledge, and then doe thou judge, whether another Act for dissolution (which God prevent) will not be a steppe to another Na­tionall Sacriledge, and that to another Scourge; therefore if Hophny and Phineas have sinned, and Eli not reproved them, let them all three dye, yea in one day, for we have Text and president for that, but neither, that the order should perish.

To conclude, doe thou consider, that while we deteine Tithes from the Church, and forbid Aaron to counsell Moses, whether we trespasse not upon the Property and Liberty of the Church, and shall not God visit for these things, when thou with thy Sword maintainest against thy Brother (If not against thy King) thy Property of Goods, and Liberty of Subject? But that God may withdraw his Visitations, and thou sheath thy Sword, and the King receive the Allegiance and Tribute due from His Subjects, His Subjects their Protection and Liberties from the King; May King and Subject agree to returne God and his Church what is due to them, and may the first Acter, in restoring God his right, be by God first restored to his owne right.

Other things (and these more perfectly) I would have observed to thee, had not London and Oxford, the Records and I been at so great a distance. Let therefore thy goodnesse excuse, what is either omitted or mistaken by not viewing the Records, and for my other Errors, I beg thy pardon, as I would have done for medling with this subject, fitter for a Pulpit then my Pen; but I have often heard it slighted from the Levite, as Preaching his owne profit, and therefore thought it might take better (though worse delivered) from a Lay hand, no wayes concerned by it, but in the generall Calamity of our Common-wealth. Farewell.



INsomuch as the rights and duties that belong to our Churches are in effect contained under the name of a Rectory or Parsonage: I will first define, what I con­ceive a Rectory or Parsonage to be, according to the usuall forme and manner thereof.

A Rectory or Parsonage, is aPlowd. Com­ment. in Qua­re Impedit per Grendom, &c. Spirituall living, A Rectory what it is. com­posed of Land, Tythe, and otherOblatio est omne quod ex. hihetur in cultu Det, Tho. Aq. 2.7. q. 85.3.3. &c. and Vrban in his epist. Tom. 1. Concil. And Lands are so termed, Ezek. 45.1. and Tythes, Num. 18.24. So also the Caronists and Civilians expound them, Concil. Aurel. cap. 7. Burcha. lib. 3. cap. 129. & 143. Et Lex. Jarid. in verb. oblatio. Oblations of the people,Levit. 27.28. seperate or dedicate to God in any Congregation, for theTouching divine vvorship and works of charity. service of his Church there, and for the maintenance of the Governour or Minister thereof, to whose charge the same is committed.

By this definition it appeares, that the ordinary living or revenew of a Parsonage, is of 3 sorts: the one in Land, commonly called the Glebe: another in Tithe, which is a set and regular part of our goods rendered to God. The third, in other offerings and oblations bestow­ed upon God and his Church, by the people, either in such arbitrable [Page 2]proportion as their owne devotion moveth them, or as the lawes or customes of particular places doe require them.

2.Tithes how due. Though I invert order a little, I will first speake of Tithes, be­cause it is Gods ancient demaine, and the nobler part of this his inhe­ritance, founded primarily, upon the Law of nature, (as the other be also after their manner,) For the Law of Nature teacheth us that God is to be honoured: and that the honour due unto him, cannot be performed without Ministers, nor the Ministers attend their fun­ction without maintenance. And therefore seeing God is the supreme Lord and possessor of all,Gen. 14.19. and giveth all things unto us that we are maintained with; it is our duty both in point of Justice and Gratui­ty, to render something backe againe unto him, as acknowledging this his supremacy and bounty; as honouring him for his goodnesse; as a testimony of the worship, love, and service we owe him; and lastly, as a meanes whereby these duties and services may be perfor­med to him. This, I say, the very Law of Nature teacheth us to doe: and this the Law of GOD requireth also at our hands: but what the set portion of our goods should be, that thus we ought to render backe unto God, I cannot say the Law ofYet there be divers naturall reasons that commend this number (for this purpose) a­bove other. Nature hath determined that. But the wisedome of all the Nations of the World, the practice of all Ages, the example of the PatriarchesGen. 14.20. ABRAHAM andGen. 28.22. JACOB, theLev. 27.30. and 32. Deut. 12.6, & 11. Malachy 3.10 approbation and commandement of Almighty GOD himselfe, and the constantDeclared by the Fathers and Counsels. resolution of his CHVRCH universally, hath taught and prescribed us to render unto him the Tenth part: and that this Tenth part or Tithe, being thus assigned unto him, leaveth now to be of the nature of the other nine parts (which are given us for our worldly necessities) and becometh as a thing dedicate and ap­propriate unto God. For it is said, Levit. 27.30. All the tythe of the land, both of the seed of the greund, and of the fruit of the trees, is the Lords: yea more then so, It is holy unto the Lord. And againe (v. 32.) Every Tithe of Bullocke, and Sheepe, and of all that goeth under the rodde, the tenth shall be holy unto the Lord. He saith, holy unto the Lord; not that they were like the sanctified things of the Temple, which none might touch but the Anointed Priests) but Holy and se­perate from the use and injury of secular persons, and to be disposed onely, to and for the peculiar-service and peculiar Servants of GOD. And therefore in the 28. verse, it is said, to be seperate from the com­mon use, because it is seperate, and set apart unto the Lord.

[Page 3] 3. But some happily will say, that this use of Tithing rises out of the Leviticall Law, and so ended with it.Tithes original­ly not Leviticall

I answer, that it was received and practised by Abraham andJacob vovvet to give tithes, Gen. 28.22. And Joseph shevveth he per formeth his vovv. Antiquit. lib. 1. cap. 27. Ja­cob divers hundred yeares before it came to the Levites. For it is said that Abraham gave tithe to Melchisedeck, Gen. 14.20. And that Le­vi himselfe paid tithe also in the loines of Abraham, Heb. 7.9. Melchi­sedeck was the image of CHRIST, and his Church; Abraham of the congregation of the Faithfull. Therefore though Levi received tithes afterward, by a particular grant from GOD, for the time: yet now he paid them generally with the congregation, in the loines of Abraham unto the Priesthood of Christ, here personated by Melchi­sedeck: which being perpetuall, and an image of this of the Gospell, may well note unto us, that this duty of Tythe, ought also to be per­petuall. And thereforeHem 35. in Gen. Chrysostome saith, that Abraham herein was OVR tutor: not the tutor of the Jewes. And insomuch as Abraham paid it not to a Priest that offered a Leviticall Sacrifice of Bullocks and Goates: but to him that gave the Elements of the Sacrament of the Gospell,The Scripture onely mentio­neth Bread and wine to be gi­ven by Melchi sedeck to Abraham: But Jose­phus shevveth, that he gave him also divers other rich gifts, Antr [...] lib. 1. cap 18. bread and wine: it may also well intimate unto us, to what kinde of Priest we are to pay our tithes: namely to him that ministreth unto us the Sacrament of bread and wine, which are onely those of the Gospell, and not the Leviticall Priests. So that our tythe paid in this kind, cannot be said Leviticall: as also for that the Levi­ticall tythes, were onely of thingsLev. 37.30, & 31. renewing and increasing: where­as Abraham and Jacob paid them of all: as if they had followed the commandement of the Apostle; Let him that is taught in the Word, make him that hath taught him partaker of [...]. ALL his goods Gal. 6.6.

God also requireth this duty of tythe by his owne mouth, as of old belonging unto him, before the Levites were called to the service of the Tabernacle: and before they were named in Scripture. For they are not named till Exodus. 38.21. And it is said in Exodus 22.29. Thine abundance of thy liquor shalt thou not keepe backe: meaning Tithes and first fruits, and therefore Hierome doubteth not so to tran­slate it; Thy Tithes and first Fruits shalt thou not keepe backe. And in this manner of speech, the word Keepe backe, sheweth that it was a thing formerly due unto GOD: for we cannot say, that any thing is kept backe, or with holden that was not due before. Therefore we finde no originall commandement of giving tithe unto GOD: but upon the first mentioning of them in Leviticus, they are positively [Page 4]declared to be His, as a part of His Crowne, and ancient demaine; for it is there said, Cap. 27.30. All the tithe of the Land is the Lords. And Moses commandeth not the people a new thing: but declareth the Right that of old belonged to GOD: namely, that All the tithes of the land was his.

Other phrases of Scripture doe confirme this; for afterward when tithes came to be assigned to the Levites: God doth not say, The children of Israel shall give their tithes to the Levites: but he saith, Behold I have given them to the Levites. And continuing this his claime unto them,Vum. 18.21, 14, & 26. against those that many hundred yeares after dissei­sed him of them: he complaineth, Malachy, 3.8. That they that withheld their tythes from the Levites, spoiled him himselfe.

But having handled this argument more largely in a greater worke: I will here close it up with opposing against these kindes of Adversa­ries, not onely the reverend authority of those ancient and most ho­nourable Pillars of the Church SS.Ambros. in Serm. quadra­ [...]es. Ambrose, August. in Serm. de temp. [...] 29. & alias. Augustine, Hieron in Ma­ [...]. 3. Hierome, andChrysost, in [...]pist. ad Heb. Hom. 12. & [...]om. 35. in [...]n. Chrysostome, (who though they runne violently with Saint Paul, against such ceremonies, as they conceived to be Leviticall; yet when they come to speake of Tithes, admit, maintaine, and com­mand the use thereof:) But also the resolution of many ancientRoman Con­ [...]l. 4. Aureli­ [...]n. 1. Tarracon. [...]ub Horm. Me­ [...]iomatricis, [...]oletan. Agrip­ [...]in. cap 6. His­ [...]alens. Montis. [...]o [...]clus. 2. Va [...]entinum sub Leone 4. Rotho­mag. cap. 3. Cauallon. cap. 18. M [...]g [...] cap. 20. Counsels, and a multitude of otherOrigen, Tertullian, Cyprian. Gregory, &c. Fathers and Doctors of the Church in their severall ages: all of them concurring in opinion, that Tithes belong justly unto GOD; and many of them commanding all men even upon perill of their soules not to withhold them: which ArgumentSee this Sermon in the end of [...]. S. Augustin himselfe pathetically maintaineth, in a parti­cular Sermon of his to this purpose. And though it be a great questi­on among the learned, whether they bee due in quot a parte, iure di­vino (which requireth a larger discourse) yet I never read of many that impugned them absolutely.C [...]er Hist. lib. 2. c. 11. Lieutardus, who lived about 1000 yeares after Christ, taught the payment of them to bee superfluous and idle, and then growing desperate, drowned himselfe, as it were to give us a badge of this Doctrine.

4. TouchingOblations and offering. oblations and offerings. The Fathers underViban. Epist. circi [...]er Ann. [...]. this name accounted all things, that were given or dedicated to the service of God. And in the first ages of Christian religion (after the great per­secutions) the Church by this meanes began so to abound in riches. [Page 5]that the good EmperoursConstantine and Valentins­an made lavves that rich men which vvere a­ble to support the charges of the Common­vvealth, should not be admit­ted into religi­ous houses, be­cause their pos­sessions and goods vvere thereby amor­tized. themselves, were constrained to make lawes (not unlike our statutes of Mortemaine) to restraine the excesse thereof: for feare of impoverishing their temporall estate. In those dayes, many Churches had Treasuries for keeping these oblations (as the Storehouses at Hierusalem, appointed by2 Chron. 31.11. Hezechias, for the Temple) but the succeeding Ages, contracted them into Chests: and in these later times, the Parsons pocket may well enough containe them. I shall not need, therefore, to spend many words in a small matter: for all the Oblations now in use, are in effect the two-peny Easter Offerings, and a few other such like: which because the ow­ners of Appropriate Parsonages shall not ignorantly convert unto their owne benefit: I will shew them why they were paied, and why they have them.

Saint Paul ordained in the churches of Galatia and Corinth, that every one upon the Lords day should yeild somewhat to God for the Saints. 1. Cor. 16.2.

But this (being once a weeke) came too thicke and too often about. Therefore inTertullian. in Apologetico. Tertullians time the use was to doe it monethly, and (at last) at pleasure. But it was ever the ancient use of the Primitive Church (as appeareth byJustinus in Apol. 21 HIst. Eccles. Justin and Cyprian) that all that come to the holy Communion, did according to their abilities, offer something of their substance to God, for charitable uses and maintenance of the Ministers. Therefore.Sermone 1. de Eleemosynis. Cyprian sharply taxeth a rich Matron, that received the Communion, and offered nothing. Locuples & dives & dominicum celebrare te credis, quae He calleth the treasury Corban, of that at the Temple of Hie­rusalem. Corban omnino non respicis &c. What? (saith he) art thou able and rich? and dost thou thinke that thou celebratest the Lords Supper, which bringest nothing to the Treasurie? So Irenaeus saith)Novi Testa­ments novam docuit (scil. Christus) obla­tionem: quam Ecclesia ab Apo­stolis accipiens in universo mundo offert Deo, ei qus aelimenta nobis praestat; primitiaes suorum munerum in no vo teslamento. That it was the use of the Church through the world in his time, and received from the Apostles; to offer something of the blessings that they lived by, as the first fruits thereof, to him that gave these things unto them. WhichVide Zanchium lib. 1. de cultu. Dei externe. Zanchius understandeth to be meant of offerings at the Communion: given to holy uses, and for reliefe of the poore of the Church: commending it for an excellent custome, and complaining that it is now discontinued. But to this end, and in imi­tation hereof, are our Easter and Communion offerings (as also those, at, and for Christnings, Burials, &c. which I will not now speake [Page 6]further of) at this day made, and therefore let Proprietaries consider with what conscience they can swallow and digest them.

.5 Touching the land, glebe, Of Glebe Land and hou­ses belonging to Parsonages. and houses, belonging to Parsonages, (which I would have called Gods fixt inheritance, but that I see it is moveable:) I cannot say that they are Gods ancient demaines, in the same forme that tithes are, and as our Clergy enjoyeth them, but the warrant and ground thereof, riseth out of the word of God; who not onely gave us a president thereof, when he appointed Ci­ties for the Levites to dwell in, with a convenient circuit of fields for the maintenance of their Cattle, Num. 35.2, &c. but commanded al­so the Children of Israel (and in them all the Nations of the world:) that in division of their land, they should offer an oblation to the Lord, an holy portion of the Land for the Priest to dwell on, and to build the house of GOD upon: Ezek. 45.1, & 4. So that the hou­ses and lands that our Ancesters have dedicated to God in this manner, for the Churches and Ministers of this time: are now also his right and just inheritance, as well as those which the Israelites assigned for the house of God, and Levites of that time; and commeth upon the same reason and in lien thereof. But because it is uncertaine when and how they were brought into the Church, I will say something touching that point.

In the time of the Apostles the use was (as appeareth Acts 2.45. & Acts. 4.34, & 35.) to sell their lands, and bring the money one­ly,How lands came to the Churches. to the Apostles. For the Church being then in persecution, and the Apostles not to remaine in any particular place, but to wander all over the world, for preaching the Gospell: they could not possesse immoveable inheritances: and therefore received onely the money they were sold for, distributing it as occasion served. But after when the Church obtained a little rest, and began to be settled:It appeareth by the Epistles of Pius and Ʋrban who li­ved about the yeare of Christ 230. that the Church of Rome had then begun to retaine lands in this manner upon this reason: and it may well be, for that Origen and Eu­sebius shew, that Churches had then possessions. it found much casualty in pecuniary contributions, and chused therefore rather to retaine the Lands themselves, given for the maintenance of Gods Priests and Ministers: then (by suffering the same to be sold) to fur­nish the time present with abundance, and leave the future time to hazard and uncertainty. Hereupon the Fathers in theb Primitive Church, as well before Constantine (as appeareth by his owne Edicts, [Page 7]and byOrtgen spea­keth of rents of the Church: Hom. 31. in Mar. Origen, Eusebius of an house belong­ing to the Church of An­tiech that Pau­lus Saemosatenus in the time of Aurelianus the Emperour (a­bout 30 yeares before Constan­tine) wrongful­ly invaded. Lib. 7. cap 24. Eusebius, and the Epistles ofRead the note (a) next afore. Pius, andRead the note (a) next afore. Ʋrban) as after: began to accept and retaine the lands thus given, and to leave them over to their successors for a perpetuall Dowry of the Church. And this upon experience was found to be so godly and worthy a course that it not onely received the applause of all suc­ceeding ages: But commendeth for ever unto us their temperance, in desiring no more then for present necessity, their zeale for providing for posterity, and their great wisedome, (or rather, Propheticall spi­rit) which fore-saw so long before hand, that devotion though it were at one time hot and fervent, yet, at another it might be cold e­nough: and therefore when time served, they would by this meanes provide that the Church for ever, should have of her owne, to main­taine her selfe withall. Upon this ensued many godly provisions for endowment of Churches, and for annexing their livings so unto them, as neither the variety of time, nor the impiety of man (if it were possible) should ever have divorced them; as appeareth by a multitude of ancient Counsels, Canons, Statutes, and decrees of theSynod. Re­man. sub Syma­cho. 103. Epis­ceporū circiter An. Christ. 503. tota contra in­vasores Ecclesi­arum. Concil. Aurelianens. 4. Ann. 543. c. 19. & 34. Conc. Meldens. cap. 5. Burch. lib. 11. cap. 16. Concil. Gangrens. cap. 8. Bur. lib. 11. cap. 20. Concil. Mogunt. cap. 3. 6. 7. & plurima alia. Church, h Emperours, andi Princes, to that purpose. Therefore whi­lest the world burned so with that sacred fire of devotion, towards the advancement of the glory of God: that every man desired to san­ctifie his hand, in the building of Churches, lest such holy monuments for want of due maintenance, should in processe of time becom, either contemptible, or unprofitable, It was at length ordained, ink Aurel. Concil. 4. (An. 545.) cap. 3, Andl Concil. Valentin, (An 855) cap. 9, That, whosoever builded a Church, should assigne unto it a * Plough­land, furnished for the maintenance of the Parson thereof. By vertue of these Councels (as I take it) were the Founders of Churches in France first compelled to assure Livings to those Churches. And it was also provided by the third Councell ofm Tolledo in Spaine, that no Bishop might consecrate any Church, till sufficient maintenance (whichn Chrysostome calleth the Dowry of the Bride) were assigned to it.

But because these were forraigne, and Provinciall Councels, not Generall: they bound not our Countrey, otherwise then by doctrine and example. Therefore it was here decreed afterward, to the same effect in aSyn. Lond. ca 16. Antiq. Britan. ca. 34. Synod at London under Anselme Arch-bishop of Canterbu­ry, Anno Domini 1105. H. 1.3. And though the lawes of our Church began then first (as farte as I yet can finde) to constraine our Coun­try-men to give Endowments to the Churches that they builded; yet we were taught before (by the Custome and Example of our prece­dent Auncestors, as well as by our duty, out of the Word of God) to doe the same: as appeareth by many Presidents, whereof I will onely al­leadge one (but above others, that most famous) ofAlias Adul­phus. ETHEL­VVULPHUS, King of West-Saxony, who (in the yeare of our Lord 855.) asIngulf. in Hist. Croil. Ingulphus Saxo, andSim Du­nelm. citat. An­tiquit. Brit. ca. 27. Simeon Dunelmens. report, by the advice and agreement of all his Bishops and Nobility: Gave not onely the tithe of the goods, but theDecimam mansionem ubi minimum sit. tenth part of the Land through his Kingdome for ever, to God and the Churches, free from all secular services, taxations, and impositions whatsoever: In which kind of religious magnificence, as our succeeding Kings have also a­bounded: so have they fromAs appeareth in their severall lawes, and namely 15 times in Edw. 3. raigne. time to time, as well by Parliament Lawes, as by their Royall Charters, confirmed these and other the Rights of the Church, with many solemneSee the Stat. of 25. Edw. 1. in Rastals A­bridgment tit. Confirmat. 3. And Sententia lata super Char­tas. vowes and imprecations against all that should ever attempt to violate the same. Therefore if these things had not beene primarily due unto God by the rule of his word, yet are they now His. and seperate from us, by the voluntary gift and dedication of our ancient Kings and Predecessours: as was theNehe. 10.32. tribute of a third part of a shekel, which Nehemiah and the Jewes out of their free bounty covenanted yearely to give unto God for the service of his house. For, as Saint Peter Acts 5.4. saith to Ananias: Whilest these things remained, they appertained unto us, and were in our owne power: but now, when we have not onely vowed them, but delive­red them over into the hands and possession of Almighty God (and that, not for superstitious and idle orders, but meerely for the main­tenance of his publike divine worship, and the Ministers thereof, (they are not now arbitrable, nor to be revoked by us, to the detri­ment of the Church.

6.Churches and their livings de­dicate to God. Churches being erected and endowed: they and their livings, were (as I say) dedicated unto God. First, by the solemne vow and oblation of the Founders: then by the solemne act of the Bishop, [Page 9]who to seperate these things from secular and prophane imploy­ments, not onely ratified the vow and oblation of the Patron or Foun­ders: but consecrated also the Church it selfe: using therein great de­votion, many blessings, prayers, workes of charity, and some Cere­mony, for sanctifying the same to divine uses. Therefore also have the ancientSee the 6. Syn. Rom. of 103 Bishops (above 1000 yeares since) wholly against violaters of Churches and Church-rights. And see many to this purpose. Burchar. lib. 11. Councels added many fearefull curses against all such as should either violate it, or the Rights thereof.

This consecration, MasterDemonst. problem. tit. Templum sect. 3. Perkins calleth a Dedication, but con­fesseth it to have been in use in this manner, about the yeare of Christ 300. (which is within the time of the Primitive Church) onely he admitteth not, that it was then performed with Ceremony and the signe of the Crosse; which here I will not stand upon, nor to shew the greater antiquity thereof, (though I thinke it may well be pro­ved.) ForIn Epist. ad Constant Imp. Athanasius being in those daies accused by the Arians, of ministring the Communion in a Church not consecrated, excused him­selfe to have done it upon necessity. AndHistor. suae lib. 1. c. 30. & Sozom. lib. 3. c. 25. Niceph l. 8. cap 50. Hist. Triper l. 3. fol. 331. Theodoret reporteth, that Constantine (then likewise) commanded, all those that were at the Councell of Tyrus, should come to Hie asalem. [...]. consecrare. Aelia: and that others should be as­sembled from all parts, for Euseb. in orat. de laudib. Con­stant. Consecration of the Churches builded by him. Which sheweth it to be so notorious and generall an use at that time, and to have such universall approbation; as it could not, but have a root also from elder ages, though there cannot be many presi­dents found thereof, for that the Christians being then in persecution, might hardly build, or dedicate any Churches, but were constrained to use private houses, and solitary places for their assemblies. Yet, e­ven those houses, had (as it seemeth) some consecration, for they were most commonly calledIbidem. aedes sacrae, Holy houses, and have left that name, (to this day) amongst us, for our Churches, as a testimony of their sanctification, whereof I shall speake more anon.Ibidem. Eusebius al­so saith: that insomuch as the Holy houses and Temples of that time, were thus Dedicated and Consecrated unto God, the universall Lord of all: therefore they received his name, and were called in Greeke [...], (in Latin, Dominica) the Lords houses: Which name, saith he, was not imposed upon them by man: but by himselfe onely, that is Lord of all. Of this word [...], cometh the Saxon word Cyric or Kyrk: and (by adding a double aspiration to it) our usuall word Chyrch or Church, as it were to put us ever in mind, whose these Houses are: [Page 10]namely,Gen. 22.22. the Lords houses: like that, which JACOB dedicating un­to GOD, called (Bethel:) that is, the house of God.

But both Church and Church-livings were thus solemnely delive­red into Gods possession; and therefore all ages, Councels and Fathers (that ever I yet have met with) account them holy and inviolable things.Chrys. hom. 18. in Act. Concil. Mogunt. cap. 7. And hereupon they are termed, Patrimonium Christi, Dos Ecclesiae, Dos sponsae Christi, and Sacrata possessio, or Praedium sanctum. For, Everything that a man doth seperate unto the Lord from the com­mon use, whether it be man, or beast, or Land of his Inheritance, it is Holy to the Lord: Levit. 27.28. And in what sort I understand the word Holy, I have before declared.

7.Holy rights and Temples how respected by Heathens. As then the Law of Nature, primarily taught all Nations in the world to give these things unto God: so the very same Law, also taught them that it was sacriledge and impiety to pull them backe a­gaine: yea, the very heathen counted the things thus severed unto their gods, to be Sancta & inviolanda. And Saint Augustine ex­poundeth, Sanctum illud esse, quod violare nefas est. It is execrable wickednesse,Gen. 47.22. to violate that that is holy. Pharach would not abridge the Priests of their diet, or land: no not in the great famine. The ve­ry Barbarous Nations of the world, even by the instinct of nature, ab­horred this impiety.Biblioth. hist. lib. 5. Diodorus Siculus noteth of the Gaules, that though they were a people, above all others most covetous of gold: yet having abundance thereof, scattered in all parts of their Temples, to the honour of their gods, none was found so wicked amongst them, as to meddle with any of it. I could alleadge a multitude of Heathen stories to this purpose. But I will not weave the woollen yearne of the Gentiles, into the fine linnen garments of the Christi­ans; I meane, I will not mingle profane arguments, in a discourse of Christian piety. For the sheepe that are of the fold of Christ, are tied onely to heare his voice, John 10.3. and to follow that, which if they doe not, they are thereby knowne to be Goats, and not of his fold.

8.How fearefull a thing it is to violate the Church. The cause why I touched upon this one heathen Example, is to aggravate the manifold sinnes of us Christians, in this point. For if they that knew not God, were so zealous of the glory of their Idols: how much more is it to our condemnation, if we that know him, doe lesse regard him? If it goe hard with Tyrus and Sydon in the day of judgement that sinned ignorantly; how much harder will it be with Corasin and Bethsaida that sinne presumptuously: Especially with [Page 11] Capernaum that despiseth her Lord God and Master, Jesus Christ himselfe? What is it to despise him; if to robbe him of his honour, be not to despise him? Or what is it to robbe him of his honour, if to take from him the things given him for maintenance thereof, be not to robbe him? Therefore when the children of Israel withheld their tithes and offerings from the Levites, he crieth out in Malachy 3.8. That himselfe was robbed and spoiled: and was so highly offended therewith, that he cursed the whole Nation for it. And to make this sinne appeare the more monstrous, he convinceth the offenders there­in: not onely to be violaters of his Legall ordinances, but even of the very law of Nature, written in the heart of every man. For, saith he, Will any man spoile his gods? As if he should say: Can such a man be found as will, or dares commit that sinne, that all the Nations of the world, even by the instinct of nature, account to be so horrible and impious? To spoile his gods: what his owne gods? Some were found, that now and then adventured to spoile the gods of other Nations, (yet not without punishment) but few or none that I reade of (till these latter daies) that spoiled their owne gods, in apparent and o­vert manner, as the Lawyers tearme it. I count it not overt and ap­parent, when we doe as Ananias and Sapphira did: pinch and detract from God, somewhat of that we vowed to give: Nor, when we doe as the children of Israel here did withhold that which we ought to pay out of our owne goods, (yet both these were heinous sinners, and dreadfully punished.) But I call it overt and apparent, when we throw our selves into a more dangerous sinne, by invading openly the devotions of other men, and taking that from God and from his Church, (as Athalia did) which we never gave unto it,2. Chron. 24. vers 7. even the lands and livings thereof: yea, the Churches themselves.Davids zeale for the house of God.

9 Doubtlesse we have much to feare in this point: For as it is a transcendent sinne; so David labouring to match it with a transcen­dent punishment, bestoweth a whole Psalme, (viz. theThis Psalme is alleadged to this purpose by Lucius (who was martyred about An Chr. 255.) in his e­pistle to the Bi­shops of Galli [...] and Spaine. Tom. Concil. 1. 83.) in in­veying particularly against these kind of sinners: such (expresly) as would take to themselves the houses of God in possession; for that onely is the very center of the Psalme, and therein doe all the lines and pro­jections of the Prophets invectives, concurre. First he maketh a flat opposition betweene God and them: and therefore calleth them his enemies. Then he describeth the nature of these kind of enemies: namely, that they are murmuring enemies, as grudging, and envying [Page 12]at the prosperity of the Church: Malicious enemies: as hating or hurting the service of God. Proud enemies, as lifting up their heads against God: vers. 2. Craftie enemies; as imagining how to beguile the Church. Conspiring enemies; as taking Councell together against Gods secret ones (as the Prophet calleth them) that is, Gods servants and Ministers: vers. 3. And lastly, Confederate enemies: as combi­ning themselves one by example of another, to persevere in their course of wronging and violating the Church: vers. 5. Yet for all this, those against whom the Prophet thus inveigheth, did not that they desired. They discovered their malitious purpose by word of mouth, saying: Let us take to our selves the houses of God in possession. But they onely said it, they did it not. Their will was good, but their power failed. Our will and power have both prevailed: for we have got the houses of God into our possession: His Churches, his lands, his offerings, his holy rights. We have gotten them, and led them away captive, bound in chaines of iron: that is, so conveied and assured un­to us, by Deed, by Fine, by Act of Parliament, as if they never should returne againe unto the Church. But heare what David saith to those of his time. Marke how he prayeth for them. Marke what strange and exquisite punishments he designeth to them: and that in as many severall sorts, as there are severall branches in this kind of sinne.

First, he prayeth, that God would deale with them, as he did with the Madianites, vers. 9. That is, that as Gedeon by Trumpets and Lampes, strooke such a terrour in the night time, into the hearts of the Madianites, that the whole army fell into confusion, drew their swords one upon another, were discomfited, and 120 thousand of them slaine. So that God by his trumpets, the Preachers of his word; by his Lamps, which is, the light of the Gospell, would confound in like manner, the enemies and spoilers of his Church, that sleepe in the night of their sinne: And that he would make them like Oreb, and Zeb, like Zeba and Salmana: vers. 11. All which were strangely o­verthrowne, died violent deaths, and being glorious Princes of their nations, became like the filthy and loathsome Dung of the earth: vers. 10. And Judges 7.25. and 8.21.

But doth the Prophet stay here? no, he goeth on with them: O my God, saith he, make them like a wheele, vers. 13. that is, wavering and unstable in their actions: so as they may never bring their purpo­ses to an end. Yea, make them abject and contemptible; like the [Page 13]chaffe that the wind scattereth from the face of the earth: vers. 13. Well, is he now fatisfied? no. All this doth but whet his spirits to sharper imprecations. He now desireth that the very floudgates of Gods wrath may be broken open upon them; and that the tempest of his indignation may rage at full against them: now he crieth out to God to consume them without mercy, yea, and that in two terri­ble manners. One naturally, As the fire burneth up the wood. The o­ther miraculously, As the flame consumeth the mountaines: vers. 14. Persecute them even so, (saith he) with thy tempest, and make them a­fraid with thy storme. Make their faces ashamed. O Lord, that they may seek thy name. Let them be confounded and vexed ever more and more, let them be put to shame and perish. vers. 15, 16, 17. How should the wit of man discover and prosecute a sin in more vehement and horri­ble manner? Or, what shall make us to abstaine from such haughty sinnes, if all this prevaile not? Well, if to take the houses of God in­to possession be thus, take them that will for mee.

You see how David in this his sacred fury,The zeale of our Saviour to the house of God. And of the parts of the Temple. was admirably carried against this sinne. Well therefore might he say: The zeale of thine house hath eaten me up, Psal. 69.9. Yet, he spake it not of himselfe a­lone: but in the person also of our Saviour Jesus Christ; who in pro­secution of Davids zeale, did that in this case, that he never did at any time else in all his life. In all other cases he shewed himselfe like the Paschall Lambe, that every body did eat and devoure at pleasure; and like the sheepe that was dumbe before the shearer, even when his very life was taken from him. But when he saw the golden fleece to be taken from the house of God: that is, when he saw the Church his beloved spouse, deprived and spoiled of the honour, reverence, du­ty and ornament, that belonged to her: Then, as David did, he groweth into a sacred fury; he leaveth the mildnesse of the Paschall Lambe, and taketh upon him the fiercenesse of the Lion of Juda. Then he beginneth to bestirre him, and to lay about him. He whippeth out them that prophaned it; driveth out their sheepe and their oxen, though they were for the sacrifice: & overthroweth the tables of the money changers: John 2.14. He would by no meanes indure such trumpery to be in his Fathers house,Mat. 21.12: Mar. 11.17. Luke 19.45. nor his Fathers house to be made an house of Merchandise; but, much lesse then, that merchandise should be made of his Fathers house it selfe. O fearefull and most in­humane sinne! horresco referens.

But e're I depart from this place of Scripture; let mee note one thing more out of it, for the greater reverence of Churches: that al­though our Lord be here said, to have cast these things out of the Temple; yet, in truth, they were not in the Temple it selfe, but in the outward court or yard thereof. For within the inward parts of the Temple, (namely, the first, and second Tabernacles) did no man en­ter, but the Levite Priests: Numb. 18.5. Ebr. 9.2, 3, 4, 5, &c. and of them also, none into the second Tabernacle, but the High Priest. Therefore, although our Saviour Christ, were a Priest for ever after the order of Melchisedeck: yet be­cause he was not a Priest of Levi: but of the Tribe of Juda (of which Tribe Moses spake nothing touching the Priesthood: Heb. 7.14. I take it, thatChrist came to fulfill the Law, and not to breake it. Therefore (doubtlesse) he observed the rules thereof, and the quali­ty of his Tribe. he never came within these parts of the Temple: nor where the sacrifice was, but frequented onelySee the forme of the Temple in Arias Mon­tan: Antiqui­tat. Judaic. l. Ariel. and in the Geneva Bible, 1. King. cap. 6. and marke well both it, and the notes upon it; for I find them (above others) most agreeable to the Scri­ptures, and re­ly not upon the figure of the Temple in Adricomius without good examination; for I perceive he hath misplaced some things there­in. Atrium populi, the out­ward Court from the Temple. For into this onely thec people re­sorted: to worship, pray, and heare the word of God expounded, not pressing further towards the Temple: and in the middest whereof (thed brasen stage which Solomon praied upon) was erected. Yet, this very place, this court, or outward yard, would not our Saviour permit to be prophaned; neither with market matters, nor with car­rying so much as a burthen or vessell through it, Mark 11.16. For though it were not so Levitically holy, as the Temple: yet it was dedicated to God, with the Temple: And taken often in the new Testament, for the Temple: as in the places before alleadged. And Acts 3.2, 3. By which reason the very Church-yards themselves (being Dedicated with the Churches, and the principall soile there­of:* as an old Statute witnesseth) seeme also to have in them a cer­taine kind of Sanctification: and are not therefore to be abused to se­cular and base imployments: as not onely the Ancient Fathers, by the Canons of the Church: but the present Lawes of the Land, have well provided for them.

10. But some will say, that the sanctification of the Temple was Leviticall, and therefore abolished, and not to be applied to our Churches. I answer, the Temple was sanctified unto three functions; which also had three severall places assigned to them. The first, be­longed to the Divine presence; and had the custody of the Holiest [Page 15]Types thereof; the Oracle, the Arke, the Mercy seat, &c. And was therefore called Sanctum Sanctorum, or the Holiest of all. The second, was for ceremoniall worship and attonement: namely, by sacrifice, ob­lations, and other Leviticall rites; the place thereof being the Sanctu­ary, (wherein were the Holy vessels) and the Court of Priests, where­in the Altar of burnt sacrifice did stand. The third, was for simple worship, praier, and doctrine (without any pompe or ceremony:) and the place of this, was the outward Court, (called,1. Chr. 4.9. & 6.12. Atrium po­puli, andActs 31.1. Solomons porch;) which therefore had in it no Ceremoniall implement at all.

The two first of these functions, with the places belonging to them; were indeed particularly appropriat to the Law. For, they were Ceremoniall, Mysticall, Secret, Leviticall, Judaicall, and Temporall, Ceremoniall, as celebrated with much worldly pompe. Mysticall, as figurating some spirituall things. Secret; as either performed be­hinde the Veile or Curtaine: or else sequestred and remote from the people. Leviticall; as committed onely to the administration of that Tribe. Judaicall; as ordained onely for the salvation of that people. And Temporall; as justituted onely for a season, and not to continue. But the Sanctification, of the third function, and of the place thereto appointed, was directly contrary in all the points alleadged to the former two. First (as I said before) it was for simple worship, Praier, and Doctrine, which were there to be performed and deli­vered in all sincerity, without any ceremony or ceremoniall implement used therein. Secondly, there was no matter of mystery therein to be seene: but whatsoever was mysticall in the Law, or the Prophets, was there expounded. Thirdly, nothing there, was hidden or secret from the people, but acted wholly without the Veile, and publikely for every man. Fourthly, it was not appropriate to the Levites, but common alike to all the Tribes. Fifthly, not ordained for the Jewes particularly, but for all Nations in generall. And lastly, not to endure for a time, (as those other two of the Law) but to continne for ever: even after the Gentiles were called, as well as the Jewes: that is, du­ring the time of the Gospell, as well as the Law. Therefore, saith God, by Isaias the Prophet, cap. 56. 7. My house shall be called an house of Praier, to all Nations. He said not, an House of Sacrifice to all Nations: for the Sacrifice ended before the calling of the Gentiles, and so they could have no part thereof. Nor an House of Praier for [Page 16]the Iewes onely, for then had the Gentiles (when they were called) beene likewise excluded. But an House of praier to all Nations, that is, Iewes and Gentiles indifferently: which therefore, must have relation to the times of the Gospell. And consequently, the sanctification of that house, and of that function, is also a sanctification of the Churches of the Gospell.

We read not therefore, that Christ reformed any thing in the other two functions of the Temple; for they were now, as at an end. But because this third function was for ever to continue to his Church: therefore he purgeth it of that that prophaned it; restoreth it (as he did marriage) to the originall sanctitie: And that the future world (which was the time of the Gospell) might better observe it, then the precedent, and the time of the Law had done; he reporteth, & confir­meth the decree, whereby it was sanctified: It is written, saith he, (as producing the record and words of the foundation) My house shall be called an house of praier to all people. He saith, My House, as ex­cluding all other, from having any property therein; for, God will be Ioynt-tenant with no man. And it shall be, An house of praier for all people: that is, publike for ever; not private, nor appropriate to any: nor a denne of theeves; that is, no place of Merchandise, or secu­lar businesse, as Saint Hierome expoundeth it. It must not be an Im­propriation; no man can, or may hold it in that kind.

The time also when our Saviour pronounced these words is much to the purpose, as it seemeth to me. For it was after he had turned out the oxen and doves; that is, the things for the Sacrifice. As though he thereby taught us, that when the Sacrificall function of the Tem­ple was ended, yet the sanctification thereof, to be an house of prayer, for ever remained.

11.Saint Paul maintaineth the reverence of the Church. This doctrine of our Saviour, is continued unto us by Saint Paul: who seeing the Corinthians to profane the Church with eating and drinking in it: though much good might follow thereby, (being orderly done) as the encreasing of amity, and the reliefe of the poor; yet because it was against the reverence of the place: he not onely re­proveth them for it, demanding if they had not houses to eat and drinke in at home,1 Cor. 11.12. but skaring them also (by shewing the danger they were falling into) he speaketh to them as with admiration: De­spise ye the Church of God? As if he should say, is your religion now come unto that? or is that your Religion, To despise the place that [Page 17]God hath sanctified unto himselfe; by making it,Comment, in 1 Cor. 11. as Saint Hierome saith, Triclinium epularum, a banqueting house. God wondered in Malachy, that any should spoile their gods. And the Holy Ghost here wondereth, that any should despise the materiall Church: for so Saint Hierome expoundeth it. Thus both of them wonder at one and the same thing: that any man should be so irreligious, as to profane the reverence due unto God, and that that is his.

12. So precise therefore were the Ancient Fathers in this point,The Zeale of some of the Fa­thers to the Church. Serm. de temp. tom. 10.234. that, that meeke Saint of God, Saint Augustine, would by no meanes endure that any should use clamours, or dancing within the verge of the Church. Yea, he termeth them, Miserable and wretch­ed men that did it. And denounceth against them, that If such came Christians to the Church, they went Pagans home. But when the Church it selfe came to be abuse [...] Oh, how Saint Ambrose ta­keth it, even against the Emperour himselfe, great Valentinian that required it for an Arian: O (saith he) let him aske that is mine, my lands, my goods, and whatsoever I possesse, I will not deny them; yet are they not mine: but belong to the poore. Verùm ea quae divina sunt, Ad Marcelli­nam sororem: Epist. 33. &c. saith he, but those things that are Gods, are not subject to the au­thority of the Emperour. If my lands (I say) be desired, enter them a Gods name; if my body, I will carry it him; if he will have me to pri­son, yea unto death, it pleaseth me well, I will not defend my selfe with multitude of people, neither will I fly to the Altar, desiring my life; but with all my heart will die for the Altars. And after,In fine eiusdem Epist. in speaking of the impious Souldiers: O that God (saith he) would turne their hands from violating the Church, and then let them turne all their weapons upon me, and take their fill of my bloud. And many such excellent speeches he hath for the sanctity of the Church, and of the reverence due unto it, in his Oration, De Basilicis tradendis.

My purpose is to be short; I will not therefore now enter any further into the authorities of the Fathers: or meddle with the Coun­sels and ancient Canons of the Church, which abound so in this kind of zeale, and have established it (against the Enstathians, Messalians, and Fratricelli, Heretikes which contem­ned Churches. heretikes: and all other the enemies thereof) with so many examples, admonitions, exhortations, precepts, threatnings, curses, and excommunications: as it requireth a booke alone to re­peat them.

[Page 18] 13.Sacriledge not to be suffered in the least things. Coment. in 2 Cor. 11.22. tom. 9. Ecclus. 25.27. It seemeth a small thing to dance in the Church-yard, or to cate and drinke in the Church. But sanctification (saith Hierome, speaking on this matter) consisteth also even in the small things. There­fore Ecclesiasticus adviseth us, that we give not the water passage, no not in a little. For he that openeth the waters but a little, knoweth not how great a breach they will make at length. So is it to make an entrance into sinne, or to breake the reverence of holy things in trifles.

Therefore God punisheth severely the petty offenders in this kind: not Corah onely and his company, that invaded the high function of the Priesthood: but even him that gathered the stickes on the Sab­bath day: Numb. 15.34. And poore Ʋzzah himselfe (whom Da­vid so much lamented) that did, as it were, but stay the Arke from shaking, (2 Sam. 6.6. and 1 Chron. 13.9.) and yet died for it, be­cause his hand was not sanctified to that purpose.

14.An admonition to them that meddle With holy things. I conclude this point with the saying of Salomon, Prov. 20.25. (and let all men consider it:) It is a snare for a man to devoure that which is sanctified, and after the Vowes, to enquire. A Snare hath three properties First, to catch suddenly. Secondly, to hold surely. Third­ly, to destroy certainly. So was Ʋzzah taken e're he was aware: he did but touch the Arke, and presently he was catch't. King Ʋzziah did but meddle with the incense, and presently the Leprousie was on his face: 2 Chron. 26.19. Jeroboam did but stretch out his hand a­gainst the Prophet, and presently it withered: 1 King. 13.4. And as a man falleth suddenly into it: so is it as hard to get out. Ʋzzah died in it presently. Ʋzziah languished in it all his life, and then died in it also. Corah, Dathan, and Abiram, were no sooner caught in this snare, but it held them so surely, as when all Israel else fled and esca­ped; they, and their companions (most miserable men) were de­tained in it, to their notorious destruction.

I might here take just occasion to remember what hath happened to many in this Kingdome, that became unfortunate after they med­led with Churches, and Church-livings. But I will runne into no particularities, Let those men, and those families, which are unfor­tunate (as we tearme them) consider, whether themselves, their Fathers, or some of their Ancestors, have not beene settered in this snare.

And let the Proprietaries of Parsonages also well consider these [Page 19]things. For, if Ʋzzah died, that did but touch the Arke to save it: what shall become of them that stretch out their hands against Chur­ches to destroy them? If the sticke-gatherer was stoned, for so small a prophanation of the Sabbath; what shall they looke for, that by destroying the Churches, destroy also the Sabbath it selfe, (in a man­ner) as taking away the place appointed to the publicke sanctifica­tion thereof. And if Corah, Dathan, and Abiram, offended so hai­nously in medling with the things of the Leviticall Priesthood, though they imployed them to the service of God: what have they to feare that usurpe the things of the Gospell, and pervert them wholly to their own use, from the service of God? Yea, that pollute his Church­es and houses of prayer to servile and base offices: leaving the Pa­rishioners uncertainly provided of divine service, to the destruction both of the Priesthood it selfe, and of the service of God in generall?A surmise an­swered.

15. But they will comfort themselves with this: that though the Churches be sanctified to some purpose, yet the sanctity thereof differeth from Leviticall sanctification: and that God doth not now kill any from heaven, for prophaning the things of the Gospell, as he did then, for prophaning the things of the law. I answer: The sanctity indeed of the one, differeth from the sanctity of the other. For the Leviticall things were sanctified by the hand of man, to be matter of Ceremony; but the churches of the Gospell, are sancti­fied by our Saviour himselfe, to be houses of prayer. Not that pray­er is to be used onely in these places, but that these places are onely to be used for prayer. And we must not presume that God sleepeth because he punisheth not (now as he did of old) the contemners of his worship. For as the law consisted in visible and temporall things, so the punishments therein, were for the most part visible and tem­porall. But the Gospell concerneth things invisible and eternall, and therefore the punishments assigned therein, are for the most part invisible and eternall.

16. They have also another comfort, and that is,Another sur­mise answered. that though these things were once Spirituall, now they are made temporall by the Lawes of Dissolution; and especially by the Stat. of 32. H. 8. cap. 7. It is true that those Statutes apply divers Law-termes unto these things that properly belong to temporall inheritances: and that the Statute of 32. H. 8. hath made them demandable by originall Writs, and hath given certaine reall actions, and other courses for [Page 20]recovering and conveying of them in Temporall Coruts: because Lay-men could not in former times have sued for things of this na­ture in any Court of the Kingdome. But this proveth not the things themselves to be therefore temporall,Dissero non as­sero. (no more then that an English man is a French man, because he saileth in a French bot­tome,) For upon the same reason the Statute giveth also other actions (for recovering of tithes and offerings withholden, &c.) in the Courts spirituall. They then that out of the one part of the Statute will have them temporall, are by the other part inforced to confesse them still Spirituall, and so to make them like a Cen­taure, prolem biformem. It were very hard (in my understanding) to ground a point of so great consequence, upon subtletie of words, and ambiguous implications, without any expresse letter of Law to that purpose, especially, to make the Houses and offerings of God, temporall Inheritances. But I see it is a Law question in my LordTerm. Paes. An. 7. Edw. 6. Assise fol. 83.6. Dier whether tithes be made Lay or Temporall, by any word in those Statutes. And therefore I must leave this point to my Masters of the Law, who have the key of this knowledge only in their owne custody. Yet I thinke I may be so bold, as to say thus much out of their owneDoct. & Stud. cap. 6. bookes, that a Statute directly against the Law of God, is void. If then Tithes be things spirituall, and due de jure divino, as many greatSee Aug. Ser. 219. de Temp. Hostiens. and most Cano­nists. Concil. Montisc. 2. cap. 50. Con­cil. Mogunt. cap 38. alias 10, &c. Clarkes, Doctors, Fathers, some Councells, and (that ever honourable Judge and Oracle of Law) my Lord Coke himselfe in the second part of his Dismes sont choses spirituall, & due de jure di vine Le Eves (que) de Winch. case fol. 45. Reports affirme them to be; I cannot see how humane lawes should make them Temporall. Of the same nature therefore that originally they were of, of the same nature do I still hold them to continue: for manente subjecto, manet consecratio, manet dedieatio. Time, Place, and Per­sons, do not change them, as I take it, in this case.e Nabuchodonozor tooke the holy vessels of the Temple, he carried them to Babylon, he kept them there all his life, and at last left them to his sonne and grandchildren: but all this while, the vessels still remained holy. Yea though they were come into the hands of those that were not tyed to the ceremonies of the law, and at length into the hands of them that had them by a lawfull succession from their Fathers and [Page 21]Grandfathers: yet as soone as they beganne to abuse them to pro­phane uses; that very night Balshazzar himselfe died for it, the line of Nabuchodonozor (that tooke them from the Temple) was extinct, and the Kingdome translated to another Nation: Dan, 5.2.

17 Happily also, Lay Approprietaries comfort themselves,A third surmise answered. that they may hold these things by example of Colledges, Deanes and Chapters, Bishops of the land, and of divers of our late Kings and Princes. Before I speake to this point, I take it by protestation, that I have no heart to make an Apology for it. For I wish that e­very man might drinke the water of his owne well, eate the milke of his owne flock, and live by the fruit of his owne vineyard. I meane that every member might attract no other nutriment, but that which is proper to it selfe. Yet are they greatly deceived, that draw any juice of encouragement from these examples. For all these are either the Seminaries of the Church, or the Husbandmen of the Church, or the Fathers and Nurses of the Church: all de fa­milia Ecclesiae, and consequently, belonging to the care of the Church, and ought therefore to be susteined by it: for Saint Paul saith: He that provideth not for his owne, and namely for them of his house-hold, he denieth the faith, and is worse then an Infidell: 1. Tim. 5.8.All Church revenues were at first paid to Bishops, and by them distrin buted to the Preists, poore, &c. after the Bishops were to have a fourth part of all tithes. Per Con­cil. Aurelian. Mogunt. Tribur Hanet: &c. Et per Conc. Tar­raeon. the third part. Therefore before the statutes of suppression of Abbies, those that were not meerely Ecclesiasticall persons, yet if they were mixt, or had Ecclesiasticall jurisdiction, they might by the Lawes of the Land, participate Ecclesiasticall livings, andPlowd. in Quare imper Grend. L. Coke Report. part. 5. fol. 15. Tithes parti­cularly. And this seemeth to take some ground out of the word of God. For the provinciall Levites (as I may terme them) whomc David severed from the Temple, and placed abroad in the Coun­try to be rulers of the People, in matters pertaining to God, and the Kings businesse, (that is, Spiritually and Temporally:) had their portions of tithes notwithstanding, as well as the other Levites that ministred in the Temple. Now, that the King isd Persona mixta, endowed as well with Ecclesiasticall authority, as with temporall. Is not only a sollid position of the common Law of the Land, but confirmed unto us by the continuall practise of our anci­ent Kings, ever since, and before the Conquest, even in hottest times of Popish fervency. For this cause at their Coronations, they are not onely crowned with the Diadem of the Kingdome, [Page 22]and girt with the sword of Justice, to signifie their Temporall au­thority, but are anoynted also with theReges sacro o­leo uncti, sunt spiritualis ju­risdictionis ca­paces 33. Ed. 3. tit. Aide de Roy 103. Ex Dom. Coke Repor. part. 5. oyle of Preisthood, and clothed, Stolâ Sacerdotali, and veste Dalmatia est vestis qua modo utuntur omnes diaconi ex con­suetudine in so­lennitatibus. ut 70 distin. de jejunto. Anti­quitus tamen, sine concessione Papae, nec Epis. copis, nec Dia conis licebat uti hac veste. Di­stinct. 23. cap. Omnes filius, Prateus. Dalmaticâ, to demonstrate this their Ecclesiasticall jurisdiction, whereby the King is sayd in the Law to be Supremus Ordinarius, and in regard thereof, amongst other Ecclesiasticall rights, and prerogatives belonging unto him, is to have all the22. Edw. 3 lib. Assis. plac. 75. L. Coke par. 5. fol. 15. a. Tithes (through the Kingdome) in places that are out of any Parish, for some such there be, and namely, diversAs Inglewood &c. ut patet an. 18. Edw. 1. in­ter petitiones coram domino Rege ad Parli­amentum. Forrests. But for all this: O! that his Majestie would be pleased to remembet Sion in this point.

18* I grow too tedious, yet before I close up this discourse, let me say one thing more to the Approprietaries of Churches, that happily they hitherto have not dreamed of. And that is, that by having these Parsonages, they are charged with Cure of soules, and make themselves Subject to the Burthen that lieth so heavily upon the head of every Minister: to see the service of God per­formed, the people instructed, and the poore releived. For to these three ends and the maintenance of Ministers, were Parsonages instituted, as not only the Canons of the Church, but the bookes of the Law, and particularly the Statutes of 15, R. 2. cap. 6. And 4. H. 4. ca. 12. do manifestly testifie. And no man may have them but to these purposes, neither were they otherwise in the hands of Monasticall persons, nor otherwise given to the King by the statute of dissolution, thena in as large and ample manner as the governours of those Religious houses had them, nor by him conveied otherwise to the Subjects. For, Nemo potest plus juris in alium transferre, quam ipse habet: No man may grant a greater right unto another, then hee hath himselfe. And therefore go where they will, transeunt cum onere, they carry their charge with them. Upon these reasons Proprietaries are still said to be Parsons of their Churches,b and upon the matter, are as the incumbentsc thereof, and the Chur­ches [Page 23]by reason of this their incumbency, are full and not void. For otherwise theThere is yet no expresse law made to take away the Bi­shops jurisdi­ctions over Churches ap­propriate, (that I can finde.) Ideoquare how it extendeth. Bishop might collate, or the King present a Clarke (as to other Churches) as it seemeth by the arguments of the Jud­ges in the case betweene Grendon and the Bishop of Lincolne in Master Plowdens Coment. where it is also shewed, that the In­cumbencie is aSee Dier Tren. 36. H. 8. fol. 58. pl. 8. spirituall function, and ought not to be conferred upon any but spirituall persons, and such as may themselves do the divine Service, and minister the Sacraments. Therefore, Dier, L Cheife Justice of the Common Pleas, there said, that it was an horrible thing, when these Appropriations were made to Prioresses and houses of Nunnes, because that (although they were religious persons, yet) they could not minister the Sacraments and divine Ser­vice. Implying by this speech of his, that it was much more horri­ble for Lay-men to hold them, that neither could do these holy rites nor were so much as spirituall persons to give them colour for hold­ing of spirituall things.Termes of the Law in verbo Appropri­ation. Therefore he that inlarged the Termes of law (first set forth by John Rastall) also termeth it a Wicked thing complaining (in his time) that it continued so long, to the Hin­derance (he saith) of learning, the impoverishing of the Ministry, and to the infamy of the Gospell, and professors thereof.

My Lord Coke also in the second part of his Reports, saith,Levesque de Winchesters case, fol. 44, b. that it is recorded in History, that there were (amongst other) two grievous persecutions, the one, under Dioclesian; the other under Julian, named the Apostata: for it is recorded, that theDiocles. vide Euseb. hist. ec­cles. lib. 7. cap. 3. Niceph. l. 7. cap. 3. one of them intending to have rooted out all the Professors and Preachers of the word of God, Occidit omnes Presbyteros. But this notwith­standing, Religion flourished, for Sanguis Martyrum est semen Ec­clesiae: The bloud of the Martyrs is the seed of the Church; and this was a cruell and grievous persecution, but the persecution under theJuli. vide Theod. hisb. lib. 3. cap 6. & Niceph. lib. 10. cap. 5. other, was more greivous and dangerous. Quia (as the Hi­story saith) ipse occidit presbyterium. He destroyed the very order of Preisthood. For he robbed the Church, and spoiled spirituall per­sons of their revenues, and tooke all things from them whereof they should live. And upon this, in short time, insued great igno­rance of true religion, and the service of God, and thereby great decay of Christian profession. For none will apply themselves or their sons, or any other that they have in charge, to the study of Divinity, when after long and painefull study, they shall have no­thing [Page 24]whereupon to live. Thus farre my Lord Coke.

I alledge these legall authorities, and leave Divinity, because the Approprietariet of Parsonages (which sheild themselves under the target of the Law) may see the opinion of the great Lawyers of our owne time and Religion, and what the bookes of the Law have of this matter, to the end, that we should not hang our con­sciences upon so dangerous a pinne, nor put too great confidence in the equity of Lawes, which we dayly see, are full of imperfecti­on, often amended, often altered, and often repealed. O how la­mentable then is the case of a poore Proprietary, that dying, think­eth of no other account, but of that touching his Lay vocation, and then coming before the judgement seate of Almighty God, must answere also for thisIt is said in my L. Dier in the case of a common per­son, that the service or a cure is a spirituall administration and cannot be leased, and that the service is not issuing out of the par­sonage, but an­next unto the person. 36. H. 8. fol 58. b. pla. 8. spirituall function. First why he medled with it, not being called unto it. Then, why (Proprietaries which have Vi­cars endowed, thinke them­selves thereby discharged: but though the Vi­car be the Par­sons deputy to do the divine Service, yet a superiour care thereof resteth still upon the Parson himselfe, and the surplusage of the profits belongeth to the poore, as appeateth by the whole body of Fathers, Doctors, Counsells &c. medling with it) be did not the duty that belonged unto it, in seeing the Church carefully served, the Minister thereof sufficiently maintained, and the poore of the Parish farthfully relerved. This I say, is the use whereto Parsonages were given, and of this use we had notice be­fore we purchased them: and therefore, not only by the lawes of God and the Church, but by the law of the Land, and the rules of the Chancery, at this day observed in other cases) we ought onely to hold them to this use, and no other.

19. It is not then a worke of bounty and benevolence to restore these appropriations to the Church, but of duty and necessity so to do. It is a worke of duty to give that unto God that is Gods, Matt. 32.2. And it is a worke of necessity towards the obtaining remis­sion of these sinnes. For Saint Augustine saith, Non remittetur pec­catum, nisi restituatur ablatum cum restitui potest: The sinne shall not be forgiven, without restoring of that which is taken away, if it may be restored.

It is duty, justice, and necessity, to give them backe unto God. For it Judae (who was the first president of this sinne) were a theife as the holy Ghostd termeth him, for imbeasiling that which was committed unto him for the maintenance of Christ and his Disci­ples, that is of the Church: by the same reason, must it also be thee-very [Page 25]to withold these things which were given for the mainte­nance of the Church and Ministers of Christ. And herein it is a de­gree above that sinne of Judas, as robbery is above theft, for Iudas onely detained the money (delivered unto him) closely and secretly, but we and our fathers, have invaded Church livings, and taken them (as it were by assault) even from the sacred body and person of the Church.

It is a great sinne to steale from our Neighbour; much greater (even sacriledge) to steale from God. If it were so heinous a fact in Ananias to withold part of his owne goods, which he pretend­ed he would give unto God, how much more is it in us, presump­tuously to reave that from God, that others have already dedicat­ed and delivered unto him. Salomon saith; He that robbeth his Fa­ther and his Mother, and saith it is no sinne, Prov. 28.24. is the companion of [a murtherer, or] him that destroieth. But he that purloineth the things of God, robbeth his Father, and he that purloineth the things of the Church, robbeth his Mother. And therefore that man is a companion of the destroier.

TheSynod. 5 Rom. 218. Episcop. An. 503. Conc. Val. An. 855. ca. 9. Con. Rom. 100 Episc. An. 1063. Conc. Rom. 5. Anno 1078. Conc. Pa­lent. An. 1388. Conc. Oxon. Ge­ne. Aug. Anno 1222. Fathers, the Doctors, many great Councells, and ancient Laws of the Church, command that things taken from the Church, should be restored. And the Church by herA strange change: h [...] [...] realite gave their owne goods so abundantly to the service of God, that Moses was forced torestraine them by proclamation: Exod. 36. [...] but now nothing can move us to give God that which is his already. Preachers & Ministers continually entreateth, urgeth, and requireth all men to do it. They therefore that do it not, they refuse to heare the Church: And then our Saviour Christ, by his owne mouth, denounceth themb to be as Heathens and Publicans, that is, excommunicate and prophane persons. If he refuseth (saith our Saviour) to heare the Church also, let him be unto thee as a heathen man, and a publican. Mat. 18.17.

It is a fearefull thing not to heare thec Church, but much more, not to heare Christ himselfe, Christ hath given us a perpetuall law and Commandement, touching things belonging to God: That we should give them to God. If we breake this Law, we breake a great­er Law then that of the Medes, and thed Persians: and therefore marke what the holy Ghost concludeth upon us; Every person that shall not heare this Prophet (Christ Jesus) shall be destroyed out of the people. Act. 3.23.

[Page 26] 20 To conclude then,The conclusion. as the Philistims made hast to send home the1 Sam. 5.11. Arke of God; and the Aegyptians to ridde themselves of theExod. 12.31. people of God: so let us ply our selves to render unto God his Lands, and Possessions with all speed. Otherwise, as he strucke the Philistims with Emrods secretly, and the Aegyptians with manifold scourges openly; so only himselfe knoweth, what he hath deter­mined against us.

And thus I end,Cypr. Ser. 5. de laps. in fine. with the saying of the blessed Saint Cyprian, Nec teneri jam, nec amari Patrimonium debet, quo quis & deceptus & victus est. We must now neither hold that Patrimony, or living, (no) nor so much as take pleasure therein, whereby a man is entrapped and brought to destruction. Lib. de Her. cit. per. Isid. And with that other of the noble Saint Augustine; With what face canst thou expect an inheritance from Christ in Heaven, that defraudest Christ in thy inheritance here on Earth? Therefore

Give unto Caesar the things that are Caesars, Mar. 12.7. and unto God the things that are Gods.


An Epilogue.

PArdon me good Reader, though I have neither satisfied thee, nor my selfe, in this little discourse. It is hard to bring a great vessell into a small creeke, an argument of many heads and branches, of much weight, variety and difficulty, into a few pages. It may be thou thinkest the volume bigge enough for the successe that Bookes of this nature are like to have. I re­ject not thy judgement, yet would I not have others thereby discourag­ed from pursuing this cause: 10 ult. vers. 3 for though Peter fished all night and got nothing, yet he made a great draught unlooked for) in the morning. He that directed that net, give a blessing to all our labours. For my owne part (if I catch but one fish) I shall thinke mine well bestowed. Howsoever, it shall content me, and I thanke God for it, that he hath girded me with so much strength as to strike one stroke (though a weake one) in his battell, and to cast one stone (though a small one) against the adversaries of his Church.

Some will say, I have used too much salt and vineger in this dis­course; and that I have bent the great Artillery of Gods judgements and threatnings, Ʋpon a peece of too light importance. I would the consciences of men were such as oyle and butter might supple them. But I see they are for the most part overgrowne with so hard a carnosity, as it requireth strong and potent corrosives to make an entrance into them. A Preacher may shake them now and then with a Sermon, as Paul did Felix: but when the thunder and lightning are ceased,Act. 24.26. 1 Tim. 4.2. they are (like Pharaoh) still where they were. Yea some have conscientias cauteria­tas, as the Apostle termeth them, consciences seared with an hot Iron: so stupefied, that dead Lazarus may be raised, before they can be mov­ed. [Page 28]But God knoweth the heart of man, and bringeth water out of the hard rocke; therefore though I have spoken this (as being jealous of the cause,) yet in charity I will hope better even of the hardest of them. Onely let no man thinke it a light sinne, to keepe open the passage where­by the wilde bore (of Barbarisme) enters the Lords vineyard, and whereby God is deprived of the honour due to his name,Psal. 80.13. Psal. 96.

Now at the parting, it may be thou desirest to know what successe this my labour had with the Gentleman to whom I sent it. In truth neither that I desired,August 16. 1613. nor that which I promised unto my selfe. For (so it pleased God) that even the very day, the messenger brought it into Norfolke, the partie died. Otherwise I well hoped, not to have shot this arrow in vaine. But because it then missed the marke at which it was sent, (and many thought not fit to loose it;) I have now let it flie at randome with some notes and alterations, as the difference betweene private and publique things requireth: but still desiring that I might further have shewed my minde in many passages hereof, (and particularly touching tithes in quoto, and such Parsonages as have Vicarages well endowed) which without making it almost a new worke I could not do; and therefore resting upon thy courteous interpretation, I leave it to thee, (for this time) as it is.

A SERMON OF SAINT AUGUSTINES touching rendring of Tithes.
De reddendis decimis.

The occasion of this Sermon or Homily was ministred unto him by the time of the yeare, it being the 12th Sunday after Trinity, that is about the beginning of Harvest. The Scripture that he fitteth unto it is the 18 of Luke. Where the Pharisee boasteth of his precise justice in pay­ment of Tithes. It is the 219 Sermon de Tempore: extant in the tenth Tome of his works, and there entituled:

BY the mercy of Christ (most beloved brethren:) the daies are now at hand, wherein we are to reape the fruits of the earth: and therefore giving thanks to God that be­stoweth them, let us mindfull to offer, or rather to render backe unto him the tithes thereof. For God,Decret 16: Qua 1 cap. De­cimae that vouchsafeth to give us the whole, vouchsafeth also to require backe againe the tenth, not for his owne, but for our benefit doubtlesse.Where you may see a great part of this Ser­mon cited for Augustines. For so hath he promised by his Prophet, saying:Mala. 3.10. Bring all the Tithe into my Barnes, that there may be meate in my house; and trie me, saith the Lord, in this point, if I open not the windowes of heaven unto you, and give you fruit without measure. Lo, we have proved how Tithes are more profitable unto us, then to God. O foolish men! What hurt doth God command, that he should not deserve to be heard? For he saith thus: The first fruits of thy threshing floore, Exod. 22.29. and of thy Wine presse thou shalt not delay to offer unto me. If it be a sinne, to delay the gi­ving: how much worse is it, not to give at all? And againe, he saith,16 Quae. 1. ca. decima. Honour thy Lord thy God with thy just labours, and offer unto him of the fruits of thy righteousnesse that thy barnes may be filled with wheat, Prov. 3.9. and thy presses abound with wine. Thou doest not this, for God ha mercy, that by and by shalt receive it againe with manifold increase. Perhaps thou wilt aske, who shall have profit by that, which God receiveth, to give presently backe againe? And also thou wilt aske [Page 30]who shall have profit by that which is given to the poore? If thou beleevest, thy selfe shall have profit by it; but if thou doubtest, then thou hast lost it.

Tithes (deare Brethren) are a tribute due unto the needy soules. Give therefore this tribute unto the poore, offer this sacrifice unto the Priests, If thou hast no Tithes of earthly fruits: yet whatsoever the Husbandman hath, whatsoever Art sustaineth thee, it is Gods, and he requires Tithe, out of whatsoever thou livest by: whether it be Warfare, or Traffique, or any other Trade, give him the tithe. Some things we must pay for the ground we live on, and something for the use of our life it selfe. Yeild it therefore unto him (O man) in regard of that which thou possessest: yeild it (I say) unto him, be­cause he hath given thee thy birth:Exod. 30.12. for thus saith the Lord: Every man shall give the redemption of his soule, and there shall not be amongst them any diseases or mishaps. Behold, thou hast in the holy Scri­ptures the cautions of the Lord, upon which he hath promised thee, that if thou give him thy Tithe, thou shalt not onely receive aboun­dance of fruits, but health also of body. Thy barnes (saith he) shall be filled with wheate, Prov. 3.10. and thy presses shall abound with wine, and there shall be in them, neither diseases nor mishaps. Seeing then, by pay­ment of Tithes, thou mayest gaine to thy selfe, both earthly and hea­venly rewards: why doest thou defraud thy selfe of both these bles­sings together?16. Quae. 1. ca. decimae. Heare therefore, (O thou zeale. lesse mortality.) Thou knowest, that all things that thou usest are the Lords, and canst thou finde in thy heart, to lend him (that made all things) nothing backe of his owne? The Lord God needeth not any thing, neither deman­deth he a reward of thee, but honour; he urgeth thee not to render any thing that is thine, and not his. It pleaseth him to require the first fruits, and the Tithes of thy goods, and canst thou deny them, (O covetous wretch?) What wouldst thou doe, if he tooke all the nine parts to himselfe, and left thee the tenth onely? And this in truth he doth, when by with-holding his blessing of raine, the drought maketh thy thirsty Harvest to wither away: and when thy fruit, and thy vineyard, are strucken with haile, or blasted with frost, where now is the plenty that thou so covetously didst reckon upon? The nine parts are taken from thee, because thou wouldst not give him the Tenth. That remaines onely that thou refusest to give, though the Lord required it. For this is a most just course, that the Lord hol­deth, [Page 31] If thou wilt not give him the tenth, he will turne thee to the tenth. 16. Quae. 1. ca. decimae. For it is written, saith the Lord, Insomuch as the Tithe of your ground, the first fruits of your Land are with you: I have seene it, but you thought to deceive me: havocke and spoile shall be in your Treasurie, and in your houses. Thus thou shalt give that to the unmercifull Soul­dier, which thou wouldest not give to the Priest.

The Lord almighty also saith; Turne unto me, Mal. 3.10. that I may open un­to you the windowes of Heaven, and that I may poure downe my blessing upon you; and I will not destroy the fruit of your Land, neither shall the vines of your field [or the trees of your orchards] wither away, [or be blasted] and all nations shall say, that you are a blessed people. God is allwaies ready to give his blessings. But the perversenesse of man al­waies hindreth him. For he would have God give him all things, and he will offer unto God nothing, of that whereof himselfe see­meth to be the owner.This place is cited as out of Aug. Cons. Tri­buriēs ca 13. An 895. and before that in concil. Mogunt. pri. c. 8. An. 874. What if God should say? The man that I made, is mine; the ground that thou tillest, is mine; the seed that thou so west, is mine; the cattle that thou weariest in thy worke, are mine, the showers, the raine, and the gentle winds are mine; the heate of the Sunne, is mine; and since all the Elements where­by thou livest, are mine; thou that lendest onely thy hand, deser­vest onely the tithe, or tenth part. Yet because Almighty God doth mercifully feede us, he bestoweth upon the labourer a most liberall reward for his paines, and reserving onely the Tenth part unto him­selfe, hath forgiven us all the rest.

Ingratefull and perfidious deceiver, I speake to thee in the word of the Lord. Behold the yeare is now ended: give unto the Lord (that giveth the raine) his reward. Redeeme thy selfe, O Man, whi­lest thou livest. Redeeme thou thy selfe whilst thou maiest. Redeeme thy selfe (I say) whilest thou hast wherewith in thy hands. Redeeme thy selfe, lest if greedy death prevent thee, thou then lose both life and reward together. Thou hast no reason, to commit this matter o­ver to thy wife, who happily will have another husband. Neither hast thou (O woman) any reason to leave this to thy husband, for his mind is on another wife. It is in vaine, to tie thy Parents, or thy kinsfolke, to have care hereof: no man after thy death, surely shall redeeme thee, because in thy life, thou wouldest not redeeme thy selfe. Now then, cast the burthen of covetousnesse from thy shoul­ders, despise that cruell Lady, who pressing thee downe with her in­tolerable [Page 32]yoake, suffereth thee not to receive the yoake of Christ. For as the yoake of covetousnesse, presseth men downe unto hell, so the yoake of Christ raiseth men up unto heaven. For tithes are re­quired as a debt,16. Quae 1. ca. decimae. and he that will not give them, invadeth another mans goods. And let him looke to it, for how many men soever die for hunger in the place where he liveth (not paying his Tithes) of the murthering of so many men shall he appeare guilty before the triounall seate of the eternall Judge, because he kept that backe to his owne use, that was committed to him by the Lord for the Poore.

He therefore that either desireth to gaine a reward, or toPromereri. obtaine a remission of his sinnes, let him pay his tithe, and be carefull to give almes to the poore, out of the other nine parts: but so notwithstan­ding, that whatsoever remaineth over and above moderate diet, and convenient apparell, be not bestowed in riot and carnall pleasure, but layed up in the treasurie of Heaven, by way of Almes to the poore. For whatsoever God hath given unto us more then we have need of, he hath not given it unto us particularly, but hath commit­ted it over unto us to be distributed unto others: which if we dispose not accordingly, we spoile and rob them thereof. Thus farre Saint Augustine.

ERasmus in a generall censure of these Sermons de Tempore, noteth many of them not to be Saint Augustines: so also doth Master Perkins, and divers other learned men, who having examined them all particularly, and with great advisement, rejecting those that ap­peared to be adulterate or suspected, admit this notwithstanding as undoubted. And although Bellarmine seemeth to make a little que­stion of it, yet he concludeth it to be, without doubt, an excellent worke: and eitherForte non est Augustimiste sermot, amen in­signis est sine du, bio, & antiqui alicujus Patris, zam inde tan­quam ex Au­gustine multa sunt adscripta in Decret. 16. q 1. Bellarm. lib. de clericis cap. 25. Saint Augustines owne, or some other anci­ent Fathers. But he saith, that many things are cited out of it as out of Augustine in Decret. 16. q. 1. And to cleare the matter further, I finde that some parts hereof are alleadged under the name of Au­gustine, in Concil. Triburiens. (which was in the yeare of our Lord, 895) cap. 13. And twenty yeare before that also, in Concil. Mogun­tin. 1. cap. 8. So that Antiquity it selfe, and divers Councels, accept it for Augustines.

I will not recite a great discourse to the effect of this Sermon a­mongst [Page 33]the workes of Augustine in the Treatise, De rectitudine Christianae religionis; because Erasmus judgeth that Treatise not to be Augustines. Yet seemeth it likewise to be some excellent mans, and of great antiquity. But if thou wouldst heare more what Au­gustine saith unto thee of this matter, take this for a farewell;Homil. 48. ex lib. 50. Ma­jores nostri ideo copiis omnibus abundabant, quia Deo decima dabant, Ham. com. 10. &. Caesari censum reddebant: modo autem quia discessit devotio Dei, accessit indictio fisci. Noluimus partiri cum Deo decimas, modò au­tem totum tollitur. Hoc tollit fiscus, quod non accipit Christus.

An Appendix by the Author.

I Have beene often sollicited within these two yeares, both to reim­print this little Treatise, and also to publish a greater worke much of the same Argument. Some especiall reasons have made me unwilling to doe either. Not that I doe, aut clypeum abjicere, aut causam desere­re: But I find my arme too feeble for so great an attempt: and in mat­ters of such weight and consequence, a better oportunity is to be expe­cted, then is yet afforded. I desire therefore not to be hastned herein, though he that published my Booke in Scotland (out of his zeale to the cause) taketh that for one of hisIn his Epist. Dedicatory, Motives. When I did first let it go forth: I did it onely in covert manner: not thinking it worthy of the bread eye of the World, nor holding it fit to have that which was done in a corner, preached upon the house top: or that which passed privately betweene me and my friend, to fly (in this sort, at once) to both the Poles of the Monarchy. Hereupon I hitherto by entreaty with-held it from a reimpression. But I being in the Country, and it being now to me as filius emancipatus, and out of my power: the Printer hath taken advantage of his liberty, and in my absence printed it againe with the former infirmities.

I wish, since it must needes be thus: that I had overrun it with a new hand: aswell to explaine it in some things, as to helpe and forti­fie it in other. For the Argument hath many adversaries, not of the Laity only: but amongst the Church-men themselves. All are not pleased with this forme ofTithes Maintenance: others are not satisfied how it is due. Some also conceive Scriptures in this manner, some in that: and where one is best pleased, there another findeth most exception. Thus he that cometh upon the Stage, is the Object and Subject of every mans opinion. Yet must I herein confesse my selfe beholding unto many: [Page 34]for I understand that this small Essay hath given them good likeing.

To satisfie all I labour not: but to the worthier sort I would per­forme what I could. Being therefore enformed (about a yeare almost since) that some particular Divines of learning and judgement, (con­ceiveing well of my Booke, supposed that I had departed from the an­cient and moderne interpreters in applying the 12. verse of the 83. Ps. onely to the sanctified things of the Jewes, which (they said) was spoken of all their houses and Cities in generall. I did then unto them (as I thought is fit) reddere rationem & fidei & facti. And in like manner (because the booke goeth forth againe upon a new adven­ture, and may encounter with the like objections,) I held it now as necessary to adde something unto it in that point being so materiall. Yet must I signifie unto you, that they which tooke that exception, ac­counted both my argument and whole discourse the stronger (notwith­standing) Ex consequente: as namely, that if it were so heinous a sinne to invade the temporall things of the Jewes, much more must it needes be to invade the spirituall. So that no man is either freed or cased by this suggestion, but rather the more ensnared and overwhelm­ed. Neverthelesse (I understand) that which followeth, hath cleared this point unto them: and I hope so shall it also do unto others (which separate not themselves from our Church) if cause require.

I Am not ignorant that many moderne and some Anci­ent Interpreters understand the body of the 83 Psal. of the taking of the houses and Cities of the Jewes in generall, not onely of the Temple and Synagogues, nor onely of the Cities of the Levites: for the very historicall texture of the Psalme discovers as much. But that branch of it, whereon I fastened my anchor, and where I cheifly insisted, namely the 12 verse, touching the taking of the houses of God in pos­session, (which indeed is the center of the Psalme: what interpreta­tion soever it receiveth) most of them interpret it primarily and positively for the Temple and Holy things, then per transiationem for Hierusalem, and by consequence, for all Judea, (and the people of God) in respect that they were there planted.

For though we following Genebrard, Calvin and Arias Monta­nus, translate it literally, Take the houses of God in possession; yet the Septuagint and Greeks interpret it [...]. And Hierom [Page 35]in the Latin Vulgar accordingly, Sanctuarium Dei: in his other translation called Hebraica veritas, (which also agreeth with that elder, cited by Lucius in the primer ages of the Church) Pulchri­tudinem Dei: Pellican, electissima: all of them by such denominati­ons, as are most proper to the Temple and holy things. And there­fore the Church in all former ages and for the most part yet also be­yond the Seas, even in the reformed parts of Germany, retaineth that interpretation of Sanctuarium Dei, as best agreeing with the intent of the Hebrew, which Hierom in the Preface to his translati­on professeth confidently (by many witnesses) that he hath chang­ed in nothing.

I alleage all this, but to shew, that by what variety of words so­ever, the translators expresse the originall Hebrew, yet they all con­curre with this as the Fountaine and standard; that primâ intentione, it aimeth at the holy things, though in secunda it be carried unto temporall.

Our selves also in our owne English translation, understand the houses of God, for places dedicated to the service of God. And therefore in the 9. verse of the 74. Psalme, where our Church Psal­ter saith, burnt up all the houses of God in the Land: the Geneva and the Kings Edition report it, burnt up all the Synagogues of God in the Land. So likewise in the 1 verse of the 84. Psal. The dwellings of God are expresly spoken of his Tabernacles, and holy habitations, not of his Temporall.

Yet do I not deny; but (as I say) Secundâ intentione, the words Sanctuarium, or Houses of God, in the 83. Psalme are truely carried to all Judaea and the people of God, howbeit Hierome noteth ex­presly no such matter upon it: neither could Augustine find it in the literall or historicall sence of the text: and therefore he deduceth it to the people of God by way of Tropology, using the metaphor of Saint Paul. 1. Cor. 3. Sanctuarium: (saith he) Templum dei sanctum est, quod estis vos. And Lyra accordingly, Sanctuarium, id est (saith he) Hierusalem, in quae erat Templum Dei: & per consequens, ter­ram Judaeae, cujus metropolis erat Hierusalem.

Arnobius likewise of the Ancients taketh it first for the Temple and the holy vessell: then extensively, for the people & Land of Isra­ell. As for Cyprian, Origen, Tertullian, Ambrose, Chrysostome, Gregory, they meddle not with it, that I can finde, nor Hierome o­therwise then as I have mentioned.

But admit that at this day most do expound it for the Tempora­lities of the Jewes, as well as for their Leviticall and Sanctified things; What doth this contradict my application of this Psalme against Spoilers of Churches? or wherein is my erreur? I affirme the Ge­nus of one of the membra dividentia, and they upon both. I upon one not exclusive, and they upon both copulative. Do not they then themselves affirme my assertion? Let Schoolemen be Judges. Yea do they not justifie and enforce it? For if God loveth the gates of Si­on, more then all the dwellings of Jacob, Psal. 87.2. that is, the out­ward and petty things of his Church, more then all the stately tempo­ralties of his Lay people, yea, if he loveth Jacob but for Sion, that is, the People but for the Church, then Ex necessario consequente, when the Prophet denounceth such heavy things against them, that me­naced Gods Lay people, and their possessions, how much the rather, doth he it against such as with great fury and impiety afflict his more peculiar and chosen servants, his Clergy, his Levites, his first borne? Against those I say, that forbeare not to violate the things more deare unto him: His Temple, his Oracle, his holy mysteries, that is, things belonging to his honour and divine service, things & means, ordained to the propagation of his blessed word? For this is the consequence of destroying our Churches: this killeth the bird in the shell: & to a person offending in this nature, wrote I my Book

By like reason, it may also be said; that this Psalme was framed against Heathens and Infidells, (which in open hostility assailed the Church and people of God with fire and sword) not against such as be our owne brethren, and of the family of the Church, though (in some sort) they do injury unto it. I answere that the Ammo­nites and Moabites were also of the kindred of Israel: yea, the E­domites, and Ismaelites, of the linage of Abraham, as well as the Is­raelites themselves: yet when they joined with them that sought the destruction of the Church; the curses of the Prophet went as freely and as fiercely against them, as the rest. So if our Church be spoiled by her brethren, her children, or kindred, the sentence is all one against them, as against Heathens and Infidells, yea, and that also more justly and deservedly by the judgement of the Prophet, who accounteth the treachery of a familiar freind much more in­tolerable, then the violence of an open Enemy. Psal. 55.12.

But say I have erred (which indeed is too common with me, though it be humanum) and doth the more easily befall me, having [Page 37]saluted the Shoole of Divinity, onely a longè and a limine: I am therefore ready with Augustine to put it amongst my retractations, if there be cause why. yet (as he said of Romulus) ‘Sed tamen errorem quo tueatur habet.’ For I am not the Author of this exposition, neither is it my owne weapon, but borrowed, and put into my hand by others of elder time. I confesse that as they which go to battell, whet their swords, and bend their bowes: so I sharpened both the edge and the point of it to my purpose. For all spirits are not cast out by ordinary power, nor all humours perswaded by ordinary reason. Knowing therefore what was necessary in particular for the party to whom I wrote, I applyed my selfe, & my pen to that particular necessity: yet, not with Zidkiah to seduce him by untruths,1 R. 22.17. but as a faithfull Michaiah to leave nothing untold that belonged to his danger.

See then what I have to defend my selfe withall, both of Anci­ent and later Fathers and Doctors of the Church: the first applica­tion (as I take it) that ever was made of this Psame, was (only to the purpose I alledge it) by Lucius a devout Bishop of Rome, in the bloody age of the Primitive Church, about 225. yeares after Christ; of whom (to let passe Cyprian) Bale, a man of our owne,Epist. l. 3. Epist. 1. giveth this testimony; That he was a faithfull servant in the Lords house,—and enriched his Church with healthfull doctrine, and after­ward being purified in the Lambes blood, he peirsed the heavenly Pa­radise, being put to death at Valentinian's commandement, Anno 255. This Lucius (as I noted in the margent of my Booke, pag. 39.) in an Epistle of his to the Bishops of Gallia and Spaine: See bere p. 60. having deter­mined many things touching the Church, and somewhat also a­gainst spoilers and defrauders thereof (concluding them by the ex­ample of Judas to be theeves and sacrilegious persons) he proceed­eth with them in this manner: De talibus, id est (saith he) qui fa­cultates Ecclesiae rapiunt, fraudant, & auferunt: Dominus commi­nans omnibus per prophetam loquitur, dicens: Deus ne taceas tibi: ne sileas, &c. Reciteing the whole 83 Psalme every word, as you may see, Tom. 1. Concil. of Binius edition. pa. 180. col. 2.

I tooke this reverend Father and great Doctor of the Church; living in the purity of religion, in the times of persecution, and so neare the ages of the Apostles, to be a faithful direction to my pen. Yet, lest he should seeme like a Sparrow alone on the house top, I will shew you the opinion of others in the after ages.

Petrus Damianus a Cardinall, whilest that title was rather a name of Ministry then of Dignity, and long before it became mounted and purpurate, a starre of his time, now almost 600. yeers old, understandeth this Psalme also of Church possessions, and dig­nities, and out of it doth vehemently confute the Chaplaines, of Duke Gothifred, which held it no simony to buy Bishopricks and Priests places, so they paid nothing for the imposition of hands (an opinion too common at this day) and he applieth against them the interpretation of the names of the Heathen Princes there men­tioned, and concludeth them to be haereditario quodam jure San­ctuarii possessores, as you may see in his Specula Mor. l. 5. Ep. 13. ad Capellan. Gothif.

Rupertus who flourished about 500. yeares since; expoundeth it contra omnes Ecclesiae hostes, falses Christianos, haereticos, &c.

Great Hugo Cardinalis, the first Postillator of the Bible, (who flourished Anno 1240. a little also, before that order was distin­guished with the Horse and Red Hat, and a man to whom all the Preachers of Christendome are more beholden, then many of them are aware: for much of that good juice that sweetneth the exposi­tions they read, dropt from his pen, though now like rivers falling into other channels, it hath lost his name) in his worthy Coment upon the Psalter, applieth the words, haereditate possideamus san­ctuarium Dei, against those that ambitiously seeke Church livings and dignities, despising the curses of this Psalme, as well among the great men of the Clergy as them of the Laity, which by threat­ning or favour obtaine Ecclesiasticall promotions: and particular­ly against such men of the Church, as conferre Prebends and Digni­ties upon their Nephews and kindred, building (as he saith) Sion in (their blond, and Jerusalem in iniquity. Neither spareth he the Popes themselves, but chargeth them also that they possesse Gods Sanctuary, by way of inheritance, in that they keepe the succession of the Papacy among such as be only of the Romane nation. And much more to this purpose, which were here too long to recite: but (concluding that the Prophet hath levelled at them all in this Psalme) he saith, De omnibus istis sequitur: Deus meus pone eos ut rotam, &c.

Joannes Vitalis, (who lived above 300. yeares since, and for his fame and learning, was also called to be a Cardinal, ere that this dignity was yet at the highest pitch) vehemently enforceth this [Page 39] Psalme against the great men that prey upon the Church, applying the interpretation of the names therein mentioned very bitterly unto them. And saith further, that they possesse the Sanctuary of God by inheritance, which enter into it unworthlly, or in succession to their unckles, nephews, and parents, and they also which give Benefices in that manner, wasting thereby as it were Christs here­ditary patrimony; with much more to this effect, Speculo morale tit. Principes saeculares. fol. 229. d.

Nicolaus de Lyra, who flourished about the same time, our own country-man, (though of Jewish Parents) a starre also in that age of the first magnitude, for his learning; and exquisit above all in the Hebrew, (it being his mother tongue, and elaborate by him) whose judgement I the rather esteeme, for that Luther loved him and preferred him above all interpreters, as Luther himselfe testi­fieth in the 2 and 9 chap. of Genests. He (I say, as before I have noted) expoundeth it: first, and properly for the Temple (under which I understand all things dedicated unto God) then for Jeru­salem, because (saith he) the Temple was there: and lastly by conse­quence (for that is his owne word) for the Land of Judaea, whose cheife City Jerusalem was. So that he maketh the Temple and things belonging to God, to be the maine part whereat the Prophet aim­eth, and the City and Countrey to follow but by inferance and implication.

Come to the later Writers, Genebrard noteth upon Sanctuari­um Dei; that the Hebrew word is, Habitacula, and for the postill saith; Generaliter de divinis omnibus templis, urbibus, locis, & oppi­dis populi Dei. So that if he had beene questioned further; how he understood Habitacula, specialiter, it is then like he would have answered, de divinis omnibus templis tantùm: that is, only of Churches. But be it as it is, he setteth them in the first place, as the proper signification, and the rest in consequence, as analogicall, ac­cording to Augustine and our Country-man Lyranus.

As for Luther, he expoundeth not this Psalme himselfe, that I can finde; but you see what he attributeth to Lyra's judgement.

Pellican a great Hebritian, translateth it Possideamus nobis ele­ctissima Dei, and expoundeth it in like manner as before, Templum, eivitatem, vasa, populum Dei.

Pomeranus interpreteth it of them that did seeke to make them­selves Lords and heires of the Temple.

To conclude, because the newest things are most acceptable with many. The last man that hath written upon the Psalter, Lo­rinus a Jesuit, (and therefore I will not presse his authority) yet to doe him right, very well esteemed amongst great Clerkes of our owne Church for much good learning (though in matters of con­troversie, full enough of Romish leaven) reciteth somewhat more breifly the former interpretations of Petrus Damianus, Hugo Car­dinalis, and John Vitalis, and approving those their applications, putteth them still on into the world, as truly consonant to the tenor of the Psalme, which notwithstanding I doubt not hath also many other expositions, as herbes have usually divers virtues and ope­rations. But thus the eldest and newest expositors are wholly for me, many also (and of the best of them) of the middle ages, none that I know against me. For although Musculus, Bucer, Calvin, Marlorat, Mollerus, expoundeth this Psalme historically of the Countrey and Nation of the Jewes, yet when they apply it to the Church of Christ (as otherwise there were no use of it) they make that application by way of figure and analogy; And then is there no cause to raise an antithesis, or contrariety betweene them and me. For to reconcile the matter, Saint Jerome in his entrance into the exposition of this Psalme, telleth us, that we may expound it figuratively of the Church (which I understand in matters of acti­on, gouernment, doctrine,) or historically of the people of the Jewes and nations about them. And though Calvin himselfe pursueth for the most part the historicall interpretation, yet when he commeth to the 12. verse, he saith; Iterum accusat profanos homines sacrile­gij, quòd praedatoriâ licentiâ involant in ipsam Dei haereditatem.

Thus much, and too much touching this point. As it is said in the end of the Macchabees: If I have done well, and as the story re­quired, it is the thing that I desired: but if I have spoken slenderly and barely, it is that I could. Let no man therefore rely upon me, but learne of them that are bound to teach; For the Preists lips should preserve knowledge, and they should seeke the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the Lord of Hosts. Mal. 2.7.

Other things there be, wherein I would willingly have enlarged my selfe a little: but as Papilius in Livy describing a circle about Antiochus enforced him to answere before he stept out of it. So the Printer (having printed all to the last Sheet before I knew it) re­straineth me, ad articulum temporis, within which accordingly I must needs end.


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