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THE ORIGIN OF TITHES. THEIR PORTION FOR THE POOR. cjr Having inherited something of a liking for antiquarian subjects, and liav^ a pretty good collection of old books, which I pry into at leisure, when I saw the dia- cnssL m the < Express re, fatties & looked UD mv library to see whethel 1 had anj thing that might add to the discussion. I Mo w The original and right o* cbrU'm ^tX" ta ej'by1^ learned Dr Hum- pW^eau^ate^ of Norwjch,, Sapte?yonmState of England 1685;, men- (chapter e of those eminent ministers of tlfe English Church of that period—which period. I believe, produced 1- +W were not excelled at any time ta rn?blearn.y of the English Church, divines qualified by parts, by eloquence, by wide knowledge of literature of science, and of life, to defend their Church vic- toriously against heretics and sceptics, to command the attention ol frivolous and worldlv congregations, etc. Some laboured to fathom the abysses of meta- physical theology, some were deeply versed in biblical criticism, and some threw nght on the darkest parts of ecclesiastical his- tory I believe that Prideaux must be acknowledged as an authority on the latter SUNow let Prideaux speak for himself: "I have endeavoured to show the true right on which tithes are paid to the ministers of the gospel in this land, as well as the origin of them in the Christian Church. That they are due, as to the quota pars by a divine law obligatory upon all man- kind, how much soever it hath been la- boured, hath never yet been proved. And for the clergy to claim them by such a wrong right as can never be made out, it doth not only weaken the true right which they have unto them, but also exposeth them to scorn and contempt, as baffled claims always do those that make them, and by reason of the many odious cone quences which follow hereupon, must necessarily stir up the hatred and aversion of the laity against them., But if, waiving this right to the quota pars, they claim it only as to the maintenance, I hope I have in the ensuing discourse made it sufficiently appear that their title to their tithes on this foundation will ever firmly., stand against assaults as long as the wor- ship of God shall." In his treatise he stated (inter alia): How much soever tithes were taught to be due to the Church, the Church had no civil property in them, or was there any law established by the civic authority in any part of Christendom till the eighth cen- tury for the payment of them. And, there- fore, till then the Church no otherwise claimed them than as offerings, which were voluntarily to be set apart and voluntarily given by the people. There were, indeed, centures and anathema's denounced against; such as should neglect to discharge them- selves as they ought but as wickedness encreased, these became despised also, and wholly incapable of being put in execution, and consequently these dues in many places became very lamely paid, which induced a necessity of having recourse to the civil authority for the establishemnt of them, and consequently in the year 764 we find a law made for it by Pipin, King of France, commanding that everyone, whether they would or no, should pay their tithes. In the year 779, Charlemain, the son of Pipin, confirmed the law of his father for the kingdom of France. And ten years after. having conquered the Saxons, and reduced them to receive Christianity, he imposed the same law upon them, decreeing that every- one of them, whether rich or poor, noble or ignoble, should pay unto Jesus Christ and His ministers the tithes of all their cattle, and fruits, and all other products, both of the earth and of their labour, and I that they should be constrained to ao so. In the year 794 at Frankford, and m tlie vear 804 at Saltzburg, he made the like law for Germany. In the year 800 he published a law commanding all his officers of justice to take particular care within the demesne lands of his Crown, that the tithes of the profits of them be duly paid to the churches to which they had been antientjy paid, i.e. according to the ecclesiastical ord and usage which was m practice hel°r civil laws were enacted concerning then In 801 he commanded all ministers to in struct their people how they ought PJ their tithes. He also gave directions fo quatuor partes! dividantur pnma £ £ £ clerices, tertia P^PeT^ ^id by the fabrica ecclesiae. ^h^ four parts people shall given to the bishops, the first Pfrt third to the poor, and the fourth to a1r's bev!denf fro. «te ^bove^according j to this eminent Church nffprings given1 tithes were at first volunta y^ thev were by the people, that subsequently tl-ley %N-ere Crrma^wlU'n hisy direrfions distribution of them, decreed that the poor were to have the fourtn part. He explains further how the law was enacted j— pViarlemain there reigned In the time of Chaxiero Mercia, the here m England Offa, K g ]dngs of his most potent '?fal that great time m this island, witn friendship prince, having made a particular friendship and alliance, by this niea tithes en- establishing of a civ.l r.ght to t.thes^ tered here also. • p unt0 794, Offa made a law where y the Church the trthes of all h^jngao which the historians 11 prt Kine of expiate for the death °f,E pieced- theP East Angles, whom m the >ear prece,^ mg he had caused basely niarry iais on his coming to his coui daughter." rchment reached no fur- But this establishment^ Merci&j over ther than the Fthelwulph, about whom Offa reigned, 60 years after, enlarged it iiereon the civil England. And bec j n(j had its main right of tithes on this lan^ foundations, and ge who have wrote much perplexed hy g^all, for the clear- of it both pro anr »cti0ns and difficulties raised SbjT^hSi"^ a thorough aad full account of the whole matter and it is as followeth:— "Ethelwulph did in the year 854, in a Parliament for the kingdom of West Saxony, held at Wilton on the Feast of Easter, make a law for the granting of the tithes oi all that kingdom to the church, and ac- cording to the usage of those times settled it by his charter as followeth I Ethelwulph, by the grace of God, King of the West Saxons, in the holy and most solemn Feast of Easter for the health of my soul, and the prosperity of my king- dom, and of all people by Almighty God commanded to my charge, have with my bishops, earls, and all other my nobles, brought to pass this wholesome counsel, that J have not only given the tanth part of the lands through my kingdon to the holy churches, but also have granted to our ministers placed in them to enjoy them in perpetual lioerty so that this giant shall remain firm and immutable, freed from all Royal services, and from all other Secular service whatsoever. And it hati pleased Aelstan Bishop Sherborn, and Svdthun Bishop of Winchester, and the rest of the chief men to give their consent thereto. This we have done for the honotr of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of the blessd Virgin Mary, and of all the Saints, ani for the reverence which we bear to the Feast of Easter, that Almighty God may Vouchsafe to be probitious to us and our posperity This charter was written in the y<ar of the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Clrist, 854 in the second judiction, on Easte. Day, in our palace called Wilton. WThoso'Ver shall augment this our donation, may &od aug- ment to him His prosperous day.. But ii anyone shall presume to dininish or change it, let him know that he oust give an account hereof before the Tnrl<rnpr.+ c + „f Christ, unless in the d^th make amends by giving satigfactitt for the same. *1 Ethelwulph the King, *1 Aelstan Bishop, *1 Swithun Bishop, *1 Wulstaf Abbot, *1 Werferd Abbot, *1 Ethered and I Altered the Kng's sons have given our consent hereto.' Immediately after passing of ftis grant, Ethelwulf took a journey of dlVotion to Rome, where he stayed a whole far but in his return, having married Jtletb the daughter of the King of France and de- clared her queen this, and hisUegecting the government of his kingdom lr so long an absence from it, so disguste the no- bility that a great many o^^hem had farmed themselves Into a party W the de- posing of him, and the placing °tEthelbald his eldest son, on the throne in his stead • so that on his return, finding ajj things ready to run into confusion anc civil dis- tractions, for the preventing herejf and the settling of peace in the land, h called a Parliament of all England to Ynqt at Win- chester, where the tributary kii-ts and all other the princes, bishops and tiobles of the land being assembled, after they had settled peace between the fathe and the son, they did, by their gener4 consent, make the same grant of tithes fo] the whole realm of England that had be made at Wilton the year before for the province of WTest Saxons. And the charter iereof ac. cording to Ingulph, who is the ancie'ntist of the English historians, in Mhtll we find it recorded, is as followeth:— 1. Our Lord Jesus Christ rigneth for ever. Whereas in our time we have seen the burnings of war, the ravagrig of our wealth, as also the cruel deprdations of enemies wasting our and (the lanes), and many other tribulations from barbarians and pagan nations inflicted iibll us for our sins, even almost to our utl" destruc- tion, and also very perilous tims hanging over our heads. 2. For this cause, I Ethelwlph King of the West Saxons, by the ad ice of my bishops, and other chief men o my king- dom, have resolved on a whsom and uniform remedy, that is, that grant as an offering unto God, and the lessed Vir- gin, and all the Saints, a certin portion of mv kingdom, to be held b nomofHHl right, that is to say, the tenth Prt thereof, and that this tenth part be priveged from temporal duties, and free from tll secular services and royal tributes, s well the greater as the lesser, or those loces which we call Witerden (William theconqueror abridged them of these privilegeeirid again subjected them to bear their ht in the public burdens of the Kingdom) lId that it be free from all things else, for he Health of my Soul, and the Pardon of iy singj to be applied only to the Service of}od alone, without being charged to any eXdition, or to the Repair of Bridges, or thePortifying of Castles, to the end that the tergy may with the more, diligence pourout their Prayers to God for us without easing, in which we do in some part rEBive their service. 3. These things were enacte at Win- chester in the year 855 in the thir. indiction, on the nones of November, for te Honour of the glorious Virgin and Motht of God, St. Mary, and of St. Michael, he Arch- angel, and of the blessed Peter, Prince of the Apostles, and also of our ble.sd Father Pope Gregory, and of all the Salr. 4. There were present and sh'scrihing hereto all the Archbishops, and shops of England, as also Boerred, King < Mercia, Edmund, King of the East Anglessan(j also a great multitude of Abbots, chesses, Dukes, Earls, and Noblemen of te whole land, as well as of other Christia. peopie, who all approved of the Royal Charter! but those only who were persons o dignity subscribed their names to it. ° 5. King Etheiwulph, for the greater firmness of the Grant, offered this™ tpr upon the altar of St. Peter the Apc^ n<j the Bishops on God's Part received v_ of him and published in all the (■lu^che<? throughout their respective dioceses" It is further to be observed uner this head (and I think it necessary to ibserve everything that may tend to the full of so important a matter) that in of Malmsbury's Charter of the Wiwwtpr grant, and in that of Matthew of ^nches- ter also, there is inserted a clause which cannot belong to it. It is as follow^ "'It has pleased the Bishop, A1 nf the Church of Sherborne, and SwLin n{ the Church of Winchester, with their"" and other Servants of God, to ordai all our Brothers and Sisters shall ii' rv Church, to which they belong, onc< week (that is on Wednesday) sim Psalms, and every Presbyter shall fhp same day sing two Masses, one fo Etheiwulph, and another for his ^les who have been consenting to this grant, for the Redemption and Remission of their Sins. And they shall say for the King while he shall live, the Prayer Deus qui justifi- cas, etc. and for the Nobles, while they shall live, the Prayer Praeteude Domine, etc.' But after they shall be dead, they shall pray for the dead King in particular, and for the Nobles being dead ,in general. And let this be constituted all the Days of Christianity, as firmly as this Grant is con- stituted, for as long as the Christian Faith shall flourish in the English Nation.' It is very evident that the church to which these tithes were given by the civil authority that prevailed at that time is very different in doctrine to the church which enjoys them to-day, being purely a Roman Church acknowledging Pope Gregory, worshipping the Virgin Mary, praying for the dead, etc., etc., In fact, the whole history is pregnant of Romish doctrine of penance, payments, and services of sinful men to their priests for the health of their souls," the pardon of their sins," etc., and the influence of the priests and bishops upon the kings. The tithes being enacted by the civil authority, the civil authority has every right to divert them, if it thinks proper. That part which originally belonged to the poor having being diverted for ecclesias- tical purposes by the State, the State can, if it thinks proper, divert that part which now belongs to the ecclesiastical to the secular, for social and charitable purposes. It is idle to call this robbery," since how came it to be enjoyed by their present owners ? They were not the original own- ers, and they have not robbed anyone of it. It has naturally come to them in virtue of their being the Established Church, but the Establishment is very much changed (as I believe very much for the better), and cannot be said to be the same as when the tithes were given. The Establishment had no doubt its purpose, and has done it in times gone past. But there is also no doubt that the vast majority of the people of Wales desire that the Establishment (not the Church) shall be broken, and the tithes, which are the property of the Church only in virtue of this establishment, diverted to objects that will add to the general welfare of the community.-Yours faithfully, FILITJS MAGLONÆ.

AFTER 2,000 YEARS. -

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