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Vicar of Mochdre.

Dr. Samuel Davies v. Caerws…

The Vicar of Mochdre on Disestablishment.


The Vicar of Mochdre on Disestablishment. Sir,—I note the silence of the editor of your Welsh column lie has committed himself to a terminological inexactitude." I adopt the Churchillism, though not Bibli- cal or English as "understood by the people." The palpable falsehoods that the Church is alien and the clergy State-paid have been ably exposed by the Vicar of Dolfor. Referring to the third false statement that the Church had appropriated a part of the tithe which originally belonged to the poor, I have been expecting a reply to my letter of the 29th ult., which is apparent- ly unanswerable. *The poltroon Hafren gave three quotations in your issue of the 22nd ult. in support of the above proposi- tion. The first quotation was from Black stone, but I don't think Blackstone will be quoted again. I will now deal with the second quotation:—"And respecting tithe; The King and his witan have chosen and decreed, as is just, that one-third of the tithe which belongs to the Church go to the reparation of the Church, and a second part to the servants of God, the third part to God's poor and to needy ones in thral- dom." These words are clause 6 of No. IX. of the supposed laws of King Ethelred. The fact that the clauses of No. IX. are in a legis- lative form, as if enactments by a King (not named) and his witan is no proof that they were really such enactments or more than a project of law. I would point out how Canute, the successor of Ethelred, dealt with the articles of No. IX. relating to tithes. These were four in number, three being a mere repetition of Edgar's laws. The fourth was that as to the tripartite division of tithe, and it is remarkable that in No. IX. this was substituted for Edgar's law, which assigned to Manorial Churches having burial grounds one-third of the local tithes, and the rest to the elder or principal Church or minister, which in No. IX. was wholly omitted. It seems to have been the purpose oi Ethelred's ecclesiastical council- lors, in the latter part of his reign, to set aside and annul that provision of Edgar s laws. For the ordinances said to have been made by Ethelred contain an article ordering every man to pay all his Church dues, tithes included, to the nearest mother Church, that is to the oldest or principal Church, passing over all manorial or paro- chial churches. In Canute's laws the poltroon "Hairens quotation disappears, and instead of it (in the ecclesiastical code) King Edgar's law in favour of manorial churches with burying grounds, which had been omitted in No. IX. is restored, and (in the secular code) all men are required to give assistance to the repairs of churches. Nor has there ever been any later restoration or recognition of the articles of No. IX. from that time to the present day. If anyone should be inclined to ask why these two articles (for the tripartite divi- sion of tithe and the grant of special privi- leges to Abbotts) should have been pro- posed by the ecclesiastics who drew up No. IX., the explanation is not far to seek. There was in those days much rivalry bet- ween the regular and secular clergy. The authors of o. IX. were of the monastic orders. The parochial system, and the practice of endowing parish churches with tithe were then (as King Edgar's laws show) in the germ. The phrase" God's poor" and "Christ's poor' certainly did not mean poor inhabitants of those particular places within which the tithes arose. Whatever else it might comprehend, the brethren of the regular monastic orders, bound by vows of poverty, were within the meaning of the phrase as it was then understood. The Benedictine monks, and the monks of other orders, afterwards were called Christ's poor. Sir, don't let us have any more blatant mischievous nonsense about the poor. I have no space to deal with the third quotation, but if the young poltroon will turn to page 156 of Mr. Brewer's work he will find a note by Mr. Dibdin, the learned editor, which lie can brew for himself. The fact is that no law of any kind was ever made in England or can be shown to have been accepted as of force in England in which it was laid down clearly or other- wise that the poor, as we understand them, were to have any share in the tithes. All historical authorities which I quoted in my previous letter satisfy the minds of all in- telligent people. I note in your last issue Hafren" in- dulged in further personalities, and winds up with the assertion that the tithes be- longed originally to the Roman Catholics. He seems to know as much about the Roman Catholics as one of your faithful I readers whom I met the other day. The word Roman Catholics cropped up, and your reader asked me the profound ques- tions, "What are them things?" I cannot congratulate political Noncon- formity upon their anonymous champion, but I really thank you, sir, for allowing those very ancient falsehoods to be nailed to the counter.—Yours, etc. T. J. ROBERTS.

A Farmer's Fiscal Fever.


£80 a Year.

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"Unhealthy Excitement."I

- Sn jJiTemoncwi,