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TYTHES No Property to, nor lawful maintenance for a Powerful Goſpel-preaching Miniſtry.


A Compulſory Maintenance for Chriſts Miniſters is contrary to Chriſts Doctrine and example of his Apo­ſtles, and the example of the faithful Miniſters of Chriſt, and famous Reformers in all ages, as VVickliffe, Hus, and divers others, with an old Prophecy written by Iohn Hus, as it is recorded by Fox in his Acts and Monuments, commonly called the Book of Martyrs.

With a DISCOVERY Of the marks of the Falſe Prophets and Miniſters

In all Ages (as they are found recorded in the Eccle­ſiaſtical Hiſtory) ſince the Apoſtles days to this very time agreeing with the Scriptures of truth both of the Old and New Teſtament.

Written by a lover of the ſouls of all men, Iohn Crook.

〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉,
Quinon habet vitam Chriſti, Chriſtum non habet.

They are the children of Abraham that does the works of Abraham,

So they are the children of the Martyrs that follow their ſteps, and not they who are crying them up with their tongues, and maintaining and taking of Tythes and other abominations with their practices, which the Martyres and holy men witneſſed againſt, and ſome have loſt their lives for.

London Printed for Thomas Simmons, at the Bull and Mouth, near Alderſgate, 1659.


BƲY the truth and ſell it not, was the ſaying of the wiſeſt of men, and is the voice and endeavour of all the children of Wiſdom, who know the price thereof to be beyond Rubies, and the enjoyment thereof to be more precious then fine gold, and the purchaſing thereof to be worth the ſelling of all, that it may be poſſeſſed, for in it is riches and honour, and by it comes the pearl of great price to be known; And who makes all truly rich, truly wiſe and truly free, that comes to the knowledge of it, but this is the Myſtery of it: It is not pur­chaſed without the ſelling of all, nor cannot be enjoyed but by thoſe who are poor in Spirit, and yet nothing more free gift then that, nor nothing more truly bought without money and without price then it, and the knowledge of this Myſtery is as free in its revealing as this truth is in its appearing in and to the ſons and daughters of men, many have taken pains to find it, but it hath been hid from the eyes of all living, and concealed from the wiſe and prudent, who have talked of the fame thereof, but becauſe of the dearneſs of the rate, have been of­fended at it, & ſo have never come to the enjoyment of the thing it ſelf, but have ſatisfied themſelves with dead Pictures, and likeneſſes fra­med in the Chambers of their Imagery, which Idolatry is more dan­gerous then theirs who fall down to an Image made of wood and ſtone; and when the beauty of truth it ſelf ſo appears, that it out-ſhines their Image, then they either oppoſe it with open oppoſition, or elſe will not receive it, becauſe it appears with its viſage marred more then any of the likeneſſes that hath yet ſhewed themſelves; and exp ſeth the livers of it to the worlds ſcornes, to profeſſors rage, and to great mens and Rulers diſdain and hatred, and becauſe it appears to the ſtaining of their glory and pride: they do now not much un-like the Senate of Rome of old, when Tyberius made Relation to them of Chriſt and his Miracles, who are ſaid to reject them, for no o­ther cauſe, but becauſe they did not firſt approve the ſame; And further, Tertullian a man well experienced in the Roman Laws, in his Apologie for the Chriſtians, in his 5. Chapt. ſaith (by interpretation) thus, That it was an antient decree, that no god ſhould be conſecrated by the Emperour, unleſs it were firſt agreed unto by the Senate; who ſaith (on the behalf of the Christians) That the Deity is weighed amongſt you after mans will and judgement, unleſs that God pleaſe man, he is not made God, ſo that by this decree man muſt be gracious and favoura­ble to God; Not much unlike to this constitution of mind have many grave Senators appeared in theſe dayes, who could willingly have con­tributed to the putting down Tithes, if the great men could bear it & the Prieſts be pleaſed to have it ſo, and the Parliament account it no diſ­grace to move against them, nor the Lawyers be angry for impairing their trade; but ſuch (it is to be feared) loves the praiſe of men more then the praiſe of God, and while they pleaſe men, are not the ſervants of Chriſt; but where is theſe mens faith? and what is become of their experiences? cannot be that hath delivered from the oppreſſive Court of Wards, and from the arbitrary Star-Chamber Court, from the hands of the late King, from the power of the Biſhops, and from others alſo (who have ſaid as Abſalom once did, to palliate his deſign, Oh that all men would come to me, and I will do them Juſtice, and take away oppreſſions) deliver out of the hands of this Philiſtiue (the Tithes) alſo? yea verily, the Lord will deliver his people from this in­tolerable yoke of bondage, and if thoſe in preſent power do not do it, deliverance ſhall come another way, for the Lord God is appearing in power and great glory, to deliver his oppreſſed ſeed, and to take away the abominations from the midſt of the Nations: & the longer any have continued, the more need there is to haſten the removing of them; and whereas there is a cry among people, that to take away Tithes, is to deſtroy property, &c. Therefore have I written this following diſ­courſe, that all ſober-minded people may underſtand, how that both by the Law of God, the Common, and Statute Law of this Nation alſo, together with ſeveral Preſidents of the Martyrs and others, who in the darkest times of Popery Witneſſed against Tithes, and all kind of computſory maintenance (what ſoever) for preaching, al­wayes esteeming Tithes to be but a meer Almes, as by their own words at large may appear; which I have ſet down (as I find them recor­ded in the Book of Martyrs) for the ſatisfaction of thoſe who deſire to know the truth, and to be made free by it.


Tythes no property to nor lawful maintenance for a Goſpel, powerful, preaching Miniſtry, &c.

PRoperty is that which a man hath a juſt right to and intereſt in, without injury to another and is derived to him, either by deſcent, purchaſe, or gift, and not by cuſtom onely, for that gives no man a title or property that had it not rightly confirmed upon him, as a­foreſaid; for although ouſtome to places, and ſome things are ac­counted as law, yet always with this limitation, ſuch cuſtomes as are good and reaſonable; for ſaith Cook, Cuſtome ought to be reaſonable,Cook. 6. book of Reports. & excerta cauſa rationabili uſitata, &c. neither doth the law of England create or make any man a title or property, that had none before, but only conſerves and maintains every mans juſt property and equal right; for the juſt laws of a Nation are their walls to their Cities, and bars to their gates; and by them the land of every man is incloſed from other, though it lie in open field; and if a man do treſpaſs therein, the Writ ſhall be quare clauſum fregit, as ſaith the law, and every law of the Nation muſt be conſonant to the law of God; and therefore (ſaith the law book) The laws of Princes, the commandements of Pre­lates, the Statutes of Commonalties, ne yet the Ordinance of the Church,Dr. & Stud. cap. 4o p. 7. 8. is not righteous nor obligatory, except it be conſonant to the law of God, and by ſuch a law of man as is conſonant to the law of God, it appeareth who hath right to lands and goods, and who not, for whatſoever a man hath by ſuch laws of the Nation, he hath righteouſly, and whatſoever a man hath againſt ſuch laws, is unrighteouſly had; theſe be the very words of the law; and alſo by the Statute law of this Nation it appears, That no man of what eſtate, degree, or condition ſoever he be,Stat: made by King, Lords, and Commons. hath power to diſpence with Gods laws, as all the Clergy of this Realm and moſt part of all the Ʋniverſities of Chriſtendom, and we alſo do affirm and think; theſe be the very words of the Statute of 28: Hen 8. & 7. ch.

Therefore ſeeing that every law of man muſt be conſonant to the law of God, or elſe it is no law; and that every cuſtome that is accounted as a law muſt be reaſonable, and every law of man muſt be equal and juſt ac­cording to the law of God (as the law it ſelf ſaith) as before is mentioned, and no man can have a property but by defcent, purchaſe, or gift, the law it ſelf, not creating a property, but onely conſerving to every man his juſt right and intereſt, as above ſaid; and thoſe laws for Tything made in the time both of Hen. 8. & Edw. the 6. (there being no law before made by Parliaments, onely the Statute of Ric. 2.15. & 6. confirmed by Hen. the 4. by which it appears that Tythes were but a free gift or alms, and there­fore ſpecial care is taken that a convenient portion of the Tythes be ſet out for a maintenance for the poor of the Pariſh, (as by that Statute ap­pears, though made in the midnight of Popery,) not wholly forgetting the end for which they were given under the law, that there might be no begger in Iſrael.


And were it not righteous and juſt, that thoſe who have robbed the poor of that which was their due by law, ſhould themſelves be made poor, and have that taken from them, which they have ſo long robbed others of, con­trary to Law?) I ſay the Statute made in Hen. 8. and Edw. the 6. time, did not create aright, but onely confirm what was then in that night of Popery, pre­ſumed and ſuppoſed to be aright (upon grounds which now appears to be falſe) viz, as belonging to God and holy Church, and were then called in the Stat. of Hen. 8. ſpiritual gifts, and Impropriate Tythes that were ſold after the diſſolution, are ſaid now to be made temporal, and not before; and neither theſe nor any other laws, ever gave any man a right or property in or to Tythes, but onely through the blindneſs and ſuperſtition of thoſe Po­piſh times, ſuppoſed a right upon a ſpiritual ground, as aforeſaid, and ſo gave power to Eccleſiaſtical Courts to ſue for them, which before they could not do, but onely excommunicate for non payment, but by thoſe Statutes they might ſue in Eccleſiaſtical Courts but not elſe where, as the Statute of Edw. the 6. ſaith, upon which Statute they bring their Action for treble damages, which Statute it ſelf reſtrains the trial of Tythes to Eccleſiaſtical Courts, and not elſewhere; and for Judges to make laws, or to interpret the laws contrary to the words of the law, is a preſumption, not much unlike that which Iſrael of old in difficult caſes was to beware of, and not to be ha­ſty in,Deut. 17.12. but to do according to the ſentence of the law, from which they were not to decline either to the right hand or the left (upon pain of death) for if the law that is juſt be declined and left to mans will; is not the maxim of the law made good, Miſera ſervitus eſt, ubi jus eſt vagum, aut incognitum; that is a miſerable bondage, where the law is left to the will of the Judge, and in this caſe where the Statute reſtrains it, what Judge may go further? and to ſay where a penalty is appointed, and no way mentioned for the re­covering of it, that then it ſhall be taken for granted, that the Courts at Weſtminſter are intended; is (in this caſe) to make the law intend againſt it ſelf (for the law is called approved reaſon) and to ſuppoſe that the treble damages are recoverable at common law, when the principle it ſelf (for the non payment of which the treble damages are due) is not yet proved a debt, nor is not recoverable but in the ſpiritual Courts, is as much as if a man ſhould ſay, that I promiſed to pay him ten pounds upon the firſt of May laſt, and if it were not paid I would give him thirty pounds, and he ſhould be admitted to ſue for the thirty pounds (penalty for the non payment of the ten pounds) and yet may not ſue for the ſaid ten pounds to prove that promiſed, and not paid accordingly, or to try the acceſſary before the prin­cipal; when as if no fact was committed, no man for being acceſſary could be puniſhed; and therefore before Tythes be proved in the Eccleſiaſtical Courts, to be ſubſtracted, or withheld, or not ſet out, no damages (for not ſet­ting out) can juſtly and legally be recovered, and for any man to take away my corn and hay, &c. without my conſent, or recovered in manner afore­ſaid, differs nothing from him that pretends a debt, and without any further proceedings, comes and takes away my goods by force and againſt my will; but ſome do ſay Juſtices of Peace have power to make a judgement in the caſe; many doth that by power which they cannot do by law, but Juſtices are onely authorized by an Ordinance of Parliament; and if the preamble of3 this Ordinance may be called (clavis legis) as preambles to laws are called, then their power is at an end, becauſe they were but intruſted by reaſon of the exegencies of war, Courts of juſtice being obſtructed, and if the Juſtices of Peace, or their Clerks, or kindred were not ſome way gainers by it, they need not now act upon that Ordinance, the reaſon of that tempora­ry law being taken away, viz. obſtructions of Courts of Juſtice, the law it ſelf ceaſeth, if this maxim in the law be true, viz. That the reaſon of the law is the law it ſelf, and eſpecially if Cook ſay true, viz. That an Ordinance bind­eth not in ſucceſſion; beſides, that matters of Title ſhould be determined in an Alehouſe or private chamber, is a ſhame to a free State, and no honor to Juſtices of Peace to intermedle with that (which indeed) they have not legally to do withal, they acting onely by an Ordinance, and that Or­dinance never yet confirmed by Act. What, are not all the Courts at Weſt­minſter ſufficient? Take heed, for To over do is to undo; but however the Juſtices Ordinance hath no better bottom then a ſuppoſed right, as afore­ſaid, which is no right, but a common wrong, and they that act upon that Ordinance now, are no friends to true freedom, to ſay no more.

And that Tythes are an oppreſſion and unrighteous thing, many have born their teſtimony, both Martyrs and others, as may appear more at large hereafter; and for any to ſay that another hath as good a property in, and right to the tenth of my increaſe, as I have to nine parts, or as I have to the coat of my back, or to the nine parts of my land, is ignorance to be piti­ed, rather then to be diſputed againſt; but as cuſtome in ſinning begets hardneſs, ſo doth ſuperſtition and ignorance, by tradition begat faith in a lye, which makes truth ſo hard to be received, by aged, wiſe men, after the fleſh, becauſe they have ſeen & read the records of their fore fathers, & ſome through their blindneſs being ſetled on their Lees, are reſolved to go no further then their fathers went, nor to believe otherwiſe then the Church believes, and others dare not ſee beyond their profit, nor believe further then may ſtand with their gain, that being their godlineſs; Court-great­neſs having blinded their eyes, and made them to deſpiſe the oppreſſion of the afflicted, and to be regardleſs of the conſciences of the upright; their greatneſs having taken away their feeling, and many old men, like thoſe in Nehemiahs days, who wept when they ſaw the foundation of the ſecond Temple laid, and conſidered of the former Temple, how beautiful that had been; ſo do many now begin to bewail their loſs, and cry out, what will become of their Goſpel, if Tythes be taken away; and others ſay, what will you deſtroy propriety, and take away mens rights? the taking away of Tythes will quite deſtroy our Miniſters, and impaire the Lawyers trade, &c. and ſo the downfal of Babylon muſt beget the bewailing of many Merchants, not onely of thoſe who have inriched themſelves by the laws, but alſo thoſe who have made Merchandize of the ſouls of men; for this is as hor­rable a thing in our dayes, as it was in old in the days of the Prophet, viz. For the Prieſts to preach for hire, and for the Judges to judge for reward; and may it not be ſaid of ſuch now, as Micha ſaid then?

The beſt of them is as a brier,Mich. 7.4: and the moſt upright is ſharper then a thorn hedge, the day of thy watchmen and thy viſitation cometh, now ſhall be thy perplexity:

But to return to the Objection, That they have as good a right to the4 tenth part as I have to nine, &c. To which it is ſaid, by law they have no right, as before is ſaid, for the law onely preſerves my right, that another man may not take it from me, but gives right to no man that had it not derived to him, either by deſcent, purchaſe, or gift, as aforeſaid; now if it cannot be made appear (by him who challengeth property in Tythes) that it came to him one of theſe wayes, aforeſaid, then he hath no right to, nor legal property in them; now by deſcent he cannot have them, for that cannot deſcend to another, which is not in rerum natura, as the increaſe and renewing of my land (by my labor) is not, and therefore cannot diſ­cend from another, who never was owner of it, nor never had it in his poſ­ſeſſion, as no man can of my increaſe, procured by my labor, and if I plough not, no corn will grow, and if I mow not, no hay is made; and ſo it is in my power, whether any thing, how much, or nothing the Prieſt ſhall have. And again, If I by my own act do not ſet out my Tythes, he hath no property untill by my voluntary act I give him it; for it cometh not by the land, nor doth he challenge the tenth of the rent, nor tenth acre, but the tenth of the increaſe, renewing, or growing in, and upon the pre­miſes, &c

And whereas it is ſaid, the law implies a property in that it hath provided a puniſhment of treble damages for not ſetting it out, and what a Parlia­ment doth, is ſuppoſed to be done by the people whom they repreſent, &c. To which I anſwer, That it is true, the Law-makers ſuppoſed a due to God and holy Church, and upon this ſuppoſition and foundation, Enacted a penalty upon him that did not ſet out his Tythes, but ſome of our late Judges have ſince adjudged that Tythes are not ſo due, viz. by Gods law, as Chief Juſtice Rolls, in the Upper Bench at Weſtminſter. And if that ſuppoſed common right be generally ſeen and be confeſſed to be a real common wrong, may not a man make uſe of his eye, to avoid the pit which he and others in the time of their darkneſs fell into? and if a man will wink when he may ſee, if he fall then into the pit, is he not guilty of his own death?

And for the Stat. made in Ed. the 6. time, if the ſuppoſed right upon which that law is built, be found to be oppreſſion and wrong, and that God and holy Church hath diſclaimed their right to Tythes under the Goſpel, and that by their writings upon record, that there being a change of the Prieſt­hood, there is made alſo a neceſſity of the change of the law; then what is that law worth that is contrary to God, and that commandement which is oppoſit to his?

Again, as before is proved, not onely by the law of God, but alſo by the Common and Statute Law of this Nation, all Laws made contrary or not conſonant to the law of God, are voide of themſelves, and that law which is built upon a falſe rotten foundation, muſt needs fall, as that is which ſup­poſeth Tythes to be due by common right, or due to God and holy Church under the Goſpel, which they are not, as before is proved; and then the reaſon of the law, failing, the law it ſelf falls; for ſaith Cook, Lex non eſt infoliis verborum ſed in radice rationis, and if that which is ſaid to be due by common right, prove to be a common wrong, and general grievance, then that other maxim of the law, takes it away alſo (ſalus populi ſuprema lex) the peoples weal is the chiefeſt law, and that it is the peoples intollerable burden, I need not prove.


And as no right nor property to Tythes comes to any by deſcent, or reaſon of any juſt law, ſo neither can any property be derived to any by purchaſe, or gift, for no man hath power (legally) to ſell or give that which he hath no juſt intereſt in, neither may any man buy it (except in his own wrong) no more then a man may ſell my goods which he hath gotten wrongfully from me, nor no more then another hath any juſt power to diſpoſe, or give away that which is none of his, or he hath no right or property in himſelf to diſpoſe of, the law counts ſuch a gift or ſale, to be theiſt and robbery.

And to ſay that it is an incumbrance which every man knows of when he buys his land, and therefore no wrong, is a meer device to deceive the ſim­ple withall, for a man buys his land free from all incumbrances whatſoever with this general warranty, and covenant, not onely free from all Statutes; Morgages, Judgements, &c. but alſo with theſe general words, Free from all other incumbrances whatſoever, which words are a deceit, if ſo be a man knows a tenth part to be due to another, and yet he ſells the whole, ſo diſcharged as aforeſaid; and if it be a real incumbrance in the law upon the eſtate, or that another hath a right and property in that which I bought ab­ſolute and free, as aforeſaid, will not an Action in that Caſe lie againſt him that ſold it free, and covenanted to make it good, as aforeſaid? if ſo, what work would this make in the Nation for the Lawyers? but in truth, is it not in tended by the Law, that every man ſhould have and enjoy his land free as he bought it? and then he may give freely what he will, and to whom he will, and then (volenti non ſit injuria) to him that is willing it is no wrong; and thus the famous reformers and Martyes looked upon them, as John Wickliff in the 17. Article charged againſt him in theſe words, viz.

That tenths are pure Almes, and that the Pariſhoners may for offence of their Curates, detain and keep them back, and beſtow them upon o­thers at their own wills and pleaſures.

William Swindersby, ſaith in theſe words,Simonie a Simone Ma­go quum­quis Eccle­ſiaſticos functiones quae mera dei dona ſunt nundinatur: Whoſoever purchaſeth Offices with money which are Gods free gifts, commits Simony, and is like Simon Magus. That no Prieſt ows to ſell by bargain and covenant his Ghoſtly travel, ne his prayers, ne Gods word, &c, nor any worldly mens reward, to ask or take for theſe, or for any of theſe, or for any Ghoſtly thing he errs and doth Symony.

Walter Brute in theſe words,That Tythes are meer Alms, and in caſe that Curates ſhall be ill, that they may be lawfully beſtowed upon others, by the temporal owners, &c.

Walt. Brute Further ſaith,That a Prieſt receiving by bargain any thing of yearly annuity, is in ſo doing, a Schiſmatick and excommunicate, &c.

William Thorpe, ſaith as followeth in theſe words, viz. After Chriſts aſ­cenſion, and when the Apoſtles had received the holy Ghoſt, they travel­led with their hands to get their livelihood, when that they might thus do for buſie preaching, therefore by the example of himſelf, Saint Paul teacheth all the Prieſts of Chriſt to travel with their hands, when for buſie teaching of the people, they might thus do, whoſe Prieſthood God accepteth now, or will accept, or did in the Apoſtles time, and after their deceaſe, and will do to the worlds end; but as Ciſtercienſis, in the thou­ſand6 year of our Lord Jeſus Chriſt,Pope gre­gory the 10th firſt appointed tithes un­der the Goſpel in in the year about 1211. 211. yeer, one Pope Gregory the tenth, ordained new Tythes firſt to be given to Prieſts, now in the new law, but Saint Paul in his time whoſe trace or example all Prieſts of God inforce them to follow, ſeeing the covetouſneſs that was among the people, deſir­ing to deſtroy that foul ſin by the grace of God and true vertuous living, and example of himſelf; wrought and taught all Prieſts to follow him, as he followed Chriſt, willingly and patiently, in high poverty; wherefore Paul ſaith thus, the Lord hath ordained that they which preach the Goſpel ſhall live of the Goſpel, but we (ſaith Paul) that covet and buſie us to be faith­ful followers of Chriſt uſe not this power, for lo, as Paul witneſſeth when he was full poor and needy, preaching among the people, he was not chargeous unto them, but with his hands he travelled not onely to get his own living, but alſo the living of other poor and needy creatures, and ſince the people was never ſo coveteous, nor ſo avaritious I gheſs as they are now, it were good councel if all Prieſts took good heed to this hea­venly learning of Paul, following him here in wilful poverty, nothing charging the people for their bodily livelihood; but becauſe that many Prieſts do contrary to Paul in the aforeſaid doctrine, Paul biddeth the people take heed of theſe Prieſts, that follow not him, as he had given them example, as if (ſaith he) Paul would ſay thus to the people, Accept ye no other Prieſts then they that live after the form that I have taught you, for certain in whatſoever dignity or order that any Prieſt is in, if he con­form him not to follow Chriſt and his Apoſtles in wilful poverty, and in o­ther heavenly vertues, and ſpecially in true preaching of Gods word, though ſuch a one be named a Prieſt, yet he is no more but a Prieſt in name; for the work of a very Prieſt in ſuch a one wanteth: this ſentence approveth Auguſtine, Gregory, Chryſoſtome, and Lincolne plainly.

And he ſaith further in theſe words,It is no wonder, though people grudge to give the Prieſts the livelihood that they ask, mickill people know now, how Prieſts ſhould live, and how that they live contrary to Chriſt and to his Apoſtles, and therefore the people are full heavy to pay, as they do, their temporal goods to Parſons, and to other Vicars, and Prieſts, which ſhould be faithful diſpenſators of the Pariſh goods, and ta­king to themſelves no more but a ſcarce living, of Tythes nor of offerings, by the Ordinance of the common Law; for whatſoever Prieſts take of the people (be it Tythes or offering, or any other duty or ſervice) the Prieſts ought to have thereof no more but a bare living, and to depart the reſidue to the poor men and women, eſpecially of the Pariſh of whom they take this temporal living, but the moſt deal of Prieſts now waſteth their Pa­riſh goods, and ſpendeth them at their own will, after the world in their vain luſts, ſo that in few places poor men have duely (as they ſhould have) their own ſuſtenence, neither of Tithes, nor of offerings, nor of o­ther large wages, and foundations the Prieſts take of the people, in divers manners, above that they need for needful ſuſtenance of meat and cloath­ing, but the poor needy people are left and forſaken of Prieſts to be ſuſtain­ed of the Pariſhioners, as if the Prieſts took nothing of the Pariſhioners to help the people with, and thus ſir (ſaith Thorp to the Biſhip) into o­ver great charges of the Pariſhioners, they pay their temporal goods thrice,7 where once might ſuffice if prieſts were true diſpenſators. The Pariſhioners that pay their temporal goods (be they Tithes or offerings) to Prieſts that do not their offfce among them juſtly, are partners of every ſin of thoſe prieſts, becauſe that they ſuſtain thoſe prieſts folly in their ſin with their temporal goods; if theſe things be well conſidered, what wonder is it then if the pariſhioners grudge againſt theſe diſpenſators.

And he further ſaith that Paul ſaith,that Tithes were given in the old Law to Levites and to prieſts that came of the lineage of Levi, but our Prieſts came not of the lineage of Levi, but of the lineage of Judah, to which Judah no Tithes were promiſed to be given, and therefore Paul ſaith ſince the prieſthood is changed from the generati­on of Levi to the generation of Judah, it is neceſſary that changing alſo be made of the Law, ſo that prieſts live now without Tithes and other duties that they claim, following Chriſt and his Apoſtles in wilful poverty, as they have given them example, for ſince Chriſt lived all the time of his preach­ing by pure alms of the people, and by example of him, his Apoſtles lived in the ſame wiſe, or elſe by the travel of their hands, as it is ſaid above. E­very prieſt whoſe prieſthood Chriſt approveth, knoweth well and confeſ­eth in word and in work, that a diſciple ought not to be above his maſter, but it ſufficeth, ſo a diſciple to be ſimple and pure, patient and meek, and by his example, ſpecially of his Maſter Chriſt; every prieſt ſhould rule him in all his living; and ſo after his cunning and power, a prieſt ſhould buſie him, to reform and rule whomſoever he might charitably.

And he further ſaith thus,There is a Dr. (I think it is St. Hierom) that ſaith thus, the prieſts that challenge now in the new Law Tithes, ſay in ef­fect, that Chriſt is not become man, nor that he hath yet ſuffered death for mans love. Wherefore this Dr. ſaith this ſentence; Since Tithes were the hires and, wages limited to Levites, and to prieſts of the old Law for bear­ing about of the Tabernacle, and for ſlaying and fleaing of beaſts, burning of ſacrifices, and for keeping of the Temple, &c. and other things that pertained to their office, thoſe prieſts that will challenge or take Tithes, deny that Chriſt is come in the fleſh, and do the prieſts office in the old law, for whom Tithes were granted, for elſe this Dr. ſaith, Prieſts take Tithes now wrongfully; and ſaith further, That Tithes and other duties which prieſts challenge now are wrongfully called (freedom of holy Church) ſince neither Chriſt nor his Apoſtles challenged nor took ſuch duties; there­fore thoſe takings of prieſts now are not juſtly called the freedom of holy Church; but all ſuch giving and taking ought to be called and holden the ſlandrous covetouſneſſe of men of holy Church.

And further ſaith in theſe words, viz.Since by the viciouſneſſe of prieſts both Lords and Commons are moſt ſinfully infected and led into the worſt, and becauſe of the Covetouſueſſe of prieſts and pride, and the boaſt that they have and make of their dignity and power, deſtroyeth not onely the vertues of the prieſthood in prieſts themſelves, but alſo over this it ſtir­eth God to take great vengeance both upon the Lords and upon the Com­mons, which ſuffer theſe prieſts charitably:And he further ſaith in anſwer to the Biſhop in theſe words, viz. That a proud prieſt may be known; when he denieth to follow Chriſt and his Apoſtles in wilful poverty and other vertues, and coveteth wordly worſtip, and taketh it gladly; and gather­eth8 together with pleading, menacing, or with flattering, or with Simony any worldly goods, and moſt if a prieſt buſie him not chiefly in him­ſelf, and after in all other men and women after his cunning and power to withſtand ſin.

And further I find by the Eccleſiaſtical Hiſtories (written by Euſebius) mentioning Apolonius againſt Montanus ſaith thus,mat. 10. Luke 9. mark 7. Euſeb. Lib. 5. cap. 16.That Montanus ſed the maintainers of his doctrine with ſums of money and great hire to preach, which was forbidden in the holy Scripture that prophets ſhould take hire, Chriſt commanded his diſciples to take no mans gold or ſilver or apparel, or two coats; and ſaith by their fruits you ſhall know them; and further ſaith, That if hire be taken by a prophet, he is then no longer a prophet, let all that be falſe be tried conditional.

Theſe are the faithful ſayings of theſe men of famous memory, who in their time bore a faithful Teſtimony againſt the prieſts in their dayes, and other abominations and innovations brought in by thoſe who were in the apoſtacie, ſince the dayes of Chriſt and his Apoſtles, which I have faithfully ſet down, that ſo thoſe who ſay what is become of our fore fathers who ſuf­fered in the flames for witneſſing againſt the ſuperſtition and Idolatry of thoſe times in which they lived, may ſee themſelves where they are, and what they are doing, while they ask what is become of their fore­fathers, and yet they themſelves found walking in the ſteps of thoſe men who perſecuted and martyred thoſe who they call their forefathers, but are indeed monſtruous children, or rather the children of thoſe who put the martyrs to death, as by their practices they make it appear in their maintaining like prieſts (though now called Miniſters) and their unrighteous wages; which their forefathers witneſſed againſt with the loſſe of their lives, Oh! bluſh for ſhame to behold thy practices, leſt thou partaking of their ſins do partake of their plagues alſo, and came out from thoſe wayes, leſt thou fall together with them, as thou haſt holpen to uphold the enemies of the Lord, for as it is truly recorded in the ſame book of Martyrs in theſe words, viz. Whoſoever do receive the holy Order by giving of mony, is not a prieſt, ſecundum rem & nomen, but to ſay the truth, he deſireth to be cal'd a prieſt, that is, to be a prieſt ſecundum nomen tantum, and ſuch a prieſt wch is a prieſt in name onely, is no prieſt no more then St. Mary painted is St. Mary, nor a falſe Dr, a Dr. but no Doctor, and a man painted is not a man, but no man; and thus ſuch a prieſt in name onely is not a prieſt, becauſe that all faith­ful men do firmly believe, with St. Gregory, that no man buying the holy Orders may then be called a prieſt, as he ſaith they who buy or ſell holy Orders can be no prieſts, whereupon it is written ana thema dandi, & ana­thema accipiendi that is he is accurſed that gives; and he no leſſe that takes;and thoſe who are now found with the marks of the falſe Prophets and Prieſts upon them, are, as was ſaid then, uni voce natura but yet aequi voce in moribus, that is one in nature, though different in manners, and thou who art ſuch a one, or thou who maintains ſuch a one as is made a Prieſt for his mony, or by the arts learned from men, and natural knowledge gotten by ſtudy, though ſuch a one be called a gifted man, yet he will be found to be one whom Chriſt never ſent, and his marks makes manifeſt who ſent him if he preach for hire, and divine for mony, or take any thing by compact or agree­ment9 with any people, whatſoever name they go under, filthy lucre is not far off, and poyſon enters and eats like a canker until utter conſumption over­take, and let none think to excuſe themſelves with ſaying, how ſhall I live, or how ſhall my wife and children be maintained, or in putting it off, with ſaying, I preach not for mony, if ſo, let thy mony & gifts alone & preach without any, (if thou muſt needs preach) for it is actions and not words onely by which the Miniſters of Chriſt were made to differ (from Anti­chriſts miniſters) in all ages ſince the beginning, and if thou doeſt not preach freely henceforth, and leave taking thy gifts and rewards, then I ſhall con­clude it is for money, and the way thou runneſt ſo greedily and zealouſly in, is the way of Balaam, and thou art to take heed to thy ſelf leaſt the day come upon thee; when thou ſhalt deſire to die the death of the righteous, and thy latter end to be like his, but then it will be too late, and Eſaues portion muſt be thine, who haſt prophaned the Name of the Lord, and ſold thy birth-right for a morſel of bread, even that ſweet peace and con­tent in God, which (it may be) ſometime thy ſoul hath taſted, but con­ſulting with fleſh and blood, and looking out at the examples of others, and how deliciouſly they fare every day, thy mind hath been beguiled from the ſimplicity that is in Chriſt, and ſo haſt put thy ſelf from under Gods care, and now art caring for thy ſelf, and wife, and children, and thy life is miſerable to thee, although thou putteſt as good a face upon it as thou canſt: yet in ſecret have many gone mourning becauſe of theſe things, and at laſt have ſunk under the burthen of them, for whoſe ſake my ſoul hath mourned in ſecret, and I have been pained within me to conſider how hard a thing it is for ſuch a one to be ſaved, and what ſhifts they have found out to keep their gifts, livings, and rewards, under ſeveral pretences, covers and diſtinctions as that they are free gifts given of old, & no man now is at all prejudiced by the receiving of them, and in their ſaying if I did not, ſome elſe would; and ſome ſaying as they ſay Luther once ſaid, that as in time paſt the miniſters of Sathan was maintained by them, and thoſe that did work for the Divel, ſo now they for a time may be imployed for the ſer­vice of God to maintain his miniſters, and his pure worſhip; and beſides ſay ſome, if I go out of them a worſe may come in my room, and ſuch like reaſonings have mine ears heard from ſome, who are accounted not the leaſt amongſt many, and others looking at the eſteem they have amongſt great men, and therefore ſay, if I forſake taking gifts they will conclude me a ſectary, and then I ſhall be more retired, and grow more in acquaintance with God and delight in communion with him, and ſo by my faithfulneſs to him, I ſhall ſtand a witneſſe for God againſt greater abominations then theſe, knowing that God reveals his ſecrets to them that fear him, and de­part from iniquity, and hate every evil way, and ſo at laſt ſhall looſe all my acquaintance and familiars, and ſhall become as an owl in the deſart, and pelican in the Wilderneſſe, and like a ſparrow cherping alone upon the houſe top, which I do now prevent, by walking in a way wherein I have many good men of my ſide, and company enough to go along with me, and in hopes as the times mend to come to greater preſerment, and as long as I take no more then juſt doth maintain me, I know not but if any man will give me a gift or living, I may take it, and do good to others with it, for10 out of my gift I may maintain and contribute to maintain divers gifted bre­thren that may be ſerviceable in the Lords work, and other good deeds I may do with my gift, which if I had it not I could not do.

Oh, Take heed leaſt the charge againſt Job be made good againſt you, regard not iniquity,Job 36.21.22. for this haſt thou choſen rather then affliction, behold God exalt­eth by his power, who teacheth like him; doſt thou not know that the leaſt evil is not to be done that good may come of it, and how that rehellion is as the ſin of witchcraft,1 Sam. 15. and ſtubborneſs is as iniquity and idolatry, and becauſe you Prieſts have rejected and neglected the word of the Lord, he hath alſo rejected you from being his Miniſters, and as Saul for his diſobedience to Gods com­mand, the Kingdom was rent from him, though he had obſerved part thereof, and that which he left undone was as he thought for the beſt, and could not be reckoned a neglect or rejection, and therefore ſaid with confidence to to the Prophet of the Lord, when he came to him, bleſſed be thou of the Lord, for I have performed the commandment of the Lord, &c. what meaneth then the taking hire and gifts and preaching for money, and taking mens goods by force from them, that for conſcience ſake cannot maintain a hireling Prieſt? hath not God more delight in obeying his voice then in burnt offerings, and in obedi­ence then in ſacrifice? and to live by faith and take no thought nor no ſtaff nor ſcrip, but like the children of Abraham walk in his ſteps and go when God ſaith go, and come when he ſaith come, and plant a vineyard and eat of the fruit of it, but eat not of the fruit of other mens labours that have re­ceived none of your ſpirituals, and therefore cannot give you their carnals, nor mind not the fleece nor the wool but mind the Lord of the harveſt, who gives his penny to them he ſends forth, and though they took nothing with them when they went out, when they returned he asked them if they wanted any thing, and they ſaid no; and none of the Apoſtles of Chriſt took any more then what was freely given them by the Saints that had reaped of their ſpirituals, and that onely to ſupply their preſent neceſſities, but never took any thing by conſtraint, neither coveted any mans ſilver, or gold, or apparel, or took any thing for preaching, but preached freely, and took what they had as free alms, and ſuch cannot want while there is any of the love of God in people, for he that hath this Worlds goods and ſeeth his brother want, how dwells the love of God in him? and if this is ſhewed to every brother, how much more to him that labours in the Goſpel of Chriſt; therefore it may well and upon good ground be ſuſpected that either the Goſpel that thoſe preach that take any thing in lieu of preaching (as hire, or as wages is due for work or any other gift for to preach, which gift I cannot have, if I preach not) is not the Goſpel of Chriſt which the preachers of it was to live upon,For the ſtatute of Ed. 6, gives not the treble damages to them. but another Goſpel, ſeeing by experience we ſee that the Go­ſpel, which theſe men preach would ſtarve them, if it were not for the Ju­ſtices of peace and Judges favour, which cauſes peoples goods to be taken from them againſt their wills, & given to the Prieſts, contrary to the Law of God and this Nation as before is proved, or elſe that they are no miniſters of Chriſts ſending forth; for whom he alwayes did and ever will provide main­tenance, and furniſh them with his preſence to the end of the World, ſo that ſuch cannot complain of want, but thoſe who have not his preſence with them are full of complaints to Parliaments, to Councels, to Judges,11 to Juſtices, and who not that they have the leaſt hope of relief from? by which things we know them to be none of the miniſters of Chriſts ſending; or elſe laſtly there is none of Gods love in people, and if they beget not men and women into God, love, what do they preach for? for ſtrife, for debate, and malice, and envy, and hatred, and covetouſneſſe, and pride, and Worldly greatneſſe, and reſpect of perſons becauſe of advantage, and taking hire, and paying hire for preaching, and giving gifts, and taking gifts for preaching, and taking Tithes, and giving Tithes for preaching, which ſince Chriſts aſcention are all marks of carnal people, and carnal prieſts, and the word of Reconciliation is not committed to them, as it was to the miniſters of Chriſt of old, and there was witneſſes againſt them in all ages by ſome that were faithful, as by theſe few preſidents out of the book Martyrs may appear, with many witneſſes more both before and ſince, which might be produced out of ſeveral authors of no mean eſteem, but thoſe who will not turn and repent, and be waſhed from their marks of falſity and deceit, muſt have their portion with the deceivers: and the deceived, that pay them for their deceit the wages of unrighteouſneſſe as aforeſaid, will be marked alſo if they ſpeedily repent not, but not with the mark of Chriſts ſheep, (for they know his voice, and a ſtrangers voice they will not follow) but of the goats; and of which ſentence that famous Reformer John Hus have by way of propheſie foretold, and alſo of a deliverance that ſhall come to the Church and people of God, as it is recorded in the book of Martyrs in theſe words,

Moreover hereupon note and mark by the way that the Church of God cannot be reduced to his former dignity, or be reformed before all things firſt be made new; the truth whereof is plain by the Temple of Solomon, like as the Clergie and prieſts, ſo alſo the people and Laitie; or unleſſe all ſuch as now be addict to avarice from the leaſt to the moſt be firſt conver­ted and reclaimed, as well the people as Clergie and prieſts;Vol. the 1. page 830. albeit as my minde now giveth me, I believe rather the firſt, that is, that then ſhall riſe a new people, formed after the new man, which is created after God; Of the which people new Clerks and Prieſts ſhall come, and be taken, which all ſhall hate covetouſneſſe and the glory of this life, haſtening to a heaven­ly converſation, notwithſtanding all theſe things ſhall come to paſſe, and be brought by little and little in order of times, diſpenſed of God for the ſame purpoſe, and this God doth and will do for his own mercy and good­neſſe and for the riches of his great longanamity and patience, giving time and ſpace of repentance to them that have long lien in their ſins, to amend and fly from the face of the Lords fury, while that in like manner the earnal people and carnal prieſts ſucceſſively and in time ſhall fall away and be conſumed as with the moth, &c.

And further it is yet more ſure out of that Record, againſt which lies no averment, viz. Jeremiah and 6. and throughout that chap­ter. Wo be unto the paſtors that deſtroy and ſcatter the ſheep of my pa­ſture ſaith the Lord, Therefore thus ſaith the Lord God of Iſrael againſt the paſtours that feed my people, ye have ſcattered my flock and driven them away, and have not viſited them, Behold I will viſit upon you the evil of your doings ſaith the Lord, and I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all Countries whether I have driven them, and will bring them12 again to their folds, and they ſhall be fruitful and increaſe, and I will ſet up ſhepherds over them which ſhall feed them, & they ſhall fear no more nor be diſmaied, neither ſhall they be lacking ſaith the Lord, behold the days come ſaith the Lord, that I will raiſe up unto David a righteous branch, and a King ſhall reign and proſper, and ſhall execute Judgment and Juſtice in the earth, in his dayes Judah ſhall be ſaved, and Iſrael ſhall dwell ſafely, and this is his Name whereby he ſhall be called.

The Lord our Righteouſneſſe.


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TextTythes no property to, nor lawful maintenance for a powerful Gospel-preaching ministry. Or A compulsory maintenance for Christs ministers is contrary to Christs doctrine and example of his apostles and the example of the faithful ministers of Christ, and famous reformers in all ages, as VVickliffe, Hus, and divers others, with an old prophecy written by Iohn Hus, as it is recorded by Fox in his Acts and monuments, commonly called the Book of martyrs. With a discovery of the marks of the false prophets and ministers in all ages (as they are found recorded in the ecclesiastical history) since the apostles days to this very time agreeing with the Scriptures of truth both of the Old and New Testament. Written by a lover of the souls of all men, Iohn Crook.
AuthorCrook, John, 1617-1699..
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Bibliographic informationTythes no property to, nor lawful maintenance for a powerful Gospel-preaching ministry. Or A compulsory maintenance for Christs ministers is contrary to Christs doctrine and example of his apostles and the example of the faithful ministers of Christ, and famous reformers in all ages, as VVickliffe, Hus, and divers others, with an old prophecy written by Iohn Hus, as it is recorded by Fox in his Acts and monuments, commonly called the Book of martyrs. With a discovery of the marks of the false prophets and ministers in all ages (as they are found recorded in the ecclesiastical history) since the apostles days to this very time agreeing with the Scriptures of truth both of the Old and New Testament. Written by a lover of the souls of all men, Iohn Crook. Crook, John, 1617-1699., Hus, Jan, 1369?-1415.. [4], 12 p. printed for Thomas Simmons, at the Bull and Mouth near Aldersgate,London :1659.. (Item at reel 1439:9 identified as Wing C7225 (entry cancelled).) (Reproduction of originals in: Harvard University Library; Henry E. Huntington Library.)
  • Society of Friends -- Controversial literature -- Early works to 1800.
  • Tithes -- Early works to 1800.

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EEBO-TCP is a partnership between the Universities of Michigan and Oxford and the publisher ProQuest to create accurately transcribed and encoded texts based on the image sets published by ProQuest via their Early English Books Online (EEBO) database ( The general aim of EEBO-TCP is to encode one copy (usually the first edition) of every monographic English-language title published between 1473 and 1700 available in EEBO.

EEBO-TCP aimed to produce large quantities of textual data within the usual project restraints of time and funding, and therefore chose to create diplomatic transcriptions (as opposed to critical editions) with light-touch, mainly structural encoding based on the Text Encoding Initiative (

The EEBO-TCP project was divided into two phases. The 25,363 texts created during Phase 1 of the project have been released into the public domain as of 1 January 2015. Anyone can now take and use these texts for their own purposes, but we respectfully request that due credit and attribution is given to their original source.

Users should be aware of the process of creating the TCP texts, and therefore of any assumptions that can be made about the data.

Text selection was based on the New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature (NCBEL). If an author (or for an anonymous work, the title) appears in NCBEL, then their works are eligible for inclusion. Selection was intended to range over a wide variety of subject areas, to reflect the true nature of the print record of the period. In general, first editions of a works in English were prioritized, although there are a number of works in other languages, notably Latin and Welsh, included and sometimes a second or later edition of a work was chosen if there was a compelling reason to do so.

Image sets were sent to external keying companies for transcription and basic encoding. Quality assurance was then carried out by editorial teams in Oxford and Michigan. 5% (or 5 pages, whichever is the greater) of each text was proofread for accuracy and those which did not meet QA standards were returned to the keyers to be redone. After proofreading, the encoding was enhanced and/or corrected and characters marked as illegible were corrected where possible up to a limit of 100 instances per text. Any remaining illegibles were encoded as <gap>s. Understanding these processes should make clear that, while the overall quality of TCP data is very good, some errors will remain and some readable characters will be marked as illegible. Users should bear in mind that in all likelihood such instances will never have been looked at by a TCP editor.

The texts were encoded and linked to page images in accordance with level 4 of the TEI in Libraries guidelines.

Copies of the texts have been issued variously as SGML (TCP schema; ASCII text with mnemonic sdata character entities); displayable XML (TCP schema; characters represented either as UTF-8 Unicode or text strings within braces); or lossless XML (TEI P5, characters represented either as UTF-8 Unicode or TEI g elements).

Keying and markup guidelines are available at the Text Creation Partnership web site.

Publication information

  • Text Creation Partnership,
ImprintAnn Arbor, MI ; Oxford (UK) : 2014-11 (EEBO-TCP Phase 2).
  • DLPS A81046
  • STC Wing C7214bA
  • STC ESTC R29665
  • EEBO-CITATION 99895788
  • PROQUEST 99895788
  • VID 153158

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Early English Books Online Text Creation Partnership. Searching, reading, printing, or downloading EEBO-TCP texts is reserved for the authorized users of these project partner institutions. Permission must be granted for subsequent distribution, in print or electronically, of this EEBO-TCP Phase II text, in whole or in part.