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  • The one Iuly 16. 1653.
  • The other Aug. 4. 1653.

Both of them not only againſt Tithes, but againſt all For­ced or Conſtrained Maintenance of Miniſters, Examined and found many waies faulty againſt Piety and Justice, and as ſuch now diſcovered, By THEOPHILUS PHILADELPHUS.

The Harveſt is great, but the Labourers are few, pray ye therefore the Lord of the Harveſt, that he would ſend forth Labourers into his Harveſt.

Luk. 10.2.

The Labourer is worthy of his hire.

Luk. 10.7.

Doe yee not know that they which miniſter about holy things, live of the things of the Temple, and they which wait at the Altar, are partakers with the Altar. Even ſo the Lord hath ordained, that they which Preach the Goſpell ſhould live of the Goſpell.

1 Cor. 9.13, 14.
Aug. de Temp. Serm. 2 19. Tom. 10. p. 640.

Meus eſt homo quem feci, mea eſt terra quam colis, mea ſunt & ſemina quae ſpargis, mea animalia quae fatigas, mei ſunt imbres, & pluviae & ventorum flamina mea ſunt, meus eſt ſolis calor & cum omnia mea ſint elementa vivendi, tu qui manus accommo­das ſolum decimam merebar is Deus ſibi tantum decimam vendicans nobis omnia condonavit ingrate fraudatur & perfide redde domino pluenti mercedem &c.

OXFORD, Printed by L. LICHFIELD Printer to the Univerſity, for THO: ROBINSON. Ann. Dom. 1653.

TO THE Miniſters of England in GENERALL.

DEare Brethren, the Scripture giveth you the title of Watchmen, and o­verſeers, Ezek. 3.17. Act. 20.28. and theſe Titles admoniſh you of your office, which is to Watch and Overſee yourſelves and others, Act. 20.28. Heb. 13.17. Open your eyes I pray you, and look firſt with­in you, and then about you, and a­bove you, that you may diſcover (if it may be) why God raiſeth ſuch ſwarmes of Adverſaries, (ſo many thouſand Petitioners) to ſtorme you, and to ſtarve you, why ſo many call you Prieſts in ſpight and ſcorne, who would be your Prieſts to ſacrifice you, if that Gods providence by the civill & military ſword, did not pro­tect you, & Black coates who would (were it in their power make you like the Prieſts of Ceres, by a**Tunicam quam initiati­onis die indu­erant, novam nunquam erue­bant, quoad tandem lacera geſtari, ampli­us nequiret. Lud. de Vi­ves in Aug. de Civ. Dei l. 7. c. 20. ragged, or like to Bedlams, by a naked beggary brought upon you) while you have leave to wear them (though many weary of the contempt of them, and ſome fearing perill by them, have put themſelves into other colours) let them mind you as (mourning habits) of your ſad condition, firſt and moſt by ſinne, and then of the bitter fruits, which God many times ſerveth up, as a ſecond courſe to thoſe, who uſe to glut themſelves with ſweet meats.

Give me leave I beſeech you (not as a Dioceſan, or provinciall Inquiſitor, to put upon you any Viſitation Articles: or as a Cano­nicall Informer, to preſent you for any crime or exceſſe which I knew by any one of you, I would rather cover it in charity, then diſcover it with Scandall, but to be your remembrancer, admoni­tor, or (if that be too much) Petitioner, praying you to examine, and conſider with your ſelves, whether you have not been too much addicted to eaſe and delicacy of life, whether you have ſo ordered your own, and your Wives and Childrens, and ſervants converſation (ſo farre as in you lay) as by them to ſet an imita­ble example of ſobriety, piety, modeſty, and gravity before their eyes, whoſe eares you fill with inſtructions and directions in all morall duties, whether you have not been more remiſſe and indif­ferent in publique and common concernements of Religion, then in your own particular intereſts, whether you have accounted your Parochiall Incumbencies as burthens, & Paſtorall charges to beſtow your vigilance and diligence upon the ſoules of your Peo­ple, or as Benefices whereto you intentively apply your ſelves, for your Benefit and advantage in this World, taking the overſight of the flock, rather for filthy Lucre, then of a ready mind 1 Pet. 5.2.

Whether you have made your ſelves known to be the Diſciples of our Saviour, by that Chriſtian character of his Iohn 13.35. Of mutuall love one to another, and have not rather uncharitably cenſured and eſtranged your ſelves from your Brethren, for very ſmall, and meere problematicall diſſentings in opinion, whether with David Pſal. 119.136. you have bewailed the wickedneſſe of o­thers, eſpecially theirs, whoſe duties and ſinnes are of neereſt affi­nity and offence to your own, It may ſeem very ſtrange, that an hea­then Pharaoh, ſhould be ſo favourable to his Prieſts, that in a time of extraordinary dearth, he would not ſuffer their lands to be ſold, as the lands of his other Subjects. Gen, 47.26. That Jeſabell ſhould be ſo free and bountifull, as to feed 400 falſe Prophets at her ta­ble 1 Kings 18.19. In his Apo­logy for D. Featly called Sacra Nemeſis Sect. 10. p. 163.That the Jewiſh Prieſts and Levites, (of whom many were more lewd, then I hope are moſt of you) enjoyed Tithes, and many other emoluments, amounting to a farre grea­ter valew, then all the revenue remaining to the Miniſters of Eng­land, and were never deprived of them from Moſes to Malachy (for the ſpace of 1038 yeares) That in the time of the Biſhops in every Parliament ſince the Reformation (as a late Writer obſerveth) there hath been a Bill put in againſt double Beneficed Miniſters, purſued with all vehe­mence and eagerneſſe but ever ſtopt with a croſſe Bill againſt Impropriations, that then the great ſcandall and aggrievance was Plurality, and Non-reſidence, and the great buſineſſe of Religious Chriſtians, to buy Impropriations, for incouragement and ſupport of Incumbent Paſtors, That now on the contrary, in this age (pretending an higher degree of reformation, and a greater zeale of propagation of the Goſpell) the cry ſhould be up ſo loud, to put downe all ſet and certain maintenance of all Miniſters, even of thoſe who out of conſcience, have refuſed Pluralities, (when by the favour of Pa­trons they were preſſed to accept them) and by the Law of the Land were allowed to enjoy them, and who are moſt conſtant, and conſcionable in diſcharge of their duty of Preaching twice a day to their ſingle charges: and laſtly, That Godly perſons (ſuch as many would ſeeme to be, and that may be divers are, though in this poynt exceedingly miſled) ſhould joyne with the prophane and covetous whom God abhorreth Pſ 10.3. To make their portions fat with the ſpoyles of the Miniſtry, and that this ſhould be ſo impe­tuouſly purſued, by way of petition to the Parliament, as if it were the firſt and principall worke they had to doe. This is it, which may make us firſt admire, and then with Rebecca to inquire of the Lord why is it thus Gen. 25.22. May it not be, becauſe the Lord lookes for, (but findes not) more proficiency towards perfection of us of this generation (according to our greater meanes, and clearer light) then he did of thoſe who ſerved at the Jewiſh or Po­piſh Altar, or of ſuch Proteſtant Clergy men, who have alterd the office of an Evangelicall Miniſter, from fiſhing for men, Mat. 4.19. to fi­ſhing for preferrement, and his converſation, from the ſimplicity and Godly ſincerity of the Apoſtle 2 Cor. 1.12. to a ſubtle and ungodly plauſibility, to humor and pleaſe men more then God, what ever that is (for which God hath raiſed this ſtorme againſt us) let us beſeech him to ſhew us the meanes whereby it may be calmed, and to help us effectually to apply them, that his diſpleaſure may be appeaſed towards us, and that our waies may ſo pleaſe him, that our ene­mies may be at peace with us. Prov. 14.7.

There be ſome of our Tribe who take it not for a Tempeſt but for ſuch a favourable Gale of wind as may blow them ſome good, or at leaſt not blaſt them or doe them any hurt: and of theſe I find three ſorts. 1. Some have their portion of Tithes in ſuch ſmall and Scattered parcells that they hope for more, but feare not leſſe, by taking away of Tithes. 2. Some have the leſſe need to be ga­therers of Tithes, becauſe having gathered Churches in Cityes or great Townes where many of their Church members are Rich and bountyfull to them, I have heard it from a very honeſt Citizen who (though none of the Richeſt) gave (for his part) 101 a yeare, and ſo many more joyned with him in ſuch contribution to their Miniſter, as made up no leſſe then 3001 a yeare, which was paid him with love and chearfullneſſe, and this he had without any great expence either ordinary, or extrordinary, wherwith country Benefi­ces (conſiſting moſt of Tithes) are heavily burthened. 3. Some who having an elder Brothers bleſſing in their portion of ſuch re­venues, are willing to give up Tithes upon fair hopes given them that a more quiet, & comfortable provision will be made for them for by ſome they be excepted againſt as cauſes of much contention betwixt a Miniſter and his People, to whom I ſhall ſay ſomething which doth joyntly and ſomthing that doth ſeverally concerne them. 1. That which is of common concernement is, that none ſhould regard his owne particular intereſt, ſo as to preferr it before the common good of able and Godly Miniſters in Generall and it for the common good both of the Generation preſent, and of poſterity, that Tithes be continued (as is ſufficiently prooved in the Reſolution of a doubt concerning the Alienation of Tithes from Miniſters added to Sr Henry Spelmans larger Treatiſe of that Subject, Printed by Philemon Stephens An. 1653.) 2. And ſeverally I ſay 1. To the Miniſter who is tuck up to ſo ſhort an allowance in Tithes, that by Tithes (more proportionably diſtributed) he may be like to have a more competent allowance allotted unto him, then any way els. 2. For thoſe who are better maintained with­out Tithes it muſt be conſideed that the number of ſuch is but ſmall, and few places there are in theſe times (wherein many mens eſtates are ſo decayed and their opinions ſo diverſifyed) which have a competent number of men, who for their Wealth are able and with good will would be ready to ſupport a learned, and Orthodox Miniſter, with any congruity to his condition, in regard either of his worth or of his charge, & in ſome places they are gene­either ſo poore, ſo prophane or ſo like theſe plundering Petitio­ners, that a good Miniſter may be more like to be ſtarved thē main­tained among them, Yea there are ſome of thoſe, who have refu­ſed Tithes, and caſt themſelves upon the Benevolence of their Peo­ple upon fair offers from them who have been put to com­plaine not only of the cooling of their affections, but of their breach of promiſes made unto them for their covenanted pen­tions.

Whereupon they have concluded that Miniſters muſt have their maintenance by a legall right or elſe (for the moſt part) it is like to come ſhort of the Levites allowance. Judge. 17.10. Thirdly to ſuch as have ſufficient ſubſiſtence by Tithes, which the Lawes allow and maintaine as their Right; I ſay they ſhould not be willing to change it if they might have as much, or more, with more eaſe, and quietnes in another way; Naboth would not part with the Vineyard which was the Inheritance of his Fathers, though Ahab offered him a beter for it. 1 Kings. 21.2. For it is better to enjoy a revenue of an ancient and well grounded Title, then to take a new one of another kind, though of greater valew. It hath been a project of ſome men (where in ſome Miniſters have acted their part)M. H. P. to re­duce all Tithes to a cōmon ſtock, or bank, to be diſpenced by Com­miſſioners, and Committees, or ſome other publique Officers, from whoſe hands Miniſters ſhould receive yearely ſtipends in a propor­tion, which they call a competency of which an eminent Preacher ſaith thus.

A Competency, what is that and who ſhall judge of it? now the good Lord keep his Clergy from the vulgar competency, I ſpeake what I knowe, and I ſpeake it with a wet face, and a bleeding heart. I know Preachers of excellent parts that ſpend their ſtrength in the Pulpit, who cannot lay out 50s in 5 years upon Bookes, but they muſt fetch it off the Backs, or out of the Bellyes of their poore Children, call you this a Competency, well, if we deſerve no kindneſſe, yet do us juſtice, let us have what your fathers gave us. Mr Rob. Har­ris now Dr Harris Preſid. of Trin. Coll. in his Sermon on Iſaiah. 38. called Hezck. Recovery.

Thus he Preached above twenty years agoe, when neither thou­ſands nor hundreds appeared in a Petitionary way to or for the taking away of Tithes.

And if then it were thus, how much worſe would it be with the moſt of the Miniſters of this Nation, if their own Right taken from them, they were to be ſtinted by ſome State officer, what they ſhould have, and at what rate they ſhould live.

In ſhort, the inconveniences, and evill conſequences of this change, from an Eccleſiaſticall to a Politicall Title, are neither few nor ſmall. For

1. It cannot be good for the Miniſter, to change either his pay­maſter, or his payment, and it is ſitteſt, that he whoſe worke he doth, and whoſe ſervant he is, ſhould pay him his wages, God is his Maſter, and the wages he aſſignes for his worke is Tithes, which he hath not only ordained, but every yeare by his bleſſing on the creatures provideth for him.

2ly Since Tithes are by the production of the Divine benedicti­on, they make both a more Honourable, and more comfortable al­lowance, then a money penſion ariſing from trade and commerce can be, wherein there paſſeth much ſinne betwixt the buyer and the ſeller Prov. 20.14. In this reſpect, the Country Miniſter hath ſomewhat to cheare him up againſt the diſparities, betwixt his condition, and theirs who officiate in the Citty, which I have expe­rimentally obſerved, having exerciſed my Miniſtry, both in Lon­don and elſwhere, in London I had much and comfortable commu­nion with many worthy and well minded Citizens, many friendly and free invitations and entertainements, freedome from pub­lique Taxes, the Pariſhioners of their owne accord paying my part as well as their owne; In the Country, I have found it quite con­trary, yet there alſo I confeſſe is much difference; for in ſome places I have met with Godly & ingenious people, who have uſed me as well and reſpected mee as much as I could wiſh, in ſome others I have felt the worſt of that wicked proverbe Pinch on the Parſons ſide in unjuſt and unproportionable aſſeſſements & other ſuch injurious uſages, as a Samaritan would ſcarce put upon a Jew, or a Jew upon a Samaritan.

3. The Miniſters maintenance by Tithes being according to the Meaſure of Gods bleſſing upon the whole, is moſt equall in reſ­pect of them that pay, and him that receiveth Tithe, whether the increaſe be great or ſmall, they proportionably ſhare in gaine or loſſe, and when there is a plentifull crop, as the quantity is advantagious to both, ſo when it is ſcant and ſhort the valew of it by a dearer rate of the meaſure maketh ſome amends to both, and ſo it may beſt ſerve for all times (whether they abound or abate) which is not to be expected from a ſtinted Pention for

4. This Pention of the Miniſter muſt either be changed many times as Laban changed the wages of Jacob, changed not by diminu­tion as his was, (for if he had encreaſed upon his changes, Iacob would not have remembred it as matter of aggrievance) but by augmentation, or it will be much to the prejudice of poore Mi­niſters many wayes, in regard of the different rates of things in ſeverall ages whereof ſee many obſerviable inſtances with their proofes in the Reſolution of the doubt forementioned as of 20 marke a yeare at one time enough honorably to main­taine a ſtuddent in the Innes of Court and this a charge only to be borne by the Sonnes of Noble men,Reſolution of the touch of the aliena­tion of Tithes p. 56. and 10 markes a yeare ſufficient for a Vicar to maintaine himſelfe, and to keepe hoſpitality when a quarter of Wheat at the deareſt rate was twelve Shillings, and the loweſt ſometime but one Shilling, and a man might buy a Yoake of Oxen for a marke which whe­ther we refer it to the Plenty of proviſion, or paucity of Peo­ple or ſcarcity of mony wherein the later ages moſt abound, becauſe it is continually digged out of the Earth, and ſeldome buried in the earth againe, (what ever might be the cauſe and ſometimes altogether might concurre) it may reduce the Miniſter to ſtreights, if thoſe things he muſt neceſſarily uſe increaſe in price and his pention like a Dwarſe growes not at all.

5. The change of Tithes into ſtate pentions is like (though it be pretended to make for the Miniſters eaſe and comfort) to proove extreamely troubleſome and oppreſſive to him, for Miniſters will be put in many places to take a part of their owne portion for a favour, which hetherto they might wholy claime and recover as their right: the charge of the new Offi­cers of this deſigne will eat up a great part of the Tithes of each Pariſh and when a Miniſter cometh for his pay they will tell him perhaps money is not come in, or layd out to others that come before him or were worthy to be ſerved before him, and will weary him by long & tedious attendances (with ſuch an intent as Felix had when he ſent for Paul the oftener before him, hoping that Mony ſhould be given him of Paul that he ſhould looſe him. Act. 24.26.) That they may diſpatch of his buſines when it hath been dayly a great deale too long allready.

For ſuch ill dealing ſome Miniſters had juſt cauſe to complaine of ſome Committee-men of the late Parliament becauſe when they had augmentations aſſigned them by the Parliament, they could not obtaine them without great diminution, by their charge of jornies, and long wayting upon them before they could get their due from them, which if the priſes of corne and other neceſſary proviſions, ſhould riſe and their pentions ſhould fall ſhort or but be at a ſtand might halfe undoe them; of this kind I have heard ſtrange relations, and thoſe by ſuch honeſt men that they are not to bee thought more ſtrange then true. This I knowe that when I had an order by Au­thority of Parliament to receive a ſumme of thirty pound from a Committee in London, and had as many friends and friendly incitements as I thought ſufficient, to quicken them to expedi­tious payment, I was ſo long put off, that having no Ieaſure to wayt any longer, I left my ſuit to the ſolicitation of a friend, who after many addreſſes and diſappointments but at laſt pro­cured the payment but with the defalcation of ſix pence in the pound, which yet I tooke the better becauſe I heard o­thers had ſped much worſe with ſuch crookt fingered Trape­zites.

6. We have cauſe to feare as bad dealing by theſe new Pro­jectors, for Mr H.P. hath told us, That by this checquer worke of Church Revenues the ſtate may have a ſtock ready upon any great occaſion of Publique affaires, and if the State pleaſe not to pay in the money they borrowed who ſhall com­pell them? And what if the State ſhould be behind with the Souldiers in their Pay, and they ſhould ſeaze on theſe Eccleſi­aſticall Treaſuries for their Arreares, As how ſhall poore Miniſters doe, if that be pleaded againſt the payment of their Penſions? By ſuch a trick as this, were the Boores of Holland cheated by the Prince of Orange who told them,Phil. Trelayne in his Trea­tiſe of the Undeceiving of the People in point of Tithes. p. 26. if they proſpered in their Warre with the King of Spaine, they ſhould pay no Tithes to their Miniſters, and in the meane time that the Tithes ſhould be taken up toward the maintenance of the warres, but when the Warrs were brought to a good iſſue, and they expected to be exempted from the payment of them to any; they were told they ſhould Pay none to the Miniſters as they had done for­merly, but that they were ſuch a conſiderable Revenue that the State could not well ſubſiſt without them.

7. But if we account it no credit for our country to be like thoſe crafty Merchants of Holland, but meane fairely to manage the maintenance of Miniſters (cheifly for their eaſe and Benefit (and if the intent be ſo, we deſpaire of the event to be anſwerable to it) though at firſt the Truſtees of this Eccleſia­ſticall Treaſury may be choſen for their prudence and integrity, or may in pollicy (to gaine reputation to this ne Project) in­deavour to give as much content as they can in ſuch an office to Plundered Miniſters, yet in after times the Truſt may be put into their hands, who have as hard hearts to Godly and Orthodox Miniſters, as theſe two troopes of Petioners againſt them.

8. If we looke abroad into other Churches of the reformed Religion, we may obſerve (beſides that we now noted of Hol­land) their ſad condition by taking Tithes from them, and their juſt and paſſionate complaints of their penurious pentions, as of Luther in Germany, Calvin in Geneva, Knox in Scotland. For the firſt Luther ſaith I have only Nine old ſexagenas, beſides theſe there comes not an halfepeny out of the City to me, or my Brethren, There is need of the elloquence of Pericles to wreſt litle more from them, which (if as all) is paid with a Malignant minde. Ego pro meStipendio an­nuo tantum novem anti­quas Sexage­nas habeo praeter hos ne obulus quidem aut mihi aut fratribus e civitate accedit. Luther. Tom. 2. Epiſt. Fol. 131. B. Periclea Eloquentia opus eſt ut vel pauxillum emumgas quod tamen ſatis maligne praebetur Luth. in Gen. 31. Tom. 3. Operum at. Fol. 33. A.

2. Veriſimile eſt etiam tune neg­lectos fuiſſe doctores & ver­bi Miniſtros, quae tamen turpiſſima eſt ingratitudo quam indignum eſt enim fraudare victu corporali eos a quibus animae paſcuntur non dignari terrena compen­ſatione a quibus caeleſtia bona accipimus. Calvin. comment. in Epiſt ad Galat. cap. 6. v. 6. Videbat Apoſt. ideo negligi verbi Miniſtros quia verbum ipſum contemnebatur fiert enim nequit ſi verbum habetur in pretio, quin Miniſtri quoque honeſte & liberaliter tracta­rentur deinde his aſtus eſt ſatonae alimentis fraudare pios Miniſros ut eccleſia talibus deſti­tuatur. Ibid. See more of this in his Coment on Gen. 27. v. 32. Calvin ſaith It is like that then (that-is) in the Apoſtles time the Doctors and Miniſters of the word of God were too much neglected, which is a moſt vile and filthy ingratitude, for how unworthy a thing is it to defraud him of Corporall dyet who feeds their bodyes with Spirituall, and not to vouch ſafe a terrestriall recompence for celeſtial receipts. The Apoſtle ſaw that the Miniſters of the Word were neglected becauſe the Word was contemned for it. It cannot be (ſaith he) (if the Word be held in good account) but the Miniſters will be Honorably and liberally dealt withall, Beſides it is the ſubtilty of Satan to withhold from Godly Miniſters ſufficient meanes that the Church may be deprived of the fruit of their Service.

3. For Mr Knox, of his diſcontented mind, at ſuch a muta­tion of Miniſters maintenance, to that which I have obſerved elſewhere, I will adde only this. M. Knox in his Epiſt. to the Biſhops & Miniſters of Scotland added at the end of S. He­nry Spelmans larger Trea­tiſe concer­ning Tithes. Print. 1647.How a competence may be provi­ded (ſaith he) except by restoring the Church to her Rights (that is quite contrary to taking away of Tithes) I doe not ſee what this Right is, if I ſhould ſtand to define and juſtify it, here I ſhould exceed the bounds of an Epiſtle, many of this time have cleared the point ſufficiently. I could adde much more of his ſort, but his example is mine admoniti­on not to exceed in that kind.

Let their miſery, be a monitory to all Miniſters, which may be three-fold.

1. Not to give any conſent or countenance, to deprive themſelves and ſucceſſors, of that ſalary for their ſervice, which in the wonted way they may receive, rather as the bleſſing of their heavenly Father, (for ſuch is their maintenance by Tithes) then as any Beneficence of man, though he be at paine to till the ground,Mr Knox in hſs Epiſt to the Biſhops & Miniſters of Scotland. Aug. 3. 1571. and at coſt to ſowe the ſeed: If men will ſpoile (as a Godly and Famous Miniſter of Scotland ſaid to the Miniſters his Countrymen) let them doe it at their owne perill, but communicate yee not with their ſinnes of what ſtrate ſoever they bee, neither by conſent nor ſilence, but by publique proteſtation make this known to the World, that yee are innocent of ſuch robberies, which will ere long, provoke Gods judge­ment upon the contrivers thereof.

2. To commend this cauſe to God, with prayer and faſting, that he would be pleaſed to guide the ſpirits of the Committee and Parliament, ſo to debate and determine this great doubt (and yet no great doubt if it were not for great concupiſcence, of the World, and great ſlighting of an Orthodox and regular Miniſtry) as may be moſt agreeable to the gratious will of Al­mighty God, and to happy progreſſe of the Goſpell.

3. If any of you ſingle, or by aſſociated counſells, and en­deavours can in any warrantable way, hopefully ſet on foot and proſecute any likely meanes, to incline the minds of the Committee and Parliament to eſtabliſh Tithes, (ratified by ſo many Parliaments, and never yet condemned by any) that your delay not to doe it, ſince they that are on the deſtructive part are vigilant over all advantages, if not violent to advance their project to ſpeedy effect.

Ob. But have their not been many acts of Parliament, where­in the Rights and Revenues of the King, Biſhops, Deanes and Chapters have been confirmed, and notwithſtanding that, are they not now all confiſcated, alienated, and put into other hands.

Anſ. They are ſo, but that is, becauſe they have taken away the Offices of Kings, Deanes and Chapters, on which thoſe Rights and Revenues were founded, and the foundation digged up, the ſuperſtruction cannot ſtand as before: But yet the State hath declared none intention to put downe the Miniſtry, and I hope never will doe.

Ob. But if we appeare zealous in this cauſe, it will be ſaid we are covetous, and as we have been accounted contentious with the State, for the ſettlement of them.

Anſ. If not content with the 10th, we ſhould incroach upon any of the nine parts of the Pariſhioners, they might call us covetous, as we may call them, f they deny or detaine the 30th from us: But it is no covetouſneſſe for a man in a juſt and reaſonable way to require his owne, but rather a matter of du­ty, becauſe if he have not his due, he cannot maintaine himſelfe and his Family, and if he be not carefull to provide for them, the Apoſtle judgeth him a denyer of the Faith, and ſo worſe then an in­fidell, 1 Tim 5.8. Nor is the fault of contention to be imputed to Tithes, more then to the purchaſing of Lands, taking of Lea­ſes, making of Joynters, or other conditions of Marriages, or then to borrowing and lending, or any other civill contracts, concerning which more ſuits are raiſed then about Tithes, and if there were not, it is not the fault, either of Tithes or of the Miniſter, but the Peoples, there being of them (in moſt places) tenne who would covetouſly detaine them, for one that will conſcientiouſly pay them. And if a man be put to goe to Law, as the Lender to ſue the wicked borrower who payeth not againe Pſal. 37.21. He is the contentious perſon, who will doe no wrong, or will doe no right without ſuit, not he that being ne­ceſſitated to it, flyeth to the Law, or Law-makers for refuge and protection. Beſides as the provocation to that is not the Parſons, but the Pariſhioners fault, ſo it is the greater, becauſe he can have no fairer probably occaſion for it. And therefore it was the manner of a Religious**Capt. R.W. Captaine, (a true Cornelius of mine acquaintance) when ſome of his Neighbours entreated him to goe with them to their Miniſter, as a Mediator for compoſition of their Tithes, to tell them, there was no need of any mediation for this matter, for the Par­ſon neither will, nor can doe you wrong, unleſſe by taking any part of your nine parts, and if he will not compound with you, at your rate, give him the tenth in kind, and ſo ſhall you be ſure to give him no more, then his due.

Ob. But when we have done what we can the Parliament will doe what they pleaſe**So ſaid K. Iames in his Speech in the Starre Chamber. An. 1616. p. 553. Operum in Fol. for (as the old Treaſurer Burleigh was wont to ſay) he knew not what an Act of Parliament would not doe in England.

Anſ. Though they have power to doe what they will, and ſo much is ſaid of a King, and ſomewhat more, Where the word of a King is, there is power, and who may ſay unto him, what doeſt thou, Eccleſ. 8.4. Yet we muſt hope in the exerciſe of the ſu­preme Authority, they will make their Juſtice, and goodneſſe, as apparent unto us, as their Power and Greatneſſe.

Ob. We might hope ſo, if there were not many thouſands, who ſolicite them againſt us, as was noted of the former Petiti­on, ſubſcribed with many thouſands of hands.

Anſ. Though there be Thouſands, who (being as oppoſite in their principles, as new light, and old darkneſſe, like Herod and Pilate, reconciled againſt Chriſt) combine againſt us, the one ſort out of an erroneous antipathy, to a ſtanding, fixed, and Or­thodox Miniſtry, the other out of an impious contempt of the power of Godlineſſe, both out of an unconſcionable concupiſ­cence of having more then their owne, yet if the caſe of Tithes were rightly ſtated, the drift and ſcope of the alienation of them from the miniſtry generally nnderſtood, and a courſe ta­ken to procure hands to a Petition for the continuance of them, according to their antient Right, and countenance would be ſhewed by them, who are in Authority, to ſuch as ſubſcribe it, I doubt not but the greater number of the moſt true be­lieving, and Godly living Chriſtians of all rankes, and ſtates throughout the whole Nation, would appeare againſt the many millenary complaynants, and every thouſand of thoſe, worth ten thouſand of theſe.

Ob. Yet it may be in the Committee concerning Tithes, (who thereafter as they repreſent the cauſe, with favour or of­fence towards us, will have a great influence upon the Votes and determinations of Parliament) we have but a few friends and among them, are many military men, two Major Generalls, eight Colonells, and one Captaine, who will be like to ſlight us, becauſe they have obtained ſo many Victorious ſucceſſes, by Sea and Land.

Anſ. Firſt, Though we know not of many friends, we may have more then we know of, and ſhall (we truſt) have yet more, when our caſe is throughly known, and duly conſide­red.

2. For the Military men, I can ſay ſomewhat upon mine owne certain knowledge: at the Committee for Plundred Mi­niſters,Colon. Fleet-wood now commander in chiefe o­ver Ireland. I found more favour from one Colonell (whoſe name I then knew not, and I thought he had not known mee) then of any, yea or of all the reſt, (one ancient friend excep­ted) though at that time they met in an extraordinary num­ber.

3. They are too wiſe (ſeeing though they have had ma­ny glorious victories, their work is not wholly done, and yet perhaps may be long in doing) to ſlight the whole Body of the Miniſtry, and thoſe who adhere to their juſt Intereſt in this particular.

4. That their advances againſt their enemies may not re­move them from the ſolid baſis of holy humility (beſides which, they can find no ſure or ſafe footing any where) I ſhall make bold to mind them of what a zelot of theirs hath written of the Army in his Hist.Mr. I. S. in his Epiſt. to all true Engl. men prope fi­nem. Anglia Rediviva, Or Englands recovery. But we would leaſt of all be thought by this Hiſtory of things done, to fixe unconquerableneſſe and unvariable ſucceſſe upon this Army, that were to dare providence to undoe us, we know we are as ſoon broken as made up, as ſoon flying as conquering, we deſire therefore friends not to belieue the Army ſhall doe more, becauſe it hath done ſo much, and that it cannot be conquered, becauſe it hath conquered, but that it ſhall be ſtill victorious, while God is in it, and no longer. And he will be in it and with it, ſo much the longer, as they keepe the cloſer to the Military rule of the Emperour Aurelianus, as Flavius Vopiſcus re­lates it. *Si viris Tribunus eſſe, imo ſi vis vivere, manus militum confine nemo pullem alienum rapiat, ovem nemo contingat uvam nullus anterat. Sege­tem nemo deterat, oleum, ſa­lignum nemo exigat; Annon ſuā coutentus ſit. De praeda hoſtis, non de lacrymis pro­vincialis habeat. Flav. Vo­piſ. in Aureliano. If thou wilt be a Tribune, nay if thou wilt live, containe thy Souldiers in their duty, Let no man take ſo much as a ſheepe, or a chiken from another, nor let him tread downe the Coun­try mans corne, or exact of him oyle, or ſalt, or wood, but be content with his ſtipend, and if he adde to it, let it be by the ſpoyles of the Enemies, not by the teares of the Provinciall Subjects. Yet was this Emperour though ſo preciſely in it, but an Heathen, would it not then ſeeme a prodigi­deſigne ons of injuſtice and Impiety in Chriſtian Governors, whether Civill or Military, if they ſhould make no ſcruple to ſpoyle all the Miniſters of their own Nation, of their due main­tenance, whence they are moſt antiently, and moſt Lawful­ly poſſeſſed, and that not for the preſent only, but for perpe­tuity,〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉Rom. 3.31.

And if that hitherto we have ſaid, albeit it ſeemeth very good and moſt juſt in our eyes (though not in ours only) ſhould in theirs ſeeme otherwiſe who are to judge our cauſe, and ſo their determinations ſhould daſh all our hopes into de­ſpaire of helpe from them, we may yet comfort our ſelves, if wee have done our endeavour to uphold the right of Religion, in the maintenance of the Miniſtry, (for their poverty will breed contempt of the word of God, and that contempt Athe­iſme.) For mine own part, what ever the iſſue be of this great debate, it ſhall not repent me to have done ſomething, (as the ſuddenneſſe of the occaſion would permit) towards the diſco­very and prevention of this grand ſacrilegious oppreſſion of us, and I ſhall not ceaſe humbly to ſupplicate, and importunate­ly to ſollicite the Almighty Majeſty, with my heartieſt prayers, that he will be pleaſed to cleare his clouded countenance to­wards us, and to cheare up our hearts, by making our cauſe, and our perſons more gratious in the eyes of our Gover­nours.

And if after all this our God ſee it good, either to cha­ſtiſe us for our errors, or to exerciſe our patience and humility by poverty and contempt (according to that of David, I am a poore man and lightly eſteemed. 1 Sam. 18.23.) We may yet in reſpect of men hold up our hearts, and our heads with the Heroick Aphoriſme of Luther,**Inſultat No­bilitas noſtra miſeris Paſto­ribus Eccleſi­arum. mihi autem dubium non eſt futurum eſſe, ut unus pius & fidelis Paſtor, centum talibus Nobilibus ante­feratur. Luth. in Pſal. 121. Tom. 4. op. Lat. Fol. p. 429. Our Nobility (ſaith he) inſult o­ver the miſeries of Miniſters, but I doubt not but a time will come, that one Godly and Faithfull Paſtor, will be better accounted of, then an hundred ſuch Noble men.

Wee feare not any ſuch diſdaine from any either Noble or Ingenuous Gentleman; the ſcorne wee may expect is rather from ſuch as have ſo little worth in them (either for wit or Grace) that wee might be more diſpleaſed at their reſpect (as Antiſthenes was when hearing that the Wicked men commended him he ſaid he was afraid that he had done ſomthing ill, that ſuch as they ſpeake well of him,) then to be troubled at their con­tempt (eſpecially for poverty) ſince even Heathens by the light of Nature and experience have obſerved that thoſe who have deſerved beſt have had the leaſt part of the wealth of the World.

But for us as wee have more pretious Promiſes. 2 Peter. 1.4. as we are Chriſtians then ever the Heathens heard of, out of which we may draw comfort againſt every croſſe, ſo as we are Miniſters if we be reduced to an indigent condition wee muſt (though we doe not monopolize the word Cleros or Clericus) make eſpeciall uſe of that title to our ſelves which common uſe rather then peculiar Right hath appropriated unto our calling as Hierom expoundeth and applyeth from the word〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉in Greek which ſignifieth lot or portiō are men call­ed Clerkes (ſaith he) either becauſe they are the Lords lot and portion, or becauſe God is theirs:〈…〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉Grece, ſors La­tine appellatur: propterea vo­cantur clerici vel quia de ſorte ſunt domini vel quia dominus ſors (i.e.) pars Clericorum eſt: qui autem vel ipſe pars eſt domini vel dominum partem habet ta­lem ſe exhibere debet ut & ipſe qui poſſideat dominum & poſſideatur à domino. Hieron. ad Nepot. de vita Clericor. Tom. 1. p. 13. he then who is the Lords portion or hath the Lord for his portion (ſaith he) muſt ſhew himſelfe ſuch a one as poſſeſſeth the Lord and hath the Lord for his poſſeſſion.

If the Lord be our portion we may be as Paul ſaith as having nothing yet poſſeſſing all things. 2 Cor. 6.10. For God is all in all. 1 Cor. 15.28. And if we be his Portion we muſt be admoni­ſhed, and may be comforted with the words of the Apoſtle Heb. 13.5. Let your Converſation be without Covetouſnes and be con­tent with ſuch things as ye have, for he hath ſaid I will never leave thee nor forſake thee. And ſo with him I leave you who is Almigh­ty to Proteſt you, and Alſufficient to furniſh you with what his Wiſdome knoweth to be moſt convenient for you.

Your Sympathizing Brother Theophilus Philadelphus.


PAg. 6. l. 4. r. ſince p. 8. l. 33. r. commentatour p. 8. l. ult. r. have p. 10. l. 3. r. Anti-chriſtian. p. 14. l. 27. r. Word. p. 17. marg. r. ſacra Nemeſ. p. 31. r. propoſe.


The former Petition preſented to the Parliament Iuly 16. 1653. Examined and Convicted of Impiety and Injuſtice.


BEfore I meddle with the matter of this Petition I have ſomewhat to ſay to the men that drew it up or ſubſcribed it, and that muſt be to diſtinguiſh: for being**This Peti­tion with many thou­ſand hands was preſen­ted to the Parliament on Sat. 16 of Iuly 1653. See Merc. Polit. nu. 163. p. 260. many thouſands of them, as the Repor­ter gives in the account it is not probable they were all wholly of one mind in this matter, or all of them well affected to the Parliament.

For we know that the moſt of thoſe who are zealots for the ta­king away of Tithes, are worſt affected many waies: every cove­tous man would be glad of any occaſion to ſave or gaine, to take up with the angle, to catch with the net, to gather with the dragge, as Hab. 1.15. Every prophane perſon who hateth to be reformed, will be ve­ry well pleaſed to take or keepe any thing from the Godly Mini­ſter, who reproves his ill manners, and who will not permit him to prophane the Sabbath,Iohn Spietle­houſe in his vindication of the Army for their late diſſolution of the Parl. p. 9. nor to take the Sacrament of Lord Supper to his own condemnation. Every Royall Epiſcopall and ceremo­niall oppoſite to the preſent Miniſtry will be willing to keep back the Tithe, ſeeing their own Clergy are out of Office, (as Mr Spittlehouſe obſerveth) and of how many of theſe may we ſay (without ſuch a laviſh confidence, as Solomon noteth to be the property of a foole)2 that they are either well affected, or adherers to the Parliament, as the Title ſpecifieth.

2. There are ſome who pretend to Religion, whoſe principles are very unſound, denying firſt Tythes, and then the Miniſtry, or firſt the Miniſtry, and then Tythes, (the one for the other, Tithes that they may ſtarve the Miniſtry, and the Miniſtry, that they may feed themſelves with Tithes) and then Scripture. I could name the man, whoſe conſciences was extreamely cramped againſt the payment of Tithes, yet had he it ſo inlarged and looſned, that he would have farmed the Parſons Tithes of his Neighbours lands, in hope by the bargaine to ſave his owne.

3. Some would have Tithes taken away from the Miniſter, but not from Impropriators, to that purpoſe was a Petition preſented to the Lord Generall Iuly 4. 1652. The Armies Diurnall, nu. 187. p. 2832.(from diverſe ſaid to be well affected perſons in the County of Lincolne) with reſpect and reſer­vation of other mens Rights (i.e.) of Impropriators.

4. Some though they Petition againſt the payment of Tithes, are ſo well minded to the Miniſters of the Goſpell, that they would have them allowed an Honourable and Comfortable main­tenance, whereof more in the anſwer to the latter Petition.

5. The Petitioners we now are to deale withall, without all Juſtice, would have Tithes taken away from Miniſters, and without all mercy, would have no ſet or certain maintenance ſet up in ſtead thereof. To this though it may be thouſands have ſubſcribed, I hope of many of them that they are like thoſe who were deceived by Abſolon, followed him in the ſimplicity of their heart (knowing nothing of the depth of his deſigne 2 Sam. 15.11. ) being ignorant of the contrivers of this petition, and not apprehenſive of the evill event, if they ſhould prevaile in it, with an implicit faith in their good meaning, who were more active in that put their hands unto it, as diverſe have done, without reading what they ſubſcribed, being told but ſome, and that the leaſt offenſive part of the contents thereof.

6. Some would have thoſe, who are poſſeſſed of the nine parts to have the tenth added to them, and,

7. Some would have all ſo alienated out of private hands, as to be made up into a publique ſtock, at the diſpoſall of the State, of which two laſt, I have occaſion to ſpeak particularly in ano­ther place.

From the Petitioners with their different deſires and deſignes we3 come now to the Petition it ſelfe, which we ſhall not need to ſet downe entirely altogether, ſince though handled ſeverally, the rea­der may make up a perfect copy of it, taking it along as it is mar­ked, diſtinguiſhed by a different character, for more diſtinct conſi­deration, and more punctuall application. I ſhall divide the Peti­tion into 1. A Preamble. 2. The motion of the Petitioners. and 3. Their motives of obtainment. 1. Of the Preamble.


The Petition.

For as much as the originall ground, of our many years burthenſome Warres and Miſeries, hath been from the Incroachments, and Innovations, which have been made and inforced upon the People, at the pleaſures of ſome men, ruling meerely according to their will, and power.


THis part of the Preamble, penned as a preparative to the re­movall of the pretended oppreſſion of Tithes (the only thing which in particular the Petition complaineth of) is ſo farre from making way to what the Petitioners would have, that it rather af­fords matter of defence to the cauſe they oppoſe, for they com­plaine. 1. Of Burthenſome Warres and Miſeries. 2. Of the origi­nall ground of them. 3. That ground is ſaid to be Incroachments, and innovations inforced upon the People. 4. Thoſe Incroach­ments and Innovations they charge upon thoſe, who at their plea­ſure rule according to their own will and power.

1. For Burthenſome Warres and Miſeries: If you mean by Miſe­ries, ſuch as commonly come by Warres, as in reaſon they may, for as men are muſtered for Warre, ſo are Miſeries muſtered by Warre, payment of Tithes is neither Warre, nor any Military miſery pro­duced by it, but rather the contrary, for when Warre makes waſt of all, as Joel 2.3. (ſpeaking of an Army of enemies) The Land is as the Garden of Eden, before them and behind them a deſolate Wilderneſſe, yea and nothing can eſcape them: There is nothing left to be tithed, and wee have ſeen by ſad experience in our own Nation, Miniſters dri­ven from their charges, people plundred of their horſes, where with they ſhould till their ground, their corne, hath been trodden down4 or eaten up by the Troopers, and the Tithe could not be had where nine parts were gone, or not be much where they were much dimi­niſhed.

2. Nor was the matter of Tithes ground or cauſe of the Nati­ons quarrell, no warre was raiſed, nor a ſword drawn, nor a blow given, either for, or againſt them. All men know, and the Petitio­ners annot deny but that the viſible grounds and cauſes of the Warre, were of another kind, which had no affinity at all with pay­ment of Tithes, or takiug of Tithes, I ſay viſibly, for ſecretly and out of ſight, ſome might, and happily did ingage on a ſide, with ſuch minds as they had, who ſaid, Let us take the houſes of God in poſ­ſeſſion. Pſal. 83.13. hoping to have their ſhare in a parcell of Tithes as others had in the Biſhops, and Deane and Chapters Lands.

3. For Incroachments and Innovations, the taking of Tithes is neither. Not an Incroachment, for an incroachment, is an un­lawfull intruſion into the right of another, particularly where Rights are ſcituate in vicinity, the taking of Tithes is no ſuch thing as ſhall be ſhewed in due place, eſpecially as it is brought in this Preamble, as a ground or cauſe of our Nationall Warre. Much leſſe can Tithing be called an Innovation, ſince it hath the preſcrip­tion of about 3599 years in the World, and in this Land hath been received and practiſed before the Conqueſt, and drawn along downeward to this preſent age.

4. Nor is the tenure of Tithes dependent upon the pleaſure of ſuch as rule meerely according to their own will and power (pre­rogative like) for Tithes have been Authorized and Eſtabliſhed by many Parliaments, wherein no arbitrary power can be exerciſed.


The Petition.

And for as much as thoſe many victories, mercifully vouchſafed by Almigh­ty God, in approbation of his cauſe, hath not been obtained at a low and eaſy rate, but as through a Sea of bloud, and all kind of miſeries, whereof we have had a large proportion, thereby rendring the cauſe more pretious to our thoughts.



HEre 1. They make mention of our manifold victories. 2. Of the meanes by which they were obtained, the vouchſafe­ment of Almighty God. 3. His meaning by that mercy to ſhew his approbation of that cauſe which prevailed. 4. The price the ſucceſſe hath coſt, not being obtained at a low rate, but as through a Sea of bloud, and all kind of miſeries. 5. Their own participa­tion of them, in a large proportion. 6. Their more pretious eſti­mation of the cauſe for that reaſon. And what is all this, or any of this, to the taking away of Tithes.

1. We have had many victories, thence it may follow we may be able to put downe Tithes but not that it is a matter of duty, or juſtice ſo to do.

2. The meanes whereby theſe victories were obtained, was the Mercy of God vouchſafed. If ſo, we have cauſe to conceive that mercy was vouchſafed, becauſe the Parliament ſo ſoone as they were Aſſembled was reſpective of Gods ſervants making itaaMay Hiſt. Parl, L. 1. p. 78. their firſt care to vindicate deſtreſſed Miniſters and afterwardsbbSo in the Letter M. Speaker to the Modera­tor of the ge­nerall Aſſem­bly of Scot­land, written by the com­mand of the Commons Aſſembled in Parl. Aug. 3. 1648. p. 8. Augmen­ting their Maintainance out of the Impropriations of Biſhops the Eſtates and Revenues of Deanes and Chapters and out of the impropriations of Delin­quents which they bought out and ſetled upon Churches that wanted mainte­nance to a very great valew, rather then that this Mercy was afforded that Miniſters might be reduced to a more miſerable condition, than the meaneſt labourer in the land, who for the worke he doth may recover his wages in a courſe of law, which as theſe Petitio­ners would have it, Miniſters may not.

3. If his meaning in that mercy were to ſhew his approbation of the Cauſe (as I believe it was) yet we may be too haſty to conclude that God likes out cauſe, becauſe we like our ſucceſſe againſt our enemies. By the warrs between the Iſraelites & the Benjamites Jud. 20. That cauſe muſt be juſtly conſidered, and if ſo, no man can advi­ſedly ſay it was any part of Gods intention by our victories either to Ratifie or Nullifie any claime, or right, or title to Tithes which was no part of the conteſtation betwixt the Parliament and the Kings party nor betwixt the Engliſh and the Scots or Iriſh, no more than it is now betwixt the Engliſh, and the Dutch.

4. Whereas they ſay theſe victories were obtained, as through a ſea of blood and all kind of miſeries though their Hyperbole ſwels high, yet will it not I truſt be able to drowne the ancient Right of Miniſters Maintenance, while the Appeale is made unto them who6 wil act by the dictates of their one judgment, and conſcience and not by the paſſionate expreſſions of men.

5 For their owne participation of the bloody miſeries of warre in a large portion, ſure they have ſurvived their ſufferings we cannot conceive how that ſhould concerne the Miniſters portion ſave that if it were as ſouldiers their receiving of pay for their employment, is a war­rant for us to do the like for ours 1 Cor. 9.7. Who goeth a warfare at his owne charge?

6. If as they ſay this renders the cauſe more pretious to their thoughts, (though for Gods and their Countries ſake, they ſhould more highly value it for their owne) we kmow not why the price ſhould be ſo much increaſed upon us (above all the free borne ſub­jects of this Nation, that we and our ſucceſſors muſt looſe all our dues aſſigned for our duty, and ſetled upon us in Right of perpetui­ties, by many reiterated lawes of the land wherein we live, while others enjoy what they have, whether by Gift, or purchaſe, or Inheritance without impeachment.



And whereas among the reſt of the aggreivances of this Commonwealth, the unlawfull Antichriſtian, and unſupportable oppreſſion of Tithes and forced maintenance is not the leaſt, by which our Conſciences are enſnared, our eſtates deſtroyed our perſons impriſoned dayly, for that which hath noe foundation nor warrant from Chriſt or his Apoſtles, throughout the whole Word of the Go­ſpell.


VNtill now the Petitioners ſaid nothing againſt Tithes, directly or indirectly, though they meant their preamble ſhould make way for their maine charge, which now comes in ſo full, that if it could be as fairely prooved as it is fully ſpoken, I ſhould think it worth, I ſay not of a ſea of blood as they phraiſe it but not of a droppe of Inke, to be beſtowed on the defence. But here is no­thing but odious, and exaſperating words without any matter of Truth and Weight to bear them up, which tumbled out in a diſor­derly paſſion, will require a more methodicall diſpoſall of them before I anſwer them, as thus.


Their exceptions againſt Tithes, are Negative, or Poſitive. The Negative. 1. That they are not lawfull (i.e.) there is no Law for them. 2. That they have no foundation nor warrant from Chriſt or his Apoſtles throughout the whole Word of the Goſpell. 2. The poſitive are that 1. Againſt both 1. Againſt piety, becauſe they are Antichriſtian. 2. Againſt charity, becauſe they are oppreſſed with a terme of aggravation, unſupportable oppreſ­ſion, and this they ſay of all conſtrained maintainance, as well as of Tithes, their proofe of this oppreſſion is twofold, 1. By them their Eſtates are deſtroyed. 2. For them their perſons impriſoned daily. 3. Againſt both piety, and charity, the charge is, that there­by their conſciences are enſnared.

1. They ſay, Tithes are unlawfull, the word [unlawfull] may be taken two waies, 1. For that which is againſt Law, ſo are all the breaches of any expreſſe and formall Law, whether it be of pre­cept, or prohibition, in this ſenſe, I doe not think they meane that Tithes are unlawfull, for then they would have ſaid, that Tithes are againſt the law of God, which if they had ſaid, they could ne­ver have proved. 2. For that, for which there is no Law, and in this ſenſe, I take it, they take the word [unlawfull] for that Anſwers that they ſay that they have no foundation nor warrant &c. And can they ſay that Tithes are unlawfull, or that there is no law for them, when the Law of God is ſo cleare for them in the Old Te­ſtament, from the firſt Hiſtoricall, to the laſt Propheticall writer, and the Law of man is ſo much for them, as to impriſon their per­ſons, who contumaciouſly ſtand out againſt the payment of them.

But there is no foundation, nor warrant for them, from Chriſt and his Apo­ſtles, throughout the whole word of the Goſpell, To which I anſwer, 1. That the full reſolution of this objection which is made by ſome, as much againſt the Chriſtian Sabbath or Lords day, as a­gainſt Tithes, would require a large diſcourſe, if it had not been fully Anſwered already by others, whom I have named in the E­piſtle Dedicatory: but 2ly I therefore briefly anſwer. 1. That neither Chriſt nor any of his apoſtles have ſaid any thing againſt Tithes, which doubtleſſe they would have done, if there had been ſo much evill in them, as thoſe Petitioners heape up, againſt them.

2. That Chriſt ſpeake rather for them, at leaſt for a conſtrained or forced maintenance, then againſt them where he faith Mat. 5.17. He came not to deſtroy the Law (meaning chiefly the morall Law8 which afterward he vindicateth from the corupt Gloſſes of the Jewiſh Doctors) he virtually ratified his owne Law of Tithes and that of Solomon Prov. 3.9. Honour the Lord with thy ſubſtance, & with the firſt fruits of all thine increaſe. Becauſe as ſome learned Expoſitors take it, he ratified the eight Commandament which fobiddeth not only robbing of men but of God, of which ſin God paſſionately Com­plaines Malac. 3.8. And where our Saviour taxeth the Hypocriſy of the Scribes and Phariſes for being curious in the Tithing, Mint, and Anniſe, and Cummin omitting in the mean time the weightier matters of the Law, he approoveth of what they did for Tithing. Saing theſe things you ought to have done, and blames their omiſſion of what they did not Mat. 23.23. & Luke 11.22. And where he ſaieth concerning the Apoſtles paines and pay The Labourer is worthy of his hire 7. He meaneth that their maintenance was not a benefice of Almes but a recompence of Juſtice; and if ſo who will be ſo unjuſt as to detaine that which is the Spirituall labourers due, by civill Juſtice conſtrayned to pay it.

3. For the Apoſtles let Paul, ſpeake 1 Cor. 9. from 7. to the 14. verſe, Who goeth a Warfare any time at his own charges? Who plant­eth a Vineyard, and eateth not the fruit thereof? Or who feedeth a flock and eateth not of the milke of the flock? Say I theſe things as a man, or ſaith not the Law theſe things alſo, for it is written in the Law of Moſes, thou ſhalt not muzle the mouth of the Oxe that treadeth out the Corne. Doth God take care for Oxen? Or ſaith he it altogether for our ſakes? For our ſakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth ſhould plow in hope, and that he that threſheth in hope, ſhould be partaker of his hope. If wee have ſown unto you ſpirituall things, is it a great thing if we ſhall reap your carnall things? If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather?

Doe ye not know, that they which Minister about holy things live of the things of the Temple, and they which waite at the Altar are partakers with the Altar. Even ſo hath the Lord ordained that they which Preach the Goſpell ſhould live of the Goſpell. Upon this laſt verſe Even ſo hath the Lord ordai­ned. &c.**Mr. Trapp in 1 Cor. 9.14. an ingenuous and religious contemplatour, bringeth in this note as from another: As they of old lived of the Altar, by Tithes, ſo Miniſters now, how elſe will men ſatisfy their Conſcience in the particular quantity they muſt beſtow upon their Miniſters, the Scriptures ſpeak only of a Tenth. Let them that deny it ſhew us another ordinance of God for the maintenance of evangelicall Miniſters: In the mean time they cannot but confeſſe, that God would hate the Miniſters of9 the Goſpell, as well provided for as the Miniſters of the Law, and this by ordinance, and that by good Congruity, as a Learned ex­poſitor though a Papiſt well collecteth. **Si enim Mi­niſtris Anti­quae legis atributum ſuit à Deo jus ex ſuo Miniſterio vivendi quanto magis aequum erat idem jus à domino conſtitui pro Miniſtris novae legis Eſtius in 1 Cor. 1.14.

If ſo, then it is not in the power of men, to caſt out what poore Pittance they pleaſe; they muſt live of Goſpell maintenance, and claime what they have, of right, as by his appointment who might have taken 9 parts for his owne ſervice, and left only a 10th to thoſe who deny it, or grudingly pay it;Quid faceres ſi novem par­tibus ſibi ſumptis tibi decimum reli­quiſſet? Aug. de Tract. Serme. 219. And what conld they doe more or worſe, if God ſhould deale with them after that man­ner. Beſides the ſame Apoſtle ſheweth that Miniſters ſhould have an honourable maintenance, Let the Elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, eſpecially thoſe that labour in the word and Doctrine. 1 Tim. 5.17. But if they have no better allowance then Free-will-offering, in moſt places they ſhall rather meet with double con­tempt, then with double honour, and he would not have them on­ly honourably but plentifully provided for, elſe how ſhould they be able to keep hoſpitality which he requireth, 2 Tym. 3.2. where among the qualifications of an Evangelicall Biſhop, one is, that he be given to hoſpitality, which that he may doe the better, what he preſcribeth to the Galathians, muſt be obſerved. Let him that is taught communicate unto him that Teacheth him in all good things. Gal. 6.6. That is not contribute to him as an Almes, but communicate as in a way of commerce, or exchange of Carnall things for things ſpi­rituall, as later interpreters after Oecumenius obſerve. As then it is they Miniſters duty to make the people, partaker of ſpirituall things, ſo it is their duty to returne unto them carnall things, as the Apo­ſtle reſolveth Rom. 15. v 7. And where both live under an Evange­licall Magiſtrate, the people may be as well conſtrained to doe their duty, as the Miniſter his. I might here urge Heb. 7.26. and out of that place collect a ſtronger argument for the continuance of Tithes, as a right to the Evangelicall Miniſtry, then any out of the New Teſtament can be framed againſt them, but becauſe that is ſufficiently done byaaD. Jones Com. in Heb. 1, 2, 6. p. 161. Dr Jones in his Commentary on Heb. 7.26. and more largely bybbD. Slater in his Booke of the Miniſtrs Portion à p. 18. ad 38. Print. 1623. Dr Slater, in his Book of the Miniſters por­tion, and by the latter ſo ſoundly, as that he is unanſwerable, as a Learned Doctor forementioned teſtifieth of him, in this particular eſpecially I will forbeare to inſiſt upon it.



THeir Negative objection anſwered, wee come to the Poſi­tive.

1. Againſt piety becauſe antichriſtian. Tithes are ſo many years Anticriſtian that they cannot in their originall be Anti­chriſtian. (i.e.) ſo long before Chriſt that they cannot be from his oppoſite who was ſince Chriſt.

2. Suppoſe the Pope to be Antichriſt (which diverſe late wri­ters beſides Papiſts**The exami­ners of the Confeſſion of Faith of the Aſſembly Ch. 25. p. 274. &c though I make no doubt of it.) And Papiſts who make him their infallible Guide Antichriſtian, and we tooke the practice of Tithes Imediately from them, it will not follow thence that Tithes are Antichriſtin no more then that the old Teſtament was Jewiſh becauſe the Ancient Chriſtians had it from the Jewes, nor the old and new Teſtament both of them Popiſh becauſe we received the whole Bible from the papiſts, ſince it was an eſpeciall providence of God, to make them both keepers and deliverers of the ſame divine Word, by which their hereſies are confuted. 3. In Antichriſtian Doctors and Papiſts, we muſt di­ſtinguiſh betwixt that they deliver as men, as Ingenuous, Learned, and morall men, as Chriſtians, and as Antichriſtians: Firſt, as men they are endowed with the light of nature, and naturall Conſci­ence, which in a good meaſure, teacheth the difference betwixt good and evill, and inclineth to the choyce of the one, and eſchew­ing of the other, as we read Rom. 2.14.15. 2. As Learned and Mo­rall men, they have been Authors of many profitable Bookes, of Hiſtories, and Tongues, and Arts, Philoſophy naturall and morall. 3. As Chriſtians, they acknowledge the Old and New Teſtament, and diverſe of them have made Learned Commentaries upon them. 4. As Antichriſtians, they maintaine many errors againſt the true faith of Chriſt. Now for Application of this diſtinction, though whatſoever cometh from a Papiſt, may before it be tried, be ſuſpected, yet what they doe or write, under the three former notions, is not ſimply to be denied or refuſed for their ſakes, but only what may be referred to the Fourth denomination. The want of this caution, Valentinus Gentilis leave**Quod eccleſiae reformatae ad­huc in fide Trinitatis cum papiſtis conve­nirent B; llar. Praefat. in lib. de Chriſto Toms 1. p. 271 Geneva becauſe he found that they agreed with the Papiſts in the Doctrine of the Trinity, and the want of this diſtinction and Application, hath led many11 inconſiderate Chriſtians, both into the ſame and other dangerous errours in our daies. 4. It may be more Antichriſtian to deny Tithes, then either to demand or pay them, for as ſome hold, there is an Antichriſt in man**The examination of the confeſſion ch. 15. p. 178. & Ioſeph Salmon a member of the Army, in his Book of Antichriſt in man. Printed for Giles Corbet 1649. in 80 p. 4. and this Antichriſt, is the fleſhly wiſdome, the ſpirituall Serpent, that a man is decei­ved by the wiſdome of the fleſh, the Carnall policy of the Crea­ture. Now no doubt this wiſdome and Policy, will diſpoſe the men of this World, to ſave their Tithes if they can, and to cavill, and put in all the rubbs and demurres they can, againſt paying of them, eſpecially if they be men who have lately purchaſed, and are now become owners of Lordſhips, who before our late Warres, would have been glad of a Tenantſhip in an ordinary Farme, this Antichriſt, will ſpurre up theſe to uſe all poſſible meanes they may, to have their Mannors Tith-free. There are another Sect of Antichriſtians newly ſprung up, a ſort of Familiſts, and Quakers, of whom ſome ſay,**Chriſto. Feake, Iohn Simpſon, Geor. Cockain, Law­rence Wiſe, in Epiſt. before the diſcovery of myſticall Antichriſt containing an examination of many Doctrines of the people called Quakers in York-ſhire, for Tho. Brewſter 1653. p. 42. They are farre worſe then thoſe groſſe and Popiſh Antichristians, who live in the midſt of Antichriſts Babiloniſh territories and dominions, theſe Antichri­ſtians doubtleſſe, agree with theſe Petitioners in condemning of Tithes, ſince they deny propriety and inequality of mens Eſtates in ſo much that ſome of them are not free to be Tenants to other men.


The next poſitive objection is, that the taking of Tithes, is a­gainſt Charity, becauſe that it is Oppreſſion, and that in a grievous degree, unſupportable oppreſſion, deſtroying their Eſtates, Impriſoning their Perſons daily.


NO oppreſſion at all, therefore no unſupportable oppreſſion, for what is taken or kept from them? Is it not Tith to which they have no more title then Miniſters have to the 9 parts, which they poſſeſſe: for if they be Landlords, they never bought the 10th: if Tenants they pay not for it, by either fine or rent; the 10th being12 reſerved as the Miniſters particular portion, unleſſe it be alienated by way of impropriation; and then alſo it is of a diſtinct title, and tenure from the other parts of the years increaſe, and this diſtin­ction, is as ancient as Collation or diſtribution of the Land of Ca­naan among the Tribes of Iſraell. and in this Nation, when all the lands of England were the demeſnes of the King, within a little of eight hūdred years agoe the Church was firſt endowed with the Tenth, and then the remaining 9 parts diſpoſed of aſſigned and confirmed to the Nobility Gentry and other Subjects of the King­dom. Were the Iſraeltes (Gods peculiar people when by the mira­culous goodneſſe of God towards them, they were firſt poſſeſſed in the land of Canaan put under the yoake of unſupportable op­preſſion, and kept under untill Malachy for a thouſand years toge­ther, the contrary is moſt cleare by Gods emphaticall expoſtulati­on with them in the 3d of Malachy, A part whereof is that they brought an oppreſſion upon themſelves, yea and procured a curſe upon the whole nation Mal. 3.8.9. By their unfaithfull dealing with God and his Miniſters in this matter, and their only way to be delivered from that curſe, was to pay their Tithes better then they had done, and ſo it ſhould be farre better with them, for then God promiſed That then he would open the windowes of heaven and power out a bleſsing, that there ſhould not be roome to hold it, and that he would rebuke the devourer for their ſakes that he ſhould not devoure the fruits ef their ground nor their vines caſt their fruit before their time. There be that faigne ſuch a difference and faine would make it good betwixt their ſtate of the Jewes and ours as that might be an oppreſſion with us, that was not with them, but their conceits are groundleſſe, and for ſuch are diſcovered by the Authors forementioned, which if they be too large for the Petitioners to read, let them but be at the coſt of 3d to buy a little booke called the Ʋndeceiving of the People in Point of Tithes, Printed for J. Clarke in Cornhill 1653. And at the paines of reading but 15 leaves in 40 for it ariſeth not above the account of 30 pages, and they ſhall find it ſufficiently confuted; and for our owne Nation they may ſee it in pag. 16 of the ſame Booke that it is well toward 800 years making the computation from 855, to the yeare current 1653 ſince Tithes were Collated on the Church of England, and have the Engliſh all this while beene ſo dull and ſtupid, as not to ſhewe themſelves by ſome memorable act notoriouſly ſenſible of ſuch an unſupportable oppreſſion? Untill within theſe laſt halfeſcore years? May it not be matter of13 wonder that the cheefe patriots of this Nation when they conte­ſted with the King for Rights & priviledges, and againſt the op­preſſion of the prerogative power, the Councell of State, the Starre Chamber, High Commiſſioners Conſiſtory Courts never brought in this grand aggrievance, this unſupportable oppreſſion of Tithes, and that where the People were perhaps by the Craft of ſome counterfeit Joſeph Ben Iſraell ſtirred up in hope to have each of them a ſhare in the ſpoyles of the miniſtry, to petition againſt Tithes to the laſt Parliament as many of them did, that they could not make appeare to them, when they were thought to be moſt ſincerely ſet to promote the publike good of this commonwealth, that there was any ſuch in jury or oppreſſion in them.

But the Petitioners ſay our Perſons are impriſoned upon it dayly, mea­ning for nonpayment of Tithes, to which t may be anſwered. Firſt, that it ſeemes not probable ſure, ſuch as deny the payment of Tithes find more and greater friends, either to keepe them from Priſon or deliver out of it, if they be committed then others in for­mer times have done. Secondly, if more be impriſoned now then have been, it may be, becauſe being made more obdurate in their error and more contumacious againſt the Juſtice of the Land then they ſhould be, and then meeke ſpirited, and religious Chriſtians would be, whereto they are the more animated by ſome eminent in nothing but in raſh cenſuring and peremptory pratling, confidently foretell that Tithes will downe, muſt downe, ſhall be downe, and they dare engage an hundred to five upon it. But their groundleſſe preſumption and precipitated predictions, ſhall not make us ſuſpect the prudence ſincerity and juſtice of the Parlia­ment.


The Third and laſt generall objection poſitive is that Tithes are againſt Piety and Charity both: by inſnaring their Conſciences, which we muſt conceive to be in that taking of Tithes, being (as they miſtake it) unlawfull, Antichriſtian, &c, they are by ſuch ſeverity as is uſed to recover them, tempted againſt Conſcience, to make payment of them.



IF the caſe were ſuch with the Petitioners, as it is with the Re­formed Proteſtants in France, who are forced to pay Tithes to Popiſt Prieſts, for the ſervice of Antichriſt, they might have ſome more apparent cauſe of complaint, for oppreſſion by Tithes, eſpe­cially in reſpect of Conſcience, but they very well know, that they without ſcruple of Conſcience, may lawfully ſuffer, what another without wounding of his Conſcience cannot offer to them, and the Petitioners, if they could deny theſe for a while, untill they had made a juſt difference betwixt Conſcience and Worldly luſts, they would never think it lawfull for them, to with-hold the Tithes untill an Officer lay hold on them, to bring them to priſon, for refuſing to pay it. Suppoſe the State ſhould make an unjuſt Warre as they judge of it, and make Military Aſſeſſements to maintaine it, when they know they ſhall be forced to pay their part, if they withſtand it, will they think it their duty in Conſci­ence (rather then ſubmit) to ſtand out to Impriſonment. This is of a much contrary ſavour, to that meekeneſſe and patience, which our Saviour commands unto his Diſciples practice Mat. 5.40. when he faith unto them, if any one will ſue thee at the Law, and take away thy Coat, let him take thy Coat alſo. May we ſay in like caſe, not ſo Lord, I will goe to priſon rather then to part with either, of ſuch a mind he ſeemed to be, who not long ſince, being demanded the Tithes which he never denied, untill he was denied to be the taker of the Tithes of the Miniſter from his Neighbours) ſaid he would rott in priſon before he would pay them as he had done, which all men who know him, conceived (though he made profeſſion of an higher ſtraine of Religion then the World could teach him) to be the dictate rather of Covetouſneſſe then of his Conſcience, for he might have ſuffered without offence for that, what the Lawe had ordered in that behalfe or if his ſufferings which pacience, and ſi­lence might have implyed his conſent to what he accounted to be Antichriſtian or any way unlawfull, he might have paid the Tithes with an expreſſe profeſſion or proteſtation of his Judgment and Conſcience (more truly his conceit & concupicence) againſt it and how could he doubt had not greedineſſe of gaine bemiſted his eye-ſight that he might with good conſcience have parted with ſo much of his owne eſtate, (undoubtedly his owne) rather then to goe to priſon for non payment of that which the Law reſolves to be the right of another man. Doubtleſſe if conſcience were not15 blinded with a pinne and a Webb of worldly mindedneſſe it would diſpoſe a man to a doubtfull eaſe, rather to part with ſome of his owne Nine parts for feare of doing wrong rather then to invade and lay violent hands upon the tenth. Up­on this ground was ſet up the payment of Mortuaries as a ſupplement or ſatifaction for ſuch Tithes as through Inconſideration or Oblivion might be unpaid, or detained from the Parſon, in the Pariſhioners life time, and it was called a mor­tuary, becauſe it was to be paid at the death (not that he might be prayed for when he was dead, to eaſe his ſoule of the paine of Purgatory, as ſome have ignorantly imagined) as**Lindwood Fr vinc l. 1. tit. de conſue­tud. cap. Sta­tuimus. Fol. 14, 15, 16. Selden of Ti­thes cap. 10. p. 287. Altare Damaſ­cenum majus. 450, 451. Non remitti­tur peccatum niſi reſtitua­tur oblaturm. Aug. Ep. 54. Mared. Authors of moſt credit have reported, the riſe, and uſe, of ſuch extraordinary payments. I ſhall not need now, to anſwer the ſcrupling or inſna­ring the conſcience, in reſpect of Judaiſme, as if Tithing were a typicall Ceremony aboliſhed by Chriſt. 1. Becauſe the Petitio­ners have neither ſaid expreſſely, nor by intimation, any thing thereof. 2. Becauſe the wiſeſt of thoſe who are adverſaries to the payment and taking of Tithes, have leaſt to ſay with any probabi­lity or appearance of an objection, under the title typicall Juda­iſme.


The Petition.

Wee are therefore emboldned in Conſcience towards God and you, to preſent theſe our juſt deſires, for the wellfare and preſervation of the Commonwealth, which will be eſtabliſhed by righteouſneſſe, and therein implore your ſerious in­deavours, that this unjust oppreſsion of Tithes and forced maintenance, may be aboliſhed, as a teſtimony of your reſolution, to inſtate this Common-wealth in all their juſt rights, and Liberties, and in ſo doing, you will ingage the hearts of all honeſt and Godly people of this Nation, who have been bowed downe un­der this oppreſſion, and all being diſingaged from corrupt and ſelfe intereſts, will cheerefully adventure their lives and Eſtates, for your preſervation, and the Nations Peace, being the juſt end of our Warre, the proper and long hoped for fruits of Righteouſneſſe, bringing glory. to God in diſcharge of your truſt to him, and to this wearied Common-wealth, in looſing the bonds of wickedneſſe, and ſetting us free from Antichriſtian tyranny.



Here are many things of ſeverall ſorts jumbled together, by the Petitioners which muſt be reduced to a Logicall Analy­ſis, that they may be diſtinctly anſwered, though by them confu­ſedly compoſed or put together, we ſhall martiall them in this me­thod, the whole containeth two principall parts. 1. A Motion. 2. The Motives ſubjoyned to procure it ſuch acceptance and ſuc­ceſſe as they deſire.

1. For their Motion, it is, that the Parliament would uſe their ſe­rious endeavour, that this unjuſt oppreſſion by Tithes, and forced Maintenance may be aboliſhed. As motives hereto, they make it matter, 1. Of Conſcience, 2. Of Juſtice, 3. Of Piety, 4. Charity, 5. Of Pru­dence. 1. Of Conſcience, for Conſcience toward God and the Parliament, mooved them to preſent the motion unto them. 2. Of Juſtice, for they call it their juſt deſire, and make freedome from Tithes, one of the Peoples juſt Rights and Liberties, and the juſt end of our Warre, and the diſcharge of truſt repoſed in the Parlia­ment. 3. Of Piety bringing glory to God. 4. Of Charity, in eaſing them, who have been bowed downe under this oppreſſion, and ſetting them free, from the yoake of Antichriſtian tyranny, and bring ſuccor to this wearied Commonwealth, and a meanes of its welfare and preſervation, in looſing of the bond of Wicked­neſſe. 5. Of Prudence, hereby you ſhall honour your ſelves, by giving teſtimony of your reſolutions, to inſtate this Common­wealth, in all their juſt rights and Liberties.

2. You will ingage all the hearts, of all the honeſt and Godly people of this Nation, who being diſingaged from corrupt intereſts, will cheerefully adventure their Lives and Eſtates for your preſer­vation, and the Nations peace. This being the ſumme of their de­ſires, aimes, and hopes, wee ſhall now make a more particular and punctuall anſwer thereunto.

And Firſt, of their motion they implore, Their ſerious endeavours, that this unjuſt oppreſsion of Tithes, and forced Maintenance may be aboliſhed. That it is neither Oppreſſion, nor Injuſtice, for Miniſters to take Tithes of the People, and to require them according to the Law, hath been made manifeſt before, that it is a Forced Maintenance, is their fault, who will not doe right unleſſe they be forced to it. But whoſe Maintenance doe they meane, whether the Miniſters only, or theirs alſo, who live upon, and are maintained by Impropriations, they cannot in reaſon except againſt the one, and accept of the o­ther17 nor ſhould they think the latter, an oppreſſion, rather then the former, unleſſe becauſe there are more of them, then of Impropria­tions: and on the other hand, they ſhould leſſe grudge the allow­ance, of thoſe that labour for it as Miniſters doe, then thoſe that labour not, but if they intend the taking away Tithes from all that claime and receive them from the people as their right: then I demand of them, 1. Whether that either or both of them ſhall have any thing given them as a valuable conſideration, for that which is taken from them, they ſeeme to incline to neither, for with them both, the one and the other are unſupportable oppreſſi­ons, ſo farre they are impartiall, if ſo they may find it, a more dif­ficult matter, to take away Tithes, then they are aware of: For though Miniſters obliged to an higher degree of ſelfe-denyall then other men, for the things of this World, and having a right to Tithes, but for terme of life, and no heires or ſucceſſors in ſight, to lay hold on the intereſt that is taken from them, may quietly ſuf­fer themſelves to be deprived of them, and ſome endowed with a greater meaſure of grace, may be affected, like to thoſe Religious Chriſtians, who took joyfully the ſpoyling of their goods. Heb. 10.34. yet Lay-Impropriators, being about**Of 9000 Livings in this Kingdome, there are a­bove 4000 ſo caſtrated by Sacrilegious Impropria­tors. So he who writes in an Apology for D. Featly in a Book which he calls Sacra Remiſſ. Sect. 10. p. 63. Sir Henry Spelman re­ports the Miniſters to be but 3845 that is 55 fewer then the former number yet a great one. Sir H. S in his Apology for his Book De non temer. Eccleſ. p. 10. Foure thouſand, many of them, Noblemen and Gentlemen civill cor­porations and others, beſides Colledges in both Uni­verſities, who account their right in tithes, as ſure as land of Inheritance to themſelves, their heires, execu­tors and Aſſignes, will not be ſo tame if they be ta­ken from them, unleſſe by a juſt and ſatisfactory rate, they be purchaſed of them, the coſt whereof will a­mount to ſo great a valew, as may puzzle the wiſeſt heads how to find out any way, without a farre more inſupportable oppreſſion, then theſe Petitioners com­plaine of: to redeeme them from the hands of thoſe who at preſent are poſſeſſed of them, and if that could be done, and were done, and the Miniſters portions taken from them, as if they were ſtolen goods in the hands of Fellons, without any recompence or certain meanes of temporall ſubſiſtence, how abominable and ſcandalous, partiality and tyranny would that appeare to be, to all truly Religious and Conſcientious Chriſtians.

A Second query to be reſolved by them, may be this, whether they intend, that the Tithes ſhould be taken from the preſent ow­ners18 of them, and the right, and the diſpoſall of them, devolved into the hands of Feofees or Committees Authorized by the State, to receive them, to ſet or let them, and the Monies made of them, made up into a common ſtock for publique uſe, if ſo, ſuch a courſe may give them more cauſe of complaint for oppreſſion, then the Miniſter ever did or could doe, ſince they will have to doe with their ſuperiors in power, who may make them pay what they pleaſe to impoſe, and they may impoſe more then is right, upon the wrong report of ſome malitious neighbour, who may overrate their portion, beſides ſome quick courſe may be taken with them, for ſpeedy payment, perhaps before hand (as in ſome other caſes) ſo that they ſhall not have credit enough, to runne behind in Ar­rears one year or two, as many are wont to doe with their Mini­ſters: or whether they would have every one, who hath a right to the nine parts, to be endowed with the tenth alſo, which hereto­fore they had not, if this be their mind, they will ſhew themſelves no good friends to the Parliament, nor to many of theſe, who in moſt doubtfull and dangerous times, have moſt faithfully adhered to them, ſince by the ſpoyles of the Miniſtry, thoſe generally ſhall be moſt gratified, who wiſh no good ſucceſſe, nor proſperity to the publique affaires, untill Royalty, Prelacy, Ceremonies, Superſtiti­on, the Service Book, confuſed Communions at Eaſter, Mad and Pagan Revels at Whitſontide and Chriſtmas, as Papiſts or Pye­tide, as ſome Anti-papiſts call it, be reſtored.


NOw from their motion and their meaning in it, to their mo­tives, which wee will take in the order premiſed.

The Firſt is, their conſciences towards God and the Parliament. Con­ſcience towards God? To robb God of his right, when they ſhould honour him with their own ſubſtance Prov. 3.9. And the labou­rers in his harveſt of their hire, that crying ſinne Iames 5.4. Is this Conſcience? If it be, it is of too neer affinity to theirs, who think it matter of Conſcience, and think they doe God good ſervice in killing of his ſervants, Ioh. 16.2. And was it their duty, a duty of Conſcience, to petition the Parliament, to Vote the Miniſters into a miſerable condition (by taking from them and theirs their main­tenance)19 whom they ought to protect in all their juſt rights and Priviledges, as well (if not more tenderly, then any Subjects of ths Nation: Is not this ſuch a Conſcience as the Jewes had (ſuch in intention, but I truſt will never be ſuch in ſucceſſe) when they ſtirred up devout and honourable Women, and the chiefe of the City of Antioch, and raiſed perſecution againſt Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coaſt. Act. 13.50.

Their Second motive is, that it will be an Act of Juſtice to take a­way Tithes, for as they juſtly deſire it, ſo ſhould the Parliament in juſtice grant it, reſtoring to the people, their juſt rights and Liber­ties, according to the juſt end of our Warre, and the truſt they have undertaken: Wherefore they cannot faile without injuſtice. And all this is juſt nothing, ſince the juſtice of the Miniſters cauſe againſt the Petitio­ners Criminations, is already ſufficiently cleared in Section 6th.

The Third motive is taken from Piety: To take away Tithes will bring glory to God, as they conceive it, but they are as much miſtaken in the end, as they were in the beginning of their male­volent motion, Conſcience ſtirred them up to Petition, and in Petitioning their aime was, and the end of their deſires, if not de­nied, would be the glory of God, as much belike as it was to the glory of King David, to have his Servants beards cut, coats curtaild by Hanun the Ammonite, 2 Sam. 10.4. their piety in this is much like their Conſcience, as but now was obſerved.

4th Motive to induce putting downe of Tithes is, that Charity requires it, for it will be a lifting, and holding up of thoſe, who are bowed downe under the oppreſſion of them, a ſetting of them free from the yoake of An­tichriſtian tyranny, a bringing of ſuccour to this wearied Commonwealth, and a meanes of its well-fare and preſervation, a looſing of the bond of wickedneſſe. To all theſe particulars, I have formally or virtually anſwered be­fore, ſo that I need doe no more here, but to direct to their place of refutation, which is Sect. 6.


THe 5th Motive is ſuch as that it requires a diſtinct conſiderati­on by it ſelfe and it is a motive of prudence, if the Parliament upon their Petition will uſe their ſerious endeavours that this un­juſt oppreſſion of Tithes may be aboliſhed. 1. They will give Te­ſtimony20 of their reſolutiou to inſtate this Comonwealth in all their juſt Rights and Libertyes.

Where the Petitioners ſeeme to make Miniſters no part of the Commonwealth who (beſides their Spirituall Miniſtry towards the Soules of men are both a conſiderable portion of the whole and beare a larger portion in publike payments, then other men.

2. For that they intimate that by taking their eſtates from them they ſhall give teſtimony of their reſolutions to inſtates this com­monwealth in all their juſt rights and priviledges, the quite con­trary will be a clearer & a readier Inference for hath not the Par­liament as good Authority, and may they not with as much juſtice take away the meanes and revenues of other Subjects of this Na­tion, as well as of Miniſters, and rather becauſe many by treaſon may forfeit their Lands and inheritances from themſelves and their heirs; but the fact of a Miniſter cannot tranſmit the guilt of ſuch a fact or forfeiture upon his ſucceſſour. Becauſe he is not in his predeceſſors Loynes, as the Child in the Loines of his Parents Levi in the Loines of Abraham, and all of us in the Loines of Adam & it may ſomewhat ſcruple the Conſciences of a Chriſtian to im­poveriſh the Miniſtry becauſe their deſtitution may produce great detriment to the progreſſe of religion which whoſoever dares vio­late will not ſticke much at an act of Miniſtry in ſecular matters Dioniſius made bold to robb the Temples of his heathen Gods of their Rights and ornaments, and when he had done ſo he ſet them to ſale in the open Market wheereby when he had made up a great ſumme of mony,**Ferunt ſublata de fanis in forum protuliſſe & per praeconem vendidiſſe exactaq, pecunia edixiſſe ut quod quiſ­que à ſacris haberet id ante diem certum in ſuum quid­que fanum referret ita ad impietatem in Deos in homi­nes adjunxit injuriam. Ci­cero de natura Deorum l. 3. P. 255. Nu. 63. he made proclamation, that all he had ſould, ſhould be again reſtored to the Temples from whence he had taken them, and ſo ſaith the Ro­man Orator, who reports the ſtory. To impiety a­gainſt the Gods, he added injuſtice towards men, yet to give the Divell his due, it ſeemes he was more loath to ſtand-guilty of Sacriledge, then of ſimple theft, for he ſo ordered his cheating traffique, as in the laſt ac­compt to make his Subjects rather then his gods to be looſers by the bargaine.

And whereas theſe Petitioners, ſo preſſe the putting downe of Tithes, as an earneſt of inſtating the Commonwealth, in all their juſt Rights and Liberties, by which they meane not the repreſenta­tive of the people Aſſembled in Parliament, but particular Sub­jects,21 it may be a leading caſe for them, to looſe their Rights and Liberties, and when all are ſet free from Tithes, at that gappe may breake in, as it did in Germany, the Levelling**Bonorum communitatem humanitati cū primis eſſe con­ſentaneum. Sleyd. com­ment. l. 10. prior. Community, which takes away all bounds of propriety, where walls and hedges, locks and bolts, will not be endured, as being injurious incroach­ments upon Chriſtian liberty, and therefore**Factum eſt ut vulgus ab operibus atque labore deſiſte­ret & qua quiſquere care­ret ab aliis qui abunda­bant etiam in­vitiis acciperet Jbid. it may be lawfull for thoſe that have ſtrength enough in their hands, to break down ſuch partition walls, and to breake up locks and bolts, and any thing that ſtands betwixt them and their due limited Liberties, ſo it was believed and practiſed, by ſuch as the Divell ſtirred up to hinder, and to ſlander the work of Reformation in Luthers time, with this community of Goods, they held an equality ofEx dignita­te ſunt omnes aequales Sleyd ibid. 51. 64. perſons, and then what is the Landlord better then the Tenant, and why ſhould he Labour and Sweat, fare hard, and weare poore apparrell, that his Landlord and Landlady, may live as idely as the Lillies of the field, which may fare as deliciouſly as the rich glutton, Luke 16. and be as gloriouſly arraied as Herod Acts 12. yea why ſhould he pay a fine or a rack-rent, and he and his Family riſe up early, ſit up late, eate the bread of Carefulneſſe, not only to uphold their idleneſſe, luxury, and bravery, but their vaine paſtime, gaming, hunting, hawking, and ſo give his mony to maintaine Cards and Dice, and his Childrens bread to doggs, and their fleſh to nouriſh birds of prey, and though ſuch mutterings be but the wicked iſſue of Sathans Conjunction with humane corruption, for it is the un­doubted will of God, and a ſpeciall part of his divine providence (without which the world would ſoon fall into horrid confuſion) that there be degrees of prelation, and ſubordination, of prehemi­nence, and dependance betwixt man and man, in reſpect of wiſdom power honour and riches.

But yet we muſt take heed that by one unrighteous principle and practice we draw not on another, and truly from the deniall of all ſet maintenance to Miniſters to the deniall of fines and rents to Landlords there is but a very little way of diſtance, and the paſ­ſage from them to theſe is downe the hill, for though both be very ungodly and unreaſonable, yet upon ſuch tenets as are now given forth the pretence of oppreſſion may be more colourably pleaded againſt fines and rents and harriots and ſervices of Tenant to the Landlord then againſt Tithes to the Miniſter and if theſe Petioners ſhould prevaile in their motion for the one it would be a motive to others to hope that they may be freed from the other alſo, and22 ſo farre the Devil hath driven on the deſigne of boundleſſe liberty amongſt us already, for there be ſome of thoſe new Antichriſtians before mentioned who arenot free to be Tenants to other men,**Examinati­on of the Quakers Doct p. 42. that is they have ſuch a latitude of Chriſtian freedome that they cannot put themſelves into ſo narrow & ſervile relation as tenant­ſhippe beings with it.


THe other motive of prudence to the aboliſhing of Tithes, is that in ſo ding the Parliament wil ingage the hearts of all the ho­neſt and godly people of this Nation who have been bowed downe under the oppreſſion and who being diſingaged from Corrupt and ſelfe intereſts, will chief­ly adventure their Lives and States for their preſervations and the Nations Peace.

Where there are two particulars which deſerve diſtinct conſide­ration: the one who will be ingaged to the Parliament upon the taking away of Tithes, the other how farre they will be inga­ged.

For the firſt they ſay all the Godly and honeſt of this Nation who are bowed downe under the opreſſion of Tithes, and diſengaged from corupt and ſelfe intereſts where they bring in the Godly people with two qualificati­ons of little affinity one with the other, for to be diſengaged from corrupt and ſelfe intereſts, very well agreeth with the ſincerity of of the moſt ſound hearled Chriſtians, but to ſay that thoſe who account Tithes ſuch a burthen as to be bowed downe under them if they ſpeake it either of all, or of greater number of the better ſort of men is as hard to be prooved, as eaſy to be ſpoken, for very many truly religious men are rightly informed and well perſwa­ded of the Right of Tithes and pay them as dues, to which they are obliged by Juſtice and conſcience, and many of the wiſer ſort of Godly perſons account it their priviledge to have the Mi­niſters maintained by Tithes whereto they have an ancient and a legall Rightand that they are not put to it as the Chriſtians are in France, to give them pentions out of the nine parts beſides the paiment of the Tenth, to Popiſh Prieſts and hold it a priviledg and liberty of an Engliſh Subject if he have a ſonne ſit for the calling of the Miniſtry to breed him up to that calling, and that when he hath23 beſtowed coſt upon his education to that purpoſe, and he is both furniſhed with gifts, and imployed in a Miniſteriall office that he ſhould have beneficium propter officium the wages aſſigned to the work and though the number of Miniſtrs be much leſſe then the roſt of the Nation, (as among the Iſraelites, the Levites were not as ſome miſtake the matter the tenth or twelfth part of the poſterity of Jacob, but not ſo much as the ſixtith part of the deſcendants from his Loines) yet they are a very conſiderable part of the Com­mon wealth who in any publique charge pay a bove the portion of other men as hath beeen noted before, and have a capacity and opportunity to ſerve the State more then is incident to the condi­tion of other men, not only in the time of peace but of warre alſo: I had it from a Courtier of good credit, that the laſt king, when a Cour-chapline**Dr R. was rather popular then Courtlike in his Preaching, & his Sermon reliſhed more for the Peoples right then of the Kings prerogative that checking him for it, told him he looked for as good ſervice from his Clergy in the Pulpit, as from his Army in the Field, and he meant it not onely by their prayers (as his Grandmother did when ſhee more feared the praiers of John Knox and his Diſci­ples then an Army of 20 thouſand**Mr Trap in Acts 10.4. men) but by their inſtructions and perſwaſions of the People. There are yet enough ready to beare witneſſe and worthy to be believed in a cauſe of weight who well remember that the Miniſters who have been of a contrary Judgment to theſe Petitioners in point of Tithes) have done ſuch good offices to the Parliament and the Army, with the People as (to ſpeake modeſtly without upbrading of either) might render them more capable of their protection then of their oppoſition.

The other particular is, how farre they will be engaged, they ſay they will cheerefully adventure their Lives and Eſtates for the Parliaments preſervation, and for the Nations Peace, viz. in ſo doing that is if they will uſe their ſerious endeavours that the oppreſſion of Tithes and forced maintenance may be aboliſhed it is much to be feared as be­fore hath been touched, that the Petitioners here are not diſinga­ged from corrupt and ſelfe intereſts, ſince ſome of them hope thereby to gaine that which the Miniſter muſt looſe but for the cōdition of their engage­ment in ſo doeing. It was held a very politique caution in the 3d Article of the late Nationall League & Covenant that they who tooke it were no further bound to preſerve and defend the Kings Maje­ſties perſon and Authority then in the preſervation and defence of the true Religion and the Liberties of the Kingdome. So that if he ſet hmſelfe a­gainſt24 either of theſe the ingagement did not oblige to his defence, ſo their ingagement being but conditionall in ſo doing if the Parlia­ment will not doe ſo as they would have them, they are diſcharged from adventnring themſelves or eſtates for their preſervation and the Nations peace, there was never ſuch a capitulation put upon any Parliament, nor ever was the Nations peace put upon ſuch unequall and unreaſonable termes. But ſay the Parliament, ſhould aſſent to their propoſall, would that content and quiet them, would they not moove for ſomewhat more, which the Parliament might conceive to be much worſe for the Nations welfare, and therefore in prudence and conſcience, muſt think it fit to be deni­ed, there be ſome to whom the Anſwer of Sir Walt. Rawleigh to Q. Elizabeth may be applied, who when ſhe asked him when he would give over his begging, he told her Majeſty, not till ſhee gave over giving: So ſome are of ſuch unſtable ſpirits, and boundleſſe deſires, that they make the obtainment of one favour, the induce­ment to moove for another, and if they ſped in never ſo many, they are all loſt in the laſt, wherein their humor is not ſatisfied.

But it will be a great deale too much to grant what they moove for, in their preſent Petition, for beſides the knot for the lawful­neſſe of Tithes, by Scripture and reaſon, eſpecially for a ſetled and certain maintenance (which cannot be expected without con­ſtraint) it will not conſiſt, I humbly conceive, with the prudence of the Parliament (after they have incurred the offence of the Royall party, by putting downe Kingſhip, the Prelaticall, by put­ing down Biſhops, Deanes and Chapters, the ſuperſtitious party by putting downe the Service-Book, the Profane party, by putting down Stage-plaies, December Saturnals commonly called Chriſt­mas holidaies, and carnall ſports and recreations on Sabbath day. ) by gratifying them herein, to give juſt cauſe of diſcontent, to all Regular and Orthodox Miniſters of the Land, and to all thoſe who are for a ſet, certain, and ſufficient maintenance for them, which I am confident, is the mind of the moſt and beſt of all the people of the Engliſh Nation.

If it be ſaid, that by taking Tithes from the Miniſters; and in giving them to the People (though they conſtitute no other Main­tenance that may be required and procured by force of Law, for one they ſhall looſe, they ſhall oblige hundreds. I anſwer, though it would be a great beneficence from the Parliament to the people, to give them the Tithes they never had in Right, nor in poſſeſſion,25 by theſe Petitioners complaint of them, as unſupportable oppreſ­ſion, they would learne to take them, not as favours, but as juſt Rights, ſince they are bound in juſtice to free them from, or if they ſhould apprehend them as free-will-offerings or donatives that would work upon them, but for a very little while in any way of gratefull reſentment, ſince their manifold Antipathies, under the Tithes now mentioned (being in them mightily predominant a­bove all ingenuity) would ſoone bury it in the grave of oblivion, or ſtifle it with a ſtronger ſent of malignant diſaffection toward them. Whereas if they were kept up as the conſtant Revenue of Incumbent Paſtors, as the ſoules of the people, as well as the bo­dies of Miniſters, might be better provided for, ſo the State might have better ſervice from them both, of which ſomething hath been ſaid, which the Reader may remember, and apply to this poynt, though I doe not repeat it in the place.


There remaineth only one prudentiall motive more, beſides the common formality, And your Petitioners ſhall &c. And that is, Thus will your light breake forth as the Morning, and your righteouſneſſe ſhall goe be­fore you.


HOw neceſſary it is, that the Parliament ſhould be, as we heare they are, much in prayer, and that all the well affected of the Nation, ſhould heartily pray for them, not only that no cor­rupt ends, and ſelfe intereſts of their own, may diſpoſe them to act otherwiſe, then according to the rule of truth and juſtice, but that they may not, by any importunity of ſubtle inſinuations, be ſwayed from their own ſyncerity, to ſerve the partiall and perniti­ous deſignes of other men, ſuch a one is that of the Petitioners, as not only againſt Tithes, but againſt all forced and conſtrained maintenance, whereby they plauſibly pretend, that it will be, a meanes to bring glory to God, a way to the welfare of the Common-wealth, that thereby it will be eſtabliſhed by Righteouſneſſe, and that then the light of the Parliament, if they uſe their ſerious endeavours to a­boliſh26 Tithes, will breake forth as the Morning, and their Righte­ouſneſſe goe before them.

Before we believe any of this, we muſt believe the Jewes were not deceived, when they imputed their proſperity to their burning incence to the Queene of Heaven, & powring out Drinke-offerings to her. Jer. 44.16, 17. Whereas the truth was, for that wickedneſſe (as the Prophet tells them, from v. 22. to 26. of the ſame Chapter, all their calamities under which they groaned, came upon them. Wee know not then, how from ſuch injurious acts, as the Petitioners propoſe and plead for, to foretell ſuch faire and favourable effects as they promiſe, except as Micajah ſaid to Ahab in an Ironicall ſenſe, Goe againſt Ramoth Gilead and proſper. 1 Cron. 1.5. So the re­ſult of what hath been ſaid on both ſides in this matter, might be given up to the Parliament, as in a ſummary concluſion in this manner.

Though Pharaohs favour were ſuch to his Idolatrous Prieſts, that in a time of extraodinary dearth, he would not diminiſh their meanes, but made a reſerve or exeption of their Lands alone which were not alienated, as the Lands of his other Subjects Gen. 47. v. 21. Though the ſacrificing Prieſt of the old Teſtament had a liberall allowance alotted them by God, though the Apoſtle Paul in the New Teſtament held the Miniſters of the Goſpell, as worthy to be mainteined as the Miniſters of the La, and that it was but a ſmall matter v. 9. That they who ſow Spirituall things ſhould reape Carnall things though Popiſh Prieſts have Tithes paid nuto them, not only by their owne diſciples, but by the Proteſtants of France (albeit they alſo beare the charge of their owne orthodox Miniſters by giving them penſions) though in the time of the Prelates tithes were ge­nerally paid even to the Idle and ſcandalous Miniſters & that ac­cording to the Law of the Land (for Eaſter dues were not to be deteined from them, unleſſe upon a due and orderly conviction they were put out of office) though many of them rich and being qualified to hold plurality of Benefices with care of Soules, yet now, when the Miniſters bee neither Heatheniſh, Popiſh, nor Prelaticall, though you have ſo farre reformed them as to make them more entirely Incumbent upon their Spirituall employments by debarring them of the exerciſe of all civill offices, and now though the iniquity of the times by multiplicity of errors and hereſies makes more need of Learned and Orthodox Miniſters, and more worke for them which will put them to more charge of27 bookes to be furniſhed for that worke though they have done faithfull and profitable ſervice for the commonwwealth for which ſome of them have been paticularly thanked by the Councell of State, not withſtanding all this now take away the Tithes, and let them have nothing as they may claime as their Right to maine­taine them. And what you take from them beſtow upon thoſe who hate both you and them and thereby give the occaſion to in­ſult over their poverties who would not bow to a compliance with their ſuperſtitions or profaineſſe. Let them be ſpoiled of all they have that they be tempted to perplexed thoughts for their future proviſion what they ſhall eat or what they drinke, and wherewith they ſhall be clothed and to diſhoneſt ſhifts as the un­juſt Steward was and in the next generation (by inhumane perſe­cution worſe then Diocleſians) for want of meanes to feed the Miniſters, let there be want of Miniſters to feed the People. This ſhall make much to the glory of God for the Welfare, Peace and Preſervation and proſperity of this Nation. It ſhall bring in the bloody Iriſh Rebls, and the barbarous theeviſh Highlanders meek­ly ſubmit their necks to the yoake of the Engliſh Goverment then the greateſt Dutch men of warre ſhall be willing to ſtrike ſaile, to your ſmalleſt pinke or pinnace, yea and the High and Mighty Sates of the Netherlands ſhall come downe and begge conditions of peace at your hands, and be gladde to buy it at any rate you will be pleaſed to ſette upon it, then neither the French, nor the Dane, ſhall dare to affront you, or make any at­tempt againſt you by Land or by Sea, laſtly then thongh the re­proach of your unrighteous dealing blaſt your Names with black­eſt defamie our Light ſhall breake forth as the Morning, and your Righteouſneſſe ſhall goe before you making way for your grati­ous acceptance before God and man.

This in effect though not in forme, is the equipollence of the Petitioners propoſe and promiſe in their Petition to the Parlia­ment, which their wiſdome I doubt not, diſcernes too well to ex­pect they ſhould proſper the better at home or abroad by any ſuch meanes as theſe Petitioners have projected.

They will ſay perhaps I have made their matter worſe then it is by mine aggrivation, for though Tithes and all conſtrayned main­tenance be taken away the People ſhall not want Preachers for there be many will Preach for nothing. It may be ſo, and for ſome that will take that office upon them, and drive other Trades beſides28 their Preaching may be worth nothing, and yet I thinke they will not long hold out in that worke, at that rate the**Bucol In­dex Chron. ad An. 1535. p. 534. Jeſuits when they beganne to ſet up and to gaine cuſtomers, and credit, profeſſed they would both preach in Churches and teach in Schooles for nothing But when upon ſuch faire pretences they had put them­ſelves into acquaintance & employment they found a way of thri­ving in worldly wealth (time for time) above not only the Tith­taking Clergy but above all other religious orders of the Church of Rome, for in leſſe then 100 years they have increaſed from ten (their founderaaPhil. Ale­gamb. Bilio­thec. Script. ſocietat. Jeſ. Statim poſt prefat. & cen­ſur. and nine more) of his brotherhood tobbSee the pro­greſſe of Ig­natius writ­ten by L. O. and Printed with S. Edw. Sands Europae Speculum An. 1632. p. 56. 11875 fellowes and 475 Colledges from the yeare 1534 or 1535 to the yeare 1632.

But if the Petition had been liable to ſo many exceptions as you have made againſt it, eſpecially for the principall part of it the abo­liſhing of Tithes, the Petitioners had not received thankes from the Houſe by the Speaker as they did Saturday 16 of July. 1653 with this anſwer that the Houſe was in debate of the thing they Petiti­oned for (as Mercurius Politicus**Mercur. Po­liticus num. 163. hath reported both the preſenting and the acceptance of that Petition.

Anſ. It is the wiſdome of Parliament, and hath been their practice heretofore to receive Petitioners who complaine of op­preſſion, with patience and indulgence, for thereby they come to know the State of things better then otherwiſe they would doe, ſince complaints raiſe debates and debates beget votes and determinations which may ſtint the ſtrife.