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PROSPECTUS OF A PUBLICATIO.V
CATALOGUE OF AUTHORITIES,
ECCLESIASTICAL AND CIVIL,
FROM THE WRITINGS OF THE ANCIENT FATHERS,
FROM THE LAWS OF ENGLAND, AND FROM OTHER SOURCES,
“ Cum decimas dando et terrena et cælestia possis munera promereri, quare per avaritiam duplici benedictione te fraudas ?"--D. AURELII AUGUSTINI Sermo de tempore, ccxix.
" Truth will always support itself by its native vigour; it will never die while heaven and earth last, but be handed down from saint to saint till the end of all things."--CHURCH OF THE FATHERS.
“The general obligation of the Ministers now in power has been declared, by Sir Robert Peel, to maintain, upon their ancient foundations, the institutions of this country in Church and State.”-MR. GLADSTONE'S ADDRESS to the Electors of Newark, Sept. 4, 1841.
J. BURNS, 17, PORTMAN STREET:
& J. H. PARKER, OXFORD.
It is happily becoming now, as it was formerly, an axiom in theology, “ that what point soever the Fathers do harmonically, and with consent of all agreeingly maintain, that point, when rightly understood according unto their true meaning, is ever certainly orthodoxal truth ?." It is the design of this publication to apply this principle to a practical truth, which was uniformly maintained by our ancient laws, and which the present exigences of the Church seem to force upon our notice. There is an unbroken
The Revenue of the Gospel is Tithes (p. 65), by Foulke Robarts, B.D. Cambridge, 1613. The same principle is applied to the same subject in a work which has recently received the imprimatur of the University of Oxford. “In this they (St. Augustin, &c.) all agreed, and those of the ages following did hold the same doctrine (that Tithes were due to the Christian clergy jure divino). So that, according to that old and approved rule, that which was held always, in all places and by all, must needs be true, and come from the Apostles at first.' Nor is there any better way to know the sense of Scripture or the doctrine of the Catholic Church, than by the concurrent suffrages of these holy men."-Dialogue concerning Tithes, in Dean Comber's Works (vol. vii. p. 493), Oxford, at the University Press, 1841.
chain of evidence, one may say, from the beginning of the world to the middle of the eighteenth century of the Christian era, proving that the system of Tithes is a divine institution of perpetual obligation. Since that time we have what may be called negative evidence; visible proofs that this latter age has been stumbling at the Cross and stripping the Gospel of an essential principle ; for surely we cannot but observe that something is wanting, if we compare the census of our population with the census of our churches and clergymen for the last century. Our ancient villages and the ancient districts of our towns are studded with churches, and this outward appearance of things harmonizes with our ancient laws and our ancient principles. On the other hand, the deficiency of churches in our new towns and in the new districts of our old towns, harmonizes with our new laws and our new philosophy. This state of things is the witness which this age produces. It shows the imperfection of our principles, the unhappy results of removing offensive duties, and of softening down the Gospel to please the world.
But it is also most important to consider the influence of these imperfect views on the social condition of the nation. When so little is thought of the sacred principle on which Tithes should be paid, Church revenues will never be considered as in any sense the patrimony of the poor, except by those who have some mischievous designs in their head.