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181 [1717]

God. Forsomuch as euery man, Emperour and king, is a begger of God. As S. Augustine doth oftentimes affirme, and consequently if he do receiue frutefully any suche goodnes at the hande of God, the same is pure almes in respect of God: neither is there any faythfull man that will deny the same, but that it simply foloweth that the same is pure almes before God. Ergo, it is pure almes.

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It is also thus argued, all tithes are by them selues, and euery part of them almes, nether is there any reason contrary vnto this, that they are almes. Ergo, they are pure almes. For they are by no other meanes or reason, then almes, if they be all together thē selues almes: Forsomuch as it followeth, if they be by any other meanes or otherwise then almes, then they are otherwise then some almes. And forsomuch as they them selues are some almes, it followeth that they are otherwise then they are in dede, the which is false.

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MarginaliaSustenāce and clothyng, geuen to the Apostles, was almes ergo also tithes.But now to paße beyond the bondes of Logicke, it is to be demaunded, whether before the church was endowed or that sustenance and clothing were geuen vnto the Apostles, there was any pure almes, or that they were geuen by any other meanes by bond of det, amōgst mē. And forsomuch as the reson is not to be fained, but that they were pure almes, so afterward the custome of the same thing according vnto like reason doth not alter the kinde of the reason. For so might beggers chalenge by custome, beyond the purity of almes, the temporallities which they do begge. Nether doth det vtterly exclude the purity of almes before God: for euery man duely geuing almes, doth as he ought to do: as euery man duely receiuing his almes, ought so to receiue it as according to Gods will. And simply to establish any humain title, vpon the continuance of any such almes, it is alltogether contrary vnto the reason of almes. Therfore they do continually obserue, and kepe the reason of the purity of almes, which they had from the beginning, when as the bond conditioned, doth not destroi the purity therof.

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Wherfore there is no cause why it shuld be denied that tithes are pure almes: except that the proud shoulde be maruelously extolled, cōtrary to the humility of Christ. For they do chalenge by the title of their lacke or want so to be pleased for their tithes. For so might the begging Frier, by the continuaunce of his daily beggynge chalenge according vnto the like quantity or circumstance But it is no argument, that if the curate do perform his corporall ministry, that he ought therefore to chalenge tithes by any ciuill title, because that as well on the behalf of hym, which geueth the tithe, as also in the behalfe of the curate, euery such ministrye oughte frelye to be geuen, and not by any ciuill exchange. Forsomuch as it is not required, but that rather the comparison of such exchaunges are repuguaunt, forsomuch as also no mā frely geueth any almes except he do loke for the duety of recompence, by the law of conscience.

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Marginalia6.Item, all temporall goodes bestowed vpon the clergy, by the lay people vnder condition, as the goodes of the churche, are the almes of them which geue it, it is proued thus, for so much as all those goods are the goods of the poore, as it appeareth by many sayinges of holye menne and by the lawes.

But they were not the goodes of the pore, after they were mere seculer goodes, but onlye by the meane ofthe worke of mercy, wherby they were bestowed vpon the pore. Ergo, they were pure almes. The consequent dependeth vpon the definition of pure almes.

Marginalia7.Item, all thinges chaunged to the vse and power of an other, either by ciuill exchaunge or Euangelicall is chaunged. But the church goodes are so chaunged by one of these ministries. But the Euangelicall exchaunge is not to be fained, because it is not don, nether by bying or selling, or any other ciuill exchaunge. Therfore there doth not remain, but only a pure gift, for hope of a heauenly reward, the which is mercy, and so pure almes. MarginaliaThe clergy beggers.And it semeth to follow consequently that all the cleargie receiuing such almes, are not only in respect of God, as all other men: But in respect of men beggers. For they would not so instauntly require those almes, except they had nede of them: nether ought we to be ashamed therof, or to be proud beggers: forsomuch Christ as touching his humanitie became a begger for vs, because he declared his nede vnto hys Father, saying. &c.

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Marginalia8.Item, when any King, Prince, Knight, Citezen, or any other manne, doth geue vnto the cleargy, or to any prieste for his stipend, he geueth the same vnto the church of GOD, and to the priuate party, as a perpetuall almes, that he should attend to his vocation, in preaching, praying & studying. But this kinde of geuing doth not suffice to ground any seculer dominyon amongst the cleargie, it followeth that the bare vse remaineth in them, or the seculer vse without any seculer power.

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The maior appeareth hereby, forsomuch as otherwise almes should not be a worke of mercy. Whereby also it may appeare, that tenthes are pure almes, geuen vnto the church, to the vse of the pore.

Marginalia9.And here vppon the holy men do saye that tenthes are the tributes of the neadye soules. Whervppon S. Augustin in a Sermon made vppon the restoryng of Tithes saith. The geuing of Tithes most deare brethrē are the tributes of the pore soules therfore pay your tribute vnto the pore. And by and by after, he saith, MarginaliaTithes are to be geuen of the ninth part of goodes.he therfore which desireth either to get any reward, or to haue any remission of sinnes, by geuing of his tenthes, let him ftudy to geue almes euen of the ninthe part: so that whatsoeuer shall remaine more then a competent liuing, and decent clothing: that it be not reserued for riot. but that it be laid vp in the heauenly treasure, by geuing it in almes vnto the pore. For whatsoeuer God doth geue vnto vs more then we haue nede of: he doth not geue it vs specially for our selues: but doth send it vs to be bestowed vpon others by our handes, if we do not geue it, we inuade an other mannes possessions. Thus much wryteth S. Augustine, and is repeted in the 16. question 1. Decime.

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Also Saint Ierome in an Epistle, and it is put in the xvi. question, and ii. chapter Quicquid. Whatsoeuer the clergy hath it is the goodes of the pore.

Also S. Augustin in his xxxiii. Epistle vnto Boniface, and it is aleaged in the i. question and xii.

Also in the xxiii. question vii. If we do posseße any thing priuately, the which dothe suffise vs, they are not oures, but the goodes of the pore, whose ftewardes we are, except we do chalenge vnto our selues a property by some damnable vsurpation. The glose vppon that part of the xxiii. quest. vii. saith. The Prelates are but only the stewardes of the church goodes, and not

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