SIX VOLUMES IN ONE
BY THE DISTINGUISHED EXPONENTS OF CATHOLICISM
REV. HENRY DODRIDGE, D. D.
REV. HENRY EDWARD MANNING, D. D.
REV. F. LEWIS, of Granada
REV. STEPHEN KEENAN
REV. BERNARD VAUGHAN, S. J.
REV. THOMAS N. BURKE, O. P.
Q. Which is the fifth precept of the church ?
A. Payment of tithes
Q.What are tithes?
A. The tenth part of the products of the earth.
Q. To whom are tithes payable? On what account ? And by what law ?
A. They are payable to the ministers of the church, in order to support them creditably, without any interruption to their spiritual duties. They are demanded as a part of religion, and an acknowledgment of God's supreme dominion over all the earth, and the fruits thereof are assigned for the benefit of his representatives, employed in religious matters: they are also due by the law of nature, "for a laborer," as St. Paul says, " is worthy of his hire or reward." 1 Tim. v. 18. And in another place, he says, that " they who serve the altar, live by the altar." 1 Cor. ix. 13. They are likewise due by human laws, civil and ecclesiastical, established for that purpose. Hence we read, in the 14th chapter of Genesis, ver. 20, and the 7th of the Hebrews, ver. 2, that Abraham paid tithes to Melchisedec, who was the high priest. Hence, in the law of Moses, the Levites, or sacerdotal race, were ordered by Almighty God to have all the tithes paid to them; and, besides, had five large cities settled upon them, with all their dependencies and lands belonging to them. Levi, xxvii.
Q. Is the tenth part precisely due by the law of nature, or law of God ?
A. It was due precisely by God's appointment among the Jews; but the Mosaic law being abolished by the gospel, all the church could demand, was a competent subsistence for the ministry, till, by degrees, the tithes were again ordered for the ministry, by civil and ecclesiastical laws, as they now stand, according to the different customs of nations. Num. xviii. ver. 21 et 28. Mala. iii. 10.