Roger Williams (1603–1683)
Roger Williams has been credited with founding the first or second Baptist church in America. In 1652, Williams concluded that ministers of the gospel are to serve freely and be supported freely, “and that not in stinted Wages, Tithes, Stipends, Sallaries, &c. but with larger or lesser supplies, as the Hand of the Lord was more or lesse extended in his weekly blessings on them.”
Roger Williams, The Complete Writings of Roger Williams, 7 vols. (New York: Russell & Russell, 1963), 7:165.
John Milton (1659)
Milton wrote forcibly against tithes, which he considered ceremonial and abolished.
John Milton, Con_iderations Touching The likelie_t means to remove Hirelings out of the
Church: Wherein is al_o di_courc’d of Tithes, Church-fees, Church-revenues; And whether any
maintenance of mini_ters can be _ettl’d by law (London: L. Chapman, 1659), A9–A10, 15–18, 32–35, 37.
John Bunyan, Bunyan’s Searching Works: The Strait Gate, The Heavenly Footman,
The Barren Fig-Tree, The Pharisee and Publican, and Divine Emblems
(Philadelphia: American Baptist Publication Society, 1851), 24.
The Little Parliament (1653)
The Little Parliament (1653), under Cromwell and the Independent Churches, was moving toward voluntarism, that is, “that the maintenance of Churches by means of tithes ought to be done away.”
Henry William Clarke, History of English Nonconformity, 2 vols.
(London: Chapman and Hall, 1911-1913), 1:374.