A Man cast out of the Church for having refused to pay Tithes

[This is taken from Augustine Calmet's Phantom World, originally published in 1850.]

John Brompton, Abbot of Sornat in England, says that we may read in very old histories that St. Augustine, the Apostle of England, wishing to persuade a gentleman to pay the tithes, God permitted that this saint having said before all the people, before the commencement of the mass, that no excommunicated person should assist at the holy sacrifice, they saw a man who had been interred for 150 years leave the church.

After mass, St. Augustine, preceded by the cross, went to ask this dead man why he went out? The dead man replied that it was because he had died in a state of excommunication. The saint asked him, where was the sepulcher of the priest who had pronounced against him the sentence of excommunication? They went thither; St. Augustine commanded him to rise; he came to life, and avowed that he had excommunicated the man for his crimes, and particularly for his obstinacy in refusing to pay tithes; then, by order of St. Augustine, he gave him absolution, and the dead man returned to his tomb. The priest entreated the saint to permit him also to return to his sepulcher, which was granted him. This story appears to me suspicious. In the time of St. Augustine, the Apostle of England, there was no obligation as yet to pay tithes on pain of excommunication, and much less a hundred and fifty years before that time—above all in England.





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