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CONSTITUTIONS AND CANONS ECCLESIASTICAL.
To make many of my remarks intelligible to the reader, who may not happen to be very familiar with these Canons, I shall first give them literally, and then add my proposed alterations.
OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND.
1.- The King's Supremacy over the Church of England, in Causes Ec
clesiastical, to be maintained. As our duty to the King's most excellent Majesty requireth, we first decree and ordain, That the Archbishop of Canterbury (from time to time) all Bishops of this province, all Deans, Archdeacons, Parsons, Vicars, and all other ecclesiastical persons, shall faithfully keep and observe, and (as much as in them lieth) shall cause to be observed and kept of others, all and singular laws and statutes made for restoring to the Crown of this kingdom, the ancient jurisdiction over the state ecclesiastical, and abolishing of all foreign power repugnant to the same. Furthermore, all ecclesiastical persons having cure of souls, and all other Preachers, and Readers of Divinity Lectures, shall to the uttermost of their wit, knowledge, and learning, purely and sincerely (without any colour or dissimulation) teach, manifest, open, and declare four times every year (at the least) in their sermons and other collations and lectures, that all usurped and foreign power (forasmuch as the same hath no establishment nor ground by the law of God) is for most just cases taken away and abolished: and that therefore no manner of obedience, or subjection within his Majesty's realms and dominions, is due unto any such foreign power ; but that the King's power within his realms of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and all other his dominions and countries, is the highest power under God, to whom all men, as well inhabitants, as born within the same, do by God's laws owe most loyalty and obedience, afore and above all other powers and potentates in earth.
II.-Impugners of the King's Supremacy, censured. Whosoever shall hereafter affirm, That the King's Majesty hath not the same authority in causes ecclesiastical, that the godly Kings had amongst the Jews, and Christian Emperors in the Primitive Church, or impeach any part of his regal supremacy in the said causes restored to the Crown, and by the laws of this realm therein established : Let him be excommunicated ipso facto, and not restored, but only by the Archbishop, after his repentance and public revocation of those his wicked
III.- The Church of England, a true and Apostolical Church. Whosoever shall hereafter affirm, That the Church of England by law established under the King's Majesty, is not a true and an Apostolical Church, teaching and maintaining the doctrine of the Apostles: Let him be excommunicated ipso facto, and not restored, but only by the Archbishop, after his repentance and public revocation of this his wicked
IV.-Impugners of the public worship of God established in the Church of
England, censured. Whosoever shall hereafter affirm, That the form of God's worship in the Church of England, established by law, and contained in the Book of Common Prayer and Administration of Sacraments, is a corrupt, superstitious, or unlawful worship of God, or containeth any thing in it that is repugnant to the Scriptures : Let him be excommunicated ipso facto, and not restored but by the Bishop of the place, or Archbishop, after his repentance and public revocation of such his wicked
V.-Impugners of the Articles of Religion established in the Church of
England, censured. Whosoever shall hereafter affirm, That any of the XXXIX. Articles agreed upon by the Archbishops and Bishops of both Provinces, and the whole Clergy in the Convocation holden at London in the year of our Lord God, One thousand five hundred and sixty-two, for avoiding diversities of opinions, and for the establishing of consent touching true religion, are in any part superstitious or erroneous, or such as he may not with a good conscience subscribe unto: Let him be excommunicated ipso facto, and not restored, but only by the Archbishop, after his repentance and public revocation of such his wicked errors. VI.Impugners of the Rites and Ceremonies established in the Church of
England, censured. Whosoever shall hereafter affirm, That the rites and ceremonies of the Church of England by law established, are wicked, Antichristian, or superstitious, or such as being commanded by lawful authority, men who are zealously and godly affected, may not with any good conscience approve them, use them, or as occasion requireth, subscribe unto them: Let him be excommunicated ipso facto, and not restored until he repent, and publicly revoke such his wicked errors. VII.-Impugners of the Government of the Church of England by Arch
bishops, Bishops, &c., censured. Whosoever shall hereafter affirm, That the government of the Church of England under his Majesty by Archbishops, Bishops, Deans, Archdeacons, and the rest that bear office in the same, is Antichristian, or repugnant to the word of God: Let him be excommunicated ipso facto,
and so continue until he repent, and publicly revoke such his wicked
VIII.— Impugners of the form of Consecrating and Ordaining Arch
bishops, Bishops, &c., in the Church of England, censured. Whosoever shall hereafter affirm or teach, That the form and manner of making and consecrating Bishops, Priests and Deacons, containeth any thing in it, that is repugnant to the word of God; or that they who are made Bishops, Priests or Deacons in that form, are not lawfully made, nor ought to be accounted either by themselves or others, to be truly either Bishops, Priests or Deacons, until they have some other calling to those divine offices : Let him be excommunicated ipso facto, not to be restored until he repent, and publicly revoke such his wicked
IX.—Authors of Schism in the Church of England, censured. Whosoever shall hereafter separate themselves from the Communion of Saints, as it is approved by the Apostles' rules in the Church of England, and combine themselves together in a new brotherhood, accounting the Christians who are conformable to the doctrine, government, rites and ceremonies of the Church of England, to be profane and unmeet for them to join with in Christian profession : Let them be excommunicated ipso facto, and not restored, but by the Archbishop, after their repentance and public revocation of such their wicked errors.
X.-Maintainers of Schismatics in the Church of England, censured.
Whosoever shall hereafter affirm, That such Ministers as refuse to subscribe to the form and manner of God's worship in the Church of England prescribed in the Communion Book, and their adherents, may truly take unto them the name of another Church not established by law, and dare presume to publish it, That this their pretended Church hath of long time groaned under the burden of certain grievances imposed upon it, and upon the members thereof before mentioned, by the Church of England, and the orders and constitutions therein by law established : Let them be excommunicated, and not restored until they repent, and publicly revoke such their wicked errors.
XI.—Maintainers of Conventicles, censured. Whosoever shall hereafter affirm or maintain, That there are within this realm other meetings, assemblies or congregations, of the King's born subjects, than such as by the laws of this land are held and allowed, which may rightly challenge to themselves the name of true and lawful churches: Let him be excommunicated, and not restored, but by the Archbishop, after his repentance and public revocation of such his wicked
XII.—Maintainers of Constitutions made in Conventicles, censured. Whosoever shall hereafter affirm, That it is lawful for any sort of Ministers and Lay-persons, or of either of them, to join together, and make rules, orders, or constitutions in causes ecclesiastical, without the King's authority, and shall submit themselves to be ruled and governed by them: Let them be excommunicated ipso facto, and not be restored until they repent, and publicly revoke those their wicked and Anabaptistical errors.
OF DIVINE SERVICE, AND ADMINISTRATION OF THE
XIII.-Due celebration of Sundays and Holy days. All manner of persons within the Church of England, shall from henceforth celebrate and keep the Lord's day, commonly called Sunday, and other holy days, according to God's holy will and pleasure, and the orders of the Church of England, prescribed in that behalf; that is, in hearing the word of God read and taught, in private and public prayers; in acknowledging their offences to God and amendment of the same, in reconciling themselves charitably to their neighbours where displeasure hath been, in oftentimes receiving the Communion of the Body and Blood of Christ, in visiting of the poor and sick, using all godly and sober conversation.
XIV.—The prescript form of Divine Service to be used on Sundays and
Holy days. The Common Prayer shall be said or sung distinctly and reverently upon such days as are appointed to be kept holy by the Book of Common Prayer, and their Eves, and at convenient and usual times of those days, and in such place of every Church as the Bishop of the Diocese, or Écclesiastical Ordinary of the place shall think meet for the largeness or straitness of the same, so as the people may be most edified. All Ministers likewise shall observe the orders, rites, and ceremonies prescribed in the Book of Common Prayer, as well in reading the holy Scriptures, and saying of prayers, as in administration of the Sacraments, without either diminishing in regard of preaching, or in any other respect, or adding any thing in the matter or form thereof.
XV.— The Litany to be read on Wednesdays and Fridays. The Litany shall be said or sung when, and as it is set down in the Book of Common Prayer, by the Parsons, Vicars, Ministers or Curates, in all Cathedral, Collegiate, Parish Churches and Chapels, in some convenient place, according to the discretion of the Bishop of the Diocese, or Ecclesiastical Ordinary of the place. And that we may speak more particularly, upon Wednesdays and Fridays weekly, though they be not holy days, the Minister at the accustomed hours of service, shall resort to the Church and Chapel, and warning being given to the people by tolling of a bell, shall say the Litany prescribed in the Book of Common Prayer: whereunto we wish every householder dwelling within half a mile of the Church, to come or send one at the least of his household fit to join with the Minister in prayers.
XVI.—Colleges to use the prescript form of Divine Service. In the whole Divine Service, and administration of the holy Communion, in all Colleges and Halls in both Universities, the order, form
and ceremonies, shall be duly observed as they are set down and prescribed in the Book of Common Prayer; without any omission or alteration.
XVII.-Students in Colleges to wear Surplices in time of Divine Service.
All Masters and Fellows of Colleges or Halls, and all the Scholars and Students in either of the Universities, shall in their Churches and Chapels upon all Sundays, holy days, and their Eves, at the time of Divine Service, wear Surplices according to the order of the Church of England : and such as are Graduates, shall agreeably wear with their Surplices such Hoods as do severally appertain unto their degrees.
XVIII.-A Reverence and Attention to be used within the Church in time
of Divine Service. In the time of Divine Service, and of every part thereof, all due reverence is to be used; for it is according to the Apostle's rule, Let all things be done decently, and according to order : answerable to which decency and order, we judge these our directions following ; No man shall cover his head in the Church or Chapel in the time of Divine Service, except he have some infirmity; in which case, let him wear a night-cap or coif. All manner of persons then present, shall reverently kneel upon
their knees when the General Confession, Litany and other Prayers are read; and shall stand up at the saying of the Belief, according to the rules in that behalf prescribed in the Book of Common Prayer: And likewise when in time of Divine Service the Lord Jesus shall be mentioned, due and lowly reverence shall be done by all persons present as it hath been accustomed; testifying by these outward ceremonies and gestures, their inward humility, Christian resolution, and due acknowledgment that the Lord Jesus Christ, the true eternal Son of God, is the only Saviour of the world, in whom alone all the mercies graces mises of God to mankind, for this life and the life to come, are fully and wholly comprised. None, either man, woman or child, of what calling soever, shall be otherwise at such times busied in the Church, than in quiet attendance to hear, mark and understand that which is read, preached or ministered ; saying in their due places audibly with the Minister, the Confession, the Lord's Prayer and the Creed; and making such other answers to the public prayers as are appointed in the Book of Common Prayer: neither shall they disturb the Service or Sermon by walking or talking, or any other way, nor depart out of the Church during the time of Service or Sermon, without some urgent or reasonable cause.
XIX.—Loiterers not to be suffered near the Church in time of Divine
Service. The Churchwardens or Questmen, and their assistants, shall not suffer any idle persons to abide either in the Churchyard or Church-porch, during the time of Divine Service or Preaching ; but shall cause them either to come in, or to depart.
XX.-Bread and Wine to be provided against every Communion.