« ForrigeFortsett »
the laws of this realm justly rejected and taken away, or a defender of Popish and erroneous doctrine: they shall detect and present the same to the Bishop of the Diocese or Ordinary of the place, to be censured and punished according to such ecclesiastical laws as are prescribed in that behalf.
CXI.-Disturbers of Divine Service to be presented. In all visitations of Bishops and Archdeacons, the Churchwardens or Quest-men and Side-men shall truly and personally present the names of all those which behave themselves rudely and disorderly in the church, or which by untimely ringing of bells, by walking, talking, or other noise shall hinder the Minister or Preacher.
CXII.--Not Communicants at Easter to be presented. The Minister, Churchwardens, Quest-men and Assistants of every Parish Church and Chapel, shall yearly within forty days after Easter exhibit to the Bishop or his Chancellor, the names and surnames of all the Parishioners, as well men as women, which being of the age of sixteen years, received not the Coinmunion at Easter before.
CXIII.--Ministers may present. Because it often cometh to pass, that the Churchwardens, Side-men, Quest-men, and such other persons of the laity as are to take care for the suppressing of sin and wickedness in their several parishes, as much as in them lieth ; by admonition, reprehension, and denunciation to their Ordinaries, de forbear to discharge their duties therein, either through fear of their superiors, or through negligence, more than were fit, the licentiousness of these times considered: we ordain, that hereafter every Parson and Vicar, or in the lawful absence of any Parson or Vicar, then their Curates or Substitutes may join in every presentment with the said Churchwardens, Side-men, and the rest above mentioned at the times hereafter limited, if they the said Churchwardens and the rest will present such enormities as are apparent in the parish: or if they will not, then every such Parson and Vicar, or in their absence as aforesaid, their Curates may themselves present to their Ordinaries at such times, and when else they think it meet, all such crimes as they have in charge, or otherwise, as by them (being the persons that should have the chief care for the suppressing of sin and impiety in their parishes) shall be thought to require due reformation. Provided always, that if any man confess his secret and hidden sins to the Minister for unburthening of his conscience, and to receive spiritual consolation and ease of mind from him, we do not any way bind the said Minister by this our Constitution, but do strictly charge and admonish him that he do not at any time reveal and make known to any person whatsoever, any crime or offence so committed to his trust and secrecy (except they be such crimes as by the laws of this realm his own life may be called into question for concealing the same) under pain of irregularity.
CXIV.-Ministers shall present Recusants. Every Parson, Vicar or Curate, shall carefully inform themselves every year hereafter, how many Popish recusants, men, women and children above the age of thirteen years ; and how many being popishly given (who though they come to the Church, yet do refuse to receive the Communion) are inhabitants, or make their abode either as sojourners or common guests in any of their several parishes, and shall set down their true names in writing, (if they can learn them) or otherwise such names as for the time they carry, distinguishing the absolute recusants from half recusants: and the same so far as they know or believe so distinguished and set down under their hands, shall truly present to their Ordinaries before the feast of the Nativity next ensuing, under pain of suspension to be inflicted upon them by their said Ordinaries, and so every year hereafter upon the like pain, before the feast of Saint John the Baptist. Also we ordain, that all such Ordinaries, Chancellors, Commissaries, Archdeacons, Officials, and all other ecclesiastical officers to whom the said presentments shall be exhibited, shall likewise within one month after the receipt of the same, under pain of suspension by the Bishop from the execution of their offices for the space of half year (as often as they shall offend therein) deliver them, or cause to be delivered to the Bishop respectively; who shall also exhibit them to the Archbishop within six weeks, and the Archbishop to his Majesty within other six weeks after he hath received the said presentments.
CXV.—Ministers and Churchwardens not to be sued for Presenting.
Whereas for the reformation of criminous persons and disorders in every Parish, the Churchwardens, Quest-men, Side-men and such other Church Officers are sworn, and the Minister charged to present as well the crimes and disorders committed by the criminous persons, as also the common fame which is spread abroad of them, whereby they are often maligned and sometimes troubled by the said delinquents or their friends: we do admonish and exhort all Judges both ecclesiastical and temporal, as they regard and reverence the fearful judgment seat of the highest Judge, that they admit not in any of their courts, any complaint, plea, suit or suits, against any such Churchwarden, Quest-men, Side-men or other Church Officers, for making any such presentments, nor against any Minister for any presentment that he shall make: all the said presentments tending to the restraint of shameless impiety, and considering that the rules both of charity and government do presume that they did nothing therein of malice, but for the discharge of their consciences. CXVI.—Churchwardens not bound to present oftener than twice a year.
No Churchwardens, Quest-men or Side-men of any Parish, shall be inforced to exhibit their presentments to any having ecclesiastical jurisdiction, above once in every year, where it hath been no oftener used, nor above twice in any Diocese whatsoever, except it be at the Bishop's visitation. For the which presentments of every parish church or chapel, the register of any court where they are to be exhibited, shall not receive in one year above four-pence, under pain for every offence therein, of suspension from the execution of his office for the space of a month toties quoties. Provided always, that as good occasion shall require, it
shall be lawful for every Minister, Churchwardens and Side-men, to present offenders as oft as they shall think meet. And likewise for any godly disposed person, or for any ecclesiastical Judge, upon knowledge or notice given unto him or them, of any enormous crime within his jurisdiction, to move the Minister, Churchwardens or Side-men, as they tender the glory of God and reformation of sin, to present the same, if they shall find sufficient cause to induce them thereunto, that it may
be in due time punished and reformed. Provided, that for these voluntary presentments, there be no fee required or taken of them under the pain aforesaid.
CXVII.-Churchwardens not to be troubled for not presenting oftener than
twice a year.
No Churchwardens, Quest-men, or Side-men shall be called or cited, but only at the said time or times before limited, to appear before any ecclesiastical Judge whosoever, for refusing at other times to present any faults committed in their parishes, and punishable by ecclesiastical laws. Neither shall they nor any of them, after their presentments exhibited at any of those times, be any further troubled for the same, except upon manifest and evident proof it may appear, that they did then willingly and wittingly omit to present some such public crime or crimes as they knew to be committed, or could not be ignorant that there was then a public fame of them, or unless there be very just cause to call them for the explanation of their former presentments. In which case of wilful omission, their Ordinaries shall proceed against them in such sort as in causes of wilful perjury in a Court Ecclesiastical it is already by law provided. CXVIII. The old Churchwardens to make their Presentments before the
new be sworn. The office of all Churchwardens and Side-men shall be reputed ever hereafter to continue until the new Churchwardens that shall succeed them, be sworn, which shall be the first week after Easter, or some week following, according to the direction of the Ordinary. Which time so appointed, shall always be one of the two times in every year, when the Minister and Churchwardens, and Side-men of every parish shall exhibit to their several Ordinaries, the presentments of such enormities as have happened in their Parishes since their last presentments. And this duty they shall perform before the newly chosen Churchwardens and Side-men be sworn, and shall not be suffered to pass over the said presentments to those that are newly come into office, and are by intendment ignorant of such crimes, under pain of those censures which are appointed for the reformation of such dalliers and dispensers with their own consciences and oaths.
CXIX.-Convenient Time to be assigned for framing Presentments.
For the avoiding of such inconveniences as heretofore have happened by the hasty making of Bills of Presentments, upon the days of the visitation and synods, it is ordered, that always hereafter, every Chancellor, Archdeacon commissary and official, and every other person having ecclesiastical jurisdiction, at the ordinary time when the Churchwardens are sworn : and the Archbishops and Bishops when he or they do summon their visitation, shall deliver, or cause to be delivered to the Churchwardens, Quest-men and Side-men of every parish, or to some of them, such Books of Articles as they or any of them shall require for the year following the said Churchwardens, Quest-men and Side-men, to ground their presentments upon at such times as they are to exhibit them. In which Book shall be contained the form of the oath which must be taken immediately before every such presentment: to the intent that having before-hand time sufficient, not only to peruse and consider what their said oath shall be, but the Articles also whereupon they are to ground their presentments, they may frame them at home both advisedly and truly to the discharge of their own consciences, after they are sworn, as becometh honest and godly men. CXX.-None to be cited into Ecclesiastical Courts by Process of
Quorum nomina. No Bishop, Chancellor, Archdeacon, Official, or other ecclesiastical Judge, shall suffer any general processes of Quorum nomina, to be sent out of his court : except the names of all such as thereby are to be cited, shall be first expressly entered by the hand of the Register, or his Deputy, under the said processes, and the said processes and names be first subscribed by the Judge, or his deputy, and his seal thereto affixed.
CXXI.-None to be cited into several Courts for one Crime. In places where the Bishop and Archdeacon do by prescription or composition visit at several places in one and the same year, lest for one and the self-same fault any of his Majesty's subjects should be challenged and molested in divers ecclesiastical courts: we order and appoint, that every Archdeacon or his Official, within one month after the visitation ended that year, and the presentments received, shall certify under his hand and seal, to the Bishop or his Chancellor, the names and crimes of all such as are detected and presented in his said visitation, to the end the Chancellor shall thenceforth forbear to convent any person for any crime or cause so detected or presented to the Archdeacon. And the Chancellor within the like time after the Bishop's visitation ended, and presentments received, shall under his hand and seal signify to the Archdeacon or his Official, the names and crimes of all such persons which shall be detected or presented unto him in that visitation, to the same intent as is aforesaid. And if these Officers shall not certify each other as is here prescribed, or after such certificate shall intermeddle with the crimes or persons detected and presented in each other's visitation ; then every of them so offending shall be suspended from all exercise of his jurisdiction, by the Bishop of the diocese, until he shall repay the costs and expenses which the parties grieved have been at by that vexation. CXXII.—No Sentence of deprivation or deposition to be pronounced
against a Minister, but by the Bishop. When any Minister is complained of in any ecclesiastical court belonging to any Bishop of his province for any crime, the Chancellor, Commissary, Official, or any other having ecclesiastical jurisdiction to whom it shall appertain, shall expedite the cause by processes and other proceedings against him; and upon contumacy for not appearing, shall first suspend him, and afterward his contumacy continuing,
communicate him. But if he appear and submit himself to the course of law, then the matter being ready for sentence, and the merits of his offence exacting by law, either deprivation from his Living, or deposition from the Ministry, no such sentence shall be pronounced by any person whosoever, but only by the Bishop, with the assistance of his Chancellor, the Dean (if they may conveniently be had) and some of the Prebendaries, if the court be kept near the cathedral church, or of the Archdeacon if he may be had conveniently, and two other at the least grave Ministers and Preachers to be called by the Bishop, when the Court is kept in other places.
CXXIII.—No Act to be sped but in open Court. No Chancellor, Commissary, Archdeacon, Official, or any other person using ecclesiastical jurisdiction whosoever, shall speed any judicial Act, either of contentions or voluntary jurisdiction, except he have the ordinary Register of that court, or his lawful deputy: or if he or they will not, or cannot be present, then such persons as by law are allowed in that behalf to write or speed the same, under pain of suspension ipso facto.
CXXIV.--No Court to have more than one Seal. No Chancellor, Commissary, Archdeacon, Official, or any other exercising 'ecclesiastical jurisdiction, shall without the Bishop's consent have any more seals than one for the sealing of all matters incident to his office : which seal shall always be kept either by himself, or by his lawful substitute exercising jurisdiction for him, and remaining within the jurisdiction of the said judge, or in the city or principal town of the county. This seal shall contain the title of that jurisdiction which every of the said judges or their deputies do execute.
CXXV.—Convenient places to be chosen for the keeping of Courts. All Chancellors, Commissaries, Archdeacons, Officials, and all other exercising ecclesiastical jurisdiction, shall appoint such meet places for the keeping of their courts by the assignment or approbation of the Bishop of the Diocese, as shall be convenient for entertainment of those that are to make their appearance there, and most indifferent for their travel. And likewise they shall keep and end their courts in such convenient time, as every man may return homewards in as due season as
CXXVI.-Peculiar and inferior Courts to exhibit the original Copies of
Wills into the Bishop's Registry. Whereas Deans, Archdeacons, Prebendaries, Parsons, Vicars, and others exercising ecclesiastical jurisdiction, claim liberty to prove the last wills and testaments of persons deceased within their several jurisdictions, having no known nor certain registers, nor public place to keep their records in, by reason whereof many wills, rights and legacies, upon the death or change of such persons and their private notaries, miscarry and cannot be found, to the great prejudice of his Majesty's subjects : we therefore order and enjoin, that all such possessors and exercisers of peculiar jurisdiction, shall once in every year exhibit into the public