Imatges de pàgina
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such Infants to Baptize them, that they may not contract the Spiritual Relation of Godfather, or Godmother ; but in case there should be no body else present, and the Child should be in apparent danger of Death, in such a case of necessity, the Father or Mother must Baptize it.

Decree VIII.

T

He Synod doth earnestly recommend to all

People , to procare Christian Daid's or Midwives in all their Towns, and such as know the Form of Baptism, and are able to succour ..the necessities of Infants when born in danger : And whereas Infidel Daia's do use a great many Ceremonies and Superstitions with Infants, which are foreign to the purity and integrity of the Gospel, and especially such of them as are Mahometans; the Vicars shall therefore take care frequently to instruct all their People, but especially the Daia's, in the Form of Baptism, that so every body may know how to fuccour the necessities of Infants when they are born ; and the Confeflors of the Daia's must be sure to ex. amine them as to the said Form, and having instructed them therein, fhall acquaint them how muuch it is thcir duty to be perfect in it.

Decree

Decree IX.

TH

He Synod doth command, That no Person

presume to keep an Infidel Slave without Baptizing him ; whom, if they are Infants, they shall Baptize presently; and if come to years of discretion, they shall take care to instruct in the Faith, in order to make them Christians, but without any manner of Compulsion, besides that of continual Persuasion; and whosoever should be found to have an Infidel Child that is not Baptized, or one that is of Age and does desire to be, shall be severely punished by the Prelate, and the Parties shall be Christened: In this the Vicars ought to be extreamly vigilant, and especially when they make the Roll of Confessions, and inquire what Persons are in every Family, and who are not Christians, and why they are not.

Decres 8.

TH

Here being some Christians so unmindful of

their Christian Obligations, as to sell Christians to Infidels, contrary to the Holy Canons, who by that means are certainly constrained to Apostatize from the Faith; wherefore the Synod in virtue of Obedience, and upon pain of Exconimunication to be ipso facto incurred, doth command, That no Christian presume to Sell any of the Faithful to Infidels ; and that whosoever shall be found to have done it, shall be forthwith

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declared Excommunicate, and shall not be Abfolved, until he hath redeemed the said Christian, tho' he should cost him more than what he fold him for ; or until it shall be manifest to ihe Vicar of the Church, and to other Curates, and the whole People, that it cannot be done; in which case he shall not be Absolved until by way of Penance he has refunded the Money that he received, with which the Vicar and Church-wardens shall buy an Infidel, whom they shall Christen, great numbers of such being told daily in Malabar ; and the Person so bought shall have his liberty, and shall be cemmitted to the care of some devout substantial Christian that will Educate him for God's fake. Moreover, the Synod in virtue of Obedience, deth prohibit all Christians to Sell any Boys or Girls, tho' they are not Baptized, to any Mahometan, Jew, or Heathen; it being certain, that such when sold to Infidels, will never come to the knowledge of the Faith; tho' when it is necessary, and they are their lawful Slaves, they may sell them to other Christians : Whosoever fall transgress herein, shall be severely punished, except the Person that was sold was Twenty Years of Age; and it is manifest to the Vicar, to whom he shall be carried before he is fold, that he refused to be Baptized.

Decree Decree XI.

T
He Heathens of these Parts being so strange-

ly addicted to Auguries, and Superstitions, as sometimes to kill their Children which are born on those days which they reckon to be Unlucky, imagining they must be miserable if they live, the Mothers, that they may not Murther them with their own hands, leaving them in Heaths, or at the bottom of some Tree, or in a Ditch, there to perish; wherefore the Synod doth command all the faithful Christians of this Bishoprick, That whereas living among such Heathens, and being their Neighbours, they cannot for the most part but know what pasies in their Houses, to be very watchful in this case; and whensoever they shall know of any Infants being thus exposed, or fall find them at any time in the Heaths, to carry them home to their Houses, and cherish them with Christian Charity, either Baptizing them themselves, or procuring it to be done; and if when they find them, they shall apprehend them to be near dying, notwithstanding they may know that their Parents will take it ill of them, who by thus exposing them have lost their dominion over them, they shall Baptize them immediately, whereby the Church will acquire a right in them, and as a Holy Mother, is glad to receive them; and if it should so happen that those by whom they are found, are not in a condition to breed them

up,

up,they shall then carry them to the Vicar,and the other Curates of the Church, whom we command in the name of Christ, to call together the chief Men of the Parish, to take some course about the bringing up of the Child; and if there is no well-disposed Person that will for the love of God, take the charge thereof upon him, they shall then procure a Nurse, and whatsoever else is necessary, if there can be no other way found, put of the Alms and Fabrick of the Church,

Decree XII.

T

He Synod commands, That the Infants

that are left at the Gates of the Churches, or in any other place, if it does not manifestly appear that they are already Christned, shall be Eaptized, and shall be brought up in the same manner as is prescribed for the Children of Infidels that are found exposed in the Heaths, the Vicars doing all they can to prevail with some to undertake the charge of their Education for God's fake.

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Decree XIII.

A

LL that shall be converted from Heathe.

nisin to Christianity, being of Age, shall be well instructed in the matters of Faith, before they shall be admitted to Baptism, and shall know at least how to Cross themselves, and be able to say the Pater Noster, Ave Mary, the

Creed,

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