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these particulars, and that under the pains of the highest censures of the Church that so these Delinquents may be legally cited: and being found obstinate, they shall be Excommunicated, and such Excommunication shall be pronounced both in the Cathedral Church of the Diocess, and in the several Parishes where such Recusants live, and every third month they shall be again publickly repeated in the places aforesaid, that all may take notice of those Sentences.
And because there are places which either have, or pretend to have exemptions, in which such Delinquents do usually affect to make their aboad: Therefore we enjoyn, that all Bishops shall within their several Dioceses send unto such places one or more of their Chaplains, or some of their Officers whom they may relie on, to make strict enquiry after Offenders in those kinds, who diligently returning their information accordingly, the said Bishop shall certifie such informations to his Metropolitan, that the aforesaid proceedings may forthwith issue from some higher Courts in these cases, whereof by reason of the said exemptions, the inferiour Courts can take no cognisance.
But if neither conferring nor censures will prevail with such persons, the Church hath no way left but complaints to the secular power; and for them we streightly enjoyn, that all Deans and Archdeacons, and all having inferiour or exempt Jurisdiction, shall every year within six Months after any Visitation by them holden, make Certificate unto their several Bishops, or Archbishop, (if it be within his Diocess) under their Seal of Office, of all such persons who have been presented unto them as aforesaid, under pain of suspension from their said Jurisdictions by the space of one whole year.
And we in like manner enjoyn all Archbishops and Bishops, that once every year at the least, they certifie under their Episcopal Seal in Parchment, unto the Justices of Assize of every County in the Circuits and within their Dioceses respectively, the names and sirnames not only of those who have been presented unto them from the said Deans, Archdeacons, &c. but of those also who upon the Oaths of Churchwardens and other Sworn-men at their Visitations, or upon the information of Ministers imployed in the said Conferences, have been presented unto them, that so the said intended proceedings may have the more speedy and the more general success.
In particular, it shall be carefully inquired into at all Visitations under the Oaths of the Church-wardens and other Sworn-men, what
Recusants or Popish persons have been either Married or Buried, or have had their Children baptized otherwise than according to the Rules and Forms established in the Church of England; and the names of such Delinquents (if they can learn them, or otherwise such names as for the time they carry) shall be as aforesaid given up to the Bishop, who shall present them to the Justices of Assize, to be punished according to the Statutes.
And for the education of Recusants Children, since, by Canon already established, no Man can teach School, (no not in any private house) except he be allowed by the Ordinary of the place, and withal have subscribed to the Articles of Religion established in the Church of England: We therefore streightly enjoyn, That forthwith at all Visitations there be diligent enquiry made by the Church-wardens or other sworn Ecclesiastical Officers of each Parish, under their Oaths, who are employed as School-masters to the Children of Recusants; and that their several names be presented to the Bishop of the Diocess, who citing the said School-masters, shall make diligent search whether they have subscribed or no; and if they or any of them be found to refuse subscription, they shall be forbidden to teach hereafter, and censured for their former presumption; and withal the names of him or them that entertain such a School-master, shall be certified to the Bishop of the Diocess, who shall at the next Assize present them to the Judges to be proceeded against according to the Statutes. And if they subscribe, enquiry shall be made what care they take for the instruction of the said Children in the Catechism established in the Book of Common-prayer. And all Ordinaries shall censure those whom they find negligent in the said instruction; and if it shall appear, that the Parents of the said children do forbid such School-masters to bring them up in the Doctrine of the Church of England, they shall notwithstanding do their duty; and if thereupon the said Parents shall take away their Children, the said School-masters shall forthwith give up their names unto the Bishop of the Diocess, who shall take care to return them to the Justices of Assize in manner and form aforesaid. And because some may cunningly elude this Decree, by sending their Children to be bred beyond the Seas, Therefore we ordain, That the Church-wardens and other sworn Ecclesiastical Officers, shall likewise make careful enquiry, and give in upon their Oaths at all Visitations, the names of such Recusants Children who
are so sent beyond the Seas to be bred there, or whom they probably suspect to be so sent: which names as aforesaid shall be given up to the Bishop, and from him returned to the Judges as aforesaid, that their Parents, who so send them, may be punished according to Law. Provided alwayes that this Canon shall not take away or derogate from any Power or Authority already given or established by any other Canon now in force.
And all the said Complaints or Certificates shall be presented up to the Judges in their several Circuits by the Bishops Register, or some other of his Deputies immediately after the publishing of His Majesties Commission, or at the end of the Charge, which shall be then given by the Judge. And this upon pain of Suspension for three months.
This Sacred Synod doth earnestly intreat the said Reverend Justices of Assize, to be careful in the execution of the said Laws committed to their trust, as they will answer to God for the daily increase of this gross kind of superstition. And further, we do also exhort all Judges, whether Ecclesiastical or Temporal upon the like account, that they would not admit in any of their Courts any vexatious Complaint, Suit or Suits, or presentments against any Minister, Church-wardens, Questmen, Sidemen, or other Church-Officers for the making of any such Presentments.
And lastly, We enjoyn that every Bishop shall once in every year send into his Majesties High Court of Chancery, a Significavit of the names and surnames of all such Recusants who have stood excommunicated beyond the time limited by the Law, and shall desire that the Writ De excommunicato capiendo might be at once sent out against them all Ex officio. And for the better execution of this Decree, this present Synod doth most humbly beseech His most Sacred Majesty, that the Officers of the said High Court of Chancery, whom it shall concern, may be commanded to send out the aforesaid Writ from time to time as is desired, for that it would much exhaust the particular estates of the Ordinaries, to sue out several Writs at their own charge. And that the like command also may be laid upon the Sheriffs and their Deputies, for the due and faithful execution of the said Writs, as often as they shall be brought unto them.
And to the end that this Canon may take the better and speedier effect, and not to be deluded or delayed; We further Decree and
Ordain, That no Popish Recusant, who shall persist in the said sentence of Excommunication beyond the time prescribed by Law, shall be absolved by vertue of any Appeal in any Ecclesiastical Court, unless the said party shall first in his or her own Person, and not by a Proctor, take the usual Oath De parendo Juri, & stando mandatis Ecclesiæ.
IV. Against Socinianism.
WHEREAS much mischief is already done in the Church of God by the spreading of the damnable and Cursed Heresie of Socinianism, as being a complication of many ancient Heresies condemned by the four first general Councils, and contrariant to the Articles of Religion now established in the Church of England. And whereas it is too apparent that the said wicked and blasphemous errors are unhappily dilated by the frequent divulgation and dispersion of dangerous Books, written in favour and furtherance of the same, whereby many, especially of the younger or unsettled sort of People, may be poysoned and infected: It is therefore decreed by this present Synod, that no Stationer, Printer, or Importer of the said Books, or any other person whatsoever, shall print, buy, sell or disperse any Book broaching or maintaining of the said abominable Doctrine or Positions, upon pain of Excommunication ipso facto to be thereupon incurred: And we require all Ordinaries upon pain of the Censures of the Church, that beside the Excommunication aforesaid, they do certifie their names and offenses under their Episcopal Seal to the Metropolitan, by him to be delivered to his Majesties Attorney-General for the time being, to be proceeded withal according to the late Decree in the Honorable Court of Star-Chamber, against the spreaders of prohibited Books. And that no Preacher shall presume to vent any such Doctrine in any Sermon under pain of Excommunication for the first offence, and Deprivation for the second. And that no Student in either of the Universities of this Land, nor any person in holy Orders, (excepting Graduates in Divinity, or such as have Episcopal or Archidiaconal Jurisdiction, or Doctors of Law in holy Orders) shall be suffered to have or read any such Socinian Book or Discourse, under pain (if the offendor live in the University) that he shall be punished according to the strictest Statutes provided there against the publishing, reading or maintaining of false Doctrine: or if he live in the City or Country
abroad, of a Suspension for the first offence, and Excommunication for the second, and Deprivation for the third, unless he will absolutely and in terminis abjure the same. And if any Layman shall be seduced into this Opinion, and be convicted of it, he shall be Excommunicated, and not absolved but upon due repentance and abjuration, and that before the Metropolitan, or his own Bishop at the least. And we likewise enjoyn, that such Books, if they be found in any prohibited hand, shall be immediately burned and that there be a diligent search made by the appointment of the Ordinary after all such Books, in what hands soever, except they be now in the hands of any Graduate in Divinity, and such as have Episcopal or Archidiaconal Jurisdiction, or any Doctor of Laws in holy Orders as aforesaid; and that all who now have them, except before excepted, be strictly commanded to bring in the said Books in the Universities to the Vice-chancellors, and out of the Universities to the Bishops, who shall return them to such whom they dare trust with the reading of the said Books, and shall cause the rest to be burned. And we farther enjoyn, that diligent enquiry be made after all such that shall maintain and defend the aforesaid Socinianism; and when any such shall be detected, that they be complained of to the several Bishops respectively, who are required by this Synod to repress them from any such propagation of the aforesaid wicked and detestable Opinions.
V. Against Sectaries.
WHEREAS there is a provision now made by a Canon for the suppressing of Popery, and the growth thereof by subjecting all Popish Recusants to the greatest severity of Ecclesiastical Censures in that behalf: This present Synod well knowing that there are other Sects which endeavour the subversion both of the Doctrine and Discipline of the Church of England no less than Papists do, although by another way for the preventing thereof, doth hereby decree and Ordain, that all those proceedings and penalties which are mentioned in the aforesaid Canon against Popish Recusants as far as they shall be applicable, shall stand in full force and vigour against all Anabaptists, Brownists, Separatists, Familists, or other Sect or Sects, person or persons whatsoever, who do or shall either obstinately refuse, or ordinarily, not having a lawful impediment (that is, for the space of a month) neglect