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men, by any impertinent, inconvenient, or illegal Enquiries in the Articles for Ecclesiastical Visitations: This Synod hath now caused a Summary or Collection of Visitory Articles (out of the Rubricks of the Service-Book, and the Canons and warrantable rules of the Church) to be made, and for future Direction to be deposited in the Records of the Archbishop of Canterbury: and we do decree and ordain, That from henceforth no Bishop or other person whatsoever having right to hold, use, or exercise any Parochial Visitation, (shall under the pain of a months suspension upon a Bishop, and two months upon any other Ordinary that is delinquent, and this to be incurred ipso facto) cause to be printed or published, or otherwise to be given in charge to the Church-wardens, or to any other persons which shall be sworn to make Presentments, any other Articles or forms of enquiry upon Oath, then such only as shall be approved and in terminis allowed unto him (upon due request made) by his Metropolitan under his Seal of Office.
Provided always, that after the end of three years next following the date of these presents, the Metropolitan shall not either at the instance of those which have right to hold Parochial Visitations, or upon any other occasion, make any addition or diminution from that allowance to any Bishop of Visitory Articles, which he did last before (in any Diocess within this Province) approve of; But calling for the same, shall hold and give that only for a perpetual Rule, and then every Parish shall be bound only to take the said Book from the Archdeacons and other having a peculiar or exempt Jurisdiction, but once from that time, in three years, in case they do make it appear they have the said Book remaining in their publick Chest for the use of the Parish: And from every Bishop they shall receive the said Articles at the Episcopal Visitation only, and in manner and form as formerly they have been accustomed to do, and at no greater price then what hath been usually paid in the said Diocess respectively.
X. Concerning the Conversation of the Clergy.
THE sober, grave, and exemplary Conversation of all those that are imployed in Administration of holy things, being of great avail for the furtherance of Piety; It hath been the religious care of the Church of England, strictly to enjoyn to all and every one of her Clergy, a pious, regular, and inoffensive demeanour, and to prohibit all loose and
scandalous carriage by severe censures to be inflicted upon such Delinquents, as appears by the 74 and 75 Canons, Anno 1603, provided to this purpose.
For the more effectual success of which pious and necessary care, this present Synod straightly charges all Clergy-men in this Church, that setting before their eyes the Glory of God, the holiness of their calling, and the edification of the people committed to them, they carefully avoid all excess and disorder, and that by their Christian and religious conversation they shine forth as lights unto others in all Godliness and honesty.
And we also require all those to whom the Government of the Clergy of this Church is committed, that they set themselves to countenance and encourage godliness, gravity, sobriety, and all unblameable conversation in the Ministers of this Church, and that according to the power with which they are intrusted, they diligently labor by the due execution of the above-named Canons, and all other Ecclesiastical provisions made for this end, to reform all offensive and scandalous persons, if any be in the Ministery, as they tender the welfare and prospering of Piety and Religion, and as they will answer to God for those scandals, which through their remissness and neglect shall arise and grow in this Church of Christ.
XI. Chancellours Patents.
FOR the better remedying and redress of such abuses as are complained of in the Ecclesiastical Courts, the Synod doth decree and ordain, That hereafter no Bishop shall grant any Patent to any Chancellour, Commissary, or Official, for any longer term than the life of the Grantee only, nor otherwise than with express reservation to himself and his Successours, of the power to execute the said place, either alone, or with the Chancellour, if the Bishop shall please to do the same, saving always to the said Chancellours, &c. the Fees accustomably taken for executing the said jurisdiction. And that in all such Patents, the Bishop shall keep in his own hands the power of Institution unto Benefices, as also of giving. Licenses to preach or keep school. And further, that no Dean and Chapter confirm any Patent of any Chancellour, Commissaries, or Officials place, wherein the said conditions are not expressed sub pœna suspensionis, to the Dean (or
his locum tenens if he pass the Act in his absence) and to every
XII. Chancellours alone not to censure any of the Clergy in
THAT no Chancellour, Commissary, or Official, unless he be in holy Orders, shall proceed to Suspension, or any higher censure against any of the Clergy in any criminal cause, other than neglect of appearance, upon legal citing, but that all such causes shall be heard by the Bishop in person, or with the assistance of his Chancellour, or Commissary; or if the Bishops occasions will not permit, then by his Chancellour or Commissary, and two grave dignified or beneficed Ministers of the Diocess to be assigned by the Bishop, under his Episcopal Seal, who shall hear and censure the said cause in the Consistory.
XIII. Excommunication and Absolution not to be pronounced
THAT no Excommunications or Absolutions shall be good or valid in Law, except they be pronounced either by the Bishop in person, or by some other in holy Orders, having Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction, or by some grave Minister beneficed in the Diocess, being a Master of Arts, at least, and appointed by the Bishop, and the Priests name pronouncing such sentence of Excommunication or Absolution to be expressed in the Instrument issuing under Seal out of the Court. And that no such Minister shall pronounce any sentence of Absolution_but in open Consistory, or at the least in a Church or Chappel, the penitent humbly craving and taking Absolution upon his knees, and having first taken the Oath, De parendo juri & stando mandatis Ecclesiæ. And that no Parson, Vicar or Curate, sub pœna suspensionis, shall declare any of his or their Parishioners to be Excommunicate, or shall admit any of them so Excommunicate into the Church, and there declare
them to be absolved, except they first receive such Excommunications and Absolutions under the Seal of the Ecclesiastical Judge, from whom it cometh.
XIV. Concerning Commutations, and the disposing of them.
THAT no Chancellour, Commissary or Official, shall have power to commute any penance in whole, or in part; but either together with the Bishop in person, or with his privity in writing, or if by himself, there he shall give up a full and just account of all such Commutations once every year at Michaelmas to the Bishop, who shall, with his Chancellour, see that all such moneys be disposed of to charitable and publick uses, according to Law. And if any Chancellour or other having Jurisdiction as aforesaid, shall not make such a just account to the Bishop, and be found guilty of it, he shall be suspended from all exercise of his Jurisdiction, for the space of one whole year.
Always provided, that if the crime be publickly complained of, and do appear notorious, that then the Office shall signifie to the place, from whence the complaint came, that the Delinquent hath satisfied the Church for his offence. And the Minister shall signifie it as he shall be directed; saving alwayes to all Chancellours, and other Ecclesiastical Officers, their due and accustomable Fees, if he or they be not so suspended as aforesaid.
XV. Touching concurrent Jurisdiction.
THAT in such places wherein there is concurrent Jurisdiction, no Executor be cited into any Court or office, for the space of ten days after the death of the Testator. And that as well every Apparitor herein, as every Register or Clarek that giveth or carrieth out any Citation or Process to such intent, before that the said ten days be expired, shall for the first offence herein be suspended from the execution of his Office for the space of three months; and for the second offence in this kind, be and stand excommunicated, ipso facto, not to be restored but by the Metropolitan of the Province, or his lawful Surrogate; And that yet nevertheless, it be lawful for any Executor to prove such Wills when they thinck good, within the said ten days, before any Ecclesiastical Judge respectively, to whose Jurisdiction the same may or doth appertain.
XVI. Concerning Licenses to Marry.
WHEREAS divers Licenses to Marry are granted by Ordinaries, in whose Jurisdiction neither of the parties desiring such License is resident, to the prejudice of the Archiepiscopal Prorogative, to whom only the power of granting such Licenses to parties of any Jurisdiction, per totam provinciam, by Law belongeth; and for other great inconveniencies thereupon ensuing: It is therefore decreed, That no License of Marriage shall be granted by any Ordinary to any Parties, unless one of the said parties, have been commorant in the Jurisdiction of the said Ordinary, for the space of one whole month immediately before the said License be desired. And if any Ordinary shall offend herein, and be sufficiently evinced thereof, in any of the Lord Archbishops Courts, he shall be liable to such censure as the Lord Archbishop shall think fit to inflict. And we further decree, That one of the Conditions in the Bond of Security given by the parties taking such License, shall be, that the said parties, or one of them, have, or hath been a month commorant in the said Jurisdiction, immediately before the said License granted.
And the Synod decrees, That whatsoever is ordered in these six last Canons, concerning the Jurisdiction of Bishops, their Chancellours and Commissaries, shall (so far as by Law is appliable) be in force concerning all Deans, Deans and Chapters, Collegiate Churches, Archdeacons, and all in holy Orders, having exempt or peculiar Jurisdiction, and their several Officers respectively.
XVII. Against vexatious Citations.
AND that this Synod may prevent all grievances, which may fall upon the people by Citations into Ecclesiastical Courts upon pretence only of the breach of Law, without either presentment, or any other just ground: This present Synod decrees, That for all times to come no such Citation, grounded only as aforesaid, shall issue out of any Ecclesiastical Court, except the said Citation be sent forth under the hand and seal of the Chancellour, Commissary, Archdeacon, or other competent Judge of the said Court, within thirty dayes after the fault committed; and return thereof to be made the next, or second Court