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cion, L. 3. T. 16.c. Quoniam Propt. v. Cenfuram Ecclefiajt. 8 ad Ordinarium. & L. 5. T. 16. c. Sacramentum, v. non tenere. The Conftitution of Edmund, Archbishop of Canterbury, de De. crimis, gives Power to the Alliftant Priests (capellanis) after three Admonitions, to Excoinmunicate a Parishioner that withdraws his Tythes. And it appearszathat Curates did like. wise, without Commission from their Bishop, abfolve Persons that were under the greater Excommunication, till Archbishop Peckham made the Constitution abovementioned, viz. Saçra. mentum ; whereby such Proceedings were for. bid for the future. To denounce, or publish an Excommunication past by a Superior, by virtue of a Letter under Seal of Court, was so far froin being an Office peculiar to Clergy men, that by the Constitution of Archbishop Boniface, Item contra, L. 5. T. 17. this was allow'd to be done by Apparitors, or even by Beadles. I dare not say how far Custom has lefsen'd the Power of Incumbents, but the Rubric is a safe Rule for them to act by.
By Statute 35 Eliz. I, any Minister may in the Parish-Church, take the Submission of a Penitent Recusant, and the Recantation of a Schil matick, by Can. 17.' And I suppose that every Minister has power to absolve every Penitent at the Hour of Death, from any of the greatest Crimes, upon a sincere Confession and Repentance.
There are indeed several Cafes mention'd by the Canonifts, as referu'd to the Bishop, and froin which none could Abfolve but he in Per. fon; as Incendiarism, Heresy, &c. but in Ar. ticulo mortis every Curate could Absolve even from these. See Provinc, Præterea of Archbi. 1hop. Peckham, and Superno of Archbishop Stratford. And if such a one die without Absolution, yet upon Application to the Ordinary Absolution may be pailed after his Death ; tho, I believe, any discreet Clergy man would, in such a Cafe, think it a sufficient Justification for burying such a Person, if he have good Wit. nesses ibat can testify bis Repentance, without putting the Friends of the Deceased to the Charge and Trouble of a formal Absolution from the Ordinary.
In times of Popery there was another Censure used to be infli&ted by Ordinaries, or Bishops; which was the forbidding all Sacraments and Divine Offices to be performed (except Baptism to Children, and the Sacraments of the Eucbarist, and Unction at the point of Death) within any Parish, Town, County, or Nation ; and farther, they sometimes prohibited the People living within such Places, to be present at Di. vine Service, in any other place. This Cenfure was commonly inflicted, on pretence, that the Privileges of the Church and Clergy, had been violated by the Lords, Magistrates, or Princes of any Place or Nation, and so the Innocent suffer'd together with the Guilty; and the Subjects or People, for the Faults of their Superiors. In the Reign of King 7 obn, this Kingdom lay under a Papal Interdict for above fix Years together, beginning Anno Dom. 1208, for no other Cause, but that the King was not willing to own Stephen Langton Archbishop of Canterbury, he being preferr'd to that See by the fole
Authority of the Pope, in opposition both to the King and Convent, who had long before jointly elected Gray, Bishop of Norwich, to the Archiepifcopal Chair ; and at last the Pope carried his Point, . And the Pope, as far as in him lay, put the Republick of Venice under this Censure, about the beginning of the last Century. There was also an Interdict against particular Persons, whereby they were for some Jeffer Crimes prohibited from entring within the Church Doors. This, Lyndwood says, fucceeded in the room of the Lesser Excoininuni. cation.
Popish Ordinaries did not only inflict these Cenfures beforementioned, but sometimes Sentenced Offenders to be Baftinado'd, or to run the Gantlope. This they calld Fusigatio So. lennis circa forum vel Ecclefiam. Atbon alks a sawcy Question, viz. Whether a Gentleman or Freeman might be thus handled? And leave it undeterinin'd. Const. Osbob. De Archiadiaconis Verb. crimina puniant. And who can wonder, that Subjects were thus dealt with in those Times, when he confiders, that one of our Kings, Henry II. was in fome such manner disciplin’d by the Monks of Canterbury, for being the Occasion of Archbishop Becket's Death?
CHAP. CHA P. XX.
Of Holy. Days. HOly.Days of Obligation by the Constituti
. on of Simon Islip, Archbishop of Canter. bury, who fate in the middle of the 14th Century, were those which we now observe, (excepting St. Paul's Conversion and St.Barnabas): and also over and above what we observe, St. Thomas the Martyr (Becket) on Dec. 29. Wednesday in Easter and Whitsun-Week; The Invention of the Crofs, May the third ; Corpus Christi Day, being the Thursday after TrinitySunday ; Translation of St. Tbomas (Becket) July 7th; St. Mary Magdalen, July 21st; St. Laurence, Aug. 1oth; Allumption of the Virgin Mary, Aug. 15th; Nativity of the Virgin Mary, Sept. 8th ; Exaltation of the Cross, Sept. 14th; St. Nicholas, Dec. oth; Conception of the Virgin Mary, Dec. 8th; The Dedication of every Church, to be kept by the Inhabi, tants of that Parish only; as also the Festival of the Saint to which every Church was Dedicated ; Henry Chicbely, Archbihop of Can. terbury, afterwards added the Feast of St.George
, April 23d ; and of St. David, Mar. Ift; St. Chad, Mar. 2d; St. Winefred, Nov. 3d ; And afterward St. Jobn of Beverly, May 7th. By an Act of Convocation, pass’d by Henry VIII. Anno Dom. 1536. the great Number of Holy, Days is complain’d of, and in some Measure Jeffen'd: For the Feast of the Dedication of every Church is order'd to be kept upon one and the fame Day every where, viz. the first Sunday in October ; and the Church Holyday, that is, the Saint's Day to which the Church is dedica ted, wholly laid aside. By Statute the 2d and 3d of Edw. VI. c. 3. the Feafts are the same that are now, only the Conversion of St. Paul, and St. Barnabas, were added at the Beginning of Q. Elizabeth's Reign. There was an Office for St.
M. Magdalen's Day in the first Book of Edw. VI. but it was omitted in the second, and in all the Editions since that.
By this Act of Edw. VI. all Persons were e qually oblig'd to keep Holydays and Sundays; and all Persons offending, were to be Cenfur'd by the Ordinary, who was to enjoin them Pe. nance at discretion : But this A & was Repeal'd by Statute i Mary c. 2. and afterwards this Statute of Mary was Repeal?d by 1 ) ac. I. c. 25. IVingate and others doubt whether this Act of Edw. VI. be Revived by the Repeal of Jacob.I. but, according to Coke, it is well Revived. IV atf.c. 25. p. 249.
However, the Observation of Holydays, is, as it were, part of the Common-Law of England; they having, in all probability, been kept ever since Christianity itself was here received. In the Council of Cloveshoe, where not only the Prelates, but King and Nobility were present, in the Year 747, the Observation of Holydays (the Nativities of the Saints, as well as those instituted in Honour of our Blessed Sa. viour) was enjoin'd by all the Authority, both Sacred and Civil, of this Church and Nation, K