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Present Subsistence of ECCLESIASTICAL
1. The first is Institution and Induction. In Abp. Langton's Time, this was to be done without Fee. (See bis Constitution, Quia juxta.) In Abp. Stratford's Time 'twas but izd. (See bis Constitution, Sava.) which could not then be worth more than 20 s. at present: Clergymen now have two Instruments more upon Instituti. on than they had then, viz. a Certificate of their Subscribing the 39 Articles, and another of their promising Conformity; allow. 205. for each of these Instruments, the Sum total will be 3!. I am afraid that young Incumbents are forced to pay
in fome Places more than double that Sum. if the Archdeacon Inducted in Perfon, he had by the Constitution of the said Archbishop, Item quia, 35. 4 d. if his Official, 2 s. Not to enlarge on this Matter, 'twere inuch to be desired, that there were in every Ecclesiastical Office a legible fixt Table of stated Fees, according to the 136 Canon, that there might be no room left foc the oppressive Arts of inferior Officers.
2. Is the Money paid by Church-Wardens at the Visitations, and the Suits commenced by then against such as refuse to pay their Churcb Rates. For in this case the Church-Wardens have no other Remedy ; but only against Quakers, who are liable to be distressed. See: Chap. 24. versus finein.
Some think it unreasonable that Men should be excommunicated for 12 d. as it may happen in this case; but it ought to be remembred,
that Obflinacy is as Criminal, if not more so, in finail Cases as in great ; and what Reason that he should be allow'd the Privilege of Communion, that will not in proportion contribute to that necessary Expence, without which, publick Worship and Communion cannot be perform'd ?
3. Is the Probat of Wills, and granting of Letters of Adminisration, in case a Person die Inteftate; the first has ever belong’d to Bishops, not only in this Country, but whereever Chris Aianity has been establish'd ; nor is there any other Court in which Wills can regularly be proved, excepting some particular Boroughs, where the Lord or chief Magiftrate may do it by Prescription ; and excepting such Wills, wherein only Lands and Hereditaments are devised, no Goods, or Chattels, for they may be proved in Temporal Courts. Indeed, the Power of granting Administration is own’d by the Constitution of Otbobon, Libertatem, to have been securd to the Ordinary by King and Baions; and this was afterward confirmed by 13 Ed. 1. and Stat. 31 Ed. III.C. II. It is at least probable, that the Bishops before this had a Right to Administer, or grant Administration, but were interrupted in the Execution of it by Lords of Manours. One Reason why Bishops were intrufted with these Powers, was, that whatever was given to Pious Uses might faith, fully be applied ; and Wills, whereby such Charities are given, are by the Canonists call'd Privileg'd Wills; for in their Law, what would annul another Will, does not annul those; and formerly, Ordinaries had a Power of applying
fome part of the Inteftate's Goods to Pious
The Proving of Wills, and the Suits that are on this Account commenced in these Courts, seeins at present to be the most gainful Business that belongs to thein, especially with that which attends it, the granting Administration ; bus the most profitable part of this last is lopt off from thefe Courts, by Stat. ! 7ac. II. C. 17. whereby the Ordinary is prohibited from calling Administrators to Account before hiin, except it be at the Instance of some Party, whereas be. fore, the Ordinary could do it ex officio, by virtue of Stat. 31 Ed. III. and 22, 23. Car. II.
4. The last Support of these Courts is grants ing Licenses for Marriage without Banns, and Matrimonial Causes ; for these Matters are purely Ecclesiastical Conusance, and if Suit be commenced here for Divorce, or Alimony, no Prohibition lies, nor can fuch Causes be tried in any other Courts, except they come by Appeal into the House of Lords.
There is one thing, with if effected, would be a considerable Addition to the Business and Revenue of these Courts, that is, if Divorce for Adultery, or Cruelty, were allowed to be d Vinculo, and a second Marriage permitted to the Innocent Party. By the old and present Canon-Law, Divorce à Vinculo is never permit.
ted, but when the Marriage was null ab initing by reason of Confanguinity, Precontracts, or Impotence. If it be for Adultery, or Cruelty, then ’tis only d Mensi
, and Thoro, and to the Parties have no other Relief from these Courts, but what they have by their own mutual Consent, which is to part and live asunder.
But it appeared in the Case of the late Duke of Norfolk and Earl of Anglesey, that it was the Opinion of many of our great Prelates, that in case of Adultery or Cruelty, the Holy Scripture allows of a Divorce d Vinculo, tho our Law does not, and I think, most Divines of Note seem to incline this way; and the Reformation, Leg. Eccl. determines for it. And there are great Authorities alledg’d for it from the ancient Fathers and Councils, and even from fome Divines of great Names in the Church of Rome itself.
This Alteration cannot be made by Convocation without a concurrent Act of Parliament, for it is not only the 107th Canon, and the whole Tenor of the old Canon-Law that forbids it, by obliging Persons, before they are divorced, to give Security, that they will not contract Matrimony with any other Person, during each other's Life; but Marriage on such Divorce is null at Common-Law. Godol. c. 26. seEZ. 12. (tho' there is one Precedent to the contrary, ibid. fe&t. 5.) and Coinmon-Law cannot be al. ter'd but by Parliament : But if this were once done, it might bring a plentiful Harvest to the Ecclefiaftical Courts,
Some Advertisements not easily reduced
to the former Heads.
Of Publishing Things in the Church. THere Here are great Innovations, especially in
some Country Churches, in publishing, or giving notice of the most frivolous, unbefitting, and fometimes ridiculous Things in the face of the Congregation.
As the Minister is to publish nothing himself, but what comes from the King or Ordinary, or is prescribed by the Liturgy?(not Orders from any Justices of Peace, Commissioners,&c.fo he ought, Io far as in him lies, to take care, that no one else publish any thing during Divine Service. 'Tis true, by Statute 6, 7 W.III
. Clergymen were obliged immediately after Morning-Prayer, to read, or cause to be read, the Rates, or Assessments for Birtb, Burials, and Marriages, under 5 1. Penalty; but the Parliament, 9, 10, of the same Prince, seeins to have been sensible of the Unreasonableness and Indecency of having things of this nature read amidst Divine Offices, and blending Temporal Matters with Sacred, and so Repealed this Clause of the A&; and it is to be hoped, that this Injunction will never be drawn into Precedent by future Parliaments.
And yet the Surveyor of the Highways is to publish' his Presentments in Church, after Ser. mnon. 3, 4 W. and M. c. 12.