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53. No public Oppofition between Preachers.
IF any Preacher fhall in the Pulpit particularly, or namely of purpofe, impugn or confute any doctrine delivered by any other Preacher in the fame Church, or in any Church near adjoining, before he hath acquainted the Bishop of the diocese therewith, and received order from him what to do in that cafe, because upon fuch public diffenting and contradicting there may grow much offence and difquietnefs unto the people; the Churchwardens, or party grieved, fhall forthwith fignify the fame to the faid Bishop, and not fuffer the faid Preacher any more to occupy that place which he hath once abused, except he faithfully promife to forbear all fuch matter of contention in the Church, until the Bishop hath taken further order therein; who fhall with all convenient speed so proceed therein, that public fatisfaction may be made in the congregation where the offence was given. Provided, that if either of the parties offending do appeal, he fhall not be suffered to preach pendente lite.
54. The Licences of Preachers refufing Conformity to be void.
IF any man licensed heretofore to preach, by any Arch
bishop, Bishop, or by either of the Univerfities, fhall at any time from henceforth refufe to conform himself to the Laws, Ordinances, and Rites Ecclefiaftical, established in the Church of England, he fhall be admonished by the Bishop of the diocefe, or Ordinary of the place, to fubmit himself to the use and due exercife of the fame. And if, after fuch admonition, he do not conform himself within the space of one month, we determine and decree, That the Licence of every fuch Preacher fhall thereupon be utterly void, and of none effect.
55. The Form of a Prayer to be used by all Preachers before their Sermons.
BEFORE all Sermons, Lectures, and Homilies the
Preachers and Minifters fhall move the people to join with them in Prayer in this form, or to this effect, as briefly as conveniently they may: Ye fhall pray for Chrift's holy Catholic Church, that is, for the whole congregation of Chriftian people difperfed throughout the whole world, and efpecially for the Churches of England, Scotland, and Ireland: and herein I require you most especi
ally to pray for the King's moft excellent Majefty, our Sovereign Lord JAMES, King of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, and Supreme Governor in these his realms, and all other his dominions and countries, over all perfons, in all caufes, as well Ecclefiaftical as Temporal: ye fhall alfo pray for our gracious Queen ANNE, the noble Prince HENRY, and the rest of the King and Queen's royal iffue: ye fhall also pray for the Minifters of God's holy Word and Sacraments, as well Archbishops and Bishops, as other Paftors and Curates: ye fall alfo pray for the King's moft honourable Council, and for all the Nobility and Magiftrates of this realm; that all and every of thefe, in their feveral callings, may ferve truly and painfully to the glory of God, and the edifying and well governing of his people, remembering the account that they must make: alfo ye fhall pray for the whole Commons of this realm, that they may live in the true faith and fear of God, in humble obedience to the King, and brotherly charity one to another. Finally, let us praife God for all thofe which are departed out of this life in the faith of Chrift, and pray unto God, that we may have grace to direct our lives after their good example; that, this life ended, we may be made partakers with them of the glorious refurrection in the life everlafting; always concluding with the Lord's Prayer.
56. Preachers and Lecturers to read Divine Service, and adminifter the Sacraments twice a Year at the leaft.
EVERY Minifter, being poffeffed of a Benefice that hath cure and charge of fouls, although he chiefly attend to preaching, and hath a Curate under him to execute the other duties which are to be performed for him in the Church, and likewife every other ftipendiary Preacher that readeth any lecture, or catechizeth, or preacheth in any Church or Chapel, fhall twice at the leaft every year read himself the Divine Service upon two feveral Sundays publicly, and at the ufual times, both in the forenoon and afternoon, in the Church which he fo poffeffeth, or where he readeth, catechizeth, or preacheth, as is aforefaid; and fhall likewife as often in every year adminifter the Sacraments of Baptifm, if there be any to be baptized, and of the Lord's Supper, in fuch manner and form, and with the observation of all fuch rites and ceremonies as are prefcribed by the Book of Common Prayer in that behalf; which if he do not accordingly perform, then shall he that
is poffeffed of a Benefice (as before) be suspended; and he that is but a Reader, Preacher, or Catechizer, be removed from his place by the Bifhop of the diocefe, until he or they fhall fubmit themfelves to perform all the faid duties, in fuch manner and fort as before is prescribed.
57. The Sacraments not to be refufed at the Hands of unpreaching Minifters.
THEREAS divers perfons, feduced by falfe teachers, do refuse to have their children baptized by a Minifter that is no Preacher, and to receive the holy Communion at his hands in the fame refpect, as though the virtue of thofe Sacraments did depend upon his ability to preach; forafmuch as the doctrine both of Baptifm and of the Lord's Supper is fo fufficiently fet down in the Book of Common Prayer to be used at the administration of the faid Sacraments, as nothing can be added unto it that is material and neceffary; we do require and charge every fuch perfon, feduced as aforefaid, to reform that their wilfulness, and to fubmit himfelf to the order of the Church in that behalf; both the faid Sacraments being equally effectual, whether they be miniftered by a Minister that is no Preacher, or by one that is a Preacher. And if any hereafter shall offend herein, or leave their own Parishchurches in that refpect, and communicate, or cause their children to be baptized, in other parishes abroad, and will not be moved thereby to reform that their error and unlawful courfe; let them be prefented to the Ordinary of the place by the Minifter, Church-wardens, and Side-men, or Queft-men of the parishes where they dwell, and there receive fuch punishment by Ecclefiaftical cenfures, as fuch obftinacy doth worthily deferve; that is, let them (perfifting in their wilfulness) be fufpended, and then, after a month's further obftinacy, excommunicated. And likewife if any Parfon, Vicar, or Curate, fhall, after the publishing hereof, either receive to the Communion any fuch perfons which are not of his own church and parish, or fhall baptize any of their children, thereby ftrengthening them in their faid errors; let him be fufpended, and not releafed thereof, until he do faithfully promife that he will not afterwards offend therein.
58. Minifters reading Divine Service, and adminiftering the Sacraments, to wear Surplices, and Graduates therewithal Hoods.
VERY Minifter faying the public Prayers, or minifter
ing the Sacraments, or other Rites of the Church, fhall wear a decent and comely Surplice with Sleeves, to be provided at the charge of the parish. And if any question arife touching the matter, decency, or comelinefs thereof, the same shall be decided by the difcretion of the Ordinary. Furthermore, fuch Minifters as are Graduates fhall wear upon their Surplices, at fuch times, fuch Hoods as by the orders of the Univerfities are agreeable to their degrees, which no Minifter fhall wear (being no Graduate) under pain of fufpenfion. Notwithstanding it shall be lawful for fuch Minifters as are not Graduates to wear upon their Surplices, inftead of Hoods, fome decent Tippet of black, fo it be not filk.
59. Minifters to catechize every Sunday.
EVERY Parfon, Vicar, or Curate, upon every Sunday and Holy-day, before Evening Prayer, fhall, for half an hour or more, examine and inftruct the youth and ignorant perfons of his parish, in the Ten Commandments, the Articles of the Belief, and in the Lord's Prayer; and hall diligently hear, inftruct, and teach them the Catechifm fet forth in the Book of Common Prayer. And all fathers, mothers, masters, and miftreffes, fhall cause their children, fervants, and apprentices, which have not learned the Catechifm, to come to the Church at the time appointed, obediently to hear, and to be ordered by the Minifter, until they have learned the fame. And if any Minifter neglect his duty herein, let him be sharply reproved upon the firft complaint, and true notice thereof given to the Bishop or Ordinary of the place. If, after fubmitting himself, he fhall willingly offend therein again, let him be fufpended; if fo the third time, there being little hope that he will be therein reformed, then excommunicated, and fo remain until he will be reformed. And likewise if any of the said fathers, mothers, masters, or miftreffes, children, fervants, or apprentices, fhall neg lect their duties, as the one fort in not caufing them to come, and the other in refufing to learn, as aforefaid; let them be fufpended by their Ordinaries, (if they be not children,)
children,) and if they fo perfift by the space of a month, then let them be excommunicated.
60. Confirmation to be performed once in three Years. ?
FORASMUCH as it hath been a folemin, ancient, and
laudable custom in the Church of God, continued from the Apostles' times, that all Bishops fhould lay their hands upon children baptized, and inftructed in the Catechifm of Chriftian Religion, praying over them, and blessing them, which we commonly call Confirmation; and that this holy action hath been accustomed in the Church in former ages, to be performed in the Bishop's visitation every third year; we will and appoint, That every Bifhop or his Suffragan, in his accustomed vifitation, do in his own perfon carefully obferve the faid cuftom. And if in that year, by reafon of fome infirmity, he be not able perfonally to vifit, then he fhall not omit the execution of that duty of Confirmation the next year after, as he may conveniently.
61. Minifters to prepare Children for Confirmation.
VERY Minifter, that hath cure and charge of fouls, for the better accomplishing of the orders prefcribed in the Book of Common Prayer concerning Confirmation, fhall take especial care that none fhall be presented to the Bishop for him to lay his hands upon, but fuch as can render an account of their faith according to the Catechifm in the faid book contained. And when the Bishop fhall affign any time for the performance of that part of his duty, every fuch Minifter fhall use his best endeavour to prepare and make able, and likewife to procure as many as he can to be then brought, and by the Bishop to be confirmed.
62. Minifters not to marry any Perfons without Banns, or Licence.
NO Minifter, upon pain of fufpenfion per triennium ipfo facto, fhall celebrate Matrimony between any perfons, without a faculty or licence granted by fome of the perfons in these our Conftitutions expreffed, except the Banns of Matrimony have been first published three feveral Sundays, or Holy-days, in the time of Divine Service, in the