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The "Form of Absolution" which follows the excommunication, is so placed in the Sarum pontifical, from which it has been taken. But it does not seem to be more than a recommended order; not adopted with full authority into the Use of the church of Sarum, but, as it were, borrowed from the neighbouring diocese of Exeter. The Bishop mentioned in it, was possibly John Grandisson, one of the most celebrated and learned prelates of that church, and a bountiful benefactor. Connected with this Form and the penance which it enjoins, it will not seem out of the way to add an extract from the register of Quivil, Bishop of Exeter in 1280, for which I am indebted to a very learned friend. 59 He says, "In fol. 120 of that register we read, that Jane Baschet, who had been convicted of an adulterous intercourse with Richard de Grenville, and had got a child by him, on 10th March, 1282, appeared before the Bishop at Totnes, and formally declared her separation from him: the Bishop required,-quod Johanna stet singulis dominicis et festivis extra ecclesiam Bideford per totam quadragesimam, usque ad diem Jovis proximam ante Pascha, et tunc veniet apud Exon. reconciliandam, ut est moris."
The Order for reconciling an apostate, or heretic, will also require of me but one or two observations. Apostate is not here to be taken in its most strict and canonical sense, to mean a person, who having been in Holy Orders, or taken a religious vow upon him, had turned back to a secular life: but includes persons of any class, who, deserting the Christian Faith, had fallen away into Judaism, or infidelity. These, as well as
59 The Rev. Dr. Oliver: Editor of the Monast. Dioec. Exon. &c.
schismatics and heretics, could not be received again into the communion of the Church, except by a proper Form.
Several ancient orders" ad reconciliandos hæreticos" may be found in Martene; who speaks of three modes which from time to time prevailed, sometimes alone, sometimes together: viz. by imposition of hands ; by anointing with the chrism; by a profession of the true Faith.60 The same writer cites the 31st of the Arabic canons of the council of Nice; which although not genuine, are yet of high antiquity. "Si quis ad fidem orthodoxam convertatur, recipiendus est in ecclesiam per manus episcopi vel presbyteri, qui præcipere ei debet, ut anathematizet cunctos qui contra fidem orthodoxam faciunt, et qui apostolicæ fidei contradicunt. Debetque anathematizare Arium et hæresim ejus, et aperte fidem profiteri, quam in hac perfecta confessione definivimus, ac sincere fidelis esse. Oportet etiam anathematizare eos qui huic fidei non credunt, et eam non recipiunt. Et postquam hæc fecerit, accipiat eum episcopus vel sacerdos ad cujus potestatem pertinet: et ungat eum unctione chrismatis, et signet ter ungendo, et orando super eum orationem Dionysii Areopagitæ, et fiat oratio ad Deum pro eo devote, ut recipiat eum. Et postea erit particeps divinorum sacramentorum, et communionis, per quam fit remissio peccatorum.
The pontifical of Bishop Lacy, preserved in the Exchequer chamber of the cathedral of Exeter, has a form for receiving an apostate into communion, similar in all respects, with a few verbal exceptions, to the Use of the church of Salisbury. The same is in an imper
60 De Ant. Ecc. Rit. Lib. 3. Cap. vj.
fect copy of an English pontifical, in the British Museum, Lansdown MS. 451. In the later volumes of the Concilia Magna Britannia, we have frequent examples of abjurations of heresy: in the year 1396, an oath which was to be taken by all Lollards returning to the Faith in 1425, the abjuration of Robert Hoke : in 1427, of William Russell: with several more.61 These being part of the records and of the business of convocations, and of important cases, are probably more full in their particulars than commonly were required, yet may serve as examples of the usual practice for we must not conclude that the very general renunciation of error and heresy which the Form appoints, was all that was held necessary; but preliminary examinations and probation having been first gone through, the apostate or the heretic was at last admitted by the public order of reception once more into full communion with the Church of Christ.
XIII. It remains for me to specify the authorities and editions from which the following Offices have been taken. The Orders of Baptism (including the Ordo ad faciendum Catechumenum); of Confirmation; of Purification of women; of Marriage; of Visitation of the Sick; of Commendation; of Burial; of Benediction of the ornaments of churches, of bells, of water and salt, and of bread; are all taken from a copy of the Salisbury Manual, of 1543, in my possession. It appeared upon all accounts desirable, that an edition should be selected, printed before any change whatever had taken place in the ancient Offices, that is, not only before the first Common Prayer Book of K. Edward
61 Wilkins. Tom. 3. pp. 225. 437. 457. Cf. 258. 431. 439. 503.
the sixth, but before the Order of Communion in 1548, and the Prymer of 1545, and even the altered Breviary of 1544. Certainly, the manuals of queen Mary's reign are almost word for word the same as were the earlier ones during K. Henry's time, and I have used two or three editions of 1554, and 1555, and corrected by them whatever seemed to be merely typographical errors in the text of 1543. I shall now give the full title and colophon of this edition.
Title. "Manuale ad usum percelebris ecclesiæ Sarisburiensis: Rothomagi recenter impressum, necnon multis mendis tersum atque emundatum, typis Nicolai Rufi, M. D. XLiij.” Colophon. "Explicit Manuale ad usum insignis ecclesiæ Sarisburiensis, tam in cantu quam in litera diligentissime recognitum: et nusquam antehac elimatius impressum. In quo ea quæ servat ecclesiasticus ritus ordine congruo connectuntur. Excusum Rothomagi in ædibus Nicolai Rufi typographi. M. D. XLiij." 4to. The "tam in cantu” relates to the musical notation, which the volume contains, of many parts of the various offices: antiphons, psalms, &c. This I have omitted altogether.
The Offices of the Consecration of a Church; of a Church-yard; the Order of holding a Diocesan Synod; the Offices of Excommunication; of Absolution; and of receiving an Apostate, are edited from a magnificent manuscript Pontifical of the Use of Sarum, in the library of the University of Cambridge; and for the loan of which I have already expressed my obligations. This manuscript is a folio, upon vellum, of 287 leaves; the text written in double columns; having no illuminations except of initial letters; date, early in the xv th century.
This preliminary dissertation upon the occasional
On the Dccasional Dffices.
offices has, like the one preceding, extended to a greater length than I had at first proposed: yet I have done scarcely more than selected a few illustrations from much larger collections which I have made, and have attempted the consideration of those circumstances only, of which I might suppose some explanation would not be unacceptable to the reader. I possibly may seem to have erred, in unnecessarily transcribing at length full extracts from the Concilia, and other authorities which have been cited: and it may be said that mere references would have been sufficient. Judging however of the usefulness of such a plan, by my own experience of its results, in the perusal of works otherwise most valuable, I cannot but contend that many good ends are lost, by giving references only. The trouble of searching out the authorities named is not slight, and few will undertake it; again, in spite of every care which may be bestowed, references are sometimes erroneous; and at other times, to various editions; and, lastly, to be of any benefit at all, the books referred to must be at the reader's command. In the present case, to mention only that great storehouse of the records of the Church of England, to which I have been so much indebted, viz. Wilkins' Concilia; even that is not so common, or so moderate in its price, as to be within the reach of hundreds to whom, more especially, I humbly hope that this present work will be of service: and other books from which extracts have been made, are not simply difficult to be procured at any cost, but are not even in our public libraries.