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tere fieri, decreta Gelasii papæ testantur."28 There is no doubt, however, that the appropriation of certain times of the year, to the solemnities of general ordinations, is of an antiquity reaching, if not to apostolical, at least to almost primitive times. And there are so many reasons, which will easily occur to the reader, why a rule so general and ancient should be if possible observed, that it cannot but be a subject of sincere gratification to every member of the church of England to observe, not only that it is distinctly repeated by the canons of 1604, but that, during the last few years, the practice of our bishops has been (more exactly, than at one period) in accordance with. that rule.

But, to return to my more immediate purpose, I proceed to extract some orders upon the point, previous to the sixteenth century. First, the 99th of the oftenquoted excerpts of archbishop Egbert: "Presbytero

28 De Instit. Cleric. lib. 2. cap. 24. p. 338. ibid. See also the notes of Quesnel, upon the 10th epistle of S. Leo: where he attributes to that pontiff the first restriction laid upon the ancient customs. Amalarius says, that all the popes, from Clement to Simplicius, ordained only in the month of December. De Off. lib. 2. cap. 1. "Simplicius primus sacravit in Februario, ni fallor, nullam ob aliam causam, nisi intimando conjungendos propinquius Christi corpori, qui per sacrum ministerium provehuntur." Edit. Hittorpius. p. 157. But there is ample evidence from records still

extant that Amalarius was mistaken and that the custom in the primitive ages, at Rome as in all other parts of the Catholic Church, was to ordain at any time of the year, when it was judged desirable or necessary. Mabillon in his Museum Italicum, tom. 2. p. 103, supposes that the frequent custom, certainly observed by some popes, to ordain only in the winter, was on account of the great heat of the summer, and the numerous duties to be fulfilled in the autumn: but Catalani derides this idea. Comment. in Pontif. tom. 1. p. 47.

rum vero et diaconorum in quatuor temporum sabbatis, scilicet, ut dum hæc ordinatio coram populo agitur, sub omnium testificatione electorum ordinatorumque opinio discutiatur." 29 Again, of a council at Winchester, soon after the Conquest, in which canon the "certain times" must be interpreted of the Ember days. "4. Quod ordinationes certis temporibus fiant." 30 And lastly, the Pupilla oculi. "Celebrari possunt sacri ordines generaliter in sabbatis quatuor temporum, et in sabbato ante dominicam in passione et in sabbato sancto pascha: in aliis autem temporibus nemini licet sacros ordines conferre nisi soli papæ et si aliis temporibus conferantur ordinati recipiunt ordinem; sed non executionem ordinis. Minores autem ordines licite conferuntur ab episcopis in diebus dominicis et in aliis diebus solennibus, aut festis aliquibus, sed non valde multis, ut non videatur generalem ordinationem facere." 31

Having, in a previous dissertation, (Vol. 1. p. cci.) remarked upon the strict rules which were anciently enforced, that all the sacraments should be freely administered, without charge or demand of shall refer the reader to that place, and to the places from the Concilia which are there cited.32 These

29 Wilkins. Conc. tom. 1. p. 107. And the same archbishop in his penitential: "Hi sunt legitimi quatuor temporum dies, qui legitime observari debent: id est, Kal. Martii, prima hebdomada; et Kal. Junii, secunda hebdomada; et Kal. Septembr. tertia hebdomada; et Kal. Decembr. hebdomada proxima ante natale Christi."



Thorpe. Ancient Laws, vol. 2. p. 235.

30 Wilkins. Concil. tom. 1. p. 365.

31 Lib. vij. cap. 3.

32 An ancient political song of the time of Henry III., after complaining of some vices and immoralities of the clergy, proceeds:

"Donum Dei non donatur,

enactments, as regarded the conferring of Holy Orders, were grounded (as it is expressly stated in the 43rd of the excerpts of Egbert) upon the very ancient (so called) apostolical canon. "If any bishop, presbyter or deacon, shall obtain possession of that dignity by money, let both him and the person who ordained him be deposed, and also altogether cut off from communion, as Simon Magus was." And here I would remark, having just cited these excerptions, that the 45th adopts an African canon, “Episcopus absque concilio presbyterorum clericos non ordinet."

Few injunctions were more frequently repeated, or of earlier date, than that every bishop should confine himself, in the discharge of his duties, strictly to his own diocese: I shall now extract a few orders relating to this, which bear upon the power of celebrating ordinations. The second canon of the council of Hertford (Herutford) in the year 673, is general in its object, but important from its early date: "Ut nullus episcoporum parochiam alterius invadat, sed contentus sit gubernatione creditæ sibi plebis."33 Archbishop Egbert inserts in his excerpts part of a canon (the 16th) of the council of Nice, to the same effect: but I pass on to the 11th canon of the synod of Chal

Nisi gratis conferatur ;
Quod qui vendit vel mercatur,
Lepra Syri vulneratur,

quem sic ambit ambitus,
ydolorum servitus,
templo Sancti Spiritus,
Non compaginatur.”
MS. Cotton. Jul. D. vij. fol. 133.

Printed in the publications of the
Camden Society.

33 Wilkins. Conc. tom. 1. p. 43. But compare a canon, said to be of a council in Ireland, two hundred years before this: "Episcopus quilibet, qui de sua in alteram progreditur parochiam, nec ordinare præsumat, nisi permissionem acceperit ab eo, qui in suo principatu est." Ibid. p. 3.

cuith. “Undecimo præcipimus, sicut priscis temporibus a sanctis patribus traditum esse reperitur; ut nulli episcoporum liceat alterius parochiam invadere, vel etiam aliquid alterius ministerii ad se pertrahere in aliqua consecratione ecclesiarum, vel presbyterorum, diaconorumque, nisi solus archiepiscopus, quia caput est suorum episcoporum." In the year 1126, the tenth canon of a council at London. "Nullus episcoporum alterius parochianum ordinare, vel judicare præsumat."


Lastly, the following provincial of archbishop Wethershed, in the year 1229, as given by Lyndwood. "Quia quidem clerici desperantes ab episcopis suis ordinari propter imperitiam, aut ætatem minorem, extra provinciam suam a transmarinis episcopis ordinantur, vel ordinantur, vel ordinatos se mentiuntur, ignorata sigilla episcopis suis deferentes: statuimus talem ordinationem irritam esse habendam, sub interminatione anathematis inhibentes, ne a quoquam ad


Cf. p.

34 Ibid. 171. 408. 609. xv. Among other privileges claimed by or allowed to monasteries, one frequently was, that their members might be ordained by any bishop, and not necessarily by the diocesan. In fact, to such an extent had the exemptions of many religious houses reached, that they acknowledged no diocesan, except the Pope. And the abuses to which this had led, and the frequent quarrels which took place between the monasteries and the bishops are so undeniable, that the necessity of some reformation was plain enough, long before the

sixteenth century. The chronicle of W. Thorn, an ardent partizan of the monks of S. Augustine of Canterbury, is not a little instructive upon this point. However, upon the privilege of that abbey, for example, as regards ordinations, I quote the following: "Præterea quod crisma, et oleum sanctum, consecrationes altarium, ordinationes monachorum et clericorum a quocunque voluerimus episcopo catholico poterimus suscipere, nec ea nobis audeat aliquatenus denegare." Script. X. Tom. 2. p.


sui officii executionem suscipiantur. Episcopum quoque nostræ jurisdictionis, qui talem sciens et perpendens ordinaverit vel susceperit, ab illius ordinis collatione, ad quem eum susceperit vel ordinaverit, usque ad condignam satisfactionem se noverit esse suspensum." 35 And the dictum of the Pupilla oculi; "Episcopus non debet ordinare clericum alterius diœcesis præter licentiam sui superioris, id est, episcopi in cujus diœcesi iste qui ordinari vult fuit oriundus." 36

But as in the majority of these irregular ordinations, the persons receiving were, probably, oftener alone in fault, and always must have been themselves conscious of, even though the bishop might possibly have known also, the existence of some canonical impediment, we find very frequent penalties levelled against such

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A remarkable mandate is extant, of a bishop of Bath and Wells, which deserves our attention. "Radulphus, episcopus Bath. et Well. archidiacono nostro Well. salutem, gratiam, et benedictionem. Abusionibus quorundam episcopos se dicentium-qui licet non missi officium episcopale in nostra diœc. viz. primam tonsuram et minores ordines conferendo, calices et superaltaria consecrando, vestimenta ecclesiastica benedicendo,―ut lucrum extorqueant temporale, in nostrum opprobrium, et contemptum, et aliorum perniciosum ex

emplum, absque auctoritate seu licentia aliqua exercere præsumunt, occurrere cupientes, vobis -sub pœna excommunicationismandamus, quatenus nullum episcopum, præterquam fratrem Johannem de Langebrugge Buduen. episcopum, suffraganeum nostrum ad hujusmodi speciale officium exercend. sine nostris literis vobis ostensis-admittatis. Inhibeatis insuper omnibus rectoribus, vicariis, et capellanis-ne tales episcopos recipiant Citetis insuper, seu citari faciatis peremptorie quemcunque hujusmodi episcopum prætensum, quod compareat coram nobis vel nostro commissario receptur. quod justitia suadebit. Dat. xvi. Jul. 1362." Wilkins. Conc. tom. 3. p. 49.

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