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the reader, that I shall be anxious to furnish him with a selection of extracts from the councils and authoritative books of the English Church only, in number and in variety sufficient to enable him, not merely to understand the offices which I have edited, but also the doctrines which were to be held, and the practices which were to be observed regarding the clergy in general, from the Anglo-saxon age, down to the sixteenth century. I shall but very rarely refer to authors who have treated the subject at large, such as Thomassin, or Saussajus, or Martene, or Morinus, or Catalani, and many others; not to mention the canonists, Van Espen for example, or those who have directed their enquiries more particularly towards the Eastern Church, as Goar and Habertus : but I seek rather to supply the deficiencies which they have left, respecting the decisions and observances of that branch of the Church of Christ, with which we are the more intimately concerned, namely, of the Church of England.
First, as to the preliminary examinations which were to be had, before admittance into any of the Orders, whether the greater or the minor. In the middle of the eighth century, the 6th canon of the council of Cloveshoo is addressed to this point: “ De examinatione eorum qui ordinandi sunt. Sexto statuitur decreto; ut episcopi nullum de clericis seu monachis ad sacrum presbyteri gradum ordinent, nisi prius ejus vitam, qualis extiterit, vel tunc quæ morum probitas, ac scientia fidei existat, manifeste perquirant.” In the same century, later, about the year 785; at the council of Chalcuith: “Sextum decretum : ut nullus episcoporum presbyterum aut diaconum ordinare præsumat, nisi probatæ vitæ fuerint, et officium suum recte implere possint.” I pass over the intermediate time, until the provincial council at Oxford, in 1222: which, in its canon“ de ordinibus et ordinandis," prohibits, upon the authority of the ancient ecclesiastical statutes, “ut nullus ad ordines accedat aut admittatur, nisi qui fuerit canonice examinatus.” Shortly after, the famous legatine constitutions of Otho were published : of which the sixth is : " De scrutinio ordinandorum. Sacer ordo eo est digno dignius conferendus, quo ab ordinato sacramenta cætera conferuntur. Quare cum periculosum sit, minus dignos ordinari, statuimus, ut ante collationem ordinum per episcopum indagatio diligens habeatur.”58
And we find the same care taken up to the period of the reformation. The statutes of a provincial council in 1529 direct : “ Statuimus et ordinamus, quod nullus clericus sæcularis de cætero admittatur ad sacros ordines, nisi habuerit literas testimoniales curati
58 Wilkins Conc. tom. 1. p.
95. care is taken in ordaining fit per147.595. 651. Johnson, having sons to the sacred ministry; or translated this last constitution in from the charge given by S. Paul his Ecclesiastical Laws, adds a to Timothy, that even in that early very senseless remark below it:
age, men commonly were no less I notice it, because the same mode hastily ordained. of reasoning is occasionally em- This constitution of Othobon is ployed, when other means fail, by further remarkable, for the folpersons
who have neither the lowing provision: “ne reprobatis, learning nor the usual discretion qui fuerint reprobandi, approbatis, of that writer. He says: “here se clanculo immiscere valeant rewe may see the great carelessness probati, in examinatione scribatur which then prevailed in ordaining numerus, et nomina probatorum; clergymen." It just shews the et qui scripti fuerint postmodum very contrary. And if his infer
in ordinationis limine, perlecta ence is correct, we ought to con- scriptura discretione solita requiclude in a similar way from the rantur; ipsaque scriptura apud canons of the Church of England episcopum vel ecclesiam cathenow, and the often repeated ad- dralem conservetur." monitions of her bishops, that no
et economorum vel parochiæ, in qua natus, beneficiatus, vel per triennium proxime præcedens commoratus fuerit, sub sigillo archidiaconatus jurisdictionem habentis ; seu, si in aliqua universitate studens fuerit, sub sigillo commissarii universitatis Oxon. seu vicecancellarii Cantabrig. cum testimonio superioris loci sui.
Exacte etiam curent episcopi, ut neminem de cætero ad subdiaconatus ordinem promoveant, nisi eum qui adeo sit exercitatus in evangeliis et epistolis sacris, saltem in missali contentis, ut eorundem sensum grammaticalem examinatori prompte et expedite reddere valeat: sitque eorum quilibet sufficienter instructus etiam in aliis ad ordinem illum, quem tunc assumpturus est, per sacros canones requisitis, et in officiis divinis secundum morem ecclesiæ et loci consuetudinem promptus et expertus; habeatque præterea in presbyterum ordinandus cætera ad ipsius officium et ordinem ipsis sacerdotibus necessario requisita.”'59
The provincial canon cited above, of the year 1222, was repeated in almost the same words, under archbishop Walter Reynold, one hundred years after : and upon this examination I extract Lyndwood's gloss. "De hac examinatione quando, per quos, et de quibus fieri debet, habes 24 di. c. quando : debet enim examinator inquirere de vita, genere, patria, ætate, institutione sive titulo ordinandi. Item de loco ubi conversatus est, de conscientia, fide et hujusmodi. Item de his quæ concernunt regulam Apostolicam, etc.”60 “ Hic nota, quod in ordinibus celebrandis primo fit examinatio, sc. per tres dies ante diem ordinum celebrandorum. Et tunc in die ordinum celebrandorum archidiaconus, vel examinator alius ad hoc deputatus, in actu celebrationis ordinum præsentabit episcopo ordinanti ipsos ordinandos.”61 Upon the legatine constitution of Otho, his commentator J. de Athon, has a very ample gloss, of great importance, to which I am forced to refer the student :62 citing only this, upon the word “periculosum.” “ Sc. ordinanti, cum ordinat indoctum loco docti : magistrumque facit qui vix discipulus esse po
59 Wilkins. Conc. tom. 3. p. 60 Lib. 1. tit. 5. verb. Canonice 718. Compare the canon of the examinatus. The “ Pupilla oculi” convocation of 1557. ibid. tom. 4. says:
“Ordinandi non sunt rigide p. 159. And the sixth decree of examinandi, sed summatim cum cardinal Pole's “Reformatio An- quodam temperamento, et non regliæ."
quiratur nimia perfectio. Tria
vero in ordinandis potissime re- scrutinium fit in ipsa ordinatione, quiruntur: sc. literatura sufficiens, quando ordinandi præsentantur ætas legitima, morum honestas." episcopo ante altare, cum archiPars, vij. cap. 3. G.
diaconus dicit: Postulat sancta 61 Ibid. verb. Præsentatores. mater ecclesia, etc. [See below, See Hostiensis in summa. cap. p. 160.] Et talis præsentator huDe scrutinio in ordine faciendo. jusmodi responsione non peccat, This canonist was of high autho- dum tamen non loquatur contra rity in the Church of England, as conscientiam, nam quem nescit appears from the frequent refer- indignum debet æstimare dignum: ence to him not only by Lyndwood, quod si archidiaconus sciverit alibut also by the rubrics of the old quem indignum vel conscientia service-books of the church. See, sua de præsentando talem remorfor example, in the Ordo Spon- deat, tunc antequam veniatur ad salium, vol. 1. p. 59. and note 32. ordinationem secrete studeat episp. 60. The Pupilla, I must add, copo intimare. Et si episcopus speaks of a double examination, nolit desistere, archidiaconus debet in a passage, of which the last
eum subtrahere : et si hoc non part is worth the reader's atten- potest sine scandalo, debet illa tion: “Duplex scrutinium fieri de- verba dicere, tanquam minister bet ante ordinis collationem : pri- ecclesiæ, quæ non judicat de ocmum debet fieri
archidiaco- cultis : sed nullo modo debet crinum. Vel
alios sacerdotes et men fratris publicare.” Pars vij. viros prudentes, quos a latere suo mittet episcopus ad locum ubi celebrandi sunt ordines. Aliud 62 Cap. Sacer ordo.
cap. 3. E.
tuit. Is enim culpæ est reus, qui tali indigno ordinem, curam, vel officium committit. Unde episcopus scienter ordinans indignum dicitur peccare mortaliter. Ratio est, quia infidelis est, etc. Item periculosum est decentiæ ecclesiæ in scandalo populari.”
Not only were strict examinations insisted on, previously to the conferring of orders, but there were certain disabilities which either barred altogether the reception of them,63 or, at least, required a dispensation.
61 There are numerous canons,
Nor can the deaconesses of the and decisions of canonists, against primitive ages be taken as any the conferring of any orders upon precedent for such a custom : for women. Very anciently there were independently of their functions undoubtedly heretics, such as the being strictly kept separate from Collyridians, who practised such any matter appertaining to the ordinations, but the Catholic priesthood, or to the public serChurch instantly and unhesitat- vice of the Church, and being ingly condemned them. Compare
limited to the performance of mere also the Constit. Apost. lib. 3. c.
secular duties, such as visiting the ix. Some have argued that never
sick, and catechizing women, &c. theless, in the first centuries, wo- it is very doubtful whether they men were ordained, and appeal to received imposition of hands. I the “presbyteræ,” and “ epis- cannot enter into this question, copæ," whom we meet with in but would refer the reader to Bamany records.
But these were ronius, sub an, xxxiv. and to the the wives of priests and bishops, 19th canon of the council of Nice, either before or after their ordi- with the notes of Balsamon and nation : in the former sense, ac
Zonaras, in Bevereg. Pandect. cording to the 19th canon of the Tom. 1. p. 82. And even if after council of Turin : cited by Bing- all, there may seem to be a baham: (vol. 1. p. 338.)
« Si in
lance of evidence in favour of some ventus fuerit presbyter cum sua imposition of hands, yet this was presbytera, aut diaconus cum sua in the way of a benediction, and diaconissa, aut subdiaconus cum not of ordination. See Justellus, sua subdiaconissa, annum inte- Bibl. Jur. Canon. tom. 1. p. 75. grum excommunicatus habeatur.” Casalius, de sacr. Christ. ritibus : Labbe. Concil. Tom. 5. p. 858. pars. 2. cap. xxix. Bingham,