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Offences against God and


THE statutes which relate to the several species of Book IV.

public wrongs, or crimes and misdemeanors, are to be the subject of the 4th part of this digest, in the progress of which, the distinctions made by the statute law of England and Ireland as to the nature of crimes and their punishments, the description of persons capable of committing crimes, and the different degrees of guilt amongst criminals, viz. as principals and as accessaries, will appear or result: I proceed, therefore, in the first instance, to those offences which are more immediately injurious to God and his holy religion, and in their consequences injurious also to civil society; of which species the first is that of Apostacy.

By the 9 & 10 W. 3.c. 32. Eng. if any person having $1.

been educated in, or having made profession of the Punishment of persono denying christian religion, within this realm, shall, by writing, ligion to be true, printing, teaching, or advised speaking, [*deny any one

of the persons in the holy Trinity to be God, or shall C. 32. Eng.

assert or maintain that there are more Gods than one,) or shall deny the christian religion to be true, or the holy scriptures of the old and new testament to be of divine authority; and shall upon indictment or information, be thereof convicted upon the oath of 2 witnesses, such person shall for the first offence be incapable to have

the christian re

9 & 10. W. 3.


* This clause relates to the crime of heresy.

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months after.

s. 3.

Persons renoun

or enjoy any office or employment ecclesiastical, civil, or military, or any profit appertaining to them; and any office, &c. which any person shall enjoy at the time of şuch conviction shall be void: and being a second time Penalty for a

2nd offence. convicted of any of the aforesaid crimes, shall be disabled to sue or prosecute any action or information in law or equity, or to be guardian of any child, or executor or administrator of any person, or capable of any legacy or deed of gift, or to bear any office civil or military, or benefice ecclesiastical, and shall suffer 3 years imprisonment from the time of such conviction. Provided (s. 2 ) that no person shall be prosecuted by virtue of this act for words

Information to spoken, unless the information be given upon oath before be given in 4 some justice of peace, within 4 days, and the prosecu- days after words

spsker, and pro. tion be within 3 months after such information. And secution in 3 provided (s. 3.) that persons convicted of any of the said crimes, shall, for the first offence, upon their acknowledgment and renunciation of such offence or erroneous opi

cing such opi. nions, in the court where convicted, within 4 months after nions, discharg

ed from penalty conviction, be discharged from all penalties and disa- for 1st offence. bilities incurred by such conviction. There is no statute in Ireland similar to this.

II. Next as to Heresy : The 1 Eliz. c. 1. Eng. provides (s. 36.) [*that such person or persons to whom the

§. 2.

What things are queen, her heirs or successors, shall, by letters patent 1o be adjulgrie under the great seal of England,t give authority to have keresy, and by or execute any jurisdiction spiritual, or to correct errors, 1 Fliz. c. 1. heresies, schisms, abuses or enormities, by virtue of this s. 36. Eng. act,] shall not have power to determine any matter to be 2 Eliz.c. 1. heresy, but such as bave been heretofore determined to be heresy by the authority of the canonical scriptures, or by the first 4 general councils, or by any other general council wherein the same was declared beresy by the express and plain words of the canonical scriptures, or such as shall be adjudged heresy in parliament, (I with not in 2 Eliz. the assistance of the clergy in convocation.] The 2 Eliz. c. 1. Ir. contains a similar provision. By the 29 Car. 2.



c. 9, s. l. Eng.

2 1. s. 17. Ir.

c. 1. Ir.

29 Car. 2. c.9.

This refers to s. 18. repealed by 16 Car. 1. c. 11. Eng. + " Or of this realm, or the lord deputy, &c. for the time being, by letters patent under the great scal of this realm,” here added in 2 Eliz. c. 1. Ir.

8. 2.

en 1. c. 2. Ir.


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R'rit de here. c. 9. Eng. the writ called breve de hæretico comburendo,

. tico comburen- with all process and proceedings thereupon, and all pundu abolished.

ishment by death in pursuance of ecclesiastical censures, shall be abolished. Provided (s. 2.) that nothing in this

act shall abridge the jurisdiction of protestant archbishops Arcviso.

or bishops, or other judges of ecclesiastical courts, in cases of atheism, blasphemy, heresy or schism, and other damnable doctrines and opinions, but that they may punish the same according to bis majesty's ecclesiastical laws, by excommunication, deprivation, degradation, and other ecclesiastical censures not extending to death. The 7 W. 3. c. 2. Ir. is a corresponding statute. And it is to be observed that the 5 Ric. 2. st. 2. c. 5. E. & I. 2 Hen. 4.

c. 15. E. & I. 2 Hen. 5. st. 1. c. 7. E. & I. 1 & 2 Ph. & M. 1 Ellw.6.c. 12. c. 6. Eng. 25 Hen. 8. c. 14. Eng. 34 & 35 Hen. 8. c. $. 3. Eng

Eng. and 35 Hen. 8. c. 5. Eng. and every other act cons. 15. Eng. cerning doctrine and matter of religion, are repealed by Divers statutes the 1 Edw. 6. c. 12. s. 3. Eng. and i Eliz.c. 1. s. 15. Eng. koncerning heresy repealed. And the 5 Ric. 2. st. 2. c. 5. 2 Hen.4.c. 15. and 2 Hen. 5.

st. 1. c. 7. are also repealed by the 2 Eliz. c. 1. s. 4. Ir.

III. By the 1 Edw. 6. c. 1. Eng. (repealed by 1 Mar. Penulty for re- st. 2. c. 2. Eng. but revived by the i Eliz. c. I. s. 14. ciling the sacra

Eng.) whoever shall deprave, despise, or contenın the 1 Edw. 6.c. 1. most blessed sacrament of the Lord's supper, in contempt %. 1. Eng.

thereof, by any contemptuous words, or words of depraving, despising, or reviling; or shall, advisedly, in any otherwise contemn, despise, or revile the said sacrament, shall suffer imprisonment, and make fine and ransom at the king's will; and the justices of the peace, , or 3 of them, whereof one to be of the quorum, shall have power as well to take information and accusation by the oath of 2 persons, and after such accusation, &c. ro inquire' by the oaths of 12 men in their quarter sessions of all such informations, &c. and upon every such accusation, &c. the offenders shall be inquired of and indicted before the justices by the verdict of 12 men, if the matter of the accusation shall seem to the jury true. And by s. 2. the justices before whom such

presentment shall be made, shall examine the accusers what Fronination of other witnesses were present at the offence, and shall

s. 4. ir.

$. 3.




the uccustr's.


's. 3.


$. 4.

bind by recognizance as well the accusers, as all other such persons whom the accusers shall declare to have knowledge of the offences, in £5. to the king, to appear before the justices before whom the offenders shall þe tried. And by s. 3. the justices shall make process *gainst every person so indicted by two capias and an

Process, &e. çrigent, and by capias utlugatum, as well within the li- against persons mits of their commission, as into all other the king's dominions: and upon the appearance of the offenders, determine the contempts and offences aforesaid; and the said justices, or 3 of them, shall have power to let any persons so indicted to bail. By s. 4, the justices, where any offender shall be indicted of any affences abovesaid, shall award one writ to the bishop of the diocess wherein Writ to be die

rected by the the offences are supposed to be committed, of this form :

justices, to the “ The king to the bishop of ---- greeting: We com

bishop. mand you,

that you, your chancellor, or other your “ sufficient deputy learned, be with our justices assigned

to keep the peace in our county of B. at D. (such a day) at our session then and there to be held, to give “ counsel and advice to the same our justices of the “ peace, upon the arraignment and delivery of offenders

, $6 against the form of the statute concerning the holy “ sacrament of the altar.” By s. 5. no person shall bę indicted of any the offences abovesaid, but within 3 Limitation for

indictment, months after the offences committed. And by s. 6. in all trials, such offenders shall be admitted to try their Defendant may innocency by as many witnesses, and of as good cre- purge himself by dence, as the witnesses which deposed against them, By s. 7. the said sacrament shall be commonly ministered unto the people within this church of England and Ile

Sacrament how land, and other the king's dominions, under both the to be administerkinds of bread and wine, except necessity otherwise require; and the priest shall, at least one day before, exhort all persons which shall be present, to prepare themselves to receive the same; and when the day cometh, after a godly exhortation by the minister made (wherein shall be further expressed the benefit promised to them, which worthily receive the holy sacrament, and indignation of God threatened to them which shall presume to

6. 5.

s. 6.


s. 7.




8. 6.

receive the same unworthily,) the minister shall not without a lawful cause deny the same to any person that will devoutly and humbly desire it. No statute similar to this has been made in Ireland.

IV. Next as to the offence of depraving the book The look of of commion prayer, or of non conformity to the worecommon prayer, ship of the established church, in respect to which the

5 & 6 Edw. 6. c. 1. Eng. (repeated by the 1 Mår. 5&6Pdw.6.c.1. s. 5.Eng.

st. 2. c. 2. Eng. which statute was repealed by the 1 Jac. 1. c. 25. s. 48. Eng.) provides (s. 5.) that the order of common service intitled " The book of coinmon " prayer" first established by the 2 & 3 Edw. 6. c. 1.Eng. but explained and made perfect by authority of this statute, with the form of making and consecrating of archbishops, bishops, priests, and deacons, hereunto annexed, shall be received and used throughout the realın. And by s. 6. if any person shall willingly be present at

any other form of common prayer, administration of the Penalty for being present at sacraments, making of ministers in the church, or any other service.

other rites contained in the book annexed to this act, than is mentioned and set forth in the said book, or 'that is contrary to the provisions in the 2 & 3. Edw. 6.c. 1. (which are also contained in the Eliz. c. 2. post) and shall be convicted before the justices of assize, justices of oyer

and terminer, or justices of peace in their sessions, by verdict or confession, or otherwise, he shall for the Ist offence suffer imprisonment 6 months, and for the 2nd offence imprisoument for a year, and for the 3rd

offence imprisonment during life. And the 1 Eliz. c. 2. 1 Eliz. c. 2. s. 2. & 3. Eng. Eng further enacts (s. 2.) that the book of 'common

prayer authorized by the 5 Edw. 6. c. 1. s. 5. Eng. with The book of

the alterations and additions by this statute, shall be as amended shall

in force. And by s. 3. all ministers within the queen's be used.

dominions shall use the mattens, even-song, celebration of the Lord's supper, and administration of each of the sacraments, and all the common prayer, in such order as is mentioned in the said book, with one alteration of certain lessons to be used every Sunday, and the form of the litany corrected, and two sentences added in the delivery of the sacrament to the communicants. By s. 4. if any parson or minister refuse to use the said


common prayer

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