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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. Punishment of

been educated in, or having made profession of the person, 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 9 & 10. W. 3. 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

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* This clause relates to the crime of heresy,

S. 2.

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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 such conviction shall be void : and being a second time. Penalty for

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

spoken, and pio. tion be within 3 months after such information. And srcution in 3

months after. 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

Persons renoun

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

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 adjudged under the great seal of England,t give authority to have here, 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 heresy, but such as have 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 heresy 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. 1. Eng.

2 Eliz.c. 1. $. 17. Ir.

c. 1. Ir.

29 Car. 2. c.9.

* This refers to $. 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.

$. 2.

1. c. 2. Ir.

| Eliz. c. 1.

: Eliz. c. 1.

Pʻril de hære. c. 9. Eng. the writ called breve de heretico comburendo, tico comburen- with all process and proceedings thereupon, and all pundo 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 Acoisa,

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 his 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 Ecl«. 6.c. 12. c. 6. Eng. 25 Hen. 8. c. 14. Eng. 34 & 35 Hen. 8. c. I. $. 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 repeuled. 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. $. 3. 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. 1. s. 14. biling the sacra

Eng.) whoever shall deprave, despise, or contemın 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. to 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 any such present

3. 4. ir.


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


the uccusers.

's. 3.


s. 4.

bind by recognizance as well the accusers, as all other

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 be tried. And by s. 3. the justices şhall make process *gainst every person so indicted by two capias and an

Process, &e. exigent, and by capias utlagatum, as well within the li- against persona 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 offences abovesaid, shall award one writ to the bishop of the diocess wherein Writ to be die the offences are supposed to be committed, of this form : justices, to the “ The king to the bishop of ----- greeting: We com“ 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 aur justices of the “ peace, upon the arraignment and delivery of offenders

against the form of the statute concerning the holy

sacrament of the altar.” By s. 5. no person shall be indicted of any the offences abovesaid, but within 3 Limitation for 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 Ire

Sacrament how land, and other the king's dominions, upder both the to be administera kinds of bread and wine, except necessity otherwise require; and the priest shall, at least one day before, ex, hort all persons which shall be present, to prepare them, selves 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 tlieatened to them which shall preşume to

6. 5.


s. 6.





$. 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. § 4

IV. Next as to the offence of depraving the book The book of of common prayer, or of non conformity to the woraprinnelige se ship of the established church, in respect to which the used.

5 & 6 Edw. 6. c. 1. Eng. (repeated by the i Mar. 5&6 Edw.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 common * 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 1 Eliz. c. 2. post) and shall be convicted before the justices of assize, justices of

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 stature, shall be as umended shall

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

be used.

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