[From Lex Scripta, 1819]

[Ecclesiastical Constitution of 1703]

At a Convocation of the Clergy at Bishop's Court the third of February 1703 :

In the Name of our Great Lord and Master the Lord Jesus Christ, and to the Glory and Increase of his Kingdome amongst Men.

WE, the Bishop, Archdeacon, Vicars Generall, and Clergy of this Isle, who do subscribe these Articles, that we may not stand charged with the Scandals which wicked Men bring upon Religion while they are admitted to and reputed Members of Christ Church, and that we may by all laudable Means promote the Conversion of Sinners, and oblige Men to submitt to the Descipline of the Gospel; and lastly, that we may provide for the Instruction of the growing Age in Christian Learning and good Manners, we have formed these following Constitutions, which we oblige ourselves by God's Help) to observe, and to endeavour that all others within our severall Cures shall comply with the same:

First, That when a Rector, Vicar, or Curate, shall. have any Number of Persons under Twenty of his Parish desirous and fit to be confirmed he shall give the Lord Bishop Notice thereof, and a list of their Names and shall suffer none to offer themselves to be confirmed but such he has before instructed to answer in the necessary Parts of Christian Knowledge, and who, besides their Church Catechism have learned some short Prayers for Morning aid Evening as shall be immediately provided for that Purpose.

2. That no Person be admitted to the Holy Sacrament till he has first been confirmed by the Bishop (or in case of his Lordship's Absence or indisposition,) to bring a Certificate front the Archdeacon or Vicars Generall that he is duly qualified for Confirmation.

3. That no Person be admitted to stand as Godfather or Godmother, nor to enter into the Holy Estate of Matrimony till they have received the Holy Sacrament of the Lord's Supper unless being an Orphan there be a Necessity for his speedy Marriage ; and this to be, approved of and dispenced with by the Ordinary for a limitted Time to fit himself for the Sacrament; and where any of them are of another Parish, they are to bring a Certificate from their proper Pastor.

4. That all Children and Servants unconfirmed of such a Division of the Parish as the Minister shall appoint (which shall be at least one fourth Part thereof) shall constantly come to Evening Prayers to be instructed in the Principles of the Christian Religion ; at which Time every Rector, Vicar or Curate, shall employ at least half an Hour in their Examination, and explaining some Part of the Church Catechism ; and that all Parents and Masters which shall be observed by their Children's and Servant's Ignorance to be grossly wanting in their Duty in not teaching them this Catechism, shall be presented for every such Neglect and severely punished: And to the End that this so necessary an Institution may be, religiously observed, every Minister shall always (by the Assistance of the Churchwardens) keep a Catalogue of such Persons as are not confirmed, and is hereby required to present those that are absent without urgent Cause, who shall be fined ijd. the first Sunday they omit to come, iiijd. the second, and vjd, the third, in which Case the Parents are to be answerable for their Children, and Masters for their Servants, unless where it appears that the Servants themselves are in Fault.

5. For the more effectuall Discouragement of Vice, if any Person shall incurr the Censures of the Church, and having done Pennance shall -afterwards incurr the same Censures, he shall not be admitted to do Pennance again (as has been formerly accustomed) untill the Church be fully satisfied of his sincere Repentance ; during which Time he shall not presume to come within the Church, but be obliged to stand in a decent Manner at the Church Door every Sunday and Holy Day the whole Time of Morning and Evening Service, untill by his Penitent Behaviour, and other Instances of sober Living, he deserves and procures a Certificate from the Minister; Churchwardens, and some of the soberest Men of the Parish, to the. Satisfaction of the Ordinary, which if he does not so deserve and procure within three Months, the Church shall proceed to Excommunication ; and that during these Proceedings the Governor shall be applied to not to permit him to leave the Island; and this being a Matter of very great Importance, the Ministers and Churchwardens shall see it duly performed., under Penalty of the severest Ecelesiasticall Censures; -and whenever any daring Offender shall be and continue so obstinate as to incurr Excommunication., the Pastor shall affectionately exhort his Parishioners not to converse with him upon Peril of being Partaker with him in his Sin and Punishment.

6. That the Rubrick before the Communion concerning unworthy Receivers thereof may be religiously observed, every Rector, Vicar, or Curate, shall first privately, and then publickly, admonish such Persons as he shall observe to be disorderly Livers ; that such as will not by this Means be reclaimed may be hindred from coming to the Lord's Table, and being presented, may be excommunicated; and if any Minister knowingly admit such Persons to the Holy Sacrament, whose Lives are blemished with the Vices of Drunkenness, Tipling, Swearing, Prophaneing the Lord's Day, Quarrelling,z, Fornication, or any other Crime, by which the Christian Religion is dishonoured before such Persons have publickly acknowledged their Faults, and solemnly promised Amendment, the Minister so offending shall be lyable to severe Ecelesiaststicall Censure.

7. If any Moar, Sergeant, Proctor, or any other Person, shall presume on the Lord's Day to receive any Rent or Sums of Money, both be and the Person paying quit Rent or Sum of Money shall be liable to Ecelesiasticall Censure, and shall alwaies be presented for the same.

8. That the Practice of Commutation, as has been formerly accustomed, viz. of exempting Persons obnoxious to the Censures of the Church from Pennance, and other Punishment appointed by Law, on Account of paying a Sum of Money, or doing some charitable Work, shall for the future cease.

9, For the promoting of Religion, Learning, and good Manners, all Persons shall be obliged to send their Children as soon as they are capable of receiving Instruction to some petty School, and to continue them there untill the said Children can read English distinctly, unless the Parents give a just Cause to excuse themselves, approved of by the Ordinary in open Court; and that such Persons who shall neglect sending their Children to be so taught shall (upon a Presentment made thereof by the Minister, Churchwardens, or Chapter Quest) be fined in one Shilling a Quarter to the Use of the Schoolmaster, who may refuse to teach those Children who do not come constantly to School, (unless for such Causes as shall be approved of by the Minister of the Parish,) and their Parents shall be fined as if they did altogether refuse to said them toschoole.

And for the further Encouragement of the School they shall respectively receive, over and above any Sallarys already allowed them, Sixpence from the Parents of every Child that shall taught by them to read English, and Ninepence from such as shall be taught to write ; which Sums being refused, the Sumner shall be ordered to require punctuall Payment within fourteen Days, and upon Default thereof they are to be comitted till they submitt to Law.

Notwithstanding where the Parents or Relations are poor, and not able to pay as afforesaid, and this be certifyed by the Minister and Churchwardens of the Parish of the Ordinary, such Children are to be taught Gratis.

And whereas some of the poorer Sort may have just Cause, and their Necessitys require it, to keep their Children at Home for severall Weeks in the Summer and Harvest, such Persons shall not be lyable to the Penaltys Afforesaid; provided they do (and are hereby strictly required to) send such Children during such Absence from Schoole every third Sunday to the Parish Church at least one Hour before Evening Service, there to be taught by the Schoolmaster to prevent losing their Learning ; and if any Schoolmaster shall neglect his, Duty, and Complaint be made and proved, he be discharged, and another placed in his Stead, at the Discretion of the Ordinary: And every Rector, Vicar, or Curate, shall the first Week of every Quarter visit the petty Schoole, and take an acccount in a Book of the Improvement of every Childr, to be produced as often as the Ordinary shall call for it.

10. For the more effectual Suppression of Vice, &C, the Minister and Churchwartlens and Chapter Quest shall, the last Suriday of every Month after Evening Prayers, set down in Writing the Names of all such Persons as, without just Cause, absent themselves from Church; of Parents, Masters, and Mistresses, who neglect to send iheir Children and Servants to be catechised ; of Parents and Guardians who send not their Children to schoole; and all other Matters they are bound by their Oathes to present and that they May consciencously discharge their Duty,, the Articles of Visitation are to be read to them at every such Meeting, and this to be done under Pain of the severest Eelesiasticall Censures.

Now forasmuch as some of the Orders and Constitutions inthis Synod agreed unto are such as do require the Authority of the Civil Power to make them effectuall to the Ends they, are designed, the Bishop and Archdeacon are earnestly desired to procure Confirmation from the Lord's Councell, and the 24 Keyes, to the Glory of God, and Wellfare of this Church, and for the better Government of the Church of Chi.ist, for the making of such Orders and Constitutions as shall from Time to time be found wanting; and th-at better Enquirey may be made into the Execution of those that are in force, there shall be (God willing) a Convocation of the whole Clergy of tbe Diocese on Thursday in Whitsun Week every Year after this, at the Bishop's Chappell, if his Lordship be within this Isle, or as soon as conveniently after his Return; and that by these Constitutions we more effcctually oblige ourselves and others, we do each of us subscribe our Names this 3d of February 1703 -(Sig'ned)-Thomass Sodor and Man.-Samuel Wattleworth, Archdeacon.-Robert Parr, Vicar General. John Curghey Vicar General. - Hen. Norris, Ewan Gill, William Walker, John Parr, John Cosnahan, J. Woods, William Gell, Math. Curghey, Tho. Allen, Sam. Robinson, Robert Fletcher, John Tubman, John Chiristiain, Tho. Christian..

At a Tynwald Court holden at St. John's Chappell the 4th Day of February 1703-4).

The before Constitutions being this Day offered by the Lord Bishop and Archdeacon of this Isle unto us ,the Governor, Officers, and 24 Keyes for our approbation, and having, perused the same, do find them very reaonable, just, and necessary, and do therefore approveof and consent to them as far as concernsccrns the Civil Power:-(Signed)-John Parr, Dan. Mylrea.Robert Mawdesley,, Chris. Parker, J. Rowe, Will. Ross, John Bridson.--Tho. Stevenson, Cha. Moor, Ewan Christian Tho. Christian, John Wattleworth, William Christian, Sill. Ratcliff. John Bridson, James Bancks, Robert Christian, James Christian, John Oates, John Harrison, Tho. Corlett, James Oates, Robert Curghey, Nicholas Christian, Dan. Lace, Robert Moore.

I AM well pleased with the before Constitutions, and do confirme the same, and require that they be published at the next Tynwald Court in usuall Manner.


At a Tynwald Court holden at St. John's Chappel, the 6th Day of June Anno Domini 1704.

Thw beforegoing Constitutions mere this Day publickly proclaimed upon the Tynwald Hill according to antient Forme and Custome. As witness our Hands the Day and Year above written,-(Signed) Thomas Sodor and Man. John Parr, and Dan. Mylrea, Deemsters.-Robert Mawdesley, Chris. Parker, J. Rowe, Will. Ross, John Bridson. John Stevenson, Ewan Christian, William Christian, Cha. Moor, Tho. Stevenson, James Christian, John Bridson, John Wattleworth, Robert Christian, Tho. Christian, James Oates, Robert Curghey, John Curghey, John Oates, Dan. Lace, James Bancks, John Harrison, Tho. Corlet, John Wattleworth.



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