Document No. 86.
1700, September 6th.
The Oath or Charge to be hereafter administered to the Church Wardens and Chapter Quest. ffirst. If your Minister and Parish Clerk do not their Duty, you shall present them.
The Minister's Duty is to read the Service of the Church on Sundays and Holy Days, leisury, Devoutly & distinctly & in due Time, viz. at Nine in the Morning or soon after. To preach one Sermon at least every Month in the Mother Tongue. And when there is no Sermon, constantly to read an Homily. To Catechise the Youth of the Parish every Sunday in the After-noon, and to explain some part of the Church Catechism after as plain and familiar a Way as may be to the Edifying of the Parisheners. To suffer none to come to the Holy Sacrament 'till he has first Examin'd and Instructed them in the Nature of that Holy Ordinance. To visit the Sick. To Marry none without Banns or Licence, nor at any Time, but betwixt the hours of Eight and Twelve in the forenoon. And to live so orderly as to be a pattern of Religion and Vertue to his whole Parish. If he is not so, but a Resorter of Ale Houses (more than for his honest necessity) or given to any other Notorious Vice, You are to present him.
The Clerk's Duty is . . . To Ring the Bells in due time; To attend the Minister (when requir'd) ; to visit the Sick; at the Burial of the Dead; at Baptizing of Children; to raise the Psalms wn requir'd by the Minister, or else to procure it to be done by some other, to the satis-faction of the Minister, If he neglect herein or in Any other Duty Incumbent upon him, by the Antient Custom of the Parish, You are to present him.
2. If any of your parisheners profane the Lord's Day, by Neglecting to come to Church, by behaving themselves Irreverently there, by resorting that Day to the Alehouse, to Gaming or Sporting, or doing any Works except such as are of Necessity or Charity, You shall present them.
3. All Parents and Masters are to be pre-sented if they do not send their Children and Servants to be Catechis'd when required so to do.
4. If any be given to Sorcery, Charms or Witchcraft, or any who seek to such, You shall present them. Likewise you are to present all such as Commit ffornication, Adultery, Incest, or the like known or upon comon fame, or Suspected guilty.
And forasmuch as it is Observ'd that of late the great sins of Cursing, Swearing, and taking of God's Name in vain are grown so Common, to the great Scandal of the Christian Religion, and to the great Grief and Disquiet of all sober persons, You are therefore to present all such as are guilty of these Crimes if they are of or above the Age of 14 Years, And if under You are to present their parents or Guardians, as You will answer the Contrary to God and his Church, for the breach of Your Oath, And you are to Observe the Same Method in presenting the parents of those Children under the Age of 14 Years, who profane the Lord's Day, by playing, Gaming or Sporting.
And whereas it is observ'd that Many Idle persons appoint Meetings on Saturday Night, wch are generally spent in Dancing, even untill after Midnight, whereby they are render'd incapable of performing the Dutys of the following Day. Upon Intimation hereof you are to Enquire who were the hidlers or Musitieners. And for Expedition Sake present ym and as many more of ye Company as Come within Your Knowledge.
5. If any Legacies have been left to pious Uses, and have not been or are not so employ'd, You shall present Such as should dispose of them, and do neglect and Abuse yr trust.
6. You are by Your Oath Oblig'd to take Care, that the Church & Chancel, the Church house & Church Yard be kept in good repair. You are to provide good and Legible Books for ye Service of ye Church, a Decent Chalice, with Bread and Wine for ye Sacram'. To take Care yt Marriages, Christnings & Burials be duly registred.
7. If any Incroach upon the Church Yard or Glebe, You are to present ym.
8. If the former Church Wardens & Quest Men have not done yr Duty, present ym.
9. If you know of any Will or Decree Conceald, You are to Discover ye same to ye Court.
1©. All persons at 16 Years of Age ought to receive the Comunion, and if they do not You are to present them.
11. If any Cohabit as Man and Wife not lawfully Married, or any lawfully married, yt do not Cohabit, You are to present them.
12. All such persons as pay not the Church Assesmts are to be presented.
13. That the Dogs be kept out of the Church by the Sumner, otherwise You are to present him.
14. If the Schools be not diligently kept and prayers read on Wednesdays & frydays, You are to present &c.
15. You are to present all such as Carry Tales from house to house, and yt Sow Discord between one person & another.
Let these Articles be read publickly in the Church once in the Quarter. Vizt. ye first Sun-day in January, April, July, and October, And as often to the Church Wardens, and Chapter Quest, as they shall Desire the same.
THO. SODOR & MANN. Also you are to see that the Books for ye Use of the present & Succeeding Ministers be kept Clean and in good Order. Otherwise to let the Court know it. The Name of Your parish is stamp'd on the Cover of Each of them. Whether the Petty Schoõls be carefully & diligently kept & whether the Masters do not neglect their Schools, by entring into law suits, &c.
Minister - Doth ye Minister lead a Disorderly or Irregular life, giving any Evil Example, by frequenting of places where strong liquors are sold, or such loose company, To the prejudice of Relign, the Dishonr of God, & to ye offence ~of sober & good Xns?
Have you a good Communion Table w" a decent carpart & a linen covering, with a Napkin, wtn a Flaggon, Chalice, Dish & Plates, becoming ye service and Place where the Highest Mysterys of our Relign are to be performd? As also a Bible, Common Prayr Book of Homilys - Register book & Surplice.