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would have had seats behind the bishops, and the deacons would have stood in front"; but the inferior clergy in the English Convocation sit in a separate house. The Bishop of London brings in the archbishop's mandate for summoning the Convocation, directed to him, with a due certificate of its execution, which being read, the Archbishop pronounces those who do not appear at the synod contumacious. Such mandates have been for many ages directed to the bishops of London, as Deans of the province of Canterbury. We find an instance of this A. D. 1225'. The same custom appears to have prevailed elsewhere. Thus the Archbishop of Sens directed his mandate for summoning the synod to the bishop of Chartres ". The archbishop then expounds to the bishops and clergy present, the cause for which he has come, and for which the Convocation is assembled. It seems always to have been customary for the principal bishop present to make such a statement at the beginning of the proceedings. Thus St. Cyprian, in the Council of Carthage, A. D. 254, after certain epistles had been read, briefly stated the question before the council ". We find the same in the
* “Et coroná factà de sedi- bris episcopi plurimi ... cum
bus episcoporum, presbyteri à tergo eorum resideant. Diacones in conspectu episcoporum stent.” IV. Concil. Tolet, can. iv. Harduini Concilia, tom. iii. p. 580.
t Wilkins, Concilia, tom. i. p. 602.
" Martene, ubi suprā.
* “Cum in unum Carthagini convenissent calend. Septem
presbyteris et diaconibus, praesente etiam plebis maximä parte, et lectae essent literae Jubaiani ad Cyprianum factae, item Cypriani ad Jubaianum rescriptae de haereticis baptizandis . . . Cyprianus dixit,” &c. Concil. Carthag. de baptizandis haereticis. Cypriani Opera, p. 397, ed. Pamelii.
council of Toledo, A. D. 633, and the ancient Ordo Romanus, in which, after a deacon has read a portion of the Gospel, or of the canons of the Church, the metropolitan addresses the council ". In the provincial synod of Canterbury, A. D. 1257, the causes for which the synod was assembled were stated by Archbishop Boniface”. Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, expounded the causes for which the council of Rockingham assembled A. D. 1094'. An admonition from the Archbishop of Sens was read at the opening of the synod of that province “. The inferior clergy, after this, retire into the lower house, and elect their prolocutor, who is presented to the archbishop, and confirmed by him. Of this custom there are no very ancient examples". Archbishop Parker's form for celebrating a provincial synod, terminates at this part of the proceedings; but the records of Convocation supply the sequel, which consists in discussion of the questions submitted to consideration—the enactment of canons, or articles of doctrine, or other ecclesiastical regulations,—and, in cases concerning doctrine, the confirmation of the decisions made by the subscriptions of the bishops and clergy assembled". This was the general mode of proceeding in all ancient synods".
"“Metropolitanus episcopus p. 168.
concilium alloquatur dicens, * Wilkins, Concilia, tom. i. Ecce, sanctissimi sacerdotes, re- p. 723. citatae sunt ex canonibus sanc- y Wilkins, i. 371. torum sententiae de concilio * Martene, lib. iii. c. i. Ordo
celebrando. Siqua igiturquem- ix.
piam vestrum actio commovet, coram suis fratribus proponat,” &c. Concil. Tolet. IV. can. iv. Harduin, i. 399. See also the Ordo Romanus, Hittorp.
* See Treatise on the Church, vol. ii. p. 268. * Martene, De Antiquis Ecclesiae Rit. lib. iii. c. i. * In the Council of Carthage, Y
The Roman Pontifical contains a form for holding a synod, which includes many rites of a comparatively modern date, several being not more ancient than the sixteenth century". In truth the proceedings of synods for many ages seem to have been very little connected with ceremonial observances. The bishops being assembled, and the cause of their meeting explained by the metropolitan, they discussed the questions before them in order, and heard causes, and concluded their sessions by making decisions, or canons, or definitions of faith, and subscribing them; or by writing synodical epistles addressed to other Churches, stating their doctrines, or the conclusions at which they had arrived.
A.D. 254, as soon as Cyprian of Cyprian. Wide Cypriani had expounded the cause of Opera, p. 397, ed. Pamelii. assembling the synod, all the * Wide Pontificale Romabishops in order delivered their num, cum notis Catalani, tom. judgments, concluding with that iii. tit. v.
THE custom of episcopal visitation is of apostolical antiquity, and has been observed in all parts of the Universal Church. It is mentioned by the Fathers of the fourth and fifth centuries, and was enforced by numerous councils of later date. According to the Canon law, Episcopal Visitations were to be annual and parochial, i. e. the bishop was bound to visit each parish in his diocese at least once in every year, and to examine its condition both externally and internally". The form of visitation is not minutely described in the earlier records which attest its existence. Regino, abbot of Prum, A. D. 906, in his book on Ecclesiastical Discipline", supplies some parts of the form used at that time. From this book it appears
* For the history of Episcopal Visitations, see Van Espen, Jus Ecclesiasticum Universum, pars i. tit. xvii.; Thomassinus, De Veteri et Nova Ecclesiae Disciplina circa Beneficia, pars ii. lib. iii. c. 77–80; Pontificale Romanum cum Notis Catalani; and five Articles on Episcopal Visitations, in the Christian Remembrancer, for January, April,
July, 1841, and January and May, 1842. See also Augustin. Barbosa, De Offic. et Potestate Episcopi, parsiii.; Joh. Franc. De Pavinis, Tract. de Visitatione, apud Tractat. Juris Pontific. t. xiv.
* Reginonis Abb. Prumiensis de Eccl. Disciplina, à Baluzio.
that those who were about to be visited by the bishop, received previous notice from the archdeacon or archpresbyter, according to a canon made by a Synod of Rouen. On the day appointed, the bishop proceeded to make enquiries into the state of the Church, vestments, church-lands, &c., the conversation and life of the priest, and his due discharge of the ministry entrusted to him “. Afterwards the bishop made a suitable Discourse, and administered an oath to some of the parishioners, binding them to inform the bishop of all offences committed in the parish; which was followed by enquiries as to the commission of crimes and offences. Excommunication of impenitent offenders, detected by this examination, succeeded". The Diocesan Synod “presents several of the same features as the Visitation of Churches. According to the ancient form of a Diocesan Synod at Salingstadt, in the diocese of Mentz, A. D. 1022', and in the Ordo Romanus", which is probably of older date, the proceedings commenced with prayers, after which the bishop delivered an Admonition or Charge to the clergy"; enquiries were made into the conduct of the clergy and laity throughout the diocese;
° Regino, p. 21—30. * The forms are preserved by Regino, p. 358—365. * For the history of Diocesan Synods, and their proceedings, see Benedict. XIV. De Synodo Dioecesana; Thomassinus, de Vet. et Nova Eccl. Disciplina, pars ii. l. iii. c. 73–75; Van Espen, Jus Eccles. Univers. pars i. tit. xviii. * This is preserved in the Decretum of Burchard, bishop of Worms; for the history of
which see Van Espen, Com-