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- funtide, it shall be in their power to bear with them, according to what is determined in the 2d. Decree of the sth. Action, of the Sacrament of the Eucharist, having first admonished those that live in the Heaths, or are at Sea, or engaged in Business in such places where there are no Churches to confess in, that when they return
home, they are bound to do it within a - month.
And that the whole of this may be executed, with the more eafe, and be performed as is reafonable, the Vicars of the Churches shall be obliged a month or more before Lent, if it be necessary to go to all the Houses of their Parishes belonging to Christians, however remote in the Heaths, either in Person, or by fome other Cler, gyman, whom in Conscience they can trust with such a business, and taking the Names of all the Christians even to the very Slaves in every Fa
of those too that are abroad, observing whether they do return home after the time of the Obligation, and having made a Roll of Parchment. of all that are of Age to confess themselves, they shall afterwards make a mark at their Names as they come to Confession, that so they may know certainly who have, and who have not complyed, that the Disobedient may be Excommunicated, which we declare to be the precise Obligation of their Office, the Pastor being bound to know his Sheep, that he may give them Food, and so far as he is able, supply all their neces
sities, Temporal as well as Spiritual, and to have their number, that he may know when any are loft ; and for the perfecting of such a Roll the Vicars may take the advantage of the Monoibo, at which time all Christians do flock to the Churches, at which time likewise they may bear of many that live in the Heaths. And as to those that have confessed themselyes to some other approved Confessors, they shall bring a Note signed by them of their having been confessed, which they shall deliver to their Vicar, who shall thereupon mark them in his Roll; but tho' it is lawful for them to confess themselves to Confessors that are Strangers, yet they cannot receive the most Holy Sacrament, nor the Communion upon Obligation in Lent any where, but in their own Parish Churches, and the Prelates in their Visitations shall call for those Rolls, in order to inform themselves how this Decree is observed.
Decree II. w Hereas the Precept of Confession obligeth
W all that have the use of Reason, and conscience of mortal Sin, which happens sooner to some than others, the Synod therefore taking the most fafe and probable way, according to the knowledge it hath of the People of Malabar, deth ordain, That at eight Years old and upward, all People shall Confess themselves, and that without prohibiting such as are younger and
capable to do it sooner ; on the contrary, the Vicars, if they shall understand that there are any under eight, of so much Judgment and Discretion, as to be capable of committing a mortal Sin, they shall immediately constrain them to come to Confession, as being oblig'd to it, which must be left to the discretion of the Parish Priests.
Decree III. THe Synod doth admonish all Masters of Fa
1 milies, and all that have the charge of others, to be careful to make all the Persons in their Families to confess themselves, at the time of Obligation, and particularly their Servants and Slaves, both Men and Women, who if they do never come to Confession, their Masters and none else must be certainly in the Fault, in ha- , ving neglected to put them in mind of it, and to order them to do it, it being their Duty, and that upon penalty of Mortal. Sin, to call upon them to do it, of which they must give a strict Account to God, the Apostle St. Paul affirming, That he who does not take care of his Servants, has denied the Faith, and is worse than an Infidel; which words are chiefly to be understood of the Spiritual Necessities of those of his Family, and of Matters appertaining to their Salvation; about which matters the Vicars ought to be very careful, and must observe whether the Slaves, whose Names as well as others, they must have down in their Rolls, 'do come to Confession, declaring
such of them as have not complied with their obligation at the time appointed, Excommunicate, having first admonished their Masters to commund them to come, and acquainted them with the Declaration that will be made if they do not: and the Vicars that shall be found negligent herein, shall be punished at the discretion of the Prelate.
A LL faithful Christians are not only obliged
A to Confess themselves once a Year, under penalty of mortal Sin, but also as often as they are in any probable danger of Death, or are very Sick, they are under the fame obligation; wherefore the Sick Persons or those that attend them, so soon as ever they shall apprehend any danger, where ever they live, tho'in the Heaths, shall send to call á Confessor, and shall advise the Vicar of the Church thereof, who shall ei. ther go himself, or send another to hear their Confessions. The Vicars are also to understand, that it is their indispensible duty to enquire after the Sick, and either to go to Confess them themselves, or to send another to do it, whensoever they shall be sent for, that so none may die without the Holy Sacrament of Confession, they being guilty of the Condemnation of such of their-Sheep as go to Hell for not having confessed their Sins before they died, if it was through their fault or negligence it was not done. And
any of the Parish shall die without Confession, shall be suspended from his Office and Beneficé for a whole Year without any dispensation, and another shall be appointed to supply bis Cure, and the Persons that attend the Sick, that shall neglect to send for the Parish-Priest, shall be severely punished at the discretion of the Prelate; and such as die in Hamlets or in Heaths without Confession, if they did not send to call a Confessor, if their death was not so sudden as to prevent them, shall not be buried in Holy Ground, neither shall the Clergy go to their Houses, or fay the Office of the Dead for them, nor so much as the Chata.
* Decree v. N ot only such as are dangerously Sick, but IV all that are any ways in danger of Death, are obliged to Confess themselves ; wherefore since all Women in Child-birth are in danger thereof, they shall before they are in Labour, Confess themselves, but especially before the birth of their first Child, at which time the danger is known to be the greatest; and shall likewise, if capable, receive the most Holy Sa. crament; and if any such, not being surprized by their Labour, shall die without Confession, or being in visible danger, did not desire it, their negligence being proved, and especially if they lived in Towns, they shall be proceeded against