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plied for, and ought to be mentioned. It is the case of vicars, who are bound by oath to perpetual residence: in the form of the oath provision is made for the bishop to dispense. Now for any absence not exceeding a month at once, and two months in a year taken together, (which is the statutable allowance, the bishop's dispensation to the vicar is, I conceive, to all intents effectual, as not being contrary to the statute. If the dispensation goes farther, it is certainly void, considered as a dispensation for residence; but the particular obligation of the oath laid on by the canon may, I think, be dispensed with by the bishop, it being the condition implied in the oath; and no oath obliges farther or to more than is understood to be the meaning of it by the imposer and the taker of the oath. The dispensation with the oath in this case arises therefore ex vi compacti : it removes only the particular obligation of the oath, and does not interfere with the authority of the statute ; for I see no ground to suppose that the statute has made the oath to be absolute, which is always given and taken with a condition.

But with respect to this oath enjoined by the canon to be taken by vicars, I meet with a very common opinion, and for which I never yet could hear a reason, that the duty of residence is not the same in the case of a rector of a parish as in the case of a vicar. If we consider this case in theory, it is impossible to imagine a reason that could incline the governors of the church to require less duty from a rector than from a vicar. Is it because he has a better maintenance and larger income, that therefore he should do less duty ? Are not all priests, whether ordained to the title of a rectory or to the title of a vicarage, called to the performance of the same duty, and bound by the same solemn engagement to the faithful discharge of it? Look into the office of ordination : do not all priests, whether called to be rectors or vicars, promise to "give faithful diligence always to minister the doctrine and sacraments and discipline of Christ, and to teach the people committed to their care and charge with all diligence to keep and observe the same ?"-and likewise—“ to use public and private monitions, as well to the sick as to the whole, within their cures, as need shall require and occasion shall be given ?” Do they not solemnly promise" to set forward gentleness, peace, and love among



all Christian people, and especially among those who shall be committed to their charge ?” The church having then required these duties from all her priests equally, and particularly required of them to discharge these duties in their respective, cures, and among the people committed to their charge; on what ground can it be supposed that the church should think constant residence necessary for the discharge of these duties in a vicar, but not equally necessary in a rector, though both have the same duty, and are put under the same engagements ?

As it is impossible, in the reason and nature of the thing, to find any ground for such difference in the case of a rector, and in the case of a vicar, so neither is there any pretence for such difference, either from the ecclesiastical or temporal laws of this kingdom: all canons, all statutes, relating to residence, do affect all incumbents equally, without considering whether they are rectors or vicars,

The 47th canon of 1603 has this title: "The absence of beneficed men to be supplied by curates that are allowed preachers.'

Look into the canon and see who they are who may be absent from their livings: you will find nothing there of this supposed privilege of rectors; but you will find that no "beneficed man whatever can be absent from his benefice without a licence, according to the laws of the realm, on urgent occasion of other service :" so that every beneficed man is by law bound to continual residence, unless on urgent occasion, and such as the law allows, he has a licence to be absent.

Indeed the ancient canons relating to the residence of the parochial clergy are older than the settlement of vicarages, which obtained here when appropriations grew frequent, and it became necessary to provide a remedy for the mischiefs that followed after them : these canons therefore, when they require strict continual residence, had no particular view to vicars, who were not then in being.

But this mistake has, I presume, arisen merely from a legatine constitution still in force, and observed in the practice of our church; in consequence of which every vicar at his institution takes an oath of perpetual residence, which is not required to be taken by rectors.


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But to argue from hence that rectors are not obliged to perpetual residence, because vicars are obliged to it by oath, is a strange way of reasoning, and applied to any other case would manifestly appear to be so. Suppose two men owed you each of them a hundred pounds, and you should trust one on his word or his note, and require a bond from the other ; would it follow that the man whose word you took owed less than the man whose bond you required? The difference lies merely in the security given for discharge of the duty, but in the nature and extent of the duty itself there is no difference.

And if rectors consider the solemn engagements they are under at their ordination to exercise their function among the people who should be committed to their care, their oath of canonical obedience, together with the canons requiring their constant residence on their cures, they will find themselves, I think, under no less obligation to personal residence than the vicars are. But to clear


this matter once for all, I desire you to consider with me the original of the vicars' oath of residence; and you will find it was not introduced on a supposition that vicars are bound to a stricter residence than rectors, but on another occasion, and to prevent a great abuse of another kind.

The case was thus : in the council of Lateran held under Alexander III. in the year 1179, and likewise in another Lateran council held under Innocent III. in the year 1215, there were very strict canons made against pluralities. By the first of these councils pluralities are restrained, and every person admitted ad ecclesiam, vel ecclesiasticum ministerium, is bound residere in loco et curam per seipsum exercere. By the second of these councils, if any person having one benefice with cure of souls accepts of a second, his first is declared void ipso jure. These canons were received in England, and are still part of our ecclesiastical law.

At the first appearance of these canons, there was no doubt made but they obliged all rectors; for they, according to the language of the law, had churches in title, and had beneficium ecclesiasticum ; and of such the canons spoke. But vicars did not

; look on themselves to be bound by these canons; for they,* as the

* Decret. lib. i. tit 28. c. 3. verb, removere.



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gloss on the decretals speaks, had not ecclesiam quoad titulum ; and the text of the law * describes them, not as having benefices, but as bound personis et ecclesiis deservire, that is, as assistant to the rector in his church.

On this notion a practice was founded and prevailed in Eng= land, which eluded the canons made against pluralities.

A man beneficed in one church could not accept another with, out voiding the first; but a man possessed of a benefice could accept a vicarage under the rector in another church; for that was no benefice in law, and therefore not within the letter of the canon, which forbids any man's holding two benefices. The

way then of taking a second living in fraud of the canon was this : a friend was presented, who took the institution, and had the church quoad titulum: as soon as he was possessed, he constituted the person vicar for whose benefit he took the living, and by consent of the diocesan allotted the whole profit of the living for his portion, except a small matter reserved to himself.

This picar went and resided on his first living, for the canon reached him where he had the benefice; but having no benefice where he had only a vicarage, he thought himself secure against the late canons requiring residence.

This piece of management gave occasion to the papal decrees and the provincial constitutions relating to the residence of vicars; and one would imagine, by what appears in the decretals and in our own provincial constitutions, that this piece of fraud was peculiar to England : for all the decretals relating to the residence of vicars, and making vicarages incompatible with other cures, are directed to English bishops, and relate to cases which happened in this kingdom, as may be seen in the Decretals under the title de Officio Vicarii. And in point of time these decretals followed close after the council of Lateran before-mentioned, where the canons against pluralities were made.

About the same time our provincial constitutions take notice of this abuse. Archbishop Langton in 1222 ordained, in a council of his province, that no bishop should admit any one

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to a vicarage, nisi velit in ecclesia, in qua ei vicaria conceditur, personaliter ministrare.

But the abuse still continued, notwithstanding these papal decrees and provincial constitutions; and therefore Otho, who was legate here from the pope, in a council held before him in 1237, and 22nd of Henry III. applied a stronger remedy; ordaining that no one should be admitted to a vicarage unless he first resigned all other benefices with cure of souls, if he had any; ac juret residentiam facere, ac eam faciat continuè corporalem. It is on the authority of this constitution, that the oath of residence is administered to vicars to this day.

The reason for obliging vicars to resign other benefices with cures, and to take an oath of residence, is expressed in the constitution itself; and it was to exclude the fraud then common in practice, by which the canons against pluralities were avoided.--Sicque illudatur illi dolo, quo sæpe, assignato alicui nomine personatus aliquo modico, simulate dabatur alii ecclesia ficto nomine vicariæ; qui timens alia perdere beneficia, metuebat eam recipere ut persona: that is, as J. de Athon explains it, they took the profits as pretended vicars, well knowing that, if they took them as parsons or rectors, their former benefices would be void by the council.

From this account it is very plain that the canons enjoining residence, and an oath of residence to vicars, had no view to oblige vicars to more residence than rectors were bound to : but whereas vicars thought themselves not at all obliged by the canons of residence, as not having benefices or titles in their churches, the new constitutions were made to bring tlem under the canons of residence, as well as parsons and rectors, and not to impose another and different duty on them.

There are some cases which the law does not suppose, and therefore has made no provision for them; in which it is hard to know what the bishop may equitably require of the clergy, and what the clergy are strictly bound to perform. First, some livings have neither house nor glebe belonging to them; and perhaps no convenient houses or lodgings are to be had within the district of such parishes : and, secondly, in some parishes the glebe houses are mere cottages, and so extremely mean, as not to afford even tolerable conveniences to the rector and his VOL. IV.



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