Project Canterbury

Articles of Inquiry in the Archdeaconry
Of the East Riding of York

The Works of the Right Reverend Father in God
John Cosin
Lord Bishop of Durham

Volume II
Miscellaneous Works

Oxford: John Henry Parker

Transcribed by Dr. Elizabeth G. Melillo
AD 2000

Chapter II
Concerning the Clergy, the Service, the Sacraments,
and other Rites of the Church

The minister's example to others of good life

First. Whether does your parson, vicar, or minister, in his teaching, living, and doing, make himself an example unto others of godliness? Doth he so behave himself that, in the judgement of indifferent persons, he declareth his sayings and doings to search principally for the honour of God and His Church, the health of those souls that are committed to his cure and charge, the quietness of his parishioners, and the wealth and honour of this realm?

His degree - His order - Uncorrupt coming to his benefice

2. Whether is he a graduate of one of the Universities of this kingdom, or not? If yea, then of what degree? Was he admitted into holy orders by any corrupts means of gift or promise? Came he to his benefice by any compact for money, or for releasing the patron's or any other's tithes, directly or indirectly, as you have credibly heard?

His licence to preach

3. Is he a preacher licensed either by the bishop, or by one of the Universities of this realm, under their writing and seal; and have you seen any such licence? In case he be no such allowed preacher, doth he presume to preach, or expound the Scripture in his own cure, or elsewhere, which the canons(1) of this Church doth wholly forbid? And doth he not, for want of his own licence, procure a sermon every month at least to be preached in his cure by them that are duly licensed, as before? Or in default thereof, doth he read some of the homilies set forth and prescribed for that purpose?

The number of his benefices and cures - Curates

4. Whether hath he more benefices than one? If he hath, what is his other benefice, and how far distant? How often and how long is he absent in the year? When he is absent, hath he an allowed preacher to supply his cure? Is his curate allowed by the ordinary under his hand and seal? Doth he serve two cures in one day? What is his curate's name, and how long hath he been curate? And who was your curate before, and what has become of him?

Saying Divine Service upon days appointed

5. Whether doth your minister, distinctly and reverently, every Sunday and holiday at least, upon their eyes, and upon other days appointed by the Book of Common Prayer, (especially on Wednesdays and Fridays,) say, sing, or celebrate divine service, both morning and evening, at fit and usual times of the day?

The Litany

6. Doth he upon Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, add over and above unto the ordinary service of the morning, the litany and suffrages, according to the laws and canons provided, devoutly and distinctly, saying it in the middle alley of the church after the manner prescribed by the injunctions(2)?

The second service

7. When upon Sundays and holidays established by law, and upon the whole week before Easter, together with Ash Wednesday and the days wherein Saint Paul and Saint Barnaby are commemorated, this is done, doth he read the second service, with the epistle and gospel, according to the Book of Common Prayer after the former service, which is the morning prayer and the litany, be ended? And when he readeth the second service, either upon Sundays, holidays, or any days before mentioned, doth he leave his former and ordinary seat or pulpit, and to unto the north side of the holy Communion table, and, standing there, begin with the Lord's Prayer, &c., according to the form prescribed, until the sermon time, and if there be no sermon, until the end of the service?

The time of the sermon

8. When there is any sermon together with the service, doth it come in orderly and in due place, namely, after the reading of the gospel and the profession of the Christian faith in the last service, as is prescribed in the book?

The service after sermon

9. When the sermon is ended doth her return unto the holy table, and there proceed and make an end of the whole service, as he is likewise directed to do in the communion-book?

Omitting any part of [the] service

10. Whether doth he, in regard of his own long prayer or any other respect, diminish the divine service or prayers of the Church; as for instance, doth he leave out the Nicene Creed, or doth he not rehearse the gospel, or read the commandments upon any Sunday and holiday, &c., whereby the parishioners may lose the fruit, knowledge, and belief of such things, which it most of all concerns them to have?

Reading daily service

11. Further, whether doth he not only upon Sundays and holidays, and the days before mentioned, but upon every day also, say the daily morning and evening prayer, either privately at home, or publicly in the church, as he is bound to do, (having no urgent cause to hinder him,) by the preface to the communion-book established by law, inasmuch as he is a public person appointed to offer up unto God the daily prayers of the Church for His people?

Adding no other prayers or hymns, and using no other form of service than is prescribed

12. Doth he add unto the public prayers and service of the Church, any prayers of his own, or other men's framing? Doth he substitute of his own head and appoint any other psalms, hymns, or lessons, in the place of those which are appointed by law? And doth he not at any time use to say any common or open prayer, and to administer the Sacraments otherwise or in any other manner and form, than is prescribed in the said liturgy of our Church?

Observation of the ceremonies

13. Doth he, as well in reading or singing of service, as in administering any of the Sacraments, in solemnising matrimony, in visiting the sick, burying the dead, and churching of women, observe all the orders, rites, and ceremonies prescribed in the Book of Common Prayer, in such manner and form only as is there enjoined, without any omission, or addition, or alteration whatsoever?

Wearing the surplice, and never omitting it

14. Doth he in the time of public and divine service, as well morning and evening, and at all other times of his ministration, when any Sacrament be administered, or any other rite and ceremony of the Church solemnised, use and wear the surplice, without any excuse or pretence whatsoever? And doth he never omit the same(3)?

Bidding the holidays and fasting days

15. Whether doth he in due time and place, that is to say, immediately before the reading of the offertory in the second service, bid the holidays and fasting days, if any be the week following, whereby the people may religiously prepare themselves for the celebration thereof? And are the said holidays and fasting days observed accordingly(4)?

The consecration and absolution

16. Doth he take upon him, being but a deacon only, and not yet admitted into the sacred order of priesthood, to consecrate the holy Sacrament of the Eucharist, or to pronounce the absolution of sins, either in the preparation to matins and evensong, or in the administration of the Lord's Supper, or in the visitation of the sick, after confession?

The doxology at the end of the psalms. The hymns after the lessons.

17. Doth he rehearse the 'Gloria Patri,' &c. at the end of every psalm? And doth he, between the lessons and the Creed, at matins, use and say 'Te Deum' or 'Benedicite,' and 'Benedictus' or 'Jubilate;' and between the lessons and the Creed at evensong, 'Magnificat,' or 'Cantate Domino,' and 'Nunc Dimittis,' or 'Deus misereatur nostri,' in the words that are prescribed in the service-book only, and no other, or otherwise?

Administration of Baptism

18. Doth(5) your minister, or any other person, baptise any child in a private house but in case of great necessity? And when there is such necessity, doth he refuse any, being first informed of it? Or has(6) any child through his default in that behalf died without the blessed Sacrament of Baptism(7), but which the infant had undoubtedly received all things necessary to his salvation?

19. Doth he publicly baptise any in a basin, or other utensil whatsoever, and not in the usual font? Doth he baptise any that were not born in the parish? Doth he baptise any without godfathers or godmothers? Doth he admit any father to be godfather to his own child, or any that have not been confirmed and received the holy Communion?

Sign of the Cross

20. Doth he use the sign of the cross in Baptism? And doth he never omit the same?

Supply of things omitted in private Baptism

21. If any thing through haste be omitted in private Baptism, either in the matter or the manner and solemnity thereof, doth he supply the same when the infant is brought unto the church, for the satisfaction of the congregation, according to the form in that behalf prescribed?


22. When doth your minister, every Sunday and holiday, half an hour at least before evening prayer, openly in the church instruct and examine the youth of the parish in the Ten Commandments, the Creed, and the Lord's Prayer, &c., as they are explained and set forth in the Catechism(8) published and authorised with the Book of Common Prayer, only? And doth he teach them no other Catechisms framed and published by any private or public persons else whatsoever?

Notice given for confirmation

23. When the youth are instructed and can say the Catechism, doth your parson, vicar, or curate, frequently celebrate and administer the holy Supper of the Lord; or, being not a priest, procure it to be celebrated in his parish church by others, so oft that every parishioner may receive(9) it thrice in the year at least, whereof Easter to be one, and as oft besides as any of them, with a sufficient number, shall be religiously disposed and fitting thereunto?

Exhortation to frequent Communion

25. Doth he exhort the people frequently to repair unto that holy Communion? And when the people are indevout, and negligent of often coming unto it, doth he read unto them the exhortation prescribed by the Church, 'We(10) are come together,' &c. whereby they that come so seldom to so heavenly a feast, may know what injury they do to God and themselves?

Exhortation to prepare and clear the conscience before the Communion

26. Doth he before the celebration of every Communion give warning a week before, that the parishioners may duly prepare themselves for the due celebrating and receiving of such great mysteries? And doth he (as by the Communion book he is bound to do) admonish and exhort them that, if they have their consciences troubled and unquieted with sin, they should resort unto him, or some other learned minister, of whom, upon opening their grief unto him, they may receive such ghostly counsel and comfort(11) as their consciences may thereby be relieved, and themselves receive the benefit of absolution, to the quieting of their minds, and the avoiding of all scruple or doubt?

Keeping the seal of confession

27. And if any man at that or any other time, being sick or whole, useth to confess his secret and hidden sins to the priest, for the unburdening of his conscience and for the receiving of spiritual consolation and ease of mind by him, doth the said priest reveal, or hath he at any time revealed and made known unto any person whatsoever, any crime or offence so committed to his trust and secrecy, contrary to the 113th canon(12) of our Church?

Debarring from the Communion

28. Whether hath he debarred any of his parish from the holy Communion, who are not publicly infamous for living in some notorious crime without repentance(13), or schismatics and depravers of the religion and government established in this Church, and who are not first intimated unto the ordinary or bishop of the diocese(14)?

Kneeling at the Communion - Using the whole words of institution to every communicant.

30. Doth he, after the consecration of the Sacrament, first communicate himself, kneeling? Doth he deliver it to any other but such as before God's board do also humbly kneel upon their knees? Doth he deliver the Body and Blood of our Lord to every communicant severally? And when he delivereth either, doth he say and use the whole form of words prescribed and instituted for him to say unto every one of them, without posting and running over a many of the people at once?

Consecrating the bread and wine when they are renewed. - Taking home no other bread and wine but what was not consecrated.

31. When the bread and wine is renewed, doth he again use the words of consecration upon them, having always a care to bless no more than shall suffice the number of communicants(15)? And after the Communion ended, doth he send away, or take home to his private use, any bread and wine from the holy table, but that which was left unblessed and unconsecrated, the rest being reverently taken by some of the communicants, before they depart from their devotions? Do not men stand drinking and eating of the bread and wine irreligiously in the church?

Solemnisation of matrimony

32. Whether hath your minister at any time solemnised matrimony between any of his parishioners or other persons, in any other manner, words, or form than is prescribed in the communion-book, without adding or diminishing? Hath he married any without a ring? Or without the banns asked three several Sundays or holidays(16) before, in the time of divine service? Or without certificate of said banns first received from the curates of the churches where they were published? Or in times prohibited, that is to say, in Advent, Lent(17), without a licence first obtained from the archbishop, or his chancellor? Or before the hour of eight, or after twelve in the forenoon? Hath he contracted or made a marriage between any person in any private house, or married any under the age of twenty-one years, before the consent of their parents or governors first to him signified? Or any that cannot say their Catechism? Or, lastly, any that are within the degree of affinity or consanguinity forbidden by the laws of God and His Church?

33. Whether doth he deliver the holy Communion unto the persons newly married, as he is bound to do, and they bound to receive it, the same day when their marriage is solemnised(18)?

Visiting the sick

Whether doth your minister, having notice given him, visit the sick diligently, the disease not being infectious? Doth he instruct and comfort them? Doth he upon due confession and repentance of their sins, absolve them? Doth he move them to make their testaments, to remember the poor, and do other works of charity, according to their ability? Doth your minister refuse to administer the holy Communion to those that lie on their death-beds, and desire the same? Doth he pray for them in that form as he is required? Doth he deliver them the holy Sacrament for the benefit and strengthening of their souls? And when any is passing out of this life, and the bell be tolled, doth not your minister then slack to do his last duty?

Burying the dead

35. Doth he bury the dead according to the full form, manner, and rite prescribed? Doth he refuse or defer to bury any that ought to be interred in Christian burial? Or doth he bury any that be the canons(19) of the Church ought not to be so interred, as persons excommunicate with the major excommunication, for some grievous and notorious crime, whereof no man is able to testify their repentance and absolution?

Churching of women

36. Doth he church any woman after childbirth but according to the form prescribed only? Is it done in public, (unless great necessity do otherwise require)? Doth he admit any to be churched but such as come in a decent habit, as hath been anciently accustomed, and shall be ready to receive the Communion that very day? Doth he admit any woman gotten with child out or matrimony to be churched without licence(20)?

Reading the commination

37. Doth your minister, at certain times of the year, and specially at the beginning of Lent, cause his parishioners to be called together by the ringing of a bell some while after morning prayer? When the people are assembled, is the Litany said humbly and devoutly after the old and accustomed manner in the middle alley of the church, as is enjoined(21)? And after the Litany ended, doth your minister go into his lower pulpit and read the commination prescribed in the church-book, distinctly and reverently, that the people may answer him?

Going the perambulation

38. Whether doth your minister go the perambulation with his parishioners in the rogation days of procession, using the prayers and thanksgivings to God for His blessings, as the two Psalms beginning 'Benedic, anima mea,' &c. (103 and 104,) or otherwise entreat His grace and favour, if there be fear of scarcity, using always the Litany and suffrages annexed(22)? And at their return to the church, doth he say the common prayers and read the homily of thanksgiving prescribed for that purpose, without the addition of any superstitious ceremonies?

Touching preachers and lecturers

39. Have you any lecturer in your parish who is neither parson nor vicar? How often doth he lecture or preach among you, and by what authority? At what hours are his lectures? And how long do they use to last?

40. If any such lecturer be in your parish, doth he twice at the least in every year read morning and evening prayer in the lower pulpit, the Litany in the midst of the church(23), the latter service at the Communion table, all distinctly and reverently two several Sundays, publicly, in his surplice?

41. Doth he twice a year at least, administer the Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper, in such order, words, rites, and ceremonies only as are prescribed in the church-book, and no otherwise, still wearing the surplice?

42. If your minister, who possesseth the benefice, doth give himself to preaching oftener than praying, yet doth he read divine service and administer the Sacraments twice in the year at least, in manner and form as is next before mentioned?

43. Doth your minister, preacher, or lecturer, use the bidding of prayers only, enjoined(24), before his sermon, without conceiving long forms of his own? Doth he give God thanks for them that are departed in His faith and fear?

44. Doth your minister confer with recusants and other persons excommunicate, or suspected, that he may reclaim them to obedience and holy unity with the Church? And doth he denounce them, being obstinate, once a month, upon Sunday, in service time?

45. Doth he diligently look to the relief of the poor; and from time to time, call upon his parishioners to give somewhat, according to their abilities?

46. Doth he appoint, hold, and uphold, any fasts, prophecies or exercises? Hath he been present at any conventicles or meetings of silenced and suspended ministers, or others, to use any repeatings(25) or preachings whatsoever, to deprave the doctrine and discipline established, or to use any other form of prayer than what is enjoined in the church-book?

47. Doth he use comeliness in apparel at home? Doth he wear his priest's cloak abroad? Doth he lodge or board in any ale-house or tavern, or doth he commonly resort unto such places? Doth he use any base or servile labour, not answerable to the honour and dignity of his calling? Doth he use any dice, cards, tables, or other idle and unlawful games? Is he one that seriously plies not his devotions and his studies? Is he a hunter, hawker, dancer, swearer, usurer, or suspected of incontinency? Is he any ways offensive or scandalous to his function of ministry?

48. Whether is there in your parish any priest or deacon that hath forsaken his holy calling, and useth himself in his course of life as a gentleman or mere layman?

i. See the canons of 1571 in Sparrow's Collection, p. 237; and those of 1604, numbers 46, 47, 49, 52, pp. 291, 292, 293.
ii. This clause has originally stood thus, 'after the manner accustomed and prescribed.' See Queen Elizabeth's Injunctions in Sparrow's Collection, p. 73.
iii. Here in the margin is written 'Doth he read the book of canons once every year? Vide Durh. Art. Memb. 9. Tit. 1.'
iv. 'Vid. Durh. Art. Numb. 17. Tit. 2 and Arch. of Norw. n. 28.' Margin of the MS.
v. 'Whether is the Sacrament of Baptism rightly, &c. Tit. 2. Art. 3, 4." MS note.
vi. 'have' MS
vii. 'Baptism for the remission of sins,' was the first reading.
viii. In the margin, 'See Rochester Art.'
ix. First written, 'receive it as oft as a sufficient number of them shall be disposed and prepared thereunto, or thrice,' &c.
x. This is the commencement of the first of the two exhortations as it formerly stood in the Liturgy. See it printed in Nichols's notes upon the Communion Service.
xi. In the margin are the words, 'if cause be, by confession and absolution,' but the exact position which they are intended to occupy in the sentence is not indicated.
xii. See Sparrow's Collection, page 320.
xiii. Instead of the words, 'without repentance,' Cosin first wrote, 'as excommunicate persons.'
xiv. In the margin, 'Vide Durhman Art. Numb. 8 and 9, tit. 2. Arch. of Nor. Numb. 26.'
xv. 'Vide can. 21.' In the margin. See Sparrow, page 278.
xvi. See the rubric in Nichols.
xvii. A blank space, equivalent to about half a line of the printed text, here is left in the MS.
xviii. 'Then shall begin the Communion , and after the gospel shall be said a sermon, wherein ordinarily (so oft as there is any marriage,) the office of man and wife shall be declared according to holy Scripture. Or if there be no sermon, the minister shall read this that followeth.' Rubric before the last revision, quoted by Nichols.
xix. 'See the sixth article of the archdeacon of Norwich.' MS note in the margin. Reference is made to the canons 27 and 28, see Sparrow's Collection, pp. 280, 281.
xx. 'Vide Arch. of Norwich's Art. Numb. 40.' MS note.
xxi. 'After morning prayer the people being called together by the ringing of a bell, and assembled in the Church, the English Litany shall be said after the accustomed manner, which ended, the priest shall go into the pulpit, and say thus.' C.P. in Nichols.
xxii. 'with one of the homilies,' struck out. See the Injunctions of Queen Elizabeth, ¤ 19, (Sparrow, page 73,) and 'the homily for the day of perambulation or procession.'
xxiii. This sentence originally stood thus; 'read Divine service distinctly and reverently, the Litany so that the people may answer'…
xxiv. See canon 55.
xxv. Originally, 'to use any manner of prayers, and repeatings…' &c.

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