Sanctuary (2)


In popish times the privilege of sanctuary was common in Scotland. Innes says: "In several English churches there was a stone seat beside the altar, where those fleeing to the peace of the Church were held guarded by all its sanctity. One of these still remains at Beverley, another at Hexham. To violate the protection of the frithstol (the seat of peace), or of the fertre (the shrine of relics behind the altar), was not, like other offenses, to be compensated by a pecuniary penalty: it was bot-leas, beyond compensation. That the Church thus protected fugitives among ourselves we learn from the ancient canons of the Scotican councils, where, among the list of misdeeds against which the Church enjoined excommunication. after the laying of violent hands upon parents and priests, is denounced 'the open taking of thieves out of the protection of the Church. The most celebrated, and probably the most ancient, of these sanctuaries was that of the church of Wedale, a parish which is now called by the name of its village, 'the Stow.' There is a very ancient tradition that king Arthur brought with him from Jerusalem an image of the Virgin, 'fragments of which,' says a writer in the 11th century, 'are still preserved at Wedale in great veneration.' About the beginning of his reign, king William issued a precept to the ministers of the church of Wedale, and to the guardians of its 'peace,' enjoining them 'not to detain the men of the abbot of Kelso, who had taken refuge there, nor their goods, inasmuch as the abbot was willing to do to them, and for them, all reason and justice.'" SEE ASYLUM; SEE CHURCH.

Bible concordance for SANCTUARY.

Definition of sanctuary

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

Topical Outlines Nave's Bible Topics International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Online King James Bible King James Dictionary

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