Among the Romans, the ordinary Method of pronouncing Judgment was this : After the Cause had been pleaded on both sides, the Pretor used the Word
When the Votes are equally divided on the Sides of Absolution and Condemnation, the Accused is absolved : This Procedure is supposed to be founded on the Law of Nature. Such is the Sentiment of Faber on the 125th Law. de Div. Reg. Jur. of Cicero,
Absolution, in the Canon Law, is a Juridical Act, whereby a Priest, as a Judge, and in virtue of a Power given him by Jesus Christ, remits the Sins of such as appear to have the Conditions requisite thereto.
The Romanists hold Absolution a Part of the Sacrament of Penance : The Council of Trent, Sess. XIV. cap. iii. and that of Florence, in the Decree
This Formula of Absolution in the Romish Church is Absolute ; in the Greek Church, Deprecatory ; and in the Churches of the Reformed, Declarative. Arcuvius, indeed, contends that the Greek Formula is absolute ; and that it consists in these Words,
Absolution is chiefly used in the Reformed Churches for a Sentence whereby a Person who stands excommunicated, is releas'd or freed from the same. See EXCOMMUNICATION.
In the Church of Scotland, is the Excommunicated shew real Signs of godly Sorrow, and is upon Application to the Presbytery a Warrant be granted for his Absolution, he is brought before the Congregation to consess his Sin, and express his Sorrow, as often as the Presbytery shall think meet : When the Congregation is satisfy'd of his Penitence, the Minister puts up a Prayer, desiring Jesus Christ who has instituted the Ordinance of Excommunication, (i. e. of binding and loosing the Sins of Men on Earth) with a Promise of satisying the righteous Sentence above, to accept of this Man, to forgive his Disobedience, &c. Thisdone, he pronounces the Sentence of Absolution ; by which his former Sentence is taken off, and the Sinner is again receiv'd into Communion.
In the Church of Rome there are divers other Political Absolutions ; as