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The Acts Of The General Assemblies of the Church of Scotland
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The Acts

Of The

General Assemblies

Of The

Church of Scotland

From The Year 1638 to the Year 1649.

Inclusive.

Printed in the Year 1682.

To which are now added

The Index of the Unprinted Acts of these Assemblies;

and the Acts of the General Assembly 1690.

Printed in the year 1691.



CONTENTS

To The Reader. The General Assembly, At Glasgow. Act Sess. 6. November 27. 1638. Act. Sess 7. November 28. Act. approving the Registers. Act. Sess. 12. December fourth. The six late pretended Assemblies condemned. Reasons annulling the pretended Assembly, holden at Linlithgow, 1606. Reasons for annulling the pretended Assembly at Linlithgow, 1608. Reasons for annulling the pretended Assembly at Glasgow, 1610. Reasons for annulling the pretended Assembly at Aberdene, 1616. The nullitie of the pretended Assembly at Saint Andrews, 1617. Reasons for annulling the pretended Assembly, holden at Perth, 1618. Act. Sess. 13. December 5. 1638. Against the unlawfull oaths of intrants. Act. Sess. 14. December 6. 1638. Condemning the Service-book, Book of Canons, Book of Ordination, and the high Commission. Sentence of deposition and excommunication against Mr. John Spottiswood, pretended Archbishop of St. Andrews; Mr. Patrik Lindsay, pretended Archbishop of Glasgow: Mr. David Lindsay, pretended Bishop of Edinburgh: Mr. Thomas Sidserfe, pretended Bishop of Galloway: Mr. John Maxwell, pretended Bishop of Rosse: Mr. Walter Whyt-foord, pretended Bishop of Brechen. Sentence of deposition and excommunication, against Mr. Adam Ballantyne, pretended Bishop of Aberdeen, and Mr. James Wedderburn pretended Bishop of Dumblane. Sentence of deposition against Master John Guthry, pretended Bishop of Murray: Mr. John Grahame, pretended Bishop of Orknay, Mr. James Fairlie, pretended Bishop of Lismoir: Mr. Neil Cambell, pretended Bishop of Isles. Sentence of deposition against Maister Alexander Lindsay pretended Bishop of Dunkell. Sentence of deposition against Master John Abernethie pretended Bishop of Cathnes. Act of the Assembly at Glasgow, Sess. 16. December 8. 1638. Declaring Episcopacie to have been abjured by the Confession of Faith, 1580. And to be removed out of this Kirk. Act. Sess. 17. December 10. 1638. The Assembly at Glasgow, declaring the five Articles of Perth to have been abjured and to bee removed. Act. Sess. 21. December 17. 1638. Act. Sess. 23, 24. December 17. 18. Act Sess. 14. December 18. 1638. Act. Sess. 25. December 19. 1638. Against the civil places and power of Kirk-men. Act Sess. 26. December 20. 1638. Act. Sess. 26. December 20. 1638. Act Sess. 26. December 20. 1638. Act Sess. 26. December 20. Act Sess. 26. December 20. 1638. Concerning the subscribing the confession of Faith lately subscribed by his Majesties Commissioner, and urged to be subscribed by others. Act. Sess. 26. December 20. 1638. Concerning yearly generall Assemblies. Ordaining an humble supplication to be sent to the Kings Majestie. The General Assembly, At Edinburgh, 1639. Sess. 8. August 17. 1639. Master George Grahame his renouncing and abjuring of Episcopacie. Sess. 8. August 17. 1639. Act containing the Causes and Remedie of the by-gone Evils of this Kirk. Sess. 18. Aug. 26. 1639. Act approving an old Register of the Generall Assembly. Act Sess. 19. August 27. 1639. Act approving the deposition of the Ministers by the Committees. Act Sess. 20. Aug. 28. 1639. Act anent receiving of deposed Ministers. Act Sess. 21. August 29. 1639. Act anent the keeping of the Lords Day. Act Sess. 22. Aug. 29. 1639. a Meridie. Articles and Overtures approved by the Assembly. Sess. 23. August 30. 1639. The Supplication of the General Assembly to the Kings Majesties Commissioner, concerning the Book, called, The large Declaration. The Supplication of the Assembly to His Majesties High Commissioner, and the Lords of secret Councell. The Act of the Lords of Councel at Edinburgh, August 30. 1639. containing the Answer of the preceding Supplication. The Kings Majesties Commissioners Declarations. Like as his Majesties Commissioner, read and gave in the Declaration following, of his consent to the Act of the Assembly 17. August, anent the causes of our by gone evils. Like as His Majesties Commissioner, read and gave in the Declaration following: Act ordaining the subscription of the Confession of Faith and Covenant, with the Assemblies Declaration. Act anent Appellations. Act anent advising with Synods and Presbyteries before determination in Novations. Act anent Ministers Catechising, and Family Exercises. Sess. 24. Aug. 30. a meride. The Assemblies Supplication to the KINGS MAJESTIE. The Generall Assembly, Conveened at Aberdene, July 28. 1640. Sess. 2. July 29. 1640. Overtures given in by the Committee appointed by the last Assembly, anent the ordering of the Assembly-house: Which being read in audience of the Assembly they approved the same. Act anent the demolishing of Idolatrous Monuments. Act against Witches and Charmers. Sess. 5. Aug. 1. 1640. Act for censuring speakers against the Covenant. Sess. 10. Aug. 5. 1640. Act against Expectants refusing to subscribe the Covenant. The Generall Assembly, Holden at St. Andrews, and Edinburgh. 1641. Sess. 1. July 20. 1641. Sess. 3. July 28. 1641. Sess. 5. July 30. 1641. Act anent old Ministers bruiking their Benefices. Sess. 8. Aug. 2. 1641. a meridie. Act against sudden receiving Ministers deposed. Sess. 9. Aug. 3. 1641. Sess. 10. August 4. 1641. Act against Impiety and Schisme. Sess. 14. August 6. 1641. a Meridie. Act anent Novations. Act. Sess. 15. August 7. 1641. Overtures anent Bursars, and Expectants. Act Sess. 17. August 9. 1641. Act against unlawfull Bands. Sess. 18. August 9. 1641. a meridie. A Letter from some Ministers in England to the Assemblie. The Assemblies Answer to the English Ministers Letter. The Assemblies Answer to the Kings Majesties Letter. Act anent the Kirk of Campheir. The Generall Assembly, Conveened at S. Andrews, July 27. 1642. Act Sess. 1. July 27. 1642. The Kings Letter to the Generall Assembly, presented by His Majesties Commissioner, the Earle of Dumfermling, July 27. 1642. Act Sess 3. July 29. 1642. Act for bringing in of the Synode Books yeerly to the General Assemblies. Act Sess 5. August 1. 1642. Act anent the choosing of Kirk Sessions. Sess 6. August 2. 1642. The Report of the Interpretation of the Act at Edinburgh, anent tryal of Ministers. Act Sess. 7. August 3. 1642. Act anent the order for making Lists to His Majestie, and other Patrons for Presentations; The order of tryal of Expectants, and for trying the quality of Kirks. Act anent Lists for the Kirks in the High-lands. Overtures against Papists, non-Communicants, and profaners of the Sabbath. Act anent the joyning of the Presbyterie of Sky to the Synode of Argyle. Sess. 8. August 3. post Meridiem. The Supplication of this Assembly to the KINGS MAJESTIE. The Declaration of the Parliament of England, sent to the Assembly. The Assemblies answer to the Declaration of the Parliament of England. Act Sess. 8. Aug. 3. 1642. Act Sess. 11. Edinb. August 5. 1642. Sess. 11. August 5. 1642. Act anent contrary Oaths. Overtures anent Family Exercises, Catechising, keeping of Synods and Presbyteries, and restraint of Adulteries, Witch-crafts, and other grosse sins. Sess. 11. Aug. 5. 1642. Act against Petitions, Declarations, & suchlike in name of Ministers, without their knowledge and consents. Sess 11. Aug. 5. 1642. Act anent the Assemblies desires to the Lords of Counsell, and Conservators of Peace. Sess. 11. Aug 5. 1642. The Assemblies humble desire to the Kings Majestie for the Signator of 500 l. Sterling and recommendation thereof to the Kings Commissioner. Sess. 11. Aug. 5. 1642. The Assemblies Letter to the Commissioners of this Kingdom at London. A Letter from some Ministers of England. Answer to the Ministers Letter. Act for the Lord Maitlands presenting the Assemblies Supplication to His Majestie, and for going to the Commissioners at London, with the Answer to the Parliament of Englands Declaration. Sess. 11. August 5. post meridiem. Commission for publike affairs of this Kirk, and for prosecuting the desires of this Assembly to His Majestie, and the Parliament of England. Sess. 13. Aug. 6. 1642. A Petition from some distressed Professors in Ireland. Commission to some Ministers to go to Ireland. Sess. 13. August 6. 1642. Act against slandering of Ministers. Act anent ordering of the Assembly House. Act for remembring in publike Prayers the desires of the Assembly to the King and Parliament, and indiction of a publike Fast. Reference from the Presbyterie of Kirkcaldie. Reference frrom the Synode of Fyffe. Overtures to be advised by Presbyteries against the next Assembly. The Generall Assembly at Edinburgh Sess. 1. August 2. 1643. The Kings Letter to the General Assembly. Sess. 2. August 3. 1643. Overtures anent Bills, References, and Appeales. Sess. 3. August 4. 1643. Act for election of Professours to be Commissioners to Assemblies by Presbyteries. Sess. 4. Aug. 5. 1643. The Petition of the distressed Professours in Ireland for Ministers. Sess. 6. August 8, 1643. Acts for subscribing the Covenant. Sess. 7. August 9. 1643. Act for searching Books tending to Separation. Approbation of the proceedings of the Commissioners of the last Assembly. Sess. 8. August 10. 1643. Propositions given by the Commissioners of the Parliament of England to a Committee, to be presented by them to the Assembly. A Declaration of the Lords and Commons in the Parliament of England, to the Generall Assembly of the Church of Scotland. A Letter from some Brethren of the Ministerie in the Kirk of England, to the Assembly. Sess. 9. August 11. 1643. Act against Burials and hinging of Honours, &c. in Kirks. Sess. 10. August 12. 1643. Act anent reposition of Ministers, deposed by Superiour Judicatories. Sess. 11. Aug. 14. 1643. Act against Masters who have Servants that prophane the Lords day. Sess. 12. Aug. 15. 1643. Act for preparing the Directorie for the worship of God. Propositions from the English Commissioners presented this day to the Assembly. The Paper before-mentioned, delivered August 12. to the Convention, and this day to the Assembly Sess. 13. Aug. 16. 1643. Recommendation to the Presbyteries and Universities anent Students that have the Irish language. Sess. 14. August 17. 1643. The Letter from the Assembly of Divines in the Kingdome of England. The Result of the Debates and Consultations of the Committees of the Convention of Estates and General Assembly, appointed to meet with the Commissioners of the Parliament of England. Approbation of the League and Covenant above mentioned. Sess. Ult. August 19. 1643. The Assemblies humble desires to his Majestie anent the Lists for Presentations: With a Recommendation to Presbyteries. Overtures anent Witch-craft, and Charming, &c. Commission for Ministers to go to Ireland. Act against Ministers haunting with excommunicate persons. Act anent an order for using civil Execution against Excommunicate Persons. TO THE KINGS MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTIE, The Answer of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, to the Declaration of the honourable Houses of the Parliament of England. The Assemblies Answer to the right reverend the Assembly of Divines in the Church of England. The Assemblies Answer to the Reverend their beloved Brethren, Ministers in the Church of England. Commission of the Generall Assembly, for these that repair to the Kingdome of England. Reference to the Commission, anent the Persons designed to repair to the the Kingdome of England. Commission for the Publick Affairs of this Kirk. The Generall Assembly, At Edinburgh, 1644. Die Jovis penult. Maii, Sess. 2. The Letter from the Presbyeerie with the Army in England, to the Generall Assembly. The Petition from the distressed Christians in the North of Ireland. 3. Junii 1644. Antemeridiem. Sess. 5. Act for the present Entrie of the new erected Presbyterie at Biggar. Junii 3. 1644 Sess. Act concerning the Declaration subscribed by the Scottish Lords at Oxford. Act against the Rebells in the North and South. Act against secret disaffecters of the Covenant Act for sending Ministers to the Armie. Renovation of the Commission for the Publick affairs of the Kirk. Renovation of the Commission granted to the Persons appointed to repair to the Kingdome of England. The Assemblies answer to the Presbyterie with the Armie. 4. June 1644. Sess 7. The Letter from the Commissioners at London to the General Assembly. The Letter from the Synod of Divines in the Kirk of England, to the Generall Assembly. The Generall Assemblies Answer to the right Reverend the Assembly of Divines in the Kirk of England. The Assemblies answer to their Commissioners at London. The Assemblies Letter to the Kirks in the Netherlands. Ordinance concerning Bursars. Ordinance for up lifting and imploying Penalties contained in Acts of Parliament, upon pious uses. An Overture concerning Promises of Marriage made by Minors, to those with whom they have committed Fornication. Act concerning dissenting voices in Presbyteries and Synods. Act concerning the Election of a Moderator in Provinciall Assemblies. Act for keeping of the Fast by the Congregations in the Towne where the Assembly holds. Meeting announcement. Letter. The Letter from the Synode of Divines in England, to the Generall Assembly. 28 Jan. 1645. Post meridiem. Die Martis. Sess. 5. Approbation of the Proceedings of the Commission of the two preceding Assemblies. 3. Februar. 1645. Die Lunae, Post meridiem. Sess. 10. Act of the Generall Assembly of the Kirk of Scotland, for the establishing and putting in execution of the Directory for the publick Worship of GOD. 7. February, 1645. Post meridiem. Sess. 14. Overtures for advancement of Learning and good Order in Grammar Schools and Colledges. The Humble Petition the Generall Assembly of the Kirk of Scotland. Overtures propounded by the Committee, appointed by this venerable Assembly, for ordering of the Bursars of Theologie, and maintaining of them at Schools of Divinitie. The opinion of the Committee for keeping the greater Uniformitie in this Kirk, in the practice and observation of the Directory in some points of publick Worship. 10. February, 1645. Postmeridiem Sess. 16. Act of the Generall Assembly of the Kirk of Scotland, Approving the Propositions concerning Kirk government and Ordination of Ministers. 12. Feb. 1645. Post meridiem Sess. 18. A Solemne and Seasonable Warning To the Noblemen, Barons, Gentlemen, Burrows, Ministers, and Commons of Scotland; As also to our ARMIES without and within this Kingdom. Act against Lykwakes. Act recommending to Sessions To have the Printed Acts of Assemblie. 13. Februar. 1645. Postmeridiem. Sess. Ult. Act for censuring the Observers of Yule-day, and other superstitious dayes, especially if they be Schollars. Act for encouragement of Schollars to Professions in Schooles. Act for restraining Abuses at Pennie Brydals. Act Discharging deposed Ministers to be reponed to their former Places. Renovation of the Commission for the publick Affairs of the Kirk. Renovation of the Commission to the Persons appointed to repair to the Kingdom, of England, for prosecuting the Treaty of Uniformitie in Religion. The General Assemblies Answer to the Right Reverend the Assembly of Divines in the Kirk of England. The humble Remonstrance of the Generall Assembly of the Kirk of Scotland, met at Edinburgh the 13. day of February, 1645. The Assemblies Answer to their Commissioners at London. The Generall Assembly Met at Edinburgh Junii 3. 1646. Edinb. 4. Junii 1646. Sess. 2. The Kings Letter to the Assembly, presented by M. Robert Douglas Minister at Edinburgh. 6. Junii 1646. Antemeridiem. Sess. 4. Act concerning the Registers and Acts of Provinciall Assemblies. 11. Junii 1646. Antemeridiem Sess. 7. Act concerning the publike satisfaction of Married persons, for Fornication committed before Marriage. 13. Junii 1646. Antemeridiem. Sess. 10. Ordinance for Excommunication of the Earle of Seafort. Enormities and Corruptions observed to be in the Ministery, with the Remedies thereof. Commission of the Approbation of the proceedings of the preceding Assembly. 15. Junii 1646. Postmeridiem. Sess. 11. Act for joyning of the Presbyteries in Orkney and Zetland to the Provincial of Cathnes. 17. Junii 1646. Postmeridiem. Sess. 14. Act concerning Expectants Preaching in Publike. Act for censuring the Complyers with the publike Enemies of this Kirk and Kingdom. Act concerning James Grahams Proclamation. 18. Junii 1646. Antermeridiem. Sess. Ult. Act against loosing of Ships and Barks upon the Lords Day. Act anent Children sent without the Kingdom. Overtures presented to the Assembly. Renovation of the Commission for the publike affairs of the Kirk. Renovation of the Commission for prosecuting the Treaty for Uniformity in England. The Assemblies Answer To The Kings Maiestie. The Assemblies Letter to the Right Honorable the Lords and Commons in the Parliament of England Assembled at Westminster. The Assemblies Letter to the Right Honorable the Lord Major Aldermen, and Common-Councel of the City of London. The Assemblies Letter to the right Reverend the Assembly of Divines in the Kirk of England assembled at Westminster. Recommendation to Presbyteries and Provincial Assemblies. Act for a publike Fast before the next Assembly. The Generall Assembly, At Edinburgh 4. August. 1647. August. 16. 1647 Postmeridiem. Sess. 2. Act allowing the half of the Ministers in the Presbyterie of Zetland only, with their Ruling Elders, to keep the Provincial Assembly. 20. August 1647. Antemeridiem. Sess. 15. A Declaration, and Brotherly Exhortation of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, to their Brethren of England. 24. August 1647. Antemeridiem. Sess. 19. Act for observing the Directions of the Generall Assembly for Secret and Private Worship, and mutuall edification, and censuring such as neglect Familie Worship. The Directions of the Generall Assembly, for Secret and Private Worship & mutuall edification, for cherishing Piety, for maintaining Unitie, and avoiding Schisme and Division. Act against such as withdraw themselves from the publike Worship in their own Congregation. 26. August 1647. Postmeridiem. Sess. 22. Approbation of the preceedings of the Commission of the preceeding Assembly. 27. August 1647. Antemeridiem. Sess. 23. Approbation of the Confession of Faith. Edinburgh 28. August 1647. Postmeridiem. Sess. 25. Act for revising the Paraphrase of the Psalmes brought from England, with a recommendation for Translating the other Scriptuall Songs in Meeter. Act recommending the execution of the Act of Parliament at Perth, for uplifting pecuniall paines to bee imployed upon pious uses, and of all Acts of Parliament made against excommunicate Persons. Ult. August 1647. Antemeridiem. Sess. 26. Act discharging the importing, venting or spreading of erronious Books or Papers. Act for debarring of Complyers in the first Classe from Ecclesiastick office. Act for pressing and furthering the plantation of Kirks. Act for censuring absents from the Generall Assembly. Renovation of former Acts of Assembly for Triall and Admission of Expectants to the Ministrie. Eodem die, Sess. 28. Postmeridiem. Renovation of the Commission for prosecuting the Treaty for Uniformity in England. Renovation of the Commission for the publike affaires of the Kirk. Desires and Overtures from the Commissioners of Universities, and the Assemblies answer thereto. Edinburgh 1. September 1647. Sess. Ult. The Assemblies Letter to their Countreymen in Poleland, Swedland, Denmarke, and Hungarie. Act concerning the Hundred and eleven Propositions therein mentioned. Desires and Overtures presented from Presbyteries and Synods, with the Assemblies answer thereunto. The Generall Assembly, At Edinburgh. Iuly 12. 1648. Post meridiem, Sess. 1. The Letter from the Synod of Divines in England to the Generall Assembly. Iuly 15 Antemeridiem, Sess. 4. Act concerning Commissions from Burghs. Iuly 18. 1648. Antemeridiem. Sess 6. Act concerning the examining of the proceedings of the Commissioners of Assemblies. Iuly 18. 1648. Postmeridiem. Sess. 7. Approbation of the proceedings of the Commission of the preceeding Assembly, July 20. 1648. Postmeridiem, Sess. 10. Approbation of the larger Catechisme. July 21. 1648. Antemeridiem, Sess. 11. Act against sudden admitting deposed Ministers to particular Congregations. July 25. 1648. Antemeridiem. Sess. 14. The Assemblies Answer to the Paper sent from the Committee of Estates of the 24. July. July 28. 1648. Antemeridiem, Sess. 18. Act and Declaration against the Act of Parliament & Committee of Estates ordained to be subscribed the 10. and 12. of June, and against all new Oathes or Bands in the common Cause imposed without consent of the Church. Eodem die Postmeridiem. Sess. 19. Approbation of the shorter Catechisme. Act discharging a little Catechisme printed at Edinburgh, 1647. Ult. Iuly 1648. Postmeridiem, Sess. 21. A Declaration of the Generall Assembly concerning the present dangers of Religion, and especially the unlawfull engagement in War, against the Kingdom of England; Together, with many necessary exhortations and directions to all the Members of the Kirk of Scotland. August. 1. 1648. Antemeridiem. Sess. 22. The General Assemblies Answer to the Paper presented from the Honourable Committee of Estates of the Date Iuly 28. 1648. Eodem die Postmeridiem, Sess. 23. A Declaration and Exhortation of the Generall Assembly of the Church of Scotland, to their Brethren of England. August. 2. 1648. Antemeridiem, Sess. 26. Answer to the Letter of the Reverend Assembly of Divines in England. Eodem die Postmeridiem, Sess. 25. The Humble Supplication of the Generall Assembly, To the Right Honourable the Committee of Estates. August 3. 1648. Antemeridiem, Sess. 26. Act for censuring Ministers for their silence, and not speaking to the corruptions of the time. August 4. 1648. Postmeridiem, Sess. 21. Overtures concerning the education of the Hie-land Boys in the Province of Argyle. August 5. 1648. Antemeridiem, Sess. 30. Explanation of the fifth Article of the Overtures concerning Appeals past in the Assembly, 1643. Eodem die 1648. Antemeridiem, Sess. 30. Act discharging deposed or suspended Ministers from any exercise of the Ministery, or medling with the stipend. August 7. 1648. Antemeridiem. Sess 31. The Assemblies Declaration of the falsehood and forgerie of a lying scandalous Pamphlet put forth under the name of their Reverend Brother Mastr Alexander Henderson after hes death. Act for taking the Covenant at the first receiving of the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, & for the receiving of it also by all Students at their first entry to Colledges. Eodem die Postmeridiem, Sess. 32. Act concerning Presbyteries maintaining of Bursars. August 9. 1648. Antemeridiem Sess. 25. Act for dis-joyning the Presbyteries of Zetland, from the Provinciall Synod of Orkney and Cathnes. Aug. 10. 1648. Postmeridiem, Sess. 38. Overtures for the Remedies of the grievous and common Sins of the Land in this present time. Act for examining the Paraphrase of the Psalms and other Scripturall Songs. Overtures concerning Papists, their children, and Excommunicate Persons. Aug. 11. 1648 Antemeridiem, Sess. 39. Act for prosecuting the Treaty for the Uniformity in Religion in the Kingdom of England. Act Renewing the Commission for the publick Affairs of this Kirk. August 11. 1643. Postmeridiem, Sess. 40. Exemption of Murray, Rosse, and Caithnesse from the contribution granted to the boyes of Argyle, with a Recommendation to Presbyteries, to make up what is taken of them by that exemption. Act concerning Collection for the Poor. Recommendation for securing provisions to Ministers in Burghs. The Humble Supplication of the Generall Assembly of the Kirk of Scotland, met at Edinburg August 12 unto the Kings Most Excellent Majeste. August. 12. 1648, Sess. Ult. Act discharging Duels. Act concerning deposed Ministers. The Generall Assembly, Holden at Edinburgh, July 7. 1649. July 7. 1649. Antemeridiem, Sess 4. Approbation of the proceedings of the Commissioners of the Generall Assembly. July 10. 1649. Antemeridiem, Sess. 6. Approbation of the Commissioners sent to his Majesty. July 19. 1649 Postmeridiem, Sess. 18. Act discharging promiscuous Dancing. July 20. 1649. Antemeridiem, Sess. 19. Act concerning the receiving of Engagers in the late unlawfull War against England, to publick Satisfaction, Together with the Declaration and Acknowledgement to be subscribed by them. The Declaration and Acknowledgement before mentioned. July 24. 1649. Postmeridiem. Sess. 23. Letter to the High & Honourable Court of Parliament. 27. July, 1649. Antemeridiem. Sess. 27. A seasonable and necessary Warning and Declaration, concerning Present and Imminent dangers, and concerning duties relating thereto, from the Generall Assembly of this Kirk, unto all the Members thereof. 30. July 1649. Antemeridiem Sess. 30. Act concerning Catechising. 4 Aug. 1649. Antemeridiem Sess. 40. Commission for publick Affaires. Directorie for Election of Ministers. 6. August, 1649. Antemeridiem, Sess. Ult. A Brotherly Exhortation from the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, to their Brethren in England. Act for a Collection for entertaining Highland Boyes at Schooles. Commission for a conference of Ministers, Lawyers and Physitians, Concerning the tryal and punishment of Witch-craft, Charming and Consulting. Recommendation for maintenance for Schoolmasters and Precenters. Acts concerning Persons to be admitted Bursars. Reference to the Commission for publick affaires for re-examining the Paraphrase, of the Psalmes and the emitting the same for publicke use. Letter to the Kings Majestie. The Principal Acts of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland holden at Edinburgh the 16th day of October 1690. Edinburgh 16 of October 1690. Post Meridiem. Sess. 1. I. The Meeting of the General Assembly, and the Recording of Their Majesties Commission, to John Lord Carmichael, for Representing Their Majesties therein. Edinburgh 17 October 1690. Ante Meridiem Sess. 2. II. His MAJESTIES Gracious Letter to the Assembly. Edinburgh 18th. October 1690. Post Meridiem Sess. 4. III. The Assemblies Answer to His Majesties Gracious Letter. IV. Appointment of a Diet, to be kept by the Assembly for Prayer. Edinburgh 25th. October 1690. Ante Meridiem. Sess. 9. V. The proceedings of the Assembly, anent Mr. Thomas Lining and Others. Act anent Mr. Thomas Lining and Others. Edinburgh 28 of October 1690. Ante Meridiem, Sess. 11. VI. Act anent Ministers that observe not the publick Orders of the Church. Edinburgh 29 October 1690. Ante Meridiem, Sess. 12. VII. Act approving several Overtures. VIII. Act approving the Associations of Presbyteries. Edinburgh 31 October 1690, Ante Meridiem Sess. 15. IX. Act against Ministers Removing out of this Church. X. Act anent the Administration of the Sacraments. Edinburgh 11 November 1690. Post Meridiem Sess. 24. XI. Act approving Overtures anent the Irish Bibles, &c. At Edinburgh, November 12. 1690. Post Meridiem. Sess. 25. XII. Act anent a Solemn National Fast and Humiliation, with the Causes thereof. XIII. Act anent Sentences past against Ministers from the Year 1650. &c. Edinburgh 13 of November 1690. Post Meridiem. Sess. 26. XIV. The Assemblies Letter to His Majesty. XV. Instructions to the Commissions for Visitations on the South and North sides of Tay. XVI. Commission for Visitations on the South side of Tay. XVII. Commission for Visitations on the North side of Tay. XVIII. Commission for Mr. Gilbert Rule and Mr. David Blair, to wait upon His Majesty anent the Affairs of this Church. INDEX of the Unprinted Acts, &c. Of the General Assembly, 1690. An INDEX Of the Principal unprinted Acts of the Assembly at Glasgow, 1638. Index of the Principal Acts of the Assembly at Edinburgh, 1639, not Printed. Index of the Principal Acts of the Assembly at Aberdene, 1640, not Printed. Index of the Principal Acts of the Assembly holden at St. Andrews, and Edinburgh 1641. not Printed. Index of the Principal Acts of the Assembly holden at St. Andrews, 27. July, 1642. not Printed. Index of the Acts of the Assembly holden at Edinburgh, 1643, not Printed. Index of the Acts of the Assembly holden at Edinburgh, 1644, not Printed. INDEX of the ACTS of this Assembly holden at Edinburgh 1645. not Printed. Index of the Acts of the General Assembly not Printed 1646. Index of the Acts of the General Assembly holden at Edinburgh, 1647, not printed. INDEX of the Unprinted ACTS of the General Assembly held at Edinburgh. 1648. INDEX of the Unprinted ACTS of the Assembly. 1649. Footnotes



TO THE READER.

[Transcriber's Note: This 17th-century book was printed in the typographical conventions and spelling of that time; for instance, the printed book used the long f-shaped glyph for the letter s, it included old spellings such as Kingdome, civill, and publick, and old words such as hes, samine, and welas, and numbers generally are ended with a period. In this transcription, archaic printing is replaced with modern characters, so the letter s appears as s, with the effect that what in the original book would look like Minifters is here transcribed Ministers, but archaic spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and usage are transcribed as they appeared in the printed book.]

It were long, neither do we now intend, to represent, what in the beginning, by the Mercies of our God and Ministry of his faithful Servants, was the reformation of this Kirk: what purity of Doctrine and Worship, what Order, what Authority, and what Unity continued for many years, by the Prayers and Labours of Ministers and Professors, what Novations and Corruptions have been introduced upon us of late, in the time of our Division and Detection, by such as have ever been enemies to the Cross of Christ, and who have minded earthly things: How manifold and how comfortable experience we have at this time of the care and compassions of our Lord and Saviour preventing the utter ruine of Religion, and the horrible vastation of this Kirk, by looking upon the afflictions of his people, by hearing their groans, mocked by the World: And by moving the Heart of our gracious and dread Soveraign the Kings Majesty to conveen a free national Assembly for redressing the wrongs done to Religion, and what undeniable testimonies, and notable manifestations of the divine presence and assistance of Christ, have accompanied this meeting and whole work. Who so is wise and observeth these things will see the loving kindness of the Lord.

For the present it seemed necessary that such of the Acts and Constitutions of the Assembly as are of most general concernment should be published in print; the correct writing of so many Copies as were called for, not being possible to be exped in due time, and the Kirk having resolved upon this course in former times, which, had it been keeped, our defection through the almost invincible ignorance of the proceedings of the Kirk, had not proven so dangerous and deplorable.

In these Acts and Constitutions special regard was had to our National Confession of Faith, as it was at first and diverse times after professed and is now of late sworn and subscribed, that all mens minds, who delight not to cavil, might rest satisfied in the true meaning thereof, found out by the diligent search of the Ecclesiastick Registers. Our care was also rather at this time to revive and bring to light, former laudable Acts, than to make any new ones, reflecting as little as might be upon the reformation of other Kirks, and choosing to receive our directions from our own Reformation, approven by the ample testimony of so many Forreign Divines: according to the example of the venerable Assembly at Dort, where special caution was, that the 30. and 31. article of the Confession of the Belgick Kirks touching Ecclesiastick Order should not be examined by Strangers, there being a Difference touching that point amongst Reformed Kirks, So many as were present can bear witness that all the Members of the Assembly were many times called on, and required to propone their Doubts, and to give their Judgments of every Article, before it was Enacted, that every one might receive Satisfaction, and from the full perswasion of his mind might give his Voice: Wherin the Unanimity and Harmony was the more admirable, that many parting from their preconceived Opinions, which had possessed their Minds, did most willingly receive the Light, which did now unexpectedly appear from the Records of the Kirk.

That this Extract shall stop the Mouthes of the malicious, is more than we can promise, or should be expected, We know there be some Incendiaries who would with great joy and content of mind, seek their lost penny in the ashes of this poor Kirk and Kingdom: And we have already found, that our Laboures and the grounds whereupon we have proceeded, before they be seen, are misconstrued by so many as finds their hopes blasted, and are come short of their earthly projects: but our comfort is that we have walked in the truth of our hearts as in the sight of God, That the Adversaries of the Kirk have not transformed themselves into Angels of light, nor can say they are doing God service, but are seen in their colours, and do seek themselves, and that so many as have erred before, not knowing the order and constitutions of this Kirk, will as absent Children to their mother speaking plainly and powerfully of old and now after long silence opening her mouth again, and uttering her mind in a free Assembly, hear her voice, and with that reverence that beseemeth under the supreme Majesty of Christ, obey her directions, that being all of one mind, peace may be upon us, and upon the Kirk of God; and the God of peace, and love may be with us. 1639.



THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY, AT GLASGOW.



Act Sess. 6. November 27. 1638.

The testimony of the Committy for tryall of the Registers, subscribed with their hands, being produced, with some reasons thereof in another paper, and publickly read; My Lord Commissioner professed that it had resolved him of sundry doubts, but desired a time to be more fully resolved.

The Moderatour desired that if any of the Assembly had any thing to say against the said testimonie for the books, that they would declare it, and finding none to oppon, yet be appointed the day following, to any to object any thing they could say; and if then none could object the Assembly would hold the Registers as sufficient approven.



Act. Sess 7. November 28.



Act. approving the Registers.

Anent the report of the Assemblies judgement of the authority of the books of Assembly; The Moderatour having desired that if any of the Assembly had any thing to say, they would now declare it, otherwise they would hold all approved by the Assembly.

The Commissioner his Grace protested that the Assemblies approving these books, or any thing contained in them be no wayes prejudicial to his Majestie, nor to the Archbishops, and Bishops of this Kingdome, or any of their adherents; because he had some exceptions against these books. My Lord Rothes desired these exceptions to be condescended on, and they should be preferably cleared, and protested that these books should be claimed authentick and obligatorie hereafter.

The whole Assembly all in one voice approved these books, and ordained the same to make faith in judgement, and out with, in all time commitit, as the true and authentick Registers of the Kirk of Scotland, conform to the testimonie subscribed by the Committie, to be insert with the reasons thereof in the books of Assembly: Whereof the tenour followeth.

We under-subscribers, having power and commission from the generall Assembly now presently convened, and sitting at Glasgow, to peruse, examine and cognosce upon the validity, faith and strength of the books and registers of the Assembly under-written, to wit: A register beginning at the Assembly holden the twentie day of December 1566. and ending at the fourth session of the Assembly held in the 28 of December 1566.

Item another register beginning at the generall Assembly, holden the second day of June 1567. and ending at the fourth session of the Assembly holden at Perth the ninth day of August 1572, which register is imperfect, and mutilate in the end, and containeth are no leaf nor page after that page which containeth the said inscription of the said fourth session, which two registers bears to be subscribed by John Gray scribe.

Item a register of the Assembly holden at Edinburgh the seventh day of August 1574, and ending with the twelfth session, being the last session of the Assembly 1579.

Item another register beginning at the Assembly holden at Edinburgh the tenth of May 1586. and ending in the seventeenth session of the Assembly holden in March, 1589.

Item another register being the fifth book, and greatest volume, beginning at the Assembly holden in Anno 1560, and ending in the year 1590.

Having carefully viewed, perused and considered the first registers, and every one of them, and being deeply and maturely advised, as in a matter of greatest weight and consequence, do attest before God, and upon our conscience declare to the world and this present Assembly, that the saids foure registers above expressed, and every one of them, are famous, authentick and good registers: which ought to be so reputed and have publick faith in judgement and out with ad validem it the records in all things, and that the said fifth & greatest book, beginning at the Assembly 1560. and ending 1590. being by the hand writs of the Clerk, cognosced, and tryed, and agreeable to the other four registers, in what is extant in them, ought be free of all prejudice and suspicion, and received with them. And in testimonie of our solemne affirmation, we have made these presents with our hands.

Subscribitur, Master Andrew Ramsay. Master John Adamson. Master John Row. Master Rohre Murray. Master Alexander Gibson. Master James Boner. Master Alexander Peerson. Master Alexander Wedderburn.

Reasons prooving the five Books and Registers produced before the Assembly to be authentick.

The books now exhibited unto us underscribers, which we have revised and perused by commission from the generall Assembly, are true registers of the Kirk: to wit, Five Volumes, whereof the first two contain the acts of the Assembly, from the year of God 1560. to the year 1572. all subscribed by John Gray Clerk. The third from the year of God 1574. to the year 1579. The fourth from the year of God 1586. to the year 1589. At which time Master James Richie was Clerk, who hath frequently written upon the margine of the saids two last books, and subscribed the said margine with his hand-writing. And the fifth book being the greatest Volume, containing the acts of the generall Assembly, from the year of God 1560. to the year 1590. which agreeth with the foresaids other foure books and registers, in so far as is extant in them, and further recordeth, what is wanting by them, passing by what is mutilate in them, and which with the two Volumes produced by Master Thomas Sandilands from the year 1590. to this present, maketh up a perfect register.

I. For the first two Volumes subscribed by Ionn Gray, albeit it be not necessar in such antiquietie to proove that he was Clerk, seeing he designes himself so by his subscription, yet the same is manifest by an act mentioned in the third book, in the time of Master James Richie, who succeeded him in the said office, and his hand-writ was acknowledged by sundry old men in the ministery.

II. The uniformitie of his subscriptions through both Volumes, evident by ocular inspection above the ordinarie custome of most famous Notars, delivers the same from all suspicion in facto tam antiquo.

III. There be many coppies, specially of general acts, yet extant, which do not debord from the saids registers, but are altogether agreeable thereto.

IV. It is constant by the universal custome of this Kingdome, that all registers are transmitted from one keeper to his successour; and so comming by progresse and succession from the first incumbent to the last possessour, are never doubted to be the registers of that judicatorie, whereof the last haver was Clerk; and therefore it is evident, that these books comming successfulie from John Gray, Master James Richie, and Master Thomas Nicolson, who were all Clerks to the Assembly, into the hands of Master Robert Winrame, who was constitute Clerk depute by the said Master Robert Nicolson (as his deputation here present to show, will testifie) are the undoubted registers of the Assembly: like as Alexander Blair succeeded the said Master Robert in his place of Clerkship to the assignations and modifications of Ministers stipends; and during Master Robert his life-time, was his actual servant, and so had the said books by progresse from him, which the said Alexander's readie presently to testifie.

V. The two registers of Master James Richie, albeit not under his own hand, yet are frequently margined with his own hand-writ, and the same marginal additions subscribed by him, which hand-writ is seen and cognosced by famous men, who knoweth the same, and it is evident, being compared with his several writings and subscriptions yet extant.

VI. The said registers are more perfect, lesse vitiated, scored, and interlined, then any other authentick and famous registers of the most prime judicatories within this Kingdom:

VII. Master Thomas Sandilands, in name of his father, who was late Clerk by dimution of Master Thomas Nicolson, hath produced a Volume, which proveth the saids two registers of Master James Richie to be sufficient records; because that same Volume is begun by that same hand, whereby the said Master James Richie his registers are written, and is subscribed once in the margine by Master James Richie his hand, and followed forth, and continued in the same book by Master Thomas Nicolson, who succeeded him in the place, and was known by most men here present to be of such approven worth and credit, that he would never have accomplished a register which had not been famous and true: and whereof the hand-write, had not then been known to him sufficiently.

VIII. That register produced by Master Thomas Sandilands, and prosecuted by Master Thomas Nicolson, proves the first part of that register to be true and famous, and that first part being by ocular inspection of the same hand writ, with Master James Richies registers, and subscribed in the margine with the same hand writ, proveth Richies two books to be good records, and Richies registers doth approve Grays books by the act of Assembly before written: specially considering the same hath come by progresse and succession of Clerks, in the hands of Alexander Blair, now living, and here present.

IX. The compts anent the thirds of benefices between the Regent for the time, and the Assembly, in the second volume, pag. 147. are subscribed by the Lord Regents own hand, as appeareth: for it is a royall-like subscription, and there is no hand writ in all the book like unto it, and beareth not Sic subscribitur, which undoubtedly it would do, if it were a coppie.

X. Master Iames Carmichell was commanded by the generall Assembly 1595, Sess. 9, in the book produced by Master Thomas Sandilands, to extract the generall acts forth of their books; and it is evident that these books are the same which he perused for that effect, because he hath marked therein the generall acts with a crosse, and hath designed the act by some short expression upon the margine, which is cognosed and known to be his hand writ, by famous and worthy persons: which is also manifest by the said Master James his hand and subscription, written with his own hand in the last leafe of the said books; as also acknowledged in the said book, produced by Master Thomas Sandilands, wherein the said Master James Carmichell granteth the receipt of these, with some other books of the Assemblies.

XI. The registers produced, are the registers of the Assembly, because in Anno 1586, the Assembly complaineth that their registers are mutilate: which hath relation to Richies third book, which is lacerat and mutilate in divers places without any interveening of blank paper, or any mention of hic deese.

XII. If these were not principall registers, the enemies of the puritie of Gods worship, would never have laboured to destroy the same which notwithstanding they have done; as appeareth by the affixing and battering of a piece of paper upon the margine, anent a condition of the commission not to exceed the established discipline of this Kirk; subscribed by the Clerk, book 3, pag. 147, and the blotting out the certification of the excommunication against Bishop Adamson, book 4, pag. 30, who in his Recantation generally acknowledgeth the same: but which, without that recantation, cannot be presupposed to have been done, but by corrupt men of intention to corrupt the books, which were not necessary, if they were not principall registers.

XIII. In the Assembly 1596, the Church complained upon the Chancelour his retention of their registers, & desired they might be delivered to their Clerk, which accordingly was done; as a memorandum before the beginning of the first book, bearing the redeliverie of these foure books to Master James Richie, clerk proporteth; which clearly evinceth that those foure books are the registers of the Assembly.

XIV. The said fifth book and greatest Volume, is also marked on the margine, with the hand-writ of the said Master James Carmichell; (which is cognosced) who was appointed to peruse the books of the Assembly as said is, and would not have margined the same by vertue of that command, nor extracted the general acts out of it, if it were not an approbation therof, as an authentick and famous book.

XV. The said fifth Volume doth agree with the other foure books; in all which is extant in them, and marketh the blanks, which are lacerate and riven out of the same; and compleateth all what is lacking in them.

XVI. In the book of Discipline pertaining to Master James Carmichel, superscribed by himself, and Master James Richie, there are sundry acts and passages quoted out of the said fifth great Volume, saying, It is written in such a page of the book of the Assembly, which agreeth in subject and quotation with the said fifth book, and cannot agree with any other; so that Master James Carmichel reviser of the Assembly books, by their command, would not alledge that book, nor denominate the same a book of the Assembly, if it were not an authentick famous book.

XVII. Though the corrupt nature of man hath been tempted to falsifie particular evidents, yet it hath never been heard that any whole register hath ever been counterfeited; neither can it bee presupposed that any will attempt that high wickednesse, seeing the inducements anwerable to that crime, can hardly be presupposed.

XVIII. It is certain, and notour to all these who are intrusted with the keeping of the publick records of the Kingdome, that the same are never subscribed by the Clerk, but only written and filled up by servants, and most frequently by unknown hands, yet they and the extracts thereof make publick faith, and the same are uncontrovertedly authentick registers; and when the most publick registers of the Kingdom shall be seen, and compared with these registers of the Assembly, it shall be found that these other registers of the most soveraigne judicatories ever unsubscribed are more incorrect, oftner margined, scored, and interlined, made up by greater diversitie of unknown hand writs, than these books of the Assembly, which by special providence are preserved so intire, that in the judgement of any man acquainted with registers, they will manifestly appear at the very sight to be true, famous, and authentick.

XIX. The fame and credit of ancient registers in this Kingdome, is so much reverenced that if any extract be different or discontinuous from the register, that extract albeit subscribed by the person who for the time had been of greatest eminence in the trust of registers, will be rectified, conform to the register, and have no force, so far as it debordeth therefrom; although the registers be written with an obscure, unknown hand, and unsubscribed.



Act. Sess. 12. December fourth.



The six late pretended Assemblies condemned.

Anent the report of the Committie, for trying the six last pretended Assemblies: They produced in writ sundrie reasons, clearing the unlawfulnesse and nullitie of these Assemblies; which were confirmed by the registers of the Assembly, the books of Presbyteries, the Kings Majesties own letters, and by the testimonie of divers old reverend Ministers, standing up in the Assembly, and verifying the truth thereof. The Assembly with the universall consent of all, after the serious examination of the reasons against every one of these six pretended Assemblies apart, being often urged by the Moderatour, to informe themselves thoroughly, that without doubting, and with a full perswasion of minde, they might give their voices, declared all these six Assemblies of Linlithgow 1606. and 1608, Glasgow 1610, Aberdeen 1616, St. Andrews 1617, Perth 1618. And every one of them to have been from the beginning unfree, unlawfull, and null Assemblies, and never to have had, nor hereafter to have any Ecclesiasticall authoritie, and their conclusions to have been, and to bee of no force, vigour, nor efficacie: Prohibited all defence and observance of them, and ordained the reasons of their nullitie to be insert in the books of the Assembly: Whereof the tennour followeth.



Reasons annulling the pretended Assembly, holden at Linlithgow, 1606.

I. From the indiction of it. It was indicted the third of December to bee kept the tenth of December. And so there was no time given to the Presbyteries, far distant, neither for election of Commissioners nor for preparation to those who were to be sent in Commission. The shortnesse of the time of the indiction is proved by the Presbyterie books of Edinburgh, Perth, and Hadingtonn, &c.

II. From the want of a lawfull calling, to these who went to the meeting, seeing they were not at all elected by their Presbyteries, but were injoyned to come by the Kings letters. This also is proved by the foresaids books of the Presbyteries, and by his Majesties letters.

III. From the nature of that meeting, which was only a private meeting, or convention, for consultation to be taken by some persons of sundry estates written for, as the Kings letters and the Presbyterie books do acknowledge.

IV. From the power of those ministers who were present. Their Presbyteries did limitate them: First, That they should give no suffrages in that meeting as a generall Assembly. Secondly, That they agree to nothing that may any wayes be prejudiciall to the acts of the generall Assemblies, or to the established discipline of the Kirk. Thirdly, That they should not agree to resolve or conclude any question, article, or mater whatsoever, the decision whereof is pertinent, and proper to a free generall Assembly. Fourthly, If any thing be concluded contrary thereunto, that they protest against it. These limitations are clear by the Presbyterie books.

V. The acts of this meeting were not insert in the book of Assemblies, as is evident by the register.

VI. The next pretended Assembly at Linlithgow, 1608, doth acknowledge the Assembly, Whereof Master Patrick Galloway was Moderatour, to have been the last immediate Assembly, preceding it selfe: and that Assembly whereof he was moderatour, was the Assembly holden at Halyroodhouse, 1602. So they did not acknowledge that meeting at Linlithgow, 1606. for any Assembly at all. This is clear by the registers of the Assembly, 1608, in the entrie thereof.



Reasons for annulling the pretended Assembly at Linlithgow, 1608.

I. Manie of the voters in that pretended Assembly had no lawfull commission from the Kirk, to wit, 42 Noble men, officers of state, councellours, and Barrons, also the Bishops, contrare to the act of Dundie, 1597. And one of their caveats, the Noble men, were as commissioners from the King, the Bishops had no commission at all from the Presbyterie, for every Presbyterie out of which they came, had their full number of Commissioners beside them, as the register of the Assembly beareth.

II. In a lawfull Assembly there should be none but Commissioners from Presbyteries, Burghs, and Universities, and but three ministers at most, with one Elder, Commissioners from every Presbyterie, according to the act made at Dundie, 1597. But in that pretended Assembly, there were foure ministers from the severall Presbyteries, of Edinburgh, and Cowper, five from the Presbyteries of Arbroth, as the roll of the said pretended Assembly beareth, whereas there were no ruling Elders sent from Presbyteries, according to the book of policie and act of Dundie.



Reasons for annulling the pretended Assembly at Glasgow, 1610.

I. The Commission of the pretended Commissioners to the meeting was null. 1. Because the election of them was not free, seeing they were nominate by the Kings Letters, as the Presbyterie books of Edinburgh, Perth, and Hadingtoun declare. And the Bishop of St. Andrews in his letter to some Presbyteries required them to send such commissioners as the King had nominate: assuring them, that none other would be accepted. This the Bishops letter registered in the Presbyterie books of Hadingtoun doth cleare. 2. And whereas there were no ruling Elders sent from the Presbyteries to that pretended Assembly, as the roll of Commissioners sheweth; yet there were moe ministers from undue severall Presbyteries then three, as five from Brechen, five from Arbroth, five from Kirkenbright, seven from the Presbytery of Argyl, foure from the Presbyterie of Cowper, foure from Linlithgow, foure from Pasley, foure from Hammilton, foure from Drumfreis, foure from Dunkell: as the register of that Assembly beareth.

II. There where thirtie voters of Noble men and Barrons, beside the pretended Bishops, who had no commission from any Presbyterie. In the fourth Session of this pretended Assembly it is plainly said, That the Noble men and Barrons came to it by the Kings direction.

III. The voting of the commissioners was not free: for by the Kings Letter to the Assembly they were threatned, and it was declared that their content was not needfull to any act to be made there: The King might doe it by his own power, yet they were allured to vote by a promise that their good service in so doing should be remembred and rewarded thereafter.

IV. The principall acts which were made, were set down verbatim in the privie conference, which chiefly consisted of the Kings Commissioners and pretended Bishops, and only read to be ratified in the Assembly.

V. Sundrie ministers then present, doe now declare, that they knew the ministers who voted the wrong way, to have received their present reward, and that money was largely dealt unto them.



Reasons for annulling the pretended Assembly at Aberdene, 1616.

I. There was no election of a Moderatour: but that place usurped by the pretended Bishop of Saint Andrews, as the Register beareth.

II. The indiction of that pretended Assembly was but twentie dayes before the holding of it: so that the Presbyteries and burghes could not be prepared for sending their commissioners: which caused the absence of many Presbyteries and fourtie foure Burghes.

III. There were twentie five noble-men, and gentle-men voters without commission from the Kirk. Ma. William Struthers voted for the Presbyterie of Edinburgh, yet had no commission there-from. The commission being given by that Presbyterie to other three, as the said Commission registrar in the books of the Presbytery beareth. And whereas there should be but one Commissioner from every burgh, except Edinburgh, to the Assembly; at this pretended Assembly, there were two Commissioners from Glasgow, two from Cowper, two from St. Andrews: whereas there were no ruling Elders having commission from their Presbyteries at that Assembly.

IV. When the acts of that pretended assembly were written, the Bishop of St. Andrews with his own hand did interline, adde, change, vitiate, direct to be extracted or not extracted, as he pleased: as the scrolls themselves seen, doe show; wherefore the Clerk did not registrat the acts of that Assembly, in the books of Assemblies, as may be easily seen by the blank in the register left for them remaining unfilled.



The nullitie of the pretended Assembly at Saint Andrews, 1617.

I. There is no mention of it in the register of the Assemblies, and so no warrand for their commissions, their Moderatour or Clerk.

II. The indiction of it was so unformall, that as the scroll declareth, a great part of the Commissioners from Synods, Burrows, and gentle-men, would not be present.

III. The Kings Majestie in his letter to Perths Assembly, acknowledged it was but a meeting, wherein disgrace was offered to his Majestie.

IV. The former corruptions of the foure preceding Assemblies had their confluence in this and the subsequent Assembly.



Reasons for annulling the pretended Assembly, holden at Perth, 1618.

I. The Assembly was indicted but twentie dayes before the holding of it: and all parties requisit received not advertisement, as appeareth by their absence. The untimous indicting of it, is cleared by Presbyterie books.

II. There was no election of the Moderatour, as was accustomed to be in lawfull Assemblies; The register cleareth this.

III. No formall election of their new Clerk.

IIII. There were five whole Dioces absent, viz. Orknay, Cathnes, Rosse, Argyll, and Isles: and many Presbyteries had no Commissioners there, as the register of that pretended Assembly beareth.

V. There were nineteen noblemen and Barrons, eleven Bishops that had no Commission from the Kirk. Whereas the act for constitution of Assemblies, ordaineth every Burgh to have but one Commissioner, except Edinburgh, which may have two (Act at Dundie 1597) yet in that pretended Assembly, Perth had three Commissioners, Dundie, had two, Glasgow had two, and St. Andrews had two: Of the Burghes, there were there six absent: And for ruling Elders, there were none at all with commission from their Presbyteries. All these things are cleared by the records of that pretended Assemblie.

VI. The Commissioners from some Presbyteries exceeded their numbers prescribed in the act at Dundie, 1597, for the Presbyterie of Arbroth were foure Commissioners and three for the Presbyterie of Aughterardour: Beside these that were heard to vote, having no commission at all, and some who had commission were rejected, and were not enrolled, but others put in their place without commission.

VII. The pretended Bishops did practice foure of the articles to be concluded there, before the pretended Assembly, in Edinburgh, St. Andrews, and other cathedral Churches, by keeping festival dayes, kneeling at ye Communion. Thus their voices were prejudged by their practice of these services before condemned by the Kirk, and therefore they should have been secluded from voicing.

VIII. In all lawfull Assemblies, the voicing should be free: But in this pretended Assembly there were no free voicing; for the voicers were threatned to voice affirmative, under no lesse pain nor the wrath of authoritie, imprisonment, banishemnt, deprivation of ministers, and utter subversion of the state: Yea, it was plainly professed, that neither reasoning nor the number of voices should carie the matter away: Which is qualified by the declaration of many honest old reverend Brethren of the ministery now present.

IX. In all lawful Assemblies, the grounds of proceeding were, and used to be, the word of God, the confession of Faith, and acts of former general Assemblies. But in this pretended Assembly, the ground of their proceeding in voicing was the Kings commandment only: For so the question was stated: Whether the five articles, in respect of his Majesties commandement, should passe in act, or not: As the records of that pretended Assembly beareth. Where it is declared, that for the reverence and respect which they bear unto his Majesties Royal commandements, they did agree to the foresaids articles.

X. Many other reasons verifying the nullitie of all these Assemblies, were showen and proven before the Assembly, which needeth not here to be insert.



Act. Sess. 13. December 5. 1638.



Against the unlawfull oaths of intrants.

The six Assemblies immediately preceeding, for most just and weightie reasons above-specified, being found to be unlawful, and null from the beginning: The Assembly declareth the oathes and subscriptions exacted by the Prelates of the intrants in the ministerie all this time by past (as without any pretext of warrand from the Kirk, so for obedience of the acts of these null Assemblies, and contrare to the ancient and laudable constitutions of this Kirk, which never have been nor can be lawfully repealled, but must stand in force) to be unlawful, and no way obligatorie. And in like manner declareth, that the power of Presbyteries, and of provincial and general Assemblies, hath been unjustly surpressed, but never lawfully abrogate. And therefore that it hath been most lawful unto them, not withstanding any point unjustly objected by the Prelats to the contrare, to admit, suspend, or deprive ministers, respective within their bounds, upon relevant complaints sufficiently proven; to choose their own Moderatours, and to execute all the parts of ecclesiastical jurisdiction according to their own limits appointed them by the Kirk.



Act. Sess. 14. December 6. 1638.



Condemning the Service-book, Book of Canons, Book of Ordination, and the high Commission.

I. The Assembly having diligently considered the Book of common prayer, lately obtruded upon the reformed Kirk within this Realme, both in respect of the manner of the introducing thereof, and in respect of the matter which it containeth, findeth that it hath been devised and brought in by the pretended Prelats, without direction from the Kirk, and pressed upon ministers without warrand from the Kirk, to be universally received as the only forme of divine service under all highest paines, both civill and ecclesiasticall, and the book it self, beside the popish frame and forms in divine worship, to containe many popish errours and ceremonies, and the seeds of manifold and grosse superstition and idolatrie. The Assembly therefore all in one voice, hath rejected, and condemned and by these presents doth reject and condemne the said book, not only as illegally introduced, but also as repugnant to the doctrine, discipline and order of this reformed Kirk, to the Confession of Faith, constitutions of generall Assemblies, and acts of Parliament establishing the true Religion; and doth prohibite the use and practice thereof: and ordaine Presbyteries to proceed with the censure of the Kirk against all such as shall transgresse.

II. The Assembly also, taking to their consideration the book of Canons, and the manner how it hath been introduced, findeth that it hath been devised by the pretended Prelats, without warrand or direction from the generall Assembly; and to establish a tyrannicall power in the persons of the pretended Bishops, over the worship of God, mens consciences, liberties and goods, and to overthrow the whole discipline and government of the generall and Synodall Assemblies, Presbyteries, and Sessions formerly established in our Kirk.

Therefore the Assembly all in one voice hath rejected and condemned, and by these presents doth reject and condemne the said book, as contrare to the confession of our Faith, and repugnant to the established government, the book of Discipline, and the acts and constitutions of our Kirk: prohibits the use and practise of the same; and ordains Presbyteries to proceed with the censure of the Kirk against all such as shall transgresse.

III. The Assembly having considered the book of consecration and ordination, findeth it to have been framed by the Prelats, to have been introduced and practised without warrand of authority, either civill or ecclesiasticall: and that it establisheth offices in Gods house, which are not warranded by the word of God, and are repugnant to the Discipline, and constitutions of our Kirk, that it is an impediment to the entrie of fit and worthie men to the ministery, and to the discharge of their dutie after their entrie, conforme to the discipline of our Kirk. Therefore the Assembly all in one voice hath rejected and condemned, and by these presents doe reject and condemne the said book; and prohibits the use and practise of the same: And ordaines Presbyteries to proceed with the censure of the Kirk against all such as shall transgresse.

IV. The generall Assembly, after due tryall, having found that the Court of high Commission, hath been erected without the consent or procurement of the Kirk, or consent of the Estates in Parliament, that it subverteth the jurisdiction and ordinarie judicatories and Assemblies of the Kirk-Sessions, Presbyteries, provinciall and nationall Assemblies, that it is not regulate by lawes civill or ecclesiasticall, but at the discretion and arbitrement of the Commissioners; that it giveth to ecclesiasticall persons, the power of both the swords, and to persons meerly civill, the power of the keys and Kirk censures: Therefore the Assembly all in one voice, hath disallowed and condemned, and by these presents doth disallow and condemne the said court, as unlawfull in it selfe, and prejudiciall to the liberties of Christ—Kirk and Kingdome, the Kings honour in maintaining the established lawes and judicatories of the Kirk; and prohibits the use and practise of the same; and ordaines Presbyteries to proceed with the censures of the Kirk, against all such as shall transgresse.

After the serious discussing of the several Processes, in many Sessions, from Sess. 14. (which are in the Clerks hands, and needeth not here to be insert) the following sentences were solemnly pronounced after Sermon by the Moderatour, in the Assembly of Glasgow, Sess. 20 December 13, 1638.



Sentence of deposition and excommunication against Mr. John Spottiswood, pretended Archbishop of St. Andrews; Mr. Patrik Lindsay, pretended Archbishop of Glasgow: Mr. David Lindsay, pretended Bishop of Edinburgh: Mr. Thomas Sidserfe, pretended Bishop of Galloway: Mr. John Maxwell, pretended Bishop of Rosse: Mr. Walter Whyt-foord, pretended Bishop of Brechen.

The general Assembly, having heard the libels and complaints, given in against the foresaids pretended Bishops to the Presbyterie of Edinburgh, and sundry other Presbyteries within their pretended Dyocies, and by the saids Presbyteries referred to the Assembly, to be tryed: The saids pretended Bishops being lawfully cited, often-times called, and their Procutour Doctour Robert Hammiltoun, and not compearing, but declining and protesting against this Assembly, as is evident by their declinatour, and protestation given in by the said Doctour Robert Hammiltoun minister at Glasfoord, which by the acts of Assembly is censurable with summar excommunication: Entered in consideration of the said declinatour, and finding the same not to be relevant, but on the contrare to be a displayed banner against the setled order and government of this Kirk, to be fraughted with insolent and disdainful speeches, lies and calumnies against the lawful members of this Assembly, proceeded to the cognition of the saids complaints, and libels against them; and finding them guiltie of the breach of the cautions, agreed upon in the Assembly holden at Montrose, Anno 1600. for restricting of the minister voter in Parliament, from incroaching upon the liberties and jurisdiction of this Kirk, which was set down with certification of deposition, infamie, and excommunication, specially for receiving of consecration to the office of Episcopacie, condemned by the confession of Faith, and acts of this Kirk, as having no warrand, nor foundament in the word of God, and by vertue of this usurped power, and power of the high Commission, pressing the Kirk with novations in the worship of God, and for sundrie other haynous offences, and enormities, at length expressed, and clearly proven in their processe, and for their refusal to underly the tryal of the reigning slander of sundrie other grosse transgressions and crymes laid to their charge: Therefore the Assembly moved with zeal to the glorie of God, and purging of his Kirk, hath ordained the saids pretended Bishops to be deposed, and by these presents doth depose them, not only of the office of Commissionaire to vote in Parliament, Councel, or Convention in name of the Kirk, but also of all functions whether of pretended Episcopal or ministerial calling, declareth them infamous. And likewise ordaineth the saids pretended Bishops to be excommunicate, and declared to be of these whom Christ commandeth to be holden by all and every one of the faithful as ethnicks, and publicanes; and the sentence of excommunication to be pronounced by Mr. Alexander Henderson, Moderatour in face of the Assembly in the high Kirk of Glasgow; and the execution of the sentence to bee intimat in all the Kirks of Scotland by the Pastours of every particular congregation, as they will be answerable to their Presbyteries and Synods, or the next general Assembly, in case of the negligence of Presbyteries and Synods.



Sentence of deposition and excommunication, against Mr. Adam Ballantyne, pretended Bishop of Aberdeen, and Mr. James Wedderburn pretended Bishop of Dumblane.

The generall Assembly, having heard the lybels and complaints given in against the foresaids pretended Bishops, of Aberdeen and Dumblane, to the Presbytery of Edinburgh, and sundry Presbyteries within their pretended Dioceses, and by the saids Presbyteries referred to this Assembly to be tryed: The saids pretended Bishops being lawfully cited, often-times called, and not compearing, proceeded to the cognition of the complaints and lybels against them, and finding them guilte of the breach of the cautions, agreed upon in the Assembly holden at Montrose, Anno 1600 for restricting the minister voter in Parliament, from encroaching upon the liberties and jurisdictions of this Kirk, which was set down with certification of deposition, infamie and excommunication, specially for receiving of consecration to the office of Episcopacie, condemned by the confession of Faith, and acts of this Kirk, as having no warrand nor foundament in the word of God, and by vertue of this usurped power, and power of the high Commission, pressing the Kirk with novations in the worship of God, and for sundry other haynous offences and enormities, and length expressed, and clearly proven in their Processe, and for their refusall to underly the tryall of the reigning slander of sundry other grosse transgressions and offences laid to their charge: Therefore the assembly moved with zeal to the glorie of God, and purging of the Kirk, hath ordained the saids pretended Bishops to be deposed, and by these presents doth depose them, not only of the office of Commissionary to vote in Parliament, Councell, or Convention, in name of the Kirk, but also of all functions, whether of pretended Episcopall or ministeriall calling, declareth them infamous: and likewise ordains the saids pretended Bishops to be excommunicate, and declared to be of these whom Christ commanded to be holden by all and every one of the faithfull as Ethnicks and Publicans; and the sentence of excommunication to be pronounced by Mr. Alexander Henderson Moderatour, in face of the Assembly after Sermon, in the high Kirk of Glasgow: and that the execution of the sentence be intimat in all the Kirks within this Realme, by the Pastours of every particular congregation, as they will be answerable to their Presbyteries and Synods, or the next generall Assembly, in case of the negligence of Presbyteries and Synods.



Sentence of deposition against Master John Guthry, pretended Bishop of Murray: Mr. John Grahame, pretended Bishop of Orknay, Mr. James Fairlie, pretended Bishop of Lismoir: Mr. Neil Cambell, pretended Bishop of Isles.

The generall Assembly having heard the lybels and complaints given in against the foresaids pretended Bishops, to the Presbyterie of Edinburgh, and sundrie Presbyteries within their Dyocies, and by the saids Presbyteries referred to this Assembly to bee tryed: the saids pretended Bishops being lawfully cited, often-times called, and not compearing, proceeded to the cognition of the complaints and lybels against them; and finding them guiltie of the breach of the cautions agreed upon in the Assembly at Montrose, Anno 1600. for restricting of the minister, voter in Parliament, from incroaching upon the liberties and Jurisdictions of this Kirk, which was set down with certification of deposition, infamie and excommunication; and especially for receiving consecration to the office or Episcopacie condemned by the confession of Faith, and acts of this Kirk, as having no warrand nor foundament in the word of God, and by vertue of this usurped power, and power of the high commission, pressing the Kirk with novations in the worship of God; and for their refusall to underly the tryall of the reigning slander of sundrie other grosse transgressions and offences, laid to their charge: Therefore the Assembly, moved with zeal to the glorie of God, and purging of this Kirk, ordaines the saids pretended Bishops, to bee deposed, and by these presents doth depose them, not only of the office of commissionarie, to vote in Parliament, Councel, or convention in name of the Kirk: but also of all functions, whether of pretended Episcopall, or ministeriall calling: And likewise in case they acknowledge not this Assembly, reverence not the constitutions thereof, and obey not the sentence, and make not their repentance, conforme to the order prescribed by this Assembly, ordaines them to be excommunicated, and declared to bee of these whom Christ commandeth to be holden by all and every one of the faithfull as Ethnicks and Publicanes: and the sentence of excommunication to be pronounced upon their refusall, in the Kirks appointed, by any of those who are particularly named, to have the charge of trying their repentance or impenitencie, and that the execution of this sentence bee intimate in all the Kirks within this Realme by the Pastours of every particular Congregation, as they will be answerable to their Presbyteries and Synods, or the next generall Assembly, in case of negligence of the Presbyteries and Synods.



Sentence of deposition against Maister Alexander Lindsay pretended Bishop of Dunkell.

The generall Assembly having heard the complaint and lybel given in against Mr. Alexander Lindesay pretended Bishop of Dunkell, to the Presbytery of Edinburgh, and sundry Presbyteries of his pretended Dyocie, and by the Presbyteries referred to this Assembly to be tryed: The said pretended Bishop being lawfully cited, often-times called, & not compearing, but by a letter of excuse submitting himself to the Assembly, proceeded to the cognition of the complaint and lybell itselfe against him, and finding him guiltie of the breach of the cautions agreed upon in the Assembly holden at Montrose, Anno 1600 for restricting the minister voter in parliament, from encroaching upon the liberties and jurisdictions of this Kirk, which was set down with certification of deposition, infamie and excommunication, especially for receiving consecration to the office of Episcopacie condemned by the confession of Faith, and acts of this Kirk, as having no warrand nor foundament in the word of God, and by vertue of this usurped power, and power of the high Commission, pressing the Kirk with novations in the worship of God: Therefore the Assembly moved with zeal to the glory of God, and purging of this Kirk, hath ordained the said Mr. Alexander to bee deposed, and by these presents deposeth him, from the pretended Episcopall function, and from the office of commissionarie to vote in Parliament, Councel or Convention in name of the Kirk, and doth suspend him from all ministeriall function, and providing he acknowledge this Assembly, reverence the constitutions of it, and obey this sentence, and make his repentance conforme to the order prescribed, continueth him in the ministrie of St. Madoze; And likewise, if he acknowledge not this Assembly, reverence not the constitutions of it, and obey not the sentence, and make his repentance, conforme to the order prescribed by this Assembly, ordains him to be excommunicat, and declared to bee one of those whom Christ commandeth to bee holden by all and every one of the faithfull, as an Ethnick and Publicane, and the sentence of excommunication to be pronounced upon his refusall, in the Kirks appointed, by one of these who are particularly named, to have the charge of trying his repentance or impenitencie, and that the execution of this sentence be intimate in all the Kirks within this Realme, by the Pastours of every particular congregation, as they will be answerable to their Presbyteries and Synods, or the next generall Assembly, in case of the negligence of Presbyteries, and Synods.



Sentence of deposition against Master John Abernethie pretended Bishop of Cathnes.

The generall Assembly having heard the lybell and complaint given in against Mr. John Abernethie pretended Bishop of Cathnes to the Presbytery of Edinburgh, and sundry Presbyteries within his Dyocie: And by the saids Presbyteries, referred to this Assembly to be tryed: The said pretended Bishop being lawfully cited, often-times called, and not compearing, but by his letter of excuse upon his sicknesse, proceeded to the cognition of the complaint and lybell it selfe against him, and finding him guiltie of the breach of the cautions, agreed upon in the Assembly holden at Montrose, Anno 1600. for restricting the minister voter in Parliament, from encroaching upon the liberties and jurisdictions of this Kirk, which was set down with certification of deposition, infamie, and excommunication, specially for receiving consecration to the office of Episcopacie, condemned by the confession of Faith, and acts of this Kirk as having no warrand nor foundament in the word of God, and by vertue of the usurped power, and power of the high Commission pressing the Kirk with novations in the worship of God: Therefore the assembly moved with zeal to the glorie of God, and purging of this Kirk, hath ordaineth the said Mr. John to be deposed, and by these presents deposeth him from the pretended Episcopall function, and from the office of Commissionary to vote in Parliament, Councel, or convention, in name of the Kirk, and doth suspend him from the ministeriall function. And providing he acknowledge this Assembly, reverence the constitutions of it, and obey the sentence, and make his repentance conforme to the order prescribed by this Assembly, will admit him to the ministerie of a particular flok: and likewise, in case he acknowledge not this Assembly, reverence not the constitutions of it, and make his repentance conforme to the order prescribed by this Assembly, ordains him to be excommunicate, and declared to be one of these whom Christ commandeth to be holden by all and everyone of the faithfull as an Ethnick and Publicane: and the sentence of excommunication to be pronounced upon his refusall in the Kirks appointed, by one of these who are particularly named to have this charge of trying his repentance or impenitencie, and that the execution of this sentence be intimat in all the Kirks within this Realme, by the Pastours of every particular Congregation, as they will be answerable to their Presbyteries and Synods, or the next generall Assembly, in case of the negligence of Presbyteries and Synods.



Act of the Assembly at Glasgow, Sess. 16. December 8. 1638.



Declaring Episcopacie to have been abjured by the Confession of Faith, 1580. And to be removed out of this Kirk.

The Assembly taking to their most grave and serious consideration, first the unspeakable goodnesse, and great mercy of God, manifested to this Nation, in that so necessarie, so difficult, and so excelent and divine work of reformation, which was at last brought to such perfection, that this Kirk was reformed, not only in doctrine and worship, but also after many conferences and publick reasonings in divers nationall Assemblies, joyned with solemne humiliations and prayers to God, the discipline and government of the Kirk, as the hedge and guard of the doctrine and worship, was prescribed according to the rule of Gods word, in the book of Policie and Discipline, agreed upon in the Assembly 1578. and insert in the register 1581. established by the Acts of Assemblies, by the confession of Faith, sworn and subscribed, at the direction of the Assembly, and by continuall practise of this Kirk: Secondly, that by mens seeking their own things: and not the things of Jesus Christ; divers novations have been introduced to the great disturbance of this Kirk, so firmly once compacted, and to the endangering of Religion, and many grosse evils obtruded, to the utter undoing of the work of reformation, and change of the whole forme of worship and face of this Kirk; Thirdly, that all his Majesties Subjects both Ecclesiasticall and civil, being without consent of the Kirk, commanded to receive with reverence a new book of common prayer, as the only forme to be used in Gods publick worship, and the contraveeners to be condignely censured, and punished, and after many supplications and complaints, knowing no other way for the preservation of Religion; were moved by God, and drawn by necessitie, to renew the nationall Covenant of this Kirk, and Kingdome, which the Lord since hath blessed from heaven, and to subscribe the Confession of Faith, with an application thereof, abjuring the great evils wherewith they were now pressed, and suspending the practise of all novations formerly introduced, till they should bee tryed in a free generall Assembly, Lastly, that some of his Majesties Subjects of sundrie ranks, have by his Majesties commandement subscribed and renewed the confession of Faith, without the former application, and that both the one and the other subscribers have subscribed the said Confession of Faith in this year, as it was professed and according to the meaning that it had in this Kingdome, when it was first subscribed 1581. and afterward the Assembly therefore, both by the subscription of his Majesties high Commissioner, and of the Lords of secret Councel, Septem. 22. 1638. And by the acts of Councel, of the date foresaid, bearing that they subscribed the said Confession, and ordaining all his Majesties Liedges to subscribe the same, according to the foresaid date and tennour, and as it was then professed within this Kingdome, as likewise by the Protestation of some of the Senatours of the Colledge of justice, when they were required to subscribe, and by the many doubtings of his Majesties good Subjects, especially because the subscribers of the Confession in February 1635. are bound to suspend the approbation of the corruptions of the government of the Kirk, till they be tryed in a free generall Assembly; finding it proper for them, and most necessary and incumbent to them, to give out the true meaning thereof as it was at first professed. That all his Majesties Subjects in a matter so important; as is the publik Confession of Faith, so solemnely sworn and subscribed, may be of one minde, and one heart, and have full satisfaction to all their doubts, and that the posteritie afterward may be fully perswaded of the true meaning thereof, after earnest calling upon the name of God, so religiously attested in the said Confession; have entered into a diligent search of the registers of the Kirk, and books of the generall Assembly, which the greatest part of the Assembly had not seen before; and which by the speciall providence of God were preserved, brought to their hands, and publicly acknowledged to bee authentick, and have found that in the latter confession of the Kirk of Scotland: We profess, that we deteste all traditions brought into the Kirk without, or against the word of God, and doctrine of this reformed Kirk: Next, we abhorre and deteste all contrarie religion and doctrine, but chiefly, All kinds of papistry in generall & particular heads, as they were then damned & confuted by the word of God, and Kirk of Scotland, when the said Confession was sworn and subscribed, An. 1580. and 1581, 1590, and 1591. Thirdly, that we deteste the Romane Antichrist, his worldly monarchie, and wicked hierarchie: Fourthly, that we joyn our selves to this reformed Kirk in doctrine, Faith, Religion, & discipline, promising and swearing by the great name of GOD, that we shall continue in the Doctrine and Discipline of this Kirk, and defend the same according to our vocation and power all the dayes of our life.

But so it is that Episcopall government is abhorred and detested, and the government by Ministers and Elders, in Assemblies generall and provinciall, and Presbyteries was sworn to, and subscribed in subscribing that Confession, and ought to be holden by us, if we adhere to the meaning of the Kirk, when that Confession was framed, sworn to, and subscribed; unto which we are obliged by the nationall oath and subscription of this Kirk, as is evident by the acts of generall Assemblies, agreed upon both before, at, and after the swearing and subscribing of the said Confession, in the years above-mentioned, and the book of policie agreed upon in the Assembly which was holden at Edinburgh the twentie foure of April, and twentie foure of October, Anno 1578. Insert in the register of the Kirk, by ordinance of the Assembly holden at Glasgow 1581 and to be subscribed by all Ministers, that then did bear, or thereafter were to bear office in this Kirk, by ordinance of the Assembly holden the fourth of August at Edinburgh 1590. And at Edinburgh the second of July 1591. but specially in the 2. 3. 4. 6. 7. and 11, chapters of the said book.

The Bishops being tollerat from the year 1572, till the Assembly holden in August 1575. And all this time the Assembly being wearied with complaints made against them, did enter in search of the office it selfe, and did agree in this that the name of a Bishop is common to every one of them that hath a particular flock, over which he hath a particular charge, as well to preach the word, as to minister the Sacraments.

At the next Assembly which was holden in April 1576. Such Bishops were censured as had not taken them to a particular flock. In the generall Assembly conveened in April the year of God 1578. Sess. 4. Intimation was made as followeth.

For so much as the heads of the policie being concluded and agreed upon in the last Assembly, by the most part of the brethren: certain of the brethren had some difficultie in the head de diaconatu, whereupon farther reasoning was reserved to this Assembly: It is therefore required, if any of the brethren have any reasonable doubt or argument to propone, that he be ready the morow, and then shall be heard and resolved. In the 6. Sess. April 26. According to the ordinance made the day before; all persons that had any doubt or argument to propone, were required to propone the same; but none offered to propone any argument on the contrare.

In the Assembly holden at _Edinburgh_, in _October_ 1578. It was showen by the Moderatour thereof to the noble-men, who were present, viz. _My Lord Chancelour_, the Earle of _Montrose_, my Lord _Seaton_, and my Lord _Lindsay_, _What care and study the Assembly had taken to entertain and keep the puritie of the sincere word of God, unmixed with the inventions of their own heads, and to preserve it to the posteritie hereafter, and seeing that the true Religion is not able to continue nor endure long without a good _ Discipline and policie, in that part also have they imployed their wit and studie, and drawen forth out of the pure fountain of Gods word, to bee a Discipline as is meet to remain in the Kirk_.

In the same Assembly, the speciall corruptions were set down, which they craved such of the Bishops as would submit themselves to the Assembly to remove, with promise, that if the generall Assembly, hereafter shall finde further corruptions in the said estate, then hitherto are expressed that they be content to be reformed by the said Assembly according to the word of God, when they shall be required thereto. First, That they be content to bee Pastours and Ministers of one flock: That they usurpe no criminall jurisdiction, that they vote not in Parliament in name of the Kirk, without Commission from the Kirk: That they take not up for the maintenance of their ambition and rictousnesse, the emoluments of the Kirk, which may sustain many Pastours, the Schools, and the poore; but be content with reasonable livings according to their office: That they claime not to themselves the titles of Lords temporall, neither usurpe temporall jurisdictions, whereby they are abstracted from their office: That they empyre not above the particular Elderships, but be subject to the same: That they usurpe not the power of the Presbyteries.

The question being proponed by the Synod at Loutbian in the Assembly holden in July 1579. anent a generall order to be taken for erecting of Presbyteries in places where publick exercise is used, untill the time the policie of the Kirk be established by a law: It is answered, The exercise may be judged to be a Presbyterie. In the Assembly holden at Dundie in July 1580. Sess. 4, The office of a Bishop was abolished by a particular act; as appeareth by the tennour of the act following.

_For so much as the office of a Bishop, as it is now used and commonly taken withen this Realme, hath no sure warrand authoritie, nor good ground in the Scriptures, but is brought in by the foly and corruption of mans inventions, to the great overthrow of the Kirk of God, the whole Assembly of the Kirk in one voice after libertie given to all men to reason in the matter, none opponing himself in defending the said pretended office, findeth and declareth the said pretended office, used and termed, as is above said, unlawfull in the selfe, as having neither foundament, ground, nor warrand in the word of God, and ordaineth that all such persons, _ as brook or shall brook hereafter the said office, shall be charged simply to dimit, quite, and leave off the same, as an office whereunto they are not called of God: and suchlike, to desist and cease from all preaching, ministration of the Sacraments, or using any way the office of pastours, while they receive_ de novo, _admission from the generall Assembly, under the pain of excommunication to be used against them, wherein if they be found disobedient, or contradict this act in any point, the sentence of excommunication, after due admonition, to be execute against them._

In the same Assembly holden Anno 1580. Sess. 10. This article was appointed to be proponed to the King and Councel, that the book of policie might be established by an act of privie Councel, while a Parliament be holden, at which it might be confirmed by a law.

The extent of the act made at Dundie, was interpreted and explained in the Assembly, holden at Glasgow, in April, 1581. Sess. 6. as followeth.

Anent the Act made in the Assembly holden at Dundie against Bishops, because some difficultie appeareth to some brethren to arise out of the word (office) contained in the said act, what should be meaned thereby, The Assembly consisting for the most part of such as voted, and were present in the Assembly at Dundie, to take away the said difficultie, resolving upon the true meaning and understanding of the said act, declare that they meaned wholly to condemne the whole estate of Bishops, as they are now in Scotland, and that the same was the determination and conclusion of the Assembly at this time, because some brethren doubted, whether the former act was to be understood of the spiritual function only, and others alledged, that the whole office of a Bishop as it was used, was damnable, and that by the said act, the Bishops should be charged to dimit the same: This Assembly declareth that they meaned wholly to condemne the whole estate of Bishops, as they were then in Scotland, and that this was the meaning of the Assembly, at that time.

The Kings Commissioner presented to this Assembly the Confession of Faith, subscribed by the King, and his houshold, not long before, together with a plot of the Presbyteries to be erected, which is registrate in the books of the Assembly, with a letter to be directed from his Majestie to the noble-men and gentle-men of the Countrey, for the erection of Presbyteries, consisting of Pastours, and Elders, and dissolution of Prelacies, and with an offer to set forward the Policie untill it were established by Parliament. The Kings letter subscribed by his hand, to the Noble-men, and Gentle-men, was read in open audience of the whole Assembly.

This Assembly ordained the book of Policie to be insert in the register by the act following.

For as much as travels have been taken in the framing of the Policie of the Kirk, and diverse suits have been made to the Magistrat for approbation thereof, which yet have not taken the happie effect, which good men would wish, yet that the posteritie may judge well of the present age; and of the meaning of the Kirk; The Assembly hath concluded, that the book of Policie agreed to in diverse Assemblies before, should be registrat in the acts of the Kirk, and remaine therein ad perpetuam rei memoriam: and the coppies thereof to be taken to every Presbyterie: of which book the tennour followeth, &c.

Immediatly after the inserting of the book of Policie, called there the book of Discipline, the Assembly ordained that the confession of Faith be subscribed as followeth.

Anent the confession of Faith lately set forth by the Kings Majestie, and subscribed by his highnesse. The Assembly in one voice, acknowledgeth the said Confession to be a true, Christian, and faithful confession, to be eagreed unto by such as truly professe Christ, and have a care of Religion, and the tennour thereof to be followed out efoldly as the samine is laid out in the said Proclamation, wherein that Discipline is sworn to.

In the general Assembly holden at Edinburgh in October 1581. Sess. 10. Mr. Robert Montgomery is accused for teaching that Discipline is a thing indifferent. Sess. 23. The Assembly gave commission to the Presbyterie of Stirling, to charge Mr. Robert Montgomerie, to continue in the ministerie of Stirling, and not to medle with any other office or function of the Kirk, namely in aspyring to the Bishoprick of Glasgow, against the word of God, and acts of the Kirk, under the pain of excommunication.

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