Acts and Proceedings of the General Assemblies of the Kirk of Scotland, 1560-1618. Originally published by [s.n.], Edinburgh, 1839.
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A. D. MD.CXVII.
[The General Assembly was indicted by open proclamation, and found of trumpet at the Mercat Cross of Edinburgh, upon the 4th of November 1617, to be holden at Sanct Andrewes the 25th day of that same month.
The Erle of Montrose was appointed be the King to be his Commissioner; but excused himself with sickness by a letter sent to the Counsell four or five dayes before the time appointed for the Assembly. The Counsell sent the copy of the letter to the Bishop of Sanct Andrewes. The Bishop returned answer, that the Kings service must not be neglected. So the Lords of the Secret Counsell gave commission to my Lord Binning Secretar, my Lord Carnegie, my Lord Kilsyth, the Lord Advocat, and the Treasurer Deputy, conjunctly, or to any three of them, to supply his place.
After the reading of the Kings letter, wherein he willed them to conform to his desire, otherways declared he would use his own authority; the brethren of the Conference were chosen. There was some reasoning; but the King and Bishops purpose was withstood, both in the Privy Conference and in the publick Assembly. The Bishop desired that some brethren might be appointed to consider what should be granted to give his Majesty satisfaction. Mr Patrick Galloway and four others were appointed for this purpose. They devysed these overtures following.
If any good Christian, visited with long sickness, and known to the Pastor, by reason of his present infirmitie, unable to resort to the Church, for receiving of the holy Communion; or being sick shall declare to the Pastor upon his conscience, that he thinks his sickness to be deadly, shall earnestly desire to receive the same in his house, the Minister shall not deny the same; so as lawful warning be given to him, at the least twentie hours before, and that there be six persons at least of good religion and conversation, free of lawful impediment, present with the sick person to receive; who must also provide a convenient place in his house, and all things necessare for the Ministers reverent administration thereof, according to the order prescribed in the Church.
To remeed the irreverent behaviour of the vulgar sort, in receiving the holy Communion, it is found meet by this Assembly, that the minister himself shall in the celebration give the elements out of his own hand to every one of the Communicants, saying, when he giveth the bread, Take, eat, this is the bodie of the Lord Jesus Christ which was broken for you; do this in remembrance of him: and that the Minister exhort them to be thankful. And when he giveth the cup, Drink, this is the blood of Jesus Christ shed for you; do this in remembrance of him: and that the Minister exhort them to be thankful. And to the end the Minister may give the same the more commodiously, he is by advise of the Magistrates, and honest men of his Session, to prepare a table, at the which the same may be conveniently ministred, and gravely to exhort his people, that they communicat reverently, and shew a humble and religious behaviour in the receiving of the same.
Anent the remanent of the Articles proponed to the Assembly, the Assembly after long reasoning, in special anent preaching upon the dayes of the Nativity, Passion, Resurrection, Ascension of our Lord, and descending of the Holy Spirit, having considered, that a great number of Commissioners from Synods, Burrowes, and Gentlemen, in respect of the season of the year, distance of the place, and shortness of the advertisement, would not be present; and that the most part of those who were assembled, are not resolved fully in some of these points proponed; and that they are in all loyaltie and obedience most willing to give his Majesty all satisfaction, and have agreed and promised to inform themselves anent the said Articles, wherof they presently stand in doubt, and to instruct their people, elders and parishoners by all means, that all offence, which may be taken, may be removed, have thought good, that (beside the two points, which are con cluded, especially to give remonstrance to his Majesty of their most willing affection) the rest of the said Articles shall be continued to the next Assembly; and to that effect, that a most humble supplication may be directed by his Majestys Commissioners, and the General Assembly, that it may please his Majestie of his gracious favour to grant a continuation, and to convocat an Assembly for decision of the matters, at such commodious times as his Majesty shall think expedient.