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. M.D.LXIX.
[The Generall Assembly, quhich should have been holden in Stirling, the 25 day of February, was continued to the first of March, to be holden at Edinburgh; because none conveened but the Superintendent of Lothian, John Duncanson, Minister to the Kings Majesties house, Patridck Gillespie, Minister at Sanct Ninian, John Clapperton, Exhorter at Livingston, be reason of the murther of the Regent, and for other causes. C.]
A. D. M.D.LXIX.
The General Assemblie being appointit the 25 of Februar, in Stirling, be reason of troubles fallin out be the flaughtir of my Lord Regents Grace, was continuit till the first of Marche, and begun in Edinburgh the faid day, 1569, in the Tolbuith therof; quher were present the Nobilitie, Superintendents, Commissioners to plant kirks, Ministers, Commissiouners of kirks and townes. The fermoun and prayers made be William Chriftefone Minister of Dundie, last Moderator.
Sess. 1 a.
First, that he who was Moderatour in the last Assemblie, fall make the prayer and exhortatioun in the Assemblie therafter following; quhilk endit, the Kirk proceidit to the choosing ane new Moderatour, who fall continue and make prayers and exhortatioun, as said is, and so furth fra Assemblie to Assemblie.
Thridlie, the penitents remittit to their Superintendents or Ministers, at the last Assemblie, to be receivit according to the ordour appointit be the faid last Assemblie; and els to give injunctiouns to uthers notorious criminall persons, that either are summoned be the Superintendents, Commissoners of the Kirk, or of their awin frie will, moveit be haittreit of their cryme, presents themselves to the Generall Assemblie.
Fourthile, to discerne upon sick things as either was undecydit at the preceidand Assemblie, and remitted to this; or els referritt hitherto be the Lords of Sessioun, auditors of Checker, or uther wayes.
[In the fifth place, collectors shall be called to give their accompts of their diligence, namely of the horners, that thereanent remedy may be provided; and also that they may be discharged, or continued, as occasion shall serve.
In the sixt place, the complaints of countries for want of Superintendents shall be heard, and provided for, according to the necessity of the country which requireth; and likewise appellations interponed from the Synodall Assemblies to the Generall, shall be received.
Sess. 2a 2 Marche 1569.
The haill brethren conveint, in ane voyce, for eschewing of confusioun in reasoning, choose Mr Johne Craig, ane of the Ministers of Edinburgh, to be moderator in this Assemblie, and to make the prayers and supplicatioun in the beginning of the nixt Assemblie, according to the ordour appointit.
[The superintendent of Fife complained upon Mr George Lefly, Minister of Kilconquhar, for not making residence at his kirk, but travelling in diverse parts of the country at his pleasure: It was ordained that he be admonished, and in case of disobedience, suspended or deposed.
Mr Andrew Hay, Commissioner of Cliddisdaill, complained upon David Hammilton, Exhorter at the kirk of Monkland, alledging that he had committed double fornication, and refused to underly correction: The Assembly ordained to proceed to excommunication against him, and to depose him from all function in the Kirk. C.]
Anent the complaint givin in be Thomas Smith in Uchiltrie, agains Mr Johne Inglis, minister in Uchiltrie, for debarring of the said Thomas fra the Lords table, because he removeit ane shoe of ane horse upon ane Sunday afternoon in Ochiltrie, wher neither preaching nor publick prayers was: After long reasoning, the haill Kirk ordainit the said Thomas to be receivit to the participatioun of the Lords table, and uther benefites of the Kirk hereafter, notwithstanding of the allegit fault above mentionat.
[Some adulterers and incestuous persons compeared in linnen cloaths, bareheaded and barefooted, with testimonials of their honest behaviour during the time of their publick repentance since the last Assembly, according to the injuctions given them. They requested for farther injunctions, if it was the will of the Assembly that they might be received to the society of the faithfull. The Assembly ordained the said persons, and every one of them, and all others, who hereafter shall happen to fulfill their injunctions, C.] and hes not stubronlie contemnit the admonitions of the Kirk, nor sufferit the fentence of excommunication for their offences, sall make publick repentance in sackcloath at their awin kirks, bare heidit and bare foottit, thrie severall days of preaching; and after the said thrid day, to be receivit in the society of the kirk in their awin cloaths. The uthers that has bein excommunicat for their offences, sall present themselves in sackcloath, bareheidit and barefoottit, saxe preaching dayes; and the laft after sermon, to be receivit in their awin cloathes, as said is.
[John Adam of Mauchlin, excommunicat for presenting his child to be baptized be a popish priest, in papisticall manner, presented himself. He, together with other adulterers and incestuous persons, were admitted to publick repentance, conform to the order sett down in the second session of the Assembly, holden in July 1569.
John Flint, Vicar pensioner in Aitton, summoned to compear for abufing the facraments, compeared; and was ordained to abstain from all function within the Kirk, till the superintendent of Lothian tried his ability and learning. C.]
Sessio 3a 3 March 1569.
Anent homicides, incestuous perfons, and adulterers, not fugitive from the lawes, bot continuallie suteing to be receivit be the Kirk to publick repentance: After long reafoning, with mature deliberatioun, the haill brethren prefentlie assemblit concluded, that all sick persons humblie suiting sall be receivit to give the signes of their repentance in their awin kirks, according to the ordour appointed before, at quhilk tyme the minisfall publicklie notfie their crymes, that thereby the civill magistrates may know the crymes, and pretend no ignorance thereof.
[The particular injunctions to be used be every particular kirk, touching the trial of signs of repentance of these that are admitted, or hereafter shall be admitted be the Generall Assembly to publick repentance, for slaughter, incest, adultery, or other haineous crimes, are these, to wit: C.] If they be excommunicat for their offences, they fall stand bareheidit, at the kirk doore every preaching day, betwixt the assemblies, fecludit from prayers before and after sermoun; and then entir in the kirk, and sitt in the publick place bareheidit all the tyme of the sermons, and depart before the latter prayer.
The uther that are not excommunicat, fall be placed in the publick place, wher they may be knowin from the rest of the peiple, bareheidit the tyme of the sermons; the minister remembring them in his prayer in the tyme after preaching; all the saids perfons to bring their ministers testimonialls to the next Assemblie, of their behaviour in the meane tyme, according to the act made thereupon be the Kirk, in the 2 sessioun haldin the 7 of July 1569.
Anent the complaint of the parochiners of Kilmenie, for want of a minister to preach Gods word, and minister the sacraments: The haill kirk concludes, that in respect of the number of qualified and learned men of the auld Colledge, able to preach, and also the neirnes of the said Colledge to the said kirk, that some of them sall either preach and minister the sacrements to the peiple, or els injoyne uthers to doe the same, quhill farder ordour be tane.
[In respect that James Hunter, armorar in Edinburgh, was reconceiled with his first wife, and cohabited with her till her lifes end; the Assembly judgeth him not to be subject to the act made against adulterers separated for adultery; but that he may marry again, providing the satisfy the Kirk of Edinburgh, for breaking the publick order of the Kirk at his second marriage.
It was ordained, That all collectors be warned to compear at all Generall Assemblies, which are to be holden hereafter, to know the mind of the Assembly anent their offices, and other affairs pertaining to them and the Kirk, under the pain of deprivation from their offices; and that this advertisement be given to them be any Superintendent, Commissioner of kirk, or Minister.
The Superintendent of Fife, Mrs John Row, David Lindsay, and James Nicolson, were appointed to conveen with the Clerk of Register, and consult for taking order, touching such things as were referred to the Asseble, be Lords auditors of the Checker; and chiefly anent the diminishing of the rentals of the thrids.
As for the selling of victuals from year to year, The Assembly thinketh it expedient that every Superintendent or Commissioner, where there is any, and that failing, the nixt Superintendent or Commissioner adjacent, with the assistance of such assessors as they shall think good to assume and choose to them, shall appoint the prices yearly of victuals, and notify the samen to collectors in such quiet manner as they shall think expedient.
The Superintendent of Fife, Mr David Lindsay, and Mr. John Row, were ordained to conveen with the Advocates of the Kirk, and James Nicolsone, and advise upon the matters refferred, be the Lords auditors of the Checker, to the Assembly; and to give their judgements therein, which, with the doubts they shall find, they shall report to the Assembly.
It was concluded, That Superintendents, Commissioners of kirks, present and to come, with the Ministers of their provinces, or most part therof, in their synodall conventions, shall choose and depose their collectors, as occasion shall serve.
The Assembly appointed every Superintendent and Commissioner, in their own provinces, with the assistance of so many Ministers as they shall choose, to take particular assumpts of the thrids of all benefices not assumed; and to report the samen to the next Generall Assembly.
In primis, The said Adam being called to the said office of Bishoprick, and promoted to the profite therof, and specially in Chrifts Kirk, received the charge of preaching of the evangell; to be also Commissioner in Orknay, quhich he accepted, and executed for a certain space thereafter: quhile now of late he hath made a simoniacall change of the same with the Abbacie of Halyrudhouse; yet bruiking the name, and stiled Bishop of the same, contrar to all laws both of God and man made against simony.
Secondly, He hath demitted the said office and cure, in and unto the hands of ane unqualified person, without consent and licence asked and granted be the Assembly, leaving the flock destitute without sheepherd; whereby not only ignorance is increased, but also most abundantly all vice and horrible crimes are there committed, as the number of six hundreth persons, convict of incest, adultery, and fornication in Ʒetland, beareth witness: and hath simpliciter left the office of preaching, giving himself dayly to the exercise of the office of a temporall Judge, as a Lord of the Session, which requireth the whole man, and so rightly no wise can exercise both; and stileth himself with Roman titles, as Reverend Father in God, which pertaineth to no Ministers of Christ Jesus, nor is given them in Scriptures.
Thridly, To the great hurt and defraud of the Kirk, hath both all the thirds of the said abbacie of Halyrudhouse from the said Lord Robert and his bairnes, alledged just possessors of the same, at least made a simoniacall change thereof with the rents of Orknay for the same, without consent of knowledge of the Assembly, as diverse contracts made thereupon bear witness; and he hath sett 19 years tacks of the lands of Brughton to his wife.
Fourthly, That he neither planteth kirks destitute of ministers in either of the said rooms; neither sufficiently provideth nor sustaineth the small number planted before his entry; so that except hasty remedy be found, for meer poverty the poor ministers most depart from the saids places, with dolour of their hearts, and also the flocks committed to their charge, as in particular the kirks of Liberton and Sanct Cuthbert can bear witness; and the remanent wholly destitute: also two kirks, to the number of six hundreth soules, that never heard the word twice preached, nor received the sacraments, since the Reformatione, Viz, Fawkike and Whytkirke, among all the reft of the number of 27, or thereby, in Lothian, and Galloway.
Fiftly, All the said kirks, for the most part, wherein Christs evangell may be preached, are decayed, and made, some sheepfolds, and some so ruinous, that none darre enter into them for fear of falling; specially Halrudhouse, although the bishop of Sanct Andrews, in time of papistry, sequestrate the whole rents of the said abbacy, because only the glassen windows were not holden up and repaired.
Sixtly, The said Adam hath accused, both publickly and privately, the Ministers of Edinburgh, as persons that have past the bounds of Gods word in their publick teaching, &c.: In token whereof he hath absolutely absented himself from all preaching in the said kirk, and receiving of the sacraments, how beit he hath had his dwelling place within the said burgh, at certain and diverse times sensyne.
Patrick Galbraith at Garvett, was ordained to compear, the first Teusday of Aprile nixt to come, before the Superintendent of Lothian, in the Synodall convention of his province in Edinburgh, there to be excommunicate be him. C.]
Sess. 7a. 9 of March 1569.
Ancent Robert Lickprivick his supplication for support of the Kirk in his office of printing: The Kirk, having respect to his povertie, the great expensses he hes made in buying of printing yrnes, and the great zeale and love he beares to serve the Kirk at all tymes, hes assignit to him fistie punds, to be yearlie payit out of the thirds of the Kirk, be the collectous underwrytin, viz, be the Collectour of Lowthinane x lb. the Collectour of Fyfe x lb. the Collectour of Angus x lb.; quhilk sowme the auditors of the comptis for the Kirk sall thankfullie allow to every ane of them.
Sess. 8a. 10 of March 1569.
It was ordained, That every Superintendent, or Commissioner for the time, shall modisie the stipends, augment or diminish the same, as occasione shall serve, with the assistance of the brethren presently nominated; providing they report the said stipends, the Ministers names hereafter to be planted, the augmentation or diminition of the stipends, to the register of the Ministers and their stipends; nothing the time of appointing gister of the tipend, the entry of every minister, and time of augmentation of the stipend, to the effect that they and collectours may have the extract, and rolls thereof. C.]
It is statute and ordainit, That no minister provydit, or that heirafter sall be provydit to benesices, sett in taks, any manner of way, their gleribs and manses, neither yet any part of the fruites and emoluments therof, in diminutioun of their rentalls; under the paine of depryving fra their benefice for ever; discerning also the taks sett in manner forsaid, to be null and of no effect, as done be him that hes no power.
[Andrew Lord Uchiltrie, George Hume laird of Spott, Robert Fairlie laird of Braid, William Lawder laird of Hautone, Andrew Ker laird of Fadounside, Mr. John Spotswood, Superintendent of Lothian, Mr. Knox, Mrs George Hay, David Lindsay, John Row, were appointed to conveen before the Nobility presently assembled in Edinburgh, or whensoever they shall assemble hereafter, till the nixt Assembly; and in their name prefent some articles, require and receive answers, and report the same to the nixt Assembly.
Mr Patrick Adamsone shewing that he was appointed, be the advice of the brethren then conveenit in Edinburgh, to await on Court and preach to my Lord Regents Grace, and for that purpose was modified to him five hundreth merks be year, and had served three moneths upon his own expence; therefore requested the brethren to appoint where he shall receive payment of his stipend pro tanto; which was done.
To the first he answered, That it is true, that in the 58 years of God, before the reformation of religione, he was, according to the order then observed, provided to the Bishoprick of Orknay; and when idolatry and superstitione was suppressed, he suppressed the same also in his bounds, preached the word, administred the sacraments, planted ministers in Orknay and Ʒetland, disponed benefices, and gave stipends out of his rents to ministers, exhorters and readers; and when he was a Commissioner, visited all the Kirkes of Orknay and Ʒetland tuice, to the hazard of his life in dangerous stormes on the seas, whereby he contracted sickness to the great danger of his life; till he was suspended from the exercise of the said commission, in the yeare 1567, be reasone of his infirmity, and sickness contracted through the air of the countrey, and travells in time of tempest: at what time he desired some other place to travell in, which was then throught reasonable.
As for demitting of his office, He denyed that ever be demitted to my Lord Robert the same, or any part thereof: but that the said Lord Robert violently intruded himself in his whole living, with bloodshed and hurt of his servants; and after he had craved Justice, his and his servants lives were sought in the very eyes of Justice in Edinburgh; and then was he constrained, for meer necessity, to take the Abbacie of Halyrudhouse, be advice of sundry godly men; because then we could not have the occasione of a Generall Assembly.
As to the second, He denyed that he had abandoned absolutely the preaching of the word, or that he intended so to doe; but was to bestow his travells in preaching, as the ability of his body, and sickness whereunto he was subject, would suffer or permitt. He confessed, that, in the 1563 year of God, he was required by the Kings mother, to be a Lord of the Sessione, which he accepted, with advice of godly and learned men, compting it not repugnant or contrariouse to any good order as yet established in the Kirke; and alledged that diverse others having benefices, have done the like, and are not condemned for so doing; yea, he doubted not to affirm, that as the office itself was allowable, so it should be profitable for the Kirke, that many preachers of the evangell were placed in the Sessione. Item, seeing superintendents and ministers are, and may be temporall judges in other inferior offices, and no fault layed to their charge, he wondered why it should be counted a fault in him only.
As for the latter part of the second article, he answered thus, With pardon and reverence of the Assembly, I may declare, that I never delighted in such a stile, nor desired any such arrogant title; for I acknowledge myself to be a worm of the earth, not worthy any reverence; giving and attributing to my God only, all honour, glory, and reverence, with all humble submission.
To the third article the answered, That it is true, that he had sett ane assedation of the fruicts of the bishoprick of Orkany to the said Lord Robert, for the yearly payment of certaine dutys contained in his tacke; and albeit the said Lord Robert, for payment of a part of the yearly duty forsaid, assigned to him a certaine pensione, which his bairnes had assigned unto them, of the fruicts of the Abbacy of Halyrudhouse; of which pension they had confirmation be act of Parliament, and were in real possession without impediment diverse years; with provision also, that in case it shall happen, the pension be evicted from them, the said Lord Robert shall pay to him so mickle silver, victuall, and goods of the fruits of the Bishoprick of Orknay, as extend to the just valuation of the said pension which thing is done, and permitted universally throughout the whole realme, that any ecclesiasticall person may sett a part of his benefice in tack for the yearly payment of a just duety, and so there is nothing bought or sold in defraud of ministers: but be the contrar, he being troubled be vertue of letters of horning, at the instance of the collectors of the Kirk, and also at the instance of the said Lord Roberts bairnes, charging him to make double payment, he meaned himself to the Lords of Session, desiring both the parties to be called before them, and to decided who had just title; which action was yet depending before the Lords to his great hurt, for in the mean time his whole living is sequestrate: and in case the collectors of the Kirk evict, he will get recourse and payment of the fruicts of the bishoprick; and that he had made no other plea or impediment be himself, or be his procurators.
To the first part of fourth article, he answered, That he had no commission to plant or visite, since his entry to the said Abbacy; but if they would give him a conjunct charge with the superintendent of Lothian, he should so travell that they should be satisfied.
As to the second part, he answered, That the whole thrids of the benefice of Halyrudhouse, are to be paid forth, either to the collectors of the Kirk, or to the Lord Roberts bairnes: and attour the most part of the fruicts of the two part of the said Abbacy is assigned and given forth in pensions to diverse persons, before his provision; and yet he hath payed to the ministers their stipends, as they were wont to receive forth of the said Abbacy, and hath augmented some ministers stipends: and also, if the plea depending before the Lords were decided, would be as liberall in the sustentation of ministers as become him, having respect to the rent of the benefice; and withall desiring, that so many ministers, some times Channons of the place, having a great part of the living assigned out of certain kirks now altogether destituted, might be charged to serve rather in the saids kirks, then in others, as other Channons doe in other kirks, whereof they receive their living; and promised, if so were done, to augment their stipends largely.
As to the fifth he answered, He was but of late come to the benefice; and the most part of these kirks were pulled down be some greedy persons, at the first beginning of the Reformatione, which hath never been helped or repaired sensyne; and few of them may be repaired be his small portion of the living; but specially the Abbay Church of Halyrudhouse, which hath been, these 20 years bygane, ruinous through decay of two principall pillars, so that none were assured under it; and two thousand pounds bestowed upon it, would not be sufficient to ease men to the hearing of the word, and ministration of the sacraments. But with their consent, and help of ane established authority, he was purposed to provide the means, that the superfluous runinous parts, to wit, the Queir and Croce Kirk, might be disponed be faithfull men, to repair the remanent sufficiently; and that the had also repaired the kirks of Sanct Cuthberts and Liberton, that they were not in good case these 20 years bygane: And farther, that there was ane order to be used for reparation of kirks, whereunto the parochiners were obliged, as well as he; and quhen they concurred, his support should not be inlaiking.
As to the last, He denyed that he spake any thing, but that which he spake in the last Assembly in their own audience. God forbid that he should be a detracter of Gods ministers, for any privie injuries done to him, as he alleged none: if there were any, he would rather burie them, then hinder the progress of the evangell.
First, The thrids are decerned to pertain to the Ministers, be a law and act of Parliament past in rem judicatam, and have received execution of a decreit and sentence of liquidat sumes and victualls; against the which your Lordships, by your dayly practice, use to give no suspension, without consignation of the sumes decerned: and notwithstanding, there are so many suspensions of this execution for the thrids given, that both your Lordships are troubled with the processe, and the poor ministers defrauded of that quheron they should live; for remeed quherof, the Assembly most humbly requireth your Lordships to take such order herein, as that no suspensions be given for the thrids in times coming, except the complainers desiring the suspension, make payment to the collector of so meikle as is out of question, if it stand in difference of the question of the rentals; and consigne in the Clerke of Registers hands, so much more, as shall happen to be decerned, or find caution in Edinburgh responsable therefor; And likewife consigne, or find caution, if he claimeth the whole thrid to be discharged, for the whole: And that none of thir pass upon light causes, but be read in presence of your whole Lordships, before the bills be past and delivered.
Item, That no letters past upon your Lordships decreets given upon new provisiones or Summons warrand all parties to hear letters given, except there be speciall provisione and exceptione made of the thrid therein; or els that the complainer have sufficient testimony that the thrid is allowed in his stipend, or remitted be some good order, and shew the Kirks admission and ordinance thereupon: And for observing thereof, that your Lordships would take such order with your own Clerks of the Session, that no lettres pass by the provision foresaid; and that the cautions be given, or sufficiently notified in writt, to the Clerk of the Collectory, or to the procuratiors of the kirks, to the effect that the Kirk may call therefor, when time is.
Item, That your Lordships will give letters, at the instance of the procurators of the Kirk, to charge all beneficed persons that as yet have no given in their rentalls, to produce and give in the same, at ane certain day to be appointed be your Lordships therto; with certification, if they failȝie, your Lordships will direct letters to uptake and bring in the whole fruicts of their benefices, to the use of the ministry, conform to the first act and ordonance made for uplifting of the thrids, and, in the mean time, that ye would give command to the Commissars to sequestrat the whole fruicts of their benefices forsaids, not given up in rentall, as said is; with letters of full inhibition be your own deliverance, that none answer, obey, nor make payment of any part of the fruicts of the saids benefices, unto the time the possessors pretending right therto, give in sufficient rentalls thereof; and either give a particular assumption, or caution for the thrids, as the Kirk will stand content with.
Item, That according to your Lordships order already taken anent the calling of the Kirks actions, and promise made thereupon, that ye will cause the same to be observed; to wit, that every day of the Session, ye will call one of the Kirks, actions to be given in be the Soliciter and procurators of the Kirk, as weil of the particular as general causes therof. And because it is well known to your Lordships, that fra ye enter in other causes, it is not possible to you to get any other called; therefore your Lordships will condescend and ordain the said actions of the Kirke, to be dayly called first before any other, so that it be not deferred to the end; wherethrough both the actions lye uncalled, and your Lordships are troubled and slandered, that ye doe nothing in the Kirks causes.
[Q. If it shall be thought good, that excommunicatione shall be orderly fulminat against the wicked murtherer of my Lord Regents Grace; and against all these that had any part, art, or counsell therein, or yet were maintainers of the same. A. The persone committer is to be excommunicated in all notable tounes; and the excommunicatione is to be notified in paroch kirks, where there is order; and the rest are to be proceeded against, as they may be lawfully convict.
Q. Seeing the present estate of the Kirk, What is now presently to be desired at the Counsell and Nobilitie, for the weale of the same; and if ratificatione is to be craved of such things as my Lord Regents Grace lately granted to the Kirk. A. Ratificatione of things done by my Lord Regents Grace is to be required; and farther as the Assembly shall think good.
Q. [ If two parties be contracted, the bannes proclaimed, and the day appointed for solemnizatione of marriage before the minister and congregation, the woman refuse allutterly to take the man, Whither she shall be compelled or not; and what shall be the ministers part in this case. A. The matter is to be referred to the Commisars; and the woman to be punished upon trying of her cause, according to the order of the Kirke.
Q. What order shall be taken anent abbacies now vacant, and not provided. A. It is to be meaned to the Lords by way of supplicatione, that the tithes may be employed to the sustentatione of the ministry.
Q. Shall the single woman committing adultery with a married man, be equallie punished with the man, and compear before the Generall Assembly. C.] A. A single woman committing adulterie with a married man, sould be equallie punishit [with the man, and receive injunctions of the Generall Assembly.
Q. A woman divorced for adultery committed be her, contracting marriage with another, beareth a child to him, and desireth to proceed to the solemnizatione of marriage, Whither shall the man be permitted to marrie this woman. A. Let her present herself to the Assembly to be punished; and then let her supplicatione be given in, and she shall have ane answer.
Q. What shall be done,] where a man repudiats his wyfe and bairnes without a cause, and no wayes will receive her againe. A. The minister sould labour for reconciliation; and the partie offendit complaine to the Judge competent.
Q. A promise of marriage made befor the reidars and elders in a reformit Kirk, the parties contractit compeirs before the minister and sessioun, requires the bands to be proclamit; quhilk beand done, the Kirk finds carnall copulatioun to have followit be confessioun of both the parties: When the Kirk requyres them to proceid to the solemnizatioun, the woman refuses. A. Admonische the partie refuseand to solemnize the marriage; or els to get a decreit from the Judge competent, that they sould not marrie, under the paine of excommunicatioun.
Q. Persons, after promise of marriage [made before witnesses,] and proclamation of the bands, desyreand to be frie from the bands, no carnall copulation following. A. They sould be frie, si res est integra, and their inconstancie punishit.
Q. [Two men haveing lyen with two sisters, If any of them may marrie the daughter of the other man begotten upon another woman, and not upon any of the two sisters before mentioned. A. No impediment found.
Q. If a Minister having a benefice in one shire, and another in another shire, may be chosen to the thride office, viz. to be a Superintendent, or Commissioner. A. Not, except the particular kirks be provided according to the time.
Q. In respect of the great offences committed in disturbing of the common peace, and breaking the unity which God hath made betwixt the realms, and that be these who have avowed themselves professors of the word of God, who have not allanerly often times committed the forsaid offences, but still to aggrege the same, have received and maintain the rebells of England, despising herein both God, and the present authority: The minister where such enormities are committed, requireth your judgement, What becometh him to doe, and how he shall use himself towards them for safety of his conscience, and avoiding of slander. A. Let him reprove vice, without exceptione of persones, conforme to Gods word prudently.
Q. If any persone having already of the Kirk a sufficient living, and after called to the office of a Superintendent or Commissioner, shall have a new stipende appointed, or rather be content of the old living, if it be sufficient for his office; or at most to receive such augmentation as the burthen of the office requireth. A. Let this be considered be their difcretione, at their electione.
Q. A man having two benefices in sundry shires, and under sundry superintendents, serving for one of them, If he shall have thrid of the other discharged. A. Because this questione hath been moved before, and, as we understand, resolved, we remitt the answere to the sight of the same in the Register.
Q. If it be lawfull for Ministers to leave their vocation, and use uther offices and charges within the commoun weill. C.] A. It is not leisum for Ministers to leave their vocation, and use uther offices and charges within the commoun weill, without consent of the Kirk; and, in tymes coming, it is neidfull, that all that serves in the ministrie be publicklie inaugurate.
[Q. A certaine man, whose wife was banished of Dundie ten years since, for certaine crimes committed be her, hath begotten a child upon another woman about two years fince, not knowing whither his wife was living or dead; for which offense he was punished be the magistrat; and hath made diligent inquiry, according to the injunctiones given to him, to learne whither she was living or dead, and can come to no certaine knowledge thereof, as his testimonialls bear witness: He requireth now, Whither the Assembly will injoyne him any farther satisfactione for his crime, and whither he may have liberty to marry. A. Edicts are to be served for farther searching of the woman; and farther punishment for proceeding in marriage is to be suspended to the nixt Generall Assembly.
The Commissioners appointed in the last Assembly to give answer to my Lord Regents Graces desires, produced the said answers with his Graces promises contained therein; together with the assignation of money, and victualls to the Kings Majesties house, the Regents Graces, and others; both subscrived with his hand.
Because thir premises are granted, my Lord Regent promiseth faithfully not to charge the Kirk with any farther deuty of the thrids; but if a superplus remain, the Ministers being paid, it shall be bestowed to such Godly uses, as the Assembly thinketh best, be his Graces advice.
And, to the effect that good payment may be gotten of the whole, my Lord Regents Grace promiseth to travell to the uttermost of his power, that obedience may be given; and that the laws made against disobedients shall be executed.
Farther, His Grace giveth power to choose, or depose, if need be, their own collectors, and to call them to accompt, when they think good; without prejudice to the generall compt yearly to be made in the Excheker.
In like manner, His Grace condescendeth to the particular assignation of Ministers, where they may be conveniently gotten, without prejudging the assignations before granted, and the sumes granted to my Lord Regents Graces house; providing the foresaids assignations, ipso facto, be disolved, whensoever the assigney obtaineth any benefice sufficient for his stipend, or that the Assembly shall think otherwise.