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.LXX.
The Generall Assemblie of the Kirk, haldin at Edinburgh, in the Nether Counsell House, the fyft day of Julij 1570; quher were assemblit the Nobilitie, Barronis, Superintendents, Commissioners of Kirks, Provinces, Townes, and Ministers. The exhortatioun and prayer made be Mr Johne Craig.
The haill brethren presentlie conveinit choose Mr Robert Pont, Moderatour for this Assemblie.
[The Superintendent of Fife was delated for negligence in reparation of Kirkes. His excuse was, He could gett no officer of armes to putt in execution letters against parochiners, where the said kirks were ruinous. The Assembly ordered the Superintendents, and Commissioners for planting of kirkes, to charge the Collectors officers within their provinces respective, to execute letters for reparatione of kirks decayed, as the saids Superintendents or Commissioners shall charge them; who shall cause them be satisfied at the discretione of the Assembly, conforme to their diligence and pains taken thereanent.
Commission is given to Mr John Robertsone, Thesaurer of Rosse, to assist Mr Donald Monroe, Commissioner of Rosse; because the said Commissioner was not prompt in the Scottish tongue. C.]
Penitents that for their offences resorts to the Generall Assembly, either to receive injunctiouns, to shew signes of their repentance, or that sould present themselves befor the same in linnen cloathes, and receive farther injunctiouns; That they be warnit [by their Superintendents, Commissioners or Ministers,] to compeir the second day of the Assemblie peremptorilie.
[Because some, who had once accepted the office and charge of preaching the word, had deserted their calling, the Assembly ordained, That all and sundry Ministers, who hereafter shall accept the said office, shall be inaugurate publickly, conforme to the order appointed in the end of the Booke of Excommunicatione: And] Ministers at their publick inauguratioun sall protest solemnlie, that they sall never leave their vocation any tyme therafter, under the paine of infamie and perjurie; [and that this be done and execute be Superintendents, and Commissioners appointed for planting of kirkes: And in like manner, That all Ministers already placed before the making of this statute, shall make the like protestatione, in their Synodall conventiones, before the Superintendents or Commissioners, who shall insert the said protestatiounes, from time to time, in their bookes, ad futuram rei memoriam. C.]
Anent the tryall of ȝong children, and how they are broght up be their parents in the true religion of Jesus Chryst: It is ordainit, that Ministers, and elders of kirks shall universallie, within this realme, take tryall and examine all ȝong children, within their parochin, that are come to nyne ȝeirs, and that for the first time; thereafter, quhen they are come to 12 ȝeirs, for the second tyme; the thrid tyme to be examined, quhen they are come to 14 ȝeirs; quherthrow it may be knowin that they have profited in the schoole of Christ, fra tyme to tyme: [And that the names of them that shall be tryed, be written be the Ministers, and elders; and every one of them within their own parochies.
The penitents compearing to submitt themselves to the discipline of the Kirk, were ordained to repair to their owne Ministers respective, who would shew to them the injunctiones appointed be the Assembly, to be sullfilled for signes of repentance unto the next Assembly; and to compear in linnen cloathes, bare headed and bare footed, the second day of the next Assembly, to receive farther injunctiones; and every one of them to bring a testimoniall from their owne Minister, of their behaviour in the meane time.
Others compearing in linnen cloathes, bare headed and bare footed, with testimonialls from their Ministers, or testificatione of their Ministers there present that they had fulfilled the injunctiones appointed to them, were remitted again to their own Ministers respective, to be received to the societie of the faithfull, according to the act of the Generall Assembly, made the second of March 1569, and second Sessione of the same Assembly.
Others summoned be the Superintendents, Commissioners, or Ministers, often times called, but not compearing; it was ordained, That the sentence of excommunicatione should be reiterat against them who were already excommunicate, and the cause declared wherefore it was so done; and that they proceed to excommunicatione against others, for their disobedience.
Mr John Craig, John Row, and David Lindsay, Ministers, Mr Thomas Makcalȝean, Advocate, David Forrest, Generall of the Conȝie house, Mr James Lawsone, Subprincipall of Aberdeen, were appointed for decision of questions.
It was statut and ordained, That as it pleased God of his mercy to erect the authority of the Kings Majesty, with publick consent of the Estates in Parliament, even so the samen ought, and should be universally obeyed throughout this realme, without acknowledging any other authority, whatsoever title be pretended.
Moreover, Ministers are commanded, in their publick sermons, to pray publickly for the preservation of His Majesties person and authority; with certification, that all such as shall be found negligent or disobedient, shall be punished as the Assembly shall think expedient.
And farther It was declared, That if any subject or subjects of this realme, of what estate soever they be, shall presumptuously take upon them to inhibite any Minister to obey this ordinance of the General Assembly, what cloke or colour soever he or they pretend; or by minacing make impediment unto them, so that without fear Ministers may not serve God in their vocation; that, in that case, such troublers shall be summarly, upon the notoriety of the fact, excommunicate, and shall be holden rotten members, unworthy of the Society of Christs body.
And last, The Assembly commandeth all Superintendents, and Commissioners of Provinces, to cause this determination to be published in all the paroche kirks, that nane hereafter pretend ignorance.
Item, It was ordained, That this act and statute should be printed be Robert Likprivick, that no man pretend ignorance. C.]
It is ordainit, be reason of the great troubles laitlie risen in this realme, be defection of some fra the Kings Majesties laufull authority, That certain brethren be sent fra the Kirk, to all Erles, Lords, Barrones, and Gentill men quhatsoevir, that hes made the forsaid defectioun, and travell with them be all meanes possible, to reconcile them to the lawfull obedience of His Majestie; and to certifie them that disobeyis, that the haill Kirk will use the sword against them, quhilk Gods word hes committit to them. Commissioners for that effect: Mr Andro Hay, [Commissioner of the West,] and Mr David Lindesay, [Minister of Leith,] to my Lord Dukes Grace, the Erles of Argyle, Eglintoune, Cassills, my Lord Boyd, and uther Barronis and Gentill men that they can goodlie meit with within the West partis: The Laird of Dunne, Superintendent of Angus and Mernes, to the Erle of Craufurd, the Lord Ogilvie, and their assisters. Quhilks Commissioners were commandit to report their ansuers to the nixt Generall Assemblie.
[Power was given to Mr Robert Pont, Commissioner of Murray, with the assistance of the Kirke of Elgine, to proceed, after due admonitiones, to excommunicatione against Patrick Bishop of Murray.
It is ordained, That all Superintendents and Commissioners to plant kirkes, with such as they shall choose in their Synodall conventiones, shall hear the compts of the Collectors of their owne provinces, at such day and place as shall please them to appoint to the saids Collectors; and report to the nixt Assembly, quhat diligence and fidelity they shall find in them: and that they shall have power to depose, and retaine the saids Collectors, as occasione shall serve, conforme to the act of the said Assembly made of before thereanent. C.]
The contraversie in St Androes betuixt Mr Robert Hamiltoun, Minister ther, and his Collegis on the ane part, and Mr James Carmichell, and his Collegis on the uther part, is treattit and discusit be the Assemblie of the haill Kirk; because the same concernes doctrine, slander that may rise therin, or discipline of the Kirk.
[The brethren appointed for decisione of questiones, reported their decisiones, as followeth.
It was asked, What is the jurisdictione of a Superintendent, and how far it is extended be Gods word. Answer: Remitt the answer to the Book of Discipline.
Q. If a Minister, Exhorter, or Reader, and any other man, be at debate for any injurie in word or deed, the actione being civill, Who shall be Judge in that matter. A. The actione of injurie belongeth to the Magiftrates: The slander to the Kirk.
Q. If a Minister sussiciently provided for his ministratione at any kirke, have other benefices wherof he receiveth the fruicts, Whither the fruicts he receiveth may be called thift, reafe, sacriledge, or just possessione. A. Referr this to the modifiers of stipends, as they shall answer before God.
Q. Whither it is better that all Ministers were equall in labours, to wit, these that labour in touns were equall, and without touns sicklike equall; or according to diverse qualities and gifts, some shall be preferred to others; and if this be thought good, Who shall be Judge; Whither the Superintendent only, or not. A. This is answered be the appointment of moderators of stipends.
Q. Whither, If a man having the properties requisite in a minister, not having a certaine flock, shall be admitted to preach, and minister the Sacraments, in necessity, or in default of a minister, if it shall please him; so that he promise to continue in the said vocatione: or shall none be admitted who hath not a particular flock. A. This article is obscure.
Q. Whither it be papistry, when any man profest in ane abbay, shall be chosen ministrator, or œconomus, be suffrages of these that have been profest in ane abbay, which professione is papistry, and be that election brooke the title. A. Howsoever the professione was papistrie before, yet the ministratione of the temporal fruicts is a part of the policie, and no wife papistry. Mr John Rutherford protested, in so far as the answers to thir questions is not sussicient, that he may have remeed at the nixt Assembly, or otherwise, &c.
Q. A man having just occasione to suspect his wife of adultery, be common brute and otherwife, giveth in a complaint to the Sessione of Edinburgh, craveth tryal; but afterward moved with foolish pitie, taketh up his complaint, and desireth the Sessione of the Kirke to be silent and keep secret: Thereafter, in the same mans house, when he is furth of the countrey, ane adulterer is deprehended with his wife be the Magistrate, at ten hours at even: The husband returning compleaneth again to the Sessione of the Kirke, craveth the last slander to be tryed, which was tryed: Moreover, the husband accuseth the adulterer before the Justice; and he is convict, be ane assise, of adultery committed with his wife: and sicklike he calleth his wife before the Justice. Now, in the meane time, before the day of her compearance, it is bruted, and vehemently suspected, that the husband is already reconciled with his wife, or to be reconciled, before satisfactione be made to the Kirke; and so is already, or intendeth to be a patron to his wifes adultery, and therethrow to committ lenocinium. What order shall be taken with this husband reconciled with his wife, without satisfactione made be her; or, What order shall be taken with such men as clocke the adultery of their wives, notoriously and publickly known. C.] A. Cloakers of adulterie sould be callit, and convict: and if it be found, that they have cloakit publick adulterie, after their knowledge, then let the rule have place. Consentientes et agentes pari pœna puniantur.
[Q. Whither the Communion may be ministred upon Pasch day, or not. A. Why not, where superstitione is removed.
Q. Whither a man deflouring a virgine shall be constrained to marrie her; or, if paying her tocher, according to the discretione of the Kirke, he may be free to marrie whom he pleaseth in the Lord. A. Let the Kirke suite the Magistrats to consent to this law. C.]
Q. When a woman beares a bairne to a certaine man, and in the tyme of her birth, before the midwyfe, alledgis the bairne to be this mans, and beand callit befor a Judge beand ready to sweare the same; and this man is readie to sweare the contrair, and that he had never carnall deale with this woman; and ther is no uther witnes: Whither sall credence be givin to the mans aith, or to the womans; and sall the bairne be left without a father knowin. Ansuer: Neutri credendum.
[Q. What shall be answered to these who charge Ministers to desist from praying for the King, or revenge of the Regents murther. A. The Ministers shall pray for the Kings Majesty, according to ane act made befor in this Assembly; and also for revenge of the Regents murther.
Q. What way shall the Lords of the Session that have benefices, and their thrids free, be compelled to provide Ministers to their own kirks. A. Lett the compleaners give in their complaints to the Kirk, that the Lords may be called befor the Kirk, for order to be taken with them.
Q. If those that withhold the duty of the Kirk, wherethrough Ministers want their stipends, may be excommunicate. C.] A. All things beand done that the civill ordour requyres of them that withhaldis the duetie of the Kirk, quherby Ministers wants their stipends; the Kirk may proceid to excommunication, for their contempt.
[Q. What order shall be taken with such ministers as are provided to benefices by the reformed Kirk, and have manses, but will not make refidence. A. Let them be admonished to make residence, under the pain of deprivation.
Q. What order shall be taken with such popish priefts as are excommunicat for ministration of the Sacraments, and selling of the same, yet will not abstain. A. Raise letters of caption upon them. C.]
Compeirit Mr James M'Gill of Rankeillor-nether, Clerk of Register, and Counsellour to our Soveraine Lord, Lord Johne Ballantyne of Auchnoulnhill, Knicht, Justice Clerk, Mr Archibald Dowglas, ane of the Lords of the Colledge of Justice, quho, in presence of the haill Assemblie, proponit in my Lord Chancellours name, how his Lordship had understand, that in the contraversie among them in St Androes, there was conteinit some heids tending to treason, and agains the Kings Majesties authoritie: Therefor reqyrit the Kirk presentlie assemblit, to superceid all decision in that matter, concerning the Kings Majestie, untill the tyme the Nobilitie conveine, quhilk will be within ten dayis; befor quhom that heid aucht to be sichtit: notheles that the Kirk proceid to sick things therin, as pertaines to their awin jurisdictioun. To the quhilk protestatioun the Kirk aggriet.
The said day the haill Kirk presentlie assemblit, in ane voyce and mynd, gives full commission and power to the honorable, their loving brethren, Johne Erskin of Dunne, Knyght, Superintendent of Angus and Mernes, Mrs Johne Wynrhame, and Johne Spotiswood, Superintendents of Fyfe, and Lowthiane respective, Mr James M'Gill of Rankeillor-nether, Clerk of Register, and Counsellour to our Soveraine Lord, Mrs Johne Knox, and Johne Craig, David Lindesay, of Edinburgh and Leith Ministers, the Provest of Dundie, Mr Thomas M'Calȝean, the Lairds of Balvaird, Spot, Braid, Carnall, Dreghorne, Lundie, Howstoun, Drumquhasil, Coldonknowis, Carden, Fawdonsyde, Thornetoun, Inchbrakie, David Forrest, Generall of the Conȝie, David Ramsay of Dundie, Patrick Murray in St Johnstoun, and Robert Campbell of Kinȝeancleuch, or any aucht, or sevin of them, to compeir in Edinburgh, the xij day of this moneth of July, with continuation of dayes, sa oft as the Nobilitie of this realme sall conveine, betuixt this and the nixt Generall Assemblie: And ther, in name, and behalfe of the haill kirks in Scotland, propone and present to the said Nobilitie, articles, heids, supplicatiouns, and complaints, such as the said Kirk hes already pennit and delyverit to their saids brether, or heirafter sall, before the nixt Generall Assemblie, delyver; most humblie in their names, To requyre ansuers, and grant to their articles, and supplicatiouns, and with redresses of their complaints, according to equitie and justice: To assist, concurre, and consent to all and quhatsumevir sall be treatit in the said Conventioun, tending to the setting forward of the glorie of God, preaching, and maintaining of true religioun, within this countrey, the Kings Majesties authoritie, commoun weil, and authoritie of this realme: As also, To take cognition in all and quhatsomevir complaints, supplicatiouns, and requeists of brether, specially remittit to them be this Assemblie: And quhatsoevir beis done be them in the premisses, To report the same to the nixt Generall Assemblie of the Kirk, to begin in Edinburgh, the first day of March nixt to come: firme and stable haldand and for to hald all and quhatsomevir the saids brether, or any aucht, or sevin of them, in the premisses leads to be done.
The Kirk presentlie assemblit, for certaine causes moving them, discharges all and sundrie assignatiouns, and pensions granted be the Kirk, during their will, to quhatsomevir person or persons, befor the daitt heirof; and ordaines the collectour of the Kirk to intromett therwith heirafter; and to put inhibitions to all them that heirtofoir hes had any sick assignatiouns or pensions; except that quhilk is assignit to the Kings Majesties house allanerly: [And this to be intimat to the Lords, Senators of Session of Justice, requeisting their Lordships, that no letters be granted be them, to any person having assignation, or pension of the thrids, contrar to the tenor of this Act.
Mr Robert Pont, Commissioner of Murrey, and Mr Andrew Hay, Commissioner of Cliddisdaill, desired them to be disburthened of their commission; but were requested to continue till the nixt Assembly. C.]