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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The Generall Assemblie begun and haldin at Stirling, the vj day of August 1571: In the quhilk were present the Superintendents, Commissioners to plant Kirks, Barrons, Ministers, Commissioners of Provinces, Townes, Universities, and Kirks. Mr Gilbert Garden Minister at Fordyce was chosen Moderator.
[Mr James Lawson, Subprincipall of Aberdeen, David Wemes, John Dykes, James Melvill, Patrick Balfour, Archibald Keith, Minister at Peterhead, were appointed to try the Commissioners books of their visitations since the last Assembly; and, after triall, to report quhat they find, before the Assembly be dissolved.
The Assembly exhorted earnestly all and sundry the Superintendents and Commissioners to plant Kirks, to be circumspect and warie in giving their letters testimonials to any persons presented to benefices, except to such allenerly as they perfectly should know, due examination preceeding, to be able to instruct and teach sincerely in the Kirk of God, as they would answer, first to God, and thereafter to his kirk.
Mr Patrick Adamson sent a letter to the Assembly, containing his answer anent his reentry to the ministry. The Assembly ordained the Commissioners appointed to speak to the Lord Regents Grace, before or at the nixt Parliament, to take order with the contents of his letter, and to report what they shall happen to doe therein to the nixt Assembly.
Deare Brethren,— If abilitie of bodie wald have suffered, I sould not
have troublit ȝou with this my rud dytement. I have not forgot quhat
was laid to my charge be famous lybells the last Assemblie, and quhat a
brag the adversaries made personallie to accuse me at this Assemblie, quhilk
I pray ȝou patiently to heare, and judge of me as ȝe will ansuer to God;
for vnto ȝou vnto that heid submitt I my selfe, being assurit that I neither
offendit God, nor ȝet good men, in any thing that hitherto hes bein laid
to my charge. And now, brethren, because the [dayly] decay of naturall
strenth threatens unto me certaine and sudden departure fra the miseries
of this lyfe; of love and conscience I exhort ȝou, ȝea, in the feare of God,
I charge and command ȝou, that ȝe take heid to ȝour selvis and the flock
over the quhilk God has placit ȝou pastours. To discourse of the behaviour of ȝour selves, I may not; but to command ȝou to be faithful to the
flock, I dare not cease. Unfaithfull and traitours to the flock fall ȝe be
before the Lord Jesus, if that, with ȝour consent, directlie or indirectlie,
ye suffer unworthie men to be thrust in into the ministrie of the Kirk,
under quhat pretence that ever it be. Remember the Judge befor quhom
ȝe must make account, and resist that tyrranie as ȝe wald avoyd hells fyre.
This battell, I grant, will be hard; bot in the second it will be harder;
that is, that, with the lyke uprightnes and strenth in God, ȝe gainstand the
mercilesse devorers of the patrimonie of the Kirk. If men will spoyle
them, let them doe it to their awin perrill and condemnatioun; but communicat not ȝe with their sins, of quhat estate soevir they be, neither be
consent nor ȝet be silence: But be publick protestation make this knowin
unto the world, that ȝe are innocent of sick robberie, quhilk will, or it be
long, provocke Gods vengeance on the committers therof, quhereof ȝe will
seik redresse of God and man. God give ȝou wisdome and stout courage
in so just a cause, and me a happie end. Of St Androes, 3 August 1571.
Ʒour brother in Christ Jesus,
[This letter was read, considered with mature deliberation and allowed in all points; with firm purpose to proceed and doe according to the godly counsell contained therein, &c. touching the affairs of the whole Kirk. And, as concerning his own part contained in the said letter, the Assembly ordained all persons to be warned at the Tolbooth door, that had or pretended to have any thing to lay to the charge of the Superintendents or Ministers, either presently conveened or absent from the Assembly, to compear before the dissolving of the same and accuse, if they had any just matter; but chiefly these that gave infamous lybells at the last Assembly holden in Edinburgh, in the moneth of March last by past; promising to hear their accusations, to try the same and to minister justice therein, in so far as in them lyeth, according to Gods word.
The Assembly ordained all collectors to give up the names of all persons who intromett with the thrids of the kirks, and make no payment thereof, with the executione of the letters of horning against them. C.]
The haill Assemblie concludit, that certaine brethren, Commissioners, sall passe to my Lord Regents Grace, Counsell, and Parliament, to reason and conclude upon the heids, articles and desyris presentit in his Graces name to this Assemblie; to propone, humblie requeist and desyre, in the Kirks name, the granting of sick heids, articles and redresses of complaints as fall be given to them be the Kirk, the ane and the vther always to be concludit on, conforme to the instructions to be delyverit to them. Commissioners, Johne Erskine of Dun, knyght, Superintendent of Angus and Mernis, Mr Johne Spotiswood, Superintendent of Lothiane, John Wynrhame, Superintendent of Fyfe, John Row, Commissioner of Nithisdaile and Galloway, Andro Hay, Commissioner of Ranfrew and Lennox, George Hay, Commissioner of Aberdeine and Banfe, David Lindesay, Commissioner of Kyle, Carrick and Cuninghame, David Fergusone, of Dumfermling, John Dunkesone, of the Kings Majesties house, ministers, Johne Ogilvie of Innerquharatie, Knyght, Mr William Lundie of that ilk, James Jonstoun of Elpheistoune, William Cunighame of Cunighameheid, Hew Wallace of Carnvall, Thomas Kennedy of Bargany, John Schaw of Grinock, Alexander Forrester of Carden, or any elevin of them, to compear at Stirling the 22 day of this instant at nyne houres before noone, to counsell and reason, as in the commission given in the last Assembly.
[It was ordained, That the act made of before for prayer to be made for the Kings Majesty, shall be execute in all points, with excommunication against the disobedients, conforme to the tenor of the samen.
The Assembly considering the great troubles and oppressing of the Kirk of God and ministers thereof, in the north parts of this realme, be the Earle of Huntly, his servants and complices, and how that Mr Thomas Garden, now present collector within the Shireffdome of Aberdeen and Bamff, is not able, be reason of the said oppression, to gait any payment to the ministers which have been long postponed and frustrate of their stipends; in respect also of diverse and profitable offers made by John Calder of Aslowan: therefore the Assembly hath thought expedient and concluded to remove the said Mr Thomas Garden, and be these presents removeth and dischargeth him from the office of collectorie, within the saids bounds, not in respect of any offence committed be him in the said office, but in consideration of his present inability to discharge the same: And of new hath elected, nominate and constitute, made and ordained, and be the tenor hereof electeth, constituteth, maketh and ordaineth the said John Calder of Aslowan, their Collector within the bounds of the saids Sheriffdomes of Aberdeen and Bamff; giving, granting and committing to him full power, authority, speciall command and charge, to ask, crave and receive, and in name of the Kirk to intromett and uptake all and sundry the thrids of whatsomever benefices lying within the saids bounds; together with the whole fructs of common kirks, and all other common rents, whole fructs and rents of friers lands, places and livings, whole superplus omitted, and benefices or chaplanries not given up in rental being within the bounds above specified, which are be Parliament given and assigned to the Ministry of the Kirk, of the crope and year of God 1570 years last by past and of this present year and crope: and sicklike yearly and termly, in time coming, whill he be lawfully discharged; and sicklike the rest of all the thrids and other rents pertaining to the collectorie, within the saids bounds, of all years bygone, resting adebted and unpaid; acquittances and discharges thereupon to make, give and subscrive; and, generally, all and sundry other things to doe, exercise and use, that to the office of collectorie in such causes of law or consuetude is knowen to pertain: firm and stable holding, and for to hold all and whatsomever thing the said collector in the premisses lawfully leads to be done; providing alwise that he use the said office of collectorie and beheave himself therein, according to the injunctions given to him thereupon; and make compt, reckoning and payment of his intromission after the form and tenor thereof, and according to the act made upon his offers, the time of his acceptation of the said office. Given, &c.