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.LXII.
The General Assemblie of the Kirk of Scotland conveinit at Edinburgh the xxv of December 1562; in the whilk were present the Superintendents, Ministers and Commissionars.
The whilk day the foirnameit assembleit in the auld Counsell house. John Knox minister of Edinburgh callit upon Goddis name for the assistance of his holie spirit.
[Mr Robert Cumming schoolmaster of Arbrothe was complained upon be the Laird of Dun Superintendent of Angus and Mernes, for infecting the youth committed to his charge with idolatrie. C.]
Sessio 2a. haldin the 28 of the said month.
[According to the order takin at the last Assemblie, becaus the Superintendent of Lowthian was absent who sould first have been tryed, the Superintendent of Fife was removed, and the ministeris and commissioneris of the said diocie who wer present for the time wer required if they or any of them had any thing to lay to his charge touching his manneris, conversatioun, doctrine, and executioun of his office, that they would declair it. It was murmurit be sindrie ministeris, that he wes somewhat slack in his visitatiounis, and remanit not at the kirkis for ordering such things as were necessar for the same; that he wes too much gevin to wordlie affairis, slack in preaching, rash in excommunicatioun, sharper nor became him in making acts for payment of small tithes.
The Superintendent of Angus wes removed next. It was laid to his charge, that there wer manie popishe preistis, unabill and of wicked life, admitted to reading at kirkis within his diocie. 2. That some ȝoung men were rashlie admitted to the ministrie, and to be exhortaris, without such trial and examinatioun as ar required in the Book of Discipline. 3. That gentilmen of vitious lives wer chosen to be elderis in divers kirkis. 4. That sundire ministeris under his jurisdictioun remanit not at thair kirkis, visit not the seik in thair extremitie, and alsua that the ȝouth is not instructed. 5. That some ministeris come our lait to the kirkis wher they sould preach on the Lordis day, so that the peopill doe wearie staying upon thaim, and incontinent the sermon being ended, they depart. 6. That the ministeris resort not to the exercise, according to the order set down in the Book of Discipline.
The Superintendent, after he came in again, rendered up the Commission he received from the Assemblie for visiting the North, and establishing ministers, elders and deacons in the kirk.
Thereafter the ministers of Fife wer removed, and the Superintendent and Commissioners wer required to declair what they knew to be laid to their charge. Then the ministers of Mernes and Angus wer removed and tryed. Then the Superintendent of Lothian, now being present, was removed and tryed. It was required be the Commissionars of Edinburgh, that he wold sometimes preache in their Kirks, as the principal roume within his Jurisdiction: and others required, that he wold visite Mussilburgh and Stirling oftener. Thereafter the Ministers of Lowthiane and Stirling-shire war removed and tried.
It was concluded, That the Superintendent sall cause present the names of Ministers, Exhorters and Readers, to the Lords appointed be the Queen's Majestie for assigning of their Stipends, and that in thir presentations be specified the entrie of these that ar presented, to be at Allhallowmes, Lambmes, Candlemes or Beltan, togither with the yere of God, that they may receive payment at the terme after their entrie, and sua furthe quarterlie. And if it sall happen that anie Minister, Exhorter or Reader depart at the pleasure of God, the intrant sall receive payment pro rata servitii; that the executors of the defunct sall receive payment for the time he hath served: And this order to be observed hereafter. Anent the sustentation of the ministers, exhortars and reidars within burrowes, my Lord Controller requyrit the haill commissioners of burrowes presentlie conveinit at this assemblie, that they wold signifie unto him by word or write within ane competent space, what releife they wold make to the sustentation of the ministers forsaid, in respect that they were befor burthened with diverse charges for uphalding of sick as called themselves ministers in the abused kirk. C.]
Seffio 3a. haldin the 29 of December 1562.
The kirk presentlie assemblit ordaines that inhibition salbe made to all and sundire persons now serving in the ministrie, who hes entrit being slanderous befor in doctrine hes not satisfied the kirk. Secondlie, that hes not bein presented be the peiple or ane pairt thereof to the superintendent, and he after examiniation and tryall hes not appointed them to their charges, and this act to have strength as weill against them that are callit bischops as uthers pretending to any ministrie within the kirk: [And ordaineth the same act to be promulgat be the superintendents in their diocies; and where there ar not superintendents, be commissioners sent from the Assemblie, the copie thereof to be affixed upon the principall kirk-doores. And if anie person, after inhibition made, contemptuouslie continue in his ministrie, the Assemblie ordaines to proceed against him be censures, to excommunication, unless be his letters to the commissioners, or nixt superintendent, he give signification of his obedience, and promise to accept the same charge according as they sall command him. And in that case the Assemblie decerned, that with libertie and freedom of conscience, and also without danger of the former paine, he may continue in his ministrie till the nixt Assemblie; at which time it is ordained, that they present themselves before the Assemblie. And that this act comprehend also exhorters and readers.
Because it is complained, That the north countrie for the most part was destitute of ministers, and that the order of the election and admission of the superintendent of Aberdeen was not putt in execution; the Assemblie appointed Mr George Hay, Mr Johne Row and Adam Heriot, to be proponed in lites to the said kirk, and edicts to pass furth thereupon with all expedition; and committed the charge of inauguration of the person elected, to the Superintendents of Fyfe and Angus, and suche learned men as they sall chose; and appointed the kirk of Old Aberdeen to be the place of admission. And in case ather Mr Johne Row or Adam Heriot salbe elected to the said office, the Assemblie nominat Mr James Wilkie, Patrick Couston and Robert Hamilton, to be proponed in lites to the kirks destitude of their ministrie.
A commission was given to Mr Johne Hepburne Minister of Brechin, to pass to Murray, and there to preache the gospell; and if it sall chance that he sall find anie qualified persons apt to be ministers, exhorters or readers, that he send them to the superintendent to be appointed for Aberdeen and Bamf, to be tried, and admitted to their offices respectivé: And it was ordained this commission sould endure till the nixt Assemblie.
David Forrest, notwithstanding he objected his owne inabilitie, was charged by the whole Assemblie, as he wold avoide disobedience to their voices, without farther delay, to addresse himself to enter in the ministrie where he salbe appointed, seing it was knowen sufficientlie that he was able for that function. He and Mr Patrick Cockburne war proponed in lites for the Superintendentship of Jedburgh. It was decerned, that edicts sould be sett furth for their admission against the first Lord's day of Marche nixt to come in the kirk of Jedburgh. The superintendent of Lowthiane, Mr Knox, and such other learned men as they sould choose to assist them, war appointed to inaugurate the person elected.
For the planting to kirks in the Shiresdoms of Dumfries, Galloway and Nithisdaill, and the rest of the West Daills, the Assemblie nominat in lites for the Superintendentship, Mr Alexander Gordon entituled Bishop of Galloway, and Mr Robert Pont minister of Dunkell: Ordained edicts to be sett furth for the admission upon the last Lords day of April, and appointed the Superintendent of Glasgow, Mr Knox minister of Edinburgh, Mr Robert Hamilton minister of Vchiltrie and Mauchlin, and other learned men, to be present at the inauguration of the person elected; the place of admission to be the parish-kirk of Drumfries. In the meane tyme the Assemblie giveth commission to Mr Alexander to admitt ministers, exhorters and readers, and to doe such other things as war before accustomed in planting of kirks. C.]
Mr. Archibald Keith, minister of Logie and Balmerinoch, was discernit be the Kirk to be translated fra the forsaids kirks to sick place as where his stipend sould be more aboundantlie givin him, in case he be not reasonablie satisfiet be the Lords appointit to modifie the ministers stipends, provydit that he change not at his awin privat opinion; but to have therein the judgement and appointment of the Kirk, who sall give there judgement heirin or this Assemblie be dissolved.
Sessioun 4, haldin the 30 day of December 1562.
[Commission was given to Mr Knox to goe to Jedburgh, and to take triell upon the thrid day of Januarie nixt to come, of the slander raised against Paul Methven late minister of the said burgh; and after triell, to report to the session or consistorie of the kirk of Edinburgh, to whom, with the Superintendent of Lowthiane, the Assemblie giveth power to discerne, and pronounce sentence. C.]
The kirk presentlie assemblit gives power to every superintendent within there awin bounds, in there assemblies synodall, with consent of the maist pairt of the elders and ministers of kirks, to translate ministers fra ane kirk to another, as they sall consider the necessitie, and in lyke maner charges the minister sa translated to obey the voice and comandement of the superintendent.
And ordains farther, that the superintendents appoint there Synodall Assemblies twyce in the ȝeir, to witt, in the moneths of Apryle and October, on sick dayes within the saids moneths as the superintendent sall thinke good; and that they give sufficient advertisement to the particular kirks, that the minister with ane elder or deacon may repaire toward the place appointed be the superintendents at the day that salbe affixed be them, to consult upon the comon affaires of there diocies.
[Some ministers war appointed for particular places; Mr James Pont for my Lord Areskine, Mr James Foullis for Dunkell, Mr James Wilkie, or Mr Patrick Couston, if he be not chosen for St Johnston, for Aberdeen; Mr Robert Hamilton for Hamilton, Mr Johne Keith to be placed by the Superintendent of Aberdeen in Buchan, Mr Robert Narne for Deir, Mr Arthure Forbese to be placed at the discretion of the Superintendent of Fyfe and Rector of St Andrews, Mr James Greg for Carict, if the Lord Areskine could be moved to consent. C.]
Sessio 5ta, halding the last of December 1562.
The Kirk gives comissioun to the Superintendents of Angus, Lowthiane, Glasgow and Fyfe, with David Forrester, to travell with the Lords of Secreit Counsell to know what causes sall come in judgement to the kirk, and what ordour of execution salbe tane therein.
[Item, To travell for abolishing of mercats holding upon the Lord's day throughout the realme. Item, Commission given to Mr Knox to make supplication both by word and writt to the Queen's Majestie, for support of the poore.
Notwithstanding of the nomination of superintendents for Aberdeen, Bamf, Jedburgh and Dumfries, made before in the thrid session, the Assemblie remitted farther advisement and nomination of the persons to the Lords of Secreit Counsell, providing the days appointed for the admission be not altered. C.]
It is concludit that ane uniforme ordour salbe takin or keipit in the administration of the Sacraments and solemnization of marigaes and burialls of the dead, according to the Booke of Geneva.
Attour, ordains the communion to be ministrat four tymes in the ȝeir within burrowes, and twyse in the ȝeir to landwart.
[The superintendents war appointed to confer with the Lords of Secreit Counsell, anent the charges to be bestowed for the elements at the Lord's Supper. C.]
For sameikle as it was heavilie lamentit be the maist pairt of the ministers, that they can have no dwelling places at there kirks, because the mansses are either deteinit be the persons or vicars of the samein, or els sett in few or otherwayes to gentlemen: The Clerk Register and Justice Clerk desyre the superintendents to signifie to the Clerk of the Rentales where the saids mansses are, and in what countrey, to the effect that the saids mansses may be assignit to the Quenis G. third part, and thereafter that the saids ministers compleinand may be staiked and helped to the samein, for there comoditie and remaining with there flocke.
Notwithstanding the proponeing and nominatioun of the superintendents for Aberdeen, Bamfe, Jedbrucht and Dumfreis, appointed of befoir in the thrid sessioun, and the days appointit for electioun of the samein, the haill kirk remitts farder advysement and nomination of the persones to the Lords of the Secreit Counsell, provydeing alwayes that the days appointed for their electioun be not prolonged.
It is ordainit, that no minister nor others bearing office within the Kirk, take in hand to cognosce and decide in the actiouns of divorcement, except the superintendents, and they to whom they sall give speciall commissioun, and betwixt speciall persons.
[After invocation of the name of God made be Maister Knox minister of Edinburgh, the Assemblie dissolved. C.]