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 [in the Tolbooth] at Edinburgh the 6 day of August 1573: In the quhilk were present the Erles, Lords, Barrons, Bischops, Superintendents, Commissioners to plant kirks, Commissioners of Provinces, Townes and Kirks, with the Ministers. Mr Alexander Arbuthnot was chosen Moderatour.
[It was voted first, That the place of this Assembly should be as sufficient as if it were holden in Dundie. C.]
Because it is understand that certaine of the Nobilitie of this realme and Secreit Counsell are to repare to this Assembly, therefor the haill brethren ordaines, That the haill Nobilitie and Counsell, with Commissioners of Provinces, Townes and Kirks, having power to vote, sall sitt within the barre of the said over Tolbuith; and all vthers without the same.
[In the trial of Superintendents and Commissioners, Mr John Douglass Bishop of Sanct Andrews was accused for giving collation of the benefice of Pitcols, which was before given to a Minister, to Mr George Lawder who had three other benefices, preached not, and was suspect of Papistry; that John Wemes of Brunteland enterteined a Dutch woman as his wife, his own wife undivorced, and no order taken with him; Mr Magnus Haleio excommunicate long since for adultery and haunting the company of Steuart, is not taken order with. Item, That he viseteth be others and not be himself, and through his default, the Exercise of Sanct Andrews is like to decay; that such as have offended in Lothian he receiveth in Sanct Andrews; and admitteth some to function in the Kirk, unable and untried, chiefly such as come out of Lothian and Merce. To the first he answered, That he knew not that Mr George Lawder had moe benefices then one, and farther he injoined him to haunt the University of Sanct Andrews for a season, or the Exercise of Dumbar: As to the second, He remitted him to his book of visitation: As to the third, Remitteth to the process against Mr Magnus: As to the fourth, Because of the rarity of people now in time of harvest, it is superceded till his returning.
Mr James Paton, Bishop of Dunkeld, was delated, That he had received the name of a Bishop, but they had not heard that he had used the office of a Bishop within his bounds: Answered, That he had lately received that Bishoprick, and that there was a Superintendent continued in that bounds till this Assembly. He was accused likewise, That he had not proceeded against Papists, and chiefly against the Earle of Atholl and diverse others within his bounds: That he was suspect of Simonie committed betwixt him and the Earle of Argill, anent the profite of the Bishoprick; and suspected of perjury in receiving of the said Bishoprick, because he giveth acquittances, and the Earle receiveth the Silver of the said Bishoprick. Item, For voting in Parliament anent the Act of Divorcement lately made in prejudice of the Assembly, who had suspended their Judgement in this matter till farther advisement, according to the Act of the last Assembly.
Mr George Hay, Commissioner of Aberdeen, was accused upon sundry heads, and he was ordained to make answer in writt this day afternoon.
Mr Robert Pont, Commissioner of Murrey, was accused, That he made no residence in that countrey, and that he visite not the kirks of the same the two years bygane, except Inverness, Elgine and Forress, nor had appointed manses and gleebs according to the Act of Parliament: Answered, He had no leasure to doe the forsaids, because it behoved him to return before the last of June. C.]
[The Assembly appointed John Durie, one of the Ministers of Edinburgh, David Hume, Minister of Aldhamstocks, Mr Roger Gordon of Quhitterne, Mr Peter Primrose of Mauchlin, Mr David Cunninghame of Monklane, Mr John Keith of Duffus, Mr Archibald Keith, Mr James Melvill, Alexander Keith, Thomas Morisone, Alexander Young and Peter Watson, to visite the books of visitations of Bishops, Superintendents and Commissioners to plant kirks, and to report what they find before the nixt Assembly. C. & B.]
[The Assembly giveth full power and commission to their loving brethren, John Areskine of Dun, Knight, Superintendent of Angus and Mernes, Mr John Winrame, Superintendent of Stratherne, Mr Robert Pont, Commissioner of Murrey, and one of the Senators of the Colledge of Justice, Mr John Row, Commissioner of Galloway and Nithisdaill, Robert Fairlie of Braid, Thomas Scot of Abbotshall, James Johnston of Elphinston, Adam Fullerton, Mr David Cock, David Marr and Robert Red, Commissioners of Edinburgh, Sanct Andrews, Aberdeen and Dundie respectivé, to concurr with my Lord Regents Grace and Lords of Secret Counsell, confer and reason upon such heads and articles as shall be proponed be his Grace and Counsell forsaid, and to receive answer to the articles and heads which are to be proponed be the Kirk to his Grace, and to report their conference and reasoning to the Assembly, before the dissolving thereof, that conclusion may be had therein.
The Collectors of the thrids were called to shew their diligences anent the horners, and to give up their names to their Bishops, Superintendents, and Commissioners, what time they shall be required thereto be them.
Forsamikle as the Commissioners sent to my Lord Regents Grace, should reason and conser according to the injunctions to be given to them be the Assembly, and articles, the Assembly appointeth Mr Clement Little, Advocate, Mr David Lindsay, Mr George Hay and William Christesone, to frame the heads and articles, which are to be proponed for the Kirk to his Grace and Counsell, and to send the samine to the brethren Commissioner that are presently with his Grace and Secret Counsell. C.]
Touching them that receives excommunicants and ordour taking thereanent, The haill Kirk presentlie assemblit ordaines all Bischops, Superintendents and Commissioners to plant kirks, and Ministers of particular kirks, to proceed to excommunication aganis all receivers of excommunicat persons, if after due admonition the receivers rebell and beis disobedient, according to the ordour conteinit in the Book of Excommunication; and quhosoever knawand and ȝet receives and intertaines excommunicat persons, albeit he desist after admonitioun, yet sall he underly the discipline of the Kirk, be making of publick repentance, except sick as are exceptit of the Law.
And to the effect that none pretend ignorance of the saids excommunicat persons, the Kirk ordaines [and statutes], All Bischops, Superintendents and Commissioners in their Synodall conventions, sall take up in roll the names of the excommunicats within thair Jurisdictiouns, and bring thair names to the Generall Assemblies, to be publischit to vthers Bischops, Superintendents and Commissioners, that they be thair Ministers in their provinces may divulgat the samein in their haill countreyes quher the excommunicats hants.
[The Assembly appointeth their loving brethren, Mr Gilbert Gardin, Mr John Craig, Mr Robert Hammilton, David Ferguson, George Scot, Patrick Kinnynmouth and James Meldrum, or any five of them, to conveen in the Inner Tolbooth afternoon, to give answer to questions and complaints, and what they find difficill, to send it to the Assembly for receiving resolution and answer.
The Ministers, elders and deacons of the kirk of Mauchline, complained upon Mr John Hammilton, son to unquhill Sir William Hammilton of Sanquhar, David Blair of Munckton, William Dumbare of Tarbolton, John Dumbar of Barr, Mr Hugh Farquhar in Crapton, Patrick Hamilton of Lynnerhauch, and Patrick Reid, brother to William Reid in Garsoll, That upon the thrid of August last by past, being the day of their Communion, and they sitting afternoon in their Session, they accompanyed with 200 persons or thereby, brought with them the corps of the said unquhill Sir William, brake the doors of the kirk being closed, while they were occupied in the Session anent the affairs of the Kirk, brought in the said corps, overthrew and brake down their table boords, whereupon the blessed Sacrament was ministred the same day, and in place thereof buried the said corps, notwithstanding the said Sir William was, at the time of his departure, a parochiner of another paroich; so that it behoved them to rise from the Session, to depart out of the church, and give place to their rage and fury. The said persons being summoned be Mr David Lindsay, Commissioner of Kyle, Carict and Cunninghame, often called and not compearing, the Assembly ordained to cause summone them to the nixt Generall Assembly, to compear under the pain of excommunication, and that the Ministers of their paroiches or kirks where they dwell, summone them from pulpit to compear as said is; not the less the Assembly giveth power to the Commissioner of that province, to receive any of said persons that willingly in the mean time offereth themselves to publick repentance for the said fault, according to the said Commissioners discretion.
Alexander Bishop of Galloway was summoned be Mr John Row, Commissioner of Galloway, to compear before the Assembly. He compeared. Certain heads and accusations were given in against him be the Superintendent of Lothian, the Kirks of Edinburgh, Halyrudhouse and Sanct Cuthbert.
In the first, We the said Superintendent, Ministers and parochiners of the said kirks doe complain, That the said Mr Alexander intruded himself in the office of the Ministry within the said burgh of Edinburgh, where he allured, drew and persuaded a great part of the saids parochiners in a company, thereby confounding all good order, wherethrough their own lawfull Ministers were rejested.
Secondly, The said Mr Alexander taught the people most perverse and ungodly doctrine; but specially in persuading, entysing and exhorting to rebell against our Soveraign Lord, and to join with manifelt rebells and conjured enemies.
Thirdly, The said Mr Alexander, contrar to the Act of the Generall Assembly made for the prayer for our Soveraign Lord, &c., most maliciously transgressed the said ordinance, not only refusing to doe the same, but also avowing in his prayer another Authority, and accusing and condemning all true Ministers, that did not the like that he did.
Fourthly, The said Mr Alexander being inhibite in speciall be ane Act of the Generall Assembly, to have any intromission with the parochiners of Halyrudhouse, He hath notwithstanding compelled them to adjoin with his pretended Kirk, in receiving the Sacrament then abused be him within Edinburgh; causing his pretended Bailiffs, be the assistance of the men of war remaining within the said town for the time, to oppress and compell the said poor people to give him obedience.
Fifthly, The said Mr Alexander being sworn be his solemn oath, for due obedience to our Soveraign Lord and his Grace Regent and authority, come in the contrar thereof, and violate and brake his said former oath; but specially, sitting in a pretended Parliament for dispossessing of our said Soveraign Lord of his royal crown and authority.
Sixthly, The said Mr Alexander being one of the pretended Privie Counsell, after the horrible slaughter of Matthew Earl of Lennox, Regent to our Soveraign Lord, of good memory, gave thanks for the same and Sixthly, The said Mr Alexander being one of the pretended Privie Counsell, after the horrible slaughter of Matthew Earl of Lennox, Regent to our Soveraign Lord, of good memory, gave thanks for the same and others sicklike openly in the pulpit to God, and exhorted the people to doe the same, saying, That it was Gods most just judgement that sell upon him; and as God then begann to execute his most just judgement upon him, he would not faill to execute the same upon the rest; comparing oftentimes our said Soveraign Lord, his Regent and true lieges, to Pharoah and wicked Absalom, and himself to Moses and David, whom God would defend.
Last, Be reason that the hainous faults of the said Mr Alexander have been so notoriously knowen to all men, not only such as have been committed before the Reformation, but also such as have been committed diverse times since, to the great and heavie slander of Gods true word, and professors thereof; wherethrough many of the said professors, and others our Soveraign Lords true and obedient subjects, sometime be him perverted, yet still remain in their wicked conceived error, and can scarce be persuaded in the contrar, except the said Mr Alexander be caused confess his errors publickly in all places where he hath offended, but specially in all the forsaid kirks.
Mr Alexander Gordon, Bishop of Galloway, sent one of his servants with ane answer to the accusations forsaid: But because he compeared not personally, the Assembly ordained Robert Drummond to summone him to compear personally before the Assembly the morne at ten hours, to answer farther to such things as should be laid to his charge.
Mr James Balfour, Minister of Guthrie, was ordained to pass to the Regents Grace, the Counsell and the Commissioners of the Assembly, who were with his Grace, and to shew the said Mr Alexanders answers to the said heads, and to desire his Graces advice therein, anent the alledge immunity, and incompetencie of the Judgement of the Kirk, and to report his Graces answer to the Assembly. Mr James returning reported, how after the Regent had heard the said accusations and answers thereto, declared, That his Grace was most willing to observe the heads of the Pacification, not prejudging the priviledge of the Kirk; and willed that all notorious open slander should be satisfied according to the discipline of the Kirk: The tenor of his answers followeth.
Brethren, I am very loath, as God knoweth, to come in reasoning with your Wisdoms, concerning the complaint given in against me be the Superintendent of Lothian and Kirks of Edenburgh, Halyrudhouse and Sanct Cuthbert; yet in respect of the highness and weightiness of the cause that dependeth thereupon, I am constrained, with your Wisdoms pardon, to answer thereto; which is the priviledge and benefite of the Godly Act of Pacification, made be the procurement of the Queens Majesty of England, with consent of my Lord Regents Grace, the whole Nobility and Estates of this realme. Be virtue of the which Act, my Lord Duke his friends, my Lord Huntly, I and our friends, servants and dependents, are made from all transgressions, crimes, offences, done be us or any of us during the time of the troubles; to the which Act the reformed Bishops, Abbots and Priors having vote in Parliament, consented in name of the Kirk: So my Lord Regents Grace for the Criminall and your Wisdoms for the Spirituall part, have no place to call us or any of us for any offence, during the said time, for the common cause, which was the maintaining of another Authority, or any thing that dependeth thereupon. And it is of verity, that the complaints given in upon me depend thereupon; in speciall the greatest offence which may be laid to my charge, is only the preaching of the word, which I did at command of the other Authority, and be election and admission of such as professed the same: Therefore your Wisdoms can be no competent Judges to us, or any of us contained in the forsaid Act of Pacification; for as we were altogether disobedient, at that time, to the Kings authority and Kirk touching that point, allanerly in defending another Authority; so are we be this Act of Pacification become obedient subjects to the King and Kirk in all things, except the offences forsaids, which are putt in oblivion be consent of the Three Estates, as if they had never been committed: Therefore we nor none of us ought, or should be troubled any wife for any offence done during that time, as said is. In respect of the premisses, I humbly beseek your Wisdoms, to have regard to our estate, condition and service done be my Lord Duke his house, ours of Huntly and dependers, for maintaining of Gods word, and professors thereof, and how we have not spared in times bygane, our lifes and heretages in defence of the same, and that I was the first that publickly preached Christ in face of the Authority; that this our defection so honourably and lovingly remitted and put in oblivion, be no wife brought in disputation, again to prejudge the said Act of Pacification, ratified and approved in Parliament be consent of the Kirk, as said is. And if there be any other offence done be us then is contained in the said Act, that may anywise be slanderous to the Kirk, before the 15 day of June, anno 1567, untill the 24 of Februar 1572, we shall answer thereto as becometh members of the reformed Kirk and true professors of the blessed Evangell; neither can your Wisdoms have farther Jurisdiction over me, nor over the rest of the communicants contained in the said Act of Pacification, for the causes forsaids: Alwise offers me to your Wisdoms, all things bygane being putt in oblivion according to the said Act, to serve in my own Jurisdiction, or to desist, as your Wisdoms please appoint me.
Mr. David Lindsay, Commissioner of Kyle, Carict and Cunninghame, complained upon George Boyd reader at Dalry, That where he was discharged from all ministration of the Lords Supper, he hath not the less ministered the same on his manner in the place of Kilbirnie the last Pasch. The Assembly ordaineth the said George to make publick repentance two severall Sundays, the one at Kilburnie, the other at Dalry, confessing his offence in presence of the parochiners, and farther at the discretion of the said Commissioner, &c.: And also statuts and ordains, That, if he hereafter transgress in semblable case, he shall be deposed from all function of the Ministry for ever: And sicklike, This act to strike upon all others readers, that shall be found guilty of the like crime.
Mr Alexander Gordon being summoned and often called, compeared not. Robert Drummond is ordained to summone him to compear again three hours, with certification if he compeared not, That the Assembly will proceed to farther process against him. He was summoned but compeared not: Whereupon and for offences contained in the former accusations, led against him and not denyed, it was concluded, That he should make publick repentance in sackcloath three severall Sundays, one in the Kirk of Edenburgh, another in Halyrudhouse, and the thrid in the Queens Colledge for Sanct Cuthberts Kirk; humbly confessing his offences and slander, asking the eternal God and his Kirk pardon for the same: And for this purpose, the Assembly ordained Mr James Melvill and Andrew Simson, Ministers of Menmure and Dumbar respectivé, to pass to the said Mr Alexander Gordon, and admonish him in the Kirks name, to underly and perform the said injunctions, and to begin on Sunday nixt to come in the Kirk of Edenburgh, thereafter in the other two kirks successivé, under the pain of excommunication. C.]
[The same day, Alexander Hay, Clerk to the Secreit Counsell, presentit certaine heids proponed be my Lord Regents Grace to the Assemblie, concerning the provision of Ministers stipends be particular assignation: C. & B.] [The tenor whereof followeth.
The Summ of the Report to be made to the General Assembly. At Halyrudhouse the 12 day of August 1573.
My Lord Regents Grace, even as he accepted on him the regiment, began to espie and consider the corruptions and abuses entered in the order of the Collectorie, and to remember the sundry suites made be the Ministers of the Kirk in diverse Assemblies, to have certain assignations made to them of their livings and stipends, in places most ewest and commodious to their residence; and herewithall being carefull how the article accorded upon at Leith should take effect, viz. That the worthy and qualified Ministers and Preachers might be planted and distributed throughout the whole realme, and the readers specially appointed at every speciall kirk, where conveniently it might be: His Grace sensyne, at sundry diets, travelled with the Kirk and their Commissioners for the perfection of this so Godly and necessar purpose; and be diligent labours, the names and numbers of the paroch kirks are collected, and the Ministers and Preachers present distribute among them, while it shall be Gods good pleasure to raise up moe worthy and qualified persons, zealous and willing to enter in that function, who from time to time shall, God willing, be sufficiently placed and provided to competent livings. The stipends be common consent are modified, and certain assignations to be made for payment of the same out of the rents of the thirds of the benefices, common kirks or benefices, newly provided since the Kings coronation, beginning the order of payment of the fructs now growing on the ground.
The Minister shall alwise be first provided, and to that effect, where need be, the assumptions of the thirds of Prelacies, and others great benefices, altered, and the assignation of the Ministers and Readers stipends taken of the first and readiest dueties of the kirk and parochine where they serve, out of hands of the tacksmen, or such of the parochiners, as they themselves shall choose to be debitors unto them.
And in case any thing now assigned be before disponed or provided in pension, portion or otherwise, wherethrough the payment may appear uncertain and doubtfull, they shall have another sure and speciall assignation out of some other part of the thrid of that benefice, or otherwise in some place where it may be most commodiously had to their contentment, and letters granted for execution hereof in due forme as effeirs.
Item, My Lord Regents Grace minds, with all convenient expedition, That qualified persons shall be promoved to the Bishopricks now vacand, the delay whereof hath not been in his Graces own default, but be reason some interess was given to these livings in favours of certain Noblemen, before his acceptation of the Regiment; yet his Grace is persuaded, that qualified persons shall specially be presented; and in case of failzie, will not fail, without the others consent, to present.
And in this meantime it was contented, That such Superintendents and Commissioners as the Kirk shall be content with, or shall appoint, continue in their charges as before, where Bishops are not placed, and have their stipends therefore, while the Bishops be admitted to their own places and offices, which shall not be retarded in his default.
And forsamikle as since the reformation of religion in this realme, sundry common kirks and common lands and sundry benefices are sett be the Prince in few and tacks, far within the just availl and rent which they were worth, and gave before the said reformation; or else in a pretended manner, as freely given be the Prince in pension or gift, upon the importunate sute of some persons, without consideration of any ground or right how the same might be done, no Law nor Act of Parliament yet passing, whereby the power of setting, sewing and disposition of the saids common kirks, common lands or thrids, were annexed to the crown, or declared to pertain to the Prince; It being good reason, that the Ministers of the kirks should be sustained upon the rents thereof, and that the saids common lands should be applyed to the help of the Schools, and otherwise, ad pios usus; therefore ordains Summons to be libelled, at the instance of the Kings Majestys Advocate, and of the procurators of the Kirk for their intress thereof, for reduction of the saids fews, tacks and dispositions, wherethrough the rents of the saids commons and thrids may be goodly and rightly applyed as effeirs.
It is resolved, That the executions of the sentence of excommunication against persons excommunicate, after the space of 40 days past, shall be presented to my Lord Theasaurer or his Clerk, who thereupon shall raise letters, be deliverance of the Lords of Session, to charge the persons excommunicate to satisfy the Kirk, and obtain themselves absolved under the pain of rebellion; and, in case they pass to the horn, to cause their escheits be tane up, and also to raise and cause execute letters of Caption against them, and that to be done at the Kings Majestys charges.
Touching the escheits of excommunicate persons, where the wifes and children are faithfull, The law already made is thought good and worthy to be execute; and all dispensations dangerous, and tending to the increase of contempt and disobedience.
Touching the pecuniall penalty to be raised on the resetters of the excommunicate, Because as yet there is no express law; therefore lett ane article be formed hereanent against the nixt Parliament, and in the meantime the Kirk to use the discipline thereof against such offenders.
And diligence possible shall be made for collecting and ingathering of the rests, to the help of the Ministers standing in doubt; and it is not thought that the uptaking of the escheits of the rebells shall prejudge them.
The order of upholding of Schools in burgh and to landward, would be declared in a more speciall article.
It is thought meet, The multitude of hereticall books brought in this country shall be burnt; and that proclamation be sett out in strait manner, That none bring home hereticall books, nor press to sell them while they be visied in time coming; and this Act to be extended in large form.
The law touching the manses and gleebs is thought sufficient, if the execution of the same be duely sought.
Anent the sustaining and upholding of Cathedrall kirks which are paroch kirks, The same most be done as it had wont to be before, while a new or better order be taine thereanent be the Parliament.
For punishment of persons that pass in pilgrimage to wells, lett the discipline of the Kirk be used against the users of such superstition, and the civill Magistrat shall also hold handto the punishment.
Lett also ane article be formed and givenin at the Parliament, for law to be made against such persons as make common buriall places of the paroch kirks, being commanded by the contrary.
Anent the heads and articles concerning the Jurisdiction of the Kirk, They are found very meet to be reasoned upon; whereunto my Lord Regents Grace will appoint some of the Counsell to conferr with others that the Kirk shall depute to this effect; so that it whereon they aggree may be confirmed in Parliament, and have the force of a law thereafter.
Item, Seing the most part of the persons who were Channons, Monks and Friars within this realme, have made profession of the true religion; it is therefore thought meet, That it be injoined to them to pass and serve as readers at the places where they shall be appointed.
To appoint a day for the election of the Bishop of Murrey.
To appoint a day for the election of the Bishop of Rosse.
That the day be keeped for the election of the Bishop of Dunblane.
To appoint a day for the election of the Archbishop of Glasgow.
Commissioners in all provinces where bishops are not placed.
A Suffragan for the Bishop of Sanct Andrews in Lothian.
That every Commissioner tarry to see the principall assignation and order made for the payment thereof, for the weal of the Ministers within his charge.
In respect that the Assembly cannot remain till finall ending of such things as are treating betwixt my Lord Regents Grace and the Assembly, anent the distribution of Ministers, their placing, and assignation to be made for sure payment of their stipends, &c., The Assembly adjoins to their brethren already having commission to reason and conferr with my Lord Regents Grace and Secret Counsell, the brethren underwritten, to wit, John Bishop of Sanct Andrews, John Bishop of Dunkeld, Mr John Spotswood, Superintendent of Lothian, Mr David Lindsay, Mr George Hay, Mr Andrew Hay, Mr Donald Munro, of Kile, Cliddisdaill, Aberdeen, and Rosse respectivé Commissioners, Mr James Lowson, David Ferguson, of Edenburgh and Dumfermling respectivé Ministers, John Brand, Mi nister of Halyrudhouse, Mr Alexander Arbuthnet, Principall of Aberdeen, and John Gray of Fordall, That the saids brethren, or any thirteen of them, concurr with my Lord Regents Grace and Secret Counsell, reason, conferr and conclude, anent all things to be proponed be his Grace and Secret Counsell forsaid, and touching the heads, articles, requests, supplications and complaints to be proponed in the Assemblies name be them, conforme to the instructions which are to be given to them; and to report all and whatsoever their proceedings to the nixt Assembly, to be registered among the Acts thereof: And to putt in forme the saids instructions to be delivered to the forsaids brethren Commissioners, the Assembly appointed Mr Robert Pont, Commissioner of Murrey, Mr John Row, Commissioner of Nithisdaill and Galloway, Mr Gilbert Gardine, Minister of Fordyce, Mr David Cunninghame, Minister at Monkland, to conveen afternoon this day, and putt the said instructions in forme, and deliver the samine to the saids brethren Commissioners this night, that they may proceed conforme to the saids instructions.
Anent the supplication given in be Robert and John Seton, sons to the Lord Seton: The Assembly ordaineth the Superintendent of Lothian, with so many Ministers as he will assume to him, to take order with the saids persons; and if they will obey, submitt and subscrive the articles of Faith, and swear obedience to the Kings Majesty, to receive them in the bosome of the Kirk according to the order. C.]
Tuiching the changing of the situation of the paroch kirks, their gleibs and mansses, for the commoditie of the parochiners: The Kirk gives licence to the Bishops, Superintendents and Commissioners to plant kirks, with the advyse and consent of the parochiners and Ministrie of the countrey, to change the paroch kirks, mansses and gleibs fra ane place to another for commoditie of the said paroch; Provyding alwayes, that the change thereof be not hurtfull to the Ministrie, and that suretie sufficient be made of the lands in quantitie and goodness as they were before, to remaine with the Kirk for ever, with mortification thereof be the Kings Majestie.
[Forsamikle as Alexander Bishop of Galloway, after his compearing before this Assembly at a time, was diverse times thereafter summoned per sonally and at his lodgings, to have compeared before the Assembly, to have answered farther to things that were to be laid to his charge, and to have received the injunctions of the Kirk for satisfaction of his offence and slander given be him, &;c.: Being often times called and not compearing, The whole Kirk assembled decerned the said Mr Alexander to make publick repentance in sackcloath upon one Sunday in the kirk of Edenburgh, another Sunday in Halyrudhouse, and the third Sunday in the Queens Colledge for Sanct Cuthberts: Therefore the whole Kirk pre sently assembled, commandeth Mr Rodger Gordon, Minister of Quhitterne, to admonish the said Alexander Bishop of Galloway in the Cathedral Kirk of Quhitterne upon a Sunday in the time of publick preaching, to resort to the saids kirks of Edenburgh, Halyrudhouse and Queens Colledge respective, and there 20 day of the moneth of September nixt to come, under the pain of excommunication; with certification to the said Mr Alexander, that if he doe not, the Kirk commands the Minister of Edenburgh or Halyrudhouse to proceed to excommunication against him, and to publish the same in the said other two kirks, and in other kirks as shall be thought expedient; and ordains the said Mr Rodger to send this present ordinance, duely execute under his subscription, before the said 20 day of September forsaid again to the Kirk of Edenburgh, as he will answer to the General Assemblie of his obedience, &;c.
Mr Robert Pont, Commissioner of Murrey, Mr George Hay, Com missioner of Aberdeen, Mr John Row, Commissioner of Nithisdaill and Galloway, Mr David Lindsay, Commissioner of Kyle, Carict and Cunninghame, Mr Andrew Hay, Commissioner of Ranfrew, Cliddisdaill and Lennox, Mr Donald Monro, Commissioner of Rosse, were continued in their office till the nixt Assembly.
The Assembly giveth commission to their loving brother John Gray of Fordell, to plant Ministers, erect the face of congregations, visit Schools, &c., in ample forme within the Diocie of Cathness for the space of a year nixt after the date hereof, and to report his diligence to the General Assembly.
In like manner giveth commission to their loving brother John Brand, Minister of Halyrudhouse, to visite Tiviotdaill, Tweddaill and Forrest till the nixt Generall Assembly, and to report his diligence done therein to the same Assembly. The said John protested, That he on no ways begin his journey to the said visitation, untill such time as a Minister were appointed to supply his place at Halyrudhouse in his absence. C.]
Anent them that consults with witches: The Kirk presentlie assemblit ordaines all Bishops, Superintendents, and Commissioners to plant kirks, to call all sick persons as salbe suspect to consult with withches before them, at their awin particular visitations, or vtherwayes; and if they be found to have consulted with the saids witches, That they cause them make publick repentance in sackcloath vpon ane Sonday in tyme of preaching, vnder the paine of excommunicatioun; and if they be disobedient, to proceid to excommunication, dew admonition preceiding.
Anent the uniformitie to be observit in proces of excommunication: It is statut and ordainit, That all Bishops, Superintendents and Commissioners to plant kirks, sall direct thair letters to Ministers quher the persons that are to be excommunicat dwells, commanding the saids Ministers to admonisch accordingly; and in cace of disobedience to proceid to excommunica tion, and pronounce the sentence therof vpon a Sonday in tyme of preaching; and thereafter the Ministers to indorse the saids letters, makand mention of the dayes of thair admonitions and excommunication for disobedience forsaid, and to report to the saids Bishops, Superintendents and Commissioners, according to their direction containit in the saids letters.
[The Assembly ordaineth the Bishop of Dunkeld to pass in visitation of his Diocie incontinent after the dissolving of this Assembly, and execute the Act of Parliament against Papists, of what degree soever they be, and all other criminall persons, according to the Acts of the General Assembly, and to report their diligence to the nixt Assembly.
The brethren appointed for answering to questions, reported the same and their answers as followeth.
Q. Ubique, Where the Nobility offends in such crimes as deserve execution of discipline in sackcloath, the Nobility will not receive it; men of poor estate for the most part contemn it: What remeed shall be found. C.] A. Great men offending in sick crymes as deserves sackcloath, they sould receive the samein als weill as the poore.
[Q. Whither if a Superintendent or Commissioner, with advice of any particular Kirk of their Jurisdication, may dispense with the extremity of sackcloath prescrived be the Acts of the Generall Discipline, and that for a pecuniall pain ad pios usus. C.] A. Na Superintendent nor Commissioner, with advyse of any particular Kirk of thair Jurisdictioun, may dispence with the extremitie of sackcloth prescryvit be the Acts of the Generall Discipline, for any pecuniall sowme or paine ad pios usus.
[Q. Why is order taken, That for no cause, how just so ever, no particular Kirk may excommunicate without the assent of the Bishop, Superintendent and Commissioner. A. The Assembly perceiving some to have been excommunicate without the due order of law, for redress of this misorder, hath thought it expedient, That the cause and order of the process be sighted be the Bishop, Superintendent and Commissioner, before the sentence be pronounced.
Q. Whither if the Assembly may lawfully impone pecuniall pains to the committers of drukenness, fornication, breach of the Sabbath, and such like, or not. A. The Assembly ordains, That, anent fornication and the breach of the Sabbath, the Acts of Parliament be putt in execution: as for drukenness, They should give admonitions, which being disobeyed, they shall be repelled from the table of the Lord; yet Magistrates may inflict a pecuniall pain for the same, while order be tane in Parliament.
Q. May any Minister, with safe conscience, admitt to the table of the Lord and other benefits of the Kirk, those who in the late troubles opponed themselves against the lawfull Authority, and sustained the action of them who troubled the quiet state of the common weale, and of the Kirk, who have not yet satisfied the Kirk, nor admitted themselves to the discipline thereof. A. They may not.
Q. What punishment shall the Minister incurr, that wittingly and willingly admits such publick transgressors and slanderers of the word to the saids benefits, before any publick satisfaction be made. A. Refers the punishment of the Minister that offends in this case to his Ordinar, ac cording to the quality of the fault committed, and the place where he serveth.
Q. A man willing to dimitt his benefice simpliciter, In whose hands shall he dimitt it. C.] A. Ane man willing to demitt his benefice simpliciter, sould demitt it in the hand of the just Patrone.