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 Assembly begun and haldin at Edinburgh [Counsell house] the vij day of Marche 1574: In the quhilk were present Earles, Lords, Bischops, Superintendents, Commissioners to plant Kirks, Commissioners of Provinces, Townes, Kirks, Vniversities, and Ministers. James Bischop of Glasgow, Moderatour.
[In the trial of Superintendents, Bishops and Commissioners, The Superintendent of Angus was complained upon, that quires within his diocy were ruinous: He answered, He had appointed taksmasters within every paroich, raised letters and used diligence, and farther upon his own cost supported diverse quiers as he might.
The Bishop of Dunkeld was delated, for not proceeding against the Earle of Atholl to excommunication; that he departed from the last Assembly before the dissolving thereof; for making Simoniacall paction with unquhill Archibald Earle of Argile. To the first he answered, That he had used admonitions against the Earle of Atholl, who desired some conference of godly and learned men, to the effect he might be resolved in such doubts of religion as presently move him, being that hitherto he hath not heard preaching; and required the aid of the Superintendent of Angus, the Superintendent of Lothian, Mr John Winram, Prior of Portmook, Mr James Lowson, Minister of Edenburgh, Mr George Hay, Commissioner of Aberdeen. The Superintendent of Lothian was absent: But the Assembly ordained the rest, or any three of them, to conser with his Lordship afternoon, and to conser with him upon such heads of religion as he standeth unresolved in, and to report his answer to the Assembly. To the second he answered, That he being advertised of a bairne deadly sick who soon after departed, went in heaste out of the town, without advertisement of the brethren; and if this excuse was not sufficient, was content to underly the will of the Assembly for a penalty. To the thrid he answered, He made no paction for the promotion of him to the Bishoprick, but refused when he was required.
The Bishop of Brechin complained upon the Bishop of Dunkeld, That in the last Assembly he should have alledged that he was compelled be the Earle of Argile, now resting with God, to give out pensions, which alledgance was a slandering of the Nobleman departed, and desired it to be proven. The Bishop answered, That he declared he was pressed be the said unquhill Earle of Argile to doe something against his will. He shall give in writt his declaration wherein he was pressed; and if he have failed in terms, he shall refer him to the brethren. The brethren appointed him to exhibite the declaration in writt upon Wedensday.
The Bishop of Murrey removed, It was remembred be some of the brethren that the question is yet undecided, if he be Bishop lawfully chosen or not; which most first necessarily be resolved, before he be tryed in life and doctrine as a Bishop. The Assembly deputed their brethren underwritten, Mr John Winram, Prior of Portmook, &c., Mr Andrew Hay, Commissioner of Ranfrew, &c., Mr David Cunninghame, Mr Andrew Melvill, Principall of the Pedagogie of Glasgow, to conveen the morne at seven hours, and advise with the process of the said Bishops election, and thereafter give their opinion and judgement anent the said question.
The Bishop of Glasgow being removed, It was complained, that sundry Papists are within his bounds adjoined to the Kirk, and yet doe not communicat; and that a great number of kirks within his diocy are ruinous. To the first he answered, It was true, but he desired the Assembly to prescrive such order and discipline as should be used against them, which he promised to follow. And as to the ruinous kirks, It is not in his power to repair the same; albeit he had used the common order for reedifieng of them.
Mr George Hay, Commissioner of Aberdeen, was complained upon, That the Synodall Assemblies were not keeped be him; and a day being appointed for the Synodall Assembly, he discharged the same; and further, that none of the Ministers, betwixt Dee and Spey, conveened to this Assembly: nixt, That the most part of the kirks were ruinous through his diocy: and last, That there was no discipline used against hainous offenders within his bounds. To the first he answered, That the Synodall Assemblies were keeped; and that the Assembly appointed to be holden in Turreff was discharged be him, be reason he might not be present thereat, being occupied in reconceiling of the deadly feid; as for the Ministers who were absent, they had promised to be present, namely Mr Craig, who had sent his excuse in a letter. As for the second, He had appointed taksmasters, and used the order that become him. What he had done for correcting of vitious persons and injoining discipline to them, referred to his books of visitation.
Mr Patrick Adamson, Commissioner of Galloway, confessed he had not used that diligence which lyeth to the full execution of his office, because no stipend was appointed for the same; and yet did pro virili.
Mr John Row, Minister of Perth, detained in his bed be the fever, sent his excuse to the Assembly, and willed them to appoint some learned men for further triell of Mr Andrew Grahame, son to the Laird of Morphie, presented be my Lord Regents Grace to the Chapter of Dumblane, to be promoved to the Bishoprick thereof. The Assembly directed the said Mr Andrew to give proof of his doctrine before the whole brethren who shall be assembled in the Counsell house, the morne at eight hours, upon the text appointed be them to him.
The brethren appointed to confer with my Lord Atholl, reported, That he was not fully resolved in sundry heads of religion, and desired he might have some conference with some of the gravest of the Ministry, as the Superintendent of Angus, the Prior of Portmook, Mr James Lowson, Mr George Hay, Commissioner of Aberdeen, promising of his honour, that he should assist my Lord Bishop of Dunkeld for Punishing of offences within his bounds, and fetting fordward of his Synodall Assemblies, and that no slander or offence should be found within his house. The Assembly appointed the same brethren to conser and reason with him till the morne.
Anent the judgement of the brethren, touching the question anent the triell of the Bishop of Murrey: The Assembly findeth it meet, and ordaineth their brethren, appointed before to deliberate upon this difficulty, to propone their judgement therupon at afternoon.
After the exercise made be Mr Andrew Grahame, elect of Dumblane, the Assembly, for better triell of the said Mr Andrew his doctrine and erudition, appointed Mr James Lowson, Minister of Edenburgh, Mr Andrew Hay, Commissioner of Ranfrew, Mr John Winram, Prior of Portmook, Mr Robert Matlane, Dean of Aberdeen, Mr George Hay, Commissioner of Aberdeen, Mr David Cunninghame, Mr Andrew Melvill, to try the said Mr Andrew be questions on the Scripture, at two afternoon; and so many as were present before, to be present at this triell.
The Assembly findeth it meet, that the Earle of Atholl his demand be given in writt with his offers, and appoints Mr David Lindsay, Minister of Leith, and Mr George Hay, Commissioner of Aberdeen, to require the same of his Lordship; who, at the same instant, being dispatched from the Assembly to the Earle, returning, reported, That his Lordship suted a delay, while he might have consultation of learned men to the resolution of difficulties; and what he had promised of before, of his honour he should keep the same to the least point. The Assembly earnestly craving the saids Lords conversion, and willing to win him be all means possible, that he might be joined to the Society of the Kirk, assigneth to the said Lord, betwixt and Midsummer nixt, to be resolved in the points of religion; and if he failyie therein betwixt and the said day, and continueth in his former opinion, standing obstinat therein, ordaineth the Bishop of Dunkeld to proceed against him with excommunication, under the pain contained in the Assembly preceeding made thereupon: And, in like manner, to proceed with the same sentence against his Lady, if, betwixt and the said day, she join not herself in like manner to the religion, according to the order presently established; with admonitions in the mean time to be made to that effect.
Touching the complaint of the Bishop of Glasgow, that his bounds belonging to his jurisdiction was so large and wide, that one person was not able to visite and oversee them: Whereof the Assembly having con sideration of before, gave commission to Mr Patrick Adamson and Mr Andrew Hay, to visite certain parts and bounds limited in their commissions, who, for inlaike of stipend, may not await thereupon: And seing he payeth his thrid, and cannot upon the two part sustain them, desireth the Assembly to take order herewith: Who ordained ane humble supplication to be made to my Lord Regents Grace for providing the saids Commissioners for byganes, till farther order be taken, to be presented to his Grace be John Areskine of Dun, and Mr James Lowson, Minister of Edenburgh, and to report his Graces answer the morne.
In name of my Lord Maxwell, Lord Hereis, Lairds of Dumlanrig, Closeburn, Larg, James Crichton of Garko, presented a letter to the Assembly, wherein they lamented, that these three years bygane, their bounds, for laike of Superintendents and visiters, had become altogether forgettfull of their duty toward God, and altogether before this time had shaken off obedience, if Mr Peter Watson had not taken pains to visite, and water the poor ones with the Evangell; desiring therefore the brethren to give commission to the said Mr Peter to visite the saids bounds, as their letter dated at Dumfreis, subscribed with the said Noblemens hands the day of February 1575, bears: Wherewith the said Assembly being advised, commending the zeal of the said Noblemen, hath given, and be thir presents gives commission to the said Mr Peter to visite the bounds of Nithisdaill, [and] Annandaill, conform to the commission given to him to that effect, till the nixt Assembly.
In like manner, The Assembly giveth commission to their brethren, Mr Andrew Clayhill to visite the bounds of Tiviotdaill and Tweeddaill, and to plant Ministers, &c., conform to the commission given to him thereupon.
Sicklike, Giveth commission of a Superintendentship to Mr John Winram, Prior of Portmook, in the bounds of Fife and Stratherne, exeeming the bounds appertaining to the Bishop of Dunkeld.
The Superintendent of Angus and Mernes continued in his office till the nixt Assembly, and the Bishop of Brechin required to be present with him at visitation, that he may see the order and proceeding used be the Superintendent in his office.
For satisfieng the complaint given in against the Bishop of Dunkeld, for not appointing of Ministers to Preston and Bonkle, The Assembly ordaineth the Bishop to plant Ministers at the saids kirks, and to visite the same, that no farther complaint be heard.
For reading and answering of bills and complaints, The Assembly appoints their well beloved brethren, Mr Patrick Adamson, John Brand, Mr Gilbert Gardin, Minister at Elgine, and George Scot, to conveen in the Ile of the kirk, at seven hours in the morning, and at one afternoon, till the same be wholly resolved and answered, and to remitt such as they find doubtfull to the consultation of the whole Assembly.
Anent the supplication given in be Alexander Bishop of Galloway, desiring the Generall Assembly that he may make satisfaction in any kirk to be commanded be them, without sackcloath, and namely within his own jurisdiction, seing that, by reason of his non compearance before them, he was ordained to be excommunicat, then being at the horn and unale to compear, as the same at length bears: The said Alexander removed out of the Assembly, the brethren after long disputation whither the said decreet ought to be satisfied, notwithstanding the alledgance of horning, or if he should be heard, notwithstanding the decreet given against him, to answer to the accusations which of before were laid to his charge, Found in respect of the alledgit impediment of horning, that once yet he should answer to the same accusations. And being called in Assembly, the particular heads of accusation, contained in the books of the Assembly, read in his presence, answered to every accusation orderly: And to the first, That he was compelled be authority that then was to accept the Ministry, and was chosen be the flock then present: And to the Second, Grants he preached the Queens authority to be lawfull, and injoyes the priviledge of the Pacification: To the thrid, He made prayers for her, and otherwise would not have been suffered to preach: And as to the condemning and accusing of the Ministers, Denyes the same, with the ferd accusation: And as to the fift, answered, That he with certain other in the first Regents time in Parliament, protested, that in case the Queen were sett at liberty, that their promise and faith were fred: and denyeth the fixt accusation, with protestation to the Assembly, that they would have some consideration of his case, seing in Gods presence he damns his former offences. Who being removed again out of presence, after deliberation and long reasoning upon the whole circumstances and estate of the matter, with consideration of my Lord Regents Graces request made in his favours, the brethren ordained the said Bishop to appear before the Kirk of Halyrudhouse, without sackcloath, upon Sunday nixt to come, and in presence of the congregation therein conveened, humbly to confess his offences and ask the External God mercy.
The brethren depute to the penning of their judgement upon the question moved upon the Bishop of Murrey his triell, gave in their opinion in thir words: That they think it needfull, in respect of the suspicion conceived be the triall of his doctrine and manners, that he give personally such tryal of his doctrine as the shortness of time will permitt; and sicklike, that he make his purgation of the slanderous crimes whereof he was accused in the Assembly before, without prejudice of the process depending. The determination hereof the brethren reserved till the morne.
For visitation of the books, The brethren appoints Mr James Melvill, Mr James Hepburne, Mr Adam Blackhall, Mr Andrew Clayhills, Mr Peter Primrose, to concurr and meet at two hours afternoon where they think expendient, and continue in perusing thereof, while the same be throughly read and considered, and to report to the Assembly what they find in the same.
The Superintendent of Angus and Mernes reported my Lord Regents Graces answer anent the Commissions of the Bishop of Glasgow and Superintendent of Lothian, That his Grace promised to take order therewith.
Anent the judgement of the brethren depute to the triell of the Bishop of Murrey, reserved to this days determination: The whole Assembly, according to the opinion of their said brethren, thought their judgement most probable; therefore calling in the said Bishop, demanded, How he had satisfied the act of Assembly, concerning the purgation of the slander: who answering, That he come before the Bishop of Sanct Andrews now resting with God, and satified the said act, whereof notwithstanding he had no witnesses to affirm his assertion. The General Assembly gave commission to their brethren, the Superintendent of Fife, Mr James Wilkie, Rector of Sanct Andrews, Mr William Cooke, Commissioner of Sanct Andrews, present, to take the saids Bishops purgation of the said slander the morne, in the said manner as he should have done before the Bishop and Kirk of Sanct Andrews; and because he is presently under medicine, that he may not travell for teaching to give proof of his doctrine, deputes their brethren, Mr John Winram, Superintendent of Fife, Mr George Hay, Commissioner of Aberdeen, Mr Andrew Melvill, to conferr and reason with him upon the points of religion the morne at seven hours, and what they find thereanent to report to the Assembly.
Anent the opinion of the brethren appointed to visite the process of the election and examination of the Bishop of Rosse: The whole Assembly, according to their judgement, found it meet, that he give new proof of his doctrine and literature in presence of the Assembly, upon Saturday at eight hours, and appointed to him the last part of the first chapter of Zechary.
Because in the Assembly holden in August last, ane act and ordinance was made for summoning of the Chapter and Bishop of Murrey, to hear triell taken of the process of his election, wherein notwithstanding nothing is done nor putt in execution be the brethren appointed to take triell therein, be reason of pretended ignorance of the said ordinance; therefore be universall consent of the brethren, it is of new concluded, That a citation be directed out against the said Chapter, and Bishop for his intress, for production of the said process in the Assembly nixt to come, to hear and see triell taken thereof, with certification if they compear not, the samine shall be declared null and void in the self; and for execution of the said summons, the said Assembly hath appointed Mr Robert Grahame, Commissioner of Rosse, now present and accepting the charge.
For redressing of the general complaint made be sundry brethren, That the exercise within towns is dishaunted, and that Bishops, Superintendents and Commissioners are not so diligent as duty requireth to attend the keeping thereof, the samine being so necessar a mean to the furtherance of the course of true doctrine: It is statut and ordained, That all Bishops, Superintendents and Commissioners within their bounds be carefull and diligent to enterteane the said exercise upon the days appointed thereto, and specially the Superintendent of Fife.
The Assembly appoints the morne at two hours to the Commissioners appointed to the conference with Mr Andrew Grahame, elect of Dunblane, to conferr and reason with him as was injoyned before. C.]
Forsameikle as the greatest part of the doctors and interpreters of the Scriptures that hes travellit in the interpretatioun and expositioun of the same, hes wrytin and comentit in the Latine tongue, and therfor it is thought necessar for sick as enters in the funtion of the Ministrie, to have vnderstanding and knowledge of the same: Therfor the Generall Assemblie of the Kirk hes votit and concludit, That, fra this tyme foorth, nane salbe admittit to the function of a Minister within the Kirk, be the Bischops, Superintendents and Commissioners of countreyis, but sick as hes vnderstanding in the Latine tongue, and are able to interpret the Comentares wrytin in the same language, and speake congruous Latine, except sick as be examination of the Generall Assemblie of the Kirk, for thair singular graces and gifts of God, salbe found able be them to vse thair function without knowledge of the Latine tongue.
[Seing not only it becomes the true Messengers of the Word of Salvation to bear in their conscience a good testimony of unfained humility and simplicity of their hearts, but also in externall habit and behaviour to represent the sobriety and humility of their minds, that the mouths of the godless generation which are opened to blaspheme the godly calling of the Ministry, may be shut up from just accusation and slandering of the same; therefore, be determination of the whole Assembly, it is statut and ordained, That all that serve within the Kirk apparell themselves in a comely and decent cloathing, as becometh the gravity of their vocation, and that they conforme their wives and families thereto, that no slander nor offence arise to the Kirk of God therethrough. And to the effect it may be notified to the whole brethren, what ought to be eschewed in apparrell, the Assembly hath injoyned the loved brethren, John Areskine of Dun, Superintendent of Angus and Mernes, Mr Andrew Hay, Commissioner of Ransrew, &c., Mr James Lowson, Minister of Edenburgh, Mr John Winram, Superintendent of Fife, Mr George Hay, Commissioner of Aberdeen, to advise thereupon the morne at six hours in the morning.
Forsamikle as it is considered, that the playing of Clerk playes, comedies or tragedies upon the Canonical parts of the Scripture, induceth and bringeth with it a contempt and prosanation of the same; therefore C.] It is thoght meit and concludit, That no Clerk playes, comedies or tragedies be made of the Canonicall Scripture, alsweill new as old, neither on the Sabboth day nor worke day, in tyme comeing; the contraveiners heirof, (if they be Ministers) to be secludit fra thair functioun, and, if they be vthers, to be punischit be the discipline of the Kirk: and ordaines ane article to be given in to sick as sitts vpon the policie, that, for vther playes, comedies, tragedies, and vthers profane playes as are not made vpon authentick partes of the Scripture, may be considderit befor they be proponit publicklie, and that they be not playit vpon the Sabboth dayes.
Anent Ministers proceiding to the mariage of parties, laufull impediment being proponed vnto them, quhilk afterhind is tryit and found to be of veritie: The haill Assemblie referris the discipline to be vsit against sick persons, to the Bischops, Superintendents and Commissioners of the countreyes quher they serve.
[Anent the report of the Bishop of Murrey his purgation for the slander of fornication, as well before his inauguration as sensyne, and sicklike of his doctrine: The Superintendent of Fife, one of the brethren appointed to that effect, reported, That the said Bishop was content to purge himself before the said Superintendent and Kirk of Sanct Andrews, if it be not found in the books, that he had not purged himself of before, and since his inauguration; and because he is under medicine and sickly, and cannot presently give specimen of his doctrine, desired a delay. The Assembly as of before, ordaineth the same Commissioners appointed as of before, to pass to the said Bishop the morne, and to report his purgation upon the first head of the slander of fornication before his inauguration, and to conferr with him in his doctrine according to the ordinance preceeding.
Anent the supplication given in to the Generall Assembly be Mr Thomas M'Kalyean of Crichtonhall, one of the number of our Soveraign Lords Colledge of Justice, making mention, that where upon his late supplication presented in their last Generall Assembly, touching his not admitting to the holy Sacrament of the Supper, they, be their act and ordinance, ordained Mr Robert Pont, Provest of the Trinity Colledge, the Ministers of Leith and Cannongate with the Kirk of Edenburgh, to take triell, if his remaining in Edenburgh a certain time of the late troubles was be compulsion, &c.; and if it was so found, to mitigate their act, &c.: For taking of the which triell he hath insisted often times, and they conveening together have putt no end thereto, but for some good consideration, as he supposes, hath remitted the cause unto their Wisdoms: wherefore most humbly beseeking them, since his remaining within this town is notoriously knowen to have proceeded from compulsion, just fear and dreadour, that they would take such order, as he may be admitted to the nixt communion which is to be celebrate in this town. The said Mr Thomas being personally present, and the Commissioners appointed in the last Assembly for taking triell, If the said Mr Thomas remained in the town of Edenburgh for just fear and dreadour, which might fall in a most constant man, compearing be Mr James Lowson, Minister of Edenburgh, and their process being read and considered in open Assembly, the said Mr James, in name of the Kirk of Edenburgh, being required, Why the said Kirk admitted not the said Mr Thomas to the communion, answered, For two causes; first, Because the Kirk of Edenburgh received none that remained within the town in time of rebellion, without first compearing before them, and submission of them to the Kirk; and secondly, That he was ane elder and bare office within the said town. The Assembly notwithstanding having considered the qualification of the said Mr Thomas just fear remaining within the said town, voted and concluded the said Mr Thomas oath to be taken, If upon just fear he remained within the said town, and bare office, as said is; who being called on, and re-entring, declared in his conscience, That he remained, as said is, within the said town, and bare office therein, for most just fear and dreadour, which might fall in a constant man: Therefore the said Assembly taking consideration of the said Mr Thomas declaration, as said is, ordains the Kirk of Edenburgh to admitt the said Mr Thomas to the nixt communion and participation of the Sacrament to be celebrate within this town; the said Mr Thomas appearing before the pulpit of Edenburgh in his own gown, and making repentance for his said offence in the face of the congregation; and thereafter giving to the poor the gown, wherein he maketh the said satisfaction, or else the price thereof.
For reading and answering the bills: The brethren appoint Mr Patrick Adamsone, Minister of Pasley, John Brand, Mr James Melvill, Mr Robert Montgomery, to conveen the morne at six hours, and so to continue till the samine be answered. C.]
Anent the difficultie proponit vpon the presentatioun of Mr Andro Grahame, presenting him to the Bischoprick of Dunblane, vnder the name of ane preacher, although he had bein none: The Kirk finds that finall conclusion is not ȝet had, That all Bischops sould be first preachers, and alwayes, if he be qualified, the presentation to be obeyit; and ȝet, for farther tryall, appoints him to exercise vpon Wednisday nixt in the Magdalene Chappell before the Bischops, Superintendents and Ministers that may be present, and speciallie the Minister of Edenburgh, and so many of the Chapiter as may be ther, at ten houres afternoone, vpon the beginning of Romans 5.
[Because it is generally complained be the brethren, that the Acts of the Assembly concerning universally the whole Kirk, as also sundry questions coming in dayly use in particular Assemblies, and resolved in the Generall Assemblies of before, are not come to their knowledge, which were most necessar to be known and notified to the whole brethren, that none should pretend ignorance thereof: For remeed hereof, C.] The Assemblie hes willit thair lovit brether, Mr Robert Maitland, Deane of Aberdeine, Robert Pont, Provest of the Trinitie Colledge, Johne Brand, James Carmichaell, [Minister of Hadington,] to take travell in visiteing and pervling of the saids acts; and sick as are generall with the Generall Assemblies, to marke and note the samein, that thereafter they may be drawin and extractit out of the bookes, that all pretext of ignorance may be tane away.
[Anent the policy and jurisdiction of the Kirk: The Generall Assembly of the Kirk ordains the brethren that hath travelled and written in this argument, to meet the morne at seven hours in Mr James Lowson his chamber, and to conferr their labours and writing, to be presented thereafter to the whole Assembly.
The Generall Assembly of the Kirk nominateth any two of their brethren after specified, whom it shall please my Lord Regents Grace to accept, to wit, Mr Robert Pont, Provest of the Trinity Colledge, Mr Andrew Hay, Commissioner of Cliddisdaill, Mr Patrick Adamsone, Minister of Pasley, Mr John Row, Minister at Sanct Johnston, John Duncanson, Minister of the Kings house, Mr Andrew Melvill, Principall of the Pedagogie of Glasgow, in the place of Mr Alexander Arbuthnet, Principall of the Colledge of Aberdeen, and Mr John Spotswood, Superintendent of Lothian, to concurr and reason with my Lord Regents Grace his Commissioners upon the jurisdiction and policy of the Kirk, at such time as they shall conveen; and what beis condescended to be his Grace, ordains them to remain and await thereupon, as they will answer upon their obedience to the Kirk: and after that the said conference is ended, the saids Commissioners to bring the copies thereof with them in all provinces, to be showen to the Ministers of the same, to the effect they may be the better resolved, when matters shall come to open reasoning.
Anent the ordinance given to Mr John Winrame, Superintendent of Fife and his collegues, to take the purgation of the Bishop of Murrey concerning the slander of fornication, conform to the acts of the Assembly made of before, and to conferr and reason with him upon the heads of religion: The Assembly as of before appointed the said Bishop being present, the morne to make his purgation of the said slander to the Superintendent of Fife and his collegues depute be them before thereto, and ordaineth them to report their opinion of his knowledge in the Scriptures to the rest of the brethren, with his purgation, the same day.
According to the ordinance and appointment of the Generall Assembly, for tryall of the doctrine and ability of Mr Alexander Hepburn, elect of Rosse, the said Mr Alexander, in assembly of the greatest part of the brethren, exercised upon the last part of the thrid chapter of Zechary, as was enjoined to him be the Assembly; and after removing out of the Assembly, the brethren with one consent approved the said exercise and doctrine, and praised God for the same.
The Assembly ordaineth ane article to be given in to them that reason upon the policy and jurisdiction of the Kirk, that a law be made, That no Bishop be elected to a Bishoprick be the Chapter, before he give proof of his doctrine before the Generall Assembly, and triell be taken be them of his doctrine, life and conversation: And, in the mean time, the said Assembly discharges and inhibites all Chapters, that they proceed not to the election of any Bishop, as said is, without triell taken before of his doctrine and conversation before them; and thereafter he report his testimoniall of the said Assembly to the Chapter, that thereafter they may proceed to his election.
Forsamikle as it is complained be diverse within the Kirk, that such as were Papists, and have since the Act of Parliament made consession of their faith, have notwithstanding as yet no ways participate of the holy Supper of the Lord, pretexing vain excuses, wherethrough it appeareth that they were never in heart truly converted to God: Therefore C.] It is statute and ordainit, That the Bischops, Superintendents and Ministers in all parts, admonisch sick as were papists, and hes sen the Act of Parliament made confession of thair faith, and notwithstanding hes no wayes ȝet participate the holy Supper of the Lord, to participate the Sacrament with the rest of the congregation; and if they dissobey, to be haldin as relapse, and to proceid aganis them as relapse with the sentence of excommunication.
[The brethren having consideration that their brother Mr John Spotswood, Superintendent in Lothian, is become sickly and not altogether able, in his own person, presently to visit the whole bounds allotted to him in Commission; and understanding that their brother Mr James Lowson, Minister of Edinburgh, is purposed to pass through the Countrie and visit the said bounds, hath thought meet and ordained the said Mr James to support and aid the said Mr John in his office of visitation, and to make such supplie to him therein as he goodly may to the next Assembly.
Alexander Arbuthnet, burgess of Edinburgh, presented to the Assembly certain Articles for printing of the English Bible, quherof, with the answers of the brethren, the tenor followeth.
The Articles given in to the General Assembly concerning the Printing of the Bible, with the answers of the Kirk thereto.
Imprimis, Anent the godly proposition made to the Bishops, Superintendents, Visitors and Commissioners in this General Assembly be Alex ander Arbuthnet, Merchant burgess of Edinburgh, and Thomas Bassanden, Printer and burgess of the said burgh, for printing and setting forward of the Bible in the English tongue, conform to the Proof given and subscribed with their hands: It is agreed betwixt this present Assembly and the said Alexander and Thomas, That every Bible which they shall receive advancement for, shall be sold in albis for four pound thirten shilling 4 pennies scotts, keeping the volum and character of the saids Proofs delivered to the Clerk of the Assembly.
Item, For advancement of the godly and necessary work and furtherance thereof, and home bringing of men and other provisions for the same: The Bishops, Superintendents and Commissioners bearing charge within this realm, underwritten, viz. James Archbishop of Glasgow, Moderator, &c., have in presence of the said Assembly faithfully bound and obliged them and every one of them, That they shall travell and do their utter and exact diligence for purchasing of such advancement as may be had and obtained within every one of their jurisdictions, at the hands of the Lords, Barrons and Gentlemen of every paroch; as also with the whole Burrows within the same; and shall try how many of them will be content to buy one of the saids volumes, and will advance voluntarly the foresaid price, whole, or half at the least, in part of payment, and the rest at the recept of their books; and shall try what every burgh will contribute to the said work, to be recompensed again in the books in the prices foresaid; and so many as be content to the advancement of the work foresaid, that the said Bishops, Superintendents and Visitors collect the saids summs and inroll the samen with their names what every one of them gives; which roll subscribed with their hands, and money, shall be sent be them to the said Alexander and Thomas, betwixt and the last of Aprile nixt to come, and shall receive upon their deliverance of the saids summs and rolls the said Alexander and Thomas handwritt; to the effect they and their cautioners may be charged for the said books, conform to their receipt.
Item, That every person that is provided of old as well as of new, be compelled to buy a bible to their paroich kirk, and to advance therefore the price foresaid, and the said prices to be collected and inbrought be said Bishops, Superintendents and Visiters within each bounds and shire within their jurisdiction, betwixt and the last day of June; and because the said act appertains and is expedient to be ratified be my Lord Regents Grace and the Lords of the Secret Council, and an act of Council to be made thereupon: The Assembly ordains Mr David Lindsay, Minister of Leith, Mr James Lowson, Minister of Edinburgh, and Alexander Hay, Clerk of Council, to travell with his Grace and Lordships for obtaining the samine, together with the priviledge of the said Alexander and Thomas for imprinting of the said work. The Kirk ordains the said Mr James and Mr David to travell with Mr Andrew Polwart and Mr George Young, or any of them, for correcting of the said Bible, and to appoint a reasonable gratitude therefore at the cost of the said Alexander and Thomas.
Item, The Kirk hath promised to deliver the authentick copy, which they shall follow, to them betwixt and the last day of Aprile.
Item, For reforming of the said work be the said Alexander and Thomas; they have found cautioners, Archibald Seinyeur and James Norvell burgess of Edenburgh, with themselves conjunctly and severally, that they shall deliver sa many books as they sall deliver advancement for perfecting of the said work, which shall be, God willing, betwixt and the last of March the year of God 1576 years; and the said Alexander and Thomas are bound and oblidged to releive them. Sic subscribitur Alexander Arbuthnet with my hand, Archibald Seinyeour, James Norvell with my hand, Thomas Bassanden with my hand.
Answer of the Generall Assembly to the saids Articles in their order.
To the first article, answered, Referres the process to the Counsell.
To the second, The Kirk promises faithfully.
The Kirk gives Commission to the persons following, to wit, to Mr Robert Pont, Mr James Lowson, Mr David Lindsay, Mr James Carmichell, Mr Andrew Polwart, Mr Peter Young, or any three of them, to oversee every book before it be printed, and lykways to oversee the labours of others that have travelled therein, to be given in to the printing betwixt and the last of Aprile.
Forsamikle as there is expectation had of a Parliament to be shortly, whereunto sundry things are to be proponed be the Kirk, which of before would be ripely resolved be common judgement and opinion of the whole brethren: C.] It is thought meitt [and expedient be uniform resolution of] the haill brether, That the ministers of Edinburgh and Leith give warning and advertisement to the Bishops, Superintendents and Commissioners of Countreyis, aught dayes before the Parliament, to the effect that they may warne the rest of their brethren to be present, to consult and put in deliberation sick things as salbe thoght, after good advyse, to be proponit to Parliament: which Convention salbe comptit for ane Assemblie.