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 haldin and begun the 6 day of August 1575, in the Ovir Tolbuith of Edenburgh: Wher ther was present the Bischops of Galloway, Dunkeld, Brechine, Dumblane, Glasgow, and the Bischop of the Yles, Superintendents of Angus and Lowthiane, Commissioners of Countreyes and Townes, with the Ministers. Mr Robert Pont, [Provest of Trinity Colledge] Moderatour.
According to the ordour and custome of the Assemblie, it was proceidit to the examination and tryall of the lyves, conversatioun and doctrine of Bischops, Superintendents and Commissioners of Provinces.
[The Bischop of Glasgow was exhorted to be diligent in preaching which was neglected be him. C.] Johne Durie, ane of the Ministers of Edinburgh, protests that the tryall as Bischop prejudge not the opiniouns and reasons, quhilks he and vther brether of his mynd hes to oppone agains the said office and name of a Bischop.
[The Bishop of Dunkeld removed, was delated, That he dwelt not within his diocese; That there is no exercise observed there; That he wrote a letter to George Lundie, Minister of Crammond, to serve equally four kirks every Sunday about, under the pain of deprivation; That the ordinance concerning the Earle of Athole is not keeped; That he had delapidat the patrimony of the benefice. Reentering, he answered, He made little residence in any one place, as may appear be his book of visitation, and was oftener in Dunkeld, since the last Assembly, than in any other place. 2d, That the exercise is holden in Perth, and that his Ministers goe thither. To the 3d he answered, That a part of the benefice he had sett in few to the possessors of the ground, without diminution of the rental. Being inquired, if he had sett any victuall for silver, which before was not sett for money, answered, He sett none in Lothian for money; but within the bounds of Dunkeld he had sett victual for silver, viz. a nineteen year tack of 36 chalder of teind victuall for 5s. 8d. the boll to the Earle of Argile. To the 4th, produced two of my Lord Athols bills, but granted he had not excommunicat him. C.]
The Generall Assemblie ordaines the Bischop of Dunkeld, betwixt and nixt Assemblie, to resort himselfe with his familie to Dunkeld, and make residence ther, vnder the paine of excommunication.
The brethren in ane voyce finds great fault with the dilapidatioun of his benefice; and ordaines the acts of the Assemblie to be visit and to be considderit, if ther be any penaltie appointit for the said dilapidatioun, betuixt and the sext day of this instant, and continues thair farder determina tioun thervpon to the said day.
[The pretended excuse in not excommunicating of the Erle of Athol, is rejected as frivolous, and the Assembly decernes, That, for not obedience to the ordinance of the Assembly, he hath incurred the pains contained in the act and ordinance made thereupon.
The Superintendent of Angus and Mernes was complained upon, That he admitted ane Mr Robert Merser, Minister at Banquhar ternitie, unable to discharge his cure: Answered, The said Mr Robert was admitted with the advice of his brethren of Aberdeen, and was tryed be them. The Assembly ordaineth the Principal of Aberdeen with John Craig, Minister there, to take tryall of his doctrine and literature.
The Commissioner of Aberdeen complained upon, That the Readers and Ministers in the countrey keep certain patron and festival dayes, and on these dayes conveen, pray and preach, and foster the people in superstition. Item, That there is no discipline keeped within the diocese. To the first he answered, That some Ministers of the countrie think it lawfull, but for his own opinion he wished it should be taken away by an ordinance of the Assembliy: As for the 2d, referrs him to his books.
Mr Robert Grahame, Commissioner of Cathness complained upon, That he had not been diligent in his visitation; That he hath moe offices nor he may discharge. Item, there is a marriage made betwixt the Erle of Caithness daughter and the Laird of Innies, she being divorced for adultery from her husband, and, that he gave command thereto. To the first he answered, That he was compelled to come there four tymes in the year, and grants that he was in Caithness but once: That he is denuded of the Commissionarie, and has no commission for Rosse, albeit he support the countrie this year. As to the marriage, Grants he gave to her such liberty as the Kirk gives to others; and that she has made her repentance bareheaded and barefooted. The brethren discharge him of his com miossion, and ordaineth, That he be not admitted again till farther advisement.
The Assembly appointed some brethren to reason with the Bishop of Dunkell and such others as he will joine to him, anent the dilapidation of his benefice, and to see why the said dilapidation is not cause of depriva tion. Afternoon C.] The Bischop of Dunkeld compeirand in the Assemblie, desyrit that he might have Mr Johne Grahame, Advocate, to reason for him in a matter of dilapidation; quhilk beand thoght a new thing, and by custome of the Assemblie, was finallie votit and concludit to be ane novatioun and to introduce some contradictioun; and sand him not to be admittit nor nane vthers quho are not of the functioun of the Kirk; and therfor ordaines him to ansuer in his awin person, the 9 of this instant, or to choose any of the brether of the functioun of the Kirk to reason for him.
[Mr Thomas Howeson produced an act of the Synodall Assembly of Murrey, bearing that there was no question moved at the Bishop of Murrey his election, and what purgation he would make of the slanderous bruit raised upon him and the Lady of Ardrosse; and farther excused the said Bishop his absence, because he was slandered, in the last Assembly, be Mr Walter Balcanqual, as fornicator with the Lady Ardross. The Assembly judgeth the excuse frivolous. C.]
Because certaine of the Bischops and Superintendents compeirit not the first day of this Assemblie, it was thoght good to call them, and the absents to be notit.
[The Superintendent of Fife complained upon, C.] That none of the Vniversitie of Sanct Androes is present, nor nane to come heir; [That the Kirk of Ryne hath no Readers, by reason of a controversie among the Readers; That the exercise is taken away fra Sanct Leonards to the parish kirk, and yet neither preaching nor exercise keeped that day. To the first he answered, That it is not his duty to name Commissioners for the University, but it belonged to themselves; and that they had nominat Mr Robert Hammilton their Minister: To the 2d, That the matter being remitted to him, he found no ground, and has remitted the same to the Assembly; quherin they have decerned the possessor to remain at the said kirk; and sincesyne the parishoners agreed to another thrid person: To the 3d, That there was an order set down for the exercise, and a roll of the exercisers written; and not the less no exercise has been keeped since Pasche by past a year; whereof he desired the brethren to provyde some remedy. The Assembly ordained the exercise to be restored again to Saint Leonards Colledge, and the Fryday preaching to be keeped; but yet Mr Robert Hammilton to be heard, when he comes to the Assembly. Sicklyke the Assembly ordaines the said Superintendent to place the said John Pitcarne in place of the Reader, and to give him his letters of concurrence, such as were given be the unquhill Bishop of Sanct Andrews, conforme to their decreet.
Mr Peter Watson, Commissioner of Nithsdale complained, That the Toun of Dumfries, on Ʒuile day last by past, seeing that neither he nor the Reader would read nor use doctrine upon these dayes, brought a Reader of their own with tabron and whisle, and caused him read the prayers; which exercise they used all the days of Ʒuile. This complaint the brethren thought good should be intimat to my Lord Regents Grace, that he may find remeed herein.
The said day, Alexander Bishop of Galloway presented to the Assembly the tenor of his satisfaction, decerned to be performed be him, and decreet of the brethren, and desired to know, if he had satisfied the sentence presented be them: Which they found satisfied and fulfilled in all points, according to the contents thereof.
Anent the apperraling of the Ministry omitted in the last Assembly: The Assembly appoints their loving brethren, to whom commission was given of before, to conveen the morne, at 7 hours, in Mr James Lowson, Minister of Edenburgh his house, to pen such apparrelling as is to be eshewed be them, conform to the act of the last Assembly, and to report the samen to the brethren the morne. C.]
The brether appointit to pen thair judgement anent the habite of the Ministers and thair Wyfes, presentit the same to the Assemblie, quhilk was found good; and all the brether serving the functioun of the Kirk, ordaynes to conforme themselves and thair wyves therto, and ordainit effectuouslie to follow the same: Quherof the tenor followes in thir wordes.
Forsameikle as a comely and decent apparrell is requisite in all, namelie in the Ministers and sick as beares functioun in the Kirk: First, we thinke all kynd of brodering vnseimlie, all bagaries of velvett on gownes, hoses or coat, and all superfluous and vaine cutting out, steiking with silks; all kynd of costlie sewing on pasments, or sumptuous or large steiking with silks, all kynd of costlie sewing or varinat hews in sarks, all kynd of light and variant hewes in cloathing, as red, blew, ȝeallow, and ficklyke, quhilk declares the lightnes of the mynd; all wearing of rings, bracelets, buttons of silver, gold or vther mettall; all kynd of superfluitie of cloath in makeing of hose; all vsing of plaids in the kirk be Reidars or Ministers, namely in tyme of thair ministrie and vsing thair office; all kynd of gowning, coating, or doubliting, or breiches of velvett, satine, taffettie, or sicklyke; all costlie gilting of whingers and knyves, or sicklyke; all silk hatts, or hatts of divers and light collours: Bot that thair haill habite be of grave collour, as black, russet, sad gray, sad browne, or searges, wirssett chamlet, growgrame lytes wirssett, or sicklyke: and to be short, that the good word of God be them and thair immoderatenes be not slanderit; and thair wifes to be subject to the same ordour.
[Anent the terme appointed to the Bishop of Dunkell to reasone in his own cause be himself or some of the brethren of the function of the Mi nistry, concerning the dilapidation of the benefice: The said Bishop being present, declared he had sought assistance of some of the brethren of the Ministrie, and could have none; and therefore desired the Articles of his accusation to be given him, and a delay to the next Assembly, that he and some brethren may be advised therewith for their answer; and to that effect produced his supplication in writt. The Assembly found that no further delay should be given, but till Thursday next to come; and appointed the Bishop of Glasgow, Mr George Hay, Mr John Row, Mi nister of Perth, to give their advice to him, and to reasone for him the said day.
The same day, James Nicolson, Collector Clerk, exhibited to the Assembly a roll of the Ministers that had wasted the patrimony of their benefices, and made no residence at their kirk: whereof the particular catalogue followeth. John Webster alias Watson, Parson of Camusbie, hath dilapidat his benefice; Alexander Urchart, Parson of Olrick, has dilapidat his benefice, and waiteth not on his charge; George Sinklar, Chancellor of Cathnes, waites not on his cure; Gilbert Gray, chanter of Cathness, and Mr George Monro, waite not on their cure; Mr John Gordon, Minister of Speinie and Keith, Mr Patrick Dowglass, Treasurer of Murrey, Mr Alexander Gordon, Chancellor, await not on their cure; Andrew Spence, Minister at Forg, Drimblait and Colsamand cannot await on his cure, because he occupyeth an servile office in my Lord Forbess house of Drummynoure, far distant from his charge; Mr John Barton, Minister of Clunnie Kilmavenock, Mr James Hering, Provest of Methven, Mr George Ramsay, Minister of Fouldon and Chirneside, Mr William M'Gawin, Commissar of Wigton, Person of Minto in Tiviotdale, William Bonkle, Vicar of Hadinton, Robert Dowglass of Mordingtoun, James Stewart, Parson of Glenwhinie, James Stirling, who sold the Parsonage of Carstairs, Waltar Haddon, a new Person, awaite not upon their cure; John Kinnaird, Vicar of Carstairs, awaiteth not on his cure, and hath slain the Laird of Corston; Mr John Colvill, Chanter of Glasgow, and Minister of Kilbryd, Mr Patrick Adamson and Mr Andrew Polwart, Ministers of Paisley, Mr William Chirnside, Parson of Luss, wait not on their cure; Mr John Rynd, Parson and Vicar of Cumnock, has sett the same for fourty pound; Mr Archibald Sinclair, Parson of Zuddick, James Preston, Parson of Daylie, Mr John Walker, Minister of Monigase, await not on their cure. The which persons being called, The said George Monroe, Mr James Herring, and Mr Patrick Dowglass compeared. The Assembly appointed the eleventh of this instant for them to answer, and to take order with the absents. C.]
It appeirit to some of the brether that the lang continuance of Commissioners in thair offices, sould induce some ambition and inconvenience within the Kirk; and therfor was thocht a matter to be consultit in this Assemblie, Whither it were best that the Commissioners of Provinces sould be changit, fra ȝeir to ȝeir, fra the countreyes quher they travell to vthers. After long reasoning, the greatest part of the Assemblie thought best, quher men may be had abill to vse the Commissioun, that ane ȝeirly exchange sould be. [And for the present transports Mr George Hay from Aberdeen to Cathness, and in his room placeth Mr John Craig, Minister of Edinburgh: And sicklyke appoints Mr David Lindsay to support the visitation of Murrey, and consider the Bishops diligence, with the complaints of the Ministers of the countrie against him, during his residence there: And sicklyke, Mr John Row to visit the bounds there appertaining to the Bishop of Dunkelds jurisdiction, upon the Bishops expenss: And sicklyk continueth the Superintendents of Fife and Lothian in their offices respectivé. Mr Andrew Hay, Commissioner of Rensrew, desired to be exonered of his Commission, but is exhorted to continue in his charge till the next Assembly: Mr Peter Watsone continued Commissioner of Nithisdale, and Mr Andrew Clayhills, Commissioner of Tiviotdaill. Sicklyke the Assembly continues Mr John Duncanson, Minister of the Kings house in his Commission of Galloway till the next Assembly, and exhorts the Bishop of Galloway to assist him, when he comes in the Countrie.
For visitation of the Books: The Assemblie appointed their lovit brethren, William Christeson, Minister of Dundie, Mr Gilbert Gardin, Mr James Greg, Mr Roger Gordon, John Fullerton, Minister of Sanquhar, Mr Andrew Mylne, George Scott, Mr Thomas Biger, Mr James Carmichall, Minister at Hadinton, to conveen at 7 hours the morne, in the Upper Tolbuith, and to continue till the same be perused.
For reading and answering of bills and complaints: The brethren appoint Mr David Lindsay, Minister at Leith, David Ferguson, Minister of Dunfermline, John Duncanson, Minister of the Kings house, Mr Andrew Melvill, Principal of the Pedagogie of Glasgow, Mr Alexander Arburthnet, Principal of the Colledge of Aberdeen, and Mr Walter Balcanqual, one of the Ministers of Edinburgh, to meet at two afternoon, in the Over Tolbuith, and so forth to continue till the same be answered and resolved.]
Ordaines Mr James Lowsone, James Bishop of Glasgow, Mr Andro Hay with Alexander Hay, Clerk of Privie Counsell, to conceive ane article in wryte, concerning the vnioun of paroch kirks, to be presentit the morne to the brether to be considerit be them.
[The General Assembly of the Kirk enjoyned their beloved brethren, Mr David Lindsay, Minister at Leith, Mr John Row, Minister at Perth, and Mr Andrew Hay, Commissioner of Ranfrew, to form and pen the Articles to be presented to my Lord Regents Grace in writt, with such possible diligence as they goodly may, and hereafter to produce them to the whole brethren to be considered, if the same shall be found good to be directed to his Grace: who being depeshed from the Assembly, returning again, presented the said Articles to the said brethren; which being read were found worthie and expedient to be presented to my Lord Regents Grace: always if any other articles shall be thought good be the brethren to be eeked hereto, they are desired to exhibit the same, afternoon.
The General Assemblie of the Kirk all in one voice giveth commission and power to the right honourable and their loved brethren, James Bishop of Glasgow, John Areskin of Dun, Superintendent of Angus and Merns, Mr John Spotswood, Superintendent of Lothian, Mr John Row, Minister of Perth, and Mr David Lindsay, Minister of Leith, to pass to my Lord Regents Grace, and present unto his Grace the articles of the said Assembly, contained in writt and delivered to them, and, with all humility and dew deference, to require his Graces good answer thereto, conferr and reason with his Graces answer thereupon, and to report his Graces answer to the said articles, against the 12th day of this instant before the dissolution of this Assembly.
Followeth the tenor of the said C.] Articles to be presentit to my Lord Regents Grace.
Imprimis, For planting and preaching the word through the haill realme: It is desyrit, That so many Ministers as may be had, quhilks as ȝet are vnplaced, may be receivit, asweill in the countrey, to releive the charge of them that hes many kirks, as vtherwayes throuchout the haill realme; with Superintendents or Commissioners within these bounds quher Bishops not, and to help these Bischops that hes ovir great charge, and reasonable livings to be appointit to the forsaids; and also payment to them that hes travellit befor as Commissioners in the ȝeirs of God 1573, 1574, and so foorth in time coming, without the quhilk the travells of sick men will cease.
2. That sick impediments be removit away as makes hinderance to the progresse of the doctrine, sick as aboundance of vice in all parts of this realme vnpunishit, marketts vpon the Sabboth day, and Ministers troublit in the executioun of thair office.
3. That the ordour already tane toward the poore may be put in full executioun: And to that effect, that a portion of the teinds quhilk is thair awin patrimonie, asweill of the twa part as of the thrids, may be imployit for thair sustentatioun, according as necessity craves; and to this effect, that the Hospitalls quhilk hes bein of auld, may be restorit to thair awin vse, notwithstanding of any title made therof to vther persons; and also that sick ordinar almes as hes bein appointit foorth of Abbayis or vther benefices, be long consuetude, may be payit to the poore as of befoir.
4. Because the Schooles are the fountaine fra the quhilk Ministers must flow, That provision be made for them, not only for sick as remaines within the realme, but also for men of good ingyne, quhilk be the Kirk sould be found [meet] to visite other countreyes and Vniversities for thair furtherance in learning; and cheiflie for Glasgow, because it is new erectit, and hes not sick provision as vther Vniversities.
5. That sick assignatiouns as hes bein appointit be the Prince and the Kirk, and alterit without the advyse of the Kirk, may be repairit; and that, in tymes coming, sick assignatiouns as sable appoyntit, be not alterit without the advyse of the Kirk, vtherwayes no Minister salbe sure of his assignatioun.
6. Quher Ministers produces letters of horning to the General Collectour, vpon sick persons as are assignit to them for payment, the said collectour may be causit to make payment to the saids Ministers.
7. That all dayes that heirtofoir hes bein keipit holie, besydes the Sabboth day, sick as ȝoole day, Saincts dayes, and sick vthers, may be abolischit; and a civill penaltie against the keipers therof be ceremonies, banquetting, playing, sasting, and sick vther vanities.
8. That all sick Ministers or Reiders as, either be infirmitie or age, becomes vnable, may have thair stipends indureing thair lysetymes.
9. That the Clerk of Assemblie be ansuerit of the ordinarie stipend appointit to the Clerk of befor, namelie, in respect of his labours multiplied be wryting of the haill Ministers and reidars letters, asweill for ansuering them of thair stipend as of thair gleibs and manses, gratis; and that his name may be insert in the booke of assignatioun, with his stipend, as vse was; and sicklyke be ansuerit of the ȝeir bypast that he hes servit.
Anent the question proponit be certaine brether of the Assemblie of the haill Kirk, Whither if the Bischops, as they are now in the Kirk of Scotland, hes thair function of the word of God or not, or if the Chapiter appointit for creating of them aucht to be tollerated in this reformed Kirk: For better resolution heirof, the Generall Assemblie of the Kirk appoints thair lovit brether, Mr Johne Craig, [Minister of Aberdeen] Mr James Lowsone, [Minister of Edenburgh] and Mr Andrew Melvill, Principall of the Colledge of Glasgow, on that ane part; George Hay, [Commissioner of Cathness] David Lindesay, [Minister of Leith,] Johne Row, [Minister of Perth,] on that vther part, to conveine, reason and conferre vpon the said questioun, and to report thair judgement and opinioun thervpon to the Assemblie befor the dissolving therof, if they be resolvit betuixt and the same.
[Anent the term appointed to the Bishop of Dunkeld, to reason in his own cause concerning the dilapidation of his benefice, and to propound what defence he had therein, why the samen merits not deprivation: The said Bishop compearing in Assembly declared, That the setting of the tack of the 36 chalder victual for six shilling 8 pennies the boll (confessed be him before) to the Earle of Argile, was not voluntarly, and that divers tymes it repented him thereof; and yet, be the grace of God, is willing to have it reformed, either be favour and good will of my Lord Argile, or be process of Law, wherein my Lord Regents Grace had promised to him his assistance, as my Lord Justice Clerk being present could testify his Lordships good will therein; who lykeways, be a writing of his Grace direct to him, declared, he minded to travell with the Erle of Argyle, that it may be reformed, and desired my Lord Regents Graces requiest; That all farther process against the said Bishop should be intermitted, till the next Assembly. The Generall Assembly willing to satisfie my Lord Regents Graces suit and requeist, and looking, that be his Graces travell and diligence, and procurement of the said Bishop to be tane be him in this intermediat tyme, that matters shall take better fruit, and be reformed, hath continued and continues the said cause in the same force and effect as it is now, to the first day of their next Assembly; and the said Bishop is warned thereto.
Because of sundry acts and conclusions holden in the Assembly, for excommunication of the Erle of Athole, which notheless have not been put in execution, for which cause the Bishop of Dunkeld is presently suspended from his office: Therefore the Generall Assembly hath ordained a writting to be direct in their names to his Lordship and his Lady, requiring them, if they sute conserence or reasoning of any of the brethren, to choise three or four, with Mr John Row, Commissioner, appointed in these parts, whose conference and counsell they may have, and whom the saids brethren commands to give their consultation to them, that they may be resolved in the points of religion, betwixt this and Martimass next to come; and their meeting to be in Dunkeld and Saint Johnstoun: Which conserence being had, and they not resolved, as said is, betwixt and the said day, Ordaines the said persons with the said Mr John, to pronounce the sentence of excommunication against them: and if they refuse the said conference, ordaines the said Mr John Row, with assistance of the Superintendent of Angus and Mernes, the Superintendent of Fife, William Christeson, Minister of Dundie and Tibbermuir, to pronounce against them the sentence of excommunication within Dunkeld: and if they be stopped, or troubled there, that they may not pronounce the same, to execute and pronounce the samen in Sanct Johnstoun. C.]
Ordaines ane article to be made to the Lords of the Sessioun for Ministers and Reidars, that they may have expedition of thair process persewit befor them, that they be not abstractit from thair charges.
[The Commissioners direct to my Lord Regents Grace with the Articles of the Assembly, for receiving his answer thereto, reported, His mind was to ride shortly toward the borders; and because some of the articles craved the advice of the Council, which could not presently be had, desired therefore that the Kirk should give commission to some of the brethren to await upon his Grace and Council, and to reason and conferr upon the said articles, and receive answer thereof. The Assembly of the Brethren ordaines the said Commissioners, or so many as shall be present, to wait upon my Lord Regents Grace and Counsell, and to reason and conferr upon the saids articles, and to receive his answer thereof; and if either answer be not received, or that they be not present to receive the same, that they wait thereupon the first day of November next to come.
The brethren delated for not making residence at their kirks, and for wasting and dilapidation of their benefices, appointed to give answer this day, compeared. Mr George Monro his excuse, that he might not travell at his kirk for deadly feed, was accepted. Mr Andrew Young denyed that he served the kirks contained in his roll. Mr Patrick Dowglass granted he made no residence, be reason he had gotten nothing to serve for, and yet gave out a pension to a bearn to hold him at the School; and sicklyke sett the gleeb in few. Mr Andrew Polwart ordained to serve at Paslay, according to his promise made to the Bishop of Glasgow. C.]
The brethren appointit to reason and conferre vpon the functioun of the Bischops as they are now in this realme, and if thair Chapiters appointit for creating of them, be tollerable, and to returne thair judgement to the Assemblie, gave in thair opinioun as after followes, in wryte, viz. They thinke it not expedient presentlie to ansuer directlie to the first questioun; bot if any Bischop be chosen who hes not sick qualities as the Word of God requyres, let him be tryit be the Generall Assemblie de novo, and so deposit.
The poyntis quherin they aggrie concerning the office of ane Bischop or ane Superintendent.
First, the name of Bischop is commoun to all them that hes a particular flock over the quhilk he hes a peculiar charge, asweill to preach the word as to minister the sacraments, and to execute the ecclesiafticall discipline with consent of his elders; and this is his cheife functioun of the Word of God. Attour out of this number may be chosen some to have power to oversie and visite sick reasonable bounds, besydes his awin flocke, as the Generall Kirk sall appoint; and in these bounds to appoint Ministers, with the consent of the Ministers of that province, and the consent of the flock to quhom they salbe appointit; and also to appoint Elders and Deacons in every principall congregation quher ther is none, with the consent of the peiple therof; and to suspend Ministers for reasonable causes, with consent of the Ministers forsaids.
[Anent the proposition of my Lord Galloway to the Assembly, desireing their resolution, What is meaned be them be his suspension, Whether he be suspended from all preaching of the Word of God, as from all commission within the Kirk: The Assembly of the Kirk declareth, That no fault they will find, that he will preach truely the Word of God, albeit he stand suspended from commission of visitation; always exhorts him to concurre and help the Commissioner of Galloway in his visitation, for keeping good order and discipline within these bounds. C.]
Questio. What punishment deserves that Minister that maries persons refused be thair ordinar Minister, and that in respect theykeipit open house together vncontractit, and wald obey no discipline; and quher there ordinar Minister desyrit them to obey the discipline, they woundit him to the death; vpon the morne the said Minister maried them, without satisfactioun made to the Kirk for wounding thair Minister. A. Referres the punishment of this Minister to the punischment of Mr Patrick Creiche.
[Questio. Whether the contract of marriage used to be made before the proclamation of banns betwixt man and woman, should be made be words of the present tyme, The man saying to the woman, I take thee to be my wife, and the woman saying to her husband, I take thee to be my husband; or should there no contract or promise be made while the instant time of solemnization of the marriage. A. Let the order observed within the reformed Kirk of Scotland be keeped. C.] Parties to be maried sould come before the Assemblie, and give in thair names, that thair bands may be proclaimit, and no farther ceremonies vsit.
[Questio. Whither if the Kirk, be the law of God, hath power to cognosce and decern upon heresies, withchcrast, blasphemation of the name of God, and violation of the Sabbath day, especially upon the quiditie thereof; or whither if the Criminal Judge shall give sentence of death for such crimes, before the Spiritual Judge decerne upon the quidditie thereof. C.] A. The Kirk hes power to discerne and cognosce vpon heresies, blasphemation of Gods name, witchcraft, and violation of the Sabboth day, not prejudgeand the punishment of the civill magistrate.
[Q. When a bearn is gotten in incest, adultery or fornication, and the father is unknown fugitive, or will not recognosce the bearn to be his, Whither shall this bearn be baptized without delay, or shall the baptisme of it be deferred, till the father be found, and hold up his own bearn to baptisme, and satissie the Kirk; seeing that the Kirk may list no pains upon caution for such causes. A. This question would be conceived more distinctly.
Q. A man and a woman were in their parish kirk upon a Sunday, in presence of sundrie of the parishioners, publickly married, or hand fast be the Reader, and thereafter have mutual cohabitation together at bed and board, as married folks so reput and holden: The Minister of the same kirk, at the womans desire, a good space thereafter, leads a forme of divorce betwixt them, in this manner: He calls the woman before him, and causeth her swear that her husband had never carnal copulation with her, and thereupon, without asking farther question at the man, decernes them separat and divorced from other, the man always dissenting thereto, and still claiming her to be his lawfull wife: Whither is this forme of divorcement allowable in a reformed Kirk that hath received the Evangel; and if it be not, What correction deserveth the Minister, that usurpeth and useth this manner of process and judgment. A. This divorcement is not lawfull, and meriteth suspension, and the Minister to make publick repentance.
Q. If it be expedient, that there be in notable towns and congregations the best learned Ministers, and if there be not, that the same be resormed: That where men of good judgement are in some places, and their labours, as it were, lost, they may be transported to places where they may better edifie; and others of smaller judgement repair to their places where they are interessed, to serve. A. Referres to the discretion of the Bishops, Superintendents and Commissioners.
Q. What shall the Minister do, who is required to marry a man that has committed adultery in his wifes tyme, now his wife is departed, and he hath satisfied the Kirk therefore, and desires to be married upon another woman that he had in his wives tyme. A. Ordaines to form this question better.
Q. A woman hath committed incest with her mothers husband, and hath satisfied the Kirk therefor; and now the said woman desires to be married to another man, with whom she has committed fornication, What shall the Minister doe in this case. A. Let this be formed better, and this to be moved to the Regent.
Q. Whither an officer of arms is to be admitted to be a reader in the Kirk. A. Thinks it not convenient. C.]
[Q. Whither a ȝong man, after he hes lyin with a ȝong woman that is esteimit a virgine, na marriage preceidand, nor promise alledgit be her, be compellit be any particular Kirk, at the sute either of the woman or of the parents, either to marie her, or pay her tocher good. A. There is no law establischit, that the man should either marrie her or pay her tocher good. C. & B.]
Q. Whither if a Bishop absolutely, be his own authority, may change or transport Ministers from kirk to kirk at his pleasure, by their consents, and of the Kirk where they serve, or not. A. He may with advice of his Assembly.
Q. Whither bairnes gottin afoir marriage, the lawfull marriage following, are lawfull, or not. A. They are lawfull. C. & B.]
[Q. Whither if divorcement made by any other Commissars than the Commissars of Edinburgh, (the causes of divorcement being lawfully proven,) be lawfull or not. A. Impertinent. C.]
Q. What punishment salbe for ane Minister that baptizes ane murtherers bairne not of that paroch, on ane Monday not being ane day of preaching, and without repentance of the murtherer remainand at the Kings horne.
A. He deserves depositioun.
[Q. A certaine man with his complices ravisheth, and violently taketh away a woman; thereafter marrieth the said woman, without proclamation of bannes, neither solemnizes the marriage in face of the Kirk, but in privat house, Whether is the marriage lawfull; the bearnes begotten therein legittimat, or not; and what punishment to the Minister that so abuseth marriage. A. Referres to the answer made before.
Q. Whereas great inconveniences follow upon the refusal of certain Ministers, to administrat the Sacrament of the Lords Supper on Pasche day, such as the profanation of the same by privat persons, in prosane houses, If it be lawfull for any Minister to satissie the peoples appetit thereinto. A. Where the day is superstitiously keeped, it is not thought meet that the Communion be ministred that day. C.]
Q. If it be lawfull for any Minister to dispense with the number of dayes appointit for the repentance of incestuous and adulterous persons, in respect that the lyke obedience cannot be obtainit in all places. Na ansuer.
[Anent the supplication given in to the General Assembly be Alexander Arbuthnet, making mention, that where it is not unknown to your Wisdoms, what great work and charge I have interprised concerning the imprinting of the Bible; for accomplishment whereof, your Wisdoms understood, that the office of a corrector, his diligence and attendance therein is most necessar: And therefore I humbly desire your Wisdoms to requiest my Lord Abbot of Dumfermline to licentiat Mr George Young his servant, whom I think most fitt to attend vpon the said work of correctorie, to concurre and assist me during the tyme of my travell, to the effect that the notable work begune and interprised may be consummat and persyted in all points: The charges and expenses of his travells I shall reasonably deburse, conform to your Wisdoms discretion, so that the work may pass foreward and be decent, as the honesty of the same requires; whereunto I require your Wisdoms diligent answer: And, in like manner, it is not unknown to your Wisdoms, that for the furtherance of the same godly work tane on hand be me, the order is tane, that the Bishops, Superinten dents and Commissioners should diligently travell for collecting, inbringing, and execution of the charge of our Soverane Lords letters direct to that effect: In consideration whereof I earnestly desire your Wisdoms to command and charge every Ordinar within his jurisdiction, to put the said letters to due execution, and make me to be payed, conform to the tenor of the same, whereby the godly interprise of the samine may take full effect with expedition: And because your Wisdoms sufficiently understand, that the concurrence of my Lord Fewar of Orknay shall greatly help to the expedition of the said work within his Lordships bounds, I humbly desire supplication and requiest to be made to the said Lord, that he would, within the bounds of his jurisdiction, cause obedience and payment be made, conform to the tenor of the said letters; whereby I your Wisdoms servitour shall pretermitt no kind of diligence, expenses, or possible power in me lyeth, that so the said godly work may take full furtherance and effect to the glory of God and the weale of his Kirk.
The said supplication being read and considered be the said Assembly, they all in one voice give commission to the brethren appointed to present the articles to my Lord Regents Grace, to travell with my Lord Dumfermline for satissying the first article; and as concerning the rest, willingly condescends to the same.