Acts and Proceedings of the General Assemblies of the Kirk of Scotland, 1560-1618. Originally published by [s.n.], Edinburgh, 1839.
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A. D. M.D.LXXVI.
The Generall Assemblie conveinit at Edinburgh, the xxiiij day of October 1576: Wher there was present the Bischops of Glasgow and Dumblane, Superintendents, Commissioners of Provinces, Townes, and Vniversities. Mr John Craig [Minister of Aberdeen] Moderatour.
[In the tryal of Bishops, Superintendents and Commissioners, Mr Andrew Clayhills, Commissioner of Tiviotdale, was complained upon, That, after he had discharged the Minister of Ankrom to baptize a mans child, who had an idol in his house, he himself came after, and caused the said Minister to pass out of his pulpit, and baptized the bearne, whereupon a shisme followed in his congregation: 2dly, He had refused to give forth and edict, as the Synodall Assembly had ordained, to summond persons who had not repaired to the Communion: 3dly, He would not be tryed be the Synodall Assemblie, as they were be him, but said that he would be superior over them: Fourthly, That he restored two Readers who were suspended be the said Assembly, within eight days after their suspension, without their advice. To the first, he answered, He baptized the said bearn, becaus after that George Johnston, Minister, had resused to baptize him at his command, the woman who bear the bearn, conceived displeasure and dyed; whereupon her husband conceived a deadly seed against the Minister, and would not suffer him to baptize the bearne; alwise, after promise taken to put away his idol, for eshewing of greater inconvenience, he baptized the bearn. The 2d and 3d he denyed. As to the last, He restored the Reader with consent of the brethren.
Mr George Hay, Commissioner of Cathness, at the desire of the Assembly, rendered up his commission, as also did the rest of the Commissioners who were present. Mr Andrew Hay, John Duncanson, Mr Peter Watson, Mr John Row, were not only willing to give up their commissions, but also craved to be exhonered therof. C.]
Mr John Row, David Lindesay, Patrick Adamsone, were directit fra the Assemblie to sute my Lord Regents Graces presence at this Convention, or vthers authorizit with his commissioun.
[The brethren directed to my Lord Regents Grace] reportit, That the charge of the Kirk came so suddenlie [to him] that he could not be present, nor addresse his Commissioners thereto: Alwayes, if the Kirk thinks meitt, he sall appoint certaine of the Counsell to conveine with the Commissioners quhilk the Kirk sall appoint, at sick tymes as the Kirk sall think good, to conferre vpon sick things as may further the glorie of God.
[Forsamekle as the Assembly preceeding had given commission to some of the brethren to consult upon the matter of the Policie of the Kirk, and to report their judgment contained formalie in writt to this Assemblie, wherein some travels have been taken be the brethren, and something penned: C.] It is thought good be the Kirk, That sick things as are alreadie pennit anent the Policie of the Kirk, as was ordainit be the last Assemblie, should be revisit, and vther things quhilk salbe presentlie given in, sightit and put in good forme [and order:] And to that effect the Kirk requeists my Lord Chancellar, the Laird of Lundie, Mr Andro Hay, Andro Melvill, James Lowsone, Johne Durie, Robert Pont, James Wilkie, Rector of the Vniversitie of Sanct Androes, Johne Row, George Hay, Clement Litle, to conveine at afternoone, and daylie dureand the Assemblie, at sick hours as they aggrie vpon, to conserre vpon the things already pennit, with vthers quhilk wilbe given in, and advyse therevpon, collect together in good forme, and present the same to the Assemblie, befor the dissolving therof.
Because of the multitude of the bookes of Commissionars quhilks are to be examinat in the Generall Assemblies, and large tyme spendit therin; besyd sick as are deput thereto knows not the proceidings of the saids Commissioners sa weill as thair Synodall Assemblies: Therfor, it is decreit and statute be the Kirk present, That the bookes of the Visitors and Commissioners be tryit and sein in there Synodall Assemblies, and subscryvit be the Clerks therof, and the most part of the said Assemblie, and reportit againe to ilk Generall Assemblie be the Commissioners, that the Kirk may consider thair diligence in thair offices.
[The Assembly remembring the Bishop of Murrey his admission to stand yet under question, and that he, with his Chapter, was ordained to have been summoned to sundrie Assemblies, to have heard trial taken of the said process, with certification, if they compeared not, the samen should be declared null and void in itself in tymes coming, and yet nothing done, hath ordained summonds to be direct, summoning him, with the Chapter foresaid, To produce the said process, and hear trial taken therein, the second day of the next Assembly, with certification, if they compeared not, the same shall be declared null and void in the self in times coming; to be execut be their brethren, Mr George Hay, &c.
Forsamekle as the dishaunting and intermission of Exercise almost every where is greatly lamented, and the chief reason thereof is for lack of penaltie and punishment of such as either should prophesie themselves, or occupy the second place of Addition: Therefore C.] The Assemblie present hes [thought meet and] ordainit, That all Ministers and Reidars within aught myles, or vtherwayes at the good discretioun of the Visitor, sall resort to the place of Exercise ilk day of Exercise, and namelie the Ministers that sould prophecie, and that sould adde: Quherin if either of these two failzie, That, for the first fault, in presence of the brethren of the Exercise, vpon thair knees they consesse thair offence; That, for the second, they make the lyke submissioun before the Synodall Assemblie; if they incurre the thrid, That they be summoned befor the Generall Assembly, and receive discipline for their offence; and if they fall in the fourth sault, That they be depryvit of thair offices and functiouns of the Ministrie.
The Kirk gives commission to the Laird of Dunne to summound Mr James Fotheringame befor him, and to take tryall of the slander of haynous adulterie betuixt him and Margret Lindesay, and of ane pretendit mariage alledgit solemnizat and compleit betuixt them, and to report his proceiding heirintill to the next Generall Assemblie; with power also to him, to charge the said Mr James and Margret Lindesay to separate themselves sra vther, quhill tryall be takin of the said slander, under the paine of excommunication; and if they dissobey, to excommunicat them: And, in the meane tyme, in respect of the contempt of the Kirk, in not making his purgatioun of the said slander befor the said Superintendent, being thereto summoned, the Assemblie present suspends him sra all functioun and office within the Kirk.
Anent the propositioun of certaine brethren of the Assemblie, declarand that the Regents Grace hes presentit Mr Patrick Adamsone to the Bishoprick of Sanct Androes, and that, be the ordinance of the Assemblie, Bischops sould be tryit befor them, befor they be admittit be the Chapter, Requyreand both the counsell and advyse of the Kirk herein: The said Mr Patrick being present ansuerit, That my Lord Regents Grace had dischargeit him to proceid farther in this matter, in respect he said act and ordinance of the Kirk is not accordit on; and therfor he wald not midle farther and make instance therein; quhilk ansuer the Kirk thocht sould be given be the Chapter to my Lord Regents Grace.
[The Assembly thought meet, that Mr Patrick Adamson, Mr John Row and Mr David Lindsay notisie to the Regents Grace the order to be taken for the Visitors of Countries, and what number the Assembly thinks good, according to the division of the bounds, with the names of the Visitors, if he shall require; desiring provision to be made for them, and to returne his Graces ansuer again.
The brethren direct to the Regents Grace, to know his Graces will concerning the Visitors, returned his answer, That he would be advised with the rolls and the Collectour. C. & B.]
[The Assembly continueth all the Commissioners that were appointed in the last Assemblie, except Mr John Gairdin, in their offices till the next Assembly; and in place of the said Mr John Gardin, gives commission to John Vre to visit the bounds appointit to the said Mr John of before.
Mr Andrew Hay protested, That he be not oblished to farther than he may doe reasonably upon his own expenses, otherwayes accepteth not the commission.
The same day, C.] Alexander Hay, Clark to the Secreit Counsell, presentit to the Assemblie certaine questiouns, quherof the creveit decision for the better expedition of the platt; declaring it to be my Lord Regents Graces will, at the least so many as now may [goodly] have resolutioun; [that others of greater importance and difficulty be reserved to better opportunitie.]
[The Questions are not extant in the Register of the Assembly, but the tenour of them found in a certain copy, followeth:—
1. Ought there to be any degrees of dignitie, and order among Ministers, in respect of learning, age, or places where they make residence.
2. May Elders, Deacons, Ministers once elected, and accepting the charge, leave the same again during their lifetyme.
3. Shall the order of the Elders, and Deacons be alike in every parish, as well without burgh, as within; in little parishes, as mekle; as well where there wants a Minister, as where there is one; sall their power and authority be in every particular parish alike, and their number alike.
4. Ought any teinds or dueties be sought from the parochiners that want ministration.
5. Resteth the power of excommunication with the Minister, Elders and Deacons of every particular Kirk; or is it requist, That they receive advice and direction thereanent from the Archbishop, Bishop, Superintendent, Commissioner or Visitor of the Diocie.
6. How many of their names and offices are tolerable in Gods Kirk; and what is the difference between them.
7. Shall he that overseeth the other Ministers, whether he be provided for term of life, or for a tyme, do things him alone, or shall he have any Counsell, Assessors or Chapter.
8. How sar may the Ministers, Elders and Deacons of every particular kirk and parish proceed; and in what causes.
9. What cause properly belongs to the decision of the particular Assembly of any Diocie, Shyre or Province; who are subject to conveen thereto, how oft, and at what places.
10. How many Generall Assemblies ought to be within a kingdom; be whom they should be convocat; for what cause; what forme of summoning and of proceeding; who sall be President; and how many sall have power of voting; upon what matters may the Generall Assemblie intreat; what executions and pains upon the acts and decreets; what persons ought ordinarly to be present thereat; what paines against them that ought to come, and absent themselves; how far may be proceeded, in case the greatest part that should come, compear not; and whether may the sewer number conveening, give law to the greater being absent.
11. Who sall occupie the place of the Ecclesiastical Estate in the Kings Parliaments, Conventions and Counsels, and how many.
12. What is the proper patrimonie of the Kirk.
13. Sall all Ministers livings be alyke in quantitie, because they are thought to be alike in dignite.
14. He who is thought worthy to preach the word and minister the sacraments, Is he not also worthy to be promoved to any benefice, seing it is thought there is no preserment of dignitie among Ministers in respect of anie qualitie.
15. Sall benefices be conferred to particular Ministers in title, or fall the rents of all come to a common collection, and be distributed at the discretion of the General Assemblie of the Diocie.
16. Shall the Diocese, or provinces and the paroiches continue accord ing to the present division of them; or if there appeareth any alteration requisit, be whose authority ought it to be done.
17. What are the causes, and what sall be the manner of suspension and deprivation of persons being in the Ministrie from their functions and livings, and whether shall the proces … or shall the person accused have a lybell to answer unto, and what execution sall follow upon the sentence.
18. Shall deposition from the office and sunction induce also deprivation from the benesice and living, and what forme of process in that behalf.
19. Whether dilapidation of the rents of the benefices, non residence, pluralities, committing of slaughter, adultery, simony and such detestable crimes deserve deprivation of persons provyded to benefices, and what manner of judgement therefore.
20. What is Simonie.
21. If non residence of persons bruiking benefices, and occupying of ordinary offices in the Kirk, merits deprivation, why should not the order as well extend to them provyded of old, as to them provided since the Kings coronation, considering whatever is unlawfull against conscience, and contrar the will of God at this present, hath been wrong and unjust in all times preceeding; and the longer unjust possession continues, it heapeth the greater damnation upon the possessors.
22. Whether may any man be both a Minister, and a Master of a school, or Provost of a Colledge.
23. Whether may a man be both a Bishop, and a Lord of the Seat.
24. Whether may a man be both a Minister and a Procurator or Man of Law, a Sheriff, a Toun Clerk, a Notar or a Consistorie Clerk.
25. Whether may a man be both a Minister and a Commissar of the Consistorie.
26. Whether may a man be both a Minister and a Sheriff or Justice Criminall, or Provost, Bailiss or Seargant of a toun.
27. Whether may a man be both a Minister and a Reader, or an officer of armes, or a Lord or Lairds stewart, grieve, pantryman, or porter.
28. Whether if a man may be both a laird or landed man, and therewithall a Minister or a Reader: in case the Kings proclamation come, or that he be summoned upon assises or inquiests in criminal or civil causes, ought he to pass to the warrs, and keep the Shireff and Justice Courts; or is he, be any law, exeemed, in respect of his ministration or reading.
29. In case the Minister or Bishop conquess lands to be holden of the King, or other superior, for personal service in the warres or sicklyke, how may he of conscience discharge both the one and the other function.
30. Shall payment of the thrids be perpetual, or for a time.
31. What benesices presently ought to pay thrids, and what benefices none.
32. What provision for the wives and bearnes of the Ministers deceassing, and how long shall they continue with the manses and gleebs unremoved.
33. Who shall be judges in causes of matrimony and divorcement, of testaments, of the right of patronages, of benefices, of tinsell and deprivation from benesices, of the payment of Ecclesiastical rents and livings, of slanders.
34. How many sufficient and worthy Ministers to preach the word and minister the sacraments, is there presently within the realme of Scotland, and what are their names, at what kirks were it meetest to place them, what living and stipend to appoint to every one of them, and whether meeter to provide them for terme of life, or but from Assembly.
35. What shall be the condition of kirks and parochies, where no Ministers are presently to be placed.
36. Shall the Readers be presently discharged, or not; what are there names, and how many of them esteem ye worthy or unworthie to be continued.
37. A man provyded of old to a benefice, and now serving at another kirk for a stipend, Whether is he just possessor of the benesice, or may he be compted mercenarius for his stipend.
38. What difference to accept the title of a benefice of four parish kirks annexed to it, and to accept the service and ministration of four several parish kirks that are no greater bounds nor number of parishioners than the other.
39. Are the articles and forms accorded upon at Leith, in Januar 1571, altogether to be followed, or altogether presently to be casten off and rejected; or what indifferent thing were proper and convenient to be followed.
40. Is it against conscience and good order, That one man shall be appointed Reader to sundrie kirks, or that one mans name sall be twise written in the book to two sundrie places, that he may thereby get two stipends.
41. Whether hath the City of Geneva committed sacriledge, or not, in appointing of the rents and teinds of their Bishoprick to their common theasure, paying but a certain portion thereof to the stipends of their Ministers.
42. Since be the lovable custome of the primitive Kirk, the Kirk rents were distributed in four parts, viz. to the schools, the poor, the upholding of kirks, and the Minister or Pastor, Ought not the rents of all benesices and stipends now possessed and received be Ministers, and the rents of all lands, or teinds conquissed and possessed be them, either of the former kirk rents, or be meane thereof be the new reformed Kirk of Scotland, semblablie be divided, and applyed according to this order of the primitive Kirk. C.]
Anent the qualities of Readers, It is thought meit, That the haill Reidars within this realme salbe examinat and tryit de novo in thair Synodall Assemblies; and if, after examinatioun, they be found to want the qualities prescryvit in the Booke of Discipline, to be deposit, and removit fra thair offices: And, sicklyke, That no Reidar within this realme minister the holie sacraments of the Lord, except sick as hes the words of exhortatioun, in their mouths.
[For reiding of the bills and supplicatiouns given in to this Assemblie, and answering thereof, the Assembly hath named and deput their brethren, Mr James Melvill, Mr Andrew Mylne, Mr James Carmichael, John Duncansone. C.]
[Anent the proposition made be Mr Henry Kinross, Advocat, in name of our Soverain Lords Session, putting the Assemblie in remembrance of an act and order made be them, for in bringing of the persones defunct, desireing the Kirks answer, what had been done herein: The Assembly and Commissioners present understanding be the greatest part of the brethren, that the said act was not put in execution for lack of knowing of the same; after public reading thereof, ordaines the said act and ordinance to be keeped and observed against the next Assemblie; and the names of the persons deceised since the date hereof, to be reported to the Generall Assembly, conforme to the said ordinance: And to the effect, that the same may be universally keeped and observed in times coming, It is thoght meitt, that in every parochin, ther be persons appointed to break the earth, and to make sepulchres, that sall notisie the names of the persons deceissit to the Reidars, that they may present the same to the Commissioners, to report the same to the Generall Assemblie. C. & B.]
Forsameikle as the Kirk and Commissioners present, advysedlie considdering the great prejudice and hurt done to the Kirk of God be beneficit persons within the Ministrie, that setts sewis and taks of thair benefices and ecclesiastical livings, lands, rents, teinds and fruites of the samein, defraudand not only their successours of that quhilk justlie sould pertaine to them, and quhervpon they aught to be sustainit; bot also bringand vpon the Kirk be thair inordinat and corrupt dealing, infinite slanders and inconvenients: Therfor, with vniformitie of votes and myndes, they have concludit, That no beneficit person within the Ministrie, Bischops or vthers, sall sett fewis or taks of their benesices, or ecclesiastical livings, lands, rents, teinds and fruites of the same, or any part therof, to quhatsoevir person or persons, without the advyse and consent of the General Assemblie of the Kirk: and, sicklyke, that no Minister subseryve nor give thair consent to the saids fewis or taks, in any wayes, quhill they sie the consent of the Assemblie
For better resolution of the questiouns given in be Alexander Hay, Clerk of the Secreit Counsell, and expeditioun of the matter of the Policie; The Kirk present hes ordainit Mr Johne Craig, William Christesone; George Hay, John Duncansone, Andro Melvill, James Melvill, Andro Hay, David Cunnighame, Johne Row, James Greig, James Lowsone, David Lindesay, Robert Pont, David Fergusone, Robert Hamiltoun, Johne Robertsone, Johne Erskine of Dunne, ane of the Visitours of Augus and Mearnes, if he beis present, to conveine the nixt day after the dissolution of this Assemblie, and visit and considder the heids of the Policie, advyse and consult diligentlie therupon, and vpon the saids questiouns, and to report their judgements theranent, conceivit formallie in wryt, to the next Assemblie.
[Anent the heads and articles of accusation given against Mr Thomas Hepburne: The Assembly committs the visitation of the same to their brethren, Mr John Row, Mr James Lawson, Mr David Lindsey and Mr Andrew Melvill, and to receive his answers to the said accusations afternoon. The same day the accusations with their answers being reported to the Assembly at afternoon, and read, and the said Mr Thomas inquired, namely, of the doctrine taught be him, That no Soul entereth in heaven, where Christ is glorisied, while the latter judgement, if the same be damnable and erroneous, or not: Answered, That he had learned the samen opinion out of certain ancient Doctors of the Kirk; nevertheless if a better reason be brought to resute the samen, he will not adhere contumaciously to his own witt, but yield to the better reason: for which purpose he desired he might have conference and privie concurrence of certain of the learned brethren, namely, of Mr John Craig, Mr John Row, Mr Andrew Melvil, Mr Robert Pont, Mr George Hay, Mr James Lawson; wherunto the Assembly accorded, and appointed the said brethren to conveen the morne, at 8 hours in Mr James Lawsons house, with the said Mr Thomas to that effect, and to report their judgements upon his answers, as well concerning the said article and doctrine, as other articles of accusation laid to his charge, at ten hours. C.]
Anent the summounding of the Moderatour, and Mr Andro Hay, Commissioners of Cliddisdaile, to compeir befor my Lord Regents Grace and the Princes Counsall, bringand with them the act and ordinance, made be the Assemblie for excommunication of the Captaine of Crawsurd, with the act quhervpon the same proceidit, that the veritie might be knawin: The Kirk ordaines thair brether to appear befor my Lord Regents Grace and Counsell, and give obedience, and to report quhat beis done in that matter.
Returneand to the Assemblie fra his Grace and Counsell, they declarit, That, in respect they producit not the acts and ordinance forsaid, quhilk they excused be shortness of the charge, and occupatioun of the Clark, his Grace and Counsell hes suspendit the said sentence of excommunicatioun quhill the production of the saidis actis; quherfor they protestit for the libertie of the Kirk.
[Anent the supplicatioun given in be the toun of Dumferline, for liberty to be granted them to play upon a Sunday afternoon, a certain play which is not made upon the Canonical parts of the Scripture: The Assemblie refuses to give libertie to the Bailzie of Dumfermling to play upon the Sonday afternoone, a certaine play quhilk is not made upon the Canonicall parts of the Scripture, in respect of the act of the Assemblie past in the contrair; exhorting the Bailie of Dumfermling, presenter of the bill, to requiest the toun to keep the ordinance of the Assemblie. C. & B.]
[Anent the doubts and difficulties proponed in the matter concerning Mr Robert Hamilton, Minister of Sanct Andrews, and Provost of the New Colledge thereof, to witt, Which of the two offices, Provestrie, or Ministrie of Sanct Andrews, he should retain and enjoy; seeing it is Found and thought he may not brook both. The Assembly and Commissioners present, after long and prolixe reasoning had in the matter, considering the said Mr Roberts first entrie in the function and office of the Ministrie of Sanct Andrews, quherto, without advice of the Assemblie, he had unite the said provestrie: and seeing, be the act of the last Assembly, the said two offices are not found compatible in his person, Decerns and ordaines the said Mr Robert Hamilton to remaine still with the Ministrie and Pastorship of Sanct Andrews, and to watch and attend zealously and diligently upon the cure and charge thereof, as becometh a faithful and vigilant pastor to doe to his flock, and in the name and fear of God, to leave and cast off the said office and charge of Provestrie of the New Colledge, as an impediment, stay, and hinderance to his office and calling of the Ministrie, under the pain of the censures of the Kirk. C. & B.] Mr William Skene, Commissioner of Sanct Androes, in name of the New Colledge and electours of the said Mr Robert to the said Provestrie, dissentit fra this sentence; quherunto the said Mr Robert adherit, in respect, as he alledgit, the Kirk could not discharge him of the Provestrie, and that he could not beare the burden of the haill Kirk of Sanct Androes in his awin person.
[According to the ordinance of the Assembly, the brethren depute to the reason and conference with Mr Thomas Hepburne, anent the Article of doctrine teachit and professit be him, That never Soule went to heaven before the latter day, and to give their judgement upon his answer thereto, with the answer made to the remanent articles laid to his charge, reported, That they had entered in reasoning and conference with the said Mr Thomas, concerning the article of Doctrine above written, and laid before him sundrie testimonies of Scripture, and reasons confuting and evicting the said error, which always have not satisfied the said Mr Thomas; yet if the Assemblie present will damne the same article of doctrine, as erroneous and heretical in whatsomever professing the same, the said Mr Thomas will give place to their judgment, and leave his opinion therein; which report being alswa allowed be the said Mr Thomas to be his mind and declaration: The Kirk, after reiding publiclie of the said Article, of ane mynd and voyce but exceptioun, altogither damnit and detestit the said Article, and adjudgit the samein to be heretical, false, and erronious, repugnant and contrarious to the plaine and evident word of God, reveilit in his sacred and holy Scriptures, foundit and having the ground only upon curiosity of mens witts, without assurance of Gods law; and, therfor, inhibites all and quhatsumevir persons publicklie or privatlie to mantaine and defend the said errour, vnder the paine of the censures of the Kirk; leavand alwayes the said Mr Thomas to privie conference with sic brether of the Ministrie, as he thinks good, for his resolutioun in the said matter: And alwayes for consideration presentlie moveand the Kirk, discharges the said Mr Thomas fra entering in the Ministrie, quhill the Kirk be farther advisit. C. & B.]
[Ordaines the Ministers of Edinburgh to try diligentlie and examine Forsyth, proponed to the brethren presentlie to enter in the Ministrie, if he be qualified and apt for the charge thereof, and able to discharge the dutie and office of a Minister, without the knowledge of the Latin tongue; and if they after trial, do find him meet for the samen, notwithstanding the inlaike of the knowledge of the said tongue, to give their testimonial therupon to the Commissioner of the countrie, within whose province he shall happen to receive the cure, that they may admit him; otherwife reject and repell him. C.]
Anent the proposition of the brether of the Chapter of Sanct Androes, declarand that my Lord Regents Grace hes presentit Mr Patrick Adamsone to the Bischoprick of Sanct Androes; and they beand of the Chapter, in respect of the act and ordinance of the Generall Assemblie, delayit thair proceiding therin, desyreand the Assemblie present to proceid to the tryall of him, conforme to the said act: The said Mr Patrick being present and requyrit be the Assemblie, If he wald submitt himselfe to the tryall and examinatioun of the Assemblie, and receive the office of a Bischop according to the injunctions of the Kirk, and conditiouns qualified in the Register of the Kirk: He ansuerit, He could not doe the same.
[Questions resolved by the whole Assembly.
Q. Whether if salt pans, mylnes, and other labouring, which drawes away innumerable people from hearing the word of God, should be permitted to goe on the Sabbath day; and, Whither the Assembly should not oppone themselves hereunto, and make strait acts in the contrair. C.] A. Salt pannes, mylnes, and vther labouring, quhilk drawes away innumerable peiple from the heiring of the word of God, sould not be permitted, and the violaters to be debarrit from the benefites of the Kirk, quhill they make thair repentance, and the continuers therin to be excommunicat.
[Q. Whether if a man or a woman divorced for adultery ought to be admitted to the second marriage; and if the Kirk ought not, like as they have inhibit the Ministers to marrie any such, so plainly to give their judgments in this case, and to declare it to be unlawfull, specially in respect of the great inconveniences that follow daily thereof; namely, some forge causes of adultery; some make causes indeed; and some be collusion corrupt judgements; and all in hope of a new marriage, which daily they attain unto be some hyreling smaikes, who are but suspended therefor for a while; swa that if provision be not shortly made hereunto, no man may brooke his wife, nor no wife her husband longer than they lyke; and a barbarous confusion unknown to the very Ethnicks and Turks shall enter in among us. C.] A. The Kirk will not presently resolve the question, Whither if a man or a woman divorcit for adulterie, aught to be admitted to the second mariage; but inhibites all Ministers and Reidars to marie any sick persons, vnder the paine of deprivatioun fimpliciter, without any restitutioun to thair offices in tymes cuming; and the persons so joynit, to be chargeit to separate themselves, conforme to the Act of the Assembly in August 1574.
[What forme of repentance shall be injoyned to a man that committs both adultery and incest. C.] A. Ane man that committs both adulterie and incest, sould be doublie punished.
[Whether if a Minister or Reidar may tap aile, bear, or wine, and keep an open tavern. C.] A. Ane Minister or Reidar that taps aill or beir or wyne, and keips ane opin taverne, sould be exhortit be the Commissioners to keip decorum.
Whither if burialls sould be in the kirk or not: Ansuerit, Not: and that the contraveiners be suspendit fra the benefites of the Kirk, quhill they make publick repentance.
[What punishment shall be injoyned to an adulterer relapsed: C.] A. Relapse in adulterie is doublie punischit.
Anent the requisition of the Assemblie made to James Bischop of Glasgow, to give his ansuer, If he will accept of the charge of ane particular flock, and visitation of sick bounds as the Kirk sall think good and appoint to him, conforme to the articles concludit in the Assemblie: The said Bishop being present exhibite to the Kirk his answer heirto in wryte, as followes.
Forsameikle as it is not vnknowin to ȝour Wisdomes, that ȝe gave commission and charge to certaine learnit, godlie, and discreit brether of the Ministrie, and vthers, Elders of the Kirk, to commoun, treat, conclude, and agrie with certaine vther Noblemen, Commissioners from the Kings Majustie, Johne vmquhile Erle of Marre his Regent; at the quhilk Conference it was agreit be the haill Commissioners, asweill of the King as of the Kirk, anent the name, style, power and jurisdictioun of the Bischops, with the forme and manner of thair institutioun, Ordainit to stand and remaine quhill the Kings Majesties ȝeirs of minoritie, or, at the least, quhill a Parliament sould vtherwayes decyde; and, conforme to the ordour therin conteinit, he was receivit in the said Bischoprick of Glasgow, and made his sermoun to the Kings Majestie, in things pertaining to his Hienes; and swa if he sould change or alter any thing pertaining to the ordour, manner, or priveledges, or power of the samein, I sould be afrayit to incurre perjurie, and might be callit befor the Kings Majestie, for changing ane Member of his Estate: bot to the effect ȝour Wisdomes may know, he desyres not to be exeimit from travell, and bestowing of sick gifts as God hes communicat to him, he is content, at thair command, to haunt to ane particular kirk, and to teach therat, quhen he dwells in the Sheriffdome of Air, and that be discretioun and sight of the brethren of that Countrey; and quhen he is in Glasgow, to exerceise lykwayes at some part, quher the brethren ther think most necessarie, and to abyde thair judgment of his diligence in that behalfe, without binding him ony wayes, or prejudging the power and jurisdictioun quhilk he receivit with the said Bischoprick, vnto the tyme prescryvit in the said Conference, that farder ordour be tane be the haill Estates theranent; at quhilk tyme he salbe content with all good reformation as salbe fund expedient. Quhilk ansuer beand red, the Kirk continuit, and continews the said Bischop in the visitation of the bounds quhilk he had befor, to the nixt Assemblie; and as to the particular flock, [the Assemblie is content he take the care of a particular flock,] as is mentionat in his ansuer, to the nixt Generall Assemblie.
Anent the forme of repentance of fornicators: The Kirk and Commissioners present hes vottit and concludit, That ane of the dayes of thair appeirance to make repentance for thair offence, be on ane Sonday at ten houres befor noone, in tyme of preaching, in presence of the congregation; and that double fornicators receive double punishment for thair offence.
[In respect of the absence of John Vre, one of the Commissioners appointed to the visitation of Fife, the Generall Assemblie ordaines David Ferguson, one of the said Commissioners, to supply his room in entering of the Ministers and Readars within his bounds, in the book of assignations, hac vice tantum.
The same day, Mr James Lowson, Minister of Edinburgh, reported to the Assemblie and Commissioners present, an acquittance and discharge of the money collected for the help and supply of the exiled brethren of the French Kirk in England, with a roll of the names of the persons contributing thereto, and the quantity of every mans contribution, desiring the one and the other to be inregistrat and booked in the Register of the Kirk, ad perpetuam rei memoriam; which desire the Assemblie thought good, and ordained, and ordaines the samen to be registred among the Acts of ane Assemblie, to be a testimonial to the posterity and age to come, of the good mind and zeal of the charitable persons, that succoured the necessity of their said brethren in the day of their extremity: The tenor of the said exoneration and rolls shall appear hereafter. Further, the said Mr James exponed and shewed, that, since the delivery of the said money, be the diligence and procurement of the Visiters and Superintendents, some more money is brought in and received be him; willing the Assemblie to declare what shall be done therewith, and how the same is thought to be imployed: The Assemblie thinks it meet, That the samen shall be keeped be the said Mr James, and remain in his hands, till order be tane herewith. C.]
[Apud Haliruidhous penultimo Octobris Anno m vc lxxvj.
Jacobus Dominus Regens.
Archibaldus Comes Angusie.
Comes de Buchane.
Joannes Dominus Maxwell.
Joannes Dominus Hereis.
Jacobus Episcopus Glasguensis.
Adam Episcopus Orchadensis.
Robertus Commendatarius de Dunfermling.
Commendatarius de Culros.
Marcus Commendatarius de Newbottill.
Anent the complaint maid to my Lord Regentis Grace and Lordis of Secreit Counsale be Johnne Carmichaell of Medoflatt, makand mentioun, That quhair vpoun proclamatioun of bandis for mariage to be completit betuix him and Elizabeth Scott his spous; they beand fre personis, thair mariage wes solempnizat in the moneth of Apryle last bipast, conforme to the ordour of the Kirk; ȝit be quhat occasioun he knawis not, Maister Williame Livingstoun thair Minister, allegeand him to haue command of the Bischop and Commissionar within the Diocie of Glasgow, to admoneis the said Johnne Carmichaell to abstene fra his said spous, vnder the pane of excommunicatioun, quha myndis to proceid therto: ssor remeid quhairof he presentit himself to the present Generall Assemble, desyrand the said command to be dischargeit, in respect of his said mariage standand vnreduceit, or dischargeit null be the Juge Ordinar; nottheles Maister Johnne Craig, Moderator, opponit in the contrair, allegeand the Kirk to haue maid ane generall act and ordinance anent all personis allegeit adulteraris, quhairby thay haif ordanit the said Johnne Carmichaell to abstene fra his said spous, ay and quhill it be decernit and tryit quhidder thair mariage be lauchfull or not, vnder the pane of excommunicatioun: Quhilk ordinance is and mon be repugnant to the law of God, insafar as they are mareit conforme to the ordour of the Kirk, with all solempniteis requirit therto; swa of the law it is presumit to be lauchfull, and neids na forder declaratour; and gevand it wer not lauchfull, ȝit the said adminitioun is evill vsit aganis the said Johnne befoir cognitioun be tane theranent, quhilk is not ȝit done: And attour, gevand they haue ony sic act, that act is bot prevat, na publicatioun being maid thairof, nor ȝit authorizit be Parliament, as it aucht to be befoir it tak effect; and thairfoir is null with the said executioun following thairupoun; nottheless thay will not faill to proceid to the said excommunicatioun aganis all ressoun, without remeid be prouidit. And anent the charge gevin to James Bischope of Glasgow, Maister Johnne Craig, and Maister Andro Hay, to haue comperit befoir my Lord Regentis Grace and Lordis of Secreit Counsale this day, bringand with thame the said command of excommunicatioun togidder with the act quhairupoun the famyn procedit, to the effect that thay mychy vnderstand the trewth of the said matter, and thairefoir tak ordour thairin as appertenit, lyke as at mair lenth is contenit in the said complaint: The said Johne Carmichaell comperand personalie with Maister Henry Balfour his prelocutour; and the saids James Bischop of Glasgow, Maister Johnne Craig, and Maister Andro Hay, being alsua personalie present; the said Maister Andro wes requirit to produce the said act quhairupoun the said command of excommunicatioun, gevin be him, procedit: And he refusand, allegeand the same not ȝit to be extractit furth of the bukis of the Generall Assemble of the Kirk, my Lord Regentis Grace thairfoir, with auise of the saids Lordis, suspendis the executioun of the said act and command following thairupoun, in tymecuming, vpoun the said Johnne, ay and quhill the samyn be produceit befoir his Grace and Lordis foirsaid, and that the said Johnne be warnit to the productioun thairof, as efferis.—Reg. Sec. Conc.]