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.LXXX.
The Generall Assemblie conveinit in the Ovir Tolbuith of Edenburgh, and begun the xx of October 1580: Quher there was present the Commissioners.
Exhortatioun made be Mr James Lowsone. Leits, Mrs Robert Pont, Andro Hay, Andro Melvill: the said Andro Hay, be pluralitie of votes, was chosen Moderatour.
[To the effect matters might proceed formally and with expedition, he desired certain brethren to be appointed to conveen with him at extraordinar hours, to give their advice with him, in matters to be proponed and treated during this Assembly. Left that any should conceive any offence be that kind of order, as heretofore, it is said, men have done, that they should presently propone some substantial reason for the mislyking thereof: The brethren in ane voice, after that no man had opponed in the contrar to the said order, desired him to nominat the said persons whose conference he craved; and appointed them to conveen in the Easter Kirk at seven hours in the morning every day and at two afternoon: Who nominated Mr Robert Pont, Mr James Lowsone, Mr Andro Melvill, Mr Thomas Smeitoun, David Fergusone, Mr David Lindsay, Mr George Hay, Mr Thomas Buchannan, Mr William Rynd, and the Commissioners of Edenburgh to that effect. C. & B.]
[The Laird of Braid, Mr David M'Gill, Mr Thomas Smeton, Mr David Lindsay, Mr Andrew Hay and Mr John Young were directed to the Kings Majestie to require his Hienes humblie, that he would direct some persons authorized with his Hienes commission to concurre with them in their Assemblie.
Item, To crave answers to the articles given in lately by the Assemblie to his Hienes and Counsell; and if a delaying answer be given, to crave that the Platt be superceded till they receive the said answer.
Item, To crave some order to be taken with Mr Nicol Burne.
Item, That order be taken with papists in the Kings house; to insist with his Hienes and Counsell, for calling of the letters wherewith the Commissioners are summoned before the Counsell, and for reasoning of that cause: and to report the Kings Hienes and his Counsells answer to the Assemblie. C.]
The Bischops of Sanct Androes, Glasgow, Aberdein and Murray beand callit, nane [of them] compeirit.
[The Commissioners being tryed; and Mr John Spotswood accused, That he had not resorted to the Assemblie at Dundie; and that he had not visited since the last Assembly: Excused the first be sickness; the other be shortness of tyme, and that he served upon his own expenses, as he had done these nine years.
Mr Andrew Blackhall removed, was accused, That he admitted an unqualified man to the Ministrie of Ettlestone: His answer, He admitted him only to be an exhorter, and that be advice of certain brethren; alwise he is now discharged of his Ministrie. The Assemblie findeth nor acknowledgeth no such offices in the Kirk of God, as they will not acknowledge any such in tyme coming; and findeth, That the said Mr Andrew, in this behalf, hath not done his duty.
Mr Patrick Gates found fault with, That Mr Thomas Cranston being within his jurisdiction, had ministred the sacraments without examination preceeding, and without his own parish; other tymes committs the examination of the people to Readers; baptizeth bearnes privately; that he had celebrat the Communion in Innerlethen on Pasch day to maintain superstition. He answered, He had taken order with him for baptizing of bearnes privatly; but as for the rest of the accusations, He understood not before.
The Assemblie giveth commission to the brethren of the Exercise of Edinburgh, to call Mr Thomas Cranston before them, and accuse him of ministration of the sacraments without his own parochine, without examination preceeding; and of committing other whiles the examination of the people to Readers; for baptizing of bearnes, and preaching in privat houses; for celebration of the Communion at Pasche and such days, to maintain superstition; and to try every head thereof: and after trial and due examination of the said crimes, to put order to him, according to the quality of his offence, and the acts of the Kirk; and what herein be done to report to the next Generall Assemblie.
Item, Full power and commission is given to the brethren of the Exercise of Edinburgh, to summond James Blackwood and Alexander Stevin to compear before them, and to accuse them of their usurpation of the Ministrie, after their lawfull deposition; and if they find they have usurped the said office, to put order thereto, for their contempt; and if they continue in their contempt and stuborness, to proceed with excommunication against them. C.]
Anent the report of the Kings Grace and his Counsells ansuer to the petitiouns proponit be word be the brethren of the Kirk yesterday: The brethren [directed to the King and Counsell] returnit [their] ansuer [following: As to the answer craved] to the articles [of the Kirk,] His Hienes and Counsell promittit to give resolute ansuer to the same the xv day of the nixt moneth, and to stay the Platt quhill then.
[Here wanteth in the Register the rest of the third Session, the fourth, fifth, sixth, and a part of the seventh, till the page 937, plucked out in the year 1584. C.]
In name of my Lord Lennox compeirit Mr Hendrie Keir, and salutit in his name the haill Kirk, declaring that his Lordship was most willing to have a Minister in his awin house, for exercise of the true religioun: and albeit he had promised at the subscriving of the articles of the religioun, to send for a Minister that had knowledge of the French tongue, yit be reason Mr Bowis had promised [that] he sould cause him be provydit of ane qualified Minister, according to his desyre, quhilk tuik no effect, and vtherwayes because also his desyre was, that rather the Kirk sould choose [and elect] him a sufficient pastour, the matter hes sensyne lyin ovir; willing heartlie that the Kirk sould wryte to some pastour of the French Kirk of London, for whose provision and good intertainment he sould be carefull: promising alswa in his name, that in the affaires of the Kirk, either in generall or particular, he sould imploy his good affectioun and labours as he sould be chargeit; desyreing that no vther opinioun sould be conceivit of him nor of ane man that meanes truely toward God. The Kirk present hes willit thair brother Mr James Lowsone to pen a wryting in their names to the Minister of the French Kirk of London, to the effect forsaid.
Anent the transporting of Mr Andro Melvill, Principall of the Colledge of Glasgow, to the Vniversitie of Sanct Androes, conforme to the Kings Graces wryteing direct to that effect: After some publick reasoning on the matter had on either syde, the Kirk referrit the farder disputation therof quhill afternoon. In the meane tyme, the questioun beand movit, If the Kirk might concurr with the Kings Majestie in transporting of Doctors fra ane Vniversitie to another for wechtie and necessar causes: The Kirk and Assemblie present, for the most pairt, vottit to the affirmative of the said questioun.
[Forsameekle as commission was lately given to the brethren of the Exercise of Edinburgh, to summond certaine apostats before them, and to take order with their defection, conforme to the commission granted to them for that effect; and that the brethren understand there be divers degrees of apostasie, which, according to the quality and weight, would be respected, and punished: The Assemblie hath ordained their brethren, to wit, Mr James Lowson, Mr John Craig, the Superintendent of Lothian, Mr Thomas Buchanan, to penne and put in form their judgements concerning the diverse ranks and degrees of apostats, with the order of discipline to be followed out against every one of them; and to be presented to the full Assemblie the morn at 9 hours. C.]
Anent the act made in the last Assemblie, concerning the damning of the pluralitie of kirks in ane Minister: The Kirk [has ordained, and] ordaines the same to be put in executioun be the Commissioners of Provinces, after the tenour therof, under the paine of dissobedience.
Anent the act made in the last Assemblie tuiching the Bischops: In respect that the ordour of the said act hes not bein followed out against the Bischops of Murray and Aberdein, conforme to the tenour therof, The haill Kirk, as of befoir, [hath ordained, and] ordaines the Commissioners of the Countreyes to put the said act to execution in all points, so farre as concernes thair part therof, and the Ministers, so farre as is appointed be the said act vnto them; vnder the paine of making publick repentance in face of the haill Generall Assemblie, if they be found to contraveine the said act: And as to the warning and suteing of the said Bischop of Murray, Ordains him to be warnit in Elgin publicklie in the kirk.
[Anent the report of the reasoning and conference had with the Bischops, be the brethren appointed thereto, according to the desire of the Assemblie: Mr David Makgill presented the samine in writt, which was read; and the registring thereof superceeded, till the full conference thereof had been made, and conceived in writt. In the mean tyme the said brethren were desired to proceed farther in their conference afternoon, and to report their proceedings to the Assemblie. C.]
Ordaines Mr Thomas Buchannan to summound the Bischop of Cathnes, and Johne Hepburne to summound the Bischop of Brechin, to compeir in the nixt Generall Assemblie, to give thair submission and assent to the speciall heids conferrit and aggreit vpon be the Bischops of Sanct Androes, [Glasgow,] and of the Yles, with the Assemblie, [to be conteinit expresslie in the summounds]; certifieng them and they compeir not, the Kirk will proceid with farder admonitiouns against them. And in cace that the said Mrs Thomas and Johne fulfills not the said ordinance, the Kirk hes decernitt against them, that they sall make publick repentance opinlie in face of the haill Assemblie.
The Generall Assemblie gives full power and commissioun to thair lovit brether of the Exercise of Edenburgh, with Mr Johne Craig, Minister of the Kings house, if he be present, to call the Bischop of Orknay befor them, and to charge him in name of the Kirk, to give submission and assent to the articles and heids aggreeit on betuixt the Bischops of Sanct Androes, Glasgow, and of the Yles, [and them;] and to receive his ansuer thervpon, to be reportit with the haill proceiding therin to the nixt Generall Assemblie.
Ordaines Mr Andro Hay to summound the Visitour of Argyle to compeir [before] the nixt Generall Assemblie, to ansuer vpon the vsurpatioun of the office of Visitatioun within the saids bounds, vnder the paine of dissobedience.
Anent the requiest made be the Commissionars of Perth to the haill Kirk, that in respect of the inlake of vmquhile Mr John Row, thair late Minister, ane notable man within the Kirk, and of the great necessitie the towne had to be provydit of a singular good man, both for doctrine and good discipline, That the Kirk wald favourablie grant to the placing of Mrs Thomas Smeitoun or Johne Craig ther. The Assemblie, considdering the many impediments why thair said brether might not be planted ther, gives to the said towne any of the Ministers following, viz. Mrs Andro Simsone, James Anderson, Johne Davidsone, and ordaines any of them that salbe best lyked of the said towne, the said Minister to be placit at the said Kirk.
[Anent the question proponed,] Whither if any Minister may be removit be the Generall Assemblie of the Kirk fra his particular flock, [without] consent of his flock, for good and necessar causes: The Kirk ansuerit therto affirmativé, [That they might be removed be the Generall Assemblie, without their consents, for good and necessar causes.]
[As to the question moved,] Whither if in respect of the present necessitie, that ther is no Doctours within this realme, a Minister [or a Pastor] may superseid the office of Pastorship for a tyme, and vse the office of a Doctour. It was ansuerit be the Kirk, That it may, be the command of the Generall Kirk, and vpon good consideratiouns.
[In respect that there are sundrie impediments alledged to stopp any man to enter presently to the Colledge of Sanct Androes, as namely, that the compts are not yet taken: The Assemblie desired Mr Patrick Adamson, the Laird of Lundie, Mr James Lowson, Mr Andrew Melvin, to conferr on the morne with the Clerk Register anent the state of the same Colledge, and to report his opinion to the Assemblie. C.]
Forsameikle as be evident experience it is knowin to the Kirk, that of late dayes sundrie postates are returned within the countrey, and are spred in diverse provinces, as in Angus and vther parts, and no kynd of discipline as yet vsed against them, to the great slander of the Kirk of God, greise of the conscience of good men, and contempt of the acts of the Kirk: The Generall Assemblie [has therefore ordained and] ordaines the Commissioners of Countreys to put the act of the last Assemblie [concerning apostates] to execution against them in all points; and to vse the forme of discipline against them, as is vsed against adulterers: and this act and ordinance to be followit out [and execut] be the Laird of Dun against the 10 day of November nixt to come, within his province, against the Master of Gray, and vthers suspect of the said apostasie.
Anent the ordour of Visitours: Forsameikle as it is considderit be the Kirk to be ane corruption, and [to] found to tyrranie, that sick kynd of office sould stand in the person of ane man, quhilk sould flow from Presbyteries; and nottheles the estate of tyme, and lake of present ordour for establisching and constituteing of Presbyteries, suffers not the present alteration of Visitors: It is considderit and thocht meitt, that my Lord Clerk of Register sould be requeistit to concurre with the Laird of Dun, Mrs Robert Pont, James Lowsone, David Lindesay, Johne Craig, and Johne Duncansone, or any thrie or four of them, to lay [doun] and devyse a Platt of the Presbytries and Constitutiouns therof as best appeirit be thair judgement, to be reportit be them againe the nixt Generall Assemblie: And as to the present, [the Assemblie] appointit the Visitours [following] to have the oversight of the Provinces [within the bounds of their visitation respectivé] quhill the nixt Assemblie.
The Assemblie gives full power and commission to [their beloved brethren] the Laird of Lundie, Braid, Haltoun, Andrew Ker of Fauldonsyd, Mrs Johne Craig, Johne Duncansone, Ministers of the Kings house, Robert Pont, James Lowsone, Patrick Adamsone, James Boyd, David Lindsay, Thomas Smeitoun, George Hay, Andro Hay, Adame Johnstoun, David Fergusone, David Mcgill, Johne Prestoun, elder, Commissioner of Edenburgh, or any sixe of them, to compeir before the Kings Majestie and his Counsell, the xv day of November nixt to come, and with all [humility, due submission, and] reverence, crave [and earnestly desire] ansuer to the articles givin in sen the last Generall Assemblie vnto his Hienes and honourable Counsell, and to reason and conferre thervpon; with power to thair haill brether nominat in this commissioun, or to the most part of them, to resolve, discerne, and finallie conclude, in name and vpon the behalfe of the haill Kirk, with the Kings Hienes and Counsell thervpon, as salbe most necessar and expedient for the advancement of the glorie of God, intertainment of the Evangell of Jesus Chryst, [and welfare of the whole Kirk,] sicklyke and als srielie as if they were personallie present: firme and stable haldand and for to hald quhatsoevir thair said brether or the maist pairt of them in the premisses [righteouslie] leids to be done.
The Generall Assemblie ordaines their brether [underwritten, viz.] the Lairds of Lundie, Seagy, and Colluthie, with Mrs. Robert Pont, James Lowsone, and William Christesone, to passe with Mr Andro Melvill to the new Colledge of Sanct Androes, and fie him placit ther conforme to the directioun and decreit of the Kirk: And sicklyke to call the papists [that are] within the Vniversitie befor them, and put ordour vnto them according to the acts of the Kirk.
Forsameikle as the Generall Assemblie [of the Kirk,] according to the Kings Majesties wryting, and for the weill and the vniversall profite of the Kirk of God within this realme, hes thoght meitt and expedient, and els concludit and ordainit, That Mr Andro Melvill be transportit from the Vniversitie of Glasgow to the new Colledge of Sanct Androes, for erectioun and planting therof: Nottheles that the good beginning and labours tane be the said Mr Andro be not frustrate, The haill Kirk hes found good and necessar and expedient, That the said Thomas Smeitoun occupy the said Mr Andro his place and office in the said Vniversitie [of Glasgow,] and ordaines him to accept the charge therof vpon him: And ane wryting to be directit, in name of the haill Kirk, to the Rectour and the Principall of the Vniversitie, requeisting [them] to receive him in the said Mr Andro his place, for the weill and confort of thair Vniversitie.
Mr Andro Hay, as Rector of the said Vniversitie, in name therof, diffassenting from the removeall of Mr Andro in any wayes, made protestatioun as of befor.
[Anent the Question proponed,] Whither if a Minister entering in the functioun of the Ministrie, serving therin deverse ȝeirs, and therafter leaves his vocatioun, and applyes him to a civil [place and] office, may be admittit to be ane Elder of the Kirk: It is ansuerit [be the brethren appointed to the resolution of Questions, That] this man is desertor gregis, and sould not be admittit to be ane Elder [within the Kirk,] but rather aught to be called for his desertione.
Ordaines Johne Brand to delyver to my Lord Justice Clerk, the Kings Majesties command, givin in wryte, for raising of letters agains Mr Nicoll Burne.