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.LXIV.
The Generall Assemblie of the Kirk gatherit and conveinit at Edinburgh the 25 of December 1564, haldin in the Over Tolbuith therof: In the whilk wer the Superintendents and Ministers present, with the Comissioners of Shyres and particular Kirks; the exhortation being made be Johne Knox, minister of Edinburgh.
For eschewing of confusioun, and that every brother sould speake in his awin rowme with modestie, it was thoght good that ane moderator sould be appointed, and swa with full consent of all the brethren present, was John Erskine of Dun, Superintendent of Angus and Mernes, appointed to be moderator for this Assemblie, who acceptit the office upon him.
Ordainit that no question be proponit be any brother unto the tyme the affaires of the kirk and ordour therof be first treatit and endit; and therafter if any brother have a question worthie to be proponit, that the samein be put in wryte and presentit; and if the samein requyres hastie resolution, it salbe decydit in this present Assemblie, before the end therof, utherwayes the decision of the samein salbe referrit to every ane of the Superintendents within whose bounds the question is proponed, and they and every ane of them, with ane certain number of the ministers as they sall think meit to appoint for assisting to heir the reasoning of the saids questions, and therafter ther reasons to be put in wryte, affirmative or negative, whilk every ane of them sall report to the nixt Assemblie.
[William Wallace of Carnall, and Andrew Ker of Fadownside, war sent to the Lords of Secreit Counsell, to requeist their honours to assist the Assemblie with their presence and counsell.
When the Superintendents of Lowthiane and Angus, the Commissioners of Galloway and Orknay, war removed to be tried, it was proponed be some of the brethren, that the Commissioners of Galloway and Orknay sould be demanded, whether in their consciences they judged that they might both dewlie use the office of a Superintendent and the office of a Lord of the Session and Colledge of Justice. The Superintendent of Fyfe was challenged for slackness in visitation of his kirks. He alledged age, evill payment of his stipend, and a great number of kirks within his bounds, as excuses: howbeit otherwise he was diligent. C.]
The same day the haill Assemblie causit to present to the Lords of Secreit Counsell the heids and articles following, and requyrit ther honours to obtaine ansuer therof at the Queens Grace, and to signifie unto them her Majesties pleasure therintill.
Tenour of the Articles.
I. The haill Assemblie requyres humblie there honours to signifie to the Queens Majestie, that the transgressours of the proclamatiouns past against the heirars and sayers of messe, together with the abusers of the Sacraments, are now so common, that it may be greatlie feared that judgements sall suddenly follow, except remeid be provydit in tyme.
II. To requyre payment to ministers of there stipends for the tyme by past, according to the promise made, and to let the Assemblie know how the ministers salbe sustained in tyme to come.
III. To requyre Superintendents to be placed wher none are within this realme, viz. in the Mers, Tevedaill, Forrest, Tweddall, and the rest of the deales in the South not provydit; with Aberdeine, and the uther parts in the North, lykewayes destitute.
IV. To requyre punishment of sick as hes steiked the doores of the paroch kirks, and will not oppin the samein to preachers that presentit themselves to have preachit the word, sick as Paisly, Aberdein, and Curry, Duplin, and Aberdagie.
V. Humblie to requyre of the Queens Majestie, what the kirk sall looke for, tuiching provision of benefices vaikand and to vaik.
VI. To crave ane resolutioun and declaratioun of the mansses and gleibs, whither they be sett in few or not, and be what means the ministers sall come to the use and possessioun therof.
VII. The actis tuiching the reparatioun of the kirks to be put to executioun.
The ansuer of every ane of the particulars the Generall Assemblie humblie requyres.
Sess. 2da, haldin the 26 of December 1564.
[It was ordained, That the same persones who war nominat for election to the superintendentship of Aberdeen, December 1562, sould now againe be putt in leitts: That Edicts be served, and the person chosen be inaugurat in the New Kirk of Aberdeen the second Sunday of Marche nixt to come; and that the Superintendents of Angus and Fyfe, with such ministers as they sould choose, be present at the said Inauguration.
Becaus it was murmured, that manie ignorant men, and of bad conversation, war admitted to be Ministers, Exhorters and Readers; it was ordained, that the Superintendent of Angus sould visite the kirks in Nithsdaill, Galloway, Carrict, Kyle, Cunninghame and Cliddisdaill; the Superintendent of Lowthiane, the kirks of Angus and Merns; the Superintendent of the West, the kirks of Lowthiane, Merce and Teviotdaill; Mr Knox, the kirks of Fyfe, Stratherne, Gowrie and Menteith; and try Ministers, Exhorters and Readers, everie one within the forsaid bounds, respectivè, to suspend for a tyme, or depose for anie cryme, or ignorance and inabilitie, as they sall find them guiltie or unable; and for that purpose that commissions be given to everie one of the said visitors, and that they report their diligence to the nixt Assemblie in writ.
It was ordained, that everie Minister, Exhorter and Reader, sall have one of the Psalme Bookes latelie printed in Edinburgh, and use the order contained therein in Prayers, Marriage, and ministration of the Sacraments. C.]
Anent ane supplicatioun presentit be Beatrix Livingstoun, tuiching ane promise made to her be Patrick Hardie, to have solemnizat the band of matrimonie with her a long time since, his wyfe Kathrine Ruthersuird being on lyfe, and no divorcement past betuixt them; bearing also and makeand mention of ane decreit and decisioun of the saids premisses, and nullitie therof, given and pronouncit be John Erskine of Dun, Alexander Guthrie of Halkertoune, Robert Campbell of Kingeancleugh, and Mr Robert Hamiltoun; for verification wherof the said Beatrix produceit the said decreit subscryved by the sorsaids persones in presence of John Willock Superintendent of the West, Chriftopher Guidman, and Mr George Hay, of the dait at Edinburgh the 1 day of July 1563, bearing in effect, that the said promise made be the said Patrick to the said Beatrix on na way might be sustainit be the law of the Evangell, and therefor the said Patrick to be quyte therfra in all tyme comeing, in respect of the mariage standing betuixt him and his wyfe forsaid indissolvit; and that the said promise was not only null in the selfe, but also unjust and unlawfull, and that the makers thereof had offendit and was worthie of punishment at the discretion of the Kirk. Whilk supplicatioun being red and considerit, the haill Assemblie in ane voyce authorized and allowed the said decreit pronouncit be the said brethren, and also pronouncit the said Patrick and Beatrix to be free fra the said pretendit promise in time comeing, requyreing [referring ?] that punishment for making of the said promise heirafter to the kirk and discretioun thereof.
Sess. 3a, 27 December 1564.
Anent the supplicatioun presentit to the Assemblie in name of Paul Methven, and tuiching diverse petitions therein conteinit, wherewith the Assemblie being rypelie advyseit, and after long reasoning had therein, with mature deliberation gave ther ansuers as follows.
Anent his receiving to repentance &c. the haill Assemblie with ane voyce are content to receive the said Paul to repentance, alwayes presentand himselfe personalie befor them, declaring evident signes of unfained repentance, willing to obey sick injunctiouns as the kirk sall please to àppoint him to doe and fulfill.
Tuiching his desire to delete his proces out of there bookes, thereto the Kirk can na wayes condiscend, neither think they that sick a petitioun can proceid of the Holie Ghost, seing David a notable servant of God eschewed not to write his awin offence to Gods glorie and his awin confusioun.
Anent his admissioun to the ministrie within the realme, that was thoght no wayes sufferable unto sick tyme as the memorie of his former impietie be more deiply buried, and some notable kirks within this realme make earnest requeist for his new acceptatioun. In lyke maner the Kirke signifies unto him, that his entrie in the ministrie in the parts of England, he being excommunicat and unreconciled, hes greivouslie offendit them; as also the last part of his wryting, wher he accuses false witnesses, wha hes deponit no other thing in effect nor he hes confessed with his mouth in write. Farther the Assemblie requyrit the brethren to whom the said Paul writes, that amongs uthers ther ansuers they signifie unto him, that he may safelie repaire toward this realme, notwithstanding th'act latelie proclaimed agains adulterers.
[Mr Andrew Johnstone complaining, that the judges deputed to tak cognition of the articles for which his brother Mr William was condemned be the Popish bishops, wold not proceed to declaration, whether the said articles war repugnant to the holie Scripture: The Assemblie decerned the articles not to be hereticall, so that a godlie interpretation be admitted in everie one of them; therefore ordained the judges to proceed to the finall decision of the said action.
Full commission was given to the superintendent of Fyfe, the bishop of Galloway, Mr John Row, Mr Christopher Gudman, to tak cognition of the mutuall complaints of the provest and bailiffes of Coupar, upon Mr Robert Montgomrie their minister, and of his upon them, and to decide therein; and that their decreit be in readiness to be shewed to the visitordepute for Fyfe, when he shall come in those parts. C.]
Tuiching sick as are relapse the thrid tyme in any kind of crymes, sick as fornication or drunkenness, it is statute and ordainit that no particular minister admitt sick persones to public repentance, but to send them to the superintendent of the dyocie wher the crymes are committed, with information therof, wha sall give them sick injunctiouns as they think may make the offences to be haldin in horrour; but chieflie that they compell the offender to satisfie the kirks wher the offences was made moe dayes nor ane, as the said superintendent sall thinke good.