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.LXXXII.
[Exhortatioun beand made be Mr John Craig: Leits, Mrs Andro Melvill, David Lindsay, David Fergusone. The said Mr Andro, be pluralitie of votis, was chosin Moderatour hac vice; who, for expeditione of matters to be handled in this Assemblie, desired certane brethren to be nominat Assessours, to conveen with him at extraordinar hours, to break up matters to be proponed to the whole brethren, without prejudice any wise to the libertie of this Assemblie. At his desire were nominat Mr Johne Craig, Mr James Lowsone, Mr Andro Hay, Mr David Lindesay, Mr Robert Pont, Mr Thomas Smeitoun, Mr Andro Polwart, Mr Thomas Buchannan, Mr Patrick Adamsone, my Lord Rector, the Lairds of Lundie, Merchinstoun, Braid, Pilrige, Elphinstoun, Kynninmonth, Johne Johnstoun, Commissioner of Edenburgh, to conveen daylie, at seven hours in the morning, and two after noone, and so continue during this Assemblie. C. & B.]
[Anent the constitutione of the Presbytries which were committed to certane brethren in the last Assemblie: To the effect the brethren might understand what diligence hath been used in the erectione of the Elderships, the names of the persons having commissione therto were read, and they being called, so many as were present, made their report as follows:
Mr Alexander Arbuthnet, being one of the brethren named to the constitutione of the Elderships in Aberdeen and Bams, declared, That they had entered to the consideratione of the bounds where Presbytries might most conveniently be had, and had drawn as it were the lineanments of their labour; but as yet had not perfyted the same.
For Angus: William Christesone reported, That there was ane Eldership erected in Montrose, another in Brechin, the third in Dundee, but not long since; and therefore as yet they had holden no Assemblie.
[Anent Falkland: Because of the raritie of Ministers, there being there but thrie, quhairof ane was found slanderous, it was ansuerit, That the brethren could establish no Eldership ther; bot they thought meittest, quhill God increase the number of preachers ther, that thair resort sould be to Sanct Androes, if the Assemblie thocht it expedient.
The Assemblie, willing that the Kirk there be not destitute of discipline and good order, ordaines these of Falkland Eldership, be west Levin, to resort to Dumfermling, and to be under the Eldership thereof; and these that are be eist, to Sanct Androes, vnto the tyme it please God to give commoditie of Ministers and Elders, that they may have their awin Elderschip.
Anent the doubts and articles given in be certane brethren, concerning the matter of Presbytries: The Assemblie appointed their brethren, Mr John Craig, Mr Robert Pont, Mr James Lowsone, and Mr Patrick Adamson, to sight the same, and give their judgment thereupon to the whole Assemblie. C.]
Forsameikle as notwithstanding of diverse godly acts and proclamatiouns sett out be the Kings Majestie, as acts and constitutions made be the Kirk, against Papists resorting within the Countrey from beyond sea; ȝet, from tyme to tyme, ther arryves sindrie prosessing plaine papistrie, be moyen of the maisters and owners of schips receiving them in thair veschells, and transporting them in thir parts, vnknowin either to Magistrat or Kirk; quherthrow no just tryall could be had of them: For remeid therof, the haill Kirk hes vottit and thocht meitt, That, in tyme comeing, all masters and owners of schips, arryveing within quhatsomevir port of this realm, strangers and passingers, sall, immediatlie after thair arryval, present thair names to the Magistrate and Sessioun of the Kirk of the townes and ports quher they arryve, to the effect that the knowledge may be had if they have inbrocht any papists, vnder the paine of excommunication and censures of the Kirk to be execute against them; and this act publicklie to be intimate be the Ministers of the saids townes and ports, to the effect that no ignorance be pretendit heirof: And sicklyke, that supplicatioun be made to the Magistrats of the saids townes and ports, That they will that no ignorance be pretendit heirof: And sicklyke, that supplicatioun be made to the Magistrates of the saids townes and ports, that they will give charge and commandment to all masters and owners of ships within thair bounds, that they receive no papists within thair ships or veschells, to transport to this country; and in cace any be receivit, to present thair names immediatlie after thair arryvall to the saids Magistrates and Kirk, that ordour may be takin with them, vnder such straite paines and acts as they can best devyse; as they will declare themselves zealous of Gods glorie, and promoters of the Word of his Sonne Jesus Chryst.
The Kirk ordaines the Elderschip of Dumfermling to call before them Robert Aittoun of Incheberuy, [Inchderny ?] to give consessioun of his faith; and if he refuses, to proceid against him according to the Kings proclamatioun and acts of the Kirk.
Forsameikle as the Kirk vnderstands, that ther is certaine papists in Camphire, that not only troubles the congregatioun of the Scottish natioun, but also the Flemingis; and will not submitt themselves to the censures of the Kirk, be reason of thair alledgit power: heirfor the haill Kirk of Scotland, in ane voyce, gives thair full power and commissioun to the Minister of Campheire, to procied against them, as they might doe therin themselves, requeisting also the Conservatour to hald hand vnto the Kirk, that ordour may be had against them.
[Anent the ordinance made in the last Assemblie, concerning the executione of the Kings Majesties proclamatione against papists, and namely against the Master of Gray: The Assemblie, after informatione of the brethren of Edinburgh, how far they had proceed with him there, and of his offer to subscrive the Confessione of his faith, which they would not receive before he had participat of the Supper of the Lord, which he also promised, and be his letter lately renewed to Mr James Lawsone, ordeanes as before, the commissione given to the Eldership of Dundee concerning him, to be put in executione in all points be them, according to the tenor therof, with all convenient diligence.
Anent the Lady Athol: The Assembly ordeanes, understanding the great travels taken with her, Mr William Glass to proceed to the censures of the Kirk against her, in case the gave not new obedience, prayers preceeding three severall Sabboths, under the pain of deprivatione of the said Mr William from his office and functione in the ministry; and sicklyke, to charge her to remove from her company all excommunicat persons and papists. And, generally, as to other papists within the realme: Seeing small diligence used be the whole brethren, in executione of the act foresaid, the Assembly yet, in the name of God, charges all Elderships, where they are already established, and all Ministers, where Elderships are not yet erected, to proceed against them, conforme to the Kings proclamatione and acts of the Kirk, as the said Elderships will answer to God, the Kings Majestie, and the Kirk, and the saids Ministers, under the pains conteaned in the act made of before.
For answering the bills: The Assemblie hath nominat their brethren, Mr Adam Johnstoune, Mr James Carmichel, Mr Nicol Dagleish, Mr James Balfour, Mr James Melvil, Patrick Gilespie, and John Johnstoune, to conveene, at six hours in the morning, in the Assemblie place to that effect. C.]
[Compeired Mr Mark Ker, my Lord of Requeists, directed from the Kings Hienes with his letter, and a certane Conference which was had in Edinburgh, betwixt certaine of the Counsel and of the Kirk, and desired answer therto in write, conforme to his Majesties writing: Which being read with the said Articles and Conference, the brethren continued to give answer thereto, till the fighting thereof, and advising therewith afternoone. C. & B.]
Traist Friends, We greet you heartily. Ye remember, in our late Parliament, there is ane act past, anent the provisione of Ministers, and certaine stipends for them, at all parish Kirks, and appointing Commissioners
for ordering thereof; as also some of the articles given in be the Ministrie,
and committed to the consideratione and order of certaine Commissioners
nominat be our act of Parliament: And finding it needfull, that the said
acts should have executione, and that, if it were not done in due time, the
order could not take effect the next year, but continue in the state present,
to the great miscontentment of many, We conveened some of your number
lately at Edinburgh, and caused certane of our Counsel confer with them
for the better understanding of our meaning, and that yee all might be the
better certified thereof, at this your Assemblie, wherethrough the work in
tended might proceed, and take effect at the first day of November nixt,
to the removing of the present disorder and confusione, and satisfactione
of all persons having intress, as accords of equitie and reason, as be the
summe of that whereupon they conserred, we doubt not yee have understand; the copy whereof We have also delivered to this bearer, touching
the making of a new forme of that Assignatione for the Ministrie, which
shall take effect at the first day of November. Albeit large pains have
been taken thereanent; yet can it not be put in such order as were seemly
to be divulgate, while certain of the advices, and answers of your brethren
yet wanting, be returned, as, namely, from Cathness, Elgine, Bamf, Kincairden, and bounds adjacent to Strabogie, Dunkeld, Creif, Falkland,
Edinburgh, Dalkeith, Haddintoune, Dunce, Kelso, Melrose, Peebles, Biggar, Lanerk, Glasgow, Dumbartan, Irving, Mynniboile, Dumfries, Penpont, Lochmabben, and Annand; and also, while it be resolved from the
Assemblie, what is thought meet, and concluded, anent the Readers in
generall; and, specially, annent Viccarages that are given and provided to
Readers for their lifetime; and, last, touching the inequalitie of Stipends,
some having victual allowed at a small price, and others, of the money assigned, constrained to buy the victual at the highest prices: Which points
with the other conferred upon, being once specialy considered, the form of
Assignatione for the nixt year, may be made the meikle more easily; and
the Articles referred be the estates to the Commissioners, answered, and
made in Laws, as appearteneth. Whereanent looking for your certaine
and direct resolutione at this time, wherethrough the work may proceed
how soon conveniently may be, commits you in the protectione of God.
At Stirline, the 16 day of Aprile 1582.
James R. C.]
3. Sould not all benefices presentit to Ministers and Reiddars befor the first day of November 1581, be allowit in thair ȝeirs stipends from the same day to the first day of November 1582; and if ȝe think that ther salbe any difference [or distinctione] be reason of the annat, or vtherwayes, that ye declare it.
6. Think ȝe it not convenient, That the reports answering the Kings Majesties letter, send over all this realme, [this last summer,] salbe sein and confidderit at this tyme, for the better understanding of the estate of the Kirks, and to sie how many of the same reports are in in ȝour awin hand; for so many as the Clerk Register hes, salbe ready and patent.
8. Think ȝe it reason, That any provydit to the title of a benefice, and serving as minister and reidar at the onlie kirk belonging to the same benefice, sall have any maner of allowance or stipend nor the rent of the selfe same benefice.
10. To quhom think ȝe the Kings Majestie and the lawit patrons sould direct their presentations, for admitting of qualified persons to the benefices that vaikes be the deceise of such persons as possest them; and that ȝe will name the persons in speciall.
11. Seing the dearth of victuall makes great inequalitie of stipends, some having victuall allowit for a merk or xx shillings, and vthers, of that silver consignit to them, constrainit to buy at 5 or 6, or sometymes 7 marks the boll; Were it not aggrieable to equitie, that all ministers had thair proportionable part of victuall and of money; or els that the victuall sould be sauld and allowit at the hiest pryce, quherthrow such as hes small stipends may be the better augmented.
To the first and second: Before they be speciallie ansuerit, it is thocht meitest, that ther be ane forme of assigantioun made be some [to be] appoyntit therto, betuixt and the nixt Assemblie, to all Kirks and Ministers that are lickly [and apparent] to stand and continue, respectand the ansuers and advyce sent out of every countey, and as if the present possessours were dead; and that charges be directit to such as hes not send thair ansuers, to send them with expeditioun.
3. It is thocht meitest that the instant to any benesice fall entir and serve the cure [of the kirk] therof, at the nixt first day of November after his admissioun, at [the least] the nixt Whitsonday, and sall have no farther stipend for this ȝeir, but the taxt and superplus, as it salls; because his executours will fall als mikle at his deceise, according to the ancient ordour of the annats: And that diligence be done to get [Bagemondis] rollis of all benefices taxt; and quhatever benefices are not taxed, the rents therof the first ȝeir to be divydit equallie betuixt the executours of the defunct and the intrant; quhilk intrant sall only have the halse fruites of the ȝeir of intrancie, and sicklyke of the stipends.
4. We think nane sould be placit in the book of Modification bot worthie and qualified persons; and if any be presentit or admittit to benefices since the Kings coronatioun, that are vnworthie and vnabill [to discharge their duty,] that they be callit, and depryvit be such ordour as salbe heirafter condiscendit vpon.
5. For the generall, we think that such, being ministers, as hes sufficient livings of thair awin, be reason of benefices quhervnto they are provydit for thair lyfetymes, sould not take stipends to serve at vther kirks, without great necessite sein and allowit be the Generall Assemblie; and vpon the speciall knowledge of the persons that are not abill in this heid, ordour salbe takin to reforme [them] as appertaineth.
8. Vpon the sight of the forme of the particular assignation to be made, and quhat particular causes sall fall vnder this rule, we sall give our speciall ansuer heirvnto, quhilk is coincident, and will depend vpon the ansuer [to be made] to the first and second articles.
9. We cannot bot think it reasonabill, that the Colledge Kirks be als weill provydit of Ministers as vther kirks; and thinks, that, in making [of the forme] of new assignatioun for the nixt ȝeir, the Ministers of the kirks of the Colledgis, sould be assignit for his stipend vpon the fruites of the same kirk, as meikle to be assignit to the help of the Colledges vtherwayes; or then the Colledgis to have the rents of the Kirk as befor, and the Minister to have his assignation vtherwayes.
As the examinations and admissioun of Ministers within the realme, is, be act of Parliment, ordainit to be in the power of the Kirk now oppinly and publickly profeft within this realm; so it is thoght, that the deprivatioun of Ministers is in the power of the same Kirk, and them that examinats and admitts them Ministers.
Towards the deprivatioun of Bischops admittit since the Kings coronatioun: It is tocht meitt that the same be lykewayes in the power of the Kirk, and them that examines, elects, and admitts Bischops; and the same deprivation asweill to extend from the function of the ministrie as from the benefice it selfe and fruits therof, quherthrow the same may be declairit vackand, [and to be presentit] and conferrit of new, as if he were presentlie dead.
Causes of deprivatioun we take to be, heresie, papistrie, comoun blasphemie, perjurie, adulterie, fornication, incest, slaughter, thift, comoun oppressioun, [commoun] drunkennes, vsurie against the lawis of this realme, nonresidence and absence from his flock [and office] be the space of fourtie dayes together in a ȝeir, without lawfull impediment allowit be the nixt Generall Assemblie; pluralitie of benefices provydit sen the Kings coronatioun, to be cause of deprivatioun from them all, except ane that the possessours will astrict themselves to make residence at; dilapidatioun of the rents of benefices contrair to the act of Parliament; simonie. For the some of processe in deprivatioun, Ane libellat precept on xl dayes warning being within, the realme, and within lx dayes being without the realme, to be direct be the Kirk and such Commissioners therof, as elects and admitts the person complainit on, summounding him to compeir and ansuer vpon the complaint; and, in case of his absence at the first summounds, the second to be direct on like warning, with certificatioun and he failȝie, the lybell salbe admittit to probatioun, and the samein salbe haldin pro confesso. After the decreit givin, if the person, against quhom it is givin, think himselfe wrangouslie greivit therby, it salbe leisum to him to interpone appellatioun to the nixt Generall Assemblie, and intimate the same within ten dayis, vtherwayes the decreit to receive present executioun.
Anent the questioun movit to the Assemblie, If the Generall Kirk hes power to revock quhatsoever things done be them, or any particular menber of the same, to the hurt and prejudice of the Kirk, or not: The brethren, after reasoning and disputting in the matter, at length vottit affirmative in the questioun, That the Kirk hes power to doe the same.
Anent the summounds [of citatione] raisit to this day be the Elderschip of Striveling, against Mr Robert Montgomerie, sometymes Minister therof, to heare the sentence of suspension givin [be them] against him fra the functioun of the ministrie allowit be the General Assemblie; and farther tryall tane concerning his lyfe, doctrine, and manners, and vther things quhilk the said Assemblie sould lay to his charge, as the [citatione and] summounds [in the matter] at lenth beares: The said Mr Robert being present, and requyrit to ansuer heirto, befor all protestit, that, if the Kirk proceidit in any thing against him, or charge him with any thing without warrand of the Word of God, for remeid and ansuer to the sumounds, alledged that the Generall Kirk sould not allow any thing deduceit in the said processe; because he was never lausullie sumouned therto; knew nothing of his suspensioun from the ministrie, but [be] only bruite, nor nevir was the samein intimat to him; and in so farre as the processe bears personall intimatioun to him of the said suspensioun, tooke instrument thervpon, and offerit to improve the samein in that point: With all the quhilk alledgances, the Kirk and brether being weill advysit, notwithstanding therof, Finds the said processe, decreit, and intimatioun therof, ordourly deduceit and proceidit, and the said sentence of suspensioun well proceidit and givin; reserving nottheles to the said Mr Robert, in the second instance, to sute reductioun and remeid, as appertaineth. Being farther accuseit of contraventioun of the said sentence of suspensioun, be preaching of the Word, and ministratioun of the facraments, befoir the intimatioun therof, he grantit the same, bot pretendit ignorance of the giving of the said sentence.
Befor farther reasoning in this matter, my Lord of Requeifts presentit [to the Kirk] a wryting sent from the Kings Majestie vnto them, to declare that his Majesties will was, That the Kirk sould not trouble the said Mr Robert for any thing concerning the Bischoprick, or that may result thervpon, or for any vther cause bygane committit be him; but that it might be handlit befor his Grace. Quhilk being reverentlie receivit and red in opin Assemblie, the brethren praisit God that moveit the Kings Hienes to send his Commissioner to the Assemblie: and as to the actioun present, with the assistance of God, such attendance sould be givin therto, [the rather,] for his Hienes requeist, That nothing sould be handlit belonging to the Civill Power; and nothing but vprightly, sincerely, and with the just judgement pronouncit against him, as they sould ansuer to God and his Hienes.
Heirafter a plaine and large discourse was oppinly made of the haill diligence of the brether, to quhom commissioun was givin in the last Assemblie, concerning the said Mr Robert; and the copies of the charges givin to them at his instance, produceit, declaring and bearing effectuouslie, witnessing of his knowledge of the said suspensioun, albeit he [plainly] protestit befor God, he never knew of the raising of any of the saids charges or executiouns therof; with the quhilk discourse and confessioun of the said Mr Robert, that he had preachit and ministrat the sacraments sen the said decreit of suspensioun: The Kirk being advyseit, in ane voyce, after voteing, Fand the said decreit and sentence contraveinit [and violat] be him; and superseidit to discerne vpon the paine of the said contraventioun, quhill the morne at the brether first conveining.
The said Mr Robert demandit the ansuer of the haill Kirk, If they wold accuse him vpon any thing concerning the Bischoprick, or any thing resultand thervpon: 2. That he might have the copie of the large discourse made verballie be the brethren, to the effect he might ansuer simplie to every point therof.
Being removeit out of the Assemblie, within, a little space therafter compeirit Johne Burne, messenger, and be vertue of our Soveraine Lords letters, delyverit be the Lords of Secreit Counsell, inhibite and dischargeit the brethren of the Generall Assemblie, the Moderatour and his Assessours, fra directing of any citations agains Mr Robert Montgomerie, as is therin conteinit, vsing of excommunication, innovatioun, slandering or troubling of him in his ministrie, for aspyring to the Bischoprick of Glasgow, or calling or persewing of his brether for the same, or for any promise made be them theranent, or any vther thing dependand thervpon, in tyme bygane, vnder the paine of rebellioun, and putting of them to the horne; certifieand them and they failȝie, he wald denunce them our Soveraine Lords rebells, and put them to his Hienes horne: of the quhilk charge he delyverit instantlie a copie quhilk he subscryvit with his awin hand.
Anent the age of persons that sall heirafter entir in the ministrie of the Word: Seing that sundrie hes being intrusit vpon the Kirk, and entrit to benefices having cure, that be reason of thair ȝong ȝeirs, and lake of experience and judgement, cannot be able to discharge that hie and sacred vocatioun, quhervnto they are called, The Kirk, in ane mynd, hes vottit and concludit, That, in tyme comeing, none be admittit to the functioun of the ministrie, nor collationat, nor admittit to any benefice of cure, without they be of the age of xxv ȝeirs, except such that for singular and rare qualities into them, salbe judgeit be the Generall Assemblie of the Kirk meitt and worthie therfor.
Anent the ordinance made yesternight concerning the sumouning of Mr Robert Montgomerie, to compeir [personaly] befor the Assemblie this day at ten houres: The said Mr Robert being callit, and not compeirand, but be William Montgomerie his Allegit Procuratour, quho produceit ane appellatioun, quherof the tenour will heirafter appeare.
Compeirit Mr Thomas Mcgie, and declarit, That, at the command of the Assemblie, he warnit him ȝesternight to compeir at this houre, befor the haill Kirk, personallie, in presence of Mrs Walter Hay, Johne Cowper and Andro Ker, and that he promised to compeir personallie at the houre appointit, quhilk the saids brethren and witnesses testified to be true.
Heirafter was certaine speciall and enorme crymes produceit and red, quherof he was alledeit to be guiltie, [which are thir:] 1. Negligence [in doctrine,] and corruptioun in doctrine also, dissolutioun in lyfe, for the quahilk he was suspendit; contraveining of the suspensioun in Glasgow, Striveling, and in the Kings awin Chappell; violating of his [own] promise made to the Presbyterie of Striveling, that he sould remaine and waite vpon his cure; horrible lies in the face of the haill Assemblie, denying, with protestatiouns befor God, the intimatioun of the suspensioun, and raising and executing of the letters; procureing of letters be sinister informatioun, for overthrowing the discipline of the Kirk; vsurping another mans flock, accompanied with armed men, since the suspensioun; chargeing the haill Assemblie, vnder the paine of horning, to stay from all proceiding against him with excommunicatioun; blasphemous railing against [the brether and] the Ministrie in pulpit, sen his suspensioun, and [oft] befor; and, in summa, manifest contempt of the ordinance of the Kirk, and stirring vp of ane feareful schisme betuixt certaine of the Nobilitie and the Kirk: Quhilk being tryit, [and put to examinatione,] partlie be his awin confessioun, partlie be the proces deduceit be the Generall Assemblie haldin last in Edenburgh, and be the processe deduceit befor the Elderschip of Striveling, and partlie be the testificatioun of good and godlie brether of the Assemblie, were found all to have fallin in his person, and him to be culpabill and guiltie therof. For the quhilks most haynous, soule, and vnworthie crymes, the Assemblie of the brether votitt and concludit, The said Mr Robert, not only to be vnworthie to serve in the office of the Ministrie, bot to be depryvit therof perpetuallie, in all tyme comeing; and the sentence of excommunicatioun to strike aganis him, without he prevent the same be repentance.
My Lord of Requeists craveit of the Kirk, That the pronouncing of the said sentence sould be superseidit quhill the Kings Majestie were advertised. The Kirk heirto continued to give ansuer quhill [their meeting at] afternoone.
Please ȝour Majestie, We have received ȝour Graces most loving letter
direct to vs be ȝour Graces Commissioner, Mr Mark Ker, Master of Requeists, and are compellit to burst out with most humble thanks vnto God,
quho of his mercie hes gevin vs so godly a King, carefull and weill willing
that God be glorified, and his Kirk, within ȝour Majesties realme, mantained, as plainlie [appeareth] be the articles be ȝour Grace proponit;
quhervnto with all diligence we began to make ansuer: But in such
shortnes of tyme, and great straites quhervnto we are brocht be certaine
letters raisit at the instance of Mr Robert Montgomerie, we are altogether
stayit in that and many vther godlie actiouns; for vpon the 27 day of this
instant, the Assemblie being occupied in quyet and modest reasoning of
grave and weghtie matters, he causit ane officiar of armes irreverentlie to
entir, and, vnder the paine of horning, command the haill Kirk from all
proceiding against him, for quhatsoevir cause or enormitie committit in
these his wicked attempts; a thing that was never heard nor sein since the
world began, quherof we man lament to ȝour Grace: And having no
vther refuge vnder God, most humblie craves, That, [be] thir extraordinary
charges direct aganis the Word of God and lawis of ȝour Graces countrey,
we be not constrainit to betray the cause of God, be bearing with and
winking at horrible crymes, manifest to all men in the person of the said
Mr Robert, or els to be repute and accountit disobedient to ȝour Majestie, in whose service we have bein, are, and salbe readie to shed our bloods,
and spend our lyves; beseikand ȝour Grace, we may find this grace and
favour in ȝour Majesties sight, to keip our conscience cleane befor God,
and reserve our saules to him quho hes givin vs care of the saules of his
inheritance. This most reasonable requeist we doubt not to obtaine of
ȝour Majestie, our particular reasons being heard and considerit, quhilk we
mynd, be Gods grace, more largelie to expone be certaine brether direct
to ȝour Majestie, both for this effect, and with a full ansuer to ȝour forsaids articles. In the meane season, we beseik ȝour Majestie [to] give no
credit to the sinister report and wrangous informatioun of men, that, be
such dealing, goes about to draw ȝour Majesties heart from your true and
faithfull subjects, and, be this vnhappie schisme, to overthrow the Kirk of
God within ȝ Graces countrey, and, for thair awin particular gaines,
banisch Christ and his Word, quhilk God of his infinite mercie forbid,
and preserve ȝ Grace, soule and bodie, for evir.
Sanct Androes, 28 of Apryle 1582.
As to the sentence to be giving against Mr Robert Montgomerie, and the enormities conteinit in the acts preceiding: The Assemblie and brether present, after voteing in the said matter, depryvit the said Mr Robert from all functioun of the Ministrie in the Kirk of God, dureing the will of the Kirk of God; and, farther, descernit the fearefull sentence of excommunicatioun to be pronuncit against him in the face of the haill Assemblie, be the voyce and mouth of the Moderatour present; to the effect, that, his pound flesh being cast into the hands of Satan, he may be win againe, if it be possible, to God; and the said sentence [to] be intimat be every particular minister, at his awin particular Kirk, solemnelie in the first sermoun to be made be them, after thair returning.
The instant pronunciatioun of the said sentence beand stayit, be the voyce of the said Moderatour, quhill Monday at nyne houres, be reason of the compeirance of the said Mr Robert, quho renuncit the appellatioun interponit be his Procuratour in his name, and be himselfe befor noone, from the sentence of the Kirk, [and] desyrit conference to be grantit to him of the most godly and learnit brether; quhilk the [Kirk] grantit quhill Monday at nyne houres, vpon conditioun he remained and waited vpon the [Exercise of the] doctrine and conference of the brether, [and made no novatione nor new charges against the Kirk; who promised to attend upon the doctrine and conference of the brethren] the morne all day: And as to novatioun or new charge, he sould [use and] purchase none, in the meane tyme, if the Kirk vsed nane against him. And farther the Assemblie ordainit prayers to be made the morne in the sermoun for him, be them that occupied the place for the time.
Anent the conference had yesternight with Mr Robert Montgomery: To the effect the brether might vnderstand quhat fruit had followit therof, they demandit of him, in presence of God, to tell the simple trueth of the accusatiouns that were laid to his charge of befor: Quho, after prayer to God to be mercifull to him, grantit and confest as after followes:
5. He confest, That, vpon the 20 day of Marche last, he heard mentioun made of his suspensioun be the Presbyterie of Striveling; bot he was not certaine therof, for he could not have the proces of his suspensioun.
8. And sicklyke grants he hes heavilie failit against God and his Kirk, be procureing and raising of the charges against the Generall Assemblie; and in accepting of the Bischoprick of Glasgow without advyce therof, and in proceiding be this forme of doing quhilk he hes vsed; for the quhilk he submitts himselfe to the will of the brethren, willing to abyde thair judgement, and to obey and vnderly such injunctiouns as they will ordeane therfor.
And as to his simple meaning concerning the estate of Bischops and corruptioun therof: Being requyrit oppinlie, in the feare of God and vprightnes of conscience, to declare the same, Defyrit to conferre with Mrs James Lowsone, Johne Craig, Robert Pont, David Lindesay [and] the Laird of Colluthie, to the effect he might be farder resolvit, and give his simple meaning therin to the Kirk; quhervnto the haill Kirk aggreeit.
Anent the protestatioun made be the Prestbyteries of Edenburgh, Dalkeith, and Lynlithgow, aganis the sentence givin be the King and Secreit Counsell in favours of Mr Robert Montgomerie, findand them Judges to the saids Presbyteries and Kirk, as the same beares: The haill Kirk, after the reiding of the same sentence, and protestatioun, in ane voyce, adherit therto; lykeas the said Mr Robert, for his part, allowit the same, and adherit therto.
In respect of many inconveniences and missordour fallin furth be the ambitioun, covetousnes, and indirect dealing of sundrie, quho gangs about to entir in the Ministrie, and, being enterit, vses vnlawfull meanes to declyne all correctioun and punishment for thair offences: The haill Assemblie, with ane consent, hes vottit and concludit, conforme to the Word of God, and most godlie acts of Ancient Counsells, That no man pretend to ecclesiasticall functioun, office [promotione] or benefice, be any absolute gift, collation, or admission of the Civill Magistrate or Patrone, be letters of horning, and quhatsoevir vther meanes then is established be the Word of God, and acts of the Generall Kirk, and hitherto ordinarlie vsed within the reformed Kirk of Scotland; and sicklyke that nane beand received to ane ecclesiasticall office or benefice, seik any way, be the civill power, to exeime and withdraw themselves from the jurisdictioun of the Kirk, nor procure, obtaine, or use any letters or charges, either be themselves, or any vthers in thair name, or at thair command or instance, to impare, hurt, or stay the said jurisdictioun, discipline, correctioun of maners, or punishment for thair offences and enormities; nor to make any appellatioun from the Generall Assemblie, to stop the discipline and ordour of ecclesiasticall policie and jurisdictioun granted be Gods Word to the office bearers within the said Kirk, vnder the paine of excommunicatioun, summarlie, and without any proces or admonitiouns, to be pronouncit be the judgement of the Elderschip, be Minister of Ministers, to be appointit be them therto, how soone it is knawin that any ane of the saids heids is transgrest.
Anent the conference with Mr Robert Montgomerie: The said Mr Robert compeirand, in the face of the haill Assemblie, declarit and promised befor God, That he sould neither meddle nor attempt farther concerning the Bischoprick of Glasgow, nor bruik, vse, nor take vpon him the same, or any office within the Kirk, by the advyse and consent of the Generall Assembly of the Kirk; renunceand the letters and charges givin to the Generall Assemblie at his instance, with the letters purchased be him aganis Mr David Weymis; protesting that, in this matter concerning the Bischoprick of Glasgow, he meanes no vther wayes nor the haill brether does.
Forsameikle as the Sabboth day many wayes is profaned [and violated] to the great dishonour of God, and speciallie be halding of mercatts asweill in burgh as in landwart vpon that day: The Assembly of the Kirk injoynes straitlie to every Elderschip within thair awin bounds, to take ordour therwith as they may of the Law of God, as they will shew thair zeale towards God, and obedience to the Kirk.
[The Generall Assemblie ordeans the brethren of the Presbytrie of Glasgow to trie and examine diligently, if Mr Robert Montgomrie any wife medles with the Bishoprick of Glasgow, or proceeds further in using thereof, against his promise made openly in publick Assemblie; and if they find him to meddle therewith any wife, to discerne him to have contraveened the act of the Assemblie and his promise, and to report their process and decree thereupon to the Eldership of Edinburgh, to whom the Assemblie giveth power to nominate, in that case, a brother to excommunicate the said Mr Robert out of the Kirk of God and society of the faithfull. C.]
The Generall Assemblie of the Kirk, in ane voyce, gives full power and commissioun to [their beloved brethren] Mrs James Lowsone, Johne Craig, Robert Pont, David Lindsay, Johne Brand, and Johne Durie, to passe vnto the Kings Majestie, and shew [unto] his Hienes, That concerning the articles he sent be his Majesties Master of Requeists, to have bein ansuerit be the Kirk, being so weghtie and important, a part of them also apperirand to be obscure and captious, they could not presentlie resolve thervpon: notthelese, for the better resolving therof, they have ordainit certaine brether to consult thervpon quhill the nixt Assemblie, quhilk they have appointit shorter for that effect: Farther, lamentablie to deplore vnto his Grace, quherin the jurisdictioun of the Kirk is and hes bein heavilie hurt and prejudgeit, and namelie be the letters givin out in Glasgow, dischargeand the Presbyteries to proceid against Mr Robert Montgomerie; charges of horning vsed against the haill Kirk of Scotland, be the decreit and sentence of the Secreit Counsell, findand them Judges in the actioun of Mr Robert Montgomerie; missives sent to gentlemen to assist to the placeing of him in the pulpitt of Glasgow, against the will of the Kirk; giving of benefices pleno jure, and of Abbacies in heritage: And, with all humilitie, due reverence and gentlenes that appertaines, to exhort his Majestie to the reforming [hereof,] and mantaining of the jurisdictioun givin be God vnto his Kirk; as also to give admonitioun vnto the Dukes grace, Erles of Arrance and Gowrie, in the premisses; and quhat they doe heirin, to report to the nixt Assemblie.
Anent the corruptioun of buriall in the citie of Sanct Androes: The Kirk ordaines Mr Patrick Adamsone to put the commissioun givin to him in the last Assemblie, to dew execution in all points, after the tenour therof, vnder the paine of dissobedience.
[Anent their establishing of Presbytries where none are yet erected: The whole Assemblie hath nominate their brethren underwritten, to take travel in the particular bounds after specified, for planting of Elderships therein, betwixt and the nixt Generall Assemblie, to wit: C. & B.]
For Teviotdale:—Mr James Lowson, and Mr David Lindsay: To whom the Assemblie giveth power to constitute Presbytrie or Presbytries, and allow or dissallow such as are erected, or unite or disjoyn, as they think most expedient; and also appoint how many Presbytries shall be in a Synodall Assemblie there.
2. That the number of such as are associat to the Elderschip for discipline and correctioun of maners, that are not Pastours nor Doctours, quho travell not in the Word, be not in equall number with vthers, but fewer; the proportioun as the necessitie of the Elderschip craves.
3. Concerning such Elders as verses not in the Word: Thair resort to the Presbyterie salbe no farther straitit, but as the weghtines and occasioun, vpon intimatioun and advertisement made be the Pastours and Doctours, sall requyre; at quhilk tyme they sall give thair godlie concurrence; exhorting them alwayes that may commodiouslie resort, to be present at all tymes.
4. Such of the Ministrie as dois not resort to the Exercise and Presbyterie, salbe subject. to the penaltie arbitrall to be appointit at the discretioun of every particular Presbyterie, the samein to be aggried vpon be subscriptiouns of every Minister therof; and if any be found to dissagrie ther to a guid ordour, to be complainit on to the Generall Assemblie nixt to come; and the ordour quhilk every Presbyterie takes, to be sichtit, and therof ane good ordour [after] established for the haill.
5. It is thocht meitt, that the same day quhilk is the day of the Exercise, be in lyke maner the day of the ecclesiastical proces; and if the brether finds [it] necessar for the haistie expeditioun of the proces, that they may appoint dayes, tymes and places therfor, by the day of the Exercise.
7. It is not thocht meitt, that visitatioun be exceptit e re nata, within the bounds of the Presbyterie, and the samein not to be limitat to the Moderatour, bot to such, two or ma, as the Presbyterie sall direct, for the necessitie of the matter, according to the Booke of Policie.
8. The Clerk and Moderatour sall subscryve, in grave matters and forme of proceiding, in the name of the Elderschip, [ay] and quhill God provyde some better contributioun in every particular Kirk of the Elderschip for his intertainment.
9. The Minister of the paroch sall cause execute the sumounds concerning his paroch, and beare the burdein of sick things as salbe direct from the Presbyterie, or some deput be him, within his paroch.
11. As for collatioun of benefices, and designatioun of manses and gleibs: The Moderatour of the Presbyterie quher it is requisite, and for satis factioun of the act of Parliament, that they have a speciall commission of the Kirk for that effect, quhill it please God to move the King that the laws may be better reformed; provyding the Moderatour doe nothing but be advyce of the Presbyterie.
[As concerning designatione of manses and gleibs to Ministers and Readers, conferring of benefices to persons presented thereto, and planting of Ministers where no Presbytries are yet constitute: The Assemblie gives their full power and commissione to their brethren underwritten, in the particular bounds after specified, to plant and input Pastours and Preachers of the Word of God, designe manses and gleebs, give and conferr benefices according to the order observed within the Kirk; and to doe, exerce, and use such other things as were given of before in commissione to visiters of countries thereanent, while the erectione of the said Presbytries betwixt and the nixt Assemblie, viz.
As to the Pastor of Stirline: Seing he is deprived of his functione at the will of the Assemblie, the Assemblie requests John Duncansone and Patrick Gilespie to support the place thereof while the nixt Assemblie, that the Kirk take order therewith, and understand farther of the said Mr Robert his behaviour. C.]
Ordaines a general fast to be [observed and] keipit universallie in all Kirks of this realme, with doctrine and instructioun of the people, to begin the first Sonday of Junij nixt to come, and to continue to the nixt Sonday therafter inclusive, vsing, in the meane tyme, exercise of doctrine, according to the accustomit ordour: and the Kings Majestie to be certified be the Commissioners sent to him, and desyrit to hald hand therto be proclamatiouns [to be] sett out to that effect.
Causes. 1. Vniversall conspiracies of the Papists, [and enemies of God,] in all countreyes, against Christians, for executioun of the bloody Counsel of Trent. 2. The oppressioun and thraldome of the Kirk of God. 3. Waisting of the rents therof without remedie. 4. Falling from the former zeale. 5. Flocking home of Jesuites and of Papists. 6. Manifest bloodshed, incest, adulteries, with such horrible crymes defyling the land vnpunished.
7. The danger quherin the Kings Majestie stands throw evill company resorting about him, be quhom it is feared he may be corrupted in maners and religioun. 8. Vniversall oppressioun and contempt of the poore.
[Ordeans every Presbytrie within their own bounds to trie the Ministers of the same; and if any offence be found, to punish the same according to the qualitie and estate of their crimes, betwixt and the nixt Generall Assemblie.
The Generall Assemblie, in one voice, gives their full power and commissione to the honorable and faithfull brethren, the Erle of Marshall, Abbot of Deir, Mr Patrick Adamsone, Mr George Hay, Mr Alexander Arbuthnet, Mr James Martine, Provost of Sanct Salvators Colledge, or to any three of them, conjunctlie to pass and visit the North Countrie so farr as they may, and to call before them, where they shall think most expedient, such as be suspect of papistrie, to give confessione of their faith, and to subscrive the confessione set out and authorized be the Kings Majestie: And to this effect, to begin their journey at Midsummer nixt to come; and if any be found obstinate and inobedient, to proceed against them, according to the acts of the Kirk, with the censures thereof; and further commits unto their said brethren to try the accusationes conteaned in process layed against Alexander Urquhart be the brethren of Ross; and quhat they doe in the one and other, to report again to the nixt Assemblie. C.]
[Anent the reconciliatione of the feeds in the West: The Assemblie ordeans the brethren, to whom commission was given hereto in the last Assemblie, to travel thereinto, as they will answer to the Assemblie, according to the said commissione. C.]
[Thanks being given to God,] The nixt Assemblie appointit at Edenburgh, the 24 of October nixt, except some necessar occasioune interveine, be the advertisement of the Elderschip of Edenburgh, and the Kings Ministers, quherby they may be brocht together sooner.
Anent oure Souerane Lordis lettirs direct makand mentioun, fforsamekle as be certane Commissioners authorizit be his Hienes and the Generall Assemblie of the Kirk, convenit at Leith in the moneth of Januar the yeir of God ImVclxxj yeris, certane articles and ordoures wer aggreit vpoun, twitcheing the prouisioun of qualifeit personis to Archebishchoprikkis and Bischoprikkis vacand, to stand and continew to his Hienes minoritie, or consent of Parliament: And the samyn wes allowit and approvit be his Hienes, and his umquhile richt traist cousing, Johnne Erll of Mar, Lord Ersking, Regent to his Heienes his realme and liegis for the tyme, in his Hienes name, and ordanit to haue the strenth of ane act of his Hienes Secrete Counsale in the meyntyme. According to the quhilk the Prelaceis and vtheris inferiour benefices within this realme vacand, hes bene presentit and conferrit sensyne; and namelie the Archebischoprik of Glasgow to vmquhile Maister James Boyd, last possesour thairof, quha departit this lyff. His Hienes licence to cheis of all honoure and commendatioun of Maister Robert Montgomery, Minister of Godis Word, for prouisioun of him to the said Archebischoprik, wes direct to the Cheptoure of the Seitt of Glasgow, nominat and appointit for electing of the said Archebischop; quhilk Cheptoure consistit in xxxij Channonries or Prebendareis fundatioun, distinct or seuerall benefices of the present possessoures. Off the quhilk samony as ar enterit in the functioun of the Ministerie, wer ordanit to be of the Cheptoure for electioun of the Archebischop: as alsua how sone the remanent possessoures of the saidis benefices sal happin to depart this lyff, the benefices alwyse to be disponit to qualifeit personis, that suld entir in the functioun of the Ministerie, and thay to be of the Cheptoure: And quhill the personis, present possessoures of the benefices, not enterit in the functioun of the Ministrie, be departit this lyff, to adioyne thame quhilkis ar already Ministers prouidit to the saidis benefices. The vther Ministers of the Kirkis following, to represent and supple the Chaptoure in electioun of the said Archebischop, quhilkis will not convene to that effect, without thay be compellit. And anent the charge gevin to Maister Dauid Wemys, Persoun of Glasgow, Maister Thomas Smetoun, Principall of the College of Glasgow, as Persoun of Govane, Maister William Churnesyde, Persoun of Luss, Maister Thomas Jak, Minister of Rutherglen, Maister Andro Polwort, Subdene of Glasgow, Maister Johne Howesoun, Persoun of Cambuslang, Johne Andersoun, Minister at Kirkpatrik, Maister Archebald Douglas, Archedene of Glasgow, Maister Robert Ker, Archedene of Tiviotdale, Maister James Hill, Perfoun of Erskin, Maister James Brysoun, Subchantoure of Glasgow, James Blakwood, Persoun of Sanquhair, Maister Andro Hay, Persoun of Renfrew, Johnne Porterfeild, Persoun of Air, Maister Johnne Loverance, Persoun of Douglas, Maister Hector Douglas, Persoun of Ancrum, Maister William Hammyltoun, Persoun of Cumnok, Maister James Betoun, Persoun of Auld Roxburgh, Maister Thomas Cranstoun, Persoun of Askirk, Maister George Hay, Persoun of Dodilstoun, Edward Custik, Minister at Dumbertane, Maister Johnne ȝoung, Minister at Irwing, Maister Robert Lyndsay, Minister at Lanerk, Maister Johnne Dauidsoun, Minister at Hammyltoun, Johnne Spehard, Minister at Campsy, Maister James Greg, Minister at Cammonell, Maister Petir Prymrois, Minister at Mauchlene, Maister Johne Inglis, Minister at Vchiltre, Maister Patrik Walkinschaw, Minister at Stevinsoun, Johnne M'Crone, Minister at Straiton, To haue convenit in the cietie of Glasgow, at the ordinar place of the ecclesiasticall Assemblies, at ane certane day bypast: And thair the said Maister Andro Hay representing the place of the Dene, the said Maister Archebald Douglas, Archedene of Glasgow, his awin place, the said Robert Ker, Archedene of Tiviotdale, his awin place, and the said Maister Dauid Wemys, the place of the Chancellour, to haue procedit in the electing of the said Archebischop according to his Hienes licence, and lettirs of commenda tioun direct to thame to that effect, as thay wald ansuer to his Hienes vpoun thair obedience, and vnder the pane of rebellioun and putting of thame to the horne; or ellis to haue comperit befoir his Hienes and Lordis of Secrete Counsale, at ane certane day bypast, and schawin ane ressonable cause, quhy the samin suld not haue bene done: with certificatioun to thame and thay failȝeit, vtheris lettirs suld be direct simpliciter to put thame to the horne, lyke as at mair lenth is contenit in the saidis lettirs. Quhilkis being callit, and the saidis Maisters Andro Hay, Dauid Wemyis, Thomas Smetoun, Thomas Jak, Andro Polwart, Johnne Andersoun, and Johnne Porterfeild comperand all personalie, and the remanent personis abonewrittin being oftymes callit and not comperand, the said Maister Andro Hay protestit that nathing to be done in this jugement suld onywife preiuge the Word of God, liberties and preuilege of the Kirk, nor the lawes of this realme maid anent the same, and depending thairvpoun. Quhilk protestatioun with diuers vtheris the ressonis and allegationis of the foirsaidis personis comperand, as said is, being hard and considerit be the Kingis Maiestie and the saidis Lordis, and thay rypelie aduisit thairwith, the Kingis Maiestie, with aduise of the saidis Lordis, ffindis and declaris, That in respect of the foirsaidis personis representing the Dene and Cheptour foirsaid, had delayit to follow furth in this cais, the said order and forme aggreit vpon at Leith, in maner foirsaid, notwithstanding that thay wer diuers tymes, be his Maiesties lettirs and vtherwyse, requirit tharito, that thairfore the richt dispositioun of the said Bischoprik is diuoluit and becum in his Hienes handes; and that his Maiestie, in the same respect, may mak dispositioun of the same heirefter to quhom his Hienes thinkis guide.
Anent oure Souerane Lordis lettirs raisit at the instance of Maister Robert Montgomery, Minister, makand mentioun, that quhair, vpon the xvi day of Marche last bypast, he obtenit ane discharge dischargeing the Presbiterie of Striueling, and all vtheris Presbitereis, &c. of directing of ony citationes of excommunicatioun, or vtheris innouatioun, or troubling of him, for aspiring to the Bischoprick of Glasgow, or troubling of his brethrene in admissioun thairto, as the act thairvpoun presentit and schawin at mair lenth beirs: notwithstanding quhairof the said Elderschip of Striueling hes of new directit ane citatioun, chargeing the said Maister Robert to compeir befoir the Elderschippis of Edinburgh, Dalkeith, Linlythgow and Striueling, within the New Kirk of the burgh of Edinburgh, the thrid day of Aprile instant: Quhilkis Elderschippis intendis maist obstinatlie and dissobedientlie to proceid to excommunicatioun aganis him, and will not faill to proceid thairintill, without his Hienes and the Lordis of Secrete Counsale prouide remeid; albeit his Maiestie and the saidis Lordis, be thair said act, hes found thame selffis only Jugeis competent thairto, as groundit vpoun the Act maid at Leith, betuix his Hienes and the Commissioners of the haill Kirk. And anent the charge gevin to Maister Nicholl Dalgleische, as Moderator of the haill Synodall Assemblie; Maister James Lowsoun, Maister Robert Pont, Maister Andro Symsoun, for thame selffis, and in name of the haill Presbiterie of Edinburgh; Patrick Gillaspie, Moderator of the haill Presbiterie of Striueling, for him self and the said haill Presbiterie; Patrik Kennoquby, Moderator of the Presbiterie of Linlythgow, for him self and the haill Presbiterie of Linlythgow; and Maister George Ramsay, Moderator of the Presbiterie of Dalkeith, for him self and the remanent his haill brethrene thairof, To haue comperit personalie befoir the Kings Maiestie and Lordis of Secrete Counsale, at ane certane day bypast, bringand and produceand with thame the said principall citatioun, togidder with all vther process led and deducit be thame in the said mater, to haue bene sene and considderit; and to haue hard and sene the samin decernit, to haue bene inorderlie directit and procedit, as expres contrar the said act and ordoure aggreit vpoun at Leith, and to be suspendit simpliciter in tyme cuming, lyke as at mair lenth is contenit in the saidis lettirs. Quhilkis being callit, and the said Maister Robert Montgomery comperand personalie, and the saidis Presbiterie and Elderschip of Edinburgh, Linlithgow, and Dalkeith, for the maist part comperand alsua personalie; quha, be the pronunciatioun of Maister Robert Pont, ane of thair nowmer, protestit, That albeit thay be personalie present, and thairin hes declarit thair obedience to his Maiestie, as thay myndit to continew his Hienes obedient subiectis to thair lyses end; yit thay altogethir disassentit to accept and admit his Maiestie and the saidis Lordis to be Judgeis competent in this cause, being ecclesiasticall, as thay allegeit, quhilk properlie appertenit to the jugement and iurisdictioun of the Kirk; and, thairfore, that nathing to be done thairin presentlie suld onywyse be preiudiciall to the Word of God, liberties and preuilegeis of the Kirk, nor to the lawis of this realme maid anent the samin, and depending thairvpoun. Qubilk protestatioun, with diuers vtheris the ressonis and allegationes of baith the saidis parteis, being hard and considerit be the saidis Lordis, and thay ryplie aduisit thairwith, the Kingis Maiestie, with aduise of the saidis Lordis, dischargeis the four saidis Presbiteries and Elderschippis, and all vtheris Presbiteries, Elderschippis, and Generall and Synodall Assemblies, off all proceding aganis the said Maister Robert Montgomery, for aspyring to the said Bischoprick of Glasgow, or troubling or persewing of his brethrene for the samin, or for any promise maid be him thairanent, or ony vther thing depending thairvpoun, in tyme bygaine, and of thair offices in that part; without preiudice alwyse to the same Presbiteries and Elderschippis, or vthers haueand lauchfull power, to proceid aganis him for ony vther cause of actioun twitching his lyff, doctrine, maners and conuersatioun, as accordis.