Acts of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland 1638-1842. Originally published by Edinburgh Printing & Publishing Co, Edinburgh, 1843.
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The principal acts of the general assembly, convened at Edinburgh, May 22, 1828.
I. Sess. 1, May 22, 1828.—The King's Commission to James Ochoncar Lord Forbes produced, and ordered to be recorded.
II. Sess. 1, May 22, 1828.—The King's most gracious Letter to the General Assembly, presented to them by his Majesty's Commissioner.
III. Sess. 3, May 24, 1828.—The General Assembly's Answer to the King's most gracious Letter.
IV. Sess. 9, May 31, 1828.—Commission of the General Assembly to certain Ministers and Ruling Elders for discussing Affairs referred to them.
V. Sess. 9, May 31, 1828.—Commission to some Ministers and Ruling Elders for the Reformation of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, and for Managing his Majesty's Royal Bounty to that end.
VI. Sess. 10, May 31, 1828.—Overture and Interim Act relating to Students residing beyond the Bounds of this Church, before their entrance on the Study of Divinity.
VII. Sess. ult., June 2, 1828.—Report of the Committee of Assembly on the Returns of Presbyteries as to Schools.
The General Assembly, having heard this report, approve thereof, direct the clerks to insert the same in the printed Acts; and instruct Presbyteries to send returns, taking for their model the schedules formerly printed and circulated.
1. That returns appear from forty Presbyteries, a list of which will be found appended. That thirty-eight Presbyteries having omitted to send up returns, and this neglect having become habitual with many of them, it is for the Assembly to consider in what manner the repeated and salutary orders of the Supreme Ecclesiastical Court ought to be enforced. Your committee think it would be necessary to send copies of the printed form to each of these Presbyteries, which, if accompanied by a renewed order specially sent to them, it is humbly thought would have the effect.
2. As no less than seventeen out of the forty returns of this year are on common paper, and this mode of preparing them causes much trouble to the clerks, and is also less uniform and satisfactory, your committee hope that the Assembly will be pleased to authorise printed forms to be issued to the members of Presbyteries who may call for them, or to the clerks who may send an application for this purpose; and that in the event of any more being printed, a column be left, as formerly ordered, for the population, to be compared with the numbers of scholars. One printed report to be made up for each presbytery, duly attested.
3. That regular and most interesting reports have come up from Aberdeen, Arbroath, Ayr, Brechin, Cupar, Mull, St Andrews, and various other Presbyteries, and that, in general, these embrace not only the parish, but also the other schools in their bounds, which are supported by the Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge, the Gaelic School Society, the Committee of the General Assembly, the Inverness Education Society and its auxiliaries, the Society in Glasgow, the funds mortified for that purpose, and the sums contributed by the benevolence and patriotism of individuals.
4. That, from the aspect of these returns, compared with the extent and population of nearly as many Presbyteries, who have omitted to send in reports, it appears to your committee that there are at present under the superintendence of the General Assembly, and the inspection of Presbyteries in their committees, above 5000 schools in all, containing above 250,000 scholars; and that hardly any thing can be more salutary than the moral and religious influence of an engine so extensive, and so well directed, which, with an energy even more increased of late than the augmenting population of Scotland, has been directed to the promoting of literature and science, with sound principles and habits, and all the best interests of the kingdom.
5. That your committee think it their duty to observe, that, in the remote and desolate parish of Lochs, in the Presbytery of Lewis, the report bears, that still there is no parish school erected, a circumstance which must now also deprive the people of any school from the Assembly's committee. That, in many Presbyteries, a number of the teachers have not yet qualified to Government, by taking the Oath of Allegiance before any magistrate. That the teachers ought also to qualify, by subscribing the Confession of Faith before the Presbytery, and signing the Formula, 1694. That a number of the parish teachers have been allowed only the minimum salary, and that others possess too little, and far too mean accommodation in school-houses and dwelling-houses; and that now when, by the Act, 1803, an augmentation falls to be made to the salaries of parish teachers, if landholders are pleased to give liberal attention to these objects, it may raise the character of that useful order of men, instead of depressing it, and withering the salutary influence of their labours, by leaving them so meanly endowed and accommodated as many now are.
6. Your committee are bound in duty to notice the fact, that no scholars attend the parish school of Balmerino, which, to a parish containing 965 souls, must be very highly injurious; and, in thus noticing it, your committee hope that their doing so may tend, in some degree, to correct an evil, for which, in the report, no reason is assigned.
7. That though the Episcopal teachers in Montrose made opposition to the Presbytery's committees of examination some years ago, for which an apology was made
at the bar of this House, the schools there are now regularly visited and reported
from year to year; and even the schools at New Lanark are not only open for exa
mination, but the Scriptures are daily read in them, through the Christian prudence
and attention of the minister of Lanark. That the report from Aberdeen bears, that
religious instruction is given in the ancient and flourishing High School of the New
City, where 204 scholars are learning Latin, and 80 are learning Greek, and that
your countenance and influence, it is humbly hoped, may induce other classical
schools to follow so good an example. That, in general, the number of scholars are
increasing in the numerous seminaries; an instance being reported from the academy
at Ayr, as containing 578 scholars, and being also an excellent and thriving institution.
Wm. Singer, Convener.
List of Presbyteries who have sent up Returns of Examination of the Schools in
And in Dunblane, for
parish of Klimadock.