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 17, 1832.
I. Sess. 1, May 17, 1832.—The King's Commission to the Right Honourable Lord Belhaven.
II. Sess. 1, May 17, 1832.—The King's most gracious Letter to the General Assembly.
Right Reverend and Well-beloved, we greet you well.—Having received from you on all occasions the most satisfactory proofs of your zeal for the maintenance and advancement of the Protestant religion, and of your loyalty and affection to our person and government, we most cheerfully sanction this your meeting with our full approval.
We feel confident that you will persevere to act upon the same enlightened principles which have hitherto marked your conduct, and that you will endeavour to the utmost to maintain, in all your proceedings, a spirit of moderation, wisdom, and Christian charity. On your part, you may rest assured that the Church of Scotland, as by law established, shall enjoy our undiminished protection for securing to it all its rights and privileges.
We have again thought fit to appoint our right trusty and well-beloved Robert Montgomery Lord Belhaven to be our Commissioner, and to represent our person in this General Assembly; not doubting that the same qualifications which have recommended him to our choice, will continue to make him acceptable to you in the execution of the important trust committed to his care; and so we bid you heartily farewell.
Given at our Court at St James's, the 10th day of May 1832, in the second year of our reign.
By his Majesty's Command,
III. Sess. 3, May 19, 1832.—The General Assembly's Answer to the King's most gracious Letter.
May it please your Majesty, The gracious letter with which your Majesty has been pleased to honour the present General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has been received by us with the most lively sentiments of respect and gratitude.
We offer our most sincere and humble acknowledgments for the approbation which your Majesty has been pleased to express of our zeal for the maintenance and advancement of the Protestant religion, and of our loyalty and affection to your person and government.
Permit us to assure your Majesty that it shall be our great endeavour to act upon the same enlightened principles, which your Majesty condescends to say have hitherto marked our conduct, and to carry on all our proceedings in that spirit of moderation and Christian charity which become us as the servants of the Prince of Peace.
That your Majesty continues to countenance our Assembly with your royal authority is to us a gratifying proof of your paternal goodness; and we repose with confidence on the pledge which your Majesty has given us, that the Church of Scotland, as by law established, shall enjoy your undiminished protection for securing to it all its rights and privileges.
The hereditary attachment of Lord Belhaven to the cause of civil and religious liberty, his undoubted regard for the Church of Scotland, his exemplary conduct in private life, as well as the wisdom and urbanity with which, on a former occasion, he discharged the duties of his high office, render the re-appointment of him to represent your Majesty's royal person an acceptable mark of attention to our National Church.
We rejoice in the renewed expression of your Majesty's zeal for the propagation of the reformed Protestant religion in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland; and it shall be our care, by a faithful application of the sum your Majesty has graciously bestowed, to fulfil the pious and benevolent intentions of the royal donor.
That Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, may protect your Majesty's person, prolong your days, and prosper your government; that He may bless
the Queen and all the Royal Family; that He may continue with us the Many national privileges which we enjoy under your Majesty's mild administration, and
transmit them as a precious inheritance to our children, and our children's children;
and that, after a long reign over a free, a loyal, and a happy people, you may receive
from him the recompence of a heavenly crown, are the fervent prayers of,
May it please your Majesty, your Majesty's most faithful, most obedient, and most loyal subjects, the Ministers and Elders met in this National Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
Signed in our name, in our presence, and by our appointment,
Thomas Chalmers, Moderator.
IV. Sess. 9, May 26, 1832.—Commission of the General Assembly to certain Ministers and Ruling Elders for discussing Affairs referred to them.
The General Assembly, &c.
V. Sess. 9, May 26, 1832.—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.
The General Assembly, &c.
VI. Sess. 9, May 26, 1832.—Standing Orders to be observed as to Procedure in the General Assembly.
1. That the Committee of Overtures shall be appointed to meet on the evening of the first Thursday of the Assembly, immediately after the rising of the committee for revising commissions, and again on the following morning at ten o'clock.
2. That there shall be two sessions held on the first Friday of the Assembly, the one thereof at twelve o'clock noon, to be spent in prayer, as at present; the other as soon thereafter as the Assembly may choose to appoint, for the purpose of hearing the reports of the committees on bills and overtures, and for the arrangement and dispatch of business generally.
3. That the practice of reading the Answer to the King's Letter, or any address, paragraph by paragraph, in the Assembly itself, be dispensed with in future, reserving the right of members to make such observations as may occur to them thereon as at present.
4. That on the second Thursday of its sitting, the Assembly shall determine when reports of committees, not previously lodged and disposed of by special order, shall be taken up.
5. That rolls of the order of causes, overtures, reports, and other matters of business, shall be printed for the use of the members of Assembly.
6. That, in as far as may be possible, separate days shall be set apart for the hearing of causes, and consideration of overtures.
7. That when a Presbytery acquiesces in the sentence of a Synod, it shall not be entitled to appear as a separate party at the bar of the Assembly; but the members of Presbytery shall nevertheless be heard as members of Synod.
8. That in no case shall there be more than two speeches for each party at the bar, besides the reply, to which the appellant or complainer shall be entitled. And when there are more than two parties, there shall only be one speaker, and one speech for each, besides the reply. It being understood that where there is more than one complainer, each shall be considered as a different party only in case of its appearing to the Assembly that the complaints rest upon distinctly separate grounds.
VII. Sess. 9, May 26, 1832.—Overture on the Form of Process.
(See Act 11th, 1832.)
VIII. Sess. ult., May 28, 1832.—Overture and Interin Act relating to Students residing beyond the Bounds of this Church, before their entrance on the Study of Divinity.
IX. Sess. ult., May 28, 1832.—Overtures and Interin Acts relative to the Attendance of Students of Divinity on the Classes of Church History and Hebrew.
X. Sess. ult., May 28, 1832.—Report of the Committee appointed by the General Assembly for Classing Returns as to Schools.
The Committee beg leave to report to the venerable Assembly:—
1. That the following Presbyteries have made returns, including every parish within their respective bounds, and specifying, with more or less minuteness, the state of
the parochial schools, and in the Greater number of instances the state of private
schools also, viz.:—
2. That the following fPresbyteries have made returns, which include nearly all the
parishes within their respective bounds, viz.:—
3. That only a few parishes are noticed in the returns from the Prebyteries of Edinburgh and Irvine, and but one in that from the Prebytery of Hamilton; while the report sent by the Prebytery of Turriff is in the form of a genral certificate written on the back of the commission paper; and the report from Paisley is also very brief.
4. That the following Preabyteries have made nor returns, viz.:—
5. That several of the returns, such as those from the Presbytery of Aberdeen, including very minute details of the state of education in the West Parish of Aberdeen, and from the Presbyteries of St Andrews, Cupar, Kirkcaldy, Dunfermline, Damfries, Ayr, Linlithgow, and some others, appear to be made with most commendable attention.
6. That the Presbyteries of Mull and Lewis complain again of the irregular conduct of certain teachers within their bounds, who have been publicly preaching on the Lord's Day, and at other times. But this irregularity, in so far as the Presbytery of Mull is concerned, being now under the consideration of a committee of the General Assembly, is in the way of being prevented in future.
7. That two of the school-houses in Glenorchy and Inishail, in the Presbytery of Lorn, are represented as being very much out of repair, and even dangerous to the health of the scholars, and that the schoolmasters of Kilchrennan and Dalavich, in the same Presbytery, have no dwelling-house assigned to them.
8. That all the Presbyteries of the Church ought to have a supply of printed schedules on which to make their returns. Owing to the want of these, it is apprehended, the reports are, in several instances, not regular as to form, and defective.
9. That it is with great pleasure the committee observe, that the plan of instruction which is so successfully followed in the Sessional School of Edinburgh is adopted, and also that infant schools are opened in several parishes.
10. That while the committee entertain no doubt that, in teaching the principles of religion, the Church Catechism, along with the Bible, is universally employed in the parochial schools, they would like to see the daily use of it recognised by a formal statement in all, as it is in many, of the returns.
11. That in the following parishes, viz. the West Parish of Greenock, the Abbey of
Paisley, and Lady Parish, in the Presbytery of North Isles, it appears that there is
no parochial school.
William Muir, Convener.
XI. Sess. ult., May 28, 1832.— Act appointing the Diet of the next General Assembly.
The next General Assembly of this National Church is to be holden at Edinburgh, on Thursday, the 16th day of May 1833.
Collected and extracted from the Records of the General Assembly, by
John Lee, Cl. Eccl. Scot.