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 a, holden and begun at Edinburgh, April 26, 1710.
I. Sess. 1, April 26, 1710.—Act appointing the Queen's Commission to the Earl of Glasgow to be Recorded.
The General Assembly of this Church being constituted, there was produced to them, by the Right Honourable David Earl of Glasgow, her Majesty's commission, sealed at Edinburgh the 25th day of April current, with the seal ordained to be kept and used in Scotland in place of the Great Seal of Scotland, and of the same tenor with former commissions, appointing him her Majesty's High Commissioner and representative in this Assembly; which commission being publicly read with all due honour and respect, it is by order of this Assembly recorded in their books, ad futuram rei memoriam.
II. Her Majesty's gracious Letter to the General Assembly, presented April 26, 1710.
Right Reverend and well-beloved,
We greet you well. We have made choice of our right trusty and well-beloved cousin, David Earl of Glasgow, to represent our royal person in this Assembly, having had many proofs of his fidelity to us, and his affection to the Church of Scotland, and other good qualities for discharging that trust, whom we have instructed in what we thought necessary for the present exigency; and, therefore, you may give entire trust to him. The experience we have of the calmness, decency, and orderly procedure in former Assemblies, very acceptable to us, and suitable to the prudence and wisdom of so great and reverend a meeting, does not suffer us to doubt, that you will at this time go on in the same way, and that you will proceed still to plant vacant churches with learned, diligent, and pious ministers; to promote religion and holiness, suppress vice, profanity, and impiety; and prevent the growth of Popery and Atheism. We take this occasion to repeat to you the assurances of our royal protection, for maintaining you in the full possession of your rights and privileges, as by law established. And so we bid you heartily farewell.
Given at our Court at St James's the 29th day of March 1710, and of our reign the 9th year.
By Her Majesty's Command,
III. Sess. 3, April 28, 1710.—The General Assembly's Answer to the Queen's most gracious Letter.
May it please your Majesty,
We have so dutiful a sense of your Majesty's great goodness to us, in continuing to countenance our Assemblies by your royal authority—in being graciously pleased to give us repeated assurances of your protection and favour, and to maintain us in the full possession of our rights and privileges—in your tender care to prevent any thing that may disturb our peace and harmony, and to disappoint the designs of such as would either divide or make us uneasy, and in the many other great advantages that we enjoy under your wise and benign administration—that we look upon ourselves to be under the greatest obligations, cheerfully to embrace every opportunity of testifying our untainted loyalty and true affection to your Majesty's person and government. We can with confidence affirm, that we, and all the ministers of this Church whom we represent, will, upon all occasions, withness in our stations a sincere and constant zeal for your Majesty's honour, and the stability of your throne.
We do thankfully acknowledge that it is a particular instance of your Majesty's royal favour to us, that you have been pleased to make choice of the Earl of Glasgow to represent your royal person in this Assembly. His steady faithfulness to your Majesty, and the many proofs we have had of the wisdom and kindness of his management upon several other occasions, when he was clothed with his present high character, cannot but make him most acceptable to us, and oblige us to give him that entire trust and respectful regard that your Majesty expects we should, and he justly merits.
It is with no small joy that we find that the peaceable and calm procedure of former Assemblies is so acceptable to your Majesty, which cannot but engage us to be concerned to go on in the same way, that your Majesty may have full satisfaction in our management.
The just sense, Madam, that we ought to have of the infinite goodness of our God, in bestowing upon us the most valuable blessing of revealed religion, of the infinite love of our Redeemer, who came into the world to be the propitiation for our sins, and to destroy the works of the devil, and of the worth of the immortal souls of men, doth oblige us to acknowledge with all thankfulness to God the blessing we enjoy of being under the government of so religious a Sovereign, and heartily to fall in with what your Majesty so piously recommends to us, in using our utmost endeavours, in our stations, to promote religion and holiness, suppress vice, profanity, and impiety, prevent the growth of Popery and Atheism, and provide vacant churches with learned, diligent, and pious ministers.
And we crave leave upon this occasion to assure your Majesty, that we abhor all principles that stain the glory of the reformed Christian religion, and all opinions that have a tendency to shake the excellent and solid foundation upon which your Majesty's just title to the supreme government of your dominions, and the security of your throne in a Protestant succession, against all Popish Pretenders, are happily established.
May the God of heaven long preserve your Majesty, for the comfort and safety of all your good subjects, for the advantage of the Protestant interest both at home and abroad, and for a public blessing in the world; may he continue the peace of your dominions, and always crown you arms by sea and land with such success, as your Majesty may be in a capacity signally to contribute to the procuring a solid and safe peace to Europe, and such relief to distressed Protestants in France, Silesia, and elsewhere, as may answer your Majesty's known pious inclinations, and our earnest prayers and desires; and may your Majesty, after a long, peaceable, and happy reign, upon earth, be possessed of a crown of glory, righteousness, and life, in heaven.
May it please your Majesty, your Majesty's most faithful, most obedient, and most humble subjects, the Ministers and Elders met in this National Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
Signed in our presence, in our name, and at our appointment, by
Will. Mitchel, Moderator.
IV. Sess. 6, May 2, 1710.—Overtures anent Trying and Licensing Probationers for the Holy Ministry.
(An Act on this subject was passed in 1711.)
V. Sess. 7, May 3, 1710.—Act and Recommendation concerning Soldiers under Scandals.
The General Assembly, finding that there are several references made to them by inferior judicatories of this Church, concerning soldiers under scandals, who refuse to submit to the discipline of the Church for removing the said scandals; for remedy thereof, they did resolve that this matter should be represented to the Right Honourable the Earl of Leven, Commander-in-Chief of her Majesty's forces in Scotland; and did, and hereby do, appoint and ordain ministers, kirk-sessions, and Presbyteries, to apply to the magistrates of the bounds, and also to the commanding officer on the place, from time to time, as need requires, and crave that both officers and soldiers may be obliged to submit to the discipline of the Church according to law, and her Majesty's gracious proclamations against profaneness; and if this shall be refused or delayed, the Assembly do appoint that the matter be laid before the Commission of the General Assembly, that they may do further therein what the law directs.
And the Earl of Leven being present in the Assembly, the moderator, at the Assembly's desire, and in their name, did earnestly entreat his Lordship would assist and countenance the Church in this matter, and would give such orders as his Lordship should find most effectual, for bringing officers and soldiers to give all due submission and obedience to the censures of the Church. His Lordship was pleased to assure the Assembly, that as he was glad of any occassion to serve the interests of this Church, so he would take care to give all necessary directions in this matter.
VI. Sess. 10, May. 6.—Act for a Solemn Fast.
The General Assembly, taking into their serious consideration the many evidences of God's displeasure and fearful symptoms of approaching judgments, the great and erying sins of the land, atheism, irreligion, Popery, many errors and dreadful delusions, with immoralities of all kinds, are come to a great height, and that all these sins are heinously aggravated, as being committed by a professing people in a reformed land, against the clearest light of the glorious Gospel, and innumerable mercies that God hath been pleased to bless us with: And, notwithstanding of the many excellent laws made against these evils, and the royal proclamations which our most gracious Sovereign, out of a true zeal for the glory of God, has emitted, and that our woeful security under all these evils, plainly hold forth that many spiritual plagues are inflicted on us by a righteous and jealous God: Therefore, the General Assembly do judge it the duty of this Church, and of every person therein, to lay these things to heart, and to be humbled for them; and do appoint the second Thursday of July next to be set apart for solemn fasting and humiliation in all the churches within this land; and the General Assembly recommends to all the ministers in this Church to be free and faithful in holding forth to their people the heinous sins both of the former and present times, and in exhorting all ranks of persons to flee to Christ for peace and pardon, and to unfeigned repentance, reformation, and fervent prayer to God, that in his great goodness He would be pleased to pour down the Spirit of grace and supplication upon persons of all ranks, bless his ordinances with more success, remove all dis tempers, heal our breaches, defeat all designs of our restless adversaries, tending to the breaking of the public peace by open force, or secret contrivances, preserve and bless the person of our Sovereign, and direct her councils, and that the Lord of Hosts would continue to favour her forces by sea and land with success, so that this long, bloody, and expensive war, may issue in such a peace, as shall be for the glory of God, the interest of the Reformed religion, the relief of the distressed Protestants in France and elsewhere, the perpetual peace and prosperity of these lands, and for the honour of our Sovereign the Queen's Majesty, in this and all succeeding generations; and that the Lord would bless the season, and crown the year with his goodness: And the Assembly ordains these presents to be read by all the ministers of this Church from their pulpits, with grave and serious exhortations suitable to the occasion; and that public intimation hereof be made the Lord's Day immediately preceding the day appointed for observation of the said fast.
VII. Sess. 10, May 6, 1710.—Act for the due Observation of the Fast now appointed by the General Assembly, and of Fasts and Thanksgivings which may be hereafter appointed.
The General Assembly, considering that by the 6th act of this Assembly, they have, for the weighty grounds and causes therein specified, appointed a solemn fast to be observed through this whole Church; and that it much concerns the honour of God and good of this Church, that the same be duly and religiously observed; do, therefore, recommend it to all the ministers of this Church, that with due prudence and zeal they do, in their preaching, reprove and warn of, and in prayer confess and acknowledge, the epidemical crying sins both of former and present times, highly aggravated by the violation of our solemn covenants and engagements, and many professed resolutions to the contrary: And the General Assembly does beseech and obtest people of all ranks to be sincere and serious in humiliation and supplication, and universal reformation, as they would find mercy of the Lord, and have deserved wrath averted, and would obtain the blessing of the Lord on themselves, and their posterity after them. And because it is much for the glory of God, and peace and welfare of this Church, that fasts and thanksgivings, whether appointed by the Church or the supreme magistrate, for just and necessary causes, be duly observed: Therefore, the General Assembly enjoins all the ministers and members of this Church religiously to observe all such fasts and thanksgivings, lest, by their contempt thereof, they provoke a holy and jealous God, and bring on this Church desolating and unavoidable judgments; and the General Assembly appoints Presbyteries and Synods to take particular notice of the due observation of this act, and ordains these presents to be intimated, together with the foresaid act for the fast, in all the congregations of this Church.
VIII. Sess. 10, May 6, 1710.—Act concerning Bills or Petitions for Charity.
The General Assembly does enact and declare, that in all time coming, no petitions for charity shall be transmitted to nor regarded by the General Assembly, unless the petitioners produce therewith ample testimonials as to their life and conversation, and recommendations from the Synod or Presbytery of the bounds where they reside, bearing such persons to be truly objects of charity.
IX. Sess. 11, May 8, 1710.—Act for suppressing Bourignionism.
The General Assembly, finding by instructions from several Presbyteries to their commissioners, that the gross heresies and errors going under the name of Bourignionism are greatly prevailing in the bounds of several Synods in this National Church; they (as a remedy against the same) do appoint all ministers in whose parishes the foresaid errors do abound to preach most particularly and faithfully against the same; and that all Presbyteries in whose bounds the foresaid errors do prevail do oblige all schoolmasters, teachers, governors of youth, and chaplains within their province, to subscribe the Confession of Faith, as the confession of their faith; and if any of the foresaid persons refuse to do the same, that thereupon the Presbytery declare the said persons incapable of such offices, and apply to the heritors and heads of families concerned, in order to their discharging the said persons from the foresaid offices; and in case of their refusal to comply therewith, that the Presbytery do send up the names of the foresaid persons refusing to subscribe the Confession of Faith, unto the Commission of the General Assembly, to gether with the names of the parishes and families in which they reside, that so the said Commission may proceed against all such persons as they shall see cause. And all Presbyteries, in whose bounds there are any societies of Bourignionists, avowedly professing these principles, and dispersing the books containing the same, are hereby ordained to send in to the Commission of the General Assembly and exact and full account of the particular leading persons of the said socicties, together with the names and errors of the books they are dispersing; and the said Commission is enjoined to take such measures as they shall judge most convenient for the effectual suppressing of the same; and they are hereby also instructed to apply to the Government for hindering of incorrect, false, and spurious translations of the Bible, to be spread abroad: And, lastly, the Assembly recommends to the professors of divinity within this National Church to make a full collection of the errors of Antonia Bourignion, and of such other errors as do reflect upon the nature, person, and offices of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to write a confutation of the same.
X. Sess. 12, May 9, 1710.—Act concerning Bursaries and Students having Irish.
The General Assembly, taking into their consideration, that now, through the merey and goodness of God, most of the Lowland Presbyteries are competently planted, and that the promoting of knowledge, religion, and civility in the Highlands, is the common concern of this National Church; do, therefore, enact and appoint, that the one-half of the whole bursaries of all the Presbyteries within Scotland, the whole to be applied for the education of such youths as have the Irish language, in philosophy and divinity at the Colleges of Glasgow, Edinburgh, St Andrews, and Aberdeen, and that the same be paid to collectors to be appointed by the Presbyteries of Glasgow, Edinburgh, St Andrews, and Aberdeen, (which Presbyteries are to be accountable to their respective Synods concerned for what money they receive; and, for this end, that the Synods of Glasgow, Galloway, and Dumfries, pay in their bursaries to a collector to be appointed by the Presbytery of Glasgow, and under their inspection accountable to their Synod; in like manner, the Synods of Merse and Lothian to the Presbytery of Edinburgh; the Synods of Perth, Fife, and Stirling, to the Presbytery of St Andrews; and the Synods of Angus, Aberdeen, Moray, Ross, and Orkney, to the Presbytery of Aberdeen; and the other half to be disposed of to Lowland bursars as Presbyteries shall see cause, conform to the acts of the Assembly; and this to begin the first day of October next to come, and to continue for four years or longer, as the General Assembly shall see cause: And it is hereby declared, that the respective Synods to which the said bursaries do belong shall have the choice and presentation of the said Irish bursars; and that no person shall have the benefit of either Highland or Lowland bursaries but such as bring a testimonial or recommendation from their Synods respectively, bearing their having been examined by their Synod, and the Synod's good hopes of them as sober youths, piously inclined, and well-affected to the government of Church and State; and that they are good proficients in the Latin, and are such as they judge may in due time prove able ministers of the Gospel or schoolmaster; and if they be presented to Irish bursaries, bearing that they have the Irish language, and have obliged themselves to employ their talents in these services in the Highlands, either in the bounds of the Synods presenting and recommending them, or some other by their allowance: And the Assembly appoints the foresaid testimonials to be recorded, together with the bursars' names, and to be reported to each Assembly. And further, the General Assembly hereby renews the eighth Act of the Assembly, 1701, entitled, "Recommendation to Synods anent maintaining Bursars having the Irish Language," and the eleventh Act of the Assembly, 1705, entitled, "Act anent Bursars," and appoints the said acts to be observed until the General Assembly see cause to recal the same.
The General Assembly having had transmitted to them from their Committee for Overtures the representations of the Irish students in the College of Edinburgh, referred to said committee by the Assembly, upon Monday the first instant; and having heard an overture of the said committee, bearing that they were informed that some of the said students do want bursaries, and others of them who have recommendations in their favour have been greatly disappointed, and much discouraged in the prosecution of their studies; and, therefore, did overture, that the General Assembly should refer to and empower their Commission to be appointed by them to inquire how former recommendations about students have been observed, and to take care that the foresaid students be provided of bursaires, and have all due encouragement to prosecute their studies. The General Assembly having considered this overture, they do refer and empower according thereto in all points; the said students being always qualified in the terms of this act, and other acts above narrated.
XI. Sess. 13, May 10, 1710.—Representation of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge, with an Act and Recommendation thereupon.
The General Assembly, having heard and considered the representation of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge, bearing that the said Society being established by her Majesty's letters patent, according to the desire of former General Assemblies, and commissions and committees thereof, and a nomination of the members of the said Society, made out of the subscribers, then brought in; and having met in a general meeting, made choice of a president, treasurer, secretary, and committee, in the terms of the said letters patent; and considering the trust reposed in them, and how much the glory of God is concerned in the matter, as also that our gracious Queen, and likewise the General Assembly, and other judicatories of this Church, and many charitable and piously inclined persons of all ranks, have showed their zeal for promoting the great design of the said Society, and many have contributed liberally for that end.
And the Society being desirous faithfully, diligently, and impartially, to discharge the said trust so as may most advance the said design, and be to the satisfaction of all good Christians, especially such as are contributors, found it needful, in the first place, to use all proper means to procure subscriptions and contributions, and to secure the same upon interest; and in order to this letters have been, since the beginning of November last, twice written to the several Presbyteries, and once to the Synods, anent the observation of what was recommended by the sixth act of the late General Assembly, and desiring that the said contributions might have been brought into the Society's treasurer; as also, letters have been written to the Justices of the Peace at their Quarter Sessions, and to the Magistrates of Burghs through Scotland, entreating their concurrence and assistance in promoting this good work in their several stations, according to her Majesty's pleasure, expressed in the said letters patent, copies whereof were transmitted with all the said letters: And though some reverend Presbyteries and ministers have showed a commendable concern in this matter, yet there is no account of any diligence from others, which, it is like, has fallen out through forgetfulness or some mistakes; and to remove the same the Society agreed unto, and caused print and disperse, a scheme of their designed management; and, therefore, craving in manner therein mentioned. The General Assembly, in compliance with the desire of the said Society, and for encouraging that pious and worthy design of propagating the knowledge of Christ, did, and hereby do, enjoin the exact observation of the said 6th Act of the late Assembly, where the same is not yet done, and appoints the several Presbyteries to see the same done, and to return to the secretary of the Society a report of their diligence, in the terms of the letters sent to them, as soon as they can.
And that the Society may the better know how to employ the interest of their stock when the same comes in, the General Assembly does hereby recommend to the several Synods concerned in the Highlands and Islands to inquire what parishes do need more schools than one, and how many they need, what is the extent of those parishes in length and breadth ? As also, what ministers have more churches or places of public worship than one ? And whether these churches do stand in different islands or not ? And if there be a school for every kirk or island ? Or any person in these places to teach children to read ? Or any catechists ? As also, in what place Popery abounds most ? And where catechists will be needful ? And the Assembly appoints Synods to send an impartial and true account of the above particulars to the secretary of the said Society, subscribed by their moderator and clerk, as soon as they can; and at furthest betwixt and the first day of April 1711, that the same may be laid before the Society and their committee, that they may have the whole matter before them, in order to the disposing of the annual rents of their stock, where it is most needful.
And that this work may not be retarded, the General Assembly does seriously exhort all ministers and other charitable persons, whose hearts God has inclined to favour this excellent design, that they forthwith put their contributions in the hands of the treasurer to the Society, that the same may be laid out upon interest, seeing the Society cannot dispose upon any of their stock, but only the annual rents thereof.
And that there may be the greater plenty of fit instruments to be employed on the said design, in the terms of her Majesty's letters patent, the General Assembly have, by the 10th Act of this Assembly, appointed, likeas they hereby do appoint, that the one-half of the whole bursaries of all the Presbyteries in Scotland be bestowed on hopeful and pious students having the Irish language for the space of four years, conform to the tenor of the foresaid Act. And the General Assembly does hereby enjoin and require the several Synods of this Church to see all the foresaid appointments put in due execution, and that they report an account of their diligence herein to the General Assembly, from time to time. And, lastly, the General Assembly does hereby appoint and ordain the commissions to be named by this and subsequent Assemblies, and likewise the whole Synods and Presbyteries within this Church, to give all due encouragement, countenance, and assistance, to the said Society, or those employed by them, as they shall be orderly applied to for that effect from time to time.
XII. Sess. 13, May 10, 1710.—Act for preserving the Purity of Doctrine.
The General Assembly, considering that the purity of doctrine is a signal blessing to the Church of God, and that it hath been the great happiness of this Church, ever since her reformation from Popery, to have enjoyed and maintained the same; and that the avoiding all expressions in matters of faith, contrary to the form of sound words, tends not a little to preserve the said purity which is so desirable: And it being informed that in some places some expressions are used, and opinions as to some points of religion vented, which are not agreeable to our Confession of Faith and Catechisms, and the known sentiments of the greatest lights and most famous Gospel ministers wherewith this Church has been blessed: Therefore, the General Assembly does discharge all persons to vent any opinions contrary to any head or article of the said Confession and Catechisms, or use any expressions in relation to the Articles of Faith not agreeable to the form of sound words expressed in the Word of God, and the Confession of Faith and Catechisms of this Church, which are most valuable pieces of her reformation. And the General Assembly does hereby further enact, that no minister or member of this Church presume to print or disperse in writing any Catechism, without the allowance of the Presbytery of the bounds and of the commission; and the Presbytery is hereby appointed to lay any such Catechism before the commission; and the General Assembly does enjoin and require Synods and Presbyteries carefully to advert to the observation of this act, and that they notice the transgressors thereof.
XIII. Sess. 13, May 10, 1710.—Overtures for Regulating the Calling of Ministers.
Considering that the debates and contentions among those who claim votes in calling ministers, are ordinarily occasioned upon the account of their different inclinations, as to the person to be called. To prevent all such debates, it is overtured that the Assembly recommend to the several Presbyteries, when any parish is vacant, to take care to adjust all differences as to persons' rights to vote in a call to that parish, and to make up a list of the voters, and that all this shall be done before the Presbytery order the moderating a call; 2dq, Considering the great inconveniences of admitting proxies to compear before Church judicatories, and that it is contrary to the ancient and laudable practice of this Church, particularly in calling ministers, and that any person having a vote may signify his mind by a writ to the respective judicatories, which should be held as valid as if he were personally present to vote: Therefore, it is overtured, that the Assembly recommend to all judicatories of this Church not to admit proxies to vote and plead before them.
The General Assembly having heard and considered the foresaid overtures, they do transmit the same to the several Presbyteries of this Church, and appoints them to send in their opinion thereabout to the next General Assembly, that the said Assembly may turn the same into an act and standing rule of this Church, if the majority of Presbyteries agree thereto.
XIV. Sess. 14 et ult., May 11, 1710.—Commission by the General Assembly to some Ministers and Ruling Elders for discussing several Affairs referred to them.
The General Assembly, taking into their consideration that there are several weighty affairs which they cannot overtake; do therefore nominate and appoint their reverend brethren, Messrs Thomas Vernour at Balmaclellan, &c., to be commissioners of this Assembly, to the effect after mentioned, with full power to the said persons, &c. (The powers granted to the Commission are the same as in 1709.)
XV. Sess. 14 et ult., May 11, 1710.—Instructions by the General Assembly to their Commission.
1. That the Commission, as often as they shall see cause, apply to her Majesty, or any inferior magistrate, for their countenancing of, and concurring with, the judicatories of the Church, in what the law allows, and for putting in execution the laws against Popery and profaneness, and seeking redress of grievances, and abuses, and disorders, committed contrary to the established doctrine, worship, discipline, and Presbyterian government of this Church, the contempt of the censures of the judicatories thereof, inflicted on scandalous persons; and that they assist Presbyteries and Synods in planting vacancies, as they shall be applied to by them.
2. The Commission are empowered to send commissioners to London, to obtain redress with relation to Popery, irregularities, and other things, that are grievous to this Church.
3. That when any of the ministers who served under the late Prelacy, whose lives and doctrine may render them useful to this Church, shall apply for reception into a share of the government thereof, the General Assembly do hereby empower and recommend to their Commission to receive them, according to the thirteenth paragraph of the 16th Act of the General Assembly, anno 1697; and that the foresaid Commission be careful to get due information from the Presbyteries, where these persons applying did, or do officiate, and for the time reside.
4. That the said Commission use their utmost diligence for getting payment of the money gifted by the Queen's Majesty for defraying the public charges of the Church; and in disposing thereof, they are to take care that the public debts of the Church be first paid, according to an act passed in the last Assembly thereanent, 'and to the instructions given to the Commission of the General Assembly, anno 1706, which are hereby renewed; and that the encouragement granted by the General Assembly, anno 1699, to ministers and probationers who go North, or to the Highlands and Islands, to preach, be rendered effectual; and, likewise, that the said Commission cause defray the extraordinary charges and expenses that Presbyteries and ministers have been at, particularly in these places, in carrying on the planting of churches, and other public affairs of the Church there.
5. And the foresaid Commission is hereby empowered to cognosce and finally determine in all references already made or to be made to them by this Assembly, and in references and appeals for transporting ministers to the North, the Highlands, and Islands, which shall be brought before them, according to the overtures made thereanent, anno 1699; and that transportations to any parishes in these places, whether privileged by former acts of Assembly or not, be carried on, and that in the most expeditious way; providing that the Commission do not meddle with sentences of Synods, excepting causes particularly referred to them.
6. That the said Commission appoint fasts and thanksgivings, as they shall see occasion, and specify the causes thereof, and apply to her Majesty for the civil sanction thereto.
7. The said Commission is empowered to give all due assistance to any proposals that may be made to them, about endeavours for reformation of manners, for the effectual curbing and suppressing of profaneness and vice.
8. The Commission is empowered to give all due assistance to any Synod or Presbytery in difficult cases, as they shall be applied unto by them for that effect.
9. The Commission is appointed to take special care to keep and maintain unity in the Church upon all emergencies, especially among ministers thereof; and to gain such as do separate therefrom, and to suppress error and schism in this Church, and prosecute the authors and spreaders of books and pamphlets tending thereto, as is by another act recommended to Presbyteries; and to take notice how any who have been censured by preceding Assemblies or Commissions thereof have carried, and to proceed to further censure as the said Commission shall see cause; and, further, the General Assembly does hereby renew the first paragraph of the 18th Act of the General Assembly, 1706, concerning schism and disorders, and appoints the same to stand as an instruction to this Commission; and that they take notice of what misrepresentations may be made, either at home or abroad, of the doctrine, worship, or constitution of this Church, and that they take all decent and proper methods for the vindication thereof.
10. That the Commission endeavour to make effectual whatever hath been by this or preceding Assemblies agreed upon, concerning the erecting schools in the North, the Highlands and Islands, and what else may tend to the advancement of religion, and reformation in these places; as also, to give all due assistance and encouragement to any proposals that may be made for propagating the knowledge of God and our Lord Jesus Christ in these and foreign parts of the world.
11. It is referred to the said Commission to use their endeavours for putting in execution the 5th Act of the Assembly, 1707, entitled, "Act anent a School in every Parish, and a Contribution thereanent;" as also the 8th Act of that same Assembly, entitled, "Act for Suppressing of Popery, and Preventing the Growth thereof;" and, likewise, the 15th Act of that same Assembly, entitled, "Act against Innovations in the Worship of God."
12. That the Commission have a special respect, so far as the present circumstances require, to the 9th Act of the General Assembly, 1703, concerning the planting of vacant churches in the North, the Highlands, and Islands, and supplying thereof with ministers and probationers; and the Commission is hereby empowered to proceed according to the said act, in so far as they shall find it needful.
13. That the said Commission receive and consider any representations or references that shall be made to them by Presbyteries and others concerned, about large and spacious parishes, and use all means proper for them, for obtaining and rendering effectual, and preserving new erections in such parishes, or stipends to collegiate ministers thereto.
14. Seeing there is not a full report made to this Assembly concerning the Irish libraries, Irish Bibles, Psalm Books, and Catechisms, and about the state of the Church in the Highlands and Islands, and the remaining idolatrous, Pagan, and Popish superstitious customs in some places there; the General Assembly recommends to their Commission to prosecute the instructions given thereanent by the General Assembly, anno 1706, to their Commission, and to use all means in their power for extirpating these idolatrous and superstitious practices; and to take care that the charges of any who have been employed about the same be reimbursed out of the money given by her Majesty for these ends. And the Commission is empowered to dispose upon any libraries that may come from England, and also the Bibles and Catechisms in Irish, that are here already.
15. The General Assembly hereby empowers their Commission to give all due assistance to the several universities and colleges when any minister is called to any office therein, and to receive appeals and references, and finally to determine in the same.
XVI. Sess. 14 et ult., May 11, 1710.—Act and Act and Reference concerning the Larger Overtures, and the Overtures in the 13th, 14th, and 16th Acts of the General Assembly, 1707.
The General Assembly appoints their Commission to go through the larger printed overtures concerning the method of procedure in Church judicatories, and the remarks of Presbyteries thereupon, already brought in, and to consider what amendments are fit to be made thereupon; and the several Presbyteries who have not yet sent in their remarks upon these overturs, are desired to send the same in to the clerk of the Commission, betwixt and their meeting in August next, at farthest; and the brethren present were appointed to put their Presbyteries in mind of this; and the Commission is ordered to have their report ready against the next General Assembly, and to present these overtures with their amendments to them.
XVII. Sess. 14 et ult., May 11, 1710.—Act appointing the Diet of the next General Assembly.
The next General Assembly of this Church is appointed to be holden at Edinburgh the tenth day of May 1711 years.
This General Assembly was concluded with prayer, singing of the 133d Psalm throughout, and pronouncing of the blessing.
Collected and extracted from the Registers of the General Assembly, by
Jo. Dundas, Cls. Eccl. Scot.