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, holden and begun at Edinburgh, May 11, 1721.
I. Sess. 1. May 11, 1721.—Act appointing the King's Commission to John Earl of Rothes to be Recorded.
II. Sess. 1, May 11, 1721.— The King's most gracious Letter to the General Assembly, presented to them by his Majesty's Commissioner.
III. May 13, 1721.— The General Assembly's Answer to the King's most gracious Letter.
IV. Sess. 6, May 17, 1721.—Commission to some Ministers and Elders for discussing divers Affairs referred to them.
The General Assembly, taking into their consideration that there are divers weighty affairs which they cannot overtake, do nominate, commission, and appoint, their reverend brethren, Messrs Thomas Black, at Perth, their Moderator, &c.; to be Commissioners of this General Assembly, to the effect after mentioned, with power to the said Commission, or their quorum, which is hereby declared to be any thirtyone of the said Commissioners, whereof twenty-one are always to be ministers, to meet and convene within the Assembly-House at Edinburgh, the first free day after the dissolution of this Assembly, at ten of the clock forenoon, and afterwards the second Wednesdays of August, November, and March, next to come, and oftener, when or where they shall think fit and convenient, with power to the said Commission to choose their own moderator. And suchlike, the General Assembly fully empowers and authorises their said Commissioners, or their quorum above mentioned, to cognosce and finally determine, as they shall see cause, in every matter referred, or that shall be referred, to them by any act or order of this Assembly, and to do every thing contained in and conform to the instructions given, or to be given, by this Assembly, and to advert to the interests of the Church on every occasion, that the Church, and present establishment thereof, do not suffer or sustain any prejudice which they can prevent, as they will be answerable; providing this general clause be not extended to particular affairs, or processes before Synods or Presbyteries, that are not of universal concern to or influence upon the whole Church. And it is hereby appointed, that what shall be determined at one diet of the said Commission, with relation to private causes, shall be unalterable by any other diet thereof, and shall stand and continue in force till disapproven by the General Assembly. And the General Assembly renews the instructions given by the General Assembly, 1717, to their Commission, and appoints the same to stand in full force, as instructions to the Commissioners above named, and to be observed by them in all points, as if the same were specially herein inserted; and that they inquire into the publishing and spreading of books and pamphlets tending toward the promoting a scheme of opinions inconsistent with our Confession of Faith; and that the recommenders of such books or pamphlets, or the errors therein contained, whether by word or print, be called before them, to answer for such recommendations. And, further, the said Commission is hereby empowered to receive any references and appeals that shall be made to them from Synods and Presbyteries in matters of doctrine; and, particularly, to take under consideration the representation presented to this Assembly by Mr James Hog and others, about the book, entitled, The Marrow of Modern Divinity, and to call the subscribers of that representation before them or their committees, and ripen and prepare these matters concerning doctrine for the next Assembly, but not to give a final decision therein. Likewise, to take care that the impressions of the Holy Scriptures, the Confession of Faith, and Catechisms, and such books as are authorised by this Church, relating to the doctrine, worship, discipline, and government thereof, be correct, and to give directions about printing the same. They are also appointed at their first meeting to take under consideration all the representations of the growth of Popery within the bounds of this National Church, and of Jacobite meetings therein, which have been brought up to this and former Assemblies or Commissions thereof, or that may be further offered to this Commission, and to apply to the government for a proper remedy and speedy redress. And the said Commissioners are hereby strictly prohibited and discharged to meddle in any other matters than what are committed and referred to them as above mentioned; and in all their actings they are to proceed according to the acts and constitutions of this National Church, and do nothing contrary thereto, or to the prejudice of the same; declaring, that in and for all their actings they shall be accountable to and censurable by the next General Assembly, as they shall see cause; and this Commission is to continue and endure until another Commission be appointed, and members are required to attend the diets of the said Commission, and absentees therefrom ordered to be noticed, according to the 17th Act of the General Assembly, anno 1706. And for the better securing of a quorum, and attendance of members on the Commission, the General Assembly prohibits the Presbytery of Edinburgh, and other Presbyteries within twelve miles thereof, to meet any of the days or weeks appointed for the meeting of this Commission; and such of the members of these Presbyteries as are on the Commission, are required all of them to give punctual attendance on the diets thereof, and Presbyteries at a greater distance, who have four or more members on the Commission, are to take care that at least two of them attend each diet of the same.
V. Sess. 6 et ult., May 17, 1721.—Act and Resolution about the Overtures concerning Kirk-Sessions and Presbyteries, and Planting Vacant Churches.
The General Assembly, finding that the plurality of Presbyteries who have sent their remarks upon the "Overtures concerning the Kirk-Sessions and Presbyteries," and "concerning the Planting of Vacant Churches, tanquam jure devoluto," are not for passing them into acts at this time; therefore, this Assembly does unanimously agree and resolve not to pass the forsaid overtures into acts; and further, they declare and appoint that before the foresaid overtures be passed into acts by any subsequent Assembly, they shall be again transmitted by the General Assembly to the several Presbyteries, in order to have their opinion thereupon.