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 7, 1747.
I. Sess. 1, May 7, 1747.—The King's Commission to Alexander Earl of Leven produced, and ordered to be recorded.
II. Sess. 1, May 7, 1747.—The King's most gracious Letter to the General Assembly, presented to them by his Majesty's Commissioner.
Right reverend and well-beloved, we great you well. The signal proofs you have given in your former Assemblies of your zeal for the advancement of true religion, and the experience we have had of your loyalty and affection to our person and government, and especially on occasion of the late unnatural Rebellion, which, by the blessing of God, is now happily extinguished, leave us no room to doubt but that you are now come together with the same good dispositions and intentions; and we do, therefore, most willingly countencance this your meeting with our approbation and royal authority; and we gladly take this opportunity to assure you of our firm resolution to protect and maintain the church of Scotland, as by law established, in the full enjoyment of all their rights and privileges.
As we have always had entire satisfaction in the fidelity and abilities of our right trusty and entirely beloved cousin, Alexander Earl of Leven, and as we have the firmest dependence on his diligence and prudence in the discharge of so important a trust, we have again made choice of him to represent our person on this occasion, being fully persuaded that the knowledge you have of his steady attachment to our service, and of his zealous adherence to the Church of Scotland, will render him acceptable to you. We promise ourselves that nothing will be wanting on your part that may tend to the advancement of religion and piety, and to the attaining those good ends for which you are at this time assembled. And so we bid you heartily farewell.
III. Sess. 3, May 9, 1747.—The General Assembly's Answer to the King's most gracious Letter.
Your Majesty's goodness in taking notice, in your gracious letter to this General Assembly, of the loyalty and affection of the Church of Scotland to your royal person and government, particularly on occasion of the late unnatural Rebellion, the happy extinction of which gives us the highest joy, we esteem as the greatest honour that could be done us; and as our unshaken zeal for the service and support of your Majesty's government and royal family is the natural and just effect of your Majesty's unwearied care for the support, defence, and protection of your subjects, in the full enjoyment of all their rights and privileges, both sacred and civil, we look on it as our duty to manifest it on all occasion, especially in the meetings of our General Assembly, and place on it our hopes of the continuance of your royal favour to us, and of our happiness under your auspicious reing; which we pray God may long continue and prosper.
Your Majesty's kind assurances of maintaining and protecting the Church of Scotland in the full enjoyment of all their rights and privileges, do lay such obligations on us to our duty, as we shall endeavour better to express in the course of our actings, than now we are able to do by words.
Your Majesty's choice of the right Honourable the Earl of Leven, to represent your royal person in this Assembly, is most acceptable to us— he, following the example of his noble ancestors, having given the Church of Scotland many proofs of his adherence to their interest, as well as of fidelity, abilities, diligence, prudence, and affection, to your Majesty, in the discharge of that important trust.
We shall, on our part, be wanting in nothing that may be necessary for attaining the wished-for success to your Majesty's tender care and concern for the advancement of religion and piety; and hope, by the blessing of God, to attain those good ends for which we are at this time assembled.
We acknowledge, with humble thankfulness, your Majesty's great goodness in renewing, at this time, your royal bounty for the reformation of the Highlands and Islands, and committing the distribution of it to our care, of which your Majesty's High Commissioner has given us notice; and we shall endeavour to execute that trust with fidelity, prudence, and exactness, suitable to the confidence your Majesty is graciously pleased to reposed in us.
We beg leave to add, that we daily put up our servent prayers, in private and public, to Almighty God, that as Divine Providence was graciously pleased to place your
royal family on the throne of these realms, for their deliverance, protection, and defence, from the threatened calamities of Popery, slavery, and arbitrary power, it may
likewise please the Divine goodness, in reward of your Majesty's tender and fatherely
care for the religion, laws, and liberties of your subjects, to pour down in abundance
heavenly blessings on your sacred person; on his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales,
his Princess, and royal issue; and on all the branches of your royal house: And, in
particular, for the safety and preservation of his Royal Highness the Duke, now in
the field at the head of your armies; and that victory and success may attend the distinguished courage, wise conduct, and indefatigable application with which his Royal
Highness generously exposes his precious life, for the religious and civil interests of
his native country, and the liberties of Europe. And are, with the greatest gratitude,
and most profound respect,
May it please your Majesty, your Majesty's most faithful, most obedient, and most loyal subjects, the Ministers and Elders met in the National Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
IV. Sess. 8, May 15, 1747.—Act concerning the Fund for a Provision to Ministers' Widows, &c., and enjoining Presbyteries to transmit to the Trustees regularly their Annual Lists.
The General Assembly having had laid before them, and considered the report of the trustess, appointed by Act of Parliament, for managing the fund raised and established for a provision to the widows and children of the ministers of the Church of Scotland, setting forth, That their trust is become almost insupportable, through the many inacuracies in the annual lists transmitted to them from several Presbyteries, and cannot be discharged with that exactness which is absolutely necessary in the due execution of such a plan: And further, representing that the fund sustains a considerable loss, by ministers not calling from the collector for the L.30 sterling ordered for them by the trustees, according to the directions of the Assembly; therefore, the General Assembly do hereby enjoin the strict observation of the Acts of former Assemblies, respecting what is thereby required from Presbyteries, for the more effectually bringing the purposes of the foresaid Act of Parliament into execution; particularly the keeping separate registers in the several Presbyteries, and the making out therefrom, and timeously transmitting to the trustees, annually, before Candlemas, lists of all the particular facts that shall, from time to time, be found necessary to be know by the trustees. And whereas, by the 4th Act of the Assembly, 1745, it is appointed, that the several Synods call for the said separate registers, at least once every year, and carefully inspect the same, and attest that they are kept according to the plan therein referred to,—it is hereby further required, that the said Synods do report their diligence to each General Assembly; and it is also hereby appointed and ordained, that the annual lists, to be transmitted from time to time to the trustees, shall be drawn up in the precise words, columns, and order, contained in the specimens that have been or shall hereafter be prepared by the said trustees, and sent to the several Presbyteries. And in case Presbyteries shall fail in making their annual returns at the time, and in manner foresaid, the Assembly do recommend to the trustees to exert those powers the law has put into their hands, for obliging Presbyteries to transmit their lists in a regular and uniform manner. And the General Assembly do likewise appoint and ordain each minister to transmit to the collector his bond for L.30, according to the form established by the General Assembly, so soon as notice shall be given him by the trustees or their clerk, that there is money in the collector's hands for payment of the same, as such minister shall be answerable to the General Assembly.
V. Sess. 8, May 15, 1747.—Act for preventing the Growth of Popery.
The General Assembly do appoint the several Presbyteries of this Church to take an account of the number of Papists within their respective bounds, and of the names of Popish priests who haunt among them, and where they hold their meetings; and to lay the same before the Commission in November next, or as soon as possibly they can. And the Commission is hereby empowered and enjoined to make proper representations concerning them to the civil government.
VI. Sess. ult., May 18, 1747.— Commission to some Ministers and Ruling Elders for discussing Affairs referred to them.
VII. Sess. ult., May 18, 1747.—Act appointing the Diet of the next General Assembly.
May 15, 1747.—Overture about Licensing Probationers
The General Assembly, considering the overture with respect to the Translations and Paraphrases of several Pieces of Sacred Scripture, did agree to appoint the committee which formerly had this affair under consideration to meet at the times in which they were in use to meet before, viz., in the Society Hall, upon Tuesday before each quarterly meeting of the Commission, at ten o'clock forenoon, and at other times and places as they see cause; and appoint that all instructions relating to it, that have been sent up to this Assembly, shall be laid before them; and that Presbyteries shall send up what further instructions they think proper to the said committee, who shall report the same, whit their opinion, to the next Assembly.