Acts of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland 1638-1842. Originally published by Edinburgh Printing & Publishing Co, Edinburgh, 1843.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
The principal acts of the general assembly, holden and begun at Edinburgh, May 11, 1749.
I. Sess. 1, May 11, 1749.—The King's Commission to Alexander Earl of Leven produced, and ordered to be recorded
II. Sess. 1, May 11, 1749.—The King's most gracious Letter to the General Assembly, presented to them by his Majesty's Commissioner
III. Sess. 3, May 13, 1749.—The General Assembly's Answer to the King's most gracious Letter
IV. Sess. 8, May 19, 1749.—Act and Recommendation for Preaching on the Principles of the Reformation and Revolution
The General Assembly, considering the strong evidence we had, in the late wicked Rebellion, of the obstinacay and restless spirit of the enemies of our happy consititution, the continued enmity they still show to the best of governments, and the vigilance and art with which they endeavour to lessen people's zeal for the Protestant religion, and to carry them off from their adherence to the interests of the Revolution, and their fidelity and allegiance to our most gracious Sovereign King George; and at the same time being sensible, from past experience, how apt even the friends of our happy establishment are, in the continued enjoyment of peace, to fall into security, and thereby to give advantage to our vigilant enemies, do therefore earnestly beseech and obtest all the ministers of this Church to continue to be diligent in instructing the people committed to their care in those principles of pure Christianity that are particularly opposite to the errors and corruptions of Popery, and in the grounds and reasons of the Reformation, and the principles on which the late glorious Revolution, and our present happy establishment, are founded, and to stir up all to a gratefull sense and suitable improvement of the inestimable blessings we enjoy, by the free exercise of the pure religion of Jesus, and the security of our liberties and properties under a legal government. And for these purposes, and perpetuating the memory of the great things God had done for us in these lands, the General Assembly do warmly recommend to all the ministers of this Church to preach expressly, and on purpose, on the subjects above mentioned, or some of them, at least four Lord's Days every year, with proper exhortations to their people, and suitable prayers and praises to our most gracious God, in the name of the only Mediator between God and man, our Lord Jesus Christ. And further, the Assembly do earnestly recommend to all Presbyteries to take a watchful inspection of schools within their bounds, and of the character and behaviour of schoolmasters, and to take care that they be qualified, by taking the oath to the government, and that they instruct the youth in just principles of religion and loyalty.
V. Sess. 9, May 20, 1749.—Commission to some Ministers and Ruling Elders for Reformation of the Highlands and Islands, and for Managing his Majesty's Royal Bounty for that end
VI. Sess. 9, May 20, 1749.—Act appointing Presbyteries to hold Visitations for settling Parochial Schools
There was brought into the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, from their committee for bills, the petition of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge, representing that the Society have, since the year 1709, been constantly employed in carrying on the ends of their erection, by settling schools, and employing schoolmasters in the large parishes of the Highlands of the Northern and Western parts of Scotland, and their endeavours have, by the blessing of God, been attended with remarkable success: That the Society were sorry to represent to the Assembly, that, notwithstanding the good laws made for establishing parochial schools and providing salaries, with school-house and other accommodations for the master at every parish church, yet several Presbyteries have for some time past, and particularly of late, neglected to hold visitations, and take the proper steps for bringing these laws into execution, but seem totally to depend upon the charity schools established by the said Society. This being not only a manifest disregard of those beneficial rules established by the ligislature, but also a direct misimprovement of the good intentions and effects of the said Society, a matter of great importance to the country in general, it was judged proper to send letters to the several Presbyteries in whose bounds any of the Society's charity schools are settled, requesting them to use their endeavours forthwith to settle a public school in every parish; and at the same time informing them that otherwise the Society would not fail to withdraw theirs, which were never meant to supersede any mean of instruction whatever, far less a mean established by law. And in order to enforce the certification, and to prevent its taking effect, the Society could not but hope that this Assembly, upon due consideration, would interpone their authority thereto, and enjoin all the Presbyteries in this Church to do their duty in this respect; and, therefore, humbly craving to the effect after mentioned. The General Assembly having heard and considered the said petition, and opinion of their committee for bills thereupon, did, and hereby do, recommend to and enjoin the several Presbyteries of this Church to hold visitations of parishes where public schools are wanting, and to take all proper and legal steps for settling such schools therein, with competent salaries and building of schoolhouses, as the law directs.
VII. Sess. ult., May 22, 1749.—Commission to some Ministers and Ruling Elders for discussing Affairs refered to them
VIII. Sess. ult., May 22, 1749.—Congratulatory Address to his Majesty upon occasion of the General Peace.
May it please your Majesty,
We, your Majesty's most dutiful and faithful subjects, the ministers and elders met in the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, humbly beg leave to approach your throne with our most hearty congratulations on the happy return of the national tranquillity.
While, warmed with a just sense of the Divine goodness, we adore the Almighty hand which hath turned war into peace, how ungrateful should we be, did we not acknowledge your Majesty as the great instrument, under God, of procuring to us this inestimable blessings.
Ambitious to express on every occasion the most dutiful and affectionate regard for your sacred person and government, we embrace with joy this first opportunity of testifying our unfeigned satisfaction in the success of your Majesty's arms and councils, by which, through the Divine favour, we are now so happily secured in the undisturbed exercise of the best religion, and the full enjoyment of all the blessings of a British constitution.
Permit us, Great Sir, to say, that while other countries, amidst the continued oppression of despotic power, scarce feel relief from the calamities of war, it is our distinguished privilege to be the subjects of a Prince, no less ready to bless his people with the comforts of peace, than to draw the sword in defence of their just rights and liberties; and we should doubtless be most unworthy of your royal favour, if we did not, in our stations, contribute our best endeavours to improve the publice tranquillity, for promoting religion, virtue, and loyalty, which alone can render peace truly valuable to us, and the nation happy and glorious.
Permit us, likewise, to assure your Majesty, that the late increase of your royal family affords us the sincerest joy. We cease not to give thanks to our God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, for every new accession of strength to your illustrious house; whence we have the more abundant hope that peace shall remain within the walls of our Jerusalem, and prosperity in all her palaces.
And it is our constant prayer to the Father of mercies, that your Majesty may be
long preserved to be the protector of the religious and civil rights of mankind, and to
make Britain still more happy and glorious in the enjoyment of peace and liberty;
that you may be high in the special favour of God; that he may abundantly bless
their Royal Highnesses the Prince and Princess of Wales, the Duke, the Princesses,
the issue of the Prince and Princess of Wales, and all the royal family; that, after
you have acted a shining part on earth, as the father of your people, and the faithful
servant of God, you may inherit a crown of glory that fadeth not away; and that
your posterity may full the British throne with honour and renown to latest ages.
These are the fervent, unfeigned prayers of,
May it please your Majesty, your Majesty's most faithful, most dutiful, and most loyal subjects.
IX. Sess. ult., May 22, 1749.—Act appointing the Diet of the next General Assembly.
Sess. 8, May 19, 1749.—Overture about the Psalmody.
The committee for overtures transmitted to the Assembly their opinion concerning the overture with respect to the Translations and Paraphrases of Sacred Scripture; and the Assembly, considering that amendments have been proposed by several Presbyteries, but that by far the greatest part of them have as yet sent up no opinion; and it being represented, that, in the confusions of the late Rebellion, many Presbyteries had lost the copies which had been sent them, the General Assembly do again remit this matter to the committee named for the same purpose by preceding Assemblies; and do instruct them to consider the amendments which have been offered, and to admit such of them as they judge proper and material, and to cause print a new impression of the collections so amended, and send copies of the same to the several Presbyteries, who are hereby appointed to send up their opinion to the next General Assembly.