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 24, 1753.
I. Sess. 1, May 24, 1753.—The King's Commission to Alexander Earl of Leven produced, and ordered to be recorded.
II. Sess. 1, May 24, 1753.—The King's most gracious Letter to the General Assembly, presented to them by his Majesty's Commissioner.
III. Sess. 3, May 26, 1753.—The General Assembly's Answer to the King's most gracious Letter.
IV. Sess. 3, May 26, 1753.—Act Discharging Presbyteries to elect Missionary Ministers or Preachers as their Commissioners to the General Assemblies.
The General Assembly, taking into consideration the case of commissions given sometimes by Presbyteries to missionary ministers, employed by the managers of the Royal Bounty, to represent them in the Assembly, do hereby discharge all Presbyteries to elect such missionary ministers to be their commissioners to the General Assembly in time coming.
V. Sess. 7, June 1, 1753.—Act against Simoniacal Practices.
The General Assembly, taking into consideration a representation made to them by the Synod of Angus and Mearus, relating to bargains betwixt patrons or heritors in parishes, and candidates for the ministry, or the friends of such candidates, and the great danger which may thence arise to this Church, do hereby enjoin the several Presbyteries in this Church, in order to prevent such practices for the future, to take all proper measures to discover if any such have happened in their bounds, and if, upon inquiry, it shall be found that any minister or probationer hath obliged himself, or that his friends, before his settlement, and in order to promote the same, have obliged themselves, upon the account of the candidate, that he shall not, during his incumbency, commence any process against the heritors for augmentation of stipend, reparation of manse, office-houses, or enlarging his glebe; or shall have become bound in any sum or sums of money, or any prestation to the patron or persons connected with the patron, in order to procure the presentation, or to the heritors or others concerned, in order to obtain a concurrence with the said presentation, or otherwise to procure a call to a vacant parish; or has entered into any simoniacal paction or practice for that effect; that such Presbytery lay a representation of the said matter before the General Assembly, that the Procurator for the Church may have orders to raise and carry on a process of reduction of such bargains or obligations before the Court of Session; and also, the Assembly do hereby declare it a just cause of deposition in ministers, or of taking away the licence of a probationer; and ordain Presbyteries to proceed to such sentences against all such ministers and probationers as shall be hereafter found to have either entered into such bargains themselves, previous to their settlements, or who shall, after their settlements, homologate the deed of their friends, and do not immediately, when they come to the knowledge of it, intimate the same to the Presbytery of the bounds. And, further, the Assembly appoint this Act to be read by all Presbyteries to every person before he be licensed to preach the Gospel, and to every candidate for a settlement in their bounds, before they take any steps towards his settlement. And, further, the General Assembly being informed that in the case of a certain settlement in the Presbytery of Dundee, the present incumbent's friends, before his settlement, had, without his knowledge, entered into a bargain with the heritors, which has been very inconvenient for him ever since; they do therefore appoint their Procurator to raise and carry on a process of reduction of that bargain before the Lords of Council and Session at the public charge; and ordain the Presbytery of Dundee to give the Procurator a distinct account of the particulars of that matter, so far as they have access to know them, for the above mentioned purpose.
VI. Sess. 8, June 2, 1753.—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.
VII. Sess. ult., June 4, 1753.—Commission to some Ministers and Ruling Elders for discussing Affairs referred to them.
VIII. Sess. ult., June 4, 1753.—Act appointing the Diet of the next General Assembly.
Sess. ult., June 4, 1753.
The General Assembly, finding, by the report of their Committee for Overtures, that a great number of Presbyteries have not yet sent up their returns to the overtures transmitted to them by the last and former Assemblies, do require such Presbyteries, as are still deficient, to send up their opinions on these overtures to the next General Assembly, viz.:—
Sess. ult., June 4, 1753.—Overture anent Presbyteries neglecting to send up their Opinions on the Overtures transmitted to them by the Assembly.
Upon a motion that the Assembly should consider the 7th Act of last Assembly with respect to overtures transmitted to Presbyteries, concerning which there were a good many instructions sent up with commissioners to this Assembly, remonstrating against the way of passing the said Act, the same not having been previously transmitted as an overture to Presbyteries, the General Assembly do hereby now transmit the said Act as an overture to the several Presbyteries of this Church; and appoint that they send up their opinions thereon to the next General Assembly; of which Act the tenor follows, viz.:—"The General Assembly, considering that a great many Presbyteries neglect to send up their opinions concerning overtures transmitted to them, whereby the consideration and enacting of several overtures hath been postponed, do hereby enact, that when any overture hath been twice transmitted, the General Assembly will, without further transmission, take such overtures into consideration, and pass into Acts or reject the same as they shall see cause, although Presbyteries have not sent up their opinions."