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 Edibburgh, May 23. 1754.
I. Sess. 1, May 23, 1754.—The King's Commission to John Earl of Hopetoun produced, and ordered to be recorded.
II. Sess. 1, May 23, 1754.—The King's most gracious Letter to the General Assembly, presented to them by his Majesty's Commissioner.
III. Sess. 3, May 25, 1754.—The General Assembly's Answer to the King's most gracious Letter.
IV. Sess. 7, May 30, 1754.—Act anent Licensing Probationers and setting Ministers in consequence of a Presentation.
The General Assembly enjoin all Presbyteries that they take care, in licensing probationers, strictly to observe the rules of the Word of God, and Acts of Assembly relative thereto—also strictly to observe the rules of this Church, with respect to Probationers for the ministry licensed in England, or in foreign parts; that before taking any stepes towards a settlement in consequence of a presentation, they take care that the patron and presentee be duly qualified, and that the presentation be in the terms of law; and that when one is presented to a parish, against whom there appears to be no just objection, they use their best endeavours to render the presentee acceptable to the parish.
V. Sess. 7, May 30, 1754.—Act appointing Ministers ordained or admitted to Parishes to be Members of the Presbytery and Synod in whose Bounds the Parish lies.
The General Assembly do hereby declare, that when one is ordained or admitted as minister of a parish, he shall, by virtue of such ordination or admission, be, ipso facto;, a member of the Presbytery and Synod in whose bounds the parish lies; and ordains the clerks of these judicatories forthwith to enrol him. And all clerks of Synods and Presbyteries are hereby enjoined to enrol as members such as have, at any time preceding this, been ordained or admitted as ministers of parishes within their respective bounds.
VI. Sess. 7, May 30, 1754.—Act extending the Twelfth Act of the Assembly, 1736, to Sentences passed by the General Assembly, and not obeyed by Presbyteries.
The General Assembly, finding that, by the 12th Act of Assembly, 1736, Presbyteries refusing to obey the sentences of the Commission of the General Assembly are declared to be, ipso facto, sisted before the next General Assembly, to whom they shall be accountable for their conduct; do hereby declare this Act to be extended to sentences passed by the General Assembly, and not obeyed by Presbyteries.
VII. Sess. 8, June 1, 1754.—Commission to some Ministers and Ruling Elders for discussing Affairs referred to them.
VIII. Sess. ult., June 3, 1754.—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.
IX. Sess. ult., June 3, 1754.—Act appointing the Diet of the next General Assembly.
May 30, 1754.—Overture anent Ministers ordained in England, or in Foreign Parts. (fn. 1)
The General Assembly transmit the following overture to the several Presbyteries of this Church, that they may report their opinion thereupon to the next General Assembly, viz.:—"That before any minister ordained in England, or in foreign parts, be considered as a minister of this Church, so as to be capable of a charge in the Establishment, he shall preach before the Presbytery in whose bounds the charge is, and be examined by them, in order to their judging if he be duly qualified. And in case any such minister shall be presented by a patron, or receive a call to any parish previously to his undergoing the trial now mentioned, it shall be competent for the Presbytery to take trial of him as above, in order to his settlement."
June 1, 1754.—Overture anent Members of Inferior Courts judging in Causes appealed from them to the Superior Courts.
(See 1741.) (fn. 2)
The General Assembly agreed to transmit the following overture, transmitted to them by the Commission of last Assembly, to the consideration of the several Presbyteries, that they may report their opinion thereon to the next General Assembly; which overture is as follows, viz.:—"The Commission considering that the present practice of this Church, whereby the members of inferior judicatories are excluded from judging or voting in the superior judicatories, in case of an appeal, is contrary to the practice of all other courts, both of law and equity, and in some measure subversive of that exact parity which is a leading part of our constitution, as it sometimes subjects the sentence of the far greater number to that of the lesser; and further, considering that, by this means, those who a little before acted in the character of judges, are obliged to stand at the bar on a level with the pannel, must enter into the spirit and warmth of a party, and, perhaps, are condemned for no other reason than giving sentence according to their best judgment, and which they would willingly have altered upon a review; and as it often, if not always, happens that when the members of inferior courts, before whom the cause was first tried and thoroughly canvassed, are removed, the affair is not sufficiently understood, articularly because those who voted among the minority are not allowed to assign any reasons for their conduct, except they have entered a complaint, which one would not choose to do, unless in a very strong case; and every one knows that, in the course of reasoning, things frequently cast up which perplex or mislead the judges, that could easily have been obviated or cleared up if the members of the inferior courts had not been deprived of the liberty of speaking. On all these accounts, and for many other obvious reasons, the Commission propose that the Assembly should transmit an overture to the consideration of the several Presbyteries, for allowing the members of inferior judicatories to sit, judge, and vote, in the Superior Courts, in cases of appeals, as they do at present in the case of a reference.