Acts: 1783

Pages 815-819

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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In this section

The principal acts of the general assembly, convened at Edinburgh, May 22, 1783.

I. Sees. 1, May 22, 1783.—The King's Commission to David Earl of Leven produced, and ordered to be recorded.

The General Assembly, &c.

II. Sess. 1, May 22, 1783.—The King's most gracious Letter to the General Assembly, presented to them by his Majesty's Commissioner.

George, R.
Right Reverend and well-beloved, we greet you well. Having the most entire confidence in your duty, loyalty, and affection to our person and government, and being convinced of your unwearied attention to the cause of virtue, piety, and religion, we take this opportunity of assuring you of our fixed purpose and resolution to support the Presbyterian Church of Scotland in the full enjoyment of all its privileges, as by law established.

Convinced that you bring with you the best intentions for promoting the happiness of my government, and the true interest of the church whereof you are members, we have great satisfaction in countenancing your present meeting with our royal authority.

As the preventing the growth of Popery, so repugnant to the constitution of my kingdoms, and the suppressing all vice and immorality, so destructive to Christianity, are objects which will distinguish your zeal in the advancement of true religion, and in all which you will always meet with my steady concurrence, so the avoiding all unnecessary debates and contentions amongst yourselves will be equal proofs of, what we have hitherto experienced, your great prudence, wisdom, and moderation.

As you cannot but be highly sensible of the benefits which will arise from the inestimable blessings of peace, we make no doubt but you will think that an humble gratitude is due to Almighty God for these and other mercies which his Divine Providence has lately vouchsafed to us.

We are persuaded that you will conscientiously discharge your duties to the people committed to your care, by infusing such principles into their minds as their holy religion dictates, and which are the best adapted to the security of our happy constitution, and their and our most valuable interests, both here and hereafter.

We have appointed our right trusty and right well-beloved cousin, David Earl of Leven, to represent our royal person in this Assembly, being well satisfied of his loyalty, integrity, and zeal for our service, and of his particular affection for the Church of Scotland, so that our choice of him cannot but be agreeable to you; and we trust that this meeting will be concluded with the same unanimity and brotherly affection which have distinguished your former Assemblies. And so we bid you heartily farewell.

Given at our Court at St James's, the 5th day of May 1783, in the 23d year of our reign.
By his Majesty's Command,

III. Sess. 3, May 24, 1783.—The General Assembly's Answer to the King's most gracious Letter.

May it please your Majesty,
Your Majesty's most gracious letter to this General Assembly of the Church of Scotland was received with the respect and gratitude due to this renewed proof of your royal favour.

Your Majesty's confidence in our loyalty to the best of Sovereigns, and in our attachment to the interests of religion, we feel as a most pleasing recompence of our past conduct; and your royal assurance that it is your fixed purpose and resolution to support this Church in all its privileges, we consider as a most powerful incitement to persevere in fulfilling your Majesty's desire.

May it please your Majesty to accept our most affectionate gratitude for this fresh proof of your goodness, in countenancing our present meeting with your royal authority.

To prevent the growth of Popery, at once so repugnant to the constitution of these kingdoms, and to the holy and beneficent spirit of the Gospel, is an object worthy of our constant zeal; and to this, together with the suppressing of all vice and immorality, we resolve, in the strength of God, to exert our strenuous endeavours, animated to so good a work by the declaration of your Majesty's steady concurrence. In this honourable employment, and in avoiding all unnecessary debates and contentions amongst ourselves, permit us to hope, that your Majesty's experience of the prudence, wisdom, and moderation, of former Assemblies, will be received as a pledge of our firm purpose to cultivate the same spirit in our present meeting.

We beg leave to return our humble thanks to your Majesty for your persevering attention to the increase of Christian knowledge, and the interests of the Reformation in the remote parts of Scotland. Your royal donation for this purpose it shall be our endeavour to apply in such a manner as may best promote the generous and pious intention with which it is bestowed.

Your Majesty's well-known affection to your people teacheth us to repose an entire confidence in the wisdom of those counsels that have induced your Majesty to restore to these kingdoms the blessings of peace; for which, and for all the other mercies of a gracious Providence, we desire to express our thankfulness to Almighty God, and to stir up a like spirit in the people committed to our care.

The inviolable attachment of his noble ancestors to the civil and religions liberties of their country, and in particular to the Church of Scotland, his own exemplary regard to religion, and warm affection to this Church, together with his many other amiable qualities and Christian virtues, make your Majesty's choice of the Earl of Leven, to represent your royal person in this Assembly, most acceptable to us.

That the King of kings may establish your Majesty's throne in righteousness and mercy; that he may preserve you long to reign over a free, grateful, and affectionate people; that all your councils may be wise and prosperous; that he may bless your Majesty in your person and in your family; and that when at length you shall re linquish an earthly crown, you may receive that which fadeth not away, through Jesus Christ our Lord, are the earnest prayers of,
May it please your Majesty, your Majesty's most faithful, most obedient, and most loyal subjects, the Ministers and Elders met in this National Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

Signed in our name, in our presence, and at our appointment, by
Henry Greive, Moderator.

IV. Sess. 3, May 24, 1783.—The General Assembly's Address to his Majesty on the Peace.

May it please your Majesty,
We, your Majesty's most loyal and dutiful subjects, the ministers and elders met in the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, beg leave to address your Majesty, with hearts full of affection and attachment, and with the most grateful sense of your Majesty's paternal goodness, in having pursued measures, by which, under God, we now enjoy the inestimable blessing of peace; a blessing at all times desirable, but especially at a time when this country, pressed by a powerful confederacy of its inveterate enemies, united with its former subjects and old allies, was also afflicted with an uncommon degree of scarcity of provisions.

At the end of a war less successful than former wars have been, we consider ourselves as specially called upon, by the Providence of God, to exert ourselves in the discharge of our duty, and to cultivate in the minds of the people committed to our care those sentiments of religion and virtue, which form the hearts of men to that "righteousness which exalteth a nation."

We are happy in being able to assure your Majesty of the unaltered affection of the people of this part of the United Kingdom to your Majesty's person and government, and of their zeal for your illustrious family, under whose mild administration they have so long enjoyed the blessings of civil and religious liberty.

That Almighty God, the King of kings, and the Ruler of all the nations of men, may continually have your Majesty under his Divine protection; that he may bless you in your person and in your family; that he may reward your Majesty's private virtues with domestic felicity, and your mild government with the love and fidelity of your subjects; that your reign may be long, happy, and prosperous; and that at last your Majesty may, through Jesus Christ our Lord, receive a crown of glory, are the earnest prayers of,
May it please your Majesty, your Majesty's most faithful, most obedient, and most loyal subjects, the Ministers and Elders met in this National Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

Signed in our name, in our presence, and at our appointment, by
Henry Grieve, Moderator.

V. Sess. 9, May 31, 1783.—Commission to some Ministers and Ruling Elders for the Reformation of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, and for Managing his Majesty's Royal Bounty for that end.

The General Assembly, &c.—(The powers and instructions given to this Commission are the same as last year, and there is very little alteration at any subsequent period.)

VI. Sess. 9, May 31, 1783.—Commission to some Ministers and Ruling Elders for discussing Affairs referred to them.

The General Assembly, &c.

VII. Sess. 7, May 29, 1783.—Resolution of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland relating to a Fast.

There were transmitted to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, overtures from the Synod of Merse and Teviotdale, and from the Synod of Moray, proposing, that, upon account of the present scarcity, and other obvious reasons, a day should be set apart for fasting and prayer, to be observed as a national fast through Scotland; which being read, the following motion was made, viz.:—The General Assembly, taking into their serious consideration the late visitation of Divine Providence, in afflicting these kingdoms with an uncommon scarcity of provisions, and also the seasonable relief which the people of Scotland have lately received by the importation of large quantities of grain, the favourable seed-time, and the comfortable prospect of an early harvest, which God, in his great goodness, bath been pleased to afford us, do earnestly exhort and beseech the people of this land to lift up their souls with contrition and thankfulness to Almighty God, who, tempering his chastisements and his mercies together, calleth us to return to himself. And, further, the General Assembly being informed that a day of fasting has already been appointed by some Synods and Presbyteries, and observed within their bounds; and judging it, upon this account, inexpedient to appoint a national fast, do hereby recommend to the several Presbyteries, and to all the ministers of this Church, to exert their utmost endeavours in imprinting upon the minds of the people committed to their charge a sense of their dependence upon our Father which is in heaven, who giveth us our daily bread; and to take such methods as to them shall appear most effectually to minister to edification, in order to fix the attention of all ranks upon those lessons of contrition, of thankfulness, and of liberality, which the various dispensations of Divine Providence are, at this time especially, teaching us. The General Assembly having considered the above motion, approved thereof, and enacted accordingly, and appointed this resolution to be printed separately, and transmitted to Presbyteries as soon as possible.

VIII. Sess. ult., June 2, 1783.—Act and Resolution concerning Lawyers and Agents who are Members of the Court, appearing as Procurators or Agents, to plead or agent in Causes at the Bar of the General Assembly or Commission.

The General Assembly, considering that they have a title to the assistance of their members as judges in all causes brought before them, they being expressly commissioned by their constituents to consult, vote, and determine, in all matters that shall come before the Assembly; as also, that those who are appointed members of the Commission of the General Assembly are obliged, by that appointment, to concur in cognoscing and determining in every matter referred to them, do therefore resolve, enact, and declare, that in time coming, none who are constituent members of the Court shall act as counsel or procurators, agents or solicitors, in any causes which come before the Assemblies, or Commissions thereof.

IX. Sess. 7, May 29, 1783.—Overture anent the Ordination of Elders.


X. Sess. ult., June 2, 1783.—Forms of Commissions, &c.

(This Act is a reprint of Act 4, 1768, entitled, "Act of the Assembly anent the Form of Commissions.")—Ed. 1843.

XI. Sess. ult., June 2, 1783.—Act appointing the Diet of the next General Assembly.

The next General Assembly of this National Church is appointed to be held within the New Church Aisle of Edinburgh, on Thursday, the 20th day of May, in the year 1784.

Collected and extracted from the Records of the General Assembly, by
John Dhysdale, Cls. Eccl. Scot.