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 19, 1803.
I. Sess. 1, May 19, 1803.—The King's Commission to Francis Lord Napier produced, and ordered to be recorded.
The General Assembly, &c.
II. Sess. I, May 19, 1803.—The King's most gracious Letter to the General Assembly, presented to them by his Majesty's Commissioner.
George, R., &c.
III. Sess. 3, May 21, 1803.—The General Assembly's Answer to the King's most gracious Letter.
May it please your Majesty, &c.
IV. Sess. 8, May 27, 1803.—Interim Act and Overture respecting the Licensing of Probationers.
V. Sess. 8, May 27, 1803.—Recommendation respecting the Promoting of Theological Learning.
VI. Sess. 9, May 28, 1803.—Address to his Majesty, on the Providential Discovery and Defeat of a most Atrocious and Daring Conspiracy.
Most Gracious Sovereign,
We, your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the ministers and elders of the Church of Scotland met in the General Assembly, humbly approach the throne, to express our sincere and heartfelt congratulations on the Providential discovery and defeat of the late most atrocious and daring conspiracy against your Majesty's person and government. Enjoying the blessings of your mild and equitable administration, witnessing in your conduct the unceasing exercise of every public and private virtue, and convinced, by long experience, of your affectionate concern for the happiness of all your people, we look back with astonishment and indignation on the desperate plans of the disaffected; and with grateful hearts we bleass the God of out our fathers, who, in his great goodness, disappointed their counsels, and averted from us the projected horrors of insurrection and rebellion.
While we thus rejoice in the preservation of our Gracious Sovereign, and of the domestic tranquillity of our country, we cannot, at this interesting crisis, reflect without anxiety on the renewal of hostilities with France. As servants of the Prince of peace, lovers of out country, and of mankind, we feel all the sentiments of concern and regret which become us on the commencement of war. But when we consider the spirit of ambition and encroachment which actuates the present governors of the French nation; their violation of the rights of independent states, especially their undisguised determination to leave no expedient untried for diminishing the power and influence of Great Britain; their repeated and insulting attempts to interfere with the internal arrangements of this kingdom, and to procure, by menaces, an infringement of our free constitution; together with the arrogance or the neglect with which they have persisted to treat the remonstrances made in behalf of the just rights of your Majesty's crown and subjects—we cannot fail to be persuaded that the hostile measures to which your Majesty has at last so reluctantly resorted, had become indispensably necessary for maintaining the honour and security of the nation. Deeply impressed with these considerations, we shall omit no means becoming our station of cherishing in the people committed to our charge, that loyalty to the King, that submission to the laws, that zeal for the defence of their religion, of their liberties and independence, which the circumstances of the times so imperiously demand. Proud of the privileges which Britons enjoy, the people of this happy land feel, as one man, the inestimable value of the great interests that are now at stake; they see with due solicitude, but without dejection or fear, the dangers that threaten them. And we are persuaded, that, at this moment, we can do nothing which will be more acceptable to them, than to convey to the throne their fixed and unalterable resolution to defend, at all hazards, and against every aggressor, the honour and independence of their country.
We are thankful to Providence, that the seditious spirit which a few years ago had infected some of your Majesty's subjects in this part of the United Kingdom has now ceased to show itself. And we trust that the unanimity of the people, under the guidance of your Majesty's paternal wisdom, will, through the blessing of Heaven, be effectual for the protection of out national security, and for restoring to us, at no distant period, the blessings of a safe, honourable, and lasting peace.
That Almighty God may bless your Majesty's fleets and armies with success; that
He may direct your councils, and make your reign long and prosperous; and that a
race of kings of your royal line, friends of religion, liberty, and their country, may
always sway the sceptre of these lands, are, through Christ, the prayers of,
May it please your Majesty, your Majesty's most dutiful, most faithful, and most obedient subjects, the Ministers and Elders met in this General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
Signed in out name, in our presence, and at our appointment, by
Gilbert Gerar, Moderator.
VII. Sess. 9, May 28, 1803.—Commission of the General Assembly to certain Ministers and Ruling Elders for discussing Affairs referred to them.
The General Assembly, &c.
VIII. Sess. 9, May 28, 1803.—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.
IX. Sess. ult., May 30, 1803.—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 17th day of May 1804.
Extracted from the Records of the General Assembly, by
Andrew Dalzel, Cl. Eccl. Scot.