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 18, 1809.
I. Sess. 1, May 18, 1809.—The King's Commission to Francis Lord Napier produced, and ordered to be recorded.
II. Sess. 1, May 18, 1809.—The King's most gracious Letter to the General Assembly, presented to them by his Majesty's Commissioner.
III. Sess. 3, May 20, 1809.—The General Assembly's Answer to the King's most gracious Letter.
IV. Sess. 3, May 20, 1809.—Address to his Majesty on the present Arduous Situation of Public Affairs.
May it please your Majesty,
We, your Majesty's dutiful and loyal subjects, the ministers and elders of the Church of Scotland, met in General Assembly, beg leave to approach the throne with sentiments of the warmest attachment to your person, family, and government.
In the present alarming situation of the affairs of Europe we rejoice in the pledges of national safety which, under Heaven, we enjoy in your Majesty's paternal solicitude, and in the wisdom and vigour of your councils. From a view of the subversion of ancient government, and the wreck of nations, we frequently turn our eyes, with heart-felt joy and exultation, to our unimpaired constitution in Church and State, the best which human wisdom ever devised, and administered by a Sovereign who is at once a pattern of religion, the guardian of liberty, and the father of his people.
While we have beheld your Majesty employed in promoting national happiness, and in extending equal protection to all your subjects, we have lately contemplated, with the deepest interest and anxiety, your magnanimous and humane interposition in favour of the injured and oppressed nations of Spain and Portugal. To resist the shock of that power, before which almost all others have been swept away, as by a torrent, and to interpose between suffering nations and universal subjugation, was a measure worthy of a generous people, under the government of a wise and patriotic King. We observed, therefore, with delight, that your Majesty's liberal offers of assistance to these oppressed States were unanimously approved of, and warmly seconded by your people, and that admiration and affection mingled with their loyalty to the best of Sovereigns.
We beg leave to congratulate your Majesty on the various enterprises, both by sea and land, in which the admirable discipline and steady courage of the British forces have lately triumphed over superior numbers; achievements which reflect signal honour on those who were more immediately concerned, and glory on the British name. Whatever effect they may have on the fate of our allies, they give us ground to trust that, under the protection of Heaven, we shall be able to resist the fiercest attacks of our enemies, and to transmit unimpaired to posterity those invaluable blessings which, as a nation, we have so long enjoyed.
As subjects of the Prince of Peace, we pray for the termination of that destructive war in which we are involved; but, in the mentime, we submit, without murmur or complaint, to those burdens and privations which it necessarily imposes. Sensible that not only our safety, but our existence as a nation, depends on our firm and perservering exertions against the common enemy; and looking for success to the Ruler of nations, we will not cease to cherish in our people that unanimity and public spirit which become those who are contending for their most valuable and dearest rights. We will teach them to make a wise improvement of those judgments which are abroad in the earth, and to cultivate that righteousness which exalteth a nation, that God may avert from our country those clamities which our iniquities have deserved.
That the Lord of Hosts may crown the heads of our brave countrymen, by sea
and land, with victory and honour;—that their success may be the means of securing
to us a lasting and an honourable peace;—that your Majesty may long reign over a free,
a loyal, and happy people;—and that you may hereafter receive a heavenly crown,
are the 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 General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
V. Sess. 9, May 27, 1809.—Commission of the General Assembly to certain Ministers and Ruling Elders for discussing Affairs referred to them.
VI. Sess. 9, May 27, 1809.—Interim Act and Overture respecting the Licensing of Probationers.
VII. Sess. 9, May 27, 1809.—Overture anent the Ordination of Elders.
VIII. Sess. 9, May 27, 1809.—Order and Injunction of the General Assembly to the Presbyteries of the Church, concerning Teachers and Schoolmasters.
The General Assembly called for the Report of the Committee appointed to class returns respecting the regular Examination of Schools, which was given in and read. The Assembly enjoin Presbyteries to be more attentive and particular in reporting their obedience to the Act of Assembly, 1799 and 1800, upon this important subject, and direct the clerks to see that this injunction be printed along with the Acts of Assembly. And to secure attention to said injunction, the General Assembly recommend to Presbyteries to take it along with the above overtures under their consideration on the day they meet to elect their representatives to the General Assembly, and to send up their opinion anent the said overtures, whatever that opinion may be, and at the same time to report their obedience to this injunction.