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 16, 1811.
I. Sess. 1, May 16, 1811.—The King's Commission to Francis Lord Napier produced, and ordered to be recorded.
II. Sess. 1, May 16, 1811.—The Prince Regent's most gracious Letter to the General Assembly, presented to them by his Majesty's Commissioner.
George, P. R.
Right Reverend and well-beloved, we greet you well. The annual meeting of your venerable Assembly being again at hand, we are anxious to remind you, as heretofore, of the interest which we feel in your deliberations, and to express to you our confident hope, that the satisfaction which we have hither to derived from the happy result of your annual labours will, on the present occasion, remain undiminished.
We have witnessed, with peculiar approbation, the zeal and fidelity with which our right trusty and well-beloved Lord Napier has uniformly discharged the trust we have reposed in him, as our Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland; and having observed the salutary effects which have been produced among you, by the admonitions we have heretofore charged him with, and which he has so faithfully conveyed to you, we doubt not that he will again be acceptable to you, as our representative at your approaching meeting.
We have not failed to repeat to him, on this occasion, the sense which we entertain of the zeal which you have constantly manifested for our service; and we have commissioned him, on the opening of your Assembly, to satisfy you of the inflexible resolution which your steady attachment has created in us, to maintain inviolate the rights and privileges of our Church of Scotland; and that due and ample means may not be wanting for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge, and the principles of Reformed religion, you will learn from our faithful Representative, that we have thought fit to order our usual gift of one thousand pounds yearly to be continued; and have also granted your an addition thereto of one thousand pounds, to be applied to these holy and important ends.
We trust that the additional proof which we thus afford of our tender regard for your interests and welfare, will lead to new and vigorous exertions on your parts in the discharge of your sacred duties; and that being enabled to extend the beneficial influence which your labours have already created, you will the more effectually promote the happiness of all those whom we have placed under your special care. You will teach them to believe that our protection of them is inseparable from the attachment which they bear towards us and our establishments; and that the principles of the admirable constitution under which we live, if duly cherished, cannot fail to lead to our mutual and general welfare.
Well-beloved! By inculcating these precepts among our faithful subjects, by an uniform determination on your own parts to support our authority and maintain our prerogative, and by an unremitting attention to those matters, which more especially fall under the care of your ecclesiastical deliberations, you will contribute the most effectually to the accomplishment of those great and important objects for which you are about to be assembled. And we have no doubt but that this meeting will be concluded with that unanimity and harmony which have distinguished former Assemblies. And so we bid you heartily farewell.
III. Sess. 3, May 18, 1811.—The General Assembly's Answer to the Prince Regent's most gracious Letter.
May it please your Royal Highness,
We have received, with the most profound respect and gratitude, the gracious let ter with which it has pleased your Royal Highness to honour this meeting of the Assembly of our National Church.
The approbation which your Royal Highness has condescended to bestow upon the former General Assemblies of this Church, we feel as a powerful motive, animating us so to persevere in the discharge of our duty, that the satisfaction which you have hitherto derived from the happy result of our annual labours may, on the present occasion, remain undiminished.
The renewed appointment of the Right Honourable Francis Lord Napier, to represent the royal person in this Assembly, we consider as a signal proof of your Royal Highness's favour. The zeal and fidelity with which he has uniformly discharged the trust reposed in him, the principles of piety and true patriotism which distinguish his character, and his affection for the Church of Scotland, render him peculiarly acceptable to this Assembly.
With gratitude and confidence we rely on the assurance which your Royal Highness has vouchsafed to give us of the interest which you take in us and our deliberations, of your attachment to the Church of Scotland, and of your inflexible resolution to maintain invioate her rights and privileges, as by law established.
We have received, with due thankfulness, your Royal Highness's warrant, not only for the usual gift of L.1000, but also for the additional sum of L.1000, to be in like manner employed for the propagation of Christian knowledge, and the principles of Reformed religion in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. This farther proof which your Royal Highness has afforded of your tender regard for the most valuable interests of your subjects in the remoter districts of this country, will lead us, on our part, to new and vigorous exertions in the discharge of our sacred duties, as well as enable us more extensively and more effectually to promote the improvement and happiness of all those committed to our special care. We will teach them to believe that their loyalty and attachment to the principles of the admirable constitution under which they live, if duly cherished, cannot fail to lead to the mutual welfare of the Sovereign and of the people.
With the most profound respect, we observe the solicitude with which your Royal Highness reminds us of our duty. We listen with cheerfulness to your paternal admonitions, and will earnestly apply ourselves to the functions of our ministry. We will instruct our people in the knowledge of those principles, and lead them to the practice of all those duties and virtues by which they may be rendered good men and good citizens; nor shall we fail to inculcate upon them submission to the lawful authority of the Sovereign, and zeal for the maintenance of his royal prerogative, which we regard as an essential part of our happy constitution; so that, by the blessing of God on our endeavours, we may see righteousness and order, union and energy, comfort and peace, prevail universally in this part of the kingdom. With unremitting attention to those matters which more immediately fall within the province of our ecclesiastical deliberations, we will study, as far as in us lies, to accomplish, with unanimity and harmony, those great and important ends for which we have assembled.
That Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, may direct and prosper the administration of the government which your Royal Highness exercises in the
name and on the behalf of his Majesty;—that He may preserve your Royal Highness
long for a blessing to this nation and to the world, and may finally bestow upon you
a crown of unfading glory, is the sincere and fervent prayer of,
May it please your Royal Highness, his Majesty's most faithful, most obedient, and most loyal subjects, the Ministers and Elders of this National Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
IV. Sess. 3, May 18, 1811.—Address of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland to his Royal Highness George Prince of Wales, Regent of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
May it please your Royal Highness,
We, the ministers and elders of the Church of Scotland, eagerly embrace this opportunity of our having met in General Assembly to approach your Royal Highness with the warmest expressions of our dutiful and affectionate attachment.
We lament the loss of a Princess, whose virtues endeared her to her family, and whose fortitude and resignation in severe and protracted suffering, are a new proof of the value and efficacy of that religion by which she was sustained.
Revering the virtues of our most gracious Sovereign, and having long experienced the mildness and justice of his government, we deeply participate with your Royal Highness, and all his faithful subjects, in deploring the heavy calamity which has deprived us of his paternal care and direction. We have not ceased to present our fervent supplications, and those of the people entrusted to our care, before the throne of Divine grace; earnestly beseeching the Father of mercies to regard the affliction of our beloved King; and our souls are filled with joy and thankfulness, in the humble hope that our national prayers have been graciously heard, and that presages are afforded us of his restoration to health, to his family, and to the exercise of his royal functions.
We acknowledge with gratitude the mercy of the Almighty Disposer of events, who has alleviated the national calamity, by blessing us with a Prince eminently qualified, by his talents and virtues, and by his attachment to the principles of the constitution, for discharging the high duties committed to him as Regent of the United Kingdom. We have contemplated with delight the wisdom and prudence with which your Royal Highness has exerted the powers of government. These qualities, so eminently displayed by your Royal Highness, cannot fail to constitute a lasting claim on the gratitude and confidence of a loyal and affectionate people.
Grateful to the Almighty Ruler in the Kingdoms of men, we congratulate your Royal Highness on the security of our native land, and on the distinguished blessings which its inhabitants have enjoyed, amidst all the dangers of that protracted war in which we are engaged with a malignant and inveterate foe. We rejoice that the new species of warfare with which the oppressor of the Continent hath assailed us, by the hostile measures in which he obstinately persists against the commerce of the world, have so little affected the revenue of the United Kingdom, and we trust that, under Divine Providence, our resources will prove equal to every puplic exigency, till the arduous contest in which we are engaged is brought to a happy termination.
We participate warmly in the national feeling, when we contemplate those recent events which inspire the heart of every patriotic Briton with exultation and triumph. The splendid achievements of our countrymen have, in various regions of the world, been crowned with the most brilliant success. We have seen them long opposed to the ablest generals and best disciplind troops of France. The eyes of the would have been anxiously directed to the filed of conflict, and the result has fully displayed the skill of our commanders, and the invincible bravery of our countrymen; decisively proving, that a British army, like a British fleet, is the first in the world. These successful exertions in the cause of our suffering allies have increased our national glory, and exalted us among the kingdoms of the world. It shall be our anxious care to cherish in the people of Scotland patience under the pressure of those burdens which the circumstances of the times render it necessary to impose,—attachment to our unequalled constitution, and that high spirit of patriotism which, we trust, will ever rise superior to the dangers that may assail us.
As servants of the Prince of Peace, we deplore the lengthened calamities of war, and most earnestly supplicate the Supreme Disposer of all events to make the successes which have crowned the arms of our country the means of restoring the blessings of a safe, an honourable, and a permanent peace.
That the Almighty, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, may continue
to guard the United Kingdom in all its interests; that He may abundantly bless and
long preserve your Royal Highness; and that Princes of your august House may
long reign in the hearts of an affectionate and that loyal people, are the earnest prayers of,
May it please your Royal Highness, his Majesty's most faithful, most obedient, and most loyal subjects, the Ministers and Elders met in this National Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
V. Sess. 9, May 25, 1811.— Commission of the General Assembly to certain Ministers and Ruling Elders for discussing Affairs referred to them.
VI. Sess. 9, May 25, 1811.—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 to that end.
VII. Sess. ult., May 27, 1811.—Act anent the Meetings of the Synod of Glenelg.
The General Assembly, in compliance with a representation and petition from the Provincial Synod of Glenelg, did, and hereby do, appoint the said Synod of Glenelg to hold their first ordinary meeting at Broadford, on the third Wednesday of July; and their next ordinary meeting at Lochcarron, and so in future years alternately, at the above mentioned places, upon the third Wednesday of July.