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, 1826.
I. Sess. 1, May 18, 1826.—The King's Commission to James Ochoncar Lord Forbes produced, and ordered to be recorded.
Note.—There were laid on the table of the Assembly of 1825 numerous Overtures respecting the Union
of Offices. The following is the notice of this subject given in the Abridgment:—
"Sess. 6, May 25, 1825.
"The Assembly called for the Overtures respecting the Union of Officers in the Church, which were
produced and laid on the table. The Overtures from the Synods of Glasgow and Ayr, the Synod of Angus
and Mearns, the Synod of Fife, and the Presbytery of Glasgow, were read. The Assembly dispensed with
the reading of the other Overtures upon this subject. After long reasoning, it was moved and seconded,
That a committee be appointed to prepare an Overture, to be converted into an Interim Act, anent the
Union of Offices, which shall be transmitted to Presbyteries, and by which the holding of a Principality or a
Professorship in a University, now incompatible, by the Act of Assembly, 1817, with the holding of a parochial charge of a country, shall be farther declared imcompatible with the holding of a Parochial charge,
or the charge of a Chapel of Ease, in the city that is the seat of that University, or in the suburbs thereof;
but, in respect that it appears that certain of the offices of Principals and Professors of Divinity, Church
History, and Oriental Languages, are not at present adequately provided, it is hereby declared, that until
it shall appear to the General Assembly that such adequate provision has been secured, the operation of
the said Act and Overture shall be suspended in regard to the offices of Principals and Professors of Divinity, Church History, and Oriental Languages, in any of the said Universities. Another motion was made
and seconded, That the Assembly, considering that the Overtures recommend, in every case, the exclusion
of a minister holding a parochial charge from a Principality or Professorship in a University, judge it inexpedient to transmit them to Presbyteries of the Church. A third motion was made and seconded, That the
House do now adjourn till to-morrow; and the vote being called for upon this motion, it was agreed the
state of the vote should be, Adjourn or Not. The roll being called, and votes marked, it carried, by a considerable majority, Not; and, therefore, the General Assembly agreed to proceed in the debate upon the
two other motions which had been made and seconded: but his Grace the Lord High Commissioner having
expressed a wish to retire, the Assembly agreed to resolve themselves into a committee of the whole House.
"Sess. 7, May 26, 1825.
"The Assembly called for the report of the Committee of the whole House, which was produced and read, the tenor whereof follows: 'Edinburgh, 25th May 1825.—The Committee of the whole House being met and constituted, they resumed the consideration of the subject which had been before the Assembly. After farther reasoning, the committee agree, on account of the lateness of the hour, to adjourn the debate. The committee closed with prayer.'
"The Assembly resumed the consideration of the Overtures anent the Union of Offices in the Church. After farther reasoning, the vote was called for upon the two motions submitted to the House at yesterday's diet; and it was agreed that the state of the vote should be, First or Second Motion; and the roll being called, and votes marked, it carried, by a considerable majority, Second Motion; and, therefore, the General Assembly determined in terms of said second motion. Which judgement being intimated, Dr Andrew Thomson, in his own name, and that of all who should adhere to him, entered his dissent from the same, and asked and took instruments in the clerk's hands."—Ed. 1843.
II. Sess. 1, May 18, 1826.—The King's most gracious Letter to the General Assembly, presented to them by his Majesty's Commissioner.
III. Sess. 3, May 20, 1826.—The General Assembly's Answer to the King's most gracious Letter.
IV. Sess. 8, May 26, 1826.—Act authorising the use of the Quarto Edition of the Gaelic Bible.
Which day the General Assembly called for the Report of the Committee (fn. 1) on the Quarto edition of the Gaelic Bible, which, with the Report of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge upon this subject, was produced and read; and, at the same time, two copies of the Quarto Bible, and two copies of the New Testament in Gaelic, having bound up with them a revised and improved version of the Psalms and Paraphrases, were laid upon the Assembly's table. The General Assembly receiving, with the warmest satisfaction, the intelligence that the Quarto edition of the Gaelic Bible is at last completed, unanimously approve of the Report; authorise and ordain this version of the Scriptures in Gaelic, with the version of the Psalms and Paraphrases now attached to it, and no other version, to be used in the churches and chapels within the bounds of this Church where public worship is conducted in the Gaelic language, and appoint this enactment to be inserted in their printed Acts.
V. Sess. 9, May 27, 1826.—Commission of the General Assembly to certain Ministers and Ruling Elders for discussing Affairs referred to them.
VI. Sess. 9, May 27, 1826.—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. 9, May 27, 1826.—Report as to Schools.
The General Assembly called for the Report of the Committee appointed to class the Returns upon the subject of the Examination of Schools, which was produced by Dr Brunton, the convener. The Assembly approved of said Report, and directed their clerks to have the same inserted in the printed Acts of this Assembly.
1. That regular printed or written schedules of the prescribed form have been received from the following Presbyteries, viz.:—
30 St Andrews,
2. That reports, either less complete or less regular than the above, have been
made by the following Presbyteries, viz.—
3. That no return whatever has been received from the remaining thirty-six Presbyteries of this Church; and that thus the important purpose for which the General Assembly requires such returns are, in a great measure, defeated.
4. That, in the case of the Parish of Loches, in the Presbytery of Lewis, mentioned in the report made upon this subject to the last General Assembly, the reason now assigned why there is no parochial school there is, that there "is not a schoolhouse;" but that no assurance is given that the proper means are employed for the remedy of this evil.
5. That the suggessions made in the report upon this subject, laid before the last General Assembly, have not been sufficiently attended to in the preparation of the printed schedules, transmitted to Presbyteries; and,
6. That all the returns received this year continue to bear testimony to the great and growing benefits which arise from habitual inspection, exercised by Presbyteries over the schools within their respective bounds.
The General Assembly, having called for the Report of the Committee for Classing Returns to Overtures, and having learned from the said report, that a majority of Presbyteries had now given their consent to the first overture, respecting the course of study to be pursued by students of divinity, did, and hereby do, convert the said overture into a Standing Law of the Church, and enact and ordain, that, in all time coming, it shall be held and acted upon as such by all the Presbyteries of this Church, with respect to all students of divinity entering upon the said study, from and after this date.
It is therefore enacted, that, in future, all students of divinity shall give at least one year of regular attendance at the Divinity Hall; and that such year of regular attendance shall be the first, the second, or the third year of the course; the present law regulating the attendance remaining in other respects without alteration.
IX. Sess. 9, May 27, 1826.—Overture as to the Course of Study to be pursued by Students of Divinity.
X. Edinburgh, 29th May 1826, Sess. ult.
The General Assembly called for the Report of the Committee appointed by last General Assembly upon the Constitution of Chapels of Ease, which was produced and read. The Assembly approve of and adopt this report; direct in terms thereof, and earnestly recommend to all concerned compliance with the articles specified therein, and enjoin their clerks to see that the said articles be printed along with the printed Acts of this Assembly, as follows, viz.:—
That the committee have examined the constitution given to twenty-two Chapels of Ease in the course of the last twenty-seven years, and respectfully suggest,
that, after having observed the provisions of the 5th Act of Assembly, 1798, the articles in the constitution of any proposed chapel shall, in time coming, be introduced
in the following order:—
1. The property of the chapel to be invested in whom.
2. To be exclusively for the use of a minister of the Church of Scotland.
3. Management and application of the seat-rents.
4. If debt incurred in erecting the chapel, how to be liquidated.
5. Managers and administration to be under the inspection of the Presbytery.
6. Manner of electing managers, and supply of vacancies, when they occur.
7. If a treasurer and clerk, how appointed and paid.
8. Amount of stipend.
9. What security for the same, and time of payment.
10. Plan of augmenting the stipend when necessary.
11. Collections, and application of the money collected.
12. Who are to choose the first minister, and how long to have this power.
13. The manner of supplying vacancies after the chapel is permanently established.
14. Supply of the pulpit during vacancies.
15. Names of candidates to be laid before the Presbytery.
16. Certificates of candidates to be laid before the Presbytery, and judged of.
17. Day of election, how to be appointed, and mode of calling meeting for this and other purposes.
18. Election, letter of acceptance, certificate of having taken the usual oaths, and renewed bond of security, to be laid before the Presbytery.
19. Duty to be performed by the minister when inducted.
20. If a Gaelic chapel, what portion of the service to be performed in that language, and what in English.
21. Bounds within which he is to labour, if any are fixed.
22. When the sacrament is to be dispensed.
23. How persons are to be admitted to partake of the same.
24. Allowance for communion elements, and to the minister, when the sacrament is dispensed.
25. Mode of letting the seats, and time when to be done.
26. Persons to be proposed, if any preference is to be given.
27. Precentor, by whom appointed, and with what salary.
28. Officer, by whom appointed, and with what allowance.
The committee have only farther to remark, that, when circumstances occur not
requiring some of the particulars mentioned to be specified, they may be omitted,
while the above order is observed in specifying those which are introduced. When,
on the other hand, it is found necessary to introduce other particulars, they may be
added after those which occur in the above enumeration.
Hugh Meiklejohn, Convener.
XI. Sess. ult., May 29, 1826.—Act appointing the Diet of the next General Assembly.
Note.—The Union of Offices was this year again discussed. The following notice of the subject appears in the Abridgment:—"The Assembly called for the Overtures respecting the Union of Offices in the Church, which were produced and read. After long reasoning, it was moved and seconded, 'That the General Assembly, being deeply convinced that the Union of the Office of a Parochial Minister with that of Principal or Professor in any of the Universities of Scotland, is injurious to the interests of religion and learning, and contrary to the spirit of our ecclesistical constitution, resolvs, that a Committee be appointed to prepare an Overture, to be transmitted to the Presbyteries of this Church, for preventing such Union of these Offices in future, in all cases not already provided for by the Act of Assembly, 1817, and to report to this Assembly; and, farther, that, in respect some of the Theological Professors are not at present sufficiently provided for, the General Assembly agree to appoint a Committee to take all such cases into consideration, with instructions to make all necessary inquiries, and to adopt all measures that may be deemed expedient, with the view of obtaining some means or security for the adequate endowment of these offices, and to report to next General Assembly.' Another motion was made and seconded, 'That the General Assembly, having maturely deliberated on the subject of these Overtures, judge it inexpedient to transmit any Overture upon the subject to the several Presbyteries of this Church.' And the vote being called for, it was agreed that the state of the vote should be, First or Second Motion; and the roll being called, and votes marked, it carried, by a great majority, Second Motion; and, therefore, the General Assembly 'did, and hereby do, judge it inexpedient to transmit any Overture to the Presbyteries of this Church anent the Union of Offices in the Church.' Which judgment being intimated, Mr Marshall, in his own name, and that of all who should adhere to him, entered his dissent."—Ed. 1843.