A. D. M.D.LXX.
The Generall Assemblie of the Kirk, haldin at Edinburgh, in the
Nether Counsell House, the fyft day of Julij 1570; quher were
assemblit the Nobilitie, Barronis, Superintendents, Commissioners
of Kirks, Provinces, Townes, and Ministers. The exhortatioun
and prayer made be Mr Johne Craig.
The haill brethren presentlie conveinit choose Mr Robert Pont, Moderatour for this Assemblie.
[The Superintendent of Fife was delated for negligence in reparation of
Kirkes. His excuse was, He could gett no officer of armes to putt in
execution letters against parochiners, where the said kirks were ruinous.
The Assembly ordered the Superintendents, and Commissioners for planting of kirkes, to charge the Collectors officers within their provinces
respective, to execute letters for reparatione of kirks decayed, as the saids
Superintendents or Commissioners shall charge them; who shall cause them
be satisfied at the discretione of the Assembly, conforme to their diligence
and pains taken thereanent.
Commission is given to Mr John Robertsone, Thesaurer of Rosse, to
assist Mr Donald Monroe, Commissioner of Rosse; because the said Commissioner was not prompt in the Scottish tongue. C.]
Penitents that for their offences resorts to the Generall Assembly, either
to receive injunctiouns, to shew signes of their repentance, or that sould
present themselves befor the same in linnen cloathes, and receive farther
injunctiouns; That they be warnit [by their Superintendents, Commissioners or Ministers,] to compeir the second day of the Assemblie peremptorilie.
[Because some, who had once accepted the office and charge of preaching
the word, had deserted their calling, the Assembly ordained, That all and
sundry Ministers, who hereafter shall accept the said office, shall be inaugurate publickly, conforme to the order appointed in the end of the Booke
of Excommunicatione: And] Ministers at their publick inauguratioun sall
protest solemnlie, that they sall never leave their vocation any tyme therafter, under the paine of infamie and perjurie; [and that this be done
and execute be Superintendents, and Commissioners appointed for planting
of kirkes: And in like manner, That all Ministers already placed before
the making of this statute, shall make the like protestatione, in their Synodall conventiones, before the Superintendents or Commissioners, who shall
insert the said protestatiounes, from time to time, in their bookes, ad futuram rei memoriam. C.]
Anent the tryall of ȝong children, and how they are broght up be their
parents in the true religion of Jesus Chryst: It is ordainit, that Ministers,
and elders of kirks shall universallie, within this realme, take tryall and
examine all ȝong children, within their parochin, that are come to nyne
ȝeirs, and that for the first time; thereafter, quhen they are come to 12
ȝeirs, for the second tyme; the thrid tyme to be examined, quhen they
are come to 14 ȝeirs; quherthrow it may be knowin that they have profited in the schoole of Christ, fra tyme to tyme: [And that the names of
them that shall be tryed, be written be the Ministers, and elders; and
every one of them within their own parochies.
The penitents compearing to submitt themselves to the discipline of the
Kirk, were ordained to repair to their owne Ministers respective, who
would shew to them the injunctiones appointed be the Assembly, to be
sullfilled for signes of repentance unto the next Assembly; and to compear
in linnen cloathes, bare headed and bare footed, the second day of the next
Assembly, to receive farther injunctiones; and every one of them to bring
a testimoniall from their owne Minister, of their behaviour in the meane
Others compearing in linnen cloathes, bare headed and bare footed,
with testimonialls from their Ministers, or testificatione of their Ministers
there present that they had fulfilled the injunctiones appointed to them,
were remitted again to their own Ministers respective, to be received to
the societie of the faithfull, according to the act of the Generall Assembly,
made the second of March 1569, and second Sessione of the same Assembly.
Others summoned be the Superintendents, Commissioners, or Ministers, often times called, but not compearing; it was ordained, That the
sentence of excommunicatione should be reiterat against them who were
already excommunicate, and the cause declared wherefore it was so done;
and that they proceed to excommunicatione against others, for their disobedience.
Mr John Craig, John Row, and David Lindsay, Ministers, Mr Thomas Makcalȝean, Advocate, David Forrest, Generall of the Conȝie house,
Mr James Lawsone, Subprincipall of Aberdeen, were appointed for decision of questions.
It was statut and ordained, That as it pleased God of his mercy to erect
the authority of the Kings Majesty, with publick consent of the Estates in
Parliament, even so the samen ought, and should be universally obeyed
throughout this realme, without acknowledging any other authority, whatsoever title be pretended.
Moreover, Ministers are commanded, in their publick sermons, to pray
publickly for the preservation of His Majesties person and authority; with
certification, that all such as shall be found negligent or disobedient, shall
be punished as the Assembly shall think expedient.
And farther It was declared, That if any subject or subjects of this
realme, of what estate soever they be, shall presumptuously take upon
them to inhibite any Minister to obey this ordinance of the General Assembly, what cloke or colour soever he or they pretend; or by minacing make
impediment unto them, so that without fear Ministers may not serve God
in their vocation; that, in that case, such troublers shall be summarly, upon
the notoriety of the fact, excommunicate, and shall be holden rotten members, unworthy of the Society of Christs body.
And last, The Assembly commandeth all Superintendents, and Commissioners of Provinces, to cause this determination to be published in all the
paroche kirks, that nane hereafter pretend ignorance.
Item, It was ordained, That this act and statute should be printed be
Robert Likprivick, that no man pretend ignorance. C.]
It is ordainit, be reason of the great troubles laitlie risen in this realme,
be defection of some fra the Kings Majesties laufull authority, That certain
brethren be sent fra the Kirk, to all Erles, Lords, Barrones, and Gentill men
quhatsoevir, that hes made the forsaid defectioun, and travell with them
be all meanes possible, to reconcile them to the lawfull obedience of His
Majestie; and to certifie them that disobeyis, that the haill Kirk will use
the sword against them, quhilk Gods word hes committit to them. Commissioners for that effect: Mr Andro Hay, [Commissioner of the West,]
and Mr David Lindesay, [Minister of Leith,] to my Lord Dukes Grace,
the Erles of Argyle, Eglintoune, Cassills, my Lord Boyd, and uther Barronis and Gentill men that they can goodlie meit with within the West
partis: The Laird of Dunne, Superintendent of Angus and Mernes, to
the Erle of Craufurd, the Lord Ogilvie, and their assisters. Quhilks
Commissioners were commandit to report their ansuers to the nixt Generall Assemblie.
[Power was given to Mr Robert Pont, Commissioner of Murray, with
the assistance of the Kirke of Elgine, to proceed, after due admonitiones,
to excommunicatione against Patrick Bishop of Murray.
It is ordained, That all Superintendents and Commissioners to plant
kirkes, with such as they shall choose in their Synodall conventiones,
shall hear the compts of the Collectors of their owne provinces, at such
day and place as shall please them to appoint to the saids Collectors; and
report to the nixt Assembly, quhat diligence and fidelity they shall find in
them: and that they shall have power to depose, and retaine the saids
Collectors, as occasione shall serve, conforme to the act of the said Assembly made of before thereanent. C.]
The contraversie in St Androes betuixt Mr Robert Hamiltoun, Minister
ther, and his Collegis on the ane part, and Mr James Carmichell, and his
Collegis on the uther part, is treattit and discusit be the Assemblie of the
haill Kirk; because the same concernes doctrine, slander that may rise
therin, or discipline of the Kirk.
[The brethren appointed for decisione of questiones, reported their decisiones, as followeth.
It was asked, What is the jurisdictione of a Superintendent, and how
far it is extended be Gods word. Answer: Remitt the answer to the
Book of Discipline.
Q. If a Minister, Exhorter, or Reader, and any other man, be at debate
for any injurie in word or deed, the actione being civill, Who shall be
Judge in that matter. A. The actione of injurie belongeth to the Magiftrates: The slander to the Kirk.
Q. If a Minister sussiciently provided for his ministratione at any kirke,
have other benefices wherof he receiveth the fruicts, Whither the fruicts
he receiveth may be called thift, reafe, sacriledge, or just possessione. A.
Referr this to the modifiers of stipends, as they shall answer before God.
Q. Whither it is better that all Ministers were equall in labours, to wit,
these that labour in touns were equall, and without touns sicklike equall;
or according to diverse qualities and gifts, some shall be preferred to
others; and if this be thought good, Who shall be Judge; Whither the
Superintendent only, or not. A. This is answered be the appointment of
moderators of stipends.
Q. Whither, If a man having the properties requisite in a minister, not
having a certaine flock, shall be admitted to preach, and minister the Sacraments, in necessity, or in default of a minister, if it shall please him; so that
he promise to continue in the said vocatione: or shall none be admitted
who hath not a particular flock. A. This article is obscure.
Q. Whither it be papistry, when any man profest in ane abbay, shall be
chosen ministrator, or œconomus, be suffrages of these that have been
profest in ane abbay, which professione is papistry, and be that election
brooke the title. A. Howsoever the professione was papistrie before,
yet the ministratione of the temporal fruicts is a part of the policie, and
no wife papistry. Mr John Rutherford protested, in so far as the answers
to thir questions is not sussicient, that he may have remeed at the nixt
Assembly, or otherwise, &c.
Q. A man having just occasione to suspect his wife of adultery, be common brute and otherwife, giveth in a complaint to the Sessione of Edinburgh, craveth tryal; but afterward moved with foolish pitie, taketh up
his complaint, and desireth the Sessione of the Kirke to be silent and
keep secret: Thereafter, in the same mans house, when he is furth of the
countrey, ane adulterer is deprehended with his wife be the Magistrate,
at ten hours at even: The husband returning compleaneth again to the
Sessione of the Kirke, craveth the last slander to be tryed, which was
tryed: Moreover, the husband accuseth the adulterer before the Justice;
and he is convict, be ane assise, of adultery committed with his wife: and
sicklike he calleth his wife before the Justice. Now, in the meane time,
before the day of her compearance, it is bruted, and vehemently suspected,
that the husband is already reconciled with his wife, or to be reconciled,
before satisfactione be made to the Kirke; and so is already, or intendeth
to be a patron to his wifes adultery, and therethrow to committ lenocinium. What order shall be taken with this husband reconciled with his wife,
without satisfactione made be her; or, What order shall be taken with
such men as clocke the adultery of their wives, notoriously and publickly
known. C.] A. Cloakers of adulterie sould be callit, and convict: and
if it be found, that they have cloakit publick adulterie, after their knowledge, then let the rule have place. Consentientes et agentes pari pœna
[Q. Whither the Communion may be ministred upon Pasch day, or
not. A. Why not, where superstitione is removed.
Q. Whither a man deflouring a virgine shall be constrained to marrie
her; or, if paying her tocher, according to the discretione of the Kirke,
he may be free to marrie whom he pleaseth in the Lord. A. Let the
Kirke suite the Magistrats to consent to this law. C.]
Q. When a woman beares a bairne to a certaine man, and in the tyme
of her birth, before the midwyfe, alledgis the bairne to be this mans, and
beand callit befor a Judge beand ready to sweare the same; and this man
is readie to sweare the contrair, and that he had never carnall deale with
this woman; and ther is no uther witnes: Whither sall credence be
givin to the mans aith, or to the womans; and sall the bairne be left
without a father knowin. Ansuer: Neutri credendum.
[Q. What shall be answered to these who charge Ministers to desist from
praying for the King, or revenge of the Regents murther. A. The Ministers shall pray for the Kings Majesty, according to ane act made befor
in this Assembly; and also for revenge of the Regents murther.
Q. What way shall the Lords of the Session that have benefices, and
their thrids free, be compelled to provide Ministers to their own kirks.
A. Lett the compleaners give in their complaints to the Kirk, that the
Lords may be called befor the Kirk, for order to be taken with them.
Q. If those that withhold the duty of the Kirk, wherethrough Ministers
want their stipends, may be excommunicate. C.] A. All things beand
done that the civill ordour requyres of them that withhaldis the duetie of
the Kirk, quherby Ministers wants their stipends; the Kirk may proceid
to excommunication, for their contempt.
[Q. What order shall be taken with such ministers as are provided to
benefices by the reformed Kirk, and have manses, but will not make refidence. A. Let them be admonished to make residence, under the pain
Q. What order shall be taken with such popish priefts as are excommunicat for ministration of the Sacraments, and selling of the same, yet will
not abstain. A. Raise letters of caption upon them. C.]
Compeirit Mr James M'Gill of Rankeillor-nether, Clerk of Register, and
Counsellour to our Soveraine Lord, Lord Johne Ballantyne of Auchnoulnhill, Knicht, Justice Clerk, Mr Archibald Dowglas, ane of the Lords of
the Colledge of Justice, quho, in presence of the haill Assemblie, proponit
in my Lord Chancellours name, how his Lordship had understand, that
in the contraversie among them in St Androes, there was conteinit some
heids tending to treason, and agains the Kings Majesties authoritie:
Therefor reqyrit the Kirk presentlie assemblit, to superceid all decision in
that matter, concerning the Kings Majestie, untill the tyme the Nobilitie
conveine, quhilk will be within ten dayis; befor quhom that heid aucht
to be sichtit: notheles that the Kirk proceid to sick things therin, as pertaines to their awin jurisdictioun. To the quhilk protestatioun the Kirk
The said day the haill Kirk presentlie assemblit, in ane voyce and mynd,
gives full commission and power to the honorable, their loving brethren,
Johne Erskin of Dunne, Knyght, Superintendent of Angus and Mernes,
Mrs Johne Wynrhame, and Johne Spotiswood, Superintendents of Fyfe, and
Lowthiane respective, Mr James M'Gill of Rankeillor-nether, Clerk of
Register, and Counsellour to our Soveraine Lord, Mrs Johne Knox, and
Johne Craig, David Lindesay, of Edinburgh and Leith Ministers, the
Provest of Dundie, Mr Thomas M'Calȝean, the Lairds of Balvaird, Spot,
Braid, Carnall, Dreghorne, Lundie, Howstoun, Drumquhasil, Coldonknowis, Carden, Fawdonsyde, Thornetoun, Inchbrakie, David Forrest,
Generall of the Conȝie, David Ramsay of Dundie, Patrick Murray in
St Johnstoun, and Robert Campbell of Kinȝeancleuch, or any aucht, or
sevin of them, to compeir in Edinburgh, the xij day of this moneth of
July, with continuation of dayes, sa oft as the Nobilitie of this realme sall
conveine, betuixt this and the nixt Generall Assemblie: And ther, in
name, and behalfe of the haill kirks in Scotland, propone and present to
the said Nobilitie, articles, heids, supplicatiouns, and complaints, such as
the said Kirk hes already pennit and delyverit to their saids brether, or
heirafter sall, before the nixt Generall Assemblie, delyver; most humblie in
their names, To requyre ansuers, and grant to their articles, and supplicatiouns, and with redresses of their complaints, according to equitie and
justice: To assist, concurre, and consent to all and quhatsumevir sall be
treatit in the said Conventioun, tending to the setting forward of the glorie
of God, preaching, and maintaining of true religioun, within this countrey, the Kings Majesties authoritie, commoun weil, and authoritie of this
realme: As also, To take cognition in all and quhatsomevir complaints,
supplicatiouns, and requeists of brether, specially remittit to them be this
Assemblie: And quhatsoevir beis done be them in the premisses, To
report the same to the nixt Generall Assemblie of the Kirk, to begin in
Edinburgh, the first day of March nixt to come: firme and stable haldand and for to hald all and quhatsomevir the saids brether, or any aucht,
or sevin of them, in the premisses leads to be done.
The Kirk presentlie assemblit, for certaine causes moving them, discharges all and sundrie assignatiouns, and pensions granted be the Kirk,
during their will, to quhatsomevir person or persons, befor the daitt heirof;
and ordaines the collectour of the Kirk to intromett therwith heirafter;
and to put inhibitions to all them that heirtofoir hes had any sick assignatiouns or pensions; except that quhilk is assignit to the Kings Majesties
house allanerly: [And this to be intimat to the Lords, Senators of
Session of Justice, requeisting their Lordships, that no letters be granted
be them, to any person having assignation, or pension of the thrids, contrar
to the tenor of this Act.
Mr Robert Pont, Commissioner of Murrey, and Mr Andrew Hay,
Commissioner of Cliddisdaill, desired them to be disburthened of their
commission; but were requested to continue till the nixt Assembly. C.]