Acts
1736

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Institute of Historical Research

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Church Law Society (editors)

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1843

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633-642

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'Acts: 1736', Acts of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland 1638-1842 (1843), pp. 633-642. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=60138 Date accessed: 23 July 2014.


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The principal acts of the general assembly, holden and begun at Edinburgh, May 13, 1736.
I. Sess. 1, May 13, 1736.—The King's Commission to William Marquis of Lothian produced, and ordered to be recorded. II. Sess. 1, May 13, 1736.—The King's most gracious Letter to the General Assembly, presented to them by his Majesty's Commissioner. III. Sess. 3, May 15, 1736.—The General Assembly's Answer to the King's most gracious Letter. IV. An Address to the King, on occasion of the Marriage of his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. V. Sess. 5, May 18, 1736.—Act about Praying for the Royal Family. VI. Sess. 7, May 20, 1736. VII. Sess. 8, May 21, 1736.—Act concerning Preaching. VIII. Sess. 8, May 21, 1736,—Act anent Acts rescissory. IX. Sess. 8, May 21, 1736.—Act appointing Lists of Probationers to be annually presented to the General Assembly. X. Sess. 8, May 21, 1736.—Act and Recommendation for preserving Purity of Doctrine, and concerning Professor Campbell. XI. Sess. 10, May 24, 1736.—Commission to some Ministers and Ruling Elders for discussing divers Affairs referred to them. XII. Sess. 10, May 24, 1736.—Act anent the manner of Electing the Members of the Commission, and concerning their Powers. XIII. Sess. 18, May 24, 1736.—Commission to some Ministers and Ruling Elders for Reformation of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, and for Managing his Majesty's Royal Bounty for that end. XIV. Sess. ult., May 25, 1736.—Act against Intrusion of Ministers into vacant Congregations, and Recommendation to Presbyteries concerning Settlements. XV. Sess. ult., May 25, 1736.—Act against Perjuries in Custom-houses in Scotland. XVI. Sess. ult., May 25, 1736.—Act for better Observation of former Acts of Assembly concerning Students in Divinity and Probationers. XVII. Sess. ult., May 25, 1736.—Act appointing the Diet of the next General Assembly.

The principal acts of the general assembly, holden and begun at Edinburgh, May 13, 1736.

I. Sess. 1, May 13, 1736.—The King's Commission to William Marquis of Lothian produced, and ordered to be recorded.

The General Assembly, &c.

II. Sess. 1, May 13, 1736.—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 15, 1736.—The General Assembly's Answer to the King's most gracious Letter.

May it please your Majesty, &c.

IV. An Address to the King, on occasion of the Marriage of his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales.

Edinburgh, May 15, 1736.

TO THE KING'S MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY,

The humble Address of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

May it please your Majesty,
We, your Majesty's most faithful and most loyal subjects, the ministers and elders now met in a National Assembly of the Church of Scotland, beg leave to offer to your Majesty our most sincere and unanimous congratulations, on the joyful occasion of the marriage of his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales with the most serene Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha.

As the Church of Scotland has never failed to give convincing proofs of her loyalty to your Majesty, and of her steady attachment to the Protestant succession in your most august house, so it cannot but fill our hearts with joy and gratitude, when we reflect on the goodness of God, and your Majesty's fatherly care and wisdom, in thus providing for the lasting continuance of those invaluable blessings, secured to your people by the happy Revolution, and the settlement of the crown in the Protestant line.

We may expect, through the favour of God, from this auspicious alliance, that there will never be wanting princes, descendants of your Majesty, to support and assert the Protestant cause against Popery and arbitrary power, and to prove in their day what the magnanimous Elector of Saxony was in his, and your Majesty is in ours.

That a rich increase of comforts may flow upon your Majesty from this desirable event;—that all felicities may be poured out on their Royal Highnesses, and all your royal family,—that your Majesty may long be preserved for a blessing to your people, blessed by them, and by all the Protestant Churches, till after all earthly joy and prosperity an eternal crown is conferred upon you; and that your Majesty's royal offspring may, to the end of time, fill the throne of these realms, is, and shall be, to the Almighfy God, the earnest prayer of,
May it please your Majesty, your Majesty's most faithful, most obedient, and most loyal subjects, the Ministers and Elders met in the National Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

Signed in our name, in our presence, and at our appointment, by
Lauchlan M'Intosh, Moderator.

V. Sess. 5, May 18, 1736.—Act about Praying for the Royal Family.

The General Assembly, considering that it hath pleased God to bless this nation with an addition to the royal family, by the happy marriage of his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, do, therefore, enjoin all the ministers of this Church that they pray for her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales, as well as for his Majesty King George, his royal consort the Queen, his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, the Duke, the Princesses, and all the Royal Family; and that her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales be named immediately after the Prince.

VI. Sess. 7, May 20, 1736.

The General Assembly called for the report of the commissioners sent to London by the late Assembly to solicit and endeavour the redress of the grievance of patronage, and repeal of the Act, anno decimo Annæ, reimposing the same; and they produced their said report, with a copy of their address to his Majesty, the tenor of which address follows:—

TO THE KING'S MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY,

The humble Address of Mr Alexander Anderson, Moderator of the last General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Mr James Gordon, Minister, and Colonel John Erskine of Carnock, Ruling Elder, commissioners appointed for that Church by the said Assembly, 1735.

May it please your Majesty,
The Church of Scotland, after great sufferings, was, at the late happy Revolution, restored, by the gracious Providence of Almighty God, to the possession of her former rights and privileges, so long contended for. His Majesty King William, of immortal memory, was then the glorious instrument of her deliverance, and, at the same time, of delivering Great Britain from Popery and slavery.

Amongst other great and worthy things done at that memorable juncture for the Church and people of Scotland, the power of patrons to present ministers to churches was abolished, by an Act of Parliament, in consequence of the Scots Claim of Right in the year 1690, for which the patrons obtained a recompence, and were also allowed to retain all the temporal benefits of patronage which they had formerly enjoyed.

By the same Act of Parliament another method of settling ministers in churches was established, in the exercise of which, that great point in the constitution of a church, viz.—the establishing of a just relation between pastor and people, was managed with much calmness, decency, and order; and the ministers thus establish ed, by the Divine blessing on their labour, were successful in the work of the Gospel, and religion and loyalty daily gained ground against profane principles and practices, and against disaffection to the civil government.

By the Act of Union, which passed by the Parliaments of both the British nations, and was made the fundamental constitution of the Kingdom of Great Britain, this freedom from the presentations of patrons, and the said method appointed for settling ministers in churches, did, with the other rights and privileges of the Church and people of Scotland, become an essential and fundamental part of the foresaid constitution of Great Britain.

Notwithstanding whereof, certain disaffected persons, at a time when the most valuable rights and interests of Britain were thought to be in imminent danger, had the address to procure an Act of Parliament, in the 10th year of the late Queen Anne, rescinding the foresaid Act of Parliament, 1690, that abolished the power of patrons to present ministers, and established the method of their settlement in churches; and that this was done in resentment against the Church of Scotland; and that further threatenings were by these persons breathed out against her, for her firm and loyal adherence to the Revolution interest, and especially to the succession of the crown in your Majesty's royal Protestant family, was not then denied, but boasted of; and is still remembered by all who observed those times.

The bad effects which have thence proceeded to the interests of religion and loyalty, none but an utter stranger to Scotland can be unacquainted with, nor with the grounds of fear that these evils may mightily increase till the cause be removed.

The Church of Scotland having long waited for redress of this heavy grievance, and not having as yet obtained the same, did humbly believe it her duty now again to lay the case, with the utmost dutifulness, before your Majesty, and to implore your most gracious and royal favour and justice, for relieving her from these hardships, which are the more affecting, because of the lamentable consequences thereof, that seem to multiply and increase. Discontents and division appear to be growing upon the one hand, as does disaffection upon the other, whereby irreligion and licentiousness are like to prevail.

As no Act of Parliament can be made or repealed but by your Majesty and Parliament, we, as commissioned by your Majesty's subjects of the Church of Scotland, (whose unshaken loyalty is testified even by her enemies,) do, with hearts zealous for your royal person, family, and government, and zealous also, we hope, for the glory of God and the success of the Gospel, presume most dutifully to approach your sacred person, as the nursing-father of the Church of Christ, and the guardian of your people's rights and privileges, and in name and behalf of our constituents, most humbly to implore,

That it may please your most excellent Majesty to favour the repeal of the foresaid Act of the 10th of Queen Anne, that so the Church and people of Scotland may be restored to their just right and privilege, as to the settling of ministers, secured to them by the above mentioned Act of Union; and that Almighty God may greatly bless and prosper your Majesty's royal person and family, and may remarkably countenance your government, and direct the same to his own glory, your Majesty's honour, and the welfare of your people, is the hearty prayer of,
May it please your Majesty, your Majesty's most dutiful and most loyal subjects,
Alexander Anderson.
James Gordon.
John Erskine.

VII. Sess. 8, May 21, 1736.—Act concerning Preaching.

The General Assembly, being moved with zeal for the honour of God and our Lord Jesus Christ, especially at a time when the Christian revelation is openly impugned, and infidelity, deism, and other errors, do so much prevail; they do hereby recommend to all ministers and preachers seriously to consider and observe the Directory of this Church, concerning the preaching of the Word, which is approven by the General Assembly, 1645; and in particular, that they be careful to warn their hearers against any thing tending to Atheism, Deism, Arianism, Socinianism, Arminianism, Bourignionism, Popery, superstition, Antinomianism, or any other errors; and that in their sermons they insist frequently upon the truth, necessity, and excellency of supernatural revelation, the supreme Deity of the Son and Holy Ghost as well as of the Father, together with the oneness of the Godhead; our sinful and lost estate by nature, the necessity of supernatural grace, and of faith in the righteousness of Christ, without which the best works cannot please God; and that they make it the great scope of their sermons to lead sinners from a covenant of works to a covenant of grace for life and salvation, and from sin and self to precious Christ. And the General Assembly recommends to all who preach the Gospel, when they handle the doctrines of God's redeeming love, and of his free grace in the justification and salvation of sinners, the blessings of the Redeemer's purchase, and privileges of the new and better covenant, to study to manage these subjects so as to lead their hearers unto an abhorrence of sin, the love of God and our neighbours, and the practice of universal holiness, seeing it is one great end of the Gospel, to destroy the works of the devil, and to teach men to live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world. Upon which account, it is incumbent on all who preach the Gospel to insist not only upon the necessity and excellency of faith in Jesus Christ for salvation, but also upon the necessity of repentance for sin and reformation from it, and to press the practice of all moral duties, both with respect to the First and Second Tables of the Law, as indispensably necessary in obedience to God's command to testify our gratitude to him, to evidence the sincerity of our faith for the benefit of human society, the adorning the profession of religion, and making us meet for eternal life, seeing without holiness no man can see the Lord.

And the Assembly do seriously recommend to all ministers and preachers of the Gospel, that in pressing moral duties or obedience to the law, they show the nature and excellency of Gospel holiness, and enforce conformity to the moral law both in heart and life, not from principles of reason only, but also, and more especially, of revelation; and in order to attain thereto, it is necessary to show men the corruption and depravity of human nature by their fall in Adam, their natural impotence for and aversion to what is spiritually good, and to lead them to the true and only source of all grace and holiness, viz., union with Christ by the Holy Spirit's working faith in us, and renewing us more and more after the image of God; and to let their hearers know that they must first be grafted into Christ, as their root, before their fruit can be savoury unto God; that they must have a new principle to animate, and a new end to direct, them, before their actions become gracious and acceptable in the sight of God; and that they teach them the necessity of living by faith on the Son of God, in a constant looking to and dependence upon him as the great author of all gracious influences for the performance of every duty; and with all, that after their best performances and attainments, they must count them but loss and dung in point of justification before God, and to make it their great desire only to be found in Christ and his righteousness. And that ministers, in application of their sermons, do endeavour rightly to divide the word of truth, speaking distinctly to such various cases of the converted and unconverted, as arise natively from the subjects they have been handling; and that in the whole of their discourses they take care to suit themselves to the capacity of their hearers, as to matter, method, and expression, and to the prevailing sins of the time and place, with all prudent and zealous freedom and plainness; as also, that they make Gospel subjects their main theme and study, and press, with all earnestness, the practice of moral duties in a Gospel manner: And that they forbear delivering anything in public that may tend more to amusement than edification, and beware of bringing into their sermons and public discourses matters of doubtful disputation, which tend to gender strife, rather than to promote the edification of Christians. And the Assembly exhort all to study to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

And, finally, the General Assembly recommends to all professors of divinity to use their best endeavours to have the students under their care well acquainted with the true method of preaching the Gospel, as above directed; and that Presbyteries, at their privy censures, inquire concerning the observation of this act.

VIII. Sess. 8, May 21, 1736,—Act anent Acts rescissory.

The General Assembly appoints and enacts that no Act rescissory of any standing Acts of the General Assembly be passed, until such Acts rescissory be first transmitted to the several Presbyteries of this Church, and their general opinion had for rescinding the same.

IX. Sess. 8, May 21, 1736.—Act appointing Lists of Probationers to be annually presented to the General Assembly.

Whereas the commissioners to the General Assembly from the several Presbyteries within this Church are, by Act of Assembly, the 4th of January 1697, appointed to bring in lists of all the students of divinity who have passed their trials in order to the ministry, to be annually presented to the General Assembly, and recorded in their register; and whereas an overture was transmitted by the last General Assembly to the several Presbyteries for the more exact and effectual execution of the said Act; and whereas the commissioners to this Assembly, from several Presbyteries, have brought up instructions with them, wherein they agree to several of the regulations overtured for the better execution of the said Act; therefore, the General Assembly, in conformity to the said instructions reported to them by their committee, did, and do hereby, enact and appoint, 1 mo, That every probationer residing for the space of two months, betwixt this and the next Assembly, within the bounds of any Presbytery in this Church, and, in like manner, annually hereafter, shall, within the said time, present his licence to the said Presbytery: and that the said Presbytery shall cause to be marked in their register the said probationer's name, and likewise the Presbytery which licensed him. 2do, That each Presbytery shall extract from their records annually, in March or April, a complete list of all the probationers then residing within their bounds, or that resided therein for the space before mentioned, immediately preceding either of the said months, mentioning in the said extracts, first, the names of the said probationers licensed by themselves, and then the names of the rest residing as above, together with the names of the Presbyteries that licensed them. 3tio, That the said extracts be annually made out upon the same schedule which bears the Presbytery's commission to the members sent yearly to the General Assembly, and be signed in like manner by the moderator or clerk; and that the said extracts further mention the names of such students as are presently under trials before the said Presbyteries. 4to, That the committee for examining Commissions to the members of Assembly shall annually make up a roll of the said probationers and students from the above mentioned extracts, according to the printed orders of the several Synods and Presbyteries: and that the said roll be presented to the General Assembly as a part of the said committee's annual report, and be recorded in the Assembly's register.

X. Sess. 8, May 21, 1736.—Act and Recommendation for preserving Purity of Doctrine, and concerning Professor Campbell.

The General Assembly, having resumed the consideration of the affair relating to Mr Archibald Campbell, Professor of Divinity and Ecclesiastical History in the University of St Andrews, they caused to be again read the report of a committee, appointed by the Commission of the late Assembly for purity of doctrine, brought in upon Tuesday last; and which report had been since under consideration of the Committee for Overtures, joined with the other members of Assembly, who thought fit to attend their meetings, and by that committee amended and transmitted with their approbation to the Assembly, as follows:—

Report of the Committee for Purity of Doctrine.
Edinburgh, March 16, 1736.

The committee having, at several different meetings, considered the explications offered by Professor Campbell to the excerpts out of his writings, which had been excepted against by several in this Church; and having given him opportunity of declaring his mind in the fullest manner concerning them, in order to his giving full satisfaction to the objections proposed against him, (as their minutes do show,) did this day agree to make the following report:—

"That at the last meeting of the committee in January, the heads of his writings objected to were reduced to four.

"The first, Concerning the inability of men by their natural powers to find out the being of a God.

"The second, Concerning the law of nature's being sufficient to guide rational minds to happiness.

"The third, Concerning self-love's being the sole principle and motive of all virtuous and religious actions.

"The fourth, Concerning the sentiments the Apostles entertained of our blessed Saviour between the time of his death and the day of Pentecost.

"As to the first of these, the committee are of opinion, that though the same, as it is delivered by the Professor in his 'Oratio Academica,' is justly exceptionable, as tending to darken and render doubtful the truth of natural religion, and as appearing not to agree with our Confession of Faith, Chap. i. § 1, and Chap. xxi. § 1, and Larger Catechism, Quest. 2, nor with the doctrine of the apostle, Rom. i. 19, 20, 21; yet, having heard his explications and defences upon this head, and being persuaded that he had no intention, by teaching such doctrine, to enervate natural religion, or to give any handle or countenance to the enemies of it, but rather to show the necessity of a supernatural revelation; therefore, it is their judgment, that this should not be insisted upon further than to recommend to him, in the strongest terms, not to teach, by preaching or writing, this doctrine in any time coming.

"As to the second, viz. 'That the laws of nature are in themselves a certain and sufficient rule to direct rational minds to happiness,' which was apprehended by some to mean that a supernatural revelation of a Saviour, and faith in him, were not necessary to the happiness of fallen man; the committee having heard and considered his explications, as well those contained in his books, as those offered to the committee, it does not appear to them that this was his meaning, he having declared fully his persuasion of the necessity of a Saviour and faith in him, in order to our justification and salvation; although they cannot but wish he had better guarded his expressions upon this point in the preface to his discourse, 'The Apostles no Enthusiasts.'

"As to the third, viz. 'Self-love's being the sole principle and motive of all virtuous and religious actions,' which was apprehended to make the glory of God only a subordinate end, and a regard to it only a subordinate motive to the desire of our own happiness; the committee having read and considered his explications, and he having also declared before them, that by his saying, that the chief or sole motive to virtuous and religious actions was the desire of our own happiness, he meant no more but that our delight in the honour and glory of God was that chief motive. They therefore judge, that though the expressions objected against are too high on the side of selflove, (particularly his asserting it to be the sole principle, standard, and motive of all religious actions,) and cannot approve of several other too high expressions he uses on this subject, and are of opinion it may be recommended to him to abstain from using such high expressions in time coming; yet they hope, from what is above mentioned, he has had no unsound meaning in them.

"As to the fourth head, in which it is taken notice of that Professor Campbell had affirmed, 'That the disciples, during our Saviour's life, only expected and hoped for a temporal deliverance and worldly kingdom; and that between his death and resurrection they concluded him to be a cheat and an impostor;' and further, 'That before his resurrection they had no notion of his divinity;' the committee, although they are of opinion that Professor Campbell has no just ground for these sentiments, and that they are too disrespectful to Christ's disciples, whom he honoured to be his apostles, and not consistent with several passages of the Gospel history upon that subject; yet, considering that they contain only his conjectural opinions concerning the inward sentiments of other men, and that our Confession and Catechisms teach nothing concerning these matters; as also, that his design was to give the greater strength to his arguments for vindicating the apostles from enthusiasm; are, therefore, of opinion, that it may be sufficient to recommend it to him, in time coming to abstain from speaking so incautiously upon this subject, and always to maintain the honour that is due to the memory of these eminent instruments of propagating the Christian faith through the world."

The General Assembly having heard the report of the committee for purity of doctrine in relation to some writings of the Rev. Professor Campbell's, and having at great length heard Mr Campbell himself upon it, as likewise several members of the committee, and many other members of this Assembly; and finding, that with respect to the first article of the report, the committee have declared, in the report itself, their being persuaded that Mr Campbell had no intention, by teaching the doctrine to which that article relates, to enervate natural religion, or to give any handle or countenance to the enemies of it, but rather to show the necessity of supernatural revelation. And with respect to the second article, that it does not appear to them that it was Mr Campbell's meaning that a supernatural revelation of a Saviour and faith in him were superfluous, and not necessary to the happiness of fallen man. And with respect to the third article, concerning self-love, that he had declared he meant no more but that our delight in the honour and glory of God was the chief motive of all virtuous and religious actions. And with respect to the fourth article, that the sentiments to which it relates contain only Mr Campbell's conjectural opinions concerning the inward sentiments of other men; and that our Confession and Catechisms teach nothing concerning these matters; as also, that his design was to give the greater strength to his argument for vindicating the apostles from enthusiasm; are of opinion, that the examining and stating the matter, as has been done by the committee for purity of doctrine, is sufficient for cautioning against the errors that some at first supposed Mr Campbell was guilty of, without giving any judgment or formal sentence upon the report; and therefore do resolve and appoint that the matter rest here. And do recommend to the said Professor Campbell, and to all ministers and teachers of divinity whatsoever within this National Church, to be cautious in their preaching and teaching, or writing, not to use doubtful expressions or propositions, which may be constructed in an erroneous sense, or lead the hearers or readers into error, however sound such words or propositions may be in themselves, or however well intended, but to hold fast the form of sound words.

XI. Sess. 10, May 24, 1736.—Commission to some Ministers and Ruling Elders for discussing divers Affairs referred to them.

The General Assembly, finding that there are divers affairs which they cannot overtake, do hereby nominate, commission, and appoint, the Rev. Mr Lauchlan M'Intosh, minister of the gospel at Errol, their Moderator, &c.; to be commissioners of this General Assembly, to the effects after mentioned; with power to the said commissioners, or their quorum. (The Act proceeds in the same terms as that of the two immediately preceding years, with this addition:)—And the Assembly do further empower and direct the said Commission to make due application to the King and Parliament for redress of the grievance of patronage, in case a favourable opportunity for so doing shall occur during the subsistence of this Commission.

XII. Sess. 10, May 24, 1736.—Act anent the manner of Electing the Members of the Commission, and concerning their Powers.

The General Assembly enacts, that for hereafter the committee for naming the members of the Commission be appointed to observe that due proportion betwixt ministers and elders, which obtains in the Assembly; and that care be taken by them that such of the nobility, Officers of State, Lords of Session, and Barons of Exchequer, who are to be superadded to the nomination, be in time coming named from the several Presbyteries or burghs which they are to represent in Assemblies; and that such others of them allenarly be superadded, who cannot be named as above; and that this may be evident to the members of the Assembly, the clerks be appointed to extend the rolls in the same order with the rolls of Assembly. 2do, That when any Presbytery of this Church do not comply with the sentences of the Commissions relating to settlement of ministers, or shall not give the same a full execution, in that case the Commission be discharged to execute the same, by appointing any correspondent meetings, but shall allow the matter to lie over till the ensuing Assembly. Lastly, And if any Presbytery refuse to obey the sentences of the said Commission, they are hereby required to give their reasons to the next General Assembly, to whom they are to be accountable for their conduct therein; and they are hereby declared to be ipso facto sisted before the then next General Assembly.

XIII. Sess. 18, May 24, 1736.—Commission to some Ministers and Ruling Elders for Reformation of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, and for Managing his Majesty's Royal Bounty for that end.

The General Assembly do hereby nominate, commission, and appoint, the Rev. Mr Lauchlan M'Intosh, at Errol, their Moderator, &c.; to be a committee of this Assembly for Reformation of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, and for management of the royal bounty given for that end, according to and in terms of his Majesty's grant; and the General Assembly do hereby renew the powers granted to the said committee by the 8th Act of the late General Assembly, and whole acts therein mentioned, and former commissions to the foresaid committees; any seven of the foresaid persons are declared to be a quorum, whereof four to be ministers; and the foresaid committee are appointed to have their meetings in the place and at the times mentioned in the foresaid 8th Act of the late General Assembly; and with power to adjourn themselves to such times and places as they shall find needful, and to keep a correspondence with the Commission of this Assembly, and the Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge, and their committee of directors, and the Synods and Presbyteries concerned; and the General Assembly do, by these presents, nominate, commission, and appoint, Mr William Grant, Advocate, Procurator for the Church, to be receiver of the foresaid royal bounty, and to pay out the same, as he shall be directed and ordered by the foresaid committee, and according to their rules.

XIV. Sess. ult., May 25, 1736.—Act against Intrusion of Ministers into vacant Congregations, and Recommendation to Presbyteries concerning Settlements.

The General Assembly, considering, from Act of Assembly, August 6, 1575, Second Book of Discipline, Chap. iii. § 4, 6, and 8, registered in the Assembly Books, and appointed to be subscribed by all ministers, and ratified by Acts of Parliament, and likewise the Act of Assembly, 1638, December 17 and 18, and Assembly, 1715, Act 9, that it is, and has been since the Reformation, the principle of this Church—that no minister shall be intruded into any parish contrary to the will of the congregation—do, therefore, seriously recommend to all judicatories of this Church to have a due regard to the said principle in planting vacant congregations; and that all Presbyteries be at pains to bring about harmony and unanimity in congregations, and to avoid every thing that may excite or encourage unreasonable exceptions in people against a worthy person that may be proposed to be their minister, in the present situation and circumstances of the Church, so as none be intruded into such parishes, as they regard the glory of God, and edification of the body of Christ.

XV. Sess. ult., May 25, 1736.—Act against Perjuries in Custom-houses in Scotland.

The General Assembly, taking into their serious consideration the crying and multiplied abominations of perjury in many of the custom-houses of Scotland, especially in the French wine trade, to the great reproach of religion, the offence of all sober and good men, a wasting of conscience, and diffusing of most pernicious example; and that methods hitherto used for the suppressing of it, according to the Act of Assembly, 1719, have not had the effect that might have been justly expected from it, do not only renew their former testimony against it, in the name of this Church, but also do order and enjoin all the judicatories thereof, as there shall be occasion, to use their best endeavours to put a stop to it, by the conscientious and impartial use of all the means appointed by the Lord Jesus against scandals of such an heinous nature.

XVI. Sess. ult., May 25, 1736.—Act for better Observation of former Acts of Assembly concerning Students in Divinity and Probationers.

The General Assembly enjoins Presbyteries to take care of the more punctual and exact execution of the Acts of the General Assembly concerning students in divinity, and the time of their studying, licensing probationers, and anent intrants to the holy ministry; and that none coming licensed from abroad be allowed to preach in Scot land till they be re-examined, and come under the engagements, and sign the formula, according to the 10th Act of the General Assembly, 1711; and refers it to the Commission to consider the state of the bursaries, and bring in their opinion concerning the same to the next General Assembly.

XVII. Sess. ult., May 25, 1736.—Act appointing the Diet of the next General Assembly.

The next General Assembly of this National Church is appointed to be held at Edinburgh, upon the second Thursday of May next, in the year 1737.

The General Assembly was concluded with prayer, and singing part of the 46th Psalm, from the beginning to the 6th verse, and pronouncing the blessing.

Collected and extracted from the Records of the General Assembly, by
William Grant, Cls. Eccl. Scot.

(There follows in the original edition an overture concerning the election of members to the General Assembly, which was passed into an Act in 1738.)



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