The principal acts of the general assembly, holden and begun at Edinburgh, May 12, 1743.
I. Sess. 1, May 12, 1743.—The King's Commission to Alexander Earl of Leven pro
duced, and ordered to be recorded.
The General Assembly, &c.
II. Sess. 1, May 12, 1743.—The King's most gracious Letter to the General Assembly, pre
sented to them by his Majesty's Commissioner.
Right Reverend and well-beloved, we great you well. It is with great pleasure
and satisfaction that we reflect on the wise and prudent behaviour of the former Assemblies of the Church of Scotland; and as we are persuaded that you come together
with the same zeal for the glory of God, and the advancement of true religion and
piety, for the preventing the growth of Popery, and the suppressing of vice, we most
willingly countenance this your present meeting with our royal approbation and
The steady loyalty and affection which the Church has, on all occasions, shown to
our person and government, and her firm adherence to the Protestant interest in
general, and to the cause of virtue and religion in particular, are reasons sufficient to
induce us to give fresh assurances of our resolution to protect and maintain the Church
of Scotland in the full enjoyment of all her rights and privileges, as by law established.
You may be fully assured of our readiness to concur in whatever may tend to promote true religion, suppress vice and immorality, and secure the peace and prosperity
of the Church, not doubting but that you, on your part, will sincerely endeavour, to
the utmost of your power, to do every thing that can conduce to our service and the
welfare of our people; and that your debates and proceedings be managed with a
spirit of meekness becoming so venerable an assembly, carefully avoiding whatever
may create unhappy divisions, which are the most effectual means that the enemies of
our happiness and tranquillity can lay hold of, to disappoint the good ends for which
you are assembled.
The experience you have already had of the abilities and integrity of our right
trusty and entirely beloved cousin, Alexander Earl of Leven, of his concern for the
Church, and his zeal for our service, will, we doubt not, render our choice of him to
represent our royal person in this Assembly agreeable to you. And we are perto represent our royal person in this Assembly agreeable to you. And we are per
suaded, that his diligence and application in the discharge of so important a trust
will be assisted and encouraged by the unanimity and dispatch with which you will
go through the several affairs that shall come under your consideration. And so we
did you heartily farewell.
Given at our Court at St James's, the 23d day of April 1743, in the sixteenth
year of our reign.
By his Majesty's Command,
Directed—To the Right Reverend and Well-beloved, the Moderator, Ministers, and Elders, of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
III. Sess. 3, May 14, 1743.—The General Assembly's Answer to the King's most gracious.
May it please your Majesty,
The General Assembly of this Church have been honoured with your Majesty's
most gracious letter, and acknowledge, with the greatest thankfulness, the countenance
you are pleased to give to our meeting at this time.
As it is with great pleasure and satisfaction we observe your Majesty's approbation
of the conduct of former Assemblied of the Church of Scotland, and the confidence
you place in us, we hope on this occasion to show the same zeal for the glory of God,
and the advancement of true religion and piety, for the preventing the growth of
Popery, and the suppressing of vice, which has appeared in former Assemblies; and
that the proceedings of this Assembly shall likewise be favoured with your Majesty's
The repeated declarations your Majesty is pleased to give of your resolution to
protect and maintain the Church of Scotland in the full enjoyment of all her rights
and privileges, as by law established, greatly encourage us to persevere in that steady
loyalty and affection to your Majesty's person and government, for which this Church
has been remarkable on all occasions; and as we are persuaded the security of the
Protestant religion, and of our liberties, does, under God, depend on the preservation
of your Majesty's government, your Majesty may firmly rely on our unshaken loyalty,
and that we will promote the same loyal principles among the people.
The assurances your Majesty gives us at this time of your readiness to concur in
whatever may tend to promote true religion, suppress vice and immorality, and secure
the peace and prosperity of the Church, are extremely agreeable, and must be powerful motives to excite us on our part sincerely to endeavour, to the utmost of our
power, to do every thing that may promote such valuable ends, and can conduce to
your Majesty's service and the welfare of our country. We should much neglect our
true interest, and be unworthy of the character we bear, if we did not carefully avoid
whatever may create unhappy divisions, and manage our debates and proceedings
with that spirit of meekness your Majesty recommends.
We look on the continuance of your royal bounty, for promoting the knowledge of
true religion, and preventing the increase of Popery in the Highlands and Islands of
Scotland, as a fresh instance of your paternal regard, and of your generous designs
for the good and prosperity of your subjects. It shall be our care to manage this your
royal donation in such manner as may best answer the good ends proposed by your
The abilities and integrity of the Earl of Leven, his zeal for your Majesty's service,
his sincere regard to the interest of this Church, and his prudent conduct in former
Assemblies, render your Majesty's choice of him to represent your royal person in this
Assembly most agreeable to us. And your Majesty may be firmly persuaded that
nothing shall be wanting on our part to assist and encourage him in the discharge of
his important trust, by going through the several affairs that shall come under our
consideration with a becoming unanimity, and all possible dispatch.
That God may abundantly bless your Majesty, and long preserve you for the happi
ness of these nations;— that he may make your reign prosperous, direct your councils,
and render your arms successful for redressing the injuries done to your subjects, restoring the peace and preserving the liberties of Europe;—that he may eminently bless
the Prince and Princess of Wales, the Duke, the Princesses, the issue of the Prince
and Princess of Wales, and all the branches of your royal family;—that he may protect you while you are abroad, and restore you in peace and honour to your British
dominions; and that, after a long and happy reign on earth, over a flourishing and
free people, your Majesty may inherit an immortal crown, are the sincere and hearty
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
Robert Wallace, Moderator.
IV. Sess. 9, May 21, 1743.—Act and Overture about the manner of Licensing Probationers.
There was transmitted, from the committee for overtures, an overture and interim
act, passed by the General Assembly last year, with relation to the licensing of probationers, with their opinion that the same be continued in force as an Act for another
year, and that before next Assembly Presbyteries, particularly those in the Highlands, do give their opinion on the following amendment proposed to be made thereto,
viz., That there be no exception of students having the Irish language, as to the time
of their studying divinity. The General Assembly having heard the said overture
and opinion, agreed thereto in the above terms, and do enact for one year, from the
meeting of this Assembly; and also transmit the same as an overture to the several
V. Sess. 9, May 21, 1743.—Act Disjoining certain Parishes of the Presbyteries of Middle
bie, Lochmaben, and Jedburgh, and erecting the same into two new Presbyteries, to
be called the Presbyteries of Annan and Langholm.
There was transmitted to the General Assembly, from their committee for bills, the
petition of the Presbytery of Middlebie, representing that the said Presbytery consists of eleven parishes, of which six are in Annandale, viz., Annan, Hoddam, Dornock,
Middlebie, Kirkpatrick, and Graitney; the other five are in Eskdale, viz., Langholm,
Ewes, Westerkirk, Eskdalemuir, and Canonbie: That by reason of the great distance
of many of these parishes from the Presbytery seat, the badness of the roads through
mossy or marshy ground, and other inconveniences, more particularly set forth in the
said petition, the said Presbytery seldom meets at Middlebie, but the members were
seldom meets at Middlebie, but the members were
in use to meet sometimes at Annan, Langholm, Halfmorton, and other churches,
wandering about from one place to another, without any order, whereby a great many
difficulties and inconveniences ensued, of which the Synod of Dumfries was so sensible that they advised them to meet at Annan and Langholm by turns, in winter,
and at Middlebie and Halfmorton in summer; and yet this, with all other expedients,
have been tried without effect. They therefore proposed that the six parishes in
Annandale be erected into a Presbytery, to meet at Annan; and that Cummertrees
and Ruthwell, in the Presbytery of Lochmaben, (which at present consists of fifteen
parishes) be added to them, of which the first is two miles from Annan, and the other
four. That this will effectually remove all the hardships which affect that part of the
Presbytery; they will have good accommodiation at Annan, the remotest church is
not above six miles from it, and the road is always good. They further proposed that
the five parishes in Eskdale be erected into another Presbytery, to meet at Langholm,
(where they will have the like advantages as at Annan,) and that the parish of Castleton (which at present belongs to the Presbytery of Jedburgh, where there are fifteen
parishes) be annexed to them, which will be likewise highly convenient for the minister of this parish, as he lies sixteen miles from Jedburgh, and only eight from Langholm. The said petition further sets forth, that the Synods of Dumfries, and of
Merse and Teviotdale, and the Presbyteries of Lochmaben and Jedburgh, had, for
their respective concerns, consented to the aforesaid disjunctions and new erections,
as appears by extracts of their several sentences produced. The General Assembly,
having heard the said petition, and opinion of their committee for bills thereupon, and
having had the consents of the above mentioned Presbyteries and Synods produced before them, did, and hereby do, according thereto, disjoin the six parishes in
Annandale, viz., the parishes of Annan, Hoddam, Dornock, Middlebie, Kirkpatrick,
and Graitney, from the Presbytery of Middlebie, and the parishes of Cummertrees and
Ruthwell from the Presbytery of Lochmaben, and do erect these eight parishes into
a Presbytery, to be called the Presbytery of Annan, and to have their meetings for
ordinary at Annan; and did, and hereby do, disjoin the five parishes in Eskdale, viz.,
the parishes of Langholm, Ewes, Westerkirk, Eskdalemuir, and Canonbie, from the
said Presbytery of Middlebie, and the parish of Castleton from the Presbytery of Jedburgh, and do erect these six parishes into another Presbytery, to be called the Presbytery of Langholm, and to have their ordinary meetings at Langholm. And the
Assembly do authorise the Synod of Dumfries, at their first meeting, to appoint the
time of the first meeting of the above mentioned Presbyteries of Annan and Langholm; and the Assembly declare these Presbyteries to have the same powers and
privileges which any other Presbytery have, by the Word of God and constitution of
VI. Sess. 10, May 23, 1743.—Commission to some Ministers and Ruling Elders for
discussing Affairs referred to them.
The General Assembly, &c.
VII. Sess. 10, May 23, 1743, ante meridiem.—Instruction to the Commission of the
The General Assembly appoints that all questions concerning the settlement of
parishes, not already depending before this Assembly, but that may be brought before the Commission, in pursuance of a general reference, shall not be decided by
them otherwise than by appeal or reference from the Synod within which the vacant
VIII. Sess. ult., May 23, 1743, post meridiem.—Act appointing the Places of Meeting of the
Synod of Perth and Stirling.
There being presented and read to the General Assembly an Act of the Synod of
Perth and Stirling, (to whom it was remitted by last Assembly to agree upon
their stated places of meeting, and report,) appointing their ordinary fixed meetings
to be at Perth in October, and at Stirling in April, yearly, per vices, in all time coming; the General Assembly, having heard the said Act, did, and hereby do, interpone
their authority thereto, and do appoint the meetings of the said Synod accordingly.
IX. Sess. ult., May 23, 1743, post meridiem.—Commission to some Ministers and Ruling
Elders for Reformation of the Highlands and Islands, and for Managing his Ma
jesty's Royal Bounty for that end.
The General Assembly do hereby nominate, commission, and appoint, the Rev.
Mr Robert Wallace, one of the ministers of Edinburgh, their Moderator, &c. (The
Act proceeds in the same terms as that of the immediately preceding years.)
X. Sess. ult., May 23, 1743, post meridiem.—Act appointing the Diet of the next General
The next General Assembly of this National Church is appointed to be held
in this place, upon the second Thursday of May next, in the year 1744, being the
10th day of that month.
The General Assembly was concluded with prayer, and singing a part of the 122d
Psalm, from the 6th verse to the close, and pronouncing the blessing.
Collected and extracted from the Records of the General Assembly, by
William Grant, Cls. Eccl. Scot.
May 23, 1743.— Overture about the Manner of deciding Causes before the
Commission. (fn. *)
The following overture being proposed, viz., That hereafter it be an instruction to
the Commission, that all causes brought to the Assembly by appeal directly from
Presbyteries, and not decided by the Assembly, be determined by the Commission
at their meeting in May, or otherwise be remitted to the Synod of the bounds, and
receive their judgment, from which the same may be brought to the Commission in
November or March. The General Assembly transmit the said overture to the
several Presbyteries for their opinion thereupon, which they are appointed to send
up to the next General Assembly.