The principal acts of the general assembly, convened at Edibburgh, May 23. 1754.
I. Sess. 1, May 23, 1754.—The King's Commission to John Earl of Hopetoun produced, and ordered to be recorded.
The General Assembly, &c.
II. Sess. 1, May 23, 1754.—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 25, 1754.—The General Assembly's Answer to the King's most gracious
May it please your Majesty, &c.
IV. Sess. 7, May 30, 1754.—Act anent Licensing Probationers and setting Ministers
in consequence of a Presentation.
The General Assembly enjoin all Presbyteries that they take care, in licensing
probationers, strictly to observe the rules of the Word of God, and Acts of Assembly
relative thereto—also strictly to observe the rules of this Church, with respect to Probationers for the ministry licensed in England, or in foreign parts; that before taking
any stepes towards a settlement in consequence of a presentation, they take care that
the patron and presentee be duly qualified, and that the presentation be in the terms
of law; and that when one is presented to a parish, against whom there appears to
be no just objection, they use their best endeavours to render the presentee acceptable to the parish.
V. Sess. 7, May 30, 1754.—Act appointing Ministers ordained or admitted to Parishes to
be Members of the Presbytery and Synod in whose Bounds the Parish lies.
The General Assembly do hereby declare, that when one is ordained or admitted
as minister of a parish, he shall, by virtue of such ordination or admission, be, ipso
facto;, a member of the Presbytery and Synod in whose bounds the parish lies; and
ordains the clerks of these judicatories forthwith to enrol him. And all clerks of Synods and Presbyteries are hereby enjoined to enrol as members such as have, at any
time preceding this, been ordained or admitted as ministers of parishes within their
VI. Sess. 7, May 30, 1754.—Act extending the Twelfth Act of the Assembly, 1736, to Sentences passed by the General Assembly, and not obeyed by Presbyteries.
The General Assembly, finding that, by the 12th Act of Assembly, 1736, Presbyteries refusing to obey the sentences of the Commission of the General Assembly
are declared to be, ipso facto, sisted before the next General Assembly, to whom they
shall be accountable for their conduct; do hereby declare this Act to be extended to
sentences passed by the General Assembly, and not obeyed by Presbyteries.
VII. Sess. 8, June 1, 1754.—Commission to some Ministers and Ruling Elders for discussing
Affairs referred to them.
The General Assembly, &c.
VIII. Sess. ult., June 3, 1754.—Commission to some Ministers and Ruling Elders for Reformation of the Highlands and Islands, and for Managing his Majesty's Royal
Bounty for that end.
The General Assembly, &c.
IX. Sess. ult., June 3, 1754.—Act appointing the Diet of the next General Assembly.
The next General Assembly of this National Church is appointed to be held in
this place, upon the fourth Thursday of May next, being the 22d day of that month,
in the year 1755.
Collected and extracted from the Records of the General Assembly, by
George Wishart, Cls. Eccl. Scot.
May 30, 1754.—Overture anent Ministers ordained in England, or in Foreign Parts. (fn. *)
The General Assembly transmit the following overture to the several Presbyteries
of this Church, that they may report their opinion thereupon to the next General
Assembly, viz.:—"That before any minister ordained in England, or in foreign parts,
be considered as a minister of this Church, so as to be capable of a charge in the Establishment, he shall preach before the Presbytery in whose bounds the charge is, and
be examined by them, in order to their judging if he be duly qualified. And in case
any such minister shall be presented by a patron, or receive a call to any parish previously to his undergoing the trial now mentioned, it shall be competent for the Presbytery to take trial of him as above, in order to his settlement."
June 1, 1754.—Overture anent Members of Inferior Courts judging in Causes appealed
from them to the Superior Courts.
(See 1741.) (fn. †)
The General Assembly agreed to transmit the following overture, transmitted to
them by the Commission of last Assembly, to the consideration of the several Presbyteries, that they may report their opinion thereon to the next General Assembly;
which overture is as follows, viz.:—"The Commission considering that the present
practice of this Church, whereby the members of inferior judicatories are excluded
from judging or voting in the superior judicatories, in case of an appeal, is contrary
to the practice of all other courts, both of law and equity, and in some measure subversive of that exact parity which is a leading part of our constitution, as it sometimes
subjects the sentence of the far greater number to that of the lesser; and further,
considering that, by this means, those who a little before acted in the character of
judges, are obliged to stand at the bar on a level with the pannel, must enter into
the spirit and warmth of a party, and, perhaps, are condemned for no other reason than
giving sentence according to their best judgment, and which they would willingly
have altered upon a review; and as it often, if not always, happens that when the
members of inferior courts, before whom the cause was first tried and thoroughly
canvassed, are removed, the affair is not sufficiently understood, articularly because
those who voted among the minority are not allowed to assign any reasons for their
conduct, except they have entered a complaint, which one would not choose to do,
unless in a very strong case; and every one knows that, in the course of reasoning,
things frequently cast up which perplex or mislead the judges, that could easily have
been obviated or cleared up if the members of the inferior courts had not been deprived of the liberty of speaking. On all these accounts, and for many other obvious
reasons, the Commission propose that the Assembly should transmit an overture to
the consideration of the several Presbyteries, for allowing the members of inferior
judicatories to sit, judge, and vote, in the Superior Courts, in cases of appeals, as they
do at present in the case of a reference.