Acts
1763

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Institute of Historical Research

Publication

Author

Church Law Society (editors)

Year published

1843

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Pages

752-757

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'Acts: 1763', Acts of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland 1638-1842 (1843), pp. 752-757. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=60165 Date accessed: 31 October 2014.


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The principal acts of the general assembly, convened at Edinburgh, May 26, 1763.

I. Sess. 1, May 26, 1763.—The King's Commission to Charles Lord Cathcart produced, and ordered to be recorded.

The General Assembly, &c.

II. May 26, 1763.—The King's most gracious Letter to the General Assembly, presented to them by his Majesty's Commissioner.

George, R.
Right Reverend and well-beloved, we greet you well. The repeated proofs which we have received, as well of the loyalty and good affections of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, as of their attention to promote the cause of religion and virtue, which we have above all things at heart, give us great pleasure in assuring you of our most favourable and gracious dispositions towards you, and of our resolution to support that Church in all its rights and privileges, as by law established. We have no doubt of your exerting yourselves with a truly Christian zeal, and conformably to the intent of your meeting, in the discouragement of vice and infidelity; and you may rely upon our ready concurrence with you in every thing that may tend to the advancement of purposes so essential to the welfare of our people.

The preventing of the growth of Popery, and the instilling into the minds of those committed to your charge a devout reverence towards Almighty God, and an humble gratitude to his Divine Providence for the inestimable blessings of peace, which he has so lately vouchsafed to us, and all his other innumerable mercies, are likewise such great and important objects, that we are persuaded you will think them worthy of your most serious attention, and heartiest endeavours.

We shall receive the highest satisfaction in being informed of your having applied yourselves, with your accustomed piety and prudence, to matters so well deserving our recommendation, and all your care.

We have appointed our right trusty and well-beloved Charles Lord Cathcart to represent our royal person in this Assembly; and as our appointment of him arises from the experience we have had, upon many like occasions, of his loyalty, integrity, and zeal for our service, so we have full cause to be satisfied that the same reasons, together with your knowledge of his fitness to discharge this important trust, and of his affection to the Church of Scotland, will render our choice of him to discharge the said office very agreeable to you.

We conclude with recommending to you such temper and moderation in all your proceedings, and such charity, brotherly love, and unanimity, as may secure a happy conclusion to this your meeting. And so we bid you heartily farewell.

Given at our Court at St. James's, the 9th day of May 1763, in the third year of our reign.

By his Majesty's Command,
Dunk Halifax.

III. Sess. 3, May 28, 1763.—The General Assembly's Answer to the King's most gracious Letter.

May it please your Majesty,
We received your Majesty's most gracious letter, with the respect and gratitude which are due to such a distinguishing proof of your royal favour.

Your Majesty's approbation of our past conduct we consider as the most agreeble recompence we could have received for having done our duty. Your royal declaration of your resolution to support our Church in all her rights and privileges, affords us the greatest satisfaction, and we rely upon it as the most perfect security.

It shall be our care, in obedience to your Majesty's command, to exert ourselves so zealously in discouraging vice and infidelity, as will show how desirous we are to merit the confidence your Majesty reposes in us, and we deem it our particular felicity, that we are subject to a Sovereign, who, by exciting us to our proper work, shows us that the faithful and conscientious discharge of our duty is the most certain recommendation to his favour.

We thankfully ascribe the return of the inestimable benefits of peace to the blessing of Divine Providence, upon the wisdom and steadiness with which your Majesty hath carried on the negotiations for that salutary purpose; and as by the definitive treaty with your enemies, your Majesty hath gained acquisitions of vast extent, and of great importance to your crown, which far exceed the most sangnine expectations of your subjects at the commencement of the war, and are fully adequate to the great success of the British arms, it hath been, and shall be our care at this juncture, to instil into the minds of our people proper sentiments of gratitude towards your Ma jesty, and of thankfulness to Almighty God, whose hand they discern and bless in the conduct of this great event.

We beg leave to offer our humble thanks to your Majesty for your attention to the propagation of Christian knowledge, and of the reformed religion in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. It shall be our endeavour to apply the sum appropriated by your royal bounty for that purpose, in such a manner as may best answer the generous and pious intention with which it is bestowed, and to exert the greatest zeal on our part to communicate the blessings of knowledge, and the arts of peace, to those of our countrymen who have displayed their valour during the war, with no less benefit to Great Britain than glory to themselves.

We have had experience on so many former occasions of the loyalty, integrity, and prudence of the noble Lord whom your Majesty has appointed to represent your royal person in this General Assembly; we are so sensible of his abilities to discharge this important trust, of his zeal for religion, and of his attention to the true interest of this Church, that we consider your Majesty's repeated choice of him as an additional mark of your favour and regard to us.

Permit us to assure your Majesty, that we shall conduct our deliberations and proceedings with such temper and moderation, with such brotherly love and unanimity, as, we trust, shall secure to us the continuance of your royal protection and favour, which, next to the approbation of that God whom we serve, we esteem our greatest honour and happiness.

That Almighty God may protect your person, prolong your days, and bless your administration; that he may render the peace which you have concluded as permanent as it is honourable; that you may behold the increasing felicity of your people; that you may be honoured as the instrument of Divine Providence for their good; and that, after reigning long in righteousness, and ruling in judgement, you may receive the recompence of an heavenly crown, are the earnest prayers of,
May it please your Majesty, your Majesty's most faithful, most obedient, and most loyal subjects, the Ministers and Elders met in this National Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

Signed in our name, in our presence, and at our appointment, by
William Robertson, Moderator.

IV. Sess. 3, May 28, 1763.—The General Assembly's congratulatory Address to the King, on the happy event of the Birth of the Prince of Wales, and the re-establishment of Peace.

May it please your Majesty,
We, your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the ministers and elders met in the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, embrace with pleasure the first opportunity of presenting our humble congratulations upon the birth of the Prince of Wales. As we are attached to your Majesty from love, no less than from duty, an event which contributes so much to your domestic felicity affords us the most sincere joy. As we are deeply sensible of our own happiness, under your righteous and mild administration, we could frame no better wish for after ages, than that the same blessings which we enjoy might be transmitted to them. We adore the goodness of God, who hath heard our prayers, and who now giveth us the prospect that our posterity shall be governed by a prince formed by your Majesty's precept, and taught by your example, to be the guardian of a free constitution, and the father of his people.

To our expressions of joy on account of this important event, we beg your Majesty's permission to add our warmest congratulations on the re-establishment of peace. After a long war, the most extensive, and the most successful, but, at the same time, the most burthensome ever carried on by Great Britian,peace became a desirable object to a nation whose wealth and power are derived from its commerce. Your Majesty, undazzled by the splendour of continual victories, and always attentive to the true interest of your people, took early measures for procuring them this necessary blessing; and your magnanimity and steadiness have accomplished the salutary work which your wisdom and humanity prompted you to undertake.

By a definitive treaty with your enemies, the great objects for which war was undertaken are attained; the possessions of chief consequence to Britain are secured; new sources of commerce are opened; and territories are added to your crown, more extensive and of greater value than have been acquired by any nation since the division of Europe into great kingdoms, and the establishment of a balance of power, have put a stop to the rapidity of conquest; and as your Majesty can now turn your whole attention towards the cultivation and encouragement of the arts of peace, which, even under the pressure, and amidst the avocations of war, you did not ne glect, these, under your royal patronage, must revive and flourish, and Britain, as it is the greatest, will become the most polished and illustrious nation in Europe.

Nor are our hopes of beneficial consequences from the return of peace confined to ourselves alone. As the chief obstacles which have hitherto prevented the instruction of the American nations are now removed, we trust to your Majesty's known zeal for promoting true religion, and to the blessing of the Almighty upon your endeavours, that the people now under your dominion which know not God, shall at length receive the knowledge of that holy faith which civilizes and refines the manners of men, at the same time that it improves and sanctifies their hearts.

Permit us to assure your Majesty, that sentiments of loyalty and attachment towards their gracious Sovereign, the blessings of whose mild and paternal government they have experienced, prevail universally among the people under our care; and as, during the continuance of war, their courage, in defence of the rights and possessions of their country, has not been inferior to that of their fellow-subjects, so they will be no less zealous, on the return of peace, to express their love and fidelity to your Majesty's person, and to contribute towards the internal vigour and constitutional security of the Kingdom.

That Almighty God may bless your administration, and prolong your days; that he may preserve the Prince of Wales, to be your comfort and our hope; that he may render the peace which in his great mercy he hath restored, as permanent as it is honourable and advantageous, are the earnest prayers of,
May it please your Majesty, your Majesty's most faithful, most obedient, and most loyal subjects, the Ministers and Elders met in this National Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

Signed in our name, in our presence, and at our appointment, by William Robertson, Moderator.

V. Sess. 3, May 28, 1763.—The General Assembly's congratulatory Address to the Queen, on the happy event of the Birth of the Prince of Wales.

May it please your Majesty,
We, his Majesty's most dutiful subjects, the ministers and elders, met in the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, beg leave to take this first opportunity of presenting our humble congratulations to your Majesty, upon the birth of the Prince of Wales. Our attachment to his Majesty's illustrious house, and our love of our happy constitution, fill us with most sincere pleasure, on account of an event which contributes to the preservation of the former, and the perpetuity of the latter; our admiration of your royal virtues, and our solicitude for the happiness of a Queen, so much and so deservedly beloved by our gracious Sovereign, lead us to participate deeply in your Majesty's joy, on a circumstance which increases your domestic feli city, and must endear you to the King, and completes the hopes and wishes of the nation.

That Almighty God may prolong your days, as a blessing to the King, and the joy of his people; that he may preserve the Prince of Wales for your comfort and our hope; that he may perpetuate and increase your domestic happiness, and add to it all spiritual and divine blessings, are the earnest prayers of,
May it please your Majesty, your Majesty's most faithful, most obedient, and most devoted servants, the Ministers and Elders met in this National Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

Signed in our name, in our presence, and at our appointment, by
William Robertson, Moderator.

VI. Sess. 9, June 4, 1763,—Act anent Applications for a Share of the Public Money.

The General Assembly ordered that all applications for a share of the public money, in time coming, shall be transmitted to the Agent for the Church, with the grounds of the claims, on or before the 1st of May yearly, that the same may be laid before the Procurator, who is hereby appointed to give a short state of the case, and report the same, with his opinion thereon, to the General Assembly at their third sederunt; with certification, that all petitions or applications for money, not lodged in terms of this overture, shall not be received by that Assembly but left in the Agent's hands, to be considered and reported to the Assembly in the year thereafter.

And the General Assembly do hereby recommend to all Presbyteries to pay the greatest attention to the 8th Act of Assembly, 1719, which is hereby ordered to be reprinted, and inserted with the public Acts of this Assembly, and is as follows:—

(Here follows in the original edition, Act 8th, 1719, entitled, "Act for the right Management of the Church's Public Money.")

VII. Sess. 9, June 4, 1763.—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.

VIII. Sess. ult., June 6, 1763.—Commission to some Ministers and Ruling Elders for discussing Affairs referred to them.

The General Assembly, &c.

IX. Sess. ult., June 6, 1763.—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, on Thursday the 24th of May, in the year 1764.

Collected and extracted from the Records of the General Assembly, by
George Wishart, Cls. Eccl. Scot.

Overture anent Transmission of all the former Overtures.

Upon report from the Committee for Overtures, transmitted by the last and preceding Assemblies, the General Assembly agreed, that all these be again transmitted; and do hereby appoint, that such presbyteries as have not yet sent up their opinions concerning them, do send up the same to the next General Assembly. The overtures are these:—1mo, Anent sending up opinions on overtures transmitted by the Assembly; 2do, For repealing that part of the Form of Process anent exculpations; 3tio, Anent members of inferior courts judging in causes appealed from them; and that the report concerning them be brought in to an earlier diet of the Assembly.



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