Acts
1778

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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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796-799

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'Acts: 1778', Acts of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland 1638-1842 (1843), pp. 796-799. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=60180 Date accessed: 21 October 2014.


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The principal acts of the general assembly, convened at Edinburgh, May 21, 1778.

I. Sess. 1, May 21, 1778.—The King's Commission to George Earl of Dalhousie produced, and ordered to be recorded.

The General Assembly, &c.

II. Sess. 1, May 21, 1778.—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 proofs which we have so constantly received of the duty, loyalty, and affection, of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, and of their invariable attention to the very important objects committed to their care, give us the greatest pleasure. We have the strongest reliance on your endeavours to promote, with a truly Christian zeal, the cause of religion and virtue, and to discountenance every practice which may have a tendency to impiety and immorality. You may rely upon our ready concurrence with you in every thing that may advance these laudable purposes, so essential to the welfare of our people, and in our resolution to support the Church of Scotland in all its rights, as by law established.

We need not recommend the avoiding of all contention and unedifying debates to those who have no other object in their view than that of suppressing licentiousness, immorality, and vice; and who are actuated purely by that zeal which tends to the advancement of true religion, and the general peace and happiness of society.

We have again appointed our right trusty and right well-beloved cousin, George Earl of Dalhousie, to represent our royal person in this Assembly, being well satisfied of his loyalty, integrity, and zeal for our service, and of his particular affection to the Church of Scotland; and we are persuaded that our choice of him will be agreeable to you.

We have the fullest reliance, from long experience, that charity, brotherly love, and unanimity, will prevail in all your proceedings in the business before you, and that you will bring this meeting to a happy conclusion. And so we bid you heartily farewell.

Given at our Court at St. James's, the 12th day of May, 1778, in the 18th year of our reign.

By his Majesty's Command,
Suffolk.

III. Sess. 3, May 23, 1778.—The General Assembly's Answer to the King's most gracious Letter.

May it please your Majesty,
Your Majesty's most gracious letter was received and read with all the respect and gratitude due to so condescending a mark of royal favour.

Your Majesty's approbation of the duty, loyalty, and affection, of the General Assemblies of this Church, gives us the greatest satisfaction, and cannot but animate us with such zeal to give invariable attention to the important objects committed to our care, as may recommend us to the continuance of your Majesty's favourable regard.

The manner in which your Majesty is pleased to express your reliance on our endeavours to promote the cause of religion and virtue, and to discountenance every practice which may have a tendency to impiety and immorality, whilst it clearly points out to us the great objects of our attention, powerfully excites us to use our most vigorous efforts in advancing those valuable purposes; and the assurances your Majesty is pleased to give of your countenance to our endeavours, affords us the most agreeable prospect of success.

The gracious declaration of your Majesty's resolution to support the Church of Scotland in all her rights, as by law established, we receive with the greatest thankfulness, and rest in it with the most entire satisfaction and security.

It shall be our study to keep invariably in view the important ends of our meeting; and, agreeably to your Majesty's recommendation, to avoid contention and unedifying debates, fully sensible that they are inconsistent with the spirit of true religion, and destructive of the welfare of society.

Your Majesty's royal donation for propagating religion in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, we receive with all thankfulness, and we will be careful to apply it to the pious purpose for which it is bestowed.

The choice which your Majesty has been pleased to make of the Earl of Dalhousie to represent your royal person in this Assembly, we regard as an additional instance of your Majesty's favour. The approved fidelity and ability of that noble Lord, his affection to the Church of Scotland, and the happy experience of a former Assembly, render your Majesty's nomination of him most acceptable to us.

That Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, may long preserve your Majesty, direct your councils, and prosper your administration;—that he may bestow his choicest blessings on your Royal Consort the Queen, the Prince of Wales, and all the Royal Family;—that there never may be wanting one of your royal house to sway the British sceptre;—and that, after a long and happy reign over a free people, your Majesty may receive an unfading and eternal crown of righteousness, 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
Pat. Grant, Moderator.

IV. Sess. 3, May 23, 1778.—The General Assembly's Address to his Majesty, on the present situation of Affairs.

May it please your Majesty,
We, your Majesty's most faithful subjects, the ministers and elders of the Church of Scotland, met in National Assembly, consider it as our duty, at this season of public danger and alarm, to approach your throne, with the warmest declarations of our continued and inviolable attachment to your Majesty's person and government. While we view, with no less astonishment than concern, an unnatural and unprovoked rebellion, still subsisting in North America, we must, at the same time, applaud that lenity which hath prompted your Majesty, as the father of your people, to hold out terms of conciliation to those deluded men, who have withdrawn their allegiance from a government under which they had attained the highest prosperity. We behold with satisfaction the measures which are taken, both for internal security, and for the support of the national honour, against the insult of every hostile power; and have the pleasure to assure your Majesty, that in no part of your dominions have exertions been made for that purpose with greater unanimity and ardour, than among the people under our care. We entertain the firmest hopes, under the blessing of Almighty God, that by a proper mixture of vigour and courage, with wisdom and mercy in the public councils, your Majesty will continue to render the British name everywhere respectable and great. We can assure your Majesty, that to the ministers, the elders, and every member of this Church, nothing will give more joy that to behold all the subjects of your wide extended empire happy under subjection of that free and legal government to which we are indebted for the most valuable blessings.

That, for this end, your Majesty's councils may be ever inspired with wisdom from above, and your arms may be crowned with victory;—that He who turneth wars into peace in all the ends of the earth, may so rule in the hearts of men, that the present unhappy contest in which this kingdom is engaged may speedily terminate in a peace, which shall be equitable, lasting, and consistent with the honour and true interests of Great Britain;—and that your Majesty may long reign the happy Sovereign of a happy people, are the sincere and 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
Pat. Grant, Moderator.

V. Sess. 9, May 31, 1778.—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.

VI. Sess. 9, May 31, 1778.—Commission to some Ministers and Ruling Elders for discussing Affairs referred to them.

The General Assembly, &c.

VII. Sess. 8, May 29, 1778.—Overture and Interim Act concerning Persons going to be Licensed or Ordained without the Bounds of this Church.

(See Act 9th, 1779.)

VIII. May 29, 1778.—Overture anent the Ordination of Elders. (fn. *)

IX. Sess. 8, May 29, 1778.—Overture anent Licensing Probationers.

(Re-transmitted.)

X. Act appointing the Diet of the next General Assembly.

The next General Assembly of this National Church is appointed to be held within the New Church Aisle of Edinburgh, on Thursday, the 20th day of May, in the year 1779.

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

Footnotes

* See 1784, when this overture appeared in an amended form. It was regularly transmitted till 1791, after which there is no further notice of it.—Ed. 1843.


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