The principal acts of the general assembly, convened at Edinburgh, May 17, 1792.
I. Sess. 1, May 17, 1792.—The King's Commission to David Earl of Leven produced,
and ordered to be recorded.
The General Assembly, &c.
II. Sess. 1, May 17, 1792.—The King's most gracious Letter to the General Assembly,
presented to them by his Majesty's Commissioner.
Right Reverend and well-beloved, we greet you well. The experience we have had
of your loyalty and affection to our person and government, and of your zeal for the
encouragement of true religion and virtue, leaves us no doubt of your disposition, on
the present occasion, to persevere in promoting the happiness of our reign, and the
true interest of the Church of which you are members.
We therefore feel the highest satisfaction in continuing to countenance your meetings with our royal authority, and to assure you of our fixed determination to maintain the Church of Scotland in the perfect enjoyment of all its just rights and privileges.
We are persuaded that you will apply yourselves, with temper and moderation, to
promote the good ends for which you are assembled, the advancement of religion, and
the service of Almighty God; that you will avoid all unnecessary debates and contentions, and that your deliberations will be directed to the means of checking the
growth of vice and impiety, of promoting the practice of all Christian duties, and of
keeping alive that respect and regard for the clergy, and that deference and subordination to the magistracy, which are essential to the peace and good order of every
society, and must always be conducive to the happiness and prosperity of this kingdom.
You will, no doubt, study to impress upon the minds of our subjects a just sense of
the many blessings they at present enjoy under the favour of Providence, that, by
manifesting a spirit of devotion, a respect for the laws, and an attention to the various
duties of our holy religion, they may render themselves worthy of such blessings, and
best ensure the future continuance of them.
We have again appointed our right trusty and right well-beloved cousin, David
Earl of Leven, to represent our royal person in this Assembly, being well satisfied with his upright and faithful conduct in the execution of that important trust,
and not doubting but he must continue to be acceptable to you from the affection to
the Church of Scotland, and the zeal for the interests of religion, which he has manifested on so many former occasions.
We take this opportunity of repeating to you our earnest exhortations, that you
will proceed in the business before you with that unanimity, charity, and brotherly
love, which truly become such an Assembly, and without which no real dignity or
utility can attend your deliberations; and we trust 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 7th day of May 1792, in the 32d year
of our reign.
By his Majesty's Command,
Addressed thus,—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 19, 1792.—The General Assembly's Answer to the King's most gracious
May it please your Majesty,
The most gracious letter with which your Majesty has been pleased to honour this
General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, was received with that respect and
gratitude which are due for so signal a mark of your royal condescension and favour.
We offer our most sincere and humble acknowledgments for the confidence your
Majesty has been pleased to repose in our loyalty and affection to your person and
government, and in our zeal for the encouragement of true religion and virtue, We
beg leave to assure your Majesty that we come together at present, possessed of the
same dispositions and principles which have regulated our conduct on former occasions. While we regard the approbation of our Sovereign as a most agreeable recompence for our past services, we trust that the hope of being again honoured with it,
will animate us to a steady perseverance in our endeavours to promote the happiness
of your reign, and the true interests of the Church of which we are members.
That your Majesty continues to countenance our meetings with your royal
authority, we consider as a most satisfactory proof of your paternal goodness; and we
rely, with the most perfect security, on your fixed determination to maintain the
Church of Scotland in the perfect enjoyment of all her just rights and privileges.
Assembled for the advancement of true religion, and the service of Almighty God,
we shall apply ourselves with temper and moderation to promote these good ends.
We shall endeavour to avoid all unnecessary debates and contentions, as not more
displeasing to your Majesty than dishonourable to ourselves, and inconsistent with
the wisdom that is from above; and we shall bear in mind the special obligations we
are laid under, to direct all our deliberations to the means of checking the growth of
vice and impiety, of promoting the practice of all Christian duties, and of keeping
alive among all ranks of men committed to our charge, that respect and regard for the
clergy, and that deference and subordination to the magistracy, which are essential to
the peace and good order of any society, which must always be conducive to the happiness and prosperity of this kingdom, and which invariably mark the character of the
followers of the Prince of Peace.
In our several stations we shall use our best endeavours to impress upon the minds
of your Majesty's subjects a just sense of the many important blessings they at present
enjoy under the favour of Providence; and we shall strenuously inculcate upon them
that, by manifesting a spirit of devotion, a respect for the laws, and an attention to the
various duties of our holy religion, they will most suitably express their gratitude to
that God who hath dealt so bountifully with them, and take the most effectual method
to ensure a continuance of his blessing and protection.
We rejoice in the renewed expression of your Majesty's zeal for the propagation of
the reformed Protestant religion in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland; and it
shall be our care, by a faithful application of the sum your Majesty hath graciously
bestowed, to fulfil the pious and benevolent intentions of the royal donor.
The unfeigned attachment of the right Honourable the Earl of Leven to your
Majesty's sacred person and government, his approved fidelity and uprightness in the
execution of the important trust with which he hath formerly been vested, that zealous
and affectionate regard to the civil and religious interests of his country by which he
and his ancestors have been distinguished, his amiable character in private life, and
his good offices to ourselves, render your Majesty's re-appointment of him to represent your royal person in this Assembly entirely acceptable to us; and for this particular testimony of your royal favour towards us, we feel and desire to express most
Convinced that unanimity, charity, and brotherly love, truly become our Assembly, and that without them no real dignity or utility can attend our deliberations, we
are solicitous to be possessed of those qualities when we proceed in the business more
immediately before us; and we shall study so to comply with your Majesty's earnest
and most wise exhortations, as to bring our present meeting to a happy conclusion.
That the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ may establish your throne in
righteousness, and in the hearts of your people;—that he may long preserve your
Majesty, the guardian of religion and liberty;—that he may enrich your Royal Consort,
our most gracious Queen, with all heavenly blessings;—that His Divine favour may
attend his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, and all your Royal Family;—that your
descendants, to the latest posterity, may sway the sceptre over a free, a loyal, and a
happy people;—and that when he shall call you hence, full of years and of glory, he
may give you a kingdom which cannot be moved, are the 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
Andrew Hunber, Moderator.
IV. Sess. 3, May 19, 1792.—The General Assembly's Congratulatory Address to his Majesty, upon the Marriage of his Royal Highness the Duke of York with the PrincessRoyal of Prussia.
May it please your Majesty,
We, your Majesty's most loyal and dutiful subjects, the ministers and elders of the
Church of Scotland, met in the General Assembly of this National Church, embrace
the first opportunity of approaching the throne, with our respectful congratulations
upon the marriage of his Royal Highness the Duke of York with the PrincessRoyal of Prussia.
We rejoice in every event which contributes to the domestic felicity of the father
of his people, and we regard the auspicious union of a British Prince with the daughter
of our illustrious Protestant ally as an additional security to the Protestant succession.
That your Majesty may long continue to reign in the hearts of a free and happy
people;—that the Almighty may pour down his choicest blessings upon the Queen,
the Prince of Wales, the Duke and Duchess of York, and all the branches of the Royal
Family;—that Princess of the House of Hanover, formed upon your Majesty's example,
may, in every succeeding age, sway the British sceptre with the same moderation and renown; and that, under their protection, the inhabitants of Great Britain
may, to latest posterity, derive from that excellent constitution, by which, through
the favour of Providence, we are distinguished amongst the nations of the earth, the
same full measure of religious and civil liberty which we at present enjoy, and for
which we daily bless the God of our fathers, 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
Andrew Hunter, Moderator.
V. Sess. 9, May 26, 1792.—Commission of the General Assembly to certain Ministers and
Ruling Elders for discussing Affairs referred to them.
The General Assembly, &c.—The Act this year contains the following additional
instructions, viz.:—And if the Commission apporve of the report to be made to them
by the committeed appointed by this Assembly, to consider the proposals for a general
argumentation of the aprochial stipends, &c., they are hereby specially empowered and
instructed to make application to the legislature, for obtaining an Act of Parliament
for the purposes therein mentioned.
VI. Sess. 9, May 26, 1792.—Commission to some Ministers and Ruling Elders for the Reformation of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, and for Managing his Majesty's Royal Bounty for that end.
The General Assembly, &c.
VII. Sess. 4, May 21, 1792.—Recommendation and Injunction anent the sending up of SynodBooks to the Assembly.
None of the Synod-books, nor the Presbytery-book of Zetland, except the Synodbook of Fife, and the Synod-book of Lothian and Tweeddale, being produced to this
Assembly, the General Assembly recommends to the several Synods to be punctual
in sending up their books for the future; enjoins the Synod clerks to attend to this
recommendation, as they shall be answerable for their conduct to the Assembly; and
ordains that this recommendation and injunction be inserted among the printed Acts
of the Assembly.
VIII. Sess. 8, May 25, 1792.—New Overture respecting the Licensing of Probationers.
(Overture of 1787, with a few corrections and alterations.)
IX. Sess. ult., May 28, 1792.—Overture respecting the Annexation and Suppression of
Parishes. (fn. *)
That the Assembly, in all proposed cases of annexation and suppression, do enjoin
Presbyteries to communicate to the Synod of the bounds the proposal that is made,
that although it does not appear to them proper for the Church to give any opposition, it shall not be competent for them to express their consent to the proposed
annexation and suppression, either by a deliverance in their minutes, or at the bar
of the Court of Teinds, until they have obtained the consent of the Synod of the
bounds; and, further, that when they resolve to give opposition to any proposed
annexation or suppression, they shall communicate their resolution, together with
the grounds of their opposition, and the directions which they have given thereanent,
to the Synod of the bounds.
X. Sess. ult., May 28, 1792.—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 16th day of May 1793.
Collected and extracted from the Records of the General Assembly, by
Andrew Dalzel, Cl. Eccl. Scot.