The principal acts of the general assembly, convened at Esinburgh, May 21, 1812.
I. Sess. 1, May 21, 1812.—The King's Commission to Francis Lord Napier produced,
and ordered to be recorded.
The General Assembly, &c.
II. Sess. 1, May 21, 1812.—The Prince Regent's most gracious Letter to the General
Assembly, Presented to them by his Majesty's Commissioner.
In the name, and on the behalf of his Majesty,
George, P. R., &c.
III. Sess. 3, May 23, 1812.—The General Assembly's Answer to the Prince Regent's most
May it please your Royal Highness, &c.
IV. Sess. 3, May 23, 1812.—Address of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland
to his Royal Highness George Prince of Wales, Regent of the United Kingdom of
Great Britain and Ireland.
May it please your Royal Highness,
We, his Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the ministers and elders of the
Church of Scotland, met in General Assembly, beg leave to approach the throne with
expressions of the most sincere affection and respect for your Royal Highness.
We sincerely sympathise with your Royal Highness on account of the continued
and severe malady with which it has pleased God to visit your Royal Father, our
most gracious Sovereign. We were justly attached to his person, revered his virtues,
and were happy under his government. The more afflicting now is our grief for the
secerity of his indisposition, and the loss which we sustain. On this occasion, as in
other calamities, this is our consolation, that the Great Ruler of the world arranges
and conducts all events with infinite wisdom, rectitude, and goodness.
It has been no small alleviation of this great calamity, that your Royal Highness
came forward, at the desire of the nation, to preside in the empire, and administer its
affairs. The promptitude and energy, the prudence and the mildness, with which
you have hitherto acted, the warm interest which you have taken in the welfare of
the State, and the uniform regard which you have shown to its admirable constitution and laws, all assure us of the continued maintenance of our invaluable rights and
privileges, civil and sacred.
We deeply lament the calamities of war, and that inordinate and insatiable ambition of the enemy, which precludes the near prospect of a safe and homourable peace.
Yet, amidst all the dangers which have threatened us, and the hardships under which
we have laboured, we will remember with gratitude, that Providence has continued
to protect and prosper us. Our resources for maintaining the arduous and protracted
conflict have never failed. The arms of our country, by sea and land, have been so
successful, as to deprive the enemy of all his colonies and foreign commerce. Brilliant achievements in the Peninsula have thrown an additional lustre on the British
name. Neighbouring nations have already caught a portion of our spirit, and we
trust that this may diffuse itself over other kingdoms, now unhappily subjected to the
enemy. They may yet rally around us, assert their own independence, and aid us
in humbling the common foe, and in securing for ourselves, and for the world, the
invaluable blessings of peace.
We deplore those acts of insubordination and licentiousness, of riot and outrage,
which have lately disgraced some parts of the United Kingdom; and we particularly
lament the fall, by assassination, of a statesman, distinguished no less for his virtues
than for his talents. We mourn the loss which his family and his country sustain by
his untimely death; and deeply regret that a crime so atrocions could have been perpetrated by any individual in this favoured and enlightened country. Aggravated,
however, as it is, we have some consolation in thinking, that the criminal was instigated, not by any connection with other men, but by personal malice only.
We beg leave to assure your Royal Highness, that no spirit of insubordination has
appeared in this part of the empire; and that, as far as in us lies, we will exert ourselves in maintaining loyalty and subjection to the laws. For this purpose, we will
employ all our personal influence, as well as the faithful and assiduous discharge of
our ministerial duties. We will inculcate on our people, old and young, the doctrines
of our holy religion, and endeavour, with the aid of Divine grace, to fix deeply in
their hearts those principles of morality, derived from the Gospel, which are powerful
to regulated the conduct of men, to bring them under due subjection, and to preserve
order and peace.
That the God of all power and grace may bless your Royal Highness, and establish
the dominion of his Majesty, under your direction, in the affection and loyalty of his
subjects; that Princes of your illustrious house, to the latest posterity, may sway the
British sceptre; and that, after a long and happy life on earth, you may obtain at last
eternal salvation and happiness, through Jesus Christ our Lord. These are the fervent prayers of,
May it please your Royal Highness, his 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 Macmorine, Moderator.
V. Sess. 9, May 30, 1812.—Commission of the General Assembly to certain Ministers and
Ruling Elders for discussing Affairs referred to them.
The General Assembly, &c.
VI. Sess. 9, May 30, 1812.—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 to that end.
The General Assembly, &c.
VII. Sess. ult., June 1, 1812.—Interim Act and Overture respecting the Licensing of
VIII. Sess. ult., June 1, 1812.—Overture anent the Ordination of Elders.
IX. Sess. ult., June 1, 1812.—Recommendation anent the Public Reading of the Scriptures.
The General Assembly proceeded to consider the overture from the Presbytery of
Aberdeen respecting the public reading of the Scriptures, and the General Assembly
approving of the spirit of the overture, and learning from thence, with much satisfaction, that the practice of reading the Word in the congregation, which is recognised
by the Directory as part of the public worship of God, was revived by the recommendation of the Synod of Aberdeen, and is now generally adopted within the bounds of
that Synod, (being convinced that it would conduce to the edification of the people,
and to their better acquaintance with the Scriptures, if this practice were more generally followed,) do hereby recommend to all the ministers of this Church, according
to their discretion, to read at one of the meetings for public worship such portion of
the Old or New Testament, or of both, as they may judge expedient. The Assembly at the same time declare, that they do not mean that this recommendation shall
in any degree supersede the exercise of lecturing, which they enjoin to be observed
throughout this Church, in conformity to the Acts of Assembly, 1694, and 1704, as a
most important branch of the public ministrations of pastors and teachers.
The Assembly appoint this deliverance to be inserted amongst the printed Acts of
X. Sess. ult., June 1, 1812.—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 1813.
Extracted from the Records of the General Assembly, by
Andrew Duncan, Cl. Eccl. Scot.