Acts and Proceedings of the General Assemblies of the Kirk of Scotland, 1560-1618. Originally published by [s.n.], Edinburgh, 1839.
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A.D. M. DC. IV.
[At Aberdeen the last day of July the year of God 1604, within Sanct Nicolas parish kirk of the Burgh of Aberdeen, at four hours after noon, or thereby, before these witnesses, Mrs Peter Blackburne, Janes Ross, Archibald Bleckburne, Ministers at Aberdeen, John Rough, Minister at Nig, Mr Thomas Nicolson, Commissar at Aberdeen, and George Nicolson, burgess of the said burgh.
The which day, in presence of the witnesses foresaids and of us Connotars Publick under subscribing, compeared personaly within the said parish kirk Mrs James Melvill, William Areskine, and William Murrey, Ministers of the Evangel of Jesus Christ, and presented a Commission given unto them be their brethren of the Presbytrie of Sanct Andrews, wherby they are constitut Commissioners for them for keeping of the General Assembly at Aberdeen the month of July instant, as the said Commission, which was read in audience of us, and the said witnesses, in itself at more length bears; whereof the tenor followes.
At Sanct Andrews the 26 of July 1604 years, the which day, after in
calling of the name of God, the Presbytrie constituted and appointed their
brethren, Mrs James Melvill, William Areskine, and William Murrey,
their Commissioners to the General Assembly appointed to be holden at
Aberdeen this month, giving to them their full commission and express to
pass to Aberdeen; and there, for the said Presbytrie, and in their name, to
reason, vote, and conclude in such things as shall be handled in the said
Assembly, and to doe whatsomever other things belong to the well of the
Kirk; promising to ratifie and approve whatsomever their Commissioners
sall doe therinto, according to the Word of God. In witness whereof they
have commanded their Clerk to subscribe this present commission, day,
year, and place foresaid.
Mr Robert Rough, Clerk of the Presbytrie,
at command of the same.
And therewith gave in, and presented in writ their protestation subsequent, which sicklyke was read in audience of us, and the said witnesses; and was subscribed with their hands in our presence, whereof lykways the tenor followeth.
For as much as albeit the Kirk of Scotland ever since the reformation of
religion, and light of the Gospel, rightly informed and instructed thereby,
have thought it a most necessar duty aughtand to Christ, and his Kirk, to
conveen in their General Assemblies yearly, for keeping of the puritie of
doctrine, exercising of discipline, and governing of the whole estate thereof
with uniform consent and agreement, lyke as they have been in continual
custom, use, and possession, to keep the same inviolable, as a chief and principal part of the office of the Ministrie commanded be the Lord Jesus
Christ; as also God has moved the heart of the King our Soveraign, with
consent of his Majesties Estates in Parliament, be special act and law to
ratifie and approve the same, granting liberty and freedom to the Ministers
of the Kirk to conveen in their General Assemblies once in the year at
least, and oftner pro re nata; and the Kings Majesty, of his special care
and affection to the Kirk of Jesus Christ within his Hienes realme, gave
his own presence at divers General Assemblies, as at the last holden at
Halyrudhouse; where certain grieves being given in, and amongst the rest,
that the General Assemblies were not ordinarly keeped, his Majestie with
the said Assembly ordained that to be ammended in tyme coming, appointing the act of Parliament made thereanent to be observed, inserting the
very words of the said act of Parliament in the ordinance of the Assembly;
and according thereto, at the ending of the same Assembly, appointed the
next General Assembly to be holden at Aberdeen, the last Tuesday of July,
in the present year 1604. Nevertheless that day being now come, and instant wee found no appearance of keeping of the said appointed Assembly
be the presence of the last Moderator, nor convention and meeting together
of brethren, Commissioners directed from Provinces and Presbytries, to the
great displeasure and grief of our hearts, namely, in so needfull a tyme,
when messes are broken furth in divers parts of some of the chief burghs of
the realme, Perth and Linlithgow; kirks and congregations lye pitifully
unplanted; a careless coldness in all estates, namely of the Ministry itself,
of the Gospel and glory of the Lord Jesus; and Atheism with all kind of
vice overflowing the face of the land: Therefore wee Mrs James Melvill,
William Murrey, and Areskine, Ministers, Commissioners appointed be the
Presbytrie of Sanct Andrews to this present General Assembly, having
precisely keeped the foresaid day set for the said Assembly, and attended
in the Kirk of Aberdeen all the forenoon, without meeting of any Commissioners from other Presbytries, since wee could doe no more, haue
thought it our necessar duty, before God, and his Angels, and yow that are
present, to take documents, and make protestation: Lyke as in the hands
of yow Notars Publick wee take acts, instruments, and documents, that
wee above nominat are here present, directed in commission from our
said Presbytrie of Sanct Andrewes, for keeping of the said appointed General Assembly, on this day, and in this place, so that it desert not so far as
lyeth in us, but may hold and keep according to the Word of God, constitutions, and continual custome of our Kirk, the laws of the realme, and
appointment of the last General Assembly, wherein the Kings Majesty was
present. And wee protest before God, as said is, that whatsoever skaith,
damnage, or hurt the interest of the Kirk and Kingdom of Jesus Christ
within this realme, in the priviledges, liberties, and freedom, or otherwayes,
in the general or particular estate thereof, shall happen to sustain or incurre
be the overseeing, neglecting, and slipping of the said appointed Assembly,
it be not imputed to us nor our said Presbytrie of Sanct Andrewes: Protesting also expressly, that the same, if any be, may be amended and redressed be remeed of the Word of God, laws of the realme, acts and constitutions
of our Kirk, and old liberty and freedom thereof, at such tyme and place
as God shall think convenient. Thus protesting, and procuring most instantly and solemnly for the well, priviledge, and liberty of the said Kirk
and Kingdom of Jesus Christ, established within this realme, moved and
stirred up thereto for no other cause, as God the great Judge shall judge
us, but that wee may doe and discharge a most necessar duty for the glory
of Christ, safety of this Kirk, and the ease and relief of our consciences, in
that great day of his glorious appearance to call us to account of our Ministerie and dispensation.
Mr James Melville, Mr William Areskin, Mr William Murrey.
Which Commission and Protestation being read, and presented, as said is, Mrs James Melvill, William Areskine, and William Murrey made their protestations conforme thereunto, and took documents and instruments thereupon, in the hands of us Connotars Publick under subscribing, day, month, year, and place foresaids, and before the witnesses above mentioned, witnessing these our subscriptions manual.
Ita est, Magister Thomas Mollesonus, Scriba communis burgi de Aberdeen, Notarius Publicus, ac testis ad praemissa requisitus et rogatus; Testante hac mea subscriptione manuali.
Ita est, Gualterus Robertsone, Scriba substitutus burgi de Aberdeen, Connotarius Publicus in praemissis specialiter requisitus; Testantibus his meis signo et subscriptione manualibus.
Ita est, David Marr, Connotarius, in praemissis rogatus et requisitus; Testante hac mea subscriptione manuali.