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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The Generall Assemblie of the Kirk of Scotland haldin at Montrois, the 18 of Marche 1600 ȝeirs: Quher the Kings Maiestie being personallie present, were conveinit the Commissioners of Schyres.
Exhortatioun being made be Mr Peter Blackburne, Moderatour of the last Assemblie, Mrs Robert Bruce, Patrick Galloway, Robert Wilkie, Patrick Sharp, James Melvill, and Patrick Simsone, were appointit on the leits: Be pluralitie of votis Mr Robert Wilkie was electit Moderatour hac vice.
[The next policy was to put the chief of the whole Assembly upon the Conference, there to reasone upon their propositions, thereby to know what to bring in publick, and how. In the Conference first was intended a treaty for uniforme consent and agreement in opinions, as if there had never been occasion of grief ministred be informality and iniquity in their proceedings.
It was thought good, that four of one opinion, and four of the other, should goe apart to conferre, upon hope, that upon their agreement would follow an universal agreement.
For the Kings side were chosen Mr George Glaidstones, Mr James Nicolson, Mr Robert Howie, Mr Alexander Dowglass, and Mr John Spotswood to be their scribe.
For the other side, Mr Patrick Sharp, Mr Patrick Symson, Mr James Melvill, Mr David Barcley, and one to be their scribe. They were commanded to put their reasons in writt, and to report them to the Assembly.
They began to reason the matter ab ovo, to define a Parliament, and what it is to vote in Parliament. The King hearing of it, discharged them to medle with that point. These eight spent the tyme very fruitfully a whole afternoon tide. The four that stood for the established discipline, were very plaine, square and compendious, after protestation before God for secrecie; and indeed some good was expected.
But the day following, when the four standing for the established discipline, were ready to continue, the King would have the reasoning before himself, and certain of his Counsel, in the privie Conference. So the question was reasoned at length, Whither vote in Parliament, as it was offered to the Kirk, in the Statute made last thereanent, should be accepted, or not. The brethren who stood for the established discipline, brought many reasons to prove, that it was directly against the Word of God.
The minute of the Conference followeth.
That the Constitution of the General Assembly holden at Dundie 1588, taken as is meaned after the mind of the foreset doun act of Parliament, is flat repugnant to the Word of God.
Arg. 1. Antichristian and Anglican Episcopal dignities, offices, places, titles, and all Ecclesiastical Prelacies, are flat repugnant to the Word of God, Luke 22.; 1. Tim. 3.; Tit. 1.; 1. Pet. 5.; Math. 23. &c. But such is that which is set doun in the Act of Parliament foresaid, and meaned in effect be the Constitution of the said Assembly. Ergo.
Answered, That all corruptions of these Bishhpricks are damned and rejected. And as to the Act of Parliament, it was alledged to be formed and set doun be the invyers of the Kirks welfare, of purpose that the benefit might be refused, and the Kirk to lie over in the old misery and contempt.
Arg. 2. That the Ministers of God, separated from the common affaires of the world, sanctified and consecrat to the Ministrie of Gods worship, and salvation of his people, should turne again to the world, and bear a common office, and charges therein, and affaires thereof, is flat repugnant to the Word of God.
But so it is, that this Constitution will impose that on the Ministers of God. Ergo.
The proposition is proved be thir places following.
Numb. 3. 44, 45. And the Lord spake vnto Moses, saying, Take the Leuites for all the first borne of the children of Israel; and the Leuites shalbe mine, (I am the Lord.)
Numb. 18. 6. For lo, I haue taken your brethren the Leuites from among the children of Israel, which as a gift of yours, are giuen to the Lord, to doe the seruice of the Tabernacle of the Congregation.
Deut. 10. 8. The same tyme the Lord separated the tribe of Leui to beare the Arke of the couenant of the Lord, and to stand before the Lord, to minister vnto him, and to blesse in his Name vnto this day.
Deut. 18. 1, 2. The Priests of the Leuites shal haue no part nor inheritance with Israel: for the Lord is their inheritance, as he hath said vnto them.
Acts 13. 2. Nowe as they ministred to the Lorde, and fasted, the holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul, for the worke whereunto I haue called them.
Rom. 1. 1. Paul a seruaunt of Jesus Christ, called to bee an Apostle, put apart to preache the Gospel of God.
The assumption is proved be the Act of Parliament, where unto the Ministry is adjoyned an office to be given be the King, called the office and dignity of a Bishop, or Ecclesiastical Prelat. And in the Constitution of the Assembly it is determined to be of a mixed quality, partly, or half civil, half ecclesiastical. This argument was answered by denying the assumption; and so the Act of Parliament, and conclusion of the Assembly; and plainly declared, that they sould bear no commoun office, nor charge in things civil.
Arg. 3. That the Ministers of Christ should be distracted from preaching of the Word and doctrine, is flat repugnant to the word of God. But this office of a Bishop voting in Parliament, will distract &c. Ergo.
Luke 9. 59. But he saide vnto another, Follow me. And the same said, Lord, suffer me first to go and burie my father. And Jesus said vnto him, Let the dead burie their dead: but goe thou, and preach the kingdome of God. Then another saide, Lord, I will follow thee: but let me first goe bid them farewell, which are at mine house. And Jesus said vnto him, No man that putteth his hand to the plough, and looketh backe, is apt to the kingdome of God.
Deut. 33. 8. And of Leui he said, Let thy Thummin and thine Vrim be with thine Holy one, whome thou diddest proue in Massah, and didst cause him to striue at the waters of Meribah. Who said vnto his father, and to his mother, I haue not seene him, neither knew he his brethren, nor knew he his owne children: for they obserued thy word, and kept thy couenant. They shall teach Iaakob thy iudgments, and Israel thy law: they shall put incense before thy face, and the burnt offering vpon thine altar.
Acts 6. 2. Then the twelue called the multitude of the disciples together, and said, It is not meete that wee should leaue the word of God to serue the tables.
If these most necessar, natural, oeconomick, yea and ecclesiastical offices should not distract from the preaching of the Word, much less should civill affairs and offices have place to distract. To the which it was answered, That they should not be distracted, but necessarly employed in preaching the Word and doctrine, at these solemn and common tymes, for the weale of the whole Kirk, and Common weale.
Arg. 4. Whosoever are, in tyme, and out of tyme, to be occupyed day and night in the business of their calling, should be freed and have immunity from all other turnes. But so ought, and are the Pastors of the Kirk to be occupyed. Ergo.
1 Chron. 9. 33. And these are the fingers, the chiefe fathers of the Leuites, which dwelt in the chambers, and had none other charge: for they had to do in that businesse day and night.
2 Tim. 4. 1, 2, 5. I charge thee therefore before God, and before the Lorde Jesus Christ, which shall iudge the quicke and dead at that his appearing, and in his kingdom, Preach the Worde: be instant, in season and out of season: improue, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. Watch thou in all thinges: suffer aduersitie: doe the worke of an Euangelist: cause thy ministrie to be throughly liked of.
1 Tim. 4. 15, 16. These things exercise, and giue thyself vnto them, that it may be seene howe thou profitest among all men. Take heede vnto hyselfe, and vnto learning: continue therein: for in doing this thou shalt both saue thyselfe, and them that heare thee.
Joh. 21. 15, 16, 17. So when they had dined, Jesus sayd to Simon Peter, Simon the sonne of Iona, louest thou me more then these? He said vnto him, Yea Lord, thou knowest that I loue thee. He said vnto him, Feede my lambes. He said to him againe the second time, Simon the sonne of Iona, louest thou me? He sayd vnto him, Yea Lorde, thou knowest that I loue thee. He said vnto him, Feed my sheepe. He said vnto him the third time, Simon the sonne of Iona, louest thou me? Peter was sorie because he said to him the third time, Louest thou me? and sayd vnto him, Lord, thou knowest all things: thou knowest that I loue thee. Jesus sayd vnto him, Feed my sheepe.
Acts 20. 18, 19, 20, 21. When they [the Elders of the Church of Ephesus] were come to him, hee sayd vnto them, Ye knowe from the first day that I came into Asia, after what maner I haue bene with you at all seasons, seruing the Lorde with all modestie, and with many teares, and tentations, which came vnto me by the laying awaite of the Jewes, and how I kept backe nothing that was profitable, but haue shewed you, and taught you openly and throughout euery house, witnessing both to the Jewes, and to the Grecians the repentance toward God, and fayth toward our Lord Jesus Christ. &c. 26, 27, 28. Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I haue kept nothing backe, but haue shewed you all the counsell of God. Take heede therefore vnto your selues, and to all the flocke, whereof the holy Ghost hath made you Ouerseers, to feed the Church of God, which he hath purchased with that his owne blood, &c. 31. Therefore watche, and rember that by the space of three yeers I ceased not to warne euery one, both night and day with tears.
Answer to this was, They sall be occupyed in nothing by their calling.
Arg. 5. To make the charge of souls so light, that therewithall another may be joyned and borne, is direct against the Word of God. But &c. Ergo.
Ezek. 34. 1. And the word of the Lord came vnto mee, saying, Sonne of man, prophecie against the shepherds of Israel, prophecie and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God vnto the shepherds, Woe be vnto the shepherds of Israel, that feede themselues: should not the shepherds feede the flocks? Ye eate the fat, and yee clothe you with the wool: ye kill them that are fed, but yee feede not the sheepe. The weake haue ye not strengthened, the sicke haue ye not healed, neither haue yee bound vp the broken, nor brought againe that which was driuen away, neither haue yee sought that which was lost, but with crueltie, and with rigour haue ye ruled them. And they were scattered without a shepherd: and when they were dispersed, they were deuoured of all the beasts of the field. My sheep wandered through al the mountaines, and vpon euery hie hil: yea, my flocke was seattered through all the earth, and none did seeke or search after them. Therefore ye shepherds, heare the word of the Lord. As I liue, faieth the Lord God, surely because my flocke was spoiled, and my sheepe were deuoured of all the beasts of the field, hauing no shepheard, neither did my shepheards seeke my sheepe, but the shepheards fedde themselues, and sedde not my sheepe, Therefore, heare ye the word of the Lord, O ye shepheards, Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I come against the shepheards, and will require my sheep at their hands, and cause them to cease from feeding the sheepe: neither shal the shepheards feed themselues any more: for I will deliuer my sheep from their mouthes, and they shall no more deuoure them. &c.
Zach. 11. 17. O idole shepherd that leaueth the flocke, the sword shalbe vpon his arme, and vpon his right eye. His arme shall bee cleane dryed vp, and his right eye shalbe vtterly darkened.
Acts 20. 20. I kept backe nothing that was profitable, but haue shewed you, and taught you openly and throughout euery house.
V. 26. Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.
V. 28. Take heede therefore vnto yourselues, and to all the flocke, whereof the holy Ghost hath made you Ouerseers, to feed the Church of God, which he hath purchased with that his owne blood.
V. 31. Therefore watch, and remember that by the space of three years I ceased not to warne euery one, both night and day with teares.
1. Peter 5. 2. Feede the flocke of God, which dependeth vpon you, caring for it not by constraint, but willingly: not for filthie lucre, but of a readie minde.
V. 8. Be sober, and watch: for your aduersary the deuil as a roaring lyon walketh about, seeking whom he may deuoure.
II. Cor. 2. 15, 16, 17. For wee are vnto God the sweete sauour of Christ, in them that are saued, and in them which perish. To the one we are the sauour of death, vnto death; and to the other the sauour of life, vnto life: and who is sufficient for these things? For wee are not as many, which make marchandise of the worde of God: but as of sinceritie, but as of God in the sight of God speake we in Christ.
Heb. 13. 17. Obey them that haue the ouersight of you, and submit yourselues: for they watch for your soules, as they that must giue accounts, that they may doe it with joy, and not with griefe: for that is vnprofitable for you.
The answer was the denying the assumption; and so as in all other answers, in effect denying the thing they were doing.
Arg. 6. The jungling and confounding of jurisdictions and callings, which God has distinguished in persons, and manner of handling, is against the Word. But so it is, that this Constitution imports that, expresly terming their office to be of a mixed quality. Ergo.
Numb. 18. 4, 7. And they shalbe joyned with thee, and keep the charge of the Tabernacle of the Congregation for all the seruice of the Tabernacle: and no stranger shall come neere vnto you. But thou, and thy sonnes with thee shall keepe your Priests office for all things of the altar, and within the vaile: therefore shall ye serue: for I haue made your Priestes office an office of seruice: therefore the stranger that commeth neere, shal be slaine.
II. Chron. 19. 11. And behold, Amariah the Priest shalbe the chiefe ouer you in all matters of the Lord; and Zebadiah the sonne of Ishmael, a ruler of the house of Judah, shalbe for all the Kings affaires, and the Leuites shalbe officers before you. Be of courage, and doe it, and the Lord shalbe with the good.
Math. 22. 21. Then sayd hee vnto them, Giue therefore to Cæsar, the things which are Cæsars; and giue vnto God, those things which are Gods.
Deut. 22. 9, 10, 11. Thou shalt not sowe thy vineyard with diuers kinds of seedes, lest thou defile the increase of the seede which thou hast sowen, and the fruite of the vineyard. Thou shalt not plowe with an oxe and an asse together. Thou shalt not weare a garment of diuers sortes, as of woollen and linen together.
This was answered be a denyal of jungling and consusion, but with a granting of conjoyning and conjunction; and so all one, and bewraying of the purpose, which they seemed before to deny, viz. to conjoine a civil office with an ecclesiastick.
Arg. 7. That the officers of Christs kingdom shoud medle with things not pertaining thereto, is allotrioepiskopous against the Scripture, 1. Pet. 4. 15. But politick and civil affaires are such.
John 6. 15. When Jesus therefore perceiued that they would come, and take him to make him a king, he departed againe into a mountain him selfe alone.
John 18. 36. Jesus answered, [and said unto Pilate,] My kingdome is not of this world: if my kingdome were of this worlde, my seruants would surely fight, that I should not be deliuered to the Jewes: but now is my kingdome not from hence.
Luke 12. 13, 14. And one of the company said vnto him, Master, bid my brother deuide the inheritance with me. And he said vnto him, Man, who made me a iudge, or a deuider ouer you?
John 8. 10, 11. When Jesus had lift vp him selfe againe, and sawe no man but the woman, hee sayd vnto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said vnto her, Neither do I condemne thee: goe, and sin no more.
It was answered, That the spiritual and civil functions differed not in subject, but in manner and forme of handling and traiting of one and the same subject to divers ends; and that Christs officers sall be urged to handle civil things no otherwise but spiritually.
Arg. 8. That Christs Ministers should bear worldly preeminence, bruik ambitious stiles, and be called everletai, gracious Lords, is against the word of God. But this constitution will permitt, yea and make them so to doe. Ergo.
Math. 23. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. The Scribes and Pharisees loue the chiefe place at feastes, and to haue the chiefe seates in the assemblies, and greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your doctour, to wit, Christ, and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for there is but one, your Father which is in heaven. Be not called doctors: for one is your doctor, euen Christ. But he that is greatest among you, let him be your seruant. For whosoeuer shall exalt himselfe, shall be brought low: and whosoeuer will humble himself, shalbe exalted.
Luke 22. 24, 25, 26. And there arose also a strife among them, which of them should seeme to be greatest. But he sayde vnto them, The kings of the Gentiles reigne ouer them, and they that beare rule ouer them, are called bountifull. But ye shall not be so: But let the greatest among you be as the least: and the chiefest as he that serueth.
Math. 20. 26, 27, 28. But it shal not be so among you: but whosoeuer will be great among you, let him be your seruant. And whosoeuer will be chief among you, let him be your seruant: Even as the Sonne of man came not to be serued, but to serue, and to giue his life for the ransom for many.
To this was answered, That this which they were about to do, should neither permitt, nor make worldly preeminence nor ambitious styles.
Arg. 9. That the soldier of God should be involved in the affaires of this life, is flat repugnant to the Word of God. But this will involve in the affaires of this life. Ergo.
Num. 4. 1, 2, 3. And the Lord spake vnto Moses, and to Aaron, saying, Take the summe of the sonnes of Kohath from among the sonnes of Leui, after their families, and houses of their fathers, from thirtie yeere olde and aboue, euen vntill fiftie yeere olde, all that enter into the assemblie to doe the worke of the Tabernacle of the Congregation.
II. Tim. 2. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. Thou therefore suffer affliction as a good souldier of Iesus Christ. No man that warreth, entangleth himselfe with the affaires of this life, because hee woulde please him that hath chosen him to be a souldier. And if any man also striue for a masterie, he is not crowned, except he striue as he ought to doe. The husbandman must labour before he receiue the fruites. Consider what I say: and the Lorde giue thee vnderstanding in all things.
Answered, They sall not be involved, nor should not, be the nature of their calling.
Arg. 10. The Magistrats and Civil rulers preach not the Word, nor minister sacraments, nor exercise spiritual discipline, acknowledging these things impertinent to their function. Ergo: Neither should Ministers make civil lawes, nor judge and rule conforme therto.
Answer, It was not meaned be that voting in Parliament, that the Ministers sould use judicatour civil, or any part of the Magistrats office: for that the King was only Judge in the Parliament, and the Estates gave but their advice.
Arg. 11. That which wants both precept and example in the Evangels, Acts, and Epistles of the Apostles, and the whole history of and writings of the Christian Church, till almost 800 years after Christ, and at what tyme the Pope came to that shameless usurpation of both the swords, and set himself in the chair of pestilence and pride, tradding on the necks of Emperours and Kings &c., is no wayes to be admitted or suffered in our reformed kirks. But so is this new office of a mixed quality. Ergo.
For answer to this were brought forth exemples of the Old Testament, Melchisedeck, King and Priest, the government of the Kirk in the families of the Patriarches. Item, Moses and the Levites, who were appointed Judges, and interpreters of the Law, throughout the land.
To this was replyed, Melchisedeck, Moses, nor the high Priest cannot be exemples for the Evangelicall Ministrie, being types of the head and soveraign King, and high Priest, the Lord Jesus Christ. Also Moses and Aaron were brethren indeed; but after Aarons consecration bear distinct offices, shewing us, that the ecclesiastick and civil rulers should live as brethren; but every one to be about their oun office and calling, for others mutual welfare.
As for the government of the families, there was another reason thereof, than of Cities and Common weales, in so far as he that rules his familie, rules but himself; but who rules a City and Common wealth governs many families: Therefore Aristotle, 1 Polit. makes ane essential difference betwixt the administration of a familie and a republick.
And finaly, As for the Levits, they represented no ecclesiastick Evangelick office, and concerning these that were appointed called in the Gospel grammateis, if they represented any office under the Evangel, it was the office of Doctors; so that thereby the Doctors should be appointed voters in Parliament.
Arg. 12. The subject of the office of a Minister, and of a civil worldly office, are divers and contrary: Therefore cannot be occupyed in both.
Rom. 8. 5, 6, 7. For they that are after the flesh, sauour the things of the flesh: but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the wisedome of the flesh is death: but the wisedome of the spirit is life and peace: Because the wisedome of the flesh is enmitie against God: for it is not subiect to the Law of God, neither indeede can be.
1. Cor. 2. 12, 13, 14. Now we haue receiued, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit, which is of God, that we might knowe the things that are freely giuen to vs of God. Which things also we speake, not in the woordes which mans wisedome teacheth, but which the holy Ghost teacheth, comparing spirituall things with spirituall things. But the natural man perceiueth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishnesse vnto him: neither can he knowe them, because they are spiritually discerned.
1. John 2. 15, 16, 17. Loue not this world, neither the things that are in this world. If any man loue this world, the loue of the Father is not in him. For all that is in this world (as the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life) is not of the Father, but is of this world. And this world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that fulfilleth the will of God, abideth euer.
It was answered, That this argument was against worldly, unchristian, and unsanctified civil offices.
Replyed, That many alledged, Christian were more impious and unjust, than the Persian, Grecian, and Roman.
Arg. 13. The manner of doing of the one, is in lyke manner adverse to the other, as is evident of the same places, and many other. Ergo.
And here was pertinently used the apologie of Esop anent the collier and the waker, where the collier desired to dwell beside the waker, alledging many commodities that might come to both. But the waker well advised, refused altogether: for it is not possible, sayes he, but thy occupation will marre mine, for thow makes a black, and I make whyte.
Arg. 14. Their ends are also contrair; the Ministers office being to fish men out of the sea of this world, unto God, which they cannot doe, if they lye plunging in the world themselves. So said Christ to his disciples, Peter, John, &c. Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
Arg. 15. The experience of the Kirk in all ages since the corruption entered in, and namely in our own age, not only amongst the Papists, but in our neighbour land of England, among ourselves, clearly proves, and loudly cries, That it is not possible, that they can stand together: Therefore the Queen of Englands diction is, when she makes a Bishop, Alace for pity; for we have marred a good preacher to day. And what gappes our Bishops have been in Scotland, and are, the whole countrey knowes.
The experience also of godlie Pastors teaches them this, where they have been, but never so little, and of necessity, occupyed in the world, how hard it is to gather themselves again, and get the heart set toward God, and their spiritual duties and actions. Qui ambulat in sole, coloratur; qui tangit picem, inquinatur; qui frequentat aulam, et curiam, profanatur. Forum Pontificis Petrum ad Christi abnegationem adegit. Quae est corporum constitutio, ea est et morum circumpositio. Aere calido calescimus, et rursus frigido frigescimus. Sic cum sanctis sanctus eris, cum perversis perverteris.
Math. 6. 24. No man can serue two masters: for eyther he shall hate the one, and loue the other, or els he shall leane to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serue God and riches.
Arg. 16. Nature and the same experience has dyted the axiome and proverb, One office for a man is enough, and many irons in the fire, some will coole: Therefore the wise men in nature, Plato and Aristotle in their Republick, set doun the same, eis pros en; and banish therefra obeliskolukhnion, et dorudrepanon, instruments serving for moe uses at once, as unprofitable, and that spill things &c. Now if in a civil Common weale, by the light of nature, in subjecto homogeneo, one turne and office is enough for a man; surely it is no wise convenient nor possible, that, in subjecto heterogeneo, viz. both in Kirk and Common weale, one man can bear two offices.
Arg. 17. That which has been as a pest eschewed, straitly forbidden be acts, and stoutly stood against in publick doctrine, and at all Assemblies, since the first planting of the sincerity of the Gospel within the realme, should not now, by perswasion and moyand of Court, be brought in within the Kirk. But such is this. Ergo.
The Acts of our Generall Assemblies forbid a Minister to joyne with his Ministrie the office of a Notar, husbandrie, or labouring of land, hostlarie, &c., under pain of deposition.
Theod. Beza, Epistola 79. Joan. Cnoxo. Sed et istud, mi Cnoxe, te caeterosque fratres velim meminisse, quod jam oculis pene ipsis obuersatur; sicut Episcopi Papatum pepererunt, ita pseudepiscopos Papatus reliquias Epicureismum terris invecturos. Hanc pestem caueant, qui salvam Ecclesiam cupiunt: Et quum illam in Scotia in tempore profligaris; ne, quaeso, illam unquam admittas, quantumuis vnitatis retinendae specie quae veteres etiam optimos multos fefellit, blandiatur.
Arg. 18. And last, The judgment of the Fathers, and Doctors of the Kirk, ancient, and modern, old, new, Tertullian, Cyrillus, Primasius, Ambrosius, &c.
Tertull. De Idololatria, cap. 18. Si potestatem nullam ne in suos quidem exercuit Christus, quibus sordide ministerio functus est, si Regem se fieri conscius sui regni refugit, plenissime dedit formam suis de rejiciendo omni fastigio et suggestu tam dignitatis quam potestatis. Quis enim magis his usus fuisset, quam Dei filius? quales enim fasces produceret? quale aurum de capite radiaret, nisi gloriam seculi alienam et sibi et suis judicasset? Ideoque noluit, rejecit; quae rejecit, damnavit; quae damnavit in pompa Diaboli deputavit.
Cyrillus in Joan. lib. 3. cap. 20. Honor et gloria mundi fugienda sunt iis, qui volunt gloriam Dei consequi.
Primasius in 2 Tim. 2. Comparatione militum utitur, ut ostendat multo magis nos a negotiis secularibus liberos esse debere, ut Christo placeamus, si etiam seculi milites a reliquis seculi artibus vacant, ut possint regi suo placere.
Ambrosius in Epist. 1. Tim. 2. Ecclesiasticus autem idcirco Deo se probat, ut huic devotius officium impleat, quod spopondit in Dei rebus solicitus, a seculari negotio alienus: non enim convenit unum deplicem habere professionem.
Bernard. De Consid. lib. 2. cap. 4. Apostolis interdicitur dominatus: ergo tu usurpare audes aut dominus Apostolatum, aut Apostolus dominatum? Plane ab utroque prohiberis. Si utrumque simul habere velis, perdes utrumque. Idem. Non monstrabunt ubi quisquam Apostolorum aliquamdiu judex sederit hominum, aut divisor terminorum aut distributor terrarum stetisset. Denique lego Apostolos judicandos sedisse; judicantes non lego.
Can. Apost. can. 80. Dicimus quod non oporteat Episcopum aut Presbyterum publicis se administrationibus immittere; sed vacare, et commodum se exhibere usibus ecclesiasticis. Animum igitur inducito hoc non facere, aut deponitor. Nemo enim potest duobus dominis servire.
Vide Gregor. Lib. 1. Epistolarum Epist. 5. Ad Theotistam Imperatoris sororem.
Synod. Nicen. Can. Sylv. et Constant. Nemo Clericus, vel Diaconus, vel Presbyter propter causam suam quamlibet intret in curiam, quoniam omnis curia a cruore dicta est; et si quis Clericus in curiam introeat, anathema suscipiat, nunquam rediens ad matrem ecclesiam.
Damasus, et Consil. Neocaesar. et Antioch. Anno 341. Episcopi qui secularibus intenti curis, greges Chorepiscopis vel Vicariis commendant, videntur mihi esse meretricibus similes, quae statim ut pariunt, infantes suos aliis nutricibus tradunt educandos, ut suam citius libidinem explere valeant. Sic et isti infantes suos, i. e. populos sibi commissos, aliis educandos tradunt, ut suas libidines expleant, i. e. pro suo libitu secularibus curis inhient, et quod unicuique visum fuerit liberius agant. Pro talibus enim animae negliguntur, oves pereunt, morbi crescunt, haereses et schismata prodeunt, destruuntur ecclesiae, sacerdotes vitiantur, et reliqua mala proveniunt. Non taliter Dominus docuit, nec Apostoli instituerunt; sed ipsi qui curam suscipiunt, ipsi peragant, et ipsi proprios manipulos Domino repraesentent: nam ipse ovem perditam diligenter quaesivit, ipse invenit, ipse propriis humeris reportavit, nosque id ipsum facere perdocuit. Si ipse pro ovibus tantam curam habuit, quid nos miseri dicturi sumus, qui etiam pro ovibus nobis commissis curam impendere negligimus, et aliis eas educandas tradidimus? Audiant, quid beatus Jacob dixerit socero suo, Viginti annos fui tecum; oves tuae et caprae steriles non fuerunt; arietes gregis tui non comedi, nec captum a bestia ostendi tibi; ego damnum omne reddebam, et quicquid furto perierat, a me exigebas: ego die noctuque aestu urgebar et gelu; fugiebat somnus ab oculis meis. Si ergo sic laborat, et vigilat, qui pascit oves Laban; quanto labore, quantisque vigiliis debet intendere, qui pascit oves Dei? Sed in his omnibus ipse nos instruat, qui pro ovibus suis dedit animam.
Synod. Carthag. Ut Episcopus nullam rei familiaris curam ad se revocet, sed ut lectioni, et orationi, et verbi Dei praedicationi tantummodo vacet.
Synod. Chalced. Oecumenica consess. 15. Ne Episcopi, Clerici, et Monachi rebus se politicis implicent, aut praedia aliena conducant.
Sexta Univers. Synod. Constan. can. 80. Episcopis non competere ecclesiasticam et politicam eminentiam. Episcopus, aut Presbyter, vel Diaconus militiae vacans, et volens utrumque, principatum Romanum et sacerdotalem dignitatem, deponitor. Nam quae Caesaris sunt Caesari, et quae Dei Deo.
Ex Epistola Concilii Africani ad Papam Coelestinum. Executores etiam Clericos vestros quibusque potentibus nolite mittere, nolite concedere, ne sumosum typhum saeculi in Ecclesiam Christi, quae lucem simplicitatis et humilitatis diem Deum videre cupientibus praefert, videamur inducere.
Synod. Macrens. Nec Rex Pontificis dignitatem, nec Pontifex regiam potestatem sibi usurpare praesumat. Sic actionibus propriis dignitatibusque a Deo distinguuntur; ut Christiani Reges pro aeterna vita Pontificibus indigerent; et Pontifices pro temporali rerum cursu Regum dispositionibus uterentur, quatenus spiritualis actio a carnalibus distaret in cursibus: et ideo militans Domino minime se negotiis secularibus implicaret, ac vicissim non illi rebus divinis praesidere viderentur.
Synod. Roman. Anno 1215. Universis Clericis interdicimus, ne quis praetextu ecclesiasticae libertatis suam de caetero jurisdictionem extendat in praejudicium justitiae secularis. Et quae sunt Caesaris, Caesari reddant, et quae sunt Dei, Deo.
Calvinus in Epist. ad Tim. 2. Semper Pastorem meminisse oportet veteris proverbii, Hoc age, quod significat, ita serio incumbendum esse peragendis sacris, ut studium ejus et intentionem nihil aliud impediat.
Martyr. in Loc. Com. class. 14. cap. 13. Distingui oportet has functiones, Civilem et Ecclesiasticam, quae utraque earum seorsim totum hominem requirit: nam vix ullus unquam repertus est, qui alterutram recte obire posset, adeo est difficilis utraque provincia.
Gesner de Synodis. Bohemi quatuor articulos Basiliensi Synodo proponunt; quorum secundus est de civili dominio, quod interdici Clericis divina lege dicebant.
The matter not succeeding as the King and the Commissioners looked for, they went another way to work, to the end they might obtain a ratification of the articles agreed upon be the Commissioners sent fra the Synods, and the perpetuity of the Commissioner voter in Parliament.
They used diligence, craft, and authority: diligence, for from the Kings rising early at morne, till he went late to bed, he was so busie with Ministers, that the Courteours complained heaviely they could get no access.
As for authority, it kythed many wayes, especialy in the last Moderators recantation; and commanding Mr Andrew Melvill to keep his lodgings, howbeit he was sent in commission from his Presbytrie. When wee were (he was?) called for to the King, and demanded in privat, why he was so troublesome: wherefore came he to Assemblies being discharged: He Answered, He had a calling of the Kirk, which it behoved him to discharge. The King threatned him: But he put his hand to his craig, and said, Sir, take yow this head, and caus cut it off, if ye will; ye sall sooner get it, then that I shall betray the cause of Christ. He remained in the toun, and strenthned the brethren with arguments and exhortations.
Their craft and dissimulation kythed in this, that working with might and main for Episcopacy, yet they gave it out among the brethren, that there was no such thing meant; but only vote in Parliament, to vindicate the Kirk from contempt and poverty: and so seemed their answers to the arguments in the Conference.
By craft they got such a Moderator as they had at their own devotion; and yet there was such opposition made be many worthy brethren, that they could not get perpetuity of Commission to vote in Parliament, ad vitam or ad culpam, agreed unto; but only that it should be annual: Which conclusion the King and the Clerk, by adding thereto, drew as near their purpose as they could; to wit, that the Commissioner voter in Parliament should give account annuatim, and lay down the office at the feet of the Assembly, to be continued, or altered, as the Assembly, with consent of the King, sall think most expedient.
One and fifty voted, That the Commissioner voter should be chosen annuatim be every Presbytrie, from year to year. Fourty eight voted, That he should continue ad vitam, or ad defectum, as they called it. Many of the 48 were not Ministers, and had no commission, as the Secretar, and Commissioners of burghs.
The Commissioners of the General Assembly were so grieved for the great advantage gotten of them be plurality of votes, that they mett secretly at night, and did advise a new interpretation, which they put in the Kings hand: and so it was concluded upon the Saturday, after the forme that is now extant in the Book.
Sessio 2a. Eodem die.
The Commissioners appointit in the last Generall Assemblie for visitatioun of the kirks within every Presbitrie, as are particularlie divydit in the said commissioun, being requyrit quhat diligence they had done in discharge of the said commissioun: It was ansuerit for the most part of them, that they were not able to discharge any part of the said commissioun, in respect they wantit moyen to make thair expenssis during the tyme of the visitatioun: and therfor the Assemblie thocht good that it sould be meanit to his Maiestie, that through inlake of expencis the worke of visitatioun was lyke to cease, and to crave that some remeid may be provydit therto.
[Visiters, notwithstanding, were appointed in the eight Session, to visit some parts of the countrey that needed. C.]
Forsameikle as it was regratit, that the act made in the last Assemblie, anent the ordinar keiping of Presbytries, and the resorting therto, was not regardit be sundrie of the Ministrie, and speciallie be them of the Presbitries of Air and Irwing: Therfor the Generall Assemblie ordaines the said act to be put to executioun in all points, throughout all the Presbitries within this realme; and quhosoevir contemnes and violats the samein, after twyse admonitioun, that he be suspendit from his ministrie: ordaining the visitors, that salbe appointit fra this Assemblie, to report to the nixt Assemblie quhat diligence they find done, tuiching the keiping of the said act.
Sessio 3a. 19 Martij.
Anent the supplicatioun givin in be the Synodall of Galloway, making mentioun, that quher they had ane act for the erecting and bigging of ane kirk at the burgh of Stranrawer, within the Presbitrie of Wigtoun, and annexatioun therto of the 20 pound land of the parochine of the Inche, lyand towards the coast of Ireland, pertaining to the Lairds of Garthland, Stranrawer, Kinhilt, and Sorbie, with the 29 mark land of the parochin of Salsett, the fyve mark land of Auchterlure, and fyve mark land of Stranrawer, as being most commodious for the inhabitants of the said lands, for resorting to the said kirk for heiring of the Word; vnto the quhilk erectioun and annexatioun forsaid, the heritours and kyndlie tennents of the saids lands, hes alreadie givin thair consent: desyreand, therfor, the Generall Assemblie will ratifie and approve the same, as at mair lenth is conteinit in thair supplicatioun. The Generall Assemblie [ratifies and] approves the erecting [and annexatione] forsaid, of the said Synodall of Galloway in all points.
Because the generall questioun was proponit to the haill Assemblie, quher congregatiouns are so spatious, that a great part therof may not commodiouslie resort to thair awin paroch kirk, be reason of the great distance of thair habitatioun therfra, If it be lawfull to ane number of the said congregatioun to big ane new kirk, and intertaine a Pastor at the same vpon thair awin expenssis: The Generall Assemblie, after lang reasoning, thinks it both lawfull and expedient, and declares they will assist the samein as a godlie wark, and will crave the samein to be ratified in Parliament, how so oft it sall occurre.
Because it was reportit, that a great number of gentlemen, and vthers of this realme, wilfullie and obstinatelie abstaines from the holie communioun; some vnder collour of deadlie feids, and some for some vther licht causes: Therfor, for remeid of the said abuse, it is statute and ordainit, That all Presbitries, within this realme, give expresse charge and command to every particular Minister within thair bounds, charging them to take vp the names of all them within thair parochines, quho hes not communicat ilk yeir anes at the leist; and therafter summound them [to compeir] befor the Presbitrie, to heir and sie themselves decernit to communicat within thrie monethis nixt after the charge; certifieand them and they failȝie, the act of conventioun made aganis non communicants salbe put to executioun aganis them: quhilk being done, and the saids persons, non communicants, remaining obstinate, and the saids thrie monethis expyred, that the Presbitries delate the names of the saids non communicants to the Kings Maiestie, to the intent the forsaid act of conventioun made against non communicants may be put to executioun aganis them: And in the parochin quher ther is no Minister, that this ordour be supplied be the Presbitrie within the quhilk the said paroch lyes.
Forsameikle as it was heavilie lamentit in the Kings Maiesties presence, that quhenas sundrie of the Ministrie were occupied in thair lawfull calling, in persewing malefactours, such as adulterers, murtherers, and vther slanderous persons, vrging them to purge [themselves of] the slanders committit be them, conforme to the slatutes of the Kirk, daylie observit within this realme, that at such tymes they were drawin from thair calling, and chargit to compeir befor the Secreit Counsell, be letters privielie obtainit vpon salse narratives be the saids slanderous persons; quherby not only were they distractit from thair lawfull functiouns, but also the discipline of the Kirk and punishment of vyce [was] greatlie [neglectit and] contemnit: Therfor the brethren of the Assemblie most humblie requeists his Maiestie not to suffer such contempt of the discipline of the Kirk, quherby the brydle wald be lousit to all impietie and licentious living.
To the quhilk his Maiestie promist, that, in tyme comeing, no letters sould be direct from the Secreit Counsell, at the instance of any person, aganis any Minister in particular, or any Presbitrie in generall, for quhatsoevir thing he or they sall doe in the executioun of their offices, befor the person, requyrer [of the saids letters,] produce ane testimoniall under forme of ane instrument de denegata justitia of the Minister or Presbytrie judge ordinar.
Sessio 4a. Eodem die.
The brethren appointit to await vpon the Kings Maiestie, for advyseing of such articles as sould be cravit of the nixt Conventioun for taking ordour with Jesuits, Papists, Seminarie Priests, &c., hes, with the Kings Maiesties advyse, formed the articles vnderwrytin, to be givin in to the nixt Conventioun.
1. That all Jesuites and Seminarie Preists, excommunicat and trafficking Papists, that sall happin, in any tyme comeing, to returne within the countrey, or that are presentlie within the countrey, sall, immediatlie after thair delatioun to his Maiestie, be apprehendit and put in ward, ther to be deteinit ay and quhill they be convertit to the religioun, or els punischit according to the acts of Parliament, or els removit aff the countrey.
2. That the resetters of obstinate excommunicat Papists, and thair cheife friends and acquaintances, in whose houses they haunt, be chargit to find catioun, vnder a pecuniall paine according to thair abilitie and rank, that they sall no way receit nor intertaine the said excommunicats.
3. That all excommunicat Papists be chargeit to satisfie the Kirk within the space of thrie monethis, vnder the paine of horning; and if they failȝie, to be denuncit therto, that thair escheitts and lyferents, in cace of ȝeir and dayes rebellioun, may be intromettit with be his Maiesties Thesaurer, and not disponit to any donatour.
4. That the Marqueis of Huntlie be chargeit to [exhibit and] present before his Maiestie and Secreit Counsell, John Gordoun of Newtoun, Patrick Butter, and Alexander Lesslie, according to his band, that they may be committit to ward ay and quhill they satisfie the Kirk.
Bonytoun Ʒonger, alledgit resident within the Presbitries of Ellon, Aberdeine, and Breichin, is ordainit be the General Assemblie to be conveinit befor the Presbitrie of Brechin, and ther to offer his satisfaction as to his Judges ordinar.
Tarwes, and Methlik, Kirks of the Synodall of Aberdeine, vpon the xj day of November 1597 ȝeirs, with mutual consent of the parochiners, and heritours of the lands to be interchangit and annexit, with consent of said Synodall, excambit certaine lands, and annexit them in respect of the sarre distance from thair awin paroch kirks, and contiguitie to the kirks quhervnto they are annexit, but prejudice always of thair rents of the Personage and Viccarrage of the saids lands, to be payit to the auld Persons and Viccars, as befor the said excambion. The Generall Assemblie, at the desyre of the said Synodall, ratifies and approves the said excambion and alteratioun in all points, and ordaines the samein to take full effect.
Forsameikle as diverse and great inconveniences arises daylie through the vntymeous marriage of ȝoung and tender persons befor they come to age meit for marriage; and that ther is no law, nor statute of the Kirk, [made] as ȝet defyning the age of persons to be married: Therfor it is statute and ordainit, that no Minister within this realme presume to joyne in matrimonie [any persones], in tyme coming, except the man be of fourtein ȝeirs, and the woman of twelve ȝeirs at the leist: ordaining lykewayes the Commissioners of the Generall Assemblie to desyre this statute to be ratified in the Conventione.
Anent the questioun, Whither a man being blind may discharge all the parts of the office of a Pastor; and in speciall anent the admissioun of Mr Johne Boyle to the ministrie of Jedburgh, being blind: The Assemblie referres the ansuer of the generall questioun to the nixt Generall Assemblie.
And as to the admissioun of the said Mr Johne, referris it to the Commissioners of the said Generall Assemblie; and in the meanetyme discharges the said Mr Johne fra vsing any part of the office of a Pastour, except the preaching of the Word.
Because the mariage of persons convict of adulterie, is a great allurement to maried persons to committ the said cryme, thinking therby to be separate from their awin lawfull halfe marrowes, to injoy the persons with quhom they have committit adulterie: for eschewing quherof, the Generall Assemblie thinks it expedient, that ane supplicatioun be givin in to the nixt Conventioun, craveand ane act to be made, dischargeand all mariages of such persons as are convict of adulterie; and that the samein be ratified in the nixt Parliament: ordaining the brethren appointit to awaite vpon the nixt Conventioun to give in this article with the rest.
Sessio 6a. 20 Martij, post meridiem.
Forsameikle as, in the last Assemblie, ther was a commissioun givin to every Synodall within this realme, to elect and choose out thrie of the wysest of thair number, to be readie vpon his Majesties advertisement, and to conveine with his Hienes, and treat vpon such heids, concerning vote in Parliament, as were not condiscendit vpon in the last Assemblie, and, in cace of agriement, to conclude the haill matter, vtherwayes to referre the same to the nixt Assemblie, as at mair lenth is conteinit in the said commissioun: conforme to the quhilk, the saids Commissioners being conveinit at Falkland, the 25 day of Julij 1598, they being rypelie advysit with the heids following, gave thair advyce and conclusioun, as follows:
1. Concerning the maner of choosing of him that sall have vote in Parliament in name of the Kirk: It is condiscendit vpon, that he sall first be recommendit be the Kirk to his Majestie; and that the Kirk sall nominat sixe for every place that sall have neid to be filled, of quhom his Majestie sall choose ane, of quhom he best lykes; and his Majestie promises, obleises, and binds himselfe to choose no vther but ane of that number: And in cace his Majestie resuses the haill vpon ane just reason of ane insufficiency, and of greater sussiciencie of vthers that are not recommendit, the Kirk sall make ane new recommendatioun of men according to the first number, of the quhilk, ane salbe chosin be his Majestie without any farther refuisall or new nominatioun; and he that salbe chosin be his Majestie, salbe admittit be the Synods.
2. It is concludit, that the Generall Assemblie sall have the nominatioun or recommendatioun of him that, in the name of the Kirk, sall vote in Parliament, quho sall take the advyce of the Synods and Presbytries theranent, direct from them in wryte: and the Synod sall have libertie to nominat asweill within thair province as without; provyding that ther be a man within the province meit for the place, cæteris paribus, he be preferrit to another.
3. Anent his rent: It is advyseit, with one consent, that the Kirk being plantit sufficientlie, the Colledgis and Schooles alreadie erectit not prejudgeit, that the Kings Majestie sall provyde him to all the rest that may be obtainit of that benefice, quherto he is preferrit.
As to the cautions to keip him, that sall have vote in Parliament, from corruptiouns: They be these following.
1. That he presume not, at any tyme, to propone at Parliament, Counsell, or Conventioun, in name of the Kirk, any thing without expresse warrand and directioun from the Kirk, and sick things as he sall answer [for] to be for the weill of the Kirk, vnder the paine of depositioun from his office: neither sall he consent, or keip silence, in any of the saids Conventiouns, to any thing that may be prejudiciall to the weill and libertie of the Kirk, vnder the samein paine.
2. He sall be bound, at every Generall Assemblie, to give ane accompt anent the discharge of his Commissioun sen the Assemblie gangand befor; and sall submitt himselfe to thair censure, and stand at thair determinatioun quhatsumevir, without appellatioun; and sall seik and obtaine ratificatioun of his doings at the said Assemblie, vnder the paine of insamie and excommunicatioun.
3. He sall content himself with that part of the benefice quhilk salbe givin in be his Majestie for his living, not hurting nor prejudging the rest of the Ministers of the Kirks, within his benefice, plantit or to be plantit, or any vther Minister [of the countrie] quhatsumever; and this claus to be insert in his provisioun.
4. He sall not delapidat in any wayes his benefice, neither make sett nor dispostitoun therof, without the special consent of his Majestie and Generall Assemblie: and for the greater warrand heirof, he sall interdyte himselfe not to delapidat his benefice, nor consent to delapidatioun therof made be vthers to the Generall Assemblie; and salbe content that inhibitiouns be raised on him to that effect.
5. He salbe bound faithfullie to attend vpon his awin particular congregatioun, quherat he salbe Minister, in all the points of a Pastor; and heiranent salbe subject to the tryall of his awin Presbitrie and Provinciall Assemblie, as any vther Minister that beares not commissioun.
6. In the administration of discipline, collatioun of benefices, visitatioun, and all vther points of ecclesasticall government, he sall neither vsurpe nor acclaime to himselfe any power or jurisdictioun farther then any vther of the rest of his breither, unlesse he be imployit be his breither, vnder the paine of deprivatioun: And in case he vsurpe any part of ecclesiasticall governement, and the Presbitrie, Synodall, or Generall Assemblie, oppone or make any impediment therto, quhatsoevir he doe, after that impediment, to be null, ipso facto, without any declaratour.
7. In Presbitries, Provinciall and Generall Assemblies, he sall behave himselfe in all things, and be subject to thair censureing, as any of the brethren of the Presbitrie.
8. At his admissioun to his office of Commissionarie, thir and all vther points necessar he sall sweare and subseryve to fulfill, vnder the paine of the penalties forsaids; and vtherwayes not to be admittit.
9. And in cace he be deposit be the Generall Assemblie, Synod, or Presbitrie, from his office in the Ministrie, he sall also tyne his vote in Parliament, ipso facto, and his benefice sall vaik.
And farther cautions to be made as the Kirk pleases and finds occasioun.
Anent his name that for the Kirk sall[have] vote in Parliament: It is advyseit, be vniforme consent of the baill brether, that he salbe callit Commissioner of such a place; and in cace the Parliament, be his Majestie moyen, be induceit to acknowlege that name, it sall stand so: if not, the Generall Assemblie sall conclude this questioun anent his name.
The questioun being demandit, Whither the Commissioun of him that for the Kirk[sall vote in Parliament,] sould indure for his lyfe tyme, except some cryme or offence interveine, or for a shorter tyme at the pleasure [of the Kirk]: The Commissioners of the Provinciall Assemblies being of diverse opiniouns, thoght good to referre this questioun to the nixt Generall Assemblie.
Quhilks haill conclusiouns being red in presence and audience of the hail Assemblie, and they being rypelie advyseit therwith, ratified, allowit, and approvit the samein; and thocht expedient that the said cautiouns, together with sick vthers as salbe concludit vpon be the Assemblie, be insert in the bodie of the act of arliament, that is tobe made for confirmatioun of vote in Parliament to the Kirk, as most necessar and substantial parts of the samein.
Anent the supplicatioun givin in be James Leirmonth, ȝonger of Dairsie, James (David?) Kynninmonth of that ilk, Johne Traill of Blebo, for themselves, and in name of thair tennents, and vthers, parochiners of the paroch of Sanct Androes, makand mentioun, That albeit they are parochiners of the said paroch kirk, lykeas they and thair predecessours hes bein [continually subject to the discipline of the said kirk, and hes been] ever readie to vnderly quhatsoevir burdein was imposit for furtherance of the said kirk, and concurre with the rest of the parochiners, according to thair rent and portioun of the said paroch: nevertheles the Ministrie and Sessioun of the said kirk refuses to suffer them and thair saids tennents to enjoy the benefits of the Kirk with the remanent of the said paroche; but debarres them from the heiring of the Word, receiving of the sacraments, and benefite of marriage, within the said kirk of Sanct Androes, but any reasonable cause: Desyreand, therfor, ane command to the Ministrie and Sessioun of the said kirk of Sanct Androes to admit the forsaids persons and thair vassalls to the hearing of the Word in the said kirk of Sanct Androes, and the injoying of the haill remanent benefites of the Kirk, as at mair lenth is conteinit in the said supplicatioun.
The Generall Assemblie having considderit the premisses, commands and ordaines the Ministrie and Sessioun of the said kirk of Sanct Androes to admitt the saids complainers, and thair vassalls and tennents, parochiners of the said kirk, to the hearing of the Word, mariage, and receiving of the sacraments of the Kirk, within the said kirk of Sanct Androes, as thair proper paroch kirk, in all tyme comeing, ay and quhill thair awin consent be obtainit in the contrair.
Sessio 7a. 21 Martij.
Anent the supplicatioun givin in be the parochiners of Tulliebodie, makeand mentioun, Albeit the said paroch of Tullie bodie be ane auld paroch, separate from all vthers, having within itselfe the number of foure or fyve hundreth communicants or therby, and payes thair teinds to the Abbot of Cambuskenneth, quho rigorouslie exacts the same: Neverthelesse the Presbitrie of Striveling hes, be thair ordinance, commandit the said kirk of Tulliebodie to be vnittit to the Chappell of Alloway most wrangouslie, seeing the saids complainers, be ane anterior command of the said Presbitrie, not only reedified thair said Kirk of Tullie bodie, but also, vpon thair awin charges, surnischit a Pastor to the said kirk, lykeas ȝet they are most willing to doe, notwithstanding thair teinds are most wrangouslie led away be the said Abbot, as said is: desyreing, therfor, thair said supplicatioun to be considderit, and the said unioun to be dissolvit, as, at mair lenth, is conteinit in the said supplicatioun.
The brethren of the Presbitrie of Striveling being callit to give a reason of this thair vnioun of the said kirks, ansuerit, That the cause moving them was, First, That both the saids parochines lay verie commodiouslie to the said kirk of Alloway: Secondlie, That the number of both the saids parochines wald make but one sufficient congregatioun: Thirdlie, That ther could not be ane stipend obtainit to the said kirk of Tulliebodie, in so farre that at the desyre of the saids complainers, ther being ane Pastour appointit to the said kirk, vpon promise that they wold furnisch him a sufficient stipend, he was forcit, for povertie, for to leave them: quheras, be the contrair, be the vnioun of the saids two kirks, the Erle of Marre furnisches a sufficient stipend to ane Pastour, resident at the same.
The Generall Assemblie having considderit the premisses, ratifies and approves the vnioun of the saids kirks of Alloway and Tulliebodie, and ordaines Alloway to be the paroch kirk in all tyme coming.
Anent the supplicatioun givin be the Presbitrie of Deir, makand mentioun, that quher the Laird of Phillorth having erectit ane Colledge vpon the towne of Fraserburghe, and aggreit with Mr Charles Ferme to be both Pastour of the said burgh, and Principall of his Colledge; quhilk burdein the said Mr Charles refuses to accept vpon him, without he be commandit be the Generall Assemblie: Desyreand, therfor, ane command to be givin to the said Mr Charles to accept both the said charges, as at mair lenth is containit in the said supplicatioun:
The Generall Assemblie having at length considderit the necessitie of the said wark, and how the said Laird of Philorth hes resusit to intertaine a Pastour at the said kirk, vnlesse he vndertake both the said charges, Therfor commands [and charges] the said Mr Charles Ferme to vndertake and awaite vpon, asweill the said kirk, as to be Principall of the Colledge of Fraserburghe.
Sessio 8a. Eodem die.
Forsameikle as the Commissioners of the Synodalls conveinit at Falkland, the 25 of Julij 1598 ȝeirs, being of diverse opiniouns concerning the continuance of his commissioun that sall have vote in Parliament, Whither he sould indure for his lyfetyme, except some cryme or offence interveine, or for a shorter tyme, at the pleasure of the Kirk, they thocht good to referre the same to this present Assemblie: Therfor the Generall Assemblie having reasonit at length the said questioun, tuiching the continuance of him that sall have vote in Parliament, after votting of the same, finds and decernes, that he sall annuatim give count of his commission obtainit from the Assemblie, and lay downe the samein at their feitt, to be continuit or alterit therfra be his Maiestie and the Assemblie, as the Assemblie, with consent of his Maiestie, sall think most expedient for the weill of the Kirk.
It is statute and ordainit, that nane of them that sall have vote in Parliament, sall come as Commissioners to any Generall Assemblie, nor have vote in the same in any time comeing, except he be authorizit with a commission from his awin Presbitrie to that effect.
It is found be the Assemblie, that crimen ambitus salbe a sufficient cause of deprivation of him that sall have vote in Parliament.
It is statute and ordainit, that every Minister intimat this Generall Assemblie, that the vote in Parliament is concludit be the Assemblie; and that nane vtter speich in pulpitt contrair the same.
[The generall Commission, which ruled all, was renewed immediately after in the same Sessioun. C.]
Forsameikle as it hes bein found necessar of before, and profitable for the weill of the Kirk, that certaine Commissioners be appointit fra Assemblie to Assemblie, whose speciall care and travell sould be to give thair advyce to his Maiestie in all affaires concerning the weill of the Kirk, and intertainment of peace and concord betuixt his Maiestie and the Kirk: Therfor the Generall Assemblie, continowing in that same course, hes givin and grantit, lykeas be the tenour heirof gives and grants, thair full power and commissioun to Mrs Johne Strachane, James Nicolsone, Andro Mylne, Alexander Forbes, Alexander Dowglas, Robert Howie, James Melvill, Johne Caldeleuch, Robert Wilkie, Harie Livingstoun, Alexander Lindsay, George Glaidstanes, Robert Pont, David Lindsay, Robert Bruce, Johne Hall, Johne Clappertoun, Johne Knox, Andro Lamb, James Lowsone(Law?) Johne Spottiswood, Gawin Hamiltoun, David Barklay, Andro Knox, with the Kings Maiesties Ministers, or any nine of them, Giveand, grantand, and committand to them thair full power to plant such kirks in Burrogh Townes as are destitute of Pastours, and in speciall, the kirk of Leith, in place of Mr Johne Hall last removit therfra, and the southwest kirk of Edinburgh, vaikand be the deceis of vmquhile Mr Robert Rollock: to present the greives of this present Assemblie to the nixt Conventioun, and to receive the ansuers of the samein. And lykewayes, in cace his Maiestie find himselfe greivit at any enormities committit be any of the Ministrie, to try and cognosce vpon the samein, and take sick ordour theranent as salbe meitest to the glorie of God, and weill of the Kirk; to advyse with his Maiestie anent the effectuating of the constant platt: Promitten de rato &c.
Thir are the Commissioners appointit to await on the Conventioun; Mrs David Lindsay, Robert Bruce, James Nicolsone, Andro Lamb, William Couper, Alexander Lindsay, Johne Spottiswood, with the Kings Maiesties Ministers.
[It is to be observed, that sundry were nominated Commissioners for the fashion: for the King and his faction minded never to make them partakers of their platts, namely, Mr Robert Bruce, Mr John Knox, Mr Andrew Mylne, Mr Hery Livingstoun. The King might proceed with any nyne without the rest. C.]
Because it was vnderstand be the Assemblie, [that Mr Andrew Lamb,] Minister at Aberbrothok, was licklie to be transportit to some vther flock, quher his gifts micht profite the Kirk in some greater aboundance: Therfor the General Assemblie gives licence to the said Mr Andro Lamb to be transportit from the said kirk of Aberbrothok.
The said day, the Generall Assemblie receivit and admittit Mr Thomas Hope to be Solister for the Kirk in place of James Mowat; quho being personallie present, dimittit the same in the Assemblies hands, after the said Mr Thomas had givin his oath of fidelitie in the said office.
Anent the processe of appellatioun persewit be James Lord Lindsay of the Byres, and remanent gentlemen and parochiners of the paroch kirk of Seiris, againis the Presbytries of Couper and Sanct Androes, concerning the admissioun of Mr Robert Buchannan, Provest at Kirkheuch, to the Ministrie [at the kirk] of Seiris, and transportatioun of him from the kirk for Forgane in Fyfe: The brethren appointit to visite the said process, having made thair report to the haill Assemblie, the rights, reasons, and allegatiouns of all the said pairties beeand [heard and] considderit, The Generall Assemblie decernes and ordaines the said Mr Robert to remaine Minister at the said kirk of Seiris: and sick lyke gives thair power and commissioun to Mrs James Melvill, Robert Wilkie, James Nicolsone, Alexander Lindsay, and William Scott, giveand them power to elect and choose out a discreit man, with consent of the saids parochiners of Seiris, to be adjoinit to the said Mr Robert as Minister and fellow helpher with him at the said kirk of Seiris; with power also to them to modifie how mikle of his stipend salbe modified [payit?] be the said Mr Robert, and how mikle be the saids parochiners of Seiris. And in speciall, the Assemblie recommends vnto them thair brother, Mr William Symsone, Minister at Bruntiland.
Forsameikle as there are diverse parts of the countrey, that, for lake of visitatioun, are become almost desolate, Therfor the Generall Assemblie hes thocht good that certaine visitours be directit for visiteing of the bounds of Kirkudbright and Wigtoun, Mrs David Barklay, Alexander Scrymgeour, and Nathan Inglis; of the bounds of Murray, Mrs George Hay and Andro Crombie; of the bounds of Orknay and Cathnes, Mrs Robert Pont, John Monro elder, and John Monro ȝonger; of the bounds of Rosse, Mrs Alexander Dowglas, Johne Carmichaell, and William Scott; and for Nithesdaile, Mrs Robert Wallace and Johne Welsche: with power to them to inquyre in the lyfe, doctrine, and qualificatioun of the Ministrie within the saids bounds; to try the sayers and heirars of messe within the samein: with power also to plant and transport Ministers to such places as they sall think most expedient for the glory of God and weill of the Kirk; and to report to the nixt Assemblie.
Because the Iland of Errone lyes most commodious and adjacent to the Presbitrie of Irvin, therfor the Generall Assemblie annexis the same to the said Presbitrie.
Anent the supplicatioun givin in be the Presbitrie of Migle, makand mentioun, That seeing the said Presbitrie had vnited the kirks of Essie and Neua (Norva?) to be and remaine a congregatioun vnder the charge of ane Pastour, at ane kirk to be biggit in the mids of the saids two parochines; partlie in respect of the fewnes of the number [of] both the saids parochines, not extending [to] the number of fyve hundreth persons; partlie in respect of the commoditie of the place, seeing the farthest part of both the saids parochines will not be distant halfe a myle from the place, quher the said kirk sould be biggit; and partlie in respect of the impossibilitie of moyen to sustaine two sundrie Ministers at the saids two kirks: Desyreing, therfor, ane ratificatioun of the vnioun in this Assemblie, together with a command to the brethren direct to the Estates conveinit at Perth, to crave the samein to be ratified in the said Conventioun, as at mair lenth is conteinit in the supplicatioun:
The Generall Assemblie ratifies and approves the vnioun forsaid; and sicklyke [ordaynes] the brethren appointit to gang to the Conventioun at Perth, to crave the said vnioun to be ratified in the said Conventioun.
Anent the appellatioun persewit be the Presbytrie of Dumfermling fra the decreit pronuncit be the Synodall of Fyfe, haldin at Couper the 6 of Marche 1598, finding that the said Presbytrie had done wrong in planting of the kirk of Dalgatie with hurt and prejudice of the kirk of Aberdoure, being the most great and populous congregatioun, and the haill stipend being but a meane stipend, and therfor decernand the haill stipend to remaine with the kirk of Aberdoure: The said Presbytrie of Dumfermling compeirand be Mr Johne Fairfull, Minister of Dumfermling, thair Commissioner, and the Commissioners of the Synodall of Fyfe being lykewayes present, with the Commissioners of the Towne of Aberdoure, the rights and reasones of both the saids parties hard and considderit, The Generall Assemblie decernes and ordaines Mr William Patoun, Minister at Dalgatie, to serve the cure of both the saids kirks of Aberdoure and Dalgatie, and to have assignit to him for his service thereat, the haill auld stipends of Aberdoure and Dalgatie befor the divisioun therof, for the crope and ȝeir of God 1599, and ȝeirlie in tyme comeing, ay and quhill sufficient provisioun may be gottin for planting of both the saids kirks.
The Generall Assemblie grants libertie to Mr William Symsone, Minister at Bruntiland, to transport himselfe from the said kirk, in respect he hes servit therat thir many ȝeirs bygane, but any stipend; and the Queines Maiestie and her Chamerlanes, quho was in vse of payment of before of the Ministers at the said kirk, refuses to make payment to the said complainer of the samein: and therfor recommands him to the Synodall of Fyfe, to have consideratioun of him in planting of thair kirks.
The nixt Generall Assemblie is appointit to be haldin at Sanct Androes the last Tuesday of Julij 1601.