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 General Assemblie of the Kirk of Scotland, conveinit and haldin at St Johnstoun, the xxv of Junij 1563. In the whilk were assemblit the Superintendents, Ministers and Commissioners of the Kirk.
Prayer is made be Master Johne Willock, Superintendent of the West. Superintendents and ministers are tryed.
[The triell of the superintendent of Fyfe was delayed till the day following, at the desire of the ministers and commissioners of Fyfe. Mr Alexander Gordon, stiled Bishop of Galloway, having gotten commission before to plant ministers, exhorters, readers, and other office-bearers requisite for a reformed kirk within the bounds of Galloway, was removed to be tried. The laird of Gailies younger complained that the said commissioner had not ministred justice to Margaret Murrey, complaining upon her husband Golfride Makculloch for none-adherence. Bot the commissioner could not satissie the Assemblie with anie sufficient excuse. C.]
Johne Knox minister of Edinburgh, having commissioun givin to him, and certain elders and deacons of the kirk of Edinburgh, to take cougnitioun of the slander raisit agains Paul Methwen, late minister at Jedbrucht, anent adulterie committed be the said Paul with ane [blank], his servant, the said Mr Knox declarit the haill cause, what he had found in the soirsaid slander, viz. The said Paul to have committed the said abhominable cryme of adulterie, and therfor, with advyce of the Kirk of Edinburgh, superintendent of Lowthiane and collegues above mentioned, had removed him fra all ministrie, and also excommunicat him; and swa having put his said commissioun to execution, rendered up the same to the General Assemblie, fra whom he received it.
Mr John Rutherfuird, principall of St Salvator's Colledge, complained that Mr John Balfour usurpit the ministrie at Cultis, being unqualifiet to discharge the same; and seeing the kirk pertainit to him as principall, he offerit himselfe to minister according to the talent givin him be God. The Kirk heiring his complaint and offer, ordainit the said Mr Johne to accept the office, who in presens of the Assembly accepted the same.
The said day David Fergusone, minister at Dumfermling, declared in the publick assemblie, that he had spokin Paul Methven, lately excommunicat, whom he fand verie sorrowfull for his grievous offence committed be him in maner above rehearsed, and also sick repentance for the same, that he wald underly whatsoever punishment the kirk of God wald lay upon him, even if it were to lose any member of his bodie, to satisfie the same. After long reasoning of the whole Assemblie of the said repentance and offer reportit be the said minister, the Kirk condescendit that the said Paul sould have a comfortable ansuer; and attour that they in the meanstyme sould speake the Lords of the Privie Counsell theranent.
[Commissions war given to the bishops of Galloway, Orknay and Catness, for the space of a yeere, to plant kirks, &c. within their owne bounds, and that the bishop of Galloway haunt asweill the shiresdome of Wigton as the stewartie of Kirkubrigh, reckoned to be within his owne bounds. It was ordained lykewayes, That qualified men sould be putt in election for a superintendentship in Teviotdaill, Nithisdaill, Annandaill and Selkirk, or that commission be given to some qualified men for the yeere nixt to come, to plant kirks in the said bounds; and in like manner to requiest the secret counsell to provide for superintendents or commissioners to plant kirks in the south parts. C.]
Sessio 2a. haldin the 26 of June 1563.
The whilk day the Kirk pronouncit that no contract of mariage alledged to be made secreitly, carnall copulatioun following, sall have faith in judgement in tyme comeing, untill the tyme that the contractors suffer as breakers of good ordour and slanderers of the kirk; and thereafter that faith sall not be givin unto that promise, unto sick tyme as famous and unsuspected witnesses affirme the same, or els the parties consess it; and in cace that probation nor consession follow not, that the saids offenders be punishit as fornicators.
Concerning the ordour of appellatioune, it is statute and ordainit, that if any person find himselfe hurt be any sentence givin be any ministers, elders or deacons of the kirk, it salbe leisum to the partie so hurt to appeale to the superintendent of the dyocie and his synodall conventioun, within ten dayes nixt after; and the said superintendent sall take cognitioun whither it was weill appealit or not, and given his sentence therupon; and if the partie ȝet alledges him hurt be the superintendent and his conventioun, it salbe lawfull to appeale to the Generall Assemblie of the kirk immediately thereafter following, within ten dayes as of befoir, and the said Assemblie to take cognitioun of the said appellatioun, whither it was weill appealed or not, and therafter to pronounce sentence therintill, fra the whilk it sall not be leisum to the said pairtie to appeale, but the former sentence to have execution according to the tenour of the samein. Item, If the appellant justifie not his appellatioun befor the superintendent and his conventioun forsaid, that he sall imput ane paine upon the said appellant, as he sall think good, above the expensses to the partie; whilk paine salbe deliverit to the deacons of the kirk where the first sentences was givin, to be distributed to the poore. And in lyke manner, the General Assemblie finding it evill appealit be the said partie fra the foirsaid superintendents and commissioun, sall as of befoir impute ane paine arbitrall to be distribute as said is, together with the expenses to the partie, as is above specifiet.
The Lords, Comptroller, Justice Clerk, and Clerk of Register, beand all present in the Assemblie, pronouncit to give letters gratis to all ministers requyreing the same, and cause them to be execute upon the comptrollers expenses, to charge all them that has mansses to delyver the same to the ministers, or bigge and sufficient house to them within sick a day as the parties sall desyre, under the paine of horneing, according to the act of Parliament lately made theranent.
Ordainit that supplicatioune be made to the Queens Majestie and secreit counsell for unioun of kirks, that wher two or thrie are within two or thrie myles distant, the same to unite, and cause the inhabitants to resort to ane of the saids kirks, to heir the work and receive the sacraments; because the scarcenes of ministers permitts not every kirk to have a severall minister, and also the small number of sick parochines requyres not the samein.
Ordainit that the instructioun of gouth be comittit to none within this realme, neither in universities nor without the samein, but to them that professe Chrysts true religioun now publicklie preached; and that sick as now occupie the places, not professing as said is, be removed fra the samein, and to remember that same ordour be made for the sustentatioun of poore scholers.
[Anent the execution of the Act of Parliament tuiching the repairing of kirks, it is though necessar that letters, conforme to the said act, be delivered to the Superintendents gratis; and that everie Superintendent sall consider what kirks within his bounds need reparation of re-edifieing, and thereafter deliver the saids letters to the collectors of the thirds within the same bounds, to be executed be an officer of armes at suche kirks as salbe needfull, and the Superintendent sall think good: And thereafter the said collector sall deliver the saids letters, duelie executed, to the Superintendents foresaids, to the effect that they may, where the disobedience sall happen to be, crave remeed from the Lords of Secreit Counsell.
Commission was given to Mr John Hepburn, Minister of Brechin, to plant ministers, exhorters, readers, elders, deacons, and other members requisite and needfull for a reformed kirk, in Murrey, Bamf, and the countreis adjacent, and to place schoolmasters. The like commission was given to Mr Robert Pont, to plant kirks in Invernesse, and to Mr Donald Monro, to doe the like within the bounds of Rosse, and to assist the bishop of Cathnes in preaching of the gospell, and planting of kirks; and these commissions war to endure onlie for a yeere.
Supplications ordained to be made to the superior powers, for constituting judges in everie province, to heare the complaints of parties, alledging adulterie to be committed be the husband or the wife, and the said judges to take cognition in the mater, and punische according to the Act of Parliament. Item, That when anie benefice sall vaike, qualified persons may be presented to the Superintendent of the province, where the benefice vaiketh, that they may be admitted in the places destitute. Item, That where two or three kirks ar distant two or three miles, they may be united, and the inhabitants caused to resort to the said kirks, to heare the word, and receave the sacrements; becaus the rare number of ministers suffereth not everie kirk to have a severall minister, and the smalnes of the parishes require not the same. Item, For remitting the thrids, or a part thereof, to the bishops appointed be the Assemblie to be commissioners, to plant kirks within their owne bounds.
The Comptroller being present, was requested to assume and assigne to himself so much of the thrids of the benefices remitted by the Queene to the possessors, as may sufficientlie sustaine the ministrie; and to cause his collector to intromitt therewith, and distribute the same to the ministers, asweill for times bypast as to come. The Colledges and Kirks of Universities, whose thrids are remitted, not to be heirin comprehended; which he promised to doe. The comptroller, justice clerk and clerk register being present, promised to give letters gratis to all ministers requiring the same, and cause to be executed upon the comptroller's expenses, to charge all possessors of manses to restore the same to the ministers, or to build a sufficient house to them against a sett day, as the partie sall desire, under the paine of horning. C.]
Sessio 3a, 27 of June 1563.
It is statute and ordainit that no worke be sett forth in print, neither yet published in wryte, tuiching religioun or doctrine, untill sick tyme as it salbe presentit to the superintendent of the dyocie, advyseit and approveit be him, and be sick as he sall call of the most learned within his bounds; and if they or anie of them doubt in any point, so that they cannot resolve cleirly in the same, they sall produce the said worke to the General Assemblie of the kirk, wher ordour salve tane tuiching the resolution of the said doubt.
[Commission given to the superintendent of the West, to visite Nithisdaill, and plant kirks there for a yeere. To Mr Thomas Drummond, minister at Creich, and Johne Duncansone, minister of Stirline, conjunctim et divisim, for a yere, to plant kirks in Monteith.
The superintendents of Angus and Fyfe war desired to draw the townes of Dundie and Sainct Johnstone to agreement.
The superintendent of Lowthiane, the ministers, elders and deacons of the kirks of Edinburgh, conjunctim et divisim, Mr James Makgill, clerk of register, Sir Johne Spence of condie, the Queenes advocate, Thomas Mackcalyeane, David Borthwike, Clement Littill, Richard Strang, of anie two of them, war appointed to take cognition of Mr Magnus Halcro and Margaret Sinclairs appellatioun from the bishop of Orknays sentence in a cause of divorce.
The Assemblie, after mature deliberation, and discussing of the articles, for the which processes war led, and sentence given be umquhill James, bishop of Rosse, commissioner to James, archbishop of Sanct Andrews, at Halyrudhous, the 26 of August 1534, against James Hammilton of Kincavall, shireff of Linlithgow, pronunced the said articles to be good and godlie, and newise hereticall; and sentence given be the said James, bishop of Rosse, commissioner, to have been wrangouslie led, and given against the said James, in pæna contumaciæ, and therefore to be casse and null, with all that followed thereupon, and he to be restored in integrum to his honour, fame, and dignitie.
The articles for which he was condemned war these, That umquhill Mr Patrik Hammilton died a good Christian and catholick man, howbeit he was condemned as an impenitent heretick, and burnt be them; and was content to die the same death; that there is no purgatorie; that we ought not to pray for the died; that man hath not free-will, as the papists meane; that he used the Lords prayer in the vulgar tongue publictlie; that he had books condemned and suspected of herefie; that he contemned and caused to contemne the preaching of preaching Friers, and so furth.
Afternoone compeired James Gibb of Carruder, one of these who wer summoned for their interest, to heare the said articles to be approven. He protested whatsoever thing were done in this Assemblie in favours of James Hammilton of Kincavell, sheriff of Linlithgow, should not be prejudiciall to him and his rights whatsoever. C.]
Sessio 4ta. 28 of June 1563.
[Commission was given to Mr Gudman minister at Sanct Andrews, Williame Christesone minister at Dundie, Mr Williame Cock, Mr Williame Scott, and Mr John Douglas rector of the universitie, to take cognition of the complaint given in be the superintendent of Fyse, against Mr George Leslie, minister of Strameglo, and to decide therein; and to notifie their sentence and decreitt to the superintendent of Angus. The superintendent of Fyfe had complained that he had not execute his summons against some persons in Auchtermowtie, where he was also minister, and that he had not ministred the sacraments since December last bypast. C.]
Ordaines that every superintendent within his awin jurisdictioun cause warne the shyres, townes, and paroch kirks, to send ther comissioners unto the Assemblies in tyme comeing, declareing unto them the tyme and place; and als that every superintendent convein the first day appointit for the Assemblie, under the paine of fourtie shillings, to be distribute to the poor without remissioun therof.
[Mr Knox was requeisted to put in order the forme and maner of excommunication. He was requiested be the superintendent of Angus to visite the North, and preach the word in these countries for a seasone, because the preaching of the word was precious in these places. C.]