Acts and Proceedings: 1581, April

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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Maitland Club, 'Acts and Proceedings: 1581, April', Acts and Proceedings of the General Assemblies of the Kirk of Scotland, 1560-1618, (Edinburgh, 1839), pp. 473-521. British History Online [accessed 19 June 2024].

Maitland Club. "Acts and Proceedings: 1581, April", in Acts and Proceedings of the General Assemblies of the Kirk of Scotland, 1560-1618, (Edinburgh, 1839) 473-521. British History Online, accessed June 19, 2024,

Maitland Club. "Acts and Proceedings: 1581, April", Acts and Proceedings of the General Assemblies of the Kirk of Scotland, 1560-1618, (Edinburgh, 1839). 473-521. British History Online. Web. 19 June 2024,

In this section


The Generall Assemblie conveinit at Glasgow, the 24 day of Apryle [1581:] Quher ther was present the Commissioner for the King, the Laird of Capringtoun.

Sessio 1a.

[Exhortatioun beand made by Mr Andro Hay, Mrs Robert Pont, David Lindsay, and William Chrystesone, were put on leitts: The said Mr Robert, be pluralitie of votis, was chosin Moderatour, who, for the better expeditione of matters to be treated at this time in the Assemblie, desired the concurrance of certain of the brethren in privat conference, namely, Mr Andro Hay, Mr James Lowsone, Mr David Lindsay, Mr Thomas Smeitoun, William Christisone, David Ferguson, the Lairds of Braid, Dunrod, and Pilrig; whom the Assemblie required and appointed to convein, during the continuance of this Assemblie, with him, at 7 hours in the morning, and two hours afternoone, in the Colledge Hall to that effect. C. & B.]

Sessio 2a.

Forsameikle as, for purgatioun of the Ministrie fra vnworthie persons that had entrit in the functioun therof, to the great slander of God and his Kirk, ordour was takin in the last Assemblie, That all men, asweill Barrons, Gentlemen, as vthers of the functioun of the said Ministrie, sould give vp the names of the said persons to the Kirk, as they will answer to God vpon thair consciences: Nottheles, be shortnes and inlake of tyme, no great effect followit, so that ȝet the slander lyis vpon the head of the Kirk; therfor the Assemblie, ȝit as before, requyres all men, as they tender the glorie of God and the weill of his Kirk, that they delait and give vp the names of sick persons in ane tickett, the morne afternoone, that ordour might be takin for removing of the great slander arising to the haill Kirk be sick vnworthie persons.

[Here a want of the thrid and fourth Session. C.]

Sessio 5a.

[Forsameikle as it is meant be sundry of the brethren, that the ordinance concerning Bishops at Dundee is not yet satisfied, albeit some articles in Conference be agreed on; and that their opinion is, that the whole office of a Bishop, as it is used, is damnable, and be the said act they should be charged to dimitt the samine; and others of the brethren would mean only to comprehend the spiritual functione of a Bithop, and no further: The Assemblie hath ordained this matter to be disputed the more in full Assemblie, that all men may be resolved of the mind of the Assemblie therein. C.]

Sessio 6a.

Anent the act made in the Assemblie [holden] at Dundie against the Bischops, beand some difficultie appeirit to some brethren to arise be the word Office, conteinit in the said act, quhat should be meinit therby: The Assemblie present, for the most part of them that was present and voted in [the Assemblie at] Dundie, to take away the said difficultie, and resolve men of the true meaning and vnderstanding of the said act, declares that they meanit haillelie to condemne the [whole] estate of Bischops as they are now in Scotland, and that the same was the determinatioun and conclusion of the Kirk at that tyme.

The Laird of Capringtoun presentit the Kings Majesties letter vnto the Assemblie, containing also ane commission from his Hienes to concurre with the Assemblie, togither with certaine rolls containing the planting of the kirks, and the number of the presbiteries, with the kirks of every presbyterie; quhilk the Kirk ordainit to be considderit be [their brethren underwritten, who best knew the bounds of the country, to wit,] Mrs Johne Ros for Ros, Johne Innes for Murray, the Commissioners of Aberdein for Aberdein, William Christesone for Mernes and Angus, [Mr Andrew Mill for,] Duncane Macall for Dunkeld, Thomas Buchannan and David Fergusone for Fyfe, Johne Johnstoun and Mr Adame Johnstoun for Edinburgh, James Carmichaell for Haddington, George Johnstoun for Jedburt, the Laird of Lie for Lanerik, Andro Hay for Glasgow, Johne ȝong for Air, John Clappertoun for the Merse, John Duncanson for Galloway, and to conveine the morne at vj houres to sight the samein, and to report thair judgement therof to the Kirk.

[Mr Patrick Galloway, at the desire of the Commissioners of Perth, getteth liberty of transportatione to the said toun. C. & B.]

[For answering of Bills and Questiones, the Assemblie appointed Mr James Carmichel, Mr Adam Johnstoune, Mr Andrew Polwart, Mr John Porterfield, Mr James Nicolson, John Brand, and Mr Andrew Blackhall, to conveen the morn at six houres in the Colledge, and so furth dayly while the samine be answered; permitting alwayes matters of great weight and difficulty to the resolutione of the full Assemblie. C.]

Sessio 7a.

[It was thought meet that Master Alexander Arbuthnot should be transported to the Ministrie of Aberdein, and ordainit that he demitt the Principalitie of the Colledge in favours of Mr Nicoll Dalgleisch. C. & B.]

Anent the Kingis Majesties petitioun proponed in wryte and exhibite to the Assembly this day be his Hienes Commissioner, with the ansuer vnto the articles given in be the Kirk vnto his Hienes, and the copie of a letter to be direct to the Barrons, Gentlemen, and Ministers, for vnion and division of the kirks, with the names of the persons to take travells therein: The Kirk vnderstanding thereby the godlie [and] zealous meaning of his Majestie, praisit God greatlie, that had moveit his heart to have a care of his Kirk; and first entring to the consideratioun of the ansuers to the articles of the Kirk, thoght good [that] ȝet thir articles be insisted in at his Hienes hand and counsell.

1. His Hienes and Counsell to be earnestlie desyrit to appoint a Judge in Edinburgh to cognosce and judge vpon wrangs done to Ministers in execution of thair offices, and to punisch according to the qualitie of the crymes, according to the form of punishment to be given in be the Kirk; and that his Hienes wald appoint Mr Johne Skeine for Procurator to the Ministers that are so injured.

2. That ane act of Parliament may be made concerning the deposition of Ministers, and the causes at lenth to be exprest in this article.

3. That the benefices vaikand be disponit to the Ministers [at the kirk] quher the benefice vaikes, if they be abill, according to the meaning of them that conferred at Striveling.

Anent the Kings Petitiouns.

As to the first petitioun concerning the formeing of the Articles aggreit upon in the Conference: The Kirk appoints Mrs Robert Pont, David Lindsay, Johne Skene, Thomas Craig and Johne Craig, to that effect.

As to the second: Delayit quhill afternoone.

As to the third: Reasonable and aggreeit on.

The haill rest referrit to reasoning at afternoone.

The tenour of the Kings Majesties Petitiouns givin in be his Hienes Commissioner.

Instructiouns to our trustie and welbelovit William Cuninghame of Caprintoun, direct be vs, with advyse of the Lords of our Secreit Counsell, to the Generall Assemblie of the Ministers of the Kirk conveinit at Glasgow, the 20 of Apryle 1581.

Ʒe fall delyver our letter vnto them, and let them vnderstand, that sick of thair number as travellit with vs, having desyrit of vs ansuer to thair articles send from the Assemblie haldin in Dundie 3 Julij last, We causit some of our Counsell conserre with them severall tymes in October last, as also now of late; quhilkis all finds the matter towards the thrids of the benefices mentionat in the first of the saids articles, as the same is ther requyrit, not to be the readiest [meine], either to make the Ministers assured of thair stipends and livings, or ȝet to make vs to have any reasonabill support therby, for reliese of the commoun charges of our estate; ther being so great alteration and diminutioun of the rents, and so great confusioun vtherwayes entrit in that matter, dureing thir xx ȝeirs and more now bypast; and that therby ther behooves ane forme and ordour to be prescryvit vnto, mair licklie to have continuance to the posteritie to come, to the removing of all occasions of complaint. For the furtherance therof, ther is, be commandment and advyce of sick of our Counsell, and the Ministers as conserrit in this purpose, some forme drawin, how Elderships may be constitute of a certaine number of parochines [lyand] togither; small parochines to be vnited, and the great to be divydit, for the better sustentatioun of the Ministrie, and the more commodious refort of the commoun peiple to thair kirks.

There is also [drawn] the forme of [a] letter of ours to be wrytin to some of the principall noble and gentle men, and certaine of the Ministers within the bounds of every Elderschip, to conveine, advyse, and report thair advyce to vs in things requyrit be vs in our said letter, betuixt and the 24 day of Junij nixt. This We thought convenient to communicat with you to the Assemblie now to be conveinit at Glasgow, requyreing them, in our name, to considder therof, and to send vs thair opinioun and judgement anent this intendit wark, and of any thing that they wold wisch either to be addit or diminischit in the forme of our letter or vtherwayes, befor the same salbe directit: quheranent if care and diligence salbe takin be them, as our intentioun, God willing, is to doe, to the furtherance therof, as becomes vs, We have no doubt but God sall send fruitfull successe of our travells, to the removing of the great dissordours and consusiouns now standing for want of reformation.

These grounds advysit weill and aggreit vpon, appeirantlie it sall not only, with reasonable tyme, make the Ministers be surelie provydit of thair livings, bot it sall bring the ecclesiasticall discipline to be sarre better exercised and execute over all this realme nor it is presentlie: It being declarit, first, what every Presbitery sall cognosce vpon; nixt, quhat salbe in every Synodall Assemblie; and last, quhat causes salbe devolvit to the Generall Assemblie; and quhat persons sall ordourlie neid to repare therto, and have vote therin. The report of thir our letters returning againe the sooner, it may be provydit with diligent travells, that the good ordour now intendit may take beginning at the first day of November nixt without langer delay. And if our Parliament, vpon any necessar occasioun, salbe conveinit in the meane tyme, the same ordour, or sa meikle therof as salbe in readines, may be past and approvit in forme of law.

The second article was ansuerit in sick sort as We trust they were satisfied with.

To ansuer the third article, the desyre therof must be more speciall befor it receive ane speciall ansuer.

They have to considder in whose default and negligence the persons, complainit vpon in the fourth article, remaines vnpunischit.

Our ansuer to the syst article is sufficient, quhill, vpon farder advyse, it may be made more speciall.

We doubt not also bot our ansuer to the sixt article salbe found reasonable vpon speciall conference had theranent; and that thair desyre, if it were grantit in the forme requyrit, could not but induce [some] inconvenients.

Ther is ordour takin anent the desyre of the sevinth article.

There is some ordour alreadie begun for the farther help and confort of the Erle of Arran, quhilk falbe followit as occasion sall serve.

We have causit and [yet] will cause the Conference to be keipit, for the furth setting of all things requisite, that may sett fordwart the Policie, quhill the same may be establischit be law.

Our former ansuers are reasonable; and no insisting hes bein in the contrair in the matters sensyne.

Moreover, Ʒe fall let the Assemblie vnderstand, that, in the particular conference bygane, sundrie matters hes bein aggreit vpon, in generall termes, as they were talkit and put in memoir; but ȝet are not put in sick formes and termes as it were meitt to put them in Articles to our Estates in Parliament, to be past and approvit as particular laws: and therfor let the Assemblie appoint some of thair number to extend and put thir articles in sick forme and ordour as they wald wisch them to be past in Parliament; speciallie in thir heids:

That the Assemblie will inquyre and cause informe vs of the speciall names of the persons culpable of the faults notit in the Act of thair last Assemblie haldin at Dundie, viz.

That the Bischops and Commissioners may be admonischit to refuse Reidars the titles of benefices vaikand sen the first day of November last bypast, althogh presentation have hapnit or happin to be [made after that sort.]

That the Assemblie declare how many sufficient and weill qualified Mimisters ther is presentlie in Scotland, and in quhat place they wisch them ratherest to serve.

And that they give thair advyce, how the remanent kirks, quhervnto Ministers cannot be had presentlie, may be servit, quhill mair Ministers may be had, and that the present auld possessours of the benefices be departit this lyse.

That they give vs thair opinioun and advyce of that portioun of the rents pertaining to the kirks befor the alteratioun of religioun, quhilk they think sall fall to vs, in case all benefices were now vaikand: And in the meane tyme quhill they be, quhat We sall have ȝeirlie for the support of our estate and publick affaires of our realme.

That they considder the forme and proceiding, how the taxt for the spirituall mens part salbe payit in tymes coming.

As also to make vs some licklie and good overture for the personages that sall occupie the place of our spirituall estate in Parliament in tymes coming, after the deceis of the present possessours in the place, in respect of the great decay of the rents therof.

That they send vs thair good advyce, how a forme of judgement may be establischit, quhill a Parliament, for calling of persons provydit to benefices sen our coronatioun, to be depryvit thersra, vpon the clause irritant containit in thair provisiouns, for not doing thair duetie in thair vocatiouns, bot leaving thair charges and midling with thair secular benefices.

That the Assemblie give thair advyce vpon the forme of presentatioun that We sall give [to these] to be provydit to benefices, if this ordour take effect; quhom to our presentation salbe directit; quhat salbe the forme and ordour of the tryall; and how sall the person presentit be tryed; and quhat forme of admission or collatioun.

For ane ground thir heids are to be considderit.

That besyde the Dyocie of Argyle and of the Yles, of quhilks bounds never rentalls was ȝet givin up, ther is in Scotland about nyne hundreth and twentie foure kirks, comptand fyve score to the hundreth. Of thir sundrie are pendicles and small parochines, and many kirks demolischit. Some parochines also are of greater bounds nor the parochiners may conveine convenientlie to thair paroch kirks. It has bein thoght meit, therefor, to reduce thir nyne hundreth and twentie foure kirks to vj, and at every kirk to have a Minister; thair stipends and livings to be [modified] in four degries.

Ane hundreth at vc marks the peice.
Two hundreth at iijc marks the peice.
Two hundreth at c lb the peice.
Ane hundreth at c marks the peice.

Or somewhat more or lesse, as it may be neir thir sowmes, beneath or above.

All stipends and livings to be modified according to the possibilitie of the rents payit in that place.

Thir consideratiouns are to be takin in, altho all the benefices were presentlie vaikand.

Quher the personage and viccarage pension at any kirk are now severall benefices, to be all vnited and annexit in ane, for the better sustaining of the Minister ther.

Thir sax hundreth kirks to be divydit in fistie Presbyteries, twelve to every Presbytrie, or therabout.

Thrie of thir Presbyteries, or moe or fewer, as the countrey lyis, to make ane Diocie, according to ane forme after following, to be considderit of.

Of thir number, certaine of Presbyteries salbe the Synodall Assemblie: and ilk Synodall Assemblie sall appoint the place within that province for thair nixt Synodall.

Of persons direct from the Synodall Assemblies, sall the General Assemblie consist.

Kirks divydit in quarters, to be provydit to ane man; and if these quarters be annexit to any vther benefices, the quarters to be disseverit out of the provision of the persons to be provydit to these benefices, quhen they vaik.

The kirks divydit inter Prebendarios, to be given to the Ministers as they vaik.

All benefices provydit to Ministers, to be divydit the ȝeir of thair deceise, equallie betwixt thair wyves, bairnes, or executours, and the intrant Ministers.

Ʒong men new comeing from the schooles, salbe only promovit to the benefices and stipends of the lowest degrie; and the eldest, of greatest [learning] judgement and experience, to be promotit to the highest rank; and so to ascend gradatim, as they salbe judgit and tryed worthiest, from thrie ȝeir to thrie ȝeir, for better eschewing of ambition and avarice; and that the charge of the greatest congregations sall not be committed to the ȝong Ministers at the first, nor sall they be preserritt to the eldest, of greater gravitie and judgement, at the first.

The estate of all Prebendaries to be agnoscit and considderit, quhilks are foundit vpon the teinds of the paroch kirks, and quhilks are temporall lands; to the effect that sick Prebendaries as are foundit vpon teinds, may accrease to the living of the Ministers serving at the kirks; and the vthers to be provydit for the help of the schooles in the best forme that may be devysit.

And alwayes the Lawit Patronages to remain haill and vnioynit or undivydit, except it be with consent of the Patrons.

Ane forme of the Presbiteries and Dyocies.

Orknay, Tingwell.
Cathnes, Weik.
Edenburgh, Striveling.
Haddingtoun, Haddingtoun.
Ros, Channorie.
Murray, Forres.
Bamfe, Bamfe.
Aberdein, Aberdein.
Angus Dundie.
Mernes, Beruoy.
Dunkeld, Perth.
Sanct Androes, Sanct Androes.
Jedburgh, Chirnesyde.
Peblis, Melros.
Glasgow, Lanerick.
Air, Air,
Galloway, Quhitterne.
Dumfreis, Dumfreis.

Sessio 8a.

Anent the report of the brether appointit to considder the placeing of the kirks givin in to them in rowis, and to report thair judgement quhat they think meit to be reformit therin: A great part of the said rowis beand reproduciet with thair judgement, quhilk they presentlie could resolve vpon in sick shortnes of tyme, quhill they be farther resolvit with advyce of the Countreyes, the haill Assemblie thocht meitt, that ane beginning be had of the Presbyteries instantlie, in the places after following, to be examplatour to the rest that may be established heirafter.

The Presbitrie of Edenburgh.

Castell of Edenburgh.
The West toun of Dudinstoun.
Sanct Cuthbert.
Sanct Bothones.

The Presbiterie of Dundie.


The Presbitrie of Sanct Androes.

Sanct Androes.
Sanct Leonards.

The Presbitrie of Perth.

[Sanct Martins Kirk.]

The Presbitrie of Stirling.

Sanct Ninians Kirk to be divydit.
Kirk of Muir.

The Presbitrie of Glasgow


The Presbitrie of Air.

Sanct Kevocks.

The Presbitrie of Irwing.


The Presbitrie of Haddingtoun.

Sanct Martins Kirk.
North Berwick.

The Presbitrie of Dumbar.

Lyntoun or Preston Kirk.
Auld Cammous.
Whyte Kirk.

The Presbitrie of Chirnesyde.

Sanct Bothanes.

The Presbitrie of Lynlithgow.

Auld Cathie.

The Presbitrie of Dumsermling.

Kinghorne Easter.
Kinghorne Wester.

And to the effect this ordour of Elderships may be establischit in the saids townes with the better expedient and more convenient forme, the Kirk hes namit the brethren vnderwrytin to take care and travells, to sie the same constitute betuixt and the last day of May nixt to come, viz. for Lowthiane, Mrs Robert Pont, Adame Johnstoun, James Carmichaell; for Fyfe, David Fergusone, Thomas Buchannan; for Angus, the Laird of Dun, William Chrystesone, James Anderson, James Melvill; for Stirling and Lynlithgow, Robert Montgomerie, Johne Duncansone, the Bischop of Dumblane; for Glasgow, Andro Hay, Thomas Smeitoun, Andro Polwart, and the Bischop of Glasgow; for Air and Irwing, Johne Porterfeild, Johne Ʒong and Johne Mackorne; for the Mers, Johne Clappertoun, Patrick Gaits; for Perth, the Minister ther, William Rynd, and William Edmestoun: Ordaining every Elderschip in the first Assemblie to be haldin, to choose out of thair number and Moderatour to continue to the nixt Synodall Assemblie.

Sessio 9a. [28 Aprile 1581.]

Forsameikle as travells hes bein takin in the forming of the Policie of the Kirk, and diverse sutes made to the Magistrat for approbation therof; quhilk albeit as ȝet hes not takin the happie effect that good men wald crave; ȝet that the posteritie should judge weill of the present age, and of the Assemblie of the Kirk, the Assemblie hes concludit, That the Booke of Policie aggreeit to befor, in diverse Assemblies, sould be registrat in the Acts of the Kirk, and to remaine therin, ad perpetuam rei memoriam, and the copies therof to be takin be every Presbyterie: Of the quhilk the tenour followes.

Headis and Conclusions of the Police of the Kirk.

Off the Kirk and Policie thairof in generall, and quhairin it is different frome the Ciuill Policie. Cap. I.

1. The Kirk of God sumtymis is lairgelie takine for all thame that prosessis the Evangell of Jesus Chryst, and so it is ane company and fellowschipe, not onlie of the godlie, bot also of hypocritis professing alwayis outwartlie ane trew religioun.

2. Vther tymis it is takine for the godlie and elect onlie.

3. And sumtymis for thame quho exerce the spirituall functioun amangis the congregatioun of thame that proses the trewth.

4. The Kirk, in this last sence, hes ane certane power grantit be God, according to the quhilk it vsis ane proper jurisdictioun and gouernament, exercit to the confort of the haill Kirk.

5. This power ecclesiasticall is ane auctoritie grantit be God the Fader, throch the Mediatour Jesus Chryst, vnto his Kirk, gadderit and haveing the grund in the Word of God; to be put in executioun be thame, vnto quhom the spirtituall gouvernament of the Kirk, be lauchfull calling, is committit.

6. The Policie of the Kirk, flowing sra this powar, is ane ordour or forme of spirituall gouernament, quhilk is exercit be the memberis appointit thairto be he Word of God; and thairfoir is gevine immediatlie to the office beraris, be quhome it is exerceit to the weill of the haill bodie.

7. This powar is diurerslie vsit: for sumtymes it is seuerallie exerceit, (cheiflie be the teacheris;) sumtyme coniunctlie, be mutuall consent of thame that bear the office and charge, efter the forme of iugement. The formar is commounlie callit Potestas Ordinis, and the vther Potestas Jurisdictionis.

8. These tua kyndis of power haue bayth ane authoritie, ane grund, and ane finall caus; bot ar different in the maner and forme of executioun, as is euident of the speiking of oure Maister in the 16 and 18 of Mathew.

9. This power and policie ecclesiasticall is different and distinct, in the awin nature, fra that power and policie quhilk is callit the ciuile power, and appertenit to the ciuile gouernament of the commoun wealth: albeit they be baith of God, and tend to ane end, gif they be rychtlie vsed, to witt, to aduance the glorie of God, and to haue godlie and guid subiectis.

10. For this power ecclesiasticall flowis immediatelie frome God, and the Mediator Christ Jesus, and is spirituall, not having ane temporale head in earth, bot onlie Christ, the onlie spirituall King and Gouernour of his Kirk.

11. Thairfore this power and policie of the Kirk sould lene vpoun the Word of God immediatlie, as the only grund thairof, and suld be tane frome the pure fontanis of the Schriptouris, heiring the woce of Christ, the onlie spirituall King, and being rewlit be his lawis.

12. It is ane tytle falsie vsurpit be Antichrist, to call himself head of the Kirk, and aucht not to be attribuittit to angell nor to man, of quhat estait soeuer he be, saifing to Christ, the head and onylie monarche in the Kirk.

13. It is proper to kings, princes, and magistratis, to be callit lordis and dominatouris ower thaire subiectis, quhom they governe ciuillie; bot it is propir to Chryst onlie to be callit Lord and Maister in the spirituall gouernament of the Kirk: and all vtheris that bearis office thairin, aucht not to vsurp dominioun thairin, nor be callit Lordis, bot onlie ministeris, discipulis, and seruandis; for it is Christis propir office to command and reull his Kirk vniuersale, and euerie particulare Kirk, throw his Spirite and Woord, be the ministre of men.

14. Nochtwithstanding, as the ministeris, and vtheris of the ecclesiasticall esteat, ar subiect to the magistrat ciuille, sua aucht the persoun of the magistrat be subiect to the Kirk spirituallie, and in ecclesiasticall gouernament.

15. And the exercise of baith these jurisdictionis can not stand in ane persoun ordinarlie.

16. The ciuile power is callit the power of the sword; the vther is callit the power of the keyis.

17. The ciuile power shuld command the spirituall to exercise and do thair office, according to the Woord of God: The spirituall rewlaris shuld require the Christiane magistrat to minister instice, and puneshe vyce, and to mantene the libertie and quietnes of the Kirk within thair boundis.

18. The magistrat commandit externall thingis for externall peax and quietnes amangis the subiectis: The ministrie handlit externall thingis onlie for conscience caus.

19. The magistrat handlit only externall thingis and actionis done befoir men: Bott the spirituall rewlairs iuge baith inward effectionis and externall actionis, in respect of conscience, be the Woord of God.

20. The ciuile magistrat cravis and gettis obedience be the sword, and vther externall meanis; bot the ministrie be the spirituall swoord, and spirituall meanis.

21. The magistrat nather aucht to preache, minister the sacramentis, nor execute the censouris of the Kirk, nor ȝit prescryue ony reull whow it shuld be done; bot command the ministeris to obserue the reull commandit in the Woord, and punesche the transgressouris be ciuile meanis. The Ministeris exerce not the ciuill iurisdictioun, bot teacheis the magistrat whow it shuld be exercisit according to the Worde.

22. The magistrat aucht to assist, mantene, and fortefie the iurisdictioun of the Kirk. The ministeris shuld assist thair princes in all thingis aggreable to the Woord; prouyding they neglect not thair awin charge, be involwing thame selffis in ciuile effearis.

23. Finalie, As ministeris ar subject to the iugement and punishment of the magistratis in externall thingis, gif thay offend; swa aucht the magistrattis to submit thame selffis to the discipline of the Kirk, gif thai transgres in materis of conscience and religioun.

Off the Partis of the Policie of the Kirk, and Personis or Office beraris to quhom the administratioun thairof is committit. Cap. II.

1. As in the ciuile policie, the haill commoune wealth consistet in thame that ar gouernouris or magistrattis, and thame that ar gouernit or subiectis; sa, in the policie of the Kirk, sum ar appoyntit to be rewlaris, and the rest of the membris thairof to be rewlit and obey, according to the Woord of God, and inspiratioun of his Spirite, alwayis vnder ane head and chief gouernour, Jesus Christ.

2. Agane, The haill policie of the Kirk consistit in three chief things: In doctrene, in discipline, and distributioun. With doctrene is annexit the administratioun of the sacramentis.

3. And according to the partis of this diuisioun, arrysit ane threfauld sort of officiaris in the Kirk; to wit, of ministeris or preacheris; of elderis or gouernouris; of deacones or distributaris: And all these may be callit be ane generall worde, Ministeris of the Kirk.

4. For albeit the Kirk of God be rewlit and gouernit be Jesus Christ, quha is the onlie King, Hie Preist, and Head thairof; ȝit he vses the ministrie of men, as ane maist necessarie myddis for this purpose.

5. For sa he hes, fra tyme to tyme, befoir the Law, vnder the Law, and in tyme of the Evangell, for our greit conforte, raset vp men indewit with the giftis of the Spirit, for the spirituall gouernament of his Kirk, exercesing be thame his awin power, throw his Spirit and Worde, to the building of the same.

6. And to tak away all occasioun of tyranny, he will that they sould reull with mutuall consent of bretherine, and equalitie of power, euerie ane according to thair functionis.

7. In the New Testament, and tyme of the Evangell, he has vsit the ministrie of the Apostles, Prophettis, Euangelistis, Pastouris, and Doctouris, in administratioun of the Woord; the Eldareschip for guid ordour and administratioun of discipline; the Deaconeschip to haue the cure of the ecclesiasticall guidis.

8. Sum of thir ecclesiasticall functionis ar ordinare, and sum extraordinare or temporall.

9. Thair be thrie extraordinarie functionis; the office of the Apostle, of the Euangelist, and of the Propheit, quhilk ar not perpetuall, [bot serving for the first planting of the Kirk,] and haue now ceassit in the Kirk of God; except quhen he pleased extraordinarlie, for ane tyme, to steir vp sum of thame agane.

10. Thair is four ordinarie functionis or offices in the Kirk of God; the office of the Pasture, Minister, or Bischop; the office of the Doctour; the Presbiter or Eldar; and the Deacone.

11. Thir offices ar ordinarie, and aucht to continew perpetuallie in the Kirk, as necessarie for the gouernament and policie of the same: and na ma offices aucht to be resaueit or be sufferit in the trew Kirk of God, establishit according to his Woord.

12. Thairfore, all the ambitious titleis invented in the Kingdome of Antichrist, and in his vsurpite Hierarchie, quhilk ar not of ane of thais four sortis, togidder with the offices dependand thairvpoun, in ane woorde, aucht to be reiected.

How the Personis that bear Ecclesiasticall Functionis ar admittit to thair offices. Cap. III.

1. Vocatioun or calling is commoun to all that sould beare office within the Kirk, quhilk is ane lauchfull way, be the quhilk qualefeit personis is promittit to ane spirituall office within the Kirk of God.

2. Without this lauchfull calling, it was neuer lesum to ony persoun to middle with ony functioun ecclesiasticall.

3. Thair ar tuo sortis of calling; ane extraordinare, be God immediatlie, as wer the Prophettis, and Apostolis, quhilk, in Kirkis established, and weill alreddie reformit, hes no place.

4. The vther calling is ordinare, quhilk, besyde the calling of God, and inward testimony of guid conscience, hes the lauchfull approbatioun and outward iugement of men, according to Godis Woord, and ordour established in his Kirk.

5. Nane aucht to presume to enter in one office ecclesiasticall, without he haue this guid testimonie of conscience befoir God, quha onlie knawis the hartis of men.

6. This ordinarie and outward calling hes tua partis; electioun and ordinatioun.

7. Electioun is the cheising out of ane persoun or personis maist able to the office that veakis, be the iugement of the elderschip, and consent of the congregatioun, quhom to the persoun or personis beis appoyntit.

8. The qualeteis in generall requesit in all thame quha sould bear charge in the Kirk, consistis in soundnes of religioun, and godlines of lyfe, according as thay are sufficientlie set furth in the Woord.

9. In the ordour of electioun it is to be eschewit, that na persoun be intrusit in ony of the offices of the Kirk, contrarie the will of the congre gatioun to quhom thay ar appointtit, or without the voce of the elderschip.

10. Nane aucht to be intrusit, or enterit in the places alreddie plantit, or in ony rowme that veakis not for ony wardlie respect: And that quhilk is callit the benefice, aucht to be no thing els bot the stipend of the minister that is lauchsullie callit and electit.

11. Ordinatioun is the separatioun and sanctiseing of the persoun appointit of God and his Kirk, estir he be weill tryit and fund qualefeit.

12. The ceremonies of ordinatioun ar fasting, ernest prayer, and impositioun of handis of the elderschip.

13. All thir, as thay must be rasit vp be God, and be him maid able for the wark quhairto thay ar callit; sa aucht thay to knaw thair message to be limitat within Goddis Word, without the boundis of the quhilk thay aucht not to pas.

14. All thir sould tak thais titleis and names onlie, (left thay be exalted and pust vp in thame selffis,) quhilk the Scriptouris gevis thame, as thais quhilk import labour, trauell, and work, and ar names of offices and seruice; and not of ydilnes, dignitie, nor wardlie honour, or preheminence, quhilk be Chryst oure Maister is expreslie reprouit and forbiddin.

15. All thais office beraris sould haue thair awin particulare flokkis, amangis quhom thay exerce thair charge.

16. All sould mak residence with thame, and tak the inspectioun and owrsicht of thame, euerie ane in his vocatioun.

17. And generallie, thir twa thingis aucht thay all to respect; the glorie of God, and edeseing of his Kirk, in dischargeing thair deweteis in thair calling.

Of the Office beraris in particular; and first, of the Pastouris and Ministeris. Cap. IV.

1. Pasturis, or Bischopis, or Ministeris, are thay quha ar appoyntit to particular congregationis and kirkis, quhilk they reull be the Woord of God, and owr the quhilk thay watche: In respect quhairof, they ar sum tymes callit pasturis, becaus thay seid thair congregatioun; sum tymes episcopi, or bischoppis, becaus thay watche aboue thair flok; sum tymes ministeris, be reasoun of thair seruice and office; and sum tyme presbyterj and seniouris, from the grauitie in maneris, quhilk thay aucht to haue in taking cair of the spirituall gouernament, quhilk aucht to be most dear vnto thame.

2. Thay that ar callit to the ministrie, or that offer thame selffis thairvnto, aucht not to be electit, without ane certane flok be assignit vnto thame.

3. Na man aucht to ingeir him selffe, or vsurpe the office, without lauchfull calling.

4. They quha ar anes callit be God, and dewlie elected be man, estir that they haue anes accepted the charge of the ministrie, may not leave thair functionis.

5. The desertouris sould be admoneshed; and, in caise of obstinacie, finalie excommunicat.

6. Na pastour may leaue his flok without licence of the Prouinciall or Nationall Assemblie; quhilk gif he do, efter admonitioun not obeyit, lett the censuris of the Kirk strik vpoun him.

7. Vnto the Pasture apperteinis teacheing of the Word of God, in seasoun and out off seasoun, publiclie and priuatlie; alwayis traveling to edesie, and discharge his conscience, as Goddis Worde prescryuis vnto him.

8. Vnto the Pasture onlie appertenis the administratioun of the sacramentis, in lyk maner as the ministratioun of the Woord; for baith ar appoyntit be God as meanes to teach ws; the ane be the eare, the vther be the eeis and vther sensis, that be baith knawledge may be transferrit to the mynd.

9. It appertenis, be the same reasoun, to the Pastoure to pray for the peple, and, namelie, for the flok committit to his charge; and to bleise thame in the name of the Lord, quha will not suffer the blissingis of his faythfull scruand to be frustrat.

10. He aucht also to watche aboue the maneris of his flok, that the better he may apply the doctrine to thame, in reprehending the dissolute personis, and exhorting the godlie to continew in the fear of the Lord.

11. It appertenis to the Minister, estir lauchfull proceding be the Elderschip, to pronunce the sentence of binding and lowsing vpoun ony persoun, according to the power of the keyis grantit vnto the Kirk.

12. It belangis to him alsua, estir lauchfull proceiding in the mater be the Elderschip, to solemnizat the contract of mariage betuix thame that ar jonit thairin; and to pronunce the blissing of the Lord vpoun thame that enter in the holie band in the fear of God.

13. And generalie, all publict denunciationis that ar to be maid in the Kirk, befoir the congregatioun, concerning ecclesiasticall effearis, belang vnto the office of the Ministers; for he is as messinger and herauld betwene God and the peple, in all theis effearis.

Off Doctouris and thair office; and of Scoles. Cap. V.

1. Ane of the tua ordinar and perpetuall functionis that trauell in the Woorde, is the office of the Doctour, quha may also be callit Prophet, Bischop, Eldar, Catherchisare, that is, teacher of the Cathechisme, and Rudimentis of religioun.

2. His office is to oppin vp the mynd of the Spirite of God within the Scriptouris, simplie, without sic applicationis as the Minister vsis, to the end that the faythfull be instructed, found doctrene be teachet; and the puretie of the Gospell not corrupted throch ignorance and euell opinionis.

3. He is different frome the Pasture, not onlie in name, bott in duersitie of giftis; for to the Doctour is gevin the woorde of knawledge, to oppin vp, be simple teacheing, the mysteris of the fayth: To the Pastoure the gift of wisdome, to apply the same be exhortatioun to the maneris of the flok, as occasioun crauit.

4. Vnder the name and office of ane Doctour, we comprehend also the ordour of Scoles, in Colleges and Vniuerseteis, quhilk hes bene frome tyme to tyme cairfullie mantened, alsweill amangis the Jewes and Christianes as amang prophane nationis.

5. The Doctour being ane Elder, as said is, should assist the Pastoure in the gouernament of the Kirk, and concurre with the vther Elderis, his bretherene, in all assemblies; be reasoun the interpretatioun of the Worde, (quhilk is onlie Judge in ecclesiasticall materis,) is committed to his charge.

6. Bot to preache vnto the peple, to minister the facramentis, and to celebrat mariages, pertenis not vnto the Doctour, onles he be vtherwise ordourlie callit: howbeit, the Pastoure may teache in the scoles, as he quha hes also the gift of knawlege, oftentymes meit thairfoir, as the exemplis of Polycarpus and vther do testefie.

Off the Eldaris and thair office. Cap. VI.

1. The woorde Elder, in the Scriptouris, sumtyme is the name of aige, sumtyme of office.

2. Quhen it is the name of ane office, sumtyme it is takin learglie, comprehending alsweill the Pastouris and Doctouris, as thame quha ar commonlie callit Seniouris and Eldaris.

3. In this our diuisioun, we call thairs Eldaris, quhom the Apostles callis Presidentis or Gouernouris.

4. Thair office, as it is ordinarey, sua it is perpetuall, and alwayis necessare in the Kirk of God.

5. The Eldarschip is ane functioun Spirituall, as is the Ministre.

6. Elderis aenis lauchfullie callit to the office, and haueing giftis of God meit to exercise the same, may not leif it agane.

7. Albeit sic ane nomber of Eldaris may be chosin in certane congregationis, that ane part of thame may releif ane vther for ane ressonable space, as wes amangis the Leveittis vnder the Law, in seruing of the Temple.

8. The nowmber of Elderis in euerie congregatioun cannot weill be limitat, bot sould be according to the boundis and necessitie of the peple.

9. It is not necessar that all Elderis be also teachearis of the Woord, albeit cheiflie thay aucht to be sic; and sua ar worthie of double honour.

10. Quhat maner of persones thay aucht to be, we refer to the expres Word, and namely, the Canones writtin be the Apostles.

11. Thair office is, alsweill seueralie as coniunctlie, to watche diligentlie vpoun the flok committet vnto thair charge, baith publictlie and priuatlie, that no corruptioun of religioun or maneris enter thairin.

12. As the Pastouris and Doctouris sould be diligent in teacheing and sawing the seed of the Worde; so the Eldaris sould be cairfull in seiking the fruct of the same in the peple.

13. It appertenis to thame to assist the Pastours in examinatioun of thame that cum to the Lordis table, and in viseting the seik.

14. They sould be cairfull to caus the Actis off the Assembleis, alsweill particulare as prouinciall or generall, to be put to executioun.

15. They sould be diligent in admonisheing of all men of thair dewetie, according to the reull of the Euangell.

16. Thingis that thay can not correct be priuie admonitioun, they sould bring to the assemble of the Elderschip.

17. Thair principall office is to hauld assembleis with the Pastouris and Doctouris, (quha ar also of thair nowmer,) for estableshing of guid ordour, and executioun of discipline: Vnto the quhilk assembleis all personis ar subject, that remane within thair boundis.

Off Eldarschippis, and Assembleis, and of Discipline. Cap. VII.

1. Eldarschippis or Assembleis ar constitute commounlie of Pastouris, Doctouris, and sic as commounlie we call Eldaris, that laubour not in the Woorde and Doctrene, of quhom, and of quhais seuerall power, hes bene spokin.

2. Assembleis ar of four sortis: for ather ar they of particular kirkis and congregationis, ane or ma; ather of ane province; ather of ane haill natioun; or of all and diuers nationis prosessing ane Jesus Chryst.

3. All the Ecclesiasticall Assembleis haue power to conuene lauchfullie togidder, for treatting of thingis concerning the Kirk, and pertening to thair chargis.

4. They haue power to apoint tymes and places to that effect; and ane Assemblie to apoint the dyet, tyme, and place for ane vther.

5. In all Assembleis ane Moderatour sould be chosin, be commoun consent of the haill bretherine convenit, quha sould propone materis, gather the voittis, and caus guid ordour be kepit in the Assembleis.

6. Diligence sould be tane cheiflie be the Moderatour, that onlie ecclesiasticall thingis be handlit in the Assembleis; and no melling with ony thingis pertening to the Ciuile Jurisdictioun.

7. Euerie Assemblie hes power to send furth frome thair awin nowmer, ane or ma visitouris, to sie quhow all things be rewlit in the boundis of thair jurisdictioun.

8. Visitatioun of ma Kirkis is na ordinare office ecclesiasticall in the persoun of ane man; nather may the name of ane Bischope be attributtit to the visitour onlie; nather is it necessar to abyd alwyse in ane manis persoun: bot it is the part of the Elderschip to send out qualesit personis to viseit, pro re nata.

9. The finall end of all Assembleis is, first, to keip the religioun and doctrene in puretie, without errour and corruptioun; nixt, to keip cumlines and guid ordour in the Kirk.

10. For the ordouris caus, thay may mak certane rewlis and constitutionis appertening to the guid behauiour of all the membris of the Kirk, in thair vocatioun.

11. They haue power also to abrogat and aboleishe all statutis and ordinances concerning ecclesiasticall materis, that ar fund noysum or improfitable, or aggrie not with the tyme, or [ar] abuset be the peple.

12. They haue power to execut ecclesiasticall discipline and punishement vpoun all transgressouris, and proud contempnaris of guid ordour and policie of the Kirk: and sua the haill discipline is in thair handis.

13. The first kynd and sorte of Assembleis, althocht thay be within particulare congregationis, ȝit thay exerce the power, auctoritie, and jurisdictioun of the Kirk with mutuall consent, and thairfore bearis sumtyme the name of the Kirk.

14. Quhen we speik of Elderis of particulare congregationis, we meane not that euerie particulare parroche kirk can, or may haue thair awin particulare elderschip, esspeciall to landwart; bot we think three or four, ma or fewar, particulare kirkis may haue ane commoun elderschip to thame all, to judge thair ecclesiasticall causes.

15. Albeit it is meit that sum of the Elderis be chosin out of euerie particulare congregatioun, to concure with the rest of thair bretherene in the commoun Assemble, and to tak vp the dilationis of offences within thair awin kirkis, and bring thame to the Assemblie.

16. This we gadder of the practise of the primitiue Kirk, quher Elderis, or Collegis of Seniouris, wer constitute in citeis and famous places.

17. The power of thir particulare Elderschippis is to gif diligent laubour in the boundis committed to thair charge, that the Kirkis be keipit in guid ordour; to inquire diligentlie of nauchtie and vnrewlie personis, and travell to bring thame in the way agane, ather be admonitioun, or the threttining of Goddis jugementis, or be correctioun.

18. It pertenis to the Elderschip to tak heid, that the Worde of God be purelie preachet within thair boundis, the sacramentis richtlie ministrat, the discipline [richtlie] mentened, and the ecclesiasticall guidis vncorruptlie distribute.

19. It belangis to this kynd of Assembleis, to caus the ordinances made be the Assembleis, Prouincialis, Nationalis and Generalis, to be keipit and put in executioun.

20. To mak constitutionis quhilk concerne [to prepon] in the Kirk, for the decent ordour of thais particulare kirks quher thay gouerne, (prouyding thay alter na reullis maid be the Generall and Prouinciall Assembleis, and that thay mak the Prouinciall Assembleis foirsene of the reulis that thay sall mak,) and to aboleishe thame tending to the hurt of the same.

21. It hes power to excommunicat the obstinat.

22. The power of electioun of thame quha bearis ecclesiasticall chargis, pertenis to this kynd of Assemblie, within thair awin boundis, being weill erectit, and constitute of mony Pastouris and Elderis of sufficient habilitie.

23. Be Elderschip is menit sic as ar constitute of Pastouris, Doctouris, and sic as now ar callit Eldaris.

24. Be the like reasoun, thair depositioun also pertenis to this kynd of Assemblies, as of thame that teache erronews and corrupt doctrene; that be of sklanderous life, and efter admonitioun, desist not; that be gevin to scisme, or rebellioun contrate the Kirke, manyfest blasphemy, symonie, and all corruptioun of brybis, salsett, periurie, huirdome, thift, drunkinnes, fechtein, worthie of punishement be the law; vsurie, dansing, [and sic desolutioun, crymes that import ciuile] infamie, and all vtheris that deserue separatioun frome the Kirk.

25. These also quha ar fund altogidder insufficient to execute thair charges, sould be deposit; quherof vther Kirkis wald be duertesed, that thay resesaue not the personis deposit.

26. Albeit they aucht not to be deposed, quha, throch age, seiknes, or vther accidentis, become vnmeit to do thair office: In the quhilk cais, thair honour sould remane vnto thame, thair kirkis sould intertene thame, and vtheris aucht to be prouydet to do thair office.

27. Provinciall Assembleis we call lauchfull conventionis of the Pastouris, Doctouris, and Elderis of the prouinice, gadderit for the commoun effearis of the kirkis thereof; quhilk also may be callit the Conference of kirkis and bretherine.

28. Thir Assembleis ar institute for wechtie materis, necessar to be intraittit be mutuall consent and assistance of the bretherine within the prouinces, as neid requiris.

29. This Assemblie hes power to handle, ordour, and redres all thingis omittit or done amys in the particulare assemblies.

30. It had power to depose the office beraris of that prouince, for guid and just caus deseruing depriuatioun.

31. And generalie, thir Assemblies haue the haill power of the particulare elderschippis quhairof thay are collected.

32. The National Assemblie, (quhilk is General to ws,) is ane lauchfull Conuentioun of the Kirkis of the hail realme or natioun, quher it is vsit and gadderit, for the commoun effearis of the Kirk; and may be callit the Generall Eldership of the haill Kirk within the realme.

33. Nane ar subiect to repair to this Assemblie to voitt, bot ecclesiasticall personis, to sic ane nowmer as salbe thocht guid be the same Assemblie; not excluding vther personis that will repair to the said Assemblie, to propone, heir, and reasoun.

34. This Assemblie is institute, that all thingis ather omitted, or done amys in the Prouinciall Assemblies, may be redrest and handlit; and thingis generalie seruing for the weill of the haill bodie of the Kirk in the realme, may be foirsene, intreated, and sett furth to Goddis glorie.

35. It sould tak cair, that kirkis be planted in places quhair thay are nocht planted.

36. It sould prescryue the reull, quhow the vther tua kynd of Assemblies sould proceid in all thingis.

37. This Assemblie sould tak heid, that the Spirituall iurisdictioun and Ciuile be not confoundit, to the hurt of the Kirk.

38. That the Patrimonie of the Kirk be nocht diminished nor abused.

39. And generallie, concerning all veychtie effearis that concerne the weill and guid ordour of the haill Kirk of the realme, it aucht to interpone auctoritie thairto.

40. Thair is besidis this, ane vther mair generall kynd of Assemblie, quhilk is of all nationis, or of all estaittis of personis within the Kirk, representing the Vniuersall Kirk of Chryst, quhilk may be callit propirlie the Generall Assemblie, or Generall Counsale of the haill Kirk of God.

41. Thais Assembleis wer appoyntit and callit togidder speciallie, quhen ony greit sisme or controuersie in doctrene did aryis in the Kirk; and wer conuocat at command of the godlie Emperouris being for the tyme, for the auoding of sismeis within the Vniuersale Kirk [of God;] of quhilkis, becaus thay perteine not to the particulare estait of ane realme, we seis forder to speik.

Of the Deaconis and thair Office, the last ordinare Functioun in the Kirk. Cap. VIII.

1. The word [Diakonos] sumtymes is leargelie takin, comprehending all thame that bear office in the ministerie and spirituall functioun of the Kirk.

2. But now, as we speik, it is tane onlie for thame, to quhom the collectioun and distributioun of the almous of the faithfull, and ecclesiasticall guidis dois apperteine.

3. The office of the Deacone sa takin, is ane ordinare and perpetuall ecclesiasticall functioun in the Kirk of Chryst.

4. Off quhat propirteis and dewteis he aucht to be, that is callit to this functioun, we remitt to the manifest Scriptouris.

5. The Deacone aucht to be callit and electit, as the rest of the spirituall officiaris; of the quhilk electioun wes spokin befoir.

6. Thair office and power is to ressaue and distribute the haill ecclesiasticall guidis vnto thame to quhom thay ar appoyntit.

7. This they aucht to do according to the judgement and appoyntment of the Presbyteries or Elderschippis, (of the quhilk the Deacones are not,) that the Patrimony of the Kirk and pure, be not conuerted in preuatt mennis vse, nor wrangouslie distribuittit.

Of the Patrimonie of the Kirk, and Distributioun thairof. Cap. IX.

1. Be the Patrimonie of the Kirk, we mene quhatsumeuer thing had bene at ony tyme befoir, or salbe in tyme cuming gevin, or be consent and vniuersale custume of cuntreis professing the Christiane religioun, applyit to the publict vse and vtilitie of the Kirk.

2. Swa that vnder this patrimonie we comprehend, first, all thingis gevin, or to be gevin to the Kirk and seruice of God, as landis, biggingis, possessionis, annual rentis, and all siclike, quhairwith the Kirk is doittit, ather be donationis, fundationis, mortificationis, or any vther lauchfull title, of kingis, princes, or ony personis inferiour to thame, togidder with the continuall oblationis of the faithfull.

3. We comprehend also all sie thingis, as be lawis and custume, and vse of cuntries, hes bene applyit to the vse and vtilitie of the Kirk; of quhilk sort are the teyndis, manses, glebis, and siclike, quhilk, be commoun or municipall lawis and vniuersall custume, ar possessed be the Kirk.

4. To tak onie of this Patrimonie be onlauchfull meanis, and conuert it to the particulare and prophane vse of any persoun, we hauld it ane detestable sacralege befoir God.

5. The guidis ecclesiasticall aucht to be collectit and distributit be the Deacones, as the Woord of God appointis, that thay quha beris office in the Kirk be prouydit for, without cair and solicitude.

6. In the Apostolicall Kirk, the Deacones wer appontit to collect and distribut quhatsumeuer thingis wer collectit of the faithfull to be distribute vnto the necessetie of the fanctis, sa that nane inlaikit amangis the faithfull.

7. Thease collectionis war not onlie of that quhilk wes collectit in maner of almous, (as sum supponis,) bot of vther guidis mouable and vnmouable, of landis and possessionis, the pryce quhairof wes brocht to the feit of the Apostlis.

8. This office continuit in the Deaconis handis, quha intromettit with the haill guidis of the Kirk, ay quhill the estaite thairof wes corruptit be Antichryst, as the ancient Canones beiris witnes.

9. The same Canones mak mentioun of ane fourfauld distributioun of the partrimony of the Kirk, quhairof ane part wes applyit to the pastouris or bischoppis for thair sustentatioun and hospitalitie; ane vther to the eldaris and deaconis, and all the clergie; the thrid to the pure, seik personis, and strangeris; the ferd to the vphauld and vther effearis of the Kirk, especiall extraordinare: We adde heirto the scoles and scolemasteris also, quhilk aucht and may be weill sustenit of the same guidis, and ar comprehendit vndir the cleargie; to quhom we jone also Clerkis of Assemblies, alsweill particulare as generall, Syndikis or Procuratouris of Kirkis effearis, Takaris vp of the psalmes, with siclike vther ordinare offices of the Kirk, sa far as they ar necessar.

Of the Office of ane Christiane Magistrat in the Kirk. Cap. X.

1. Althocht all the memberis of the Kirk be hauldin, euerie ane of thair vocatioun, and according thairto, to aduance the Kingdome of Jesus Christ, fa far as lyis in thair power; ȝit cheiflie and namelie, Christiane princes, kingis, and vtheris magistratis, ar hauldin to do the same.

2. For thay ar callit in the Scriptouris, Nuresaris of the Kirk, forsamekle as be thame it is, or at least aucht to be mantened, fosterit, vphauldin, and defendit agains all that wald procure the hurte thairof.

3. So it pertenit to the office of ane Christiane magistrat to assist and sortefie the godlie proceding of the Kirk in all behalfis; and, namelie, to fie that the publict estait and ministrie thairof be mantenit and sustenit as it apertenis, according to Goddis Worde.

4. To fie that the Kirk be not invaidit nor hurt be fals teacheris or hyrlingis, nor the rowmes thairof occupiit be dum doggis or iddill bellies.

5. To assist and mantene the discipline of the Kirk, and punishe thame ciuilie that will not obey the censure of the same, without confunding alwyis of the ane jurisdictioun with the vther.

6. To see that sufficient prouisioun be maid for the ministrie, scoles, and the pure; and gis thay haue nocht sufficient to await vpoun thair charges, to supplie thair indigence, evin with thair awin rentis, gif neid requiris: To hauld hand to thame alsweill concerning thair awin personis, saifing thame from iniurie and oppin violence, as concerning thair rentis and possessionis, that thay be not defraudit, revit, nor spoilȝet thairof.

7. No to suffer the partrimony of the Kirk to be applyit to prophane and vnlauchfull vses, or to be devoirit be idle bellies, and sic as haue na lauchfull functioun in the Kirk, to the hurt of the ministrie, the scoles, the pure, and vther godlie vses, quhairvpoun the same aucht to be bestowed.

8. To mak lawis and constitutionis aggreable to Goddis Woorde, for the aduancement of the Kirk, and polecie thairof, without vsurping ony thing that pertenis not to the ciuile sworde, bot belangis to the offices that are mere ecclesiasticall; as is the ministrie of the Woorde and Sacramentis; vsing of ecclesiasticall discipline and the spirituall executioun thairof, or ony parte of the power of the spirituall keyis, quhilk our Maister gais to his Apostlis and thair trew successouris.

9. And althocht kingis and princes that be godlie, sumtymis be thair awin auctoritie, (quhen the Kirk is corrupt, and all thingis out of ordour,) place ministeris, and restoir the trew seruice of the Lord, eftir the exemple of sum godlie kingis in Judea, [the quhilk they did be direction of Prophets,] and diuers godlie Emperouris and Kingis also, in the licht of the New Testament; ȝit quhair the ministrie of the Kirk is ances lauchfullie institute, and thay that ar placed do thair office faithfullie, all godlie princes and magistrattis aucht to heir and obey thair voce, and reuerence the Maiestie of the Sone of God speiking be thame.

Off the present Abuses remaining in the Kirk, quhilk we desire to be reformit. Cap. XI.

1. As it is the deutie of the godlie magistrat to mantene the present libertie, quhilk God, of his mercie, hes grantit to the preaching of his Worde, and the trew ministratioun of the Sacramentis within this realme; sa it is to provyid, that all abuses as ȝit remane in the Kirk, sould be removit and vtterlie takin away.

2. Thairfore, first, the admissioun of men to papisticall titles of benesices, sic as seruis not, nor hes na functioun in the reformit Kirk of Chryst, as Abbattis, Comendatouris, Priouris, Prioressis, and vther titleis of Abbayis, quhais places are now, for the maist parte, be the iust indgement of God, demolished and purgit of idolatrie, is plane abusioun, and is not to ressaue the Kingdome of Chryst amongis ws, bot rather to refuse it.

3. Off the lyke nature ar the Deannes, Archedeanes, Chanteris, Subchanteris, Thesauraris, Chancellaris, and vtheris haueing the lyke titleis flowit from the Paip and Canoun Law onlie, quha haue na place in the reformit Kirk.

4. Sicklike, thay that wer callet of auld the Chapteris and Conventis of Abbayis, Cathedrall Kirkis, and like places, seruis for na thing now bot to sett sewis and tackis, (gif ony thing be left,) of Kirk landis and teyndis, in hurt and preiudice thairof, as daylie experience teached, and thairfore aucht to be allutterlie abrogat and abolisset.

5. The Kirkis also quhilk ar vnitit and joint togidder be annexatioun to thir benefices, aucht to be seperated and diuidit, and gevin to qualefiit ministereis, as Goddis Word cravis.

6. Nather aucht sic abusearis of the patrimony of the Kirk of Christ to haue voit in Parliament, nor sit in Counsale vnder the name of the Kirk and Kirkmen, to the hurt and preiudice of the libertie thairof, and lawis of the realme maid in fauouris of the Reformit Kirk.

7. Mekle les is it lauchfull, that ane persoun amongis these men sould haue fyue, sex, ten, tuentie, or ma Kirkis, all haveing the charge of saulis, and bruke the patrimony thairof, ather be admissioun of the Prince, or of the Kirk, in this licht of the Euangell; for it is bott mockage to craue reformatioun quher siclike hes place.

8. And albeit it wes thoucht guid for avoiding greittare inconuenientis, that the auld possessouris of sic benefices quha imbrassit the religioun, sould injoy be permissioun the tua partis of the rentis quhilk thay possest of befoir, during thair liftymes; ȝit it is not tollerable to continew in the like abuse, and gif these places and vtheris benesices of new to als vnmeit men, or rather vnmeittar, quha ar not myndit to serue in the Kirk, bot leid and leve ane idle life, as the vtheris did quha broukit thame in tyme of blindnes.

9. And in sa far as in the ordour tane at Leith, in the ȝeir of our Lord M vc sevintie ane ȝeir, it appeiris that sic may be admittit, being fund qualefiit, &c.; ather that pretendit ordour is aganis all guid ordour, or ellis it must be vnderstandit not of thame that be qualefeit to warldlie effearis to serue in Court, bot sic as ar qualefiit it teache Goddis Woorde, haisand thair lauchfull admissioun of the Kirk.

10. As to Bischoppis, gif the name [episkopos] be propirlie takin, they ar all ane with Ministeris, (as wes befoir declairit;) for it is not the name of superioritie and lordschip, bot of office and watcheing.

11. Ʒit becaus in the corruptioun of the Kirk, this name, as vtheris, hes bene abused, and ȝit is like to be, we can not allow the faissoun of thair new chosin Bischoppis, nather of the Chapteris that are the electrouris of thame to sic office as they ar chosin.

12. Trew Bischoppis sould addict thame selffis to ane particulare flok, (quhilk sindrie of thame refuises;) nather sould thay vsurp lordschip owr thair bretherine, and owr the inheritance of Christ, as these men do.

13. Pasturis, in sa fare as thay ar pasturis, hes not the office of visitatioun of ma kirkis jonit to the pastureschip, without it be gevin to thame.

14. It is ane corruptioun, that Bischoppis sould haue forder boundis to veseit, nor thay may lauchfullie.

15. Na man aucht to haue the office of visitatioun, bot he that is lauchfullie chosin be the Presbyterie thairto.

16. The Elderschippis being weill established, hes power to send out visitouris, ane or ma, with commissioun to veseit the boundis within thair Elderschippis; and siclike, estir compt tane of them, ather to continew thame, or remove thame from tyme to tyme; to the quhilkis Elderschippis thay salbe alwayes subject.

17. The criminall jurisdictioun jonit in the persoun of ane Pasture, is ane corruptioun.

18. It aggreit not with the Woorde, that Bischoppis sould be pasturis of pasturis, pasturis of mony flokkis, and ȝit without ane certane flok, and without ordinare techeing.

19. It aggreit not with the Scriptouris, that thay sould be exemit fra correctioun of thair bretherine, and discipline of the particulare Elderschip of the Kirk quher thay sould serue; nather that thay sould vsurp the office of visitatioun of vther kirkis, nor ony vther functioun beside vther ministeris, bot sa far as beis committit to thame be the Kirk.

20. Heirfore, we desyre the Bischoppis that now ar, ather to aggrie with that ordoure that Goddis Worde requiris thame, and as the Generall Kirk will prescriue vnto thame, not passing that boundis, nather in ecclesiasticall nor ciuile effearis, or ellis to be deposit from all functioun in the Kirk.

21. We deny not, in the meane tyme, bot ministeris may and sould assist thair Princes, quhen thay are requirit, in all thingis aggreable to the Woorde, quhidder it be in Counfall, or Parliament, or vtherevise; provyding alwayis thay nather neglect thair awin chargis, nor, throch flatterie of Princes, hurt the publict estait of the Kirk.

22. Bot, generalie, we say, na personis, vnder quhatsumeuer title of the Kirk, and speciallie the abused titles in Papistrie, of Prelattis, Conventis, and Chapteris, aucht to attempt ony act in the Kirkis name, ather in Counsall, Parliament, or out of Counsall, haveing na commissioun of the reformit Kirk within this realme.

23. And be Act of Parliament it is prouydit, that the Papisticall Kirk and Jurisdictioun sould haue na place within the same, and na bischop nor vther prelate, in tymes cuming, sould vse ony iuridictioun flowing frome his auctoritie.

24. And agane, that na vther ecclesiasticall jurisdictioun sould be acknawlegit within this realme, bot that quhilk is and salbe within the reformit Kirk, and flowing therefra.

25. So we esteme halding of Chapteris in Papisticall maner, ather in Cathedrall kirkis, Abbayis, Collegeis, or vther conventuall places, vsurping the name and authoritie of the Kirk, to hurt the patrimony thairof, or vse ony vther act to the preiudice of the same, sen the ȝeir of our Lord 1560 ȝeiris, to be abusioun and corruptioun, contrare to the libertie of the trew Kirk, and lawis of the realme; and thairfore aucht to be annullat, reducit, and in tymes cuming vtterlie dischargit.

26. The dependences also of this Papisticall jurisdictioun are to be aboleshed, of the quhilk sort is the mingled iurisdictioun of the Commissaris, in sa far as they mell with ecclesiasticall materis, and haue no commissioun of the Kirk therto, bot war erectit in tyme of our Soueranes moder, quhen thingis wer out of ordour. It is ane absurde thing, that sindrie of thame haveing na functioun in the Kirk, sould be iugeis to ministeris, and depose thame fra thair rowmes: Thairfore, ather thay wald be dischargit to medle with ecclesiasticall materis, or it wald be limitat to thame in quhat materis thay mycht be jugeis, and not hurt the libertie of the Kirk.

27. They also that of befoir wer of the ecclesiasticall esteat in the Papis Kirk, or that ar admittit of new to Papisticall titles, and now ar tollerat be the lawis of the realme, to possesse the tua part of thair ecclesiasticall rentis, aucht not to haue ony forder libertie, bot to intromet with the portioun assignit and grantit to thame for thair liftyme; and nocht vnder the abuset titillis quhilkis thay had, to dispone the Kirk rentis, sett takkis and sewis thairof at thair plesour, to the greit hurt of the Kirk, and pure laubouraris that dwell vpon the Kirk landis, contrarie to all guid conscience and ordoure.

Certane speciall Headis of Reformatioun quhilk we crave. Cap. XII.

1. Quhatsoeuer haue bene spokin of the offices of the Kirk, the seuerall power of the office beraris, thair coniunct power also, and last, of the patrimony of the Kirk, we vnderstand it to be the richt reformatioun quhilk God cravis at our handis, that the Kirk be ordourit according thairto, as with that ordour quhilk is maist aggreable to the Word of God.

2. Bott becaus sum thingis will be twiched in particulare, concerning the esteat of the cuntrie, and that quhilk we principallie seik to be reformit in the same, we haue collectit thame in thir headis following.

3. First, Seing the haill countrie is diuidit in prouinces, and thir prouinces agane ar diuidit in parrochis, alsweill in landward as in townis; in everie paroche of reasonable congregationis, ther wald be placeit ane or ma pasturis to feid the flok; and na pasture or minister aucht to be burdenit with the particulare charge of ma flokkis or kirkis then ane allanerlie.

4. And becaus it wilbe thocht hard to find out pasturis or ministeris to all the parroche kirkis of the realme, alsweill in landwart as in townis, we think, be the aduyse of sic as commissioun may be gevin to, be the Kirk and the Prince, parrochis in landward or small villagis may be jonit tua or thrie, or ma in sum places togidder; and the principall and maist commodious kirkis to stand, and to be repairit sufficientlie, and qualefiit ministers placet thairat; and the vther kirkis, quhilk ar nocht fund necessar, may be sufferit to decay, thair kirk ȝardis alwayis being keipit for buriall places: and in sum places, quhair neid requiris, ane parrochin, quher the congregatioun is owr gret for ane Kirk, may be deuydit in tua or ma.

5. Doctoris wald be appoynted in Vniuerseteis, Collegis, and vther places neidfull, and sufficientlie prouyded, for to oppin vp the meaning of the Scriptouris, and to haue the charge of scoles, and teache the rudimentis of religioun.

6. As to Elderis, thair wald be sum to be censuris of the maneris of the peple, ane or ma in eureie congregatioun; bot not ne assemblie of elderis in euerie particulare kirk, bot onlie in the townis and famours places, quhair resorte of men of jugement and habilitie to that office, may be had;

7. Quhare the Eldaris of particulare kirkis about may convene togidder, and haue ane commoun Elderschip and Assemblie place amangis them, to treat of all thingis that concerne the congregatioun of quhom thay haue the owrsicht.

8. And as thair aucht to be men appoyntit to vnite and deuide the parrochis, as necessitie and commodetie requiris; sa wald thair be appoyntit be the Generall Kirk, with the assent of the Prince, sic men as seareth God, and knew the estaitt of the countreis, that wer able to nominat and designe places, quher the Assembleis of particulare elderschippis suld convene, to tak consideratioun of the Dioceis as they wer dividet of auld, and of the estaitt of the cuntreis and prouinces of the realme.

9. Likewyse as concerning Prouinciall and Synodall Assembleis, consideratioun wer easie to be had, how mony and in quhat places thay wer to be hauldin; and how often thay sould convene, aucht to be referrit vnto the libertie of the Generall Kirk, and ordour to be appoyntit thairin.

10. The Nationall Assembleis of this cuntre, callit commounlie the Generall Assembleis, aucht alwayis to be retenit in thair awin libertie, and haue thair awin place, with power to the Kirk to appoynt tymes and places convenient tharifoir.

11. And all men, alsweill magistratis as inferiouris, to be subject to the indgement of the same in ecclesiasticall caussis, without ony reclamatioun of appellatioun to onie Judge, ciuile or ecclesiasticall, within the realme.

12. The libertie of electioun of personis callit to ecclesiasticall functionis, and obserued without interruptit continewance sa lang as the Kirk wes not corruptit be Antichryst, we desyre to be restorit and retenit within this realme:

13. So that nane be intrused vpoun ony congregatioun, ather be Prince or ony vther inferiour persoun, without lauchfull electioun and the assent of the people owr quhom the persoun is placet, as the practeis of the Apostolicall primitiue Kirk and guid ordour cravis.

14. And becaus this ordour, quhilk Goddis Woord cravis, can not stand with patronageis and presentationis to benefices, vsit in the Papes Kirk, we desire all thame that trewlie feiris God, ernistlie to consider, That foralsmekle as the names of patronageis and benefices, togidder with the effect thairof, ar flowand frome the Pape, and corruptioun of the Canone Law onlie, in as far as thairby ony persoun wes intrused and placet owr kirkis haveing curam animarum: And forsamekle as that maner of proceiding hes na grund in the Woorde of God, but is contrare to the same, and to the said libertie of electioun, they aucht not now to haue place in this licht to Reformatioun: and thairfoir, quhasoeuer will treulie imbrace Goddis Woord, and desire the Dingdome of his Sone Jesus Christ to be aduancit, they will also embrace and resaue that policie and ordour quhilk the Woord of god, and vpricht staite of his Kirk craves; vtherwise it is in vane that they sould haue professed the samin. Nochtwithstanding, as concerning vther patronageis of benefices, that haue not curam animarum, (as they speak,) sic as ar chaplenreis, prebendareis fundit vpoun temporall landis, annuellis, and siclike, may be reseruit vnto the ancient patronis to dispone thairupoun, quhen they veak, to scolaris and bursaris, as thay ar requirity be the Act of Parliament.

15. As to the Kirk rentis in generall, we desire the ordoure to be admittit and mantenit amangis ws, that may stand with sinceritie of Goddis Woorde, and practeis of the puretie of the Kirk of Christ.

16. To wit, that as wes befoir spokin, the haill rent and patrimony of the Kirk, (excepting the small patronagatges befoir mentionat,) may be diuidit in four partis or portionis: Ane thairof to be assignit to the Pastour for his intertenement and for hospitalitie; ane vther to the Eldaris, Deacones, and vtheris officiaris of the Kirk, sic as Clerkis of Assemblies, Takaris vp of the Psalmes, Beddales, and keiparis of the kirkis, sa far as thay ar necessar; joyning thairwith also the Doctouris and Scoles, to help the ancient fundationis quhair neid requireth; the third portioun to be bestowed vnto the puir membris of the faithfull, and hospitallis; the fourt, for reparatioun of the kirkis, and vther extraordinare charges as ar proffitable for the Kirk, and also for the commoun velth, gif neid require.

17. We desire, thairfore, the ecclesiasticall guidis to be vpliftit and distribuittit faithfullie to quhom they apperteine, and that be the ministrie of Deacones, to quhais office propirlie the collectioun and distributioun thairof belangis; that the pure may be ansuerit of thair portioun thairof; and thay of the ministrie leue without cair and solicitude; as also the rest of the thesaurarie of the Kirk may be reseruit and bestowit to the richt vses.

18. Gis thais Deacones be electit with sic qualeteis as Goddis Woorde cravis to be in thame, thair is no fear that thay fall abuse thame selffis in thair office, as the prophane collectouris did of befoir.

19. Ʒit becaus this vocatioun apperis to mony to be dangerous, let thame be oblegit, (as thay war of auld,) to ane ȝeirlie compt to the Pasturis and Elderschip; and gif the Kirk and Prince think expedient, lett cautioneris be oblest for thair fidelitie, that the Kirk rentis on nawyse be delapidat.

20. And to the effect this ordour may tak place, it is to be prouydit, that all vtheris intromettouris with the Kirkis rentis, collectouris generall or speciall, quhither it may be by appointment of the Prince, or vtherwife, be denudit of forder intromissioun thairof; and suffer the Kirk rentis, in tymes cuming, to be hallelie intromettit with be the ministre of the Deacones, and distributit to the vses afoir mentionat.

21. And also, to the effect that the ecclefiasticall rentis may suffice to thair vses for the quhilkis thay ar to be appointtit, we think it necessar to be desyrit, that all alienationis, setting of fewis or takkis of the rentis of the Kirk, alsweill landis as teyndis, in hurt and diminutioun of the auld rentallis, be reducit and annulat, and the patrimonie of the Kirk restorit to the formare and auld libertie.

22. And likewyse, that, in tymes cuming, the teyndis be sett to nane bot to the laubouraris of the grund, or ellis nocht sett at all, as it wes aggreit vpoun, and subscriuit be the Nobilitie befoir.

The Vtilitie that sall flow of this Reformatioun to all Estaittis. Cap. XIII.

1. Seing the end of this spirituall gouernament and polecie, quhairof we spak, is that God may be glorefeit, the Kingdome of Jesus Chryst aduancit, and all they quha ar of his mysticall bodie, may leve paciable in conscience: thairfore we dar bauldlie affirme, that all they quha haue trew respect to thais endis, will, evin for conscience caus, glaidlie aggrie and conforme thame selffis to this ordour, and aduance the same, so fare as lyis in thame; that thair conscience being sett at rest, they may be replenished with spirituall gladnes, in geving full obedience to that quhilk Goddis Woord, and the testimony of their awin conscience dois craue; and refusing all corruptioun contrare vnto the same.

2. Nixt, We sall becum ane exemple and patrone of guid and godlie ordour to vther nationis, cuntries, and Kirkis professing the same religioun with ws; that as they haue glorefeit God in our continewing in the sinceritie of the Word heitherto, without all erroris, (prayse be to His name;) sa they may haue the like occasioun in our conuersatioun, quhen as we conforme oure selffis to that discipline, polecie, and guid ordour, quhilk the same Woord, and puritie of Reformatioun cravis at our handis: vtherwyse the fearfull sentence may be iustlie said to ws, The seruand knawand the will of the Maister, and not doing it, [salbe beatin with manie whipps.]

3. Mairowre, gif we haue ony pitie or respect to the pure membris of Chryst, quha sa greitlie incres and multiplie amangis ws, we will not suffer thame to be langer defraudit of that parte of the patrimony of the Kirk, quhilk iustlie belangeth vnto thame: And be this ordour, gif it be deulie put in executioun, the burding of thame salbe takin of ws, to our greit confort; the streittis salbe clanged of the cryingis and murmuringis of thame; as we salbe na mair a sklander to vther nationis, as we haue heitherto bene, for not taking ordour with the pure amangis ws, and causing the Woord quhilk we profes to be euell spokin of, geveing occasioun of sclander to the enemeis, and offending the conscience of the simple and godlie.

4. Besidis this, it salbe a greit ease and commoditie to the haill commoun peple, and releving thame of the beilding and vphaulding of thair kirkis, in bigging of briggis and vther like publict warkis; to the lauboraris of the grund, in the payment of thair teyndis; and schortlie in all theis thingis, quhairvnto thay haue bene heitherto rigorouslie handlit be thame that war falslie callit Kirk men, thair takkismen, factouris, [chamerlanes] and extortioneris.

5. Finallie, To the Kingis Majestie and commoun welth of the cuntrie, this profit sall redound, that the vther effairis of the Kirk being sufficientle prouydit according to the distributioun, of the quhilk hes bene spokin, the superplus being collectit into the thesaurarie of the Kirk, may be profitable imployit, and liberallie bestowit vpoun the extraordinare support of the effearis of the Prince and commoun welth; and speciallie of that part quhilk is appointit for reparatioun of the kirkis.

6. Sa to conclude, all being willing to apply thame selffis to this ordour, the peple suffering thame selffis to be reulit according thairunto, (the Princes and Magistratis thame selffis not being exemit,) and thay that ar placit in ecclesiasticall estait rychtlie rewling and gouerning; God salbe glorefeit, the Kirk edifeit, the boundis thairof enlargit; Chryst Jesus and his Kingdome sett vp; Sathane and his kingdome subuertit; and God sall dwell in the middis of ws, to our confort, throw Jesus Chryst, quha, togidder with the Fader, and the Halie Ghaist, abydeth blissit in all eternitie. Amen.

Endis The Booke Of Discipline.

Anent the Consessioun of Faith latlie sett foorth be the Kings Majesties proclamatioun, and subscryvit be his Hienes: The Kirk, in ane voyce, acknowledgis the said Confessioun to be ane true and Christian Confessioun, to be aggreit vnto be such as truelie professis Chryst and his true religioun; and the tenour thairof to be followed out, as the samein is laid out in the said proclamatioun.

[Anent the delationes given in against some of the Ministrie, to the effect the Kirk may be purged of the slandrous members thereof: The Assemblie have given power and commissione to their loved brethren, Mr Andrew Hay, Mr Robert Pont, Mr David Lindsey, Mr Adam Johnstoune, John Dourie, John Johnstoune, Mr John Davidsone, Mr John Craig, John Duncansone and John Brand, or to the most part of their number, to summond the persons accused before them, and to take tryal and inquisitione of the hainous and slanderous accusationes layed against them, and what they find be process of trial, to report to the nixt Assemblie, that order may be taken with them as accordeth, for purging of the Kirk of God. C.]

[Anent the printing of the method of preaching and prophesieing set out be and shewed and read in the Assemblie: The Assemblie hath thought meet, that the samine may be committed to irons and printed, as necessary for the forme of teaching, and to be put in Scots be their brother, Mr Thomas Smetone. C. & B.]

Forsameikle as Abbots, Commendatours, Pryours, Pryoressis, and Bischops, provydit of auld vnder the name of Ecclesiasticall [persons,] bruiks the rents and revenews of the Kirk, without exerceing any spiritual functioun therin, or recognoscing the true Kirk, devoreing the patrimonie of the same, and daylie diminisching the rents of thair benefices: The Kirk and Assemblie present hes determined and resolved, That all such persons befor named salbe cited be the Presbyteries, to compeir befor the nixt Generall Assemblie of the Kirk, to submitt themselves therto, as they will ansuer to the Kirk.

Anent Reidars: Forsameikle as in Assemblies preceiding, the office therof was concludit to be no ordinar office in the Kirk of God, and the admission of them suspendit to the present Assemblie: The Kirk, in ane voyce, hes votit and concludit farder, That in no tyme comeing any Reider be admittit to the office of Reidar, be any having power within the Kirk.

Ordaines the Commissioners of Countreyes to give in the names at afternoone, of the persons they think meitt to the vnioun and divisioun of the Kirks.

[The Assemblie giveth full power and commissione to their loved brethren, Mr Robert Pont, Mr James Lawson, Mr David Lindsay, Mr John Craig, John Duncansone, Mr Adam Johnstoun, John Brand, John Durie, Mr Walter Balcanquil, to consider and advise upon the Articles and Petitions given in be the Kings Majesties Commissioner, in so far as yet are unresolved in full Assemblie; ryply to consult thereupon be the judgment and sight of the best learned they can have, and to conceive a formal answer thereto in write, to be presented be them to the nixt Generall Assemblie, to the effect the Kings Majestie and Counsel may receive and direct solid answer thereto; as likewise to conferr, reason, and communicat upon such Articles, with such as pleaseth the King and his Counsel to depute thereto, if need be; and, farther, to intimat to his Hienes, how far the Assemblie had proceeded concerning the answer unto his Hienes Articles, and whereupon the Assemblie standeth, that his Hienes may understand their willing concurrence with his Majesties good intentione, in establishing good Policie within the Kirk: The special informatione to be given to his Hienes and Counsel to be this, That the Assemblie praiseth God greatly for his Majesties zealous and christian affectione for promoving of good order within his Kirk, with thanks to his Hienes for the labors which had been taken for constitution of Presbytries, union and divisione of Kirks, which the Assemblie had so far travelled, that certan Presbytries ar be them erected, some platts of Kirks received, although not absolutely ended, the names also of the persons the brethren think fit to unite and divide the Kirks in a part received, as shortnes of time and presence of the Commissioners would permit. C.]

Certain appointed to forme the Articles aggreed on in Conference.

The advyce of the Kirk concerning the directioun of Presentatiounes, that they be directit to the Presbyteries.

[Herewith] to crave of his Hienes, for performance of the wark intendit, that Prelacies be dissolvit.

Sessio 10a.

Anent the place of repentance to be appointit to Captaine Anstruther, for his fearefull defectioun from the true religioun in the parts of France: The haynousnes and gravitie of his defectioun beeing weill weyit and considderit, quhilk requyrit solemne and notorious repentance, The Kirk hes thoght meitt, and be voting concludit, that his repentance be made in the citie of Sanct Androes, after the forme of discipline sett out against apostates.

[Ane short and general Confessione of the true Christiane Fayth and Religione, according to Godis Vorde, and Actis of our Perlament, subscryued by the Kingis Maiestie and his Houshold, with sindrie otheris, to the glorie of God, and good example of all men att Edinburght, the 28 day of Januare 1580, and 14 yeare of his Maiesties reigne. (fn. 1)

We all, and ewerie one of ws wndervritten, protest, that after long and dew examination of owre Consciences in matteris of true and false religioun, are now throchly resolued in the trueth, by the Worde and Sprit of God: And therefore we beleue with owre heartis, confesse with owre mouthes, subscrywe with owre handis, and constantly affirme before God and the whole world, That this onely is the true Christiane Fayth and Religion, pleasing God and bringing saluation to man, quhilk is now, by the mercy of God, reweled to the world by the preaching of the blessed Ewangell; and is receaued, beleued, and defended by manie and sindrie notable Kyrkis and realmes; but chiefly by the Kyrk of Scotland, the Kingis Maiestie, and three Estatis of this Realme, as Godis eternall trueth and onely ground of our Saluation, as more particulerly is expressed in the Confession of owre Fayth, stablished and publictly confirmed by sindrie Actis of Perlamentis, and now of a long tyme hath bene openly professed by the Kingis Maiestie, and whole body of this Realme both in brught and land: To the quhilk Confession and Forme of Religion we willingly agree in owre conscience in all poyntis, as wnto Godis wndoubted trueth and weritie, grounded onely wpon his written Worde: And therefore we abhorre and detest all contrarie religion and doctrine; but cheifly all kynd of papistrie in generall, and particular headis, ewen as they are now damned and confuted by the Worde of God, and Kirk of Scotland: But in specale we detest and refuse the usurped authoritie of that Romane Antichrist wpon the Scriptures of God, wpon the Kirk, the Ciwill Magistrate, and conscience of men; all his tyrranous lawes made wpon indifferent thinges agaynst owre Christiane libertie; his erroneous doctrine agaynst the sufficiencie of His written Worde, the perfection of the Lawe, the office of Christ and his blessed Ewangell; his corrupted doctrine concernyng originall synne, owre naturall inabilitie and rebellion to godlines, owre justificatioun by fayth onely, owre imperfect fanctification and obedience to the Law; the nature, number, and wse of the holie Sacramentis; his fywe bastard Sacramentis, with all his ritis, ceremoneis and false doctrine, added to the ministration of the true Sacramentis without the Worde of God; his cruell judgement agaynst infantis deperting without the Sacrament; his absolute necessitie of baptisme; his blasphemous opinion of transsubstantiation, or reall presence of Christs body in the Elements, and receawing of the same by the wicked, or bodeis of men; his dispensationeis with solemnes othes, periuries, and degreis of mariage forbidden in the Worde; his crueltie agaynst the innocent deuorced; his diwilishe Mes; his blasphemous priesthood; his prophane sacrifice for the synnes of the dead and the quyck; his canonization of men, calling wpon angelis and sainctis deperted; worshiping of imagrie, reliques and croces; dedicating of kyrkis, altaris, dayis; woues to creatures; his purgatorie, prayeris for the dead, praying or speaking in a strange langwage; with his processiounis and blasphemous Letanie, and multitude of Aduocatis or Mediatoreis; his manifold ordoures; auricular confession; his despered and wncertayne repentance; his generall and doubtsome Fayth; fatisfactioneis of men for theyr fynnes; his justification by workes; his opus operatum, workes of supererogation, meritis, pardons, perigrinationes, and stationeis; his holy water, baptisyng of bellis, cungering of spritis, crocing, facning, anoynting, coniuring, hallowing of Godis good cretures, with the superstitious opinion joyned therewith; his worldlie monarchie, and wicked hierarchie; his three solemne woues, with all his shawelingis of syndrie sortes; his erroneous and bloodie decretes made at Trent, with all the subscryweris and approweris of that cruell and bloodie band, coniured agaynst the Kyrk of God. And finally, we detest all his wane allegories, ritis, signes, and traditioneis brought in the Kyrk, without or agaynst the Worde of God, and doctrine of this true reformed Kyrk; to the quhilk we joyne owreselues willingly, in doctrine, fayth, religion, discipline, and wse of the holie Sacramentis, as lyuely memberis of the same in Christ owre Head: promising and suearing by the great name of the Lord owre God, That we shall continue in the obedience of the doctrine and discipline of this Kyrk, and shall defend the same according to owre wocation and pouer, all the dayes of owre lyues, wnder the paines conteyned in the Law, and danger both of body and faule in the day of Godis fearfull judgement. And seing that manie are styrred wp by Satan, and that Romane Antichrist, to promise, sueare, subscryue, and for a tyme wse the holie Sacramentis in the Kyrk deceatfully, agaynst there owne conscience; mynding heireby, syrst, wnder the externall clok of the religion, to corrupt and subuert secretly Godis true religion within the Kirk; and afterward, when tyme may seure, to become open enemeis and persecutoris of the same, wnder wane hope of the Papis dispensation, diuised agaynst the Vorde of God, to his greater confusion, and theyr dowble condemnation in the day of the Lord Jesus: We therefore willing to tak away all suspition of hypocrisie, and of syk dowble dealing with God, and his Kirk, protest and call the Scarcher of all heartis for witnes, that owre myndis and heartis do fullely agree with this owre Confession, promise, othe, and subscription; so that we are not moved for any worldly respect, bot are perswaded onely in owre conscience, throught the knawledge and loue of Godis true religion, prented in oure heartis by the Holy Sprit, as we shall answer to Him in the day, when the secretis of all heartis shalbe disclosed. And because we perceaue that the quietnes and stabilitie of owre Religion and Kirk doth depend wpon the sawetie and good behaviour of the Kyngis Maiestie, as wpon ane confortable instrument of Godis mercy graunted to this cowntrey, for the mainteining of his Kyrk, and ministration of Justice amongis ws; We protest and promise solemnetly with oure heartis, vnder the same othe, hand writ, and panes, that we shall defend his persone and authoritie with owre geyr, bodyes and lyues, in the defence of Christis Euangell, libertie of owre countrey, ministration of justice, and punishment of iniquitie, agaynst all enemies within this realme or without, as we desyre owre God to be a strong and mercyfull defender to ws, in the day of owre death, and cuming of oure Lord Jesus Christ: To whome, with the Father and the Holie Sprit, be all honour and glorie eternally. Amen.

James R.

Mr Johne Crag.
Jhon Duncanson.
Michaell Elphinstoun.
P. Yowng.
Robert Erskyne.
James Elphinstoun.
S. Borthik vithe hand and hart.
Welȝame Crag.
Jhone Mordo.
James Coluill of Est Wemes.
George Douglas.
Alexr. Durem.
Walter Steuart Pryore of Blantyre.
Villiam Ruthen off Ballandane.
Jhon Scrymgeour ȝownger off Glaswall.
William Morray.
Dauid Murray.
James Frasser.
Robert Stewart.
R. Dumfermling.
P. Mr. of Gray.
James Halyburtoun.
James L. Ogiluy.
Allane L. Cathcartt.
Villiam Schaw.
James Steuart.
Allr Seytown.
J. Chishle.
Richard Heriot.
Maister Thomas Hamilton.
Waltir Kyer.

[Seeing that Wee and our household have subscribed and given this publick Confessione of our Faith, to the good exemple of our subjects: We command and charge all Commissioners and Ministers, to crave the same Confessione of their parishoners, and to proceed against the refusers according to our laws, and order of the Kirk, delivering their names and lawfull process to the Ministers of our house, with all hast and dilligence, under the pain of fourtie pound to be taken from their stipends, that we, with advice of our Counsel, may take order with such proud contemners of God and our laws. Subscribed with our hand at Halyrudhouse, the second day of March 1580, the 14 year of our Reigne. C.]

[Apud Edinburgh vltimo die mensis Aprilis, Anno M vc lxxxjo.


Colinus Comes Ergadie Cancellarius.
Joannes Comes de Montrois.
Willielmus Dominus Ruthven.
Alexander Magister de Mar.
Robertus Commendatarius de Dumfermling.
Commendatarius de Sanct Colme.
Commendatarius de Culros.
Clericus Registri.
Clericus Justiciarie.

The quhilk day the Lordis of Secrete Counsale and the Commissioners of the Kirk presentlie convenit, hes concludit, aggreit and ordanit, That all benefices of cure presentlie vacand, and that heirefter sal happin to vaik, and be at his Hienes presentatioun, afoir the first day of Nouember nixtocum, sall remane vacand and vndisponit quhill the samin day; that, in the meyn tyme, it may be considerit and aggreit vpoun the forme of dispositioun of the saids benefices; and the estate and qualiteis of the personis, to quhom the famin benefices, and all vther that sal happin to vaik heirefter, salbe disponit.

Apud Edinburgh, nono die mensis Maij, Anno Domini M vc lxxxjo.

The Kingis Maiestie, with auise of the Lordis of Secrete Counsale, efter sindre conferences had anent the constitutioun of the ecclesiasticall polecie, hes found it hard and difficill to attene to ony formall order thairanent likly to haue continewance to the posteritie, quhill the ancient boundis of the diocyes be desoluit quhair the parochins ar thick togidder, and small to be vnitit; and quhair they ar of ower greit and large boundis to be deuidit; that thairefter presbitereis or elderschippis may be constitute. And to the effect that this work may proceid. of God and ease and contentment of all his Hienes gud subjectis, his Maiestie hes directit his ernist and effectus letters to certaine nowmer of noblemen, barronis, gentlemen, and ministers in certane boundis and parochins mentionat in his Maiesties directioun, willing thame that thay with samony vtheris as thay sall find gude to call vnto thair assistance, sall convene togidder and consult altogether; or then, with commoun consent, elect sum sewar nowmer amangis thame, of best jugement, zeale and experience, to considder and try the ancient and present estaites of all the particular kirkis and parochinis in thair boundis; and how the ministeris thair may be best plantit and sustenit in a certaine and ordinar form liklie to haue continewance to the posteritie, as in his Hienes letters and directioun thairanent mair speciallie is conceivit; and to send thair report thairvpoun in dew forme, in als speciall maner as may be; togidder with thair gude aduise anent the executioun of the Act of Parliament, for pvneisment of vagabunds, and support of the pure, betuix and the day of nixtocum. Bot becaus it is vnderstand to his Hienes and his said Secrete Counsale, that sindre of the noblemen, barronis, gentlemen and vtheris, to quhom his Maiestie hes direct his lettirs for executioun and furtherance of this gude work, stands in sic termes for deidlit feidis, grudgeis, variances and occasiouns of displeasours amangis thame, as thay wilbe slaw to convene togidder for this effect, of thair awin motioun, without his Hienes expres commandment: his Maiestie alwyse intending, be Godis grace, that the same work sall proceid with all guidlie expeditioun, seing it concernis the glorie of God, his Hienes self, and the repois and quietnes of his haill subjectis and thair posteritie, thairfore ordanis lettirs to be direct to officiaris of armes, schireffis in that part, chargeing thame to pas, and in his Hienes name and auctoritie command and charge all and sindre noblemen, barronis and gentlemen, to quhom his Hienes lettirs foirsaidis ar direct, amangis quhom ony displeasour, grudge or vnkyndnes standis, that they convene togidder at the places respectiue contenit in his saidis lettirs, at sic day or dayes as the ministers nominat in his Hienes directioun sall appoint; and thairwith with commoun aduise to do quhat in thame lyis, for the execution of his Hienes directioun foirsaid; and to send thair report thairvpoun at the day appointit: And to that effect, to command and charge thame, that nane of thame tak vpoun hand to inuaid, molest, perfew or inquiet vtheris be way of deid be thameselffis, thair kin, freindis, seruandis, assisters, partakers, or vtheris that they may lett, or to mak proucatioun of trouble or displeasour to vtheris in word, deid or countenance; and, gif neid be, to gif and ressaue assurance ilk ane of vtheris, to be vnhurt, vnharmit, molestit, troublit, or persewit vtherwyse then be the ordinar cours of law and iustice: To indure quhill the first day of Nouember nixtocum, quhairthrow the said work may proceid with the better consent and diligence, as thay and euery ane of thame will ansuer to his Hienes vpoun thair obedience at thair vttermaist charge and perrell; with certificatioun to thame that failyeis, thay salbe repute and estemit the hinderars and stayers of the progres of the said gude work, and the makers and nvrissaris of trouble and disorder in his Hienes realme, and callit, persewit and pvneist thairfore as accordis, with all rigour in example of vtheris. Reg. Sec. Conc.]


  • 1. Printed from the original in the Advocates Library, endorsed—"Covenant subscryved be King James of worthie memorie and his houshold, 28 Jan. 1580. Sent frome Somer in France be Monseur … to my Lord Scottistarvett in Aug. 1641."