Acts and Proceedings: 1582, June

Pages 578-584

Acts and Proceedings of the General Assemblies of the Kirk of Scotland, 1560-1618. Originally published by [s.n.], Edinburgh, 1839.

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The [extraordinary] Generall Assemblie of the Kirk conveinit at Edinburgh in the New Kirk therof, the 27 day of Junij 1582: Where there was present the Commissioners.

Exhortatioun made be Mr. Andro Melvill, [Principall of the New Colledge of Sanct Andrews, and last Moderator,] quho was continewit Moderatour vnto the nixt Assemblie.

Sessio 1a.

Anent the lang discourse made be [their brother,] John Durie, of his calling before the Kings Majestie and Counsell, his answer, and haill processe vsed against him; as also a charge to him this day, be the Kings letter, to remove off the towne; craveand in end the good advyce of the breither, Whither he sould remove from his flock according to the [Kings] charge, or remaine according to his calling, being alwayes ready to follow thair determinatioun, howsoevir the brethren thinks expedient to give it. The Kirk [present thought meet to] direct David Fergusone and Mr Thomas Buchannan to the Kings Majestie, to vnderstand his meaning therin, and to crave [humblie] of his Hienes the performance of the promise made to certaine of the thair brether concerning him: as also to lament vnto his Hienes the case of thair brether of Glasgow, chargit to Sanct Johnstoun, and to make sute for them to this effect: also ane missive [to be drawn] to be directit to Johne Duncansone to concurre earnestly with them [in the said matter.]

Seslio 2a.

[The conclusion of the Moderator and his Assessors being proponed to the Assemblie, without farther examination, the letter which was written be them to that effect, was subscrived be the Clerk of the Assemblie, and they dismissed. C.]

Anent the desyre of the Commissioners direct from the Counsell of Edinburgh to the Assemblie, craveing thair counsell concerning the charge givin to the Provest, Baliyies, and Counsell of Edinburgh, for removeing of Johne Durie their Minister: The Kirk ordainit [their brethren,] Mrs. James Lowsone, Thomas Smeitoun, Andro Hay, Robert Pont, David Lindesay, and Johne Craig, to concurre with such as the Counsell will deput, the morne [at half hour to seven, and] to consult, conferre, and reason concerning the matter.

[Forsameikle as be many greeves wherewith the godly and faithfull brethren of the Kirk are wounded, whereupon doubtless great perells are threatned to the whole Kirk of God within this natione, it is thought expedient, That the brethren of each Eldership conveen themselves together, and advise diligently upon the said greeves betwixt and the morn, and to present the same in forme, to be considered be the whole Assemblie. C.]

Sessio 3a.

Anent the informatioun made be [their brother,] Johne Durie, that certaine brether, direct from the Counsell of the towne, movit, to him as appeirs, of good affectioun, has desyrit him, for avoiding of the danger that may fall vpon his flock, to absent and withdraw himselfe a space aff the towne priveilie, desyrand [herein] to vnderstand the good judgement of the Kirk; protesting, for his awin opinion, that because his removeall may be prejudiciall to the comoun cause, and his privie departing [appear] ane accepting of the vice vpon him, quherwith he is vniustlie chargeit; that without thair counsell heirin, his awin deliberat mynd is to abide, be it with the hazard of his life: And farther seeing that his doctrine, quberof he was accusit in Counsell, in force and substance was justified at his awin Presbyterie, and be his awin Sessioun of Edinburgh, That the brether wald give him that testimoniall, that he had travellit faithfullie in his vocatioun, no fault being found with him in his doctrine, or impute to his lyse; as als, if it please God that he be compellit to remove, that he may have libertie elsequher to preach the Evangell, quher it fall please God to give him the occasioun of tyme and place, for discharge of his awin conscience and calling.

The brether, after good advyce and deliberatioun, in ane voyce thocht it not meitt that he sould remove off the towne privilie, but abyde the charge to be given be the Provest and Baillies to him.

And as to his doctrine, lyse, and conversatioun: The haill Krik acknowledgit nothing in him bot sound, true, and wholesome doctrine, vpright and honest in lyse and conversatioun; giving him libertie, in cace of his removeing, to preach the Evangell faithfullie, quher God sall offer the occasioun, vntill it please him to restore him to the charge of his awin flock.

[Anent the greeves appointed of the brethren this day to be presented in publick a certain day, being conceived in writ; being read and considered, it was thoght expedient, that the same sould be qualified in better forme, collected and presented in better order be their brother, Mr Thomas Smetone, to be again considered after they be put in mundo. C.]

The Kirk gives thair full power and commissioun to [their loved brethren,] Mrs Alexander Arbuthnot, Adame Johnstoun and David Hoome, to passe to the Dukes Grace, to make informatioun to him of the great slander [risen be interteanment] of Mr Robert Montgomerie in his societie, since [the tyme of] the sentence of excommunicatioun pronouncit against him; to intimat vnto him the said sentence with gentle and discreit perswasiouns; to shew the danger therof, and quhat be Acts of Assemblie is concludit aganis receivers and mantainers of excommunicat persons; desyreing him earnestlie to remove [him] fra his companie; and to give admonitioun to him to that effect, and in cace he continue inobedient, that the Kirk will proceid against him according to thair actis.

Sessio 4a.

Johne Duncansone, [his Graces Minister,] presentit a letter from the Kings Grace concerning the Laird of Mynto, and certaine of the Magistrates and citizens of Glasgow, desyreand, in effect, that matter [to] be handlit befor the Counsell, with credit to be given to the bearer, [as his Majesties letter at lenth contains, presented be the said John, bearer hereof,] quho vtterit his crydet, and shew, That his Majestie continues, and sall constantlie continue to the end, in the true professioun of the religioun presentlie establischit within this realme: And as to the actioun of Glasgow, vpon supplicatioun to be givin in to the Counsell, such ordour salbe takin as the Kirk salbe therwith satisfied.

Anent the summounds [and citatione] produceit agains the saids persons to heir tryall tane of the violence done be them aganis Mr John Howsone, and to heir them convict, excommunicat, and castin furth of the societie of the faithfull, for the committing of the said haynous offence and slander; as the summounds dewlie execut and indorsit at length buire: The saids persons all being callit, and none compeirand except John Grahame, quho denyed the contents therof for his part: The saids summounds being givin to probatioun, and Mrs Johne Davidsone, Johne Hamiltoun, Andro Knox, Patrick Walkinschaw, Thomas Jack, Richart Wright, Archibald Eglintoun, and John Stoddart, being sworne, receivit and admittit witnesses, the Kirk ordainit them to be present the morne in the morning, befor the Moderatour and his Assessours, to depone in the said matter.

Sessio 5a.

The brethren directit to the Kingis Majestie [to understand his meaning] concerning Johne Durie, and the brethren of Glasgow, reportit his Graces wryting, in effect bearing, That at the coming of the Dukes Grace, quho had intress in that matter concerning the said John, vpon supplicatioun to be givin in, consideratioun sould be had therof: And as to the brether of Glasgow, the actioun quhilk the Kirk hes in hand against the Provest of Glasgow and his Collegues being superseidit, he wald dispense with the brether of Glasgow to the saxt day of July nixt to come, as the letter at length beares.

Anent the processe deduceit against the Provest of Glasgow and his Collegues: The Kirk ordaines thair brethren, Mrs James Melvill, Johne Porterfeild, and Patrick Sharpe, to examine the remanent witnesses afternoone, quhilk are produceit and vnexaminat; and in the meantyme for the proces to stay: lyke as the saids witnessis were examinat at the tyme appointed be the said brether.

Sessio 6a.

Anent the actioun laid aganis the Laird of Mynto, Provest of Glasgow, and his Collegues: The haill Kirk, after publick reiding of the processe, and probatioun vsed in the matter, and dew consideratioun and examinatioun therof, being weill and rypelie advisit therwith, Finds the cryme, as it is verified, provin and tryed befor them, to deserve to be punishit with excommunicatioun; and, nottheless, at the Kings Majesties requeist, continues the pronouncing of any sentence against them to the 6 day of Julij nixt, quhilk is the day of the Convention of the Nobilitie at Perth, quher hope is givin of repaire: Giveand, grantand, and committand also full power and commissioun to the Commissioners, direct be them vnto the Kings Majestie and Counsell, to the said Conuentioun, in cace they sould not sie remeid then put to the matter, betuixt the said day and the 24 day of the said moneth, or sooner, at thair discretioun, to proceid and give foorth sentence in the said cause, and to appoint severall persons to the executioun therof, as they will ansuer to the Kirk; and ordaines report to be made of this continuatioun to the Kings Majestie.

Anent the place occupied be Johne Durie, ane of the Ministers of Edinburgh, [in the functione of the Ministrie there,] presentlie removeit aff the towne: The Kirk [and whole brethren] present inhibites and discharges the Kirk and Presbyterie of Edinburgh, to elect, chose, or admitt, in any wayis, any Minister in his place of the Ministrie therof [to displace him;] discharging also all Ministers, [or that aspires to the Ministrie,] to attempt the usurping or taking vpon them of his charge and place therof, except at the desyre of the Ministers of Edinburgh, to relieve them, at all tymes, quhill the General Assemblie of the Kirk be farther advysit: and, in cace any salbe chosin or electit, the haill Kirk decernes the said electioun and admissioun to be null and of none effect.

[Anent the directione given to certane brethren sent to the Dukes Grace yesterday: The same brethren reported, that they had shewn to his Grace and made intimatione of the excommunicatione of Mr Robert Montgomerie, declared what were the Acts made be the Assemblie, and pains conteaned therin, against such as interteane excommunicat persons: C.] The Duke of Lennox ansuer to the brether that was sent to him concerning the mantaining of Mr Robert Montgomery, was, first, a interrogatour, Whether the King or the Kirk were superious; and, therafter, that he had command of the King to mantaine him, and of his Counsellors; and, quhill he were contramandit be him, he wald not remove him.

The kirk having considderit his ansuer, Ordaines the brethren of the Ministrie that ganges in commissioun to Perth, as they sie occasioun ther, and the greise not remeidit, twitching his mantaining of the said Mr Robert, to proceid and appoint speciall men, that sall proceid farther against him with the censuers of the Kirk, according to the acts of the Generall Assemblie, to quhom the Kirk gives thair full power to that effect.

The Generall Assemblie, in ane voyce, gives thair full power and commissioun to the Right Honorabill [and] thair lovit brother, John Erskine of Dune, the Ministers of the Kings [Majesties] house, Mrs Robert Pont, James Lowsone, Thomas Smeitoun, Andro Hay, David Lindsay, Andro Polwart, Peeter Blackburne, Patrick Galloway, William Chrystesone, David Fergusone, James Melvill, Thomas Buchannan, Johne Brand, Patrick Gillespie, Johne Porterfeild, Ministers [of Christs Evangell,] Andro Melvil, [Principal of the New Colledge of Sanct Androws,] to repare toward the Kings Majestie and his noble Counsell to be conveinit at Perth, the 6 day of Julij [nixt,] and there, with all reverence, dew obedience, and submission, present vnto his Hienes and Nobilitie the speciall greives of the Kirk, conceivit [and given in to them] in wryte, and in thair behalfes, lament, deplore, and regrat the same vnto his Hienes and Counsell; craveing, in the name and feare of the Eternall God, the same and every ane of them to be repairit and redrest, to the glorie of God, and weilfare of his Majestie, and comfort of his Kirk: And thervpon, if neid be, with humilitie to conferre, informe, and reason; and quhat heirin beis done, to report to the next Assemblie: firme and stabill haldand and for to hald quhatsoevir thair brether in the premisses righteouslie leids to be done.

Sessio 7a.

The tenour of the Greives of the Kirk above specified.

Vnto ȝour Majestie, [most] humblie meanes and schawis ȝour Graces faithfull and obedient subiects, the Ministers of Gods Word within ȝour Graces realme, conveinit in the Generall Assemblie haldin at Edinburgh, the 27 of Junij, That quher vpon the occasioun of diverse great and evident dangers appeiring to the haill Kirk of God, and professours of his true religioun in this country, finding the authoritie of the Kirk abrogat, the censures therof contemned, and violence vsit against some of thair brether, without punishment therof; the lyke hes not bein sein in this realme, nor any vther quher the trueth of the Gospell hes being preachit and receivit: And fearing least ȝour Majestie, for lake of informatioun, [might] neglect in tyme to provyde remedie for the inconveniences licklie to ensew thervpon, We conveinit ourselves in the feare of God and ȝour Hienes obedience; and after diligent consideratioun of this present estate of the Kirk, and enormities fallin furth in the same, with commoun consent thoght necessar [be] our Commissioners to present and open to ȝour Grace certaine of our cheise and weightie greives, without hastie redresse quherof the Kirk of God and true religioun can no wayes stand and continue in this ȝour Graces countrey.

First, That ȝour Majestie, be advyce of some Counsellours, is causit to take vpon ȝour Grace that spirituall power and authoritie quhilk properlie belongs to Christ as only King and heid of the Kirk; the ministrie and executioun therof [is only given] to such as beare office in the ecclesiastical government of the same; swa that in ȝour Graces person, some men preases to erect a new Paipdome, as thogh ȝour Majestie could not be full King and heid of this commoun wealth, unles asweill the spirituall as temporall sword be put in ȝour Graces hand; vnlesse Christ be bereft of his authoritie, and the twa jurisdictiouns confoundit, quhilk God hes divydit; quhilk directlie tends to the wrack of all true religioun, as [be] the speciall heids following is manifest:

1. For benefices are given be absolute power to vnworthie persons intrusit in the office of the Ministrie, without the Kirks admissioun, directlie against the laws of God, and acts of Parliament; quherthrow the Kirks livings comes in profane mens hands, and vthers that sells thair soules, and maks schipwrack of conscience, for pleasure of men, and obtaining of some worldlie [commoditie.]

2. Elderschips, Synodalls and Generall Assemblies, are discharged be letters of horning to proceid against manifest offenders, and vse the discipline of the Kirk, and censures therof, according to Gods word.

3. John Durie, be act of Counsell, is suspendit fra preaching; and for this same cause banischit sra his flocke.

4. Excommunicat persons, in contempt of God and of his Kirk, are mantaint in chiefe Lords houses; namelie, Mr Robert Montgomerie, authorizit and causit to preach, and brocht to ȝour Majesties presence, quhilk is a sore wound to the conscience of them that loves ȝour Majestie, and knowis ȝour Graces vpbringing, and a heavie slander in all natiouns prosessing the true religioun.

5. Ane act or delyverance of Counsell is made against the proceidings of the Ministrie, with a slanderous narrative, suspending simpliciter, and dissanulling the excommunicatioun justlie and ordourlie pronouncit against Mr Robert Montgomerie, a rebellious and obstinat offender and troubler of the Kirk of God; and opin proclamations made according therto.

6. Contempt of Ministers, and dinging of many doing thair office; and speciallie the violent drawing of Mr Johne Howsone out of the judgement seate quher he was placit Moderatour of the Presbyterie, his cruell and outragious handling, carieing to prison lyke a theife be the Provest and Bailȝies of Glasgow, and thair complices; and, after complaint made, no ordour takin with the doers therof, but contraiewaysis, mantaining of them, as if the same had bein good service.

7. Displaceing of the Minister of Glasgow out of his rowme, quhilk, without reproach, he hes occupied thir many yeirs; and convocatioun of the gentlemen of the countrey to that effect.

8. Violence vsit be ane of ȝour Graces awin guard to pull him out of the pulpitt, the day of the Communioun, in presence of the hail congregatioun, in tyme of sermoun, and no fault found therwith.

9. The officiar of the Kirk was castin in prison in ȝour Graces presence, and ther keipit a long tyme, for executioun of letters direct against a particular slanderous man.

10. Ministers, Masters of Collegeis, and scholers of Glasgow, in tyme of publick fast, were, be letters of horning, compellit to leave thair slockes and schooles destitute, and sensyne, from tyme to tyme, and place to place, have bein delayit and continued, therby to consume them be exorbitant expensis, and to wrack the Kirks and Schooles quheros they beare rule and charge.

11. The Scholers of Glasgow were invaidit, and thair blood cruellie shed be the bailyies and commountie gatherit be sound of the commoun bell and straik of drum, and be certaine seditious men inflamit to have slaine them all, and to have brunt the Colledge; and ȝet nothing done nor said to the authors of that seditioun.

12. Hands shakin with the bloodie murtherers and persecuters of the peiple of God, be propynes giving and receivit.

13. The Dukes Grace oft tymes promised to reforme his house, and nothing done therin.

14. The lawes made for manteinance of the true religioun, and punisching of the enemies therof, are not put to executioun; swa that all things goe louse, and worse lyke to ensew.

Many vther things ther be that crave present reformatioun, quherwith, notwithstanding, we think not expendient to trouble ȝour Majestie untill we sie quhat ordour be taking with thir greivous complaints; beseikand ȝour Majestie most humblie, for the love of God, who hes plantit ȝour Grace in this most royall throne, and heirvnto wonderfullie defendit and mantainit ȝour authoritie, carefullie to looke vpon thir matters as becomes the Lievetenant of God, and a Christian King: and with advyce of them that feare God, and tenders ȝour Graces estate, and quyetnes of this commoun weill, so to redersse the premisses, that, first, Chryst above all be acknowledgit; his Messingers, without feare or stop, sufferit to execute thair office; the course of the Gospell advancit, [and] be the example of the worthie punishment of them quho so licentiouslie and contemptuouslie have wrangit and injurit Ministers and professours of Gods Word, that vthers heirafter may be affrayit to interpryse the lyke.

The nixt Assemblie was appointit to be at Edinburgh, the 24 day of October nixt to come, except that necessar and weghtie causes interveine, be advertisement of the Elderschip of Edinburgh and Ministers of his Majesties house.