Acts and Proceedings of the General Assemblies of the Kirk of Scotland, 1560-1618. Originally published by [s.n.], Edinburgh, 1839.
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The Generall Assemblie of the Kirk conveinit at Edinburgh in the New Kirk therof, the tent day of October 1583: Quher ther was present the Commissioners.
Exhortatioun made be Mr Thomas Smeitoun: Leits, Mrs Robert Pont, Peeter Blackburne, Nicoll Dalgleisch, and James Balfour. Be pluralitie of votis, the said Mr Robert was electit hac vice.
[For the riper resolutione of matters which are to be treated in this Assemblie, the Assemblie ordeans their brethren, Mr James Lowsone, Mr Andrew Melvil, Mr Thomas Smetone, Mr John Craige, Mr Walter Balcanqual, Mr Peter Bleckburne, Mr Andrew Polwart, Mr John Davidsone, Mr Nicol Dagleish, John Durie, the Lairds of Braid and Pilrig, with the Commissioners of Edenburgh, to concurr and conveen dayly with the Moderator, at 7 hours in the morning on the preaching day, and on other days at eight hours, and afternoone at two hours, in Mr James Lawson his galerie, and consult with him upon such things, as they sall think meet to be proponed, to the end of the Assemblie. C. & B.]
Forsameikle as the raritie of this Assemblie chieflie stands in the default of the brether of the Ministrie, having commissioun to come to the Generall Assemblie, and ȝet comes not: The Kirk hes thought meitt that the Countreyes be callit on, and considerit quho are absent; and sicklike, if all that are in the commissiouns already givein in be present; and that the absents be markit, and a substantious ordour providit to correct them; [the forme thereof the brethren have willed Mr John Craig, David Fergusone, and Mr Peter Bleckburn, to consider, and give their judgement openlie to the whole Assemblie the morne at afternoon.
Anent the commissione given for erectione of Presbyteries in Cathnes, Sutherland, Rose and Murray: The trial of the executione thereof is desered till the coming of Mr George Hay.
Anent the commissione given in the last Assemblie to certaine brethren, to sight and consider the forme of the new erectione of the Colledge of Aberdeen, with the principall compts thereof; and as they found the one and the other to be allowed, to give testimonie of their approbatione thereunto; and sicklike, to other brethren nominate in the same conventione, to conveen at Sanct Androws for examinatione of the members of the said Colledge of Aberdeen, as the said commissione at length proports: The said brethren being required of their diligence in executione hereof, and certaine excuses alledged and meaned, nothing found execute, the Assemblie yet, as of before, gave commissione to Mr James Lowson, Mr Andrew Melvil, Mr Niccol Dagleish, and Mr Thomas Smetone, to read and peruse the said erectione and compts, and give their judgement thereupon, before the end of the Assemblie: And concerning the examinatione of the said members, in respect doubts are case in, if they be drawn to Sanct Androws, of the skailing of their whole classe, the farther consideratione hereof is left while the morne the brethren be fully assembled. C.]
Anent the Constitutions and Acts made in the Generall Assemblie: It is determined and resolved, that ane Act being made in the Generall Assemblie, no just cause of the changing therof interveining thereafter, it sall not be leisum to any particular brother, in ane [uther] General Assemblie, to call the same in question againe.
Anent the commission givin to certaine brether, in the last Assemblie, to visite the Vniversitie of Sanct Androes, and to considder how the rents and livings thereof are bestowed; how the doctrine is vsed be the Masters and Regents, and if the same be correspondent to the act of Parliament; and how the ordour is keepit among the students: The Kirk hes committit of new the executioun of the said commission, [in all points after the tenor thereof, to their brethren,] Mrs Andro Polwart, Thomas Buchannan, Niccol Dagleish, and William Chrystesone; and, to that effect, ordaines to conveine themselves in Sanct Androes, the 6 day of Marche nixt to come; and quhat they doe heirin, to report to the nixt Generall Assemblie. Mr Robert Wilkie, in name of the Vniversitie, protestit that the said commissioun prejudge not the liberties and priveledge of the Vniversitie.
[Anent the travells of Mr Craig in the Acts of the Kirk: The Commissioners appointed to the reviewing thereof, reported, that they had considered thereof, and that in his labours God was to be praised; yett some things they had noted, wherewith they desired he sould conferr, and thereafter proceed with him in farther reasoning.
Anent the commissione given to certane brethren to concurr with the Kings Majesties Commissioners, and treat upon a solid order and forme of provisione of the Ministers stipends, and estate of the Kirk: Report wes made be the brethren, that the Kings Majestie had appointed the first day of this moneth to the said effect; and latelie had proroged their meeting to the 16 thereof.
The Generall Assemblie, in one voice and mind, gives full power and commissione to their loved brethren, James Andersone, Mr Andrew Clayhills, and John Brand, with assistance of John Duncansone, and the Kings Ministers, to pass immediately to his Hienes and most Noble Counsel, and there, with all reverence and obedience and humilitie, present and offer such articles, complaints, and greeves, as are givin to them in write be the said Assemblie, treat, conserr and reason thereupon; and to crave his Hienes and their Honours good answer thereto, to be reported again to the whole Assemblie.
Anent the commissione given in the last Assemblie, concerning the Bishops of the Yles, Dunkeld, Dumblaine, and Sanct Androws: The brethren having commissione therein, namely, they who had commission concerning the Yles and Dunkeld, reported in write their proceeding, and desired that they might have conserence with the Assessors twiching Dumblane, before farther were openlie heard of, which wes granted afternoon. As to the Bishope of Dumblaine: Because excuse was pretended of the wanting of the act of the Kirk thereanent, the Assemblie ordeaned the said commissione to be execute, as of before, in all points according to the effect thereof, as they would answer to the Assemblie. As to the Bishop of Sanct Andrews: The triel is referred to the coming of the Commissioners at afternoone.
Forsameikle as the commissione givin in the last Assemblie to certane brethren, to trie and examine the qualities of the members of the Colledge of Aberdeen, if they be correspondent to the order and provisione of the new erectione, as their commissione at length bears, hath been negligentlie overseen, and left unexecute be the brethren having directione thereof; and partlie in default of the members and Regents not resorting to the place appointed: Therefore the whole Assemblie of new have given their full power and commissione to their brethren, the Rector, Mr Andrew Melvil, Mr Thomas Buchanan, Mr Robert Wilkie, and Mr James Martine, to examine and trie the qualities of the saids members, as said is; and the said examinatione to begin and proceed in Sanct Androws in this manner, and at thir special dyets following, viz. the Subprincipall, and one of the Regents, the 6 day of March nixt to come; and the other two Regents, the last day of April nixt thereafter: And to the effect they pretend no ignorance of the conclusione of the Kirk herein, the Assemblie hath ordeaned their brother, Mr Peter Bleckburne, Minister of Aberdeen, to warne the saids members and Regents to compear in Sanct Androws, at the times, and in the manner above specified, to be tried and examined, as said is, be the said Commissioners, under the pain of disobedience to the Kirk; and what herein bees proceeded, to returne to the nixt Generall Assemblie the report thereof. C.]
Ordaines the Moderatour of the Assemblie to receive from the Clerk thereof, the extract of the commissiouns givin to the brether the time he beares charge, in case they be absent from the Assemblie the tyme of the directioun thereof; and to direct them tymeouslie to the said brether, that the saids commissiouns be not left vnexecute, vpon pretence of thair absence and ignorance of the same.
[Ordeans their brethren, Mr Thomas Smetone, Mr Andrew Melvil, and Mr David Lindsey, to forme the Articles to be presented the King, and to present them at afternoone.
The brethrein appointed to the forming of the Articles, presented the heids thereof, which were read, and thoght meet to be put in forme be Mr Thomas Smetone, to be delivered with instructiones to the brethrein having commissione to present them to the Kings Majestie; and ordeaned such as have particular information to give thereupon, after the dissolving of the Assemblie, to resort to the said Mr Thomas. C.]
Ordaines every Presbyterie within thair awin bounds, to call befor them the beneficit persons within thair awin jurisdictioun, and to take acompt and tryall, how they have keipit the act of the Assemblie, twiching the dispositioun of thair ecclesiasticall living; in quhat manner, and quherin the samein hes bein transgrest; and to make ane just report therof to the nixt Assemblie be the Moderatour of thair Elderschip, or Commissioner, as they will answer to God and his Kirk.
Articles to be direct to the Kings Majestie, being presentit in forme, the haill Assemblie vottit to the presenting therof, with the instructiouns; quherof the tenour followis.
Sir, The strait commissioun we have receivit of the Eternall, our God, quhen, as in this ȝour Majesties realme, we were made watchmen of his peiple, and fearefull threatning pronuncit against every ane that neglect faithfullie to execute every part of thair [weighty] charge, compells vs presentlie to have recourse vnto ȝour Majestie, perceiving many things to fall furth, greatlie to the prejudice of Gods glorie, and no small appeirance of vtter wrack of [this] his Kirk and common wealth, vnlesse some hastie remeid be put thereto; most humblie, therefor, beseikand ȝour Majestie diligentlie to wey and considder thir few heids, quhilkis, with all reverence and observance, we present, looking for a gracious ansuer and speidie redresse therof.
1. It is a great greise to the hearts of all them that feares God, to [see papists,] apostates, sworn enemies to Chryst, to ȝour Grace, and all ȝour [faithfull] subjects, forfault for their treason, some also suspectit and heavilie bruitit with the murther of the most noble person of ȝour vmquhile father, impugners of the trueth be word and wryte, continuing still in thair wickednes, vnreconcilit to the Kirk, to receive of ȝour Majestie the benefite of pacificatioun, to the prejudice of the faithful Ministers, quhom violentlie be that meanes they labour to dispossesse.
2. That vthers from thair ȝouth, nourishit in the Kirk of God with us, and sensyne fearfullie fallin back therfra, and become oppen rennagattis, and blasphemers of the trueth, and mantainers of idolatrie, and that Man of Sin, Livetennant of Satan, and oppressours of Gods peiple; and ȝet, notwithstanding, are receivit in Court, authorizit, and [so] farre countenanced, that they are become familiar with ȝour Majestie; quherthrow, besyde the greise of ȝour Graces faithfull subiects, many are brought to doubt quhat sall ensew vpon such beginnings.
3. That a wicked [and] obstinate papist sent in the countrey to trassick aganis God, and quyetnes of ȝour Graces estate, and therfor as worthie of death, committit in ward at ȝour Graces command, with sure promise that he sould not escape punishment, ȝet, as we understand, was, be indirect meanes, let depart, and no trall takin to find out the author of his delyverie.
4. That ȝour Majestie seimes to have over great lyking of the enemies of God, asweil in Frances, as some within this realme, quho hes nevir givin testimonie of any good meaning either in religioun or in ȝour Majesties service, [beside the dissolute life and irreligious behaviour of them, that in your Graces service] have succeidit to men, that were knawin zealous in Gods cause, and faithfull to ȝour Grace from ȝour tender age.
5. Since ȝour Majestie took the government in ȝour awin hand, many faire promises hes bein made that ordour sould be takin for preservatioun of the Kirk of God, and continuance thereof to our posterite: ȝet, after long and continuall sute, nothing is performed; but, in place of redresse, the Kirk is berest daylie of her priviledges and liberties.
6. The thrids are sett in tackis for sowmes of money, in desraude of the Kirk, swa that no Minister heirafter can be provydit.
7. Abbacies are disponed, without any provisioun made for the Ministers serving in the kirks annexit therto, directlie against the act of Parliament.
8. Spirituall livings are givin to bairnes, and translatit in temporall lordschips.
9. That ther is no punischement for incests, adulteries, witcherafts, [murthers,] abominable oathes, and vther horrible oathes, in such sort that daylie sin increases, and provokes the wrath of God against the haill countrey.
10. There is a fore murmuring amongst ȝour Graces leigis, and a lamentabill complaint, that the lawis of the countrey have no place, that no man can be sure neither of his lyse, lands, nor goods, quhilk threatens a miserable confusioun, and the haveie hand of God to infew thervpon.
11. That osttymes ȝour Majestie interpones ȝour Hienes authoritie, be letters of horning, to stop the executioun of the acts made in the Generall Assemblie, in matters properly belonging to the Kirk, and nothing tuiching the civil estate.
Lastlie, We [most humblie] beseik ȝour Majestie to suffer us to lament the great divisioun amongs ȝour Heines nobilitie and subjects, the ane part seiking be all means possible, for thair awin particular, to perswade ȝour Majestie to wrack the vther; quhilk fosters a continuall stryse, malice, and rankour, to the greater danger of ȝour Graces person, quhom God preserve, to the Kirk of God and this pure countrey; beseiking ȝour Majestie, for the most tender mercie of God, to call to ȝour Hienes some of the most wise, discreit, and indifferent, to be ȝour Counsell, to take a moderate course, that unquyet spirits may be brydlit, good men cherishit and intertainit, and the hearts of all ȝour Majesties subjectis write, to the mantainance of Gods glorie, preservatioun of ȝour royall estate, and confort of all them that bewaile this miserable dissolution.
Particular instructions and more full declaration givin be the Generall Assemblie to thair Commisioners, direct to the Kings Majestie, the 13 of October, vpon every heid of the Articles generallie proponit.
First, How heavilie the godlie are offendit, and the haill Kirk slanderit, that Mr David Chalmer, a man notoriouslie knowin vnto his Grace and Counsell to be not [only] a formall and prosest enemie agains the trueth of Chrysts religioun, a plaine practiser and trassiquer agains the same, but also aganis his Hienes authoritie and estate, in all parts quher he has travellit, haveand herewith, resting vpon his heid, the sould brute and commoun suspitioun conceivit in the hearts of money men, vpon no small or obscure presumptions, of the cruell and barbarous murther of the most noble person of umquhile his Majesties father, of good memorie, sould be so suddenlie and with so small acompt entrit in favour, and receive his Majesties pacificatioun, with letters to dispossesse [his Majesties] faithfull servants and Ministers of God of thair livings and possessiouns, no due satisfactioun being made to the Kirk; a matter no less importing great prejudice to his Hienes noble estate, then tuiching his Majestie in the hiest point of his honour: and therfor his Hienes wald be movit wyselie to looke vpon the consequence heirof; and, in consideration of this weghtie greise, wald call back and suspend the effect and force of any thing ȝet grantit to him, and the charges given to his repossessioun, vnto the tyme that after just and lawfull tryall his innocence be agnoscit, and the haill Kirk, so farre oftendit in his person, be satisfied; and the same satisfactioun be returnit from the Kirk to his Grace.
The Ʒoung Laird of Fentrie direct vnto this countrey, as we are surely informit, to practise with his Grace and his faithfull subjects for overthrow of religion, be moyen of freinds cruppin in Court; and quherever he comes, plainly mantaines Papistrie, and, vnder colour of conference, quhilk be all means he flies, does great slander in this countrey.
The thrid article is notour.
Be the fourth article is meant the King of France, the Duke of Guife, and vther papists ther; and lykewayes, within the countrey, the Erles of Huntlie, Crawfurd, and vthers.
The Kirk is hurt in thair liberties and priveledges sundrie wayes, as will appeare in the articles, as follow.
Take of the thrids of Haddingtowne [and Sanct Androes,] fett to the Laird of Seagie.
The Abbacie of Aberbrothok is disponit to the Duke, and no provision for the Ministers.
The Abbacie of Halierudehous to the Abbots ȝoung sone.
Sicklyke, The Abbott of Newbottles sonn provydit to the Abbacie.
The 9 and 10 is notour; as for example, Mr George Gairdein being provydit to the Personage [and Viccarage] of Fordyce in the 68 ȝeir of God, and ȝet standing titular therof.
The Kings Majestie hes sett tackis of the fruites of the saids benefices to Robert Stewart of Todlaw, and command givin to the Lords of the Sessioun to grant letters vpon the said tackis.
Mr Alexander Arbuthnot is chargeit, against the Actis of the Kirk, to remaine in the Colledge of Aberdein, vnder the paine of horning.
The Ministers of the Chapiter of Halierudehous is chargeit be letters of horning to subscrive the gift of pensioun made to the Person of Pennycuik, his wyfe and sonne, for thair lysetymes, sicklyke agains the same Act.
Anent the Act made on the penult day of October 1576, concerning setting of fewis and tackis of benefices and ecclesiasticall livings, or any part therof, be such as beares functioun in the ministrie: The Generall Kirk, as of befor, ratifies and approves the said Act, with this declaratioun, That vnder this Act, all pensiouns, factories, and quhatsoevir vther dispositioun of the benefice, or any part thereof, without the consent of the Generall Assemblie, is and salbe comprehendit in tyme comeing; and that the disponers thervpon fall incurre the penaltie conteinit in the Act of the dait the 12 of Julij  Sessio 6a. [And for the particular observatione hereof, Mr Andrew Blackhall, in name of the Chapter of Halyroodhouse, is charged not to subscrive the gift of pensione given to the Person of Pennycuke be the said Abbot, under the pain conteaned in the said Act.
Anent the citatione of the Bishop of Sanct Androws to this Assemblie, be ane act of his Synodall Assemblie, wherein he is warned apud acta to this day, as the act bears: The Assemblie, notwithstanding his none compearance, superseede to give their determinatione in the matter while he be called again, in case he would purge his absence.
Matters remitted from the Synodall Assemblie of Lothiane, and answered in the Generall the same day, and in the sixth Sessione. C.]
It is cravit be the Synodall of Lowthiane, that this Assemblie take ofdour with Mr Johne Spottiswood for setting of the tack of his benefice, but consent of the Assemblie. The Kirk ordaines this particular to be tryit in his awin Presbyterie, and the tryall to be reportit to the nixt Assemblie.
[Item, That certane Commissioners be appointed for calling of all persons newlie provided, and ather compell them to serve the cure, or deprive them.
A. That the Commissioners present give up the names of the non residents upon Munday afternoone.
Item, For asmeikle as the Kings house seems not to be served as becomes, that the Assemblie take order therwith.
A. Advertisement to be given to John Duncansone to take greater attendance; and to write to Mr Craig, as necessitie sall be to him to come.
That the Eldership of Stirline produce the process led against the Bishop of Dunkeld.
A. That is done.
That the Assemblie procure provision to Ministers wanting both sussicient stipends and dwelling.
A. Referrs to the Platt.
Item, That moyen be made for obteaning of the Provestrys of Seton and Pantland, and establishing of Ministers there.
A. Their benefices coming in the Kirks hands jure devoluto, that the Presbytries dispone them. C.]
Item, That this Assemblie ratisie the dissolutioun of the Presbistrie of Haddingtoun, and vnioun of the members thereof with vther Presbitries, be reason of the many enormities occurreand ther, as rare conventioun of the brether, loathsomenes and contempt of the Word in the peiple, and not executing the acts of the Assemblie: quhilk heid the Kirk approves for the present.
[Item, That the Assemblie take order with the Vicar of Bolton.
A. Ordeans the Presbytrie of Dalkeith to call him for none residence and deprive him.
A provisione would be had for the Clerk of the Assemblie.
A. A. request fall be made to the modisiers for that effect.
Inquired, Whither a Viccar having a gleeb, and the Person who serves in the Ministrie having none, the Person being Minister sould be preferred to the Vicar, and the gleeb cheeslie; seing readers are discharged, and Vicars make no residence.
A. Ita. C.]
Forsameikle as sundrie of the Penitents, partlie for povertie, seiknes, or distance of place, are vnable to compeir befor the Provinciall Assemblie, Queritur, If they may compeir befor the Elderschips.
Ansuer, It is not thocht good presentlie.
The Elders of the Elderschip of Melros are of diverse judgements, some craving the Assemblie to continue [there,] vthers to another place, or els to divyde it. Querintur, Quhat salbe best.
Answer, They have libertie [to change] as they think best, so it be [done] with commoun consent.
[Of old, Leith and Restalrig was one parish, and the parish kirk stood in Restalrig; while now, be the act of the Assemblie, it is ordeaned to be in Leith, and yet Restalrig refuses, in respect of old alledged priviledges.
A. Ordeans the Presbytrie of Edinburgh to take order herewith. C.]
[Forasmeikle as the Synodall Assemblie of Lothian is considered to be very popular, and attour the number, which the brethren thinks meet, of Presbytries unite thereto, it is thought most expeident that the same be dismembred, and four Presbytreies joyned in one Provinciall Assemblie; and that Dumbar, Chirnside, Melrose, and Peebles, be Joyned, and concurr in one Syndoall Assemblie; and the place of their nixt Assemblie to be in Lauder, and thereafter, according to their own consent and advice, to be changed as they sall think expedient. C. & B.]
[For as meikle as the constitutiones of the Presbytries within this realme, being considered to be most necessar and prositable for the whole Kirk; yet for interteanment of good discipline and policie therein, if the same be duelie and accordingly erected, the Assemblie hath advised and thought it meet, that the brethren after specified fall visit particularly the bounds after following, viz. Mr David Lindsey, Mr Alexander Hume, and Mr. John Roberston, from Dee north to Tyne, and the said Mr John to meet then at Elgin; Mr Andrew Hay, Mr Andrew Polwart, Mr Gilbert Gardin, from Dee to Forth; Mr George Hay, Mr Thomas Buchanan, James Anderson, John Clappertone, from Forth to Berwick, be east Clyde, as after followes, viz. the said James from Edinburgh west, the said John from Edinburgh east, and the said Mr George and Mr Thomas the rest of the said bounds; John Durie, Mr John Davidsone, and the Minister of Glasgow, the whole bounds from Clyde both to the fouth and west; and, betwixt this and the nixt Assemblie, diligently consider the estate of the whole Presbytries within the saids bounds where they are erected; see if there be uniformitie of order and policie keeped among them; and as they find just cause of reformation, to put hand thereto, and to reforme the same; as also, where no Elderships are yet erected, to plant and erect the same; and of their diligence concerning this commissione, to give accompt at the nixt Generall Assemblie; and that the Presbytries where thir brethren remains and serves, take order for provision of their kirks in their absence.
The same day the Bishop of Sanct Androws yett being not compearand, farther proces is yett superseeded against him while the morne.
Anent the summons directed be the Presbytrie of Linlithgow against Mr John Grahame, summoning him, conforme to ane order of their Synodall Assemblie, to hear him discerned to have done wrong in injuring of Mr Walter Ballanquall, and the whole Presbytrie of Edinburgh, and alleged trial before them: and the Synodall Assemblie ordeans their depositiones to be taken and put in write be Mr Robert Pont and Mr John Craig; and the articles and interrogators whereupoun the said witneses are to be examined, to be penned be Mr Thomas Semton, Mr Andrew Melvil, and Mr James Melvil, and to be given in the morne at 10 hours.
Anent the Lord Bothwels letter: The Assemblie ordeaned a writing to be direct to his Lordship, informing him that they have ordeaned some brethren to conserr with his Lordship with all diligence, and to let him understand of the meaning of the Assemblie, concerning the particulars proponed in his name; which were a grant of the Assemblie to the setting of a tack of the teinds of Chrichtone, Hawick, and establishing of a Presbytrie in Kelso. C.]
[Anent the questione moved concerning the punishment of] Ministers that beares with the peiple repairing in pilgrimage to wells hard besyd their awin houses, vnreproving them, but rather intertaining them with meate and drinke in thair houses; distributing the communioun to thair flockes, and not communicating with them be the space of sevin or aucht ȝeirs: [It was answered that] such persons deserve deprivatioun.
[Anent the conference with my Lord Bothwel upon the particulars proponed in his Lordships behalf to the Assemblie: The Assemblie hath appointed the Lairds of Braid and Merchistone, with Mr David Lindsey, and Mr Niccol Dagleish, with all good opportunitie, to travel with his Lordship, and open up the meaning of the brethren to him concerning the same, and to report &c.
Forsameikle as the young Larid of Fentrie, being a papist, and made residence within the countrey, without making consessione of his faith attour the time limit in the act of Parliament, and no order yet taken with him be the Kirk: The whole Assemblie hath ordeaned, and ordeans the Minister of Dundie, in the kirk therof, to give admonition to him to subscrive the Consessione of Faith: and if obedience bees not given on the serd Sonday, to proceed with the sentence of Excommunicatione against him; and if he offers obedience, that the same be done with solemne oath to every article, and publictly subscrive the samine before the congregatione there; and thereafter the said Eldership to injoyne satisfactione to him for his apostacie.
Anent the erectione of the Colledge of Aberdeen, sighted be Mr Thomas Smetone, Mr Andrew Melvil, Mr Niccol Dagleish, and Mr James Martine, at commandement of the Assemblie: The report of the said brethren being heard, allowing thereof in their judgements, the whole Assemblie giveth their approbatione thereto.
Anent the reading of Aristotle in the schooles: Seing there be manie things conteaned in his doctrine, directly impugning the grounds of religione, directione is given to their brethren, Mr Thomas Smetone, Mr Androw Melvil, Mr James Lowsone, Mr Peter Bleckburne, Mr Niccol Dagleish, Mr James Martein, and Mr Robert Wilkie, to draw furth and collect, as farr as their memorie in such shortnes of time may serve, such propositiones as they find erronious, and report them the morne to the full Assemblie. C.]
The Generall Assemblie gives licence to the Person of Hauch, to passe out of the countrey for recoverie of his health, the Kings Majesties licence being obtainit therto, and his awin kirk provydit at the sight of the Presbitrie of Dumbar.
Forsameikle as sundrie acts hes past of befor, to close the hands of benesicit persons within the Ministric, that they sett no tackis of the benefices, or any part thereof, or make vther dispositioun therof quhatsumevir, without the advyce of the haill Kirk, ȝet dayle supplicatiouns are given in to the Kirk for thair consent to be had therto; howbeit, both for shortnes of tyme and vtherwayes, the estate of such supplicatiouns cannot be convenientile reasoned and tryed before them: Heirfor it is thought expedient that quher any such sute is to be made, that the samein be first presentit to the Particular Presbyteries quher the benefices [lyis,] quhom befor the tryall salbe takin, both of the auld kyndnes and title of the supplicant, and of the estate of the benefice; quhat was the auld rentall therof, quhat present; and the proces and tryall thereof returnit againe to the Generall Assemblie, quher ordour may be tane with the sute according to equitie: And lykewayes ordaines every Presbitrie, within thair awin jurisdictioun, to try and examine what persons hes broken the act made against beneficit persons within the Ministrie, that sells tacks or fewis, or makes vther dispositiouns quhatlumevir of thair benefices, or any part therof, against the actis of the Assemblie; and, after calling of parties, and due tryall tane, to report their names, with the proces, to the next Assemblie.
[Anent the power given to the Commissioners appointed to the oversight of the whole Presbytries: The speciall heids thereof are ordained to be put in forme be Mr David Lindsay and David Fergusone against afternoone. C.]
[The same day,] the proces led be the Presbiterie of Sanct Androes aganis Elison Person, with the proces led aganis Mr Patrick Adamsone before the Presbiterie forsaid, and also the proces of the Synodall of Fyse, to justifie the accusatioun led aganis the said Mr Patrick, was exhibit [to the Assemblie: which being read, with the depositiones of the witnesses led against him, the Assemblie ordeaned their brethren, Mr Androw Hay, John Johnstone, and James Ramsay, to collect the witneses to prove the articles, and what articles they prove, betwixt and four hours. C.]
Forsameikle as in reiding in schooles, of prosane authors, quherin many things are wrytin directlie impugning the grounds of religioun, and speciallie in the philosophie of Aristotle, oft tymes the ȝouth being curious and of insolent spirits, drinkes in erronious and damnable opiniouns, and founding them vpon the bruckle authoritie of prosane wryters, mantaines thair godles and prosane opinions obstainately in disputatioun and vtherwayes, to the great slander of the Word of God, and offence of the simple and vnlearnit: Therefor, it is provydit, and after reasoning, be vniversall advyse and good consent, aggreeit, that, in all tymes coming, the masters, regents, and teachers of schooles, in reiding of prosane wryters, sall vigilantlie take heid, if ther be any thing alledgit or wrytin in them against the grounds or heids of religioun; and, in teaching thereof, to marke and note the places, consute and evict the errours, and admonisch the ȝouth to eschew the same, as erronious and false; and, namelie, in teaching of philosophie, to note the propositiouns following, as erronious, false, and aganis the Religioun, and condemnit be the commoun vote of the haill Kirk.
1. Omnis finis est opus ant operatio.
2. Civilis scientia est prestantissima, ejusque finis prestantissimus et summum hominis bonum.
3. Honesta et justa varia sunt et inconstantia, adeo ut sola opinione constent.
4. Juvenes et rerum imperiti, et in libidinem proclives, ab audienda morum philosophia arcendi.
5. Quod aliud ab aliis bonis, et per se bonum est, et causa cur cetera per se bona sunt, non est summum bonum.
6. Dei agnitio nihil prodest artifici ad hoc, ut arte sua bene utatur.
7. Summum bonum vel minimi boni accessione augeri aut reddi potest optabilius.
8. Pauper, deformis, orbus aut infans, beatus esse non potest.
9. Bonum esternum bono vnius diei non est majus bonum.
10. Felicitas est actio animi secundum virtutem.
11. Potest aliquis sibi suo studio selicitatem comparare.
12. Homo in hac vita [cumulaté] et esse et dici potest beautus.
13. Post hanc vitam nemo potest vel esse vel dici beatus, nisi propinquorum vel amicorum ratione.
14. Natura apti ad virtutem, eam agendo comparamus.
15. Virtus est habitus electiuus in ea mediocritate positus, quam ratio prudentis prescribit.
16. Libera est nobis voluntas ad bene agendum.
17. Mundus est phisice esternus.
18. Casus et fortuna locum habent in rebus naturalibus et humanis.
19. Res viles et inferiores non curat Dei providentia.
20. Animi pars vna vel etiam plures sunt mortales, et quæ hinc pendent et necessario consequntur.
And if any beis found to doe in the contrair [heirof,] the censures of the Kirk to proceid against them: And sicklyke, that Masters, Regents, and Teachers, Auditours, or vthers, [fall not] assert or defend any of the saids propositiouns already condemned be the Kirk, or vthers, that fall happin to be condemnit be them heirafter, philosophice, probabiliter, or vtherwayes, vnder the paine of the same censures of the Kirk.
Item, That no act, or any vther thing proceding from the particular Presbyteries, have faith in tyme comeing, without the same be subscryvit be the Moderatour and Clerk thereof.
[The same day, the Kings Majesties answers to the Articles of the Assemblie, being returned be John Brand, read openlie, and conferred with the saids Articles and Instructiones, it was thought be the brethren, a great part of them are yet unsatisfied. As twinching the Laird of Fentrie, His Grace to be informed concerning the testimonial alledged given him. As to the rest of the Articles, except concerning the transforming of the Abbacies in the temporal Lordships, That they may be yet suted at his Grace. C.]
The Kings Majesties ansuers vnto the Heids presentit to his Hienes from the Generall Assemblie of the Kirk.
At Stirling the 17 of October 1583.
His Majestie having considderit the heids, and conserrit with the messingers, twinching the meaning and the explicatioun of the generalities therof, Vnderstanding the first point to be gatherit, of the granting of the benefite of pacificatioun be his Hienes to Mr David Chalmer: His Majestie knowing that man to be forfaultit only for that commoun actioun of his being at the feild of Langusyde, for quhilk pardon [wes] grantit to so many, thought it no new or strange thing, at the request of such as [earnestly] movit his Hienes, to grant vnto him the lyke benefite, for the like cause, as many vthers had of befor obtainit; ȝet no wayes intending to spare the dew punishment of him or any vther that may be chargit or may be found culpable of the murther of his Hienes dearest father; or that [are] or salbe adversares to the religioun, or impugners therof, aganis his Hienes lawis made theranent; the executioun of quhilk his Majestie hes bein, is, and wilbe, willing to further.
The second heid generallie conceivit, being particularlie meinit of the ȝoung Laird of Finitrie, His Majestie wisches the Assemblie to remember how his Hienes hes dealt in this matter, and quhat testimoniall the Kirk of Edenburgh grantit to him. His Majestie hes not hindrit the proceidings of the Kirk against him, nor no vther, but meanes to hald hand therto according to the lawis.
The 3 heid being specially meant of ane William Holt, Inglischman, that escapit out of the Castell of Edenburgh, His Majestie hes ansuerit the Querine of Inglands [late] Ambassadour, quho movit his Hienes in that matter not long since. It is no vncouth thing to heir such a man so escapit; alwayes quhat they heare tell be any indirect meanes vsed for letting him depart, his Majestie being speciallie informed thereof, will, after due tryall, sie the offenders punischit according to thair deservings.
The 4 held being verie generall, His Majestie thinks, the Assemblie will not think it verie pertinent for them to have vote in the choosing of his Majesties servants, or to be over curious of the occasioun of placing or removeing of them; neither ȝet of the intelligence betuixt his Hienes and any forraine countreyes, for intertaining of civill peace and amitie, from the quhilks no princes or commoun wealthes in the world abstaines, although being diverse in religioun.
The 5. held containing a generall complaint vpon some speciall matters appearandlie exprest in the matters following, His Majestie wisches the Assemblie, as they wald be speciallie and directlie ansuerit, so to forme thair petitiouns, forbearing any particular examples, to ground generall propositiouns; and to remember that [since] his Majestie tooke the governement in his awin person, ther is moe good and profitable lawis made for the advancement of the Kirk and true religioun, nor of befor; the default of the execution therof, and performance of promise nothwithstanding in his Hienes default.
The 6, meaning speciallie of the tack sett to the Laird of Seagy of certaine victualls foorth of the superplus of the thrids, quhilk he had of befor in pensioun, That was no new forme, nor any wayes prohibite. He could asweill content him with the pensioun, as he had it of befoir, frie of all payment of duetie. The necessar consideratiouns that movit the granting therof, are weill enough knawin to many. He is imployit in publick service, wanting the living quhervnto he is provyndit in title, dureing his fathers lyfetyme; and his service is, and may be necessar, both for his Hienes and the Kirk.
For any thing that may be thocht omittit toward the provisioun of Ministers, serving at the kirks annexit to Abbayis in the late dispositioun of them, that is weill supplied be act of Parliament; [the executione quherof] hes rather stayit thir twa ȝeirs past in thair awin default or vtherwayes, they craveing to have thair assignations continuit as in the ȝeirs preceiding; and as ȝet not having directolie ansuerit to his Majesties message sent with his Master of Requeists, to the Assemblie haldin at Sanct Androes: Alwayes his Majestie made choise of certain Barronis, and vthers of good appeirance, knawin zealous to the furtherance of that good worke, lipning to have had the assignatiouns formed befor the Assemblie: But being vncertaine of the tyme appointit therfor, this ȝeir, is doubtfull, if they be come in Edenburgh; quher if they be, his Hienes fall send directioun to them to proceid; or, if they be not, sall appoint vthers, so as the assignatiouns may proceid, and so vther things as are most neidfull resolvit, without any further delay.
Twitching the giving of spirituall livings to bairnes, and translating them in temporall Lordschips, his Majestie considders his awin skaith and hinderance of his service therin. Quhatever abuse hes entrit befor his accepting of the government, tyme, and approbatioun of such provisiouns be decreits of the Sessioun, hes brocht the matter to that estate, as it cannot be vtherwayes helpit then be the Parliament; quhom vnto these being proponit, his Majestie sould hald hand to have such reformatioun in this behalfe as possiblie can be obtainit.
The default of punishment of vyces mentionat in the nynt heid, and of the act of provisioun of the poore, and punishing of vagabounds, man not be justilie impute to his Hienses, quho hes ever bein willing and ready to grant commissioun to such as the Ministers thought meitest to execute [the same,] quher inhabilitie was [in] the Judges ordinar.
The 10 heid being generall, his Majestie wald be glad, not only to have it explainit, bot to heare all good informatiouns [that sall be offerit to him,] for the reformatioun of that quhilk may be found amisse, and how his lawis may have place, and justice be ministrat to the confort and commoun benesite of all his good subjects.
The 11 heid hes being very generall; and for the only one example that hes being spokin [of] to his Hienes, twitching the removeing of the Principall of the Colledge of Aberdein to be Minister of Sanct Androes, his Majestie trusts the Assemblie will not think that matter, (the substances weill considderit,) either so proper to the Kirk, or so improper to the civill estate, bot that his Hienes and Counsell had good ground and reason to direct his letters as he did, vpon the generalls of the north countrey, quherin none was prejudgit, seing ther was no charge conteining power to denunce at the first, bot rather to doe the thing required, or compeir and schew ane cause in the contrar.