Acts and Proceedings of the General Assemblies of the Kirk of Scotland, 1560-1618. Originally published by [s.n.], Edinburgh, 1839.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
A.D. M.D. LXXXVI.
The General Assembly of the Kirk haldin at Edenburgh, in the Ovir Tolbuith thereof, the 10 day of May 1586: Quher ther was present his Majesties Commissioners, my Lord Chancellour, Justice Clerk, Mr Johne Grahame, the Prymour of Blantyre, Mr Peeter young, with the Commissioners direct from the Synodalls and Vniversities.
[Exhortatioun was made be Mr Robert Pont, Moderatour of the last General Assembly. My Lord Privie Seale, Prior of Blantyre, and Mr Peeter young, the Kings Schoolmaster, direct from the Kings Majestie, declared to the Assembly, when they were to choose a new Moderator. This his Grace being occupied in great affaires, could not this day give his presence; that his pleasure was, that they should stay from any further proceeding till afternoon; and therfor desyrit the haill brether, at afternoone, to repare to the Palace of Halrudhous, and conveen in the great Chappell in the Abbay, quher he sould propone his mynd to them; and, in the meanetyme, to superseid the electioun of a Moderatour quhill then: quherto the brether aggreit, seing the matter was but a circumstance of time and place, with conditioun it sould not prejudge the libertie of the Assemblie in any point: Lykas the Commissioners declairit they understood of no prejudice meant therby. C. & B.]
Sessio. 2a. Eodem die, in Capella Regia, coram rege.
[The Assembly conveened after noon in the Chappell Royal. The King sitting at the end of the table, and the Ministers on furmes round about him, made an harang containing two causes wherefor he granted the Ministers their requiest for calling of that Assembly. The one was in respect of himself, that whereas, by the occasion of some late alterations within his realme, certain evill reports were blowen and spread abroad of him, by some of his own subjects, both within his realme and without, That he had made defection from the true religion, wherein he was born, brought up, and instructed in from his infancie, He thought good to call that Assembly, as well to make protestation of his perseverance and soundness in religion, as also to offer himself there presently to satiffy any man that could give any reason wherefor they suspected him of such defection; alledging there could be no meeter time nor place to accuse him of any fault in his and conversation; or yet in authorizing of the Policie of the Kirk. The second cause was, for remitting of the Ministers of the Kirk to a judgment concerning the discipline of the Kirk; adding, that he purposed to establish that throughout his realme, which, by conference amongst them, should be found most agreeable to the Word of God. Then he had them pass to their own orders. Mr Robert Pont said to him, Sir, we praise God that your Majestie being a Christian Prince, hath decored our Assembly with your own presence, and we trust your Majestie speaketh without hypocrify.
Thereafter, prayer being made be Mr Robert Pont, the Kirk proceidit to the nominatioun of Mrs Peeter Blackburne, David Lindsay, Nicholl Dalgleisch, James Balfour, to be on leits for choosing a Moderatour, and the said Mr David electit Moderatour hac vice. The King voted first for him, so the votes went after.
For the readier resolution and expedition of matters which are to be treated in this Assembly, the brethren nominated the persons underwritten, viz. Mrs Johne Robertsone, Alexander Rawsone, George Hay, Peeter Blackburne, the Laird of Dun, William Chrystesone, William Hepburne, Williame Morieson, Thomas Buchannan, David Fergusone, Robert Pont, Nicholl Delgleisch, the Kings Ministers, Adame Johnstoun, Alexander Hoome, David Hoome, Johne Knox, James Bryseoun, Andro Hay, James Anderson, Patrick Galloway, to conveen with the Moderator at extraordinary hours, to conferr, and give their advice in matters meetest to be proponed and resolved in this Assembly. But the King would not have David Hume, Minister of Coldinghame, to be of that number; for when he was named, the King said, I have something to say against that man, and so Alexander Hume, Minister of Dumbar, was chosen for him. C. & B.]
His Majestie appointit my Lord Seccreitar, Justice Clerk, Privie Seale, Mr Johne Grahame, my Lord Culrose, Mr Peeter ȝong, to conferre, reason, and advyse with the said brether on matters mutuallie to be proponed, and them, or any two [or three] of them, to concurre with the Assemblie, on his Majesties behalfe, as his Hienes Commissioners, [the ordinary hours and place of the Assembly to be keeped. He willed them to referr their greater matters to Munday follwing, at what time he minded to be present with them, and to propone certain matters to them; yet for certain occasions moveing him, he was not present as he purposed. C.]
Sessio 4a. In Pretorio.
[The 11th of May before noone, there was proponed a question directed from the Synod of Lothian, If there was any man of another judgment, but that the discipline which were had these divers years begane, was according to the Word of God. This question was thought fitt to be reasoned first in the privie conference with the Moderator, and then to be brought to the publick Assembly. C.]
Anent vniformitie of discipline: It is thought meitt that the same be first proponit in the privie conference, and therafter publicklie.
[The Secretar, the Prior of Balntyre, Mr Peter Young, Commissioners from the King, proponed, Whither the Bishops might have preeminence over the brethren, if not jurisdiction, yet ordinis causa. The Assembly answered, It could not stand with the Word of God, only they must tolerat it, in case it be forced upon them be the civil power. C.]
Anent the Register [of the books] of the Kirk: Mrs George Hay and Patrick Galloway being directit to the Kings Majestie for to sollicite the redelyverance of the same, returnit his Hienes ansuer, That they sould be delyverit to the Clerk ilk day during the Assemblie, but at evin they sould be in the hands of the Lord Privie Seale, quhill the end of the said Assemblie, betuixt and the quhilk day his Majestie wald be present himselfe.
It is thought universallie meitt, that through the haill Countreyes ther be ordourlie sett downe Presbytries in the places vnderwrytin, quhilk are judgit most proper and convenient therfor, to the number following, viz. In Orknay, ane within the towne of Kirkwall: In ȝetland, ane within the towne of: In Cathnes 2, Thurso and Dorno: In Rose 2, ane in Tane, ane vther in the Chanrie: In Murray 4, viz. Inuernes, Elgin, Forres, and Ruthven: In Aberdein 5, viz. Deir, Inuerrourie, Fordoun, Aberdein, and Kinkairdin: In Mernes, ane in Bervie: In Angus 3, Montrois, Dundie, Brechin: In Dunkeld ane: In Perth ane: In Dumblane ane: In Striveling ane: In Lowthiane 5, Lithgow, Edenburgh, Dalkeith, Haddingtoun, Dumber: In Fyfe 4, Sanct Androes, Couper, Dumsermling, Kirkadie: In Mers, Chirnsyde: In Teviotdail 3, Melrose, Jedbrugh, Kelso: In Tweddall, Peibles: In Annandail, Mussett: In Nithesdaile 2, Dumfries, Sanchar: In Galloway 4, Glenluse, Wigtoun, Kirkudbright, Sanct Johnes Clauchan: In Carrick, Mayboill: In the Shiresdome of Air, in Air, in Cuninghame, in Irwing: In Ranfrew, Paislay: In Lennox, Dumbartan, in the Neither Ward of Clidesdaill: In the Ovir Ward 2, Lanerik and Bigger. [And the effect] that the kirk quhilk most properlie [should be] vnite to every Presbyterie, sould be joynit therto, quhervpon the Presbiteries may be erectit convenientlie, the Assemblie ordaines Commissioners for ilk Shirefdome, [their brethren underwritten, to wit, Mr John Robertsone for Rose; Mr Alexander Rawson for Murrey; Mr Peter Blackburne and James Reid for Aberdeen; Mr Andrew Mylne for Mernes; the Laird of Dun, Mr John Hepburne, William Christesone, Mr James Balfour, for Angus; the Bishop of Dunkelden for Dunkelden; Mr Patrick Galloway for Perth; Mr Andrew Young for Dumblane; Mr James Anderson for Stirline; David Ferguson and Mr Thomas Buchanan for Fife; John Brand, Mr Andrew Blackhall, Mr Thomas Makgie, William Sanderson, for Lothian; Mr John Spotswood, George Lunde, for Linlithgow; David Hume for Merce; Mr John Knox, George Johnstoun, for Teviotdale; Mr Archbald Dowglass, Robert Allan, for Tweddaill; John Duncanson for Galloway; John Mackcorne for Carick; Mr John Porterfield for Air; Mr Robert Wilkie for Cuninghame; Mr Andrew Hay for Ranfrew; Mr Patrick Walkinshaw for Lennox; Mr Andrew Polwart for Galsgow; Thomas Lindsay for Lanark and Biggar; to travel every one, according to their bounds limited to them, to the effect above written, and to present their travail the morn before noon. C.]
The brether appointit to give in the names of the kirks as they thocht they might most properlie be castin into Presbitries, pronuncit their judgements [and the names] in wryte; quhilk were delyvered to my Lord Clerk Register, quhom the Kirk requeistit to visite and considder [the same, and] to give his judgement therof. As to the places quher the Synodall Assemblies salbe haldin, and the day of their nixt conventioun, It is thocht meitt that thair nixt Assemblie sall begin the first Tuesday of October nixt to come, in the particular places following; quher being conveinit they sall choose at thair awin optioun the same, or such vther places within thair bounds as they think most expedient therafter; and so furth fra tyme to tyme, as they sall appoint and think meittest. [Always] for the first tyme, [and next Assembly, fall conveen as followeth, viz.] the Synodall of Orknay in Kirkwall; of Cathnes in Dornach; of Rose in the Channonrie; of Murray in Elgin; of Bamfe in Torrie; of Aberdein in Aberdein; of Angus and Mernes in Brechin; of Dunkeld in Dunkeld; of Dumblane in Dumblane; of Fyfe and Perth in Sanct Androres; of Lowthiane in Edenburgh; of Merse, Teviotdaill, and Tweddall, in Lawder; of Nithesdaile in Dumfreis; of Galloway in Wigtoun; of Kyle, Carrick, and Cunninghame, in Air; of Clidesdaill, Ransrew, and Lennox, in Glasgow.
The Kirk requeistit my Lord Secreitar to intreat with his Majestie, that the Generall Assemblie may be ȝeirlie heirafter observed, [or oftner as occasion shall be offered;] and to understand quhat tyme his Majestie thinks meitt for [holding] the nixt conventioun.
Anent the doubt movit, Whither it be leisum to any towne or citie quher ther is ane Vniversitie [in the same,] and a part of the parochin of the said towne lyand to landwart, but their consents and votis, to elect a Minister to the whole parochin and Vuniversitie, pretending the priviledge of ane old vse and custome: The Kirk has vottit therto negando, That it is not leisum so to doe.
[Touching matters pertaining properly to General and Provincial Assemblies: Certain heads being read which were agreed on in the late conference holden betwixt certain of the King's Majesties Commissioners and such others of the Ministry called be his Grace to that effect, the Assembly thought meet they should be farther considered till afternoon. C.]
Anent the heid red before noone, referrit to farther deliberation: The Moderatour declairit that the matter in a pairt being reasonit in privie conference, they had pennit two articles, quhilk they thought good the Assemblie sould judge vpon, and to vote the same if they find it expedient; quhilk being red and advysit with, the haill brether gave consent thereto; of the quhilk articles this is the tenour:
It is found that all such as the Scripture appointeth Governours of the Kirk of God, as, namelie, Pastours, Doctours, and Elders, may conveine to General Assemblies, and vote in ecclesiastical matters; and all vthers that hes any sute or vther things to propone to the Assemblie, may be ther present and give in thair sutes, and propone things prositable to the Kirk, and heir reasoning, but sall not vote.
2. There are foure offices ordinar set down to vs be the Scripture, to witt, Pastours, Doctours, Elders, and Deacons. The name of a Bishcop ought not to be taken [as it hath been] in Papistrie; but it is commoun to all Pastours and Ministers.
[The Assembly ordained a citation to be directed furth to summond Mr David Cunninghame, Bishop of Aberdeen, to compear before the Presbytries of Glasgow and Stirline, the 21 day of June nixt to come, in the toun of Stirline where they should be assembled for the time, to be tryed, if he be guilty of the slander of adultery committed with Elspeth Sudderland, or any other person; and if he shall be found, be good appearance, to be criminal or guilty, after the said triall, to suspend him from the function of the Ministry, to the next Assembly; and to summond him to compear before them, to hear the determination of the whole brethren thereanent; and that the summond, which is to be directed against him, be executed personally, if he can be apprehended; and failing thereof, at the Kirks of New and Old Aberdeen, and his dwelling places, be the Ministers of New and Old Aberdeen. C. & B.]
Anent visitatioun: The Kirk, after reasoning, hes sound that it is laufull and necessar at this tyme; but continuand the forme therof, and the rest of the circumstances therof, heirafter to be reasoned.
[The Assembly continued the answers to bills and supplications to the end of the Assembly, that the weighty matters might be discussed. C.]
Anent the heids of visitatioun, and circumstances left to farther consideration: At the desyre of my Lord Privie Seale, the Assemblie directit Mrs Robert Pont, Andro Melvill, Thomas Blackburne, Nicoll Dalgleish, Andro Polwart, and Thomas Buchannan, to conferre with the Kings Commissioners [in the Ile of the Kirk] theranent, [and upon] sick vther matters as salbe communicat to them,
[The Assembly ordained Mr Craig to take two or three brethren with him, to urge the Master of Gray to the performance of his promise made, in presence of the King, at the baptism of his bearn, which was to subscribe the Confession of Faith, and to see him subserive as said is. C.]
In presence of the haill Assemblie, compeirit my Lord Maxwell, and declairit, that be the Kings Majesties command, he compeirit before the said Assemblie; as he had [found] cautioun for that effect befor the Counsell to compeir before them this day; and, in respect of his obedience, protestit his cautioner sould be fred, and tooke instruments vpon his protestatioun and compeirance.
The Assemblie, in respect they know not the cause of his compeirance, nor the Kings Majesties command theranent, desyrit him to be present the morne befor noone; and, in the meane tyme, craving his Hienes Commissioners knawledge heiranent. The saids Commissioners protestit that his caution sould no wayes be fred, quhill his Majesties mynd be returnit be them to the Assemblie.
Anent the proposition of the Kings Majesties Commissioners, made to the haill Assemblie, to resolve, be good and commoun deliberatioun, if they will accept the Bischops [with the conditions] sett downe in the conference had betuixt certaine of his Majesties Counsall and certaine of the brether of the Ministrie, or if they will refuse: The Kirk continewit thair ansuer quhill the morne, after thair reiding publicklie of the haill conference.
[The Kings Commissioners, after publick reasoning with the brethren above named, came to the Assembly, and the Thesaurer proponed, that either it behoved them to approve the whole conference whereunto his Majestie agreed; or else that all things must remain as they were; for except the estate of Bishops were received as was agreed in that conference, the King would grant nothing. C.]
Compeirit the Erle of Mortoun, Lord Maxwell [and some others: Lord Maxwell] being accusit for heiring of Mess, and the act of the Kings Majesties Privie Counsell being red for the satisfactioun of the Kirk theranent, he answered, He had satisfied the Kings law, and desyrit the conference of learnit men concerning the religioun and participation of the Lords table.
[Certain heads advised on in the privat conference being proponed to consultation, the Assembly for the most part voted, that the heads of the conference mentioned yesternight be first considered, to the effect they may resolve upon the answer. C.]
Anent the articles aggried [upon] in the conference haldin at Halierudehous, betuixt certaine appointit be the Kings Majestie of his Counsell, and certaine of the Ministrie callit be his Hienes to that effect: The particulars being oppinly red, the brethe aggreeit to the first article, it being conceivit in thir termes:
It is condiscendit, that the name of a Bischop hes a special charge and functioun annexit to it be the Word of God, the same that the ordinar Pastour hes.
Anent the remanent articles of the said conference: It was thought good, first, to lay some grounds to reason on: And, first, after reasoning, it was concludit, That it is laufull to the Generall Assemblie to admitt a Pastour, [Bishop] or Minister haveand a benefice presentit be the Kings Majestie vnto the same.
Sicklyke, That visitatioun is in the person of Pastours.
Item, The Generall Assemblie may send a man, accompanied with such as the Presbitrie sall adjoyne to him in visitatioun.
In ansuering to the heids of the conference had betuixt certaine of his Majesties Counsall, and certaine of the brether at his command, the haill Assemblie declares, that be the name of a Bischop, they only meane such a Bischop as is descryvit be Paul; and swa vnderstanding, they aggrie with the 3 article of the said conference.
Concerning the 4 article: It is aggried, that the Bischop may be appointed be the Generall Assemblie to visite certaine bounds, to be limitat to him; and, in visitatioun therof, he sall proceid be advyce of the Synodall Assemblie, and such as they sall adjoyne to him.
In receiving of presentatiouns, and giving collatiouns of benesices, he sall proceid be the advyce and vote of the Presbytrie quher the benesice lyis, and of certaine Assessours to be joynit to him, at the least of the most part of the Presbyterie and Assessours, vnto the tyme the Presbyteries be better constitute, and the Generall Kirk take farther ordour. The same Assessours, at the first tyme, sable nominat [and chosen] be the Generall Assemblie.
He salbe subject, in respect he is a pastour, as vther pastours are, to be tryed and censured in his lyfe and doctrine be the Presbytrie or Synodall Assemblie; and because he hes commissioun of the Generall Assemblie, in that respect to be tryed be them.
If he admitt or deprive without the consent of the most part of the Presbyterie and Counsell, the deed to be null; and the doing thereof [to be] ane sussicient cause of deprivatioun of him.
His power to be ordinis causa, non jurisdictionis.
Quher they that are commonly called Bischops may not overtake the haill bounds, callit of auld Dyocie, Commissioners salbe presentit be his Majestie to the Generall Assemblie, and admittit be them therto, as the saids Bischops are to theirs, and to be comptabill allanerlie to the [said] Assemblie for thair commissioun; and the Bischops to have no power within thair bounds more nor they have within his bounds.
The Commissioners being electit as said is, to have a lyke counsell and power in the executioun of thair office, as the Bischops hes.
The Commissioners appointit to visite in thair Presbitries or thair particular Kirks, as the Presbitries or Synodall Assemblies sall think good, not prejudging the Presbyteries particular visitatioun.
The same cause of lyse and doctrine to depryve a Bischop or Commissioner, that depryves a Minister.
The 14 article: Aggried therto.
Anent the Assemblies: The first article aggried to.
The Commissioners for the Kings Majestie protestit, in respect the Assemblie hes castin downe that quhilk was requyrit in the conference haldin at Halierude hous [betwixt certain of his Counsel and of the Ministry,] that nothing done neither in the said Conserence, nor [in] this Assemblie, have any force or effect; and, namelie, in respect they have subjectit Bischops to the tryall and censure of Presbyteries and Synodall Assemblies.
In respect of the quhilk protestation, the Assemblie immediatlie directit to the Kings Majestie Mrs Robert Pont, James Mertin, and Patrick Galloway, to informe his Grace concerning this matter.
The brether directit to the Kings Majestie ȝesternight, reportit, That his Majestie could not aggrie that Bischops and Commissioners sould be vtherways tryed then be the Generall Assemblie.
In respect of the tyme, the Assemblie thoght it expedient, albeit it be thought laufull and reasonabill be them, that the tryall and censureing of the Pastours be in the Presbyteries quher they remane; nottheles, that the tryall and censureing of such Pastours as the Generall Assemblie sall give commissioun to visite, salbe in the hand of the said Assemblie, or such as they sall deput, quhill farder ordour be tane be the General Assemblie.
[Unto this ordinance the Kings Commissioners do consent, and pass from their former protestation. C.]
Ordaines Mr Andro Melvill to pen a favourable letter to the French Ministers, quho are to repare with in the countrey be the Kings Majesties licence, assureing them of the travells of the Kirk at Hienes hand and burrowis.
Anent the continuance of the commissioun givin to Commissioners appointit be the Generall Assemblie: It is resolvit, that the said Commissioners fall continue in that charge for a ȝeir nixt to come, and from thence furth, according as the said Assemblie sall think expedient.
[The brethren are warned to repare to the Abbey the morne at ten hours; and, for that cause, that they depart not. C.]
[For as much as there abideth a weighty action to be yet enterated,] concerning the appellatioun interponit be the Bischop of Sanct Androes from the proces and sentence of excommunicatioun led and pronuncit against him be the Synodall Assemblie of Fyfe: It was thoght meitt, that Mr Patrick Galloway and John Duncansone passe down to the Kings Majestie, to desyre, if his Grace think good, that certaine of his Counsell be appointit, with certaine of the brether to be nominat be the Assemblie, to sight the said processe and appellatioun, before the same be brocht in publick judgment and sight of the Assemblie.
His Majesties ansuer being returnit, that he aggried vnto the said desyre, [and appointed the morn at ten hours to that effect: The brethren nominated Mr Robert Pont, Mr Andrew Hay, Mr Andrew Polwart, Mr Nicol Dagleish, Mr James Balsour, Mr David Lindsay, Mr Adam Johnstoun, John Duncanson, to conveen with his Graces Commissioners to the effect forsaid at the hour appointed; and ordaineth David Ferguson to supply the absence of the Moderator till his returning. C.]
Anent commissioun of visitatioun either be Bischops or vthers: The Assemblie declares, that all the saids commissiouns sall cease and take no effect in tyme comeing, without new commissioun from the Generall Assemblie vnto them for that effect.
[Ordains Mr Robert Pont, Mr David Lindsay, David Ferguson, Mr Andrew Hay, to consider and make a choice, out of the whole number of the brethren, of the most godly, discreet, and qualisied for the said visitation, and to give in their names to my Lord Secretar.
Touching the order of the Presbytries: The consideration and judgment therof being already referred to my Lord Clerk of Register, so many of the brethren as have any doubt, or would be satisfied thereanent, are required to repair to him, where with reason they will be resolved.
For answering bills and questions: The Assemblie ordaineth their brethren, John Brand, Mr Andrew Mylne, John Clapperton, Mr George Paterson, James Anderson, Mr James Melvill, Elder, and Johne Mackcorne, to conveen the morn, at six hours in the morning, in the Isle of the Kirk, and there answer thereto; remitting allwayes such as are weighty and of difficulty to the whole Assembly; and that the said John Brand receive the said bills and questions, and deliver them to the Clerk to be subscrived be him; otherways the Clerk to refuse them.
Such of the brethren as pretend any doubt concerning the order of the Presbytries, are ordained to repair to the Clerk Register; who being satissied with reason, the order may be established.
Sicklike, In respect of the matter of appellation of the Bishop of Sanct Andrews from the Synod of Fise, and the head of the Commissioners, and other weighty causes yet unresolved: The brethren are warned to stay till some order be takin therein. C.]
Ordaines two or thrie of every Countrey to resort to my Lord Clerk Register, to visite the platt of Ministers stipends, and sicklyke of the Presbyteries, and ordour therof, quher they may give thair advyce and be best satisfied.
Quher the Kings Majestie and his house makes residence, it is found meit, that they, with his Graces Ministers, be of that Presbytrie quher they make thair residence; and the ame to be vnderstood of the Nobilitie, thair house and Ministrie.
The letter ordainit to be direct to the French Ministers being red, was thoucht meit to be wrytin ovir, and delyverit to Monsieur Muleine vnder the subscriptioun of the Moderatour and Clark.
Forsameikle as, in the conference, some things were thocht meit to be proponed to the Assemblie, concerning the matter of the appellatioun [interponit] be the Bischop of Sanct Androes from the process and sentence of the Synodall Assemblie of Fyfe led and pronounced against him: The brether of the said Synodall, so many as were present being desyrit to remove, protestit concerning that actioun, that the Assemblie sould proceid in forme, and take in the appellatioun with the processe; here the alledgances of the appellant, and thair ansuers, offering them ready instantlie to ansuer; and so accordinglie to proceid and judge; vtherwayes howsoevir they judgit, proceidit or sentencit in that matter, that it sould be no prejudice to thair proces nor sentence, nor to them, nor to the haill Kirk of Scotland.
The brether for the most part vottit, not to entir in the rigorou discussing of the appellatioun and proces forsaid, but to be a mids therin, such as was proponit in wryte, and red be the Moderatour opinly vnto them; quherof the tenour is this:
If the Bischope, be his hand wryte, or personall appeirance in the Assemblie, in Gods presence will deny, that ever he either publicklie profest, or meaned in any sort to acclaime a supremacie, or to be judge to vther Pastours or Ministers, or evir allowit the same to have any ground in Gods Word; and if he had so done, it had bein ane errour, and against his conscience and knowledge:
2. If he will deny, that, in the last Synodall Assemblie, he claimit to be judge therto; and if he did, that in that he errit, and in his imperious behaviour and contempt of the said Synodall and his brethren present, and crave ovirsight therof, and promise ane good behaviour in tyme to come:
3. If he will promise to acclaime no farther nor he may justlie be Gods Word, and according to the lait conference, and indevoure himself in all behalssis to shew himselfe, in all tyme to come, ane moderate Pastour, [and] in so sarre as he may be able, ane Bischop prescryvit by Paul, and to submitt his lyse and doctrine to the judgement [and censure] of the Generall Assemblie, without any reclamatioun, provocatioun, or appellatioun therfra in any tyme comeing:
For his Majesties satissactioun, and to give testimonie with quhat good will we wald obey his Hienes, in so farre as we might and ought, or in conscience we may; and for the good hope we have of his Majesties [favourable] concurrence in building of the house of God, and for quyetnes to continue in the Kirk of God within this realme; and because the proces of excommunicatioun was led, and the sentence pronuncit dureing the tyme of the conference, quhervpon his Majestie hes takin occasion of offence, quhilk, for many good causes, were convenient to be removit; We will forbeare to examine the said proces, or to decyde quhatsoevir provocatioun or appellatioun; or to call in doubt the legalitie [or forme] of the said processe, or condemn the said Synodall; yet, for the respects forsaids, and for good and weghtie consideratiouns, we hald the said proces [and sentence] as vnled, vndeducit or pronuncit, and repone the said Bischop, in all respects so [far] as may concerne the said processe and sentence of excommunication, in the former estate he was in immediately befor the same, lykeas no proces or sentence had bein [led and] deduceit agains him; provyding always he observe quhat hes bein promised be him in the premisses, and behave himselse duetifullie in his vocatioun in all tyme comeing.
[Touching Articles to be proponed to his Majestie and Counsel: Certain being conceived in write and read in Assembly, were ordained to be presented and craved, whereof the tenor follows. C. & B.]
[Humble petitions of the Ministry, conveened at the Generall Assembly of the Kirk, to the Kings Majestie, for some matters tending to the establishing of the Policy of the same Kirk. C.]
It will please Ʒour Majestie to take some substantious ordour, how the countrey may, without delay, be purgit of the pestiserous sect of Jesuites; speciallie of such quho for the friendship in the North is hielie authorizit; quho, although they have bein summound to vnderly the law, and assyse summound for that effect, ȝet thair none compeirance being dispensit with, they frielie gangand throw the countrey, meaning nothing lesse then to depart, and Jesuites foorth of the South and foorth of France repairing of new to them.
Item, That seeing papistry abounds in the North be reason of the scant of qualisied Ministers therin, for laick of sufficient provisioun and stipend; and therfor that assignatiouns be made vnto them conformable vnto the Ministrie in the South; and that the thrids ther be not assignit to the Kirks in the South, quhill thair awin Kirks be first provydit sufficientlie; and such as hes bein vtherwayes disponit [may] be dischargit.
3. That Judges may be appointit in all shyres for executioun of the acts of Parliament, made against the breakers of the Sabbath day, adulterers, and such oppin trangressours of Gods law.
4. That, in the cheise burrowstounes, ther be teaching ordinar 4 tymes in the weik, besyd the discipline, visitatioun of the seik, ordinar to Pastours, and vthers charges; that two Ministers [therfor] be appointit to such townes.
5. That ordour may be takin how the Colledge Kirks may be servit.
6. That ordour may be takin for manses and gleibs to Ministers makeand residence at Abbay Kirks; as also such as hes or sall have manses or gleibs, fall have thair necessars therto, such as sewell and pastourage, with feale and divot, as was wont [to be] of befoir.
7. That all gifts of benefices having the cure of saules annexit to them, disponit be his Majestie pleno jure, and not qualisied persons presentit to them with ordinar tryall and collatioun following theron, may be declairit, according to the Kings Majesties lawis already made, null; and that his Hienes will give new presentations therupon to qualified persons; and the nullitie of the former gift to be discussed asweill be way of exceptioun as actioun.
8. That all presentationes or gifts of benesices of cure lesse nor Prelacies, dispoint, as weill be his Majestie as [be] a lawit patrone, vtherwayes then to qualified Ministers, or in any extraordinar forme not allowable to the commoun law of the municipall laws of this realme, and forme observit in the reformit Kirk of the same since his Majesties coronatioun, may be annullit, and new presentations granted to qualified Ministers; admitting the nullitie to be discussed asweill be way of exceptioun as actioun.
9. That all collatiouns grantit be men that had no commissioun, nor ecclesiasticall functioun in the Kirk, nor of that place and countrie the tyme of the giving of the collatioun, to be declairit null, and the fruites sequestrat, at the least quhill the persons claimand rycht be such collatioun, be of new examined, tryed, and admitted, if he be found worthie be them quho salbe appointed for that effect, and authorized be this present Assemblie.
10. That the benesices of cure vnder prelacies, quherunto Ministers are admitted, may be frie from payment of the first fruites and syst penny, and may have their signatours of presentatioun exped be the Privie Seale, on his Majesties awin subscriptioun only and the Secretars, without any payment or caution found to the Thesaurer; and such poore men as hes alreadie payit or found cautioun [for payment,] quherof my Lord Thesaurer hes not alreadie chargit him in his comptis, to have the same resoundit to them, or dischargeit.
11. Seing the fault of non depryving the vnworthie, culpable, and non resident Ministers proceids of this, that sundrie of the Bischops hes bein negligent in sundrie places; in some vther parts ther are no Bischops or Commissioners, and so the acts are not execute; the Bookes of Modisicatioun full of [a number of] such persons as hes nevir shawin themselves as [Ministers:] That, therfor, ane commissioun be given to ane or ma qualified persons, [Ministers,] to sitt in Edinburgh, and call the non residents, and vthers delatit to be worthie of deprivatioun, and deprive them, quher ther may, be consultatione of learnit men had, and the proces may be led without boast or seare.
12. It is heavilie complainit be many poore men, Ministers and Reidars, having personages and viccarages assignit to them for thair stipends, that they are exorbitantly and vngodly used in taxatiounes, thair benefices being lang syne decayit throw the want of corps presents, upmost claithes, pasch synes, offerands, and such lyke things, usuallie payit in time of Papistrie, quhilk was the principall part [of the rents] of many personages and viccarages; and ȝet they man pay the extremitie of the auld taxatioun according to the rait as rentalls then were, at the least without any releife; quher the most part of the Prelates exeimit from preaching or service in the Kirk, gets thair haill relief of the poore sewars and vassals: and that therfor ther may be found more equitable ordour of taxatioun appointit for the tyme to come.
13. That it will please his Grace to cause consider quhat prelacies hes vaikit since the act of Parliament made in October 1581; and that special assignatioun be made for sustentatioun of the Ministers of the kirks belonging to them, of the readiest fruits of the same kirks; vtherwayes the provisioun according to the act to be declairit null.
14. That the Bischops, Commissioners of Argyle, and of the Yles, may be subiect to attend vpon the Assemblies Generall, and to keip thair Exercises and Synodall Assemblies, as in vther parts of this realme, quhilk is ane furtherance to the Kings Majesties obedience; since vtherwayes they appeir as exeimit out of his dominioun.
15. That his Majestie will ȝet give directiouns to some persons of experience and good will, to search, inquyre, and try the true estate of the rents of all prelacies and vther benesices at this present, [and] in whose default, and be quhat occasioun they are hurt and dismembrit, that thereafter the best remedies that is possible may be considderit and provydit for helping of them heirafter, both for the weill of the King and the Kirk.
16. That his Majestie will cause the Lords of Sessioun declare, Whither his Hienes or the Erle of Orknay hes right to the patronages of the benesices of Orknay and Zetland, to the effect that titles of benesices conferrit to poore men, Ministers, be not ay in danger of annulling, vpon vncertainty of the right of the patronages.
17. That no persons or stipends be put in the Booke of Modificatioun, but only such as the Commissioners of the Kirk sall affirme and testifie vpon thair trueth to be qualified persons, [and actually] making residence at thair kirks.
18. That viccarrage pensioners or stallars, as they vaik, after deceis or deprivatioun of the present possessours, may accresse to be joynit to the principall benesice, and to be assignit to the Minister in his living and stipend.
19. That all Reidars provydit to viccarrages or stipends of before, may bruik the same quhill thair deceis or deprivation; and nane to be admittit to the title of any benesice of cure or stipend in the Booke of Modificatioun, in tyme comeing, bot qualified Ministers.
20. That the haill rents of the benefices of cure vnder prelacies, disponit to Ministers since his Hienes coronatioun, be assignit haill, and allowit to them in thair [livings and] stipends.
21. That the judgement of all causes concerning deprivatioun of Ministers from benefices in the second instance, sall come be way of appellatioun to the Generall Assemblie, and ther take finall end, and not before the Lords of Sessioun be way of reduction.
The quhilk day Mr Andro Hunter, Minister, made protestatioun publicklie in the Assemblie as follows, viz. That in respect that the Provinciall Assemblie of the Kirk of God, gatherit together in his name, and haldin at Sanct Androes the 12 day of Apryle 1586, for manifest crymes [and] oppin contumacie, hes justlie and formallie, according to the word of God and sincere custome of the Kirk of God, excommunicat Mr Patrick Adamsone; and that in this Assemblie they take on them to absolve the said Mr Patrick from the said sentence [of excommunicatioun,] the processe not being tryed nor heard in publick, the person excommunicat not shewing no signs of true repentance, nor craving the said absolvitour be himselfe nor his procurators befor the verie tyme [quherin] they absolve him: He therfor for his part, and in name of all vther true brether and Christians quho will [be] participat heirof, taks God to record of the dealing of that Provincial and [this] Generall Assembly; protestit also befor the Almightie, his holy angels, and santes heir conveinit, that he hes no assurance in Gods Word nor of conscience, to assent, allow or approve [this] his absolvitour [yielded unto be them;] and, therfor, vnto the tyme he perceive his conversioun to be true and effectuall, he cannot but hald him a man justlie delyverit to Satan, notwithstanding this his absolutioun: And this his protestation subscrivit with his hand, he desyrit to be registrat ad perpetuam memoriam; and therwithall gave in the speciall reasones moving him therto, premittit vnto the said protestatioun, as the originall at lenth beares.
Mrs Andro Melvill and Thomas Buchannan Adherit to the protestatioun made befor.
[Forasmuch as Mr Patrick Adamson, Bischop of Sanct Androes, hath be his submission underwritten, and presented to the Generall Assembly of the Kirk, daited at Halierudehous the 20 day of May 1586, and subscribed with his hand, declared, that in Gods presence he solemnly denyed, that he either publickly prosessed, neither meaned in any sort to acclaim a supremacie to be Judge to the Kirk, or any Assembly lawfully conveened, or ever allowed the same to have a ground in Gods Word; and if he had so done, it had been an errour and against his conscience:
Item, Denyed, that in the late Synodall Assembly at Sanct Androes he acclaimed to be Judge thereto; and if he did, in that he erred, and will remitt him to the brethren present, and crave oversight thereof, and promise a good behaviour in time to come:
Item, He will in Gods presence promise to acclaim no further than he may justly be Gods word, and according to the late conference; and shall be Gods grace endeavour him in all time comeing, to shew himself in all behalfs a moderate Pastour, and so far, as he may be able, a Bischop prescribed be Paul; and submit the tryal of his life and doctrine to the judgment and censure of the Generall Assembly in all time comeing, according to the Word of God; as the said writeing subscribed, as said is, be the said Bischop, my Lord Justice Clerk, Mr Peter Young and Mr George Young witness beareth:—
Therefor, and for his Majesties satissaction, and to give testimony with what good will the said Assembly would obey his Hienes, so far as they ought, or in conscience may; and for good hope they have in his Majesties favourable concurrence in building of the house of God; and for a quietness to continue in the Kirk of God within this realme; and becaus the process of excommunication was led against the said Bishop, and the sentence pronunced during the time of the conference; whereupon his Majesty has taken occasion of offence, which, for many good causes, were convenient to be removed; They will therefor forbear to examine the said process, or decide whatsomever provocation or appellation, or call in doubt the legality or forme of the said process, or condemn the Synodal;et , for the respects foresaids, and upon good and weighty considerations, they hold the said process and sentence as unled, and undeduced or pronunced, and repone the said Bishop in all respects, so far as may concern the said process, and sentence of excommunication, in the former estate he was immediatly befor the samen, like as no process and sentence had been led and deduced against him; providing always he observe what hath been promised be him in the premisses, and behave himself dutiesully in his vocation in time coming. C. & B.]
[Touching the Commissioners nominated be the Kings Majestie to visit the bounds after specified: The General Assembly of the Kirk advised with the qualities of the said persons, and every one of them, hath admitted, and admitteth them to the said charge in the particular bounds, as solloweth:—
That is to say, Robert Grahame to Cathnes; Mr John Robertson to Ross; Mr John Keith to Murray; Mr George Hay to Bams; Mr Peter Bleckburn to Aberdeen; John Areskin of Dun to Angus and Mernes; James Anderson to Dumblane; Mr James Bryson to Nithisdale; Mr David Lindsay to Lothian; Mr Andrew Clayhills to Merce and Tiviotdale; John Duncanson to Galloway; John Porterfield to Keile, Carict, and Cuninghame; Mr Andrew Hay to Clidesdale, Ransrew and Lennox: and this their commission for the space of a year.
Touching beneficed persons meriting deprivation: The Assembly hath nominated their brethren, Mr Robert Pont, Mr David Lindsay, Mr John Craig, Mr Nicol Dagleish, John Brand, and any three of them, to proceed against such persons, conforme to a commission to be granted to them be the Kings Majestie, with advice of his Counsel to that effect. C.]
All Ministers are exhortit and admonishit to judge charitablie of vthers, albeit ther be diversitie in thair opiniouns and vottis, remitting every man to God and his conscience; and that none publicklie or in pulpitt quarrell or impugne the determinatioun of the Generall Assemblie concerning the appellatioun from the sentence of the Synod of Fyffe.
The brethren direct to the Kings Majestie with certaine articles, craveing present resolutioun, reportit his Majesties ansuer, That in the haill heids fand litle difficultie except quhilk is noted with his Majesties hand: His Hienes aggried.
[The tenor of the said Articles. C.]
1. That ther be Generall Assemblies once every ȝeir, and astir pro re nata.
[Matters to be traited in the Provincial Assemblies.
1. Thir Assemblies are constitut for weighty matters necessar to be entreated be mutual consent and assistance of the brethren within the Province, as nead requireth.
2. This Assemblie hath power to handle, order and redress all things ommitted or done amiss in the Particular Assemblies.
3. It hath power to depose the office bearers of that Province, for good and just causes deserving deprivation.
His Majestie agreed not with this article, but in this manner: It hath power to depose the office bearers of that Province, except Commissioners and Bishops.
4. And generally thir Assemblies have the whole power of the Particular Elderships [or Presbyteries] whereof they are to be collected. C.]
Matters to be intreattit in the Presbyteries.
1. The power of Presbitries is to give diligent labours in the bounds committit to thair charge, that the kirks be keipit in good ordour; to inquyre diligentlie of naughtie and vngodlie persons, and travell to bring them in the way [againe,] be admonitioun and threatning of Gods judgements, or be correctioun.
2. It appertaines to them to take heid that the Word of God be purelie preachit within thair bounds, the sacraments rightlie ministred, the discipline mantained, and the ecclesiasticall goods vncorruptedlie distribute.
3. It belongs to them to cause the ordinances made be the Assemblies Provincial and Generall, to be keipit and put in executioun.
4. To make constitutiouns quhilk concerns [to prepon] in the Kirk, or decent ordour for the particular kirks quher they governe; provyding they alter no rules made be the Provinciall or Generall Assemblies; and that they make the Provincialls forsaids privie to the rules that they sall make; and to abolisch constitutiouns tending to the hurt of the same.
5. It hes power to excommunicat the obstinat.
His Majestie aggried vnto this syst article after this manner: It hes power to excommunicat the obstinat, formall proces being led, and dew intervalls of tymes [being observed.]
6. Faults to be censured in the Presbytrie: Heresie, papistrie, apostasie, idolatrie, witchcrast, consulters with witches, contempt of the Word, not resorting to the Word, continuance in blasphemie against God and his trueth, perjurie, incest, adulterie, fornicatioun, [commoun] drunkennes.
Thir things for the present, and farther quhill ordour be takin in the conference.
Anent Particular Kirks: If they be lawfullie rulit be [sufficient] Ministers and Sessioun, they have power and jurisidictioun of their awin congregatioun in matters ecclesiasticall, to take ordour therewith; and things that they cannot decyde, to bring them to the Presbyterie.
Farther, It was shawin to the said Assemblie be the brether direct to his Majestie, that his Grace declairit, That, for tryall of any slander in the lyse and conversatioun and doctrine of Bischops or Commissioners, the said Assemblie sould appoint a number of brether in every Province, having power from the said Assemblie to try them and take probatioun, lead proces therin betuixt and the nixt Assemblie, if occasioun sall fall out; remitting the finall sentence and determinatioun to the said Generall Assemblie.
The Generall Assemblie of the Kirk gives full power and commissioun to certain brether of every Province to summound befor them respectiué, at such day and place as they sall think expedient, the Bischops and Commissioners, if they find occasioun of slander to arise be them in lyfe, doctrine, or conversation, at any tyme betuixt and the nixt Generall Assemblie; and to try and take probatioun therof, lead and deduce processe against them, to the sentence exclusivé remittand the finall judgement therin to the said Generall Assemblie, [while order may be taken be uniform consent of the brethren; that is to say, Mr Robert Inneis, William Gray, Andrew Anderson, for the Commissioner of Cathness; Mr George Munroe, Robert Munro, Finlay Mansone, Andrew Mylne, Mr John Ross, for Ross; Mr James Dundass, Mr Alexander Dowglass, Mr William Dowglass, Mr Alexander Rowsone, Mr John Inneis, Mr Thomas Howison, for the Commissioners of Murrey; Mr James Duff, Mr Gilbert Gairden, John Philip, Mr John Knox, for the Commissioners of Bamf; Mr George Paterson, Mr Walter Stuart, James Reid, John Strauchan, Mr John Strauchen, Mr Thomas Bisset, Mr Duncan Davidson, David Howisone, for the Commissioners of Aberdeen; William Christeson, Mr Andrew Mylne, Mr William Moresone, Mr James Melvill, Mr James Balfour, Mr Paul Frazer, John Dure, for Angus and Mernes; David Fergusone, John Dykes, Mr John Caldcleuch, Mr Patrick Galloway, Mr David Lindsay, Mr Robert Pont, Mr Adam Johnston, Mr Nicol Dagleish, or any seven of them, to try the Bischop of Sanct Andrewes, if any new slander or offence fall out; Mr Patrick Galloway, Mr William Reid, Mr William Edmiston, Mr William Glasse, Mr John Aberacrumme, Patrick Weemes, for the Bischop of Dunkelden; Mr Andrew Young, Mr William Stirline, Mr Arthure Futhie, Patrick Gillespie, for Dumblane; Mr Robert Pont, Mr Nicol Dagleish, Mr Walter Balcanquell, John Brand, Mr Andrew Blackhall, Mr Patrick Sympson, Mr John Hall, Mr Adam Johnstoun, for Lothian; John Clappertone, Mr Thomas Storie, William Balfour, Robert Futhie, Mr Archbald Dowglass, for Merce and Tiviotdale; Mr Ninian Mcclemoguhan, James Doddis, and the Ministers of Whitterne and Dumfreis, for Nithisdaill; John Mackcorne, Mr Peter Prymerose, John Inglis, Mr David Mylne, Mr Robert Wilkie, Mr William Strang, for Kyle, Carict and Cuninghame; Mr Andrew Polwart, Mr John Hamiltoun, Mr Patrick Sharp, Mr Patrick Davidsone, Mr David Weemes, Mr John David Davidsone, for Cliddisdaill, Renfrew and Lennox; and thir brethren to report their processe and tryall to the next Assemblie, where sentence may be pronunced according to the qualitie and circumstances of the action: and the samen brethren respectiveé according to their Countries or Touns, and be Assessors to the Commissioners of their Countries, and with the advice of their Presbyteries, in taking tryall of persons presented to benefices, and admitting of them; except in Fife, where there are appointed Assessors to the Bishop, David Fergusone, John Dykes, Mr Adam Mitchell, John Ure, Mr Robert Wilkie, Mr James Wilkie, Mr James Martine. C.]
Anent Moderatours of Presbyteries: Quhill sarder ordour be tane, it is aggreeit that quher the Bischops and Commissioners make thair residence, that in these Presbyteries they salbe Moderatours, except in Fyffe, quher, be his Majesties advyce, Mr Robert Wilkie is continuit Moderatour of the Presbytrie of Sanct. Androes untill the nixt Synodall Assemblie.
At the sute of the Assemblie, his Majesties Commissioners hes aggried, that the priveledge quhilk the Kirk had in the Sessioun, of two dayes in the weike for calling thair actiouns, salbe restoreit; and John Lindsay and Mr Johne Grahame to be ordinar waiters on theron.
Sicklyke aggreit with advyce of the saids Commissioners, that James Mowat be Solicitar for the Kirk, if Mr George Mackison and he be aggriet.
[The General Assembly giveth full power and commission to their lovit brethren, Mr Robert Pont, Mr David Lindsay, Mr Nicol Dagleish, Mr Walter Balcanquell, Mr Adam Johnstoun, John Brand, his Majesties Ministers, with such others nominated in the commission given for depriving beneficed Ministers, &c. that shall happen to be present, to present vnto his Majestie and Counsell the humble petitiouns, complaints, articles and heids delyverit to them, and, with all due reverence and humble obedience, to crave his Majesties ansuer thervnto; treat, conferre, and reason thervpon, and vpon such heids and articles as salbe, on his Majesties behalfe, or be his Graces Commissioners, proponit to them; and quhat heirin beis proceidit, to report to the nixt Generall Assemblie of the Kirk. C. & B.]
[Anent Ministers that are not provided to flocks: The Commissioners directed to the King shall travaill that they may be placed be advyce of the Commissioners of the Countries and Presbytries. C.]
Anent the excommunicatioun of Mr James Melvill, Minister of Kilrynnie, and certaine brether of Fyffe, be Patrick Hamiltoun and Samuel Cuninghame: The Assemblie ordaines the Presbyterie of Sanct Androes to take tryall in that matter, and put ordour to the same, according to the qualitie of the offence.
The estate and ordour of the Presbitries, with the bounds of the Commissioners, presentit be my Lord Clerk of Register, and sett downe be his Lordships travells, at the requeist of the Kirk.
Mernes and Angus.
[Merce, Teviotdaill, Tweddale.]
[Cliddisdaill, Renfrew And Lennox.]
[Cuninghame, Kyle And Carict.]