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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A. D. M. D.XCI.
The Generall Assemblie of the Kirk of Scotland conveinit at Edinburgh, in the New Kirk therof, the 2 day of Julij in the year of God 1591.
Exhortatioun being made be Mr Patrick Galloway, last Moderatour, the Kirk proceidit to the electioun of a Moderatour for this tyme; and putting on leits Mr Nicoll Dalgleische, Patrick Sharp, James Balfour, Johne Davidsone, the said Mr Nicoll, be pluralitie of votis, was chosin Moderatour.
Sessio 2a.Eodem die.
Forsameikle as the alteratioun of the place of the Assemblie may move some brether to cast a doubt of the authoritie of this Assemblie: The Kirk hes vottit that ther was ane reasonable and weghtie cause of the alteratioun therof, and that nothing is done in prejudice of thair act; the speciall cause being the desyre of his Majestie, quho, for sundrie reasons, willit the Assemblie to be keipit heir at this tyme, quherof if any brether wald be satisfiet farther, the brether on the conference sall resolve them; and that this is ane lawfull Assemblie, notwithstanding of the alteratioun forsaid.
Sessio 3a. 3 Julij.
Ordaines ane article to be given in to the King and Counsell to take ordour with the colourit and vagabound Egyptians, quhilk defyles the countrey with all maner of abominatioun.
Anent the act made in the Assemblie concerning beggars: It is seimed expedient that the samein be publischit in every paroch be the Minister therof, and put to executioun be the Pastours als farre as concernes them, [as they will be answerable to the Kirk.]
Anent the subscriptioun of the Booke of Policie injoynit in the last Assemblie: In respect the greatest part of the Presbytries as ȝet hes not satisfied the ordour of the Kirk, the Assemblie hes ordainit thair former act to be performit and execute betuixt and thair nixt Assemblie; and the Moderatour of everie Presbitrie to sie to the executioun therof, vnder the paine of xl shillings, to be imployit to the vse of the poore, besyde the publick rebuik in the oppin Assemblie.
Anent sacriledge vniversallie ringing through the haill realme: Seeing it is commonly esteimit no sin, and is vnknowin to many for the most part, It is thoght meitt that some travell be takin be some godly brether, to sett downe and draw the monster in the awin colours, and therfor desyres thair brother, Mr Robert Pont, to take paines on that subiect.
The Kirk present hes willit thair brether, Mrs Robert Bruce, David Lindsay, Peter Blackburne, Andro Melvill, Robert Rollock, Thomas Buchannan, James Carmichaell, Johne Davidsone, and Johne Johnstoun, or any thrie of them, to pervse and visite the said Mr Robert his Treatise, and to give thair judgement to him therin, to the effect that the samein being persytit, may be put in mundo, and presentit againe to the full Assemblie, that they may give thair opinioun therin.
Sessio 5a. 6 Julij.
Forsameikle as the ordour observit of befor, in giving power to certaine brether nominat therto, to reid and ansuer to the bills givin in to the Generall Assemblie, appeirs to some brether to be inconvenient and derogative to the Provinciall Assemblies, specially in that far as the matters quhilks are thoght doubtsome to thame and referrit to the full Assemblie, are committit to the decisioun of foure or fyve brether: It is thocht therefor expedient, in tyme comeing, that certaine brether be chosin and namit be the Assemblie, quho sall have power only to take in the supplicatiouns and complaints quhilk are to come before the full number, reid them, and consider if they come in pertinently before the Generall Assemblie; and if they be impertinent, to give thair ansuer on the back of the bills; and quher they are pertinent, to bring them back to the haill Assemblie to be ansuerit ther; with thair opinioun in word, quhat they have considderit therof, and quhat they think meitt to be ansuerit.
Sessio 10a. 8 Julij.
Anent the question proponit, Whither they quho usurpes the names of Bischops, and have been sometyme in the Ministrie, and now neither will serve the Kirk themselves quherof they take vp the fruites, neither pay the stipends of them that serues as they are appointit be the plat, ther being sufficient rent to doe the same, bot spends the same in prosane vses, aught to be censured be the Kirk; and if they will not amend, be excommunicat: It is ansuerit, Such persons aught to be censured be the Kirk; and if they amend not, to be excommunicat.
Sessio 11a. Eodem die.
Compeirit my Lord Provand, President, with my Lords of Culros and Barnbarroch, and in name of the haill Sessioun declare, that they vnderstand that my Lord of Halzeards, ane of thair number, was ȝesterday callit, at the instance of Mr Patrick Simsone, [Minister at Sterling,] for calling him a suborner, befor them: Quhilk matter insidentlie depends befor them, being ane civill [cause,] and proper vnto thair cognitioun, and quhervnto the Kirk is not judge; desyring, therfor, that the Kirk sould not proceid in thair judgement thervpon vntill the cause before them tooke ane end, quherin, so diligentlie as was possible, they were proceiding; and that they sould doe nothing to the derogatioun of the priveledge of the Colledge of Justice.
After they were removit and the Kirk advysit with thair petitioun; being callit in againe, the Assemblie ansuerit, That they wold doe nothing to hurt nor to derogat thair priveledge, nor ȝet proceid or judge in any civill matter; bot in this cause, being chiefly occupied in purging the members of thair awin bodie, quhilk is ecclesiastick, they might judge without any prejudice to the civill judgment; desyreand the Lords as they wald not himder nor wisch the hinderance of thair judicatour, so they wald not think evill that the Kirk proceid in purging of thair awin body and middling ecclesiatically.
Sessio 13a. 9 Julij.
Anent the forsaid matter: The Assemblie, after grave reasoning had, if it was expedient to proceid in this cause before the Lords of Sessioun had givin thair decision, thoght meitt that my Lord Justice sould be demandit if he acknowledgit the judgement and jurisdictioun of the Kirk [in this cause] or not. Who being callit and inquyrit as said is, ansuerit, That he acknowledgit with reverence the judgement of the Assemblie in all causes appertaining to them: Bot vnto this cause quhilk is civill, quhervnto the Lords are primario Judices, before quhom also it presentlie depends, they cannot be judges primario.
Estir the quhilk ansuer, being removit, and the Kirk farther being advisit, calling his Lordship in againe, they pronounced, That they fand themselves Judges primario in this cause, and instantlie to proceid therin; requyring him quhat farther he wald propone or alledge for his defence in that cause: Quho tooke instruments of thair interlocuter, protesting for remeid of law; quhilk protestation, because it was made verbo, and conteinit many heids, he was defyrit to give in to the Clerk in wryte.
Sessio 15a. 12 Julij.
Anent the act of the Lords of the Checker, proceiding vpon ane supplicatioun made be the brether of the Ministrie to them, daitit at Halirudehous the 10 day of Februar 1591, declaring thair meaning to be, that all Ministers that hes vitiat any benefices of cure, in haill or in part, be purchasing vnto themselves, thair aires, and assignayes, long taks of the same within the worth of the saids benefices, be compellit be the censures of the Kirk to restore them againe in thair awin integritie, to the Ministers presentlie serving the cure; and to that effect requyres the Generall and Synodall Assemblies, Commissioners, and Presbytries of the bounds quher the saids benefices lyis, to take tryall of such persons, and to proceid against them as said is, in most strait forme, according as such a great enormitie in Ministers craves, ay and quhill they have redintegrat the benefices quhilk hes bein corrupted and vitiat be them as said is, but any farder proces of law to follow thervpon; as the said act subscryvit be my Lord Chancellar, Newbattle, Sir Robert Melvill, Parbroth, Blantyr, Carmichell, Linclowden, Colluthie, and Mr Patrick ȝong, beirs: The General Assemblie of the Kirk being advysit therwith, allowis and approvis the said act and advyce of the said Checker, and ordaines the same to be put in executioun in everie Presbytrie, according to the tenour therof.
Sessio 16a. Eodem die.
The Assemblie ordaines vniversallie, that the acts of discipline conteinit in the acts of the Generall Assemblie, be keipit asweill in Angus and Mernes as all vther parts.
Forsameikle as it beand deeplie considderit be the Kirk, that many things have bein done be them, and be vthers pretendand the title and name of the Kirk, greatlie prejudiciall to themselves, thair discipline, and also the patrimonie, [and living] of the Kirk; and that, be priveledge of good lawis, it is grantit and leisum to them to remeid themselves be revocatioun therof: Therfor the haill Assemblie, after grave and mature deliberatioun, hes revockit, and be thir presents revockes, all and quhatsumevir things done be them, or vthers cloathing them with the name of the Kirk, prejudiciall to themselves, thair discipline, thair patrimonie, and living, as being enormlie hurt therby; and protests according to the dispositioun of the said law solemnitly, as they may be hard in tyme and place, to seik remedie therof: and for more speciall expressing and more particular declaratioun therof, hes willit thair brether, Mrs Robert Pont, David Lindsay, Robert Bruce, and Andro Melvill, to conceive in wryte the sorme therof; the copie quherof ilk Presbitrie is ordainit to receive, and to give command to the Pastours within thair bounds, to intimat the said revocation made in this Assemblie from thair pulpitts.
Anent the forme of examinatioun befor the Communioun, pennit be thair brother Mr Craig: The Assemblie thoght it meitt to be imprintit, beand be the author therof contractit in some shorter bounds.
Humble petitiouns of the Generall Assemblie of the Kirk, cravit at his Majestie and Counsell.
It is craveit, The acts of Parliament made for suppressing of the enormities following may be put to executioun: First, against Jesuites, such as Mr James Gordoun, and the receipters of them; and of excommunicats, such as the Laird of Fintrie and the Master of Angus; prosainers of the Sacraments; privat men and wemen givers therof; idolaters, pilgrimagers, papistical Magistrates; sayers and heirers of the mess; givers of the Sacraments according to the papisticall forme, and receivers of the samein; committers of apostasie; publick mercatts vpon the Sabboth day; violent invaders of Ministers be strikeing of them or shedding of thair blood; profaners of the Sabboth day be Robein Hoodes playis; murderers and blood shedders quhilk overflow the land.
Item, That the Ministers plantit may be sufficiently provydit; and also that the Ministers may be provydit to sufficient living of the kirks vnplantit.
Item, The act [of Parliament] of Annexatioun to be dissolvit: The new erectiouns and patronages be dischargit: The act of dissoulutioun of prelacies and benefices, consisting of mair kirks nor ane, be ratified and estab lished: The act of Feberwar [Anno 1587,] without the exceptioun the aught of Junij eikit to it, may have place: That small benefices disponit to Ministers may be frie of all taxatiouns: That manses and gleibs be designit of Kirklands, Abbayis, Freir lands, and quhatsumevir Kirklandis: That manses and gleibs have thair liberties of foggie, fewall, and pasturage: That comoun kirks be disponit to Ministers serving the cure: That every kirk be provydit of ane sufficient pastour, and ane competent living assignit to him for his service.
The Generall Assemblie of the Kirk gives full commissioun and power to thair lovit brether, Mrs Robert Bruce, Robert Pont, David Lindsay, with his Majesties Ministers, to present vnto his Grace and Counsell humble petitiouns and articles of the Kirk, and with all reverence and humility crave ansuer therof, conserre and reason if neid beis thervpon, and report ansuer to the nixt Assemblie.
The Generall Assemblie of the Kirk is appointit at Aberdein, the 17 day of August 1592, [but] in cace ane Parliament interveine; in the quhilk cace the brethren being advertised therof be the Presbytrie of Edinburgh, sall hold thair Assemblie quher the Parliament salbe for the tyme, and conveine two dayes befor the same.