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 Commissioners from the Presbitries of the Kirk of Scotland, haldin at Halierudehous the 10 of November 1602: In the quhilk, the Kings Majestie being personallie present, were conveinit the Commissioners following.
Commissioners With The Kings.
For the Ministrie.
|Mr Peter Blackburne.|
|Mr Archibald Blackburne.|
|Mr David Rait.|
|Mr Richard Ross.|
|Mr John Strauchane.|
|Mr Johne Ross.|
|Mr James Milne.|
|Mr Abraham Sibbald.|
|Mr Alexander Hay.|
|Mr James Ross.|
|Mr Archibald Moncreiff.|
|Mr William Row.|
|Mr Adame Ballandyne.|
|Mr Alexander Hoome.|
|Mr Johne Edmestoun.|
|Mr William Glaffe.|
|Mr Silvester Rattray.|
|Mr Johne Clappertoun.|
|Mr Tobias Ramsay.|
|Mr William Methven.|
|Mr Alexander Gaites.|
|Mr Johne Abernethie.|
|Mr William Clerk.|
|Mr Johne Knox.|
|Mr James Dais.|
|Mr Johne Smith.|
Commissioners of the Generall Assemblie.
Acta Sessione prima.
Exhortatioun being made be Mr Johne Hall, Moderatour of the last Assemblie, the Assemblie, after the accustomit, manner, proceidit to the electioun of the Moderatour of this present Assemblie; and, after nominatioun of the brethren following, viz. Mrs Patrick Sharp, Patrick Galloway, James Balfour, and Johne Carmichaeil, out of the quhilk number the Moderatour sould be chosin; be pluralitie of votis the said Mr Patrick Galloway was chosen Moderatour hac vice.
The houres appointit to conventioun, to be nyne houres of the morning for the privie conference; and elevin houres for conveining of the Assemblie, and to fitt quhill four houres afternoone.
The Assessours appointit to conveine with the Moderatour in the privie conference, for treating of such things as are to be concludit in the Assemblie, are Mrs Johne Hall, Robert Pont, George Gladstanes, David Lindsay, Alexander [Rawsone,] Peter Blackburne, Johne Strauchan, David Rait, Alexander Forbes, James Nicolsone, Robert Howie, James Melvill, Robert Wilkie, Johne Carmichael, Alexander Lindsay, William Glasse, Patrick Sharp, James Balfour, Walter Balcanquell, James Law, Johne Spottiswood, Johne Clappertoun, John Knox, David Barklay, William Hamiltoun, Nathaniel Inglis, Johne Hay, Andro Lamb.
Sessio 2a. Eodem die.
The said day, being callit Mr George Glaidstanes, Minister of Sanct Androes, quho was direct be the last Assemblie to have remained for ane quarter or halfe and ȝeir with the Marqueis of Huntlie, to the effect that, be his travells and labours, the said Noble Lord and his familie might be informit in the Word of Trueth presentlie profest within this realme, and the enemies therof debarrit from his companie, to give ane accompt of his diligence in the said commissioun, the said Mr George compeirand, declarit, that, at the tyme of his journeying northward for visitatioun of the Presbytries of Cathnes and Sudderland, he addrest himselfe to the Marqueis of Huntlie, and remained with him the space of thrie dayes, duering the quhilk tyme he conferrit with him anent the contravertit heids of religioun, and desyrit of his Lordship that he wald shew him quherin he doubtit, that to the effect be his conference he might be resolvit of such heids quherof he was not as ȝet fullie fatisfied, quhilk his Lordship promised to doe at his back coming: and lykeways having demanded, why his Lordships kirks were not plantit, and why he resortit not to the preaching at the ordinar tymes in paroch kirks?
To the first he ansuerit, That the non planting of his kirks proceids vpon the not giving licence to the Persons of the saids kirks to renew his taks, conforme to the promise made to his Lordship be the Commissioners of the Assemblie, at the tyme that his Lordship grantit to the augmentatioun of the rents of the said kirks.
As to the second, He could not weill resort to the paroch kirks, partlie, in respect of the meane rank of such as were within the paroch, and partlie, in respect his Lordships predecessours were in vse to have a chappell in thair awin house, quhilk he was myndit to prosecute now, seeing he was presentlie repairing [to] his house of Strathbogie.
The said Mr George being demandit, why he made no longer residence with his Lordship, conforme to his commissioun, answerit, that he could not, because the Marqueis of Huntlie was vpon his voyage southward, at his Majesties directioun, for reconciliatioun of the seid betuixt him and the Erle of Murray; quhilk seid was the cause that his Lordship could not communicat.
Being callit lykewayes Mr Alexander Lindsay and William Couper, Commissioners appointit be the last Assemblie to awaite vpon the Erle of Erroll for the effect forsaid, compeirand Mr Alexander Lindsay, declairit, that he had awaitit vpon the said Noble Lord dureing his remaining in the Carse of Gowrie, and that he fand him a diligent heirer of the Word: and having requyrit of him, if he doubted of any thing, his Lordship ansuerit, That, at the tyme of his reconciliatioun, he did the samein vnfainedly, and had castin all scruples away. As concerning the planting of his kirks, that he had provydit the samein of his awin benevolence; and that he wald communicat at fick tyme as the sacrament sould be ministrat at any of his awin kirks, quherat his residence sould be for the tyme.
Being callit Mr Johne Spottiswood and James Law, Commissioners appointit to awayt vpon the Erle of Angus, Mr Johne Spottiswood excusit himselfe, because he was directit be his Majestie to awaite vpon the Duke of Lennox in his ambassadrie to France; in respect quherof, Mr James Law, being appointit Commissioner conjunctlie with the said Mr Johne, could doe nothing him alone: but because it was reportit be the haill brethren of these parts quher the said Erle does haunt, that he did neither refort to the heiring of the Word, nor participatioun of the sacraments, bot, be the contrair, maintainit profest enemies to the religioun in his companie, sick as ane Mr Charles Browne; therfor, to advise in the conference for remeid therof.
Being callit Mr John Carmichaell, Commissioner appointit to awaite vpon my Lord Hoome, declarit, that he execute no part of his commissioun, be reason of the said Lords absence foorth of the countrey.
The lyke excuse was vsit be Mrs David Lindsay and Johne Hall, quho were appointit to await on my Lord Herreis, in cace that he repairit to Edinburgh, declairing, that the said Lord remainit but a verie short space in the said towne.
Anent the Commissioners appointit be the last Assemblie to awaite vpon the constant platt: My Lord Collectour being present, declarit, that the stay of that worke proceidit vpon the default of the Presbytries, quho, for the most part, had nevir returnit ane ansuer of his Majesties letters direct be his Commissioners of the constant platt, without the quhilk they could not proceid: and, therfor, the Assemblie ordaines sick as had not reportit thair ansuers, to produce them the morne.
Anent the Commissioners appointit for visitatioun of Presbytries: The Assemblie ordaines them to give in thair diligence in wryte the morne, that the samein may be tryit and considderit be the Assemblie. And because ther hes bein slack, or no executioun of sick Commissions in tyme bygane, be reason of carlesnes of sick as were appointit to accept the same: Therfor, it is ordainit, that, in tyme comeing, sick as salbe appointit Commissioners, sall accept the commissiouns on them, and promise be thair aithes, in face of the Assemblie, to doe thair honest and faithfull diligence in the executioun therof; and to report the samein to the nixt Assemblie in wryte, vnder the paines conteinit in the acts of the Generall Assemblie.
Being callit the Commissioners of the Generall Assemblie to give ane account of thair proceidings sen the last Assemblie, they were ordainit to give in thair diligence in wryt the morne.
The quhilks things being considderit be the haill Assemblie, it was thocht most expedient, that certaine qualified persons be chosin out of the Ministrie, for planting of such parts of the countrey as are destitute of the Word of God; and speciallie, that qualified men be chosin out to be appointit Ministers to the particular families of the said Noblemen: and lykewayes that the catiouners of these quho were suspect of religioun, and were ordainit be his Majestie to passe off the countrie, be ftraitit conforme to thair band, and speciallie for Patrick Butter, Patrick Mortimer, and vthers, and themselves [to] be lykewayes chargit for breaking of the said band.
Sessio 3a11 Novembris.
Anent the summounds raifit at the instance of the Provinciall of Lowthiane and Tweddall, aganis Dame Helenour Hay, Countes of Lithgow, makand mentioun, That in the processe of excommunicatioun led and deduceit against her, be the Presbytrie of Lynlithgow, sho made appellatioun from the said Presbytrie to this present Assemblie, and therfor ordaining her to be summoundit to [compeir befor] this Assemblie, the thrid day therof, to prosecute her appellatioun, with certificatioun, and the failyiet, the Assemblie wald allow of the proces led and deduceit aganis her be the said Presbitrie, as at mair lenth is conteinit in the saids summonds, of the dait, at Edinburgh, the 3 of November 1602: The same being callit, the Assemblie continues the same in the selse same force and effect to the morne.
The brethren appointit for visitatioun of the Presbitries in the last Assemblie, quho were ordainit this day to produce thair diligence in wryte, being callit, compeirit Mrs David Lindsay and Johne Spottiswood, Commissioners for Cliddisdaill; Mr Andro Knox, Commissioner for Air; Mrs James Nicolsone and Robert Howie, Commissioners for Fyfe; Mr Robert Durie, Commissioner for Orknay; and Mr George Glaidstanes, Commissioner for Cathnes; and produceit thair diligence in wryte. The rest of the saids Commissioners either were not present, or had done no diligence. Quhilks diligences producit, the Assemblie ordainit to be visited be the brethren, Mrs Johne Hall, Walter Balcanquell, Patrick Walkinschaw, Archibald Moncrieff, and James Anderson, and therafter to report what they have found in it to the haill Assemblie.
The said day, the Commissioners quho were appointit in the last Assemblie, for planting of burrowes tounes vacand, and awaiteand vpon his Majestie, quho were ordainit this day to produce thair diligence [and proceedings in wryte,] to the effect they might be tryit be the brethren, and either allowit or diffallowit, [conforme] as they deserved, being callit, they compeirit; and, in name of the rest, Mr James Nicolsone, Minister at Migle, produceit thair haill proceidings in wryte; quhilk being [openly] read in presence of the haill Assemblie, and the brethren being demandit be the Moderator, if they had any thing to say against the samein, or against them in any vther heid quhatsumevir: Ester the particular votes of every ane of the Commissioners was speirit, the Assemblie allowit of the said proceidings, and thankit God for the same.
The quhilk day, the brethren conveinit in this present Assemblie having confidderit, that nothing is more necessar for the advancement of Gods glorie and his true religioun within this realme, then that the cheife rowmes and places within the countrey, such as are noblemens houses and families, be plantit with learnit and discreit Pastours, able not only to instruct and confirm the said noblemen, thair wyves, children, and families, in the true feare of God, and heids of sincere religioun profest presentlie within this realme, bot also quho may, be thair provident care and diligence, procure that the families of such noblemen be not corruptit with the companie and hanting of profest Papists, Jesuites, [and vther] Seminarie Priefts, quho goes about daylie to smore and put out the spunks of true religioun and knowledge of God kindlit in the saids noblemens hearts; and because presentlie such men cannot be found to vndertake the charge of the saids noblemens houses, as said is: Therfor, the Assemblie hes thocht good, that, for a tyme, brethren meitest for the purpose sould be borrowit from thair awin places, to remaine for the space of a quarter of ane ȝeir continuallie with the saids noblemen, be whose labours in the meane tyme, quhill ane constant and permanent provisioun may be found out for the planting of these rowmes, the saids noblemen and thair families may be confirmit in the trueth, and the enemies therof debarrit from thair companies; and therafter to return to thair awin charges; and in the meane tyme, that the Presbitries take ordour that thair places be furnischit dureing thair absence: And, therfor, they have electit and nominat the brethren following to awaite vpon the saids noblemen dureing the space forsaid, viz. Mr William Scott Minister at Kennoquhy, to remaine with the Marqueis of Huntlie; for the Erle of Erroll, Mr Alexander Lindsay; for the Erle of Angus, Mr James Law; for the Lord Hoome, Mr John Carmichaell; for the Lord Maxwell, so long as he remaines in the Castle of Edinburgh, Mr Henrie Blyth; for the Lord Hereis, Mr Robert Wallace; for the Lord Semple, the Presbitrie of Irwing, so long as he remaines within the same; and in cace he remaine within the Presbitrie of Paislay, the said Presbitrie to awaite vpon him; and lykewayes for the Erle of Sutherland, the Presbitrie of Edinburgh, in cace he make his residence within the same: And in cace any of the noblemen make their residence any tyme in Edinburgh, or within the Presbitrie therof, the Assemblie ordaines the Presbitrie of Edinburgh to direct twa brethren of thair number, with the lyke power as the brethren above specifeit, to awaite vpon every ane of the saids noblemen that salbe found resident within thair Presbitrie: quhilks brethren forsaid, and every ane of them, sall receive the articles in wryte sra this Assemblie, quherin they sall travell with the saids Noblemen. Quhilks articles the Assemblie ordaines to be pennit be Mrs James Melvill, James Nicolsone, Johne Carmichaell, Patrick Galloway, William Scott, and Alexander Lind say, to be givin in the morne to the Assemblie, that the brethren may confidder the samein. The tenour quherof followis.
Instructiouns for the brethren appointit be the Generall Assemblie to attend vpon the Marqueis of Huntlie, the Erles of Angus and Erroll, the Lords Hoome, Herreis, and Maxwell.
First, Ʒe fall addresse ȝourselves with all convenient diligence and necessar furniture to entir in thair companie and families, ther to remaine still with them for the space of thrie monethis continuall; dureing the quhilk tyme ȝour principall care salbe, by publick doctrine, by reiding and interpretatioun of the Scriptures ordinarlie at thair tables, and by conference at all meitt occasiouns, to instruct themselves in the haill grounds of true religioun and godliness, speciallie in the heids controvertit, and confirme them therin.
2. Take paines to catechise thair families ordinarlie every day, once or twyse at the leist, or so oft as may serve to bring them to some reasonable measure of knowledge and feiling of religioun, befor the expyring of the tyme prescryvit for ȝour remaining ther; and let this actioun begin and end with prayer.
3. Prease to have thair houses purgit of all persons living inordinately, whose evill example might be a slander to thair professioun, speciallie such as are of suspect religioun, and found any wayes bussie in traffiqueing aganis the trueth, and quyetnes of the estate of the countrey; and be carefull to have all sick persons furth of thair houses and companie.
4. Travell to have thair kirks plantit with sufficient provisioun of stipends, and weill qualified persons; and procure, that, be thair authoritic and affistance, the discipline of the Kirk may have executioun within thair bounds.
5. Perswade them to make honest provisioun of stipends for the intertainment of resident Pastours at thair houses and cheife dwelling places; and to make choise of learnit, grave, and wyse Pastours, to be plantit therat.
6. Urge performance of the articles aggreeit vpon and subscryvit at the tyme of thair reconciliatioun, and registrat in the bookes of the Assemblie, quheroutof ȝe sall extract them.
7. Informe the Kings Majestie fra tyme to tyme, how they have profited, and quhat companie reforts to them, and quhat dispositiouns thair companies are of.
Quhilks articles being red in audience of the Assemblie, the brethren approvit the samein, and ordainit them to be insert, with the commissioun given to the Ministers appointit to remaine with the saids Lords, in the bookes of the Assemblie.
The brethren appointit to visite the diligence of the visitours appointit in the last Assemblie, finds fault, that in all thair diligences produceit, except of Caithnes and Fyfe, the visitors hes not exactlie tryed the lyfe, doctrine, and conversatioun of every Minister at his awin kirk and be his awin flock, but nakedlie and slanderlie be a generall view at the Synodall Assemblies; quhilk the Assemblie finds fault with, and ordaines to be amendit in tyme comeing.
The quhilk day, the brethren conveinit in this Assemblie, having rypelie weyit how necessar it is, that ane general visitatioun be for inquyring in the lyfe, doctrine, qualificatioun, and conversatioun of every ane of the Ministrie in particular; the quhilk albeit it was committit to the charge of the visitours appointit be the last Assemblie, nevirtheles they, or at the least the most of them, hes done small or no diligence in the executioun of that profitable worke committit to thair charge, excufit partlie be infirmitie and seiknes, and partlie be vther necessar affaires, quherin they were imployit, as they alledgit: Therfor, the Assemblie, not willing that such a necessar and profitable worke sould want the awin good execution [and success,] hes nominat, and be thir presents nominats thir brethren following, thair verie laufull Commissioners for visitatioun of the bounds vnderwrytin, every ane of them for thair awin parts, as they are particularlie designit; viz. for Orknay, Mr Robert Pont; for Cathnes and Sudderland, Mr George Glaidstanes, Mr Alexander Rawsone; for Ross, Mr David Lindsay; for Murray, Mrs Peter Blackburne, Abraham Sibbald; for Aberdein, Mrs William Scott and Alexander Lindsay; for Angus and Mernes, Mrs Robert Wilkie and James Melvill; for Perth and Striveling, Mrs James Mertin and Johne Caldcleugh; for Fyfe, Mrs James Nicolsone and Robert Howie; for Lauthiane, Mrs Patrick Sharp, Johne Couper; for Mers and Teviotdaill, Mrs Johne Carmichaell and James Law; for Cliddisdaill, Mrs Johne Spottiswood, William Airthur; for Irwing and Air, Mrs Andro Boyd, Johne Hay; for Nithesdaill and Annandaill, Mrs Johne Knox, Patrick Shaw, and Johne Smith; for Galloway, Mrs Johne Welsh, Hew Fullertoun; for Argyle, Mrs Andro Knox, Andro Lamb: Giveand, grantand, and committand to every ane of them conjunctlie, and in cace of seikness of any ane of them, with power to the vther, &c. to try the brethren of the Ministrie within the bounds particularlie above committit to every ane of thair charges respectivé, in thair life, doctrine, qualificatioun, and conversatioun, and how they behave themselves tuiching the rents of thair benefices, whither they have sett taks of the samein but consent of the Generall Assemblie, or not; and so incurrit the censure of dilapidatioun; with power also to try the Presbitries within the saids bounds, if they have keipit thair ordinar conventiouns, and particular visitatiouns of thair awin kirks, and visit and exerciseit all such things as belongs to the Presbitrie: with power also to them to try every particular congregatioun within the bounds committit to thair visitatioun; and generallie, to try every ane of the Ministrie, Presbitries, and Congregatiouns, conforme to the particular ordour of visitatioun sett downe in this Assemblie. And in cace any fault or enormitie be found be them in any of the saids visitatiouns committit to them, with power to censure the samein according to the act of the Generall Assemblie; and as they proceid in thair said visitatioun, that they report thair haill processe and diligence to the nixt Generall Assemblie: Promitten de rato,&c.
Sessio 4a 12 Novembris.
The said day it being considerit be the Assemblie, that for inlake of ane constant and vniforme ordour of visitatioun of Synods, Presbitries, and particular kirks, the labours and travells takin hitherto hes bein almost vnprofitable and ineffectual: Therfor, that ane solid ordour may be takin and generallie observit in visitatiouns in all tymes comeing throughout the haill kirks within this realme, the Assemblie ordaines the brethren following, viz. Mrs Robert Pont, Patrick Galloway, James Carmichaell, William Scott, Alexander Lindsay, to advyse anent the subiect of visitatiouns, and the forme and ordour of processe that salbe vsit in the same in all tyme coming, and to produce the samein in wryte to the Assemblie the morne.
The quhilk day the brethren haveand considderit the great travells and paines takin be thair brother, Mr Johne Howesone, Minister at Cambuslang, in ansuering to Bellarmine in thrie sundrie volumes, and how profitable the same wilbe to the Kirk of God, quhilk he presentit to the Assemblie, desyreing the same to be revisit be them, to the effect, if they be found worthie, they may be put foorth in print; they appointit the said worke, first, to be revisit be Mrs Robert Howie, James Nicolsone, and James Robertsone; therafter, be Mr Andro Melvill; and last, be Mrs Robert Pont and Johne Hall; and to report to the nixt Assemblie: quhilk bookes are presentlie delyverit to Mr Robert Howie.
Anent the constant platt: The brethren appointit to fitt thervpon with his Majesties Commissioners being demandit, quhat effect thair travells had takin in the same, they producit the conclusioun of the Commissioners of the said platt, resolving in S heids, out of the quhilk ane sould be chosen, as the most ready way for effectuating the said work; quherof the tenour followis.
Overtures of the Commissioners of the Plat to be advisit with his Majestie.
If everie Ministers stipends being assignit out of the fruites of the Kirk quher he serves be the benevolence of the taksmen, that they sall grant to the augmentatioun of the said stipend.
If ther salbe ane perpetuall securitie made to the said taxmen of thair teinds, vpon a speciall gressome to be condiscendit vpon for ilk chalder, for the space of xix ȝeirs; and to be renewit ȝeirlie therafter, for the said space, for the lyke greissome, upon this conditioun, that the said principal tacksmen sall grant and renew the lyke securitie to thair subtaksmen, for payment of thair part of the said greissome pro rato, quher any subtaks are.
Or if the great benefices salbe provydit to Ministers vpon this conditioun, that all the kirks of the Prelacies be plantit with sufficient Pastours, and be provydit with competent livings, as the modifiers of the constant plat sall think expedient, and he to pay the Kings Majestie ȝeirlie the tent part of the fruites of the saids benefices, quhilk fall rest by and attour the sustentatioun of the saids Ministers; and that all the inferiour benefices salbe provydit to Ministers serving the cure of the saids kirks, as weill Personages as Vicarrages.
Or if all the great benefices salbe dissolved, and the Prelat to have the principall kirk of the Prelacie with the temporal lands therof; and the rest of the kirks to be provydit with qualified Ministers; and the said Prelate and titulars of the saids kirks to pay ane ȝeirlie duetie to his Majestie, as the benefice may beare at the ficht of the Commissioners forsaids.
Quhilk overtures beeand red in the ficht of the Assemblie, it was ordainit, that every Synod sould have a copie of them, to be advyfit therwith vntill the morne, that they might give thair advice to his Majestie, quhilk of the thrie were most meitt to be imbraceit.
Anent the referris and petitiouns of the Synod of Fyfe givin in to this present Assemblie, to be advysed vpon be the samein: The brethren nominats Mrs James Melvill, Johne Carmichaell, Robert Durie, William Scott, Johne Cowden, Johne Fairfull, James Nicolsone, Andro Lamb, Robert Howie, Patrick Sharp, George Gladstanes, and Johne Spottiswood, to conveine the morne at aucht houres, and advyse vpon ansuers for satisfactioun of the said petitiouns, and to report the samen to the Assemblie.
The Articles of the Synod of Fyffe.
1. It wald be meinit be the Generall Assemblie, that the Generall Assemblies are not ordinarlie keipit, notwithstanding of the acts of Parliament and Generall Assemblie, and necessitie of the tyme; bot the dyetts therof altered without the knowledge of the Presbitries and Synods.
2. That Ministers are callit befor his Hienes Secreit Counsell, in prima instantia, for doctrine and discipline; quhilk is a great incouragement to the enemies.
3. That all applicatiouns in Exercises of Presbitries is found fault with, vnder pretence of the act of the Generall Assemblie; the quhilk act therfor wald be fightit and cleirly interpretit.
4. That the government of the cheife matters of the Kirk continues in the hands of a few number, vnder the name of a Commissioun, to the prejudice of the liberties of the Synods and Presbitries.
5. That the Doctours bearing ordinar calling in the Kirk, be the discipline and custome therof, are debarrit from the Assemblies.
6. That the Assemblie hes takin no tryall hithertill, anent the cautiouns fett downe for avoiding of corruptioun in the Commissioners, [voters] in the Parliament.
7. That the absence of the Pastours of Edinburgh, [and the] alteratioun of the Ministrie therof, quhilk was the cheife watch tower of our Kirk, hurts greatlie the cause of religioun, and encourages the enemies.
8. That ther is distractioun of opiniouns different from that consent of hearts, quhilk hes bein in the Kirk befor, in weghtie causes; and over little consideratioun, deliberatioun, and reasoning had, quherby conclusions passe, almost the halse of the brethren gainsaying.
9. That the land is defylit, and the Kirk endamnagit, by the French Ambassadours mess.
10. Excommunicat persons for Papistrie sufferit to haunt the countrey publicklie and peaceablie.
11. That the noblemen latelie relaxit fra excommunicatioun for Papistrie, gives no tokin of the professioun of the trueth, but rather the contrair.
12. That apprehendit Papists directiouns and letters are keipit close; and the danger imminent therby to the Kirk not communicat to the watchmen, quherby they may make faithfull warning, and prevent the perrill.
13. That the discipline of the Kirk against murther, incest, and adulterie, is not practised, [nor execute] with that holie severitie that becomes; notwithstanding of the frequent remissions obteinit be criminall persons, for eschewing of civill punishment.
14. That the remedies sett downe aganis apprehendit dangers, at diverse tymes, and at diverse meitings of the Kirk, are not followed foorth.
Anent the act made of befor aganis fick persons as abstaines from the holie communioun, either for Papistrie, or for the colour of deadlie feids: The Assemblie ordaines, that every ane of the Ministrie keip this ordour following [within his kirk,] to wit, That he warne sick persons, be the space of moneths befor the communioun, to compeir be themselves for the samein; quhilk beand done, and they dissobey, that every Minister incontinent therafter send the names of the dissobeyars subserivit with his hand to ane of his Majesties Ministers, quha sall intimat the samein to his Majestie and his Hienes Thesaurer, to the effect that his Hienes Thesaurer may put the acts made aganis non communicants to executioun aganis them; and that everie Presbitrie command the Ministers within thair Presbitrie to be diligent in the execution of this act.
Because it was meinit be the brethren, that the supplicatioun made in the last Assemblie to his Majestie anent the restraining of the libertie of noblemen and gentlemens sonnes, that passes foorth of the countrey to such places quher ther is restraint of the true religioun, Therfor his Majestie declairit, in presence of the haill Assemblie, that he wald give a command to the Secrei tar, that he sould subscryve no warrand for passing of noblemen or gentlemens sonnes foorth of the countrey, except they first fand cautioun conforme to the tenour of the act made in the last Assemblie, anent passing of gentlemens sonnes foorth of the countrey.
The said day, the Kings Majestie having declairit that it was requisite that his Hienes had another Minister adjoynit to his house, to the effect the Prince might be brought vp in the true religioun, Therfor the Assemblie transports Mr James Nicolsone from the kirk of Megle, and appoints him to be Minister at the Kings house, to the effect forsaid; and ordaines him to entir in the said function betuixt and the 15 day of Februar nixt to come, vnder the paine of deprivatioun, provyding he be first sufficientlie provydit be the Kings Majestie: And lykewayes ordaines Mr Andro Lamb to entir in his cure [in his Majesties house,] betuixt and the first of Januar nixt to come, vnder the said paine.
Anent the planting of the kirks of Edinburgh: Johne Robertsone and George Herriot, Commissioners for the said towne, being callit, declairit that for the present they had bot thrie kirks, quhilks alreadie were plantit with sixe Ministers; and quhen as thair fourth kirk, quhilk is presentlie bigging, is compleit, they wald crave supplement of vther twa Ministers.
Sessio 5a. 13 Novembris.
The brethren appointit for penning the forme and subject of visitatioun of kirks, gave in thair advyce as followes:
The visitours sall appoint twa or thrie dayes for the tryall of every Presbitrie within the bounds of thair visitatioun; and be the space of a moneth, or twentie dayes at the least, befor thair edicts, they sall make the Presbitrie acquaint therwith, and send them the edict following, to be publischit at every paroch kirk be some vther rother then the Minister, that it may be dewlie execute, reportit, and indorsit to the vistours, at the first dyett of [thair] meiting.
This Edict was never formed. C.
Let the Edicts be so directit be the Presbitries, that ane equall number [fall to] be tryit in every ane of the dayes appointit for tryall of ilk Presbitrie; and the Commissioners of congregatiouns to be chargit to thair awin dyetts accordinglie.
Try the estate, first, of every Minister particularlie; therafter the estate of the congregatiouns and countrey; and last the estate of the Presbitrie in generall.
The particular tryall of Pastours.
Try ilk Pastour severallie, in his graces, and habilitie to discharge his calling; in his furniture of bookes and necessar helps that may inable him in his calling; with quhat fidelitie and prudence he discharges himselfe in doctrine and discipline, in his lyfe, and the estate of his living.
For this effect, inquyre first of the Commissioners of his congregatioun, quhat testimonie he hes of his awin Sessioun and remanent of his flock; and in speciall if he be resident in his parochin vpon his manss and gleib; if his awin lyfe and the government of his familie, be such as breids no offence, bot edifies his flock; if he teaches every Sabboth once or twyse, and if he teaches any vther dayes in the week; if he ministers the communioun ȝeirlie with due examinatiouns preceiding; if he hes ane establischit Sessioun of Elders and Deacons; if he keips a weiklie conventioun with his Sessioun for the exercise of discipline; if he catechises weiklie a part of his parochin; if he keips ane ordinar visitatioun of some families of his congregatioun weiklie; if he visites the seik and distrest quhen occasioun requyres; if he be carefull to take away all eyelists and variances that falls out in the congregatioun.
Therafter, if neid beis, let him be tryed be the opening vp of some place of Scripture, and be questiouns; let it be inquyrit of him, quhat helps he hes for the advancement of his studies; if he hes the text of the Scripture in the originall languages, in cace he be sein in the tongues; if he hes Tremellius translatioun of the Auld Testament, and Bezas of the New, with the vulgar Inglis translatioun; if he hes the Common Places; if he hes the Ecclesiasticall Historie; quhat Commentaries he hes vpon the Scriptures, and speciallie vpon his ordinar text; if he hes the Acts of the Counsell of [Trent;] and quhat vther wryters of the controversies of religioun; and if he vses the conference of brethren for his reformatioun in the doubts that he finds in his reiding, and of quhom; if he hes ane ordinary course of reiding the Scriptures, Ecclesiasticall Histories, and Controversies; if he makes any memoriall of his travells in wryte; quhat is his ordinary text; if he be provydit in the title of the Personage or Viccarage, and if he hes sett any tacks therof, to quhom, and on quhat conditioun; in whose hands are the rents of his kirk; and quhat is the best overture he can give for provisioun of a stipend therat, in cace it be not alreadie sufficientlie provydit: and sicht the Sessioun Booke.
The brother beand removit, let the Presbitrie be inquyrit ane be ane, and declare vpon their conscience quhat they know anent his graces, fidelitie in doctrine and discipline, and anent his lyfe and conversatioun. After the quhilk tryall, let him be judgeit, and either allowit or admonisched; or vtherwayes censured, as the cause requyres.
The tryall of the Congregatiouns.
Try every Minister particularlie, if ther be any Jesuites, Papists, Seminarie Priests, traffiquers against the estate of religioun and quyetnes of the countrey, within thair congregatioun, or resetters of them: if ther be any witches, excommunicats, contraveiners of the discipline of the Kirk; [if ther be any superstitious dayes keipit, be setting out of banefires,] or vtherwayes; if ther be any superstitious places of pilgrimages, wells, and chappells; if ther be any non communicants; [if ther be any] homicides, or deadlie feids; if ther be any adulterers, or incestuous persons; if the Sabboth be profaned be keiping of mercatts, or labouring, speciallie in the tyme of harvest: And as they find in the premisses, to take ordour for reformatioun of the points forsaids, or any part therof.
Tryell of the Presbitries.
Let the Moderatour be inquyred, if they keip thair ordinar conventiouns; if they have thair monethlie discourse vpon the commoun heids and disputations; if they [have] visited the haill kirks within thair bounds sen the last generall visitatioun; if they take ouklie and monethlie account of thair brethrens diligence in the discharge of thair dutie, by catechising and visiteing of thair families; and sicklyke, if ther be any of thair number that be insolent, and will not acquiesce in the determinatiouns of his brethren; [if ther be any eyelist or divisioun amang the brethren;] quhat vnplantit kirks are in thair bounds.
Quhilk forme the Assemblie thinks good, and ratifies and approves the samein; and ordaines it to be vniversallie observed in all tyme comeing, in all visitatiouns within this realme: and ordaines the power of the visitours to be direct conforme to the acts of the Generall Assemblie.
The said day, the brethren appointit to visite the petitiouns of the Synodall of Fyffe, condiscendit vpon the ansuers following.
Ansuers to the Petitiouns of the Synodall of Fyfe.
1. Finds, that the Generall Assemblies sould be appointit and keipit according to the act of Parliament, haldin at Edinburgh the 5 of Junij 1592 yeirs, quherof the tenour followes, so farre as concerns that point: And sicklyke ratifies and approves the Generall Assemblies appointit be said kirk; and declares that it salbe lawfull to the Kirk and Ministers, everie ȝeir once at the least, or oftener pro re nata, as occasioun and necessitie sall requyre, to hald and keip Generall Assemblies; provydand that the Kings Majestie, or his Commissioners with them, to be appointit be his Hienes, being present at ilk Generall Assemblie befor the dissolving therof, nominat and appoint a tyme and place, quhen and quher the nixt Generall Assemblie sould be: And in cace neither his Majestie nor his saids Commissioners beis present for the tyme, in that towne quher the Generall Assemblie beis haldin; then and in that cace it salbe leisum to the said Generall Assemblie be themselves to nominat and appoint tyme and place, [quhen and] quher the nixt Generall Assemblie of the Kirk beis keipit and haldin, as they have bein in vse thir tymes by past.
2. If his Majestie sall proceid against Ministers, according to his Majesties awin declaratioun made and inactit in the Generall Assemblie haldin at Dundie [1597,] Sessioun 10. the desyre of the second article is satisfied, and no vther thing meanit therby
3. Thinks it expedient, that the act anent the applicatioun in the Exercise be interpret not to be extendit to forbid the vsing of the Word of God in applicatioun to the general ends therof, quhilk is laufull to exercise after this manner: this heid of doctrine serves for the resutatioun of such ane errour, for the rebuik of such a vyce, for conforting of such a person in such a case. And as for particular and personall applicatioun, leaves it to be advyfit, whether it salbe in tyme comeing or not, and how farre; and thinks it good, that this be reasonit in the Presbitries; and then [that] Commissioners [be] sent with thair reasons to the nixt Assemblie theranent; and, in the meane tyme, no innovatioun to be vsit anent personall applicatioun.
4. Let all commissiouns be givin and vsed from this [tyme] foorth, according to the acts of the Generall Assemblie.
5. Finds, that Doctours hes had, and may have, vote in the Generall Assemblie, they haveand a laufull commissioun for that effect, according as it hes bein found be the Generall Assemblie haldin at Edinburgh the 10 of May [1586,] and at 1581, quher it is found and declarit be the act of the Generall Assemblie, that Doctours sould concurre with the Elders as brethren in all Assemblies.
6. Let the caveats be looked to, and preceislie keipit in tyme comeing, vnder the paines conteinit in the acts made theranent.
7. Ansuerit in the Assemblie.
8. [Nothing to be done and concluded in Assemblies, except it be susficiently reasoned and deliberated. C.]
9. Acquieses in the declaratioun of the brethren that hes spokin to his Majestie theranent; and desyres Mr Walter Balcanquell to shew the same to the Assemblie, and how the Presbitrie of Edinburgh is satisfied in this point.
10. Let thair names be given vp, that his Majestie may take ordour with them according to the lawis; and in speciall with Captaine Halkerstoun, Patrick Butter, Mr Alexander Leslie, Duncane Law, Thomas Browne, William Leslie of Concraig, and Patrick Mortimer.
11. Ansuerit in the Assemblie.
12. To acquiesce in his Majesties declaratioun heiranent, and [to] requeist his Majestie, that the Presbitries be acquaint heirafter, in such case quher it salbe neidfull.
13. Quher ther is negligence in this point, let it be amendit heirafter, according to the acts of the Assemblie.
14. Let farther diligence be vsit, quher negligence hes bein.
Quhilks ansuers the Assemblie allowes of, and ordaines the samein to be insert in the Books of the Assemblie.
The quhilk day, the Generall Assemblie haveand advysedlie considderit the necessitie of appointing Commissioners from this present Assemblie, not only to awaite vpon such affaires as salbe for the weill and vtilitie of the Kirk [of God,] bot also to give advyse to his Majestie anent the halding furth [of the enemies] of the same, quhen they salbe requyrit be his Majestie therto: Therfor the brethren conveinit in this present Assemblie hes givin and grantit, lyke as they, be the tenour heirof, gives and grants thair full power and commissioun to the brethren vnderwrytin, viz. Mrs Robert Pont, David Lindsay, George Glaidstanes, David Hoome, Johne Clappertoun, Johne Knox, Johne Spottiswood, Alexander Lindsay, Robert Howie, Johne Hall, Johne Caldcleugh, Johne Strauchan, Andro Knox, Gawin Hamiltoun, James Law, Andro Boyd, Alexander Dowglas, Alexander Forbes, Andro Leich, Robert Wilkie, Patrick Sharp, Peter Blackburne, Patrick Simsone, with the Kings Ministers, or any nyne of them; Giveand, grantand, and committand to them thair full power to plant such kirks in Burrowstounes as [is] or salbe destitute of Pastours:
Attour, If it fall happin the Kings Majestie to be greivit at any of the Ministers for quhatsumevir enormitie committit be them against his Hienes, with power to them, or any nyne of them, as said is, to try and cognosce thervpon, and to take such ordour theranent as they sall think meitt to the glorie of God and weill of his Kirk.
And finallie, With power to them to present the greives and petitiouns of this present Assemblie to his Majestie and Secreit Counsell, and generall Conventioun of Estates and Parliament, if any sall happin to be; and to crave redresse of the samein: Promitten de rato.
The said day, the Assemblie, confidering that the conventiouns of the peiple, especiallie on the Sabboth day, are verie rare in many places, especiallie be distractioun of labour, not only in harvest and seid tyme, bot also every Sabboth, be fisching both of whyt fisch and salmond fisching, and of ganging of mylnes, [the Assembly dischargeth, and inhibiteth all such labour of fishing, as well white fish as salmon fish, and going of mylnes,] of all sorts vpon the Sabboth day, vnder the paine of incurreing the censures of the Kirk; and ordaines the Commissioners of this present Assemblie to meane the samein to his Majestie, and to desyre that ane pecuniall paine might be injoynit vpon the contraveiners of this present act.
Anent the overtures givin in be the Commissioners of the constant plat, with the quhilk the brethren were ordainit to be advysit: After mature deliberatioun and voteing, the Assemblie thinks the second overture most expedient to be acceptit, bearing the provisioun of Ministers to all Prelacies, with the conditiouns therin conteinit, as is above exprest.
Anent the planting of the kirks within the bounds of Annandaill, quhilk hes bein desolat continuallie, sen the reformatioun of the religioun within this countrey: After that the Kings Majestie had made declaratioun of his godlie intent theranent, how that his Majestie was myndit to cause the barrones and gentlemen of Annandaill, at their compeiring befor his Hienes, quhilk wilbe shortlie, find sufficient catioun and sovertie for provisioun of reasonable and competent livings to every ane of the kirks within the bounds of Annandaill; and therfor desyreand that ane number of qualified men may be provydit for to enter in the Ministrie at the kirks within the saids bounds: The Assemblie ordaines every ane of the Commissioners present to give vp the names of such persons quho are vacand within thair Presbitries, and willing to entir in the Ministrie, to the effect they may be exhortit and earnestlie dealt with be the Commissioners of the Generall Assemblie, quho sall plant them in places they think most meit, for to accept vpon them the cure of the saids kirks, how soone sufficient provisioun may be found out for them, and securitie for themselves: And in cace that after all the discretioun [be] vsit with them, they then resuse to accept the saids callings vpon them, the Assemblie declares that they salbe countit vncapable of the function of the Ministrie, ay and quhill they meine themselves to the said Commissioners, whose calling and directioun they refused, and be content to be employed in any part they [sall] think expedient; and if they be already actuall Ministers, and craves transportaitioun, if they refuse to be transportit to any of the saids vackand kirks, the Assemblie finds, that the libertie of transportatioun salbe denyed to them, so that they sall remaine at the saids kirks, fra the quhilk they craveit to be transportit.
The names of such as are vacand.
Acta Sessione 6a. Novembris 1602.
Anent the supplicatioun givin in be Alexander Stewart of Gairlies, Provest of Dumfreis, in name and behalfe of the Counsell and communtie of the said towne, makand mentioun, that quher be the transportatioun of Mr Hew Fullertoun, some tyme Minister at thair kirk, the estate of thair congregatioun is altogether desolate in sick sort, that for inlake of a Pastor quho sould attend vpon the flock, and to care the weill of thair soules, they are not only depryvit of the spirituall food and confort of the Word, but also thair towne is become a receipt of excommunicat Papists and Jesuites; desyreand therfor the Assemblie to confidder thair miserable estate, and to provyde some qualified man to be thair Pastour; and in speciall, ane of the leits given in be them, viz. [Mrs David Barclay,] William Airthur, Alexander Scrymgeour, William Watsone, Hew Fullartoun; promising that [not] only that they wold be reverent hearers of the Word, but also [that] they wold concurre with him and assist him that salbe nominat to be thair Pastour, in the executioun of discipline of the Kirk to the vttermost of thair power; as at mair lenth is conteinit in thair supplicatioun: The Assemblie, after voting, hes chosin Mr William Airthur to be Minister at Dumfreis, quham they ordaine and appoint to be Minister at the said kirk, after incalling on the name of God.
The said day it was thoght good be the brethren, to be meanit, that notwithstanding his Majesties good mynd and intentioun to have all the kirks within this realme sufficientlie plantit with Ministers with competent livings appointit for them; and albeit it was provydit be the act of Februar, and approvit in Parliament, that all the thirds of benefices sould be applyed to the vse of the Ministrie ay and quhill the kirks were plantit, and that penfiouns givin [in prejudice] therof sould be null;ȝet be importune suteing, ane great part of the saids thrids are disponit in pensiouns, to the great hinderance not only of the present provisioun of Ministers, but also of the constant platt, quhilk his Majestie intends: Desyreing therfor that his Majestie were informit therof, and take such ordour, that the saids dispositions made in contrair the said act of Februar sould be retreatit, and that command be givin to the modifiers of the platt of this instant ȝeir, to assigne out of the saids pensiouns for planting of kirks, notwithstanding of saids dispositiouns: The quhilk his Majestie most willinglie grantit, and promist to stay all farther gifts in any tyme comeing.
Item, The Assemblie thocht expedient to adjoyne and nominat vthers out of the number of the brethren to be adjoynit to these, quhilk were nominat be Commissioners of Provinces conveinit at Halierudehous, the 15 of October 1600 ȝeirs, out of the quhilk number his [Majestie] sould make choise of such as he sould present to the benefices vacand. The names of them all are, as followes, Mrs Robert Pont, Robert Howie, James Nicolsone, Alexander Scrymgeour, Johne Forbes, Gawin Hamiltoun, George Monro, James Robertsone, Johne Howisone, James Melvill, Andro Knox, Patrik Galloway, Alexander Dowglas, Alexander Lindsay, Robert Wilkie, Johne Spottiswood, William Malcolme, Alexander Forbes, Johne Knox, Andro Lamb, Johne Clappertoun, George Grahame, Robert Bruce, John Carmichell, Patrick Lindsay.
Anent the requeist made be the Moderatour, in name of the haill Assemblie, to his Majestie, in favours of Mr. Robert Bruce: His Majestie declairit that he wald doe in that matter be the advyce of the Commissioners of the Generall Assemblie, and [as] Mr Robert be his awin behaviour sould give him occasioun. And because Mr Robert Bruce had be his missive direct to his Majestie befor his departure aff the countrey, as also be the ratificatioun and farther examinatioun and explanatioun therof, in wryte [at Sanct Johnstoun] the 26 of Junij 1602, declarit his resolutioun of his Majesties innocencie, and guiltines of the Erle of Gowrie and his brother, and promised to divert the peiple so farre as in him lay, from their leud opiniouns and vncharitable constructiouns anent his Majesties actiouns, namelie, in this turne: Therfor, his Majestie desyrit the determinatioun of the Assemblie, Whither if the said Mr Robert sould lykewayes make the same declaratioun in pulpitt, according as it is at length sett doune in the said missive and explanatioun therof, at Perth, quherof the tenour followes.
Pleis ȝour Majestie: Hearing that ȝour Majestie was nothing relentit of the former wrath against me, and being now vpon the point to shew my obedience to your Majesties last charge, I could not omitt this as my last duetie, to intreat ȝour Hienes clemencie, and to mitigate the extremitie of this intendit wrath. I am not ignorant of that speich, That the wrath of the Prince is the messinger of death; so that I crave, that the Lord for Chrysts sake may adde his blessing, and worke effectuallie in your Grace, as he sall sie expedient for his awin glorie, and ȝour Majesties perpetuall preservatioun.
Then to be short: To shew my conformitie with the rest of my brethren of the Ministrie, as at all tymes, so now especiallie, to shew my reverence to ȝour Majestie, and to cleir my suspect affectiouns heirin, I offer to give to the Father of our Lord Jesus Chryst, in him, and through him, most heartlie thanks for all ȝour Majesties delyveries from ȝour cradle to this present houre; but namelie, for that delyverie quhilk he gave to ȝour Majestie, [at Sanct Johnstoun,] on Tuesday the 5 of August, farre above all our deserts, and ȝour Majesties expectatioun.
I offer also to stirre vp the peiple to that [same] duetie, and also to divert the peiple so farre as lyes in me, from thair lewd opiniouns, and vncharitable constructiouns of ȝour Majesties actiouns, namelie in this turne.
Finallie, Ther is no duetie that ȝour Majestie can crave of me, without
the [manifest] offence of God, and hurt of my awin conscience, but I will
doe it with als good a heart as ever I did [any] thing in this earth; that
if by any meanes I might testifie my good affectioun to ȝour Majestie my
Soveraigne, and to enjoy my naturall aire, and such vther comforts as the
Lord hes given me vnder ȝour Majesties reigne, quhilk I most humblie
crave of ȝour Majestie; beseikand the Lord to move ȝour heart heirvnto
for Chrysts sake. So waiting of ȝour Hienes ansuer in all humilitie, I
take my leave.
Mr ROBERT BRUCE.
[And upon the back therof, At Perth the 25 of June 1600. C.]
Father, Concerning the heids within conteinit, I am resolvit [of] his
Majesties innocencie, and the guiltines of the Erle of Gowrie and his
brother, according as it is declairit be the act of Parliament; and therfor
acknowledges the great mercie of God towards his Majestie, haill Kirk,
and countrey, in his Majesties delyverance; for the quhilk I thank God
from my heart.
Mr ROBERT BRUCE.
The quhilk the haill Assemblie, after votting, thocht not only reasonable, bot also concludes, that the said Mr Robert aucht to doe the same.
Anent the supplicatioun givin in be Mr Robert Pont, Minister at Sanct Cuthberts Kirk, desyreand, in respect of his great age, and long travells takin in the Kirk of God, and continuall seiknes quhilk followeth age, that he might be releivit from the ordinarie burdein of the teaching, vpon conditioun that he sall substitute ane in his place quhen through infirmitie he sall not be able to teach himselfe: The Assemblie thinks his sute reasonable, and therfor condiscendit to the same.
Item, Because his Majestie declarit, that he was informit that sundrie of the Ministrie neglectit that part of thair duetie towards his Majestie in not giving thanks to God for the wonderfull delyverie of his Majestie from the treasonabill attempt [at Sanct Johnston] of Johne sometyme Erle of Gowrie, and his brother, vpon every fyft day of August: Therfor the Assemblie statutes and ordaines, that in all burrowstounes within this realme ther be ordinar preaching and teaching every Tuesday, in the remembrance of the delyverie of his Majestie that day of the weik; and that every fyft day of August ther be preaching in every kirk within this realme, to burgh and to land, thankand God of his Majesties delyverance that day of the moneth.
And because the peiple in landwart parochines cannot be so easilie conveinit as in burrowstounes, therfor, and for [their] better conveining, it is ordainit, that everie Minister at everie landwart kirk sall, vpon the Sonday preceiding the fyft day of August, make intimatioun to his parochiners, that they conveine the said day in the kirk with him, to thank God for his Majesties delyverance.
And to the effect that all ryotousnes, drunkennes, and vther filthie excrecises, may be restrainit, his Majestie promised to cause all insolencie in behaviour to be dischargit and forbidden every ȝeir be [open] proclamatioun, and Magistrats to take ordour with the contraveiners therof.
Item, The Assemblie ordaines, that no marriages be celebrate airlie in the morning, or with candle light; and finds lykewayes, that it is leisum to celebrate the said band of mariage vpon the Sabboth day, or any vther preaching day, as the parties sall requyre and think expedient; and ordaines the same to be indifferentlie done; and that no ryotousnes be vsed at the same vpon the Sabboth day.
Item, It is statute, that the sacrament of baptisme be not refused to any infants, if the parent crave the same, he giveand a Christian confessioun of his faith, vpon any vther particular pretence; and specially, that baptisme be not delayit to certaine particular dayis.
Anent the supplicatioun givin in be Mr Edward Bruce, Commendatour, Abbot of Kinloss, makand mentioun, that quher he haveand ane tack and assedatioun of the Kirk of Tarbet, sett be Mr Johne Monro, and Mr David Lindsay, Bischop of Ros, the ȝeirlie duetie quherof, albeit it extends only to the sowme of twa hundreth pounds, nevertheles [he,] for the better intertainment of the said Mr Johne, actuall Minister at the said kirk, hes condiscendit to convert the said sowme of twa hundreth pounds in ten (twa?) chalder of heir as for ane constant stipend to the said Mr Johne and his successours, Ministers at the said kirk of Tarbet, vpon conditioun that the Ministers of the Presbitrie of Ros, quhilk are of the Chapter of the said Bischoprick, wald ratifie and approve this tack of the said kirk, quhilk they wald willinglie doe, provyding the Assemblies [consent] were obtainit therto, as at mair lenth is conteinit in the said supplicatioun: The Generall Assemblie ratifies and approves the saids tack and assedatioun, sett to the said Commendatour, of the teinds of the said Kirk of Tarbet, as weill be the said Mr Johne Monro as be the said Mr David Lindsay; and ordaines the brethren of the Presbitrie of Ros, quho are members of the said Chapter, to consent to the same be thair subscriptiouns; because they vnderstand the said kirk to be sufficientlie plantit be the moyen forsaid.
Anent the supplicatioun givin in be Mr Patrick Carmichaell, Minister at Aberdoure, makand mentioun, that quher the Assemblie haldin at Montrois in Marche 1600 ȝeirs, it was concludit, that Mr William Patoun sould serve the cure of both the kirks of Aberdoure and Dalgatie, and for his service fauld uplift the auld stipend of both the saids kirks, ay and quhill susficient provisioun were made for planting of both the saids kirks; and true it is that the said complainer is now plantit Minister at Aberdoure; desyreand, therfor, to cause the halfe of the said stipend to be dimittit to him be the said Mr William, in respect of his service at one of the saids kirks: The Assemblie finds [and decerns] the haill stipend contravertit to appertaine to Mr William Patoun, Minister at Dalgatie, conforme to his assignatioun of the crope and ȝeir of God 1601 ȝeirs, except the Viccarrage of Aberdoure, quhilk they adjudgeit to pertaine to the said Minister at Aberdoure.
Anent the supplicatioun givin in be the north Paroch of Leith, makand mentioun, that quher the Presbitrie of Edinburgh hes erectit the said north Paroch of Leith in ane parochin, quhilk is also approvin be the Synodall of Lawthiane; desyreand, therfor, the ratificatioun of the Generall Assemblie vnto the same: The Assemblie ratifies and approves the erectioun forsaid in all points.
Anent the supplicatioun givin in be the inhabitants of the Ferrie of Scottiscraig, Garpat, Shamvall and Muirtaine, makand mentioun, That they being a great multitude, and farre distant from thair paroch kirk of Leuchars, they, with commoun consent of the haill parochiners, Presbitrie of Sanct Androes, and Synod of Fyffe, hath erectit ane paroch kirk in the said Ferrie, and almost compleitit the same, for the commoditie and vse of the people most adjacent therto; desyreand, therfor, the Assemblies authoritie to be interponit therto, and to give power to the Presbitrie to annexe sick villages as are most adjacent to the said paroch kirk: The Assemblie ratifies the erectioun forsaid, and gives power to the said Presbitrie to the effect above wrytin.
Anent the supplicatioun givin in be ane Noble Lord, Alexander Erle of Lynlithgow, makand mentioun, That quher it hes pleasit the brethren of the last Assemblie to relaxe Dame Helenor Hay, his spouse, from the sentence of excommunicatioun, and to injoyne certaine particular conditiouns to be observed be her, quhilks conditiouns, albeit she, of the stubbornes of her heart, wald no wayes condiscend to obey, to his great greife and sorrow; nevertheles, the brethren sould have consideratioun of his hard estate, quho cannot, be no law, separate himselfe from her, notwithstanding that sho refuses to heare and obey the wholesome voyce of the Kirk, calling her to grace in Jesus Chryst; and the rather because he himselfe, as he hes continuallie and constantlie profest the trueth and religioun presentlie profest within this realme, so he hes vsed all meanes possible for bringing his spouse to the true knowledge of the same; lykeas also he is readie to doe quhat lyes in his power, be all good meanes, to draw her to the trueth; desyrand, therfor, the Assemblie to pitie his daylie griefe, and shew him some favour in the mitigatioun of her punishment, and staying of the censure of excommunicatioun aganis her, that he be not compellit to remaine in societie with her that salbe cutt off from the societie of the Kirk: The Assemblie having considderit the supplicatioun, continues the pronouncing of the sentence of excommunicatioun against her vnto the nixt Generall Assemblie, provydeing that the Kings Majestie remove his Hienes daughter out of her companie; and lykewayes that his Lordships bairnes be catechisit in the trueth; and lykewayes that his Majestie give command to him to debarre all Papists from his house; and that, in the meanetyme, his Lordship cause deale with his said spous, to sie if by any meanes sho may be drawin to the acknowledging of the trueth.
Sessio Vltima, 16 Novembris 1602.
Anent the supplicatioun givin in be the brethren of the Synod of Glasgow, makand mentioun, That quher albeit sundrie tymes, be their actis, they had discharged Mr George Simple to have any meddling with the Ministrie of the Kirk of Killellane, for the causes and consideratiouns knowin to them, and speciallie for a great mislyking that specialls of the paroch had of him; nevertheles he had not only insistit in suteing of the said kirk, but also he had obteinit, be privie moyen, the consent of the Commissioners of the Generall Assemblie therto, for planting of him at the said kirk, the saids brethren not being heard, nor thair reasons in the contrair discussed; desyreing, therfor, that thair reasons may be heard, and, after dew tryall, that the Assemblie wald give thair finall sentence in the said matter, quhilk they wald obey:
The Assemblie, after due tryall, absolves the said Mr George from all evill crymes and eylists quhilk were laid to his charge, either be the brethren of the said province, or be the parochiners of Killellane, and gives him, be thir presentis, a testimonie of his honest behaviour; bot in respect that he was nevir plantit fullie Minister at the said kirk, and of the great mislyking that is betuixt him and sundrie of the saids parochiners of Killellane, as said is, they think it not good that he be plantit Minister at the said kirk; and, therfor, ordaines him to desist therfra, and to dimitt the presentatioun made to him of the benefice therof, in favours of Mr Johne Cunighame, quhom the Presbitrie hes thoght good to be Minister therat, vpon conditioun that the said Mr George be first satisfied be the said Mr Johne, for his said dimissioun, paines and lose susteinit be him in pleying of the same: Quhilk satisfactioun salbe presentlie modified be Mr. Johne Cowper, arbiter chosen for the said Mr William Cunnighame, and Mr Robert Pont, arbiter chosen for Mr George Sempill; and in case of variance, be Mr Patrick Galloway, as oddisman and ovirsman chosen be both thair consents: With provisioun lykewayes that the said Mr George be first plantit at the Kirk of Kirkbeane, or any vther place quher his Majestie sall think expedient in the south west parts, with sufficient provisioun for his sustentatioun therat.
The said day, the Assemblie ordaines Richart Browne to be transportit to the kirk of Haliewood, and that the brethren deale with the Abbot for a sufficient provisioun to the said kirk, and in speciall Mrs David Barklay, Robert Hunter, and Hew Fullertoun.
Item, The Assemblie ordaines, that, in all tyme comeing, the licence to be grantit to any beneficit Person to sett tackis, be restrainit either to ane lyferent tack, or to ane nynetein ȝeir tak allanerly.
Anent the supplicatioun givin in be Mr John Nicolsone of Laiswad, beirand, that quher he was kyndlie taksman of the teinds of his awin lands of Lesswaid, in respect quherof he had aggried with Mr George Ramsay, Deane of Restalrig, for renewing of his saids tacks for paying of a greater duetie then they payed of before, so that the kirk was sufficientlie plantit; to the quhilks the said Mr George condescendit; desyreand, therfor, the Assemblie to ratifie [and approue] the saids tackis, and declare the samein als sufficient as if ane speciall licence had been obtainit to sett the same: The Assemblie ratifies and approves the saids taks of the teinds of his awin lands of Lesswaid, and declares the samein als sufficient, as if a speciall licence had bein obteinit therto.
Item, At the earnest sute of the Presbitries of Cliddisdaill, Walter, Pryour of Blantyre, tackisman of the Personage of Glasgow, condiscendit to give 15 chalders victuall, by and attour the duetie of his tacks, for the better provisioun of the Ministrie at the said kirk of Glasgow, vpon conditioun that the present Person sould ratifie and approve his present tack that he hes to runne of the saids teinds: The Assemblie thinks the conditioun reasonable, and, therfor, ordaines the present Person to ratifie the same; and declares that the said Commendatour sall not be farther troublit for any greater provisioun to the said kirk during his saids tacks, be nane of the Ministrie serving that cure.
Anent the propositioun made in the Assemblie vpon the privat motiouns of sundrie particular brether, from diverse parts, to the Moderatour, desyreand that a certaine number of the brethren of best judgement and experience sould be put apart to considder of the chiefelt dangers appeirand to religioun, and quyetnes of the estate of the countrey, and of the principall causes therof, and how the samein might be most effectuouslie preventit; with power to them to conclude, and communicat thair best advyces to his Majestie theranent, and to the Presbitries, so farre as shalbe found expedient: The Assemblie finds the samein most requisite, and, for the effect above wrytin, nominates, &c. with power as said is.
The quhilk brether having at length communicat thair informatioun, to gether with thair awin knowledge, anent the premisses, Finds that ane of the cheifest causes of danger proceids from the miscontentment of some outragious and malicious Papists, that rages and leaves nothing vnassayit to trouble; for being out of all esperance to have his Majesties indifferent affectioun, or oversight over them and thair religioun during his reigne; and of vthers that be the executioun of justice finds themselves or thair friends and thari houses to have sustainit any lose, and to be impairit of thair greatness and dependance, and to be redactit to live vnder the obedience of lawis vtherwayes nor they were wont; and from the malicious bussines of certaine craftie and seditious persons, that either for the present necessitie of thair awin estate, or for hope of advancement and gaine to be had in the change of the present governement, ceases not be all meanes to inflame the hearts of such as they perceive to be miscontentit in any estate, and making every man to sie his awin desyre in the trouble of the countrey; dealing in the meanetyme lykewayes with such as are of the most sincere affectioun to religioun and justice, that things is not done in that integritie that is profest; preasing hereby to make the godlie and good subiects the more cold adversaries to such as wold intend a trouble:
For remeid quherof it is thought good and concludit, that his Majestie salbe informed heiranent, that, be his awin care and foirsight, such vngodly plats and counsells may be srustrate; and siclyke that every Minister within this realme sall deale generally with thair congregatiouns and auditors, at all occasiouns, in thair publick doctrine in pulpitt, and with all noblemen, barrones, gentlemen, and vthers that are of any speciall credit or power, particularlie in thair privie conferences, perswading them of the Kings honest mynd for establishing of the true religioun presentlie profest within this realme, and of the executioun of justice, and of his stedfast resolutioun to hazard his estate, lyfe and crowne, in the cause of the Gospell, with the standing and falling quherof, he acknowledges his standing and falling to be inseparablie conjoynit; and that they mark narrowlie the actiouns of all men, specially of sick as that either for religioun, or executiun of justice, or for the necessitie of thair awin estate, mislykes the present governement, and are inclined to novatiouns, and quhom they sie in any kynd of extraordinar bussines by thair custome; and that they make his Majesties Ministers acquaint therwith, not ceasing in the meane tyme to bring them to ane quyet mynd: and for this effect, that in all thair ordinarie meitings in Sessiouns, Presbitries, and Provinciall Assemblies, ther be a particular and privat inquisitioun in thir points as neid beis, that his Majesties Ministers may be advertised with all expeditioun: And lykewayes it is thocht expedient and concludit, that his Majesties Ministers, and sick vthers of the Ministrie as sall have occasioun to be in any charge about his Majestie, informe the Presbitries of the estate of things, as they proceid, so farre as it is neidful for the weill of the cause; and that this advyce be extractit and sent with diligence to every Presbitrie in authentique forme.
The nixt Assemblie is appointit to be haldin at Aberdein, the last Tuesday of Julij 1604.
Thanks beeand givin to God be the Moderatour, for the confortable successe of this present Assemblie, the brethren were dismissed.