Acts of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland 1638-1842. Originally published by Edinburgh Printing & Publishing Co, Edinburgh, 1843.
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The principal acts of the general assembly, holden and begun at Edinburgh, January 11, 1698.
I. Sess. 1, Edinburgh, January 11, 1698.—The Recording of his Majesty's Commission to the Lord Carmichael for Representing his Majesty in this Assembly.
This day, the General Assembly of the ministers and elders of this National Church being convened, there was produced to them by a noble Lord, John Lord Carmichael, his Majesty's Commission, under the Great Seal of this kingdom, nominating and appointing him to be his Majesty's High Commissioner and Representative in this National Assembly, which was publicly read in their audience with all due honour and respect, and the General Assembly appointed, and hereby appoints, the same to be recorded in the registers of this Assembly, therein to remain ad futuram rei memoriam, the tenor whereof follows:—"Gulielmus," &c.
II. Eadem Sessione.—His Majesty's gracious Letter to the General Assembly.
The said day, his Majesty's High Commissioner produced his Majesty's most
gracious Letter directed to this Assembly, which was publicly read in their hearing
with all due honour and respect, and appointed to be recorded in the registers of
this Assembly, the tenor whereof follows:—
Right Reverend and well-beloved,
We greet you well. We are so well satisfied with your proceedings at the last General Assembly, that we agree to your meeting now, though another time had been more convenient for our affairs. And we have again made choice of our right trusty and entirely beloved Councillor, John Lord Carmichael, to be our Commissioner, of whose fidelity and zeal for our service we have had experience on former occasions, and who we know will be acceptable to you; and we doubt not but you will act in such a manner in this Assembly, as that we shall have new reason to be satisfied with you; and we do renew our assurances of our protection and countenance to the Presbyterian government, now settled in the Church of Scotland.
You know it is our inclinations, and we do recommend to you, to assume the Episcopal ministers, whose lives and doctrine do render them useful to the Church; and likewise, the planting the Churches in the North with the most prudent and pious of your ministers; and that you send some of your number who are best qualified to preach in the remote Highland parishes where ministers are not provided, and where there appears to be so much need of a reformation, both from Popery and profanity, in all which, we expect to hear of your care and performance; and so we bid you heartily farewell.
Given at our Court at Kensington, the fifth day of January 1697–98, and
of our reign the ninth year.
By his Majesty's command,
To the Right Reverend and well-beloved, the Ministers and Elders, Commissioners of the General Assembly of the Church of our ancient Kingdom of Scotland.
III. Sess. 3, January 13, 1698.—The General Assembly's Answer to his Majesty's gracious Letter.
May it please your Majesty,
The satisfaction your Majesty vouchsafes to signify by your most gracious letter to this Assembly, with the proceedings of the former; your Majesty's renewed assurances of your protection and countenance to the Presbyterian government now settled in this Church, and your having agreed to our meeting at this time, when so many other weighty affairs call forth and employ your royal care, do lay such obligations on us to our duty, as we shall endeavour better to express our sense thereof in the course of our actings, than now we are able to do by words.
Nor is it one of the least testimonies of your Majesty's fatherly regard to this Church, that as you have formerly recommended and encouraged the suppressing and restraining of all vice and profanity, so your Majesty doth now testify a special concern for planting a well qualified ministry in those places that want it, and that you are pleased to excite us to a cheerful management of all the matters that lie before us by the continued choice of the Lord Carmichael to represent your royal person now again in this Assembly, whose unblemished faithfulness and steady zeal to your Majesty's service, joined with a constant good affection to this Church, have always very signally, and to us most obligingly appeared.
The General Assembly, is still ready to assume such ministers as served under the late Prelacy, whose lives and doctrines render them useful in the Church, and who apply to them in the terms and methods proposed by former Assemblies, and shall recommend the same to inferior judicatories.
In the planting of the North, such progress as could be attained hath been made since the last Assembly; and to proceed in this good work, and provide for the remote Highland parishes, we reckon an important part of our present duty, and do resolve to apply ourselves thereto with that diligence, and so to demean ourselves therein, and in our whole conduct, through Divine assistance, that we trust this Assembly shall not prove unworthy of the continuance of your Majesty's favourable opinion of us.
That the great God, by whom kings reign, may daily multiply his best blessings
upon your royal person and government, is, and shall be the most sincerely affectionate
and servent prayer of,
May it please your Majesty, your Majesty's most faithful, most obedient, and most humble subjects, the Ministers and Elders, met in this National Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
Signed in our presence, in our name, and at our appointment, by
Geo. Meldrun, Moderator.
IV. Eadem Sessione.—To his Most Excellent Majesty, the humble Address of the National Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
May it please your Majesty,
As the commissioners of the former Assembly, under a just sense of duty, did address your Majesty upon your happy auspicious arrival to these your kingdoms, so we, the present representatives of this National Church, do now, for ourselves, and in name of that Church which we represent, with most humble adorations and thankful praises to our good God, acknowledge his inestimable mercy to us in sending your Majesty to be our deliverer and restorer, (a blessing never to be forgotten by us nor our posterity,) in conducting and preserving your Majesty through the long tract of a most just and necessary, but most hazardous war, (undertaken to assert and vindicate the oppressed liberties of Christendom,) whilst you were exposed to the most open and formidable dangers, in keeping you safe in the hidings of his own power, and in returning you to your loving and longing people, adorned with the best of triumphs, (the effect of your deep wisdom as well as of your matchless valour,) a solid and honourable peace.
No expressions can reach the fulness of our loyal hearts upon this great occasion, nor that sincere joy that is raised in us by the hopes of your Majesty's applying yourself, with Christian princely vigour, to maintain that holy religion, (given us by the God who hath called, upheld, and established you,) to curb the enormities of a debauched and profligate age, and to quell the monsters of profanity and atheism, that have dared so boldly to bid defiance to heaven and all that is sacred. From these doth arise our greatest danger, lest wrath be upon us from the God of heaven; in subduing these a'yet higher pitch of courage, steady resolution, and true greatness of mind is required, than in overcoming the greatest armies in the field of battle. This noble achievement seems to be reserved for your Majesty, as the peculiar glory of your now peaceful reign, both by your authority and royal example to render piety and virtue in the eyes of the world (as indeed they are in themselves) the true point of honour, and all impiety and vice (though in persons of most elevated quality and station) matter of infamy and disgrace, without which no effectual reformation of degenerated manners can ever be expected.
May the divine Majesty, of whom is the salvation of kings, (who hath done
wonders for you, and wrought wonders by you, whose great and happy instrument
you are,) long preserve, richly bless, and prosper your Majesty, and render you no
less illustrious in all the arts of peace than you have been in these of war; and when
he shall have served his own great and gracious ends by you in this world, may you
be translated to inherit the glories of that kingdom of purity and peace that can never
be shaken. So we pray, with the most servent affection of dutiful and sincere hearts,
May it please your Majesty, your Majesty's most faithful, most obedient, and most humble subjects, the Ministers and Elders met in this National Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
Signed in our presence, in our name, and at our appointment, by
Geo. Meldrum, Moderator.
V. Sess. 6, January 15, 1698, ante meridiem.—Act and Declaration for Vindication of the Church of Scotland from the Calumny of Thomas Gipps, Rector of Bury, in a Sermon preached by him.
The General Assembly of this National Church, being informed that the Presbyterians (particularly those of Scotland) are charged, in a sermon preached by Thomas Gipps, Rector of Bury, in England, now printed and published, as corrupters of the Word of God, with design to support the people's power in setting up ministers over themselves, and that this corruption is made by them, in Acts vi. 3, by causing it be printed, "Whom ye may appoint over this business," instead of "Whom we may appoint;" and, therefore, the General Assembly do unanimously declare, that, as they allow no power in the people, but only in the pastors of the Church, to appoint or ordain church-officers, so they disclaim the above mentioned error of the press, if any such be found in any Bibles printed in this nation; and do declare they do not own any other reading of that text to be according to the original, but "Whom we may appoint," &c. Nor do they know, nor can learn, that ever any in this nation did publicly use or apply that text to prove the people's power in ordaining their ministers.
VI. Sess. 8, January 18, 1698, post meridiem.—Act for punctual sending of Commissioners to the General Assemblies, and their Attendance during the Sitting thereof.
The General Assembly, taking into their consideration the overture transmitted by the last Assembly to Presbyteries, anent punctual sending of commissioners to General Assemblies, and their attendance during the sitting thereof; and having heard the report of the several commissioners from Presbyteries, to whom the consideration of the same was recommended, in order to its being more ripely advised and determined in this Assembly—the General Assembly do appoint Presbyteries to choose their commissioners for the General Assembly a competent time before the sitting thereof, at least forty days, and that each General Assembly appoint a committee of censures to cognosce upon the dates of commissions, and the attendance of those commissioned; to the end that such Presbyteries as do not make their election in due time, as likewise, such commissioners as do not attend duly from the beginning, and through the whole diets of the General Assembly, and the committees which they may be put upon, not having a relevant excuse, may be censured as the General Assembly shall think fit. And, lastly, the General Assembly recommends to Presbyteries to choose such ruling elders to be their commissioners as may attend, and seriously to exhort them when chosen to make conscience of attending upon General Assemblies; and recommends the punctual observance of Act 4th, General Assembly, 1694, anent the giving in commissions, and making up the rolls, the night before the Assembly meet, or the next morning, for which purpose the clerk is to attend in the AssemblyHouse at that time.
VII. Sess. 12, January 21, 1698, post meridiem.—Act anent the Deficients in supplying the North.
The General Assembly, having inquired how the 6th Act of the last Assembly, anent those ministers who had not obeyed the appointment of the Assembly, 1696, concerning the mission to the North, was observed; and Mr Joseph Drew, minister at New Monkland, being heard, his excuse for not going (hitherto) was sustained; but he is appointed to fulfil the time of his mission, conform to the said act, and if there be any inevitable impediments in his way, appoints the Presbytery of Hamilton to send one in his room, and that the commission see this done. And, farther, refers to the commission to see the Presbytery of Paisley fulfil the time of the mission of their two ministers, conform to the said act of the last Assembly. And, lastly, refers to the said commission to inquire how the supplies appointed by the last Assembly were sent up; and, likewise, to see that any supplies that shall be appointed by this Assembly be punctually sent from the several Synods, and to censure the deficients.
VIII. Eadem Sessione.—Act approving Overtures for Planting of the North.
Seeing the mission of the forty-four ministers hath so far come short of the designed transportation of actual ministers from the South to the North, and the necessity of that country continues, the Assembly declares that twelve ministers shall be transported from the South to some of the following posts, (which are either considerable in themselves, or by reason of their circumstances, necessarily to be speedily supplied,) now vacant; three of the said ministers to the province of Angus and Mearns, to any of the posts following, viz., Montrose, Brechin, Meigle, Elliot, Longforgan, Farnell, or Fetteresso; six of them to the province of Aberdeen, to any of these posts following, viz., New and Old Aberdeen, Peterhead, Foveran, Rathven, Mostlach, Boyndie, Upper Banchory, Over, or Old Meldrum; and three to the province of Moray, to any of these posts following, viz., Inverness, Elgin, Duffus, or Keith.
That in order to the above end, the Presbyteries in the foresaid provinces endeavour to get ordinary calls; and in case these parishes above mentioned shall neglect to give the same, the Assembly declares that calls by the Presbytery of the bounds to which any of these places belongs, shall be sustained, as sufficient, the said Presbytery attesting that there are probable grounds that the people will submit to the ministry of the minister so called, when settled among them. And the person thus called is to be loosed and transported according to the method proposed by the last Assembly, in the Overtures contained Act 16; only where it is granted by the last Assembly, that such calls should be pursued by the kirk-agent, or his deputes, this Assembly, allows also a commission from the parish or Presbytery calling, to be sufficient to any other person whatsoever to pursue the said transportation. And the General Assembly does seriously recommend it to the ministers of the North to use all tenderness and caution, as to the seats of Universities, the actual residences of noblemen, and principal royal burghs, and that before they proceed to moderate a call to any of these twelve ministers thus to be transported, they consult with some of the most prudent and experienced men in the same Synod to which the minister called belongs. And, on the other hand, the Assembly seriously recommends to these Presbyteries, Synods, and Commission, who shall have occasion to judge in any of these transportations, that they consider the clament condition of the North. And that in effect. the competition betwixt the parishes called from and called to be not reckoned, but between the parish called from and the necessitous condition of the North; and that they consider the many disappointments the North hath met with already.
4. The Assembly further declares, that these twelve ministers thus to be transported are to be taken out of the Synods after mentioned, viz., five of them out of the Synod of Glasgow and Ayr, four of them out of the Synod of Lothian and Tweeddale, two of them out of the Synod of Merse and Teviotdale, and one of them out of the Eastern Presbyteries of the Synod of Five, viz., the Presbyteries of Cupar and St Andrews.
5. That the Assembly nominate twenty probationers to go immediately to the North, and these probationers born in the North to be names in the first place; and to help to defray the charges of their journey thither, that they be allowed each of them one hundred merks out of the King's gift for defraying the public expences of the Church, besides the allowance given by Act of Parliament to preachers in vacant congregations; and to these who go to Orkney two hundred merks; and that five of these be sent to supply the vacancies of the Synod of Aberdeen, four of them to supply the vacancies of the Synod of Angus and Mearns, four of them to supply the vacancies of Moray, two of them to supply Ross, Sutherland, and Caithness, and two to Orkney, and three of them to supply Perth, Auchterarder, and Dunkeld vacancies, and all of them to continue in the North for twelve months. And it is hereby referred to the commission to be appointed by this Assembly to consider and determine what probationers are to go to these respective provinces above mentioned, together with the time of their stay and abode in each province. Which twenty probationers are hereby obliged to accept of calls, whether popular or Presbyterial, when presented to them by the Presbyteries of any of the said provinces, with certification, if they refuse the same, the Presbyteries within whose bounds they are called shall have power to take their licence from them until the next Assembly.
6. This Assembly doth hereby continue the former supplies of the North, by the Synods of the South, granted by the fourteenth Act of the last Assembly, defaulting only three ministers of the eighteen formerly allowed, five of which are to supply Aberdeen province, four to supply Moray, three to supply Augus and Mearns, one to supply Ross, Sutherland, and Caithness, and two to supply Perth, Auchterarder, and Dunkeld; unto which supply the Synods expressed in the foresaid act are liable in the way and manner therein expressed. And because there are three of the number taken down, the Synods of Dumfries and Galloway, with the Presbyteries of Stirling and Dunblane, are exempted from the said supply.
7. It is overtured, that a numerous commission be appointed by this Assembly, with power to them to divide themselves into as many committees as they shall see fit; and to send them to any parts of this Church, South or North; which commission is to meet quarterly, and when or where they shall see cause. And that all the members thereof shall give punctual attendance at the said quarterly meetings, and an exact account to be taken of the absentees therefrom.
8. That it be recommended to some to name and draw up a list of the members of the said commission, and to draw up instructions to be given unto them.
That the said committees to be appointed by the general commission have power to visit the bounds they are sent unto, and to receive complaints from Presbyteries, and redress grievances of particular ministers or Presbyteries, and to inflict censures, and to do every other thing competent to visitations. The Presbytery of the bounds where the said committee shall come being always to be recknoed members thereof, while within their bounds.
The General Assembly approves of the overtures above written.
IX. Eadem Sessione.—Act anent the Printed Overtures concerning the Discipline and Method of Proceeding in Ecclesiastic Judicatories, offered to the last Assembly by a private hand.
The General Assembly, having heard and considered the opinion of the commission of the last Assembly, dated the 5th day of January instant, anent the overtures concerning Church discipline, and the method of proceeding in Ecclesiastic Judicatories; as also having heard the report of a committee of this Assembly's own number appointed to consider the same; the General Assembly thinks fit to appoint, and hereby appoints, Mr Gilbert Rule, Principal of the College of Edinburgh, Mr William Dunlop, Principal of the College of Glasgow, Mr Robert Wylie, minister at Hamilton, Mr George Meldrum, and Mr William Crichton at Edinburgh, Mr John Veitch, Mr Andrew Cameron, and Mr George Barclay, Ministers; Sir James Stewart, his Majesty's Advocate, Adam Cockburn of Ormiston, Lord Justice-Clerk, and Sir Colin Campbell of Aberuchle, one of the Senators of the College of Justice, Ruling Elders, to be a committee for considering the said overtures, and the animadversions made thereupon, and compare them with the Word of God, Books of Discipline, and Acts of the General Assemblies of this Church, and to consider what is wanting, or to be added thereto, or altered therein, and to set out a new edition of the said overtures, that the several Presbyteries may have opportunity to ani madvert thereon, and appoints them to send their judgement thereanent to the commission of this Assembly, who are to prepare the same against the next General Assembly.
X. Eadem Sessione.—Approbation of the Actings and Proceedings of the Commission appointed by the late General Assembly.
The General Assembly, having this day had reproduced in their presence the register of the actings and proceedings of the commissioners appointed by the last Assembly; and having heard a report of a committee of their own number, appointed to revise, consider, and examine the same, with their observations thereupon, all the members of the said commission were removed; and the General Assembly having seriously considered the said report and answers made by the members of the commission to the said observations, and finding thereby that the whole actings, proceedings, and conclusions of the said commissioners, contained in the register thereof, subscribed by Mr John Moncrieff, clerk thereto, consisting of one hundred and sixty-eight pages, do evidence much wisdom, prudence, and diligence; and that the said commission have proceeded orderly and formally in every thing, according to their commission and instructions, and that the said register is very accurate: Therefore, this General Assembly, by an unanimous vote, did, and hereby do, ratify and approve the said whole actings, proceedings, and conclusions, of the said commissioners, contained in the said register thereof, beginning the 13th day of January 1697, and ending the 5th day of January instant, inclusive of both days.
XI. Sess. 13, January 22, 1698.— Recommendation anent Subscribing of Synod Records.
The General Assembly recommends to all Synods for hereafter to take care that their registers be completely filled up always before the setting of the General Assembly; and that the proceedings of every Synod be signed both by the moderator and clerk thereof; and, lastly, appoints the Synod books, thus filled up and subscribed, to be timeously produced to the General Assembly yearly, in order to their being revised.
XII. Sess. 14, January 24, 1698, ante meridiem.—Commission to some Ministers and Elders for Planting Vacant Churches in the North, and some other particular Affairs committed to them by the General Assembly.
The General Assembly of this National Church, considering that there are yet many vacant churches on the North side of Tay, as likewise that there are several weighty affairs which this Assembly cannot now overtake: Therefore, the General Assembly finds it needful that there be a commission granted to some ministers and elders for planting these vacant kirks, and doing what other affairs shall be referred to them; and for that end do hereby nominate and appoint Mr Andrew Cameron, minister of the Gospel at Kirkcudbright, &c. &c., to be commissioners of the General Assembly, to the effect after mentioned, with full power and commission to the said persons, or their quorum, which is hereby declared to be any fifteen of the said commissioners, whereof nine are always to be ministers, to meet and convene within the Assembly-House at Edinburgh the first day after the dissolution of this Assembly, at ten of the clock in the forenoon, and afterwards to meet the first Wednesdays of March, June, September, and December, and oftener, where or when they shall see needful, during the continuance of this commission; and the General Assembly requires all the members of this commission to attend punctually the meetings thereof, with power to the said commission to choose their own moderator and clerk: And suchlike, the General Assembly fully empowers and authories the said commissioners, or their quorum, to consider, cognosce, and finally determine, as they shall see cause, in every thing contained in and conform to the instructions given unto them by this Assembly, as fully and freely as if the same were in these presents at full length inserted and set down; as also, to consider, cognosce, and finally determine, in all references, appeals, and other matters, particularly remitted to them by any act or order of this Assembly, all which are holden as herein expressed: And the General Assembly do hereby prohibit and discharge the said commissioners to meddle in any other matter than what is contained herein; declaring also, that in and for their actings they shall be accountable to and censurable by the next ensuring General Assembly of this Church. And, lastly, declares that this commission shall endure until the meeting of the next General Assembly.
XIII. Eadem Sessione.—Instructions to the Commission appointed by this Assembly for Planting of the Vacant Churches in the North, &c.
1. That this commission do what in them lies to render effectual the overtures passed in this Assembly for more speedy planting of the North, and exercise all the power that is committed to them for that end.
2. That this commission, as often as they shall see cause, apply to the government, or any magistrate, for their countenancing of and concurrence with the judicatories of the Church, in what the law allows, particularly for settling vacant congregations, and refressing any grievances which may fall out.
3. That when any of the ministers who served under the late Prelacy, whose lives and doctrines may render them useful to this Church, do apply for reception unto the government, the General Assembly, in prosecution of the assurances given to his Majesty, in their letter written to him, do empower and recommend to this commission, and the other judicatories of this Church, that they be ready to receive them, according to the thirteenth paragraph of the sixteenth act of the last General Assembly.
4. That this commission, in disposal of his Majesty's gifts to this Church, do particularly take care that the encouragement granted by this Assembly to the probationers who are to go to the North to preach be rendered effectual; and that they cause defray the extraordinary charges that several ministers of the North have been at, in carrying on the planting of the North, and other public affairs of the Church there; and for defraying the charges of such ministers or probationers as shall yet be sent to Orkney, or other remote places of the North.
5. That if the commission shall see cause to appoint committees upon occasion for visitation of particular kirks and Presbyteries, or trial of persons, then the said committees as to trials may proceedusque ad sententiam, but no farther; but that in that case they report their procedure to the commission, who are to pass sentence as they shall see cause.
6. This commission may likewise, on the desire of any Presbytery of Synod, send committees for assisting them in visitation of kirks within their bounds, which committees may be assisting to the said Presbyteries or Synods, either in processes and censures, if need be, or in refressing the grievances of particular ministers or parishes within their bounds.
7. The commission are to cognosce, and finally determine, in all references made to them by this Assembly, and in all appeals for transporting ministers to the North, which shall be orderly brought unto them, according to the overtures thereanent, passed in this Assembly.
8. This commission is also to correspond with the State, anent fasts and thanksgivings, as occasion requires, and to specify the causes thereof.
9. The commission is to give advice and assistance to any Synod or Presbytery in difficult cases, as they shall be applied unto by them for that effect.
XIV. Eadem Sessione.—Act appointing some Ministers to go for the Supply of the North, until the next Assembly.
The General Assembly of this National Church, taking into their consideration that there are yet many vacancies in the North, and that the ministers which are settled there are not in a condition to supply the same in a suitable manner; therefore, they have ordained, and hereby ordain, that the Synods be-South Tay after named shall send to the bounds of the Synods of Augus and Mearns, Aberdeen, Moray, Ross, Sutherland, and Caithness, and the Presbyteries of Perth, Auchterarder, and Dunkeld, within the Synod of Perth, the number of fifteen ministers, every four months, according to the proportions after mentioned, viz., that two be sent to supply the vacancies of Perth, Auchterarder, and Dunkeld; three to supply the vacancies of the Synod of Augus and Mearns; five to supply the vacancies of the Synod of Aberdeen; four to supply the vacancies of the Synod of Moray; and one to supply the vacancies of the Synods of Ross, Sutherland, and Caithness: And the Assembly declares, that these above supplies of fifteen ministers be sent every four months by the Synods after mentioned, according to the following proportions, viz., that from the Synod of Merse and Teviotdale there be sent three each four months, and that to the Synod of Augus and Mearns;—the Synod of Lothian shall send four, two of them to Aberdeen, and two of them to Moray, as the said Synod of Lothian shall determine;—that the Synod of Glasgow and Ayr shall send five, viz., one to Perth, Auchterarder, and Dunkeld, three to Aberdeen, and one to Moray;—that the Synod of Fife shall send three, one to Perth, one to Moray, and one to Caithness, Ross, and Sutherland, as the said Synod of Fife shall determine: And further, because it is necessary that the said supplies who shall go for the first four months shall be there sooner than the next ordinarily meeting of Synods, therefore, the Assembly appoints the Presbyteries after named to send a minister to the bounds of the Synods after mentioned, to supply the vacancies there, and that such as shall be by them appointed be there against the first Sabbath of March next, viz., the Presbyteries of Chirnside, Jedburgh, and Selkirk, within the Synod of Merse and Teviotdale, to send each of them one to supply the vacancies in the bounds of the Synod of Augus and Mearns; that these five nominated already by the Synod of Glasgow to go in March, do go to their respective posts, and that these appointed by the Synod of Lothian and Tweeddale to go in March, do go to their respective posts appointed them; and, lastly, from the Synod of Fife, the Presbytery of Cupar to send one to Ross, Sutherland, and Caithness; the Presbytery of Dunfermline and Kirkaldy to send one to Moray; the Presbytery of St Andrews to Perth, Auchterarder, and Dunkeld; but in case that any of the said Synods have already appointed their suppliesaccording to the Act of the last Assembly, and if, in obedience thereunto, any Presbytery have already homologate and ratify the said appointments and nominations, and hereby ordains all such, as either are already appointed, or shall be hereafter appointed, by Synods or Presbyteries for this or the succeeding four months' supply, that they repair to the respective bounds as above set down against their respective times allotted unto them, and be directed by the Presbytery and ministers of the respective Synods they repair to, as to what particular congregations they shall apply themselves unto, and that for the space of four months above mentioned, viz., from March to July next: And the Assembly doth farther ordain the above written Synods in the South to send to the places and in the manner above mentioned, a new supply of a many ministers more, to continue from the first of July next till the first of November following, and so forth, aye and until the sitting of the next General Assembly; and the respective Presbyteries are to take care that their kirks be supplied according to the fourteenth Act of the last General Assembly: And, lastly, the Assembly ordains these ministers sent in supply to the North to catechize and do all appointed by the former Acts of Assembly, under the certifications contained in the said acts, and that they get and produce to their own Presbytery a testimonial from the Presbytery within the bounds where they did supply, of their having fulfilled their appointment, and of their carriage and behaviour during their abode in these bounds; and the Assembly also declares that these named by the Synods or Presbyteries in this supply who may be upon the commission, this shall be no excuse for them to elude the said appointments.
XV. Sessio 15 et ultima, January 24, 1698, post meridiem.—Overtures against Profaneness.
(An Act on this subject was passed in 1699.)
XVI. Eadem Sessione.—Overtures against Popery.
(These Overtures were passed into an Act in 1699.)
XVII. Eadem Sessione.—Overtures for Planting the Highlands.
(These Overtures were passed into an Act in 1699.)
XVIII. Eadem Sessione.—Overtures anent Proclamation of Banns.
(Passed into an Act in 1699.)
XIX. Eadem Sessione.—Act appointing some Probationers to go North.
The said day the General Assembly, taking into their consideration their former act, anent sending probationers to the North, do nominate and appoint these probationers after named to go to the provinces and Presbyteries after mentioned, viz., Mr William Christie, &c.: and because Mr Patrick Melvill and Mr Archibald Hamilton were nominated for Aberdeen, Mr Thomas Fraser for Ross, Sutherland, and Caithness, and Mr James Short for Orkney, and that there were some objections made by them against it; therefore, the General Assembly refers to their commission (fn. 1) to consider the said objections, and, if they shall see cause, to exempt them, and to name some other probationers in their rooms, to go to the provinces above specified, conform to the former Acts of this Assembly.
The next General Assembly of this National Church is to be held at Edinburgh upon the 20th day of January, 1699 years.
The Assembly being closed, the members were dismissed with prayer, singing of the 133d Psalm, and pronouncing of the blessing.
Collected and extracted from the Records of the General Assembly, by me,
J. Bannatyne, Cl. Syn. National.