CXII: Act of General Assembly of the Kirk of Scotland concerning episcopal government (1639)

Charters and Documents Relating To the City of Glasgow 1175-1649 Part 2. Originally published by Scottish Burgh Records Society, Glasgow, 1894.

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'CXII: Act of General Assembly of the Kirk of Scotland concerning episcopal government (1639)', in Charters and Documents Relating To the City of Glasgow 1175-1649 Part 2, (Glasgow, 1894) pp. 397-400. British History Online [accessed 14 April 2024]

CXII. Act of the General Assembly of the Kirk of Scotland, ordaining that Episcopal Government and civil places and power of Kirkmen be held as unlawful in the Kirk. Edinburgh, 17 August 1639.

The Kingis Majestie haveing graciouslie declaired that it is his royall will and pleasour that all questiones about religion and matteris ecclesiasticall be determined by Assemblyes of the Kirke, haveing also by publicke proclamation indicted this free Nationell Assembly for setling the present distractiones of this Kirke, and for establishing of a perfyte peace against such divisiones and disorderis as have beene sore dipleasing to his Majestie, and greivous to all his good subjectis, and now his Majesties commissionour, Johne, Erle of Traquair, instructed and authorized with a full commissione, being present and sitting in this Assembly, now fullie conveened and orderly constitute in all the memberis thairof, according to the order of this Kirke, haveing at lairge declared his Majesties zele to the reformed religioun, and his royall cair and tender affectione to this Kirke, where his Majestie had both his birth and baptisme, his great displeasour at the manifold distractions and divisiones of this Kirke and kingdome, and his desyres to have all our woundis perfytlie cured with a fair and fatherlie hand; and although, in the way approvine be this Kirke, tryell heath beene takine in former Assemblyes before from the Kirke registeris to our full satisfactione, yit the commissioneris grace makeing particulare inquirie from the memberis of the Assembly now solemnlie conveened concerning the real and true causes of so mony and great evillis at this tyme past, had so sore troubled the peace of this Kirke and kingdome, it was represented to his Majesties commissioner by this Assembly that, besyde many other, the maine and most materiell causes were, first, the pressing of this Kirke by the prelatis with a service booke or booke of commoun prayer, without warrand or directione from the Kirke, and conteyneing, besyd the Popish frame thairof, diverse Popishe errouris and ceremonies, and the seedis of manifold and grosse superstitiones and idolatrie, with a booke of cannones, without warrand or directione from the General Assembly, establishing a tirannicall power over the Kirke in the persones of the Bishopis, and overthroweing the whole discipline and governement of the Kirke by Assemblyes, with a booke of consecratione and ordinatione, without warrand of authoritie, civill or ecclesiasticall, appoynting offices in the house of God which are not warranted by the word of God and repugnant to the discipline and actis of our Kirke, and with the highe commissione erected without the consent of this Kirke, subverting the jurisdictione and ordinarie judicatoris of this Kirke, and giveing to persones meerlie ecclesiasticall the power of both suordis, and to persones merlie civill the power of the keyes and Kirke censures. A second cause wes the articles of Pearth, viz., the observatione of festivall dayes, kneeling at the communione, confirmatione, administratione of the sacramentis in private places, which ware brought in by a null Assembly, and are contrary to the Confessione of Faith, as it was meanit and subscryveit anno 1580 and diverse tymes since, and to the order and constitutione of this Kirke. Thirdlie, the change of the governement of the Kirke from the Assemblies of the Kirke to the persones of some kirkemen usurping prioritie and power over thair brethrine by the way and under the name of Episcopall governement against the Confessione of Faith 1580, against the order set doune in the booke of policy and against the intentione and constitutione of this Kirke from, the beginning. Fourthlie, civill places and power of kirkmen, thair sitting in sessioun, counsell, and exchekker, thair ryding, sitting, and voyting in Parliament, and their sitting in the bench as justices of peace, which, according to the constitutiones of this Kirke, are incompatible with thair spirituall functioun, lifte them upe in worldlie pompe above their brethrine, and doe tend to the hindrence of the ministrie. Fyftlie, the keeping and authoreizing of corrupt Assemblies at Linlithgow, 1606, 1608; at Glasgow, 1610; at Aberdeene, 1616; at St Androwis, 1617; at Perth, 1618, which are null and unlawfull, as being called and constitut quit contrairie to the order and constitutiones of this Kirke received and practeised evir since the reformatione of religioun, and withall labouring to introduce novationes into this Kirke against the order and religioun established. A sixt cause is the want of lawfull frie Generall Assemblyes rightlie constitute of pastoris, doctouris, and elderis, yearlie or oftiner pro re nata, according to the libertie of this Kirke expressed in the Booke of Policy, and acknowledged in the act of Parliament 1592. Aftir the which the whole Assembly, in one heart and voyce, did declaire that these and such other proceeding from the neglect and breach of the Nationell Covenant of this Kirke and Kingdome, made anno 1580, have beene the true and maine causes of all our evillis and distractiones, and therefor ordeane, according to the constitutiones of the Generall Assembleyes of this Kirke, and upon the groundis respective above specified, that the foirsaid service booke, bookis of cannonis and ordinatione, and the highe commissione, be still rejected; that the articles of Pearth be no more practeised; that Episcopall governement, the civill places and power of kirkemen be holdine still as unlawfull in this Kirke; that the abovenamed pretendit Assemblyes at Linlithgow, 1606, 1608; at Glasgow, 1610; at Aberdeene, 1616; at St Androwis, 1617; at Pearth, 1618, bee heirafter accompted as null and of none effect; and that, for preservatione of religione and preventing all such evillis in tyme comeing, Generall Assemblyes rightlie constitute, as the proper and competent judge of all materis ecclesiasticall, heirefter be keeped yeirlie and oftener pro re nata, as occasioune and necessitie shall requyre (the necessitie of these occasionall assemblies being first remonstrat to his Majestie by humble supplicatione); as also, that kirke sessionis, presbetries, and synodell assemblyes, be constitut and observed according to the order of this Kirke.