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Title: The Acts Of The General Assemblies of the Church of Scotland
Author: Church of Scotland. General Assembly
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Acts Of The General Assemblies of the Church of Scotland" ***

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                                 The Acts

                                  Of The

                            General Assemblies

                                  Of The

                            Church of Scotland

                   From The Year 1638 to the Year 1649.

                                Inclusive.

                        Printed in the Year 1682.

                          To which are now added

           The Index of the Unprinted Acts of these Assemblies;

                and the Acts of the General Assembly 1690.

                        Printed in the year 1691.



CONTENTS


To The Reader.
The General Assembly, At Glasgow.
   Act Sess. 6. November 27. 1638.
   Act. Sess 7. November 28.
      _Act. approving the Registers._
   Act. Sess. 12. December fourth.
      _The six late pretended Assemblies condemned._
      _Reasons annulling the pretended Assembly, holden at_ Linlithgow,
      1606.
      _Reasons for annulling the pretended Assembly at_ Linlithgow, 1608.
      _Reasons for annulling the pretended Assembly at_ Glasgow, 1610.
      _Reasons for annulling the pretended Assembly at_ Aberdene, 1616.
      _The nullitie of the pretended Assembly at_ Saint Andrews, 1617.
      _Reasons for annulling the pretended Assembly, holden at_ Perth,
      1618.
   Act. Sess. 13. December 5. 1638.
      _Against the unlawfull oaths of intrants._
   Act. Sess. 14. December 6. 1638.
      _Condemning the Service-book, Book of Canons, Book of Ordination,
      and the high Commission._
      _Sentence of deposition and excommunication against Mr._ John
      Spottiswood, _pretended Archbishop of St._ Andrews; _Mr._ Patrik
      Lindsay, _pretended Archbishop of_ Glasgow: _Mr._ David Lindsay,
      _pretended Bishop of_ Edinburgh: _Mr._ Thomas Sidserfe, _pretended
      Bishop of_ Galloway: _Mr._ John Maxwell, _pretended Bishop of_
      Rosse: _Mr._ Walter Whyt-foord, _pretended Bishop of_ Brechen.
      _Sentence of deposition and excommunication, against_ Mr. Adam
      Ballantyne, _pretended Bishop of_ Aberdeen, _and Mr. James
      Wedderburn pretended Bishop of_ Dumblane.
      _Sentence of deposition against Master_ John Guthry, _pretended
      Bishop of_ Murray: _Mr._ John Grahame, _pretended Bishop of_ Orknay,
      _Mr._ James Fairlie, _pretended Bishop of_ Lismoir: _Mr._ Neil
      Cambell, _pretended Bishop of_ Isles.
      _Sentence of deposition against Maister_ Alexander Lindsay
      _pretended Bishop of_ Dunkell.
      _Sentence of deposition against Master_ John Abernethie _pretended
      Bishop of_ Cathnes.
   Act of the Assembly at _Glasgow_, Sess. 16. December 8. 1638.
      _Declaring Episcopacie to have been abjured by the Confession of
      Faith_, 1580. _And to be removed out of this Kirk._
   Act. Sess. 17. December 10. 1638.
      _The Assembly at_ Glasgow, _declaring the five Articles of_ Perth
      _to have been abjured and to bee removed._
   Act. Sess. 21. December 17. 1638.
   Act. Sess. 23, 24. December 17. 18.
   Act Sess. 14. December 18. 1638.
   Act. Sess. 25. December 19. 1638.
      _Against the civil places and power of Kirk-men._
   Act Sess. 26. December 20. 1638.
   Act. Sess. 26. December 20. 1638.
   Act Sess. 26. December 20. 1638.
   Act Sess. 26. December 20.
   Act Sess. 26. December 20. 1638.
      _Concerning the subscribing the confession of Faith lately
      subscribed by his Majesties Commissioner, and urged to be subscribed
      by others._
   Act. Sess. 26. December 20. 1638.
      _Concerning yearly generall Assemblies._
      _Ordaining an humble supplication to be sent to the Kings Majestie._
The General Assembly, At Edinburgh, 1639.
   Sess. 8. August 17. 1639.
      _Master_ George Grahame _his renouncing and abjuring of
      Episcopacie._
   Sess. 8. August 17. 1639.
      _Act containing the Causes and Remedie of the by-gone Evils of this
      Kirk._
   Sess. 18. Aug. 26. 1639.
      _Act approving an old Register of the Generall Assembly._
   Act Sess. 19. August 27. 1639.
      _Act approving the deposition of the Ministers by the Committees._
   Act Sess. 20. Aug. 28. 1639.
      _Act anent receiving of deposed Ministers._
   Act Sess. 21. August 29. 1639.
      _Act anent the keeping of the Lords Day._
   Act Sess. 22. Aug. 29. 1639. _a Meridie._
      _Articles and Overtures approved by the Assembly._
   Sess. 23. August 30. 1639.
      _The Supplication of the General Assembly to the Kings Majesties
      Commissioner, concerning the Book, called_, The large Declaration.
      _The Supplication of the Assembly to His Majesties High
      Commissioner, and the Lords of secret Councell._
      _The Act of the Lords of Councel at_ Edinburgh, August 30. 1639.
      _containing the_ Answer _of the preceding_ Supplication.
      _The Kings Majesties Commissioners Declarations._
      _Like as his Majesties Commissioner, read and gave in the
      Declaration following, of his consent to the Act of the Assembly_
      17. August, _anent the causes of our by gone evils._
      _Like as His Majesties Commissioner, read and gave in the
      Declaration following:_
      _Act ordaining the subscription of the Confession of Faith and
      Covenant, with the Assemblies Declaration._
      _Act anent Appellations._
      _Act anent advising with Synods and Presbyteries before
      determination in Novations._
      _Act anent Ministers Catechising, and Family Exercises._
   Sess. 24. Aug. 30. _a meride._
      _The Assemblies Supplication to the_ KINGS MAJESTIE.
The Generall Assembly, Conveened at Aberdene, July 28. 1640.
   Sess. 2. July 29. 1640.
      _Overtures given in by the Committee appointed by the last Assembly,
      anent the ordering of the Assembly-house: Which being read in
      audience of the Assembly they approved the same._
      _Act anent the demolishing of Idolatrous Monuments._
      _Act against Witches and Charmers._
   Sess. 5. Aug. 1. 1640.
      _Act for censuring speakers against the Covenant._
   Sess. 10. Aug. 5. 1640.
      _Act against Expectants refusing to subscribe the Covenant._
The Generall Assembly, Holden at St. Andrews, and Edinburgh. 1641.
   Sess. 1. July 20. 1641.
   Sess. 3. July 28. 1641.
   Sess. 5. July 30. 1641.
      _Act anent old Ministers bruiking their Benefices._
   Sess. 8. Aug. 2. 1641. a meridie.
      _Act against sudden receiving Ministers deposed._
   Sess. 9. Aug. 3. 1641.
   Sess. 10. August 4. 1641.
      _Act against Impiety and Schisme._
   Sess. 14. August 6. 1641. a Meridie.
      Act _anent Novations_.
   Act. Sess. 15. August 7. 1641.
      _Overtures anent Bursars, and Expectants._
   Act Sess. 17. August 9. 1641.
      _Act against unlawfull Bands._
   Sess. 18. August 9. 1641. a meridie.
      _A Letter from some Ministers in_ England _to the Assemblie._
      _The Assemblies Answer to the English Ministers Letter._
      _The Assemblies Answer to the Kings Majesties Letter._
      _Act anent the Kirk of_ Campheir.
The Generall Assembly, Conveened at S. Andrews, July 27. 1642.
   Act Sess. 1. July 27. 1642.
      _The Kings Letter to the Generall Assembly, presented by His
      Majesties Commissioner, the Earle of_ Dumfermling, _July 27. 1642._
   Act Sess 3. July 29. 1642.
      _Act for bringing in of the Synode Books yeerly to the General
      Assemblies._
   Act Sess 5. August 1. 1642.
      _Act anent the choosing of Kirk Sessions._
   Sess 6. August 2. 1642.
      _The Report of the Interpretation of the Act at_ Edinburgh, _anent
      tryal of Ministers._
   Act Sess. 7. August 3. 1642.
      _Act anent the order for making Lists to His Majestie, and other
      Patrons for Presentations; The order of tryal of Expectants, and for
      trying the quality of Kirks._
      _Act anent Lists for the Kirks in the High-lands._
      _Overtures against Papists, non-Communicants, and profaners of the
      Sabbath._
      _Act anent the joyning of the Presbyterie of_ Sky _to the Synode of_
      Argyle.
   Sess. 8. August 3. post Meridiem.
      The Supplication of this Assembly to the KINGS MAJESTIE.
      _The Declaration of the Parliament of_ England, _sent to the
      Assembly._
      _The Assemblies answer to the Declaration of the Parliament of_
      England.
   Act Sess. 8. Aug. 3. 1642.
   Act Sess. 11. _Edinb._ August 5. 1642.
   Sess. 11. August 5. 1642.
      _Act anent contrary Oaths._
      _Overtures anent Family Exercises, Catechising, keeping of Synods
      and Presbyteries, and restraint of Adulteries, Witch-crafts, and
      other grosse sins._
   Sess. 11. Aug. 5. 1642.
      _Act against Petitions, Declarations, & suchlike in name of
      Ministers, without their knowledge and consents._
   Sess 11. Aug. 5. 1642.
      _Act anent the Assemblies desires to the Lords of Counsell, and
      Conservators of Peace._
   Sess. 11. Aug 5. 1642.
      _The Assemblies humble desire to the Kings Majestie for the Signator
      of 500 l. Sterling and recommendation thereof to the Kings
      Commissioner._
   Sess. 11. Aug. 5. 1642.
      _The Assemblies Letter to the Commissioners of this Kingdom at_
      London.
      _A Letter from some Ministers of_ England.
      _Answer to the Ministers Letter._
      _Act for the Lord_ Maitlands _presenting the Assemblies Supplication
      to His Majestie, and for going to the Commissioners at_ London,
      _with the Answer to the Parliament of_ Englands _Declaration_.
   Sess. 11. August 5. post meridiem.
      _Commission for publike affairs of this Kirk, and for prosecuting
      the desires of this Assembly to His Majestie, and the Parliament of_
      England.
   Sess. 13. Aug. 6. 1642.
      _A Petition from some distressed Professors in_ Ireland.
      _Commission to some Ministers to go to_ Ireland.
   Sess. 13. August 6. 1642.
      _Act against slandering of Ministers._
      _Act anent ordering of the Assembly House._
      _Act for remembring in publike Prayers the desires of the Assembly
      to the King and Parliament, and indiction of a publike Fast._
      _Reference from the Presbyterie of_ Kirkcaldie.
      _Reference frrom the Synode of_ Fyffe.
      _Overtures to be advised by Presbyteries against the next Assembly._
The Generall Assembly at _Edinburgh_
   Sess. 1. August 2. 1643.
      The Kings Letter to the General Assembly.
   Sess. 2. August 3. 1643.
      _Overtures anent Bills, References, and Appeales._
   Sess. 3. August 4. 1643.
      _Act for election of Professours to be Commissioners to Assemblies
      by Presbyteries._
   Sess. 4. Aug. 5. 1643.
      The Petition of the distressed Professours in Ireland for Ministers.
   Sess. 6. August 8, 1643.
      _Acts for subscribing the Covenant._
   Sess. 7. August 9. 1643.
      _Act for searching Books tending to Separation._
      _Approbation of the proceedings of the Commissioners of the last
      Assembly._
   Sess. 8. August 10. 1643.
      _Propositions given by the Commissioners of the Parliament of
      England to a Committee, to be presented by them to the Assembly._
      _A Declaration of the Lords and Commons in the Parliament of
      England, to the Generall Assembly of the Church of Scotland._
      _A Letter from some Brethren of the Ministerie in the Kirk of_
      England, _to the Assembly._
   Sess. 9. August 11. 1643.
      _Act against Burials and hinging of Honours, &c. in Kirks._
   Sess. 10. August 12. 1643.
      _Act anent reposition of Ministers, deposed by Superiour
      Judicatories._
   Sess. 11. Aug. 14. 1643.
      _Act against Masters who have Servants that prophane the Lords day._
   Sess. 12. Aug. 15. 1643.
      _Act for preparing the Directorie for the worship of God_.
      _Propositions from the English Commissioners presented this day to
      the Assembly._
      _The Paper before-mentioned, delivered August 12. to the Convention,
      and this day to the Assembly_
   Sess. 13. Aug. 16. 1643.
      _Recommendation to the Presbyteries and Universities anent Students
      that have the Irish language._
   Sess. 14. August 17. 1643.
      The Letter from the Assembly of Divines in the Kingdome of England.
      _The Result of the Debates and Consultations of the Committees of
      the Convention of Estates and General Assembly, appointed to meet
      with the Commissioners of the Parliament of England._
      _Approbation of the League and Covenant above mentioned._
   Sess. Ult. August 19. 1643.
      _The Assemblies humble desires to his Majestie anent the Lists for
      Presentations: With a Recommendation to Presbyteries._
      _Overtures anent Witch-craft, and Charming, &c._
      _Commission for Ministers to go to_ Ireland.
      _Act against Ministers haunting with excommunicate persons._
      _Act anent an order for using civil Execution against Excommunicate
      Persons._
      TO THE KINGS MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTIE,
      _The Answer of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, to
      the Declaration of the honourable Houses of the Parliament of
      England._
      _The Assemblies Answer to the right reverend the Assembly of Divines
      in the Church of England._
      _The Assemblies Answer to the Reverend their beloved Brethren,
      Ministers in the Church of England._
      _Commission of the Generall Assembly, for these that repair to the
      Kingdome of England._
      _Reference to the Commission, anent the Persons designed to repair
      to the the Kingdome of England._
      _Commission for the Publick Affairs of this Kirk._
The Generall Assembly, At Edinburgh, 1644.
   Die Jovis penult. Maii, Sess. 2.
      _The Letter from the Presbyeerie with the Army in_ England, _to the
      Generall Assembly._
      _The Petition from the distressed Christians in the North of_
      Ireland.
   3. _Junii 1644. Antemeridiem._ Sess. 5.
      _Act for the present Entrie of the new erected Presbyterie at_
      Biggar.
   _Junii_ 3. 1644 Sess.
      _Act concerning the Declaration subscribed by the Scottish Lords at_
      Oxford.
      _Act against the Rebells in the North and South._
      _Act against secret disaffecters of the Covenant_
      _Act for sending Ministers to the Armie._
      _Renovation of the Commission for the Publick affairs of the Kirk._
      _Renovation of the Commission granted to the Persons appointed to
      repair to the Kingdome of_ England.
      _The Assemblies answer to the Presbyterie with the Armie._
   4. _June_ 1644. Sess 7.
      _The Letter from the Commissioners at_ London _to the General
      Assembly._
      _The Letter from the Synod of Divines in the Kirk of_ England, _to
      the Generall Assembly._
      _The Generall Assemblies Answer to the right Reverend the Assembly
      of Divines in the Kirk of_ England.
      _The Assemblies answer to their Commissioners at_ London.
      _The Assemblies Letter to the Kirks in the_ Netherlands.
      _Ordinance concerning Bursars._
      _Ordinance for up lifting and imploying Penalties contained in Acts
      of Parliament, upon pious uses._
      _An Overture concerning Promises of Marriage made by Minors, to
      those with whom they have committed Fornication._
      _Act concerning dissenting voices in Presbyteries and Synods._
      _Act concerning the Election of a Moderator in Provinciall
      Assemblies._
      _Act for keeping of the Fast by the Congregations in the Towne where
      the Assembly holds._
      Meeting announcement.
      Letter.
      _The Letter from the Synode of Divines in_ England, _to the Generall
      Assembly._
   _28 Jan. 1645. Post meridiem. Die Martis._ Sess. 5.
      _Approbation of the Proceedings of the Commission of the two
      preceding Assemblies._
   _3. Februar. 1645. Die Lunæ, Post meridiem._ Sess. 10.
      _Act of the Generall Assembly of the Kirk of Scotland, for the
      establishing and putting in execution of the_ Directory _for the
      publick Worship of GOD._
   _7. February, 1645. Post meridiem._ Sess. 14.
      _Overtures for advancement of Learning and good Order in Grammar
      Schools and Colledges._
      _The Humble Petition the Generall Assembly of the Kirk of_ Scotland.
      _Overtures propounded by the Committee, appointed by this venerable
      Assembly, for ordering of the Bursars of Theologie, and maintaining
      of them at Schools of Divinitie._
      _The opinion of the Committee for keeping the greater Uniformitie in
      this Kirk, in the practice and observation of the Directory in some
      points of publick Worship._
   _10. February, 1645. Postmeridiem_ Sess. 16.
      _Act of the Generall Assembly of the Kirk of_ Scotland, _Approving
      the Propositions concerning Kirk government and Ordination of
      Ministers._
   _12. Feb. 1645. Post meridiem_ Sess. 18.
      _A Solemne and Seasonable Warning To the Noblemen, Barons,
      Gentlemen, Burrows, Ministers, and Commons of_ Scotland; _As also to
      our ARMIES without and within this Kingdom._
      _Act against Lykwakes._
      _Act recommending to Sessions To have the Printed Acts of
      Assemblie._
   13. _Februar. 1645. Postmeridiem._ Sess. Ult.
      _Act for censuring the Observers of Yule-day, and other
      superstitious dayes, especially if they be Schollars._
      _Act for encouragement of Schollars to Professions in Schooles._
      _Act for restraining Abuses at Pennie Brydals._
      _Act Discharging deposed Ministers to be reponed to their former
      Places._
      _Renovation of the Commission for the publick Affairs of the Kirk._
      _Renovation of the Commission to the Persons appointed to repair to
      the Kingdom, of_ England, _for prosecuting the Treaty of Uniformitie
      in Religion._
      _The General Assemblies Answer to the Right Reverend the Assembly of
      Divines in the Kirk of England._
      _The humble Remonstrance of the Generall Assembly of the Kirk of_
      Scotland, _met at Edinburgh the 13. day of February, 1645._
      _The Assemblies Answer to their Commissioners at_ London.
The Generall Assembly Met at _Edinburgh_ Junii 3. 1646.
   Edinb. 4. Junii 1646. Sess. 2.
      _The Kings Letter to the Assembly, presented by M._ Robert Douglas
      _Minister at Edinburgh._
   _6. Junii 1646. Antemeridiem._ Sess. 4.
      _Act concerning the Registers and Acts of Provinciall Assemblies._
   11. _Junii 1646. Antemeridiem_ Sess. 7.
      _Act concerning the publike satisfaction of Married persons, for
      Fornication committed before Marriage._
   _13. Junii 1646. Antemeridiem._ Sess. 10.
      _Ordinance for Excommunication of the Earle of Seafort._
      _Enormities and Corruptions observed to be in the Ministery, with
      the Remedies thereof._
      _Commission of the Approbation of the proceedings of the preceding
      Assembly._
   _15. Junii 1646. Postmeridiem._ Sess. 11.
      _Act for joyning of the Presbyteries in_ Orkney _and_ Zetland _to
      the Provincial of_ Cathnes.
   _17. Junii 1646. Postmeridiem._ Sess. 14.
      _Act concerning Expectants Preaching in Publike._
      _Act for censuring the Complyers with the publike Enemies of this
      Kirk and Kingdom._
      _Act concerning_ James Grahams _Proclamation._
   _18. Junii 1646. Antermeridiem._ Sess. Ult.
      _Act against loosing of Ships and Barks upon the Lords Day._
      _Act anent Children sent without the Kingdom._
      _Overtures presented to the Assembly._
      _Renovation of the Commission for the publike affairs of the Kirk._
      _Renovation of the Commission for prosecuting the Treaty for
      Uniformity in_ England.
      The Assemblies Answer To The Kings Maiestie.
      _The Assemblies Letter to the Right Honorable the Lords and Commons
      in the Parliament of_ England _Assembled at_ Westminster.
      _The Assemblies Letter to the Right Honorable the Lord_ Major
      Aldermen, _and_ Common-Councel _of the City of_ London.
      _The Assemblies Letter to the right Reverend the Assembly of Divines
      in the Kirk of_ England _assembled at_ Westminster.
      _Recommendation to Presbyteries and Provincial Assemblies._
      _Act for a publike Fast before the next Assembly._
The Generall Assembly, At _Edinburgh_ 4. August. 1647.
   August. 16. 1647 Postmeridiem. Sess. 2.
      _Act allowing the half of the Ministers in the Presbyterie of_
      Zetland _only, with their Ruling Elders, to keep the Provincial
      Assembly._
   _20. August 1647. Antemeridiem._ Sess. 15.
      _A Declaration, and Brotherly Exhortation of the General Assembly of
      the Church of_ Scotland, _to their Brethren of_ England.
   _24. August 1647. Antemeridiem._ Sess. 19.
      _Act for observing the Directions of the Generall Assembly for
      Secret and Private Worship, and mutuall edification, and censuring
      such as neglect Familie Worship._
      _The Directions of the Generall Assembly, for Secret and Private
      Worship & mutuall edification, for cherishing Piety, for maintaining
      Unitie, and avoiding Schisme and Division._
      _Act against such as withdraw themselves from the publike Worship in
      their own Congregation._
   _26. August 1647. Postmeridiem._ Sess. 22.
      _Approbation of the preceedings of the Commission of the preceeding
      Assembly._
   _27. August 1647. Antemeridiem._ Sess. 23.
      _Approbation of the Confession of Faith._
   _Edinburgh 28. August 1647. Postmeridiem._ Sess. 25.
      _Act for revising the Paraphrase of the Psalmes brought from_
      England, _with a recommendation for Translating the other Scriptuall
      Songs in Meeter._
      _Act recommending the execution of the Act of Parliament at Perth,
      for uplifting pecuniall paines to bee imployed upon pious uses, and
      of all Acts of Parliament made against excommunicate Persons._
   _Ult. August 1647. Antemeridiem._ Sess. 26.
      _Act discharging the importing, venting or spreading of erronious
      Books or Papers._
      _Act for debarring of Complyers in the first Classe from
      Ecclesiastick office._
      _Act for pressing and furthering the plantation of Kirks._
      _Act for censuring absents from the Generall Assembly._
      _Renovation of former Acts of Assembly for Triall and Admission of
      Expectants to the Ministrie._
   _Eodem die_, Sess. 28. _Postmeridiem._
      _Renovation of the Commission for prosecuting the Treaty for
      Uniformity in_ England.
      _Renovation of the Commission for the publike affaires of the Kirk._
      _Desires and Overtures from the Commissioners of Universities, and
      the Assemblies answer thereto._
   _Edinburgh 1. September 1647._ Sess. Ult.
      _The Assemblies Letter to their Countreymen in_ Poleland, Swedland,
      Denmarke, _and_ Hungarie.
      _Act concerning the Hundred and eleven Propositions therein
      mentioned._
      _Desires and Overtures presented from Presbyteries and Synods, with
      the Assemblies answer thereunto._
The Generall Assembly, At _Edinburgh_.
   Iuly 12. 1648. _Post meridiem,_ Sess. 1.
      _The Letter from the Synod of Divines in_ England _to the Generall
      Assembly._
   Iuly 15 _Antemeridiem_, Sess. 4.
      _Act concerning Commissions from Burghs._
   Iuly 18. 1648. _Antemeridiem._ Sess 6.
      _Act concerning the examining of the proceedings of the
      Commissioners of Assemblies._
   Iuly 18. 1648. _Postmeridiem._ Sess. 7.
      _Approbation of the proceedings of the Commission of the preceeding
      Assembly,_
   July 20. 1648. _Postmeridiem,_ Sess. 10.
      _Approbation of the larger Catechisme._
   _July 21. 1648. Antemeridiem,_ Sess. 11.
      _Act against sudden admitting deposed Ministers to particular
      Congregations._
   July 25. 1648. _Antemeridiem._ Sess. 14.
      _The Assemblies Answer to the Paper sent from the Committee of
      Estates of the 24. July._
   July 28. 1648. _Antemeridiem,_ Sess. 18.
      _Act and Declaration against the Act of Parliament & Committee of
      Estates ordained to be subscribed the 10. and 12. of June, and
      against all new Oathes or Bands in the common Cause imposed without
      consent of the Church._
   _Eodem die Postmeridiem._ Sess. 19.
      _Approbation of the shorter Catechisme._
      _Act discharging a little Catechisme printed at_ Edinburgh, 1647.
   _Ult._ Iuly 1648. _Postmeridiem,_ Sess. 21.
      _A Declaration of the Generall Assembly concerning the present
      dangers of Religion, and especially the unlawfull engagement in War,
      against the Kingdom of_ England; _Together, with many necessary
      exhortations and directions to all the Members of the Kirk of
      Scotland._
   _August. 1. 1648. Antemeridiem._ Sess. 22.
      _The General Assemblies Answer to the Paper presented from the
      Honourable Committee of Estates of the Date_ Iuly 28. 1648.
   _Eodem die Postmeridiem,_ Sess. 23.
      _A Declaration and Exhortation of the Generall Assembly of the
      Church of_ Scotland, _to their Brethren of_ England.
   August. 2. 1648. _Antemeridiem,_ Sess. 26.
      _Answer to the Letter of the Reverend Assembly of Divines in_
      England.
   _Eodem die Postmeridiem_, Sess. 25.
      _The Humble Supplication of the Generall Assembly, To the Right
      Honourable the Committee of Estates._
   August 3. 1648. _Antemeridiem_, Sess. 26.
      _Act for censuring Ministers for their silence, and not speaking to
      the corruptions of the time._
   August 4. 1648. _Postmeridiem_, Sess. 21.
      _Overtures concerning the education of the Hie-land Boys in the
      Province of_ Argyle.
   August 5. 1648. _Antemeridiem,_ Sess. 30.
      _Explanation of the fifth Article of the Overtures concerning
      Appeals past in the Assembly, 1643._
   _Eodem die 1648. Antemeridiem,_ Sess. 30.
      _Act discharging deposed or suspended Ministers from any exercise of
      the Ministery, or medling with the stipend._
   August 7. 1648. _Antemeridiem._ Sess 31.
      _The Assemblies Declaration of the falsehood and forgerie of a lying
      scandalous Pamphlet put forth under the name of their Reverend
      Brother Mastr_ Alexander Henderson _after hes death._
      _Act for taking the Covenant at the first receiving of the Sacrament
      of the Lords Supper, & for the receiving of it also by all Students
      at their first entry to Colledges._
   _Eodem die Postmeridiem,_ Sess. 32.
      _Act concerning Presbyteries maintaining of_ Bursars.
   August 9. 1648. _Antemeridiem_ Sess. 25.
      _Act for dis-joyning the Presbyteries of_ Zetland, _from the
      Provinciall Synod of_ Orkney _and_ Cathnes.
   Aug. 10. 1648. _Postmeridiem,_ Sess. 38.
      _Overtures for the Remedies of the grievous and common Sins of the
      Land in this present time._
      _Act for examining the Paraphrase of the Psalms and other
      Scripturall Songs._
      _Overtures concerning Papists, their children, and Excommunicate
      Persons._
   Aug. 11. 1648 _Antemeridiem,_ Sess. 39.
      _Act for prosecuting the Treaty for the Uniformity in Religion in
      the Kingdom of England._
      _Act Renewing the Commission for the publick Affairs of this Kirk._
   August 11. 1643. _Postmeridiem,_ Sess. 40.
      _Exemption of_ Murray, Rosse, _and_ Caithnesse _from the
      contribution granted to the boyes of_ Argyle, _with a Recommendation
      to Presbyteries, to make up what is taken of them by that
      exemption._
      _Act concerning Collection for the Poor._
      _Recommendation for securing provisions to Ministers in Burghs._
      _The Humble Supplication of the Generall Assembly of the Kirk of_
      Scotland, _met at_ Edinburg August 12 _unto the Kings Most Excellent
      Majeste._
   August. 12. 1648, Sess. _Ult._
      _Act discharging Duels._
      _Act concerning deposed Ministers._
The Generall Assembly, Holden at _Edinburgh, July 7. 1649._
   July 7. 1649. Antemeridiem, Sess 4.
      _Approbation of the proceedings of the Commissioners of the Generall
      Assembly._
   July 10. 1649. _Antemeridiem,_ Sess. 6.
      _Approbation of the Commissioners sent to his Majesty._
   July 19. 1649 _Postmeridiem,_ Sess. 18.
      _Act discharging promiscuous Dancing._
   July 20. 1649. _Antemeridiem,_ Sess. 19.
      _Act concerning the receiving of Engagers in the late unlawfull War
      against_ England, _to publick Satisfaction, Together with the
      Declaration and Acknowledgement to be subscribed by them._
      _The Declaration and Acknowledgement before mentioned._
   July 24. 1649. _Postmeridiem._ Sess. 23.
      _Letter to the High & Honourable Court of Parliament._
   _27. July, 1649. Antemeridiem._ Sess. 27.
      _A seasonable and necessary Warning and Declaration, concerning
      Present and Imminent dangers, and concerning duties relating
      thereto, from the Generall Assembly of this Kirk, unto all the
      Members thereof._
   _30. July 1649. Antemeridiem_ Sess. 30.
      _Act concerning Catechising._
   _4 Aug. 1649. Antemeridiem_ Sess. 40.
      _Commission for publick Affaires._
      _Directorie for Election of Ministers._
   _6. August, 1649. Antemeridiem,_ Sess. Ult.
      _A Brotherly Exhortation from the General Assembly of the Church of_
      Scotland, _to their Brethren in_ England.
      _Act for a Collection for entertaining Highland Boyes at Schooles._
      _Commission for a conference of Ministers, Lawyers and Physitians,
      Concerning the tryal and punishment of Witch-craft, Charming and
      Consulting._
      _Recommendation for maintenance for Schoolmasters and Precenters._
      _Acts concerning Persons to be admitted Bursars._
      _Reference to the Commission for publick affaires for re-examining
      the Paraphrase, of the Psalmes and the emitting the same for
      publicke use._
      Letter to the Kings Majestie.
The Principal Acts of the General Assembly of the Church of _Scotland_
holden at _Edinburgh_ the 16th day of _October_ 1690.
   Edinburgh _16 of October 1690. Post Meridiem._ Sess. 1.
      I. _The Meeting of the_ General Assembly, _and the Recording of
      Their Majesties_ Commission, _to_ John _Lord_ Carmichael, _for
      Representing Their Majesties therein._
   Edinburgh 17 October 1690. _Ante Meridiem_ Sess. 2.
      II. _His_ MAJESTIES _Gracious Letter to the Assembly._
   Edinburgh _18th._ October 1690. _Post Meridiem_ Sess. 4.
      III. _The Assemblies Answer to His Majesties Gracious Letter._
      IV. _Appointment of a Diet, to be kept by the Assembly for Prayer._
   Edinburgh _25th._ October 1690. _Ante Meridiem._ Sess. 9.
      V. _The proceedings of the Assembly, anent Mr._ Thomas Lining _and
      Others._
      Act _anent Mr._ Thomas Lining _and Others._
   Edinburgh 28 of October 1690. _Ante Meridiem,_ Sess. 11.
      VI. _Act anent Ministers that observe not the publick Orders of the
      Church._
   Edinburgh 29 October 1690. _Ante Meridiem,_ Sess. 12.
      VII. _Act approving several Overtures._
      VIII. _Act approving the Associations of Presbyteries._
   Edinburgh 31 October 1690, _Ante Meridiem_ Sess. 15.
      IX. _Act against Ministers Removing out of this Church._
      X. _Act anent the Administration of the Sacraments._
   Edinburgh 11 November 1690. _Post Meridiem_ Sess. 24.
      XI. _Act approving Overtures anent the_ Irish _Bibles, &c._
   _At_ Edinburgh, November 12. 1690. _Post Meridiem._ Sess. 25.
      XII. _Act anent a Solemn National Fast and Humiliation, with the
      Causes thereof._
      XIII. _Act anent Sentences past against Ministers from the Year
      1650. &c._
   Edinburgh 13 of November 1690. _Post Meridiem._ Sess. 26.
      XIV. _The Assemblies Letter to His Majesty._
      XV. _Instructions to the Commissions for Visitations on the South
      and North sides of Tay._
      XVI. _Commission for Visitations on the South side of_ Tay.
      XVII. _Commission for Visitations on the North side of_ Tay.
      XVIII. _Commission for_ Mr. Gilbert Rule _and_ Mr. David Blair, _to
      wait upon His Majesty anent the Affairs of this Church._
_INDEX of the Unprinted Acts, &c. Of the General Assembly, 1690._
An INDEX Of the Principal unprinted Acts of the Assembly at _Glasgow_,
1638.
_Index of the Principal Acts of the Assembly at_ Edinburgh, 1639, _not
Printed._
_Index of the Principal Acts of the Assembly at_ Aberdene, 1640, _not
Printed._
_Index of the Principal Acts of the Assembly holden at_ St. Andrews, _and_
Edinburgh 1641. _not Printed._
_Index of the Principal Acts of the Assembly holden at_ St. Andrews, 27.
_July_, 1642. _not Printed._
_Index of the Acts of the Assembly holden at_ Edinburgh, 1643, _not
Printed._
_Index of the Acts of the Assembly holden at_ Edinburgh, 1644, _not
Printed._
_INDEX of the ACTS of this Assembly holden at_ Edinburgh 1645. _not
Printed_.
_Index of the Acts of the General Assembly not Printed 1646_.
_Index of the Acts of the General Assembly holden at_ Edinburgh, 1647,
_not printed_.
_INDEX of the Unprinted ACTS of the General Assembly held at_ Edinburgh.
1648.
_INDEX of the Unprinted ACTS of the Assembly._ 1649.
Footnotes



TO THE READER.


[Transcriber’s Note: This 17th-century book was printed in the
typographical conventions and spelling of that time; for instance, the
printed book used the long _f_-shaped glyph for the letter _s_, it
included old spellings such as _Kingdome_, _civill_, and _publick_, and
old words such as _hes_, _samine_, and _welas_, and numbers generally are
ended with a period. In this transcription, archaic printing is replaced
with modern characters, so the letter _s_ appears as _s_, with the effect
that what in the original book would look like _Minifters_ is here
transcribed _Ministers_, but archaic spelling, capitalization,
punctuation, and usage are transcribed as they appeared in the printed
book.]

It were long, neither do we now intend, to represent, what in the
beginning, by the Mercies of our _God_ and Ministry of his faithful
Servants, was the reformation of this Kirk: what purity of Doctrine and
Worship, what Order, what Authority, and what Unity continued for many
years, by the Prayers and Labours of Ministers and Professors, what
Novations and Corruptions have been introduced upon us of late, in the
time of our Division and Detection, by such as have ever been enemies to
the Cross of _Christ_, and who have minded earthly things: How manifold
and how comfortable experience we have at this time of the care and
compassions of our _Lord_ and _Saviour_ preventing the utter ruine of
Religion, and the horrible vastation of this Kirk, by looking upon the
afflictions of his people, by hearing their groans, mocked by the World:
And by moving the Heart of our gracious and dread Soveraign the Kings
Majesty to conveen a free national Assembly for redressing the wrongs done
to Religion, and what undeniable testimonies, and notable manifestations
of the divine presence and assistance of _Christ_, have accompanied this
meeting and whole work. _Who so is wise and observeth these things will
see the loving kindness of the Lord_.

For the present it seemed necessary that such of the Acts and
Constitutions of the Assembly as are of most general concernment should be
published in print; the correct writing of so many Copies as were called
for, not being possible to be exped in due time, and the Kirk having
resolved upon this course in former times, which, had it been keeped, our
defection through the almost invincible ignorance of the proceedings of
the Kirk, had not proven so dangerous and deplorable.

In these Acts and Constitutions special regard was had to our _National
Confession of Faith_, as it was at first and diverse times after professed
and is now of late sworn and subscribed, that all mens minds, who delight
not to cavil, might rest satisfied in the true meaning thereof, found out
by the diligent search of the Ecclesiastick Registers. Our care was also
rather at this time to revive and bring to light, former laudable Acts,
than to make any new ones, reflecting as little as might be upon the
reformation of other Kirks, and choosing to receive our directions from
our own _Reformation_, approven by the ample testimony of so many
_Forreign Divines_: according to the example of the venerable Assembly at
_Dort_, where special caution was, that the 30. and 31. article of the
Confession of the _Belgick_ Kirks touching _Ecclesiastick Order_ should
not be examined by _Strangers_, there being a _Difference_ touching that
point amongst _Reformed Kirks_, So many as were present can bear witness
that all the _Members of the Assembly_ were many times called on, and
required to propone their _Doubts_, and to give their _Judgments_ of every
_Article_, before it was Enacted, that every one might receive
_Satisfaction_, and from the full perswasion of his mind might give his
_Voice_: Wherin the _Unanimity_ and _Harmony_ was the more admirable, that
many parting from their _preconceived Opinions_, which had possessed their
_Minds_, did most willingly receive the _Light_, which did now
unexpectedly appear from the _Records_ of the _Kirk_.

That this _Extract_ shall stop the _Mouthes_ of the malicious, is more
than we can promise, or should be expected, We know there be some
Incendiaries who would with great joy and content of mind, seek their lost
penny in the ashes of this poor Kirk and Kingdom: And we have already
found, that our _Laboures_ and the grounds whereupon we have proceeded,
before they be seen, are misconstrued by so many as finds their hopes
blasted, and are come short of their earthly projects: but our comfort is
that we have walked in the truth of our hearts as in the sight of God,
That the Adversaries of the Kirk have not transformed themselves into
Angels of light, nor can say they are doing _God_ service, but are seen in
their colours, and do seek themselves, and that so many as have erred
before, not knowing the order and constitutions of this Kirk, will as
absent Children to their mother speaking plainly and powerfully of old and
now after long silence opening her mouth again, and uttering her mind in a
free Assembly, hear her voice, and with that reverence that beseemeth
under the supreme Majesty of _Christ_, obey her directions, that being all
of one mind, peace may be upon us, and upon the Kirk of _God_; and the
_God_ of peace, and love may be with us. 1639.



THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY, AT GLASGOW.



Act Sess. 6. November 27. 1638.


The testimony of the Committy for tryall of the Registers, subscribed with
their hands, being produced, with some reasons thereof in another paper,
and publickly read; _My Lord Commissioner_ professed that it had resolved
him of sundry doubts, but desired a time to be more fully resolved.

The Moderatour desired that if any of the Assembly had any thing to say
against the said testimonie for the books, that they would declare it, and
finding none to oppon, yet be appointed the day following, to any to
object any thing they could say; and if then none could object the
Assembly would hold the Registers as sufficient approven.



Act. Sess 7. November 28.



_Act. approving the Registers._


Anent the report of the Assemblies judgement of the authority of the books
of Assembly; The Moderatour having desired that if any of the Assembly had
any thing to say, they would now declare it, otherwise they would hold all
approved by the Assembly.

The Commissioner his Grace protested that the Assemblies _approving these
books, or any thing contained in them_ be no wayes prejudicial to his
Majestie, nor to the Archbishops, and Bishops of this Kingdome, or any of
their adherents; because he had some exceptions against these books. My
Lord _Rothes_ desired these exceptions to be condescended on, and they
should be preferably cleared, and protested that these books should be
claimed authentick and obligatorie hereafter.

The whole Assembly all in one voice approved these books, and ordained the
same to make faith in judgement, and out with, in all time commitit, as
the true and authentick Registers of the Kirk of Scotland, conform to the
testimonie subscribed by the Committie, to be insert with the reasons
thereof in the books of Assembly: Whereof the tenour followeth.

We under-subscribers, having power and commission from the generall
Assembly now presently convened, and sitting at _Glasgow_, to peruse,
examine and cognosce upon the validity, faith and strength of the books
and registers of the Assembly under-written, to wit: A register beginning
at the Assembly holden the twentie day of _December_ 1566. and ending at
the fourth session of the Assembly held in the 28 of _December_ 1566.

Item another register beginning at the generall Assembly, holden the
second day of June 1567. and ending at the fourth session of the Assembly
holden at _Perth_ the ninth day of _August_ 1572, which register is
imperfect, and mutilate in the end, and containeth are no leaf nor page
after that page which containeth the said inscription of the said fourth
session, which two registers bears to be subscribed by _John Gray_ scribe.

Item a register of the Assembly holden at _Edinburgh_ the seventh day of
_August_ 1574, and ending with the twelfth session, being the last session
of the Assembly 1579.

Item another register beginning at the Assembly holden at _Edinburgh_ the
tenth of _May_ 1586. and ending in the seventeenth session of the Assembly
holden in _March_, 1589.

Item another register being the fifth book, and greatest volume, beginning
at the Assembly holden in _Anno_ 1560, and ending in the year 1590.

Having carefully viewed, perused and considered the first registers, and
every one of them, and being deeply and maturely advised, as in a matter
of greatest weight and consequence, do attest before God, and upon our
conscience declare to the world and this present Assembly, that the saids
foure registers above expressed, and every one of them, are famous,
authentick and good registers: which ought to be so reputed and have
publick faith in judgement and out with ad validem it the records in all
things, and that the said fifth & greatest book, beginning at the Assembly
1560. and ending 1590. being by the hand writs of the Clerk, cognosced,
and tryed, and agreeable to the other four registers, in what is extant in
them, ought be free of all prejudice and suspicion, and received with
them. And in testimonie of our solemne affirmation, we have made these
presents with our hands.

Subscribitur,
Master Andrew Ramsay.
Master John Adamson.
Master John Row.
Master Rohre Murray.
Master Alexander Gibson.
Master James Boner.
Master Alexander Peerson.
Master Alexander Wedderburn.

_Reasons prooving the five Books and Registers produced before the
Assembly to be authentick_.

The books now exhibited unto us underscribers, which we have revised and
perused by commission from the generall Assembly, are true registers of
the Kirk: to wit, Five Volumes, whereof the first two contain the acts of
the Assembly, from the year of God 1560. to the year 1572. all subscribed
by _John Gray_ Clerk. The third from the year of God 1574. to the year
1579. The fourth from the year of God 1586. to the year 1589. At which
time _Master James Richie_ was Clerk, who hath frequently written upon the
margine of the saids two last books, and subscribed the said margine with
his hand-writing. And the fifth book being the greatest Volume, containing
the acts of the generall Assembly, from the year of God 1560. to the year
1590. which agreeth with the foresaids other foure books and registers, in
so far as is extant in them, and further recordeth, what is wanting by
them, passing by what is mutilate in them, and which with the two Volumes
produced by _Master Thomas Sandilands_ from the year 1590. to this
present, maketh up a perfect register.

I. For the first two Volumes subscribed by _Ionn Gray_, albeit it be not
necessar in such antiquietie to proove that he was Clerk, seeing he
designes himself so by his subscription, yet the same is manifest by an
act mentioned in the third book, in the time of _Master James Richie_, who
succeeded him in the said office, and his hand-writ was acknowledged by
sundry old men in the ministery.

II. The uniformitie of his subscriptions through both Volumes, evident by
ocular inspection above the ordinarie custome of most famous Notars,
delivers the same from all suspicion _in facto tam antiquo_.

III. There be many coppies, specially of general acts, yet extant, which
do not debord from the saids registers, but are altogether agreeable
thereto.

IV. It is constant by the universal custome of this Kingdome, that all
registers are transmitted from one keeper to his successour; and so
comming by progresse and succession from the first incumbent to the last
possessour, are never doubted to be the registers of that judicatorie,
whereof the last haver was Clerk; and therefore it is evident, that these
books comming successfulie from _John Gray_, _Master James Richie_, and
_Master Thomas Nicolson_, who were all Clerks to the Assembly, into the
hands of _Master Robert Winrame_, who was constitute Clerk depute by the
said _Master Robert Nicolson_ (as his deputation here present to show,
will testifie) are the undoubted registers of the Assembly: like as
_Alexander Blair_ succeeded the said _Master Robert_ in his place of
Clerkship to the assignations and modifications of Ministers stipends; and
during _Master Robert_ his life-time, was his actual servant, and so had
the said books by progresse from him, which the said _Alexander_’s readie
presently to testifie.

V. The two registers of _Master James Richie_, albeit not under his own
hand, yet are frequently margined with his own hand-writ, and the same
marginal additions subscribed by him, which hand-writ is seen and
cognosced by famous men, who knoweth the same, and it is evident, being
compared with his several writings and subscriptions yet extant.

VI. The said registers are more perfect, lesse vitiated, scored, and
interlined, then any other authentick and famous registers of the most
prime judicatories within this Kingdom:

VII. _Master Thomas Sandilands_, in name of his father, who was late Clerk
by dimution of _Master Thomas Nicolson_, hath produced a Volume, which
proveth the saids two registers of _Master James Richie_ to be sufficient
records; because that same Volume is begun by that same hand, whereby the
said _Master James Richie_ his registers are written, and is subscribed
once in the margine by _Master James Richie_ his hand, and followed forth,
and continued in the same book by _Master Thomas Nicolson_, who succeeded
him in the place, and was known by most men here present to be of such
approven worth and credit, that he would never have accomplished a
register which had not been famous and true: and whereof the hand-write,
had not then been known to him sufficiently.

VIII. That register produced by _Master Thomas Sandilands_, and prosecuted
by _Master Thomas Nicolson_, proves the first part of that register to be
true and famous, and that first part being by ocular inspection of the
same hand writ, with _Master James Richies_ registers, and subscribed in
the margine with the same hand writ, proveth _Richies_ two books to be
good records, and _Richies_ registers doth approve _Grays_ books by the
act of Assembly before written: specially considering the same hath come
by progresse and succession of Clerks, in the hands of _Alexander Blair_,
now living, and here present.

IX. The compts anent the thirds of benefices between the Regent for the
time, and the Assembly, in the second volume, pag. 147. are subscribed by
the Lord Regents own hand, as appeareth: for it is a royall-like
subscription, and there is no hand writ in all the book like unto it, and
beareth not _Sic subscribitur_, which undoubtedly it would do, if it were
a coppie.

X. _Master Iames Carmichell_ was commanded by the generall Assembly 1595,
Sess. 9, in the book produced by _Master Thomas Sandilands_, to extract
the generall acts forth of their books; and it is evident that these books
are the same which he perused for that effect, because he hath marked
therein the generall acts with a crosse, and hath designed the act by some
short expression upon the margine, which is cognosed and known to be his
hand writ, by famous and worthy persons: which is also manifest by the
said _Master James_ his hand and subscription, written with his own hand
in the last leafe of the said books; as also acknowledged in the said
book, produced by _Master Thomas Sandilands_, wherein the said _Master
James Carmichell_ granteth the receipt of these, with some other books of
the Assemblies.

XI. The registers produced, are the registers of the Assembly, because in
_Anno_ 1586, the Assembly complaineth that their registers are mutilate:
which hath relation to _Richies_ third book, which is lacerat and mutilate
in divers places without any interveening of blank paper, or any mention
of _hic deese_.

XII. If these were not principall registers, the enemies of the puritie of
Gods worship, would never have laboured to destroy the same which
notwithstanding they have done; as appeareth by the affixing and battering
of a piece of paper upon the margine, anent a condition of the commission
not to exceed the established discipline of this Kirk; subscribed by the
Clerk, book 3, pag. 147, and the blotting out the certification of the
excommunication against Bishop _Adamson_, book 4, pag. 30, who in his
Recantation generally acknowledgeth the same: but which, without that
recantation, cannot be presupposed to have been done, but by corrupt men
of intention to corrupt the books, which were not necessary, if they were
not principall registers.

XIII. In the Assembly 1596, the Church complained upon the Chancelour his
retention of their registers, & desired they might be delivered to their
Clerk, which accordingly was done; as a memorandum before the beginning of
the first book, bearing the redeliverie of these foure books to _Master
James Richie_, clerk proporteth; which clearly evinceth that those foure
books are the registers of the Assembly.

XIV. The said fifth book and greatest Volume, is also marked on the
margine, with the hand-writ of the said _Master James Carmichell_; (which
is cognosced) who was appointed to peruse the books of the Assembly as
said is, and would not have margined the same by vertue of that command,
nor extracted the general acts out of it, if it were not an approbation
therof, as an authentick and famous book.

XV. The said fifth Volume doth agree with the other foure books; in all
which is extant in them, and marketh the blanks, which are lacerate and
riven out of the same; and compleateth all what is lacking in them.

XVI. In the book of Discipline pertaining to _Master James Carmichel_,
superscribed by himself, and _Master James Richie_, there are sundry acts
and passages quoted out of the said fifth great Volume, saying, It is
written in such a page of the book of the Assembly, which agreeth in
subject and quotation with the said fifth book, and cannot agree with any
other; so that _Master James Carmichel_ reviser of the Assembly books, by
their command, would not alledge that book, nor denominate the same a book
of the Assembly, if it were not an authentick famous book.

XVII. Though the corrupt nature of man hath been tempted to falsifie
particular evidents, yet it hath never been heard that any whole register
hath ever been counterfeited; neither can it bee presupposed that any will
attempt that high wickednesse, seeing the inducements anwerable to that
crime, can hardly be presupposed.

XVIII. It is certain, and notour to all these who are intrusted with the
keeping of the publick records of the Kingdome, that the same are never
subscribed by the Clerk, but only written and filled up by servants, and
most frequently by unknown hands, yet they and the extracts thereof make
publick faith, and the same are uncontrovertedly authentick registers; and
when the most publick registers of the Kingdom shall be seen, and compared
with these registers of the Assembly, it shall be found that these other
registers of the most soveraigne judicatories ever unsubscribed are more
incorrect, oftner margined, scored, and interlined, made up by greater
diversitie of unknown hand writs, than these books of the Assembly, which
by special providence are preserved so intire, that in the judgement of
any man acquainted with registers, they will manifestly appear at the very
sight to be true, famous, and authentick.

XIX. The fame and credit of ancient registers in this Kingdome, is so much
reverenced that if any extract be different or discontinuous from the
register, that extract albeit subscribed by the person who for the time
had been of greatest eminence in the trust of registers, will be
rectified, conform to the register, and have no force, so far as it
debordeth therefrom; although the registers be written with an obscure,
unknown hand, and unsubscribed.



Act. Sess. 12. December fourth.



_The six late pretended Assemblies condemned._


Anent the report of the Committie, for trying the six last pretended
Assemblies: They produced in writ sundrie reasons, clearing the
unlawfulnesse and nullitie of these Assemblies; which were confirmed by
the registers of the Assembly, the books of Presbyteries, the Kings
Majesties own letters, and by the testimonie of divers old reverend
Ministers, standing up in the Assembly, and verifying the truth thereof.
The Assembly with the universall consent of all, after the serious
examination of the reasons against every one of these six pretended
Assemblies apart, being often urged by the Moderatour, to informe
themselves thoroughly, that without doubting, and with a full perswasion
of minde, they might give their voices, declared all these six Assemblies
of _Linlithgow_ 1606. and 1608, _Glasgow_ 1610, _Aberdeen_ 1616, St.
_Andrews_ 1617, _Perth_ 1618. And every one of them to have been from the
beginning unfree, unlawfull, and null Assemblies, and never to have had,
nor hereafter to have any Ecclesiasticall authoritie, and their
conclusions to have been, and to bee of no force, vigour, nor efficacie:
Prohibited all defence and observance of them, and ordained the reasons of
their nullitie to be insert in the books of the Assembly: _Whereof the
tennour followeth._



_Reasons annulling the pretended Assembly, holden at_ Linlithgow, 1606.


I. From the indiction of it. It was indicted the third of _December_ to
bee kept the tenth of _December_. And so there was no time given to the
Presbyteries, far distant, neither for election of Commissioners nor for
preparation to those who were to be sent in Commission. The shortnesse of
the time of the indiction is proved by the Presbyterie books of
_Edinburgh_, _Perth_, and _Hadingtonn_, &c.

II. From the want of a lawfull calling, to these who went to the meeting,
seeing they were not at all elected by their Presbyteries, but were
injoyned to come by the Kings letters. This also is proved by the
foresaids books of the Presbyteries, and by his Majesties letters.

III. From the nature of that meeting, which was only a private meeting, or
convention, for consultation to be taken by some persons of sundry estates
written for, as the Kings letters and the Presbyterie books do
acknowledge.

IV. From the power of those ministers who were present. Their Presbyteries
did limitate them: First, That they should give no suffrages in that
meeting as a generall Assembly. Secondly, That they agree to nothing that
may any wayes be prejudiciall to the acts of the generall Assemblies, or
to the established discipline of the Kirk. Thirdly, That they should not
agree to resolve or conclude any question, article, or mater whatsoever,
the decision whereof is pertinent, and proper to a free generall Assembly.
Fourthly, If any thing be concluded contrary thereunto, that they protest
against it. These limitations are clear by the Presbyterie books.

V. The acts of this meeting were not insert in the book of Assemblies, as
is evident by the register.

VI. The next pretended Assembly at _Linlithgow_, 1608, doth acknowledge
the Assembly, Whereof _Master Patrick Galloway_ was Moderatour, to have
been the last immediate Assembly, preceding it selfe: and that Assembly
whereof he was moderatour, was the Assembly holden at _Halyroodhouse_,
1602. So they did not acknowledge that meeting at _Linlithgow_, 1606. for
any Assembly at all. This is clear by the registers of the Assembly, 1608,
in the entrie thereof.



_Reasons for annulling the pretended Assembly at_ Linlithgow, 1608.


I. Manie of the voters in that pretended Assembly had no lawfull
commission from the Kirk, to wit, 42 Noble men, officers of state,
councellours, and Barrons, also the Bishops, contrare to the act of
_Dundie_, 1597. And one of their caveats, the Noble men, were as
commissioners from the King, the Bishops had no commission at all from the
Presbyterie, for every Presbyterie out of which they came, had their full
number of Commissioners beside them, as the register of the Assembly
beareth.

II. In a lawfull Assembly there should be none but Commissioners from
Presbyteries, Burghs, and Universities, and but three ministers at most,
with one Elder, Commissioners from every Presbyterie, according to the act
made at _Dundie_, 1597. But in that pretended Assembly, there were foure
ministers from the severall Presbyteries, of _Edinburgh_, and _Cowper_,
five from the Presbyteries of _Arbroth_, as the roll of the said pretended
Assembly beareth, whereas there were no ruling Elders sent from
Presbyteries, according to the book of policie and act of _Dundie_.



_Reasons for annulling the pretended Assembly at_ Glasgow, 1610.


I. The Commission of the pretended Commissioners to the meeting was null.
1. Because the election of them was not free, seeing they were nominate by
the Kings Letters, as the Presbyterie books of _Edinburgh, Perth_, and
_Hadingtoun_ declare. And the Bishop of St. _Andrews_ in his letter to
some Presbyteries required them to send such commissioners as the King had
nominate: assuring them, that none other would be accepted. This the
Bishops letter registered in the Presbyterie books of _Hadingtoun_ doth
cleare. 2. And whereas there were no ruling Elders sent from the
Presbyteries to that pretended Assembly, as the roll of Commissioners
sheweth; yet there were moe ministers from undue severall Presbyteries
then three, as five from _Brechen_, five from _Arbroth_, five from
_Kirkenbright_, seven from the Presbytery of _Argyl_, foure from the
Presbyterie of _Cowper_, foure from _Linlithgow_, foure from _Pasley_,
foure from _Hammilton_, foure from _Drumfreis_, foure from _Dunkell_: as
the register of that Assembly beareth.

II. There where thirtie voters of Noble men and Barrons, beside the
pretended Bishops, who had no commission from any Presbyterie. In the
fourth Session of this pretended Assembly it is plainly said, That the
Noble men and Barrons came to it by the Kings direction.

III. The voting of the commissioners was not free: for by the Kings Letter
to the Assembly they were threatned, and it was declared that their
content was not needfull to any act to be made there: The King might doe
it by his own power, yet they were allured to vote by a promise that their
good service in so doing should be remembred and rewarded thereafter.

IV. The principall acts which were made, were set down _verbatim_ in the
privie conference, which chiefly consisted of the Kings Commissioners and
pretended Bishops, and only read to be ratified in the Assembly.

V. Sundrie ministers then present, doe now declare, that they knew the
ministers who voted the wrong way, to have received their present reward,
and that money was largely dealt unto them.



_Reasons for annulling the pretended Assembly at_ Aberdene, 1616.


I. There was no election of a Moderatour: but that place usurped by the
pretended Bishop of Saint _Andrews_, as the Register beareth.

II. The indiction of that pretended Assembly was but twentie dayes before
the holding of it: so that the Presbyteries and burghes could not be
prepared for sending their commissioners: which caused the absence of many
Presbyteries and fourtie foure Burghes.

III. There were twentie five noble-men, and gentle-men voters without
commission from the Kirk. Ma. _William Struthers_ voted for the
Presbyterie of _Edinburgh_, yet had no commission there-from. The
commission being given by that Presbyterie to other three, as the said
Commission registrar in the books of the Presbytery beareth. And whereas
there should be but one Commissioner from every burgh, except _Edinburgh_,
to the Assembly; at this pretended Assembly, there were two Commissioners
from _Glasgow_, two from _Cowper_, two from St. _Andrews_: whereas there
were no ruling Elders having commission from their Presbyteries at that
Assembly.

IV. When the acts of that pretended assembly were written, the Bishop of
St. _Andrews_ with his own hand did interline, adde, change, vitiate,
direct to be extracted or not extracted, as he pleased: as the scrolls
themselves seen, doe show; wherefore the Clerk did not registrat the acts
of that Assembly, in the books of Assemblies, as may be easily seen by the
blank in the register left for them remaining unfilled.



_The nullitie of the pretended Assembly at_ Saint Andrews, 1617.


I. There is no mention of it in the register of the Assemblies, and so no
warrand for their commissions, their Moderatour or Clerk.

II. The indiction of it was so unformall, that as the scroll declareth, a
great part of the Commissioners from Synods, Burrows, and gentle-men,
would not be present.

III. The Kings Majestie in his letter to _Perths_ Assembly, acknowledged
it was but a meeting, wherein disgrace was offered to his Majestie.

IV. The former corruptions of the foure preceding Assemblies had their
confluence in this and the subsequent Assembly.



_Reasons for annulling the pretended Assembly, holden at_ Perth, 1618.


I. The Assembly was indicted but twentie dayes before the holding of it:
and all parties requisit received not advertisement, as appeareth by their
absence. The untimous indicting of it, is cleared by Presbyterie books.

II. There was no election of the Moderatour, as was accustomed to be in
lawfull Assemblies; The register cleareth this.

III. No formall election of their new Clerk.

IIII. There were five whole Dioces absent, viz. _Orknay_, _Cathnes_,
_Rosse_, _Argyll_, and _Isles_: and many Presbyteries had no Commissioners
there, as the register of that pretended Assembly beareth.

V. There were nineteen noblemen and Barrons, eleven Bishops that had no
Commission from the Kirk. Whereas the act for constitution of Assemblies,
ordaineth every Burgh to have but one Commissioner, except _Edinburgh_,
which may have two (Act at _Dundie_ 1597) yet in that pretended Assembly,
_Perth_ had three Commissioners, _Dundie_, had two, _Glasgow_ had two, and
_St. Andrews_ had two: Of the Burghes, there were there six absent: And
for ruling Elders, there were none at all with commission from their
Presbyteries. All these things are cleared by the records of that
pretended Assemblie.

VI. The Commissioners from some Presbyteries exceeded their numbers
prescribed in the act at _Dundie_, 1597, for the Presbyterie of _Arbroth_
were foure Commissioners and three for the Presbyterie of _Aughterardour_:
Beside these that were heard to vote, having no commission at all, and
some who had commission were rejected, and were not enrolled, but others
put in their place without commission.

VII. The pretended Bishops did practice foure of the articles to be
concluded there, before the pretended Assembly, in _Edinburgh_, _St.
Andrews_, and other cathedral Churches, by keeping festival dayes,
kneeling at ye Communion. Thus their voices were prejudged by their
practice of these services before condemned by the Kirk, and therefore
they should have been secluded from voicing.

VIII. In all lawfull Assemblies, the voicing should be free: But in this
pretended Assembly there were no free voicing; for the voicers were
threatned to voice _affirmative_, under no lesse pain nor the wrath of
authoritie, imprisonment, banishemnt, deprivation of ministers, and utter
subversion of the state: Yea, it was plainly professed, that neither
reasoning nor the number of voices should carie the matter away: Which is
qualified by the declaration of many honest old reverend Brethren of the
ministery now present.

IX. In all lawful Assemblies, the grounds of proceeding were, and used to
be, the word of God, the confession of Faith, and acts of former general
Assemblies. But in this pretended Assembly, the ground of their proceeding
in voicing was the Kings commandment only: For so the question was stated:
_Whether the five articles, in respect of his Majesties commandement,
should passe in act, or not_: As the records of that pretended Assembly
beareth. Where it is declared, that for the reverence and respect which
they bear unto his Majesties Royal commandements, they did agree to the
foresaids articles.

X. Many other reasons verifying the nullitie of all these Assemblies, were
showen and proven before the Assembly, which needeth not here to be
insert.



Act. Sess. 13. December 5. 1638.



_Against the unlawfull oaths of intrants._


The six Assemblies immediately preceeding, for most just and weightie
reasons above-specified, being found to be unlawful, and null from the
beginning: The Assembly declareth the oathes and subscriptions exacted by
the Prelates of the intrants in the ministerie all this time by past (as
without any pretext of warrand from the Kirk, so for obedience of the acts
of these null Assemblies, and contrare to the ancient and laudable
constitutions of this Kirk, which never have been nor can be lawfully
repealled, but must stand in force) to be unlawful, and no way
obligatorie. And in like manner declareth, that the power of Presbyteries,
and of provincial and general Assemblies, hath been unjustly surpressed,
but never lawfully abrogate. And therefore that it hath been most lawful
unto them, not withstanding any point unjustly objected by the Prelats to
the contrare, to admit, suspend, or deprive ministers, _respectivè_ within
their bounds, upon relevant complaints sufficiently proven; to choose
their own Moderatours, and to execute all the parts of ecclesiastical
jurisdiction according to their own limits appointed them by the Kirk.



Act. Sess. 14. December 6. 1638.



_Condemning the Service-book, Book of Canons, Book of Ordination, and the
high Commission._


I. The Assembly having diligently considered the Book of common prayer,
lately obtruded upon the reformed Kirk within this Realme, both in respect
of the manner of the introducing thereof, and in respect of the matter
which it containeth, findeth that it hath been devised and brought in by
the pretended Prelats, without direction from the Kirk, and pressed upon
ministers without warrand from the Kirk, to be universally received as the
only forme of divine service under all highest paines, both civill and
ecclesiasticall, and the book it self, beside the _popish_ frame and forms
in divine worship, to containe many _popish_ errours and ceremonies, and
the seeds of manifold and grosse superstition and idolatrie. The Assembly
therefore all in one voice, hath rejected, and condemned and by these
presents doth reject and condemne the said book, not only as illegally
introduced, but also as repugnant to the doctrine, discipline and order of
this reformed Kirk, to the Confession of Faith, constitutions of generall
Assemblies, and acts of Parliament establishing the true Religion; and
doth prohibite the use and practice thereof: and ordaine Presbyteries to
proceed with the censure of the Kirk against all such as shall
transgresse.

II. The Assembly also, taking to their consideration the book of Canons,
and the manner how it hath been introduced, findeth that it hath been
devised by the pretended Prelats, without warrand or direction from the
generall Assembly; and to establish a tyrannicall power in the persons of
the pretended Bishops, over the worship of God, mens consciences,
liberties and goods, and to overthrow the whole discipline and government
of the generall and Synodall Assemblies, Presbyteries, and Sessions
formerly established in our Kirk.

Therefore the Assembly all in one voice hath rejected and condemned, and
by these presents doth reject and condemne the said book, as contrare to
the confession of our Faith, and repugnant to the established government,
the book of Discipline, and the acts and constitutions of our Kirk:
prohibits the use and practise of the same; and ordains Presbyteries to
proceed with the censure of the Kirk against all such as shall
transgresse.

III. The Assembly having considered the book of consecration and
ordination, findeth it to have been framed by the Prelats, to have been
introduced and practised without warrand of authority, either civill or
ecclesiasticall: and that it establisheth offices in Gods house, which are
not warranded by the word of God, and are repugnant to the Discipline, and
constitutions of our Kirk, that it is an impediment to the entrie of fit
and worthie men to the ministery, and to the discharge of their dutie
after their entrie, conforme to the discipline of our Kirk. Therefore the
Assembly all in one voice hath rejected and condemned, and by these
presents doe reject and condemne the said book; and prohibits the use and
practise of the same: And ordaines Presbyteries to proceed with the
censure of the Kirk against all such as shall transgresse.

IV. The generall Assembly, after due tryall, having found that the Court
of high Commission, hath been erected without the consent or procurement
of the Kirk, or consent of the Estates in Parliament, that it subverteth
the jurisdiction and ordinarie judicatories and Assemblies of the
Kirk-Sessions, Presbyteries, provinciall and nationall Assemblies, that it
is not regulate by lawes civill or ecclesiasticall, but at the discretion
and arbitrement of the Commissioners; that it giveth to ecclesiasticall
persons, the power of both the swords, and to persons meerly civill, the
power of the keys and Kirk censures: Therefore the Assembly all in one
voice, hath disallowed and condemned, and by these presents doth disallow
and condemne the said court, as unlawfull in it selfe, and prejudiciall to
the liberties of Christ—Kirk and Kingdome, the Kings honour in maintaining
the established lawes and judicatories of the Kirk; and prohibits the use
and practise of the same; and ordaines Presbyteries to proceed with the
censures of the Kirk, against all such as shall transgresse.

After the serious discussing of the several Processes, in many Sessions,
from Sess. 14. (which are in the Clerks hands, and needeth not here to be
insert) the following sentences were solemnly pronounced after Sermon by
the Moderatour, in the Assembly of _Glasgow_, _Sess. 20 December 13,
1638._



_Sentence of deposition and excommunication against Mr._ John Spottiswood,
_pretended Archbishop of St._ Andrews; _Mr._ Patrik Lindsay, _pretended
Archbishop of_ Glasgow: _Mr._ David Lindsay, _pretended Bishop of_
Edinburgh: _Mr._ Thomas Sidserfe, _pretended Bishop of_ Galloway: _Mr._
John Maxwell, _pretended Bishop of_ Rosse: _Mr._ Walter Whyt-foord,
_pretended Bishop of_ Brechen.


The general Assembly, having heard the libels and complaints, given in
against the foresaids pretended Bishops to the Presbyterie of _Edinburgh_,
and sundry other Presbyteries within their pretended Dyocies, and by the
saids Presbyteries referred to the Assembly, to be tryed: The saids
pretended Bishops being lawfully cited, often-times called, and their
Procutour _Doctour Robert Hammiltoun_, and not compearing, but declining
and protesting against this Assembly, as is evident by their declinatour,
and protestation given in by the said _Doctour Robert Hammiltoun_ minister
at _Glasfoord_, which by the acts of Assembly is censurable with summar
excommunication: Entered in consideration of the said declinatour, and
finding the same not to be relevant, but on the contrare to be a displayed
banner against the setled order and government of this Kirk, to be
fraughted with insolent and disdainful speeches, lies and calumnies
against the lawful members of this Assembly, proceeded to the cognition of
the saids complaints, and libels against them; and finding them guiltie of
the breach of the cautions, agreed upon in the Assembly holden at
_Montrose_, _Anno_ 1600. for restricting of the minister voter in
Parliament, from incroaching upon the liberties and jurisdiction of this
Kirk, which was set down with certification of deposition, infamie, and
excommunication, specially for receiving of consecration to the office of
Episcopacie, condemned by the confession of Faith, and acts of this Kirk,
as having no warrand, nor foundament in the word of God, and by vertue of
this usurped power, and power of the high Commission, pressing the Kirk
with novations in the worship of God, and for sundrie other haynous
offences, and enormities, at length expressed, and clearly proven in their
processe, and for their refusal to underly the tryal of the reigning
slander of sundrie other grosse transgressions and crymes laid to their
charge: Therefore the Assembly moved with zeal to the glorie of God, and
purging of his Kirk, hath ordained the saids pretended Bishops to be
deposed, and by these presents doth depose them, not only of the office of
Commissionaire to vote in Parliament, Councel, or Convention in name of
the Kirk, but also of all functions whether of pretended Episcopal or
ministerial calling, declareth them infamous. And likewise ordaineth the
saids pretended Bishops to be excommunicate, and declared to be of these
whom Christ commandeth to be holden by all and every one of the faithful
as ethnicks, and publicanes; and the sentence of excommunication to be
pronounced by _Mr. Alexander Henderson_, Moderatour in face of the
Assembly in the high Kirk of _Glasgow_; and the execution of the sentence
to bee intimat in all the Kirks of _Scotland_ by the Pastours of every
particular congregation, as they will be answerable to their Presbyteries
and Synods, or the next general Assembly, in case of the negligence of
Presbyteries and Synods.



_Sentence of deposition and excommunication, against_ Mr. Adam Ballantyne,
_pretended Bishop of_ Aberdeen, _and Mr. James Wedderburn pretended Bishop
of_ Dumblane.


The generall Assembly, having heard the lybels and complaints given in
against the foresaids pretended Bishops, of _Aberdeen_ and _Dumblane_, to
the Presbytery of _Edinburgh_, and sundry Presbyteries within their
pretended Dioceses, and by the saids Presbyteries referred to this
Assembly to be tryed: The saids pretended Bishops being lawfully cited,
often-times called, and not compearing, proceeded to the cognition of the
complaints and lybels against them, and finding them guilte of the breach
of the cautions, agreed upon in the Assembly holden at _Montrose_, Anno
1600 for restricting the minister voter in Parliament, from encroaching
upon the liberties and jurisdictions of this Kirk, which was set down with
certification of deposition, infamie and excommunication, specially for
receiving of consecration to the office of Episcopacie, condemned by the
confession of Faith, and acts of this Kirk, as having no warrand nor
foundament in the word of God, and by vertue of this usurped power, and
power of the high Commission, pressing the Kirk with novations in the
worship of God, and for sundry other haynous offences and enormities, and
length expressed, and clearly proven in their Processe, and for their
refusall to underly the tryall of the reigning slander of sundry other
grosse transgressions and offences laid to their charge: Therefore the
assembly moved with zeal to the glorie of God, and purging of the Kirk,
hath ordained the saids pretended Bishops to be deposed, and by these
presents doth depose them, not only of the office of Commissionary to vote
in Parliament, Councell, or Convention, in name of the Kirk, but also of
all functions, whether of pretended Episcopall or ministeriall calling,
declareth them infamous: and likewise ordains the saids pretended Bishops
to be excommunicate, and declared to be of these whom Christ commanded to
be holden by all and every one of the faithfull as Ethnicks and Publicans;
and the sentence of excommunication to be pronounced by Mr. _Alexander
Henderson_ Moderatour, in face of the Assembly after Sermon, in the high
Kirk of _Glasgow_: and that the execution of the sentence be intimat in
all the Kirks within this Realme, by the Pastours of every particular
congregation, as they will be answerable to their Presbyteries and Synods,
or the next generall Assembly, in case of the negligence of Presbyteries
and Synods.



_Sentence of deposition against Master_ John Guthry, _pretended Bishop of_
Murray: _Mr._ John Grahame, _pretended Bishop of_ Orknay, _Mr._ James
Fairlie, _pretended Bishop of_ Lismoir: _Mr._ Neil Cambell, _pretended
Bishop of_ Isles.


The generall Assembly having heard the lybels and complaints given in
against the foresaids pretended Bishops, to the Presbyterie of
_Edinburgh_, and sundrie Presbyteries within their Dyocies, and by the
saids Presbyteries referred to this Assembly to bee tryed: the saids
pretended Bishops being lawfully cited, often-times called, and not
compearing, proceeded to the cognition of the complaints and lybels
against them; and finding them guiltie of the breach of the cautions
agreed upon in the Assembly at _Montrose_, _Anno_ 1600. for restricting of
the minister, voter in Parliament, from incroaching upon the liberties and
Jurisdictions of this Kirk, which was set down with certification of
deposition, infamie and excommunication; and especially for receiving
consecration to the office or Episcopacie condemned by the confession of
Faith, and acts of this Kirk, as having no warrand nor foundament in the
word of God, and by vertue of this usurped power, and power of the high
commission, pressing the Kirk with novations in the worship of God; and
for their refusall to underly the tryall of the reigning slander of
sundrie other grosse transgressions and offences, laid to their charge:
Therefore the Assembly, moved with zeal to the glorie of God, and purging
of this Kirk, ordaines the saids pretended Bishops, to bee deposed, and by
these presents doth depose them, not only of the office of commissionarie,
to vote in Parliament, Councel, or convention in name of the Kirk: but
also of all functions, whether of pretended Episcopall, or ministeriall
calling: And likewise in case they acknowledge not this Assembly,
reverence not the constitutions thereof, and obey not the sentence, and
make not their repentance, conforme to the order prescribed by this
Assembly, ordaines them to be excommunicated, and declared to bee of these
whom Christ commandeth to be holden by all and every one of the faithfull
as Ethnicks and Publicanes: and the sentence of excommunication to be
pronounced upon their refusall, in the Kirks appointed, by any of those
who are particularly named, to have the charge of trying their repentance
or impenitencie, and that the execution of this sentence bee intimate in
all the Kirks within this Realme by the Pastours of every particular
Congregation, as they will be answerable to their Presbyteries and Synods,
or the next generall Assembly, in case of negligence of the Presbyteries
and Synods.



_Sentence of deposition against Maister_ Alexander Lindsay _pretended
Bishop of_ Dunkell.


The generall Assembly having heard the complaint and lybel given in
against Mr. _Alexander Lindesay_ pretended Bishop of _Dunkell_, to the
Presbytery of _Edinburgh_, and sundry Presbyteries of his pretended
Dyocie, and by the Presbyteries referred to this Assembly to be tryed: The
said pretended Bishop being lawfully cited, often-times called, & not
compearing, but by a letter of excuse submitting himself to the Assembly,
proceeded to the cognition of the complaint and lybell itselfe against
him, and finding him guiltie of the breach of the cautions agreed upon in
the Assembly holden at _Montrose_, _Anno_ 1600 for restricting the
minister voter in parliament, from encroaching upon the liberties and
jurisdictions of this Kirk, which was set down with certification of
deposition, infamie and excommunication, especially for receiving
consecration to the office of Episcopacie condemned by the confession of
Faith, and acts of this Kirk, as having no warrand nor foundament in the
word of God, and by vertue of this usurped power, and power of the high
Commission, pressing the Kirk with novations in the worship of God:
Therefore the Assembly moved with zeal to the glory of God, and purging of
this Kirk, hath ordained the said Mr. _Alexander_ to bee deposed, and by
these presents deposeth him, from the pretended Episcopall function, and
from the office of commissionarie to vote in Parliament, Councel or
Convention in name of the Kirk, and doth suspend him from all ministeriall
function, and providing he acknowledge this Assembly, reverence the
constitutions of it, and obey this sentence, and make his repentance
conforme to the order prescribed, continueth him in the ministrie of St.
_Madoze_; And likewise, if he acknowledge not this Assembly, reverence not
the constitutions of it, and obey not the sentence, and make his
repentance, conforme to the order prescribed by this Assembly, ordains him
to be excommunicat, and declared to bee one of those whom Christ
commandeth to bee holden by all and every one of the faithfull, as an
Ethnick and Publicane, and the sentence of excommunication to be
pronounced upon his refusall, in the Kirks appointed, by one of these who
are particularly named, to have the charge of trying his repentance or
impenitencie, and that the execution of this sentence be intimate in all
the Kirks within this Realme, by the Pastours of every particular
congregation, as they will be answerable to their Presbyteries and Synods,
or the next generall Assembly, in case of the negligence of Presbyteries,
and Synods.



_Sentence of deposition against Master_ John Abernethie _pretended Bishop
of_ Cathnes.


The generall Assembly having heard the lybell and complaint given in
against Mr. _John Abernethie_ pretended Bishop of _Cathnes_ to the
Presbytery of _Edinburgh_, and sundry Presbyteries within his Dyocie: And
by the saids Presbyteries, referred to this Assembly to be tryed: The said
pretended Bishop being lawfully cited, often-times called, and not
compearing, but by his letter of excuse upon his sicknesse, proceeded to
the cognition of the complaint and lybell it selfe against him, and
finding him guiltie of the breach of the cautions, agreed upon in the
Assembly holden at _Montrose_, _Anno_ 1600. for restricting the minister
voter in Parliament, from encroaching upon the liberties and jurisdictions
of this Kirk, which was set down with certification of deposition,
infamie, and excommunication, specially for receiving consecration to the
office of Episcopacie, condemned by the confession of Faith, and acts of
this Kirk as having no warrand nor foundament in the word of God, and by
vertue of the usurped power, and power of the high Commission pressing the
Kirk with novations in the worship of God: Therefore the assembly moved
with zeal to the glorie of God, and purging of this Kirk, hath ordaineth
the said Mr. _John_ to be deposed, and by these presents deposeth him from
the pretended Episcopall function, and from the office of Commissionary to
vote in Parliament, Councel, or convention, in name of the Kirk, and doth
suspend him from the ministeriall function. And providing he acknowledge
this Assembly, reverence the constitutions of it, and obey the sentence,
and make his repentance conforme to the order prescribed by this Assembly,
will admit him to the ministerie of a particular flok: and likewise, in
case he acknowledge not this Assembly, reverence not the constitutions of
it, and make his repentance conforme to the order prescribed by this
Assembly, ordains him to be excommunicate, and declared to be one of these
whom Christ commandeth to be holden by all and everyone of the faithfull
as an Ethnick and Publicane: and the sentence of excommunication to be
pronounced upon his refusall in the Kirks appointed, by one of these who
are particularly named to have this charge of trying his repentance or
impenitencie, and that the execution of this sentence be intimat in all
the Kirks within this Realme, by the Pastours of every particular
Congregation, as they will be answerable to their Presbyteries and Synods,
or the next generall Assembly, in case of the negligence of Presbyteries
and Synods.



Act of the Assembly at _Glasgow_, Sess. 16. December 8. 1638.



_Declaring Episcopacie to have been abjured by the Confession of Faith_,
1580. _And to be removed out of this Kirk._


The Assembly taking to their most grave and serious consideration, first
the unspeakable goodnesse, and great mercy of God, manifested to this
Nation, in that so necessarie, so difficult, and so excelent and divine
work of reformation, which was at last brought to such perfection, that
this Kirk was reformed, not only in doctrine and worship, but also after
many conferences and publick reasonings in divers nationall Assemblies,
joyned with solemne humiliations and prayers to God, the discipline and
government of the Kirk, as the hedge and guard of the doctrine and
worship, was prescribed according to the rule of Gods word, in the book of
Policie and Discipline, agreed upon in the Assembly 1578. and insert in
the register 1581. established by the Acts of Assemblies, by the
confession of Faith, sworn and subscribed, at the direction of the
Assembly, and by continuall practise of this Kirk: Secondly, that by mens
seeking their own things: and not the things of Jesus Christ; divers
novations have been introduced to the great disturbance of this Kirk, so
firmly once compacted, and to the endangering of Religion, and many grosse
evils obtruded, to the utter undoing of the work of reformation, and
change of the whole forme of worship and face of this Kirk; Thirdly, that
all his Majesties Subjects both Ecclesiasticall and civil, being without
consent of the Kirk, commanded to receive with reverence a new book of
common prayer, as the only forme to be used in Gods publick worship, and
the contraveeners to be condignely censured, and punished, and after many
supplications and complaints, knowing no other way for the preservation of
Religion; were moved by God, and drawn by necessitie, to renew the
nationall _Covenant_ of this Kirk, and Kingdome, which the Lord since hath
blessed from heaven, and to subscribe the _Confession of Faith_, with an
application thereof, abjuring the great evils wherewith they were now
pressed, and suspending the practise of all novations formerly introduced,
till they should bee tryed in a free generall Assembly, Lastly, that some
of his Majesties Subjects of sundrie ranks, have by his Majesties
commandement subscribed and renewed the confession of Faith, without the
former application, and that both the one and the other subscribers have
subscribed the said Confession of Faith in this year, as it was professed
and according to the meaning that it had in this Kingdome, when it was
first subscribed 1581. and afterward the Assembly therefore, both by the
subscription of his Majesties high _Commissioner_, and of the Lords of
secret Councel, Septem. 22. 1638. And by the acts of Councel, of the date
foresaid, bearing that they subscribed the said Confession, and ordaining
all his Majesties Liedges to subscribe the same, according to the foresaid
date and tennour, and as it was then professed within this Kingdome, as
likewise by the Protestation of some of the Senatours of the Colledge of
justice, when they were required to subscribe, and by the many doubtings
of his Majesties good Subjects, especially because the subscribers of the
Confession in _February_ 1635. are bound to suspend the approbation of the
corruptions of the government of the Kirk, till they be tryed in a free
generall Assembly; finding it proper for them, and most necessary and
incumbent to them, to give out the true meaning thereof as it was at first
professed. That all his Majesties Subjects in a matter so important; as is
the publik Confession of Faith, so solemnely sworn and subscribed, may be
of one minde, and one heart, and have full satisfaction to all their
doubts, and that the posteritie afterward may be fully perswaded of the
true meaning thereof, after earnest calling upon the name of God, so
religiously attested in the said Confession; have entered into a diligent
search of the registers of the Kirk, and books of the generall Assembly,
which the greatest part of the Assembly had not seen before; and which by
the speciall providence of God were preserved, brought to their hands, and
publicly acknowledged to bee authentick, and have found that in the latter
confession of the Kirk of _Scotland_: We profess, _that we deteste all
traditions brought into the Kirk without, or against the word of God, and
doctrine of this reformed Kirk_: Next, _we abhorre and deteste all
contrarie religion and doctrine_, but chiefly, _All kinds of papistry in
generall & particular heads, as they were then damned & confuted by the
word of God, and Kirk of_ Scotland, _when the said Confession was sworn
and subscribed_, An. 1580. _and_ 1581, 1590, _and_ 1591. Thirdly, _that we
deteste the Romane Antichrist, his worldly monarchie, and wicked
hierarchie_: Fourthly, _that we joyn our selves to this reformed Kirk in
doctrine, Faith, Religion, & discipline, promising and swearing by the
great name of_ GOD, _that we shall continue in the Doctrine and Discipline
of this Kirk, and defend the same according to our vocation and power all
the dayes of our life_.

But so it is that Episcopall government is abhorred and detested, and the
government by Ministers and Elders, in Assemblies generall and
provinciall, and Presbyteries was sworn to, and subscribed in subscribing
that Confession, and ought to be holden by us, if we adhere to the meaning
of the Kirk, when that Confession was framed, sworn to, and subscribed;
unto which we are obliged by the nationall oath and subscription of this
Kirk, as is evident by the acts of generall Assemblies, agreed upon both
before, at, and after the swearing and subscribing of the said Confession,
in the years above-mentioned, and the book of policie agreed upon in the
Assembly which was holden at _Edinburgh_ the twentie foure of _April_, and
twentie foure of _October_, _Anno_ 1578. Insert in the register of the
Kirk, by ordinance of the Assembly holden at _Glasgow_ 1581 and to be
subscribed by all Ministers, that then did bear, or thereafter were to
bear office in this Kirk, by ordinance of the Assembly holden the fourth
of _August_ at _Edinburgh_ 1590. And at _Edinburgh_ the second of _July_
1591. but specially in the 2. 3. 4. 6. 7. and 11, chapters of the said
book.

The Bishops being tollerat from the year 1572, till the Assembly holden in
_August_ 1575. And all this time the Assembly being wearied with
complaints made against them, did enter in search of the office it selfe,
and did agree in this that the name of a Bishop is common to every one of
them that hath a particular flock, over which he hath a particular charge,
as well to preach the word, as to minister the Sacraments.

At the next Assembly which was holden in _April_ 1576. Such Bishops were
censured as had not taken them to a particular flock. In the generall
Assembly conveened in _April_ the year of God 1578. Sess. 4. Intimation
was made as followeth.

_For so much as the heads of the policie being concluded and agreed upon
in the last Assembly, by the most part of the brethren: certain of the
brethren had some difficultie in the head_ de diaconatu, _whereupon
farther reasoning was reserved to this Assembly: It is therefore required,
if any of the brethren have any reasonable doubt or argument to propone,
that he be ready the morow, and then shall be heard and resolved_. In the
6. Sess. _April_ 26. According to the ordinance made the day before; all
persons that had any doubt or argument to propone, were required to
propone the same; but none offered to propone any argument on the
contrare.

In the Assembly holden at _Edinburgh_, in _October_ 1578. It was showen by
the Moderatour thereof to the noble-men, who were present, viz. _My Lord
Chancelour_, the Earle of _Montrose_, my Lord _Seaton_, and my Lord
_Lindsay_, _What care and study the Assembly had taken to entertain and
keep the puritie of the sincere word of God, unmixed with the inventions
of their own heads, and to preserve it to the posteritie hereafter, and
seeing that the true Religion is not able to continue nor endure long
without a good __ Discipline and policie, in that part also have they
imployed their wit and studie, and drawen forth out of the pure fountain
of Gods word, to bee a Discipline as is meet to remain in the Kirk_.

In the same Assembly, the speciall corruptions were set down, which they
craved such of the Bishops as would submit themselves to the Assembly to
remove, with promise, that if the generall Assembly, hereafter shall finde
further corruptions in the said estate, then hitherto are expressed that
they be content to be reformed by the said Assembly according to the word
of God, when they shall be required thereto. First, _That they be content
to bee Pastours and Ministers of one flock: That they usurpe no criminall
jurisdiction, that they vote not in Parliament in name of the Kirk,
without Commission from the Kirk: That they take not up for the
maintenance of their ambition and rictousnesse, the emoluments of the
Kirk, which may sustain many Pastours, the Schools, and the poore; but be
content with reasonable livings according to their office: That they
claime not to themselves the titles of Lords temporall, neither usurpe
temporall jurisdictions, whereby they are abstracted from their office:
That they empyre not above the particular Elderships, but be subject to
the same: That they usurpe not the power of the Presbyteries._

The question being proponed by the Synod at _Loutbian_ in the Assembly
holden in _July_ 1579. anent a generall order to be taken for erecting of
Presbyteries in places where publick exercise is used, untill the time the
policie of the Kirk be established by a law: It is answered, _The exercise
may be judged to be a Presbyterie._ In the Assembly holden at _Dundie_ in
_July_ 1580. Sess. 4, The office of a Bishop was abolished by a particular
act; as appeareth by the tennour of the act following.


    _For so much as the office of a Bishop, as it is now used and
    commonly taken withen this Realme, hath no sure warrand
    authoritie, nor good ground in the Scriptures, but is brought in
    by the foly and corruption of mans inventions, to the great
    overthrow of the Kirk of God, the whole Assembly of the Kirk in
    one voice after libertie given to all men to reason in the matter,
    none opponing himself in defending the said pretended office,
    findeth and declareth the said pretended office, used and termed,
    as is above said, unlawfull in the selfe, as having neither
    foundament, ground, nor warrand in the word of God, and ordaineth
    that all such persons, __ as brook or shall brook hereafter the
    said office, shall be charged simply to dimit, quite, and leave
    off the same, as an office whereunto they are not called of God:
    and suchlike, to desist and cease from all preaching, ministration
    of the Sacraments, or using any way the office of pastours, while
    they receive_ de novo, _admission from the generall Assembly,
    under the pain of excommunication to be used against them, wherein
    if they be found disobedient, or contradict this act in any point,
    the sentence of excommunication, after due admonition, to be
    execute against them._


In the same Assembly holden _Anno_ 1580. Sess. 10. This article was
appointed to be proponed to the King and Councel, that the book of policie
might be established by an act of privie Councel, _while a Parliament be
holden, at which it might be confirmed by a law_.

The extent of the act made at _Dundie_, was interpreted and explained in
the Assembly, holden at _Glasgow_, in _April_, 1581. Sess. 6. as
followeth.


    _Anent the Act made in the Assembly holden at_ Dundie _against
    Bishops, because some difficultie appeareth to some brethren to
    arise out of the word_ (office) _contained in the said act, what
    should be meaned thereby, The Assembly consisting for the most
    part of such as voted, and were present in the Assembly at_
    Dundie, _to take away the said difficultie, resolving upon the
    true meaning and understanding of the said act, declare that they
    meaned wholly to condemne the whole estate of Bishops, as they are
    now in_ Scotland, _and that the same was the determination and
    conclusion of the Assembly at this time, because some brethren
    doubted, whether the former act was to be understood of the_
    spiritual function _only, and others alledged, that the_ whole
    office of a Bishop _as it was used, was damnable, and that by the
    said act, the Bishops should be charged to dimit the same: This
    Assembly declareth that they meaned wholly to condemne the whole
    estate of Bishops, as they were then in_ Scotland, _and that this
    was the meaning of the Assembly, at that time_.


The Kings _Commissioner_ presented to this Assembly the Confession of
Faith, subscribed by the King, and his houshold, not long before, together
with a plot of the Presbyteries to be erected, which is registrate in the
books of the Assembly, with a letter to be directed from his Majestie to
the noble-men and gentle-men of the Countrey, for the erection of
Presbyteries, consisting of Pastours, and Elders, and dissolution of
Prelacies, and with an offer to set forward the Policie untill it were
established by Parliament. The Kings letter subscribed by his hand, to the
Noble-men, and Gentle-men, was read in open audience of the whole
Assembly.

This Assembly ordained the book of Policie to be insert in the register by
the act following.


    _For as much as travels have been taken in the framing of the
    Policie of the Kirk, and diverse suits have been made to the
    Magistrat for approbation thereof, which yet have not taken the
    happie effect, which good men would wish, yet that the posteritie
    may judge well of the present age; and of the meaning of the Kirk;
    The Assembly hath concluded, that the book of Policie agreed to in
    diverse Assemblies before, should be registrat in the acts of the
    Kirk, and remaine therein_ ad perpetuam rei memoriam: _and the
    coppies thereof to be taken to every Presbyterie: of which book
    the tennour followeth, &c._


Immediatly after the inserting of the book of Policie, called there the
book of Discipline, the Assembly ordained that the confession of Faith be
subscribed as followeth.


    _Anent the confession of Faith lately set forth by the Kings
    Majestie, and subscribed by his highnesse. The Assembly in one
    voice, acknowledgeth the said Confession to be a true, Christian,
    and faithful confession, to be eagreed unto by such as truly
    professe Christ, and have a care of Religion, and the tennour
    thereof to be followed out efoldly as the samine is laid out in
    the said Proclamation_, wherein that Discipline is sworn to.


In the general Assembly holden at _Edinburgh_ in _October_ 1581. Sess. 10.
Mr. _Robert Montgomery_ is accused for teaching that Discipline is a thing
indifferent. Sess. 23. The Assembly gave commission to the Presbyterie of
_Stirling_, to charge Mr. _Robert Montgomerie_, to continue in the
ministerie of _Stirling_, and not to medle with any other office or
function of the Kirk, namely in aspyring to the Bishoprick of _Glasgow_,
against the word of God, and acts of the Kirk, under the pain of
excommunication.

In the same Assembly it is acknowledged that the estate of Bishops is
condemned by the Kirk, a commission for erection of moe Presbyteries was
renewed: and a new ordinance made for subscribing the confession of Faith,
and to proceed against whatsoever persons that would not acknowledge and
subscribe the same.

In the Assembly holden in _April_ 1582. there was a new commission for
erection of Presbyteries, where none was as yet erected, Mr. _Robert
Montgomerie_, pretending to be Bishop of _Glasgow_, was ordained to be
deposed and excommunicat, except hee gave evident tokens of repentance,
and promise to superseed, which he did not: and therefore he was
excommunicat shortly after, according to the ordinance of this Assembly.

In the generall Assembly holden at _Edinburgh_, 1582. The generall
Assembly gave commission to some Presbyteries, to try and censure such as
were called Bishops, for the great slander arising by their impunitie.
Commission was given at this Assembly to present some articles to the
Councel and Estates, for approving and establishing by their authoritie
the Presbyteries, the Synodall, and generall Assemblies. In the 19. Sess.
The Assembly declared, that no Bishop may sit upon the Councell in name of
the Kirk.

In the Assembly holden _Anno_ 1586. These two articles were agreed upon.
First _It is found that all such as the Scripture appointeth governours of
the Kirk, to wit Pastours, Doctours, and Elders, may conveen to the
generall Assemblies, and vote in Ecclesiasticall matters._ Secondly:
_There are foure office bearers set down to us by the Scriptures, to wit
Pastours, Doctours, Elders, and Deacons, and the name of Bishop ought not
to be taken as it hath been in time of Papistrie, but is common to all
Pastours, and Ministers._

In the Assembly holden _Anno_ 1587. Sess. 8. It was ordained that the
admission of Mr. _Robert Montgomerie_ by the Presbyterie of _Glasgow_,
suppose to the temporalitie of the Bishoprick only, be undone and annulled
with all possible diligence, to the effect slander might be removed from
the Kirk. In Sess. 15. Mr. _Robert Pont_ shewed the Kings presentation to
the Bishoprick of _Cathnes_, & desidered the judgement of the Assembly.
The Assembly in their letter to the Kings Majestie, declared that they
judged the said _Mr. Robert_ to be a Bishop already according to the
Doctrine of St. _Paul_: But as to that corrupt estate or office, of these
who have been termed Bishops heretofore, they found it not agreable to the
word of God, and that it hath been damned in diverse Assemblies before.

In the instructions given to such as were appointed to wait upon the
Parliament, it was ordained in the same Assembly Sess. 17. That they be
careful that nothing be admitted prejudicial to the liberties of this
Kirk, as it was concluded according to the word of God in the general
Assemblies, preceeding the year 1584. but precisely to seek the same to be
ratified in the Assembly holden in _March_ 1589. where the articles were
made for subscribing the confession of Faith with the generall band, it
was ordained as followeth.


    _For so much as the neighbour Kirk in_ England, _is understood to
    bee heavily troubled, for maintaining of the true Discipline and
    government: whose grieves ought to move us. Therefore the
    Presbytery of_ Edinburgh _was ordained to comfort the said Kirk in
    the said matter._


In the Assembly holden 1590. when the confession of Faith was subscribed
universally _de novo_, a ratification of the liberties of the Kirk, in her
jurisdiction, discipline, Presbyteries, Synods, and generall Assemblies,
and an abrogation of all things contrarie thereunto; was ordained to be
sought both of the Councel and Parliament. In the next Session it was
ordained that the book of Discipline, specially the controverted heads,
should be subscribed by all Ministers that bear, or hereafter was to bear
office in this Kirk, and that they be charged by the Presbyteries, under
the pain of excommunication: Seeing the word of God cannot bee keeped in
sincerity, unlesse the holy Discipline be preserved. The Presbyteries were
ordained to get a coppie under the Clerks hand; there were sundrie coppies
subscribed by the Ministers in the Presbyteries yet extant, as
_Hadingtoun_, _Dumfermling_, &c. produced before the Assembly.

In the Assembly 1591. Sess. 4. The former act anent the subscription to
the book of _Policie_ is renewed, and a penaltie imposed upon the
Moderatour, in case it be not put in execution.

In the Assembly _22. May 1592._ Sess. 2. These articles were drawn up.
_That the acts of Parliament made 1584. against the Discipline, libertie
and authoritie of the Kirk be annulled, and the samine discipline, whereof
the Kirk hath been in practise, precisely ratified. That Abbots, Priors,
and other Prelats pretending the title of the Kirk, be not suffered in
time coming._ In the 11. Session the number of the Presbyteries were given
up, and insert in the Parliament immediatly following. The fifth of _June_
1592. The libertie, discipline, and jurisdiction of the true Kirk, in her
Sessions, Presbyteries, Synodal and general Assemblies, is largely
ratified, as the samine was used, and exercised within this Realme, and
all the acts contrary thereto abrogat: The Kings prerogative declared not
to be prejudicial to the same priviledges grounded upon the word of God,
the former commissions to Bishops 1584. rescinded, and all Ecclesiastical
matters, subjected to Presbyteries, according to the discipline of this
Kirk. _Anno_ 1595. The book of Policie with other acts is ratified and
ordained to be printed.

It was also cleared that Episcopacie was condemned in these words of the
Confession, HIS WICKED HEIRARCHIE. For the Popish _Hierarchie_ doth
consist of Bishops, Presbyters, and Deacons, that is baptizing and
preaching Deacons: For so it is determined in the councel of _Trent_, in
the 4. chap. _De Sacramento ordinis, can. 6_.

(M1) _Si quis dixerît in ecclesia Catholica non esse heirarchiam divina
ordinatione institutam, quæ constat ex Episcopis. Presbyteris & ministris,
anathema sit._ _Bellarmine_ likewise in his book _De Clericis._ _cap._ 11.
saith, _That there are three Hierarchies in the militant Kirk: The first
of Bishops, the second of Priests, the third of Deacons, and that the
Deacons are also Princes, if they be compared with the people:_ This
proposition following; _Hierarchia ecclesiastica constat ex Pontifice,
Cardinalibus, Archiepiscopis, Episcopis & Regularibus_, was censured by
the Facultie of Theologie in the Universitie at _Paris_, as followeth,
_Inicta prima propositione enumeratio membrorum hierarchiæ ecclesiasticæ
sen sacri principatus, divina ordinatione instituti est manca & redundaus
atque, inducens in errorem contrarium determinationi sacræ Sinodi
Tridentinæ_: The proposition was defective, because it pretermitted the
Presbyters and Deacons; it was censured as redundant, because it made the
_Hierarchie_ to consist of the _Pope_, _Cardinals_, _Archbishops_, and
_Regulars_; the _Pope_ is not within the _Hierarchie of Primats_,
_Metropolitanes_, and _Archbishops_, but as they are Bishops. Furthermore,
this _Hierarchie_ is distinguished in the confession from the _Popes
monarchie_. And howbeit this _Hierarchie_ be called the _Antichrists
Hierarchie_, yet it is not to distinguish betwixt the _Hierarchie_ in the
Popish Kirk, and any other as lawful: But the _Hierarchie_, wheresoever it
is, is called his, as the rest of the Popish corruptions are called his:
To wit, _Invocation of Saints_, _canonisation of Saints_, _dedication of
Altars_, &c. are called his, not that there is another lawfull
canonization, invocation, or dedication of altars: whatsoever corruption
was in the Kirk, either in doctrine, worship, or government since the
ministry of iniquitie began to work, and is retained, and maintained, by
the _Pope_, and obtruded upon the Kirk by his authority, are his. A
passage also out of the history of the councell of _Trent_ was alledged,
where it is related, that the Councell would not define the _Hierarchie_
by the _seven orders_: we have in our confession of Faith the _manifold
orders_ set apart and distinguished from the _Hierarchie_, but as it is
set down in the cannon above cited: We have in the book of Policie or
second booke of Discipline, in the end of the second chapter, this
conclusion agreed upon. _Therefore all the ambitious titles invented in
the kingdome of Antichrist, and in his usurped HIERARCHIE which are not of
one of these four sorts, To wit, Pastours, Doctours, Elders, and Deacons,
together with offices depending thereupon, in one word ought to be
rejected._

All which and many other warrands being publickly read, and particularly
at great length examined, and all objections answered in face of the
Assembly, all the members of the Assembly being many times desired and
required to propone their doubts, and scruples, and every one being heard
to the full, and after much agitation as fully satisfied; the Moderatour
at last exhorting every one to declare his minde, did put the matter to
voicing in these termes: _Whether according to the confession of faith, as
it was professed in the year_ 1580. 1581. and 1590. _There be any other
Bishop, but a Pastour of a particular flock, having no preheminence nor
power over his brethren, and whether by that Confession, as it was then
professed, all other episcopacie is abjured, and ought to bee removed out
of this Kirk._ The whole Assembly most unanimously, without contradiction
of any one (and with the hesitation of one allanerly) professing full
perswasion of minde, did voice, _that all Episcopacie different from that
of a Pastour over, a particular flock, was abjured in this Kirk, and to be
removed out of it_. And therefore Prohibites underr ecclesiasticall
censure any to usurpe accept, defend, or obey the pretended authoritie
thereof in time coming.



Act. Sess. 17. December 10. 1638.



_The Assembly at_ Glasgow, _declaring the five Articles of_ Perth _to have
been abjured and to bee removed._


The Assembly remembring the uniformity of worship which was in this Kirk,
before the articles of _Perth_, the great rent which entered at that time,
and hath continued since, with the lamentable effects, that it hath
produced both against Pastours, and professours, the unlawfulnesse and
nullitie of _Perth_ Assembly already declared by this Assembly, and that
in the necessarie renewing of the confession of Faith in _February_ 1638.
the practice of novations introduced in the worship of God, was suspended,
till they should be determined in a free generall Assembly: and that in
the same year at his Majesties command some had subscribed the confession
of Faith, as it was professed when it was first subscribed: For these
causes the Assembly entered into a diligent tryall of the foresaid
articles, whether they be constant to the confession of Faith, as it was
meaned and professed in the year 1580. 1581. 1590. and 1591. And findeth
that first in generall: In the confession of Faith we professe, _We
willingly agree in our consciences to the forme of Religion, of a long
time openly professed by the Kings Majestie, and Whole body of this Realme
in all points, as unto Gods undoubted truth and verity, grounded only upon
his written word, and therefore abhor and deteste all contrary Religion
and Doctrine, but chiefly, all kinde of papistrie in generall and
partrcular heads, even as they were then damned and confuted by the Word
of God and Kirk of_ Scotland, _and in speciall the Romane Antichrist his
five bastard sacraments, with all rites, ceremonies and false doctrine,
added to the ministration of the true Sacraments, without the word of God,
his cruell judgement against Infants departing without the Sacrament, his
absolute necessitie of baptisme, and finally, we deteste all his vain
allegories, rites, signes, and traditions brought into the Kirk without,
or against the word of God, and doctrine of this true reformed Kirk, to
the which we joyne our selves willingly in Doctrine, Faith, Religion,
Discipline, and use of the holy Sacraments, as lively members of the same
in Christ our Head; promising and swearing, &c._ And that these five
articles are contrarie to the Religion then professed, were confuted by
the word of God, and Kirk of _Scotland_, or are rites, and ceremonies,
added to the ministration, of the true Sacraments, without the word God,
or nourish the popish judgement against Infants departing without the
Sacrament, or absolute necessitie, of Baptisme or rites, signes, and
traditions brought in to the Kirk, with out or against the word of God,
and doctrine of this true reformed Kirk.

And next in particular, concerning festivall dayes, findeth, that in the
explication of the first head, of the first book of Discipline, it was
thought good that the feasts of _Christmas_, _Circumcision_, _Epiphanie_,
with the feasts of the Apostles, Martyres, and Virgine _Mary_, bee utterly
abolished, because they are neither commanded nor warranded by Scripture,
and that such as observe them be punished by civill Magistrats. Here utter
abolition is craved, and not reformation of abuses only, and that because
the observation of such feasts hath no warrand from the word of God. In
the generall Assembly holden at _Edinburgh_ _Anno_ 1556. the large
confession of _Helvetia_ was approved, but with speciall exception against
the same five dayes, which are now urged upon us. It was not then the
Popish observation only, with the Popish opinion of worship and merit,
which was disallowed; (for so the reformed Kirk in _Helvetia_ did not
observe them) but _simpliciter_ all observation. For this end was read a
letter in Latine, sent at that time by some of our divines to certaine
divines in these parts to this purpose. In the Assembly holden 1575. in
_August_, complaint was made against the Ministers and Readers beside
_Aberdene_; because they assembled the people to preaching and prayers
upon certane festival dayes: So that preaching and prayers upon festival
dayes was judged rebukable. It was ordained likewise, that complaint be
made to the Regent, upon the town of _Drumfreis_, for urging and convoying
a Reader to the Kirk with Tabret and Whistle, to read Prayers, all the
holy dayes of _Christmas_, upon the refusal of their own Reader. Among the
articles directed by this Assembly to the Regent: It was craved that all
holy dayes hereto-fore keeped holy, beside the Lords day, such a
_Yooleday_, and Saints dayes, and such others may bee abolished, and a
certain penaltie appointed for banqueting, playing, feasting upon these
dayes. In the Assembly holden in _April_, _Anno_ 1577. It was ordained
that the visitors with the advice of the Synodal Assembly, should admonish
Ministers, preaching or ministrating the Communion at _Easter_, or
_Christmas_, or other like superstitious times, or Readers reading, to
desist, under the paine of deprivation. In the ninth head of the first
book of Discipline, the reason is set down against _Easter_ Communion.
_Your honours are not ignorant how superstitiously the people run to that
action at Pascheven; as if the time gave vertue to the Sacrament, and how
the rest of the whole year, they are carelesse and negligent, as if it
appartained not to them, but at that time only. And for this reason, other
times were appointed by that book, for that holy action._ In the Assembly
holden 1596. begun in _March_ 1595. at which time the _Covenant_ was
renewed, superstition and idolatrie breaking forth in observing festival
dayes; setting out of bone-fires, singing Carols, are reakoned amongst the
corruptions which were to be amended: And the Pulpits did sound from time
to time, against all shew of observing any festival day whatsoever, except
the Lords day.

Concerning kneeling at the Communion, findeth that in the confession of
Faith prefixed before the Psalmes, and approved by our Kirk in the very
beginning of the reformation, we have these words, _Neither in the
ministration of the Sacraments, must we follow men: but as Christ himself
hath ordained, so must they be ministred._ In the large confession of
Faith chap. 23. It is required as necessary, for the right ministration of
the Sacraments, that they bee ministred in such elements, and in such
sort, as God hath appointed, and that men have adulterate the Sacraments
with their own inventions: So that no part of Christs action abideth in
the originall puritie. The judgement of our reformers, who drew up the
large Confession, was by cleare evidents shewed to be contrary to this
gesture in the act of receiving the Sacrament. In the order of celebrating
the Lords Supper, prefixed before the Psalmes in meeter, _sitting and
distributing by the Communicants_, are joined: as likewise by the second
head of the first book of Discipline, as nearest to Christs own action,
and to his perfect practise, and most convenient to that holy action, and
all inventions devised by man are condemned, as alterations and
accusations of Christs perfect ordinance: Ministers were enjoyned by act
of Assembly in _December 1562._ To observe the order of _Geneva_: that is
the English Kirk at _Geneva_: where Master _Knox_ had been sometime
Minister, in the ministration of the Sacraments. This act was renewed in
the Assembly holden in _December 1564._ where Ministers are referred to
the order set down before the Psalmes, for ministration of the Sacraments;
which is all one with the former: for that was the order of the English
Kirk at _Geneva_.

In the Parliament holden _Anno_ 1567. It was declared that whosoever did
not participate of the Sacraments, as they were then publickly administrat
in this reformed Kirk ought not to be reputed members of this Kirk. The
act for the Kings oath at his coronation, to maintain the due
administration of the Sacraments, as they were then ministred, _Anno_
1567. Was ratified _Anno_ 1581. At which time the short Confession,
adhering to the use of the Sacraments, in the Kirk of _Scotland_, was
subscribed: as also _Anno_ 1592. after the second Subscription to the
confession of Faith. In the Parliament 1572. an act was made against such
as did not participat of the Sacraments as they were then rightly
ministered: But the gesture of kneeling, in the act of receiving, putteth
the ministration of the Sacraments used in this Kirk out of frame: whereby
it is clear that whatsoever gesture or rite, cannot stand with the
administration of the Sacraments as they were then ministred and were
ministred ever since the reformation, till the year 1618. must bee
condemned by our Kirk as a rite added to the true ministration of the
Sacraments without the word of God, and as rite or tradition brought in
without, or against the word of God, or doctrine of this reformed Kirk.

III. Concerning _Confirmation_; The Assembly findeth it to be comprehended
in the clause of the Confession, where the _five bastard Sacraments_ are
condemned. And seeing _Episcopacie_ is condemned, _imposition of hands_ by
Bishops falleth to the ground. And in all the acts for catechising or
examination before admission to the communion, no inkling of _imposition
of hands_.

IIII. Concerning the administration of the Sacraments _in private places_,
or private baptisme, and communion; findeth that in the book of common
order, set down before the Psalmes, it is said, _That the Sacraments art
not ordained of God to be used in private corners, as charmers and
sorcerers use to doe, but left to the Congregation._ In the Assembly
holden at _Edinburgh_ in _October Anno 1581._ the same year and Assembly,
that the confession of Faith was subscribed: It was ordained, _that the
Sacraments be not administred in private houses, but solemnly according to
good order hither to observed_. The Minister of _Tranent_ was suspended at
that time, for baptizing an infant in a private house: but confessing his
offence, he was ordained to make his publick repentance in the Kirk of
_Tranent_, before he be released. Another Minister was to be tried, and
censured, for baptizing privately, and celebrating the Communion upon
_Pasch-day_, at the Assembly holden in _October __ 1580._ Which acts and
censures make manifest, that our Kirk abhorred whatsoever fostered the
opinion of the necessitie of Baptisme, and giving of the Sacrament, as a
_viaticum_.

All which, and many other acts, grounds, and reasons, being at length
agitated, and with mature deliberation pondered, and libertie granted to
every man to speak his minde; what could be said further, for the full
satisfaction of all men.

The matter was put to voicing, in these words: _Whether the five articles
of_ Perth, _by the confession of Faith, as it was meaned and professed in
the year 1580. 1581. 1590. 1591. ought to be removed out of this Kirk:_
The whole Assembly all in one consent, one onely excepted, did voice that
the five articles above specified were abjured by this Kirk, in that
Confession, and so ought to be removed out of it: And therefore
prohibiteth and dischargeth all disputing for them, or observing of them,
or any of them, in all time comming, and ordains Presbyteries to proceed
with the censures of the Kirk against all transgressours.



Act. Sess. 21. December 17. 1638.


Concerning _Kirk Sessions, provinciall_ and _nationall Assemblies_, the
generall Assembly considering the great defection of this Kirk, and decay
of Religion, by the usurpation of the Prelates, and their suppressing of
ordinaire judicatories of the Kirk, and clearly preceiving the benefit
which will redound to the Religion by the restitution of the said
judicatories, remembring also that they stand obliged by their solemne
oath, and covenant with God, to return to the doctrine and discipline of
this Kirk; as it was profest 1580, 1581, 1590, 1591. which in the book of
Policie, registrat in the books of the Assembly 1581. and ordained to be
subscribed, 1590, 1591. is particularly exprest both touching the
constitution of the Assemblies, of their members, Ministers, and Elders,
and touching the number, power, and authority of these members, in all
matters ecclesiastical.

The Assembly findeth it necessar to restore, and by these presents
restoreth all these Assemblies unto their full integritie in their
members, priviledges, liberties, powers, and jurisdictions; as they were
constitute by the foresaid book of Policie.



Act. Sess. 23, 24. December 17. 18.


Anent the report of the Committie, appointed for considering what
constitutions were to be revived, or made of new, they proponed the
overtures following: which were read and allowed by the whole Assembly, or
by them referred to the consideration of the severall Presbyteries.

Anent _Presbyteries_ which have been erected since the year 1586. It
seemeth needfull, that they bee ratified by an act of this generall
Assembly, and that other Presbyteries shall be erected, where they shall
be found needfull, and especially now in the Synod of _Lismore_, according
to the particular note given there anent.

The Assembly ratifieth these Presbyteries since 1486. and erected those in
_Lismore_, conforme to the note registrat in the books of Assembly.

Anent the keeping of _Presbyteriall meetings_; It is thought fit that they
be weekly, both in Sommer and Winter, except in places farre distant, who
during the winter season, (that is between the first of _October_ and the
first of _April_) shall be dispensed with for meeting once in the fourteen
dayes, and that all absents be censured, especially those who should
_exercise_ and _adde_, according to the Act of Assembly 1582. at St.
_Andrews_, _April 24. Sess. 12._ and that some controverted head of
doctrine bee handled in the presbyterie publikly, and disputed among the
brethren, every first Presbyterie of the Moneth, according to the act of
Assembly holden at _Dundie_ 1598. Sess. 12.

_The Assembly alloweth this Article._

Anent the _visitation of particular Kirks_ within Presbyteries; It is
thought expedient that it be once every year, wherein a care is to be had,
among other things necessary, that it bee tryed, how domestick exercises
of Religion be exercised in particular families, and to see what means
there is in every Parish in Landward, for catechising and instructing the
youth.

_The Assembly alloweth this article._

IV. Anent the _visitation of Kirks, Schooles, and Colledges_: It is
thought meet that the acts of Assembly holden at _Edinburgh_ the 25. of
_Junie_ 1565. Sess. 2. be put in execution: that the Ministers of the
parochin, the Principall, _Regents_, and _professours_ within Colledges,
and _Masters_, and Doctors of Schooles, be tryed concerning the soundnesse
of their judgement in matters of Religion, their abilitie, for discharge
of their calling, and the honesty of their conversation: as the act of
Assembly at _Edinburgh_, _Juni 21. 1567._ Sess. 3. And the act of the
Assembly holden at _Montrose_. 1595. Sess. 9. do import: and this
visitation of Colledges to be by way of commission from the generall
Assembly.

_The generall Assembly alloweth this article._

V. Anent _none residents_: It is thought necessary, that every Minister be
oblished to reside in his own Parochin at his ordinarie Manse, for the
better attending of the duties of his calling, conforme to the Acts of
Assemblies, viz. act of Assembly at _Edinburgh_, _March 24. 1595._ Sess.
7. as also act at _Edinburgh_, _December 25. 1563._ Sess. 5. and Assembly
at _Edinburgh_, _December 25. 1565._ Sess. 4. Assembly at _Edinburgh_,
_March 6. 1572._ Sess. 3.

_The Assembly alloweth this article._

VI. Anent the _planting of Schools in Landward_, the want whereof doth
greatly prejudge the grouth of the Gospel and procure the decay of
Religion: The Assembly giveth direction to several Presbyteries for the
setling of Schooles in every Landward Parochin, and providing of men able
for the charge of teaching of the youth, publick reading and precenting of
the Psalme, and the catechising of the common people, and that means be
provided for their intertainment, in the most convenient manner that may
be had, according to the abilitie of the Parochin.

_The Assembly alloweth; and referreth the particular course unto the
severall Presbyteries._

VII. Anent the late _admission of Ministers by Presbyteries_, and the
_choise of Moderatours_, according to the ancient power of the said
Presbyteries: The Assembly declareth they had power to doe the same, and
ratifieth that what hath been done of late of that kinde upon warrantable
grounds, that here after it be not called in question.

_The Assembly alloweth this article._

VIII. Anent the _competencie of Presbyteries and parochins_, that some
proportion may be keeped, both anent the number and distance of place: It
would seem expedient that this generall Assembly should appoint a
Commission for every Shyre, where there is such necessitie, that the
particular Parochins and Presbyteries within the bounds be duely
considered, and overtures be these of the same commission given in to the
provinciall Synods, and by them to the generall Assembly, that there they
may be advised, and ratified.

_The Assembly referreth this to the care of the particular presbyteries._

IX. Anent the _entrie and conversation of Ministers_: It is expedient that
the act of Assembly holden at _Edinburgh_, _March 24. 1595._ Sess. 7. be
ratified, and put in execution in every Presbyterie, and to that end, that
they get a coppie thereof, under the Clerks hand whereof the tennour
followeth.

Act Sess. 7. March 26. of the Assembly at _Edinburgh_ 1596.

“_Concerning the_ defections in the ministerie, _the same being at length
read out, reasoned, and considered; The brethren concluded the same,
agreeing there-with: and in respect that by Gods grace, they intend
reformation, and to see the Kirk and ministery purged; to the effect the
worke may have better successe, they think it necessar that this Assembly
be humbled, for wanting such care as became in such points, as is set
down; and __ some zealous and godly brethren in doctrine, lay them out for
their better humiliation; and that they make solemne promise before the
Majestie of God; and make new covenant with him for a more carefull and
reverent discharge of their ministerie. To the which effect was chosen_
Mr. John Davidson; _and Twesday next at nine houres in the morning
appointed, in the new Kirk, for that effect: whereunto none is to resort,
but the ministrie: the forme to bee advised the morne in privie
conference._”

The tennour of the advise of the brethren; depute for penning the
enormities and corruptions in the ministerie, and remead thereof, allowed
by the generall Assembly here conveened. 1596.

_Corruptions in the office._


    “_For as much as by the too sudden admission and light tryall of
    persons to the ministrie, cometh to passe that many scandals fall
    out in the persons of ministers: it would be ordained in time
    comming, that more diligent inquisition and triall be used of all
    such persons as shall enter into the ministrie._

    “_As specially these points. That the intrant shall be posed upon
    his conscience, before the great God, (and that in most grave
    manner) what moveth him to accept the office and charge of the
    ministrie upon him._

    “_That it be inquired, if any by solistation, or moyen, directly
    or indirectly, prease to enter in the said office: And, if it bee
    found, that the solister be repelled; and that the Presbyterie
    repell all such of their number from voting in the election or
    admission as shall bee found moyeners for the soliciter, and posed
    upon their conscience to declare the truth to that effect._

    “_Thirdly, because by presentations, many forcibly are thrust into
    the ministery, and upon Congregations, that utter thereafter that
    they were not called by God: It would bee provided that none seeke
    presentations to Benefices without advice of the Presbyterie
    within the bounds whereof the benefice is, and if any doe in the
    contrarie, they to be repelled as_ rei ambitus.

    “_That the triall of persons to be admitted to the ministrie
    hereafter, consist not only in their learning and abilitie to
    preach, but also in conscience, and feeling, and spiritual
    wisedome, and namely in the knowledge of the bounds of their
    calling in doctrine, __ discipline, and wisedome, to behave
    himselfe accordingly with the diverse ranks of persons within his
    flock, as namely with Atheists, rebellious, weak consciences, and
    such other, wherein the pastoral charge is most suited, and that
    he be meet to stop the mouthes of the adversaries; and such as are
    not qualified in these points to be delayed to further tryal; and
    while they be found qualified. And because men may be found meet
    for some places who are not meet for other, it would be
    considered, that the principall places of the Realme be provided
    by men of most worthie gifts, wisedome and experience, and that
    none take the charge of greater number of people nor they are able
    to discharge: And the Assembly to take order herewith, and the act
    of the provinciall of Louthain, made at_ Linlithgow, _to be
    urged._

    “_That such as shall bee found not given to their book and studie
    of Scriptures, not Carefull to have books, not given to
    sancification and prayer, that studie not to bee powerful and
    spiritual, not applying the doctrine to corruptions, which is the
    pastorall gift, obscure and too scholastick before the people,
    cold, and wanting of spiritual zeal, negligent in visiting of the
    sick, and caring for the poore; or indifferent in chosing of parts
    of the word not meetest for the flock, flatterers and dissembling
    at publick sins, and specially of great personages in their
    congregations, for flattery, or for fear, that all such persons
    bee censured, according to the degree of their faults, and
    continuing therein, bee deprived._

    “_That such as be slothfull in the ministration of the Sacraments
    and irreverent, as prophaners receiving the cleane and uncleane,
    ignorants and senselesse prophane, and making no conscience of
    their profession in their calling and families, omitting due
    tryall or using none, or light tryall, having respect in their
    tryall to persons, wherein there is manifest corruption; that all
    such bee sharply rebuked, and if they continue therein, that they
    be deposed._

    “_And if any be found a seller of the Sacraments, that hee bee
    deposed_ simpliciter: _and such as collude with slanderous persons
    in dispensing and over-seeing them for money, incurre the like
    punishment. That every Minister be charged to have a Session
    established of the meettest men in his Congregation, and that
    Discipline strike not only upon grosse sins, as whoredome,
    blood-shed, &c. but upon sins repugnant to the word of God, __ as
    blasphemie of God, banning, profaning of the Sabbath, disobedient
    to parents, idle, unruly ones without calling, drunkards, and such
    like deboshed men, as make not conscience of their life and ruling
    of their families, and specially of education of their children,
    lying, slandering, and backbiting and breaking of promises: and
    this to be an universal order throughout the Realme, &c. and such
    like as are negligent herein, and continue therein after
    admonition, be deposed._

    “_That none falling in publick slanders, be received in the
    fellowship of the Kirk, except his Minister have some appearance
    and warrand in conscience, that hee hath both a feeling of sin,
    and apprehension of mercie, and for this effect, that the Minister
    travell with him, by doctrine, and private instruction to bring
    him here-to, and specially in the doctrine of repentance, which
    being neglected, the publick place of repentance is turned in a
    mocking._

    “_Dilapidation of benefices, dimitting of them for favour, or
    money, that they become laick patronages, without advise of the
    Kirk, and such like interchanging of benefices, by transaction and
    transporting of themselves by that occasion, without the knowledge
    of the Kirk, precisely to be punished: Such like, that setting of
    acts without the consent of the Assembly, be punished according to
    the acts: and that the dimitters in favours for money, or
    otherwise to the effect above-writen: bee punished as the_
    dilapidators.”


Corruptions in their persons and lives.


    “_That such as are light and wanton in their behaviour, as in
    gorgeous and light apparell; in speech, in using light and
    prophane companie, unlawfull gaming, as dancing, carding, dycing
    and such like; not beseeming the gravitie of a Pastour, bee
    sharply and gravely reproved by the Presbyterie, according to the
    degree thereof: and continuing therein after due admonition, that
    hee bee depryved, as slanderous to the Gospel._

    “_That Ministers being found swearers, or banners, prophaners; of
    the Sabbath, drunkards, fighters, guiltie of all these or any of
    them, be deposed simpliciter; and suchlike, lyars, detracters,
    flatterers, breakers of promise, brawlers, and quarrellers, after
    admonition continuing therein, incurre the same punishment._

    “_That Ministers given to unlawful and incompetent trades and
    occupations for filthie gain, as holding of ostleries, taking of
    ocker beside conscience and good lawes, and bearing worldly
    offices in noblemen and gentlements houses, marchandise, and such
    like, buying of victuals, and keeping to the dearth, and all such
    worldly occupations, as may distract them from their charge, and
    may be slanderous to the pastorall calling, be admonished and
    brought to the acknowledging of their sins, and if they continue
    therein, to be deposed._

    “_That Ministers not resident at their flocks, be deposed
    according to the acts of the generall Assembly, and laws of the
    Realme: otherwise the burthren to be laid on the Presbyteries, and
    they to be censured therefore._

    “_That the Assembly command all their members, that none of them
    await on the court and afairs thereof without the advice and
    allowance of their Presbyterie. Item, that they intend no action
    civill without the said advice; except in small maters: and for
    remeding of the necessitie, that some Ministers hath to enter in
    plea of law, that remedie bee craved, that short processe bee
    devised, to bee used in Ministers actions._

    “_That Ministers take speciall care in using godly excercises in
    their families, in teaching of their wives, children, and
    servants, in using ordinarie prayers and reading of Scriptures, in
    removing of offensive persons out of their families, and such like
    other points of godly conversation, and good example, & that they
    at the visitation of their Kirks, try the Ministers families in
    these points foresaid, and such as are found negligent in these
    points, foresaid after due admonition, shall be adjudged unmeet to
    govern the house of God, according to the rule of the Apostle._

    “_That Ministers in all companies strive to bee spirituall and
    profitable, and to talke of things pertaining to godlinesse, as
    namely of such as may strengthen us in Christ, instruct us in our
    calling, of the means how to have Christs Kingdome better
    established in our Congregations, and to know how the Gospel
    flourisheth in our flocks, and such like others the hinderances,
    and the remeeds that we finde, &c. wherein there is manifold
    corruptions, both in our companying with our selves, and with
    others: and that the contraveeners thereof be tryed, and sharply
    be rebuked._

    “_That no Minister be found to contenance, procure, or assist a
    publick offender challenged by his own Ministers, for his publick
    offence, or to bear with him, as though his Minister, were too
    severe upon him, under pain of admonition and rebuking._”


Anent generall Assemblies.


    “_To urge the keeping of the Acts anent the keeping of the
    Assembly, that it may have the own reverence and majestie—_”

    _The Assembly having heard the whole act read, most unanimously
    alloweth and approveth this article._


X. Anent the defraying of the expenses of the Commissioners to the
generall Assembly, referreth and recommendeth the same unto the particular
Presbyterie, and especially to the ruling Elders therein, that they may
take such courses whereby, according to reason and former acts of
Assemblies, the Commissioners expenses to this Assembly, and to the
subsequent, may be born by the particular parochins of every Presbyterie,
who sendeth them in their name, and to their behalf, and for that effect,
that all sort of persons able in land or moneys proportionally, may bear a
part of the burthen, as they reap the benefit of their paines.


    _The Assembly referreth this unto the care of the particular
    Presbyteries._


XI. Anent the _repressing of poperie and superstition_; It seemeth
expedient that the number and names of all the _Papists_ in this Kingdome
be taken up at this Assembly, if it may be conveniently done, and if not,
that it be remitted to the next provincial Assemblies, that it may appear
what grouth poperie hath had, and now hath through this Kingdome, what
_popish priests_, and _Jesuit_ there be in the land; and that all persons
of whatsoever state and condition, be obliged to swear and subscribe the
confession of Faith, as it is now condescended upon by this general
Assembly, that they frequent the word and Sacraments in the ordinar dyets
and places, otherwise to proceed against them with the censures of the
Kirk, and that children be not sent out of the countrey without license of
the Presbyteries or provinciall Synods of the bounds where they dwell.


    _The Assembly referreth this article to the severall
    Presbyteries._


XII. Anent order to be taken that the _Lords Supper be more frequently
administrat_ both in burgh and landward, then it hath been in the year by
gone: It were expedient that the act at _Edinburgh_ _December 25. 1562._
Sess. 5. bee renewed, and some course bee taken for furnishing of the
elements, where the Minister of the Parish hath allowance only for once in
the year.


    _The Assembly referreth this to the consideration of Presbyteries,
    and declareth that the charges be rather payed out of that dayes
    collection, then that the Congregation want the more frequent use
    of the sacrament._


XIII. Anent the entrie of Ministers to the ministrie: The Assembly thinks
expedient that the act holden at St. _Andrews_, _April 24. 1582._ Sess. 7.
Touching the age of _twenty five years_ be renewed, and none to be
admitted before that time, except such as for rare and singular qualities
shall be judged by the general or provincial Assembly to be meet and
worthie thereof.


    _The Assembly approveth this article._


XIV. Anent _mercats on Monday and Saturday_ within Burghs, causing
intollerable profanation of the Lords Day, by carying of loads, bearing of
Burthens; and other work of that kinde: It were expedient for the redresse
thereof, that the care for restraining of this abuse be recommended by the
Assembly unto the severall Burghs, and they to bee earnestly entreated to
finde out some way for the repressing of this evill, and changing of the
day; and to report their diligence there anent to the next generall
Assembly.


    _The Assembly referreth this article to the consideration of the
    Burrows._


XV. Anent _the profanation of the Sabbath day in Landward_, especially for
want of divine service in the afternoone: The Assembly ordaineth the act
of Assembly holden at _Dundie, __ July 12. 1580._ Sess. 10. for keeping
both dyets, to be put in execution.


    _The Assembly alloweth this article._


XVI. Anent _frequenting with excommunicat persons_: The Assembly ordaineth
that the act at _Edinburgh_, _March 5. 1569._ Sess. 10. to wit, _That
these who will not forbear the companie of excommunicat persons after due
admonition, be excommunicat themselves, except they forbear_, to be put in
execution.


    _The Assembly alloweth this article._


XVII. Whereas the _confession of the Faith_ of this Kirk, concerning both
Doctrine and Discipline, so often called in question by the corrupt
judgement and tyrannous authoritie of the pretended Prelats, is now
clearly explained, and by this whole Kirk represented by this generall
Assembly concluded, ordained also to bee subscribed by all sorts of
persons within the said Kirk and Kingdome: The Assembly constitutes, and
ordaines, that from henceforth no sort of person, of whatsoever quality
and degree, be permitted to speak, or write against the said Confession,
this Assembly, or any act of this Assembly, and that under the paine of
incurring the censures of this Kirk.


    _The Assembly alloweth this Article._


XVIII. Anent _voicing in Kirk Sessions_: It is thought expedient that no
Minister moderating his Session, shall usurpe a _negative_ voice over the
members of his Session, and where there is two or moe Ministers in one
Congregation, that they have equall power in voicing, that one of them
hinder not the reasoning or voicing of any thing, whereunto the other
Minister or Ministers, with a great part of the Session inclineth, being
agreeable to the acts and practise of the Kirk, and that one of the
Ministers without advice of his colleague appoint not dyets of Communion
nor examination, neither hinder his colleague from catechising and using
other religious exercises as oft as he pleaseth.


    _The Assembly referreth this article to the care of the
    Presbyteries._


XX. Since the _office of Diocesane_, or lordly Bishop, is utterly abjured,
and removed out of this Kirk: It is thought fit that all titles of
dignitie, favouring more of poperie than of Christian libertie, as
_Chapters_ with their elections and consecrations, _Abbots_, _Priors_,
_Deans_, _Arch-deacons_, _Preaching-deacons_, _Chanters_, _Subchanters_,
and others having the like title, flowing from the Pope and canon law
only, as testifieth the second book of Discipline, bee also banished out
of this reformed Kirk, and not to bee usurped or used hereafter under
ecclesiastical censure.


    _The Assembly alloweth this Article._


XX. Anent the _presenting either of Pastours or Readers and
School-masters_, to particular Congregations, that there be a respect had
to the Congregation, & that no person be intruded in any office of the
Kirke, contrare to the will of the congregation to which they are
appointed.


    _The Assembly alloweth this article._


XXI. Anent _Mariage without proclamation of bans_, which being in use
these years by-gone hath produced many dangerous effects: The Assembly
would discharge the same, conforme to the former acts, except the
Presbyterie in some necessarie exigents dispense therewith.


    _The Assembly alloweth this article._


XXII. Anent _the buriall in Kirks_, the Assembly would be pleased to
consider anent the act of Assembly at _Edinburgh_ 1588. Sess. 5. if it
shall be put in execution, and to discharge funeral sermons, as favouring
of superstition.


    _The Assembly referreth the former part of this article anent
    buriall in Kirks to the care of Presbyteries, and dischargeth all
    funerall sermons._


XXIII. Anent _the tryall of Expectants_ before their entrie to the
ministrie, it being notour that they have subscribed the confession of
Faith now declared in this Assembly, and that they have exercised often
privatly, and publickly, with approbation of the Presbyterie, they shall
first adde and make the exercise publickly, and make a discourse of some
common head in _Latine_, and give propositions thereupon for dispute, and
thereafter be questioned by the Presbyterie upon questions of
controversie, and chronologie, anent particular texts of Scripture how
they may be interpreted according to the analogie of Faith, and
reconciled, and that they be examined upon their skill of the _Greek_ &
_Hebrew_, that they bring a testificat of their life and conversation from
either Colledge or Presbyterie, where they reside.


    _The Assembly alloweth this article._


XXIV. The Assembly having considered the order of the provincial Assembly,
given in by the most ancient of the Ministrie within every Province, as
the ancient plate-forme thereof, ordained the same to be observed,
conforme to the roll, registrat in the books of Assembly, whereof the
tennour followeth.

                  -------------------------------------

_The order of the Provincial Assemblies in_ Scotland, _according to the
Presbyteries therein contained._

1. _The Provincial Assembly of_ Mers _and_ Tividail.

The Presbyteries of
_Dunce._
_Chirnside._
_Kelso._
_Ersliltoun._
_Fedburgh._
_Melros._

The bounds.
_Mers._
_Tividail._
_The Forrest._
_Lauderdail._

To meet the first time at _Fedburgh_, the third Twesday of _April_.

2. _The Provincial of_ Louthian.

The Presbyteries of
_Dumbar._
_Hadingtoun._
_Dalkeeth._
_Edinburgh._
_Peebles._
_Linlithgow._

The bounds.
east _Louthian._
w. _Louthian._
_Tweeddail._

To meet the first time at _Edinburgh_ the third Twesday of _April_.

3. _The Provincial of_ Perth.

The Presbyteries of
_Perth._
_Dunkel._
_Aughterardor._
_Striviling._
_Dumblane._

The bounds.
The Shyresdome of _Perth_ and of _Striviling Shire_.

To meet the first time at _Perth_, the second Twesday of _April_.

4. _The Province of_ Drumfrees.

The Presbyteries of
_Dumfrees._
_Penpont._
_Lochmabane._
_Middilbee._

The bounds.
_Niddisdaill._
_Annandaill._
_Ewsdaill._
_Eskdail._
_Wachopdaill._
& a part of _Galloway._

To meet the first time at _Drumfrees_, the second Twesday of _April_.

5. _The Provincial of_ Galloway.

The Presbyteries of
_Wightoun._
_Kirkubright._
_Stanraver._

The bounds.
The Shyresdome of _Wigtoun_, and _Stemartie of Kirkubright_.

To meet the first time at _Wigtoun_, third Twedsay of _April_.

_The Provincial Synod of_ Aire _or_ Irwing.

The Presbyteries of
_Aire._
_Irwing._

The bounds. The Shyresdome of _Aire_.

To meet with the Provincial Synod of _Glasgow_ _pro hac vice_, the first
Twesday of _April_.

6. _The Provincial Synod of_ Glasgow.

The Presbyteries of
_Pasley._
_Dumbartane._
_Glasgow._
_Hammiltoun._
_Lanerik._

The bounds.
The Shyr. of _Lennox_, the Barrony of _Renfrow_, the Shy. of _Clydsdail_
over and nether.

To meet with the Provinciall Synod Synod of _Aire_ and _Irwing_ at
_Glasgow_, _pro hac vice_.

7. _The Provincial Synod of_ Argyl, _desired to bee erected in several
Presbyteries, according to the note given in._

The Presbyteries of
_Dunune._
_Kinloch._
_Inneraray._
_Kilmoir._
_Skye._

The bounds.
The Shyrisdomes of _Argil_ & _Boot_, with a part _of Loohabar_.

To meet the first time at _Innereray_, the fourth Twesday of _April_.

8. _The Provincial Synod of_ Fife.

The Presbyteries of
_St. Andrews._
_Cowper._
_Kirkadie._
_Dumfermling._

The bounds.
The Shyresdome of _Fife._

To meet the first time at _Cowper_ in _Fife_ the first Twesday of _April_.

9. _The Provincial Synod of_ Angus _and_ Merns.

The Presbyteries of
_Meegle._
_Dundie._
_Arbroth._
_Forfair Brechen Merns._

The bounds.
The Shyresdomes of _Forfair_ and _Merns_.

To meet the first time at _Dundie_, the third Twesday of _April_.

10. _The Provincial Synod of_ Aberdene.

The Presbyteries of
_Aberdene._
_Kincairdin._
_All-foord._
_Garioch._
_Ellan Deer._
_Turreffe._
_Fordyce._

The bounds.
The Shyresdomes of _Aberdene_ and _Bamfe_.

To meet the first time at _new Aberdene_ the 3 Twesday of _April_.

11. _The provincial Synod of_ Murray.

The Presbyteries of
_Innernes._
_Forresse._
_Elgin._
_Strabogie._
_Abernethie._
_Aberlower._

The bounds.
The Shyresdomes of _Innernes_ in part, _Nairn_ in part, _Murray Bamf_ in
part, _Aberden_ in part.

To meet the first time at _Forresse_ the last Twesday of _April_.

12. _The provincial Synod of_ Rosse.

The Presbyteries of
_Chanrie._
_Taine._
_Dingwall._

The bounds.
The Shyresdome of _Innernes_ in part.

To meet the first time at _Chanrie_, the second Twesday of _April_.

13. _The provincial Synod of_ Cathnes.

The Presbyteries of
_Dornoch._
_Weeke._ or
_Thurso._

The Bounds:
_Cathnes._
_Sutherland._

To meet the first time at _Dornoch_, the third Twesday of _April_.

14. _The provincial Synod of_ Orkney _and_ Zetland.

The Presbyteries of
_Kirkwall._
_Scalloway._

The Bounds:
The Shyresdome of _Orkney_ and _Zetland_.

To meet the first time at _Kirkwall_, the second Twesday of _April_.

15. _The Provinciall Synod of the Isles_

All the Kirks of the North-west Isles, viz. _Sky_, _Lewes_, and the rest
of the Isles, which were lyable to the Diocie of the Isles, except the
South-west isles which are joyned to the Presbyteries of _Argyll_, To meet
the first time at _Skye_ the second Twesday of May.

                  -------------------------------------

That the Minister of the place where the Synodall Assembly meets shall
preach the first day of their meeting, and give timouse advertisement to
the rest of the Presbyteries.

It is remembred that of old the Synodall Assemblies that were nearest to
others, had correspondence among themselves, by sending one or two
Commissioners mutually from one to another, which course is thought fit to
bee keeped in time comming: viz. The Provincials of _Louthian_, and
_Mers_, &c. The Provincials of _Drumfreis_, _Galloway_, _Glasgow_, and
_Argyll_, The Provincials of _Perth_, _Fyfe_, and _Angus_, &c. The
Provincials of _Aberdein_ and _Murray_. The Provincials of _Rosse_,
_Caithnes_, and _Orknay_. The Commissioners for correspondence amongst the
Synodals to be a Minister and a ruling Elder.

The Assembly recommendeth to the severall Presbyteries the execution of
the old acts of Assemblies, against the break of the Sabbath-day, by the
going of Milles, Salt-pans, Salmond-fishing, or any such-like labour, and
to this end revives and renews the act of the Assembly, holden at
_Halyrudehouse_ 1602. Sess. 5 whereof the tennor followeth.


    “_The Assemblie considering that the conventions of the people,
    specially on the Sabbath-day, are verie rare in manie places, by
    distraction of labour, not only in Harvest and Seed-time, but also
    every Sabbath by fishing both of whyte fish and Salmond fishing,
    and in going of Milles; Therefore the Assemblie, dischargeth and
    inhibiteth, all such labour of fishing as-well whyte fish as
    Salmond fish, and going of Miles of all sorts upon the
    Sabbath-day, under the paine of incurring the censures of the
    Kirk. And ordains the Commmissioners of this Assemblie to meane
    the same to his Majestie, and to desire that a pecuniall paine may
    be injoyned upon the contraveeners of this present act._”



Act Sess. 14. December 18. 1638.


The Assembly considering the great necessity of purging this land from
bygone corruptions, and of preserving her from the like in time coming,
ordaineth the Presbyteries to proceed with the censures of the Kirk, to
excommunication, against those Ministers who being deposed by this
Assembly acquiesces not to their sentences, but exercise some part of
their Ministerial function, refuseth themselves, and with-draw others from
the obedience of the acts of the Assembly.



Act. Sess. 25. December 19. 1638.



_Against the civil places and power of Kirk-men._


The generall Assembly, remembering that among other causes of the
application of the confession of Faith to the present time, which was
subscribed in _February_ 1638. The clause touching the civill places and
power of Kirk-men, was referred unto the tryal of this Assembly; entered
into a serious search thereof, especially of their sitting on the bench,
as Justices of peace, their sitting in Session and Councel, their riding
and voting in Parlament: and considering how this vote in Parliament, was
not at first sought nor requyred by this Kirk, or worthy men of the
Ministerie, but being obtruded upon them, was disallowed for such reasons
as could not well be answered (as appeareth by the conference, holden at
_Halyrude-house_ 1599. which with the reasons therein contained was read
in the face of the Assembly) & by plurality of voices nor being able to
resist that enforced favour, they foreseeing the dangerous consequences
thereof, in the Assembly at _Montrose_ did limitate the same by many
necessare cautions: Considering also the protestation made in the
Parliament 1606 by Commissioners from Presbyteries, and provincial
Assemblies, against this restitution of Bishops to vote in Parliament, and
against all civil offices in the persons of Pastors, separate unto the
Gospel, as incompatible with their spiritual function; with the manifold
reasons of that Protestation from the word of God, ancient Councels,
ancient and moderne Divines, from the Doctrine, discipline and Confession
of Faith of the Kirk of _Scotland_, which are extant in print, and were
read in the audience of the Assembly: Considering also from their own
experience the bad fruits and great evils, which have been the inseparable
consequents of these offices, and that power in the persons of Pastors
separate to the Gospel, to the great prejudice of the freedome and
libertie of the Kirk, the jurisdiction of her Assemblies, and the powerful
fruits of their spiritual Ministerie; The Assembly most unanimously in one
voice, with the hesitation of two allanerly, declared, that as on the one
part the Kirk and the Ministers thereof are oblidged to give their advise
and good counsel in matters concerning the Kirk or the Conscience of any
whatsomever, to his Majestie, to the Parliament, to the Councel, or to any
members thereof, for their resolutions from the word of God, So on the
other part, that it is both in-expedient, and unlawful in this Kirk, for
Pastors separate unto the Gospel to brook civil places, and offices, as to
be Justices of peace; sit and decerne in Councel, Session, or Exchecker;
to ride or vote in Parliament, to be Judges or Assessors in any Civil
Judicatorie: and therefore rescinds and annuls, all contrarie acts of
Assembly, namely of the Assembly holden at _Montrose_ 1600. which being
prest by authority, did rather for an _interim_ tolerat the same, and that
limitate by many cautions; for the breach whereof the Prelats have been
justly censured, then in freedome of judgement allow thereof, and
ordaineth the Presbyteries to proceed with the Censures of the Kirk,
against such as shall transgresse herein in time coming.



Act Sess. 26. December 20. 1638.


The Assembly considering the great prejudice which Gods Kirk in this land,
hath sustained these years by-past, by the unwarranted printing of lybels,
pamphlets, and polemicks; to the disgrace of Religion, slander of the
Gospel, infecting and disquyeting the mindes of Gods people, and
disturbance of the peace of the Kirk, and remembring the former acts, and
custome of this Kirk, as of all other Kirks, made for restraining these
and the like abuses, and that nothing be printed concerning the Kirk, and
Religion, except it be allowed by these whom the Kirk intrusts with that
charge: The Assembly _unanimously_, by vertue of their ecclesiastical
authority, dischargeth and inhibiteth all printers within this Kingdome,
to print any act of the former Assemblies, any of the acts or proceedings
of this Assembly, any confession of Faith, any Protestations, any reasons
_pro_ or _contra_, anent the present divisions and contraversies of this
time, or any other treatise whatsoever which may concerne the Kirk of
Scotland, or Gods cause in hand, without warrand subscribed by Mr.
_Archbald Johnston_, as Clerk to the Assembly, and Advocate for the Kirk;
or to reprint without his warrand, any acts or treatises foresaids, which
he hath caused any other to print, under the paine of Ecclesiastical
censures to be execute against the transgressours by the several
Presbyteries, and in case of their refusal, by the several Commissioners
from this Assembly: Whereunto also we are confident, the honourable Judges
of this land will contribute their civill authority: and this to be
intimat publickly in pulpit, with the other generall acts of this
Assembly.



Act. Sess. 26. December 20. 1638.


The generall Assembly ordaineth all Presbyteries and Provinciall
Assemblies to conveen before them, such as are scandalous and malicious,
and will not acknowledge this Assembly, nor acquiesce unto the acts
thereof: And to censure them according to their malice and contempt, and
acts of this Kirk: and where Presbyteries are refractarie, granteth power
unto the severall Commissions to summond them to compear before the next
generall Assembly to be holden at _Edinburgh_, the third Wedinsday of
Julie, to abide their tryall and censure.



Act Sess. 26. December 20. 1638.


The Assembly considering the acts and practise of this Kirke in her purest
times, that the Commissioners of every Presbyterie, Burgh, and
Universitie, were both ordained to take, and really did take from the
Clerk; the whole generall acts of the Assembly, subscribed by the Clerk:
Whereby they might rule and conforme their judicatorie themselves, and all
persons within their jurisdictions, unto the obedience thereof:
Considering the great prejudices we have lately felt out of ignorance of
the acts of Assembly, Considering also the great necessity in this time of
reformation, beyond any other ordinarie time, to have an extract thereof:
The Assembly ordaineth be this present act, that all Commissioners from
Presbyteries, Burghes and Universities, presently get under the Clerks
hand an Index of the acts, till the acts themselves be extracted, and
thereafter to get the full extract of the whole generall acts, to be
insert in their Presbyterie books, whereby all their proceedings may be
regulate in time coming. Likeas the Assembly recommendeth unto every Kirk
Session, for the preservation of their particular Paroch from the reentrie
of the corruptions now discharged, and for their continuance in the
Covenant, anent doctrine, worship and discipline now declared, to obtain
an extract of these acts: especially if they be printed: Seeing their
pryce will no wayes then be considerable: as the benefite both of the
particular Parish, and the interest of the whole Kirk, in the preservation
thereof from defection is undenyable: seeing Presbyteries are composed of
sundry Parochins, and so must be affected, or infected as they are, as
Provinciall and generall Assemblies are composed of Presbyteries, and so
must be diposed as they are.



Act Sess. 26. December 20.


_In the Assembly at_ Glasgow 1638. _concerning the confession of Faith
renewed in Februar, 1638._

The Assembly considering that for the purging and preservation of
religion, for the Kings Majesties honour, and for the publick peace of the
Kirk and Kingdome, the renewing of that nationall Covenant and oath of
this Kirk and Kingdome, in Februar 1638. was most necessare, likeas the
Lord hath blessed the same from Heaven with a wonderfull successe for the
good of religion, that the said Covenant suspendeth the practise of
novations already introduced, and the approbation of the corruptions of
the present governement of the Kirk, with the civill places, and power of
Kirk-men, till they be tryed in a free general Assembly, and that now
after long and serious examination, it is found that by the confession of
Faith, the five articles of _Perth_, and Episcopall governement are
abjured and to be removed out of this Kirk, and the civill places and
power of Kirk-men are declared to be unlawfull; The Assembly alloweth and
approveth the same in all the heads and articles thereof, And ordaineth
that all Ministers, Masters of Universities, Colledges, and Schooles and
all others who have not already subscribed the said Confession and
Covenant, shall subscribe the same with these words prefixed to the
subscription viz., The article of this Covenant which was at the first
subscription referred to the determination of the general Assembly being
now determined at _Glasgow_, in December 1638. and thereby the five
articles of _Perth_, and the governement of the Kirk by Bishops, being
declared to be abjured and removed, the civill places and power of
Kirk-men declared to be unlawful; We subscrive according to the
determination, of the said free and lawfull generall Assembly holden at
_Glasgow_: and ordaineth, _ad perpetuam rei memoriam_, the said Covenant
with this declaration to be insert in the registers of the Assemblies of
this Kirk; generall, Provinciall and Presbyteriall.



Act Sess. 26. December 20. 1638.



_Concerning the subscribing the confession of Faith lately subscribed by
his Majesties Commissioner, and urged to be subscribed by others._


Seeing the generall Assembly, to whom belongeth properly the publick and
judiciall interpretation of the confession of Faith, hath now after
accurat tryall, and mature deliberation clearly found, that the five
articles of _Perth_, and the governement of the Kirk by Bishops, are
abjured by the confession of Faith, as the same was professed in the year
1580. and was renewed in this instant year 1638. And that the _Marques_ of
_Hammiltoun_ his Majesties Commissioner, hath caused print a Declaration,
bearing that his Majesties intention and his own, in causing subscribe the
confession of Faith, is no wayes to abjure, but to defend Episcopall
governement, and that by the oath and explanation set down in the act of
Councel, it neither was nor possibly could be abjured, requiring that none
take the said oath, or any other oath in any sense, which may not consist
with Episcopall governement: which is in-directly repugnant to the genuine
and true meaning of the foresaid Confession as it was professed in the
year 1580. as is clearly now found and declared by the generall Assembly:
Therefore the generall Assembly: Doth humbly supplicate, that his Majestie
may be graciously pleased, to acknowledge and approve the foresaid true
interpretation, and meaning of the generall Assembly, by his Royall
warrand to his Majesties Commissioner, Councel, and Subjects, to be put in
record for that effect, whereof we are confident, after his Majesty, hath
received true information from this Kirk, honoured with his Majesties
birth and baptisme, which will be a royal testimonie of his Majesties
piety and justice, and a powerfull meane to procure the heartie affection
and obedience of all his Majesties loyall Subjects: And in the meane time,
least any should fall under the danger of a contradictorie oath, and bring
the wrath of God upon themselves and the land, for the abuse of his Name
and Covenant; The Assembly by their Ecclesiastical authority, prohibiteth
and dischargeth, that no member or this Kirk swear or subscribe the said
Confession, so far wreasted to a contrary meaning, under paine of all
Ecclesiastical censure: but that they subscribe the confession of Faith,
renewed in Februar, with the Declaration of the Assembly set down in the
former act.



Act. Sess. 26. December 20. 1638.



_Concerning yearly generall Assemblies._


The Assembly having considered the reasons lately printed for holding of
general Assemblies, which are taken from the light of nature, the promise
of _Jesus Christ_, the practise of the holy Apostles, the doctrine and
custome of other reformed Kirks, and the liberty of this national Kirk, as
it is expressed in the book of Policie, and acknowledged in the act of
Parlament 1592, and from recent and present experience; comparing the
lamentable prejudices done to religion, through the former want of free
and lawful Assemblies, and the great benefite arysing to the Kirk, from
this one free and lawful Assembly; finde it necessary to declare, and
hereby declares, that by Divine, Ecclesiasticall, and Civill warrands,
this national Kirk hath power and liberty to Assemble and conveen in her
year-ly generall Assemblies, and oftner, _pro re nata_, as occasion and
necessity shall require. Appointeth the next Generall Assembly to sit at
_Edinburgh_ the third Weddinsday of Julie 1639. And warneth all
Presbyteries, Universities, and Burghes, to send their Commissioners for
keeping the same. Giving power also to the Presbytery of _Edinburgh_, _pro
re nata_: and upon any urgent extraordinarie necessity (if any shall
happen before the diet appointed in Julie) to give advertisement to all
the Presbyteries, Universities, and Burghes, to send their Commissioners
for holding an occasionall Assembly. And if in the meane time it shall
please the Kings Majestie to indict a generall Assembly, ordaineth all
Presbyteries; Universities, and Burghes, to send their Commissioners for
keeping the time and place which shall be appointed by his Majesties
Proclamation.



_Ordaining an humble supplication to be sent to the Kings Majestie._


The Assembly, from the sense of his Majesties pietie and justice,
manifested in the publick indiction of their solemne meeting, for the
purging and preservation of Religion, in so great an exigent of the
extreame danger of both, from their fears arising out of experience of the
craftie and malicious dealing of their adversaries in giving sinistrous
informations against the most religious and loyall designes and doings of
his Majesties good Subjects, and from their earnest desire to have his
Majestie truely informed of their intentions and proceedings, from
themselves: who know them best, (which they are confident, will be better
beleeved: and finde more credite with his Majestie, than any secret
surmisse or private suggestion to the contrarie) that they may gaine his
Majesties princely approbation and ratification in the ensuing Parliament
to their constitutions: Hath thought meet and ordaineth, that an humble
supplication be directed to his Majestie, testifying their most heartie
thankfulnesse for so Royal a favour, as at this time hath refreshed the
whole Kirk and Kingdome, stopping the way of calumnie, and humbly
supplicating for the approbation, and ratification foresaid: That truth
and peace may dwell together in this Land, to the increase of his
Majesties glory, and the comfort of quietness of his Majesties good
People: This the Assembly hath committed, according to the Articles
foresaid, to be subscribed by their Moderatour and Clerk, in their name.
_The tennour whereof followeth._

To The Kings Most Excellent Majestie:

_The humble Supplication of the general Assembly of the Kirk of_ Scotland,
_conveened at_ Glasgow, _November 21. 1638._

Most gracious Soveraigne,

We your Majesties most humble and loyal Subjects, The Commissioners from
all the parts of this your Majesties ancient and native Kingdome, and
members of the National Assembly, conveened at _Glasgow_, by your
Majesties special indiction, considering the great happinesse which
ariseth both to Kirk and Common-wealth, by the mutual embracements of
Religion and Justice, of truth and peace, when it pleaseth the Supreame
Providence so to dispose, that princely power and ecclesiastical
authoritie joyne in one, do with all thankfulnesse, of heart acknowledge,
with our mouthes doe confesse, and not only with our pennes, but with all
our power are readie to witnesse unto the world, to your Majesties never
dying glorie, how much the whole Kingdome is affected, and not only
refreshed, but revived, with the comfortable sense of your Majesties
pietie, justice, and goodnesse, in hearing our humble supplications, for a
full and free general Assembly: and remembring that for the present, a
more true and real testimonie of our unfained acknowledgement, could not
proceed from us your Majesties duetyful Subjects, then to walke worthie of
so royal a favour: It hath been our greatest care and serious endevour,
next unto the will of JESUS CHRIST, the great King of his Kirk redeemed by
his own bloud, in all our proceedings, joyned with our hearty prayers to
GOD, for a blessing from heaven upon your Majesties Person and government,
from the first houre of our meeting, to carie our selves in such
moderation, order and loyaltie, as beseemed the subjects of so just and
gracious a King, lacking nothing so much as your Majesties personal
presence: With which had we been honoured and made happie, we were
confident to have gained your Majesties Royall approbation to our
ecclesiastick constitutions, and conclusions, knowing that a truly
Christian minde and royall heart inclined from above, to religion and
piety, will at the first discern, and discerning be deeply possessed with
the love of the ravishing beautie, and heavenly order of the house of God;
they both proceeding from the same Spirit. But as the joy was unspeakable,
and the hopes lively, which from the fountaines of your Majesties favour
did fill our hearts, so were we not a little troubled, when wee did
perceive that your Majesties Commissioner, as before our meeting, he did
endevour a prelimitation of the Assembly in the necessarie Members
thereof, and the matters to bee treated therein, contrarie to the
intention of your Majesties Proclamation indicting a free Assembly
according to the order of this Kirk, and laws of the Kingdome: So from the
first beginnings of our sitting (as if his Lordship had come rather to
crosse, nor to countenance our lawful proceedings, or as we had intended
any prejudice to the good of Religion), or to your Majesties honour (which
GOD knoweth was far from our thoughts) did suffer nothing, although most
necessarie, most ordinarie, and most undenyable, to passe without some
censure, contradiction, or protestation: And after some dayes debating of
this kinde, farre against our expectation, and to our great griefe, did
arise himself, commanded us, who had laboured in every thing to approve
our selves to GOD, and to his Lordship, as representing your Majesties
Person, to arise also, and prohibited our further meeting by such a
proclamation, as will be found to have proceeded, rather from an
unwillingnesse that we should any longer sit, then from any ground or
reason, which may endure the tryal either of your Majesties Parliament, or
of your own royall Judgement, unto which if (being conveened by indiction
from your Majestie, and sitting now in a constitute Assembly) we should
have given place, This Kirk and Kingdome, contrare to your Majesties most
laudable intentions manifested in former proclamations, and contrarie to
the desires and expectation of all your Majesties good people, had been in
an instant precipitate in such a world of confusions, and such depths of
miserie, as afterward could not easily have been cured. In this
extreamitie we made choise rather of that course which was most agreeable
to your Majesties Will revealed unto us, after so many fervent
Supplications, and did most conduce for the good of Religion, your
Majesties honour, and the well of your Majesties Kingdome; then to give
way to any sudden motion, tending to the ruin of all: wherein wee are so
far from fearing the light, least our deeds should be reproved, that the
more accuratly that we are tryed, and the more impartially our using of
that power, which God Almighty, and your sacred Majestie, his Vicegerent
had put in our hands, for so good and necessarie ends, is examined, we
have the greater confidence, of your Majesties allowance and ratihabition:
and so much the rather, that being in a manner inhibited to proceed in so
good a work, we doubled our diligence, and endevoured more carefully then
before, when your Majesties _Commissioner_ was present, in every point,
falling under our consideration, to walke circumspectly, and without
offence, as in the sight of God, and as if your Majesties eyes had been
looking upon us, labouring to proceed according to the word of God, our
confession of Faith, and nationall oath, and the laudable constitutions of
the lawfull Assemblies of this Kirk; and studying rather to renew, and
revive old acts made for the reformation of Religion, in the time of your
Majesties Father, of happie memorie, and extant in the records of the
Kirk, which divine providence hath preserved, and at this time brought to
our hands; then either to allow of such novations, as the avarice and
ambition of men, abusing authoritie for their own ends, had without order
introduced; or to appoint any new order, which had not been formerly
received, and sworn to be reteined, in this Kirk. In all which the members
of the Assembly, found so clear and convincing light, to their full
satisfaction, against all their doubts and difficulties, that the harmonie
and unanimitie was rare and wonderfull, and that we could not have agreed
upon other constitutions, except wee would have been found fighting
against GOD. Your Majesties wise and princely minde knoweth, that nothing
is more ordinary then for men, when they doe well, to bee evil spoken of,
and that the best actions of men are many times misconstrued, and
mis-reported. _Balaam_, although a false Prophet, was wronged: for in
place of that which hee said, _The Lord refuseth to give me leave to go
with you:_ the princes of _Moab_ reported unto _Balack_, that _Balaam_
refused to goe with them. But our comfort is, That Truth is the daughter
of time, and although calumnie often starteth first, and runneth before,
yet Veritie followeth her at the heels, and possesseth her self in noble
and royall hearts: where base calumnie cannot long finde place. And our
confidence is, that your Majestie with that worthie King, will keep one
eare shut against all the obloquies of men; and with that more wise King,
who when he gave a proofe that the wisedome of GOD was in him to doe
judgement, would have both parties to stand before him at once: that
hearing them equally, they might speed best, and go out most chearfully
from his Majesties face, who had the best cause. When your Majesties
wisedome hath searched all the secrets of this Assembly, let us be reputed
the worst of all men, according to the aspersions whith partialitie would
put upon us, let us be the most miserable of all men to the full
satisfaction of the vindictive malice of our adversaries, let us by the
whole world bee judged of all men the most unworthie to breath any more in
this your Majesties Kingdome, if the cause that we maintaine, and have
been prosecuting, shall be found any other, but that we desire that the
Majestie of GOD, who is our fear and our dread, be served, and his house
ruled, according to his owne will; if we have not carried along with us in
all Sessions of our Assemblie, a most humble and loyall respect to your
Majesties honour, which next unto the honour of the living GOD, lyeth
nearest our hearts; if we have not keeped our selves within the limits of
our reformation, without debording or reflecting upon the constitution of
other reformed Kirks, unto which wee heartily wish all truth and peace,
and by whose sound judgement and Christian affection we certainly look to
be approven; if we have not failed rather by lenitie then by rigour in
censuring of delinquents, never exceeding the rules and lines prescribed,
and observed by this Kirk, and if (whatsoever men minding themselves,
suggest to the contrary) the government and discipline of this Kirk,
subscribed and sworn before, and now acknowledged by the unanimous consent
of this Assembly, shall not bee found to serve for the advancement of the
Kindome of CHRIST, for procuring all duetifull obedience to your Majestie,
in this your Kingdome, and great riches and glorie to your Crown, for
peace to us, your Majesties loyall subjects, and for terrour to all the
enemies of your Majesties honour and our happinesse: and if any act hath
proceeded from us, so farre as our understanding could reach, and humane
infirmitie would suffer which being duely examined according to the
grounds laid by your Majesties Father, of everlasting memory, and our
religious Progenitours, and which Religion did forbid us to infringe,
shall merit the anger and indignation, wherewith wee are so often
threatned: But on the contrare, having sincerely sought the glorie of GOD,
the good of Religion, your Majesties honour, the censure of impietie, and
of men who had sold themselves to wickednesse, and the reestablishment of
the right constitution and government of this Kirk, farre from the
smallest appearance of wronging any other reformed Kirk, we humbly beg,
and certainly expect, that from the bright beames of your Majesties
countenance shining on this your Majesties own Kingdome and people, all
our stormes shall bee changed in a comfortable calme, and sweet Sun-shine,
and that your Majesties ratification in the ensuing Parliament, graciously
indicted by your Majesties Proclamation to bee keeped in _May_, shall
setle us in such a firmnesse, and stabilitie in our Religion, as shall
adde a further lustre unto your Majesties glorious Diadem, and make us a
blessed people under your Majesties long and prosperous reigne; which we
beseech him who hath directed us in our affaires, and by whom Kings
reigne, to grant unto your Majestie, to the admiration of all the world,
the astonishment of your enemies, and comfort of the godly.



_Collected, visied, and extracted forth of the Register of the acts of the
Assembly by me_ Mr A. Jhonston _Clerk thereto, under my signe and
subscription manuall._

_Edinburgh, the 12. of Jan. 1639._



THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY, AT EDINBURGH, 1639.



Sess. 8. August 17. 1639.



_Master_ George Grahame _his renouncing and abjuring of Episcopacie._


_The which day was given into the Assembly, direct from_ Master George
Grahame, _sometimes pretended Bishop of_ Orknay, _an abjuration of
Episcopacie, subscribed with his hand, which was publickly read in
audience of the Assembly; and thereafter they ordained the same to be
registrat in the assembly Books_ ad perpetuam rei memoriam, _whereof the
tenor follows._

To all and sundry whom it effects, to whose knowledge these presents shall
come, specially to the reverend and honourable Members of the future
Assembly to be holden at _Edinburgh_, the twelfth day of _August_ 1639.
years: Me Master _George Graham_, sometime pretended bishop of _Orknay_,
being sorry and grieved at my heart that I should ever for any wordly
respect have embraced the order of Episcopacie, the same having no warrand
from the Word of God, and being such an order, as hath had sensibly many
fearful and evill consequences in many parts of Christendome, and
particularly within the Kirk of _Scotland_, as by doleful and deplorable
experience this day is manifest, to have disclaimed, like as I by the
tenor hereof doe altogether disclaime and abjure all Episcopal power and
jurisdiction, with the whole corruptions thereof, condemned by lawful
Assemblies within the said Kirk of _Scotland_, in regard the same is such
an order as is also abjured within the said Kirk, by vertue of that
National Oath with was made in the years 1580. and 1581. promising and
swearing by the great Name of the Lord our God, That I shall never whiles
I live, directly or indirectly, exerce any such power within the Kirk,
neyther yet shall I ever approve or allow the same, not so much as in my
private or publike discourse: But on the contrary, shall stand and adhere
to all the Acts and Constitutions of the late Assembly holden at
_Glasgow_, the 21. of _Novemb._ 1638. last by-past, and shall concurre to
the uttermost of my power, sincerely and faithfully, as occasion shall
offer, in execution the said Acts, and in advancing the Work of
Reformation within this Land, to the glory of God, the peace of the
Countrey, and the comfort and and contentment of all good Christians, as
God shall be my help. In testimony of the which premisses, I have
subscribed thir presents with my hand at _Breeknes_ in _Stronnes_, the
eleventh day of _February_, the year of God 1639. years, before thir
witnesses Master _Walter Stuart_, Minister at _Shoutronnaldsay_, Master
_James Heynd_, Minister at _Kirkwall_, Master _Robert Peirson_, Minister
at _Firth_, and Master _Patrick Grahame_, Minister at _Holme_, my Son.



Sess. 8. August 17. 1639.



_Act containing the Causes and Remedie of the by-gone Evils of this Kirk._


The Kings Majestie having graciously declared, That it is His Royal will
and pleasure, that all questions about Religion, and matters
Ecclesiastical be determined by Assemblies of the Kirk, having also by
publike Proclamation indicted this free national Assembly, for setling the
present distraction of this Kirk, and for establishing a perfect peace,
against such divisions and disordres as have been sore displeasing to his
Majestie, and grievous to all his good Subjects. And now his Majesties
Commissioner _John_ Earle of _Traquair_, intrusted and authorized with a
full Commission, being present, and sitting in this Assembly, now fully
conveened and orderly constitute in all the members thereof, according to
the order of this Kirk, having at large declared His Majesties zeal to the
reformed Religion, and His Royal care and tender affection to this Kirk,
where His Majestie had both His Birth and Baptisme, His great displeasure
at the manifold distractions and divisions of this Kirk and Kingdome, and
His desires to have all our wounds perfectly cured with a fair and
fatherly hand: And although in the way approven by this Kirk, tryal hath
been taken in former Assemblies before from the Kirk registers, to our
full satisfaction, yet the Commissioners Grace making particular enquiry
from the members of the Assembly, now solemnly conveened, concerning the
real and true causes of so many & great evils as this time past had so
sore troubled the peace of this Kirk and Kingdome, It was represented to
his Majesties Commissioner by this Assembly, That beside many other, the
maine and most material causes were, First, The pressing of this Kirk, by
the Prelates with a Service Book, or Book of Common Prayer, without
warrand or direction from the Kirk, and containing beside the Popish frame
thereof, diverse Popish errors and ceremonies, & the seeds of manifold
grosse Superstitions and Idolatry, with a Book of Canons, without warrand
or direction from the general Assembly, establishing tyrannicall power
over the Kirk in the person of Bishops, and overthrowing the whole
discipline & government of the Kirk by Assemblies, with a Book of
Consecration and Ordination, without warrand of Authoritie, Civill or
Ecclesiasticall, appointing offices in the house of God, which are not
warranted by the word of God, and repugnant to the discipline and Acts of
our Kirk, and with the high Commission, erected without the consent of the
Kirk, subverting the jurisdiction and ordinary Judicatories of this Kirk,
and giving to persons meerely Ecclesiasticall, the power of both swords,
and to persons meerly Civill, the power of the Keys and Kirk-sensures. A
second cause was the Articles of _Perth_, _viz._ the observation of
Festivall dayes, kneeling at the Communion, Confirmation, Administration
of the Sacraments in private places, which are brought in by a null
Assembly and are contrary to the Confession of Faith, as it was meant and
subscribed _Anno_ 1580, and divers times since and to the order and
constitutions of this Kirk. Thirdly, the changing of the government of the
Kirk, from the Assemblies of the Kirk to the persons of some Kirkmen,
usurping prioritie and power over their Brethren by the way, and under the
name of Episcopall government against the Confession of Faith, 1580
against the order set downe in the Book of Policy, and against the
intention & constitution of this Kirk from the beginning. Fourthly the
Civill places and power of Kirkmen, their sitting in Session, Councell and
Exchequer, their Riding, Sitting, and voting in Parliament, and their
sitting in the Bench as Justices of peace, which according to the
constitutions of this Kirk are incompatible with their spiritual function,
lifting them up above their Brethren in worldly pomp, and do tend to the
hinderance of the Ministrie. Fiftly the keeping and authorizing corrupt
Assemblies at _Linlithgow_, 1606. and 1608. At _Glasgow_, 1610. At
_Aberdene_, 1616. At S. _Andrews_, 1617. At _Perth_, 1618. which ar null
and unlawful, as being called and constitute quite contrary to the order
and constitutions of this Kirk received and practised ever since the
reformation of Religion, and withal laboring to introduce novations into
this Kirk, against the order and religion established. A sixth cause is
the want of lawful & free General Assemblies, rightly constitute of
Pastors, Doctors, and Elders yearly, or oftner _pro re nata_, according to
the libertie of this Kirk, expressed in the Book of Policy: and
acknowledged in the Act of Parliament, 1592. After which the whole
Assembly in one heart and voyce did declare, that these and such other,
proceeding from the neglect and breach of the Nationall Covenant of this
Kirk and Kingdome, made in _Anno_ 1580. have been indeed the true and
maine causes of all our evills and distractions. And therefore ordain,
according to the constitutions of the Generall Assemblies of this Kirk:
And upon the grounds _respectivè_ above-specified, That the foresaid
Service-Book, Books of Cannons, and Ordinaination, and the high
Commission, be still rejected: that the Articles of _Perth_, be no more
practised: That Episcopall Government, and the Civill places and power of
Kirk-men be holden still as unlawfull in this Kirk: That the above named
pretended Assemblies, At _Linlithgow_ 1606. and 1608. At _Glasgow_ 1610.
At _Aberdene_ 1616. At S. _Andrews_ 1617. At _Perth_ 1618. be hereafter
accounted as null, and of none effect. And that for preservation of
Religion, and preventing all such evill in time-coming, Generall
Assemblies rightly constitute, as the proper and competent judge of all
matters Ecclesiasticall, heereafter be kept yearly and oftner, _pro re
nata_, as occasion and necessity shall require; The necessity of these
occasionall Assemblies being first remonstrate to His Majestie by humble
supplication: As also that Kirk Sessions, Presbyteries and Synodall
Assemblies, be constitute and observed, according to the order of this
Kirk.


    _After the voycing of the Act (anent the causes of our by gone
    evills) His Majesties Commissioner consented verbally to the said
    Act, and promised to give into the Clerk in writ, the Declaration
    of His consent, and that he should ratifie this Act in the ensuing
    Parliament._



Sess. 18. Aug. 26. 1639.



_Act approving an old Register of the Generall Assembly._


    _The whole Assembly (upon the report made to them anent the old
    Register of the Assembly, gotten from Master_ John Rig) _all in
    one voice approved the said Register, And ordained the same to
    make faith in judgement, and outwith in all time coming: as a true
    and authentick Register of the Kirk of_ Scotland, _conforme __ to
    the testimonie subscribed by the Committee, to be insert in the
    Books of Assembly: whereof the tenor followeth:_


We under subscribers, Forsameikle as the late Generall Assembly holden at
_Glasgow_, gave power and Commission to us, To peruse, examine, and
cognosce upon the validity, faith, and strength of the books and Registers
of the Assembly, particularly set down in the Commission given to us
thereanent: According whereunto we did carefully view, peruse, and
consider the saids Registers, and gave our testimony thereof under our
hands, of the validity and sufficience of the samine, to the said Generall
Assembly. And now having a new Commission given to us from the Generall
Assembly now presently conveened and sitting at _Edinburgh_. To peruse,
examine, and cognosce upon the validity, faith and strength of another
Register of the Assembly, which was not set down and recommended to us by
the said former Commission, which Register beginneth at the Assembly
holden at _Edinburgh_ the sixt day of _March_ 1572. and endeth at the
Assembly likewise holden at _Edinburgh_ 1573. we have carefully viewed,
perused, and considered the said Register: And being deeply and maturely
advised, as in a matter of greatest weight and consequence, do attest
before God, and upon our consciences declare to the world, and this
present Assembly, That the said Register above exprest, is a famous,
authentick, and good Register, which ought to be so reputed, and have
publike faith in judgement and outwith, as a valid and true Record in all
things, And finds the same to be of the same handwrit, and subscribed by
the same Clerk of the Generall Assembly as divers of the said other
Registers (formerly perused by us) are. And in testimonie of our solemne
affirmation we have subscribed these presents with our hand, at
_Edinburgh_ the 14. day of _August_ 1639.



Act Sess. 19. August 27. 1639.



_Act approving the deposition of the Ministers by the Committees._


The Assembly, after the receiving of the whole reports from the
Committees, appointed for revising of the processes and sentences, led,
deduced, and pronounced before, and by the several Commissions granted by
the Assembly at _Glasgow_, All in one voice approved the saids whole
Processes as orderly proceeded, and the whole sentences pronounced therein
till, as just and lawful decrees, without prejudice of any favour that can
be showne to any person or persons, against whom the said sentences are
pronounced upon their supplications, or of Justice to such as complain of
their processe, and offers to reduce the same upon whatsoever reason
competent, by the Constitutions of this Kirk and Kingdome, before the
General Assembly and the Commissioners thereof, they being appointed for
that effect.



Act Sess. 20. Aug. 28. 1639.



_Act anent receiving of deposed Ministers._


The which day the General Assembly upon the report of the Committees anent
these who are deposed by Synods, Doe make this General Act, recommending
to the Synods all these who are deposed befor them for subscribing of the
Declinator, & reading of the Service book and for no other grosse cause,
That upon their true repentance & submission to the Constitutions of this
Kirk & upon their purgation and clearnesse from any grosse Faults laid to
their charge in any new processe against them, they may be found by the
Synod as capable of the Ministrie, when God grants them an ordinary and
lawful calling by admission from the Presbyterie, either in the Church
they served in before, or in any other Church.



Act Sess. 21. August 29. 1639.



_Act anent the keeping of the Lords Day._


    _The General Assembly recommendeth to the several Presbyteries the
    execution of the old acts of Assembly, against the breach of the
    Sabbath Day, by going of Mylnes, Salt-Pannes, Salmond-fishing, or
    any such like labour; and to this end revives and renues the act
    of the Assembly holden at_ Haly-rude-house, 1602. _Sess. 5.
    whereof the tenor follows._


The Assembly considering that the conventions of the People, specially on
the Sabbath Day are very rare in many places, by distraction of labour not
only in harvest and seed-time, but also every Sabbath, by fishing both of
the white fish, and Salmond-fishing, and in going of Mylnes. Therefore the
Assembly dischargeth and inhibiteth all such labour of fishing, as well
white fish and Salmond-fish, and going of Mylnes of all sorts upon the
Sabbath, under the pain of incurring the censures of the Kirk: And
ordaines the Commissioners of this Assembly, to mean the same to His
Majestie, and to desire that a pecunial paine may be injoyned upon the
contraveeners of this present Act.



Act Sess. 22. Aug. 29. 1639. _a Meridie._



_Articles and Overtures approved by the Assembly._


That some Commissioners be appointed to visit and peruse the whole Acts of
General Assemblies, and to marke such Acts as are for the use of the Kirk
in General, To extract the same out of the Registers, to the effect that
after they be tryed, they may be printed according to the old Acts of the
Assembly at _Edinburgh_, _March 7. 1574._ _Sess._ 9.


    _The Assembly appoints the Presbyterie of_ Edinburgh, _to have a
    care of this article, and to report their diligence to the next
    Assembly._


That course may be taken for restraining of people from passing to
_England_ to marry, which is the occasion of great in conveniences.


    _The Assembly alloweth this article, and recommends to the
    Parliament, that they would appoint a pecuniall summe to be payed
    by the contraveeners._


That the Acts for furnishing expences to Commissioners, sent by the
Presbyteries to the General Assembly, and sent in Commission by Generall
Assemblies, may be explained; And it be declared that all such
Commissioners whatsoever, by their stipends may be furnished by the Kirks
of the Presbyterie, according to the order, set down in the Act of the
last Assembly, since the errand is common, and the benefit concerneth all:
and that order may be taken, how that an expedient voluntarie course,
thought fit by the Assembly, shall by advise of Parliament, have the force
of a law, for compelling these to pay who are stented, both for the last
and this Assembly and in time to come.


    _The Assembly allowes this article, and referres the same to the
    Parliament._


That the Session-books of every Paroche be presented once a year to the
Presbyteries, that they may be tryed by them.


    _The Assembly alloweth this article._


That the Act of the 38. Assembly at _Edinburgh_, _October 24, 1578._ Sess.
8. ordaining Ministers who are deposed, to be charged under the pain of
excommunication, to dimit their places, that they may be unquestionably
vacand, may now be renewed.


    _The Assembly alloweth this article, and remits the same to the
    Parliament._


The Assembly would revive or renew all former Acts of Assembly against
Papists, and excommunicate persons, against haunters with them and
receivers of them.


    _The Assembly alloweth this article._


That an uniforme Catechisme may be appointed to be used throughout this
whole Kingdome in the examinations before the Communion.


    _The Assembly alloweth this article._


That all Ministers or Intrants presented to Kirks, be tryed before their
admission, if they be qualified for the places to which they are
presented, besides the ordinary tryalls of Expectants before their entrie
to the Ministerie.


    _The Assembly alloweth this article._



Sess. 23. August 30. 1639.



_The Supplication of the General Assembly to the Kings Majesties
Commissioner, concerning the Book, called_, The large Declaration.


We the Members of this present Assembly, for our selves, and in name of
the severall Presbyteries, Burghs, and Universities, for which we are
Commissioners resenting the great dishonour done to God, our King, this
Kirk, and whole Kingdome, by the Book called, _A large Declaration_, have
here represented the same to your Grace, and have collected some amongst
many of false grosse and absurd passages; That from the consideration
thereof, your Grace, perceiving the intolerable evills foresaids contained
therein, may be pleased to represent the same to our gracious Soveraigne,
and in our behalfs humbly to beseech his Majestie, so much wronged by the
many foul and false relations, suggested and perswaded to him as trueths,
and by stealing the protection of His Royal Name and Authoritie to the
patrocinie of such a Book: To be pleased first to call in the said Book:
and thereby to shew his dislike thereof: Next to give Commission and
warrant, To cite all such parties as are either knowne or suspect to have
hand in it, and to appoint such as His Majestie knowes to be either
authors, informers, or any wayes accessarie, being Natives of this
Kingdome, To be sent hither to abide their tryall and censure before the
Judge Ordinary, and in speciall Master _Walter Balcanquell_, now Deane of
_Durham_, who is known and hath professed to be the author, at least a
vower and maintainer of a great part thereof; that by their examplar
punishment, others may be deterred from such dangerous courses, as in such
a way to raise sedition betwixt the King and His Subjects, Gods honour may
be vindicate from so high contempt, His Majesties justice may appear, not
only in cutting away such Malefactors, but in discouraging all such
under-miners of His throne, His loyall and loving Subjects shall be
infinitly contented to be cleared before the world of so false and unjust
imputations, and will live hereafter in the greater securitie, when so
dangerous a course of sedition is prevented, and so will have the greater
and greater cause to pray for His Majesties long & prosperous Reigne.


    _His Majesties Commissioner in Councell having received the said
    supplication, promised to impart the same to His Majesty, and to
    report his diligence therein._



_The Supplication of the Assembly to His Majesties High Commissioner, and
the Lords of secret Councell._


Wee the Generall Assembly, considering with all humble and thankful
acknowledgement, the many recent favours bestowed upon us by His Majestie,
and that there resteth nothing for crowning of His Majesties incomparable
goodnesse towards us, but that all the members of this Kirk and Kingdom be
joyned in one and the same Confession and Covenant with God, with the
Kings Majestie, and amongst ourselves: And conceiving the main lett and
impediment to this so good a work, and so much wished by all, to have been
the Informations made to his Majestie, of our intentions to shake off
Civil and dutiful obedience due to Soveraignity, and to diminish the Kings
greatnesse and authoritie, and being most willing and desirous to remove
this and all such impediments which may hinder and impede so full and
perfect an Union, and for clearing of our loyaltie, WEE in our own names,
and in name of all the rest of the Subjects and Congregations whom we
represent, do now in all humility represent to your Grace, His Majesties
Commissioner, and the Lords of His Majesties most honourable privie
Councel, and declares before God and the World, that we never had nor have
any thought of with-drawing our selves from that humble and dutiful
obedience to His Majestie, and to his Government, which by the descent &
under the reign of 107 Kings is most chearfully acknowledged by us and our
predecessors: And that we never had, nor have any intention nor desire to
attempt any thing that may tend to dishonour of God, or the diminution of
the Kings greatnesse and authoritie: But on the contrary, acknowledging
our quietnesse, stabilitie and happinesse to depend upon the safety of the
Kings Maj. Person, & maintenance of His greatnesse and Royal authority who
is Gods Vice-gerent set over us, for the maintenance of Religion and
ministration of Justice, We have solemnly sworn and do sweare, not only
our mutual concurrence and assistance for the cause of Religion, and to
the uttermost of our power, with our means and lives, to stand to the
defence of our dread Soveraigne, his Person and authority, in preservation
and defence of the true Religion, Liberties and Lawes of this Kirk and
Kingdome, but also in every cause which may concerne His Majesties honour,
shall according to the Lawes of this Kingdome, and the duties of good
Subjects concurre with our friends and followers in quiet manner, or in
armes, as we shall be required of His Majestie, His Councel, or any having
his Authority. And therefore being most desirous to cleare our selves of
all imputation of this kinde, and following the laudable example of our
predecessors, 1589. do most humble supplicate your Grace, His Majesties
Commissioner, and the Lords of His Majesties most honourable privie
Councell, to enjoyn by Act of a Councel, that this Confession and
Covenant, which, as a testimony of our fidelity to God, and loyaltie to
our King, we have subscribed, be subscribed by all His Majesties Subjects,
of what rank and quality soever.



_The Act of the Lords of Councel at_ Edinburgh, August 30. 1639.
_containing the_ Answer _of the preceding_ Supplication.


The which day in presence of the Lord Commissioner and the Lords of privie
Councel, compeired personally _John_ Earle of _Rothes_, _James_ Earle of
_Montrose_, _John_ Lord _Lowdoun_, Sir _George Stirling_ of Keir Knight,
Sir _William Douglas_ of Cavers Knight, Sir _Henry Wood_ of Bonytoun
Knight, _John Smyth_ Burgesse of _Edinburgh_, Mr. _Robert Barclay_ Provest
of Irwing, Mr. _Alexander Henderson_ Minister at Edinburgh, and Mr.
_Archbald Johnstoun_ Clerk to the General Assembly, and in the name of the
present sitting General Assembly, gave in to the Lord Commissioner, and
Lords of privie Councel, the Petition above written; which being read,
heard, and considered by the saids Lords, they have ordained, and ordain
the same to be insert and registrate in the books of Privie Councel, and
according to the desire thereof, ordaines the said Confession and Covenant
to be subscribed in time coming by all His Majesties Subjects of this
Kingdome, of what ranke and quality soever.



_The Kings Majesties Commissioners Declarations._


The which day His Majesties Commissioner, and Lords of Councel, after the
receiving of the Supplication of the General Assembly, anent the
subscribing of the Covenant, having returned to the Assembly, His
Majesties Commissioner in name of the Councel, declared; That he had
received the Supplication of the Assembly, desiring that the Covenant
might receive the force of an Act of Councel, to be subscribed by all His
Majesties Subjects, that they had found the desire so fair and reasonable,
that they conceived themselves bound in duety to grant the same; and
thereupon have made an Act of Councel to that effect: And that there
rested now the Act of Assembly. And that he himself was so fully
satisfied, that he came now as his Majesties Commissioner to consent fully
unto it: And that he was most willing that it should be enacted here in
this Assembly, to oblige all his Majesties Subjects to subscribe the said
Covenant, with the Assemblies explanation. And because there was a third
thing desired, His subscription as the Kings Commissioner, unto the
Covenant, which he behoved to do, with a Declaration in writ, and he
declared as a Subject, he should subscribe the Covenant as strictly as
any, with the Assemblies Declaration; but as His Majesties Commissioner in
his name behoved to prefix to his subscription, the Declaration following,
which no _Scots_ Subjects should subscribe, or have the benefit of, no not
himself as Earle of _Traquair_. The tenor whereof follows:

Seeing this Assembly, according to the laudable form and custome
heretofore kept in the like cases, have in an humble and dutiful way,
supplicate to us His Majesties Commissioner, and the Lords of His most
honourable Privie Councel, That the Covenant, with the explanation of this
Assembly, might be subscribed: And to that effect that all the Subjects of
this Kingdome by Act of Councel be required to doe the same: And that
therein for vindicating themselves from all suspitions of disloyaltie, or
derogating from the greatnesse and authoritie of our dread Soveraigne,
have therewith added a Clause, whereby this Covenant is declared one in
substance with that which was subscribed by His Majesties Father of
blessed memory 1580, 1581, 1590. and oftner since renewed. Therefore I as
His Majesties Commissioner, for the full satisfaction of the Subjects, and
for settling a perfect Peace in Church and Kingdome, doe according to my
foresaids Declaration and Subscription, subjoyned to the Act of this
Assembly of the date the 17 this instant, allow and consent that the
Covenant be subscribed throughout all this Kingdome. In witnes whereof I
have subscribed the premisses.



_Like as his Majesties Commissioner, read and gave in the Declaration
following, of his consent to the Act of the Assembly_ 17. August, _anent
the causes of our by gone evils._


I _John_ Earle of _Traquair_, His Majesties Commissioner this present
Assembly, doe in His Majesties Name declare, that nothwithstanding of His
Majesties own inclination, and many other grave and weightie consideration
yet such is His Majesties incomparable goodnesse, that for settling the
present distractions, and giving full satisfaction to the Subject, He doth
allow, like as I His Majesties Commissioner do consent to the foresaid
Act, and have subscribed the premisses.



_Like as His Majesties Commissioner, read and gave in the Declaration
following:_


It is alwayes hereby declared by me His Majesties Commissioner, That the
practise of the premisses, prohibited within this Kirk and Kingdome,
outwith the Kingdome of _Scotland_ shall never bind nor inferre censure
against the practises outwith the Kingdome; which when the Commissioner
required to be insert in the Register of the Kirk, and the Moderator in
name of the Assembly, refused to give warrant for such practise, as not
agreeable with a good conscience His Grace urged, that it should be
recorded, at least that he made such a Declaration, whatsoever was the
Assemblies Judgement in the contrair: And so it is to be understood to be
insert here onely _recitative_.



_Act ordaining the subscription of the Confession of Faith and Covenant,
with the Assemblies Declaration._


The Generall Assembly considering the great happiness which may flow from
a full and perfect Union of this Kirk and Kingdome, by joyning of all in
one and the same Covenant with God, with the Kings Majestie, and amongst
our selves, having by our great Oath declared the uprightnesse and
loyaltie of our intentions in all our proceedings, and having withall
supplicated His Majesties high Commissioner, and the Lords of His
Majesties honorable Privie Councell, to injoyn by Act of Councell, all the
Lieges in time coming to subscribe the Confession of faith and Covenant,
which as a testimony of our fidelity to God and loyaltie to our King we
have subscribed; And seeing His Majesties high Commissioner, and the Lords
of His Majesties honorable Privie Councell, have granted the desire of our
Supplication, ordaining by Civill authority, all His Majesties Lieges in
time comming, to subscribe the foresaid Covenant, that our Union may be
the more full and perfect, We by our Act and Constitution Ecclesiasticall,
do approove the foresaid Covenant, in all the Heads and Clauses thereof
and ordains of new, under all Ecclesiasticall censure, that all the
Masters of Universities, Colledges, and Schooles, all Schollers at the
passing of their degrees, all persons suspect of Papistry, or any other
errour; and finally all the members of this Kirk & Kingdome, subscribe the
same with these words prefixed to their subscription: _The Article of this
Covenant, which was at the first subscription referred to the
determination of the General Assembly, being determined. And thereby the
five Articles of_ Perth, _the government of the Kirk by Bishops, the
civill places and power of Kirkmen, upon the reasons and grounds contained
in the Acts of the Generall Assembly declared to be unlawfull within this
Kirk: we subscribe according to the determination foresaid._ And ordains
the Covenant, with this Declaration, to be insert in the Registers of the
Assemblies of this Kirk, Generall, Provinciall, and Presbyteriall, _ad
perpetuam rei memoriam_; and in all humility supplicates His Majesties
high Commissioner, and the honourable Estates of Parliament, by their
authority, to ratifie and injoyne the same, under all civill paines, which
will tend to the glory of God, preservation of Religion, the Kings
Majesties honour, and perfect peace of this Kirk and Kingdome.



_Act anent Appellations._


The Assembly appointed that in all time hereafter, no Appellations should
be leaping over either Presbyterie or Synod, but to ascend by degrees as
from the Kirk Session to the Presbytry, or from the Presbyterie to the
Synod, and from the Synod to the Generall Assembly, except it be after the
Synod be past, and immediatly before the Generall Assembly, or in the time
thereof, and renews all former Acts made to this effect.



_Act anent advising with Synods and Presbyteries before determination in
Novations._


The Generall Assembly desiring that the intended Reformation being
recovered, may be established, Ordains, that no Novation which may
disturbe the peace of the Church, and make division, be suddenly proponed
and enacted: But so as the motion be first communicate to the severall
Synods, Presbyteries and Kirks, that the matter may be approved by all at
home, and Commissioners may come well prepared, unanimously to conclude a
solide deliberation upon these points in the Generall Assembly.



_Act anent Ministers Catechising, and Family Exercises._


The Assembly considering that the long waited-for fruits of the Gospel, so
mercifully planted and preserved in this Land, and Reformation of
ourselves, and Families, so solemnly vowed to God of late in our Covenant,
cannot take effect, except the knowledge and worship of God be caried from
the Pulpit to every family within each Parish, hath therefore appointed
that every Minister, besides his paines on the Lords day, shall have
weekly catechising of some part of the Paroch, and not altogether cast
over the examination of the people, till a litle before the Communion.
Also that in every Familie the worship of God be erected, where it is not
both Morning and Evening, and that the Children & Servants be catechised
at home, by the Masters of the Families, whereof account shall be taken by
the Minister, and Elders assisting him in the visitation of every Family:
And lest they fail, that visitation of the severall Kirks be seriously
followed by every Presbyterie, for this end among others. The execution
and successe whereof, being tried by the Synods, let it be represented to
the next Generall Assembly.



Sess. 24. Aug. 30. _a meride._



_The Assemblies Supplication to the_ KINGS MAJESTIE.


Most Gracious Souveraigne.

Wee Your Majesties most humble and loyall Subjects, the Commissioners from
all the parts of this your Majesties ancient & native Kingdome, and
members of the Nationall Assembly, conveened at _Edinburgh_ by your
Majesties speciall indiction, and honoured with the presence of Your
Majesties high Commissioner, have been waiting for a day of rejoycing, and
of solemne thanksgiving to be rendred to God by this whole Kirk and
Kingdome, for giving us a King so just and religious, that it is not only
lawfull for us to be Christians under Your Majesties government, which
sometime hath been the greatest praise of great Princes, but also that it
hath pleased Your gracious Maj. to make known that it is Your Royall will
and pleasure, that all matters Ecclesiasticall be determined in free
Nationall Assemblies, and matters civill in Parliaments; which is a most
noble and ample expression of Your Majesties justice, and we trust shall
be a powerful mean of our common happinesse under your Majesties most
blessed Reign. In the mean while we do most humbly, upon the knees of our
hearts, blesse your Majesty for that happinesse already begun in the late
Assembly at _Edinburgh_; in the proceedings whereof, next under God, we
have laboured to approve our selves unto Your Majesties Vice-gerent, as if
Your Majesties eyes had been upon us, which was the desire of our souls,
and would have beene the matter of our full rejoycing, and doe still
continue Your Majesties most humble supplicants for Your Majesties civill
sanction and ratification of the constitutions of the Assembly in
Parliament; That your Majesties Princely power, and the Ecclesiasticall
Authority joyning in one, the mutuall embracements of religion and
justice, of truth and peace may be seen in this Land, which shall be to us
as a resurrection from the dead, and shall make us, being not only so
farre recovered, but also revived, to fill Heaven and Earth with our
praises, and to pray that King CHARLES may be more and more blessed, and
His throne established before the Lord for ever.

_The Assembly appoints the next Generall Assembly, to sit at_ Aberdene
_the last Tuesday of_ July _next,_ 1640. _years. And warneth all
Presbyteries, Universities and Burrows, to send their Commissioners, for
keeping the same. And thereafter the Assembly was concluded by giving of
thanks by the Moderator, and singing of a Psalme, according to the
custome._



THE GENERALL ASSEMBLY, CONVEENED AT ABERDENE, JULY 28. 1640.



Sess. 2. July 29. 1640.


The Assembly having past the first day before they would make any Act in
attending of His Majesties Commissioner.

This day the Moderator openly asked in face of the Assembly, if there was
any Commissioner come from His Majestie: And finding there was none, the
Assembly proceeded according to their Liberties.



_Overtures given in by the Committee appointed by the last Assembly, anent
the ordering of the Assembly-house: Which being read in audience of the
Assembly they approved the same._


I. The Assembly finds it expedient for the ordering of the House in all
time coming, that the Commissioners sit together unmixt, and that the
places where they sit be railed about, or some other way divided from the
seats of others, and that places be provided without the bounds of the
Commissioners seats to persons of respect, who are not Commissioners, and
others according to their qualities, as the Magistrates of the Town shall
find most convenient.

II. Also that the Commissioners, having received tickets from the
Magistrates of the Burgh, at the delivery of their Commissions, whereby
they may have ready accesse to the Assemblie-House and place appointed for
them, do keep the hour of meeting precisely, and whosoever comes after the
time, or shall be found absent at the calling of the Rols, to be censured
as the Assemblie sees fitting: And whatsoever Presbyterie, Burgh, or
Universitie, shall not send Commissioners, or Commissioners sent from them
doe not come at all to the Assembly, be summond unto the next Assembly,
and censured as the Assembly shall find reasonable.

III. That foure persons of respect have warrant from the Assembly to
injoyne that there be no standing, no din, nor disorderly behaviour; And
if any shall disobey them, or direct his speech to any, except to the
Moderator, and that one at once with leave at first asked and given, to be
rebuked publikely by the Moderator: And if he desist not be removed out of
the Assembly for that Session.

IV. That no motion come in unto the Assembly but by the Committee
appointed for matters of that nature: And if the Committee refused to
answer the same, let it be proponed to the Assembly with the reasons
thereof.

V. That the minutes of ilk Session be read before their rising, and if the
matter concerne the whole Kirk, let it be drawn up in forme and read in
the beginning of the next ensuing Session, that the Assembly may judge
whether or not it bee according to their minde.



_Act anent the demolishing of Idolatrous Monuments._


Forasmuch as the Assembly is informed, that in divers places of this
Kingdome, and specially in the North parts of the same, many Idolatrous
Monuments, erected and made for Religious worship, are yet extant, Such as
Crucifixes, Images of Christ, _Mary_, and Saints departed, ordaines the
saids Monuments to be taken down, demolished, and destroyed, and that with
all convenient diligence: And that the care of this work shall be
incumbent to the Presbyteries and Provinciall Assemblies within this
Kingdome, and their Commissioners to report their diligence herein to the
next Generall Assembly.



_Act against Witches and Charmers._


The Assembly ordaines all Ministers within the Kingdome, carefully to take
notice of Charmers, Witches, and all such abusers of the people, and to
urge the Acts of Parliament, to be execute against them: And that the
Commissioners from the Assembly to the Parliament, shall recommend to the
said supreme judicatory, the care of the execution of the Lawes against
such persons in the most behoovefull way.



Sess. 5. Aug. 1. 1640.



_Act for censuring speakers against the Covenant._


The Assembly ordaines, that such as have subscribed the Covenant and
speakes against the same, if he be a Minister, shall be deprived: And if
he continue so, being deprived, shall be excommunicate: And if he be any
other man, shall be dealt with as perjured, and satisfie publikely for his
perjury.



Sess. 10. Aug. 5. 1640.



_Act against Expectants refusing to subscribe the Covenant._


The Assembly ordaines, that if any Expectant shall refuse to subscribe the
Covenant, he shall be declared uncapable of a Pedagogie, teaching of a
School, reading at a Kirk, Preaching within a Presbyterie, and shall not
have libertie of residing within a Burgh, Universitie or Colledge: And if
they continue obstinate, to be processed.

                  -------------------------------------

_The Generall Assembly appoints the next Assembly, to be in_ St. Andrews
_the third Tuesday of_ July 1641. _And that the Moderator in a convenient
way, by the secret Councell—or otherwise as may best serve, request the
Kings Majestie to send his Commissioner to the said Assembly. And if any
exigent fall out, that the Presbyterie of_ Edinburgh _give advertisement
for an Assembly_ pro re nata.



THE GENERALL ASSEMBLY, HOLDEN AT ST. ANDREWS, AND EDINBURGH. 1641.



Sess. 1. July 20. 1641.


John _Earle of_ Weymes, _His Majesties Commissioner, presented His
Majesties Letter to the Assembly, whereof the tenor followeth._

CHARLES R.

Trustie and welbeloved, Wee greet you well. It is no small part of Our
Royall care and desires, that the true Reformed Religion, wherein by the
grace of God, We resolve to live and dye, be settled peaceably in that Our
ancient and native Kingdome of _Scotland_, and that the same be truly
taught, and universally received and professed by Our Subjects there, of
all degrees. For preventing of all division and trouble hereafter, We did
intend in Our Own Royall Person, to have been present at this Assembly;
but conceiving it to be unfitting, to detaine the Ministers from their
particular charges, till the time of Our coming to the Parliament. We have
resolved to make knowne unto you by these, and by Our Commissioner, That
in the approaching Parliament, it is Our intention by Our authority, to
ratifie and confirm the Constitutions of the late Assembly at _Edinburgh_,
that they may be obeyed by all Our Subjects living in that Our Kingdome.
And that We will take into Our Royall consideration, by what meanes the
Churches belonging to Our presentation, when any of them shall happen to
need, may be best provided with well qualified Preachers: Like as We are
not unwilling, to grant presentations unto such as in these times of
trouble have entred into the Ministerie, providing they have been examined
by the Presbyteries, and approved by them: Because We want not Our own
feares of the decay of Learning in that Church and Kingdome, We intend
also to consider of the best meanes for helping the Scooles and Colledges
of Learning especially of Divinity, that there may be such a number of
Preachers there, as that each Parish having a Minister, and the Gospel
being preached in the most remote parts of the Kingdome, all Our Subjects
may taste of Our care in that kinde, and have more and more cause to
blesse God that we are set over them. And finally, so tender is Our care,
that it shall not be Our fault if the Churches and Colledges there
flourish not in Learning and Religion: For which Royall testimonie of Our
goodnesse, We require nothing upon your part, but that which God hath
bound you unto, even that you be faithfull in the charge committed unto
you, and care for the soules of the people: That you study Peace and Unity
amongst your selves, and amongst the people, against all Schisme and
Faction; and that you not only pray for Us, but that you teach the People,
which We trust are not unwilling to pay that honour and obedience which
they owe unto Us, as his Vicegerent set over them, for their good; wherein
We expect you will by your good example goe before them. Which hoping you
will doe, We bid you farewell. _From Our Court at_ Whitehall, _the 10. day
of July 1641._



Sess. 3. July 28. 1641.


_Act approving the Overtures of the Assembly at_ Aberdene, _for ordering
the Assembly-House_.

The Overtures for ordering the Assembly-House, given in to, and approved
by the Assembly of _Aberdene_ the _29. July 1640._ Act Sess. 2 were openly
read, and again approved by this Assembly, and ordained to be kept the
whole time thereof.



Sess. 5. July 30. 1641.



_Act anent old Ministers bruiking their Benefices._


The Assembly having considered the Supplication given in by Doctor _Robert
Howie_, Provest of the new Colledge of S. _Andrews_, whereby he craved,
that (notwithstanding of his admission of his charge) he should not be
prejudged of his full provision and maintenance during his life time: The
Assembly thinks it fit and necessary, that his provision and maintenance
should not be diminished, but that he should injoy the same fully, as
before during all the dayes of his life time, and craveth his dismission
to be only but a cessation from his charge, because of his age and
inability: And declares, that old Ministers and professors of Divinitie,
shall not by their cessation from their charge, through age and
inabilitie, be put from injoing their old maintenance & dignity. And
recommends this and others the like things, concerning the estate of that
Universitie of S. _Andrews_, to the Parliament, and the Visitation to be
appointed from the Assembly & Parliament. And likewise the Assembly being
informed, that the said Doctor _Howie_ hath been very painfull in his
charge, and that he hath divers papers which would be very profitable for
the Kirk: Therefore they think fit, that the said doctor _Howie_ be
desired to collect these papers, which doeth concerne, & may be profitable
for the use of the Kirk, that the samine may be showne to the Visitors of
the said Universitie.



Sess. 8. Aug. 2. 1641. a meridie.



_Act against sudden receiving Ministers deposed._


The Assembly ordaines, that Ministers who are deposed either by
Presbyteries, Synods, or Generall Assemblies, or Committees from
Assemblies for the publike cause of the Reformation and order of this
Kirk, shall not be suddenly received againe to the Ministerie, till they
first evidence their repentance both before the Presbyterie and Synod,
within the bounds where they were deposed, and thereafter the samine
reported to the next ensuing Generall Assembly.



Sess. 9. Aug. 3. 1641.


_The Overtures under-written, concerning the Universities and Colledges of
this Kingdome to be represented by the Generall Assembly, to the Kings
Majesty and Parliament, being openly read, the Assembly approved the saids
Overtures, and ordained them to be recommended to the Parliament._

First, because the good estate both of the Kirk and Commonwealth,
dependeth mainly upon the flourishing of Universities and Colledges, as
the Seminaries of both, which cannot be expected, unlesse the poore meanes
which they have, be helped, and sufficient revenues be provided for them
and the same well imployed: Therefore that out of the rents of prelacies;
Collegiat or Chapter-Kirks, or such like, a sufficient maintenance be
provided for a competent number of Professors, Teachers, and Bursers in
all faculties, and especially in Divinitie, and for upholding, repairing,
and enlarging the Fabrick of the Colledges, furnishing Libraries, and
suchlike good uses in every Universitie and Colledge.

II. Next for keeping of good order, preveening and removing of abuses, and
promoving of pietie and learning, it is very needfull & expedient, that
there be a communion and correspondencie kept betwixt all the Universities
and Colledges. And therefore that it be ordained, that there be a meeting
once every year at such times and places as shall be agreed upon, of
Commissioners from every University and Colledge to consult and determine
upon the common affairs, and whatsoever may concerne them, for the ends
above-specified, and who also, or some of their number may represent what
shall be needfull and expedient for the same effect, to Parliaments and
Generall Assemblies.

III. _Item_, That special care be had that the places of the Professors,
especially of Professors of Divinity in every University and Colledge. Be
filled with the ablest men, and best affected to the Reformation and order
of this Kirk.



Sess. 10. August 4. 1641.



_Act against Impiety and Schisme._


The Assembly seriously considering the present case and condition of this
Kirk and Kingdome, what great things the Lord hath done for us, especially
since the renewing of our Covenant, notwithstanding our former backsliding
and desertion; and if we shall either become remisse in the dueties of
Piety, or shall not constantly hold and keep our Religion, unto which we
have bound ourselves so straitly and solemnly, what dishonour we doe unto
the Name of God before men, who have their eyes upon us, and how great
judgements we bring upon our selves, upon these and the like
considerations, The Assembly doth finde it most necessary to stirre up
themselves, and to provoke all others both Ministers and people of all
degrees, not only to the religious exercises of publike worship in the
Congregation, and of private worship in their families, and of every one
by themselves apart, but also to the duteies of mutual edification, by
instruction, admonition, exhorting one another to fordwardnesse in
Religion, and comforting one another in whatsoever distresse; and that in
all their meetings, whither in the way of civill conversation, or by
reason of their particular callings, or any other occasion offered by
divine providence, no corrupt communication proceed out of their mouth,
but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace
unto the hearers: And because the best means have been, and may still be
despised or abused, and particularly the duetie of mutual edification,
which hath been so little in use, and so few know how to practise in the
right manner, may be upon the one part subject to the mocking of ungodly
and worldly men, who cannot endure that in others, which they are not
willing to practise themselves, and upon the other part, to many errors
and abuses, to which the godly through their weaknes may fall, or by the
craftinesse of others may be drawn into, such as are Error, Heresie,
Schisme, Scandal, Self-conceit, and despising of others, pressing above
the common calling of Christians, and usurping that which is proper to the
Pastoral Vocation, contempt or misregard of the publike means idle and
unprofitable questions which edifie not, uncharitable censurings, neglect
of duties in particular callings, businesse in other mens Matters and
Callings, and many such others in doctrine, charity, and manners, which
have dolefully rent the bowels of other Kirks, to the great prejudice of
the Gospel.

Therefore the Assembly, moved with the zeal of God against all abuses and
corruptions, and according to their manifold obligations, most earnestly
desiring and thirsting to promove the work of Reformation, and to have the
comfort and power of true godlinesse sensible to every soul, and Religion
to be universally practised in every Family, and by every person at all
occasions, Doth charge all the Ministers and Members of this Kirk whom
they doe represent, that according to their several places and vocations,
they endeavour to suppresse all impiety and mocking of religious
exercises, especially of such as put foule aspersions, and factious or
odious names upon the godly. And upon the other part, that in the fear of
God they be aware and spiritually wise, that under the name and pretext of
religious exercises, otherwayes lawful and necessary, they fall not into
the aforesaid abuses; especially, that they eschew all meetings which are
apt to breed Error, Scandall, Schisme, neglect of dueties and particular
callings, and such other evils as are the works, not of the spirit, but of
the flesh, and are contrary to truth and peace; and that the Presbyteries
and Synods have a care to take order with such as transgresse the one way
or the other.



Sess. 14. August 6. 1641. a Meridie.



Act _anent Novations_.


Since it hath pleased God to vouchsafe us the libertie of yearly General
Assemblies, It is ordained according to the Acts of the Assembly at
_Edinburgh_ 1639. and at _Aberdene_ 1640. that no Novation in Doctrine,
Worship, or Government, be brought in, or practised in this Kirk, unlesse
it be first propounded, examined, and allowed in the General Assembly, and
that transgressors in this kinde be censured by Presbyteries and Synods.



Act. Sess. 15. August 7. 1641.



_Overtures anent Bursars, and Expectants._


_The Overtures under-written being openly read in audience of the
Assembly, were approved, and declared by them to be Acts of the Assembly,
in all time coming, to be observed_ respective, _as the samine bears._

The Assembly thinks meet for maintaining of Bursars of Divinitie, that
every Presbyterie that consists of twelve Ministers shall maintain a
Bursar, and where the number is fewer nor twelve, shall be joyned with
these out of another Presbyterie where their number exceeds; where this
course is not already kept, it is to be begun without longer delay, and
every Provincial is ordained to give an accompt of their number of
Bursars, that is constantly to be entertained by their Province, at the
next ensuing General Assembly.

II. No expectant shall be permitted to preach in publike before a
Congregation, till first he be tryed after the same manner, howbeit not
altogether with that accuracie which is injoyned by the act of the
Assembly of _Glasgow_ 1638. which prescribes the order and manner of
tryall that is to be kept with these who are to be admitted to the holy
Ministrie: and none so tryed shall preach in publike, without the bounds
of the University or Presbyterie where he past his tryalls, till he first
make it known to the other Presbyteries, where he desires to be heard, by
a testimoniall from the Universitie or Presbyterie where he lived, that he
hath bin of an honest conversation, and past his tryalls conform to the
order here prescribed: Which being done in the meeting of the Province or
Presbyterie, where he desires to be heard; he is to be allowed by them to
preach within the bounds of that Province or Presbyterie, without any
further tryall to be taken of him.

III. Expectants being educate in a Colledge that was corrupt, or under a
corrupt Minister, if they themselves have been known to have been tainted
with error, or opposite to our Covenant, and the blessed Work of
Reformation within this Kirk, the same order is to be kept in admitting
them to the holy Ministrie, or to any place in the Colledges or Schooles
of this Kingdome, that was ordained to be kept in admission of these
Ministers who fled out of the Countrey, and shew themselves opposite to
our Covenant and Reformation.



Act Sess. 17. August 9. 1641.



_Act against unlawfull Bands._


The Assembly taking to their consideration the question proponed unto them
concerning the Band, the copy whereof was presented before them from the
Parliament, doth find and declare that Bands of this and the like nature,
may not lawfully be made: By which Declaration the Assembly doth not
intend to bring any censure for what is past, and by the wisedome and care
of the Committee of the Parliament is taken away, upon any person, who
being required by the Moderator and the Clerk, shall under his hand
declare before them, That as the Assembly doth finde that the subscribers
are not astricted by their Oath to the tenor of the said Band, so he
findeth himself not to be astricted by his Oath to the tenor thereof; but
the intention of the Assembly is meerly to prevent the like in time
coming.



Sess. 18. August 9. 1641. a meridie.



_A Letter from some Ministers in_ England _to the Assemblie._


_Right Reverend and dear Brethren, now conveened in this Generall
Assembly,_

Wee most heartily salute you in the Lord, rejoycing with you in his
unspeakable goodnesse, so miraculously prospering your late endeavours,
both for the restoring and settling of your own Liberties and Priviledges,
in Church and common wealth (which we heare and hope he is now about to
accomplish) as also for the occasioning and advancing of the Worke of
Reformation among our selves; for which as we daily blesse the highest
Lord, sole Author of all one good, so doe we acknowledge your selves
worthy Instruments thereof. And for that (besides all other respects) doe,
and ever shall (by the help of God) hold you deare unto us, as our own
bowels, and our selves obliged to tender unto you all due correspondence
according to our power, upon all good occasions.

And now (dear Brethren) forasmuch as the Church of Christ is but one body,
each part whereof cannot but partake in the weale and woe of the whole,
and of Each other part; and these Churches of _England_ and _Scotland_,
may seem both to be imbarqued in the same bottome, to sink and swim
together, and are so near conjoyned by many strong tyes, not only as
fellow members under the same Head Christ, and fellow-subjects under the
same King; but also by such neighbour-hood and vicinity of place, that if
any evil shall much infest the one, the other cannot bee altogether free:
Or if for the present it should, yet in processe of time it would sensibly
suffer also. And forasmuch as evils are better remedied in their first
beginning, then after they have once taken deep root; therefore we whose
names are here under-written, in the behalf of our selves, and of many
others, Ministers of the Church of _England_ be bold to commend to your
consideration; (being met together in this venerable Assembly) a
difference of great concernment, which you may please (in brief) thus to
understand. Almighty God having now of his infinite goodnesse raised up
our hopes of removing the yoke of Episcopacie (under which we have so long
groaned) sundry other forms of Church-government are by sundry sorts of
men projected, to be set up in the roome thereof: One of which (amongst
others) is of some Brethren that hold the whole power of
Church-government, & all Acts thereunto appertaining (as Election,
Ordination, and Deposition of Officers, with Admission, Excommunication &
Absolution of Members) are by divine Ordinance _in foro externo_, to be
decreed by the most voices, in, and of every particular Congregation,
which (say they) is the utmost bound of a particular Church: endued with
power of Government, & only some Formalities of solemne execution to be
reserved to the Officers (as servants of the saids Church) if they have
any, or if none, then to be performed by some other members, not in
office, whom the said Church shal appoint thereunto, And that every of the
said particular Congregations (whether they consists of few or many
Members, and be furnished with Offices or not) lawfull: may & ought to
transact, determine & execute all matters pertaining to the government of
themselves amongst & within themselves without any authoritative (though
not consulatory) concurrence or interposition of any other persons or
Churches whatsoever, condemning all imperative and decisive power of
Classes, or compound Presbyteries and Synods, as a meere usurpation. Now
because we conceive that your judgement in this case may conduce much by
the blessing of God, to the settling of this question amongst us;
Therefore we doe earnestly intreat the same at your hands, and that so
much the rather, because we sometimes hear from those of the aforesaid
judgement, that some famous and eminent Brethren, even amongst your
selves, doe somewhat encline unto an approbation of that way of
government. Thus humbly craving pardon for our boldnesse, leaving the
matter to your grave considerations, and expecting answer at your
convenient leasure, We commit you, and the successe of this your meeting,
to the blessing of the Almighty, in whom we shall ever remain.

_London, 12 Ju’y. 1641._

_Your faithfull Brethren to serve you in all offices of love._



_The Assemblies Answer to the English Ministers Letter._


_Right reverend and dearly beloved Brethren in our Lord and common Saviour
Jesus Christ._

Wee the Ministers and Elders met together in this Nationall Assembly, were
not a little refreshed and comforted by the good report which we heard of
you, and others of our Brethren of the Kirk of _England_, by some of our
Ministers, who by the good providence of our Lord had seen your faces, and
conversed with you. But now yet more comforted by your Letters which we
received, and which were read in the face of the Assembly, witnessing your
Christian love, and rejoycing with us in God for his great and wonderfull
Work in the Reformation of this Kirk, and in the beginning of a blessed
Reformation amongst your selves, and that you are so sensible of your
communion and fellowship with us, and to desire to know our minde and
judgement of that which some Brethren amongst you hold, concerning
Kirk-government.

We doe with our hearts acknowledge and wonder at the great and unspeakable
wisedome, mercie, and power of our God, in restoring unto us the truth and
puritie of Religion, after many Back-slidings and defection of some in
this Kirk, & desire not only to confesse the same before the world, and
all other Christian Kirks, but also doe pray for grace to walk worthy of
so wonderful a love: We have been helped by your prayers, in our weak
endeavours, & you have mourned with us, (we know) in the dayes of our
mourning; and therefore is it that you doe now rejoyce and praise God with
us. Neither are we out of hope, but the same God shall speedily perfect
that which he hath begun amongst you, that your joy may be full, which is
the desire of our soule, and for which we doe now pray, and in our
severall Congregations will be instant at the throne of grace, for this
and all other spirituall and temporall blessings upon the Kirk and
Kingdome of _England_, by name, expecting the like performance of mutuall
love from you and others equally minded with you, for your parts, till a
common consent may be obtained, even that you will recommend the Kirk of
_Scotland_ by name in your prayers to God. Thus shall we be as one people,
mourning and rejoycing, praying and praising together; which may be one
meane of the preservation of Unity, and of many other blessings to us
both.

We have learned by long experience, ever since the time of the
Reformation, and specially after the two Kingdomes have been (in the great
goodnesse of God to both) united under one Head and Monarch, but most of
all of late, which is not unknown to you, what danger and contagion in
matters of Kirk-government, of divine worship, and of doctrine, may come
from the one Kirk to the other, which beside all other reasons make us to
pray to God, and to desire you, and all that love the honour of Christ,
and the peace of these Kirks and Kingdomes, heartily to endeavour, that
there might be in both Kirks, one Confession, one Directory for publicke
worship, one Catechisme, and one Forme of Kirk-government. And if the Lord
who hath done great things for us, shall be pleased to hearken unto our
desires, and to accept of our endeavours, we shall not only have a sure
foundation for a durable Peace, but shall be strong in God, against the
rising or spreading of Heresie and Schisme amongst our selves, and of
invasion from forraine enemies.

Concerning the different Formes of Kirk-government, projected by sundrie
sorts of men, to be set up in place of Episcopall Hierarchie, which we
trust is brought near unto its period, we must confesse, that we are not a
little grieved that any godly Ministers and Brethren should be found, who
doe not agree with other Reformed Kirks in the point of government as well
as in the matter of Doctrine and worship; and that we want not our own
feares, that where the hedge of Discipline and Government is different,
the Doctrine and Worship shall not long continue the same without change:
yet doe not marvell much, that particular Kirks and Congregations which
live in such places, as that they can conveniently have no dependencie
upon superiour Assemblies, should stand for a kind of independencie and
supremacie in themselves, they not considering that in a nation or
Kingdome, professing the same Religion, the government of the Kirk by
compound Presbyteries and Synods is a help and strength, and not a
hinderance or prejudice to particular Congregations and Elderships, in all
the parts of Kirk-government; and that Presbyteries and Synods are not an
extrinsecall power set over particular Kirks, like unto Episcopal
dominion, they being no more to be reputed extrinsecal unto the particular
Kirks, nor the power of a Parliament, or Convention of Estates, where the
Shires and Cities have their own Delegates, is to be held extrinsecal to
any particular Shire or City.

Our unanimous judgement and uniforme practice, is, that according to the
order of the Reformed Kirks, and the ordinance of God in his Word, not
onely the solemne execution of Ecclesiastical power and authoritie, but
the whole acts and exercise thereof, do properly belong unto the Officers
of the Kirk; yet so that in matters of chiefest importance, the tacite
consent of the Congregation be had, before their decrees and sentences
receive final execution, and that the Officers of a particular
Congregation, may not exercise this power independently, but with
subordination unto greater Presbyteries and Synods, Provincial and
National: Which as they are representative of the particular Kirks
conjoyned together in one under their government; so their determination,
when they proceed orderly, whether in causes common to all, or many of the
Kirks, or in causes brought before them by appellations or references from
the inferiour, in the case of aberation of the inferiour, is to the
several Congregations authoritative and obligatorie and not consultatory
only: And this dependencie and subordination, we conceive not only to be
warranted by the light of nature, which doth direct the Kirk in such
things as are common to other societies, or to be a prudential way for
Reformation, and for the preservation of Truth and Peace, against Schisme,
Heresie, and Tyranny, which is the sweet fruits of this government
wheresoever hath place, and which we have found in ancient and late
experience; but also to be grounded upon the Word of God, and to be
conforme to the paterne of the Primitive and Apostolical Kirks: And
without which, neither could the Kirks in this Kingdome have been
reformed, nor were we able for any time to preserve Truth and Unity
amongst us.

In this forme of Kirk-government, our unanimity and harmony by the mercy
of God, is so full and perfect, that all the Members of this Assembly have
declared themselves to be of one heart, and of one soule, and to be no
lesse perswaded, that it is of God, then that Episcopal government is of
men; resolving by the grace of God, to hold the same constantly all the
dayes of our life, and heartily wishing that God would blesse all the
Christians Kirks, especially the famous Kirk of _England_, unto which in
all other respects we are so nearly joyned with this divine Forme of
government. Thus having briefly and plainly given our judgement for your
satisfaction, and desiring and hoping that ye will beleeve against all
mis-reports, that we know not so much as one man, more or lesse eminent
amongst us, of a different judgement, we commend you unto the riches of
the grace of Christ, who will perfect that which he had begun amongst you,
to your unspeakable comfort. Subscribed by our Moderator and Clerk.

_Edinburgh 9. August, 1641._



_The Assemblies Answer to the Kings Majesties Letter._


Most gracious Soveraign,

Beside the conscience of that duetie which we owe to supreme Authority, we
are not only encouraged, but confirmed by the Royal favour and Princely
munificence, expressed in Your gracious Majesties Letters, which filled
our hearts with joy, and our mouths with praise, to offer up our prayers
with the greater fervencie to God Almightie for your Majesties happinesse,
our selves for our own parts, and for the whole Kirks of this your
Majesties Kingdome, which we doe represent, to serve Your Majestie in all
humble obedience, our faithful labours for preserving Trueth and Peace
amongst all Your Majesties Subjects, and our example (according to Your
Majesties just commandments laid upon us) to be a presedent to others in
paying that honour, which by all Lawes divine and humane, is due unto Your
sacred Majestie, being confident that your Majestie shall finde at your
coming hither much more satisfaction and content then can be expressed by

_Your Majesties most humble Subjects and faithful Servants, the Ministers
and Elders met together in the vonerable Assembly at_ St. Andrews, _July
20, and_ Edinburgh, _July 27. 1641._



_Act anent the Kirk of_ Campheir.


The which day a motion was made in the Assembly, that it seemed expedient
for correspondencie that might be had from forraigne parts, for the weal
of this Kirk, That the Scots Kirk at _Campheir_ were joyned to the Kirk of
_Scotland_, as a Member thereof: Which being seriously thought upon and
considered by the Assembly, they approved the motion, and ordained Master
_Robert Baillie_ Minister at _Cilwinning_, to write to Master _William
Spang_ Minister at _Campheir_, and Kirk-Session thereof, willing them to
send their Minister, and a ruling Elder, instructed with a Commission to
the next General Assembly to be holden at St _Andrews_, the last Wednesday
of _July 1642._ at which time they should be inrolled in the Books of the
General Assembly, as the Commissioners of the General Assembly of
_Scotland_, from the Scots Kirk at _Campheir_.

                  -------------------------------------

_The Assembly appoints the next General Assembly to be holden at_ St.
Andrews, _the last Wednesday of_ July _next_, 1642.



THE GENERALL ASSEMBLY, CONVEENED AT S. ANDREWS, JULY 27. 1642.



Act Sess. 1. July 27. 1642.



_The Kings Letter to the Generall Assembly, presented by His Majesties
Commissioner, the Earle of_ Dumfermling, _July 27. 1642._


CHARLES R.

In the midst of Our great and weighty affaires of Our other kingdoms,
which God Almighty, who is privie to Our Intentions, and in whom We trust,
will in his own time bring to a wished and peaceable conclusion, We are
not unmindfull of that duetie which we owe to that Our ancient and native
Kingdome, and to the Kirks there, now met together by their Commissioners
in a Nationall Assembly. God whose Vice-gerent We are, hath made Us a King
over divers Kingdomes, and We have no other desire, nor designe, but to
govern them by their own Lawes, and the Kirks in them by their own Canons
and Constitutions. Where any thing is found to be amisse, We will
endeavour a Reformation in a fair and orderly way; and where a Reformation
is settled, We resolve, with that authoritie where with God hath in vested
Us, to maintain and defend it in peace and libertie, against all trouble
that can come from without, and against all Heresies, Sects, and Schismes
which may arise from within. Nor do We desire any thing more in that
Kingdom (and when We shall hear of it, it shall be a delight and matter of
gladnesse unto Us) then that the Gospel be faithfully preached throughout
the whole Kingdom, to the outmost skirts and borders thereof. Knowing that
to be the mean of honour to God, of happinesse to the people, and of true
obedience to Us. And for this effect, that holy and able men be put in
places of the Ministery, and that Schooles and Colledges may flourish in
Learning and true Pietie. Some things for advancing of those ends, We did
of Our own accord promise in Our Letters to the last Assembly, and We make
your selves Judges, who were witnesses to Our Actions, while We were there
in Person, whether we did not perform them both in the point of
presentations which are in our hands, and in the liberall provision of all
the Universities and Colledges of the Kingdome, not only above that which
any of Our Progenitors had done before Us, but also above your owne hopes
and expectation. We doe not make commemoration of this Our Beneficence,
either to please Ourselves, or to stop the influence of Our Royal
goodnesse and Bountie for afterward, but that by these reall
demonstrations of Our unfained desires and delight to do good, you may be
the more confident to expect from Us, whatsoever in Justice We can grant,
or what may be expedient for you to obtaine. We have given expresse charge
to Our Commissioner, to see that all things be done there orderly and
peaceably, as if We were present in Our Own Person; not doubting but in
thankfulnesse for your present estate and condition, you will abstaine
from every thing that may make any new disturbance, and that you will be
more wise then to be the enemies of your own peace, which would but
stumble others, and ruine your selves. We have also commanded Our
Commissioner to receive from you your just and reasonable desires, for
what may further serve for the good of Religion, that taking them to Our
consideration, We may omit nothing which may witnesse Us to be indeed a
nursing Father of that Kirk, wherein We were born and baptized, and that
if ye be not happy, you may blame not Us, but your selves. And now what
doe We again require of you, but that which otherwise you owe to Us as
your Soveraigne Lord and King, even that ye pray for Our prosperitie and
the peace of Our Kingdomes, that ye use the best meanes to keep Our People
in obedience to Us and Our Lawes, which doth very much in Our personall
absence from that Our Kingdom depend upon your preaching, and your owne
exemplary loyaltie and faithfulnesse, and that against all such
jealousies, suspitions, and sinister rumors as are too frequent in these
times, and have been often falsified in time past, by the reality of the
contrary events: Ye judge Us and Our professions by Our actions, which we
trust through God in despight of malice shall ever go on in a constant way
for the good of Religion, and the weal of Our People, which is the
Chiefest of Our intentions and desires. And thus We bid you farewell.
_Given at Our Court at_ Leicester, _the 23. of_ July, 1642.

_To Our trusty and wel beloved the Generall Assembly in our Kingdom of_
Scotland _conveened at_ S. Andrews.



Act Sess 3. July 29. 1642.



_Act for bringing in of the Synode Books yeerly to the General
Assemblies._


The Moderator calling to minde that which was forgotten in the preceeding
Sessions, the examination of the Provincial Books, caused call the Roll of
the Provinciall Assemblies, And the Assembly finding very few Provinces to
have sent their Books to this Assembly, notwithstanding of the ordinance
of the former Assembly thereanent, for the more exact obedience of that
ordinance hereafter, the Assembly in one voyce ordaines, That the Books of
every Provincial Assembly shall be brought and produced to every General
Assembly: And that this may be performed, ordaines that every Clerk of the
Provincials, either bring or send the said Books yearly to the General
Assemblies, by the Commissioners sent to the Assemblies, from these
Presbyteries where the Clerks reside. Which charge the Assembly also layes
upon the said Commissioners, sent from the saids Presbyteries where the
Clerks reside, may and while some meanes be provided, whereby the Clerks
charges may be sustained for coming with the saids Books themselves: And
that under the pain of deprivation of the Clerk, in case of his neglect,
and of such censure of the saids Commissioners, in case of their neglect
as the Assembly shall think convenient.



Act Sess 5. August 1. 1642.



_Act anent the choosing of Kirk Sessions._


Anent the question moved to the Assembly, concerning the election of Kirk
Sessions, The Assembly ordaines the old Session to elect the new Session
both in Burgh and Land. And that if any place shall vaik in the Session
chosen, by death or otherwise, the present Session shall have the election
of the person to fill the vacand roome.



Sess 6. August 2. 1642.



_The Report of the Interpretation of the Act at_ Edinburgh, _anent tryal
of Ministers._


The meaning of the foresaid Act, is not that an actual Minister to be
transported, shall be tried again by the tryals appointed for trying of
Expectants, at their entry to the Ministery, according to the Acts of the
Kirk; but only that he bringing a Testimonial of his former tryals, and of
his abilities, and conversation, from the Presbyterie from whence he
comes, and giving such satisfaction to the Parochiners Presbyterie whereto
he comes in preaching, as the Presbyterie finds his gifts fit and
answerable for the condition and disposition of the Congregation, whereto
he is presented. Because, according to the Act of the Assembly 1596.
renewed at _Glasgow_, some that are meet for the Ministery in some places,
are not meet for all alike: And Universities, Towns and Burghs, and places
of Noblemens residence, or frequencie of Papists, and other great and
eminent Congregations, and in sundry other cases, require men of greater
abilities, nor will be required necessarily in the planting of all private
small Paroches, the leaving of the consideration of these cases unto the
judgement and consideration of the Presbyterie, was the only intention of
the Act.

_The Assembly approves the meaning and interpretation foresaid: And
appoints the said Act, according to this interpretation, to stand in
force, and to have the strength of an Act and ordinance of Assembly in all
time coming._



Act Sess. 7. August 3. 1642.



_Act anent the order for making Lists to His Majestie, and other Patrons
for Presentations; The order of tryal of Expectants, and for trying the
quality of Kirks._


Forsameikle as His Majestie was graciously pleased in His Answer to the
Petition, tendred by the Commissioners of the late Assembly to His
Majestie, to declare and promise, for the better providing of vaiking
Kirks at His Majesties Presentation with qualified Ministers, to present
one out of a list of six persons, sent to His Majestie from the
Presbyteries wherein the vaiking Kirk lyeth, as His Majesties Declaration,
signed with his Royal hand at _White-hall_, the 3. of _January_ last,
registrate in the books of Assembly, this day at length beares. And
suchlike whereas the Lords of Exchequer upon a Petition presented to them
by the Commissioners of the Generall Assembly, and the Procurator and
Agent for the Kirk representing two Prejudices; one, that gifts obtained
from His Majestie of Patronages of Kirks, at His Presentation were passing
the Exchequer, without the qualification and provision of a List,
wherewith His Majestie was pleased to restrict himself; and the other,
that some were seeking gifts of patronage of Bishop-Kirks, which we
declared to belong to Presbyteries, to be planted by two Acts of the late
Parliament, The saids Lords have ordained that no signatory containing
gifts of patronages from His Majestie, shall passe hereafter, but with a
speciall provision that the same shall be lyable to the tenor of His
Majesties said Declaration. Ordaining also the Procurator & Agent of the
Kirk to be advertised, & to have place to see all signaters whatsoever,
containing any patronage, to the effect they may represent the interest of
the Kirk therein; as the said Act of the date the 27 of _June_ last,
registrate also in the Books of Assembly, this day at length beares.
Therefore that the saids Kirks which now are, or which were at his
Majesties presentation the sayd third day of _January_ last, may be the
better provided with able Ministers, when the samine shall vaik, The
Assembly ordaines that hereafter every Presbyterie shall give up yearly a
Roll of the ablest of their Expectants, to their Synods; and that the
Synods select out of these Rolls such persons whom they in certain
knowledge judge most fit for the Ministrie and worthiest of the first
place, With Power to the Synods to adde or alter these Rolls given by the
Presbyteries, as they thinke reasonable: And that the Synods shall send
the Rolls made by them in this manner, to the next Generall Assembly, who
shall also examine the Rolls of the Synods, and adde or alter the same as
shall be thought expedient. Which Roll made by the Generall Assembly,
shall be sent to every Presbyterie & that the Presbyterie, with consent of
the most or best part of the Congregation, shall make a List of six
persons willing to accept of the presentation out of that Roll of the
Assembly, upon every occasion of vacation of any Kirk within their bounds,
and shall send the samine together with a blank presentation: The which
(if His Majesty be Patron to the vacant Kirk) shall be sent by the said
Procurator and Agent, to such as the Commissioners of the Generall
Assembly, or in their absence the Presbyterie of _Edinburgh_: shall direct
and think at that time most able and willing to obtain the presentation,
to be signed and filled up by His Maj. choise of one of the List. And if
the vacant Kirk be of a Patronage disponed by His Majesty since the 3. of
_January_, in that case either the Presbyteries themselves shall send a
List of six persons in maner aforesaid, with a blank presentation to the
Patron, to be filled up by his choise, & subscribed or send the samine to
the saids Officers of the Kirk, to be conveyed by them to the Patron of
the vaiking Kirk, as the Presbyterie shall think most expedient. It is
always declared, that this order shall be without prejudice to the
Presbyteries, with consent foresaid, to put actual Ministers upon the said
List of six persons, to be sent to the Patron of the said vaiking Kirks,
if they please. And least that the nomination of Expectants by
Presbyteries, Synods, or Assemblies, in their Rolls or Lists foresaid, be
mis-interpreted, as though the Expectants nominated in these Rolls and
Lists, were thereby holden & acknowledged to be qualified, which is not
the intention of the Assembly, who rather think, that in respect of this
Order, there should be a more exact tryal of Expectants then before:
Therefore the Assembly ordaines, that no Expectants shall be put on the
Rolls or Lists above-mentioned, but such as have been upon the publike
exercise, at the least by the space of half a year, or longer, as the
Presbyterie shall finde necessary. And suchlike ordaines, that hereafter
none be admitted to the publike exercise, before they be tried according
to the tryal appointed for Expectants, at their entrie to the Ministerie
in the late Assembly at _Glasgow_, in the 24. Article of the Act of the
23. Session thereof: which tryall of the Assembly appoints to be taken of
every Expectant, before his admission to the publike exercise. And
suchlike ordaines, That the samine tryall shall be again taken immediatly
before their admission to the Ministerie, together with their triall
mentioned in the advice of some Brethren deputed for penning the
corruptions of the Ministery, approven in the said Act of the Generall
Assembly at _Glasgow_. And because that Kirks of the patronages foresaids,
will vaik before the Rolls and Lists be made up by the Presbyteries,
Synods, and General Assemblies, in manner foresaid: Therefore in the
_interim_ the Assembly ordains the Commissioners of every Presbyterie here
present, to give in a List of the ablest Expectants within their bounds,
the morn, to the Clerk of the Assembly, that the Assembly may out of these
Rolls, make a List to be sent to every Presbyterie: Out of which the
Presbyteries shall make a List of six persons, with consent foresaid, and
send the samine upon vacancie of any Church within their bounds, together
with a presentation to His Majestie, or any other patron, in manner
foresaid. And because the Procurator and Agent of the Kirk cannot get
sufficient information to the Lords of Exchequer anent the Right and
Interest of the Kirk, and Presbyteries in Kirks, whereof gifts of
patronages may be presented to the Exchequer: Therefore the Assembly
ordaines for their better information hereanent, that every Presbyterie,
with all diligence, use all meanes of exact tryall of the nature and
qualitie of all Kirks within their bounds, as what Kirks belong to the
Kings Majesties patronage, what to other Laick patronages, what Kirks of
old were planted by the Presbyteries, and what by Prelates, and Bishops,
before the Assembly at _Glasgow_ 1638. what hath been the way and time of
the change of the planting and providing of the Kirks, if any have been
changed or any other thing concerning the nature and qualitie of every
Kirk within their bounds, and to send the same to the Procurator of the
Kirk with all diligence.



_Act anent Lists for the Kirks in the High-lands._


The Assembly considering that in _Argyle_, and in other places of the
_Irish_ language, there will not be gotten six expectants able to speak
that language, And therfore the Assembly is hopefull, that in these
singular cases, His Majestie will be pleased for Kirks vacand in the
_Highlands_, to accept of a List of so many expectants as can be had, able
to speak the _Irish_ language. And the Commissioners Grace promiseth to
recommend it to His Majestie.



_Overtures against Papists, non-Communicants, and profaners of the
Sabbath._


The Assembly would draw up a Supplication to be presented by the
Commissioners of the Presbyterie of _Edinburgh_ to the Councell at their
first meeting, for the due execution of the Acts of Parliament and
Councell against Papists, wherein it will be specially craved, that the
Exchequer should be the Intromettors with the Rents of these who are
excommunicate, and that from the Exchequer the Presbyterie may receive
that portion of the confiscate goods, which the Law appoints to be
imployed _ad pios usus_.

II. Every Presbyterie would conveen at their first meeting, all known
Papists in their bounds, and require them to put out of their company, all
friends and servants who are Popish within one moneth: Also within that
same space, to give their children, sons and daughters, who are above
seven yeers old, to be educate at their charges, by such of their
Protestant friends, as the Presbyterie shall approve, and finde sufficient
caution for bringing home within three moneths such of their children who
are without the Kingdom, to be educate in Schooles and Colledges at the
Presbyteries sight; to finde caution likewise of their abstinence from
Masse, and the company of all Jesuits and Priests.

III. That all, of whatsoever rank or degree, who refuse to give
satisfaction in every one of the foresaid Articles, shall be processed
without any delay; but those who give satisfaction shall be dealt with in
all meeknesse, after this manner: The Presbyteries shall appoint such of
their number as they shall find fittest to confer with them so frequently
as the Brethren are able to attend, until the midst of _October_ next,
against which time, if they be not willing to go to Church, they shall
give assurance to go and dwell in the next adjacent University Town,
whether _Edinburgh_, _Glasgow_, _St. Andrews_, or _Aberdene_, from
_November 1._ to the last of _March_, where they shall attend all the
diets of conference which the Professor and Ministers of the bounds shall
appoint to them: By which, if they be not converted, their obstinacy shall
be declared in the Provincial Synods of _April_, and from thence their
Processe shall go on to the very closure without any farther delay.

IV. That every Presbyterie, as they will be answerable to the next General
Assembly, be careful to do their dutie in all the premisses.

V. That there be given presently by the Members of this present Assembly
unto the Commissioners of the Presbyterie of _Edinburgh_, a List of all
excommunicate Papists they know, and of all Papists who have children
educate abroad, that they may be presented, together with our Supplication
to the Councel, at their first sitting.

VI. That the Councel may be supplicate for an Act, that in no Regiment
which goes out of the Kingdom, any Papists bear office, and that the
Colonel be required to finde caution for this effect, before he receive
the Councels warrant for levying any Souldiers: Also that he finde caution
for the maintaining of a Minister, and keeping of a Session in his
Regiment.

_Item_, The Assembly would enjoyn every Presbyterie to proceed against
Non-communicants, whether Papists or others, according to the Act of
Parliament made thereanent. And suchlike, that Acts of Parliament against
prophaners of the Sabbath be put to execution.


    _The Assembly approves the Overtures foresaid, and ordains
    Presbyteries to put the samine to execution with all diligence:
    And that the Commissioners of every Presbyterie give in a List of
    the excommunicate Papists within their bounds, and of Papists
    children out of the countrey to the Clerk, that the same may be
    presented to the Councel by the Commissioners of this Assembly._



_Act anent the joyning of the Presbyterie of_ Sky _to the Synode of_
Argyle.


The General Assembly having considered the whole proceedings of the
Commissioners of the late General Assembly holden at _Edinburgh_, anent
the reference made to them concerning the Presbyterie of _Sky_, together
with the whole reasons _pro & contra_ in the said matter, after mature
deliberation have ratified and approved, and by these presents ratifie and
approve the Sentence of the saids Commissioners thereintil. And further
ordains the said Presbytery of _Sky_, and all the Ministers and Elders
thereof, to keep the meetings of the Provincial Assembly of _Argyle_,
where they shall happen to be appointed in all time coming, suchlike as
any other Presbyterie within the bounds of the said Province of _Argyle_
uses to do: And that the samine Presbyterie be in all time hereafter
within the Jurisdiction of the said Provincial Assembly, without any
further question to be made thereanent.



Sess. 8. August 3. post Meridiem.



The Supplication of this Assembly to the KINGS MAJESTIE.


_To the Kings most Excellent Maj. the hearty Thanksgiving, and humble
Petition of the General Assembly of the Kirk of_ Scotland, _met at_ St.
Andrews, _July 27. 1642._

Our hearts were filled with great joy and gladnesse at the hearing of Your
Majesties Letter, which was read once and again in face of the Assembly,
every line thereof almost either expressing such affection to the Reformed
Religion, and such Royal care of us, as we could require from a Christian
Prince; or requiring such necessary duties from us, as we are bound to
performe as Ministers of the Gospel, and Christian Subjects: For which, as
solemne thanks were given by the Moderator of the Assembly, so do we all
with one voice in all humility, present unto Your Majestie the
thankfulnesse of our hearts, with our earnest prayers to God for your
Majesties prosperity, and the peace of Your Kingdoms, that Your Majestie
may be indeed a nursing Father to all the Kirks of Christ in Your Maj.
Dominions; & especially to the Kirk of _Scotland_ honoured with Your Birth
and Baptisme: Promising our most serious indeavours by doctrine and life,
to advance the Gospel of Christ, & and to keep the people in our charge in
Unity and Peace, and in all loyalty and obedience to Your Majestie and
Your Laws. Your Majesties commands to Your Commissioner, the Earle of
_Dumfermling_, to receive from us our just and reasonable desires for what
may further serve for the good of Religion here, the favours which we have
received already, and Your Maj. desires and delight to do good, expressed
in Your Letter, are as many encouragements to us, to take the boldnesse in
all humility to present unto Your Majestie (beside the particulars
recommended to Your Majesties Commissioner) one thing, which for the
present is the chiefest of all Our desires, as serving most for the glory
of Christ, for Your Majesties Honour and Comfort; and not onely for the
good of Religion here, but for the true happinesse and peace of all Your
Majesties Dominions; which is no new motion, but the prosecution of that
same by the Commissioners of this Your Majesties Kingdom in the late
Treatie, and which Your Majestie, with advice of both houses of
Parliament, did approve in these words: _To their desire concerning unitie
in Religion and uniformitie of Church government, as a speciall meanes of
conserving of Peace betwixt the two Kingdoms, upon the grounds and reasons
contained in the Paper of the 10 of_ March, _given in to the Treaty and
Parliament of_ England: It is answered upon the 15 of _June, That his
Majestie, with advice of both Houses of Parliament, doth approve of the
affection of His Subjects of_ Scotland, _in their desire of having the
conformity of Church-government, betwixt the two Nations, and as the
Parliament hath already taken into consideration __ the reformation of
Church government, so they will proceed therein in due time, as shall best
conduce to the glory of God, the Peace of the Church, and of both
Kingdoms, 11 of_ June 1641. In Our answer to a Declaration sent by the now
Commissioners of this Kingdom from both Houses of Parliament, we have not
onely pressed this point of unity in Religion and Uniformity of Church
government, as a meane of a firme and durable union betwixt the two
Kingdomes, and without which former experiences put us out of hope long to
enjoy the puritie of the Gospel with Peace, but also have rendred the
reasons of our hopes and confidence, as from other considerations, so from
Your Majesties late Letter to this Assembly, that Your Majestie in a happy
conjunction with the Houses of Parliament, will be pleased to settle this
blessed Reformation, with so earnestly desired a Peace in all Your
Dominions. And therfore we Your Majesties most loving Subjects, in name of
the whole Kirks of _Scotland_, represented by us, upon the knees of our
hearts, do most humbly and earnestly beg, that Your Majesty in the deep of
Your Royall Wisdom, and from Your affection to the true Religion, and the
Peace of Your Kingdoms, may be moved to consider, that the God of Heaven
and Earth is calling for this Reformation at Your hands, and that as you
are his Vice-gerent, so You may be his prime Instrument in it. If it shall
please the Lord (which is our desire and hope) that this blessed unitie in
Religion and Uniformity in Government shall be brought about; Your
Majesties Conscience, in performing of so great a dutie: shall be a
well-spring of comfort to Your Self, Your memory shall be a sweet favour,
and Your name renowned to all following generations. And if these unhappy
commotions and divisions shall end in this peace and unity; then it shall
appeare in the Providence of God, they were but the noyse of many waters,
and the voyce of a great thunder before the voyce of harpers harping with
their harps, which shall fill this whole Iland with melodie and mirth, and
the name of it shall be, THE LORD IS THERE.



_The Declaration of the Parliament of_ England, _sent to the Assembly._


The Lords and Commons in this present Parliament assembled, finding to
their great grief, that the distractions of this Kingdome dayly increase,
and that the wicked Counsels and practises of a malignent party amongst us
(if God prevent them not) are like to cast this nation into bloud and
confusion, To testifie to all the World how earnestly they desire to avoid
a Civill Warre, they have addressed themselves in an humble Supplication
to His Majestie, for the prevention thereof. A Copy of which their
petition, they have thought fit to send at this time to the National
Assembly of the Church of _Scotland_, to the intent that that Church and
Kingdome (whereunto they are united by so many and so near bounds and
tyes, as well Spiritual as Civil) may see that the like minde is now in
them, that formerly appeared to be in that Nation. And that they are as
tender of the effusion of Christian bloud on the one side, as they are
zealous on the other side of a due Reformation both in Church and State.
In which work, whilest they were labouring, they have been interrupted by
the plots and practises of a malignant party of Papists, and ill affected
persons, especially of the corrupt and dissolute Clergy, by the incitement
and instigation of Bishops and others, whose avarice and ambition being
not able to bear the Reformation endeavoured by the Parliament, they have
laboured (as we can expect little better fruit from such trees) to kindle
a flame, and raise a combustion within the bowels of this Kingdom: Which
if by our humble supplication to His Majesty it may be prevented, and that
according to our earnest desire therein, all Force and Warlike
preparations being laid aside, we may returne to a peaceable parliamentary
proceeding, We do not doubt, but that by the blessing of Almighty God upon
our endeavours, we shall settle the matters both in Church and State, to
the encrease of His Majesties honour and State, the peace and prosperitie
of this Kingdome, and especially to the glory of God, by the advancement
of the true Religion, and such a Reformation of the Church, as shall be
most agreeable to Gods Word. Out of all which, there will also most
undoubtedly result a most firme & stable Union between the two Kingdomes
of _England_ and _Scotland_, which according to our Protestation, we shall
by all good wayes and meanes, upon all occasions, labour to preserve and
maintain.

_Subscribitur_
John Brown, _Cler. Parl._



_The Assemblies answer to the Declaration of the Parliament of_ England.


The Generall Assembly of the Kirk of _Scotland_ having received a
Declaration sent unto them by the Commissioners of this Kingdome, now at
_London_, from the Honourable Houses of the Parliament of _England_
expressing their care to prevent the effusion of Christian bloud in that
Kingdome, and their affections to Reformation both in Kirk and State, and
having taken the same to such consideration as the importance of so
weighty matters, and the high estimation they have of so wise and
honourable a meeting as is the Parliament of _England_, did require; have
with universall consent resolved upon this following Answer.

I. That from the recent sense of the goodnesse of God, in their own late
deliverance, and from their earnest desire of all happinesse to our native
King and that Kingdome, they blesse the Lord for preserving them in the
midst of so many unhappy divisions and troubles from a bloudy Intestine
War, which is from God the greatest Judgement, and to such a nation the
compend of all calamities. They also give God thanks for their former and
present desires of a Reformation, especially of Religion, which is the
glory and strength of a Kingdome, and bringeth with it all temporall
blessings of prosperity and peace.

II. That the hearts of all the Members of this Assembly, and of all the
wel-affected within this Kingdome, are exceedingly grieved and made heavy,
that in so long a time, against the professions both of King and
Parliament, and contrary to the joynt desires and prayers of the godly in
both Kingdomes, to whom it is more deare and precious then what is dearest
to them in the world, the Reformation of Religion hath moved so slowly,
and suffered so great interruption. They consider that not only Prelates,
formall Professours, profane and worldly men, and all that are Popishly
affected, are bad councellours and workers, and do abuse their power, and
bend all their strength and policies against the Work of God; but the God
of this world also, with Principalities and powers, the rulers of the
darknesse of this world, and spiritual wickednesse in high places, are
working with all their force and fraud in the same opposition, not without
hope of successe, they having prevailed so farre from the beginning, That
in the times of the best Kings of _Juda_ of old, and the most part of the
Reformed Kirks of late, a through and perfect Reformation of Religion hath
been a work full of difficulties, Yet doe they conceive, that as it ought
first of all to be intended so should it be above all other things, with
confidence in God, who is greater then the World, and he who is in the
World, most seriously endeavoured. And that when the supream providence
giveth opportunity of the accepted time & day of salvation, no other work
can prosper in the hands of his servants, if it be not apprehended, & with
all reverence & faithfulnesse improved. This Kirk and Nation, when the
Lord gave them the calling, considered not their own deadnesse, nor
staggered at the promise through unbelief, but gave glory to God. And who
knoweth (we speak it in humility and love, and from no other mind then
from a desire of the blessing of God upon our King and that Kingdome) but
the Lord hath now some controversie with _England_, which will not be
removed, till first and before all, the worship of his name and the
government of his house be settled according to his own will? When this
desire shall come, it shall be to _England_ after so long deferred hopes,
a tree of life, which shall not only yeeld temporell blessings unto
themselves, but also shall spread the branches so far, that both this
nation and other reformed Kirks shall finde the fruits thereof to their
great satisfaction.

III. The Commissioners of this Kingdome in the late Treaty of peace,
considering that Religion is not only the meane of the service of God and
saving of Souls, but is also the base and foundation of Kingdomes and
Estates, and the strongest band to tye Subjects to their Prince in true
loyaltie, and to knit the hearts of one to another in true unity and love,
They did with preface of all due respect and reverence, far from arrogancy
or presumption, represent in name of this Kingdome, their serious thoughts
and earnest desires for unity of Religion, That in all His Majesties
Dominions, there might be one Confession of Faith, one directory of
worship, one publike Catechisme, and one form of Kirk Government. This
they conceived to be acceptable to God Almighty, who delighteth to see his
People walking in truth and unity, to be a speciall meanes for conserving
of peace betwixt the Kingdomes, of easing the Kings Majesty, and the
publike government of much trouble, which ariseth from differences of
Religion, very grievous to Kings and Estates, of great content to the King
himself, to his Nobles, his Court, and all his people, when (occasioned to
be abroad) without scruple to themselves, or scandal to others; all may
resort to the same publike worship, as if they were at their own
dwellings; of suppressing the names of Heresies, and Sects, Puritans,
Conformists, Separatists, Anabaptists, &c. Which do rent asunder the
bowels both of Kirk and Kingdome, of despaire of successe to Papists and
Recusants, to have their profession, which is inconsistent with the true
Protestant Religion, and authority of Princes, setup again, and of drawing
the hearts and hands of Ministers, from unpleasant and unprofitable
Controversies, to the pressing of mortification, and to Treatises of true
pietie, and practical Divinity. The Assembly doth now enter upon the
labour of the Commissioners, unto which they are encouraged, not only by
their faithfulnesse in the late Treaty, but also by the zeale and example
of the Generall Assemblies of this Kirk in former times, as may appeare by
the Assembly at _Edinburgh_, _Decemb. 25._ in the year 1566. which
ordained a Letter to be sent to _England_ against the Surplice, Tippet,
Cornercap, and such other Ceremonies as then troubled that Kirk, that they
might be removed. By the Assembly at _Edinburgh_, _April 24. 1583._ humbly
desiring the Kings Majesty to command his Ambassadour, then going to
_England_, to deale with the Queen, that there might be an Union and Band
betwixt them & other Christian Princes & Realmes, professing the true
Religion for defence and protection of the Word of God, and Professors
thereof, against the persecution of Papists and confederates joyned and
united together by the bloudy league of _Trent_: as also that his Majesty
would disburden their brethren of _England_ of the yoke of Ceremonies,
imposed upon them, against the liberty of the Word: And by the Assembly at
_Edinburgh_ _March 3. 1589._ ordaining the Presbyterie of _Edinburgh_ to
use all good and possible means for the relief and comfort of the Kirk of
_England_, then heavily troubled for the maintaining the true discipline
and government of the Kirk, and that the Brethren in their private and
publike prayers, recommend the estate of the afflicted Kirk of _England_
to God, While now by the mercy of God the conjunction of the two Kingdomes
is many wayes increased, the zeale of the Generall Assembly towards their
happinesse ought to be no lesse. But besides these, the Assembly is much
encouraged unto this duetie, both from the Kings Majesty and his
Parliament, joyntly, in their Answer to the proposition, made by the late
Commissioners of the Treaty, in these words: _To their desire concerning
unity of Religion, and uniformity of Kirk government as a speciall meanes
for conserving of peace betwixt the two Kingdomes, upon the grounds and
reasons contained in the paper of the_ 10 _of_ March, _and given in to the
treatie and Parliament of_ England: _It is answered upon the_ 15. _of_
June, _That his Majestie with advise, of both Houses of Parliament doth
approve of the affection of His Subjects of_ Scotland _in their desire of
having conformitie of Kirk government between the two Nations, and as the
Parliament hath already taken into consideration the Reformation of Kirk
government, so they will proceed therein in due time, as shall best
conduce to the glory of God, the peace of the Kirk, and of both
Kingdomes._ And also severally: for His Majestie knoweth that the custodie
and vindication, the conservation and purgation of Religion, are a great
part of the duetie of Civill authority and power. His Majesties late
practise while he was here in person, in resorting frequently to the
exercises of publike worship, His Royall actions, in establishing the
worship and government of this Kirk in Parliament, and in giving order for
a competent maintenance to the Ministery and Seminaries of the Kirk, and
His Majesties gracious Letter to the Assembly (seconded by the speech of
His Majesties Commissioner) which containes this religious expression:
_Where any thing is amisse, we will endeavour a Reformation in a fair and
orderly way, and where Reformation is settled, we resolve with that
authority wherewith God hath vested us, to maintain and defend it in peace
and liberty, against all trouble that can come from without, and against
all Heresies, Sects, and Schismes, wich may arise from within._ All these
doe make us hopeful that His Majestie will not oppose, but advance the
work of Reformation. In like manner the Honourable Houses of Parliament,
as they have many times before witnessed their zeale, so now also in their
Declaration sent to the Assembly, which not only sheweth the constancy of
their zeale, but their great grief that the worke hath been interrupted by
a malignant party of Papists and evill affected persons, especially of the
corrupt and dissolute Clergie, by the incitement and instigation of
Bishops and others, their hope according to their earnest desire, when
they shall returne to a peaceable and Parliamentary proceding, by the
blessing of God, to settle such a Reformation in the Church, as shall be
agreeable to Gods word, and that the result shall be a most firm and
stable union between the two Kingdoms of _England_ and _Scotland_, &c. The
Assembly also is not a little encouraged by a Letter sent from many
reverend Brethren of the Kirk of _England_, expressing their prayers and
endeavours against every thing which shall be found prejudiciall to the
establishment of the Kingdome of Christ, and the Peace of their
Soveraigne. Upon these encouragements, and having so patent a doore of
hope, the Assembly doth confidently expect, that _England_ will now
bestirre themselves in the best way for a Reformation of Religion, and do
most willingly offer their prayers and utter-endeavours for furthering so
great a Work, wherein Christ is so much concerned in his glory, the King
in his honour, the Kirk and Kingdome of _England_ in their happinesse, and
this Kirk and Kingdome in the purity and peace of the Gospel.

IV. That the Assembly also from so many reall invitations, are heartened
to renew the Proposition made by the aforenamed Commissioners of this
Kingdome, for beginning the Work of Reformation, at the uniformity of
Kirk-government. For what hope can there be of Unity in Religion, of one
Confession of Faith, one Form of Worship, & one Catechisme, till there be
first one Forme of Ecclesiasticall Government? Yea, what hope can the
Kingdome and Kirk of _Scotland_ have of a firme and durable Peace, till
Prelacie, which hath been the main cause of their miseries and troubles,
first and last, be plucked up, root and branch, as a plant which God hath
not planted, and from which, no better fruits can be expected then such
sower grapes, as this day set on edge the Kingdome of _England_?

V. The Prelaticall Hierarchie being put out of the way, the Work will be
easie, without forcing of any conscience, to settle in _England_ the
government of the Reformed Kirks by Assemblies. For although the Reformed
Kirks do hold, without doubting, their Kirk Officers, and Kirk government
by Assemblies higher and lower, in their strong and beautifull
subordination, to be _jure divinio_, and perpetuall: yet Prelacie, as it
differeth from the Office of a Pastor, is almost universally acknowledged
by the Prelates themselves, and their adherents, to be but an humane
ordinance, introduced by humane reason, and settled by humane Law and
Custome for supposed convenience: which therefore by humane authority,
without wronging any mans conscience, may be altred and abolished upon so
great a necessity, as is a hearty conjunction with all the Reformed Kirks,
a firm and well grounded Peace betwixt the two Kingdomes, formerly divided
in themselves, and betwixt themselves by this partition wall and a perfect
Union of the Kirks in the two Nations: which although by the providence of
God in one Hand, & under one Monarch, yet ever since the Reformation, and
for the present also, are at greater difference in the point of
Kirk-government, which in all places hath a more powerfull influence upon
all the parts of Religion, then any other Reformed Kirks, although in
Nations at greatest distance, and under divers Princes.

VI. What may be required of the Kirk of _Scotland_ for furthering the Work
of Uniformitie of Government, or for agreeing upon a common Confession of
Faith, Catechisme, and directory for Worship, shall according to the order
given by this Assembly, be most willingly performed by Us, who long
extreamly for the day when King and Parliament shall joyn for bringing to
passe so great, so good a Work, That all Warres and Commotions ceasing,
all Superstition, Idolatry, Heresie, Sects, and Schismes being removed, as
the Lord is one, so his name may be one amongst us; and mercy and truth,
righteousnesse and peace meeting together, and kissing one another, may
dwell in this Iland.



Act Sess. 8. Aug. 3. 1642.


_Overtures for transplantation of Ministers; and provision of Schools,
ordained by the late Assembly at_ Edinburgh _to be sent to Synods, and
reported to this Assembly._



Act Sess. 11. _Edinb._ August 5. 1642.


_These Overtures underwritten, anent the transporting of Ministers and
Professors to Kirks and Colledges, being read in audience of the Assembly,
and thereafter revised by a Committee appointed for that effect, The
Assembly appoints them to be sent to the severall Synods, to be considered
by them, and they to report their judgements thereof to the next Generall
Assembly._

I. No transportation would be granted hereafter without citation of
parties having interest (_viz._ the Minister who is sought and his Parish)
to hear what they can oppose, and the matter is to come first to both the
Presbyteries (_viz._ that wherein the Minister dwels, whose transportation
is sought, and the other Presbyterie to which he is sought if the Kirks
lye in several Presbyteries) and if the Presbyteries agree not, then the
matter is to be brought to the Synod, or Generall Assembly (which of them
shall first occure after such transportation is sought) and if the Synod
(occurring first) agree not; or if there be appeale made from it, then the
matter is to come to the Generall Assembly.

II. A Minister may be transplanted from a particular Congregation (where
he can onely doe good to a part) to such a place, where he may benefit the
whole Kirk of _Scotland_ because, in reason the whole is to be preferred
to a part, such as _Edinburgh_.

1. Because all the great Justice Courts sit there, as Councell, Session,
Justice Generall, Exchequer, &c. and it concerns the whole Kirk, that
these Fountains of Justice be kept clean, both in the point of Faith, and
Manners.

2. Because there is great confluence to _Edinburgh_, from time to time, of
many of the chief Members of the whole Kingdome, and it concerns the whole
Kirk to have these well seasoned, who (apparantly) are to be the
Instruments of keeping this Kirk and Kingdome in good temper.

That this may be the more easily done, the Assembly first recommends to
_Edinburgh_, that some young men of excellent spirits may be (upon the
charges of the said Town) trained up, at home or abroad, toward the
Ministery from time to time. Secondly we meane not, that all the places of
the Ministrie of _Edinburgh_ be filled with Ministers to be transported by
Authority of this Act, but only till they be provided of one Minister
(transplanted by the Authority of the Assembly) for every Kirk in
_Edinburgh_, and that the rest of the places be filled either according to
the Generall Rules of transportation for the whole Kingdome, or by
agreement with actuall Ministers, and their Parishes, with consent of the
Presbyterie or Synod, to the which they belong.

III. In the next roome, we finde, that it is a transporting of Ministers
for publike good, that Colledges, (having the profession of Divinitie) be
wel provided of professors.

Wherin the Colledge of Divinitie in S. _Andrews_ is first to be served
without taking any Professors or Ministers out of _Edinburg_, _Glasgow_,
or _Aberdene_, and then the rest of the Colledges, would be provided for,
as their necessity shal require: yet (in respect of the present scarcity)
it were good for the Universities to send abroad for able and approved
men, to be Professors of Divinitie, that our Ministers may be kept in
their pastoriall charge as much as may be.

Towns also wherein Colledges are, are very considerable in the matter of
transportation.

IV. Also Congregations, where Noblemen have chief residence are to be
regarded, whether planted or unplanted, and a care is to be had, that none
be admitted Ministers where Popish Noblemen reside, but such as are able
men (especially for controversies) by sight of the Presbyterie: and
moreover it is necessary, that such Minesters as dwell where Popish
Noblemen are, and are not able for controversies, that they be
transported.

V. They who desire the transportation of a Minister should be obliged to
give reasons for their desire: Neither should any Presbyterie or Assembly,
passe a sentence for transportation of any Minister, till they give
reasons for the expediencie of the same, both to him and his Congregation,
&c. to the Presbyterie whereof he is a member. If they acquiesce to the
reasons given, it is so much the better: if they doe not acquiesce, yet
the Presbyterie, or Assembly, (by giving such reasons before the passing
of their sentence) shal make it manifest, that what they doe is not _pro
arbritratu, vel imperio_ onely, but upon grounds of reason.

VI. Because there is such scarcity of Ministers having the _Iris_ tongue,
necessity requires, that when they be found in the Low-lands, they be
transported to the High-lands: providing their condition be not made
worse, but rather better by their transportation.

VII. In the point of voluntary transportation, no Minister shal transact
and agree with any Parish, to be transsported thereto, without a full
hearing of him, and his Parish, before the Presbyterie to which he belongs
in his present charge, or superiour Kirk judicatories, if need shall be.

VIII. The planting of vacant Kirks, is not to be tyed to any (either
Ministers, or Expectants) within a Presbyterie: but a free election is to
be; according to the order of our Kirk, and Lawes of our Kingdome.

IX. The chief Burghs of the Kingdome are to be desired to traine up young
men of excellent spirits for the ministery, according to their power, as
was recommended to _Edinburgh_: Which course will in time (God willing)
prevent many transplantations.

                  -------------------------------------

_The Overtures under-written anent the Schooles being likewise read in
audience of the Assembly, they recommend the particulars therein
mentioned, anent the providing of the maintenance for School-masters to
the Parliament: And ordaine the rest to be sent to the Synods, to be
considered by them, and they to report their judgements thereof to the
next General Assembly, as said is._

I. Every Parish would have a Reader and a Schoole, where Children are to
be bred, in reading, writing, and grounds of Religion, according to the
laudable Acts, both of Kirk and Parliament, made before.

And where Grammar Schooles may be had, as in Burghs, and other
considerable places, (among which all Presbyterial Seats are to be
reputed) that they be erected, and held hand to.

II. Anent these Schooles, every Minister with his Elders shall give
accompt to the Presbyteries at the visitation of the Kirk: The
Presbyteries are to make report to the Synode, and the Synode to the
General Assembly, that Schools are planted, as above said, and how they
are provided with men and means.

III. And because this hath been most neglected in the High-lands, Ilands,
and borders. Therefore the Ministers of every Parish are to instruct by
their Commissioners, to the next General Assembly, that this course is
begun betwixt and then: and they are further to certifie from one General
Assembly to another, whether this course is continued without omission, or
not.

IV. And because the means hitherto named or appointed for Schooles of all
sorts, hath been both little, and ill payed, Therefore, beside former
appointments, (the execution whereof is humbly desired, and to be
petitioned for at the hands of His Majestie and the Parliament) the
Assembly would further supplicate this Parliament that they (in their
wisdome) would finde out how meanes shall be had for so good an use,
especially that the Children of poore men, being very capable of learning,
and of good engines, may be trained up, according as the exigence and
necessity of every place shall require. And that the Commissioners, who
shall be named by this Assembly, to wait upon the Parliament may be
appointed to represent this to his Majestie, and the Parliament, seeing
His sacred Majestie, by his gracious Letter hath put us in hope hereof,
wherewith we have been much refreshed.

V. The Assembly would supplicate the Parliament, that for youths of the
finest and best spirits of the High-lands, and borders, maintenance may be
allotted (as to Bursars) to be bred in Universities.

VI. For the time and manner of visitation of Schooles, and contriving the
best and most compendious and orderly course of teaching Grammar, we
humbly desire the Assembly to appoint a Committee for that effect, who may
report their diligence to the next General Assembly.


    _The Overtures and Articles above-written being reported to this
    Assembly, after reading and serious consideration thereof, the
    Assembly approves the same, and ordaines them to have the strength
    of an Act and ordinance of Assembly, in all time-coming._



Sess. 11. August 5. 1642.



_Act anent contrary Oaths._


The Generall Assembly finding the inconvenience of contrary Oaths in
trying of Adulteries, Fornications, and other faults and scandals, do
therefore for eviting there of, discharge Synods, Presbyteries and
Sessions, to take Oath of both parties in all time hereafter, Recommending
to them in the mean time all other order and wayes of tryall used in such
cases: And that there may be a common order and course kept in this Kirk
of trying of publike scandals, The Assembly ordains the Presbyteries to
advise upon some common order hereintill, and to report their judgements
to the next Assembly.



_Overtures anent Family Exercises, Catechising, keeping of Synods and
Presbyteries, and restraint of Adulteries, Witch-crafts, and other grosse
sins._


_The Committee supplicates the Assembly_,

I. To urge the severall Synods and Presbyteries, especially these of the
North, that Family Exercise in Religion, visitation of the Churches,
Catechising, keeping of the Presbyteriall and Provinciall meetings (both
by Preaching and Ruling Elders) be more carefully observed.

II. That the Clerk at least subscribe every Book before it come to the
Assembly, and that every Act be noted on the Margent, for a directory of
expedition.

III. That the Assembly would seriously studie by all meanes and wayes how
to procure the Magistrates concurrence to curb and punish these notorious
vices which abound in the Land, especially in the Northern parts.


    _The Assembly approves the Overtures foresaids, and ordains them
    to be observed: and for the last, the Assembly being confident of
    __ the readinesse of the Judge Ordinar to restrain and punish
    these faults, Do therefore ordain all Presbyteries to give up to
    the Justice, the names of the Adulterers, incestuous persons,
    Witches and sorcerers and others guilty of such grosse and
    fearfull sins within their bounds that they may be Processed and
    punished according to the Laws of this Kingdom; and that the
    Presbyteries and Synods be carefull herein, as they will answer to
    the Generall Assemblies, And because that Witch craft, Charming,
    and such like proceeds many times from ignorance, Therefore the
    Assembly ordains all Ministers, especially in these parts where
    these sins are frequent, to be diligently Preaching, Cathichising,
    and conferring, to inform their people thereintill._



Sess. 11. Aug. 5. 1642.



_Act against Petitions, Declarations, & suchlike in name of Ministers,
without their knowledge and consents._


The Generall Assembly being informed, that after the Petition presented to
the Lords of His Majesties Privie Councell by the Noblemen Burgesses, and
Ministers, occasionally met at _Edinburg_ the 31. day of _May_ last
by-past, had received a very gracious Answer, There was another Petition
given in to their Lordships upon the 2 day of _June_ last, entituled, The
Petition of the Nobilitie, Gentrie, Burrows, Ministers, and Commons: which
as it was not accompanied with any one Minister to the Lords of Privie
Councell, so all the Ministers of this Assembly, disclaimes and disavoweth
any knowledge thereof, or accession thereto, And the Assembly conceiving
that the Kings Majestie Himself, and all the Courts and Judicatories of
this Kingdome may be deluded and abused, and the Kirk in Generall, and
Ministers in particular injured and prejudged by the like practises
hereafter, Do therefore prohibite and discharge all and every one to
pretend or use the name of Ministers to any Petition, Declaration, or
suchlike at any time hereafter, without their knowledge consent and
assistance: And if any shal doe the contrary, ordaines Presbyteries and
Provinciall Assemblies to proceed against them with the highest censures
of the Kirk.



Sess 11. Aug. 5. 1642.



_Act anent the Assemblies desires to the Lords of Counsell, and
Conservators of Peace._


The Assembly being most desirous to use all, and to omit no lawful meane
or occasion to testifie their zeale by dealing with God and man, for
furtherance of their desires of Unity in Religion and uniformity of
Kirk-government, And considering the great necessity, that the Kirk and
State contribute joyntly their best endeavours to this happy end:
Therefore enjoynes the Moderator, and the commissioners from the Assembly,
to supplicate with all earnestnesse and respect, the Lords of his
Majesties Honourable Privie Councel, and likewise the Commissioners
appointed by His Majestie, and the Parliament, for conservation of the
Peace, that they may be pleased to concur with the Kirk in the like
desires to His Majesty and the Parliament of _England_, and in the like
directions to the Commissioners of this Kingdome, at _London_ for the
time, that by all possible means, Civill, and Ecclesiastick, this blessed
Worke may be advanced, and a happy settling betwixt His Majestie and His
Parliament, may be endeavoured, and the common Peace betwixt the Kingdomes
continued and strengthened.



Sess. 11. Aug 5. 1642.



_The Assemblies humble desire to the Kings Majestie for the Signator of
500 l. Sterling and recommendation thereof to the Kings Commissioner._


The Generall Assembly having received the Report of the proceedings of the
Commissioners of the late Assembly, and specially that His Majesty was
graciously pleased, upon their humble Petition, solemnly to promise and
declare under his Royall hand, his pious resolution and dedication of 500.
l. sterling, out of the readiest of his Rents and revenues, to be imployed
yearly on publike necessary and pious uses of the Kirk, at the sight of
the Generall Assembly, as his Majestie gracious answer of the 3. of
_January_, 1642. registrate in their books at His Majesties own desire,
for their further assurance of his Majesties pious zeale, doth more fully
proport. Likeas being informed that His Majestie was gratiously pleased to
signe and send down to the Kirk the Signator of the said 500. l. yearly to
have past the Exchequer, albeit the samine is not as yet delivered; And
considering His Majesties pious directions to them by his Majesties Letter
to plant and visit the utmost skirts and borders of the Kingdome, as most
necessary for the glory of God, the good of the Kirk, and His Majesties
honour, and service, which is only stopped by the want of charges for
publike visitations, And withall to remonstrate to His Majestie by His
Commissioner, their just and necessary desires for what may further serve
to the good of Religion, whereunto His Majesties Commissioner promised his
best endeavours and assistance. Therefore the Assembly doth most earnestly
recommend to His Majesties Commissioner to represent to His Majestie, with
his best assistance, the humble and necessary desires of the whole
Assembly, that His Majestie will be graciously pleased to command that
Signator, already signed by His Royall hand (or to signe another of the
samine tenor, whereof they deliver the just double to his Maj Commissioner
for that effect) to be sent to this Kingdom, and delivered to the
Commissioners from this Assembly, who are to sit at _Edinburgh_, or to the
Procurator of the Kirk, whereby his Majestie shall more and more oblige
this whole Kirk to pray for a blessing from Heaven upon His Royal Person
and Government.



Sess. 11. Aug. 5. 1642.



_The Assemblies Letter to the Commissioners of this Kingdom at_ London.


_Right Honourable_,

We have received your Lordships Letter, with the Declaration of the
Parliament of _England_, and have sent this Noble bearer to His Majesty
with our humble Supplication, and to your Lordships with our Answer
earnestly desiring Unity of Religion, and Uniformity of Kirk-government,
to be presented by your Lordships, and this Noble bearer to the Honourable
Houses of Parliament. Your Lordships will perceive by the inclosed Copies,
and by our desires to His Majesties honourable Privie Councel and
Commissioners for the conservation of the Peace, to joyn their best
endeavours with his Majestie and the Parliament, and their directions to
your Lordships, by our leaving a Commission behinde us, to concur with
them in all Ecclesiastick wayes, and by our appointing publike Prayers,
and a solemn Fast through this Kirk, for the furtherance of this great
work of Reformation, and continuance of the common Peace, that this Unity
in Religion and uniformity of Kirk-government is the chiefest of our
desires, prayers and cares: Where unto as we have been encouraged by the
faithful labors of the Commissioners of this Kingdom in the late Treaty,
and continued and renewed by your Lordships; so we are assured, that your
Lordships will omit no lawful mean, argument, or occasion of seconding the
same there, And advertising our Commissioners at _Edinburgh_, wherein they
may further concur with your Lordships, for the furtherance of the Work,
which tends so much to the glory of God, advancement of Christs Kingdom,
increase of the honour and happinesse of our Soveraign, and the peace and
welfare of these Kingdoms, whereby your Lordships will oblige this Kirk
more and more to pray for a blessing on your persons and travels, and to
rest.

_Yours in the Lord_
_The Commissioners of the General Assembly._

S. Andrews _5. Aug. 1642._



_A Letter from some Ministers of_ England.


_Reverend and wel-beloved in our Lord and Saviour._

We received with much joy and satisfaction the Answer which your General
Assembly vouchsafed us to our Letters of the last yeer. Some of us in the
name of our Brethren, thought it then fit by Mr. _Alexander Henderson_ (a
Brother so justly approved by you, and honoured by us) to return our
deserved thanks. And we now further think it equall upon this occasion, to
make a more publike acknowledgement of such a publike favour. You were
then pleased to give us fair grounds, to expect that brotherly advice and
endeavours, which the common cause of Christ, and the mutual interest of
the united Nations, command us now again to ask, if not to chalenge. We
doubt not but your experience, together with your intelligence, abundantly
informes you of our condition, what various administrations of providence
we have passed through and we still lye betwixt hopes and feares, a fit
temper for working; the God of all grace enable us to improve it. As our
hopes are not such as may make us fear, so neither doe our Feares prevail,
to the casting away our confidence. Your own late condition, together with
this Declaration of ours present, may acquaint you with the certain,
though subtil, authors & fomentors of these our confused conflicts: which
we conceive to be the Hierarchical faction, who have no way to peace &
safety, but through the trouble & danger of others. Our prayers and
endeavours, according to our measure, have been and shall be for the
supplanting and rooting up whatsoever we finde so prejudicial to the
establishment of the Kingdome of Christ, and the peace of our Soveraigne.
And that this Declaration of ourselves may not leave you unsatisfied, we
think it necessary further to expresse, That the desire of the most godly
and considerable part amongst us, is, That the Presbyterian Government,
which hath just and evident Foundation both in the Word of God, and
religious reason, may be established amongst us, and that (according to
your intimation) we may agree in one confession of Faith, one directorie
of Worship, one publike Catechisme and form of Governement: Which things,
if they were accomplished, we should much rejoyce in our happy subjection
to Christ our Head, and our desired association with you our beloved
brethren. For the better effecting whereof, we thought it necessary, not
only to acquaint you with what our desires are in themselves, but likewise
to you, that is, That what way shall seem most fit to the wisedom of that
grave and religious Assembly, may be taken for the furtherance of our
indeavours in this kind. We understand that our Parliament hath been
before hand with us in this intimation, and it cannot but be our duty, who
are so much concerned in the businenesse, to adde what power the Lord hath
given us with you to the same purpose. This designe and desire of ours
hath enemies on the Left-hand; and dissenting brethren on the Right; but
we doubt not, that as our hearts justifie us that our intentions are
right, and such as we conceive tend most to the glory of God, and the
peace of the Churches of the Saints; so (by your brotherly concurrence in
the most speedy and effectuall way you can find out) the Work will in Gods
due time receive a prayed for, hoped for issue. We shall not need by many
arguments from mutuall Nationall interest (though we know you will not
overlook them) to inforce this request, the firme bond wherewith we are
all united in our Lord Jesus Christ, we are assured will alone engage your
faithfull endeavours in this businesse. To him we commit you, with these
great and important affairs you have in hand. Be pleased to accept of
these as the expression of the mindes of our many godly and faithfull
Brethren, whose hearts we doubt not of, neither need you, though their
hands in regard of the suddennesse of this opportunity could not be
subscribed together with ours, who are.

_Your most affectionate Friends and Brethren in the work of the Lord._

London, _22. July, 1642._



_Answer to the Ministers Letter._


_Right Reverend and beloved in the Lord Jesus._

By our Answer to the Declaration sent unto us from the honourable Houses
of Parliament, ye may perceive that your Letter which came into our hands
so seasonably, was not only acceptable unto us, but hath also encouraged
us to renew both to the Kings Majestie and the Houses of Parliament, The
desires of the late Commissioners of this Kingdome for Unity in Religion,
in the four particulars remembred by you, we cannot be ignorant but the
opposition from Satan and worldly men in Kirk and Policy, will still be
vehement as it hath been already, But we are confident through our Lord
Jesus Christ, that the prayers and indeavours of the godly in both
Kingdoms, will bring the work to a wished, and blessed Issue. This whole
national Kirk is so much concerned in that Reformation and Unity of
Religion in both Kingdomes, that without it we cannot hope for any long
time to enjoy our puritie and peace, which hath cost us so dear, and is
now our chiefest comfort and greatest treasure: Which one cause (beside
the Honour of God, and the happinesse of the People of God in that
Kingdome, more desired of us then Our lives) is more then sufficient to
move us, To contribute all that is in our power for bringing it to passe.
And since we have with so great liberty made our desires and hopes known
both to King and Parliament, it is a duety incombent both to you and us,
who make mention of the Lord, and are Watch-men upon the Walls of
_Jerusalem_, never more to keep silence nor to hold our peace day nor
night, till the Righteousnesse of Sion go forth as brightnesse, and the
salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. And if it shall please the Lord
to move the hearts of King and Parliament, to hearken unto the motion, for
which end we have resolved to keep a solemne Fast and Humiliation in all
the Kirks of this Kingdome, the mean by which we have prevailed in times
past, we wish that the Work may be begun with speed, and prosecuted with
diligence by the joint labours of some Divines in both Kingdoms, who may
prepare the same for the view and examination of a more frequent
Ecclesiastick meeting of the best affected to Reformation there, and of
the Commissioners of the General Assembly here, that in end it may have
the approbation of the Generall Assembly here, and of all the Kirks there,
in the best way that may be, we wish & hope at last in a nationall
Assembly; Our Commissioners at _Edinburgh_, shall in our name receive and
returne answers for promoving so great a Work, which we with our heart and
our soule recommend to the blessing of God, we continue,

_Your loving brethren and fellow-labourers._



_Act for the Lord_ Maitlands _presenting the Assemblies Supplication to
His Majestie, and for going to the Commissioners at_ London, _with the
Answer to the Parliament of_ Englands _Declaration_.


The General Assembly considering the necessity of sending some person of
good worth & quality for to present their humble Supplication to His
Majestie, and to deliver their directions to the Commissioners of this
Kingdom, now at _London_, with their Declaration to the Parliament of
_England_, and Answer to some wel-affected Ministers of that Kirk: And
having certain knowledge of the worth, ability, and faithfulnesse of
_John_ Lord _Maitland_, one of their number, who being witnesse to all
their intentions and proceedings, can best relate their true loyaltie and
respect to their Soveraign, and brotherly affection to the Kirk and
Kingdom of _England_ therein; Therefore do unanimously require his
Lordships pains, by repairing to Court and to _London_ for the premisses,
which hereby they commit to this diligence and fidelity, willing his
Lordship to make account of his proceedings herein to their Commissioners
appointed to sit at _Edinburgh_.



Sess. 11. August 5. post meridiem.



_Commission for publike affairs of this Kirk, and for prosecuting the
desires of this Assembly to His Majestie, and the Parliament of_ England.


The General Assembly considering the laudable custome of this Kirk for to
appoint some Commissioners in the interim betwixt Assemblies, for
presenting of Overtures and prosecuting the other desires of the Kirk to
His Majestie, the Lords of His Councell, and the Estates of Parliament;
And taking to their consideration the present condition of the Kirk of
_England_, with the Declaration thereof sent down from the Parliament, and
some Reverend Brethren of the Ministery there, with their own Answer to
the Parliament and Ministery, and their humble Supplication to His
Majestie for Unity of Religion and Uniformity of Kirk-government. And
withall remembring their desires to the Honourable Lords of His Majesties
secret Councell, and to the Commissioners appointed by the King and
Parliament, for conservation of the common Peace, That they would joyn
their concourse in their desires to His Majestie and Parliament, and
directions to the Commissioners of this Kingdom at _London_ for the time.
And likewise considering their good hopes from Gods gracious favour to
this Island, that by his good providence he will in his own way and time
settle this great Work through this whole Ile; And that it is both our
earnest desire and Christian duty to use all lawfull means and
Ecclesiastick wayes for furtherance of so great a Work, continuance of the
common peace betwixt these nations, and keeping a brotherly correspondence
betwixt these Kirks. Therfore the Assembly thinks it necessary before
their dissolving, to appoint, and by these Presents do nominate and
appoint, Masters _Andrew Ramsay_, _Alex Henderson_, _Robert Dowglas_,
_William Colvill_, _William Bennet_ Ministers at _Edinburgh_. _Mr. William
Arthur_ Minister at _St. Cuthbert_, _Mr. James Robertson_, _John Logan_,
_Robert Lighton_, Commissioners from _Dalkeith_ Assembly: Masters, _Andrew
Blackhall_, _James Fleeming_, _Robert Ker_, Commissioners from
_Hadingtoun_ to the Assembly. Masters, _George Hamilton_, _Robert Clair_,
_Arthur Mortoun_, _David Dalgleish_, _Andrew Bennet_, _Walter Greg_, _John
Moncreff_, _John Smith_, _George Gillespie_, _John Row_, _John Duncan_,
_Walter Bruce_, Commissioners for the Presbyteries within the Province of
_Fyffe_: _Mr. David Calderwood_ Minister at _Pencait_ and _Mr. John
Adamson_ Principall of the Colledge of _Edinburgh_, _Mr. John Strang_
Principall of the Colledge of _Glasgow_. _Mr. David Dikson_, _Mr. James
Bonar_, _Mr. Robert Bailie_, _Mr. John Bell_, _Mr Robert Ramsay_, _Mr.
George Young_, _Mr Henry Guthrie_, _Mr. Samuel Oustein_, _Mr. John
Robertson_ Minister at _St. Johnstoun_, _Mr. John Robertson_ Minister at
_Dundie_, _Mr. John Hume_ Minister at _Heckills_, _Mr. Andrew Cant_, _Mr
William Guild_, _Mr. Samuel Rutherfurd_, _Mr. James Martin_, _Mr.
Alexander Monroe_, _Mr. Robert Murray_, _Mr. John Maclellan_, _Mr. Andrew
Doncanson_, _Mr. Silvester Lambie_, _Mr. Gilbert Ross_, Ministers:
Marquesse of _Argile_, Earles of _Lauderdaile_, _Glencarne_, _Kingborne_,
_Eglintoun_, _Weemes_, _Cassils_: Lords _Gordoun_, _Maitland_,
_Balcarras_, Sir _Patrick Hepburne_ of _Wauchtoun_, Sir _David Hum_ of
_Wedderburne_, Sir _David Creightoun_ of _Lugtoun_, Sir _David Barclay_ of
_Cullearnie_, _John Henderson_ of _Fordell_, _Mr. George Winrame_ of
_Libertoun_, Sir _Robert Drummond_, Sir _William Carmichaell_, _John
Binnie_, _Thomas Paterson_, _John Sempill_, _John Kennedy_ of _Air_, _John
Leslie_ from _Aberdene_, _William Glendinning_ Provest of _Kirkubrigh_,
_John Colzear_, Ruling Elders with the concurse of the Procurator of the
Kirk: and grants to them full Power and Commission in this _interim_,
betwixt and the next Assembly, for to meet and conveen at _Edinburgh_ upon
the 17. day of this moneth of _August_, and upon any other day, or in any
other place, as they shall think convenient: And being met and conveened,
or any fifteen of them, there being alwayes twelve Ministers present: With
full power for to consider and performe what they finde necessary for the
Ministerie, by preaching, supplicating, prepairing of draughts of one
Confession, one Cathechisme, one directory of publike Worship (which are
alwayes to be revised by the next Generall Assembly) and by all other
lawfull & Ecclesiastick wayes, for furtherance of this great Work in the
Union of this Iland in Religion and Kirk-government, and for continuance
of our own peace at home, and of the common peace betwixt the Nations, and
keeping of good correspondence betwixt the Kirks of this Iland. Like as if
it shall please God to blesse the prayers and endeavours of his Saints for
this blessed Union, and that if either the Lords of Councell, or
Commissioners for the Peace shall require their concurse at home or
abroad, by sending Commissioners with theirs to His Majesty and Parliament
for that effect, or that they themselves shall finde it necessary; The
Assembly grants full power to them, not only to concurre by all lawfull
and Ecclesiastick wayes, with the Councell and Conservators of the Peace
at home, but also to send some to present and prosecute their desires and
humble advice to His Majesty and the Parliament, and the Ministerie there,
for the furthering and perfecting of so good and great a Worke. Like as,
with power to them to promove their other desires, overtures and
recommendations of this Assembly, to the Kings Majestie, Lords of
Councell, Session, Exchequer, and Commissioners of Parliament, for
plantation of Kirks, for common burdens, or conservation of the common
peace, and to the Parliament of this Kingdom, in case it fall out _pro re
nata_ before the next Assembly. And such like, with as full power to them
to proceed, treat and determine in any other matters to be committed to
them by this Assembly, as if the samine were herein particularly insert,
and with as ample power to proceede in the matters particularly or
generally above-mentioned, as any Commissioners of Generall Assemblies
have had, and have been in use of before: They being alwayes comptable to,
and censurable by the next Generall Assembly, for their proceedings
thereanent.



Sess. 13. Aug. 6. 1642.



_A Petition from some distressed Professors in_ Ireland.


_To the reverend and right Honourable the Moderator and remanent members
of the Generall Assembly of_ Scotland, _conveened at S._ Andrews, _July
1642_.

The humble Petition of the most part of the Scottish Nation in the North
of _Ireland_, in their own names, and in name of the rest of the
Protestants there.

_Humbly sheweth_,

That where your Petitioners, by the great blessing of the Lord, enjoyed
for a little while a peaceable and fruitfull Ministerie of the Gospel, yet
through our own abuse of so rich a mercy, and through the tyrannie of the
Prelates, we have been a long time spoiled of our Ministers (a yoke to
many of us heavier then death) who being chased into _Scotland_, were not
altogether un-usefull in the day of your need; And we having been since
oppressed and scattered, as sheep who have no shepherd, now at last the
wise and righteous hand of the Lord, by the sword of the Rebels, hath
bereft us of our friends, and spoiled us of our goods, &c. left us but a
few, and that a poor handfull of many, and hath chased from us the rest
that were called our Ministers; the greatest part whereof we could scarce
esteem such as being rather Officers to put the Prelats Injunctions in
execution, then feeders of our souls: So that now being visited with sword
and sicknesse, and under some apprehension of famine, if withall we shall
taste of the sorest of all plagues, to be altogether deprived of the
Ministery of the Word, we shall become in so much a worse condition then
any Pagans, as that once we enjoyed a better: Neither know we what hand to
turn us to for help, but to the Land so far obliged by the Lords late rare
mercies, and so far enriched to furnish help of that kinde; a Land whence
many of us drew our blood and breath and where (pardon the necessary
boldnesse) some of our own Ministers now are, who were so violently
plucked from us, so sore against both their own and our wills; yea, the
Land that so tenderly in their bosoms received our poor out-casts, and
that hath already sent us so rich a supply of able and prosperous
Souldiers to revenge our wrong.

Therefore, although we know that your zeale and brotherly affection would
urge you to take notice without our advertisement, yet give us leave in
the bowels of our Lord Jesus Christ, to intreat, if there be any
consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the
spirit, if any bowels of mercy, that now in this nick of time, when the
sword of the Enemie making way for a more profitable entertaining the
Gospel, having also banished the Prelates, and their followers, when our
extremity of distreste, and the fair hopes of speedy settling of peace,
hath opened so fair a doore to the Gospel, you would take the cause of
your younger sister, that hath no brests, to your serious consideration,
and pity poore _Macedonians_ crying to you that ye would come over and
help us, being the servants of the God of your Fathers, and claiming
interest with you in a common Covenant, that according to the good hand of
God upon us, ye may send us Ministers for the house of our God. We do not
take upon us to prescribe to you the way or the number, but in the view of
all, the finger of the Lord points at these, whom though persecution of
the Prelats drew from us, yet our interest in them could not be taken
away, wherein we trust in regard of severall of them, called home by
death, your bounty will super-adde some able men of your own that may help
to lay the foundation of Gods house, according to the Pattern. But for
these so unjustly reft from us, not only our necessity, but equity pleads,
that either you would send them all over, which were a Work to be
parallelled to the glories of the Primitive times, or at least that ye
would declare them transportable, that when Invitators shall be sent to
any of them, wherein they may discerne a call from God, there may be no
difficultie in their loosing from thence, but they may come back to
perfect what they began, and may get praise and fame in the Land, where
they were put to shame. Neither are you to question your power over us so
to doe, or crave a president of your own practise in that kind, for our
extraordinary need calling on you, furnisheth you with a power to make
this a president for the like cases hereafter: herein if you shall lay
aside the particular concernment of some few places, which you may easily
out of your rich Nurseries plant again, and make use of your publike
spirits, which are not spent, but increases by your so many noble
designes; you shall leave upon us and our posteritie the stamp of an
obligation that cannot be delete, or that cannot be expressed; you should
send to all the neighbouring Churches a pattern, and erect for after-ages
a monument of self-denying tender zeale; you shall disburden the Land of
the many outcasts, who will follow over their Ministers; and you shall
make it appear, that the churlish bounty of the Prelats, which at first
cast some of these men over to us, is not comparable with the cheerful
liberalitie of a rightly constitute General Assembly, to whom we are
perswaded, the Lord will give seed for the loane which you bestow on the
Lord; yea, the day may come, when a General Assembly in this Land may
returne to you the first fruits of thanks, for the plants of your free
gift. And although you were scant of furniture of this kinde your selves,
or might apprehend more need then formerly, yet doubtlesse, your bowels of
compassion would make your deep povertie even in a great tryal of
affliction, abound to the riches of your liberalitie. But now seeing you
abound in all things, and have formerly given so ample a proof of your
large bestowing on Churches abroad in _Germanie_ and _France_, knowing
that you are not wearied in well-doing, we confidently promise to our
selves in your name, that we will abound in this grace also, following the
example of our Lord and the Primitive Churches, who alwayes sent out
Disciples in paires. But if herein our hopes shall faile us, we shall not
know whether to wish that we had died with our Brethren by the Enemies
hand; for we shall be as if it were said unto us, _Goe serve other Gods_;
Yet looking for another kinde of Answer at your hands, for in this you are
to us as an Angel of God, we have sent these bearers, M. _John Gordoun_,
and M. _Hugh Campbell_ our brethren, who may more particularly in-forme
you of our case, and desire that at their returne, they may refresh the
bowels of

_Your most instant and earnest Supplicants._



_Commission to some Ministers to go to_ Ireland.


The Assembly having received a Petition, subscribed by a considerable
number in the North of _Ireland_, intimating their deplorable condition,
through want of the Ministerie of the Gospel, occasioned by the tyrannie
of the Prelats, and the sword of the Rebels, and desiring some Ministers,
especially such as had been chased from them, by the persecution of the
Prelats, and some others to be added, either to be sent presently over to
reside amongst them, or declared transportable, that upon invitation from
them they might goe and settle there; together with some particular
Petitions, desiring the returne of some particular Ministers, who had
laboured there before: All which the Assembly hath taken to their serious
consideration, being most heartily willing to sympathize with every member
of Christs Body, although never so remote; much more with that Plantation
there, which for the most part was a Branch of the Lords Vine, planted in
this Land. In which sollicitude, as they would be loath to usurpe without
their own bounds or stretch themselves beyond their oun measure; so they
dare not be wanting, to the enlargement of Christs Kingdome, where so loud
a cry of so extreame neccesitie, could not but stirre up the bowels of
Christian compassion. And although they conceive that the present
unsettled condition both of Church, and State, and Land, will not suffer
them as yet to loose any to make constant abode there; yet they have
resolved to send over some for the present exigent till the next Gen.
Assembly, by courses to stay there four moneths allanerly: And therefore
doe hereby authorize and give Commission to the persons following, to wit,
M. _Robert Blair_, Minister at S. _Andrews_, and M. _James Hamilton_,
Minister at _Dumfreis_ for the first four moneths: M. _Robert Ramsay_,
Minister at _Glasgow_, and M. _John Mac’elland_, Minister at
_Kirkudbright_, for the next four moneths: And to M. _Robert Baillie_,
Professor of Divinitie in the Universitie of _Glasgow_, and M. _John
Levistoun_, Minister of _Stranaire_, for the last four moneths: To repair
into the North of _Ireland_, and there to visit, comfort, instruct and
encourage the scattered flocks of Christ, to employ to their uttermost
with all faithfulnesse and singlenesse of heart, in planting and watering,
according to the direction of Jesus Christ, and according to the doctrine
and discipline of this Church in all things, And if need be (with
concurrence of such of the Ministers of the Army as are there) to try and
ordain such as shall be found qualified for the Ministerie, Giving charge
unto the persons foresaid in the sight of God, that in Doctrine, in
Worship, in Discipline, and in their dayly conversation, they studie to
approve themselves as the Ministers of Jesus Christ, and that they be
comptable to the General Assembly of this Kirk, in all things. And in case
if any of the above-mentioned Ministers be impeded by sickness or
otherwise necessarily detained from this service, the Assembly ordaines
the Commissioners residing at _Edinburgh_, for the publike affairs of the
Church, to nominate in their place well qualified men, who hereby are
authorized to undertake the foresaid imployment, as if they had been
expressely nominate in the face of the Assembly. And this, although
possibly it shall not fully satisfie the large expectation of the Brethren
in _Ireland_, yet the Assembly is confident they will take in good part at
this time, that which is judged most convenient for their present
condition, even a lent mite out of their own, not very great plenty, to
supply the present necessity; requiring of them no other recompence, but
that they in all cheerefulnesse may embrace and make use of salvation, and
promising to enlarge their indebted bounty at the next Assembly, as they
shall finde the Worke of the Lord there to require. In the meane while,
wishing that these who are sent, may come with the full blessing of the
Gospel and peace, and recommending them, their labours, and these to whom
they are sent, to the rich blessing of the great Shepherd of the flock.



Sess. 13. August 6. 1642.



_Act against slandering of Ministers._


The General Assembly considering the malice of divers Persons in raising
calumnies and scandals against Ministers, which is not onely injurious to
their persons, and discreditable to the holy calling of the Ministerie,
but doth also prove often a great prejudice and hinderance to the
promoving of the Gospel: Doe therefore ordain Presbyteries and Synods to
proceed diligently in processe against all persons, that shall reproach or
scandal Ministers, with the censures of the Kirk, even to the highest,
according as they shall finde the degree or quality of the scandal
deserve.



_Act anent ordering of the Assembly House._


The Assembly for better order in time coming ordains the Act of the
Assembly at _Aberdene_ for ordering the House of the Assembly to be kept
hereafter punctually. And for that effect, that the samine be reade the
first Session of every Assembly.



_Act for remembring in publike Prayers the desires of the Assembly to the
King and Parliament, and indiction of a publike Fast._


The General Assembly being desirous to promove the great work of Unity in
Religion, and Uniformity in Church government, in all thir three
Dominions, for which the Assembly hath humbly supplicate the Kings
Majestie, and remonstrate their desires to the Parliament of _England_,
lest they should be wanting in any meane that may further so glorious and
so good a work: Doe ordain, that not only the said Declaration to the
Parliament, and supplication to the Kings Majestie, shall be accompanied
with the earnest Petition, and prayers of the whole brethren in private
and publike, for the Lords blessing hereunto, according to the laudable
custome of our predecessors, who in the year of God 1589. ordaines that
the Brethren in their private and publike prayers, recommend unto God the
estate of the afflicted Church of _England_: But having just cause of
fear, that the iniquities of the Land, which so much abount may marre this
so great a Work, doe also ordain a solemne Fast to be kept on the second
Lords Day of _September_ and the Wednesday following throughout the whole
Kingdome for the causes after specified.

I. Grosse ignorance and all sort of wickedness among the greater part,
security, meer formality and unfruitfulnesse among the best, and
unthankfulnesse in all.

II. The sword raging throughout all Christendome, but most barbarously in
_Ireland_, and dayly more and more threatned in _England_, through the
lamentable division betwixt the King and the Parliament there, tending to
the subversion of Religion and Peace in all the three Kingdomes.

III. That God may graciously blesse the Supplication of the Assembly to
the Kings Majesty, and their motion to the Parliament of _England_, for
Unitie in Religion, and Uniformity of Kirk-government, and all other
meanes which may serve for the promoving of so great a Worke, and
advancement of the Kingdome of Christ every where.

IV. That God may powerfully overturne all wicked plots and designes of
Antichrist and his followers, and all divisive motions against the course
of Reformation, and the so much longed for Union of the King and
Parliament.

V. That God may blesse the harvest.



_Reference from the Presbyterie of_ Kirkcaldie.


Anent the Acts of Assemblies, for observation of the Lords Day, profaned
by going of salt-pannes, That this Assembly would declare the limits of
the Sabbath, during which the pannes should stand.

_The Assembly referres the Answer of this Question, to the Acts of former
Assemblies._



_Reference frrom the Synode of_ Fyffe.


That the Provinciall of _Angus_ keep their meeting on the same day with
the Synod of _Fyffe_, which breakes the correspondence between them,
appointed by the General Assembly of _Glasgow_.

ANSWER.

_The Assembly ordaines the Provinciall Assembly of_ Angus _to keep their
first meeting upon the third Tuesday of_ April, _comforme to the Act of
the said Assembly of_ Glasgow.



_Overtures to be advised by Presbyteries against the next Assembly._


How Appeals shall be brought into the Generall Assemblies, and by what
sort of citation.

What shall be the prescription of scandalls, within what space of time
shall they be challenged, whether after three years, the Minister having
been allowed and approved in life and doctrine by Synods, Presbyteries,
and Visitations.

What order shall be taken for keeping general Assemblies, when
Presbyteries send not the full number of Commissioners: Or when the
Commissioners abide not until the conclusion and dissolving of the
Assembly.

Order to be advised for Testimonials.

_The Assembly appoints the next Generall Assembly to hold at_ Edinburgh,
_the first Wednesday of August, 1643._



THE GENERALL ASSEMBLY AT _EDINBURGH_



Sess. 1. August 2. 1643.



The Kings Letter to the General Assembly.


_Presented by his Majesties Commissioner Sir_ Thomas Hope _of Craighall
Knight, His Majesties Advocate._

CHARLES R.

Trustie and welbeloved, We greet you well. The time now approaching for
the holding of the Generall Assembly of Our Kirk of Scotland, and We
having appointed Sir _Thomas Hope_ Our Advocate to be Our Commissioner
there; We thought good to present him there with these Our Letters, and to
take this occasion to minde you of the duty which you owe to Us your
Soveraigne, and to the peace of that Our Native Kingdome. How far We have
lately extended Our grace and favour towards satisfaction of your humble
desires, there is not any amongst you but may well remember: And therefore
in this conjuncture of Our affairs, it is but reasonable that We expect
from you such moderation in the dutifull proceedings of this Assembly, as
may concurre with our Princely inclinations and desires, to preserve that
Kirk and that our Kingdome in peace; having wel observed that alterations
in points of Religion, are often the inlets to civill dissentions, and the
hazard, if not overthrow of both Kirk and Kingdomes. Therefore of Our
great affection and speciall tendernesse to your peace (who of all Our
Dominions are yet happie therein to the envy of others) We conjure and
require you in the fear of God, and obedience of Us his Vicegerent, that
your endeavours and consultations tend onely to preserve peace and
quietnesse among you. And so We bid you farewell. Given at Our Court at
Oxford the 22. day of July, 1643.

_To our right trusty and welbeloved Counsellour, Sir_ Thomas Hope _Knight,
our Advocate general, and Our Commissioner at the generall assembly of the
Kirk in Our Kingdome of Scotland, and to the rest of the said Assembly now
conveened._



Sess. 2. August 3. 1643.



_Overtures anent Bills, References, and Appeales._


I. That all Bills whatsoever of particular concernments whereunto all
parties having interest are not cited, should be rejected.

II. That all Bills be first presented to the inferiour Judicatories of the
Kirk, who may competently consider of them, and from them be orderly and
_gradatim_ brought to the Assembly, according to the order prescribed for
Appellations in the Assembly of Edinburgh, 1639. in the 24. Sess. August
30.

III. That the said Act of Assembly 1639. anent Appelations, be also
extended to References.

IV. In Appellations and References of particular concernment, if all
parties having interest, have been present in the inferiour Judicatorie
when the Appeal and Reference was made, then there is no necessitie of
citation. But in case of their absence, citation of parties is so
necessar, that if it be wanting, Appellations and References should not be
received.

V. That conform to former Acts of Assemblies; Appellations _post
sententiam_ be made within ten dayes after the sentence, and otherwise not
to be respected.

_The Assembly ordaines their Overtures to be given to the severall
Committees for their direction._



Sess. 3. August 4. 1643.



_Act for election of Professours to be Commissioners to Assemblies by
Presbyteries._


The Assembly thinks, if Professours of Divinitie in Universities be
Ministers, that they may be chosen Commissioners to the Generall Assembly,
either by the Presbyterie as Ministers or by the Universitie as
Professours of Divinitie.



Sess. 4. Aug. 5. 1643.



The Petition of the distressed Professours in Ireland for Ministers.


_To the reverend and honourable Moderatour and remanent Members of the
General Assembly of Scotland, conveened at Edinburgh, Aug._ 1643.

The humble Petition of the distressed Christians in the North of Ireland.

_Humbly sheweth,_

That whereas you were pleased the last Year to take notice of our
Petition, and conceived so favourable an act in our behalf, from our
hearts we blesse the Lord God of our Fathers, who put such a thing as this
in your heart to begin in any sort to beautifie the House of the Lord
amongst us: Doubtlesse you have brought upon your selves the blessing of
them who consider the poor; the Lord will certainly deliver you in the
time of trouble. We trust no distance of place, no length of time, no
pressure of affiction, yea, nor smiling of prosperity, shall delete out of
our thankfull memories the humble acknowledgement of your so motherly
care: in drawing out your breasts, yea, your souls to satisfie the
hungrie: although we have been beaten with the sword, bitten with famine,
our own wickednes correcting us, our back-slidings reproving us, yet we
have not so farre forgotten the Lords ancient love, but that our hearts
were brought to a little reviving in the midst of our bondage, by the
Ministery of these, who at your direction made a short visit amongst us.
We know you did not conceive it expedient at that time, to loose any for
full settling here, till the waters of the bloudy inundation were somewhat
abated, and prohability might be of some comfortable abode, which we
through the Lords revenging hand, pursuing our enemies, and the vigilancie
of your victorious Army, is in a great measure attained unto. Whatsoever
might have detained some of these whom ye directed to us, whose stay made
our expectation prove abortive, we shall ascribe it to our own abuse of
such treasure, and want of spirituall hunger, occasioned justly through
the want of food; And yet that same dis-appointment, together with your
faithfull promise of inlarging your indebted bountie, which is put upon
record in all our hearts, hath made us conceive the seed of a lively
expectation, that you will now no more put your bountie, and the means of
our life, into the hazard of such frustrations, but will once for all,
bestow an ample and enduring blessing. And of this we are so much the more
confident, because our former suit was not denyed but delayed: only we
fear, if a new delay be procured, till all things be fully settled, that
the observing of winde and clouds, shall hinder both sowing and reaping.
And in the mean time, the Prelates and their Faction may step in and
invest themselves of their old tyrannie over our consciences, who if they
once shall see us possessed of our own Inheritance, those _Canaanites_
dare not offer to thrust us out. By all appearance, if the Jesuites had
any hope to finde welcome amongst us, they had provided us fully ere now
with their poysoned plants, Our hearts abhorre the checking or suspecting
of your proceedings, yet it is lawfull to learn sometime from our enemie:
But in this you have begun before, not only to do, but also to be forward
a year ago, and thereby have ingaged your selves to perfect your own
beginnings, and bring us out of our orphan condition. We are fallen in
your lap, this ruine must be under your hand; you cannot pretend want of
bread or cloathing, you must be healers: We have chosen you curators to
your little young sister that wants breasts; there is none in earth to
take her out of your hand, for we will not, nor cannot hide it from your
Honours and Wisedome, that we want bread, and must not only, as before,
have a bit for our present need, but also seed to sow the Land.

It is therefore our humble and earnest desire, that you would yet again
look on our former Petition, and your own obligatorie Act, and at least
declare your consent, that a competent number of our own Ministers may be
loosed to settle here, and break bread to the children that lye fainting
at the head of all streets, which although it may be accounted but a
restoring of what we lost, and you have found, yet we shall esteem it as
the most precious gift that earth can affoord. When they are so loosed, if
they finde not all things concurring to clear Gods calling, it will be in
their hand to forbear and you have testified your bountie. But oh for the
Lords sake, do not kill our dying souls, by denying these our necessar
desires. There are about twelve or fourteen waste congregations on this
nearest coast: let us have at least a competent number that may erect
Christs throne of discipline, and may help to bring in others, and then
shall we sing, that the people who were left of the sword, have found
grace in the wildernesse. We have sent these our brethren, Sir _Robert
Adair_ of Kinhilt Knight, and _William Mackenna_ of Bel fast merchant, to
attend an answer from you, who have attained that happinesse to be lenders
and not borrowers, and to present the heartie longing affections of

_Your most obliged and more expecting brethren and servants._

_Subscribed by very many hands._



Sess. 6. August 8, 1643.



_Acts for subscribing the Covenant._


The General Assembly considering the good and pious advice of the
Commissioner of the last Assembly, upon the 22 of September, 1642 _post
meridiem_, recommending to Presbytries, to have Copies of the Covenant to
be subscribed by every Minister at his admission, doth therefore ratifie
and approve the samine. And further ordaines, that the covenant be
reprinted, with this Ordinance prefixed thereto, and that every Synod,
Presbyterie, and Paroch, have one of them bound in _quarto_, with some
blank paper, whereupon every person may be obliged to subscribe: And that
the Covenants of the Synod and Presbyterie be keeped by their Moderatours
_respectivè_ of Universities by their Principals, of Paroches by their
Ministers, with all carefulnesse. And that particular account of obedience
to this Act, be required hereafter in all visitations of Paroches,
Universities, and Presbyteries, and all trialls of Presbyteries and Synod
books.

The General Assembly considering that the Act of the Assembly at
_Edinburgh 1639. August 30._ injoyning all persons to subscribe the
Covenant, under all Ecclesiastical censure, hath not been obeyed:
Therefore ordaines all Ministers to make intimation of the said Act in
their Kirks, and thereafter to proceed with the censures of the Kirk
against such as shall refuse to subscribe the Covenant. And that exact
account be taken of every Ministers diligence hereintil by their
Presbyteries and Synods, as they will answer to the General Assembly.



Sess. 7. August 9. 1643.



_Act for searching Books tending to Separation._


The Generall Assembly considering the recommendation of the Commissioners
of the late Assembly at S. _Andrews_, upon the 12 of _May_ last, to every
Minister within their several bounds; especially to Ministers upon the
coasts, or where there is Harbourie and Ports, to try and search for all
books tending to Separation: And finding the same most necessar, do
therefore ordain that recommendation to have the strength of an ordinary
Act of Assembly: And that every Minister be careful to try and search if
any such books be brought to this Countrey from beyond seas, and if any
shall be found, to present the samine to Presbyteries, that some course
may be taken to hinder the dispersing thereof: And earnestly recommend to
the Civil Magistrates, to concurre with their authoritie in all things,
for effectual execution hereof.



_Approbation of the proceedings of the Commissioners of the last
Assembly._


The Generall Assembly having heard the report of the Committee appointed
to consider the proceedings of the Commissioners of the late Assembly at
S. _Andrews_; after mature deliberation, and serious consideration
thereof, findes the whole Acts, Conclusions and Proceedings of the saids
Commissioners, contained in a Book and Register subscribed by Master
_Andrew Ker_ their Clerk, and by Master _David Lindsay_ Moderatour, and
Master _James Hamilton_ Clerk to the said Committe, to declare much
wisedome, diligence, vigilancie, and every way commendable zeal and
fidelitie in doing and discharging every thing according to their
Commission.



Sess. 8. August 10. 1643.



_Propositions given by the Commissioners of the Parliament of England to a
Committee, to be presented by them to the Assembly._


We the Commissioners appointed by both Houses of the Parliament of
England, desire your Lordships, and the rest of this reverend Committee,
to represent to the reverend the Generall Assembly of the Church of
Scotland, that we are commanded.

To acknowledge with all thankfulnesse to God, their zeal for purging and
reforming Religion, and care not only to prevent the grouth, but utterly
to extirpate the Reliques of Popery: And also the great blessing of
Almighty God upon their so constant and faithful endeavours, thus far
establishing them in truth and peace, together with their labour of love,
to procure the like happinesse to our Church and Nation.

To give them an account of their earnest desire and endeavour to see the
same Work promoted and perfected among our selves; which though it hath
been opposed and retarded by the industrious malice of the Popish,
Prelaticall, and malignant partie, yet through Gods goodnesse it hath so
far prevailed, as to produce the removeall of the High Commission, the
making void the coercive power of the Prelates and their Courts, The
ejection of the Bishops from the House of Peers, the turning out of many
scandalous Ministers, Besides that they have passed and presented to his
Majestie diverse Bills, _viz._ For the suppressing of Innovations, For the
more strict observation of the Lords Day, against Pluralities and
non-residencie, For the punishment of the scandalous Clergie, For the
abolition of Episcopacie, and the calling an Assembly: The true Copies of
which, we herewithall deliver. Which Bills, through the underminning of
the Papists, Prelates, and their party (the constant enemies of
Reformation) have not yet obtained his Majesties Royall assent. And yet
considering the urgent necessity of purging and settling the Church (as
hath been often pressed and presented to the Parliament of England, by
pious and frequent exhortations and Declarations from that reverent
Assembly) they have been constrained by an Ordinance of both Houses, to
call an Assembly of Divines, and others, now fitting, to consider and
prepare what may conduce thereunto, which by the assistance of some godly
and learned Divines sent from this Nation (as is earnestly desired) we
hope may through the blessing of God, bring it to perfection.

And yet notwithstanding to let them know that by reason of the prevailing
of the Papists, Prelaticall Faction, and other malignant enemies to this
so much desired Reformation, (all of them being now in arms against the
Parliament) these hopefull beginnings are likely, not onely to be rendred
ineffectuall, but all the former evils, superstitions, and corruptions
(which for the present, through the blessing of God, are in a good measure
removed) to be re-introduced by strong hand which if once they should take
root again in the Church and Kingdome of England, will quickely spread
their venome & infection into the neighbour Church and Kingdome of
Scotland the quarrell of the enemies of this Work being not so much
against the persons of men, as the power of Godlinesse, and purity of Gods
worship, wheresoever it is professed. Both Houses do therefore desire that
reverent Assembly to lay seriously to heart the state and condition of
their sister Church and Kingdome, and not only by their prayers to assist
in these straits, but also by such seasonable and effectuall means as to
them shall seem meet, to further and expedite the present aid and
assistance demanded by both Houses.

And lastly, to make known unto them, that we are designed and sent by both
Houses of Parliament to the Generall Assembly of the Church of Scotland,
to propound to them and consult with them concerning such things as may
conduce to our own Reformation, and our so much desired conjunction with
this Church, which they have more fully expressed in a Declaration of
their own, which here withall we present.

_August 10. 1643_,
_William Bond,_
Secr. Commiss.



_A Declaration of the Lords and Commons in the Parliament of England, to
the Generall Assembly of the Church of Scotland._


The Lords and Commons in Parliament acknowledging with humble
thankfulnesse to Almighty God, the disposer of hearts, the Christian zeal
and love which the Generall Assembly of the Churches of Scotland, have
manifested in their pious endeavours for the preservation of the true
reformed Protestant Religion, from the subtle practices and attempts of
the Popish and Prelaticall party, to the necessary Reformation of Church
discipline and Government in this Kingdome, and the more near union of
both Churches, do earnestly desire that reverend Assembly to take notice,
that the two Houses of Parliament fully concurring with them in these
pious Intentions; for the better accomplishment thereof, have called an
Assembly of diverse godly and learned Divines, and others of this
Kingdome, unto the City of Westminster, who are now sitting and consulting
about these matters, And likewise have nominated and appointed _John_
Earle of Ruthland, Sir _William Armine_ Baronet, Sir _Henry Vane_ the
younger, Knight, _Thomas Hatcher_, and _Henry Darley_ Esquires. Committees
and Commissioners of both Houses, to the Kingdome and States of Scotland,
who beside their Instructions in matters concerning the Peace and Common
weal of both Kingdomes, have received Directions to resort to the General
Assembly of the Church of Scotland, and propound and consult with them, or
any Commissioners deputed by them, in all occasions which may further the
so much desired Reformation in Ecclesiastical matters in this Church and
Kingdome, and a nearer conjunction betwixt both Churches. In performance
whereof, Master _Stephen Marshal_, and Master _Philip Nye_, Ministers of
Gods Word, and men of approved faithfulnesse and abilities in their
Function, both Members of this Assembly of Divines here congregated, and
sitting, are appointed to assist and advise the same Committee in such
things as shall concerne this Church. And the two Houses do hereby
recommend the Commitees and divines afore-mentioned, to the reverend
Assembly of the Church of Scotland, to be by them received with favour,
and credited in those things, which they, or any three, or more of them
shall propound to them.

It is likewise desired, that that reverend Assembly will according to
their former promise and resolution, send to the Assembly here, such
number of godly and learned Divines, as in their wisedome they think most
expedient for the furtherance of this work, which so much concernes the
honour of God, the prosperity and peace of the two Churches of _England_
and _Scotland_; and which must needs have a great influence in procuring
more safe and prosperous condition to other reformed Churches abroad. And
that their endeavours may be more effectual, the two Houses do make this
request to them, with their authority, advice and exhortation, so far as
belongs to them, to stir up that Nation to send some competent Forces in
aid of this Parliament and Kingdome, against the many Armies of the Popish
and Prelatical party, and their adherents, now in arms for the ruine and
destruction of the reformed Religion, and all the Professours thereof. In
all which they shall do that which will be pleasing to God, whose cause it
is, and likewise safe and advantageous to their own Church and Kingdome,
who cannot securely enjoy the great blessings of Religion, Peace, and
Libertie in that Kingdome, if this Church and Kingdome, by the prevailing
violence of that partie, shall bee brought to ruine and destruction.

_Jo. Browne_, Cleric. Parliamentorum.
_Henr. Elsynge_, Cler. Parliamentorum.



_A Letter from some Brethren of the Ministerie in the Kirk of_ England,
_to the Assembly._


_Reverend and beloved;_

The experience which we have had of your forwardnesse in receiving, and
faithfulnesse in weighing our former addresses, hath given us abundant
encouragement to take hold upon this present opportunitie of breathing out
something of our sorrowes, which your love and our necessity, command us
to represent to your consideration and compassion. Much we know we may
commit to the wisedome and fidelity of our Brethren these messengers, to
impart unto you concerning our miserable condition, and unto them shall
leave the most. Your own Nationall, but specially Christian interest, will
not permit you to hide your eyes from the bleeding condition of your poor
distressed Brethren in England, should neither Letters, nor Messengers be
sent unto you; But Messengers coming, we should at once neglect our
selves, should we not thus a little ease our burdened hearts, by pouring
them out into your bosomes, and seem ungrateful to you, of whose
readinesse to suffer with us, and do for us, we have had so great & ample
testimonies.

Surely if ever a poor Nation were upon the edge of a most desperate
precipice, if ever a poor Church were ready to be swallowed up by Satan
and his Instruments, we are that Nation, we are that Church. And in both
respects by so much the more miserable, by how much, we expected not a
Preservation onely, but an augmentation also, of happinesse in the one,
and glory in the other. We looked for Peace, but no good came, and for a
time of healing, and behold trouble! Our GOD who in his former Judgements
was a moth & rottenesse (and yet had of late begun to send us health and
cure) is now turned into a Lion to us: and threatens to rend the very
cawle of our hearts: From above he hath sent a fire into our bones, and it
prevails against us; From our own bowels he hath called forth, and
strengthened an adversarie against us, a generation of brutish hellish
men, the rod of his anger, and the staff of his indignation, under whose
cruelties we bleed, and if present mercy step not in, we die. _Righteous
art thou, O LORD, and just are all thy Judgements!_ But O the more then
barbarous carriages of our enemies, where ever GOD gives any of his hidden
ones up into their hands, we need not expresse it unto you, who knows the
inveterate and deadly malice of the Antichristian faction against the
Members of our Lord Jesus. And it is well we need not expresse it unto
you, for in truth we cannot. Your own thoughts may tell you better then
any words of ours, what the mercie of Papists is, toward the Ministers and
Servants of our Lord Jesus Christ. But the Lord knows we are not troubled
so much with their rage against us, or our own miseries and dangers; but
that which breaks our hearts is, the danger we behold the Protestant
Religion, and all the Reformed Churches in at this time, through that too
great and formidable strength the Popish Faction is now arrived at. If our
GOD will lay our bodies as the ground, and as the street under their foot,
and poure out our bloud as dust before their fury, the wil of the Lord be
done, might our bloud be a sacrifice to ransome the rest of the Saints or
Church of Christ from Antichristian fury, we would offer it up upon this
service gladly. But we know their rage is insatiable, and will not be
quenched with our blouds, immortall, and will not die with us, armed
against us, nor as men, but as Christians, but as Protestants, but as men
desiring to reform our selves, and to draw our selves and others yet
nearer unto God. And if God gave us up to be devoured by this rage, it
will take the more strength and courage (at least) to attempt the like
against all the Protestant and Reformed Churches. In a deeper sense of
this extream danger, threating us and you, and all the Churches then we
can expresse, we have made this addresse unto you; in the bowels of our
Lord Jesus Christ, humbly imploring your most fervent Prayers to the GOD
that hears Prayers; who (should we judge by providences) seems to be angry
with our Prayers (though we trust he doth but seem so, and though he kill
us, yet will we trust in him) Oh, give us the brotherly aide of your
re-inforced tears and payers, that the blessings of truth and peace which
our prayers alone have not obtained, yours combined, may. And give us
reverend and much honoured in our Lord your advices, what remains for us
further to doe, for the making of our own and the Kingdomes peace with
GOD. We have lien in the dust before him; we have poured our hearts in
humiliation to him, we have in sincerity, endeavoured to reform our
selves, and no lesse sincerely desired, studied, laboured the publick
Reformation, Neverthelesse the Lord hath not yet turned himself from the
fiercenesse of his anger. And be pleased to advise us further, what may be
the happiest course for the uniting of the Protestant partie more firmly?
That we may all serve GOD with one consent, and stand up against
Antichrist as one man, that our GOD who now hides himself from his people
may return unto us, delight in us scatter and subdue his and our enemies,
and cause his face to shine upon us. The Lord prosper you and preserve us
for that the great work of these latter ages may be finished to his
honour, and our own and the Churches happinesse through Christ Jesus.

_Subscribed by very many hands._



Sess. 9. August 11. 1643.



_Act against Burials and hinging of Honours, &c. in Kirks._


The Generall Assembly considering the great abuse of burying within Kirks,
wherein GODS publick worship is exercised, notwithstanding diverse Acts of
this Kirk, prohibiting the same. And that through toleration thereof,
other abuses in hinging of Pensils and Brods, affixing of Honours and
Arms, and such like scandalous Monuments in the Kirk, hath crept in.
Therefore for remedy hereof, do hereby ratifie and approve the former Acts
and Constitutions made against burials in Kirks. And inhibites and
discharges all persons of whatsoever qualitie, to bury any deceased person
within the body of the Kirk, where the people meet for hearing of the
Word, and administration of the Sacraments. And inhibites them to hing
Pensils or Brods, to affixe Honours or Arms, or to make any such like
Monuments, to the honour or remembrance of any deceased person upon walls,
or otherplaces within the Kirk, where the publick worship of God is
exercised, as said is.



Sess. 10. August 12. 1643.



_Act anent reposition of Ministers, deposed by Superiour Judicatories._


The Generall Assembly considering that sentences of Superiour Judicatories
of the Kirk should stand effectuall, while they be taken away by
themselves, and that they should not be made void and ineffectuall by
Inferiour Judicatories: Therefore discharges all Provinciall Assemblies to
repone any Minister deposed by the Generall Assembly. And all Presbyteries
to repone any Ministers deposed either by General or Provincial
Assemblies; And declares and ordains, that all such sentences of
reposition by these Inferiour Judicatories _respectivè_, shall be null in
themselves; And that the sentences of deposition by the Superiour
Judicatories _respectivé_ shall stand valid and effectual notwithstanding
thereof.



Sess. 11. Aug. 14. 1643.



_Act against Masters who have Servants that prophane the Lords day._


The Generall Assembly declares, that the Acts made against Salmond fishing
upon the Sabbath, or against any other labour upon the Lords day, to be
not only against servants who actually work: But also that the samine
should be extended against masters, whose hired servants they are.



Sess. 12. Aug. 15. 1643.



_Act for preparing the Directorie for the worship of God_.


The Assembly considering how convenient it is, that all the Ministers of
the particular Kirks within this Kingdome, in their administration, keep
unity and uniformity in the substance and right ordering of all the parts
of the publick worship of God, and that all the particular Kirks by the
same unity and uniformity, testifie their unanimous consent against all
schisme and division, unto which these times, through the working of Satan
and his instruments, against the propagation of the Gospel of peace are so
inclinable: Doth ordain, that a Directorie for divine worship, with all
convenient diligence be framed and made ready in all the parts thereof,
against the next Generall Assembly, to be held in the year 1644. And for
this end that such as shall be nominate by this Assembly, shall immediatly
after the rising of the Assembly, set themselves apart (so far as may be)
from their particular callings, and with all diligence and speed, go about
this so publick, so pious and so profitable a work. And when they have
brought their endeavours and labours about this Directorie to an end, that
it be put into the hands of the Commissioners of the Generall Assembly, to
be revised, and thereafter by them sent in severall Copies to all the
particular Synods to be held in April and May, that the famine being
reported with their observations, notes, and animadversions to the
Generall Assembly, it may in end, after their full triall and approbation,
by order and authority from them be received, and practiced by all the
Ministers and particular Kirks. And for preserving of peace and brotherly
unity, in the mean while, till the Directorie by universall consent of the
whole Kirk be framed, finished, and concluded, The Assembly forbiddeth
under the pain of the censures of the Kirk, all disputation by word or
writing, in private or publick, about different practices in such things,
as have not been formerly determined by this Kirk, And all condemning one
of another in such lawfull things as have been universally received, and
by perpetuall custome practised by the most faithfull Ministers of the
Gospell, and opposers of corruptions in this Kirk, since the first
beginning of Reformation to these times. And doth exhort and command that
all endeavour to keep the unity of the spirit, in the bond of peace, that
all beginnings of Separation, all scandall and division, be by all means
avoided; And that against envying, and strife, and faction, and glorying
in men, every one go before another in the duties of love, and so fulfill
the Law of Christ; That continuing in one spirit and one minde, & fighting
together through the faith of the Gospel, we may mutually aide, strengthen
and comfort one another in all Pastorall and Christian emploiments, better
resist the common adversaries, edifie one another in the knowledge and
fear of God, and the more acceptably, and with the greater blessing serve
the Lord who hath done so great things for us.



_Propositions from the English Commissioners presented this day to the
Assembly._


We the Commissioners appointed by both Houses of the Parliament of
England, being commanded by them (as we have already declared) to desire
the reverend Assembly of Scotland, seriously to lay to heart the present
Estate of their Sister Church and Kingdome of England, and not onely to
assist with their Prayers in their straits, but also by such reasonable
and effectuall means as to themselves shall seem meet to further and
expedite the assistance now desired by both Houses from the Kingdome of
Scotland, and a more strict union with them, Have thought fit in Pursuance
of the commands received from both Houses of Parliament, to communicate to
this Assembly the paper which to this purpose we have lately delivered to
the Honourable Convention of Estates, in this Kingdome, that so this
reverend Assembly might be the better enabled, to contribute their best
assistance toward the furthering and expediting of the same. Wherein we
assure our selves of their ready and willing affections, considering the
great service they may do to God, and the great honour may redound to
themselves in becoming the Instruments of a glorious Reformation, not
onely through this Iland, but from thence possibly to be spread to other
Churches now oppressed under the Antichristian bondage, and tyrannie of
the Popish and prelatical Faction. We will not say there lies any
obligation upon this Church and Kingdome, to comply with the desires of
the two Houses of Parliament; though we might call to minde that God by
the hand of the Church and Kingdome of England, did once reach forth
assistance and aid unto this Nation, and hath since used them as a help to
that blessed Reformation it now enjoyes. And who knoweth whether the wise
providence of God hath not suffered this Church and Kingdome to be tempted
thereby, to make them the more feasible of the present miseries of their
brethren, and likewise given them a good issue, with the tentation, that
they might be made a means of our deliverance? We shall not need to offer
any grounds of prudence to invite them hereunto, who have already
prevented us in the acknowledgement of what might be said of that kinde in
the advice presented by the Commissioners of the General Assembly. July 6.
1643. unto the Convention of Estates, expressing as one remedie of the
present dangers of this Church and Kingdome, their earnest desire of
renewing the league and association with England, for the defence of
Religion against the common enemie, and of further extending the same
against Prelacie, and Popish Ceremonies, for Uniformity in externall
worship and Church-government. And we hope that the same God who hath put
these desires into the hearts of both Kingdomes, will make use of this
present opportunity to knit them both to himself, and each other in a most
strict and durable Union, and thereby the more firmly to establish truth
and peace in both Nations. Howsoever this which we have done in discharge
of our duty, will afford the comfort of a good conscience in our greatest
distresses, and give us ground to expect deliverance some way or other
from the manifold wisedome and power of God, who though men and means
fail, will not cast off his people, nor forsake his inheritance. We have
onely this to adde further, that we are commanded by both Houses to let
this reverend Assembly know that it is their earnest desire, that what
other Propositions may be thought fit to be added and concluded by this
Assembly, whereby the assistance and Union betwixt the two Nations, may be
made more beneficiall and effectuall for the securing of Religion and
Libertie, should be offered to us, and taken to our speedy consideration,

_August_ 15. 1643.

_William Bond._ Secr. Com.



_The Paper before-mentioned, delivered August 12. to the Convention, and
this day to the Assembly_


We the Commissioners appointed by both Houses of the Parliament of
England, are by our instructions commanded to put their brethren of
Scotland in minde, that the Popish and prelaticall Faction that began with
them, about the year 1638. and 1639. and then intended to make way to the
ruine of the Kingdome of England by theirs, have not abated any part of
their malice toward the Nation and Church of Scotland, nor are at all
departed from their designe of corrupting and altering Religion through
the whole Iland, though they have inverted the manner of their proceeding,
conceiving now that they have an easier way to destroy them, if they may
first prevail over the Parliament and Kingdome of England. In which
respect it is the desire of both Houses, that the two Nations may be
strictly united, for their mutuall defence against the Papists and
prelaticall Faction, and their adherents in both Kingdomes, and not to lay
down arms till those their implacable enemies shall be dis-armed, and
subjected to the authority and justice of Parliament in both Kingdomes
respectively. And as an effectual mean hereunto, they desire their
brethren of Scotland to raise a considerable force of Horse and Foot, for
their aide and assistance, to be forthwith sent against the Papists,
prelatical Faction, and malignants now in arms in the Kingdome of England.

And for the better encouragement of the Kingdome of Scotland to this
necessary and so much desired Union, we are by both Houses of Parliament
authorized to assure their brethren, that if they shall be annoyed or
endangered by any Force or Army, either from England or any other place,
the Lords and Commons of England will assist them with a proportionable
strength of Horse and Foot, to what their Brethren shall now affoord them
to be sent into Scotland for the defence of that Kingdome. And they will
maintain a guard of Ships at their own charge upon the coast of Scotland
for the securing of that Kingdome, from the invasion of Irish Rebels or
other enemies, during such time as the Scotish Army shall be employed in
the defence of the Kingdome of England, And to the end that nothing might
be wanting in the Parliament and Kingdome of England to facilitate this
work (wherein the true reformed Religion, not onely in these two
Kingdomes, but throughout all Europe is so highly concerned) We are
farther authorized to consider with their brethren the Estates and
Kingdome of Scotland, of what other Articles or propositions are fit to be
added and concluded, whereby this assistance and Union betwixt the two
Nations, may be made more beneficial and effectual for the security of
Religion and Libertie in both Kingdomes.

All which being taken into the serious and Christian consideration of the
right honourable the Lords and others of the Convention of the Estates of
Scotland, we hope there will not need many arguments to perswade and
excite them to give their consent, and that with all convenient speed, to
these desires of both houses of the Parliament of England; seeing now they
have so fully declared, as by what they have done already, so by what they
are yet desirous to do, that the true state of this cause and quarrel is
Religion, in the Reformation whereof they are, and have been so forward
and zealous, as that there is not any thing expressed unto them by their
brethren of Scotland, in their former or latter Declarations, which they
have not seriously taken to heart, and seriously endeavoured to effect,
(notwithstanding the subtle malicious and industrious oppositions) that so
the two Kingdomes might be brought into a near conjunction in one form of
Church-government, one directorie of worship, one Catechisme, &c. and the
foundation laid of the utter extirpation of Popery and prelacie out of
both Kingdomes. The most ready and effectual means whereunto, is now
conceived to be, that both Nations enter into a strict Union and league,
according to the desires of the two Houses of Parliament.

And to induce the perswasion of this (if there were cause) we might
observe, that, in the many Declarations made by the General Assembly or
States of Scotland, to their Brethren of England, there have been sundry
expressions, manifesting the great necessitie that both Kingdomes for the
securitie of their Religion and Liberties, should joyn in this strict
Union against the Papists, Prelats, and their adherents: As also in the
endeavour of a near conjunction between the Churches of both Nations. The
apprehension and foresight of which, hath caused the Popish and Prelatical
Faction in forreigne parts as well as in his Majesties Dominions, strictly
and powerfully to combine themselves to the hinderance of this so
necessary Work, and the universal suppression of the true protestant
Religion in Europe: A course not much different from that which they took
in the year 1585. when the wisedome and zeal of this Nation to
counter-myne so wicked a conspiracie, and from the due sense of the mutual
interest of these two Kingdomes in Religion and Libertie, found a
necessity of entring into a league of this nature, as well considering,
that thereby no lesse safetie might be expected to both Nations, then
danger by forbearing the same. And though we doubt not but in so necessary
and so good a Work, many difficulties may arise to interrupt and retard
the same; yet we are as confident, that the heartie and brotherly
affection of this Nation to the Parliament and Kingdome of England, will
easily break through them; and the rather because in the like cases of
difficultie and danger, not only at the time of the league
above-mentioned, but before, and likewise since, when any opportunity hath
offered it self particularly, during the sitting of this present
Parliament, the Kingdome of England hath been very forward and ready to
lay to heart the dangers of the Kingdome of Scotland as their own, and to
decline no means within the reach of their power for the redresse or
prevention of the same.

_August_ 12. 1643.

_William Bond_ Secr. Com.



Sess. 13. Aug. 16. 1643.



_Recommendation to the Presbyteries and Universities anent Students that
have the Irish language._


The Assembly considering the lamentable condition of the people in the
Highlands, where there are many that gets not the benefite of the Word in
respect there are very few Preachers that can speak the Irish language, Do
for remeid thereof think good, that young Students who have the Irish
tongue, be trained up at Colledges in Letters, especially in the studies
of Divinitie, And to this effect recommend to Presbyteries and
Universities to preferre any hopefull Students that have the language
aforesaid, to Bursaries, that they by their studies in processe of time
attaining to knowledge, and being enabled for the Ministerie, may be sent
forth for preaching the Gospel in these Highland parts, as occasions shall
require.



Sess. 14. August 17. 1643.



The Letter from the Assembly of Divines in the Kingdome of England.


_To the right reverend the Generall Assembly of the Church of Scotland._

_Right reverend and dearly beloved in our Lord Jesus Christ,_

We the Assembly of Divines and others, called and now sitting by authority
of both Houses of Parliament, to be consulted by them in matters of
Religion; have received from the honourable Houses of Commons, a speciall
order (dated the 3. of this instant August) recommending it to us to write
a Letter to the Generall Assembly of the Church of Scotland, taking notice
of the pious and good expeditions to this Church and State, certified in
the late Answer of the Commissioners of the Generall Assembly of the Kirk
of Scotland, from their meeting at Edinburgh the 17. of July 1643. And
further to desire them to possesse the people of that Kingdome with our
condition, and to encourage them to our assistance in this cause of
Religion. And having with that order received and read the said Answer
directed to the honourable Houses of the Parliament of England, we cannot
sufficiently expresse the great content and comfort, unto which it hath
raised us in the midst of the sad and calamitous condition under which we
lie.

It is no small refreshing to our mourning spirits to finde, that yet our
God hath not left us wholly comfortlesse, nor cast us so far out of his
sight, as having made us sick with smiting that should be verified of us,
_Lover and friend hast thou put far from us_, and that no man should turn
aside to ask how we do: but that we finde so many of the Churches of
Christ, and above them all, our dearest Brethren of Scotland, so far to
take to heart our extremities, as to sit in the dust with us, and so to
look upon our adversities, as being themselves also in the body.

And as we cannot render thanks sufficient unto our God for remembring such
mercie in the midst of so much wrath; so we embrace with all chearfulnesse
this opportunitie of thankfull acknowledgement of the great debt which
your love doth continually lay upon, not us alone, but upon this whole
Kingdome, in the free and full expressions of your care, piety and zeal,
and of like affections of that whole Nation, to assist and concurre with
the Parliament here, by all good and lawfull means, for sending of
Religion in godly unity and uniformitie throughout all his Majesties
Dominions, against all the designes, power and malice of bloudie Papists,
and the Prelaticall Faction, with all their malignant adherents, the
common enemies of Reformation, truth and peace.

We are likewise much ingadged to the great vigilancie and travels of the
honourable Convention of the Estates of Scotland, in contributing their
brotherly advice, and for their readinesse to give assistance for
recovering and settling the peace of this Kingdome, against the devices,
power and practices of the enemies of Religion, and the publick Good,
whereof some hints are given in that Answer and of which we doubt not but
the honourable Houses or Parliament will be so sensible as to give such a
return as becomes them: for they, better knowing then we do, the depth of
the evils under which this Nation now groaneth, and the further dangers
imminent, will be more able to value and improve the great affection and
wisedome of their Brethren, in points of so high and generall
concernement, for the safetie and glory of the Kings Majestie, and of all
his Kingdomes, and are more fit to take notice of advices of that kinde,
in reference to the civil State, which therefore we wholly leave with
them.

But as for the many prudent, pious, and reosonable admonitions which
concerne our Assembly, the good Lord reward (for we cannot) seven fold
into your bosomes all the good, which you have laboured to procure unto
the House of our GOD, and blessed be his Name who hath put such a thing as
this into the hearts of our Parliament, to cleanse the House of the Lord
of all the uncleannesse that is in it, by impure Doctrine, Worship, or
Discipline.

Nor can we in the depth of all our sufferings and sorrows, withhold our
hearts from rejoycing in the wonderful goodnes of God toward this
Kingdome, in that he hath let us see the gracious fruit of your effectuall
prayers and teares, as well as of our own endeavours this way: In bringing
together this Assembly, although in a very troublous time, whereby we may
have better opportunity more fully to poure out our soules jointly and
together to our GOD, for healing of this now miserable Church and Nation:
To consider throughly, for what more especially the Land mourneth, and how
we may be most usefull to our great GOD and Master JESUS CHRIST; In
contributing somewhat to the vindicating of his precious truth, many wayes
corrupted through the craft of men that have lyen in wait to deceive: In
the seeking out of a right way of worshipping our GOD according to his own
heart: In promoting the power of Godlinesse: in the hearts and lives of
all his people, and in laying forth such a Discipline as may be most
agreeable to Gods holy Word, and most apt to procure and preserve the
peace of this Church at home, and nearer agreement with the Church of
Scotland (highly honoured by us) and other the best reformed Churches
abroad, That so to the utmost of our power, we may exalt him that is the
only Lord over the Church, his own House, in all his Offices, and present
this Church as a chast virgin unto Christ.

It is a timely and savourie prayer which you have put up at the throne of
Grace, touching the due managing of the proceedings in this Assembly, and
that with straigth intentions we may all seek the truth in every thing,
which by the blessing of God upon our labours, must needs produce all
those blessings which your worthie Commissioners mention. And now, for
your comfort as well as our own encouragement, we desire you to take
notice of the gracious answer of the God that heareth prayer, unto your
fervent cryes. For beside our own particular addresses and secret vows to
our God to be faithful (with disdain of all baits of avarice and ambition)
it hath pleased the Divine Providence so to direct both the honourable
Houses of Parliament, to take care of preventing all obliquitie in our
proceedings, and to stop the mouthes of all that watch for their and our
haltings, and are apt maliciously to traduce both, (as if we were so
restrained by them, in our votes and resolutions, as to be bound up to the
sense of others, and to carry on private designes in a servile way) that
the Houses have tendered to us, and we have most readily taken a solemne
and serious Protestation in the presence of Almighty God, to maintain
nothing in this Assembly touching Doctrine, but what we are perswaded in
our consciences to be the truth; nor in matters of Discipline, but what we
conceive to conduce most to the glory of God, and the good and peace of
his Church; which doth not only secure the Members against fettering of
their judgements or votes, but engage them to the use of all freedome,
becoming the integrity of conscience, the weight of the Cause, the
gravitie and honour of such an Assembly. It is likewise a great
consolation, that our GOD hath put it into your hearts to designe some
godly and learned Brethren to put in their sickles with us into this
Harvest, which is so great, and requires so many Labourers; for which, as
we heartily return thanks, so we earnestly pray the Lord to open a way to
their timely coming hitherto and do assure them of all testimonies of
respect, love, and the right hand of fellowship, who shall under-take a
journey so tedious, and now so perillous, to joyne with us in the Work,
when it shall please the honourable Houses of Parliament to invite them
thereunto.

It remaines that we should now spread before you our calamities, dangers
and fears of further evils, not only drawing toward us, but even
threatning you also; and crave your passionate aids in all wayes becoming
the Servants of Jesus Christ. But your Commissioners have so fully
declared your certain knowledge and deep sense of them, that they have
left us no room for inlarging ourselves in this particular, to Brethren so
full of bowels and zeal. And they have sufficiently intimated unto the
honourable Houses, that you are well aware how often the common enemies of
both Kingdomes have consulted together with one consent to cut off both
the one and the other from being a Nation, and that the Tabernacles of
_Edom_, and the _Ishmaelites_ of _Moab_, and the _Hagarens, Geball,
Ammon,_ and _Amalek_, the cursed Papists, and their implacable and bloudy
Abettors here, do still retain the same malice, and carry on the same
designe against Religion, and perfect Reformation even in your Kingdome,
happily rescued from their former tyrannies, as well as in this of
scorched England, now in the furnace: Only they have varied the Scene,
pouring out all their fury upon us at the present: That so, having once
troden us under as mire in the streets, they may afterward more easily;
(which God avert) set their proud and impure feet upon your necks also.
Wherefore the good leave and favour of the honourable Houses of
Parliament, we shall now spare the further exciting of you to that which
we doubt not of your forwardnesse by all lawfull and meet means to promote
with all your might; namely, the possessing the good people of that
Kingdome; (of whose willing minde and readinesse you have already given
ample testimony) touching our condition, and to encourage them to our
assistance in this Cause of Religion.

And now remembring without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love,
and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, with all due
acknowledgments of the precious effects of your prayers; We most humbly
and earnestly desire, that the same breathings of the spirit in you may
still continue, and (if possible) more frequently and fervently ascend to
your God, and our God, not only for removall of outward pressures, and the
visitation of the sword, that hath already learned to eat much of our
flesh, but also for the special assistance and protection of the Father of
lights, in this great Work unto which we are now called, and wherein we
already finde many and potent adversaries: that seeing the plummet is now
in the hands of our _Zerubbabels_, all mountaines may become plains, and
they may bring forth _the capstone of the Lords House with shoutings,
crying, Grace, grace unto it_: and that how weak and contemptible builders
soever we be, the Lord would enable us to build with them, that none may
have cause to despise the day of our small beginnings, nor to stop our
progresse in the work which he hath given us to do, And as for us, who
cannot but take notice of the extraordinary employments unto which you are
called in your great Assembly, now also sitting: God forbid that we should
sin against the Lord, in ceasing to pray for you, that the Lord may enable
you to be wise masterbuilders, preserve your peace alwayes by all means,
and make you stedfast, unmoveable, alwayes abounding in the work of the
Lord, to the praise of the glory of his grace, and to the further benefit
and comfort of the whole Church of God, but more especially of this our
afflicted Ark, now wafted into the midst of a sea of miseries, and tossed
with tempests, untill our wise and gracious God, by the furtherance of
your prayers and brotherly endeavours, shall cause it to rest upon the
mountains of _Ararat_, which may take away our fears, as well as put an
end to our present sufferings and give you to rejoyce with us, that now
mourn for us.

_Westminster, August 4. 1643._

_Subscribed by your most loving Brethren, highly prisyng the graces of God
in you, and that are your Servants for Jesus sake, in the name of the
whole Assembly._

_William Tuisse_, Prelocutor.
_John White_, Assessor.
_Cornelius Burges_, Scribe of the Assembly.
_Henry Roborough_, Scribe of the Assembly.
_Adonirum Byfield_, Scribe of the Assembly.



_The Result of the Debates and Consultations of the Committees of the
Convention of Estates and General Assembly, appointed to meet with the
Commissioners of the Parliament of England._


_August_ 17. 1643.

The Committees of the Convention of Estates of Scotland, and of the
General Assembly, being appointed to meet with the Commissioners of the
two Houses of the Parliament of England, upon the Papers delivered in by
the said Commissioners, unto the Convention of Estates, and unto the
General Assembly, upon the 12. and 15, of this instant 1643. Concerning
the desires of both Houses, for a near and strict Union to be entered into
by the two Kingdomes. And it being declared at the said meeting, with what
sensible affections the General Assembly and Convention, did receive the
desires above-mentioned: And how beneficial it would be for the more firme
settlement of the said union, that a Covenant should be entred into by
both Nations: And this forme thereof being by all the foresaid persons
taken into most serious debate and consideration, and agreed unto: It was
thereupon resolved by them, that it should be presented to the General
Assembly, to the Convention of Estates of Scotland, and to the two Houses
of the Parliament of England, by their respective Committees and
Commissioners, that it might with all speed receive their respective
resolutions.

Subscribed

_Ja. Primerose._
_A. Ker._
_William Bond_ Sec. Com.

                  -------------------------------------

_The League and Covenant above-mentioned, being sent with the
Commissioners of this Assembly, to the Parliament of England, and Assembly
of Divines in that Kingdome, to be received and approven there, is to be
printed at the return thereof._



_Approbation of the League and Covenant above mentioned._


The Assembly having recommended unto a Committee, appointed by them to
joyne with the Committee of the Honourable Convention of Estates, and the
Commissioners of the Honourable Houses of the Parliament of England, for
bringing the Kingdomes to a more near conjunction and Union, received from
the aforesaid Committees, the Covenant above mentioned, as the result of
their consultations: And having taken the same, as a matter of so publick
concernment, and of so deep importance doth require, unto their gravest
consideration, Did with all their hearts, and with the beginnings of the
feelings of that joy which they did finde in so great measure upon the
renovation of the National Covenant of this Kirk and Kingdome, All with
one voice approve and embrace the same, as the most powerfull meane, by
the blessing of GOD, for settling and preserving the true Protestant
Religion, with perfect Peace in his Majesties Dominions, and propagating
the same to other Nations, and for establishing his Majesties throne to
all ages and generations. And therefore with their best affections
recommend the same to the Honourable Convention of Estates, that being
examined and approved by them, it may be sent with all diligence to the
Kingdome of England: that being received and approven there, the same may
be with publick humiliation, and all Religious and answerable solemnitie,
sworn and subscribed by all true Professours of the reformed Religion, and
all his Majesties good Subjects in both Kingdomes.



Sess. Ult. August 19. 1643.



_The Assemblies humble desires to his Majestie anent the Lists for
Presentations: With a Recommendation to Presbyteries._


The Assembly considering the difficultie of obtaining six able and well
qualified Persons to be put into a List to his Majestie, for every vaiking
Kirk at his Majesties Presentation: Therefore do most earnestly recommend
to his Majesties Commissioner, to represent their humble desires to his
Majestie, that he would be pleased to accept of a List of three: As also
conform to the desire of the last Assembly at S. Andrews, that his
Majestie would be pleased to accept of any one qualified man, who shall be
able to speak the Irish Language for Kirks vaiking in the Highlands: Which
the Commissioners Grace promised to do with the first conveniencie.

And with all his Grace representing to the Assembly, that he conceived his
Majestie had already done more, and yet would do more for satisfaction to
the desires of this Kirk, anent Patronages, nor any other Patron: And
therefore that it were convenient that all other Patrons were earnestly
desired to follow his Majesties example; And the Assembly thinking it very
necessary that some General course were set down for providing and
planning of vaiking Kirks, whereby all occasions of contests and
differences amongst Patrons, Presbyteries, and Paroches may be removed,
Therefore the Assembly recommend to every Presbyterie, to consult and
advise upon the best wayes and means for effectuating hereof, And to
report the results of their consultations herein till to the next
Assembly.



_Overtures anent Witch-craft, and Charming, &c._


The abundance and increase of the sin of Witch-craft, in all the sorts and
degrees of it in this time of Reformation, is to be taken to heart by this
reverend Assembly, who would to that end consider.

I. Of the occasions thereof, which are found to be these especially,
extremity of grief, malice, passion, and desire of revenge, pinching
povertie, solicitation of other Witches and Charmers; for in such eases
the devill assails them, offers aide, and much prevails.

II. Of the reasons and causes of Satans prevailing; which are grosse
ignorance, infidelitie, want of the love of the truth (which GOD hath made
so long and clearly to shine in our Land) and profanesse of life.

III. Of the means and wayes to bring them to a confession and censure,
which we conceive to be, that a standing Commission for a certain time be
had from the Lords of Secret Councel, or Justice Generall, to some
understanding Gentlemen and Magistrates within the bounds of Presbyteries
that shall crave it, giving them power to apprehend, try, and execute
justice against such personares are guilty of Witch-craft within these
Presbyteries; For many Paroches want the concurrence of civill
Magistrates.

IV. Of the grounds of apprehending them, Which may be a reigning brute of
Witch craft, backed with dilations of confessing Witches, being confronted
with them; for it is found that the dilations of two or three confessing
Witches, hath ordinarily proved true: Also depositions of honest persons,
anent malefices committed, or cures used by them, may be a ground of
apprehending them.

V. Being apprehended, there would be honest and discreet persons appointed
to watch them; for being left alone they are in danger to be suborned and
heardened by others, or of destroying themselves.

VI. Ministers would be careful at all times, especially Morning and
Evening, to deal with them, by Prayer and Conference, whiles they are in
prison or restraint.

VII. The means to prevent the grouth of this wickednesse, are:

That Ministers be every way careful and painful in warning people of the
danger thereof, and of Satans temptations, both privately and publickly,
and to instruct them in the knowledge of the Gospell, and grounds of
Religion, by plain cathechesing, to urge lively faith in Christ, which
faith Witches bestow otherwise; Also to presse holinesse of life, and
fervent prayes in private, and in Families, and in publick, that they be
not led into temptation; And to use the censures of the Kirk against
profane persons, such as Cursers, Whoores, Drunkards, and such like, for
over such like, he gets great advantage. Finally, it is requisite for
preventing of this hainous sin, that people seek knowledge studie to
beleeve, walk in holinesse, and continue constant and instant in prayer.

And because Charming is a sort and degree of Witch-craft, and too ordinary
in the Land; It would be injoyned to all Ministers to take particular
notice of them, to search them out, and such as consult with them, and
that the Elders carefully concurre in such search; And this Assembly would
think on an uniforme way of censuring these Charmers, and such as employ
them, or consult with them, _primo quoque tempore_.

_The Assembly approves the articles and Overtures aforesaid, And ordaines
every Presbyterie to take to their further consideration by what other
wayes or means, the sins aforesaid of Witch craft, Charming, and
consulting with Witches, or Charmers, & such like wickednes, may be tried,
restrained, and condignely censured and punished ecclesiastically and
civilly: And to report their judgementt herein to the next Assembly._



_Commission for Ministers to go to_ Ireland.


The General Assembly having received a Petition subscribed by a very great
number in the North of Ireland, intimating their deplorable condition
through want of the Ministery of the Gospel, occasioned by the tyrannie of
the Prelats, and the sword of the Rebels, and desiring some Ministers,
especially such as had been chased from them by the persecution of the
Prelats, and some others to be added, either to be sent presently over to
reside among them, or declared transportable, that upon invitation from
them, they might go and settle there: Together with a Letter from the
Vicount of Airds to that same effect. All which the Assembly hath taken to
their serious consideration, being most heartily willing to sympathize
with every Member of Christ his body, although never so remote, much more
with that plantation there, which for the most part was a branch of the
Lord his vine, planted in this Land. In which solicitude, as they would be
loath to usurpe without their own bounds, or stretch themselves beyond
their own measure, so they dare not be wanting to the inlargement of
Christs Kingdome, where so loud a cry of so extreme necessity, could not
but stir up the bowels of Christian compassion. And although they
conceive, that the present unsettled condition both of Church and State in
that Land, will not suffer them (as yet) to loose any, to make any
constant abode there; yet they have resolved to send over some for the
present exigent, till the next general Assembly, by courses, to stay three
moneth allanerly. And therefore do hereby authorize and give Commission to
the persons following, to wit, Master _William Cockburne_ Minister at
Kirkmichell, and Master _Matthew Mackaill_ minister at Carmanoch, for the
first three moneths, beginning upon the 8. of September next. Master
_George Hatchison_ Minister at Calmonell, and Master _Hugh Henderson_
Minister at Darly, for the next three moneths, beginning the 8. of
December. Master _William Adair_ Minister at Air, and Master _John Weir_
Minister at Dalserfe, for the third three moneths, beginning the 8. of
March, 1644. And Master _James Hamilton_ Minister at Drumfreis, and Master
_John Macclellane_ Minister at Kirkubright for the last three montths,
beginning the 8. of June, the said year 1644. To repair unto the North of
Ireland, and there to visit, instruct, comfort, and encourage the
scattered flocks of Christ. To employ themselves to their uttermost with
all faithfulnesse and singlenesse of heart in planting and watering,
according to the direction of Jesus Christ, and according to the Doctrine
and Discipline of this Kirk in all things. And if need be (with the
concurrence of such of the Ministers as are there) to try and ordain such
as shall be found qualified for the Ministery; Giving charge unto the
persons foresaids in the sight of God, that in Doctrine, in Worship, in
Discipline, and in their daily conversation, they study to approve
themselves as the Ministers of Jesus Christ; And that they be countable to
the Gener. Ass. of this Kirk in all things. And in case of any of the
above-mentioned Ministers be impeded by sicknes, or otherwayes necessarily
detained from this service; The Assembly ordains the Commissioners
residing at Edinb. for the publick affairs of the Kirk, to nominate in
their place well qualified men, who hereby are authorized to underrake the
forefaid imployment, as if they had been expresly nominate in the face of
the Assemb. And this although possibly it shall not fully satisfie the
large expectation of their Brethren in Ireland: yet the Assembly is
confident they will take in good part at this time that which is judged
most convenient for the present condition, even a mite out of their own,
not very great plentie to supply the present necessity: Requiring of them
no other recompence, but that they in all chearfulnesse may embrace and
make use of the Message of Salvation, and promising to inlargre their
indebted bountie at the next Assembly, as they shall finde the Work of the
Lord there to require, in the mean while wishing that these who are sent,
may come with the full blessing of the Gospel of peace, recommends them,
their labours, and these to whom they are sent, to the rich blessing of
the great Sheepherd of the flock.



_Act against Ministers haunting with excommunicate persons._


If any Minister haunt the company of an excommunicate person, contrair to
the Lawes of this Kirk; The said Minister for the first fault shall be
suspended from his Ministerie by his Presbyterie, during their pleasure:
And for the second fault be deprived. And in case the Presbyteries be
negligent herein, the Provincial Assembly shall censure the Presbyterie
thus negligent.



_Act anent an order for using civil Execution against Excommunicate
Persons._


The Assembly taking to their consideration an Article, in the Heads and
Propositions sent to the Assembly held at Edinburgh, in August, 1573. by
the Lord Regents Grace, and allowed by that Assembly: Whereof the tenour
followes. _It is resolved that the Executions of the sentence of
Excommunication against Persons excommunicate; after the space of fourtie
dayes past, shall be presented to the Lord Thesaurer or his Clerk, who
thereupon shall raise Letters by deliverance of the Lords of Session, to
charge the Persons Excommunicate, to satisfie the Kirk and obtain
themselves absolved under the pain of Rebellion: And in case they passe to
the Horne, to cause their __ Escheits be taken up; and also to raise and
cause execute Letters of Caption against them; And these to be done at the
Kings Majesties charges_: Do ratifie and approve the said Article, And
farther that the intention of the said Article may be the better
effectuate, doth also ordain, that every Presbyterie cause send to the
Procurator, or Agent of the Kirk, the foresaid Execution, that is, an
minute or note of the sentences of Excommunication within their bounds,
bearing the time and cause thereof: And that under the hands of the
Moderatour or Clerk of the Presbyterie, or of the Minister who pronounced
the sentence; That the samine may be delivered to his Majesties Thesaurer,
Advocate, or Agent. To cause Letters of Horning and Caption be raised and
execute, and other diligence to be used against the Excommunicat Persons
in manner foresaid. And that all other civil action and diligence may be
used against them, warranted and provided by Acts of Parliament, or secret
Counsel made thereanent: And that particular account be craved hereof in
every General Assembly.



TO THE KINGS MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTIE,


_The humble Answer of the National Assembly of the Kirk of Scotland._

Although the many and ample testimonies of Your Majesties Royal favour and
bountie towards this Kirk and Kingdome be living and lasting Monuments to
hold all Your Majesties good Subjects and us most of all, in remembrance
of that duty, which we owe to Your Majestie our great Benefactour, never
by any length of time to be deleted out of our minds: Yet when we remember
even of conscience we owe honour and subjection unto Your Majestie as our
dread Soveraigne, as well in Your Majesties absence as presence, We finde
our obligation to be Religious, and thereby much increased: And therefore
have we at this time in all our consultations and conclusions, of which
some have been of more then ordinary weight and concernment, in answer to
certain Propositions, made unto us by the Commissioners of the Houses of
Parliament of Your Majesties Kingdome of England, and some Reverend
Divines assisting them, fixed our eyes and thoughts upon Your Majesties
honour and happinesse, with no other and with no lesse intention, then if
we had been honoured by Your Majesties Royal Person in our Assembly. And
in like manner have given such Instructions to some Ministers and others,
to be sent unto the Assembly of Divines now in England, as next unto the
honour of God, and the good of Religion, may most serve for Your Majesties
preservation, and the peace of Your Kingdomes: Concerning which, the
Commissioners of the last General Assembly have so fully exprest their
humble thoughts and desires in their Supplication and Remonstrance sent
unto Your Majestie, that we need not adde any thing, and Your Majesties
times and affairs forbid all repetition. We do onely in all humilitie
beseech Your Majestie to judge of us and our proceedings, by the nature
and necessity of our vocation, and the rules prescribed in the word of God
for our direction, and not by uncertain rumours, and ungrounded reports of
such men as have not the fear of God before their eyes. And do earnestly
pray to God Almighty, in whose hands are the hearts of Kings, to incline
Your Majesties heart to the counsels of truth and peace, to direct Your
Government for the good of your People, the punishment of male-factours,
and praise of well-doers, that this fire of unnatural and unchristian
warre being extinguished, the People of God, Your Majesties good Subjects
may lead a quiet and peaceable life, in all godlinesse and honestie.



_The Answer of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, to the
Declaration of the honourable Houses of the Parliament of England._


The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, having received a
Declaration from the honourable Houses of the Parliament of England, by
their Committees and Commissioners now residing here; have thought good to
make knowne unto the Lords and Commons in Parliament, that all the Members
of this Assembly, and others well-affected here, do with most thankful
respects, take special notice of the expressions which they have been
pleased to make in the afore-named Declaration, not only concerning their
approbation of the desires and endeavours of the General Assembly of this
Kirk, for the Reformation of the Church of England, and the union of both
Churches in Religion and Church-government; but also concerning the
resolution of both Houses, fully to concurre with them in these pious
intentions. With the same thankfulnesse and due reverence, they
acknowledge the high respects expressed towards them by both Houses, in
directing unto them their Committees and Commissioners, assisted by two
reverend Divines, and in desiring some of the godly and learned of this
Kirk to be sent unto the Assembly sitting there.

The Assembly doth blesse the Lord, who hath not only inspired the Houses
of Parliament with desires and resolutions of the Reformation of Religion,
but hath advanced by several steps and degrees that blessed Work; By
which, as they shall most approve themselves to the Reformed Churches
abroad, and to their Brethren of Scotland, so shall they most powerfully
draw even from Heaven the blessings of prosperity and peace upon England.
And as it is the earnest wish of their Brethren here, that the true state
and ground of the present differences and controversies in England may be
more and more cleared to be concerning Religion, and that both Houses may
uncessantly prosecute that good Work first and above all other matters,
giving no sleep to their eyes, nor slumber to their eye-lids, until they
finde out a place for the Lord, an habitation for the mighty GOD of
_Jacob_, whose favour alone can make their mountain strong, and whose
presence in his own ordinances shall be their glory in the midst of them:
So it is our confidence, that the begun Reformation is of GOD, and not of
man, that it shall increase, and not decrease; and that he to whom nothing
is to hard, who can make mountaines, valleyes, crooked things, straigth,
and rough wayes, smooth, shall lead along and make perfect this most
wonderful Work, which shall be remembred to his glory in the Church
throughout all generations.

And lest through any defect upon the General Assemblies part, the Work of
Reformation (which hitherto to the great grief of all the Godly hath moved
so slowly) should be any more retarded or interrupted, they have according
to the renewed desires of both Houses of Parliament, and their own former
promises, nominated and elected Master _Alexander Henderson_, Mr _Robert
Douglas_, Mr _Samuel Rutherfoord_, Mr _Robert Balzie_, Mr _George
Gillespie_, Ministers of Gods Word; and _John_ Earle of Cassels, _John_
Lord Maitland, and Sir _Archbald Jonhstuon_ of Warritoun, ruling Elders,
all of them men much approved here; With Commission and power to them, or
any three of them, whereof two shall be Ministers, to repair unto the
Assembly of Divines, and other of the Church of England, now sitting at
Westminster, to propound, consult, treat, and conclude with them, and with
any Committees deputed by the Houses of Parliament; (if it shall seeme
good to the honourable Houses in their wisedome to depute any for that
end) in all such things as may conduce to the utter extirpation of Popery,
Prelacie, Heresie, Schisme, Superstition and Idolatrie, And for the
feeling of the so much desired Union of this whole island in one forme of
Church government, one Confession of Faith, one common Catechisme, and one
Directorie for the Worship of GOD, according to the Instructions which
they have received, or shall receive from the Commissioners of the
Generall Assembly appointed to meet at Edinburgh from time to time, with
the Assemblies power for that end. And as the Generall Assembly doth most
gladly and affectionatly receive and fully trust the Committees and
Divines sent hither, so do they hereby commend the afore-named
Commissioners, not only to the like affection and trust of the Assembly
there, but also to the favour and protection of both Houses of Parliament.

And for the further satisfaction and encouragement of their Brethren of
England, the whole Assembly in their own name, and in name of all the
particular Churches in this Kingdome, whom they represent; Do hereby
declare, that from their zeal to the glory of GOD, and propagation of the
Gospell, from their affection to the happinesse of their native King, and
of the Kingdome of England, and from the sense of their own interest in
the common dangers of Religion, Peace, and Libertie, They are most willing
and ready to be united and associated with their Brethren in a nearer
League and solemne Covenant for the maintenance of the truly reformed
Protestant Religion, against Popery and Prelacie, and against all Popish
and Prelatical corruptions, in doctrine, discipline, worship, or
Church-government, and for the settling and holding fast of unity and
uniformity betwixt the Kirks of this Iland, and with the best reformed
Churches beyond sea. Which Union and Covenant, shall with Gods assistance
be seconded by their cooperating with their Brethren in the use of the
best and most effectall meanes that may serve for so good ends; For the
more speedy effectuating whereof, to the comfort and inlargement of their
distressed Brethren (whose hope deferred might make their hearts to faint)
the whole Assembly with great unanimity of judgement, and expressions of
much affection have approved (for their part) such a draught and forme of
a mutuall Leagu and Covenant betwixt the Kingdomes, as was the result of
the joint debates and consultations of the Commissioners from both Houses,
assisted by the two reverend Divines, and of the Committees deputed from
the Convention of the Estates of this Kingdome, and from the Genrall
Assembly:

Expecting and wishing the like approbation thereof by the right honourable
the Lords and Commons in Parliament, and by the reverend Assembly there,
That thereafter it may be solemnely sworne and subscribed in both
Kingdomes, as the surest and straitest obligation to make both stand and
fall together in that cause of Religion and Libertie.

As the Estates of this Kingdome have often professed in their former
Declarations, the integritie of their Intentions against the common
enemies of Religion and Libertie in both Kingdomes, and their great
affection to their Brethren of England, by reason of so many and so near
relations: So doubtlesse now in this time of need they will not fail to
give reall proof of what before they professed. _A friend loveth at all
times, and a brother is born for adversitie._ Neither shall the Assembly,
or their Commissioners be wanting in exhorting all others to their duty,
or in concurring so far as belongeth to their place and vocation, with the
Estates now conveened, in any lawful and possible course which may most
conduce to the good of Religion and Reformation, the honour and happinesse
of the Kings Majestie, the deliverance of their Brethren of England from
their present calamitous condition, and to the perpetuating of a firme and
happy peace betwixt the Kingdomes.



_The Assemblies Answer to the right reverend the Assembly of Divines in
the Church of England._


_Right reverend and dearly beloved,_

As the sufferings of Christ abound in you, So our heartie desire to God
is, that your consolations may much more abound by Christ. The perusing of
your Letter, produced in every one of us such a mixture of affections, as
were at the laying of the foundation of the second Temple, where there was
heard both shouting for joy, and weeping aloud; We rejoyced that Christ
our Lord had at last in that Land created a new thing, in calling
together, not as before of a Prelaticall Convocation to be task-masters
over the people of the Lord, but an Assembly of godly Divines, minding the
things of the Lord, whose hearts are set to purge the defiled House of GOD
in that Land: yet this our joy was not a little allayed by the
consideration of the sad and deplorable condition of that Kingdome, where
the high provocations of so many years, the hellish plots of so many
enemies in a nick of time, have brought in an inundation of over-flowing
calamities: We know you are patiently bearing the indignation of the Lord,
because you have sinned against him, till he throughly plead your cause,
and disquiet the inhabitants of Babylon, who now laugh among themselves,
while you are fed with the bread of tears, and get tears to drink in great
measure, being on the mountains like the doves of the valleyes, all of you
mourning every one for his iniquitie.

It is now more nor evident to all the Kirks of Christ, with what
implacable fury and hellish rage, the bloud-thirstie Papists, as _Babylon_
without, and the Prelaticall Faction, the children of _Edom_ within,
having adjoyned to themselves many malignant adherents, of time-serving
Atheists, haters of holinesse, rejecters of the yoke of Christ, (to whom
the morning light of Reformation is as the shadow of death) have begun to
swallow up the inheritance of the Lord, and are not easily satisfied in
making deep and long furrowes on your backs. We cannot say that the
loudnesse of your cry surpasseth the heavinesse of your stroake; but
though _the Lord hath delivered the men, every one into his neigbours
hand, and into the hand of his King, and they have smitten the Land, yet
the rod of the wicked shall not not rest upon the lot of the righteous_:
This cloud shall speedily passe away, and a fair sun-shine shall appear.

As for us, though your extreeme calamitie did not threaten the ruine of
our Religion, Peace, and Liberties, as it doth most evidently, we would
hate our selves, if we did not finde our hearts within us melting with
compassion over you: You are engraven on the tables of our hearts to live
and die with you: we could desire that our heads were waters, and our eyes
a fountain of tears, that we might weep day and night for the slain of the
daughter of the Lords people; So calamitous a condition of any of the
Kirks of Christ, could not but be very grievous unto us; How much more
shall not we stoup and fall down in the dust to embrace our dearest
Brethren of England, to whom we are tied in to near and tender relations.
When we were but creeping out of the deep darknesse and bondage of Popery,
and were almost crushed with the fury of Foreigne Invaders, joined with
intestine enemies, pretending the name and warrand of authority, as now
your oppressours do; Then did the Lord by your Fathers send us seasonable
assistance against that intended and begun bondage both of soul and body:
The repayment of which debt, the Divine Providence seemeth now to require
at our hands. And whereas of late through our security we had fallen into
a wofull relapse, and were compassed about with dreadfull dangers on all
hands, while we aymed at the recovery of our former puritie and libertie:
Then we wanted not the huge supply of your fervent Prayers, and other
brotherly assistance of that Nation, while those who are now your
malignant enemies, would have swallowed us up.

These strait bonds of your ancient and late love, do so possesse our
hearts, that when the motions of the Commissioners of honourable House of
Parliament, and your Letters did challenge our advice and aid for defence
of Religion, and advancement of Reformation, our desires for a more strict
Union and Uniformitie in Religion betwixt both the Nations, did break
forth into a vehement flame, in such sort, as when the draugt of a League
and Covenant betwixt both Kingdoms for defence of Religion, &c. was read
in open audience, it was so unanimously and heartily embraced, with such a
torrent of most affectionate expressions, as none but eye or ear witnesses
can conceive whereof the two reverend Divines sent from you to us being
then present, no doubt will give you an account. Neither was it so onely
with us, but also the honourable Convention of Estates here, with the like
harmony of affectionate expressions, did entertain the same; So that we
hope to be reall and constant in prosecuting the contents of this
Covenant. When we in our straits fled to the Lord, and entred in Covenant
with him, he owned us and our Cause, rebuked and dissipated our enemies,
and hitherto hath helped us, and blessed our entreprises with successe
from heaven, notwithstanding our great weaknesse and unworthinesse. We
trust in the Lord, that as once it was prophesied of _Israel_ & _Judah_,
So shall Scotland & England shall become one stick in the hand of the
Lord, they shall ask the way to _Sion_, with their faces thitherward,
saying, Come, let us joyne our selves to the Lord in a perpetual Covenant,
that shall not be forgotten; And so shall it come to passe, that the Lords
Jerusalem in this Island, shall be a cup of trembling, and a burthensome
stone to all their enemies roundabout. Though now it be the time of
_Jacobs_ trouble, the Lord will deliver him out of it. Reverend and dear
Brethren, we conceive your case, and of all the Faithful in that Land to
be no other then of a woman crying, travelling in birth, and pained till
she be delivered. The great red Dragon, (under whose standard the sons of
_Belial_ are fighting) is your Arch enemy, This cannot but be a time of
fear and sorrow; But when the male childe shall be brought forth, the pain
shall cease, and the sorrow shall be forgotten. We are very confident in
the Lord, that you will be faithful to Jesus Christ, in the work committed
to you by him in all his ordinances, and taking neither foundation, corner
stone, nor any part of the rubbish of Babel to build the City that is
called, _The Lord is there_: But measuring all with the golden reed of the
Sanctuary, you may more closely be united to the best Reformed Kirks, in
Doctrine, Worship, and Government, that you may grow up in him in all
things which is the head, even Christ.

And now Reverend and dear Brethren, though we know that you abound in all
gifts and graces, the Spirit of Jesus Christ being plentifully powred out
upon you, yet according to your desire and the motion made by the
Commissioners of the Honourable Houses of Parliament, to testifie our
hearty sympathie with you in the work of the Lord, We have nominate and
elected some Godly and learned of this Church to repair to your Assembly.
We doubt nothing of your hearty embracing them in the Lord, and their
diligent concurrance with you in advancing that great work.

Not onely the common danger we are under, but the conscience of our duty
to his suffering people, layeth bonds on us frequently to present you, and
that blessed Work of Reformation, in your hands, to the throne of Grace,
that the GOD of all Grace, who will call you into his eternal glory by
Christ Jesus, after that you have suffered and a while may make you
perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

Edinburgh, August 19. 1643.

_Subscribed in name of the Assembly of the Church Scotland, by the Clerk,
of the Assembly._



_The Assemblies Answer to the Reverend their beloved Brethren, Ministers
in the Church of England._


_Reverend and beloved,_

We acknowledge with thankfulnesse to GOD, that this is one of the good
blessings bestowed upon our Kirk of late, and a pleasant fruit of our free
Assemblies, That a way is opened for keeping communion with our sister
Kirks abroad, and correspondence with you our dear Brethren, in whose joy
and sorrow we have so near interest, and whose cause and condition we
desire to lay to heart as our own.

All your former Letters were most acceptable, and full of refreshment unto
us, being taken as the earnest of a more full and constant fellowship,
longed after and hoped for: And this your last, although full of sadnesse
and sorrow, yet accounted of us all most worthy of our tenderst affection
and best respects, both for your cause who sent it, and for these worthy
witnesses which did attest it: Wherein as you have given unto us no small
evidence, not only of your love, but also of trust and friendly respect,
by choosing to poure out your grieved souls in our bosome; so we shall
with, and Godwilling endeavour, that you may really finde some measure of
brotherly compassion in our receiving thereof. For these your sad
expressions of deep sorrow, being as you have given us to conceive but a
part of your complaint, and a lamentation lesse then the causes doth
require, cannot but melt every heart, wherein there is any the least
warmnesse of the love of Christ and his Saints: And what Childe of the
Bridegrooms chamber, can hear the voice of so many friends of the
Bridegroom, lamenting for the evils which have befallen Christs Bride in
England, in the very night before her expected espousals, and not sit down
and mourn with them except his heart be fallen asleep and frozen within
him? This pitiful condition of our sister Church in England hes matter
enough we confesse to move, yea, to rend our bowels.

If we should weigh this your heavie grief in the scales of common reason,
we behoved either to stand aloof from your plague as men astonished, or
sink down in heavinesse and be swallowed up of sorrow: but when we ponder
your sad condition in the Ballance of the Sanctuary, we finde that nothing
hath as yet befallen unto you, save that which hath been the exercise of
the Saints in former times, who have been made to sit down for a while in
the shadow of death before the day of their deliverance. We finde nothing
but that which may be a fit Preparation for a comfortable out-gate from
all your troubles. What if it was necessary in the wise dispensation of
Almighty GOD, that a People in great estimation for wisedome and power,
such as England, should be thus farre humbled, as you declare, to the end
that your deliverance maybe seen hereafter to be of the Lord, and not of
your selves? What if the Lord would not draw back his hand from the
Wine-presse wherein you now lye, till he should draw forth from you these
pitiful expressions of your low estate, and so provide himself witnesses
against the day to come, that he may have the greater and purer glory in
your salvation, and your gloriation may be in the Lord alone! Dear
Brethren, comfort your selves in the Lord; this sowing in tears, doth
promise a reaping in joy, and who knoweth how soon he will give to you who
are mourners in Zion, beauty for ashes, the oyle of joy for mourning, the
garment of praise for the spirit of heavinesse; That you may be called the
trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be
glorified.

Though weeping be in the evening of this begun Reformation and purging of
the Lords House among you, yet in the morning when the discovered
filthinesse and sweepings of the Temple shall be orderly cast out, joy
shall come with thanksgiving and praise. Though a fire be kindled in the
Land, yet it is not to consume any of the mettal, for the Lord is sitting
down as a Refiner amongst you, and especially to purifie the sons of
_Levi_, that he may have a more pure oblation of spiritual worship and
service in all his holy ordinances throughout all the Land, which is no
token of wrath, but of loving kindnesse towards you. No wonder that Satan
doth thus rage, as you relate, foreseeing his casting out: No wonder he
stirre up all the children of disobedience, and kindle their natural
malice against the children of God with the inspiration of hellish fury:
No wonder the spirit of Antichrist be mad, when the morsel half swallowed
down, is like to be pulled out of his throat, the fat morsel of the rich
Revenues of England: No wonder he be cruell against you the servants of
Christ, who are consuming him by the breath of the Lords mouth.

You do well to expect no mercy, if Papists and Prelats prevail over you,
neither desire we to deceive our selves with hopes to be free from what
the power and malice can do against us; for they will not do to us if they
get the upper-hand, as we have done, and must do, if God bring them low
again under us; as they were before; for we and they are led by the
contrary spirits of Christ, and Anti-Christ: We have laboured, and must
labour for their conversion, but they (except in so far as God shall
bridle them) will not rest without our destruction; for their fury against
our persons is much more fierie then our zeal is fervent against their
abominations: Let them follow the spirit of lying and murthering, we must
take us to our refuge, and joyne our selves with all that are sensible of
the danger of the reformed Religion in prayer and supplication. _The Lord
of Hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge._

Now for advice, what can we say to you who are upon your watch tower,
wherein is the spirit of wisedome and counsel; who lye thus as humble
Disciples under the Lords foot, who did never forsake them that sought
him. Go on in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, against all opposition,
without fear of whatsoever dangers, to purge the House of the Lord, to
repair the breaches thereof, to set up all his Ordinances in their full
beautie and perfection, to the uttermost of your power, according to the
pattern of the Word of GOD, and zeal of the best reformed Kirks; And let
these two Kingdomes be knit together as one man in maintaining and
promoving the truth of the Gospel, Let us enter in a perpetual Covenant
for our selves and our posterity, to endevour that all things may be done
in the House of GOD according to his own will, and let the Lord do with us
what seemeth good in his eyes. _Only wait upon the lord, be of good
courage, and he shall strengthen your heart._ Let your hands be ever at
your Masters Work, and hold your faces resolutely to his Cause. _Watch ye,
stand fast in the faith, quite your selves like men, be strong, for ye
shall see the salvation of the Lord,_ and your labour shall not be in
vain.

_Subscribed in name of the Generall Assembly of the Church of Scotland, by
the Clerk of the Assembly._



_Commission of the Generall Assembly, for these that repair to the
Kingdome of England._


The Generall Assembly of the Church of Scotland, finding it necessary to
send some Godly and learned of this Kirk to the Kingdome of England, to
the effect under-written. Therefore gives full Power and Commission to
Master _Alexander Henderson_, Master _Robert Douglas_, Master _Samuel
Rutherfoord_, Master _Robert Bailzie_, and Master _George Gillespie_,
Ministers, _John_ Earl of Cassills, _John_ Lord Maitland, and Sir
_Archbald Johnstoun_ of Waristoun Elders, or any three of them, whereof
two shall be Ministers, to repair to the Kingdome of England, and there to
deliver the Declaration sent unto the Parliament of England and the Letter
sent unto the Assembly of Divines now sitting in that Kingdome. And to
propone, consult, treat and conclude with that Assembly or any
Commissioners deputed by them, or any Committees or Commissioners deputed
by the Houses of Parliament, in all matters which may further the Union of
this Island in one forme of Kirk-government, one confession of Faith, one
Catechisme, and one Directorie for the Worship of GOD, according to the
Instructions which they have received from the Assembly, or shall receive
from time to time hereafter from the Commissioners of the Assembly deputed
for that effect. With power also to them to convey to his Majestie, the
humble Answer sent from this Assembly to his Majesties Letter, by such
occasion as they shall think convenient; And suchlike to deliver the
Assemblies Answer to the Letter sent from some wel-affected Brethren of
the Ministry there. And generally authorizes them to do all things which
may further the so much desired Union, and nearest conjunction of the two
Churches of Scotland and England, conform to their Instructions aforesaid.



_Reference to the Commission, anent the Persons designed to repair to the
the Kingdome of England._


The Assembly having this day approven the nomination made by the
Commissioners of the late Assembly, of persons to repair to the Synod of
Divines in England: And having of new elected and nominated all the same
Persons, except Master _Eleazar Borthwick_, who is now with GOD. Therefore
gives power to the Commissioners to be appointed by this Assembly for the
publick affairs of this Kirk, to nominate and appoint any other whom they
shall think meet in his place. And suchlike the Assembly refers to the
said Commission, to consider whether it be convenient to send now at this
present time to the Kingdome of England, all the Persons appointed to go
thither, and to designe the Persons whom they think meet to go at this
present occasion, to determine the time of their dispatch, and to give
unto them their Instructions. And further in case of sicknesse or death of
any of the Persons appointed for that employment, or in the case of any
other necessary impediment of their undertaking the samine; Gives power to
the said Commission, to nominate others in their place if the Commission
shall finde it convenient.



_Commission for the Publick Affairs of this Kirk._


The General Assembly, considering the laudable costome of this Kirk, in
appointing Commissions betwixt Assemblies for the publick affairs of the
Kirk, and the commendable practice of the late Assembly at Saint Andrews,
in appointing their Commission for prosecuting the blessed Work, for
uniting the Kirks of this Island in Religion and Kirk-government, by all
lawfull and Ecclesiastick wayes, for continuance of our own peace at home,
and of the common peace bytwixt the two Nations, and for other good ends,
as at length is exprest in that Commission: And finding that the painful
endevours and proceedings of that Commission, unanimously approven in this
Assembly, though they have much advanced that glorious Work of Unity in
Religion and Government; Yet has not brought the samine to full perfection
and a finall accomplishment: And the Assembly being now much animate and
encouraged to prosecute that Work by the Parliament of England their Bills
past against Episcopacie, and sundry other corruptions, and the good hopes
of a solemne Covenant betwixt the Nations, And conceiving that in their
times of danger there may be some occasions for conveening the Assembly,
before the time indicted for their next meeting. Therefore the Assembly
finding it necessary to appoint a new Commission, By these presents,
nominates and appoints Mr _Andrew Ramsay_, Mr _Alexander Henderson_, Mr
_Robert Douglas_, Mr _William Colvil_, Mr _William Bennet_, Mr _George
Gillespie_, Mr _John Adamson_, Mr _John Sharpe_, Mr _James Sharpe_, Mr
_William Dalgleish_, Mr _David Calderwood_, Mr _Andrew Blackhall_, Mr
_James Fleeming_, Mr _Robert Ker_, Mr _John Macghie_, Mr _Oliver Colt_, Mr
_Hugh Campbell_, Mr _Adam Penman_, Mr _Richard Dickson_, Mr _Andrew
Stevinson_, Mr _John Lauder_, Mr _Robert Blair_, Mr _Samuel Rutherfoord_,
Mr _Arthur Morton_, Mr _Robert Traill_, Mr _Frederick Carmichell_, Mr
_Mungo Law_, Mr _John Smith_, Mr _Patrick Gillespie_, Mr _John Duncan_, Mr
_John Hume_, Mr _Robert Knox_, Mr _William Jameson_, Mr _Robert Mura_, Mr
_Henry Guthrie_, Mr _James Hamilton_, Mr _Bernard Sanderson_, Mr _John
Leviston_, Mr _James Boner_, Mr _Evan Cameron_, Mr _David Dickson_, Mr
_Robert Bailzie_, Mr _James Cunninghame_, Mr _George Youngh_, Mr _Andrew
Auchinleck_, Mr _David Lindsay_, Mr _Andrew Cant_, Mr _John Oiswald_, Mr
_William Douglas_, Mr _Murdoc Mackenzie_, Mr _Coline Mackenzie_, Mr _John
Monroe_, Mr _Walter Stuart_, Ministers: Marquesse of _Argyle_, Earle
_Marshell_, Earle of _Sutherland_, Earle of _Eglintoun_, Earle of
_Cassils_, Earle of _Dumsermling_, Earle of _Lawderdail_, Earle of
_Lindsay_, Earle of _Queensberrie_, Earle of _Dalhouse_, Lord _Angus_,
Vicount of _Dudhope_, Lord _Maitland_, Lord _Elcho_ Lord _Balmarinoch_,
Lord _Cowper_, Sir _Patrick Hepburne_ of Wauchtoun, Sir _Archbald
Johnstoun_ of Waristoun, Sir _David Hume_ of Wedderborne, Sir _Alexander
Areskine_ of Duns, Sir _William Cockburne_ of Langtoun, Sir _Thomas
Ruthven_ of Frieland, Sir _James Arnos_ of Fernie, Sir _Walter Riddell_ of
that Ilk., Sir _Lodonick Houstoun_ of that Ilk, Sir _William Carmichael_
Fiar of that Ilk, Laird of _Bonjedburgh_, Laird of _Libbertoun_, Laird of
_Brodie_, Sir _John Smith_, _James Dennistoun_, Master _Barclay, John
Rutherfoord_, _William Glendinning, John Sempill, John Kennedie_, Master
_Alexander Douglas_, To meet at Edinburgh the 21. day of August next, and
upon any other day thereafter, and in any other place they shall think
good. And gives and grants unto them, or any fifteen of them, there being
twelve Ministers present, full power and Commission, to consider and
performe what they finde necessary by Praying and Preaching, by
supplicating his Majestie and all the Judicatories of this Kingdome, by
Declarations and Remonstrances to the Parliament of England, to the Synod
of Divines in that Kingdome, by Informations, Directions, Instructions to,
and continual correspondence with the Commissioners, now designed by this
Assembly to go to the Synod of Divines in England, or by any other lawful
Ecclesiastick wayes, for furtherance of this great Work, in the Union of
this Island in Religion and Kirk-goverment, and for continuance of our own
Peace at home, and of the common Peace betwixt the Nations, and keeping of
good correspondence betwixt the Kirks of this Island. With power also to
them to concurre with the Lords of Councel, Commissioners of Peace, or
with the Honourable Estates assembled in Convention or Parliament, or with
their Committees and Commissioners, in prosecuting this good Work at home
or abroad by all Ecclesiastick wayes. And suchlike with power to them to
prevent the dangers conteined in the Remonstrance, presented unto the
Convention of Estates by the Commissioners of the late Assembly in _June_
last, and to prosecute the remedies of these dangers conteined in another
Remonstrance, presented by the _aids_ Commissioners to the Convention the
6. of _July_ last by admonitions, directions, censures, and all other
Ecclesiastick wayes. And further in case their Brethren of England shall
agree to the Covenant betwixt the Kingdomes, the draught and frame whereof
is now so unanimously approven in this Assembly Gives also unto the
Persons foresaid, or the _Quorum_ above-written, full Power and Authoritie
to command and enjoyn the samine to be subscribed and sworn by all the
members of this Kirk: And that in such order and manner, and with such
solemnities as they shall think convenient for so great and glorious a
Work; And to send their directions to Sessions, Presbyteries and Synods,
for execution of their orders thereanent. And with power to proceed
against any Person whatsoever, that shall refuse to subscribe and swear
the said Covenant, with all the censures of the Kirk, or to refer the
tryall and censures of such delinquents to Presbyteries or Synods as they
shall think convenient. And such like gives unto the persons foresaids
power and libertie, to call a General Assembly _pro re nata_, in case they
shall finde the necessity of the Kirk, and this great Work to require the
same: With full power also to them to give Answers in name of the
Assembly, to all Letters sent to the Assembly from the Kirks of Holland,
Zealand, or any other forraigne Reformed Kirks. And further gives power to
them to promove the other desires, Overtures and recommendations of this,
or of any former Assemblies to the Kings Majestie, Parliament or
Convention of Estates, to the Lords of Councel, Session, Exchequer,
Commissioners of Parliaments, for plantation of Kirks, for the common
burdens, and for conserving the Peace. And suchlike gives as full power
and Commission to them to treat and decerne in any other matters referred,
or to be referred to them by this Assembly, as if the samine were herein
particalarly insert. And generally gives unto the Persons foresaids, or
the _Quorum_ abovementioned full power and Authoritie, to do and performe
all things which may advance, accomplish, and perfect the great Work of
Unity of Religion, and Uniformity of Kirk-government in all his Majesties
Dominions, and which may be necessary for good order in all the publick
affairs of this Kirk, untill the next Assembly, _ne quid detrimenti capiat
Ecclesia_. With als ample power in all matters particularly or generally
above-mentioned, as any other Commission of General Assemblies, has had or
been in use of before; They being alwayes countable to, and censurable by
the next General Assembly, for their proceedings thereintill.

                  -------------------------------------

_The General Assembly appoints the meeting of the next General Assembly,
to be at Edinburgh the last Wednesday of May, in the year 1644._



THE GENERALL ASSEMBLY, AT EDINBURGH, 1644.



Die Jovis penult. Maii, Sess. 2.



_The Letter from the Presbyeerie with the Army in_ England, _to the
Generall Assembly._


_Right reverend_,

Having the opportunity of the sitting of this Venerable Assembly, we
thought our selves obliged to render some accompt of the state of our
Affairs. It hath pleased the Lord to exercise us since our out-coming,
with many straits and difficulties, yet in the mids thereof he hath
wonderfully upheld and carried us through. The depth of his wisedome hath
suspended us for a time from any great action, to make us walk humbly
before him, and to keep us in a continual dependance upon himself: And yet
he hath by his own power scattered before us the great Popish Army, and
much diminished the number thereof, so that they do not now appeare
against us in the Fields; That all may learne to trust in GOD, and not in
Man. It was farre from our thoughts and intentions to have come this
length at that instant when the course of Divine Providence pointed out
our way unto us, which led us on by some long and speedie marches to joyne
with my Lord _Fairfax_ and his Sonne their Forces. The City of _York_,
wherein a swarme of obstinate Papists have taken sanctuary, is blocked up;
Now and then God favoureth us with successe in some enterprises about it,
and wee look for more if the time be come which he hath appointed for the
deliverance of this People.

Our Soules do abhorre the treacherous attempts of our disnatured
Countrey-men, that have endeavoured to make their native Kingdome a seat
of Warre, and our bowels within us are moved to think upon the maine
mischiefs, if not timeously prevented, that may follow upon the unatural
Warres there; Like unto these under which this Kingdome hath groaned for a
long time. We have found none more malicous and cruel against us than
these of our own Nation, and we measure those at home, by these here;
_Cursed be their rage, for it is fierce, and their anger for it is
cruell._ The present danger calls upon all to lay out of their hands what
ever may hinder their haste, as one Man to come together for saving the
Vine-yeard that the wilde Boares would lay waste, and taking the Foxes
that would destroy the Vines. You are, Right Reverend, now set upon the
highest Watch-tower, from whence you may discover the dangers that
threaten on all coasts, and we need not put you in minde to give warning
to the Watch-men in their severall stations; To rouze up the People from
their too great security; To call them to unfeigned Humiliation, and to
stirre them up to wrestle with GOD by prayer; that hee would preserve
Truth and Peace at home against the machinations of Malignants; That hee
would prepare the People here, and make them more fit to embrace the
intended Reformation; And that hee would command these unnaturall and
bloudy Warres to cease, that Religion and Righteousnesse may flourish
through the three Dominions, Praying GOD to send upon you the Spirit of
truth, who may lead you in all truth. We remaine

_Middle-thorp, 20. May, 1644._

_Your loving Brethren, The Presbyterie of the Scottish Army in_ England,

Master _Robert Douglas_, Moderator in their name.



_The Petition from the distressed Christians in the North of_ Ireland.


To the Reverend and Honourable Moderator and remanent Members of the
Generall Assembly of _Scotland_, conveened at _Edinburgh_ in May 1644.

_The humble Petition of the distressed Christians in the North of_
Ireland.

_Humbly sheweth,_

That whereas your former enlarged bounty, and our present overflowing
straits would require a gratefull acknowledgement of the one, and a
serious representation of the other: Our case is such, as neither can be
expected at our hands, being stricken with astonishment, and full of the
furie of the Lord. We are these indeed who have seen affliction by the rod
of his wrath: So that it were more fit, we had a Cottage in the
Wildernesse amongst the Owles to mourn out our imbittered Spirits, then
that by word or writ we should compeere before any of his People: Although
you cannot be wearied in wel-doing, yet we shall up way think it strange,
if now you shall give over any more care of us; Seeing the Lord hath
testified against us, and the Almighty hath afflicted us. Your judgement
is with the Lord, and your reward is with God, not onely for your two
years visiting and watering a barren vineyard, but also for your zeale and
care to have your Reformation spred amongst other opprest and borne-down
Churches, whereof you have given an ample and famous testimony in sending
hither that blessed League and Covenant which wee much desired and longed
for, as by our Petitions to the Church & State of our Native Kingdome is
knowne unto you; which hath had a wished and gracious successe by the
favour and blessing of God, accompanying the pains of these to whom the
tendering thereof was intrusted by you. And we conceiving a chief part of
our miserie to consist in our want of opportunitie to joyne our selves
with the People of God in the foresaid Leagues; Esteeming our selves
rejected of God and unfit to be joyned in any comfortable fellowship in
the Gospel with them, when the said League and Covenant was presented to
the Regiments; Wee made bold to lay hold upon the opportunity (though
aflicted abjects) and cheerfully and unanimously joyned our selves
thereunto: That if wee peerish in our misery, wee may die a Covenanted
People: and, if our miserable life be prolonged, we may finde shelter and
refreshment under the shadow thereof in our fierie trials, confidently
expecting from the Lord by our neerer conjunction with you than before, an
accomplishment of what is agreed into the Covenant, which ye bountifully
expressed before we were one with you, to your never-dying-commendation.
We are nothing shaken in our minds with the odious aspersions of sedition,
combination against the King: and overthrow of Muncipal Laws, &c.
(wherewith our Covenant is branded) nor with the threats of these who
should be comfortable to us in our troubles: But are the more encouraged
to beleeve that God shall raise up the Tabernacle of _David_ that is
fallen, and repair the breaches thereof: For since we Covenanted with God,
and united our selves together, our dying Spirits have revived, and we
sing like those who have come forth from their Graves, for God hath had
mercy on _Jacob_: In testimony whereof he hath opened the bowels of the
Churches of _Holland_, who were strangers to us, and yet dear Brethren,
and tender Sympathizers with our afflictions and sorrows, who, when these
who were left of the Sword were in danger to dye by famine, did
plentifully relieve us in our straits, not onely by comfortable
encouragements to walk humbly with God, and wait for him who hides his
face from the house of _Jacob_ for a season; but also by their rich supply
in Victuals and others necessar for our relief and comfort, which we
humbly desire our Lord to repay seven-fold in their bosome, and become
your Supplicants to joyne with us in a grateful acknowledgement of their
singular favours: And upon the heels of these favours you have continued
your unparalled compassions in keeping your forces and enabling them,
together with the other Forces, for avenging the cruel murders, and
effusion of Christian blood in this Land, notwithstanding of your owne
multiplied difficulties. The Lord hath begun to delight into us, and in a
day of salvation hath helped us (So happy are the people who are in
Covenant with God.) We are these (indeed) who may justly be burnt up for
our unfruitfulnesse in the dayes of our plenty, & stubbornesse in the
dayes of our affliction, which has brought us so low, that where we once
enjoyed a blessed plenty, we must now beg of the crumbs that fall from
your Table: We cannot dissemble, but so farre as we can discern our owne
hearts, we would preferre the joyful sound of the Gospel to our much
wished Peace and precious lives: But it may be discerned, your
Consultations of before have been guided by the Spirit of the Lord; in
that when wee twice in our forward hasting desires begged the present
loosing and planting of some Ministers amongst us, you judged it more
convenient to supply us by turnes, as foreseeing that our Captivity was
likely to endure: Our hopes are so far revived, that we trust to see the
day when he shall take the Cup of trembling out of our hands, and put it
in the hands of them that afflicted us.

And therefore, if you account us fellow-partners of the Purchased
Inheritance, Yet again suffer our necessitie to plead with you, that as it
hath been by the Committee of Bils already advised, that a competent
number of Ministers may be gifted to us by your Commission when they shall
set the Calling cleared, the same may be granted as a testimony of your
confidence, and expectation of our delivery; And in the meane time some
others may be sent by turnes to keep in the dying lives of above twenty
foure desolate Congregations, who are in danger to perish for want of
Vision: And although we do proteste, we count not our selves worthy of
such favours, yet as we have resolved to dye with the cry of hope in our
mouthes to the Lords Throne; So in obedience of the use of the means by
him appointed, we stretch out our hearts and our hands to you for help,
and have sent our Brother _William Mackenna_ Merchant at _Belfast_, to
attend what answer it shall please the Lord by you to returne unto

_Your distressed Brethern and Supplicants._

_Subscribed by very many hands._



3. _Junii 1644. Antemeridiem._ Sess. 5.



_Act for the present Entrie of the new erected Presbyterie at_ Biggar.


The which day anent the Supplication subscribed and given in to the
General Assembly to the Ministers and ruling Elders of the Kirks of
_Biggar, Skirling, Brochton, Glenquhome, Kelbocho, Culter, Lamyngtoun,
Symontoun, Covingtoun Quothquen, Welstonn_, and _Dolphingtoun_ making
mention, That the General Assembly at _Edinburgh_ in August 1643. years,
by their Act of the date of the twelfth day of the samine moneth and year,
did upon good grounds, and after tryal and hearing of all Parties to the
full, erect a Presbyterie seat at _Biggar_, to consist of the Kirks
above-written, And granted to their Presbyterie full power of jurisdiction
and exerceing Discipline, with all other Liberties and Priviledges
belonging to any other Presbyterie; but suspended the entrie and
possession of this new erected Presbyterie, during the pleasure of the
Assembly; And therefore desiring the said Generall Assembly to ordaine and
appoint the entrie and possession of the foresaid Presbyterie at _Biggar_
now presently; And to declare, that it is their pleasure, that the entrie
and possession thereof shall be no longer suspended, as the Supplication
proports. Which Supplication being read in audience of the Generall
Assembly, and thereafter the Commissioners from the Presbyteries of
_Lanerk_ and _Peebles_, and all others having entresse to oppose the
desire foresaid being publickly called, and the saids Commissioners for
_Peebles_ and _Lanerk_ personally present, being at length heard in what
they could say or alledge therein: And the said the Supplication and
desire thereof, with the Alledgeances and Objections made against the
samine, being taken to consideration by the Assembly, and they therewith
being fully and ripely advised: The Assembly after removing of the
Parties, and after consideration of the premisses and voycing of the
foresaid desire, Ordaines the entrie and possession of the foresaid
Presbyterie of _Biggar_, consisting of the particular Kirks
above-mentioned, to begin now presently; And appoints and ordaines all the
Ministers and Ruling Elders of the foresaids Kirks above specified,
whereof the said Presbyterie consists, to meet and conveene as a
Presbyterie, with all convenience, at the said Kirk of _Biggar_, which is
the Place and Seat of the samine Presbyterie. And the Assembly refers to
the Commissioners to be appointed by them for the publick affairs of the
Kirk, to determinn to what Synod the said new erected Presbyterie shall be
subordinate; As also to prescribe the order and solemnities that shall be
necessar for entring and possessing the Ministers and Elders in the said
Presbyterie.



_Junii_ 3. 1644 Sess.



_Act concerning the Declaration subscribed by the Scottish Lords at_
Oxford.


The Generall Assembly having received a Copy of a Declaration, made and
subscribed at _Oxford_, sent unto them from the honourable Convention of
Estates, and having seriously considered the tenour thereof, doth finde
the same to be a perfidious Band and unnaturall confederacy, to bring this
Kirk and Kingdome to confusion; and to be full of blasphemies against the
late solemne League and Covenant of the three Kingdomes, of vile
aspersions of Treason, Rebellion and Sedition, most falsly and impudently
imputed to the Estates and the most faithfull and loyall Subjects of these
Kingdomes, And seeing it is incumbent to the Assembly to take notice
thereof, and to stop the course of these malicious intentions, in so farre
as concernes them, Declare that the subscribers of this or the like
Declaration or Band, or any that have been accessory to the framing, or
that has been, or shall be accessory to the execution thereof, deserve the
highest censure of the Kirk: And therefore gives power to the
Commissioners of this Assembly appointed for the publick affairs, to
proceed against them to the sentence of Excommunication, unlesse they make
humble confession of their offence publickly, in such manner, and in such
places as the Commission shall prescribe; Or otherwise to refer the tryall
and censure of such Delinquents to Presbytereries or Synods as they shall
think convenient. And when the sentence of Excommunication shall be
pronounced, discharges Presbyteries or Synods to relax any from the
sentence, without the advice of the Generall Assembly, or their
Commissioners, _nisi in extremis_. And in respect of the atrocicite of
this Fact, the Assembly in all humility, do seriously recommend to the
right honourable the Estates of Parliament to take such course, as the
persons that shall be found guilty, may be exemplary punished, according
to the merit of so unnaturall and impious an offence: And that some
publick note of ignominie be put upon the Declaration and Band it self, if
their Honours shall think it meet.



_Act against the Rebells in the North and South._


The Generall Assembly considering the just sentence pronounced against the
principall Actors in that Rebellion in the North and South, by ordinance
of the Commissioners of the late Assembly; And finding it most necessary,
that such as assisted or joyned with them in that impious and unnaturall
Fact, be likewise censured; Therefore ordains Presbyteries and Synods
_respectivè_, to proceed against them with the highest Censures of the
Kirk, if they give not satisfaction by publick repentance; And when the
sentence of Excommunication shall be pronounced, The Assembly discharges
the said Judicatories to relax any of them from the sentence, without the
advice of the Generall Assembly, or their Commissioners, _nisi in
extremis_: To whom also the saids Presbyteries and Synods, shall be
answerable for their diligence in the premisses as they shall be required.
And the Assembly doth humbly recommend to the Honourable Estates of
Parliament, to take such course as the Persons that shall be found guilty
may be exemplarly punished according to the merit and degree of their
offence.



_Act against secret disaffecters of the Covenant_


The Generall Assembly understanding that divers Persons dis-affected to
the Nationall Covenant of this Kirk, and to the Solemne League and
Covenant of the three Kingdoms, do escape their just censure, either by
their private and unconstant abode in any one Congregation, or by secret
conveyance of their malignant speeches and practises; Therefore ordains
all Ministers to take speciall notice when any such Person shall come
within their Paroches, and so soon as they shall know the same, that
without delay they cause warn them to appear before the Presbyteries
within which their Paroches lyes, or before the Commissioners of this
Assembly appointed for publick affairs, as they shall finde most
convenient, which warning the Assembly declares shall be a sufficient
citation unto them: And als that all Ministers and Elders declare to the
saids Judicatories _respectivè_, every such disaffected person, although
without their own Paroch, so soon as they shall hear and be informed of
them. And the Assembly ordains the said Commissioners not only to proceed
to Tryal and Censure of such disaffected Persons, but also take a special
account of the diligence of Ministers, Elders, and Presbyteries herein
_respectivè_.



_Act for sending Ministers to the Armie._


The Assembly understanding that Ministers are not duly sent forth to the
Regiments of the Army, neither such as are sent duly relieved, which
neglect falleth out oftimes, by reason of questions among Presbyteries
interested in the Regiments: Therefore for remedy hereof, thinks it
convenient that this order be keeped hereafter; That a List be made of
three Ministers by the Colonels, or in their absence by the chief Officers
of every Regiment, with advice and consent of the Presbyterie at the Army,
and sent to Presbyteries here, or if the list be of Ministers in divers
Presbyteries to the Commissioners of the General Assembly, that they may
appoint one out of that list to be sent to the Regiment, to attend them
for performing Ministeriall duties 3 Moneths: And that the relief of
Ministers already sent or to be sent hereafter shall be in the same
manner, And the Assembly ordains Ministers who shall be thus appointed by
Presbyteries or the Commissioners of the Assembly _respectivè_, to repair
to the Armie with all diligence, under the paine of suspension: And humbly
recommends to the Honourable Estates of Parliament, to provide some way
whereby these Ministers may have due and ready payment of their allowance,
from the time of their going from their charges here. And it is declared
that this order shall be also keeped for sending forth of Ministers to the
Regiments in the second expedition.



_Renovation of the Commission for the Publick affairs of the Kirk._


The Generall Assembly considering that the Commissioners appointed by the
last Assembly upon the ninteenth day of August 1643. years, the last
Session thereof to sit at _Edinburgh_, for the Publick affairs of the
Kirk, have not yet fully perfected that great Work for Unity of Religion,
and Uniformitie of Kirk-government in his Majesties Dominions; And that
now in respect of the present condition of affairs in this Kingdome, their
proceedings cannot be examined at this time: Therefore finding it necessar
that the said Commission be renewed unto the Commissioners therein
mentioned, and to the Persons afternamed now thought, fit to be added for
the better expediting of the businesse, Do hereby appoint the Persons
particularly nominate in the said Commission, _viz._ Masters _Andrew
Ramsay, Alexander Henderson, Robert Douglas, William Colvill, William
Bennet, George Gillespie, John Oiswald, Mungo Law, John Adamson, John
Sharp, James Sharp, William Dalgleish, David Calderwood, Andrew Blackball,
James Fleeming, Robert Ker, John Mackenzie, Oliver Cole, Hugh Campbell,
Adam Penman, Richard Dickson, Andrew Stevinson, John Lawder, Robert Blair,
Samuel Rutherfurd, Arthur Mortoun, Robert Traill, Frederick Carmichael,
John Smith, Patrick Gillespie, John Duncan, John Hume, Robert Knox,
William Jameson, Robert Murray, Henry Guthrie, James Hamilton,_ in
_Dumfreis, Bernard Sanderson, John Levingstoun, James Bonar, Evan Camron,
David Dickson, Robort Bailzie, James Cuninghame, George Youngh, Andrew
Affleck, David Lindsay, Andrew Cant, William Douglas, Murdo Mackenzie,
Coline Mackenzie, John Monroe, Walter Stuart_ Ministers; _Archbald_
Marquesse of _Argyle, William_ Earle _Marshall, John_ Earle of
_Sutherland, Alexander_ Earle of _Eglingtoun, John_ Earle of _Cassils,
Charles_ Earl of _Dumfermeling, John_ Earle of _Lauderdale, John_ Earle of
_Lindsay, James_ Earle of _Queensberry, William_ Earle of _Dalhousie,
Archbald_ Lord _Angus, James_ Vicount of _Dudhope, John_ Lord _Maitland,
David_ Lord _Elcho, John_ Lord _Bahnerinoch, James_ Lord _Cowper_, Sir
_Patrick Hepburne_ of _Waughtoun_, Sir _Archbald Johnstoun_ of
_Waristoun_, Sir _David Hume_ of _Wedderburne_, Sir _Alexander Areskine_
of _Dun_, Sir _William Cockburne_ of _Langtoun_, Sir _Thomas Ruthven_ of
_Frieland_, Sir _James Arnot_ of Fernie, Sir _Walter Riddall_ of that Ilk,
Sir _Ledovick Houstoun_ of that Ilk, Sir _William Carmichael_ Fiar of that
Ilk, Mr _George Douglas_ of _Bonjedburgh_, Mr _George Winrame_ of
_Libertoun_, Laird of _Brodie_, Sir _John Smith, James Dennistoun_, Master
_Robert Barclay, John Rutherford, William Glendunning, John Sempill, John
Kennedy_ and Master _Alexander Douglas_ Elders: And also Masters, _David
Dalgleish, Andrew Bennet, John Moncreiff, Alexander Carse, Thomas Wilkie,
James Gushrie, Henry Levingstoun, David Drummond at Creiff, John Hay at
Renfrew, John Strang, Richard Inglis, William Falconer, John Paterson,
Gilbert Rosse, Richard Maitiand, George Cumming, William Campbel_
Ministers, And _William_ Earle of _Glancairne, William_ Earle of
_Louthian, James_ Lord _Murray_ of _Gask, John_ Lord _Yester, Robert
Maitland, Frederick Lyon_ of _Brigtoun, James Macdowell of Garthland,
David Beton of Creich_, Sir _James Stuart_ Sheriff of _Buit_, Sir _John
Weemes_ of Bogie, Mr _William Sandilands_ Tutor of _Torphichin, Archbald
Sydserfe, Laurence Henderson, James Stuart, Thomas Paterson_, and
_Alexander Jaffrry_ Elders now added by this Assembly, to meet at
_Edinburgh_ upon the fifth day of this instant moneth of June, and upon
the last Wednesday of August next, the last Wednesday of November next,
and upon the last Wednesday of February next; and upon any other day, or
in any other place they shall think meet: Giving and granting unto them,
or any fifteen of them, there being twelve Minister present, full power
and commission to prosecute the said work of unitie in Religion, and
uniformitie of Kirk government in all his Majesties Dominions, and to do
and performe all things particularly or generally contained in the said
Commission of the preceeding Assembly, or in an Act of the said Assembly
upon the said 19. day of August, intituled, _A Reference to the Commission
anent the Persons designed to repair to the Kingdome of England_, and to
treat and determine therin, and in all other matters referred unto them by
this Assembly, siclike, and as freely, as if all these were herein
expressed, and as the persons nominat in that said former Commission might
have done by vertue of the said Act and former Commission at any time
by-gone, and with as ample power as any Commission of former General
Assemblies hath had, or been in use of before, they being alwayes
comptable and censurable for their whole proceedings hereintill by the
next General Assembly.



_Renovation of the Commission granted to the Persons appointed to repair
to the Kingdome of_ England.


The General Assembly, finding that the great Work of unity in Religion,
and uniformity of Kirk-government in all his Majesties Dominions is not
yet perfected, Do therefore renew the Commission granted for that effect
by the preceeding Assembly, unto the Persons appointed to repair to the
Kingdome of _England_ upon the 19. day of August 1643. in the last Session
thereof, Giving and granting to the Persons therin mentioned, the same
power, to do all and every thing particularly or generally contained in
the said Commission, in the same manner, and as fully, as if the same were
herein expressed, and as they might have done at any time by gone by
vertue of the former Commission.



_The Assemblies answer to the Presbyterie with the Armie._


_Reverend and loving Brethren in the LORD,_

We received yours of the 17 and 20 of May, and were much refreshed with
the knowledge you gave unto us therein, of your sense of our condition
here, and of the Lords dealing with yourselves there in your straits and
difficulties: We rejoyce exceedingly to see you make such a blessed use of
the Lords delayes, for your further Humiliation and Dependence upon him:
That Sanctuary, your Enemies, and the Enemies of your GOD hath taken,
shall not save them: You have found by experience in your marches and
maintenance, that events are not ordered by the propositions of men, but
by the Providence and purpose of GOD. There is a time for every purpose
under Heaven, and the Cup of the _Amorites_ must be filled: Which being
now full of every abomination, yea of the blood of the Saints, the cry
whereof cannot but be heard in Heaven, and answered on Earth, presageth no
lesse to us, than that the Lords time of his deliverance of his own, and
destruction of his Enemies draweth near.

We are not unsensible of your present estate, and by the Lords grace shall
be careful, both here and with our Congregations at home, to make all take
the same to heart. As for our condition here remembred with such pious
affection by you, we doubt not but ye have heard what the Lord hath done
for us; these happy beginnings of the Lords scattering our unnatural
Enemies in the North, gives us confidence of his assistance in the midst
of difficulties against these that assault us in the South: It is nothing
with the Lord to help whether with many, or with them that have no power.

The security of this Nation indeed is great, it is our part to blow the
Trumpet to give warning to the People, and to rouze them from that fearful
condition which threatneth so much desertion. And to this end we have
injoyned a solemne Fast, the causes whereof being more particularly
considered by our Commissioners here, will no question be sent unto you,
that if the Lord please, you may joyne with us there in that Action.

We have set down an order to be kept hereafter, for sending Ministers unto
the Armie, which the Clerk will send herewith unto you. Now the Lord our
GOD, in whose Name his people go forth against his Enemies, help and
assist them, and cover their heads in the Day of Battel, and be their
Refuge; and blesse your travels and endeavours, for the good of their
souls and his own glory.

_Edinburgh_, 3. June 1644.

_Subscribed in name of the Generall Assembly by the Moderator._



4. _June_ 1644. Sess 7.



_The Letter from the Commissioners at_ London _to the General Assembly._


_Right Honourable, Reverend and beloved in the LORD,_

It was the earnest desire of our hearts to have come unto you at this
time, and to have brought with us the desireable fruits of our weighty
imployments and labours, to our common rejoycing in the mids of so many
troubles both here and there: but our Lord in his wisedome hath not judged
it fitting, that this should be the time of our joyful harvest, and of
bringing our sheaves, to be matter of sacrifice to himself, and of
shouting to us. Both Nations as yet do but go forth weeping and bearing
their precious seed; yet are we confident through JESUS CHRIST, that as it
is a seed time, if the Labourers (although other men before us have
laboured and we are entred into their labours) prove faithful unto the
end, the harvest shall come in due time, and in great plenty.

The common Directory for publick Worship in the Kirks of the three
Kingdomes is so begun (which we did make known to the Commissioners of the
General Assembly) that we could not think upon any particular Directory
for our own Kirk, and yet is not so far perfected, that wee could present
any part thereof unto your view: for although wee have exhibited unto the
Grand Committee (which is composed of some of the Members of both Houses,
and of the Assembly, with our selves) the materials of the publick prayers
of the Kirk, the method of Preaching, and the order of administration of
both Sacraments, and have the Catechisme in hand; yet are they not
throughly examined by the Committee, nor at all by the Assembly or
Parliament, which we cannot impute to any neglect or unwillingnesse, but
to the multiplicity and weight of their affairs, by which they are sore
pressed, and above their power.

The Directory for Ordination of Ministers (which upon the extreme exigence
of this Kirk was much pressed by the Parliament) is agreed upon by the
Committee and Assembly, and some dayes past is presented to both Houses,
but hath not yet passed their Vote. The Assembly hath been long in debate
about the Officers and Government of the Kirk (concerning which, we
offered the two Papers which wee drew up, according to the practice of our
own, and other Reformed Kirks, and so neere as we could conceive, to the
minde of the General Assembly, and did send to the Commissioners of the
General Assembly) and hath passed many votes about the one and the other,
but hath turned their thoughts to such ripenesse and perfection, that they
could think upon the publishing of them, or presenting them to your sight,
nor is it in their power to do so, without warrant of Parliament. Your
wisedome will consider that they are not a General Assembly, but some
select Persons, called by Authority to give their advice in matters of
Religion, that they walk in a way which hath not been troden by this
Nation before this time, that many things seeme new unto them, and cannot
obtain their assent, till they see them clearly warranted by the Word of
GOD; That matters of the Government of the Kirk have been much
controverted here, and the prejudices against Presbyteriall Government are
many and great; That the two extremes of Prelacie and Independencie, which
latter is the general claime of all Sects and Sectaries, have prevailed
most in this Kirk, and no other thing known by the multitude but the one
or the other; That such as look toward the Government of the Reformed
Kirks, finde a mighty party within and without opposing them; And that
Reformation and Uniformitie must therefore be a work to full of
difficulty, that the hand of the most high GOD, which is now begun to be
streched out in this Land, must bring it to passe.

There was also presented to the Assembly, a new Paraphrase of the Psalmes
in English Meeter, which was well liked of, and commended by some of the
Members of the Assembly; But because we conceived that one Psalme Book in
all the three Kingdomes was a point of Uniformity much to be desired, we
took the boldnes (although we had no such expresse and particular
Commission) to oppose the present allowing thereof, till the Kirk of
_Scotland_ should be acquainted with it; and therefore have we now sent an
essay thereof in some Psalmes. We have also sent another _Specimen_, in
Print, done by some Ministers of the City. Your wisedome has to consider,
whether it be meet to examine them by your Commissioners there, that their
judgements be sent up unto the Assembly here, both about the generall of
Uniformity in this point, and about the particular way of effecting it,
whether by either of these two, or by any other Paraphrase, or by changing
some expressions in the Books now in use, which is aymed at by the first
of these two.

As we cannot but admire the good hand of GOD in the great things done here
already, particularly; That the Covenant (the foundation of the whole
Work) is taken, Prelacie and the whole train thereof, extirpated; The
Service-Book in many places forsaken, plain and powerful preaching set up;
Many Colledges in _Cambridge_ provided with such Ministers, as are most
zealous of the best Reformation; Altars removed; The Communion in some
places given at the Table with sitting; The great Organs at _Pauls_ and of
_Peters_ in _Westminster_ taken down; Images and many other Monuments of
idolatry defaced and abolished; The Chappel-royal at _Whitchal_ purged and
reformed; and all by authority in a quiet manner at noon day, without
tumult: So have we from so notable experience, joyned with the promises of
the Word sufficient ground of confidence that GOD will perfect this Work
against all opposition, and of encouragement for us all to be faithfull in
the Work of God, which is carried on by his mighty Hand, that no man can
oppose it, but he must be seen fighting against GOD, It is unto us no
small matter of comfort, that we have heard of no Minister of the Gospel
(except such as the Kirk hath rejected) joining with the Malignants there,
in their ungodly and unnaturall afflicting of that Kingdome, while they
are endeavouring the relief of the afflicted in this Kingdome; and we pray
and hope, that they may carefully keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond
of peace, and walk worthy both of their holy calling, and of the great
Work, which the Lord is working by his own weak servants in Kirk and
Policy.

Be pleased to receive a Letter from the Assembly, unto which you will
return such an answer as shall seem good unto your wisedome, and withall
(which is our humble desire) some word of your thankfull acknowledgement
of the respect and favours done by them unto us.

We have at all occasions since our coming hither, acquainted the
Commission with our proceedings, and by the help of God, shall be
industrious in obeying your directions and theirs, during our abode here,
which through the power and blessing of God, bringing the affairs of his
own Church to a peaceable and blessed successe, wee wish may be for a
short time, and unto which your fervent prayers through Christ maybe very
effectuall, which therefore is the humble and earnest desire of

_Worcester_ house,
_London_ May 20. 1644.

_Your affectionate fellow-labouring and fellow feeling Brethren in the
Work of the Lord._

JO. MAITLAND.

_Alex Henderson. Sam. Rutherfurd. Robert Baillie. George Gillespie._



_The Letter from the Synod of Divines in the Kirk of_ England, _to the
Generall Assembly._


_Right Honourable, right Reverend, and dearly beloved Brethren in_ Jesus
Christ,

The blessing and comfort of that inviolable Union which our gracious GOD
hath vouchsafed to both Churches and Nations, gave us opportunity the last
year, to breath out some of our sighs into your compassionate bosomes; And
such have been the soundings of your bowels, as have offered violence to
Heaven by your effectuall fervent prayers, and brought many sweet
refreshing to our languishing spirits by your pious and comfortable
Letters, in answer to ours.

This makes us studious of all means of acknowledging your tender
Sympathie, and of laying held on all opportunities of repaying again to
the same streams of consolation: for which end, as we canno but confesse,
that in the midst of those boysterous waves wherein we have been daily
tossed, wee have met with many gracious and unexpected encouragements, so
we must needs renew our former mournings, and rend our hearts afresh unto
you, with greatest instance for all the assistance that your Prayers,
Tears, Learning, Piety, and Largenesse of heart can possibly contribute to
your poor afflicted and still-conflicting Brethren: And this we the rather
beg of you, who, having bin first in the furnace of affliction, and are
come out of great tribulation, are meetest to commiserate, and best able
to comfort others in any trouble, by the comforts wherewith you your
selves have been comforted of GOD.

It was in our desires to have presented to your Venerable Assembly, some
of our dearest respects in writing, by that eminently learned and much
honored Commissioner of yours, the Lord _Waristoun_: But his departure
hence was so sudden to us, and unexpected by us that we could not have
time (as his Lordship can inform you) to tender by him such a testimony of
our Brotherly & intimate affections, as may in some measure suite with
your manifold and most affectionate expressions toward us, when our
sighings were many, and our hearts faint: For such hath been your love,
that no waters can quench it, and such the undertakings of the whole
Kingdome of _Scotland_ through your furtherance, that we already begin to
reap the fruits of all that Piety, Prudence, and Valour, which at this day
render your Nation worthily renowned in the Christian World; and us,
exceedingly straitned and restlesse in our selves, untill God please to
open a way for our endeavours, to make some more answerable returns.

Toward this, our thoughts and hopes were to have made, ere now, some
proceedings of our Assembly legible in yours, But such are the continued
distractions which lye upon our spirits, by means of the sad and bleeding
condition of this Kingdome, as have cast us much behinde our own
expectations, and hindred that expedition which the necessities of this
Nation, and the desires of our Brethren abroad, do earnestly call for at
our hands.

Sometimes through GODS goodnesse wee have a prosperious Gale, Sometimes
againe, we saile like _Paul_ and his company, _very slowly many dayes_.
And even then, when wee draw near _the fair Havens_, some contrary Windes
put us out into the Deep again. We walk in paths that have hitherto been
untrodden by any Assembly in this Church: We therefore are inforced to
spend more time in our inquiries, and in seeking of GOD a right way for
us, that at length we may put into that high way, the way of holinesse,
wherein Wayfaring men, though fools, shall not erre: And we will wait upon
our GOD (before whom we have been this Day humbling of our souls) untill
he lead us into all these Truths which we seek after; and we shall labour
to be yet more vile in our own eyes, as finding by experience that it is
not in man to direct his way.

Those Winds which for a while do trouble the Aire, do withall purge and
refine it: And our trust is that through the most wise Providence and
blessing of GOD, the Truth by our so long continued agitations, will be
better cleared among us, and so our service will prove more acceptable to
all the Churches of Christ, but more especially to you, while we have an
intentive eye to our peculiar Protestation, and to that publick Sacred
Covenant entred into by both the Kingdomes, for Uniformity in all his
Majesties Dominions.

Which Work we carry on (against what ever difficulties are cast in our
way) with more ease and comfort, by the great sedulity and seasonable
assistance wee daily receive from your Noble and Reverend Commissioners
sitting among us: Their Prudence will (we doubt not) sufficiently furnish
you with more particular information touching our affairs; And here, we
cannot but acknowledge that the assidious presence of these our learned
and highly-esteemed Brethren among us, and their free and faithfull
contributing of their counsels to us, doe oblige us much to a double duty;
the one of Thanks, which we now heartily render to you, for sending to us
such excellent Helpers; the other of Request, which wee earnestly make for
their continuance with us, untill the Work bee brought up to the finishing
Cubite.

Now, the Great Master-Builder (without whose Almighty concurrence, the
Builders labour but in vain) accomplish and perfect all his own glorious
Work in your hands, and in ours, also, to his own Glory, the peace and
edification of all the Churches, and the comfort of our selves over all
our travels and sufferings.

_Westminster_, May 17. 1644.

_Your most affectionate Brethren and servants in the Lord, by the
direction, and in the Name of this whole Assembly,_

William Twiffe, _Prolocutor_.
Cornelius Burges, _Assessor_.
Henry Robrough, _Scriba_.
Adoniram Byfield, _Scriba_.



_The Generall Assemblies Answer to the right Reverend the Assembly of
Divines in the Kirk of_ England.


_Right Honourable, right Reverend, and most dearly beloved in our Lord,_

We do thankfully acknowledge your respectfull remembrance of us by your
Letters at all occasions; and not a little rejoyce to see that happie
correspondence and Christian communion so sweetly entertained amongst us,
which is so acceptable in the sight of the Lord, so pleasant and
profitable, especially when kept and entertained betwixt Kirks and
Kingdomes about affairs of highest and most publick concernment and
interest: We have nothing more in our desires than to entertain that
harmonious correspondence, that Christian sympathie and compassion, that
sounding and resounding of bowels, which well beseemeth Kirks and Nations,
United by a solemn League & sacred Covenant, for mutuall endeavours, by
all lawfull means to a further unitie in that Faith once delivered to the
Saints, and greater Uniformitie in Divine Worship, Discipline, and
Government, according to the Paterne.

The case and condition of your bleeding Kingdome is no lesse sensible to
us, than if our selves were in affliction with you; but we trust all is
working to your best, and to our Lords glory: That some of you hes fallen,
it is to try you, purge you, and make you white: If the Lord by those
means be with that Reformation of his Ordinances, bringing also alongst
that other Reformation of hearts and lives should it not be welcomed with
all joy, although it bee upon the expence of blood and lives? The Lord
will turn the bygone rage of Man to his glory and your spiritual good the
remnant of rage will hee restraine. The Lord delivereth his owne by
degrees, _he is with them in trouble, and delivereth them, and honoureth
them_; He who hath been sensibly with you hitherto, and upholden you in
your trouble, will we trust, yet deliver you, and honour you: The more ye
sow in tears, the greater shall be your harvest of peace and joy, when the
Lord according to the dayes wherein he hath afflicted you, and the years
wherein yee have seen evill, shall make you glad, and his Work to appeare
unto you, and his glory unto your children, and the beautie of the Lord
your God to be upon you, and shall establish the work of your hands; yea,
even establish the work of your hands.

We should prove both unthankfull to God, and unfaithfull to men, did wee
not hold out unto you the Lords gracious and powerfull dealing with us in
the like condition, and comfort you with the consolations wherewith wee
our selves have been comforted: We were involved in the like difficulties;
we had the strong opposition of highest Authoritie set over two powerfull
Kingdoms, beside this of ours; and the unhappy providence of our wickedly
wise and wary Prelates, had done what in them lay, to make the Ministery
of this Land sworn Enemies to the intended Reformation: So that we walked
in a very wildernesse, in a labyrinth, and as upon deep waters, wherein
not onely did our feet lose footing, but also our eyes all discovering or
discerning of any ground; yea; wee were ready to lose our selves: Yet the
Lord hath graciously rid us, and recovered us out of all these
difficulties, and set our feet upon a rock, and ordered our goings. The
experience wee have had in our own persons, affoordeth us confidence and
hope concerning your affaires; and wee trust this hope shall not be
disappointed; it is our duety to hope upon experience, and it is the Lords
word and promise, that such an hope shall not be ashamed. It cannot choose
but beget confidence in you, when ye shall consider, that ye have seen
before your eyes your neighboring Ship of this Kirk and Kingdome, having
(as it were) loosed from your side, in the like or self-same storme,
notwithstanding all tossing of windes and waves, yet (_not by might, nor
by power, but by the Spirit of the Lord of hosts_) to have arrived safe
and sound to the Port and Harberie; yea, and to have dared to put out
again unto the storm, to contribute her weak endeavours for your help.

We acknowledge your impediments to be great and many, the sufferings of
your Brethren, the People of GOD, cannot choose but both damp your
spirits, and divide your thoughts: Your walking in an untroden and unknown
way, must put you (though never so willing to go on speedily, yet) to take
time and leisure to ask for the right way, and ye want nor the opposition
of some amongst your selves, to whom notwithstanding we trust the Lord
will reveale his truth in his own time. Never the lesse (much honoured and
dear Brethren) go on couragiously against the stream of all opposition;
every Mountain in the way of _Zerubbabel_, the Lord shall make plain; and
as many of you as are perfect, be thus minded, that forgetting the things
that are behinde, and looking to the things that are before, you presse
hard towards the mark, as having before you, not onely the prize of the
high calling and recompence of reward, but also at the end of this race,
these two precious Pearls and inestimable Jewels of Truth and Unity, and
all the Reformed Churches beholding and looking on, not onely as
witnesses, but also being ready to congratulate and embrace you.

We were greatly refreshed to hear by Letters from our Commissioners there
with you, and by a more particular relation from the Lord _Waristoun_ now
with us, of your praise-worthy proceedings, and of the great good things
the Lord hath wrought among you and for you: Shall it seem a small thing
in our eyes, that the Covenant (the foundation of the whole Work) is
taken? That that Antichristian Prelacy with all the traine thereof is
extirpate? That the door of a right entrie unto faithful Shepherds is
opened; many corruptions, as Altars, Images, and other Monuments of
Idolarry and Superstition removed, defaced and abolished; the Service-book
in many places forsaken, and plaine and powerfull preaching set up; the
great Organs at _Pauls_ and _Peters_ taken down; That the Royal Chappell
is purged and reformed, Sacraments sincerely administrate, and according
to the paterne in the Mount, That your Colledges, the Seminaries of your
Kirk, are planted with able and sincere Professors? That the good hand of
GOD hath called and kept together so many pious, grave, and learned
Divines for so long a time, and disposed their hearts to search his Truth
by their frequent Humiliations, continuall Prayers, and learned and
peaceable debates? Should not all and each one of these stir up our souls
to blesse the Lord, and render both you and us confident, that he who hath
begun the good Work, will perfect it, and put the Copestone upon it; That
the beauty of a perfected Worke may shine to all Nations, and we may say
and shout, _Grace, Grace, unto it_; That the time may be when full liberty
and leasure shall be to all the Builders of the House of GOD, to give
themselves with both their hands to the building up and edifying the
People of GOD in these things that belong to life and Godlinesse, to the
making of them wise to salvation, and throughly furnished to every good
work, and when the Lord shall delight to dwell more familiarly, and to
work more powerfully in, and by his throughly purified Ordinances? That
you afflicted and tossed with tempests and not comforted, shall have your
stones laid with fair Colours, your foundation with Saphires, your
Children shall be taught of GOD, and shall have great peace, and no Weapon
framed against you shall prosper, and every tongue that riseth against you
in Judgement shall bee condemned; That the Lord will awake as in the
ancient dayes, as in the generation of old; That the Redeemed of the Lord
shall come unto Zion with singing, and sorrow and mourning shall flee
away.

And as we are confident that the Lord who heareth Prayer, and hath
promised to guide his Servants in all truth, will bring your labours to a
comfortable Conclusion: So do all the Reformed Kirks, and the Kirk of
Scotland above all others extreamly long for the taste of the fruits of
their pious labours and continual pains: And so much the more, that we
have suspended some material determinations amongst our selves, upon
expectation of Uniformity; And that in the meane time so many scandalous
Papers come to our view, and to the hands of the People here, for libertie
of Conscience, toleration of Sects, and such Practices as are contrary to
the Doctrine, Goverment, and Peace of all the Reformed Kirks. For stopping
and suppressing whereof, as wee doubt not, but your wisedome, and the
Authority of the honourable Houses of Parliament will use some more
effectual means; So do we hope that your Determinations shall carry such
evidence of Divine Truth, and demonstration of the Spirit, that those
unhappy Clouds of darknesse shall be so scattered, that they shall be no
more gathered nor appear hereafter, to the dishonour of God, the prejudice
of his Truth, and the scandalizing of so many Souls for which Christ hath
dyed.

We do with hearty thankfulnesse resent all the kindnesse and respect you
have shown to our Commissioners, and your high esteeme of them in love for
the Works sake; Although their presence here would be very comfortable
unto us, very steedable to the publick, and necessar in respect of their
great and important particular charges and Stations; yet do we willingly
dispense with all, yea nothing shall be too dear unto us, so that this
Work be finished with joy, and _Jerusalem made the glory and praise of the
whole Earth: Because of the house of the Lord our God we will feel her
good: For our Brethren and Companions sake, we will now say, Peace be
within her Walls, prosperity within her Palaces._

_Edinburgh 4 June 1644,_

Subscribed in name of the Generall Assembly of the Kirk of _Scotland_, by
the Moderator of the Assembly.



_The Assemblies answer to their Commissioners at_ London.


_Reverend and Beloved Brethren,_

It would have been the rejoycing of our hearts, and the lightning of our
countenances, to have seen your faces, and injoyed your presence here with
us, especially, should yee have arrived unto us loaden with the spoils of
Antichrist, the Trophees of the Kirk of Christ, and the long longed-for
fruits of your painfull labours: But seeing it hath pleased the Lord whose
Interest in the businesse is main and principall otherwise to dispose, it
doth become us with all humility to submit to his good pleasure, with
faith & patience to attend his leasure, _for he that beleeveth maketh not
haste_, and with more frequency and fervencie in prayer seek to him who
will be sought for these things and having _begun the good work will
perfect it_, and double the benefit by bestowing it in a more seasonable
time unto us.

We have not been a little refreshed with your Letters sent unto us and the
Commissioners of the preceeding Assembly, and with these from the Reverend
Synod of Divines, the answer whereof you will be pleased to present unto
them: by all which and more particularly by a full Relation from the Lord
_Waristoun_ a faithfull witnesse and a fellow labourer with you there, we
see and acknowledge that by the Lords blessing, the Progresse of the Work
is already more, than we can overtake in the course of our thankfulness;
that your labours are very great, your pains uncessant, your thoughts of
heart many, that ye endure the heat of the day; but being confident of
your patient continuance in wel-doing, and that your labours shall not be
in vaine in the Lord, wee have renewed your Commission, and returned the
Lord _Waristoun_ unto you, according to your desire, that ye may prosecute
that great Work which the Lord hath blessed so farre in your hands.

When the Ordination and entry of Ministers shall be conformable to the
Ordinance of God, there is to be expected a richer blessing shall be
powred out from above, both of furniture and assistance upon themselves,
and of successe upon their labours; for which end as our earnest desire
is, that the Directory for it may be established: so doe we exceedingly
long to see the common Directory for worship perfected, which may prove an
happy meane of that wished for Uniformity in the Kirks of the three
Kingdomes, shall (we trust) direct by all Rocks of offence and occasions
of stumbling, and shall remove all these corruptions wherewith the Lords
sacrifice and service hath been defiled.

That point concerning a change of the Paraphrase of the Psalmes in Meeter,
we have referred to the Commissioners here, whose power and Commission
granted by the preceding Assembly, we have renewed and continued. That
there be difficulties concerning Kirk-Government, wee think it not strange
for these reasons you lay our before us; yet because the minds of men are
still in suspense upon the successe of the determination of that Reverend
Assembly on the one hand, and upon the successe of the Warre on the other:
which doth not a little faint their hearts and feeble their hands, both
you and we must be instant with God and man for a finall determination of
all these debates, and a happy and speedy conclusion of this great
affaire, so much concerning his own glory and the good of his Kirk. _Now
the Lord lead you in all truth, and give you understanding in all things._

Edinburgh 4. June 1644.

_Subscribed in name of the Generall Assembly by the Moderator._



_The Assemblies Letter to the Kirks in the_ Netherlands.


Fratres in Domino plurimum colendi.

_Quæ Anno superiore Ecclesiarum Zelandicarum nomine, missæ sunt ad nos
Literæ, ut eas communis totius Ecclesiæ vestræ Religicæ voluntatis restes
suisse interpretaremur, effecit benevolentia vestra tot tantisque officiis
nobis spectata: Quam sententiam nobis confirmarunt ea quæ copiosè
clarissimus Eques_ D. Archibadus Jonsto nus Varistonus _in soro supremo
Judex, à reliquis tum Ordinum cum Ecclesiæ hujus Regni Delegate_ Londine
_nonita pridem remissus, in hac ipsa Synodo Nationali de eximio vestro
erga nos syudio commemoravit: Præfertim quanta fid, quam solicita
diligentia nofsram, vel Domini potius nostri Jesu Christi causam, quæ
nunc_ Londini _agitur & promoveriitis, & promovers etiamnum fatagatis. Quo
in negotio, ex iis, quorum ab eo resitata audivimus nomina, de propensa
reliquorum voluntate & cura, ut conciliandæ Ecclesiarum Britannicarum
unionis fæliciter suscepta consilia, vestra ope & opera prosperum mature
fortiantur exitum, minime obscura fecimus indicia. Sunt hæc tam illuseria
__ benevolentiæ vestræ testimonia, & in omnium bonorum oculis adeo
perspicua ut eorum memoriam nulla unquam delere potuerint oblivia. Laboris
autem & jam inpensi & porrò suscepti ad controversias in Synodo_
Londinensi _suborientes fœliciter expediendas & decidendas nequando
pœniteat ex eo quem per divinam jam benedictionem fructum cepistis, optima
quæque in posterum sperare consentaneum est._

_Huic tam honorifice beneficiorum vestrorum commemorationi à_ D.
Varistonio _factæ supervenerunt ex partibus Hiberniæ aquilonaribus Literæ
multorum Chirographis subsignatæ; Qui singularis gratiæ in illam Ecelesiam
divinitus effusæ, ex quo tempore in societatem fœderistrium unitorum sub
Rege nostro Regnorum admissi sunt,_ “_mentione facta, hujus inquiunt
divinæ benedictionis amplissimum nuper habuimus testimonium. Sanctorum in
Belgio liberalitatem eximiam; Qui nobis, ignotis licet & poregrinis,
fratres se nostri amantissimos, & malorum nostrorum sensu tenerrima
compunctos aperte demonstrârunt. Pauculos enim nos gladis superstites, &
fame propediem interituros, omnibus extremis circumventos, in ipso
articulo sublevarunt: Nec tantum oratione ad consolationum composita nobis
animos confirmârunt, hortantes ut humiliter incedentes Deum liberatorem
expectemus, qui non nisi ad breve tempus aciem suam à domo_ Jacob
_abscondere solet, sed subsidio insuper opulento cum annonæ tum aliarum
rerum ad nostram intantis angustis relaxationem & solatium necessarium
copiose nos refocillârunt. Tantum munificentiam cum supplices a Deo
contendimus, ut septuplam ipsis in sinum rependat tum demisse vos etiam
atque etiam rogamus ut in tanti beneficii agnitione Ecclesiis Belgicis,
nobi eum gratias agatis. Hæc illi. In quo quidem officio si illis desimus,
in nos pariter & illos graviter peccemus._”

_Agnoscimus igitur illustrissimorum & potentissimorum_ Hollandiæ,
Zelandiæ, _aliorumque Ordinum_ Belgicorum _tam eximiam beneficenciam:
Quibus non conniventibus modo & permittentibus (quod ipsum non vulgare
beneficium habendum esset) sed authoribus etiam modumque & rationem
ræscribentibus, exemplo qnoque præunitibus in subsidium fratrum nostrorum_
Hiberne _collecta per Ecclesias facta ad ipsos mature deportata sit:
Agnoscimus piorum in iisdem Ecclesiis Belgicis tam expromptam: volantatem
& liberalitatem; tantum beneficium non in __ ipsos magis fratres nostres,
quam in illorum persona in nosinet ipsos esse collatum: Vosque (fratres
Reverendi) obnixè rogatos volumus, ut quemadmodum nos ad omnem grati animi
significationem prompti semper erimus, ita quâ potissimum ratione commodum
videbitur, illustrissimis & potentissimis Ordinibus nostre nomine gratias
agatis populo autem Christiano curæ vestræ commisso tum publice universo,
tum privatim singulis, ut occasio tulerit, demonstretis quam honorifice de
ipsis sentiamus, & quanti faciamus tam eximiam benevolentiam & charitatem,
quâ in Ecclesiarum_ Hibernicarum _consolatione viscera nostra
refocillaverunt. Quæ autem vestræ fuerint partes, fratres charissimi, quam
pio studio & labore, quam assidua diligentia tantæ charitatis semen in
segetem & maturam tandem messem provexeritis, cum nos libentes agnoscimus,
tum res ipsa loquitur, & fructus opimus abunde testatur. Inprimis autem
(quod caput est) tantæ gratiæ authorem & largitorem nos una cum Ecclesiis_
Hibernicis _laudamus & celebramus: comprecantes ut in vos universos, in
Ecclesias a Domino vobis commissas, in illustrissimos_ Belgii _vestri
Ordines Spiritum suum copiose effundat, ut quemadmodum in Rep. vestra
adversus hostem potentissimum defendenda, & inter tantas bellorum moles
indies amplificanda, in Evangelii luce & veritate incontaminatâ contra
inferorum portas in vestris Ecclesiis propugnandâ, atque inde latius
propagandâ, immensa Dei vobis excubantis potentia, multiformis sapientia,
& eximia beneficentia, per universum terrarum orbem hactenus celebrata
est; ita bonis omnibus vos deinceps cumulare pergat idem fons omnis
bonitatis, ut frementibus religionis & libertatis vestræ hostibus,
sapientiæ & optimarum artium juxta ac armorum triumphorumque gloriâ inter
nobilissimas gentes Resp. vestra fœderata quotidie magis emineat, Ecclesia
sacrorum puritate, & cælestis veritatis splendore perspicua refulgeat;
eoque prosperè vobis cedant vestra prudentissima & saluberrima consilia,
quibus certissimum ad fælicitatem publicam compendium vos capessure
demonstratis, nec vobis tantum consulitis, sed de vicinis etiam Ecclesiis
soliciti, quâ operâ, quâ consilio opibusque vestris eas sublevatis &
confirmatis omnes, & quasi de specula unversis prospicientes de periculis
imminentibus commonefacitis, & ad ruinam ab hostibus dolosè machinatam
maturè precavendam armatis._

_Ergo quod anno superiori, veluti signo dato, Reformatas omnes Ecclesias,
missis ex_ Zelandia _literis commonuistis, ut cum impostores_, Jesu _nomen
impudenter ementiti, cæterique Antichristi satellites, quo securius in
populum erroribus Pontificiis fascinatum grassari, & puriores Christi
Ecclesias funditus extirpare queant, arctissimâ conjuratione Sociati ad
impia consilia patranda sese accinxerunt, Ita Ecclesiæ quoque Reformatæ
sine mora consilia in medium alacriter conferant, & animos ac vires
conjungant, ut perniciem sibi omnibus intentatam in hostium capita
retorqueant: ni fecerint, tam pudendæ ignaviæ excusatione apud
posteritatem carituri: consilium non minus prudens & fidum, quam fælix &
salutare libenter & tum agnovimus & nunc ipso etiam eventu comprobamus._

_Principio autem ad hoc consequendum necessarium videtur, ut sine morâ
convolemus omnes ad Deum nostrum clementissimum, qui postquam Ecclesiarum
Reformatarum mores minimè reformatos multis annis longanimitate suâ
pertulisset, ferulam primum, mox etiam gladium vibratum interminata,
tandem rubentem & madidum suorumque sanguine calentem & spumantem per
regiones plurimas jam diu circumtulis; in nos denique reliquos nunc
intentat, nisi mature resipuerimus, & de domo ipsius amplius purgandâ, de
gratia Domini nostri_ Jesu Christi_ pluris facienda, de cultu Dei
ipsiusque institutis religiosius habendis, de Sabbatho ejus sanctificando,
a quo nimium oculos nostros avertimus, & de moribus ad pietatis normam
componendis magis serio quam hactenus a nobis factum est, nobiscum
statuentes cum populo Dei sub_ Nehemia, Josia, _reliquisque piis
Gubernatoribus, religioso fœdere percusso, tanquam firmissimo vinculo Deo
obstricti, nos internes arctius adversus hostes univerimus, ut avertat
Deus jam fumantem & capitibus nostris imminentem iram, quam peccata nostra
plurima & maxima adversus nos prevocerunt & accenderunt._

_Non tantum nobis deferimus, nondum eos renovato cum Deo fœdere, & votis
nuncupatis dignos edidimus fructus, ut nostrum exemplum vobis proponere
libeat: Quod tamen experti fumus, de Dei erga nos gratia, quod gratitudo
erga Deum, quod gloria ipsius a nobis flagitat, celare non audemus.
Quecunque nostra male merita sunt in conspectu Dei & hominum; certe ex quo
die nos de religìoso fœdere cum Deo & inter nos ineundo cogitavimus, a
portis inferorum revocari, & res nostræ omnes in Deum nostrum necessario
__ conjectæ melius habere cæperunt, & fæliciore hactenus successu
processerunt. Quod si de fœderis huiusmodi religiosa societate cocunda
(quod rerum veltrarum & Religionis in_ Britannia _nostra ex fœdere nuper
inito perpurgandæ & stabilandæ commodo fieri possit) vestræ prudentiæ
visum fuerit cogitare, & ex consilio eorum quorum interest statuere, ac
eum aliis Reformatis Ecclesiis agere (proea qua apud omnes valetis gratia)
ut eandem vobiscum ineant rationem, non dubium est, per Domini ac Dei
nostri benignissimi_ Jesu Christi _in Ecclesias suas gratiam, fore, ut non
modo, quod certissimum adversus impendentia mala persugium anno superiore
missis ex_ Zelandia _literis denunciastis: Ecclesiæ Reformatæ arctioris
Societatis vinculo inter se unita ad hostium conatus impetusque frangendos
corroberentur & confirmantur; sed disiecti etiam lapides Domus Dei per_
Germaniam _ex rudere & cineribus ridevivi recolligantur, ac gloriosum
Domini nostri Templum ibidem instauretur: & purioris Religionis
Professores in istis Ecclesiis, per resipiscentiam ad eum qui percussit
eos, reversi, & quod nullis canescat sæculis fœdere, Domino nobiscum
coadunati, malis, sub quorum pondere tot annos gemiscunt, tandem
subleventur. Qui Dies longe optatissimus si per Dei gratiam semel
illuxerit: de consiliorum communione inter Reformatarum Ecclesiarum
Synodos per Legatos & Literas concilianda redivivi possit ratio, per quam
Ecclesiæ hostes compescantur, hæreses opprimantur, & schismata
retarciantur, pax cum Deo & inter Ecclesias firma conservetur, & gloriosum
Dei opus in Evangelio per orbem terrarum propagando, & Antichristi regno
abolendo promoveatur. Quod ut optandum, & sperandum, piis & prudentibus
vestris meditationibus, ut bonnum semen fæcundissimo solo commendamus._

_Edinburgi._ 4 Junii 1644.

Vestræ Dignitati & Fraternitati addictissimi, Pastores & Seniores
Nationalis Synodi Scoticanæ, &c. nostro omnium nomine ac mandato.

DIRECT.

_Ecclesiis Dei, qua sunt in unitis Hollandiæ, Zelandiæ, aliisque fœderati_
Belgii _Provinciis._



_Ordinance concerning Bursars._


The Assembly understanding that the Overture for maintaining Bursars, in
the Assembly holden in the year 1641. upon the 7. of August, Sess. 15 is
never yet put in practice: Do therefore Ordain Presbyteries to put the
same in practice with all diligence, and to make account thereof to the
next Assembly.



_Ordinance for up lifting and imploying Penalties contained in Acts of
Parliament, upon pious uses._


The Assembly understanding that the executing of some laudable Acts of
Parliament, made against Non-Communicants and Excommunicate persons, and
of divers other Acts containing pecuniall pains for restraining of Vice,
and advancing Piety, is much neglected by the slownesse of Presbyteries
and Ministers, in seeking Execution thereof: Therefore ordains
Presbyteries and Ministers _respectivè_, to be diligent hereafter by all
means, in prosecuting full and exact Execution of all such Acts of
Parliament, for lifting the saids Penalties contained in the same, and for
faithfull imployment thereof, upon pious uses, and that every Presbyterie
report their diligence herein yearly to Generall Assemblies.



_An Overture concerning Promises of Marriage made by Minors, to those with
whom they have committed Fornication._


Forsameikle as it is found by experience, that some young men being put to
Colledges by their wel-affected Parents, that they may be instructed in
the knowledge of Arts and Sciences, to the intent they may bee more able
for publick Imployments in the Ecclesiastick and Civill state, that the
said Children hes committed Fornication. And the Woman and her friends hes
seduced the foresaid Schollers being Minors, to make promise of Marriage
to the party with whom they have committed Fornication; And thereupon
intends to get the benefite of Marriage with the said young men, not onely
without the consent of their Parents, but to their great grief, and to the
great appearance of the ruine and overthrow of their estate: Which may be
the case of Noblemen and Gentlemens children, as welas of these of other
estates and degrees within the Kingdom. Wherefore if the Assembly think it
expedient, it would be declared that all such promises be made null and of
none effect, especially where the maker of the promise is Minor, and not
willing to observe the samine; because his Parents will not consent, but
oppose and contradict, threatning to make him lose not onely his favour
but both blessing and birth-right. This Ordinance shal not onely be very
expedient for many good civill causes, but is very consonant and agreeable
to the Word of God, and will be very comfortable to many Godly Parents,
who otherwise may be disappointed of their pious intentions, and have the
comfort they expected, turned to an heavy and grievous crosse.

_The Generall Assembly thinks it convenient at this time to delay any
determination in the matter above-written untill the next assembly, That
in the meane time every Presbterie may take the same to their serious
consideration, and report their judgements to the Assembly._



_Act concerning dissenting voices in Presbyteries and Synods._


The Assembly thinks it necessar, if any Member of Presbyteries or Synods
shall finde in matters depending before them, that the Moderator shall
refuse to put any thing of importance to voices; Or if they finde any
thing carried by plurality of voices to any determination which they
conceive to be contrary to the Word of God, the Acts of Assembly, or to
the received order of this Kirk, That in either of these cases they urge
their dissent to be marked in the Register; And if that be refused, that
they protest as they would desire to be free of common censure with the
rest: And the Assembly declares the dissenters to be censurable, if their
dissent shall be found otherwise nor they conceived.



_Act concerning the Election of a Moderator in Provinciall Assemblies._


The General Assembly understanding that some Provincial Assemblies in
choosing their Moderator, tye themselves to these Persons who have been
before named and designed in particular Presbyteries, which is against the
libertie of the Provincial Assembly: Therefore discharges Presbyteries to
make any such nomination hereafter; And ordain Provincials in their first
meeting, to elect their Moderator, and to make their own List for that
effect without any such prælimitation.



_Act for keeping of the Fast by the Congregations in the Towne where the
Assembly holds._


The Assembly judge it most necessar and comely, seeing the first day of
the meeting of Generall Assemblies, is by the laudable practice of this
Kirk a day of Fasting and Humiliation, for craving the Lords blessing to
that Meeting; That not onely the Members of the Assembly, but that all the
Congregations also of the Town where the Assembly holds bee so exercised:
And that publick Worship bee in all the Kirks thereof that day for that
effect.



Meeting announcement.


_The Generall Assembly appoints the meeting of the next Assembly, to be
upon the last Thursday of May, in the Yeer 1645. at_ Edinburgh.



Letter.


_Right Honourable, Reverend, and beloved in the Lord,_

As we are not without the knowledge, so are we not without the feeling of
the distresses of our Native Countrey, and of the troubles of our dear
Brethren, specially that the hand of the Lord is stretched out against
you, not only by Invasion from without of the basest of the children of
men, but also by the unnatural treachery of some within; who have dealt
perfidiously in the Covenant and Cause of God: _They hisse and gnash the
teeth; they say, Wee have swallowed her up: certainly this is the day that
wee looked for: Wee have found, wee have seen it; the Lord hath caused
thine Enemy to rejoice over thee, he hath set up the horn of thine
Adversaries:_ Yet (saith the Lord, who is thy Maker and thy Husband, _the
Lord of hosts is his name, and thy Redeemer the holy One of Israel) for a
__ small moment have I forsaken thee, but with great mercies will I gather
thee. In a little wrath I hide my face from thee, for a moment; but with
everlasting kindnesse will I have mercy on thee: For this is as the waters
of Noah, the Covenant of my peace shall not be removed, saith the Lord
that hath mercy on thee._ When the foundation of the House of the Lord was
laid, the Priests and Levites sung together in praising and giving thanks
to the Lord; _Because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever,_ And we
hope at this time upon the coming of our reverend Brethren, and the sight
of that which they bring with them, the noise of the shout of joy; shall
be louder then the noise of the weeping of the People. This we may say,
that not many years ago many of us would have been content to have losed
our lives, that we might have obtained that which the Lord, if not in a
miraculous, yet in a marvellous and merciful providence, hath brought to
passe in this Iland, in these dayes, which many before us, have desired to
see, & have not seen. God forbid that it should seeme a small thing in
your eyes which is done here already, as it is expressed in a Paper from
the Parliament, and Letters from the Assembly. Ye are best acquainted with
the tentations and difficulties which ye meet with there, which are also
very sensible unto us; And when we consider how the Lord hath carried on
his work here at the first taking of the Covenant, and since, against much
learning and contradiction, against much Policie, power, and all sorts of
opposition (such as Reformation useth to encounter) we are ravished with
admiration of the right hand of the Almighty. For our part, we may
confidently avouch in the sight of GOD and before you, whom next unto GOD
we do respect and reverence, and to whom as your servants we are
accomptable, that in all our proceedings we had first of all the word of
GOD before our eyes for the Rule; and for our Patern the Church of
_Scotland_, so much as was possible; and no lesse (if not more) then if
all this time since we parted from you, we had been sitting in a National
Assembly there, and debating matters with our Brethren at home: Where we
were not able to get every thing framed to our minde, we have endeavoured
as much as we could, to preserve our own Reformation and practice, of
which our Brethren will give you accompt in the particulars, we hope, to
your satisfaction. That an Uniformitie in every thing is not obtained in
the beginning, let it not seem strange; The levelling of the high Mountain
of Prelacie, The laying aside of the Book of Common Prayer, The Directory
of Worship concluded in both Houses of Parliament, and the principall
Propositions of Church-government passed in the Assembly, all of them
according to the solemne League and Covenant, the greatest of all, are
three or foure witnesses to prove, that the Lord hath done great things
for us, whereof we are glad, and which make us _like them that dream_: And
we are sure, that not onely the Reformed Kirks, but the Papists will say,
The Lord hath done great things for them.

All that we desire, is: 1. That the Directory of Worship may be returned
by our Brethren with all possible expedition, that it may be published
here, and put in practise, as that which is extreamely longed for by the
good People, and will be a remedy of the many differences and divisions
about the Worship of God in this Kingdome, esspecially in this place: If
there be any thing in it that displeaseth, let it be remonstrate upon
irrefragable and convincing reason, otherwise ye will in your wisedome
give approbation to it. 2. If there be any particular differences among
some Brethren; which are not determined, but passed over in silence in the
Directory, and yet hinted at in the Letter from the Assembly, we hope that
in your wisedome ye will so consider of them, that they may be layde aside
in due time, and that in the mean while, till the Directory be concluded
and put in practice, there be no trouble about them, for that were as Snow
in Summer, and as Rain in Harvest. We know nothing of that kinde, that all
of us who love Unitie, Order, and Edification, may not perfectly agree in,
without scandall or disturbance: And we beseech the Lord to keep that Kirk
free of such Sects and Monsters of opinions, as are daily set on foot and
multiplied in this Kingdome, through the want of that Church-government by
Assemblies, which hath preserved us, and we hope, through the blessing of
God, shall cure them. 3. Because Nationall Assemblies cannot frequently
conveene, we humbly desire, that such a Commission may be settled as we
may at all occasions till the Work be finished, have our recourse unto,
for our direction and resolution: for we know both our own weaknesse: and
the greatnesse of the Work: wherein we can promise no more but to be
faithfull in obeying your commandments, as in the sight of God, whom with
our Souls we pray, to grant you his Spirit, to guide you into all truth,
And thus continue.

_Worcester house, Jan. 6. 1646._

_Your humble and faithfull Servants._

_Subscrib._
Alex. Henderson.
Jo. Maitland.
Sam. Rutherfurd.

DIRECT.

_For the Right Reverend the Generall Assembly of the Kirk of_ Scotland.



_The Letter from the Synode of Divines in_ England, _to the Generall
Assembly._


_Right honourable, right reverend, and dearly beloved in the LORD JESUS,_

_As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far Countrey._
We your Brethren, yet remaining in the Furnace of affliction, and still
labouring in the very fire, Have at length, by the good Hand of GOD upon
us, attained so far toward the Mark at which we all aime, that we shall
now send you, by two of your Reverend and Faithful Commissioners Mr
_Robert Bailie_, and Mr _George Gillespie_ (our much honoured Brethren)
some good news of that great Work, after which your zeal for Truth and
Peace hath so much thirsted, and for which you _have not loved your lives
unto the death._

Our progresse therein hath not been so expeditious as was desired and
expected. This, unto such as either know not, or consider not, The weight
and greatnesse of the Work, nor The manifold difficulties which have
occurred to obstruct our proceedings in this day of darknesse and calamity
(too sad to be expressed) hath been like unto _hope deferred_; _which
makes the_ heart sick: Howbeit, we trust, _That when their desire_ (namely
that which we have prepared, and are further in travell with) _shall come_
unto them, _It will be_, through God, _a Tree of life_, as to our great
comfort and encouragement, we already perceive it to be to both the
honourable Houses of Parliament.

Touching this severall Papers brought to us from your Honourable and
Reverend Commissioners, by the hands of the Committee appointed to treat
with them in matters of Religion (one of the Papers, being given in the
10. of November 1643. Concerneth the severall sorts of Church-officers and
Assemblies: Another, bearing date the 24. of January 1643. Concerneth
Congregationall Elderships, and Classicall Presbyteries: The other, being
presented the 15. of August last, representeth the necessity of making
greater speed in settling the intended Uniformity in Religion, according
to the late solemne Covenant:) We hold it our duty, in regard both of the
act and inseparable Union, which the Lord hath happily and seasonably made
between you and us, and of your indefatigable and inestimable labour of
love to this afflicted Kingdom, to give your Lordships and the rest of
that Venerable Assembly, some brief account.

Concerning one Confession of Faith, and Forme of Catechisme, we make no
question of a blessed and perfect harmony with you. The publick Doctrine,
held out by our Church to all the World (especially when it shall be
reviewed, which is in great part done) concurring so much with yours, may
assure you of your hearts desire in those particulars, so soon as time and
opportunity may give us liberty to perfect what we have begun.

The chief reason of laying aside the review of our publick Doctrine, after
the happy and much desired arrivall of your Reverend Commissioners here,
was, The drawing up and accelerating of a Directory for Worship, and of a
Forme of Church-Government; in both of which we stood at a greater
distance from other Reformed Churches of Christ, and particularly from
yours (which we very much honour) with whom our solemne sacred Nationall
Covenant requireth us to endeavour the nearest Conjunction and Uniformity,
that we and our posterity after us, may as Brethren live in Faith and
Love, and the Lord may delight to dwell in the midst of us.

Nor have our labours there in been frustrate: For we have perfected and
transmitted a Directory for Worship, to both Houses of Parliament; where
it hath received such acceptance, that it is now passed in both the
Honourable Houses of Parliament; which we hope will be to the joy and
comfort of all our godly and dear Brethren in all His Majesties Kingdoms
and Dominions.

We have not advised any imposition which might make it unlawfull to vary
from it in any thing; Yet we hope, all our Reverend Brethren in this
Kingdom, and in yours also, will so far value and reverence that which
upon so long debate and serious deliberation hath been agreed upon in this
Assembly (when it shall also passe with you, and be settled as the common
publick Directory for all the Churches in the three Kingdomes) that it
shall not be the lesse regarded and observed. And albeit we have not
expressed in the Directory every minute particular, which is or might be
either laid aside or retained among us, as comely and usefull in practice;
yet we trust—that none will be so tenacious of old customs not expressely
forbidden, or so averse from good examples although new, in matters of
lesser consequence, as to insist upon their liberty of retaining the one,
or refusing the other, because not specified in the Directory; but be
studious to please others rather then themselves.

We have likewise spent divers moneths in the search of the Scriptures, to
finde out the minde of Christ concerning a Forme of Church-government,
wherein we could not but expect the greatest difficulty: For our better
Progresse herein, wee have with all respect considered the severall Papers
of your Honourable and Reverend Commissioners, touching this Head; and do
with all thankfulnesse, acknowledge their great zeal, judgement, and
wisdom expressed therein (as also, the excellent assistance and great
furtherance of your Reverend Commissioners in this great Work; which now,
through GODS goodnesse, is very near to a period also).

In pursuit whereof, we made a strict survey and scrutinie of every
Proposition, that we might finde it agreeable to, and warranted by the
Word of God, in a method of our own; without resting upon any particular
modell or frame whatsoever already constituted: What we have performed,
and how farre we have proceeded therein, we leave to the information of
your Reverend Commissioners, who have been eye and ear witnesses of all
that hath past, and we doubt not but you will shortly receive a
satisfactory answer from hence, so soon as it shall be passed in the
Honourable Houses of Parliament.

And now, Right Honourable, and right Reverend Brethren, let it not seem
grievous that we have this long delayed the satisfying of your earnest and
just expectation: It is the Lot of Jerusalem, to have her Wals built in
troublous times, when there are many adversaries. Nor let it offend, that
(albeit we acknowledge the many, great, and inestimable expressions of
your love zeal, and helpfulnesse unto us every way in the day of our
distresse, to be beyond all that we can in words acknowledge) we professe
plainly to you, That we do most unwillingly part with those our Reverend
and dear Fellow-labourers, your Commissioners, whom now you have called
home, to render an account of their imployment here; which hath been so
managed both by them and the rest of their Honourable and Reverend
Colleagues, as deserveth many thanks, and all Honourable acknowledgement,
not onely from us, but from you also.

Give us leave to adde, that the long experience we have had of the great
sufficiency, integrity, and usefulnesse of them all, in the great Work of
Christ our common Lord and Master, inforceth us (next to our greatest
sute, continuance of your fervent prayers) to be earnest suiters, not
onely for the continuance of these excellent helpers, Mr. _Alex
Henderson_, and Mr. _Sam. Rutherfurd_, yet remaining with us, but also for
the speedy return hither of our Reverend Brethren that are now going
hence, for the perfecting of that Work which yet remains. And this sute we
trust, you will the rather grant, because of the great and joint
concernment of both Churches and Kingdoms in these matters.

Now the spirit of wisdom and of all grace rest upon you in all your great
consultations, as at all times, so especially now when you shall be
gathered together in the Name of the Lord Jesus, for the further building
up and polishing of his Church; and cause the fruit of all your labour to
be to the praise and glory of GOD, and the comfort and rejoycing of the
hearts of all _the Israel of God_: He reward all our dear Brethren of that
Sister Church and Nation manifold into their bosome, all the labours,
love, and sufferings which they have afforded, and still do, cheerfully
continue, for our sakes and the Gospels, in this distracted and bleeding
Kingdom; suppresse all commotions and bloody practices of the common
Enemy, in both, yea in all the three Kingdoms; set up the Throne of Jesus
Christ, and make all the Kingdoms to be the Lords, and our Jerusalem to be
a praise upon Earth, that all that love her and mourn for her, may rejoyce
for joy with her, and may suck and be satisfied with the breasts of her
consolation.

_Westminster, Jan 6. 1644._

Subscribed by _Your most loving Brethren, and fellow labourers in the Work
of the Lord, in the name of this whole Assembly,_

William Twisse, _Prolocutor_.
Cornelius Burges, _Assessor_.
John White, _Assessor_.
Henry Robrough, _Scriba_.
Adoniram Byfield, _Scriba_.

DIRECT.

_To the Right Honourable, and right Reverend, the Generall Assembly of the
Church of_ Scotland, _these presents_



_28 Jan. 1645. Post meridiem. Die Martis._ Sess. 5.



_Approbation of the Proceedings of the Commission of the two preceding
Assemblies._


The Generall Assembly, having heard the report of the Committee appointed
to consider and examine the Proceedings of the Commissioners of the two
last Generall Assemblies, _viz._ Of the Assemblies held in Edinburgh in
the yeers 1643 and 1644. And after mature deliberation, and serious
consideration thereof, Finding that the whole Acts, Proceedings, and
Conclusions of the saids Commissioners contained in a Book and Register,
subscribed by Mister _Andrew Ker_ their Clerk, and by Master _George
Leslie_ Moderator, and Master _William Jaffray_, Clerk to the said
Committee; Declare much wisedome, diligence, vigilancie, and commendable
zeal; And that the saids Commissioners have orderly and formally proceeded
in every thing according to their Commissions; Do therefore Ratifie and
Approve the said whole Acts, Proceedings, and Conclusions of the
Commissioners of the two Assemblies aforesaid.



_3. Februar. 1645. Die Lunæ, Post meridiem._ Sess. 10.



_Act of the Generall Assembly of the Kirk of Scotland, for the
establishing and putting in execution of the_ Directory _for the publick
Worship of GOD._


Whereas an happy Unity and Uniformity in Religion amongst the Kirks of
Christ in these three Kingdoms; united under one Soveraigne, hath been
long and earnestly wished for by the godly and well-affected amongst us,
was propounded as a main Article of the large Treaty, without which Band
and Bulwark no safe well-grounded and lasting Peace could be expected; And
afterward with greater strength and maturity, revived in the Solemne
League and Covenant of the three Kingdomes; whereby they stand straitly
obliged to endeavour the neerest Uniformity in one forme of
Church-government, Directory of Worship, Confession of Faith, and forme of
Catechising: Which hath also before and since our entring into that
Covenant, been the matter of many Supplications and Remonstrances and
sending Commissioners to the Kings Majestie, of Declarations to the
Honourable Houses of the Parliament of _England_, and of Letters to the
Reverend Assembly of Divines, and others of the Ministerie of the Kirk of
_England_, being also the end of our sending Commissioners, as was desired
from this Kirk, with Commission to treat of Uniformitie in the foure
particulars afore-mentioned, with such Committees as should be appointed
by both Houses of the Parliament of _England_, and by the Assembly of
Divines sitting at Westminster: And beside all this, it being in point of
conscience the chief motive and end of our adventuring upon manifold and
great hazards, for quenching the devouring flame of the present unnaturall
and bloody Warre in _England_, though to the weakning of this Kingdome
within it self, and the advantage of the Enemy which hath invaded it,
accounting nothing too dear to us, so that this our joy be fulfilled. And
now this great Work being so far advanced, that a Directory for the
publick Worship of GOD in all the three Kingdomes, being agreed upon by
the Honourable Houses of the Parliament of _England_, after consultation
with the Divines of both Kingdomes there assembled, and sent to us for our
Approbation, that being also agreed upon by this Kirk and Kingdome of
_Scotland_, it may be in the name of both Kingdomes presented to the King,
for his Royal consent and Ratification. The General Assembly having most
seriously considered, revised, and examined the Directory afore mentioned,
after several publick readings of it, after much deliberation, both
publickly, and in private Committees, after full liberty given to all to
object against it, and earnest, invitations of all who have any scruples
about it to make known the same; that they might be satisfied, Do
unanimously, and without a contrary Voice, Agree to, and Approve the
following directory, in all the Heads thereof, together with the Preface
set before it: And doth require, decerne, and ordain, That according to
the plain tenour and meaning thereof, and the intent of the Preface, it be
carefully and uniformly observed and practised by all the Ministers and
others within this Kingdome, whom it doth concerne; which practice shall
be begun, upon Intimation given to the several Presbyteries, from the
Commissioners of this General Assembly, who shall also take special care
for the timeous Printing of this Directory, that a printed Copy of it, be
provided and kept for the use of every Kirk in this Kingdome; Also that
each Presbyterie have a printed Copy thereof for their use, and take
special notice of the Observation or neglect thereof in every Congregation
within their bounds, and make known the same to the Provincial or General
Assembly, as there shall be cause. Provided alwayes, that the Clause in
the Directory, of the Administration of the Lords Supper, which mentioneth
the communicants sitting about the Table, or at it, be not interpreted, as
if in the judgement of this Kirk, it were indifferent and free for any of
the Communicants, nor to come to, and receive at the Table; or as if we
did approve the distributing of the Elements by the Minister to each
Communicant, and not by the Communicants among themselves. It is also
provided, That this shall be no prejudice to the order and practice of
this Kirk, in such particulars as are appointed by the Books of
Discipline, and Acts of General Assemblies, and are not otherwise ordered
and appointed in the Directory,

Finally, the Assembly doth with much joy and thankfulnes acknowledge the
rich blessing and invaluable mercy of God, in bringing the so much wished
for uniformity in Religion, to such a happy Period, that these Kingdoms
once at so great distance in the form of Worship, are now by the blessing
of GOD brought to a neerer Uniformity than any other Reformed Kirks, which
is unto us the return of our Prayers, and a lightning of our Eyes, and
reviving of our hearts, in the midst of our many sorrows and sufferings, a
taking away in a great measure, the reproach of the People of GOD, to the
stopping of the mouthes of Malignant and dis-affected persons, and an
opening unto us a door of hope, that GOD hath yet thoughts of Peace
towards us, and not of evil, to give us an expected end: In the
expectation and confidence whereof we do rejoyce, beseeching the Lord to
preserve these Kingdomes from Heresies, Schismes, Offences, Prophanesse,
and whatsoever is contrary to sound Doctrine, and the power of Godlinesse,
and to continue with us and the generations following, these his pure and
purged Ordinances, together with an increase of the power and life
thereof, To the glory of his great Name, the enlargement of the Kingdom of
his Son, the corroboration of Peace and Love between the Kingdoms, the
unity and content of all his People, and our edifying one another in love.

                  -------------------------------------

_The_ Directory _for Worship, mentioned in the preceeding Act, needs not
to be here printed, because it is to be printed in a Book by it self._



_7. February, 1645. Post meridiem._ Sess. 14.



_Overtures for advancement of Learning and good Order in Grammar Schools
and Colledges._


I. That every Grammar School be visited twice in the year by Visitors, to
be appointed by the Presbyterie and Kirk-Session in Landward Parishes, and
by the Town-Councel in Burghs, with their Ministers; and where
Universities are, by the Universities, with consent alwayes of the Patrons
of the School, that both the fidelitie and diligence of the Masters, and
the proficiencie of the Schollars in Pietie and Learning may appear, and
deficiencie censured as well; And that the Visitors see that the Masters
be not attracted by any other imployments, which may divert them their
diligent attendance.

II. That for the remedie of the great decay of Poesie, and of abilitie to
make Verse, and in respect of the common ignorance of Prosodie, no
School-master be admitted to teach a Grammar School, in Burghs, or other
considerable Paroches, but such as after examination, shall be found
skilfull in the Latine Tongue, not only for Prose, but also for Verse; And
that after other trials to be made by the Ministers, and others depute by
the Session, Town, and Paroch for this effect, that he be also approven by
the Presbyterie.

III. That neither the Greek Language, nor Logick, nor any part of
Philosophie be taught in any Grammar School, or private place within this
Kingdom, to young Schollers, who thereafter are to enter to any Colledge,
unlesse it be for a preparation to their entrie there: And notwitstanding
of any progresse, any may pretend to have made privately in these studies,
yet in the Colledge hee shall not enter to any higher Classe, then that
wherein the Greek Language is taught, and being entred, shall proceed
orderly through the rest of the Classes, until he finish the Ordinary
course of four years: Unlesse after due triall and examination, he be
found equall in Learning, to the best or most part of that classe, to
which he desires to ascend, by over-leaping a mid-Classe, or to the best
or most part of those who are to be graduat, if he supplicate to obtain
any degree before the ordinary time. And also, That there be found other
pregnant reasons to move the faculty of Arts to condescend thereto; And
otherwise that he be not admitted to the Degree of Master of Arts.

IV. That none be admitted to enter a Student of the Greek tongue in any
Colledge, unlesse after triall he be found able to make a congruous Theame
in Latine, or at least, being admonished of his errour, can readily shew
how to correct the same.

V. That none be promoved from an inferiour Class of the ordinary course to
a superiour, unlesse he be found worthy, and to have sufficiently
profited: otherwise, that he be ordained not to ascend with his
con-disciples, and if he be a Burser, that he lose his Burse. And namely,
it is to be required, That those who are taught in _Aristotle_, be found
well instructed in his Text, and be able to report in Greek, and
understand his whole definitions, divisions, and principall precepts, so
far as they have proceeded.

VI. Because it is a disgrace to Learning, and hinderance to Trades and
other Callings, and an abuse hurtfull to the Publick, that such as are
ignorant and unworthy, be honoured with a Degree or publick Testimony of
Learning; That therefore such triall be taken of Students, specially of
Magistrands, that those who are found unworthy, be not admitted to the
Degree and honour of Masters.

VII. That none who have entred to one Colledge for triall or studie, be
admitted to another Colledge, without the Testimonial of the Masters of
that Colledge wherein he entred first, both concerning his Literature, and
dutifull behaviour, so long as he remained there: at least, untill the
Masters of that Colledge from whence he cometh, be timely advertised, that
they may declare if they have any thing lawfully to be objected in the
contrary. And that none be admitted, promoved, or receive Degree in any
Colledge, who was rejected in another Colledge for his unfitnesse and
unworthinesse, or any other cause repugnant to good Order, who leaves the
Colledge where he was for eschewing of Censure, or chastising for any
fault committed by him; or who leaves the Colledge because he was
chastised, or for any other grudge or injust Quarrell against his Masters.

VIII. That none of those who may be lawfully received in one Colledge,
after he was in another, be admitted to any other Classe, but to that
wherein he was or should have been in the Colledge from whence he came,
except upon reasons mentioned in the third Article preceding.

IX. That at the time of every Generall Assembly, the Commissioners
directed thereto, from all the Universities of this Kingdom, Meet and
consult together, for the establishment and advancement of Pietie,
Learning, and good Order in the Schools and Universities, and be carefull
that a correspondence be kept among the Universities, and so farre as is
possible, an Uniformitie in Doctrine and good Order.


    _The Generall Assembly, after serious consideration of the
    Overtures and Articles above written, Approves the same, and
    ordains them to be observed, and to have the strength of an Act
    and Ordinance of Assembly in all time-coming._



_The Humble Petition the Generall Assembly of the Kirk of_ Scotland.


To the Honourable and High Court of Parliament.

According to the constant and commendable practice of the Generall
Assemblies of this Kirk, Wee judge it incumbent to us, Right Honourable,
when the displeasure of the Almighty, and the extream danger of this Kirk
and Kingdome is so undenyably demonstrate to the eyes of the whole World,
by the Invasion, Increase, and Successe of these Barbarous Irishes, and
treacherous Countrey-men joyned with them (Not onely out of conscience of
the trust committed unto us), To proceed with the censures of the Kirk,
against these who have joyned, or shall happen to joyne themselves with
these Enemies of GOD and his Cause, To appoint a Solemne Fast and
Humiliation through the Kingdom, and to give Warning to all the Ministers
and Members of this Kirk of the dangers and duties of the time; But also,
out of respect to your Honours, _who judge not for man, but for the Lord:
Who is with you in the Judgement: and standeth in the Congregation of the
mighty_: Humbly to present your Honours with our thoughts and desires
concerning the duties which the exigency of this time expecteth from your
hands.

The impunity of known Incendiaries and Malignants, as by the course of
Divine providence (permitting those who have formerly escaped the hand of
Justice to be the prime instruments of our present Troubles) it is held
forth for a cause of the Wrath which yet burneth more and more; So hath it
been acknowledged before GOD in our publick Humiliations, to be a maine
cause of GODS Controversie with the Land, and an accession to the
guiltinesse of the cruelty, villainy, and other mischiefs committed by
them and their followers: And to lye still under the guilt after solemne
Confession, were an high provocation of GOD, and an heavy aggravation of
our sinne; And on the one part, doth grieve the Godly, discourage their
hearts, and weaken their hands, On the other part, doth harden them who
are already engaged, to persist in their unnaturall and bloudy practices,
heartneth others, who have not hitherto avowed their Malignancy, openly to
declare themselves, and is laid hold upon by the disaffected, who lye in
wait to finde occasions, as fitting to work the People to an
unwillingnesse of undergoing necessary Burthens imposed for publick good.

Although the Lord hath shewn unto us great and sore Troubles, and our
heart may be broken with reproach, shame, and dishonour, put upon us by
the vilest among men; Yet hath he made known unto us the power of his
working amidst these manifold troubles, bringing forward the much desired
Work of Uniformity in Worship and Government to a greater perfection then
was expected (as your Honours and wee did see the other day with joy of
heart) which is a Testimony from Heaven, That the Lord hath not left us in
the fiery Furnace, but dwelleth still in the midst of the burning Bush,
and should rouze up our drouping spirits to follow GOD fully, and quicken
our slownesse to hasten and _help the Lord against the mighty_. In delay
there is perill of strengthening the arme of the intestine Enemie, making
faint the hearts of our Neighbours and Friends, and disabling us for
reaching help unto those who are wrestling against much opposition to
perfect the Work of Reformation. The reproach under which we lye almost
buried, should bee so farre from retarding proceedings, that it should
insend the Spirit into a higher degree of desire, and expede the hand to
speedier action for vindicating our own name, and _that Name which is
above all names_ from the daily _reproach of the foolish_.

May it therefore please your Honours, in the zeal of the Lord, To proceed
with some speedy course of Justice against such persons as are known to
have joyned themselves, either actually in Arms, or by their counsell,
supplies, encouragements, have strenghtened the hands of the bloody
Enemies, whereby a cause of the Controversie shall be removed, the Land
cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, the cruell and crooked
generation disheartned, the fainting hearts of the Godly refreshed, and
their feeble knees strengthened; And cheerfully and unanimously to resolve
upon, and put in execution all lawfull and possible wayes of speedy and
active pursuing and extirpating these barbarous and unnaturall Enemies
within the Kingdom: Whereby your thankfulnesse to GOD for promoving his
owne Work, and your endeavours of uniformity, shall be testified; your
sense of the dishonour of this Nation, and of the danger of delay
expressed; and your conscience of the Oath of God upon you manifested. Wee
are confident of your Honours conscience, and care, onely we exhort you in
the Lord, to unite your Spirits and accelerate your counsels and
endeavours: And pray the Lord of Hosts to prosper your enterprises,
according to the engagement of his Name, interest of his Work, and
necessity of his People, to his own glory, the establishment of the Kings
Throne in righteousnesse, the comfort of his Saints, and the conversion or
confusion of Enemies. _Be of good courage, and behave your selves
valiantly, for our people, and for the cities of our God. Arise, and the
Lord be with you._



_Overtures propounded by the Committee, appointed by this venerable
Assembly, for ordering of the Bursars of Theologie, and maintaining of
them at Schools of Divinitie._


I. That every Bursar have yearly payed him for his maintenance 100. l. at
the least.

II. That the said maintenance be taken forth of the Kirk penalties,
according to the intention of the first Act for maintaining of Bursars.

III. That every Presbyterie consisting of twelve Kirks in number, maintain
a Bursar yearly at the University.

IV. And where the Presbyteries are fewer in number, that they joyne with
other Presbyteries to make up their number: And the superplus of the
number to be ordered and disposed by the Presbyteries and Synods: And that
their Books bear Records thereof.

V. That the Kirks of these Presbyteries be proportionally stented
according to the number of the communicants in each Parochin.

VI. That the said maintenance be collected by the Moderatour of every
Presbyterie, by equall divided portions, and the one half to be brought in
to the Winter Synod, and given to the said Bursars, and the other half at
the Summer Synod, to be sent unto them: And that the severall Synods take
an exact compt hereof, and see that all be rightly done, and that their
Books bear the report hereof to the Generall Assembly.

VII. That the time of Bursars abode at the Schools of Divinity exceed not
foure years: which being expired, or in case before the expiring of the
said time, any be removed either by death, or by some Calling to a
particular Charge, another be presented to the said Benefit.

VIII. That in case any prove deficient in payment of the said maintenance
for the time to come, That it shall be carefully exacted by the Synods,
and sent over to the General Assembly, to be disposed upon by them, as
they shall finde expedient; that no Person may have benefit in their
slacknesse and neglect.

IX. That all Bursars of Theologie bring sufficient Testimonies yearly from
the Universities where they are bred, of their proficiencie and good
behaviour: And that they be also ready to give a proof of their labours at
the severall Synods, if it shall be required. And if they be found
deficient, that they be denuded of the said benefit, and others more
hopefull placed in their rooms.

_The General Assembly approves these Overtures above-written, And Ordains
the same to be observed in all time coming. And that Presbyteries (who
have not already done it) begin and enter to the maintaining of their
Bursars, in manner foresaid, in this present year 1645. And recommends to
Presbyteries, to make choice of such for the Burse, as are of good report,
inclined to Learning, and have past their course of Philosophie, And to
try their qualifications before they send them to Universities._



_The opinion of the Committee for keeping the greater Uniformitie in this
Kirk, in the practice and observation of the Directory in some points of
publick Worship._


I. It is the Humble Opinion of the Committee for regulating that Excercise
of reading and expounding the Scriptures read upon the Lords Day,
mentioned in the Directory, That the Minister and People repair to the
Kirk, half an hour before that time at which ordinarily the Minister now
entreth to the publick Worship; And that, that Exercise of reading and
expounding, together with the ordinary Exercise of Preaching, be perfected
and ended at the time which formerly closed the Exercise of publick
Worship.

II. In the Administration of Baptisme, it will be convenient, That, that
Sacrament be administred in face of the Congregation, that what is spoken
and done, may be heard and seen of all, and that it be administred after
the Sermon, before the Blessing.

III. In the Administration of the Lords Supper, it is the judgement of the
Committee.

1. That Congregations be still tried and examined before the Communion,
according to the bygone practice of this Kirk.

2. That there be no reading in the time of communicating; but the Minister
making a short Exhortation at every Table, that thereafter there be
silence during the time of the Communicants receiving, except onely when
the Minister expresseth some few more sentences, sutable to the present
condition of the Communicants in the receiving, that they may be incited
and quikned in their Meditations in the Action.

3. That distribution of the Elements among the Communicants be universally
used: And for that effect, that the Bread be so prepared, that the
Communicants may divide it amongst themselves, after the Minister hath
broken, and delivered it to the nearest.

4. That while the Tables are dissolving, and filling, there be alwayes
singing of some portion of a Psalme, according to the custome.

5. That the Communicants both before their going to, and after their
coming from the Table, shall only joyne themselves to the present publick
Excercise then in hand.

6. That when the Communion is to be celebrate in a Paroch, one Minister
may be imployed for assisting the Minister of the Paroch, or at the most
two.

7. That there be one Sermon of Preparation delivered in the ordinary Place
of publick Worship, upon the day immediatly preceeding.

8. That before the serving of the Tables, there be onely one Sermon
delivered to those who are to communicate, and that in the Kirk where the
Service is to be performed. And that in the same Kirk there be one Sermon
of Thanksgiving, after the Communion is ended.

9. When the Parochiners are so numerous, that their Paroch Kirk cannot
contain them, so that there is a necessity to keep out such of the Paroch
as cannot conveniently have place, That in that case the Brother who
assists the Minister of the Paroch, may be ready, if need be, to give a
word of Exhortation in some convenient place appointed for that purpose,
to those of that Paroch, who that day are not to Communicate; which must
not be begun until the Sermon delivered in the Kirk be concluded.

10. That of those who are present in the Kirk where the Communion is
celebrate, none be permitted to go forth while the whole Tables be served,
and the blessing pronounced, unlesse it be for more commodious order, and
in other cases of necessity.

11. That the Minister who cometh to assist, have a special care to provide
his own Paroch, lest otherwise while he is about to Minister comfort to
others, his own Flock be left destitute of preaching.

12. That none coming from another Paroch, shall be admitted to the
Communion, without a Testimonial from their own Minister: And no Minister
shall refuse a Testimonial to any of his Paroch, who communicates
ordinarily at their own Paroch Kirk, and are without scandal in their life
for the time. And this is no wayes to prejudge any honest Person, who
occasionally is in the place where the Communion is celebrate; or such as
by death, or absence of their own Minister, could not have a Testimonial.

IV. It is also the judgement of the Committee, That the Ministers bowing
in the Pulpit; though a lawful custome in this Kirk, be hereafter laid
aside, for satisfaction of the desires of the reverend Divines in the
Synod of England, and uniformity with that Kirk so much endeared to us.

_The Assembly having considered seriously the judgement of the Committee
above-written, Doeth approve the same in all the Articles thereof, and
Ordains them to be observed in all time hereafter._



_10. February, 1645. Postmeridiem_ Sess. 16.



_Act of the Generall Assembly of the Kirk of_ Scotland, _Approving the
Propositions concerning Kirk government and Ordination of Ministers._


The General Assembly, being most desirous and solicitous, not onely of the
establishment and preservation of the Form of Kirk-government in this
Kingdome, according to the Word of GOD, Books of Discipline, Acts of
Generall Assemblies, and Nationall Covenant; But also of an Uniformity in
Kirk-government betwixt these Kingdomes now more straitly and strongly
united by the late Solemne League and Covenant: And considering, That as
in former times there did, so hereafter there may arise through the
neernesse of Contagion, manifold mischiefs to this Kirk from a corrupt
Form of Government in the Kirk of _England_: Like as the precious
opportunity of bringing the Kirks of Christ in all the three Kingdoms, to
an Uniformity in Kirk-government, being the happinesse of the present
times above the former; which may also by the blessing of God, prove an
effectuall meane, and a good foundation to prepare for a safe and
well-grounded Pacification, by removing the cause from which the present
Pressures and bloodie Wars did originally proceed: And now the Assembly
having thrice read, and diligently examined the Propositions (hereunto
annexed) concerning the officers, Assemblies, and Government of the Kirk;
and concerning the Ordination of Ministers, brought unto us as the results
of the long and learned Debates of the Assembly of Divines sitting at
_Westminster_, and of the Treaty of Uniformity with the Commissioners of
this Kirk there residing; After mature deliberation, and after tymous
calling upon and warning of all who have any exceptions against the same,
to make them known, that they might receive satisfaction, Doth Agree to,
and Approve the Propositions aforementioned touching Kirk-government and
Ordination, and doth hereby Authorize the Commissioners of this Assembly
who are to meet at _Edinburgh_, to agree to, and conclude in the name of
this Assembly, an Uniformitie betwixt the Kirks in both Kingdoms in the
aforementioned particulars, so soon as the same shall be ratified, without
any substantiall alteration, by an Ordinance of the Honourable Houses of
the Parliament of _England_: Which Ratification shall be timely intimate
and made known by the Commissioners of this Kirk residing at _London_.
Provided alwayes, That this Act shall be no wayes prejudiciall to the
further discussion and examination of that Article, which holds forth,
that the Doctor or Teacher, hath power of the administration of the
Sacraments as well as the Pastor; As also of the distinct Rights and
Interests of Presbyteries and People in the calling of Ministers: But that
it shall be free to debate and discusse these points as GOD shall be
pleased to give further light.

_The Propositions of Government, and Ordination mentioned in the preceding
Act, are not to be here Printed: but after the Ratification thereof by the
Parliament of_ England, _they are to be Printed by warrant of the
Commissioners of this Assembly._



_12. Feb. 1645. Post meridiem_ Sess. 18.


The Generall Assembly, after mature deliberation, having found it most
necessary that this whole Nation be timely Warned, and duly Informed of
their present Dangers, and the Remedies to be used, and Duties to be done
for preventing and removing thereof, Doth ordain this Warning to be forth
with Printed and Published, and sent to all the Presbyteries in this
Kingdom, as also to the Presbyteries that are with our Armies. And that
each Presbyterie immediately after the receipt hereof, take speedy course
for the Reading of it in every Congregation within their bounds, upon the
Lords day after the forenoons Sermon, and before the blessing: and that
they give account of their diligence herein to the Commissioners of the
Generall Assembly; Who have hereby Power and Warrand to try and censure
such as shall contemne or slight the said Warning, or shall refuse or
neglect to obey this Ordinance.



_A Solemne and Seasonable Warning To the Noblemen, Barons, Gentlemen,
Burrows, Ministers, and Commons of_ Scotland; _As also to our ARMIES
without and within this Kingdom._


The Cause of GOD in this Kingdom, both in the beginnings and Progresse of
it, hath been carried, through much craft and mighty opposition of
Enemies, and through other perplexities and dangers; GOD so disposing, for
the greater glory of his manifold and marvellous Wisedome and his
invincible Power, and for our greater tryall.

These dangers both from without and from within, together with the
remedies thereof, have been from time to time represented and held forth,
in the many publick Supplications of this Kirk and Kingdom to the King,
and in their many Declarations, Remonstrances, Letters, Acts, and other
publick Intimations: Particularly by a necessary Warning published by the
Commissioners of the Generall Assembly in January 1643; And by the
Remonstrance of the same Comissioners to the Convention of Estates in July
thereafter concerning the Dangers of Religion, and Remedies of these
Dangers: which Warning and Remonstrance at that time had, by the blessing
of GOD, very good and comfortable effects. And now the General Assembly
itself, being by a speciall Providence, and upon extraordinary occasions
called together, while GOD is writing bitter things against this Land in
great Letters, which he that runs may read: and knowing that we cannot be
answerable to GOD, nor our own consciences, nor the expectation of others,
if from this chief Watch Tower we should give no Seasonable Warning to the
City of GOD: While we think of these things, _For Sions sake we will not
hold our peace, and for Jerusalems sake we will not rest:_ trusting that
GOD will give, though nor to all, yet to many, a seeing Eye, a hearing
Ear, and an understanding Heart: _For who is wise and he shall understand
these things, prudent and he shall know them; For the Waves of the Lord
are right, and the just shall walk in them, but the transgressors shall
fall therein, and the wicked shall do wickedly and none of the wicked
shall understand._

That which we principally intend, is to hold forth (so farre as the Lord
gives us light) how this Nation ought to be affected with the present
Mercies and Judgements; What use is to be made of the Lords dealings: And,
what is required of a people so dealt with.

Had we been timely awaked, and taken warning, either from the exemplary
judgement of other Nations; or from Gods threatnings by the mouths of his
servants amongst our selves; or from our owne former visitations, and
namely, The Sword, threatned and drawn against us, both at home and from
abroad, but at that time through the forbearance of GOD, put up in the
Sheath again, wee might have prevented the miseries under which now we
groane. But the Cup of trembling, before taken out of our hands, is again
come about to us, that wee may drink deeper of it: And although when these
bloody Monsters, the Irish Rebels, together with some degenerate,
unnaturall, and perfidious Countreymen of our own, did first lift up their
heads, and enter this Kingdome in a hostile way, it was looked upon as a
light matter, and the great judgement which hath since appeared in it, not
apprehended: yet now wee are made more sensible, that they are _The rod of
Gods __ wrath, and the staffe in their hand_, which hath stricken us these
three times, is _his indignation. He hath shewed his people hard things,
and made us to drink the wine of astonishment_. Take we therefore notice
of the hand that smiteth us, _for affliction cometh not forth of the dust,
neither doth trouble spring out of the ground. There is no evill in the
City_ nor Countrey _which the Lord hath not done._ He it is _that formeth
the light, and createth darknesse; Who maketh peace, and createth evill_:
He it is that hath given a charge to the Sword, _so that it cannot be
still_: He it is that hath his other _Arrows ready upon the string to
shoot at us_, the Pestilence and Famine.

In the next place let us apply our hearts to know, and to search, and to
seek out wisdome, and the reason of things, and to understand the language
of this present judgment, and Gods meaning in it, For though _the Almighty
giveth not an accompt of any of his matters, and hath his way in the sea,
and his path in the deep waters which cannot be traced_; Yet he is pleased
by the light of his Word and Spirit, by the voice of our own consciences,
and by that which is written and ingraven upon our judgement, as with the
point of a Diamond and a Pen of iron, to make known in some measure his
meaning unto his servants. _God hath spoken once, yea twice, yet man
perceiveth not_; Therefore now hath he made this rod to speak aloud the
third time, that we may _hear the voice of the rod, and who hath appointed
it_. That which the rod pointeth at, is not any guilt of Rebellion or
disloyaltie in us, as the Sons of _Belial_ do slander and belye the
Solemne League and Covenant of the three Kingdoms, which we are so farre
from repenting of, that we cannot remember or mention it without great joy
and thankfulnesse to God, as that which hath drawn many blessings after
it, and unto which God hath given manifold and evident testimonies, for no
sooner was the Covenant begun to bee taken in England; but sensibly the
condition of affairs there was changed to the better; and though a little
before the Enemy was coming in like a Flood, yet as soon as the Spirit of
the Lord did lift up the Standard against him, from that day forward the
Waters of their Deluge did decrease.

And for our part, our Forces sent into that Kingdom, in pursuance of that
Covenant, have been so mercifully and manifestly assisted, and blessed
from Heaven (though in the mids of many dangers and distresses, and much
want and hardship) and have been so farre instrumentall to the foyling and
scattering of two principal Armies; First, the Marquesse of Newcastle his
Army, And afterward, Prince _Ruperts_ and his together; And to the
reducing of two strong Cities, York and Newcastle, that we have what to
answer the Enemy that reproacheth us concerning that businesse, and that
which may make iniquitie it self to stop her mouth. But which is more unto
us than all Victories, or whatsomever temporal Blessing, the Reformation
of Religion in England, and Uniformity therein between both Kingdoms (a
principal end of that Covenant) is so far advanced, that the English
Service-Book, with the Holy-dayes, and many other Ceremonies contained in
it, together with the Prelacy, the fountain of all these, are abolished
and taken away by Ordinance of Parliament; and a Directory for the Worship
of God in all the three Kingdoms, agreed upon in the Assemblies and in the
Parliaments of both Kingdoms, without a contrary voice in either; the
Government of the Kirk by Congregational Elderships, Classical
Presbyteries, Provincial and National Assemblies, is agreed upon by the
Assembly of Divines at Westminster, which is also voted and concluded in
both Houses of the Parliament of England: And what is yet remaining of the
intended Uniformitie is in a good way; So that let our Lot fal in other
things, as it may, _the Will of the Lord be done_; In this we rejoyce, and
will rejoyce, that our Lord Jesus Christ is no loser, but a Conquerour,
that his Ordinances take place, that his Cause prevaileth, and the work of
purging and building his Temple goeth forward, and not backward. Neither
yet are we so to understand _the voice of the rod_ which lyeth heavy upon
us, as if the Lords meining were to pluck up what he hath planted, and to
pull down what he hath builded in this Kingdom, to have no more pleasure
in us, to _remove our Candlestick, and to take his Kingdom from us_: nay,
before that our God cast us off, and the _glory depart from Israel_, let
him rather consume us by the Sword, and the Famine, and the Pestilence, so
that he will but keep his own great Name from reproach and blasphemy, and
own us as his people in Covenant with him. But _now there is hope in
Israel concerning this thing_, we will beleeve _that we shall yet see the
goodnesse of the Lord in the Land of the living:_ We will not cast away
our confidence of a blessed peace, and of the removing of the scourge and
casting it in the Fire, when the Lord, hath by it performed _his whole
Work upon mount Sion and Jerusalem_, much more will wee be confident of
the continuance of the blessings of the Gospel, _that glory may dwell in
our Land. This is the day of Jacobs trouble, but he shall be saved out of
it:_ And the time is comming, when a new Song shall be put in our mouths,
and we shall say, _This is our God, we have waited for him, and he hath
saved us._ Though the Lord smite us, it is the hand of a Father, not of an
Enemy, he is not consuming us, but refining us, that we may come forth as
Gold out of the Fire. _We are troubled on every side; yet not distressed;
we are perplexed, but not in despaire; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast
downe, but not destroyed._ We know assuredly there is more mercy in
emptying us from Vessell to Vessell, then in suffering us to settle on our
Lees, whereby our taste should remain in us, and our scent not be changed.

These things premised, we come to the true language of this heavy
judgement, and to the reall procuring causes thereof. _For the
transgression of Jacob is all this, and for the sins of the house of
Israel._ God is hereby shewing to great and smal in this Land their work
and their transgression, that they have exceeded. _He openeth also their
eare to discipline, and commandeth that they return from iniquity._ We
leave every Congregation in the Land, every Family in every Congregation,
& every Person in every Family to examine their own hearts and wayes, & to
mourn for Congregationall, Domesticall, and Personall sinnes: Cursed shall
they be who have added fuell to the fire, and now bring no water to
extinguish it, who had a great hand in the provocation, and bear no part
in the humiliation.

Let every one commune with his own conscience, and repent of his own
wickednesse, and say, _What have I done_? Wee shall here touch onely the
Nationall sinnes, or at least more publick ones, then those of a Family or
Congregation, which we also intend for chief causes of a publick Fast and
Humiliation. If among our Nobles, Gentrie and Barons, there have been some
studying their own private interests more then the publick, and _Seeking
their own things more then the things of Christ, or oppressing and
defrauding the poore sort and the needie, because it was in the power of
their hand_: and if among our Ministrie there have been divers
Time-servers, _Who have not renounced the hidden things of dishonesty,
whose hearts have not been right before God, nor stedfast in his
Covenant,_ who have been secretly haters of the _Power of Godlinesse_, and
of Mortification; shall not GOD search all this out? _who will bring to
light the hidden things of darknesse, and will make manifest the counsels
of the hearts._ In these also leaving all men to a judging and searching
of themselves, there are many other provocations which are apparent in all
or many of this Nation, from which, _though they wash with nitre, and take
much sope_, yet they cannot make themselves clean: Because of these _the
Land mourneth_, and at these the Sword striketh.

As first, the contempt, neglect, and dis-esteem of the glorious Gospel;
our unbelief, unfruitfulnesse, luke-warmnesse, formality, and hardnesse of
heart, under all the means of Grace; our not receiving of Christ in our
hearts, nor seeking to know him, and glorifie him in all his Offices. The
power of Godlinesse is hated and mocked by many to this day, and by the
better sort too much neglected, and many Christian duties are not minded:
as, _The not speaking of our own words, nor finding of our own pleasure
upon the Lords day_: Holy and edifying conference both on that day, and at
other occasions: The instructing, admonishing, comforting, and rebuking
one another, as Divine Providence ministreth occasion. In many Families
almost no knowledge nor worship of GOD to be found: yea, there are among
the Ministers who have strenghtened the hearts and hands of the profane
more then of the godly, and have not taken _heed to the ministrie which
they have received of the Lord to fulfill it._

Next, GOD hath sent the Sword to avenge the quarrel of his broken
Covenant: For besides the defection of many of this Nation under the
Prelats from our first Nationall Covenant, a sinne not forgotten by GOD,
if not repented by men as well as forsaken, our latter Vows and Covenants
have been also foully violated, by not contributing our uttermost
assistance to this Cause, with our Estates and Lives; by not endeavouring
with all faithfulnesse, the discovery, triall, and condigne punishment of
Malignants, and evil Instruments; yea, by complying too much with those,
who have not onely born Armes, and given their personall presence and
assistance, but also drawn and led on others after them in the shedding of
our Brethrens blood: Therefore is our sinne made our punishment, and _We
are filled with the fruit of our own wayes. These horns now push the sides
of Judah and Jerusalem, because the Carpenters when they ought and might,
did not cut them off_: And yet so this day the course of Justice is
obstructed: The Lord himself will execute justice if men will not. But
above all, let it bee deeply and seriously thought of, that our Covenant
is broken by the neglect of a reall Reformation of our selves and others
under our power: let every one ask his own heart what lust is mortified in
him, or what change wrought in his life since, more then before the
Covenant? Swearing, Cursing, Profanation of the Lords day, Fornication,
and other uncleannesse, Drunkennesse, Injustice, Lying, Oppression,
Murmuring, Repining, and other sorts of Prophanenesse still abound too
much both in the Countrey & in our Armies: yea, there is no Reformation of
some Members of publick Judicatories, which is a great dishonour to God,
and foul scandall to the whole Nation.

Thirdly, we have not glorified God according to the great things which he
hath done for us, nor made the right use of former mercies: Since he loved
us (_a Nation not worthy to be beloved_) he hath made us precious and
honourable, but we have not walked worthy of this love: _We waxed fat and
kicked, forsaking God who made us, and lightly __ esteeming the Rock of
our salvation._ And this great unthankfulnesse filleth up our Cup.

Forthly, Notwithstanding of so much guiltinesse, we did send forth our
Armies, and undertake great services presumptuously, without repentance,
and making our peace with God, like the Children of Israel, who trusting
to the goodnesse of their cause, minded no more, but _Which of us shall
goe up first._

It is now high time, under the feeling of so great a burden both of sinne
and wrath to humble our uncircumcised heart, _to put our mouth in the
dust, if so be there may be hope, to wallow our selves in ashes, to clothe
our selves with our shame as with a garment_, to justifie Gods righteous
judgements, to acknowledge our iniquitie, to make our supplication to our
Judge, and to _seek his face_, that he may _pardon our sinne, and heal our
Land_. The Lord roareth, and shall not his children tremble? The God of
glory thundereth, and _the Highest uttereth his voice, hailstones and
coales of fire_, who will not fall down and fear before him? The fire
waxeth hot, and burneth round about us, and shall any sit still and be
secure? The storm bloweth hard, & shall any sluggard be still asleep? This
is a day of trouble, and of rebuke, and of blasphemy; who will not take up
a lamentation? Let the Watchmen rouze up themselves and others, and strive
to get their own, and their peoples hearts deeply affected, and even
melted before the Lord: Let every one turn from his evill way, and cry
mightily to God, and give him no rest till he repent of the evill, and
smell a savour of rest, and say, _It is enough._ He hath not said to the
seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain. _Wee do not mourne as they that have no
hope, but we will bear the indignation of the Lord, because wee have
sinned against him, untill he plead our cause, and execute judgement for
us._ And what though our Candles be put out? So that our Sun shine: What
though our honour be laid in the dust? So that GOD work out his own
honour, yea, our happinesse out of our shame. In vain have we trusted to
the arm of flesh: In the Lord our GOD is the _Salvation of Israel._ No
flesh must glory before him, _but he that glorieth, must glory in the
Lord._

These duties of Humiliation, Repentance, Faith, Amendment of life, and
Fervent Prayer, though the principal, yet are not all which are required
at the hands of this Nation, but men of all sorts and degrees, must timely
apply themselves to such other Resolutions and Actions as are most
suteable and necessary at this time: Which that all may the better
understand, and bee excited and encouraged to act accordingly, let it be
well observed, that the present state of the Controversie and Cause is no
other but what hath been formerly professed before GOD and the world, that
is, The Reformation and Preservation of Religion, The Defence of the
Honour and Happinesse of the King, and of the authority of the Parliament,
together with the maintenance of our Lawes, Liberties, Lives, and Estates.
We are not changed from our former principles and intentions, but these
who did fall off from us to the contrary party, have now made it manifest,
that these were not their ends when they seemed to joyn with us:
_Therefore are they gone out from us, because they were not of us._ And as
our Cause is the fame, so the danger thereof is not lesse, but greater
then before, and that from two sorts of Enemies. First, from open Enemies,
we mean those of the Popish, Prelatical, and Malignant Faction, who have
displayed a Banner against the Lord, and against his Christ, in all the
three Kingdoms, being _set on fire of Hell_, and by the special
inspiration of Satan, who is full of fury; because he knowes he hath but a
short time to reigne. The Cockatrice before hatched, is now broken forth
into a Viper. The danger was before feared, now it is felt; before
imminent, now incumbent; before our division, now our destruction is
endeavoured; before the Sword was fourbished and made ready; now the
_Sword is made fat with Flesh, and drunk with Bloud_, and yet it hungreth
and thirsteth for more. The Queen is most active abroad, using all means
for strengthening the Popish, and suppressing the Protestant party;
insomuch that Malignants have insolently expressed their confidence, that
her journey to France shall prove a successeful Counsel, and that this
Island, and particularly this Kingdome, shall have a greater power to
grapple with before the next Summer, then any which yet we have encountred
with. The Irish Rebels have offered to the King to fend over a greater
number into both the Kingdomes: The hostile intentions of the King of
Denmark, if God be not pleased still to divert and disable him, do plainly
enough appear from his own Letters, sent not long since to the Estates of
this Kingdome. In the mean time, the hellish crue under the conduct of the
excommunicate and forefaulted _Earle of Montrose_, and of _Alaster
Mac-Donald_, a Papist and an Outlaw, doth exercise such barbarous,
unnaturall, horrid, and unheard of cruelty, as is above expression: And
(if not repressed) what better usage can others not yet touched expect
from them, being now hardened and animated by the successe which God hath
for our humiliation and correction, permitted unto them: and if they shall
now get leave to secure the High-Lands for themselves, they will not onely
from thence infest the rest of this Countrey, but endeavour a diversion of
our Forces in England, from the prosecution of the ends expressed in the
Covenant of the three Kingdoms, toward which ends, as their service hath
already advantageous, so their continuance is most necessary.

The second sort of Enemies, from which our present dangers arise, are
secret Malignants and Dis-covenanters, who may be known by these and the
like Characters: Their slighting or censuring of the publick Resolutions
of this Kirk and State: Their consulting and labouring to raise Jealousies
and Divisions, to retard or hinder the execution of what is ordered by the
publick Judicatories: Their slandering of the Covenant of the three
Kingdomes and expedition into England, as not necessary for the good of
Religion, or safety of this Kingdome, or as tending to the diminution of
the Kings just power and greatnesse: Their confounding of the Kings Honour
and Authority, with the abuse and pretense thereof, and with Commissions,
Warrants, and Letters, procured from the King, by the Enemies of this
Cause and Covenant, as if we could not oppose the latter, without
encroaching upon the former: Their whetting of their tongues, to censure
and slander those whom GOD hath honoured as his chief Instruments in this
Work: Their commending, justifying, or excusing the proceedings of _James
Grahame_, sometime _Earle of Montrose_, and his Complices: Their
conversing or intercommuning by word of writ, with him, or other
excommunicate Lords, contrary to the nature of that Ordinance of Christ,
and to the old Acts of General Assemblies: Their making merry, and their
insolent carriage, at the News of any prosperous successe of the Popish
and Malignant Armies in any of these Kingdomes: Their drawing of Parties
and Factions, to the weakning of the common Union: Their spreading of
Informations, That Uniformitie in Religion, and the Presbyterial
Government, is not intended by the Parliament of England: Their
Endeavours, Informations, & Sollicitations, tending to weaken the hearts &
hands of others and to make them withold their assistance from this Work.

Let this sort of bosome Enemies, and dis-affected Persons, be well marked,
timely discovered, and carefully avoided, lest they infuse the poison of
their seducing counsels into the mindes of others: Wherein let Ministers
be faithful, and Presbyteries vigilant and unpartial, as they will answer
the contrary to GOD, and to the General Assembly, or their Commissioners.

The cause and the dangers thereof being thus evidenced, unlesse men will
blot out of their hearts the love of Religion, and the Cause of GOD, and
cast of all care of their Countrey, Lawes, Liberties, and Estates, yea,
all naturall affection to the preservation of themselves, their Wives,
Children, and Friends, and whosoever is dearest to them under the Sun (all
these being in the visible danger of a present ruine and destruction) they
must now or never appear actively, each one stretching himself to, yea
beyond his power. It is not time to dally, nor go about the businesse by
halfes, nor by _almost_, but _altogether_ zealous: _Cursed be he that doth
the Work of the Lord negligently, or dealeth falsly in the Covenant of
God._ If we have been so forward to assist our Neighbour Kingdomes, shall
we neglect to defend our own? Or shall the Enemies of GOD be more active
against his Cause: than his People for it? GOD forbid. If the Work being
so far carried on, shall now mis-carry, and fail in our hands, our own
consciences shall condemne us, and posterity shall curse us: But if wee
stand stoutly and stedfastly to it, the _pleasure of the Lord shall
prosper in our hands, and all Generations shall call us blessed._

Let Ministers stir up others by free and faithful preaching, and by
admonishing every one of his duty, as there shall be occasion: And if it
shall be the lot of any of them to fall under the power of the Enemy, let
them through the strength of Christ, persevere in their integrity,
choosing affliction rather then sin, glorifying GOD, and not fearing what
Flesh can do unto them.

Let our Armies beware of ungodlinesse, and worldly lusts, living godly,
soberly, and righteously, avoiding all scandalous carriage, which may give
occasion to others to think the worse of their Cause and Covenant, and
remembring that the eyes of GOD, Angels, and Men are upon them: Finally,
renouncing all confidence in their own strength, skill, valour, and
number, and trusting only to the _God of the Armies of Israel_, who hath
fought, and will fight for them.

Let all sorts both of high and low degree in this Kingdome, call to minde
their Solemne Covenants, and pay their vows to the most High; and namely,
that Article of our first Covenant, which obligeth us not to stay nor
hinder any such Resolution, as by common consent shall be found to conduce
for the ends of the Covenant, but by all lawfull means to further and
promove the same; Which lyeth as a Bond upon peoples consciences, readily
to obey such orders, and willingly to under go such burdens, as by the
publick and common resolution of the Estates of Parliament, are found
necessary for the prosecution of the War; considering that the Enemy
cannot bee suppressed without a competent number of Forces, and Forces
cannot be kept together without maintenance, and maintenance cannot be had
without such publick Burdens; Which however for the present, not joyous,
but grievous, yet it shall be no grief of heart afterwards, even unto the
common fort, that they have given some part of their necessary livelyhood,
for assisting so good a work. It is far from our thoughts, that the
pinching of some, should make others superfluously to abound: It is rather
to bee expected of the richer sort, that they will spare and defalk, not
onely the pride and superfluity, both of apparel and diet, but also a part
of their lawful allowance in these things, to contribute the same as a
free will offering, beside what they are obliged to, by Law or publick
Order, after the example of godly _Nehemiah_, who for the space of twelve
years, while the walls of Jerusalem were a building, did not eat the bread
of the Governour, that hee might ease by so much the Peoples Burthens and
Bondage.

In our last Covenant, there is another Article which (without the oblivion
or neglect of any of the rest) we wish may be well remembred at this time;
namely, That we shall assist and defend all that enter into this League
and Covenant, in the maintaining and pursuing thereof and shall not suffer
our selves, directly or indirectly, by whatsoever Combination, Perswasion,
or Terror, to be divided and withdrawne from this blessed Union and
Conjunction, whether to make defection to the contrary part, or to give
our selves to a detestable indifferency or neutrality in this Cause:
According to which Article, mens Reality and integrity in the Covenant,
will be manifest and demonstrable as well by their omissions, as by their
commissions; as well by their not doing good, as by their doing of evil;
_He that is not with us, is against us, and he that gathereth not with us,
scattereth._ Whoever he be that will not, according to publick order and
appointment, adventure his person, or send out these that are under his
power, or pay the Contributions imposed for the maintenance of the Forces,
must be taken for an Enemie, Malignant, and Covenant-breaker, and so
involved both into the displeasure of GOD, and Censures of the Kirk, and
no doubt into civil punishments also to be inflicted by the State.

And if any shall prove so untoward and perfidious, their iniquitie shall
be upon themselves, and they _shall bear their punishment_: Deliverance
and good successe shall follow those who with purpose of heart cleave unto
the Lord, and whose hearts are upright toward his glory. When wee look
back upon the great things which GOD hath done for us, and our former
deliverances out of several dangers and difficulties which appeared to us
insuperable, _experience breeds hope_: And when we consider how in the
midst of all our sorrows and pressures, the _Lord our God hath given us a
naile in his holy place_, and hath lightned our eyes with the desireable
and beautiful sight of his own glory in his Temple, we take it for an
argument that he hath yet _thoughts of peace_, and a purpose of mercy
toward us; _Though for a small moment he hath forsaken us, yet with great
mercies he will gather us_ as Hee hath lifted up our Enemies, that their
fall may be the greater, and that he may cast them downe into desolation
for ever. _Arise, and let us be doing; The Lord of Hosts is with us, the
God of Jacob is our Refuge._



_Act against Lykwakes._


Whereas the corrupt Custome of Lykwakes hath fostered both Superstition
and Profanitie through the Land, This present Assembly Discharges the same
intime comming, And appoints Presbyteries To take speciall care for trying
and censuring the Transgressors of this Act within their several Bounds.



_Act recommending to Sessions To have the Printed Acts of Assemblie._


The General Assembly, considering how necessar it is, That every Session
in a Parish have the Acts of the Assembly for their use, Doth therefore
seriously recommend to every Parish and Session To buy the Printed Acts of
the Assembly; and Ordains Presbyteries To crave account hereof from every
Minister, before their going to Provinciall Assemblies: And likewise, That
every Provinciall Assembly, crave account from Presbyteries in their
trials, if every Session be so provided, and that they try the diligence,
of Presbyteries and Ministers used for that effect.



13. _Februar. 1645. Postmeridiem._ Sess. Ult.



_Act for censuring the Observers of Yule-day, and other superstitious
dayes, especially if they be Schollars._


The General Assembly taking to their consideration, The manifold Abuses,
Profanitie, and Superstitions, committed on Yule-day and some other
superstitions dayes following, Have unanimously concluded, and hereby
Ordains, That whatsoever Person or Persons hereafter shall be found guilty
in keeping of the foresaid superstitious dayes, shall be proceeded against
by Kirk Censures, and shall make their publick Repentance therefore in the
face of the Congregation where the offence is committed: And that
Presbyteries and Provinciall Synods Take particular notice how Ministers
try and censure Delinquents of this kinde, within the severall Parochines.
And because Schollars and Students give great scandal and offence in this,
That they (being found guilty) be severely disciplined and chastised
therefore by their Masters: And in case the Masters of Schools or
Colledges be accessorie to the said superstitious profanitie, by their
connivence, granting of liberty of Vacance to their Schollars at that
time, or any time thereafter, in compensation thereof, That the Masters be
summoned by the Ministers of the Place to compeir before the next ensuing
Generall Assembly, there to be censured according to their trespasse; And
if Schollars (being guilty) refuse to subject themselves to Correction, or
be Fugitives from Discipline, That they be not received in any other
Schoole or Colledge within the Kingdom.



_Act for encouragement of Schollars to Professions in Schooles._


In respect of the paucitie of men, fit and willing to professe Divinitie
in the Schooles, by reason that few frame their studies that way, The
Generall Assembly thinks it fit, That the Provincials diligently consider
and try who within their Bounds most probably may bee for a Profession in
the Schooles, And report their names to the following Generall Assembly,
that such may be stirred up and encouraged by the General Assembly, to
compose and frame their studies, that they may be fit for such places.



_Act for restraining Abuses at Pennie Brydals._


The Generall Assembly, considering the great profanitie and severall
Abuses which usually fal forth at Pennie-Brydals proving fruitful
Seminaries of all lasciviousnesse and debausherie, as well by the
excessive number of people conveened thereto, as by the extortion of them
therein, and licentiousnesse thereat, To the great dishonour of God, the
scandall of our Christian Profession, and prejudice of the Countreys
welfare; Therefore they Ordain every Presbyterie in this Kingdome, To take
such special care for restraining these Abuses flowing from the causes
foresaid, as they shall think fit in their severall bounds _respectivè_:
And to take a strict accompt of every Minister and Session of their
obedience to the Ordinance of the Presbyteria theyeanent, at the
Visitation of every Parish Kirk in their Bounds.



_Act Discharging deposed Ministers to be reponed to their former Places._


The Generall Assembly, considering the manifold prejudices redounding to
the Kirk in Generall, and private Congregations in particnlar; through the
restoring of Ministers once deposed to the same places wherein formerly
they served: As also, how derogatorie it would prove to the weight of that
sentence of Deposition; Do therefore ordain, that no Minister deposed,
shall be restored again into that place where formerly he served.



_Renovation of the Commission for the publick Affairs of the Kirk._


The General Assembly taking to their consideration, That in respect the
great Work of Uniformitie in Religion in all his Majesties dominions, is
not yet perfected, (though by the Lords blessing there is a good progresse
made in the same) there is a necessity of renewing the Commissions granted
formerly for prosecuting and perfecting that great Work; Doe therefore
Renew the Power and Commission granted for the publick Affairs of the Kirk
by the Generall Assembly, held in S. Andrews in the year 1642. upon the
fifth day of August _post meridiem_, Sess, 12. And by the Generall
Assembly held in Edinburgh in the year 1643 upon the 19. day of August,
Sess. _ult._ And by the late Generall Assembly held at Edinburgh in the
year 1644. upon the third of June, Sess. 6. to the Persons afternamed,
_viz. Mr Andrew Ramsay, Mr Alexan. Henderson, Mr Robert Douglas, Mr
William Colvil, Mr William Bennet, Mr George Gillespie, Mr John Oswald, Mr
Mungo Law, Mr Robert Lawrie, __ Mr John Adamson, D. John Sharp, Mr George
Leslie, Mr Andrew Fairfowle, Mr David Calderwood, Mr Andrew Blackhall, Mr
James Fleeming, Mr Robert Ker, Mr John Macghie, Mr John Dalyell, Mr Andrew
Stevenson, Mr Robert Lander, Mr James Robertson, Mr Patrick Sibbald, Mr
Robert Carson, Mr Alex. Spittall, Mr Alex. Dickison, Mr James Smith, Mr
John Gibbison, Mr James Symton, Mr Ephraim Melvill, Mr Alex. Somervell, Mr
Robert Eliot, Mr George Bennet, Mr Robert Blair, Mr David Forret, Mr
Arthur Mortoun, Mr Samuel Rutherfurd, D. Alex. Colvill, Mr Andrew Bennet,
Mr James Wedderburn, Mr Walter Greg, Mr John Moncreiff, Mr John Smith, Mr
Frederick Carmichaell, Mr Patrick Gillespie, Mr John Duncan, Mr James
Sibbald, Mr Robert Bruce, Mr John Hume at Eccles, Mr Mungo Dalyell, Mr
Alex. Kinneir, Mr Thomas Ramsay, Mr William Turnbull, Mr James Guthrie, Mr
Thomas Donaldson, Mr William Jameson, Mr David Fletcher, Mr Andrew
Dunkison, Mr Robert Murray, Mr David Weemes, Mr John Hall, Mr John
Freebairn, Mr David Drummond at Creist, Mr George Murray, Mr Henry
Guthrie, Mr Robert Wright, Mr Andrew Jaffray, Mr Bernard Sanderson, Mr
Alex. Iran, Mr Thomas Chalmers, Mr Andrew Lawder, Mr Hugh Henderson, Mr
John Levingstoun, Mr James Blair, Mr James Bonar, Mr John Burne, Mr John
Bell, Mr Hugh Mackale, Mr Matthew Birsbane, Mr David Elphingstoun, Mr
David Dickson, Mr George Young, D. John Strang, Mr Robert Baillie, Mr
Patrick Sharp, Mr Robert Birnie, Mr Evan Camron, Mr George Symmer at
Megle, Mr Andrew Fleck, Mr Patrick Lyon, Mr John Lindsay, Mr Sylvester
Lammie, Mr George Fogo, Mr David Strachan, Mr Andrew Cant, Mr William
More, Mr William Davidson, Mr John Paterson, Mr William Jaffray, Mr Thomas
Mitchell, Mr George Cummin, Mr Joseph Brodie, Mr William Lawder, Mr David
Rosse, Mr Ferquhard Mackleman,_ Ministers; And _Archbald_ Marquesse of
Argyle, _John_ Earle of Crawfurd-Lindsay, _Alexander_ Earle of Eglintoun,
_William_ Earle of Glencarne, _John_ Earle of Cassils, _Charles_ Earle of
Dumfermling, _James_ Earle of Tullibarein, _John_ Earle of Lauderdale,
_James_ Earle of Annandale, _William_ Earle of Lothian, _James_ Earle of
Queenesberry, _William_ Earle of Dalhousie, _William_ Earle of Lanerick,
_Archbald_ Lord Angus, Vicount of Arbuthnet, _James_ Vicount of
Frendraught, _Alexander_ Lord Carleys, _James_ Lord Johnstoun, _John_ Lord
Yester, _John_ Lord Balmerino, _Alexander_ Lord Balcarras, _John_ Lord
Loure, _John_ Lord Barganie, Sir _Patrick Hepburn_ of Wauchtoun, Sir _John
Hope_ of Craighall, Sir _Archbald Johnstoun_ of Waristoun, Sir _David
Hume_ of Wedderburn, Sir _Frederick Lyon_ of Brigtoun, Sir _Alexander
Areskine_ of Dun, Sir _Alexander Fraser_ of Phillorth, _Sir William
Baillie_ of Lammingroun, _Hadding_ of Glennegies, Sir _Thomas Ruthven_ of
Freeland, _James Macdougall_ of Garthland, Sir _Alexander Murray_ of
Blackbarronie, _William Drummond_ of Rickartoun, Sir _William Scot_ of
Hardin, Sir _Andrew Ker_ of Greenhead, Sir _William Stuart_, Sir
_Alexander Schaw_ of Sauchie, _Alexander Brodie_ of that Ilk, Mr _George
Hume_ of Kimmerjame, Sir _John Smith_, Mr _Alexander Colvill_ Justice
Depute, _John Binnie_, _Archbald Sydsers_, _Laurence Henderson_, _James
Stuart Gilbert Sommernell_, _John Semple,_ Mr _Robert Barclay, Patrick
Leslie_, _James Law_, Mr _Robert Cuninghame_, _George Gardin_, _William
Glendunning_ Elders. And for discharging the said Commission, Appoints the
persons aforesaid, or any ninteene of them, whereof fifteen shall be
Ministers, to meet at Edinburgh upon the 14. of this moneth of February
and upon the second Wednesday of May, August, November, and of February
next to come, and upon any other day, or in any other Place they shall
think meet. Giving unto them full power and Commission to do all and every
thing for prosecuting, advancing, perfecting, and bringing the said Work
of Uniformity in Religion in all his Majesties Dominions to an happy
conclusion, conforme to the former Commissions granted by the saids
Assemblies thereanent: And further, Renewes to the Persons afore-named,
the power contained in the Act of the said Assembly, 1643 Intituled, _A
reference to the Commission anent the Persons designed to repair to the
Kingdom of England_, As also the power contained in two several Acts of
the said late Assembly 1644. Sess. 16. made _Against secret dis-affecters
of the Covenant_, and, _For sending Ministers to the Army_. With full
power to them, to treat and determine in the matters aforesaid, & in all
other matters referred unto them by this Assembly, as fully and freely, as
if the same were here particularly expressed, and with as ample power as
any Commission of former General Assemblies hath had, or been in use of
before; They being alwayes for their whole proceedings countable to, and
censurable by the next General Assembly.



_Renovation of the Commission to the Persons appointed to repair to the
Kingdom, of_ England, _for prosecuting the Treaty of Uniformitie in
Religion._


The Generall Assembly, Taking to their consideration, that the Treaty of
Uniformity in Religion in all his Majesties Dominions is not yet
perfected, though by the Lords blessing there is a good progresse made in
the same, Do therefore Renew the Power and Commission granted to the
Persons formerly nominate by the two preceding Assemblies, and by their
Commissioners sitting at Edinburgh, for prosecuting the said Treatie of
Uniformitie with the Honourable Houses of the Parliament of England, and
the Reverend Assembly of Divines there, or any Committees appointed by
them. Giving unto them full power to do all and every thing which may
advance, perfect, and bring the said Treatie to an happy conclusion
conforme to the former Commissions granted to them thereanent.



_The General Assemblies Answer to the Right Reverend the Assembly of
Divines in the Kirk of England._


_Right Reverend and welbeloved in the Lord Jesus,_

Amidst the manifold troubles in which this Kingdome hath been involved,
and under which it still laboureth, we greatly rejoyced when it was
testified unto by us our reverend Brethren, and under your hands in your
Letter, and these Papers by them presented to us from you, what progresse
you had made in the much desired Work of Uniformities and acknowledge that
the same hath _comforted us concerning our work and toile of our hands_,
and seemeth to us as an olive branch, to prognosticate the abating of the
waters, which overflow the face of the Earth.

When we consider, that you have walked in pathes unusuall, which have not
been haunted by Travellers there, as the publick way, though pointed out
as the good old way by the Reformed Kirks, we do not wonder that you have
carefully adverted in every step to set foot upon sure ground; When we
behold that strong and high tree of Episcopacie so deeply rooted by
continuance of time not loosed of the Branches, and the _stumpe of the
root left in the Earth, with a band of iron and brasse_, but pluckt up by
the roots; We do confesse that the Carpenters, though prepared have a hard
task, requiring time to hew it down, and root it up: And when we call to
minde how much the Service-Book hath been cryed up as the only way of GODS
Worship, how many thereby have had their wealth, and how difficult it is
to forgoe the accustomed way; We admire the power and wisdom of the good
GOD who hath prospered you in your way, and led you this length, through
so many straits, and over so many difficulties in so troublous a time.

We do for our part not only admit and allow, but most heartily and gladly
embrace the Directory of Worship, as a common Rule for the Kirks of GOD in
the three Kingdoms, now more straitly and firmly united by the solemne
League and Covenant; And we do all in one voice blesse the Lord, who hath
put it in the hearts, first, of the Reverend, Learned, and Pious Assembly
of Divines and then, of the Honourable Houses of Parliament. To agree upon
such a Directory as doth remove what is none of Christs, and preserve the
purity of all his Ordinances, together with Uniformity and Peace in the
Kirk. Only we have thought necessary, to declare and make known, That the
Clause in the Directory for the administration of the Lords Supper, which
appointeth the Table to be so placed that the Communicants may orderly sit
about it, or at it, is not to be interpreted as if in the judgement of
this Kirk it were indifferent for any of the Communicants not to come to
and receive at the Table; or as if we did approve the distributing of the
Elements by the Ministers to each Communicant, & not by the Communicants
among themselves: In which particulars, we still conceive and believe the
order & practice of our own Kirk, To be most agreeable & sutable to the
Word of GOD, the example of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the nature of that
Heavenly Feast and Table. Neverthelesse, in other particulars we have
resolved, and do agree, to do as ye have desired us in your Letter, That
is, not to be tenacious of old Customs, though lawfull in themselves, and
not condemned in this Directory, but to lay them aside for the nearer
Uniformitie with the Kirk of England, now nearer and dearer to us than
ever before; A Blessing so much esteemed, and so earnestly longed for
among us, that rather than it faile on our part, we do most willingly part
with such practices and customs of our own, as may be parted with safely,
and without the violation of any of Christs Ordinances, or trespassing
against Scripturall Rules, or our solemne Covenants.

We do in like manner agree to, and approve the Proportions touching
Kirk-government and Ordination; and have given power to our Commissioners
who are to meet in Edinburgh, to agree to, and conclude in our Name an
Uniformitie therein, betwixt the Kirks in both Kingdoms, so soon as the
same shall be without any substantiall alteration Ratified by an Ordinance
of the Honourable Houses of the Parliament of England according to our Act
of Approbation sent to our Commissioners with you.

As for the returning of our Commissioners; though the counsel and
assistance of our Reverend Brethren might be of good use to us in these
difficult times, and their particular stations and imployments importune
the stay of these who are come unto us, and the returne of these who stay
with you, yet preferring the publick good, and looking upon the profit may
redound unto all by their continuing with you, we have satisfied your
desire, & renewed their Commission; Praying GOD they may (as we are
confident they shall) prove answerable to our trust, and to your
expectation.

Concerning one Confession of Faith, and Forme of Catechisme, we apprehend
no great difficultie: And to that which remains to be perfected in the
matter of Kirk-government, we do believe, and both you and we know by
experience, that _there is no word impossible with_ our _God. He that hath
begun a good work among you, will also perform it_ of his good pleasure.
Go on in the Lord your strength, and _the Spirit of truth lead you in all
truth: The God of all grace and peace that brought again from the dead our
Lord Jesus that great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the
everlasting Covenant_, & by him _hath called us unto his eternall glory,
make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you, and by
you, and among you, that which is well pleasing in his fight, stablish,
strengthen, settle you, through Jesus Christ our Lord._

_Edinburgh 13. Feb. 1645._

Subscribed in name of the Generall Assembly of the Kirk of Scotland, by
the Moderator of the Assembly.



_The humble Remonstrance of the Generall Assembly of the Kirk of_
Scotland, _met at Edinburgh the 13. day of February, 1645._


TO THE KINGS MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTIE.

As our Record is on high, and our conferences within us bear us witnesse,
so the many former Supplications and Remonstrances to your Majestie, from
this Kirk and Kingdome, our solemne Covenants, and the whole course of our
proceedings from time to time in the prosecution of this Cause; Do make
known to the World, and we trust also to your own consience, our loyaltie
and faithful subjection, and how far our intentions are from the
diminution of your Majesties just Power and Greatnesse; And although the
successe of many of our humble addresses to your Majesty, hath been such
as did frustrate our desires and hopes, yet this hath not blotted our of
our hearts our loyaltie, so often professed before God and the World; but
it is still our Souls desire, and our Prayer to God for you, that your
Self and your Posterity may prosperously reigne over this your antient and
Native Kingdome, and over your other Dominions. And now as we have
published a solemn and free Warning to the Noblemen, Barons, Gentlemen,
Burrons, Ministers, and Commons of this Kingdome, concerning the present
affliction of this Nation, and their sins procuring the same; So when we
call to minde, that God accepteth not the persons of men, and that the
greatest are not to be winked at in their sins; We assure our selves, that
the best and most reall testimony which we can give at this present of the
tendernesse and uprightnesse of our affection to your Majesties true
Happinesse is this our humble and faithfull Representation of your
Majesties great and growing dangers, and the causes thereof. Of which, if
we should be silent, our consciences would condemne us, and _the stones
themselves would immediatly cry out_.

The troubles of our hearts are enlarged, & our fear increased in your
Majesties behalf, perceiving that your Peoples patience is above measure
tempted, & is like a cart prest down with sheaves, and ready to break,
while as beside many former designes and endeavours to bring desolation
and destruction upon us, (which were (and we trust all of that kinde shall
be) by the marvellous and mercifull providence of God discovered and
disappointed). Our Countrey is now infested, the blood of divers of our
Brethern spilt, and other acts of most barbarous and horrid cruelty
exercised, by the cursed crew of the Irish Rebels and their Complices in
the Kingdome, under the conduct of such as have Commission and Warrant
from your Majestie. And unless we prove unfaithfull both to God and to
your Majestie, we cannot conceale another danger which is infinitely
greater than that of your Peoples displeasure: Therefore we the servants
of the most high GOD, and your Majesties most loyall Subjects in the
humility and grief of our hearts, fall down before your Throne, and in the
Name of our Lord and Master JESUS CHRIST, who shall judge the world in
righteousnesse, both great and small, and in the Name of this whole
Nationall Kirk, which we represent, We make bold to warn your Majesty
freely, that the guilt which cleaveth fast to your Majesty and to your
Throne, is such, as (whatsoever flattering preachers, or unfaithfull
counsellours may say to the contrary) if not timely repented, cannot but
involve your Self and your Posterity under the wrath of the ever-living
GOD, For your being guiltie of the shedding of the blood of many thousands
of your Majesties best Subjects; For your permitting the Masse, and other
Idolatry, both in your own Family and in your Dominions; For your
authorizing by the Book of Sports the profanation of the Lords Day; For
your not punishing of publick scandals, and much profanenesse in, & about
your Court; For the shutting of your eare, from the humble and just
desires of your faithfull Subjects; For your complying too much with the
Popish party in many wayes, and namely, by concluding the Cessation of
Armes in _Ireland_, and your embracing the counsels of those who have not
set GOD nor your good before their eyes; For your resisting and opposing
this Cause, which so much concerneth the glory of GOD, your own honour and
happinesse, and the peace and safetie of your Kingdomes; and for what
other causes your Majesty is most conscious, and may best judge and search
your own conscience (nor would we have mentioned any particulars, if they
had not been publike and knowne.) For all which it is high time for your
Majesty to fall down at the footstool of the King of Glory, to acknowledge
your offence to repent timely, to make your peace with GOD through JESUS
CHRIST, (whose blood is able to wash away your great sinne) and to be no
longer unwilling that the Son of GOD reign over you and your Kingdoms in
his pure Ordinances of Church-government and Worship. These things if your
Majesty do, it shall be no grief of heart unto you afterward; a blessing
is reserved for you, and you shall finde favour with GOD, and with your
People, and with all the Churches of Christ; But if your Majesty refuse to
hearken to this wholsome counsell (which the Lord forbid) we have
discharged our own consciences, we take GOD and Men to witnesse That we
are blamelesse of the sad Consequences which may follow, and we shall wait
upon the Lord, who, _when he maketh inquisition for blood, will not forget
the cry of the humble_. In the mean while, beseeching your Majesty to take
notice That we are not staggering or fainting through diffidence of the
successe of this Cause and Covenant of the three Kingdoms, unto which, as
GOD hath already given manifold Testimonies of his favour and blessing; so
it is our stedfast and unshaken confidence, that this is the Work and
Cause of GOD, which shall gloriously prevail against all opposition, and
from which, with the assistance of the grace of GOD, we shall never suffer
our selves to be divided or withdrawn, but shall zealously and constantly
in our severall Vocations, endeavour with our Estates and Lives, the
pursuing and promoving thereof.

That which we have concluded concerning Uniformity in Religion between
both Kingdoms, is to be humbly offered to your Majestie from the
Commissioners of this Kingdom, for your Royall Consent and Ratification.
Although your Majestie was not pleased to vouchsafe us the presence of
your Commissioner, according to the supplication of the Commissioners or
the preceeding Generall Assembly, yet we have proceeded with as much
respect to your Majesties honour, and as much remembrance of our duty, as
if your Royall Person had been present in the mids of us: And we shall
still continue our Prayers for you, that GOD would graciously incline your
heart to the counsels of Truth and Peace, and grant unto your Majestie a
long and happy Raign, that we may live under you a peaceable and quiet
life, in all Godlinesse and Honestie.



_The Assemblies Answer to their Commissioners at_ London.


_Reverend and beloved Brethren,_

These sweet Fruits of your long continued Labours in the Work of the Lord
entrusted to you, brought to us at this time by these two of your number,
whom you were pleased to send, were received by us with no small joy and
rejoycing, as being, in great part, the satisfaction of our Souls desire,
in that so much longed for, so much prayed for happy Uniformity of these
Kirks and Kingdoms: And an evident Demonstration to us, that the Lord hath
not, even in this time of his seen and felt displeasure, so covered
himself with the cloud of his anger, that our Prayers should not passe
through.

The great and main difficulties through which the Lord hath carried this
Work, as we do acknowledge, ought mainly to be made use of, for the praise
and glory of his power, who is the great Worker of all our works for us;
So your overcoming of them is to us no small Demonstration of your zeal,
wisdom, and faithfulnesse, which without great Injurie both to the Lord
the prime Worker, and to you his instruments, we cannot but acknowledge,
hath been much manifested in the whole managing of this work in your
hands.

The full answer to all the particulars you write of in your Letters, we
leave to the Relation of those that come from you, and are now appointed
to return to you: And as with much thankfulnesse we acknowledge your
fidelity in what ye have done already; so we have again renewed your
Commission for the continuance of your Imployment there, for the
perfecting of the Work so happily begun: For the furthering whereof, as we
shall not be wanting in our prayers to GOD for his blessing upon your
labours, so for your help and assistance, we have appointed a commission
to sit at Edinburgh, to which at all occasions you may have your recourse,
as the exigence of the Work shall require.

How satisfactory that Directory of Worship presented to us by our Brethren
from you, was to us, we leave it rather to their relation at their return;
being ear and eye witnesses to the manifold expressions of our joy and
gladnesse, then offer to represent it to you in a Letter: The Act herewith
sent, and ordained to be prefixed unto the Directory, will sufficiently
declare our hearty approbation of it: Our judgement also concerning the
proportions of Government and Ordination, and our earnest desire to have
the Work of Uniformity promoved and perfected in that particular also,
will appear to you by the other Act which herewith you will receive: Our
zeal and desire to have that Work fully closed with so much harmonie as
becometh the work of GOD, will appear to you in our resolution and answer
to that particular in the point of Excommunication, concerning which you
write.

These particular differences hinted in the Assemblies Letter, for
uniformitie with that Kirk so much endeared to us, we have resolved to lay
aside, and have taken course for preserving harmonie amongst our selves,
whereof our Brethren will give you more particular account. Anent your
desire of _Mr Alexander Henderson_ his attending the Treatie, we are
confident ere this you have received our resolution.

Amidst the many difficulties wherewith it pleaseth the Lord to presse us,
as we thought it necessar to publish and send forth a Warning to all sorts
of Persons in this Kirk and Kingdom, concerning the present affliction of
this Nation, and their sins procuring the same; So we thought it incumbent
to us in duty, as the best Testimony which we can give at this present to
his Majesty, to remonstrate unto him faithfully The great and growing
dangers his Majesty is now under, and the causes thereof. This
Remonstrance we have sent to you, to be presented to his Majesty, by such
means, and at such time, as you who are there upon the place shall judge
fittest.

And now dear Brethren go on with cheerfulnesse in the Work of the Lord:
Let no discouragement or opposition make your heart to faint, or your
hands wax feeble: Perswade your self the Lords hand shall still be made
known toward his servants, and his indignation against his Enemies.
Remember the Work is his, who useth not to begin, but also to make and
end, and is abundantly able to supply all your need according to the
riches of his glory. Be confident therefore of this thing, that he who
hath begun this good Work by you, will also in due time accomplish it to
his own praise. To his gracious assistance we heartily recommend you.

Postscript.

_Edinburgh 13. Feb. 1645._

It is earnestly desired That the Directorie for Worship be sent to
Ireland, and that you recommend to the honourable Houses of the
Parliament, To think upon the best way for the establishment & practice of
it in that Kingdom. And that the like course may be taken with the
government, and other parts of the Uniformity, so soon as they shall be
agreed upon.

_Subscribed in name of the Generall Assembly of the Kirk of Scotland by
the Moderator of the Assembly._

The General Assembly Recommends to Presbyteries, To consider these matters
referred to their consideration by preceding Assemblies; and to report
their judgement therein to the next Assembly.



_The Generall Assembly Appoints the meeting of the next Assembly to be at
Edinburgh the first Wednesday of June, in the yeer 1646._



THE GENERALL ASSEMBLY MET AT _EDINBURGH_ JUNII 3. 1646.



Edinb. 4. Junii 1646. Sess. 2.



_The Kings Letter to the Assembly, presented by M._ Robert Douglas
_Minister at Edinburgh._


CHARLES R.

Right trustly and welbeloved, We greet you well. Having lately written to
Our Houses of Parliament at _Westminster_, and the Commissioners from Our
Kingdom of _Scotland_ at _London_, and likewise to the Committees of
Estates of that our Kingdom; Shewing Our great sense and grief for the sad
effects have flowed from the unhappy differences betwixt Us and Our
Subjects; with Our reall resolutions to comply with the desires of Our
Parliaments of both Kingdoms, and those entrusted by them for settling of
Trueth and Peace in all Our Dominions: And now being informed of your
meeting, We have thought fit hereby (since We could not conveniently send
a Commissioner) to give you the same assurances; And withall, that it
shall be Our constant endeavour to maintain Religion there, as it is
established, in Doctrine, Worship, and Church-government, and leave no
good means unassayed for setling an universall Peace in that our native
and ancient Kingdom, with the Reformation and Religion, and settling Peace
in _England_ and _Ireland_: And after the return of an answer to Our late
Message to Our Houses of Parliament heer, We shall more particularly
acquaint you, or your Commissioners, with Our further resolutions. In the
mean time, We seriously recommend Our selves and distracted condition of
Our Kingdoms, to your most earnest Prayers to God in our behalf, expecting
from you faithfulnesse in your severall Charges and Callings, with that
Loyaltie and obedience which becometh the Ministers of the Gospel. We bid
you very heartily farewell, from _New-castle_, the 28, of May 1646,

DIRECT.

For Our right trustie and welbeloved, The Moderatour and other Members of
the Generall Assembly of the Kirk of Our Kingdom of _Scotland_.



_6. Junii 1646. Antemeridiem._ Sess. 4.



_Act concerning the Registers and Acts of Provinciall Assemblies._


The Assembly recommends to Provinciall Assemblies, that hereafter they
cause read all their Acts, before the dissolving of every Assembly; And
that their Registers be written formally, and in a good hand writing, with
the severall Leafes or Pages thereof marked by ciphers according to their
number.



11. _Junii 1646. Antemeridiem_ Sess. 7.



_Act concerning the publike satisfaction of Married persons, for
Fornication committed before Marriage._


The Generall Assembly understanding that in many places the publike
scandals of Fornication committed before Marriage, are not taken notice of
and removed by publike confession according to the order of this Kirk;
Therefore for remedie thereof do Ordain, That all Married persons under
publike scandall of Fornication, committed before their Marriage (although
the scandall thereof hath not appeared before the Marriage) shall satisfie
publikely for that sin committed before their Marriage, their being in the
estate of Marriage notwithstanding, And that in the same manner as they
should have done if they were not Maried.



_13. Junii 1646. Antemeridiem._ Sess. 10.



_Ordinance for Excommunication of the Earle of Seafort._


The Generall Assembly having taken to their serious consideration, that
perfidious Band made and contrived lately in the North, under the name of
_An humble Remonstrance_, against our Nationall Covenant, and the League
and Covenant of the three Kingdoms; Which tendeth to the making of
division and fomenting of Jealousie within this and between both Kingdoms,
to the prolonging of these unnaturall Warrs, to the impeding of the
intended Uniformity in Religion, and to the subversion of all the happie
ends of our covenants: And finding that _George_ Earle of Seafort hes not
only most perfidiously himself subscribed the said wicked Band, contrary
to his solemne Oaths in the Covenants aforesaid, and most arrogantly,
owned the same under his owne hand writing in his letters to the Committee
of Estates, and to the Commissioners of the preceding Assemblie; But also
hes seduced and threatned others to subscribe that divisive Band, and to
joyne with him in prosecution of his treacherous and wicked designes,
therein masked with the pretences of Religion and libertie; boasting also
the pursuance of that his Remonstrance against all deadly the opposers
thereof, whether King or Parliament. And having also considered another
wicked and treacherous Band of Union which the said Earle formerly entred
into with that excommunicate Rebell _James Grahame_, after the sentence of
forfalture and the dreadfull sentence of excommunication were pronounced
against him, Oblieging himself therein under solomne Oaths to joyne with
that forfaulted Rebell against this Kirk and Kingdome, and to oppose all
their publike resolutions for pursuance of the happie ends of our said
Covenants. All which, with his vile reproachfull aspersions and most false
calumnies against this Kirk and State, and their publike and lawfull
endeavours and resolutions, with his other wicked and perfidious practises
at length discovered in the Proclamation of the Committee of Estates, and
the Declaration of the Commission of the Assembly against the said
perfidious Band and Remonstrance, being gravely pondered and considered;
Together with his base treachery to the Estates, being intrusted by them
with ample Comission, and encouraged and enabled for discharging thereof,
with Mony Ammunition and Arms in a good measure; Notwithstanding whereof
contrary to that great trust reposed in him. It is notour that not only he
did not joyne with the Forces raised for the defence of this Kingdome, But
rather on the contrary, actually joining himself and his Forces with that
excommunicate Rebel _James Grahame_, and these unnatural bloody Rebels his
followers, did beleager Invernesse, a Towne Garrisoned by the Estates for
the Defence of that part of the Country. And the Assembly, having also
found that fair means have been used for reclaiming of the said Earle from
that wicked and perfidious course, by publike Declarations and
Proclamations, and particular Letters sent to himself from those that had
power in that behalf, And that notwithstanding thereof and of Summonds
direct against him to answer to the premisses, often called, he doth not
appear, but still remains obstinate in his wicked courses. And after
mature deliberation having found his frequent fearful and grosse
perjuries, his perfidious and wicked conspiracies by Band and Oath, with
the publike Enemies of this Kirk and Kingdom, and his other treacherous
and wicked practises contemptuously and pertinaciously persisted into, To
be heinous offences against God, and high contempt of all Ecclesiastical
and Civil authority. Therefore the Assembly moved with the Zeal of God, do
without a contrary voice Decerne and Ordain the said _George_ Earle of
Seafort to be summarly excommunicate, and declared to be one whom Christ
commandeth to be holden by all and every one of the Faithful as an Ethnik
and Publicane, and appoints the sentence of excommunication to be
pronounced by Matter _Robert Blair_ Moderator in the east Kirk of this
Citie, upon the next Lords day, being the 14 of this Moneth; And that
thereafter publike intimation be made thereof upon a Sabbath day before
noone in all the Kirks of this Kingdom so soon as advertisement shall come
unto them.



_Enormities and Corruptions observed to be in the Ministery, with the
Remedies thereof._


ENORMITIES.

The first and main sin, reaching both to our personall carriage and
callings, we judge to be, Not studying how to keep Communion and
Fellowship with God in Christ, but walking in a naturall way without
imploying of Christ, or drawing vertue from him, to inable us unto
sanctification, and Preaching in spirit and power.

_In our Lives._

1. Much fruitlesse conversing in companie, and complying with the sins of
all sorts, not behaving our selves as becomes the men of God.

2. Great worldlinesse is to be found amongst us, minding and speaking most
about things of this life, being busied about many things, but forgetting
the main.

3. Slighting of Gods worship in their families, and therefore no cordiall
urging of it upon others: yea, altogether a wanting of it in some, if it
be credible.

4. Want of gravity in carriage and apparell, dissolutenesse in haire, and
shaking about the knees, lightnesse in the apparrell of their wives and
children.

5. Tippling and bearing companie in untimous drinking inn Tavernes and Ale
houses, or any where else, whereby the Ministerie is made vile and
contemptible.

6. Discountenancing of the godly; speaking ill of them, because of some
that are unanswerable to their profession.

7. The Sabbath not sanctified after Sermons, which maketh people think
that the Sabbath is ended with the Sermon.

8. There are also to be found amongst us, who use small and minced oaths.

9. Some so great strangers to Scripture, that except in their publike
Ministerie, though they read many things, yet they are little conversant
in the Scripture, and in meditation thereof. A dutie incumbent to all the
people of God.

_In our Callings._

1. Corrupt entry into the Ministrie in former times, and following the
course of defection, though forsaken, yet never seriously repented: as
also present entring into the Ministery, as to a way of living in the
world, and not as to a spirituall calling.

2. Helping in, and holding in of insufficient and suspected men, who
favour the things of this life and keeping the door straiter on them whom
God hath sealed, then upon these who have lesse evidence of the power of
grace and holinesse.

3. Partiality in favouring, and speaking for the scandalous, whether
Ministers or other persons, teaching them how to shift and delay censures.

4. Silence in the publike cause, not labouring to cure the disaffection of
people, not urging them to constancie and patience in bearing of publike
burdens, nor to forwardnesse in the publike Cause; whereby Malignants are
multiplied: yea some are so grosse herein, that even in publike Fasts
little or nothing is to be heard from them sounding this way.

5. Some account it a point of wisdome to speak ambiguously: some incline
to justifie the wicked cause, uttering words which favour of disaffection:
and all their complaining of the times, is in such a way as may steal the
hearts of people from liking of good Instruments in this work, and
consequently from Gods Cause: yea, some reading publike Orders, are ready
to speak against them in their private conferences.

6. Idlenesse, either in seldome Preaching, as once on The Lords day, or in
preparation for publike duties, not being given to reading and meditation:
others have but fits of paines, not like other Tradesmen continually at
their work.

7. Want of zeal, and love to the conversion of souls, not being weighted
with the want of successe in reclaiming of sinners, nor searching in
themselves the cause of not profiting, preaching _ex officio_; nor _ex
conscientia officii_.

8. Self-seeking in preaching, and a venting rather of their wit and skill,
then a Shewing foorth of the wisdome and power of God.

9. Lifelesnesse in preaching, not studying to be furnished by Christ with
power; and so the ordinance of God teacheth not to the conscience: and
thereto belongeth the not applying of the doctrine unto the auditory and
times.

10. The indiscreet curing of the indiscretion of pious people and
Ministers, whereby godlinesse hath gotten a deep wound, and profanitie
hath lifted up the head, contrary to that wise and gracious order set
foorth in the Generall Assembly holden at _Edinburgh_, 1641.

11. Little care to furnish our Armie, either abroad or at home with
Ministers; One of our grievous sins and causes of our calamity.

12. Last, it is to be feared that Ministers in secret are negligent to
wrestle in Prayer, for a blessing to be poured out upon their labours,
contenting themselves with their publike performances.

_Remedies._

1. First, That Presbyteries make great conscience to have all vacant
places within their several bounds filled with godly and able men, where
ever they be to be found: and that under pretence of being a helper, or
second to another, none be taken in, but such as are able for the same
charge.

2. Whereas it is known, that private tryall in Presbyteries are for the
most part perfunctorious, the Brethren are hereby exhorted to be more
serious, and faithfull herein, as they will be answerable to Christ, the
Chief Shepherd: and in a way previous thereto, that Brethren be free, in
loving admonition one of another secretly, from time to time; and that
whosoever keeps not the Presbyterie or Synod, after grave admonitions may
come under further censures.

3. That accuracie be used as visitation of Kirks, and that the Elders one
by one (the rest being removed) be called in, and examined upon oath upon
the Ministers behaviour in his calling and conversation.

4. That course be taken to divide Congregations in parts, and by the help
not only of Elders in their severall parts, but of neighbors also, the
evils, and neglect of persons and families, may be found out and remedied.

5. That every Minister be humbled for his former failings, and make his
peace with God, that the more effectually he may preach repentance, and
may stand in the gap, to turne away the Lords wrath: runing between the
Porch and the Altar, fighing and crying for all the abominations of the
land.

6. Speciall care would be had, that Ministers have their conversation in
heaven, mainly minding the things of God, and exercising faith for drawing
life out of Jesus Christ the fountain of life, arming themselves thereby
with power against the contagion and wickednesse of the world.

7. Care would be had of godly conference in Presbyteries, even in time of
their refreshment, and the Moderator is to look to it, that good matter be
furnished thereto.

8. It is also very necessary for every Minister that would be fruitfull in
the work of the Lord, to bring home the Word of God to his own heart and
conscience, by Prayer and Meditation, both before and after the publike
ordinance.

9. Use would be made of the roll of the Parish, not onely for examination,
but also for considering the severall conditions and dispositions of the
people, that accordingly they may be admonished, and particularly prayed
for by the Ministers in secret.

10. It is very expedient that Ministers have more communion among
themselves for their mutuall stirring up, and strengthening of their hands
in the Lords work, and rectifying of these who are not incorrigible.

11. That Ministers in all sorts of companie labour to bee fruitfull, as
the Salt of the earth, seasoning them they meet with, not only forbearing
to drink healths (Satans snare, leading to excesse) but reproving it in
others.

12. All Ministers would be carefull to cherish the smoaking flax of weak
beginnings in the wayes of God, and ought couragiously to oppose all
mockers and revilers of the godly.

13. As at all times, so specially now when the Lord is calling us all to
an account; it becomes the Ministers of Christ, with all diligence and
faithfulnesse, to improve their Ministerie to the utmost, to be instant in
season and out of season; yea, even singally to imploy their time in
private, in reading of, and meditating on Scripture, that the word of God
may dwell plentifullie in them.

14. That the providing the Armies with Ministers be preferred to any
congregation, and these who are appointed to attend the same, and are
deficient, be without delay severelie censured according to the Act of the
General Assembly; And that all Ministers not only in publike, pray for our
Armies, specially these that are to incounter with the bloody enemie
within the land, but also continually bear them up before the Lord, that
their lives being reformed, their hearts and hands may be strengthned, and
their undertaking at last blessed of GOD; with successe.

15. That beside all other scandals, silence or ambiguous speaking in the
publike cause, much more detracting and disaffected speaches be
seasonablie censured; and to this effect, all honest hearted Brethren
would firmlie unite themselves in the Lord, the younger honouring the
elder, and the elder not despising the younger.

16. And finallie, both for the corruption of the Ministerie and remedies
thereof, we refer the brethren to the Act of the Generall Assemblie at
_Edinburgh_ 1596. revived in the late Assemblie at _Glasgow_ 1638. to bee
found in the printed Act concerning the same.

_The Generall Assembly Ordains the Enormities above specified to be tryed
and restrained, and that the Remedies thereof for that purpose be
seriously observed and practised: Recommending especially to Presbyteries
and Provinciall Assemblies, that use be made of the same in visitation of
Kirks and tryall of Presbyteries._



_Commission of the Approbation of the proceedings of the preceding
Assembly._


The General Assembly having heard the report of the Committee appointed to
consider and examine the proceedings of the Commissioners of the late
General Assembly holden at _Edinburgh_ in the yeer 1646. And after serious
consideration thereof, finding that the whole Acts, Proceedings, and
Conclusions of the saids Commissioners, contained in the Register
subscribed by Mr _Andrew Ker_ their Klerk, and by Mr _Robert Ramsay_
Moderator to the said Committee, do declare much Wisdom, Diligence,
Vigilancie, and commendable Zeal; And that the said Commissioners have
orderly and formally proceeded in every thing, according to their
Commission: Do therefore ratifie and approve the said whole Acts,
Proceedings, and Conclusions of the Commissioners of the said Assembly.



_15. Junii 1646. Postmeridiem._ Sess. 11.



_Act for joyning of the Presbyteries in_ Orkney _and_ Zetland _to the
Provincial of_ Cathnes.


The General Assembly, considering that the Presbyterie of _Kirkwall_ in
_Orkney_ and the Presbyterie of _Schalloway_ in _Zetland_ have never met
in any Provincial Assembly, where through great abuses and disordres are
there committed, Therefore the Assembly hereby joyns the said two
Presbyteries to the Provincial of _Cathnes_ and _Suterland_, And appoints
all the Ministers and Elders of the said Presbyteries hereafter, to meet
at the said Provincial Assembly, and to have place to reason and vote
therein as Members of the said Provincial. And suchlike ordains the saids
two Presbyteries to be of subordinate Jurisdiction to the said Provincial
Assembly, Declaring hereby, that the said Provincial shall consist of the
Presbyteries of _Cathnes, Sutherland, Orknay_, and _Zetland_ in all time
coming. And appoints them to meet onely once in the yeer, in respect of
their great distance and interjection of seas; And that the first meeting
be at _Thurso_ in _Cathnes_ upon the third Tuesday of August next, and
thereafter as shall be appointed by the said Provinciall Assembly.



_17. Junii 1646. Postmeridiem._ Sess. 14.



_Act concerning Expectants Preaching in Publike._


The General Assembly discharges any Person to preach in publike under the
name and notion of an Expectant or under any other pretence whatsoever,
except such as shall be tryed and found qualified according to the Acts of
the General Assembly; Recommending to Presbyteries and Provincials to take
special notice thereof, and to censure the Transgressors accordingly.



_Act for censuring the Complyers with the publike Enemies of this Kirk and
Kingdom._


The General Assembly taking to their serious consideration the great and
scandalous provocation and grievous defection from the publike Cause,
which some have beene guiltie of, by complying with the Rebels the publike
Enemies of this Kirk and Kingdom: And judging it a dutie incumbent to them
to bring such notorious Offenders to publike satisfaction, that the Wrath
of God may be averted, and the publike scandal removed; Do therefore
Require, Decern, and Ordain, that such as after lawfull tryall shall be
found to have been in actuall Rebellion and to have carried charge with
the Rebels, To have accepted Commissions for raising Horse or Foot unto
them, To have been seducers of others to joyn in that Rebellion, To be the
Penners or contrivers of _James Grahames_ Proclamation for indicting a
pretended Parliament, or of any other his Proclamations or Declarations,
To have beene prime Instruments in causing publish the said Proclamations
and Declarations; That all and every one of such offenders shal humbly
acknowledge their offence upon their knees, first before the Presbyterie,
and thereafter before the Congregation upon a Sabbath, in some place
before the Pulpit; And in the mean time that they be suspended from the
Lords Supper: And in case they do not satisfie in manner foresaid, that
they be processed with Excommunication. And likewise Ordains; that such as
shall be found to have procured Protections from the Rebels, To have
execute their orders, To have invited them to their houses, To have given
them intelligence, To have drunk _James Grahames_ health or to be guilty
of any other such grose degrees of complyance, shall acknowledge their
offences publikely before the Congregation, and be suspended from the
Communion, and while they doe the same. And further Decernes and Ordains,
that all persons in any Ecclesiastick office guilty of any degrees of
complyance before mentioned, shall be suspended from their office & all
exercise thereof, for such time as the quality of the offence and
condition of the offenders shall be found to deserve; And the Assembly
hereby declares than Presbyteries have a latitude and liberty to agreadge
the censures above specified, according to the degrees and circumstances
of the offences; And gives in like maner the same latitude and liberty to
the Commissioners of this Assembly for publike affairs, who have also
power to try and censure the offenders in manner above exprest, and to
take account of the diligence of Presbyteries thereintill.



_Act concerning_ James Grahams _Proclamation._


The General Assembly having considered a copie of a Proclamation published
by order of that excommunicat Traitor _James Graham_, for indicting of a
pretended Parliament, and finding the same to be full of Blasphemies
against the solemn League and Covenant of the three Kingdoms, and of vile
aspersions of Treason, Rebellion, and Sedition most falsly and impudently
imputed to the Estates, and most faithfull and loyall Subjects of this
Kingdome: Doe therfore declare, That such as have bin prim Instruments of
the publishing of that or the Proclamation and Declaration, deserve the
highest censures of the Kirks, unlesse they make humble confession of
their offence publickely, in such manner as is prescribed by this
Assembly; And humbly Recommends to the Committee of Estates to take some
course for their exemplary civill punishment, and that some publike note
of ignominie be put upon that Proclamation as their Honors shall think
meet.



_18. Junii 1646. Antermeridiem._ Sess. Ult.



_Act against loosing of Ships and Barks upon the Lords Day._


The Generall Assembly understanding how much the Lords day is profaned by
Skippers and other Seafaring men, Do therefore discharge and inhibite all
Skippers and Sailers to begin any voyage on the Lords day, or to loose any
Ships, Barks or Boats out of Harbery or Road upon that day, And who shall
do in the contrary hereof, shall be censured as profaners of the Sabbath:
Recommending to Presbyteries and others whom it may concerne to see both
of the Acts of Assembly and Parliament made for censuring and punishing
profanation of the Lords day, to be put in execution against them.



_Act anent Children sent without the Kingdom._


Whereas divers Children have been sent without the Kingdom to be bred
abrord, and have been or in time coming may be exposed to the temptations
of seducers, and drawn away from the Trueth established and professed
within this Church to errour of Poperie, or other Sects and Heresies:
Therefore the Assembly Ordains, that the Parents or Friends of Children
and Minors, shall before they send them without the Kingdom, first
acquaint the Presbytery where they reside, that they may have their
Testimoniall directed to the Presbytery or Classe within the Kingdom of
_France_, or _England_, or _Ireland_, and at the time of these Childrens
return from any of the saids Kingdoms, to report ane Testimoniall from the
Presbytery or Synode where they lived without the Kingdom of their
breeding there (and to shew the same to the Presbytery within the Kingdom
who gave them a Testimoniall at their way going). Likeas the Assembly
Ordains all Presbyteries to try if any Children have been sent to Popish
Schooles or Colledges Without the Kingdom; And if any be found, that their
names be given to the Presbytery or Commissioners of the Assembly, that
the same may be presented to the Honourable Lords of Secret Councell, or
Committee of Estates, that their Lordships may be humbly desired by their
authority to recal them, that after return to this Kingdom course may be
taken according to the former Ordinances of Generall Assemblies, for their
breeding in the true Religion.



_Overtures presented to the Assembly._


That correspondence be keeped among Presbyteries constantly by letter
without prejudice of personall correspondence when need requires, whereby
one Presbyterie may understand what many are doing, and they may be
mutually assisting each to other.

II. That for the better breeding of young men to the Ministerie who are
not able to furnish themselves in charges to attend in the Universities,
that the Presbyteries where they reside appoint some to direct their
studies.

III. That it be recommended to all the Universities to condiscend upon the
best Overtures for the most profitable teaching of Grammar and Phylosophy,
and as they may meet at the Commission of the Generall Assembly to make
the matter ripe for the next Assembly.

_The Assembly approves these Overtures, and recommends accordingly._

IV. That to the intent the knowlege of God in Christ may be spread through
the Highlands and Islands (for in lack whereof the land hath smarted in
the late troubles) these courses be taken: 1. Let an order be procured,
that all Gentlemen who are able, at least send their eldest sons to be
bred in the Inland. 2. That a Ministerie be planted amongst them, and for
that effect that Ministers and expectants who can speak the Irish language
be sen to imploy their talents in these parts, and that the Kirks there be
provided as other Kirks in this Kingdome. 3. That Scots Schools be erected
in all Parishes there, according to the Act of Parliament, where
conveniently they can be had. 4. That Ministers and ruling Elders that
have the Irish language be appointed to visit these parts.


    _The Assembly approves this Overture, and recommends this purpose
    to further consideration, that more Overtures may be prepared
    thereanent against the next Assembly._


V. That for keeping the Universities pure, and provoking the Professors of
Divinitie to great diligence, each Professor in the Universities of this
Church and Kingdom, bring with him or send with the Commissioner who comes
to the General Assembly, ane perfit and well written copie of his
Dictates, to be revised by the General Assembly, or such as they shall
appoint for that work ilk year.


    _The Assembly continues the determination of a constant and
    perpetuall order herein untill the next Assembly, but in the mean
    time desires the professors of Divinity to present to the next
    Assembly their Dictates of Divinity whereof the professors present
    are to give intimation to the professors absent._


VI. The great burdens Intrants undergoes when they enter the Ministery,
which holds many of them long at under, would crave the Assemblies
judgement and authority, that Ministers Manses and Stipends may be all
made free to the Intrant.


    _The Assembly refers and recommends to the Commissioners for
    publike affairs to seek redresse in this matter from the Honorable
    Houses of Parliament, and to consider of some fitting Overtures to
    be presented to their Honours for that effect._



_Renovation of the Commission for the publike affairs of the Kirk._


The Generall Assembly taking to their consideration that in respect the
great work of Uniformity in Religion in all his Majesties Dominions is not
yet perfited, (though by the Lords blessing there is a good progresse made
in the same) there is a necessity of renewing the Commissions granted
formerly for prosecuting and perfiting that great work, doe therefore
renew the power and Commission granted for the publike affairs of the Kirk
by the Generall Assemblies held in _S. Andrews_ in the year 1642. and in
_Edinburgh_ 1643. 1644. and 1645. unto the persons following, _viz._
Masters _Alexander Henderson, Robert Douglas, Willliam Colvil, William
Bennet, George Gillespie, John Oswald, John Adamson, William Dalgleish,
David Calderwood, James Fleeming, Robert Ker, John Dalyell, James Wright,
__ John Knox, Adam Penman, Robert Lightoun, Alexander Dickeson, Patrick
Fleeming, John Hay, Richard Dickeson, Thomas Vasse, David Drummund,
Alexander Somervill, Robert Eliot, Robert Blair, James Bruce, Robert
Traile, Samuel Rutherfurd, Alexander Colvall, Walter Greg, Alexander
Balfour, George Thomson, John Mencreiff, John Smith, Patrick Gillespie,
John Duncan, James Sibbald, Alexander Casse, John Hume, Alexander Kinneir,
Walter Swintoun, Robert Knox, William Penan, James Guthrie, Thomas
Donaldson, William Jameton, Thomas Wilkie, John Knox, Robert Murray, John
Freebairn, Robert Wright, David Auchterlonie, William Maior, Samuel
Justein, John Leirmont, Andrew Lauder, James Irving, Alexander Turnbull,
James Bonar, William Adair, John Neve, Patrik Colvil, Matthew Birsbane,
John Hamiltoun, Allan Ferguson, Robert Ramsay, Geo. Young, David Dickson,
Robert Bailie, James Nasmith, John Lindsay, John Weir, Evan Cameron, James
Affleck, John Robison, Andrew Eliot, Silvester Lambie, Lawrence Skinner,
William Rate, David Campbel, Andrew Cant, William Douglas, David Lindsay,
Gilbert Anderson, Alexander Garrioch, William Jaffray, Thomas Caw, William
Campbell, Walte Stewart_ Ministers; And _Archibald_ Marquesse of Argle,
_John_ Eearle of Crawfurd-Lindsay, _William_ Earle Marshall, _William_
Earle of Glencairn, _John_ Earle of Cassils, _Charles_ Earle of
Dumfermling, _James_ Earle of Tullibardine, _Francis_ Earle of Bacleugh,
_John_ Earle of Lauderdale, _William_ Earle of Lothian, _William_ Earle of
Lanerk, _Archibald_ Lord Angus, _John_ Lord Balmerino, _Robert_ Lord
Burleigh, _John_ Master of Yesteir, Sir _Patrick Hepburn_ of Waughtoun,
Sir _John Hope_ of Craighall, Sir _Archibald Johnston_ of Wariston, Sir
_David Hume_ of Wedderburn, Sir _Robert Innes_ of that ilk, Sir _William
Baily_ of Lemington, Sir _John Muncreiffe_ of that ilk, _James Macdougal_
of Garthland, _Patrick Cockburn_ of Clarkington, Sir _Hugh Campbel_ of
Cesnock, Sir _William Cunningham_ of Cunninghamhead, _John Hume_ of
Blackader, Sir _James Dundas_ of Arniston, _Alex Forbes_ Tutor of
Pitsligo, _Mr Geo. Winrham_ of Libberton, _David Weemes_ of Fingask, Mr
_Francis Hay_ of Balhousie, _Alex. Brodie_ of that ilk, _Mr Alex. Colvill_
of Blair, _Geo. Dundas_ of Dudiston, _William Moor_ of Glanderston, Sir
_James Nicolson_ of Colbrandspaith, _John Edgar_ of Wedderlie, _William
Hume_ of Lenthill, _James Ruchhead, Laurence Henderson_ and _James Stuart_
Bailes of Edinburgh, _George Porterfield_ Provest of Glasgow, _Wil. Hume_
there, _Ro. Arnot_ Provest of Perth, _John Semple_ Provest of Dumbarton,
_John Kennedie_ Provest of Air, _Mr David Weems, Geo. Gardine, John
Johnstoun, Tho. Paterson, Tho. White, John Sleigh_ Elders. Giving unto
them full power and Commission To do all and every thing for prosecuting,
advancing, perfecting, and bringing the said work of Uniformity in
Religion in all His Majesties Dominions to a happy conclusion, conform to
the former Commissions granted by preceding Assemblies thereanent. And to
that effect appoints them, or any seventeen of them, whereof thirteen
shall be Ministers, To meet at Edinburgh the 19 of this Moneth, and
thereafter upon the second Wednesdais of August, November, Februar and May
next to come, and upon any other day and in any other place they shall
think meet. And further, renews to the persons before named, the power
contained in the Act of the said Assembly 1643. Intituled, _A reference to
the Commission anent the persons designed to repair to the Kingdom of_
England; As also the power contained in two several Acts of the said
Assembly 1644. Sess. 6 made _against secret disaffecters of the Covenant_,
and _for sending Ministers to the Armie_, with full power to them to treat
and determine in the matter aforesaid, and in all others matters referred
unto them by this Assembly, as fully and freely as if the same were here
particularly expressed, and with as ample power as any Commission of
former General Assemblies hath had, or been in use of before; They being
alwayes for their whole proceedings comptable to, and censurable by the
next Generall Assembly.



_Renovation of the Commission for prosecuting the Treaty for Uniformity
in_ England.


The Generall Assembly, Taking to their consideration that the Treatie of
Uniformity in Religion in all His Majesties Dominions is not yet
perfected, Therefore renews the power & Commission granted by preceding
Assemblies for prosecuting that Treatie, unto these persons after named,
_viz._ Mr. _Alexander Henderson_, Mr. _Robert Douglas_, Mr. _Samuel
Rutherfurd_, Mr. _Robert Bailie_, Mr. _Geo. Gillespie_ Ministers; And
_John_ Earle of Lauderdale, _John_ Lord Balmerino, and Sir _Archibald
Johnston_ of Wariston Elders; Authorising them with full power to
prosecute the said Treatie of Uniformity with the Honourable Houses of the
Parliament of _England_, and the Reverend Assembly of Divines there, or
any Committees appointed by them: And to do all and every thing which may
advance, perfect and bring that Treatie to an happy conclusion, conform to
the former Commissions given thereanent.



The Assemblies Answer To The Kings Maiestie.


_May it please your Majestie,_

Having received your Majesties Letter with thankfulnesse, we thought it
our dutie to send some of our number to wait upon your Majestie and
present our humble desires more particularly then at this time could be
expressed by writ; And we are confident your Majestie will interprete our
freedom and plain dealing by them, to be a reall testimonie of our
unfained affection, who have constantly laboured to approve our selves in
all fidelity to our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, and in all loyaltie to
your Majestie; And are resolved to walk still after the same rule in our
severall stations and vocations, continuing our Prayers for you, that God
may multiply all sorts of Mercies upon your Royall Person and Posterity,
and more and more incline your heart to the speedie following of the
Counsels of Trueth and Peace and grant unto your Majestie along and happy
Reign, that we may live under you a peaceable and quiet life, in all
godlinesse and honesty.

_Edinburgh, 18. Junii 1646._

_Subscribed in name of the Nationall Assembly of the Kirk of_ Scotland _by
the Moderator._



_The Assemblies Letter to the Right Honorable the Lords and Commons in the
Parliament of_ England _Assembled at_ Westminster.


_Right Honourable,_

The report of the great things which the Lord hath done for your Honours,
hath gone forth into many Lands, and it becometh us least of any either to
smother or extenuate the same; We desire to be enlarged in the admiration
of the Power & Mercie of God the Author, & to diminish nothing of that
praise that is due unto you as Instruments. When the Lord set your Honours
upon the Bench of Judgment, both the Kirk and Common wealth of _England_
were afflicted with intestine and bosome evills, the cure whereof could
not but be very difficult; because they were not only many, but for the
most part Universall and deeply rooted, sheltred under the shadow of
Custome and Law, and supported with all the wisdom and strength of the
Malignant and Prelatical partie; who rather chose to involve the Land in
an unnatural and bloody Warre, then to fail of their ambitious and
treacherous designes, against Religion, the priviledges of Parliament, and
the Lawes and Liberties of the Kingdom: Neither hath that miserable crew
been wanting to their owne ends but for many years together hath
desperatly pursued their resolutions in Arms; And was likely to have
prevailed, if the Lord had not put himself in the breach, and furnished
you with much Patience, Wisdom, Courage, and Constancy, in the midst of
many difficulties and distresses; and at last with so glorious and
triumphing a successe, that the Enemy hath fallen every where before you,
and there is none left to appear against you. These things as they be the
matter of our refreshment and of your glory, so doe they lay a strong
obligation upon your Honours to walke humbly with your God, and to improve
the power he hath put into your hands for the advancement of the Kingdom
of his Son, and bringing forth of the head-Stone of his House. The slow
progresse of the work of God hath alwaies been the matter of our sorrow,
which is now increased by the multiplication of the spirits of errour and
delusion, that drowne many souls into perdition, and so strengthen
themselves that they shall afterward be laboured against, with more pains
then successe, if a speedy and effectuall remedie be not provided. And
therefore as the servants of the living God, who not onely send up our
supplications daily for you, but have hazarded our selves in your defence,
We do earnestly beseech your Honors in the bowels of Jesus Christ, to give
unto him the glory that is due unto his Name, by a timous establishing all
his Ordinances in the full integritie and power thereof, according to the
League and Covenant. As long as the Assembly of Divines was in debate, &
an enemy in the fields, we conceived that these might be probable grounds
of delay, which being now removed out of the way, we do promise to our
selves from your Wisdom, Faithfulnesse, and Zeale, the perfiting of that
which was the main ground of our engagement, and a chief matter of
consolation unto us in all our sad and heavy sufferings, from the hand of
a most cruell Enemy. We know that there is a generation of men who retard
the work of Uniformity, and foment jealousies betwixt the Nations,
studying if it were possible, to break our bands asunder; But we trust,
that he that sits in the Heaven will Laugh, and that the Lord shall have
them in derision, that he shall speak to them in his wrath and vex them in
his sore displeasure, and notwithstanding of all that they can do, set his
King upon his holy hill of Sion, and make these Nations happy in the sweet
fruits of Unity in Truth and Peace. The searcher of hearts knows that we
desire to hold fast the band of our Covenant, as sacred and inviolable;
being perswaded that the breach of so solemne a tye could not but hasten
down upon our heads a curse and vengeance from the righteous Judge of the
world, and involve these Kingdoms in sader calamities then they have yet
seen, And we abhor to entertain any other thought of you: Nay we are
confident that your Honours will seriously indeavour the prosecution of
all these ends designed in the Covenant, and the bringing these Nations
unto the neerest conjunction both in judgement and affection, especially
in these things that concern Religion, which with out all controversie, is
the readiest and surest way of attaining and securing the Peace and
Prosperity of both Kingdoms.

_Edinburgh 18 Junii 1646._

Subscribed in name of the Generall Assembly by the Moderator.



_The Assemblies Letter to the Right Honorable the Lord_ Major Aldermen,
_and_ Common-Councel _of the City of_ London.


Your late and seasonable testimony given to the Truth of the Gospel, and
your affection to the Peace of the Kingdoms, manifested in your humble
Remonstrance and Petition to the Honorable Houses of Parliament, hath so
revived the remembrance of your former Faith and Zeal, and proclaimed you
the worthy seed of so noble ancestors in that famous City, As we cannot
but acknowledge with all thankfulnesse the grace of God bestowed on you,
and stirre you up to take notice, how since you were precious in the Lords
sight, you have been ever Honurable, The Lord hath loved you, given men
for you, and people for your life: What an honour was it in the dayes of
old, when the fire of the Lord was in _Zion_, and his furnace in your
_Jerusalem_ (even in Queen _Maries_ dayes) that there were found in you
men that loved not their lives unto the death? What a glory in after time,
when Satan had his Throne and Antichrist his Seat in the midst of you,
that there were still found not a few that kept their Garments clean? But
the greatest praise of the good hand of God upon you hath been in this,
That amidst the many Mists of Errour and Heresie which have risen from the
bottomlesse pit, to bespot the face and darken the glory of the Church,
(while the Bride is a making ready for the Lamb) you have held the Trueth,
and most piously endeavoured the setling of Christ upon his Throne. We
need not remember how zealous you have been in the Cause of God, nor how
you have laid out your selves and estates in the maintenance thereof, nor
how many acknowledgements of the same you have had from the Honourable
Houses, nor how precious a remembrance will be had of you in after ages
for your selling of all to buy the Pearl of price: We only at this time do
admire, and in the inward of our hearts do blesse the Lord for your right
and deep apprehensions of the great and important matters of Christ in his
Royall Crown; and of the Kingdoms in their Union, while the Lord maketh
offers to bring our Ship (so much afflicted and tolled with tempest) to
the safe Harbour of Trueth and Peace. Right memorable is your Zeal against
Sects and Sectaries; your care of Reformation, according to the word of
God, and the example of the best Reformed Churches; your earnest
endeavours and noble adventures, for preserving of the rights and
priviledges of Parliament, and Liberties of the Kingdomes, Together with
his Majesties just power and greatnesse; and your high profession, that it
is not in the power of any humane authority to discharge or absolve you
from adhearing unto that our (so solemnly sworn) League and Covenant, or
to enforce upon you any sense contrary to the letter of the same, Besides
your other good services done unto the Lord and to us, in the
strengthening of the hands of the reverend Assembly of Divines, and of our
Commissioners in their asserting of the government of Christ, (which the
more it be tried will be ever found the more precious Truth), and
vindicating of the same from the usurpation of man, and contempt of the
wicked. These all as they are so many testimonies of your Pietie,
Loyaltie, and undaunted resolution to stand for Christ; So are they and
shall ever be so many obligations upon us your Brethren, to esteem highly
of you in the Lord, to bear you on our brests before him night and day,
and to contribute our best endeavours, and to improve all opportunities
for your encouragement. And now we beseech you in the Lord, Honorable and
welbeloved, go on in this your strength, and in the power of his might who
hath honoured you to be faithful, stand fast in that liberty wherewith
Christ hath made you free; And in the pursuance of this truth, we are
confident, as you have, so you will never cease to study the Peace and
neerer conjunction of the Kingdoms, knowing that a threefold cord is not
easily broken. Now the Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God even our Father,
which hath loved and honoured you, and given you everlasting consolation,
& good help through grace, comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every
good word and work.

_Edinburgh 18 Iunii 1646._

Subscribed in name of the General Assembly by the Moderator.



_The Assemblies Letter to the right Reverend the Assembly of Divines in
the Kirk of_ England _assembled at_ Westminster.


_Much Honoured and right Reverend._

Amongst other fruits of this our precious liberty, after such dissipation
by Sword and Pestilence, to meet again, we account it not the least, to
have the opportunity of making a publike Declaration of our earnest
affection to all our brethren of that Nation, and especially your selves
of the Reverend Assembly at _Westminster_. When we were lately in a very
low condition, we may say that our own sufferings and fears, although
imbittered with the sense of the Lords displeasure against our luke
warmneese and unfaithfulnesse; yet they did not so take up our heart, but
that room was left to congratulate with the Lords people there in all
their successes, and to condole with them in all their dangers; And if at
any time any here seemed to be more jealous then godly jealousie would
allow, we know not how it can be imputed to any thing else, but to the
vehemencie of ardent affection, and impatient desire to have our brethren
there and us joyned neerer to Christ, and neerer to one another in all his
Ordinances; and especially is Presbyterial Government, so well warranted
by the Word, and approven by experience of our own and other reformed
Churches; Wherein your long and unwearied endeavours have been blessed
with a large increase, which yet hath proved still a seed unto a further
and more glorious expected harvest. There could not be wished by mortal
men a fairer opportunity then is cast in your laps, being invited and
charged by so high an authority, to give so free and publike a testimony
to those truths, which formerly many of the Lords precious ones by tongue
and pen, by tears and blood have more privately asserted; The smallest of
Christs truths (if it be lawful to call any of them small) is of greater
moment, then all the other businesses that ever have been debated since
the beginning of the world to this day; But the highest of honours and
heaviest of burdens is put upon you, to declare out of the sacred records
of Divine Truth, what is the prerogitive of the Crown and extent of the
Scepter of Jesus Christ, what bounds are to be set between Him ruling in
his House, and powers established by God on Earth, how and by whom his
House is to be governed, and by what wayes a restraint is to be put on
those who would pervert his Truth, and subvert the faith of many. No doubt
mountains of oppositions arise, and gulfs of difficulties open up
themselves in this your way; But you have found it is God that girdeth you
with strength and maketh your way perfect and plain before you, who hath
delivered, and doth deliver, and will yet deliver. We need not put you in
minde that as there lyeth at this time a strict eye on all, so in a
special manner both you and we are ingaged to interpose our selves between
God and these Kingdomes; between the two Nations, between the King and the
People, for averting of deserved wrath, for continuing and increasing of a
well grounded Union, for procuring as far as in us lyeth a right settling
of Religion and Church-Government; That when we shall sleep with our
fathers the Posterity here and abroad may be reaping the fruits of our
labours.

We are fully assured of your constant and sedulous promoving of this
blessed Work, and of the Lords assisting and carrying you on therein: And
are confident that your late experience and present sense of the great
danger and fearfull confusion flowing from the rife and grouth of Sects
and Sectaries not suppressed, hath stirred up in your hearts most fervent
desires, and careful endeavours for remedying the same, wherein we exhort
you to continue and abound; knowing that your labours shall not be in vain
in the Lord, to whose rich grace we commend you, and the work in your
hands.

_Edinburgh 18 Juny 1646._

Subscribed in name of the General Assembly by the Moderator.



_Recommendation to Presbyteries and Provincial Assemblies._


1. The Assembly recommends to the several Presbyteries and Provincial
Assemblies, to consider the interests of particular congregations, in the
calling, and admission of Ministers, with all these questions that usually
fall out upon that occasion; And to report their opinions to the next
Assembly, with some fit Overtures for preventing all contests in that
matter.

2. The Assembly recommends to Presbyteries and Provincial Assemblies to
consider all the matters referred by preceding Assemblies to the
consideration of Presbyteries, And to report their opinions therein to the
next Assembly.



_Act for a publike Fast before the next Assembly._


The Assembly having considered an Act of the Assembly 1644. _Sess. Ult._
enjoyning a publike Fast to be keeped in all the Kirks of the City where
the General Assembly holds upon the first day of the meeting of the
Assembly; And finding some inconveniencies therein, Therefore at this time
until the matter be further considered, Appoints a publike Fast and
Humiliation for the Lords blessing to the meeting of the next Assembly, to
be universally observed in all the congregations of this Kirk upon the
Sabbath next except one preceeding the said next Assembly; The exercises
for the members of the Assembly at their first meeting, being still
observed according to the ancient and laudable practise of this Kirk, This
appointment not withstanding.



_The Assembly appoints the meeting of the next General Assembly to be at
Edinburgh upon the first Wednesday of August 1647._



THE GENERALL ASSEMBLY, AT _EDINBURGH_ 4. AUGUST. 1647.



August. 16. 1647 Postmeridiem. Sess. 2.



_Act allowing the half of the Ministers in the Presbyterie of_ Zetland
_only, with their Ruling Elders, to keep the Provincial Assembly._


The General Assembly, Understanding that the whole Members of the
Presbyterie of _Zetland_, joyned to the Provincial of _Caithnes_ and
_Sutherland_ upon weighty considerations by the preceeding Assembly,
cannot be by present at the meetings of that Provincial, without great
prejudice to the particular Congregations within that Presbyterie, and
many other inconveniences; That Isle being of great distance from Land,
and the passage from and to the same being uncertain and dangerous: Doe
therefore Declare and Ordaine, That the whole Ministers and Elders of the
Presbyterie of _Zetland_ shall not be tyed hereafter to come to meetings
of their said Provincial; But that the half of the number of the Ministers
with their Ruling Elders, shall be onely oblieged to keep the meetings of
the said Provincial Assembly in time coming.



_20. August 1647. Antemeridiem._ Sess. 15.



_A Declaration, and Brotherly Exhortation of the General Assembly of the
Church of_ Scotland, _to their Brethren of_ England.


The conscience of our dutie to God obliging us to give a testimony to his
Truth, and to the Kingdom of his Sonne Jesus Christ, now so much resisted
and opposed by many, and so little owned by others: The laudable custome
and example of correspondency between Neighbouring Churches, exhorting,
encouraging, and (in case of publike scandal) admonishing in love one
another, as well as single Brethren ought to admonish one another in love,
in the case of private offence: Our neerer relation and more special
affection to our Brethren of _England_, making us to sympathize with them
in their danger and affliction as our own, both Kingdomes being united as
one entire Body in one Covenant, for pursuing the common cause and ends
therein expressed: Yea, common reason and experience it self teaching us
that we have no cause to conceive our Religion, the liberties of this
Church, or our selves to be in a condition of safety, when ever the
enemies of our Religion and Liberties are growing to a prevalency in the
Neighbour Kingdom. Any one of these considerations, much more all of them
together, cry aloud upon us to break our silence in this present Juncture
of Affaires; yet we hope to expresse our selves both concerning the
present Dangers and present Duties, as in a conscionable and Brotherly
freedome, so in, a fair and in offensive way; for we have no pleasure nor
purpose to provoke any Person or Party whatsoever, not to encrease, but to
endeavour the allaying and composing of the present unhappy differences.
If any shall offend at our discharging our conscience & doing our duty,
yet we shall rather chose to take our hazard of that, then of displeasing
God by neglect of duty. But we hope better things, then to be
mis-understood, or mis-interpreted by such as desire a candide
interpretation of their own actions or expressions.

First of all, whatsoever the present discouragements, difficulties or
dangers are, or whatsoever for the future they may be, we cannot but
commemorate to the glory of God, and we doubt not it shall be remembred to
his glory in the Church throughout all ages, How great a salvation his
Mighty Hand and Outstretched Arme hath wrought for these three Kingdomes;
How he stirred up the Spirits of his People in this Kingdome ten yeares
agoe, to begin to shake off the Yoke of Prelatical tyrannie, and of Popish
Ceremonies obtruded upon us, contrary to the Lawes of God and Men; How he
led us on from so small beginnings, & from one degree to another, till we
were United in a National Covenant; How he gave us a Banner to be
displayed for the Truth, and so blessed us in the prosecution of that
Covenant, that the Kings Majesty was graciously pleased upon the humble
Petitions of his Loyal Subjects in this Nation, to indict a General
Assembly and Parliament for healing the grievances of Church and State
respectively, As likewise to grant his Royal consent for Confirming and
Ratifying by Acts of Parliament our National Covenant, & the Government
and Liberties of this Church. After which the new Troubles raised against
us by the malice and treachery of our enemies, did occasion the first
expedition of this Nation into _England_, (upon which followed the calling
of the Parliament there, and the large Treaty) and in the issue, the
return of that Army was with an Olive branch of Peace, and not without the
beginnings of a Reformation in _England_: In which work while the
Parliament was interrupted and opposed, and a bloody War begun with great
successe on that side which opposed the Parliament and the begun
Reformation, from whence also did accrew great advantage to the Popish
Party (whereof the Cessation of Arms concluded in _Ireland_ may be in
stead of many testimonies;) Commissioners were sent hither from both
Houses, earnestly inviting and perswading to a nearer Union of the
Kingdomes, and desiring Assistance from this Nation to their Brethren in
that their great distresse; And this by the good Hand of God produced the
solemne League and Covenant of the three Kingdomes, to the terrour of the
Popish and Prelatical party our common Enemies, and to the great comfort
of such as were wishing and waiting for the Reformation of Religion; and
the recovery of just Liberties. And although for the conjunction of the
Kingdomes in Covenant, and Armes (being a speciall means tending to the
extirpation of Popery) and strengthening the true Reformed Religion; this
Kingdome hath been invaded and infested by the bloody _Irish_ Rebels aided
and strengthened by some degenerate and perfidious Countrey-men of our
owne: Although also in _England_ there were not wanting incendiaries, who
hating and envying nothing more then the Union of the Kingdomes in such a
Covenant, were very vigilant to catch, and active to improve all occasions
of making divisive motions, and creating Nationall Differences; Yet God
hath been graciously pleased to break our Enemies strength at Home when it
was greatest, and to guide us through these Jealousies and Differences
fomented by disaffected Persons between the Kingdomes; So that in stead of
a splitting upon these Rocks (the thing hoped for by our Enemies) there
was a peaceable and friendly parting: Since which time God hath further
blessed our Army at Home, to the expelling of the Enemie out of our own
Borders. Nor can we passe in silence the happy progresse which hath been
made in the Reformation of the Church of _England_; He that hath brought
the Children to the birth, can also give strength to come forth; And hee
whose hand did cast out Prelacie and the Book of Common Prayer (although
strongly rooted in standing Lawes;) and who enclined the Parliament of
_England_ to owne no other Church Government but the Presbyterial, (Though
it bee not yet fully settled according to the Word of God, and the example
of the best Reformed Churches) can as easily encline when hee thinks good
both the King and them, and the body of that Kingdome to a thorow and
perfect Reformation. He that made the Assemblies and Parliaments of both
Kingdomes to agree upon one directory for the Publike Worship of God, can
also when he will make an agreement in the other Parts of Uniformitie,
Confession of Faith, form of Church Government, and Catechisme; In all
which there hath beene also a good progresse made in the Reverend and
Learned Assemblie of Divines through the good hand of God so long upon
them.

Having now seen so much of God both in the beginning and progresse of this
his great Work, And his Hand having done so wondrous things for his People
in their greatest extremities of danger, and having discovered and
defeated the plots of Enemies, making them fall even by their own
Counsels; These things wee resolve to keep still fixed in our hearts, and
as memorials before our eyes, that remembring the Works of the Lord, and
the Years of the Right Hand of the most High, wee may neither want matter
of Praies and thanksgivings, nor experience to breed hope. Although the
building of the House of the Lord in _England_ be not yet, after so long
expectation, finished, and now also the work ceaseth, Yet wee doe from our
hearts blesse the Lord for the laying of the Foundation, and for so much
progresse as hath been made in the Work; Having still confidence in the
Almighty, to whom nothing is impossible or too hard, that every Mountaine
which doeth or shall stand in the way shall become a plaine, and that the
Head-stone shall bee brought forth with shoutings of Joy, _Grace, Grace
unto it._

Neverthelesse, we are also very sensible of the great and imminent dangers
into which this Common Cause of Religion is now brought by the growing and
spreading of most dangerous errours in _England_, to the obstructing &
hindering of the begun Reformation, as namely (beside many others)
Socinianisme, Arminianisme, Anabaptisme, Antinomianisme, Brownisme,
Erastianisme, Independency, and that which is called (by abuse of the
word) Liberty of Conscience, being indeed Liberty of Errour, Scandall,
Schisme, heresie, dishonouring God, opposing the Truth, hindering
Reformation; and seducing others; Whereunto we adde those Nullifidians, or
men of no Religion, commonly called Seekers: Yea, wee cannot but look upon
the Dangers of the true Reformed Religion in this Island, as greater now
then before; Not onely for that those very principles & fundamentals of
Faith which under Prelacy, yea, under Popery it self, were generally
received as uncontroverted, are now by the Scepticisme of many Sectaries
of this time either oppugned, or called in question; But also, because in
stead of carrying on the Reformation towards perfection, that which hath
beene already built is in part cast down, and in danger to be wholly
overthrowne through the endeavours of Sectaries to comply with many of the
Prelaticall and Malignant, and even the Popish party; and their joyning
hand in hand, and casting in their lots, and interweaving their interests
together in way of Combination, against the Covenant and Presbyteriall
Government; Yea, the unclean spirit which was cast out, is about to enter
againe with seven other spirits worse then himselfe, and so the latter end
like to be worse then the beginning.

We are extremely sorry that we have cause to aggravate these evils from
the crying sin of breach of Covenant, Whereof if we should hold our peace,
yet according to the Word of the Lord; other Nations will say, and many
among them do say, Wherefore hath the Lord done thus unto this People? and
what meaneth the heat of this great anger? And they answer one another,
_Because they have forsaken the Covenant of the Lord their God._ We would
not be understood as if we meant either to Justifie this Nation, or to
charge such a sin upon all in that Nation. We know the Covenant hath been
in divers particulars broken by many in both Kingdomes, the Lord pardon
it, and accept a Sacrifice; And wee doe not doubt but there are many seven
thousands in _England_ who have not onely kept themselves unspotted, and
retained their integrity in that businesse, but doe also mourne and groane
before the Lord for that sin of others. Yet we should but deny our own
sence and betray the Truth, if we should not resent so great a sinne and
danger, as is the breach of a solemne Covenant, sworn with hands lifted up
to the most High God: Which breach however varnished over with some
colourable and handsome pretexts, one whereof is the Liberty & Common
Right of the free People of _England_, as once _Saul_ brake a Covenant
with the Gibeonites, _In his Zeal to the Children of Israel and Iudah_:
Yet God could not then, and cannot now be mocked; Yea, it is too apparent
and undeniable, that among those who did take the Covenant of the three
Kingdomes, as there are many who have given themselves to a detestable
indifferency or neutralitie, so there is a Generation which hath made
defection to the contrary Part; Persecuting as far as they could that true
Reformed Religion, in Doctrine, Worship, Discipline, and Government, which
by the Covenant they ought to preserve against the common Enemies;
hindering and resisting the Reformation and Uniformity, which by the
Covenant ought to bee endeavoured; preserving and tolerating those cursed
things which by the Covenant ought to be extirpate, especially Heresie and
Schisme, encroaching upon, yea offering violence unto the Rights,
Priviledges, and Authority of Magistracie, Protecting and assisting such
as by the Covenant ought to have been brought to condigne triall and
punishment, and persecuting those who by the Covenant ought to be assisted
and defended; Endeavouring also a breach in stead of a firme Peace and
Union between the Kingdomes: So that there is not any one Article of the
Solemne League and Covenant which hath not been sinfully and dangerously
violated before God, Angels, and Men. Now if a Covenant for the
preservation and Reformation of Religion, the Maintenance and Defence of
Liberties was justly thought a _fit and excellent mean_, not only to
_strengthen and fortifie_ the Kingdomes against the common Enemie of the
true Reformed Religion, publike Peace and Prosperity; But also _to acquire
the favour of Almightie GOD towards the three Kingdomes, of England,
Scotland, and Ireland,_ as is expressed in the Ordinance of the Lords and
Commons for the taking of the Covenant, dated _February 2. 1643_.

Surely then the Authors and chief Instruments of the breach of that
Covenant, are to be looked upon as those who strengthen the hands of the
common Enemie, and provoke the wrath of Almighty God against these
Kingdomes. Yea, if this Covenant was the _Soveraigne and onely meanes of
the recovery_ of these embroiled bleeding Kingdoms, as is expressed in the
exhortation of the Assembly of Divines to the taking of the Covenant,
approved and ordered to be Printed by the House of Commons; The despising,
refusing, and casting aside of that remedy, must needs render the disease
much more desperate. And if by the Declaration of both Kingdomes joined in
Arms, _Anno 1643._ such as would not take the Covenant, were declared _to
be publike Enemies to their Religion and Countrey, and that they are to be
censured and punished as professed Adversaries and Malignants._ Who seeth
not now a strange falling away from these first Principles and
Professions, among these who either magnifie and cry up, or at least
connive at and comply with such as have not taken the Covenant, yea, are
known Enemies to it, and cry down such as are most zealous for it?

In this case, while in the Neighbour Kingdom, the staves of Beauty and
Bands, Covenant & Brother-hood are broken by many, the home of Malignants
and Sectaries exalted, the best affected born down, Reformation ebbing,
Heresie and Schisme flowing; It can hardly be marvelled at by any Person
of prudence and discretion, if we be full of such feares and apprehensions
as use to be in those who dwell near a House set on fire, or a Family
infected, especially being taught by the sad experience of these
Prelatical times, how easily a Gangrene in the one half of this Island may
spread through the whole; Knowing also the inveterate and insatiable
malice of the Enemies of this Cause and Covenant against this Church and
Kingdome; which we cannot be ignorant of, unlesse we would shut our eyes &
stop our ears.

Our present purpose leadeth us to touch somewhat of the proceedings of the
Army in _England_ this Summer, so far as Religion is therein concerned; As
we are confident, divers have gone a long with them in the simplicity of
their hearts, & we presume not to judge the thoughts & intentions of any,
it being Gods owne prerogative, to bring to light the hidden things of
darknes, and to make manifest the counsels of the hearts; So it cannot be
denied, that upon these passages and proceedings hath followed the
interrupting of the so much longed for Reformation of Religion, of the
setling of Presbyteriall government, and of the suppressing of heresies
and dangerous errors, (which works the Parliament had taken in hand) the
retarding and delaying the relief of _Ireland_, the sowing of the seeds of
another War in _England_, the strengthning of the hand of the Malignant &
Episcopall party, the weakning and wounding both of Magistracy and
Ministery: In all which, whether the Army bee blamelesse and innocent,
from ministring occasion to so great evils, or whether there be not cause
for them to repent and do the first works, and to practise more of that
love, moderation, and meeknesse of Spirit, and of that zeal against
Malignants and Prelaticall persons, which they have from the beginning
professed, and the want whereof (when suspected in others) they did so
much censure; or whether there be such a thing among them, as adjoyning
with those against whom, and against whose with whom the Covenant was
taken; We leave them in all these to the search and examination of their
own consciences, that they may stand or fall unto God. For our part, we
cannot conceive how the Proposals of that Army for setling of a Peace, do
in point of Religion consist with the solemn League and Covenant, or with
the Propositions of peace, formerly agreed upon by both Kingdomes; there
being so considerable omission of divers materiall desires contained in
those former Propositions, concerning the abolition of Prelacy; concerning
the injoyning of the taking of the Covenant by all his Majesties Subjects,
under such penalties as the Parliaments should agree upon; concerning the
setling of Religion in _England_ and _Ireland_, according to the Covenant,
in such manner as both Houses of Parliament shall agree on, after advice
had with the Assembly of Divines, concerning the setling of uniformity
between the Churches of God in both Kingdomes, according to the Covenant,
in such manner as shall be agreed on by both Houses of the Parliament of
_England_, and by the Church, and Kingdome of _Scotland_, after advice had
with the Divines of both Kingdomes; Also concerning an Act of Parliament
to confirm the calling and sitting of the Assembly of Divines: All which,
with some other particulars concerning Religion, expressed in the former
Propositions, if they should now be omitted in the setling of a Peace, the
progresse already made, not only in the Assembly of Divines, but in the
Houses of Parliament, in setling Presbyteriall Government, with the
Confession of Faith, yea the Directory of publike Worship (though agreed
upon by the Assemblies and Parliaments of both Kingdomes) shall bee but so
much lost labour. But beside these omissions it may be justly doubted
whether there be not in the Proposals of the Army, somewhat for
Episcopocy, and against the Covenant; For wee cannot understand the
eleventh Proposall, in any other sense, but that it supposeth the
continuance of the Ecclesiastical office of Bishops or Prelats, as well as
of any other Church Officers, and taketh no more from the Prelats, but
coercive power or jurisdiction extending to civil penalties, which indeed
belongeth to no Ecclesisticall Officers. In the twelfth Proposall, wee do
not see, how it can avoid or shun the toleration of Popery, Superstition,
Heresie, Schisme, Profannesse, or whatsoever works of darknesse shall be
practised by such as dispise the publicke Worship of God in the Church, &
have the most unlawful and wicked meetings else where under a profession
of Religious duties, exercises or ordinances. From the thirteenth
Proposall, we can make no other result, but that in stead of enjoyning the
taking of the Covenant, under such penalties as the Parliaments in their
wisdome shall agree upon, the former ordinance of Parliament enjoyning the
taking of it, is desired to be repealed: and then what may bee the danger
of those that have taken, or shall take an oath of that kinde, not
enjoyned nor ratified by authority, wee leave it to be judged by those who
know best the Lawes of that Kingdome.

One thing more wee Cannot passe, that whereas in the Armies Declaration,
or Representation to the Parliament, dated June 14 1647. they mention
their Brethren of _Scotland_ as having proceeded in the vindication and
defence of their just rights and liberties, much higher then that Army
hath done; Wee are necessitated to say this much for clearing of these
proceedings in this Nation reflected upon: They of this Church and Kingdom
who joyned together and associated themselves in this Cause, first by
humble Petitions, and afterwards by Covenant, were so far from slighting
or breaking that Covenant which was taken, that it was the special visible
character by which the friends of the Cause were distinguished from the
enemies thereof and they were so far from crying down the Ministery and
Ecclesiasticall Assemblies, or from disobeying any Orders or Commands of
Parliament, that a Generall Assembly of the Church, and a Parliament, were
two chief Heads of their Petitions and desires, at that time when they had
neither; And when they had obtained a Generall Assembly and Parliament,
they chearfully submitted to both respectively.

And now the dangers of Religion in this Illand being so great, as there
hath been lately a Solemne Humilitation throughout this Land, upon
occasion of these great and growing dangers; so we cannot but still look
upon them as matters of frequent Prayer and Humiliation to our selves, as
well as our Brethren in _England_, there being much sin in both Kingdomes
procuring all this evill, and justly deserving these, and heavier
judgements. And as wee desire in the first place to be humbled for our own
sins, and the sins of this Nation, so we trust, our Brethren will bee
willing to be put in minde of the necessity of their Humiliation and
Repentance for the Nationall sins of the Kingdome; which wee shall wish
rather to be sadly considered by them, then expressed by us. One thing wee
are confident of, that God hath had a speciall controversie against his
People of old for the sin of a broken Covenant, and unwillingnesse to bee
Reformed and Purged according to the Word of the Lord; and that till their
sinnes were acknowledged and repented, his controversie did not take an
end.

And here is the wisdome and patience of the Saints, to choose affliction
rather then iniquity, to do duety in the worst of times, and to trust God
with events and in so doing, to hope to the end and wait upon the Lord,
untill hee plead their cause and execute judgement for them: So shall they
bee more purified and not made blacker (as, alas, some are) but whiter in
times of tryall.

More particularly, wee do desire that Presbyteriall Government may be
setled and put in practice through out that Kingdom, according to the Word
of God, and example of the best Reformed Churches: for without this wee
know no other proper and effectuall remedy against the present dangers of
Religion there, or for purging the Church from scandals, which are
destructive either to sound Doctrine, or to Godlinesse: And herein we are
confident, the experience of all the Reformed Churches will bear witnesse
with us. Nor do we doubt but in _England_ also, time and experience will
more and more commend, not only the beautifull order, but the great
utility, yea, necessity of this Government, and dispell all the clouds of
aspersions and prejudices which it lieth under among such as know it not,
who ought therefore to beware of speaking evill of the things they
understand not. Yet we would not have our zeal for Presbyteriall
Government mis-understood, as if it tended to any rigour or domineering
over the flock, or to hinder and exclude that instructing in meeknesse
them that oppose themselves, which the Apostolicall rule holds forth; or
as if wee would have any such to bee intrusted with that Government, as
are found not yet purged, either from their old profannesse, or from the
Prelaticall principles and practices which were but to put a piece of new
cloath unto an old garment, and so to make the rent worse; or to put new
wine into old bottles, and so to lose both wine and bottles. Yea who knows
whether this may not be one of the causes, (and not the least) why the
present Reformation succeeds the worse, even because of so little
repentance, either for the profannesse, or Prelaticall errours and
corruptions of divers who have acted in it: Neverthelesse, the right hand
of fellowship is to bee given to all such as bring forth fruits meet for
repentance, whatsoever their former errours of failings were. And to our
great joy, we understand that there are many learned, able, godly, and
prudent ministers in that Kingdome, fit to be imployed in that government,
together with such able and pious men, as are to be joyned with them in
the capacity of ruling Elders. It shall be a part of our prayers, that the
Lord of the Harvest may send forth many more labourers in that Kingdome,
where the Harvest is so great and the Labourers so few proportionably; and
in the meane while, that such as he hath already thrust out, may not be
unemployed, as to the point of discipline and Government.

Nor lastly, doth our zeal for the Covenant and Presbyteriall Government
abate or diminish any thing at all from our Loyalty and Duety to the Kings
Majesty, although Incendiaries and Enemies spare not to reproach this
Church and Kingdome with Disloyaltie: Yet such calumnies will easily be
repudiate by all who will examine the whole course of the publike
proceedings in this Nation, in reference to the King, and particularly the
Declaration of the Parliament of this Kingdome, dated _January 16. 1647_.

Wherefore passing all such calumnies, whiche cannot but be hatefull to God
and good Men, wee do clearly and candidly professe, That the Covenant and
Presbyteriall Government are so far from hindering or excluding our duety
to the King, that it is thereby very much strengthened and supported; for
our giving to God what is Gods doth not hinder us, but help us, to give
unto Cæsar what is Cæsars. And wee earnestly wish his Majesties Royall
Heart may bee graciously inclined to the just desires of his good Subjects
in both Kingdomes, and to that happy settlement of Truth and Peace,
Religion and Righteousnesse, which may be as well for the establishment of
his own Throne, as for the good of his people.

Now the Prince of Peace Himself, grant his afflicted People, tossed with
tempests and not comforted, a safe and wel-grounded Peace, bring light out
of the present darknesse, and order out of all these confusions, give unto
all who are waiting for the consolation of Israel _good hope through
grace, comfort their hearts, stablish them in every good word and work_,
make his Cause to triumph at last over all opposition, and the enemies
foot to slide in due time, and so put a new Song of praise in the mouths
of his people. Amen.



_24. August 1647. Antemeridiem._ Sess. 19.



_Act for observing the Directions of the Generall Assembly for Secret and
Private Worship, and mutuall edification, and censuring such as neglect
Familie Worship._


The General Assembly, after mature deliberation, doth approve the
following Rules and Directions, for cherishing Piety and preventing
Division and Schisme, and doth appoint Ministers and Ruling Elders in each
Congregation to take speciall care that these directions be observed and
followed; As likewise that Presbyteries and Provincial Synods enquire and
make tryall whether the saids Directions bee duely observed in their
bounds, and to reprove or censure (according to the quality of the
offence) such as shall bee found to be reproveable or censurable therein.
And to the end that these Directions may not be rendred ineffectuall and
unprofitable among some through the usuall neglect of the very substance
of the duty of Family Worship, The Assembly doth further require and
appoint Ministers and Ruling Elders, to make diligent search and enquiry
in the Congregations committed to their charge respectively, whether there
bee among them any Family or Families which use to neglect this necessary
duty; And if any such Family be found, the head of that Family is to be
first admonished privately to amend this fault; And in case of his
continuing therein, he is to be gravely and sadly reproved by the Session.
After which reproof, if he be found still to neglect Familie Worship, Let
him be for his obstinacy, in such an offence, suspended and debarred from
the Lords Supper, as being justly esteemed unworthy to communicate therein
till he amend.



_The Directions of the Generall Assembly, for Secret and Private Worship &
mutuall edification, for cherishing Piety, for maintaining Unitie, and
avoiding Schisme and Division._


Besides the publike Worship in Congregations, mercifully established in
this Land, in great purity; It is expedient and necessary, that Secret
Worship of each person alone, and Private Worship of Families be pressed
and set up: That with Nationall Reformation the profession and power of
Godlinesse both Personall and Domestick bee advanced.

I. And first for Secret Worship; It is most necessar, that every one apart
and by themselves be given to Prayer and Meditation, The unspeakable
benefit whereof is best known to them who are most exercised therein: This
being the meane whereby in a special way communion with God is
entertained, and right preparation for all other duties obtained; And
therefore it becometh not onely Pastors, within their severall Charges, to
presse Persons of all sorts to performe this dutie Morning and Evening,
and at other occasions, but also it is incumbent to the head of every
Family, to have a care that both themselves & all within their charge be
daily diligent herein.

II. The ordinar duties comprehended under the exercise of Pietie, which
should be in Families when they are conveened to that effect, are these:
First, Prayer and Praises performed, with a speciall reference as well to
the publike condition of the Kirk of God and this Kingdome, as to the
present case of the Familie, and every member thereof. Next, Reading of
Scriptures with Catechizing in a plaine way, that the understandings of
the simpler may be the beter enabled to profit under the publike
Ordinances, and they made more capable to understand the Scriptures when
they are read? Together with godly conferences tending to the edification
of all the members in the most holy faith: As also, admonition and rebuke
upon just reasons from these who have Authority in the Familie.

III. As the Charge and Office of interpreting the holy Scriptures, is a
part of the Ministeriall calling, which none (howsoever otherwise
qualified) should take upon him in any place, but he that is duely called
thereunto by God and his Kirk: So in every Familie where there is any that
can read, The holy Scriptures should be read ordinarily to the Familie;
And it is commendable that thereafter they confer, and by way of
conference make some good use of what hath beene read and heard: As for
example, if any sin be reproved in the Word read, use may bee made
thereof, to make all the Familie circumspect and watchfull against the
same; Or, if any judgement be threatned or mentioned to have beene
inflicted in that Portion of Scripture which is read, use may bee made to
make all the Familie fear, lest the same or a worse judgement befall them,
unlesse they beware of the sin that procured it: And finally, if any duety
be required, or comfort held forth in a promise, use may bee made to
stirre up themselves to imploy Christ for strength to enable them for
doing the commanded duty, and to apply the offered comfort; In all which
the Master of the Familie is to have the chief hand, And any member of the
Familie may propone ane question or doubt for resolution.

IV. The head of the Family is to take care that none of the Familie
withdraw himself from any part of Familie Worship: And seeing the ordinar
performance of all the parts of Family worship belongeth properly to the
head of the Family, The Minister is to stirre up such as are lasie, and
traine up such as are weak to a fitnesse for these exercises. It being
alwayes free to persons of qualitie to entertain one approven by the
Presbyterie for performing Familie Exercise; And in other families where
the head of the Familie is unfit, that another constantly residing in the
Familie approven by the Minister and Session, may be imployed in that
service; Wherein the Minister and Session are to be countable to the
Presbyterie. And if a Minister by divine providence bee brought to any
Familie, It is requisite, that at no time he conveen a part of the Familie
for Worship secluding the rest; Except in singular cases, specially
concerning these parties, which (in Christian prudence) need not, or ought
not to bee imparted to others.

V. Let no Idler who hath no particular calling, or vagrant Person under
pretence of a calling, be suffered to perform worship in Families, to or
for the same: Seeing persons tainted with errours or aiming at division,
may be ready (after that manner) to creep into houses and lead captive
silly and unstable souls.

VI. At Family Worship a speciall care is to be had, that each Familie keep
by themselves: Neither requiring, inviting, nor admitting persons from
divers Families; Unlesse it be these who are lodged with them or at meal,
or otherwise with them upon some lawfull occasion.

VII. Whatsoever hath been the effects and fruits of meetings of persons of
divers Families in the times of corruption or trouble (in which cases many
things are commendable, which otherwise are not tolerable), Yet when God
hath blessed us with Peace and the purity of the Gospel, such meetings of
persons of divers Families (except in the cases mentioned in these
Directions) are to be disapproved, as tending to the hinderance of the
Religious exercise of each Familie by it self, to the prejudice of the
publike Ministery, to the renting of the Families of particular
Congregations, and (in progresse of time) of the whole Kirk: besides many
offences which may come thereby, to the hardning of the hearts of carnall
men, and grief of the godly.

VIII. On the Lords Day, after every one of the Family apart, and the whole
Family together have sought the Lord (in whose hands the preparation of
mens hearts are) to fit them for the publicke Worship, and to blesse to
them the publike Ordinances; The Master of the Familie ought to take care
that all within his charge repair to the publike Worship, that he and they
may joyne with the rest of the Congregation; And, the publike Worship
being finished, after prayer, he should take an account what they have
heard, And thereafter to spend the rest of the time which they may spare,
in Catechising and in spirituall conferences upon the Word of God; Or else
(going apart) they ought to apply themselves to reading, meditation, and
secret prayer, that they may confirme and increase their Communion with
God; That so the profit which they found in the publike Ordinances may bee
cherished and promoved, and they more edified unto eternall life.

IX. So many as can conceive prayer; ought to make use of that gift of God:
Albeit these who are rude and weaker may begin at a set form of prayer;
But so, as they bee not sluggish in stirring up in themselves (according
to their daily necessities) the spirit of prayer, which is given to all
the children of God in some measure. To which effect, they ought to bee
the more fervent and frequent in secret prayer to God, for enabling of
their hearts to conceive, and their tongues to expresse convenient desires
to God for their Familie. And in the mean time, for their greater
encouragement, let these materialls of prayer be meditated upon, and made
use of, as followeth.

Let them confesse to God how unworthy they are to come in his presence,
and unfit to worship his Majesty; And therefore earnestly ask of God the
spirit of prayer.

They are to confesse their sins, and the sins of the Family accusing,
judging, and condemning themselves for them, till they bring their souls
to some measure of true humiliation.

They are to pour out their souls to God, in the Name of Christ, by the
spirit, for forgivinesse of sins, for Grace to repent, to believe, and to
live soberly, righteously, and godly, and that they may serve God with joy
and delight in walking before him.

They are to give thanks to God for his many mercies to his people, and to
themselves, and especially for his love in Christ, and for the light of
the Gospel.

They are to pray for such particular benefits, Spirituall and Temporall,
as they stand in need of for the time, (whether it be Morning or Evening)
as health or sicknesse, prosperitie or adversitie.

They ought to pray for the Kirk of Christ in general, for all the Reformed
Kirks, and for this Kirk in particular, and for all that suffer for the
Name of Christ for all our Superiours, The Kings Majesty, the Queene, and
their Children, for the Magistrates, Ministers, and whole body of the
Congregation whereof they are members, as well for their Neighbours absent
in their lawfull affaires, as for those that are at home.

The prayer may be closed with an earnest desire, that God may be glorified
in the comming of the Kingdome of his Son, and in the doing of his wil;
And with assurance that themselves are accepted, and what they have asked
according to his will shall be done.

X. These exercises ought to be performed in great sinceritie without
delay, laying aside all Exercises of worldly businesse or hinderances,
Notwithstanding the mockings of Atheists, and profane men; In respect of
the great mercies of God to this Land, and of his severe Corections
wherewith lately he hath exercised us. And to this effect, persons of
eminency (and all Elders of the Kirk) not onely ought to stir up
themselves and their Families to diligence herein; But also to concurre
effectually, that in all other Families, where they have Power and Charge,
the said exercises be conscionably performed.

XI. Besides the ordinary duties in Families which are abovementioned,
extraordinary duties both of humiliation and thanksgiving are to bee
carefully performed in Families, when the Lord by extraordinary occasions
(private or publike) calleth for them.

XII. Seeing the Word of God requireth, That wee should consider one
another to provoke unto love and good works, Therefore, at all times, and
specially in this time wherein profanitie abounds, and mockers walking
after their own lusts think it strange that others run not with them to
the same excesse of riot, Every member of this Kirk ought to stir up
themselves and one another to the duties of mutuall Edification, by
instruction, admonition, rebuke, exhorting one another to manifest the
Grace of God, in denying ungodlinesse and worldly lusts, and in living
godly, soberly, and righteously in this present world, by comforting the
the feeble minded, and praying with, or, for one another; Which duties
respectively are to be performed upon speciall occasions offered by divine
providence; As namely, when under any calamity, crosse, or great
difficultie, counsel or comfort is sought, Or when an offender is to bee
reclaimed by private admonition, and if that bee not effectuall, by
joyning one or two more in the admonition, according to the rule of
Christ; that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be
established.

XIII. And because it is not given to every one to speak a word in season
to a wearied or distressed conscience, It is expedint, that a person (in
that case) finding no ease after the use of all ordinary means private and
publike, have their addresse to their own Pastour, or some experienced
Christian, But, if the person troubled in conscience be of that condition,
or of that sex, that discretion, modestie of fear of scandall, requireth a
godly grave and secret friend to be present with them in their said
addresse, It is expedient that such a friend be present.

XIV. When persons of divers Families are brought together by divine
providence, being abroad upon their particular Vocations, or any necessary
occasions, As they would have the Lord their God with them whithersoever
they go, they ought to walk with God, and not neglect the duties of Prayer
and Thanksgiving, but take care that the same be performed by such as the
company shall judge fittest: And that they likewise take heed that no
corrupt communication proceed out of their mouth, but that which is good,
to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace to the hearers.

The drift and scope of all these Directions is no other, but that upon the
one part, the power and practice of godlinesse among all the Ministers and
Members of this Kirk, according to their severall places and vocations,
may be cherished and advanced, and all impietie and mocking of Religious
Exercises suppressed; And upon the other part, that under the name and
pretext of Religious Exercises; no such meetings or practices be allowed,
as are apt to breed Error, Scandall, Schisme, contempt or mis-regard of
the publike Ordinances and Ministers, or neglect of the duties of
particular Callings, or such other evils as are the works not of the
Spirit but of the Flesh, and are contrary to Truth and Peace.



_Act against such as withdraw themselves from the publike Worship in their
own Congregation._


Since it hath pleased God of his infinite goodnesse to blesse his Kirk
within this Nation, with the riches of the Gospel, in giving to us his
Ordinances in great purity, liberty, and withall, a comely and
well-established order: The Assembly, in the zeal of God, for preserving
Order, Unitie and Peace in the Kirk, for maintaining the respect which is
due to the Ordinances and Ministers of Jesus Christ, for preventing
Schisme, noisome Errours, and all unlawfull Practices, which may follow on
the Peoples withdrawing themselves from their own Congregations, Doth
charge every Minister to bee diligent in fulfilling his Ministerie, to be
holy and grave in his conversation, to be faithfull in Preaching,
declaring the whole counsell of God, and as he hath occasion from the Text
of Scripture to reprove the sins and errours, and presse the duties of the
time; and in all those, to observe the rules prescribed by the Acts of
Assembly; wherein if he be negligent, he is to be censured by his own
Presbytery. As also Ordains every Member in every Congregation to keep
their own Paroch Kirk, to communicate there in the Word and Sacraments;
And if any person or Persons shall hereafter usually absent themselves
from their own Congregations, except in urgent cases made known to, and
approven by the Presbytery, The Ministers of these Congregations whereto
they resort, shall both in publike by Preching, and in private admonition,
shew their dislike of their withdrawing from their own Minister; That in
so doing, they may witnesse to all that heare them, their due care to
Strengthen the hands of their fellow labourers in the work of the Lord,
and their detestation of any thing that may tend to separation, or any of
the abovementioned evils; Hereby their own Flock will be confirmed in
their stedfastnesse, and the unstable spirits of others will be rectified.
Likeas the Minister of that Congregation from which they do withdraw,
shall labour first by private admonition to reclaim them; And if any after
private admonition given by their own Pastour do not amend, in that case
the Pastour shall delate the foresaid persons to the Session, who shall
cite and censure them as contemners of the comely order of the Kirk; And
if the matter be not taken order with there, It is to bee brought to the
Presbytery: For the better observing whereof, the Presbyteries at the
Visitation of their severall Kirks, and Provincial Assemblies, in their
censure of the several Presbyteries, shall enquire hereanent: Which
inquirie and report shall be registrate in the Provincial Books, that
their diligence may be seen in the General Assembly.



_26. August 1647. Postmeridiem._ Sess. 22.



_Approbation of the preceedings of the Commission of the preceeding
Assembly._


The General Assembly after mature deliberation do ratifie and approve the
whole Acts and Conclusions of the Commissionners of the preceeding
Assembly for publike affaires now tryed and examined; Declaring that they
have proceeded therein with much zeal, wisdome, vigilance, and according
to ther Commission.



_27. August 1647. Antemeridiem._ Sess. 23.



_Approbation of the Confession of Faith._


A Confession of Faith for the Kirks of God in the three Kingdomes, being
the chiefest part of that Uniformity in Religion which by the solemne
League and Covenant we are bound to endeavour; And there being accordingly
a Confession of Faith agreed upon by the Assembly of Divines sitting at
_Westminster_, with the assistance of Commissioners from the Kirk of
_Scotland_; Which Confession was sent from our Commissioners at _London_
to the Commissioners of the Kirk met at _Edinburgh_ in _January_ last,
hath been in this Assembly twice publikely read over, examined and
considered; Copies thereof being also Printed, that it might be
particularly perused by all the Members of this Assembly, unto whom
frequent intimation was publikely made, to put in their doubts and
objections if they had any; And the said Confession being upon due
examination thereof found by the Assembly to bee most agreable to the Word
of God, and in nothing contrary to the received Doctrine, Worship,
Discipline, and Government of this Kirk. And lastly, it being so necesary
and so much longed for, That the said Confession be with all possible
diligence and expedition approved and established in both Kingdoms, as a
principal part of the intended Uniformity in Religion, and as a special
means for the more effectual suppressing of the many dangerous errours and
heresies of these times; The General Assembly doth therefore after mature
diliberation agree unto and approve the said Confession as to the truth of
the matter (judging it to be most orthodox and grounded upon the Word of
God) and also as to the point of Uniformity. Agreeing for our part that it
be a common Confession of Faith for the three Kingdomes. The Assembly doth
also blesse the Lord; and thankfully acknowledge his great mercy, in that
so excellent a Confession of Faith is prepared, and thus far agreed upon
in both Kingdomes; which we look upon as a great strengthning of the true
Reformed Religion against the common enemies thereof. But lest our
intention and meaning be in some particulars misunderstood, It is hereby
expresly Declared and Provided, that the not mentioning in this Confession
the several sort of Ecclesiastical Officers and Assemblies, shall be no
prejudice to the Truth of Christ in these particulars to be expressed
fully in the Directory of Government. It is further Declared, that the
Assembly understandeth some parts of the second Article of the thirty one
Chapter, only of Kirks not settled or constituted in point of Government,
And that although in such Kirks, a Synod of Ministerrs and other fit
persons may be called by the Magistrates authority and nomination without
any other Call, to consult and advise with about matters of Religion; And
although likewise the Ministers of Christ without delegation from their
Churches, may of themselves, and by vertue of their Office meet together
Synodically in such Kirks not yet constituted; Yet neither of these ought
to be done in Kirks constituted and setled: It being always free to the
Magistrate to advise with Synods of Ministers and ruling Elders meeting
upon delegation from their Churches, either ordinarly, or being indicted
by his Authority occasionally and _pro re nata_; It being also free to
assemble together Synodically, as well _pro re nata_, as at the ordinary
times upon delegation from the Churches, by the intrinsical power received
from Christ, as often as it is necessary for the good of the Church so to
assemble, in case the Magistrate to the detriment of the Church withhold
or deny his consent, the necessity of occasionall Assemblies being first
remonstrate unto him by humble supplication.



_Edinburgh 28. August 1647. Postmeridiem._ Sess. 25.



_Act for revising the Paraphrase of the Psalmes brought from_ England,
_with a recommendation for Translating the other Scriptuall Songs in
Meeter._


The General Assembly having considered the report of the Committee,
concerning the Paraphrase of the Psalmes sent from _England_: And finding
that it is very necessary, that the said Paraphrase be yet revised;
Therefore doth appoint Master _John Adamson_ to examine the first fourty
Psalmes, Master _Thomas Craufurd_ the second fourty, Master _John Row_ the
third fourty, and Master _John Nevey_ the last thirty Psalms of that
Paraphrase; and in their Examination they shall not only observe what they
think needs to be amended, but also to set downe their own essay for
correcting thereof; And for this purpose recommends to them, to make use
of the travels of _Rowallen_, Master _Zachary Boyd_, or of any other on
that subject, but especially of our own Paraphrase, that what they find
better in any of these Works may be chosen: and likewise they shall make
use of the animadversions sent from Presbyteries, who for this cause are
hereby desired to hasten their observations unto them; And they are to
make report of their labours herein to the Commission of the Assembly for
publike affaires against their first meeting in _February_ next: And the
Commission after revising thereof, shall send the same to Provincial
Assemblies, to bee transmitted to Presbyteries, that by their further
consideration, the matter may be fully prepared to the next Assembly: And
because some Psalmes in that Paraphrasie sent from _England_ are composed
in verses which do not agree with the Common-tunes, Therefore it is also
recommended that these Psalms be likewise turned in other verses which may
agree to the Common-tunes, that is, having the first line of eight
syllabs, and the second line of six, that so both versions being together,
use may bee made of either of them in Congregations as shall bee found
convenient: And the Assembly doth further recommend, That M. _Zachary
Boyd_ be at the paines to translate the other Scriptural Songs in meeter,
and to report his travels also to the Commission of Assembly, that after
their Examination thereof, they may send the same to Presbyteries to be
there considered untill the next Generall Assembly.



_Act recommending the execution of the Act of Parliament at Perth, for
uplifting pecuniall paines to bee imployed upon pious uses, and of all
Acts of Parliament made against excommunicate Persons._


The Generall Assembly doth seriously Recommend and Ordain That
Presbyteries diligently endeavour, that the ninth Act of the Parliament
holden at _Perth, Anno 1645._ Concerning the uplifting of pecunial paines
to bee imployed upon pious uses, may bee put to due execution within their
several bounds; And also that the Acts of Parliament against excommunicate
Persons, especially the twentieth Act of Parliament in March last, be also
carefully execute: And that they cause use all diligence to that effect,
and account hereof shall be required in Provinciall and Generall
Assemblies.



_Ult. August 1647. Antemeridiem._ Sess. 26.



_Act discharging the importing, venting or spreading of erronious Books or
Papers._


The General Assembly considering how the errours of Independency and
Separation (have in our Neighbour Kingdome of _England_) spread as a
Gangræn, and do daily eat as a Canker; In so much that exceeding many
Errours. Heresies, Schismes, and Blaspemies, have issued therefrom, and
sheltered thereby; And how possible it is, for the same evils to invade,
and overspread this Kirk and Kingdome, (lying within the same Island) by
the spreading of their erronious Books, Pamphlets, Lybels, and Letters,
and by conversing with them that are infected with these errours, except
the same bee timeously prevented; Doe therefore, in the Name of God,
Inhibit and Discharge all Members of this Kirk and Kingdome, to converse
with Persons tainted with such errours; Or to import, sell, spread, vent,
or disperse such erronious Books or Papers: But that they beware of, and
abstain from Books maintaineing Independencie or Separation, and from all
Antinomian, Anabaptisticall, and other erronious Books, and Papers;
Requiring all Ministers to warne their flocks against such Bookes in
generall, and particularly such as are most plausible, insinuating, and
dangerous: And to try carefully from time to time if any such Bookes be
brought into this Countrey from _England_, or from byond Seas (which is
especially recommended to Ministers on Sea Coasts, or Towns where any
Stationers are) and if any shall be found, to present the same to the
Presbyterie, that some course may be taken to hinder the dispersing
thereof: And hereby all Presbyteries, and Synods, are ordained to try and
Processe such as shall transgresse against the premisses or any part of
the same. And the Assembly also doth seriously recommend to Civill
Magistrates, that they may be pleased to be assisting to Ministers and
Presbyteries in execution of this Act, and to concurre with their
authority in every thing to that effect.



_Act for debarring of Complyers in the first Classe from Ecclesiastick
office._


The Generall Assembly Declares and Ordaines, That no Person who is guilty
of Compliance in the first Classe mentioned in the Act of the preceeding
Assembly, shall bee received in any Ecclesiasticall charge, untill the
evidence of his repentance before the Presbyterie and Congregation be
reported to the Synode to which he belongs, and to the Generall Assembly,
and their consent obtained for his bearing office. And if any such Person
be already received unto the Eldership of any particular Congregation, yet
he shall not be admitted to be a Member of any Presbyterie, Synode, or
Generall Assemblie, untill (upon the evidence of his repentance) the
consent and approbation of these judicatories respectively bee obtained
thereto.



_Act for pressing and furthering the plantation of Kirks._


The Generall Assembly considering how the Work of Provision, Plantation,
convenient Dividing, Dismembring, better uniting or enlarging of Parish
Kirks is hitherto foreslowed, to the great prejudice of many Ministers,
many good People, and hinderance of the Work of Reformation; Doth
therefore Ordaine, That all Presbyteries have speciall care that the
present opportunity bee diligently improved by all their Members, as need
is, before the Commission for Plantation of Kirks, as they would not be
found censurable for neglect. And that every Presbytery send in to the
next Generall Assembly the names of all their Parishes, with declaration
which of them have Ministers, which not, what is the largenesse of the
bounds, commodious or incommodious situation of each Parish Kirk, what is
the number of Communicants, what Kirks are under Patrons, what not, who
are the severall Patrons, what is the nature and quantitie of the present
provision, or possible ground of further provision for competent
Maintence, where the same is not sufficiently provided already: As also,
what Parishes are united or disunited or bettered already, and in what
measure by the said Commission, that the Generall Assembly being acquaint
therewith, may doe accordingly both for censuring Neglecters, and finding
out Overtures for better furtherance of the Work for time to come.
Moreover it is hereby Ordained, That the next ensuing Provinciall Synodes,
crave account of the severall Presbyteries their diligence, And presse
that they have it ready in writ to present to the Provinciall Synodes in
April next to come, that so all may be in readinesse and the full account
made at the next General Assembly.



_Act for censuring absents from the Generall Assembly._


The Generall Assembly considering the absence of many Commissioners in
this and other preceeding Assemblies, and that many of those present have
gone from the Assembly before the dissolving thereof: Therefore, for
remedie hereof in time coming Doth Ordaine, that hereafter Every
Commissioner from Presbyteries and Universities who shall be absent from
the Assembly without a reasonable excuse notified to the Assembly, Or who
being present shall goe from the Assembly before the dissolving thereof
without a licence, shall be suspended by the Assembly untill the
Provinciall Synode next thereafter following.



_Renovation of former Acts of Assembly for Triall and Admission of
Expectants to the Ministrie._


The Generall Assembly, doth hereby renew and confirme all former Acts and
Ordinances for triall and admission of Expectants to the Ministery;
Especially the Articles thereanentt allowed by the Generall Assembly 1596,
and approven in the Assemblie at _Glasgow_ 1638. The thirteenth Article
concerning the age of intrants to the Ministery and the twentie fourth
Article concerning the triall of Expectants, Of an Act of the said
Assembly at _Glasgow_, Sess. 23 And the Act of the Assembly at St
_Andrews_ 1642. Sess. 7, concerning Lists for presentations from the King,
and the trial of Expectants, &c. Ordaining Presbyteries to observe the
same carefully in all time coming.



_Eodem die_, Sess. 28. _Postmeridiem._



_Renovation of the Commission for prosecuting the Treaty for Uniformity
in_ England.


The Generall Assembly, Taking to their consideration that the Treaty of
Uniformity in Religion in all his Majesties Dominions is not yet
perfected; Therefore, Renews the Power and Commission granted by
preceeding Assemblies for prosecuting that Treaty, unto the Persons
afternamed, _viz._ Master _Robert Douglas_ Master _Samuel Rutherford_,
Master _Robert Baillie_, Master _George Gillespie_, Ministers: And _John_
Earle of Lauderdaill, _John_ Lord Balmerino, and Sir _Archibald Johnstoun_
of Waristoun Elders; Authorizing them with full Power to prosecute the
said Treaty of Uniformity with the Honourable Houses of the Parliament of
_England_, and the Reverend Assembly of Divines there, or any Committees
appointed by them: And to doe all and every thing which may advance,
perfit, and bring that Treaty to an happy conclusion, conforme to the
Commissions given thereanent.



_Renovation of the Commission for the publike affaires of the Kirk._


The Generall Assembly taking to their consideration, that in respect the
great Work of Uniformity in Religion in all his Majesties Dominions is not
yet perfected, (though by the Lords blessing there is a good progresse
made in the same) there is a necessity of renewing the Commissions granted
formerly for prosecuting and perfecting that great Work; Doe therefore
renew the Power and Commission granted for the publike Affaires of the
Kirk by the Generall Assmblies held in St. _Andrews_ 1642. and at
_Edinburgh_ 1643. 1644. 1645. and 1646. unto the Persons following, _viz._
Masters, _Alexander Casse, Samuel Douglas, Robert Knox, William Penman,
James Guthrie, Robert Cuninghame, David Fletcher, Robert Lawder, Andrew
Stevenson, Robert Davidson, David Calderwood, James Fleming, Robert Ker,
James Fairlie, Oliver Colt, Patrick Sibbald, Andrew Ramsay, John Adamson,
Robert Douglas, William Colvill, George Gillespe, Mungo Law, Andrew
Fairfoul, George Lesly, Robert Lawrie, Alexander Spittle, Alexander
Dickson, John Hay, Thomas Vassie, Ephraim Melvill, Patick Scheill,
Alexander Simmervail, George Bennet, Alexander Levingstoun, Robert Murray,
Alexander Rollock, William Menzies, Alexander Ireland, John Friebairn,
George Murray, Henrie Guthrie, William Justice, Robert Wright, Henrie
Livingstoun, James Hammiltoun, George Gladstanes, Bernard Sanderson,
Andrew Lawder, George Rutherfurd, John Levingston, George Hutheson, John
Bell, Heugh Mackaile, John Nevey, Matthew Brisbane, John Hammiltoun, Allan
Ferguson, David Dickson, Zachary Boyd, Robert Ramsay, Robert Bailie, James
__ Nesmith, Francis Aird, Robert Birnie, Thomas Kirkaldie, Evan Cameron,
Robert Blair, Coline Adam, George Hammiltoun, Samuel Rutherford, Alexander
Colvill, John Ramsay, James Martein, William Levingstoun, Thomas Melvill,
John Smith, Fredrick Carmichaell, Patrick Gillespie, Alexander Moncreif,
John Duncan, James Sibbald, Walter Bruce, George Pittillo, Andrew Affleck,
John Barclay, Thomas Peirson, William Rait, David Srachan, Andrew Cant,
William Douglas, John Forbes, George Sharp, William Chalmer, Joseph
Brodie, Alexander Simmer, Gillbert Anderson, William Smith_ Ministers; And
_Archibald_ Marques of Argile, _John_ Earle of Crawford, _Alexander_ E. of
Eglintoun, _William_ E. of Glencairne, _John_ E. of Cassils, _James_ E. of
Home, _James_ E. of Tullibairdine, _Francis_ E. of Bukeleuch, _John_ E. of
Lawderdaill, _William_ E. of Lothian, _James_ E. of Finlatour, _William_
E. of Lanerk, _James_ Earle of Callendar, _Archibald_ Lord Angus, _George_
L. Brichen, _John_ L. Yester, _John_ L. Balmerino, _James_ L. Cowper,
_John_ Lord Bargenie, Sir _Archibald Johnstoun_ of Waristoun, Sir _John
Hope_ of Craighall, _Arthur Areskine_ of Scotiscraig, _Alexander Fraser_
of Phillorth, _Frederick Lyon_ of Brigtoun, _James Mackdougall_ of
Garthland, Sir _William Cockburne_ of Langton, Sir _Andrew Ker_ of
Greinheid, Sir _Heugh Campbell_ of Cesnock, Sir _James Levingstoun_ of
Kilsyth, Sir _Thomas Ruthven_ of _Freeland_, Sir _Gilbert Ramsay_ of
Balmayne, _John Henderson_ of Fordell, _Walter Dundas_ younger of that
ilk, Sir _William Scot_ younger of Harden, Sir _Lodovick Gordoun_, Master
_George Winthame_ of Libertoun, _Alexander Levingstoun_ of Saltcoats,
_John Birsbane_ of Bishoptoun, Sir _Robert Douglas_ of Tilliquhillie,
_James Pringle_ of Torwoodlie, Sir _Iames Nicolsone_ of Colbrandspath,
_William Ker_ of Newtoun, _William Forbes_ younger of Lesly, _John
Kennedy_ of Carmucks, _Robert Arburthnot_ of Findowrie, _Alexander Brodie_
of Letham, Master _Robert Narne_ younger of Strathurd, Master _James
Schoneir_ of Caskeberrie, _James Ruchheid, Lawrence Hendersone, James
Stewart, David Douglas, John Jaffray, George Porterfield, John Semple,
John Kennedy, William Glendinning_, Master _John Cowan, John Mill_ Elders:
Giving unto them full Power and Commission, to doe all and every thing for
prosecuting, advancing, perfecting, and bringing the said Work of
Uniformity in Religion in all his Majesties Dominions to a happy
conclusion, conform to the former Commissions granted by preceding
Assemblies thereanent. And to that effect, Appoints them or any seventeene
of them, whereof thirteene shall bee Ministers, to meet heer in this City
in the afternoone at four hours, and thereafter upon the last Wednesdayes
of November, February, and May next, and upon any other day, and in any
other place they shall think fit. Renewing also to the Persons before
named, the Power contained in the Act of the Assembly 1643. intituled, _A
reference to the Commission anent the Persons designed to repaire to the
Kingdome of England_; As likewise the Power contained in the Act of
Assemblie 1644. Sess. 6. for sending Ministers to the Armie. And further,
in case Dilinquents have no constant residence in any one Presbyterie; Or
if Presbyteries be negligent or overawed, in these cases, The Assemblie
gives to the Persons before named, full power of censuring Complyers and
Persons disaffected to the Covenant according to the Acts of Assemblie;
Declaring always and Providing, that Ministers shall not bee deposed but
in one of the Quarterly meetings of this Commission; With full power to
them to treat and determine in the matters aforesaid, and in all other
matters referred unto them by this Assemblie, as fully and freely as if
the same were here particularly expressed, and with as ample power as any
Commission of any former Generall Assemblies hath had, or been in use of
before; They being alwayes for their whole proceedings countable to, and
censurable by the next Generall Assembly.



_Desires and Overtures from the Commissioners of Universities, and the
Assemblies answer thereto._


1. The Commissioners of Universities represents to the Assembly: First,
That the Overtures of the Assembly 1643. for the visitation of Schools and
advancement of Learning are very much neglected.

_The Assembly recommends to Synodes to take account of the observation of
these Overtures._

2. That it were good to exhort all the Universities, to be careful to take
account of all their Schollers on the Sabbathday of the Sermons, and of
their lessons or the Catechisme.

_The Assembly approves this Overture, and recommends accordingly._

3. That all the Universities bee exhorted to send their commissioners
instructed with answers to the Overtures agreed upon by the Commissioners
of Universities, and which from this meeting or their Commissioners shall
bee communicate to them, and this to bee when their Commissioners come in
Februar or March to the Commission of the Kirk.

_The Assemblie reccommends to Universities to bee carefull hereof._

4. That the Overtures concerning the providing of Bursars for Divinity be
recommended to Presbyteries and Synodes, and that they report their
diligence to the next Assembly.

_The Assembly allowes this Article, and recommends accordingly._



_Edinburgh 1. September 1647._ Sess. Ult.



_The Assemblies Letter to their Countreymen in_ Poleland, Swedland,
Denmarke, _and_ Hungarie.


_Unto the Scots Merchants and others our Countrey People scattered in_
Poleland, Swedland, Denmark, _and_ Hungary; _The General Assembly of the
Kirk of_ Scotland _wisheth Grace Mercy & Peace from God our Father, and
from the Lord Jesus Christ._

Although this Kirk of _Scotland_, whiles spoiled of her Liberties under
the Prelatical tyrannie, had much difficultie and wrestling to preserve
the true reformed Religion from being quite extinguished among ourselves;
yet since the mighty & out-stretched arme of the Lord our God hath brought
us out of that _Egypt_, and hath restored to us well constituted and free
national Synods, It hath been our desire and endeavour to set forward the
Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ and the purity of his Ordinances, not
only throughout this Nation, but in other parts also so far as God gave us
a call and opportunity and opened a way unto us. And among other things of
this nature we have more particularly taken into our serious thoughts the
sad and lamentable condition of many thousands of you our Country-men who
are scattered abroad as sheepe having no shepherd, and are through the
want of the meanes of knowledge grace and salvation, exposed to the
greatest spirituall dangers, whether through ignorance or through manifold
tentations to errors and false Religions, or through the occasions and
snares of sinne.

Wee have therefore thought it incumbent to us to put you in minde of the
one thing necessary, while you are so carefull and troubled about the
things of the world. And although we do not disallow your going abroad to
follow any lawfull calling or way of lively hood, yet seeing it cannot
profit a man although he should gain the whole world and lose his own
soul, and seeing you have travelled so farre, and taken so much pains to
get uncertain riches which cannot deliver in the day of the wrath of the
Lord, and which men know not who shall inherit; We doe from our affection
to the salvation of your immortall souls most earnestly beseech and warn
you to cry after knowledge and lift up your voyce for understanding,
seeking her as silver, and searching for her as for hid treasures, and so
play the wise Merchants in purchasing the Pearl of Price, and in laying up
a sure foundation for the time to come, by acquainting your souls with
Jesus Christ, and by faith taking hold of him whose free grace is now
offered and held out to sinners, excluding none among all the kindreds of
the earth who will come unto him. God forbid that you should let slip the
time and offers of grace, or neglect any warning of this kinde sent to you
in the name of the Lord. We shall hope better things of you, and that
knowing the acceptable time and the day of salvation will not alwayes
last, but the Lord Jesus is to be revealed from heaven with his mighty
Angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God and
obey not the Gospel, you will the rather bestirre your selves timely and
with all diligence to seek the Lord while he may bee found, to endeavour
that you may have among you the ordinary means of grace and salvation, to
pray that God would give you Pastors according to his heart, who shall
feede you with knowledge and understanding, to consult also and agree
among your selves with consent of your Superiors under whom you live
(whose favour and good will we trust will not be wanting to you in so good
and necessary a work) for setting up the worship of God and
Ecclesiasticall Discipline among you according to the form established and
received in this your mother Kirk, and for a way of settled maintenance to
Pastors and Teachers, Which if you do, our Commissioners appointed to meet
from time to time in the intervall betwixt this and the next Nationall
Assembly, will bee ready (upon your desire made known to them) to provide
some able and godly Ministers for you, as likewise to communicate to you
our Directory for the publike worship of God, and our form of
Ecclesiastical Government and Discipline; together with the Confession of
Faith and Catechisme.

And in the meane time we exhort you that you neglect not the Worship of
God in secret and in your families, and that ye continue stedfast in the
Profession of that faith in which yee were baptised, and by a godly,
righteous, and sober conversation adorn the Gospel; and with all, that
distance of place make you not the lesse sensible of your Countries
sufferings, both in respect of the just judgements of God for the sinnes
of the land, and in respect of the malice of Enemies for the Common Cause
& Covenant of the three Kingdoms, of which happie conjunction,
notwithstanding we do not repent us, but by the grace of God shall
continue faithful and steadfast therein.

This Letter wee have thought fit to bee Printed and published, that it may
be with the greater ease and conveniency conveyed to the many several
places of your habitation or traffique. Consider what we have said, and
the Lord give you understanding in all things. The grace of our Lord Jesus
Christ be with you all, Amen.

_Edinburgh, August 31. 1647._

Subscribed in name of the Generall Assembly of the Kirk of Scotland

_Mr Robert Douglasse_ Moderator.



_Act concerning the Hundred and eleven Propositions therein mentioned._


Being tender of so great an ingagement by Solemn Covenant, sincerely,
really, and constantly to endeavour in our Place, and Callings, the
preservation of the Reformed Religion in this Kirk of _Scotland_, in
Doctrine, Worship, Discipline, and Government, the Reformation of Religion
in the Kingdomes of _England_, and _Ireland_, in Doctrine, Worship,
Discipline, and Government, according to the Word of God, and the example
of the best Reformed Kirks, and to endeavour the nearest Conjunction and
Uniformity in all these, together with the extirpation of Heresie,
Schisme, and whatsoever shall bee found contrary to sound Doctrine: And
considering withall that one of the speciall meanes which it becometh us
in our Places and Callings to use in pursuance of these ends, is in zeal
for the true Reformed Religion, to give our publike testimony against the
dangerous Tenents of _Erastianisme_, _Independencie_, and which is falsely
called _Liberty of Conscience_, which are not only contrary to sound
Doctrine, but more speciall lets and hinderances, as well to the
preservation of our own received Doctrine, Worship, Discipline, and
Government, as to the Work of Reformation and Uniformity in _England_ and
_Ireland_. The Generall Assembly (M2) upon these considerations, having
heard publikely read the CXI following Propositions exhibited and tendered
by some Brethren, who were appointed to prepare Articles or Propositions
for the vindication of the Trueth in these particulars, Doth unanimously
approve & agree unto these eight generall Heads of Doctrine therein
contained and asserted, _viz._ 1. That the Ministery of the Word and the
Administration of the Sacraments of the New Testament, Baptisme and the
Lords Supper, are standing Ordinances instituted by God himself to
continue in the Church to the end of the World. 2. That such as Administer
the Word and Sacraments, ought to be duely called and ordained thereunto.
3. That some Ecclesiasticall censures are proper and peculiar to be
inflicted onely upon such as bear Office in the Kirk; Other censures are
common and may bee inflicted both on Ministers and other Members of the
Kirk. 4. That the censure of suspension from the Sacrament of the Lords
Supper, inflicted because of grosse ignorance, or because of a scandalous
life and conversation, As likewise the censure of Excommunication or
calling out of the Kirk flagitious or contumacious offenders, both the one
censure and the other is warranteble by and grounded upon the Word of God,
and is necessary (in respect of divine institution) to be in the Kirk. 5.
That as the Rights, Power, and Authority of the Civill Magistrate are to
bee maintained according to the Word of God, and the Confessions of the
Faith of the Reformed Kirks; So it is no lesse true and certaine, that
Jesus Christ, the onely Head and onely King of the Kirk, hath instituted
and appointed a Kirk Government distinct from the Civill Government or
Magistracie. 6: That the Ecclesiastical Government is committed and
intrusted by Christ to the Assemblies of the Kirk, made up of the
Ministers of the Word and Ruling Elders. 7. That the lesser and inferiour
Ecclesiasticall Assemblies, ought to bee subordinate and subject unto the
greater and superiour Assemblies. 8. That notwithstanding hereof, the
Civill Magistrate may and ought to suppresse by corporall or Civill
punishments, such as by spreading Errour or Heresie, or by fomenting
Schisme greatly dishonour God, dangerously hurt Religeon and disturbe the
Peace of the Kirk. Which Heads of Doctrine (howsoever opposed by the
authors and fomenters of the foresaid errours respectively) the Generall
Assembly doth firmely beleeve, own, maintaine, and commend unto others, as
Solide, True, Orthodoxe, grounded upon the Word of God, consonant to the
judgement both of the ancient and the best Reformed Kirk; And because this
Assembly (through the multitude of other necessary and pressing
bussinesse) cannot now have so much leisure, as to examine and consider
particularly the foresaid CXI. Propositions; Therefore, a more particular
examination thereof is committed and referred to the Theologicall
faculties in the four Universities of this Kingdome, and the judgement of
each of these faculties concerning the same, is appointed to bee reported
to the next Generall Assembly. In the meane while, these Propositions
shall bee Printed, both that Copies thereof may bee sent to Presbyteries,
and that it may be free for any that pleaseth to peruse them, and to make
known or send their judgement concerning the same to the said next
Assembly.



_Desires and Overtures presented from Presbyteries and Synods, with the
Assemblies answer thereunto._


It is humbly presented to the Assembly, that the children of many of the
ordinary beggars want baptisme, Themselves also living in great vilenesse,
and therefore desire that some remedie may be provided for these abuses.

_The Assembly doth seriously recommend to Presbyteries to consider of the
best remedies, and to report their opinions to the next Assembly._

That all Students of Philosophie at their entry and at their Lawreation,
bee holden to subscribe the League and Covenant and be urged thereto, and
all other Persons as they come to age and discretion before their first
receiving the Sacrament of the Lords Supper.

_The Assembly approves this Overture._

Whereas divers Ministers want Mansses and Gleebs, and others have their
Gleeb so divided in parcells, or lying so Farre from their Charges the
Ministers are thereby much prejudged; We desire that this Generall
Assembly will recommend it to bee helped by the Parliament, or Committee
for planting of Kirks, in the best manner that their Lordships can advise.

Whereas divers Kirks were incommodiously united in corrupt times, we
desire that the same be now dismembered and adjoyned to other Kirks, or
erected in Kirks by themselves alone, and when the present incumbents
agrees thereto, we desire the same to bee recommend to the Parliament and
Committee for plantation of Kirks, Provided alwayes, that the present
Ministers who have laboured and indured the heat of day, may enjoy the
benefit of such parcells as are taken from them during their life.

_The Assembly doth approve these two Articles, and Recommends to the
Commissioners for publike Affaires to assist any interested in the
particulars for prosecuting the same before the Honourable Estates of
Parliament, or the Commission appointed by them for plantation of Kirks._

The Generall Assembly, Doe yet againe recommend to Presbyteries and
Provinciall Assemblies, to consider all matters formerly referred unto
them by preceding Assemblies, and desires that their opinions concerning
the same, be reported in writ to the next Generall Assembly.

_It is this day appointed, that the next Generall Assembly shall meet at_
Edinburgh _the second Wednesday of July 1648._

A. Ker.



THE GENERALL ASSEMBLY, AT _EDINBURGH_.



Iuly 12. 1648. _Post meridiem,_ Sess. 1.



_The Letter from the Synod of Divines in_ England _to the Generall
Assembly._


_Right Honourable, right Reverend, and dearly beloved brethen in_ JESUS
CHRIST,

As we have great cause to blesse God for the brotherly Union of these two
Nations in the common Cause of Religion and Liberty, and for that good
hand of blessing which hath accompanied the joynt endeavours of both, in
the prosecution thereof: So we cannot but be sadly and deeply sensible of
those many obstructions and difficulties, wherewith God in his wisdom hath
seen good to exercise his Servants in both Kingdoms in the carrying on of
that work, wherein they stand so much ingaged. Herein he hath clearly
manifested his own power, wisdom, and goodnesse for our encouragement to
trust him in the managing of his own Work, and our utter inability to
effect it of our selves, thereby to train us up to a more humble and
faithfull dependency upon him to do all, when we by our own wisdom and
strength can do nothing. Our perplexities we must confesse, are and have
been many, and yet in the midst of them all we cannot but thankfully
acknowledge it is a token for good, and that which hath bin and still is a
great comfort and refreshing to our hearts, that God hath given you wisdom
timely to foresee approaching dangers, but especially to behold, as the
stedfastnesse of your Faith, in that both formerly you have been and at
present are able to trust God in straits and to appear for him in greatest
dangers, so your eminent faithfulnesse and integrity in your firm adhering
to your first principles, and chiefly in your constancy and zeal for the
preservation and prosecution of the Solemn League and Covenant, so
Religiously ingaged in by both Kingdoms: In your vigorous pursuance
whereof, with much thankfulnesse to God, We are very sensible more
particularly of your steering so steady, and even a course between the
dangerous rocks of Prophanesse and Malignancie on the one hand, and of
Errour, Schisme, Heresie and Blasphemy on the other hand; as also of your
constant desires and endeavours to preserve the Peace and Union between
the two Nations so nearly and so many wayes United. In all which we humbly
acknowledge the mercy and faithfulnesse of God in guiding you so
graciously hitherto; and through his assistance we shall still be ready to
afford you the best help & incouragement of our prayers and praises to God
on your behalf; having this confidence that he who hath already vouchsafed
you and us so many blessed pledges of his favour, will in his own time and
way accomplish his own Work, which so much concerneth his own Glory and
his Peoples good. To his most gracious protection & guidance in these
doubtfull and dangerous times we humbly commend you and all your holy
endeavours, and rest.

_Westminster_ June 7. 1648.

_Subscribed in the name and by the apointment of the whole Assembly by
us._

_Direct_

To the Right Honourable, Right Reverend, the Generall Assembly of the
Church of Scotland, or their Commissioners.

Charles Harle, _Prolocutor._
William Gouge, _Assessor._
Henry Robrough, _Scribe._
Adoniram Byfield, _Scribe._



Iuly 15 _Antemeridiem_, Sess. 4.



_Act concerning Commissions from Burghs._


It is resolved by the Generall Assembly, untill the matter concerning
Commissioners from Burghs be further thought upon, that in the mean time
according to the ordinary practice no Commission to the Generall Assembly
be admitted from Burghs, but such as shall be consented to, and approven
by the Ministry and Sessions thereof, the persons elected being always
Elders.



Iuly 18. 1648. _Antemeridiem._ Sess 6.



_Act concerning the examining of the proceedings of the Commissioners of
Assemblies._


The Generall Assembly renews and revives the Act of the Assembly holden at
_Bruntiland Anno 1601._ concerning the examination of the proceedings of
the Commission of the Generall Assembly, tenour whereof follows. _The
Assembly hath Ordained that in every Assembly to be conveened in all time
coming such as shall happen to be appointed Commissioners from the
Generall Assembly, to endure while the Assembly next thereafter, shall
give an account of their proceedings during the whole time of their
Commission in the beginning of the Assembly, before any other cause or
matter be handled and their proceedings to be allowed or disallowed as the
Assembly shall think expedient._



Iuly 18. 1648. _Postmeridiem._ Sess. 7.



_Approbation of the proceedings of the Commission of the preceeding
Assembly,_


The Generall Assembly having examined the proceedings of the Commission of
the preceeding Assembly, especially their Declarations, Remonstrances,
Representations, Petitions, Vindication, and other Papers relating to the
present Engagement in War, Do unanimously finde that in all their
proceedings, they have been zealous, diligent and Faithfull in discharge
of the trust committed to them; And therefore ratifie and approve the
whole proceedings, Acts and conclusions of the said Commission: and
particularly their Papers relating to the said Engagement, and their
judgement of the unlawfulnesse thereof, Appointing Mr _John Moncreiff_
Moderator _pro tempore_ to return them hearty thanks in name of the
Assembly for their great pains, travells & fidelity in matters of so great
concernment to the Cause of God and to this Kirk, admidst so great and
many difficulties.



July 20. 1648. _Postmeridiem,_ Sess. 10.



_Approbation of the larger Catechisme._


The Generall Assembly having exactly examined and seriously considered,
the larger Catechisme agreed upon by the Assembly of Divines sitting at
_Westminster_ with assistance of Commissioners from this Kirk, Copies
thereof being Printed, and sent to Presbyteries for the more exact tryall
thereof, and publick intimation being frequently made in this Assembly,
that every one that had any doubts or objections upon it, might put them
in; Do finde upon due examination thereof, That the said Catechisme is
agreeable to the Word of God, and in nothing contrary to the received
Doctrine, Worship, Discipline and Government of this Kirk, a necessary
part of the intended Uniformity in Religion, and a rich treasure for
increasing knowledge among the People of God, and therefore the Assembly,
as they blesse the Lord that so excellent a Catechisme is prepared, so
they Approve the same as a part of Uniformity; Agreeing for their part,
that it be a common Catechisme for the three Kingdoms, and a Directory for
Catechising such as have made some proficiency in the knowledge of the
grounds of Religion.



_July 21. 1648. Antemeridiem,_ Sess. 11.



_Act against sudden admitting deposed Ministers to particular
Congregations._


The General Assembly considering the danger of sudden receiving of deposed
Ministers at this time when Malignancy is likely to spread; Therefore
finding it necessary untill the ends of the Solemn League and Covenant be
setled and secured to restrain the suddenness of admitting deposed
Ministers to particular charges, Do Ordain that notwithstanding any
License to be granted for opening the mouths of deposed Ministers yet they
shall not be actually admitted to any particular Congregations without
consent of the Generall Assembly, Declaring for such as have already their
mouths opened before the time, that if any calling to a particular charge
offer unto them before the next Assembly, it shall be sufficient for them
to have the consent of the Commissioners of this Generall Assembly.



July 25. 1648. _Antemeridiem._ Sess. 14.



_The Assemblies Answer to the Paper sent from the Committee of Estates of
the 24. July._


The Generall Assembly having considered the Paper of the _24. July_
delivered to them from the conference, and having compared it with the
other Paper of the 17. of _July_ presented from the Honourable Committee
of Estates whereunto it relates, and with the Declaration lately emitted
by the Committee to the Parliament and Kingdom of _England_, finde that it
is supposed by their Lordships, that we may be satisfied in point of the
security of Religion according to the Covenant; notwithstanding of the
present engagement in war; The Assembly do therefore in answer to the said
Paper declare, That we see no possibility of securing Religion, as long as
this unlawfull Engagement is carried on, Religion being thereby greatly
endangered,

1. Because none of the just and necessary desires of the Commission of the
late General Assembly for securing Religion have been granted or
satisfied; More particularly it was represented to the High and Honourable
Court of Parliament, that for securing of Religion, it was necessary that
the Popish, Prelaticall and Malignant party, be declared Enemies to the
Cause upon the one hand, as well as Sectaries upon the other, and that all
Associations, either in Forces or Councels with the former as well as the
latter be avoided. That his Majesties Concessions and offers concerning
Religion, sent home from the Isle of _Wight_, be declared by the
Parliament to be unsatisfactory, That before his Majesties restitution to
the exercise of his Royall power assurance be had from his Majesty by his
solemn Oath under his hand and Seal for settling Religion according to the
Covenant, That their Lordships should keep themselves from owning any
quarrel concerning his Majesties Negative voice, That the managing of the
publike affairs, might be intrusted onely to such persons as have given
constant proof of their integrity, and against whom there is no just cause
of exception or jealousie, and that there might be no Engagement without a
solemn Oath, wherein the Kirk ought to hand the same interest they had in
the solemn League and Covenant; All which are more particularly expressed
in the Papers given in by the Commission of the late Assembly to the
Parliament; notwithstanding the Engagement hath been carried on without
satisfaction to these and the like desires, and so without giving security
in the point of Religion, but with great and manifest danger to the same.

2. As the happy Union of the Kingdoms, by the solemn League and Covenant
hath been justly looked upon as a speciall means for preserving and
strengthening the true Reformed Religion in this Island, So it is no lesse
weakened & hurt by endeavouring a breach between these Kingdoms; Which
howsoever disclaimed, is yet manifest from the reality of the publike
proceedings in this Engagement, and namely from the neglect of
endeavouring a Treaty between the Kingdoms for preventing of War and
bloodshed as was earnestly desired, from their associating and joyning
with known Malignants and Incendiaries, and such as have been declared
Enemies to this Cause, from their entring the Kingdom of _England_ with an
Army, upon the grounds of the Declaration of the Parliament, which cannot
but infer a National quarrel against the Parliament and Kingdom of
_England_, and from their garrisoning the frontire Towns of that Kingdom.

3. The Engagement is carried on by such means and ways, as tend to the
destroying of Religion, by ensnaring and forcing the consciences of the
people of God with unlawfull Bands and Oathes, and oppressing the Persons
and Estates of such as have been most active and zealous for Religion and
the Covenant. All which is strengthened and authorized by Acts of
Parliament, appointing that all that do not obey, or perswade others not
to obey the Resolutions of Parliament and Committee anent this Engagement,
or who shall not subscribe the Act and Declaration of the 10. _June_,
1648. imposed upon all the Subjects, shall be holden as enemies to the
Cause and to Religion, and have their persons secured, and their Estates
intromitted with.

4. The Engagement is carried on, not without great encroachments upon the
Liberties of the Kirk, as we are ready to clear in many particulars.

Wherefore the security of Religion, and carrying on of the present
Engagement being inconsistent, We do propose for the necessary security
and safety of Religion, that all the dangers thereof may be taken to
consideration, and amongst the rest the said Engagement as one of the
greatest which yet being established and authorized by Act of Parliament,
we leave it to their Lordships to think of what remedies may be provided
for redressing grievances which flow from such Acts and Ordinances. This
we are sure of, the publike desires of the Kirk will abundantly witnesse
for us, that such things as were necessary for the security of Religion,
were in due season represented, & yet not granted by them that had greater
power & authority at that time when it was much more easie to give
satisfaction therein then now; So that the blame cannot lye upon the
General Assembly or their Commissioners that Religion is not secured.



July 28. 1648. _Antemeridiem,_ Sess. 18.



_Act and Declaration against the Act of Parliament & Committee of Estates
ordained to be subscribed the 10. and 12. of June, and against all new
Oathes or Bands in the common Cause imposed without consent of the
Church._


The Generall Assembly taking to consideration a Declaration and Act of
Parliament, of the date 10. of _June_, 1648. highly concerning Religion,
and the consciences of the People of God in the Land, and one Act of the
Committee of Estates, of the date 12. of _June_, 1648. both published in
Print, whereby all Subjects are Ordained by subscription to acknowledge as
just, and oblige themselves to adhere unto the said Act and Declaration,
containing an obligation upon their honours and credits, and as they
desire to be, and to be holden, as lovers of their Country, Religion, Laws
and Liberties, to joyn and concur with their Persons and Estates in the
assistance of the execution, and observation of the Acts and Constitutions
of this Parliament, as the most fit and necessary remedies of the by-gone
and present evils and distractions of this Kirk and Kingdom, and for the
preservation of Religion, Laws and Liberties and of his Majesties
authority, with certification that such as refuse or delay to subscribe
the same, shall be holden as Enemies and Opposites to the Common Cause,
consisting in the maintenance of the true reformed Religion, of the Laws
and Liberties of the Kingdom and of his Majesties authority. Which
subscription the Assembly cannot otherwise look upon, then as a snare for
the People of God to involve them in guiltinesse, and to draw them from
their former Principles and Vows in the solemn League and Covenant. For
that subscription were an approving of some Acts of Parliament, which they
have never yet seen nor known, they not being all published, were an
agreeing to Acts of Parliament, highly concerning Religion and the
Covenant, made not onely without, but expresly against the advise of the
Kirk, were an acknowledging of this present Engagement in War, in all the
means and ways for promoving the same, to be the most fit and necessary
remedies of the by-gone and present evils, whereas so many Petitions to
the Parliament, from Committees of War, Synods, Presbyteries and Paroches
have made it appear, that they are no way satisfied therewith in point of
conscience; were an ascribing of a power to the Parliament, to declare
these to be enemies to the true Religion, whom the Kirk hath not declared
to be such but rather friends; were an approving of an Act made for the
restraining the liberty of printing from the Kirk, yea and of all the Acts
of the Committee of Estates, to be made in time coming, till _March_ 1650.
which by Act of Parliament are ordained to be obeyed; were an allowing of
Acts for securing of the persons, and intrometting with the Estates of
such as themselves shall not obey, or perswade others not to obey
resolutions concerning this Engagement, and for protecting persons under
Kirk Censures, and so an infringing and violating of the Liberties and
Discipline of the Kirk established by the Laws of the Land, and sworn to
in the Nationall Covenant to be defended, under the pains contained in the
Law of God, And in all these, such as do subscribe, do binde themselves
not only to active obedience in their own persons, but to the urging of
active obedience upon all others, and so draw upon themselves all the
guiltinesse and sad consequences of the present engagement; Yea, such as
are Members of Parliament, and have in the Oath of Parliament sworn not to
Vote or consent to any thing, but what to their best knowledge is most
expedient for Religion, Kirk and Kingdom, and accordingly have reasoned
against, and dissented from divers Acts of this Parliament, These by the
subscription of this Act, cannot eschew the danger of perjury, in obliging
themselves to active obedience to these Acts, which according to their
Oath, they did judge unlawfull. Neither can the 38. Act of the Parliament
1640. wherein such a kinde of Band was enacted to be subscribed by any
precedent or Warrant for subscribing of this Act; For it plainly appears
by the narrative of that Act omitted in this Band, how great a difference
there is between the condition of affairs then & now. Then the Kings
Commissioner had left and discharged the sitting of the Parl. then the
Parl. for sitting was declared Traitors, and Armies in _England_ and
_Ireland_ prepared against them, then not only the Act, but the very
authority of Parliament was called in question, then Kirk and State were
united in the Cause against the Malignant party, then nothing was
determined in Parliament in matters of Religion without, much lesse
against the advice of the Kirk; But beside that, it was not thought
expedient by the State, that that Band should be pressed through the
Kingdom. The case now not onely differs from what was then, But is in many
things just contrary, as is evident to all who will compare the two
together. And therefore the Generall Assembly professing in all tender
respect to the high and Honourable Court of Parliament and Committee of
Estates, but finding a straiter tye of God lying upon their Consciences,
that they be not found unfaithfull watchmen, and betrayers of the souls of
these committed to their charge, Do unanimously Declare the foresaid
subscription to be unlawfull and sinfull. And do warn, and In the Name of
the Lord Charge all the members of this Kirk, to forbear the subscribing
of the said Act and Declaration, much more the urging of the subscription
thereof, as they would not incur the wrath of God, and the Censures of the
Kirk. And considering how necessary it is that according to the desire of
the Commissioners of the Assembly to the Parliament, the Kirk might have
the same interest in any new Oathes in this Cause, as they had in the
solemn League and Covenant, and what dangers of contradictory Oathes,
perjuries and snares to mens consciences may fall out otherwise: Therefore
they likewise enjoyn all the members of this Kirk, to forbear the
swearing, subscribing or pressing of any new Oathes or Bands in this
Cause, without advice and concurrence of the Kirk, especially to in any
way limit or restrain them in the duties whereunto they are obliged, by
nationall or solemn League and Covenant, and that with certification as
aforesaid. And such as have already pressed or subscribed the foresaid Act
and Declaration, The Generall Assembly doth hereby exhort them most
earnestly in the bowels of Christ, to repent of that their defection. And
Ordains that Presbyteries, or in case of their negligence, or being
overawed the provinciall Synods or the Commission of the Assembly, which
of them shall first occur, and in case of the Synods negligence, that the
said Commission be carefull to proceed against, and censure the
contraveeners of the Act according to the quality and degree of their
offences as they will be answerable to the Generall Assembly; and that
therefore this Act be sent to Presbyteries to be republished in the
several Kirks of their bounds.



_Eodem die Postmeridiem._ Sess. 19.



_Approbation of the shorter Catechisme._


The Generall Assembly having seriously considered the shorter Catechisme,
agreed upon by the Assembly of Divines sitting at _Westminster_, with
assistance of Commissioners from this Kirk. Doe finde upon due examination
thereof, That the said Catechisme is agreeable to the Word of God, and in
nothing contrary to the received, Doctrine, Worship, Discipline and
Government of this Kirk, And therefore Approve the said shorter Catechisme
as a part of the intended Uniformity, to be a Directory for Catechising
such as are of weaker capacitie.



_Act discharging a little Catechisme printed at_ Edinburgh, 1647.


The Generall Assembly having found in a little Catechisme, printed at
_Edinburgh_, entituled, _The A. B. C. with the Catechisme, That is to say,
an instruction to be taught and learned of young children_, very grosse
errours in the point of Universall Redemption, and in the number of the
Sacraments, Therefore doe discharge the venting or selling of the said
Catechisme of the foresaid impression, or of whatsoever other impression
the same be of, and all use thereof in Schools or Families, Inhibiting
also all Printers to reprint the same, And recommends to Presbyteries to
take speciall care that this Act be obeyed.



_Ult._ Iuly 1648. _Postmeridiem,_ Sess. 21.



_A Declaration of the Generall Assembly concerning the present dangers of
Religion, and especially the unlawfull engagement in War, against the
Kingdom of_ England; _Together, with many necessary exhortations and
directions to all the Members of the Kirk of Scotland._


It cannot seem strange to any that considereth the great trust that lyeth
on us, comparing the same with the eminent dangers wherewith the Cause of
God is invironed in this Land, if at this time We declare our sense
thereof, and warn the people of God from this watch-tower of the present
duties incombent to them; Our witnesse is in heaven, and our record on
high, that we doe not this from any disrespect to the Parliament whom we
have honoured and will ever honour and also obey in all things which are
agreeable to the Word of God, to our Solemn Covenants: And to the duties
of our Callings, Not from any disloyalty or undutifulnesse to the Kings
Majestie to whom we heartily wish, and to his posterity after him, a happy
Reigne over these Dominions, Nor from any factious disposition or siding
with this or that party whatsoever, Nor from any contentious humour about
light or small matters, Nor from any favour to or complyance with
Sectaries, against whose cursed opinions and ungodly practises, we have
heretofore given ample testimony, and are still obliged by Solemn Covenant
to endeavour the extirpation of Heresie and Schism; But from the
Conscience or our duty when the glory of God, the Kingdom of his Son, his
Word, Ordinances, Government, Covenant, Ministery, Consciences of People,
Peace and Liberties of the Kirk are incompassed and almost overwhelmed
with great and growing dangers.

How freely and faithfully the servants of God of old have rebuked sin in
persons of all ranks, not sparing Kings, States nor Kingdoms, the
Scripture maketh it most plain to all that looks thereon; Neither want we
domestick examples, if we look back a little upon the behaviour of our
zealous Ancestours in this Kirk, who not only in their Sermons severally
with great gravity and freedom reproved the sins of the time, But more
especially in the Kirk Judicatories plain and downright dealing was most
frequent and familiar, as appears in the Assemblies holden in _June_ and
in _October_ 1582. in _October_ 1583. in _May_ 1592. in _May_ 1594. and in
_March_ 1595. And not only the Generall Assembly by themselves, but also
by their Commissioners faithfully and freely laboured to oppose all the
steps of defection; as at other times, so in the yeer 1596. wherein four
or five severall times they gave most free admonitions to the King,
Parliament and Councell, with a Protestation at the last before God, that
they were free of their blood, and of whatsoever judgement should fall
upon the Realm, and that they durst not for fear of committing High
Treason against Jesus Christ the onely Monarch of his Kirk, abstain any
longer from fighting against their proceedings with the spiritual armour
granted to them of God, and mighty in him for overthrowing all these
bulwarks set up against his Kingdom; And in their Declaration then emitted
to the Kingdom, they shew that it was a main design to have the freedom of
the Spirit of God in the rebuke of Sin by the mouthe of his Servants
restrained and therefore they warne all Pastours of their duty in applying
Doctrine and free preaching. Like as the Assembly, 24. _March_ 1596,
reckons up amongst the corruptions of the Ministery to be censured with
deprivation, if continued in, the not applying their Doctrine against the
corruptions of the time, which was renewed in our late Assembly at
_Glasgow_ 1638. What hath been done since that Assembly is in recent
memory; and the Papers to that purpose have been published in Print, and
are in the hands of all, Therefore being warranted by the Word of God, and
encouraged by the forementioned examples, as after exact examination, we
have approven the proceedings of the Commissioners of the last Generall
Assembly, and specially their Declarations, Desires, Representatations,
Remonstrances, Supplications, Vindication and other Papers relating to the
present engagment in War, wherein they have given good proof of their
fidelity, wisdom and zeal in the cause of God, So we finde our selves
necessitate to make known unto all the People of God in this Nation our
sense concerning the dangers and duties or this present time.

The cry of the insolencies of this present Army from almost all the parts
of this Kingdom, hath been so great that it hath gone up to heaven, and if
we should be silent, we could not be reputed faithfull in the performance
of our duty. We do acknowledge that it is incident unto all Armies to be
subject unto some disorders, and the Ministers of the Kingdom have not
been deficient in former times to represent the same as they come unto
their knowledge, calling for the redresse of them at their hands who had
power: But the Commissioners of this present Assembly from the severall
Provinces have exhibited great variety or abominable scandals and heinous
impieties and insolencies committed by persons imployed in this service,
whereof we think fitting here to give you a touch.

As if liberty had been proclaimed to the lusts of lewd men, These that
have been imployed in very many places of Land have used horrible
extortion of Moneys at their pleasure, and beside the taking of victuals
as they would for their own use, they have in severall places wilfully
destroyed the same, and have plundred many houses, taking all away they
could and destroying what they could not carry away; in this great
oppression & spoil of goods as the sufferers were many so choise hath been
made of those who Petitioned the High and Honourable Court of Parliament
for satisfaction to their Consciences before the Engagement, or who were
known to make conscience of the worship of God in their families, on whom
they might exercise their raging wrath and unsatiable convetousnesse; Nor
stayed their rage here, but as though the war had been against God,
publick Fasts have not only been neglected, but profaned by riotous
spending and making merry, Divine Worship have been in many parts
disturbed, some Ministers and people impeded from coming together, others
scattered when they were met, some taken out of Kirks in time of worship,
others apprehended at their coming out at the Kirk doors and carryed away;
Besides these Ministers in performing the worship of God have been
menaced, contradicted, not without blasphemous Oathes, yea their persons
in Pulpit assaulted, not to speak of the spoiling of their goods, taking,
beating, carrying away their persons and detaining them for a time. And
finally that which excedes all the rest and is more immediately and
directly against God, there hath also been many cruell mockings of his
Worship, and horrid blasphemies; And it is not to be marvelled that such
insolencies have been committed, since there hath been admitied upon this
service some Papists, some bloody Irish Rebels, some non Covenanters, and
very many fugitives from Kirk Discipline, Finally, even those who have
been upon the late Rebellion, and these not onely common Souldiers but
Commanders, beside many voluntiers who have no speciall command & trust.

Besides all these, the Liberties of the Kirk have been grievously
encroached upon; 1. By emitting Declarations from the Parliament and
Committee of Estates, containing severall things highly concerning
Religion without the advice or consent of the Generall Assembly or their
Commissioners, which was a ground of protestation to divers Members of
Parliament who have been most zealous and active in the Cause. 2. The
Article of Religion as expressed in the Declaration of Parliament hath in
it many dangerous expressions, which are particularly instanced in the
Representation of the Commissioners of the Generall Assembly; And the same
Article of Religion in the late Declaration of the Committee of Estates to
_England_ is more unsatisfactory then the former: Like as in the said late
Declaration there is a totall omission of some most materiall things
pretended to in the Declaration of Parliament as satisfactory in point of
securing Religion, _viz._ the clause concerning security to be had from
his Majesty by his solemn Oath under his hand and Seal, that he shall for
himself and his Successors give his Royall assent, and agree to such Act
or Acts of Parliament, and Bills as shall be presented to him by his
Parliaments of both and either Kingdoms respectively for enjoyning
Presbyteriall Government, Directory of Worship and Confession of Faith in
all his Majesties Dominions, and that his Majestie shall never make
opposition to any of those, nor endeavour any change thereof; also the
clause against association with any that refuse to take the Covenant is
omitted: From all which it may appear in how great danger the liberties of
the Kirk and even Religion it self are left. 3. In the close of the
Declaration of Parliament, there is a new and unsound glosse put upon the
Covenant and Acts of General Assembly, contrary to the sense of the
General Assembly itself, as is more fully expressed in the Representation
of the late Commission. 4. No redresse by the Parliament of certain
injuries complained of to their Lordships by the Commissioners of the
preceeding Generall Assembly. 5. Endeavours to weaken and frustrate
Kirk-Censures by making provisions for securing the stipends of such as
shall be censured for their concurring in, or preaching for this present
Engagement. 6. A misrepresentation of the proceedings of the Commission of
the Generall Assembly by the Parliaments Letter of _May_ 11. to the
severall Presbyteries, endeavouring to incense them against the Commission
of the late Assembly and to pre-ocupie their Commissioners to this
Assembly. 7. Whereas there were many Petitions presented to the High and
Honourable Court of Parliament from the Commissioners of the General
Assembly, Synods & Presbyteries against the present Engagement as stated
in the Parliaments Declaration, yet notwithstanding of the said Petitions,
and notwithstanding of many free & frequent warnings given by faithful
Ministers in their Sermons, notwithstanding also that it was not unknown
how much the generality of the wel affected in the Kingdom were
unsatisfied in their consciences with the grounds and way of the said
Engagement, yet good people are not onely left unsatisfied in their and
our desires, but compelled and forced either to sin against their
consciences or to be under heavy pressures & burdens. 8. Yea in the late
Band injoyned to be subscribed by all the Subjects of this Kingdom, men
are put to it to joyn and concur with their Persons & Estates, in the
advancement, furtherance and assistance of the execution obedience &
observation of the Acts and constitutions of the late Parliament; &
consequently, as many as think the Engagement unlawful shall bind
themselves not onely for their own part against their consciences, but to
inforce the same upon others who refuse, and so not onely be oppressed,
but turn oppressours of others. 9. This all the subjects are required by
the Act and Declaration of Parliament to subscribe, as they desire to be
holden true lovers of Religion; It being further affirmed in the said Act
and Declaration, that the Acts and Constitutions of the late Parliament,
are the most fit and necessary remedies for preservation of Religion;
Where the Parliament assume to themselves, without the advice and consent
of the Assemblies of the Kirk, to judge and determine such things wherein,
(if in any thing) the ecclesiastical Assemblies have undoubtedly a special
interest, _viz._ who are to be holden lovers of Religion, and what are the
most fit and necessary remedies for preservation of Religion: Yea it is
ordained by the fourth Act of Parliament, 1640. that for preservation of
Religion, G. Assemblies rightly constitute, as the proper & competent
judge of all matters Ecclesiastical, be keeped yearly and oftner _pro re
nata_. The Coronation Oath doth also suppose the antecedent Judgement of
the Kirk, as the proper and competent judge who are enemies to true
Religion & who not; for his Majesty obliged himself by that Oath, that he
should be carefull to root out all Hereticks and enemies to the true
Worship of God, who shall be convict by the true Kirk of God, of the
aforesaid crimes. 10. The General Assembly and their Commissioners are now
deprived of their liberty of Printing, confirmed and ratified by Act of
Parliament, there being an inhibition to the contrary upon the PRINTER,
under the pain of Death by the Committee of Estates.

Whereas the desires of the Commissioners of the last Assembly, for the
safety and security of Religion, and the right manner of proceeding to
war, together with the supplications of Provinciall Assemblies and
Presbyteries, all tending to the composing of the present unhappy
differences, and to the begetting of a right understanding, have not
produced the desired and wished-for effect; but on the contrary our just
grievances being still more and more heightned, iniquity established by a
law; and that law put in execution; We cannot chuse but declare and give
warning to all the people of GOD in this land, concerning the sinfulnesse
and unlawfulnesse of the present Engagement: which may be demonstrate by
many reasons, as namely.

1. The Wars of GODS people, are called the Wars of the LORD, _Numb._ 21,
14. 2 _Chron_ 20. 15. and if our eating and drinking, much more our
engaging in war must be for God and for his glory; 1 _Cor._ 10. 31.
whatsoever we do in word or deed, we are commanded to do all in the name
of the Lord Jesus, and so for his glory, _Col._ 3. 17. The Kingdom of GOD
and the righteousnesse thereof is to be sought in the first place and
before all other things, _Matth._ 6. 33. It was the best flower and
garland in the former expeditions of this Nation, that they were for God
and for Religion principally and mainly. But if the principal end of this
present Engagement were for the glory of GOD, How comes it to passe that
not so much as one of the desires of the Kirk, for the safety and security
of Religion in the said Engagement, is to this day satisfied or granted;
But on the contrary such courses taken as are destructive to Religion. And
if Gods glory be intended what meaneth the employing and protecting in
this Army so many blasphemers persecutors of Piety, disturbers of divine
worship, and others guilty of notorious and crying sins. Again, how can it
be pretended that the good of Religion is principally aimed at, when it is
proposed and declared that the Kings Majestie shall be brought to some of
his houses in or near _London_, with Honour, Freedom and Safety, before
ever there be any security had from him, or so much as any application
made to him for the good of Religion. What is this but to postpone the
honour of God, the liberties of the Gospel, the safety of Gods people to
an humane interest, and to leave Religion in a condition of uncertainty,
unsetlednesse and hazard, while it is strongly endeavoured to settle and
make sure somewhat else.

2. Suppose the ends of this Engagement to be good (which they are not) yet
the meanes and ways of prosecution are unlawfull, because there is no ane
equall avoiding of rocks on both hands, but a joyning with malignants to
suppresse Sectaries, a joyning hands with a black devill to beat a white
devil; They are bad Physicians who would so cure one disease as to breed
another as evil; or worse. That there is in the present Engagement a
confederacy and association in war with such of the _English_ who
according to the solemn League and Covenant and Declarations of both
Kingdoms, 1643. can be no otherwise looked upon but as Malignants and
enemies of Reformation and the Cause of God, is now made so manifest
before Sun and Moon, that we suppose none will deny it; And tis no lesse
undeniable, that not only many known Malignants, but diverse who joyned in
the late rebellion within this Kingdom are employed, yea, put into places
of trust; All which how contrary tis to the Word of God, no man can be
ignorant who will attentively search the Scriptures, for we finde therein
condemned confederacies and associations with the enemies of true
Religion, whether _Canaanites_, _Exod._ 23. 32. and 24. 12. 15. _Deut._ 7.
2. or other heathens 1 _King_ 11. _v._ 1, 2. such was _Asa_ his Covenant
with _Benhadad_, 2 _Chron._ 16. to v. 10. _Ahaz_ his confederacy with the
King of _Assyria_ 2 _King._ 16. 7. 10. 2 _Chron._ 28. 16. to v. 23. or
whither the association was with wicked men of the seed of _Abraham_, as
_Jehoshaphats_ with _Achab_ 2 _Chron._ 18. 2. compared with chap. 19. 2.
also his association with _Ahaziah_ 2 _Chron_, 20. 35. and _Amaziachs_
associating to himself 100000. of the ten Tribes when GOD was not with
them, 2 _Chron._ 25. 7, 8, 9, 10. The sin and danger of such associations
may further appear from _Isaiah_ 8. 12. 15. _Jer._. 2. 18. _Psal._ 106.
35. _Hos._ 5. 13. and 7. 8, 11. _Cor._ 6. 14, 15. and if we should esteem
Gods enemies, to be our enemies and hate them with perfect hatred, _Psal._
139. 21 how can we then joyn with them as confederates and associates,
especially in a cause where Religion is so highly concerned; and seeing
they have been formerly in actuall opposition to the same cause.

3. We are commanded if it be possible and as much as lieth in us to have
peace with all men, _Rom._ 12. 18, to seek peace and pursue it, _Psal._
34. 14. war and bloodshed is the last remedy after all the wayes and means
of peace have been used in vain. The intended war of the nine Tribes and a
half against the two Tribes and half was prevented by a Message and Treaty
of Peace _Josh._ 22; The like means was used by _Jepthah_ (though not with
the like success) for the preventing of war with the King of _Ammon_
_Judg._ 11. The very light of nature hath taught Heathens not to make war
till first all amicable wayes of preventing bloodshed were tried; yet this
war hath been driven on without observing any such method of proceeding
except by a message wherein not so much as one breach was represented. Yea
though these two Kingdoms are straitly united in Covenant, yet these who
have carried on this war did not only neglect to desire a Treaty, but also
slight an offer of a Treaty made from the Parliament of _England_ upon the
Propositions of both Kingdoms.

4. There are many clear and ful testimonies of Scriptures against the
breach and violation of Covenants, although but between man and man,
_Psal._ 55. 20. _Rom._ 1, 31. 2 _Tim._ 3. 3, Especially where the name of
God was interposed in Covenants by any of his people, _Jer._ 34. 8, 10,
11, 18. _Ezek._ 17. 18. 19. How much more the violation of a Solemn
Covenant between God and his people. _Lev._ 26. 15. 25. _Deut._ 17. 2. and
29. 21, 14, 25. _Jer._ 22. 8, 9. 1 _King._ 19. 10. _Dan._ 11. 32. _Hos._
6. 7. If therefore the present Engagement be a breach of our solemn League
and Covenant, then they who have before taken the Covenant, and have now
joyned in this Engagement, must grant by necessary and infailible
consequence, either that the Covenant it self which they took was
unlawful, and such as they cannot perform without sin (which yet they
cannot professe) or otherwise, that the Engagement is unlawfull and
sinfull, as being a breach of Covenant, and so contrary to the Word of
God; that the present Engagement is a breach of Covenant may appear by
comparing it with each of the Articles, for it is against all the six
Articles of the Covenant.

Against the first, because in stead of the preservation of the Doctrine,
Worship, Discipline and Government of this Kirk; there is not onely a
great quarelling by those that do Engage, at the present doctrine, and
free preaching, a disturbing of and withdrawing from the Worship, and
namely from the late solemn humiliation: But also a refusall of such
things as were desired by the Commission of the late Assembly and
Provincial Synods, as necessary to the preservation of the true Reformed
Religion: And we have just cause of fear that the Reformation of Religion
in Doctrine, Worship, Discipline and Government is not intended to be
sufficiently maintained and preserved, when we finde such a limitation and
restriction in the late Declaration of the Committee of Estates to the
Parliament and Kingdom of _England, That they will maintain and preserve
the Reformation of Religion, Doctrine, Worship, Discipline and Government,
as is by the mercy of GOD, and his Majesties goodnesse established by Law
among us_; but as there is no such limitation in the Covenant, so we have
not had such proof of his Majesties goodnesse as to establish by Law all
that hath been by the mercies of God inacted in Generall Assemblies. As to
the rest of the first Article, concerning the Reformation of _England_ and
_Ireland_, and the Uniformity, as there was some hopefull beginnings
thereof, and a good foundation laid, during the late War against the
Popish Prelaticall and Malignant party, so the state and ground of the War
being now altered, and these chosen for confederates, and associates in
the War, who are known enemies to that Reformation, and Uniformity, how
can the Covenant be keeped in that point as long as such a War is carried
on.

The second Article is violated because in stead of indeavouring to
extirpate Popery and Superstition without respect of persons (as is
exprest in the Covenant) there is in the late Declaration of the Committee
of Estates a desire of the Queens return, without any condition tending to
the restraint of her Masse or exercise of Popery; We do also conceive
there is a tacit condescending to the toleration of Superstition and the
Book of Common prayer in His Majesties family, because as it was reserved
by himself in his concession, brought home by the Commissioners of this
Kingdom, So these concessions were never plainly declared by the
Parliament to be unsatisfactory to their Lordships, howbeit it hath been
often and earnestly desired: neither can we conceive how the clause
concerning the extirpation of Prelacy, can consist with indeavouring to
bring His Majesty with Honour, Freedom and Safety to one of his Houses in
or about LONDON, without any security had from him, for the abolition of
Prelacy; it being his known principle (and publickly declared by himself
shortly after he went to the Isle of _Wight_) that he holds himself
obliged in conscience, and by his Coronation Oath to maintain Archbishops,
Bishops, &c. Can it be said that they are endeavouring to extirpate
Prelacy, who after such a Declaration would put in His Majesties hand an
opportunity to restore it?

As for the third Article we cannot conceive how the preserving of the
Priviledges of Parliament, and asserting the Kings negative voice can
consist; And we are sorrowfull that under the colour, of the Priviledges
of Parliament, the liberties of the Subjects are overthrown, and the
persons and Estates of such as have been best affected to the Cause and
Covenant are exposed to most grievous injuries, crying oppressions: And
whereas the duty in preserving and defending his Majesties Person and
Authority, is by the third Article of the Covenant qualified with, and
subordinate unto the preservation and defence of the true Religion and
Liberties of the Kingdoms, There is no such qualification, nor
subordination observed in the present Engagement, but on the contrary, it
is so carried on, as to make duties to God and Religion conditionall,
qualified, limited; and duties to the King absolute and unlimited.

The fourth Article of the Covenant is so foully broken, that they who were
by that Article declared Enemies, Incendiaries, Malignants, and therefore
to be brought to condigne tryall and punishment, are now looked upon as
friends and associates, and are the men who get most favour and
protection, and sundry of them imployed in places of trust, in the Army
and Committees.

For the fifth Article, instead of endeavouring to preserve Peace and
Union, a breach is endeavoured between the Kingdoms, not only by taking in
and garrisoning their frontire Towns, but also entering the Kingdom of
_England_ with an Army, and joyning with the common enemies of both
Kingdoms, notwithstanding of an offer of a Treaty upon the Propositions of
both Kingdoms made by the Parliament of _England_ to the Parliament of
this Kingdom. And whether the way of this Engagement can consist with the
large Treaty between the Kingdoms, we shall with the Honourable Committee
of Estates may yet take it into their serious second thoughts.

The sixth is also manifestly broken, for we are thereby obliged to assist
and defend all those that entered into this League and Covenant, in
maintaining and pursuing thereof: Whereas the Army now entered into
_England_, is to assist and defend many who have not entered into that
League and Covenant: And for those who took the Covenant in that Nation.
and continue faithfull in it, what they may expect from this Army, may be
collected not onely from their carriage towards their Brethren at home;
but also from that clause toward the close of the late Declaration of the
Committee of Estates, _And that we will do prejudice or use violence to
none (as far as we are able) but to such as oppose us, or such ends above
mentioned._ It cannot be unknown that many of the English Nation who are
firm and faithfull to the Covenant, and Presbyteriall Government do, and
will according to their places and callings oppose some of those ends
above mentioned in that Declaration, as namely, the restoring both of King
and Queen without any condition or security first had from them; And so by
that rule in the Declaration they must expect to be used as enemies, not
as friends. That sixth Article is also broken by a departing from the
first principles and resolutions: and by dividing, and withdrawing from
those that adhere thereunto, which hath been before cleared by the
Commission of the late Generall Assembly in their Declaration in _March_,
Representation, and other Papers published in Print.

5. We leave it to be seriously pondered by every one who is truely
conscientious, whether it be any ways credible or probable, or agreeable
to Scripture rules, that the generality of all that have been most
faithfull and cordiall to the Covenant and cause of God should be
deceived, deluded and darkened in this businesse, and that they who for
the most part were enemies to the work of God in the beginning, and have
never brought forth fruits meet for Repentance, should now finde out the
will of God more than his most faithfull Servants in the Land, and who,
that fears God, will believe that Malignants are for the ends of the
Covenant and that they who are most instrumental in the Reformation, are
against the ends of the Covenant.

All which considered, as we could not, without involving our selves in the
guiltinesse of so unlawfull an Engagement, yeeld to the desire of the Army
for Ministers to be sent by us to attend them; So we do earnestly exhort,
and in the name and authority of Jesus Christ, charge and require all and
every one of the Members of this Reformed Kirk of _Scotland_.

I. That they search narrowly into the sins which have Procured so great
judgements and so sad an interruption of the work of God, that they
examine themselves, consider their wayes, be much in humiliation and
prayer, study a reall and practicall Reformation, That they also mourn and
sigh for the abominations of the Land, and stand in the gap to turn away
the wrath, Among all these fearfull sins, the violation of the Solemn
League and Covenant, would not be forgotten but seriously laid to heart,
as that which eminently provoketh the Lord and procureth his judgements to
be powred forth not onely upon persons and families, but also upon States
and Kingdoms. Covenant-breakers through in common things, are reckoned by
the Apostle in that Catalogue of the abominations of the Gentiles: But
among the people of God, where his great name is interposed, the breach of
Covenant even in meaner matters, such as the setting of servants at
liberty provoketh the Lord to say, _Behold I proclaim a liberty for you
(saith the Lord) to the sword, to the pestilence, and to the famine, and I
will give the men that hath transgressed my Covenant,_ and (not excepting,
but expressly mentioning Princes) he addes, _I will give them into the
hands of their enemies,_ The History of the _Gibeonites_, who
surreptitiously procured the Covenant made to spare them, and whom _Saul_
some ages thereafter in his zeal to the children of _Israel_ and _Judah_
sought to slay, as being cursed _Canaanites_, evidenceth with what
vengeance, the LORD followeth Covenant-breakers, whereof there wants not
in prophane History also both forreign and domestick examples: Therefore
let all the inhabytants of the Land of whatsoever rank, seriously ponder
how terrible judgements the violation of a Covenant so recently, so
advisedly, so solemnly made, and in so weighty matters, may draw on, if
not timously prevented by speedy repentance.

II. That they so respect and honour Authority, as that they be not the
servants of men, nor give obedience to the will and authority of Rulers in
any thing which may not consist with the word of God, but stand fast in
the liberty wherewith Christ hath made them free, and obey God rather then
men.

III. That they carefully avoid the dangerous rocks and snares of this
time, whereby so many are taken and broken. Upon the one hand the sowre
leaven of Malignancy where ever it enters, spoileth and corrupteth the
whole lump, postponing Religion, and the Cause of God to humane interest,
what ever be pretended to the contrary, and obstructing the work of
Reformation, and propagation of Religion out of false respects and
creature interest. As this hath formerly abounded in the land, to the
prejudice of the Cause and Work of God, so of late it is revived,
spreading with specious pretences of vindicating wrongs done to his
Majesty. We desire not to be mistaken, as if respect and love to his
Majesty were branded with the infamous mark of Malignancy; But hereby we
warn all who would not come under this soul stain, not onely in their
speech and profession, but really & in their whole carriage not to prefer
their own, and the interest of any creature whatsoever, before the
interest of CHRIST and Religion. The characters of these have been fully
given in former Declarations, specially in the Declaration of the
Commissioners of the Generall Assembly in _March_ last, which we hold as
here repeated; onely adding this, that they ordinarily traduce Kirk
Judicatures, as medling with civill affairs, which as it is no new
calumny, but such as hath been cast upon the servants of GOD in former
times; so the whole course of proceedings doth manifestly confute the
same.

Upon the other hand Sectarisme hath no lesse hindered the blessed and
glorious work of Reformation in our neighbour Kingdom, against the venome
whereof, lest it approach and infect this Kirk, we have need to watch
diligently to avoid all the beginnings and dangerous appearances thereof.
The many faithfull testimonies from godly Ministers in severall parts of
_England_, against the vile errours, and abominable blasphemies abounding
there, as they are to us matter of rejoicing before the Lord; so they
ought to be looked on as warnings to all sorts of people, especially that
regard Religion, to beware of Sathans snares, craftily set to catch their
souls. And because such gangreens creep insensibly, all that love the
Honour of GOD, and welfare of Religion, would seriously consider the
following points, both by way of marks to discern; and meanes to escape
the danger of this infection.

1. Whosoever are misprises of the blessed work of Reformation established
within this Land, and do not shew themselves grieved for the impediments
and obstructions it hath met with in our neighbour Kingdom, these are even
on the brink of this precipice, ready to tumble down in this gulf
whensoever occasion is offered: All therefore that love the Lord Jesus,
would stir up their hearts in the light and strength of the Lord highly to
prize, and thankfully to acknowledge what the right hand of the most High
hath done among us, as also to thirst fervently after the advancing and
perfecting of the LORD’s work among our neighbours.

2. Disrespect to the publick Ministery and Ordinances is a symptome of a
dangerous inclination to that disease: And therefore as all Christs
Ministers ought to stir up themselves, to walk as becometh their high and
holy calling lest they be stumbling blocks to the people of God; so all
the people of God ought most carefully to stir up themselves unto a
precious estimation of the Ordinances of God, & highly to esteem the
Stewards thereof for their works sake. A duty at all times needful but now
especially, when Sathan by all means endevours the contrary.

3. Indifferency in points of Religien, and pleading for Toleration to
themselves or others how far soever different among themselves, is not to
be forgotten among the characters of Sectaries, and therefore ought the
more carefully to be avoided and opposed by all who desire to hold fast
the profession of their faith without wavering.

4. They who are glorying in, and seeking after new lights, or under the
pretext of them are self-conceited in singular opinions, or who affect new
and strange expressions, are entring into the snare ready to be carried
about with every winde of Doctrine. And therefore albeit we ought always
as Disciples of the Lord to set ourselves as in his sight to be taught by
his Spirit according to his Word, yet in this time so fertil of errours;
it becommeth all the lovers of truth to hold fast what they have received,
that no man take their Crown.

5. Whosoever brings in any opinion or practise in this Kirk contrary to
the confession of Faith, Directory of Worship or Presbyterian Government
may be justly esteemed to be opening the door to Schisme and Sects: And
therefore all depravers or misconstructers of the proceedings of
Kirk-Judicatories, especially the Generall Assembly would take heed least
by making a breach upon the walls of _Jerusalem_ they make a patent way
for Sectaries to enter.

6. They who separate the Spirit from the Word, and pretend the Spirit,
when they have no ground or warrant from the Word, are already taken in an
evill snare, And therefore tis necessary to try the Spirits whither they
are of God, for many false Prophets are gone out into the world, if they
speak not according to the word it is because there is no light in them.

Besides the former, these are also marks of a Sectary; If any commend, and
recommend to others, or spread and divulge the erroneous books of
Sectaries, If any allow, avow, or use Conventicles or private meetings
forbidden by the Acts of the Generall Assembly 1641. and 1647. last past,
If any be unwilling, and decline to reckon Sectaries among the enemies of
the Covenant, from whom danger is to be apprehended, And (though we
disallow the abusing and Idolizing of learning to the patrocinie of Errour
or prejudice of piety) if any contemn literature as needlesse at best, if
not also hurtfull to a Minister.

When we thus expreste our selves for preventing the dangers of Sects and
Schismes, it is far from our intention to discourage any from the duties
of piety, and mutuall edification, according to the directions of the last
Assembly published in Print, and seriously recommended by them, or to give
any advantage to Malignants and Prophane persons, with whom it is frequent
to cast upon all those who adhere to former principles, and cannot approve
the present Engagement, the odious nick-names of Sectaries and
Independents. For the beter discovery of such prophane mockers, we give
these markes and characters. 1. They do prophanely and tauntingly abuse
the name of the Spirit, under that name deriding the work of Grace and
sanctification. 2. They esteem and speak of exercises of conscience, as
fancies, or fits of melancholy. 3. They mock at Family-worship and the
means of mutuall edification so much recommended by the last Assembly in
their directions. 4. They do usually calumniate godly Ministers, and
professors who follow holinesse, with the names of Sectaries, or the like
odious names, without any just cause: As we account all such to be enemies
to the practise and power of godlinesse; So we do exhort all the lovers of
truth to hold on in the way of holinesse through good report and ill
report, being stedfast, immovable, alwayes abounding in the work of the
Lord, forasmuch as they know their labour is not in vain in the Lord.

IV. That they do not concur in, nor any way assist this present
Engagement, as they would not partake in other mens sins, and so receive
of their plagues, but that by the grace and assistance of Christ they
stedfastly resolve to suffer the rod of the wicked, and the utmost which
wicked mens malice can afflict them with, rather then to put forth their
hand to iniquity.

V. That they suffer not themselves to be abused with fair pretences and
professions usuall in the mouths of those that carry on this designe, and
often published in their Papers, But remember that the foulest actions
have not wanted specious pretences; And if they who killed the Apostles
did both pretend and intend to do God good service, what marvell that they
who engage against the Covenant pretend to engage for it. Neither is it to
be forgotten, That after the first subscription of our Nationall Covenant,
these who had the chief hand in managing publick affairs, and had
subscribed the Covenant, especially the Duke of _Lenox_, and Captain James
then Earl of _Arran_, in the years 1581, 1582, 1583, 1584. when their
designe was to subvert both the Doctrine and Discipline of this Kirk, yet
gave great assurances by promises and Oaths to the contrary. At the
Assemblies 1598, 1599, 1600. It was declared with many vows and
attestations by the King, Statesmen, and these Ministers who were aspiring
to Prelacy, That they intended no such thing as a change of the Government
of the Kirk, or an introducing of Episcopacy, yet they were really doing
what they disclaimed and professed not to do. And suppose that some who
have an active hand in carrying on the present publick affairs, have no
design either to destroy Religion, or utterly to sleight it: yet the way
they are on, and work they are about as it is contrived, doth of its self,
and in its own nature tend to the endangering, if not to the utter
subversion of Religion, for it cannot be denyed, but the very undertaking
of this War, sets the once suppressed Malignants on work again, and
successe therein puts them in a capacity to set up according to their
principles abolished and abjured corruptions; which will be the more
hardly hindered, considering his Majesties propension, and professed
resolution that way, Especially seeing His Majesties concessions (though
it hath been often desired) have never been plainly declared
unsatisfactore by the Parliament. And who in reason can think that any
more then His Majesties concessions sent from the Isle of _Wight_ will be
required of him, by them who thereupon have proceeded to this Engagement.
The Kings negative voice (asserted in the Papers of the Commissioners of
this Kingdom unto _England_, which are owned in the late Declaration to
the Kingdom of _England_, as the sense of this Kingdom) considered in
relation to Religion makes the danger yet the greater and more palpable,
yea, may reach further to shake and unsettle Religion established in this
Land; If to the premises this be added which is not only often declared,
but also demanded, That his Majestie be brought to one of his houses in
Honour, Freedom and Safety, which may infer the admitting of his Maj. to
the free exercise of his Royall power before security had from him for
Reeligion, or Application made to him for the same, who sees not now what
hazard Religion runs, certainly greater then a good intention can salve,

VI. That they do not mistake, or misunderstand the nature of the true
Reformed Religion and of the Government of JESUS CHRIST, as if thereby
either the Prerogative of Kings, Privileges of Parliaments or Liberties of
Burghs, and other Corporations were any wayes hurt or weakened: whereas
indeed Religion is the main pillar and upholder of civill authority, or
Magistracie, and it is the resisting, and not the receiving of the
Government of CHRIST, which hath overturned civill powers. If the Throne
be established by righteousnesse (as we are plainly taught by the Word of
God) then it is overthrowne by unrighteousnesse and iniquity.

VII. That they beware of all things which may ensnare their consciences,
as evill councell, evill company, false informations, rash promises, and
especially that they beware of taking any Oathes, subscribing any Bonds,
which may relate to the Covenant and Cause of God, unlesse such Oaths or
Bonds be approved by the General Assembly or their Commissioners for the
publique affairs of the Kirk.

VIII. That they do not cast away their confidence, nor sink into despair,
because of the present dangers and difficulties, but live by faith, waite
for better times, and continue stedfast as seeing him who is invisible,
firmly beleeving that such a course as is not of God but against him, will
come to naught.

IX. To remember, that as the violation of the Covenant by some in
_England_ doth not set us free from the observation thereof, and as no
laws nor authority on earth can absolve us from so solemn an obligation to
the most High God (which not onely hath been professed by this Kirk but in
a Petition of the City of _London_, and in publique Testimonies of many of
the Ministery of _England_). So we are not acquited and assoiled from the
obligation of our solemn Covenant, because of the troubles and confusions
of the times; But that in the worst of times all those duties, whereunto
by Covenant we oblige ourselves, do still lie upon us, for we have sworn
(and must perform it) concerning that Cause and Covenant wherein we
solemnly Engaged, _That we shall all the dayes of our lives zealously and
constantly continue therein against all opposition, and promove the same
according to our power against all lets and Impediments whatsoever._ And
if against all lets and impediments whatsoever, then the altering of the
way of opposition, or of the kinde of impediments doth not alter the
nature, or the Joye of the Covenant, but we are obliged to all the duties
therein contained.

We doe also exhort and charge in CHRISTS Name the Prince of Pastors, all
the Ministers within this Kirk, that in no wayes they be accessary to this
sinful Engagement, but in all their conferences and reasoning especially,
in their publick Doctrine, they declare themselves freely, and faithfully,
as they would eschew the wrath of GOD, due for a violated Covenant, and as
they would escape the censures of the Kirk; and let all Presbyteries be
watchful within their bounds, and carefully, wisely, and zealously to
inflict Ecclesiastick censures.

Finally, we exhort all civil Iudicatories, and every one intrusted with
power to manage the present affairs, That they would seriously remember
the strict account they are to give before the Iudge of the quick and the
dead, Considering deeply how fearful a thing it is to oppresse the
consciences of their Brethren, either by pressing them to act where they
finde no satisfactory warrant or by putting heavy pressures upon them for
not acting according to their injunctions, and especially that they offer
not to insnare by new Oaths, or Bonds those that make conscience of the
great Oath of their Solemn Covenant, and hitherto have proven faithful and
constant in promoving joyntly all the ends thereof.

If this our faithful warning finde favourable acceptance, so that the
grievous things already enacted, be no more prosecuted and pressed, we
shall blesse God who reigns in the Kingdoms and Councels of men: But if it
fall out otherwise (as God forbid) we have liberate our souls of the
guiltinesse of this sinful way of Engagement, and of all the miseries that
shall ensue thereby upon this Kirk and Kingdom, And shall lament before
the Lord that our labours have not as yet had the desired successe. In the
meantime, we dare not cast away our confidence, but trusting in the name
of the Lord, and staying upon our God, shall by his grace and assistance
continue stedfast in our Solemn Covenants, and faithful in all the duties
of our Calling.



_August. 1. 1648. Antemeridiem._ Sess. 22.



_The General Assemblies Answer to the Paper presented from the Honourable
Committee of Estates of the Date_ Iuly 28. 1648.


The General Assembly having considered the Paper of the 28. of _July_,
delivered to them from the Honourable Committee of Estates, Do finde that
the first part thereof concerning the great Offers made by the Parliament
and Committee of Estates for the security of Religion, is no other but
what was fully answered in our last Paper of the 25. of _July_, delivered
to their Lordships, wherein it was plainly demonstrat by Theologicall
reasons (though their Lordships are pleased to call them Politick) that
the present Engagement is inconsistent with the safety and security of
Religion. Next whereas it is affirmed in their Lordships Paper, that the
grounds and reasons are the same which were fully answered before, we wish
it had been instanced when and where they were answered, for we know no
such thing.

Another reflection upon that former Paper of ours is thus expressed, _That
the Generall Assembly hath proceeded to such a Declaration before they had
in an Ecclesiaslick way from clear testimonies out of the Word of God or
convencing of our consciences, demonstrate the unlawfulnesse of the
undertaking_: Where we can see no reason why it should seem so very
strange to the Honourable Committee that the Generall Assembly hath so
proceeded to a Declaration of their judgement concerning this businesse,
For as it hath been no unusuall thing, but very ordinary that approved
Synods, both Provinciall, Nationall, and Oecumeniall have declared their
judgement without publishing the particular grounds & reasons thereof from
Scripture (a work more proper for full Tractates then for Synodicall
Decrees or Cannons.) So if their Lordships had been pleased to attend (for
many attended not) the late Parliament-Sermons mainly intended for their
Lordships information, and had with mindes unprejudiced, hearkened
thereunto, and searched in to all the Papers lately published in Print by
the Commission of the last Assembly, they might have been by the blessing
of God convinced from the Word of God of the unlawfulnesse of the present
Engagement.

There are three things which may justly seem to us more strange: One is,
That the Declaration of Parliament having given assurance in this manner,
_We are resolved not to ingage in any War before the necessity and
lawfulnesse thereof be cleared, so as all who are wel-affected may be
satisfied therewith_, yet now they have ingaged in War without any such
clearing of the necessity and lawfulnesse thereof, or satisfaction given
to the wel-affected.

Another is, that although there are so great professions and offers in the
generall to satisfie what can be desired for the security of Religion, yet
none of those particulars desired by the late Commission of the Kirk for
the security of Religion have been granted. We shall here onely give
instance in one of those desires, which was, that his Majesties
concessions and offers concerning Religion, sent home from the Isle of
_Wight_, having been found by the said Commission unsatisfactory and
destructive to the Covenant, might be by the Parliament declared
unsatisfactory to their Lordships.

In this great point there hath been no satisfaction given, onely it was
lightly touched in one clause of the Parliaments Declaration, and so
ambiguously expressed, as might suffer many interpretations, and although
this ambiguity was clearly laid open by the Commissioners of the last
Generall Assembly in their Representation; yet to this day there hath been
nothing published neither by the Parliament nor Committee of Estates to
give any clearer satisfaction, by disclaiming those offers and concessions
as unsatisfactory to the parliament: So that this (if there were no more)
gives us great cause to apprehend that there is a greater mystery latent
in that businesse then yet appeareth.

A third thing which seemeth strange to us is, That their Lordships desire
of arguments from Scripture to prove the unlawfulnesse of this Engagement
was not propounded to the Commissioners of the last Assembly, before the
emitting of the Declaration of Parliament, and before the Levies (when it
had been most orderly & seasonable) but is now propounded after publick
resolutions and Declarations, yea not till those resolutions are put in
actuall execution.

However seeing their Lordships do now desire proofs from Scripture for the
unlawfulnesse of the Engagement.

We answer, That as joyning and concurring in this Engagement is unlawfull
to all the wel-affected in this Kingdom, their consciences being
altogether unsatisfied in the lawfulnesse thereof; and as it is unlawfull
in the manner of putting it in execution, being accompanied with so many
injuries, oppressions, and crying abominations, and with so much
persecution of piety; so it is unlawfull in the own nature of it, and as
it is stated upon the grounds of the Declarations of Parliament, and
Committee of Estates. And this unlawfulnesse of the Engagement in it self,
we have demonstrate in the Declaration herewith communicate to their
Lordships, unto which we remit them for satisfaction in that point, and do
nor doubt but their Lordships may be convinced thereby of the evill of
their way, and that it is so far from being a pious and necessary
Engagement (as their Lordships are pleased to call it) that it is a most
unlawfull and sinfull Engagement to be repented of, and forsaken by all
that have any hand in it, as they desire to make their peace with God, And
we heartily wish that their Lordships subsequent proceedings may be reall
testimonies, that their calling for Scripture proofs was from a reall
desire to be informed and edified.

As to their Lordships other desire of our demonstrating from the Word of
God, that the Kirk hath interest in the undertakings and Engagements in
War, and what that interest is, We had thought this point to be without
controversie in this Kingdom, not onely in respect of Kirk and State,
their joyning and co-operating (each in their proper sphere,) in the
former Expeditions of this Kingdom into _England_, but also because the
very Conferences which have been between Committees of Kirk and State
concerning this undertaking and Engagement, doth plainly suppose an
interest of the Kirk in such affairs.

If their Lordships mean any politick interest in such undertakings, we
claim no such thing, if the meaning be of a Spirituall interest and so far
as concerneth the point of Conscience, there can be no doubt thereof made
by such as do with _David_ make the testimonies of the Lord their
Counsellers, _Psalm_ 119. 24. And consult with God as he used to do in
undertaking War: It is also to be remembred that _Joshua_ and all the
Congregation of _Israel_ were commanded to go out and in at the word of
_Eliazer_ the priest, who was to aske councell of the Lord for them,
_Numb._ 27. 28. Hath not the Word of God prescribed to the Christian
Magistrate the Rules of a Lawfull War, And doth it not belong, to
particular Ministers, much more to the Assemblies of the Kirk, to declare
the minde of God from Scripture, for all sorts of duties, and against all
sorts of sins. And if the present War be a case of conscience, and
alledged to be the most fit and necessary means for preservation of
Religion, who seeth not that the Kirk hath an undoubted interest in
resolving and determining such a case of Conscience from the word of God.
This we shall onely adde, that whereas in the Parliaments Letter to the
Presbyteries there instances were adduced by way of reflection upon the
proceedings of the late Commission, as medling with Civill matters in
which they had no Interest, The Commission did in their Printed
Vindication so clear from Scripturall grounds their Interest in such
things as their Lordships might have been easily satisfied in that point.
We shall here onely mention one passage containing a good and safe rule
for such Cases, The Duties of the second Table, as well as of the first,
as namely, The Duties between King and Subject, Parents and Children,
Husbands and Wives, Masters and Servants, and the like being contained in,
and to be taught and cleared from the Word of God, are in that respect,
and so far as concerneth the point of Conscience, a subject of
Ministeriall Doctrine, and in difficult cases a subject of cognizance and
Judgement, to the Assemblies of the Kirk.



_Eodem die Postmeridiem,_ Sess. 23.



_A Declaration and Exhortation of the Generall Assembly of the Church of_
Scotland, _to their Brethren of_ England.


As the necessity of preserving a right understanding and mutuall
confidence betwixt the Churches of Christ in both Kingdoms constrain us,
so the good acceptance and the suitable affections that the Declaration of
the last Generall Assembly met with in _England_ from the Lovers of the
Covenant and present Reformation, together with the many Testimonies that
have of late been given unto the Truth in that Land, invites and
incourages us to make known unto our Brethren there, our sense of the
present condition of publick affairs, so far as concerns _Religion_ and
the point of Conscience.

The dispensation of God in ruling of the Nations, and in the revolutions
of his Providence towards them, is full of wonder in all the earth; And
we, who live in this Island, have cause to look upon it with speciall
observation, in regard of that which concerns our selves. For many
generations these two Kingdoms stood at odds and were the instruments of
many sufferings and calamities one to another, untill at last the Lord
having compassion upon both, did unite them under one King; which great
and long desired Blessing hath received such increase from our being
united together in one League and Covenant as doth adde much to the good
and happinesse of both Nations: Therefore is it to be looked upon by all
the Lovers of Truth and Peace in these Lands as a just ground of much
thanksgiving & many praises unto GOD, even in the day of our greatest
calamity and affliction what ever befall, as we know no cause why we
should forget so a great a mercy or repent of so good a work.

But as the common Enemies of these Kingdoms studied by all means to keep
them from entring into that Covenant, so hath all their power and Policy,
now, for five years past, been imployed to bring it to nought. As soon as
it had being the Popish, Prelaticall and Malignant Party did bend all
their forces against it; and when by the mighty hand of GOD they were
scattered and brought to confusion, in their stead stood up in _England_ a
generation who have perverted the Truth, and by turning aside into Errour
have obstructed the work of Reformation; and by forsaking of the Covenant,
and forgetting of the Oath of GOD, have brought a great reproach upon his
Name, and made the Enemy to blaspheme; whose unthankfulnesse and
unstedfastnesse, with the many provocations of these Lands, hath provoked
the Lord again to raise out of the dust the horn of Malignants, and to arm
them with such power as is terrible to his People, and threatenes his Work
with ruine. And albeit, we acknowledge our selves bound and are still
resolved to preserve and defend his Majesties Person and Authority in the
preservation and defence of the true Religion and Liberties of the
Kingdoms: Yet it is unto us matter of very great sorrow and grief that so
many in our Land should so far joyn in Malignant Designes, and that there
should be found amongst us who have undertaken and are now putting in
execution an unlawfull War promoving their ends and opposing and making
void (so far as in them lies) the Ends of the Covenant: Neverthelesse in
this we cannot but rejoyce that they went not without a Witnesse and a
Warning disswading them to go.

And we desire our Brethren of _England_ to know, that as a very
considerable number of the Members of the Parliament did dissent from and
protest against the proceedings of the major part in reference to this
Engagement so all the particular Synods and Presbyteries in this Kingdom,
excepting some few, who by reason of their remotenesse and shortenesse of
time had not the opportunity, have most harmoniously joyned with and
seconded the Desires of the Commissioners of the General Assembly for
preventing so unlawful a War: And now the Commissioners out of all the
Provinces conveened in this National Assembly, as after an exact
examination they have unanimously approved the proceedings of the
Commissioners of the former Assembly against that Engagement; so have they
emitted a Declaration to all the People of GOD in this Land, shewing it to
be contrary to GODS Word and to the solemn League and Covenant. Neither
have Ministers onely by their preaching, and Kirk Iudicatories by their
Petitions and Declarations given testimony against it; but many others in
this Land also by supplicating the High and Honourable Court of Parliament
for satisfaction to their Conscience thereanent: And when it could not be
obtained many have chosen rather to suffer the spoiling of their goods
with joy, then to sin against GOD by complying with an evil course. And
many of the Officers of our former Army, who are of special note for their
good carriage and deserving in the Cause of GOD, have rather choosed to
quit their charges then to joyn in it: Nay, the well-affected, both
Ministers and People, as they do bear testimony against it before men, so
groan under it before GOD. So that this character may justly be put upon
it by all who shall speak of it now or in after Ages, That as it is a foul
breach of the Covenant under a pretence and profession of being for the
ends of the Covenant, so being carried on against the Consciences of the
people, and contrary to the most harmonious and universal Testimonies of
many Presbyteries and Synods that have been given against it, it is a
sinning with many witnesses. A paralel will hardly be found in this or in
any other Land wherein a publick sinful course hath been carried on with
so high a hand against the Consciences of the People of GOD, and against
so many Warnings of the Servants of GOD, and general opposition from the
Judicatories of the Kirk; which yet is the less to be wondred at, because
the greatest part of those who have been most active in contriving and
carrying on of the fame, were either once open Enemies, or alwayes secret
underminers, or indifferent and neutral in the Cause of GOD.

But whatsoever be the falling away of such, we shall desire and do expect
that our Brethren in _England_, who continue faithful, may rest confident
of the generality of all such of this Kingdom as were at first active in
promoting the Covenant and Work of Reformation, that they are also still
faithful in adhering thereunto, and walking after their former principles
do resolve to abide stedfast and to hold fast the bands of Brotherhood and
union between these Kingdoms: Neither are we lesse confident of the like
Resolutions and Affections of our Brethren in _England_: The many
Testimonies which the Truth and Cause of CHRIST, the Covenant and
Presbyterial Government have lately received from that cloud of Witnesses
of the Ministery in several Provinces and Countries of that Kingdom, after
the example of the worthy Ministery of the City of _London_, against the
Errours of _Independency, Anabaptism, Antinomianisin, Arminianism,
Socinianism, Faminism, Libertinism, Sceptism, Erastianism,_ and other new
and dangerous Doctrines spred and received amongst many in that Nation; As
they are unto us matter of great praise and hearty thanksgiving unto GOD,
so also an evidence of the stedfastness of many in _England_, and a token
for good, and a wide door of hope that the Lord will perfect his Work and
bring forth the headstone of his House in that Land. It shall be the
wisdom of each Nation to keep the golden path of truth and righteousnesse
betwixt the crooked wayes of Malignants upon the one hand and Secteries
upon the other, and for each of the Nations so to look upon another, as to
distinguish betwixt the prevalent part and the better part, and betwixt
friends and foes.

We conceive it to be high time for both Nations to search and try their
ways and turn again to the LORD, that he who hath wounded us may heal us,
and he who hath broken us may binde us up. The sin of both hath been the
departing from the rule of the Covenant, and that we did not trust God for
the prefecting of his Work, walking by the rule of piety, but took
ourselves to humane polices, and endeavoured to carry it on by carnal and
worldly means. For as _Scotland_ did to much connive at and comply with
Malignants, which is the immediate and neerest cause of all our present
troubles and distractions; so _England_ neglecting to hold fast the truth
and to submit themselves to the Government of Jesus Christ, so clearly
held forth by the pious and learned Assembly of Divines, did connive at
many abominable Blasphemies and Errors, and complying with Sectaries, gave
way to their wicked Toleration. Neither is it the least part of the sin of
both Lands, that they have more minded the outward then the inward
Reformation, the erecting of the outward Fabrick of GODS House, then the
providing furniture for it by advancing the power of the Gospel, that his
glory may be seen in his Temple. Because of these things is there great
wrath from the LORD against these Kingdoms, and this controversie shall be
continued until we really turn away from our crooked paths. Therefore as
we wish that none of this Land may flatter themselves in their evil wayes,
but repent and amend, so we desire our Brethren of _England_ to consider
what hath been the bitter fruits of their slow progresse in and neglect of
the Work of Reformation, and of their connivance at and complying with
Sectaries, and to do no more so, but that whatsoever is commanded by the
God of Heaven, it be diligently done for the House of the God of Heaven.

We trust that the Parliament of _England_ will be wise to remember and
consider the great mercies of GOD towards them in delivering them from all
their Enemies, & the many opportunities put into their hands for advancing
and establishing the work of Reformation; for neglect whereof God hath now
again threatned to lift up their Enemies above them, that he may once more
prove what they will do for his Name, and for setling the order of his
House. God forbid that they should run from one extream to another, from
compliance with Sectaries to compliance with Malignants, and hearken to
terms of an unsafe and sinful Peace, We cannot but abhor the purposes of
any who minde the subversion of Monarchical Government, which we heartily
wish to be preserved and continued in his Majesties Person, and Posterity;
and we do no lesse dislike the Practises of those who deal so hardly with
his Majesties Person, earnestly desiring that he were in the condition he
was into by the advice of both Kingdoms before he was taken away by a
party of Sir _Thomas Fairfax_ Army; Nor are we against the restoring of
the King to the exercise of his power in aright order and way. Yet
considering what great expence of blood and pains these Kingdoms have been
at for maintaining their just liberties and bringing the Work of
Reformation this length; And considering his Majesties great aversnesse
from setling Reformation of Religion, and his adhering still to
Episcopacy; We trust that security will be demanded and had from his
Majesty for Religion, before he be brought to one of his Houses in or neer
about _London_, with honour, freedom and safety. And considering of what
importance the solemne League and Covenant is unto all the interests of
both Kingdoms concerning their Religion, Liberties and Peace, to make an
agreement without establishing of it, were not only to rob these Nations
of the blessings they have already attained by it, but to open a door to
let in all the corruptions that have been formerly in the Kirks of God in
these lands, & all the abuses and usurpations that have been in the civil
government, & again to divide these two Kingdoms that are now so happily
united and conjoyned: & therefore as we wish that all mis-understanding
betwixt the Nations, & betwixt the King & People may be removed, that
there may be a happy & lasting Peace, so that there may be no agreement
without establishing and enjoyning the Covenant in all these three
Kingdoms; and that for this end God would give wisdom to all that are
intrusted in the managing of publick Affairs that they may seasonably
discover and carefully avoid all snares which may be laid either by
Sectaries, or Malignants, or both, under colour of a Treaty of Peace. And
we are confident, through the Lord, that all the obstructions and
oppositions, by which his work has been retarded and interrupted in this
Island, shall not onely be taken out of the way, but shall turn to the
advantage and furtherance of it at last. The onely wise God can and will
bring about his holy purposes by unlikely, yea by contrary means: And God
forbid that either our Brethren in England or our selves should give way
to despondency of Spirit, and cast away the hopes of that so much prayed
for and so much wished for Reformation of Religion, and Uniformity in all
the parts thereof according to the Covenant: And now it is our hearts
desire and prayer to God, that amidst the many tryals and tentations of
these times, none of the Servants of God and witnesses of Jesus Christ may
be deserted, or left to themselves to comply either with the Malignant
party upon the one hand, or with Sectaries upon the other. Brethren pray
for us, and the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal
glory, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish
strengthen and settle you.



August. 2. 1648. _Antemeridiem,_ Sess. 26.



_Answer to the Letter of the Reverend Assembly of Divines in_ England.


_Right Honourable, Right Reverend and Wel beloved in our LORD,_

We cease not to give thanks to the Father of our Lord Jesus, by whose
strength you keep the Word of his patience now in these times, when many
depart from the Faith, giving heed to seducing Spirits; As also, that he
who hath founded _Zion_, hath been pleased, by our Covenant sworn to the
most high God, to lay the hopefull foundation of a glorious Work in these
three Kingdoms, to unite his People therein, as one stick in the hand of
the LORD.

We cannot but acknowledge to the Honour and Glory of the Lord, Wonderfull
in counsell and excellent in working, that hee hath strongly united the
spirits of all the godly in this Kingdom, and of his Servants in the
Ministery, first in the severall Presbyteries and Synods, and now in this
Nationall Assembly, in an unanimous and constant adhering to our first
Principles and the Solemn League and Covenant, And particularly in giving
a testimony against the present unlawfull Engagement in War: Yet it semeth
good to the LORD who hath his Fire in _Zion_ and Furnace in _Jerusalem_,
for the purging of the vessels of his house to suffer many adversaries to
arise with violence to obstruct and stop this great and effectuall door,
which the Lord hath opened unto us. But we know that he openeth, and no
man shutteth, and shutteth, and no man openeth: yea, he will cause them
who say they are for the Covenant and are not, but are Enemies thereto,
and do associate with Malignants or Sectaries, to acknowledge that God
hath loved us, and that his truth is in us and with us. And now dearly
beloved, seeing the Lord hath kept you together so many years, when the
battel of the Warriour hath been with confused noise, and garments rolled
in blood, the Lord also sitting as a refiner to purifie the Sons of
_Levi_, and blessing you with unity and soundnesse in the Faith, we are
confident you will not cease to give a publick testimony for Christ, both
against Sectaries and all Seducers, who prophecie lies in the name of the
LORD, and against Malignants and Incendiaries (the Prelaticall and Popish
Faction) who now again bestir themselves to hold up the rotten and
tottering throne of Antichrist, and are (whatever they pretend) the reall
enemies of Reformation: As also, that as the Embassadors of _Jesus Christ_
and his Watchmen, you will give seasonable warning to the Honourable
Houses of Parliament, that now (after the losse of the opportunity of so
many years) they would, in their places, repair the Houses of the LORD,
that lyeth so long desolate, and promove the work of Reformation and
Uniformity according to the Covenant.

For if the Honourable Houses of Parliament had timely made use of that
power, which God hath put in their hands for suppressing of Sectaries, and
had taken a speedy course for setling of Presbyterial Government, (a
speciall and effectuall means appointed by God to purge his Church from
all scandals in Doctrine and Practise) Then had not the insolencie of that
party arisen to such a height, as to give occasion to the Malignants of
both Kingdoms to justifie and blesse themselves in their old opposition to
the work of Reformation, and to encourage one another, to new and more
dangerous attempts; Neither had the Malignant party ever grown so strong
in this Kingdom, if the Sectaries had not been connived at in ENGLAND; For
their prime pretence (for their present rising in Armes) is, that they may
suppress the Sectaries, and vindicate the King from that base condition,
unto which he is brought by that party: Yet these do not wisely, nor well,
who avoiding or opposing Sectarisme, split themselves upon the rock of
Malignancy, and by taking that party by the hand how, do own all the
cruelty, bloodshed and other ungodly and unjust Acts, which they have done
since the beginning of this Reformation. And as we take thankfully your
testimony of your steering so steady & even a course between the dangerous
rocks of Prophanesse and Malignancy on the one hand, and of Errours,
Schisme, Heresie and Blasphemy on the other hand; So we trust ye will not
cease to give testimony against both these evils, and represent the same
to the Honourable Houses of Parliament, as you shall have fit occasion;
And that you will gravely warne your dissenting Brethren what a door they
keep open for Errors, and Heresies, by their tenet of Independency;
Whereby they leave no means of Authoritative Ecclesiastick Suppression of
Errours; If an _Independent_ Congregation will please to own them. We also
are confident that you will be remembrancers to that famous City of
_London_, and the whole Kingdom, of their Engagement to the LORD, in the
solemn League and Covenant: Nor will we suffer our selves to believe that
the wel-affected in the Houses of Parliament, In the City of _London_, and
throughout that whole Kingdom will agree or harken to the motions of any
such Treaty of Peace, as leaves out the best security for Religion, the
Cause of GOD, and the solemn League and Covenant. Thus desiring the
continuance of your Prayers to God for us, in this hour of temptation; and
promising (through his grace and strength) to continue in prayers for you,
We commit you to the infinite Wisdom, Power, Goodnesse, and Faithfulnesse
of our blessed God and Father in _Christ_, in whom we are,

_2. August 1648._

_Your very loving and affectionate Brethren to serve you_,

DIRECT

To the Right Honourable, And Right Reverend the Assembly of Divines in
_England_ now assembled at _Westminster_.

The Ministers and Elders conveened in the _Generall Assembly_ of the Kirk
of _Scotland_.



_Eodem die Postmeridiem_, Sess. 25.



_The Humble Supplication of the Generall Assembly, To the Right Honourable
the Committee of Estates._


Whereas the High and Honourable Court of Parliament and your Lordships
were pleased to injoyn the subscription of a Declaration and Band of the
date _June 10. 1648._ And we having found after such examination and
tryal, as is competent to the Servants of God in an Ecclesiastick way,
that the same is a snare to the Consciences of the People of GOD in this
Land to involve them in guiltinesse, and to draw them from their former
principles and Vows in the solemn League and Covenant, as doth more fully
appear in our Act concerning the same herewith presented unto your
Lordships. Therefore from our zeal to the glory of GOD and tender care of
the souls committed unto us; and for our exonoration, As we do seriously
exhort that your Lordships would be sensible of the guilt that you have
already brought upon your selves and others, by injoyning and urging that
subscription, So we do earnestly and in the bowels of _Jesus Christ_
intreat, That your Lordships would take such order and course as that it
may be no further pressed upon the people of GOD throughout the Land.

And because the people groan under the violence and oppression of Officers
and Souldiers in their Quarterings of otherwise throughout all the corners
of the Countrey (which as it hath ascended into the ears of the Lord of
Hosts, so we doubt not but it is come to your knowledge) We conceive it to
be incumbent to us to represent the same to your Lordships, beseeching and
obtesting you that as you would not desire that the Lord should visit
because of these things, you would think upon an effectuall remedy for
punishing and redressing what is past, and preventing the like in time
coming.

And whereas by an Act and inhibition of your Lordships The Liberty of
Printing being one of the Kirks Priviledges confirmed by Parliament is
restrained, Therefore we intreat that the inhibition upon the Printers may
be taken off.

And now having condiscended upon a Declaration to all the Members of this
Kirk concerning present dangers & duties, We do in all humility offer the
same to your Lordships (together with our Answer to the Paper last sent to
us from your Lordships) professing in the sight of GOD (whose Servants we
are) that we have walked herein according to the rule of his Word, and
have nothing before our eyes but his Glory, and the well of his People,
And therefore intreats your Lordships, that you would seriously ponder the
same without prejudice, and as you desire to be comforted in the day of
your accompts, to make right use of the light that is holden forth therein
from Gods Word.



August 3. 1648. _Antemeridiem_, Sess. 26.



_Act for censuring Ministers for their silence, and not speaking to the
corruptions of the time._


The Generall Assembly, taking to their serious consideration, the great
scandals which have lately encreased, partly through some Ministers their
reserving and not declaring of themselves against the prevalent sins of
the times, partly through the spite, Malignity, and insolency of others
against such Ministers as have faithfully and freely reproved the Sins of
the times without respect of persons, Do therefore for preventing and
removing such scandals hereafter, Appoint and Ordain, that every Minister
do by the word of Wisdom apply his Doctrine faithfully against the publick
Sins and Corruptions of these times, and particularly against the Sins and
Scandals in that Congregation wherein he lives, according to the Act of
the Generall Assembly 1596. revived by the Assembly at _Glasgow_, 1638.
Appointing that such as shall be found not applying their Doctrine to
corruptions, which is the Pastorall gift, cold, and wanting of Spirituall
zeal, flatters and dissembling of publick sins, and especially of great
Personages in their Congregations, that all such persons be censured
according to the degree of their faults and continuing therein be
deprived; And according to the Act of the Generall Assembly 1646. _Sess._
10. That beside all other scandals, silence, or ambiguous speaking in the
publike Cause much more detracting and disaffected speeches be seasonably
censured; As therefore the Errours and exorbitancies of Sectaries in
England are not to be passed in silence, but plain warning to be given of
the danger of so near a contagion, that people may beware of it, and such
as neglect this duty to be Censured by their Presbyteries, So it is
thought fit and Appointted by the Assembly, conform to the foresaid Acts.
That the main current of applications in Sermons may run along against the
evils that prevail at home, and namely against the contempt of the Word,
against all profanesse, against the present defection from the League and
Covenant, against the unlawful Engagement in War, against the unlawful
Band and Declaration of the Date of the 10. of June ordained to be
subscribed by all the Subjects, and other unjust Decrees established by
Law, against the Plots and Practises of Malignants, and against the
Principles and Tenents of _Erastianism_, which spread among divers in this
Kingdom; For the better confutation whereof, it is hereby Recommended to
the Ministery to study that point of controversie well, that they may be
the more able to stop the mouths of gainsayers: Tis also hereby
Recommended to the several Presbyteries and Provincial Synods, that they
make special enquiry and trial concerning all the Ministery in their
bounds, And if any be found too sparing general, or ambiguous in the
foresaid applications and reproofs that they be sharply rebuked, dealt
with, and warned to amend under the pain of suspension from their
Ministery; And if after such warning given they amend not, that such be
suspended by Presbyteries, and in case of their negligence by the Synods
till the next General Assembly; But if there be any, who do neglect and
omit such applications and reproofs, and continue in such negligence after
admonition and dealing with them, they are to be cited, and after due
triall of the offence to be deposed, for being pleasers of men rather then
servants of _Christ_, for giving themselves to a detestable indifferency
or neutrality in the Cause of God, &c. for defrauding the souls of people,
yea for being highly guilty of the blood of souls in not giving them
warning: Much more are such Ministers to be censured with Deposition from
their Ministry who preach for the lawfulnes or pray for the success of the
present unlawfull Engagement, or that go along with the Army themselves,
or who subscribe any Bands or take any Oaths not approved by the General
Assembly or their Commissioners, or by their counsel, countenance or
approbation make themselves accessory to the taking of such Bands and
Oaths by others: It is to be understood that if any Minister preach in
defence of or pray for the successe of the Sectaries in _England_, he is
likewayes to be censured by deposition. And this we adde as a generall
rule to be observed on both hands, but not as if we had found any of the
Ministery of this Kingdom to be favourers of the Sectaries in _England_:

And in case any Minister for his freedom in preaching, and faithfull
discharge of his conscience shall be in the face of the Congregation or
elsewhere upbraided, railed at, mocked, or threatened, or if any injury or
violence be done to his person, or any stop and disturbance made to him in
the exercise of his Ministeriall calling, The Presbyterie of the bounds
shall forthwith enter in processe with the offender, and whoever he be
Charge him to satisfie the Discipline of the Kirk by publick Repentance,
which if any do not, or refuse to do, That then the Presbyterie proceed to
Excommunication against him; In all which Presbyteries and Synods are to
give an account of their diligence: And the Assembly Appoints this Act to
be intimate in the several Congregations of this Kirk.



August 4. 1648. _Postmeridiem_, Sess. 21.



_Overtures concerning the education of the Hie-land Boys in the Province
of_ Argyle.


This day the report following being made from the Committee concerning the
education of Hie-land Boys in _Argyle_, viz.


    _The Committee considering the Bill remitted by the Generall
    Assembly to us concerning the Hie-land Boys_ (_who are given up to
    be fourty in number of good spirits and approven by the Province
    of_ Argyle) _Do humbly think, that four of them who are ready for
    the Colledge should be recommended to the Universities to get
    Burses on in every Colledge. As for the rest of the 40, who are to
    be brought up at Grammar Schools, The Committee thinks that if the
    said Boys should be scattered through the Kingdom they should lose
    the Irish Language, and so the Assembly shall fail of their
    purpose to make them usefull for the Hie-lands: And therefore do
    humbly conceive that it were fitting that every Congregation pay
    yearly fourty Shillings Scots for maintaining the said Boys at
    Schools in_ Glasgow, _or in other places where many of them may be
    together accepted of, and that the money be brought in yearly to
    the General Assembly by the Commissioners of Presbyteries, and
    that Presbyteries augment or diminish the said proportion
    according to the ability of every Congregation._


The Assembly having considered the foresaid Report, Approves the first
Overture, And recommends _Colin Campbell_ to the University of _Aberdeen_,
_Duncan Campbell_ to _Edinburgh_, _Patrick Campbell_ to _Glasgow_,
_Zachary Maccullum_ to St. _Leonards_ Colledge in St. _Andrews_: As also
Approve the second Overture, seriously Recommending to Presbyteries, That
the said fourty shillings be collected carefully and sent to _Glasgow_,
And the Ministers of _Glasgow_ shall appoint some sufficient man in that
Town to receive the said Collection from Presbyteries, And to take charge
of the boording and entertainment of the saids Boys in _Glasgow_ at
Schooles, and they shall send in the names of the Boys with a Certificate
of their proficiency yearly to the Generall Assembly: And this Collection
shall onely endure for the space of twelve years.



August 5. 1648. _Antemeridiem,_ Sess. 30.



_Explanation of the fifth Article of the Overtures concerning Appeals past
in the Assembly, 1643._


The Generall Assembly for clearing the sense of the fifth Article of the
Overtures concerning Appeals in the Assembly, _1643. Sess. 2_ Declare,
that if Appellations, _Post latam sententiam_ be not presented to the
Judicatory when the sentence is pronounced: The party shall then
immediately after the sentence protest for liberty of Appeal, as he shall
see cause; And accordingly within ten dayes shall give in his Appeal in
writ under his hand, either to the Judicatory or the Moderator thereof,
otherwise the Appeal is not to be respected.



_Eodem die 1648. Antemeridiem,_ Sess. 30.



_Act discharging deposed or suspended Ministers from any exercise of the
Ministery, or medling with the stipend._


The Generall Assembly considering that according to the ancient practise
and order of this Kirk, the Censure of Suspension and Deposition of
Ministers is both _ab officio_ and _â beuoficio_, as is also acknowledged
by the 20. Act of the Parliament, _Anno 1644._ And that the continuance of
suspended or deposed Ministers in the exercise of the Ministery or in the
possession of their stipend hath been & ought to be accompted and censured
as a great contempt of the Authority and Censures of the Kirk, Considering
also that the continuance of deposed Ministers in the possession of the
stipend, is a great prejudice and obstruction to the planting of the
vaiking Kirk, and to the service of God there. Therefore do declare and
Ordain, That whosoever after the sentence of Deposition pronounced against
them, Do either exercise any part of the Ministeriall calling in the
places they formerly served in; or elsewhere, or do possesse, meddle, or
intromet with the stipend or other benefits whatsoever belonging to these
Kirks they served at, They shall be proceeded against with
Excommunication; And if any suspended Minister during his suspension,
either exercise any part of the Ministeriall Calling, or intromet with the
Stipend, That he be Deposed, And after deposition, continuing in either of
these faults, That he be processed with Excommunication; But prejudice
always to them of their stipend resting for by-gone service and of any
recompence due for building or repairing of the Manse according to the
ordinary practise. And the Assembly recommends to Presbyteries seriously
to be carefull of the putting of this Act in execution.



August 7. 1648. _Antemeridiem._ Sess 31.



_The Assemblies Declaration of the falsehood and forgerie of a lying
scandalous Pamphlet put forth under the name of their Reverend Brother
Mastr_ Alexander Henderson _after hes death._


The Generall Assembly of this Kirk having seen a Printed Paper, Intituled,
_The Declaration of_ Mr. Alexander Henderson _principall Minister of the
Word of GOD at_ Edinburgh _and chief Commissioner from the Kirk of_
Scotland _to the Parliament and Synod of_ England _made upon his
death-bed._ And taking into their serious consideration how many grosse
lies and impudent calumnies are therein contained; Out of the tender
respect which they do bear to his name (which ought to be very precious to
them and all posterity, for his faithfull service in the great Work of
Reformation in these Kingdoms, wherein the Lord was pleased to make him
eminently instrumentall) and lest through the malice of some, and
ignorance of others the said Pamphlet should gain belief among the weaker
sort, They have thought fit to make known and declare concerning the same
as followeth.

That after due search and tryall they do finde that their worthy brother
Master _Alexander Henderson_ did from the time of his coming from _London_
to _Newcastle_ til the last moment of his departure out of this life upon
all occasions manifest the constancy of his judgement touching the Work of
Reformation in these Kingdoms; Namely, in all his discourses and
conferences with his Majesty, and with his Brethren who were employed with
him in the same Trust at _Newcastle_, In his Letters to the Commissioners
at _London_, and particularly in his last discourse to his Majestie at his
departing from _Newcastle_, being very weak and greatly decayed in his
Naturall strength. When he was come from _Newcastle_ by sea to this
Kingdom, he was in such a weak worn and failed condition, as it was
evident to all who saw him, that he was not able to frame any such
Declaration, for he was so spent that he died within eight dayes after his
arrivall; And all that he was able to speak in that time did clearly shew
his judgement of, and affection to the Work of Reformation and Cause of
God to be every way the same then, that it was in the beginning and
progresse thereof, as divers Reverend Brethren who visited him have
declared to this Assembly, and particularly two Brethren, who constantly
attended him from the time he came home till his breath expired. A further
testimony may be brought from a short Confession of Faith under his hand
found amongst his Papers, which is expressed as his last Words, wherein
among other mercies he declareth himself _most of all obliged to the grace
and goodnesse of God for calling him to believe the Promises of the
Gospel, and for exalting him to be a Preacher of them to others, and to be
a willing though weak instrument in this great and wonderful work of
Reformation, which he earnestly beseecheth the Lord to bring to a happy
conclusion._ Other reasons may be added from the levity of the stile and
manifest absurdities contained in that Paper. Upon confederation of all
which this Assembly doth condemn the said Pamphlet as forged, scandalous,
and false, And further Declare the author and contriver of the same void
of charity and a good conscience, and a grosse lyar and calumniator led by
the Spirit of the accuser of the Brethren.



_Act for taking the Covenant at the first receiving of the Sacrament of
the Lords Supper, & for the receiving of it also by all Students at their
first entry to Colledges._


The Generall Assembly according to former recommendations, Doth Ordain
that all young Students take the Covenant at their first entry to
Colledges; And that hereafter all Persons whatsoever take the Covenant at
their first receiving the Sacrament of the Lords Supper: Requiring hereby
Provinciall Assemblies, Presbyteries and Universities to be carefull that
this Act be observed, and accompt thereof taken in the visitation of and
particular Kirks, and in the tryall of Presbyteries.



_Eodem die Postmeridiem,_ Sess. 32.



_Act concerning Presbyteries maintaining of_ Bursars.


The Generall Assembly Understanding that the frequent Recommendation of
preceding Assemblies for maintaining Bursars, is by many Presbyteries
neglected, Do therefore Ordain Synods to crave accompt thereof from
Presbyteries at every Provinciall meeting, Which with the Presbyteries
answer, shall be put upon record, That so the part both of Presbyteries
and Synods and their negligance or diligence in so pious a work may be
known by the examination of the Provinciall books to each Generall
Assembly.



August 9. 1648. _Antemeridiem_ Sess. 25.



_Act for dis-joyning the Presbyteries of_ Zetland, _from the Provinciall
Synod of_ Orkney _and_ Cathnes.


The Generall Assembly now after exact tryall, finding that the Presbytery
of _Zetland_ cannot meet with the Provinciall of _Cathnes_ and _Orknay_ to
which it was adjoyned by an Act of the Assembly 1646. Sess. 11. And that
the allowance and dispensation granted in the preceding Assembly for the
halfe of their number to keep the meetings of the said Provinciall cannot
be observed in respect of the great distance of that Isle by sea from the
land, and the dangerousness of the seas there, and of the passage through
them, Therefore after hearing the parties interested and serious
deliberation of the matter, The Assembly doth hereby Dis-joyn the
Presbytery of _Zetland_ from the Provinciall of _Cathnes_ and _Orknay_,
And declares for these reasons, That the said Presbytery is to be
hereafter subordinate immediately to the Generall Assembly, For which
cause, their Commissioners are to be sent to each Generall Assembly the
more carefully, And it is hereby recommended to them that they send to the
next Assembly a particular information of the quality and condition of all
their Kirks according to the direction of the act of the preceding
Assembly Sess. 27. Entituled an act for pressing and furthering the
planting of Kirks.



Aug. 10. 1648. _Postmeridiem,_ Sess. 38.



_Overtures for the Remedies of the grievous and common Sins of the Land in
this present time._


The Sins of the Land and the Causes and occasions thereof being
considered, The following Remedies of these Sins were propounded.

Civill Remedies.

_For the present, untill the Overtures prepared to be presented to the
Parliament, It is to be Recommended to every Congregation to make use of
the 9. Act of the Parliament 1645. at_ Perth, _for having Magistrates and
Justices in every Congregation, and of the 8. Act of the said Parliament
against Swearing, Drinking and mocking of Piety, and all other Acts of
Parliament for restraining or punishing of Vice; particularly for the
better restraining of the sin of Whoredom that each Magistrate in every
Congregation exact and make compt to the Session of fourty Pounds for each
Fornicatour and Fornicatrix, of an hundred Merks for each one of their
relapse in Fornication, of an hundreth Pounds for each Adulterer and
Adulteress according to express Acts of Parliament which is to be exacted
of these who may pay it, and the discretion of the Magistrate is to
modifie it according to the ability or inability of each Delinquent._

Domestick Remedies.

_1. Let care be taken of concionable receiving of Servants, that they have
testimonials of their honest behaviour: And let all such as give
testimonials take heed that these to whom they give them, be free of
scolding, swearing, lying and such like more common sins, as well as
fornication, adultery, drunkenesse, and other grosse and hainous evils;
Let the ordinary time of giving Testimonials be in face of Session: And if
an extraordinary exigent be: Let it be given by the Minister with __
consent of the elder of the bounds, wherein the person craving the
Testimonial hath resided; If they have fallen or relapsed in scandalous
sins, let their Testimonial bear both their fall and Repentance._

_2. Let care be had that the Worship of God be practised, and Discipline
exercised in Families, according to the Directory for Family Worship in
all things as was appointed in the General Assembly 1647. especially in
the Ministers constant Catechizing of the Family, and in the performance
of the Duties of the Sabbath by all the Members thereof._

_3. Let Persons to be married, and who have Children to be baptized, who
are very rude and ignorant, be stirred up and exhorted, as at all times,
so especially at that time, to attain some measure of Christian knowledge
in the grounds of Religion, that they may give to the Minister, before the
Elder of the Bounds wherein they live, some accompt of their knowledge
that so they may the better teach their family and train up their
Children._

_4. Let every Family that hath any in it than can read, have a Bible and a
Psalm-book, and make use of them; and where none can read, let them be
stirred up to traine up their children in reading, and use any other good
remedie the Minister and Session can fall on._

General Ecclesiastick Remedies.

_1. Let the Remedies which were given at Perth 1645. and are mentioned in
the General Assembly 1646. anent the Sins of Ministers be put in
execution._

_2. Let suspension from the Lords Sacrament be more carefully executed._

_3. Let Persons relapse in Adultery (or above) quadrilapse in fornication
(or above) or often guilty of other grosser scandals, be Excommunicat
somewhat more summarly nor in an ordinary processe (except there be more
nor ordinary signes, and an eminent measure of Repentance made known to
the Session and Presbyterie) both for the hainousness of the sins and
continuance therein, and also for terrour to others; And these not to be
relaxed from the sentence of Excommunication without evidence, and
undeniable signes of Repentance._

_4. Let unpartial proceeding be used against men of all quality, for their
scandalous walking, and in particular for drunkenesse, swearing, and other
scandalous sins. And this to be tryed at the Visitation of Kirk._

Particular Ecclesiastick Remedies.

And 1. against ignorance.

_1. Let Ministers Catechise one day every week (whereon also they may
Baptise and Lecture or Preach) and let them preach every Lords Day both
before and after noon, according to former Acts of General Assemblies, Let
Presbyteries and Synods be very careful of this; And let every Provincial
Book, contain an exact accompt thereof._

_2. Let Ministers examine all of every quality of whose knowledge they
have no certain notice._

_3. Let young Persons be Catechized by the Minister from the time they are
capable of instruction, and let them not be delayed till they be of age to
Communicat._

_4. Let Persons grossly ignorant be debarred from the Communion; for the
first and second time, let them be debarred, suppressing their names; for
the third time, expressing their names; for the fourth time, bring them to
publick repentance; all this is to be understood of those that profit
nothing, and labours not for knowledge: But if they be profiting in any
measure, or labouring that they may profit, their case is very
considerable, they ought to have more forbearance._

2. Ecclesiastick Remedies against Prophanesse.

_1. Let ignorant and scandalous Persons be put off, and kept off Kirk
Sessions._

_2. Let every Elder have a certain bounds assigned to him that he may
visit the same every moneth at least, and report to the Session what
scandals and abuses are therein, or what persons have entered without
Testimonials._

_3. Let all scandalous persons be suspended from the Lords Supper._

_4. Let the Minister deal in private with them that are professing publick
Repentance before the Elder of the bounds, thus to try the evidence of
their Repentance._

_5. Let these who have fallen in Fornication make publick profession of
Repentance three several Sabbaths, who is guilty of relapse in Fornication
six Sabbaths, who is guilty of relapse in Fornication, or hath once fallen
in Adultery, 26. Sabbaths, and these sins to be confessed both in one_
viz. _in Sackcloth, Quadrilapse in Fornication and relapse in Adultery,
three quarters of a Year, Incest or Murder a Year, or 52. Sabbaths, in
case the Magistrate do not his duty in punishing such crimes capitally;
They that fall in Fornication or relapses therein, are first to confesse
their Sin before the Session, and thereafter before the Congregation; They
that are guilty of greater degrees of that Sin and of the other Sins
mentioned in this Article, are to confess their Sin both before the
Session & Presbyterie, and there to shew some signes of Repentance before
they be brought to the Congregation._

_6. Some are to be rebuked at the time of Catechising, who deserve more
nor a privase reproof, and yet needs not to be brought to publick
Repentance._

_7. It will be a good remedie against Sabbath-breaking by Carriers and
Travellers, That the Ministers where they dwell cause them to bring
Testimonials from the place where they rested on these Lords dayes wherein
they were from home._

_8. Let all Persons who flit from one Paroch to another have sufficient
Testimonials, This is to be extended to all Gentlemen and Persons of
quality and all their followers, who come to reside with their Families
at_ Edinburgh, _or elswhere, and let the Minister from whom they flit,
advertise the Minister to whom they flit, if (to his knowledge) they be
lying under any scandal._

_9. Let Ministers be free with Persons of quality for amendment of their
faults, and (if need shall be) let them take help thereto of some of the
Brethren of the Presbyterie._

_10. Let the Presbyteries take special notice of Ministers who do converse
frequently and familiarly with Malignants, and with scandalous and
prophane Persons, especially such as belongs to other Paroches._

_11. Let privie Censures of Presbyteries and Synods be performed with more
Accuracie, Diligence and Zeal._

_12. For better keeping of the Sabbath, let every Elder take notice of
such as are within his bounds, how they keep the __ Kirk, how the time is
spent before, betwixt, and after the time of publick Worship._

_13. Let no Minister resort to any Excommunicate person without licence
from the Presbyterie_ nisi in extremis, _and let Ministers take special
notice of such persons as haunt with Excommunicants, and processe them._

_14. Frequent correspondence betwixt presbyteries is a good remedie._

_15. At the visitation of each Congregation, let the Session Book be well
visited, and for that effect, let it be delivered to two or three Brethren
seven or eight dayes before the visitation, that their report of it may be
in readinesse against the Day of Visitation._

The Assembly allows of all these Overtures and Remedies of the Sins of the
Land; And Ordains all of them to be carefully and conscionably put in
practise.



_Act for examining the Paraphrase of the Psalms and other Scripturall
Songs._


The Generall Assembly Appoints _Rouse_ Paraphrase of the Psalms, with the
corrections thereof now given in by the persons appointed by the last
Assembly for that purpose, to be sent to Presbyteries, That they may
carefully revise and examine the same, and thereafter send them with their
corrections to the Commission of this Assembly to be appointed for publick
affairs, Who are to have a care to cause reexamine the Animadversions of
Presbyteries, and prepare a report to the next Generall Assembly;
Intimating hereby, That if Presbyteries be negligent hereof the next
General Assembly is to go on & take the same Paraphrase to their
consideration without more delay: And the Assembly Recommends to Master
_John Adamson_ and Mr. _Thomas Crafurd_ to revise the Labours of Mr.
_Zachary Boyd_ upon the other Scripturall Songs, and to prepare a report
thereof to the said Commission for publick affairs, That after their
examination, the same may be also reported to the next Generall Assembly.



_Overtures concerning Papists, their children, and Excommunicate Persons._


The Generall Assembly considering the manifold inconveniences that follow
upon the sending of the children of Noblemen and others of quality to
Forraign Countries wherein Popery is professed, especially that thereby
such children are in perill to be corrupted with Popery, and so corrupt
these Families and Persons to which they belong, whereby that wicked root
of damnable Idolatry, Errour and Heresie may again be occasioned to spring
up and trouble many, and provoke the most High GOD to wrath, and to cause
his Majestie leave this Land to strong delusions to believe lies;
Therefore They Do in the name of GOD, Charge and Require all the
Presbyteries of this Kingdom to observe and practice the Rules and
Directions which are made in former Generall Assemblies for preventing of
the said fearfull inconveniences, and namely the Overtures against
Papists, non-Communicants, and Profaners of the Sabbath approven in the
Generall Assembly held at St. _Andrews_ in the year of God, 1642. and the
Act anent children sent without the Kingdom made in the Generall Assembly
at _Edinburgh, Anno 1646._ And that they use all diligence for putting in
execution the Acts of Parliament and secret Councell made against Papists
& Excommunicate Persons; And that they register their diligences
thereanent in their Presbyterie Booke which are summarily to be recorded
in the Synod Books from time to time, That the Generall Assembly may see
how these laudable Acts are put in execution, which here are presented
with some necessary additions in one view.

1. That every Presbyterie give a List of all Excommunicate Papists they
know to be within their bounds to the Commissioners of the Generall
Assembly, and of all Papists; yea of them also who professe to have
renounced Popery, but yet have their children educated abroad, with the
names of these children that are abroad, according to the fifth Overture
of the Generall Assembly, 1642.

2. That every Presbyterie conveen at their first meeting all known Papists
within their bounds, and such as having professed to renounce Popery have
their children abroad, and cause them finde sufficient caution for
bringing home within three moneths such of their children as are without
the Kingdom; to be educated in Schools and Colledges at the Presbyteries
sight if they be Minors; and to be wrought upon by gracious conference, &
other means of instruction to be reclaimed from Popery if they be come to
perfect age.

3. The Parents, Tutors or Frinds of Children and Minors shall, before they
send them without the Kingdom, first acquaint the Presbyterie where they
reside, that they may have their Testimoniall directed to the Presbyterie
or Classe within the Kingdom or Dominion beyond Seas whither they intend
to send their Children; And at the time of these Childrens return, that
they report a Testimoniall from the Presbyterie or Synod where they lived
without the Kingdom, to the Presbyterie who gave them a Testimonial at
their going away, according to the Act anent Children sent without the
Kingdom _Anno 1646._

4. That all Presbyteries give the names of such Pædagogs as were abroad
with the children of Noblemen within there bounds, and diligently enquire
whether these Pædagogs do continue stedfast in the true Religion, and
continue in their service, or whither these Pædagogs do either become
corrupt in Religion, or (continuing constant) are removed from their
charge and by whom they are removed, and that they signifie these things
to the Generall Assembly from time to time or their Commissioners, That
they may represent the same to the High Court of Parliament, Lords of
secret Counsell or Committe of Estates, for such remedie as shall seem
expedient to their Honours, for preventing of and purging the land from
the plague of Idolatrie.

5. That such Parents, Tutors or Friends as either send away Children to
forraign parts infected with Idolatry without such Testimonialls as
aforesaid, or do not recall them who are already abroad within such time
as is above prefixed, or do remove from them their Protestant Pædagogs
(that they may the more easily be infected with Popery) be processed and
in case of not amending these things, be Excommunicated.

6. That the names of such as are Excommunicated for these or any other
causes, be sent in to the Generall Assembly from year to year, that (from
thence) their names may be notified in all the Kingdom, and that the Acts
of Parliament and secret Counsell may be put to execution against them,
and all diligence used for that effect; and that by the effectuall dealing
of the Generall Assembly, with the Parliament, Lords of secret Counsell,
or Committee of Estates, their Lordships may Enact such further, just and
severe civill Punishment on such Excommunicants for Terror to others, as
shall be found necessary for purging this Covenanted Land from all
Abominations.

Because persons addicted to Idolatry will use all means for their own
hardening in their Superstitious and Idolatrous way, even within the
Countrey; Therefore all known Papists, or persons suspect of Poperie upon
probable grounds are to finde Caution before their Presbyteries, for their
abstinence from Masse, and from the Company of all Jesuits, and Priests
according to the second Overture against Papists, made _Anno 1642._ Also
Presbyteries are to presse them to finde such Caution; And to observe what
persons put their Sons or Daughters to such Families as are tainted with
Popery within the Land, the same being a speciall mean to corrupt them
with Idolatry, And to cause such Parents recall their Children, or else
proceed with the Censures of the Kirk against them.

All which Overtures, Presbyteries are seriously required and Ordained to
observe diligently with Certification, That they shall be severely
censured, If they shall be found remisse or negligent in any of these
points, which are so necessary for keeping of the Lords House and People
unpoluted with Error, Idolatry, or Superstition.



Aug. 11. 1648 _Antemeridiem,_ Sess. 39.



_Act for prosecuting the Treaty for the Uniformity in Religion in the
Kingdom of England._


The Generall Assembly, Taking to their consideration that the Treaty of
Uniformity in Religion in all His Majesties Dominions is not yet
perfected; Therefore, Renews the power and Commission granted by
preceeding Assemblies for prosecuting that Treaty unto these Persons
after-named _viz._ Mr _Robert Douglas_, Mr _Samuel Rutherford_, Mr _Robert
Baillie_, Mr _George Gillespie_, Ministers. And _John Earle of_ Cassils,
_John Lord Balmerinoch_, and Sir. _Arch. Johnston of Wariston_ Elders;
Authorizing them with full power to prosecute the said Treaty of
Uniformity with the Honourable Houses of the Parliament of _England_, and
the Reverend Assembly of Divines there, or any Committees Appointed by
them: And to do all and every thing which may advance, perfect, and bring
that Treaty to an happie conclusion, conform to the Commissions given
thereanent.



_Act Renewing the Commission for the publick Affairs of this Kirk._


The Generall Assembly Taking to their consideration, that in respect the
great work of Uniformity in Religion in all his Majesties Dominions is not
yet perfected (though by the Lords blessing there is a good progress made
in the same) There is a necessity of renewing the Commissions granted
formerly for prosecuting and perfecting that great Work; Do therefore
Renew the Power and Commission granted for the Publick Affairs of the Kirk
by the Generall Assemblies held at Saint _Andrews_, 1642. and at
_Edinburgh_ 1643. 1644. 1645. 1646. and 1647. unto the persons following
_viz_ Masters, _John Lawder, Andrew Wood, David Calderwood, Robert Ker,
John Mackghie, John Knox, John Sinclar, John Adamson, Robert Dowglas,
George Gillespie, James Hamiltoun, Mungo Law, John Smith, Robert Lawrie,
George Lesly, John Weir, Robert Eliot, Alexander Dickson, Patrick
Fleeming, Thomas Vassie, Ephraim Melvil, Hew Kennedie, Kenneth Logie,
Alexander Levistoun, George Bennet, David Weems, William Row, Robert
Young, William Menzies, John Friebaine, John Givan, Harie Guthrie, Andrew
Rind, David Auchterlony, Samuel Ousteen, Thomas Henderson, Charles
Archibald, Andrew Lawder, John Leviston, John Macklellan, Alexander
Turnbull, William Fullerton, George Hutcheson, John Genell, Patrick
Colvill, James Ferguson, Hew Peebles, John Hamiltoun, Alexander Dunlope,
David Elphiston, David Dickson, Robert Baillie, Robert Ramsay, Patrick
Gillespie, Patrick Sharpe, James Nasunth, John Home, Evan Camron, Robert
Blair, Samuel Rutherfurd, David Forret, Robert Traill, Andrew Bennett,
Walter Greg, John Macgill younger, John Moncreiff, Fredrick Carmichael,
John Chalmers, John Duncan, Andrew Donaldson, Will Oliphant, George
Simmer, Andrew Affleck, Arthur Granger, David Strachen, Andrew Cant, John
Rex, John Paterson, Alexander Cant, John Young, John Seaton, David
Lindsay_ at Bethelvie, _Nothaniel Martine, John Annand, William Falconer,
Joseph Brodie, Alexander Summer, William Chalmer, Gilbert Anderson, David
Rosse, George Gray, Robert Knox, William Penman, James Guthrie, Thomas
Donaldson, William Jameson, Thomas Wilkie, James Ker, John Knox, Andrew
Dunkanson_ Ministers: _Archibald_ Marques of Argyle, _Alexander_ Earle of
Eglintoun, _John_ Earle of Cassils. _William_ Earle of Lothian,
_Archibald_ Lord Angus, _William_ Lord Borthwick, _John_ Lord Torphichen,
_John_ Lord Balmerino, _Robert_ Lord Burly, _James_ Lord Couper, Lord
Kilcudbright, _Alexander_ Lord Elcho, Sir _Archibald Johnstoun_ of
Wariston. Sir _John Hope_ of Craighall, _Arthur Erskin_ of Scotskraig, Sir
_John Moncreiff_ of that Ilk, _Boaton_ of Creigh, Sir _John Wauchhope_ of
Midrie, Sir _Thomas Ruthven_ of Frieland, Sir _George Maxwell_ of
Netherpollock, Sir _James Fraser_ of Brae, Sir _James Hackact_ of Pitfirn,
Sir _William Carmichaell_ younger of that ilk, _Walter Dundas_ younger of
that ilk, _Thomas Craig_ of Ricarton, Mr _George Winrain_ of Liberton, Sir
_Alexander Ingils_ of Ingilston, _Alexander Brodie_ of that ilk, _Forbes_
of Eight, _Will. More_ of Glanderston, _John Ker_ of Lochtour, _Alex
Pringill_ of Whitbanck, _Walter Scot_ of Whitstyid, _John Crafurd_ of
Crafurdland, Sir _John Chisly_ of Carswell, _Robert Monroe_ of Obsteall,
_Cornwall_ of Bonhard, _George Dundas_ of Dudingston, Sir _James Stewart_
of Kirkfield, _Alexander Colvil_ of the Blair, Mr _Alex. Petrson_, Mr
_Robert Burnet_ younger, Mr _Thomas Murray, George Potterfield,_ Mr _James
Campbell, James Hamilton, Lawrence Henderson,_ Mr _Robert Barcclay_, Mr
_William More, William Glendoning_ Doctor, _Douglas, James Sword, Gideon
Lack_, Mr _Dongall Campbell, John Besrall, John Brown, William Brown,
Robert Brown_, and _William Russel_, Elders: Giving unto them full Power
and Commission, to do all and every thing for preservation of the
Established Doctrine, Discipline, Worship and Government of this Kirk,
against all who shall endeavour to introduce any thing contrary thereunto,
and for prosecuting, advancing, perfecting & bringing the said Work of
Uniformity in Religion in all His Majesties Dominions to a happy
conclusion, conform to the former Commissions granted by proceeding
Assemblies thereanent, And to that effect Appoints them, or any seventeen
of them, whereof thirteen shall be Ministers to meet here in this City to
morrow the 12. of this Moneth, And thereafter upon the last Wednesday of
_November, February_, and _May_ next, and upon any other day, and in any
other place they shall think fit. Renewing also to the persons before
named the power contained in the Act of the Assembly 1643. Intituled, A
_Reference to the Commission anent the Persons designed to repair to the
Kingdom of England._ And further, incase Delinquents have no constant
residence in any one Presbyterie, or if Presbyteries be negligent or
overawed, in these cases, The Assembly gives to the persons before named,
such power of censuring complyers and persons disaffected to the Covenant
according to the Acts of the Assembly, declaring alwayes and providing,
that Ministers shall not be deposed, but in one of the quarterly meetings
of this Commission, And further Authorises them as formerly with full
power to make Supplications, Remonstrances, Declarations & Warnings to
Indict Fasts & Thanksgivings as there shall be cause to Protest against
all encroachments upon the Liberties of the Kirk, and to censure all such
as interupt this Commission or any other Church Judicatory, or the
execution of their Censures or of any other Sentences or Acts, issuing
from them, And with full power to them to treat and determine in the
matters referred unto them by this Assembly, as fully and freely as if the
same were here fully expressed, and with as ample power as any Commission
of any former Generall Assemblies hath had or been in use of before:
Declaring also that all opposers of the authority of this Commission in
matters intrusted to them shall be holden as opposers of the authority of
the Generall Assembly, And this Commission in their whole proceedings are
comptable to, and censurable by the next General Assembly.



August 11. 1643. _Postmeridiem,_ Sess. 40.



_Exemption of_ Murray, Rosse, _and_ Caithnesse _from the contribution
granted to the boyes of_ Argyle, _with a Recommendation to Presbyteries,
to make up what is taken of them by that exemption._


Concerning the overtture and desire of the Commissioners of the
Presbyteries of _Murray_, _Rosse_, and _Caithnesse_ for an exemption from
that contribution of fourty shillings recommended for entertainment of the
_Irish_ boyes in _Argyle_; The Assembly having considered thereof, and of
their offer in the the name of the said Presbyteries, if that exemption be
granted, Do Approve their offer, And Therefore hereby Exoners the said
Presbyteries of the said contribution of fourty shillings toward the
entertainment of the boyes in _Argyle_, And Ordains for that exemption
according to the offer of their said Commissioners, that each Presbyterie
of the said Provinces entertaine one of the _Irish_ language at Schooles,
and if any be found already fit for Colledges, they shall maintain them at
Philosophie, and so forward, untill they be fit for the Ministery: And
Because by this exemption the contribution for the boyes in _Argyle_ will
be so much lessened. Therefore the Assembly Recommends to all other
Presbyteries to think upon some way how by the charitable Supply that may
be made up unto them.



_Act concerning Collection for the Poor._


The Assembly Understanding that the collection for the poor in some Kirks
in the Countrey, are taken in the time of Divine Service, which being, a
very great and unseemly disturbance of Divine Worship Do therefore hereby
Inhibit and discharge the same. And ordains that the Minister and Session
appoint some other way and time for receiving the said Collections.



_Recommendation for securing provisions to Ministers in Burghs._


In regard that the stipends of many Ministers in Burghs are not secured
unto them and their successors; Therefore the Assembly Do seriously
Recommend to the Honourable Commission of Parliament for planting of
Kirks, to provide reall and valide security of competent and honest meanes
to the present Ministers of Burghs and their successors; where they are
not sufficiently provided or secured already; Ordaining Presbyteries to
use all necessary diligence for prosecuting thereof before the said
Commission for planting Kirks.



_The Humble Supplication of the Generall Assembly of the Kirk of_
Scotland, _met at_ Edinburg August 12 _unto the Kings Most Excellent
Majeste._


Albeit your Majestie through the suggestions of evil men, may haply
entertain hard thoughts of us and our Proceedings, yet the Searcher of
hearts knowes, and our consciences bear record unto us, that we bear in
our spirits these humble and duitifull respects to your Majestie, that
loyall subjects owe to their native Soveraigne, and that it would be one
of our greatest contentments upon earth, to see your Majestie reigning for
the LORD, in Righteousnesse and Peace over these Nations: And therefore as
we do bow our knees daily before the Throne of Grace on your behalf, and
the behalf of your Posterity; So we finde our selves as heretofore,
obliged faithfully and freely to warn your Majestie of your danger and
dutie; Wishing, and hoping that the Lord will incline your Royall heart,
from the sence of the evil which hath befallen You, through the slighting
of former Warning, to be more attentive unto this. We are very sensible of
your Majesties suffering, and low condition, and do not in the least
measure approve but from our hearts abhorre any thing that hath been done
to your Majesties Person, contrary to the common resolutions of both
Kingdoms: Yet it shall be your Majesties wisdom, in this as in all that
hath befallen you these years past, to read the righteous hand of the
Lord, writing bitter things against you, as for all your Provocations, so
especially for resisting his Work, and authorising by your Commissions the
shedding of the blood of his People, for which it is high time to repent,
that there be no more wrath against you and your Realms.

The Commission of the preceding Assembly, whose proceedings are
unanimously approven by this Assembly, Having read your Majesties Letter
of the date at _Carisbrook_ Castle, _December 27._ And perused your
Concessions, did finde some of these Concessions destructive to the
Covenant, and all or them unsatisfactorie, and did therefore emit a
Declaration concerning the same, least your Majesties Subjects in this
Kingdom should have unawares imbarked themselves in an Engagement upon
grounds not consisting with the good of Religion, and the Solemn League
and Covenant. For preventing whereof, they did also present most just and
necessary desires unto the high and Honourable Court of Parliament of this
Kingdom; which, if they had been granted, might have through the Blessing
of God, either procured (upon Treaty) your Majesties re-establishment, and
a solide Peace, or laid open the expedience and necessity of a lawfull
War, and have united this Kingdom therein for the good of Religion, of
your Majestie, and of your Kingdoms. When the Parliament was pleased
without satisfaction to any of these desires, to go on towards the
determining of a War upon the grounds contained in their Declaration, As
many of their own Members who have been faithfull in the Cause of GOD from
the beginning, did dissent from their preceedings, so most of all the
Presbyteries and Synods of this Kingdom, and the Committees of War in
severall Shires did by humble Supplication represent to the Parliament,
how unsatisfied they were in their consciences concerning the present
Engagement: Notwithstanding of all which, the Engagement hath been carried
on without clearing either of the lawfulnesse or necessity thereof.
Therefore, We having now examined the same by the Rule of Gods Word, and
having found it unlawfull, as we have warned the whole Kingdom of the
danger thereof, So we hold it our Duty also to warne your Majestie as the
Servants of the most High GOD, and in Name of the Lord _Jesus Christ_, who
must Judge the quick and dead, Earnestly beseeching your Majestie that as
ye would not draw new guilt upon your Majesties Throne, and make these
Kingdoms again a field of Blood, you would be far from owning or having
any hand in this so unlawfull an Engagement; Which as it hath already been
the cause of so much sorrow and many sufferings to the People of God in
this Land, who choose affliction rather then sin, So it tendeth to the
undoing of the Covenant and Work of Reformation: As we do not oppose the
restitution of your Majestie to the exercise of your Royall Power; So we
must needs desire that that which is GODS be given unto Him in the first
place, and that Religion may be secured before the setling of any humane
interest; Being confident that this way is not only most for the Honour of
GOD, but also for your Majesties Honor and Safety. And therefore as it was
one of our Desires to the High and Honourable Court of Parliament that
they would solicitie your Majestie for securing of Religion, and
establishing the Solemn League and Covenant in all your Dominions, that
your Majestie might know what they intend on your behalf was with a
subordination to Religion; So we do now from our selves make this humble
address unto your Majestie, intreating your Majestie as you tender Truth
and Peace, you would be pleased to suffer your self to be possessed with
right thoughts of the League and Covenant, and of the proceedings of your
Majesties loyall Subjects in relation thereunto, and give your Royall
assent for injoyning of it in all your Dominions. If your Majestie had
been pleased to hearken to our Counsell heranent some years ago, the blood
of many thousands, which now lyes upon your Majesties Throne, might have
been spared, Popery, Prelacy, Idolatry, Superstition, Profanesse, Heresie,
Error, Sects, and Schismes which are now grown to so great a height in
_England_, might have been extirpate, and your Majestie sitting in Peace
in your own House, Reigning over your Subjects with much mutuall
contentment and confidence. And if your Majestie shall yet search out and
repent of all your secret and open Sins, And after so many dear-bought
experiences of the danger of evill Counsell, be now so wise as to avoid
it, and to hearken to us speaking unto you in the Name of the Lord, We are
confident by this means your Majestie may yet be restored, and a sure and
firme peace procured. We take it as a great mercy, and as a door of hope,
that God still inclines the hearts of all his Servants to pray for your
Majestie; And we would not have your Majestie to look upon it as a light
thing, that you have been preserved alive, when many thousands have by
your means and procurement fallen on your right hand and on your left
hand. God forbid that your Majestie should any longer dispise the word of
exhortation, the riches of his goodnesse, forbearance and long suffering,
not knowing that the goodnesse of God leads you unto Repentance; For if
your Majestie do so, As we are afraid, all Counsels and Endeavours for
your Majesties re-establishment shall be in vain and without successe,
because of the Wrath of the Lord of Hosts, who brings down the mighty from
his Throne, and scatters the proud in the imaginations of their hearts; So
we shall mourn in secret for it, and for all the miseries that are like to
come upon your Throne and your Dominions, and comfort our selves, in this,
that we have delivered our own souls. But we desire to hope better things,
and that your Majestie will humble your self under the mighty hand of God,
and be inclined to hearken to the faithfull advise of his Servants, be
willing to secure Religion, and imploy your Royall Power for advancing the
Kingdom of the Son of God, which will turn as well to the Honour and
Happinesse of your Majesties as to the Peace and Safety of your Subjects.



August. 12. 1648, Sess. _Ult._



_Act discharging Duels._


The Generall Assembly taking in consideration the many Duels and combats
that have been fought, and Challenges that have been made, and carried,
and received in this Land of late. And being sensible of the exceeding
great offence that comes by so horrible and hainous a sin; which is a
grosse preferring of the supposed credit of the Creature unto the Honour
of the most High God, and an usurpation upon the office of the Magistrate
by private mens taking of the Sword, And a High degree of murther both of
body and soul, by shedding the blood of the one, and cutting of the other
from time of repenting; And which doth ordinarily produce many wofull
consequents, Therefore doth enact And Ordain that all Persons of
whatsoever quality who shall either fight Duels, or make, or write, or
receive, or with their knowledge carry Challenges, or go to the fields,
either as Principals, or as Seconds to fight Duels and Combats, that they
shall without respect of Persons be processed with the Censures of the
Kirk and brought before the Congregation two severall Lords-dayes; In the
first whereof they are sharply to be rebuked and convinced of the
hainousnesse of their sin and offence, and on the next to make a solemn
publick Confession thereof, and profession of their unfained Humiliation
and Repentance for the same. And if the Person guilty of any of the former
offences be an Elder or Deacon, he is to be removed from his office, and
whatsoever person guilty of any of these offences, shall refuse to give
obedience according to the tenour of this Act, shall be processed to
Excommunication: Declaring always, that if any be killed at such Duels,
the killer shall be proceeded against by the Kirk as other murtherers.



_Act concerning deposed Ministers._


The Assembly considering that divers Ministers deposed for Malignancy, and
complying with the Enemies of this Kirk and Cause of God, may be suited
by, and hope to get entry in some Congregation where a Minister deposed
for Malignancy hath been, and may be supposed to have put on the people a
stamp and impression of Malignancie, and being by the Act of the Generall
Assembly in _Anno 1645._ Past all hope of being restored to the place out
of the whilk he was cast: Now also Ordains and enacts that no Minister
deposed for Malignancy and compliance foresaid (when it shall fall out
that he be put in a capacity of admission to the Ministry) shall enter
into the Congregation of any other Minister who also hath been deposed for
Malignancy and complyance, as said is.

The Generall Assembly not having now time to consider the References of
the preceeding Assemblies, and the most part of Presbyteries not having
lent their opinions in Writ, Therefore do yet again Recommend to
Presbyteries and Provinciall Assemblies to consider all matters referred
by this or by any former Assemblies, and to send their opinions therein in
writ to the next Generall Assembly.



_The meeting of the next Generall Assembly is hereby Appointed to be at_
Edinburgh _the first_ Wednesday _of_ Iuly, 1649.

A. KER.



THE GENERALL ASSEMBLY, HOLDEN AT _EDINBURGH, JULY 7. 1649._



July 7. 1649. Antemeridiem, Sess 4.



_Approbation of the proceedings of the Commissioners of the Generall
Assembly._


The Generall Assembly having heard the report of the Committe appointed
for revising the proceedings of the Commissioners of the preceding
Assembly; And finding thereby, that in all their proceedings they have
been zealous, diligent and faithfull, in the discharge of the trust
committed to them, do therefore unanimously Approve and Ratify the the
whole proceedings, Acts and Conclusions of the said Commission; Appointing
Mr _John Bell_ Moderator _protempore_, to return them hearty thanks in the
name the Assembly, for their great pains, travel and fidelity.



July 10. 1649. _Antemeridiem,_ Sess. 6.



_Approbation of the Commissioners sent to his Majesty._


The Generall Assembly having taken in serious consideration the Report of
the Travels and proceedings of the Commissioners sent to his Majesty
presented by them this day, Together with the Commission and Instructions
which were given unto them; Do finde by the Report, that they have been
very diligent and faithfull in the discharge of the Trust committed to
then. And therefore doe unanimously Approve of their Carriage and return
them hearty thanks for their great Pains and Travails in that Employment.



July 19. 1649 _Postmeridiem,_ Sess. 18.



_Act discharging promiscuous Dancing._


The Assembly finding the scandall and abuse that arises through
promiscuous Dancing: Do therefore inhibite and discharge the same, and do
referre the Censure thereof to the severall Presbyteries, recommending it
to their care and diligence.



July 20. 1649. _Antemeridiem,_ Sess. 19.



_Act concerning the receiving of Engagers in the late unlawfull War
against_ England, _to publick Satisfaction, Together with the Declaration
and Acknowledgement to be subscribed by them._


The Generall Assembly considering what great offence against God, and
Scandall to his People at home and abroad, hath arisen from the late
unlawfull Engagement in War against _England_; whereby, contrary to the
Law of God and of Nations, contrary to the Solemn League and Covenant,
contrary to the Petitions of almost the whole Kingdom, contrary to the
Declarations of the Judicatories of this Kirk, contrary to the
Protestations of a considerable part of the Parliament, contrary to the
frequent and clear Warnings of the Servants of God in his name, not only
an Association in Counsels and Arms was made with Malignant Persons, who
had formerly shewn their disaffection to the Covenant in and Cause, but
are Invasion of the Neighbour Nation was prosecuted; from whence flowed
the oppression of the Persons, Estates and consciences of many of the
people of God in this Land, the shedding of the blood of some, the losse
and dishonour of this Nation, and severall other Inconveniences: and
considering that the Commissioners of the last Generall Assembly, have
acquit themselves faithfully in ordaining to be suspended from the
renewing of the Covenant, and from the Ordinance of the Lords Supper, such
as are designed in their Acts of date the 6. of _October_ & 4 of
_December_ last; referring the further consideration and censure of the
Persons foresaid to this present Generall Assembly: Therefore the Generall
Assembly, for removing of such Offences, and for prevention of the like in
time coming, and for restoring of such as are truely humbled, do Declare
and Appoint.

I. That all those who have been guilty and censured as aforesaid, and
withall do not by their addresses to Kirk Judicatories testify their
dislike thereof, and give evidences of their Repentance therefore, That
these be processed and continuing obstinate, be excommunicated; But if
withall they go on in premoving Malignant Designes, that they be forthwith
Excommunicated: As also that all such persons guilty as aforesaid, who
after Profession of their Repentance shall yet again hereafter relapse to
the promoting any Malignant Designe, that these be likewise forth with
excommunicated.

II. That all these who have been guilty and censured as aforesaid, and
desire to testifie their Repentance, and to be admitted to the Covenant
and Communion, shall besides any Confession in publick before the
Congregation subscribe the Declaration herto sub-joyned, of their unfained
detestation and renunciation of that Engagement, and all other Malignant
courses contrary to the Covenant and Cause, Promising to keep themselves
from such ways in time coming, and acknowledging that if they shall again
fall into such defection thereafter, they may justly be accounted
perfidious backsliders, and breakers of the Covenant and Oath of God, and
proceeded against with the highest Censures of the Kirk.

III. That of these who have been guilty and censured as aforesaid, and
desire now to testifie their Repentance, Whosoever were formerly joyned in
Arms or Counsell with _James Graham_ in his Rebellion, or who were
Generall persons or Colonels in the late unlawfull Engagement, Or who went
to _Ireland_ to bring over Forces for that effect, Or who have been
eminently active in contriving of or seducing unto the said Engagement, or
whosoever above the degree of a Leutenant Commanded these parties, that in
promoving of the ends of the said Engagement shed blood within the
Kingdom, either before that Army of Engagers went to _England_, or after
their return, Or who above the degree foresaid Commanded in the late
Rebellion in the North; That none of these be admitted or received to give
satisfaction, but by the Generall Assembly or their Commissioners.

IV. That all the rest of these who have been guilty, or censured as
aforesaid may be received by the Presbyteries where they reside.

V. That all who have been guilty as aforsaid, before their receiving to
the Covenant, shall make a Solemn publick Acknowledgement in such matter,
and before such Congregations as the Commission of the Generall Assembly
or Presbyteries _respectivè_ shall prescribe, according to the degree of
their offence and scandall given.

VI. That none of the foresaid Persons be admitted, or received as Elders
in any Judicatories of the Kirk, but according to the Act of the Generall
Assembly of the last of _August 1647._ against complyers of the first
Classe.

And because many have heretofore made shew and profession of their
Repentance, who were not convinced of their guiltinesse nor humbled for
the same, but did thereafter return with the dog to the vomit, and with
the sow to the puddle, unto the mocking of God, and the exceeding great
reproach and detriment of his Cause: Therefore, for the better determining
the Truth and sincerity of the Repentance of those who desire to be
admitted to the Covenant and Communion: It is appointed and Ordained that
none of those persons who are debarred from the Covenant and Communion
shall be admitted and received thereto, but such as after exact triall,
shall be found for some competent time before or after the offer of their
Repentance, according to the discretion of the respective Judicatories, to
have in their ordinary conversatione given real Testimony of their dislike
of the late unlawfull Engagement, and of the courses and wayes of
Malignants, and of their sorrow for their accession to the same; & to live
soberly, righteously & godly; & if any shall be found, who after the
defeating of the Engagers have uttered any Malignant speeches, tending to
the approbation of the late unlawful Engagement, or the blood-shed within
the Kingdome for promoving of the ends of the said Engagement, or any
other projects or practices within or without the Kingdome; prejudiciall
to Religion and the Covenant, or tending to the reproach of the Ministry,
or the civill Government of the Kingdom, or who have unnecessarily or
ordinarily conversed with Malignant and disaffected persons, Or who have
had hand in, or accession to, or compliance with or have any wayes
countenanced or promoved any Malignant Design, prejudiciall to Religion
and the Covenant; That these, notwithstanding their profession of
Repentance be not suddenly received, but a competent time, according to
the discretion of the Judicatory, be assigned to them for tryall of the
evidence of their Repentance, according to the qualifications above
mentioned. And the Generall Assembly Ordains Presbyteries to make
intimation of this Act in the severall Kirks of their bounds so soon as
they can, after the rising of the General Assembly, that none pretend
ignorance; And that Presbyteries make accompt of their diligence in
prosecuting of this Act to the Quarterly meetings of the Commission of
this Assembly.



_The Declaration and Acknowledgement before mentioned._


I, after due consideration of the late Warre against the Kingdom of
_England_; And having also considered the course pursued and promoted by
the Earle of _Lanerk_, _George Monro_ and their Adherents in and about
_Stirling_, and by others in the late Rebellion in the North, against all
which not only eminent Testimonies of Gods Wrath have been given in
defeating of them, but they were in themselves sinfull breaches of
Covenant, and preferring the interest of man unto God; I doe herefore in
Gods sight professe, that I am convinced of the unlawfulnesse of all these
ways, as contrary to the Word of God, and to the Solemn League and
Covenant, not only in regard of the miscarriages of these that were
imployed therein, but also in respect of the nature of these courses
themselves; And therefore professing my unfained sorrow for my guiltinesse
by my accession to the same, doe renounce and disclaim the foresaid
Engagement and all the courses that were used for carrying on the same,
either before or after the defeat of the Engagers, as contrary to the Word
of GOD and Solemn League and Covenant, and destructive to Religion and the
work of Reformation; And I doe promise in the power of the Lords strength,
never again to own any of these or the like courses. And if hereafter at
any time, I shall be found to promote any Malignant Design or course, that
I shall justly be accompted a perfidious Covenant breaker and despiser of
God, and be proceeded against with the highest Censures of the Kirk:
Likeas I doe hereby promise to adhere to the Nationall Covenant of this
Kingdome and to the Solemn League and Covenant betwixt the Kingdomes, and
to be honest and zealous for promoving all the ends thereof, as I shall be
called thereunto of God, and to flee all occasions and temptations that
may lead me into any the like snares against the same.



July 24. 1649. _Postmeridiem._ Sess. 23.



_Letter to the High & Honourable Court of Parliament._


_The Generall Assembly, Humbly Sheweth,_

That whereas we have seen & considered the Act of Parliament abolishing
Patronages, and doe highly commend the piety and zeal of the Estates of
Parliament in promoving so necessary a point of Reformation, The Generall
Assembly do humbly supplicate, that beside the setling of the Ministers
stipends, that the Tythes mentioned in the said Act, may be affected with
the burthen of pious uses, within the respective Paroches, conform to a
draught of an Act seen by the Commissioners of the late Generall Assembly
before it pasted in Parliament, And that the foresaid Act, may be made
effectuall for the setling of Ministers Stipends in Kirks erected, and
necessary to be erected according to the Tenour of the Act of Parliament,
And for this effect, that your Lordships will hasten the sitting of the
Commission for Plantation of Kirks, with all convenient diligence, and
your Lordships Answer.



_27. July, 1649. Antemeridiem._ Sess. 27.



_A seasonable and necessary Warning and Declaration, concerning Present
and Imminent dangers, and concerning duties relating thereto, from the
Generall Assembly of this Kirk, unto all the Members thereof._


The Lord who chooses Jerusalem in a furnace of Affliction, hath been
pleased since the beginning of the work of Reformation in this Land, to
exercise his People with many trials; all that desired to keep a good
conscience, were not long agoe under many heavy and sad pressures from the
insolency and oppression of a prevailing party of dis-affected and
Malignant men, who under a pretext of bringing the King to a condition of
Honour, Freedom and Safety, did carry on an unlawfull Engagement against
the Kingdom of _England_: and if the Lord had not been mercifull unto his
people, they were like either to have been banished out of the Land, or to
have been kept in a perpetuall bondage in their consciences, persons and
estates: But he whose Messengers those men had mocked, and whose word they
had despised, did bring them down suddenly in a day, and restored liberty
and peace unto his people: A mercy and deliverance, which as it ought to
be remembred with thankfulnesse and praise, so may it engage our hearts
not to faint in troubles and straites that do yet abide us but to trust in
the name of the Lord, who both can and will deliver us still out of all
our afflictions.

Albeit, wee do now enjoy many rich and precious blessing wherin wee have
reason to be comforted, and to rejoyce; yet it were to shut our own eyes
if we should not see our selves involved in, and threatned with many and
great dangers at home and from abroad, it is matter of exceeding great
sorrow to think upon the ignorance and profanity, the impenitencie and
security that abounds still in the Land, notwithstanding all the gracious
dispensation of the Gospel, and means of grace in such purity and plenty,
that none of the Nations round about us can boast of the like, and of all
his sharp rods wherewith he hath afflicted us from year to year, and of
all the mercies and deliverances wherewith he hath visited us, and of our
late solemn confession of sinnes, and engagement unto duties, sealed with
the renewing of the Covenant and the Oath of God; Which some men have so
far already forgotten, as to return with the dogge to the vomit, and with
the sow to the puddle: And many signes of inconstancy and levity do appear
among all sorts and ranks of persons, who seem to want nothing but a
sutable tentation to draw them away from their stedfastnesse; Our Army is
not yet sufficiently purged, but there be still in it Malignant and
scandalous men, whose fidelity and constancy, as it is much to be doubted,
so is the wrath of the Lord to be feared, upon their proceedings and
undertakings, without a speedy and effectuall remedy.

That prevailing party of Sectaries in _England_, who have broken the
Covenant, and despised the Oath of God, corrupted the truth, subverted the
fundamentall Government, and taken away the Kings life look upon us with
an evill eye, as upon these who stand in the way of their monstruous and
new fangled devices in Religion and Government; And though there were no
cause to fear any thing from that party but the Gangrene and infection of
those many damnable and abominable errours which have taken hold on them
yet our vicinity unto and daily commerce with that Nation, may justly make
us afraid that the Lord may give up many in this Land unto a spirit of
delusion to beleeve lies, because they have not received the love of the
truth.

Neither is the Malignant party so far broken and brought low, as that they
have abandoned all hopes of carrying on their former designs against the
Covenant and work of Reformation: Beside many of them in this Kingdom, who
are as Foxes tied in chains, keeping their evill nature, and waiting an
opportuny to break their cords, and again to prey upon the Lords people,
there be standing Armies in _Ireland_, under the command of the Marquesse
of _Ormond_, The Lord _Inchqueen_, the Lord of _Airds_, and _George
Munro_, who forgetting all the horrible cruelty that was exercised by the
Irish Rebels, upon many thousands of the English and Scottish Nations in
that land, have entred into a Peace and Association with them, that they
may the more easily carry on the old designes of the Popish, Prelaticall
and Malignant party, And the Lord of _Airds_, and _George Monro_, have by
treachery and oppression brought the Province of _Ulster_, and Garrisons
therein, under their power and Command, and have redacted our country-men,
and such as adhere unto the Covenant, and cause of God in that Province,
unto many miseries and straits, and are like to banish the Ministers of
the Gospell, and to overturn these faire beginnings of the work of God,
which were unto many a branch of hope, that the Lord meant to make
_Ireland_ a pleasant land.

But which is more grievous unto us then all these, our King
notwithstanding of the Lords hand against his Fathers opposition to the
work of God, and of the many sad and dolefull consequences followed
thereupon, in reference to Religion and his Sebjects, and to his person,
and Government, doth hearken unto the councels of these who were Authors
of these miseries to his Royall Father and his Kingdoms: By which it hath
come to passe, that his Majesty hath hitherto refused to grant the just
and necessary desires of this Kirk and Kingdom, which were tendred unto
him from the Commissioners of both for securing of Religion, the Liberties
of the Subject, his Majesties Government, and the Peace of the Kingdome;
And it is much to be feared that those wicked Counsellours may so farre
prevaile upon him in his tender yeers, as to engage him in a warre, for
overturning (if it be possible) of the work of God, and bearing down all
those in the three Kingdoms that adhere thereto: Which if he shall doe,
cannot but bring great wrath from the Lord upon himselfe and his Throne,
and must be the cause of many new, and great miseries, and calamities to
these Lands.

It concerns a Nation thus sinfull and loaden with iniquity and involved in
so many difficulties and dangers, by timous repentance and unfained
humiliation to draw near to God, and to wrastle with him in Prayer and
Supplication, that our sin may be pardoned, and our iniquity done away,
and that he would establish the Land in the love of the truth and inable
every one in their station to do their duty boldly and without fear, and
in humble dependance upon the Lord, in whom alone is the salvation of his
people; Every man ought with all faithfulnesse and diligence, to make use
of all these means that are approven and allowed of God, for preserving
and carrying on of his work, and for securing and guarding the Land
against all enemies whatsomever, both upon the right hand and upon the
left.

The Spirit of errour and delusion in our Neighbour Land, in the policy of
Satan hath vailed it self in many, under the mask of holinesse and is in
the righteous and wise dispensation of God, armed with power, and attended
with successe: Therefore all the Inhabitants of this land would labour for
more knowledge, and more love of the truth, without which they may easily
be deceived, audled into tentation, and would learn to distinguish betwixt
the shew and power of godlinesse. We know that there be many in _England_
who be truly godly, and mourn with us for all the errours and abominations
that are in that land, But it is without controversie, that that Spirit
which hath acted in the Courses and Counsels of these, who have retarded
and obstructed the work of God, dispised the Covenant, forced the
Parliament, murthered the King, changed the civill Government, and
established so vast a Toleration in Religion, cannot be the Spirit of
Righteousnesse and Holinesse, because it teaches not men to live godly and
righteously, but drawes them aside into errour and make them to bring
forth the bitter fruits of impiety and iniquity and therefore ought to be
avoyded. And not only are such of our Nation as travaile in our
Neighbour-land, to take heed unto themselves that they receive not
infection from such as are leavened with Errour, but these also who live
at home, especially in those places where Sectaries, upon pretext of
merchandise, and other civill imployments, ordinarily traffique and
converse. Neither needs any man to be afraid of the power and successe of
that party, Neither needs any man to be afraid of the power and successe
of that party, they who have gadded about so much to change their way,
shall ere long be ashamed; The Lord hath rejected their confidences, and
they shall not prosper in them; How farre they may proceed in their
Resolutions and Actings against this Kingdome, is in the hand of the most
high; If the Lord shall suffer that party to invade this land, it may be
the comfort and incouragement of all the inhabitints thereof, that not
only hath that unlawfull engagement against the Kingdom of _England_ been
declared against, and condemned both by Kirk and State; but also that
these men can pretend no quarrell against us, unlesse it be, that we have
adhered unto the Solemn League and Covenant, from which they have so
foully revolted and backslidden; and that we have borne testimony against
Toleration, and their proceedings in reference to Religion and Government,
and the taking away of the Kings life: And therefore we trust that in such
a case none will be so farre deficient in their duty as not to defend
themselves against such injust violence, and in the strength of the Lord
to adhere unto their former principles, with much boldnes of spirit, and
willingnesse of heart; In this certainly we shall have a good conscience
and the Lord shall be with us.

We are not so, to have the one of our eyes upon the Sectaries, as not to
hold the other upon the Malignants, they being an enemy more numerous, and
no lesse subtile and powerfull nor the other, and at this time more
dangerous unto us, not onely because experience hath proven that there is
a greater aptitude and inclination in these of our Land, to complie with
Malignants then Sectaries in that they carry on their wicked designes
under a pretext of being for the King; But also because there be many of
them in our own bowels, and for that they doe pretend to be for
maintenance of the Kings Person and Authority, and (which is the matter of
our grife) because the King ownes their principles and wayes; which if it
be not taken heed unto, may prove a great snare, and dangerous tentation
to many as side with them against the Lords people, and his cause. The
constant tenour of the carriage of these in this land, who stand for the
Cause of God; are undeniable arguments of their affection to Monarchy, and
to that Royall Family and Line wich hath sweyed the Scepter of this
Kingdom for many hundreds of yeers past. Albeit his Majestie who lately
reigned, refused to harken to their just desires, yet did they with much
patience and Moderation of mind, supplicate and solicite his Majesty for
satisfaction in these things that concern Religion and the Covenant, and
were still willing, that upon satisfaction given, he should be admitted to
the exercise of his power; and whatsoever envie and malice objects to the
contrary, were carefull to get assurance concerning the safety of His
Majesties Person, when they brought their Army out of _England_; and when
notwithstanding of that assurance, the prevailing party of Sectaries were
acting for his life, did to the utmost of their power, endeavour by their
Commissioners that there might have been no such proceeding, And when
their desires and endeavours were not successfull, did protest and bear
testimony against the same. And, as both Kirk and State had testified
their tender respect to his Majesty who now reigns, by their Letters
written to him whilst his Father was yet living, So no sooner did the
Parliament heare of his Fathers death, but they did with all solemnity
proclaim him King of these Kingdoms; And after they had acquainted his
Majesty by Messages with their proceedings herein, Commissioners were sent
both from State and Kirk instructed with power and Commission to expresse
the affection of this Kingdome to Monarchy, and his Majesties Person and
Goverment, together with their desires concerning the security of
Religion, and the Peace of those Kingdoms. And albeit the desires of both
which are now published to the world, with his Majesties answers thereto,
are such as are most just and necessary; yet the Counsels of the malignant
party had so great influence upon his Majesty, that his answers are not
only not satisfactory, but short of that which was many times granted by
his Royal Father, and cannot be acquiesced unto, unlesse we would abandon
the League and Covenant, and betray Religion, and the cause of God.

We hold it the duty of all who live in this Land, to wrestle with God in
the behalfe of the King, that he may be recovered out of the snare of
evill Counsell, and brought to give satisfaction to the publick desires of
Kirk and State; and in their places and stations to use all endeavours
with himselfe and others for that effect, and to be willing, upon
satisfaction given, to admit him to the exercise of his power, and
cheerfully to obey him in all things according to the will of God, and the
lawes of the Kingdom, and to do every thing that tends to the preservation
of his Majesties Person, and just greatnesse and Authority, in the defence
and preservation of the true Religion and Liberties of the Kingdomes.

But if his Majesty, or any having, or pretending power and Commission from
him, shall invade this Kingdom, upon pretext of establishing him in the
exercise of his Royal power, as it will be an high provocation against GOD
to be accessory or assisting thereto, so will it be a necessary duty to
resist and oppose the same, We know that men are so forgetfull of the oath
of God, and ignorant of the interest of Jesus Christ and the Gospel, and
doe so little tender that which concerns his Kingdom and the Privileges
thereof, and do so much dote upon absolute and Arbitrary Government for
gaining their own ends, and so much maligne the Instruments of the work of
Reformation, that they would admit his Majesty to the exercise of his
Royal power upon any termes whatsoever, though with never so much
prejudice to Religion, and the Liberties of these Kingdomes, and would
think it quarrell enough to make War upon all those who for consciences
sake cannot condescend thereto. But We desire all these who fear the Lord,
and mind to keep their Covenant impartially to consider these things which
followes.

1. That as Magistrates and their power is ordained of God, so are they in
the exercise thereof, not to walk according to their owne will, but
according to the Law of equity and righteousnesse, as being the Ministers
of GOD for the safety of his People; Therefore a boundles and illimitted
power is to be acknowledged in no King nor Magistrate; Neither is Our King
to be admitted to the exercise of his power as long as he refuses to walk
in the Administration of the same according to this rule, and the
established Laws of the Kingdom, that his Subjects may live under him a
quiet and and peaceable life in all Godlinesse and honestie.

2. There is ane mutuall Obligation and Stipulation betwixt the King and
his People; As both of them are tied to GOD, so each of them are tied one
to another for the performance of mutuall and reciprocall duties:
According to this, It is Satute and Ordained in the 8. Act of the 1.
Parliament of King _James_ the 6. _That all Kings, Princes or Magistrates
whatsoever, halding their place, which hereafter shall happen in any time
to Raign and beare rale over this Realm, at the time of their Coronation
and receipt of their Princely Authority, make their faithfull promise by
Oath in the presence of the Eternall GOD that during the whole course of
their lives, they shall serve the same Eternall GOD to the utmost of their
power, according as he hath required in his most Holy Word contained in
the Old and New Testament and according to the same Word, shall maintain
the true Religion of_ Christ Jesus, _the Preaching of His most Holy Word,
and due and right ministration of His Sacraments now received and Preached
within this Realm, and shall abolish and work against all false religion
contrary to the same, And shall rale the peeple committed to their charge
according to the Will and Command of GOD revealed in his Word and
according to the laudable Laws and Constitutions received within this
Realm, And shall procure to the utmost of their power to the Kirk of God
and the whole Christian People, true and perfect peace in all time
comming. And that Justice and Equity be keeped to all creatures without
exception._ Which Oath was sworn, first by King _Iames_ the 6, and
afterwards by King _Charles_ at his Coronation, and is inferred in our
Nationall Covenant, which was approven by the King who lately Reigned, As
long therefore as his Majesty who now Reignes, refuses to hearken to the
just and necessary desires of State and Kirk, propounded to his Majesty
for the Security of Religion, and safety of his People, and to engage and
oblige himself, for the performance of his Duty to his People, It is
consonant to Scripture and reason and the Laws of the Kingdom, that they
should refuse to admit him to the exercise of his Government, untill he
give satisfaction in these things.

3. In the League and Covenant which hath been so solemly sworne and
renewed by this Kingdom, the Dutie of defending and preserving the Kings
Majesties Person and Authority is joyned with, and subordinat unto the
dutie of preserving and defending the true Religion and Liberties of the
Kingdoms: And therefore his Majestie standing in opposition to the just
and necessary publick desires concerning Religion and Liberties, it were a
manifest Breach of Covenant, and a preferring of the Kings interest to the
interest of _Jesus Christ_, to bring him to the exercise of his Royal
power, which he, walking in a contrary way, and being compassed about with
Malignant Counsels, cannot but employ unto the prejudice and ruin of both.

4. Was not an Arbitrary Government and unlimited power, the fountain of
most of all the Corruptions both in Kirk and State? And was it not for
restraint of this, and for their own just defence against Tyranny and
injust violence, which ordinarily is the fruit and effect of such a power,
that the Lords People did joyn in Covenant, and have been at the expense
of so much blood, pains and treasure these yeers past? And if his Majestie
should be admitted to the exercise of his Government before satisfaction
given, were it not to put in his hand that Arbitrary Power, which we have
upon just and necessary grounds been so long withstanding, and so to
abandon our former Principles, and betrary our Cause?

5. The King being averse from the Work of Reformation and the instruments
thereof, and compassed about with Malignant and disaffected men, whom he
hearkens unto as his most faithfull Counsellers, and looks upon as his
best and most Loyall Subjects, We leave it to all indifferent men to
judge, whether his Majestie, being admitted to the exercise of his Power
before satisfaction given, would not by such Counsells endeavour an
overturning of the things which GOD hath wrought amongst us, and labour to
draw publick administrations concerning Religion and the liberties of the
Subject, unto that course and channall in which they did run under
Prelacie, and before the Work of Reformation: Which we have the more cause
to fear, because his Royall Father did so often declare, that he conceived
himself bound to employ all the power that GOD should put in his hands to
the utmost for these ends; and that he adheres as yet to his Fathers
Principles, and walkes in his way, and hath made a Peace with the _Irish_
Rebels, by which is granted unto them the full liberty of Popery.

6. It is no strange nor new thing for Kingdoms to preserve Religion of
themselves from ruine, by putting restraint upon the exercise of the power
and Government of those who have refused to grant those things that were
necessary for the good of Religion, and the Peoples safety; There have bin
many precedents of it in this and other nations of old, and of late. Upon
these and other important considerations, It shall be the wisdom of every
one who dwell in the Land, to take heed of such a temptation & snare, that
they be not accessory to any such designes or endeavours, as they would
not bring upon themselves, and upon their families, the guilt of all the
detriment that will undoubtedly follow thereupon to Religion and the
Covenant, and of all the miseries and calamities that it will bring upon
his Majesties Person and Throne, and upon these Kingdoms; Such a thing
would in all appearance be the undermining and shaking—if not the
overthrowing and destroying of the work of Reformation: And therefore
whosoever attempt the same, oppose themselves to the Cause of GOD, and
will at last dash against the Rock of the LORDS Power, which hath broken
in pieces many high and lofty ones since the beginning of this work in
these Kingdoms: And it is unto us a sure Word of Promise, That whosoever
shall associate themselves, or take counsel together, or gird themselves
against GOD and His Work, shall be broken in pieces.

It is not onely joyning in Arms with the Malignant partie, that all these
who would keep their integritie hath need to beware of, but also subtil
devices and designes, that are promoted by fair pretexts and perswasions
to draw men to dispense at least with some part of these necessarie
desires, that are propounded to his Majestie for securing of Religion,
After many turnings and devises the foundation of the unlawful Engagement
was at last laid by his Majesties Concessions in the year 1648. Wherein
though many things seemed to be granted, yet that was denyed, without
which Religion and the Union betwixt the Kingdoms could not have been
secured: And it is probable, that such a way may be assayed again, and
prosecuted with very much cunning and skill to deceive and insnare the
simple. It doth therefore concerne all ranks and conditions of persons to
be the more warie and circumspect, especially in that which concerns the
National Covenant, and the Solemn League and Covenant, that before his
Majestie be admitted to the exercise of his Royal Power, that by and
aftour the Oath of Coronation, he shall assure and declare by his Solemn
Oath under his hand and seal his allowance of the National Covenant, and
of the Solemn League and Covenant, and obligation to prosecute the ends
thereof in his Station and Calling, and that he shall for himself and his
successours, consent and agree to Acts of Parliament, injoyning the Solemn
League and Covenant, and fully Establishing Presbyterial Government, the
Directory of Worship, the Confession of Faith and Catechisme, as they are
approven by the General Assembly of this Kirk and Parliament of this
Kingdom, in all his Majesties Dominions, and that he shall observe these
in his own Practice and Familie, and that he shall never make opposition
to any of these, nor endeavour any change thereof. Albeit the League and
Covenant be despised by that prevailing party in _England_, and the Work
of Uniformity, thorow the retardements and obstructions that have come in
the way, be almost forgotten by these Kingdoms, yet the obligation of that
Covenant is perpetual, and all the duties contained therein are constantly
to be minded, and prosecute by every one of us and our posterity,
according to their place and stations: And therefore we are no lesse
zealously to endeavour, that his Majestie may Establish, and swear, and
subscribe the same, then if it were unanimously regarded and stuck unto by
all the Kingdom of _England_, for his Majestie swearing and subscribing
the League and Covenant, will much contribute for the Security of
Religion, his Majesties happinesse, and the Peace of his Kingdoms.

As it is incumbent to all, who live in this Kirk and Kingdom to be
watchful and circumspect, so it concerns these of the High and Honourable
Court of Parliament & their Committees, in a speciall way to see to their
duty, & to be straight & resolute in the performance of the same; Their
former proceedings is unto us a sufficient evidence and ground of hope,
that they will not be wanting in any necessary testimony of dutie and
Loyalty that they owe to the King, by using all just and seasonable
endeavoures for obtaining satisfaction of his Majestie, that so he may be
established upon his Thrones; And we trust, that upon the other hand, the
sense of their obligations to God, and his Oath that is upon them, will
make them constantly to adhere to their former principles resolutions, and
desires concerning Religion and the Covenant, that real satisfaction may
be had thereanent, before the King be put in the exercise of his power;
And that they will carefully provide for the safety of the Kingdom, both
in regard of the intestine dangers, and in regard of invasion from
without; It is not long since they together with the rest of the Land,
made solemn publick Confession of Compliance with Malignants, carnal
confidence, following of self interests, and hearkening to the Counsels of
flesh and blood, and did in a special way engage themselves to comply, and
seek themselves and their own things no more, to abandon the counsels of
their own hearts, and not to rely upon the Arm of flesh, and to purge
Judicatories and Armies from Profane and scandalous persons; And God
forbid that they should so soon forget, or neglect so necessary duties and
fall again unto so great and grievous transgressions. We trust that they
will seek the things of CHRIST, and not their own things, that they will
hearken to His Word, and not walk in the imaginations of their own hearts,
that they will relie upon the Arm of the LORD, and not upon the arm of
flesh, that they will bewary and circumspect in discerning the
dispositions and affections of those whom they put in trust, and that,
seeing this Kingdom hath so much smarted, & been so often deceived by
complyance with Malignants they will carefully avoid this snare, inregard
of those who were upon the former unlawful Engagement & be tender in
bringing in of such; And wee cannot but exhort them in the Name of the
LORD, to take notice of the Oppression of the People and Commons in the
Land, by the lawlesse exactions of Land-Lords, Collectours and Souldiers.
We do not justifie the murmurings and grudgings of those, who, preferring
the things of the world to the Gospel and things of _Jesus Christ_ repine
at necessary burthens, without which it is not possible that the Land can
be secured from invasion without and insurrection within, or the Cause and
People of GOD be defended from enemies: It is the duty of every one who
hath taken the Covenant, willingly and with a cheerfull minde to bestow
their means and their pains as they shall be called thereunto, in an
orderly way: Yet should these to whom God hath committed the Government,
take carre that they be not needlessely burthened, and that none grind
their faces by oppression, not only by making of Lawes against the same,
but by searching out of the cause of the poor, and by executing these
Lawes timously upon these that oppresse them, that they may find real
redresse of their just grievances and complaints, and be encouraged to
bear those burthens which cannot be avoyded.

As the Parliament have begun, so we hope they will continue, to purge out
all these from trust, that are not of known integrity and affection to the
cause of God, and of a blamelesse and Christian conversation, and that
they and the officers of the Army in their respective places, will
seriously mind, and speedily and resolutely goe about the removing from
the Army all malignant scandalous persons, and also the removing of
Sectaries when any shall be found therein, that they may give real
evidence that they did not deal deceitfully with God, in the day that they
engaged themselves thereto.

Albeit we hope and pray that those who beare charge in our Army, will from
the remembrance of the Lords goodnesse to them, and the honour that he
hath put upon them, endeavour to carry themselves faithfully, and
straightly, Yet it cannot be unseasonable to warn them to take heed of
tentations, and to beware of snares that they be not drawn to indifference
or neutrality in the cause of God, much lesse unto connivance at, or
compliance with the courses and designes of malignants or Sectaries, but
to stick closely by the same, and to be zealous against all the enemies
and adversaries thereof: And it concerns souldiers to be content with
their wages, and to doe violence to no man, but as they are called unto
the defence of the cause and people of God, so to behave themselves in
such a blamlesse and Christian way, that their carriage may be a testimony
to his cause, and a comfort to his people; So shall our Armies prosper,
and the Lord shall goe out with them.

But most of all it concerns the Ministers of the Gospel whom God hath
called to give warning to his people to look to their duty; It is
undeniably true, that many of the evils wherewith this Kirk and Kingdome
hath been afflicted in our age, have come to passe because of the
negligence of some, and corruptions of others of the Ministry; Whilest
some fell asleep, and were carelesse, and others were covetous and
ambitious, the evil man brought in Prelacy, and the Ceremonies, & had
farre promoted the Service-Book, and the Book of Cannons; and the course
of backsliding and revolting was carried on, untill it pleased God to
stirre up the spirits of these few, who stood in the gap to oppose and
resist the same, and to begin the work of Reformation in the Land; Since
which time; the silence of some Ministers, and compliance of others, hath
had great influence upon the backsliding of many amongst the people, who
upon the discovery of the evill of their way, complain that they got not
warning, or that if they were warned by some, others held their Peace, or
did justifie them in the course of their backsliding; We can look upon
such Ministers no otherwise then upon those that are guilty of the blood
of the Lords people, and with whom the Lord will reckon for all the breach
of Covenant, and defection that hath been in the Land. The Priests lips
should preserve knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth, for
he is the messenger of the Lord of Hosts; But such are departed out of the
way, and hath caused many to stumble at the Law, therefore hath the Lord
made them contemtible and base before all the people; acccording as they
have not kept his wayes, but have been partiall in his law; because they
have lost their savour, he hath cast out many of them as unsavoury salt:
But such as have been faithfull, as he hath preserved from the violence
and fury of men, so hath he verified his word in their mouths, both
against his enemies, and concerning his people and his work; And makes
them see, though not all their desires concerning the Gospel, and the work
of God in the land yet very much of the fruit of their labour, by
preserving the doctrine and all the ordinances of Jesus Christ in their
purity, and adding in some measure thereto the power and life thereof. We
doe therefore charge all the Ministers of the land, before God and the
Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing
in his Kingdom, as in every thing to be ensamples of a good conversation,
and to walk without offence, that the ministry be not blamed; So to take
heed unto the flock over which the Holy Ghost hath made them overseers, to
declare unto them all the Counsell of God, and to give them timous warning
concerning every danger and duty, and to hold forth unto them the solid
grounds of reall consolation, by which they may be encouraged and
comforted in all their trials and afflictions; that they may be free of
the blood of all men, and have this as a ground of rejoycing, even the
testimony of their consciences, that in simplicity and godly purenesse,
not with fleshly wisdome, but by the grace of God they have had their
conversation in the world, and have exhorted and comforted and charged
every one committed unto them as a Father doth his childrren. Especially,
Ministers are to be careful to be much indiscovering the temptations, and
pressing the duties of the times that these who are under their charge may
know what to avoid, and what to embrace and pursue: If all the Watchmen in
the Land shall give warning, and blow the Trumpet at once, it shall not be
easie for enemies to prey upon the people of God. Wee know no cause why
any whom God hath called to preach the Gospel, should be afraid to speak
boldly in the Name of the Lord; since God hath given so manifest a
testimony of his care and protection, in preserving them, these yeers
past, who have striven to be faithfull to him who hath called them from
all the fury and malice of haters of the work of God and of the Kingdom or
of his Sonne Jesus Christ, who hath promised to be with his servants unto
the end of the world.

Albeit the Land be involved in many difficulties, and compassed about with
great and iminent dangers, yet there is hope and ground of consolation
concerning this thing. The Lord is in the midst of us, and we are called
by his name, our eares hear the joyfull sound of the Gospel, and and our
eyes see our Teachers; We behold the arms of the Lord stretched out daily
in working salvation for his people, and answering their desires upon
their enemies by terrible things in righteousnesse; Although we be but few
in number, yet the Lord of Hosts is with us, and in the power of his
strenth we shall be able to prevaile. Although our land be filled with
sin, yet we have not been forsaken of the Lord our God, but he hath
alwayes had compassion upon us, and delivered us in all our distresses;
Although some of understanding fall, it is but to try, and to purge and to
make white even to the end, because it is yet for a time appointed;
Although many cleave to us by flatteries, yet there be a remnant who keep
their integrity, and the Lord shall doe good to these that be good, but
such as turn aside to crooked wayes, shall be led forth with the workers
of iniquity.

The Lords people in _England_ and _Ireland_, who adhere to the cause and
Covenant, may be perplexed, but shall not despair; they may be persecuted,
but shall not be forsaken; they may be cast down, but shall not be
destroyed: And although uniformity, and the work of Reformation in these
lands, seem not only to be retarded, but almost pluckt up by the roots,
and the foundation thereof razed; Yet the seed which the Lord hath sowen
there, shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward, The zeal of
the Lord of Hosts shall performe this.



_30. July 1649. Antemeridiem_ Sess. 30.



_Act concerning Catechising._


The Generall Assembly taking to their serious Consideration the great
darknesse and Ignorance, wherein a great part of this Kingdom lyeth,
together with the late Solemn Engagement, to use all means for remedy
thereof, doe ordaine every Minister with assistance of the Elders of their
severall Kirk sessions to take course, that in every house where there is
any who can read, there be at least one Copie of the Shorter and Larger
Catechisme, Confession of Faith and Directorie for Familie worship. And
doe renew the Act of the Assemblie _August 30. 1639._ for a day of weeklie
Catechising, to be constantly observed in every Kirk, And that every
Minister so Order their Catethetick Questions, as thereby the People, (who
doe not conveen all at one time but by turns unto that exercise) may at
every dyet have the chief heads of saving knowledge in a short view
presented unto them, And the Assembly considering that notwithstanding of
their former Act, these dyets of weekly Catechising are much slighted and
neglected by many Ministers throughout this Kingdome, Doe therefore
Appoint and Ordaine every Presbytery, to take triall of all the ministers
within their bounds once at least in the halfe year, whither they be
carefull to keep weekly dyets of Catechising; And if they shall finde any
of their number negligent herein they shall admonish for the first fault,
and if after such admonition they shall not amend, The Presbyterie for the
second fault shall rebuke them sharply, and if after such rebuke they doe
not yet amend, they shall be suspended.



_4 Aug. 1649. Antemeridiem_ Sess. 40.



_Commission for publick Affaires._


The Generall Assemblie Considering how necessary it is for preservation of
Religion in this Kingdom, and prosecution of the work of uniformity in all
his Majesties dominions, That the Commissions formerly granted to that
effect be renewed: Therefore they doe renew the power and Commission
granted for the Publick affairs of the Kirk by the Generall Assemblies
held at _Saint Andros_ 1642. and at _Edinburgh_, 1643, 1644, 1645, 1646,
1647. and 1648, unto the Persons following, viz. Masters _Alex. Rollock,
John Murray, Thomas Lundie, John Freebairne, Geo. Murray, Harie
Livingston, William Macjore, Hew Henderson, Samuel Austine, Gavin Young,
David Laing, William Maxwell, John Macleland, James Irving, Robert
Ferguson, John Scot, Thomas Wylie, Hew. Eccles, John Bell, John Nevoy,
William Gutherie, John Hammiltoun, Hew Peebles, Alex. Dunlope, Harie
Semple, David Dickson, Patrick Gillespie, James Durham, Robert Baillie,
William Hammiltoun, Francis Aird, James Nasmith, Richard Inglis, William
Summervail, Evan Cameron, Robert Blair, Samuel Rutherfoord, James Wood,
John Macgill Elder, Alex. Balfoure, William Row, John Moncriefe, Fredrick
Carmichaell, Herie Wilke, William Oliphant, George Pitillo, John Robison,
James Thomsone, William Rate, Da. Campbell, Andro Cant, Io. Menzes, Andro
Abercromby, Robert Sheyn, William Forbes, John Paterson, Duncan Forbes,
Will. Chalmers, John Annand, Will. Falconer, Murdoch Mackenzie, Robert
Jameson, Gilbert Marshell, Jo. Dallase, Wil. Smyth, Robert Hume, Tho.
Suintoun, James Strateum, Jo. Douglass, James Guthrie, Tho. Donaldson,
Will Jameson, John Livingstoun, John Scot, Andro. Dunkeson, John Dalzell,
Arthur Forbes, James Fleming, James Robison, Hew Campbel, Robert
Douglasse, Mungo Law, George Leslie, John Adamson, James Hammiltoun, John
Smyth, Hew Mackell, Geo: Hutchison, Patrick Fleming, John Hay, Ephraim
Melvill, Iohn Low, Gilbert Hall, George Bennet, Kenneth Logie, John
Crafurd_ Ministers, _Archbald Marquesse of Argyle_, E. _of Sutherland,
Alex._ E. _of Eglintoun, John_ E. _of Cassills, Wil._ E. _of Lothian_, the
Viscount of _Arbuthnet, Da. L. Elcho_ Lo. _Briehen, Rob._ Lo. _Burly,
James Lo. Couper_, Sir _Archald Johnstoun of Waristoun_ Clerk Register,
_Sir Daniel Carmichael_ Thesaurer Depute, _Sir John Hope_ of _Craighall,
Mr George Winraham_ of _Libbertoun, Mr Alex. Person_ of _Southhal, Alex.
Brodie_ of that ilk, four of the ordinary Lords of the Session, _Arthur
Ersken of Scotscrage_, Laird of _Wauchtoun, Sir David Hume_ of
_Wedderburne, Laird_ of _Edzell_, Laird of _Nidrie, Sir William Scot_ of
_Harden_, Laird of _Greenheid_, Laird of _Freeland_, Laird of _Cesnock_,
Sr. _James Stewart_ of _Kirk field_, the Laird of _Suintoun_ younger,
Laird of _Eight_, Sir _James Fraser_, Sir _Thomas Ker_, Laird of _Fernie_,
Sir _Rob. Adair_, Sheriff of _Tiviotdail_ younger, Tutor of _Pitsligo_,
Sir _John Chiesly_, Laird of _Englistoun_, Laird of _Leslie_ younger,
Laird of _Dunbeth_, La. of _Wetertoun_, Sir _Jo. Smyth_, Mr _Alex.
Colvill_ of _Blair, Whitbank_ younger, La. of _Grenock, Galloshiels_
younger, _Buchchantie, Grachlaw, Cloberhil, Dalserf_, Mr _Robert Burnet_
younger, Mr _Tho. Murray, James Eleis, David Kennedie, Alex Jaffray, James
Sword, George Porterfield, Mr Rob. Barclay, Hew Kennedey, Will.
Glendoning, Thomas Machirnie, Rob. Lockhart_, Er _James Campbel, John
Carsane, John Boswel._ D. _Alex. Donglasse, Mr Alex. Skeen, William Broun
Elders_, Giving unto them full Power and Commission to do all and every
thing for preservation of the Established Doctrine, Discipline, Worship
and Government in this Kirk, against all who shall endeavour to introduce
any thing contrarie thereunto; And for prosecuting, advancing, perfecting
and bringing the works of uniformitie in Religion in all his Majesties
dominions to a happy conclusion conform to the former Commissions granted
by preceding Assemblies thereanent.

And to that effect appoints them or any nineteen of them whereof 13. shall
be Ministers, to meet in this Citie to morrow the 7. of this instant, and
thereafter upon the second Wednesday of _Novemb. February_ and _May_ next,
and upon any other day, and in any other place they shall think fit:
Giving also unto them full power, to send Commissioners to the Kingdom of
_England_, for prosecuting the Treatie of Uniformitie as they shall find
conveniencie, and to give Instructions and Commissions to that effect
conform to former Commissiones granted thereanent: And Likewise in case
delinquents have no constant residence in any one Presbyterie, or if
Presbyteries be negligent or overawed, in these cases The Assembly gives
to the persons before named power of censuring Compliers & persons
disaffected to the Covenant, according to the Acts of the Assembly,
Declaring alwayes and providing, that Ministers shall not be Deposed, but
in one of the quarterlie meetings of this Commission; And further
authorizes them as formerlie, with full power to make Supplications,
Remonstrances; Declarations and Warnings, to Indict Fasts and
Thanksgivings as there shal be cause, to protest against all encroachments
upon the Liberties of the Kirk, and to Censure all such as Interrupt this
Commission or any other Church Judicatorie, or the execution of their
Censures, or of any of her sentences or Acts Issuing from them; And with
full power to them to treat and Determine in the Matters referred unto
them by this Assemblie, as fullie and freelie as if the same were here
fully expressed, and with as ample power as anie Commission of anie former
Generall Assemblies hath had or been in use of before: Declaring also that
all opposers of the Authoritie of this Commission in matters intrusted to
them, shall beholden as opposers of the Authoritie of the Generall
Assemblie, and this Commission in their whole Proceedings are Comptable
to, and Censurable by the next Generall Assemblie.



_Directorie for Election of Ministers._


When any Place of the Ministrie in a congregation is vacant, it is
Incumbent to the Presbyterie with all diligence to send one of their
number to Preach to that Congregation who in his doctrine is to represent
to them the necessitie of providing the place with a qualified pastor, and
to exhort them to fervent prayer and supplication to the Lord that he
would send them a Pastor according to his own heart: As also he is to
signifie that the Presbyterie out of their care of that Flock will send
unto them Preachers, whom they may hear, and if they have a desire to hear
any other, they will endeavour to procure them an hearing of that person
or persones upon the sute of the Elders to the Presbyterie.

2. Within some competent time thereafter, the Presbyterie is again to send
one or more of their number to the said vacant Congregation, on a certain
day appoynted before for that effect, who are to conveen and hear sermon
the foresaid day, which being ended, and intimation being made by the
Minister, that they are to goe about the Election of a pastor for that
Congregation, the Session of the Congregation shall meet and proceed to
the Election, the action being moderated by him that Preached, And if the
people shall upon the intimation of the Person agreed upon by the Session
acquiesce and consent to the said person, Then the matter being reported
to the Presbyterie by Commissioners sent from the session, they are to
proceed to the triall of the person thus Elected, And finding him
qualified, to admit him to the Ministry in the said Congregation.

3. But if it happen that the Major part of the Congregation dissent from
the person agreed upon by the Session, In that case the matter shall be
brought unto the Presbyterie, who shall Judge of the same; And if they doe
not find their Dissent to be grounded on Causlesse prejudices, they are to
appoynt a new Election in manner above specified.

4. But if a lesser party of the Session or Congregation shew their dissent
from the Election without exceptions relevant and verified to the
Presbyterie, Notwithstanding thereof the Presbyterie shall go on to the
trials and ordination of the person elected; Yet all possible diligence
and tendernesse must be used to bring all parties to an harmonious
agreement.

5. It is to be understood that no person under the Censure of the Kirk
because of any scandalous offence is to be admitted to have hand in the
election of a Minister.

6. Where the Congregation is disaffected and Malignant, in that case the
Presbyterie is to provide them with a Minister.



_6. August, 1649. Antemeridiem,_ Sess. Ult.



_A Brotherly Exhortation from the General Assembly of the Church of_
Scotland, _to their Brethren in_ England.


The many and great obligations which lie upon us in reference to our
Brethren in _England_, who hold fast their integrity, and adhere to the
Solemn League and Covenant, together with the desire which we have to
rectifie our Sympathie with them in their afflictions, and to preserve so
far as in us lieth that fellowship and correspondence that hath been
entertained betwixt the Church of _Scotland_ and _England_ these years
past, do call upon us and constrain us not to be silent in this day of
their trouble and distress.

Albeit the Lord (who hath his fire in Zion, and his furnace in Ierusalem)
hath now for a long time past, afflicted these Kingdoms with many & sharp
rods, and that his wrath seems not yet to be turned away, but his hand
stretched out still; yet in all this, it becomes us who live in these
lands to stop our mouthes, neither can any impute iniquity to the most
High.

It is rather a wonder, that any mercy should be continued, and that
_England_ and _Scotland_ are not cut off from being Nations, seeing the
back-slidings and provocations of both has been so many and so grosse,
Although the Solemn League and Covenant was sworne and subscribed by both,
yet have many in both despised the Oath of GOD, as appears by the late
unlawfull Engagement against the Kingdom of _England_, contrived and
carried on by a prevailing party of Malignants in this Land, and by the
proceedings of the Sectaries in _England_, in reference to Religion and
Government.

We shall not insist upon what hath been the condition and carriage of the
Lords People in this Land in reference to the late unlawfull Engagement:
As we desire to magnifie the power and loveing kindenesse of the Lord, who
enabled all the Judicatures of this Church, and a considerable part of the
Parliament, and the body of the Land, to dissent from, and bear Testimony
against the same, which made the House of Commons in their Letter directed
to the last Generall Assembly or their Commissioners, to declare, that
that Engagement could not be looked on as a Nationall breach, So we look
upon it as a wonder of his Wisdom and Mercy, that he hath disposed and
directed the same for the furtherance of his Work in our hand, and purging
his House amongst us. All this cometh forth from the Lord of Hosts, who is
wonderfull in Counsel and Excellent in Working. Neither was it the least
part of the lords goodnesse to us, in that day of our strait that we were
led in a plain path, and kept from complyance with Sectaries on the one
hand, no less then with Malignants on the other. We have obtained this
mercy to be steadfast to our old principles, in bearing free and faithfull
Testimony against their proceedings, both in reference to Toleration and
Government, and the taking away of the Kings life.

And as the danger and judgement which threatens the Authors and Abettors
of these things, doth affect our Spirits with horrour, and maketh us
desire that it may be given to them of God to repent: So we should
conceive our selves void of Christian affection and compassion toward
those in _England_, who suffer for the truth and Cause of God, if we were
not very sensible of all their present troubles and calamities. It is no
small grief to us, that the Gospel and Government of _Jesus Christ_ are so
despised in that Land that faithfull Preachers are persecuted and cryed
down, that Toleration is established by pretext of Law, and maintained
Military power, and that the Covenant is abolished and buried in oblivion.
All which proceedings, cannot but be looked upon as directly contrary to
the Oath of God lying upon us, and therefore cannot eschew his Wrath when
he shall come in Judgement, _to be a swift witnesse against those that
swear falsly by his Name._

These things are the more grievous to us, because (beside many other
wofull evils brought forth by them) they have interrupted the building of
the Lords House in _England_; the foundation whereof was laid by Oath and
Covenant with the most High God, and followed for some years with many
Declarations and Protestations of Faithfull adhering thereto, and with
great expense of blood and Treasure: Which things were to all the godly in
these Nations a branch of hope, that the Lord would bring to perfection
the Work of Uniformity (so far advanced in all the parts thereof) in these
three Kingdoms.

But the great obstructions and sad interruptions that have been made
therein, by the strange and unexpected practises of many now in place and
power in _England_, are to all the welaffected in both Kingdoms, and in
all the Churches abroad, the mater of their sorrow and humiliation. And if
there be any place left for admonition, we Warn such as have forgotten the
Covenant, and despised the Oath of God, and turned aside to lies and
errour, to consider whence they are fallen, and to repent. Prosperity and
success for a time are no warrantable evidences of a good Cause, nor
sufficient guards against the wrath of God; It is no good use of the Lords
mercy for such men under pretext of Liberty to make both themselves and
others slaves to corruption, and to make all men both in Church and State
like the fishes of the Sea, or the creeping things that have no ruler over
them. Are these things according to the Word of God, and the pattern of
the best Reformed Churches? Or is that the endeavour to bring the three
Kingdoms to the nearest uniformity that may be in Doctrine, Worship,
Government, and Discipline; Or is that the maintaining of the union
betwixt the three Kingdomes, when the straitest bond thereof is utterly
dissolved and quite taken away, and the fundamentall Government by King
and Parliament wholly overturned; The just God who is of pure eyes beholds
these things, and shall with no lesse fury and indignation break the horn
of these men, then he hath broken the power, and brought down the pride of
Malignants before them, if repentance prevent not.

Amidst these sors and griefes it is unto us matter of rejoycing, that
there be many in _England_ who mourn for all these abominations, and
labour to keep their garments pure by refusing to comply with that course
of backsliding, and by bearing testimony against the same. And we hope the
expectation of such, shall not be disappointed, but that the Lord will
open to them a doore for carrying on of his work, and making the lying
spirit to passe out of that land.

And albeit many think no otherwise of the Covenant and work of
Reformation, then as a mean to further their own ends; yet we are
confident, that none who holds fast their integrity, have so learned
Christ, but are carefull to make conscience of the oath of God lying on
them; And we are sure (whatever be the base thoughts and expressions of
backsliders from the Covenant) it wants not many to own it in those
Kingdomes, who (being called thereto) would seale the same with their
blood.

Although there were none in the one Kingdome who did adhere to the
Covenant, yet thereby were not the other Kingdom nor any person in either
of them absolved from the bond thereof, since in it we have not only
sworne by the Lord, but also covenanted with him. It is not the failing of
one or more that can absolve others from their duty or tye to him;
Besides, the duties therein contained, being in themselves lawfull, and
the grounds of our tye thereunto moral, though others do forget their
duty, yet doth not their defection free us from that obligation which lyes
upon us by the Covenant in our places and stations. And the Covenant being
intended and entred into by these Kingdoms, as one of the best means of
stedfastnesse, for guarding against declining times; It were strange to
say that the back-sliding of any should absolve others from the tye
thereof, especially seeing our engagement therein is not only nationall,
but also personall, every one with uplifted hands swearing by himselfe, as
it is evident by the tennor of the Covenant.

From these and other important reasons, it may appear that all these
Kingdomes joyning together to abolish that oath by law, yet could they not
dispense therewith; Much lesse can any one of them, or any part in either
of them doe the same. The dispensing with oathes hath hitherto been
abhorred as Antichristian, and never practised and avowed by any, but by
that man of sin; therefore those who take the same upon them, as they joyn
with him in his sin, so must they expect to partake of his plagues.

As we shall ever (God willing) be mindfull of our duty to the faithfull
that adhere to the Covenant in _England_, having them alwayes in our
hearts before the Lord, so we desire to be refreshed with their singlesse
and boldnesse in the cause of God, according to their places. This is the
time of their triall, and the houre of tentation among them; blessed shall
they be who shall be found following the Lamb, and shall not be ashamed of
his testimony. We know in such dark houres, many are drawne away with the
multitude, whom the Lord will again purge and make white; And we doubt not
but many such are in _England_, whom the bold clear preaching of Christ
may reclaim; Much therefore lieth upon the Watch-men all this time, that
their Trumpet may give a certain and distinct sound, warning and exhorting
every one, as those that must give account; And blessed shall those
servants be, who shall be found faithfull in their Lords house,
distributing to his houshold what is meet for this season, and can say
they are free of the blood of all men, having shewen them the whole
Counsell of God, being in nothing terrified of the threats of their
adversaries; And blessed & happy shall that people be, that walk in the
light holden forth by them, and staye upon the Lord in this dark time,
harkning to the voyce of his servants, & walking in the light of his word
& not in the sparks of their owne kindlings, which will end in sorrow. How
inexcusable will _England_ be, having so foulie revolted against so many
faire testimionies, which the Lord Christ hath entred as Protestations to
preserve his right, in these ends of the earth long since given unto him
for his possession, and of late confirmed by Solemne Covenant. Christs
right to these Kingdomes is surer then that he should be pleaded out of it
by pretended liberty of Conscience, and his begun possession is more
precious to him, then to be satisfied with a dishonourable toleration. All
that yet we have seen, doth not weaken our confidence of the Lords
glorifying the house of his glory in these lands, and of his sonnes taking
unto him his great power, and reigning in the beauty and power of his
Ordinances in this Island. His name is wonderfull, and so also are his
workes, we ought not therefore to square them according to our line, but
leave them to him, who hath the government laid upon his shoulder, all
whose wayes are judgement, & whose ruling these Kingdoms had never yet
reason to decline. It is good for us to be stedfast in our duty, and
therein quietly to wait and hope for the salvation of God. The word of
promise is sure, (and hath an appointed time) that he that will come shall
come and will not tarry. There is none hath cause to distrust the Lords
word to his people; It hath often to our experience been tryed in the
fire, and hath ever come forth with a more glorious lustre. Let not
therefore these that suffer in _England_ cast away their confidence, they
are not the first who have needed patience after that they had done the
Lords will. But let them strengthen the weak hands, and confirm the feeble
knees, and say to the fearfull in heart, be strong, fear not, behold your
God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence, he will come and
save you. Now the just shall live by faith, whereas these that draw back,
or become lukewarm in the Lords work, his soul shall abhorre them, and he
shall spue them out of his mouth, But we perswade our selves of better
things of these our brethren in _England_, and prayeth that the God of
Peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepheard
of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting Covenant, may make them
perfect in every good work to doe his will, working in them that which is
well pleasing in his fight through Jesus Christ, to whom be Glory for
ever. AMEN.



_Act for a Collection for entertaining Highland Boyes at Schooles._


The Generall Assembly Considering that the contribution of fourty
shillings for entertaining of Highland boyes at Schools, in respect of the
penury and great indigence of those parts hath not taken the intended
effect. Therefore in respect of the necessity and profitablenesse of so
pious a work The Assembly in lieu of the said fourty shillings Do Appoint
and Ordain that there be an extraordinary Collection at the Kirk doors for
that use one Sabbath in the year: And to that effect, that a certain
Sabbath yearly be appointed and designed whereupon that collection shall
be gathered, intimation being made by the Minister the Sabbath before to
prepare for such a collection, and the necessity and usefulnesse thereof
being laid out to the people for that end. And if the collection in any
little private Congregation shall be lesse then fourty shillings, The
Session shall make up what wants of fourty shillings; And where the
collection is more, it is hereby specially inhibited and discharged that
any part thereof be retained or interverted to any other use whatsomever;
and these Collections shall be sent to the persons formerly appointed to
receive the fourty shillings, that they may see the right distribution and
employment thereof; Recommending the Presbyteries see this punctually
performed. And accompt thereof shall be craved at Synods and Generall
Assemblies. It is alwayes to be remembred that the Congregations exeemed
from the fourty shillings are also exeemed from this Collection.



_Commission for a conference of Ministers, Lawyers and Physitians,
Concerning the tryal and punishment of Witch-craft, Charming and
Consulting._


The Generall Assembly Taking to their serious consideration the growth of
the sins of Witchcraft, Charming and Consulting, notwithstanding the
frequent Recommendations for restraining thereof; And remembring that the
Generall Assembly 1647. did propose a good way for the tryal and
punishment of these sinnes, by appointing conferences with some Ministers,
Lawyers and Physitians in that matter which hath never yet taken effect;
Therefore the Assembly doth appoint Masters, _Robert Dowglas, Robert
Blair, Mungo Law, James Hammilton, John Smith, Robert Traill, George
Leslie, John Hamilton, Iohn Duncan, Samuel Rutherfoord, James Wood, Iohn
Leviston, Iames Guthrie, Andro Cant, David Calderwood, Iohn Moncreiff,
Frederick Carmichael, Iames Durhame, Patrick Gillespie, Robert Ker,
Ephraim Melvil_, Ministers, To consider seriously of that matter, and to
consult and advise therein amongst themselves, As also with Sir _Archibald
Iohnston_ of _Wariston_, Clerk Register, Mr _Thomas Nicolson_ his
Majesties Advocate, Mr _Alexander Peirson_, one of the ordinary Lords of
Session, Sir _Lewes Stewart_, Mr _Alexander Colvil_, and Mr _Iames
Robertson_ Iustice Deputes, Masters _Rodger Mowit, John Gilmoir_, and
_Iohn Nisbet_, Laweers; and with Doctors _Sibbald, Cunninghame_, and
_Purves_, Physitians severally or together as occasion shall offer; And
the Assembly earnestly requests & confidently expects from their learned
and Iudicious Lawyres and Physitians beforenamed, their best endeavours
and concurrence with their brethren of the Ministrie for advise and
counsell herein, and for conference in the said matter; And Ordaine the
said brethren to make report of the result of their consultations and
conferences from time to time as they make any considerable progresse to
the Commission for publick affaires, And the said Commission shall make
report to the next Generall Assembly.



_Recommendation for maintenance for Schoolmasters and Precenters._


The Generall Assembly do humbly Recommend to the Parliament or Committee
for plantation of Churches, that whatever either in Paroches of Burghs or
Landwart, was formerly given to the maintenance of these who were readers
precentors in Congregations, and teachers of Schooles before the
establishing of the Directory for publick Worship, may not be in whole or
in part alienat or taken away, but reserved for the maintenance of
sufficient schoolmasters and precentors who are to be approven by the
Presbyterie; And Presbyteries are hereby required to see that none of that
maintenance given to the foresaid uses or in use to be payed thereunto
before the establishing of the Directory of Worship, to be drawn away from
the Church.



_Acts concerning Persons to be admitted Bursars._


The Assembly doe hereby Ordaine That none be sent to Universities from
Presbyteries, nor be admitted as Bursers of divinitie, but pious youths,
and such as are known to be of Good expectation and approven abilities.



_Reference to the Commission for publick affaires for re-examining the
Paraphrase, of the Psalmes and the emitting the same for publicke use._


The General Assembly having taken some view of the new Paraphrase of the
Psalmes in meeter with the corrections and animadversions thereupon sent
from several Persons and Presbyteries, and finding that they cannot
overtake the review and examination of the whole in this Assembly;
Therefore now after so much time and so great paines about the correcting,
and examining thereof from time to time some yeares bygone, that the worke
may come now to some conclusion, They do ordain the Brethren appointed for
perusing the same during the meeting of this Assembly, _viz._ Masters
_James Hammilton, Iohn Smith, Hew Mackall, Robert Traill, George
Hutcheson_, and _Robert Lawrie_, after the dissolving of this Assembly to
goe on in that worke carefully, And to report their travels to the
Commission of the Generall Assembly for publick affaires at ther meeting
at _Edinburgh_ in _November_; And the said Commission after perusall and
re-examination thereof, is hereby authorised with full power to conclude
and establish the Paraphrase, and to publish and emit the same for publick
use.



Letter to the Kings Majestie.


_Most gracious Soveraigne,_

Wee your Majesties most humble and Loyall Subjects, the Commissioners from
all the Presbyteries in this your Majesties ancient Kingdome, and members
of this present Nationall Assembly, Having expected to finde at our
meeting, a gracious and Satisfactory returne to those humble
representations made to your Majestie at the _Hague_, by the Commissioners
of this Kirk, cannot but expresse our great sorrow and griefe, that your
Majesties goodnes has been so far abused, As that not only the just and
necessary desires presented by them to your Majestie, which so much
concerne the glory of God, your owne honour and happinesse, the peace and
safety of your Kingdomes, are utterly frustrated, as wee perceive by the
paper delivered in answer to them; but also this Assembly hath not
received so much as any signification by letter of your Majesties minde:
Which princely condescension had not wont to be wanting in your Royall
Father, to former Generall Assemblyes, even in times of greatest distance.

Our witnesse is in heaven, and record on high, that wee are not conscious
to our Selves of any undutifull thought or disloyall affection, that might
have procured this at your Majesties hands; And that, as wee doe from our
hearts abominate and detest that horrid fact of the Sectaryes against the
life of your Royall Father our late Soveraigne, So it is the unfained and
earnest desire of our soules, that the Ancient Monarchicall government of
these Kingdoms, may be established and flourish in your Majesties person
all the dayes of your life, and be continued in your royall Family which
by divine providence hath without interruption raigned over us and our
predecessors for so many Generations since the time that we were a
Kingdom, And that there is nothing under the glory of God, and cause of
our Lord Jesus Christ, for which wee doe more heartily solicit the throne
of grace, Or would more readily expose unto hazard all that is deare to us
in the world, then for this. And now though this very great discouragement
might incline us to hold our peace at this time, Yet the tendernesse and
uprightnesse of our affection and Love to your Majesties happinesse (which
many waters cannot quench) together with the Conscience of our duty which
Our Lord and Master has laid upon us, in this our place and station,
constraineth us, yea, and your Majesties owne goodnesse and gracious
disposition, whereof the late Commissioners have given us so Large a
testimony, Doth much encourage us, to renew our addresses to your Majestie
in this humble faithfull representation, both of the great and growing
dangers to your Royall person and Throne, and of these duties, which the
Lord of Lords and King of Kings, call for from you, as you would look to
finde favour in his eyes, and to be delivered out of your deepe
distresses.

Our hearts are filled with fears and troubles, in your Majesties behalf,
when we look upon the sad calamities which have been already produced by
such wayes and courses, as we perceive your Majestie is entred, and in
danger to be further led away into, by the prevalency of evill Councell
upon your tender age: Particalarly, Your refusing to give satisfaction to
the just and necessary desires of the people of God, for advancing the
work of Reformation of Religion, and establishing and securing the same in
your Majesties Dominions, which is nothing else, but to oppose the
Kingdome of the Sonne of God, by whom Kings doe raigne, and to refuse that
he should raigne over you and your Kingdomes in his pure Ordinances of
Church government and Worship; Your cleaving unto these men as your
trustiest Counsellors, who, as they never had the glory of God, nor good
of his people before their eyes, so now in all their wayes and Counsels,
are seeking nothing but their owne interests, to the hazard of the utter
subversion of your Throne, the ruine of your Royall Family, and the
desolation of your Kingdomes; Your owning the practises, and intertaining
the Person of that flagicious man, and most justly excommunicate Rebell,
_James Graham_, who has exercised such horrid cruelty upon your best
Subjects in this Kingdom, which cannot but bring upon your Throne, the
guiltinesse of all the innocent blood shed by him and his Complices; and
above all, that, which we cannot think upon without trembling of heart and
horrour of spirit, Your setling of late such a Peace with the Irish
Papists the Murderers of so many thousands of your Protestant Subjects,
whereby not only they are owned as your good Loyall Subjects, but also
there is granted unto them (contrary to the Standing Lawes of your Royall
Progenitors, contrary to the commandment of the most high God, and to the
high contempt and dishonor of his Majestie, and evident danger of the
Protestant Religion) a full liberty of their abominable Idolatry; which
cannot be otherwise judged, but a giving of your Royal power and strength
unto the beast, and an accession to all that blood of your good Subjects,
wherewith those Sonnes of Babell have made that Land to swim.

We do in all humility beseech your Majestie to consider & lay to heart
what the mouth of the Lord of Hosts hath spoken of all the accompts of
People, Nations, Kings, and Rulers against the Kingdom of his Son, that
they imagine a vaine thing and that he that sitteth in heaven will have
them in dirision and vex them in his sore displeasure. Consider, how he
hath blasted and turned upside downe these yeares by past, all the devices
and plots of those men that now beare the Swey in your Majesties Counsels:
Consider, how the anger of God has been kindled, even against his dearest
Saints, when they have joyned themselves to such men as he hateth and has
cursed: Consider, how severely hee hath threatned and punished such Kings
as have associate with Idolaters, and leaned unto their helps. Surely,
great is the wrath of God, whereof you are in danger; And yet the Lord in
the riches of his goodnesse, forbearance and long suffering, is waiting to
be gracious to your Majestie; To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not
your heart, but humble your self under the mighty hand of God, lamenting
after him as, for the iniquities of your Fathers house, especially the
opposition against the reformation of Religion and Cause of God, the
permitting and practising Antichristian Idolatry in the Royall Family it
self, and the shedding of so much blood of the people of God, so also, for
your owne entering to walke in the like courses in the beginning of your
raign. It is high time to fall downe before the Throne of grace, seeking
to get your peace made with God through Jesus Christ whose blood is able
to wash away all your sins, To walk no longer in the Councel of the
ungodly, nor cleave to such as seeke their own things and not the things
of Jesus Christ, nor the welfare of your Subjects and Government, but to
set your eyes upon the faithfull in your dominions, that such may dwell
with you, & be the men of your Councells, To serve the Lord in feare, and
kisse the Sonne of God, by a sincere and cordiall contributing your Royall
allowance and authority, for establishing in all your dominions the
reformation of Religion, in Doctrine, Worship, and Government as it is now
agreed upon according to the cleare & evident warrant of the word of God,
by the Assembly of Divines at _Westminster_, and the Generall Assemblies
of this Church; And also, laying aside that service book, which is so
stuffed with Romish corruptions, And conforming your owne practise and the
worship of God in your Royall Family, to that Gospell simplicity and
purity which is holden forth from the word of God, in the Directory of
worship, and not only to grant your Royall approbation to the Covenant of
these three Kingdomes (without which, your people can never have from you
sufficient security, either for Religion, or their just liberties) but
also your selfe to joyne with your people therein as the greatest security
under Heaven for your person and just greatness, and to cause all of them
stand to it by your Royall Command, according to the practise of that
gracious King _Josiah_, to whom, wee wish your Majestie in these your
younger yeares, and this beginning of your raigne, to look as to an
ensample and Kingly portract approven of God. These things if your
Majestie do; As wee are well assured, that the hearts of all your good
Subjects in these Kingdomes will be enlarged with all cheerfulnesse to
imbrace your person, and submit unto your Royall Government, so wee darre
promise in the Name of our Lord, that you shall finde favour with God,
peace and joy unspeakable and full of glory to your Soule, and deliverance
out of your sad afflictions and deep distresses in due time: But if your
Majestie shall go on in refusing to hearken to wholesome Councels; We must
for the discharge of our Conscience tell your Majestie in the humility and
griefe of our hearts, that the Lords anger is not turned away, but his
hand stretched out still against you and your Family. But we hope and
shall with all earnestnesse and constancy pray for better things from, and
to your Majestie: And whatsoever misconstruction (by the malice of those
that desire not a right understanding and cordiall conjunction between
your Majestie and this Kirk and Kingdome) may be put upon our declaration;
Yet wee have the Lord to be our witnesse, that our purpose and intention
therein is no other, but to warne and keepe the people of God committed to
our care, that they runne not to any course which would bring upon
themselves the guilt of highest perjury and breach of Covenant with God,
and could not but prove most dangerous to your Majestie and your
Government, and involve you in shedding the blood of those who are most
desirous to preserve your Majesties Person, and just right in all your
dominions. And now wee doe with all earnestnes beseech your Majestie, that
you will follow the courses of truth and peace; And that when there is a
doore opened for your Majestie to enter to your Royall Government over us,
in peace, with the favour of God, and cordiall Love and imbracings of all
your good Subjects, You will not suffer your selfe to be so farre abused
and misled by the Councels of men, who delight in war, as to take away of
violence and blood, which cannot but provoke the most high against your
Majestie, and alienat from you the hearts of your best Subjects, who
desire nothing more, than that your Majestie may have a long and happy
raign over them, And that they may live under you, a peaceable and quiet
life, in all Godlinesse and honesty.

_Edinburgh 6 August, 1649._

_Your Majesties most Loyal Subjects and humble servants the Ministers and
Elders conveened in this Nationall Assembly of the Kirk of_ Scotland.



The Generall Assembly not having now time to consider the Reference of
preceeding Assemblies, and the most part of Presbyteries not having sent
their opinions in writ; Thefore do yet againe recommend to Presbyteries
and Provinciall Assemblies to consider all matters referred by this or by
any former Assemblies, And to send their opinions therein in writ to the
next Generall Assembly.

The meeting of the next Generall Assembly is hereby appointed to be at
_Edinburgh_, the second wednesday of _July_, 1650.

A. KER

FINIS



THE PRINCIPAL ACTS OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE CHURCH OF _SCOTLAND_
HOLDEN AT _EDINBURGH_ THE 16TH DAY OF _OCTOBER_ 1690.



Edinburgh _16 of October 1690. Post Meridiem._ Sess. 1.



I. _The Meeting of the_ General Assembly, _and the Recording of Their
Majesties_ Commission, _to_ John _Lord_ Carmichael, _for Representing
Their Majesties therein._


This day, being a day of Solemn Fasting and Humiliation, the General
Assembly of the Ministers and Elders of this Church; did after Sermons (in
the Forenoon by Mr. _Gabriel Cunningham_ Moderator of the last General
Meeting, and in the Afternoon by Mr. _Patrick Sympson_ Moderator of the
preceding General Meeting) Conveen in the Assembly-House at _Edinburgh_,
according to the Indiction of an Act of the current Parliament, dated the
7 day of _June_ last, and Directions given by the late General Meeting of
the Ministers and Elders of this Church: And after Prayer, there was
produced to them, by an Noble Lord _John_ Lord _Carmichael_, Their
Majesties Commission, for his being Their Majesties High Commissioner and
Representative to this General Assembly, Dated at _Kensingtoun_ the 10 day
of _October_ 1690. Which was with all due Respect publickly read: And Mr.
_Gabriel Cuningham_, Moderator for the time, did in the Assemblies Name,
Represent to his Grace, how Great a Mercy it was, to this Church and
Kingdom, that Their Majesties had Countenanced this Assembly, with Their
Authority, and Honoured it with a Representative of Their Royal Persons:
And the Assemblies great Satisfaction, with Their Majesties choice of a
person so well Qualified, and so Acceptable to this Assembly, to Represent
Their Majesties therein. To whom His Grace was pleased to give this
return, That it was his firm Resolution, in the Capacity, wherein Their
Majesties had now put him, to lay out himself for their Majesties Service,
and the good of the Church. The Assembly appointed the said Commission to
be Recorded in Their Books, _Ad futuram res Memoriam_: The Tenour whereof
follows.

_GULIELMUS & MARIA_, Dei Gratia, Magnæ _Britannia, Francia & Hibernia_,
Rex & Regina, Fideique Defensores, Omnibus probis Hominibus, ad quos
præsentes Literæ; Nostræ pervenerint, _Salutem_. Quandoquidem per actum,
in secundâ Sessione Currentis hujus nostri Parliamenti, Expeditum, De
stabiliendo Ecclesiæ Regimine, in antiquiori hoc nostro Scotiæ Regno;
Primum Ecclesiæíllius Generalem Conventum, _Edinburghi_, Tertio die Jovis,
Mensis _Octobris_ Instantis, teneri Ordinavimus: Nosautem (Rebus magni
Momenti alio vocantíbus) In dicto Conventu interesse nequimus: Abunde vero
Cupidi, ut Idem Generalis Conventus, ad Religionem veram Reformatam melius
firmandam, Pietatem & Sanctitatem Propagandam, Pacem itaque & Unitatem, in
dictâ Ecclesiâ, & hoc nostro antiquiore Regno acquirendam; methodo debitâ
& Regulari, Observetur: Cumque Testimoniis perplurimis & probatis, nobis
abunde satisfactum sit, de Præclaris animi dotibus, & fide eximiâ,
fidelisslimi & dilectissimi nostri Consiliarii. _Joannis_ Domini
_Carmichael_, quibus ad summæ fiduciæ Munus infra expressum, debite &
exacte obeundum & excercendum, usque quaque est adaptatus: Noverítis
igítur nos Nominasse & Constituisse, sicuti per hasce nostras Patentes
Literas, Nominamus & Constituimus Eundem _Joannem_ Dominum _Carmichael_,
Supremum nostrum Commissionarium, quoad effectum intra expressum: Damus
pariter & concedimus illi, sacram Nostram Personam & Authoritatem Regiam
Repræsentandi, ac pro nobis præsentiam faciendi, locumque nostrum in
subsequenti Generali Conventu, Tanquam Commissionario nostro, in hunc
effectum specialiter Constitute, tenendi: Omniaque alia ad Imperium &
Munus Commissionarii, pro Generali Ecclesiæ conventu peragendi, tam plene,
adeoque libere, in quovis Respectu, quam Quilibet alius ejusdem Muneris &
Characteris, fecerat, seu quovis tempore retroacto facere potuerat, atque
adeo sicuti Nosmet ipsi personaliter præsentes Possemus. Plenissimam &
amplissimam Nostram Potestatem & Commissionem. Quæquidem omnia & singula,
a dicto _Joanne_ Domino _Carmichael_, In hac nostra Commissione
prolequendâ, legitime facienda, Nos firmiter approbamus, Rata habemus, &
habituri sùmus. Omnibus & singulis insuper antedicti Conventus, & Ecclesiæ
Pastoribus & Presbyteris, ac Cæterii quibuscumque hujus Nostri Regni
Subditis, cujuscunque ordinis seu conditionis, ut eundem _Joannem_ Dominum
_Carmichael_, tanquam Supremum Nostrum Commissionarium, quoad effectum &
modum supra mentionatum, agnoscant, Colant, & dicto ipsius audientes se
præbeant, stricte Mandamus & Imperamus. Et denique hanc Nostram
Commissionem, a die quo Magnum hujus Regni Nostri Sigillum, Presentibus
est appensum, ac durante Primâ dicti Generalis Conventus Sessione, aut
usque donec hæc Nostra Commissio per nos Revocetur, Continuare
Declaravimus, ac per Præsentes Declaramus. In cujus rei Testimonium,
Præsentibus Magnum Sigillum Nostrum appendi Mandavimus, Apud aulam Nostram
de _Kensingtoun_, decimo die mensis _Octobris_, Anno Domini 1690. Regnique
nostri, Anno secundo.

Per signaturam manu S.D.N. Regis supra Signatam.

(locus figilli appensi)

IN DORSO:

_Sealed at_ Edinburgh _the 16th of_ October 1690. _Alex. Inglis._

_Written to the Great Seal, and Registr at the 16 day of_ October 1690.
Dun. Ronald _Dpt._



Edinburgh 17 October 1690. _Ante Meridiem_ Sess. 2.



II. _His_ MAJESTIES _Gracious Letter to the Assembly._


This Session, His Majesties Gracious Letter Direct to this General
Assembly, was publickly Read and Heard with great Respect; and appointed
to be Recorded in the Books of the Assembly, The Tenour whereof follows.

WILLIAM R.

_Reverend, Trusty and Well Beloved,_

Our Concern for the Good of Our Ancient Kingdom, hath been such, That We
have left nothing undone, that might Contribute to the making of it Happy:
And therefore having been informed, that Differences as to the Government
of the Church have caused greatest Confusions in that Nation; We did
willingly concurre with Our Parliament, in In-acting such a Frame of it,
as was judged to be most agreeable to the Inclinations of Our Good
Subjects: To which as We have had a particular Regard, in Countenanceing
this Assembly, With Our Authority, and a Representative of Our Royall
Person; So We expect, that Your Managment shall be such, as We shall have
no reason, to Repent of what we have done. A Calm and Peaceable Procedure,
will be no less pleasing to Us, than it becometh You. We never could be of
the Mind, that Violence was suited to the advancing of True Religion; Nor
do We intend, that Our Authority shall ever be a Tool, to the irregular
Passions of any Party. Moderation is what Religion enjoynes, Neighbouring
Churches expect from You, and We Recommend to You. And We assure You of
Our constant Favour and Protection, in Your following of these Methods,
which shall be for the real advantage of True Piety, and the Peace of Our
Kingdoms. Given under our Royal Hand, At our Court at _Kensingtoun_, the
10 day of _October_ 1690.

_By His Majesties Command,_

MELVIL.

Direct,

_For the Reverend, Trusty and Wel-Beloved, Ministers and Elders, met in
the General Assembly of the Church of_ Scotland. _At_ Edinburgh.



Edinburgh _18th._ October 1690. _Post Meridiem_ Sess. 4.



III. _The Assemblies Answer to His Majesties Gracious Letter._


_May it please your Majesty,_

Your Gracious Letter, Direct to the Ministers and Elders met here, in the
General Assembly of the Church of _Scotland_ was Read and Heard among Us,
with all Joy and Thankfulness, that the Rising and Shining again of the
Royal Favour, upon this long Afflicted and distressed Church, could
possibly Inspire: For as Your Majesties Concern for the Good of this Your
Ancient Kingdom, hath indeed been such, as nothing can impair the Happy
State whereunto You have Restored it, save the want of the due sense and
understanding of so great a Mercy; So We doe most heartily acknowledge,
that through Your Majesties Care and Kindness, the Church of Christ
therein, doth equally partake of the same Blessing. It was the sad
Confusions, that differences as to the Government of the Church, had
caused in this Nation, that according to Your Majesties first Declaration,
for our Relief, moved our Gracious God, to Raise up and Prosper You, to Be
our Glorious Deliverer, for Effectuating the Reestablishment that we now
enjoy: So that we are perswaded, that it is not more Agreeable, to the
Inclinations and Conscientious Perswasions of all within this Kingdom, who
are best Affected to Your Majesties Person and Government, than it is
acceptable to God, and will be Your Majesties perpetual Peace and
Satisfaction. Nor are we less Sensible of the particular Regard, Your
Majestie professeth towards us, on this occasion, in Countenancing this
Assembly, with Your Authority, and a Representative of Your Royal Person;
for which we most humbly acknowledge Your Gracious Favour; especially that
it hath pleased Your Majesty, to fix Your Choice, upon a Person so well
Qualified, and so acceptable to Us. And now, _Great Sir_, after so many
and so great Mercies and Favours, Received from God and Your Majesty; We
Hope we may with Confidence assure You, that our Managment shall be such,
as Your Majesty hath so just Reason to expect, and shall never give you
cause to Repent of what You have done for Us. The God of Love, the Prince
of Peace, with all the Providences that have gone over Us, and
Circumstances that We are under, as well as Your Majesties most obliging
Pleasure, Require of Us a Calme and Peaceable Procedure, And if after the
Violence for Conscience sake, that We have Suffered, and so much Detested,
and these Grievious Abuses of Authority, in the late Reigns, Whereby
through some Mens Irregular Passions, We have so sadly Smarted; We our
selves, should Lapse into the same Errours, We should certainly prove the
most Unjust towards God, Foolish towards our Selves, and Ungrate towards
Your Majesty, of all Men on earth. Great Revolutions of this nature, must
be attended, with Occasions of Complaint: And even the worst of Men, are
Ready to cry out of Wrong, for their justest Deservings: But as Your
Majesty Knows these things too well, to give us the least Apprehension of
any impressions evil Report can make; So We assure Your Majesty, as in the
Presence of God, and in expectation of his dreadfull Appearance, that We
shall Study that Moderation, which Your Majesty Recommends, as being
convinced, that it is the Duty that Religion enjoyns, and Neighbouring
Churches doe most justly expect from Us: Desiring in all things, to
Approve our selves unto God, as the true Disciples of Jesus Christ, who,
though most Zealous, against all Corruptions in his Church, was most
Gentle towards the Persons of Men: And to maintain as much as in us lyes,
Peace and Concord with all the Reformed Churches: As likewise to comply in
all obsequious Duty, with all that Your Majesty enjoynes, for the Real
Advantage of true Piety, and the Peace or all Your Kingdoms. Heartily
wishing, that God, who hath Graciously brought back Your Majesties Person,
in Safety, from Your Late, no less Generous, than Dangerous Expedition,
for his Cause and Truth, with joyfull Success; May still preserve Your
Majesty, and Our most Gracious Queen; Granting You long Life, Health, and
Prosperity, And may Establish Your Throne, and Bless Your Government, to
the Glory of His Great Name, the Good of all his Churches, and the welfare
of all Your People. Which shall ever be the earnest Prayer of,

_May it please Your Majesty,_
_ Your Majesties most Faithful,_
_ most Obedient and most Humble Subjects._

Signed in our Presence, in our Name,
and at our Appointment, _By_
_ HU. KENNEDIE_ Moderator.



IV. _Appointment of a Diet, to be kept by the Assembly for Prayer._


The General Assembly Appoints _Monday_ next, betwixt Eight and Twelve a
Clock in the Forenoon, to be set a part for Prayer, by the Members of this
Assembly: And Recommends to all the Members, to meet in the Assembly-House
for that end, at Eight a Clock in the Morning.



Edinburgh _25th._ October 1690. _Ante Meridiem._ Sess. 9.



V. _The proceedings of the Assembly, anent Mr._ Thomas Lining _and
Others._


The General Assembly, having received a Report, from the Committee of
Overtures, anent two Papers given in to the said Committee, and Subscribed
by Mr. _Thomas Lining_, Mr. _Alexander Shields_ and Mr. _William Boyd_,
who had followed some Courses contrary to the Order of this Church;
whereby, “The said Committee out of their ardent Desire of Union in the
Church, Recommend to the Assembly, the Reading of the Shorter of these two
Papers: In which the fore-named Persons Oblige themselves after the
exhibiting of the larger Paper (which they offer, as they profess, for the
Exoneration of their Consciences) and laying it down at the Assemblies
feet, to be Disposed upon as the Assembly should think fit: That they
shall in all required Submission, subject Themselves, their Lives and
Doctrine, to the Cognizance of the Respective Judicatories of this Church,
and equally to Oppose Schism and Defection, in any Capacity, that they
should be capable of. But the said Committee, Judgeth, the Reading of the
larger of the saids two Papers, in full Assembly, to be Inconvenient: In
regard, That though there be several good Things in it, yet the same doth
also contain, several Peremptory and gross Mistakes, Unseasonable and
Impracticable Proposals, and Uncharitable and Injurious Reflections,
tending rather to kindle Contentions, than to compose Divisions:
Nevertheless, the said Committee, gives it as their Opinion, That the
foresaid Offer of the above named Persons their Subjection and Obedience,
to the Authority of this Church, in her Respective Judicatories, contained
in the said Shorter Paper; should be Entertained and Accepted of, by the
Assembly, and they Received into Communion with this Church, according to
their several Capacities.”

Likeas the above named persons, having Compeared, in presence of the
Assembly, and Judicially Owned and Adhered unto their said Shorter Paper:
And the Assembly having heard the above-written Report, of the Committee
of Overtures concerning both the saids Papers; As also the said shorter
Paper, Read in their Presence; The General Assembly, after mature
Deliberation, did Unanimously, and without a contrary Vote, Approve the
above written Report and Opinion of the Committee of Overtures, in the
hail Heads thereof. Which being Intimate to the fore-named Persons, they
Acquiesced thereto. Upon all which the following Act was made.



Act _anent Mr._ Thomas Lining _and Others._


Whereas Mr. _Thomas Lining_, Mr. _Alexander Schields_ and Mr. _William
Boyd_, have presented to this Assembly two Papers: One containing the
Expressions of their Purpose and Promise, of being subject to the
Authority of this Church, as formerly Constituted, and now Restored, in
its several Judicatories: The other Offered for the Exoneration of their
Consciences. Which Paper, containing their Submission and Subjection, did
after the exhibition of the other to the Assembly, Become Binding upon
them, according to the Promise therein made. Likeas, after that other and
longer Paper had been Read, before the Committee of Overtures, It was
exhibite to and received by the Assembly; together with the Reasons from
the said Committee why it should not be Publickly read in full Assembly.
Which Reasons being duely considered, and the said other Paper of
Submission and Subjection publickly Read, and Judicially Owned by the
forenamed Persons, in presence of the Assembly: The Assembly did conclude
by one single Vote, that the foresaid longer Paper should not be Read: And
that the above named Persons should be Received into the Fellowship of
this Church, on the Terms of Submission and Subjection contained in the
Shorter Paper: And after passing of the said Vote, and that they were
gravely Admonished by the Moderator to walk Orderly in time coming, in
Opposition to all Schisme and Division; It was declared to them, by the
Moderator, in the Name of the Assembly, That the Assembly did receive them
into the Fellowship of this Church, to enjoy the priviledges thereof, and
Perform the Duties therein, whereof they are, or shall be found Capable.
Whereupon, and at their desire, it was ordained that this Act should be
made; and an Extract thereof given to them in good Form. _Follows the
Tenour of the said shorter Paper._

_To the_ Moderator _and Remanent Members of the General Assembly of the
Church of_ Scotland.

_Right Reverend and Honourable,_

“With the greatest Earnestness of longing we have desired, and yet with a
Patience perhaps to excess, we have waited, for an Opportunity, to bring
our unhappy Differences (of which, all Parties concerned are weary) to a
Happy and Holy close; And for this end to have access to apply our selves
to a full and free General Assembly of this Church, invested with
Authority and Power, _in foro Divino & Humano,_ to Determine and Cognosce
upon them. The want of which an Assembly constitute in that vigour, to
which through the Mercy of God, This Venerable National Synod hath
arrived, hath been the greatest let and impediment of our composing these
Differences, in a way, wherein not only we, but all of the same Sentiments
would acquiesce. Now having obtained this much longed, and long Prayed for
priviledge; We cannot forbear any longer, humbly, to Accost and Address
this Venerable Assembly, with a free and Ingenuous Representation of our
Minds and Desires. The scope of which is, to Represent these things, which
have been most stumbling to us, for the exoneration of our Consciences;
and to declare our Design, after we have exhibited our Testimony against
these Courses, which we understand to have been Corruptions and Defections
in this Church, And laid it down at the Assemblies feet, to be disposed
of, as their Wisdoms shall think fit: That we shall in all Required
Submission, Subject our Selves, our Lives and Doctrine, to the Cognizance
of the Judicatories of this Church, and shall equally oppose Schism and
Defection, in any Capacity, that we shall be found Capable of. And here by
these presents, we bind and oblige our selves Faithfully, to live in
Union, Communion and intire Subjection, and due Obedience in the Lord, to
the Authority of this Church in her Respective Judicatories: As witness
our Hands at _Edinburgh_ the 22 day of _October_ 1690.”

_Thomas Lining._
_ Alexander Shields,_
_ William Boyd._



Edinburgh 28 of October 1690. _Ante Meridiem,_ Sess. 11.



VI. _Act anent Ministers that observe not the publick Orders of the
Church._


The Assembly Recommends it to Presbyteries, to take Notice of all
Ministers, within their Bounds, whether the late Conforming Incumbents, or
others, who shall not observe Fasts and Thanksgivings, Indicted by the
Church: Or who shall be found Guilty, of any other Irregular Carriage, in
administrating the Sacraments in private, or Celebrating Clandestine
Marriages, without due Proclamation of Bans: And to censure them
accordingly.



Edinburgh 29 October 1690. _Ante Meridiem,_ Sess. 12.



VII. _Act approving several Overtures._


This day the Overtures following were Read in Presence of the Assembly.

(M3) 1. “For retaining soundness, and unity of Doctrine, It is judged
necessary, that all Probationers Licensed to Preach, all Intrants into the
Ministry, and all other Ministers and Elders Received into Communion with
us, in Church Government, be obliged, to Subscribe their Approbation of
the Confession of Faith, approven by former General Assemblies of this
Church, and Ratified in the second Session of the Current Parliament: And
that this be Recommended to the Diligence of the several Presbyteries, and
they appointed to Record their Diligence thereanent in their respective
Registers.”

(M4) 2. “That it be Recommended to Presbyteries, to take special Notice,
what Papists are in their Bounds, and that they take pains to Re-claim
them, and to Advert how their Children are Educat: and if need be, to make
Application to the Civil Authority concerning them.”

(M5) 3. “That the Celebration of Marriage, without due Proclamation of
Bans, according to Order, three several Sabbaths in the respective
Parishes, be discharged: And that it be recommended to Presbyteries, to
Censure the Contraveeners.”

(M6) 4. “That it be recommended to Kirk-Sessions and Presbyteries,
carefully to put in Execution, the Acts of former General Assemblies
against Profanation of the Lords-day, and particularly by unnecessary
Sailing and Travelling.”

(M7) 5. “That Application be made to the Parliament: for alerting all
Mercats in Royal Burghs and other places, on _Saturdays_ and _Mondays_.”

The General Assembly after mature Deliberation, approves of these
Overtures, and Recommends and Appoints accordingly: And ordains the same
to be observed, and to have the Force and Strength of an Act and Ordinance
of Assembly.



VIII. _Act approving the Associations of Presbyteries._


The General Assembly, allows and approves of the Ministers of different
Presbyteries, their Associating in Presbyteries; ay and while the
Vacancies of the saids Presbyteries be filled: And declares them to have
the Authority and Power of Presbyteries Respectively: And that
notwithstanding, that according to the old Platform, the saids Ministers
do reside in the Bounds of different Presbyteries.



Edinburgh 31 October 1690, _Ante Meridiem_ Sess. 15.



IX. _Act against Ministers Removing out of this Church._


The General Assembly does hereby appoint, that no Ministers, who have
actual standing and absolute Relations, to any Charge in the Church of
_Scotland_, shall remove out of the Kingdom, without the Consent of the
Respective Judicatories of this Church.



X. _Act anent the Administration of the Sacraments._


The General Assembly considering, that the two Sacraments, that Christ
hath appointed under the New Testament, _viz. Baptism and the Lords
Supper_, are his Solemn Ordinances, and Seals of the Covenant of Grace
(which is held forth in the Preaching of the Gospel). And that in the use
of them, the Parties receiving them, are solemnly devoted and engaged to
God, before Angels and men; and are solemnly received, as Members of the
Church, and do entertain Communion with her: And that by the Authority of
this Church in her former Assemblies. The private use of them hath been
condemned: As also, that by allowing the private use of the same, in
pretended Cases of Necessity; The Superstitious opinion is nourished, that
they are necessary to Salvation, not only as commanded Duties, but as
means, without which Salvation cannot be attained. Therefore, The Assembly
hereby discharges, the Administration of the Lords Supper, to Sick Persons
in their Houses, and all other use of the same, except in the publick
Assemblies of the Church. And also doth discharge the Administration of
Baptism in private, That is, in any place, or at any time, when the
Congregation is not orderly called together, to wait on the Dispensing of
the Word. And appoints that this be carefully observed, when and where
ever the Lord giveth his people Peace, Liberty and Opportunity for their
publick Assemblies. And ordains this present Act to be publickly Intimate
in all the Churches.



Edinburgh 11 November 1690. _Post Meridiem_ Sess. 24.



XI. _Act approving Overtures anent the_ Irish _Bibles, &c._


This day the Overtures following anent the _Irish Bibles, New Testaments_
and _Catechisms_, were read in presence of the Assembly.

1. That a Letter of Thanks be written to these concerned, whether in this,
or our Neighbour Nation, for their Care of, and Liberal Charity towards
the _Highlanders_ of this Kingdom, in their so Liberally Contributing, for
the saids _Irish Bibles_, &c. And that Mr. _David Blair_ be appointed to
write the said Letter in the Name of this Assembly.

2. The whole Money so Charitably contributed, being expended, Therefore,
and for making up of the same, and for Defraying of the necessary Charges
of Transporting the saids Bibles, &c. to _Scotland_; It is thought most
needful, that there be an advance of One thousand Pounds _Scots_, and that
Their Majesties Privy Council be supplicat, for as much of some Vacant
Stipends of Parishes, where the King is Patron, as will make up the said
sum for the ends foresaid.

3. That it be Recommended to the Kirk Sessions, Heretors and others
concerned in the _Highlands_, to see the Act of Parliament anent Erecting
of Schools in every Parish, duely Execute, and the _Fonds_ established by
Law, for the same, made effectual.

4. That it be Recommended to the Agent for the Kirk, to Receive the
foresaid sum, and to Deburse the same at the sight of Mr. _John Law_ and
Mr. _David Blair_, for the said use: And also to receive the Books
above-mentioned, being three Thousand _Bibles_, one Thousand _New
Testaments_, and three Thousand _Catechisms_, from _London_.

5. That the several Synods, who have _Highland Parishes_ in their bounds,
appoint one of their Number, to receive their proportion, of the saids
_Bibles_, _New Testaments_, and _Catechisms_: And that in order thereto,
the Ministers and Elders having Interest in the _Highlands_, present in
this Assembly, shall meet and appoint some to receive these _Bibles_, &c.
And proportion the number that each Parish shall have thereof.

6. That it be Recommended to the Ministers, concerned in the _Highlands_,
to dispatch the whole Paraphrase of the _Irish Psalms_, to the Press. And
if the Principal Copy can be Recovered, to expede the same; But that any
other Copy they have, be Revised by the Synod of _Argyle_, and being
approven by them; That the same be Printed.

The Assembly having considered these Overtures, they approve thereof, and
Recommend and Appoint accordingly.



_At_ Edinburgh, November 12. 1690. _Post Meridiem._ Sess. 25.



XII. _Act anent a Solemn National Fast and Humiliation, with the Causes
thereof._


The General Assembly, Having taken into their most serious Consideration,
the late great and general Defection of this Church and Kingdom; Have
though fit to Appoint a Day of Solemn Humiliation and Fasting, for
Confession of Sins, and making Supplication to Our Gracious GOD, to
Forgive and Remove the guilt thereof; In order whereunto, they have
Ordained the Confession of Sins, and Causes of Fasting following, to be
duely Intimate and Published; Recommending it most earnestly to all
persons, both Ministers and Others, That every One of us may not only
search and try our own Hearts and Wayes, and stir up Ourselves to seek the
Lord; But also in our Stations, and as we have access, Deal with one
another, in all Love and Tenderness, to prepare for so great and necessary
a Duty, that we may find mercy in God’s sight, and He may be graciously
Reconciled to our Land in the Lord Jesus, and take delight to dwell among
us.

Although our gracious God hath of late, for His own Name sake wrought
great and wonderful things, for _Britain_ and _Ireland_, and for this
Church and Nation in particular; Yet the Inhabitants thereof have cause to
remember their own evil wayes, and to loath themselves in their own sight
for their Iniquities. Alas! Alas! We and our Fathers, our Princes, our
Pastors, and People of all Ranks have sinned, and have been under great
Transgression to this day: For though our gracious God shewed early
kindness to this Land, in sending the Gospel among us, and afterward in
our Reformation from Popish Superstition and Idolatry; and It had the
Honour, beyond many Nations of being after our first Reformation, Solemnly
devoted unto God, both Prince and People; yet we have dealt treacherously
with the Lord, and been unstedfast in His Covenant, and have not walked
suitably to our Mercies received from Him, nor obligations to Him. Through
the mercy of God this Church had attained to a great purity of Doctrine,
Worship and Government, but this was not accompanied with suitable
personal Reformation, neither was our Fruit answerable to the pains taken
on us by Word and Work; We had much Gospel-preaching, but too little
Gospel-practice, too many went on in open wickedness, and some had but a
form of Godliness, denying the power thereof: Many also who had the Grace
of God in truth fell from their first love, and fell under sad
languishings and decays; and when for our sins the Anger of the Lord had
divided us, and we were brought under the feet of strangers, and many of
our brethren killed, and others taken captive and sold as slaves; yet we
sinned still, and after we were freed from the yoak of strangers, instead
of returning to the Lord, and being led to Repentance by His Goodness, the
Land made open Defection from the good ways of the Lord: Many behaved as
if they had been delivered to work abomination, the flood-gates of Impiety
were opened, and a deluge of wickednese did overspread the Land. Who can
without grief and shame remember the shameful debauchery and drunkenness
that then was? And this accompanied with horrid and hellish cursing and
swearing, and followed with frequent Filthiness, Adulteries and other
Abominations, and the Reprover was hated, and he that departed from
Iniquity made himself a Reproach of Prey. And when by these, and such like
corrupt practices, mens Consciences were debauched, they proceeded to
sacrifice the Interest of the Lord Jesus Christ, and priviledges of his
Church to the lusts and will of Men; The Supremacy was advanced in such a
way, and to such an height, as never any Christian Church acknowledged;
The Government of the Church was altered, and Prelacie (which hath been
always grievous to this Nation) introduced, without the Churches consent,
and contrary to the standing Acts of our National Assemblies, both which
the present Parliament hath (blessed be God) lately found; And yet
nevertheless, of the then standing Ministry of _Scotland_, many did
suddenly and readily comply with that alteration of the Government, some
out of Pride and Covetousness, or Man-pleasing, some through infirmity or
weakness, or fear of Man, and want of Courage and Zeal for God; many
faithful Ministers were thereupon cast out, and many Insufficient and
Scandalous Men thrust in on their Charges, and many Families ruined,
because they would not own them as their Pastors.

And alas! It is undenyable, there hath been under the late Prelacie, a
great decay of Piety, so that it was enough to make a man be nicknam’d a
Phanatick, if he did not run to the same excess of Riot with others.

And should it not be lamented, for it cannot be denied, that there hath
been in some a dreadful Atheistical Boldness against God, some have
disputed the Beeing of GOD, and His Providence, the Divine Authority of
the Scriptures, the Life to come, and Immortality of the Soul, yes and
scoffed at these things.

There hath been also an Horrid Prophanation of the Holy and Dreadful Name
of GOD, by cursing and swearing: Ah! there hath been so much Swearing and
Forswearing amongst us, that no Nation under Heaven hath been more guilty
in this than we; some by swearing rashly or ignorantly, some falsly, by
breaking their Oaths. And imposing and taking ungodly unlawful Oaths and
Bonds, whereby the Consciences of many have been polluted and seared, and
many ruined and oppressed for refusing and not taking them.

There hath also been a great neglect of the worship of God, too much in
publick, but especially in Families and in secret.

The wonted care of Religious sanctifying the Lord’s Day is gone, and in
many places the Sabbath hath been and is shamefully prophaned.

The Land also hath been, full of bloody Crimes, and Cities full of
Violence, and much innocent Blood shed, so that Blood touched Blood, yea,
_Sodoms_ sins have abounded amongst us. Pride, fulness of Bread, Idleness,
Vanities of Apparel, and shameful sensuality filled the Land.

And Alas! how great hath been the Cry of Oppression and Unrighteousness,
Iniquity hath been established by a Law, there hath been a great
perverting of Justice, by making and executing unrighteous Statutes and
Acts, and sad persecutions of many for their Conscience towards God.

It is also matter of Lamentation, that under this great Defection, there
hath been too general a fainting not only amongst Professours of the
Gospel, but also amongst Ministers; yea, even amongst such, who in the
main things did endeavour to maintain their Integrity, in not giving
seasonable and necessary Testimony against the Defections and Evils of the
Time, and keeping a due distance from them, and some on the other hand
managed their Zeal with too little Discretion and Meekness.

It is also matter of Humiliation, that when Differences fell out amongst
these, who did own Truth, and bear witness against the Course of
Defection, they were not managed with due Charity and Love, but with too
much heat and bitterness, injurious Reflections used against Pious and
Worthy men on all hands, and scandalous Divisions occasioned, and the
Success of the Gospel greatly obstructed thereby, and some dangerous
Principles drunk in: And after all this, there were shameful advances
towards Popery, the abomination of the Mass was set up in many places, and
Popish Schools erected, and severals fell to Idolatry.

And though the Lord hath put a stop to the Course of Defection, and of his
great mercy given us some reviving from our Bondage; yet we have sad cause
to regrate and bemoan, that few have a due sense of our mercy, or walk
answerable thereto; Few are turned to the Lord in truth, but the wicked go
on to do wickedly; And there is found amongst us to this day, shameful
ingratitude for our mercies, Horrid impenitency under our sins, yea, even
among those, who stand most up for the defence of the Truth: And amongst
many in our Armies, there is woful Prophanness and Debauchery. And though
we profess to acknowledge, there can be no Pardon of Sins, no Peace and
Reconciliation with God, but by the Blood of Jesus Christ; Yet few know
Him, or see the Necessity and Excellency of the Knowledge of our Lord
Jesus Christ; few see their need of him, or esteem, desire, or receive him
as he is offered in the Gospel; few are acquainted with Faith in Jesus
Christ, and living by Faith in Him, as made of the Father unto us, wisdom,
Righteousness, Sanctification and Redemption; And few walk as becometh the
Gospel, and imitate our Holy Lord in Humility, Meekness, Self-denial,
Heavenly mindedness, Zeal for GOD, and Charity towards Men: But as there
is even untill now, a great contempt of the Gospel, a great Barrenness
under it; So a deep Security under our sin and Danger, a great want of
Piety toward God, and Love towards Men, with a woful Selfishness, every
one seeking their own things, few the things of Christ, or the publick
Good, or one anothers welfare: And finally, the most part more ready to
Censure the sins of others, than to Repent of their own.

Our Iniquities are increased over our Heads, and our Trespasses are grown
up unto the Heavens, they are many in number, and hainous in their nature,
and grievously aggravated, as having been contrary to great Light and
Love, under signal Mercies and Judgments, after Confession and
Supplication, and notwithstanding of our Profession, Promises and solemn
Vowing, and Covenanting with God to the contrary.

Have we not then sad cause of deep Sorrow and Humiliation? And may we not
fear, if we do not repent, and turn from the evil of our wayes, and return
to the Lord with all our hearts, that he return to do us evil, after He
hath done us good, and be angry with us, until he hath consumed us?

Let us therefore humble our selves by fasting and Praying, let us search
out our sins, and consider our wayes, and confess these, and other our
sins, with Sorrow and Detestation; Let us Turn unto the Lord with fasting
and weeping, and with mourning; Let us firmly resolve and sincerely Engage
to amend our wayes and doings, and return unto the Lord our God, with all
our hearts, and earnestly pray, that for the Blood of the Lamb of God, our
sins may be forgiven, and our back slidings healed, and we may yet become
a Righteous Nation, keeping the Truth, that Religion and Righteousness may
flourish, and Love and Charity abound, and all the Lords People may be of
one mind in the Lord: And in order to all these, that the word of the Lord
may have free course, and be glorified, and that the Preaching of the
Word, and Dispensing of the Sacraments, may be accompanied with the wonted
Presence, Power and Blessing of the Spirit of the Lord, That the Lord
would Preserve and bless our gracious _King_ and _Queen_, _William_ and
_Mary_, and establish their Throne by Righteousness and Religion, and
grant to these Nations, Peace and Truth together; And for that End, bless
and prosper His Majesties Councils, and Forces by Sea and Land, and these
of the Princes and States his Allies, for God and his Truth; That inferior
Rulers may Rule in the fear of God and Judges be cloathed with
Righteousness, and that many faithful Labourers may be sent out into the
Lord’s Vineyard, and they who are sent, may find mercy to be Faithful, and
be blest with Success; That Families may be as little Churches of Christ,
and that the Lord would pour out His Spirit on all Ranks of People, that
they may be Holy in all manner of Conversation, and God may delight to
dwell amongst us and to do us good.

And while we pray for our selves, let us not forget our Brethren in
Foreign Churches, with whom, alas! we had too little Sympathy; Nay let us
pray, that all the Ends of the Earth, may see the Salvation of God; And
that he would bring His ancient people of the _Jews_ to the Acknowledgment
of Jesus Christ; And that he would hasten the Ruine of Romish Babylon and
advance the Reformation in Christendome, and preserve and bless the
Reformed Churches; That he would pitie His oppressed People, the _French
Protestants_, and gather them out of all places, whither they have been
scattered in the cloudy and dark day; And that He would be the Defence,
Strength and Salvation of any of His People, who are in War or Danger by
Infidel or Popish adversaries, in _Europe_ or _America:_ And in
particular, that the Lord would be Gracious to _Ireland_, and sanctifie to
His People there, both their distress and Deliverance, and perfect what
concerneth them, that he would Convert the Natives there to the Truth,
Reduce that Land to Peace; And appoint Salvation for Walls and Bulwarks to
_Brittain_.

For all these Causes and Reasons, The General Assembly hath Appointed the
Second Thursday of _January_ next, to be Observed in all the Congregations
of this Church and Nation, as a day of Solemn Fasting and Humiliation, and
Prayer; Beseeching and Obtesting all, both Pastors and People, of all
Ranks to be sincere and serious, in Humiliation and Supplication, and
universal Reformation, as they would wish to find mercy of the Lord and
have deserved wrath averted, and would obtain the Blessing of the Lord
upon themselves and Posterity after them; And that the Lord may delight in
us, and our Land may be as Married to Him. And Ordains all Ministers,
either in Kirks or Meeting houses, to Read this present Act publickly from
the Pulpit, a Sabbath or two before the said Day of Humiliation: and that
the several Presbyteries take care, that it be carefully observed in their
Respective bounds. And where, in regard of Vacancies, the Day hereby
appointed, cannot be observed; The Assembly appoints the said Humiliation
to be kept some other Day with the first convenient opportunity. And
Appoints the Commission for Visitation, to apply to the Council for their
Civil Sanction to the Observation thereof.



XIII. _Act anent Sentences past against Ministers from the Year 1650. &c._


The General Assembly does hereby declare, all Sentences, past against any
Ministers _Hinc Inde_, by any Church Judicatory, upon the Account of the
late Differences among Presbyterians, from the Year 1650. Till the
Re-introduction of Prelacy, to be of themselves void and null, to all
Effects and Intents. And Siclike the General Assembly hereby Recommends,
to the Respective Presbyteries, to take care, that such of these
Ministers, as are not otherways disposed of by the Church, Return to the
exercise of their Ministry, in their Respective Congregations. And also
hereby Recommends to the Civil Magistrate, that the saids Ministers may
have the Lega Maintainances and Stipends where they served.



Edinburgh 13 of November 1690. _Post Meridiem._ Sess. 26.



XIV. _The Assemblies Letter to His Majesty._


_May it please Your Majesty._

The Happiness we have had by Your Majesties influence, as an Instrument in
the Hand of God, towards us for good, and the Countenance You have given
us in Holding this National Assembly of the Church of _Scotland_, Doth
Encourage us to make Application again to Your Majesty; That as in our
Answer to Your Gracious Letter direct to us in the Entrance of this
Assembly, we Engaged to Your Majesty that in all things that should come
before us, we would carry with that Calmnes and Moderation, which becometh
the Ministers of the Gospel of Peace, and which Your Majesty did so
effectually Recommend to us; So now in the Close of this our Assembly, we
presume to acquaint Your Majesty, That through the good Hand of God upon
us, we have in a great measure performed accordingly: Having applied our
selves, mostly and especially, to what concerned this whole Church, and
endeavoured by all means Ecclesiastical, and proper for us, to promote the
Good thereof, together with the Quiet of the Kingdom, and Your Majesties
Satisfaction and Contentment. And God hath been pleased to Bless our
Endeavours, in our Receiving to the Unity and Order of this Church, some
who had withdrawn, and now have joyned with us, and promised Subjection:
And in providing for the Propagation of Religion, and the Knowledge of
God, in the most Barbarous places of the _Highlands_, which may be the
surest way of Reducing these people also unto Your Majesties Obedience:
And especially in Regulating the Ministers of this Church, after so great
Revolutions and Alterations: For we have according to the use and practice
of this Church, ever since the first Reformation from Popery, appointed
Visitations both for the Southern and Northern parts of this Kingdom,
Consisting of the Gravest and most Experienced Ministers and Elders: To
whom we have given Instructions about the late Conformists, that none of
them shall be Removed from their Places, but such as are either
Insufficient, or Scandalous, or Erroneous, or Supinely Negligent: And that
these of them be admitted to Ministerial Communion with us, who upon due
Trial, and in a Competent Time for that Trial, shall be found to be
Orthodox in Doctrine, of Competent Abilities, of a Godly, Peaceable, and
Loyal Conversation, and who shall be judged Faithfull to God and to the
Government: And who shall likewayes Promise to own, Submit unto, and
Concurre with it. We have also taken Care, that all persons, who shall be
found to have received wrong, in any Inferior Judicatory of this Church,
shall be duly Redressed: Other things which are not of so Universal a
Concern, we have delayed till the next General Assembly. This Account
Great SIR, we look upon our selves as Obliged to give unto Your Majesty,
for that great Goodness, You have been pleased to express, in giving such
Countenance to this Assembly, and in appointing such Commissioner to
Represent Your Royal Person, who hath been in all his Conduct in this
Affair, most acceptable unto us. That God may Bless Your Majesty, and our
most Gracious Queen, with all Blessings, which concern both this Life, and
the Life to come, is the earnest Prayer of.

_May it please your Majesty,_
_ Your Majesties most Faithful,_
_ Most Humble and most Obedient,_
_ Subjects and Servants._

Subscribed in Name, and at the Appointment of the General Assembly, by

_HU. KENNEDIE._ Moderator.



XV. _Instructions to the Commissions for Visitations on the South and
North sides of Tay._


The following Instructions to the Commission for Visitations on this side
of _Tay_, were Read in presence of the Assembly.

“1. That there be appointed by the Assembly, a Delegate number of the most
experienced Ministers and Elders. This number to be Forty Ministers, and
Twenty Ruling Elders, fifteen of them to a _Quorum_, ten of these being
alwayes Ministers; And that they at their first Ses