Records of the Kirk of Scotland by Church of Scotland. General Assembly

RECORDS
OF
THE KIRK OF SCOTLAND,
CONTAINING THE

ACTS AND PROCEEDINGS

OF THE

General Assemblies,

FROM THE YEAR 1638 DOWNWARDS,

AS AUTHENTICATED BY THE CLERKS OF ASSEMBLY;

WITH

NOTES AND HISTORICAL ILLUSTRATIONS,

BY

ALEXANDER PETERKIN,

EDITOR OF “THE COMPENDIUM OF CHURCH LAWS,” &c.

VOL. I.

NEC TAMEN CONSUMEBATUR

EDINBURGH:
JOHN SUTHERLAND, 12, CALTON STREET.
MDCCCXXXVIII.

From the Steam-Press of Peter Brown, Printer, 19, St James’ Square.

CONTENTS
Introduction.

The National Covenant or, Confession of Faith of the Kirk of Scotland.

The Principall Acts of the Solemne Generall Assembly of the Kirk of Scotland.

A Breife Collection of the Passages of the Assembly Holden at Glasgow in Scotland, November Last, 1638; With the Deposicon of Divers B.p.p. Their Offences For Which They Were Sentenced; and an Index of All the Acts Made at the Said Assembly.

An Index of all the Principall Acts of the Assembly holden at Glasgow 1638.

Miscellaneous Historical Documents Relative to the Ecclesiastical and Political Events in Scotland, 1633-1638.

Report of Proceedings of the General Assembly at Glasgow, 1638.

The General Assembly, at Edinburgh, 1639.

The Principall Acts of the Generall Assembly Holden at Edinburgh, in the Year 1639.

Index of the Principall Acts Of the Assembly at Edinburgh, 1639. Not Printed.

Miscellaneous Historical Documents, Relative to the Ecclesiastical and Political Events in Scotland—1639.

Report of the Proceedings Of the Late Generall Assembly, Indicted by the Kings Majestie, and Holden at Edinburgh, the 12 of August, 1639.

The Proceedings of The Late Solemne Assembly, Holden at Edinburgh 12 of August 1639.

The General Assembly, at Aberdeen, 1640.

The Principall Acts of the Generall Assembly Conveened at Aberdene, July 28, 1640.

Index of the Principall Acts of the Assembly at Aberdene, 1640. Not printed.

Miscellaneous Historical Documents. Relative to the Ecclesiastical and Political Events in Scotland—1639-40.

The General Assembly, at St Andrews and Edinburgh, 1641.

The Principall Acts of the Generall Assembly Holden at St Andrews and Edinburgh, 1641.

Index of the Principall Acts of the Assembly Holden at S. Andrews and Edinburgh, 1641.not Printed.

Miscellaneous Historical Documents, Relative to the Ecclesiastical and Political Events in Scotland—1640-41.

The General Assembly, at St Andrew’s, 1642.

The Principall Acts of the Generall Assembly, Conveened at St Andrews, July 27, 1642.

Miscellaneous Historical Documents, Relative to the Ecclesiastical and Political Events in Scotland—1642.

The General Assembly, at Edinburgh, 1643.

The Principall Acts of the Generall Assembly, Conveened at St Andrews, July 27, 1642.

Index of the Acts of the Assembly holden at Edinburgh, 1643. Not printed.

Miscellaneous Historical Documents. Relative to the Ecclesiastical and Political Events in Scotland—1643.

The General Assembly, at Edinburgh, 1644.

The Principall Acts of the Generall Assembly, Conveened at Edinburgh, May 29, 1644.

Index of the Acts of the Assembly holden at Edinburgh, 1644. Not Printed.

Miscellaneous Historical Documents, Relative to the Ecclesiastical and Political Events in Scotland—1644.

The General Assembly, at Edinburgh, 1645.

The Principall Acts of the Generall Assembly, Met Occasionally at Edinburgh, January 22, 1645.

Index of the Acts of this Assembly. Not Printed.

Miscellaneous Historical Documents, Relative to the Ecclesiastical and Political Events in Scotland—1645.

The General Assembly, at Edinburgh, 1646.

The Principall Acts of the Generall Assembly, Met at Edinburgh, Junii 3, 1646

Index of the Acts of the Generall Assembly not Printed, 1646.

Miscellaneous Historical Documents Relative to the Ecclesiastical and Political Events in Scotland—1646.

The General Assembly, at Edinburgh, 1647.

The Principall Acts of the Generall Assembly Met at Edinburgh, August 4, 1647.

Index of the Acts of This Generall Assemblie Not Printed.

Miscellaneous Historical Documents, Relative to the Ecclesiastical and Political Events in Scotland—1647.

The General Assembly, at Edinburgh, 1648.

The Principall Acts of the Generall Assembly Conveened at Edinburgh, July 12, 1648.

Miscellaneous Historical Documents, Relative to the Ecclesiastical and Political Events in Scotland—1648.

The General Assembly, at Edinburgh, 1649.

The Principall Acts of the Generall Assembly Holden at Edinburgh, July 7, 1649.

Index of the Unprinted Acts of the Assembly, 1649.

Miscellaneous Historical Documents, Relative to the Ecclesiastical and Political Events in Scotland—1649.

Appendix. State of the Presbyterian Kirk of Scotland From 1649 to 1654.

Footnotes:

Index to the Acts of the General Assembly. 1638-1649.

Index to Miscellaneous Documents. 1638-1654.

INTRODUCTION.
The object of the present work is to present to the public, in a form that may be generally accessible, the history of one of the most interesting periods in the annals of our National Church, by the republication of her Acts and Proceedings, at and subsequent to the era of her second Reformation; and, combined therewith, such historical documents and sketches as are calculated to preserve the memory of an important, and, ultimately, beneficial revolution in Scotland.

The Reformation from Popery—of which the seeds had been sown during the lapse of the half century which preceded the abolition of that system of national religion in 1560—forms the subject-matter of a distinct epoch, which has been amply illustrated in the works of Principal Robertson, Dr Cook, and Dr M‘Crie, and which has been further developed more authentically in the pages of the “Booke of the Universall Kirke;” and it is not within the range of the present compilation to take any retrospect of the events which occurred in reference to the Reformed Church of Scotland, prior to the year 1633, when King Charles I. was crowned King of Scotland. It may be deemed sufficient to note merely, that Popery was abolished, by act of Parliament, on the 24th of August 1560, and the reformed doctrines recognised and tolerated by contemporary statute; that, in 1567, the Protestant Church was established and endowed; that the mixed Episcopal and Presbyterian form of Church government which subsisted during the first thirty-two years of its existence, yielded to the Presbyterian polity, which was established by act of Parliament on the 5th of June 1592; and that Episcopacy having been insinuated through the instrumentality of the General Assembly of the Church,1 in consequence of the intrigues of King James VI., became, though in a modified shape, the established form of the Protestant Church in Scotland, by virtue of various acts of Parliament.2

Such was the nature of the Established Protestant Church of Scotland when Charles I. ascended the thrones of both the British kingdoms, at the demise of his father, on the 22d of March 1625; and such it continued to be up to the time that we have selected as the commencement of the period, to the illustration of which the following pages are devoted.

Along with his crown, Charles I. inherited from his father, a legacy of political and ecclesiastical bigotry, and a cluster of debateable questions betwixt him and his subjects, which, ere long, involved him in numberless embarrassments and conflicts, that terminated only with his life on the scaffold. In reference to Scotland, that which first brought him into collision with his northern subjects, was a project of resuming grants which had been lavishly bestowed by his father on his nobility and other minions (or which were usurped by them,) of the tithes and benefices that had belonged to the Popish Church prior to the Reformation. James himself had contemplated such a revocation before his death, and also the establishment of a Liturgy in the Scottish Episcopacy, recently introduced, and but imperfectly consolidated; but he wanted the courage to adopt the requisite measures for that purpose, which were calculated to rouse into active hostility the combined opposition of a fierce aristocracy, and of the Presbyterian clergy and people, who had been cheated out of their favoured scheme of church polity by the insidious manœuvres of James. The revocation was the first step taken by Charles in pursuance of his father’s policy; and it was justified by precedents in the commencement of every new reign, during the previous history of Scotland. But the first attempt to accomplish this end proved abortive, and had nearly produced the most tragical consequences. It may be proper to advert briefly to these occurrences.

In October 1625, a Convention of Estates was held for the consideration of this interesting topic; but the proposition was rejected by nearly all the nobility and gentry, many of whom had profited from the plunder of the ecclesiastical patrimony; and Bishop Burnet3 gives a very characteristic anecdote of the proceedings on the occasion. The Earl of Nithsdale, as Commissioner, had been instructed to exact an4 unconditional surrender; but the parties interested had previously conspired, and resolved that, if they could not otherwise deter him from prosecuting the measure, “they would fall upon him and all his party, in the old Scottish manner, and knock them on the head;” and so deadly was their purpose, that one of their number, who was blind, (Belhaven,) and was seated beside the Earl of Dumfries, had clutched hold of him with one hand, and was prepared, had any stir arisen, to plunge a dagger in his heart. Nithsdale, however, seeing the stormy aspect of the conclave, disguised his instructions, and returned to London disappointed in his mission.

A convocation of the clergy, however, whose views were directed to a complete restoration of its ancient patrimony to the Church, and a large body of the landed proprietors, who had suffered from the rapacity of the Lords of Erection, and titulars, who had obtained the Church property and tithes, were favourable to a revocation—animated by the hope that, in any new distribution of the revenues, a larger portion of these would fall to their lot from the royal favour than they could ever expect from the individual overlords and improprietors. These two classes, therefore, co-operated in supporting the views of the King, for a resumption of church property and tithes; and these movements resulted in the well known arbitration, by which his Majesty obtained a general surrender of the impropriated tithes and benefices, under which the law upon this subject was ultimately settled by the enactments in the Statute-book,4 leaving unavoidably an extended spirit of discontent among the disappointed parties in the most influential classes of the community.

One of the main objects of Charles’ policy being thus partially accomplished, he proceeded to Scotland in the summer of 1633, for the purpose of being crowned in his native kingdom. His Majesty’s progress and inauguration were distinguished by unwonted splendour, and he received a cordial welcome from his northern subjects; but some parts of the ceremonial gave deep offence to the Scottish people, as savouring strongly of Popish mummeries; and the morning of his reign was speedily overcast in Scotland, by a most unwise and obstinate assertion of the royal prerogative in some matters of the most ludicrous insignificancy. In 1606, an act had passed in the Scottish Parliament, asserting the royal prerogative to an extravagant pitch; and another in 1609, by which King James VI. was empowered to prescribe apparel to the churchmen with the consent of the Church—a concession which had been made to gratify that monarch’s predilections for all priest-like intermeddling with ecclesiastical affairs, and all sorts of trifling details. But these concessions had lain dormant during the remainder of his reign, and had never been acted upon; nay, when, in 1617, an act had been prepared by the Lords of Articles, authorizing all things that should thereafter be determined in ecclesiastical affairs by his Majesty, with consent of a competent number of the clergy selected by himself, to be law, he ordered that act to be suppressed in the House, although it had passed the Lords of Articles.

Charles, however, not sufficiently acquainted with the latent spirit of his Scottish subjects, ordered an act to be framed, soon after his coronation, embodying the enactments of both the statutes above alluded to, asserting the unlimited prerogative of the King in all matters, civil and ecclesiastical, and giving him power to regulate the robes and raiment of ecclesiastics. This was strenuously opposed by Rothes, Balmerino, and a majority of the Estates, notwithstanding the personal presence of the King, and his domineering orders to them to vote and not to speak. By a juggle, however, the clerk-register (Primrose) reported the majority the other way—a falsity which could not be impugned without incurring the pains of treason; and so intent was Charles on coercing the Estates into this measure, that he marked on a list the names of all who had voted against his crotchet, and threatened them with his resentment.5

These extraordinary and indecorous stretches of authority, excited the greatest alarm. The freedom of speech in Parliament, its independence, and the integrity of its record, were violated in a manner the most outrageous and inconsistent with all liberty or safety. The nobility held various consultations as to what was to be done in this juncture, and a petition to the King was drawn up and shewn to some of them—amongst others to Batmerino; but the King having declared that he would receive no explanation or remonstrance from them, the purpose was dropped. A copy of it however, with some corrections on it in Balmerino’s handwriting, having been confided by him to a notary for transcription, it was treacherously conveyed to Charles, by Spottiswood, Archbishop of St Andrew’s, some months afterwards. For this innocent and, according to modern notions, this constitutional exercise of the right of petition, or rather this intent to exercise it, Balmerino was put on his trial,6 before a packed court and a packed jury, for leasingmaking or an attempt to sow dissension betwixt the King and his subjects—an offence of the most arbitrary construction, and certainly not overtly committed by Balmerino in this case. Seven of the jury were for acquittal—but eight, being a majority, found him guilty—and he was sentenced to a capital punishment.

This trial excited the deepest interest throughout the country, and its result produced consternation, and prompted to the most desperate counsels. It was proposed to force the prison and rescue Balmerino; or, if that failed, to kill the obnoxious judges and jurors, and burn their houses. But these perilous resolutions were obviated by Lord Traquair, one of the jury and a tool of the Court, representing to the King the consequences which were to be5 apprehended; and it was found expedient to grant Balmerino a pardon.7

These were the first false steps of Charles in Scotland. They shook irretrievably the confidence of his subjects in his personal integrity, and in his reverence for the law and the purity of its administration; and the whole of these proceedings are eminently instructive, as evincing to what trivial circumstances, in some respects, convulsions and revolutions, of an extended and sweeping character, may often be ascribed as the source. It is exceedingly difficult now to estimate fully the motives of either party in these transactions. The Scottish Estates were not averse to yield the point of royal supremacy exacted by James and Charles; but when the latter claimed as his prerogative the power to regulate the draperies of the priesthood, it was vehemently resisted by parliament and people as an encroachment on their religious liberties. And to this paltry subject, which was more appropriate to a college of tailors than to the cabinet of a monarch or the arena of a senate, we may trace the first beginnings of that succession of revolutions which, for upwards of half a century afterwards, overflowed the land with torrents of blood and of tears.8

The arbitrary principles in which Charles had been trained by his father, were so deeply impressed on his character, that, though in other respects an able and amiable man, they were never eradicated from his mind by all his experience of their consequences. Prompted by the bigoted intolerance of Laud, surrounded by court sycophants, who sought favour by subserviency to his prejudices, and betrayed in Scotland by a set of the most unprincipled knaves, both lay and clerical, that ever were destined to mislead a sovereign into disgrace and destruction, Charles took not warning in his government from the lessons that had been taught him in the transaction to which we have thus briefly alluded; and he must needs enforce by coercion in Scotland that uniformity in religious ceremonials with the Episcopal Church of England, on which his father had bestowed so much of his royal wisdom.9 His enterprises in this respect led to consequences which he little anticipated, and which terminated most fatally for his own authority and honour. We allude to his attempt to introduce the Liturgy and canons, which were concocted for the Church in Scotland, under the auspices of Archbishop Laud—an attempt which, within a very brief space after Balmerino’s trial and sentence had excited universal alarm, rallied the whole population of Scotland under the banner of “The Covenant,” in open resistance to their throned monarch; presenting to our contemplation one of the most remarkable and sublime moral spectacles that is to be found in the history of ancient or modern times—an entire nation simultaneously banding themselves together, and leagued by solemn religious vows, for the vindication and maintenance of their liberties, civil and religious, yet cherishing and avowing their allegiance to their sovereign, except in so far as he exceeded his legitimate authority.

Before entering on the Proceedings and Acts of the General Assemblies of the Church from 1638 to 1649, which it is one of the objects of this work to preserve, it is necessary, for the elucidation of these, to detail the circumstances, political and ecclesiastical, (these being, in truth, identical,) which preceded that great demonstration of the national will and power, during the years 1636 and 1637; and, in doing so, the facts shall be as concisely stated as is practicable, amidst the great mass of materials which are supplied to the student of our history in the numerous works that treat of the period now referred to.10

Early in the progress of the Scottish Reformation, the Lords of the Congregation had directed the “Book of Common Order,” as it was called, which was used in the Protestant Church of Geneva, to be read in the religious service of the Scottish Reformers; and it was sanctioned by the Church in the “First Book of Discipline,” among the first of its acts after the abolition of Popery.11 Under this sanction, the “Book of Common Prayer” was appointed to be used by the Readers as a part of the public worship in the churches; and, so far as we can discover, it continued to be used, either as an essential part or, at least, as the model for prayer in public worship, during the fluctuations in the frame of the Church in the time of James VI. The Assembly at Aberdeen,12 indeed, had ordered the Geneva form to be revised; but the vehement opposition made in the subsequent Assembly at Perth to King James’ Articles, induced him to suspend his innovation.

Charles, however, a man of higher moral and personal courage than his father, and stimulated by the fanatical and semipopish zeal of Laud, had given instructions, during his recent visit to Scotland, for superseding the early Book of Order, and directed the introduction of Canons and a Liturgy similar to those of England. In order to deceive the Scotch into a belief that it was different, and to soothe the national pride, by eschewing the aspect of servile imitation as a mark of its dependence on the English hierarchy, the Scotch Prelates devised a new Liturgy, which was, in many points, and indeed in its leading features, much more Popish than that of England.

6

The Canons were first compiled and confirmed by the Royal Supremacy. They comprehended whatever the Kings of Israel or the Emperors of the Primitive Church had arrogated; secured from challenge the consecration of the bishops; and added terror to excommunication, by annexing confiscation and outlawry as the penalties of incurring it. The Liturgy was sanctioned before it was actually framed. By it the clergy were forbidden to deviate from its forms, or to pray extemporaneously; the demeanour of the people in public worship was rigorously prescribed; kirk-sessions and presbyteries, as these were established by the act 1592, were abolished, under the new designation of “conventicles;” the powers of these were transferred to the bishops, and lay elders entirely superseded; and the whole texture and spirit of it was manifestly Popish, embodying, in almost undisguised terms, the form of the missals, and introducing every particular, both of doctrine and ceremonial, that was most obnoxious to the whole population, except the prelates, nine of whom, out of fourteen, had been introduced into the Privy Council, while Archbishop Spottiswood was created Chancellor, and Maxwell, Bishop of Ross, aspired to the office of Lord Treasurer—thus combining the highest spiritual with the highest political functions, and forming a conclave of despotism entirely subservient to the King.

The new order of things, therefore, was not a mere institution of Episcopacy, in which only spiritual jurisdiction was conferred, and different orders of clergy were established, as in England; but it was palpably a political engine, incompatible with the existence of civil liberty or freedom of conscience in matters of religion; and this innovation became universally obnoxious to the whole nation, by reason of its manifest revival of the practices and ritual of the Catholics. A font was appointed to be placed in the entrance of the church, the cross was enjoined in baptism, and the water was changed and consecrated in the font twice a month; an altar was appointed for the chancel; the communion table, decorated, was placed in the east, and the consecration of the elements was a prayer expressive of the Real Presence, and their elevation deemed an actual oblation. The confessions of the penitent were to be concealed by the clergy; and the whole contexture of this novel Liturgy was such, in conjunction with the Canons, as to effect a total subversion of all the principles cherished by the bulk of the nation from the date of the Reformation, and to overthrow the entire system of Presbyterian doctrine and discipline that had previously prevailed in the usages of the Church, and the law of the land.

It is noways surprising, therefore, that these innovations produced tremendous revulsion throughout the country; and they were rendered still more offensive by the mode of their introduction—without the consent of a General Assembly of the Church or of Parliament, but solely by virtue of the royal prerogative, and the authority of the prelates—the advice even of the Privy Council, and some of the elder prelates being entirely contemned. The alarm was sounded from the pulpits by a great majority of the parochial clergy, and pervaded, not merely the common people, but the gentry also, and, with few exceptions, all the ancient nobility of the realm: every man, whether valuing his religious principles, or his political liberty and safety, was appalled by the immediate prospect of an intolerant spiritual domination and civil tyranny being established in the land of his forefathers. “In short,” as Dr Cook emphatically states, “the complete command of the Church was given to the bishops, and the kingdom was thus laid at the foot of the throne.”13

In this state matters continued from the time that these changes became known, in 1636, till the summer of 1637. At the same time, besides the Court of High Commission, each of the prelates obtained subordinate Commission-courts, which were, in all respects, so many local inquisitions; so that “Black Prelacy” was armed in Scotland with all the powers and terrors of the Popish Church anterior to its abolition. The prelates, however, were at first deterred, by well-grounded apprehensions, from the exercise of their late-sprung power. A general adoption of the Liturgy at Easter had been required by royal proclamation, but the day had elapsed before the publication of it took place; and it was not till May 1637 that a charge was ordered to be given to the clergy, that each of them should “buy and provide” two copies for his parish, under the penalty of escheat of his effects. The Council, however, had omitted in their edict to require the adoption and practice of these formularies, although, doubtless, the conjoint effect of these innovations was held to imply an imperative rule for the clergy. This looseness of phraseology, however, opened a door for the recusant clergy to evade the use of the new ritual, and paved the way for an eventual defeat of the prelates’ schemes.14

On the 16th of July 1637, an order was intimated from the pulpit in Edinburgh, that, on the following Sunday, the Liturgy would be introduced; and this without the concurrence of the Privy Council or any previous arrangement for smoothing its reception. This notice excited great popular agitation, and brought the collision betwixt the court and prelates on the one side, and the country on the other, to a crisis. On Sunday following, (23d July,) the Dean of Edinburgh officiated in St Giles’, and the Bishop elect of Argyle in the Greyfriars’ church, each of them being attended by some of the Judges, Prelates, Members of Council, and other dignitaries, so as to give an imposing effect to the introduction of the obnoxious services. St Giles’ church was crowded, and all went on with the wonted solemnity of public worship until the reading of the service commenced, when Janet Geddes, an humble7 female, rose up and exclaimed, “Villain! daurst thou say the mass at my lug?” and, suiting the action to the word, she tossed the stool on which she had been sitting at the Dean’s head. Forthwith, the assembled multitude broke out into such a tumult as (Baillie says) “was never heard of since the Reformation,” exclaiming, “A Pape! a Pape! Antichrist!” and accompanying these expressions with a violent assault on the doors and windows, so as effectually to interrupt the service. In the other church, of Greyfriars, the performance of the service was attended with similar, though less violent demonstrations of popular hostility; and it was with difficulty that the officiating priests were rescued from the violence of the outraged multitude. The greatest excitement pervaded the city throughout the day; and in every quarter of the country where the Liturgy was attempted to be introduced, except at St Andrew’s, Brechin, Dunblane, and Ross, it was resisted with similar manifestations of anger and disgust; and this popular effervescence was speedily extended from the lower to the higher ranks, betwixt which the most entire sympathy existed, although the latter adopted a more rational and effective mode of resistance.

It is beyond the range of these introductory remarks, to enter on all the details of procedure which took place from the first outbreak of this opposition till the meeting of the General Assembly of Glasgow, in November 1838. Of these, all the particulars are fully detailed in Lord Rothes’ MS. Relation, in the Advocates’ Library, Baillie’s Letters, and other contemporary chronicles, and more recently in Mr Laing’s and Dr Cook’s Histories, and Dr Alton’s Life of Henderson—a man who, at that juncture, arose to great eminence, to guide his countrymen In their struggles, and to dignify their cause by the distinguished talents which in him were called forth and displayed on this occasion. It is sufficient for the present purpose to note a few of the more prominent facts and occurrences which hastened the movement and, ere long, prostrated the royal authority in Scotland.

Henderson, then minister of Leuchars, in Fife, and three other clergymen from the Presbyteries of Irvine, Ayr, and Glasgow, having been pressed by the prelatical authorities on the score of the Liturgy presented, on the 20th of August, bills of suspension to the Privy Council, upon the grounds that the recent innovations were illegal, not being sanctioned by Parliament or the General Assembly, and as being in contravention to the Acts of Parliament and of the Church. The Council eluded these broad grounds, by finding that the edicts of which suspension was sought, did not require the observance, but only the purchase, of the new formalities; and the Council communicated with the King as to the dilemma in which both he and they were now placed. His Majesty, however, unmoved by these events, ordered the immediate observance of the ritual, (September 20,) and rebuked the tardiness of the Council. But whenever this untoward resolution of the King was known, the four ministers, who were thus the foremost men in the contest, were joined and supported by twenty-four peers, a great many of the gentry, sixty-six commissioners from towns and parishes, and nearly one hundred ministers, who immediately poured in numerous petitions, remonstrating against the imposition of the Liturgy and Canons.15 These gave open demonstrations of their making common cause with Henderson and his associates, going in a body to the door of the Council House, in the High Street of the metropolis, with their remonstrances or petitions; and thus they sustained the four individuals who had been selected by the prelates for persecution. During the interval which elapsed before an answer was returned, the remonstrants busied themselves in agitating their grievances over the whole kingdom, and speedily organized one of the most formidable and best constructed oppositions to which any government ever was exposed.

It having been intimated that answers from Court to their remonstrances and petitions would reach Edinburgh on the 18th of October, great multitudes, from all parts of the country, flocked to the capital. The Privy Council were panic-struck, and issued proclamations, intimating that, at the first Council-day, nothing should be done relating to the Church; ordering all strangers to leave Edinburgh within twenty-four hours; removing the Council and Session from Edinburgh to Linlithgow, and afterwards to Dundee; and denouncing a book which had been published against the measures of the Court and Prelates. This brought matters to a crisis.

Having delivered the several applications with which they had been intrusted from the provinces to the Clerk of the Council, the noblemen, gentlemen, and clergy met in three different bodies; but they concurred in a general declaration against the obnoxious books, and ordered it to be presented to the Council. It were tedious enumerating all the proclamations by the King and Council, and the protestations against these by the nobles and clergy, and all the negotiations and intrigues which supervened—of these original documents, however, copies will be given in the notes subjoined to the Acts of Assembly in 1638; but it would savour of undue partiality to the proceedings of the malcontents, if we omitted to state that, during the whole of the period alluded to, many disgraceful outrages were perpetrated by the rabble, who, in the language of Baillie, seemed to be “possessed with a bloody devil,” the authorities being utterly unprepared and unable to repress these disorders, at the very time that they were exciting the people of all classes by their lawless and inconsiderate edicts and tyrannical acts.

These mutual exasperations had reached the highest pitch, when, in February 1638, the Presbyterians8 assumed a bold and perilous attitude, amounting almost to a practical dereliction of their allegiance to the King, and an assumption of supreme authority. In order to avoid the large and tumultuary assemblages which had taken place during the preceding year, the Council had required that the supplications and communications should be managed by delegates and commissioners from the greater masses; and, accordingly, those persons acting in this capacity, under the sanction of the King’s Council, had, in the preceding November, formed large and influential subdivisions of themselves into distinct bodies called “Tables,” representing the different classes who were combined for the vindication of their religious liberties—one for the nobility, another for the gentry, a third for the clergy, and a fourth for the burghs. Committees of the most influential and zealous of each class, sat at four different tables in the Parliament House, having sub-committees, and a central one of the whole, devising and concocting such measures as they deemed necessary for promoting the common cause; thus centralizing the public feeling of the country, and again giving forth mandates from their united Councils, with all the force and authority of law, to the people, and superseding virtually the functions both of the Executive and Legislature of the country.

The most noted act of this anomalous Convention was the formation of a muniment, which was composed by Henderson and Johnston of Warriston, and revised by Balmerino, Rothes, and Loudon, and which was destined to be a powerful instrument in the hands of these national leaders. The Covenant was framed and promulgated at the time we refer to, and henceforward became the rallying standard of the nation, or, at least, of a great majority of its inhabitants, during the space of half a century, till a more benignant symbol of freedom was unfurled at the Revolution, under which the people of these realms have hitherto, since that time, enjoyed all the blessings of a limited monarchy, and institutions for the maintenance of the Protestant faith, and perfect freedom of conscience to all classes of the people.

The adoption and character of that remarkable League enter so deeply into the subject of the present undertaking, that, in order to render numerous subsequent proceedings intelligible to many persons, it is necessary to devote particular attention to it, and the circumstances under which it was promulgated.

The Earl of Traquair returned to Scotland, on the 15th of February, with instructions from the King in reference to the affairs of Scotland. He dissembled at first the full tenor of these, in his communications with the leaders of the Tables, and, on the 19th, proceeded, early in the morning, to Stirling, to publish the proclamation of which he was the bearer, before the Presbyterians should be apprized of his intentions, or prepared to offer any show of opposition. Lord Lindsay and Lord Hume, however, being apprised of Traquair’s movements, had outstripped him, and were on the spot to protest against its effects. The proclamation expressed the King’s approval of the Liturgy; declared all the petitions against it derogatory to his supreme authority, and deserving the severest censure, and prohibited the supplicants to assemble again under the penalties of treason.16

When this proclamation, which was calculated to excite their most gloomy apprehensions, and to extinguish all their hopes of the King ever listening to their remonstrances, was proclaimed by the heralds at Stirling, Lords Hume and Lindsay made formal protestation against it, claiming a right of access to the King by petition; declining the prelates as judges in any court, civil or ecclesiastical; protesting that no act of Council, past or future, (the prelates being members,) should be prejudicial to the supplicants, in their persons or estates; that the Presbyterians should not incur any danger in life or lands, or any political or ecclesiastical pains, for not observing the Book of Liturgy, Canons, Rules, Judicatories, and Proclamations; but that it should be lawful for them to worship God according to His Word and Constitutions of the Church and Kingdom, &c.; and it concluded with professions of loyalty, and a declaration that they only desired the preservation of the true reformed religion, and laws and liberties of the kingdom. A copy of this protestation was affixed to the Cross of Stirling. It was afterwards repeated at Linlithgow and Edinburgh, to the presence of seventeen Peers, and everywhere else where the proclamation was published.

In these critical circumstances, and to order at once to guard themselves from the perils which were sure to overtake them individually if severed, and exposed at once to the obstinate displeasure of the King and the revenge of the prelates, the nobles resolved to consolidate their union by a solemn engagement, such at those which had been entered into by the Lords of the Congregation and first Protestants, to the dawn and during the progress of the Reformation to its earlier stages.17 The positions in which they stood were similar; and the example of the fathers and founders of the Protestant Church in Scotland, naturally prompted the Tables to imitation, independently of the ancient usage which existed to Scotland, of entering into “Bands” for mutual protection and support in troubled times. The model, however, which they had chiefly in view was a “Confession” framed under the auspices and instructions of King James VI., in which the errors of Popery were abjured, and to which there was subsequently added a bond, or obligation, to maintain the true religion, and protect the King’s person, as well as for the general defence.18 Taking that document as the basis and9 model of the Covenant, the leaders of the Presbyterian’s superadded to it an obligation to defend each other against all persons whatsoever, and a pointed denunciation of the innovations recently attempted to be forced upon the country.

For the course thus adopted, they had precedents in the conduct of the first Reformers—in that of King James himself, who had signed the “Confession,” and sought the signature of all his subjects—and in the terms of the early “bands” for mutual defence and maintenance of the reformed doctrines. Nor is it necessary to resort to any casuistry to justify the adoption of such an engagement. Dr Cook justly remarks, that the vindication of the Covenant is to be rested “upon this great principle, that when the ends for which all government should be instituted are defeated, the oppressed have a clear right to disregard customary forms, and to assert the privileges without which they would be condemned to the degradation and wretchedness of despotism.”19 That such was the predicament in which the Church and people of Scotland were placed, by the reiterated proclamations and edicts issued by the King and the Scots Privy Council for several years prior to February 1838, and that these amounted to an unqualified assumption of arbitrary and absolute power, paramount to the authority of Parliament, and the sanctions of the ecclesiastical authorities established by law, are points which do not admit of the slightest doubt; and no alternative remained but that the nobles, clergy, and people of Scotland, should combine, in the most constitutional manner that was practicable, for maintaining the law, and for mutual defence, or tamely submit their necks to the yoke which most assuredly would have been permanently imposed on them by the base minions of a court, and an unprincipled hierarchy. Whatever errors they subsequently committed, and however much we may deplore the infatuation by which Charles was misled in urging his Scottish subjects into such decisive measures, no one who is versed in the elements of the British Constitution, or imbued with the spirit of genuine freedom, can hesitate to admit that, in adopting the Covenant, the people of Scotland were, at the time, not only fully justified, but were imperatively constrained to do so by every motive which can influence Christians, patriots, and brave men. The most eminent lawyers of these times, too, declared their opinions that there was nothing in the Covenant inconsistent with loyalty to a constitutional sovereign; nor has anything ever yet appeared, whether in the contemporary defences of the Court, or in the pages of more recent historians and critics, to shake the soundness of that opinion.

Deviating from the practice of historians, who merely give an abstract and brief statement of the contents of the Covenant, we deem it more suitable and convenient, in a compilation like the present, to embody in this Introductory Sketch the entire document, as it appears in the authenticated records, and, therefore, have subjoined it, as deserving of the reader’s attention, before proceeding to consider the events which followed its adoption.

THE
National Covenant;
OR,
CONFESSION OF FAITH
OF THE
KIRK OF SCOTLAND.
“The Confession of Faith, subscribed at first by the King’s Majesty and his Houshold, in the yeere of God 1580; thereafter by Persons of all rankes, in the yeere 1581, by ordinance of the Lords of the Secret Councell, and Acts of the Generall Assembly; subscribed againe by all sorts of persons in the yeere 1590, by a new Ordinance of Councell, at the desire of the Generall Assembly, with a generall Band for maintenance of the true Religion and the King’s person; and now subscribed in the yeere 1638 by us, Noblemen, Barons, Gentlemen, Burgesses, Ministers, and Commons under subscribing, together with our resolution and promises, for the causes after specified, to maintaine the said true Religion, and the King’s Majestie, according to the Confession foresaid, and Acts of Parliament. The tenor whereof here followeth.

“Wee All and every one of us underwritten, Protest, That, after long and due examination of our owne Consciences in matters of true and false Religion, are now throughly resolved of the Truth, by the Word and Spirit of God, and, therefore, we beleeve with our hearts, confesse with our mouths, subscribe with our hands, and constantly affirm, before God and the whole World, that this only is the true Christian Faith and Religion, pleasing God, and bringing Salvation to man, which now is, by the mercy of God, revealed to the world by the preaching of the blessed Evangel.

“And received, beleeved, and defended by many and sundry notable Kirks and Realmes, but chiefly by the Kirk of Scotland, the King’s Majestie, and the Three Estates of this Realme, as God’s eternall Truth, and onely ground of our salvation; as more particularly is expressed in the Confession of our Faith, stablished and publikely confirmed by sundry Acts of Parlaments, and now, of a long time, hath been openly professed by the King’s Majestie, and whole body of this Realme, both in Burgh and Land. To the which Confession and forme of Religion wee willingly agree in our consciences in all points, as unto God’s undoubted Truth and Verity, grounded onely upon his written Word. And, therefore, We abhorre and detest all contrarie Religion and Doctrine; but chiefly all kinde of Papistrie,10 in generall and particular heads, even as they are now damned and confuted by the Word of God and Kirk of Scotland; but, in speciall, we detest and refuse the usurped authoritie of that Roman Antichrist upon the Scriptures of God, upon the Kirk, the civill Magistrate, and Consciences of men; all his tyrannous lawes made upon indifferent things against our Christian libertie; his erroneous Doctrine against the sufficiencie of the written Word, the perfection of the Law, the office of Christ and his blessed Evangel; his corrupted Doctrine concerning originall sinne, our naturall inabilitie and rebellion to God’s law, our justification by faith onely, our imperfect sanctification and obedience to the law, the nature, number, and use of the holy Sacraments; his five bastard Sacraments, with all his 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; his blasphemous opinion of Transubstantiation, or real presence of Christ’s body in the Elements, and receiving of the same by the wicked, or bodies of men; his dispensations with solemn oaths, perjuries, and degrees of Marriage forbidden in the Word; his crueltie against the innocent divorced; his divellish Masse; his blasphemous Priesthood; his profane Sacrifice for the sins of the dead and the quick; his Canonization of men, calling upon Angels or Saints departed, worshipping of Imagerie, Relicks, and Crosses, dedicating of Kirks, Altars, Daies, Vowes to creatures; his Purgatorie, praiers for the dead; praying or speaking in a strange language, with his Processions, and blasphemous Letanie, and multitude of Advocates or Mediators; his manifold Orders, Auricular Confession; his desperate and uncertain repentance; his generall and doubtsome faith; his satisfactions of men for their sins; his justification by works, opus operatum, works of supererogation, Merits, Pardons, Peregrinations, and Stations; his holy Water, baptizing of Bels, conjuring of spirits, crossing, saning, anointing, conjuring, hallowing of God’s good creatures, with the superstitious opinion joined therewith; his worldly Monarchy, and wicked Hierarchie; his three solemne vowes, with all his shavelings of sundry sorts; his erroneous and bloudie decrees made at Trent, with all the subscribers and approvers of that cruell and bloudie Band conjured against the Kirk of God; and, finally, we detest all his vain Allegories, Rites, Signs, and Traditions brought in 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, by the Great Name of the LORD our GOD, that we shall continue in the obedience of the Doctrine and Discipline of this Kirk, and shall defend the same, according to our vocation and power, all the dayes of our lives, under the paines contained in the Law, and danger both of body and soule in the day of God’s fearfull Judgement; and seeing that many are stirred up by Satan and that Romane Antichrist, to promise, sweare, subscribe, and, for a time, use the Holy Sacraments in the Kirk deceitfully, against their owne consciences, minding thereby, first, under the externall cloake of Religion, to corrupt and subvert secretly God’s true Religion within the Kirk, and afterward, when time may serve, to become open enemies and persecutors of the same, under vaine hope of the Pope’s dispensation, devised against the Word of God, to his greater confusion, and their double condemnation in the day of the LORD JESUS.

“We, therefore, willing to take away all suspition of hypocrisie, and of such double dealing with God and his Kirk, Protest, and call The Searcher of all Hearts for witnesse, that our minds and hearts do fully agree with this our Confession, Promise, Oath, and Subscription, so that we are not moved for any worldly respect, but are perswaded onely in our Consciences, through the knowledge and love of God’s true Religion, printed in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, as we shall answer to Him in the day when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed; and because we perceive, that the quietnesse and stability of our Religion and Kirk doth depend upon the safety and good behaviour of the King’s Majestie, as upon a comfortable instrument of God’s mercy granted to this Country, for the maintaining of his Kirk, and ministration of Justice amongst us; we protest and promise with our hearts, under the same Oath, Hand-writ, and paines, that we shall defend his Person and Authority with our goods, bodies, and lives, in the defence of Christ his Evangel, Liberties of our Countrey, ministration of Justice, and punishment of iniquity, against all enemies within this Realme or without, as we desire our God to be a strong and mercifull Defender to us in the day of our death, and comming of our LORD JESUS CHRIST; to whom, with the Father, and the Holy Spirit, be all honour and glorie eternally.

“Like as many Acts of Parlament, not onely in generall doe abrogate, annull, and rescind all Lawes, Statutes, Acts, Constitutions, Canons, civill or Municipall, with all other Ordinances, and practicke penalties whatsoever, made in prejudice of the true Religion, and Professours thereof; or of the true Kirk discipline, jurisdiction, and freedome thereof; or in favours of Idolatrie and Superstition, or of the Papisticall Kirk: As Act 3, Act 31, Parl. 1, Act 23, Parl. 11, Act 114, Parl. 12. of King James the Sixt. That Papistrie and Superstition may be utterly suppressed, according to the intention of the Acts of Parlament, reported in Act 5, Parl. 20, K. James 6. And, to that end, they ordaine all Papists and Priests to be punished by manifold Civill and Ecclesiasticall paines, as adversaries to God’s true Religion, preached and by law established within this Realme, Act 24, Parl. 11, K. James 6, as common enemies to all Christian government, Act 18, Parl. 16, K. James 6, as rebellers and gainstanders of our Soveraigne11 Lord’s authoritie, Act 47, Parl. 3, K. James 6, and as Idolaters, Act 104, Parl. 7, K. James 6; but also in particular, (by and attour the Confession of Faith,) do abolish and condemne the Pope’s authoritie and jurisdiction out of this land, and ordaines the maintainers thereof to be punished, Act 2, Parl. 1, Act 51, Parl. 3, Act 106, Parl. 7, Act 114, Parl. 12, K. James 6, doe condemne the Pope’s erroneous doctrine, or any other erroneous doctrine repugnant to any of the Articles of the true and Christian Religion, publikely preached, and by Law established in this Realme; and ordaines the spreaders and makers of Books or Libels, or Letters, or writs of that nature, to be punished, Act 46, Parl. 3, Act 106, Parl. 7, Act 24, Parl. 11, K. James 6, doe condemne all Baptisme conform to the Pope’s kirk, and the idolatry of the Masse; and ordaines all sayers, wilfull hearers, and concealers of the Masse, the maintainers and resetters of the Priests, Jesuits, traffiquing Papists, to be punished without any exception or restriction, Act 5, Parl. 1, Act 120, Parl. 12, Act 164, Parl. 13, Act 193, Parl. 14, Act 1, Parl. 19, Act 5, Parl. 20, K. James 6, doe condemne all erroneous books and writs containing erroneous doctrine against the Religion presently professed, or containing superstitious Rites and Ceremonies Papisticall, whereby the people are greatly abused, and ordaines the home-bringers of them to be punished, Act 25, Parl. 11, K. James 6, doe condemne the monuments and dregs of bygane Idolatrie, as going to Crosses, observing the Festivall dayes of Saincts, and such other superstitious and Papisticall Rites, to the dishonour of God, contempt of true Religion, and fostering of great errour among the people, and ordaines the users of them to be punished for the second fault, as Idolaters, Act 104, Parl. 7, K. James 6.

“Like as many Acts of Parlament are conceived for maintenance of God’s true and Christian Religion, and the puritie thereof in Doctrine and Sacraments of the true Church of God, the libertie and freedome thereof, in her Nationall Synodall Assemblies, Presbyteries, Sessions, Policie, Discipline, and Jurisdiction thereof, as that puritie of Religion, and libertie of the Church was used, professed, exercised, preached, and confessed, according to the reformation of Religion in this realme: As, for instance, Act 99, Parl. 7, Act 23, Parl. 11, Act 114, Parl. 12, Act 160, Parl. 13, K. James 6, ratified by Act 4, K. Charles. So that Act 6, Parl. 1, and Act 68, Parl 6 of K. James 6, in the yeare of God 1579, declares the Ministers of the blessed Evangel, whom God, of his mercie, had raised up, or hereafter should raise, agreeing with them that then lived in Doctrine and administration of the Sacraments, and the people that professed Christ, as he was then offered in the Evangel, and doth communicate with the holy Sacraments, (as in the Reformed kirkes of this Realme they were presently administrate,) according to the Confession of Faith, to be the true and holy kirk of Christ Jesus within this Realme, and discernes and declares all and sundrie, who either gainsayes the Word of the Evangel, received and approved as the heads of the Confession of Faith, professed in Parlament in the yeare of God 1560; specified also in the first Parlament of K. James 6, and ratified in this present Parlament, more particularly do specifie; or that refuses the administration of the holy Sacraments, as they were then ministrated, to be no members of the said kirk within this Realme, and true Religion presently professed, so long as they keepe themselves so divided from the societie of Christ’s bodie: And the subsequent Act 69, Parl. 6, K. James 6, declares, That there is no other face of Kirke, nor other face of Religion, then was presently at that time, by the favour of God, established within this Realme, which, therefore, is ever stiled God’s true Religion, Christ’s true Religion, the true and Christian Religion, and a perfect Religion. Which, by manifold Acts of Parlament, all within this Realme, are bound to professe to subscribe the articles thereof, the Confession of Faith, to recant all doctrine and errours repugnant to any of the said Articles, Act 4 and 9, Parl. 1, Act 45, 46, 47, Parl. 3, Act 71, Parl. 6, Act. 106, Parl. 7, Act 24, Parl. 11, Act 123, Parl. 12, Act 194 and 197, Parl. 14, of K. James 6. And all Magistrates, Sheriffes, &c., on the one part, are ordained to search, apprehend, and punish all contraveeners; for instance, Act 5, Parl. 1, Act 104, Parl. 7, Act 25, Parl. 11, K. James 6. And that, notwithstanding of the King’s Majestie’s licences on the contrary, which are discharged and declared to be of no force, in so farre as they tend in any wayes to the prejudice and hinder of the execution of the Acts of Parlament against Papists and adversaries of true Religion, Act 106, parl. 7, K. James 6; on the other part, in the 47 Act, Parl. 3, K. James 6, it is declared and ordained, seeing the cause of God’s true Religion and his Highnesse Authority are so joyned, as the hurt of the one is common to both; and that none shall be reputed as loyall and faithfull subjects to our Sovereigns Lord, or his Authority; but be punishable as rebellers and gainstanders of the same, who shall not give their Confession, and make their profession of the said true Religion; and that they who, after defection, shall give the Confession of their faith of new, they shall promise to continue therein in time comming, to maintaine our Soveraigne Lord’s Authoritie, and at the uttermost of their power to fortifie, assist, and maintaine the true Preachers and Professours of Christ’s Religion, against whatsoever enemies and gainstanders of the same: and, namely, against all such of whatsoever nation, estate, or degree they be of, that have joyned and bound themselves, or have assisted, or assists, to set forward and execute the cruell decrees of Trent, contrary to the Preachers and true Professours of the Word of God, which is repeated word by word in the Articles of Pacification at Pearth, the 23d of February 1572, approved by Parlament the last of Aprill 1573, ratified in12 Parlament 1578, and related, Act 123, Parl. 12 of K. James 6, with this addition, That they are bound to resist all treasonable uproares and hostilities raised against the true Religion, the King’s Majestie, and the true Professours.

“Like as all lieges are bound to maintain the K. Majestie’s Royal Person and authority, the authority of Parlaments, without the which neither any laws or lawful judicatories can be established, Act 130, Act 131, Par. 8, K. Ja. 6, and the subjects’ liberties, who ought only to live and be governed by the King’s lawes, the common lawes of this Realme allanerly, Act 48, Parl. 3, K. James 1, Act 79, Parl. 6, K. James 4, repeated in Act 131, Parl. 8, K. James 6; which, if they be innovated or prejudged, the Commission anent the union of the two Kingdomes of Scotland and England, which is the sole Act of the 17 Parl. of K. James 6, declares such confusion would ensue, as this Realme could be no more a free Monarchie, because by the fundamentall lawes, ancient priviledges, offices, and liberties of this kingdome, not onely the Princely authoritie of his Majestie’s royal discent hath bin these manie ages maintained, but also the people’s securitie of their lands, livings, rights, offices, liberties and dignities preserved; and, therefore, for the preservation of the said true Religion, Lawes, and Liberties of this kingdome, it is statute by Act 6, Parl. 1, repeated in Act 99, Parl. 7, ratified in Act 23, Parl. 11, and 114 Act of K. James 6, and 4 Act of K. Charles, That all Kings and Princes at their Coronation and reception of their princely authoritie, shall make their faithfull promise by their solemn oath in the presence of the eternall God, that enduring the whole time of their lives, they shall serve the same eternall God, to the uttermost of their power, according as he hath required in his most holy Word, contained in the Old and New Testaments. And according to the same Word, shall maintain the true Religion of Christ Jesus, the preaching of his holy Word, the due and right ministration of the Sacraments, now received and preached within this Realme, (according to the Confession of Faith immediately preceding,) and shall abolish and gainstand all false Religion, contrarie to the same, and shall rule the people committed to their charge, according to the will and command of God, revealed in his foresaid Word, and according to the lowable lawes and constitutions received in this Realme, no waies repugnant to the said will of the eternall God, and shall procure, to the uttermost of their power, to the kirk of God, and whole Christian people, true and perfit peace in all time comming; and that they shall be carefull to root out of their Empire all Hereticks, and enemies to the true worship of God, who shall be convicted by the true kirk of God of the foresaid crimes; which was also observed by his Majesty at his Coronation in Edinburgh 1633, as may be seene in the order of the Coronation.

“In obedience to the commandement of God, conform to the practice of the godly in former times, and according to the laudable example of our worthy and religious Progenitors, and of many yet living amongst us, which was warranted also by Act of Councell, commanding a generall Band to bee made and subscribed by his Majestie’s subjects of all ranks, for two causes: One was, for defending the true Religion, as it was then reformed, and is expressed in the Confession of Faith above written, and a former large Confession established by sundrie Acts of lawfull Generall Assemblies and of Parlament, unto which it hath relation set downe in publicke Cathechismes, and which had beene for many yeeres, with a blessing from heaven, preached and professed in this Kirk and Kingdome, as God’s undoubted truth, grounded onely upon his written Word: The other cause was, for maintaining the King’s Majestie his Person and Estate; the true worship of God, and the King’s authoritie being so straightly joyned, as that they had the same friends and common enemies, and did stand and fall together. And, finally, being convinced in our minds, and confessing with our mouthes, that the present and succeeding generations in this Land, are bound to keep the foresaid nationall Oath and subscription inviolable, Wee Noblemen, Barons, Gentlemen Burgesses, Ministers, and Commons under subscribing, considering divers times before, and especially at this time, the danger of the true reformed Religion, of the King’s honour, and of the publicke peace of the Kingdome, by the manifold innovations and evils generally contained and particularly mentioned in our late supplications, complaints, and protestations, doe hereby professe, and, before God, his Angels, and the World, solemnely declare, That, with our whole hearts wee agree and resolve all the daies of our life constantly to adhere unto, and to defend the foresaid true Religion, and forbearing the practice of all novations already introduced in the matters of the worship of God, or approbation of the corruptions of the publick Government of the Kirk, or civill places and power of Kirkmen, till they bee tryed and allowed in free Assemblies, and in Parlaments, to labour by all means lawfull to recover the purity and libertie of the Gospel, as it was established and professed before the foresaid novations: And because, after due examination, we plainly perceive, and undoubtedly beleeve, that the Innovations and evils contained in our Supplications, Complaints, and Protestations have no warrant of the Word of God, are contrary to the Articles of the foresaid Confessions, to the intention and meaning of the blessed Reformers of Religion in this Land, to the above written Acts of Parlament, and doe sensibly tend to the re-establishing of the Popish Religion and tyranny, and to the subversion and ruine of the true Reformed Religion, and of our Liberties, Lawes, and Estates. We also declare, that the foresaid Confessions are to bee interpreted, and ought to be understood of the foresaid novations and evils, no lesse then if everie one of them had beene expressed in the foresaid Confessions; and that wee are obliged to detest and abhorre them, amongst other particular heads of13 Papistrie abjured therein. And, therefore, from the knowledge and conscience of our dutie to God, to our King and countrey, without any worldly respect or inducement, so farre as humane infirmitie will suffer, wishing a further measure of the grace of God for this effect, We promise and sweare, by the Great Name of the LORD our GOD, to continue in the Profession and Obedience of the foresaid Religion: That we shall defend the same, and resist all these contrarie errours and corruptions, according to our vocation, and to the uttermost of that power that God hath put in our hands, all the dayes of our life: And, in like manner, with the same heart, we declare before God and Men, That wee have no intention nor desire to attempt anything that may turne to the dishonour of God, or to the diminution of the King’s Greatnesse and authoritie: But, on the contrarie, wee promise and sweare, that wee shall, to the uttermost of our power, with our meanes and lives, stand to the defence of our dread Sovereign, the King’s Majestie, his person and authoritie, in the defence and preservation of the foresaid true Religion, Liberties, and Lawes of the Kingdome: As, also, to the mutuall defence and assistance, everie one of us of another in the same cause of maintaining the true Religion, and his Majestie’s authoritie, with our best counsell, our bodies, meanes, and whole power, against all sorts of persons whatsoever. So that, whatsoever shall be done to the least of us for that cause, shall be taken as done to us all in generall, and to everie one of us in particular. And that wee shall neither directly nor indirectly suffer ourselves to be divided or withdrawn by whatsoever suggesttion, combination, allurement, or terrour, from this blessed and loyall conjunction, nor shall cast in any let or impediment that that may stay or hinder any such resolution, as by common consent shall be found to conduce for so good ends. But, on the contrarie, shall, by all lawfull meanes, labour to further and promove the same; and if any such, dangerous and divisive motion be made to us by word or writ, wee, and everie one of us, shall either suppresse it, or, if need be, shall incontinent make the same known, that it may bee timeously obviated; neither do we feare the foule aspersions of rebellion, combination, or what else our adversaries, from their craft and malice would put upon us, seeing what we do is so well warranted, and ariseth from an unfained desire to maintaine the true worship of God, the majestie of our King, and the peace of the Kingdome, for the common happinesse of ourselves and posteritie. And because we cannot look for a blessing from God upon our proceedings, except with our profession and subscription we joyne such a life and conversation, as beseemeth Christians, who have renewed their Covenant with God; Wee therefore faithfully promise, for ourselves, our followers, and all others under us, both in publicke, in our particular families and personall carriage, to endevour to keep ourselves within the bounds of Christian libertie, and to be good examples to others of all Godlinesse, Sobernesse, and Righteousness, and of everie dutie we owe to God and Man. And that this our Union and Conjunction may bee observed without violation, we call the living God, the Searcher of our Hearts, to witnesse, who knoweth this to be our sincere Desire, and unfained Resolution, as wee shall answer to JESUS CHRIST in the great day, and under the paine of God’s everlasting wrath, and of infamie, and of losse of all honour and respect in this World. Most humblie beseeching the LORD, to strengthen us by his Holy Spirit for this end, and to blesse our desires and proceedings with a happie success, that Religion and Righteousnesse may flourish in the land, to the glorie of God, the honour of our King, and peace and comfort of us all. In witnesse whereof we have subscribed with our hands alt the premisses,” &c.

After much deliberation, and the reconcilement of many scruples of conscience and difficulties among the various classes of Presbyterians, this elaborate and solemn compact and vow was publicly promulgated, and, for the first time, sworn in Edinburgh, on the 28th of February 1633.20 An immense concourse of spectators assembled in the Greyfriars’ church and churchyard, at an early hour, on the morning of that day; and at two o’clock, Rothes and Loudon of the nobility, Henderson and Dickson of the clergy, and Johnston, their legal adviser, arrived with the Covenant ready for signature. Henderson began the solemnities of the day with prayer, and Loudon followed in an oration of great courage and power; after which, about four o’clock, the Earl of Sutherland was the first to step forward and inscribe his name on the Covenant; and he was immediately followed by Sir Andrew Murray, a minister at Abdy in Fife, and all who were within the church; after which it was laid out on a flat gravestone in the churchyard, and signed, till the parchment was full, by persons of all ranks, sexes, and ages, with uplifted hands, and consecrated by solemn invocations to heaven, and with such demonstrations of enthusiasm as it is difficult, in these latter times, to imagine. It was a day, as piously and eloquently described by Henderson, in which the people in multitudes offered themselves to the service of Heaven “like the dew drops in the morning”—“wherein the arm of the Lord was revealed”—and “the Princes of the people assembled to swear allegiance to the King of kings.”

These impressive proceedings did not terminate till nine o’clock in the evening; but the next day copies14 of the Covenant were laid open through the city and signed, with very few exceptions, by all the people. They were transmitted through all the provincial towns and parishes; and, unless, by a few at St Andrew’s, Aberdeen, and Glasgow, the Covenant was hailed with mingled emotions of devotion and patriotism, such as, perhaps, never either before or since pervaded any nation with such simultaneous unanimity. Its spirit spread far and wide over the land like fire over its heath-clad hills, penetrating the shadows which brooded in the firmament; and, as the fiery cross was wont to be the signal for array in feudal strife, it summoned the sons of the hill and the dale to prepare their swords, should these be needed, for combat in a holier cause—subduing, with unexampled power, the hereditary feuds of hostile clans, and combining the whole nation into one mighty phalanx of incalculable energy.

It is unnecessary, in this place, to trace all the turnings and windings of the tortuous policy by which, after this decisive demonstration of physical, as well as of moral strength, King Charles and his abettors endeavoured, for some months, to break down this great combination. Every variety of intrigue, and every artifice for procrastination, was employed to divide the Covenanters, and quell the spirit which had thus been evoked by his arbitrary proceedings; and the duplicity of Charles, in holding forth terms of accommodation, while he was preparing to crush Scotland by force of arms, is a fact fully demonstrated by many documents of unquestionable authenticity, which leaves one of the deepest stains that still rest on the memory of that misguided and unfortunate monarch. On one occasion when the Marquis of Hamilton came from Court, on a pretended amicable mission as the King’s Commissioner, he was received at his entrance by 60,000 of his Majesty’s Scottish subjects, including nearly all the nobility, gentry, and 600 clergymen, in a body, whose line extended from Musselburgh to the outskirts of the Metropolis; presenting a spectacle which moved the Commissioner even to tears, and drew from him a wish, that his monarch had but witnessed such a host of his subjects, seeking only the enjoyment of their civil and religious liberties.

After many ineffectual attempts, by intimidation and artifice, to dissolve this league, and to break asunder the ties by which the Covenanters were bound together—after issuing new proclamations for the enforcement of the Liturgy, and the rotten Episcopacy of Scotland, and again in trepidation recalling these—after attempting, by a revival of the Covenant and Confession of the former reign, with hollow and equivocal terms intermixed with it, to counteract the National Covenant—and, after essaying to beguile the Covenanters by conceding to them a General Assembly of the Church and a Parliament, fettered, however, with such conditions as would have rendered these but a repetition of the corrupt and packed assemblages which, from 1606 to 1618, inclusive, had, under the management of his father, subverted the law of the land and the liberties of the Church—Charles was at length constrained to bow before a spirit which he could neither quell nor conquer. Hamilton, after various journeys betwixt the Court and Scotland, at last arrived at Dalkeith on the 16th of August; and, after anxious consultations with the Privy Council during several days, that body, with the royal sanction, at length abandoned the policy which he had endeavoured to enforce, and two acts were proclaimed—the one indicting a General Assembly at Glasgow on the 21st of November following, and another summoning a Parliament to be held at Edinburgh on the 15th of May 1639; and, at the same time, a declaration by the King was proclaimed, discharging the use of the Service Book, Books of Canons, High Commission, and Articles of the Perth Assembly—ordaining free entry to ministers, and subjecting the bishops to the jurisdiction of the General Assembly. A sort of amnesty also was passed, and a fast appointed to be held, on the fourteenth day before the Assembly, for a peaceable end to the distractions of the country.21

And thus the people of Scotland achieved a vindication of their laws and liberties, without one human life being sacrificed, or one drop of blood being shed; after years of deep dissimulation, was Charles constrained, by a great national confederacy, to yield in the end, all that his subjects had required at his hands as their sovereign. The conflict, however, was not yet terminated, and it continued, with many varieties of fortune, through future years. But the purpose for which the preceding narrative has been given being attained, it would be premature to prosecute these historical details further at present. Such a preliminary statement, however, appeared to be necessary, in order to clear the way for the Proceedings of the first General Assembly of the Church which had taken place during the long space of thirty-six years; for, although there had been six nominal assemblies during that interval,22 these were so overborne by royal interference, and illegal and unwarrantable intrusions, that they were all essentially illegal, and were afterwards held to be null and void for ever.

In bringing the Proceedings of the Assembly 1638, under the reader’s notice, it is deemed expedient to do so by embodying in these pages a very interesting account of the meeting of the Assembly, from the Journals of Principal Baillie, who was a member of it, and whose volumes, referable to those times, are considered of the highest authority by all succeeding historians. His account of the Assembly, up to the time that the Court was constituted by the election of a Moderator and Clerk, is all that is meant to be given in this place.

“Notwithstanding the indiction,” says Baillie, “our hopes were but slender ever to see the downsitting15 of our passionately-desired Assembly with the Commissioner’s consent, for daily he found himself more and more disappointed in his expectation to obtain these things which it seems he put the King in hopes might be gotten. Episcopacy to be put in place of safety, above the reach of the Assembly’s hand, was now seen to be impossible, if his engines for this purpose, by the skill of his party, was turned back upon him. The Council had subscribed the King’s Covenant, as it was exponed at the first in the 1581 year. His declaration, that Episcopacy was then in our Church, and will, that the Assembly should be discharged to meddle in the trial of this matter, could not be gotten concluded in a Council act. Sundry of the Lords of the Session being required to subscribe the Covenant in that his sense, refused; with a protestation, that the exposition of these parts which might make for or against Episcopacy, should be referred to the determination of the ensuing Assembly. Noblemen and ministers did not dissemble their mind in their discourse of the unlawfulness, at least the inexpediency, of this office in our Church, and so their design by any means to have it presently put down. This put his Grace in great perplexity; for he conceived, as some said, by the words and writs of sundry of our nobles of chief respect, that the Assembly might have been gotten persuaded to establish, at least to permit, or pass by untouched, that office: when the contrary appeared, he was at a nonplus; for his instructions had made the place of bishops a noli me tangere; but their persons were permitted to the doom of the severest mouth among us, where their miscarrying had required censure. His next disappointment was in the matter of the Covenant. He thought to have gotten the King’s Covenant universally subscribed, and ratified hereafter in the Assembly; so that the other, which had been subscribed by us before, might be quietly, without any infamous condemning of it, suppressed and buried. But far above and against all his thoughts, that Covenant was universally refused; and, among these few that put their hands to it, divers avowed their mind, in all things, to be the same with those who had sworn the first. The missing of this intention increased his Grace’s malcontentment. In two other designs also he found himself much deceived. He thought, an act for the freedom of the practice of Perth Articles, might have contented us; and without condemning the matters themselves, before the Parliament by supplication had been brought to the casing of the standing law; but an universal inclination appeared in all to have the things themselves tried without delay, and acts presently found anent them, as their nature required. Sicklike his instructions carried him to the removal of the high commission, books of canons, ordination, service, but to reason or condemn anything contained in any of them, which might have reflected against any public order, or anything practised or allowed by my Lord of Canterbury and his followers, in England or elsewhere. We in no case could be content, except we were permitted to examine all that were in these books, their matter now being the avowed doctrine of many in our Church; and since we found the articles of Arminius, with many points of the grossest Popery, in the books, sermons, and discourses of our bishops and ministers, we were resolved to have these doctrines censured as they deserved, without any sparing with respect to any person who maintained them.

“The Commissioner, finding himself mistaken in all these, and many more of his designs, was afraid to labour to discharge the Assembly before it began, or at least to mar it so, if it sat down, that it should do no good. We referred to this intention his diligence to find subscribers to protestations against the assembly. We heard by our opposites of huge numbers of thir; yet when it came to the proof, there were but few who could be moved to put their hands to such an act; yea, not one who durst avow it, and reason the lawfulness of their deed. Some twenty hands at most were at the bishops’ declinature opposite to our covenant. A few others, especially eight of the Presbytery of Glasgow, (who, to the Commissioner’s great discontent, refused to adhere,) made forms of protestations by themselves; but to no purpose. From this same intention, we alleged, flowed the putting to the horn, some days before our sitting, all these commissioners of the nobles, gentry, ministers, who, for any civil cause or pretence, could be gotten denounced, that so the synod should be deprived of many members. This practice was so new, and so strong reasons given in, why this kind of horning should hinder none from voicing in a synod, that no use was or durst be made of any such exception; only the Treasurer’s good-will, by the invention, was collected to be but small toward our cause. A proclamation also was made, that none should come to the place of the Assembly but such as were members; and that in a peaceable manner. We protested, all might come who had interest, of party, witnesses, voters, assessors, complainers, or whatever way; and that every man might come with such retinue and equipage as the Lords of Council should give example.

“These, and many more occurrences, put us in a continual fear of the Assembly’s discharge; yet the King’s word was engaged so deeply, proclamations, publick fastings at his command, had already past; and mainly the King’s thought, that the inserting what he had granted, anent the service-book, canons, and Perth articles, in the Assembly’s books, would give some contentment to the people, and disengage his promise of an assembly, though nothing more should be granted: these, and such considerations, made the Assembly sit down, contrary to all our fears, and a fair face to be made for a while by the Commissioner, as if he intended nothing else, and confidently expected his sitting till all questions should be peaceably decided for the content of all.

“On Friday, the 16th of November, we in the west, as were desired, came to Glasgow; our noblemen, especially Eglinton, backed with great numbers of16 friends and vassals. We were informed, that the Commissioner and counsellors were to take up the town with a great number of their followers. So the nearest noblemen and gentlemen were desired to come in that night well attended. The town expected and provided for huge multitudes of people, and put on their houses and beds excessive prices; but the diligence of the magistrates, and the vacancy of many rooms, quickly moderated that excess. We were glad to see such order, and large provision, above all men’s expectation; for which the town got much thanks and credit. It can lodge easily, at once, Council, Session, Parliament, and General Assembly, if need should require.

“On Saturday most of our eastland noblemen, barons, and ministers, came in. In the afternoon, the Lord Commissioner with most of the council came. The Earls of Rothes, Montrose, and many of our folks, went out to meet his Grace. Much good speech was among them; we protesting, that we would crave nothing but what clear scripture, reason, and law, would evince. His Grace assured nothing reasonable should be denied. On Sunday afternoon, some of the wisest of the ministry consulted upon the ordering of affairs. For myself, I resolved not to be a meddler in anything. I was well lodged. I had brought in a trunk full of my best books and papers. I resolved to read and write, and study as hard as I could all incident questions. On Monday the ministry met in three divers places; for no one private place could contain us. Out of every meeting three were chosen, nine in all, to be privy to hear references from the nobility, barons, burrows, to ripen and prepare what was to be proponed in public. We laid it on Mr Alexander Somervail, an old half-blind man, sore against his heart, to preach on Tuesday. He did pretty well. He insisted at length on the extirpation of all bishops, little to the contentment of some, but greatly to the mind of the most. Our privy consultation was about the clerk and the moderator. We were somewhat in suspense about Mr Alexander Henderson. He was incomparably the ablest man of us all for all things. We doubted if the moderator might be a disputer; we expected then much dispute with the bishops and Aberdeen doctors. We thought our loss great, and hazardous to lose our chief champion, by making him to be a judge of the party; yet at last, finding no other man who had parts requisite to the present moderation, (for in Messrs Ramsay, Dick, Adamson, Pollock, Cant, Livingston, Bonner, Cunningham, there were some things evidently wanting,) we resolved that Mr Henderson of necessity behoved to be the man. Mr Johnston to us all was a nonsuch for a clerk.

“In the afternoon, Rothes, with some commissioners, went to the Commissioner, shewing, that the custom of our Church was, to begin her Assemblies with solemn fasting; also, that in absence of the former moderator, the oldest minister of the bounds or moderator of the place, used to preach, and moderate the action till another be chosen; that old Mr John Bell, for the reverence of his person, let be the other considerations, was meet to begin so great an affair. His Grace agreed presently to the fast. To the other motion he shewed, that it was his place to nominate the preacher to begin the action; that he knew none more worthy of that honour than the man they named; that he should think upon it. After an hour, he sent Dr Balcanqual to Mr John, desiring him to preach on the Wednesday, and moderate till another was chosen. On Tuesday after sermon the fast was intimated, and preaching in all the churches to-morrow. In the afternoon, we, in our meeting, appointed preachers for all the churches, as we did so long as we remained in town, for we took it to be our place. However, Mr John Maxwell refused to lend his pulpit to any so long as the Commissioner staid; and craved of his Grace, that none might come there but himself. So for the two first Sundays, before and after noon, Mr John took the High Church, and preached after his fashion, nothing to the matter in hand, so ambiguously that himself knew best to what side he inclined. I moved in our meeting, that in our advertisements, at least, we might follow the course of Dort, the commissioners from one presbytery should have their ordinary meetings to advise together of any matter of importance; for there were five from every presbytery, three ministers, one from the shire and one from the burgh, which might help one another in consideration. This was applauded. But when we came to the action, this and sundry other good overtures could not be got followed. Every man behoved to do for himself. Private association could not be gotten kept. We intended to have had sermon in the afternoon, where we were, in the great church, and so to have delayed the opening of the synod till the morrow; but danger being found in law to delay the synod to another day than the king had appointed, we resolved to let the people continue in their humiliation in the other churches; but presently after sermon in the morning, we, the members of the synod, thought meet to begin our business.

“1. On Wednesday, the 21st of November, with much ado could we throng into our places, an evil which troubled us much the first fourteen days of our sitting. The magistrates, with their town-guard, the noblemen, with the assistance of the gentry, whilst the Commissioner in person, could not get us entry to our rooms, use what force, what policy they could, without such delay of time and thrusting through, as grieved and offended us. Whether this evil be common to all nations at all public confluences, or if it be proper to the rudeness of our nation alone, or whether in thir late times, and admiration of this new reformation, have at all publick meetings stirred up a greater than ordinary zeal in the multitude to be present for hearing and seeing, or what is the special cause of this irremediable evil, I do not know; only I know my special offence for it, and wish it remeided above any evil that ever I knew in the service of God17 among us. As yet no appearance of redress. It is here alone, I think, we might learn from Canterbury, yea, from the Pope, yea, from the Turks or Pagans, modesty and manners; at least their deep reverence in the house they call God’s, ceases not till it have led them to the adoration of the timber and stones of the place. We are here so far the other way, that our rascals, without shame, in great numbers, makes such din and clamour in the house of the true God, that if they minted to use the like behaviour in my chamber, I would not be content till they were down the stairs.

“When, with great difficulty, we were set down, the Commissioner in his chair of state; at his feet, before, and on both sides, the chief of the Council—the Treasurer, Privy Seal, Argyle, Marr, Murray, Angus, Lauderdale, Wigton, Glencairn, Perth, Tullibardine, Galloway, Haddington, Kinghorn, Register, Treasurer-Depute, Justice-General, Amont, Justice-Clerk, Southesk, Linlithgow, Dalziel, Dumfries, Queensberry, Belhaven, and more; at a long table in the floor, our noblemen and barons, elders of parishes, Commissioners from Presbyteries, Rothes, Montrose, Eglinton, Cassils, Lothian, Wemyss, Loudon, Sinclair, Balmerino Burleigh, Lindsay, Yester, Hume, Johnston, Keir, Auldbar, Sir William Douglas of Cavers, Durie, younger, Lamington, Sir John Mackenzie, George Gordon, Philorth, Tairie, Newton. Few Barons in Scotland of note but were either voters or assessors, from every burgh, the chief burghs; from Edinburgh, James Cochran and Thomas Paterson; from all the sixty-three Presbyteries, three Commissioners, except a very few; from all the four Universities, also, sitting on good commodious forms, rising up five or six degrees, going round about the low long table. A little table was set in the middle, fornent the Commissioner, for the Moderator and Clerk. At the end, an high room, prepared chiefly for young noblemen, Montgomery, Fleming, Boyd, Areskine, Linton, Creichton, Livingston, Ross, Maitland, Drumlanrig, Drummond, Keir, Elcho, and sundry more, with huge numbers of people, ladies, and some gentlewomen, in the vaults above. Mr John Bell had a very good and pertinent sermon, sharp enough against our late novations and Episcopacy. The pity was, the good old man was not heard by a sixth part of the beholders. That service ended, Mr John came down to the little table, began the Synod with hearty prayer; which I seconded with affectionate tears, and many more, I trust, with me. My Lord gave in his commission to Mr Thomas Sandilands, as deputed by his father, Mr J. Sandilands, commissar of Aberdeen, clerk to the last General Assembly. His Grace harangued none at all, as we expected he would. We found him oft, thereafter, as able to have spoken well what he pleased, as any in the house. I take the man to be of a sharp, ready, solid, clear wit; of a brave and masterly expression; loud, distinct, slow, full, yet concise, modest, courtly, yet simple and natural language. If the King have many such men, he is a well-served Prince. My thoughts of the man before that time, were hard and base; but a day or two’s audience wrought my mind to a great change towards him, which yet remains, and ever will, till his deeds be notoriously evil. His commission was in Latin, after a common, legal, and demi-barbarous style; ample enough for settling all our disorders, had not a clause containing instructions made it to restrict and serve ill. I have not yet got the copy. After this, our commissions were given in to the Moderator and Clerk, for the time, almost every one in the same tenor and words, containing a power from the Presbytery to the three ministers and one elder, to reason, vote, and conclude, in their name, in all things to be proponed, according to the word of God, and the Confession of Faith of the Church of Scotland, as we shall be answerable to God and the Church. The Presbyteries, Burghs, Universities, were called after the order of some roll of the old Assemblies, not of the latter. This was the labour of the first day.

“2. On Thursday, the second diet, we had no scant of protestations; more than a round dozen were enacted. After long delay, and much thronging, being set in our places, the Moderator, for the time, offered to my Lord Commissioner a leet, whereupon voices might pass for the election of a new Moderator. Here arose the toughest dispute we had in all the Assembly. His Grace, the Treasurer, Sir Lewis Stewart, (for, after the rencounter I wrote of at the Council table, the Advocate’s service was no more required, but Sir Lewis used in his room,) reasoning and pressing with great eagerness, that, in the first place, before any Synodical action, the commissions might be discussed, lest any should voice as Commissioners whose commission was null, at least not tried to be valid. This was a ready way to turn the Assembly upside down, and to put us in a labyrinth inextricable: for, before the constitution of the Synod, the Commissioner would have so drawn in the deepest questions—such as the power of elders, the state of ministers censured by Bishops, and many moe, which himself alone behoved to determine, no Assembly being constitute for the discussion of any question. Against this motion, as rooting up all possibility ever to settle any Assembly, but at the Commissioner’s simple discretion, Rothes, Loudon, (Balmerino, through all the Assembly resolved to be well near mute,) Dickson, Livingston, Henderson, reasoned, that custom, equity, and necessity, did enforce the chusing a moderator and clerk before the commissions be discussed, or anything else done. After much subtle, accurate, and passionate pleading—for both sides had prepared themselves, it seems, for this plea—the Commissioner craved leave to retire with the council for advisement. After a long stay in the chapterhouse, returning, he was content to permit voicing for the moderator; with protestation, That this voicing should not import his approbation of the commissions of any voicer against whom he was to propone any just exception in due time, or his acknowledgement18 of any voicer for a lawful member of the Assembly. His Grace required instruments also of another protestation, That the nomination of a moderator should be no ways prejudicial to the lords of the clergy, their office, dignity, or any privilege which law or custom had given them. Against both thir, Rothes took two instruments, in name of the commissioners from presbyteries and burghs, protesting, That his Grace’s protestations should in nothing prejudge the lawfulness of any commission against which no just nullity should be objected in the time of the trial of the commissions; also, that his Grace’s second protestation should not hinder the discussing the nature of the office, and the alledged privileges of the pretended bishops, in this present assembly. Lord Montgomery, in name of the pursuers of the complaint against the bishops, protested, That his Grace’s protestation should not be prejudicial to the discussing in this present assembly, of their complaints against the persons, titles, dignities, and privileges of the pretended bishops. Mr Jo. Bell urged the voicing for the moderator; but his Grace shewed, that there was presented to him a paper, in name of the bishops, which he required then to be read. Here also was some sharp reasoning. Divers alledged, that no bill, supplication, protestation, or whatsoever, should be read to the Assembly, before it was an Assembly; but immediately after the Assembly’s constitution, it should be in his Grace’s option to cause read that paper of the Bishops, or any other, to which the Assembly’s answer should be returned. After reasoning and requesting, his Grace used his authority to require the reading of the paper. At once there arose a tumultuous clamour of a multitude crying, No reading! No reading! This barbarous crying offended the Commissioner, and the most of all. Silence being gotten, his Grace protested, That the refusal of hearing that paper was unjust. Rothes also required acts of his protestation, in name of the commissioners, That the refusal was just and necessary. All being wearied with the multiplication of protestations, except the Clerk, who with every one received a piece of gold, his Grace, whether in earnest or in scorn, protested of our injury in calling the Lords Bishops pretended, whom yet the acts of Parliament authorized. Rothes, in our name, protested, That they behoved to be taken for pretended, till this Assembly had tried the challenges which were given in against all their alledged prerogatives. How needless soever many of his Grace’s protestations seemed to be, yet I was glad for his way of proceeding. It gave me some hopes of his continuance among us. I thought that this way of protesting had been resolved wisely in council, whereby the Commissioner might sit still till the end, and yet, by his presence, import no farther approbation to any of our conclusions than he found expedient. By appearance this course had been much better than that abrupt departure, which his posterior instructions, to all our griefs, and the great marring of the King’s designs, forced him to. Mr John Bell again presented his leet for moderation. His Grace shewed, that his Majesty had written letters to six of the counsellors, Treasurer, Privy Seal, Argyle, Lauderdale, Carnegie, and Sir Lewis Stewart, as I think, to be his assessors, not only for council, but voicing in the synod. Argyle’s letter was publickly read, that this his Majesty’s desire should be condescended to before any farther proceeding. It was replied, with all respect to the worthy nobles named, That my Lord Marquis, in the produced commission, was appointed sole Commissioner; that assessors were only for council, and not for multiplication of voices; that the King in person could require but one voice; that the giving of more voices to the assessors might give way, not only to very many, as in some unallowable assemblies it had been, but to so many as by plurality might oversway all. Against this refusal his Grace protested, with some grief; and we also, desiring that our reasons might be inserted without protestation. At last we were permitted to chuse the Moderator. Mr John Ker, Mr John Row, Mr J. Bonner, Mr William Livingston, and Mr Alexander Henderson, were put in the leet by Mr John Bell; for the leeting of the new is in the hands of the old. Messrs Ramsay, Pollock, and Dickson, for withdrawing of votes, were holden off. All, without exception, went upon the last, as in the most of our matters there was no diversity at all, or, where any, it was but of a few. I remember not how his Grace voiced; but it was his custom to voice rather by way of permission than to say anything that might import his direct assent; for it seemed he resolved to keep himself, in all his words and deeds, so free, that he might, when he would, disavow all that was done, or to be done, in that Assembly. Mr Henderson being chosen with so full accord, made a pretty harangue, whether off-hand or premeditated, I know not. There was a conclusion taken that night, after some reasoning to the contrary, to have but one session in the day, to sit from ten or eleven, to four or five. So we were all relieved of the expenses of a dinner. An only breakfast put us all off till supper; for commonly we sat an hour with candle-light. We ended this day with the Moderator’s prayers. Among that man’s other good parts, that was one—a faculty of grave, good, and zealous prayer, according to the matter in hand; which he exercised, without fagging, to the last day of our meeting.

“3. In our third session, on Friday November 23, the Moderator presented a leet to be voiced for chusing the Clerk. Here a longer dispute than needed fell out betwixt the Commissioner and the Moderator, whom Rothes, but especially Loudon, did second. The Commissioner, whether of true intent to have a base clerk, of whose submissiveness to their injunctions they might be hopeful, or to shew his piety and equity to see every one kept in their right, where he had place, though he professed small obligation to the young man, who, for19 no entreaty, would be pleased to shew him any blink of the Assembly’s books; yet pressed much that the young man, Mr Thomas Sandilands, might serve here, as his father, Mr James Sandilands, Commissar of Aberdeen, his depute, since his father’s decease could not spoil him of an advantageous office, whereto he was provided ad vitam. Yet it was carried, that since his father was not provided to that office but by Mr Thomas Nicolson’s demission, and a corrupt Assembly’s consent, without any mention of deputation; also, since he was so infirm as he was unable to attend the service, and unwilling to reside at Edinburgh, where the registers of the Church behoved to lie; for thir, and many other reasons, the clerk’s place was found to be vacant. Consideration was promised to be had of Mr Thomas Sandiland’s interest, which he submitted to the Assembly’s discretion. In the leet, Mr Thomas was first, after John Nicol, and Alexander Blair, and Mr Archibald Johnston. The Commissioner would not voice to any of them, because he saw no lawful demission of the former clerk. The Moderator then took his Grace for a non liquet. Yesternight’s plea was here renewed. His Grace required that his assessor’s voice might be craved in the clerk’s election: the Moderator thought it unfit to trouble their Lordships to voice about a clerk, since they did not voice to the choosing of the Moderator, a superior office. Many words were here spent, till at last reasons in writ were produced, why the Commissioner and his assessors should have but one voice. I thought, in the time, these reasons were of an high strain, and some of them struck deeper on authority than I could have wished. Traquair craved a double of them, and promised an answer; but the subsequent affairs, or somewhat else, hindered that answer yet to appear. This high, yea highest question, (for in all the Assembly we had nothing else that concerned authority,) was closed by the renewing of yesternight’s protestation, on both sides.

“The leet put to voicing, Mr Archibald Johnston, by all save one, was elected. Being deeply sworn, he was admitted to all the rights, profits, privileges, which any in former time had enjoyed by that place: To him, Mr James Sandilands, in face of the Assembly, delivered two registers, which contained the acts of the kirk since the year 1590, testifying that his father had never any more in his custody. The Moderator required all earnestly to procure the production of any of the church-registers that could be had; for the loss of such a treasure as the Church’s evidence, was pitiful. His Grace protested his willingness to do his endeavour for so good a work. Rothes intreated that the Bishops might be caused deliver what they had: for it was known that King James had sent a warrant to Mr Thomas Nicolson, late Clerk, to deliver to the Bishop of St Andrew’s, the Registers of the Church. After much regretting the irreparable loss of these writs, the new Clerk declared, that by the good providence of God, these books they spake of were come to his hands, which he there produced to all our great joy. Five books in folio, four written and subscribed, and margined with the known hands of one Gray and Ritchie, clerks to the General Assembly, containing the full register from the Reformation in 1560, to the year 1590, where Mr Thomas Sandilands’s books began, except some leaves which Bishop Adamson had torn out. Thir one Winram, depute to Mr Thomas Nicolson, had left to one Alexander Blair, his successor in office, from whom Mr Johnston had got them. The first was an extract, by way of compend, from the 1560 to the 1590, whereby, in a good part, the twenty-three leaves of Adamson’s rapine might be restored. The moderator craved that these books might be sighted by Argyle, Lauderdale, and Southesk: but the Commissioner would not permit his assessors to undertake such employment, since they were refused to voice in the Assembly; but he was content that a committee of the members of the synod should be named, to try if these books were authentick and full registers. So Mr Andrew Ramsay, Mr John Adamson, Mr James Bonner, Mr John Row, Mr William Livingston, Mr Robert Murray, with young Durie, the clerk of Dundee, and Mr Alexander Pierson, advocate, were appointed to their report and reasons, as soon as they could. The moderator then required, that for the Assembly’s full constitution, the commissions might be put to trial. But the commissioner caused D. Hamilton first to be called, and present his paper to be read. His Grace urged much, that, since the former objections were removed, of the want of a moderator and clerk, the paper might now be read. It was replied, over and over, that it could not be, till by the discussion of the commissions the Assembly were constitute. Traquair pressed—That the paper possibly had exceptions against the lawfulness of the election of the commissioners, which were impertinent to alledge, if once they were approven. The Commissioner assured, he knew not what was in these papers; but, presupposing they were formed for the opening of the eyes of those who were to voice anent the members of the Assembly, it was the only time to read them before the voicing. Rothes replied—That exception against particular commissioners might not be proponed, until the trial of their commissions; and exceptions against the whole Assembly could not be heard till it were an Assembly. The moderator added, that if in that paper there were any light to open their eyes, they should shortly profess their repentence of their error in not reading it, when it was required. His Grace protested—That this not reading before the trial of the commissions, should import no prejudice to the lords of the clergy, and their adherents; and of this protestation he required an act from the new clerk’s hand. The clerk said, he could write no act without the Assembly’s warrant, and it could give no warrant till once it was in being. The Commissioner then required instruments, in my Lord Register’s hands, of his protestation, since the clerk refused. The clerk shewed his willingness, at the20 moderator’s directions, to write his Grace’s protestation; but might give no extracts till the Assembly were constitute. In the forming of this protestation, the clerk, I thought, was to seek in that; his wit he kythed ever thereafter; the act behoved to be formed and reformed; the commissioner and the clerk shaped it over and over again, ere they could fall on a fashion which his Grace could like. This made me pity Johnston, and think him the better advocate than clerk; but the youth’s tried sufficiency in both the acts proves my mistaking, or at least that this intake in the first entry to his office was but occasional, and merely accidental.

“In the progress of this dispute his Grace shewed the necessity that was laid on him, in this passage, to be punctually circumspect, for howbeit he was a great Commissioner; yet he was but a poor subject and servant, liable to account for all his service. Much reasoning was that the bishops’ exceptions against the judges should be heard, before they were acknowledged and constitute for judges. When Traquair and Loudon had harped on this string a while, Argyle lends in his word, that a party gives in their exceptions against the assize before it be sworn; so why might not the bishops give in their exceptions against the Assembly, which now was like an assize, called and conveened, but not yet sworn? The moderator cuttedly, (as the man naturally hath a little choler, not yet quite extinguished,) answered—That the Commissioner, his Grace, was of great sufficiency himself; that he only should speak there; that they could not answer to all the exceptions that a number of witty noblemen could propone; that these who were not commissioners would do well to inform his Grace of what they thought meet, in convenient time. This check, I believe, was intended more for others than for Argyle, who would have taken it worse if it had fallen on their fingers. Always Loudon took it off in a quick jest, that my Lord Argyle’s instance was good, if the bishops had compeared as pannelled men before an assize. This wearisome plea ended that day’s action, for his Grace acquiesced in his protestation.”

Having thus, by the foregoing notes and extracts, in some measure prepared the general reader for entering on an examination of the Acts and Proceedings of the General Assembly of 1638, it only remains that we should explain the arrangement which we have adopted in digesting the subject-matter of these pages; and, in stating the following outline of that arrangement, with respect to one Assembly, it is right to state, that we mean to follow out the same plan with regard to all the years that follow. In reference, then, to this first Assembly, we shall present our materials in the following order, viz.:—

I. The Acts of the Assembly, which were extracted by the Clerk, and printed in the year 1639.

II. An Abstract of the Proceedings, and a List or Index of all the Acts of the Assembly, authenticated by Archibald Johnston the Clerk, copied from an extract thereof under his hand, which is deposited in the Advocates’ Library.

III. Historical Documents relative to the events which occurred in Scotland betwixt 1633, and the sitting of the Assembly in Nov. 1638.

IV. A Report of the Discussions in that Assembly, from an unpublished contemporary M.S.

V. Notes and Illustrations of these proceedings, derived from contemporary and collateral sources.

In closing these introductory remarks, we must guard ourselves against the possible imputation of being blind and indiscriminate admirers of the Covenanters. We are fully alive to all the exceptionable points in their character and career; and we should have studied our country’s history and human nature very superficially indeed, if we had not, long ere now, discovered the infirmities and obliquities which were mingled with their higher attributes. It cannot be doubted by any man who has studied the history of the period of which we have given a rapid sketch, that they often swerved from what was the straight path of rectitude; and it is impossible to peruse even the most partial narrative of their consultations, without also discerning, in the policy and proceedings of the Covenanters, the alloy of selfish interests and grovelling passions—the fumes of fanaticism, the unrectified workings of a semi-barbarous spirit, and much democratic insolence. There was withal a tone of preternatural sanctity assumed, which savours strongly of hypocrisy in many of the individuals who figured in their counsels. But, after giving full effect to all these deductions from their merits, we can never forget that these deformities were, in a great measure, created and brought prominently into view by circumstances which rendered it almost impossible that such characteristics should not have been called into existence. We can never forget that they were goaded into the courses which they pursued by an unjustifiable series of aggressions on the dearest interests of human beings—by an open and outrageous assumption of arbitrary power over the lives, property, and liberties, civil and religious, of the country; and that their numerous loyal and dutiful supplications for redress and security, were treated with duplicity and contempt. And above all, we can never forget that it is to the noble stand which was made by the Covenanters of Scotland against arbitrary power and Popish tyranny in disguise, two hundred years ago, that we are, in a great measure, indebted for the enjoyment of the invaluable Protestant Institutions in Church and State which we now possess, and which, in the course of time, and from new combinations of causes, seem, in the present day, to be once more exposed to similar perils. May the present generation, in the maintenance of these precious institutions, avoid those errors—the simulation and the intolerance of former times—and may their patriotism be elevated to purity by imitating only the virtues of the Scottish Covenanters!

THE
PRINCIPALL ACTS
OF THE
SOLEMNE GENERALL ASSEMBLY
OF THE
KIRK OF SCOTLAND,
Indicted by the Kings Majestie, and conveened at Glasgow the XXI. of Nov. 1638; Visied, Collected, and Extracted forth of the Register of the Acts of the Assembly, by the Clerk thereof. Edinburgh, printed by the Heirs of Andrew Hart. Anno Dom. 1639.

The King’s Commission to James Marquesse of Hamiltoun.23
CAROLUS Dei gratia, Magnæ Britanniæ, Franciæ, & Hiberniæ Rex, fidcique Defensor, Omnibus probis hominibus suis ad quos præsentes literæ pervenerint, Salutem. Sciatis nos considerantes magnos in hoc regno nostro Scotiæ non ita pridem exortos tumultus, ad quos quidem componendos multiplices regiæ nostræ voluntatis declaretiones promulgavimus, quæ tamen minorem spe nostrâ effectum hactenus sortitæ sunt: Et nunc statuentes ex pio erga dictum antiquum regnum nostrum affectu, ut omnia gratiosè stabiliantur & instaurentur, quod (per absentiam nostram) non aliâ ratione melius effici potest quam fideli aliquo Delegato constituto, cui potestatem credere possimus tumultus hujusmodi consopiendi, aliaque officia præstandi, quæ in bonum & commodum dicti antiqui regni nostri eidem Delegato nostro imperare nobis videbitur. Cumque satis compertum habeamus obsequium, diligentiam, & fidem prædilecti nostri consanguinei & consiliarii, Jacobi Marchionis Hamiltonii, Comitis Arraniœ & Cantabrigiæ, Domini Aven & Innerdail, &c. eundemque ad imperata nostra exequenda sufficienter inatructum esse, Idcirco fecisse & constituisse, tenoreque præsentium facere & constituere præfatum prædilectum nostrum consanguineum & consiliarium Jacobum Marchionem de Hamiltoun nostrum Commissionarium ad effectum subscriptum. Cum potestate dicto Jacobo Marchioni de Hamiltoun, &c. dictum regnum nostrum adeundi, ibidemque præfatos tumultus in dicto regno nostro componendi, aliaque officia à nobis eidem committenda in dicti regni nostri bonum & commodum ibi præstandi, eoque Concilium nostrum quibus locis & temporibus ei visum fuerit convocandi, acrationem & ordinem in præmissis exequendis servandum declarandi & præscribendi; & quæcunque alia ad Commissionis hujus capita pro commissâ sibi fide exequenda, eandemque ad absolutum finem perducendam et prosequendam conferre possunt tam in Concilio quam extra Concilium, nostro nomine efficiendi & præstandi; idque similitèr & adeo liberè ac si nos in sacrosancta nostra persona ibidem adessemus. Præterea cum plena potestate dicto Jacobo Marchioni de Hamiltoun, prout sibi videbitur nostro servitio & bono dicti regni nostri conducere, conventum omnium ordinum ejusdem regni nostri indicendi, ac publica comitia & conventus eorundem ordinum eorumve alterius vel utriusque quibus temporibus & locis sibi visum fuerit statuendi, & ibidem nostram sacratissimam personam cum omnibus honoribus & privilegiis supremo Commissionario nostri Parliamenti & publici conventus incumben similiter adeoqae amplè sicut quivis supremus Commissionarius quocunque tempore retroacto gavisus est gerendi: Necnon cum potestate præfato Jacobo Marchioni de Hamiltoun Synodos nationales ecclesiæ dicti regni nostri tenendas temporibus & locis quibus sibi visum fuerit indicendi, & ibidem seipsum tanquam nostrum Commissionarium gerendi, omniaque eisdem tenendis inservientia secundum leges & praxin prædictæ ecclesiæ & regni nostri præstandi: Et hac præsenti nostrâ Commissione durante nostro beneplacito duratura, & semper donec eadem per nos expressè inhibeatur. In cujus rei testimonium, præsentibus magnum sigillum nostrum unà cum privato nostro sigillo (quia præfatus Marchio de Hamiltoun impræsentiarum eat magni sigilli custos) apponi præcepimus, Apud Oatlands vigesimo nono die mensis Julii, Anno Domini millesimo sexcentesimo trigesimo octavo, Et anno regni nostri decimo quarto.

Per signaturam manu S.D.N. Regis suprascriptam.

The King’s Letter to the Generall Assembly.
ALTHOUGH We be not ignorant that the best of Our actions have beene mistaken by many of Our subjects in that Our antient Kingdome, as if We had intended innovation in Religion or Lawes; yet considering nothing to be more incumbent to the duty of a Christain King, then the advancement of God’s glory, and the true religion; forgetting what is past, We have seriously taken to Our Princely consideration such particulars as may settle and establish the truth of Religion in that Our ancient Kingdome, and also to satisfie all Our good people of the reality of Our intentions herein, having indicted a free Generall Assembly to be kept at Glasgow the 21. of this instant; We have likewise appointed Our Commissioner to attend the same, from whom you are to expect Our pleasure in every thing, and to whom We require you to give that true and due22 respect and obedience, as if We were personally present Ourselves. And in full assurance of Our consent to what he shall in Our name promise, We have signed these, and wills the same for a testimonie to posterity to be registered in the Bookes of the Assembly. At White-Hall the 29. of October 1638.

Act Sess. 6. November 27. 1638.
THE testimonie 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 anything to say against the said testimonie for the books, that they would declare it; and finding none to oppon, yet he appointed the day following, to any to object anything they could say, and if then none could object, the Assembly would hold the Registers as sufficiently approven.

Act. Sess. 7. November 28.

Act. Approving the Registers.
ANENT the report of the Assemblies judgment of the authority of the books of Assembly; the Moderatour having desired that if any of the Assembly had anything to say, they would now declare it, otherwise they would hold all approven by the Assembly.

The Commissioner his Grace protested that the Assemblies approving these books, or anything contained in them be no wayes prejudiciall 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 presently cleared, and protested that these books should be esteemed authentick and obligaterie hereafter.

The whole Assembly all in one voice approved these books, and ordained the same to make faith in judgment, and out-with, in all time comming, 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 conveened, 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 1560, and ending at the fourth session of the Assembly holden 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 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 said 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 public faith in judgement and out-with, as valid and true records in all things; and that the said fifth and greatest book, beginning at the Assembly 1560 and ending 1590. being margined by the hand-writs of the Clerk, and reviser of the registers, cognosced, and tryed, and agreeable to the other foure registers, in what is extant in them, ought also to be free of all prejudice and suspicion, and received with credit. And in testimonie of our solemne affirmation, we have subscribed these presents with our hands.

Sic subscribitur,
Master Andrew Ramsay.
Master Iohn Adamson.
Master Iohn Row.
Master Robert Murray.
Master Alexander Gibson.
Master Iames 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 under-subscribers, 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 Iohn 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 Iames Ritchie 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 John 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 made manifest by an act mentioned in the third book, in the time of Master Iames 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 general23 acts, yet extant, which do not debord from the saids registers, but are altogether agreeable thereto.

IIII. 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 successively from Iohn Gray, Master Iames 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 Thomas 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 actuall servant, and so had the said books by progresse from him, which the said Alexander is readie presently to testifie.

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

VI. The saids registers are more perfect, lesse vitiated, scored, and interlined, than any other authentic and famous registers of the most prime judicatories within this Kingdome.

VII. Master Thomas Sandilands, in name of his father, who was late Clerk by dimission of Master Thomas Nicolson, hath produced a volume, which proveth the saids two registers of Master Iames Richie to be sufficient records; because that same Volume is begun by that same hand, whereby the said Master Iames Richie his registers are written, and is subscribed once in the margine by Master Iames Richie his hand, and is 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 Iames 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 cognosced and known to be his hand writ, by famous and worthy persons; which is also manifest by the said Master Iames his band 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 Iames 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 deest.

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 presupponed to have been done, but by corrupt men, of intension to corrupt the books, which were not necessary, if they were not principall registers.

XIII. In the Assembly 1586, 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 Iames Richie, Clerk, proporteth; which clearly evinceth that these 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 generall acts out of it, if it were not an approbation thereof, 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 Iames Carmichel, subscribed by himself, and Master Iames Richie, there are sundry acts and passages quotted out of the said fifth great Volume, saying, It is written in such a page of the book of Assembly, which agreeth in subject and quottations with the said fifth book, and cannot agree with any other; so that Master Iames 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 authentic 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 presupponed that any will attempt that high wickednesse,24 seeing the inducements answerable 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 Kingdome 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 speciall providence are preserved so intire, that in the judgment 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 disconforme 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, conforme to the register, and have no force, so far as it debordeth there-from; 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 throughly, 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 Hadingtoun, &c.

II. From the want of a lawfull calling, to these who went to that 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.

IIII. From the power of these 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 matter whatsoever, the decision whereof is pertinent, and proper to a free generall Assembly. Fourthly, If anything 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, preceeding itselfe: and that Assembly wherof 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 estate, counsellours, 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 Presbyteries, 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 Presbyterie 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 that 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 registrat in the Presbyterie books of Hadingtoun doth cleare. 2. And whereas there25 were no ruling elders sent from the Presbyteries to that pretended Assembly, as the roll of Commissioners sheweth; yet there were moe ministers from sundrie severall Presbyteries then three, as five from Brechen, five from Arbroth, five from Kirkcubright, seven from the Presbytery of Argyl, foure from the Presbyterie of Cowper, foure from Linlithgow, foure from Pasley, foure from Hammiltoun, foure from Drumfreis, foure from Dunkell: as the register of that Assembly beareth.

II. There were 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 consent 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.

IIII. 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 gentlemen voters without commission from the Kirk. Mr. 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 registrat 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 wore no ruling Elders having commission from their Presbyteries at that Assembly.

IIII. 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, acknowledgeth it was but a meeting, wherein disgrace was offered to his Majestie.

IIII. 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 Dyocies 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 thirtie 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 number, prescribed in the act at Dundie, 1597: for the Presbyterie of Arbroth were foure Commissioners, and foure for the Presbyterie of Aughter-ardour: Beside these that were heard to vot, 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 practise some of the articles to be concluded there, before the pretended Assembly, in Edinburgh, St. Andrews, and other cathedrall Churches, by keeping festivall dayes, kneeling at ye Communion. Thus their voices were prejudged by their practise of these articles 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 affirmativè, under no lesse pain nor the wrath of authoritie, imprisonment, banishment, 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 lawfull Assemblies, the grounds of proceeding were, and used to be, the word of God, the confession of Faith, and acts of former generall Assemblies. But in this pretended Assembly, the ground of their proceeding in voicing was the Kings commandment only: For so the question was stated:26 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 oathes of intrants.
THE six Assemblies immediately preceding, for most just and weightie reasons above-specified, being found to be unlawfull, and null from the beginning: The Assembly declareth the oathes and subscriptions exacted by the Prelates of 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 unlawfull and no way obligatorie. And in like manner declareth, that the power of Presbyteries, and of provinciall and generall Assemblies, hath been unjustly suppressed, but never lawfully abrogate. And therefore that it hath been most lawfull unto them, notwithstanding 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 ecclesiasticall 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 practise thereof: and ordaines 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 Cannons, 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 trangresse.

IIII. 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 Christs 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 Presbteries to proceed with the censures of the Kirk, against all such as shall transgresse.

After the serious discussing of the severall 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 Iohn Spottiswood, pretended Archbishop of St Andrews; Mr. Patrick Lindsay, pretended Archbishop of Glasgow: Mr. David Lindsay, pretended Bishop of Edinburgh: Mr. Thomas Sidserfe, pretended Bishop of Galloway: Mr. Iohn Maxwell, pretended Bishop of Rosse: Mr. Walter Whytefoord, pretended Bishop of Brechen.

THE generall Assembly, having heard the lybels and complaints, given in against the foresaids pretended Bishops to the Presbyterie of Edinburgh,27 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 disdainfull speeches, lies and calumnies against the lawfull members of this Assembly, proceeded to the cognition of the saids complaints, and lybels 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 refusall 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, 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 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 faithfull 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 particullar 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 and excommunication against Mr. Adam Ballantyne, pretended Bishop of Aberdeen, and Mr. Iames 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 Dyocies, 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 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 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, at 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 vot 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 Mr. Iohn Guthry, pretended Bishop of Murray: Mr. Iohn Grahame pretended Bishop of Orknay, Mr. Iames 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 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 their refusall to underly the tryall of the reigning slander of sundrie other grosse trangressions 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 name28 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 these who are particularly named, to have the charge of trying their repentance or impenitencie, and that the execution of the 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 sundrie 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 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, 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 ministerie 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 Iohn Abernethie pretended Bishop of Cathnes.

THE generall Assembly having heard the lybell and complaint given in against Mr. Iohn Abernethie pretended Bishop of Cathnes to the Presbytery of Edinburgh, and sundrie 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 his 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 ordained the said Mr Iohn 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 flock: and likewise, incase 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 bee holden by all and every one of the faithfull as an Ethnick and Publicane: and the sentence of excommunication to be pronounced up on 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 excellent 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, joyned29 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 God’s 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 God’s 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 drawne 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 1638. 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 publick Confession of Faith, so solemnly 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 publickly acknowledged to bee authentick, and have found that in the latter confession of the Kirk of Scotland: “We professe, 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 kinde 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 Iuly 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 morrow, 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 and30 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, such 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 riotousnesse, 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 usurp not the power of the Presbyteries.”

The question being proponed by the Synod of Louthian 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 Iuly 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 within 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 Kirke 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, unlawful 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 appeared 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 spirituall 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 household, 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 agreed 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 generall 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 the31 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, 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 judgment 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 agreeable 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 carefull that nothing be admitted prejudiciall to the liberties of this Kirk, as it was concluded according to the word of God in the generall Assemblies, preceeding the year 1584. but precisely to seek the same to bee 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 contraverted 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 drawen 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 Pryors, and other Prelats pretending the title of the Kirk, be not suffered in time comming.” 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 King’s prerogative declared not to be prejudiciall to the same priviledges grounded upon the word of God; the former commissions to Bishops 1584, rescinded, and all Ecclesiasticall 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 VVICKED HIERARCHIE. 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, cant. 6.24 Si quis dixerît in ecclesia Catholica non esse hierarchiam 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, In ista prima propositione enumeratio membrorum hierarchiæ ecclesiasticæ seu sacri principatus, divina ordinatione instituti est manca & redundans atque, inducens in errorem contrarium determinationi sacræ Sinodi Tridentinæ: The prodelatarum32 position was defective, because it pretermitted the Presbyters and Deacons; it was censured as redundant, because it made the Hierarchic to consist of the Pope, Cardinals, Archbishops, and Regulars; the Pope is not within the Hierarchie, Primats, Metropolitanes, and Archbishops, but as they are Bishops. Furthermore, this Hierarchie is distinguished in the confession from the Pope’s monarchie. And howbeit this Hierarchie be called the Antichrist’s 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, canonization 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 mistery 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 foure sorts, To wit, Pastours, Doctours, Elders, and Deacons, together with the 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 terms:—“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 practise 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 Majestie’s 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 contrare 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 God’s 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 particular 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 [of] God, or nourish the popish judgement against Infants departing without the Sacrament, or absolute necessitie, of Baptisme or rites, signes, and traditions brought into the Kirk, without 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 1560, 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, simpiciter, 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 certaine festivall dayes. So that preaching and prayers upon festivall dayes was judged rebukable. It was33 ordained likewise, that complaint bee 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 refusall of their own Reader. Among the articles directed by this Assembly to the Regent, It was craved that all holy dayes heretofore keeped holy, beside the Lord’s day, such as Yooleday, and Saint’s 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 Synodall 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 appertained 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 festivall day whatsoever, except the Lord’s 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 Christ’s action abideth in the originall puritie. The judgement of our reformers, who drew up the large Confession, was, by cleare evidents, shewed to be contrarie 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 Christ’s 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 Christ’s 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 some time 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 ministered 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 a 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 bapttisme, and private communion; findeth that in the book of common order, set down before the Psalmes, it is said, That the Sacraments are 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.

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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 perceiving 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 ecclesastical.

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 1586. 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 Presbytererie 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.

IIII. Anent the visitation of Kirks, Schooles, and Colledges: It is thought meet that the act of Assembly holden at Edinburgh the 25. of Iunie 1565. Sess. 2. be put in execution, that the Minister of the parochin, the Principall, Regents, and professours within Colledges, and Masters, and Doctors of Schooles, be tryed concerning the soundnesse of their judgment in matters of Religion, their abilitie, for discharge of their calling, and the honesty of their conversation; as the act of Assembly at Edinburgh, Iuni 21. 1567. Sess. 3. And the act of the Assembly holden at Montrose 1596. 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. Assemble 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 severall Presbyteries for the setling of Schooles in every Landward Parochin, and providing of men able for the charge of teaching of the youth, public 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 choice 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 bee duely considered, and overtures be these of the same commission given into 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 24. of the Assembly at Edinburgh 1595.
“Concerning the defections in the ministerie, the35 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 Iohn 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, it cometh to passe that many scandals fall out in the persons of ministers: it would bee 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 tryall 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 spirituall 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 pastorall charge is most kythed; 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 tryall; 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 sanctification and prayer, that studie not to bee powerfull and spirituall, not applying the doctrine to corruptions, which is the pastorall gift, obscure and too scholastick before the people, cold, and wanting of spirituall zeal, negligent in visiting of the sick, and caring for the poore; or indiscreet in choosing 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 universall order throughout the Realme, &c. and such like as are negligent herein, and continue therein, after admonition, be deposed.

“That none falling in public 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 hereto, and specially in the doctrine of repentance, which, being neglected, the public 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 tacks 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, and36 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 such like, 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, merchandise, 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 lawes of the Realme: otherwise the burthen 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 exercises 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 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 Minister, for his publick offence, or to bear with him, as though his Minister were too severe upon him, under the 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 Presbyteries, 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 Iesuits there born 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 generall 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 licence 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 these years 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 generall or provinciall 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 several 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.

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XV. Anent the profaination 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, Iuly 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 judgment and tyrannous authoritie of the pretended Prelats, in 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.

XIX. Since the office of Diocesane, or lordly Bishop, is all-uterly abjured, and removed? out of this Kirk: It is thought fit that all titles of dignitie, savouring more of poperie than of Christian libertie, as Chapters with their elections and consecrations, Abbots, Pryors, 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 ecclesiasticall 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, and 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 Marriage 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 funerall sermons, as savouring 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 publicly, 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 and 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 Assemblies, given in by the most ancient of the Ministrie within every Province, as the ancient plateforme 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 Provinciall Assembly of Mers and Tividaill.

The Presbyteries of The bounds.
Dunce. Mers.
Chirnside. Tividail.
Kelso. The Forrest.
Erstiltoun. Lauderdail.
Jedburgh.
Melros.
To meet the first time at Jedburgh, the third Twesday of April.

2. The Provinciall of Louthian.

The Presbyteries of The bounds.
Dumbar. e. Louthian.
Hadingtoun. w. Louthian.
Dalkeeth. Tweeddaill.
Edinburgh.
Peebles.
Linlithgow.
To meet the first time at Edinburgh the third Twesday of April.

3. The Provinciall of Perth.

The Presbyteries of The bounds.
Perth. The Shyrefdome of Perth and of Striviling Shire.
Dunkel.
Aughterardor.
Striviling.
Dumblane.
To meet the first time at Perth, the second Twesday of April.

4. The Province of Drumfrees.

The Presbyteries of The bounds.
Dumfrees. Niddisdaill.
Penpont. Annandaill.
Lochmabane. Ewsdaill.
Middilbee. Eskdaill.
Wachopdaill & a part of Galloway.
To meet the first time at Drumfrees, the second Twesday of April.

385. The Provinciall of Galloway.

The Presbyteries of The bounds.
Wigtoun. The Shyrefdome of Wigtoun, and Stewartie of Kirkubright.
Kirkubright.
Stranraver.
To meet the first time at Wigtoun, third Twesday of April.

The Provinciall Synod of Aire or Irwing.

The Presbyteries of The bounds.
Aire. The Shyrefdome of Aire
Irwing.
To meet with the Provincial Synod of Glasgow pro hac vice, the first Twesday of April.

6. The Provinciall Synod of Glasgow.

The Presbyteries of The bounds.
Pasley. The Shyr. of Lennox, the Barrony of Renfrow, the Shy. of Clydsdail over and nether.
Dumbartane.
Glasgow.
Hamiltoun.
Lanerik.
To meet with the Provincial Synod of Aire and Irwing at Glasgow, pro hac vice.

7. The Provinciall Synod of Argyl, desired to bee erected in several Presbyteries, according to the note given in.

The Presbyteries of The bounds.
Dunnune. The Shyrifdomes of Argil & Boot, with a part of Lochabar.
Kinloch.
Inneraray.
Kilmoir.
Skye.
To meet the first time at Innereray, the 4 Twesday of April.

8. The Provinciall Synod of Fife.

The Presbyteries of The bounds.
St Andrews. The Shyrefdome of Fife.
Cowper.
Kirkadie.
Dunferling.
To meet the first time at Cowper in Fife the first Twesday of April.

9. The Provinciall Synod of Angus and Merns.

The Presbyteries of The bounds.
Meegle. The Shyrefdomes of Forfair and Merns.
Dundie.
Arbroth.
Forfair.
Brechen.
Merns.
To meet the first time at Dundie, the third Twesday of April.

10. The Provinciall Synod of Aberdene.

The Presbyteries of The bounds.
Aberdene. The Shyrefdomes of Aberdene and Bamfe.
Kincairdin.
All-foord.
Gairloch.
Ellan Deer.
Turreffe.
Fordyce.
To meet the first time at new Aberdene, the 3 Twesday of April.

11. The Provinciall Synod of Murray.

The Presbyteries of The bounds.
Innernes. The Shyrefdomes of Innernes in part, Nairn in part, Murray, Bamf in part, Aberden in part.
Forresse.
Elgin.
Strabogie.
Abernethie.
Aberlower.
To meet the first time at Forresse, the last Twesday of April.

12. The Provinciall Synod of Rosse.

The Presbyteries of The bounds.
Chanrie. The Shyrefdome of Innernes in part.
Taine.
Dingwall.
To meet the first time at Chanrie, the 2 Twesday of April.

13. The Provinciall Synod of Cathnes.

The Presbyteries of The bounds.
Dornoch. Cathnes.
Weeke or Thurso. Sutherland.
To meet the first time at Dornoch, the third Twesday of April.

14. The Provinciall Synod of Orkney and Zetland.

The Presbyteries of The bounds.
Kirkwall. The Shrefdome of Orkney and Zetland.
Scalloway.
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 remembered 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 be keeped in time comming: viz. The Provincials of Louthian, and Mers, &c. The Provincials of Drumfries, 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 tennour 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 white 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 Commissioners 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. 24. 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 Ministeriall function, refuseth themselves, and with-draw others from the obedience of the acts of the Assembly.

Act Sess. 25. December 19. 1638.
Against the civill places and power of Kirk-men.
THE generall Assembly, remembering that among other clauses of the application of the confession of Faith to the present time, which was subscribed in Februarie 1638. The clause touching the civill places and power of Kirk-men, was referred unto the tryall of this Assembly; entered into a serious search thereof, especially of their sitting on the bench, as Iustices of peace, their sitting in Session and Councell, their ryding and voting in39 Parlament: and considering how this vote in Parlament, was not at first sought nor requyred by this Kirke, 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 not 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 provinciall Assemblies, against this restitution of Bishops to vote in Parlament, and against all civill offices in the persons of Pastors, separate unto the Gospel, as incompatible with their spirituall 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 powerfull fruits of their spirituall 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 counsell in matters concerning the Kirk or the Conscience of any whatsomever, to his Majestie, to the Parlament to the Councell, or to any member thereof, for their resolutions from the word of God, So on the other part, that it is both inexpedient, and unlawful in this Kirk, for Pastors separate unto the Gospel to brook civil places, and offices, as to be Iustices of peace; sit and decerne in Councell, Session, or Exchecker; to ryde or vote in Parlament, to be Iudges or Assessors in any Civill 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 comming.

Act Sess. 26. December 20. 1638.
THE Assembly considering the great prejudice which God’s Kirk in this land, hath sustained these years bypast, by the unwarranted printing of lybels, pamphlets, and polemicks, to the disgrace of Religion, slander of the Gospel, infecting and disquyeting the mindes of God’s 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 controversies of this time, or any other treatise whatsoever which may concerne the Kirk of Scotland, or God’s cause in hand, without warrand subscribed by Mr Archibald Iohnston, 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 Ecclesiasticall censures to be execute against the transgressours by the several Presbyteries, and in case of their refusal, by the several Commissiones from this Assembly: Whereunto also we are confident, the honourable Iudges 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 several Commissions to summond them to compear before the next generall Assembly to be holden at Edinburgh, the third Wedinsday of Iulie, to abide their tryall and censure.

Act. Sess. 26. December 20. 1638.
THE Assembly considering the acts and practise of this Kirk 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, Burghs, 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 disposed as they are.

40

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 Kirkmen, till they be tryed in a free generall 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 unlawfull; 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 Faithe 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, hearing 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 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, Councell, 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 royall 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 Ecclesiasticall authority, prohibiteth and dischargeth, that no member of this Kirk swear or subscribe the said Confession, so far wreasted to a contrare meaning, under paine of all Ecclesiasticall 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 generall Assemblies, which are taken from the light of nature, the promise of Iesus Christ, the practise of the holy Apostles, the doctrine and custome of other reformed Kirks, and the liberty of this nationall 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 lawfull Assemblies, and the great benefite arysing to the Kirk, from this one free and lawfull 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 yearly 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 Iulie 1639. And warneth all Presbyteries, Universities, and Burghes, to send their Commissioners for keeping the same. Giving power also to the Presbiterie of Edinburgh, pro re nata: and upon any urgent and extraordinarie necessity (if any shall happen before the diet appointed in Iulie) 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.

Act Sess. 26. December 20.
Ordaining an humble supplication to be sent to the King’s 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,41 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 surmise 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 thankfullnesse for so Royall 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 glorie, and the comfort and quietnesse 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 Maiestie:

The humble Supplication of the generall Assembly of the Kirk of Scotland, conveened at Glasgow, November 21. 1638.

Most gracious Soveraigne,

We your Majesties most humble and loyall 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 Iustice, of truth and peace, when it pleaseth the Supreame Providence so to dispose, that princely power and ecclesiasticall 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 generall Assembly: and remembring that for the present, a more true and real testimonie of our unfained acknowledgement, could not proceed from us your Majesties duetyfull Subjects, then to walke worthie of so royall a favour: It hath been our greatest care and most serious endevour, next unto the will of IESUS 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 personall 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 lawfull 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 everything to approve ourselves 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 bee found to have proceeded, rather from an unwillingnesse that we should any longer sit, than from any ground or reason, which may endure the tryall either of your Majesties Parliament, or of your own royall Iudgement, 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 ruine of all; wherein wee are so far from fearing the light, least our deeds should be reproved, that the more accuracy 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 bee reteined, in this Kirk. In all which the members of the Assembly, found so clear and convincing light, to their full satisfaction, against all42 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 knowethe, 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 mis-construed, 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 judgment, 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 which 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 the 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 Kingdome 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 threatened: 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 re-establishment 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 Sunshine, 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 Diademe, 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.

FINIS.

Collected, visied, and extracted forth of the Register of the acts of the Assembly by me Mr. A. Ihonston, Clerk thereto, under my signe and subscription manuall.—Edinburgh the 12 of Jan. 1639.

A Breife Collection of the Passages of the Assembly holden at Glasgow, in Scotland, November last, 1638; with the Deposicon of Divers B.p.p. Their Offences for which they were sentenced; and an Index of all the Acts made at the said Assembly.
Upon Wednesday the vijᵗʰ day of November, a generall ffast was kept throughout all Scotland, for calling upon God for his blessing upon their Assembly, and praying for Gods gracious assistance that their meeting might take good effect to Gods glorie and their owne good.

21.—Upon the 21ˢᵗ day of November, their Assembly begun, where (after calling upon the name of the Lord) their Nobilitie and Commissioners were called and desired to bring in their Commissions.

22.—The 22ᵈ day, the Commissioners Letters, and Commissions were produced; and the Commissioners for every Presbyterie produced their Commission.

23.—The 23ᵈ day, Mr Alexʳ. Henrison (after long contestacon) was chosen Moderator for the Assembly.

24.—The 24ᵗʰ day the Assembly proceeded to the election of their Clerke out of 4 Clarks, then nomynated:—(viz.)—Mr Thomas Sandilands, Mr Archibald Johnston, Mr John Nicholls, and Mr Alexʳ Blair.

The Marquesse (as his Majesties Commissioner) desired that the votes of his Assessors might be admitted for choosing the Clerke, and in all other things, which the whole Assembly refused, for many reasons then given.

25.—The Assembly, proceeding to their election, made choyce of Mr Archibald Johnston for the Clerke, who, being generallie allowed of, was presently sworne for the dutiful administracon of his office, and to bee answerable for the Register Books to the said Assembly.

This being done, the Registers of all the Assemblies43 since 1560 were produced, consisting of 6 faire volumes.

The Assembly, after some consultacon, made ane Act that the Earle of Rothes, Earle of Lauderdale, Mr Alex. Wilson, the Earle of Dundie, Mr Andrew Ramsay, Mr John Raine, Mr John Adamson, Mr James Bonnar, Mr John Bell, and Mr Robert Murray, should visite and peruse the said Books of the Assemblies, and to report their judgement concerning their authentickness and creditt.

26.—The 26 day of November, (after prayers,) the Moderator desired that the Commissions might be tryed and allowed, and, for avoyding of tediousness, declared, that if any would object against any Commission or Commissioner, they should be heard; But, if none objected, their silence should be taken for approbacon.

To this the Kings Commissioner answered, That he might object against anie Commission at any tyme, after the Commissions were produced.

Amongst manie Commissions produced this day, onely two were questioned, and they were both for brethrin. In the one, the Laird of Dunn was nominated a Commissioneasr; and, in the other, the Lord of Carnaigie was made a Commissioner. Dunns Commission had an approbacon on the backside thereof; but the Lord Carnaigies had noe approbacon; whereupon the Lord Marquesse desired the copie of Dunns Commission and approbacon under the Clerks hand. The Assembly were content hee should have the Commission, but not the approbacon. Upon which the Marquesse took instruments of their refusall.

27. The 27 day of November, (after prayers,) the rest of the Commissions were read, and some were questioned—namely, for the Presbitrie of Peebles; for the Presbitrie of Glasgow; for the Ministrie of Glasgow—because each of them had three Commissions; and Brechin—for having two Ruling Elders, (as aforesaid,) which were all referred to a Committee of 6 Ministers, to consider of and certifie.

The Commission for the Colledge of Aberdeen had noe warrant to give any vote; but only to attend their affaires as procurator for the Colledge.

The Presbitrie of Aberdeen had two Commissioners; (viz:)—Mr David Lindsay, and Mr Doctor Guild, which were allowed.

28.—The 28 of November, the Visitors of the Registers gave in their testimoniall, subscribed with their hands, testifying the Registers to bee good, authentique, and worthy of credit; which, being read, Mr Alexʳ Gibson further declared, in the presence of the Commissioners and whole Assemblie, that he had seene and considered the registers produced, and found them to be very authentique, and that hee thought if the Registers of the Council or Sessions were compared with them, they would be found to come fair short of those Registers.

Whereupon the Moderator desired the Commissioner, and all others, if they had anything to say against the said Registers, they should speak now, or give it in writing at the next sitting.

After this, protestacon was given in by Mr Robᵗ Elliot against the election of the Commissioners for Peebles, wherein the Earle of Traquaire was highly accused for intruding himselfe in that election; and this was referred to a committee.

29.—The 29 of November, (after prayers,) Doctor Hamilton, in the name of the Archbishopps and Bishops declined, in a protestacon to the Marquesse, (who received it,) whereby they declyned the Assembly, and protested that the same should bee holden null in law.

Whereupon Mr Alexʳ Gibson protested that the Bishops should be holden as delinquents in the Assembly, and that they ought soe to come and appeare personally.

After this, certaine remonstrances were presented, by the Presbitries of Glasgow and Dundie, to the Commissioner and Assemblie, desiring all Commissioners that have beene chosen to be laike Elders, might be putt away, which was generally denyed.

The Moderator had presented unto him a paper which the Clerk read openly to the Assemblie, containing many sufficient answers unto the objections exhibited by the Bishops, with their declynator against the lawfullnesse of the Assemblie.

After the same was read, the Moderator, in the name of the Assemblie, desired the Marquesse, that it might bee voted in the Assembly, whether or not they were competent Judges to the Bishops; but the Marquesse refused, and adhered to the protestacon and declynator of the Bishops, against the lawfullnes of the Assemblie; whereupon there was a great conference betwixt the Marquesse, the Earle of Rothes, and the Lord Lowdon, concerning the said declynator.

Their conference being ended, the Moderator againe desired the Marquesse to lett the matter goe to voting, or else to make objections against the lawfullnes of the Assemblie, and they would resolve them. But the Marquesse still refused it, alleadging it to bee ane unlawfull Assembly wherein laike Elders were; which was thus retorted—Then the Assembly of Perth was noe lawfull Assembly, for there were Ruling Elders; which answer much moved the Marquesse, and soe checked him as he knew not what to answer; for that Assemblie is the chiefe Assemblie the Prelats had. But the Marquesse put it off with a faire discourse, and, at last, told them he hoped the King’s declaracon of his pleasure would fully satisfie them, which hee caused the Clerke to reade.

His Majesties will was, That the Service-Book, Booke of Canons, and High Commission, should be annulled and discharged; The practise of the 5 Articles at Perth, or the urging thereof; and freed all Ministers from all unlawful oaths at their admission; likewise it made all his Majesties subjects lyable unto the censure of the Church; onely hee would not have the office of a Bishop to be altogether destroyed.

After this, the Clerk read the Noblemens Protestacon, which was made to uphold the liberty and freedome of the Assemble, which being read, the Marquesse fell into a large discourse concerning the goodnes and liberalitie of the King’s Majestie, which was fully answered by the Moderator, who acknowledged his Majesties goodnes, and affirmed that, if his Majestie were truly informed of the just grievances of his subjects, and of the foulness of the crymes charged upon the Prelats, hee would leave them to their tryall.

And, therefore, hee, in the name of the whole Assemblie, requested the Marquesse that, seeing hee had now gone on in a faire way hitherto, and had not closed his ears unto their just requeste, hee would not now begin to stopp, but would grant that it might be voted in the Assembly, whether they were a lawfull Assembly or not. The Marquesse protested hee would not, onely hee would have them subscribe the Covenant, and rest content with his Majesties will declared unto them; and if they proceeded any further hee would not assent thereto; but that whatsoever was done should bee held null, and as done in ane unlawful Assembly.

They answered, that they had beene called thither44 by his Majesties command, which had given liberty to them to proceed in the tryall of such things as were needfull to be performed reformed. And his Majesty, by his proclamacon, had declared that, if any of his subjects shall or have presumed to assume to themselves any unlawfull power, they should be lyable to triall; and, therefore, they conceived that whatsoever should be concluded in this Assembly, should be halde as proceeding from a lawfull Assemblie. The Marquesse thereupon commanded the Assemblie to rise, which they refusing, hee himselfe arose and left the Assemblie.

After the Marquesse was departed, the roll was given to the Clerk, who called every man particularly by his name, and desired them to declare their opinions on these 4 particulars:—

1—Whether the Assembly were lawful or not?

2—Whether the Assemblie were competent judges of the Bishops?

3—Whether they would allow of the Bishops declynator or not?

4—Whether they would adhere to their Commission of Faith, and contynue still and hold on in the Assemblie?

Every man particularly concluded, That the Assembly was lawful: That they were competent judges: That they would not allow of the declynator; and, That they would adhere to the Confession, and contynue the Assemblie, except Sir John Carnegie, Mr Patrick Mackgill, and 3 other Ministers.

1.—The first of December, (after calling on the name of the Lord,) Mr Robert Blaire, Mr James Hamilton, Mr John Mackclagvell, and Mr John Livingston, being demanded, why they came out of Ireland, and whether they were under the censure of the Church or not? They declared the cause of their comeing from Ireland, was because they refused to embrace, subscribe, and sweare to the Service-Booke of Ireland, and all the corruptions that were in that Church.

2.—The Earle of Argile, this day, left the Councell and came to the Assemblie, and declared, That he had subscribed the Confession of the ffaith with the Lords of the Councell, and found himselfe as farr obliged by subscribing the Kings Covenant as anie that had subscribed the National Covenant; and that hee subscribed the same as it was sett down in anno 1581, and not otherwise; and, therefore, desired the Assembly to goe on wisely in the matter of reconciling and explayning the Covenant. Whereupon the Assembly desired him to stay and bee an assistance and eye-witnesse of their proceedings, which hee both promised and performed.

3.—The 3d day of December, many complaints was given in against the Archbishops and Bishops, and especially ane libell against the Bishop of Galloway, conteyneing 8 or 9 sheets of paper; whereupon a Committee was chosen of noblemen, gentlemen, and ministers, to hear the approbeicon, and to exawmine the truth of the matters which were charged against the Bishops, and to give an accompt of their proceedings unto the Assemblie.

There was likewise appointed another Committee to fynd out the errors of the Service-Booke, Booke of Cannons, Booke of Ordinaicon and High Commission, and to give sufficient reasons why they were rejected; and, lastly, there was a Committee for the explanacon and reconciliacon of the Covenants.

4.—The 4ᵗʰ of December, (after calling on the name of the Lord,) the Earle of Argyle produced a letter sent unto him from some of the Lords of the Councell, wherein were these words, (viz.)—Your Lordship knowes that wee subscribed the Covenant upon noe other condition than you did—that is, as it was subscribed in anno 1581. And the Earle of Montrose also declared that the Earle of Wigton (another Privy Councillor) had written the same unto him, and desired him to signifie it unto the Assemblie, and 7 or 8 Councillors and noblemen afterwards sent the like declarations to the Assembly.

Those who had beene appointed upon the Committees appeared, and declared that they had begun upon their employments, but had not ended, because it was a worke that required more then one or two dayes labour, but promised to proceed with all care and diligence.

5.—The 5ᵗʰ of December, (after calling on the name of the Lord,) sundry complaints and processes were produced against Mr David Michell, Mr Gladstons, and Doctor Panter, for Arminianisme, whose libells being read, every one of them was 3 severall tymes called in the Assembly, and 3 severall tymes called at the doore, to come in and appeare, and answer to the things given in against them; but, none of them appearing, Mr David Dixon and Mr Robʳᵗ Baily, were ordayned to make an oracon the next day to refute those Armynian points whereof Panter, Michell, and Gladstons were accused, that they might proceed against them. And, in the meanetyme, a Committee was appointed to heare, and see, and exawmine these things alleadged against the said parties.

6.—The 6 of December, Mr Dixon made a speech, wherein he refuted fully all those Armimian points which had beene preached by Mr Michell and the other two; and Mr Andrew Ramsay made another speech, that hee (being one of the Committees) and the rest of the Committees, had seene, read, heard, and considered the things wherewith Michell and the rest were charged, and found them fully proved. Whereupon, by whole consent of the Assembly, Mr Michell and the other two were quite deposed and deprived of their office in the Church.

After this, Mr John Hamilton declared to the Assembly, That the Laird of Blackhall (a Councellor) had requested him to tell the Assemblie, that his subscribing of the Kings Covenant could be noe hindrance to their proceedings, but rather a furtherance, to cause him to doe what lay in his power for them; and that hee would come himselfe to the Assemblie and make his declaracon thereof unto them.

Lastly, the Commissioners for Edinburgh told the Moderator, that the people of Edinburgh having heard that some of their Ministers having subscribed the Bishops declynator, and, therefore, they would not suffer the said Ministers to preach anie more unto them. Therefore they desired to have it voted in the Assembly, Whether it were lawful to depose the saids Ministers, and to employ others to preach in their places? which was taken into deliberacon against the next meeting.

7.—The 7ᵗʰ day of December, the Bishop of Orkneys sonne delivered a letter from his ffather vnto the Moderator, signifieing that hee was willing to vndergoe what they pleased to impose vpon him, and submitted himselfe wholy vnto the said Assembly to dispose of him and his place and calling as they pleased.

The Committee for the Covenants returned answer, That they had reconciled them both to one effect and meaning, and that the Covenant in anno 1581 is more prejudicall then the other.

[The abbreviate of the Proceedings, which is in the Advocates’ Library, of which the prefixed is a copy, terminates on the 7th of December; and annexed45 to it are the Acts of Deposition passed against the Prelates, and an “Index of all the Principal Acts of the Assembly holden at Glasgow 1638,” at the end of which there is a docquet subjoined. The “Index” referred to being more full than any of the copies that are to be found in the printed Acts, it is here adopted as by the docquet authenticated by the Clerk of Assembly. The official abbreviate being thus defective to a certain extent, we are induced to fill up the chasm by adopting, as a supplement to it, an abridged account of the actings after the 7th December, from “Balfour’s Annales,” vol. ii., p. 209, et sequen.]

8 December, Sessio 16.
Saterday, after much reiding of papers and dispute anent the lawfullnes of Episcopacey in this churche, at last the questions was stated thus:—Quhither, Episcopacey was abiured in our kirke by the confession therof, and could be remoued? All in one woyce remoued the same, as abiured, neuer heirafter to be established.

10 December, Sessio 17.
The 5 artickells of Perth is, by the assembley, in one woyce totally abiured and remoued.

The Bischopes of Edinbrughe, Aberdeine, Rosse and Dumblaine, wer all of them depossed from aney function in the kirke, and excommunicat. Dumblaines crymes, by thesse that wer generall to all the bischopes, wer Arminianisseme, poperey and drunkennesse.

11 December, Sessio 18.
Tuesday Mr George Grhame, Bischope of Orcades, his lybell read, and he deposed; no excommunication againist him, becausse of his submission to the assembley.

Mr Johne Guthrie, Bischope of Murray, deposed; and if he acquiessced not with the said sentence and made his repentance, to be excomunicat.

Mr Patrick Lindesay, Archbischope of Glasgow, his lybell read, and he deposed and excomunicat.

Mr James Fairlie, Bischope of Argyle, his lybell read, and he deposed; and if he did not acquiesse with his sentence and repented, to be excommunicat.

Mr Neill Campbell, Bischope of the Iles Hybrides, his lybell read, and he deposed.

12 December, Sessio 19.
Vedinsday, after the depriuatione of Mr Thomas Forrester, minister of Melros, Mr Alexander Lindesay, Bischope of Dunkelden, his lybell being read, the assembley did deposse him from the office of bischope, and suspendit him from the office of ministrie, and exercisse therof; bot to be receauid therto againe vpone his repentance, manifested to the presbeteries of Dunkelden and Pearthe, and wpone his prowyding of the kirke of Dunkelden at the sight of the presbeterey.

After Dunkelden, Mr Johne Abernethy, Bischope of Cathnes, receaued sentence of deposition from his office of episcopacey, and he to be receaued in the office of the ministrie wpon his publicke repentance, to be made in the kirk of Jedbrugh.

The sentence of excommunicatione, aganist diuers of the bischopes, wes publickly read, and by acte of the assembley, ordained to be pronounced tomorrow by the moderator in the heighe kirke, and therafter to be intimat by the ministers and readers of all kirkes.

13 December, Sessio 20.
Noe more done this day, bot the sentence of the bischopes excommunication solemley pronounced by the moderator, Mr Alexander Hendersone, after a sermon preached by him, one the 1 versse of 110 Psalme.

14 December, Sessio 21.
Ther came this day, a letter to the assembley from the Earle of Vigtone, directed to the Earle of Montrosse, wich read publicikly in the assembley, desyrinng him to declare in his name, that he subscriued to the confession of religion, in doctrine and discipline, as it was in Aᵒ 1580, and that he wold defend the same with his bloode.

Fyue ministers wer deposed this day, viz.
Mr William Hannay, Minister at Aire;
Mr Androw Rollock, Minister at Dunce;
Doctor Robert Hamilton, M: at Glasfurd;
Mr Tho: Rosse, Minister at Chanrey.
Mr Henrey Scrymgeour, Minister at St Fillans, in Fyffe, for fornicatione.

15 December, Sessio 22.
This day, the Earle of Vigton declared himselue, in face of the assembley, conforme to his letter read in assembley, and directed to the Earle of Montrosse.

16 December, Sessio 23.
Order takin this day by the assembley, for commissions in all quarters of the kingdome, for cognoscing of proces presentlie depending befor the assembley aganist ministers, and to deceid therin; they to sitt doune at Edinbrughe first, the 26 of December instant, 1638; and at St. Andrewes, the 20 of Januarij therafter, in Aᵒ 1639; and from thence to Dundie, the 4 of Februarij, 1639.

17 December, Sessio 24.
Ten actes, and one referance past in assembley this day.

18 December, Sessio 25.
Ther was giuen in to the assembley, ane anssuer to the declinator and protestation of the bischopes, also to the Kinges Commissioners protestation.

Three commissions, anent complaints aganist ministers in the southe and northe, exped this day.

Acte, that all tytills of dignity, as deans, subdeans, chanters, flowing from the canon law and pope, are abolished in tyme cominge.

Acte, that no marriage be without thrysse proclamation, as the booke of discipline bears, wich is not absolute, bot excepts in knowin necessity.

Acte, that no interments be in kirkes; and that ther be no funerall sermons, as tending to superstition.

Acte, anent the maner of tryell of the expectents of the ministrie.

Mr Archbald Jhonston, clercke of the assembley, elected to be procurator for the kirke, and Mr Robert Dagleische to be agent; and fees appoynted for them.

19 December, Sessio 26.
This day was read the draught of a suplication to be made by the assembley to the Kinges Maiestie, for his approuing, in the ensewing parliament, of ther procidinges and decrees.

Commissioners appoynted to the parliament, from the generall assembley of ministers; noblemens eldest sones and barons from all quarters, with thesse follouing propositions:—

First, That the præuilidges of the kirke be rattified, and ther power in holding generall assemblies.

2d. That the constitutions of the generall assembley be ratified.

3d. That presentations of kirkes be made by the patrons to the presbeteries, with power to them of collation.

4to. For augmentation of kirkes small stipends, lying in bischopericks and otheres.

5o. That no aduocation pas to counsell or session,46 from presbeteries and shyres, to hinder or impeade the censure of the kirke.

6o. That visitatione be made of colledges, by commissione from the parliament.

7o. That some few lynnes, by authority of parliament should be addit to the couenant, to be subscriued by all suche as heirafter should enter wnto the same.

Acte declaring ciuile places of kirkmen in counsaile, session, justice of peace, &c. woycinng in parliament, &c. all to be wnlawfull, and they recindit and anulled all former actes making the same lawfull.

Acte restoring kirke sessions, presbeteries, synods and assemblies, as they wer in Aᵒ 1580, in all respectes, and in ther members and elders, ther numbers and powar.

20 Decembris, Sessio 27.
In this session, ther was diuersse actes past, and transportations of ministers.

Acte ordaning the generall assembley zeirlie, and oftner pro re nata; as also ordaning the nixt generall assembley to be in Edinbrughe the 3d Vedinsday of Julij, 1639.

Therafter the moderator discoursed of the worke of reformation in this kingdome, and Gods workes therein, and of the coursse and progresse of the assembley; to this same purposse spake eache of them after ane other,

Mr Androw Ramsay,
Mr Dauid Dicksone,
Mr Robert Blaire,
Mr Androw Cant.
The Earle of Argyle, also, by occasione of speeiches wich fell from the moderator, spoke to the assembley of his longe delay and bydinng out, and not ioyning to the couenanters, not (said he) for want of affection to the good causse, bot to doe more good; wich, quhen it failled, he could byde no longer oute from them with the other syde, excepte he had beine a falsse knaue. He exhorted ministers to doe ther dewtiey, and to be respectiue of authority; also the ministers to peace and vnity amongest themselues.

Therafter the moderator clossed the assembley with prayer, and singinge of the 133 psalme, wpone the 20 day of December, 1638, being Fryday, about 6 a clocke at night.

An Index of all the Principall Acts of the Assembly holden at Glasgow 1638.
1.—An Act for registring sundrie protestations betwixt the marryners, [“between the Commissioner’s Grace and the Members of the Assembly.”—Printed Acts.]

2.—An Act for the election of Mr Alxʳ Henrison to bee their Moderator.

3.—An Act for admitting Mr Archbald Johnston to bee the Clerke of the Assembly, and producing and keeping the Registers of former Assemblies which were preserved by Gods wonderfull providence.

4.—An Act of disallowing anie private conference with the Moderator.

5.—An Act ratifying the authentickness of the Registers.

6.—An Act registring his Majesties will declared by his Commission.

7.—An Act of the Assemblies Protestacon against dissolving of the Assembly.

8.—An Act annulling the 6 late Assemblies—viz., one holden at Lithgow 1606; another at Lithgow 1608; one at Glasgow 1610; one at Aberdeene 1616; one at St Andrews 1617; and one at Perth 1618; with the reasons of the nullitie of every one of them.

9.—An Act annulling the oath exacted by Prelats vpon Ministers where they are admitted into their callings.

10.—An Act deposing Mr David Michell, Minister at Edinburgh.

11.—An Act deposing Mr Alexander Gladstons, Minister at St Andrews.

12.—An Act deposing Mr John Creighton, Minister at Pewisloe.

13.—An Act deposing Mr Robʳᵗ Hamilton, Minister at Glasford.

14.—An Act deposing Mr Tho. Foster.

15.—An Act deposing Mr Wᵐ. Annand.

16.—An Act deposing Mr Tho. Mackenzie.

17.—An Act declaring the abiuring and removing the 5 Articles of Perth.

18.—An Act condemning the Service Booke.

19.—An Act condemning the Booke of Cannons.

20.—An Act condemning the Booke of Ordinacons.

21.—An Act condemning the High Commission.

22.—An Act clearing the meaning of the Confession of the Faith, Anno D ⁿⁱ. 1580, and abjuring and removing Episcopacie.

23.—An Act concerning the deposing and excommunicacon of the late pretended Archbishops of St Andrews and Glasgow, the Bishops of Edinburgh, Rosse, Galloway, Brechin, Dumblane, and Aberdeen.

24.—An Act concerning the deposicon absolutely, and excommunicacon conditionally, of the late pretended Bishops of Murray, Argyle, Orkney, Cathness, Dunkeld, and the Iles.

25.—An Act for restoring the Presbyteries, Provinciall Synods, and Generall Assemblies, to their Constitutions of Ministers and Elders, and their Powers and Jurisdictions, according as they are contained in the Booke of Policies.

26.—An Act for erecting a Presbyterie in Argyle.

27.—An Act concerning the Visitacon of Particular Churches, Schooles, and Colledges.

28.—An Act against Non-Residencie.

29.—An Act concerning the planting of Schooles in every parish.

30.—An Act directing of Presbitery Ministers how to choose their Moderators.

31.—An Act referring to the competencie of Presbiteries and Parishes.

32.—An Act concerning the Conservacon of Ministers, as in anno 1595.

33.—An Act for Presbiteries to defray the expenses of their Commissioners.

34.—An Act referring to former Acts for repressing of Poperie and Supersticon.

35.—An Act referring to Presbiteries the more frequent Celebracon of the Lords Supper.

36.—An Act against the Prophanacon of the Sabbath, for want of afternoones exercise.

37.—An Act against Salmon Fishing and Going of Milnes on the Sabbath day.

38.—An Act against Salt Panns, and such like imployments, on the Sabbath day.

39.—An Act against Markets on Mondayes and Saturdayes within Borroughs.

40.—An Act setting downe the Roll of Provinciall Assemblies.

41. An Act against those that speake or write agᵗ the lawfulnes of the Naconal Covenant, or this Assembly and the Constitucons thereof.

42.—An Act concerning the receiving the repentnance,47 submission, and admission into the Ministrie of any penetent prelate.

43.—An Act for excommunicating of such Ministers as disobey their sentence.

44.—An Act against the frequenting with excommunicat persones.

45.—An Act condemning Chapters, Archdeacons, Preaching Deacons, and such like Popish trash.

46.—An Act against obtruding of Pastors upon people.

47.—An Act against Marriage without Proclamacon of Bands.

48.—An Act against Funerall Services.

49.—An Act for admission of Mr Archbald Johnston to bee Advocate, and Mr Roberte Dalglassie to be Agent for the Church.

50.—An Act for transporting of Mr Alexander Henderson from Leuchers to be one of the principall Ministers of Edinburgh.

51.—An Act for transporting Mr Robert Blaire from Ayre to St Andrews.

52.—An Act transporting Mr Andrew Cant from Pitslegoe to Newbottle.

53.—An Act condemning all Civill Offices in the persons of Ministers of the Gospell, as to bee Justice of Peace, sitt in Session or Councell, or to vote or ride in Parliament.

54.—An Act for a Commission for examinacon of complaints, to sitt at Edinburgh the 26 of December next.

55.—Another Commission to sitt at Edinburgh the 22 of January next.

56.—Another Commission to sitt at Irwing the 25 of Jann. next.

57.—Another Commission to sitt at the Chancerie the 29 of Feb. next.

58.—Another Commission to sitt at Kircowbright the 9ᵗʰ of March next.

59.—An Act for the Commission to visite the Colledges of Glasgow and Aberdeen.

60.—An Act appointing the Commissioners to attend the Parliament with the Articles which they are to represent there in the name of the Church vnto the 3 Estates.

61.—An Act ordaineing the Commissioners for Presbiteries and Burroughes presently to gett under the Clerkes hands an Index and Abstract of all the Acts, to carry hame with them from the Assemblie to their severall Presbyteries and Burroughs.

62.—An Act ordaineing the Presbyteries to intymate in their severall pulpits the Assemblyes explanacon of the Confession of Faith, the Act against Episcopacie, the Act against the 5 Articles, the Act against the Service Booke, the Booke of Cannons, Booke of Ordinances, and the High Commission, the severall acts of deposicon and excommunicacon of the prelates.

63. An Act discharging all printers not to print anything concerning the Acts or the proceedings of this Assembly, or anything which concerns the Church, without a warrant under Mr Archbald Johnstons hands, as Clerk to the Assembly, and Procurator for the Church, and that vnder the paine of all ecclesiasticall censure; and this to be likewise intymated with the other Acts.

64.—An Act ordeyning the Covenant subscribed in Febʳ last to bee now againe subscribed, with the Assemblyes declaracon thereof; and this to bee also intymated by all ministers in their pulpitts.

65.—An Act dicharging all subscripcon to the Covenant subscribed by His Majestie’s Commissioner and the Lords of Councell, which is likewise to be intimated.

66.—An Act against those which are maliceous agˢᵗ this Church, or dedyners or disoeclyers of the Acts of this Assembly.

67.—An Act warranting the Moderator and Clerke to give out summons, upon lawfull complaints, against parties to appeare before the Assembly.

68.—An Act renewing the priviledges of yearly Generall Assemblies, and oftener, (pro re nata) and for appointing the third Wednesday in July next, in Edinburgh, for the next Generall Assembly.

69.—An Act that none be chosen as Ruling Elders to sitt in Presbiteries, Provinciall or Generall Assemblies, but those who subscribe the Covenant as it is now declared, and acknowledge the constitutions of this Assemblie.

70.—An Act concerning the voting of church-sessions, and tryall of Expectants.

71.—An Act for representing to the Parliament the necessitie of the standing of the Procurators place for the Church.

72.—An Act ordayning all Presbiteries to keepe a solemn thanksgiving in all parishes for Gods blessing and good successe of this Assemblie upon the first convenient Sabbath.

Extracted by mee, Mr Archbald Johnston,
Clerke to the Generall Assemblie.

Miscellaneous Historical Documents.

RECORDS
OF
THE KIRK OF SCOTLAND,
CONTAINING THE

ACTS AND PROCEEDINGS

OF THE

General Assemblies,

FROM THE YEAR 1638 DOWNWARDS,

AS AUTHENTICATED BY THE CLERKS OF ASSEMBLY;

WITH

NOTES AND HISTORICAL ILLUSTRATIONS,

BY

ALEXANDER PETERKIN,

EDITOR OF “THE COMPENDIUM OF CHURCH LAWS,” &c.

VOL. I.

NEC TAMEN CONSUMEBATUR

EDINBURGH:
JOHN SUTHERLAND, 12, CALTON STREET.
MDCCCXXXVIII.

From the Steam-Press of Peter Brown, Printer, 19, St James’ Square.

CONTENTS
Introduction.

The National Covenant or, Confession of Faith of the Kirk of Scotland.

The Principall Acts of the Solemne Generall Assembly of the Kirk of Scotland.

A Breife Collection of the Passages of the Assembly Holden at Glasgow in Scotland, November Last, 1638; With the Deposicon of Divers B.p.p. Their Offences For Which They Were Sentenced; and an Index of All the Acts Made at the Said Assembly.

An Index of all the Principall Acts of the Assembly holden at Glasgow 1638.

Miscellaneous Historical Documents Relative to the Ecclesiastical and Political Events in Scotland, 1633-1638.

Report of Proceedings of the General Assembly at Glasgow, 1638.

The General Assembly, at Edinburgh, 1639.

The Principall Acts of the Generall Assembly Holden at Edinburgh, in the Year 1639.

Index of the Principall Acts Of the Assembly at Edinburgh, 1639. Not Printed.

Miscellaneous Historical Documents, Relative to the Ecclesiastical and Political Events in Scotland—1639.

Report of the Proceedings Of the Late Generall Assembly, Indicted by the Kings Majestie, and Holden at Edinburgh, the 12 of August, 1639.

The Proceedings of The Late Solemne Assembly, Holden at Edinburgh 12 of August 1639.

The General Assembly, at Aberdeen, 1640.

The Principall Acts of the Generall Assembly Conveened at Aberdene, July 28, 1640.

Index of the Principall Acts of the Assembly at Aberdene, 1640. Not printed.

Miscellaneous Historical Documents. Relative to the Ecclesiastical and Political Events in Scotland—1639-40.

The General Assembly, at St Andrews and Edinburgh, 1641.

The Principall Acts of the Generall Assembly Holden at St Andrews and Edinburgh, 1641.

Index of the Principall Acts of the Assembly Holden at S. Andrews and Edinburgh, 1641.not Printed.

Miscellaneous Historical Documents, Relative to the Ecclesiastical and Political Events in Scotland—1640-41.

The General Assembly, at St Andrew’s, 1642.

The Principall Acts of the Generall Assembly, Conveened at St Andrews, July 27, 1642.

Miscellaneous Historical Documents, Relative to the Ecclesiastical and Political Events in Scotland—1642.

The General Assembly, at Edinburgh, 1643.

The Principall Acts of the Generall Assembly, Conveened at St Andrews, July 27, 1642.

Index of the Acts of the Assembly holden at Edinburgh, 1643. Not printed.

Miscellaneous Historical Documents. Relative to the Ecclesiastical and Political Events in Scotland—1643.

The General Assembly, at Edinburgh, 1644.

The Principall Acts of the Generall Assembly, Conveened at Edinburgh, May 29, 1644.

Index of the Acts of the Assembly holden at Edinburgh, 1644. Not Printed.

Miscellaneous Historical Documents, Relative to the Ecclesiastical and Political Events in Scotland—1644.

The General Assembly, at Edinburgh, 1645.

The Principall Acts of the Generall Assembly, Met Occasionally at Edinburgh, January 22, 1645.

Index of the Acts of this Assembly. Not Printed.

Miscellaneous Historical Documents, Relative to the Ecclesiastical and Political Events in Scotland—1645.

The General Assembly, at Edinburgh, 1646.

The Principall Acts of the Generall Assembly, Met at Edinburgh, Junii 3, 1646

Index of the Acts of the Generall Assembly not Printed, 1646.

Miscellaneous Historical Documents Relative to the Ecclesiastical and Political Events in Scotland—1646.

The General Assembly, at Edinburgh, 1647.

The Principall Acts of the Generall Assembly Met at Edinburgh, August 4, 1647.

Index of the Acts of This Generall Assemblie Not Printed.

Miscellaneous Historical Documents, Relative to the Ecclesiastical and Political Events in Scotland—1647.

The General Assembly, at Edinburgh, 1648.

The Principall Acts of the Generall Assembly Conveened at Edinburgh, July 12, 1648.

Miscellaneous Historical Documents, Relative to the Ecclesiastical and Political Events in Scotland—1648.

The General Assembly, at Edinburgh, 1649.

The Principall Acts of the Generall Assembly Holden at Edinburgh, July 7, 1649.

Index of the Unprinted Acts of the Assembly, 1649.

Miscellaneous Historical Documents, Relative to the Ecclesiastical and Political Events in Scotland—1649.

Appendix. State of the Presbyterian Kirk of Scotland From 1649 to 1654.

Footnotes:

Index to the Acts of the General Assembly. 1638-1649.

Index to Miscellaneous Documents. 1638-1654.

INTRODUCTION.
The object of the present work is to present to the public, in a form that may be generally accessible, the history of one of the most interesting periods in the annals of our National Church, by the republication of her Acts and Proceedings, at and subsequent to the era of her second Reformation; and, combined therewith, such historical documents and sketches as are calculated to preserve the memory of an important, and, ultimately, beneficial revolution in Scotland.

The Reformation from Popery—of which the seeds had been sown during the lapse of the half century which preceded the abolition of that system of national religion in 1560—forms the subject-matter of a distinct epoch, which has been amply illustrated in the works of Principal Robertson, Dr Cook, and Dr M‘Crie, and which has been further developed more authentically in the pages of the “Booke of the Universall Kirke;” and it is not within the range of the present compilation to take any retrospect of the events which occurred in reference to the Reformed Church of Scotland, prior to the year 1633, when King Charles I. was crowned King of Scotland. It may be deemed sufficient to note merely, that Popery was abolished, by act of Parliament, on the 24th of August 1560, and the reformed doctrines recognised and tolerated by contemporary statute; that, in 1567, the Protestant Church was established and endowed; that the mixed Episcopal and Presbyterian form of Church government which subsisted during the first thirty-two years of its existence, yielded to the Presbyterian polity, which was established by act of Parliament on the 5th of June 1592; and that Episcopacy having been insinuated through the instrumentality of the General Assembly of the Church,1 in consequence of the intrigues of King James VI., became, though in a modified shape, the established form of the Protestant Church in Scotland, by virtue of various acts of Parliament.2

Such was the nature of the Established Protestant Church of Scotland when Charles I. ascended the thrones of both the British kingdoms, at the demise of his father, on the 22d of March 1625; and such it continued to be up to the time that we have selected as the commencement of the period, to the illustration of which the following pages are devoted.

Along with his crown, Charles I. inherited from his father, a legacy of political and ecclesiastical bigotry, and a cluster of debateable questions betwixt him and his subjects, which, ere long, involved him in numberless embarrassments and conflicts, that terminated only with his life on the scaffold. In reference to Scotland, that which first brought him into collision with his northern subjects, was a project of resuming grants which had been lavishly bestowed by his father on his nobility and other minions (or which were usurped by them,) of the tithes and benefices that had belonged to the Popish Church prior to the Reformation. James himself had contemplated such a revocation before his death, and also the establishment of a Liturgy in the Scottish Episcopacy, recently introduced, and but imperfectly consolidated; but he wanted the courage to adopt the requisite measures for that purpose, which were calculated to rouse into active hostility the combined opposition of a fierce aristocracy, and of the Presbyterian clergy and people, who had been cheated out of their favoured scheme of church polity by the insidious manœuvres of James. The revocation was the first step taken by Charles in pursuance of his father’s policy; and it was justified by precedents in the commencement of every new reign, during the previous history of Scotland. But the first attempt to accomplish this end proved abortive, and had nearly produced the most tragical consequences. It may be proper to advert briefly to these occurrences.

In October 1625, a Convention of Estates was held for the consideration of this interesting topic; but the proposition was rejected by nearly all the nobility and gentry, many of whom had profited from the plunder of the ecclesiastical patrimony; and Bishop Burnet3 gives a very characteristic anecdote of the proceedings on the occasion. The Earl of Nithsdale, as Commissioner, had been instructed to exact an4 unconditional surrender; but the parties interested had previously conspired, and resolved that, if they could not otherwise deter him from prosecuting the measure, “they would fall upon him and all his party, in the old Scottish manner, and knock them on the head;” and so deadly was their purpose, that one of their number, who was blind, (Belhaven,) and was seated beside the Earl of Dumfries, had clutched hold of him with one hand, and was prepared, had any stir arisen, to plunge a dagger in his heart. Nithsdale, however, seeing the stormy aspect of the conclave, disguised his instructions, and returned to London disappointed in his mission.

A convocation of the clergy, however, whose views were directed to a complete restoration of its ancient patrimony to the Church, and a large body of the landed proprietors, who had suffered from the rapacity of the Lords of Erection, and titulars, who had obtained the Church property and tithes, were favourable to a revocation—animated by the hope that, in any new distribution of the revenues, a larger portion of these would fall to their lot from the royal favour than they could ever expect from the individual overlords and improprietors. These two classes, therefore, co-operated in supporting the views of the King, for a resumption of church property and tithes; and these movements resulted in the well known arbitration, by which his Majesty obtained a general surrender of the impropriated tithes and benefices, under which the law upon this subject was ultimately settled by the enactments in the Statute-book,4 leaving unavoidably an extended spirit of discontent among the disappointed parties in the most influential classes of the community.

One of the main objects of Charles’ policy being thus partially accomplished, he proceeded to Scotland in the summer of 1633, for the purpose of being crowned in his native kingdom. His Majesty’s progress and inauguration were distinguished by unwonted splendour, and he received a cordial welcome from his northern subjects; but some parts of the ceremonial gave deep offence to the Scottish people, as savouring strongly of Popish mummeries; and the morning of his reign was speedily overcast in Scotland, by a most unwise and obstinate assertion of the royal prerogative in some matters of the most ludicrous insignificancy. In 1606, an act had passed in the Scottish Parliament, asserting the royal prerogative to an extravagant pitch; and another in 1609, by which King James VI. was empowered to prescribe apparel to the churchmen with the consent of the Church—a concession which had been made to gratify that monarch’s predilections for all priest-like intermeddling with ecclesiastical affairs, and all sorts of trifling details. But these concessions had lain dormant during the remainder of his reign, and had never been acted upon; nay, when, in 1617, an act had been prepared by the Lords of Articles, authorizing all things that should thereafter be determined in ecclesiastical affairs by his Majesty, with consent of a competent number of the clergy selected by himself, to be law, he ordered that act to be suppressed in the House, although it had passed the Lords of Articles.

Charles, however, not sufficiently acquainted with the latent spirit of his Scottish subjects, ordered an act to be framed, soon after his coronation, embodying the enactments of both the statutes above alluded to, asserting the unlimited prerogative of the King in all matters, civil and ecclesiastical, and giving him power to regulate the robes and raiment of ecclesiastics. This was strenuously opposed by Rothes, Balmerino, and a majority of the Estates, notwithstanding the personal presence of the King, and his domineering orders to them to vote and not to speak. By a juggle, however, the clerk-register (Primrose) reported the majority the other way—a falsity which could not be impugned without incurring the pains of treason; and so intent was Charles on coercing the Estates into this measure, that he marked on a list the names of all who had voted against his crotchet, and threatened them with his resentment.5

These extraordinary and indecorous stretches of authority, excited the greatest alarm. The freedom of speech in Parliament, its independence, and the integrity of its record, were violated in a manner the most outrageous and inconsistent with all liberty or safety. The nobility held various consultations as to what was to be done in this juncture, and a petition to the King was drawn up and shewn to some of them—amongst others to Batmerino; but the King having declared that he would receive no explanation or remonstrance from them, the purpose was dropped. A copy of it however, with some corrections on it in Balmerino’s handwriting, having been confided by him to a notary for transcription, it was treacherously conveyed to Charles, by Spottiswood, Archbishop of St Andrew’s, some months afterwards. For this innocent and, according to modern notions, this constitutional exercise of the right of petition, or rather this intent to exercise it, Balmerino was put on his trial,6 before a packed court and a packed jury, for leasingmaking or an attempt to sow dissension betwixt the King and his subjects—an offence of the most arbitrary construction, and certainly not overtly committed by Balmerino in this case. Seven of the jury were for acquittal—but eight, being a majority, found him guilty—and he was sentenced to a capital punishment.

This trial excited the deepest interest throughout the country, and its result produced consternation, and prompted to the most desperate counsels. It was proposed to force the prison and rescue Balmerino; or, if that failed, to kill the obnoxious judges and jurors, and burn their houses. But these perilous resolutions were obviated by Lord Traquair, one of the jury and a tool of the Court, representing to the King the consequences which were to be5 apprehended; and it was found expedient to grant Balmerino a pardon.7

These were the first false steps of Charles in Scotland. They shook irretrievably the confidence of his subjects in his personal integrity, and in his reverence for the law and the purity of its administration; and the whole of these proceedings are eminently instructive, as evincing to what trivial circumstances, in some respects, convulsions and revolutions, of an extended and sweeping character, may often be ascribed as the source. It is exceedingly difficult now to estimate fully the motives of either party in these transactions. The Scottish Estates were not averse to yield the point of royal supremacy exacted by James and Charles; but when the latter claimed as his prerogative the power to regulate the draperies of the priesthood, it was vehemently resisted by parliament and people as an encroachment on their religious liberties. And to this paltry subject, which was more appropriate to a college of tailors than to the cabinet of a monarch or the arena of a senate, we may trace the first beginnings of that succession of revolutions which, for upwards of half a century afterwards, overflowed the land with torrents of blood and of tears.8

The arbitrary principles in which Charles had been trained by his father, were so deeply impressed on his character, that, though in other respects an able and amiable man, they were never eradicated from his mind by all his experience of their consequences. Prompted by the bigoted intolerance of Laud, surrounded by court sycophants, who sought favour by subserviency to his prejudices, and betrayed in Scotland by a set of the most unprincipled knaves, both lay and clerical, that ever were destined to mislead a sovereign into disgrace and destruction, Charles took not warning in his government from the lessons that had been taught him in the transaction to which we have thus briefly alluded; and he must needs enforce by coercion in Scotland that uniformity in religious ceremonials with the Episcopal Church of England, on which his father had bestowed so much of his royal wisdom.9 His enterprises in this respect led to consequences which he little anticipated, and which terminated most fatally for his own authority and honour. We allude to his attempt to introduce the Liturgy and canons, which were concocted for the Church in Scotland, under the auspices of Archbishop Laud—an attempt which, within a very brief space after Balmerino’s trial and sentence had excited universal alarm, rallied the whole population of Scotland under the banner of “The Covenant,” in open resistance to their throned monarch; presenting to our contemplation one of the most remarkable and sublime moral spectacles that is to be found in the history of ancient or modern times—an entire nation simultaneously banding themselves together, and leagued by solemn religious vows, for the vindication and maintenance of their liberties, civil and religious, yet cherishing and avowing their allegiance to their sovereign, except in so far as he exceeded his legitimate authority.

Before entering on the Proceedings and Acts of the General Assemblies of the Church from 1638 to 1649, which it is one of the objects of this work to preserve, it is necessary, for the elucidation of these, to detail the circumstances, political and ecclesiastical, (these being, in truth, identical,) which preceded that great demonstration of the national will and power, during the years 1636 and 1637; and, in doing so, the facts shall be as concisely stated as is practicable, amidst the great mass of materials which are supplied to the student of our history in the numerous works that treat of the period now referred to.10

Early in the progress of the Scottish Reformation, the Lords of the Congregation had directed the “Book of Common Order,” as it was called, which was used in the Protestant Church of Geneva, to be read in the religious service of the Scottish Reformers; and it was sanctioned by the Church in the “First Book of Discipline,” among the first of its acts after the abolition of Popery.11 Under this sanction, the “Book of Common Prayer” was appointed to be used by the Readers as a part of the public worship in the churches; and, so far as we can discover, it continued to be used, either as an essential part or, at least, as the model for prayer in public worship, during the fluctuations in the frame of the Church in the time of James VI. The Assembly at Aberdeen,12 indeed, had ordered the Geneva form to be revised; but the vehement opposition made in the subsequent Assembly at Perth to King James’ Articles, induced him to suspend his innovation.

Charles, however, a man of higher moral and personal courage than his father, and stimulated by the fanatical and semipopish zeal of Laud, had given instructions, during his recent visit to Scotland, for superseding the early Book of Order, and directed the introduction of Canons and a Liturgy similar to those of England. In order to deceive the Scotch into a belief that it was different, and to soothe the national pride, by eschewing the aspect of servile imitation as a mark of its dependence on the English hierarchy, the Scotch Prelates devised a new Liturgy, which was, in many points, and indeed in its leading features, much more Popish than that of England.

6

The Canons were first compiled and confirmed by the Royal Supremacy. They comprehended whatever the Kings of Israel or the Emperors of the Primitive Church had arrogated; secured from challenge the consecration of the bishops; and added terror to excommunication, by annexing confiscation and outlawry as the penalties of incurring it. The Liturgy was sanctioned before it was actually framed. By it the clergy were forbidden to deviate from its forms, or to pray extemporaneously; the demeanour of the people in public worship was rigorously prescribed; kirk-sessions and presbyteries, as these were established by the act 1592, were abolished, under the new designation of “conventicles;” the powers of these were transferred to the bishops, and lay elders entirely superseded; and the whole texture and spirit of it was manifestly Popish, embodying, in almost undisguised terms, the form of the missals, and introducing every particular, both of doctrine and ceremonial, that was most obnoxious to the whole population, except the prelates, nine of whom, out of fourteen, had been introduced into the Privy Council, while Archbishop Spottiswood was created Chancellor, and Maxwell, Bishop of Ross, aspired to the office of Lord Treasurer—thus combining the highest spiritual with the highest political functions, and forming a conclave of despotism entirely subservient to the King.

The new order of things, therefore, was not a mere institution of Episcopacy, in which only spiritual jurisdiction was conferred, and different orders of clergy were established, as in England; but it was palpably a political engine, incompatible with the existence of civil liberty or freedom of conscience in matters of religion; and this innovation became universally obnoxious to the whole nation, by reason of its manifest revival of the practices and ritual of the Catholics. A font was appointed to be placed in the entrance of the church, the cross was enjoined in baptism, and the water was changed and consecrated in the font twice a month; an altar was appointed for the chancel; the communion table, decorated, was placed in the east, and the consecration of the elements was a prayer expressive of the Real Presence, and their elevation deemed an actual oblation. The confessions of the penitent were to be concealed by the clergy; and the whole contexture of this novel Liturgy was such, in conjunction with the Canons, as to effect a total subversion of all the principles cherished by the bulk of the nation from the date of the Reformation, and to overthrow the entire system of Presbyterian doctrine and discipline that had previously prevailed in the usages of the Church, and the law of the land.

It is noways surprising, therefore, that these innovations produced tremendous revulsion throughout the country; and they were rendered still more offensive by the mode of their introduction—without the consent of a General Assembly of the Church or of Parliament, but solely by virtue of the royal prerogative, and the authority of the prelates—the advice even of the Privy Council, and some of the elder prelates being entirely contemned. The alarm was sounded from the pulpits by a great majority of the parochial clergy, and pervaded, not merely the common people, but the gentry also, and, with few exceptions, all the ancient nobility of the realm: every man, whether valuing his religious principles, or his political liberty and safety, was appalled by the immediate prospect of an intolerant spiritual domination and civil tyranny being established in the land of his forefathers. “In short,” as Dr Cook emphatically states, “the complete command of the Church was given to the bishops, and the kingdom was thus laid at the foot of the throne.”13

In this state matters continued from the time that these changes became known, in 1636, till the summer of 1637. At the same time, besides the Court of High Commission, each of the prelates obtained subordinate Commission-courts, which were, in all respects, so many local inquisitions; so that “Black Prelacy” was armed in Scotland with all the powers and terrors of the Popish Church anterior to its abolition. The prelates, however, were at first deterred, by well-grounded apprehensions, from the exercise of their late-sprung power. A general adoption of the Liturgy at Easter had been required by royal proclamation, but the day had elapsed before the publication of it took place; and it was not till May 1637 that a charge was ordered to be given to the clergy, that each of them should “buy and provide” two copies for his parish, under the penalty of escheat of his effects. The Council, however, had omitted in their edict to require the adoption and practice of these formularies, although, doubtless, the conjoint effect of these innovations was held to imply an imperative rule for the clergy. This looseness of phraseology, however, opened a door for the recusant clergy to evade the use of the new ritual, and paved the way for an eventual defeat of the prelates’ schemes.14

On the 16th of July 1637, an order was intimated from the pulpit in Edinburgh, that, on the following Sunday, the Liturgy would be introduced; and this without the concurrence of the Privy Council or any previous arrangement for smoothing its reception. This notice excited great popular agitation, and brought the collision betwixt the court and prelates on the one side, and the country on the other, to a crisis. On Sunday following, (23d July,) the Dean of Edinburgh officiated in St Giles’, and the Bishop elect of Argyle in the Greyfriars’ church, each of them being attended by some of the Judges, Prelates, Members of Council, and other dignitaries, so as to give an imposing effect to the introduction of the obnoxious services. St Giles’ church was crowded, and all went on with the wonted solemnity of public worship until the reading of the service commenced, when Janet Geddes, an humble7 female, rose up and exclaimed, “Villain! daurst thou say the mass at my lug?” and, suiting the action to the word, she tossed the stool on which she had been sitting at the Dean’s head. Forthwith, the assembled multitude broke out into such a tumult as (Baillie says) “was never heard of since the Reformation,” exclaiming, “A Pape! a Pape! Antichrist!” and accompanying these expressions with a violent assault on the doors and windows, so as effectually to interrupt the service. In the other church, of Greyfriars, the performance of the service was attended with similar, though less violent demonstrations of popular hostility; and it was with difficulty that the officiating priests were rescued from the violence of the outraged multitude. The greatest excitement pervaded the city throughout the day; and in every quarter of the country where the Liturgy was attempted to be introduced, except at St Andrew’s, Brechin, Dunblane, and Ross, it was resisted with similar manifestations of anger and disgust; and this popular effervescence was speedily extended from the lower to the higher ranks, betwixt which the most entire sympathy existed, although the latter adopted a more rational and effective mode of resistance.

It is beyond the range of these introductory remarks, to enter on all the details of procedure which took place from the first outbreak of this opposition till the meeting of the General Assembly of Glasgow, in November 1838. Of these, all the particulars are fully detailed in Lord Rothes’ MS. Relation, in the Advocates’ Library, Baillie’s Letters, and other contemporary chronicles, and more recently in Mr Laing’s and Dr Cook’s Histories, and Dr Alton’s Life of Henderson—a man who, at that juncture, arose to great eminence, to guide his countrymen In their struggles, and to dignify their cause by the distinguished talents which in him were called forth and displayed on this occasion. It is sufficient for the present purpose to note a few of the more prominent facts and occurrences which hastened the movement and, ere long, prostrated the royal authority in Scotland.

Henderson, then minister of Leuchars, in Fife, and three other clergymen from the Presbyteries of Irvine, Ayr, and Glasgow, having been pressed by the prelatical authorities on the score of the Liturgy presented, on the 20th of August, bills of suspension to the Privy Council, upon the grounds that the recent innovations were illegal, not being sanctioned by Parliament or the General Assembly, and as being in contravention to the Acts of Parliament and of the Church. The Council eluded these broad grounds, by finding that the edicts of which suspension was sought, did not require the observance, but only the purchase, of the new formalities; and the Council communicated with the King as to the dilemma in which both he and they were now placed. His Majesty, however, unmoved by these events, ordered the immediate observance of the ritual, (September 20,) and rebuked the tardiness of the Council. But whenever this untoward resolution of the King was known, the four ministers, who were thus the foremost men in the contest, were joined and supported by twenty-four peers, a great many of the gentry, sixty-six commissioners from towns and parishes, and nearly one hundred ministers, who immediately poured in numerous petitions, remonstrating against the imposition of the Liturgy and Canons.15 These gave open demonstrations of their making common cause with Henderson and his associates, going in a body to the door of the Council House, in the High Street of the metropolis, with their remonstrances or petitions; and thus they sustained the four individuals who had been selected by the prelates for persecution. During the interval which elapsed before an answer was returned, the remonstrants busied themselves in agitating their grievances over the whole kingdom, and speedily organized one of the most formidable and best constructed oppositions to which any government ever was exposed.

It having been intimated that answers from Court to their remonstrances and petitions would reach Edinburgh on the 18th of October, great multitudes, from all parts of the country, flocked to the capital. The Privy Council were panic-struck, and issued proclamations, intimating that, at the first Council-day, nothing should be done relating to the Church; ordering all strangers to leave Edinburgh within twenty-four hours; removing the Council and Session from Edinburgh to Linlithgow, and afterwards to Dundee; and denouncing a book which had been published against the measures of the Court and Prelates. This brought matters to a crisis.

Having delivered the several applications with which they had been intrusted from the provinces to the Clerk of the Council, the noblemen, gentlemen, and clergy met in three different bodies; but they concurred in a general declaration against the obnoxious books, and ordered it to be presented to the Council. It were tedious enumerating all the proclamations by the King and Council, and the protestations against these by the nobles and clergy, and all the negotiations and intrigues which supervened—of these original documents, however, copies will be given in the notes subjoined to the Acts of Assembly in 1638; but it would savour of undue partiality to the proceedings of the malcontents, if we omitted to state that, during the whole of the period alluded to, many disgraceful outrages were perpetrated by the rabble, who, in the language of Baillie, seemed to be “possessed with a bloody devil,” the authorities being utterly unprepared and unable to repress these disorders, at the very time that they were exciting the people of all classes by their lawless and inconsiderate edicts and tyrannical acts.

These mutual exasperations had reached the highest pitch, when, in February 1638, the Presbyterians8 assumed a bold and perilous attitude, amounting almost to a practical dereliction of their allegiance to the King, and an assumption of supreme authority. In order to avoid the large and tumultuary assemblages which had taken place during the preceding year, the Council had required that the supplications and communications should be managed by delegates and commissioners from the greater masses; and, accordingly, those persons acting in this capacity, under the sanction of the King’s Council, had, in the preceding November, formed large and influential subdivisions of themselves into distinct bodies called “Tables,” representing the different classes who were combined for the vindication of their religious liberties—one for the nobility, another for the gentry, a third for the clergy, and a fourth for the burghs. Committees of the most influential and zealous of each class, sat at four different tables in the Parliament House, having sub-committees, and a central one of the whole, devising and concocting such measures as they deemed necessary for promoting the common cause; thus centralizing the public feeling of the country, and again giving forth mandates from their united Councils, with all the force and authority of law, to the people, and superseding virtually the functions both of the Executive and Legislature of the country.

The most noted act of this anomalous Convention was the formation of a muniment, which was composed by Henderson and Johnston of Warriston, and revised by Balmerino, Rothes, and Loudon, and which was destined to be a powerful instrument in the hands of these national leaders. The Covenant was framed and promulgated at the time we refer to, and henceforward became the rallying standard of the nation, or, at least, of a great majority of its inhabitants, during the space of half a century, till a more benignant symbol of freedom was unfurled at the Revolution, under which the people of these realms have hitherto, since that time, enjoyed all the blessings of a limited monarchy, and institutions for the maintenance of the Protestant faith, and perfect freedom of conscience to all classes of the people.

The adoption and character of that remarkable League enter so deeply into the subject of the present undertaking, that, in order to render numerous subsequent proceedings intelligible to many persons, it is necessary to devote particular attention to it, and the circumstances under which it was promulgated.

The Earl of Traquair returned to Scotland, on the 15th of February, with instructions from the King in reference to the affairs of Scotland. He dissembled at first the full tenor of these, in his communications with the leaders of the Tables, and, on the 19th, proceeded, early in the morning, to Stirling, to publish the proclamation of which he was the bearer, before the Presbyterians should be apprized of his intentions, or prepared to offer any show of opposition. Lord Lindsay and Lord Hume, however, being apprised of Traquair’s movements, had outstripped him, and were on the spot to protest against its effects. The proclamation expressed the King’s approval of the Liturgy; declared all the petitions against it derogatory to his supreme authority, and deserving the severest censure, and prohibited the supplicants to assemble again under the penalties of treason.16

When this proclamation, which was calculated to excite their most gloomy apprehensions, and to extinguish all their hopes of the King ever listening to their remonstrances, was proclaimed by the heralds at Stirling, Lords Hume and Lindsay made formal protestation against it, claiming a right of access to the King by petition; declining the prelates as judges in any court, civil or ecclesiastical; protesting that no act of Council, past or future, (the prelates being members,) should be prejudicial to the supplicants, in their persons or estates; that the Presbyterians should not incur any danger in life or lands, or any political or ecclesiastical pains, for not observing the Book of Liturgy, Canons, Rules, Judicatories, and Proclamations; but that it should be lawful for them to worship God according to His Word and Constitutions of the Church and Kingdom, &c.; and it concluded with professions of loyalty, and a declaration that they only desired the preservation of the true reformed religion, and laws and liberties of the kingdom. A copy of this protestation was affixed to the Cross of Stirling. It was afterwards repeated at Linlithgow and Edinburgh, to the presence of seventeen Peers, and everywhere else where the proclamation was published.

In these critical circumstances, and to order at once to guard themselves from the perils which were sure to overtake them individually if severed, and exposed at once to the obstinate displeasure of the King and the revenge of the prelates, the nobles resolved to consolidate their union by a solemn engagement, such at those which had been entered into by the Lords of the Congregation and first Protestants, to the dawn and during the progress of the Reformation to its earlier stages.17 The positions in which they stood were similar; and the example of the fathers and founders of the Protestant Church in Scotland, naturally prompted the Tables to imitation, independently of the ancient usage which existed to Scotland, of entering into “Bands” for mutual protection and support in troubled times. The model, however, which they had chiefly in view was a “Confession” framed under the auspices and instructions of King James VI., in which the errors of Popery were abjured, and to which there was subsequently added a bond, or obligation, to maintain the true religion, and protect the King’s person, as well as for the general defence.18 Taking that document as the basis and9 model of the Covenant, the leaders of the Presbyterian’s superadded to it an obligation to defend each other against all persons whatsoever, and a pointed denunciation of the innovations recently attempted to be forced upon the country.

For the course thus adopted, they had precedents in the conduct of the first Reformers—in that of King James himself, who had signed the “Confession,” and sought the signature of all his subjects—and in the terms of the early “bands” for mutual defence and maintenance of the reformed doctrines. Nor is it necessary to resort to any casuistry to justify the adoption of such an engagement. Dr Cook justly remarks, that the vindication of the Covenant is to be rested “upon this great principle, that when the ends for which all government should be instituted are defeated, the oppressed have a clear right to disregard customary forms, and to assert the privileges without which they would be condemned to the degradation and wretchedness of despotism.”19 That such was the predicament in which the Church and people of Scotland were placed, by the reiterated proclamations and edicts issued by the King and the Scots Privy Council for several years prior to February 1838, and that these amounted to an unqualified assumption of arbitrary and absolute power, paramount to the authority of Parliament, and the sanctions of the ecclesiastical authorities established by law, are points which do not admit of the slightest doubt; and no alternative remained but that the nobles, clergy, and people of Scotland, should combine, in the most constitutional manner that was practicable, for maintaining the law, and for mutual defence, or tamely submit their necks to the yoke which most assuredly would have been permanently imposed on them by the base minions of a court, and an unprincipled hierarchy. Whatever errors they subsequently committed, and however much we may deplore the infatuation by which Charles was misled in urging his Scottish subjects into such decisive measures, no one who is versed in the elements of the British Constitution, or imbued with the spirit of genuine freedom, can hesitate to admit that, in adopting the Covenant, the people of Scotland were, at the time, not only fully justified, but were imperatively constrained to do so by every motive which can influence Christians, patriots, and brave men. The most eminent lawyers of these times, too, declared their opinions that there was nothing in the Covenant inconsistent with loyalty to a constitutional sovereign; nor has anything ever yet appeared, whether in the contemporary defences of the Court, or in the pages of more recent historians and critics, to shake the soundness of that opinion.

Deviating from the practice of historians, who merely give an abstract and brief statement of the contents of the Covenant, we deem it more suitable and convenient, in a compilation like the present, to embody in this Introductory Sketch the entire document, as it appears in the authenticated records, and, therefore, have subjoined it, as deserving of the reader’s attention, before proceeding to consider the events which followed its adoption.

THE
National Covenant;
OR,
CONFESSION OF FAITH
OF THE
KIRK OF SCOTLAND.
“The Confession of Faith, subscribed at first by the King’s Majesty and his Houshold, in the yeere of God 1580; thereafter by Persons of all rankes, in the yeere 1581, by ordinance of the Lords of the Secret Councell, and Acts of the Generall Assembly; subscribed againe by all sorts of persons in the yeere 1590, by a new Ordinance of Councell, at the desire of the Generall Assembly, with a generall Band for maintenance of the true Religion and the King’s person; and now subscribed in the yeere 1638 by us, Noblemen, Barons, Gentlemen, Burgesses, Ministers, and Commons under subscribing, together with our resolution and promises, for the causes after specified, to maintaine the said true Religion, and the King’s Majestie, according to the Confession foresaid, and Acts of Parliament. The tenor whereof here followeth.

“Wee All and every one of us underwritten, Protest, That, after long and due examination of our owne Consciences in matters of true and false Religion, are now throughly resolved of the Truth, by the Word and Spirit of God, and, therefore, we beleeve with our hearts, confesse with our mouths, subscribe with our hands, and constantly affirm, before God and the whole World, that this only is the true Christian Faith and Religion, pleasing God, and bringing Salvation to man, which now is, by the mercy of God, revealed to the world by the preaching of the blessed Evangel.

“And received, beleeved, and defended by many and sundry notable Kirks and Realmes, but chiefly by the Kirk of Scotland, the King’s Majestie, and the Three Estates of this Realme, as God’s eternall Truth, and onely ground of our salvation; as more particularly is expressed in the Confession of our Faith, stablished and publikely confirmed by sundry Acts of Parlaments, and now, of a long time, hath been openly professed by the King’s Majestie, and whole body of this Realme, both in Burgh and Land. To the which Confession and forme of Religion wee willingly agree in our consciences in all points, as unto God’s undoubted Truth and Verity, grounded onely upon his written Word. And, therefore, We abhorre and detest all contrarie Religion and Doctrine; but chiefly all kinde of Papistrie,10 in generall and particular heads, even as they are now damned and confuted by the Word of God and Kirk of Scotland; but, in speciall, we detest and refuse the usurped authoritie of that Roman Antichrist upon the Scriptures of God, upon the Kirk, the civill Magistrate, and Consciences of men; all his tyrannous lawes made upon indifferent things against our Christian libertie; his erroneous Doctrine against the sufficiencie of the written Word, the perfection of the Law, the office of Christ and his blessed Evangel; his corrupted Doctrine concerning originall sinne, our naturall inabilitie and rebellion to God’s law, our justification by faith onely, our imperfect sanctification and obedience to the law, the nature, number, and use of the holy Sacraments; his five bastard Sacraments, with all his 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; his blasphemous opinion of Transubstantiation, or real presence of Christ’s body in the Elements, and receiving of the same by the wicked, or bodies of men; his dispensations with solemn oaths, perjuries, and degrees of Marriage forbidden in the Word; his crueltie against the innocent divorced; his divellish Masse; his blasphemous Priesthood; his profane Sacrifice for the sins of the dead and the quick; his Canonization of men, calling upon Angels or Saints departed, worshipping of Imagerie, Relicks, and Crosses, dedicating of Kirks, Altars, Daies, Vowes to creatures; his Purgatorie, praiers for the dead; praying or speaking in a strange language, with his Processions, and blasphemous Letanie, and multitude of Advocates or Mediators; his manifold Orders, Auricular Confession; his desperate and uncertain repentance; his generall and doubtsome faith; his satisfactions of men for their sins; his justification by works, opus operatum, works of supererogation, Merits, Pardons, Peregrinations, and Stations; his holy Water, baptizing of Bels, conjuring of spirits, crossing, saning, anointing, conjuring, hallowing of God’s good creatures, with the superstitious opinion joined therewith; his worldly Monarchy, and wicked Hierarchie; his three solemne vowes, with all his shavelings of sundry sorts; his erroneous and bloudie decrees made at Trent, with all the subscribers and approvers of that cruell and bloudie Band conjured against the Kirk of God; and, finally, we detest all his vain Allegories, Rites, Signs, and Traditions brought in 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, by the Great Name of the LORD our GOD, that we shall continue in the obedience of the Doctrine and Discipline of this Kirk, and shall defend the same, according to our vocation and power, all the dayes of our lives, under the paines contained in the Law, and danger both of body and soule in the day of God’s fearfull Judgement; and seeing that many are stirred up by Satan and that Romane Antichrist, to promise, sweare, subscribe, and, for a time, use the Holy Sacraments in the Kirk deceitfully, against their owne consciences, minding thereby, first, under the externall cloake of Religion, to corrupt and subvert secretly God’s true Religion within the Kirk, and afterward, when time may serve, to become open enemies and persecutors of the same, under vaine hope of the Pope’s dispensation, devised against the Word of God, to his greater confusion, and their double condemnation in the day of the LORD JESUS.

“We, therefore, willing to take away all suspition of hypocrisie, and of such double dealing with God and his Kirk, Protest, and call The Searcher of all Hearts for witnesse, that our minds and hearts do fully agree with this our Confession, Promise, Oath, and Subscription, so that we are not moved for any worldly respect, but are perswaded onely in our Consciences, through the knowledge and love of God’s true Religion, printed in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, as we shall answer to Him in the day when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed; and because we perceive, that the quietnesse and stability of our Religion and Kirk doth depend upon the safety and good behaviour of the King’s Majestie, as upon a comfortable instrument of God’s mercy granted to this Country, for the maintaining of his Kirk, and ministration of Justice amongst us; we protest and promise with our hearts, under the same Oath, Hand-writ, and paines, that we shall defend his Person and Authority with our goods, bodies, and lives, in the defence of Christ his Evangel, Liberties of our Countrey, ministration of Justice, and punishment of iniquity, against all enemies within this Realme or without, as we desire our God to be a strong and mercifull Defender to us in the day of our death, and comming of our LORD JESUS CHRIST; to whom, with the Father, and the Holy Spirit, be all honour and glorie eternally.

“Like as many Acts of Parlament, not onely in generall doe abrogate, annull, and rescind all Lawes, Statutes, Acts, Constitutions, Canons, civill or Municipall, with all other Ordinances, and practicke penalties whatsoever, made in prejudice of the true Religion, and Professours thereof; or of the true Kirk discipline, jurisdiction, and freedome thereof; or in favours of Idolatrie and Superstition, or of the Papisticall Kirk: As Act 3, Act 31, Parl. 1, Act 23, Parl. 11, Act 114, Parl. 12. of King James the Sixt. That Papistrie and Superstition may be utterly suppressed, according to the intention of the Acts of Parlament, reported in Act 5, Parl. 20, K. James 6. And, to that end, they ordaine all Papists and Priests to be punished by manifold Civill and Ecclesiasticall paines, as adversaries to God’s true Religion, preached and by law established within this Realme, Act 24, Parl. 11, K. James 6, as common enemies to all Christian government, Act 18, Parl. 16, K. James 6, as rebellers and gainstanders of our Soveraigne11 Lord’s authoritie, Act 47, Parl. 3, K. James 6, and as Idolaters, Act 104, Parl. 7, K. James 6; but also in particular, (by and attour the Confession of Faith,) do abolish and condemne the Pope’s authoritie and jurisdiction out of this land, and ordaines the maintainers thereof to be punished, Act 2, Parl. 1, Act 51, Parl. 3, Act 106, Parl. 7, Act 114, Parl. 12, K. James 6, doe condemne the Pope’s erroneous doctrine, or any other erroneous doctrine repugnant to any of the Articles of the true and Christian Religion, publikely preached, and by Law established in this Realme; and ordaines the spreaders and makers of Books or Libels, or Letters, or writs of that nature, to be punished, Act 46, Parl. 3, Act 106, Parl. 7, Act 24, Parl. 11, K. James 6, doe condemne all Baptisme conform to the Pope’s kirk, and the idolatry of the Masse; and ordaines all sayers, wilfull hearers, and concealers of the Masse, the maintainers and resetters of the Priests, Jesuits, traffiquing Papists, to be punished without any exception or restriction, Act 5, Parl. 1, Act 120, Parl. 12, Act 164, Parl. 13, Act 193, Parl. 14, Act 1, Parl. 19, Act 5, Parl. 20, K. James 6, doe condemne all erroneous books and writs containing erroneous doctrine against the Religion presently professed, or containing superstitious Rites and Ceremonies Papisticall, whereby the people are greatly abused, and ordaines the home-bringers of them to be punished, Act 25, Parl. 11, K. James 6, doe condemne the monuments and dregs of bygane Idolatrie, as going to Crosses, observing the Festivall dayes of Saincts, and such other superstitious and Papisticall Rites, to the dishonour of God, contempt of true Religion, and fostering of great errour among the people, and ordaines the users of them to be punished for the second fault, as Idolaters, Act 104, Parl. 7, K. James 6.

“Like as many Acts of Parlament are conceived for maintenance of God’s true and Christian Religion, and the puritie thereof in Doctrine and Sacraments of the true Church of God, the libertie and freedome thereof, in her Nationall Synodall Assemblies, Presbyteries, Sessions, Policie, Discipline, and Jurisdiction thereof, as that puritie of Religion, and libertie of the Church was used, professed, exercised, preached, and confessed, according to the reformation of Religion in this realme: As, for instance, Act 99, Parl. 7, Act 23, Parl. 11, Act 114, Parl. 12, Act 160, Parl. 13, K. James 6, ratified by Act 4, K. Charles. So that Act 6, Parl. 1, and Act 68, Parl 6 of K. James 6, in the yeare of God 1579, declares the Ministers of the blessed Evangel, whom God, of his mercie, had raised up, or hereafter should raise, agreeing with them that then lived in Doctrine and administration of the Sacraments, and the people that professed Christ, as he was then offered in the Evangel, and doth communicate with the holy Sacraments, (as in the Reformed kirkes of this Realme they were presently administrate,) according to the Confession of Faith, to be the true and holy kirk of Christ Jesus within this Realme, and discernes and declares all and sundrie, who either gainsayes the Word of the Evangel, received and approved as the heads of the Confession of Faith, professed in Parlament in the yeare of God 1560; specified also in the first Parlament of K. James 6, and ratified in this present Parlament, more particularly do specifie; or that refuses the administration of the holy Sacraments, as they were then ministrated, to be no members of the said kirk within this Realme, and true Religion presently professed, so long as they keepe themselves so divided from the societie of Christ’s bodie: And the subsequent Act 69, Parl. 6, K. James 6, declares, That there is no other face of Kirke, nor other face of Religion, then was presently at that time, by the favour of God, established within this Realme, which, therefore, is ever stiled God’s true Religion, Christ’s true Religion, the true and Christian Religion, and a perfect Religion. Which, by manifold Acts of Parlament, all within this Realme, are bound to professe to subscribe the articles thereof, the Confession of Faith, to recant all doctrine and errours repugnant to any of the said Articles, Act 4 and 9, Parl. 1, Act 45, 46, 47, Parl. 3, Act 71, Parl. 6, Act. 106, Parl. 7, Act 24, Parl. 11, Act 123, Parl. 12, Act 194 and 197, Parl. 14, of K. James 6. And all Magistrates, Sheriffes, &c., on the one part, are ordained to search, apprehend, and punish all contraveeners; for instance, Act 5, Parl. 1, Act 104, Parl. 7, Act 25, Parl. 11, K. James 6. And that, notwithstanding of the King’s Majestie’s licences on the contrary, which are discharged and declared to be of no force, in so farre as they tend in any wayes to the prejudice and hinder of the execution of the Acts of Parlament against Papists and adversaries of true Religion, Act 106, parl. 7, K. James 6; on the other part, in the 47 Act, Parl. 3, K. James 6, it is declared and ordained, seeing the cause of God’s true Religion and his Highnesse Authority are so joyned, as the hurt of the one is common to both; and that none shall be reputed as loyall and faithfull subjects to our Sovereigns Lord, or his Authority; but be punishable as rebellers and gainstanders of the same, who shall not give their Confession, and make their profession of the said true Religion; and that they who, after defection, shall give the Confession of their faith of new, they shall promise to continue therein in time comming, to maintaine our Soveraigne Lord’s Authoritie, and at the uttermost of their power to fortifie, assist, and maintaine the true Preachers and Professours of Christ’s Religion, against whatsoever enemies and gainstanders of the same: and, namely, against all such of whatsoever nation, estate, or degree they be of, that have joyned and bound themselves, or have assisted, or assists, to set forward and execute the cruell decrees of Trent, contrary to the Preachers and true Professours of the Word of God, which is repeated word by word in the Articles of Pacification at Pearth, the 23d of February 1572, approved by Parlament the last of Aprill 1573, ratified in12 Parlament 1578, and related, Act 123, Parl. 12 of K. James 6, with this addition, That they are bound to resist all treasonable uproares and hostilities raised against the true Religion, the King’s Majestie, and the true Professours.

“Like as all lieges are bound to maintain the K. Majestie’s Royal Person and authority, the authority of Parlaments, without the which neither any laws or lawful judicatories can be established, Act 130, Act 131, Par. 8, K. Ja. 6, and the subjects’ liberties, who ought only to live and be governed by the King’s lawes, the common lawes of this Realme allanerly, Act 48, Parl. 3, K. James 1, Act 79, Parl. 6, K. James 4, repeated in Act 131, Parl. 8, K. James 6; which, if they be innovated or prejudged, the Commission anent the union of the two Kingdomes of Scotland and England, which is the sole Act of the 17 Parl. of K. James 6, declares such confusion would ensue, as this Realme could be no more a free Monarchie, because by the fundamentall lawes, ancient priviledges, offices, and liberties of this kingdome, not onely the Princely authoritie of his Majestie’s royal discent hath bin these manie ages maintained, but also the people’s securitie of their lands, livings, rights, offices, liberties and dignities preserved; and, therefore, for the preservation of the said true Religion, Lawes, and Liberties of this kingdome, it is statute by Act 6, Parl. 1, repeated in Act 99, Parl. 7, ratified in Act 23, Parl. 11, and 114 Act of K. James 6, and 4 Act of K. Charles, That all Kings and Princes at their Coronation and reception of their princely authoritie, shall make their faithfull promise by their solemn oath in the presence of the eternall God, that enduring the whole time of their lives, they shall serve the same eternall God, to the uttermost of their power, according as he hath required in his most holy Word, contained in the Old and New Testaments. And according to the same Word, shall maintain the true Religion of Christ Jesus, the preaching of his holy Word, the due and right ministration of the Sacraments, now received and preached within this Realme, (according to the Confession of Faith immediately preceding,) and shall abolish and gainstand all false Religion, contrarie to the same, and shall rule the people committed to their charge, according to the will and command of God, revealed in his foresaid Word, and according to the lowable lawes and constitutions received in this Realme, no waies repugnant to the said will of the eternall God, and shall procure, to the uttermost of their power, to the kirk of God, and whole Christian people, true and perfit peace in all time comming; and that they shall be carefull to root out of their Empire all Hereticks, and enemies to the true worship of God, who shall be convicted by the true kirk of God of the foresaid crimes; which was also observed by his Majesty at his Coronation in Edinburgh 1633, as may be seene in the order of the Coronation.

“In obedience to the commandement of God, conform to the practice of the godly in former times, and according to the laudable example of our worthy and religious Progenitors, and of many yet living amongst us, which was warranted also by Act of Councell, commanding a generall Band to bee made and subscribed by his Majestie’s subjects of all ranks, for two causes: One was, for defending the true Religion, as it was then reformed, and is expressed in the Confession of Faith above written, and a former large Confession established by sundrie Acts of lawfull Generall Assemblies and of Parlament, unto which it hath relation set downe in publicke Cathechismes, and which had beene for many yeeres, with a blessing from heaven, preached and professed in this Kirk and Kingdome, as God’s undoubted truth, grounded onely upon his written Word: The other cause was, for maintaining the King’s Majestie his Person and Estate; the true worship of God, and the King’s authoritie being so straightly joyned, as that they had the same friends and common enemies, and did stand and fall together. And, finally, being convinced in our minds, and confessing with our mouthes, that the present and succeeding generations in this Land, are bound to keep the foresaid nationall Oath and subscription inviolable, Wee Noblemen, Barons, Gentlemen Burgesses, Ministers, and Commons under subscribing, considering divers times before, and especially at this time, the danger of the true reformed Religion, of the King’s honour, and of the publicke peace of the Kingdome, by the manifold innovations and evils generally contained and particularly mentioned in our late supplications, complaints, and protestations, doe hereby professe, and, before God, his Angels, and the World, solemnely declare, That, with our whole hearts wee agree and resolve all the daies of our life constantly to adhere unto, and to defend the foresaid true Religion, and forbearing the practice of all novations already introduced in the matters of the worship of God, or approbation of the corruptions of the publick Government of the Kirk, or civill places and power of Kirkmen, till they bee tryed and allowed in free Assemblies, and in Parlaments, to labour by all means lawfull to recover the purity and libertie of the Gospel, as it was established and professed before the foresaid novations: And because, after due examination, we plainly perceive, and undoubtedly beleeve, that the Innovations and evils contained in our Supplications, Complaints, and Protestations have no warrant of the Word of God, are contrary to the Articles of the foresaid Confessions, to the intention and meaning of the blessed Reformers of Religion in this Land, to the above written Acts of Parlament, and doe sensibly tend to the re-establishing of the Popish Religion and tyranny, and to the subversion and ruine of the true Reformed Religion, and of our Liberties, Lawes, and Estates. We also declare, that the foresaid Confessions are to bee interpreted, and ought to be understood of the foresaid novations and evils, no lesse then if everie one of them had beene expressed in the foresaid Confessions; and that wee are obliged to detest and abhorre them, amongst other particular heads of13 Papistrie abjured therein. And, therefore, from the knowledge and conscience of our dutie to God, to our King and countrey, without any worldly respect or inducement, so farre as humane infirmitie will suffer, wishing a further measure of the grace of God for this effect, We promise and sweare, by the Great Name of the LORD our GOD, to continue in the Profession and Obedience of the foresaid Religion: That we shall defend the same, and resist all these contrarie errours and corruptions, according to our vocation, and to the uttermost of that power that God hath put in our hands, all the dayes of our life: And, in like manner, with the same heart, we declare before God and Men, That wee have no intention nor desire to attempt anything that may turne to the dishonour of God, or to the diminution of the King’s Greatnesse and authoritie: But, on the contrarie, wee promise and sweare, that wee shall, to the uttermost of our power, with our meanes and lives, stand to the defence of our dread Sovereign, the King’s Majestie, his person and authoritie, in the defence and preservation of the foresaid true Religion, Liberties, and Lawes of the Kingdome: As, also, to the mutuall defence and assistance, everie one of us of another in the same cause of maintaining the true Religion, and his Majestie’s authoritie, with our best counsell, our bodies, meanes, and whole power, against all sorts of persons whatsoever. So that, whatsoever shall be done to the least of us for that cause, shall be taken as done to us all in generall, and to everie one of us in particular. And that wee shall neither directly nor indirectly suffer ourselves to be divided or withdrawn by whatsoever suggesttion, combination, allurement, or terrour, from this blessed and loyall conjunction, nor shall cast in any let or impediment that that may stay or hinder any such resolution, as by common consent shall be found to conduce for so good ends. But, on the contrarie, shall, by all lawfull meanes, labour to further and promove the same; and if any such, dangerous and divisive motion be made to us by word or writ, wee, and everie one of us, shall either suppresse it, or, if need be, shall incontinent make the same known, that it may bee timeously obviated; neither do we feare the foule aspersions of rebellion, combination, or what else our adversaries, from their craft and malice would put upon us, seeing what we do is so well warranted, and ariseth from an unfained desire to maintaine the true worship of God, the majestie of our King, and the peace of the Kingdome, for the common happinesse of ourselves and posteritie. And because we cannot look for a blessing from God upon our proceedings, except with our profession and subscription we joyne such a life and conversation, as beseemeth Christians, who have renewed their Covenant with God; Wee therefore faithfully promise, for ourselves, our followers, and all others under us, both in publicke, in our particular families and personall carriage, to endevour to keep ourselves within the bounds of Christian libertie, and to be good examples to others of all Godlinesse, Sobernesse, and Righteousness, and of everie dutie we owe to God and Man. And that this our Union and Conjunction may bee observed without violation, we call the living God, the Searcher of our Hearts, to witnesse, who knoweth this to be our sincere Desire, and unfained Resolution, as wee shall answer to JESUS CHRIST in the great day, and under the paine of God’s everlasting wrath, and of infamie, and of losse of all honour and respect in this World. Most humblie beseeching the LORD, to strengthen us by his Holy Spirit for this end, and to blesse our desires and proceedings with a happie success, that Religion and Righteousnesse may flourish in the land, to the glorie of God, the honour of our King, and peace and comfort of us all. In witnesse whereof we have subscribed with our hands alt the premisses,” &c.

After much deliberation, and the reconcilement of many scruples of conscience and difficulties among the various classes of Presbyterians, this elaborate and solemn compact and vow was publicly promulgated, and, for the first time, sworn in Edinburgh, on the 28th of February 1633.20 An immense concourse of spectators assembled in the Greyfriars’ church and churchyard, at an early hour, on the morning of that day; and at two o’clock, Rothes and Loudon of the nobility, Henderson and Dickson of the clergy, and Johnston, their legal adviser, arrived with the Covenant ready for signature. Henderson began the solemnities of the day with prayer, and Loudon followed in an oration of great courage and power; after which, about four o’clock, the Earl of Sutherland was the first to step forward and inscribe his name on the Covenant; and he was immediately followed by Sir Andrew Murray, a minister at Abdy in Fife, and all who were within the church; after which it was laid out on a flat gravestone in the churchyard, and signed, till the parchment was full, by persons of all ranks, sexes, and ages, with uplifted hands, and consecrated by solemn invocations to heaven, and with such demonstrations of enthusiasm as it is difficult, in these latter times, to imagine. It was a day, as piously and eloquently described by Henderson, in which the people in multitudes offered themselves to the service of Heaven “like the dew drops in the morning”—“wherein the arm of the Lord was revealed”—and “the Princes of the people assembled to swear allegiance to the King of kings.”

These impressive proceedings did not terminate till nine o’clock in the evening; but the next day copies14 of the Covenant were laid open through the city and signed, with very few exceptions, by all the people. They were transmitted through all the provincial towns and parishes; and, unless, by a few at St Andrew’s, Aberdeen, and Glasgow, the Covenant was hailed with mingled emotions of devotion and patriotism, such as, perhaps, never either before or since pervaded any nation with such simultaneous unanimity. Its spirit spread far and wide over the land like fire over its heath-clad hills, penetrating the shadows which brooded in the firmament; and, as the fiery cross was wont to be the signal for array in feudal strife, it summoned the sons of the hill and the dale to prepare their swords, should these be needed, for combat in a holier cause—subduing, with unexampled power, the hereditary feuds of hostile clans, and combining the whole nation into one mighty phalanx of incalculable energy.

It is unnecessary, in this place, to trace all the turnings and windings of the tortuous policy by which, after this decisive demonstration of physical, as well as of moral strength, King Charles and his abettors endeavoured, for some months, to break down this great combination. Every variety of intrigue, and every artifice for procrastination, was employed to divide the Covenanters, and quell the spirit which had thus been evoked by his arbitrary proceedings; and the duplicity of Charles, in holding forth terms of accommodation, while he was preparing to crush Scotland by force of arms, is a fact fully demonstrated by many documents of unquestionable authenticity, which leaves one of the deepest stains that still rest on the memory of that misguided and unfortunate monarch. On one occasion when the Marquis of Hamilton came from Court, on a pretended amicable mission as the King’s Commissioner, he was received at his entrance by 60,000 of his Majesty’s Scottish subjects, including nearly all the nobility, gentry, and 600 clergymen, in a body, whose line extended from Musselburgh to the outskirts of the Metropolis; presenting a spectacle which moved the Commissioner even to tears, and drew from him a wish, that his monarch had but witnessed such a host of his subjects, seeking only the enjoyment of their civil and religious liberties.

After many ineffectual attempts, by intimidation and artifice, to dissolve this league, and to break asunder the ties by which the Covenanters were bound together—after issuing new proclamations for the enforcement of the Liturgy, and the rotten Episcopacy of Scotland, and again in trepidation recalling these—after attempting, by a revival of the Covenant and Confession of the former reign, with hollow and equivocal terms intermixed with it, to counteract the National Covenant—and, after essaying to beguile the Covenanters by conceding to them a General Assembly of the Church and a Parliament, fettered, however, with such conditions as would have rendered these but a repetition of the corrupt and packed assemblages which, from 1606 to 1618, inclusive, had, under the management of his father, subverted the law of the land and the liberties of the Church—Charles was at length constrained to bow before a spirit which he could neither quell nor conquer. Hamilton, after various journeys betwixt the Court and Scotland, at last arrived at Dalkeith on the 16th of August; and, after anxious consultations with the Privy Council during several days, that body, with the royal sanction, at length abandoned the policy which he had endeavoured to enforce, and two acts were proclaimed—the one indicting a General Assembly at Glasgow on the 21st of November following, and another summoning a Parliament to be held at Edinburgh on the 15th of May 1639; and, at the same time, a declaration by the King was proclaimed, discharging the use of the Service Book, Books of Canons, High Commission, and Articles of the Perth Assembly—ordaining free entry to ministers, and subjecting the bishops to the jurisdiction of the General Assembly. A sort of amnesty also was passed, and a fast appointed to be held, on the fourteenth day before the Assembly, for a peaceable end to the distractions of the country.21

And thus the people of Scotland achieved a vindication of their laws and liberties, without one human life being sacrificed, or one drop of blood being shed; after years of deep dissimulation, was Charles constrained, by a great national confederacy, to yield in the end, all that his subjects had required at his hands as their sovereign. The conflict, however, was not yet terminated, and it continued, with many varieties of fortune, through future years. But the purpose for which the preceding narrative has been given being attained, it would be premature to prosecute these historical details further at present. Such a preliminary statement, however, appeared to be necessary, in order to clear the way for the Proceedings of the first General Assembly of the Church which had taken place during the long space of thirty-six years; for, although there had been six nominal assemblies during that interval,22 these were so overborne by royal interference, and illegal and unwarrantable intrusions, that they were all essentially illegal, and were afterwards held to be null and void for ever.

In bringing the Proceedings of the Assembly 1638, under the reader’s notice, it is deemed expedient to do so by embodying in these pages a very interesting account of the meeting of the Assembly, from the Journals of Principal Baillie, who was a member of it, and whose volumes, referable to those times, are considered of the highest authority by all succeeding historians. His account of the Assembly, up to the time that the Court was constituted by the election of a Moderator and Clerk, is all that is meant to be given in this place.

“Notwithstanding the indiction,” says Baillie, “our hopes were but slender ever to see the downsitting15 of our passionately-desired Assembly with the Commissioner’s consent, for daily he found himself more and more disappointed in his expectation to obtain these things which it seems he put the King in hopes might be gotten. Episcopacy to be put in place of safety, above the reach of the Assembly’s hand, was now seen to be impossible, if his engines for this purpose, by the skill of his party, was turned back upon him. The Council had subscribed the King’s Covenant, as it was exponed at the first in the 1581 year. His declaration, that Episcopacy was then in our Church, and will, that the Assembly should be discharged to meddle in the trial of this matter, could not be gotten concluded in a Council act. Sundry of the Lords of the Session being required to subscribe the Covenant in that his sense, refused; with a protestation, that the exposition of these parts which might make for or against Episcopacy, should be referred to the determination of the ensuing Assembly. Noblemen and ministers did not dissemble their mind in their discourse of the unlawfulness, at least the inexpediency, of this office in our Church, and so their design by any means to have it presently put down. This put his Grace in great perplexity; for he conceived, as some said, by the words and writs of sundry of our nobles of chief respect, that the Assembly might have been gotten persuaded to establish, at least to permit, or pass by untouched, that office: when the contrary appeared, he was at a nonplus; for his instructions had made the place of bishops a noli me tangere; but their persons were permitted to the doom of the severest mouth among us, where their miscarrying had required censure. His next disappointment was in the matter of the Covenant. He thought to have gotten the King’s Covenant universally subscribed, and ratified hereafter in the Assembly; so that the other, which had been subscribed by us before, might be quietly, without any infamous condemning of it, suppressed and buried. But far above and against all his thoughts, that Covenant was universally refused; and, among these few that put their hands to it, divers avowed their mind, in all things, to be the same with those who had sworn the first. The missing of this intention increased his Grace’s malcontentment. In two other designs also he found himself much deceived. He thought, an act for the freedom of the practice of Perth Articles, might have contented us; and without condemning the matters themselves, before the Parliament by supplication had been brought to the casing of the standing law; but an universal inclination appeared in all to have the things themselves tried without delay, and acts presently found anent them, as their nature required. Sicklike his instructions carried him to the removal of the high commission, books of canons, ordination, service, but to reason or condemn anything contained in any of them, which might have reflected against any public order, or anything practised or allowed by my Lord of Canterbury and his followers, in England or elsewhere. We in no case could be content, except we were permitted to examine all that were in these books, their matter now being the avowed doctrine of many in our Church; and since we found the articles of Arminius, with many points of the grossest Popery, in the books, sermons, and discourses of our bishops and ministers, we were resolved to have these doctrines censured as they deserved, without any sparing with respect to any person who maintained them.

“The Commissioner, finding himself mistaken in all these, and many more of his designs, was afraid to labour to discharge the Assembly before it began, or at least to mar it so, if it sat down, that it should do no good. We referred to this intention his diligence to find subscribers to protestations against the assembly. We heard by our opposites of huge numbers of thir; yet when it came to the proof, there were but few who could be moved to put their hands to such an act; yea, not one who durst avow it, and reason the lawfulness of their deed. Some twenty hands at most were at the bishops’ declinature opposite to our covenant. A few others, especially eight of the Presbytery of Glasgow, (who, to the Commissioner’s great discontent, refused to adhere,) made forms of protestations by themselves; but to no purpose. From this same intention, we alleged, flowed the putting to the horn, some days before our sitting, all these commissioners of the nobles, gentry, ministers, who, for any civil cause or pretence, could be gotten denounced, that so the synod should be deprived of many members. This practice was so new, and so strong reasons given in, why this kind of horning should hinder none from voicing in a synod, that no use was or durst be made of any such exception; only the Treasurer’s good-will, by the invention, was collected to be but small toward our cause. A proclamation also was made, that none should come to the place of the Assembly but such as were members; and that in a peaceable manner. We protested, all might come who had interest, of party, witnesses, voters, assessors, complainers, or whatever way; and that every man might come with such retinue and equipage as the Lords of Council should give example.

“These, and many more occurrences, put us in a continual fear of the Assembly’s discharge; yet the King’s word was engaged so deeply, proclamations, publick fastings at his command, had already past; and mainly the King’s thought, that the inserting what he had granted, anent the service-book, canons, and Perth articles, in the Assembly’s books, would give some contentment to the people, and disengage his promise of an assembly, though nothing more should be granted: these, and such considerations, made the Assembly sit down, contrary to all our fears, and a fair face to be made for a while by the Commissioner, as if he intended nothing else, and confidently expected his sitting till all questions should be peaceably decided for the content of all.

“On Friday, the 16th of November, we in the west, as were desired, came to Glasgow; our noblemen, especially Eglinton, backed with great numbers of16 friends and vassals. We were informed, that the Commissioner and counsellors were to take up the town with a great number of their followers. So the nearest noblemen and gentlemen were desired to come in that night well attended. The town expected and provided for huge multitudes of people, and put on their houses and beds excessive prices; but the diligence of the magistrates, and the vacancy of many rooms, quickly moderated that excess. We were glad to see such order, and large provision, above all men’s expectation; for which the town got much thanks and credit. It can lodge easily, at once, Council, Session, Parliament, and General Assembly, if need should require.

“On Saturday most of our eastland noblemen, barons, and ministers, came in. In the afternoon, the Lord Commissioner with most of the council came. The Earls of Rothes, Montrose, and many of our folks, went out to meet his Grace. Much good speech was among them; we protesting, that we would crave nothing but what clear scripture, reason, and law, would evince. His Grace assured nothing reasonable should be denied. On Sunday afternoon, some of the wisest of the ministry consulted upon the ordering of affairs. For myself, I resolved not to be a meddler in anything. I was well lodged. I had brought in a trunk full of my best books and papers. I resolved to read and write, and study as hard as I could all incident questions. On Monday the ministry met in three divers places; for no one private place could contain us. Out of every meeting three were chosen, nine in all, to be privy to hear references from the nobility, barons, burrows, to ripen and prepare what was to be proponed in public. We laid it on Mr Alexander Somervail, an old half-blind man, sore against his heart, to preach on Tuesday. He did pretty well. He insisted at length on the extirpation of all bishops, little to the contentment of some, but greatly to the mind of the most. Our privy consultation was about the clerk and the moderator. We were somewhat in suspense about Mr Alexander Henderson. He was incomparably the ablest man of us all for all things. We doubted if the moderator might be a disputer; we expected then much dispute with the bishops and Aberdeen doctors. We thought our loss great, and hazardous to lose our chief champion, by making him to be a judge of the party; yet at last, finding no other man who had parts requisite to the present moderation, (for in Messrs Ramsay, Dick, Adamson, Pollock, Cant, Livingston, Bonner, Cunningham, there were some things evidently wanting,) we resolved that Mr Henderson of necessity behoved to be the man. Mr Johnston to us all was a nonsuch for a clerk.

“In the afternoon, Rothes, with some commissioners, went to the Commissioner, shewing, that the custom of our Church was, to begin her Assemblies with solemn fasting; also, that in absence of the former moderator, the oldest minister of the bounds or moderator of the place, used to preach, and moderate the action till another be chosen; that old Mr John Bell, for the reverence of his person, let be the other considerations, was meet to begin so great an affair. His Grace agreed presently to the fast. To the other motion he shewed, that it was his place to nominate the preacher to begin the action; that he knew none more worthy of that honour than the man they named; that he should think upon it. After an hour, he sent Dr Balcanqual to Mr John, desiring him to preach on the Wednesday, and moderate till another was chosen. On Tuesday after sermon the fast was intimated, and preaching in all the churches to-morrow. In the afternoon, we, in our meeting, appointed preachers for all the churches, as we did so long as we remained in town, for we took it to be our place. However, Mr John Maxwell refused to lend his pulpit to any so long as the Commissioner staid; and craved of his Grace, that none might come there but himself. So for the two first Sundays, before and after noon, Mr John took the High Church, and preached after his fashion, nothing to the matter in hand, so ambiguously that himself knew best to what side he inclined. I moved in our meeting, that in our advertisements, at least, we might follow the course of Dort, the commissioners from one presbytery should have their ordinary meetings to advise together of any matter of importance; for there were five from every presbytery, three ministers, one from the shire and one from the burgh, which might help one another in consideration. This was applauded. But when we came to the action, this and sundry other good overtures could not be got followed. Every man behoved to do for himself. Private association could not be gotten kept. We intended to have had sermon in the afternoon, where we were, in the great church, and so to have delayed the opening of the synod till the morrow; but danger being found in law to delay the synod to another day than the king had appointed, we resolved to let the people continue in their humiliation in the other churches; but presently after sermon in the morning, we, the members of the synod, thought meet to begin our business.

“1. On Wednesday, the 21st of November, with much ado could we throng into our places, an evil which troubled us much the first fourteen days of our sitting. The magistrates, with their town-guard, the noblemen, with the assistance of the gentry, whilst the Commissioner in person, could not get us entry to our rooms, use what force, what policy they could, without such delay of time and thrusting through, as grieved and offended us. Whether this evil be common to all nations at all public confluences, or if it be proper to the rudeness of our nation alone, or whether in thir late times, and admiration of this new reformation, have at all publick meetings stirred up a greater than ordinary zeal in the multitude to be present for hearing and seeing, or what is the special cause of this irremediable evil, I do not know; only I know my special offence for it, and wish it remeided above any evil that ever I knew in the service of God17 among us. As yet no appearance of redress. It is here alone, I think, we might learn from Canterbury, yea, from the Pope, yea, from the Turks or Pagans, modesty and manners; at least their deep reverence in the house they call God’s, ceases not till it have led them to the adoration of the timber and stones of the place. We are here so far the other way, that our rascals, without shame, in great numbers, makes such din and clamour in the house of the true God, that if they minted to use the like behaviour in my chamber, I would not be content till they were down the stairs.

“When, with great difficulty, we were set down, the Commissioner in his chair of state; at his feet, before, and on both sides, the chief of the Council—the Treasurer, Privy Seal, Argyle, Marr, Murray, Angus, Lauderdale, Wigton, Glencairn, Perth, Tullibardine, Galloway, Haddington, Kinghorn, Register, Treasurer-Depute, Justice-General, Amont, Justice-Clerk, Southesk, Linlithgow, Dalziel, Dumfries, Queensberry, Belhaven, and more; at a long table in the floor, our noblemen and barons, elders of parishes, Commissioners from Presbyteries, Rothes, Montrose, Eglinton, Cassils, Lothian, Wemyss, Loudon, Sinclair, Balmerino Burleigh, Lindsay, Yester, Hume, Johnston, Keir, Auldbar, Sir William Douglas of Cavers, Durie, younger, Lamington, Sir John Mackenzie, George Gordon, Philorth, Tairie, Newton. Few Barons in Scotland of note but were either voters or assessors, from every burgh, the chief burghs; from Edinburgh, James Cochran and Thomas Paterson; from all the sixty-three Presbyteries, three Commissioners, except a very few; from all the four Universities, also, sitting on good commodious forms, rising up five or six degrees, going round about the low long table. A little table was set in the middle, fornent the Commissioner, for the Moderator and Clerk. At the end, an high room, prepared chiefly for young noblemen, Montgomery, Fleming, Boyd, Areskine, Linton, Creichton, Livingston, Ross, Maitland, Drumlanrig, Drummond, Keir, Elcho, and sundry more, with huge numbers of people, ladies, and some gentlewomen, in the vaults above. Mr John Bell had a very good and pertinent sermon, sharp enough against our late novations and Episcopacy. The pity was, the good old man was not heard by a sixth part of the beholders. That service ended, Mr John came down to the little table, began the Synod with hearty prayer; which I seconded with affectionate tears, and many more, I trust, with me. My Lord gave in his commission to Mr Thomas Sandilands, as deputed by his father, Mr J. Sandilands, commissar of Aberdeen, clerk to the last General Assembly. His Grace harangued none at all, as we expected he would. We found him oft, thereafter, as able to have spoken well what he pleased, as any in the house. I take the man to be of a sharp, ready, solid, clear wit; of a brave and masterly expression; loud, distinct, slow, full, yet concise, modest, courtly, yet simple and natural language. If the King have many such men, he is a well-served Prince. My thoughts of the man before that time, were hard and base; but a day or two’s audience wrought my mind to a great change towards him, which yet remains, and ever will, till his deeds be notoriously evil. His commission was in Latin, after a common, legal, and demi-barbarous style; ample enough for settling all our disorders, had not a clause containing instructions made it to restrict and serve ill. I have not yet got the copy. After this, our commissions were given in to the Moderator and Clerk, for the time, almost every one in the same tenor and words, containing a power from the Presbytery to the three ministers and one elder, to reason, vote, and conclude, in their name, in all things to be proponed, according to the word of God, and the Confession of Faith of the Church of Scotland, as we shall be answerable to God and the Church. The Presbyteries, Burghs, Universities, were called after the order of some roll of the old Assemblies, not of the latter. This was the labour of the first day.

“2. On Thursday, the second diet, we had no scant of protestations; more than a round dozen were enacted. After long delay, and much thronging, being set in our places, the Moderator, for the time, offered to my Lord Commissioner a leet, whereupon voices might pass for the election of a new Moderator. Here arose the toughest dispute we had in all the Assembly. His Grace, the Treasurer, Sir Lewis Stewart, (for, after the rencounter I wrote of at the Council table, the Advocate’s service was no more required, but Sir Lewis used in his room,) reasoning and pressing with great eagerness, that, in the first place, before any Synodical action, the commissions might be discussed, lest any should voice as Commissioners whose commission was null, at least not tried to be valid. This was a ready way to turn the Assembly upside down, and to put us in a labyrinth inextricable: for, before the constitution of the Synod, the Commissioner would have so drawn in the deepest questions—such as the power of elders, the state of ministers censured by Bishops, and many moe, which himself alone behoved to determine, no Assembly being constitute for the discussion of any question. Against this motion, as rooting up all possibility ever to settle any Assembly, but at the Commissioner’s simple discretion, Rothes, Loudon, (Balmerino, through all the Assembly resolved to be well near mute,) Dickson, Livingston, Henderson, reasoned, that custom, equity, and necessity, did enforce the chusing a moderator and clerk before the commissions be discussed, or anything else done. After much subtle, accurate, and passionate pleading—for both sides had prepared themselves, it seems, for this plea—the Commissioner craved leave to retire with the council for advisement. After a long stay in the chapterhouse, returning, he was content to permit voicing for the moderator; with protestation, That this voicing should not import his approbation of the commissions of any voicer against whom he was to propone any just exception in due time, or his acknowledgement18 of any voicer for a lawful member of the Assembly. His Grace required instruments also of another protestation, That the nomination of a moderator should be no ways prejudicial to the lords of the clergy, their office, dignity, or any privilege which law or custom had given them. Against both thir, Rothes took two instruments, in name of the commissioners from presbyteries and burghs, protesting, That his Grace’s protestations should in nothing prejudge the lawfulness of any commission against which no just nullity should be objected in the time of the trial of the commissions; also, that his Grace’s second protestation should not hinder the discussing the nature of the office, and the alledged privileges of the pretended bishops, in this present assembly. Lord Montgomery, in name of the pursuers of the complaint against the bishops, protested, That his Grace’s protestation should not be prejudicial to the discussing in this present assembly, of their complaints against the persons, titles, dignities, and privileges of the pretended bishops. Mr Jo. Bell urged the voicing for the moderator; but his Grace shewed, that there was presented to him a paper, in name of the bishops, which he required then to be read. Here also was some sharp reasoning. Divers alledged, that no bill, supplication, protestation, or whatsoever, should be read to the Assembly, before it was an Assembly; but immediately after the Assembly’s constitution, it should be in his Grace’s option to cause read that paper of the Bishops, or any other, to which the Assembly’s answer should be returned. After reasoning and requesting, his Grace used his authority to require the reading of the paper. At once there arose a tumultuous clamour of a multitude crying, No reading! No reading! This barbarous crying offended the Commissioner, and the most of all. Silence being gotten, his Grace protested, That the refusal of hearing that paper was unjust. Rothes also required acts of his protestation, in name of the commissioners, That the refusal was just and necessary. All being wearied with the multiplication of protestations, except the Clerk, who with every one received a piece of gold, his Grace, whether in earnest or in scorn, protested of our injury in calling the Lords Bishops pretended, whom yet the acts of Parliament authorized. Rothes, in our name, protested, That they behoved to be taken for pretended, till this Assembly had tried the challenges which were given in against all their alledged prerogatives. How needless soever many of his Grace’s protestations seemed to be, yet I was glad for his way of proceeding. It gave me some hopes of his continuance among us. I thought that this way of protesting had been resolved wisely in council, whereby the Commissioner might sit still till the end, and yet, by his presence, import no farther approbation to any of our conclusions than he found expedient. By appearance this course had been much better than that abrupt departure, which his posterior instructions, to all our griefs, and the great marring of the King’s designs, forced him to. Mr John Bell again presented his leet for moderation. His Grace shewed, that his Majesty had written letters to six of the counsellors, Treasurer, Privy Seal, Argyle, Lauderdale, Carnegie, and Sir Lewis Stewart, as I think, to be his assessors, not only for council, but voicing in the synod. Argyle’s letter was publickly read, that this his Majesty’s desire should be condescended to before any farther proceeding. It was replied, with all respect to the worthy nobles named, That my Lord Marquis, in the produced commission, was appointed sole Commissioner; that assessors were only for council, and not for multiplication of voices; that the King in person could require but one voice; that the giving of more voices to the assessors might give way, not only to very many, as in some unallowable assemblies it had been, but to so many as by plurality might oversway all. Against this refusal his Grace protested, with some grief; and we also, desiring that our reasons might be inserted without protestation. At last we were permitted to chuse the Moderator. Mr John Ker, Mr John Row, Mr J. Bonner, Mr William Livingston, and Mr Alexander Henderson, were put in the leet by Mr John Bell; for the leeting of the new is in the hands of the old. Messrs Ramsay, Pollock, and Dickson, for withdrawing of votes, were holden off. All, without exception, went upon the last, as in the most of our matters there was no diversity at all, or, where any, it was but of a few. I remember not how his Grace voiced; but it was his custom to voice rather by way of permission than to say anything that might import his direct assent; for it seemed he resolved to keep himself, in all his words and deeds, so free, that he might, when he would, disavow all that was done, or to be done, in that Assembly. Mr Henderson being chosen with so full accord, made a pretty harangue, whether off-hand or premeditated, I know not. There was a conclusion taken that night, after some reasoning to the contrary, to have but one session in the day, to sit from ten or eleven, to four or five. So we were all relieved of the expenses of a dinner. An only breakfast put us all off till supper; for commonly we sat an hour with candle-light. We ended this day with the Moderator’s prayers. Among that man’s other good parts, that was one—a faculty of grave, good, and zealous prayer, according to the matter in hand; which he exercised, without fagging, to the last day of our meeting.

“3. In our third session, on Friday November 23, the Moderator presented a leet to be voiced for chusing the Clerk. Here a longer dispute than needed fell out betwixt the Commissioner and the Moderator, whom Rothes, but especially Loudon, did second. The Commissioner, whether of true intent to have a base clerk, of whose submissiveness to their injunctions they might be hopeful, or to shew his piety and equity to see every one kept in their right, where he had place, though he professed small obligation to the young man, who, for19 no entreaty, would be pleased to shew him any blink of the Assembly’s books; yet pressed much that the young man, Mr Thomas Sandilands, might serve here, as his father, Mr James Sandilands, Commissar of Aberdeen, his depute, since his father’s decease could not spoil him of an advantageous office, whereto he was provided ad vitam. Yet it was carried, that since his father was not provided to that office but by Mr Thomas Nicolson’s demission, and a corrupt Assembly’s consent, without any mention of deputation; also, since he was so infirm as he was unable to attend the service, and unwilling to reside at Edinburgh, where the registers of the Church behoved to lie; for thir, and many other reasons, the clerk’s place was found to be vacant. Consideration was promised to be had of Mr Thomas Sandiland’s interest, which he submitted to the Assembly’s discretion. In the leet, Mr Thomas was first, after John Nicol, and Alexander Blair, and Mr Archibald Johnston. The Commissioner would not voice to any of them, because he saw no lawful demission of the former clerk. The Moderator then took his Grace for a non liquet. Yesternight’s plea was here renewed. His Grace required that his assessor’s voice might be craved in the clerk’s election: the Moderator thought it unfit to trouble their Lordships to voice about a clerk, since they did not voice to the choosing of the Moderator, a superior office. Many words were here spent, till at last reasons in writ were produced, why the Commissioner and his assessors should have but one voice. I thought, in the time, these reasons were of an high strain, and some of them struck deeper on authority than I could have wished. Traquair craved a double of them, and promised an answer; but the subsequent affairs, or somewhat else, hindered that answer yet to appear. This high, yea highest question, (for in all the Assembly we had nothing else that concerned authority,) was closed by the renewing of yesternight’s protestation, on both sides.

“The leet put to voicing, Mr Archibald Johnston, by all save one, was elected. Being deeply sworn, he was admitted to all the rights, profits, privileges, which any in former time had enjoyed by that place: To him, Mr James Sandilands, in face of the Assembly, delivered two registers, which contained the acts of the kirk since the year 1590, testifying that his father had never any more in his custody. The Moderator required all earnestly to procure the production of any of the church-registers that could be had; for the loss of such a treasure as the Church’s evidence, was pitiful. His Grace protested his willingness to do his endeavour for so good a work. Rothes intreated that the Bishops might be caused deliver what they had: for it was known that King James had sent a warrant to Mr Thomas Nicolson, late Clerk, to deliver to the Bishop of St Andrew’s, the Registers of the Church. After much regretting the irreparable loss of these writs, the new Clerk declared, that by the good providence of God, these books they spake of were come to his hands, which he there produced to all our great joy. Five books in folio, four written and subscribed, and margined with the known hands of one Gray and Ritchie, clerks to the General Assembly, containing the full register from the Reformation in 1560, to the year 1590, where Mr Thomas Sandilands’s books began, except some leaves which Bishop Adamson had torn out. Thir one Winram, depute to Mr Thomas Nicolson, had left to one Alexander Blair, his successor in office, from whom Mr Johnston had got them. The first was an extract, by way of compend, from the 1560 to the 1590, whereby, in a good part, the twenty-three leaves of Adamson’s rapine might be restored. The moderator craved that these books might be sighted by Argyle, Lauderdale, and Southesk: but the Commissioner would not permit his assessors to undertake such employment, since they were refused to voice in the Assembly; but he was content that a committee of the members of the synod should be named, to try if these books were authentick and full registers. So Mr Andrew Ramsay, Mr John Adamson, Mr James Bonner, Mr John Row, Mr William Livingston, Mr Robert Murray, with young Durie, the clerk of Dundee, and Mr Alexander Pierson, advocate, were appointed to their report and reasons, as soon as they could. The moderator then required, that for the Assembly’s full constitution, the commissions might be put to trial. But the commissioner caused D. Hamilton first to be called, and present his paper to be read. His Grace urged much, that, since the former objections were removed, of the want of a moderator and clerk, the paper might now be read. It was replied, over and over, that it could not be, till by the discussion of the commissions the Assembly were constitute. Traquair pressed—That the paper possibly had exceptions against the lawfulness of the election of the commissioners, which were impertinent to alledge, if once they were approven. The Commissioner assured, he knew not what was in these papers; but, presupposing they were formed for the opening of the eyes of those who were to voice anent the members of the Assembly, it was the only time to read them before the voicing. Rothes replied—That exception against particular commissioners might not be proponed, until the trial of their commissions; and exceptions against the whole Assembly could not be heard till it were an Assembly. The moderator added, that if in that paper there were any light to open their eyes, they should shortly profess their repentence of their error in not reading it, when it was required. His Grace protested—That this not reading before the trial of the commissions, should import no prejudice to the lords of the clergy, and their adherents; and of this protestation he required an act from the new clerk’s hand. The clerk said, he could write no act without the Assembly’s warrant, and it could give no warrant till once it was in being. The Commissioner then required instruments, in my Lord Register’s hands, of his protestation, since the clerk refused. The clerk shewed his willingness, at the20 moderator’s directions, to write his Grace’s protestation; but might give no extracts till the Assembly were constitute. In the forming of this protestation, the clerk, I thought, was to seek in that; his wit he kythed ever thereafter; the act behoved to be formed and reformed; the commissioner and the clerk shaped it over and over again, ere they could fall on a fashion which his Grace could like. This made me pity Johnston, and think him the better advocate than clerk; but the youth’s tried sufficiency in both the acts proves my mistaking, or at least that this intake in the first entry to his office was but occasional, and merely accidental.

“In the progress of this dispute his Grace shewed the necessity that was laid on him, in this passage, to be punctually circumspect, for howbeit he was a great Commissioner; yet he was but a poor subject and servant, liable to account for all his service. Much reasoning was that the bishops’ exceptions against the judges should be heard, before they were acknowledged and constitute for judges. When Traquair and Loudon had harped on this string a while, Argyle lends in his word, that a party gives in their exceptions against the assize before it be sworn; so why might not the bishops give in their exceptions against the Assembly, which now was like an assize, called and conveened, but not yet sworn? The moderator cuttedly, (as the man naturally hath a little choler, not yet quite extinguished,) answered—That the Commissioner, his Grace, was of great sufficiency himself; that he only should speak there; that they could not answer to all the exceptions that a number of witty noblemen could propone; that these who were not commissioners would do well to inform his Grace of what they thought meet, in convenient time. This check, I believe, was intended more for others than for Argyle, who would have taken it worse if it had fallen on their fingers. Always Loudon took it off in a quick jest, that my Lord Argyle’s instance was good, if the bishops had compeared as pannelled men before an assize. This wearisome plea ended that day’s action, for his Grace acquiesced in his protestation.”

Having thus, by the foregoing notes and extracts, in some measure prepared the general reader for entering on an examination of the Acts and Proceedings of the General Assembly of 1638, it only remains that we should explain the arrangement which we have adopted in digesting the subject-matter of these pages; and, in stating the following outline of that arrangement, with respect to one Assembly, it is right to state, that we mean to follow out the same plan with regard to all the years that follow. In reference, then, to this first Assembly, we shall present our materials in the following order, viz.:—

I. The Acts of the Assembly, which were extracted by the Clerk, and printed in the year 1639.

II. An Abstract of the Proceedings, and a List or Index of all the Acts of the Assembly, authenticated by Archibald Johnston the Clerk, copied from an extract thereof under his hand, which is deposited in the Advocates’ Library.

III. Historical Documents relative to the events which occurred in Scotland betwixt 1633, and the sitting of the Assembly in Nov. 1638.

IV. A Report of the Discussions in that Assembly, from an unpublished contemporary M.S.

V. Notes and Illustrations of these proceedings, derived from contemporary and collateral sources.

In closing these introductory remarks, we must guard ourselves against the possible imputation of being blind and indiscriminate admirers of the Covenanters. We are fully alive to all the exceptionable points in their character and career; and we should have studied our country’s history and human nature very superficially indeed, if we had not, long ere now, discovered the infirmities and obliquities which were mingled with their higher attributes. It cannot be doubted by any man who has studied the history of the period of which we have given a rapid sketch, that they often swerved from what was the straight path of rectitude; and it is impossible to peruse even the most partial narrative of their consultations, without also discerning, in the policy and proceedings of the Covenanters, the alloy of selfish interests and grovelling passions—the fumes of fanaticism, the unrectified workings of a semi-barbarous spirit, and much democratic insolence. There was withal a tone of preternatural sanctity assumed, which savours strongly of hypocrisy in many of the individuals who figured in their counsels. But, after giving full effect to all these deductions from their merits, we can never forget that these deformities were, in a great measure, created and brought prominently into view by circumstances which rendered it almost impossible that such characteristics should not have been called into existence. We can never forget that they were goaded into the courses which they pursued by an unjustifiable series of aggressions on the dearest interests of human beings—by an open and outrageous assumption of arbitrary power over the lives, property, and liberties, civil and religious, of the country; and that their numerous loyal and dutiful supplications for redress and security, were treated with duplicity and contempt. And above all, we can never forget that it is to the noble stand which was made by the Covenanters of Scotland against arbitrary power and Popish tyranny in disguise, two hundred years ago, that we are, in a great measure, indebted for the enjoyment of the invaluable Protestant Institutions in Church and State which we now possess, and which, in the course of time, and from new combinations of causes, seem, in the present day, to be once more exposed to similar perils. May the present generation, in the maintenance of these precious institutions, avoid those errors—the simulation and the intolerance of former times—and may their patriotism be elevated to purity by imitating only the virtues of the Scottish Covenanters!

THE
PRINCIPALL ACTS
OF THE
SOLEMNE GENERALL ASSEMBLY
OF THE
KIRK OF SCOTLAND,
Indicted by the Kings Majestie, and conveened at Glasgow the XXI. of Nov. 1638; Visied, Collected, and Extracted forth of the Register of the Acts of the Assembly, by the Clerk thereof. Edinburgh, printed by the Heirs of Andrew Hart. Anno Dom. 1639.

The King’s Commission to James Marquesse of Hamiltoun.23
CAROLUS Dei gratia, Magnæ Britanniæ, Franciæ, & Hiberniæ Rex, fidcique Defensor, Omnibus probis hominibus suis ad quos præsentes literæ pervenerint, Salutem. Sciatis nos considerantes magnos in hoc regno nostro Scotiæ non ita pridem exortos tumultus, ad quos quidem componendos multiplices regiæ nostræ voluntatis declaretiones promulgavimus, quæ tamen minorem spe nostrâ effectum hactenus sortitæ sunt: Et nunc statuentes ex pio erga dictum antiquum regnum nostrum affectu, ut omnia gratiosè stabiliantur & instaurentur, quod (per absentiam nostram) non aliâ ratione melius effici potest quam fideli aliquo Delegato constituto, cui potestatem credere possimus tumultus hujusmodi consopiendi, aliaque officia præstandi, quæ in bonum & commodum dicti antiqui regni nostri eidem Delegato nostro imperare nobis videbitur. Cumque satis compertum habeamus obsequium, diligentiam, & fidem prædilecti nostri consanguinei & consiliarii, Jacobi Marchionis Hamiltonii, Comitis Arraniœ & Cantabrigiæ, Domini Aven & Innerdail, &c. eundemque ad imperata nostra exequenda sufficienter inatructum esse, Idcirco fecisse & constituisse, tenoreque præsentium facere & constituere præfatum prædilectum nostrum consanguineum & consiliarium Jacobum Marchionem de Hamiltoun nostrum Commissionarium ad effectum subscriptum. Cum potestate dicto Jacobo Marchioni de Hamiltoun, &c. dictum regnum nostrum adeundi, ibidemque præfatos tumultus in dicto regno nostro componendi, aliaque officia à nobis eidem committenda in dicti regni nostri bonum & commodum ibi præstandi, eoque Concilium nostrum quibus locis & temporibus ei visum fuerit convocandi, acrationem & ordinem in præmissis exequendis servandum declarandi & præscribendi; & quæcunque alia ad Commissionis hujus capita pro commissâ sibi fide exequenda, eandemque ad absolutum finem perducendam et prosequendam conferre possunt tam in Concilio quam extra Concilium, nostro nomine efficiendi & præstandi; idque similitèr & adeo liberè ac si nos in sacrosancta nostra persona ibidem adessemus. Præterea cum plena potestate dicto Jacobo Marchioni de Hamiltoun, prout sibi videbitur nostro servitio & bono dicti regni nostri conducere, conventum omnium ordinum ejusdem regni nostri indicendi, ac publica comitia & conventus eorundem ordinum eorumve alterius vel utriusque quibus temporibus & locis sibi visum fuerit statuendi, & ibidem nostram sacratissimam personam cum omnibus honoribus & privilegiis supremo Commissionario nostri Parliamenti & publici conventus incumben similiter adeoqae amplè sicut quivis supremus Commissionarius quocunque tempore retroacto gavisus est gerendi: Necnon cum potestate præfato Jacobo Marchioni de Hamiltoun Synodos nationales ecclesiæ dicti regni nostri tenendas temporibus & locis quibus sibi visum fuerit indicendi, & ibidem seipsum tanquam nostrum Commissionarium gerendi, omniaque eisdem tenendis inservientia secundum leges & praxin prædictæ ecclesiæ & regni nostri præstandi: Et hac præsenti nostrâ Commissione durante nostro beneplacito duratura, & semper donec eadem per nos expressè inhibeatur. In cujus rei testimonium, præsentibus magnum sigillum nostrum unà cum privato nostro sigillo (quia præfatus Marchio de Hamiltoun impræsentiarum eat magni sigilli custos) apponi præcepimus, Apud Oatlands vigesimo nono die mensis Julii, Anno Domini millesimo sexcentesimo trigesimo octavo, Et anno regni nostri decimo quarto.

Per signaturam manu S.D.N. Regis suprascriptam.

The King’s Letter to the Generall Assembly.
ALTHOUGH We be not ignorant that the best of Our actions have beene mistaken by many of Our subjects in that Our antient Kingdome, as if We had intended innovation in Religion or Lawes; yet considering nothing to be more incumbent to the duty of a Christain King, then the advancement of God’s glory, and the true religion; forgetting what is past, We have seriously taken to Our Princely consideration such particulars as may settle and establish the truth of Religion in that Our ancient Kingdome, and also to satisfie all Our good people of the reality of Our intentions herein, having indicted a free Generall Assembly to be kept at Glasgow the 21. of this instant; We have likewise appointed Our Commissioner to attend the same, from whom you are to expect Our pleasure in every thing, and to whom We require you to give that true and due22 respect and obedience, as if We were personally present Ourselves. And in full assurance of Our consent to what he shall in Our name promise, We have signed these, and wills the same for a testimonie to posterity to be registered in the Bookes of the Assembly. At White-Hall the 29. of October 1638.

Act Sess. 6. November 27. 1638.
THE testimonie 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 anything to say against the said testimonie for the books, that they would declare it; and finding none to oppon, yet he appointed the day following, to any to object anything they could say, and if then none could object, the Assembly would hold the Registers as sufficiently approven.

Act. Sess. 7. November 28.

Act. Approving the Registers.
ANENT the report of the Assemblies judgment of the authority of the books of Assembly; the Moderatour having desired that if any of the Assembly had anything to say, they would now declare it, otherwise they would hold all approven by the Assembly.

The Commissioner his Grace protested that the Assemblies approving these books, or anything contained in them be no wayes prejudiciall 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 presently cleared, and protested that these books should be esteemed authentick and obligaterie hereafter.

The whole Assembly all in one voice approved these books, and ordained the same to make faith in judgment, and out-with, in all time comming, 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 conveened, 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 1560, and ending at the fourth session of the Assembly holden 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 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 said 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 public faith in judgement and out-with, as valid and true records in all things; and that the said fifth and greatest book, beginning at the Assembly 1560 and ending 1590. being margined by the hand-writs of the Clerk, and reviser of the registers, cognosced, and tryed, and agreeable to the other foure registers, in what is extant in them, ought also to be free of all prejudice and suspicion, and received with credit. And in testimonie of our solemne affirmation, we have subscribed these presents with our hands.

Sic subscribitur,
Master Andrew Ramsay.
Master Iohn Adamson.
Master Iohn Row.
Master Robert Murray.
Master Alexander Gibson.
Master Iames 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 under-subscribers, 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 Iohn 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 Iames Ritchie 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 John 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 made manifest by an act mentioned in the third book, in the time of Master Iames 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 general23 acts, yet extant, which do not debord from the saids registers, but are altogether agreeable thereto.

IIII. 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 successively from Iohn Gray, Master Iames 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 Thomas 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 actuall servant, and so had the said books by progresse from him, which the said Alexander is readie presently to testifie.

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

VI. The saids registers are more perfect, lesse vitiated, scored, and interlined, than any other authentic and famous registers of the most prime judicatories within this Kingdome.

VII. Master Thomas Sandilands, in name of his father, who was late Clerk by dimission of Master Thomas Nicolson, hath produced a volume, which proveth the saids two registers of Master Iames Richie to be sufficient records; because that same Volume is begun by that same hand, whereby the said Master Iames Richie his registers are written, and is subscribed once in the margine by Master Iames Richie his hand, and is 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 Iames 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 cognosced and known to be his hand writ, by famous and worthy persons; which is also manifest by the said Master Iames his band 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 Iames 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 deest.

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 presupponed to have been done, but by corrupt men, of intension to corrupt the books, which were not necessary, if they were not principall registers.

XIII. In the Assembly 1586, 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 Iames Richie, Clerk, proporteth; which clearly evinceth that these 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 generall acts out of it, if it were not an approbation thereof, 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 Iames Carmichel, subscribed by himself, and Master Iames Richie, there are sundry acts and passages quotted out of the said fifth great Volume, saying, It is written in such a page of the book of Assembly, which agreeth in subject and quottations with the said fifth book, and cannot agree with any other; so that Master Iames 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 authentic 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 presupponed that any will attempt that high wickednesse,24 seeing the inducements answerable 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 Kingdome 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 speciall providence are preserved so intire, that in the judgment 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 disconforme 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, conforme to the register, and have no force, so far as it debordeth there-from; 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 throughly, 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 Hadingtoun, &c.

II. From the want of a lawfull calling, to these who went to that 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.

IIII. From the power of these 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 matter whatsoever, the decision whereof is pertinent, and proper to a free generall Assembly. Fourthly, If anything 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, preceeding itselfe: and that Assembly wherof 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 estate, counsellours, 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 Presbyteries, 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 Presbyterie 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 that 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 registrat in the Presbyterie books of Hadingtoun doth cleare. 2. And whereas there25 were no ruling elders sent from the Presbyteries to that pretended Assembly, as the roll of Commissioners sheweth; yet there were moe ministers from sundrie severall Presbyteries then three, as five from Brechen, five from Arbroth, five from Kirkcubright, seven from the Presbytery of Argyl, foure from the Presbyterie of Cowper, foure from Linlithgow, foure from Pasley, foure from Hammiltoun, foure from Drumfreis, foure from Dunkell: as the register of that Assembly beareth.

II. There were 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 consent 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.

IIII. 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 gentlemen voters without commission from the Kirk. Mr. 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 registrat 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 wore no ruling Elders having commission from their Presbyteries at that Assembly.

IIII. 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, acknowledgeth it was but a meeting, wherein disgrace was offered to his Majestie.

IIII. 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 Dyocies 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 thirtie 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 number, prescribed in the act at Dundie, 1597: for the Presbyterie of Arbroth were foure Commissioners, and foure for the Presbyterie of Aughter-ardour: Beside these that were heard to vot, 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 practise some of the articles to be concluded there, before the pretended Assembly, in Edinburgh, St. Andrews, and other cathedrall Churches, by keeping festivall dayes, kneeling at ye Communion. Thus their voices were prejudged by their practise of these articles 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 affirmativè, under no lesse pain nor the wrath of authoritie, imprisonment, banishment, 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 lawfull Assemblies, the grounds of proceeding were, and used to be, the word of God, the confession of Faith, and acts of former generall Assemblies. But in this pretended Assembly, the ground of their proceeding in voicing was the Kings commandment only: For so the question was stated:26 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 oathes of intrants.
THE six Assemblies immediately preceding, for most just and weightie reasons above-specified, being found to be unlawfull, and null from the beginning: The Assembly declareth the oathes and subscriptions exacted by the Prelates of 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 unlawfull and no way obligatorie. And in like manner declareth, that the power of Presbyteries, and of provinciall and generall Assemblies, hath been unjustly suppressed, but never lawfully abrogate. And therefore that it hath been most lawfull unto them, notwithstanding 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 ecclesiasticall 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 practise thereof: and ordaines 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 Cannons, 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 trangresse.

IIII. 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 Christs 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 Presbteries to proceed with the censures of the Kirk, against all such as shall transgresse.

After the serious discussing of the severall 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 Iohn Spottiswood, pretended Archbishop of St Andrews; Mr. Patrick Lindsay, pretended Archbishop of Glasgow: Mr. David Lindsay, pretended Bishop of Edinburgh: Mr. Thomas Sidserfe, pretended Bishop of Galloway: Mr. Iohn Maxwell, pretended Bishop of Rosse: Mr. Walter Whytefoord, pretended Bishop of Brechen.

THE generall Assembly, having heard the lybels and complaints, given in against the foresaids pretended Bishops to the Presbyterie of Edinburgh,27 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 disdainfull speeches, lies and calumnies against the lawfull members of this Assembly, proceeded to the cognition of the saids complaints, and lybels 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 refusall 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, 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 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 faithfull 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 particullar 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 and excommunication against Mr. Adam Ballantyne, pretended Bishop of Aberdeen, and Mr. Iames 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 Dyocies, 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 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 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, at 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 vot 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 Mr. Iohn Guthry, pretended Bishop of Murray: Mr. Iohn Grahame pretended Bishop of Orknay, Mr. Iames 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 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 their refusall to underly the tryall of the reigning slander of sundrie other grosse trangressions 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 name28 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 these who are particularly named, to have the charge of trying their repentance or impenitencie, and that the execution of the 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 sundrie 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 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, 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 ministerie 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 Iohn Abernethie pretended Bishop of Cathnes.

THE generall Assembly having heard the lybell and complaint given in against Mr. Iohn Abernethie pretended Bishop of Cathnes to the Presbytery of Edinburgh, and sundrie 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 his 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 ordained the said Mr Iohn 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 flock: and likewise, incase 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 bee holden by all and every one of the faithfull as an Ethnick and Publicane: and the sentence of excommunication to be pronounced up on 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 excellent 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, joyned29 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 God’s 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 God’s 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 drawne 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 1638. 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 publick Confession of Faith, so solemnly 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 publickly acknowledged to bee authentick, and have found that in the latter confession of the Kirk of Scotland: “We professe, 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 kinde 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 Iuly 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 morrow, 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 and30 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, such 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 riotousnesse, 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 usurp not the power of the Presbyteries.”

The question being proponed by the Synod of Louthian 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 Iuly 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 within 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 Kirke 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, unlawful 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 appeared 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 spirituall 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 household, 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 agreed 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 generall 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 the31 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, 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 judgment 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 agreeable 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 carefull that nothing be admitted prejudiciall to the liberties of this Kirk, as it was concluded according to the word of God in the generall Assemblies, preceeding the year 1584. but precisely to seek the same to bee 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 contraverted 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 drawen 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 Pryors, and other Prelats pretending the title of the Kirk, be not suffered in time comming.” 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 King’s prerogative declared not to be prejudiciall to the same priviledges grounded upon the word of God; the former commissions to Bishops 1584, rescinded, and all Ecclesiasticall 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 VVICKED HIERARCHIE. 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, cant. 6.24 Si quis dixerît in ecclesia Catholica non esse hierarchiam 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, In ista prima propositione enumeratio membrorum hierarchiæ ecclesiasticæ seu sacri principatus, divina ordinatione instituti est manca & redundans atque, inducens in errorem contrarium determinationi sacræ Sinodi Tridentinæ: The prodelatarum32 position was defective, because it pretermitted the Presbyters and Deacons; it was censured as redundant, because it made the Hierarchic to consist of the Pope, Cardinals, Archbishops, and Regulars; the Pope is not within the Hierarchie, Primats, Metropolitanes, and Archbishops, but as they are Bishops. Furthermore, this Hierarchie is distinguished in the confession from the Pope’s monarchie. And howbeit this Hierarchie be called the Antichrist’s 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, canonization 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 mistery 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 foure sorts, To wit, Pastours, Doctours, Elders, and Deacons, together with the 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 terms:—“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 practise 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 Majestie’s 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 contrare 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 God’s 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 particular 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 [of] God, or nourish the popish judgement against Infants departing without the Sacrament, or absolute necessitie, of Baptisme or rites, signes, and traditions brought into the Kirk, without 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 1560, 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, simpiciter, 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 certaine festivall dayes. So that preaching and prayers upon festivall dayes was judged rebukable. It was33 ordained likewise, that complaint bee 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 refusall of their own Reader. Among the articles directed by this Assembly to the Regent, It was craved that all holy dayes heretofore keeped holy, beside the Lord’s day, such as Yooleday, and Saint’s 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 Synodall 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 appertained 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 festivall day whatsoever, except the Lord’s 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 Christ’s action abideth in the originall puritie. The judgement of our reformers, who drew up the large Confession, was, by cleare evidents, shewed to be contrarie 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 Christ’s 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 Christ’s 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 some time 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 ministered 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 a 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 bapttisme, and private communion; findeth that in the book of common order, set down before the Psalmes, it is said, That the Sacraments are 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.

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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 perceiving 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 ecclesastical.

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 1586. 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 Presbytererie 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.

IIII. Anent the visitation of Kirks, Schooles, and Colledges: It is thought meet that the act of Assembly holden at Edinburgh the 25. of Iunie 1565. Sess. 2. be put in execution, that the Minister of the parochin, the Principall, Regents, and professours within Colledges, and Masters, and Doctors of Schooles, be tryed concerning the soundnesse of their judgment in matters of Religion, their abilitie, for discharge of their calling, and the honesty of their conversation; as the act of Assembly at Edinburgh, Iuni 21. 1567. Sess. 3. And the act of the Assembly holden at Montrose 1596. 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. Assemble 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 severall Presbyteries for the setling of Schooles in every Landward Parochin, and providing of men able for the charge of teaching of the youth, public 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 choice 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 bee duely considered, and overtures be these of the same commission given into 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 24. of the Assembly at Edinburgh 1595.
“Concerning the defections in the ministerie, the35 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 Iohn 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, it cometh to passe that many scandals fall out in the persons of ministers: it would bee 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 tryall 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 spirituall 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 pastorall charge is most kythed; 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 tryall; 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 sanctification and prayer, that studie not to bee powerfull and spirituall, not applying the doctrine to corruptions, which is the pastorall gift, obscure and too scholastick before the people, cold, and wanting of spirituall zeal, negligent in visiting of the sick, and caring for the poore; or indiscreet in choosing 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 universall order throughout the Realme, &c. and such like as are negligent herein, and continue therein, after admonition, be deposed.

“That none falling in public 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 hereto, and specially in the doctrine of repentance, which, being neglected, the public 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 tacks 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, and36 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 such like, 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, merchandise, 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 lawes of the Realme: otherwise the burthen 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 exercises 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 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 Minister, for his publick offence, or to bear with him, as though his Minister were too severe upon him, under the 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 Presbyteries, 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 Iesuits there born 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 generall 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 licence 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 these years 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 generall or provinciall 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 several 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.

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XV. Anent the profaination 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, Iuly 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 judgment and tyrannous authoritie of the pretended Prelats, in 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.

XIX. Since the office of Diocesane, or lordly Bishop, is all-uterly abjured, and removed? out of this Kirk: It is thought fit that all titles of dignitie, savouring more of poperie than of Christian libertie, as Chapters with their elections and consecrations, Abbots, Pryors, 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 ecclesiasticall 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, and 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 Marriage 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 funerall sermons, as savouring 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 publicly, 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 and 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 Assemblies, given in by the most ancient of the Ministrie within every Province, as the ancient plateforme 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 Provinciall Assembly of Mers and Tividaill.

The Presbyteries of The bounds.
Dunce. Mers.
Chirnside. Tividail.
Kelso. The Forrest.
Erstiltoun. Lauderdail.
Jedburgh.
Melros.
To meet the first time at Jedburgh, the third Twesday of April.

2. The Provinciall of Louthian.

The Presbyteries of The bounds.
Dumbar. e. Louthian.
Hadingtoun. w. Louthian.
Dalkeeth. Tweeddaill.
Edinburgh.
Peebles.
Linlithgow.
To meet the first time at Edinburgh the third Twesday of April.

3. The Provinciall of Perth.

The Presbyteries of The bounds.
Perth. The Shyrefdome of Perth and of Striviling Shire.
Dunkel.
Aughterardor.
Striviling.
Dumblane.
To meet the first time at Perth, the second Twesday of April.

4. The Province of Drumfrees.

The Presbyteries of The bounds.
Dumfrees. Niddisdaill.
Penpont. Annandaill.
Lochmabane. Ewsdaill.
Middilbee. Eskdaill.
Wachopdaill & a part of Galloway.
To meet the first time at Drumfrees, the second Twesday of April.

385. The Provinciall of Galloway.

The Presbyteries of The bounds.
Wigtoun. The Shyrefdome of Wigtoun, and Stewartie of Kirkubright.
Kirkubright.
Stranraver.
To meet the first time at Wigtoun, third Twesday of April.

The Provinciall Synod of Aire or Irwing.

The Presbyteries of The bounds.
Aire. The Shyrefdome of Aire
Irwing.
To meet with the Provincial Synod of Glasgow pro hac vice, the first Twesday of April.

6. The Provinciall Synod of Glasgow.

The Presbyteries of The bounds.
Pasley. The Shyr. of Lennox, the Barrony of Renfrow, the Shy. of Clydsdail over and nether.
Dumbartane.
Glasgow.
Hamiltoun.
Lanerik.
To meet with the Provincial Synod of Aire and Irwing at Glasgow, pro hac vice.

7. The Provinciall Synod of Argyl, desired to bee erected in several Presbyteries, according to the note given in.

The Presbyteries of The bounds.
Dunnune. The Shyrifdomes of Argil & Boot, with a part of Lochabar.
Kinloch.
Inneraray.
Kilmoir.
Skye.
To meet the first time at Innereray, the 4 Twesday of April.

8. The Provinciall Synod of Fife.

The Presbyteries of The bounds.
St Andrews. The Shyrefdome of Fife.
Cowper.
Kirkadie.
Dunferling.
To meet the first time at Cowper in Fife the first Twesday of April.

9. The Provinciall Synod of Angus and Merns.

The Presbyteries of The bounds.
Meegle. The Shyrefdomes of Forfair and Merns.
Dundie.
Arbroth.
Forfair.
Brechen.
Merns.
To meet the first time at Dundie, the third Twesday of April.

10. The Provinciall Synod of Aberdene.

The Presbyteries of The bounds.
Aberdene. The Shyrefdomes of Aberdene and Bamfe.
Kincairdin.
All-foord.
Gairloch.
Ellan Deer.
Turreffe.
Fordyce.
To meet the first time at new Aberdene, the 3 Twesday of April.

11. The Provinciall Synod of Murray.

The Presbyteries of The bounds.
Innernes. The Shyrefdomes of Innernes in part, Nairn in part, Murray, Bamf in part, Aberden in part.
Forresse.
Elgin.
Strabogie.
Abernethie.
Aberlower.
To meet the first time at Forresse, the last Twesday of April.

12. The Provinciall Synod of Rosse.

The Presbyteries of The bounds.
Chanrie. The Shyrefdome of Innernes in part.
Taine.
Dingwall.
To meet the first time at Chanrie, the 2 Twesday of April.

13. The Provinciall Synod of Cathnes.

The Presbyteries of The bounds.
Dornoch. Cathnes.
Weeke or Thurso. Sutherland.
To meet the first time at Dornoch, the third Twesday of April.

14. The Provinciall Synod of Orkney and Zetland.

The Presbyteries of The bounds.
Kirkwall. The Shrefdome of Orkney and Zetland.
Scalloway.
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 remembered 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 be keeped in time comming: viz. The Provincials of Louthian, and Mers, &c. The Provincials of Drumfries, 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 tennour 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 white 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 Commissioners 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. 24. 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 Ministeriall function, refuseth themselves, and with-draw others from the obedience of the acts of the Assembly.

Act Sess. 25. December 19. 1638.
Against the civill places and power of Kirk-men.
THE generall Assembly, remembering that among other clauses of the application of the confession of Faith to the present time, which was subscribed in Februarie 1638. The clause touching the civill places and power of Kirk-men, was referred unto the tryall of this Assembly; entered into a serious search thereof, especially of their sitting on the bench, as Iustices of peace, their sitting in Session and Councell, their ryding and voting in39 Parlament: and considering how this vote in Parlament, was not at first sought nor requyred by this Kirke, 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 not 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 provinciall Assemblies, against this restitution of Bishops to vote in Parlament, and against all civill offices in the persons of Pastors, separate unto the Gospel, as incompatible with their spirituall 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 powerfull fruits of their spirituall 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 counsell in matters concerning the Kirk or the Conscience of any whatsomever, to his Majestie, to the Parlament to the Councell, or to any member thereof, for their resolutions from the word of God, So on the other part, that it is both inexpedient, and unlawful in this Kirk, for Pastors separate unto the Gospel to brook civil places, and offices, as to be Iustices of peace; sit and decerne in Councell, Session, or Exchecker; to ryde or vote in Parlament, to be Iudges or Assessors in any Civill 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 comming.

Act Sess. 26. December 20. 1638.
THE Assembly considering the great prejudice which God’s Kirk in this land, hath sustained these years bypast, by the unwarranted printing of lybels, pamphlets, and polemicks, to the disgrace of Religion, slander of the Gospel, infecting and disquyeting the mindes of God’s 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 controversies of this time, or any other treatise whatsoever which may concerne the Kirk of Scotland, or God’s cause in hand, without warrand subscribed by Mr Archibald Iohnston, 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 Ecclesiasticall censures to be execute against the transgressours by the several Presbyteries, and in case of their refusal, by the several Commissiones from this Assembly: Whereunto also we are confident, the honourable Iudges 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 several Commissions to summond them to compear before the next generall Assembly to be holden at Edinburgh, the third Wedinsday of Iulie, to abide their tryall and censure.

Act. Sess. 26. December 20. 1638.
THE Assembly considering the acts and practise of this Kirk 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, Burghs, 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 disposed as they are.

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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 Kirkmen, till they be tryed in a free generall 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 unlawfull; 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 Faithe 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, hearing 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 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, Councell, 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 royall 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 Ecclesiasticall authority, prohibiteth and dischargeth, that no member of this Kirk swear or subscribe the said Confession, so far wreasted to a contrare meaning, under paine of all Ecclesiasticall 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 generall Assemblies, which are taken from the light of nature, the promise of Iesus Christ, the practise of the holy Apostles, the doctrine and custome of other reformed Kirks, and the liberty of this nationall 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 lawfull Assemblies, and the great benefite arysing to the Kirk, from this one free and lawfull 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 yearly 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 Iulie 1639. And warneth all Presbyteries, Universities, and Burghes, to send their Commissioners for keeping the same. Giving power also to the Presbiterie of Edinburgh, pro re nata: and upon any urgent and extraordinarie necessity (if any shall happen before the diet appointed in Iulie) 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.

Act Sess. 26. December 20.
Ordaining an humble supplication to be sent to the King’s 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,41 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 surmise 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 thankfullnesse for so Royall 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 glorie, and the comfort and quietnesse 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 Maiestie:

The humble Supplication of the generall Assembly of the Kirk of Scotland, conveened at Glasgow, November 21. 1638.

Most gracious Soveraigne,

We your Majesties most humble and loyall 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 Iustice, of truth and peace, when it pleaseth the Supreame Providence so to dispose, that princely power and ecclesiasticall 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 generall Assembly: and remembring that for the present, a more true and real testimonie of our unfained acknowledgement, could not proceed from us your Majesties duetyfull Subjects, then to walke worthie of so royall a favour: It hath been our greatest care and most serious endevour, next unto the will of IESUS 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 personall 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 lawfull 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 everything to approve ourselves 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 bee found to have proceeded, rather from an unwillingnesse that we should any longer sit, than from any ground or reason, which may endure the tryall either of your Majesties Parliament, or of your own royall Iudgement, 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 ruine of all; wherein wee are so far from fearing the light, least our deeds should be reproved, that the more accuracy 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 bee reteined, in this Kirk. In all which the members of the Assembly, found so clear and convincing light, to their full satisfaction, against all42 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 knowethe, 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 mis-construed, 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 judgment, 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 which 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 the 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 Kingdome 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 threatened: 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 re-establishment 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 Sunshine, 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 Diademe, 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.

FINIS.

Collected, visied, and extracted forth of the Register of the acts of the Assembly by me Mr. A. Ihonston, Clerk thereto, under my signe and subscription manuall.—Edinburgh the 12 of Jan. 1639.

A Breife Collection of the Passages of the Assembly holden at Glasgow, in Scotland, November last, 1638; with the Deposicon of Divers B.p.p. Their Offences for which they were sentenced; and an Index of all the Acts made at the said Assembly.
Upon Wednesday the vijᵗʰ day of November, a generall ffast was kept throughout all Scotland, for calling upon God for his blessing upon their Assembly, and praying for Gods gracious assistance that their meeting might take good effect to Gods glorie and their owne good.

21.—Upon the 21ˢᵗ day of November, their Assembly begun, where (after calling upon the name of the Lord) their Nobilitie and Commissioners were called and desired to bring in their Commissions.

22.—The 22ᵈ day, the Commissioners Letters, and Commissions were produced; and the Commissioners for every Presbyterie produced their Commission.

23.—The 23ᵈ day, Mr Alexʳ. Henrison (after long contestacon) was chosen Moderator for the Assembly.

24.—The 24ᵗʰ day the Assembly proceeded to the election of their Clerke out of 4 Clarks, then nomynated:—(viz.)—Mr Thomas Sandilands, Mr Archibald Johnston, Mr John Nicholls, and Mr Alexʳ Blair.

The Marquesse (as his Majesties Commissioner) desired that the votes of his Assessors might be admitted for choosing the Clerke, and in all other things, which the whole Assembly refused, for many reasons then given.

25.—The Assembly, proceeding to their election, made choyce of Mr Archibald Johnston for the Clerke, who, being generallie allowed of, was presently sworne for the dutiful administracon of his office, and to bee answerable for the Register Books to the said Assembly.

This being done, the Registers of all the Assemblies43 since 1560 were produced, consisting of 6 faire volumes.

The Assembly, after some consultacon, made ane Act that the Earle of Rothes, Earle of Lauderdale, Mr Alex. Wilson, the Earle of Dundie, Mr Andrew Ramsay, Mr John Raine, Mr John Adamson, Mr James Bonnar, Mr John Bell, and Mr Robert Murray, should visite and peruse the said Books of the Assemblies, and to report their judgement concerning their authentickness and creditt.

26.—The 26 day of November, (after prayers,) the Moderator desired that the Commissions might be tryed and allowed, and, for avoyding of tediousness, declared, that if any would object against any Commission or Commissioner, they should be heard; But, if none objected, their silence should be taken for approbacon.

To this the Kings Commissioner answered, That he might object against anie Commission at any tyme, after the Commissions were produced.

Amongst manie Commissions produced this day, onely two were questioned, and they were both for brethrin. In the one, the Laird of Dunn was nominated a Commissioneasr; and, in the other, the Lord of Carnaigie was made a Commissioner. Dunns Commission had an approbacon on the backside thereof; but the Lord Carnaigies had noe approbacon; whereupon the Lord Marquesse desired the copie of Dunns Commission and approbacon under the Clerks hand. The Assembly were content hee should have the Commission, but not the approbacon. Upon which the Marquesse took instruments of their refusall.

27. The 27 day of November, (after prayers,) the rest of the Commissions were read, and some were questioned—namely, for the Presbitrie of Peebles; for the Presbitrie of Glasgow; for the Ministrie of Glasgow—because each of them had three Commissions; and Brechin—for having two Ruling Elders, (as aforesaid,) which were all referred to a Committee of 6 Ministers, to consider of and certifie.

The Commission for the Colledge of Aberdeen had noe warrant to give any vote; but only to attend their affaires as procurator for the Colledge.

The Presbitrie of Aberdeen had two Commissioners; (viz:)—Mr David Lindsay, and Mr Doctor Guild, which were allowed.

28.—The 28 of November, the Visitors of the Registers gave in their testimoniall, subscribed with their hands, testifying the Registers to bee good, authentique, and worthy of credit; which, being read, Mr Alexʳ Gibson further declared, in the presence of the Commissioners and whole Assemblie, that he had seene and considered the registers produced, and found them to be very authentique, and that hee thought if the Registers of the Council or Sessions were compared with them, they would be found to come fair short of those Registers.

Whereupon the Moderator desired the Commissioner, and all others, if they had anything to say against the said Registers, they should speak now, or give it in writing at the next sitting.

After this, protestacon was given in by Mr Robᵗ Elliot against the election of the Commissioners for Peebles, wherein the Earle of Traquaire was highly accused for intruding himselfe in that election; and this was referred to a committee.

29.—The 29 of November, (after prayers,) Doctor Hamilton, in the name of the Archbishopps and Bishops declined, in a protestacon to the Marquesse, (who received it,) whereby they declyned the Assembly, and protested that the same should bee holden null in law.

Whereupon Mr Alexʳ Gibson protested that the Bishops should be holden as delinquents in the Assembly, and that they ought soe to come and appeare personally.

After this, certaine remonstrances were presented, by the Presbitries of Glasgow and Dundie, to the Commissioner and Assemblie, desiring all Commissioners that have beene chosen to be laike Elders, might be putt away, which was generally denyed.

The Moderator had presented unto him a paper which the Clerk read openly to the Assemblie, containing many sufficient answers unto the objections exhibited by the Bishops, with their declynator against the lawfullnesse of the Assemblie.

After the same was read, the Moderator, in the name of the Assemblie, desired the Marquesse, that it might bee voted in the Assembly, whether or not they were competent Judges to the Bishops; but the Marquesse refused, and adhered to the protestacon and declynator of the Bishops, against the lawfullnes of the Assemblie; whereupon there was a great conference betwixt the Marquesse, the Earle of Rothes, and the Lord Lowdon, concerning the said declynator.

Their conference being ended, the Moderator againe desired the Marquesse to lett the matter goe to voting, or else to make objections against the lawfullnes of the Assemblie, and they would resolve them. But the Marquesse still refused it, alleadging it to bee ane unlawfull Assembly wherein laike Elders were; which was thus retorted—Then the Assembly of Perth was noe lawfull Assembly, for there were Ruling Elders; which answer much moved the Marquesse, and soe checked him as he knew not what to answer; for that Assemblie is the chiefe Assemblie the Prelats had. But the Marquesse put it off with a faire discourse, and, at last, told them he hoped the King’s declaracon of his pleasure would fully satisfie them, which hee caused the Clerke to reade.

His Majesties will was, That the Service-Book, Booke of Canons, and High Commission, should be annulled and discharged; The practise of the 5 Articles at Perth, or the urging thereof; and freed all Ministers from all unlawful oaths at their admission; likewise it made all his Majesties subjects lyable unto the censure of the Church; onely hee would not have the office of a Bishop to be altogether destroyed.

After this, the Clerk read the Noblemens Protestacon, which was made to uphold the liberty and freedome of the Assemble, which being read, the Marquesse fell into a large discourse concerning the goodnes and liberalitie of the King’s Majestie, which was fully answered by the Moderator, who acknowledged his Majesties goodnes, and affirmed that, if his Majestie were truly informed of the just grievances of his subjects, and of the foulness of the crymes charged upon the Prelats, hee would leave them to their tryall.

And, therefore, hee, in the name of the whole Assemblie, requested the Marquesse that, seeing hee had now gone on in a faire way hitherto, and had not closed his ears unto their just requeste, hee would not now begin to stopp, but would grant that it might be voted in the Assembly, whether they were a lawfull Assembly or not. The Marquesse protested hee would not, onely hee would have them subscribe the Covenant, and rest content with his Majesties will declared unto them; and if they proceeded any further hee would not assent thereto; but that whatsoever was done should bee held null, and as done in ane unlawful Assembly.

They answered, that they had beene called thither44 by his Majesties command, which had given liberty to them to proceed in the tryall of such things as were needfull to be performed reformed. And his Majesty, by his proclamacon, had declared that, if any of his subjects shall or have presumed to assume to themselves any unlawfull power, they should be lyable to triall; and, therefore, they conceived that whatsoever should be concluded in this Assembly, should be halde as proceeding from a lawfull Assemblie. The Marquesse thereupon commanded the Assemblie to rise, which they refusing, hee himselfe arose and left the Assemblie.

After the Marquesse was departed, the roll was given to the Clerk, who called every man particularly by his name, and desired them to declare their opinions on these 4 particulars:—

1—Whether the Assembly were lawful or not?

2—Whether the Assemblie were competent judges of the Bishops?

3—Whether they would allow of the Bishops declynator or not?

4—Whether they would adhere to their Commission of Faith, and contynue still and hold on in the Assemblie?

Every man particularly concluded, That the Assembly was lawful: That they were competent judges: That they would not allow of the declynator; and, That they would adhere to the Confession, and contynue the Assemblie, except Sir John Carnegie, Mr Patrick Mackgill, and 3 other Ministers.

1.—The first of December, (after calling on the name of the Lord,) Mr Robert Blaire, Mr James Hamilton, Mr John Mackclagvell, and Mr John Livingston, being demanded, why they came out of Ireland, and whether they were under the censure of the Church or not? They declared the cause of their comeing from Ireland, was because they refused to embrace, subscribe, and sweare to the Service-Booke of Ireland, and all the corruptions that were in that Church.

2.—The Earle of Argile, this day, left the Councell and came to the Assemblie, and declared, That he had subscribed the Confession of the ffaith with the Lords of the Councell, and found himselfe as farr obliged by subscribing the Kings Covenant as anie that had subscribed the National Covenant; and that hee subscribed the same as it was sett down in anno 1581, and not otherwise; and, therefore, desired the Assembly to goe on wisely in the matter of reconciling and explayning the Covenant. Whereupon the Assembly desired him to stay and bee an assistance and eye-witnesse of their proceedings, which hee both promised and performed.

3.—The 3d day of December, many complaints was given in against the Archbishops and Bishops, and especially ane libell against the Bishop of Galloway, conteyneing 8 or 9 sheets of paper; whereupon a Committee was chosen of noblemen, gentlemen, and ministers, to hear the approbeicon, and to exawmine the truth of the matters which were charged against the Bishops, and to give an accompt of their proceedings unto the Assemblie.

There was likewise appointed another Committee to fynd out the errors of the Service-Booke, Booke of Cannons, Booke of Ordinaicon and High Commission, and to give sufficient reasons why they were rejected; and, lastly, there was a Committee for the explanacon and reconciliacon of the Covenants.

4.—The 4ᵗʰ of December, (after calling on the name of the Lord,) the Earle of Argyle produced a letter sent unto him from some of the Lords of the Councell, wherein were these words, (viz.)—Your Lordship knowes that wee subscribed the Covenant upon noe other condition than you did—that is, as it was subscribed in anno 1581. And the Earle of Montrose also declared that the Earle of Wigton (another Privy Councillor) had written the same unto him, and desired him to signifie it unto the Assemblie, and 7 or 8 Councillors and noblemen afterwards sent the like declarations to the Assembly.

Those who had beene appointed upon the Committees appeared, and declared that they had begun upon their employments, but had not ended, because it was a worke that required more then one or two dayes labour, but promised to proceed with all care and diligence.

5.—The 5ᵗʰ of December, (after calling on the name of the Lord,) sundry complaints and processes were produced against Mr David Michell, Mr Gladstons, and Doctor Panter, for Arminianisme, whose libells being read, every one of them was 3 severall tymes called in the Assembly, and 3 severall tymes called at the doore, to come in and appeare, and answer to the things given in against them; but, none of them appearing, Mr David Dixon and Mr Robʳᵗ Baily, were ordayned to make an oracon the next day to refute those Armynian points whereof Panter, Michell, and Gladstons were accused, that they might proceed against them. And, in the meanetyme, a Committee was appointed to heare, and see, and exawmine these things alleadged against the said parties.

6.—The 6 of December, Mr Dixon made a speech, wherein he refuted fully all those Armimian points which had beene preached by Mr Michell and the other two; and Mr Andrew Ramsay made another speech, that hee (being one of the Committees) and the rest of the Committees, had seene, read, heard, and considered the things wherewith Michell and the rest were charged, and found them fully proved. Whereupon, by whole consent of the Assembly, Mr Michell and the other two were quite deposed and deprived of their office in the Church.

After this, Mr John Hamilton declared to the Assembly, That the Laird of Blackhall (a Councellor) had requested him to tell the Assemblie, that his subscribing of the Kings Covenant could be noe hindrance to their proceedings, but rather a furtherance, to cause him to doe what lay in his power for them; and that hee would come himselfe to the Assemblie and make his declaracon thereof unto them.

Lastly, the Commissioners for Edinburgh told the Moderator, that the people of Edinburgh having heard that some of their Ministers having subscribed the Bishops declynator, and, therefore, they would not suffer the said Ministers to preach anie more unto them. Therefore they desired to have it voted in the Assembly, Whether it were lawful to depose the saids Ministers, and to employ others to preach in their places? which was taken into deliberacon against the next meeting.

7.—The 7ᵗʰ day of December, the Bishop of Orkneys sonne delivered a letter from his ffather vnto the Moderator, signifieing that hee was willing to vndergoe what they pleased to impose vpon him, and submitted himselfe wholy vnto the said Assembly to dispose of him and his place and calling as they pleased.

The Committee for the Covenants returned answer, That they had reconciled them both to one effect and meaning, and that the Covenant in anno 1581 is more prejudicall then the other.

[The abbreviate of the Proceedings, which is in the Advocates’ Library, of which the prefixed is a copy, terminates on the 7th of December; and annexed45 to it are the Acts of Deposition passed against the Prelates, and an “Index of all the Principal Acts of the Assembly holden at Glasgow 1638,” at the end of which there is a docquet subjoined. The “Index” referred to being more full than any of the copies that are to be found in the printed Acts, it is here adopted as by the docquet authenticated by the Clerk of Assembly. The official abbreviate being thus defective to a certain extent, we are induced to fill up the chasm by adopting, as a supplement to it, an abridged account of the actings after the 7th December, from “Balfour’s Annales,” vol. ii., p. 209, et sequen.]

8 December, Sessio 16.
Saterday, after much reiding of papers and dispute anent the lawfullnes of Episcopacey in this churche, at last the questions was stated thus:—Quhither, Episcopacey was abiured in our kirke by the confession therof, and could be remoued? All in one woyce remoued the same, as abiured, neuer heirafter to be established.

10 December, Sessio 17.
The 5 artickells of Perth is, by the assembley, in one woyce totally abiured and remoued.

The Bischopes of Edinbrughe, Aberdeine, Rosse and Dumblaine, wer all of them depossed from aney function in the kirke, and excommunicat. Dumblaines crymes, by thesse that wer generall to all the bischopes, wer Arminianisseme, poperey and drunkennesse.

11 December, Sessio 18.
Tuesday Mr George Grhame, Bischope of Orcades, his lybell read, and he deposed; no excommunication againist him, becausse of his submission to the assembley.

Mr Johne Guthrie, Bischope of Murray, deposed; and if he acquiessced not with the said sentence and made his repentance, to be excomunicat.

Mr Patrick Lindesay, Archbischope of Glasgow, his lybell read, and he deposed and excomunicat.

Mr James Fairlie, Bischope of Argyle, his lybell read, and he deposed; and if he did not acquiesse with his sentence and repented, to be excommunicat.

Mr Neill Campbell, Bischope of the Iles Hybrides, his lybell read, and he deposed.

12 December, Sessio 19.
Vedinsday, after the depriuatione of Mr Thomas Forrester, minister of Melros, Mr Alexander Lindesay, Bischope of Dunkelden, his lybell being read, the assembley did deposse him from the office of bischope, and suspendit him from the office of ministrie, and exercisse therof; bot to be receauid therto againe vpone his repentance, manifested to the presbeteries of Dunkelden and Pearthe, and wpone his prowyding of the kirke of Dunkelden at the sight of the presbeterey.

After Dunkelden, Mr Johne Abernethy, Bischope of Cathnes, receaued sentence of deposition from his office of episcopacey, and he to be receaued in the office of the ministrie wpon his publicke repentance, to be made in the kirk of Jedbrugh.

The sentence of excommunicatione, aganist diuers of the bischopes, wes publickly read, and by acte of the assembley, ordained to be pronounced tomorrow by the moderator in the heighe kirke, and therafter to be intimat by the ministers and readers of all kirkes.

13 December, Sessio 20.
Noe more done this day, bot the sentence of the bischopes excommunication solemley pronounced by the moderator, Mr Alexander Hendersone, after a sermon preached by him, one the 1 versse of 110 Psalme.

14 December, Sessio 21.
Ther came this day, a letter to the assembley from the Earle of Vigtone, directed to the Earle of Montrosse, wich read publicikly in the assembley, desyrinng him to declare in his name, that he subscriued to the confession of religion, in doctrine and discipline, as it was in Aᵒ 1580, and that he wold defend the same with his bloode.

Fyue ministers wer deposed this day, viz.
Mr William Hannay, Minister at Aire;
Mr Androw Rollock, Minister at Dunce;
Doctor Robert Hamilton, M: at Glasfurd;
Mr Tho: Rosse, Minister at Chanrey.
Mr Henrey Scrymgeour, Minister at St Fillans, in Fyffe, for fornicatione.

15 December, Sessio 22.
This day, the Earle of Vigton declared himselue, in face of the assembley, conforme to his letter read in assembley, and directed to the Earle of Montrosse.

16 December, Sessio 23.
Order takin this day by the assembley, for commissions in all quarters of the kingdome, for cognoscing of proces presentlie depending befor the assembley aganist ministers, and to deceid therin; they to sitt doune at Edinbrughe first, the 26 of December instant, 1638; and at St. Andrewes, the 20 of Januarij therafter, in Aᵒ 1639; and from thence to Dundie, the 4 of Februarij, 1639.

17 December, Sessio 24.
Ten actes, and one referance past in assembley this day.

18 December, Sessio 25.
Ther was giuen in to the assembley, ane anssuer to the declinator and protestation of the bischopes, also to the Kinges Commissioners protestation.

Three commissions, anent complaints aganist ministers in the southe and northe, exped this day.

Acte, that all tytills of dignity, as deans, subdeans, chanters, flowing from the canon law and pope, are abolished in tyme cominge.

Acte, that no marriage be without thrysse proclamation, as the booke of discipline bears, wich is not absolute, bot excepts in knowin necessity.

Acte, that no interments be in kirkes; and that ther be no funerall sermons, as tending to superstition.

Acte, anent the maner of tryell of the expectents of the ministrie.

Mr Archbald Jhonston, clercke of the assembley, elected to be procurator for the kirke, and Mr Robert Dagleische to be agent; and fees appoynted for them.

19 December, Sessio 26.
This day was read the draught of a suplication to be made by the assembley to the Kinges Maiestie, for his approuing, in the ensewing parliament, of ther procidinges and decrees.

Commissioners appoynted to the parliament, from the generall assembley of ministers; noblemens eldest sones and barons from all quarters, with thesse follouing propositions:—

First, That the præuilidges of the kirke be rattified, and ther power in holding generall assemblies.

2d. That the constitutions of the generall assembley be ratified.

3d. That presentations of kirkes be made by the patrons to the presbeteries, with power to them of collation.

4to. For augmentation of kirkes small stipends, lying in bischopericks and otheres.

5o. That no aduocation pas to counsell or session,46 from presbeteries and shyres, to hinder or impeade the censure of the kirke.

6o. That visitatione be made of colledges, by commissione from the parliament.

7o. That some few lynnes, by authority of parliament should be addit to the couenant, to be subscriued by all suche as heirafter should enter wnto the same.

Acte declaring ciuile places of kirkmen in counsaile, session, justice of peace, &c. woycinng in parliament, &c. all to be wnlawfull, and they recindit and anulled all former actes making the same lawfull.

Acte restoring kirke sessions, presbeteries, synods and assemblies, as they wer in Aᵒ 1580, in all respectes, and in ther members and elders, ther numbers and powar.

20 Decembris, Sessio 27.
In this session, ther was diuersse actes past, and transportations of ministers.

Acte ordaning the generall assembley zeirlie, and oftner pro re nata; as also ordaning the nixt generall assembley to be in Edinbrughe the 3d Vedinsday of Julij, 1639.

Therafter the moderator discoursed of the worke of reformation in this kingdome, and Gods workes therein, and of the coursse and progresse of the assembley; to this same purposse spake eache of them after ane other,

Mr Androw Ramsay,
Mr Dauid Dicksone,
Mr Robert Blaire,
Mr Androw Cant.
The Earle of Argyle, also, by occasione of speeiches wich fell from the moderator, spoke to the assembley of his longe delay and bydinng out, and not ioyning to the couenanters, not (said he) for want of affection to the good causse, bot to doe more good; wich, quhen it failled, he could byde no longer oute from them with the other syde, excepte he had beine a falsse knaue. He exhorted ministers to doe ther dewtiey, and to be respectiue of authority; also the ministers to peace and vnity amongest themselues.

Therafter the moderator clossed the assembley with prayer, and singinge of the 133 psalme, wpone the 20 day of December, 1638, being Fryday, about 6 a clocke at night.

An Index of all the Principall Acts of the Assembly holden at Glasgow 1638.
1.—An Act for registring sundrie protestations betwixt the marryners, [“between the Commissioner’s Grace and the Members of the Assembly.”—Printed Acts.]

2.—An Act for the election of Mr Alxʳ Henrison to bee their Moderator.

3.—An Act for admitting Mr Archbald Johnston to bee the Clerke of the Assembly, and producing and keeping the Registers of former Assemblies which were preserved by Gods wonderfull providence.

4.—An Act of disallowing anie private conference with the Moderator.

5.—An Act ratifying the authentickness of the Registers.

6.—An Act registring his Majesties will declared by his Commission.

7.—An Act of the Assemblies Protestacon against dissolving of the Assembly.

8.—An Act annulling the 6 late Assemblies—viz., one holden at Lithgow 1606; another at Lithgow 1608; one at Glasgow 1610; one at Aberdeene 1616; one at St Andrews 1617; and one at Perth 1618; with the reasons of the nullitie of every one of them.

9.—An Act annulling the oath exacted by Prelats vpon Ministers where they are admitted into their callings.

10.—An Act deposing Mr David Michell, Minister at Edinburgh.

11.—An Act deposing Mr Alexander Gladstons, Minister at St Andrews.

12.—An Act deposing Mr John Creighton, Minister at Pewisloe.

13.—An Act deposing Mr Robʳᵗ Hamilton, Minister at Glasford.

14.—An Act deposing Mr Tho. Foster.

15.—An Act deposing Mr Wᵐ. Annand.

16.—An Act deposing Mr Tho. Mackenzie.

17.—An Act declaring the abiuring and removing the 5 Articles of Perth.

18.—An Act condemning the Service Booke.

19.—An Act condemning the Booke of Cannons.

20.—An Act condemning the Booke of Ordinacons.

21.—An Act condemning the High Commission.

22.—An Act clearing the meaning of the Confession of the Faith, Anno D ⁿⁱ. 1580, and abjuring and removing Episcopacie.

23.—An Act concerning the deposing and excommunicacon of the late pretended Archbishops of St Andrews and Glasgow, the Bishops of Edinburgh, Rosse, Galloway, Brechin, Dumblane, and Aberdeen.

24.—An Act concerning the deposicon absolutely, and excommunicacon conditionally, of the late pretended Bishops of Murray, Argyle, Orkney, Cathness, Dunkeld, and the Iles.

25.—An Act for restoring the Presbyteries, Provinciall Synods, and Generall Assemblies, to their Constitutions of Ministers and Elders, and their Powers and Jurisdictions, according as they are contained in the Booke of Policies.

26.—An Act for erecting a Presbyterie in Argyle.

27.—An Act concerning the Visitacon of Particular Churches, Schooles, and Colledges.

28.—An Act against Non-Residencie.

29.—An Act concerning the planting of Schooles in every parish.

30.—An Act directing of Presbitery Ministers how to choose their Moderators.

31.—An Act referring to the competencie of Presbiteries and Parishes.

32.—An Act concerning the Conservacon of Ministers, as in anno 1595.

33.—An Act for Presbiteries to defray the expenses of their Commissioners.

34.—An Act referring to former Acts for repressing of Poperie and Supersticon.

35.—An Act referring to Presbiteries the more frequent Celebracon of the Lords Supper.

36.—An Act against the Prophanacon of the Sabbath, for want of afternoones exercise.

37.—An Act against Salmon Fishing and Going of Milnes on the Sabbath day.

38.—An Act against Salt Panns, and such like imployments, on the Sabbath day.

39.—An Act against Markets on Mondayes and Saturdayes within Borroughs.

40.—An Act setting downe the Roll of Provinciall Assemblies.

41. An Act against those that speake or write agᵗ the lawfulnes of the Naconal Covenant, or this Assembly and the Constitucons thereof.

42.—An Act concerning the receiving the repentnance,47 submission, and admission into the Ministrie of any penetent prelate.

43.—An Act for excommunicating of such Ministers as disobey their sentence.

44.—An Act against the frequenting with excommunicat persones.

45.—An Act condemning Chapters, Archdeacons, Preaching Deacons, and such like Popish trash.

46.—An Act against obtruding of Pastors upon people.

47.—An Act against Marriage without Proclamacon of Bands.

48.—An Act against Funerall Services.

49.—An Act for admission of Mr Archbald Johnston to bee Advocate, and Mr Roberte Dalglassie to be Agent for the Church.

50.—An Act for transporting of Mr Alexander Henderson from Leuchers to be one of the principall Ministers of Edinburgh.

51.—An Act for transporting Mr Robert Blaire from Ayre to St Andrews.

52.—An Act transporting Mr Andrew Cant from Pitslegoe to Newbottle.

53.—An Act condemning all Civill Offices in the persons of Ministers of the Gospell, as to bee Justice of Peace, sitt in Session or Councell, or to vote or ride in Parliament.

54.—An Act for a Commission for examinacon of complaints, to sitt at Edinburgh the 26 of December next.

55.—Another Commission to sitt at Edinburgh the 22 of January next.

56.—Another Commission to sitt at Irwing the 25 of Jann. next.

57.—Another Commission to sitt at the Chancerie the 29 of Feb. next.

58.—Another Commission to sitt at Kircowbright the 9ᵗʰ of March next.

59.—An Act for the Commission to visite the Colledges of Glasgow and Aberdeen.

60.—An Act appointing the Commissioners to attend the Parliament with the Articles which they are to represent there in the name of the Church vnto the 3 Estates.

61.—An Act ordaineing the Commissioners for Presbiteries and Burroughes presently to gett under the Clerkes hands an Index and Abstract of all the Acts, to carry hame with them from the Assemblie to their severall Presbyteries and Burroughs.

62.—An Act ordaineing the Presbyteries to intymate in their severall pulpits the Assemblyes explanacon of the Confession of Faith, the Act against Episcopacie, the Act against the 5 Articles, the Act against the Service Booke, the Booke of Cannons, Booke of Ordinances, and the High Commission, the severall acts of deposicon and excommunicacon of the prelates.

63. An Act discharging all printers not to print anything concerning the Acts or the proceedings of this Assembly, or anything which concerns the Church, without a warrant under Mr Archbald Johnstons hands, as Clerk to the Assembly, and Procurator for the Church, and that vnder the paine of all ecclesiasticall censure; and this to be likewise intymated with the other Acts.

64.—An Act ordeyning the Covenant subscribed in Febʳ last to bee now againe subscribed, with the Assemblyes declaracon thereof; and this to bee also intymated by all ministers in their pulpitts.

65.—An Act dicharging all subscripcon to the Covenant subscribed by His Majestie’s Commissioner and the Lords of Councell, which is likewise to be intimated.

66.—An Act against those which are maliceous agˢᵗ this Church, or dedyners or disoeclyers of the Acts of this Assembly.

67.—An Act warranting the Moderator and Clerke to give out summons, upon lawfull complaints, against parties to appeare before the Assembly.

68.—An Act renewing the priviledges of yearly Generall Assemblies, and oftener, (pro re nata) and for appointing the third Wednesday in July next, in Edinburgh, for the next Generall Assembly.

69.—An Act that none be chosen as Ruling Elders to sitt in Presbiteries, Provinciall or Generall Assemblies, but those who subscribe the Covenant as it is now declared, and acknowledge the constitutions of this Assemblie.

70.—An Act concerning the voting of church-sessions, and tryall of Expectants.

71.—An Act for representing to the Parliament the necessitie of the standing of the Procurators place for the Church.

72.—An Act ordayning all Presbiteries to keepe a solemn thanksgiving in all parishes for Gods blessing and good successe of this Assemblie upon the first convenient Sabbath.

Extracted by mee, Mr Archbald Johnston,
Clerke to the Generall Assemblie.

Miscellaneous Historical Documents.