Church of Scotland. General Assembly.

Acts and proceedings of the General assemblies of the Kirk of Scotland, from the year M.D. LX. : collected from the most authentic manuscripts online

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heartie defire is, that at this time you make the World fee by your pro-
ceedings, what a dutiefuU refpeft and obedience you owe to Vs, your So-
uereigne Prince, and naturall King and Lord ; that as Wee in loue and
care are neuer wanting vnto you, fo you in an humble fubmiflion vnto our
fo juft demands, be not found inferiour to others our fubie6ls in any of our
Kingdomes ; and that the care and zeale of the good of Gods Church, and
of the advancing of Fiety, and Truth, doth chiefly incite Vs to the follow-
ing of thefe matters ; God is our Witneffe : The which, that ii may be
before your eyes, and that according to your callings you may firiue in
your particular places, and in this Generall Meeting, to do thefe things
which may beft ferue to the promouing of the Gofpel of Chrifl, euen our
prayers are earneft vnto God for you : Requiring you in this and other
things to credit the bearer hereof, our truftie Seruant and Chaplaine, the
Deane of Winchefter, whom We have exprcffly fent thither, that he may
bring vnto Vs a true relation of the particular carriages of all matters, and
of the happie euent of your Meeting, which by Gods blefiing (who is the
God of Order, Peace and Truth) Wee doe certainly expe£i ; vnto whofe
gracious direction Wee commend you now and for euer.
Giuen at Theobalds, the 10 Julij 1618.

Thk Letter being once read, and again : The Archbifhop protefled that
neither he, nor the Kirk of England had craved thefe novations, nor given
counfel thereanent, and it was againft his will that ever they were men-
tioned ; yet that now he is perfwaded, that his Majellie will be more glade

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of the confent of this Aflembljr to the five Articles, than of all the gold of

The Archbifliop then defired Doctor Young to fpeake, if fo hee had anj
thing to fay for feconding the Letter^ whereof he was Meifengen And
his words were thefe that foUowes.

Molt Honorable, moft Reverend, right Worlhipfull, and dearlj beloued :
It might well become me, according to the example of Elihu in the Hiilo-
rie of Job, in prefence of fo wife, fo graue, fo religious, and learned an
Aflembly, to wait in filence till the more ancient in years had fpoken : but
that I know that the Souereigne Maieftie of our gracious Lord and Mailer the
King, who hath regarded fo much the lowlineflTe of his feruant, as to fend
me vnto you at this time, to be the melTenger of his will and pleafure, now
openly read in your ears, will procure attention vnto a few words, which
fliall be vttered with the vprightnefTe and finceritie of a heart wholy de-
uoted, as vnto the glory of God, and honour of our great Mafter the King ;
fo to the happy, free, and flouriihing eftate of this Church and Kingdome,
vnto which I am tyed by fo many flrong bands ; that Mofes the friend of
God, and Paul that chofen veflell of ChriH, who are recorded in the holy
Scriptures to haue exceeded in their affedtion to the people of Ifrael, their
deare countreymen, did not in that owe more vnto them, then that which
you all wel know I owe vnto you } and would to God I were as able to
pay fo iuft a debt, as I am, and euer fhall be moll ready and willing to ac-
knowledge it ; Hie amor meus pondus meum : for from this loue and du-
tie I owe vnto this place of my firft and fecond birth, (God hee beft knowes)
how the forrowes of my heart haue bin inlarged, fince the time of the laft
Generall Affembly at Saint Andrewes, to hear fuch words of indignation
and juft difpleafure, fo often to proceed out of the mouth of fo good and fo
gracious a Prince, like Mofes the meekeft man vpon the face of the earth :
Sed verendum etiam atque etiam quo exeat patientia tam faepe laefa :
Words Ijpoken againft thefe that are called to be Minifters, EmbafTadors of
peace, and patternes of pietie and obedience ; vttered in the ears of them,
who labour indeed, as it becommeth fo loyall and louing fubiefts, by their
humble and dutifull obedience vnto his lacred Maieftie, to outftrip thofe
that went before them ; and albeit they haue the laft, yet not to haue the
leaft portion in our Davids loue. But as then with all good and well af-
fe6led men I much grieued, fo now I heartily rejoyce and praife God, that

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notwithftanding of all that is pad, I baue liued to fee this day a General!
Synod ouce more of the Church of Scotland, called hj the authority and
expreife command and pleafure of our Souereigne Lord the King, which is
the only true and beft meanes indeed, vied in all ages for extirpating of all
Se£i:s, Errors, and HereGes, and for the planting of truth, and good order
in the Church of Chrift. And I pray God, that all things at this meeting
may, by the dire3;ion of Gods good Spirit, and by your Wifdomes, be lb
carryed, that you abridge not your felues and pollerity of fo great a bleffing,
and procure that not only thefe things which are now required, but that
other things more difficult bee injoyned and enforced ypon you, vpon ftri£b
penaltie by Supreme Authority. * And therefore I defire (as I am fent to
that purpofe) with the Apoftle Titus 3. to put you in remembrance, that
you bee fubiedl to Principalities and Powers, and that you bee obedient,
and ready to euery good worke : to put you in remembrance, that, by the
great bleffing of Almightie God, you haue to doe with fo wife, lb potent, fo
religious, fo learned a Prince, the matchlefle mirror of all Kings, the nuriing
Father of his Church ; that he whofe wifdome and authoritie is, in the com-
pofing of all differences both Ecclefiaftical and Ciuill, fo much required, re-
fpefted, and admired, not only by his own people of his other Kingdoms, but
by all good Chriftians of forrein Nations throughout the Chriftian world, may
not feeme to be neglefted by you his native fubie^ at home j and you efpe-
cially of the Minifterie, who ought to be examples and patternes of obedience
vnto others, you whom he hath fo infinitely obliged by his fo great bountie and
conftant lone : To put you in remembrance, that as with no fiualldifreputation
vnto his Maieftie, and diminution as it were of his princely authoritie, in the
iudgment and fight of the world, whofe eyes are bent ypon thefe proceedings,
he hath granted you fo long time, by your Chrifl;ian and godlyendeuours with
your feverall flockes (whom you are toleade, and not to be led by them) to re-
moue(a8 you promifed both to his Majefi.y being here among^ you, andagaine
confirmed at your laftGenerall Synod,) all thofe fcandals,whichmightbe taken
by the more ignorant and vnaduifed fort of your people, to whom all innoua-
tions, though to the better, may feeme at the firft fomewhat (Irange : fo
that now you would bee carefull, as much as in you lyeth, to take away
that more dangerous and open offence and fcandal, which by your delay,
and refufall of obedience, you ffiall call vpon the facred perfon of our
Soueraigne Lord the King, the mofi; conftant and zealous Prote6fcour and
Defender of that Faith and Truth, which wee all profeffe, and for the which

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he batb fuffered fuch open gainefaying of the aduerfaries thereof, the limbes
of Antichrift ; as if hee, who hath laboured fo much to exalt the glorie of
this Nation farre aboue all his predecelTours in the eyes of the World, now
going about mod of all to humble vs vnto our God» and in the performance
of the A61 of g^eatefl deuotion, according to his owne example, to bring
vs vnto our knees, did in fo doing any way yrge his lubie£ts to any thing,
which might fauour of Superftition or Idolatrie : To remoue the fcandall
from thofe who are in authority amongfl you, and are fet ouer you in the
Lord, who by their dutifull obedience vnto God, and their Soueraigne, haue
alreadie, both by their do6trine and pra6lice, commended thofe things,
which now are required of you, to be both lawfuU and expedient : To
take away that fcandall and afperGon, which by the feeming reafons of your
former refufall, or delay, you haue call vpon others fo glorious reformed
Churches, as if the Holy Ghofi, and Spirit of reformation had beene giuen
onely to, and folely refted vpon you : To remoue that notorious and pub-
lique fcandall, which by the fierie and turbulent fpirits of fome few priuate
men, lyeth heavie vpon the feruent and zealous ProfeiTours of the glorious
Gofpel of Chrifl, as if they alfo were difobedlent vnto Magiftracie, and in
this did feeme to ioyne hands with the maine vpholders and pillars of Fo-
perie. It hath wounded the fpirits of good men to hear it often fpoken,
Nee dicatur (utinam amplius) Gathi, et in plateis Afkelonis ; nay to fee
it in print, that Herod and Pilate were now reconciled again, if not contra
Chriftum Dominum, yet contra Chriftum Domini : Laftly, to preuent that
lamentable miferie and calamitie, which God in his juAice might bring vpon
this Church, in that you regarded not the bleffed time of your vifitation,
and defpifed the long fuffering and great goodnefle of God, and of fo boun-
tifull and gracious a Soueraigne. And lb to conclude, (for to fiand now
upon particulars were but a6lum agere, and you need no gleanings after fo
plentifuU an harvefl, or the light of a candle being inlightned by the cleare
beames of the funne,) with that of Naamans feruants, 2 Kings 5. vnto their
Lord and Mafter : Father, if the Prophet had commanded thee a greater
matter, ihouldefi; thou not haue done it ? &c. So, right reuerend Fathers
and Brethren in Chrift, if our moft gracious Soueraigne Lord, who hath done
fo much for you, had commanded you greater things, fo long as they might
Hand with the will of God, and in no waies be repugnant vnto the fame,
(for in that cafe indeed, the Apofiles rule holds inuiolably true, Bet v^iOapx^tv
Oeio fiaWov rj avOpwirotf, that WO muft rather obey God, then men) (bould you

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not haue beene readie yourfelues, and bj your do£lrine and pra6life haue
induced others to obedience ? much more then, when he requireth of jou
but thefe few neceflarie things, neceflary and e3q)edient for the glorie of
God, for the aduancing of pietie araongfl: jou ; for the honour and due
fatiffa6tion vnto our Soueraigne Lord the King ; for the happy eflablifhing
of order, peace, vnion, and loue amongft your felues, and in thefe vnited
Kingdomes. Therefore let me befeech you in the bowels of Chrift to giue
all their due, Qusd Csefaris, Csefari, quae Dei, Deo. And as Conftantine
the Great (as Eufebius hath it) wrote vnto his Churchmen, that troubled
his peace and other weightie affaires, with their contentious humours ; fo
let me intreat you in the bebalfe of our Conilantine, Qui dum rogat, jubet :
Date illi dies tranquillos, et nodtes curse et moleftiarum expertes ; that fo
he may with much ioy and contentment of heart, yet once more, as he
propoietb, if not often, vitit your coafts, and thofe places which his foule
loueth ; and that this poore Church, and his natiue Kingdome, may be
made euer more and more happie by his comming, and long, peaceable,
and profperous reigne : And God and men fay Amen vnto it. Amen :

The Minifters defenders of the eftablilhed order, required four things.
1. That none be admitted to vote, but fuch as were authorized by lawful
Commiffion. The Archbifhop anfwered, his Majefty had written to Noble-
men and Barrones, willing them to be prefent at this Aflembly : If any
man had any exception againft them, they fhould be heard. It was replied,
that they were not to except againft their honorable perfons or prefence ;
but earneftly to crave, that the order of the Church might be obferved,
whereby it is provided, that without Commiflion none have place to vote
in General AlTemblies.

2. That the libertie of the Church be not broken in the election of the
Moderator, and that a lawful leet be made to that effedl. It was anfwered
by the Archbifhop, that this AjQTembly is convo<^at within the bounds of his
Diocie ; he would underftand, who would take his place over his head.

3. That the Articles, proponed in fhort and general fummes, might be
put in forme, and amply extended, as his Majefty would have them enacted,
that they be the better advifed on and confidered. The Archbifhop an-
fwered». let alone thefe toyes, trouble us not with needlefs queftioos ; we
Ihall fpeak of thefe things in the Privie Conference.

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4. That fome of either opiaion may be fet apart to colle£fc, and put in
order the reafons of either fide, for the more fure and e^e information of
the Aflemblie. The Archbifhop reje6led this alfo, as impertinent.

The Archbiihop proceeded to the nomination of the Privie Conference,
before that the Clerk had received the CommiOions.

There was chofen to be upon the Privie Conference, the Kings Com-
miifioners, and Afleflbrs, the Erie of Lothian, the Lord Ochiltry, the Lord
Sanchar, the Lord Bojd : Barons Waughton, Weymes, Balcolmie, Bogie,
Clunie, Glenvrquhart, Balcarras, Lagge, Balmanno, Bonintotm : Minifters,
Mr Patrick Galloway, Mr Henry Blyth, Mr John Weymes, Mr George
Grier, Mr John Carmichael, Mr William Scott, Mr Alexander Gladeftanes
Archdean of San£l Andrewes, Do6lor Philip, Do6lor Strang, Doftor
Bruce, Mr John Hay Parfon of Ranfrew, Mr Thomas Muirhead, Mr
Michael Wallace, Mr Thomas Ramfay, Mr James Knox, Mr Robert Hen-
rlfon, Mr John Guthrie, Mr John Malcolm, Do6tor Forbefs, Mr George
Dowglafs, Mr Patrick Dumbar, Mr James Bifhop, Mr George Chalmers,
Mr James Simfon, Mr Robert Sommer, Mr David Lindfay, Mr David
Monro, Mr Archbald Moncrieff, Mr James Burdoun, Mr John Mackenzie,
Mr John Mitchelfon, Mr Patrick Shaw, Mr James Hammilton Dean of
Glaigow, Do£tor Hammilton : The CommiOioners of Edinburgh, Perth,
Dundie, Aberdeen, Gla%ow : And all the Bifliops.

After the faid nomination, the Conference was appointed to conveen at
three afternoon ; and the Aflembly at eight hours to-morrow morning.

[Tuefday at afternoone.]

The Conference conveened at three afternoon. After Prayer, the Kings
Letter was read againe. Then the Archbifhop requefled them to confider,
by what means matters might moft eafily be brought vnto a point. He faid
that there appeared but two wayes : One whereof was by difputing the
Articles, which was likely to confume a long time, and breed irritation,
rather than any contentment elfe : The other was by a calme and wife
confultation to confider how the faid Articles might be receiued in all the
Churches with leaft offence, and conclude the fame ; (pecially fince they

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' F had promifed in the laft AflTemblj to refolue themfelues and others, of the

^- equitie of the points required ; and which they like heft, he defires them

^ to choofe.

He affirmed, that four Articles were already concluded in the Aflemblies
holden laft at Aberdeen, and San£t Andrewes, howbeit not in forme as
his Majefty required ; and that kneeling only refted to be confented to.
To prove his allegeance, a minute was read, containing the points conferred
on at the places forefaid, and no farther evidence was produced. He added
that his Highnefs altogether refufed the cautions and conditions added by
the faid Aflemblies, as fruftrations of his intention. He affirmed his Ma-
jefty was ftill offended at the Affembly holden at San£t Andrewes : for
removing of that offence, he would have had the Article of kneeling put
to voting in the Conference without reafoning.

The greater part efteeming, that fuch as were contrary minded, would
never receiue fatiffa6tion, vnleffe matters were firft reafoned ; and that it
Ihould bring a fore imputation vpon the AflTembly to conclude any thing,
which had not been firft debated by arguments, vrged the difputing of the
Articles, which was of the reft condefcended vnto. Then it being pro-
poned, if they would take the faid Articles in order, or beginne with the
moft controverted, they agreed vniformly to treat of kneeling at the receiu-
ing of the holy Sacrament in the firft place, hoping that iatiffa6lion being
giuen in that Article, the leffe fcruple fliould be made to the reft.

So according to the order, two were named to difpute that Article, to
wit, Dodtor Henrie Philip and Do£tor William Forbes for the one fide ;
and Mafter William Scot and Mafter John Carmichael for the other : Thefe
two laft named, after a graue protefl;ation made of their unwiliingnefle to
be heard oppofing to any matter, for the which his Maieftie feemed fo ear-
neft, excufed themfelues by the neceffity of the commandment, and their
owne refolutions, which they held to bee well grounded, wifliing that no
offence might be taken at their fpeeches, which they fliould be carefull of,
and fay nothing but with that reuerence which become them in fo hon-
ourable an hearing. And then adding, that the contrary order had beene
long kept in this Church with great profit, and the comfort of many good
Chriftians : if now any would preaffe to abolifli that which had been in
force, and draw in things not yet receiued, they bee holden to prooue,
eyther that the things vrged were neceflary and expedient for our Church ;
or the order hitherto kept, not meet to be retained. And for this purpofe


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they alleadged a paffage of Mailar Hooker, in his Prelace before the Bookes
of Ecclefiafticall Policie, wherein hee craueSi that £uch aa feeke the reibr-
mation of Orders Ecclefiafticall in the Church of England, fhould content
thenifelues with the opponents part, and be fubieA to prooue thefe two
things mentioned. It was replyed, that the difference of their cafe and
ours was great : for there a few priuate men defired the Laws publickelj
eftablilhed to bee inuerted, and it was good realbn, that fuch fhould bee
put to their confirmation of what they proponed : but heere the Prince,
that by himfelfe had power to reforme fiich things as were amifie in the
outward policie, required to haue the change made : and therefore it con-
cerned them to bring reafons, why his Maiefties propofitions ought not to
bee granted. This they declined for a great while, fiill protefling the
reuerence they beare to his Maiefties commandments j and without men*
tioning that which they would not oppofe in Thefit they wiflied this quef-
tion to be realbned : Whether kneeling, or fitting at the Communion were
the fitter gefture.

It was atifwered, that the queftion could bee no other wayes proponed
then thus : His Maieftie defires our gefture of fitting at the Communion
to be changed into kneeling : Why ought not the fame to be done ? If
it could bee ihewed by the Word, or by any neceflary confequent deduced
out of the lame, that his alteration craned, ought not to bee granted, be»
caufe impious or rnlawfull, that fliould be enough humbly to decline the
defire : and if otherwayes they could bring no argument to the contrary,
a neceflltie lay rpon vs to obey.

An houre or more was fpent in fuch fpeeches, they declining ftill to giue
any argument, and offering themfelues to anfwer fuch realbns, as any man
would propone for the alteration defired : whereupon the Archbifliop of
Saint Andrewes faid, that if none would reafon, he would put the Articles
to voyces.

Then they proponed, that reafoning fliould bee publicke, and in face of
the whole Affembly : It was replyed, that nothing fliould be in Conference
concluded to the preiudice of the Affembly ; al wayes matters muft firft be
brought to fome point in the Conference, and thereafter proponed to the
whole number, who fliould be beard to reafon of new, if he lifted.

Hereupon they refolued to fall into difpute, and firft. Matter John Car-
michael brought an argument from the cuftome and pra£lice of the Church
of Scotland, which had beene long obferued, and ought not to be altered,

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except the inconuenience of the prefent order were (hewed, and the defired
g^efture qualified to bee better. It wae anfwered, that howeuer the argu*
ment held good againft the motions of priuat men^ yet his MaaeAie requir*
ing the practice to be changed* matters behoued to admit a new confidera*
tton ; and that becaufe it was the Prince his priuiledge, that had the con-
leruation and cuftodie» as well of the Church, as of the Commonwealth,
to call in queftion Cuftomes and Statutes which he perceiued to breed any
inconuenience in the ftate, euen hy himfelfe, it could not bee denyed, that
in a Church Aflembly, fiich as that was, his Maieftie might lawfully crane
an innouation of any Church Rite, which hee efteemed not to be conue-
nient for the time.

From this argument, they went to another of Chrift and the Difciples
fitting at the firft inftitution ; in difcuiling whereof, they were brought to
acknowledge the gefiure not to bee of the eflence of the Sacrament, but
alterable at the difcretion of the Church : Only they held the cuftome for-
merly receiued to bee the better.

This was the proceeding of the firft Conference, wherein becaufe matters
could not be brought to any point, continuation was made to the morrow
after, and they warned to meete again at eight of the cloke in the

Wednefday the 26 of Augufi.

The Conference being met as was appointed, after inuocatton of the
Name of God, the Reafoners were defired to proceed where they had left
the night before, and not to triffle time with ipeeches of fmall confequence.
The reafoning continued from eight vnto eleuen of the cloke. And when
the whole reafons proponed by the two forenamed, were in the iudgement
of all men Catiffied ; oUiers were required, and had place giuen them to
propone their arguments alCb, which was done in good order, and with
luch modeftie as could be wiihed.

The Archbiihop defired thefe of the Conference, to giue their iudgement
in the matter reafoned. They opponed, that the cuftome was not to rote
in Conference any matter, before it were brought to the ftill Affembly ;
but it was proued otherwile by theCe who had frequented the Afleroblies,
both of old and in the latter times } as likewife it was told them, that thefe

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Conferences refembled the meeting of the Lords of Articles in Parliament,
where matters are accuftomed to bee prepared and put in order, before
they bee proponed to the whole State : and that the voting in Conference
was hj way of aduice onely, and not to determine ; the power whereof be-
longed onelj to the Affemblj. This being acknowledged by the whole
number to bee fo, they offered that were prefent, to giue their owne iudge-
ment without preiudging the Affembly ; as accordingly they did : The
whole number, fome ten or eleuen excepted, declaring that by the reafons
proponed, or any thing elfe they conceiued, they could not deny, but a
change might bee made of the gefture in receiuing the holy Sacrament ;
and that it Teemed conuenient for the Church to embrace the Article pro-
poned by his Maieftie about kneeling, in regard of his defire and refolution
to haue the fame forme here eftabliflied.

After the aduice concluded to bee giuen to the Affembly in this point, it
was thought meet, that the Article prefently reafoned, with the other Arti-
cles proponed by his Maieftie, ftiould all of them be formed in the beft and
moft agreeable words that could be deuifed, for remouing all offence that
might bee taken at the fame, and no aduantage giuen to the aduerfaries of
the Truth : and to this effe£l were named fome graue and wife Brethren,
who were deGred to haue the fame in readineffe at four of the clocke in the
aftemoone ; it being thought meit, that the full Aflembly fliould not meet
before Thurfday again, at which time all might be prepared.

Wednefday at aftemoone.

Albeit the meeting of the full Affembly was defferred to the next day,
yet that aftemoone, the whole number thronging in, whether that they
were nrot aduertifed of the delay, or that they defired to bee prefent with
the Conference, came thither ; which the Archbifhop perceiuing, he tooke
occafion to excufe the delay of meeting with them, declaring how farre they
had proceeded, and that the Conference had committed the Articles to bee
formed vnto certayne Brethren, who were at that time to prefent them ;
and therefore defired they fhould haue patience till the morrow, and leaue
the Conference for that time by themfelues, which they did.

How foone they were remoued, thefe who were appointed to forme the

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