THE DOCTRINE AND DISCIPLINE Of the KIRKE of SCOTLAND, As it was formerly set forth by publicke authority, And at this present com­manded there to be practised in the said KIRKE, Anno 1641. TOGETHER, VVith some Acts of generall Assemblies clearing and confirming the same: AS ALSO An Act of Parliament by the King and three Estates of Scotland, for rectifying of the said Discipline. THE FIRST AND SECOND BOOKE.

According to all that I shew thee, after the paterne of the Taber­nacle,—even so shall yee make it, EXOD. 25.9.

Printed by Rob. Young his Majesties Printer for Scotland, and are to be sold by John Sweeting, at the signe of the Angell in Popes-head-Allie, 1641.


AFter these dark and dreadfull dayes of barbarous blindnesse, & super­stition, wherein, by the deceit of dumb dogs, bloudie warres for many years had covered the face of this land, it pleased the bountifulnesse of God, in that riches of his love, as not regarding the time of former ignorance, with a marvellous mercy to visit this Realme, by sending, not one Jonah to such a Ninivie, or one Phillip to such a Samaria, but first few, since many, and all faithfull, holy, wise, frack to preach the Gospel in Scotland, as in another Antiochia. At the terrour of these Trumpets, like smoake before the winde, were quickly driven away, not onely the darkenesse of Idolatrie, and damnable dissension among the members of this kingdom, wherein con­sisted the strength of that bloudie beast, by whose tyrannous crueltie, and deceivable wayes, Princes and People, were shamefully abused, and often compelled with the clawes of violence to shed the bloud of the Saints; yea, to keep the booke of the unchangeable Testament of Jesus Christ, under the cover of a strange tongue, as a clasped boeke that it should not be read: but also, many of that Antichristian sect, who in the time of persecution had used the curious Arts of that kingdom of lies, and service of Baal, were turned to the truth of God, and preached the word of his grace, so that in a short time that Romish Jericho fell, the people that sate in darknesse saw a great light, and where the power of Satan had prevailed, the Throne of Christ was set up, the word increased, and the Lord added to the Kirke from day to day, such as were to be saved; so magnifying the strength of his owne arme against his enemies, in that prosperous time, that neither proud Anakims, nor craftie Gibeonites, were able to stand before the Spirit that spake in these men of God, when they were but few: and though they walked in the flesh, yet did they not warre after the flesh, but by the spi­rituall armes of bold Preaching, reverent ministration of the Sacraments, and sincere ruling of the flocke of Christ with discretion, and without par­tialitie, and alwayes praying, and often fasting, they banished Atheisme, Barbaritie, and Papistrie, quenched the fire of contentions, prevented dangers, planted the Kirkes, teached and perswaded great and small, poore and rich, and persons of all estates, to professe the Evangel. And howso­ever they were daily crossed with deceit, and opposition, so led they diversity [Page]in the hand of amitie, that all things concerning the great worke of that glorious reformation, to the praise of God, and the comfort of the godly, were wisely and firmly appointed. In those happy dayes the servants of the Lord, in love were like Jonathan and David; in courage like Gideons 300. in unitie like the Saints that first received the Gospel; in care and diligence like the builders of the wall of Jerusalem, and so marching like the Lords Armies. Then were they neither despised nor abhorred but received as the Angels of God; and yet in the Lords troupes, neither for worke, nor war, were there to be found any pompous Prelate, Abbot, Prior, Bishop, or Archbishop, that loves to shine in dignitie, and rejoyce in rent, with the contempt of their brethren, and neglect of the Lords service. O Scotland! what was then thy felicitie? Then didst thou sing & shout with the voyce of joy: God will arise, and his enemies shall be scattered; they also that hate him shall stye before him. Thou hast brought a Vine out of Egypt. Thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it. Thou madest roome for it, and didst cause it to take root, and it filled the land, &c.

The superstitious ignorant, the perverse Papist the craftie Parasite, and the self-loving Politian, the Christian coloured Belly-god, and the loose-liver, the time-server, and all the sorts of that filthy sect, that hates to bee reformed, often conspired against the building of that glo­rious Temple, but all in vaine; for by the power of God they were disap­pointed. Yet in these last dayes some dangerous Dalilah hath betrayed Sampson; and told wherein his strength lay, with no lesse hurt to this Kirke, then was performed by the false brethren, who were craftily sent in, and crept in privily amongst the faithfull, to spie out their liberty which they had in Christ Jesus, that they might bring them into bondage. It is cleerly knowne to many in this Kingdome, and in forraine parts, what a wall for defence, and a band for peace, and progresse of the Gospel, was that heavenly discipline, whereby brotherly amitie, and sacred harmonie of Prince, Pastors and Professours, were so continued and increased that all, as one man, did stand together for the Doctrine, Sacraments, and Kirke government, against the adversaries, either lurking or professed. It was the hedge of the Lords vineyard, and the hammer whereby the hornes both of adversaries, and disobeyers, were beaten and broken. And of this happy mean it might be truely said, that in the strength of it, more then by our owne vertue, were we strong and prevailed: And to sharpen our love it is thus written by a stranger, but a friend. Albeit it be neces­sarie, that they who have their Citie in heaven, repose altogether thereupon, yet nothing should let us to behold, as it were, heaven [Page]upon earth, that is, the power of God in his owne, &c. By most evident reasons I judge the Kirke of Scotland to be of this sort; In the which, the many mightie, and long continuing assaults of Satan, the like whereof, as I thinke, no Nation sustained, could neither defile the puritie of doctrine, nor bow the rule of right discipline. This is a great gift of God, that he hath brought toge­ther to Scotland, both the puritie of Religion, and Discipline, whereby, as in a bond, the doctrine is safely kept. I pray and be­seech you so to keep these two together, as that ye may be assured, that if the one fall, the other can no wayes long stand.

It cannot be denyed, but by the space of fifty yeares and above, Scotland ranne well, the Doctrine was in such sort preached, and Discipline ap­pointed, and practised; yea, both professed, established, and constantly de­fended; not onely by those faithfull men that went before, but by them who followed, and yet live, in such concord of Kirk and policie, that the like thereof is scarcely to be found in Storie, or seene with eyes in any Na­tion, since the revelation of the Mysterie of the Gospel to the first A­postles. But now of late, with pitie of speake it, no uncircumcised Phili­stim, or Assyrian, but some of the Disciples, desirous to sit at the right hand, and pretending to restore againe the Kingdome to Israel, the Kirke to her old rents, and priviledges, at first did mince and sparingly speake, but afterward practise and loudly preach; that, except after the manner of other Nations, the Kirke of Scotland admitted againe Prelates, the Prin­ces of that wicked Hierarchie, with some untrusty traditions, and change of things indifferent, as they terme them, but in effect the disgracing of Pastors, ejecting of Elders, destroying of Assemblies, and Fashioning, Doctrine, Discipline, Sacraments, Confessions of Faith, Formes of prayer, and all in a new shape; it cannot be saved, nor vindicate from povertie and contempt, but by the meanes of this maladie obtruded for a remedie. Not onely these evils, howsoever at the beginning seeming small, hath so growne, that like nettles in a fowle ground, they not onely bud and bloome; but abundantly bring forth divisions; dissensions, and unkindly contentions among brethren, to the great joy of the enemies, and griefe and offence of them that feare God. This strange fire hath entred into the Citie of God, and horriblie burnes on: and yet is it so, that such as may, will not, and such as are willing, cannot, and they that should be first, are least zealous and forward to offer their paines, either to cleare and defend the truth, to pacisie their brethren, or to pleade the cause of Discipline against the ca­lumnies and cavillations of such as by promoting of novelties, seekes pro­motion; but uncharitable speeches, and pestiferous pennes of dissension, [Page]fretting as a canker, increaseth unto more ungedlinesse; dangerous disso­lution, the daughter of division, and the undoubted fore-runner of deso­lation daily proclaimes the defacing, if not the fall of this reformed Kirk.

As if no care should be taken that the Spouse of Jesus Christ; who so long like a chaste Virgin hath shined in purity before her Lord in this land, should now be stained with Corahs ambition, Balaams wages, and Esau's profanenesse, Altar against Altar, and Brother against Brother. In this case, so pitifull, and good cause so universally neglected, if not deserted; it should be our hearts desire, and prayer to God to be found faithfull, when with griefe we may justly say of the old friends, and new adversaries of Discipline. It is time for the Lord to worke, for they have de­stroyed thy Laws: And of her constant friends boldly avow, Therefore love they thy commandements above gold, yea above most fine gold. Could this pragmaticall course of dangerous desertion from a truth so long professed, whereof none, or few can be ignorant, worke in our hearts, now almost luke-warme, a laborious love, and holy zeale for that truth whereof we are perswaded, we might then be fully assured, That as it was said in the booke of the warres of the Lord, what he did in the red sea, and in the brooks of Arnon, the banners of his power being displayed for Israel, as well at their entrie into Canaan against the Nations, as at their comming out of Egypt against Pharaoh: so through the wonderfull wor­king of his equivalent power, and unchangeable love, it should be remem­bred in the Records of the reformed Kirkes of Scotland, that what he did first in substance, that he did last in ceremonie, making the end of his own worke against Apostates from Discipline, professed by themselves, and in that respect renters of brotherly unitie, and dividers of brethren, answera­ble to the happy beginnings thereof against cruell persecutors, and wicked Hereticks. Is the Lord changed, because he changes the manner of his wor­king? God forbid. For although hee declare not in out times who belong to him by miraculous fire sent from heaven, as in the dayes of Eliah, the earth opens not her mouth, as in the dayes of Corah; he raines not showers of Brimstone upon the Sodomites of this age he turns not such as looke backe into pillars of salt to season others, neither is his favour manifested towards his owne secret ones, in earthly & visible blessings, so wonderfully as of old; yet the God of Israel is our God, & the God of the old Testament is the God of the New, & better Testament, having still a secret & equivalent provi­dence most wisely disposed, & framed for the weale of his Kirk according to the diversitie of the ages succeeding one after another. So that no wise heart perceiving the course thereof could wish another then the present, howsoever the follie of Infidelitie blindes men to affect the miracles, case, and outward [Page]speritie of former generations, and if these faile, to cast themselves head­long in desperation, defection, or Atheisme. Yea, because hee workes not as before, in their haste, they conclude, that he workes not at all. It were our wisedome, who live in the last times, rather to determine with our selves, that as in great and extraordinarie plagues, small and common diseases are swallowed up; so will the Lord, leaving all other warnings, have all eares to be lift up in feare, to the hearing of the loud Trumpet of the Gospel, summoning all flesh before the judgement seat of Christ, that they may most of all tremble at that last sentence, which debarres men for ever from the face of God, and in the meane time, will have the life of his owne children hid with Christ, that in a holy conformitie with him, they may by many afflictions enter into his Kingdome. As the present prospe­ritie of the common sort doth make their feare the greater; so the crosses of the Kirke should make them with the greater courage to lift up their heads, and while the day of their redemption drawes neer, to walk with the greater fidelitie in their vocations, building the house of God with the one hand, & fighting with the other, against enemies of all sorts, especially these Sanballats, and Tobiahs, who labour to make other Kirkes abroad, and a great number of the Pastors and People at home, to thinke that a great part of the walls of Christs Kirke, builded within this Nation, since our deliverie from the Romish captivitie, are so weake, that if a Fox shall goe up upon them, he should breake them downe. And now forsooth the new worke rising in place of the old to be more firme, and of the old foundation, when the mysterie of iniquitie, after long working in secret was seen mani­fested, there was a new face brought upon the Kirke. The pure fountaines of holy Scripture troubled with the puddle of trifling traditions, ceremonies brought in, and will-worship, and damnable Idolatrie set up, Apostolicall Discipline abolished, and Popish policie exalted. Yet such is the wilful­nesse of men, knowing the weakenesse of errour, and force of the truth, that multitudes in the succeeding times have not blusht to bring in these novel­ties under the name of anoient verities; yea, without shame, or feare, to affirme that this last was the primitive and naturall face of their mother. It may be seene in these dayes, that after a large time, this second mysterie working under cover, yet alwayes perceived by some in this Land, is now at last brought to light, according to the warnings of the wise watchmen of this Kirke, and hath changed the comely countenance of Christs Spouse, further then the lovers of the truth would have thought, into the Anti­christian complexion of that whore of Babel, and without Gods preven­ting mercie, and our speedy repentance, the losse of a great substance for a foule conformitie; and yet, howsoever all men cry, that the ancient way [Page]was the best, and as they love honestie, they will be the sonnes of constan­cie, and firmely retaine the ancient Discipline of the reformed Kirke of Scotland. They have renounced nothing, they have abjured nothing; yea, if any whisper of a fall from the first love, they are quickly marked, as wilfull pleading for shadowes, and making of schismes: and so such as would strive to stand, must suffer for their fault, who hath wrought the change. As that old Painter, intending to represent the body of Hercules, expressed nothing of the lineaments of his face, stature, or members, con­tenting himselfe with the resemblance of the Lyons skinne, which hee was wont to carrie, as the badge of his strength, and Trophie of his honour: So some of his Prentices, for the beautifull face of this Kirke, and heavenly proportion of her drivine Discipline, do set before the eyes of men of this time, who never saw the faire face, nor felt the strength of ancient order, that roaring Lyons skinne of Episcopacie, the greatest monster that this Kirke had conflicted with, in the most part of her meetings, and whose skin within these few yeares was commonly repute amongst the rest of the spoyles taken from her enemies. As it was the courage of wise Cato a­gainst the bragges of arrogant Greekes, perverting all veritie and anti­quitie of Hystorie, and usurping the honour of the invention of all things, to write a booke de Originibus, for vindicating the truth from usurping presumption: And as in later times many have happily labored in dis­covering the Roman inventions, and bringing to light the beginnings and progresse of errour and idolatrie, creeping in and corrupting that Kirke; It were likewise to be wished, for the weale of this Kirke, and her cause of controversies, that the Acts of the generall Assemblies, so often visited and prepared for publicke use, were now according to the intention and care of the Kirke, together with the bookes of Discipline, which should be lights for direction, and lawes for dicision of controversies arising thereabout, faithfully perused and printed.

For the present necessitie, ye have here the first and second bookes of Di­scipline, with certaine Acts of the Kirke for clearing your doubts, and con­firming the truth against such, as delight in vatles of obscuritie, and cir­cuits of circumvention. As there was never any miracle wrought for con­futing of Atheists because every work of God is a miracle against them; so there needs no argument, to stop the mouthes of adversaries for Discipline, who would seem to stand to their own oath and ancient profession, because every line almost of these bookes, will be an argument against them. If truth shall obtrude her selfe to the knowledge of men, not suffering them to be so forgetfull and ignorant, as perhaps they would seeme, God forbid that any should thinke that his resolution to be rich and stately, should so sup­presse [Page]his light, and stay his mind from thinking that true, which wee would wish were false, that were the sinne of a wittie malignant: Haec est summa delicti nolle agnoscere quod ignorare non potes: It were much better, that as many as through ignorance of the established order in the Kirke have beene misled, would now repent their negligence and dangerous course, when they shall see a good daughter of an evill mother. This truth brought to light to be the fruit of our division, As persecu­tion in former times hath brought forth purity, and heresie the truth of doctrine; so hath this fit of distraction among brethren brought this draught of Discipline to the view of the world; to so many as have stood, by the grace of God, to the defence of their profession, a strong confirmati­on; and to such as are tossed with doubtings, a cleere resolution. Let it be no derogation to the truth here expressed, nor to the labours of these faithfull Fathers, who penned and put in Register the same, but a great imputation and guiltinesse lying upon the succeeding age, who deprived themselves of such a benefit, and the Kirk of such a defence. Though the booke of Gods covenant lay long hid in the Temple, yet Josiah rejoyced when it came to light. Very Jezabel could not be stayed from magnify­ing of Baal by all the dashes hee suffered from heaven and earth: And should not Christians be ashamed to be lesse affectionate to Veritie, then she to Idolatrie, and namely a truth concerning Christs Kingly Office, and the Ministers of his Kingdome; without the truth whereof we can neither have comfort of his Prophecie nor Priesthood. It is the Lord his great mercy, that in the reformation of this Kirk he hath beene preached, and professed, King, Priest, and Prophet. And it shall be the glory of this Land thankefully to acknowledge that incomprehensible benefit, and alwayes carefully to keepe whole without rent, and to carrie a reverent estimation to the great worke of the glorious reformation of this Kirke. For this effect ye must arme your selves against the Lords of tongues, who have said, with our tongues will we prevaile. Of that generation some will dash you by the name odious of Puritan, & yet one of that Lord­ly sort is forced to confesse, that Scots Professours are unto him Puritanes from the forme of externall government, but not from Religion, which both is and may be one and the same, where the externall forme of govern­ment is different and contrary; who albeit they be miserably taken with that their owne forme, yet in the rest of the doctrine they are sufficiently Orthodox. Others, like wicked creditors destroying the obligation where­by they are bound for debtfull obedience, summarily deny, that ever this Kirk had any approved discipline, except that which is printed and placed in the Psalme bookes. A third sort, making such Pastors, who at the [Page]beginning were called Super-intendents, to be figures, patterns, forerun­ners, or lievtenants of Bishops, such as now are, would move the world to beleeve that they follow the first Discipline. A fourth kinde, wan­dering in the wildernesse of unbounded indifferency, takes upon them to determine all doubts of discipline, by honour, ease, or gaine. And some, of Gallio's disposition it may be, hidly esteeming all Religion a matter of speech, spare not to proclaime, that striving about such trifles is needlesse. For your incouragement against such, and others of the like disposition, it hath pleased the Lord to set on worke our pens; and in his owne time, if presumption bee obstinate, hee will inspire them with greater love of his truth, to whom he hath given knowledge in measure above them who hath put to their hand; and increase their knowledge, in whose hearts he hath wrought some love, howsoever their knowledge be far inferiour to many of theirs who stand for the truth.

It is to be remembred, that the true friends of discipline are the Mi­nisters of the blessed Evangel of Jesus Christ, agreeing in doctrine, and administration of the Sacraments, and the people of this Realme that pro­fesse Christ, as he is now offered in his Evangel, and doe communicate with the holy Sacraments (as in the reformed Kirke of this Realme they are publickly administred) according to the confession of Faith; and that such as were clothed with the Kirkrents, or greedily gaped after the same, as Abbots, Priors, Prioresses, Bishops, Commendatairs, and other sa­crilegious usurpers of Kirk-livings, as they had place in policie, and credit in Court, or Councell, either professedly or craftily, have resisted the course of the Gospel, and the discipline thereof, as may be seen in these conflicts, whereby the Kirke hath ever striven for deliverance from their usurpation; till now the zeale of benefices having devoured the zeale of discipline, old opposites are thought to be her most loving familiars, and her old friends her greatest enemies. A strange Case, and yet very ca­suall for the Kirk by seeking worldly preferment, to lose spirituall ser­vants, as one said, Never a Minister got a great Benefice, but hee spilt it, or it spilt him.

Item, that under the name of discipline is to be understood not onely the particulars expressed in these two bookes, but also the Acts, Constitu­tions, and practises agreed upon, and recorded in the Registers of the Generall and Provinciall Assemblies, Presbyteries, and Kirk Sessions.

Thirdly, to consider the different conditions of the Kirk in her infancie, in her growing, and in her ripe age, and accordingly to accommodate the discipline to practise, as the condition of the time permitted or required, [Page]and wisely to distinguish betwixt the Kirks purpose and intention in every particular, and their possibility to performe and practise, as circumstances concurred, or were contrary: As for example, they intended resident Mi­nisters, one or moe, as Kirks were of largenesse, with Elders and Dea­cons. Item, Doctors of Divinitie for Schools, Assemblies generall, pro­vinciall, weekely meetings for the interpretation of the Scripture, which afterward at Edinburgh the 7. day of July, 1579. were judged to be a Presbyterie: And they abhorred Anarchie, Oligarchie, and Hierar­chie: but with great paines and frequent meetings was abuses condem­ned, and order established; so that for lack of ordinary Ministers planted, & in that respect lack of lawfull Assemblies, they were forced occasionally to use Super-intendents, and Visiters of Countries, who afterward in the generall Assemblie holden at Edinburgh the 4. of August 1590. when Presbyters were well and orderly constitute, were declared neither to be necessary, nor expedient.

Fourthly, the first and second booke of Discipline, penned by the Mini­nisters of the reformed Kirke, and the first booke at the charge and com­mandement of the great Councell of Scotland, subscribed by the greatest part thereof, and afterward by many more, as may be seene in the Acts of the Kirk: the second booke standing insert in publick Register of the Kirk, ordained to be subscribed by divers Acts of the Assemblie, and confirmed by practise, are both for one end: To wit, to direct reformati­on in Doctrine, Sacraments, and exercise of Discipline, and to resist Ido­latrie and corruptions. The first hath more particular purposes: The second sets down more fully, and particularly the jurisdiction of the Kirk as it agrees, or is distinguished from the Civill Policie, the Office-bearers of the Kirk with their dutie, the Assemblies of the Kirk, and distinctions thereof; the Patrimony of the Kirk, and distribution thereof; the Office of a Christian Magistrate in the Kirk; certaine heads of refor­mation, with the utility of the said bookes, &c. Item, either of the said bookes confirme the other, and neither of them abolish, or innovate the other.


For the First Booke.

BEcause the lives of Ministers ought to bee such, Edinburgh Iul. 30. 1562. as thereby others may be provoked to godlinesse, It becomes them first to be tried, after the triall of the Superinten­dents, if any man have whereof to accuse them in life, doctrine, or execution of their office. After the Ministers, must the Elders of every Kirk be tried, &c. In that whole ordinance anent triall, and in the Con­stitution following anent the subjection of all sorts of Ministers to the Discipline of the Kirk, there is no mention of Bishops, or any sorts of Prelates, as not acknowledged to have any place in the Ministry of the Reformed Kirke.

Mr. Alexander Gordone, called Bishop of Galloway, Ibidem. making petition for the Superintendencie of Galloway, was refused, because hee had not observed the order of calling Superintendents, and in the meane time was required to subscribe the booke of Discipline. Where it is evident that by his Episcopacy he might exercise no Mini­steriall dutie, and although he was presented by the Lords, yet they would [Page 2]not admit him to be Super-intendent, except hee subscribed the booke of Discipline. And let this be remembred for the subscription of others, of whom there may be seene a great number at the end of the said booke.

It is concluded by the whole Ministers assembled, Ibidem. That all Mini­sters shall be subject to their Super-intendents, in all lawfull Ad­monitions, as is prescribed as well in the booke of Discipline, as in the election of Super-intendents. Here observe two things, First, that Super-intendents might not doe what pleased them: Secondly, that obedi­ence to bee performed to them was injoyned by the Kirk, and set downe in the booke of Discipline, and in the election of Super-intendents.

A Minister lawfully admitted, Ibidem. shall not bee removed, but accor­ding to the order of the booke of Discipline; so that the said booke is both the warrant of orderly admission, and orderly removing. According to the fourth head of the booke of Discipline concer­ning the lawfull election of Ministers, Edinburgh Decem. 25. 1562. the Assemblie ordaines, That Inhibition shall be made to all and sundry persons, now serving in the Ministery, who have not entred into their charges by the order in this same head appointed. And this Act to have strength as well against them that are called Bishops, as others pretending any Mi­nistery within the Kirk.

It was thought needfull, Edinburgh Decem. 25. 1563. for further confirmation of the booke of Discipline, that the Earle Marshal, Lord Ruthwen, Lord Secre­tar, the Commendator of Kilwinning, the Bishop of Orknay, Clerk of Register, Iustice Clerke Mr. Henry Balnaves, David Forrester, and Mr. George Buchanan, or any three, or foure of them, should over-see the said booke, and diligently consider the contents thereof, noting their judgement in writ, and report the same to the next Assem­bly generall of the Kirk: or, if any Parliament chance to be in the meane time, that they report their judgements to the Lords of the Articles, that shall happen to be chosen before the said Parliament. By these it is evident, that our Kirk acknowledged the first booke to bee the booke of Discipline, and no wayes to be abolished, but for the use of the Kirk to be further confirmed.

For the second Booke of Discipline.

A Nent the causes of the Kirk, Edinburgh Junii 25. 1564. and jurisdiction thereof, the As­sembly appointed, the laird of Dunn, Mr. Iohn Winram, Mr. Iohn Spottiswod, Mr. Iohn Willock, Super-intendents; Mr. Iohn Row, George Hay, Robert Pont, Christopher Gudman, Thomas Drumond, Iohn Knox, Iohn Craig, Iohn Rutherford, George Buckhanan, [Page 3]Robert Hammiltoun, Clement Little, the lairds of Lundie, Elephiu­stoun, Karnall, Kers, and Thomas Scot of Abbottishall, to conveen the morn after the preaching, and to reason and conferre anent the said causes and jurisdiction.

Ordaines an humble supplication to bee made to the Lords of secret Councell, anent the commission of jurisdiction, Edinburgh Decem. 25. 1566. supponed granted to the Bishop of S. Andrewes, to the effect, that their ho­nours may stay the same, in respect that these causes, for the most part, judged by his usurped authority pertaine to the Kirk, and howbeit for hope of good things the Kirk did over-see the Queens Majesties Commission given to such men, who for the most part were our brethren, yet can the Assembly no wayes be content that the Bishop of Saint Andrewes, a conjured enemy to Christ, use that jurisdiction; as also in respect of that coloured commis­sion, he might usurpe againe, his old usurped authority, and the same might bee the meane to oppresse the whole Kirk by his corrupt Judgement.

The whole Assembly thought meet that certaine brethren be ap­pointed to concurre at all times with such persons of Parliament, Edinburgh Decem. 25. 1567. of secret Councell, as my Lord Regents Grace hath nominate for such affaires as pertain to the Kirk and jurisdiction thereof, and also for decision of questions that may occurre in the meane time, viz. Mrs. Iohn Knox, & Iohn Craig Ministers of Edinburgh: The Super-inten­dents of Angus, and Lothiane, David Borthuike, Thomas Mackcal­zan, David Lindsay Minister at Leith, George Hay at Ruthven, and Iohn Row at S. Iohnstonn.

Letters directed from the Assembly by their Commissioners, Edinburgh Junii 25. 1567. to the Earls, Lords, and Barons, viz. the Earls, Huntly, Argyle, Cassels, Rothes, Marshal, Munteith, and Glencarne; to the Lords, Boyd, Dru­mond, Sanchar, Heres, Yester, Cathcart, Mr. of Grahame, Fleming, Le­vingston, Forbes, Salton, Glames, O gilvis, Mr. of Sinclare, Gray, Oli­phant, Methven, Innermeth, M. of Somervell; Barons, Lochinvar, Gar­lies, Shireff of Air, Glenurquher, Sir Ia. Hamiltoun, Bonington; Com­mendatares, Arbroth Kilwinning, Dunfermling, Saint Colms, New­bottel, Halyrood house, shewing them that the Assembly had of long time travelled both in publick and private, with all estates, conti­nually craving of their honours in speciall, that the course of the Evangell of salvation, now once of the liberall mercy of God re­stored to this Realme, might continue to all their comforts, and their posterities. And that for the furthering and maintaining [Page 4]thereof a perfect policy and full liberty might bee granted to this reformed Kirk within Scotland, &c.

An Article presented to my Lord Regent, Edinburgh Iul. 1. 1568. That his Grace would cause such as are appointed of the Councel, convene with them that are appointed of the Assembly, to confer anent the jurisdiction of the Kirk & to decide therein, that time & place may be condiscen­ded upon to that effect, and that it be done before the Parliament.

My Lord Regents Grace ordaines the persons nominate in the act of Parliament to convene the time of the next chekker, Edinburgh Iul. 1. 1569. and desine and limitate the jurisdiction of the Kirk, according to the word of God, and act of Parliament made there anent Extract. act. secretarii consilii, Alexander Hay.

Articles pertaining to the jurisdiction of the Kirk to be propo­ned to the Regents Grace and secret Councell, Edinburgh Martu 5. 1570. and sought to bee appointed by them. 1. That the Kirk have the judgement of true and false Religion, of doctrine, heresies, and such like, annexed to the preaching of the word, and ministrations of the Sacraments. 2. Election, examination, and admission of them, that are admitted to the Ministery, or other functions of the Kirk, charge of soules, and Ecclesiasticall benefices, the suspension, and deprivation of them there-from for lawfull causes. 3. All things concerning the Discipline of the Kirk which stand in correction of manners, ad­monitions, excommunications, and receiving to repentance. 4. The judgement of Ecclesiasticall matters betwixt persons that are in the Kirk, and especially among them that are constitute in the Ministery, as well concerning beneficiarie causes, as others. 5. Iurisdiction to proceed by admonitions, to the processe of ex­communication, if need be, against them that rob the patrimony of the Kirk, pertaining to the Ministery, or otherwayes intromet therewith unjustly, whereby the Ministery is in danger to decay by occasion of the poverty of the Ministers. 6. And because the conjunction of Marriages pertaines to the Ministery, the causes of adherence and divorcements ought also to pertaine to them, as naturally annexed thereto.

Brethren appointed to make an overture of the policie, Edinburgh Apr. 24. 1576. Sess. 6. and ju­risdiction of the Kirk, &c. For the West country, the Bishop of Glasgow, Mrs. Androw Melvil, Androw Hay, Iames Graig, David Cuninghame; For Lowthian, Mrs. Robert Pont, Iames Lowson, Da­vid Lindsay, Clement Littil, and Alexander Simme. For Fyfe, the Super-intendent thereof, with the principall masters of the Vni­versitie. [Page 5]For Angus and Merns, the Laird of Dunne, William Chry­stesone, Iohn Row, William Rind, Iohn Dunkesone: for Aberdene, Mrs. Iohn Craig, Alexander Arbuthnot, George Hay, and their persons to conveen, ilk country and rank in the places following, viz. The West in Glascow: Lothian, in Edinburgh, Fyfe, in Saint Andrewes: Angus, in Montrois: the first Tuesday of Iune next to come, to confer and advise upon the said matter, and to have generall meeting or conventions, two, or one at least, of ilk country, in Stirling, the last of Iuly thereafter, to communicate and cognosce upon their whole travels and labours taken herein, and to con­ferre hereupon, and report what they have found, and conceived in the said matter, to the next Assembly.

The brethren depute to the conceiving and forming of the heads of the policie of the Kirk, Edinbudgh Octob. 1. 1577. being called to give account of their di­ligence, presented the same as they had made partition thereof at the Assembly in Stirling. The heads penned by Master Iohn Row, and Iames Lowson, were read, and nothing said against, ex­cept that one of the said Mr. Iohn, his Articles was referred to fur­ther disputation. All men being required, that had any good rea­son or Argument to propone in the contrary to alledge the same; or if they would not publickly reason on the said head, to resort to the said Commissioners, where travell should bee taken to satis­fie them; leaving to them liberty also, before the heads be recol­lected and ordered in one body, to make argument, as they thinke good against the same.

The Laird of Dun thought the head given to him obscure. The Assembly desired him to conferre with the remanent Commissio­ners the morne at 7. houres, that he may be resolved of the mean­ing thereof.

The Remanent heads being prolix, were thought good to be con­tracted in short propositions to be presented to publick reading.

Sess. 2.

The head committed to Mr. Androw Hay, being read in face of the Assembly, nothing was proponed against the same, except the Article anent the suspension of Ministers, referred to further reaso­ning. David Forgusone his part being read, the 18. Article was re­ferred, and nothing spoken against the rest. The points committed to Mrs. Androw Hay, Robert Pont, David Lindesay, nothing alled­ged in the contrary. The heads committed to Mr. Iohn Craig read, some things were desired to be contracted, and others referred to further reasoning.

Sess. 3.

The whole labours of the brethren taken upon the matter, and ar­gument of the policy being wholly read in publick audience of the Assembly, it was thought expedient that their whole travailes and worke in this matter being now dispersed, should be revised and perused by some brethren, and digested and disposed in good and convenient order, to be thereafter presented to the Assembly. And for that effect the Assembly appointed the brethren Mrs. Iames Lowsone, Androw Melvill, Iohn Craig, George Hay, to conveene to­gether to appoint the houres and place thereto, and to remaine thereat while the matter be brought to an end. And in the meane time, if it please any to reason with them in the matter, to have ac­cesse thereto.

Sess. 6.

Commissioners directed from this Assembly to the Regents Grace for informing his Grace anent the travels of the Kirk in the matter and argument of the policy, returned, and reported, his Grace liked well of their travels, and labours they tooke in that matter, requiring expedition, and hasty outred thereof.

Sess. 9.

The brethren appointed to collect the heads of the policie pre­sented of before, reported the same gathered and collected in order, and digested in one body, and all men were required, that had good reason, or argument to propone, to offer them thereto. Three heads were called in doubt, One de Diaconatu, another dejure Patronatus, the third de Divortiis, wherein they were not resolved, nor satis­fied. As to the rest, nothing was thought in the contrary, nor op­poned thereto.

These three heads standing in controversie, and disputed in u­tramque partem, yet further disputation was reserved to the morne to any man that liked to take the part of reasoning upon him a­gainst the said heads. Because the matter of the policy of the Kirke collected by the brethren, is not yet in such perfect forme, as is re­quisite, and sundry things are largely intreated, which would bee more summarily handled, others required further dilatation, for re­collecting thereof, and putting the same in good order, and forme, and for avoiding of superfluity, and obscurity, the substantialls being kept. The Assembly presently hath willed their beloved bre­thren, Mrs. R. Pont, and Iames Lowson, to take travell and labour in the premisses. And to the effect, that the worke may bee the [Page 7]better compleat, and in readinesse against the next generall Assem­bly, which is ordained to begin at Edinburgh the 25. of October next to come, the Assembly hath ordained their brethren the Laird of Dun, Mrs. Alexander Arbuthnot, Androw Melvill, Iohn Craig, Andrew Hay, George Hay, Iohn Row, David Lindesay, Iohn Dunkesone, to assemble & convene together the 19. of October next in Edinburgh, to revise and consider the travels of the said brethren, that the same may be the more advisedly proponed publickly, as is said. In the mean time such as please to reason in the matter, to have accesse to the said brethren. And likewise ordained the visi­tours of Countries, to make intimation to the Barons, that the said work is in hands, and to be treated in the next generall conven­tion, desiring their presence and concurrence thereto.

Because the matter of the policy, and jurisdiction of the Kirk, Edinburgh Octob. 25. 1577. committed to the recollecting, forming, and disposing of certain brethren, being now presented by them, was thought expedient to be propounded and intreated the morne after the reading of the ge­nerall heads thereof, The whole brethren were required to ad­vise with themselves, if they found any other head necessarie to be disputed then those, and to signifie the same to the Assembly the morne. My Lord Regents grace desired the Assembly to proceed forward earnestly in the policie, wherein they were labouring, and to put the same to an end.

The rest of this day being consumed in examination of the tra­vells taken upon the policie, as is noted thereupon to the next Ses­sion, the Assembly ordaines it to be proceeded further in.

Sess. 6.

This Session being wholly imployed in reasoning upon the heads of the Jurisdiction of the Kirk, the same argument was ordained to be followed out the morne, so farre as time may serve thereunto.

The heads of the policie and jurisdiction of the Kirk being wholly read, Edinburgh Octob. 25. 1577. and thought good that the same should be presented to my Lord Regents grace, as agreed upon by reasoning among the brethren, saving the head de Diaconatu, which is ordained to be gi­ven in with a note, that the same is agreed upon by the most part of the Assembly, without prejudice of further reasoning, to the effect that the said heads may be put in Mundo, disposed and set in good order, according to the mind of the Assembly, The Assembly hath willed Mrs. Iames Lowson, Robert Pont, David Lindsay, and the Clerke of the Assembly to labour with diligence therein, and the [Page 8]same being put in Mundo by them according to the originall to be seene, and revised, by Iohn Dunkeson David Forguson, the Laird of Dun, Mr. Iames Carmichael, and Iohn Brand, and being seen by them according to the said originall, to be presented by the said Mrs. Iames Lowson, Robert Pont, and David Lindsay, together with a supplication penned and delivered to them by the Assembly un­to my Lord Regents grace, and in case conference and reasoning bee sought by his grace upon the said heads presented to his grace, the Assembly hath ordained the Laird of Dun, Mr. Patrick Adam­son, Iohn Craig, Iohn Row, Alexander Arbuthnot, Androw Melvill, Iames Lowson, Robert Pont, David Lindsay, Androw Hay, George Hay, and Iohn Dunkeson to concurre and await upon the said confe­rence, as they shall be advertised by his Grace.

For as much as the generall Assembly hath thought meet, Edinburgh April. 24. 1578. that the travels taken by them upon the policie, shall be presented to the Kings Majesty, and his highnesse Councell, it was found meet that before the copies thereof were delivered, they should be yet reviewed and over-seen by Mrs. Robert Pont, Iames Lowson, and David Lindsay, and being written over, according to the originall, one copy should be presented by them to his highnesse, with a sup­plication penned by them to that effect, and another copy to the Counsell. The time to be at the discretion of the said brethren, so it be before the generall fast. And in case conference and reasoning be craved upon the said heads, the Assembly hath nominated Mr. Iohn Craig, Alexander Arbuthnot, the Laird of Dun, William Chri­steson, Iohn Row, David Forguson, Robert Pont, Iames Lowson, David Lindsay, Iohn Dunkeson, Androw Melvill, Androw Hay, Iames Craig, to concurre and convene at such times appointed by the King and Counsell as advertisement shall be made to them by the said three brethren. And that the said Commissioners at the said conference, reason also in the head of the ceremonies, and how farre Ministers may meddle with civill affaires, and if they may vote in Counsell or Parliament.

It was required, Edinburgh 24 April, 1578. that if any brother had any reasonable doubt, or argument to propone anent the head de Diaconatu, that hee should be ready the morne to offer his reasons, where hee shall bee heard and resolved.

According to the ordinance made yesterday, all persons that have any reasonable doubt, or argument to propone against the head of the policie, were required to propone the same, and none offered any argument to the contrary.

[Page 9] The generall Assembly of the Kirk finding universall corruption of the whole estates of the body of this Realme, Ibidem. the great cold­nesse and slacknesse in Religion in the greatest part of the profes­sors of the same, with the dayly increase of all kind of fearefull sinnes and enormities, as incest, adulteries, murthers, and namely recently committed in Edinburgh, and Sterling, cursed sacriledge, ungodly sedition and division within the bowels of the Realme, with all manner of disordered and ungodly living, which justly hath provoked our God, although long-suffering and patient, to stretch out his arme in his anger, to correct and visite the iniquity of the land, and namely by the present penury, famine, and hun­ger, joyned with the civill and intestine seditions, whereunto doubtlesse greater judgements must succeed, if these his correcti­ons work no reformation nor amendment in mens hearts. Seeing also the bloudy conclusions of the cruell Councels of that Roman beast, tending to extermine, and rase from the face of all Europ, the true light of the blessed word of salvation: for these causes, and that God of his mercy would blesse the Kings highnesse, and his regiment, and make him to have a happy and prosperous go­vernment, as also to put in his Highnes heart, and in the hearts of his noble Estates of Parliament, not onely to make and establish good politick lawes for the weale and good government of the Realme, but also to set and establish such a policy, and discipline in the Kirk, as is craved in the word of God, and is contained, and penned already to be presented to his Highnes, and Councell, that in the one, and the other, God may have his due praise, and the age to come an example of upright and godly dealing. Therefore the Assembly hath ordained the Act preceding hereanent, to be precisely kept in all points.

Forasmuch as in the last Assembly commission was given to cer­taine brethren to present to the Kings Highnes and Councel, Sterling Junii 10. 1578. the heads of the policie of the Kirk, with a supplication to his Grace: The Assembly desired the report of the brethrens proceedings, who expounded, and shew, that according to their commission, they exhibite to the Kings Majesty a copy of the heads of the poli­cy, with the supplication unto his Grace, who gave a very comfor­table & good answer, That not only would he concurre with the Kirk in all things that might advance the true Religion, presently professed within this Realm, but also would be a protector for the Kirk, and thereafter his Grace presented to the Councell the said [Page 10]supplication, who nominate persons to conferre in the matter, and by his Majesties procurement obtained of the Councell, that they might choose so many Ministers to conferre, as was at length agreed upon, which conference is ready to be showen.

In respect that at the desire of the Assembly, Edinburgh Octob. 29. 1578. a certaine of the Nobility were convened, viz. my Lord Chancellor, the Earle of Montros, my Lord Seatoun, my Lord Lyndsay, it was exponed and showen to the Moderator of this Assembly, what care, and study the Assembly had taken to entertaine and keepe the purity of the sincere word of God, unmixed with the invention of their owne heads, which their speciall care was to reserve to the posterity hereafter. And seeing that the true religion is not able to continue, nor endure long, without a good discipline and policy, in that part have they also imployed their wit and study, and drawne forth out of the pure fountaines of Gods word, such a Discipline as is meet to remaine in the Kirk, which they presented to the Kings Maje­sty, with their supplication, at whose direction certaine Commis­sioners were appointed to reason with such as were deputed by the Kirk, where the whole matter being disputed, was resolved and agreed, except a few heads, and thereafter againe presented to the Lords of the Articles, that the said Discipline might have place, and bee established by the acts and lawes of the Realme, wherein no the lesse their travells have not succeeded, praying therefore the Nobility present, as well openly to make profession to the Assembly, if they will allow, and maintaine the Religion presently established within this Realme, as also the policy and discipline already spoken of, and to labour at the King and Councels hands, for an answer to the heads following, to wit, That his Grace and Councell will establish such heads of the policy, as were al­ready resolved and agreed upon by the said Commissioners, and cause such others as were not finally agreed on to be reasoned, and put to an end, and that his Grace and Councell will restore to the Kirk the act of Parliament concerning the Thirds: And that none vote in the Parliament in name of the Kirk, except such as shall have commission from the Kirk to that effect. And that presenta­tions to benefices be directed to the Commissioners of Countries, where the benefices lie. And to the end that the matter may bee the better and sooner exped, that their Lordships would ap­point such time convenient there to, as they may best spare, that such of the brethren as shall bee named thereto, may wait upon their [Page 11]Honours. Hereunto the said Noblemen answered, that a part of them had made a publick profession of this Religion before, al­wayes now they declare and professe the Religion presently pro­fessed within this Realme, and that they shall maintaine the same to their power. As to the rest, they think good the King and his Councell bee suited, and they shall insist with the King for answer thereto. The time to that effect they shall notifie to the Assembly the morne.

The because in the last conference holden at Sterling by his Graces command concerning the policy of the Kirk, Edinburgh Iulii 7. 1579. certaine Ar­ticles there anent remaine yet unresolved, and referred to further conference, Therefore the Assembly craves of his Majesty that per­sons unspotted of such corruptions as are desired to be reformed, may be nominate by his Majesty to proceed in the further confe­rence upon the said policy, and time and place to be appointed to that effect.

The question being proponed by the Synods of Lowthiane to the generall Assembly anent a generall order to be taken for erecting of Presbyteries in places where publick exercise is used, Ibidem. unto the time the policy of the Kirk be established by law; It is answered, that the exercise may be judged to be a Presbytery.

An Article propounded by the Commissioners of the Kirk to his Majesty and Councell, Dundie, Iulii 12. 1580. that the booke of policy may bee esta­blished by an act of privy Councell, while a Parliament bee had, at which it may bee confirmed.

Forasmuch as travells have beene taken in the forming of the policy of the Kirk, Glasgow, Aprilis 24. 1581. and divers suits made to the Magistrate for ap­probation thereof, which albeit hath not yet taken the happy ef­fect which good men would crave, yet that the posterity should judge well of the present age, and of the meaning of the Kirk, the Assembly hath concluded, that the booke of policy agreed to in divers Assemblies before, should bee registrate amongst the Acts of the Assemblies, and remaine therein ad perpetuam rei memo­riam: And the Copies thereof to be taken by every Presbytery, Of the which booke the Tenour followeth, &c.

For as much as it is certaine, Edinburgh Aug. 4. 1590. P. Galloway Moderator. that the word of God cannot bee kept in the owne sincerity, without the holy Discipline be had in observance, It is therefore by common consent of the whole Bre­thren, and Commissioners present, concluded, that whosoever hath borne office in the ministery of the Kirke within this Realme, or [Page 12]that presently beares, or shall hereafter beare office herein, shall bee charged by every particular Presbytery where their residence is, to subscrive the heads of Discipline of the Kirk of this Realme, at length set downe and allowed by act of the whole Assembly, in the book of policy, which is registrat in the Assembly-bookes, and namely the heads controverted by enemies of the Discipline of the reformed Kirk of this Realme, betwixt and the next Syno­dall Assemblies of the Provinces, under the paine of excommuni­cation to be executed against the non-subscrivers, and the Presby­teries which shall bee found remisse or negligent herein, to re­ceive publick rebuke of the whole Assembly. And to the effect the said Discipline may be knowne, as it ought to be, to the whole brethren, It is ordained that the Moderator of each Presbytery shall receive from the Clerke of the Assembly, a copy of the said booke under his subscription, upon the expenses of the Presbytery, be­twixt and the first day of September next to come, under the pain to bee openly accused in face of the whole Assembly.

The Assembly ordaines, Edinburgh Iulii 2. 1991. that the Discipline contained in the acts of the generall Assembly be kept as well in Angus and Mernis, as in all other parts.

ACTS CONCERNING THE Adversaries of Discipline.

It is to bee marked, that such as adhered to Papistry, were enemies beth to reforma­tion and Discipline, and such as embraced the true Religion, whether Kirkmen or other Professors, and yet possessed the Kirk rents, were not onely unhearty friends, but, under colour and in policie, as great hinderers as lovers of the bene­fices and livings belorging to the service of God.

ALexander Gordon, Edinburgh Iulii 30. 1562. being Bishop of Galloway, is no other wise acknowledged by the Assembly in respect of spirituall fun­ction, then as a private man void of Jurisdiction: and therefore hee and the rest of that sort, are not simply set downe by their title of Bishop, but by a note as it were of degradation, [so called] to wit, by custome, but by no right.

The said Mr. Alexander Gordon without respect to his place, Edinburgh Decem. 25. 1562. or Bishopricke, is inrolled after the Super-intendents, and is thus de­signed, Mr. Alexander Gordon, intitulate Bishop of Galloway, and is there leited for the Super-intendencie of Dunfrice, Liddisdaill, and Galloway, and gets commission to present Ministers, Exhorters, and Readers, for planting of Kirkes, and to doe such other things as hath beene heretofore accustomed.

[Page 13] Mr. Alexaxder Gordon, named Bishop of Galloway, was removed, S. Ichnston, Iunii 25. 1563. out of the Assembly, and accused by the Laird of Gairles; his ex­cuses were not found altogether relevant, and therefore the Assem­bly appointed order to be taken anent the matter complained upon. Ibidem.

The Assembly ordained commissions to be given to the Bishops of Galloway, Orknay and Catnes, for the space of a yere after the date hereof, to plant Kirks, &c. within their owne bounds, and that the Bishop of Galloway haunt, as well the Shirefdome of Wig­toun, as the Stewardie of Kirkubright, reckoned within his bounds.

It was then ordained, Ibidem. that when any benefice shall chance to vake, or is now vacant, that a qualified person be presented to the Super-intendent of that Province where the benefice vakes, and that he being sufficient be admitted Minister to that Kirk which is destitute of a Pastor, that ignorant Idiots bee not placed in such roomes by them that are yet called Bishops, and are not.

Mr. Robert Pont complained upon the Bishop of Dunblane, Ibidem. that the said Bishop lately said, and caused say Masse in Dunblane, con­trary to the tenor of the Act made thereanent, &c.

Remember to make supplication to the Queenes Majesty and her Councell, for remitting the thirds, Ibidem. or any part thereof to the Bishops, that are elected by the Kirk, to bee Commissioners to plant Kirkes within their bounds.

A sentence of unquhile Iames Bishop of Rosse, Ibidem. Commissioner to unquhile Iames Archbishop of Saint Andrewes, pronounced against Iames Hammiltoun of Kincavel, was declared wicked, ungodly, and wrangusly led.

Bishops, Abbots, Priors, and other Persons beneficed, Edinburgh Decem. 25 1566. being of the Kirk, who receive teinds and awaite not on the flock commit­ted to their cure, anther present themselves to the Generall Assem­bly, are ordained to be summoned by the Super-intendents to com­paire at the next generall Assembly, to give their assistance and counsell in such things as appertaine to Christian Religion and preaching of the true word, and further to know the Ordinance of the Kirk to be made thereanent.

Adam, called Bishop of Orknay, and Commissioner, Edinburgh Decem. 25. 1567. was accu­sed that he, being Bishop and Commissioner occupied the roome of a Magistrate in the Session, his sheepe wandering without a Pastor, and retaines in his company Sir Francis Bothwel, a rank Papist, to whom he hath given benefices, and placed him as Minister in those Kirkes; as also that hee solemnized the marriage of the Queene, [Page 14]and Earle of Bothwell &c. and for the said causes was deprived.

Alexander called Bishop of Galloway, Ibidens. Commissioner, accused that he hath not visited, these three yeeres by-gone, or thereby, his Kirkes within his charge; that he hath given himselfe over altoge­ther to hant the Court, and cleane left the office of visiting, and planting the Kirkes, and hath now procured to be one of the Sessi­on, and privy Councell, which cannot agree with the office of a Pastor or Bishop; and also hath resigned Inchschaffray in favours of a yong child, and set divers lands in few: Compeiring, granted pub­lickly that hee had offended in all things were laid to his charge. And for certaine considerations the Assembly continued him still, untill the next Assembly, upon certaine conditions of his diligence in his Charge.

No man ought to injoy or possesse the patrimony of the Kirk, Edinburgh Iulti 1. 1568. without doing of their dutifull service. And because it is knowne that there are many of that number, to whom God hath given such gifts, wherethrough they might profit greatly in the Kirk of God, it was thought necessary, that admonitions bee made by the whole Assembly, to such as brooke benefices, that they apply themselves according to the gifts given to them by God, and as the Kirk shall judge them able, to enter in the Ministery, and continue therein. And because all the said Persons are not present to heare the voice of the Assembly, It is ordained, that Super-intendents and Commis­sioners, that shall be appointed for planting, and visiting of Kirkes, give the same admonitions particularly to the said Persons within their bounds, requiring them in name of the Assembly to beat the next generall Assembly, &c.

An Article presented to my Lord Regents Grace, Ibidem. bearing, that it is thought very unreasonable that the Papists, enemies to Gods Kirk, and this Common-wealth, and others, that labour not in the Ministery, shall possesse freely, without imposition, the two part of the benefices, and the Kirk, which labours, shall not possesse the third.

The Bishop of Orknay restored againe, Ibidem. and Mr. Iohn Row ap­pointed Commissioner of Galloway.

Ordaines Alexander Gordane sometimes Commissioner of Gal­loway to repaire to the next generall Assembly of the Kirk, Edinburgh Julii 5. 1569. to an­swere to such things as shall bee laid to his charge, &c. and in the meane time inhibites him to use any function within the Kirk of God, conform to the Act made against him the 8. of Iuly 1568. in the generall Assembly.

[Page 15] Adam B. Ibidem. of Orknay was accused for not fulfilling of the injuncti­ons appointed to him by the Assemblies in them. of Iuly, 1568.

Adam of Orknay being called to the office of a Bishoprick, Sterling Febr. 25. 1569. and promoted to the profits thereof, and suffered by the Kirk, receives charge to preach the Evangell, to bee also Commissioner of the Country of Orknay, which hee received, and exercised for a cer­taine space, while now of late he made a Simoniacall change with the Abbacie of Hali-rudhous, although yetbrooking the name, and stiled Bishop of the same; contrary to all lawes both of God and Man, made against Simony. Secondly, he dimitted his cure in the hands of an unqualified person, without the consent of the Kirk, leaving the flock destitute without a shepheard, whereby not one­ly ignorance is increased, but also most aboundantly all vice and horrible crimes there are committed, as the number of 600. per­sons, convict of incest, adultery and fornication, beares witnes. Thirdly, hee hath given himselfe daily to the execution of the fun­ction of a temporall Judge, as to bee a Lord of Session, which re­quires the whole man, and so rightly in naither can hee exercise both: And stiles himselfe with Romane titles, as Reverent Father in God, which pertaines to no Minister of Christ Iesus, nor is given to any of them in Scripture. Fourthly, in great hurt, and defraud of the Kirk, he hath bought all the thirds of the Abbacie of Halirud­hous, at least, he hath made Simoniacall change thereof with the rents of Orknay. Fifthly, he hath left the Kirks, partly unplanted, and partly planted, but destitute of provision. Sixtly, some of the Kirkes are sheepfolds, and some of them ruinous. Seventhly, he hath tra­duced both publickly and privatly the Ministers of Edinburgh, ab­sented himselfe from preaching in that Kirk, and from receiving the Sacraments.

Excommunication directed against Patrik called Bishop of Murray, to bee executed by Mr. Robert Pent Commissioner their, Edinburgh Julii 5. 1570. with the assistance of the Ministers of Edinburgh.

Robert Bishop of Catnes to assist Iohn Gray of Fordel in visiting the Kirkes there. Edinburgh Mart. 5. 1570.

Iohn Bishop of Saint Andrewes accused, Edinburgh Aug. 6. 1573. first that he had given a benefice to Mr. George Lauder suspect of Papistrie. 2. That he o­versaw adultery in Brauntiland. 3. He suffered M. Magnus Hulcio lie uncontrouled under old adulterie. 4. That he visited by others, and not by himselfe. 5. That in his default the exercise of Saint Andrewes was likely to decay. 6. That such as had offended in [Page 16] Lowthian, he receives in Saint Andrewes, and admits some to fun­ction in the Kirk that are not able, and untried, chiefly such as come out of Lowthiane, and Mers.

The whole Assembly heares that he hath received the name of Bishop, Ibidem. Mr. James Paton B. of Dunkell. but hath not used the office of a Bishop; within his bounds hee hath not proceeded against Papists, he is suspect of Simony be­twixt the Earle of Argile and him, anent the prosites of the Bishop­rick; he is suspect of perjury in receiving the same Bishoprick, be­cause he gives acquittances, and the Earle receives the silver of the Bishoprick.

Alexander Gordon Bishop of Galloway accused, Ibidem. 1. that hee in­trused himselfe in the office of the Ministery, within the burgh of Edinburgh: 2. He perswaded and enticed the people to rebell a­gainst our Soveraigne Lord: 3. Hee refused to pray for our Sove­raigne Lord, approving another Authority: 4. Being forbidden by the generall Assembly to have any intromission with the Parisho­ners of Halyrud-hous, he compelled them to receive the Sacra­ment, then abused by him within Edinburgh, causing his pretended Baillies, and the men of warre, to compell the said poore people: 5. Being sworne by his solemne oath, for due obedience to our So­veraigne Lord, and his Graces Regent, and authority, brake his said oath, by sitting in pretended Parliament for dispossessing of our said Soveraigne Lord of his royall crowne, and authority: 6. O­penly in Pulpi the gave thanks for the flaughter of Matthew Earl of Lennox, of good memory, saying that it was God most just judge­ment, and exhorted the people to doe the same: 7. That hee was a perverter of the people, not onely before the reformation, but also divers times since. It was concluded, that he should make publique repentance in Sackcloth three severall Sundaies; First, in the Kirk of Edinburgh; Secondly, in Halyrud-hous; Thirdly, in the Queenes Colledge, under the paine of Excommunication.

Alexander Hay, Ibidem. Clerke to the secret Councell, presented certaine heads proponed by my Lord Regent to the present Assembly, whereof one followes: My Lord Regents Grace mindes, that with all convenient diligence qualified persons shall be promoted to the Bishopricks now vacant, the delay whereof hath not beene in his owne Grace his default, but by reason some entresse was made to these livings, in favours of certaine Noble-men before his accepta­tion of the Regiment; yet his Grace is perswaded, that qualified persons shall speedily bee presented, and in case of failzie, will [Page 17]not faile without the others knowledge and consent to present.

The Assembly hath concluded, Edinburgh Mar. 6. 1573. that the Jurisdiction of Bishops in their Ecclesiasticall function shall not exceed the Jurisdiction of Super-intendents, which heretofore they have had, and presently have; and that they shall willingly bee subject to the Discipline appointed by the generall Assembly, as members thereof, as the Su­per-intendents have beene heretofore in all sorts; and that no Bi­shops give collation of any benefice within the bounds of Super­intendents, without their consent, and testimoniall subscrived with their hands: And that Bishops in their owne Dioceses, visit by themselves, where no Super-intendents are, and give no collation of benefices, without consent of three well qualified Ministers, &c.

The Bishop of Dunkell ordained to confesse his fault publick­ly in the Kirk of Dunkell, Ibidem. for not executing the sentence of the Kirk against the Earle of Athol.

George, Bishop of Murray, Ibidem. ordained to be summoned to make his Purgation of the fornication alledged committed by him with the Lady Ardrosse.

Bishops, Super-intendents, or Commissioners of Countries, Edinburgh August. 7. 1574. that be found negligent in their office, or doe not their debtfull charge, either in their visitation, teaching, or life, the Assembly hath de­creed and ordained, that they shall be punished and corrected ac­cording to the quality of their faults, either by admonition, publick repentance, suspension or deprivation simpliciter, at the sight of the said Assembly.

Bishop of Dunkell, Bishop of Brechin, Bishop of Murray, Edinburgh Mar. 7. 1574. Bishop of Glasgow, removed, and particularly complained on.

The Bishops of Galloway, Dunkell, Brechin, Dumblaine, Yles, Edinburgh Augusti 6. 1575. being present, Iohn Durie one of the Ministers of Edinburgh pro­tested, that the triall of Bishops prejudge not the opinions and rea­sons which hee, and other brethren of his minde, had to oppone a­gainst the said office, and name of Bishop.

Anent the question propounded by certaine brethren, Ibidem. whether if the Bishops, as they are now in Scotland, have their function of the word of God, or not; or the Chapiters appointed for creating of them in this reformed Kirk: for better resolution hereof, the generall Assembly of the Kirk appoints Mr. Iohn Craig, Minister at Aberdene, Mr. Iames Lowson, Minister at Edinburgh, and Mr. An­drow Melvil, principall of the colledge of Glasgow on the one part: Mr. George Hay, Commissioner of Caitnes, Mr. Iohn Row, Minister [Page 18]of Pearth, and Mr. David Lindsay Minister at Leith on the other part, to conveen, reason, and conferre upon the said question, and to report their judgements and opinions thereupon to the Assembly before the dissolving thereof, if they be resolved betwixt and the same.

They think it not expedient presently to answer directly to the first question, Ibidem. but if any Bishop shall be chosen who hath no such qualities as the word of God requireth, let him be tried by the ge­nerall Assembly de novo, and so deposed.

The points wherein they agree concerning the Office of a Bishop or Super-intendent.

FIrst, the name of Bishop is common to all them that hath any particular flock, over the which hee hath a peculiar charge as well to preach the word, as to Minister the Sacraments, and to exe­cute the Ecclesiasticall Discipline, with consent of his Elders. And this is his chiefe function by the word of God.

Out of this number may be chosen some to have power to visit such reasonable bounds, besides his owne flock, as the generall As­sembly shall appoint; and in these bounds to appoint Ministers, with consent of the Ministers of that Province, and the consent of the flock to whom they be appointed: Also to appoint Elders and Deacons in every particular Congregation, where there is none, with consent of the people thereof, and to suspend Ministers for reasonable causes with consent of the Ministers foresaid.

Bishops being present, Edinburgh April is 5. 1576. Ibidem. their diligence is tried, and they are accu­sed for want of particular flockes, dilapidation, and other faults.

Anent the advice and opinion of the brethren given concer­ning the question moved anent Bishops, the whole Assembly, for the greatest part, after reasoning, and long disputation upon every Article of the said brethrens opinion, and advice, resolutely affir­med, and approved the same, and every Article thereof, as is also above set downe. And, to the effect that the said Articles conde­scended upon by the said Assembly, may be the better followed out, and ready execution may ensue thereupon, as appertaines, ordaines the Bishops which hath not as yet received the charge of a par­ticular Congregation, to condescend the morne, what particular flocks they will accept to take the cure of.

For the more commodious visitation of Countries, Ibidem. there is ap­pointed [Page 19]for every Shire foure or five Bishops, Super-intendents, and Ministers, and Articles of visitation set downe.

Anent the demand of Mr. Androw Hay Parson of Ranthrow, Ibidem: if every Vifiter within his owne bounds hath like power, and juris­diction to plant Ministers, suspend, and depose for reasonable cause: The Assembly resolved affirmative, that they have alike power and jurisdiction therein, as is contained in the particular Articies con­cerning the jurisdiction of the Visiters.

For as much as there is great corruption in the estate of Bi­shops, as they are presently made in this Realme, Edivburgh Aprilis 24. 1578. whereunto the Kirk would provide some stay in time comming, so farre as they may, to the effect that further corruption may be bridled: therefore the Assembly hath concluded, that no more Bishops shall bee ele­cted, or made hereafter before the next generall Assembly of the Kirk, discharging all Ministers and Chapiters to proceed any wayes in the election of the said Bishops in the meane time, under the paine of perpetuall deprivation from their offices.

The Act above written extended to all times to come, Sterling Iulti 11. 1578. and all Bishops already elected required to submit themselves to the ge­nerall Assembly, concerning the reformation of the corruption of that estate, which submission the Bishop of Dunblane willingly offered to the Assembly.

Sess. 4.

For as much as the office of a Bishop, as it is now used, Dundie, Iulii 12. 1580. Bishops as they are, judged un­lawfull & discharged. and commonly taken within this Realme, hath no sure warrant, autho­rity, nor good ground out of the Scriptures, but is brought in by the folly and corruption of mens inventions, to the great over­throw of the Kirk of God, The whole Assembly of the Kirk in one voice, after liberty given to all men to reason in the matter, none opponing himselfe in defending the said pretended Office, Findes and declares the same pretended Office used and termed, as is a­bovesaid, unlawfull in the selfe, as having neither fundament, ground, nor warrant within the word of God; and ordaines, That all such persons as bruike, or shall bruike, hereafter the said Office shall be charged simply to dimit, quite, and leave off the same, as an Office where into they are not called of God: And such like to de­sist, and cease from all preaching, ministration of the Sacraments, or using any way the Office of Pastors, while they receive de novo ad­mission from the generall Assembly, under the paine of Excom­munication to be used against them. Wherein if they be found dis­obedient [Page 20]or contradict this act in any point, the sentence of Ex­communication after due admonitions to bee executed against them. Synodall Assem. blies ap­pointed. And for better execution of the said Act, It is statute, that a Synodall Assembly shall be holden in every Province, where any usurping Bishops are, and begin the 18. of August next to come, whereto they shall be called, and summoned by the Visitors of the said Countries, to compeire before their Synodall Assemblies, and namely, the Bishop of Saint Andrewes, to compeir in Saint An­drewes, The Bishop of Aberdene in Aberdene, The Bishop of Glascow in Glascow, The Bishop of Murray in Elgyne, to give obedience to the said Act; which if they refuse to doe, That the said Synodall Assemblies shall appoint certaine brethren of their Ministery, to give them publick Admonitions out of the Pulpit, and warnethem in case they disobey, To compeir before the next generall Assembly to be holden at Edinburgh, the 20. of October next to come, to heare the sentence of Excommunication pronounced against them for their disobedience. And to this Act the Bishop of Dunblane agreed, submitting himselfe to bee ruled thereby.

The twelfth Parliament holden at Edinburgh, the fifth of Iune, the yeare of God 1592. yeares, by the right ex­cellent, right high and mighty Prince IAMES the sixt, by the Grace of God, King of Scottes: with advice of his Three Estates.
Ratification of the liberty of the true Kirk: Of gener all and Syno­dall Assemblies: Of Presbyteries; Of Discipline. All lawes of Idolatry are abrogate: Of Presentation to Benefices.

OUR Soveraigne Lord and Estates of this present Parlia­ment, following the laudable, and good example of their Predecessors, hath ratified, and approved, and by the Tenour of this present Act, ratifies and approves all liberties, priviledges, immunities, and freedomes whatsoever, given and granted by his Highnesse, his Regents in his name, or any of his Predecessours, to the true and holy Kirk presently established within this Realme, and declared in the first Act of his Highnesse Parliament the twenty day of October, the yeare of God 1579. yeares. And all, and whatsoever Acts of Parliament, and Statutes [Page 21]made of before by his Highnesse, and his Regents, anent the li­berty and freedome of the said Kirk; and specially the first Act of Parliament, holden at Edinburgh, the twenty foure day of October, the yeare of God 1581. yeares, with the whole particular Acts there mentioned: Which shall be as sufficient as if the same were here expressed: and all other Acts of Parliament made since, in fa­vour of the true Kirk, and such like, ratifies and approves the ge­nerall Assemblies appointed by the said Kirk, and declares that it shall bee lawfull to the Kirk and Ministers every yeare, at the least, and oftner pro re nata, as occasion and necessity shall require, to hold and keepe generall Assemblies: Providing that the Kings Ma­jesty, or his Commissioners with them, to bee appointed by his Highnesse, bee present at ilk Generall Assembly, before the dissol­ving thereof, nominate and appoint time and place, when and where the next generall Assembly shall bee holden: and in case neither his Majesty, nor his said Commissioners be present for the time in that Towne, where the said generall Assembly is holden: Then and in that case it shall bee leasum to the said generall Assem­bly by themselves to nominate and appoint time and place, where the next generall Assembly of the Kirk shall bee kept, and holden, as they have beene in use to doe in times by past. And also rati­fies and approves the Provinciall and Synodall Assemblies to bee holden by the said Kirk and Ministers twice ilk yeare, as they have beene, and presently are in use to doe within every Province of this Realme: And ratifies and approves the Presbyteries, and par­ticular Sessions appointed by the said Kirk, with the whole Disci­pline and Jurisdiction of the same Kirk agreed upon by his Majc­sty in conference had by his Highnesse with certaine of the Mini­sters, conveened to that effect. Of the which Articles the Tenour followes: Matters to bee intreated in Provinciall Assemblies: Their Assemblies are constitute for weighty matters, necessary to be intreated by mutuall consent, and assistance of brothren within the Province, as need requires. This Assembly hath power to handle, order, and redresse all things omitted or done amisse in the particular Assemblies. It hath power to depose the office bearers of that Province, for good and just causes deserving deprivation. And generally their Assemblies have the whole power of the par­ticular Elderships, whereof they are collected. Matters to be in­treated in the Presbyteries: The power of the Presbyteries is to use diligent labours in the bounds committed to their charge, that [Page 22]the Kirkes be kept in good order: To enquire diligently of naughty and ungodly persons, and to travell to bring them in the way again by Admonition, or threatning of Gods judgements, or by correcti­on. It appertaines to the Eldership to take heed that the word of God bee purely preached within their bounds, the Sacraments rightly ministred, the Discipline entertained, and Ecclesiasticall goods uncorruptly distributed. It belongs to this kind of Assem­blies, to cause the ordinances made by the Assemblies Provinciall, Nationall & generall to be kept and put in execution, to make Con­stitutions which concerne [...] in the Kirk for decent order in the particular Kirk where they govern: Providing that they alter no rules made by the Provinciall, or generall Assemblies; And that they make the Provinciall Assemblies foresaid, privie to the rules that they shall make: and to abolish Constitutions tending to the hurt of the same. It hath power to excommunicate the ob­stinate, for mall processe being led, and due intervall of times ob­served. Anent particular Kirkes, if they bee lawfully ruled by suf­ficient Ministers and Session, they have power and Jurisdiction in their owne Congregation in matters Ecclesiasticall; And decrees and declares the Assemblies, Presbyteries, and Sessions, Jurisdicti­on and Discipline foresaid, to bee in all times comming, most just, good and godly in the selfe, Notwithstanding of whatsoever Sta­tutes, Acts, Canons, Civill or Municipall lawes made to the con­trary: To the which, and every one of them their presents shall make expresse derogation. And because there are divers Acts of Parliament made in favour of the Papisticall Kirk, tending to the prejudice of the liberty of the true Kirk of God presently profes­sed within this Realme, Jurisdiction and Discipline thereof; which stand yet in the bookes of the Acts of Parliament not abro­gated nor annulled, Therefore his Highnesse and Estates foresaid, hath abrogated, cassed, and annulled, and by the Tenour hereof, ab­rogates, casses, and annulles, all Acts of Parliament made by any of his Highnesse Predecessours, for maintenance of superstition and idolatry withall, and whatsoever Acts, Lawes and Statutes made at any time before the day and date hereof, against the liberty of the true Kirk, Jurisdiction and Discipline thereof, as the same is used and exercised within this Realme.

And in speciall, that part of the Act of Parliament, holden at Sterling, the fourth day of November, the yeare of God 1443. yeares, commanding obedience to be given to Eugenius the Pope [Page 23]for the time: The Act made by King Iames the third, in his Par­liament holden at Edinburgh, the 24. of February, the yeare of God 1480. yeares. And all other Acts whereby the Popes authority is established. The Act of King Iames the third in his Parliament holden at Edinburgh the 20. of November, the yeare of God 1469. yeares, anent the Saturday, and other vigils to be holy dayes from Evensong to Evensong.

Item, that part of the Act made by the Queene Regent, in the Parliament holden at Edinburgh the first day of February, the yeare of God 1551. yeares, giving speciall licence for holding of Pasche and Zuill. Item, the Kings Majesty and Estates foresaid, declares, that the 129. Act of the Parliament holden at Edinburgh, the two and twentieth of May, the yeare of God 1584. yeares, shall no wayes be prejudiciall, nor derogate any thing from the priviledge that God hath given to the spirituall Office-bearers in the Kirk, concerning heads of Religion, matters of Heresie, excommunica­tion, collation, or deprivation of Ministers, or any such like es­sentiall censures, specially grounded and having warrant of the word of God. Item, our Soveraigne Lord, and Estates of Parlia­ment fore-said, abrogates, casses, and annihilates the Acts of the same Parliament holden at Edinburgh the said yeare 1584. yeares, granting commission to Bishops, and other Judges, constitute in Ecclesiasticall causes, to receive his Highnesse presentation to Be­nefices, to give collation thereupon, and to put order to all causes Ecclesiasticall, which his Majesty, and Estates afore-said declares to bee expired in the selfe, and to bee null in time comming, of none availe, force or effect. And therefore ordaines all Presenta­tions to Benefices to be direct to the particular Presbyteries in all time comming, with full power to give collation thereupon, and to put order to all matters and causes Ecclesiasticall within their bounds, according to the Discipline of the Kirk; providing the fore-said Presbyteries be bound and astricted, to receive and ad­mit whatsoever qualified Mini­ster, presented by his Maje­sty, or laicke Patrons.


To the great Councell of Scotland now admitted to the Regiment, by the providence of God, and by the Com­mon consent of the Estates thereof, Your Honours humble Servitours and Ministers of Christ Jesus within the same, wish grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, with the perpetuall in­crease of the holy Spirit.

FRom your Honours weereceived a charge dased at E­dinburgh the 29. of April, in the yeare of our Lord 1560. requiring and commanding us in the name of the eternall God, as wee will answer in his presence, to commit to writing, and in abooke deliver to your wisedomes our judgements touching the reformation of Religion which heretofore in this Realme (as in others) hath beene utterly corrupted: upon the receit whereof (so many of us as were in this Towne) did con­veene, and in unity of minde doe offer unto your wisedomes these subsequents for common order and uniformity to bee observed in this Realme concerning doctrine, administration of Sacraments, election of Ministers, provision for their sustentation, Ecclesiasti­call discipline, and policy of the Church; Most humbly requiring your Honours, that as you looke for participation with Christ Je­sus, that neither ye admit any thing which Gods plaine word shall not approve, neither yet that ye shall reject such ordinances as e­quity, justice, and Gods word doe specifie. For, as wee will not bind [Page 25]your wisedomes to our judgements further then wee are able to prove by Gods plaine Scriptures: so must we most humbly crave of you, even as ye will answer in Gods presence (before whom both ye and wee must appeare to render accounts of all our facts) that ye repudiate nothing for pleasure and affection of men, which ye bee not able to improve by Gods written and revealed word.

The first head of Doctrine.

SEing that Christ Jesus is he whom God the Father hath com­manded onely to bee heard and followed of his sheepe, wee judge it necessary that his Gospell bee truely and openly preached in every Church and Assembly of this Realme, and that all do­ctrine repugnant to the same, be utterly repressed, as damnable to mans salvation.

The explication of the first head.

LEst that upon this generality ungodly men take occasion to cavill, this wee adde for explication: By preaching of the Go­spell wee understand not onely the Scriptures of the new Testa­ment, but also of the old, to wit, the Law, Prophets, and Histories, in which Christ Jesus is no lesse contained in figure, then wee have him now expressed in verity And therefore with the Apostle we affirme, that all Scripture inspired of God is profitable to in struct, to reprove, and to exhort. In which bookes of old and new Testaments, we affirme that all thing necessary for the instruction of the Church, and to make the man of God perfect, is contained and sufficiently expressed.

By the contrary doctrine wee understand whatsoever men by lawes, counsells, or constitutions, have imposed upon the consei­ences of men, without the expressed commandement of Gods word, such as bee the vowes of chastity, for swearing of marriage, binding of men and women to severall and disguised apparells, to the superstitious observation of fasting dayes, difference of meat for conscience sake, prayer for the dead, and keeping of holy dayes of certaine Saints commanded by man, such as bee all those that the Papists have invented, as the feasts (as they terme them) of the Apostles, Martyrs, Virgines, of Christmasse, Circumcision, E­piphanie, [Page 26]Purification, and other fond feastes of our Lady: which things because in Gods Scriptures they neither have commande­ment nor assurance, wee judge them utterly to bee abolished from this Realme: affirming farther that the obstinate maintainers and teachers of such abhominations ought not to escape the punish­ment of the civill Magistrate.

The second head of Sacraments.

TO Christ Jesus his holy Gospell truly preached, of necessity it is, that his holy Sacraments bee annexed, and truely mini­stred, as seales and visible confirmations of the spirituall promises contained in the word; and they bee two, to wit, Baptisme, and the holy Supper of the Lord Iesus, which are then rightly mini­stred, when by a lawfull Minister the people, before the administra­tion of the same, are plainely instructed, and put in mind of Gods free grace and mercy, offered unto the penitent in Christ Jesus: when Gods promises are rehearsed, the end and use of Sacraments preached and declared, and that in such a tongue as the people doe understand: when farther to them is nothing added, from them nothing diminished, and in their practise nothing changed besides the Institution of the Lord Iesus, and practise of his holy Apostles.

And albeit the order of Geneva which now is used in some of our Churches, is sufficient to instruct the diligent Reader how that both these Sacraments may bee rightly ministred, yet for an uniformity to bee kept, wee have thought good to adde this as su­peraboundant.

In Baptisme wee acknowledge nothing to bee used except the element of water onely (that the word and declaration of the pro­mises ought to preceed we have said before) wherefore whosoe­ver presumeth in Baptisme to use oyle, salt, waxe, spittle conjura­tion and crossing accuseth the perfect institution of Christ lesus, of imperfection. For it was void of all such inventions devised by men, and such as would presume to alter Christs perfect Ordi­nance you ought severely to punish.

The Table of the Lord is then most rightly ministred when it approacheth most neare to Christs owne action. But plaine it is, that at Supper Christ Iesus sate with his Disciples; and therefore doe wee judge that sitting at a Table is most convenient to that [Page 27]holy action, that bread and wine ought to bee there, that thankes ought to bee given, distribution of the same made, and commande­ment given that the bread should bee taken and eaten, and that all should likewise drinke of the cup of wine, with declaration what both the one and the other is: wee suppose no godly man will doubt: For as touching the damnable errour of the Papists, who dare defraud the Common people of the one part of that holy Sacrament, to wit, of the cup of the Lords bloud, wee suppose their errour to bee so manifest, that it needeth no confutation: neither yet intend wee to confute any thing in this our simple Confession, but to offer publick disputation to all that list oppugne any thing affirmed by us.

That the Minister breake the bread and distribute the same to those that bee next unto him, commanding the rest, every one with reverence and sobriety to breake with other, wee thinke it neerest to Christs action, and to the perfect practise, as wee reade in Saint Paul; during the which action wee thinke it necessary, that some comfortable places of the Scripture bee read, which may bring in minde the death of Christ Jesus, and the benefit of the same. For seeing that in that action wee ought chiefly to remember the Lords death, wee judge the Scriptures making mention of the same, most apt to stirre up our dull mindes then, and at all times. Let the discretion of the Ministers appoint the places to bee read as they thinke good. What times wee thinke most convenient for the administration of the one and of the o­ther of these Sacraments, shall bee declared in the policy of the Church.

The third head touching the abolishing of Idolatrie.

AS wee require Christ Jesus to bee truly preached, and his holy Sacraments rightly ministred, so cannot cease to require Idolatry, with all monuments and places of the same. as Abbeyes, Monkeries, Frieries, Nonries, Chappeis, Chanteries, Cathedrall Churches, Chanonries, Colledges, others then presently are Parish Churches or Schooles, to bee utterly suppressed in all bounds and places of this Realme (except onely Palaces, Mansions, and dwelling places adjacent thereto, with Orchards and Yards of the same) as also that Idolatry may bee removed from the pre­sence [Page 28]of all persons, of what estate or condition that ever they be­within this Realme.

For let your Honours assuredly be perswaded, that where ido­latry is maintained, or permitted, where it may bee suppressed, that there shall Gods wrath raigne, not onely upon the blind and ob­stinate idolater, but also the negligent sufferers, especially if God have armed their hands with power to suppresse such abhomina­tion.

By Idolatry wee understand, the Masse, invocation of Saints, adoration of Images, and the keeping and retaining of the same. And finally all honouring of God, not contained in his holy word.

The fourth head concerning Ministers, and their lawfull Election.

IN a Church reformed, or tending to reformation, none ought to presume either to preach, either yet to Minister the Sacra­ments, till that orderly they bee called to the same. Ordinarie Vocation consisteth in Election, Examination, and Admission. And because that Election of Ministers in this cursed Papistrie hath altogether beene abused, wee thinke expedient to intreate it more largely. It appertaineth to the people, and to every severall Congregation to elect their Minister: And in case that they bee found negligent therein the space of fourty dayes, The best re­formed Church to wit, the Church of the Super-intendent with his Councell, may present unto them a man whom they judgeapt, to feed the flock of Christ Jesus, who must bee examinated as well in life and manners, as in doctrine and knowledge. And that this may bee done with more exact diligence, the persons that are to bee examinated, must bee commanded to appeare before men of soundest judgment remaining in some principall Towne next adjacent unto them, as they that bee in Fyfe, Angus, Mearnes or Straitharne, to present themselves in Saint Andrewes, These that bee in Lowthian, Merse or Tevidaill to Edinburgh, and likewise those that bee in other Countries must resort to the best reformed City and Towne, that is, to the Towne of the Super-intendent, where, first in the Schooles, or, failing thereof, in open assembly, and before the Congregation, they must give declaration of their gifts, utterance and knowledge, by interpreting some place of [Page 29]Scripture to bee appointed by the Ministery; which being ended, the person that is presented, or that offereth himselfe to the admi­nistration of the Church, must bee examined by the Ministers and Elders of the Church, and that openly, and before all that list to heare, in all the chiefe points that now bee in controversie be­twixt us and the Papists, Anabaptists, Arrians, or other such ene­mies to the Christian Religion. In which, if hee bee found sound, able to perswade by wholesome doctrine, and to convince the gaine-sayer, then must hee bee directed to the Church and Congre­gation where hee should serve, that there in open andience of his Flock in diverse publick Sermons, hee may give confession of his faith in the article of Justification, in the Office of Christ Jesus, of the number, effect, and use of the Sacraments, and finally of the whole Religion which heretofore hath beene corrupted by the Papists. If his doctrine bee found wholesome and able to instruct the simple, and if the Church justly can reprehend nothing in his life, doctrine, nor utterance, then wee judge the Church, which before was destitute, unreasonable, if they tefuse him whom the Church did offer, and they should bee compelled by the censure of the Councell and Church, to receive the person appointed, and approved by the judgement of the godly and learned: un­lesse that the same Church, have presented a man better, or as well qualified to the examination, before that this foresaid triall was taken of the person presented by the councell of the whole Church: As for example, The councell of the Church, presents to any Church a man to bee their Minister, not knowing that they are other­wise provided: in the meane time, the Church is provided of ano­ther, sufficient in their judgment for that charge, whom they prefent to the learned Ministers, and next reformed Church to be examined. In this case the presentation of the people, to whom hee should bee appointed Pastor, must bee preferred to the pre­sentation of the councell, or greater Church, unlesse the person pre­sented by the inferiour Church bee judged unable of the Regi­ment by the Learned. For altogether this is to bee avoided, that any man bee violently intruded or thrust in upon any Congrega­tion. But this liberty with all care must bee reserved to every se­verall Church, to have their Votes and Suffrages in election of their Ministers. But violent intrusion wee call not, when the coun­cell of the Church in the feare of God, and for the salvation of the people, offereth unto them a sfficient man to instruct them, whom [Page 30]they shall not bee forced to admit before just examination, as be­fore is said.

What may unable any person, that hee may not bee admit­ted to the Ministery of the Church.

IT is to bee observed, that no person, noted with publique infa­my, or being unable to edifie the Church by wholesome doctrine, or being knowne of corrupt judgment, bee either promoted to the regiment of the Church, or yet retained in Ecclesiasticall ad­ministration.


BY publick infamy wee understand, not the common sinnes and offences which any hath committed in time of blindnes, by fragility, (if of the same by a better and more sober conversa­tion hee hath declared himselfe verily penitent) but such capitall crimes as the Civill sword ought and may punish with death by the word of God. For besides that the Apostle requireth the life of Ministers to bee so irreprehensible, that they have a good testimonie from those that bee without, wee judge it a thing un­seemly and dangerous, that hee shall have publick authority to preach to others life everlasting, from whom the Civill Magistrate may take the life temporall for a crime publickly committed. And if any object, that the Prince hath pardoned his offence, and that hee hath publickly repented, and so not only his life is in assurance, but also that he may bee received to the Ministery of the Church; Wee answer, that repentance doth not take away the temporall punishment of the Law, neither doth the pardon of the Prince re­move his infamie before man.

That the life and conversation of the person presented, or to be elected may be the more clearely knowne, publick edicts should be directed to all parts of this Realme, or at the least to those parts where the person had beene most conversant: as where hee was nourished in letters, or where hee continued since the yeares of infancie and childhood were passed. Straight commandement would bee given that if any capitall crimes were committed by him, that they should bee notified; as if hee had committed wilfull murder, adultery, if hee were a common fornicator, a thiefe, a [Page 31]drunkard, a fighter, brawler, or contentious person. These Edicts ought to bee notified in the chiefe Cities, with the like charge and commandement, with declaration that such as concealed his sinnes knowne did deceive and betray (so farre as in them lay) the Church which is the Spouse of Christ Jesus, and did communicate with the sinnes of that wicked man.


THe Admission of Ministers to their offices must consist in con­sent of the people, and Church whereto they shall be appoin­ted, and approbation of the learned Ministers appointed for their examination.

Wee judge it expedient that the Admission of Ministers bee in open audience, that some speciall Minister make a Sermon touch­ing the dutie and office of Ministers, touching their manners, con­versation and life: as also touching the obedience which the Church oweth to their Ministers. Commandement should bee given as well to the Minister as to the people, both being present: to wit, That he with all carefull diligence attend upon the flock of Christ Jesus over the which hee is appointed Preacher: That hee will walke in the presence of God so sincerely, that the graces of the Holy spirit may bee multiplied into him, and in the presence of men so soberly and uprightly, that his life may confirme in the eyes of men, that which by tongue and word hee perswaded unto others. The people would bee exhorted to reverence and honor their Ministers, chosen as the servants and Embassadors of the Lord Jesus, obeying the commandements which they pronounce from Gods mouth and book, even as they would obey God him­felfe. For whosoever heareth Christs Ministers, heareth him­selfe; and whosoever rejecteth and despiseth their ministery and exhortation, rejecteth and despiseth Christ Iesus. Other ceremo­ny then the publick approbation of the people, and declaration of the chiefe Minister, that the person there presented is appointed to serve the Church, wee cannot approve; for labeit the Apostles used imposition of hands, yet seeing the miracle is ceased, the using of the ceremony wee judge not necessary.

The Minister elected, or presented, examined, and as said is, pub­lickly admitted, may neither leave the flocke at his pleasure to which hee had promised his fidelity and labours, neither yet may [Page 32]the flock reject nor change him at their appetite, unlesse they bee able to convict him of such crimes as deserve deposition, whereof we shall after speake. Wee mean not but that the whole Church, or the most part thereof, for just considerations, may transferre a minister from one Church to another: neither yet meane wee, that men who now serve as it were of benevolence, may not bee ap­pointed and elected to serve in other places; but once being so­lemnely elected, and admitted, wee cannot approve that they should change at their owne pleasure.

Wee are not ignorant that the rarity of godly and learned men, shall seeme to some a just reason why that so strait and sharpe ex­amination should not bee taken universally, for so it shall appeare, that the most part of the Kirks shall have no Minister at all. But let these men understand, that the lack of able men shall not excuse us before God, if by our consent unable men bee placed over the flock of Christ Jesus. As also that amongst the Gentiles godly and learned men were also rare, as they bee now amongst us, when the Apostle gave the same rule to trie and examine Ministers, which wee now follow. And last, let them understand that it is alike to have no Minister at all, and to have an Idoll in the place of a true Minister: Yea and in some case it is worse, for those that bee utterly destitute of Ministers, will be diligent to search for them; but those that have a vain shadow, doe commonly without further care con­tent themselves with the same, and so remaine they continually de­ceived, thinking that they have a Minister, when in very deed they have none. For wee cannot judge him a dispensator of Gods my­steries, that in no wise can breake the bread of life to the fainting and hungry soules. Neither judge wee that the Sacraments can bee rightly ministred by him in whose mouth God hath put no Sermon of exhortation. The chiefest remedy left to your Ho­nours, and to us, in all this raritie of true Ministers, is fervent prayer unto God, that it will please his mercy to thrust out faith­full workmen in this his harvest. And next, that your Ho. with consent of the Church, are bound by your authority to compell such men as have gifts and graces able to edifie the Church of God, that they bestow them where greatest necessity shall bee knowne. For no man may bee permitted to live idle, or as them­selves list; but must bee appointed to travell where your wise­domes and the Church shall thinke expedient: We cannot prescribe unto your Honours certaine rules how that ye shall distribute the [Page 33]Ministers and learned men, whom God hath already sent unto you. But hereof wee are assured, that it greatly hindereth the progresse of Christs Gospell within this poore Realme, that some altogether abstract their labours from the Church, and others remaine alto­gether in one place, the most part of them being idle. And there­fore of your Honors we require in Gods name, that by your autho­rity, which ye have of God, ye compell all men to whom God hath given any Talent to perswade by wholesome doctrine, to bestow the same, if they bee called by the Church, to the advancement of Christs glorie, and the comfort of his troubled flock. And that ye with the consent of the Church, assigne unto your chiefest workmen, not onely Townes to remaine in, but also Provinces; that by their faithfull labours, Churches may bee erected, and or­der established where none is now. And if on this manner ye shall use your power and authority, chiefly seeking Gods glorie, and the comfort of your brethren, wee doubt not but God shall blesse you and your enterprises.

For Readers.

TO the Churches where no Ministers can bee had presently, must bee appointed the most apt men that distinctly can read the common prayers and the Scriptures, to exercise both them­selves and the Church, till they grow to greater perfection; and in processe of time, be that is but a Reader, may attaine to a far­ther degree, and by consent of the Church, and discreet Ministers, may bee permitted to minister the Sacraments, but not before that hee bee able some what to perswade by wholesome doctrine, beside his reading, and bee admitted to the Ministery, as before is said. Some wee know that of long time have professed Christ Jesus, whose honest conversation deserveth praise of all godly men, and whose knowledge also might greatly helpe the simple, and yet they onely content themselves with reading; these must bee ani­mated, and by gentle admonition encouraged by some exhortati­on to comfort their brethren, and so they may bee admitted to ad­ministration of the Sacraments; but such Readers as neither have had exercise, not continuance in Christs true religion, must ab­staine from ministration of the Sacraments, till they give decla­ration and witnessing of their honesty and further knowledge, that none bee admitted to preach, but they that are qualified there­fore, [Page 34]but rather bee retained Readers, and such as are Preachers already, not found qualified therefore, by the Super-intendent, bee placed to bee Readers.

The fifth head concerning the provision for the Mi­sters, and for the distribution of the rents and pos­sessions justly appertaining to the Church.

SEing that of our Master Christ Jesus, and his Apostle Paul wee have, that the workman is worthy of his reward, and that the mouth of the labouring exe ought not to bee musseled, of ne­cessitie it is, that honest provision bee made for the Ministers, which wee require to bee such, that they have neither occasion of solicitude, neither yet of insolencie and wantonnesse. And this provision must bee made not onely for their owne sustentation, during their lives; but also for their Wives and Children after them. For wee judge it a thing most contrarious to reason, god­liness and equity, that the Widow and the Children of him who in his life did faithfully serve in the Kirk of God, and for that cause did not carefully make provision for his family, should after his death bee left comfortlesse of all provision: which provision for the Wives of the Ministers after their decease is to bee re­mitted to the discretion of the Kirk. Difficile it is to appoint a severall stipend to every Minister, by reason that the charge and necessity of all, will not bee alike. For some will bee continuers in one place, some will bee compelled to travell, and oft to change their dwelling place (if they shall have charge of divers Kirkes;) among these some will bee burdened with Wife and Children, and one with more then others, and some perhaps will bee single men. If equall stipends should bee appointed to these that in charge should bee so unequall, either should the one suffer penurie, or else should the other have superfluity and too much. Wee judge therefore that every Minister have sufficient where­upon to keepe an house, and bee sustained honestly in all things ne­cessary as well for keeping of his house and cloathes, flesh, fish, bookes, fewell, and other things necessary, of the rents and trea­surie of the Kirk, at the discretion of the Congregation conforme to the quality of the person and necessity of the time: Wherein [Page 35]it is thought good that every Minister shall have at least fourty bolls meale, twenty six bolls malt, to finde his house bread and drinke, and more so much as the diseretion of the Church findes necessary; besides money for buying of other provision to his house and other necessaries: the modification whereof is referred to the judgment of the Kirk, to bee made every yeare at the choosing of the Elders and Deacons of the Kirk. Providing alwayes that there bee advanced to every Minister sufficient provision for a quarter of a yeare before-hand of all things. But to him that travels from place to place, whom wee call Super­intendent, who remaines as it were a month or lesse in one place for establishing of the Kirk, and for the same purpose changing to another, must consideration bee had. And therefore to such wee thinke six chalders beere, nine chalders meale, three chalders oats, six hundreth merkes money, to bee eiked and paired at the discretion of the Prince and Councell of the Reasme, to bee payed to him in manner foresaid. The Children of the Mini­sters must have the liberties of the Cities next adjacent, where their Fathers laboured, freely granted. They must have the pri­viledges in Schooles, and bursisses in Colledges; That is, that they shall be sustained at learning, if they be found apt thereto: And failing thereof, that they bee put to some handy-craft; or exercised in some vertuous industry, whereby they may bee profitable members of the Common-wealth, and the same we require of their Daughters: To wit, that they bee vertuously brought up, and ho­nestly doted when they come to maturity of yeares at the discre­tion of the Kirk. And this in Gods presence wee witnesse wee require not so much for our selves, or for any that appertaine to us, as that wee doe it for the increase of vertue and learning, and for the profite of the posterity to come. It is not to bee supposed that any man will dedicate himselfe and his Children so to God and to his Kirk, that they looke for no worldly commodity, but this cankered nature which wee beare is provoked to follow vertue when it seeth profite and honour thereto annexed; and contrarily, then is vertue in many despised, when vertuous and godly men are without honour: and sory would wee bee that poverty should discourage men from studie, and following of the way of vertue, by which they might edifie the Kirk and flock of Christ Jesus. Nothing have wee spoken of the stipend of Readers, because if they can doe nothing but reade, they neither [Page 36]can bee called nor judged true Ministers, and yet regard must bee had to their labours; but so that they may bee suprred for­ward to vertue, and not by any stipend appointed for their rea­ding to bee retained in that estate. To a Reader therefore that is newly entred, fourty merkes, or more or lesse, as Parishioners and Readers can agree, is sufficient: Provided that hee teach the Children of the Parish, which hee must doe, beside the reading of the common prayers, and bookes of the old and new Testament. If from reading hee begin to exhort, and explaine the Scriptures, then ought his stipend to bee augmented, till finally hee come to the honour of a Minister. But if hee bee found unable after two yeeres, then must hee bee removed from that office, and discharged of all stipend, that another may bee proved as long. For this al­wayes is to bee avoided, that none who is judged unable to come at any time to some reasonable knowledge whereby hee may edifie the Kirk, shall bee perpetually sustained upon the charge of the Kirk. Farther it must bee avoided, that no child, nor person within age, that is, within twenty one yeares of age, bee admit­ted to the office of a Reader. But Readers ought to bee endued with gravity and discretion, lest by their lightnesse the prayers or Scriptures read bee of lesse price or estimation. It is to bee no­ted that the Reader bee put in the Kirk at the admission of the Super-intendent. The other sort of Readers, who have long continued in godlines, and have some gift of exhortation, who are of hope to attaine to the degree of a Minister, and teach the Children; wee thinke an hundred merkes, or more or lesse, at the discretion of the Kirk, may bee appointed; so that difference bee made, as is said, betwixt them and the Mini­sters, that openly preaches the word and ministers the Sacra­ments.

Rests yet two sorts of people to bee provided for, upon that which is called the Patrimony of the Kirk, to wit, the poore, and teachers of the youth-head. Every severall Kirk must provide for the poore within it selfe: For fearefull and horrible it is, that the poore, whom not onely God the Father in his Law, but Christ Jesus in his Evangell, and the holy Spirit speaking by Saint Paul hath so earnestly commended to our care, are universally so con­temned and despised. Wee are not Patrones for stubborne and idle beggars, who running from place to place make a craft of their begging, whom the civill Magistrate ought to punish: But [Page 37]for the Widow and Fatherlesse, the aged, impotent or lamed, who neither can, nor may travell for their sustentation; wee say that God commands his people to bee carefull, and therefore for such, as also for persons of honesty fallen into decay and poverty, ought such provision to bee made, that of our aboundance their indigence might bee relieved. How this most conveniently, and most easily may bee done in every Citie, and other parts of this Realme, God will shew you wisedome, and the meanes, so that your mindes bee godly inclined thereto. All must not bee suf­fered to begge that gladly would so doe, neither yet must beggers remaine where they would; but the stout and strong beggers must bee compelled to worke; and every person that may not worke, must bee compelled to repaire to the place where hee or shee was borne, unlesse of long continuance they have remained in one place, and there reasonable provision must bee made for sustentation, as the Kirk shall appoint. The order nor summes in our judgements can not particularly bee appointed unto such times as the poore of every City, Towne and Parish bee compelled to repaire to the places where they were borne, or of their residence, where their names and number must bee taken and put in roll, and then may the wisedome of the Kirk appoint stipends accor­dingly.

The Head of the Super-intendents.

BEcause wee have appointed a larger stipend to them that shall bee Super-intendents then to the rest of the Ministers, we have thought good to signifie to your Honours such reasons as moved us to make difference betwixt Preachers at this time, as also how many Super-intendents wee thinke necessary, with their bounds, office, election and causes that may deserve deposition from that charge.

Wee consider, that if the Ministers whom God hath endowed with his singular graces amongst us should bee appointed to seve­rall places there to make their continuall residence, that then the greatest part of the Realme should bee destitute of all doctrine: which should not onely bee the occasion of great murmur, but al­so bee dangerous to the salvation of many. And therefore wee have thought it a thing most expedient at this time, that from the [Page 38]whole number of godly and learned men, now presently in this Realme, bee selected ten or twelve (for in so many Provinces wee have divided the whole) to whom charge and commandement should bee given, to plant and erect Kirkes, to set, order, and ap­point Ministers, as the former order prescribes, to the Countries that shall bee appointed to their care where none are now. And by their meanes, your love and common care over all Inhabitants of this Realme, to whom you are equally debtors, shall evidently appeare; as also the simple and ignorant, who perchance have ne­ver heard Jesus Christ truely preached, shall come to some know­ledge: By the which many that are dead in superstition and igno­rance, shall attaine to some feeling of godlinesse, by the which they may bee provoked to search and seeke farther knowledge of God, and his true Religion and worshipping: whereby the contrary, if they shall bee neglected, then shall they not onely grudge, but also seeke the meanes whereby they may continue in their blindnes, or returne to their accustomed Idolatry; and there­fore nothing wee desire more earnestly then that Christ Jesus bee universally once preached throughout this Realme, which shall not suddenly bee, unlesse that by you men bee appointed, and com­pelled faithfully to travell in such Provinces as to them shall bee assigned.

The names of the places of residence and severall Dio­cesses of the Super-intendents.

INprimis, The Super-intendent of Orknay, whose Diocesse shall comprehend the Iles, Orknay, Zetland, and Cathnes, and Stra­naver: his residence to bee in Kirkwall.

The Super-intendent of Rosse, whose Diocesse shall comprehend Rosse, Sutherland, Murray, with the north Iles of the Skie, and Lewes with the adjacents: his residence to bee in the Channonric of Rosse.

The Super-intendent of Argyle, whose Diocesse shall compre­hend Argyle, Kyntire, Lorne, the south Iles, Arran and Buite with their adjacents, with Lochwhaber: his residence to bee in Ar­gyle.

The Super-intendent of Aberdene, whose Diocesse is betwixt Dee and Spay containing the Shirefdom of Aberdene and Bamfe: whose resid ence shall bee in old Aberdene.

[Page 39] The Super-intendent of Brechen, whose Diocesse shall bee the whole Shirefdomes of the Mernes, Angus, and the brae of Marre to Dee: his residence to bee in Brechen.

The Super-intendent of Fyfe and Fotheringhame to Stirling, and the whole Shirefdome of Perth: his residence to bee in Saint Andrewes.

The Super-intendent of Edinburgh, whose Diocesse shall com­prehend the whole Shirefdome of Lowthian and Stirling, and the South-side of the water of Forth: his residence to bee in Edin­burgh.

The Super-intendent of Iedburgh, whose Diocesse shall com­prehend the whole Tivitdail, Tweddail, Liddisdail, and thereto is added by consent of the whole Kirk, the Merse, Lawderdaill and Weddaill, with the forrest of Etrick: his residence to bee in Ied­burgh.

The Super-intendent of Glasgow, whose Diocesse shall com­prehend Clidsdaill, Renfrew, Menteth, Lennox, Kyle and Cuning­hame: his residence to bee in Glasgow.

The Super-intendent of Dumfriesse, whose Diocesse shall comprehend Galloway, Carrik, Nithisdal, Annandaile with the rest of the dailes in the West: his residence to bee in Dum­friesse.

Those men must not bee suffered to live as your idle Bishops have done heretofore: neither must they remaine where gladly they would, but they must bee Preachers themselves, and such as may not make long residence in any place till their Kirkes bee planted and provided of Ministers, or at the least of Readers. Charge must bee given to them that they remaine in no place above twenty dayes in their visitation, till they have passed through their whole bounds. They must thrice every weeke preach at the least; and when they returne to their principall Towne and Residence, they must bee likewise exercised in preaching and edi­fication of the Kirk: and yet they must not bee suffered to conti­nue there so long, that they may seeme to neglect their other Kirkes: But after they have remained in their chiefe Towne three or foure Moneths at most, they shall bee compelled (unlesse by sicknesse they bee retained) to re-enter in visitation. In which they shall not onely preach, but also examine the life, diligence and behaviour of the Ministers, as also the order of the Kirkes, the manners of the people. They must further consider how the poore [Page 40]bee provided, how the youth bee instructed: They must admo­nish where admonition needeth, and dresse such things as by good counsell they bee able to appease. And finally they must note such crimes as be heynous, that by the censure of the Kirk the same may be corrected. If the Super-intendent be found negligent in any of the chiefe points of his office, and specially if he be noted neg­ligent in preaching of the word, and visitation of the Kirkes; or if hee be convict of such crimes, which in common Ministers are damned, hee must be deposed, without respect of his person, or office.

The Election of Super-intendents.

IN this present necessity, the nomination, examination, and ad­mission of the Super-intendent cannot be so straight, as we re­quire, and as afterward it must be. For this present, therefore wee thinke it expedient, that either your Honours by your selves no­minate so many as may serve the fore-written Provinces: or that yee give commission to such men as ye suppose the feare of God to bein, to doe the same. And the same men being called in your presence shall bee by you, and such as your Hon, pleases call unto you for consultation in that case, appointed to their Provinces. We thinke it expedient, and necessary, that as well the Gentlemen, as Burgesse of every diocy bee made privy at the same to the ele­ction of the Super-intendent; as well to bring the Kirk in some practise of her liberty, as that the Pastor may be the better favored of the flock whom themselves have chosen. If your Honours cannot finde for this present so many able as necessity requireth, then in our judgements, more profitable it is those Provinces vaike till God provide better for them, then that men unable to edific and governe the Kirk, so suddenly be placed in that charge; for ex­perience hath teached us what pestilence hath beene ingendred in the Kirk by men unable to discharge their offices. When therefore after three yeares any Super-intendent shall depart, or chance to be deposed, the chiefe Towne within the Province, to wit, the Ministers, Elders and Deacons, with the Magistrate and Councell of the same Towne, shall nominate, and by publick Edicts proclaime, as well to the Super-intendent, as to two or three Provinces next adjacent, two or three of the most learned [Page 41]and godly Ministers within the whole Reasme, that from amongst them, one with publick consent may be elected and appointed to the office then vacant: And this the chiefe Towne shall be bound to doe within the space of twenty dayes; which being expired, and no man presented, then shall three of the next ad­jacent Provinces with consent of their Super-intendents, Mini­sters and Elders, enter in the right and priviledge of the Towne, and shall present every one of them, one or twa, if they list, to the chiefe Towne to be examined, as the order requires. As also it shall bee lawfull for all the Kirkes of the Diocesse to nomi­nate within the same time such persons as they thinke wor­thy to stand in Election, who all must bee put in an E­dict.

After nomination to be made, publick Edicts must be sent forth, warning all men that have any exception against the persons no­minate, or against any of them, to be present in the chiefe Towne at the day affixed, and place, to object what they can against the election of any of them. Thirty dayes we thinke sufficient to be assigned thereto. Thirty dayes we meane after the nomination be made; which day of the election being come, the whole Mini­sters of the Province, with three or foure Super-intendents next adjacent, or that shall bee thereto nominated, shall examine, not onely the learning, but also the manners, prudence and hability to governe the Kirk, of all these that be nominated: that he who shall be found most worthy may be burdened with the charge. If the Ministers of the whole Provinces should bring with them the votes of them that were committed to their care, the election should be the more free. But alwayes the votes of them that con­vene, should be required. The examinations must be publickly made. They that stand in election must publickly preach, and men must be charged in the name of God, to vote according to consci­ence, and not after affection.

If any thing be objected against him that standeth in election, the Super-intendents and Ministers must consider whether the objection be made of conscience or malice, and they must answere accordingly. Other ceremonies then sharp examination, appro­lation of the Ministers, and Super-intendents, with the publicke consent of the Elders and people, wee cannot allow.

The Super-intendent being elected, and appointed to his charge, must be subject to the censure and correction of Ministers and El­ders, [Page 42]not of his chiefe Towne onely, but also of the whole Pro­vince, over the which he is appointed Overseer.

If his offence be knowne, and the Ministers and Elders of the Towne and Province be negligent in correcting of him, then the next one or two Super-intendents with their Ministers and Elders, may convent him, and the Ministers and Elders of his chief Town (provided that it be within his owne Province or chiefe Towne) may accuse or correct as well the Superintendent in these things that are worthy of correction, as the Ministers and Elders of their negligence and ungodly tolerance of his offence.

Whatsoever crime deserves deposition or correction of any o­ther Minister, deserveth the same in the super-intendent, without exception of persons.

After that the Kirk is established, and three yeares be passed, we require that no man be called to the office of a Super-intendent, who hath not at the least two years given declaration of his faith­full labours in the ministery of the same Kirk.

No Super-intendent may be transferred at the pleasure or re­quest of any one Province, no not without the consent of the whole councell of the Kirk, and that for grave causes and conside­rations.

Of one thing in the end we must admonish your Honours, to wit, that in the appointing of the Super-intendents for this pre­sent, ye dis-appoint not your chief Townes, and where learning is exercised, of such Ministers as more may profit by residence in one place, then by continuall travell from place to place. For if ye so doe, the youth in these places shall lack the profound interpre­tation of Scripture: and so shall it be long before your garden send forth many plants; where by the contrary, if one or two Townes be continually exercised as they may, the Commonwealth shall shortly feast of their fruit, to the comfort of the godly.

For the Schooles.

SEeing that the office and dutie of the godly Magistrate, is not onely to purge the Church of God from all superstition, and to set it at liberty from tyranny and bondage, but also to provident the utmost of his power, how it may abide in some purity in the posterity following, wee can but freely communicate our judge­ments with your Honours in this behalfe.

The necessity of Schooles.

SEeing that God hath determined that his Kirke here in earth shall be taught not by Angels, but by men; and seeing that men are borne ignorant of God, and of all godlinesse, and seeing also he ceases to illuminate men miraculously, suddenly changing them as he did the Apostles, and others in the primitive Kirke: Of neces­sity it is that your Honours be most carefull for the vertuous edu­cation, and godly up-bringing of the youth of this Realme: if ei­ther ye now thirst unfainedly the advancement of Christs glory, or yet desire the continuance of his benefits to the generation fol­lowing. For as the youth must succeed to us, so we ought to be carefull that they have knowledge and erudition to profit and comfort that which ought to be most deare to us, to wit, the Kirk and spouse of our Lord Jesus. Of necessity therefore we judge it, that every severall Kirk have one Schoolmaster appointed, such a one at least as is able to teach Grammar, and the Latine tongue; if the Towne be of any reputation. If it be up-a-land, where the peo­ple convene to the doctrine but once in the weeke, then must ei­ther the Reader, or the Minister there appointed, take care over the children and youth of the parish, to instruct them in the first rudiments, and especially in the Catechisme as we have it now translated in the booke of the common order, called the order of Geneva. And furder we thinke it expedient, that in every notable Towne, and specially in the Towne of the Super-intendent, there be erected a Colledge, in which the arts at least Logick and Rhe­torick, together with the tongues, be read by sufficient Masters, for whom honest stipends must be appointed. As also provision for those that be poore, and not able by themselves, nor by their friends to be sustained at letters, and in speciall these that come from Landward. The fruit and commodity hereof shall sudden­ly appeare. For first, the youth-head and tender children shall bee nourished, and brought up in vertue in presence of their friends, by whose good attendance many inconveniences may be avoid­ed, in which the youth commonly fall, either by over much liber­tie, which they have in strange and unknowne places, while they cannot rule themselves: or else for lack of good attendance, and such necessity as their tender age requires. Secondly, the exercise of Children in every Kirk, shall be great instruction to the aged. [Page 44]Last, the great Schooles, called the Vniversities, shall be repleni­shed with these that shall be apt to learning. For this most be care­fully provided, hat no Father of what estate or condition that ever he be, use his Children at his owne fanta [...]e, especially in their youth­head, but all must be compelled to bring up their Children in lear­ning and vertue.

The rich and potent may not be permitted to suffer their Chil­dren to spend their youth in vaine idlenesse, as heretofore they have done: But they must be exhorted, and by the censure of the Kirk compelled to dedicate their Sonnes by good exercises to the pro­fite of the Kirk, and Common-wealth; and that they must doe of their owne expences, because they are able. The Children of the poore must be supported and sustained of the charge of the Kirk, triall being taken whether the Spirit of docility be in them found, or not: If they be found apt to learning and letters, then may they not (we meane, neither the Sonnes of the rich, nor yet of the poore) be permitted to reject learning, but must be charged to continue their study, so that the Common-wealth may have some comfort by them. And for this purpose must discreet, grave, and learned men be appointed to visit Schooles for the tryall of their exercise, profite and continuance: To wit, the Minister and Elders, and the rest of learned men in every Towne shall in every quarter make examination how the youth have profited.

And certaine times must be appointed to reading and learning of the Catechisme, and certaine to the Gramma and to the Latine tongues, and a certaine to the Arts of Philosophy, and the tongues; and certaine to that study in the which they intend chiefly to tra­vell for the profite of the Common-wealth. Which time being expired, we meane in every course, the Children should either pro­ceed to the farther knowledge, or else they must be set to some handy-craft, or to some other profitable exercise; providing al­wayes that first they have further knowledge of Christian Reli­gion: To wit, the knowledge of Gods Law and Commandements, the use and office of the same: the chiefe Articles of the beleese, the right forme to pray unto God; the number, use, and effect of the Sacraments: the true knowledge of Christ Jesus, of his Office and Natures, and such others, without the knowledge whereof neither any man deserves to be called a Christian, neither ought any to be admitted to the participation of the Lords Table: and there­fore their principles ought and must be learned in the youth-head.

The Times appointed to every course.

TWo yeares we thinke more then sufficient to learne to read perfectly, to answere to the Catechisme, and to have some en­tres in the first Rudiments of Grammar; to the full accomplish­ment whereof (we meane of the Grammar) we thinke other three yeares or foure at most sufficient to the Arts, to wit, Logick and Rhetorick, and to the Greeke tongue foure yeares, and the rest till the age of 24 yeares, to be spent in that study, wherein the Learner would profit the Church, or Common-wealth, be it in the Lawes, Physick, or Divinity, which time of 24. yeares being spent in the Schools, the Learner must be removed to serve the Church or Com­mon-wealth, unlesse he be found a necessary Reader in this same Colledge or Vniversity. If God shall move your hearts to esta­blish and execute this order, and put these things in practise, your whole Realme, we doubt not, within few yeares will serve it selfe of true Preachers, and of other Officers necessary for the Common­wealth.

Of the Erection of Universities.

THe Grammar Schoole being erected, and of the tongues (as we have said) next we thinke it necessary there be 3. Vniversities in this whole Realme, established in 3. Townes accustomed. The first in S. Andrewes, the second in Glasgow, and the third in Aber­dein. And in the first Vniversity and principall, viz. S. Andrewes, that there be 3. Colledges, and in the first Colledge, which is the entry of the Vniversity, therebe foure classes or seages, the first to the new Supposts shall be onely Dialecticae next onely Mathematicae, the third of Physick onely, the fourth of Medicine. And in the se­cond Colledge, two classes or seages, the first of Morall Philosophy, the second of the Lawes. And in the third Colledge two classes or seages, the first of the tongues, to wit, Greeke and Hebrew, the se­cond of Divinity.

Of Readers, and of the degrees and time of study.

ITem, in the first Colledge and first Classe, shall be a Reader of Dia­lectica, who shall accomplish his course thereof in a year. In Ma­thematica, which is the second Classe, shall be a Reader which shall [Page 46]compleat his course of Arithmetica, Geometry, Cosmography, and Astrology in one yeere. In the third classe shall bee a Reader of na­turall Philosophy, who shall compleat his course in one yeere. And who after thir three yeares by triall and examination, shall be found sufficiently instructed in the foresaid sciences, shall be Lau­reat, and Graduat in Philosophy. In the fourth classe, shall be a Reader of Medicine, who shall compleat his course in 5. yeares, after the study of the which time, being by examination found suf­ficient, they shall be graduat in Medicine.

Item, in the second Colledge, in the first classe, one Reader onely in the Ethicks, Oeconomicks, and Politicks, who shall compleat his course in the space of one yeare. In the second classe shall be two Readers in the Muncipall and Roman Lawes, who shall com­pleat his course in 4. yeares, after which time being by examina­tion found sufficient, they shall bee graduate in the Lawes.

Item, in the third colledge, in the first classe, one reader of the Hebrew, and another of the Greeke tongue, who shall compleat the Grammar thereof in 3. moneths, and the remanent of the yeare, the Reader of the Hebrew shall interpret one booke of Moses, the Pro­phets, or the Psalmes, so that this course and classe shall continue one yeare. The Reader of the Greek shall interpret some book of Plato, together with some place of the new Testament. In the second classe shall be two Readers in Diuinity, the one in the new Testa­ment, the other in the old, who shall compleat their course in five yeares: after which time, who shall be found by examination suf­ficient, they shall be graduate in divinity.

Item, wee thinke expedient that none be admitted to the first Colledge, and to he Supposts of the University, unlesse he have from the Master of the Schoole, and Minister of the Town where he was instructed in the tongues, and testimony of his learning, do­cility, age and parentage: and likewise triall be taken by certaine Examinators, depute by the Rector and Principals of the same. And if he be found sufficiently instructed in the Dialectica, he shall in­continent the same year be promoted to the classe of Mathematica.

Item, that none be admitted to the classe of Medicine, but he that shall have his testimoniall of his time well spent in Dialectica, Ma­themasica, and Physick, and of his docility in the last.

Item, that none be admitted unto the classe of the Lawes, but he that shall have sufficient testimonials of his time well spent in Dia­lectica, Mathematica, Physica, Ethicks, Oeconomicks, and Politicks, and of his docility in the last.

[Page 47] Item, that none be admitted unto the classe & seage of Divinity, but he that shall have sufficient testimonials of his time well spent in Dialectica, Mathematica, Physica, Ethica, Oeconomica, and Politica, and the Hebrew tongue, and of his docility in the morall Philo­sophy, and the Hebrew tongue. But neither shall such as apply them to heare the Lawes, be compelled to heare Medicine; neither such as apply them to heare Divinity, be compelled to heare either Medicine, or yet the Lawes.

Item, in the 2. University, which is Glasgow, shall be two Col­ledges only: in the first shall be a classe of Dialectica, another of Ma­thematica, the third of Physica, ordered in all sorts as S. Andrewes.

Item, in the second, foure classes, the first of Morall philosophy, Ethicks, Oeconomicks, and Physick. The second of the Muncipall and Roman Lawes. The third, of the Hebrew tongue. The fourth of Divinity, which shal be ordered in all sorts to that we have writ­ten in the order of the University of S. Andrewes.

The third University of Aberdein shall be conforme to this U­niversity of Glasgow in all sorts.

Item, we thinke needfull that there be chosen of the body of the Vniversity to every Colledge, a principall man of learning, dis­cretion and diligence, who shall receive the whole rents of the Colledge; and distribute the same according to the erection of the Colledge, and shall dayly hearken the dyet counts, adjoyning to him weekely one of the Readers or Regents, above whom he shall take attendance upon their diligence, as well in their reading as ex­ercising of the youth in the matter taught upon the policy and up­hold of the place, and for punishment of crimes shall hold a weeke­ly convention with the whole members of the Colledge. He shall be countable yearely to the Super-intendent, Rector, and the Prin­cipals convened, about the first of November. His election shall be in this sort: There shall be three of the most sufficient men of the U­niversity (not Principals already nominate by the members of the Colledge) sworn to follow their consciences whose Principall is departed, and publickly proponed through the whole University; after the which time 8. dayes, by the Super-intendent himselfe, or his speciall Procurator, with the Rector, and the rest of the Princi­pals, as a Chapter, convenit, shall confirme one of the three they thinke most sufficient, being before sworne to doe the same with a single eye without respect to sead or favour.

Item, in every College we thinke needfull at least, a Steward, a [Page 48]Cooke, a Gardiner, and Porter, who shall be subject to Discipline of the Principall, as the rest.

Item, That every Vniversity have a beddall subject to serve at all times throughout the whole Vniversity, as the Rector and Prin­cipall shall command.

Item, that every Vniversity have a Rector chosen from yeare to yeare as shall follow. The Principals, being convened with the whole Regents chapterly shall be sworne, that every man in his roome shall nominate such a one as his conscience shall testifie to be most sufficient, to beare such charge and dignity: and three of them that shall be oftest nominated shall be put in edict publickly 15. dayes before Michaelmas; and then shall on Michaelmas even convene the whole Principals, Regents, and Supposts, that are gra­duat, or at the least studied their time in Ethicks, Oeconomicks, and Politicks, and na others yonger, and every one first protest in Gods presence to follow the sincere ditment of their conscience shall nominate of the three, and he that hath most votes shall be confirmed by the Super-intendent and Principals, and his duety with an exhortation proponed unto him, and this to be the 28. day of September, and thereafter triall to be taken hinc inde of his just and godly government, and of the rests lawfull submission and obe­dience: he shall be propined by the Vniversity at his entry with a new garment, bearing insignia Magistratus, and he holden moneth­ly to visite every Colledge, and with his presence decore and exa­mine the lections and exercise thereof. His Assessors shall be a Law­yer and a Theologe, with whose advice he shall decide all questi­ons civill betwixt the members of the Vniversity. If any without the Vniversity persue a member thereof, or he be persued by a member of the same, he shall assist the Provost and Baillies in these cases, or other Iudges competent, to see justice be ministred: In like wise if any of the Vniversity be criminally persued, he shall assist the Judges competent, and see that justice be ministred.

Item, We thinke expedient that in every Colledge in every V­niversity, there be 24. bursars, divided equally in all the Classes and seages as is above expremit, that is, in S. Andrewes 72. bursars, in Glasgow 48. bursars, in Aberdeine 48. to be sustained onely in meat upon the charges of Colledge, and to be admitted at the exami­nation of the ministery and chaptour of the Principals in the Vni­versity, as well in the docility of the Persons offered, as of the abili­ty of their Parents to sustaine them themselves, and not to burden the Common-wealth with them.

Of the Stipends and Expenses necessary.

ITem, we thinke expedient, that the Universities be doted with temporall lands, with rents & revennues of the Bishopricks tem­poralitie, and of the Kirkes collegiate so farre as their ordinary charges shall require; and therefore that it would please your Hon: by advice of your Hon. Coun. and vote of Parliam. to do the same. And to the effect the same may be shortly exped. we have recol­led the summes we thinke necessary for the same.

Imprimis, for the ordinary stipend of the Dialectician Reader, the Mathematician, Physician and morall Philosopher, we thinke sufficient an hundred pounds for every one of them.

Item, for the stipend of every Reader in Medicine, and Lawes, a hundreth thirty three pounds 6. s. 8. d.

Item, to every Reader in Hebrew, Greek, and Divinitie, 200. p.

Item, to every Principall of a Colledge 200. pounds.

Item, to every Steward 16. pounds.

Item, to every Gardiner, to every Cooke and Porter, to ilk one of them ten merkes.

Item, to the buird of every bursar without the classe of Theol. 20. pounds.

Item, in the classe of Theologie, which will be only twelve per­sons in S. Androes, 24. p.

Summe of yearly and ordinary expences in the Univer­sitie of S. Androes, 3979. p.

Summe of yearly and ordinary expences of Glasgow. 2922. p.

Abberdine as much.

Summe of the ordinary charges of the whole.

Item, the Beddalls stipend shall be of every intrant and suppost of the University 2. shillings: of every one Graduate in Philosophie 3. shillings: of every one Graduate in Medicine or laws, 4. shillings, in Theologie 5. shillings: all Bursars being excepted.

Item, we have thought good for building and upholding of the places, a generall collect be made, and that every Earles son, at his entry to the University, shall give 40. s. and likewise at every Gra­duation 40. shil. Item, each Lords sonne likewise at such time, 30. shil. each freeholding Barons sonne 20. shil. every fewar and sub­stantious Gentlemans sonne, 1 mark. Item, every substantious hus­band and Burges son, at each time 10. shil. Item, every one of the rest, not excepting the bursars, 5. shil. at each time. And that this be gathered in a common box, put in keeping to the principall of the [Page 50]Theologians, every principall having a key thereof, to be counted each year once with the rest of principalls to be laid in the same, a­bout the 15. day of Nov. in presence of the Superintendent, Re­ctor and whole Principals, and with their whole consent, or at least the most part of them, referred, & imploied only upon the building and upholding of the places, & repairing of the same, ever as neces­sitie shall require. And therefore the Rector with his assistants, shall be holden to visit the places each year once, incontinent after he be promoted upon the last of October, or thereby.

Of the priviledges of the Ʋniversitie.

SEeing wee desire that Innocencie should defend us rather then priviledge, we think that each person of the Universitie should answer before the Provost and Bailiffes of each Town, where the Universities are, of all crimes whereof they are accused, only that the Rector be assessor to them in the said actions. In civill matters, if the question be betwixt members of the Universitie, on each side making their residence and exercise therein, for the time in that case the partie called shall not be holden to answer, but onely be­fore the Rector and his assessors heretofore exprimed. In all other cases of civill pursuit, the generall rule of the law to be observed, actor sequatur forum rei, &c.

Item, that the Rector and all inferiour members of the Universitie be exempted from all taxations, imposts, charges of warre, or any other charge that may onerate, or abstract him or them, from the care of his office, such as Tutorie, Curatorie, or any such like that are established, or hereafter shall be established in our Common­weal; to the effect that (without trouble) they may wait on the up­bringing of the youth in learning, and bestow their time onely in that most necessarie exercise.

All other things touching the bookes to be read in ilk classe, and all such like particular affaires we referre to the discretion of the Masters, Principals and Regents, with their well advised coun­sell; not doubting but if God shall grant quietnesse, and give your Wisedomes grace to set forward letters in the sort prescribed, ye shall leave wisedome and learning to your posteritie, a treasure more to be esteemed then any earthly treasure; ye are able to amasse for them, which without wise some are more able to be their ruin and confusion, then help and comfort. And as this is most true, so we leave it with the rest of the commodities to be weighed by your honours wisedome, and set forwards by your [Page 51]authoritie to the most high advancement of this Common-wealth committed to your charge.

The sixth head of the Rents and Patrimonie of the Church.

THir two sorts of men, that is to say, Ministers and the poore, together with the Schooles, when order shall be taken there­anent, must bee susteined upon the charges of the Kirk; and therefore provision must bee made how, and by whom such summes must be lifted. But before we enter in this head, we must crave of your Honours, in the name of the eternall God, and of his Son Christ Jesus, that ye have respect to your poore brethren, the Labourers and Manurers of the ground; who by their cruell beasts the Papists have before been opprest, that their life to them hath been dolorous and bitter. If yee will have God authour and approver of this reformation, ye must not follow their foot-steps, but yee must have compassion of your brethren, appointing them to pay reasonable teinds, that they may finde some benefit of Christ Jesus now preached unto them.

With the griefe of our hearts we heare, that some Gentlemen are now as cruell over their Tenants, as ever were the Papists, re­quiring of them whatsoever they afore payed to the Kirk; so that the Papisticall tyrannie shall only be changed into the tyrannie of the Lord & Laird. We dare not flatter your Honours, neither yet is it profitable for you that we so doe. If we permit crueltie to be used, neither shall ye, who by your authoritie ought to gainstand such oppression, nor yet they that use the same escape Gods heavie and fearefull judgements. The Gentlemen, Barons, Earles, Lords and others, must be content to live upon their just rents, and suffer the Kirk to be restored to her libertie; that in her restitution, the poore, who heretofore by the cruell Papists have been spoiled and oppressed, may now receive some comfort and relaxation, that their teinds and other exactions be cleane discharged, and no more taken in times comming. The uppermost claith corps-present; clerk-maile, the Pasche offering, teind-aile and all handlings upa­land, can neither bee required, nor received of good conscience: Neither do we judge it to proceed of justice, that any man should possesse the teinds of another, but we think it a most reasonable thing that every man have the use of his owne teinds, provided that he answer to the Deacons and Treasurers of the Kirk, of that which justice shall be appointed to him. We require the Deacons [Page 52]and Treasures, rather to receive the rents, then the Ministers them­selves; because that of the tiends must not onely the Minister be susteined, but also the poore and schooles. And therefore we think it expedient that common Treasurers; to wit, the Deacons be ap­pointed from yeare to yeare, to receive the whole rents appertai­ning to the Kirk, and that commandement be given that none be permitted either to receive, or yet to intromet with any thing ap­perteining to the sustination of the persons foresaid, but such as by common consent of the Kirk are thereto appointed.

If any think this prejudiciall to the tackes and assedations of them that now possesse the tiends. Let them understand, that their unjust possession is no possession before God; for they of whom they received their title, and presupposed right or warrant, were theeves and murtherers, and had no power so to alienate the pa­trimonie, and common good of the Kirk. And yet we are not so extreme, but that we wish just recompence to be made to such as have debursed summes of money to the unjust professors, so that it hath not been done of late dayes in prejudice of the Kirk. But such as are found and known to be done of plaine collusion, in no wayes ought to be maintained by you. And for that purpose we thinke it most expedient that whosoever have assedation of tiends and Kirks, be openly warned to produce their assedation and assurance, that cognition being taken, the just takesmen may have the just and reasonable recompence for the yeares that are to runne, the profit of the yeares past being considered and de­duced, and the unjust and surmised may be served accordingly; so that the Kirk in the end may receive her libertie and freedom, and that onely for the reliefe of the poore. Your Honours may easilie understand that we speake not now for our selves, but in favour of the Labourers defrauded and opprest by the Priests, and by their confederate pensioners; for while that the Priests Pensioner his idle belly is delicately fed, the poore, to whom the portion of that appertaines, was pined with hunger; and moreover the true labourer was compelled to pay that which he ought not. For the labourer is neither debtor to the dumb dog, called the Bishop, neither yet to his hired pensioner; but is debter onely to the Kirk. And the Kirk is bound to sustaine and nourish of her charges, the persons before mentioned, to wit, the Ministers of the word, the poore, and the teachers of the youth. But now to returne to the former head. The summes able to sustaine the forenamed persons, [Page 53]and to furnish all things appertaing to the preservation of good order and policie within the Kirk, must bee lifted off the tenths, to wit, the tenth sheafe, hay, hemp, lint, fishes, tenth calfe, tenth lamb, tenth wool, tenth folle, tenth cheese. And because that we know that the tenth reasonably taken, as is before expressed, will not suf­fice to discharge the former necessitie, we think that all things do­ted in hospitalitie, and annuall rents both in burgh and land, per­taining to the Priests, Chantorie Colledges, Chappellanties, & the Freeries of all orders, to the sisters of the Seenes, and such others, be reteined still in the use of the Kirk or Kirks within the Townes and parishes where they were doted. Furthermore, to the uphol­ding of the Universities, and sustentaaion of the Superintendents, the whole revennue of the temporalitie of the Bishops, Deanes, and Archdeanes lands, and of all rents of lands pertaining to the Ca­thedrall Kirks whatsoever. And further Merchants and rich crafts­men in free Burghs, having nothing to doe with the manuring of the ground, must take some provision of their Cities, Townes, and dwelling places for to support the need of the Kirk.

To the Ministers, and failing thereof, the Readers, must be re­stored their Manses and Gleibs; for else they cannot serve the flock at all times, as their dutie is; If any Gleib exceed six Acres of ground, the rest to remain in the hands of the possessours, till order be taken therein.

The receivers and collectors of these rents and duties, must be Deacons or Treasurers appointed from yeare to yeare in every Kirk, and by the common consent, and free election of the Kirk. The Deacons must distribute no part of that which is collected, but by command of the Ministers and Elders. And that they may command nothing to be delivered, but as the Kirk hath before de­termined; to wit, the Deacons shall of the first part pay the sums, either quarterly, or from halfe yeare to halfe yeare, to the Mini­sters, which the Kirk hath appointed. The same they shall doe to the Schoolemasters, Readers, and Hospitall, if any bee, receiving alwayes an acquittance for their discharge. If any extraordinarie summes be to be delivered, then must the Ministers, Elders, and Deacons; consult whether the deliverance of such summes, doth stand with the common [...]ilirie of the Kirk, or not. And if they do universally condiscend and agree upon the affirmative or negative, then because they are in credit and office for the yeare, they may doe as best seemes; but if there be any controversie amongst them­selves, [Page 54]the whole Kirk must be made privie, and after that the mat­ter be proponed, and the reasons; the judgement of the Kirk with the Ministers consent shall prevaile. The Deacons shall be com­pelled and bound to make accounts to the Minister and Elders of that which they received, as oft as the policie shall appoint: and the Elders when they are changed (which must be every yeare) must cleare their counts before such Auditers as the Kirk shall ap­point: and both the Deacons and Elders being changed shall de­liver to them that shall be new elected all summes of monie corns and other profits resting in their hands: The tickets whereof must be delivered to the Super-intendants in their visitation, & by them to the great councell of the Kirk; that as well the abundance as the indigence, of every Kirk may be evidently known, that a rea­sonable equalitie may be had throughout this whole Realme. If this order be perfectly kept, corruption cannot suddenly enter. For the free and yearly election of Deacons and Elders shall suffer none to usurpe a perpetuall domination over the Kirk: the know­ledge of the rentall shall suffer them to receive no more, then whereof they shall be bound to make accounts: the deliverance of monie to the new officers shall not suffer private men use in their private businesse, that which appertaines to the publick affaires of the Kirk.

The seventh head of Ecclesiasticall Discipline.

AS that no Common-wealth can flourish, or long endure, without good Lawes and sharpe execution of the same; so neither can the Kirk of God be brought to puritie, neither yet be retained in the same without the order of Ecclesiasticall Di­scipline, which stands in reproving and correcting of the faults, which the civill sword either doth neglect, or not punish: blasphemie, adulterie, murder, perjurie, and other crimes capitall, worthy of death, ought not properly to fall under censure of the Kirk; because all such open transgressors of Gods lawes, ought to be taken away by the civill sword. But drunkennesse, excesse, be it in apparell, or be it in eating and drinking, fornication, op­pressing of the poore by exactions, deceiving of them in buying and selling by wrang met and measure, wanton words and licen­tious living tending to slander, doe openly appertaine to the Kirk of God to punish them, as Gods word commands. But because this accursed Papistrie hath brought in such confusion into the world, that neither was vertue rightly praised, neither yet vice se­verely [Page 55]punished, the Kirk of God is compelled to draw the sword, which of God she hath received, against such open and manifest contemners, cursing and excommunicating all such, as well those whom the civill sword ought to punish, as the other, from all par­ticipation with her in prayers and Sacraments, till open repen­tance appeare manifestly in them. As the order and proceeding to excommunication ought to be slow and grave, so being once pro­nounced against any person of what estate or condition that ever they be, it must be kept with all severitie. For lawes made and not kept, engender contempt of vertue; and brings in confusion and libertie to sinne. And therefore this order we think expedient to be observed afore, and after excommunication. First, if the of­fence be secret or known to few men, & rather stands in suspition then in manifest probation, the offender ought to be privately admonished, to abstaine from all appearance of evill, which if hee promise to doe, and declare himselfe sober, honest, and one that feares God, and feares to offend his brethren, then may the secret admonition suffice for his correction. But if he either contemne the admonition, or after promise made do shew himselfe no more circumspect then he was before, then must the Minister admo­nish him, to whom if he be found inobedient they must pro­ceed according to the rule of Christ, as after shall be declared. If the crime be publick, and such as is hainous, as fornication, drun­kennesse, fighting, common swearing, or execration, then ought the offender to be called in presence of the Minister, Elders and Deacons, where his sinne and trespasse ought to be declared and aggreged; so that his conscience may seele how farre he hath of­fended God, and what slander he hath raised in the Kirk. If signes of unfained repentance appeare in him, and if he require to be admitted to publick repentance, the Minister may appoint unto him a day, when the whole Kirk convenes together, that in pre­sence of all he may testifie his repentance, which before hee pro­fessed. Which if he accept, and with reverence confesse his sinne, doing the same, and earnestly desiring the Congregation to pray to God with him for mercy, and to accept him in their societie notwithstanding the former offence; Then the Kirk may and ought to receive him as a penitent. For the Kirk ought to be no more severe, then God declares himselfe to be, who witnesses that in whatsoever houre a sinner unfainedly repents, and turnes from his wicked way, that he will not remember one of his iniquities. [Page 56]And therefore ought the Kirk diligently to advert, that it excom­municate not those whom God absolves. If the offender called before the Ministerie be found stubborn, hard-hearted, or in whom no signe of repentance appeares, then must he be dimitted with an exhortation to consider the dangerous estate in which hee stands, assuring him, that if they finde in him no other tokens of amendment of life, that they will be compelled to seek a further remedie. If he within a certaine space shew his repentance to the Ministerie, they may present him to the Kirk, as before is said: If he continue not in his repentance, then must the Kirk be ad­vertised, that such crimes are commited amongst them, which by the Ministerie have been reprehended, and the persons provo­ked to repent; whereof because no signes appeare unto them, they could not but signifie unto the Kirk the crimes, but not the person; requiring them earnestly to call to God to move and touch the heart of the offender, so that suddenly and earnestly hee may repent. If the person maligne, the next day of pub­lick Assemblie, the crime and the person must be both notified un­to the Kirk, and their judgements must be required, if that such crimes ought to be suffred unpunished amongst them; request also should be made to the most discreet and nearest friend of the of­fender to travell with him to bring him to knowledge of himself, and of his dangerous estate, with a commandement given to all men to call to God for the conversion of the unpenitent. If a solemne and speciall prayer were drawne for that purpose, the thing should be more gravely done. The third Sunday the Mini­ster ought to require, if the unpenitent have declared any signes of repentance to one of the Ministerie; and if he have, then may the Minister appoint him to be examined by the whole Ministerie, either then instantly, or another day affixed to the Consistorie: and if repentance appeare, as well for his crime, as for his long contempt, then he may be presented to the Kirk; and make his confession to be accepted as before is said: But if no man fignifie his repentance, then ought he to be excommunicated, and by the mouth of the Minister, and consent of the Ministerie, and com­mandement of the Kirk must such a contemner be pronounced excommunicate from God, and from all societie of the Kirk. After which sentence may no person (his wife and familie onely excepted) have any kind of conversation with him, be it in eating and drinking, buying and felling; yea, in saluting or talking with [Page 57]him, except that it be at commandement or licence of the Mini­sterie for his conversion, that hee, by such meanes confounded, seeing himselfe abhorred of the godly and faithfull, may have occasion to repent and so be saved. The sentence of excommuni­cation must bee published universally throughout the Realme, lest that any man should pretend ignorance. His children begot­ten and borne after that sentence, and before his repentance may not be admitted to Baptisme, till either they be of age to require the same, or else that the mother, or some of his speciall friends, members of the Kirk, offer and present the childe, abhor­ring and damning the iniquity, and obstinate contempt of the impenitent.

If any man should thinke it severe that the child should be pu­nished for the iniquitie of the father: let him understand that the Sacraments appertaine to the faithfull and their seed; but such as stubbornly contemne all godlyadmonition, and obstinate­ly remaine in their iniquitie, cannot bee accounted amongst the faithfull.

The order for publick Offenders.

WEe have spoken nothing of them that commit horrible crimes, as murtherers, manslayers, adulterers; for such, as we have said, the civill sword ought to punish to dead: But in case they be permitted to live, then must the Kirk, as is before said, draw the sword which of God shee hath received, holding them as accursed even in their very fact. The offender be­ing first called, and order of the Kirk used against him in the same manner, as the persons for their obstinate impenitency are publick­ly excommunicate. So that the obstinate impenitent after the sen­tence of excommunication, and the murtherer or adulterer stand in one case, as concerning the judgement of the Kirk. That is nei­ther of both may be received in the fellowship of the Kirk to pray­ers or Sacraments (but to hearing the word they may) til first they offer themselves to the Ministerie, humbly requiring the Ministers and Elders to pray to God for them, and also to be intercessors to the Kirk that they may be admitted to publick repentance, & to the fruition of the benefits of Christ Jesus, distributed to the mem­bers of his body. If this request be humbly made, then may not the Ministers refuse to signifie the same unto the Kirk, the next day of publick preaching, the Minister giving exhortation to the Kirk, to pray to God to performe the worke which he appeares to [Page 58]have begun, working in the heart of the offender, unfained re­pentance of his grievous crime & offence, and feeling of his great mercy by the operation of the holy Spirit. Therafter one day ought publickly to be assigned unto him to give open profession of his offence & contēpt, & so to make publick satisfaction to the Kirk of God: which day the offender must appear in presence of the whole Kirk, with his owne mouth damning his owne impiety, publickly confessing the same: desiring God of his mercy & grace, & his Con­gregation, that it would please them to receive him in their socie­ty, as before is said. The Minist must examin him diligently whe­ther he findes a hatred or displeasure of his sinne, as well of his contempt, as of his crime: which if he confesse, he must travell with him, to see what hope he hath of Gods mercies; and if he find him reasonably instructed in the knowledge of Christ Jesus, in the vertue of his death, then may the Minister comfort him with Gods infallible promises, and demand of the Kirk if they be content to receive that creature of God whom Satan before had drawne in his nets, in the societie of their body, seeing that hee declared himselfe pentient. Which if the Kirk grant, as they cannot justly deny the same, then ought the Minister in publick prayer com­mend him to God, confesse the sinne of that offender before the whole Kirk, desiring mercy and grace for Christ Jesus sake. Which prayer being ended, the Minister ought to exhort the Kirk to re­ceive that penitent brother in their favours, as they require God to receive themselves when they offend. And in signe of their consent, the Elders, and chiefe men of the Kirk, shall take the pe­nitent by the hand, and one or two in the name of the rest shall kisse and imbrace him with reverence and gravity, as a member of Christ Jesus. Which being done, the Minister shall exhort the received that he take diligent heed in times comming that Sathan trap him not in such crimes, admonishing him that he will not cease to tempt and try by all meanes possible to bring him from that obedience which he hath given to God, and to the ordinance of Jesus Christ. The exhortation being ended, the Minister ought to give publik thankes unto God for the conversion of their bro­ther, and for all benefits which we receive of Christ Jesus, pray­ing for the increase and continuance of the same. If the penitent after he hath offered himselfe unto the Ministrie, or to the Kirk, be found ignorant of the principall points of our Religion, and chiefly in the Articles of Justification, and of the office of Christ [Page 59]Jesus, then ought he to be exactly instructed before he be received: For a mocking of God it is to receive them to repentance, who know not wherein standeth their remedy, when they repent their sinne.

Persons subject to Discipline.

TO Discipline must all the estates within this Realme be sub­ject, as well the Rulers, as they that are ruled: yea the Preachers themselves, as well as the poore within the Kirk: And because the eye and mouth of the Kirk ought to be most single, and irreprehensible, the life and conversation of the Minister ought to be diligently tryed, whereof we shall speake after that we have spoken of the Election of Elders and Deacons, who must assist the Minister in all publick affaires of the Kirk.

The eight head touching the election of Elders and Deacons.

MEN of best knowledge in Gods word, and cleanest life, men faithfull and of most honest conversation that can be found in the Kirk, must bee nominate to be in election, and their names must be publickly read to the whole Kirk by the Mi­nister, giving them advertisement, that from amongst them must be chosen Elders and Deacons. If any of these nominate be noted with publicke infamy, he ought to be repelled. For it is not seem­ly that the servant of corruption shall have authoritie to judge in the Kirk of God.

If any man know other of better qualities within the Kirk, then these that be nominate, let them be put in election, that the Kirk may have the choyce.

If the Kirk be of smaller number then that Seniors and Deacons can be chosen from amongst them, then may they well be joyned to the next adjacent Kirks. For the plurality of Kirks without Mi­nisters and order, shall rather hurt then edifie.

The election of Elders and Deacons ought to be used every year once, which wee judge to be most convenient at the first day of August lest of long continuance of such officers, men presume up­on the liberty of the Kirk. It hurteth not that one be received in office moe years then one, so that he be appointed yearly by com­mon and free election; provided alwayes that the Deacons and Thesaurers be not compelled to receive the office againe for the space of three yeares.

How the votes and suffrages may be best received, so that every [Page 60]man may give his vote freely, every severall Kirk may take such order as best seemes them.

The Elders being elected, must be admonished of their office, which is to assist the Ministers in all publike affaires of the Kirk, to wit, in determining and judging causes, in giving admonition to the licentious liver, in having respect to the manners and conver­sation of all men within their charge. For by the gravity of the Se­niors, the light & unbridled life of the licentious, must be corre­cted, & bridled. Yea the Seniors ought to take heed to the like man­ners, diligence and study of their Ministers. If he be worthy of admonition, they must admonish him; of correction, they must correct him: and if he be worthy of deposition, they, with con­sent of the Kirk, and Super-intendent, may depose him, so that his crime deserve so. If a Minister be light of conversation, by his El­ders and Deacons he ought to be admonished. If he be negligent in study, or one that vaikes not upon his charge, or flock, or one that propones not faithfull doctrine, he deserves sharper admoni­tion & correction. To the which if hee be found stubborn and in­obedient, then may the Seniors of the Kirk complaine to the Mi­nistry of the two next adjacent Kirks, where men of greater gravi­tie are. To whose admonition if he be found inobedient, he ought to be discharged of his Ministrie, till his repentance appeare, and a place be vakand for him. If any Minister be deprehended in any notable crime, as whordom, adultery, manslaughter, perjury, teach­ing of heresie, or any other deserving death, or that may be a note of perpetuall infamie, he ought to be deposed for ever. By herefie we mean pernicious doctrine plainly taught, and openly defended, against the foundations and principles of our faith: and such a crime we judge to deserve perpetuall deposition from the Ministry. For most dangerous we know it to be to commit the flocke to a man infected with the pestilence of heresie. Some crimes deserve deposition for a time, & while the person give declaration of grea­ter gravitie and honestie. And if a Minister be deprehended drink­ing, brawling, or fighting, an open slanderer, or infamer of his neighbours, factious, and a sower of discord, he must be comman­ded to cease from his Ministrie, till he declare some sign of repen­tance, upon the which the Kirk shall abide him the space of 20. dayes, or further, as the Kirk shal think expedient, before they pro­ceed to a new election. Every inferiour Kirk shall by one of their Seniors, and one of their Deacons, once in the yeare, notifie unto [Page 61]the Ministers of the Super-intendents Kirk, the life, manners, study & diligence of their Ministers, to the end the discretion of some may correct the levity of others. Not only must the life & maners of Ministers come under censure & judgement of the Kirk, but al­so of their wives, children and familie, judgement must be taken, that he neither live riotously, neither yet avaritiously; yea respect must be had how they spend the stipend appointed to their living. If a reasonable stipend be appointed, and they live avaritiously, they must be admonished to live as they receive: for as excesse & superfluitie is not tolerable in a Minister, so is avarice & the care­full sollicitude of money, utterly to be damned in Christs servants, & especially in them that are fed upon the charge of the Kirk. We judge it unseemly and untolerable that Ministers shall be buirded in common Ale-houses, or in Tavernes, neither yet must a Mini­ster be permitted to frequent & commonly haunt the Court, un­lesse it be for a time when he is either sent by the Kirk, either yet called for by the authoritie, for his counsell & judgement in civill affaires, neither yet must he be one of the Councell, be he judged never so apt for the purpose. But either must he cease from the ministery (which at his own pleasure he may not doe) or else from bearing charge in civill affaires, unlesse it be to assist the Parlia­ment, if they be called.

The office of Deacons, as before is said, is to receive the rents, & gather the almes of the Kirk, to keep and distribute the same as by the Ministers and Kirk shall be appointed; they may also assist in judgement with the Minister and Elders, and may be admitted to read in assembly, if they be required, and be able thereto.

The Elders and Deacons with their wives and houshold, should be under the same censure that is prescribed for the Ministers. For they must be carefull over their office, and seeing they are judges over others manners, their own conversation ought to be irrepre­hensible. They must be sober, lovers and maintainers of con­cord and peace: and finally, they ought to be examples of godlines to others. And if the contrary thereof appeare, they must be ad­monished thereof by the Ministers, or some of their brethren of the Ministerie, if the fault be secret: and if the fault be open and known, they must be rebuked before the Ministerie, and the same order kept against the Senior and Deacon, that before is descri­bed against the Minister. We think it not necessary, that any pub­lick stipend shall be appointed, either to the Elders, or yet to the [Page 62]Deacons, because their travell continues but for a yeare, and also because that they are not so occupied with the affaires of the Kirk, but that reasonably they may attend upon their domesticall bu­sinesse.

The ninth head concerning the policie of the Kirk.

POlicie wee call an exercise of the Kirk in such things as may bring the rude and ignorant to knowledge, or else inflame the learned to greater fervencie, or to reteine the Kirk in good or­der: And thereof there bee two sorts, the one utterly necessa­ry, as that the word be truly preached, the sacraments rightly mi­nistred, common prayers publickly made, that the children & rude persōs be instructed in the chief points of religion, & that offences be corrected & punished: These things be so necessary, that with­out the same there is no face of a visible Kirk. The other is profi­table, but not meerly necessary. That Psalms should be sung, that certain places of the Scripture be read when there is no sermon, that this day or that, few or many in the week, the Kirk should assemble: Of these and such others, we cannot see how a certaine order can be established; For in some kirkes the Psalms may con­veniently be sung, in others perchance they cannot. Some kirkes convene every day, some twice, some thrice in the week, some per­chance but once. In this and such like must every particular kirk by their consent appoint their owne policie. In great Townes we thinke expedient that every day there be either Sermon, or com­mon prayers, with some exercise of reading of Scriptures. What day the publick Sermon is, we can neither require nor greatly ap­prove that the common prayers be publickly used, lest that wee shall either foster the people in superstition, who come to the prayers, as they come to the Masse; or else give them occasion, that they think them no prayers, but which be made before and after Sermons.

In every notable town, we require that one day beside the Sun­day be appointed to the Sermon and prayers, which, during the time of Sermon, must be kept free from all exercise of labour, as well of the Master as of the Servant. In smaller townes, as wee have said, the common consent of the kirk must put order, but the Sunday must straitly be kept both before & after noone in all townes. Before noone must the word be preached, and Sacraments minstred, as also marriage solemnized, if occasion offer: after noone must the yong children be publickly examined in their Ca­techisme [Page 63]in the audience of the people, whereof the Minister must take great diligence, as well to cause the people understand the questions proponed as answers, and that doctrine that may be collected thereof.

The order, & how much is appointed for every Sunday is already distinguished in the book of our common order, which Catechism is the most perfect that ever yet was used in the kirk; and after noone may Baptisme be ministred, when occasion is offered of great travell before noone. It is also to be observed, that prayers be after noone upon Sunday, where there is neither preaching nor catechisme. It appertaines to the policie of the kirk to appoint the times when the Sacraments shall be ministred. Baptisme may be ministred whensoever the word is preached: But we think it more expedient that it be ministred upon Sunday, or upon the day of prayers only after the Sermon; Partly to remove this grosse errour, by the which many are deceived, thinking that children be damned if they die without Baptism; and partly to make the peo­ple have greater reverence to the administration of the Sacra­ments then they have: for we see the people begin already to wax weary by reason of the frequent repetition of those promises.

Foure times in the yeare we think sufficient to the administra­tion of the Lords Table, which we desire to be distincted, that the superstition of times may be avoided so farre as may be. For your Honours are not ignorant how superstitiously the people runne to that action at Pasche, even 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 unto them, but at that time onely. We think therefore most expedient, that the first Sunday of March be appointed for one time, the first Sunday of June for another, the first Sunday of September for the third, the first Sunday of December for the fourth. We doe not deny but any severall kirk for reasonable causes may change the time, and may minister oftner, but we study to represse superstition. All Mi­nisters must be admonished to be more carefull to instruct the ig­norant, then ready to serve their appetite, and to use more sharp examination, then indulgence, in admitting to their great Myste­ries such as be ignorant of the use and vertue of the same. And therfore we think that the administration of the Table ought ne­ver to be without examination passing before, & specially of them whose knowledge is suspect. We think that none are to be admit­ted [Page 64]to this Mysterie, who can not formally say the Lords prayer, the Articles of the Beliefe, and declare the summe of the Law. Further, we think it a thing most expedient & necessary, that eve­ry Kirk have the Bible in English, and that the people be com­manded to convene and heare the plaine reading and interpretati­on of the Scripture, as the Kirk shall appoint. By frequent reading, this grosse ignorance, which in this cursed Papistry hath overflow­ed all, may partly be removed. We thinke it most expedient that the Scripture be read in order: that is, that some one book of the old or new Testament be begun and orderly read to the end: And the same we judge of preaching where the Minister for the most part remaines in one place. For this skipping and divagation from place to place of Scripture be it in reading, or be it in preaching we judge not so profitable to edifie the Kirk, as the continuall fol­lowing of one text. Every Master of houshold must be comman­ded either to instruct, or cause to be instructed, his children, ser­vants, and familie, in the principalls of the Christian Religion, without the knowledge whereof, ought none to be admitted to the Table of the Lord Jesus. For such as be so dull, and so ig­norant, that they can neither try themselves, nor yet know the dignitie and mysterie of that action, cannot eat and drink of that Table worthily. And therefore of necessity we judge, that every yeare at the least, publick examination be had by the Ministers & Elders of the knowledge of every person, within the Kirk; to wit, that every Master and Mistresse of houshold come themselves, and their family, so many as be come to maturity before the Minister and the Elders, & give confession of their faith. If they understand not, nor cannot rehearse the commandements of Gods law, know not how to pray, neither wherein their righteousnesse stands, or consists, they ought not to be admitted to the Lords Table. And if they stubbornly contemne, & suffer their children and servants to continue in wilfull ignorance, the discipline of the Kirk must proceed against them to excommunication: and then must that matter be referred to the Civill Magistrate. For seeing that the just lives by his own faith, and Christ Jesus justifies by knowledge of himselfe, insufferable we judge it that men be permitted to live and continue in ignorance, as members of the Kirk.

Moreover, men, women, Children, would be exhorted to exer­cise themselves in Psalmes, that when the Kirke doth convent and sing, they may be the more able together, with common [Page 65]hearts and voyces to praise God. In private houses we think expe­dient, that the most grave and discreet person use the common prayers at morne and at night, for the comfort and instruction of others. For seeing that we behold and see the hand of God now presently striking us with divers plagues, we thinke it a contempt of his judgements, or provocation of his anger more to be kind­led against us, if we be not moved to repentance of our former unthankfulnesse, and to earnest invocation of his name, whose on­ly power may, and great mercy will, if we unfainedly convert unto him, remove from us their terrible plagues, which now for our iniquities hang over our heads. Convert us ô Lord, and we shall be converted.

For Prophecying, or Interpreting of the Scriptures.

TO the end that the Kirk of God may have a tryall of mens knowledge, judgements, graces and utterances, as also such that have somewhat profited in Gods word, may from time to time grow in more full perfection to serve the Kirk, as necessity shall require, it is more expedient that in every towne, where Schooles and repaire of learned men are, there be in one certaine day every week appointed to that exercise, which S. Paul cals prophecying; The order whereof is expressed by him in their words, Let two or three Prophets speake, and let the rest judge: But if any thing be revealed to him that sits by, let the former keep silence: yee may one by one all prophesie that all may learne, and all may receive con­solation. And the spirit, that is, the judgements of the Prophets, are sub­ject to the Prophets. By which words of the Apostle it is evident, that in the Kirk of Corinth, when they did assemble for that pur­pose, some place of Scripture was read, upon the which one first gave his judgement to the instruction & consolation of the audi­tors: after whom did another, either confirm what the former had said, or added what he had omitted, or did gently correct, or ex­plaine more properly, where the whole veritie was not revealed to the former. And in case things were hid from the one, and from the other, liberty was given for a third to speake his judgement to the edification of the Kirk. Above which number of three (as appeares) they passed not, for avoiding of confusion. This exer­cise is a thing most necessary for the Kirk of God this day in Scotland. For thereby, as said is, shall the Kirk have judgement, and knowledge of the graces, gifts, and utterances of every man [Page 66]within their body. The simple, and such as have somwhat profi­ted, shal be encouraged daily to study & to proceed in knowledge, the Kirk shall be edified. For this exercise must be patert to such as list to heare and learne, & every man shall have liberty to utter and declare his minde and knowledge to the comfort and conso­lation of the Kirk. But lest of this profitable exercise there arise debate and strife, curious, peregrine, and unprofitable questions are to be avoided. All interpretation disagreeing from the prin­ciples of our faith, repugning to charity, or that stands in plaine contradiction with any other manifest place of Scripture, is to be rejected. The Interpreter in this exercise may not take to him­self the liberty of a publick Preacher (yea, although he be a Mini­ster appointed) but he must bind himselfe to his text, that hee enter not in digression, or in explaining common places: he may use no invective in that exercise, unlesse it be of sobriety in con­futing heresies: in exhortations or admonitions he must be short, that the time may be spent in opening the minde of the Holy Ghost in that place: following the sequele and dependence of the text, and observing such notes as may instruct and edifie the auditor for avoiding of contention: neither may the Inter­preter nor any in the Assemblie move any question in open au­dience, whereto himselfe is not able to give resolution, without reasoning with another, but every man ought to speake his own judgement to the edification of the Kirk.

If any be noted with curiosity of bringing in of strange do­ctrine, he must be admonished by the Moderator, Ministers and Elders, immediately after the interpretation is ended.

The whole Ministers, a number of them that are of the As­sembly, ought to convene together, where examination should be had, how the persons that did interprete did handle and con­vey the matter (they themselves being removed;) to every man must be given his censure. After the which, the person being called, the faults (if any notable be found) are noted, and the per­son gently admonished.

In that Assembly are all questions and doubts, if any arise, re­solved without contention; the Ministers of the Parish Kirks in Landwart adjacent to every chiefe Town, and the Readers, if they have any gift of interpretation, within six miles, must concurre and assist these that prophecie within the townes, to the end that they themselves may either learne, or others may learne by them. [Page 67]And moreover men in whom is supposed to be any gift which might edifie the Church, if they were well imployed, must be charged by the Minister and Elders, to joyne themselves with the session, and company of Interpreters, to the end that the Kirk may judge whether they be able to serve to Gods glory, & to the pro­fit of the Kirk in the vocation of Ministers or not: And if any be found disobedient, and not willing to communicate the gifts and speciall graces of God with their brethren, after sufficient ad­monition, Discipline must proceed against them, provided that the civill Magistrate concurre with the judgement and election of the Kirk. For no man may be permitted as best pleaseth him, to live within the Kirk of God, but every man must be constrained by fraternall admonition and correction, to bestow his labours, when of the Kirk he is required, to the edification of others. What day in the week is most convenient for that exercise, what books of Scripture shall be most profitable to read, we refer to the judge­ment of every particular Kirk, we meane, to the wisedome of the Ministers and Elders.

Of Marriage.

BEcause that Marriage, the blessed ordinance of God, in this cursed Papistrie, hath partly been contemned, and partly hath beene so infirmed, that the parties conjoyned could never be assured in conscience, if the Bishops and Prelates list to dissolve the same, we have thought good to shew our judgements how such confusion in times comming may be avoided.

And first publick inhibition must be made, that no person under the power or obedience of others, such as sonnes and daughters, & those that be under curators, neither men nor women, contract marriage privately, and without knowledge of their parents, tu­tors or curators, under whose power they are for the time: Which if they doe, the censure and discipline of the Kirk to proceed a­gainst them. If the son or daughter, or other, have their heart touched with the desire of marriage, they are bound to give honor to their parents, that they open unto them their affection, as king their counsell and assistance, how that motion, which they judge to be of God, may be performed. If the father, friend or master, gainestand their request, and have no other cause then the com­mon sort of men have; to wit, lack of goods, and because they are not so high borne, as they require, yet must not the parties whose hearts are touched, make any covenant till further declara­tion [Page 68]be made unto the Kirk of God, and therefore after that they have opened their mindes to their parents, or such others as have charge over them, they must declare it to the Minister also, or to the civill Magistrate, requiring them to travell with their parents for their consent, which to doe they are bound. And if they, to wit, the Minister or Magistrate find no cause, that is just, why the marriage required may not be fulfilled, then after sufficient admonition to the father, friend, master, or superiour, that none of them resist the work of God, the Minister or Magistrate may enter in the place of parents, and be consenting to their just re­quests, may admit them to marriage; For the work of God ought not to be hindred by the corrupt affections of worldly men. The work of God we call, when two hearts, without filthinesse before committed, are so joyned, & both require and are content to live together in that holy band of Matrimony. If any commit forni­cation with that woman hee requires in Marriage, they doe both lose this foresaid benefit as well of the Kirk, as of the Magistrate; For neither of both ought to be intercessors or advocats for filthy fornicators. But the father or neerest friend, whose daughter be­ing a virgine is defloured, hath power by the law of God to com­pell the man that did that injurie to marry his daughter: and if the father wil not accept him by reason of his offence, then may he require the dowry of his daughter, which if the offender be not a­ble to pay, then ought the civill Magistrate to punish his body by some other punishment. And because whoredome, fornication, adulterie, are sinnes most common in this Realme, we require of your Honours in the name of the eternall God, that severe punish­ment, according as God hath commanded, be executed against such wicked contemners. For we doubt not, but such enormities and crimes openly committed, provoke the wrath of God, as the Apostle speaketh, not onely upon the offenders, but upon such places, where without punishment they are committed. But to re­turn to our former purpose, Marriage ought not to be contracted amongst persons, that have no election for lack of understanding. And therefore we affirme that bairns and infants cannot lawfully be married in their minor age, to wit, the man within 14. yeares, and the woman 12. years at least. Which if it have been, and they have kept themselves alwayes separate, we cannot judge them to adhere, as men & wives, by reason of that promise which in Gods presence was no promise at all: but if in yeares of judgement they [Page 69]have embraced the one the other, then by reason of that last con­sent, they have ratified that which others have permitted for them in their youth-head.

In a reformed Kirk Marriage ought not to be secretly used but in open face, and publick audience of the Kirk, and for avoiding of dangers, expedient it is, that the band be publickly proclaimed 3. Sundayes, unlesse the persons be so knowne, that no suspition of danger may arise: and then may the time be shortned at the dis­cretion of the ministrie. But no wayes can we admit marriage to be used secretly, how honourable soever the persons be. The Sun­day before noon we think most expedient for marriage, & it be u­sed no dayelse, without the consent of the whole ministery. Marri­age once lawfully contracted, may not be dissolved at mans plea­sure, as our master Christ Jesus doth witnes, unlesse adulterie be cōmitted; which being sufficiently proved in presence of the civill Magistrate, the innocent (if they so require) ought to be pronoun­ced free, and the offender ought to suffer death, as God hath com­manded. If the civill sword foolishly spare the life of the offender, yet may not the Kirke be negligent in their office, which is to ex­communicate the wicked, and to repute them as dead members, & to pronounce the innocent party to be at freedome, be they never so honourable before the world. If the life be spared, as it ought not to be to the offenders, & if fruits of repentance of long time appeare in them, and if they earnestly desire to be reconciled with the Kirk, we judge they may be received to the participation of the Sacraments, and other benefits of the Kirk. For we would not that the Kirk should hold them excommunicate, whom God ab­solved, that is the penitent. If any demand whether that the offen­der after reconciliation with the Kirk, may not marry againe, We answer, that if they cannot live continently, and if the necessity be such, as that they feare further offence of God, we cannot forbid them to use the remedy ordained of God. If the party offended, may be reconciled to the offender, then wee judge that on no wayes it shall be lawfull to the offender to marry any o­ther, except the party that before hath been offended; and the solemnization of the latter marriage must be in the open face of the Kirk, like as the former, but without proclamation of bands.

This we do offer as the best counsell that God giveth unto us in so doubt some a case, but the most perfect reformation were, if [Page 70]your Honours would give to God his honour and glory, that yee would preferre his expresse commandement to your own corrupt judgments, especially in punishing of these crimes, which he com­mandeth to be punished with death. For so should yee declare your selves Gods true obedient officiars, and your common-wealth should be rid of innumerable troubles.

We meane not that sinnes committed in our former blindnesse (which be almost buried in oblivion) shall be called again to ex­amination and judgement. But we require that the law may be now, and hereafter so established and execute, that this ungodly impunity of finne have no place within this Realme. For in the feare of God we signifie unto your Honours, that whosoever per­swades you that ye may pardon where God commandeth death, deceives your soules, and provokes you to offend Gods Majestie.

Of Buriall.

BUriall in all ages hath beene holden in estimation to signifie that the same body which was committed to the earth should not utterly perish, but should rise againe, and the same we would have kept within this Realme. Provided that superstition, ido­latry, and whatsoever hath proceeded of a false opinion, and for advantage sake, may be avoided, and singing of Masse, placebo and dirige, and all other prayers over, or for the dead, which are not onely superstitious and vaine, but also are idolatry, and doe repugne to the plaine Scriptures of God. For plaine it is, that eve­ry one that dyeth, departeth either in the faith of Christ Jesus, or departeth in incredulity. Plaine it is, that they that depart in the true faith of Christ Jesus rest from their labours, and from death doe goe to life everlasting, as by our Master and his Apostles we are taught. But whosoever departeth in unbeliefe, or in incredu­lity, shall never see life, but the wrath of God abides upon him. And so we say, that prayers for the dead are not onely supersti­tious and vaine, but doe expresly repugne to the manifest Scrip­tures and veritie thereof. For avoiding of all inconveniences we judge it best, that neither singing, nor reading be at buriall? For albeit things sung and read may admonish some of the living to prepare themselves for death, yet shall some superstitious think that singing and reading of the living may profit the dead. And therfore we think it most expedient, that the dead be conveyed to the place of buriall with some honest company of the Kirk, with­out either singing or reading; yea, without all kind of ceremony [Page 71]heretofore used, other then that the dead be committed to the grave, with such gravity and sobriety, as those that be present may seeme to feare the judgements of God, and to hate sinne which is the cause of death.

We are not ignorant, that some require a Sermon at the buriall, or else some place of Scripture to be read, to put the living in minde that they are mortall, and that likewise they must die. But let these men understand, that the Sermons which be daily made serve for that use; which if men despise, the funerall Sermons shall rather nourish superstition and a false opinion, as before is said, then that they shall bring such persons to a godly considera­tion of their own estate. Attour either shall the Ministers for the most part be occupied in funerall Sermons, or else they shall have respect of persons, preaching at the burials of the rich and hono­rable, but keeping silence when the poore and despised departeth; and this with safe conscience cannot the Minister doe. For seeing that before God there is no respect of persons, and that their Mi­nistrie appertaineth to all alike, whatsoever they doe to the rich in respect of their Ministrie, the same they are bound to doe to the poorest under their charge. In respect of divers inconveni­ences we think it neither seemly that the Kirk appointed to prea­ching and ministration of the Sacraments shall be made a place of buriall, but that some other secret and convenient place, lying in the most free aire, be appointed for that use, which place ought to be walled and fenced about, and kept for that use onely.

For repairation of the Kirks.

LEst that the word of God, and ministration of the Sacra­ments by unseemlinesse of the place come in contempt, of necessity it is that the Kirk and place where the people ought publickly to convene be with expedition repaired with doores, windowes, thack, and with such preparation within, as appertai­neth as well to the Majestie of God, as unto the ease and commo­dity of the people. And because we know the slothfulnesse of men in this behalfe, and in all other, which may not redound to their private commoditie, strait charge and commandement must be given, that within ane certaine day the reparation must be begun, and within another day to be affixed by your Honours, that it may be finished. Penalties and summs of mony must be injoyned, and without pardon taken from the contemners.

The reparation would be according to the ability and num­ber [Page 71]of Kirks. Every Kirk must have doores, close windowes of glasse, thackable to with-hold rain, a bell to convocate the people together, a pulpit, a basen for baptizing, and table for ministra­tion of the Lords Supper. In greater Kirks, and where the Con­gregation is great in number, must reparation be made within the Kirk, for the quiet and commodious receiving of the people. The expenses are to be lifted partly of the people, and partly of the teinds, at the consideration of the Ministry.

For punishment of those that profane the Sacraments and con­temne the word of God, and dare presume to minister them not being thereto lawfully called.

AS Satan hath never ceased from the beginning, to draw man­kind in one of two extremities, to wit, that men should ei­their be so ravished with gazing upon the visible creatures, that forgetting the cause wherefore they are ordained, they attribu­ted unto them a vertue and power, which God hath not granted unto them: or else that men should so contemn and despise Gods blessed Ordinance, and holy institutions, as if that neither in the right use of them there were any profit, neither yet in their pro­fanations there were any danger. As this way, we say Satan hath blinded the most part of mankinde from the beginning: so doubt we not, but that he will strive to continue in his malice even to the end. Our eyes have seen, and presently doe see the experience of the one, and of the other. What was the opinion of the most part of men, of the Sacrament of Christs body and bloud, during the darknesse of superstition, is not unknowne. How it was gazed upon, kneeled unto, born in procession, and finally worshipped & honoured as Christ Jesus himselfe. And so long at Satan might then retaine men in that damnable idolatrie, he was quiet, as one that possessed his kingdome of darknes peaceably. But since that it hath pleased the mercies of God to reveale unto the unthankfull world the light of his Word, the right use and administration of his Sacraments, he assayes man upon the contrary part. For where not long agoe men stood in such admiration of that idol the Masse, that none durst have presumed to have said the Masse, but the shaven sort, the beasts marked men; some dare now be so bold as without all vocation to minister, as they suppose, the true Sacraments in open Assemblies: and some idiots (yet more wic­kedly and impudently) dare counterfeit in their house, that which [Page 73]the true Ministers doe in the open Congregations. They presume we say, to doe it in houses, without reverence, without Word Prea­ched, and without Minister. This contempt proceeds, no doubt, from the malice and craft of that Serpent, who first deceived man, of purpose to deface the glory of Christs Evangell, and to bring his blessed Sacraments in a perpetuall contempt: And further, your Honors may cleerly see, how stubbornly and proudly the most part despises the Evangell of Christ Jesus offered unto you, whom unlesse that sharply and stoutly ye resist, we mean as well the manifest de­spiser, as the prophaner of the Sacraments, ye shall finde them per­nicious enemies ere it be long. And therefore in the Name of the Eternall God, and of his Son Christ Iesus, we require of your Ho­nors, that without delay, strait Lawes be made against the one, and the other.

We dare not prescribe unto you, what penalties shall be requi­red of such: But this we feare not to affirme, that the one and the other deserve death. For if he who doth falsifie the seale, subscrip­tion, or coine of a King, is judged worthy of death, what shall we thinke of him who plainly doth falsifie the Seales of Christ Jesus, Prince of the Kings of the earth? If Darius pronounced that a balk should be taken from the house of that man, and he himself hanged upon it, that durst attempt to hinder the re-edifying of the materiall Temple, what shall we say of those, that con­temptuously blaspheme God, and manifestly hinder the Temple of God, which is the soules and bodies of the elect to be purged by the true Preaching of Christ Jesus, from the superstition and dam­nable Idolatry, in which they have been long plunged, and hol­den captive? If ye, as God forbid, declare your selves carelesse over the true Religion, God will not suffer your negligence unpu­nished: and therefore more earnestly we require that strait Lawes may be made against the stubborne contemners of Christ Iesus, and against such as dare presume to minister his Sacraments, not orderly called to that Office, least while that there be none found to gainstand impietie, the wrath of God be kindled against the whole.

The Papisticall Priests have neither power, nor authoritie to minister the Sacraments of Christ Jesus, because that in their mouth is not the Sermon of exhortation: and therefore to them must strait Inhibition be made, notwithstanding any usurpation they have had in the time of blindnesse. It is neither the clipping [Page 74]of their crownes, the greasing of their fingers, not the blowing of the dumbe dogges, called the Bishops, neither the laying on of their hands, that maketh Ministers of Christ Iesus. But the Spirit of God inwardly first moving the hearts to seek Christs glory, and the profit of his Kirk, and thereafter the nomination of the people, the examination of the learned, and publike admission (as before is said) make men lawfull Ministers of the Word, and Sacraments. We speak of an ordinary vocation; and not of that which is extraordinary, when God by himselfe, and by his onely power, raiseth up to the Ministery such as best pleaseth his wise­dome.

The Conclusion.

THUS have we in these few heads offered unto your Ho­nors our judgements, according as we were commanded, touching the reformation of things, which heretofore have altogether been abused in this cursed Papistrie. We doubt not but some of our petitions shall appeare strange unto you at the first fight. But if your wisedomes deeply consider, that we must an­swere not only unto man, but also before the throne of the eter­nall God, and of his Son Christ Iesus, for the counsell which we give in this so grave a matter, your Honors shall easily consider, that more assured it is to us to fall in the displeasure of all men in the earth, then to offend the Majestie of God, whose justice can­not suffer flatterers, and deceitfull counsellors unpunished. That we require the Kirk to be set at such liberty, that she neither be com­pelled to feed Idle-bellies, neither yet to sustaine the tyrannie which heretofore hath been by violence maintained: wee know we shall offend many, but if we should keep filence hereof, wee are most assured to offend the just and Righteous God, who by the mouth of his Apostle hath pronounced this sentence, He that labour­eth not, let him not eat. If we in this behalfe, or in any other, re­quire or aske any other thing then by Gods expresse Commande­ment, by equity and good conscience ye are bound to grant, let it be noted, and after repudiate. But if wee require nothing which God requireth not also, let your Honors take heed how we gainestand the charge of him, whose hand and punishment yee cannot escape. If blinde affections rather lead you to have respect to the sustentation of these your carnall friends, who tyranously [Page 75]have impyred above the flock of Christ Iesus, then that the zeale of Christ Iesus his glory provoke and move you to set his oppressed Kirk at freedome and libertie, wee feare your sharpe and sud­daine punishments, and that the glory and honor of this en­terprise be reserved unto others. And yet shall this our judgement abide to the generations following, for a monument and witnesse how lovingly God called you, and this nation to Repentance: what counsellours God sent unto you, and how you have used the same. If obediently ye heare God now calling, we doubt not but he shall heare you in your greatest necessitie. But if, following your owne corrupt judgements, ye contemne his voice and vocati­on, we are assured that your former iniquitie, and present ingrati­tude, shall together crave great punishment from God, who can­not long delay to execute his most just judgements, when after ma­ny offences, and long blindnesse, grace and mercy offered is con­temptuously refused.

God the Father of our Lord Iesus Christ, by the power of his ho­ly Spirit, so illuminate your hearts, that ye may cleerly see what is pleasing and acceptable in his presence, and so bow the same to his obedience, that ye may preferre his revealed will to your owne affections. And so strengthen you by the Spirit of Fortitude, that boldly yee may punish vice, and maintaine vertue within this Realme, to the praise and glory of his holy Name, to the comfort and assurance of your own consciences, and to the consolation, and the good example of the posterity following, Amen.

By your Honours most humble servitors.

Act of Secret Counsell, 17 Januarii anno 1560.

WEE which have subscribed thir presents, having advi­sed with the Articles herein specified, as is above men­tioned from the beginning of this book, thinkes the same good and conforme to Gods Word in all points; conforme to the notes and additions hereto eiked: and promises to [Page 76]set the same forward to the uttermost of our powers. Providing that the Bishops, Abbots, Priors, and other Prelates and benificed men, which else have adjoyned them to us, bruik the revenues of their benefices during their life times, they sustaining and upholding the Ministry and Ministers, as herein is specified, for the Preaching of the Word, and ministring of the Sacraments.

sic subscribitur.
  • James Hamiltoun.
  • Archbald, Argyle.
  • James Stewart.
  • Rothes.
  • Boid.
  • William Lord Hay.
  • Alexander Cambell.
  • M. Alexander Gordoun.
  • Glencarne.
  • Ʋchiltrie.
  • Sanquhare.
  • S. Jhones.
  • William of Culrosse.
  • Drumlangrig.
  • Bargannie yonger.
  • Lochinvar.
  • Cunninghamhead.
  • James Haliburtoun.
  • Ihone Lochart of Bar.
  • Jone Schaw of Halie.
  • Scot of Haning.
  • James Maxwell.
  • George Fentoun of that ilk.
  • Andro Ker of Fadounside.
  • Andro Hamiltoun of Le­thane.
  • Deane of Murray.

The second Booke of Discipline.
Heads and Conclusions of the Policie of the Kirk.

CHAP. I. Of the Kirk and policie thereof in generall, and where­in it is different from the civill policie.

THE Kirk of God sometimes is largely taken, for all them that professe the Evangell of Iesus Christ, and so it is a company and fellowship not onely of the godly, but also of hypocrites, professing alwayes outwardly the true Religion.

Other times it is taken for the Godly and Elect only, and some­times for them that exercise spirituall function in the congregation of them that professe the truth.

The Kirk in this last sense, hath a certain power granted by God, according to which it uses a proper jurisdiction and government, exercised to the comfort of the whole Kirk.

This power Ecclesiasticall is an authoritie granted by God the Father, through the Mediator Iesus Christ, unto his Kirke gathered, and having the ground in the Word of God to be put in execution by them, unto whom the spirituall government of the Kirk by law­full calling is committed.

The Policie of the Kirk flowing from this power, is an order or forme of spirituall government, which is exercised by the members appointed thereto by the Word of God: and therefore is given imme­diately to the office-bearers, by whom it is exercised to the weale of the whole body.

[Page 78] This power is diversly used: for sometime it is severally exerci­sed, chiefly by the teachers; sometime conjunctly by mutuall con­sent of them that bear the office and charge, after the form of judge­ment. The former is onely called potestas ordinis, and the other potestas jurisdictionis.

These two kinds of power have both one authority, one ground, one finall cause, but are different in the manner, and forme of exe­cution, as is evident by the speaking of our Master in the 16 and 18 of Matthew.

This power and policy Ecclesiasticall is different and distinct in the own nature from that power and policy which is called Civill power, and appertaineth to the Civill government of the Common wealth; albeit they be both of God, and tend to one end, if they be rightly used, viz. to advance the glory of God, and to have godly and good subjects.

For this power Ecclesiasticall floweth immediately from God, and the mediator Jesus Christ, and is spirituall, not having a tempo­rall head in the earth, but only Christ, the only spirituall King and governour of his Kirk.

It is a title falsly usurped by Antichrist, to call himself head of the Kirk, and ought not to be attributed to Angel, nor man, of what estate that ever he be, saving to Christ the onely head and Monarch in the Kirk.

Therefore this power and policy of the Kirk should leane upon the word immediatly, as the onely ground thereof, and should be taken from the pure fountains of the scriptures, the Kirk hearing the voice of Christ the only spirituall King, and being ruled by his laws.

It is proper to Kings, Princes and Magistrates to be called Lords, and dominators over their subjects whom they govern civilly, but it is proper to Christ onely to be called Lord and Master in the Spi­rituall government of the Kirk; and all others that bear office there­in ought not to usurp dominion therein, nor be called Lords, but only Ministers, Disciples, and servants. For it is Christs proper of­fice to command and rule his Kirk universally, and every particular Kirk through his spirit and word, by the ministery of men.

Notwithstanding, as the Ministers and others of the Ecclesiasticall estate are subject to the Magistrate civill, so ought the person of the Magistrate be subject to the Kirk spiritually, and in Ecclesia­sticall government. And the exercise of both these jurisdictions can­not stand in one person ordinary.

[Page 79] The Civill power is called the power of the Sword, and the other the power of the Keys.

The civill power should command the spirituall to exercise, and to doe their office according to the word of God; The spirituall rulers should require the Christian magistrate to minister justice, and punish vice, and to maintaine the liberty and quietnes of the Kirk within their bounds

The Magistrate commandeth externall things for externall peace and quietnesse amongst the subjects: the Minister handleth exter­nall things onely for conscience cause.

The Magistrate handleth externall things only, and actions done before men, but the spirituall ruler judgeth both inward affections, and externall actions in respect of conscience, by the word of God.

The Civill Magistrate craves and gets obedience by the sword, and other externall meanes, but the Ministery by the spirituall sword, and spirituall means.

The Magistrate neither ought to preach, minister the sacraments, nor execute the censures of the Kirk, nor yet prescribe any rule how it should be done, but command the Ministers to observe the rule commanded in the word, and punish the transgressors by Civill meanes. The Ministers exerce not the Civill jurisdiction, but teach the Magistrate how it should bee exercised according to the word.

The Magistrate ought to assist, maintaine and fortifie the jurisdi­ction of the Kirk. The Ministers should assist their Princes in all things agreeable to the word, providing they neglect not their own charge by involving themselves in civill affaires.

Finally, as Ministers are subject to the judgement and punish­ment of the Magistrate in externall things, if they offend: so ought the Magistrates to submit themselves to the discipline of the Kirk, if they transgresse in matters of Conscience and Religion.

CHAP. II. Of the Policie of the Kirk, and persons and office-bearers, to whom the administration is committed.

AS in the civill policy the whole Commonweale consisteth in them that are governors, or Magistrates, and them that are go­verned, or subjects: So in the policy of the Kirk some are appointed to be rulers, and the rest of the members thereof to be ruled, and [Page 80]obey according to the word of God, and inspiration of his spirit, al­wayes under one head and chiefe governour, Jesus Christ.

Again, the whole policy of the Kirk consisteth in three things, in Doctrine, Discipline, and Distribution. With Doctrine is annexed the administration of Sacraments: and according to the parts of this division, ariseth a sort of threefold officers in the Kirk, to wit, of Ministers Preachers, Elders Governours, and Deacons distribu­ters. And all these may be called by a generall word, Ministers of the Kirk. For albeit the Kirk of God be ruled and governed by Je­sus Christ, who is the only King, high Priest, and head thereof, yet he useth the ministery of men, as the most necessary middes for this purpose.

For so he hath from time to time, before the Law, under the Law, and in the time of the Evangell for our great comfort raised us men indued with the gifts of the spirit, for the spirituall govern­ment of his Kirk, exercising by them his own power, through his spirit and word to the building of the same.

And to take away all occasion of tyranny, he will that they should rule with mutuall consent of brether, and equality of power, every one according to their functions.

In the new Testament, and time of the Evangell, he hath used the Ministery of the Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Doctors in administration of the word: The Eldership for good order, and administration of the Discipline: The Deaconship to have the cure of the Ecclesiasticall goods.

Some of their Ecclesiasticall function are ordinary, and some ex­traordinary or temporary. There be three extraordinary functions; The office of the Apostle, the Evangelist and of the Prophet, which are not perpetuall, and now have ceased in the Kirk of God, ex­cept when it pleased God extraordinarily for a time to stirre some of them up againe.

There are foure ordinary functions or offices in the Kirk of God, the office of the pastor, Minister or Bishop, the Doctor, Presbyter or Elder, and the Deacon.

Their offices are ordinary, and ought to continue perpetually in the Kirk, as necessary for the government and policy thereof, and no more offices ought to be received or suffered in the Kirk of God, established according to his word.

Therefore all the ambitious titles invented in the kingdome of Antichrist, and in his usurped Hierarchy, which are not of one of [Page 81]these soure sorts, together with the offices depending thereupon, in one word ought to be rejected.

CHAP. III. How the persons that bear Ecclesiasticall function, are to be admitted to their office.

VOcation or calling is common to all that should beare office within the Kirk, which is a lawfull way, by the which quali­fied persons are promoted to any spirituall office within the Kirk of God.

Without this lawfull calling it was never leasome to any person to meddle with any function Ecclesiasticall.

There are two sorts of Calling, one extraordinary by God imme­diately, as was of the Prophets and Apostles, which in Kirks esta­blished, and well already reformed hath no place.

The other calling is ordinary, which besides the calling of God, and inward testimony of a good conscience, is the lawfull approba­tion, and outward judgement of men, according to Gods word, and order established in his Kirk.

None ought to presume to enter in any office Ecclesiasticall with­out this good testimony before God, who onely knows the hearts of men.

This ordinary and outward calling hath two parts, election and ordination. Election is the choosing out of a person, or persons, most able, to the office that vakes, by the judgement of the Eldership, and consent of the Congregation, to which shall be the person, or per­sons appointed.

The qualities in generall requisite in all them, who should beare charge in the Kirk, consist in soundnesse of Religion, and godli­nesse of life, according as they are sufficiently set forth in the Word.

In the order of Election it is to be eschewed, that any person be intruded in any offices of the Kirk, contrary to the will of the con­gregation to which they are appointed, or without the volce of the Eldership.

None ought to be intruded, or placed in the placea already plan­ted, or in any room that vakes not, for any worldly respect: and that which is called the benefice ought to be nothing else, but the stipend of the Ministers that are lawfully called.

Ordination is the separation and sanctifying of the person appoin­ted to God and his Kirk, after he be well tried and found qualified.


The Ceremonies of Ordination are fasting, earnest Prayer, and imposition of hands of the Eldership.

All thir, as they must be raised up by God, and by him made a­ble for the work whereto they are called; so ought they know their message to be limited within Gods word, without the bounds of the which they ought not to passe.

All thir should take these titles and names onely (lest they be exalted and puft up in themselves) which the Scriptures gives un­to them, as these which import labour, travell and work, and are names of offices and service, and not of idlenesse, dignity, worldly honour or preheminence, which by Christ our Master is expresly reproved and forbidden.

All these office-bearers should have their own particular flocks amongst whom they exercise their charge.

All should make refidence with them, and take the inspection and overfight of them, every one in his vocation.

And generally thir twa things ought they all to respect: the glo­ry of God, and edifying of his kirk, in discharging their duties in their calling.

CHAP. IIII. Of the Office-bearers in particular, and first of the Pastors or Ministers.

PAstors, Bishops, or Ministers, are they who are appointed to particular Congregations, which they rule by the word of God and over the which they watch. In respect whereof sometime they are called Pastors, because they feed their Congregation; some­time Episcopi, or Bishops, because they watch above their flock; sometimes Ministers, by reason of their service and office, and sometimes also Presbyters or Seniors, for the gravity in manners which they ought to have in taking care of the spirituall govern­ment, which ought to be most deare unto them.

They that are called unto the Ministery, or that offer themselves thereunto, ought not to be elected without any certain flock be as­signed unto them.

No man ought to ingyre himselfe, or usurpe his office without lawfull calling.

They who are once called by God, and duely elected by man, af­ter that they have once accepted the charge of Ministery, may not leave their functions.

[Page 83] The desertours should be admonished, and in case of obstinacy, finally, Excommunicate.

No Pastor may leave his flock without License of the Provinciall or Nationall Assembly, which if he doe, after admonitions not o­beyed, let the censures of the Kirk strike upon him.

Unto the Pastors apperteins teaching of the Word of God, in season and out of season, publikly and privately, alwaies travelling to edifie, and discharge his conscience, as Gods word prescribes to him.

Unto the Pastors onely apperteins the administration of the Sa­craments, in like manner as the administration of the Word: For both are appointed by God, as meanes to teach us, the one by the care, and the other by the eyes, and other senses, that by both, know­ledge may be transferred to the minde.

It appertains by the same reason to the Pastor to pray for the peo­ple, and namely, for the flock committed to his charge, and to blesse them in the name of the Lord, who will not suffer the blessings of his faithfull servants to be frustrate.

He ought also to watch above the manners of his flock, that the better he may apply the Doctrine to them in reprehending the dis­solute persons, and exhorting the godly to continue in the feare of the Lord.

It appertains to the Minister after lawfull proceeding by the El­dership, to pronounce the sentence of binding and loosing upon a­ny person, according unto the power of the keys granted unto the Kirk.

It belongs to him likewise, after lawfull proceeding in the matter by the Eldership, to solemnizate mariage betwixt them, that are to be joyned therein, and to pronounce the blessing of the Lord upon them that enter in at that holy Band in the feare of God.

And generally all publick denunciations that are to be made in the Kirk before the Congregation concerning the Ecclesiasticall af­faires belonging to the Office of a Minister: For he is as messenger and Herauld betwixt God and the people in all these affaires.

CHAP. V. of Doctors, and their Office, and of the Schooles.

ONE of the two ordinary and perpetuall functions that tra­vell in the Word, is the Office of the Doctor, who may be [Page 84]also called Prophet, Bishop, Elder, Catechiser, that is, teacher of the Catechisme, and rudiments of Religion.

His office is to open up the minde of the Spirit of God in the Scriptures simply, without such applications as the Ministers use, to the end that the faithfull may be instructed, and sound Doctrine taught, and that the purity of the Gospell be not corrupted through ignorance, or evill opinions.

He is different from the Pastor, not only in name, but in diversi­ty of gifts. For to the Doctor is given the word of knowledge, to open up by simple teaching the mysteries of faith; to the Pastor the gift of wisdome, to apply the same by exhortation to the man­ners of the flock, as occasion craveth.

Under the name and office of a Doctor wee comprehend also the order in Schooles, Colledges, and Universities, which hath been from time to time carefully maintained, as well among the Jewes and Christians, as also among the prophane Nations.

The Doctor being an Elder, as is said, should assist the Pastor in the government of the Kirk, and concurre with the Elders his bre­thren in all assemblies; by reason the interpretation of the Word, which is onely judge in Ecclesiasticall matters, is committed to his charge.

But to preach unto the people, to Minister the Sacraments, and to celebrate mariages, pertaine not to the Doctor, unlesse he be otherwise called ordinarily: howbeit the Pastor may teach in the Schooles, as he who hath the gift of knowledge, oftentimes meet for that end, as the examples of Polycarpus, and others testifie, &c.

CHAP. VI. Of Elders, and their Office.

THE word Elder in the Scripture, sometime is the name of Age, sometime of Office. When it is the name of any Office, sometime it is taken largely, comprehending as well the Pastors and Doctors, as them who are called Seniors or Elders.

In this our division, we call these Elders, whom the Apostles call Presidents or Governours. Their office as it is ordinary, so is it per­petuall and alwayes necessary in the Kirk of God. The Eldership is a spirituall function, as is the Ministery.

Elders once lawfully called to the office, and having gifts from God meet to exercise the same, may not leave it again. Albeit such a number of Elders may be chosen in certaine Congregations, that [Page 85]one part of them may relieve another for a reasonable space, as was among the Levites under the Law in serving of the Temple.

The number of the Elders in every Congregation cannot well be limited, but should be according to the bounds and necessity of the people.

It is not necessary that all Elders be also teachers of the Word, albeit the chiefe ought to be such and swa are worthy of double­honour.

What manner of persons they ought to be, we referre it to the ex­presse word, and namely the Canons written by the Apostle Paul.

Their office is as well severally, as conjunctly, to watch diligently upon the flock committed to their charge, both publikely, and privately, that no corruption of Religion, or manners, enter therein.

As the Pastors and Doctors should be diligent in teaching and sowing the seed of the Word, so the Elders should be carefull in see­king the fruit of the same in the people.

It appertains to them to assist the Pastor in examination of them that come to the Lords Table: item, in visiting the sick.

They should cause the acts of the assemblies, as well particular as generall to be put in execution carefully.

They should be diligent in admonishing all men of their duty according to the rule of the Evangell.

Things that they cannot correct by private admonitions they should bring to the Eldership.

Their principall office is to hold Assemblies with the Pasiors and Doctors who are also of their number, for establishing of good order and execution of Discipline, unto the which Assemblies all persons are subject that remain within their bounds.

CHAP. VII. Of the Elderships, Assemblies, and Discipline.

ELderships and Assemblies are commonly constitute of Pastors, Doctors, and such as we commonly call Elders, that labour not in the word and Doctrine: of whom, and of whose severall power hath been spoken.

Assemblies are of foure sorts. For either are they of particular Kirks and Congregations ane or moe, or of a Province, or of [Page 82] [...] [Page 83] [...] [Page 84] [...] [Page 85] [...] [Page 86]a whole Nation, or of all and divers Nations professing one Jesus Christ.

All the Ecclesiasticall Assemblies have power to convene lawful­ly together for treating of things concerning the Kirk, and pertain­ing to their charge.

They have power to appoint times, and places to that effect, and at one meeting to appoint the dyet, time and place for another.

In all Assemblies an Moderatour should be chosen by common consent of the whole brethren convened, who should propone matters, gather the votes, and cause good order to be kept in assem­blies.

Diligence should be taken, chiefly by the Moderator, that onely Ecclesiasticall things be handled in the assemblies, and that there be no medling with any thing pertaining to the civill jurisdiction.

Every Assembly hath power to send forth from them of their own number, ane or moe visitours to see how all things be ruled in the bounds of their jurisdiction.

Visitation of moe Kirks is no ordinary Office Ecclesiastick in the person of one man, neither may the name of a Bishop be attribute to the visitor onely, neither is it necessary to abide alwayes in one mans person, but it is the part of the Eldership to send out qualified per­sons to visit prore nata.

The finall end of assemblies is first to keep the Religion and Do­ctrine in purity without error and corruption. Next, to keep com­linesse and good order in the Kirk.

For this orders cause, they may make certaine rules and constitu­tions appertaining to the good behaviours of all the members of the kirk in their vocation.

They have power also to abrogate and abolish all Statutes and Or­dinances concerning Ecclesisticall matters, that are found noysome and unprofitable, and agree not with the time, or are abused by the people.

They have power to execute Ecclesiasticall Discipline and pu­nishment upon all transgressors, and proud contemners of the good order and policy of the Kirk, and so the whole Discipline is in their hands.

The first kinde and sort of assemblies, although they be within par­ticular Congregation, yet they exerce the power, authority and Jurisdiction of the Kirk with mutuall consent, and therefore beare sometime the name of the Kirk.

[Page 87] When we speake of the Elders of the particular Congregations, we mean not that every particular Parish-kirk can or may have their own particular Elderships, specially in Landward; but we thinke three, foure, moe or fewer particular kirks may have one Eldership common to them all, to judge their Ecclesiasticall causes.

Yet this is meet, That some of the Elders be chosen out of every particular Congregation, to concur with the rest of their brethren in the common Assembly, and to take up the delations of offences within their own kirks, and bring them to the Assembly. This we gather of the practise of the Primitive kirke, where Elders, or Colledges of Seniors were constitute in Cities, and famous places.

The power of their particular Elderships is to use diligent labors in the bounds committed to their charge, that the kirks be kept in good order, to inquire diligently in naughty & unruly persons, and travell to bring them in the way againe, either by admonition or threatning of Gods judgements, or by correction.

It pertaines to the Eldership to take heed that the word of God be purely preached within their bounds, the Sacraments rightly mini­stred, the Discipline rightly maintained, and the Ecclefiasticall goods uncorruptly distributed.

It belongs to this kind of Assembly, to cause the ordinances made by the Assemblies provinciall, nationall, and generall, to be kept and put in execution.

To make constitutions which concerne [...] in the kirk, for the decent order of these particular kirks where they govern: Providing, they alter no rules made by generall or provinciall As­semblies, and that they make the provinciall Assemblies fore-seen of these rules that they shall make, and abolish them that tend to the hurt of the same.

It hath power to excommunicate the obstinate.

The power of election of them who beare Ecclesiasticall charges pertaines to this kinde of Assembly within their own bounds, being well erected, and constitute of many Pastors and Elders of sufficient abilitie.

By the like reason their deposition also pertaines to this kinde of Assembly: as of them that teach erronious and corrupt Doctrine, that be of slanderous life, and after admonition desist not; that be given to schisme or rebellion against the kirk, manifest blasphemy, fimony, corruption of bribes, falshood, perjury, whore­dome, [Page 88]theft, drunkennesse, fighting worthy of punishment by the Law, usury, dancing, infamy, and all others, that deserve separati­on from the kirk.

These also who are altogether found unsufficient to execute their charge should be deposed, whereof other kirks would be ad­vertised that they receive not the persons deposed.

Yet they ought not to be deposed, who through age, fickenesse, or other accidents become unmeet to do their office, in which case their honour should remaine to them, their kirk should maintaine them; and others ought to be provided to doe their office.

Provinciall assembles we call lawfull conventions of Pastors, Do­ctors, and other Elders of a Province, gathered for the common af­faires of the kirk thereof, which also may be called the conference of the kirk and brethren.

Their assembles are institute for weighty matters to be intreated by mutuall consent and assistance of the brethren within that Pro­vince, as need requires.

This assembly hath power to handle, order, and redresse all things committed or done amisse in the particular assemblies.

It hath power to depose the office-bearers of that province for good and just causes deserving deprivation.

And generally their assemblies have the whole power of the par­ticular Elderships whereof they are collected.

The Nationall assembly, which is generall to us, is a lawfull con­vention of the whole kirks of the Realm or Nation where it is used and gathered, for the common affaires of the kirk, and may be cal­led the generall Eldership of the whol kirks in the Realm. None are subject to repaire to this assembly to vote, but Ecclefiasticall persons to such a number, as shall be thought good by the same Assembly, not excluding other persons that will repaire to the said Assembly to propone, hear, and reason.

This Assembly is institute, that all things either committed, or done amisse in the Provinciall Assemblies may be redressed and han­dled, and things generally serving for the weale of the whole body of the kirk within the Realm may be forescen, intreated and set forth to Gods glory.

It should take care, that kirks be planted in places where they are not planted.

It should prescribe the rule how the other two kindes of Assem­blies should proceed in all things.

[Page 89] This Assembly should take heed, that the spirituall jurisdiction, and civill, be not confounded to the hurt of the kirk; That the Pa­trimony of the kirk be not consumed, nor abused; and generally concerning all weighty affaires that concern the weale and good or­der of the whole Kirks of the Realm, it ought to interpone autho­rity thereto.

There is besides these, another more generall kinde of Assem­blie, which is of all Nations, and all estates of persons within the kirk, representing the universall kirk of Christ, which may be cal­led properly the Generall Assembly, or Generall Councell of the kirk of God.

These Assemblies were appointed and called together specially, when any great schisme or controversie in Doctrine did arise in the kirk, and were convocate atcommand of godly Emperours being for the time, for avoiding of schisme within the Universall kirk of God, which because they pertain not to the particular estate of any Realm we cease further to speak of them.

CHAP. VIII. Of the Deacons and their Office, the last Ordinary fun­ction in the Kirk.

THE word [...] sometimes is largely taken, comprehen­ding all them that bear office in the Ministery, and spirituall function in the kirk.

But now, as we speak, it is taken only for them, unto whom the collection and distribution of the almes of the faithfull and Ecclesi­asticall goods doth belong.

The office of the Deacons so taken, is an ordinary and perpetu­all Ecclesiasticall function in the kirk of Christ.

Of what properties and duties he ought to be that is called to this function, we remit it to the manifest Scriptures.

The Deacon ought to be called and elected, as the rest of the Spiri­tuall Officers, of the which election was spoken before.

Their Office and power is to receive, and to distribute the whole Ecclefiasticall goods unto them, to whom they are appointed.

This they ought to doe according to the judgement, and appoint­ment of the Presbyteries or Elderships (of the which the Deacons are not) that the patrimony of the kirk and poore, be not conver­ted to private mens uses, nor wrongfully distribute.

CHAP. IX. Of the Patrimony of the Kirk, and distribution thereof.

BY the Partrimony of the Kirk, we meane whatsoever thing hath been at any time before, or shall be in times comming gi­ven, or by consent or universall custome of Countries professing the Christian Religion applied to the publick use and utility of the kirk.

So that under the Patrimony we comprehend all things given or to be given to the Kirk and service of God, as lands, biggings, posses­sions, annuel rents, and all such like, wherewith the Kirk is doted, either by donations, foundations, mortifications, or any other law­full titles of Kings, Princes, or any persons inferiour to them, toge­ther with the continuall oblations of the faithfull.

We comprehend also all such things as by Laws or Custome, or use of Countries have been applied to the use and utility of the Kirk; of the which sort are Teinds, Manses, Gleibs, and such like, which by common and municipall Laws and universall Custome are possessed by the Kirk.

To take any of this Patrimony by unlawfull means, and convert it to the particular and prophane use of any person, we hold it a detestatable sacriledge before God.

The goods Ecclesiasticall ought to be collected, and distributed by the Deacons, as the word of God appoints, that they who beare office in the Kirk be provided for without care or solicitude.

In the Apostolicall Kirk, the Deacons were appointed to collect and distribute what summe soever was collected of the faithfull, to distribute unto the necessity of the Saints, so that none lacked a­mongst the faithfull.

These collections were not onely of that which was collected in manner of almes, as some suppose, but of other goods moveable, and unmoveable, of lands and possessions, the price whereof was brought to the feet of the Apostles.

This office continued in the Deacons hands, who intrometted with the whole goods of the Kirk, ay and while the estate thereof was corrupted by Antichrist, as the ancient Canons bear witnesse.

The same Canons make mention of a fouresold distribution of the Patrimony of the kirk, whereof one part was applyed to the Pa­stor or Bishop for his sustentation and hospitality; another to the Elders and Deacons, and all the Glergy; the third to the poor, sick [Page 91]persons and strangers; the fourth to the upholding other affaires of the kirk, specially extraordinary.

We adde hereunto the Schooles and Schoolemasters also, which ought and may be well sustained of the same goods, and are com­prehended under the Cleargy. To whom we joyne all Clerks of Assemblies, as well particular as generall, Syndicks or Procutors of the kirk affaires, takers up of Psalmes, and such like other ordi­nary Officers of the Kirk, so farre as they are necessary.

CHAP. X. Of the Office of a Christian Magistrate in the Kirk.

ALthough all the members of the Kirk be holden every one in their vocation, and according thereto to advance the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, so farre as lyeth in their power, yet chiefly Christi­an Princes, and other Magistrates, are holden to doe the same.

For they are called in the Scripture nourishers of the Kirk, for so much as by them it is, or at least ought to be maintained, fostered, up­holden and defended against all that would procure the hurt thereof.

So it pertains to the office of a Christian Magistrate, to assist and fortifie the godly proceedings of the Kirk in all behalfes; and name­ly to see that the publique estate and Ministery thereof be maintain­ed and sustained, as it appertains, according to Gods Word.

To see that the Kirk be not invaded, nor hurt by false Teachers, and Hirelings, nor the rooms thereof be occupied by dumb doggs, or idle bellies.

To assist and maintain the Discipline of the Kirk, and punish them civilly, that will not obey the censure of the same, without confounding alwayes the one jurisdiction with the other.

To see that sufficient provision be made for the Ministery, the Schooles, and the poore: and if they have not sufficient to awaite upon their charges, to supply their indigence even with their own rents, if need require.

To hold hand as well to the saving of their persons from injury and open violence, as to their rents and possessions, that they be not defrauded, robbed, nor spoiled thereof.

Not to suffer the Patrimony of the Kirk to be applyed to pro­phane and unlawfull uses, or be devoured by idle bellies, and such as have no lawfull function in the Kirk, to the hurt of the Ministery, Schools, poore and other godly uses, whereupon the same ought to be bestowed.

[Page 92] To make lawes and constitutions agreeable to Gods word, for advancement of the Kirk, and policie thereof, without usurping any thing that pertains not to the civil sword, but belongs to the offices that are meerly Ecclesiasticall, as is the ministerie of the Word and Sacraments, using Ecclesiasticall Discipline, and the spirituall exe­cution thereof, or any part of the power of the spirituall keys, which our Master gave to the Apostles, and their true successors.

And although Kings and Princes that be Godly, sometimes by their owne authority, when the Kirk is corrupted, and all things out of order, place Ministers, and restore the true service of the Lord, after the example of some godly Kings of Juda, and divers godly Empeours, and Kings also in the light of the new Testament. Yet where the ministerie of the Kirk is once lawfully constitute, and they that are placed, doe their office faithfully, all godly Princes and Magistrates ought to heare and obey their voice, and reverence the Majestie of the Son of God speaking in them.

CHAP. XI. Of the present abuses remaining in the Kirk, which we desire to bere­formed.

AS it is the duty of the godly Magistrate to maintaine the pre­sent libertie, which God hath granted by the Preaching of his Word, and the true administration of the Sacraments within this Realme: So is it to provide, that all abuses which yet remaine in the Kirk, be removed, and utterly taken away.

Therefore, first the admission of men to papisticall titles of bene­fices, such as serve not, nor have no function in the Reformed Kirk of Christ, as Abbotes, Commendators, Priors, Prioresses, and other titles of Abbeys, whose places are now for the most part by the just judgement of God demolished, and purged of idolatry, is plain abuse, and is not to receive the Kingdome of Christ amongst us, but rather to refuse it.

Such like that they that of old were called the Chapiters and Con­vents of Abbeys, Cathedrall kirks, and like places, serve for nothing now, but to set fewes and tacks, if any thing be left of the kirk lands and teinds, in hurt and prejudice thereof, as daily experience tea­cheth, and therefore ought to be utterly abrogate and abolished.

Of the like nature are the Deanes, Archdeacons, Chantours, Subchantours, Thesaurers, Chancellors and others having the like titles flowing from the Pope and Canon law onely, who have no place in the reformed kirk.

[Page 93] The kirks also which are united together, and joyned by annex­ation to their benefices, ought to be separated and divided, and gi­ven to qualified Ministers, as Gods Word craves.

Neither ought such abusers of the kirks Patrimony to have vote in Parliament, nor sit in Councell under the name of the kirk and kirk­men, to the hurt and prejudice of the libertie thereof, and laws of the Realme made in favour of the Reformed kirk.

Much lesse is it lawfull, that any person amongst these men should have five, sixteen, twenty or moe kirks, all craving the charge of souls, and bruike the patrimony thereof, either by admission of the Prince, or of the kirk, in this light of the Evangell. For it is but a mockage to crave reformation, where such like have place.

And in so farre, as in the order taken at Leith, in the yeere of our Lord 1571, it appeares that such may be admitted, being found qualified; either that pretended order is against all good order, or else it must be understood not of them that be qualified in worldly affaires, or to serve in Court, but such as are qualified to teach Gods Word, having their lawfull admission of the kirk.

As to Bishops, if the name [...] be properly taken, they are all one with the Ministers, as before was declared. For it is not a name of superiority and lordship, but of office and watch­ing.

Yet because in the corruption of the kirk, this name (as others) have been abused, and yet is likely to be, we cannot allow the fashi­on of these new chosen Bishops, neither of the Chapiters that are Electors of them to such offices, as they are chosen unto.

True Bishops should addict themselves to a particular flock, which sundry of them refuse, neither should they usurpe Lordship over their brethren, and over the inheritance of Christ, as these men doe.

Pastors, in so farre as they are Pastors, have not the office of Vi­sitation of moe kirks joyned to the pastorship, without it be given to them.

It is a corruption, that Bishops should have further bounds to vi­fit, nor they may lawfully.

No man ought to have the office of Vifitation, but he that is law­fully chosen thereunto.

The Elderships being well established, have power to send out visitours one or moe, with commission to vifit the bounds within their Eldership, and likewise after count taken of them, either [Page 94]continue them, or remove them from time to time, to the which El­derships they shall be alwayes subject.

Criminall jurisdiction in the person of a pastor, is a corruption.

It agreeth not with the word of God, that Bishops should be Pa­stors of Pastors, Pastors of many flocks, and yet without a certaine flock, and without ordinary teaching.

It agreeth not with the Scriptures, that they should be exemed from the correction of their brethren, and Discipline of the particu­lar Eldership of the Kirk, where they shall serve, neither that they usurpe the Office of Visitation of other Kirks, nor any other fun­ction beside other Ministers, but so farre as shall be committed to them by the kirk.

Wherefore, we desire the Bishops that now are, either to agree to that order that Gods word requires in them, as the generall kirk will prescribe unto them, not passing their bounds, either in Eccle­fiasticall or Civill affaires, or else to be deposed from all function in the kirk.

We deny not in the meane time, but Ministers may and should affist their Princes when they are required, in all things agreeable to the Word, whether it be in Councell, or Parliament, or otherwayes; Providing alwayes, they neither neglect their own charges, nor through flattery of Princes hurt the publick estate of the Kirk.

But generally, we say, no person under whatsoever title of the Kirk, and specially the abused titles in Papistry, of Prelates, Con­vents, and Chapters, ought to attempt any act in the Kirks name, either in Councell, or Parliament, or out of Councell, having no Commission of the Reformed Kirk within this Realme.

And by Act of Parliament it is provided, that the Papisticall Kirk and Jurisdiction should have no place within the same, and no Bishop nor other Prelate in times comming should use any jurisdi­ction flowing from his authority.

And againe, that no other Ecclefiasticall Jurisdiction should be acknowledged within this Realme, but that which is, and shall be in the Reformed Kirk, and flowing therfrom.

So we esteem holding of Chapiters in Papisticall manner, either in Cathedrall kirks, Abbeyes, Colledges, or other conventuall pla­ces, usurping the name and authority of the kirk, to hurt the patri­mony thereof, or use any other Act to the prejudice of the same, fince the yeare of our Lord 1560 yeares, to be abuse and corruption, contrary to the liberty of the true kirk, and lawes of the Realme; [Page 95]and therefore ought to be annulled, reduced, and in times comming utterly discharged.

The dependances also of the Papisticall jurisdiction are to be a­bolished; of the which sort is mingled jurisdiction of the Commis­sars, in so farre as they meddle with Ecclesiasticall matters, and have no Commission of the kirke thereto, but were elected in time of our Soveraignes mother, when things were out of order. It is an absurd thing, that sundry of them having no function of the kirk, should be Judges to Ministers, and depose them from their roomes. Therefore they either would be discharged to meddle with Ecclesiasticall mat­ters, or it would be limited to them in what matters they might be Judges, and not hurt the liberty of the kirk.

They also that before were of the Ecclesiastique estate in the Popes kirk, or that are admitted of new to the Papisticall titles, and now are tollerate by the lawes of the Realme to possesse the two-part of their Ecclesiasticall rents, ought not have any further liber­ty, but to intromet with the portion assigned and granted to them for their life-times; and not under the abused titles which they had to dispon the kirk-rents, set tackes and fewes thereof at their plea­fure, to the great hurt of the kirk, and poore labourers that dwell upon the kirk-lands, contrary to all good conscience and order.

CHAP. XII. Certain speciall heads of Reformation, which we crave.

WHatsoever hath been spoken of the offices of the kirk, the severall power of the office-bearers, their conjunct pow­er also, and last of the patrimrny of the kirk, we under­stand it to be the right Reformation which God craves at our hands, that the kirk be ordered according thereto, as with that order which is most agreeable to the Word.

But because something would be touched in particular, concer­ning the estate of the Countrey, and that which we principally seek to be reformed in the same, we have collected them in these heads following.

Seeing the whole Countrey is divided in Provinces, and thir Pro­vinces againe are divided in Parishes, as well in land-ward, as in Townes; in every Parish and reasonable Congregation there would be placed one or moe Pastors to feed the flock, and no Pastor or [Page 96]Minister alwayes to be burdened with the particular charge of moe kirks or flocks then one alanerly.

And because it will be thought hard to finde out Pastors or Mi­nisters to all the paroch kirks of the Realm, as well in Landward, as in Towns, we think by the advice of such as commission may be given to by the kirk and Prince, Parishes in landward or small Villages, may be joyned two or three or more, in some places to­gether, and the principall and mest commodious kirks to stand, and be repaired sufficiently, and qualified Ministers placed thereat; and the other kirks, which are not found necessary, may be suffered to decay, their kirk-yards alwayes being kept for buriall places, and in some places where need requires, a Parish, where the Congregation is over great for one kirk, may be divided in twa or moe.

Doctors would be appointed in Universities, Colledges, and in other places needfull, and sufficiently provided for, to open up the meaning of the Scriptures, and to have the charge of Schooles, and teach the rudiments of Religion.

As for Elders, there would be some to be censurers of the man­ners of the people, one or moe in every Congregation, but not an Assembly of Elders in every particular kirk, but onely in Towns, and famous places, where resort of men of judgement and ability to that effect may be had, where the Elders of the particu­lar kirks about may convene together, and have a common El­dership, and assembly-place among them, to treat of all things that concerns the Congregations of which they have the over­sight.

And as there ought to be men appointed to unite and divide the Parishes, as necessity and commodity requires: So would there be appointed by the generall kirk, with assent of the Prince, such men as feare God, and know the estate of the Countries, that were able to nominate and designe the places, where the particular El­derships should convene, taking confideration of the Diocesse, as they were divided of old, and of the estate of the Countries, and Provinces of the Realm.

Likewise concerning Provinciall and Synodall Assemblies con­fideration were easie to be taken: How many and in what places they were to be holden, and how oft they should convene, ought to be referred to the liberty of the generall kirk, and order to be ap­pointed therein.

[Page 97] The Nationall Assemblies of this Countrey, called commonly the Generall Assemblies, ought alwayes to be reteined in their own liberty, and have their owne place.

With power to the kirk to appoint times and places convenient for the same, and all men, as well Magistrates, as inferiours to be subject to the judgement of the same in Ecclesiasticall causes, without any reclamation or appellation to any Judge, Civill or Ecclesiasticall within the Realm.

The liberty of the election of persons called to the Ecclesiasti­call function, and observed without interruption, so long as the kirk was not corrupted by Antichrist, we desire to be restored and retained within this Realm.

So that none be intrused upon any Congregation, either by the Prince, or any inferiour person, without lawfull election, and the assent of the people over whom the person is placed, as the practise of the Apostolicall and Primitive Kirk, and good order craves.

And because this order, which Gods word craves, cannot stand with patronages and presentation to benefices used in the Popes kirk, we desire all them, that truely feare God, earnestly to consi­der, that for as much as the names of patronages and benefices, to­gether with the effect thereof, have flowed from the Pope, and corruption of the Canon law onely, in so farre as thereby any person was intrused or placed over Kirkes having Curam ani­marum.

And for as much as that manner of proceeding hath no ground in the word of God, but is contrary to the same, and to the said li­berty of Election, they ought not now to have place in this light of Reformation. And therefore, whosoever will embrace Gods word, and desire the kingdome of his Son Christ Jesus to be ad­vanced, they will also embrace, and receive that policie and order which the word of God, and upright estate of his Kirk craves, otherwise it is in vaine that they have profest the same.

Notwithstanding as concerning other patronages of benefices that have not curam animarum, as they speak: such as are chaplen­ries, prebendaries founded upon temporall lands, annuels, and such like, may be reserved unto the ancient Patrones, to dispone here­upon, when they vaike, to schollers and bursers, as they are required by act of Parliament.

As for the Kirk rents in generall we desire that order be admit­ted and maintained amongst us, that may stand with the sincerity [Page 98]of Gods word, and practise of the purity of the Kirk of Christ:

To wit, that, as was before spoken, the whole rent and patrimony of the Kirk, excepting the small patronages before mentioned, may be divided in foure portions: one thereof to be assigned to the Pastor for his entertainment, and hospitality; an other to the El­ders, Deacons and other officers of the Kirk, such as clerks of As­semblies, takers up of the Psalmes, Beadels and keepers of the Kirk, so far as is necessary: Joyning with them also the Doctors, and Schooles, to help the ancient foundations where need requires: the third portion to be bestowed upon the poore members of the faithfull, and hospitalls: the fourth for reparation of the Kirks, and other extraordinary charges as are profitable for the Kirk, and also for the common-wealth, if need require.

We desire therefore the Ecclesiasticall goods to be uplifted and distributed faithfully to whom they appertaine, and that by the ministerie of the Deacons, to whose office properly the collection and distribution thereof belongs, that the poore may be answeted of their portion thereof, and they of the Ministery live without care and solicitude: as also the rest of the treasury of the Kirk may be reserved, and bestowed to their right uses.

If these Deacons be elected with such qualities as Gods word craves to be in them, there is no feare, that they shall abuse them­selves in their office, as the profane Collector did of before.

Yet because this vocation appeares to many to be dangerous, let them be oblished, as they were of old, to a yearely count to the Pastors and Eldership; and if the Kirk and Prince think expe­dient, let cautioners be oblished for their fidelity, that the Kirk rents on na wayes be dilapidat.

And to the effect this order may take place, it is to be provided that all other intrometters with the Kirk rent, Collectors generall or speciall, whether it be by appointment of the Prince, or other­waies, may be denuded of further intromission therewith, and suf­fer the Kirk rents in time comming to be wholly intrometted with by the ministrie of the Deacons, and distribute to the use before mentioned.

And also, to the effect that the Ecclesiasticall rents may suffice to these uses for the which they are to be appointed, Wee thinke it necessary to be desired, that all alienations, setting of fewes, or tacks of the rents of the Kirk, as well lands as tiends, in hurt and diminution of the old rentalls, be reduced and an­nulled, [Page 99]and the patrimony of the of Kirk restored to the former old liberty.

And likewise, that in times comming the tiends be set to nane, but to the labourers of the ground, or else not set at all, as was a­greed upon, and subscribed by the Nobility of before.

CHAP. 13. The utilitie that shall flow from this reformation to all Estates.

SEeing the end of this spirituall government and policie where­of we speak, is, that God may be glorified, the kingdome of Je­sus Christ advanced, and all who are of his mysticall body may live peaceable in conscience; Therfore we dare boldly affirme, that all these who have true respect to these ends, will even for con­science cause gladly agree and conforme themselves to this order, and advance the same, so farre as lyeth in them, that their consci­ence being set at rest, they may be replenished with spiritual glad­nesse in giving full obedience to that which Gods word, and the testimony of their owne conscience doth crave, and refusing all corruption contrary to the same.

Next wee shall become an example and paterne of good and godly order to other nations, countries, and Kirks professing the same Religion with us, that as they have glorified God in our con­tinuing in the sincerity of the word hither to, without any errours, praise be to his name: so they may have the like occasion in our conversation, when as we conforme our selves to that discipline, policie, and good order, which the same word, and purity of re­formation craveth at our hands: Otherwise that fearfull sentence may be justly said to us, The servant knowing the will of his Master, and not doing it, &c.

Moreover, if we have any piety or respect to the poore mem­bers of Jesus Christ, who so greatly increase and multiply amongst us, we will not suffer them to be longer defrauded of that part of the patrimony of the Kirk, which justly belongs unto them; and by this order, if it be duly put to execution, the burden of them shall bee taken off us to our great comfort, the streets shall be cleansed of the cryings and murmurings of them as we shall no more be any scandall to other Nations, as we have hitherto been, for not taking order with the poore amongst us, and causing the word which we professe to be evill spoken of, giving occasion of [Page 100]slander to the enemies, and offending the consciences of the simple and godly.

Besides this, it shall be a great ease and commodity to the whole common people, in relieving them of the building and upholding their Kirks, in bigging of brigges, and other like publick workes: to the labourers of the ground in payment of their tiends, and shortly in all these things, whereinto they have been hitherto ri­gorously handled by them that were falsly called Kirk-men, their tacks-men, factours, chalmerlanes and extortioners.

Finally, to the Kings Majestie, and common-wealth of the countrey this profit shall redound, That the other affaires of the Kirk being sufficiently provided, according to the distribution, of the which hath been spoken; the superplus being collected in the treasurie of the Kirk may be profitably imployed, and liberally bestowed upon the extraordinary support of the affaires of the Prince and Common-wealth, and specially of that part which is appointed for reparation of Kirks.

So to conclude, all being willing to apply themselves to this or­der, the people suffering themselves to be ruled according thereto: the Princes and Magistrates not being exemed, and these that are placed in the Ecclesiasticall estate rightly ruling and gover­ning, God shall be glorified, the Kirk edified, and the bounds thereof inlarged, Christ Jesus and his Kingdome set up, Satan and his Kingdome subverted, and God shall dwell in the midst of us, to our comfort, through Jesus Christ, who together with the Fa­ther and the Holy Ghost, abides blessed in all eternity, Amen.


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