Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.—Rom. 8.33

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Together with some



Clearing and confirming the ſame: And


EXOD.  25.9.

According to all that I ſhew thee, after the paterne of the Tabernacle, and the paterne of all the inſtruments ther- of, even ſo ſhall yee make it.

Printed Anno 1621.


Table of Contents

Title Page of 1621 Edition TrueCovenanter.com Introduction Preface by David Calderwood Public Acts of Authority Acts Confirming 1560 Book of Discipline Acts Confirming 1581 Book of Policy Concerning the Adversaries of Discipline Points of Agreement Concerning Bishops Act of Parliament 1592 Just This First Book of Discipline Head 1: Of Doctrine Head 2: Of Sacraments Head 3: Abolishing Idolatry Head 4: Concerning Ministers Disqualification for Office Admission to Office Of Readers Head 5: Provision for Ministers Of Superintendents Divisions of Diocesses Election of Superintendents The Schools The Necessity of Schools Time of Courses Three Universities Readers of Colleges Stipends and Expenses Privileges of the University Head 6: Rents & Patrimony of the Kirk Head 7: Ecclesiastical Discipline Order for Publick Offenders Persons Subject to Discipline Head 8: Election of Elders & Deacons Head 9: The Policy of the Kirk Prophesying ~ Meetings Marriage Burial Reparation of Kirks Punishment of False Ministers Conclusion Act of Secret Council Just This Second Book of Discipline Chapter 01: Kirk Policy in General Chapter 02: Office-Bearers of the Kirk Chapter 03: Admission of Office-Bearers Chapter 04: The Pastor, Bishop, or Minister Chapter 05: The Doctor and the Schools Chapter 06: The Elder and his Office Chapter 07: Elderships, Presbyteries, & Synods Chapter 08: The Deacon and his Office Chapter 09: The Patrimony of the Kirk Chapter 10: The Christian Magistrate Chapter 11: Present Abuses to be Reformed Chapter 12: Special Heads of Reformation Chapter 13: Utility of Reformation to All

TrueCovenanter.com Editor's Introduction.

Here is presented a re-publication of David Calderwood's 1621 edition of the First and Second Books of Discipline of the Church of Scotland. These are documents of great importance in the history of the Presbyterian Church, and would be considered important today also if the Presbyterian Churches of our time were of that same purity and zeal for the honour of Christ which once so distinctly characterized the Church of Scotland and the True Witnesses for Reformation Principles.

For a long time these documents have been generally overlooked by a majority of Presbyterians claiming to adhere to the cause of the Second Reformation. Churches have often made it their endeavour to draft their own Book of Discipline, and it is unnecessary to cite instances seeing as they are not few. Neither is there blame to be laid on any for endeavouring to make up what may be missing from the historic Books of Discipline of the Reformation, or to accommodate the changes in circumstances which necessarily impose upon the Church of Jesus Christ new questions, new problems, and new opportunities. Nonetheless, there is an important reason why these documents demand the attention of more than historians and curious antiquaries.

These Books contain not only an extract of Bible Law concerning the Government and Discipline of the House of God; but what must also be regarded as the Covenanted Discipline of the Church of Scotland. Such terminology, it is to be acknowledged, may sound somewhat irritating in a day when certain individuals have greatly overused the term, referring to a "Covenanted" this and a "Covenanted" that, as if every doctrine, interpretation, indifferent custom, and mere speculation expressed by one or two theologians of the Reformation were the several hinges upon which the whole Covenanted Reformation must hang. But the reader should note that whereas it has become customary to look upon the Westminster Assembly's Form of Presbyterial Church Government as the standard of Discipline and Government for the Presbyterians' Covenanted Constitution, and intended fulfillment of the first article of the Solemn League and Covenant, whereby we are obliged to "endeavour to bring the Churches of GOD in the three kingdoms to the nearest conjunction and uniformity in religion, ... Form of Church Government, &c." yet there is the more reason to regard these Books of Discipline as what Presbyterians are obliged to preserve and follow insofar as the same League and Covenant, in the same article, first and primarily obliges the Covenanters to "endeavor, in our several places and callings, the preservation of the reformed religion in the Church of Scotland, in doctrine, worship, discipline, and government, against our common enemies, &c." The discipline and government of the Church of Scotland were not contemplated as items yet to be determined, but as things very well known for their Biblical purity and excellence. What was drafted and proposed by the Assembly of Divines at Westminster does not advance this, nor replace it. The Presbyterian Church of Scotland already had a Covenanted Discipline and Government of long standing, which was also more particularly defined than what was eventually received from Westminster as a part of the Covenanted uniformity of Scotland and England.

The National Covenant also, as first sworn in 1580, and as later renewed in 1638, obliges to the preservation of and obedience to the established doctrine and discipline of the Church of Scotland, which can have no reference to future documents not yet contemplated by any. Accordingly, in the year 1641, Calderwood's publication of 1621 was re-published under the title of The Doctrine and Discipline of the Kirke of Scotland, &c. clearly demonstrating that the Scots accounted the Discipline of these standards to be that which the Nation was required to uphold by her Covenant engagements.

It may be observed therefore, that whereas Reformed Presbyterians claim for themselves that they are the True Church of Scotland, standing upon her original constitution without making any sectarian defection from the principles thereof; and whereas subscription to the Covenants, National and Solemn League, and their consequent obligations, are the nationally established "Terms of Communion" of the True Church of Scotland, according to her standing legal constitution; it is to be concluded that these standards, with the Doctrine and Discipline therein contained, are also of standing authority as "Terms of Communion" for all true Reformed Presbyterians.

This point was much contested in the 1800's in the RPCNA during the "Deacon Controversy," on account of the fact that the Books of Discipline accord to the Deacon more comprehensive powers than does the Westminster Form of Church Government. For example, the subject is discussed in William Roberts' Reformed Presbyterian Catechism and more extensively in a series of articles by J. B. Johnston on "Terms of Ecclesiastical Communion." Other articles appeared in The Covenanter edited by James M. Wilson, including "Church Property, &c." "The Second Book of Discipline—Deacons Abroad" and "The Deacons" by R.H.

The significance of these standards, demonstrated quite effectively in some of these writings, may seem to have been overlooked when the Reformed Presbytery in North America revised its third Term of Communion with the appended clause, "... that the most perfect model of these as yet attained, is exhibited in the Form of Government and Directory For Worship, adopted by the Church of Scotland in the Second Reformation," insofar as one is inclined to assume that the phrase "Form of Government" refers distinctly to the document of that title. This may be so, but on the other hand, the point here maintained, and proven in the references cited above, is that the Doctrine and Discipline of these older standards was, in fact, the "Form of Government ... adopted by the Church of Scotland in the Second Reformation," though not without various additions adopted as the Reformation progressed.

In the text which follows efforts have been made to present the original publication of 1621 as near as possible to its exact appearance at that time, including archaic spelling, etc. The text was typed and prepared from the 1621 publication with only occasional corrections to printer errors and the insertion of bracketed synonyms. Also, double-brackets have been added to the portions inserted by the Scottish Lords. The reader should understand that this is not intended to signify something omitted in the 1621 edition. The text of 1621 includes the insertions, but without any brackets or other means of discerning that they are additions. The 1621 text represents the first publication of the books of discipline in full. This seems strange, considering their significance; but it may be noted that, at least in the case of the latter, manuscript copies were not wanting, these being registered in the books of Presbyteries and Synods, and apparently at the hands of men such as David Calderwood and also James Melville, who included the text within his Diary.

Those who desire a modern edition of the text, are referred to that prepared by Mr. Kevin Reed of Texas, whose edition may be found online, with a modern introduction including a brief historical account of the preparation of these documents, which most readers will find very helpful.


AFTER these darke and dreadfull dayes of barbarous blindnesse, and superstition, wherein by the deceit of dumb dogges, bloudie warres for many yeares 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 visite this Realme, by sending, not one Ionah to such a Niniveh, or one Phillip to such a Samaria, but first few, since many, & all faithfull, holy, wise, frack [ready] to preach the Gospell 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 idolatry, and damnable dissension among the members of this kingdome, wherein consisted the strength of that bloudie beast, by whose tyrannous crueltie, and deceiveable wayes, Princes and people, were shamefully abused, and often compelled with the clawes of violence to shed the bloud of the Saints, yea, to keepe the book of the unchangeable Testament of Iesus Christ, under the cover of a strange tongue, as a clasped booke, 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 Iericho fell, the people that sate in darkeness {} 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 own arme against his enemies, in that prosperous time, that neither proud Anakims, nor crafty 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 & perswaded great & small, poore and rich, and persons of all estates, to professe the Evangell. And howsoever they were daily crossed with deceit, and opposition, so led they diversity in the hand of amitie, that all things concerning the great work of that glorious reformation to the praise of God, and the comfort of the godly, were wisely and firmely appointed. In those happy daies the servants of the Lord in love, were like Ionathan and David; in courage like Gideons 300, in unity like the Saints that first received the Gospel; in care and diligence like the builders of the wall of Ierusalem, & 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 work, nor warre, were there to be found any pompous prelate, abbot, prior, bishop or archbishop, that loves to shine in dignity, and rejoyce in rent, with the contempt {} of their brethren, and neglect of the Lords service. O Scotland! what was then thy felicity? Then didst thou sing and shout with the voyce of joy: God wil arise, and his enemies shall be scattered; they also that hate him shall flye 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 crafty parasite, and the self-loving politician, the Christian coloured belly-god, and the loose-liver, the time-server, and all the sorts of that filthy sect, that hates to be 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 daies some dangerous Dalilah have betrayed Sampson, and told wherein his strength lay, with no lesse hurt to this Kirk, 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 Iesus, that they might bring them unto bondage. It is cleerly known to many in this Kingdome, and in forraine parts, what a wall for defence, and a band for peace, and progresse of the Gospell, was that heavenly discipline, whereby brotherly amitie, and sacred harmony of Prince, Pastors, and Professours, were so continued and increased, that all as one man, did stand together for the doctrine, Sacraments, and Kirk governement, against the adversaries, either lurking or professed. It was the hedge of the Lords vineyard and the hammer whereby the hornes both of adversaries, & 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 own 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 therupon, yet nothing should let [hinder] us to behold, as it were heaven upon earth, that is, the power of God in his own, &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 keepe these two together, as that ye may be assured, that if the one fall, the other can no waies long stand.

It cannot be denyed, but by the space of 50 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 therof is scarcely to be found in Storie [history], or seene with eyes in any Nation, since the revelation of the Mysterie of the Gospell to the first Apostles. But now of late, with pittie to speak it, no uncircumcised Philistim, or Assyrian, but some of the Disciples, desirous to sit at the right hand, and pretending to restore again the Kingdom to Israel, the Kirk to her old rents, and priviledges, at first did mince, and sparingly speak, but afterward practice and loudly preach; that, except after the manner of other Nations, the Kirk 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 poverty and contempt, but by the meanes of this malady 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 aboundantly 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 in 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 pacifie 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, fretting as a canker, increaseth unto more ungodliness; 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 Iesus Christ, who so long like a chast Virgine hath shined in purity before her Lord in this land, should now be stained with Corahes ambition, Balaams wages, and Esaues profannesse, altar against altar, and brother against {} brother. In this case, so pittifull, 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 lawes. [Psalm 119.126.] And of her constant friends boldly avow, Therefore love they thy commandements above gold, yea above most fine gold. [Psalm 119.127.] Could this pragmaticall course of dangerous desertion from a truth so long professed, whereof none, or few can be ignorant, work in our hearts, now almost lukewarme, a laborious love, and holy zeale for that truth wherof we are perswaded; we might then be fully assured, that as it was said in the book 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 wel at their entrie into Canaan against the Nations, as at their coming out of Egypt against Pharao: 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 ceremony, making the end of his owne worke against Apostates from Discipline, professed by themselves, and in that respect renters of brotherly unitie, and dividers of brethren, answerable to the happie beginnings therof against cruell persecutors, and wicked Hereticks. Is the Lord changed, because he changes the manner of his working? God forbid. For although he declare not in our 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 daies of Corah; he raines not shewers of brimstone upon the Sodomites of this age; hee turnes not such as looke {} back into pillars of salt to season others; neither is his favour manifested towards his own secret ones in earthly and visible blessings, so wonderfully as of old, yet the God of Israel is our God, and the God of the old Testament is the God of the new, and better Testament, having still a secret and equivalent providence most wisely disposed, and 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 therof could wish another then the present, howsoever the folly of Infidelity blindes men to affect the miracles, ease, and outward prosperity of former generations, and if these faile, to cast themselves headlong in desperation, defection, or atheisme. Yea, because he workes not as before[,] in their hast, they conclude, that he workes not at all. It were our wisedom, 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 Gospell, summoning all flesh before the judgment 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 Kirk should make them with the greater courage, to lift up their heads, and while the day of their redemption drawes neere, to walke with the greater fidelity in their vocations, building {} the house of God with the one hand, and fighting with the other, against enemies of all sorts, especially these Sanballates, 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 walles of Christs Kirk, builded within this Nation, since our deliverie from the Romish captivity, are so weake, that if a Foxe shall goe up upon them, he should break them downe. [Neh. 4.3.] And now forsooth the new work rising in place of the old to be more firme, and of the old foundation, when the mysterie of iniquity, after long working in secret was seen manifested, their was a new face brought upon the Kirk. The pure fountaines of holy Scripture troubled with the puddle of triffling traditions, ceremonies brought in, and will-worship, and damnable Idolatry set up, Apostolicall discipline abolished, and Popish policie exalted. Yet such is the wilfulnesse of men knowing the weakness of errour, & force of the truth, that multitudes in the succeeding times have not blusht to bring in these novelties under the name of ancient 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 daies, 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 Kirk, 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 Babell, and without Gods preventing mercie, and our speedy repentance, the losse of a great substance for a foule conformity; and yet, {} howsoever all men cry, that the ancient way was the best, and as they love honesty, they will be the sonnes of constancy, and firmly 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 he was wont to carie, as the badge of his strength, and trophee of his honour: So some of his Prentesses, for the beautifull face of this Kirk, and heavenly proportion of her divine 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 skinne within these few yeares was commonly repute among 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 historie & usurping the honor 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 idolatry, creeping in and corrupting that Kirk. It were likewise to be wished, for the {} weale of this Kirk, 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 Kirk, 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 Kirk for clearing your doubts, and confirming the truth against such, as delyte in vailes of obscurity, 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 seeme 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 suffring 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 his light, and stay his mind from thinking that true, which we would wish were false, that were the sinne of a wittie malignant: Hæc 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 bene 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 & put in register the same, but a great imputation & guiltinesse lying upon the succeeding age, who deprived themselves of such a benefite, and the Kirk of such a defence. Though the booke of Gods covenant lay long hid in the Temple, yet Iosiah rejoyced when it came to light. Very Iezabel could not be stayed from magnifying of Baal by all the dashes he suffered from heaven and earth. And should not Christians be ashamed to be lesse affectionate to Verity, then she to idolatry, and namely a truth concerning Christs Kingly Office, and the Ministers of his Kingdom, without the truth wherof 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 been preached, and professed, King, Priest, and Prophet. And it shall be the glory of this land, thankfully to acknowledge that incomprehensible benefite, and alwaies carefully to keep whole without rent, and to carie a reverent estimation to the great work of the glorious reformation of this Kirk. 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 odious name of Puritan, and yet one of that lordly sort is forced to confesse, that Scottes Professours are unto him Puritanes from the forme of externall governement, 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 own forme, yet in the rest of the doctrine they are sufficiently Orthodoxe. Others, like wicked creditors destroying the obligation, wherby 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 beginning were called Superintendents, to be figures, paternes, forerunners, or liuetenants of bishops such as now are, would move the world to beleeve, that they follow the first Discip. A fourth kind, wandering in the wildernes of unbounded indifferency, takes upon thé to determin all doubts of disciplin, by honor, ease, or gaine. And some, of Gallioes disposition [Acts 18.12-17,] it may be, hidly esteeming all Religion a matter of speech, spare not to proclaim, 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 work our pens; & in his own time, if presumption be obstinate, he will inspire them with greater love of his truth, to whom he hath given knowledge in measure above thé who hath put to their hand; & increase their knowledg, in whose harts he hath wroght some love, howsoever their knowledge be farre inferior 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 Evangell of Iesus Christ, agreing in doctrine, and administration of the Sacraments, and the people of this Realm that professe Christ, as he is now offered in his Evangel, and doe cómunicate with the holy Sacraments (as in the reformed {} Kirk of this Realm they are publiquly administred) according to the confession of Faith; & that such as were clothed with the Kirk rents, or greedily gaped after the same, as abbots, priores, prioresses, bishops, commendatairs, & other sacrilegious usurpers of Kirk-livings, as they had place in policie, credit in Court, or Counsel, either professedly or craftily, have resisted the course of the Gospell, and the discipline therof, as may be seen in these conflicts, wherby the Kirk 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 living familiars, & her old friends her greatest enemies. A strange case, and yet very casuall for the Kirk by seeking worldly preferment, to loose spiritual servants, as one said, Never a Minister got a great Benefice, but he spilt it, or it spilt him. [D. F.]

Item, that under the name of discipline is to be vnderstood 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, & wisely to distinguish betwixt the Kirks purpose and intention in every particular, & their possibility to perform and practise, as circumstances concurred, or were contrary. As for example, they intended residét Ministers, one or moe, as Kirkes were of largeness, with Elders & Deacons. Ité, doctors of divinity for schools, Assemblies general, provincial, weekly meetings for the {} interpretation of the Scripture, which afterward at Edinburgh the 7 day of Iuly, 1579 were judged to be a Presbyrie: And they abhorred Anarchie, Oligarchie, and Hierarchie: but with great paines & 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 Superintendents, and Visiters of Countries, who afterward in the generall Assembly holden at Edinburgh the 4 of August 1590 when Presbyters were wel, and orderly constitute, were declared neither to be necessary, nor expedient.

Fourthly, the first and second booke of Discipline penned by the Ministers of the reformed Kirk, and the first book 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 book standing insert in publick register of the Kirk, ordained to be subscribed by divers actes of the Assembly, and confirmed by practise, are both for one end, To wit, to direct reformation in doctrine, Sacraments, and exercise of Discipline, and to resist idolatry & 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 officebeareres 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; certain heads of reformation, with the utility of the said books, &c. Item, either of the said books confirm the other, & neither of them abolish, or innovate the other.



for Cleering and Confirming the ſaid bookes

of DISCIPLINE, and againſt the

Adverſaries thereof.

For the firſt Booke.

Edinburgh Iul. 30. 1562.

BEcauſe the lives of Ministers ought to be such, as thereby others may be provoked to godlinesse, It becomes them first to be tryed, after the tryall 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 tryed, &c. In that whole ordinance anent tryall, 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, making petition for the Superintendencie of Galloway, was refused, because he had not observed the order of calling Superintendents, and in the meane time was required to subscribe the book of Discipline. Where it is evident that by his Episcopacie he might exercise no Ministeriall dutie, and although he was presented by the Lords, yet they would not admit him to bee Superintendent, except he subscribed the book 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, 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 Superintendents might not doe what pleased them: Secondly, that obedience to be performed to them was injoyned by the Kirk, and set down in the booke of Discipline, and in the election of Superintendents. {2}


A Minister lawfully admitted, shal not be 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.

Edinburgh Decemb. 25. 1562.

According to the fourth head of the booke of Discipline concerning the lawfull election of Ministers, the Assemblie ordaines, that Inhibition shall be made to all and sundry persons, now serving in the Ministery, who hath 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 Ministerie within the Kirk.

Edinburgh Decem. 25. 1563.

It was thought needfull, 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 oversee 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 book to be the book 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.

Edinburgh Junij 25. 1564.

ANent the causes of the Kirk, and the jurisdiction thereof, the Assembly appointed, the laird of Dunn, M. Iohn Winram, M. Iohn Spottiswod, M. Iohn Willock, Superintendents, M. Iohn Row, George Hay, Robert Pont, Christopher Gudman, Thomas Drummond, Iohn Knox, Iohn Craig, Iohn Rutherfurd, George Buchanan, Robert Hammiltoun, Clement Little, the lairds of Lundie, Elephinstoun, 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.

Edinburgh Decemb. 25. 1566.

Ordaines an humble supplication to be made to the Lords of Secret Councell, anent the commission of jurisdiction, supponed granted to the Bishop of Santandroes, 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 oversee the Queenes Majesties Commission given to such men, who for the most part were our brethren, yet can the Assembly no wayes be {3} content, that the Bishop of Saint Andrewes, a conjured enemy to Christ, use that jurisdiction, as also in respect of that couloured commission, he might usurpe againe, his old usurped authoritie, and the same might be the meane to oppresse the whole kirk by his corrupt judgement.

Edinburgh Decemb. 25. 1567.

The whole Assembly thought meet that certain brethren be appointed to concurre at all times with such persons of Parliament, or 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, and Iohn Craig Ministers of Edinburgh: The Superintendents of Angus, and Lothiane, David Borthuike, Thomas Mackcalzan, David Lindsey Minister at Leith, George Hay at Ruthven, and Iohn Row at S. Iohnstonn.

Edinburgh Iunij 25. 1567.

Letters directed fró the Assembly by their Commissioners, to the Earls, Lords, & Barós, 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, Ogilvie, M. of Sinclare, Gray, Oliphant, Methven, Innermeth, M. of Somervell, Barons, Lochinvar, Garlies, Shireff of Air, Glenurquher, Sir Ia. Hamilton, 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 thereof a perfect policie and full liberty might be granted to this reformed Kirk within Scotland, &c.

Edinburgh Iulij 1. 1568

An Article presented to my Lord Regent, that his Grace would cause such as are apointed 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 and place may be códiscended upon to that effect, and that it be done before the Parliament.

Edinburgh Jul. 1 1569.

My Lord Regents grace ordaines the persons nominate in the act of Parliament to conveen the time of the next chekker, and define and limitate the jurisdiction of the Kirk, according to the word of God, and act of Parliament made thereanent Extract. act secretarij consilii, Alexander Hay.

Edinburgh Marcij 5. 1570.

Articles pertaining to the jurisdiction of the Kirk to be proponed to the Regents grace and secret Councell, 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 {4} the preaching of the word, and ministration of the Sacraments. 2 Election, examination, and admission of them, that are admitted to the Ministerie, or other functions of the Kirk, charge of soules, and Ecclesiasticall benefices, the suspension, and deprivation of them therefrom 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 Ministerie, or otherwaies intromet therwith unjustly, whereby the Ministry is in danger to decay by occasion of the poverty of the Ministers. 6 And because the conjunction of Marriages pertaines to the Ministerie, the causes of adherence and divorcements ought also to pertain to them, as naturally annexed thereto.

Edinburgh Aprilt 24. 1576. Sess. 6.

Brethren appointed to make an overture of the policie, and jurisdiction of the Kirk, &c. For the west countrey, the bishop of Glasgow, Mrs. Andro Melvil, Andro Hay, Iames Graig, David Cuninghame; for Lowthiane, Mrs. Robert Pont, Iames Lowson, David Lindsay, Clement Littil, and Alexander Simme. For Fyfe, the Superintendent thereof, with the principall Masters of the Vniversitie. 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, & their persons to conveen, ilk country and rank in the places following, viz. The West in Glascow: Lothiane, in Edinburgh, Fyfe, in Santandroes: 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.

Edinburgh Octob. 1. 1577.

The brethren depute to the conceiving and forming of the heads of the policie of the Kirk, 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 disputatió. Al men being required, that had any good reason or Argument to propone, in the contrarie to alledge the same; {7} or if they would not publickly reason on the said head, to resort to the said Commissioners, where travell should be 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. Andro 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. Andro Hay, Robert Pont, David Lyndesay, nothing alledged in the contrarie. 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 policie being wholy read in publicke audience of the Assembly, it was thought expedient that their whole travailes and work in this matter being now dispersed, should be revised & 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 [until] 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 policie, returned, and reported, his Grace liked well of their travels, and labours they tooke in that matter, requiring expedition, and hasty outred [completion] thereof.

Sess. 9.

The brethren appointed to collect the heads of the policie presented of before, reported the same gathered and collected in {6} 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 de jure 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 sayd heads. Because the matter of the policie of the Kirke collected by the brethren, is not yet in such perfect forme, as is requisite, & sundry things are largely intreated, which would be more summarily handled, others required further dilatation, for recollecting thereof, and putting the same in good order, and forme, and for avoyding of superfluitie, and obscuritie, the substantialls being kept, the Assembly presently hath willed their beloved brethren, Mrs. R. Pont, and Iames Lowson, to take travel and labour in the premisses. And to the effect, that the worke may bee the 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, Andro Melvill, Iohn Craig, Andrew Hay, George Hay, Iohn Row, David Lindesay, Iohn Dunkesone, to assemble and convene together the 19. of October next in Edinburgh, to revise and consider the travels of the sayd brethren, that the same may be the more advisedly proponed publickly, as is sayd. 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.

Edinburgh Octob. 25. 1577.

Because the matter of the policie, and jurisdiction of the Kirk, commmitted 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, {7} the assembly ordaines it to be proceeded further in.

Sess. 6.

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

Edinburgh Octob. 25. 1577.

The heads of the policie and jurisdiction of the Kirk being wholly read, 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 sayd heads may be put in mundo, disposed and set in good order, according to the mind of the Assembly, The assembly hath willed Mrs. James Lowson, Robert Pont, David Lindsay, and the Clerke of the assembly to labour with diligence therein, and the same being put in mundo by them according to the original to be seen, and revised, by John Dunkeson, David Forguson, the Laird of Dun, Mr. Iames Carmichael, and Iohn Brand, and being seen by them according to the sayd originall, to be presented by the sayd 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 be 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, Andro Melvill, Iames Lowson, Robert Pont, David Lindsay, Andrew Hay, George Hay, and Iohn Dunkeson to concurre and await upon the said conference, as they shall be advertised by his Grace.

Edinburgh April, 24. 1578.

For as much as the generall assembly hath thought meet, that the travels taken by them upon the policie, shall be presented to the Kings Maiestie, and his Highnesse Councel, it was found meet that before the copies thereof were delivered, they should be yet reviewed and overseen by Mrs. Robert Pont, Iames Lowson, and David Lindsay, and being written over, according to the originall, one copie 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 bee at the discretion of the sayd brethren, so it be before the generall fast. And in case conference and reasoning be craved upon the sayd heads, the assembly hath nominated Mr. John Craig, Alexander Arbuthnot, the Laird of Dun, William Christeson, Iohn Row, David Forgugon, Robert Pont, Iames Lowson, David Lindsay, Iohn Dunkeson, Andro Melvill, Andro Hay, Iames Craig, to concurre and convene at such times {8} appoynted by the King and Counsell as advertisement shall bee made to them by the sayd three brethren. And that the sayd Commissioners at the sayd conference, reason also in the head of the ceremonies, and how farre Ministers may meddle with civil affaires, and if they may vote in Counsell or Parliament.

Edinburgh 24. April, 1578.

It was required, 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.


The generall Assembly of the Kirk finding universall corruption of the whole estates of the body of this realme, the great coldnesse and slacknesse in religion, in the greatest part of the professors of the same, with the daily increase of all kinde of fearfull 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 iniquities of the land, and namely by the present penurie, famine, and hunger, ioyned 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 councells 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 mercie 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 policie, 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 the [sic] 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 poynts.

Sterling Iunij 10. 1578.

Forasmuch as in the last assembly commission was given to certaine brethren to present to the Kings Highnes and Councell, the {9} heads of the policie of the Kirk, with a supplication to his Grace. The Assembly desired the report of the brethrens proceedings, who expounded, & shew, that according to their cómission, they exhibite to the Kings Majestie, a copie of the heads of the policie, with the supplication unto his Grace, who gave a very comfortable and good answer, That not onely would he concurre with the Kirk in all things that might advance the true religion presently professed within this Realme, but also would bee a protector for the Kirk, and thereafter his Grace presented to the Councell the sayd supplication, who nominate persons to conferre in the matter, and by his Maiesties 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.

Edinburgh Octob. 29. 1578.

In respect that at the desire of the Assembly, a certaine of the Nobilitie 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 studie the assembly had taken to entertaine and keep the puritie of the sincere word of God, unmixed with the invention of their own heads, which their speciall care was to reserue to the posteritie hereafter. And seeing that the true religion is not able to continue, nor endure long, without a good discipline and policie, in that part have they also imployed their wit, and studie, and drawn 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 Maiestie, with their supplication, at whose direction certaine Commissioners were appointed to reason with such as were deputed by the King, where the whole matter being disputed, was resolued and agreed, except a few heads, and thereafter againe presented to the Lords of the Articles, that the sayd discipline might have place, and be established by the acts and lawes of the Realme, wherein no the lesse their travells have not succeeded, praying therfore the Nobilitie 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 policie 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 policie, as were already resolved and agreed upon by the sayd 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 {10} to that effect. And that presentations to benefices be directed to the commissioners of countries, where the benefices lye. And to the end that the matter may be the better and sooner exped, that their Lordships would appoynt such time convenient thereto, as they may best spare, that such of the brethren as shall bee named thereto, may wait upon their Honours. Hereunto the sayd 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 be suited, and they shall insist with the king for answer thereto. The time to that effect they shall notifie to the Assembly the morne.

Edinburgh July 7. 1579.

That because in the last conference holden at Sterling by his Graces command concerning the policie of the Kirk, certain Articles thereanent remaine yet unresolved, and referred to further conference, therefore the assembly craves of his Majestie that persons unspotted of such corruptions, as are desired to be reformed, may be nominate by his Majestie to proceed in the further conference upon the sayd policie, and time and place to be appoynted to that effect.


The question being proponed by the Synods of Lowthiane to the generall assembly anent a generall order to bee taken for erecting of Presbyteries in places where publick exercise is used, unto the time the policie of the kirke bee established by law. It is answered that the exercise may bee judged to bee a Presbyterie.

Dundie, Iuly 12. 1580.

An Article propounded by the Comissioners of the kirk to his Majestie and Councell, that the booke of policie may bee established by an act of privie Councell, while [until] a parliament bee had, at which it may be confirmed.

Glasgow, Aprill 24. 1581.

Forasmuch as travells haue been taken in the forming of the policie of the kirke, 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 posteritie should judge well of the present age, and of the meaning of the kirk, the assembly hath concluded, that the booke of policie agreed to in divers Assemblies before, should bee registrate amongst the Actes of the Assemblies, and remaine therein ad perpetuam rei memoriam. And the Copies thereof to bee taken by every presbyterie, Of the which booke the Tenour followeth, &c.

Edinburgh 4. aug. 1590 P. Galloway Moderator.

For as much as it is certaine, that the word of God cannot be kept in the owne sinceritie, without the holy Discipline bee had {11} in observance. It is therefore by common consent of the whole brethren, and Commissioners present, concluded, that whosoever hath borne office in the ministerie of the Kirke within this Realme, or that presently beares, or shall hereafter beare office herein, shall be charged by every particular Presbyterie 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 policie, which is registrat in the assembly bookes, & namely the heads [c]ótroverted by enemies of the discipline of the reformed Kirk of this Realm, betwixt [now] and the next Synodall Assemblies of the provinces, under the paine of excommunication to be executed against the non-subscrivers, and the Presbyteries which shal be found remisse or negligent herein, to receive publick rebuke of the whole Assembly. And to the effect the sayd Discipline may be knowne, as it ought to be, to the whole brethren, It is ordained that the Moderator of each Presbyterie shall receive from the Clerke of the Assembly, a copie of the sayd booke under his subscription, upon the expenses of the Presbyterie, betwixt [now] and the first day of September next to come, under the paine to be openly accused in the face of the whole Assembly.

Edinburgh July 2. 1591.

The Assembly ordaines, that the discipline contained in the acts of the generall Assembly, be kept as well in Angus and Mernis, as in all other parts.

Actes concerning the Adverſaries of


It is to be marked, that ſuch as adhered to Papistrie, were enemies both to reformation and Diſcipline, and ſuch as embraced the true religion, whether Kirkmen or other profeſſors, and yet poſſeſſed the Kirke rents, were not onely unheartie friends, but under colour, and in policie, as great hinderers, as lovers of the benefices and livings belonging to the ſervice of God.

Edinburgh Iuly 30. 1562.

ALexander Gordon being Bishop of Galloway, is no otherwise acknowledged by the Assembly in respect of spirituall function, then as a private man voyd of Iurisdiction: & therefore he and the rest of that sort, are not simply set down by their title of Bishop, but by a note as it were of degradation, (so called) to wit, by custome, but by no right.

Edinburgh Decem. 25. 1562.

The sayd Mr. Alexander Gordon without respect to his place, or Bishopricke, is inrolled after the Superintendents, and is {12} thus designed, Mr. Alexander Gordon, intitulate bishop of Galloway, and is there leited [nominated] for the Superintendencie 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 bene heretofore accustomed.

S. Iohnston. Iune 25. 1563.

Mr. Alexander Gordon, named bishop of Galloway, was removed 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.


The Assemblie 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 own 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, that when any benefice shall chance to vake, or is now vacant, that a qualified person be presented to the Superintendent 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 be not placed in such roomes, by them that are yet called Bishops, and are not.


Mr. Robert Pont complained upon the Bishop of Dunblane, 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 Majestie and her Councell, for remitting the thirds, or any part thereof to the Bishops, that are elected by the Kirk, to be Commissioners to plant Kirkes within their bounds.


A sentence of vnquhile Iames B. of Rosse, commissioner to vnquhile Iames Archb. of Santandroes, pronounced against Iames Hammiltoun of Kincavel, was declared wicked, ungodly, and wrangusly led.

Edinburgh Decemb. 25. 1566.

Bishops, Abbots, Priors, and other persones beneficed, being of the Kirk, who receive teinds and awaite not on the flock committed to their cure, nather present themselves to the Generall Assembly, are ordained to be summoned by the Superintendens to compeire 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.

Edinburgh Decemb. 25. 1567.

Adam, called B. of Orknay, and commissioner, was accused, that he being Bishop and Commissioner, occupied the roome of a Magistrate in the Session, his sheepe wandering without a pastor, and {13} retaines in his company Sir Frances Bothwel, a rank Papist to whom he hath given benefices, and placed him as Minister in those Kirkes; as also that he solemnized the marriage of the Queen, and Earl of Bothwell &c. and for the said causes was deprived.


Alexander called B. of Galloway, 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 privie 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 he 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.

Edinburgh Iuly 1. 1568.

No man ought to injoy or possesse the patrimony of the Kirk, without doing of their dutifull service. And because it is known that there are many of that number, to whó God hath given such gifts, wherethrough they might profit greatly in the Kirk of God, it was thought necessarie, that admonitions be made by the whole Assembly, to such as brook 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 Ministerie, and continue therein. And because all the said persons are not present to heare the voice of the Assembly, It is ordained, that Superintendents 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 be at the next generall Assembly, &c.


An Article presented to my Lord Regents Grace, 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 Ministerie, shall possesse freely, without imposition, the two part of the benefices, and the Kirk, which labours, shall not possesse the third.


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

Edinburgh July 5. 1569.

Ordaines Alexander Gordane sometimes Commissioner of Galloway to repaire to the next Generall Assembly of the Kirk, to answere to such things as shall be 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. {14}


Adam Bishop of Orknay was accused for not fulfilling of the injunctions appointed to him by the Assem. in the m. of Iuly 1568.

Sterling Feb. 25. 1569

Adam of Orknay being called to the office of a Bishoprick, and promoted to the profites therof, and suffered by the Kirk, receives charge to preach the Evangell, to be also Commissioner of the Country of Orknay, which he received, and exercised for a certaine space, while now of late he made a Simoniacall change with the Abbacie of halyrudhous, although yet brooking the name, and stiled Bishop of the same; contrary to all lawes both of God and man, made against Simonie. 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, he hath given himselfe daily to the execution of the function of a Temporall Iudge, as to be a Lord of Session, which requires the whole man, and so rightly in naither can he 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 halyrudhous, at least, he hath made Simoniacal change therof with the rents of Orknay. Fithly, 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 & privatly the Ministers of Edinburgh, absented himselfe from preaching in that Kirk, and from receiving the Sacraments.

Edinburgh Iul. 5. 1570.

Excommunication directed against Patrik called B. of Murray to be executed by M. Robert Pont Commissioner their, with the assistance of the Ministers of Edinburgh.

Edinburgh Mar. 5. 1570.

Robert B. of Catnes to assist Iohn Gray of Fordel in visiting the Kirkes there.

Edinburgh Aug. 6. 1573.

Iohn bishop of Santandroes accused, first that he had given a benefice to Mr. George Lauder suspect of Papistrie. 2. that he oversaw adultery in Bruntyland. 3. he suffered M. Magnus Hulcio lye uncontrouled under old adulterie. 4. that he visited by others, and not by himselfe. 5. that in his default the exercise of Santandroes was likely to decay. 6. that such as had offended in Lowthian, he receives in Santandroes, and admits some to function in the Kirk, that are not able, and untried, chiefly such as come out of Lowthiane, and Mers.

Ibidem. M. Iames Paton B. of Dunkell.

The whole Assembly heares that he hath received the name of {15} Bishop, but hath not used the office of a Bishop, within his bounds he hath not proceeded against Papists, he is suspect of Simonie betwixt the Earle of Argile and him anent the profites of the Bishoprick; he is suspect of perjurie in receiving the same Bishoprick, because he gives acquittances, and the Earle receives the silver of the bishoprick.


Alexander Gordoun B. of Galloway accused: 1. that he intrused himselfe in the office of the Ministerie, within the burgh of Edinburgh: 2. he perswaded and entyced the people to rebell against our Soveraigne Lord: 3. he refused to pray for our Soveraigne Lord, approving another Authoritie: 4. being forbidden by the Generall Assembly to have any intromission with the Parishoners of Halyrudhous, 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 Pulpit, he gave thankes for the slaughter of Matthew Earle of Lennox, of good memorie, saying that it was Gods most just judgement, and exhorted the people to doe the same: 7. that he 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 Halyrudhous; thirdly, in the Queenes Colledge, under the paine of Excommunication.


Alexander Hay, Clerke to the secret Councell, presented certain 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 wherof 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 be presented, and in case of failzie, will not faile without the others knowledge and consent to present.

Edinburgh Mar. 6. 1573.

The Assembly hath concluded, that the Iurisdiction of Bishops in their Ecclesiasticall Function shall not exceed the Iurisdiction of Superintendents, which heretofore they have had, and presently have, and that they shall willingly bee subject to the Discipline appointed by the Generall Assembly, {16} as members thereof, as the superintendents have been 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 superintendents 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, for not executing the sentence of the kirk against the Earle of Athol.


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

Edinburgh August 7. 1574.

Bishops, superintendents, or commissioners of countries, that be found negligent in their office, or do not their debtfull charge, either in their visitation, teaching, or life, the Assembly hath decreed and ordained, that they shal be punished and corrected according to the qualitie of their faults, either by admonition, publick repentance, suspension or deprivation simpliciter, at the sight of the sayd assembly.

Edinburgh Mar. 7. 1574.

Bishop of Dunkell, B. of Brechin, B. of Murray, B. of Glasgow, removed, and particularly complained on.

Edinburgh August 6. 1575.

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


Anent the question propounded by certaine brethren, 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 appoynts, Mr. Iohn Craig, Minister at Aberdein, Mr. Iames Lowson, Minister at Edinburgh, and Mr. Andro Melvil, principall of the colledge of Glasgow on the one part, Mr. George Hay, commissioner of Caitnes, Mr. Iohn Row, Minister of Pearth, and M. David Lindsay minister at Leith on the other part, to convene, reason, and conferre upon the said question, and to report their judgements and opinions thereupon, to the assembly before the dissolving therof, if they be resolved betwixt [now] and the same.


They think it not expedient presently to answer directly to the first question, 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. {17}

The points wherein they agree concerning the Office

of a Biſhop or Superintendent.

First, the name of Bishop is common to all them that hath any particular flock, over the which he 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 own 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.

Edinburgh April. 5. 1576.

Bishops being present their diligence is tryed, and they are accused for want of particular flockes, dilapidatioun and other faults.


Anent the advice and opinion of the brethren given concerning the question moved anent Bishops, the whole Assemblie, for the greatest part, after reasoning, and long disputations upon every Article of the said brethrens opinion, and advice, resolutely affirmed, and approved the same, and every article thereof, as is also aboue set downe. And to the effect that the said Articles condiscended upon by the said Assemblie, may be the better followed out, and readie 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, there is appointed for everie shire foure or five Bishops, Superintendents, and Ministers, and articles of visitation set down.


Anent the demand of M. Andro Hay parson of Ranthrow, if everie Visiter within his owne bounds hath like power, and jurisdiction to plant Ministers, suspend, and depose for reasonable cause: The Assemblie resolved affirmative, that they have alike power and jurisdiction therein, as is contained in the particular Articles concerning the jurisdiction of the Visiters.

Edinburgh April 24. 1578.

For as much as there is great corruption in the estate of Bishops, {18} as they are presently made in this Realme, 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 be elected, or made heereafter 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.

Stirling. Iul. 11. 1578.

The Act above written extended to all times to come, 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 B. of Dunblane willingly offered to the Assembly.

Sess. 4.

Dundie Iul. 12. 1580. Bishops as they are judged unlawfull and discharged.

For as much as the office of a Bishop, as it is now used, 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 Assébly of the Kirk in one voyce, 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 visit [used] and termed, as is above-said, 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 of the same, as an office whereinto 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 [until] they receive de novo admission from the Generall Assembly, vnder the paine of Excommunication to be used against them. Wherein if they be found disobedient, or contradict this act in any point, the sentence of Excommunication after due admonitions to bee executed against them.

Synodall Assemblies 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, where to they shall be called, and summoned by the Visitors of the said Countries, to compeire before their Synodall Assemblies, and namely, the bishop of Sanctandroes, to compeir in Saint Androes, 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 {19} said Synodall Assemblies shall appoint certaine brethren of their Ministery, to give them publick Admonitions out of the Pulpit, and warne them 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 B. of Dunblane agreed submitting himselfe to bee ruled thereby.

The Twelfth Parlament holden at Edinburgh, the fifth of Iune, the yere 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 generall

and Synodall Aſſemblies: of Preſbyteries; Of Diſ-

cipline. All lawes of Idolatrie are abrogate:

of Preſentation of Benefices.

OVR 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 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 be lawfull to the Kirk and Ministers every yeare, at the least, and oftner pro re nata, as occasion and necessitie shall require, {20} to hold and keep generall Assemblies: Providing that the Kings Majestie, or his Commissioners with them, to be appointed by his Highnesse, be present at ilk Generall Assemblie, before the dissolving thereof, nominate and appoint time and place, when and where the next Generall Assemblie shall be holden: and in case neither his Majestie, nor his said Commissioners be present for the time in that Town, where the said Generall Assembly is holden: Then and in that case it shall be leasum to the said Generall Assemblie by themselves to nominate and appoint time and place, where the next Generall Assemblie of the Kirk shall be kept, & holden, as they have been 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 been, and presently are in use to doe within everie Province of this Realme: And ratifies and approoves the Presbyteries, and particular Sessions appointed by the said Kirk, with the whole Discipline and Iurisdiction of the same Kirk agreed upon by his Majestie in conference had by his Highnesse with certaine of the Ministers, conveened to that effect. Of the which Articles the Tenour followes: Matters to be intreated in Provinciall Assemblies: Thir Assemblies are constitute for weightie matters, necessarie to be intreated by mutuall consent, and assistance of brethren within the Province, as need requires. This Assemblie hath power to handle, order, and redresse all things omitted or done amisse in the particular Assemblies. It hath power to depose the officebearers of that province, for good and just causes deserving deprivation. And generally thir [these] 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 the Kirkes be kept in good order: To enquire diligently of naughty and ungodly persons, and to travell to bring them in the way againe by Admonition, or threatning of God judgements, or by correction. It appertaines to the Eldership to take heed that the word of God be 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 and Generall to be kept and put in execution, to make constitutions which concern το πρεπον 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 {21} to the hurt of the same. It hath power to excommunicate the obstinate, formall processe being led, and due intervall of times observed. Anent particular Kirkes if they be lawfully ruled by sufficient Ministers and Session they have power and jurisdiction in their own Congregation in matters Ecclesiasticall. And decrees and declares the Assemblies, Presbyteries, and Sessions, Iurisdiction and Discipline foresaid, to be in all times comming, most just, good and godly in the selfe. Notwithstanding of whatsoever Statutes, Actes, Canons, Civill, or Municipall lawes made to the contrary. To the which, and everie one of them thir [these] presents shall make expresse derogation. And because there are divers Actes of Parliament made in favour of the Papisticall Kirk, tending to the prejudice of the libertie of the true Kirk of God presently professed within this Realm, Iurisdiction and Discipline thereof; which stand yet in the bookes of the Actes of Parliament not abrogated nor annulled: Therfore his Highnesse and Estates foresaid, hath abrogated, cassed, and annulled, and by the Tenour hereof, abrogates, casses, and annulles, all Actes of Parliament made by any of his Highnesse Predecessours, for maintenance of superstition and idolatry withall, and whatsoever Actes, Lawes and Statutes made at any time before the day and date hereof, against the libertie of the true Kirk, Iurisdiction 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 Stirling, the fourth day of November, the yeare of God 1443 yeares, commanding obedience to be given to Eugenius the Pope for the time: The Act made by King Iames the third, in his Parliament holden at Edinburgh, the 24 of Februarie, the yeare of God 1480 yeares. And all other Actes whereby the Popes authoritie is established. The Act of King Iames the third in his Parliament holden at Edinburgh the 20 of November, the yeare of 1469 yeares, anent the Saterday, and other vigils to be holy daies 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 Februarie, the yeare of God 1551 yeares, giving speciall licence for holding of Pasche and Zuill. Item, the Kings Majestie 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 waies be prejudiciall, nor derogate any thing from the priviledge that God hath given to the spiritual Office-bearers in the Kirk, concerning heads of Religion, matters of {22} 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, cassis, and annihilates the Acts of the same Parliament holden at Edinburgh the said yeare 1584 yeares, granting commission to bishops, and other Iudges, constitute in Ecclesiastical causes, to receive his Highness presentation to Benefices, to give collation thereupon, and to put order to all causes Ecclesiasticall, which his Majestie, and Estates aforesaid declares to be expired in the selfe, and to be null in time comming, of none availe, forc, 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 Eccle-

siasticall within their bounds, according to the Disci-

pline of the Kirk; providing the foresaid Presby-

teries be bound and astricted, to receive

and admit whatsoever qualified

Minister, presented by his

Majestie, or laicke





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 ſervitors and miniſters of Chriſt Ieſus within the ſame, wiſh grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father of our Lord Ieſus Chriſt, with the perpetuall increaſe of the holy Spirit.

FRom your Honours we received a charge dated 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 we will answer in his presence, to commit to writing, and in a book deliver to your wisedomes our judgements touching the reformation of Religion which heretofore in this Realme (as in others) hath been utterly corrupted: upon the receit whereof (so many of us as were in this towne) did convene, and in unitie of minde doe offer unto your wisedomes these subsequents for common order and uniformitie to bee observed in this realme concerning doctrine, administration of Sacraments, election of Ministers, provision for their sustentation, Ecclesiasticall discipline, and policie of the Church; Most humbly requiring your Honours, that as you look for participation with Christ Iesus, that neither ye {24} admit any thing which Gods plain word shal not approue, neither yet that ye shall reiect such ordinances as equitie, iustice, and Gods word do specifie. For as we will not bind your wisedomes to our iudgements 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 we must appeare to render accounts of all our facts) that ye repudiate nothing for pleasure and affection of men, which ye be not able to improve by Gods written and revealed word.

The first head of docrtine.

SEing that Christ Iesus is he whom God the Father hath commanded onely to bee heard and followed of his sheepe, wee judge it necessary that his Gospell be 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 generalitie ungodly men take occasion to cavill, this we adde for explication. By preaching of the Gospel we understand not onely the Scriptures of the new Testament, but also of the old, to wit, the Law, Prophets, & Histories, in which Christ Iesus is no lesse contained in figure, then we have him now expressed in veritie. And therefore with the Apostle we affirme, that all Scripture inspired of God is profitable to instruct, 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 we understand whatsoever men by lawes, counsells, or constitutions, have imposed upon the consciences of men, without the expressed commandement of Gods word, such as be the vowes to chastitie, forswearing of marriage, binding of men and women to several and disguised apparrells, 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 be all those that the Papists have invented, as the feasts (as they terme them) {25} of the Apostles, Martyrs, Virgines, of Christmasse, Circumcision, Epiphanie, Purification, and other fond [foolish] feastes of our Ladie: which things because in Gods Scriptures they neither have commandement nor assurance, we judge them utterly to be 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 Iesus his holy Gospell truely preached, of necessity it is, that his holy Sacraments be annexed, and truely ministred, as seales and visible confirmations of the spirituall promises contained in the word, and they be two, to wit, Baptism, 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 mercie, offered unto the penitent in Christ Iesus: 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 practice nothing changed besides the Institution of the Lord Iesus, and practice 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 be rightly ministred, yet for an uniformitie to be kept, we have thought good to adde this as superaboundant.

In Baptisme we acknowledge nothing to be 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 Baptism to use oyle, salt, waxe, spittle, conjuration and crossing accuseth the perfect institution of Christ Iesus, of imperfection. For it was voyd 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 near to Christs own action. But plaine it is, that at Supper Christ Iesus sate with his Disciples; and therefore doe we judge that sitting at a table is most convenient to that holy action, that bread and wine ought to be there, that thankes ought to be given, distribution of the same made, and commandement given that the bread should be taken and eaten, and that {26} all should likewise drinke of the cup of wine, with declaration what both the one and the other is: we 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, we suppose their errour to be so manifest, that it needeth no confutation: neither yet intend we to confute any thing in this our simple Confession: But to offer publick disputation to all that list [desire to] oppugne any thing affirmed by us.

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

The third head touching the abolishing

of Idolatrie.

AS we require Christ Iesus to be truely preached, and his holy Sacraments rightly ministred, so can not cease to require Idolatry, with all monuments and places of the same, as Abbeyes, Monkeries, Frieries, Nonries, Chappels, Chanteries, Cathedrall Churches, Chanonries, Colledges, others then presently are Parish Churches or Schooles, to be utterly suppressed in all bounds and places of this Realme (except onely Palaces, Mansions [Manses], and dwelling places adjacent thereto, with Orchards and Yards of the same) as also that idolatrie may be removed from the presence of all persons of what estate or condition that ever they be within this Realme.

For let your Honours assuredly be perswaded, that where idolatry is maintained, or permitted, where it may be 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. {27}

By idolatry we understand, the Masse, invocation of Saints, adoration of images, and the keeping and retaining of the same. And finally all honouring of God, not conteined 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 be called to the same. Ordinarie Vocation consisteth in Election, Examination, and Admission. And because that election of Ministers in this cursed Papistrie hath altogether bene abused, we 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 be found negligent therein the space of fourty dayes: The best reformed Church, to wit, the Church of the Superintendent with his councell, may present unto them a man whom they judge apt, to feed the flock of Christ Iesus, who must be examined as well in life and manners, as in doctrine and knowledge. And that this may be done with more exact diligence, the persons that are to be examinated, must be commanded to appeare before men of soundest judgement remaining in some principall towne next adjacent unto them, as they that be in Fife, Angus, Mearnes, or Straitharne, to present themselves in Saint Andrewes, These that be in Lowthian, Merse or Tevidaill to Edinburgh, and likewise those that be in other Countries must resort to the best reformed Citie and Towne, that is, to the Town of the Superintendent, where first in the Schooles, or failing thereof in open assembly, and before the Congregation, they must give declaration of their giftes, utterance and knowledge, by interpreting some place of Scripture to be appointed by the Ministerie, which being ended, the person that is presented, or that offereth himselfe to the administration of the Church, must be 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 be in controversie betwixt us and the Papists, Anabaptists, Arrians, or other such enemies to the Christian Religion. In which, if he be found sound, able to perswade by wholesome doctrine, and to convince the gaine-sayer, then must he be directed to the Church and Congregation where he should serve, that there in open audience of his Flock in diverse publick Sermons, he may give confession of his faith in the article of Iustification, in the Office of Christ Iesus, of the number, effect, and use of the Sacraments, and finally of {28} the whole Religion which heretofore hath bene corrupted by the Papists. If his doctrine be found wholesome and able to instruct the simple, and if the Church justly can reprehend nothing in his life, doctrine, nor utterance, then we judge the church, which before was destitute, unreasonable, if they refuse him whom the church did offer; and they should be 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 tryall was taken of the person presented by the counsell of the whole church. As for example, the counsell of the church, presents to any church a man to be their Minister, not knowing that they are otherwise provided: in the meane time, the church is provided of another, sufficient in their judgement for that charge, whom they present to the learned Ministers, and next reformed church to be examined. In this case the presentation of the people to whom he should be appointed Pastor must be preferred to the presentation of the counsell, or greater church, unlesse the person presented by the inferiour Church be judged unable of the Regiment by the Learned. For altogether this is to be avoided, that any man be violently intruded or thrust in upon any Congregation. But this libertie with all care must be reserved to every severall Church, to have their Votes and Suffrages in election of their Ministers. But violent intrusion we call not, when the counsell of the Church in the feare of God, and for the salvation of the people, offereth unto them a sufficient man to instruct them, whom they shall not be forced to admit before just examination, as before is said.

What may unable any person, that he may not be admitted

to the Ministerie of the Church.

IT is to be observed, that no person, noted with publique infamie, or being unable to edifie the Church by wholesome doctrine, or being known of corrupt judgement, be 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 fragilitie, (if of the same by a better and more sober conversation {29} he 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 be so irreprehensible, that they have a good testimonie from those that be without, wee judge it a thing unseemly and dangerous, that he shall have publick authoritie 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 he hath publickly repented, and so not onely his life is in assurance, but also that he may be received to the Ministerie of the Church, We 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 been most conversant: as where he was nourished in letters, or where he continued since the yeares of infancie and childhood were passed. Straight commandement would be given that if any capitall crimes were committed by him, that they should be notified; as if he had committed wilfull murder, Adulterie, if he were a common fornicator; a thiefe, a drunkard, a fighter, brawler, or contentious person. These Edicts ought to be notified in the chiefe Cities, with the like charge and commandement, with declaration that such as concealed his sinnes known did deceive and betray (so far as in them lay) the Church which is the Spouse of Christ Iesus, 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.

We judge it expedient that the admission of Ministers be in open audience, that some speciall Minister make a Sermon touching the duety 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 Iesus over the which he is appointed Preacher. That hee will walke in the presence of God so {30} sincerely, that the graces of the holy spirit may be 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 he perswaded unto others. The people would be exhorted to reverence and honor their ministers, chosen as the servants and Embassadors of the Lord Iesus, obeying the commandements which they pronounce from Gods mouth and book, even as they would obey God himselfe. For whosoever heareth Christs ministers, heareth himself, and whosoever rejecteth and despiseth their ministerie and exhortation, reiecteth and despiseth Christ Iesus. [Luke 10.16.] Other ceremonie 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 albeit the Apostles used imposition of hands, yet seeing the miracle is ceased, the using of the ceremonie we judge not necessarie.

The minister elected, or presented, examined, and as sayd is, publickly admitted, may neither leave the flocke at his pleasure to which he had promised his fidelitie & labours, neither yet may the flock reject nor change him at their appetite, unlesse they be able to convict him of such crimes as deserve deposition, whereof we shall after speak. We 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 mean we, that men who now serve as it were of benevolence, may not be appointed and elected to serve in other places, but once being solemnly elected, and admitted, we cannot approve that they should change at their owne pleasure.

We are not ignorant that the raritie of godly and learned men, shall seem to some a just reason why that so strait and sharpe examination should not be taken universally, for so it shall appeare, that the most part of the Kirks shal 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 be placed over the flock of Christ Iesus. As also that amongst the Gentiles godly and learned men were also rare, as they be now amongst us, when the Apostle gave the same rule to trie & examine ministers, which we 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 be utterly destitute of ministers, will be diligent to search for them; but those that have a vain shadow, do commonly without further care content themselves with the same, and so remain they continualy deceived, thinking that they have a minister, when in verie deed they have none. For we cannot judge him a dispensator of Gods mysteries, {31} that in no wise can breake the bread of life to the fainting and hungrie soules. Neither judge we that the sacraments can be rightlie ministred by him in whose mouth God hath put no Sermon of exhortation. The chiefest remedie left to your Honours, and to us, in all this rarietie of true ministers, is fervent praier unto God, that it will please his mercie to thrust out faithfull workmen in this his harvest. And next, that your Ho. with consent of the Church, are bound by your authoritie to compel such men as have gifts and graces able to edifie the Church of God, that they bestow them where greatest necessitie shall be known. For no man may be permitted to live idle, or as themselves list. But must be appointed to travell where your wisdoms and the church shal think expedient: Wee cannot prescribe unto your Honors certain rules how that ye shall distribute the ministers and learned men, whom God hath alreadie sent unto you. But herof we are assured, that it greatlie hindereth the progresse of Christs Gospell within this poore realm, that some altogether abstract their labours from the Church, and others remain altogether in one place, the most part of them being idle. And therfore of your Honors we require in Gods name, that by your authoritie, which ye have of God, ye compel all men to whom God hath given any Talent to perswade by wholsome doctrine, to bestow the same, if they be called by the church to the aduancement 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 onelie townes to remaine in, but also provinces, that by their faithfull labours, churches may be erected, and order established where none is now. And if on this manner ye shall use your power and authoritie, chieflie seeking Gods glorie, and the comfort of your brethren, we doubt not but God shall blesse you and your enterprises.

For Readers.

TO the Churches where no ministers can be had presentlie, must be appointed the most apt men that distinctlie can read the common praiers & the Scriptures, to exercise both themselves and the Church, till they they grow to greater perfection, and in processe of time, he that is but a reader, may attain to a farther degree, and by consent of the Church, and discreet ministers, may be permitted to minister the Sacraments, but not before that he be able somewhat to perswade by wholesome doctrine, beside his reading, and be admitted to the Ministerie, as before is said. Some we know that of long time have professed Christ Iesus, whose honest conversation deserveth praise of all godly men, and whose knowledge also might greatly helpe the simple, and yet {32} they onely content themselves with reading, these must be animated, and by gentle admonition encouraged by some exhortation to comfort their brethren and so they may be admitted to administration of the sacraments; but such readers as neither have have had exercise, nor continuance in Christs true religion, must abstaine from ministration of the sacraments, till they give declaration and witnessing of their honestie and further knowledge, [[that none be admitted to preach, but they that are qualified therefore, but rather be retained readers, and such as are preachers already, not found qualified therefore, by the superintendent, be placed to be readers.]]

The fift head concerning the provision for the Ministers,

and for the distribution of the rents and

possessions iustly appertaining to

the Church.

SEing that of our maister Christ Iesus, and his Apostle Paul we have, that the workman is worthy of his reward, and that the mouth of the labouring oxe ought not to be musseled, of necessitie it is, that honest provision be made for the ministers, which we require to be such, that they have neither occasion of sollicitude, neither yet of insolencie and wantonnesse. And this provision must be made not onely for their owne sustentation, during their lives: but also for their wives and children after them. For we judge it a thing most contrarious to reason, godlines and equitie, 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 be left comfortlesse of all provision: [[which provision for the wives of the ministers after their deceass is to be remited to the discretió of the kirk.]] Difficile it is to appoint a severall stipend to every minister, by reason that the charge and necessitie of all, will not be alike. For some will be continuers in one place, some will be compelled to travel, and oft to change their dwelling place (if they shall have charge of divers kirkes) among these some will be burdened with wife & children, and one with moe then others, & some perhaps will be single men. If equall stipends should be appointed to these that in charge should be so unequall, either should the one suffer penurie, or else should the other have superfluitie and too much. [[We judge therefore that every minister have sufficient whereupon to keep an house, and be sustained honestly in all things necessarie as well for keeping of his house and cloathes, flesh, fish, bookes, fewell, and other things necessarie, of the rents and treasurie of the {33} kirk at the discretion of the Congregation conforme to the qualitie of the person and necessity of the time: Wherein it is thought good that every Minister shall have at least fourtie bolls meale, twenty sex bolls malt, to finde his house bread and drinke, and more so much as the discretion of the Church findes necessarie; besides money for buying of other provision to his house and other necessaries: the modification whereof is referred to the judgement of the Kirk, to be made every yeare at the choosing of the Elders and Deacons of the Kirk. Providing alwaies that there bee advanced to every Minister sufficient provision for a quarter of a yeare beforehand of all things.]] But to him that travels from place to place, whom we call Superindent, 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 be had. And therefore to such we thinke sixe chalders beere, nine chalders meale, three chalders oats, sixe hundreth merkes money, to be eiked [increased] and paired [decreased] at the discretion of the Prince and councell of the Realme, to be payed to him in manner foresaid. The children of the Ministers, must have the liberties of the Cities next adjacent, where there fathers laboured, freely granted. They must have the priviledges in Schooles, and bursisses in Colledges; That is, that they shal be sustained at learning, if they be found apt thereto: And failing thereof, that they be put to some handie-craft, or exercised in some vertuous industry, whereby they may be profitable members of the Commonwealth, [[and the same we require of their daughters: To wit, that they be vertuously brought up, and honestly doted when they come to maturity of yeares at the discretion of the kirk.]] And this in Gods presence we witnesse we require not so much for our selves, or for any that appertaine to us, as that we do it for the increase of vertue and learning, and for the profite of the posterity to come. It is not to be supposed that any man will dedicate himselfe and his children so to God and to his Kirk, that they look for no worldly commodity, but this cankered nature which we 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 we be 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 Iesus. Nothing have we spoken of the stipend of Readers, because if they can doe nothing but reade, they neither can be called nor judged true Ministers, and yet regard must be had to their labours; but so that they may be spurred forward to vertue, and not by any stipend appointed for {34} their reading to be retained in that estate. To a Reader therfore that is newly entred, fourty merkes, or more or lesse, as Parishioners and Readers can agree, is sufficient: Provided that he teach the children of the Parish, which he must doe, beside the reading of the common prayers, and bookes of the old and new Testament. If from reading he begin to exhort, and explain the Scriptures, then ought his stipend to be augmented, till finally he come to the honour of a Minister. But if he be found unable after two yeres, then must he be removed from that office, and discharged of all stipend, that another may be proved as long. For this alwaies is to be avoided, that none who is judged unable to come at any time to some reasonable knowledge whereby he may edifie the Kirk, shall be perpetually susteined upon the charge of the Kirk. Farther it must be avoided, that no child, nor person within age, that is within twentie one yeares of age, be admitted to the office of a Reader. But Readers ought to be endued with gravity and discretion, lest by their lightnesse the prayers or Scriptures read be of lesse price or estimation. It is to be noted that the Reader be put in the Kirk at the admission of the Superintendent. The other sort of Readers, who have long continued in godlines, and have some gift of exhortation, who are of hope to attain to the degree of a Minister, and teach the children; we think an hundred merkes, or more or lesse, at the discetion of the kirk, may be appointed; so that difference be made, as said is, betwixt them and the Ministers, that openly preaches the word and ministers the Sacraments.

Rests yet two sorts of people to be provided for, upon that which is called the Patrimony of the kirk, to wit, the poore, and teachers of the youthead. Every several Kirk must provide for the poore within it selfe: For feareful and horrible it is, that the poore, whom not onely God the Father in his Law, but Christ Iesus in his Evangel, and the holy Spirit speaking by S. Paul hath so earnestly commended to our care; are universally so contemned and despised. We 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 for the widow and fatherlesse, the aged, impotent or lamed, who neither can nor may travell for their sustentation; we say that God commands his people to be carefull, and therefore for such, as also for persons of honestie fallen into decay and poverty, ought such provision to bee made, that of our aboundance their indigence might be relieved. How this most conveniently, aud most easily may be done in every Citie, and other parts of this Realme, God will shew you wisdome, and the meanes, so that your mindes be godly inclined {35} thereto. All must not be suffred to beg, that gladly would so doe, neither yet must beggers remain where they would; but the stout and strong beggers must be compelled to worke; and every person that may not worke, must bee compelled to repaire to the place where he or she was borne, unlesse of long continuance they have remained in one place, aud there reasonable provision must be made for sustentation as the Kirk shall appoint. The order nor summes in our judgements can not particularly be appointed unto such times as the poore of everie Citie, Town and Parish bee compelled to repaire to the places where they were borne, or of their residence, where their names and number must be taken and put in roll, and then may the wisedome of the Kirk appoint stipends accordingly.

The Head of the Superintendents.

BEecauſe we have appointed a larger stipend to them that shall be Superintendents 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 Superintendents we thinke necessarie, with their bounds, office, election and causes that may deserve deposition from that charge.

We consider that if the Ministers whom God hath endowed with his singular graces amongst us should be appointed to severall places there to make their continuall residence, that then the greatest part of the Realme should be destitute of all doctrine; which should not onely be the occasion of great murmur, but also be dangerous to the salvation of many. And therefore we have thought it a thing most expedient at this time, that from the whole núber of godly & learned men, now presently in this realm, be selected ten or twelue (for in so many Provinces we have divided the whole) to whom charge and commandement should be given, to plant and erect Kirkes, to set, order, and appoint Ministers, as the former order prescribes, to the Countries that shall be 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 appear; as also the simple and ignorant, who perchance have never heard Iesus 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 be provoked to search and seek farther knowledge of God, and his true Religion and worshipping: where by the contrary, if they shall be neglected, then shall they not onely grudge, but also {36} seeke the meanes whereby they may continue in their blindnes, or returne to their accustomed Idolatry; and therefore nothing we desire more earnestly then that Christ Iesus bee universally once preached throughout this Realme, which shall not suddenly be, unlesse that by you, men be appointed, and compelled, faithfully to travell in such Provinces as to them shall be assigned.

The names of the places of residence and severall Diocesses

of the Superintendents.

INprimis, The Superintendent of Orknay, whose Diocesse shall comprehend the Iles Orknay, Zetland, and Cathnes, and Stranaver, his residence to be in Kirkwall.

The Superintendent of Rosse, whose Diocesse shall comprehend Rosse, Sutherland, Murray, with the north Iles of the Skie, and Lewes with the adjacents: his residence to be in the Channonrie of Rosse.

The Superintendent of Argyle, whose Diocesse shall comprehend Argyle, Kyntyre, Lorne, the south Iles, Arran and Buite with their adjacents, with Lochwhaber: his residence to be in Argyle.

The Superintendent of Aberdene, whose Diocesse is betwixt Dee and Spay conteining the Shirefdom of Aberdene and Bamfe: whose residence shall be in old Aberdene.

The Superintendent of Brechen, whose Diocesse shall be the whole Sirefdoms of the Mernes, Angus, and the brae of Marr to Dee: his residence to be in Brechen.

The Superintendent of Fiffe and Fotheringhame to Stirling, and the whole Shiredome of Perth: his residence to be in Saint androes.

The Superintendent of Edinburgh, whose Diocesse shall comprehend the whole Shirefdom of Lowthian and Stirling, and the South side of the water of Forth: his residence to be in Edinburgh.

The Superintendent of Iedburgh, whose Diocesse shall comprehend the whole Tivitdail, Tweeddaill, Liddisdail, and therto is added by consent of the whole Kirk, the Merse, Lawderdaill and Weddaill, with the forrest of Ettrick: his residence to be in Iedburgh.

The Superintendent of Glasgow, whose Diocesse shall comprehend Clidsdaill, Renfrew, Menteth, Lennox, Kyle and Cuninghame: his residence to be in Glasgow.

The Superintendent of Dumfriess, whose Diocesse shall comprehend Galloway, Carrik, Nithisdal, Annandaile with the rest of the dailes in the west: his residence to be in Dumfriese. {37}

Those men must not be suffered to live as your idle Bishops have done heretofore: neither must they remaine where gladly they would, but they must be preachers themselves, and such as may not make long residence in any place till their Kirkes be planted and provided of Ministers, or at the least of Readers. Charge must be given to them that they remain in no place above twenty [some editions read, or threttye] daies in their visitation, till they have passed through their whole bounds. They must thrice everie week preach at the least; and when they returne to their principall Town and Residence, they must be likewise exercised in preaching and edification of the Kirk: and yet they must not be suffered to continue there so long, that they may seem to neglect their other kirks: But after they have remained in their chiefe towne three or foure moneths at most, they shall bee compelled (unlesse by sicknesse they be 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 be provided, how the youth be instructed: They must admonish where admonition needeth, and dresse such things as by good counsell they be 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 Superintendent be found negligent in any of the chiefe points of his office, & specially if he be noted negligent in preaching of the word, and visitation of the Kirkes; or if he be convict of such crimes, which in common Ministers are damned, he must be deposed, without respect of his person, or office.

The Election of Superintendents.

IN this present necessity, the nomination, examination, and admission of the Superintendent, cannot be so straight, as we require, and as afterward it must be. For this present, therefore we think it expedient, that either your Honours by your selves nominate so many as may serve the fore-written Provinces: or that ye give commission to such men as ye suppose the feare of God to be in, to doe the same. And the same men being called in your presence shall be by you, & such as your Hon: pleases call unto you for consultation in that case, appointed to their Provinces. Wee thinke it expedient, and necessarie, that as well the Gentlemen, as Burgess of every diocie be made priuy at the same time to the election of the superintendent; 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 {38} judgements more profitable it is those Provinces vaike till God provide better for them, then that men unable to edifie and governe the Kirk, so suddenly be placed in that charge; for experience hath teached us what pestilence hath been ingendred in the Kirk by men unable to discharge their Offices. When therefore after three yeares any Superintendent shall depart, or chance to be deposed, the cheefe 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 Superintendent, as to two or three Provinces next adjacent, two or three of the most learned and godly Ministers within the whole Realme, that from amongst them, one with publick consent, may be elected and appointed to the office then vacant: And this the chiefe town shall be bound to doe within the space of twenty daies; which being expired, and no man presented, then shall three of the next adjacent Provinces with consent of their Superintendents, Ministers and Elders, enter in the right and priviledge of the Town, and shall present every one of them, one or twa, if they list, to the chiefe Town to be examined, as the order requires. As also it shall be 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 be 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 Town 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. Thirtie 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 Superintendents next adjacent, or that shall be thereto nominated shall examine, not onely the learning, but also the manners, prudence and habilitie to governe the Kirk, of all these that be nominated: that he who shall be found most worthie 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 Superintendents and Ministers must consider whether the objection {39} be made of conscience or malice, and they must answer accordingly. Other ceremonies then sharp examination, approbation of the ministers, and Superintendents, with the publicke consent of the Elders and people, we cannot allow.

The Superintendent being elected, and appointed to his charge, must be subject to the censure and correction of ministers and Elders, 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 Superintendents with their ministers and Elders, may convene 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 tollerance of his offence.

Whatsoever crime deserves deposition or correction of any other minister, deserveth the same in the Superintendent, without exception of persons.

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

No Superintendent may be transferred at the pleasure or request of any one province, no not without the consent of the whole counsell 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 appoynting of the Superintendents for this present, ye disappoint not your chiefe 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 bee 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.

SEing 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 libertie from tyranny and bondage, but also to provide at the utmost of his power, how it may abide in some puritie in {40} the posteritie following, we can but freely communicate our iudgments with your Honours in this behalfe.

The necessitie 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 ceasses to illuminat men miraculously, suddenly charging them as he did the Apostles, and others in the primitive kirk: Of necessitie it is that your Honours be most careful for the vertuous education, and godly up-bringing of the youth of this realme: if either ye now thirst unfainedly the advancement of Christs glorie, or yet desire the continuance of his benefits to the generation following. For as the youth must succeed to us, so we ought to bee 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 Iesus. Of necessitie therefore we judge it, that every severall kirk have one Schoolmaister appointed, such a one at least as is able to teach Grammer, and the Latine tongue, if the town be of any reputation. If it be upaland [landward, in the countryside] where the people convene to the doctrine but once in the week, 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 think it expedient, that in every notable town, and specially in the town of the Superintendent, there be erected a Colledge, in which the arts at least Logick and Rhethorick, 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 commoditie 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 bee avoyded, in which the youth commonly fall, either by overmuch libertie, which they have in strange and unknowne places, while they cannot rule themselves: or else for lack of good attendance, and such necessitie as their tender age requires. Secondly, the exercise of children in every kirke, shall bee great instruction to the aged. Last, the great Schooles, called the universities, shall bee replenished with these that shall bee apt to learning. For this must bee carefully provided, that no father of what estate or condition that {41} ever he be, use his children at his own fantasie, especially in their youthead, 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 own expences because they are able. The children of the poore must be supported and sustained of the charge of the Kirk, tryall 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 studie, so that the Common-wealth may have some comfort by thé. And for this purpose must discreet, grave, & learned men be appointed to visit Schooles for the tryall of their exercise, profite and continuance: To wit, the Minister and Elders, & the rest of learned men in every town shall in every quarter make examination how the youth have profited.

And certain times must be appointed to reading and learning of the Catechisme, and certain to the Grammer and to the Latine tongues, and a certain to the Arts of Philosophie, and the tongues; and certain to that studie 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 farther knowledge, or else they must be set to some handie craft, or to some other profitable exercise; providing alwaies 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 beleefe, the right forme to pray unto God; the number, use, and effect of the Sacraments: the true knowledge of Christ Iesus, of his Office and Natures, and such others, without the knowledge wherof neither any man deserves to be called a Christian, neither ought any to be admitted to the participation of the Lords Table: and therefore thir [these] 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 reade perfectly, to answer to the Catechisme, and to have some entres in the first rudiments of Grammer to the full accomplishment whereof (we meane of the Grammer) we thinke other {42} three years or foure at most sufficient to the Arts, to wit, Logick & Rhetorick, and to the Greek tongue 4 yeares, and the rest till the age of 24 years, to be spent in that study, wherein the learner would profit the Church, or commonwealth, be it in the lawes, physick, or divinitie; which time of 24. yeares being spent in the Schools, the learner must be removed to serve the Church or commonwealth, unlesse hee bee found a necessary reader in this same Colledge or Vniuersitie. If God shall move your hearts to establish & execute this order, and put these things in practise, your whole realme, we doubt not, within few years will serve it selfe of true preachers, & of other officers necessary for the cómonwealth.

Of the erection of Vniverſities.

THe Grammer Schoole being erected, and of the tongues (as we have said) next we think it necessary there be 3 Vniversities in this whole realme, established in 3 townes accustomed. The first in S. Androes, the second in Glasgow, & the third in Aberdein. And in the first Vniversity & principal, viz. S. Androes, that there be 3. colledges, and in the first colledge, which is the entry, of the Vniversity, there be 4. classes, or seages, the first to the new Supposts, shall be onely Dialecticæ, next onely Mathematicæ, 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, Greek & Hebrue, the 2 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 yeare. In Mathematica, which is the second classe, shall be a reader which shall compleat his course of Arithmetica, Geometrie, Cosmography, & Astrologie in one year. In the third classe shall be a reader of naturall philosophy, who shall compleat his course in one year. And who after thir 3. years 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 tim, 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 bee two readers in the Municipall and Roman lawes, who shall compleat his course in 4 yeares, after which time being by examination {43} being found sufficient, they shall be graduate in the lawes.

Item, in the third colledge, in the first classe, one reader of the Hebrew, and another of the Greek tongue, who shall compleat the Grammer thereof in 3 moneths, and the remanent of the yeare, the reader of the hebrew shall interpret one book of Moses, the Prophets or the Psalms, so that this course & classe shall continue one year. 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 divinitie, 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 divinitie.

Item, wee thinke expedient that none be admitted to the first colledge, and to bee Supposts of the universitie, unlesse he have from the master of the schoole, and minister of the town where he was instructed in the tongues, ane testimonie of his learning, docility, age and parentage: and likewise triall be taken by certain examinators, depute by the Rector and Principalls 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, Mathematica, 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 testimonialls of his time wel spent in Dialectica, Mathematica, Physica, Ethicks, Oeconomicks, and Politickes, and of his docilitie in the last.

Item, that none be admitted unto the classe & seage of divinity, but he that shall have sufficient testimonialls of his time well spent in Dialectica, Mathematica, Phisica, Ethica, Oeconomica, and Politica, and the Hebrew tongue, and of his docilitie 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 divinitie, be compelled to heare either Medicine or yet the lawes.

Item, in the second Vniversity, which is Glasgow, shall be two colledges onely: in the first shall be a classe of Dialectica, an other of Mathematica, the third of Phisica, ordered in all sorts as S. Androes.

Item, in the second, foure classes, the first of Morall philosophy, Ethicks, Oeconomicks, and Physick. The second of the Municipal and Roman lawes. The third, of the Hebrew tongue. The fourth of divinitie, which shal be ordered in al sorts to that we have written in the order of the Vniversitie of S. Androes. {44}

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

Item, we thinke needfull that there be chosen of the bodie 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 weekly one of the readers or regents, above whom he shall take attendance upon their diligence, as well in their reading as exercising of the yowth in the matter taught upon the policie and uphold of the place, and for punishment of crimes shall hold a weekly convention with the whole members of the Colledge. He shall be countable yerely to the Superintendent, Rector, and the principals convened, about the first of november. His election shal be in this sort. There shall be three of the most sufficient men of the Vniversitie (not principalls already nominate by the members of the Colledge) sworn to follow their consciences whose Principall is departed, and publickly proponed through the whole Vniversitie, after the which time 8 daies, by the Superintendent himselfe, or his speciall Procurator, with the Rector, & the rest of the principals, as a chapter, convenit, shall confirme one of the three they think most sufficient, being before sworn to do the same with a single eye but [without] respect to fead [feud] or favour.

Item, In every Colledge we thinke needful at least, a steward, a cooke, a gardiner, and Porter, who shall be subject to discipline of the principall, as the rest.

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

Item, that every Vniversitie have a Rector chosen from yeare to yeare as shall follow, The Principalls being convened with the whole Regents chapterly shall be sworn that every man in his roume 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 daies before Michaelmaes, and then shall on Michaelmas even convene the whole principalls, regents and supposts, that are graduat, or at the least studyed their time in Ethicks, œconomicks, and politickes and na others yonger, and every one first protest in Gods presence to follow the sincere dytment of their conscience shall nominate of the three, and he that hath most votes shall be confirmed by the Superintendent and Principals, & his duety with an exhortation proponed unto him, and this to be the 28 day of September, and therafter tryall to be taken hinc inde of his just & godly government, & of the rests lawful submission and obedience {45} he shall be propyned by the unvierstie at his entry with a new garment, bearing insignia Magistratus, and be holden monethly to visite every Colledge, and with his presence decore and examine the lections [lectures] and exercise therof. His assessors shall be a lawyer and a theologe, with whose advice he shall decide all questions civill betwixt the members of the Vniversitie. If any without the Vniversitie 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 likewise, if any of the universitie be criminally persued, he shall assist the Iudges competent, and see that justice be ministred.

Item, We thinke expedient that in every colledge in every Vniversity, there be 24 bursars [students granted scholarships], devided equally in all the classes and seges as is above expremit, that is, in S. Androes 72 bursars, in Glasgow 48 bursars, in Aberdine 48 to be susteined onely in meat upon the charges of the Colledge, and to be admitted at the examination of the Ministerie and chaptour of the principalls in the Vniversity, as well in the docility of the persons offered, as of the abilitie 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 Vniversities be doted with temporall lands, with rents and revenewes of the Bishopricks téporalitie, and of the Kirkes collegiat so farre as their ordinary charges shall require, and therfore 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 recollected the summes we think necessarie for the same.

Imprimis, for the ordinary stipend of the dialectician Reader, the Mathematician, Phisician 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 Divinity, 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 [each] one of them ten merkes.

Item, to the buird [board] of every bursar without the classe of Theolo. 20. pounds.

Item, in the classe of Theologie, which will be onely 12 persons in S. androes. 24. p.

Summe of yearly and ordinary expenses in the Vniversity of S. androes. 3976. p. {46}

Summe of yearly & ordinary expenses of Glasgow, 2922 pound.

Aberdine as much.

Summe of the ordinary charges of the whole

Item, the Beddalls stipend shall be of every intrant and suppost of the Vniversity 2 shillings, of every one gaduate in Philosophy 3 shillings, of every one graduate in medicine or lawes, 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 sonn at his entry to the vniversity, shal give 40 shil. and likewise at every graduation 40 shil. Item, each Lords sonne likkwise 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 sonne, 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 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 principalls, and with their whole consent, or at least the most part of them referred, & imployed only upó the building & upholding of the places, and repairing of the same, ever as necessitie shal require. And therfore the Rector with his assistants, shall be holden to visit the places each yeare once, incontinent after he be promoted upon the last of October, or thereby.

Of the priviledges of the Vniverſitie.

SEing we deſire that Innocencie should defend us rather then priviledge, we think that each person of the universitie should answer before the provost and Bailiffs of each town where the Vniversities are, of all crimes whereof they are accused, onely that the Rector be assessor to them in the said actions. In civill matters, if the question be betwixt members of the universitie, one each side, making their residence & exercise therein for the time in that case the partie called shal 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 inferour members of the university be exempted from all all taxations, imposts, charges of warr, 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 common-weale, to the effect that (without trouble) they may wait on the upbringing {47} of the youth in learning, and bestow their time onely in that most necessarie exercise.

All other things touching the books to be read in ilk [each] 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 posterity, a treasure more to be esteemed then any earthly treasure, ye are able to amasse for them, which without wisedome 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 authority to the most high advancement of this Common-wealth committed to your charge.

The sixt head of the Rents and Patrimonie

of the Church.

THir [these] two sorts of men, that is to say, Ministers, and the poore, together with the Schooles, when order shall be taken thereanent, must be susteyned upon the charges of the Kirk; and therefore provision must be 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 Iesus, that ye have respect to your poore brethren, the Labourers and Manurers of the ground; who by thir [these] cruell beastes the Papists have before been opprest, that their life to them hath been dolorous and bitter. If ye will have God authour and approver of this reformation, ye must not follow their foote-steps, but ye must have compassion of your brethren, appointing them to pay reasonable teinds, that they may finde some benefite of Christ Iesus now preach 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 Papistical tyrannie shal onely 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 cruelty to be used, neither shall yee, who by your authoritie ought to gainestand such oppression, nor yet they that use the same escape Gods heavie and fearefull judgements. The Gentlemen, Barones, Earles, Lords and others, must be content to live upon their just rents, and suffer the Kirk to be restored to her liberty; that in her restitution, the poore, who heretofore by the cruell Papists have been spoiled and {48} 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 be required nor received of good conscience.]] Neither do we judge it to proceed of justice, that any man should possesse the teinds of an other, but we think it a most reasonable thing that every man have the use of his own 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 and Treasurers rather to receive the rents, then the Ministers themselves; because that of the teinds must not onely the Minister be susteined, but also the poore and schooles. And therfore 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 sustentation 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 [leases] of them that now possesse the teinds, 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 extreame but that we wish just recompence to be made to such as have debursed summes of money to the unjust possessors, so that it hath not bene 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 teinds and kirks, be openly warned to produce their assedation and assurance, that cognition being taken, the just taksmen may have the just and reasonable recompence for the yeares that are to runne, the profite 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 easily 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 pyned with hunger, and moreover the true labourer was compelled to pay that which he ought not. For the {49} labourer is neither debtor to the dumb dogg, 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, and to furnish all things appertaining to the preservation of good order and policie within the kirk, must be lifted off the tenths, to wit, the tenth sheafe, hay, hemp, lint, fishes, tenth calfe, tenth lamb, tenth wooll, 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 to hospitalitie, and annuall rents both in burgh and land, pertaining to the Priests, Chantorie Colleges, Chappellanries, and 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 Vniversities, and sustentation of the Superintendents. the whole revenue of the temporalitie of the Bishops, Deanes, and Archdeanes lands, and of all rents of lands pertainining to the Cathedrall kirks whatsoever. And further, merchants & 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 therof, the readers, must be restored their Manses & Gleibs, for else they cannot serve the flock at all times, as their dutie is. If any Gleib exceed six akers of ground, the rest to remain in the hands of the possessours, till order bee taken therein.

The receivers and collectors of these rents and duties, must be Deacons or Thesaurers 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 shal of the first part pay the summes either quarterly, or from halfe yeare to halfe yeare, to the ministers, which the kirk hath appointed. The same they shall doe to the Schoolmasters, 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 utilitie of the kirk, or not. And if they do universally condiscend and agree upon the affirmative or negative, {50} then because they are in credite and office for the yeare, they may doe as best seemes; but if there be any controversie amongst themselves, the whole Kirk must be made privy, and after that the matter be proponed, and the reasons; the judgment 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 mony, cornes and other profites resting in their hands: The tickets wherof must be delivered to the Superintendents in their visitation, and by thé to the great councell of the Kirk; that as well the aboundance as the indigence, of everie kirk may be evidently known, that a reasonable equality may be had throughout this whole Realm. 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 wherof they shall be bound to make accounts: the deliverance of money to the new officers shall not suffer private men use in their private busines, 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 indure, without good lawes and sharpe execution of the same; so neither can the Kirk of God be brought to purity, neither yet 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 drunkenness, excesse, be it in apparel, 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 punished, the kirk of God is compelled to draw the sword {15 [51]} 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 severity. For lawes made and not kept, engender contempt of vertue, and brings in confusion and liberty to sinne. And therefore this order we thinke expedient to be observed afore, and after excommunication. First, if the offence be secret or known to few men, and rather stands in suspicion then in manifest probation, the offender ought to be privately admonished, to absteine from all appearance of evill, which if he 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 heynous, 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 trepasse ought to be declared and aggreged [aggravated, emphasized] so that his conscience may feele how farre he hath offended God, and what slander he hath raised in the Kirk. If signes of unfaigned 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 he 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. 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 he {52} 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 remedy. 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 committed amongst them, which by the Ministry hath bene 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 he may repent. If the person maligne, the next day of publick Assembly, 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 among them; request also should be made to the most discrete and nearest friend of the offender to travell with him to bring him to knowledge of himselfe, 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 Sonday the Minister ought to require, if the unpenitent have declared any signes of repentance to one of the Ministrie; and if he have, then may the Minister appoint him to be examined by the whole Ministry, 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 signifie his repentance, then ought he to be excommunicated, and by the mouth of the Minister, and consent of the Ministry, and commandement of the Kirk, must such a contemner be pronounced excommunicate from God, and from all society of the Kirk. After which sentence may no person (his wife and family onely excepted) have any kind of conversation with him, be it in eating and drinking, buying and selling; yea, in saluting or talking with him, except that it be at commandement or licence of the Ministerie for his conversion, that he, 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 be 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, {53} members of the Kirk, offer and present the child, 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 godly admonition, and obstinately remaine in their inquitie, cannot be accounted amongst the faithfull.

The order for publick Offenders.

VVEE 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 she 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 Ministrie, 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 Iesus, distributed to the members of his bodie. If this request be humbly made, then may not the Ministers refuse to signifie the same unto the Kirk, the next day of publicke preaching, the Minister giving exhortation to the kirk, to pray to God to perform the worke which he appeares to have begun, working in the heart of the offender, unfaigned 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 & contépt, & so to make publick satisfactió to the kirk of God: which day the offender must appear in presence of the whole Kirk, with his own mouth damning his own 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 examine 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, & if he finde {54} him reasonably instructed in the knowledge of Christ Iesus, 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 drawen in his nettes, in the society of their bodie, seeing that he declared himselfe penitent. 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 Iesus 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 gravitie, as a member of Christ Iesus. 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 trie by all meanes possible to bring him from that obedience which he hath given to God, and to the ordinance of Iesus Christ. The exhortation being ended, the Minister ought to give publick thankes unto God for the conversion of their brother, and for all benefites which we receive of Christ Iesus, praying for the increase and continuance of the same. If the penitent after he hath offered himselfe unto the Ministerie, or to the Kirk, be found ignorant of the principall points of our Religion, and chiefly in the Articles of Iustification, and of the Office of Christ Iesus, 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 remedie, when they repent their sinne.

Perſons ſubject to Diſcipline.

TO Discipline, must all the estates within this Realm be subject, as well the Rulers, as they that are ruled: yea, and 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, wherof we shall speak after that we have spoken of the election of Elders and Deacons, who must assist the Minister in all publick affaires of the Kirk. {55}

The eight head touching the election of

Elders and Deacons.

MEN of best knowledge in Gods word, and clearest life, men faithfull and of most honest conversation that can be found in the kirk, must be nominate to be in election, and their names must be publickly read to the whole kirk by the minister, giving them advertisment, that from amongst them must be chosen Elders and Deacons. If any of these nominate be noted with publick infamie, 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 kirke 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 pluralitie of kirks without ministers and order, shall rather hurt then edifie.

The election of Elders & Deacons ought to be used every yeare once, which wee judge to bee 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 3 yeares.

How the votes and suffrages may be best received, so that every 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 al men within their charge. For by the gravitie of the Seniors, the light & unbridled life of the licétious, must be corrected and 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 Superintendent, 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 [attends not diligently upon] his charge, or flock, or one {56} that propones not faithful doctrine, he deserves sharper admonition & correction. To the which if he be found stubborn and inobedient, then may the Seniors of the kirk complain 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 ministry, till his repentance appeare, & a place be vakand for him. If any Minister be deprehended in any notable crime, as whoredome, adulterie, man-slaughter, perjurie, 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 heresie 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 perpetual 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 [until] the person give declaration of greater gravitie & honesty. 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 ceasse from his ministry, 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 the ministers of the Superintendents kirk, the life, maners, study & diligence of their ministers, to the end the discretion of some may correct the levitie of others. Not onely must the life and maners of ministers come under censure and judgment 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, and the careful sollicitude of money, utterly to be damned in Christs servants, and especially in them that are fed upon the charge of the kirk. We judge it unseemly and untollerable, that ministers shall be buirded [boarded] 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 and judgment 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 do) or else from {57} bearing charge in civill affairs, unlesse it be to assist the parliament, if they be called.

The office of Deacons, as before is sayd 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 & 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 bee admonished thereof by the Ministers, or some of their brethren of the ministery, if the fault be secret: and if the fault be open and known, they must be rebuked before the ministery, 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 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 necessarie, as that the word be truly preached, the sacraments rightly ministred, common prayers publickly made, that the children & rude persós be instructed in the chiefe points of religion, & that offences be corrected & punished. These things be so necessarie, that without the same there is no face of a visible kirk. The other is profitable, but not meerly necessarie. 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 kirks the Psalmes 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 onwe policie. In great Townes we {58} thinke expedient, that every day there be either Sermon, or common prayers, with some exercise of reading of Scriptures. What [soever] day the publick Sermon is, we can neither require nor greatly approve, that the common prayers be publickly used; lest that wee shal 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 Sonday, 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 Maister as of the Servant. In smaller townes, as wee have said, the common consent of the Kirk must put order, but the Sonday must straitly be kept both before and after noone in all townes. Before noone must the word be preached, and Sacraments ministred, as also marriage solemnized, if occasion offer: after noone must the yong children be publickly examined in their Catechism in the audience of the people, wherof the Minister must take great diligence, as well to cause the people understand the questions proponed, as answers, and that doctrine, that may bee collected therof.

The order, & how much is appointed for every Sonday 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 Sonday, where there is neither preaching nor catechisme. It appertaines to the pollicie 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 Sonday, or upon the day of prayers onely after 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 yeare, they are carelesse and negligent, as if it appertained not unto them, but at {59} that time onely. We thinke therfore most expedient, that the first Sonday of March be appointed for one time, the first Sonday of Iune for another; the first Sonday of September for the third; the first Sonday 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 studie to represse superstition. All Ministers must be admonished to be more carefull to instruct the ignorant, then readie to serve their appetite, and to use more sharp examination, then indulgence, in admitting to thir [these] 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 to this Mysterie, who can not formally say the Lords prayer, the Articles of the Beliefe [Creed], 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 family, in the principalls of the Christian Religion without the knowledge whereof, ought none to be admitted to the Table of the Lord Iesus. For such as be so dull, and so ignorant, that they can neither try themselves, nor yet know the dignity and mysterie of that action, cannot eate and drink of that Table worthily. And therefore of necessity we judge, that everie yeare at the least, publicke 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 stubburnly contemne, & suffer their children and servants {60} 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 Iesus iustifies 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 Kirk doth conveene and sing, they may be the more able together, with common hearts and voyces to praise God. In private houses we think expedient, that the most grave and discrete person, use the common prayers at morn 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 onely power may, and great mercy will, if we unfaignedly convert unto him, remove from us thir [these] 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


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 necessitie shall require, it is most 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 calls prophecying; The order whereof is expressed by him in thir [these] words. Let two or three Prophets speak, 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 confirme 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 reveiled to {61} the former. And in case things were hid from the one, and from the other, liberty was given for a third to speak 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 necessarie 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 within their bodie. The simple, and such as have somewhat profited, shall be encouraged daily to studie, & to proceed in knowledge the kirk shall be edified. For this exercise must be patent to such, as list to heare and learne, and every man shall have liberty to utter and declare his minde and knowledge to the comfort and consolation of the kirk. But least 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 himselfe 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 degression, or in explaining common places [theological topics]: 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 bee spent in opening the minde of the Holy Ghost in that place: following the sequele and dependance 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 bee 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 {62} have any gift of interpretation within sixe 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. 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 glorie, and 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 shal be most profitable to reade, we refer to the judgement of every particular kirk, we meane, to the wisedome of the Minister and Elders.

Of Marriage.

BEcauſe that Mariage, the blessed ordinance of God, in this cursed Papistry, hath partly bene 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 sonns and daughters, and 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 mariage, they are bound to give honour to their parents, that they open unto them their affection, asking their counsell and assistance, how that motion, which they judge to be of God, may be performed. If the father, friend or maister, gainestand their request, and haue no other cause then the common sort of men have; to wit, lacke 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 {63} be made unto the Kirk of God, and therfore 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 mariage required, may not be fulfilled, then after sufficient admonicion, 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 mariage; For the worke 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, and both require and are content to live together in that holy band of Matrimony. If any commit fornication with that woman he requires in Mariage, they doe both loose 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 dowrie 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 Honors in the name of the eternall God, that severe punishment, according as God hath commanded, bee 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. [Rom. 1.32; 1 Cor. 5.] But to return to our former purpose. Mariage 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 yeares at least. Which if it have been, and they have kept themselves alwayes separate, we cannot judge them [bound] to adhere, as men and wives, by reason of that promise which in Gods presence was no promise at all: but if in yeares of judgement they have embraced the one the other, then by reason of that last consent, they have ratified that which others have permitted [promitted, promised] for them in their youth-head.

In a reformed kirk mariage ought not to be secretly used, but in {64} open face, and publick audience of the kirk, and for avoyding of dangers, expedient it is, that the band be publickly proclaimed; Sondayes, unlesse the persons be so knowne, that no suspicion of danger may arise: and then may the time be shortned at the discretion of the ministry. But no wayes can we admit mariage to be used secretly, how honourable soever the persons be. The Sonday before noon we think most expedient for mariage, and it be used no day else, without the consent of the whole ministerie. Marriage once lawfully contracted, may not be dissolved at mans pleasure, as our master Christ Iesus doth witnes, unlesse adulterie be comitted; 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. [Lev. 20.10.] 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 partie 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, and 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 benefites 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 necessity be such, as that they feare further offence of God, we cannot forbid them to use the remedy ordained of God. If the partie offended, may be reconciled to the offender, then we judge that on no wayes it shall be lawfull to the offender to marry any other, except the partie that before hath been offended; and the solemnization of the latter mariage 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 counsel that God giveth unto us in so doubtsome a case, but the most perfect reformation were, if your Honours would give to God his honour and glory, that yee would preferre his expresse commandement to your own corrupt judgements, 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 bee {65} now, and hereafter so established and execute, that this ungodly impunity of sinne 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. [1 Kings 20.42.]

Of Buriall.

BVriall in all ages hath bene holden in estimation to signifie that the same bodie 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 Iesus, or departeth in incredulity [unbelief]. Plaine it is, that they that depart in the true faith of Christ Iesus 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 unbeleefe, or in incredulitie, 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 expressly 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 profite 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 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 [moreover] either shall the Ministers for the {66} 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 Ministery, 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 buryall, 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 fensed about, and kept for that use onely.

For reparation of the Kirkes.

LEaſt 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 dores, windowes, thack, and with such preparation within, as apperteineth 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 of Kirks. Every Kirk must have dores, close windowes of glasse, thack able to with-hold raine, a bell to covocate the people together, a pulpet, a basen for Baptizing, and tables 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. {67}

For punishment of those that prophane 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 either be so ravished with gazing upon the visible creatures, that forgetting the cause wherefore they are ordained, they attri-[bu]-ted unto them a vertue and power, which God hath not granted unto them: or else that men should so contemne and despise Gods blessed Ordinance, and holy Institutions, as if that neither in the right use of them there were any profite, neither yet in their prophanations 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 seene, 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 bodie and bloud, during the darknesse of superstition, is not unknowne? How it was gazed upon, kneeled unto, borne in procession, and finally worshipped & honoured as Christ Iesus himselfe. And so long as 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 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 glorie of Christs Evangell, and to bring his blessed Sacraments in a perpetuall contempt: And further, your Honors may clearly see, how stubbornly & proudly the most part despises the Evangell of Christ Iesus offered unto you, whom unles that sharply & stoutly ye resist, we mean as wel the manifest despiser, as the prophaner of the Sacraments, ye shal find thé pernicious {68} enemies ere it be long. And therfore in the name of the eternall God, and of his Son Christ Iesus, we require of your Honours 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 think of him who plainly doth falsifie the Seales of Christ Iesus, Prince of the Kings of the earth? If Darius pronounced that a balk [beam] should be taken from the house of that man, and he himselfe 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 Iesus, from the superstition and damnable idolatry in which they have bene 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 impiety, the wrath of God be kindled against the whole.

The Papisticall Priests have neither power, nor authority to minister the Sacraments of Christ Iesus, 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 of their crownes, the greasing of their fingers, nor the blowing of the dumb 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 seeke Christs glorie, and the profite of his Kirk, and thereafter the nomination of the people, the examination of the learned, and publick admission (as before is said) make men lawfull Ministers of the Word and Sacraments. We speak of an ordinarie vocation; and not of that which is extraordinary, when God by himselfe, and by his onely power, raiseth up to the Ministerie such as best pleaseth his wisedome. {69}

The Concluſion.

THVS have we in these few heads offered unto your Honours our judgements, according as we were commanded, touching the reformation of things, which heretofore have altogether bene abused in this cursed Papistrie. We doubt not but some of our petitions shall appeare strange unto you at the first sight. But if your wisedomes deeply consider, that we must answer not onely 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 Honours 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 counsellers 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 silence hereof, we 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 eate. If we in this behalfe, or in any other, require or aske any other thing then by Gods expresse commandement, by equitie 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 Honours take heed, how ye gainstand the charge of him, whose hand and punishment yee cannot escape. If blind affection rather lead you to have respect to the sustentation of these your carnall friends, who tyrannously 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 liberty, we feare your sharpe and suddaine punishments, and that the glory and honour 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 ye have 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 own corrupt judgements, ye contemne his voyce and vocation, we are assured that your former iniquitie, and present ingratitude, shall together crave great punishment from God, who can not long delay to execute his most just judgements, when after many offences and long blindnesse grace and mercy offered is contemptuously refused. {70}

God the father of our Lord Iesus Christ, by the power of his holy Spirit, so illuminate your hearts, that ye may clearely see what is pleasing and acceptable in his presence, and so bow the same to his obedience, that ye may preferre his reveiled will to your own affections. And so strengthen you by the spirit of fortitude, that boldly ye 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.

From Edinburgh the 20 of Maij 1560.

By your Honours most humble servitours.

Act of Secret Counsell 17 of Ianuarij

anno 1560.

VVEE which have subscribed thir [these] 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 set the same forward to the uttermost of our powers. Providing that the Bishops, Abbots, Priors, and other Prelates and beneficed men which els have adjoyned them to us, bruik [enjoy] the revenues of their benefices during their liftimes, 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.

Iames Hamiltoun.

Archbald, Argyle.

Iames Stewart.



William Lord Hay.

Alexander Cambell.

M. Alexander Gordoun.




S. Ihones.

Williamof Culrosse.


Bargannie yonger.



Iames. Haliburtoun.

Ihone Lochart of Bar.

Iohn Schaw of Halie.

Scot of Haning.

Iames Maxwell.

George Fentoun of that ilk.

Andro Ker of Fadounside.

Andro Hamiltoun of Lethane.

Deane of Murray.





of the Policie of the Kirk.

CHAP. 1.

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 onely, and sometimes for them that exercise spiritual function in the congregation of them that professe the truth.

The Kirke in this last sence hath a certaine power granted by God, according to the which it uses a proper iurisdiction and governement, exercised to the comfort of the whole Kirke.

This power Ecclesiasticall is an authoritie granted by God the Father, through the Mediator Iesus Christ, unto his Kirke gathered, & 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 appoynted thereto by the word of God: and therfore is given immediatly to the office-bearers, by whom it is exercised to the weale of the whole body. {72}

This power is diversly used: for sometime it is severally exercised, chiefly by the teachers, sometime conjunctly by mutuall consent of them that beare the office and charge, after the forme of judgement. The former is onely called potestas ordinis [power of order], and the other potestas iurisdictionis [power of jurisdiction].

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 Mathew.

This power and policie Ecclesiasticall, is different and distinct in the own nature from that power and policie, which is called civill power, and appertaineth to the civill government of the commonwealth: 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 immediatly from God, and the mediator Iesus Christ, and is spirituall, not having a temporall head in the earth, but onely Christ, the onely spirituall king and governour of his kirk.

It is a title falsly usurped by Antichrist, to call himselfe 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 policie of the kirk should leane upon the word immediatly, as the onely ground thereof, and should be taken from the pure fountaines of the Scriptures, the kirk hearing the voyce of Christ the onely spirituall king, and being ruled by his lawes.

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 beare office therein, ought not to usurp dominion therein, nor be called Lords, but onely 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 ministry 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 ordinarie [ordinarily].

The civill power is called the power of the sword, and the other the power of the keyes.

The civill power should command the spiritual to exercise, and {73} 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 libertie and quietnes of the kirk within their bounds.

The magistrate commandeth external things for externall peace and quietnesse amongst the subjects: the minister handleth externall things onely for conscience cause.

The magistrate handleth externall things onely, & 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 ministerie, by the spirituall sword, and spirituall meanes.

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 iurisdiction, but teach the magistrate, how it should be exercised according to the word.

The magistrate ought to assist, maintaine and fortifie the iurisdiction 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. 2.

Of the of the Policie of the Kirk, and persons and office-

bearers to whom the administration is committed.

AS in the civill policie the whole commonwealth consisteth in them that are governors, or magistrates, and them that are governed, or subjects. So in the policie of the kirk some are appointed to be rulers, and the rest of the members thereof to be ruled, and obey according to the word of God, and inspiration of his spirit, alwayes under one head and chiefe governour, Iesus Christ.

Againe, the whole policie of the kirk consisteth in three things, in Doctrine, Discipline, and Distribution. With doctrine is annexed {74} 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 Iesus Christ, who is the onely king, high Priest, and head thereof, yet he useth the ministery of men, as the most necessary middes [means] for this purpose.

For so hee hath from time to time, before the law, under the law, and in the time of the Evangell for our great comfort raised up 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, hee will that they should rule with mutuall consent of brethren, and æqualitie of power, every one according to their functions.

In the new Testament, and time of the Evangell, hee 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 thir [these] Ecclesiasticall functions are ordinarie, and some extraordinary or temporarie. 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 ordinarie functions or offices in the kirke of God, the office of the Pastor, Minister or Bishop, the Doctor, presbyter or Elder, and the Deacon.

Thir [these] offices are ordinarie, and ought to continue perpetually in the kirk, as necessarie for the government and policie thereof, and no moe 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 hierarchie, which are not of one of these foure sorts, together with the offices depending thereupon, in one word ought to be reiected.

CHAP. 3.

How the perſons that beare Ecclleſiaſticall functions, are to bee 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 {75} qualified persons are promoted to any spirituall office within the Kirk of God.

Without this lawful calling it was never leasome [lawful] to any person to meddle with any function Ecclesiasticall.

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

The other calling is ordinarie, 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 knowes the hearts of men.

This ordinary and outward calling hath two parts, election and ordination. Election is the chosing 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 intrused in any offices of the Kirk, contrary to the will of the congregation to which they are appointed, or without the voice of the Eldership.

None ought to be intrused, or placed in the places already planted, or in any roome 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 tryed and found qualified.

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

All thir [these], 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 which they ought not to passe.

All thir [these] 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 [travail] and work, and are names of offices and service, and not of idlenesse, dignity, worldly {76} 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 residence with them, and take the inspection and oversight of them, every one in his vocation.

And generally thir [these] twa things ought they all to respect: the glorie of God, and edifying of his Kirk, in discharging their dueties in their calling.

CHAP. 4.

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 Ministerie, or that offer themselves thereunto, ought not to be elected without any certain flock be assigned unto them.

No man ought to ingyre [obtrude] himselfe, or usurpe this 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 the Ministerie, may not leave their functions.

The desertours should be admonished, and in case of obstinacie finally excommunicate.

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

Vnto the Pastors apperteines teaching of the word of God, in season and out of season, publickly and privately, alwayes traueling [travailing] to edifie, and discharge his conscience, as Gods word prescribes to him.

Vnto 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 {77} by the eare, and the other by the eyes, and other senses, that by both, knowledge may be transferred to the minde.

It appertaines 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 apperteines 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 keyes 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. 5.

Of Doctors, and their Office, and of the


ONE of the two ordinary and perpetuall functions that travell in the Word, is the office of the Doctor, who may bee 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, & that the purity of the Gospell be not corrupted through ignorance, or evill opinions.

Hee is different from the Pastor, not onely 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 wisedome, to apply the same by exhortation to the manners of the flock, as occasion craveth.

Vnder the name and office of a Doctor wee comprehend also {78} the order in Schooles, Colledges, and Vniversities, which hath been from time to time carefully maintained, as well among the Iewes and Christians, as also among the prophane Nations.

The Doctor being an Elder, as said is, 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, perteine 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. 6.

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, some time 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 alwaies necessarie in the Kirk of God. The Eldership is a spirituall function, as is the Ministerie.

Elders once lawfully called to the office, and having gifts from God meet to exercise the same, may not leave it againe. Albeit such an number of Elders may be chosen in certaine Congregations, that 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 necessitie of the people.

It is not necessarie that all Elders be also teachers of the word, albeit the chiefe ought to be such and swa are worthie of double-honour.

What manner of persons they ought to be, we referre it to the expresse word, and namely the Canons written by the Apostle Paul. [1 Tim. 3.1-7; Titus 1.5-9.]

Their office is as well severally, as conjunctly, to watch diligently upon the flock committed to their charge, both publickly, and privately, that no corruption of Religion, or manners, enter therein. {79}

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 appertaines 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 actes of the Assemblies, as well particular as generall to be put in execution carefully.

They should be diligent in admonishing all men of their dutie 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 Pastors & Doctors who are also of their number, for establishing of good order and execution of discipline, unto the which Assemblies all persones are subject that remaine within their bounds.

CHAP. 7.

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 bene spoken.

Assemblies are of foure sorts. For either are they of particular Kirks and Congregations ane or moe, or of a Province, or of a whole nation, or of all and divers Nations professing one Iesus Christ.

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

Diligence should be taken, chiefly by the Moderator, that onely Ecclesisticall things be handled in the Assemblies, and that there be no medling with any thing perteining 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 {80} attribute to the visitor onely, neither is it necessary to abide alwaies in one mans person, but it is the part of the Eldership to send out qualified persons to visit pro re nata.

The finall end of assemblies is first to keep the religion and doctrine in puritie without error and corruption. Next, to to keepe comelinesse 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 Ecclesiastical matters, that are found noysome and unprofitable, and agree not with the time, or are abused by the people.

They have power to execute Ecclesiastical discipline & punishment upon all transgressors, and proud contemners of the good order and policie of the kirke, and so the whole discipline is in their hands.

The first kinde and sort of assemblies, although they be within particular congregations, yet they exerce the power, authoritie and jurisdiction of the kirk with mutuall consent, and therefore beare sometime the name of the kirk.

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 wee think 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 concurre with the rest of their brethren in the common assembly, and to take up the delations of offences within their owne kirks, and bring them to the assembly.

This we gather of the practise of the primitive kirk, where Elders or colledges of Seniors were constitute in cities and famous places.

The power of their particular Elderships, is to use diligent labours in the bounds committed to their charge, that the kirks be kept in good order, to inquire diligently in naughtie and 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 Ecclesiasticall goods uncorruptly distributed.

It belongs to this kinde of assembly, to cause the ordinances made by the assemblies provinciall, nationall, and generall, to be kept, and put in execution. {81}

To make constitutions which concerne το πρεπον [becoming, suitable] in the kirk, for the decent order of these particular kirks, where they governe: providing they alter no rules made by the generall, or provinciall assemblies, and that they make the provinciall assemblies foreseen 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 kind of assembly within their owne bounds, being well erected, and constitute of many Pastors, and Elders of sufficient abilitie.

By the like reason their deposition also pertains 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 kirke, manifest blasphemy, simonie, corruption of bribes, falshood, perjurie, whoordome, theft, drunkennesse, fighting worthy of punishment by the Law, usurie, dauncing, infamie, 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, sicknesse, or other accidents, become unmeet to do their office, in which case their honour should remain to them, their kirk should maintaine them; and others ought to be provided to doe their office.

Provinciall assemblies wee call lawfull conventions of the Pastors, Doctors, and other Elders of a province, gathered for the common affaires of the kirkes therof, which also may bee called the conference of the kirk and brethren.

Thir [these] assemblies are institute for weightie 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, & 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 thir [these] 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 whole kirks in the realme. None are subject to repaire to this assembly to vote, but Ecclesiasticall {82} Persons to such a number, as shall be thought good by the same Assemblie, not excluding other persons that will repaire to the said Assembly to propone, heare, and reason.

This Assemblie 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 bodie of the Kirk within the Realme may be foreseene, intreated, and set forth to Gods glorie.

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

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

This Assembly should take heed, that the spirituall jurisdiction, and civill, be not confounded to the hurt of the Kirk: That the patrimonie of the Kirk be not consumed, nor abused; and generally concerning all weighty affaires that concerne the weale and good order of the whole Kirks of the Realm, it ought to interpone authoritie thereto.

There is besides these, an other 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 bee 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 at command of godly Emperours being for the time, for avoiding of schismes within the universall Kirk of God, which because they perteine not to the particular estate of any Realme we cease further to speak of them.

CHAP. 8.

Of the Deacons and their office, the last ordinary

function in the Kirk.

THE word Διακονος sometimes is largely taken, comprehending all them that beare office in the Ministerie, and spirituall function in the Kirk.

But now, as we speake, it is taken onely 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 ordinarie 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. {83}

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 Ecclesiasticall 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. 9.

Of the Patrimonie of the Kirk, and distribution thereof.

BY the Patrimonie 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 applyed to the publique use and utilitie of the Kirk.

So that under the Patrimonie 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 lawes or custome, or use of countries have been applyed to the use and utility of the Kirk; of the which sort are Teinds, Manses, Gleibs, and such like, which by common and municipall lawes and universall custome are possessed by the Kirk.

To take any of this patrimonie by unlawfull meanes, and convert it to the particular and profane use of any person, we hold it a detestable 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 necessitie 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 [ever & until] the estate therof {84} was corrupted by Antichrist, as the ancient Canons beare witness.

The same Canons make mention of a fourefold distribution of the patrimonie of the kirk, whereof one part was applyed to the Pastor or Bishop for his sustentation and hospitality; another to the Elders and Deacons, & all the Clergie; the third to the poore, sick 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 susteined of the same goods, and are comprehended under the Cleargie. To whom we joyn also 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. 10.

Of the Office of a Christian Magistrate in the Kirk.

ALthough all the members of the kirk be holden every one in their vocation, & according therto, to advance the Kingdom of Iesus Christ, so far 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 mainteined, fostered, upholden, and defended against all that would procure the hurt thereof.

So it perteines 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 ministerie thereof be maintained & susteined, as it appertaines, according to Gods word.

To see that the kirk be not invaded, nor hurt by false Teachers, and Hirelings, nor the roomes therof be occupied by dumb doggs, or idle bellies.

To assist and maintaine the discipline of the kirk, and punish them civilly, that will not obey the censure of the same, without confounding alwaies the one jurisdiction with the other.

To see that sufficient provision be made for the ministerie, 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 injurie 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 profane and unlawful uses, or be devoured by idle bellies, & such as have no lawfull function in the kirk, to the hurt of the Ministery, schooles, {85} poore, & other godly uses, wherupó the same ought to be bestowed.

To make lawes and constitutions agreeable to Gods word, for advancement of the kirk, and policie therof, without usurping any thing that perteins 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 therof, or any part of the power of the spirituall keyes, which our Master gave to the Apostles, and their true successours.

And although Kings and Princes that be godly, some times by their own authority, when the kirk is corrupted and all things out of order; place Ministers, & restore the true service of the Lord, after the example of some godly Kings of Iuda, and divers godly Emperours, 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. 11.

Of the present abuses remaining in the Kirk, which

we desire to be reformed.

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

Therfore 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 Abbeyes, whose places are now for the most part by the just judgement of God demolished, and purged of idolatry, is plaine abuse, and is not to receive the Kingdom of Christ amongst us, but rather to refuse it.

Such like that they that of old were called the chapiters & convents of Abbeyes, cathedrall kirks, & like places, serve for nothing now, but to set fewes & tacks [feudal leases], if any thing be left of the Kirk lands and teinds, in hurt and prejudice therof, as daily experience teacheth, and therefore ought to be uterly abrogate and abolished.

Of the like nature are the Deanes, Archdeacones, 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.

The Kirks also which are united together, and joyned by annexation to their benefices, ought to be separated and divided, and given {86} 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 Kirkemen, to the hurt and prejudice of the liberty thereof, & lawes of the Realm 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 soules, 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 farr, as in the order taken at Leith in the yeare 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 επισκοπος be properly taken, they are all one with the ministers, as before was declared. For it is not a name of superioritie, and Lordship, but of office and watching.

Yet because in the corruption of the kirk, this name (as others) haue been abused, and yet is likely to be, wee 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 farr as they are pastors, have not the office of visitation of moe kirkes joyned to the pastorship, without it be given to them.

It is a corruption, that Bishops should have further bounds to visit, nor [than] they may lawfully.

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

The Elderships being well established, have power to send out visitours one or moe, with commission to visit the bounds within their Eldership, and likewise after count [account] taken of them, either 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 bee Pastors of Pastors, Pastors of many flockes, and yet without a certain flock, and without ordinary teaching. {87}

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 far 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 Ecclesiasticall or Civill affaires, or else to be deposed from all function in the Kirk.

We denie not in the meane time, but Ministers may and should assist 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 owne 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 Papistrie, 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 Ecclesiasticall Iurisdiction should be acknowledged within this Realm, 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 therof, or use any other Act to the prejudice of the same, since 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, 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 farr as they meddle with Ecclesiasticall matters, and have no commission of the kirk 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 {88} roomes. Therfore they either would be discharged to medle with Ecclesiastical matters, or it would be limited to them in what matters they might be iudges, and not hurt the libertie of the kirk.

They also that of 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 to have any further liberty, but to intromet with the portion assigned and granted to them for their lifetimes, and not under the abused titles which they had to dispon the kirk rents, set tackes and fewes thereof at their pleasure, to the great hurt of the kirk and poore labourers, that dwell upon the kirk lands, contrarie to all good conscience and order.

CHAP. 12.

Certain ſpeciall heads of reformation which we crave.

VVHatſoever hath been spoken of the offices of the kirke, the severall power of the officebearers, their conjunct power also, and last of the patrimonie of the kirk, wee 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 again 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 minister alwaies to be burdened with the particular charge of moe kirks or flockes 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 Townes, 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 to-ther, and the principall and most 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 alwaies being kept for buryall 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 Vniversities, Colledges, and in other places needfull, and sufficiently provided for, to open up the {89} 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 townes, and famous places, where resort of men of judgement and abilitie 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 concernes 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 estates of the Countries, that were able to nominate and designe the places, where the particular Elderships should convene, taking consideration of the Diocesse, as they were divided of old, and of the estate of the Countries, and provinces of the Realme.

Likewise concerning Provinciall and Synodall Assemblies consideration 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.

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

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

The libertie of the election of persons called to the Ecclesiasticall functions, and observed without interruption, so long as the kirk was not corrupted by antichrist, we desire to be restored and reteined 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 Apostolical 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 {90} with the effect therof have flowed from the Pope, and corruption of the Canon law onely, in so farr as thereby any person was intrused or placed over kirkes having Curam animarum [care of souls].

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 therfore, whosoever wil embrace Gods word, and desire the kingdome of his Son Christ Iesus 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 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 offices of the Kirk, such as clerks of Assemblies, takers up of the Psalmes, Beadels and keepers of the kirk, so farre as is necessarie: Ioyning with them also the Doctors, & Schooles, to help the ancient foundations where need requires: the third portion to be bestowed upon the poore members of the faithfull, and hospitals: 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 therof belongs, that the poore may be answered of their portion thereof, and they of the Ministery live without care and solicitude: as also the rest of the treasurie 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 prophane 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 {91} 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 general 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 ministry 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: We thinke it necessary to be desired, that all alienations, setting of fewes, or tacks of the rents of the Kirk, as well lands as teinds, in hurt and diminution of the old rentals, be reduced and annulled, and the patrimony of the Kirk restored to the former old liberty.

And likewise, that in times comming the teinds [tithes] 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.

SEing the end of this spirituall government and policie, whereof we speak, is, that God may be glorified, the kingdome of Iesus 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 spirituall gladnesse in giving full obedience to that which Gods word, and the testimony of their own conscience doth crave, and refusing all corruption contrary to the same.

Next we shall become an example and patterne of good and godly order to other nations, countries, and Kirkes professing the same Religion with us, that as they have glorified God in our continuing in the sincerity of the Word hitherto, 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, pollicie, 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 Maister, and not doing it, &c. [Luke 12.47.] {92}

Moreover, if we have any piety or respect to the poore members of Iesus 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 duely put to execution, the burden of them shall be taken off us to our great comfort, the streets shall be cleansed of the cryings and murmurrings of them, as we shall no more be any skandall 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 off, giving occasion of sklander 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 publique workes: to the labourers of the ground in payment of their teinds, and shortly in all these things, whereinto they have been hitherto rigorously handled by them that were falsly called kirkemen, their tacksmen, factours, chalmerlanes and extortioners.

Finally, to the Kings Majestie, and common-wealth of the countrey this profite 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 Iesus and his Kingdome set up, Satan and his kingdome subverted, and God shall dwell in the midst of us, to our comfort, through Iesus Christ, who together with the Father and the Holy Ghost, abides blessed in all eternity, Amen.