To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken.—Jer. 6.10




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.