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Title: Records of the Kirk of Scotland

Author: Church of Scotland. General Assembly

Editor: Alexander Peterkin

Release date: September 5, 2020 [eBook #63127]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Jordan and the Online Distributed Proofreading
Team at


The cover image was created by the transcriber and is placed in the public domain.





General Assemblies,











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



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

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

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

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

Miscellaneous Historical Documents Relative to the Ecclesiastical and Political Events in Scotland, 1633-1638.

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

The General Assembly, at Edinburgh, 1639.

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

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

Miscellaneous Historical Documents, Relative to the Ecclesiastical and Political Events in Scotland—1639.

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

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

The General Assembly, at Aberdeen, 1640.

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

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

Miscellaneous Historical Documents.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

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

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

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

Miscellaneous Historical Documents, Relative to the Ecclesiastical and Political Events in Scotland—1640-41.

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

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

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

The General Assembly, at Edinburgh, 1643.

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

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

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

The General Assembly, at Edinburgh, 1644.

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

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

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

The General Assembly, at Edinburgh, 1645.

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

Index of the Acts of this Assembly. Not Printed.

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

The General Assembly, at Edinburgh, 1646.

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

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

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

The General Assembly, at Edinburgh, 1647.

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

Index of the Acts of This Generall Assemblie Not Printed.

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

The General Assembly, at Edinburgh, 1648.

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

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

The General Assembly, at Edinburgh, 1649.

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

Index of the Unprinted Acts of the Assembly, 1649.

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

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


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

Index to Miscellaneous Documents. 1638-1654.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

National Covenant;

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

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

“And received, beleeved, and defended by many and sundry notable Kirks and Realmes, but chiefly by the Kirk of Scotland, the King’s Majestie, and the Three Estates of this Realme, as God’s eternall Truth, and onely ground of our salvation; as more particularly is expressed in the Confession of our Faith, stablished and publikely confirmed by sundry Acts of Parlaments, and now, of a long time, hath been openly professed by the King’s Majestie, and whole body of this Realme, both in Burgh and Land. To the which Confession and forme of Religion wee willingly agree in our consciences in all points, as unto God’s undoubted Truth and Verity, grounded onely upon his written Word. And, therefore, We abhorre and detest all contrarie Religion and Doctrine; but chiefly all kinde of Papistrie,10 in generall and particular heads, even as they are now damned and confuted by the Word of God and Kirk of Scotland; but, in speciall, we detest and refuse the usurped authoritie of that Roman Antichrist upon the Scriptures of God, upon the Kirk, the civill Magistrate, and Consciences of men; all his tyrannous lawes made upon indifferent things against our Christian libertie; his erroneous Doctrine against the sufficiencie of the written Word, the perfection of the Law, the office of Christ and his blessed Evangel; his corrupted Doctrine concerning originall sinne, our naturall inabilitie and rebellion to God’s law, our justification by faith onely, our imperfect sanctification and obedience to the law, the nature, number, and use of the holy Sacraments; his five bastard Sacraments, with all his Rites, Ceremonies, and false Doctrine, added to the ministration of the true Sacraments without the word of God; his cruell judgement against Infants departing without the sacrament; his absolute necessitie of Baptisme; his blasphemous opinion of Transubstantiation, or real presence of Christ’s body in the Elements, and receiving of the same by the wicked, or bodies of men; his dispensations with solemn oaths, perjuries, and degrees of Marriage forbidden in the Word; his crueltie against the innocent divorced; his divellish Masse; his blasphemous Priesthood; his profane Sacrifice for the sins of the dead and the quick; his Canonization of men, calling upon Angels or Saints departed, worshipping of Imagerie, Relicks, and Crosses, dedicating of Kirks, Altars, Daies, Vowes to creatures; his Purgatorie, praiers for the dead; praying or speaking in a strange language, with his Processions, and blasphemous Letanie, and multitude of Advocates or Mediators; his manifold Orders, Auricular Confession; his desperate and uncertain repentance; his generall and doubtsome faith; his satisfactions of men for their sins; his justification by works, opus operatum, works of supererogation, Merits, Pardons, Peregrinations, and Stations; his holy Water, baptizing of Bels, conjuring of spirits, crossing, saning, anointing, conjuring, hallowing of God’s good creatures, with the superstitious opinion joined therewith; his worldly Monarchy, and wicked Hierarchie; his three solemne vowes, with all his shavelings of sundry sorts; his erroneous and bloudie decrees made at Trent, with all the subscribers and approvers of that cruell and bloudie Band conjured against the Kirk of God; and, finally, we detest all his vain Allegories, Rites, Signs, and Traditions brought in the Kirk, without or against the Word of God, and Doctrine of this true reformed Kirk; to the which we joyne our selves willingly, in Doctrine, Faith, Religion, Discipline, and use of the Holy Sacraments, as lively members of the same in Christ our Head: promising and swearing, by the Great Name of the LORD our GOD, that we shall continue in the obedience of the Doctrine and Discipline of this Kirk, and shall defend the same, according to our vocation and power, all the dayes of our lives, under the paines contained in the Law, and danger both of body and soule in the day of God’s fearfull Judgement; and seeing that many are stirred up by Satan and that Romane Antichrist, to promise, sweare, subscribe, and, for a time, use the Holy Sacraments in the Kirk deceitfully, against their owne consciences, minding thereby, first, under the externall cloake of Religion, to corrupt and subvert secretly God’s true Religion within the Kirk, and afterward, when time may serve, to become open enemies and persecutors of the same, under vaine hope of the Pope’s dispensation, devised against the Word of God, to his greater confusion, and their double condemnation in the day of the LORD JESUS.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Indicted by the Kings Majestie, and conveened at Glasgow the XXI. of Nov. 1638; Visied, Collected, and Extracted forth of the Register of the Acts of the Assembly, by the Clerk thereof. Edinburgh, printed by the Heirs of Andrew Hart. Anno Dom. 1639.

The King’s Commission to James Marquesse of Hamiltoun.23

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

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

The King’s Letter to the Generall Assembly.

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

Act Sess. 6. November 27. 1638.

THE testimonie of the Committy, for tryall of the Registers, subscribed with their hands, being produced, with some reasons thereof in another paper, and publickly read; My Lord Commissioner professed that it had resolved him of sundry doubts, but desired a time to be more fully resolved.

The Moderatour desired that if any of the Assembly had anything to say against the said testimonie for the books, that they would declare it; and finding none to oppon, yet he appointed the day following, to any to object anything they could say, and if then none could object, the Assembly would hold the Registers as sufficiently approven.

Act. Sess. 7. November 28.

Act. Approving the Registers.

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

The Commissioner his Grace protested that the Assemblies approving these books, or anything contained in them be no wayes prejudiciall to his Majestie, nor to the Archbishops, and Bishops of this Kingdome, or any of their adherents; because he had some exceptions against these books. My Lord Rothes desired these exceptions to be condescended on, and they should be presently cleared, and protested that these books should be esteemed authentick and obligaterie hereafter.

The whole Assembly all in one voice approved these books, and ordained the same to make faith in judgment, and out-with, in all time comming, as the true and authentick Registers of the Kirk of Scotland, conform to the testimonie subscribed by the Committie, to be insert with the reasons thereof in the books of Assembly: Whereof the tenour followeth.

WE under-subscribers, having power and commission from the generall Assembly now presently conveened, and sitting at Glasgow, to peruse, examine, and cognosce upon the validity, faith and strength of the books and registers of the Assembly, under-written, to wit: A register beginning at the Assembly holden the twentie day of December 1560, and ending at the fourth session of the Assembly holden the 28 of December 1566.

Item, another register beginning at the generall Assembly, holden the second day of June 1567, and ending at the fourth session of the Assembly holden at Perth the ninth day of August 1572, which register is imperfect, and mutilate in the end, and containeth no leaf nor page after that page which containeth the said inscription of the said fourth session; which two registers bears to be subscribed by John Gray scribe.

Item, a register of the Assembly holden at Edinburgh the seventh day of August 1574, and ending with the twelfth session, being the last session of the Assembly 1579.

Item another register beginning at the Assembly holden at Edinburgh the tenth of May 1586. and ending in the seventeenth session of the Assembly holden in March. 1589.

Item another, register being the fifth book, and greatest volume, beginning at the Assembly holden in Anno 1560. and ending in the year 1590.

Having carefully viewed, perused and considered the said registers, and every one of them, and being deeply and maturely advised, as in a matter of greatest weight and consequence, do attest before God, and upon our conscience declare to the world and this present Assembly, that the saids foure registers above expressed, and every one of them, are famous, authentick, and good registers; which ought to be so reputed, and have public faith in judgement and out-with, as valid and true records in all things; and that the said fifth and greatest book, beginning at the Assembly 1560 and ending 1590. being margined by the hand-writs of the Clerk, and reviser of the registers, cognosced, and tryed, and agreeable to the other foure registers, in what is extant in them, ought also to be free of all prejudice and suspicion, and received with credit. And in testimonie of our solemne affirmation, we have subscribed these presents with our hands.

Sic subscribitur,
Master Andrew Ramsay.
Master Iohn Adamson.
Master Iohn Row.
Master Robert Murray.
Master Alexander Gibson.
Master Iames Boner.
Master Alexander Peerson.
Master Alexander Wedderburn.

Reasons prooving the five Books and Registers produced before the Assembly to be authentick.

The books now exhibited unto us under-subscribers, which we have revised and perused by commission from the generall Assembly, are true registers of the Kirk: to wit, Five Volumes, whereof the first two contain the acts of the Assembly, from the year of God 1560. to the year 1572. all subscribed by Iohn Gray; Clerk: The third from the year of God 1574. to the year 1579: The fourth from the year of God 1586. to the year 1589: At which time Master Iames Ritchie was Clerk, who hath frequently written upon the margine of the saids two last books, and subscribed the said margine with his hand-writing. And the fifth book being the greatest volume, containing the acts of the generall Assembly, from the year of God 1560. to the year 1590. which agreeth with the foresaids other foure books and registers, in so far as is extant in them, and further recordeth, what is wanting by them, passing by what is mutilate in them, and which with the two Volumes produced by Master Thomas Sandilands from the year 1590. to this present, maketh up a perfect register.

I. For the first two Volumes subscribed by John Gray, albeit it be not necessar in such antiquietie to proove that he was Clerk, seeing he designes himself so by his subscription, yet the same is made manifest by an act mentioned in the third book, in the time of Master Iames Richie, who succeeded him in the said office, and his hand-writ was acknowledged by sundry old men in the ministery.

II. The uniformitie of his subscriptions through both Volumes, evident by ocular inspection above the ordinarie custome of most famous Notars, delivers the same from all suspicion in facto tam antiquo.

III. There be many coppies, specially of general23 acts, yet extant, which do not debord from the saids registers, but are altogether agreeable thereto.

IIII. It is constant by the universal custome of this Kingdome, that all registers are transmitted from one keeper to his successour, and so comming by progresse and succession from the first incumbent to the last possessour, are never doubted to be the registers of that judicatorie, whereof the last haver was Clerk; and therefore it is evident that these books comming successively from Iohn Gray, Master Iames Richie, and Master Thomas Nicolson who were all Clerks to the Assembly, into the hands of Master Robert Winrame, who was constitute Clerk depute by the said Master Thomas Nicolson, (as his deputation here present to show, will testifie,) are the undoubted registers of the Assembly: like as Alexander Blair succeeded the said Master Robert in his place of Clerkship to the assignations and modifications of Ministers stipends; and during Master Robert his life-time, was his actuall servant, and so had the said books by progresse from him, which the said Alexander is readie presently to testifie.

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

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

VII. Master Thomas Sandilands, in name of his father, who was late Clerk by dimission of Master Thomas Nicolson, hath produced a volume, which proveth the saids two registers of Master Iames Richie to be sufficient records; because that same Volume is begun by that same hand, whereby the said Master Iames Richie his registers are written, and is subscribed once in the margine by Master Iames Richie his hand, and is followed forth, and continued in the same book by Master Thomas Nicolson, who succeeded him in the place, and was known by most men here present to be of such approven worth and credit, that he would never have accomplished a register which had not been famous and true: and whereof the hand-write, had not then been known to him sufficiently.

VIII. That register produced by Master Thomas Sandilands, and prosecuted by Master Thomas Nicolson, proves the first part of that register to be true and famous; and that first part being, by ocular inspection, of the same hand-writ with Master Iames Richies registers, and subscribed in the margine with the same hand-writ, proveth Richies two books to be good records, and Richies registers doth approve Grays books by the act of Assembly before written; specially considering the same hath come by progresse and succession of Clerks, in the hands of Alexander Blair, now living, and here present.

IX. The compts anent the thirds of benefices between the Regent for the time and the Assembly, in the second volume, pag. 147, are subscribed by the Lord Regents own hand, as appeareth; for it is a royall-like subscription, and there is no hand-writ in all the book like unto it, and beareth not sic subscribitur, which undoubtedly it would do, if it were a coppie.

X. Master Iames Carmichell was commanded by the generall Assembly 1595, Sess. 9, in the book produced by Master Thomas Sandilands, to extract the generall acts forth of their books; and it is evident that these books are the same which he perused for that effect, because he hath marked therein the generall acts with a crosse, and hath designed the act by some short expression upon the margine, which is cognosced and known to be his hand writ, by famous and worthy persons; which is also manifest by the said Master Iames his band and subscription, written with his own hand in the last leafe of the said books; as also acknowledged in the said book produced by Master Thomas Sandilands, wherein the said Master Iames Carmichell granteth the receipt of these, with some other books of the Assemblies.

XI. The registers produced, are the registers of the Assembly, because in Anno 1586, the Assembly complaineth that their registers are mutilate: which hath relation to Richies third book, which is lacerat and mutilate in divers places, without any interveening of blank paper, or any mention of hic deest.

XII. If these were not principall registers, the enemies of the puritie of Gods worship, would never have laboured to destroy the same: which notwithstanding they have done; as appeareth by the affixing and battering of a piece of paper upon the margine, anent a condition of the commission not to exceed the established discipline of this Kirk, subscribed by the Clerk, book 3. pag. 147. And the blotting out the certification of the excommunication against Bishop Adamson, book 4. pag. 30. who in his Recantation generally acknowledgeth the same: but which, without that recantation, cannot be presupponed to have been done, but by corrupt men, of intension to corrupt the books, which were not necessary, if they were not principall registers.

XIII. In the Assembly 1586, The Church complained upon the Chancelour his retention of their registers, & desired they might be delivered to their Clerk, which accordingly was done; as a memorandum before the beginning of the first book, bearing the redeliverie of these foure books to Master Iames Richie, Clerk, proporteth; which clearly evinceth that these foure books are the registers of the Assembly.

XIV. The said fifth book and greatest Volume, is also marked on the margine, with the hand writ of the said Master James Carmichell (which is cognosced) who was appointed to peruse the books of the Assembly as said is, and would not have margined the same by vertue of that command, nor extracted the generall acts out of it, if it were not an approbation thereof, as an authentick and famous book.

XV. The said fifth volume doth agree with the other foure books, in all which is extant in them, and marketh the blanks, which are lacerate and riven out of the same; and compleateth all what is lacking in them.

XVI. In the book of Discipline pertaining to Master Iames Carmichel, subscribed by himself, and Master Iames Richie, there are sundry acts and passages quotted out of the said fifth great Volume, saying, It is written in such a page of the book of Assembly, which agreeth in subject and quottations with the said fifth book, and cannot agree with any other; so that Master Iames Carmichel reviser of the Assembly books, by their command, would not alledge that book, nor denominate the same a book of the Assembly, if it were not an authentic famous book.

XVII. Though the corrupt nature of man hath been tempted to falsifie particular evidents, yet it hath never been heard that any whole register hath ever been counterfeited; neither can it bee presupponed that any will attempt that high wickednesse,24 seeing the inducements answerable to that crime, can hardly be presupposed.

XVIII. It is certain, and notour to all these who are intrusted with the keeping of the publick records of the Kingdome, that the same are never subscribed by the Clerk, but only written and filled up by servants, and most frequently by unknown hands, yet they and the extracts thereof make publick faith, and the same are uncontrovertedly authentick registers: and when the most publick registers of the Kingdome shall be seen, and compared with these registers of the Assembly, it shall be found that these other registers of the most soveraigne judicatories ever unsubscribed are more incorrect, oftner margined, scored, and interlined, made up by greater diversitie of unknown hand-writs, than these books of the Assembly, which by speciall providence are preserved so intire, that in the judgment of any man acquainted with registers, they will manifestly appear at the very sight to be true, famous, and authentick.

XIX. The fame and credit of ancient registers in this Kingdome, is so much reverenced, that if any extract be different or disconforme from the register, that extract albeit subscribed by the person who for the time had been of greatest eminence in the trust of registers, will be rectified, conforme to the register, and have no force, so far as it debordeth there-from; although the registers be written with an obscure, unknown hand, and unsubscribed.

Act Sess. 12. December fourth.

The six late pretended Assemblies condemned.

ANENT the report of the Committie, for trying the six last pretended Assemblies: They produced in writ sundrie reasons, clearing the unlawfulnesse and nullitie of these Assemblies: which were confirmed by the registers of the Assembly, the books of Presbyteries, the Kings Majesties own letters, and by the testimonie of divers old reverend Ministers, standing up in the Assembly, and verifying the truth thereof. The Assembly with the universall consent of all, after the serious examination of the reasons against every one of these six pretended Assemblies apart, being often urged by the Moderatour, to informe themselves throughly, that without doubting, and with a full perswasion of minde, they might give their voices, declared all these six assemblies, of Linlithgow 1606. and 1608, Glasgow 1610. Aberdeen 1616. St Andrews 1617. Perth 1618, And every one of them to have been from the beginning unfree, unlawfull, and null Assemblies, and never to have had, nor hereafter to have, any Ecclesiasticall authoritie, and their conclusions to have been, and to bee of no force, vigour, nor efficacie: Prohibited all defence and observance of them, and ordained the reasons of their nullitie to be insert in the books of the Assembly: Whereof the tennour followeth:

Reasons annulling the pretended Assembly, holden at Linlithgow, 1606.

I. From the indiction of it. It was indicted the third of December, to bee kept the tenth of December. And so there was no time given to the Presbyteries, far distant, neither for election of Commissioners, nor for preparation to those who were to be sent in Commission. The shortnesse of the time of the indiction is proved by the Presbyterie books of Edinburgh, Perth, and Hadingtoun, &c.

II. From the want of a lawfull calling, to these who went to that meeting, seeing they were not at all elected by their Presbyteries, but were injoyned to come by the Kings letters. This also is proved by the foresaids books of the Presbyteries, and by his Majesties letters.

III. From the nature of that meeting, which was only a private meeting, or convention, for consultation to be taken by some persons of sundry estates written for, as the Kings letters and the Presbyterie books do acknowledge.

IIII. From the power of these ministers who were present Their Presbyteries did limitate them: First, That they should give no suffrages in that meeting as a generall Assembly. Secondly, That they agree to nothing that may any wayes be prejudiciall to the acts of the generall Assemblies, or to the established discipline of the Kirk. Thirdly, That they should not agree to resolve or conclude any question, article, or matter whatsoever, the decision whereof is pertinent, and proper to a free generall Assembly. Fourthly, If anything be concluded contrary thereunto, that they protest against it. These limitations are clear by the Presbyterie books.

V. The acts of this meeting were not insert in the book of Assemblies, as is evident by the register.

VI. The next pretended Assembly at Linlithgow, 1608. doth acknowledge the Assembly, Whereof Master Patrick Galloway was Moderatour, to have been the last immediate Assembly, preceeding itselfe: and that Assembly wherof he was moderatour, was the Assembly holden at Halyroodhouse, 1602. So they did not acknowledge that meeting at Linlithgow, 1606. for any Assembly at all. This is clear by the registers of the Assembly, 1608. in the entrie thereof.

Reasons for annulling the pretended Assembly at Linlithgow, 1608.

I. Manie of the voters in that pretended Assembly had no lawfull commission from the Kirk, to wit, 42. Noble men, officers of estate, counsellours, and Barrons, also the Bishops, contrare to the act of Dundie, 1597, and one of their caveats. The Noble men, were as commissioners from the King; the Bishops had no commission at all from the Presbyteries, for every Presbyterie out of which they came, had their full number of Commissioners beside them, as the register of the Assembly beareth.

II. In a lawfull Assembly there should be none but Commissioners from Presbyteries, Burghs, and Universities, and but three ministers at most, with one Elder, Commissioners from every Presbyterie, according to the act made at Dundie, 1597. But in that pretended Assembly, there were foure ministers from the severall Presbyteries of Edinburgh, and Cowper, five from the Presbyterie of Arbroth, as the roll of the said pretended Assembly beareth; whereas there were no ruling Elders sent from Presbyteries, according to the book of policie and act of Dundie.

Reasons for annulling the pretended Assembly at Glasgow. 1610.

I. The Commission of the pretended Commissioners to that meeting was null. 1. Because the election of them was not free, seeing they were nominate by the Kings Letters, as the Presbyterie books of Edinburgh, Perth, and Hadingtoun declare. And the Bishop of St Andrews in his letter to some Presbyteries required them to send such commissioners as the King had nominate: assuring them that none other would be accepted. This the Bishops letter registrat in the Presbyterie books of Hadingtoun doth cleare. 2. And whereas there25 were no ruling elders sent from the Presbyteries to that pretended Assembly, as the roll of Commissioners sheweth; yet there were moe ministers from sundrie severall Presbyteries then three, as five from Brechen, five from Arbroth, five from Kirkcubright, seven from the Presbytery of Argyl, foure from the Presbyterie of Cowper, foure from Linlithgow, foure from Pasley, foure from Hammiltoun, foure from Drumfreis, foure from Dunkell: as the register of that Assembly beareth.

II. There were thirtie voters of Noble men and Barrons, beside the pretended Bishops, who had no commission from any Presbyterie. In the fourth Session of this pretended Assembly it is plainly said, That the Noble men and Barrons came to it by the Kings direction.

III. The voting of the commissioners was not free; for by the Kings Letter to the Assembly they were threatned, and it was declared that their consent was not needfull to any act to be made there: The King might doe it by his own power, yet they were allured to vote by a promise that their good service in so doing should be remembred and rewarded thereafter.

IIII. The principall acts which were made, were set down verbatim in the privie conference, which chiefly consisted of the Kings Commissioners and pretended Bishops, and only read to be ratified in the Assembly.

V. Sundrie ministers then present, doe now declare, that they knew the ministers who voted the wrong way, to have received their present reward, and that money was largely dealt unto them.

Reasons for annulling the pretended Assembly at Aberdene, 1616.

I. There was no election of a Moderatour: but that place usurped by the pretended Bishop of Saint Andrews, as the Register beareth.

II. The indiction of that pretended Assembly was but twentie dayes before the holding of it: so that the Presbyteries and burghes could not be prepared for sending their commissioners: which caused the absence of many Presbyteries and fourtie foure Burghes.

III. There were twentie five noble-men, and gentlemen voters without commission from the Kirk. Mr. William Struthers voted for the Presbyterie of Edinburgh, yet had no commission there-from; The commission being given by that Presbyterie to other three, as the said Commission registrat in the books of the Presbytery beareth. And whereas there should be but one Commissioner from every burgh, except Edinburgh, to the Assembly, at this pretended Assembly, there were two Commissioners from Glasgow, two from Cowper, two from St. Andrews; whereas there wore no ruling Elders having commission from their Presbyteries at that Assembly.

IIII. When the acts of that pretended assembly were written, the Bishop of St. Andrews with his own hand did interline, adde, change, vitiate, direct to be extracted or not extracted, as he pleased: as the scrolls themselves seen, doe show; wherefore the Clerk did not registrat the acts of that Assembly, in the books of Assemblies, as may be easily seen by the blank in the register left for them remaining unfilled.

The nullitie of the pretended Assembly at Saint Andrews, 1617.

I. There is no mention of it in the register of the Assemblies, and so no warrand for their commissions, their Moderatour or Clerk.

II. The indiction of it was so unformall, that as the scroll declareth, a great part of the Commissioners from Synods, Burrows, and gentle-men, would not be present.

III. The Kings Majestie in his letter to Perths Assembly, acknowledgeth it was but a meeting, wherein disgrace was offered to his Majestie.

IIII. The former corruptions of the foure preceding Assemblies had their confluence in this and the subsequent Assembly.

Reasons for annulling the pretended Assembly holden at Perth, 1618.

I. The Assembly was indicted but twentie dayes before the holding of it: and all parties requisit received not advertisement, as appeareth by their absence. The untimous indicting of it, is cleared by Presbyterie books.

II. There was no election of the Moderatour, as was accustomed to be in lawfull Assemblies; the register cleareth this.

III. No formall election of their new Clerk.

IIII. There were five whole Dyocies absent, viz. Orknay, Cathnes, Rosse, Argyll, and Isles; and many Presbyteries had no Commissioners there, as the register of that pretended Assembly beareth.

V. There were nineteen noblemen and Barrons, eleven Bishops, that had no Commission from the Kirk. Whereas the act for constitution of Assemblies, ordaineth every Burgh to have but one Commissioner, except Edinburgh, which may have two, (Act at Dundie 1597) yet in that pretended Assembly, Perth had three Commissioners, Dundie had two, Glasgow had two, and St. Andrews had two: Of the Burghes there were thirtie six absent: and for ruling Elders, there were none at all with commission from their Presbyteries. All these things are cleared by the records of that pretended Assemblie.

VI. The Commissioners from some Presbyteries exceeded their number, prescribed in the act at Dundie, 1597: for the Presbyterie of Arbroth were foure Commissioners, and foure for the Presbyterie of Aughter-ardour: Beside these that were heard to vot, having no commission at all, and some who had commission were rejected, and were not enrolled, but others put in their place without commission.

VII. The pretended Bishops did practise some of the articles to be concluded there, before the pretended Assembly, in Edinburgh, St. Andrews, and other cathedrall Churches, by keeping festivall dayes, kneeling at ye Communion. Thus their voices were prejudged by their practise of these articles before condemned by the Kirk, and therefore they should have been secluded from voicing.

VIII. In all lawfull Assemblies, the voicing should be free: But in this pretended Assembly there were no free voicing; for the voicers were threatned to voice affirmativè, under no lesse pain nor the wrath of authoritie, imprisonment, banishment, deprivation of ministers, and utter subversion of the state: Yea, it was plainly professed, that neither reasoning, nor the number of voices should carie the matter away: Which is qualified by the declaration of many honest old reverend Brethren of the ministery now present.

IX. In all lawfull Assemblies, the grounds of proceeding were, and used to be, the word of God, the confession of Faith, and acts of former generall Assemblies. But in this pretended Assembly, the ground of their proceeding in voicing was the Kings commandment only: For so the question was stated:26 Whether the five articles, in respect of his Majesties commandement should passe in act, or not: As the records of that pretended Assembly beareth, where it is declared, that for the reverence and respect which they bear unto his Majesties Royal commandements, they did agree to the foresaids articles.

X. Many other reasons verifying the nullitie of all these Assemblies, were showen and proven before the Assembly, which needeth not here to be insert.

Act. Sess. 13. December 5. 1638.

Against the unlawfull oathes of intrants.

THE six Assemblies immediately preceding, for most just and weightie reasons above-specified, being found to be unlawfull, and null from the beginning: The Assembly declareth the oathes and subscriptions exacted by the Prelates of intrants in the ministerie all this time by past (as without any pretext of warrand from the Kirk, so for obedience of the acts of these null Assemblies, and contrare to the ancient and laudable constitutions of this Kirk, which never have been nor can be lawfully repealled, but must stand in force) to be unlawfull and no way obligatorie. And in like manner declareth, that the power of Presbyteries, and of provinciall and generall Assemblies, hath been unjustly suppressed, but never lawfully abrogate. And therefore that it hath been most lawfull unto them, notwithstanding any point unjustly objected by the Prelats to the contrare, to admit, suspend, or deprive ministers, respectivè within their bounds, upon relevant complaints sufficiently proven, to choose their own Moderatours, and to execute all the parts of ecclesiasticall jurisdiction according to their own limits appointed them by the Kirk.

Act Sess. 14. December 6. 1638.

Condemning the Service-book, Book of Canons, Book of Ordination, and the high Commission.


THE Assembly having diligently considered the Book of common prayer, lately obtruded upon the reformed Kirk within this Realme, both in respect of the manner of the introducing thereof, and in respect of the matter which it containeth, findeth that it hath been devised and brought in by the pretended Prelats, without direction from the Kirk, and pressed upon ministers without warrand from the Kirk, to be universally received as the only forme of divine service under all highest paines, both civill and ecclesiasticall, and the book it self, beside the popish frame and forms in divine worship, to containe many popish errours and ceremonies, and the seeds of manifold and grosse superstition and idolatrie. The Assembly therefore all in one voice, hath rejected, and condemned and by these presents doth reject and condemne the said book, not only as illegally introduced, but also as repugnant to the doctrine, discipline and order of this reformed Kirk, to the Confession of Faith, constitutions of generall Assemblies, and acts of Parliament establishing the true Religion: and doth prohibite the use and practise thereof: and ordaines Presbyteries to proceed with the censure of the Kirk against all such as shall transgresse.

II. The Assembly also, taking to their consideration the book of Cannons, and the manner how it hath been introduced, findeth that it hath been devised by the pretended Prelats, without warrand or direction from the generall Assembly; and to establish a tyrannicall power in the persons of the pretended Bishops, over the worship of God, mens consciences, liberties and goods, and to overthrow the whole discipline and government of the generall and Synodall Assemblies, Presbyteries, and Sessions formerly established in our Kirk.

Therefore the Assembly all in one voice hath rejected and condemned, and by these presents doth reject and condemne the said book, as contrare to the confession of our Faith, and repugnant to the established government, the book of Discipline, and the acts and constitutions of our Kirk: prohibits the use and practise of the same; and ordains Presbyteries to proceed with the censure of the Kirk against all such as shall transgresse.

III. The Assembly having considered the book of consecration and ordination, findeth it to have been framed by the Prelats, to have been introduced and practised without warrand of authority, either civill or ecclesiasticall: and that it establisheth offices in Gods house, which are not warranded by the word of God, and are repugnant to the Discipline, and constitutions of our Kirk, that it is an impediment to the entrie of fit and worthie men to the ministery, and to the discharge of their dutie after their entrie, conforme to the discipline of our Kirk. Therefore the Assembly all in one voice hath rejected and condemned, and by these presents doe reject and condemne the said book; and prohibits the use and practise of the same; And ordaines Presbyteries to proceed with the censure of the Kirk against all such as shall trangresse.

IIII. The generall Assembly, after due tryall, having found that the Court of high Commission, hath been erected without the consent or procurement of the Kirk, or consent of the Estates in Parliament, that it subverteth the jurisdiction and ordinarie judicatories and Assemblies of the Kirk Sessions, Presbyteries, provinciall and nationall Assemblies, that it is not regulate by lawes civill or ecclesiasticall, but at the discretion and arbitrement of the Commissioners; that it giveth to ecclesiasticall persons, the power of both the swords, and to persons meerly civill, the power of the keys and Kirk censures: Therefore the Assembly, all in one voice, hath disallowed and condemned, and by these presents doth disallow and condemne the said court, as unlawfull in it selfe, and prejudiciall to the liberties of Christs Kirk and Kingdome, the Kings honour in maintaining the established lawes and judicatories of the Kirk: and prohibits the use and practise of the same: and ordaines Presbteries to proceed with the censures of the Kirk, against all such as shall transgresse.

After the serious discussing of the severall Processes, in many Sessions, from Sess. 14. (which are in the Clerks hands and needeth not here to be insert) the following sentences were solemnly pronounced after Sermon by the Moderatour, in the Assembly of Glasgow, Sess. 20. December 13. 1638.

Sentence of deposition and excommunication against Mr Iohn Spottiswood, pretended Archbishop of St Andrews; Mr. Patrick Lindsay, pretended Archbishop of Glasgow: Mr. David Lindsay, pretended Bishop of Edinburgh: Mr. Thomas Sidserfe, pretended Bishop of Galloway: Mr. Iohn Maxwell, pretended Bishop of Rosse: Mr. Walter Whytefoord, pretended Bishop of Brechen.

THE generall Assembly, having heard the lybels and complaints, given in against the foresaids pretended Bishops to the Presbyterie of Edinburgh,27 and sundry other Presbyteries within their pretended Dyocies, and by the saids Presbyteries referred to the Assembly, to be tryed: The saids pretended Bishops being lawfully cited, often-times called, and their Procutour Doctour Robert Hammiltoun, and not compearing, but declining and protesting against this Assembly, as is evident by their declinatour, and protestation given in by the said Doctour Robert Hammiltoun minister at Glasfoord, which by the acts of Assembly is censurable with summar excommunication: Entered in consideration of the said declinatour, and finding the same not to be relevant, but on the contrare to be a displayed banner against the setled order and government of this Kirk, to be fraughted with insolent and disdainfull speeches, lies and calumnies against the lawfull members of this Assembly, proceeded to the cognition of the saids complaints, and lybels against them; and finding them guiltie of the breach of the cautions, agreed upon in the Assembly holden at Montrose, Anno 1600. for restricting of the minister voter in Parliament, from incroaching upon the liberties and jurisdiction of this Kirk, which was set down with certification of deposition, infamie, and excommunication, specially for receiving of consecration to the office of Episcopacie, condemned by the confession of Faith, and acts of this Kirk, as having no warrand, nor foundament in the word of God, and by vertue of this usurped power, and power of the high Commission, pressing the Kirk with novations in the worship of God, and for sundrie other haynous offences, and enormities, at length expressed, and clearly proven in their processe, and for their refusall to underly the tryal of the reigning slander of sundrie other grosse transgressions and crymes laid to their charge: Therefore the Assembly moved with zeal to the glorie of God, and purging of his Kirk, hath ordained the saids pretended Bishops to be deposed, and by these presents doth depose them, not only of the office of Commissionaire to vote in Parliament, Councell, or Convention in name of the Kirk, but also of all functions whether of pretended Episcopall or ministeriall calling, declareth them infamous. And likewise ordaineth the saids pretended Bishops to be excommunicate, and declared to be of these whom Christ commandeth to be holden by all and every one of the faithfull as ethnicks, and publicanes; and the sentence of excommunication to be pronounced by Mr Alexander Henderson, Moderatour, in face of the Assembly in the high Kirk of Glasgow, and the execution of the sentence to bee intimat in all the Kirks of Scotland by the Pastours of every particullar congregation, as they will be answerable to their Presbyteries and Synods, or the next generall Assembly, in case of the negligence of Presbyteries and Synods.

Sentence of deposition and excommunication against Mr. Adam Ballantyne, pretended Bishop of Aberdeen, and Mr. Iames Wedderburn pretended Bishop of Dumblane.

THE generall Assembly, having heard the lybels and complaints given in against the foresaids pretended Bishops, of Aberdeen, and Dumblane, to the Presbytery of Edinburgh, and sundry Presbyteries within their pretended Dyocies, and by the saids Presbyteries referred to this Assembly to be tryed: The saids pretended Bishops being lawfully cited, often-times called, and not compearing, proceeded to the cognition of the complaints and lybels against them, and finding them guiltie of the breach of the cautions, agreed upon in the Assembly holden at Montrose, Anno 1600. for restricting the minister voter in Parliament, from encroaching upon the liberties and jurisdictions of this Kirk, which was set down with certification of deposition, infamie and excommunication, specially for receiving consecration to the office of Episcopacie, condemned by the confession of Faith, and acts of this Kirk, as having no warrand nor foundament in the word of God, and by vertue of this usurped power, and power of the high Commission, pressing the Kirk with novations in the worship of God, and for sundry other haynous offences and enormities, at length expressed, and clearly proven in their Processe, and for their refusall to underly the tryall of the reigning slander of sundry other grosse transgressions and offences laid to their charge: Therefore the assembly moved with zeal to the glorie of God, and purging of the Kirk, hath ordained the saids pretended Bishops to be deposed, and by these presents doth depose them, not only of the office of Commissionary to vot in Parliament, Councell, or Convention, in name of the Kirk, but also of all functions, whether of pretended Episcopall or ministeriall calling, declareth them infamous: and likewise ordains the saids pretended Bishops to be excommunicate, and declared to be of these whom Christ commanded to be holden by all and every one of the faithfull as Ethnicks and Publicans; and the sentence of excommunication to be pronounced by Mr Alexander Henderson, Moderatour, in face of the Assembly, after Sermon, in the high Kirk of Glasgow; and that the execution of the sentence be intimat in all the Kirks within this Realme, by the Pastours of every particular congregation, as they will be answerable to their Presbyteries and Synods, or the next generall Assembly, in case of the negligence of Presbyteries and Synods.

Sentence of deposition against Mr. Iohn Guthry, pretended Bishop of Murray: Mr. Iohn Grahame pretended Bishop of Orknay, Mr. Iames Fairlie, pretended Bishop of Lismoir: Mr. Neil Cambell, pretended Bishop of Isles.

THE generall Assembly having heard the lybels and complaints given in against the foresaids pretended Bishops, to the Presbyterie of Edinburgh, and sundrie Presbyteries within their Dyocies, and by the saids Presbyteries referred to this Assembly to bee tryed: the saids pretended Bishops being lawfully cited, often times called, and not compearing, proceeded to the cognition of the complaints and lybels against them; and finding them guiltie of the breach of the cautions agreed upon in the Assembly at Montrose, Anno 1600. for restricting of the minister voter in Parliament, from incroaching upon the liberties and Jurisdictions of this Kirk, which was set down with certification of deposition, infamie and excommunication; and especially for receiving consecration to the office of Episcopacie condemned by the confession of Faith, and acts of this Kirk, as having no warrand nor foundament in the word of God, and by vertue of this usurped power, and power of the high commission, pressing the Kirk with novations in the worship of God; and for their refusall to underly the tryall of the reigning slander of sundrie other grosse trangressions and offences, laid to their charge: Therefore the Assembly, moved with zeal to the glorie of God, and purging of this Kirk, ordaines the saids pretended Bishops, to bee deposed, and by these presents doth depose them, not only of the office of commissionarie, to vote in Parliament, Councel, or convention in name28 of the Kirk: but also of all functions, whether of pretended Episcopall, or ministeriall calling: And likewise in case they acknowledge not this Assembly, reverence not the constitutions thereof, and obey not the sentence, and make not their repentance, conforme to the order prescribed by this Assembly, ordaines them to be excommunicated, and declared to bee of these whom Christ commandeth to be holden by all and every one of the faithfull as Ethnicks and Publicanes: and the sentence of excommunication to be pronounced upon their refusall, in the Kirks appointed, by any of these who are particularly named, to have the charge of trying their repentance or impenitencie, and that the execution of the sentence bee intimate in all the Kirks within this Realme by the Pastours of every particular Congregation, as they will be answerable to their Presbyteries and Synods, or the next generall Assembly, in case of negligence of the Presbyteries and Synods.

Sentence of deposition against Maister Alexander Lindsay pretended Bishop of Dunkell.

THE generall Assembly having heard the complaint and lybel given in against Mr. Alexander Lindesay pretended Bishop of Dunkell, to the Presbytery of Edinburgh, and sundrie Presbyteries of his pretended Dyocie, and by the Presbyteries referred to this Assembly to be tryed: The said pretended Bishop being lawfully cited, often-times called, & not compearing, but by a letter of excuse submitting himself to the Assembly, proceeded to the cognition of the complaint and lybell it selfe against him, and finding him guiltie of the breach of the cautions agreed upon in the Assembly holden at Montrose, Anno 1600. for restricting the minister voter in parliament, from encroaching upon the liberties and jurisdictions of this Kirk, which was set down with certification of deposition, infamie and excommunication, especially for receiving consecration to the office of Episcopacie condemned by the confession of Faith, and acts of this Kirk, as having no warrand nor foundament in the word of God, and by vertue of this usurped power, and power of the high Commission, pressing the Kirk with novations in the worship of God: Therefore the Assembly moved with zeal to the glory of God, and purging of this Kirk, hath ordained the said Mr Alexander to bee deposed, and by these presents deposeth him, from the pretended Episcopall function, and from the office of commissionarie to vote in Parliament, Councel or Convention in name of the Kirk and doth suspend him from all ministeriall function, and providing he acknowledge this Assembly, reverence the constitutions of it, and obey this sentence, and make his repentance conforme to the order prescribed, continueth him in the ministerie of St Madoze; And likewise, if he acknowledge not this Assembly, reverence not the constitutions of it, and obey not the sentence, and make his repentance, conforme to the order prescribed by this Assembly, ordains him to be excommunicat, and declared to bee one of those whom Christ commandeth to bee holden by all and every one of the faithfull, as an Ethnick and Publicane, and the sentence of excommunication to be pronounced upon his refusall, in the Kirks appointed, by one of these who are particularly named, to have the charge of trying his repentance or impenitencie, and that the execution of this sentence be intimate in all the Kirks within this Realme, by the Pastours of every particular congregation, as they will be answerable to their Presbyteries and Synods, or the next generall Assembly, in case of the negligence of Presbyteries and Synods.

Sentence of deposition against Master Iohn Abernethie pretended Bishop of Cathnes.

THE generall Assembly having heard the lybell and complaint given in against Mr. Iohn Abernethie pretended Bishop of Cathnes to the Presbytery of Edinburgh, and sundrie Presbyteries within his Dyocie: And by the saids Presbyteries, referred to this Assembly to be tryed: The said pretended Bishop being lawfully cited, often-times called, and not compearing, but by his letter of excuse upon his sicknesse, proceeded to the cognition of the complaint and lybell it selfe against him, and finding him guiltie of the breach of the cautions, agreed upon in the Assembly holden at Montrose, Anno 1600. for restricting the minister voter in Parliament, from encroaching upon the liberties and jurisdictions of this Kirk, which was set down with certification of deposition, infamie and excommunication, specially for receiving consecration to the office of Episcopacie, condemned by the confession of Faith, and acts of this Kirk as having no warrand nor foundament in the word of God, and by vertue of his usurped power, and power of the high Commission pressing the Kirk with novations in the worship of God: Therefore the assembly moved with zeal to the glorie of God, and purging of this Kirk, hath ordained the said Mr Iohn to be deposed, and by these presents deposeth him from the pretended Episcopall function, and from the office of Commissionary to vote in Parliament, Councel, or convention, in name of the Kirk, and doth suspend him from the ministeriall function. And providing he acknowledge this Assembly, reverence the constitutions of it, and obey the sentence, and make his repentance conforme to the order prescribed by this Assembly, will admit him to the ministerie of a particular flock: and likewise, incase he acknowledge not this Assembly, reverence not the constitutions of it, and make his repentance conforme to the order prescribed by this Assembly, ordains him to be excommunicate, and declared to be one of these whom Christ commandeth to bee holden by all and every one of the faithfull as an Ethnick and Publicane: and the sentence of excommunication to be pronounced up on his refusall in the Kirks appointed, by one of these who are particularly named to have this charge of trying his repentance or impenitencie, and that the execution of this sentence be intimat in all the Kirks within this Realme, by the Pastours of every particular congregation, as they will be answerable to their Presbyteries and Synods, or the next generall Assembly, in case of the negligence of Presbyteries and Synods.

Act of the Assembly at Glasgow, Sess. 16. December 8. 1638.

Declaring Episcopacie to have been abjured by the Confession of Faith, 1580; And to be removed out of this Kirk.

THE Assembly taking to their most grave and serious consideration, first the unspeakable goodnesse, and great mercy of God, manifested to this Nation, in that so necessarie, so difficult, and so excellent and divine work of reformation, which was at last brought to such perfection, that this Kirk was reformed, not only in doctrine and worship, but also after many conferences and publick reasonings in divers nationall Assemblies, joyned29 with solemne humiliations and prayers to God, the discipline and government of the Kirk, as the hedge and guard of the doctrine and worship, was prescribed according to the rule of God’s word, in the book of Policie and Discipline, agreed upon in the Assembly 1578. and insert in the register 1581. established by the Acts of Assemblies, by the confession of Faith, sworn and subscribed, at the direction of the Assembly, and by continuall practise of this Kirk: Secondly, that by mens seeking their own things, and not the things of Jesus Christ; divers novations have been introduced to the great disturbance of this Kirk so firmly once compacted, and to the endangering of Religion, and many grosse evils obtruded, to the utter undoing of the work of reformation and change of the whole forme of worship and face of this Kirk: Thirdly that all his Majesties Subjects both Ecclesiasticall and civil, being without consent of the Kirk, commanded to receive with reverence a new book of common prayer, as the only forme to be used in God’s publick worship, and the contraveeners to be condignely censured, and punished, and after many supplications and complaints, knowing no other way for the preservation of Religion; were moved by God, and drawne by necessitie, to renew the nationall Covenant of this Kirk, and Kingdome, which the Lord since hath blessed from heaven, and to subscribe the Confession of Faith, with an application thereof abjuring the great evils wherewith they were now pressed, and suspending the practise of all novations formerly introduced, till they should bee tryed in a free generall Assembly; Lastly, that some of his Majesties Subjects of sundrie ranks, have by his Majesties commandement subscribed and renewed the confession of Faith, without the former application, and that both the one and the other subscribers have subscribed the said Confession of Faith in this year, as it was professed and according to the meaning that it had in this Kingdome, when it was first subscribed 1581. and afterward: The Assembly therefore, both by the subscription of his Majesties high Commissioner, and of the Lords of secret Councel, Septem. 22. 1638, And by the acts of Councel, of the date foresaid, bearing that they subscribed the said Confession, and ordaining all his Majesties Liedges to subscribe the same, according to the foresaid date and tennour, and as it was then professed within this Kingdome, as likewise by the Protestation of some of the Senatours of the Colledge of justice, when they were required to subscribe, and by the many doubtings of his Majesties good Subjects, especially because the subscribers of the Confession in February 1638. are bound to suspend the approbation of the corruptions of the government of the Kirk, till they be tryed in a free generall Assembly; finding it proper for them, and most necessary and incumbent to them, to give out the true meaning thereof as it was at first professed, That all his Majesties Subjects in a matter, so important as is the publick Confession of Faith, so solemnly sworn and subscribed, may be of one minde, and one heart, and have full satisfaction to all their doubts, and that the posteritie afterward may be fully perswaded of the true meaning thereof, after earnest calling upon the name of God, so religiously attested in the said Confession; have entered into a diligent search of the registers of the Kirk, and books of the generall Assembly, which the greatest part of the Assembly had not seen before, and which by the speciall providence of God were preserved, brought to their hands, and publickly acknowledged to bee authentick, and have found that in the latter confession of the Kirk of Scotland: “We professe, that we deteste all traditions brought into the Kirk without, or against the word of God, and doctrine of this reformed Kirk: Next, we abhorre and deteste all contrarie religion and doctrine, but chiefly, All kinde of papistry in generall, & particular heads, as they were then damned & confuted by the word of God, and Kirk of Scotland, when the said Confession was sworn and subscribed, An. 1580. and 1581. 1590. and 1591. Thirdly, that we deteste the Romane Antichrist, his worldly monarchie, and wicked hierarchie: Fourthly, that we joyn our selves to this reformed Kirk in doctrine, Faith, Religion, & discipline, promising and swearing by the great name of GOD, that we shall continue in the Doctrine and Discipline of this Kirk, and defend the same according to our vocation and power all the dayes of our life.”

But so it is that Episcopall government is abhorred and detested, and the government by Ministers and Elders, in Assemblies generall and provinciall, and Presbyteries was sworn to, and subscribed in subscribing that Confession, and ought to be holden by us, if we adhere to the meaning of the Kirk, when that Confession was framed, sworn to, and subscribed; unto which we are obliged by the nationall oath and subscription of this Kirk, as is evident by the acts of generall Assemblies, agreed upon both before, at, and after the swearing and subscribing of the said Confession, in the years above-mentioned, and the book of policie agreed upon in the Assembly which was holden at Edinburgh the twentie foure of April, and twentie foure of October, Anno 1578. Insert in the register of the Kirk, by ordinance of the Assembly holden at Glasgow 1581. and to be subscribed by all Ministers, that then did bear, or thereafter were to bear office in this Kirk, by ordinance of the Assembly holden the fourth of August at Edinburgh 1590. And at Edinburgh the second of Iuly 1591. but specially in the 2. 3. 4. 6. 7. and 11, chapters of the said book.

The Bishops being tollerat from the year 1572, till the Assembly holden in August 1575. And all this time the Assembly being wearied with complaints made against them, did enter in search of the office it selfe, and did agree in this that the name of a Bishop is common to every one of them that hath a particular flock, over which he hath a particular charge, as well to preach the word, as to minister the Sacraments.

At the next Assembly which was holden in April 1576. Such Bishops were censured as had not taken them to a particular flock. In the generall Assembly conveened in April the year of God 1578. Sess. 4. Intimation was made as followeth.

“For so much as the heads of the policie being concluded and agreed upon in the last Assembly, by the most part of the brethren; certain of the brethren had some difficultie in the head de diaconatu, whereupon farther reasoning was reserved to this Assembly: It is therefore required, if any of the brethren have any reasonable doubt or argument to propone, that he be ready the morrow, and then shall be heard and resolved.” In the 6. Sess. April 26. According to the ordinance made the day before; all persons that had any doubt or argument to propone, were required to propone the same: but none offered to propone any argument on the contrare.

In the Assembly holden at Edinburgh, in October 1578, It was showen by the Moderatour thereof to the noble-men, who were present, viz. My Lord Chancelour, the Earle of Montrose, my Lord Seaton, and my Lord Lindsay, “What care and study the Assembly had taken to entertain and30 keep the puritie of the sincere word of God, unmixed with the inventions of their own heads, and to preserve it to the posteritie hereafter, and seeing that the true Religion is not able to continue nor endure long without a good Discipline and policie, in that part also have they imployed their wit and studie, and drawen forth out of the pure fountain of Gods word, such a Discipline as is meet to remain in the Kirk.”

In the same Assembly, the speciall corruptions were set down, which they craved such of the Bishops as would submit themselves to the Assembly to remove, with promise, that, if the generall Assembly, hereafter shall finde further corruptions in the said estate then hitherto are expressed, that they be content to be reformed by the said Assembly according to the word of God, when they shall be required thereto. First, “That they be content to bee Pastours and Ministers of one flock: That they usurpe no criminall jurisdiction, that they vote not in Parliament in name of the Kirk, without Commission from the Kirk: That they take not up for the maintenance of their ambition and riotousnesse, the emoluments of the Kirk, which may sustain many Pastours, the Schools, and the poore; but be content with reasonable livings according to their office: That they claime not to themselves the titles of Lords temporall, neither usurpe temporall jurisdictions, whereby they are abstracted from their office; That they empyre not above the particular Elderships, but be subject to the same: That they usurp not the power of the Presbyteries.”

The question being proponed by the Synod of Louthian in the Assembly holden in July 1579. anent a generall order to be taken for erecting of Presbyteries in places where publick exercise is used, untill the time the policie of the Kirk be established by a law: It is answered, “The exercise may be judged to be a Presbyterie.” In the Assembly holden at Dundie in Iuly 1580. Sess. 4. The office of a Bishop was abolished by a particular act, as appeareth by the tennour of the act following.

“For so much as the office of a Bishop, as it is now used and commonly taken within this Realme, hath no sure warrand authoritie, nor good ground in the Scriptures, but is brought in by the foly and corruption of mans inventions, to the great overthrow of the Kirke of God, the whole Assembly of the Kirk in one voice after libertie given to all men to reason in the matter, none opponing himself in defending the said pretended office, findeth and declareth the said pretended office, used and termed, as is above said, unlawful in the selfe, as having neither foundament, ground nor warrand in the word of God, and ordaineth that all such persons, as brook or shall brook hereafter the said office, shall be charged simply to dimit, quite, and leave off the same, as an office whereunto they are not called of God: and suchlike, to desist and cease from all preaching, ministration of the Sacraments, or using any way the office of pastours, while they receive de novo, admission from the generall Assembly, under the pain of excommunication to be used against them, wherein if they be found disobedient, or contradict this act in any point, the sentence of excommunication, after due admonition, to be execute against them.”

In the same Assembly holden Anno 1580. Sess. 10. This article was appointed to be proponed to the King and Councel, that the book of policie might be established by an act of privie Councel, “while a Parliament be holden, at which it might be confirmed by a law.”

The extent of the act made at Dundie, was interpreted and explained in the Assembly, holden at Glasgow, in April 1581. Sess. 6. as followeth.

“Anent the Act made in the Assembly holden at Dundie against Bishops, because some difficultie appeared to some brethren to arise out of the word (office) contained in the said act, what should be meaned thereby. The Assembly consisting for the most part of such as voted, and were present in the Assembly at Dundie, to take away the said difficultie, resolving upon the true meaning and understanding of the said act, declare that they meaned wholly to condemne the whole estate of Bishops, as they are now in Scotland, and that the same was the determination and conclusion of the Assembly at this time, because some brethren doubted, whether the former act was to be understood of the spirituall function only, and others alledged, that the whole office of a Bishop as it was used, was damnable, and that by the said act, the Bishops should be charged to dimit the same: This Assembly declareth that they meaned wholly to condemne the whole estate of Bishops, as they were then in Scotland, and that this was the meaning of the Assembly, at that time.”

The Kings Commissioner presented to this Assembly the Confession of Faith, subscribed by the King, and his household, not long before, together with a plot of the Presbyteries to be erected, which is registrate in the books of the Assembly, with a letter to be directed from his Majestie to the noble-men and gentle-men of the Countrey, for the erection of Presbyteries, consisting of Pastours and Elders, and dissolution of Prelacies; and with an offer to set forward the Policie untill it were established by Parliament. The Kings letter subscribed by his hand, to the Noble-men, and Gentle-men, was read in open audience of the whole Assembly.

This Assembly ordained the book of Policie to be insert in the register by the act following.

“For as much as travels have been taken in the framing of the Policie of the Kirk, and diverse suits have been made to the Magistrat for approbation thereof, which yet have not taken the happie effect, which good men would wish, yet that the posteritie may judge well of the present age, and of the meaning of the Kirk; The Assembly hath concluded, that the book of Policie agreed to in diverse Assemblies before, should be registrat in the acts of the Kirk, and remaine therein ad perpetuam rei memoriam: and the coppies thereof to be taken to every Presbyterie: of which book the tennour followeth,” &c.

Immediatly after the inserting of the book of Policie, called there the book of Discipline, the Assembly ordained that the confession of Faith be subscribed as followeth.

“Anent the confession of Faith lately set forth by the Kings Majestie, and subscribed by his highnesse. The Assembly in one voice, acknowledgeth the said Confession to be a true, Christian, and faithful confession, to be agreed unto by such as truly professe Christ, and have a care of Religion, and the tennour thereof to be followed out efoldly as the samine is laid out in the said Proclamation,” wherein that Discipline is sworn to.

In the generall Assembly holden at Edinburgh in October 1581. Sess. 10. Mr. Robert Montgomery is accused for teaching that Discipline is a thing indifferent. Sess. 23. The Assembly gave commission to the Presbyterie of Stirling, to charge Mr. Robert Montgomerie, to continue in the ministerie of Stirling, and not to medle with any other office or function of the Kirk, namely, in aspyring to the31 Bishoprick of Glasgow, against the word of God, and acts of the Kirk, under the pain of excommunication.

In the same Assembly it is acknowledged that the estate of Bishops is condemned by the Kirk, commission for erection of moe Presbyteries was renewed: and a new ordinance made for subscribing the confession of Faith, and to proceed against whatsoever persons that would not acknowledge and subscribe the same.

In the Assembly holden in April 1582. there was a new commission for erection of Presbyteries, where none was as yet erected, Mr Robert Montgomerie, pretending to be Bishop of Glasgow, was ordained to be deposed and excommunicat, except hee gave evident tokens of repentance, and promise to superseed, which he did not: and therefore he was excommunicat shortly after, according to the ordinance of this Assembly.

In the generall Assembly holden at Edinburgh, 1582. The generall Assembly gave commission to some Presbyteries, to try and censure such as were called Bishops, for the great slander arising by their impunitie. Commission was given at this Assembly to present some articles to the Councel and Estates, for approving and establishing by their authoritie the Presbyteries, the Synodall, and generall Assemblies. In the 19. Sess. The Assembly declared, that no Bishop may sit upon the Councell in name of the Kirk.

In the Assembly holden Anno 1586. These two articles were agreed upon. First: “It is found that all such as the Scripture appointeth governours of the Kirk, to wit Pastours, Doctours, and Elders, may conveen to the generall Assemblies, and vote in Ecclesiasticall matters.” Secondly: “There are foure office bearers set down to us by the Scriptures, to wit Pastours, Doctours, Elders, and Deacons, and the name of Bishop ought not to be taken as it hath been in time of Papistrie, but is common to all Pastours, and Ministers.”

In the Assembly holden Anno 1587. Sess. 8. It was ordained that the admission of Mr. Robert Montgomerie by the Presbyterie of Glasgow, suppose to the temporalitie of the Bishoprick only, be undone and annulled with all possible diligence, to the effect slander might be removed from the Kirk. In Sess. 15. Mr. Robert Pont shewed the Kings presentation to the Bishoprick of Cathnes, & desidered the judgment of the Assembly. The Assembly in their letter to the Kings Majestie, declared that they judged the said Mr. Robert to be a Bishop already according to the Doctrine of St. Paul: But as to that corrupt estate or office, of these who have been termed Bishops heretofore, they found it not agreeable to the word of God, and that it hath been damned in diverse Assemblies before.

In the instructions given to such as were appointed to wait upon the Parliament, it was ordained in the same Assembly Sess. 17. That they be carefull that nothing be admitted prejudiciall to the liberties of this Kirk, as it was concluded according to the word of God in the generall Assemblies, preceeding the year 1584. but precisely to seek the same to bee ratified in the Assembly holden in March 1589, where the articles were made for subscribing the confession of Faith with the generall band, it was ordained as followeth.

“For so much as the neighbour Kirk in England, is understood to bee heavily troubled, for maintaining of the true Discipline and government: whose grieves ought to move us. Therefore the Presbytery of Edinburgh was ordained to comfort the said Kirk in the said matter.”

In the Assembly holden 1590. when the confession of Faith was subscribed universally de novo, a ratification of the liberties of the Kirk, in her jurisdiction, discipline, Presbyteries, Synods, and generall Assemblies, and an abrogation of all things contrarie thereunto; was ordained to be sought both of the Councel and Parliament. In the next Session it was ordained that the book of Discipline, specially the contraverted heads, should be subscribed by all Ministers that bear, or hereafter was to bear office in this Kirk, and that they be charged by the Presbyteries, under the pain of excommunication: Seeing the word of God cannot bee keeped in sincerity, unlesse the holy Discipline be preserved. The Presbyteries were ordained to get a coppie under the Clerks hand; there were sundrie coppies subscribed by the Ministers in the Presbyteries yet extant, as Hadingtoun, Dumfermling, &c. produced before the Assembly.

In the Assembly 1591. Sess. 4. The former act anent the subscription to the book of Policie is renewed, and a penaltie imposed upon the Moderatour, in case it be not put in execution.

In the Assembly 22 May 1592. Sess. 2. These articles were drawen up. “That the acts of Parliament made 1584 against the Discipline libertie and authoritie of the Kirk be annulled, and the samine discipline, whereof the Kirk hath been in practise, precisely ratified. That Abbots Pryors, and other Prelats pretending the title of the Kirk, be not suffered in time comming.” In the 11. Session the number of the Presbyteries were given up, and insert in the Parliament immediatly following. The fifth of June 1592, the libertie, discipline, and jurisdiction of the true Kirk, in her Sessions, Presbyteries, Synodal and general Assemblies, is largely ratified, as the samine was used, and exercised within this Realme, and all the acts contrary thereto abrogat: The King’s prerogative declared not to be prejudiciall to the same priviledges grounded upon the word of God; the former commissions to Bishops 1584, rescinded, and all Ecclesiasticall matters, subjected to Presbyteries, according to the discipline of this Kirk. Anno 1595, The book of Policie with other acts is ratified and ordained to be printed.

It was also cleared that Episcopacie was condemned in these words of the Confession, HIS VVICKED HIERARCHIE. For the Popish Hierarchie doth consist of Bishops, Presbyters, and Deacons, that is baptizing and preaching Deacons: For so it is determined in the councel of Trent, in the 4. chap. De Sacramento ordinis, cant. 6.24 Si quis dixerît in ecclesia Catholica non esse hierarchiam divina ordinatione institutam, quæ constat ex Episcopis, Presbyteris & ministris, anathema sit. Bellarmine likewise in his book De Clericis cap. 11. saith, “That there are three hierarchies in the militant Kirk: The first of Bishops, the second of priests, the third of Deacons, and that the Deacons are also Princes, if they be compared with the people:” This proposition following: Hierarchia ecclesiastica constat ex Pontifice, Cardinalibus, Archiepiscopis, Episcopis & Regularibus, was censured by the Facultie of Theologie in the Universitie at Paris, as followeth, In ista prima propositione enumeratio membrorum hierarchiæ ecclesiasticæ seu sacri principatus, divina ordinatione instituti est manca & redundans atque, inducens in errorem contrarium determinationi sacræ Sinodi Tridentinæ: The prodelatarum32 position was defective, because it pretermitted the Presbyters and Deacons; it was censured as redundant, because it made the Hierarchic to consist of the Pope, Cardinals, Archbishops, and Regulars; the Pope is not within the Hierarchie, Primats, Metropolitanes, and Archbishops, but as they are Bishops. Furthermore, this Hierarchie is distinguished in the confession from the Pope’s monarchie. And howbeit this Hierarchie be called the Antichrist’s Hierarchie, yet it is not to distinguish betwixt the Hierarchie in the Popish Kirk, and any other as lawful: But the Hierarchie, wheresoever it is, is called his, as the rest of the Popish corruptions are called his: To wit, Invocation of Saints, canonization of Saints, dedication of Altars, &c. are called his, not that there is another lawfull canonization, invocation, or dedication of altars: whatsoever corruption was in the Kirk, either in doctrine, worship, or government since the mistery of iniquitie began to work and is retained, and maintained, by the Pope, and obtruded upon the Kirk by his authority, are his. A passage also out of the history of the councell of Trent was alledged, where it is related, that the Councell would not define the Hierarchie by the seven orders: we have in our confession of Faith the manifold orders set apart and distinguished from the Hierarchie, but as it is set down in the cannon above cited: We have in the book of Policie or second booke of Discipline, in the end of the second chapter, this conclusion agreed upon. Therefore all the ambitious titles invented in the kingdome of Antichrist, and in his usurped HIERARCHIE which are not of one of these foure sorts, To wit, Pastours, Doctours, Elders, and Deacons, together with the offices depending thereupon, in one word ought to be rejected.

All which and many other warrands being publickly read, and particularly at great length examined, and all objections answered in face of the Assembly, all the members of the Assembly being many times desired and required to propone their doubts, and scruples, and every one being heard to the full, and after much agitation as fully satisfied; the Moderatour at last exhorting every one to declare his minde, did put the matter to voicing in these terms:—“Whether according to the confession of faith, as it was professed in the year 1580. 1581. and 1590, there be any other Bishop, but a Pastour of a particular flock, having no preheminence nor power over his brethren, and whether by that Confession, as it was then professed, all other episcopacie is abjured, and ought to bee removed out of this Kirk?” The whole Assembly most unanimously, without contradiction of any one (and with the hesitation of one allanerly) professing full perswasion of minde, did voice, that all episcopacie different from that of a Pastour over a particular flock, was abjured in this Kirk, and to be removed out of it. And therefore Prohibites underr ecclesiasticall censure any to usurpe accept, defend, or obey the pretended authoritie thereof in time coming.

Act Sess. 17. December 10. 1638.
The Assembly at Glasgow, declaring the five Articles of Perth to have been abjured and to bee removed.

The Assembly remembring the uniformity of worship which was in this Kirk, before the articles of Perth, the great rent which entered at that time, and hath continued since, with the lamentable effects, that it hath produced, both against Pastours, and professours, the unlawfulnesse and nullitie of Perth Assembly already declared by this Assembly, and that in the necessarie renewing of the confession of Faith in February 1638, the practise of novations introduced in the worship of God, was suspended, till they should be determined in a free generall Assembly: and that in the same year at his Majestie’s command some had subscribed the confession of Faith, as it was professed when it was first subscribed: For these causes the Assembly entered into a diligent tryall of the foresaid articles, whether they be contrare to the confession of Faith, as it was meaned and professed in the year 1580. 1581. 1590. and 1591. And findeth that first in generall: In the confession of Faith we professe, “We willingly agree in our consciences to the forme of Religion, of a long time openly professed by the Kings Majestie, and whole body of this Realme, in all points, as unto God’s undoubted truth and verity, grounded only upon his written word, and therefore abhor and deteste all contrary Religion and Doctrine, but chiefly, all kinde of papistrie, in generall and particular heads, even as they were then damned and confuted by the word of God and Kirk of Scotland, and in speciall, the Romane Antichrist, his five bastard sacraments, with all rites, ceremonies, and false doctrine, added to the ministration of the true Sacraments, without the word of God, his cruell judgement against Infants departing without the Sacrament, his absolute necessitie of baptisme, and finally, we deteste all his vain allegories, rites, signes, and traditions brought into the Kirk without, or against the word of God, and doctrine of this true reformed Kirk, to the which we joyne our selves willingly in Doctrine, Faith, Religion, Discipline, and use of the holy Sacraments, as lively members of the same in Christ our Head; promising and swearing,” &c. And that these five articles are contrarie to the Religion then professed, were confuted by the word of God, and Kirk of Scotland, or are rites, and ceremonies, added to the ministration, of the true Sacraments, without the word [of] God, or nourish the popish judgement against Infants departing without the Sacrament, or absolute necessitie, of Baptisme or rites, signes, and traditions brought into the Kirk, without or against the word of God, and doctrine of this true reformed Kirk.

And next, in particular, concerning festivall dayes, findeth, that in the explication of the first head, of the first book of Discipline, it was thought good that the feasts of Christmas, Circumcision, Epiphanie, with the feasts of the Apostles, Martyres, and Virgine Mary, bee utterly abolished, because they are neither commanded nor warranded by Scripture, and that such as observe them be punished by civill Magistrats. Here utter abolition is craved, and not reformation of abuses only, and that because the observation of such feasts hath no warrand from the word of God. In the generall Assembly holden at Edinburgh, Anno 1560, the large confession of Helvetia was approved, but with speciall exception against the same five dayes, which are now urged upon us. It was not then the Popish observation only, with the Popish opinion of worship and merit, which was disallowed; (for so the reformed Kirk in Helvetia did not observe them) but, simpiciter, all observation. For this end was read a letter in Latine, sent at that time by some of our divines to certaine divines in these parts to this purpose. In the Assembly holden 1575, in August, complaint was made against the Ministers and Readers beside Aberdene; because they assembled the people to preaching and prayers upon certaine festivall dayes. So that preaching and prayers upon festivall dayes was judged rebukable. It was33 ordained likewise, that complaint bee made to the Regent, upon the town of Drumfreis, for urging and convoying a Reader to the Kirk with Tabret and Whistle, to read Prayers, all the holy dayes of Christmas, upon the refusall of their own Reader. Among the articles directed by this Assembly to the Regent, It was craved that all holy dayes heretofore keeped holy, beside the Lord’s day, such as Yooleday, and Saint’s dayes, and such others may bee abolished, and a certain penaltie appointed for banqueting, playing, feasting upon these dayes. In the Assembly holden in April, Anno 1577, It was ordained that the visitors, with the advice of the Synodall Assembly, should admonish Ministers, preaching or ministrating the Communion at Easter, or Christmas, or other like superstitious times, or Readers reading, to desist, under the paine of deprivation. In the ninth head of the first book of Discipline, the reason is set down against Easter Communion. “Your honours are not ignorant how superstitiously the people run to that action at Pascheven; as if the time gave vertue to the Sacrament, and how the rest of the whole year, they are carelesse and negligent, as if it appertained not to them, but at that time only. And, for this reason, other times were appointed by that book, for that holy action.” In the Assembly holden 1596, begun in March 1595, at which time the Covenant was renewed, superstition and idolatrie breaking forth in observing festival dayes; setting out of bone-fires, singing carols, are reakoned amongst the corruptions which were to be amended. And the Pulpits did sound from time to time, against all shew of observing any festivall day whatsoever, except the Lord’s day.

Concerning kneeling at the Communion, findeth that in the confession of Faith prefixed before the Psalmes, and approved by our Kirk in the very beginning of the reformation, we have these words, “Neither in the ministration of the Sacraments, must we follow men; but as Christ himself hath ordained, so must they be ministred.” In the large confession of Faith, chap. 23, It is required as necessary, for the right ministration of the Sacraments, that they bee ministred in such elements, and in such sort, as God hath appointed, and that men have adulterate the Sacraments with their own inventions. So that no part of Christ’s action abideth in the originall puritie. The judgement of our reformers, who drew up the large Confession, was, by cleare evidents, shewed to be contrarie to this gesture in the act of receiving the Sacrament. In the order of celebrating the Lords Supper, prefixed before the Psalmes in meeter, sitting and distributing by the Communicants, are joined: as likewise by the second head of the first book of Discipline, as nearest to Christ’s own action, and to his perfect practise, and most convenient to that holy action, and all inventions devised by man are condemned, as alterations and accusations of Christ’s perfect ordinance. Ministers were enjoyned by act of Assembly in December 1562. To observe the order of Geneva, that is, the English Kirk at Geneva, (where Master Knox had been some time Minister,) in the ministration of the Sacraments. This act was renewed in the Assembly, holden in December 1564, where ministers are referred to the order set down before the Psalmes, for ministration of the Sacraments; which is all one with the former; for that was the order of the English Kirk at Geneva.

In the parliament holden Anno 1567, It was declared that whosoever did not participate of the Sacraments, as they were then publickly administrat in this reformed Kirk ought not to be reputed members of this Kirk. The act for the Kings oath at his coronation, to maintain the due administration of the Sacraments, as they were then ministred, Anno 1567, was ratified Anno 1581. At which time the short Confession, adhering to the use of the Sacraments, in the Kirk of Scotland, was subscribed: as also Anno 1592. after the second Subscription to the confession of Faith. In the Parliament 1572, an act was made against such as did not participat of the Sacraments as they were then rightly ministered: But the gesture of kneeling in the act of receiving, putteth the ministration of the Sacraments used in this Kirk out of frame; whereby it is clear that whatsoever gesture or rite, cannot stand with the administration of the Sacraments as they were then ministred and were ministered ever since the reformation, till the year 1618. must bee condemned by our Kirk as a rite added to the true ministration of the Sacraments without the word of God, and as a rite or tradition brought in without, or against the word of God, or doctrine of this reformed Kirk.

III. Concerning Confirmation, The Assembly findeth it to be comprehended in the clause of the Confession, where the “five bastard Sacraments” are condemned. And seeing Episcopacie is condemned, imposition of hands by Bishops falleth to the ground. And in all the acts for catechising or examination before admission to the communion, no inkling of imposition of hands.

IIII. Concerning the administration of the Sacraments in private places, or private bapttisme, and private communion; findeth that in the book of common order, set down before the Psalmes, it is said, That the Sacraments are not ordained of God to be used in private corners, as charmers and sorcerers use to doe, but left to the Congregation. In the Assembly holden at Edinburgh in October Anno 1581. the same year and Assembly, that the confession of Faith was subscribed: It was ordained, that the Sacraments be not administred in private houses, but solemnly according to good order hither-to observed. The Minister of Tranent was suspended at that time, for baptizing an infant in a private house: but confessing his offence, he was ordained to make his publick repentance in the Kirk of Tranent, before he be released. Another Minister was to be tried, and censured, for baptizing privately, and celebrating the Communion upon Pasch-day, at the Assembly holden in October 1580. Which acts and censures make manifest, that our Kirk abhorred whatsoever fostered the opinion of the necessitie of Baptisme, and giving of the Sacrament, as a viaticum.

All which, and many other acts, grounds, and reasons, being at length agitated, and with mature deliberation pondered, and libertie granted to every man to speak his minde; what could be said further, for the full satisfaction of all men.

The matter was put to voicing, in these words: “Whether the five articles of Perth, by the confession of Faith, as it was meaned and professed in the year 1580. 1581. 1590. 1591. ought to be removed out of this Kirk:” The whole Assembly all in one consent, one onely excepted, did voice that the five articles above specified were abjured by this Kirk, in that Confession, and so ought to be removed out of it: And therefore prohibiteth and dischargeth all disputing for them, or observing of them, or any of them, in all time comming, and ordains Presbyteries to proceed with the censures of the Kirk against all transgressours.


Act Sess. 21. December 17. 1638.

CONCERNING Kirk Sessions, provinciall and nationall Assemblies, the generall Assembly considering the great defection of this Kirk, and decay of Religion, by the usurpation of the Prelates, and their suppressing of ordinaire judicatories of the Kirk, and clearly perceiving the benefit which will redound to the Religion by the restitution of the said judicatories, remembring also that they stand obliged by their solemne oath, and covenant with God, to return to the doctrine and discipline of this Kirk; as it was profest 1580, 1581, 1590, 1591. which in the book of Policie, registrat in the books of the Assembly 1581. and ordained to be subscribed, 1590, 1591. is particularly exprest both touching the constitution of the Assemblies, of their members, Ministers, and Elders, and touching the number, power and authority of these members, in all matters ecclesastical.

The Assembly findeth it necessar to restore, and by these presents restoreth all these Assemblies unto their full integritie in their members, priviledges, liberties, powers, and jurisdictions; as they were constitute by the foresaid book of Policie.

Act Sess. 23. 24. December 17. 18.

ANENT the report of the Committie, appointed for considering what constitutions were to be revived, or made of new, they proponed the overtures following: which were read and allowed by the whole Assembly, or by them referred to the consideration of the severall Presbyteries.

Anent Presbyteries which have been erected since the year 1586. It seemeth needfull, that they bee ratified by an act of this generall Assembly, and that other Presbyteries shall be erected, where they shall be found needfull, and especially now in the Synod of Lismore, according to the particular note given there anent.

The Assembly ratifieth these Presbyteries since 1586. and erected those in Lismore, conforme to the note registrat in the books of Assembly.

Anent the keeping of Presbyteriall meetings; It is thought fit that they be weekly, both in Sommer and Winter, except in places farre distant, who during the winter season, (that is between the first of October and the first of April) shall be dispensed with for meeting once in the fourteen dayes, and that all absents be censured, especially those who should exercise and adde, according to the Act of Assembly 1582. at St. Andrews, April 24. Sess. 12. and that some controverted head of doctrine bee handled in the presbyterie publikly, and disputed among the brethren, every first Presbytererie of the Moneth, according to the act of Assembly holden at Dundie 1598. Sess. 12.

The Assembly alloweth this Article.

Anent the visitation of particular Kirks within Presbyteries; it is thought expedient that it be once every year, wherein a care is to be had, among other things necessary, that it bee tryed, how domestick exercises of Religion be exercised in particular families, and to see what means there is in every Parish in Landward, for catechising and instructing the youth.

The Assembly alloweth this Article.

IIII. Anent the visitation of Kirks, Schooles, and Colledges: It is thought meet that the act of Assembly holden at Edinburgh the 25. of Iunie 1565. Sess. 2. be put in execution, that the Minister of the parochin, the Principall, Regents, and professours within Colledges, and Masters, and Doctors of Schooles, be tryed concerning the soundnesse of their judgment in matters of Religion, their abilitie, for discharge of their calling, and the honesty of their conversation; as the act of Assembly at Edinburgh, Iuni 21. 1567. Sess. 3. And the act of the Assembly holden at Montrose 1596. Sess. 9. do import: and this visitation of Colledges to be by way of commission from the generall Assembly.

The generall Assembly alloweth this Article.

V. Anent none residents: It is thought necessary, that every Minister be oblished to reside in his own Parochin at his ordinarie Manse, for the better attending of the duties of his calling, conforme to the Acts of Assemblies, viz. act of Assembly at Edinburgh, March 24. 1595. Sess. 7. as also act at Edinburgh, December 25. 1563. Sess. 5. and Assembly at Edinburgh, December 25. 1565. Sess. 4. Assemble at Edinburgh, March 6. 1572. Sess. 3.

The Assembly alloweth this Article.

VI. Anent the planting of Schools in Landward, the want whereof doth greatly prejudge the grouth of the Gospel, and procure the decay of Religion: The Assembly giveth direction to severall Presbyteries for the setling of Schooles in every Landward Parochin, and providing of men able for the charge of teaching of the youth, public reading and precenting of the Psalme, and the catechising of the common people, and that means be provided for their intertainment, in the most convenient manner that may be had, according to the abilitie of the Parochin.

The Assembly alloweth; and referreth the particular course unto the severall Presbyteries.

VII. Anent the late admission of Ministers by Presbyteries, and the choice of Moderatours, according to the ancient power of the said Presbyteries: The Assembly declareth they had power to doe the same, and ratifieth that what hath been done of late of that kinde upon warrantable grounds, that here after it be not called in question.

The Assembly alloweth this article.

VIII. Anent the competencie of Presbyteries and parochins, that some proportion may be keeped, both anent the number and distance of place: It would seem expedient that this generall Assembly should appoint a Commission for every Shyre, where there is such necessitie, that the particular Parochins and Presbyteries within the bounds bee duely considered, and overtures be these of the same commission given into the provinciall Synods, and by them to the generall Assembly, that there they may be advised, and ratified.

The Assembly referreth this to the care of the particular presbyteries.

IX. Anent the entrie and conversation of Ministers: It is expedient that the act of Assembly holden at Edinburgh, March 24. 1595. Sess. 7. be ratified, and put in execution in every Presbyterie, and to that end, that they get a coppie thereof, under the Clerks hand whereof the tennour followeth.

“Act Sess. 7. March 24. of the Assembly at Edinburgh 1595.

“Concerning the defections in the ministerie, the35 same being at length read out, reasoned, and considered; The brethren concluded the same, agreeing there-with: and in respect that by Gods grace, they intend reformation, and to see the Kirk and ministery purged; to the effect the worke may have better successe, they think it necessar that this Assembly be humbled, for wanting such care as became in such points, as is set down; and some zealous and godly brethren in doctrine, lay them out for their better humiliation; and that they make solemne promise before the Majestie of God; and make new covenant with him for a more carefull and reverent discharge of their ministerie. To the which effect was chosen Mr Iohn Davidson; and Twesday next at nine houres in the morning appointed, in the new Kirk, for that effect: whereunto none is to resort, but the ministrie: the forme to bee advised the morne in privie conference.

“The tennour of the advise of the brethren; depute for penning the enormities and corruptions in the ministerie, and remead thereof, allowed by the generall Assembly here conveened. 1596.

Corruptions in the office.

“For as much as by the too sudden admission and light tryall of persons to the ministrie, it cometh to passe that many scandals fall out in the persons of ministers: it would bee ordained in time comming, that more diligent inquisition and triall be used of all such persons as shall enter into the ministrie.

“As specially these points. That the intrant shall be posed upon his conscience, before the great God, (and that in most grave manner,) what moveth him to accept the office and charge of the ministrie upon him.

“That it be inquired, if any by solistation, or moyen, directly or indirectly, prease to enter in the said office: And, if it bee found, that the solister be repelled; and that the Presbyterie repell all such of their number from voting in the election or admission as shall bee found moyeners for the soliciter, and posed upon their conscience to declare the truth to that effect.

“Thirdly, because by presentations, many forcibly are thrust into the ministery, and upon Congregations, that utter thereafter that they were not called by God: It would bee provided that none seeke presentations to Benefices without advice of the Presbyterie within the bounds whereof the benefice is, and if any doe in the contrarie, they to be repelled as rei ambitus.

“That the tryall of persons to be admitted to the ministrie hereafter, consist not only in their learning and abilitie to preach, but also in conscience, and feeling, and spirituall wisedome, and namely in the knowledge of the bounds of their calling in doctrine, discipline, and wisedome, to behave himselfe accordingly with the diverse ranks of persons within his flock, as namely with Atheists, rebellious, weak consciences, and such other, wherein the pastorall charge is most kythed; and that he be meet to stop the mouthes of the adversaries: and such as are not qualified in these points to be delayed to further tryall; and while they be found qualified. And because men may be found meet for some places who are not meet for other, it would be considered, that the principall places of the Realme be provided by men of most worthie gifts, wisedome and experience, and that none take the charge of greater number of people nor they are able to discharge: And the Assembly to take order herewith, and the act of the provinciall of Louthain, made at Linlithgow, to be urged.

“That such as shall bee found not given to their book and studie of scriptures, not carefull to have books, not given to sanctification and prayer, that studie not to bee powerfull and spirituall, not applying the doctrine to corruptions, which is the pastorall gift, obscure and too scholastick before the people, cold, and wanting of spirituall zeal, negligent in visiting of the sick, and caring for the poore; or indiscreet in choosing of parts of the word not meetest for the flock, flatterers and dissembling at publick sins, and specially of great personages in their congregations, for flattery, or for fear, that all such persons bee censured, according to the degree of their faults, and continuing therein, bee deprived.

“That such as be slothfull in the ministration of the Sacraments and irreverent, as prophaners receiving the cleane and uncleane, ignorants and senselesse prophane, and making no conscience of their profession in their calling and families, omitting due tryall or using none, or light tryall, having respect in their tryall to persons, wherein there is manifest corruption; that all such bee sharply rebuked, and if they continue therein, that they be deposed.

“And if any be found a seller of the Sacraments, that hee bee deposed simpliciter: and such as collude with slanderous persons in dispensing and over-seeing them for money, incurre the like punishment. That every Minister be charged to have a Session established of the meettest men in his Congregation, and that Discipline strike not only upon grosse sins, as whoredome, blood-shed, &c. but upon sins repugnant to the word of God, as blasphemie of God, banning, profaning of the Sabbath, disobedient to parents, idle, unruly ones without calling, drunkards, and such like deboshed men, as make not conscience of their life and ruling of their families, and specially of education of their children, lying, slandering, and backbiting and breaking of promises: and this to be an universall order throughout the Realme, &c. and such like as are negligent herein, and continue therein, after admonition, be deposed.

“That none falling in public slanders, be received in the fellowship of the Kirk, except his Minister have some appearance and warrand in conscience, that hee hath both a feeling of sin, and apprehension of mercie, and for this effect, that the Minister travell with him, by doctrine and private instruction, to bring him hereto, and specially in the doctrine of repentance, which, being neglected, the public place of repentance is turned in a mocking.

“Dilapidation of benefices, dimitting of them for favour, or money, that they become laick patronages, without advise of the Kirk, and such like interchanging of benefices, by transaction and transporting of themselves by that occasion, without the knowledge of the Kirk, precisely to be punished. Such like, that setting of tacks without the consent of the Assembly, be punished according to the acts: and that the dimitters in favours for money, or otherwise to the effect above writen; bee punished as the dilapidators.

Corruptions in their persons and lives.

“That such as are light and wanton in their behaviour, as in gorgeous and light apparell; in speech, in using light and prophane companie, unlawfull gaming, as dancing, carding, dycing, and36 such like, not beseeming the gravitie of a Pastour, bee sharply and gravely reproved by the Presbyterie, according to the degree thereof: and continuing therein after due admonition, that hee bee depryved, as slanderous to the Gospel.

“That Ministers being found swearers, or banners, prophaners of the Sabbath, drunkards, fighters, guiltie of all these or any of them, be deposed simpliciter; and such like, lyars, detracters, flatterers, breakers of promise, brawlers, and quarrellers, after admonition continuing therein, incurre the same punishment.

“That Ministers given to unlawful and incompetent trades and occupations for filthie gain, as holding of ostleries, taking of ocker beside conscience and good lawes, and bearing worldly offices in noblemen and gentlements houses, merchandise, and such like, buying of victuals, and keeping to the dearth, and all such worldly occupations, as may distract them from their charge, and may be slanderous to the pastorall calling, be admonished and brought to the acknowledging of their sins, and if they continue therein, to be deposed.

“That Ministers not resident at their flocks, be deposed according to the Acts of the generall Assembly, and lawes of the Realme: otherwise the burthen to be laid on the Presbyteries, and they to be censured therefore.

“That the Assembly command all their members, that none of them await on the court and afairs thereof, without the advice and allowance of their Presbyterie. Item, that they intend no action civill without the said advice, except in small maters; and for remeding of the necessitie, that some Ministers hath to enter in plea of law, that remedie bee craved, that short processe bee devised, to bee used in Ministers actions.

“That Ministers take speciall care in using godly exercises in their families, in teaching of their wives, children, and servants, in using ordinarie prayers and reading of Scriptures, in removing of offensive persons out of their families, and such like other points of godly conversation, and good example, & that they, at the visitation of their Kirks, try the Ministers families in these points foresaid, and such as are found negligent in these points after due admonition, shall be adjudged unmeet to govern the house of God, according to the rule of the Apostle.

“That Ministers in all companies strive to bee spirituall and profitable, and to talke of things pertaining to godlinesse, as, namely, of such as may strengthen us in Christ, instruct us in our calling, of the means how to have Christs Kingdome better established in our Congregations, and to know how the Gospel flourisheth in our flocks, and such like others the hinderances, and the remeeds that we finde, &c., wherein there is manifold corruptions, both in our companying with our selves, and with others: and that the contraveeners thereof be tryed, and sharply be rebuked.

“That no Minister be found to contenance, procure, or assist a publick offender challenged by his own Minister, for his publick offence, or to bear with him, as though his Minister were too severe upon him, under the pain of admonition and rebuking.

Anent generall Assemblies.

“To urge the keeping of the Acts anent the keeping of the Assembly, that it may have the own reverence and majestie.”

The Assembly having heard the whole act read, most unanimously alloweth and approveth this article.

X. Anent the defraying of the expenses of the Commissioners to the generall Assembly, referreth and recommendeth the same unto the particular Presbyteries, and especially to the ruling Elders therein, that they may take such courses whereby, according to reason and former acts of Assemblies, the Commissioners expenses to this Assembly, and to the subsequent, may be born by the particular parochins of every Presbyterie, who sendeth them in their name, and to their behalf, and for that effect, that all sort of persons able in land or moneys proportionally, may bear a part of the burthen, as they reap the benefit of their paines.

The Assembly referreth this unto the care of the particular Presbyteries.

XI. Anent the repressing of poperie and superstition; It seemeth expedient that the number and names of all the Papists in this Kingdome be taken up at this Assembly, if it may be conveniently done, and if not, that it be remitted to the next provincial Assemblies, that it may appear what grouth poperie hath had, and now hath through this Kingdome, what popish priests, and Iesuits there born in the land; and that all persons of whatsoever state and condition, be obliged to swear and subscribe the confession of Faith, as it is now condescended upon by this generall Assembly, that they frequent the word and Sacraments in the ordinar dyets and places, otherwise to proceed against them with the censures of the Kirk, and that children be not sent out of the countrey without licence of the Presbyteries or provinciall Synods of the bounds where they dwell.

The Assembly referreth this article to the severall Presbyteries.

XII. Anent order to be taken that the Lords Supper be more frequently administrat both in burgh and landward, then it hath been in these years by-gone: It were expedient that the act at Edinburgh December 25. 1562. Sess. 5. bee renewed, and some course bee taken for furnishing of the elements, where the Minister of the Parish hath allowance only for once in the year.

The Assembly referreth this to the consideration of Presbyteries, and declareth that the charges be rather payed out of that dayes collection, then that the Congregation want the more frequent use of the Sacrament.

XIII. Anent the entrie of Ministers to the ministrie: The Assembly thinks expedient that the act holden at St. Andrews April 24. 1582. Sess. 7. Touching the age of twenty five years be renewed, and none to be admitted before that time, except such as for rare and singular qualities, shall be judged by the generall or provinciall Assembly to be meet and worthie thereof.

The Assembly approveth this article.

XIV. Anent mercats on Monday and Saturday within Burghs, causing intollerable profanation of the Lords Day, by carying of loads, bearing of Burthens; and other work of that kinde: It were expedient for the redresse thereof, that the care for restraining of this abuse be recommended by the Assembly unto the several Burghs, and they to bee earnestly entreated to finde out some way for the repressing of this evill, and changing of the day, and to report their diligence there-anent to the next generall Assembly.

The Assembly referreth this article to the consideration of the Burrows.


XV. Anent the profaination of the Sabbath-day in Landward, especially for want of divine service in the afternoone: The Assembly ordaineth the act of Assembly holden at Dundie, Iuly 12. 1580. Sess. 10. for keeping both dyets, to be put in execution.

The Assembly alloweth this article.

XVI. Anent frequenting with excommunicat persons: The Assembly ordaineth that the act at Edinburgh, March 5. 1569. Sess. 10. to wit, “That these who will not forbear the companie of excommunicat persons after due admonition, be excommunicat themselves except they forbear,” to be put in execution.

The Assembly alloweth this article.

XVII. Whereas the confession of the Faith of this Kirk, concerning both Doctrine and Discipline, so often called in question by the corrupt judgment and tyrannous authoritie of the pretended Prelats, in now clearly explained, and by this whole Kirk represented by this generall Assembly concluded, ordained also to bee subscribed by all sorts of persons within the said Kirk and Kingdome: The Assembly constitutes, and ordaines, that from henceforth no sort of person, of whatsoever quality and degree, be permitted to speak, or write against the said Confession, this Assembly, or any act of this Assembly, and that under the paine of incurring the censures of this Kirk.

The Assembly alloweth this article.

XVIII. Anent voicing in Kirk Sessions: It is thought expedient that no Minister moderating his Session, shall usurpe a negative voice over the members of his Session, and where there is two or moe Ministers in one Congregation, that they have equall power in voicing, that one of them hinder not the reasoning or voicing of any thing, whereunto the other Minister or Ministers, with a great part of the Session inclineth, being agreeable to the acts and practise of the Kirk, and that one of the Ministers without advice of his colleague appoint not dyets of Communion nor examination, neither hinder his colleague from catechising and using other religious exercises as oft as he pleaseth.

The Assembly referreth this article to the care of the Presbyteries.

XIX. Since the office of Diocesane, or lordly Bishop, is all-uterly abjured, and removed? out of this Kirk: It is thought fit that all titles of dignitie, savouring more of poperie than of Christian libertie, as Chapters with their elections and consecrations, Abbots, Pryors, Deans, Arch-deacons, Preaching-deacons, Chanters, Subchanters, and others having the like title, flowing from the Pope and canon law only, as testifieth the second book of Discipline, bee also banished out of this reformed Kirk, and not to bee usurped or used hereafter under ecclesiasticall censure.

The Assembly alloweth this Article.

XX. Anent the presenting either of Pastours or Readers and School-masters, to particular Congregations, that there be a respect had to the Congregation, and that no person be intruded in any office of the Kirke, contrare to the will of the congregation to which they are appointed.

The Assembly alloweth this article.

XXI. Anent Marriage without proclamation of bans, which being in use these years by-gone hath produced many dangerous effects: The Assembly would discharge the same, conforme to the former acts, except the Presbyterie in some necessarie exigents dispense therewith.

The Assembly alloweth this article.

XXII. Anent the buriall in Kirks, the Assembly would be pleased to consider anent the act of Assembly at Edinburgh 1588. Sess. 5. if it shall be put in execution, and to discharge funerall sermons, as savouring of superstition.

The Assembly referreth the former part of this article anent buriall in Kirks to the care of Presbyteries, and dischargeth all funerall sermons.

XXIII. Anent the tryall of Expectants before their entrie to the ministrie, it being notour that they have subscribed the confession of Faith now declared in this Assembly, and that they have exercised often privatly, and publickly, with approbation of the Presbyterie, they shall first adde and make the exercise publicly, and make a discourse of some common head in Latine, and give propositions thereupon for dispute, and thereafter be questioned by the Presbyterie upon questions of controversie, and chronologie, anent particular texts of Scripture how they may be interpreted according to the analogie of Faith, and reconciled, and that they be examined upon their skill of the Greek and Hebrew, that they bring a testificat of their life and conversation from either Colledge or Presbyterie, where they reside.

The Assembly alloweth this article.

XXIV. The Assembly having considered the order of the provincial Assemblies, given in by the most ancient of the Ministrie within every Province, as the ancient plateforme thereof, ordained the same to be observed conforme to the roll, registrat in the books of Assembly, whereof the tennour followeth.

The order of the Provincial Assemblies in Scotland, according to the Presbyteries therein contained.

1. The Provinciall Assembly of Mers and Tividaill.

The Presbyteries of The bounds.
Dunce. Mers.
Chirnside. Tividail.
Kelso. The Forrest.
Erstiltoun. Lauderdail.

To meet the first time at Jedburgh, the third Twesday of April.

2. The Provinciall of Louthian.

The Presbyteries of The bounds.
Dumbar. e. Louthian.
Hadingtoun. w. Louthian.
Dalkeeth. Tweeddaill.

To meet the first time at Edinburgh the third Twesday of April.

3. The Provinciall of Perth.

The Presbyteries of The bounds.
Perth. The Shyrefdome of Perth and of Striviling Shire.

To meet the first time at Perth, the second Twesday of April.

4. The Province of Drumfrees.

The Presbyteries of The bounds.
Dumfrees. Niddisdaill.
Penpont. Annandaill.
Lochmabane. Ewsdaill.
Middilbee. Eskdaill.
  Wachopdaill & a part of Galloway.

To meet the first time at Drumfrees, the second Twesday of April.

38 5. The Provinciall of Galloway.

The Presbyteries of The bounds.
Wigtoun. The Shyrefdome of Wigtoun, and Stewartie of Kirkubright.

To meet the first time at Wigtoun, third Twesday of April.

The Provinciall Synod of Aire or Irwing.

The Presbyteries of The bounds.
Aire. The Shyrefdome of Aire

To meet with the Provincial Synod of Glasgow pro hac vice, the first Twesday of April.

6. The Provinciall Synod of Glasgow.

The Presbyteries of The bounds.
Pasley. The Shyr. of Lennox, the Barrony of Renfrow, the Shy. of Clydsdail over and nether.

To meet with the Provincial Synod of Aire and Irwing at Glasgow, pro hac vice.

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

The Presbyteries of The bounds.
Dunnune. The Shyrifdomes of Argil & Boot, with a part of Lochabar.

To meet the first time at Innereray, the 4 Twesday of April.

8. The Provinciall Synod of Fife.

The Presbyteries of The bounds.
St Andrews. The Shyrefdome of Fife.

To meet the first time at Cowper in Fife the first Twesday of April.

9. The Provinciall Synod of Angus and Merns.

The Presbyteries of The bounds.
Meegle. The Shyrefdomes of Forfair and Merns.

To meet the first time at Dundie, the third Twesday of April.

10. The Provinciall Synod of Aberdene.

The Presbyteries of The bounds.
Aberdene. The Shyrefdomes of Aberdene and Bamfe.
Ellan Deer.

To meet the first time at new Aberdene, the 3 Twesday of April.

11. The Provinciall Synod of Murray.

The Presbyteries of The bounds.
Innernes. The Shyrefdomes of Innernes in part, Nairn in part, Murray, Bamf in part, Aberden in part.

To meet the first time at Forresse, the last Twesday of April.

12. The Provinciall Synod of Rosse.

The Presbyteries of The bounds.
Chanrie. The Shyrefdome of Innernes in part.

To meet the first time at Chanrie, the 2 Twesday of April.

13. The Provinciall Synod of Cathnes.

The Presbyteries of The bounds.
Dornoch. Cathnes.
Weeke or Thurso. Sutherland.

To meet the first time at Dornoch, the third Twesday of April.

14. The Provinciall Synod of Orkney and Zetland.

The Presbyteries of The bounds.
Kirkwall. The Shrefdome of Orkney and Zetland.

To meet the first time at Kirkwall, the second Twesday of April.

15. The Provinciall Synod of the Isles.

All the Kirks of the North west Isles, viz. Sky, Lewes, and the rest of the Isles, which were lyable to the Diocie of the Isles, except the South-west isles which are joyned to the Presbyteries of Argyll, To meet the first time at Skye the second Twesday of May.

That the Minister of the place where the Synodall Assembly meets shall preach the first day of their meeting, and give timouse advertisement to the rest of the Presbyteries.

It is remembered that of old the Synodall Assemblies that were nearest to others, had correspondence among themselves, by sending one or two Commissioners mutually from one to another, which course is thought fit to be keeped in time comming: viz. The Provincials of Louthian, and Mers, &c. The Provincials of Drumfries, Galloway, Glasgow, and Argyll, The Provincials of Perth, Fyfe, and Angus, &c. The Provincials of Aberdein and Murray. The Provincials of Rosse, Caithnes, and Orknay. The Commissioners for correspondence amongst the Synodals to be a Minister and a ruling Elder.

The Assembly recommendeth to the severall Presbyteries the execution of the old acts of Assemblies, against the break of the Sabbath-day, by the going of Milles, Salt-pans, Salmond-fishing, or any such-like labour, and to this end revives and renews the act of the Assembly, holden at Halyrudehouse 1602. Sess. 5. whereof the tennour followeth.

“The Assemblie considering that the conventions of the people, specially on the Sabbath-day, are verie rare in manie places, by distraction of labour, not only in Harvest and Seed-time, but also every Sabbath by fishing both of white fish and Salmond fishing, and in going of Milles: Therefore the Assemblie, dischargeth and inhibiteth, all such labour of fishing as-well whyte fish as Salmond-fish, and going of Miles of all sorts upon the Sabbath-day, under the paine of incurring the censures of the Kirk. And ordains the Commissioners of this Assemblie to meane the same to his Majestie, and to desire that a pecuniall paine may be injoyned upon the contraveeners of this present act.”

Act Sess. 24. December 18. 1638.

THE Assembly considering the great necessity of purging this land from bygone corruptions, and of preserving her from the like in time coming, ordaineth the Presbyteries to proceed with the censures of the Kirk, to excommunication, against those Ministers who being deposed by this Assembly acquiesces not to their sentences, but exercise some part of their Ministeriall function, refuseth themselves, and with-draw others from the obedience of the acts of the Assembly.

Act Sess. 25. December 19. 1638.
Against the civill places and power of Kirk-men.

THE generall Assembly, remembering that among other clauses of the application of the confession of Faith to the present time, which was subscribed in Februarie 1638. The clause touching the civill places and power of Kirk-men, was referred unto the tryall of this Assembly; entered into a serious search thereof, especially of their sitting on the bench, as Iustices of peace, their sitting in Session and Councell, their ryding and voting in39 Parlament: and considering how this vote in Parlament, was not at first sought nor requyred by this Kirke, or worthy men of the Ministerie, but being obtruded upon them, was disallowed for such reasons as could not well be answered (as appeareth by the conference, holden at Halyrude-house 1599. which with the reasons therein contained was read in the face of the Assembly) & by plurality of voices not being able to resist that enforced favour, they foreseeing the dangerous consequences thereof, in the Assembly at Montrose did limitate the same by many necessare cautions: Considering also the protestation made in the Parliament 1606. by Commissioners from Presbyteries, and provinciall Assemblies, against this restitution of Bishops to vote in Parlament, and against all civill offices in the persons of Pastors, separate unto the Gospel, as incompatible with their spirituall function; with the manifold reasons of that Protestation from the word of God, ancient Councels, ancient and moderne Divines, from the Doctrine, discipline, and Confession of Faith of the Kirk of Scotland, which are extant in print, and were read in the audience of the Assembly: Considering also from their own experience the bad fruits and great evils, which have been the inseparable consequents of these offices, and that power in the persons of Pastors separate to the Gospel, to the great prejudice of the freedome and libertie of the Kirk, the jurisdiction of her Assemblies, and the powerfull fruits of their spirituall Ministerie; The Assembly most unanimously in one voice, with the hesitation of two allanerly, declared, that as on the one part the Kirk and the Ministers thereof are oblidged to give their advise and good counsell in matters concerning the Kirk or the Conscience of any whatsomever, to his Majestie, to the Parlament to the Councell, or to any member thereof, for their resolutions from the word of God, So on the other part, that it is both inexpedient, and unlawful in this Kirk, for Pastors separate unto the Gospel to brook civil places, and offices, as to be Iustices of peace; sit and decerne in Councell, Session, or Exchecker; to ryde or vote in Parlament, to be Iudges or Assessors in any Civill Judicatorie: and therefore rescinds and annuls, all contrarie acts of Assembly, namely of the Assembly holden at Montrose 1600. which being prest by authority, did rather for an interim tolerat the same, and that limitate by many cautions, for the breach whereof the Prelats have been justly censured, then in freedome of judgement allow thereof, and ordaineth the Presbyteries to proceed with the Censures of the Kirk, against such as shall transgresse herein in time comming.

Act Sess. 26. December 20. 1638.

THE Assembly considering the great prejudice which God’s Kirk in this land, hath sustained these years bypast, by the unwarranted printing of lybels, pamphlets, and polemicks, to the disgrace of Religion, slander of the Gospel, infecting and disquyeting the mindes of God’s people, and disturbance of the peace of the Kirk, and remembring the former acts, and custome of this Kirk, as of all other Kirks, made for restraining these and the like abuses, and that nothing be printed concerning the Kirk, and Religion, except it be allowed by these whom the Kirk intrusts with that charge: The Assembly unanimously, by vertue of their ecclesiastical authority, dischargeth and inhibiteth all printers within this Kingdome, to print any act of the former Assemblies, any of the acts or proceedings, of this Assembly, any confession of Faith, any Protestations, any reasons pro or contra, anent the present divisions and controversies of this time, or any other treatise whatsoever which may concerne the Kirk of Scotland, or God’s cause in hand, without warrand subscribed by Mr Archibald Iohnston, as Clerk to the Assembly, and Advocate for the Kirk; or to reprint without his warrand, any acts or treatises foresaids, which he hath caused any other to print, under the paine of Ecclesiasticall censures to be execute against the transgressours by the several Presbyteries, and in case of their refusal, by the several Commissiones from this Assembly: Whereunto also we are confident, the honourable Iudges of this land will contribute their civill authority: and this to be intimat publickly in pulpit, with the other generall acts of this Assembly.

Act Sess. 26. December 20. 1638.

THE generall Assembly ordaineth all Presbyteries and Provinciall Assemblies to conveen before them, such as are scandalous and malicious, and will not acknowledge this Assembly, nor acquiesce unto the acts thereof: And to censure them according to their malice and contempt, and acts of this Kirk; and where Presbyteries are refractarie, granteth power unto the several Commissions to summond them to compear before the next generall Assembly to be holden at Edinburgh, the third Wedinsday of Iulie, to abide their tryall and censure.

Act. Sess. 26. December 20. 1638.

THE Assembly considering the acts and practise of this Kirk in her purest times, that the Commissioners of every Presbyterie, Burgh, and Universitie, were both ordained to take, and really did take from the Clerk the whole generall acts of the Assembly, subscribed by the Clerk: Whereby they might rule and conforme their judicatorie themselves, and all persons within their jurisdictions, unto the obedience thereof: Considering the great prejudices we have lately felt out of ignorance of the acts of Assembly, Considering also the great necessity in this time of reformation, beyond any other ordinarie time, to have an extract thereof: The Assembly ordaineth be this present act, that all Commissioners from Presbyteries, Burghs, and Universities, presently get under the Clerks hand an Index of the acts, till the acts themselves be extracted, and thereafter to get the full extract of the whole generall acts, to be insert in their Presbyterie books, whereby all their proceedings may be regulate in time coming. Likeas the Assembly recommendeth unto every Kirk Session, for the preservation of their particular Paroch from the reentrie of the corruptions now discharged, and for their continuance in the Covenant, anent doctrine, worship, and discipline now declared, to obtain an extract of these acts: especially if they be printed: Seeing their pryce will no wayes then be considerable: as the benefite both of the particular Parish, and the interest of the whole Kirk, in the preservation thereof from defection is undenyable: seeing Presbyteries are composed of sundry parochins, and so must be affected, or infected as they are, as Provinciall and generall Assemblies, are composed of Presbyteries, and so must be disposed as they are.


Act Sess. 26. December 20.
In the Assembly at Glasgow 1638. concerning the confession of Faith renewed in Februar, 1638.

THE Assembly considering that for the purging and preservation of religion, for the Kings Majesties honour, and for the publick peace of the Kirk and Kingdome, the renewing of that nationall Covenant and oath of this Kirk and Kingdome, in Februar 1638. was most necessare, likeas the Lord hath blessed the same from Heaven with a wonderfull successe for the good of religion, that the said Covenant suspendeth the practise of novations already introduced, and the approbation of the corruptions of the present governement of the Kirk, with the civill places, and power of Kirkmen, till they be tryed in a free generall Assembly, and that now after long and serious examination, it is found that by the confession of Faith, the five articles of Perth, and Episcopall governement are abjured and to be removed out of this Kirk, and the civill places and power of Kirk-men are declared to be unlawfull; The Assembly alloweth and approveth the same in all the heads and articles thereof, And ordaineth that all Ministers, Masters of Universities, Colledges, and Schooles and all others who have not already subscribed the said Confession and Covenant, shall subscribe the same with these words prefixed, to the subscription, viz. The article of this Covenant which was at the first subscription referred to the determination of the general Assembly being now determined at Glasgow, in December 1638. and thereby the five articles of Perth, and the governement of the Kirk by Bishops, being declared to be abjured and removed, the civill places and power of Kirk-men declared to be unlawfull; We subscrive according to the determination, of the said free and lawfull generall Assembly holden at Glasgow; and ordaineth, ad perpetuam rei memoriam, the said Covenant with this declaration to be insert in the registers of the Assemblies of this Kirk; generall, Provinciall and Presbyteriall.

Act Sess. 26. December 20. 1638.
Concerning the subscribing the confession of Faithe lately subscribed by his Majesties Commissioner, and urged to be subscribed by others.

SEEING the generall Assembly, to whom belongeth properly the publick and judiciall interpretation of the confession of Faith, hath now after accurat tryall, and mature deliberation clearly found, that the five articles of Perth, and the governement of the Kirk by Bishops, are abjured by the confession of Faith, as the same was professed in the year 1580. and was renewed in this instant year 1638. And that the Marques of Hammiltoun his Majesties Commissioner hath caused print a Declaration, hearing that his Majesties intention and his own, in causing subscribe the confession of Faith, is no wayes to abjure, but to defend Episcopall governement, and that by the oath and explanation set down in the act of Councel, it neither was nor possibly could be abjured, requiring that none take the said oath, or any other oath in any sense, which may not consist with Episcopall governement: which is directly repugnant to the genuine and true meaning of the foresaid Confession as it was professed in the year 1580. as is clearly now found and declared by the generall Assembly: Therefore the generall Assembly: Doth humbly supplicate, that his Majestie may be graciously pleased, to acknowledge and approve the foresaid true interpretation, and meaning of the generall Assembly, by his Royall warrand to his Majesties Commissioner, Councell, and Subjects, to be put in record for that effect, whereof we are confident, after his Majesty, hath received true information from this Kirk, honoured with his Majesties birth and baptisme, which will be a royall testimonie of his Majesties piety and justice, and a powerfull meane to procure the heartie affection and obedience of all his Majesties loyall Subjects: And in the meane time, least any should fall under the danger of a contradictorie oath, and bring the wrath of God upon themselves and the land, for the abuse of his Name and Covenant; The Assembly by their Ecclesiasticall authority, prohibiteth and dischargeth, that no member of this Kirk swear or subscribe the said Confession, so far wreasted to a contrare meaning, under paine of all Ecclesiasticall censure: but that they subscribe the confession of Faith, renewed in Februar, with the Declaration of the Assembly set down in the former Act.

Act Sess. 26. December 20. 1638.
Concerning yearly generall Assemblies.

THE Assembly having considered the reasons lately printed for holding of generall Assemblies, which are taken from the light of nature, the promise of Iesus Christ, the practise of the holy Apostles, the doctrine and custome of other reformed Kirks, and the liberty of this nationall Kirk, as it is expressed in the book of Policie, and acknowledged in the act of Parlament 1592, and from recent and present experience, comparing the lamentable prejudices done to religion, through the former want of free and lawfull Assemblies, and the great benefite arysing to the Kirk, from this one free and lawfull Assembly; finde it necessary to declare, and hereby declares, that by Divine, Ecclesiasticall, and Civill warrands, this national Kirk hath power and liberty to assemble and conveen in her yearly generall Assemblies, and oftner pro re nata, as occasion and necessity shall require. Appointeth the next Generall Assembly to sit at Edinburgh, the third Weddinsday of Iulie 1639. And warneth all Presbyteries, Universities, and Burghes, to send their Commissioners for keeping the same. Giving power also to the Presbiterie of Edinburgh, pro re nata: and upon any urgent and extraordinarie necessity (if any shall happen before the diet appointed in Iulie) to give advertisement to all the Presbyteries, Universities, and Burghes, to send their Commissioners for holding an occasionall Assembly. And if in the meane time it shall please the Kings Majestie to indict a generall Assembly, ordaineth all Presbyteries, Universities, and Burghes, to send their Commissioners for keeping the time and place which shall be appointed by his Majesties Proclamation.

Act Sess. 26. December 20.
Ordaining an humble supplication to be sent to the King’s Majestie.

THE Assembly, from the sense of his Majesties pietie and justice, manifested in the publick indiction of their solemne meeting, for the purging and preservation of Religion, in so great an exigent of the extreame danger of both, from their fears arising out of experience of the craftie and malicious dealing of their adversaries in giving sinistrous informations against the most religious and loyall designes and doings of his Majesties good Subjects,41 and from their earnest desire to have his Majestie truely informed of their intentions and proceedings, from themselves, who know them best, (which they are confident, will be better beleeved, and finde more credite with his Majestie, than any secret surmise or private suggestion to the contrarie) that they may gaine his Majesties princely approbation and ratification in the ensuing Parliament to their constitutions: Hath thought meet and ordaineth, that an humble supplication be directed to his Majestie, testifying their most heartie thankfullnesse for so Royall a favour, as at this time hath refreshed the whole Kirk and Kingdome, stopping the way of calumnie, and humbly supplicating for the approbation, and ratification foresaid: That truth and peace may dwell together in this Land, to the increase of his Majesties glorie, and the comfort and quietnesse of his Majesties good People: This the Assembly hath committed, according to the Articles foresaid, to be subscribed by their Moderatour and Clerk, in their name. The tennour whereof followeth.

To the Kings Most Excellent Maiestie:

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

Most gracious Soveraigne,

We your Majesties most humble and loyall Subjects, The Commissioners from all the parts of this your Majesties ancient and native Kingdome, and members of the National Assembly, conveened at Glasgow, by your Majesties special indiction, considering the great happinesse which ariseth both to Kirk and Common-wealth, by the mutual embracements of Religion and Iustice, of truth and peace, when it pleaseth the Supreame Providence so to dispose, that princely power and ecclesiasticall authoritie joyne in one, do with all thankfulnesse of heart acknowledge, with our mouthes doe confesse, and not only with our pennes, but with all our power are readie to witnesse unto the world, to your Majesties never dying glorie, how much the whole Kingdome is affected and not only refreshed, but revived, with the comfortable sense of your Majesties pietie, justice, and goodnesse, in hearing our humble supplications, for a full and free generall Assembly: and remembring that for the present, a more true and real testimonie of our unfained acknowledgement, could not proceed from us your Majesties duetyfull Subjects, then to walke worthie of so royall a favour: It hath been our greatest care and most serious endevour, next unto the will of IESUS CHRIST, the great King of his Kirk redeemed by his own bloud, in all our proceedings, joyned with our hearty prayers to GOD, for a blessing from heaven upon your Majesties Person and government, from the first houre of our meeting, to carie our selves in such moderation, order and loyaltie, as beseemed the subjects of so just and gracious a King, lacking nothing so much as your Majesties personall presence; With which had we been honoured and made happie, we were confident to have gained your Majesties Royall approbation to our ecclesiastick constitutions, and conclusions, knowing that a truly Christian minde and royall heart inclined from above, to religion and piety, will at the first discern, and discerning be deeply possessed with the love of the ravishing beautie, and heavenly order of the house of God; they both proceeding from the same Spirit. But as the joy was unspeakable, and the hopes lively, which from the fountaines of your Majesties favour did fill our hearts, so were we not a little troubled, when wee did perceive that your Majesties Commissioner, as before our meeting, he did endevour a prelimitation of the Assembly in the necessarie Members thereof, and the matters to bee treated therein, contrarie to the intention of your Majesties Proclamation indicting a free Assembly according to the order of this Kirk, and laws of the Kingdome: So from the first beginnings of our sitting (as if his Lordship had come rather to crosse, nor to countenance our lawfull proceedings, or as we had intended any prejudice to the good of Religion, or to your Majesties honour (which GOD knoweth was far from our thoughts) did suffer nothing, although most necessarie, most ordinarie, and most undenyable, to passe without some censure, contradiction, or protestation: And after some dayes debating of this kinde, farre against our expectation, and to our great griefe, did arise himself, commanded us, who had laboured in everything to approve ourselves to GOD, and to his Lordship, as representing your Majesties Person, to arise also, and prohibited our further meeting by such a proclamation, as will bee found to have proceeded, rather from an unwillingnesse that we should any longer sit, than from any ground or reason, which may endure the tryall either of your Majesties Parliament, or of your own royall Iudgement, unto which if (being conveened by indiction from your Majestie, and sitting now in a constitute Assembly) we should have given place, This Kirk and Kingdome, contrare to your Majesties most laudable intentions manifested in former proclamations, and contrarie to the desires and expectation of all your Majesties good people had been in an instant precipitate in such a world of confusions, and such depths of miserie, as afterward could not easily have been cured. In this extreamitie we made choise rather of that course which was most agreeable to your Majesties will revealed unto us, after so many fervent supplications, and did most conduce for the good of Religion, your Majesties honour, and the well of your Majesties kingdome; then to give way to any sudden motion, tending to the ruine of all; wherein wee are so far from fearing the light, least our deeds should be reproved, that the more accuracy that we are tryed, and the more impartially our using of that power, which God Almighty, and your sacred Majestie, his Vicegerent had put in our hands, for so good and necessarie ends, is examined, we have the greater confidence, of your Majesties allowance and ratihabition: and so much the rather, that being in a manner inhibited to proceed in so good a work, we doubled our diligence, and endevoured more carefully then before, when your Majesties Commissioner was present, in every point, falling under our consideration, to walke circumspectly, and without offence, as in the sight of God, and as if your Majesties eyes had been looking upon us, labouring to proceed according to the word of God, our confession of Faith, and nationall oath, and the laudable constitutions of the lawfull Assemblies of this Kirk; and studying rather to renew, and revive old acts made for the reformation of Religion, in the time of your Majesties father, of happie memorie, and extant in the records of the Kirk, which divine providence hath preserved, and at this time brought to our hands; then either to allow of such novations, as the avarice and ambition of men, abusing authoritie for their own ends, had without order introduced; or to appoint any new order, which had not been formerly received, and sworn to bee reteined, in this Kirk. In all which the members of the Assembly, found so clear and convincing light, to their full satisfaction, against all42 their doubts and difficulties, that the harmonie and unanimitie was rare and wonderfull, and that we could not have agreed upon other constitutions, except wee would have been found fighting against GOD. Your Majesties wise and princely minde knowethe, that nothing is more ordinary then for men, when they doe well, to bee evil spoken of, and that the best actions of men are many times mis-construed, and mis-reported. Balaam, although a false Prophet, was wronged: for in place of that which hee said, The Lord refuseth to give me leave to go with you: the princes of Moab reported unto Balack, that Balaam refused to goe with them. But our comfort is, That Truth is the daughter of time, and although calumnie often starteth first, and runneth before, yet Veritie followeth her at the heels, and possesseth her self in noble and royall hearts: where base calumnie cannot long finde place. And our confidence is, that your Majestie with that worthie King, will keep one eare shut against all the obloquies of men; and with that more wise King, who, when he gave a proofe that the wisedome of GOD was in him to doe judgment, would have both parties to stand before him at once: that hearing them equally, they might speed best, and go out most chearfully from his Majesties face, who had the best cause. When your Majesties wisedome hath searched all the secrets of this Assembly, let us be reputed the worst of all men according to the aspersions which partialitie would put upon us, let us be the most miserable of all men, to the full satisfaction of the vindictive malice of our adversaries, let us by the whole world bee judged of all men the most unworthie to breath any more in this your Majesties Kingdome, if the cause that we maintaine, and have been prosecuting, shall be found any other, but that we desire that the Majestie of GOD, who is our fear and our dread, be served, and his house ruled, according to his owne will; if we have not carried along with us in all the Sessions of our Assemblie, a most humble and loyall respect to your Majesties honour, which next unto the honour of the living GOD, lyeth nearest our hearts; if we have not keeped our selves within the limits of our reformation, without debording or reflecting upon the constitution of other reformed Kirks, unto which wee heartily wish all truth and peace, and by whose sound judgement and Christian affection we certainly look to be approven; if we have not failed rather by lenitie then by rigour in censuring of delinquents, never exceeding the rules and lines prescribed, and observed by this Kirk; and if (whatsoever men minding themselves, suggest to the contrary) the government and discipline of this Kirk, subscribed and sworn before, and now acknowledged by the unanimous consent of this Assembly, shall not bee found to serve for the advancement of the Kingdome of CHRIST, for procuring all duetifull obedience to your Majestie, in this your Kingdome, and great riches and glorie to your Crown, for peace to us, your Majesties loyall subjects, and for terrour to all the enemies of your Majesties honour and our happinesse: and if any act hath proceeded from us, so farre as our understanding could reach, and humane infirmitie would suffer, which being duely examined according to the grounds laid by your Majesties Father, of everlasting memory, and our religious Progenitours, and which religion did forbid us to infringe, shall merit the anger and indignation, wherewith wee are so often threatened: But on the contrare, having sincerely sought the glorie of GOD, the good of Religion, your Majesties honour, the censure of impietie, and of men who had sold themselves to wickednesse, and the re-establishment of the right constitution and government of this Kirk, farre from the smallest appearance of wronging any other reformed Kirk, we humbly beg, and certainly expect, that from the bright beames of your Majesties countenance shining on this your Majesties own Kingdome and people, all our stormes shall bee changed in a comfortable calme, and sweet Sunshine, and that your Majesties ratification in the ensuing Parliament, graciously indicted by your Majesties Proclamation to bee keeped in May, shall setle us in such a firmnesse, and stabilitie in our Religion, as shall adde a further lustre unto your Majesties glorious Diademe, and make us a blessed people under your Majesties long and prosperous reigne: which we beseech him who hath directed us in our affaires, and by whom Kings reigne, to grant unto your Majestie, to the admiration of all the world, the astonishment of your enemies, and comfort of the godly.


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

A Breife Collection of the Passages of the Assembly holden at Glasgow, in Scotland, November last, 1638; with the Deposicon of Divers B.p.p. Their Offences for which they were sentenced; and an Index of all the Acts made at the said Assembly.

Upon Wednesday the vijᵗʰ day of November, a generall ffast was kept throughout all Scotland, for calling upon God for his blessing upon their Assembly, and praying for Gods gracious assistance that their meeting might take good effect to Gods glorie and their owne good.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1—Whether the Assembly were lawful or not?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8 December, Sessio 16.

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

10 December, Sessio 17.

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

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

11 December, Sessio 18.

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

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

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

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

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

12 December, Sessio 19.

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

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

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

13 December, Sessio 20.

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

14 December, Sessio 21.

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

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

15 December, Sessio 22.

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

16 December, Sessio 23.

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

17 December, Sessio 24.

Ten actes, and one referance past in assembley this day.

18 December, Sessio 25.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

19 December, Sessio 26.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

20 Decembris, Sessio 27.

In this session, ther was diuersse actes past, and transportations of ministers.

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

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

Mr Androw Ramsay,
Mr Dauid Dicksone,
Mr Robert Blaire,
Mr Androw Cant.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

14.—An Act deposing Mr Tho. Foster.

15.—An Act deposing Mr Wᵐ. Annand.

16.—An Act deposing Mr Tho. Mackenzie.

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

18.—An Act condemning the Service Booke.

19.—An Act condemning the Booke of Cannons.

20.—An Act condemning the Booke of Ordinacons.

21.—An Act condemning the High Commission.

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

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

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

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

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

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

28.—An Act against Non-Residencie.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

48.—An Act against Funerall Services.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Miscellaneous Historical Documents.


Having now presented to the reader the Acts and Proceedings of the General Assembly 1638, from the most authentic sources, we are now to submit a collection of illustrative historical documents, which will be found to corroborate the narrative given in the Introduction, and to throw much additional light on the period which elapsed from the coronation of King Charles I., in 1633, till the rising of the General Assembly on 20th December 1638.

It appeared to be exceedingly desirable to give a concentrated and connected view of these, in juxtaposition with the Acts of Assembly, of which they were the precursors and accompaniments; and this the more especially as, in so far as we have been able to discover, these are scattered over a variety of rare and expensive books, or unprinted records, which may be regarded as nearly inaccessible to the great bulk of the community. These are of peculiar value as explanatory of the entire chain of events during the period referred to; and they exhibit by much the most authentic record of the proceedings of all the parties concerned in these transactions; thus furnishing a body of information which cannot be found in any single or separate work on the era of which we treat. It may be proper to mention the chief sources whence these documents are derived.

1st, In 1639 a work was compiled by Dr Balcanqual, Dean of Durham, at the desire and under the auspices of King Charles I., as a vindication of the policy which he had pursued with reference to the affairs of Scotland in the previous and preceding years, and being published by Royal authority, may be considered as the King’s own statement of his case in these unhappy differences with his subjects. It is tituled—“A Large Declaration concerning the late tumults in Scotland, from their first originalls; together with a particular deduction of the seditious practices of the prime leaders of the Covenanters; collected out of their owne foule acts and writings, by which it doth plainly appeare,48 that Religion was onely pretended by these leaders, but nothing lesse intended by them—By the King. London: Printed by Robert Young, his Majesties Printer for Scotland, Anno Domini M.D.C.XXXIX.” From this source many of the following documents are gleaned; and although the statements and argument founded on these documents are coloured so as to serve the party whose cause it advocated, a commendable impartiality is shewn in the publication of the main acts and writs of the adversary.

2dly, The next depository whence we have drawn these documents is a work of Bishop Burnet’s:—“The Memoires of the Lives and Actions of James and William Dukes of Hamilton, &c., in which an account is given of the Rise and Progress of the Civil Wars of Scotland, &c., from the year 1625 to 1652, together with many Letters, Instructions, and other papers, written by King Charles I., never before published; all drawn out of or copied from the originals.” Printed by the Bookseller to the King. (Charles II.) 1677.

3dly, The only other authority to which it is necessary to refer particularly is:—“The Historical Works of Sir James Balfour of Denmylue and Kinnaird, Knight and Baronet, Lord Lyon King at Arms to Charles I. and Charles II., published from the original MS., in the Library of the Faculty of Advocates,” (by M. D. Haig, under Librarian,) in 1824. This, like the others referred to, is a work of high authority, and abounds with much curious and minute information.

Petition to the King from the Clergy of Scotland.
29 May 1633.

Griuances and Petitions concerning the disordered Estaite of the Reformed Kirke within this Realme of Scotland, presented vpon the 29 of Maij, 1633, by me, Master Thomas Hogge, Minister of the Euangell, in my auen name, and in name of others of the ministrie lykwayes greiued, to Sʳ Johne. Hay, Clerck of Register, to be presented by him to such as ought, according to the order appoynted, to consider them, that therafter they may be presented to his Maiesty and Estaites, wich wer to be assembled at this ensewing parliament.

The opportunity of this soleme meitting of your gratious Maiesty, and the honourable Estaits conweined in this heighe courte of parliament, and the concience of our deutey to God and the reformed kirk within this realme of Scotland, quher wee serue by our ministerey, constrains ws to present, in all humility, to your heighnes and estaites presently assembled, thosse our just griuances and resonable petitions follouing:

First, Albeit, vote in parliament was not absolutly granted to ministers, prowydit to prælacies, bot only wpon suche conditions as his heighnes, of happy memorie, and the general assemblies of the kirke should aggree vpon, wich is euident by the remitt and prouision expressed in the acte of parliament holdin at Edinbrughe, in December, 1597; and albeit the maner of ther election and admissione to the office of commissionarey, and the particular conditions and cautions to be obserued by ministers votting in parliament, in name of the kirke, after long disputation wer aggreid vpone by his Maiesty present in persone, and the generall assembley, and wer apponted by them to be insert in the bodey of the acte of parliament, wich was to be made concerning that purpois. Some ministers notwithstanding haue beine, and are admitted to vote in parliament in name of the kirke, als absolutly as if the acte of parliament did conteine no suche reference; and as if his Maiesty, with the gen: assembley, had not aggreid wpone the maner of ther election or admissione to the office, or vpone aney limitations quherby the kirk hath susteined grate hurte and preiudice in her liberties and præulidges, and especially by ther frequent transgressing the first of the conditions, altho grounded wpone the werey law of nature and nations;—that nothinge be proponid by them in parliament, counsell or conuentione in name of the kirke, without expresse warrant and direction from the kirke, vnder the paine of deposition from ther office; nather shall they keepe silence nor consent to the said conuentions to aney thing that may be præiudiciall to the libertie and weell of the kirk, vnder the said paine.

And the second, that they shall be bound at eurey gen: assembley, to giue a compte anent the discharging of their commissione, since the assemblie præceiding, and shall submitt themselues to the censure, and stand to ther determinatione quhatsoeuer, without appellatione, and shall seike and obteine ratificatione of ther doinges at the said assembley, wnder the paine of infamie and excommunicatione.

Therfor, our humble supplication is, that the executione of the actes of parliament, off materes belonging to the kirke, to wich they haue wotted in name of [the] kirke, without aney authority or allouance of the generall assemblies of the kirke, be suspendit till that the kirke be hard; and that in tyme coming ministers haue no otherwayes vote in parliament, bot according to the prouisione of the acte of parliament, and the order of ther entrie to the office of that commissionarey and limitation forsaid, aggreid one, as said is.

2. Seinge ratifications of actes and constitutions of the kirke, cannot be construed to be a benefitt or fauor to the kirke, wnlesse the ratifications passe according to the meining of the kirke, and the tennor of the saides actes and constitutions, without omission, addition or alteration of clausses, artickells or wordes of importance; and that in the ratificatione of the acte of the assembley holdin at Glasgow in Aᵒ 1610, wich past in parliament haldin at Edinbrughe, 1612, wnder the name of explanatione of sundrie clausses and artickells, wer omitted out of the same.

At the subiection of bischopes in all thinges concerning ther lyffe, conversatione, office and benefice to the censure of the gen: assembley;

The censure of bischopes, in caisse they stay the censure of excommunicatione;

The continuing of the exercisse of doctrine weeiklie;

The necessity of the testificat, and assistance of the ministrie of the boundes, for the admission of ministers, and other clauses and artickells are addit and insert, as the different degrees of archbischopes and bischopes;

The pouer of giuing colation of benefices granted to bischopes;

The disposing of benifices fallinge in ther handes jure deuoluto;

The appoynting of moderators in diocesian synodes, in caisse of ther absence, and some wordes of the othe are changed. By all wich omissions, additions and alterations, the kirk hathe susteined, and doeth susteine, grate hurte in her jurisdictione and discipline. Our humble desyre therfor is, that49 the kirke may be liberat from the preiudice of thosse omissions, additions and alterations of the acte foresaid.

3. Notwithstanding the generall assembleyes haue beine holdin from the tyme of reformation till the zeire 1603, at least once in the zeire or oftner, pro re nata; prouinciall synods tuysse in the zeire; weekly meittinges for exercisses and presbetries, eurey weeke, for matters to be treatted in them respectiue, and ther liberties wer ratified in parliament in Aᵒ 1592, and by that, as a most pouerfull meine, blissed be God, peace and purity of religion wer manteined: and in the assembley holdin at Glasgow, 1610, quhen commissioners, votters in parliament prowydit to prælacies, wer made lyable to the censures of the generall assembley, it was acknowledged, that the necessity of the kirke craued that ther should be zeirlie generall assemblies, and the ministers wer then assured, that liberty wold be granted vpon ther requyste, quherby they wer induced to condescend so far to the acte then made as they did; wich acte also beareth in the wercy entrey thereof, a requyste to his Maiestie, that generall assemblies may be holdin, in all tymes coming, once in the zeire, or precisely at a sett and certaine tyme; neuerthelesse the wounted libertie of holding general assemblies is suppressed; the order of the prouinciall synods confoundit; presbeteries in a grate pairt disordered and neglected, quherby diuisions haue entred into the kirke; ministers are become negligent of their callinges, and scandalous in ther liues; the godlie are heartily greiued, the weeake are scandalized; erroneous doctrine is deliured in kirkes and scooles without controlment; the commissioners votters in parliament lay untrayed and vncensured; and atheisme and poprie incresse. Our humble desyre is, therfor, that the actes of parliament made in fauors of the assemblies of the kirke, and especially the acte of parliament made at Edinbrughe in Junij, 1592, be rewissed and ratified.

4. Notwithstanding the obseruatione of fæstiuall dayes, priuat baptisme, priuat communione, Episcopall confirmatione of children, haue beine reiected by this our reformed kirke, since the begning of the reformation, and it hath beine declared by acte of parliament, in the zeire 1567, that such onlie wer to be acknouledged members of this reformed kirke, as did participat of the sacraments as they wer then rightly ministred, wich was without kneeling in the acte of receauing the sacramentall eliments of the supper, or immediat dispensing of the same to eurey communicant by the minister; and that it was statute and ordained, in the same parliament, that all Kings should giue ther othe at ther coronation, to manteine the religion then professed, and that forme of ministratione of the sacraments wich then was wssed. Neuerthelesse, pastors and people adhearing to the former professione and practisse, are nicknamed Puritans, and threttned not only without aney good varrant, bot besyde the tennor of the acte of Perths assemblie, wich contineth no stricke iniunction, and contrarey to the meining of the wotters, and to the proceidings of that assemblie, wher it was professed that non should be pressed with obedience to the acte.

Therfor, wee humblie intreat, that by ratification of the actes of parliament made befor that assemblie, and by suche wayes as shall seime good to your gratious Maiesty, and honourable estaites assembled, your Maiesties good people, pastors, and professors, may bothe be purged from suche asspertions, and may be freed from all dangers and feares wich may occurre by occasione of that acte of Perth.

5. Albeit it be determined by the generall assemblies of this our reformed kirke quhat othes ministers should take, at the tyme of ther admissione or ordination, zet ther is a new forme of othe dewised and wrged by the admitters, or ordainers wpon intrants to the ministrie, togider with subscriptione to certaine artickells dewysed by them, without direction or warrant from aney assemblie of the kirke, zea, or acte of parliament; quherby the entrey to the ministrie is shutte upon the best qualified, and others lesse able are obtruded vpone the people, to ther grate greiffe and hazard of ther soulles. Our humble petition therefor is, that suche othes and subscriptiones, wrged vpone ministers at ther entrey ore transportation, be discharged.

6. Notwithstanding ther be constitutions of the kirke, and lawes of the countrie for censuring of ministers befor the ordinarey judicatories ecclesiasticall, zet contrarie to that order, ministers are suspendit, silenced and depriued, and that for matters mearlie ecclesiastisall, before wther judicatories wich are not established by the authoritie or order of the countrie and kirke. Therefor, our humble petition is, that ministers deseruing censure, be no wtherwayes censured then the order of the kirke doeth prescriue, and that such as are otherwayes displaced, be suffred to serue in the ministrie as off befor.

The presenter attendit in Edinbrughe, to compeire, if neid wer, befor such as wer to conweene to consider the artickells and petitions wich wer giuen in to the Clercke Register; but ther no appeirance of anney such conwentione; the ministers therfor directed the said Mr Thomas Hogge to present the supplicatione follouing to his Maiesty, wich he did at Dalkeith castle, wpone the 15 day of Junij; that same day his Maiesty was [to] make his entrey into the cittey of Edinbrughe. The petitione was thus:—

This happey occasione, with stronge desyres longe waitted for by your Maiesties most humble and louing subiects, the pastors and professors of the reformed religion, within this your Maiesties kingdome of Scotland. The grate fame wich haue oftin filled our eares of your Maiesties most pious and princely inclination to religion and richteousnesse, quhence this kirke and kingdome, from ther singular intresse in your Maiesties birth and baptisme, haue resone at this tyme to looke for a comfortable influence; the bodey of this kingdome ioyning in hearte with ws, and onlie waitting for the least word from your Maiesties mouthe; the conscience wich we haue, and wich wee trust is manifest to all men, that wee ar seeking nather riches nor honor to ourselues, bot that the soume and substance of our desyres is, to procure the aduancement of the kingdome of Jesus Christe, and to see your Maᵗⁱᵉˢ flourishing estait in your kingdomes; all thesse and eache of them moue ws to intreat, in all humility, your gratious Maiestie to be fauorable to our petitions, wich we haue deliuered to the Clerck of Register, to be presented to your Maiesty and estaites of the approaching parliament, that they may be considered and receave a gratious anssuer.

His Maiesty read this petition at lenth, zet ther was no more hard of ther griuances, ather among the Lordes of the artickells, or in opin parliament, (quher nothing cometh in votting bot that wich first must passe the Lordes of the artickells,) and wsually quhat passes throughe ther handes, is concludit by the quole estaits in publick. Not only wer the griuances of the ministers suppressed, bot lykwayes all former actes concerning the complained offe corruptions50 In the kirke wer ratified. Howbeit, it was notoriously knowen, that most of thesse actes had wroght grate disturbance in this kirke. And now the actes of this parliament (an I haue formerly showen,) layed the fundatione of ane irreconcilable schisime, and proued afterwardes the ruine bothe of King and bischopes.25

1636.—October 18.
2. Letter from the King to Spottiswood, Archbishop of St Andrew’s, Lord Chancellor of Scotland, and Chancellor in Council and Session.26

Charles Rˣ,

Right Reuerend Father in God, &c. quher as, since our entrie to the croune, especially since our laite being in that kingdome, wee haue diuersse tymes recommendit to the archbischopes and bischopes ther, the publishing of ane publicke forme of seruice in the worschipe of God, quhilke wee wold haue vniformally obserued therin, and the same being now condescendit wpone, that wee doubte not bot all our subiects, both clergie and others, will receaue the samen with suche reuerence as aperteinethe; zet thinking it necessarey to make oure pleassure knowen tuoching the authorisinge the booke therof, we requyre you to command, by opin proclamatione, all our subiectes, both ecclesiasticall and ciuill, to conforme themselues in the practisse therof, it being the onlie forme of worschipe quhilk wee, hauing takin the counsaill of our cleargie, thinke fitt to be wssed in Gods publicke worschipe ther. As also, we requyre you to inioyne all archbischopes, bischopes and wthers, presbiters and churchemen, to take caire the samen be deulie obserued, and the contraweiners condinglie censured and punished, and to giue order that eurey paroche procure to themselues, within suche ane space as you shall be pleassed to appoynt, tuo at the least of the saides bookes of comon prayer for the wsse of the said paroche, quherin ze will doe ws most acceptable seruice; and for the quhilk thesse presents shall be your warrant. Wee bid you fairweell, from our courte at Newuarke, 18 Octobris, 1636.

1636.—December 20.
3. Act anent the Seruice Booke.27
Apud Edinburgh, 20 Decembris 1636. Sederunt.

Chancellor. Angus. Clerk-Regʳ.
Thesaurer. Binning. Advocat.
Glasgow. Napier. Justice-Clerk.
Dumfrees. Depute Treasʳ.  

Forsamekle as the King’s Maiestie euer since his entrie to the imperiall goverment of this his ancient Kingdome, especiallie since his late being their, hes diverse times recommendit to the Archbishops and Bishops their, the publishing of a publict forme of service in the worship of God, whiche his Maiestie would haue vniformelie observed in this kingdome; and the same being now condescended upon, although his Maiestie doubts not bot all his Maiesties subjects both clergie and others, will receave the said publict forme of seruice with such reuerence as appertaineth; butt his Maiestie thinking it necessair to make his pleasure knowen twiching the authorizing the booke thairof; Therefore the Lords of his Maiesties Privie Counsell, according to his Maiesties speciall warrand and direction, ordains letters to be direct, to command and charge all his Maiesties subjects, both ecclesiasticall and civill, be open proclamation at the Mercat Croses of the heid burrowes of this kingdome and other places needfull, to conforme themselffs to the said publict forme, qˡᵏ is the onlie forme qˡᵏ his Maiestie, having takin the Counsell of his Cleargie, thinkes fitt to be used in Gods publict worship heir: Commanding heirby, all Archbishops and bishops, and others presbyters and churchemen, to take a speciall care, that the said publict forme of worship be dewlie obserued and obeyed, and the contraveaners condinglie censured and punished, and to have a speciall care that euerie Parish betwixt and pasche next, procure unto thameselffs twa at the least of the saids bookes of Common Prayer, for the use of the Parish.

Followes his Maiesties Missive for warrant of the Act abouwritten.


Right Reuerend father in God, right trustie and weill belouit Cousins and Counsellors, right trustie and trustie and belouit Counsellors, We greit you weill. Whereas since our entrie to the crowne, especiallie since our late being in that Kingdome, we have diuerse times recommended to the Archbishops and51 bishops there, the publishing of a publict forme of seruice in the worship of God, whiche we would haue vniformelie obserued therein; and the same being now condescended vpon, thogh we doubt not bot all our subjects, both clergie and others, will receaue the same with such reuerence as appertaineth: yitt thinking it necessarie to make our pleasure knowne, tuiching the authorizing of the booke thaireof, We require you to command, by opin proclamation, all our subjects, both ecclesiasticall and cevill, to conforme thamselffes in the practise thairof, It being the onlie forme which We, having takin the Counsell of our Clergie, thinke fitt to be used in God’s publict worship there; as alsua we require you to injoyne all Archbishops and Bishops, and other Presbyters and churchemen, to take care, that the same be dewlie obeyed, and the contraueaners condignlie censured and punished, and to take order that euerie parish procure to thameselffes, within such a space as yow shall thinke fitt to appoint, two at least of the saids bookes of Common Prayer for the use of the Parish; wherein you will doe us most acceptable seruice, and for which these shall be your warrant. We bid yow farewell, from our Court at New Mercat, 12 of October 1636.

1637.—March 14.
4. Act of Council anent the new Psalmes.28

Apud Edinburgh 14 Martii 1637.—Sederunt.
Chancellor. Dumfreis. B. Brechin.
Thesaurer. L. Bining. L. Naper.
B. Glasgow. L. Alexander. Clᵏ Regʳ.
Mar. B. Gallaway. Advocat.
Winton. B. Aberdene. Justice.
Seafort. B. Ros. Justice-Clerk.

Forsamekle as the late Psalmes have, by authoritie of the King his Maiestie, and the clergie of this kingdome, bene altered, revysed, and approvin, so that now his Maiestie, according to his pleasure, formerlie signified, for receaving of the said Psalmes, is fully resolved to have that warke goe on for the good of the church and memorie of the author; Therefore the Lords of Privie Counsell, according to his Maiesties expresse will and pleasure signified unto thame be writt, hes discharged, and, be the tennor of this present act, discharges all farder impression of the old psalmes, as alsua the inbringing of the same from England or ellis wyes, to the intent the new psalmes may be imprinted and generallie receaved and sung in all the churches of this kingdome. And the said Lords hes recommendit, and be the tennor heirof recommends to the Archbishop of St Andrewes, Lord High-Chancellor of this kingdome, to call before him, or before the Provest and Bailleis of burrowis, the whole printers and stationers within this kingdome, and all others whome this mater may concerne, and to intimat unto thame, this present act and ordinance, and to require thame and everie ane of thame, to conforme thameselffes and give obedience thereanent, under the paine of confiscation of the whole bookes which sall be prented or imported agains the tennor of this act, and ordines letters of publication to be direct thereupon, if neid beis, in forme as effeirs.

Followes his Majesties Commission for warrant of the act abouewritten.

Charles Rˣ.

Right reuerend father in God, &c. Whereas the late psalmes haue, by authoritie from us and the Clergie of both Kingdomes beene altered reuised and approved, We now, according to our pleasure formerlie signified for receaving thame in the church of that Kingdome, being fully resolved to cause that work goe on for the churches good and the authors memorie; It is our expresse will and pleasure, that according as you sall thinke fitt, you suffer no further impression to be made of the old psalmes, and that yow give such orders as yow sall find necessarie and which is in yower power, for printing and receaving of the new, to be generallie receaved and sung, in all the churches of this said Kingdome; and to that effect that yow give to our clairgie, (to whome we have written at length twiching the same) what strenth and authoritie you sall finde necessarie and can be grantit by yow, Quherein expecting frome you a readie performance, both by yowr owne good example and otherwayes, whereby we may finde the effects of your paines and affection to our forme, in this, whereof we will take as most acceptable service done unto us, and for whiche, these presents sall be your warrant. We bid yow farewell, from our Court at Whitehall, the 3 of Februarie 1637.

1637.—June 13.
5. Act anent Seruice bookes.29

Forsamekle, as by act and proclamation, made and published heretofore, it was commandit and ordained, that everie Presbyterie within this kingdome should have had a care that their parochinies sould have beene furnished and provydit, betwixt and pasche last, with twa of the buikes appointed to be universallie receaued throughout this kingdome, for the publict forme of Service in the worship of God, as in the act and proclamation made to this effect at lenth is conteinit. Quhairunto, altho’ great numbers of the ministrie of best learning and soundest judgement and gifts, hes given dewtiefull obedience, and hes conformed thameselffes to his Maiesties royall will and pleasure in this point, yitt there is some others of the ministrie who, out of curiositie and singularitie, refuse to receaue and embrace the said booke, and does what in thame lyes to foster and enterteyny destractioun and troubles in the Kirk, to the disturbing of the publict peace thereof, without remeid be provydit; Thairfore, the saids Lords ordains this to be direct, charging the whole Presbyters and Ministeris within this kingdome, That they and euery ane of thaime provide and furnishe themselffes, for the use of thair Parishes, with twa of the saids bookes of publict formes, or commoun prayer, within fyfteine dayes next after the charge, vnder the paine of rebellion and putting of thaime to the horne; and if they faillie, to denunce, &c. and to escheet, &c.

1637—July 28.
6. Act anent Seruice Bookes.30
Apud Edinburgh, 28 July 1637.

Chancellor. Dumfries. B. Ros.
Thesaurer. L. Lorne. B. Brechin.
Glasgow. L. Alexander. L. Deskford.
Priuie Seale. B. Edinburgh. L. Naper.
Winton. B. Gallaway. Clerk-Regʳ.
Wigton. B. Aberdeen. Justice-Genᵃˡˡ.
Kinghorne. B. Murray. Deputie-Treasʳ.

The Court of Secret Counsell having heard the Prouest and Bailleis of Edʳ tuiching the proposition52 made be thaime, and course takin conforme thereto, for a peaceable exercise of the service-booke, and securitie of the personis imployed, or who sall be present and assist at the pratise thairof; the Lords ordains the Provest and bailleis to advyse amongs thaimselffs anent ane obligatorie act to be given be the toun for the reall performance there, so that they sall undertake in the bussines aboue mentioned, and allowes thaime to publishe, by touck of drwm, the ordars to be established be thame for keeping of thair toune in peace and quyetnes, and preventing of all trouble and commotioun within the same.

1637.—July 29.
7. The Clergies’ Report anent the Seruice Booke.31
Apud Edʳ 29 July 1637, in the Chanʳˢ loodging—Sederunt.

Chanʳ. Kirghome. L. Deskford.
Theasʳ. L. Alexʳ. Clᵏ Regʳ.
Priuie Seal. B. Gallaway. Justice-Generall.
Glasgow. B. Abᵈ. Blackhall.
Wintown. B. Brechine.  

The whilk day the Archbishop of Sᵗ Andrewes, Lord High Chanʳ of this kingdome, for himselfe and in name of the remanent bishops, reported to the Counsell, That, in regaird of the late trouble and insurrection raised upon Sunday last, for opposing the service-booke, and upon new emergent occasions and considerable respects, It was thought fitt and expedient be thaime, that there should be a surcease of the service-booke till his Maiestie sould signifie his pleasure twiching the redresse and punishment of the authors and actors of that disorderlie tumult, and that a course be sett down for the peaceable exercise thairof, to the glorie of God, his Maiesties honour, and the good of this Citie; and in the meane time, to the effect his Maiesties good and loyall subjects be not defrauded of the comfort of the word, the saids bishops had appointed and given order that, in the whole churches of this Citie, sermon sall be made at the accustomed times, by regular and obedient Ministers, and that a prayer sall be made before and after sermon, and that neither the old seruice nor the new established seruice, be vsed in this interim: Whiche report and conclusion, takin be the saids bishops being heard be the Counsell, they remitted to thaime to doe therein according to the power incumbent unto thame in the dewtie of thair office.

1637.—August 4.

8. His Maiesties Missive anent the uproare.32

Apud Edinburgh, 4 August 1637—Sederunt.

Chancellor. Ammondaill. B. Brechin.
Theasurer. Dumfries. Clerk Regʳ.
Glasgow. Southesk. Justice-Generall.
Priuie Seale. L. Lorne. Depute-Treasʳ.
Winton. L. Alexander. Aduocat.
Wigton. B. Edinburgh. S.R. Gordon.
Kinghorne. B. Gallaway.  

The whilk day, the Missive Letter underwrittin, signed be the Kings Maiestie, and produceit to the Lords of Priuie Counsell, was presented to the saids lords, and read in thair audience, of the qˡᵏ the tennor followes: Charles R. Right reverend father in God, and right trustie and weil-belouit cousines and counsellors, and right trustie and weilbelouit Counselors, and weil-belouit, We greit yow weill. Having vnderstood that, in the churche upon Sunday last, when the forme of divine seruice appointed to be receaued was begun to be read in the churche, a number of rude and base people, did rise and behave thaimselffes in a most tumultuarie manner, both within and without the churche, as We doe not doubt, but hath beene particularlie made knowne to yow all, whiche is so barbarous, disorderlie, and evil, both in it selfe, and by the example, that it doeth deserve to be severelie punished: It is our pleasure, that yow use yowr best endeavours to examine, who ar authors or actors in that mutenie, and that yow faile not to punishe them that sall be found guiltie thairof, as yow sall find thaime to deserve; and lykeways that you communicat with the clergie, by strengthening thaime in that whiche our authoritie conferred upon yow, may contribute unto thaime for setling the said forme of divine service, both in the said toun and other parts, as they frome time to time sall require your helpe, which we verie speciallie expect frome yow, and so doe bid yow heartilie farewell, frome our Mannor at Oatland, the 30 of July 1637. Whilk Missive being read, heard, and considered be the saids Lords, and they advised therewith, the Lords of Secret Counsell ordains the persons who ar delate guiltie of the said mutinie, to be putt to the tryall and punishment.

1637.—August 5.
9. Act anent Seruice Bookes.33
Apud Edinburgh 5. Augusti 1637. Sederunt.

Chancellor. Dumfries. Clerk-Regʳ.
Thesaurer. L. Alexander. Justice-Genᵃˡˡ.
Glasgow. B. Edinburgh. Deputie Treʳ.
Priuie Seale. B. Gallaway. Aduocat.
Wintown. B. Brechin. S. R. Gordoun.

The qˡᵏ day the lords of the clergie hauing remonstrat to the lords of Priuie Counsell, That for the glorie of God and more decent performance of his divine seruice, and for securing the persons to be imployed for officiating the same, That the toun Counsell of Edinburgh attend upon and meit with the Bishop of Edʳ, and conferre and resolue with them anent the conveniencie of time when the service shall begin, and what the assurance to be giuen be thaim for indemnitie which these who sall be imployed in the service; and, in the meane time, that the ministers sall preache in the subsequent weeke upon the ordinar dayes, without service, and choose pertinent texts for disposall of the peoples myndes to ane heartie embracement of the service booke, and for cleering and removall of all prejudices and mistakes that may be conceaved upon or concerning the saids bookes: Which proposition being considert be the saids Lords, and they finding thaire desire to be reasonable, and being willing to contribute thair best assistance for strenthening the clergie to settle the service booke, The Lords allows of their proposition, and accordinglie ordains the provest and bailleis of Edinʳ to meet with the Bishop of Edinʳ, and to joyne and concurre with him in all and euerie thing that may concerne the provyding of readers for the same, and preparing of all things necessar and belonging thereto, and that they give assurance for indemnitie of the Church ministers, and peaceable behaviour of the inhabitants within thair citie: Quhilks intimation wes made to Andro Ainslie and Johne Smith, bailleis of Edinburgh, whame the53 Lords required to signifie their ordinance to the toun Counsell, and to make report to the Bishop of Edinʳ of thair diligence, and what thay will undertake and be ansrable for with all convenience.

The Lords of Secret Counsell having heard the request of the most pairt of the clergie present, that the service bookes cannot be orderlie usit in the Kirks of Edinʳ the morne, the saxt of this instant, for want of a sufficient number of readers to officiat the same, and others difficulties attending therein, and that the same cannot convenientlie be done before Sunday come eight dayes; and the said Lords of the Clergie having lykewise declared that they have resolved that the said service shall begin upon Sunday come eight dayes, and from thenceforth continew, and, withall, having desired that the toun Councill of Edʳ be callit and order given to thame for the peaceable exercise of the said seruice booke, and that the said Lords would interpone their authoritie thairto; Which, being heard and considerit be the said Lords, they allowed of the course taken be the clergie, and interponed and interpons their authoritie to the same, and accordinglie callit for Andro Ainslie and Johne Smith, bailleis of Edʳ, whome they required to signifie this their ordinance to the Toun Counsell of Edinʳ, and to see the dew performance and obedience of the same.

1637.—August 25.
10. Extract Bill of Suspension for Alex. Henderson and Others.34

The 3 ministers that wer charged with thesse letters, wer Mr Alexander Hendersone, minister of Leuchers; Mr James Bruce, minister at Kingesbarnnes; and Mr George Hamiltone, minister at Newbirne. They for themselues, and in name of the remanent ministers of the kingdome, did suplicat, in all humility, the Lordes to grant to them a suspensione of the said charge, for thesse followinge reassons:—

First, Becausse the said seruice booke is not warranted by the authority of the generall assemblies, wich is the representatiue kirke of this kingdome, and hath euer since the reformatione giuen directione in matters of Gods worschipe, nor be aney acte of parliament (wich in thinges of this kynd) hath euer beine thought necessarey by his Majesty and estaites.

Secondlie, Becausse the liberties of the trew kirke, and the forme of worschipe and religion receaued at the reformatione, and vniwersally practissed sinsyne, is varranted by actes of generall assemblies, and diuersse actes of parliament, 1567, and of the lait parliament, 1633.

Thridlie, The kirke of Scotland is ane independent kirke, and her auen pastors should be most able to decerne and directe quhat doe best seime our mesour of reformatione, and quhat may serue most for the good of the people.

Fourtlie, It is not wnknowen to your Lordschipes, quhat disputing, diuisione and trouble, hath beine in this kirke aboute some few of the maney ceremonies contined in this booke, wich being examined, as wee shall be redey at a competent tyme assigned by your Lordschipes to shaw, will be found to depairt far from the worschipe and reformatione of this kirke, and in poyntes most materiall for the kirke of Rome, for hir hierarchie and doctrine, superstitione and idolatrie in worschipe, tyranie in gouerniment and in wickednesse, eurey way als antechristian now, as quhen it cam out of her.

Fyftlie, The people hath beine otherwayes taught by ws, and our prædicessors in our places, euer since the reformatione; and so it lickly they will be found, wnwilling to the change quheneuer they be assayed, euen quhen ther pastors are willinge, in respecte quherof the saides letters of horneinge, haill effecte and executione, aught to be simpliciter suspendit in tyme coming.

Deliverance thereon by Council.35

The Lords of secret counsaile, wnderstanding that ther hes beine a grate mistaking in the letters and charges giuen out wpone the acte of counsaell made anent the buying of the seruice bookes, The said Lords for removing and clearing of all such simplie declares, that the saide acte and letters extend allainerlie to the buying of the said bookes, and no further. Giuen at Edinbrughe, 25 of Aguste, 1637.

1637.—August 25.
11. Letter from the Privy Council to the King.36

Most sacred Souerainge,

According to the warrand of your Maᵗⁱᵉˢ commandiment, wee haue beine most willing and redey to giue all concurrence and assistance to the Lordes of the clergie for the establishing of the seruice booke; and notwithstanding of that barbarous tumulte, occasioned alenerlie (for aney thing wee can learne) as zet, by a nomber of basse and rascally people, wee wer werey hopefull that in a shorte tyme, without aney furder trouble ore importunity to your Maiesty, to haue brought to practisse, by hauing appoynted a meitting of counsaill wpone the 25 of Aguste instant, in this extraordinarey tyme of vacance, expresly to thinke wpone the best expediencies for aduancing that seruice booke, wee fand ourselues far surpryssed by our expectation with the clamor and feares of your Maiesties subiects, from diuersse pairts and corners of the kingdome; and that euen from thesse quho hes hertofor otherwayes liued in obedience and conformitey to your Maiesties lawes, both in ecclesiasticall and ciuill bussines. And this wee fand to be ane matter of so heighe ane consequences, in respecte of the generall grudge and murmur of all sortes of people, for wrging of the practisse of the seruice booke, as the lyke has not beine hard at aney tyme; zet wee dar not delay it, nor conceile it from your Maiesty, not knowing quherwnto the samen may tend, and quhat effecte it may produce. Nather dare wee diue aney furder in the trayell of the causse of the saides feares and remedies thereof, vntill it shall pleis your Maiestie, in the deipnes of your judgement and royall wnderstanding, to prescryue the way, after heiring of all particulars, ather by calling some of your Maᵗⁱᵉˢ counsaile, or Lordes of the clergie, to your Maiesties auen presence; to the effecte that ane coursse may be takin for pacefing the present commotione, and establishing the said seruice booke, or otherwayes by such meines as your Maiesty, in your auen grate wisdome, shall thinke fitting. And wee haue appoynted the 20 of September for attending your Maiesties pleasur theranent, quhilke wee humbley, as becomes faithfull subiectes, and thosse quhom your Maiestiy hes honored with your royall commandiments, will follow and obey; and so, with all our most humble prayers for your Maiesties longe54 and prosperous rainge, wee humblie kisse your royall handes, from Edinbrughe, 25 of Aguste, 1637.

Traqhaire,   St Andrewes,
Roxbrughe,   Morton,
Perth,   Vigtone,
Lauderdaill,   Southescke,
Da: Edinbrughe,
Tho: Galloway,
Jo: Hay,   Ja: Carmichell,
  Thomas Hope,  
    Jo: Hamilton.

1637.—August 27.
12. Traquair’s Letter to the Marquis of Hamilton.37

My Noble Lord,

At the meeting of the Council here at Edinburgh the 23th of this instant, we found so much appearance of Trouble and Stir like to be amongst people of all qualities and degrees, upon the urging of this new Service-book, that we durst no longer forbear to acquaint his Majesty therewith, and humbly to represent both our Fears, and our opinions how to prevent the Danger; at least our opinions of the way we would wish His Majesty should keep therein, or before he determine what course to take for pacifying of the present Stir, or establishing of the Service-book hereafter; wherein all I will presume to adde to what the Council hath written, is to intreat your Lordship to recommend to his Majesty, that if he be pleased to call to himself any of the Clergie, he would make choice of some of them, of the wisest and most calm Dispositions; for certainly some of the leading men amongst them are so violent and forward, and many times without ground or true judgment, that their want of right understanding how to compass business of this nature and weight, does often breed us many difficulties, and their rash and foolish Expressions, and sometimes Attempts, both in private and publick, have bred such a Fear and Jealousie in the hearts of many, that I am confident, if His Majesty were rightly informed thereof, he would blame them, and justly think, that from this and the like proceedings arises the ground of many Mistakes amongst us. They complain that the former Ages have taken from them many of their Rents, have robb’d them of their Power and Jurisdiction, and even in the Church itself and Form of Gods Worship have brought in some things that require Reformation: but as the deeds of these Times, at least the beginnings thereof, were full of notour and tumultuary disorder, so shall I never think it will prove for the good either of Gods Service or the Kings, by the same ways or manner of dealing to press to rectifie what was then done amiss. We have a wise and judicious Master, who will (nor can) urge nothing in this poor Kingdom, which may not be brought to pass to his contentment: and I am most confident, if he shall be graciously pleased to hear his faithful Servants inform him of the Truth, he shall direct that which is just and right; and with the same assurance I dare promise him Obedience. The interest your Lordship has in this poor Kingdom, but more particularly the duty you owe to His Majesty, and the true respect I know you have ever carried to His Majesties Honour, and the good of his Service, makes me thus bold to acquaint your Lordship with this business, which in good faith is by the folly and misgovernment of some of our Clergie-men come to that height, that the like has not been seen in this kingdom for a long time. But I hope your Lordship will take in good part my true meaning, and ever construct favourably the actions of

Your loving faithful Friend, and 
humble Servant, 

Edinburgh, Aug. 27.

1637.—September 10.
13. Letter from the King to the Privy Council.38

Charles Rˣ,

Rᵗ trustie and weill beloued, &c. Wee have considered your letter, and wee find that our former directions haue produced werey shallow effectes; nather doe you heirby propone aney new expedient, bot onlie you desyre some of the clergie and layitie should be send for to deall with ws therin, wiche wee conceaue not to be fitt; and by a neidlesse noysse make it appeire, that ather wee have a werey slacke counsaill, ore bad subiects, wich wee will neuer beleiue, hauing had so good a prouffe of ther affectione heirtofor; bot rather wills, that a sufficient number of you attend still at Edinbrughe, or neir thereabout, during the vaccance tyme, till the seruice booke be settled. And wee are not weill satisfied nather with you nor our citty of Edinbrughe, that after the seruice wes read wpon the Sunday afternoone, it should haue beine intermitted immediately therafter, and that no delinquents that wer actores and accessories to that insolence and ryotte committed in the tumult that day, wer aney wayes censured, for terrifeinng of others from attempting the lyke; and it doeth lykwayes seime werey strange wnto ws, that the ministers of Edinbrughe hauing offred to begin the reeding of the seruice booke, prowyding they were secured from iniurey, and releiued by our said cittey of the said charge within a mounthe therafter, that the said offer was not accepted and performed; and it is our pleasure that euery bischope causse reid the said seruice booke within his auen dyocie, as the Bischopes of Rosse and Dumblaine haue alredy done. As lykwayes you causse warne our burrowes particularlie, that none of them make choysse of any magistrats, but suche as they will anssuer for ther conformity. So expectinge that you will extend the vttermost of your endewors, by doing quhat is necessarey, and preuenting aney inconwenient that may occur, that wee may haue a good compte with diligence, wee bid you fairweill from our courte at Ottlandes, 10 Septem: 1637.

1637.—September 20.
14. Act of Privy Council.39
Apud Edinbrughe, 20 Sept. 1637.

The quhilk day, the Lordes of secrett counsaill hauing hard and considered his Maiesties missiue and directione to them, concerning the seruice booke, the saides Lordes, for satisfaction of his royall pleasure signified therein, nominatts, appoynts and ordaines the Lord Chanceler, Thesaurer, the Earles of Vinton, Vigton, Southescke, the Bischopes of Edinbrughe and Galloway, the Clercke Register, Iustice Generall, Thesaurer Depute, Kinges Aduocat, Iustice Clerck, the Laird of Blackhall, ore aney seuin of them; the Lord Chanceler and Lord Thesaurer alwayes being tuo, not excluding aney of the 10, quho shall be pleased to be present, to attend55 ore resorte heir in this vaccance tyme, for performance of quhat his Maiesty, by his said letter, hes committed to our caire; lykwayes the Lordes suspendes to giue anssuer to ther petitione, giuen in this daye be noblemen, barons, ministers, burroughes and comons, aganist the seruice booke, wntil his Maiestie, after dew consideratione of the same shall signifie his gratious pleasure thereanent, wherewith the saides petitioners shall be tymeously acquainted; and quherof mentione was judicially made to the Earles of Sutherland and Wymes, in name of the rest of the petitioners, and for themselues. And wheras the Duck of Lennox, his Grace, has beine ane eare and eye wittnes to all that was moued or treatted off in consaile concerning that matter, and quho is presently to repaire to his Maiesties royall courte; the saides Lordes intreattes the Duckes Grace to remonstratt to his Maiestie the trew estait of the bussines, with the maney pressing difficulties occuring therin; and to sollicit his Maᵗⁱᵉˢ gratious resolution theranent; for wiche ordaines tuo or three of the pryme persones, wich the counsaile shall make choysse offe, with a roll and list of the rest, to be deliuered to the Duckes Grace, to be represented by him to his Maiesty at his fitting conuenience. Extractum, &c. sic subscribitur.

Ja: Prymrose. 

1637.—October 9.
15. Letter from the King to the Privy Council.40

Charles Rˣ,

Rᵗ Reuerend Father in God, &c. Wee greett you weeill. Wee haue seine the letter and petitions ze sent ws therwith, wiche wee thinke not fitt to ansuer at this tyme, bot will doe it quhen wee shall thinke fitt; and becausse wee are not resolued for the present quhen to doe it, wee command you to dissolue the meitting of this counsaile day, in so far as it does concerne this bussines; commanding them to repaire to ther auen duellings, wnder paine of horning, excepte such persons as shall make knowen to you just causse of stay, for ther particular affaires; and it is our furder pleasur, that you take especiall caire, and wsse your best endeuors, to find out and punishe the steires wpe of the lait tumulte at Edinbrughe and Glasgow; and so we bid you hartly fairweell, from our housse of Hampton Courte, 9 of October, 1637.

1637.—October 17.
16, 17, 18. Acts of Council.41
Apud Edinburgh 17. Octob. 1637.

Forasmuch as it hath pleased the Kings Majestie, upon divers good respects and considerations, to give warrant and direction to the Lords of his Majesties Privie Councell, for dissolving the meeting of this Councell day, in so farre as concerneth matters of the Church: And that everie one that hath come to attend this businesse, repaire to their owne dwellings, except such persons as shall make knowne to the said Lords of Councell just cause of stay for their particular affaires; Therefore the said Lords, according to his Majesties speciall warrant and direction sent unto them, have dissolved, and by the tenour hereof doe dissolve the meeting of this Councell day, in so farre as concernes the businesse above written; And ordaines a Maissar of Councell to passe to the Mercate Crosse of Edinburgh, and to make publication hereof; And to command everie one that hath come hither to attend this businesse, to repaire home to their owne dwellings within 24. houres after the publication hereof, except such persons as shall make knowne to the said Lords just cause of their further particular affaires in manner aforesaid, under the paine of Rebellion, and putting of them to the Horne; with certification to them, that if they faile they shall be denounced Rebels, and be put to the Horn, and all their moveable goods escheat to his Majesties use.

Apud Edinburgh 17. Octob. 1637.

Forasmuch as it hath pleased the Kings Majestie, upon divers great and good considerations knowne to his Majestie, to remove his Councell and Session from the Citie of Edinburgh to the Burgh of Dundie: And whereas it is inconvenient at this time to remove it so farre, his Majestie is graciously pleased that this next Session shall be holden at the Burgh of Linlithgow, and the next after the ordinarie vacants at the Burgh of Dundie: And there to remaine during his Majesties pleasure: And therefore the said Lords, according to his Majesties speciall direction, ordaines Maissars or Officers of Armes to passe and make publication hereof to all his Majesties good subjects by open Proclamation at all places needfull, whereby they can pretend no ignorance thereof, but may prepare themselves to attend at Linlithgow and Dundie accordingly.

Apud Edinburgh, Octob. 17. 1637.

Forasmuch as the Kings Majestie is credibly informed, that there is a certaine booke intituled, A Dispute against the English Popish Ceremonies, obtruded upon the Kirke of Scotland, and hath beene sent abroad and dispersed in this Kingdome, purposely to stirre the hearts and affections of the subjects from their due obedience and allegence: And therefore it hath pleased his Majestie to give order and direction to his Councell, that diligent inquirie and search be made for the said booke; And for this effect the said Lords ordaines letters to be directed to make intimation and publication to all his Majesties subjects, that such of them as have anie of the said bookes, bring in the same to the Lords of his Majesties Privie Councell betwixt the date of this Proclamation and the __________ day of ______________ And the said bookes being brought in, that the same be publikely burnt, certifying all his Majesties subjects if any of those bookes shall be found or knowne to have beene with any of them after the time aforesaid, that they shall incurre the like censure and punishment as the Authour may be found to deserve for any thing contained in that booke.

1637.—October 18.
19. Act of Council.42
At Haly-rud-house the 18 of Octob. 1637.

Forasmuch as a number of the Lords of his Majesties Privie Councell, as likewise the Towne Councell of Edinburgh, being this day conveened in their severall Judicatories for his Majesties speciall affaires and service, they were most rudely interrupted in the course of their proceedings, by a tumultuous gathering of the promiscuous and vulgar multitude, by whom his Majesties Councell and servants in an open way was shamefully environed: Which being a matter verie disgracefull to his Majesties Authoritie and lawfull Government, and which in the consequence thereof may produce dangerous effects,56 if the like bee not prevented in the time to come; Therefore the Lords of Secret Councell, according to the dutie of their place and charge incumbent unto them, Ordaines a Maissar of Councell to passe to the Mercate Crosse of Edinburgh, and there by open Proclamation to discharge all publike gatherings and convocations of his Majesties subjects within the Citie of Edinburgh, and upon the streets thereof; As likewise all private meetings tending to faction and tumult: And in his Majesties name and authoritie, to command and charge all his Majesties lieges and inhabitants within the said Citie, to containe themselves in peace and quietnesse; And for that effect to keepe their houses, except when their lawfull businesse doth otherwise call them, Under all highest paine and charge that by rigour of law can be inflicted upon the contraveeners of the premises in manner above expressed.

1637.—October 18.
20. Petition of the Men, Women, Children, and Servants of Edinburgh to the Lord Chancellor, against the Service Book.43

My Lord Chancellour,

Unto your Lordship humbly shewes, we, men, women, and children, and servants, indwellers within the Burgh of Edinburgh: That whereas we being urged with this Book of Service, and having considered the same, We finde many things therein so farre different from that forme of Gods publike worship universally received and professed within this Kingdome: And we Burgesses, being at our entrie and admission deeply sworne for the maintenance thereof, that now makes our hearts to tremble, and our weak consciences will not suffer us to imbrace and practise this urged Service: We have this long time past, winked at some former alterations, being put in hope that no further novations should follow. But now we being oppressed, with our just feares to see our selves deprived of that libertie in serving God which ever hath beene approved by Church and Kingdome: In place whereof we are now like to be constrained to imbrace another, which hath neither been agitated nor received either by generall Assemblie or Parliament: In such extremitie we are most humbly to supplicate your Lordship to consider our present estate, and that this businesse is a matter of so great weight and consequence as should not appeare to bee a needlesse noyse of simple women, but it is the absolute desire of all our hearts for preservation of true Religion amongst us, which is dearer to us than either estate or life: And therefore we do humbly crave, that as the rest of the Kingdome, so we may have a time to advise, and that your Lordship may find out some way whereby we may be delivered from the feare of this and all other innovations of this kinde, and have the happinesse to injoy the true Religion, as it hath beene by the great mercie of God reformed in this land, and authorised by his Majestie, who may long and prosperously Reigne over us: And your Lordships answer.

1637.—October 18.
21. Petition of the Noblemen, Gentrie, Ministers, Burgesses, and Commons to the Council against the Service Book and Book of Canons.44

My Lords of Secret Councell,

Unto your Lordships humbly shews; We Noblemen, Barons, Ministers, Burgesses, and Commons; That whereas we were in humble and quiet manner attending a gracious answer of our former supplications against the Service Book imposed upon us, and readie to shew the great inconveniences which upon the introduction thereof must ensue, we are, without any knowne desert, farre by our expectation, surprised and charged by publike Proclamation to depart out of the town within twentie foure houres thereafter, under paine of Rebellion; by which peremptorie and unusuall charge, out feares of a more severe and strict course of proceeding are augmented, and course of our supplication interrupted: wherefore we are constrained, out of the deep griefe of our hearts, humbly to remonstrate, that whereas the Arch-bishops and Bishops of this Realme, being intrusted by his Majestie with the government of the affaires of the Church of Scotland, have drawne up and set forth, and caused to be drawne up and set forth, and injoyned upon the subjects two Books; In the one whereof, called the Book of Common prayer, not onely are sowne the seeds of divers Superstitions, Idolatrie, and false doctrine, contrarie to the true Religion established within this Realme by divers Acts of Parliament; But also the Service Booke of England is abused, especially in the matter of Communion, by additions, subtractions, interchanging of words and sentences, falsifying of titles, and misplacing of Collects, to the disadvantage of Reformation, as the Romish Masse is, in the more substantiall points, made up therein, as we offer to instruct in time and place convenient, quite contrarie unto and for reversing the gracious intention of the blessed Reformers of Religion in England. In the other book called Canons and Constitutions for the government of the Church of Scotland, they have ordained, That whosoever shall affirme that the forme of worship inserted in the Booke of Common Prayer and administration of the Sacraments, whereof heretofore and now we most justly complaine, doth containe any thing repugnant to the Scriptures, or are corrupt, superstitious, or unlawfull in the service and worship of God, shall be excommunicated, and not be restored but by the Bishop of the place, or Archbishop of the Province, after his repentance and publicke revocation of this his wicked errour; Besides one hundred Canons moe, many of them tending to the reviving and fostering of abolished superstitions and errours, and to the overthrow of our Church Discipline established by Acts of Parliament, opening a doore for what further invention of Religion they please to make, and stopping the way which Law before did allow unto us for suppressing of errour and superstition; And ordaining, That where in any of the Canons there is no penalty expressly set down, the punishment shall be arbitrary as the Bishop shall think fittest: All which Canons were never seen nor allowed in any Generall Assembly, but are imposed contrary to order of law, appointed in this Realm for establishing Constitutions Ecclesiasticall; unto which two books, the foresaid Prelates have under trust procured his Majesties Royall hand and Letters Patents, for pressing the same upon his loyall subjects, and are the Contrivers and Devisers of the same, as doth clearly appeare by the Frontispice of the Book of Common Prayer, and have begun to urge the acceptance of the same, not onely by injunctions given in Provinciall Assemblies, but also by open Proclamation and charge of Horning, whereby we are driven in such straites as we must either by Processe of Excommunication and Horning suffer the ruine of our estates and fortunes, or else by breach of our Covenant with God, and forsaking the way of true57 Religion, fall under the wrath of God, which unto us is more grievous then death. Wherefore we being perswaded that these their proceedings are contrary to our gracious Sovereign his pious intention, who out of his zeale and Princely care of the preservation of true Religion established in this his ancient Kingdome, hath ratified the same in his Highnesse Parliament 1633. And so his Majestie to be highly wronged by the said Prelates, who have so farre abused their credit with so good a King, as thus to insnare his subjects, rend our Church, undermine Religion in Doctrine, Sacraments, and Discipline, move discontent between the King and his subjects, and discord between subject and subject, contrary to severall Acts of Parliament: We out of bound duty to God, our King and native Countrey, complain of the foresaid Prelates, humbly craving, that this matter may be put to tryall, and these our parties taken order with according to the lawes of the Realm; And that they be not suffered to sit any more as Judges, untill the cause be tryed and decided according to Justice. And if this shall seeme to bee to you a matter of higher importance then you will condescend unto, before his Majesty bee acquainted therewith, Then wee humbly supplicate that this our grievance and complaint may be fully represented to his Majestie, That from the influence of his Gracious Soveraigntie and Justice these wrongs may bee redressed, and we have the happinesse to injoy the Religion, as it hath beene reformed in this Land.

1637.—November 15.
22. Letter from the King to the Council.45

Charles Rˣ,

Rᵗ Reuerend Father in God, &c. Quheras ther are maney thinges at this tyme considerable for our seruice in that kingdome, wich wee cannot expresse at large be wreat wnto you, wee haue takin the occasion of our trustie and weill beloued cousin and counseller, the Earle of Roxbrughe, his repairing thither, that by him wee acquant you with our mynd, als far as wee haue conceaued fitting, vpone that wiche wee haue alredey hard from you. And it is oure pleasure, that in all thinges wich he shall communicat to you from ws, ather by word or wreat, concerning the present estait of that kingdome, you giue trust to him; and wee expecte, that in eurey thing wich you, or aney of you, haue found, ore shall find expedient for the vindicating of our honor, and quieting of the present disorders within that kingdome, ze will all giue that free aduice, and ioynt concurrence, wich wee are confident to receaue from our faithfull counsellers, quherof wee will be werey sensible, at most acceptable seruice done. Wee bid you fairweell, from our courte at Whithall, the 15 of Nouember, 1637.

1637.—December 7.
23. Proclamation at Linlithgow.46
Apud Linlithgow septimo Decemb. 1637.

For as much as the Kings Majestie, having seene the Petition presented to the Lords of his Majesties privie Councell, and by them sent up to his Majestie concerning the Service Book, determined to have taken the same into his Royall consideration, and to have given his gracious answer thereanent with all conveniencie: Like as his Majestie by his letters to his Councell of the date of the ninth of October last, did signifie his gracious resolution to the effect aforesaid. But since that time, his Majestie finding (farre contrarie to his expectation) that such disorderly, tumultuous and barbarous insolencies have beene committed within the Citie of Edinburgh upon the eighteenth of October last, to the great contempt of his Majesties Royall authoritie, by abusing his Majesties Councellors and Officers of State, with others bearing charge and authoritie under his Majestie within the said Citie: His Majestie in a just resentment of that foule indignitie, (wherein his Majesties Honour did so much suffer) hath beene moved to delay the signification of his Majesties gracious intention, in giving to his subjects such satisfactorie answers to their Petitions as in equitie might have been expected from so just and religious a Prince; But yet his Majestie being unwilling that his Loyall and faithfull subjects should be possessed with groundlesse and uncessarie doubts and feares, His Majestie is pleased out of his goodnesse to declare, like as by these presents hee declareth, That as he abhorreth all Superstition of Poperie, so he will be most carefull that nothing be allowed within his Majesties Dominions, but that which shall tend to the advancement of the true Religion, as it is presently professed within his most ancient Kingdome of Scotland: And that nothing is or was intended to be done therein against the laudable lawes of this his Majesties native Kingdome. And ordaineth publication to bee made hereof in forme as aforesaid.

1637.—December 21.
24. Speech of Lord Lowden to the Privy Council.47

After my Lord had, in all humility and submissiones, craued the Lordes of his Maiesties priuey counsaill, ther audience and patience, in respecte diuerse counsellors of the best sorte wer ther present, quho wer not acquanted with the progresse of the bussines; he declared the trew causse of the compirance of so grate a nomber of the nobility, gentrey, ministrie, and comons of all sortes ther, thus:—

My Lordes, (sayes he,) the subiecte of our complaint and contrawersie is religione, and lawes of the kingdome, wpone wiche dependethe bothe the weillfaire of the churche and comonwealthe, our condition of lyffe, our libertey and fortoune in this transitorey worlde, and the æternall happines in the lyffe to come; our deutie to Almightie God, the supreme King of Kinges, with our alledgeance and deutie to our soueraigne lord and master, the King’s Maiestie.

The matter of our regrate and griuance is, the alteratione of religione, in publicke forme of Gods worschipe, the most soleme action of ws all cretures in earth, wich by the innouvations complained off, is changed in doctrine, sacramentes and discipline, without and contrair to seuerall actes of parliament, and actes of nationall assemblies.

The innouations introduced, are chiffly the seruice booke, the booke of canons and constitutis, and the heighe commissione; in wich seruice booke are sowin the seedes of diuersse superstitions and heresies, that the Roman messe, in maney and substantiall poyntes, is made wpe therin; quhilke seruice booke and other nouations haue nather warrant of general assembly, nor of acte of parliament, bot contrarey to bothe, are introduced be the bischopes, quho haue caused sett fourthe ane booke of canons, quherin it is ordained, quhosoeuer shall affirme that the seruice booke containes aney thing58 erronious, shall be excommunicat; wich booke is the wsher and forrunner of the seruice booke printed therafter, quhilk by the bischopes conwayence was ratiffied by acte of parliament, and confirmed longe befor it was seine and printed, the bischopes for the tyme making wpe the counsaile, no nobleman being present ther quho did opposse it; and therafter by publick proclamatione cam fourth, chargeing all his Maᵗⁱᵉˢ subiects to conforme therto, as the onlie forme of Godes publicke worschipe to be wsed within the kingdome. After this the booke was printed, and as the booke was redey for the presse, letters of horning wer directed to charge the minister to bay the saides bookes for the wsse of the paroche, in Julij, wich moued them to giue in a bill of suspentione in Aguste follouing. The subiects finding themselues in the lyke danger, wnder one of tuo extremities, one being feared to be declared rebells and excommunicat one the one hand, ore forsaking the way of trew religione, one the other hand, contrarir to the sourne couenant with them, could find out no better meine, be ane legall and submissiue way, then to supplicat the Lordes of secret counsaile. Albeit thir innouations, by all thosse quho takes Gods worshipe to harte, doe wnderstand they wer contryuett to tend to the wtter ouerthrow of the trew religione, and laufull liberty of the subiectes. Zet to eschew the imputatione of factious conuocations and tumultous dealling, and to testifie ther loyalty to the King, they resolued to proceid in the most orderly way of supplicatting, by electinge one or tuo of the most grauest ministers in each presbyterey, and one or tuo descreitt gentlemen of each shyre, to prefer ther complaintes, remonstrances and griuances to the counsaile, by quhosse mediation the matter might be represented to the Kinges Maiestie, from quhosse justice, redresse was humblie craued and expected; and supplications at diuersse dyetts, giuen in name of the nobility, gentlemen, burrowes, and ministers, to that effecte, as the petitions themselues, that wich was giuen in the 23 of September, and that wpone the 18 of October, doeth cleirlie proport. At quhilke tyme, by warrant, appeirantly procured by the bischopes from his Maiestie, our supplicationes wer interrupted, and the counsaile at that tyme discharged to medle with churche bussines, and the supplicants to be discharged off the toune within 24 houres, wnder the paine of rebellione, wich feared them to giue in that supplicatione of the 18 of October, containing ane complaint aganist the bischopes, as contriuers, manteiners and vrgers of the booke. And the supplicants taking conweniencey of tyme, of the doune sitting of the sessione againe in Edinbrughe, the 15 of Nouember, commissioners wer chosen to attend his Maiesties anssuer, and doe quhat ells might conduce for furthering of ther lawfull desyres. The Earle of Roxbrughe being therafter sent from courte, did conweine the counsaile at Linlithgow, the 7 of September, quher ther was ane declaratione for the King, by oppin proclamatione at the mercat crosse of Edinbrugh, shouing that the Kinges Maiestie doethe abhore all superstitions of poprie, and wiolatione of the laudable lawes of the kingdome; and the supplicants wer desyred by the Earle of Roxbrughe and Traquair, Thesaurer, not to appeire at Linlithgow, wnder promisse that ther supplicatione should be judicially hard in counsaile the nixt weeke therafter, to the wich the counsaile wes appoynted to sitt at Dalkeithe; wher the commissioners and diuersse wther noblemen of good sorte, did attend the counsell to haue beine hard, bot wer postponit till the 21 of December.

After this relatione, he subsumed wpon the proclamatione, that thinges complined one wer superstitious, full of poprie and superstitione, and wiolatione of the lawes of the kingdome, quherwpon he groundit the supplicants confidence, to assist aganist the eiuells and the manteiners therof, seing his Maiestie, by proclamation, was cleired from authorizing the same.

After the forsaid relatione made by him, he presented a new bill, with a declinatour against the bischopes, and the double of the supplicatione presented the 23 of September, and 18 of October; and becausse no bischopes wer in the counsaile that day, some one quho remoued himselue befor the complainers cam in, he protested that the bischopes heirafter should not be permitted to sitt as ther iudges, wntill the causse was decydit, becausse they war parties, and albeit they be absent at this tyme, (said he,) zet they may be present at ane other tyme, and, possible both the most pairt of the counsaile and complainers shall be absent. The Chanceler with 6 or seuin other bischopes and coram of the counsaile, may determine vpone our causse and petitions, als weill as they passed ane acte of counsaile, for approuing the seruice booke befor it was ather printed or seine, which acte, wee persuade ourselues had neuer beine passed, if ather ther had beine a frequent counsaile, or if the bischopes had not beine predominant ingredientes at that tyme.

After this, he said, our desyres tend to no other end bot the præseruation of trew religion, the saluatione of our soules, and the subiectes lawfull liberties; and quher wee craue the matter to be trayed, and the bischopes and prælats delinquent takin order with according to iustice, wee nather craue ther blood, nore harme to ther persones; bot that the abusses and wronges done by them may be trewlie remonstrat to his Maiesty, that after dew trayell of the wronges, such order may be takin as the eiuells may be remedit; and that the power wich they haue takin may be restrained, that the lyke eiuells may be preuented in tyme to come.

Loudoun thus hauing endit his speach, Traquair, the Thesaurer, preceiding in counsaile, acknouledged the treuthe of the relatione and equity of the petition, and so remoued the parties complainers. It past to interloquitor, and thereafter in ane acte.

1637.—December 24.
25. Act of Council.48

The Lordes of secrett counsaile, hauing heard and considered the tuo suplications and petitions giuen in by the noblemen, barrons, ministers and burgeses, and finding the matter in them conteinned to be of that waight and importance, that they cannot determine therein wntill his Maiestie be acquanted with the same, and his royall pleasur returned theranent. Therfor, the saides Lordes, for anssuer to the tuo suplications and petitions, declared that they present the same to his Maiesties royall consideratione, and that without prejudice of the declinator giuen in by the saides suplicants, quherwpon they shall be hard in tyme and place conuenient; and in the meane tyme shall receaue no præiudice: quherwpone the saides supplicants asked instruments.5949

1638.—February 19.
26. Proclamatian at Stirling.50

Charles by the grace God, King of great Britaine, France, and Ireland, defender of the faith, &c. To Our Lovits, &c.

Our Sheriffes in that part conjunctly and severally, specially constituted, greeting. For as much as Wee out of Our Princely care of maintenance of the true Religion already professed, and for beating downe of all superstition, having ordained a Book of Common prayer to be compiled for the generall use and edification of Our subjects within Our ancient Kingdome of Scotland, the same was accordingly done: In the performing whereof, We took great care and paines; So as nothing past therein but what was seene and approved by Us, before the same was either divulged or printed, assuring all Our loving subjects, that not onely Our intention is, but even the verie Book will be a readie meanes to maintaine the true Religion alreadie professed, and beat out all Superstition; Of which We in Our owne time do not doubt but in a faire course to satisfie Our good subjects. But having seene and considered some Petitions and Declarations given in to Our Councell against the said Book and late Canons of the Church, We find Our Royall Authority much injured thereby, both in the matter and in the carriage thereof; whereby We conceive these of Our Nobility, Gentrie, Burroughs, Ministers, and others, who kept and assisted these meetings and Convocations for contriving and forming the said Petitions, or who have subscribed the same, to deserve and bee liable to Our high censure, both in their persons and fortunes, as having conveened themselves without either Our consent or authoritie; Yet because Wee beleeve that what they have done herein is out of a preposterous zeale, and not out of any disloyaltie or disaffection to Soveraigntie, We are graciously pleased in so farre as concernes these meetings for consulting or subscribing of these Petitions, or presenting the same to any Judge or Judges in Our said Kingdome, to dispense therewith, and with what may bee their fault or errour therein, to all such as upon signification or declaration of Our pleasure shall retire themselves as becometh good and dutifull subjects: To which purpose Our will is, and We charge you straightly, and commands, that incontinent these Letters seene, you passe, and in Our name and authoritie make intimation hereof, to all Our lieges and subjects, by open Proclamation at all places needfull, wherethrough none pretend ignorance thereof; And therewith also, That you in Our name and authoritie discharge all such convocations and meetings in time comming, under the paine of treason: And also that you command, and charge, and inhibit all our lieges and subjects, that none of them presume nor take in hand to resort nor repaire to Our Burgh of Sterling, nor to no other Burgh, where Our Councell and Session sits, till first they declare their cause of comming to our Councell, and procure their warrant to that effect. And further, that you command and charge all and sundrie Provosts, Bailiffes, and Magistrates within Burgh, That they and everie one of them have a speciall care and regard to see this Our Royall will and pleasure really and dutifully obeyed in all points; And that no violation thereof be suffered within their bounds, under all highest paine, crime, and offence that they may commit against Us in that behalfe. As also that you command and charge all and sundrie Noblemen, Barons, Ministers and Burrowes, who are not actuall indwellers within this Our Burgh, and are not of the number of the Lords of our privie Councell and Session, and members thereof, and are already within this Our Burgh, that they, and everie one of them, remove themselves, and depart and passe forth of Our said Burgh, and returne not againe, without the warrant aforesaid, within six houres after the publication hereof, under the said paine of treason. And as concerning any Petitions that hereafter shall be given unto Us, upon this or any other subject, Wee are likewise pleased to declare, that We will not shut Our ears therefrom; so that neither the matter nor forme be prejudiciall to Our Regall Authoritie. The which to do We commit to you, conjunctly and severally, Our full power by these Our Letters, delivering the same by you duely execute and indorsed againe to the bearer. Given under Our Signet at Sterling the nineteenth day of February, And of Our Reigne the thirteenth yeere, 1638.

Per actum Secreti Concilii. 

1638.—February 19.
27. Protestation by Lords Hume and Lindsay.51

For God and the King.

We Noblemen, Barons, Ministers, Burrowes, appointed to attend his Majesties answer to our humble Petition and complaint, and to preferre new grievances, and to do what else may lawfully conduce to our humble desires; That whereupon the 23. of September last, wee presented a Supplication to your Lordships, and another upon the 18. of October last, and also a new Bill relative to the former upon the 19. of December last, and did therein humbly remonstrate our just exceptions against the Service Book, and Book of Canons; and also against the Archbishops and Bishops of this Kingdome, as the contrivers, maintainers, and urgers therof, and against their sitting as our Judges untill the cause be decided; earnestly supplicating withall to bee freed and delivered from these and all other innovations of that kinde, introduced against the laudable Lawes of this Kingdome; as that of the High Commission, and other evils particularly mentioned, and generally contained in our foresaid supplications and complaints, and that this our partie delinquent against our Religion and Lawes may be taken order with, and these pressing grievances may be taken order with and redressed according to the Lawes of this Kingdome, as by our said supplications and complaints more largely doth appeare: With the which on the 19. of December last, we gave in a Declinator against the60 Arch-bishops and Bishops as our parties, who by consequence could not be our Judges; whereupon your Lordships declared by your Act at Dalkeith the said 19. of December, that you would present our Petitions to his Majesties Royall consideration, and that without prejudice of the Declinator given in by us the said supplicants; whereupon we should be heard at place and time convenient, And in the mean time should receive no prejudice, as the said Act in it selfe beareth. And whereas we your Lordships supplicants with a great deale of patience, and hope also, grounded on sundry promises, were expecting an answer to these our humble desires, and having learned that upon some directions of His Majesties anent our supplications and complaint unto your Lordships of the Secret Councell, your Lordships admits to the consulting and judging anent our supplications, and His Majesties answere thereunto, the Archbishops and Bishops our direct parties, contrarie to our Declinator first propounded at Dalkeith, and now renewed at Sterling; and contrarie to your Lordships Act aforesaid at Dalkeith, and contrarie to our Religion and Lawes, and humble supplications. Therefore lest our silence be prejudiciall to this so important a cause, as concernes Gods glorie and worship, our Religion, Salvation, the Lawes and Liberties of this Kingdome, or derogatorie to the former supplications and complaints, or unanswerable to the trust of our Commission; out of our bound dutie to our God, our King and native Countrey, we were forced to take instruments in Notaries hands, of your Lordships refusall to admit our Declinator, or remove these our Parties, and to protest in manner following: First, That we may have our immediate recourse to our sacred Soveraign, to present our grievances, and in a legall way to prosecute the same before the ordinarie competent Judges, Civill or Ecclesiasticall, without any offence offered by us, or taken by your Lordships. Secondly, We protest that the said Archbishops and Bishops, our Parties complained upon, cannot be reputed or esteemed lawfull Judges to sit in any Judicatorie in this Kingdome, Civill or Ecclesiasticall, upon any of the supplicants, untill after lawfull tryall judicially they purge themselves of such crimes as we have already laid to their charge, offering to prove the same whensoever His Sacred Majestie shall please to give us audience. Thirdly, We protest that no Act nor Proclamation to follow thereupon, past, or to be past in Councell or out of Councell, in presence of the Archbishops and Bishops, whom we have already declined to be our Judges, shall any wayes be prejudiciall to us the supplicants, our persons, estates, lawfull meetings, proceedings, or pursuits. Fourthly, We protest that neither we nor any whose heart the Lord moveth to joine with us in these our supplications against the foresaid Innovations, shall incurre any danger, in life, lands, or any Politicall or Ecclesiasticall paines, for not observing such Acts, Bookes, Canons, Rites, Judicatories, Proclamations, introduced without or against the Acts of Generall Assemblies, or Acts of Parliament, the Statutes of this Kingdome; But that it shall be lawfull for us or them to use our selves in matters of Religion of the externall worship of God and Policie of the Church, according to the word of God, and laudable Constitutions of this Church and Kingdome, conforme to His Majesties Declaration the ninth of December last. Fifthly, Seeing by the legall and submisse way of our former supplications, all who takes these Innovations to heart, have been kept calme and carried themselves in a quiet manner, in hope of redresse; We protest, that if any inconvenience shall happen to fall out (which we pray the Lord to prevent) upon the pressing of any of the foresaid Innovations of evils, specially or generally contained in our former supplications and complaints, and upon your Lordships refusall to take order thereanent, the same be not imputed to us, who most humbly seeks all things to be reformed by an Order. Sixthly, We protest that these our requests, proceeding from conscience and a due respect to His Majesties honour, doe tend to no other end, but to the preservation of the true reformed Religion, the lawes and liberties of this His Majesties most ancient Kingdome, and satisfaction of our most humble desires contained in our supplication and complaint, according to his Majesties accustomed goodnesse and justice, from which we doe certainly expect that His Sacred Majestie will provide and grant such remedie to our just petitions and complaints, as may be expected from so gracious a King toward most loyall and dutifull subjects, calling for redresse of so pressing grievances, and praying to God that his Majestie may long and prosperously reigne over us.

1638.—March 3.
28. Instructions from his Majesties Council to the Lord Justice-Clerk, whom they have ordained to go to Court for his Majesties service.52

In the first, you are to receaue from the clercke of the counsaile all the actes since our meitting one the 1 of Marche instant.

Item, you haue to represent to his Maᵗⁱᵉ, that this dayet of counsaile was appoynted to be keipt solemley, by adwisse of the Lord Chanceler and remanent Lordes of the clergie, beinng at Edinbrughe for the tyme, quo assurid ws that they wold keepe the dayett preceisly; bot at our meitting at Stirlinge, wee receaued a letter of excusse from the Lord Chanceler, wich forced ws to proceid without his presence, or aney other of the Lordes of the clergie, except the Bischope of Brechin, quho attendit with ws three dayes, bot remoued befor the closinge of our oppinion anent the bussines.

Item, imediatly after wee had resolued to directe you with a letter of trust to his Maiestie, wee did send our letter to the Lord Chanceler, acquanting him with our proceidinges, and desyring him to consider therof, and if he approued the same, to seinge them, and causse the remanent Lordes of the clergie, being ewest to him, and namlie, the Bischope of Brechin, quho was ane eare and eye wittnes to our consultations, to signifie the same to his Maiestie, and by his letter to signifie hes approbation therof; or if his Lordschipe did find aney other way more conuenient for his Maiesties honor, and peace of the countrey, that his Lordschipe, by his letter to the (L’s) Thesaurer and Priuey Seall, wold acquant them therwith, to the effecte they might conweine the counsaile for consulting theranent.

Item, that ze show to his Maiestie, that the counsaile, all in one woyce, findes, that the causse of the generall combustion in the countrey, are the fears apprehendit of the innouation of religion and discipline of the kirke, established by the lawes of the kingdome, by occasione of the seruice booke, booke of canons, and heighe commission, and formes of introduction therof.

Item, you are to represent to his Maᵗⁱᵉ our humble oppinions, that seing, as wee conceaue, the seruice booke, booke of canons, and heighe commission, (as is sett doune) are the occasione of this combustion;61 and that the subiects offers them to proue, wpone perrill of ther liues and fortuns, to cleir that the said seruice booke, and wthers forsaides, conteine diuersse poyntes contrarey to the trew religion presently professed, and lawes of the kingdome, in matter and maner of introduction; that the Lordes thinkes it expedient, that it be represented to his Maiesties gratious consideratione, that his Maiestie may be pleassid to declare, as ane acte of his singular iustice, that his Maiestie will take trayell of his subiects griuances, and reasons therof, in his auen tyme, and in his auen way, according to the lawes of the kingdome; and that his Maiestie may be pleassed gratiously to declaire, that in the meane tyme he will not presse nor vrge his subiectes therwithe, notwithstanding of aney acte or warrand made in the contrarey.

And in caisse his Maiesty shall be gratiouslie pleassed to approue of our oppinions, you are therafter to represent to his Maiesties wysse and gratious consideratione, if it shall be fitting to consulte his Maiesties counsaile, or some suche of them as he shall be pleased to call, ore allow to be sent from the table, both anent the tyme and way of doing.

Item, if his Maiestie (as God forbid) shall dislyke of quhat wee conceaue to be most conducing to his Maiesties seruice and peace of the kingdome, you are to vrge by all the arguments you can, that his Maiestie doe not determine vpone aney other coursse, wntill some at least of his counsaile from this be hard to giue the ressons of ther opinions; and in this caisse you are lykwayes to represent to his Maiesties consideratione, if it shall not be fitting and necessar to call for his informers, togider with some of his counsaile, that in his auen presence he may haue the reasons of both informations fully delatted.

Item, you shall show to his Maiestie, that his counsaile, hauing takin to ther consideratione quhat furder was to be done, for compessing and settling the present combustion within the kingdome, and dissipatinge of the conuocations and gatheringes within the samen, seing that proclamations are alredey made and published, discharging all suche conuocations and wnlawfull meittinges, the (L’s) after debaitting, findes they can doe no furder then is alredey done heirin, wntill his Maiesties pleasur be returned to thir our humble remonstrances.

1638.—March 5.
29. Letter from Traquair and Roxburgh to the King.53

Most Sacred Soveraign,

Although the miserable Estate of this poor Kingdome will be sufficiently understood by Your Majesty from this Gentleman, Sir John Hamilton’s Relation, yet we conceive our selves in a special manner bound and obliged to represent what we conceive does so nearly concern Your Majesties Honour and Service; and therefore give us leave truly and faithfully to tell Your Majesty, that since the last Proclamation, the fear of Innovation of Religion is so apprehended by all sorts of Subjects from all corners of this Kingdom, that there is nothing to be seen here but a general Combustion, and all men strengthening themselves by subscribing of Bonds, and by all other means for resisting of that which they seem so much to fear. This is come to such a height, and daily like to increase more and more, that we see not a probability of Force or Power within this Kingdom to repress this Fury, except Your Majesty may be graciously pleased, by some Act of Your Own, to secure them of that which they seem so much to apprehend, by the inbringing of the Books of Common-Prayer and Canons.

The way which the Subjects have taken and daily go about in the prosecution of their business is inexcusable, and no ways agreeable to the duty of good Subjects, but Your Majesty is wisely to consider what is the best and safest course for Your Own Honour and Peace of Your Government; and since Religion is pretended to be the cause of all, if it shall not be a safe course to free them at this time of Fears, by which means the wiser sort will be satisfied, and so Your Majesty enabled with less pain or trouble to overtake the Insolencies of any, who shall be found to have kicked against Authority.

We are the rather moved at this time to be of this opinion, that having found it the opinion, not only of those to whom Your Majesty wrote in particular, (except of the Marquis of Huntley, who as yet is not come from the north:) but of most of the Noblemen, and men of respect within this Kingdom: we find few or none well-satisfied with this business, or to whom we dare advise Your Majesty to trust in the prosecution thereof; and if any have, or shall inform Your Majesty to the contrary, give us leave humbly to intreat Your Majesty, to be pleased to call them before Your Self, that in our presence You may hear the reasons of both Informations fully debated. So praying God to grant Your Majesty many happy days, and full contentment in all your Royal designs, we humbly take our leave, and rest,

Your Majesties humble Servants,   
and faithful Subjects, 

Sterlin March 5. 1638.

1638.—March 5.
30. Letter from the Council to Marquis of Hamilton.54

Our very Honourable Good Lord,

We finding the Subjects Fears and Stirs to encrease since the last Proclamation, did appoint by the Lord Chancellour, and other Lords of the Clergy, their Special Advice, a solemn Dyet of Council to be kept at Sterlin, on the first of March, where the Lord Chancellour, and other Lords of the Clergie, promised to be present to consult upon the growth of the publick Evils and Remedies thereof, for His Majesties Honour and Peace of this Country; but having met at Sterlin, we received a Letter of Excuse from the Lord Chancellour, and were forced to proceed without him, and the other Lords of the Clergy; where, after we had spent four days in advising upon the said Evils and Remedies of them, we resolved in end to direct Sir John Hamilton of Orbiston, one of our number, with a Letter of Trust from us to His Majesty, to whom we have imparted our Opinions, and Reasons of the said publick Ills, and Remedies of the same, to be represented to His Sacred Majesty; and because the business is so weighty and important, that in our opinion the Peace of the Country was never in so great hazard, we have thought fit to recommend the business to your Lordships consideration, that after your Lordship has heard the Justice-Clerk therein, your Lordship according to your great interest in His Majesties Honour and Peace of the Kingdom, may62 concur by your best advice and assistance at His Majesties hands to bring these great and fearful Ills to a happy event. So committing your Lordship to the Grace of God, we rest
Your Lordships very good Friends,

Traquair Lauderdale Napier
Roxburgh Southesk J. Hay
Winton Angus Tho. Hope
Perth Lorn J. Carmichael
Wigton Down W. Elphinston
Kinghorn Elphinston  
Sterlin March 5. 1638.

1638.—March 27.
31. Demands by the Covenanters given to Traquaire.55

First, It is certaine that the present not wrging or present discharging of the seruice booke, the booke of canons, and off the last heighe comissione, cannot satisfie our supplications, complaints, protestatione and cofession, cannot remeed the present eiuills, nor prewine the lyke in time coming.

2. Experience showeth the necessity, that this kirke must be assured, by ane acte of free generall assembley, and of ane parliament, that shoe shall neuer be vrged heirafter with aney alteratione in poyntes of doctrine, diwyne worschipe, or churche gouerniment, bot that wich shall be first aggreid wpon in a lawfull and free generall assembly, wich is order appoynted be God, obserued and præscribed in this churche since the reformatione, and the principall meine to giue satisfactione to all mens myndes in matters of religion, as far so as is possible.

3. Pastors and professors can neuer be free of troubles or feares, so long as the terror of the heigh commission standes ouer ther heades, wich cannot be limitted, bot quyte discharged.

First, Becausse it was introduced and exercissed, not only with the lawes of this kirke and kingdome, bot aganist the expresse acte of bothe.

2. It is [a] courte of ciuile and ecclesiasticke persons, hauing pouer to inflicte both spirituall and temporall paines, and therfor, being in the constitutione therof wnlawfull, cannot be qualified with aney limitations.

3. A commissione for ecclesiasticke persons to inflicte spirituall censures, cannot proceid from the King, bot from the generall assembley of the kirke: and a comissione to ciuile persons to inflicke temporall paines for ecclesiastick causes, cannot proceid bot from the parliament, at the desyre of the assemblies.

4tly. It subuerteth all other judicatories of this kirke and realme, and indangereth the liberties, estaites and persons of the quholl leidges.

4o. The vrginge of the artickeles of Perth, wnder ecclesiasticke and ciuile paines, hath caussed grate trouble and dissention in the kirk, made way for all ther subsequent innouations and superstitions, and zet is nather warranted be the acte of assembley, wich doeth nather conteine aney penaltie, nor inoyn’d by way of præcept, necessarly to be obayed, bot by way of counsaile, freelie to be obserued; and that wpone this ressone, seing all memorey of bygaine superstitione is past, wich being anima legis, inferreth via contrariorum, by way of contraries, the necessity of our not obseruing, seing the memorey of bygaine superstition is now reuiued and pressed, according to the last claus of the 21 artickell of our large Confession of Faith, ratified in parliament, and according to our promise in our lait confession; nather is it zet warranted by the actes of parliament, wich doeth ratifie the actes of this assembley, without aney desyre from the kirke; zea, contrarey to the suplications and protestations of maney godlie and learnid of the ministrie, bot neuer intendit, nor could change the free voluntarey obseruance in matters ecclesiasticke of ane churche counsaile, wnto the necessarey obedience of a penall statute, and therfor the vrging of the Perth artickells must ceasse and desist.

5o. Ther is no appirance of staying the present commotions and combustions in the kingdome, of satisfieing the Kinges honor and mynd, misinformed by our aduersaries, nor of cleiring of the subiects pious loyaltie, in ther legall and peacefull proceidinges, from all calumnies and misconstructions, accept in a free generall assemblie; the present archbischopes and bischopes, the authors and causse of all the innowations compleined vpon, and of all misinformations aganist the compleiners, be trayed and censsured according to the actes of the generall assembley; for it is aganist all law and reasone, that they should be, without dew censure, suffred to reuelle at ther pleasure; and ther auen acte of the assembley at Glasgow, quherby they haue ther pouer appoynted them, to be censured in ther lyffe, office and benefice, by the generall assembly, sick-lyke that ministers be trayed in ther office and conuersatione, and censured according to the actes of the assembley.

6o. For keiping the purity of religion in this kirk, and establishing a firme peace in this kingdome in tyme coming, generall assemblies must be haldin at the ordinarey tyme, for the commissioners appoynted by K. James for the assemblie, at Linlithgow, 1606, and wthers acquanted withe his Maiesties intentions, declaire that his Maiesty was neuer of ane other mynde, bot that the holding generall assemblies at certane competent tymes, was and is a most necessarey meine for preseruation of piety and vnion in the kirke, and for exterminatione of heresie and schisime, (quhilk our dolefull experience, and innumerable eiuells follouing wpon vant therof, doeth wndenayablie confirme); and therfor it was his will, that the acte of parliament should stand in force for conweinng the generall assembley once in the zeire, lyke as it was acknouledged in the afforsaid assembly of Glasgow, 1610, that the necessity of the kirke did craue, that for taking order with the common enimney, and for other affaires of the kirke, ther be zeirlie generall assemblies, and therfor that assembley requysted his Maiestie, that generall assemblies might be haldin once in the zeire, ore at least at sett tymes, in all tyme coming.

7o. The least can be sought for the present concerning ministers wotters in parliament, is, that they be limitted by the particular caueatts aggreid one in the assemblie, 1600, at Montrose, and by aney other cautions to be made, as the assembley shall thinke meitt and necessarey, (from oure 37 zeires experience of the fruittes and consequences thereof,) as it was appointed at that tyme; for so longe as they wotte in parliament, absolutly without the limitation of ther cautions, they can neuer be thought to wotte in name of the kirke.

8o. Ther can be no houpe of continuance of religione in the kirke, (altho wee are deliuered from all other eiuells) except some better coursse be takin for the free entrey of ministers, without wnlawfull othes, and with the consent of the presbeteries and of the people; for this end it wold be remembred, that it was declared, acte 114, parl. 1592, that God63 had giuen to the spirituall office bearirs of the kirke, colatione and depriuatione of ministers, and therfor the commission granted to bischopes, in Aᵒ 1584, to receaue the presentatione to benifices, wes declared to be null in all tyme coming; and it was ordained, that all presentations to benefices be directed to particular presbeteries in all tyme coming, with full pouer to giue colatione therwpone, they being the lawfull office bearirs of the kirke, to quhom God hath giuen that right, wich therfor nather was nor can be takin from them absolutly, nor giuen to bischopes exclusiue.

1638.—March 27.
32. Letter by the Covenanters to each of the Lords of Privy Councel.56

May it please your Lordship,

Wee the Ministers of the Gospel, conveened at this so necessarie a time, doe finde our selves bound to represent, as unto all, so in speciall unto your Lordship, what comfortable experience we have of the wonderfull favour of God, upon the renewing of the Confession of faith and Covenant, what peace and comfort hath filled the hearts of all Gods people, what resolutions and beginnings of reformation of manners are sensibly perceived in all parts of the kingdome, above any measure that ever we did finde or could have expected, how great glorie the Lord hath received thereby, and what confidence we have (if this sunshine be not eclipsed by some sinfull division or defection) that God shall make this a blessed kingdome, to the contentment of the Kings Majestie, and joy of all his good subjects, according as God hath promised in his good Word, and performed to his people in former times; And therefore we are forced from our hearts both to wish and entreat your Lordship to be partaker and promover of this joy and happinesse by your subscription, when your Lordship shall thinke it convenient: And in the meane while, that your Lordship would not be sparing to give a free testimonie to the truth, as a timely and necessarie expressione of your tender affection to the cause of Christ now calling for helpe at your hands: your Lordships profession of the true Religion as it was reformed in this land, the nationall oath of this kingdome sundry times sworne and subscribed, ablishing us who live at this time, the dutie of a good Patriot, the office and trust of a Privie Councellour, the present employment to have place amongst those that are first acquainted with his Majesties pleasure, the consideration that there is the time of tryall of your Lordships affection to Religion, the respect which your Lordship hath unto your fame both now and hereafter, when things shall be recorded to posteritie, and the remembrance, that not onely the eyes of men and Angels are upon your Lordships carriage, but also that the Lord Jesus is a secret witnesse now to observe, and shall be an open Judge hereafter to reward and confesse everie man before his Father, that confesseth him before men: All of these and each of them, besides your Lordships personall and particular obligations to God, doe call for no lesse at your Lordships hands, in the cause of so great and singular necessitie; and we also doe expect so much at this time, according as your Lordship at the houre of death would be free of the terrour of God, and be refreshed with the comfortable remembrance of a word spoken in season for Christ Jesus, King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

1638.—April 28.
33. Articles for the present Peace of the Kirk and Kingdom of Scotland, signed by Rothes, Cassils, and Montrose.57

If the Question were about such matters as did come within the compass of our own power, we would be ashamed to be importunate, and should be very easily satisfied without the smallest trouble to any; but considering that they are the matters of Gods honour, of the Kingdom of Christ, and the peace of our Souls, against the Mystery of Iniquity, which we clearly perceive to have been uncessantly working in this Land since the Reformation, to the ruine of true Religion in the end; it cannot stand with our duty to God, to our King, to our Selves and Posterity, to crave or be content with less, than that which the word of God, and our Confession of Faith doth allow, and which may against our Fears establish Religion afterwards.

I. The discharging of the Service-Book, the Book of Canons, and of the late High Commission, may be a part of the satisfaction of our humble Supplications, and just Complaints, which therefore we still humbly desire; but that can neither be a perfect Cure of our present Evils, nor can it be a preservative in time to come.

II. When it is considered what have been the Troubles and Fears of his Majesties most loyall Subjects from the High Commission, what is the nature and constitution of that Judicatory, how prejudicial it proves to the lawful Judicatories of the Kirk and Kingdom, how far it endangers the Consciences, Liberties, Estates and Persons of all the Lieges, and how easily, and far more contentedly all the Subjects may be keeped in order, and obedience to His Majesties just Laws, without any terrour of that kind; we look that his Majesties Subjects, who have been used to obey according to the Laws, shall be altogether delivered from the High Commission, as from a yoke and burden, which they feel and fear to be more heavy than they shall be ever able to bear.

III. Remembring by what wayes the Articles of Perth were introduced, how strangely and with what opposition they were carried in the Assembly, upon what Narrative they were concluded, how the Ratification in Parliament was not desired by the Kirk, but earnestly supplicated and protested against, how they have been introductory of the Service-Book, whereof now they are become Members, and in their nature make way for Popery, (whatsoever hath been the intentions of the Urgers;) and withall, what Troubles and Divisions they have caused these twenty years in this Kirk and Kingdom, and what Jealousies between the Kings Majesty and His Subjects, without any Spiritual profit or edification at all; as we can see no reason why they should be urged by Authority, so can we not find, but we shall be more unable to digest them than in the beginning, when we had not as yet tasted, and known how bitter and unwholsome they were.

IV. The Judgements of the best Divines of the Reformed Kirks, and of the most Pious and Learned of this Kirk since the Reformation, concerning the Civil Places and Offices of Kirkmen, and concerning the Vote of Ministers in Parliament, have been made known in divers generall Assemblies; which moved the Assemblies of this Kirk, when they could not by their modest opposition prevail to limit the Ministers that were to Vote in Parliament, by any64 particular Cautions agreed upon at first, and ordained to be inserted in the Act of Parliament, and by other Cautions to be made afterward, as the Assembly should find meet and necessary; and, therefore, if we will declare our minds, after lamentable experiences of the Evils which were then foreseen, feared, and foretold, we cannot see how Ministers voting in Parliament, absolutely without the limitation of these Cautions, can be thought fit to Vote in the name of the Kirk.

V. We have no Grievance more universal, more ordinary, and more pressing, than that worthy men, who have Testimonies of their Learning from Universities, and are tried by the Presbyteries to be qualified for the Work of the Ministery, and for their Life and Gifts earnestly desired by the whole People, are notwithstanding rejected because they cannot be persuaded to Subscribe and Swear such unlawful Articles and Oaths, as have neither warrant of the Acts of the Kirk, nor Laws of the Kingdom, and others of less worth, and ready to swear for base respects, unworthy to be mentioned, are obtruded upon the People, and admitted to the most eminent Places of the Kirk, and Schools of Divinity, which causes continual Complaints, makes the People run from their own Kirks, refuse to receive the Sacrament at the hands of the Ministers set over them against their hearts, or to render them that Honour which is due from the People to their Pastors, and is a mighty hindrance to the Gospel, to the Souls of the People, and to the Peace of the whole Kirk and Kingdom; all which might be easily helped, by giving place to the 114 Act of Parliament, 1592, declaring, That God hath given to the Spiritual Office-bearers of the Kirk Collation and Deprivation of Ministers, and ordaining that all Presentations to Benefices be directed to particular Presbyteries in all time coming, with full power to give Collation thereupon, they being the lawful Office-bearers of the Kirk, to whom God hath given that right; which therefore, never was nor can be taken from them, and so conferred upon others, at that they shall be quite secluded therefrom.

VI. The lawful and free National Assemblies of this Kirk, warranted by Divine Authority, ratified by Acts of Parliament, keeped in other Reformed Kirks, and in this Kirk since the Reformation, and acknowledged by King James to be the most necessary means for preservation of Piety and Union, and for extermination of Heresie and Schism, (who willed, therefore, that the Act of Parliament for convening the General Assemblies once in the year should stand in force;) if they were revived, and by His Majesties Authority appointed to be keeped at the ordinary times, and if one at His Majesties first opportunity, and so soon as may be conveniently, should be indicted, Kirkmen might be tried in their Life, Office, or Benefice, and keeped in order without trouble to His Majesty, and without offence to the People, the present Evils might be speedily helped, to His Majesties great honour and content, and to the preservation of the Peace of the Kirk, and these courses might be stopped afterwards: and on the contrary, while Kirkmen escape their due Censure, and matters of the Worship of God are imposed without the consent of the free Assemblies of the Kirk, they will ever be suspected to be unsound and corrupt, as shunning to be tried by the Light, to the continual entertaining of heart-burnings amongst the People, and to the hindrance of that cheerfulness of obedience which is due, and from our Hearts we wish may be rendred to the Kings Majesty.

VII. If according to the Law of Nature and Nations, to the Custom of all other Kingdoms, and the laudable example of His Majesties worthy Progenitors, in the like cases of National Grievances, or of Commotions and Fears of a whole body of a Kingdom, his Majesty should be graciously pleased to call a Parliament, for the timeous hearing and redressing of the just Grievances of the Subjects, for removing of their common Fears, and for renewing and establishing such Laws, as in time coming may prevent the one and the other, and may serve to the good of the Kirk and the Kingdom, that the Peace of both might be firmly settled, and mens minds now so awakened might be easily pacified; and all our Tongues and Pens are not able to represent, what would be the joyful Acclamations and hearty Wishes of so loyal and loving a People, for His Majesties Happiness, and how heartily bent all sorts would be found to bestow their Fortunes and Lives in His Majesties Service.

VIII. The more particular Notes of all things expedient for the well of the Kirk and Kingdom, for His Majesties honour and satisfaction, and for extinguishing of the present Combustion, may be given in to be considered in the Assembly and Parliament.

1638.—April 28.
34. Articles of Information to Mr Andrew Learmonth, for my Lord Archbishop of Saint Andrews, the Bishop of Ross, &c. and in their absence, for my Lord Archbishop of Canterbury his Grace.58

I. You shall show their Lordships, How they have changed the Moderator of the Presbytery of Edinburgh, and are going on in changing all the Moderators in the Kingdom.

II. How they have abused Doctor Ogstone the ninth of May in Edinburgh, Mr George Hannay at Torphichen the sixth of May, Doctor Lamond at Markinch the ninth of May, Mr Robert Edward at Kirkmichael, whom Kilkerrin is forced to entertain at his own House.

III. That the Presbytery of Haddingtown have given Imposition of Hands to Mr John Ker’s Son, to be his Collegue, without the knowledge of the Bishop; and likewise the Presbytery of Kircaldy to Mr John Gillespy’s Son, to the Church of the Weemes; and the Presbytery of Dumfrice, to one Mr John Wier, to the Church of Morton within two miles of Drumlanerick; and that they of Dumfermline have admitted Mr Samuel Row (a Minister banished from Ireland) to be helper to Mr Henry Mackgill; and they of Air Mr Robert Blair, to be helper to Mr William Annand; and that the Town of Dumfrice have made choice of Mr James Hamilton to be their Minister; and the Town of Kirkudbright one Mr John Macklennan, all of them banished from Ireland; and Mr Samuel Rutherford is returned and settled in his Place; and they intend to depose Mr John Trotter, Minister of Dirleuton; and how they intended to use the Regents.

IV. That the Council of Edinburgh have made choice of Mr Alexander Henderson to be helper to Mr Andrew Ramsay, and intend to admit him without advice or consent of the Bishop.

V. That the Ministers of Edinburgh, who have not subscribed the Covenant, are daily reviled and cursed to their Faces, and their Stipends are withheld and not payed; and that all Ministers who have not subscribed are in the same case and condition with them.

VI. That they hound out rascally Commons on65 men who have not subscribed the Covenant, as Mr Samuel Cockburn did one John Shaw at Leith.

VII. That His Majesty would be pleased by his Letters, to discharge the Bishop of Edinburgh to pay any Prebend-fee, to those who have subscribed the Covenant; as also by His Royal Letters to discharge the Lords of Session, to grant any Process against the Bishop for their Fees.

VIII. That His Majesty would be pleased in the Articles of Agreement with the Nobility, to see honest men, who shall happen in this tumultuous time to be deposed from their Places, restored and settled in them, and others that are violently thrust in, removed; and that the wrongs done to them be repaired.

IX. That if it shall happen his Majesty to take any violent course for repressing these Tumults and Disorders, (which God forbid) that in that case their Lordships would be pleased to supplicate His Majesty, that some speedy course may be taken for securing of the persons of these honest men, who stand for God and His Majesty.
Da. Edin.            Ja. Hannay.
Ja. Dumblanen.  Da. Michell.
Ja. Lismoren.     Da. Fletcher.

1638.—May 16.
35. Proclamation by the King.59

Charles R.

Charles by the Grace of God King of Scotland, England, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, to our Lovits, our Sheriffs in that part, conjunctly and severally, specially constitute, Greeting.

Forsamiekle as We are not ignorant of the great Disorders which have happened of late within this Our ancient Kingdom of Scotland, occasioned (as is pretended) upon the introduction of the Service-book, Book of Canons, and High Commission, thereby fearing Innovations of Religion and Laws; for satisfaction of which Fears We well hoped, that the two Proclamations of the eleventh of December, and nineteenth of February, had been abundantly sufficient: nevertheless finding, that Disorders have daily so increased, that a powerful rather than a persuasive way might have been justly expected from Us; yet We, out of Our innate Indulgence to Our People, grieving to see them run themselves so headlong into Ruine, are graciously pleased to try if by a fair way We can reclaim them from their faults, rather than let them perish in the same. And therefore once for all, We have thought fit to declare, and hereby to assure all Our good People, that We neither are, were, nor (by the Grace of God) ever shall be stained with Popish Superstition, but by the contrary are resolved to maintain the true Protestant Christian Religion, already professed within this Our ancient Kingdom. And for further clearing of Scruples, We do hereby assure all men that We will neither now nor hereafter press the practice of the aforesaid Canons and Service-book, or any thing of that nature, but in such a fair and legal way as shall satisfie all Our loving Subjects, that we neither intend Innovation in Religion or Laws; and for the High Commission, We shall so rectifie it, with the help of advice of Our Privy Council that it shall never impugn the Laws, nor be a just Grievance to Our Loyal Subjects. And as hereby it may appear how careful We are to satisfie the foresaid Fears (how needless soever) of our good Subjects[*]. So We do hold Our Selves obliged both in Conscience and Honour, to hinder the course of that which may prejudge that Royal Authority, which God has endued Us with; wherefore, understanding that many of our Subjects have run themselves into seditious and undutiful courses, and willing to reduce them rather by a benign, than forcible mean (because We hope that most of them are drawn thereto, blindly out of fear of Innovations) are content hereby to declare, and promise upon the Word of a King to pardon what is past, and not to take notice of the by-gone faults, no not so much as of those factious and seditious Bonds, upon condition that they seek to Our Mercy by disclaiming the same, and in testification of the true sense of their Misdemeanours, that they deliver up, or continue with their best endeavours to procure the delivering up, of the said Bonds into the hands of Our Council, or such as Our Council shall appoint: Declaring always, likeas We by these presents do declare, all these to be esteemed and reputed as Traitors in all time coming, that shall not renounce and disclaim the said Bond or Bonds, within _____________ after the publication hereof; that is to say, Whosoever will from henceforth be thought a good Subject, and capable of Our Mercy, must either deliver up the same, in case he have it, or concur with his best endeavours to the delivering up thereof, or at least must come to some of Our Privy Council, or chief Officers in Burgh or Land, and testifie to him, that he renounces and disclaims the said Bonds. Our Will is therefore, and We charge you straitly and command, that incontinent this Our Letter seen, &c.

C. R.

The other Proclamation penned by the Marquis agrees with the former, to the place that is marked [*]; after which it follows thus.

So We expect that their behaviour will be such, as may give testimony of their Obedience, and how sensible they are of Our Grace and Favour, that thus pass over their Misdemeanours, and by their future carriage make appear, it was onely the fear of Innovations that caused those Disorders that have happened of late in this Our Kingdom, which now cannot but by this Our Declaration be removed from the hearts of Our loving Subjects: but on the contrary, if we find not this performed with that chearfulness and alacrity that becomes good and obedient Subjects, We declare and hold Our Self obliged in Honour and Conscience, to make use of those forcible means which God hath armed Royal Authority with, for the curbing of disobedient and stubborn People. Our Will therefore is, and we charge you, &c.

C. R.

1638.—May 16.
36. Declaration approved of by the King.60

Whereas we were in hope by Our late Proclamations to have given satisfaction to Our People, and to have removed their Mistakings of the Book of Common-prayer, which We caused to be published, having thereby declared, that it never entered into Our thoughts to make any Innovation in Religion and Form of Gods Worship, nay, not to press the said Books upon any of Our Subjects, till by a fair way they were induced to approve the same; yet having understood, that to the contrary (by what means We know not) occasions have been taken to confirm them in their former Mistakings, and to bind them by Oaths and Subscriptions against the Laws established by Our dear Father of blessed66 memory, and ratified by Our Selves since Our coming to the Crown: howsoever there is in that more than just cause offered to take punishment of such an open Contempt and Rebellion, yet considering that this is not the fault of the simple sort and multitude of People, who have been seduced through specious pretexts, as if nothing were contained in the said Bond or Covenant, as they call it, but the promoting of Gods Glory, the maintaining of Our Honour, and Liberty of the Country, with the preserving of Unity among themselves, We no way willing to use Our people with rigour, or to enquire severely into their errors of that kind, have thought meet to renew Our former Declaration, by assuring them, and every one of them, that Our constant Resolution is, and hath been, to maintain the true Religion professed and established by the Laws of that Our Kingdom, without any Change or Innovation, at the hazard of Our Life and Crown, and that We will not force on Our Subjects either the said Book of Common-prayer, or Book of Canons, till the same be duly examined, and they in their Judgments, satisfied with the legality thereof; nor will We permit the exercise of any Commission upon them, for whatsoever cause, which may give unto them any just cause of Grief and Complaint. Willing therefore and requiring all Our People and Subjects to acquiesce to this Our Declaration, and not suffer themselves to be misled by the private or publick Informations of turbulent spirits, as if We did intend any thing contrary to this Our Profession, having always esteemed it a special point of Royal Dignity, to profess what We intend to doe, and to perform what We do promise; certifying all Our good Subjects, who shall hereupon rest quiet in obedience of God and Us, that We will faithfully perform whatsoever We have declared, whether in this or in Our former Proclamations made to that purpose, and be unto them a good and merciful King: as on the other side, if any shall hereafter make business, and disturb the Peace of that Church and Kingdom, by following their private Covenants, and refusing to be ruled by the Laws established, that We will use the Force and Power, which God hath put into Our hands, for compescing and subduing such mutinous and disobedient Rebels. Given at Our Palace of

1638.—May 16.
37. Queries by Hamilton, and Answers by the King.61

Queries whereunto Your Majesties Direction and Resolution is humbly prayed, that accordingly I may govern my self, and be warranted for my Proceedings.

1. If, before the publishing of the Declaration some of the chiefest of the Petitioners may not be prepared, and laboured to conceive aright of the same, and in general acquainted with Your Majesties gracious Intentions?

They may.

2. Where the first meeting of the Council shall be?

Where you shall find most convenient, the City of Edinburgh only excepted.

3. If your Majesty will not permit the Council to sit, where, and in such places as is conceived may tend most for the advancement of your Service?


4. If the Declaration shall not be read to the Council, and they required to sign the same?

By all means.

5. If we shall not all swear to give our best assistance for the putting the same in due execution?


6. If any Councellour refuse to doe it, what course shall be taken with him?

Dismiss him the Council.

7. If Acts of Council are not to be made, finding that this Declaration ought to free us of the fears of Innovations either of Religion or Laws?

8. If all Councellours are not to be warned to give their attendance till the business be settled?


9. If upon the publication of this Declaration there be Protestations made, what course shall be taken?

The Protesters must be proclaimed Rebels.

10. If no Protestations but Petitions of new be presented, either demanding further satisfaction, or adhering to their former, what Answer shall be made, or what course taken?

Ut supra.

11. If they remain still in a Body at Edinburgh or elsewhere, after the Declaration, what course shall be taken?

You must raise what Force you may to treat them as Rebels.

12. If they should petition against the High Commission itself, as not to be introduced without an Act of Parliament, what Answer shall be given?

That they must be content with My Declaration in that point.

13. If against the matter contained therein, it is then desired that those particulars may be expressed that will not be yielded to?

The settling thereof according to My Declaration will answer this.

14. If it be pressed that what is now concluded, concerning the High Commission be ratified in the next Parliament, what Answer shall be given?

If I may be sure that a Parliament will doe it, I shall be content.

15. If they Petition for a Convention, what Answer shall be given?

No Petition must be admitted till the Bond62 be broken; if after, you may grant it, leaving the time to Me.

16. If they petition for a General Assembly, that it may be once in the year, what Answer shall be given?

I will not be tied, but as I shall find cause.

17. If they petition that the Ministers Oath may be no other than that which the Act of Parliament doth order them to take, what Answer shall be given?

I and the Bishops will consider of it.

18. If they petition that the five Articles of Perth may be held as indifferent, what Answer shall be given?

I will hear of no Petition against an Act of Parliament.

19. If the Town of Edinburgh may not be dealt with apart to petition for Your Majesties Favour, and if they desire that the Council, Exchequer, and Session may be returned them, what Answer shall be given?

Upon their full submission, and renouncing of the Bond, they may have their desires.

20. If the like course may not be taken with some other principal Burghs?

As before.

21. If to gain some leading men from the Party, marks of Your Majesties Favour may not be hoped for?

To some, I; to some, No.


22. If particular men desire either Acts of Council, or Pardons under the Great Seal, what shall be done?

Grant their desires.

23. What Service shall be used in the Chappel Royal?

The English.

24. If the Lords of Council and Session, shall at that time be pressed to receive Kneeling?

This is no time for a Communion, but when there is they must kneel.

25. If thought fit, what shall be done to them that refuse?

Advise of it.

26. If all Acts of Council, that have injoyned the use of the Service-Book, Book of Canons, are not to be suspended, and declared of no force in time coming?


27. How far Your Majesty will warrant me to declare Your Pleasure to the Lords of the Clergy, concerning their living within their Diocesses?

I shall do it My Self, but you may tell any of it.

28. How far I may declare Your willingness to give ear to and receive the private Complaints of Your Subjects in general, and in particular against any of the Bishops?

Refuse none.

29. If those Ministers (who have been by the Multitude displaced) are not again to be established?

They must.

30. If in the Abbey-Church the use of the Organs shall be presently enjoyned?


31. If those Ministers formerly silenced may not for a time be connived at, and permitted to preach?

If they preach not Sedition.

32. If your Majesty aim at more for the present, than establishing the Peace of the Country?

No more for the present.

33. If more, it is humbly desired, Your Majesty may be pleased to express it?

When time shall be fit.

In execution of all which, or what else Your Majesty shall think fit to command, it is most humbly desired, that I may be so warranted, that the labouring to put them in execution may not turn to my Ruine, nor hazard the losing of Your Majesties Favour, dearer to me than life?

You shall.

1638.—May 16.
38. Instructions by the King to Hamilton.63

Charles R.

I. Before you publish the Declaration which We have signed, you shall require all the Council to sign it, and if you find that it may conduce to Our Service, you shall make all the Council swear to give their best assistance in the execution of the same: but this of putting them to their Oaths, We leave to your discretion, to doe as you shall find occasion; but if you shall find it fit to put them to their Oaths, those that refuse must be dismissed the Council till Our further Pleasure be known.

II. We give you Power to cause the Council to sir in whatsoever place you shall find most convenient for Our Service, Edinburgh onely excepted, and to change the Meeting thereof as often as occasion shall require.

III. You may labour to prepare any of the refractory persons to conceive aright of Our Declaration before it be published, so that it be privately and underhand.

IV. You are to get an Act of Council to pass, to declare, that this Declaration of Ours ought to free all honest Subjects from the fears of Innovations of Religion or Laws: but this you are not to propose publickly except you be sure to carry it.

V. If any Protestation be made against Our Declaration, the Protesters must be reputed Rebels, and you are to labour to apprehend the chiefest of them.

VI. If Petitions be presented to demand further satisfaction than that We have already given by Our Declaration, you are to receive them, and to give them a bold Negative, both in respect of the Matter and the Form, as being presented from a Body which you are no ways to acknowledge.

VII. If it should be objected against the High Commission, that it ought not to be introduced but by Act of Parliament: your Answer must be, that We found it left Vs by Our Father, and therefore We meane to continue it, having first regulated it in such a way that it shall be no just Grievance to Our Subjects, or against Our Laws: and when there is a Parliament, We shall be content that it be ratified as We shall now rectifie it.

VIII. If after the limited time in Our Declaration a Body remain at Edinburgh, or elsewhere, you must raise what Force you can to dissipate, and bring them under Our Obedience.

IX. As soon as the Peace of the Country will permit, you are to call a General Assembly for settling of a constant and decent way for Gods Worship; We having resolved to call them, or to permit them to be as often as occasion shall require; We likewise intending to have a Parliament, to ratifie what shall be condescended on at the Assembly.

X. You may say, the Bishops shall impose no other Oath upon Ministers at their Admission, but what is warranted by Act of Parliament.

XI. You are to give direction that the same Service be used in Our Chapel Royal, that was before the enjoyning of the Service-book.

XII. You must admit of no Petition against the 5 Articles of Perth, but for the present you are not to press the exact execution of them.

XIII. Whenever the Town of Edinburgh shall depart from the Covenant, and petition for Our Favour, We will that you bring back the Council and Session to it.

XIV. You shall deny no Pardons nor Acts of Council to any particular persons that shall desire the same for their security.

XV. Some marks of Favour We may be moved to give to particular persons that may deserve the same.

XVI. All Acts of Council that enjoyn the use of the new Service-book are to be suspended, and to be of no force hereafter.

XVII. You shall declare Our pleasure to Our two Archbishops, (as soon as the Country is anyway settled) that it is Our Pleasure, that every Bishop shall live within his own Diocess, except upon his own urgent occasions, or that he be commanded from Us, or the Council, to attend there for Our Service, which I intend as seldom as may be.

XVIII. You shall refuse Complaints against no man in particular, whether Officers of State, Councellours, or Bishops, so that it be against their Persons and not their Places.

XIX. All those Ministers who have been displaced by the seditious multitude, are to be (so68 soon as conveniently may be) repossessed again as they were.

XX. As for silenced Ministers, you may connive at their Preaching, if you find it may tend to the quieting of the Country.

XXI. For the Organs in the Abby-Church, We leave them to your discretion when to be used, and to advertise Me of your opinion.

XXII. You are to cause insert 6 weeks in Our Declaration for the delivery up of the Covenant, and if you find cause, less.

XXIII. You shall declare, that if there be not sufficient Strength within the Kingdom to force the refractory to Obedience, Power shall come from England, and that My Self will come in Person with them, being resolved to hazard My Life rather than to suffer Authority to be contemned.

XXIV. If you shall find cause, you are to raise a Guard of 200 or more, to attend Our Council.

XXV. You may treat with the Earl of Marr for the keeping of our Castles of Edinburgh and Sterlin, and for the present he must be charged with their safe Custody.

XXVI. You shall take seriously into consideration the Copper-coyn, and declare Our willingness to remedy the Evils that have risen thereby; or what else the Subjects may justly complain of.

XXVII. You may declare, that as We never intended to assume the Nominating the Provost of Our Town of Edinburgh, so We mean not by Our too frequent Letters to hinder the free Election of their own Officers.

XXVIII. You may likewise declare, (if you find cause) that as We never did, so by Gods Grace We never will stop the course of Justice by any private directions of Ours; but will leave Our Lords of Session, and other Judges, to administer Justice, as they will be answerable to God and Us.

If you cannot by the means prescribed by Us bring back the refractory and seditious to due Obedience, We do not onely give you Authority, but command all hostile Acts whatsoever to be used against them, they having deserved to be used no other way by Us, but as a Rebellious People; for the doing whereof We will not onely save you harmless, but account it as acceptable Service done Us.

Such of these Instructions, as you shall find cause, We give you leave to divulge and make use of as you find Our Service shall require.

C. R. 

At Whitehall the
16th May, 1638.

1638.—May 20.
39. Commission to Hamilton as Commissioner to Scotland.64

Carolus Dei gratiâ Magnæ Britanniæ, Franciæ, & Hiberniæ, Rex, fideique Defensor: Omnibus probis hominibus suis ad quos præsentes literæ pervenerint, Salutem. Sciatis nos considerantes magnos in hoc regno nostro Scotiæ non ita pridem exortos tumultus, ad quos quidem componendos, multiplices regiæ nostræ voluntatis declarationes promulgavimus, quæ tamen minorem spe nostrâ effectum hactenus sortitæ sunt; Et nunc statuentes, ex pio erga dictum antiquum regnum nostrum affectum, ut omnia gratiosè stabiliantur & instaurentur, quod (per absentiam nostram) non aliâ ratione commodius effici potest, quâm fideli aliquo Delegato constituto, cui potestatem credere possumus tumultus ejusmodi consopiendi, aliaque officia præstandi, quæ in bonum & commodum dicti antiqui regni nostri eidem Delegato nostro imperare nobis videbitur: Cumque satis compertum habeamus obsequium, diligentiam, & fidem prædilecti nostri consanguinei & consiliarii Jacobi Marchionis Hamiltonii, Comitis Arraniæ & Cantabrigiæ, Domini Aven & Innerdail, &c. eundemque ad imperata nostra exequenda sufficientèr instructum esse: Ideircò fecisse & constituisse, tenoreque præsentium facere & constituere præfatum prædilectum nostrum consanguineum & consiliarium Jacobum Marchionem de Hamiltoun, &c. nostrum Commissionarium ad effectum subscriptum: Cum potestate dicto Jacobo Marchioni de Hamiltoun, &c. dictum regnum nostrum adeundi, ibidemque præfatos tumultus in dicto regno componendi, aliaque officia à nobis eidem committenda in dicti regni nostri bonum & commodum ibi præstandi: Eoque Concilium nostrum quibus locis & temporibus ei visum fuerit convocandi, ac rationem & ordinem in præmissis exequendis servandum declarandi & præscribendi: Et quæcunque alia ad commissionis hujus capita pro commissa ipsi fide exequenda, eandemque ad absolutum finem perducendam & prosequendam conferre possunt tam in Concilio quâm extra Concilium nostro nomine efficiendi & præstandi; Idque similiter & adeò liberè acsi Nos in sacrosancta nostra persona ibidem adessemus. Et hac præsenti nostrâ commissione durante nostro beneplacito duratura ac semper & donec eadem per nos expressè inhibeatur. In cujus rei testimonium præsentibus magnum sigillum nostrum apponi præcepimus. Apud castrum nostrum de Windsore vigesimo die mensis Maii anno Domini millesimo sexcentesimo trigesimo octavo, Et anno regni nostri decimo quarto.
Per signaturam manu S. D. N. Regis

1638.—June 11.
40. Letter from the King to Hamilton.65


Though I answered not yours of the fourth, yet I assure you that I have not been idle, so that I hope by the next week I shall send you some good assurance of the advancing of our Preparations. This say not to make you precipitate any thing, (for I like of all you have hitherto done, and even of that which I find you mind to doe;) but to shew you that I mean to stick to my Grounds, and that I expect not any thing can reduce that People to their Obedience, but onely force. I thank you for the clearness of your Advertisements, of all which none troubles me so much, as (that in a manner) they have possessed themselves of the Castle of Edinburgh; and likewise I hold Sterlin as good as lost. As for the dividing of my Declaration, I find it most fit (in that way you have resolved it;) to which I shall adde, that I am content to forbear the latter part thereof, until you hear my fleet hath set sail for Scotland. In the mean time your care must be how to dissolve the Multitude, and (if it be possible) to possess your self of my Castles of Edinburgh and Sterlin, (which I do not expect.) And to this end I give you leave to flatter them with what hopes you please, so you engage not me against my Grounds, (and in particular that you consent neither to the calling of Parliament nor General Assembly, untill the Covenant be disavowed and given up;) your chief end being now to win time, that they may not commit publick Follies untill I be ready to suppress them: and since it is (as you well observe) my own People, which by this means will be for a time ruined, so69 that the loss must be inevitably mine; and this if I could eschew, (were it not with a greater) were well. But when I consider, that not onely now my Crown, but my Reputation for ever, lies at stake, I must rather suffer the first, that Time will help, than this last, which is irreparable. This I have written to no other end, than to shew you I will rather die than yield to those impertinent and damnable Demands, (as you rightly call them;) for it is all one as to yield to be no King in a very short time. So wishing you better success than I can expect, I rest

Your assured constant Friend, 
Charles R. 

Greenwich, 11 June, 1638.

Postscript.—As the Affairs are now, I do not expect that you should declare the Adherers to the Covenant Traitors, until (as I have already said) you have heard from me that my Fleet hath set sail for Scotland, though your six weeks should be elapsed. In a word, gain time by all the honest means you can, without forsaking your Grounds.

1638.—June 13.
41. Letter by the King to Hamilton.66


The dealing with Multitudes makes diversity of Advertisement no way strange, and certainly the alteration from worse to less ill cannot be displeasing; wherefore you may be confident, I cannot but approve your Proceedings hitherto, for certainly you have gained a very considerable point, in making the heady Multitude begin to disperse, without having engaged me in any unfitting thing. I shall take your advice in staying the publick Preparations for Force; but in a silent way (by your leave) I will not leave to prepare, that I may be ready upon the least advertisement. Now I hope there may be a possibility of securing my Castles, but I confess it must be done closely and cunningly. One of the chief things you are to labour now, is to get a considerable number of Sessioners and Advocates, to give their opinion that the Covenant is at least against Law, if not treasonable. Thus you have my Approbation in several shapes, therefore you need not doubt but that I am

Your assured constant Friend, 
Charles R. 

Theobalds, 13 Jun. 1638.

1638.—June 13.
42. Draft of Explanations of Covenant proposed by Spottiswood.67

We the Noblemen, Barons, Burgesses, Ministers, and others, that have joyned in a late Bond or Covenant for the maintaining of true Religion and purity of Gods Worship in this Kingdom, having understood that Our Sovereign Lord the Kings Majesty is with this our doing highly offended, as if we thereby had usurped his Majesties Authority, and shaken off all Obedience to His Majesty and to His Laws; for clearing ourselves of that imputation do hereby declare, and in the presence of God Almighty solemnly protest, that it did never so much as enter into our thoughts, to derogate any thing from his Majesties Power and Authority Royal, or to disobey and rebell against His Majesties Laws, and that all our proceedings hitherto by Petitioning, Protesting, Covenanting, and whatsoever other way, was and is onely for the maintaining of true Religion by us professed, and with express reservation of our Obedience to His most Sacred Majesty; most humbly beseeching His Majesty so to esteem and accept of us, that he will be graciously pleased to call a National Assembly and Parliament, for removing the Fears we have not without cause (as we think) conceived of introducing in this Church another form of Worship than what we have been accustomed with, as likewise for satisfying our just Grievances, and the settling of a constant and solid Order to be kept in all time coming, as well in the Civil and Ecclesiastical Government; which if we shall by the intercession of Your Grace obtain, we faithfully promise, (according to our bounden duties) to continue in His Majesties Obedience, and at our utmost powers to procure the same during our Lives, and for the same to rest and remain

Your Graces obliged Servants, &c. 

1638.—June 20.
43. Letter by the King to Hamilton.68


I do not wonder, though I am very sorry for your last Dispatch, to which I shall answer nothing concerning what you have done, or mean to doe, because I have approved all, and still desire you to believe I do so, untill I shall contradict it with my own Hand. What now I write is, first to shew you in what Estate I am, and then to have your Advice in some things. My Train of Artillery consisting of 40 Peece of Ordnance (with the appurtenances) all Drakes, (half and more of which are to be drawn with one or two Horses apiece) is in good forwardness, and I hope will be ready within six weeks; for I am sure there wants neither Money, nor Materials to doe it with. I have taken as good order as I can for the present, for securing of Carlisle and Berwick; but of this you shall have more certainty by my next. I have sent for Arms to Holland, for 14000 Foot and 2000 Horse: for my Ships they are ready, and I have given Order to send three for the Coast of Ireland immediately, under pretence to defend our Fishermen. Last of all, which is indeed most of all, I have consulted with the Treasurer and Chancellour of the Exchequer, for Money for this years Expedition, which I estimate at two hundred thousand pounds Sterlin, which they doubt not but to furnish me; more I have done, but these are the chief heads. Now for your Advice, I desire to know whether you think it fit that I should send six thousand Land-men with the Fleet that goes to the Frith, or not; for since you cannot secure me my Castle of Edinburgh, it is a question whether you can secure the landing of those men, and if with them you can make your self Master of Leith, to fortifie and keep it: of this I desire you to send me your Resolution with all speed. I leave it to your consideration, whether you will not think it fit to see if you can make all the Guns of the Castle of Edinburgh unserviceable for any body, since they cannot be useful for me. Thus you may see, that I intend not to yield to the Demands of those Traitors the Covenanters, who I think will declare themselves so by their Actions, before I shall doe it by my Proclamation; which I shall not be sorry for, so that it be without the personal hurt of you, or any other of my honest Servants, or the taking of any English place. This is to shew you, that I care not for their affronting or disobeying my Declaration, so that it go not to open70 mischief, and that I may have some time to end my Preparations. So I rest

Your assured constant Friend, 
Charles R.

Greenwich, 20 June, 1638.

1638.—June 23.69
44. To his Maiesties Commissioner, the supplicatione of the noblemen, barrons, burgesse, ministers and comons, heir attending his Maiesties gratious anssuer to our former petitions, complaintes and desyres, humblie shewing,

That quheras wee, expecting from your Grace, as his Maiesties Commissioner, ane gratious anssuer to our former suplications, complaintes and just desyres, haue presentit to your Grace ane petitione, humblie crauing a free generall assembley and parliament, as the ordinar remedy of our griuances, the onlie meine to put this kirke and kingdome to quyetnesse.

It pleased your Grace to show that his Maiestie, from his princely caire of this kirke and kingdome, walde be most willing to indicte a free generall assembley, and call ane parliament for thesse good endes; bot that your Grace, as his Maiesties, hath conceaued the Confession of Faith and couenant, laitly renewed by ws his Maiesties subiects, to be ane vnlawfull combination aganist athority, therby to cast off our deutifull obedience, and not ane couenant for manteining of the trew religion, of his Maiesties persone and authority, and of the lawes and liberties of the kingdome; and wee being most willing to remoue that impediment, as the maine hinderance for obteining our desyres, therfor, and for cleiring of our loyaltie and windicating ourselues from so grate ane imputatione, wee doe now, in all humility, remonstrat to your Grace, as his Maiesties commissioner, and declairs before God and men, that wee ar heartily griued and sorey, that aney good man, bot most of all that our dreid souerainge should so conceaue of our doing, and that wee wer and still are so far from aney thought of withdrawing ourselues from our deutifull subiection and obedience to his Maiesties gouerniment, wich by the discent, and wnder the rainge of 107 kinges, is most cheirfully acknouledged by ws and our prædicessors. That wee neuer had nor haue aney intentione ore desyre to attempte aney thing wich may turne to the dishonor of God, ore to the diminutione of the Kinges gratnes and authority; bot one the contrarey wee acknouledge our quietnesse, stability and happines, to depend wpone the saftie of the Kinges Maiestie, as vpone Gods vicegerent sett ouer ws for mantinence of religion and administratione of justice, haue solemlie suorne, not only our mutuall concurrence and assistance for the causse of religion, bot also to the wttermost of our power, with our means and our liues, stand to the defence of our dread souerainge, the Kinges Maiesty, his persone and authority, in the preseruatione and defence of the trew religion, lawes and liberties of the kingdome: and therfor wee, his Maiesties loyall subiects, free from that and all other imputations of that kynd, most humblie beseiches your Grace to esteime our Confessione of Faith and couenant, to haue beine intendit, and to be the largest testimoney of our fidelity to God, and loyaltie to our Kinge; and that hinderance being remoued, most still supplicat your Grace wald be pleased to indicte a free generall assembley and parliament, quhilk will vndoubtedly redresse all our eiuells, sothe the peace of this kirke and kingdome, and procure that cheerfulnesse of obedience, quhilk is dew to be randred to his Maiestie, carrinng with it the offer of our fortuns and best indeuors for his Maᵗⁱᵉˢ honor and happines, as ane reall testimoney of our thankefullnes, praying God that his Maiesty may long and happily raing ouer ws.

1638.—June 25.
45. Letter from the King to Hamilton.70


I must needs thank you that you stand so close and constantly to my Grounds, and you deserve the more since your fellow-Counsellours do rather dishearten than help you in this business, for which I swear I pity you much. There be two things in your Letter that require Answer, to wit, the Answer to their Petition, and concerning the Explanation of their damnable Covenant; for the first, the telling you that I have not changed my mind in this particular, is Answer sufficient, since it was both foreseen by me, and fully debated betwixt us two before your down-going; and for the other, I will onely say, that so long as this Covenant is in force, (whether it be with or without Explanation) I have no more Power in Scotland than as a Duke of Venice; which I will rather die than suffer: yet I commend the giving ear to the Explanation, or any thing else to win Time, which now I see is one of your chiefest cares, wherefore I need not recommend it to you. Another I know is, to shew the World clearly, that my taking of Arms is to suppress Rebellion, and not to impose Novelties, but that they are the seekers of them; wherefore if upon the publishing of my Declaration a Protestation should follow, I should think it would rather doe right than wrong to my Cause; and for their calling a Parliament or Assembly without me, I should not much be sorry, for it would the more loudly declare them Traitors, and the more justifie my Actions; therefore in my mind my Declaration would not be long delayed: but this is a bare Opinion and no Command. Lastly, my resolution is to come my self in person, accompanied like myself, Sea-forces nor Ireland shall not be forgotten; the particulars of which I leave to the Comptrollers relation, as I do two particulars to the Archbishop of Canterbury, which you forgot to mention in my Letter: and so I rest

Your assured constant Friend, 
Charles R.

Greenwich, 25 June, 1638.

1638.—June 28.
46. Proclamation.71

Charles by the grace of God, King of Scotland, England, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith. To our Lovits ________________________ Heraulds _____________________________ Messengers, our Sheriffes in that part, conjunctly and severally specially constitute greeting. Forsameikle as we are not ignorant of the great disorders, which have happened of late within this Our ancient Kingdome of Scotland, occasioned, as is pretended, upon the introduction of the Service Book, Book of Canons, and High Commission, thereby fearing innovation of Religion and Laws. For satisfaction71 of which fears, We well hoped, that the two Proclamations of the eleventh of December, and nineteenth of February, had been abundantly sufficient: Neverthelesse, finding that disorders have daily so increased, that a powerfull rather then perswasive way, might have been justly expected from Us: Yet We out of Our innative indulgence to Our people, grieving to see them run themselves so headlong into ruine, are graciously pleased to try, if by a faire way We can reclaime them from their faults, rather than to let them perish in the same. And therefore once for all We have thought fit to declare, and hereby to assure all Our good people, that We neither were, are, nor by the Grace of God ever shall bee stained with Popish superstition: But by the contrary, are resolved to maintain the true Protestant Christian Religion already profest within this Our ancient Kingdome. And for farther clearing of scruples, We do hereby assure all men, that We will neither now nor hereafter presse the practice of the foresaid Canons and Service Book, nor any thing of that nature, but in such a faire and legall way, as shall satisfie all Our loving subjects, that We neither intend innovation in Religion or Lawes. And to this effect have given order to discharge all Acts of Councel made thereanent. And for the high Commission, We shall so rectifie it with the help of advice of Our privie Councel, that it shall never impugne the Lawes, nor bee a just grievance to Our loyall subjects. And what is farder fitting to be agitate in generall Assemblies and Parliament, for the good and peace of the Kirk, and peaceable government of the same, in establishing of the Religion presently profest, shall likewise be taken into Our Royall consideration, in a free Assembly and Parliament, which shall be indicted and called with Our best conveniencie. And We hereby take God to witnesse, that our true meaning and intention is, not to admit of any innovations either in Religion or Laws, but carefully to maintain the purity of Religion already profest and established, and no wayes to suffer Our Lawes to be infringed. And although We cannot be ignorant, that there may be some dis-affected persons who will strive to possesse the hearts of Our good subjects, that this Our gracious declaration is not to be regarded; Yet We do expect that the behaviour of all Our good and loyall subjects will be such, as may give testimonie of their obedience, and how sensible they are of our grace and favour, that thus passeth over their misdemeanours, and by their future carriage make appeare, that it was only feare of innovation, that hath caused the disorders which have happened of late within this Our ancient Kingdome. And are confident, that they will not suffer themselves to be seduced and mis-led, to misconstrue Us or Our actions, but rest heartily satisfied with Our pious and real intentions, for maintenance of the true Religion and Lawes of this Kingdome. Wherefore We require and heartily wish all Our good people carefully to advert to these dangerous suggestions, and not to permit themselves, blindely under pretext of Religion, to be led in disobedience, and draw on infinitely, to Our grief, their own ruine, which We have, and still shall strive to save them from, so long as We see not royall Authoritie shaken off. And most unwillingly shall make use of that power which God hath endued Us with, for reclaiming of disobedient people.

Our will is herefore, and Wee charge you straightly and command, that incontinent these Our Letters seene, you passe to the market crosse of Our Burgh of Edinburgh, and all other places needfull, and there by open Proclamation make publication hereof to all and sundry Our good subjects, where through none pretend ignorance of the same. The which to do, We commit to you conjunctly and severally Our full power, by these Our Letters, delivering the same by you duely execute and indorsed againe to the Bearer. Given at Our Court of Greenwich the twenty eight day of June, and of Our Reigne the thirteenth yeer. 1638.

Per Regem. 

1638.—June 28.
47. The Protestation of the Noblemen, Barons, Gentlemen, Burrows, Ministers and Commons, &c.72

Wee Noblemen, Barons, Gentlemen, Burgesses, Minnisters, and Commons, That whereas wee the Kings Majesties true and loyall Subjects, who have ever esteemed it our greatest happinesse to live under a religious and righteous King, and our greatest glory to testifie our best affections to our gracious Soveraign, have beene in His Majesties absence from this His native Kingdome heavily pressed for a long time past, And especially of late, with diverse innovations, which both in themselves, and in the way wherein they have beene urged, doe manifestly tend to the prejudice of the Kings honour, and of our Religion, Laws and Liberties, And by which we were brought to such extremitie, that there was no way left betwixt the rock of excommunication, and the high paine of rebellion on the one part, and the desperate danger of forsaking the way of true Religion and the breach of our Covenant with God on the other, but to represent our cause, and present our supplications to the Lords of secret Councell, that being equally pondered by them, they might either be answered by themselves, or by their recommendation might ascend to his Majesties owne consideration: And therefore in all humble manner we did to this effect supplicate their Lordsh: we were most willing (for the modest following of our supplications) to obey their direction in chusing Commissioners, for the great number of supplicants, who flocked together from all quarters of the Kingdome; were carefull to order our selves in all Christian and quiet carriage, and, against the tediousnesse of many and long delaies, did wait for a long time with very great patience, till at last they were pleased to receive our supplications, complaints, and bills: And conceiving them to containe weightier matters then could by themselves bee determined, they did promise and undertake to represent and recommend the same, according to their more then ordinary importance, unto his Majesties Royall consideration, and to report his Majesties answer.

While his Majesties good Subjects of all ranks, throughout the whole Kingdome, had their minds wakened, and their hearts filled with the expectation of a gracious and satisfactorie answer, worthy of his Majesties pious and equitable disposition, in the month of February last incontinent a rumour flyeth through the Countrie, and filleth all eares, That the Lords of his Majesties secret Councell were commanded to make such a Proclamation concerning the Service Booke, Booke of Canons, and the peaceable meetings of his Majesties good Subjects in time comming, as we were perswaded to have beene procured by the secret working, and malignant mis-information of our adversaries, seeking for their owne private ends, without respect to his Majesties honour, and welfare of this Kirk and Kingdome, to stop the course of our legall proceedings,72 and to escape their owne due censure: And therefore intending to make knowne to the Lords of secret Councell what was noised concerning the Proclamation: how far the whole Kingdome had been by some sinistrous mis-information frustrate of their hopes, and their constant desire to have some course taken by their Lordsh: advice; how his Majestie being further informed, might deliver his good subjects from so great grievances and feares, and establish a sure peace in this Countrie for time to come; we found our selves tyed by order of Law to decline those against whom we had made our complaint, unlesse we would admit our parties to be our Judges: And in case our Declinator should not be accepted, we behoved to protest, that we might have immediate recourse to the King himselfe, &c.

Thereafter in the Moneth of March, finding that by the foresaid Proclamation the innovations supplicated against were approven, our lawfull proceedings condemned, our most necessary meetings prohibited, there being no other way left unto us, wee were necessitate to renew the nationall Covenant of this Kirk and Kingdome, thereby to reconcile us to God, provoked to wrath against us, by the breach of his Covenant within this Land, to cleare our Soveraigns mind from all jealousies and suspicions, arising from our adversaries mis-information of our intentions and carriage; and so to make way for his acceptance of our humble supplications, and grant of their lawfull remedies, to guard this Land in defence of Religion, Authority and liberty against inward divisions, and externall violences. And that our actions might be answerable to our holy profession, we afterward drew up an humble supplication, containing our grievances, and desires of the ordinary remedies thereof, to have beene delivered to the King himselfe: In the meane time we were directed by those who were intrusted by his Majesty, to attend his Declaration here in Scotland, which would free us of all feares of innovations of Religion, and prove satisfactorie: And lest for want of true information of our just grievances and desires it should fall out otherwise, wee expressed to them, with the greatest modestie we could, our desires in some few Articles, and with great patience have attended his Majesties pleasure thereanent: And all this moneth by-gone being frequently conveened to heare the same delivered by his Majesties Commissioner, the right Noble and potent Lord James Marquesse of Hamiltoun, &c. we presented a new petition to his Grace as his Majesties Commissioner, craving most humbly the indiction of a free Assembly and Parliament, as the onely remedies thereof: Likeas finding a mis-information or mistake of our Covenant with God, as if it had beene an unlawfull combination to bee the maine hinderance of obtaining our desires, in a new supplication; wee have fully removed that impediment, renewed our desires of those supreme judicatories, to bee indicted with diligence, for settling of the Kirk and Kingdome: But being answered only with delayes after these nine Moneths attendance, and with this Proclamation that conteined his Majesties gracious declaration of his pious intentions, not to admit of any innovations in Religion or Law, nor any staine of Popish superstition, But on the contrary to be resolved to maintaine the true Christian Religion professed in this Kingdome; which we were, ever so far from calling in question, as in our supplications, complaints and bills, we used the same as one cause of our desires, one ground of our confidence of a gracious answer, and argument of our adversaries malignant mis-information of so religious a King: And now most humbly (with bended knees and bowed hearts) thanke our gracious Soveraigne for the same, Wishing and praying the Lord of heaven truly and fully to informe his Majestie how far these bookes, judicatories, and all our other evils and grievances are full of idolatrous superstitions, and Popish errours, How destructive of the reformation of Religion in this Land, and of the Lawes and Liberties of this Church and Kingdome, and so directly contrary to this his Majesties pious intention and declaration.

Yet seeing that no Proclamation could sufficiently remove the present evils, nor settle our feares, nor secure us from the re-entrie of any evil or Innovation, which it seemed to discharge, or prevent the like in time comming, nor satisfie our humble supplications, craving the present indiction of a free Assembly and Parliament, as the onely remedies of our evils, and meanes to prevent the like: And seeing this Proclamation doth not so much as make mention, or acknowledge any of our supplications, complaints and grievances, or any just cause thereof, except under the name of great increase of disorders, faults, and mis-demeanours, but only our feares of some future Innovation of Religion or Lawes, occasioned onely (as is pretended) by the introduction of the Service Booke, Booke of Canons, and High Commission; which feares his Majestie hoped to have beene abundantly and sufficiently satisfied by his two former proclamations of the ninth of December, and nineteenth of February. And by this his present Declaration, except his subjects bee blindely (under pretext of Religion) led unto disobedience, Doth mis-ken, passe over, and so in effect denie all our supplications, bills, articles, and desires, especially our complaints against the Prelates our parties. And, that once for all, in a faire and perswasive way, even after the resaite of our last supplication, clearing us from the calumnie of unlawfull combination; Doth not disallow nor discharge any of the innovations and evils complained upon, but onely assureth that his Majestie will not presse their practice, but in such a faire and legall way as shall satisfie his subjects of his intention; which (joyned with the other clause, allowing and confirming the Proclamation the nineteenth of February) evidenceth the liberty left to any Prelate or persons to practice the same, and by all other faire waies to perswade others thereunto; and his Majesties resolution to presse their practice in a faire and legall way: And also confirmeth the former Declaration, That the Service Booke is a ready meane to maintaine the true Religion already professed, and to beat out all Superstition, and no waies to be contrary to the Lawes of this Kingdome, but to be compiled and approved for the universall use and edification of all his Majesties subjects; Doth not abolish, but promiseth to rectifie the High Commission, with advice of his Privie Councell, implying the Kings power, with consent of the Councell, to establish this or any judicatory within this Kingdome, without consent of the three Estates conveened in Parliament, contrary to the fundamentall and expresse Lawes thereof; and by consequent with the like reason, to establish Lawes and Service Bookes, without consent of the Assembly and Parliament; Which is contrary to the maine ground of all our supplications, against the manner of their introduction; Doth only promise to take into his consideration in an Assembly and Parliament, which shall bee called at his best convenience, while as the evident and urgent necessity for settling the combustions threatening the totall dissolution and desolation of this Church and State, excuseth our uncessant73 and importune calling for these present remedies; Doth insinuate the continuance and execution of any pretended lawes for these innovations of worship, and corruptions of Church governmen, and civill places of Church-men, which by our Covenant wee have obliged our selves to forbeare; and the re-establishment of these evils in an Assembly and Parliament, which he will call in his best convenience, to wit, for that and this other end of satisfying his subjects judgements anent the Service Booke and Booke of Canons; Doth condemne all our former proceedings, even our supplicating, complaining, protesting, subscribing of our Covenant together, and our continuall meetings, as great disorders, increase of disorders, deserving justly a powerfull rather then a perswasive way, a running headlong into ruine, a perishing in our faults, a blind disobedience under pretext of Religion, and doth threaten & denounce, Now once for all, If we be not heartily satisfied, and give testimony of our obedience after this Declaration, but continue, as by our former proceedings, to draw on our owne ruine, that, albeit unwillingly, he must make use of that power which God hath indued him with, for reclaiming of so disobedient people.

Therefore we, in our own name, and in name of all who will adhere to the Confession of Faith, and reformation of Religion within this Land, are forced and compelled, out of our bound duty to God, our King, native Country, our selves and our posterity, (lest our silence should be prejudiciall to so important a cause, as concernes Gods glory and worship, our Religion and salvation, the Lawes and Liberties of this Church and Kingdome, or derogatory to our former supplications, complaints, protestations, Articles and proceedings, or unanswerable to the solemne oath of our nation covenant with God) To declare before God and man, and to protest, Primo, That we doe, and will constantly adhere, according to our vocation and power, to the said Reformation, in doctrine, use of Sacraments, and discipline; And that notwithstanding of any innovations introduced therein, either of old or of late. Secundo, we protest, That we adhere to the grievances, supplications, and protestations given in at Assemblies and Parliaments, and to our late supplications, complaints, protestations, and other lawfull proceedings against the same, and particularly against the Service book, and booke of Canons, as maine innovations of Religion and Lawes, and full of Popish superstition, and so directly contrary to the Kings Declaration, And against the High Commission, as a judicatory established contrary to the Lawes and Liberties of this Church and Kingdome, and destructive of other lawfull judicatories, which both in respect of the nature of it, manner of introduction, without consent of the three Estates of Parliament, cannot be any wayes rectified, but absolutely discharged: Tertio, we protest, That we adhere with our hearts to our Oath and subscription of the Confession of Faith, the solemne Covenant betweene God, this Church and Kingdome, and the clauses particularly therein expressed and generally contained, and to our last Articles for the peace of this Kirke and Kingdome, drawne out of it, and to all the matters therein contained, and manner of remedy therein desired. Quarto, We protest, that this Proclamation, or act of Councell, or any other act, or Proclamation, or Declaration, or ratification thereof, By subscription, or act, or letter, or any other manner of way whatsoever, or any precondemnation of our cause or carriage, before the same be lawfully heard and tryed in the supreme judicatories of this Kirk and Kingdome, the onely proper judges to nationall causes and proceedings, or any certification or threatning therein denounced, shall no waies be prejudiciall to the Confession of Faith, lawes, and liberties of this Kingdome, nor to our supplications, complaints, protestations, articles, lawfull meetings, proceedings, pursuits, mutual defences, nor to our persons and Estates, and shall no wayes be disgracefull either in reality or opinion, at home or abroad, to us or any of us: But on the contrary, that any act, or letter, or subscription of the Councell, carrying the approbation of the declaration, and condemnation of our proceedings, indicta causa, is and ought to be repute & esteemed unjust, illegall & null, as here before God and man we offer to clear, & to verifie both the justice of our cause and carriage, and the injustice of such acts against us, in the face of the first generall Assembly of the Church & Parliament of the Estates, unto whom with all solemnities requisite, we do publikly appeal. Quinto, We protest, that seeing our former supplications, last Articles, & our last desire and petition to his Majesties Commissioner, which petitioned for the present indiction of a free general Assembly & Parliament, according to the law and custome of all nations, & of this nation in the like case, to hear the desires, ease the grievances, & settle the fears of the body of the Church & Kingdome, are thus delayed, & in effect refused, to wit, Once for all, till his Majesties conveniency for the end contained in this Proclamation, that We continue by thir presents to supplicate his Majesty again and again, for the granting of the same: And whatsoever trouble or inconvenience fall out in this land in the mean time, for want of these ordinary remedies, and by the practice of any of these innovations & evils, contrary to our supplications, articles, & confession, it be not imputed unto us, who most humbly beg these lawfull remedies, but also that it is, & shall be lawfull unto us, to defend and maintain the Religion, lawes and liberties of this Kingdome, the Kings Authority in defence thereof, & every one of us one another in that cause, of maintaining the Religion, and the Kings foresaid Authority, according to our power, vocation and Covenant, with our best counsel, bodies, lives, means, & whole strength, against all persons whatsoever, and against all externall or internall invasions menaced in this proclamation. Like as that in the great exigencie of the Church, necessitating the use of this ordinary and lawfull remedies for settling the commotions thereof, it is and shall be leasome unto us to appoint, hold and use the ordinary means, our lawfull meetings and Assemblies of the Church agreeable to the law of God, and practice of the primitive Church, the Acts of the generall Assemblies, and Parliaments, and the example of our Worthy Reformers in the like case. Sexto, We protest, that our former Supplications, Complaints, Protestations, Confessions, meetings, proceedings and mutual defences of every one another in this cause, as they are, and were in themselves most necessary, and orderly meanes agreeable to the lawes & practice of this Church and Kingdome, to be commended as reall duties of faithfull Christians, loyall Subjects, and sensible members of the body of the Church and Kingdome, and no wise to be stiled nor accounted great disorders, misdemeanours, blind disobedience under pretext of Religion, and running headlong into ruine, &c. So they proceeded only from conscience of our duty to God, Our King, native countrey, and our posterity, and doth tend to no other end, but to the preservation of the true reformed Religion, the confession of Faith, Lawes, and Liberties of this His Majesties most ancient74 Kingdome, and of His Majesties authority in defence thereof, and satisfaction of our humble desires, contained in our supplications, complaints and articles, unto the which we adhere againe and again, as we would eschew the curse of the Almighty God, following the breach of his Covenant: And yet we doe certainly expect, according to the Kings Majesty his accustomed goodnesse and justice, that his sacred Majestie after a true information of the justice of our cause and carriage, will presently indict these ordinary remedies of a free Assembly and Parliament, to our just supplications, complaints, and articles, which may be expected, and useth to be granted from so just and gracious a King, towards most loyall and dutifull subjects, calling for redresse of so pressing grievances, and praying heartily that His Majestie may long and prosperously reigne over us.

Whereupon a noble Earle John Earle of Cassles, &c. in name of the Noblemen, M. Alexander Gibson younger of Dury in name of the Barons, James Fletcher Provost of Dundy in name of the Burrowes, M. John Ker Minister at Salt-prestoun in name of the Ministers, and Master Archibald Johnston Reader hereof, in name of all who adheres to the Confession of Faith and Covenant lately renewed within this Kingdome, tooke Instruments in the hands of three Notars present, at the said mercat Crosse of Edinburgh, being invironed with great numbers of the foresaid Noblemen, Barons, Gentlemen, Borrows, Ministers and Commons, before many hundred witnesses, and craved the extract thereof: And in token of their dutifull respect to his Majesty, confidence of the equity of their cause, and innocency of their carriage, and hope of his Majesties gracious acceptance, they offered in all humility, with submisse reverence, a copie thereof to the Herauld.

1638.—June 29.
48. Letter from the King to Hamilton.73


Yours of the 24th (though it be long) requires but a short Answer, it being onely to have leave to come up, which is grounded upon so good reason, that I cannot but grant it. Some Considerations in the mean time I think fit to put to you; first, to take heed how you engage your self in the way of Mediation to me; for though I would not have you refuse to bring up to me any Demand of theirs to gain time, yet I would not have you promise to mediate for any thing that is against my Grounds; for if you do, I must either prejudice my self in the granting, or you in denying: then, I would have you take care, that no more Subscriptions be urged upon any, especially of Council or Session: lastly, that you leave such encouragement to these few, that have not yet forsaken my Cause, that they may be assured (as well as I) that your up-coming is neither to desert them nor it. And thus certainly if (as you write) you get the mutinous Multitude once dispersed, you will have done me very good Service; for I am confident that my Declaration published before your coming away, (according to the Alterations that I have given you leave to make) will give some stop to their Madnesses: however your endeavours have been such, that you shall be welcom to

Your assured constant Friend, 
Charles R.

Greenwich, 29 June, 1638.

1638.—June 29.
49. Letter from the Bishop of Ross to Hamilton.74

My Lord, may it please your Grace,

We are exceeding sorry to hear that the success of your Lordships Travels in this difficult Business, is otherwayes than good Christians and Subjects do wish, and heartily pray for; but on the other part, are glad to hear from our Friends there, that, whereof we were ever confident, that nothing is omitted by your Lordship to effectuate what is necessary for His Majesties Honour, and expedient for the good and quiet of that poor distracted and distempered Kingdom. For my own part give me leave, without either flattery or presumption, to say ingenuously, that the Course your Lordship keeps, seemeth to be such as all good and wise men must approve your Lordships wisdom and Loyalty. Infallibly the fruit will be, besides the Warrant your Lordship hath in your own Conscience by this Noble and Wise carriage, your Lordship must be more (if any accrewment can be to former Deserts) beloved of your Master: it will indear your Lordship more to all good, wise, and well-affected Patriots, and oblige all, especially honest Church-men, to be your Servants. It cannot seem strange to any wise heart, who looks on the Distemper of that Kingdom, wherein is the concourse of so many different and divers Distempers, where so many of all sorts of different Judgements, and no less variety of Affections, are so strongly engaged, and where many have their own private ends; that the best, wisest, and most powerful Agents, are not able on a sudden to rectifie their Judgements, cure their Affections, and by disappointing the private intentions of some to reduce all to Order, Peace, and Quiet. In any great Work of this strain, we must all rely somewhat more on the wise and gracious Providence of God, than in any other ordinary accidents: He is able to work good out of ill, light out of darkness, and order out of confusion, which I pray God heartily, we may see to His Glory, the Kings Honour, and Peace of the Church and State, without any other effect upon any author or abettor of these Disorders, but of Gods Mercy, and His Majesties Royal Clemency. In this I fear I have exceeded more, possibly, than becomes me with your Grace; but as I humbly beg pardon, so I trust your Lordships Goodness will easily pardon the expressions of a poor Heart surcharged with grief, not so much flowing from, or following the fear of any Personal or Private evil can befall it, as fearing the danger the Publick is in, because of our Sins, which are calling for Vengeance. God of his Mercy give us Repentance, and be merciful to that Church and State.

We can return nothing for your Lordships care and kindness to us but humble and hearty thanks, and earnestly pray God Almighty for all Honour, Wealth, and Happiness to your Lordship here and hence.

As your Lordship hath commanded us we shall go from hence, and where we pitch our abode, with the first opportunity shall acquaint your Lordship. We were advised by our best friends to doe so, before we received your Lordships; but that Obedience we owe, and promised to His Majesty and your Lordship, made us that we would not stir for any Advertisement or Advice, how necessary or affectionate soever, till we had your Lordships Warrant.

All that kind respect which is above our desert75 and condition, and tender care your Lordship hath expressed to us, for our safety, and that which your Lordship hath superadded out of your noble Bounty, desiring us to be so bold as to shew your Lordship what Money, or any thing else necessary we stand in need of, that your Lordship may supply our necessity in this, hath so perplexed us for a time, that we knew not what to choose; on the one part being ashamed to doe it, both because it seemeth impertinent, and incongruous to trouble one of your Lordships Honour, Place, and Imployment, with matters of this kind, and especially so unreasonably at such a time, when your Lordship is at such charge for the honour of His Majesties Service; as also that we are unprofitable, and cannot be useful to your Lordship in any kind, and so how should we to other troubles we make your Lordship, adde this to be chargeable: yet your Lordships noble and generous offer, and the necessity we are cast into at this present, that what is our own or due to us we cannot command, and know as little who will do us the favour at this time to trust us, hath made us (seeing Obedience is better than Sacrifice) to cast our selves upon your Lordships Bounty and Favour; fearing on the one part your Lordship may be offended if we doe it not, and on the other, that otherwise we cannot be provided: Therefore I humbly intreat your Lordship, to let me have with the Bearer a hundred and fifty Pieces, payable at Whitsunday next with the Interest, or Martinmas, as your Lordship pleases; for which your Lordship shall receive from the Bearer my own personal Bond. Here and at this time I cannot give better Security, but by Gods Grace your Lordship shall be in no danger, come the world as it will.

I have more than need to beg humble pardon for my unmannerly and impertinent importunities, in troubling your Lordship at this time, taken up with weighty Affairs, if it were but to read this long Paper; and that I offend no more in this kind, I shut up all with my hearty Prayers to God Almighty for all Honour and Happiness to your Lordship, and an effectual blessing upon your Travels. So wisheth he who shall be, whilest he lives,

Your Graces most humble and 
bounden Servant, 
Jo. Rossen. 

Berwick, 29 June, 1638.

1638.—July 2.
50. Letter from the Privy Council to the King.75

Most Sacred Soveraigne,

The Marquesse of Hamiltoun, your Majesties Commissioner, having imparted unto us your Majesties gracious pleasure and allowance that the Judicatories of the Councell, of Session, and others, should be returned to the Citie of Edinburgh; Thereupon, the Lord Commissioner being present, order was given for publication at the Market Crosse of Edinburgh with all solemnities requisite; and that the like publication should be made throughout the whole Kingdome at all publike places: This hath given so great contentment to all your Majesties subjects, that we cannot expresse with what dutifull respect and heartie prayers for your Majestie they have embraced this great and undeserved favour: In consideration whereof wee conceive our selves bound in dutie to acquaint your Majestie herewith; and withall to render to your Majestie most humble and heartie thanks for this so great grace and goodnesse, which wee hope shall contribute to the good of your Majesties service, and to establishing the peace of the Countrie, for the which we all your Majesties good subjects shall ever bee most thankfull, and all in dutie bound to pray for your Majesties long and happy Reigne.

Holy-rood-house July 2. 1638.

Traquaire Lauderdaile
Roxbrugh Kinoul
Mar Southesk
Morton Lorne
Winton Naper
Lithgow Dalyell
Wigtonne Ihay
Kingorne Ja: Carmithaell
Hadinton Thomas Hop
  John Hammilton

1638.—July 3.
51. Speech by Commissioner to Court of Session.76

My Lordes,

I was varranted from his Maiestie to recall the Session againe to Edinbrughe; the cheiffe thing that moued him therto, was the sense of the maney incommodities wich his subiects in generall, and the Iudges in particular, did susteine by the remoueing of it; that his sacred Maiestie and Master had requyred him to desyre and command the Iudges to grant all reasonable dispatche to Maiesties subiects in the administratione of iustice, that so sometyme wich was lost, might be regained. Lykwayes, my Lordes, I must requyre you to be werey cairfull and circumspecte, that in thesse troubelsome tymes, no order nor decree may passe from you, wich may be præiudiciall to his Maiesties croune or seruice.

1638.—July 5.
52. Act anent the High Commission.77
At Halyrood-house, 5 July 1638.

The Lord Commissioner and Lords of Secret Councell having upon the 4 July instant, published his Majesties Declaration anent the seruice Book, Book of Canons, and High Commission: and being informed that His Majestes Declaration is not so clearly understood as is necessary for removing all scrouples which may arise to any of his Majestyes good subjects anent his Majesties declaration foresaid, declares that it is his Majesties gracious pleasure, likeas his Maᵗⁱᵉˢ Commissioner foresaid, and Lords of Secret Councel, abrogat and dischargis the said Service Book and Book of Canons, and inhibits all use and practice thereof, by whatsoever person or persons, of whatsoever quality, ecclesiastical or civil, within this Kingdom, anent the act of Councel made in the month of __________ 1636, and another made in the month __________ 1637, with the warrants whereupon the same proceeds, and proclamations following thereupon, anent the premises, or any part thereof, with all other warrants and proclamations made thereanent; and declares the same to be now and, in all time coming, null. And as far the High Commission, the Lord Commissioner and Lords of Secret Councel finds themselues warranted to discharge; likeas, by these presents, they do discharge all the practice and exercise whatsomever of the high commission past heretofore: and declares all his Majestie’s Lieges of whatsomever quality, free of all compearance before the Judges of the said76 high commission, and discharges the saids Judges of all proceeding agᵗ His Maᵗⁱᵉˢ subjects, by virtue thereof in time coming, till his Majesty so rectify the same as nothing therein shall impugn the Laws of this Kingdom, nor be a just grievance to his Majesty’s good subjects; and ordains proclamation to be made hereof at the Mercat Cross of Edinburgh, and other places needful, wherethro’ none pretend ignorance of the same.

1638.—July 13.
53. Letter from Lord Rothes to Patrick Leslie, Aberdeen.78

Loving Cousin,

Because your town of Aberdeen is now the only Burgh in Scotland that hath not subscribed the Confession of Faith [Covenant,] and all the good they can obtain thereby is, that if we sail fairly, as there are very good conditions offered, they shall be under perpetual ignominy, and the Doctors that are unsound, punished by the Assembly; and if things go to extremity, because they refuse, and, in hopes of the Marquis Huntly’s help, the King will, perhaps, send in some ship or ships, and men there, as a sure place, and if that be good for the country, judge ye of it. It is but a fighting against the high God to resist this cause, and it is so far advanced already, that, on my honour, we could obtain with consent, 1. Bishops limited by all the strait caveats. 2. To be yearly censurable by Assemblies. 3. Articles of Perth discharged. 4. Entry of Ministers free. 5. Bishops and Doctors censured for bygone usurpation, either in teaching false doctrine, or oppressing their brethren. But God hath a great work to do here, as will be shortly seen, and men be judged by what is past. Do ye all the good ye can in that town, and in the country about—ye will not repent it—and attend my Lord Montrose, who is a noble and true-hearted cavalier. I remit to my brother, Arthur, to tell you how reasonable the Marquis Huntly was, being here away: he was but slighted by the Commissioner, and not of his privy Council. No further. I am your friend and cousin,


1638.—July 27.
54. Additional Instructions by the King to Hamilton.79

Charles R.

You shall try by all means to see if the Council will sign the Confession of Faith, established by Act of Parliament, with the new Bond joined thereto; but you are not publickly to put it to Voting, except you be sure to carry it, and thereafter that probably they will stand to it.

If the Council do sign it, though the Covenanters refuse, you shall proceed to the indicting of a free General Assembly; and though you cannot procure the Council to sign it, yet you are to proceed to the indicting thereof, if you find that no other Course can quiet business at this time.

You shall labour by all fair means that the sitting of the Assembly be not before the first of November, or longer if you can obtain it; for the place, We are pleased to leave it to your election; for the manner of indicting, you must be as cautious as you can, and strive to draw it as near as may be to the former Assemblies in my Fathers time.

You must labour that Bishops may have Votes in Assemblies, which if you cannot obtain, then you are to protest in their Favours in the most formal manner you can think of.

As for the Moderator in the Assembly, you are to labour that he may be a Bishop, which though you cannot obtain, yet you must give way to their Election.

You are to labour, that the Five Articles of Perth be held as indifferent; strive that the admissions of Ministers may continue as they are; you may condescend, that the Oaths of their Admission be no other than is warranted by Act of Parliament.

You are, if you find that it may in any wise conduce to Our Service, to enact and publish the Order made at Holyroodhouse by Our Council the fifth of July last, for discharging the use of the Service-Book, Book of Canons, and the practice of the High Commission.

You are to protest against the abolishing of Bishops, and to give way to as few restrictions of their power as you can; as for the Bishops not being capable of Civil Places, you must labour what you can to keep them free.

You may give way that they shall be accountable to the General Assembly, which you shall indict at the rising of this against that time twelve month.

As for the Bishops Precedence, you are not to admit them of the Assembly to meddle therewith, it being no point of religion, and totally in the Crown.

If the Bishop of St Andrews, or any other, be accused of any crime, you are to give way to it, so they may have a free Trial; and likewise the same of whatsoever person or Officer of State.

It is left to your discretion what course Bishops shall take, that are for the present out of the Country.

You are to advise the Bishops to forbear sitting at the Council, till better and more favourable times for them.

Notwithstanding all these Instructions above-mentioned, or any other accident that may happen (still labouring to keep up Our Honour so far as possibly you can) you are by no means to permit a present Rupture to happen, but to yield anything though unreasonable, rather than now to break.

C. R. 

London the 27ᵗʰ July, 1638.

1638.—July 28.

55. His Majesties Ten Demands.80

1. That all Ministers deposed or suspended by the Presbyteries since the first of February last, without warrant of the Ordinarie, shall be restored to their owne places, till such time as they shall be legally convicted.

2. That all Moderators of Presbyteries, deposed since the foresaid day by the Presbyteries, without warrant of the Ordinarie, be restored, and all Moderatours, appointed by the said Presbyteries without warrant foresaid, to desist from executing the office of Moderator.

3. That all Ministers admitted by the Presbyteries since the foresaid day, without warrant from the Ordinarie, shall desist from exercising the function of their ministerie in that place to which they have beene so presented and admitted.

4. That all Parishioners shall frequent their owne77 Churches, and heare their owne Minister, and that the Elders assist the Minister in the Session, and other exercises of the discipline of the Church, as formerly they were used to do.

5. That all Bishops and Ministers, have their rents and stipends duly and thankfully paid them.

6. That all Ministers bee appointed presently to repaire to their own Churches, that none of them come to the Assemblie, or to the place where the same shall bee held, but such as shall bee chosen Commissioners from the Presbyteries.

7. That according to the Act of Assemblie 1606, Moderators of Presbyteries being found necessarie members of the Assemblie, every one of the said Moderators be appointed to bee Commisioner from that Presbyterie where he is Moderator.

8. That Bishops and other Ministers who shall attend the Assemblie, may be secured in their persons from all trouble and molestation.

9. That the Commissioners from Presbyteries, be chosen by the Ministers of that Presbyterie onely: And that no lay-person whatsoever, meddle in the choice, nor no Minister without his owne Presbyterie.

10. That all Convocations and meetings bee dissolved, and that everie man repaire to his owne house, and that the Countrey not onely be made peaceable, but also that all such Acts be forborne, as may make it appeare to be otherwayes.

And since his Majestie is still displeased with the Covenant, wisdome and our dutifull obedience to our Soveraigne require, that some such course should be taken, whereby his Majestie may receive satisfaction therein; and in the meane time, that there be no pressing, threatning, or perswading of men to subscribe the Covenant, nor no mention be made thereof any more in Pulpits.

1638.—July 28.
56. Answers to these Articles.81

Having seriously considered with our selves, that nothing in this world is so precious, and ought to be so deare unto us as our Religion; that the diseases of the Church after long toleration did threaten no lesse then her utter ruine, and the expiring of the truth of Religion at last; and that a free Generall Assemblie was the ordinarie remedie appointed by divine Authority, and blessed by divine providence in other Churches; and after a speciall manner in the Church of Scotland, wee have often and earnestly supplicated for the same, and have laboured to remove what was objected, or what we could conceive to be any hinderance to the obtaining of our desire, like as we have now for the same good end resolved to returne this answer to the particulars propounded, to be performed by us before any Assemblie be indicted.

The particulars propounded, are either concerning matters Ecclesiasticall, or Civill: Ecclesiasticall, or Church matters are, The first, concerning Ministers deposed or suspended by the Presbyteries, since the first of Februarie last, without warrant of the Ordinarie, that they bee restored to their owne places. The second, concerning Moderators of Presbyteries deposed since the foresaid day, to be restored, and all Moderators appointed by the said Presbyteries without warrant aforesaid, to desist from executing the office of Moderator. The third, concerning Ministers admitted since the foresaid day, that they desist from exercising the function of the Ministerie in that place, to which they have beene admitted. These three particulars do concerne the power, dutie, and particular facts, or faults of Presbyteries, wherein we have no power to judge or determine, whether they have proceeded lawfully or not, farre lesse can wee urge or command them to recall what they have determined or done, in the suspending, deposing, or admitting of Ministers, or Moderators; they being properly subject to the superiour Assemblies of the Church; and in this case and condition of the Church, to the Generall Assemblie, where, if they shall not after triall justifie their proceedings, from the good warrants of Scripture, reason, and the acts and practices of the Church, they ought to sustaine their owne deserved censure. And since on the one side, there bee many complaints against the Prelats for their usurpation over Presbyteries in the like particulars; and on the other side, there bee such complaints of the doings and disorders of the Presbyteries to the offence of the Prelats; wee trust that his Majesties Commissioner will not esteeme this to bee any hinderance of the indiction of a Generall Assemblie, but rather a powerfull and principall motive with speed to conveene the same, as the proper Judicatorie wherein to determine such dangerous and universall differences of the Church. Neither do we heare that any Ministers are deposed, but onely suspended during this Interim till a Generall Assemblie, for their erroneous doctrine and flagitious life; So that it were most offensive to God, disgracefull to Religion, and scandalous to the people, to restore them to their places till they bee tried, and censured. And concerning Moderators, none of them (as wee understand) are deposed, but some onely changed, which is verie ordinarie in this Church. The fourth, concerning the repairing of Parishioners to their owne Church, and that Elders assist the Ministers in the discipline of the Church, ought to be cognosced and judged by the particular Presbyteries, to which the Parishioners and Elders are subject, since the cause may be in the Ministers no lesse then in the Parishioners and Elders. And in case they finde no redresse there, to assent till they come to a Generall Assemblie, the want whereof maketh disorders to bee multiplied, both in Presbyteries and particular Parishes.

To the sixth, That Ministers wait upon their owne Churches, and that none of them come to the Assemblie, or place where the same is kept, but such as shall be chosen Commissioners from Presbyteries, we answer, That none are to come to the place of the Assemblie, but such as are either allowed by Commission to have voice, or otherwise have such interesse as they can justifie to his Majesties Commissioner, and the Assemblie conveened.

To the seventh, Concerning the appointment of Moderators of Presbyteries to bee Commissioners to the Generall Assemblie, onely constant Moderators, who have ceased long since, were found in the Assemblie 1606. (which yet was never reputed by the Church to be a lawfull nationall Assemblie) to be necessarie members of the Generall Assemblie. And if both the Moderators, who if they be necessarie members need not to bee chosen, and the chosen Commissioners repaire to the Assemblie, the Assemblie it selfe can judge best of the members whereof it ought to consist.

To the ninth, That no lay-person whatsoever meddle with the choosing of Commissioners from the Presbyteries, and no minister without his owne Presbyterie, we say, That according to the order of our Church discipline, none but Ministers, and Elders of Churches ought to have voice in choosing78 Commissioners from Presbyteries, and that no Minister, or Elder should have voice in Election, but in his owne Presbyterie.

The rest of the particulars are concerning civill matters: As the fifth concerning the paying of Rents and Stipends to Ministers and Bishops, concerning which we can say no further, but that the lawes are patent for them, as for his Majesties other subjects, and that the General Assemblie ought not to be delaied upon any complaint in that kinde.

The eighth, requiring that Bishops, and Ministers be secured in their persons, we think so reasonable, that wee will promise everie one of us for our own parts, they shall suffer no violence from us, and that we shall hinder others so farre as wee may; And if any trouble them otherwise, or make them any kinde of molestation in that attendance but by order of Law, the parties are justly punishable according to the degree of their fault as other subjects are.

To the tenth, concerning the dissolving of all Convocations and meetings, and the peaceablenesse of the Countrie; These meetings being kept for no other end, but for consulting about lawfull remedies against such pressing grievances as threaten the desolation of this Church and State, cannot be dissolved till the evils be removed. And we trust, that nothing in these our meetings hath escaped us, which carrieth in it the smallest appearance of undutifulnesse, or which may seeme to tend to the breach of the common peace: But although our adversaries have herein calumniated us, yet we have alwayes so behaved our selves, as beseemed his Majesties most humble and loyall subjects, petitioning his Majestie for a legall redresse of our just grievances.

To the last, concerning the Covenant; the Commissioner his Grace having many times and most instantly pressed us with that point, we did first by invincible arguments make manifest, that we could not, without sinning against God, and our owne consciences, and without doing wrong to this Nationall Church, and all posteritie, rescind or alter the same: And thereafter did at large cleare the same of all unlawfull combination against Authoritie, by our last Supplication and Declaration, which his Majesties Commissioner accepted as the most readie and powerfull of all other meanes, which could come within the compasse of our thought to give his Majestie satisfaction, The subscription of this our confession of Faith, and Covenant being an act so evidently tending to the glorie of God, the Kings honour, and happinesse of the Kingdome: And having alreadie proved so comfortable to us in the inward of our hearts, It is our ardent and constant desire, and readie wish, that both his Majestie and all his good subjects may be partakers of the same comfort, Like as we finde our selves bound by conscience, and by the Covenant it selfe, to perswade all his Majesties good subjects to join with us for the good of Religion, his Majesties honour, and the quietnesse of the Kingdome: which being modestly used by us without pressing, or threatening of the meanest, we hope shall never give his Majestie the least cause of discontent.

Seeing therefore, according to our power and interesse, wee are most willing to remove all hinderances, that things may bee carried in a peaceable manner, worthy our Profession, and Covenant, doe aime at nothing but the good of the Kingdome, and preservation of the Church, which by consumption, or combustion, is like to be desperately diseased, except remedy some way be speedily provided; And wee delight to use no other meanes, but such as are legall, and have been ordinarie in this Church, since the Reformation: Wee are confident that without further delay, for preventing of greater evils and miseries then we can expresse our just desires shall be granted. So shall we be encouraged in the peace of our souls, still to pray for his Majestie, all encrease of our true honour and happinesse.

1638.—July 28.
57. Reply by the Commissioner.82

1. If the Lords and the rest will undertake for themselves and the rest, that noe Laicks shall have voyces in choosing the Ministers to bee sent from the severall Presbyteries to the General Assembly, nor none else but the Ministers of the same Presbyterie:

2. If they will undertake that at the Assemblie they shall not goe about to determine of things established by Acts of Parliament, otherwise then by remonstrance or petition to the Parliament, leaving the determining of things Ecclesiasticall to the generall Assembly, and things settled by Act of Parliament, to the Parliament:

Then I will presently indict a Generall Assembly, and promise, upon my Honour, immediately after the Assembly to indict a Parliament, which shall cognosce of all their complaints.

1638.—July 30.
58. Letter from the King to Privy Council.83

Charles R.

Right trusty and well-beloved Cousin, Councellour and Commissioner, and Right trusty and well-beloved Cousins and Councellours, and trusty and well-beloved Councellours, We Greet you well.

The great Distractions which have of late arisen both in Kirk and Commonwealth, in that Our Ancient Kingdom of Scotland, have much troubled the minds of many good and loyal Subjects there, and these Distractions have fallen out among them upon Jealousies and Fears of Innovation in Religion, and introducing of Popery; and not without some Fears conceived amongst them, as if We Our Self were that way inclined.

Upon occasion of these Fears they have of late signed a Covenant, or Bond for conserving the Religion established, and the Laws of the Country; but this Bond being not subscribed by Royal leave and Authority (as was that in Our dear Fathers time) must needs be both null in it self, and very prejudicial to the ancient and laudable Government of both Kirk and Commonwealth: which though We must declare unto you, yet out of Our inborn Love to that Our Native Country, and Loyal Subjects there, and for the obviating of these causeless Fears, and to satisfie your selves and all Our loving People, We do hereby under Our hand let you know that We are, and have ever been satisfied fully in Our Judgement and Conscience, both for the Reformed Religion and against the Roman; and that by Gods Grace and Goodness, We purpose both to live and die in the belief and practice of the Religion now established, and to preserve it in full strength, according to the Laws of that Our Kingdom: and to the end that this may appear to Posterity, how firm and settled We are in that Our Religion, We require you Our Commissioner and79 Council to see these Letters registred according to course.

Given at Our Court at Oatlands, July 30. 1638.

1638.—July 30.
59. Declaration by the King.84

Charles R.

The great Distractions which of late have risen both in Kirk and Commonwealth, in this Our ancient Kingdom, have so troubled the minds of many of Our good and loyal Subjects there, that they have been possessed with Fears as if Popery had been intended to have been introduced, and as if We Our Self were that way inclined: upon occasion of which Fears a Covenant or Bond of late hath been drawn up, intended by the Subscribers (as doth appear by their Supplication, presented to Our Commissioner the 26th of June last) for conserving the Religion and Laws of the Country; but it not being done by Royal leave and Authority, as was that in Our dear Fathers time, must be both null and void of it self, and much prejudicial to the ancient and laudable Government of Kirk and Commonwealth: Therefore We for obviating those Fears, which have been misconceived, both against Our Person and Profession, for matters of Religion, and to satisfie not our loving Subjects only, but all the Christian World, that We do, and (by Gods Grace) ever will maintain the true Christian and Reformed Religion, established in this our Kingdom, and to let the World see, that this shall be done in and with all freedom according to the Laws of Our Country, have signed the Confession of Faith, established by Act of Parliament An. 1557, with this Bond following, in defence of it, and Royal Authority, Laws, and Liberties of the Country; and do also require the present Subscription of this Confession and Bond by all Our loving Subjects, that it may remain in force to Posterity, that they may know how careful We are, and have been to preserve the integrity of Religion, and the freedom of Our Laws.

1638.—August 13.
60. Declaration by Hamilton to the Privy Council.85

My Lords,

I thought it fit to acquaint your Lordships before I returned His Majesties Answer to the Noblemen, and others petitioning for the same, which is so full of Grace and Goodness, that we have all cause to bless God, and thank His Majesty for it: such is his tender care of this poor distracted Kingdom, that he will leave nothing undone, that can be expected from a Just Prince, to save us from Ruine; and since he finds such Distraction in the Church and State, that they cannot be well settled without a Parliament and Assembly, the state of the Country and business being prepared for it, he hath given me Warrant for calling of both, that they may be orderly held, as formerly they have been, according to the Laws and Customs of the Kingdom.

And further I am to declare to your Lordships, that this we are to attribute only to His Goodness, for we cannot but acknowledge, that our carriage hath been such, as justly we might have expected that he would have taken another course with us: which he was Royally and really prepared for, (had not His Mercy prevailed above His just Indignation) and by a powerful and forcible way have taught us Obedience, which he hath forborn to make use of merely out of His Grace and Goodness. It is our duty to let His Subjects know, how great our obligation is to Him, which every one of us in particular, and all of us in general, should strive to make every one sensible of; and labour, so far as lieth in our power, to procure satisfaction to His Majesty, and quiet to this distracted Church and State.

1638.—August 25.
61. Articles of Advice, by Hamilton and other Peers, to the King.86

Since the cause and occasion of all the Distractions, which of late have happened both in Kirk and Polity, seems to proceed from the conceived Fears of Innovation of Religion and Laws, and that the Service-Book, Book of Canons, and the unbounded power of Bishops in the High Commission (never yet warranted by Law) was that which first gave ground and occasion to the Subjects Fears, and seeing the said Books are offered to be proved, to be full of Tenets and Doctrines contrary to the Reformed Religion, professed and established within this Kingdom, and the same introduced against all form and custom practised in this Church; it were an Act of Justice well beseeming so Gracious and Glorious a King, absolutely and fully to discharge the same.

And seeing likewise this High Commission hath given so great offence to so many of your Majesties good Subjects, and as is constantly affirmed, is of so vast and illimited a power, and contrary to express Laws, by which all such Judicatories, not established by Act of Parliament, are declared to be of no force; it would much conduce to the satisfaction of this People, if this Judicatory were discharged till the same were established by Law.

The practice of the Five Articles of Perth hath been withstood by the most considerable part of the Subjects of all qualities, both Laity and Clergy, whereby great Divisions have been in this Church, and are like to have an increase, if Your Majesty, (in Your accustomed goodness and care of this poor Kirk and Kingdom) shall not be graciously pleased to allow that the pressing of these Articles may be forborn until the same may be considered of in an Assembly and Parliament; and although we conceive Episcopacy to be a Church-Government most agreeable with Monarchy, yet the illimited power which the Lords of the Clergy of this Kingdom have of late assumed to themselves, in admitting and deposing of Ministers, and in divers others of their Acts and Proceedings, gives us just ground humbly to beg, that Your Majesty may be pleased to remit to the Consideration of the Assembly this their unwarranted Power.

The sense and apprehension of these foresaid Evils, hath stirred up the Subjects without warrant of Authority, to join in a Bond and Covenant to withstand the foresaid Innovations, and for maintainance of the true Religion, the Kings Majesties Person, and of one another in the defence thereof.

If your Majesty might be graciously pleased in supplement hereof, to allow or warrant such a Confession of Faith, with such a Covenant or Bond joyned thereto, as that signed by Your Majesties Father, and by His Command, by the Council and most part of the Kingdom, we are very confident the same would be a ready and forcible mean to quiet the present Disorders, at least to satisfie most part; and if Your Majesty shall condescend80 to the foresaid Propositions, we are hopeful, if not confident, it shall give so great content to so considerable a number of Your Majesties good Subjects, of all qualities, that if any shall stand out, or withstand Your Majesties Royal Pleasure, after the publication thereof, they may be overtaken by Your Majesties Power within this Kingdom, without the help or assistance of any Force elsewhere.

And because it is to be hoped, that all that hath past in this business, and all the Courses that have been taken herein by the Subjects, hath proceeded from the foresaid Fears of Innovations, and not out of any Disloyalty or dissatisfaction to Soveraignty, and that Your good People may still taste the fruits of Your Grace and Goodness, we wish Your Majesty may be graciously pleased, upon the Word of a King, to pardon what is past, and never so much as to take notice of any of the Actions or Proceedings of what person soever, who after this shall carry himself as becomes a dutiful Subject, and in testification thereof shall give his best assistance for settling the present Disorders.

And if Your Majesty may be pleased to condescend hereto, we conceive all Your Majesties Subjects, Petitioners or Covenanters, should acquiesce, and rest heartily satisfied therewith; and if any shall be so foolish or mad, as notwithstanding this Your Majesties grace and goodness, still to disturb the Peace of Your Majesties Government, we in testification of our hearty thankfulness to our Soveraign, by these, humbly and heartily make offer of our Lives and Fortunes, for assisting Your Majesty, or Your Commissioner, in suppressing all such Insolences or insolent persons.

Signed Hamilton. Roxburgh.
  Traquair. Southesk.

1638.—September 9.
62. New Instructions by the King to Hamilton.87

Charles R.

I. You shall in full and ample manner, by Proclamation or otherwise, as you shall see cause, declare, That We do absolutely revoke the Service-Book, the Book of Canons, and the High Commission.

II. You shall likewise discharge the practice of the Five Articles of Perth, notwithstanding the Act of Parliament, which doth command the same, and in the said Proclamation you shall promise, in Our Name, that if in the first Parliament to be held the three Estates shall think fit to repeal the said Act, We shall then give Our Royal Assent to the said Act of Repeal.

III. You shall likewise declare, that We have enjoyned, and authorized the Lords of Our Privy Council to subscribe the Confession of Faith, and Bond thereto annexed, which was subscribed by Our dear Father, and enjoyned by His Authority in the year 1580. and likewise have enjoyned them to take order, that all our Subjects subscribe the same.

IV. You shall likewise declare, that Our meaning and pleasure is, that none of Our Subjects, whether Ecclesiastical or Civil, shall be exempted from censures and trial of the Parliament, or General Assembly, those Courts proceeding against them in due form and order of law.

V. You shall likewise declare, That we are Graciously content, that the Episcopal Government, already established, shall be limited with such Instructions, as may stand with the Laws of this Church and Kingdom already established.

VI. You shall offer a Pardon by Proclamation, and promise in it a Ratification of the same in Parliament, to all Our good Subjects, who shall rest satisfied with this Our gracious Declaration, and hereafter carry themselves as becomes peaceable and dutiful Subjects.

VII. You shall procure an Act of Council, wherein every Councellour shall declare himself fully satisfied with this our Declaration, and (if you can) they shall moreover solemnly swear and protest to adhere to Us, and with their Lives, Fortunes, and whole Means, assist Us in the punishing and repressing all such as shall be found to be disobedient to Us, or persist in turbulent and unpeaceable Courses; and if any of Our Councellours shall refuse so to doe, you shall presently remove him from the place of a Councellour.

VIII. You shall likewise require every Lord of the Session to subscribe the Confession of Faith abovementioned, and the Bond thereunto annexed; as likewise to make the same Protestation in all things, as in the last Instruction is required of a Councellour: and if they shall refuse to doe it, you shall then certifie to Us the names of such Refusers.

IX. You shall likewise declare, that Our Pleasure is, That a most solemn Fast be indicted upon a set day throughout the whole Kingdom, which shall precede the General Assembly in some competent time. The Causes shall be declared, to beg Gods blessing on that Assembly, to beg of God a peaceable end to the Distractions of this Church and Kingdom, with the aversion of Gods heavy judgement from both. The form of Indiction we desire to be according to the most laudable Custom of this Church in most extraordinary cases.

X. You shall labour as much as in you lieth, that both the Electors, and Persons elected to be Commissioners at the General Assembly, shall be the same that were wont to be in My Fathers time, and the same forms to be observed as near as may be: but yet if that cannot be obtained, it shall be no lett to you from indicting a General Assembly; but you shall go on in it, by all such means, as you shall find to be most advantageous to Me in that Service.

XI. The time and place of the Assembly, (Edinburgh only excepted) We leave to your Judgment and Pleasure.

XII. You shall likewise presently indict a Parliament; the time and place We leave likewise to you.

XIII. Whether you shall first publish Our Gracious Offers, or first indict the Assembly, We leave it to your own Judgment as you shall see cause.

XIV. If you shall find the most considerable part of the Council not to acquiesce in this Our Gracious Declaration, and not to promise hearty and chearful Assistance to Us, as is above expressed, or not a considerable part of other Lords and Gentlemen, in case Our Council refuse, then you shall neither indict Parliament nor Assembly, nor publish any of My Gracious Offers, except only the abolishing of the Service-Book, Book of Canons and High Commission; but leave them to themselves, and to such further Order as We shall be forced to take with them; only if you foresee a Breach, you shall give timely warning thereof, to such as have stood well-affected to Our Service, that so they may in due time provide for their safety, and your self is to return to Us with expedition.

XV. You must by all means possible you can think of be infusing into the Ministers, what a81 wrong it will be unto them, and what an oppression upon the freedom of their Judgements, if there must be such a number of Laicks to overbear them, both in their Elections for the General Assembly and afterwards.

XVI. Likewise you must infuse into the Lay-Lords and Gentlemen with art and industry, how manifestly they will suffer, if they let the Presbyters get head upon them.

XVII. For the Forms of these We leave to you, and such Learned Council as you shall use upon the place, always provided, that you retain the substance of these Our Instructions.

XVIII. You shall enjoyn in Our Name the Lords of Council, and all other Our good Subjects to subscribe the Confession of Faith signed by Our dear Father; and publish Our charge to all Commissioners and Ministers for that end, according to the same, signed with Our Royal Hand; and further proceed in that particular, according as We have directed you, and Our Council by Our Letter to that effect.

Charles R.

Oatlands the 9ᵗʰ
of Septemb. 1638.

1638.—September 9.
63.—Instructions as to the Bishops.88

Charles R.

You shall shew My Lord of St Andrews, that We intend by being content with his demission of the Chancellours Place no injury to him, and most willing We are, that in the manner of doing it he may receive no prejudice in his reputation, though we cannot admit at this time of his nominating a Successor; and to make it more plain, that We are far from having any thought to affront him, by thinking of his demission, We will in no ways that you urge him to do it; yet you are to intimate that in Our opinion a fair demission will prove more to the advancement of Our Service, and be better for him, than if he should retain the Place.

If you find him willing to demit, you shall then try what consideration he doth expect from Us, and if the same be not altogether unreasonable, you shall promise it in Our Name.

If a demission, then it is presently to be done.

If he resolve to hold that Place, then you must presently command his repair to Scotland, all excuses set apart.

You shall communicate to him and the rest of his Brethren, that far of Our Intentions, that it is probable you may indict a General Assembly.

That We are content absolutely to discharge the Books of Service, and Canons, and the High Commission.

You shall shew that the Five Articles of Perth We are pleased be esteemed as indifferent, and that though We maintain Episcopacy, yet We will be content that their Power be limited according to the Laws.

And it is Our further Pleasure, that if an Assembly be indicted, he and the rest of his Brethren be there, to defend themselves and their Cause: and for that end, that he and they repair to Newcastle, Morpeth, or Berwick, there to attend your further advertisement, that so immediately they may repair to Scotland, not only to answer for themselves at the said Assembly, but likewise to consult with you, what will be fittest to be done, for the advancement of Our Service that evil may be kept off, so much as in you and them lieth, both from Kirk and Commonwealth.

C. R. 

Oatlands the 9ᵗʰ September, 1638.

1638.—September 9.
64. Proclamation.89

Charles, by the grace of God, King of Scotland, England, France, and Ireland, defender of the faith. To our Lovits ______________________________________ ____________________________________________________ Messengers, Our Sheriffs, in that part conjunctly and severally specially constitute, greeting. Forsomuch as the cause and occasion of all the distractions which have happened of late both in Church and Common-weale of this Our Kingdome, have proceeded from the conceived fears of innovation of Religion and Lawes: To free all our good Subjects of the least suspition of any intention in Us to innovate any thing, either in Religion or Laws; and to satisfie, not only their desires, but even their doubts: We have discharged, and by these presents do discharge the Service book, book of Canons, and high Commission, and the practice of them, or any of them; and by these presents annuls and rescinds all acts of Councell, Proclamations, and other acts and deeds whatsoever that have been made or published, for establishing them, or any of them: and declares the same to be null, and to have no force nor effect in time coming. And being informed, that the urging of the practice of the five Articles of Pearth Assembly, hath bred great distraction and division in the Church and State, We have been graciously pleased to take the same into Our consideration; and for the quiet and peace of Church and State, do not only dispense with the practice of the saids Articles, but also discharge, like as by these presents Wee discharge all and whatsoever persons from urging the practice thereof, upon either laicke or ecclesiasticall person whatsoever. And We doe hereby free all Our Subjects from all censure and pain, whether ecclesiasticall or secular, for not urging, practising, or obeying the same, notwithstanding of any thing contained in the acts of Parliament, or generall Assembly to the contrarie. And because it hath been, to the disgrace of government, disperst and surmized throughout this Our Kingdome, that some of Our Subjects have exercised such illimited and unwarranted power, and have held themselves eximed from censure and punishment, to which others Our Subjects are lyable: We do by these presents declare, that if any of Our Subjects, whether ecclesiasticall or civill, of whatsoever qualitie, title, or degree, have, or shall at any time presume to do any such act, or assume to themselves any such exemption or power, That they shall, like as by these presents We make and ordain them to be lyable to the tryall and censure of Parliament, generall Assembly, or any other judicatories competent, according to the nature and qualitie of the offence. And for the free entrie of Ministers, that no other oath be administrate unto them, than that which is contained in the act of Parliament. And to give Our Subjects full assurance, that we never intend to admit of any change or alteration in the true Religion already established and professed in this Our Kingdome, And that all Our good people may be fully and clearly satisfied of the realitie of Our intentions towards the maintenance of the truth, and integrity of the said Religion: Wee have thought82 fit and expedient to enjoyn and authorize, like as We by these presents do require and command all the Lords of Our privie Councell, Senatours of the Colledge of Justice, Judges, and Magistrates to burgh and land, and all Our other Subjects whatsoever, to subscribe and renew the Confession of Faith, subscribed at first by Our dear Father and his houshold, in the yeare of God, 1580. Thereafter by persons of all ranks, in the year 1581. by ordinance of the Lords of secret Councell, and acts of the generall Assembly. Subscribed again by all sorts of persons in the year, 1590. by a new ordinance of Councell at the desire of the generall Assembly, with their generall band of maintenance of the true Religion, and the Kings person. And for that effect we do require the Lords of Councell to take such course, anent the foresaid confession and generall band, that it may be subscribed and renewed throughout the whole kingdome, with all possible diligence. And because we will not leave in Our Subjects mindes the least scruple or doubt of our royall intentions and reall resolutions, Wee have given warrant to Our Commissioner to indict a free generall Assembly to be holden at Glasgow the twentie one day of November, in this present year, 1638. And thereafter a Parliament to be holden at Edinburgh the fifteenth day of May, Anno 1639. for setting a perfect peace in the Church, and Common-weale of this Kingdome. And because it is likely that the disorders and distractions which have happened of late, have been occasioned through the conceived fears of innovation of religion and laws, and not out of any disloyalty or disaffection to Soveraignty: We are graciously pleased absolutely to forget what is past, and freely to forgive all by-gones to all such as shall acquiesce to this Our gracious pleasure, and carry themselves peaceably as loyall and dutifull Subjects, and shall ratifie and approve the same in Our next ensuing Parliament. And that this Assembly may have the better successe, and more happy conclusion, Our will is that there be a solemne fast proclaimed and kept by all Our good Subjects of this kingdome, a fourteen daies before the beginning of the said Assembly: the causes thereof to be a begging a blessing from God upon that Assembly, and a peaceable end to the distractions of this church and kingdome, with the aversion of Gods heavie judgement from both. And our pleasure is that this fast be kept in the most solemne manner as hath been in this Church at any time heretofore upon the most extraordinary occasion.

OUR WILL is herefore, and we charge you straitly and command, that incontinent these our letters seen, ye passe, and make publication hereof by open proclamation at the market crosses of the head burrows of this kingdome, where-through none pretend ignorance of the same.

Giuen at our court of Oatlands, the ninth day of
September, 1638.

Per Regem.

65. A Direction by Covenanters for Presbyteries.90

1. That every Presbyterie have a copie of the Act made at Dundie the seventh of March 1597. concerning the number of Commissioners; the tenour whereof followeth:—

Because there hath beene no order hitherto anent the number of Commissioners to be directed from everie Presbyterie to the Generall Assemblie, therefore it is statuted and ordained, that in all time comming three of the wisest and gravest of the Brethren shall be directed from everie Presbyterie at the most, as Commissioners to everie Assemblie and that none presume to come without Commission: And likewise, that one bee directed from everie Presbyterie in name of the Barons, and one out of everie Burgh, except Edinburgh, which shall have power to direct two Commissioners to the Generall Assemblie.

2. That everie Presbyterie have a copie of the Commission, to be given to the Commissioners; the tenour thereof followes.

T. T. ____ the ____ day of ____ The which day after calling upon the name of God, We the members of the Presbyterie of ____ having diligently considered the manifold corruptions, innovations, and disorders, disturbing our peace, and tending to the overthrow of our Religion, and Liberties of the reformed Church within this Realme; which hath come to passe, especially through the want of the necessarie remedie of Generall Assemblies, as well ordinarie as pro re nata, injoyned by this Church for many yeares, and ratified by Act of Parliament, And now expecting shortly by the mercie of God the benefit of a free Generall Assemblie, do by these presents nominate and appoint ____ Minister of ____ as also ____ in name of the Burrowes, conjunctly and severally our lawfull Commissioners, giving and granting unto them our full power, Commission, and expresse charge, to repaire to the said Assemblie at the day and place, when and where it shall happen to sit, in any safe and commodious place within this Kingdome, and there with the rest who shall be authorised with lawfull Commission, in our name to propone, treat, reason, vote, and conclude, according to the word of God, and confession of faith approved by sundrie Generall Assemblies, and received throughout the whole Kingdome in all Ecclesiasticall matters, competent to a free Generall Assemblie, and tending to the advancement of the Kingdome of Christ, and the good of Religion, as they will answer to God, and his Church thereupon, and to report to us their diligence therein. In testification of this our Commission and charge, we have subscribed these presents with our hands, and which they have accepted with the lifting up of their hands.

3. That everie Church Session send one of the most qualified Elders unto the Presbyterie the day of chusing Commissioners to the Generall Assemblie: That by common consent of the Ministers and those Elders present in the Presbyterie, there may bee chosen both the Commissioners for the Ministers, and also some well affected and qualified Nobleman, or speciall Gentleman, being an Elder of some particular Church Session within that Presbyterie, in name of the Barons: For this is the constitution of the Presbyteries, (otherwise called Elderships) appointed by the Church in the books of discipline, Acts of the Generall Assemblie, practised for many yeares after the reformation, and ratified in the Parliament, the twelfth of King James the 6. and never since altered nor rescinded; neither can be with reason altered, seeing that same is the constitution of the supreme and Generall Assemblies, and of the inferiour and Church Sessions, as is at more length cleared by some reasons.

4. That such as are erroneous in doctrine, or scandalous in life, be presently processed, that they be not chosen Commissioners; and if they shall happen to be chosen by the greater part, that all the best affected, both Ministers and Elders, protest83 and come to the Assemblie to testifie the same.

5. To send to everie Presbyterie a copie of the printed reasons for an Assemblie.

6. That Moderators by vertue of their office bee not Commissioners to the Assemblie, except they be chosen.

7. That the Presbyteries in one of the ordinarie meetings, appoint to conveene solemnely after the twentieth of September, either upon the 21. 22. 23. 24. or 25. for chusing of their Commissioners to the Assemblie, and for to send them hither to Edinburgh before the first of October, or so soone as they can, that with common consent, they may receive the Kings last answer, and advise upon the next lawfull remedies, in their extreme necessities of Church and State.

That in the Fast to be observed on the sixteenth day of September, the second day preceding their election, they may crave God’s direction therein.

1638.—September 22.
66. Letter from the King to Hamilton.91


If I should be too long silent, I seem to contradict that Rule which myself prescribed; therefore, though for the present I can say nothing of the main business, yet this must go if it were but to acknowledged the receipt of your two—viz., of the 12ᵗʰ of September from Ferribridge, and of the 17ᵗʰ of the same from Holyrood-house. So referring you to the Comptroller for what concerns the Ordnance that is to be transported to Hull, I rest

Your assured constant Friend, 
Charles R.

22 Sept. 1638.

1638.—September 22.
67, 68.—Proclamations.92

At Holy-rood-house the 22. day of September 1638. Forsomuch as it hath pleased the Kings Majestie, out of his pious and religious disposition to the true Religion, and out of his fatherly care, for removing of all feares, doubts, and scruples, which may arise in the mindes of his subjects, for preservation of the puritie thereof, and upon divers great and weightie considerations, importing the glory of God, the peace of the Kirke and Common-weale of this kingdome, to appoint and give order, that a free generall Assembly be indicted, kept, and holden at the Citie of Glasgow the 21. of November next. Therefore the Lords of secret Councell ordaines letters to be direct, charging Maissars, and Officers of Armes, to passe and make publication hereof by open Proclamation at the Market Crosse of Edinburgh, and the head Burrowes of this Kingdome, and other places needfull. And to warne all and sundry Archbishops, Bishops, Commissioners of Kirkes, and others having place and vote in the Assembly, to repaire and addresse to the said Citie of Glasgow the said one and twentieth day of November next to come, and to attend the said Assembly induring the time thereof, and aye and while the same be dissolved, and to doe and performe all which to their charges in such cases appertaineth, as they will answer to the contrarie at their highest perill.

At Holy-rood-house the 22. day of September 1638.

Forsomuch as it hath pleased his Majestie, out of his pious and religious disposition to the true Religion, and out of his fatherly care for removing of all feares, doubts, and scruples which may arise in the mindes of his subjects, for preservation of the puritie thereof, and upon divers other great and weighty causes, importing the glory of God, the peace of the Kirke and Common-weale of this Kingdome, to appoint and give order, that the Soveraigne and High Court of Parliament shall be holden at the Citie of Edinburgh upon the 15. day of May next to come, with continuation of dayes: Therefore the Lords of secret Councell ordain letters to be direct to Maissars and officers of Arms, charging them to passe to the market Crosse of Edinburgh, and other places needfull, and there by open Proclamation to make publication of the holding of the said Parliament, and to warne all and sundry Noblemen, Prelates, and Commissioners for the Barons and Burrowes, and all others having voice and place in the said Parliament, that they and every one of them, in their most decent and comely manner, make their addresse to the said Parliament, attend and await thereat during the time thereof, and to discharge that duty which is incumbent to them, and each one of them, as they will answer on the contrary at their perill.

1638.—September 22.
69. Letter from the King to the Privy Council.93
Apud Holy-rood-house Septemb. 22. 1638.

The which day James Marquesse of Hamiltoun His Majesties Commissioner, produced and exhibited before the Lords of Privie Councell, the two Missive underwritten, signed by the Kings Maiestie, and directed to the said Lords, which being read, heard and considered by the said Lords, They have ordained, and ordaines the name to be inserted and registred in the books of secret Councell, therein to remaine ad futuram rei memoriam, whereof the tenour followeth.

Charles R.

Right trusty, &c. being certainly informed that the distractions which have happened of late, (both in Church and Commonwealth) in this Our ancient Kingdome of Scotland, have much troubled the minds of many of Our good and loyall subiects; and that these distractions have beene occasioned upon jealousies and feares of innovation of Religion and Lawes, as tending to the introduction of Poperie, and not without some suspition as if Wee Our selfe were inclined that way; Upon occasion whereof, many of Our subjects have of late subscribed a band or Covenant for preserving the true Religion and Lawes already established, and for defending the Kings person, and each others, in defence thereof: But the same not being warranted by Royall authority (as that which was in Our deare Fathers time) must needs of it selfe be ineffectuall, and much prejudiciall to the ancient Forme and Custome of government kept within that Our Kingdome of Scotland: Wherefore Wee, out of Our inborne love to Our said native Countrie, and for obviating these conceived feares, and satisfying of you and all Our loving people, have thought good to ordaine the Confession of Faith, and band subjoyned thereto, of the date at Edinburgh,84 Januarie 28. 1580. and signed by Our Royall Father to bee renewed: And to that effect have given Order to Our Commissioner, with advice of Our Councell, to set downe and settle some solid course, whereby the same may be subscribed by Our Councell, Judges, Magistrates of Burroughes, and all other Our people of that Kingdome. And for further clearing of Our selfe, Wee declare, That as We are and ever have beene satisfied in Our judgment and conscience for the reformed Religion now established, and against the Roman: so Wee purpose, by Gods grace, both to live and die in the practice thereof, and to preserve and maintaine the same in full strength and integritie, according to the Lawes of that Our ancient Kingdome. What We have thought further fitting to be done at this time, concerning the particulars contayned in Our subjects petitions; you shall receive Our full pleasure therein from Our Commissioner. And that this Our Declaration concerning Our selfe, and Our pious intention, for settling the Reformed Religion within that Our Kingdome may appeare to posteritie. Our pleasure is, that these presents be registred in the Books of Councell.

Oatlands, Septem. 9. 1638. 

1638.—September 22.
70. Act of Council.94

The Lords of secret Councell having read and maturely considered his Majesties letters, and particular declaration of his pleasure anent the annulling of the Service Book, book of canons, and high Commission, discharging the pressing of the practice of the five Articles, making all persons Ecclesiastick and Civill, of what title or degree soever, lyable to the triall and censure of Parliament, general Assembly, & other judicatories competent, anent the not administrating to ministers at their entry any other oath than that which is contained in the act of Parliament anent the subscribing and renewing the confession of faith, subscribed by his Majesties Father of blessed memory, and his houshold, in Anno 1580. and band following thereupon, anent the indiction of a generall Assembly, to be holden at Glasgow the 21. day of November 1638, and Parliament at Edinburgh the 15 of May, 1639. and anent his gracious goodnesse in forgetting and forgiving all by-gones, and indiction of a fast for craving of God’s blessing to this Assembly; finde themselves so fully satisfied therewith, and the same to be so satisfactorie for removing all the fears of the subjects anent innovation of religion or laws, that we hold our selves bound in dutie, not only to acquiesse therewith, as the best mean to secure both religion and laws, but also to use our best endeavours, that all his Majesties good subjects may likewise rest satisfied therewith. And that they with us, and we with them, may testifie our thankfulnesse for so great a grace and goodnesse with all the hearty expressions of dutifulnesse and loyalty, and that our true sense hereof may the more clearly appear to our Sacred Soveraigne; We do by these humbly and heartily make offer of our lives and fortunes in the defending and assisting of his Majesties sacred person and authority; in the maintenance of the foresaid religion and confession, and repressing of all such as shall hereafter presse to disturbe the peace of this Kirk and Kingdome.

In witnesse whereof we have heartily and freely subscribed these presents with our hands. At Halyrude-house the 22 day of September. 1638.

Sic Subscribitur.

Traquaire, Roxburgh, Mairsheall, Mar, Murray, Linlithgow, Perth, Wigtoun, Kingorne, Tullibardin, Hadington, Annandail, Lauderdail, Kinnoul, Dumfreis, Southesk, Belheaven, Angus, Lorne, Elphinstoun, Naper, Dalyell, Amont, J. Hay, S. Thomas Hope, S. W. Elphinstoun, Ja. Carmichael, J. Hammiltoun, Blackhall.

1638.—September 22.
71. The Protestation of the Noblemen, Barons, Gentlemen, Burrowes, Ministers, and Commons, the 22. September 1638 [after the reading of the Proclamation dated September 9.]95

Wee Noblemen, Barons, Gentlemen, Burgesses, Ministers, and Commons, his Majesties true and loyall subjects, That whereas our continuall supplications, complaints, articles, and informations, presented, first, to the Lords of his Majesties Privie Councell; next, to his sacred Majestie, and last, from time to time to his Majesties Commissioner, our long attendance and great patience this twelvemonth bygone, in waiting for satisfaction of our most just desires, our zeale to remove all rubs out of the way, which were either mentioned unto us, or could be conceived by us, as hinderances of our pious intentions, aiming at nothing but the good of the Kingdome, and preservation of the Kirk, which by consumption or combustion is likely to expire; delighting to use no other meanes but such as are legall, and have beene ordinarie in this Kirk since the reformation, and labouring according to our power and interesse, that all things might be carried in a peaceable manner, worthy of our Profession and Covenant, our Protestation containing a hearty thanksgiving for what his Majesty in his Proclamation from his justice had granted of our just desires, and our Protests and hopes for so much as was not as yet granted: All these made us confidently to expect from his Majesties royall and compassioned disposition towards this his native Kingdome, that a free Generall Assembly and Parliament should have beene indicted, as the ordinary and most proper remedies of our grievances, and did constraine us to renew our petition, earnestly intreating that his Majesties Commissioner would be pleased to represent unto his Majesty the condition of this Kirk and Kingdome, crying in an extreme exigencie for present help, with the lawfulnesse of the remedies prescribed by his Majesties Lawes, required by us, and presented to him in some particular Articles, which his Grace promised to recommend to his Majestie, and to doe his best endeavours for obtaining the same; especially the first Article, that there might be indicted a full and free Generall Assembly, without prelimitation, either in the constitution and members thereof, in the order and manner of proceeding, or in the matters to be treated: And if there should be any question or doubt about one of these, or such like particulars, that the determination thereof might be remitted to the Assembly it selfe, as the only proper and competent Judge. And now, after so many supplications, complaints, articles, and informations; after our necessary protestation, expressing the humble thankfulnesse and continued desires of our hearts; after so long expectation, and so much dealing, having with open eares and attentive minds, heard his85 Majesties Proclamation, It is our desire, purpose, and endeavour so to proceed, that we may upon the one part still be thankfull to God and the King for the least blinke of his Majesties countenance, and the smallest crums of comfort that fall unto us from his Majesties Royall hands; beseeching the Lord yet farther to inlarge his Majesties heart, for our full satisfaction and rejoicing, to the honour of God, the good of this Kirk and Kingdome, and his Majesties never dying fame and glory; that his wise government and zeale to the service of God may be a measure and patterne of desires to all generations hereafter, when they shall be wishing for a religious and righteous King: And on the other part, that Christ our Lord, the King of kings, through our neglect or luke-warmnesse may want no part of his Soveraignty and Dominion, and that in our Religion, which is more dear unto us then our lives, we deceive not our selves with that which cannot satisfie and make up the breach of this Kirke and Kingdome, or remove our feares, doubts, and suspicions of the innovations of Religion: This hath made us to observe and perceive, that his Majesties Proclamation doth ascribe all the late distractions of this Kirke and Common-wealth to our conceived feares of the innovation of Religion and Law, as the cause and occasion thereof, and not to the innovations themselves, with which we have beene for a long time, and especially of late, heavily pressed and grieved; as if the cause were rather in apprehension and fancie, then in reality and substance. That the Service book and booke of Canons are not so far discharged by this Proclamation, as they have beene urged by preceding Proclamations; for this Proclamation onely dischargeth the practice of them, and rescinds the Acts made for establishing their Practice, but doth not rescind the former Proclamations, namely, that of the 19 of February at Stirling, and that of the fourth of July at Edinburgh, which give an high approbation to these Books, as fit meanes to maintaine Religion, and to beat down all superstition; and withall declares his Majesties purpose, to bring them into this Kirk in a faire and legall way: And thus both our feares that they may be introduced hereafter, must still remaine; and the libertie of the Generall Assembly by such a Declaration of his Majesties judgement, is not a little prejudged in the minds of so many as wisely consider and compare the preceding Proclamations with this which we now heare, although others who looking upon one step and not upon the whole progresse, run on rashly, and neither considering what they are doing, nor with whom they are dealing, may be easily deceived Qui pauca videt, citò judicat, a short sight maketh a sudden judgement.

That it is declared in this Proclamation, That his Majesty neither intendeth to innovate any thing in Religion or Lawes, or to admit of any change or alteration in the true Religion already established and professed in this Kingdome: and withall, this is interposed, That the articles of Pearth are established by the acts of Parliament and generall Assembly, and dispensation of the practice only granted, and discharge given, that no person be urged with the practice thereof; and consequently, his Majesties intention for the standing of the Acts of the Assembly and Parliament, appointing the Articles of Pearth, is manifest; which is no small prejudice to the freedome of the Generall Assembly, That while the Proclamation ordaineth all his Majesties subjects to be liable to the triall and censure of the judicatories competent, and that none of them shall use any unlimited and unwarranted power; likewise that no other oath be administred to Ministers at their entrie, then that which is contained in the Act of Parliament; in both these Articles the Bishops are meaned, who are only thereby for the present curbed, against their exorbitancie and enormities in exercing their office: but the office of Bishops is thereby not only presupposed as unquestionable, but also so strongly established, that his Majestie declareth, for the present, his intention, to admit no innovation therein: which is more evident by the indiction of the Parliament, warning all Prelats to be present, as having voice and place in Parliament; and by the indiction of the Assembly, warning all Archbishops and Bishops (for so are their divers degrees and offices Ecclesiasticall here designed and supposed) to be present, as having place and voyce in the Assembly, contrary to the caveats, acts of the Kirk, and our declinator: And thus a third and great limitation is put upon the Generall Assembly. The Proclamation, by reason of these many reall limitations, and prejudices of the liberty of the Assembly in the very points which have wrought so much woe and disturbance in this Kirk and Kingdome, and wherein the liberty of the Assembly is most usefull and necessary at this time, can neither satisfie our grievances and complants, nor remove our feares and doubts, nor cannot (without protestation) be admitted by us his Majesties subjects, who earnestly desire that Truth and Peace may be established; and that for the reasons following:—

1. To keepe silence in any thing that may serve for the good of the Kirk, whether it be in preaching, prayer, or in proposing and voyceing in a lawfull Assembly of the Kirke, is against the word of God. Esai. 62. 6. “Yee that are the Lords remembrancers, keepe not silence, and give him no rest till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.” 1. King. 18. 21. “Like the halting of the people betweene two opinions, and their not answering a word, when the Lord called them to give a testimony.” Act. 20. 20. “I have keeped backe nothing that was profitable unto you:” and againe 1 Cor. 12. 7. Mat. 15. 18. Rom. 1. 18. Revel. 2. 14. 20. and 3. 15: and therefore to keepe silence, or not to meddle with corruptions, whether in doctrine, sacraments, worship or discipline, in a generall Assembly of the Kirk, conveened for that end, were the ready way to move the Lord to deny his Spirit unto us, and to provoke him to wrath against our proceedings, and might be imputed unto us for prejudice, for collusion, and for betraying our selves and the posterity.

2. This predetermination is against our supplications and protestations, wherein we have showne ourselves so earnest for a free generall Assembly, contrary to every limitation of this kind; so far prejudging the liberty thereof, is against the Confession of Faith registrated in the Parliament 1567, declaring that one cause of the Councels of the Kirk is for good policie and order to be observed in the Kirk, and for to change such things as men have devised when they rather foster superstition then edifie the Kirke, using the same; and is against our late Confession, wherein we have promised to forbeare all novations till they be tryed, which obligeth us to forbeare now, and to try them in an Assembly, and by all lawfull meanes to labour to recover the former purity and liberty of the Gospel, to which this limitation is directly repugnant, our liberty in a Generall Assembly being the principall of all lawfull meanes serving to that end.

3. This were directly contrary to the nature and ends of a generall assembly, which having authority from God, being conveened according to the lawes86 of the Kingdome, and receiving power from the whole collective body of the Kirke, for the good of Religion, and safety of the Kirke; whatsoever may conduce for these good ends in wisdome and modesty should be proponed, examined, and determined without Prelimitation, either of the matters to bee treated, or of the liberty of the members thereof. It being manifest, that as farre as the assembly is limited in the matters to bee treated, and in the members to be used, the necessary ends of the Assembly, and the supreme Law, which is the safety of the Kirke, are as far hindered, and pre-judged.

This limitation is against the Discipline of the Kirke, which Booke 2. chap. 7. declareth this to be one of her liberties, That the Assembly hath power to abrogate and abolish all Statutes and ordinances concerning Ecclesiasticall matters that are found noysome and unprofitable, and agree not with the time, or are abused by the people, and against the acts of the generall assembly. Like as the pretended Assembly 1610 declareth for the common affaires of the Kirk (without exception or limitation) it is necessary that there bee yearely generall Assemblies, And what order can bee hoped for hereafter, if this assembly indicted after so long intermission, and so many grosse corruptions be limited, and that more than ever any lawfull Assembly of the Kirk was, when it was yearly observed.

5. It is ordained in Parl. 11. act 40. K. James 6. anent the necessary and lawfull forme of all Parliaments that nothing shall be done or commanded to be done, which may directly or indirectly pre-judge the liberty of free voicing or reasoning of the Estates, or any of them in time coming. It is also appointed in Parl. 6. act 92. K. James 6. that the Lords of Counsell and Session proceed in all civill causes intended or depending before them, or to be intended, to cause execute their decrees notwithstanding any private writing, charge, or command in the contrary, and generally by the acts of Parliament appointing every matter for its owne judicatorie, and to all judicatories their owne freedome. And therefore much more doth this liberty belong to the supreame judicatory ecclesiastick in matters so important as concerneth Gods honour and worship immediately, the salvation of the peoples Soules, and right constitution of the Kirk whose liberties and priviledges are confirmed Parl. 12. K. James 6. Parl. 1. K. Charles, for if it be carefully provided by diverse Acts of Parliament, especially Parl. 12. act 148. King James 6. That there be no forstalling or regrating of things pertaining to this naturall life: What shall be thought of this spirituall forstalling and regrating which tendeth to the famishing or poysoning of the soules of the people both now and in the generations afterward.

6. It were contrary to our Protestations, proceedings and complaints against the late innovations. And it might bee accounted an innovation and usurpation as grosse & dangerous to us, & the posterity, and as prejudiciall to Religion as any complained upon by us, to admit limitations, and secret or open determinations, which belongeth to no person or judicatory, but to an Assembly, Or to consent to, and approve by our silence the same predeterminations, It were to be guilty of that our selves, which we condemn in others. We may easily judge how the Apostles before the Councell of Jerusalem, the Fathers before the Nicene Councell, and our Predecessors before the assembly holden at the Reformation, and afterwards, would have taken such dealing.

That this Proclamation commandeth all his Ma jesties Subjects for maintenance of the Religion already established to subscribe and renew the Confession of Faith subscribed before in the yeare 1580 and afterward. And requireth the Lords of privy Counsell to take such course anent the same, and the generall Band of Maintenance of the true Religion, and the Kings person, that it may be subscribed, and renewed throughout the whole Kingdome with all possible diligence, which cannot now be performed by us. For although of late we would have been glad that our selves and other his Majesties Subjects had been commanded by authority to sweare, and subscribe the generall Confession of Faith against Popish errours, and superstitions: and now would be glad that all others should ioyne with us in our late Covenant & Confession, descending more especially to the novations and errors of the time, and obliging us to the defence of Religion; and of the Kings Maiesties person, and authority, and for these ends to the mutuall defence every one of us of another, Yet can we not now after so necessary, and so solemne a specification returne to the generall for the reasons following.

1. No means have been left unassayed against our late Confession of Faith and Covenant so solemnly sworn and subscribed. For first we were prest with the rendering and rescinding of our Covenant. Next an alteration in some substantiall points was urged. 3. A Declaration was motioned, which tended to the enervation thereof, and now we finde in the same strain, that we are put to a new triall, and the last mean is used more subtile than the former: That by this new subscription our late Covenant, and Confession may be quite absorbed and buried in oblivion, that where it was intended & sworn to be an everlasting Covenant never to be forgotten, it shall be never more remembered, the one shall be cryed up, and the other drowned in the noise thereof, And thus the new subscription now urged (although in a different way) shall prove equivalent to the rendering of the Covenant, or what of that kinde hath before been assayed. Like as the reasons against the rendring of the Covenant, doe militate directly against this new motion.

2. If we should now enter upon this new Subscription, we would think our selves guilty of mocking God, & taking his Name in vain, for the tears that began to be powred forth at the solemnizing of the Covenant are not yet dryed up and wiped away, and the joyfull noise which then began to sound hath not yet ceased, and there can bee no new necessity from us, and upon our part pretended for a ground of urging this new subscription, at first intended to be an abjuration of Popery upon us who are knowne to hate Popery with an unfained hatred, and have all this yeare bygone given large testimony of our zeale against it. As we are not to multiply miracles on God’s part, so ought we not to multiply solemne oathes and Covenants upon our part, and thus to play with oathes, as children doe with their toyes, without necessity.

3. Neither would we in giving way to this new subscription think our selves free of perjury: for as we were driven by an undeclinable necessity to enter into a mutuall Covenant, so are we bound, not only by the law of God and nature, but by our solemn oath and subscription, against all divisive motions to promove and observe the same without violation: and it is most manifest, that having already refused to render, alter, or destroy our Covenant, nothing can bee more contrary and adverse to our pious intentions and sincere resolutions, than to consent to such a subscription and oath, as both in the intention of the urgers, and in the nature87 and condition of the matter urged, is the ready way to extinguish, and to drowne in oblivion the Band of our union and conjunction that they be no more remembred. In this case we are called to lay seriously to our hearts, 1, That we have sworne that we shall neither directly, nor indirectly suffer our selves to be divided and withdrawne from this blessed and loyall conjunction, which consisteth not only in the generall Confession, but also in our explanation, & application thereof, but on the contrary, shal by all lawfull means, labour to further and promove the same. 2. That our union and conjunction may be observed without violation, (and so without mutilation of our application) we call the living LORD to witnesse, as we shall answer to Christ in the great Day, &c.

4. This new subscription, instead of performing our vows, would be a reall testimony and confession before the World, That we have been transgressours, in making rash vows, that we repent our selves of former zeal and forwardnesse against the particulars exprest first in our Supplications, Complaints, and Protestations, and next abjured in our Covenant, that we in our judgement prefer the generall Confession unto this, which necessarily was now made more speciall; and that we are now under the faire pretext and honest cover of a new oath, recanting & undoing that, which upon so mature deliberation we have been doing before. This beside all other evils, were to make way and open a door to the re-entry of the particulars abjured, and to repent our selves of our chiefest consolations, and to lie both against God and our owne soules.

5. It hath been often objected, that our Confession of Faith, & Covenant was unlawfull, because it wanted the warrants of publick authority, and it hath been answered by us, that we were not destitute of the warrant civill and ecclesiasticall which authorized the former Covenant. And although we could have wished that his Maᵗʸ had added both his subscription & authority unto it, yet the lesse constraint from authority and the more liberty, the lesse hypocrisie, and more sincerity hath appeared: But by this new subscription urged by authority we both condemn our former subscription as unlawfull, because alleadged to be done without authority, and precondemn also the like laudable course in the like necessity to be taken by the posterity.

6. What is the use of merch-stones upon borders of Lands, the like use hath Confessions of Faith in the Kirk, to disterminate and divide betwixt Truth and errour: and the renewing and applying of Confessions of Faith to the present errors and corruptions, are not unlike ryding of merches. And therefore to content our selves with the generall, and to return to it, from the particular application of the Confession necessarily made upon the invasion or creeping in of errors within the borders of the Kirk, if it be not a removing of the merch stone from its own place, it is at least the hiding of the merch in the ground that it be not seen, which at this time were very unseasonable for two causes. One is, because Popery is so pregnant, and powerful in this land, as we have learned of late. The other, because the Papists who upon the urging of the Service book & Canons, have presumed of our return to Rome, will upon this our subscription arise from their dispareing of us, unto their wonted presumption. None of us will deny, but the large Confession of Faith registrated in the Acts of Parliament, doth by consequence contain this short confession and abjuration: Yet were it not sufficient against Popery to subscribe the one without the other: how then shall we think that the more generall Confession & abjuration at this time, when the urging of such Popish books hath extorted from us so necessary an application, and doth still call for a testimony, to be compleat enough without it.

7. The Papists shall hereby be occasioned to renew their old objection against us, Annuas & menstruas fides de Deo decernunt, That our Faith changeth with the Moon, or once in the yeere. Other reformed Kirks might justly wonder at our inconstancy in changing our Confession without any reall necessity, and that in one and the same yeer it cometh forth larger, & more particular, then shorter, & more generall: & our Adversaries will not fail to traduce us as troublers of the peace of the kirk & kingdom without any necessar cause.

8. It will likewise prove a confirmation of their errour, who think they may both subscribe the Confession of Faith, and receive the Service book, and Canons, which is not only a direct scandaling of them, but also a ready way to put a weapon in their hands against our selves, who maintain and professe that these and such other evils are abjured in the Confession of Faith.

9. If we should now sweare this Confession, we should be obliged by our oath to maintain Perth articles, which are the innovations already introduced in the worship of God, and to maintain Episcopacy, with the civill places, and power of Kirkmen. Because we are bound to swear this Confession by vertue of & conform unto the Kings command signed by his sacred Majesty of the date September 9. 1638. (These are the very words subioyned to the Confession and Band, and prefixed to the Subscriptions) and it cannot be denyed, but any oath ministred unto us, must either be refused, or else taken according to the known mind, professed intention, and expresse command of Authority urging the same: And it is most manifest, that His Maiesties minde, intention, and Commandement, is no other, but that the Confession be sworne, for the maintenance of religion, as it is already or presently professed, (these two being coincident, altogether one and the same, not only in our common form of speaking, but in all His Maiesties Proclamations) and thus as it includeth, and conteineth within the compasse thereof, the foresaid novations and Episcopacy, which under that name were also ratified, in the first Parliament holden by his Majesty. And where it may be objected, that the Counsellors have subscribed the Confession of Faith, as it was professed 1580. and will not urge the Subscription in another sense upon the Subjects. We answer, First, the Act of Counsell containing that declaration, is not as yet published by Proclamation. Secondly, if it were so published, it behooved of necessity either be repugnant to His Majesties declared Iudgement and Command, which is more nor to sweare without warrand from Authority (a fault although unjustly, often objected unto us) or else we must affirme the Religion in the yeare 1580. and at this time to be altogether one and the same; and thus must acknowledge, that there is no novation of Religion, which were a formall contradiction to that we have sworne. 3. By approving the Proclamation anent the Oath to be administred to Ministers, according to the Act of Parliament, which is to sweare simple obedience to the Diocesan Bishop, and by warning all Archbishops and Bishops to be present; as having voice and place in the Assembly: They seem to determine, that in their Iudgement the Confession of Faith, as it was professed 1580. doth consist with Episcopacy, whereas We by our oath have referred the tryall of this or any88 other question of that kinde to the generall Assembly & Parliament.

10. This subscription and oath in the mind & intention of authority, & consequently in our swearing thereof may consist with the corruptions of the Service book & Canons, which we have abjured as other heads of Popery: For both this present proclamation, and his Majesties former proclamations at Linlithgow, Striveling, Edenburgh; The Lords of privy Counsell in their approbation of the same; and the prelates and doctors who stand for the Service book & Canons, Doe all speak plainly, or import so much, That these bookes are not repugnant to the Confession of Faith; and that the introducing of them is no novation of religion or law: And therefore wee must either refuse to subscribe now, or we must confesse contrary to our late Oath, and to a cleare Truth, That the Service book and Canons are no innovations in Religion. And, though the present bookes be discharged by proclamation, yet if we shall by any deed of our own testifie, that they may consist with our Confession of Faith, within a very short time, either the same bookes, or some other like unto them, with some small change, may be obtruded upon us, who by our abiuration (if we adhere unto it) have freed both our selves, and the posterity of all such corruptions, and have laid a faire foundation for the pure worship of God in all time comming.

11. Although there be indeed no substantiall difference between that which We have subscribed, & the Confession subscribed 1580. more than there is between that which is hid, and that which is revealed; A march stone hid in the ground, and uncovered, betwixt the hand closed and open, betwixt a sword scheathed and drawne, or betwixt the large Confession, registrat in the Acts of Parliament, and the short Confession, or (if we may with reuerence ascend yet higher) between the Old Testament & the New, yet as to scheath our sword when it should be drawn, were imprudency, or at the commandement of Princes, professedly Popish in their dominions, after the Subiects had subscribed both Confessions, to subscribe the first without the second, or at the will of a Jewish Magistrate, openly denying the New Testament, to subscribe the Old alone, after that they have subscribed both, were horrible impiety against God, and Treachery against the Truth: Right so, for Vs to subscribe the former a-part, as it is now urged and framed, without the explanation and application thereof at this time, when ours is reiected; and the subscribers of the former refvse to subscribe ours, as containing something substantially different, and urge the former upon us, as different from ours, and not expressing the speciall abiuration of the euils, supplicated against by us, were nothing else, but to deny and part from our former subscription, if not formally, yet interpretatively. Old Eleazar, who would not seeme to eate forbidden meate, and the Confessors and Martyrs of old, who would not seeme by delivering some of their papers, to render the Bible, or to deny the Truth, may teach us our duty in this case, although our lives were in hazard for refusing this Subscription: And who knoweth but the LORD may be calling His people now, who have proceeded so far in professing His Truth at this time, to such Trials and Confessions, as His faithfull witnesses have given of old; that in this point also our doing may be a document both to the succeeding ages, and to other Kirks, to whom for the present we are made a spectacle.

12. If any be so forgetfull of his oath (which God forbid) as to subscribe this Confession, as it is now urged, he doth according to the proclamation acquiesce in this declaration of his Majesties will, and doth accept of such a pardon as hath need to be ratified in Parliament, And thus doth turne our glory unto shame, by confessing our guiltinesse, where God from Heaven hath made us guiltlesse, and by the fire of His Spirit from Heaven hath accepted of our service, And doth depart from the commandement of God, the practise of the Godly in former times, and the worthy and laudable example of our worthy and religious progenitours, in obedience whereof, and conform to which, We made profession to subscribe: for there is no particular Act required of us, to whom the pardon is presented in this proclamation, but this new subscription allanerlie.

13. The generall band now urged to be subscribed, as it containeth many clauses not so fitting the present time as that wherein it was subscribed, so is it deficient in a point, at this time most necessary, Of the reformation of our lives, that we shall answerably to our profession, be examples to others, of all Godliness, sobernesse and righteousnesse and of every duty we owe to God and man, without which we cannot now subscribe this Confession, least we loose the bands to wickednesse, seem to repent of our former resolutions and promises, and choose to have our portion with hypocrites, professing and swearing that we know God, but in our workes denying him, being abominable, disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

14. Since the narrative of the generall band is now changed, & some lines, expressing at length the Papists, and their adherents to be the partie from whom the danger to Religion, and the Kings Majestie was threatned, are left out, and no designation made of the partie from whom the danger is now threatned, We are made either to think, that our subscription at this time is unnecessarie, or to suspect that we who have supplicated and entred in Covenant, are understood to be the partie, especially since the Lords of Councell have in the Act Septemb. 22. ratifying the Proclamation, found themselves bound to use their best endeavours, that all his Majesties good subjects may rest satisfied with his Majesties Declaration, since also we have beene (although undeservedly) challenged of disorders, distractions, and dangers to Religion, and his Majesties authority; and since in the foresaid Act, and in the missive directed to his Majestie, the Lords of Councell offer their lives and fortunes to his Majestie, in repressing all such as shall hereafter prease to disturbe the peace of this Kirk and Kingdome; which being expressed in a generalitie is by many applied to us, and interpreted of our adhering to our Covenant; We should therefore, by our subscription of the Covenant, as it is now conceived, both do directly against our owne minds in condemning our selves, wherein we are innocent, and should consent to our owne hurt, to the suppressing of the cause which we maintaine, and to the repressing mutually one of us of another, dirictly contrarie to our former solemne Oath and subscription.

15. The subscribing of this Confession by the Lords of His Majesties privie Councell, who by their place and high employment are publike Peacemakers, and by others who have not subscribed the late Confession, will make the breach wider, and the lamentable division of this Kirk more desperate then ever before, some having sworne to labour by all lawfull meanes to recover the former Libertie, and puritie of Religion, and others maintaining that for puritie, which is alreadie established; Some beleeving and professing, that the89 evils supplicated against, are abjured in that Confession of Faith, and others maintaining the Confession of Faith, and these corruptions (although for the present discharged by Authoritie) not to be inconsistent: and beside this, many divisions and subdivisions will ensue, to the dolefull renting of the Kirk and Kingdome, making way for the wrath and many judgements of God often threatned by his faithfull servants, which all the godly ought to labour by all meanes to prevent.

16. Wee represent also to the honourable Lords of privie Councell to be considered, That the Doctrine, Discipline, and Use of Sacraments are sworne, and the contrarie abjured, according to the Word of God, and the meaning of the Kirk of Scotland, in the Books of Discipline and Acts of Assemblies; And that in the Oath there is no place left to the generalitie of any mans conception of the true Faith and Religion, nor to any private interpretation, or mentall reservation.

For these and the like considerations, in our owne name, and in name of all who will adhere to the late Covenant, subscribed by Us, and sealed from Heaven, We (from our dutie to God, our King, our native Countrey, our selves, and the posteritie, lest our silence import a satisfaction of our desires, and a stopping of our mouths, from necessarie supplication, for things yet to bee obtained from his Majesties just and gracious disposition), are constrained to declare and protest, First, That the cause and occasion of the distractions of the Kirk and common-wealth are no wayes to bee imputed unto us, or our needlesse feares, but to the innovations and corruptions of Religion, which, against the acts and order of this Kirk, and the Lawes of the Kingdome, have beene pressed upon us the people of God, and his Majesties loyall Subjects; who, although under great thraldom, were living in peace and quietnesse, labouring in all godlinesse and honestie, to do our dutie to God and man. Secondly, We protest, that all questions and doubts that arise, concerning the freedome of the Assemblie, whether in the constitution and members thereof, or in the matters to be treated, or in the manner and order of proceeding, be remitted to the determination of the Assembly it selfe, as the onely proper and competent Judge, And that it shall be lawfull for us, being authorized with lawfull commissions, as at other times when the urgent necessitie of the Kirk shall require, so in this exigence to assemble our selves at the Diet appointed, notwithstanding any impediment or prorogation to the contrary. And being assembled, against all qualifications and predeterminations, or presupposals, to propone, treat, reason, vote, and conclude, according to the Word of God, Confession of Faith, and Acts of lawfull Assemblies, in all Ecclesiasticall matters pertaining to the Assemblie, and tending to the advancement of the Kingdome of Christ and good of Religion.

Thirdly, since Archbishops and Bishops have no warrand for their office in this Kirk, since it is contrary both to reason and to the Acts of the Kirk, that any have place and voice in the Assemblie, who are not authorized with lawfull Commissions; and seeing both in common equitie, and by the tenour of this Proclamation they are made lyable to the triall and censure of the Assembly, Wee protest, that they bee not present, as having place or voice in the Assembly, but as rei to compeere, for underlaying tryall and censure upon the generall complaints already made, and the particular accusations to bee given in against them; And that the warning given by His Majesties Proclamation, and this our Protestation, bee a sufficient citation to them, to compeer before the Assembly, for their triall and censure in life, office, and benefice.

Fourthly, Wee solemnly protest that We do constantly adhere to our Oath and Subscription of the Confession of Faith and Covenant, lately renewed and approven, with rare and undeniable evidences from heaven, of the wonderfull workings of his Spirit, in the hearts both of Pastors and people, through all the parts of the Kingdome; And that we stand to all parts and clauses thereof, and particularly to the explanation and application, containing both our abjuration of, and our union against the particular evils and corruptions of the time; a dutie which the Lord at this time especially craveth at our hands.

Fifthly, We also Protest, that none of us who have Subscribed, and do adhere to our Subscription of the late Covenant, be charged, or urged, either to procure the subscriptions of others or to subscribe ourselves unto any other Confession or Covenant, containing any derogation therunto, especially that mentioned in the Proclamation, without the necessarie explanation and the application thereof alreadie sworn by us for the reasons above expressed: And because, as we did in our former Protestation appeale from the Lords of His Majesties Councell, so do we now by these renew our solemne appeale, with all solemnities requisite, unto the next free Generall Assemblie and Parliament, as the onely supreame nationall Judicatories competent, to judge of nationall causes and proceedings.

Sixthly, We protest, That no subscription, whether by the Lords of Councell or others, of the Confession mentioned in the Proclamation, and enjoyned for the maintenance of Religion, as it is now already, or at this present time established and professed within this Kingdome, without any innovation of Religion or Law, be any manner of way prejudiciall to our Covenant, wherein we have sworn to forbeare the practice of Novations already introduced, &c. till they be tryed in a free Assembly, And to labour by all lawfull meanes, to recover the puritie and libertie of the Gospel as it was established and professed before the foresaid Innovations: And in like manner, that no subscription foresaid be any derogation to the true and sound meaning of our worthy predecessours, at the time of their subscription in the yeer 1581. and afterward: Withall, warning and exhorting all men who lay to heart the cause of Religion, against the corruptions of the time & the present estate of things, both to subscribe the Covenant as it hath bin explained, & necessarily applied; and as they love the puritie and libertie of the Gospel, to hold back their hands from all other Covenants, till the Assembly now indicted be conveened, & determine the present differences and divisions, & preserve this countrey from contrary oathes.

Seventhly, As his Majesties royall clemencie appeared in forgiving and forgetting what his Majestie conceiveth to be a disorder or done amisse in the proceeding of any; so are we very confident of his Majesties approbation, to the integrity of our hearts and peaceablenesse of our wayes and actions all this time past: And therefore We protest that we still adhere to our former complaints, protestations, lawfull meetings, proceedings, mutuall defences, &c. All which, as they have been in themselves lawfull, so were they to us, pressed with so many grievances in his Majesties absence from this native kingdome, most necessary, and ought to be regarded as good offices, and pertinent duties of faithfull Christians, loyall subjects, and sensible members of90 this Kirk and Common-wealth, as we trust at all occasions to make manifest to all good men, especially to his sacred Majestie, for whose long and prosperous government, that we may live a peaceable and quiet life in all godlinesse and honesty, We earnestly pray.

Whereupon a noble Earle, James Earle of Montrose, &c., in name of the Noblemen; M. Alexander Gibson, younger of Durie, in name of the Barons; George Porterfield Merchant Burgesse of Glasgow, in name of the Burrowes; M. Harie Rollock Minister at Edinburgh, in name of the Ministers: and M. Archbald Johnstoun Reader hereof, in name of all who adhere to the Confession of faith and Covenant lately renewed within this Kingdome, tooke instruments in the hands of three Notars present, at the said Mercate Crosse of Edinburgh, being invironed with great numbers of the foresaid Noblemen, Barons, Gentlemen, Burrows, Ministers, and Commons, before many hundred witnesses, and craved the extract thereof: And in token of their dutifull respect to his Majestie, confidence of the equitie of their cause, and innocencie of their carriage, and hope of his Majesties gracious acceptance they offered in all humilitie with submisse reverence a copie thereof to the Herauld.

1638.—September 24.
72. Proclamation.96
At Holy-rood-house the 24. day of September Anno 1638.

The which day a Noble Earle, James Marquesse of Hamiltoun, Earle of Arran and Cambridge, his Majesties Commissioner, having produced and exhibit before the Lords of secret Councell, upon the twenty-second day of this instant, a warrant signed by his Majestie, of the date the ninth of September instant; wherein among others of his Majesties gracious and royall expressions for preservation of the purity of Religion, and due obedience to his Majesties authoritie in the maintenance thereof, his Majestie did will and ordaine that the Lords themselves should sweare the Confession and generall Band mentioned in his Majesties said warrant, and also should take such order as all his Majesties lieges may subscribe the same. And the said Lords of secret Councell, acknowledging his Majesties pious and gracious disposition and affection to the purity of Gods truth, did upon the 22. day of September instant, unanimously and with all humble, hearty, and sincere affection, sweare and subscribe the Confession of Faith, dated the second of March 1580. according as it was then profest within this Kingdome: Together with the foresaid generall Band dated in Anno 1589. And now to the effect that all his Majesties lieges may give the like obedience to his Majesties so pious desire, therefore the said Lords have ordained and ordaines all his Majesties lieges, of whatsoever estate, degree or qualitie, Ecclesiasticall or Civill, to sweare and subscribe the said Confession, dated the second of March 1580. and that according to the said date and tenour thereof, as it was then profest within this Kingdome: Together with the said generall Band dated in Anno 1589. as they will answer at the contrarie upon their obedience. And ordaines Officers of Armes to passe to the market crosse of Edinburgh, and make publication hereof, and at all other places needfull, where-through none pretend ignorance of the same.

1638.—September 30.
73. Letter from the King to Hamilton.97


I have no time now to make my observations upon your Proceedings, therefore now I shall onely tell you that I approve them all, (in what concerns your part of them;) and that not onely so, but that I esteem it to be very great Service (as the times are.) This much I thought necessary at this time to encourage you in your Proceedings: my next shall be longer, yet this is enough to assure you that I am

Your assured constant Friend, 
Charles R. 

30 Sept. 1638.

1638.—October 1.
74. Letter from the King to the Council.98

Right trusty and right wel-beloved Cousin and Councellour, Right trusty and right well-beloved Cousins and Councellours, We greet you well: As by your Letter We finde now well you are satisfied with Our gracious pleasure, expressed in Our late Proclamation and Declaration; so We do expect the continuance of your care by your best indevours, to bring al Our good people to a true sense of Our Royal intentions, and reall care of preferring and advancing the good and peace of that Church and Kingdome, which hath always been and still is one of Our chiefest cares. We give you hearty thanks for your affection and pains in this service, and do approve of your course in subscribing of the Confession and band, and order taken by you for publishing and requiring the like due and thankfull acceptance of Our gracious pleasure by all Our good subjects. And seeing the time of the Assembly doth now approach, We require you to attend diligently upon our Commissioner, untill the time appointed for the down sitting of the said Assembly, and further, to the finall ending thereof; that from time to time you may be assisting to him with your best opinions and advices, for preparing and digesting every thing that may conduce to bring this businesse, to be treated upon in the Assembly, to the wished peaceable and happy end. And although We will not doubt but that all Our good subjects will be carefull of every thing that may concern Us, or Our Sovereign Authority: yet because that at such publick and generall meetings, it is not to be expected that all mens dispositions will bee alike, and of one temper, We require you, and that in a more particular manner, according to the trust and confidence We have in your affections to Our Service, carefully to advert, that if any proposition shall be made, which may seem to derogate from Soveraignty, or that true estate of Monarchicall Government already established within that Kingdome, or which may impede the peaceable conclusion of this Assembly, that as good subjects and faithfull Councellours and servants to Us, you assist Our Commissioner to withstand the same to the uttermost of your power: To whom We will you to give absolute trust in every thing which he in Our name shall deliver or impart to you, or any of you, in publick or in private, And so we bid you farwell. From Our Honour of Hampton Court the first of October, 1638.


1638.—October 3.
75. Letter from Lords Covenanters to Commissioner.99

Please your Grace,

Wee wer glade of the indiction of the ane assembley, as the means to bring our complaints to ane end; and as wee promissed for our pairt to doe our endeuore, that all matters might be carried in a peaceable way, and no man troubled in any sorte till that tyme, so did wee certainlie expecte, that no violence or molestatione should haue beine wssed aganist aney of thosse quho had subscriued the last couenant; and zet, far contrarey to our expectation, are brought hither almost eurey houre griuous complaints from maney of the people in diuersse pairts of the kingdome; that they are by the threttninges and oppin violence of some statsmen, and counsellers, and barrons, constrained to subscriue a confession of faithe and band; some with blind and doubting mynds, and others aganist ther conciences, to the grate trouble of ther soulles, and grate disturbance of the peace of the countrey, contrarey to suche peaceable preparations as should haue proceidit a perfyte pacification at a generall assembley. If wee had hard bot some complaints of this kind, wee wold haue spared both your Graces paines and our auen; bot complaints being multiplied more and more, wee could not bot of deutiey make some representations therof to your Grace, that some coursse may be takin for present suppressing this so irreligious and vniust maner of doing; and for præuenting the hard consequences that may ensew from people quho are thus pressed to subscriue aganist ther mynds, and from others who are ioneyed in couenant with them, wich, as it is humblie petitioned, so it is confidently expected by,

Your Grace’s humble seruants,
  Lindesay, Balmerino,
  Loudoun, Burlie,

1638.—October 3.
76, 77, 78. Answer thereto, and Correspondence.100

My very good Lord,

I have received from your Lordsh: and other Noblemen a Letter, containing a complaint against the violence offered to divers of his Majesties subjects, by States-men, Councellours, and others; and that complaint aggravated by your promising and undertaking, for your selfe and all your adherents, that no man should be troubled until the Generall Assembly; and your just expectation that the same course should have beene held on the other side by Us.

For the former, I know not what States-men, Noblemen or Barons, your Lordsh: meanes; for naming none, I know not to whom I shall take my selfe; nor doe I know what violence and threatnings you mean. If you meane his Majesties Commissioners appointed by the King, they requiring his subjects to subscribe the old Confession and Covenant, by his authoritie now renewed, and remonstrating unto them the danger they incurre by law in not obeying his Majesties commandement, I hope that cannot be called violence, but duty, the omission whereof must needs be a violation of, and violence offered to his Majesties sacred authoritie: If other violences and threatnings they have used, as your Lordsh: seemeth to intimate (for their obedience to his Majesties just authority, I am sure your Lordsh: will not call violence) they must answer for it, and shall whensoever your Lordsh: shall make known the delinquents. But alas, my Lords, Tell me now in good earnest, whether you have heard they have used such violence in perswading this Covenant, as hath beene used by your adherents in inforcing of yours? Hath the bloud of Gods seruants, his holy Ministers, beene shed, which bloud I am afraid keepeth the vengeance of God still hanging over this Land? Have men beene beaten, turned out of their livings and maintenance, reviled and excommunicated in the Pulpits, and a thousand more outrages acted upon them for not subscribing this Covenant? Have none who have subscribed your Covenant, done it with blind and doubting minds? If they have, I beseech your Lordsh: not to call his Majesties Councellours legall proceedings irreligious and unjust, untill you have proved the pietie and justice of the proceedings of your owne adherents.

For the other, of your undertaking and promising for your parts, that no man should bee troubled till the Assembly, and expecting the like from us, truly I am glad I have it under your Lordships hands, for I think there are few houres of any one day, since the indicting of the Assemblie, that from all parts of this Kingdome, I am not vexed with complaints of new processing of Ministers, new withholding of Ministers stipends unprocessed, heavie complaints of Ministers of your owne Covenant, that they are threatened, and that sharply and bitterly, for their declaring of their griefe, in being barred of their freedome in the election of their owne Commissioners to the Generall Assembly, and being borne downe by the multitude of Lay voices, and menaced because of their protesting against the same, the complaints of Ministers Non-Covenanters and Lay-Elders Non-Covenanters, chosen by their Sessions to assist at the election of the Commissioners from the Presbyteries, but turned back for not having subscribed your Covenant, and reviled with bitter words for being so pert as to come thither; Is this the performance of promising, that no man shall be troubled till the Assembly? These are, indeed, preparations very unfit to precede this Assemblie, they being so unpeaceable and like to take up much time, in discussing, at that great Meeting, the illegality of these elections. My Lord, the truth is, I shall be as carefull to see any wrong offered by his Majesties Commissioners (in urging his Majesties authoritie) punished, when I shall know the offences and the offenders, as I am heartily grieved at the proceedings of your Associats: Here I am sure, his Maᵗⁱᵉˢ Commissioners have bin rather backward then forward, but so have not your Lordsh: adherents bin; for they have in very many places proclaimed your Protestation, where his Majesties Declaration hath not beene proclaimed. I hope your Lordsh: will pardon my unusuall prolixitie; for I confesse I am much troubled to see his Majesties good subjects led into such misconstructions of his pious and religious intentions towards them, This my Letter, I pray your Lordsh: to communicate to the other Noble Lords, who subscribed that to me. To your selfe, and them, I pray your Lordsh: commend the true respects of

Your Lordsh: 

For the Earle of Cassills.


Letter from the Lords Covenanters to the Commissioner.101

Please your Grace,

After your parting from us, we had knowledge from John Wilson Skipper, & sundry of his Passengers newly arrived, That, being at sea on his way from Holland hither, one of his Maᵗⁱᵉˢ small ships of 8. Peeces, came aboard & searched him for Armes & Ammunition, declaring they did the same by his Majesties Warrant. We doe not so much value the hazzard of any prejudice, as we are heartily grieved to find any such note of his Majesties displeasure, differencing us from his other subjects, when our own hearts and the Lord that searcheth them doth beare witnesse of our loyaltie and affection to his Majestie, especially to have found it now when we are made so secure, both by the hopes of obteyning from his Majesties favour, by your mediation, these ordinary and publike remedies that can fully settle this Church and State and by assurance from your Grace we should finde no such hard dealing, during the time of your imployment amongst the subjects here, who trust in your care to prevent speedily the inconvenience of this, as you did in that other late particular anent the arrest of our horses in England. We thinke this advertisement sufficient to your Grace, who is wounded through our sides if wee suffer any thing in this time, being so farre interessed to vindicate us from such prejudice, who doe acknowledge our selves to be

Your Graces humble 

Rothes, Montrose, Home, Weymse, Lindesay, Boyd, Loudone, Balmerino, Dalhousie, Forrester, Elcho, Cranstoune, Balcarres, Burghly, Lothiane.
Edinb. the 28. Septemb.

Answer to the foregoing, by the Commissioner.102

My Lord,

I have received a Letter this day signed by your Lordsh: and sundry other Noblemen, making mention, that one John Wilson Skipper, being on his way from Holland hither, was searched by one of his Majesties small ships. This is no new nor unaccustomed thing; for commonly the Captains of his Majesties ships during the time of being at sea, doe take notice what the loadings of all such ships are, as they meet with, who trade in the Channell; it being a prerogative that belongs to his Imperiall Crown: I am persuaded that your Lordsh: and the rest of my Lords cannot thinke, but if his Majestie had been desirous to have made stop of importation of Ammunition into this Kingdome this time past, but it would have been an easie matter for him to have effected; but so little hath he regarded this, as he hath not so much as taken notice of it, And yet it were no strange thing, if his Majestie should give direction to cause examine for what end so great store of Ammunition is imported into this Kingdome, and a little more narrowly to looke into our actions; when, by I know not whom, there hath been so much notice taken of such Ammunition, as his Majestie hath thought fit to send hither. For notwithstanding that your Lordsh: sayes we are made secure by the hopes of obtaining from his Majestie these remedies that can fully settle this Church and State, yet I may say courses are taken to put feares in his Majesties good subjects minds, by perswading of them that no such thing is intended: This does too too manifestly appeare by the watching and guarding his Majesties Castle, and many other courses: but of this I will write nothing, my intention being only to returne answer of what is writ to me: And therefore for your Lordsh: satisfaction I shall acquaint his Majestie with the contents of your letters, who will no doubt give such directions therein, as his good subjects will have no just cause of complaint: Whereas you have been pleased to say, that you have been assured by me, that you should receive no such hard dealing, during the time of my imployment; let mee desire you to consider this aright, and you will find it none; for neither was that ship stayed from proceeding on their intended voyage, nor anything taken from them, nor needs your Lordsh: to doubt that his Majestie will doe any thing (except our owne indiscretion provoke him) that may make appear to the world that he makes a difference betwixt us of this nation and his other subjects. Bee confident, my Lord, that my endeavours have, and doe tend to no other end, but to the glory of God, the honour of his sacred Majestie, and the preserving from ruine this poore distracted Kingdome; and that I have and shall labour to prevent all such accidents as may breed the least stop or hinderance of this wished event, which I hope and am confident that your Lordsh: and all those noble Lords who have signed this Letter to me, will take the same to heart; and then certainly you will not be so easily moved with such light and sleight reports: Nor will your Lordsh: thinke that either you or I can bee wounded by the order and command of so pious, mercifull, and so clement a Prince as is our dread Soveraigne, who hath showne himselfe to be so full of goodnesse, as we must of all men living prove the worst, if we be not thankfull to God, and him for it. This my letter your Lordsh: will be pleased to communicate to the rest who haue writ to me, and esteeme of me as

Hammilt. 24103 Sept. 1638.    Your Lordships 
humble servant, 

For the Earle of Rothees.

1638.—October 5.
79. Explanation by the Bishop and Doctors of Aberdeen on signing the King’s Covenant.104

First, we do heartily abhor and condemn all Errours truly Popish, or repugnant to the Holy Scripture, and consequently to the Uniform Doctrine of the Reformed Kirks, and to Our National Confession registered in Parliament An. 1567.

Secondly, we do no ways hereby abjure or condemn Episcopal Government, as it was in the days, and after the days, of the Apostles in the Christian Kirk for many hundred of years, and is now conform thereto restored in the Kirk of Scotland.

Thirdly, we do not hereby condemn nor abjure the Five Perth Articles, or any thing lawful of that sort, which shall be found by the Church conducible at any time for good Policy and Order, or which is practised by any sound Reformed Kirk.

Fourthly, we still hold to that Clause of our great National Confession, (chap. 20. art. 21.) that the General Councils, and consequently the National Kirk of Scotland, have no power to make any perpetual Law which God before hath not made.

Fifthly, by the adhering to the Discipline of the Reformed Kirk of Scotland, we mean not any immutability of that Presbyterial Government which93 was An. 1581. or of any other Humane Institution: but we do hereby understand that the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction and Discipline of the Kirk of Scotland doth not depend on the Pope of Rome, or any other Foreign Power; and hereby we do confess our constant Obedience to the Kirk of Scotland in all her lawful Constitutions.

Sixthly, we do not presume by this our personal Oath either to prejudge the liberty of the Kirk of Scotland, to change and reform this foresaid short Confession, in some ambiguities and obscure expressions thereof, whereupon some men have builded inconvenient Interpretations and Doctrines, or to exime our selves from Obedience to the Kirk in that case.

Seventhly, by this our personal Oath we do not take upon us to lay any further Bond upon our Posterity, than the Word of God doth, recommending onely our Example to them, so far as they shall find it agreeable to Gods Word.

In this sense as is said, and not otherwise, do we subscribe the said Confession, and the general Bond annexed thereto, at Aberdeen Octob. 5. 1638.

Ad. Aberdonen.
John Forbes D. and P. of Div.
R. Barrone D. and P. of Div.
Al. Rosse D.D.
Ja. Sibbald D.D.
Al. Scrogie D.D.
Wil. Lesley D.D.

1638.—October 9.
80. Letter from the King to Hamilton.105


I Confess this last Dispatch does more put me to seek how to judge of the Affairs of that Kingdom, than any that I have yet received; for I did not think that you would have met with so much opposition within your bounds, since (as I thought) you past well over a greater difficulty, to wit, the Peevishness of the Council. The cause of this I judge to be, that you did not make so much opposition against the Protestation as it deserved, though (I believe) as much as you could. But one thing I desire you to send me the reason of, which is, why you have mingled the Protesters with my good Subjects, as Commissioners in most of all the Shires, for the procuring of Subscriptions to my Bond: now it seems to me, that this will make the Covenanters oppose my Service with a shew of more Authority than otherwise they could, (and certainly you cannot but imagine, that they must oppose that that they have protested against;) for, by this the ignorant Multitude may be brought to believe, that my Council have either admitted, or, at least, do not gainsay, the protestation: yet whether I be right in this or not, I will suspend my Judgment, even of my own Opinion, until I hear from you. But one thing I will confidently affirm, that until most of the Council express themselves vigorously in detestation of this last damnable Protestation, never look for any Obedience there. In the latter end of your letter, you are very careful not to give them cause of Fears of my Preparations, or hindering theirs; yet in the middle persuade to hasten on Mine: now, besides that this seems to me a Contradiction I think that there is as much (if not more) danger now, that they should imagine I fear to displease them, than to make them scar at my Preparations, or for stopping of theirs; for now that the pretext of Religion is (I dare say) fully satisfied, fearful Proceeding now may hazard the loss of the little Party we have, by making them probably fear, that I either cannot or dare not maintain my own authority. But I doubt not your Dexterity and Diligence will help me to break through these difficulties; and so I rest

Your assured constant Friend, 
Charles R.

9 Octob. 1638.

1638.—October 20.
81. Letter from the King to Hamilton.106


I see by yours of the 27ᵗʰ of September, that the Malignity of the Covenanters is greater than ever, so that if you who are my true Servants do not use extraordinary Care and Industry, my Affairs in that Kingdom are likely rather to grow worse than better: therefore, you that do your endeavours accordingly deserve the more praise, and your opposers the more punishment; and in my mind this last Protestation deserves more than any thing yet they have done, for if raising of Sedition be Treason, this can be judged no less. And methinks, if the Colledge of Justice have signed my Covenant, (which I hope they have, because I hear nothing in the contrary) it were no impossible thing to get them to doe me Justice in this particular. And this I will say confidently, that until at least the Adherers to this last Protestation be declared Traitors, nothing will go as it ought in that Kingdom; I say this not to alter your course, but onely to shew you my opinion of the State of Affairs.

As for the danger that Episcopal Government is in, I do not hold it so much as you doe; for I believe that the number of those that are against Episcopacy (who are not in their hearts against Monarchy) is not so considerable as you take it.

And for this General Assembly, though I can expect no good from it, yet I hope you may hinder much of the ill; first, by putting Divisions among them concerning the Legality of their Elections, then by Protestations against their Tumultuous Proceedings. And I think it were not amiss if you could get their Freedom defined (before their Meeting,) so that it were not done too much in their Favours. And I hope you will remember to weigh well the Propositions for the Assembly, and send them up to me with all convenient speed. I have seconded your Letter to the Mayor of Newcastle for the freeing of these Horses, and have stopped all Provisions according to your advice at Hull; yet methinks now they may be avowed to go against those that will not rest satisfied with what you have lately done in my Name. But in this I assure you that I take your advice; and so I rest

Your assured constant Friend, 
Charles R.

20 Octob. 1638.

1638.—October 24.
82. Letter from the King to Hamilton.107


I would not answer your two of the 14ᵗʰ and 15ᵗʰ of this moneth, till I had fully dispatched the Bishop of Ross, whom I have sent away not onely94 well instructed, but well satisfied with my ways. It is true that his Instructions were not totally according to our Grounds, but I made him alter (I am confident) as well in Judgment as Obedience; for upon discourse he much approved of my Alterations, confessing likewise, that you upon the place may find reason to make more; wherefore all is referred to you, as well what I answered as what not; so leaving and recommending him to your care, I come to answer your last Letters, with the account of which I am much more satisfied than your other Dispatch before: as likewise you have fully satisfied me in all my Queries, and in particular I confess clearly, you had reason to joyn the Covenanters with my honest Servants, for procuring of Subscriptions to my Bond, because I see the Council would have it so. But certainly it had been better otherwise, if you could have done it with their consent. In short, I am truly and fully satisfied with all your proceedings, so that you may be confident that I am

Your assured constant Friend, 
Charles R.

24 Octob. 1638.

1638.—October 24.

83. The Bill, or the complaint, of the Noblemen, Barons, Burgesses, Ministers, and Commons, Covenanters, (which were not Commissionaries to the Assembly) against the pretended Archbishops and Bishops within this kingdome, as it was presented to the Presbyterie of Edinburgh; with an Act of reference of the Bill, from the Presbyterie to the next Generall Assembly, as it was fully read on the Lords day before noone in all the Churches within the presbyterie of Edinburgh, according to the Act.108


Unto your wisedomes humbly shewes and complaines, We John Earle of Sutherland, John Earle of Athole, William Earle of Dalhousie, Mungo Vicount of Stormouth, Hugh Lord Montgomerie, David Lord Elcho, George Lord Forrester, Arthur Lord Forbesse, John Master of Berridale, Robert Lord Boyd, David Lord Balcarras, John Lord Melvill.

Barons and Gentlemen.

Craggemillar, Lugtoun, Buchanan, Young, Dury, Balgonny, Balbirny, Master William Hammilton, Thomas Cragge of Ricarton, John Cowper of Gogar, John Hammilton of Boghall, David Inglis of Ingliston, John Dundas of Newliston, Sir William Cockburne of Langton, Patrick Cockburne of Clerkinton, John Leslie of Newton, Colonel Alexander Leslie, David Barclay of Onwerme, Sir Michael Arnot of Arnot, Sir Michael Balfoure of Deanemille, John Aiton of Aiton, David Beaton of Balfoure, John Lundie of Lundie, Walter Murray of Liviston, Sir John Preston of Airdrie, Walter Cornwall of Bonhard, William Scot of Ardrosse, Robert Forbosse of Ricesse, Sir Andrew Murray of Balvarde, George Dundasse of Dudistone, Sir William Murray of Blebo, Master Robert Preston, William Dicksone.


Master William Scot Minister at Cowper, Master George Hammiltoun at Nuburne, Master Walter Grog at Balmerino, Master Iohn Machgil Parson of Fliske, Master Andrew Blackhat at Aberlady.

Burgesses and Commons.

George Bruce of Carnock, George Potterfield a Burgesse of Glasgow, John Smith, John Mill, Lawrence Henryson, Richard Maxwell, Burgesses of Edinburgh.

We, for our selves, and in name and behalfe of the rest of the Noblemen, Barons, Gentlemen, Burgesses, Ministers, and Commons within this Realme of Scotland, subscribers of the Covenant, who are not chosen Commissioners to the Generall Assemblie, but who will assist and insist in this complaint with us, as faithfull Christians, as loyall subjects, and sensible members of this Church and Common-weale, having interest to pursue this popular action, in a speciall manner and an eminent degree, by which pursuit God may bee glorified, Christs Kingdome advanced, that the Church may bee restored to her privileges and liberties, and freed from manifold scandals, from the corrupters of Doctrine with Poperie and Arminianisme, of the Sacraments with Superstition and Wilworship, and of the Discipline with tyrannie, and from the overthrowers of the peace of this Church and Kingdome by their usurpations and lies, their violent humours, and falsehood for their owne worldly ends, may be tried and censured accordingly, and so this Church and State made free from the present divisions and combustions, and restored to peace and unitie, both with God and amongst themselves, and that his Majesties religious disposition and honour may be cleared to all the world, by the triall and censure of those men who have fraudulently abused his Majesties name and authoritie by their trust and credit with his Majestie: Wee most earnestly make request, That whereas, by the Lawes of this Church and Kingdome, and by his Majesties last Proclamation, all his Majesties subjects, whether Ecclesiasticall or Civill, of whatsoever title or degree, if they have exercised an unlimited or unwarrantable power, They are declared and ordained to be liable to the triall and censure of the Generall Assemblie and Parliament, or to any other Judicatorie, according to the nature and qualitie of the offence, And whereas Master David Lyndsey pretended Bishop of Edinburgh, Master Thomas Sydserfe, pretended Bishop of Galloway, Master Walter Whitefoord pretended Bishop of Brichen, Master James Wedderburne pretended Bishop of Dumblane, Master James Fairley pretended Bishop of Argyle, Master John Spotswood pretended Archbishop of Saint Andrewes, (having their residences or dwelling places within the bounds of this Presbyterie of Edinburgh,) Master Patrick Lyndsey pretended Archbishop of Glasgow, Master Alexander Lyndsey pretended Bishop of Dunkell, Master Adam Bannatine pretended Bishop of Aberdene, Master John Gutherie pretended Bishop of Murray, Master John Maxwel pretended Bishop of Rosse, Master George Greme pretended Bishop of Orkney, Master John Abernethie pretended Bishop of Caithnesse, Master Neil Campbel pretended Bishop of the Isles, should be tried and censured for their unlimited and unwarranted power.

For whereas it was provided in the Cautions agreed upon in the Generall Assemblie holden at Montrose, Anno 1600. for bounding of the Ministers votes in Parliament, and concluded to bee inserted in the body of the act of Parliament for confirmation of this vote as a most necessarie and substantiall point of the same, which was never yet repealed by a lawfull Assembly, That the Minister95 should sweare, upon his admission to the office of Commissionary, to subscribe and fulfill the Cautions agreed upon under the penalties expressed therein, otherwise hee was not be admitted; yet the said Master David Lyndsey, sometimes Minister of Brichen, now pretended Bishop of this Diocesse of Edinburgh, and pretended Moderator of this Presbyterie, with his foresaid Colleagues, the pretended Bishops and Archbishops of this Church respective, have taken upon them (without craving or obtaining Commission from the Church as it is set downe in that Assembly at Montrose) the office and power to vote in Parliament, without swearing at his or their entrances to subscribe and fulfill those Cautions which are set down under penalties.

In the first Caution it was provided, that he presume not to propound in Parliament, in Councell or convention, any thing in the name of the Church without an expresse warrant or direction from the Church, under the paine of deposition from his office; and that hee should neither give consent unto, nor keep silence from anything (amidst these meetings) that might bee prejudiciall to the libertie of the Church, under the said paine.

But the forenamed Master David Lyndsey, pretended Bishop of Edinburgh, with the rest of his Colleagues respective above named, have presumed (having no warrant nor direction from the Church) to propound in Parliament, and to consent to several acts which have past in Parliament, to the prejudice of the Church, as namely, To the act concerning the Restitution of the State of Bishops, Anno 1606. the act concerning the chapter of Saint Andrewes, Anno 1607. To the act of Commissariots and jurisdictions given to Archbishops and Bishops, Anno 1609. To the ratification of the act agreed upon in the Assemblie of Glasgow, Anno 1610. with an explanation, contrary to the meaning and tenour of the said conclusions, Anno 1612. To the acts concerning the Elections of Archbishops and Bishops, and to the acts concerning the Restitution of chapiters, Anno 1617. To the ratification of the Five Articles of Perth, Anno 1621. To the act concerning the apparell of Churchmen, and to the ratification of the Acts concerning Religion, in which all the former Acts are included, Ann. 1633. and to many other severall acts of this kinde. In like manner he propounded and gave consent to severall acts of the Privy Councell, for the establishing of it, and of the power of the High Commission, which are against the lawes and liberties of this kingdome; and for ratification of severall acts and sentences given out by them and their Colleagues in that unwarrantable Judicatory: for in the same manner did he propound and consent unto the acts made in the Privie Councell for pressing and bringing in of the Service Booke, which would have trod under foot the frame of Gods publicke worship in this Kingdome, if the Lord had not prevented it. And further, in the last convention of the States holden in the yeeres 1625. and 1629. he did not onely keep silence, but propound and give consent to some things which were prejudiciall to the liberties of this Church, and hee did oppose himselfe to the just desires and grievances which were presented in name of the Church for some of her liberties and priviledges, whereas it was provided that he shall be bound upon each generall Assembly to give an account of the discharge of his Commission since the Assembly going before, and should submit himselfe to the censure of the Assembly, and stand to the determinations of it without further Appeale, and should sue for, and obtain ratification of his carriage from the Assembly, under the paine of infamie and excommunication; but the said Master David Lyndsey, and his Colleagues respective abovenamed, have never given an account of the discharge of his or their Commissions, nor sought nor have obtained ratification of his or their doings, from the Assembly.

Whereas it was provided in the third caution, that he should content himselfe with that portion of the Benefice which should be assigned to him from his Majestie for his livelihood, not hurting or prejudging the rest of the Ministers, or any Minister whatsoever, planted or to bee planted within his Benefice, and that this clause was to be inserted in his provision: Besides, when Bishops were charged in the Assembly holden in Octob. Ann. 1578. to quit the corruptions of that State, there was numbered amongst the corruptions, That they received for the maintaining of their ambition and riot, the emoluments of the Church, which might sustaine many Pastors, the Schooles, and the Poor; but the said Master David Lyndsey with his Colleagues respective, have tooke provision for their Benefices, and the foresaid clause was not inserted, and he and they have prejudged Ministers, Schooles, and the Poor, by taking and enjoying plurality of Benefices.

Whereas it was provided in the fourth caution that hee should not dilapidate nor make a disposition of his Benefice without the consent of his Majestie and the generall Assembly: and for the greater warrant of this, That he should interdict himselfe to the generall Assembly not to dilapidate, nor to give consent to the dilapidation of his Benefice made by others, and that hee should be contented that an Inhibition should be raised upon him to that purpose; but the said Master David Lyndsey, with his Colleagues respective, have set, and take setled patronages.

Whereas in the fifth caution it is provided that hee should be bound to attend his particular Congregation faithfully in all the points of a Pastour, and that he shall be subject to the triall and censure of his own Presbyterie and Provinciall Assemblie, as another Minister that bears no Commission: In like manner by divers Acts and Constitutions of the generall Assemblies and Presbyteries, non-residents are punishable by deprivation; Yet the said Master David Lindsey with his foresaid Colleagues respective, have been non-resident from his and their charges for many yeares; nor have they performed the duties of Pastours by preaching, administration of the Sacraments, visiting the sick, &c. but they have deserted their charges by the space now of many years; neither have they in this subjected themselves to the triall of the Presbyteries and Provinciall Assemblies.

That whereas in the sixth caution it was provided, That in the administration of Discipline, collation of benefices, visitation, and all other points of Ecclesiastical government, he shal neither usurp nor acclaim to himself a power or jurisdiction further over the rest of his brethren, under the paine of deprivation: and in case hee did usurp upon the Ecclesiasticall government, if the Synodall Presbyteries, or generall Assemblies did oppose, or make impediment unto him; whatsoever he did in that case should be ipso facto null, without a declaratour; yet the said Master David Lindsey with his Colleagues respective, have usurped a jurisdiction in the administration of Discipline, collation of benefices, visitation, and other points of Ecclesiasticall government, without a lawfull warrant from the Church, in exercising power to suspend, deprive,96 command, and inhibit excommunication at their pleasure, to fine, confine, imprison, banish Ministers and other professours without the warrant of the laws of the Countrey, appointing their Moderators over Presbyteries and Synods, prorogating their Diets, staying their proceedings against Papists, Sorcerers, Adulterers, and other grosse offenders, by exacting of contributions to such Commissioners as hee pleased to send to Court for his owne and his Colleagues affaires; by depriving, and ordaining of Ministers, not only without the consent of the Presbyteries and Synods, but by ordaining of scandalous and unqualified Ministers and depriving of learned and religious Pastours; by ordaining Ministers after a forme not allowed of in this Church; by silencing Ministers for not reading the Service Book, and Book of Canons; by interdicting after a Popish manner, the exercises of Morning and Evening prayer in their Churches; by releasing of excommunicated Papists: by contradicting and crossing the votes of the Presbyteries at their pleasure; by their pretended negative vote directly contrary to this caution; by enacting decrees of Synods without demanding their votes; by changing and falsifying their Acts, when most votes had carried the contrary: by many wayes have they failed in this caution, which are so notorious to the whole Church and to your Wisdomes, that wee shall condescend upon the same when wee are required.

Whereas in the seventh caution it was provided, That in Presbyteries, and in Provinciall and generall Assemblies, he shall behave himself in all things, as one of the brethren of the Presbyterie, and be subject to their censure; yet the foresaid Master David Lindsey with his foresaid Colleagues respective, hath not behaved himselfe as a brother at these meetings; he disdaines to sit in Presbyteries, or to be subject to their censures; he sitteth and overruleth in Provinciall Assemblies rather as a Lord then a Moderatour; and in stead of behaving himself as a brother in the generall Assemblie, hath, by threatening and silencing, prejudged the liberties of the lawfull Commissioners; when they propounded, reasoned or concluded matters conducing to the liberty of the Church, hee forced them to conclude things contrarie.

That whereas it was concluded at Mount Rose, That none of them who should have vote in Parliament should come Commissioners to the generall Assemblie, or have vote in it in time to come, unlesse they had authoritie or Commission from their owne Presbyteries for that purpose; yet the said Master David Lindsey with his forsaid Colleagues respective, though they had no authoritie by Commission from any Presbyteries, have usurped to give votes in the last pretended Assemblies.

Whereas in the seventh chap. of the book of Policie, registrated in the Register of the Acts of the Assembly, it was concluded, That in all Assemblies a Moderatour should be chosen by common consent of the whole brethren assembled together, and it hath been so practised since the beginning of the Reformation, till hee and his fellowes began to break the Cautions; yet the said Master David Lindsey with his foresaid Colleagues respective, have usurped the place of moderation in the last pretended Assemblies, and rather domineered then moderated, to bring in novations; yea further, have directed Mandats from themselves as from the representative Church of Scotland, which name and power is only competent to generall Assemblies; he hath brought in the practice of many Innovations in the Royal Chappel, in the Abbey Church, and his pretended Cathedrall; hee hath laboured not only to hinder the ordinarie meetings of generall Assemblies of this Church, by obtaining letters and charge from Authority to that purpose, but also hath laboured, what in him lay, to take away from the Church the priviledge of holding generall Assemblies yeerly, belonging to Her by the Word of God, Acts of this Church, and lawes of this Kingdome.

Whereas it is provided by another caution, That Crimen ambitus shal be a sufficient cause of deprivation of him that shall have vote in Parliament; yet the said Master David Lindsey with his foresaid Colleagues respective, are guilty of the said crime, in seeking of the said offices, and promising and giving good deeds for them.

Whereas it was provided by the book of Discipline, and acts of the Assemblie Feb. An. 1569. and December 1565. & 1567. that marriage should not be solemnized without asking of banes three severall Sabbath daies before; yet the said Master David Lindsey and his aforesaid Colleagues respective, have given licence to sundry Ministers to solemnize marriage without asking three severall Sabbaths before; upon which have followed divers inconveniences; a man hath been married to a woman her husband being alive, and they not divorced; some have been married to persons with whom they have committed adulterie before; and so have been married without the consent or knowledge of their parents.

Whereas by the book of Fasting, authorized by the generall Assemblie, and prefixed before the Psalmes, no set or yeerly Fasts are allowed, but disallowed, as contrary to the liberty of the Church, and to the nature of the exercise (a Fast;) yet the said Master David Lindsey and his foresaid Colleagues respective, have appointed yeerly Fasts, and troubled some godly Professors for not observing the same.

Whereas the office of a Deacon is set forth in the book of Discipline, and book of common order before the Psalms, according to the Word of God, to have no medling with the preaching of the Word, or the ministration of the Sacraments, and by the first Confession of faith ratified in the Acts of Parliament, chap. 23. Ministers called unto particular flocks have onely power of the ministration of the Sacraments; yet the said Master David Lindsey with his foresaid Colleagues respective, have given a power to certain Divines whom they make Deacons (men not admitted to the calling of the Ministery) to administer the Sacrament of Baptisme, under the names and titles of preaching Deacons, and they refuse to admit divers men to the calling of the Ministerie before they be admitted to that Order.

Whereas it is ordained by the book of Policie, and Acts of the Assembly, that no man should receive ordination to the Ministery without a present admission to a particular flock; yet the said Master David Lindsey with his foresaid Colleagues respective, have separated the act of Ordination from the act of Admission.

Whereas according to the established order of the Church, & the Acts of the Assembly, the ordination & admission of Ministers should be publick, in the presence and with the consent of the congregation; yet the said Master David Lindsey with his foresaid Colleagues respective, have given ordination to some men in other places, not in their own Congregation; and violently have thrust upon them scandalous Ministers.

Whereas Ministers who teach erroneous and corrupt doctrine should be censured by the book of97 Discipline, and by the Acts of the Assemblie; yet the said Mr David Lindsey with his foresaid Colleagues respective, have taught erroneous and corrupt doctrine themselves, and by their pretended power have preferred to the Ministerie men who have taught erroneous doctrine against the Confession of Faith, and Acts of Parliament quoted in our Covenant; and they cherish and maintaine them who teach Arminianisme and Popery, as conditionall Election; Free-will; resistibilitie of effectuall Grace; The universality of Christs death; The merit of it in heaven & in hell; A finall apostacie of the Saints; The locall descent of Christ into hell; That Christ came into the world clauso Virginis utero; auricular Confession, and Papall absolution; That the Pope is not Antichrist; That the Church of Rome is a true Church; That reconciliation with Rome is a thing easie; That the Church of Rome erres not in fundamentals; and that she differs not in fundamentals from the Reformed Churches; They call in question the imputation of Christs righteousnesse, and they affirme the formall cause of justifying faith, to consist in our inherent righteousnesse; They affirme that there is a locall and circumscriptive presence of Christ in the Sacrament, and they change the Sacrament into a Sacrifice, and the Table into an Altar, the Ministers into Priests. There are other damnable and hereticall points of Doctrine which they maintaine; of which we shall give particular information in our particular accusation of each one of them respective, with the proofes thereof, when we shall be required.

Whereas by the Acts of the Church, no oaths or subscriptions should be required from those who enter into the Ministerie, but to the Confession of faith, and to the Book of Policy; yet the said Master David Lindsey with his foresaid Colleagues respective, without a warrant from the Church or Parliament, doe exact diverse oathes and subscriptions from them who enter into the Ministerie; namely, That they should both in publick and private prayers commend the Prelats to Gods mercifull protection; That they should be subject to the orders which were now in the Church, or, by the consent of the Church, that is, by their consent (as they affirme) should be established; as to the Service Book, and to the Book of Canons. The heavinesse of this grievance made the most part of his Majesties subjects to complaine in these Articles, that worthy men which have testimonies of their learning from Universities, and are tryed by Presbyteries to be fit for the worke of the Ministerie, and for their gifts and lives were much desired by the people; yet these men are kept out because they could not be perswaded to subscribe and swear unto such unlawfull oaths, which have no warrant from the Acts of the Church, nor the laws of the Kingdome; and they were Articles and oaths conceived according to their pleasure; and men of little worth, and ready to sweare, were for by-respects thrust upon the people, and admitted to the most eminent places of the Church, and of the Schools of Divinity, which breeds continuall complaints, and moves the people to run from their owne parish Churches, refusing to receive the Sacrament from the hands of Ministers set over them against their hearts, which makes them not to render unto them that honour which is due from the people to their Pastours; and it is a mighty hinderance to the Gospel, to the soules of the people, and to the peace of this Church and Kingdome.

Whereas in the Assembly holden at Edinburgh, in March, Ann. 1578. it was declared that it was neither agreeable to the word of God, nor to the practice of the Primitive Church, that the Administration of the Word and Sacraments, and the ministration of civill and criminall justice should be confounded, that one person could supply both the charges, but that a Minister should not be both a Minister and a Senator in the Colledge of justice. And in the Assembly holden in October An. 1578. it was reckoned amongst the corruptions of the State of Bishops, which they were charged to forgoe, that they should usurp a criminall jurisdiction, that they should not claime unto themselves the titles of Lords, that they should onely be called by their owne names, or brethren; yet the said Master David Lyndsey, with his foresaid Colleagues respective, have assumed to themselves the titles and honours of Lords, they did sit as Senators in the Colledge of justice, as Councellours in the Privie Councell, as Auditors in the Exchequer, and have enjoyed prime Offices of State. The pretended Bishops have usurped the place and precedencie before all Temporall Lords, the pretended Archbishops before all the noble Earles of the land, and the pretended Primate before the prime Officers of State in the land.

Whereas by the Word of God and Acts of the Assembly, namely, Anno 1576. 1577. and 1578. no man should be suffered to be a Minister, unlesse hee be tied to a particular flocke and congregation; and not to be tied to a particular flocke it is condemned as a corruption of the state of Bishops which they were charged to forgoe; yet the said Master David Lindsey, with his Colleagues respective foresaid, are Ministers, and will not be tied to particular flockes.

Whereas the office of a Bishop (as it is now used within this Realm) was condemned by the booke of policie, and by the Act of the Assembly holden at Dundee, Anno 1580. whereof these are the words; Forasmuch as the office of a Bishop (as it is now used and commonly taken within this Realme) hath no sure warrant from authoritie, nor good ground out of the Scriptures, but it is brought in by the folly and corruptions of the inventions of men, to the great hurt of the Church, The whole Assembly of this Church, with one voice, after liberty given to all men to reason in the said matter (no man opposing himself to maintain the said pretended office) doe find and declare the said pretended office, used and termed as is above said, unlawfull in it selfe, as having neither ground nor warrant within the Word of God; and we doe ordaine that all such persons which doe, or shall hereafter, enjoy the said office, shall be charged simply to dismisse, quit, and leave the same, as an office unto which they were not called by God; and that they shall leave off all preaching, ministration of the Sacraments, or other offices of Pastors, untill such time as they receive admission de novo from the generall Assembly, under the paine of excommunication to be used against them; and if they be found disobedient to contradict this Act in the least point, after due admonition, the sentence of excommunication shall be executed against them. And for the better execution of the said Act, it is ordained that a Synodall Assemblie shall be holden in everie Province (in which usurping Bishops are) 18. August next to come, in which they shall be cyted and summoned by the Visitors of the said Countries to compeere before their Synodall Assemblies; as namely, The Archbishop of S. Andrewes to compeere at Saint Andrewes, The Bishop of Aberdene in Aberdene, The Archbishop of Glasgow in Glasgow, the Bishop of Murray in Elgin, to give obedience to the said act, which if they refused to do, that the Synodall Assemblies98 shall appoint certaine brethren of their Presbyteries to give them publike admonitions out of their Pulpits, and to warne them, if they disobey, to compeere before the next generall Assembly to be holden at Edinburgh 20. Octob. to heare the sentence of excommunication pronounced against them for their disobedience: and to this act the Bishop of Dumblane that then was, agreed, submitting himself to be ruled by it; it was also condemned by the act of Glasgow Anno 1581. which doth ratifie the former act of Dundee, and ordaines the book of policie, which was approved by severall Generall Assemblies to be registrated in the books of the Assemblie, and enjoyned the generall confession of faith to be subscribed by all his Majesties Lieges; Yet hath the said Master David Lyndsey with his foresaid Colleagues respective, not onely incroached upon the liberties of Presbyteries and Synods, but hath also took Consecration to the office of a Diocesan Bishop, without the knowledge or consent of the Church, and against the acts of it, claiming the power of ordination and jurisdiction, as due to him by that unwarrantable office.

Besides, the said Master David Lyndsey, with his foresaid colleagues respective, have, against the Lawes of the Church and Kingdome, brought in the Service book, the book of Canons, and the High Commission Court, and would have changed and overthrowne the whole frame of doctrine of Gods word, the use of the Sacraments, the Discipline, Liberties and Priviledges of this Church and State, if the Lord had not prevented them; The particulars wee shall present to your wisdomes, though it bee knowne to all men, how he and they have abused his Majesties Authoritie against his Royall intentions and Declarations, they having moved discontents betwixt the King and his subjects, by scandalous lies betwixt subject and subject, for which things, complaints have been given in to the Councell, which we hold heare to be repeated as a part of our complaint, and to be tried by your wisdomes, and referred to the Assemblie.

Besides all these faults, the said Master David Lyndsey with his Colleagues respective, in his life and conversation is slandered constantly as guiltie of excessive drinking, whoring, playing at Cards and Dice, swearing, profane speaking, excessive gaming, profaning of the Sabbath, contempt of the publike ordinances and private familie-exercises, mocking of the power of preaching, prayer, and spirituall conference, and sincere professors; besides, with briberie, simonie, selling of Commissariots places, lies, perjuries, dishonest dealing in civill bargaines, abusing of their vassals, and of Adulterie, and Incest, with many other offences, of which we shall give the particulars in our particular accusations.

Whereas the Presbyterie is the ordinarie judicatorie of this Church for trying of these offences, and hath the Ecclesiasticall power for cytation of the parties and offenders, with the reference to their complaints to the Generall Assemblie, Therefore wee most earnestly and humblie beseech your godly wisdomes, as you tender the glory of God, the peace and libertie of this Church, the removall of scandals, and punishment of vice, that you will take into your consideration and triall the foresaid many and hainous offences, with the particular reservations and qualifications of them, which we shall present to your wisdomes, or to the Assemblie when it shall be thought convenient; and that you would either take order with it your selves, and censure the offenders, according to the nature of the offences, with the Ecclesiasticall paines contained in the Acts and foresaid Canons of this Church and Kingdome, or else make a reference of them to the Generall Assemblie to bee holden at Glasgow 21. Novemb. and, that the knowledge of these should come to the Delinquents, that you will be pleased to ordaine the publishing hereof, to bee made by all the Brethren of the Presbyterie in their Pulpits upon the Sabbath before noone, with a publike admonition to the offenders to be present at the Assemblie, to answer to this complaint, and to undergo the censure and triall of it, and to bring with them the books and scroules of subscriptions and oaths required from those who enter into the Ministerie, with the books of the High Commission Court, and the books of the Generall Assemblie, which they or their Clerk had or have fraudulently conveied away, Together with this certification, That if the said Master David Lyndsey, with his foresaid colleagues respective, do not appeare in the said Assemblie, and bring with them the said books, to answer to this complaint in generall, and to the particular heads of it, and to submit himselfe to the triall and proofe of this complaint generall, and to the particular heads of it, that there shall be a condigne censure of these offenders for their contempt and contumacie; Here wee humblie beseech your wisdomes answer.

The Act of the Presbyterie of Edinburgh 24. Octob. 1638. yeares, in answer to this Complaint.

Upon the said day, we the Brethren of the Presbyterie of Edinburgh, after we had received this Bill and complaint, presented unto us by the Laird of Buchanan, The Laird of Dury the younger, The Laird of Carlourie, John Smith late Bailife of Edinburgh, John Hammiltoun, and Richard Maxwel, in name of the Noblemen, Barons, Burgesses, and Commons, subscribers of the Covenant (which are not Commissioners to the Generall Assemblie) against the pretended Archbishops and Bishops of this Kingdome, and after wee had read and seriously considered the same, wee, according to the desire of the complainers, did and do referre the same to the next Generall Assemblie to bee holden at Glasgow 21. November. And wee ordaine the publishing of this complaint, and of our reference of it to the Assemblie, to be fully read by all the Pastors of the Presbyterie upon the next Sabbath before noone out of their Pulpits, with a publike warning and cytation to the offendants complained upon; By name, Master John Spotswood pretended Archbishop of Saint Andrewes, Master Patrick Lyndsey pretended Archbishop of Glasgow, Master Thomas Sydserfe pretended Bishop of Galloway, Master David Lyndsey pretended Bishop of Edinburgh, Master Alexander Lyndsey pretended Bishop of Dunkeld, Master Adam Bannatine pretended Bishop of Aberdene, Master John Gutherie pretended Bishop of Murray, Master John Maxwel pretended Bishop of Rosse, Master George Greme pretended Bishop of Orknay, Master John Abernethie pretended Bishop of Caithness, Master Walter Whitefoord pretended Bishop of Brichen, Master James Wedderburne pretended Bishop of Dumblane, Master James Fayrley pretended Bishop of Argyle, Master Nail Campbell pretended Bishop of the Isles, to be present at the said Assemblie, to answer to this complaint in generall, and to the particular heads of it, to undergo the triall and censure of it, and to bring with them the books and scroules of the subscriptions and oaths of them who enter into the Ministerie, the books of the High Commission, and the book of the Generall Assemblie, which they either had or have fraudulently put away; and if any Pastor within this Presbyterie99 refuse to publish this cytation, we require the Reader of the Church to do it. In like manner wee require all parties who have interest, either in pursuing, or specifying, or proving this complaint, to be present at the said Assemblie for that purpose; Upon which the complainers took instruments in the hands of the Notarie.

According to this complaint, and the warrand of the Presbyteries reference of it, I A. R. warne and admonish the abovenamed offenders to compeere before the next Generall Assemblie to bee holden at Glasgow 21. November, for the causes contained in the complaint, and for the certification expressed in it.

84. Notice from Tables to Members of Assembly.109

1. That all Noblemen subscribers of the Covenant (except the Noblemen of the West, who shall be ready upon advertisement) meet at Edinburgh the 12. of November, and stay there till they goe to Glasgow, where they shall all meet on Saturday the 17. of November at the furthest.

2. That the full number of these who are appointed Commissioners by the severall shires, to attend this common cause, with foure Gentlemen within the bounds of every Presbyterie at the least, out of the number of their Assessors, without excluding any voluntaries, That they come to Glasgow the 17. day of November, to attend constantly the Assembly, and give their advice in the common cause to the ruling Elders, Commissioners to the Assembly out of these Shires and Presbyteries.

3. That the Burrowes appoint (according to their quality and number) two, foure, or six of most judicious men to come to Glasgow the 17. of November, and there constantly to attend the Assembly, and give their advice to their Commissioner in this common cause.

4. That the Fast be observed the fourth day of November universally, with any other dayes they may conveniently: and if any be repairing to the Assembly, that they keepe the Fast where they shall bee for the time.

5. That now especially, seeing rulers Elders from particular Congregations are received in Presbyteries, that particular Congregations take such course that no Minister Commissioner be forced to be absent from the Assembly for want of necessarie charges.

6. That where any hath beene deceived or compelled to subscribe this new Covenant, that the Ministers take their Declarations in writing, or by act in the bookes of Session, or before one witnesse, that they were forced, deceived, or mistaken: And that every Minister make known, and intimate publikely to the people the printed protestation, contayning the reasons against this new subscription; and where the Minister refuseth, that some well affected Gentleman doe it.

1638.—November 16, 17, and 20.

85. The Declinator and Protestation of the Archbishops, and Bishops, of the Church of Scotland, and others their Adherents within that Kingdome: Agaynst the pretended Generall Assemblie, holden at Glasgow, Novemb. 21. 1638. Aberdene, Printed by Edward Raban, According to the Copie Printed at London 1639. ☞ It is his Majesties pleasure that this be printed: For the which, this shall bee your Warrand: Hamilton.110

We Arch-bishops, Bishops, and other Under-subscrybers, for our selues, and in name & behalfe of the Church of Scotland, (whereas it hath pleased the King’s Majestie, to indict A Generall Assemblie of the Church, to bee kept at Glasgow, Novemb. 21. 1638. for composing and setling of the Distractions of the same) First doe acknowledge, and professe, That A Generall Assemblie, lawfullie called, and orderlie conveaned, is a most necessarie & effectual Meane, for removing those evills wherewith the sayd Church is infested, and for setling that Order which becometh the House of GOD: and, That we wish nothing more, than a Meeting of a peaceable and orderlie Assemblie, to that effect. Secondlie, we acknowledge, and professe, as becometh good Christians, and faythfull Subjects, That his Majestie hath authoritie, by his Prerogatiue Royall, to call Assemblies, as is acknowledged by the Assemblie at Glasgow, 1610, and Parliament 1612. and, That it is not lawfull to conveane without his Royall consent, and approbation, except wee will put our selues in danger to be called in question for Sedition.

Yet, never-the-lesse, in sundrie respectes wee can not but esteeme this Meeting at Glasgow, most vnlawfull, and disorderlie: and their Proceedinges voyde, and Null in Lawe, for the Causes and Reasons following.

I. First: Before his Majesties Royall Warrand to my Lord Commissioner his Grace, to indict A Lawfull Free Generall Assemblie, the vsurped Authoritie of the Table, (as they call it) by their Missiues, and Instructions, did giue order and direction, for all Presbyteries, to elect and choose their Commissioners for the Assemblie; and for seeking of GOD’S Blessing to it, to keepe a solemne Fast, September 16: whereas his Majesties Warrand, for indicting of that Assemblie, was not published till the 22 of that Moneth. So that they Preventing, and not proceeding by Warrand of Royall Authoritie, the pretended Commissioners beeing chosen before the Presbyteries were authorised to make election, can not be reputed Members of a Lawfull Assemblie.

II. A Lawfull Assemblie, must not onelie bee indicted by Lawfull Authoritie, (as wee acknowledge this to bee) but also constituted of such Members, as are requisite to make vp such a Bodie. For, if according to the Indiction, none at all doe conveane; or, where the Clergie is called, there meet none but Laicks; or moe Laicks, than of the Clergie, with equall power, to judge, & determine; or such of the Laicks, and Clergie, as are not lawfullie authorized, or are not capable of that Employment by their Places; or such as are legallie disabled to sit, and decide in an Assemblie of the Church. A Meeting consisting of such Members, can not be thought a Free and Lawfull Assemblie, by that Act of Parliament, Iac. 6. Parl. 3. cap. 46. 1572. Everie Minister, who shall pretend to be a Minister of God’s Word and Sacraments, is bound to giue his assent & subscription to the Articles of Religion, contayned in the Acts of our Soveraygne Lord’s Parliament; and in presence of the Archbishop, Superintendent, or Commissioner of the Province, giue his Oath, for acknowledging and recognoscing of our Soveraygn Lord, and his Authoritie, and bringing a Testimoniall in writ therevpon; and100 openlie, upon some Sunday, in tyme of Sermon, or publicke Prayers, in the Church where hee ought to attend, reade both the Testimoniall and Confession, and of new make the sayd Oath, within a moneth after his admission; vnder the payne, that everie person, that shall not doe as is aboue-appoynted, shall ipso facto be deprived, & all his Ecclesiasticall promotions, and living, shall be then vacant, as if he were then naturallie dead; and that all inferiour persons, vnder Prelates, be called before the Arch-bishops, Bishops, Superintendents, and Commissioners of the Dioceses, or Province, within which they dwell, as the Act beareth.

III. All of the Clergie conveaned to this Assemblie, pretend themselues to bee Ministers of GOD’S Word, and Sacramentes, and haue Benefices, or other Ecclesiasticall Livings, yet neverthelesse the most part of them, haue never in presence of the Archbishop, Bishop, Superintendent, or Commissioner of the Diocese, or Province, subscrybed the Articles of Religion, contayned in the Actes of Parliament, and given their oath, for acknowledging and recognoscing our Soveraygne Lord, and his Authoritie, and brought a Testimoniall thereof: And, therefore, they are, ipso facto, deprived, and their places voyde, as if they were naturallie dead, and consequentlie having no place nor function in the Church, can not be Commissioners to this Assemblie: hoc maximè attento, that the sayd persons not onlie haue never given their Oath, for acknowledging his Majesties Authoritie, nor can show no Testimoniall therevpon, as they are bound by the sayd Act: But also having as subjectes comprehended in the representatiue bodie of this Kingdome, “Promised to acknowledge, obey, mayntayne, defende, and advaunce, the Lyfe, Honour, Safetie, Dignitie, Soverayne Authoritie, and Prerogatiue Royall, of his Soverayne Majestie, his Heyrs & Successours, and Priviledges of his Highnesse Crowne, with their lyues, lands, and goods, to the vttermost of their power, constantlie, & faythfullie, to withstand all and whatsoever persons, powers, and estates, who shall presume, preasse, or intende, anie wyse to impugne, prejudge, hurt, or impare the same; and never to come in the contrarie thereof, directlie or indirectlie, in anie tyme coming; as the Acts of Parliament, Jac. 6. Parl. 18. cap. 1. Car. Parl. cap. 1. doe proport.”

And more-over, Being obliedged at their Admission, to giue their Oath, for performance of this duetie of their Alledgeance; “And to testifie and declare on their conscience, That the King is the lawfull Supreame Governour, as well in matters Spirtuall and Ecclesiasticall, as Temporall; and to assist and defende all Iurisdiction and Authoritie, belonging to his Majestie, by the Act of Parliament 1612.” Yet notwithstanding of the sayde Bandes, Actes, and Promises, whereby the sayd persons are so strictlie bound to the performance of the Premisses, his Majestie having ordayned, by Act of Councell, at Holie-Rood-House, Sept. 24. 1638. and Proclamations following therevpon, That all his Majesties Liedges, of whatsoever estate, degree, or qualitie, Ecclesiasticall or Temporall, should sweare and subscrybe the sayde Confession; together with a generall Band, for defending his Majesties person and authoritie, agaynst all Enemies within this Realme, or without, haue not onlie refused to subscrybe the sayd BAND and CONFESSION; but haue in their Sermons, and other Speaches, disswaded, deterred, impeded, and hindered others of the Liedges to subscrybe the same; and publicklie protested agaynst the subscription thereof: And therevpon can not conveane, nor concurre lawfullie, to the making vp of the bodie of an Assemblie of the CHVRCH, as being deprived and denuded of all place and function in the same.

IV. A Generall Assemblie was condescended vnto, out of his Majesties gracious Clemencie, and pious Disposition, as a Royall Favour to those that so should acknowledge the same, and acquiesce to his gracious pleasure, and carrie themselues peaceablie, as loyall and duetifull Subjects, which the Commissioners directed to this Assemblie, supposed to bee of the number of those that adheare to the last Protestation made at Edinb. Sept. 1638. doe not so account of, and accept, as appeareth by the sayde Protestation: whereby they protest, That it shall bee lawfull for them, as at other times, so at this, to assemble themselues, notwithstanding anie impediment, or prorogation, to the contrarie: as also by continuing their Meetings and Table, discharged by Authoritie, refusing to subscrybe the BAND according to his Majesties, and Councells, command, for mayntayning his Majesties Royall person, and authoritie, protesting agaynst the same; still insisting with the Liedges, to subscrybe the Band of mutuall defence, agaynst all persons what-so-ever, and remitting nothing of their former proceedinges, where-by his Maiesties wrath was provoked: thereby they are become in the same state and condition wherein they were before his Majesties Proclamation and pardon; and so forfayte the favour of this Assemblie, and libertie to bee Members thereof. And others of his Maiesties Subjectes may justlie feare to meete with them in this Convention, for that by the Act of Parliament, lac. 6. Parl. 15. Cap. 31. Prelacies beeing declared to bee one of the three Estates of this Kingdome, and by the Act of Parliament, lac. 6. Parl. 8. Cap. 130. All persons are discharged to impugne the dignitie and authority of the three Estates, or any of them in time coming, vnder the paine of Treason. And whereas the King by his Proclamation, declareth Archbishops and Bishops, to haue voyce in the Generall Assemblie, and calleth them to the same for that effect, as constantlie they haue beene in vse in all Assemblies, where they were present, as appeareth by manie Acts of the Generall Assemblie, ordayning them to keepe and assist at the same, as in the Assemblie at Edinburgh, December 15. 1566. At Edinburgh, March 6. 1572. At Edinburgh, May 10. 1586. And by a Letter, written by the Assemblie, March 6. 1573. to the Regent, earnestlie desiring his owne, or his Commissioner’s, presence, and the Lords of Councell and the Bishops, at the Assemblie. They notwithstanding by the sayde Protestation, September 22. declared Archbishops and Bishops, to haue no Warrand for their Office in this Church, to be authorized with no lawfull Commission, and to haue no place nor voyce in this Assemblie; and withall doe arrogate to their Meetinges, a Soveraygne Authoritie, to determine of all Questions and Doubtes that can aryse, contrarie to the freedome of the Assemblie, whether in Constitution and Members, or in the matters to bee treated, or in manner and order of proceeding. Which howe it doeth stand with his Majesties supremacie, in all Causes, and over all persons, wee leaue it to that judgement, wherevnto it belongeth; and doe call GOD and Man to Witnesse, if these bee fit Members of an Assemblie, intended for the Order and Peace of the CHURCH.

V. Giving, and not graunting, That the persons foresayde, directed Commissioners in name of the Clergie, to this Meeting, were capable of that Authoritie, and that the sayd Presbyteries had the authoritie, to direct Commissioners to the Generall101 Assemblie; yet haue they nowe lost, and fallen from all such Right, if anie they had; in so farre as they haue deposed the Moderators, who were lawfullie appoynted to governe them, by the Bishops in their Synodes, and elected others in their places, contrarie to the Act of the Assemblie at Glasgow, 1610, and Act of Parl. 1612; ordayning Bishops to be Moderators at these Meetinges; and in their absence, the Minister whome the Bishop should appoynt at the Synode. So these Meetings having disclaymed the Authoritie of Bishops, deposed their lawfull Moderators, & choosing others, without Authoritie, can not bee esteemed lawfull Convocations, that can haue lawfull power of sending out Commissioners, with authoritie, to judge of the Effayres of this CHVRCH.

VI. And yet doeth the Nullitie of the Commissions flowing from such Meetinges, farther appeare in this, That they haue associate to themselues, a Laicke-ruling-Elder, (as they call them) out of everie Session, and Parish; who beeing ordinarilie the lord of the Parish, or the man of the greatest authoritie in the Boundes, doeth over-rule in the election of the sayd Commissioners, both by his authoritie, and their number being moe than the Ministers, whereof some beeing ordinarilie absent, and fiue or six, or so manie of them, put in list, and removed, there remayne but a few Ministers, to voyce to the Election: and in effect the Commissioners for the Clergie, are chosen by Laymen, contrarie to all order, decencie, and custome observed in the Christian world; no wyse according to the custome of this CHVRCH, which they pretend to follow; the Presbyteries formerlie never associating to themselves Lay-Elders in the election of the Commissioners to the Generall Assemblie, but onlie for their assistance in Discipline, and correction of Manners; calling for them at such occasions, as they stoode in neede of their Godlie Concurrence; declaring otherwyse their meeting not necessarie; and providing expresselie, that they should not be equall, but fewer in number, than the Pastors: as by the Act of Assemblie at Saynct-Andrewes, Aprill 24, 1582, (where Master Andrew Melvill was Moderatour) doeth appeare: lyke as these fourtie yeares by-gone, and vpwardes, long before the re-establishing of Bisshops, these Lay-Elders haue not beene called at all to Presbyteries. And by the Act at Dundie, 1597; whereby it is pretended, That Presbyteries haue authoritie to sende these Lay-Commissioners, it doeth no wyse appeare, that those Lay-Elders had anie hand in choosing of the Ministers. And this is the onlie Act of the Assemblie, authorizing Presbyteries, to choose Commissioners to the Generall Assemblie: nor haue Lay-Elders sate ordinarilie in Presbyteries, vpon anie occasion, these fourtie yeares, and vpwardes: nor ever had anie place, nor voyce, in the election of Ministers, for the Generall Assemblie; and consequentlie, these chosen by them to this Assemblie, haue no lawfull power, nor authoritie.

VII. Beside; the persons Ecclesiasticall, pretended to be authorized Commissioners to this Assemblie, haue so behaved themselues, that justlie they may be thought vnworthie and vncapable of Commission to a Free and Lawfull Assemblie.

1. For that by their seditious and rayling Sermons and Pamphlets, they haue wounded the King’s Honour and Soveraygne Authoritie, and animated his Liedges to Rebellion; averring that all Authoritie Soveraygne, is Originallie in the Collective bodie, derived from thence, to the Prince; and that not onlie in case of negligence, it is Suppletive in the Collectiue bodie, as beeing communicate from the Commontie to the King; Cumulative, not Privative; but also in case of maladministration, to returne to the Collectiue bodie; so that Rex excisit jure suo, and that they may refuse Obedience.

2. Next; they are knowne to bee such as haue eyther beene Schismaticallie refractarie and opposite to good Order setled in the CHVRCH and STATE; or such as having promised, subscribed, and sworne Obedience to their Ordinarie, haue never made conscience of their Oath; or such as haue sworne, and accordinglie practised; yet contrarie to their Promise and Practise, haue resiled, to the contempt of Authoritie, and disturbance of the CHVRCH; or such as are vnder the Censures of the Church of Ireland, for their disobedience to Order; or vnder the Censures of this CHVRCH; or conveaned, at least deserving to bee conveaned before the Ordinaries, or a lawfull Generall Assemblie, for diverse Transgressions, deserving deprivation: As, first, For vttering in their Sermons rash and irreverend speaches in Pulpit, agaynst his Majesties Councell, and their Procedinges, punishable by Deprivation: by the Act of Assemblie at Edinburgh, May 22. anno 1590. Next; For reproving his Majesties Lawes, Statutes, and Ordinances, contrarie to the Act of Assemblie at Pearth, May 1. Anno 1596. Thirdlie; For expressing of mens names in Pulpit, or descrybing them viuelie to their reproach, where there was no notorious fault; agaynst another Act of the same Assemblie. Fourthlie; For vsing Applications in their Sermons, not tending to the edification of their present Auditorie; contrarie to another Act of the same Assemblie. Fiftlie; For keeping Conventions, not allowed by his Majestie, without his knowledge, and consent; contrarie to another Act of the same Assemblie. Sixtlie; For receaving of people, of other Ministers Flockes, to the Communion; contrarie to Order, Actes of Assemblies, and Counsels. Seaventhlie; For intruding themselues into other mens Pulpits, without Calling or Authoritie. Eyghtlie; For vsurping the Authoritie to convent their Brethren, and proceede agaynst them to the Censures of Suspension, and Deprivation. Nynthlie; For pressing the people to subscrybe a Covenant, not allowed by Authoritie; and opposing and withstanding the subscrybing of a COVENANT offered by his Majestie, and allowed by the Counsell: Beside manie personall faultes and enormities, whereof manie of them are guiltie, which in Charitie, we forbeare to expresse. But heereby it doeth appeare, how vnfit these persons are, to bee Members of a Free and Lawfull Assemblie.

VIII. Nor doeth it stand with Reason, Scripture, or Practise of the Christian Church, that Lay-men should bee authorized to haue decisiue voyce in a Generall Assemblie. In that Act of Dundie, 1597, whereby these Elders pretende to haue this place, there is no Warrand expressed for them, to deliberate and determine. Their presence and assistance wee approue, being allowed and authorized by the Prince. The Kings Majesties presence in person, or by his Delegates, wee holde moste necessarie to see all thinges orderlie and peaceablie done; and that hee haue the chiefe hand in all Deliberations and Determinations. Nor doe wee refuse, that anie Intelligent or moderate man, may make remonstrance of his opinion, with the reasons of it, in that way that becommeth him in a Nationall Assemblie; due reverence beeing kept, and Confusion avoyded. But that anie Lay-man, except hee bee Delegate by Soveraygne Authoritie, shall presume to haue a definitiue and decisiue Voyce, wee esteeme it102 to bee intrusion vpon the Pastorall Charge, and without Warrand. May wee not, therefore, intreat my Lord Commissioner his Grace, in the words of the Fathers of the Fourth Generall Councell at Chalcedon, Mitte foras superfluos? Nor will a pious Prince bee offended with it, but, with Theodosius the younger, will say, Illegitimum est, eum qui non sit in ordine Sanctissimorum Episcoporum, Ecclesiasticis immisceri tractatibus ________ And Pulcheria the Empresse, commaunded Strategus, Vt Clerici, Monachi, & Laici, vi repellerentur, exceptis paucis lilis, quos Episcopi secum duxerunt. Upon this respect was Martinus in that Councell of Chalcedon, moved to say, Non esse suum, sed Episcoporum tantum subscribere.

IX. If these pretended Commissioners, both Lay and Ecclesiasticall, were lawfullie authorized, (as it is evident they are not,) and for none other cause declinable, yet the Law doeth admit, that justlie a Iudge may bee declined, who is probablie suspect. And of all probabilities, this is the most pregnant, when the Iudge, before hee come to judgement, doeth giue sentence of these things hee hath to judge. This made our Reformers Protestation agaynst the Councell of Trent valide; and their not compearing, justifiable, because Pope Leo 10 had precondemned Luther, as appeared by his Bull, dated 8 Iunii, 1520, renewed by Paul 3, dated in August 1535. This was the cause why Athanasius would not giue his appearance at some Councells, nor Hosius of Corduba, nor Maximus Patriarch of Constantinople. But so it is, the most part, if not all of the sayde Commissioners directed to this Meeting haue precondemned EPISCOPALL GOVERNMENT, and condemned, at least suspended Obedience to the Acts of the Generall Assemblie and Parliament, concerning the fiue Articles of Pearth, haue approven their COVENANT as most necessarie to be embraced of all in this Kingdome; and not onelie haue given judgement of these thinges before-hand; but by most solemne Oathes haue bound themselues, to defende and stand to the same: as doeth appeare by their Covenant, Petitions, Protestations, Pamphlets, Libels, and Sermons. And, therefore, by no Law nor Equitie, can these pretended Commissioners bee admitted to determine in this Meeting, concerning these Persons and Poynts, which before-hand they haue so vnjustlie condemned.

X. Farther: with no Law nor Reason can it subsist, that the same persons shall bee both Iudges and Parties. And wee appeale the Consciences of all honest men, if all, at least the greatest parte of the pretended Commissioners, haue not declared themselues Partie to the Arch-bishops, and Bishops, of this CHVRCH: for in that they haue declyned the Bishops to be their Iudges as beeing their Partie, (as their Declinators, Petitions, Declarations, and Protestations doe beare,) haue they not simul & semel, & ipso facto declared themselues to bee Partie agaynst Bishops? Whom they haue not onlie declyned, but persecuted by their Calumnies and Reproaches, vented by word and writ, in publicke and in private; by invading their persons, opposing and oppressing them, by strength of an vnlawfull Combination; for the subscrybing and swearing whereof, they haue by their owne Authoritie indicted and kept Fastes, not onelie in their owne Churches, but where worthie men refused to bee accessorie to these disorderlie and impious Courses, they haue, by ayde of the vnruly multitude, entered their Churches, vsurped vpon their Charges; reading, and causing to be read, that vnlawfull Covenant; by threatning and menacing, compelling some (otherwise vnwilling) out of just feare, to set their hands to it; by processing, suspending, and removing obedient and worthie Ministers from their places by the vsurped Authoritie of their Table, and Presbyteries. And whereas by all Law and Iustice, persons finding themselues wronged in Iudgement, haue never beene denyed the remedie of Declinatorie and Appellation: Neverthelesse not a few of these Presbyteries haue proceeded against sundrie worthy Ministers, who haue declined and appealed from their Iudgments, without respect to this Defence: by these means craftilie intending to disable them to be Commissioners for the CHVRCH; directlie, or indirectlie, causing their Stipendes to bee kept backe from them: By which meanes, not the least parte of the subscribing Ministers haue bene gained to their Covenant.

But it is without example, vncharitable, and illegall, that vnder the pretext of Summons (the like whereof was never vsed, nor in the like manner, agaynst the most haynous Malefactors in the kingdome) they haue devised, forged, vented, and published a most infamous and scurrile Libell, full of impudent Lies, and malicious Calumnies, against the Arch-bishops, and Bishops, of this CHVRCH: and haue first given out from their Table, the Order prescrybed in these subsequent Articles, which we haue insert, that the World may be Witnesse of the Illegalitie and Malicousnesse of their Proceedinges.

1. To desire the Presbyterie of everie Bishop, especiallie where hee keepeth his residence, as also the Presbyterie where his Cathedrals Seat is, to haue a speciall care of this Bill, and Complaynt agaynst the Prelates, and particularlie agaynst the Bishop of their Diocese.

2. That some Noble-men, if anie be within the Presbyterie, some Gentle-men and Barons, some Ministers, and some Commons, who are not chosen Commissioners to the Assemblie, in their owne Name, and in Name of all other Covenanters, or Complayners, eyther within the Presbyterie, or Diocese, or whole Kingdome, who are not Commissioners to the Assemblie, will adheare and assist in this Complaynt, that they present this Bill to the Presbyterie.

3. That they who are Complayners, haue a particular care to fill up the Blanks left in the Bill, in the Subsumptions of the particular Faults committed by the Bishop of the Diocese, agaynst these generall Rules, Canons, and Actes: or if these Blankes will not contayne the same, that the Complayners draw vp in a particular Clayme, all the particular Faultes, and Transgressions of the Bishop of that Diocese, agaynst these Rules, Canons, and Acts, or anie other Law of the Church, or Kingdome; and present the same to the Presbyterie, with this generall Complaynt. And if they can not get the Particulars presentlie readie, notwithstanding, they present without anie delay, because of the scarcenesse of the tyme, this Complaynt, as it standeth with the Blanks: and in the meane tyme, may gather anie other Particulars, agaynst the Assemblie, to which this Complaynt is to bee referred.

4. That the Presbyterie finding the Complaynt important, & the Generall Assemblie so approaching, referre the same to the Generall Assemblie, by an Act of this Reference, insert in the Bookes of the Presbyterie.

5. That vpon this Reference of the Complaynt to the Assemblie, the Presbyterie admonish the Complayners, apud acta, to be present at the sayde Assemblie, for assisting and verifying of the sayde Complaynt.

6. That the Presbyterie ordayne all their Pastors,103 out of Pulpit, on a Sabbath-day, before noone, to cause reade publicklie this whole Complaynt, and the Presbyteries Reference to the Assemblie; and so to admonish the Bishop of that Diocese, the Delinquent complayned upon, with the rest of his Collegues, to be present at the Gen. Assembly, to answere to the particular Complaynt, both in the particular and generall heads thereof, given, or to be given in; & to abide the censure & tryall of th’ Assemblie therevpon. And lykwyse, out of Pulpit to admonish all others, who haue interest eyther in the persuing, or referring this Complaynt, to be present, at the sayd Assemblie.

7. That the Presbyterie insert, in their Presbyterie-Bookes, the whole tenour of this Complaynt, both in the generall and particular heads thereof; and that they haue a care, to cause deliver, by their ordinary Beadell, to the Bishop of the Diocese, a Copie thereof, and a Copie of an Act, referring the same to the Assemblie; and summon him, to compeare before the Assemblie. And if he be within the Countrey, and cannot be personallie apprehended, to affix a full copie thereof vpon each dwelling place, and vpon the most patent doore of the Cathedrall Church, and Episcopall Seat.

8. That the Complayners, within the Presbyterie where the Bishop is resident, or hath his Cathedrall, be carefull to keep corresponce with those in other Presbyteries within their Diocese, who best can specifie and verifie their Bishops vsurpation, & transgressions; and who had particular Articles, to gather particular Declarations, and Informations, of the same.

9. That some of these Complayners, in their own name, and with Warrand and Power from the rest, without fayling, attend the Assemblie, with the generall Complaynt, and particular Verifications, and Specifications, of the same.

10. That in case the Presbyterie where the Bishop hath his residence, or where he hath his Cathedrall, and Episcopall Seat, refuse to receaue this Complaynt, or referre the same to the Assemblie, or to admonish, or cite, the Bishop delinquent, before the Assemblie, to aunswere to the Complaynt; That the Gentle-men, and others, who are Complayners to the Presbyteries, vpon their Refusall, take instrument, in the handes of the Clerke of the Presbyterie, or anie Notarie; and protest, That their Refusall of the ordinarie care of Iustice, procured (without doubt) by the Bishop of that Diocese, delinquent, complayned of, the equivalent of Law and Reason, bee a formall Citation of him. Which Protestation, they may affixe vpon the dwelling-house of the sayde Bishop, or vpon his Cathedrall Church, or vpon the pryme Church within the Presbyterie. And, That they may deale with anie other Presbyterie within the Diocese, who is better disposed, and vpon their receat of the Complaynt, will referre the same to the Assemblie, and cite the Bishop in manner aboue-expressed, to compeare before the sayd Assemblie.

11. Item: Perhaps some Minister within the Presbyterie, may thinke some Heads of this Complaynt, not to be relevant in his Opinion, or know the Bishop not to bee guiltie of all the particular Heads contayned therein: Yet hee in Iustice can not refuse to referre the tryall of the Relevancie, and Probation thereof, to the Generall Assemblie, especially, seeing the Relevancie and Probation of moe or fewer Points agaynst the Bishop of the Diocese, is sufficient; and seeing the Subsumption of everie particular Head, is agaynst the Bishop of the Diocese, with his Colleagues.

12. Item, to desire the Presbytery, vpon Complaynts vpon anie persons within the same, against any scandalous Minister, eyther in Doctrine or Lyfe, eyther to judge the Complaynt, or referre the same to the tryall and censure of the Generall Assemblie, and so to admonish and cite the Minsters complayned vpon, to compeare before the Generall Assemblie, for that ende.

According to which Articles, vpon Sunday, October 28, they caused reade the sayd Libell in all the Churches of Edinburgh, notwithstanding my Lord Commissioners command given to the Provest and Baylies to the contrarie, except in Holie-Rood-House, where it was read the next Sunday, as it was in other Churches of the Kingdome: proceeding heerein, 1. Agaynst all Charitie, which doeth not behaue it selfe vnseemlie, nor delighteth in the discoverie of mens nakednesse, nor take vp a reproach, nor backbite with the tongue; much lesse to write a Booke agaynst a Brother. 2. Agaynst the order prescrybed by the Apostle; Not to rebuke an Elder, but to intreate him as a Father: and by the Act of Parliament, Iac. 6, Parl. 8, discharging all persons to impugne or to procure the diminution of the authoritie & power of the three Estates, or anie of them. 3. Agaynst all lawfull and formall proceeding, speciallie, that prescrybed by Act of Generall Assemblie at Pearth, Martij. 1, 1596; whereby it is ordayned, That all Summons contayne the speciall Cause and Cryme: which the sayde Libell doeth not: nameing onelie generall Calumnies, Reproaches, and Aspersions, without instruction of anie particular, but leaving these to bee filled vp by malitious delation, after they haue defamed their Brethren by publishing this Libell: as appeareth by the 8 and 11 Articles of the sayde Instructions. And agaynst the order prescrybed by the Assemblie at Saynct-Andrewes, Aprill 24, 1582; whereby it is enacted, That in processe of deprivation of Ministers, there be a libelled Precept vpon fourtie dayes warning, beeing within the Realme; and threescore dayes, being without the Realme, to bee directed by the Church, and such Commissioners thereof, as elect and admit the person complained of, summoning them to compeare, & answere vpon the Complaint. And in case of their absence at the first Summons, the second to be directed vpon the lyke warning, with certification: if hee faile, the Libell shall be admitted to probation, and he shall bee holden pro confesso. Which forme not beeing kept in a Summons inferring the punishment of Deprivation, the same can not bee sustayned by the order of that Assemblie. 4. Agaynst common Equitie, which admitteth Summons onlie by the authoritie of that Iudge before whom the Delinquent is to compeare. Whereby the Summons directed by the authoritie of these pretended Presbyteries, can not sustayne, for compearance before the Generall Assemblie, nor could reference bee made from the Presbyterie, to the Generall Assemblie, the parties never beeing summoned to compeare before the Presbyterie, whereby eyther in presence of the Partie, or in the case of contumacie, the Complaynt might be referred to the Assemblie. That there was no Citation before the Reference, is cleare, by the sayd Instructions. And what a strange and odious forme it is, to insert such a calumnious Libell in the Presbyterie-Bookes, without citing of the Parties, to aunswere therevnto; and to cite the Bishops before the Generall Assemblie, by the sayde Libell, by publishing the same at Churches, to the which they had no Relation, and were manie miles distant; wee leaue it to the judgement of indifferent men. 5. Agaynst all Decencie, and respect due to men of their Place,104 the sayde persons, beeing Men of Dignitie, and some of them of his Majesties moste HONOVRABLE PRIVIE COVNCELL, and knowne to bee of blamelesse Conversation, and to haue deserved well, thus to be reviled, and traduced, doeth redound to the reproach of Church, and State, and of the Gospell, whereof they are Preachers. 6. Lastlie, to omit manie other Informalities agaynst their owne Consciences, which wee charge in the sight of GOD, as they must answere before His Great and Fearfull Tribunall, If they suspect, and know not perfectlie, according to the judgement of Charitie, them whom they thus accuse, to bee free of these Crimes, wherewith they charge them; at least of manie of them; as appeareth evidentlie by the xj Article of the said Instructions, having therein libelled the Generall, and haue yet to seeke the Specification thereof, from the malice of their neighbours, if so bee they can furnish it. By which informall and malitious Proceeding, it is most apparent, that our sayd Parties doe seeke our disgrace and overthrowe, most malitiouslie, and illegallie. And therefore, wee call Heaven and earth to witnesse, if this bee not a barbarous, and violent persecution, that all Circumstances being considered, hath few or none to parallell it, since the beginning of Christianitie: and if wee haue not just cause to decline the sayde pretended Commissioners, as our Partie.

Moreover, can these men expect, but in a lawfull Assemblie they were to bee called and censured for their enorme transgressions foresayde? And will anie man thinke, that they can be judges in their owne cause? it is alleadged out of the Canon-Law, agaynst the Pope, that if the Pope bee at variance with anie man, he ought not to bee judge himselfe, but to choose Arbitrators. And this may militate agaynst them; except they bee more vnrulie than Popes. Ludovicus Bavarus, and all the Estates of Germanie with him, did pleade this Nullitie agaynst the sentence and Proceeding of Pope Iohn 22, and of his Councell. And the Archbishop of Cullen, 1546, did pleade the Nullitie of Paull 3 his Bull of Excommunication, because hee protested, that so soone as a lawfull Councell should bee opened, hee would impleade the Pope as Partie, beeing guiltie of manie thinges censurable by the Councell.

But the late Protestation doeth show the Authors thereof, to bee no lesse injurious to our Place, and Authoritie, than they are overweening of their owne. For it is agaynst Reason and Practise of the Christian Church, that no Primate, Archbishop, nor Bishop, haue place nor voyce deliberatiue, nor decisue, in Generall Assemblies, except they bee authorized, and elected, by their Presbyterial Meetinges, consisting of Preaching and Ruling Elders, (as they call them) and without Warrand, or Example, in the Primitiue, and purest tymes of the Church.

XII. This also doeth inferre the Nullitie of an Assemblie, if the Moderator and President for matters of Doctrine, and Discipline, shall bee neyther the Primate, Arch-bishop, nor Bishop; but he who by pluralitie of Presbyters, and Lay-mens voyces, shall bee elected: which happilie may bee one of the inferiour Clergie, or a Lay-person, as sometymes it hath fallen out. Whereas Canonicallie, according to the auncient practise of the CHVRCH, the Primate should preside: according to the Constitution of the First Councell of Nice, Can. 6, of Antioch, Can. 9, and of the Imperiall Lawe, Novell. Constitut. 123, Cap. 10, and according to our owne Lawe. For what place in Assemblies, Arch-bishops and Bishops had in other Christian Nations, the same they had (no doubt) in SCOTLAND, and yet still doe retayne, except by some Municipall Lawe it hath beene restrayned, which can not bee showne: For the restraynt of their Authoritie by the Act of Parliament 1592. is restored by the Act of Parliament 1606, and 1609, and all Actes prejudiciall to their Iurisdiction abrogated. Neyther doeth that Act 1592, establishing Generall Assemblies, debarre Bishops from presiding therein: Nor the abrogation of their Commission, graunted vnto them by Act of Parliament, in Ecclesiasticall Causes, imply and inferre the abrogation of that Authoritie, which they receaved not from the Parliament, but from CHRIST, from Whom they receaved the Spirituall Over-sight of the Clergie, vnder their Charge: wherevnto belongeth the Presidentship in all Assemblies, for matters Spirituall; alwayes with due Submission to the Supreame Governour: which is so intrinsecallie inherent in them, as they are Bishops, that hoc ipso that they are Bishops, they are Presidents of all Assemblies of the Clergie: as the Chancellour of the Kingdome hath place in Councell, and Session; not by anie Act, or Statute, but hoc ipso that hee is Chancellour. By Act of Parliament, Bishops are declared, to haue their Right in Synodes, and other inferiour Meetinges; but by no Lawe restrayned, nor debarred from the exercyse of it in Nationall Assemblies: and the Lawe allowing Bishops to bee Moderatours of the Synodes, doeth present a List, in absence of the Metropolitane, to whome, of right, this Place doeth belong, as sayd is, out of which the Moderator of the Generall Assemblie shall bee chosen. For is it not more agreeable to Reason, Order, and Decencie, that out of Moderators of Synodes, a Moderator of the Generall Assemblie should bee chosen, than of the inferiour Clergie, subject to them?

As concerning that Act of the General Assemblie, Anno 1580, whereby Bishops are declared to haue no warrant out of Scripture, if corruption of tyme shall bee regarded, the authoritie of that Assemblie might bee neglected no lesse than that at Glasgow, Anno 1610. But it is ordinarie that prior Actes of Assemblies and Parliamentes giue place to the posterior; for Posteriora derogant Prioribus. And there past not full six yeares, when a Generall Assemblie at Edinburgh found, that the Name of Bishops hath a speciall charge and function annexed to it by the Word of God; and that it was lawfull for the Generall Assemblie to admit a Bishop to a Benefice, presented by the Kings Majestie, with power to admit, visite, and depriue Ministers, and to be Moderatoures of the Presbyteries where they are resident, and subject onelie to the sentence of the Generall Assemblie.

As for that Act at Montrose, let them answere to it that haue their calling by that Commission. Wee professe that wee haue a lawfull calling by the election of the Clergie, who are of the Chapter of our Cathedralls, and consecration of Bishops by his Majesties consent and approbation, according to the laudable Lawes and auncient Custome of this Kingdome, and of the Church in auncient tymes; and doe homage to our Soveraigne Lord for our Temporalities, and acknowledge him, solo Deo minorem, next vnto God in all causes, and over all persons Spirituall or Temporall; in his owne Dominions supreame Governour. But now wee may take vp Cyprian his complaint, Lib. 3. Ep. 14. Quod non periculum metuere debemus de offensâ Domini, quando aliqui de Presbyteris, nec Evangelii, nec loci sui memores; sed neque futurum Dei judicium, neque præpositum sibi Episcopum cogitantes, quod nunquam omnino sub antecessoribus factum est, cum contumelia105 & contemptâ præpositi, totum sibi vendicent? A’que vtinam non prostrata fratrum nostrorum salute sibi omnia vendicarent. Contumelias Episcopatus nostri dissimulare & ferre possem; sicut dissimulavi semper & pertuli; sed dissimulandi nunc locus non est, quando decipiatur fraternitas nostra à quibusdam vestrum, qui dum sine ratione restituendæ salutis plausibiles esse cupiunt, magis lapsis obsunt.

XIII. Lastlie; it is most manifest by the Premisses, how absurd it is, and contrarie to all Reason and Practise of the Christian Church, that Archbishops and Bishops shall bee judged by Presbyters; and more absurd, that they should bee judged by a mixt meeting of Presbyters and Laicks, conveaning without lawfull authoritie of the Church. Howe, and by whome they are to bee judged, according to the custome of Auncient times, may bee seene by the Councell of Chalcedon, Can. 9. and Concil. Milevit. Can. 22. and Concil. Carthag. 2. Can. 10. Nor doe wee decline the lawfull tryall of anie competent judicatorie in the Kingdome, especiallie of a Generall Assemblie lawfully constitute, or of his Majesties high Commissioner, for anie thing in life or doctrine can be layde to our charge: onlie we declare and affirme, That it is against Order, Decencie, and Scripture, that wee should be judged by Presbyters or by Laickes, without Authoritie and Commission from Soveraygne Authoritie.

For the reasons fore-sayd, and manie moe, and for discharge of our duetie to GOD, to his CHVRCH, and to our Sacred Soveraygne, lest by our silence we betray the CHVRCHE’S right, his Majesties Authoritie, and our owne Consciences, Wee for our selues, and in Name of the CHVRCH of SCOTLAND, are forced to protest, That this Assemblie bee reputed and holden Null in Lawe Divine and Humane; and, That no Church-man bee holden to appeare before, assist or approue it; and therefore, that no Letter, Petition, Subscription, Interlocutor, Certification, Admonition, or other Act what-so-ever proceeding from the said Assemblie, or anie member thereof, bee anie wise prejudiciall to the Religion and Confession of Fayth by Act of Parliament established, or to the Church, or anie member thereof, or to the Iurisdiction, Liberties, Priviledges, Rentes, Benefices, and Possessions of the same, Actes of Generall Assemblie, of Councell, and Parliament, in Favoures thereof; or to the three Estates of the Kingdome, or anie of them; or to vs, or anie of vs, in our Persons, or Estates, Authoritie, Iurisdiction, Dignitie, Rentes, Benefices, Reputation, and good Name: But on the contrarie, That all such Actes and Deedes aboue-mentioned, and every one of them, are, and shall bee reputed and esteemed vnjust, illegall, and Null in themselues; with all that hath followed, or may follow there-vpon.

And for as much as the sayde Assemblie doeth intende, (as we are informed) to call in question, discusse, and condemne thinges not onelie in themselues lawfull, and warrandable; but also defined and determined by Actes of Generall Assemblie, and Parliaments, and in practise accordinglie; to the disgrace and prejudice of Reformed Religion, authoritie of the Lawes and Liberties of the Church and Kingdome; weakning his Majesties Authoritie, disgracing the Profession and Practise, which hee holdeth in the Communion of the Church where he liveth; and branding of Reformed Churches, with the foule aspertions of Idolatrie and Superstition: Wee protest before GOD and man, that what shall bee done in this kinde, may not redound to the disgrace or disadvantage of Reformed Religion, nor bee reputed a deede of the Church of SCOTLAND.

Wee protest, that wee imbrace and hold, That the Religion presentlie professed in the Church of Scotland, according to the Confession thereof, receaved by the Estates of this Kingdome, and ratified in Parliament, the yeare 1567, is the true Religion, bringing men to Eternall Salvation, and doe detest all contrarie Errour.

Wee protest, That Episcopall Government in the Church, is lawfull, and necessarie: and, That the same is not opposed, and impugned, for anie Defect or Fault, eyther in the Government or Governoures; but by the malice and craft of the Devill, envying the successe of that Government in this CHVRCH these manie yeares by-past, most evident, in planting of Churches with able and learned Ministers, recovering of the Church Rents, helping of the Ministers Stipends, preventing of these jarres betwixt the KING and the CHVRCH, which in former tymes dangerouslie infested the same, keeping the people in Peace and Obedience, and suppressing of Poperie, which in respect eyther of the number of their Professoures, or boldnesse of their Profession, was never at so lowe an ebbe in this Kingdome, as before these stirres.

Wee protest, That seeing these who for scruple of conscience did mislyke the Service-Booke, Canons, and high Commission, which were apprehended, or given foorth, to be the cause of the troubles of this Church, haue now receaved satisfaction, and his Majestie is graciouslie pleased to forget and forgiue all offences by-past in these stirres; that all the Subjectes of this Kingdome may liue in Peace and Christian Loue, as becommeth faythfull Subjectes, and good Christians; laying aside all hatred, envye, and bitternesse. And if anie shall refuse so to doe, they may beare the blame, and be thought the cause of the troubles that may ensue: and the same bee not imputed to vs, or anie of vs, who desire nothing more, than to liue in peace and concord with all men, vnder his Maiesties obedience, and who haue committed nothing agaynst the Lawes of the Kingdome, and Church, that may giue anie man just cause of offence; and are so farre from wishine hurt to anie man, in his person, or estate, notwithstanding all the indignities and injuries wee haue suffered, that for quenching this present Combustion, and setling Peace in this Church, and Countrey, wee could bee content, after clearing of our innocencie, of all thinges where-with wee can bee charged, not onelie to lay downe our Bishoprickes at his Majesties feet, to be disposed of at his Royall pleasure; but also, if so bee, it pleased GOD, to lay downe our lyues, and become a Sacrifice, for this Atonement.

Wee protest, in the sight of GOD, to Whom one day wee must giue Account, That wee make vse of this DECLINATOR, and PROTESTATION, out of the conscience of our duetie to GOD, and His CHVRCH; and not out of feare of anie guiltinesse, whereof anie of vs is conscious to himselfe, eyther of wickednesse in our lyues, or miscarriage in our Callings: being content, everie one of vs, for our owne particular, (as wee haue never showne our selues to bee otherwyse) to vnder-goe the lawfull, and moste exact Tryall, of anie competent Judicatorie within this Kingdome, or of his Majesties high Commissioner.

And wee moste humblie intreat his Grace, to intercede with the King’s Majestie, That hee may appoynt a Free and Lawfull Generall Assemblie, such as GOD’S Word, the practise of the Primitiue Church, and Lawes of the Kingdome doe prescrybe, and allowe, with all convenient speed, to the effect, the present Distractions of the Church106 may be setled. And if there be anie thing to be layd to the charge of any of the Clergie, of whatso-ever degree, eyther in Lyfe and Manners, or Doctrine, or exercise of his Calling, and Iurisdiction, hee may bee heard to aunswere all Accusations, and abyde all tryall, eyther for clearing his innocencie, or suffering condigne punishment, according to his Transgressions: declyning alwayes this Assemblie, for the causes aboue-written. Lyke as by these Presentes, wee, and everie one of vs, declyne the same, the whole Members thereof, and Commissioners fore-sayd, directed therevnto, and everie one of them.

Wee protest, That this our PROTESTATION in respect of our lawfull absence, may bee receaved, in the Name of vs vnder-subscribing for our selues, and in the Name of the CHVRCH of SCOTLAND, that shall adheare to the sayde PROTESTATION, and in the Name of everie one of them, From our well-beloved, Doctor Robert Hamilton, Minister at Glasford:

To whome, by these Presentes, wee giue our full Power, and expresse Mandate, to present the same in or at the sayde Assemblie, or where else, it shall bee necessarie to bee vsed; with all submission, and obedience, due to our Gracious Soveraygne, and his Majesties High Commissioner. And vpon the presenting and vsing thereof, Acts and Instrumentes to craue, and all other thinges to doe, that necessarilie are requyred in such Cases: firme and stable holding, or for to holde, what hee, or anie of them, shall lawfullie doe in the Premisses.

In witnesse where-of, as wee are readie with our Blood, so with our Hand, wee haue subscrybed these Presentes, at the Palace of Holierood-Hovse, New-castle, and Glasgow, the 16, 17, and 20 dayes of November, Anno 1638.

Et sic subscribitur.

Jo: Sᵗⁱ Andreæ Arch. [Jo. Spottiswood.]
Pa: Glasgow. [Patrick Lindsay.]
Da: Edinburgen. [David Lindsay.]
Tho: Gallovidien. [Thom. Sydserfe.]
Jo: Rossen. [John Maxwell.]
Walterus Brechinen. [Walter Whitfoord.]

86. His Majesty’s Observations upon the draft copy of the Declinator.111

Charles R.

I. The second reason to be advised with my Lord Commissioner, whether or not it be safe at this time to except against the Form of the Publication of the Indiction of the Assembly.

II. The third is a very good reason against the Proceeding of the Assembly, but will not infer a Nullity.

III. In all the reasons where the Assembly is called a pretended Assembly, it is His Majesties Pleasure, that the word pretended be deleted out of the Copy shewed to His Majesty.

IV. For the seventh reason, if it offend not the inferiour Clergie, His Majesty is contented with it.

V. In the ninth reason, to omit the precondemning of the Service-book, Book of Canons, and High Commission.

VI. The tenth reason is so full that the eighth may be totally omitted.

VII. The eleventh reason militates abundantly against all those who hold such Tenets, that they cannot Voice in the Assembly, though it Infer not an absolute Nullity of the Assembly.

VIII. The thirteenth de loco tuto, & accessu tuto, to be totally omitted.

IX. The fourteenth and last to be totally omitted.

X. In the conclusion there is one clause marked by His Majesties own Hand, which is to be omitted.

Whitehall, 19ᵗʰ October, 1638.

1638.—November 17.
87.—Letter from the King to Hamilton.112


Concerning our Preparations here, I have commanded the Comptroller to give you a full account, of which you may take publick notice, and declare, That as their Carriage hath forced me to take care to arm myself against any Insolence that may be committed; so you may give assurance that my care of Peace is such, that all those Preparations shall be useless, except they first break out with insolent Actions. Now for Answer to your Letter, it was never heard that one should be both Judge and Party: besides, the Lawfulness of the Judicatory must be condescended upon, before any Cause can be therein lawfully determined: therefore I say that the Assembly can in no case be Judge of their own Nullities: yet you have reason, not onely to make good what I have promised, but also to promise them a new Assembly, upon the amendment of all the Faults and Nullities of this. I approve of both your Bargains, and shall take care that you shall not lose by them, and so I rest

Your assured constant Friend, 
Charles R.

17 Nov. 1638.

1638.—November 20.
88. Letter from Bishops of Ross and Brechin to the Commissioner.113

May it Please your Grace,

What came from my Lord S. Andrews is herewith enclosed. We humbly and heartily thank your Grace for your excessive favour and kindness towards us: we must take it the more kindly, that we know at such a time it is to let others see what respect your Grace carries to our Coat; for our selves we could more willingly chuse a more sober diet and less ease: considering our own Sins, and the difficulties of the Times, do admonish us rather to fast than feast, to afflict our Souls rather than to relish any worldly pleasure. But above all we two for our selves, and in name of our Brethren, do with most thankful hearts acknowledg your Graces most pious care of the Liberties of this poor distressed and distracted Church; and especially the solicitude and care your Grace hath, that our Protestation be orderly done, secretly kept, and seasonably presented, before either the Cause, or we that are Bishops, suffer wrong. It is that which now concerneth us most and is dearest to us, both for Conscience before God, and our credit to the present Age and future; and we cannot express how happy we are to have in this Exigent such a Pious and Noble Patron, careful and sollicitous with the most tender affection both of our Cause and Persons, where otherwise (with the greatest loss, at least107 hazard, can be, to discharge our Duty to God and his Church) we should be necessitated to doe it our selves, and haply neither with so much safety nor honour. God will reward your Grace we are confident, and bless your Grace and yours; for we dare aver in this Division your Grace hath made choice of the better part. The Difficulties are great, the Hopes none, but too pregnant Fears to the contrary; yet it is the more like to be Gods Cause, that his Work may appear: and it may be called digitus Dei, and marvellous in our eyes. Mans extremity is Gods opportunity.

We have given Dr Hamilton our best directions, which we submit humbly to your Graces better Judgment, to add and command what you think fit: he needs no more Deputation, but the inserting of his name in the Procuratory, which is in the close of the Declinator. Above all we have recommended to him, a care that it may be timeously presented; but in this we trust only to your Grace.

As we pity the Difficulties your Grace is cast into, so shall we be earnest supplicants to God Almighty, to bless and preserve your Grace in this and all other Services, wherewith God and his Majesty hath trusted you.

Your Graces most humble and 
bounden Servants, 
John Rossen. 
Wal. Brechinen. 

Postscript.—What goes from my Lord of St Andrews directed to me, I beseech your Grace to open and read for your own use.

Hamilton, Nov. 20. 1638.

1638.—November 21.
89. Letter from the King to Hamilton.114


This is rather to give the reason of My Answer than the Answer it self, (you being to receive it at large by My Lord of Canterbury.) The truth is, that the same reason which made me blot out the whole Sentence before, hath made me desire to alter a word now; to wit, that I should not be thought to desire the abolishing of that in Scotland, which I approve and maintain in England, namely, the Five Articles of Perth: now the word content expresses enough my consent to have them surcease for the present; but the word pleased, methinks, imports as much as if I desired them to take them away, or, at least, were well pleased that they should doe so. But I leave it to your ordering, so that you make it be clearly understood, that though I permit, yet I would be better pleased if they would let them alone; and so I rest,

Your assured constant Friend, 
Charles R.

Whitehall, 21ᵗʰ of
Novemb. 1638.

1638.—November 21.
90, 91. Letters from the King to Hamilton.115


This is rather to shew you, that I do not forget you nor your pains, than for any Answer that your last Leter needs, it being more of Accounts than Demands. Onely I shall tell you, that you needed not to have made an Excuse for asking the Ten Thousand pounds Sterling; for I know that there is but too much use for it, and the more I consider it, I find you have the more reason: therefore I assure you that what may be done shall be done in this, and with what speed is possible; and so I rest

Your assured constant Friend, 
Charles R.

21 Nov. 1638.


I have heard this day that the Dean of Durham is dead, for the disposing of which Place, though I may have many Suiters, and (which is more) though heretofore I have had divers Intentions upon the disposing of that Place, for the better accommodating of my Service, the reason of which is now as forcible as ever; yet I have thought fit not to dispose of it till I might (if your stay be not longer than I expect) speak with you: and to shew you that I am not unmindful of the daily pains that at this time Balcanqual takes in my Service, I would let you see the case before I dispose of it, and have your Opinion, if he might not stay a little longer for another nearer my eye, and yet not dishearten him, when it may accommodate my Service another way; and so I rest

Your assured constant Friend, 
Charles R.

1638.—November 21.
92, 93. Speech of Commissioner to the Assembly, and the King’s offers to it.116

My Lords and the rest of this Reverend Assembly,

The making of long Harangues is not suitable either with my Education or Profession, much less with this Time, which now after so much talking ought to be a time of Action.

I pray God that as a great (and I hope the worst) part of mens Spirits have been evaporated into bitter and invective Speeches, so the best and last part of them may be reserved for Deeds, and these answerable to the Professions which have been made on all sides when this great Assembly should come.

For the Professions which have been made by Our Sacred Soveraign (whom God long preserve to reign over us) I am come hither by His command to make them good to His whole People, whom to His grief He hath found to have been poysoned (by whom I know not well, but God forgive them) with misconceits of His Intentions, concerning the Religion professed in this Church and Kingdom. But to rectifie all such Misconceptions of His Subjects, his Majesties desire is, that before this Assembly proceed to anything else, His Subjects may receive ample and clear satisfaction in these Points, wherein His Majesties gracious Intentions have been misdoubted, or glanced at, by the malevolent Aspects of such as are afraid that His Majesties good Subjects should see His clear mind through any other Glasses or Spectacles, than those they hare tempered and fitted for them.

Those sinistrous Aspersions, dispersed by surmizes, have been especially two; first, as if there had been in His Majesty, if not some Intention, yet at least some inclination, to give way, if not to Alterations, yet to some Innovations in the Religion professed in, and established by the Laws of this Church and Kingdom.

I am confident that no man can harbour or retain any such thought in his breast any more, when His Majesty hath commanded that Confession of Faith,108 (which you call the Negative) to be subscribed by all His Subjects whatsoever, and hath been Graciously pleased to put the Execution of this His Royal Command in your own hands.

The next false, and indeed foul and devilish Surmize, wherewith His good Subjects have been misled, is, that nothing promised in His Majesties last most Gracious Proclamation, (though most ungraciously received) was ever intended to be performed, nay, not the Assembly it self: but that only Time was to be gained, till His Majesty by Arms might oppress this His Own Native Kingdom; than which Report Hell it self could not have raised a blacker and falser.

For that part which concerneth the Report of the Intention of not holding the Assembly, this Day and Place, as was first promised and proclaimed, (thanks be to God,) confuteth that Calumny abundantly; for the other of making good what His Majesty did promise in His last Gracious Proclamation, His Majesty hath commanded me thus to express His Heart to all His good Subjects.

He hath seriously considered all the Grievances of His Subjects, which have been presented to Him, by all and several of their Petitions, Remonstrances, and Supplications, exhibited unto Himself, His Commissioner, and Lords of His Secret Council, and hath graciously granted them all; and as He hath already granted as far as could be by Proclamation; so he doth now desire, that His Subjects may be assured of them by Acts of this General Assembly, and afterwards by Acts of Parliament respective.

And therefore he not onely desires, but commands, that all the Particulars he hath promised be first gone in hand with in this Assembly, and enacted, and then afterwards what His Subjects shall desire being found reasonable may be next thought upon, that so it may be known to God and the whole World, and particularly to all His good Subjects, how careful His Majesty is to discharge himself of all his Gracious Promises made to them; hoping that when you shall see how Royally, Graciously, and Faithfully His Majesty hath dealt with you, and all his Subjects, you will likewise correspond in loyal and dutiful Obedience, in chearful but calm and peaceable Proceeding, in all other business to be treated of in this Assembly: and because there shall be no mistake, I shall now repeat the Particulars, that you may see they are the same which were promised by His Majesties first Proclamation.

Charles R.

The Kings Majesty being informed, that many of His good Subjects have apprehended, that by the introduction of the Service-book and Book of Canons, the in-bringing of Popery and Superstition hath been intended, is Graciously pleased to discharge the said Books, and to annul all Acts made for establishing thereof; and for His good People their further satisfaction, is Graciously pleased to declare by me, that no other in that kind shall hereafter be introduced, but in a fair and legal way of Assembly, allowed by Act of Parliament, and the Laws of this Kingdom.

The Kings Majesty, as he conceived for the ease and benefit of the Subjects, established the High Commission, that thereby Justice might be administred, and the Faults and Errours of such persons as are made liable thereto taken order with, and punished with the more convenience, and less trouble to the People: but finding His Gracious Intentions to be herein mistaken, hath been pleased, likeas he is Graciously content, that the same be discharged, with all Acts and Deeds made for the establishing thereof, and is pleased to declare by me, that that Court or Judicatory, nor no other of that nature, shall be brought in hereafter, but in that way allowed by the Laws of this Kingdom.

And the Kings Majesty being informed, that the urging of the five Articles of Perth’s Assembly hath bred Distraction in the Church and State, hath been Graciously pleased to take the same into His consideration, and for the quiet and peace of Church and State, doth not onely dispense with the practice of the said Articles, but also discharges, and by these hath discharged, all and whatsoever Persons from urging the practice thereof, upon either Laick or Ecclesiastic person whatsoever: and doth hereby free all His Subjects from all Censure and Pain, whether Ecclesiastical or Secular, for not urging, practising, or obeying them, or any of them, notwithstanding any thing contained in the Acts of Parliament or General Assembly, to the contrary.

And because it is pretended, that Oaths have been administred to Ministers at their entry, contrary and differing from that which is set down in the Acts of Parliament, His Majesty is pleased to declare and ordaine, that no other Oath shall be required of any Minister at his entry than that which is expressly set down in the Acts of Parliament; and this He is content be considered of in the Assembly, to be represented to the Estates of Parliament, and enacted as they shall find expedient.

And that it may appear how careful His Majesty is that no Corruption or Innovation shall creep into this Church, neither any scandal, vice, or fault of any person whatsoever censurable or punishable by the Assembly, go unpunished, it is his Majesties Pleasure, likeas by these His Majesty does assure all His good People, that hereafter General Assemblies shall be kept as oft as the Affairs of this Kirk shall require: and to this purpose, because it is probable that some things necessary for the present Estate and Good of this Church may be left unperfected at this present Assembly, We do by these indict another Assembly to be holden at __________. And that none of Our Subjects may have cause of Grievance against the Procedure of Prelats, Our Pleasure is, that all and every one of the present Bishops, and their Successours, shall be answerable, and accordingly from time to time censurable according to their Merits by the Assembly, which His Majesty is likewise pleased be enacted in this present Assembly, and thereafter ratified in Parliament.

And to give all His Majesties good People good assurance that he never intended to admit any Alteration or Change in the true Religion professed within this Kingdom, and that they may be truly and fully satisfied of the Reality of His Intentions towards the maintainance of the Truth and Integrity of the same, His Majesty hath been pleased to require and command all His good Subjects to subscribe the Confession of Faith, subscribed by His dear Father in Anno 1580. and for that effect hath ordained the Lords of His Privy Council to take some speedy course whereby the same may be done through the whole Kingdom; which His Majesty requires likewise all those of this present Assembly to sign, and all others His Subjects, who have not done it already: and it is His Majesties Will, that this be inserted and registred in the Books of this Assembly, as a Testimony to Posterity, not onely of the sincerity of His Intentions to the said true Religion, but also of His Resolution to maintain and defend the same and His Subjects in the professing thereof.

C. R. 


1638.—November 21.
94. List of Members of the General Assembly at Glasgow, which met this day.117

Commissioner for the Kings Majestie,

James Marques of Hamiltoun.

Commissioners from the Presbyteries of Scotland, both of the Ministrie, and of the ruling Elders, and of Burgesses, as they are within the Presbyteries.

Presbyterie of Dunce.

Maister Alexander Carse minister at Polwart.
M. Iohn Hume Min. at Eccles.
M. Thomas Suintoun min, at Saint Bathanes.
Sir David Hume of Wederburne Knight, Elder.

Presb. of Chirnside.

M. George Roul minister at Mordingtoun.
M. Thomas Ramsay min. at Foldoun.
M. Walter Swintoun min. at Swintoun.
Iames Earle of Home, Elder.

Presb. of Kelso.

M. Richard Sympson min. at Sproustoun.
M. William Penman min. at Morbattle.
Andrew Ker of Lintoun, Elder.

Presb. of Iedburgh.

M. Robert Brounley min. at Kirktoun.
M. Iames Wilkie minister at Creling.
M. Robert Cunninghame min. at Hawick.
Sir William Dowglas of Cavers, Elder.
Robert Simpson, burgesse of Iedburgh.

Presb. of Erstiltoun.

M. Iohn Matland min. at Glenkirk.
M. Harie Cockburne min. at Gingilkirk.
Iohn Lord Cranstoun, Elder.
M. Alexander Hume, bailie, burgesse of Lawder.

Presb. of Melrosse or Selkirke.

M. William Iameson min. at Langnewtoun.
M. Robert Martin min. at the new kirk of Ettrick.
M. Iohn Knox min. at Bowdoun.
Sir Iohn Ker of Cavers, Elder.

Presb. of Dumbar.

M. Patrick Hammiltoun min. at Innerweek.
M. Iohn Lawder min. at Tuninghame.
M. Iohn Dalyel min. at Prestoun Kirk.
Sir Patrick Hepburn of Waghtoun Knight, Elder.
George Purves, burgesse of Dumbarre.
M. Patrick Hume, burgesse of North-berwick.

Presb. of Hadingtoun.

M. Iohn Ker minister at Salt-prestoun.
M. Iames Fleeming minister at Bathans.
M. Iohn Oswald minister at Pencaitland.
Iohn Lord Hay of Yester, Elder.
M. George Gray, common clerk, burgesse of Hadingtoun.

Presb. of Dalkeith.

M. Iames Porteous minister at Lesswade.
M. Iames Robertson minister at Cranstoun.
M. Olivhar Colt minister at Inneresk.
William Earle of Louthian, Elder.

Presb. of Edinburgh.

M. Andrew Ramsay minister in Edinburgh.
M. Harie Rollock minister in Edinburgh.
M. William Colvin minister at Cramond.
Iohn Lord of Balmerino, Elder.
Iames Cochran, Dean of Guild in Edinburgh.
Thomas Paterson, burgesse of Edinburgh.
M. Iohn Adamson, Principall of the University of Edinburgh.

Presb. of Linlithgow.

M. Richard Dickson minister at Kinneill.
M. Andrew Keir minister at Carriden.
M. Iames Symson minister at Bathgate.
George Dundas of that ilk, Elder.
Iames Glen, Provest of Linlithgow.

Presb. of Sterling.

M. Iames Edmistoun minister at Saint Ninians.
M. William Iustice minister at Gargunnock.
M. Edward Wright minister at Clackmannan.
Sir William Murray of Toughadame, Elder.
Thomas Bruce, Provest of Sterling.

Presb. of Peebles.

M. Iohn Bennet minister at Kirkurde.
M. Robert Levingstoun min. at Skirling.
M. Hew Ker minister at Traquare.
Iames Williamson, Provest of Peebles.

Presb. of Middlebie.

M. Simeon Iohnstoun minister at Annan.
M. Iohn Hammiltoun minister at Wasterkirk.
Iames Lord Iohnstoun, Elder.

Presb. of Lochmaban.

M. Robert Henderson minister at Lochmaban.
M. David Roger minister at Tundergarth.
Iames Dowglasse of Moussewald, Elder.

Presb. of Penpont.

M. George Cleland minister at Durisdier.
M. Samuell Austine minister at Penpont.
William Ferguson of Craigdarroch, Elder.

Presb. of Dumfreis.

M. Iames Hammiltoun minister at Dumfreis.
M. William Makjore minister at Carlaverock.
M. Alexander Tran minister at Lochroytoun.
Iohn Charteris younger of Amesfield, Elder.
Iohn Irving, late Provest of Dumfreis.

Presb. of Kirkcubright.

M. Samuell Rutherford minister at Anweth.
M. William Dalglish minister at Kirkmabreck.
M. Iohn Makleland minister at Kirkcubright.
Alexander Gordoun of Earlstoun, Elder.
William Glendinning, Provest of Kirkcubright.
Robert Gordoun of Knokbrex, burgesse of New-Galloway.

Presb. of Wigtoun.

M. Andrew Anderson minister at Kirkinner. M. Andrew Lawder minister at Whithorne.
Andrew Agnew of Lochnaw, Elder.
Alexander Makghie, burgesse of Wigtoun.

Presb. of Stranrawer.

M. Iohn Levingstoun minister at Stranrawer.
M. Iames Blair minister at Portmontgomerie.
M. Alexander Turnbull minister at Kirmaden.
Robert Adair of Kinhilt, Elder.
Iames Glover, Clerk of Stranrawer.

Presb. of Air.

M. Iames Bonar minister at Mayboll.
M. Iohn Fergushill minister at Vchiltrie.
M. Robert Blair minister at Air.
Iohn Earle of Cassils, Elder.
Iohn Stewart, late Provest of Air.


Presb. of Irwing.

M. David Dickson minister at Irwing.
M. William Russell minister at Kilbirnle.
M. Robert Baillie minister at Kilwinning.
Iohn Lord Lowdoun, Elder.
M. Robert Barclay, Provest of Irwing.
Mathew Spense, the Provest of Rothesay.

Presb. of Argyle.

M. Donald Makilvorie min. at Inveraray.
M. Nicol Makcalman min. at Kilmun.
M. Iames Campbell minister at Kilfinnan.
Archibald Campbell of Kilmun, Elder.

Presb. of Dumbartane.

M. David Elphinstoun min. at Dumbartane.
M. Robert Watson minister at Cardrosse.
M. Iohn Stirling minister at Badernock.
Walter Makalley of Ardincapill, Elder.
Iohn Sempill, Provost of Dumbartane.

Presb. of Paslay.

M. William Brisbane minister at Erskine.
M. Iohn Hammiltoun minist. at Innerkip.
M. Matthew Brisbane minister at Killellan.
Iohn Brisban of Bishoptoun, Elder.
Iohn Spreull, burgesse of Ranfrew.

Presb. of Glasgow.

M. Iohn Bell elder minister at Glasgow.
M. Zacharie Boyd minister at the Barrony Kirk thereof.
M. Iames Sharpe minister at Goven.
The Earle of Eglingtoun, Elder.
Patrick Bell, Provest of Glasgow.
David Spense, Clerk of Rutherglane.

Presb. of Hammiltoun.

M. Patrick Hammiltoun minister at Cambuslang.
M. Iames Iohnstoun minister at Stenhouse.
M. Iohn Heriot minister at Blantyre.
William Bailzie of Carphin, Elder.

Presb. of Lanerk.

M. William Livingstoun minister at Lanerk.
M. Alexander Somervell minister at Daulfingtoun.
M. Richard Ingles minister at Westoun.
Sir William Bailzie of Lamingtoun, Elder.
Gideon Iack, Bailie of Lanerk.

Presb. of S. Andrews.

M. Alexander Henderson minister at Luchers. M. Andrew Auchinleck minister at Largo. M. Iames Bruce minister at Kingsbarnes.
Iohn Lord Sinclar, Elder.
Iames Sword, burgesse of Saint Andrews.
Ninian Hamiltoun, burgesse of Caraill.
Thomas Symson, Town-Clerk of Kilrinnie.
William Hamiltoun, burgesse of Anstruther-easter.
Iohn Tullous, Clerk of Anstruther-wester.
Iames Airth, Clerk of Pittenweeme.

Presb. of Couper.

M. David Dalgleish minister at Cowper.
M. Iohn Moncreiffe minister at Collessie.
M. Walter Buchannan minister at Seres.
Iohn Lord Lindsay, Elder.
George Iameson, merchand, burgesse of Cowper.

Presb. of Kirkaldie.

M. Robert Dowglasse minister at Kirkaldie.
M. Frederik Carmichaell minister at Kennoway.
M. Robert Cranstoun minister at Scoonie.
Iohn Earle of Rothes, Elder.
Iohn Williamson, burgesse of Kirkaldie.
David Symson of Monturpie, burgesse of Dysart.
M. Robert Cunyghame, burgesse of Kinghorne.
George Gairdine, burgesse of Bruntiland.

Presb. of Dumfermline.

M. Iohn Row min. at Carnok.
M. Iohn Duncan minister at Culrosse.
M. Iames Sibbald minister at Torrie.
Robert Lord Burley, Elder.
Iames Reid, Provest of Dumfermline.
Gilbert Gourley, Bailie of Culrosse.
Iohn Bardie, Burgesse of Innerkethin.

Presb. of Dumblane.

M. Harie Livingstoun minister at Kipping.
M. Andrew Rind minister at Tullicutrie.
M. William Edmistoun minister at Kilmadock.
Sir George Stirling of Keir, Knight, Elder.

Presb. of Auchterardour.

M. George Mushet minister at Doning.
M. Iames Row minister at Muthill.
M. Iohn Grahame minister at Auchterardour.
Iames Earle of Montrose, Elder.

Presb. of Perth.

M. Robert Murray minister at Methven.
M. Iohn Robertson minister at Perth.
M. Alexander Petrie minister at Rind.
Iohn Earle of Weemes, Elder.
Thomas Durhame, Dean of Guild in Perth.

Presb. of Dunkeld.

M. William Menyies min. at Kennture.
M. Iohn Anderson minister at Cargill.
Mungo Campbell, fiar of Lawers, Elder.

Presb. of Meggill.

M. George Symmer minister of Meggill.
M. George Halyburtoun minister at Glenylla.
Iames Lord Cowper, Elder.

Presb. of Dundie.

M. Andrew Wood minister at Monyfooth.
M. Iohn Robertson minister at Achterhouse.
David Grahame of Fentrie, Elder.
Iames Fletcher, prov. of Dundie.

Presb. of Forfar.

M. Iohn Lindesay minister at Aberlemno.
M. Silvester Lammy minister at Glames.
M. Alexander Kynninmont minister at Kirimure.
Iames Lyon of Aldbarre, Elder.
David Hunter, Provest of Forfar.
Iohn Grahame, Bailie of Montrose.
Robert Demster, Bailie of Brechen.

Presb. of Merns.

M. Iames Sibbald minister at Benholme.
M. Andrew Mill minister at Fetteresso.
M. Alexander Symson minister at Conveth.
Sir Gilbert Ramsay of Balmain, Elder.

Presb. of Aberdene.

M. David Lyndesay minister at Balhelvie.
M. William Guild minister at Aberdene.
Iames Skien of that ilk, Elder.
M. Iohn Lundie Humanist for the Univer. of Aberd.

Presb. of Deir.

M. Andrew Cant minister at Pitsligo.
M. Iames Martine minister at Peterhead.
M. Alexander Martine minister at Deir.
Alexander Fraser of Fillorth, Elder.

Presb. of Alfurd.

M. Iohn Young min. at Keig.
M. Iohn Ridfurd minister at Kinbettock.
M. Andrew Strachan minister at Tillineshill.
M. Michaell Elphinstoun of Balabeg, Elder.

Presb. of Turreffe.

M. Thomas Michell minister at Turreffe.
M. William Dowglasse minister at Forg.
M. Geo. Sharpe min. at Fyvie.
Walter Barclay of Towie, Elder.

Presb. of Kinkairne.

M. Alexander Robertson minister at Clunie.

Presb. of Garioch.

M. William Wedderburn minister at Bathelnie.
Andrew Baird, burges of Bamfe.

Presb. of Forresse.

M. William Falconer minister at Dyke.
111M. Iohn Hay min. at Raffert.
M. David Dumbar minister at Edinkaylly.
William Rosse of Clova, Elder.
M. Iohn Dumbar, Bailie of Forresse.

Presb. of Innernesse.

M. Iohn Howisoun minister at Wartlaw.
M. Patrick Dumbar minister at Durris.
Iames Fraser of Bray, Elder.
Robert Bailie, Bailie of Innernesse.

Presb. of Tain.

M. Gilbert Murray minister at Tain.
M. William Mackeinyie minister at Tarbet.
M. Hector Monro minister in nether Taine.
Sir Iohn Mackenzie of Tarbet, Elder.
M. Thomas Mackoulloch, Bailie of Taine.

Presb. of Dingwall.

M. David Monro minister at Kiltairne.
M. Murdoch Mackeinyie minister at Containe.
Iohn Monro of Lumlair, Elder.

Presb. of Dornoch in Sutherland.

M. Alexander Monro minister at Golspie.
M. William Gray min. at Clyne.
George Gordon, brother to the Earle of Sutherland, Elder.

Presb. of Thurso in Caithnes.

M. George Lesly minister at Bower.
M. Iohn Smairt.
Iohn Murray of Pennyland, Elder.

Presb. of Kirkwal in Orkney.

M. David Watson minister at the Kirk of the Yle of Wastrey.
M. Walter Stewart minister at the Kirk of Suthronaldsay.

Note.—Since the first Part of this publication appeared, the second centenary of the Assembly 1638 has been celebrated at Glasgow and Edinburgh, (on 20th December 1838,) as well as in other considerable towns of Scotland; and this commemoration has been conducted with a degree of eclat unexampled perhaps within the memory of man, in reference to any ecclesiastical concerns. We are not called on to make any remarks as to the appropriateness and sound discrimination displayed in all these demonstrations; but we gladly avail ourselves of the present opportunity of enriching these pages with an extract from a speech made by the Rev. Dr. Lee, of Edinburgh, at Glasgow, on the occasion alluded to. We place it here in juxtaposition with the authentic list of the members of Assembly of 1638, because it affords the best illustration we could give of the composition of that Assembly, and is a satisfactory refutation of certain ignorant or malignant representations on the subject; and we are proud thus to record our respect for that excellent and accomplished gentleman, whose store of information, with regard to the history and constitution of the Church of Scotland, exceeds, we believe, that of any other individual, both for fulness and exactness:—

“If your time had permitted, I might have endeavoured to shew in what manner and degree the Assembly 1638, and those which followed after, as well as some which had preceded it half a century, contributed to the establishment of the highest and finest University education. Among the other great objects in which that Assembly so happily and successfully engaged, none was nearer their hearts, or better accomplished. It was their aim to establish all the Universities, Colleges, and Schools in a state of high efficiency; and, with this view, they reclaimed for the Church the power of visitation formerly exercised, that the religious character and consistent practice of all Principals, Regents, and Professors might be satisfactorily ascertained, as well as their aptitude for their stations; and that whatever was deficient might be supplied, and whatever was disordered or corrupt might be rectified.

“For this difficult undertaking, the members of that Assembly were generally qualified in no ordinary degree. It has, indeed, been alleged that a large proportion of the elders consisted of illiterate men. I have seen it asserted in several books of late, even in some written by Presbyterians, that many of those in that Assembly, who judged of the gravest questions concerning theological learning and soundness in the faith, could neither read nor write. There is no authority for this insinuation, except the random assertion of Bishop Burnet—supposed sometimes to have been a contemporary, though he was not born for five years afterwards—the value of whose testimony on this matter may easily be estimated by any one who observes what he has confidently, though most ignorantly and erroneously, stated, with respect to Ruling Elders—that the mixture of that class with the Ministers in Church Courts was then quite a new thing; for, though such officers had formerly been allowed to interfere in parochial discipline, ‘yet they never came to their Assemblies till the year 1638.’ So far is this from being true, that, from the very first, Elders had convened in great numbers with the Ministers at the General Assemblies—there was even a preponderance of them in the earliest of all the Assemblies, in 1560—insomuch that, long before Burnet wrote, or even was born, several Bishops of Scotland, such as Adamson and Maxwell, had published complaints against decisions of the Assembly, on the ground that they had been carried by the votes of Lay Elders, as they called them. If the Elders were unable to read or write, so much the less credit is due to the system of education which had prevailed nearly forty years before 1638, under auspices not Presbyterian; and so much the greater credit should be given to the Presbyterians for the improvements by means of which, as Burnet frankly confesses, they brought the people generally to a most surprising measure of knowledge, particularly on theological points, and to a corresponding measure of practical piety.

“But I think it of some consequence to vindicate the claims of the Assembly 1638 to the character of a learned Assembly. Well, then, what is the fact? It is ascertained that in that Assembly there were 140 Ministers; 2 Professors, not being ministers; and 98 Ruling Elders from Presbyteries and Burghs. Of these Ruling Elders, 17 were Noblemen of high rank; 9 were Knights; 25 were landed Proprietors, or lesser Barons, of such station as entitled them to sit in Parliament; and 47 were Burgesses, generally holding the principal offices of authority in their respective towns—men who were capable of representing their communities in the Parliament. There was not a peasant, as has been insinuated, or even a farmer or yeoman, in the number. About the least considerable persons present were, Mr Alex. Hume, bailie of Lawder, and Mr Patrick Hume, burgess of North Berwick. Both of these, as well as many others of the members from the burghs, were masters of arts, having had a complete university education, and having obtained their degrees after regular examination. From what I know of the personal history of many of these men, and from documents which I have seen and now possess, I could undertake to prove that not one was illiterate. About twenty years ago, I acquired most of the original commissions of the members of the Assembly 1638. These documents are subscribed generally by the whole constituents of the Commissioners—namely, by Ministers, by Elders, by Magistrates, and Councillors. The signatures are, for the most part, in a superior style of penmanship; and it is not credible that such men would elect persons to represent them who were less educated than themselves. Moreover, the signatures of the Elders who sate in the Assembly might have been known by Bishop Burnet to be appended to the National Covenant—that great bond by which the people of this land engaged to maintain the true principles of the Reformation, as founded in the Word of God. Many of these documents, studded with innumerable subscriptions, are still extant.

“But how did this Assembly, and those which followed, fulfil their purposes with respect to the Universities? They not only appointed visitations, but they prevailed on the Government greatly to enlarge the provision for the maintenance of the Universities, so that they were enabled to increase the number of Professors, and to augment their incomes; thus making it practicable to admit the youth to the benefit of their instructions on the easiest terms. They did not despise or discourage the most elegant accomplishments. On the contrary, the Assembly of 1645, following out the views of preceding assemblies, deplored the great decay of poesy, and the ignorance of prosody, and ordained that, in the trial of Schoolmasters, for burghs or other considerable parishes, none should be admitted but such as after examination should be found skilful in the Latin tongue, not only for prose, but also for verse; and the same Assembly introduced other regulations for advancing the study, not only of Greek, but of all the branches of Philosophy. But the chief recommendation of the system, then prescribed and practised, was, that the nurture and admonition of academical youth was sanctified by the Word of God, and by prayer. The study of the Scriptures was a college exercise. The young were trained to habits of devotion. The catechisms, and other manuals of religious instruction, were translated into Latin, and carefully taught; and, by such provisions as these, the influence of piety was diffused over the paths of solid learning.”

1638.—November 22.
95. Letter from the Bishop of Ross to Hamilton.

My Lord, may it please your Grace,

This Worthy Gentleman hath desired my Judgment concerning three things: first, concerning the112 production of a Letter from His Majesty to the Assembly, directed to the Archbishops, Bishops, and Ministers, whether or not this can be produced, and any Note made upon it, before there be a Moderator condescended upon. My humble Opinion is, (which I humbly submit to your Graces better Judgment) that the Letter be presented, given by your Grace to the Clerk, and read by him. Here it is most like your Grace will be pressed, that the Letter is directed to an Assembly that cannot be without a Moderator, and yet on purpose to get a Moderator by Election, and an Assembly established; to which in my Judgment it may be replied, that it may be that the King’s Letter containeth something to that purpose, which, therefore, is to be read, and noted by the Clerk as produced onely. The second is concerning the examination of the Commissions and Commissioners: My Lord, it is certain that both are most illegal, and there is more than sufficient ground from this one (if there were no more) to void this Assembly and make it null. But how to begin at this I see not so well, for if the Commissions and Commissioners be rejected, then how shall the King’s Real and Royal Intentions be manifest to the subjects, which is most necessary, that the Factious may not have advantage to possess good and loyal Subjects, that His Majesty is onely deluding them for other ends. On the other part, if your Grace approve the Commissions and Commissioners, how far King and Church shall suffer, your Grace is wiser to conceive than I am able to express. The third is concerning the Declinator, when it shall be proposed or presented to your Grace; My Lords of Glasgow and Brechin are fully of that mind, that at the very first it is to be used before the Assembly be established: their Reasons seem very pregnant, first, because all Declinators are used so; next, if the Assembly be once established, how can it be declined, or your Grace admit our Declinator or Protestation?

My Lord, seeing two things are mainly to be looked to, the one that His Majesties Pious Intentions be made known to this present Meeting; the other, that the Church suffer no prejudice; my humble Opinion is, that first the King’s Letter (as I have said) be read, and marked Produced; next immediately after, our Declinator produced, and presented to your Grace, read in audience of all, Instruments taken in the Clerk-Registers hands, and it marked by the Clerk Produced. Then your Grace may, by your own Wisdom, conceive a brief Speech, excusing your self that you are not so well acquainted with the Formalities and Legalities of Church-meetings; yet that seeing in such Distractions and Combustions all things cannot be done in that orderly way is requisite, and that your Grace does know how that, with a most earnest and Fatherly Care, His Majesty endeavours the binding up of this breach, and the restoring of Church and State to Quiet and Peace, and that your Grace, for that Duty you owe to your Master, and Love you have to your Native Country, will leave nothing undone that is in your power, and incumbent to a Faithful Servant and kind Patriot, and therefore will adventure to chuse rather to erre in formal Errours: than to leave so material and necessary a Work at such an exigent of time; and so seeing there is no Archbishop nor Bishop present, your Grace by connivence will permit them (for how your Grace can allow it I see not) to chuse a Moderator, and will not fall upon that shelve or rock of Examination of Commissions or Commissioners; being confident that if matters go on in a moderate way, what shall be agreed upon shall be liked by all, even those that are taken to be their Party; and what is amiss in Formality and Legality, if no errour be in the matter of the Conclusions, may most easily and speedily be helped. After the Moderator is condescended upon, the first thing your Grace would urge is the Registrating the Kings Letter in the Books of the Assembly, then the Registrating of our Declinator. After this your Grace will be careful, that nothing be proposed till what is in His Majesties Declaration be enacted, and if (this being done) they fall upon any extravagancy, your Grace then may by advice of the Council declare, that seeing they will not hold Moderation, your Grace and the Council must examine their Commissions and Commissioners, (to which before you gave connivence) and discuss the relevancy of our Declinator.

This Course keeped, in my poor Judgement, will fully manifest to all His Majesties pious Intentions, evidence your Graces sincere affection to Religion and the Kingdom, preserve our Right, make them unexcusable, let the People see how unreasonable and immoderate they are, and give to your Grace a fair way and ground, to discontinue and discharge the Meeting under pain of Treason. This my weak and poor opinion I have made bold to declare to your Grace, not out of any confidence in my self, but necessitated because of that Obedience I owe your Grace, and true affection to the Peace of Church and State, which with myself, and all my endeavours, I humbly prostrate to you, and submit to your Grace’s better Judgement.

I humbly beg of your Grace to let me know by this Gentleman, what shall be done with our Declinator, and let him come and speak with my Lords113 of Glasgow, Brechin, and me, that we may be acquainted by him of your Graces commands. God in his mercy bless you in this difficult Work.

Your Grace’s most humble 
and bounden Servant, 
Jo. Rossen.118

Castle of Glasgow,
22ᵗʰ Nov. 1638.
at 7 a clock in the

1638.—November 27.
96. Letter from Hamilton to the King.119

Most Sacred Sovereign,

When I consider the many, great, and most extraordinary favours, which your Majesty hath been pleased to confer upon me; if you were not my Sovereign, gratitude would oblige me to labour faithfully, and that to the uttermost of my power, to manifest my thankfulness. Yet so unfortunate have I been in this unlucky country, that though I did prefer your service before all worldly considerations, nay, even strained my conscience in some points, by subscribing the negative confession; yet all hath been to small purpose; for I have missed my end, in not being able to make your Majesty so considerable a party as will be able to curb the insolency of this rebellious nation, without assistance from England, and greater charge to your Majesty, than this miserable country is worth. As I shall answer to God at the last day, I have done my best, though the success has proven so bad, as I think myself of all men living, most miserable, in finding that I have been so useless a servant to him, to whom I owe so much. And seeing this may perhaps be the last letter that ever I shall have the happiness to write to your Majesty, I shall therefore in it discharge my duty so far, as freely to express my thoughts in such things as I do conceive concerneth your service. And because I will be sure that it should not miscarry, I have sent it by this faithful servant of your Majesty’s whom I have found to be so trusty, as he may be employed by you, even to go against his nearest friends and dearest kindred.

Upon the whole matter, your Majesty has been grossly abused by my Lords of the clergy, by bringing in those things in this church, not in the ordinary and legal way. For the truth is, this action of theirs is not justifiable by the laws of this kingdom; their pride was great, but their folly greater; for if they had gone right about this work, nothing was more easy, than to have effected what was aimed at. As for the persons of the men, it will prove of small use to have them characterized out by me, their condition being such, as they cannot be too much pitied; yet, lest I should lay upon them a heavier imputation, by saying nothing, than I intend, therefore I shall crave leave to say this much. It will be found that some of them have not been of the best lives, as St Andrews, Brechin, Argyle, Aberdeen; too many of them inclined to simony; yet, for my Lord of Ross,120 the most hated of all, and generally by all, there are few personal faults laid to his charge, more than ambition, which I cannot account a fault, so it be in lawful things. But, Sir, to leave them, and come to those whom I conceive it is more necessary you should know, your officers and counsellors, of whom I shall write without spleen or favour, as I shall answer to him at the last day, to whom I must give an account (I know not how soon) of all my actions.

Your Treasurer,121 his ambition has been great, and his labouring popularity has certainly prejudiced your service. Nothing could gain him that name sooner, than by opposing the clergy; and the differences betwixt them hath marred all; to which those of the Council did not only hold hand to, but encouraged him to it, as much as in them lay; and here again, I say, they gave too just reason to meet with opposition. He is a most active man, and hath many excellent parts. What his bypast carriage hath been, is as well, if not better known to your Majesty than me; but he doth now labour certainly what lieth in him, to advance your Majesty’s ends; and hath oft solemnly sworn to me, that in defence of episcopal government he will spend his life and fortune. For those particulars wherewith he hath been taxed, as being guilty of abusing your Majesty, in the execution of his place, as Treasurer, he will, in my opinion, justify himself. Howsoever (considering these present times) you must make use of him, and your Majesty should be wary of giving him discontent.

As for my Lord Privy Seal,122 I shall not need to say much of him, he being so well known to your father (of blessed memory) whose judicious character of him to yourself, is so true, as I shall neither add nor pare. He hath likewise declared himself to me for episcopal government; but I like not his limitations; yet you must make use of him, for he is a powerful man in this country.

The Marquis of Huntley is unknown to me, more than in general; but much misliked is he here (yet not the worse for that) traduced not only to be popishly inclined, but even a direct Roman Catholic; nay, they spare not to tax him with personal faults. But howsoever, this I am sure of, since my coming here, he hath proved a faithful servant to you; and I am confident will be of greater use, when your Majesty shall take arms in your hand.

The Earl of Argyle is the only man now called up as a true patriot, a loyal subject, a faithful counsellor, and above all, rightly set for the preservation of the purity of religion. And truly, Sir, he takes it upon him. He must be well looked to; for it fears me, he will prove the dangerousest man in this State. He is so far from favouring episcopal government, that with all his soul he wishes it totally abolished. What course to advise you to take with him, for the present, I cannot say; but remit it to your Majesty’s serious consideration. The information which you have had from Antrim, the most part of it I take to be true.

Perth hath been taxed to be a Roman Catholic; but I find him none. A loyal heart he hath, but no great politician, nor of much power out of the Highlands, and should be encouraged, because he may contribute to the curbing of Argyle.

Tullibardin, I take him to be honest; your Majesty knoweth his abilities. He is a true hater of Argyle.

Wigton, thanks be to God, hath no great power, for if he had it, it would be employed the wrong way. Sorry I am for it, his ancestors have been so dear friends to mine.

Kinghorn, I am grieved for his weakness. A good man he is, but totally misled by his brother Albar, who will succeed in his place, he having no children. Too near of kindred he is to me.

Haddington has too much the humour of these114 times; but he hath oft sworn to me, he will never ask what your quarrel is; yet few of his friends I fear will go along with him in it, in defence of episcopacy.

As for Lauderdale, he is a man of no great power; but he is truly honest, and most rightly set in all that concerneth your service.

Southesk hath, beyond all expectation, shewn himself forwardly stout in all that hath concerned your service, ever since my coming first to this country. He is a man of great power, rich, and was extremely beloved; but now as much hated. He doth deserve your Majesty’s favour, on my word; and, if not for one consideration, none were fitter to be Chancellor, which I shall advise your Majesty not to dispose of till these troubles be past.

Kinnoul, for his part, hath shewn himself both true and forward in all your service; in whom your Majesty may have confidence, according to his power.

Finlater, according to his power, hath done his part, as I hear by the Marquis of Huntley.

Linlithgow, if his power were according to his affection, he would be useful to you.

I must not forget Dalzell, who both is of power to serve you, and has most faithfully done it.

As for the rest of the Council, they are either of no power to serve you in this time, or totally set the covenanters way. For brevity I pass them by, and have sent a list of the whole Counsellors names.

If the Justice Clerk123 were not so near me as he is, I would say more of him than now I will; yet pardon me for saying, an honester soul lives not.

The Advocate124 should be removed, for he is ill disposed. I know none so fit for his place as Sir Lewis Stewart. My Lord Treasurer’s friend he is; Sir Thomas Nicolson being no ways to be trusted in what may concern the affairs of the church.

Now, for the Covenanters, I shall only say this in general, they may all be placed in one roll as they now stand. But certainly, Sir, those that have both broached the business, and still hold it aloft, are Rothes, Balmerino, Lindsay, Lothian, Loudoun, Yester, Cranstoun. There are many others as forward in show; amongst whom none more vainly foolish than Montrose. But the above mentioned are the main contrivers.

The gentry, boroughs, and ministers have their ringleaders too. It will be too long to set down all their names. Those who I conceive to be most inclined, the Clerk Register (who is a faithful servant to the Crown) if I miscarry, will give you information of them; yet, I fear him, poor man, more than myself. But they are obvious and known to all.

This is all that I will say concerning the persons of the men in this kingdom; wishing, Sir, with my heart, those whom I misdoubt, I may be deceived by their future carriage, and that their loyalty may appear, which will blot out of your Majesty’s memory what my duty and fidelity to you has caused me to write thus of them.

It is more than probable, that these people have somewhat else in their thoughts than religion. But that must serve for a cloak to rebellion, wherein for a time they may prevail; but, to make them miserable, and bring them again to a dutiful obedience, I am confident your Majesty will not find it a work of long time, nor of great difficulty, as they have foolishly fancied to themselves. The way to effect which, in my opinion, is briefly thus.

Their greatest strength consists in the boroughs: and their being is by trade; whereof, a few ships of your Majesty’s, well disposed, will easily bar them. Their chiefest trade is in the eastern Seas and to Holland, with coal and salt, and importing of victual, and other commodities from thence; whereof if they be but one year stopped, an age cannot recover them; yet so blinded they are, that this they will not see. This alone, without farther charge to your Majesty, your frontiers being well guarded, will work your end. This care should be taken, that when particular boroughs can be made sensible of their past errours, and willing to return to their allegiance, they be not only then not barred from trade, but received into your Majesty’s favour and protection.

In my opinion, your ships would be best ordered thus, eight or ten to lie in the Firth. There should be some three or four plying to and again betwixt the Firth and Aberdeen, so long as the season of the year will permit them to keep the seas; and when they are not longer able, they may retire into the Firth; in which there are several places in which they may ride in all weathers.

Those ships that lie in the Irish seas, will be sufficient to bar all trade from the west of Scotland. The fittingest places are between Arran and the coast of Galloway. When the weather is foul, there is an excellent road in Galloway called Lochyen; and another in Arran called Lamlash, or the Holy Island; where they may ride in safety. This is all I shall say concerning the barring them of trade.

This will certainly so irritate them, as all those who within this country stand for your Majesty, will be in great and imminent danger. The best way, that for the present I can think on to secure them, and to make some head for your Majesty, is, to appoint the Marquis of Huntley in the north, your Majesty’s Lieutenant; with full power to him to raise such and so many men, as he shall think convenient for the defence of the country. By this means, there being a head, those that are in the north will know to whom to repair; and there is no doubt but in those parts they will do well enough.

For those that are besouth the river Forth, I apprehend their danger most; and I would advise that there were lieutenants likewise appointed, to whom they might repair. Necessity will force your Majesty upon one of two, either Traquair or Roxburgh; or, indeed, both, for they may both have commissions. They may be well furnished with arms, and other things necessary, from England, by land, both their fortunes being near adjacent to Northumberland; and though I fear they will not be able to make a body of an army, yet necessary it is that lieutenants should be, and I know none so fit as these in those parts; for I will never think they have traiterous hearts.

Certainly necessary it is for the government of this kingdom, that a commissioner or deputy should be in it. For experience hath taught me, that your Majesty will never be well served by your council, unless there be some one or other amongst them on whom the chief care must lie. If your Majesty do not first settle the country, and reclaim it, whosoever you shall employ, will never be able to do any thing. Therefore that should be done, before any new commission be given; and even then, where you will find a man, I cannot possibly say, unless your Majesty send the Duke of Lenox. As for the Marquis of Huntley, certainly he may be trusted by you; but whether fitly or no, I cannot say. If115 I keep my life (though next Hell I hate this place), if you think me worthy of employment, I shall not weary till the government be again set right; and then I will forswear this country.

As for your Majesty’s castle of Edinburgh, it was a most shameful thing it should have been so neglected. I cannot promise that it shall be defended, yet I hope they shall not take it, but by an hostile act. Some few men I have stolen in, but as yet cannot get one musket put there, nor one yard of match. I have trusted, for a time, the same man that was in it, and perhaps your Majesty will think this strange that I have done so; yet necessity forced me to it. For thither Ruthven would not go, without arms and ammunition; and indeed he is not to be blamed therefore; but, Sir, I have that in working, that, if I can accomplish, may for a time secure that place. And for my trusting that man, I can only say this, that if he deceive me, we were in no worse condition than when it was in Lord Marr’s hands; safe only, for the giving him 2000l. which, if lost by the default of him whom I have trusted, your Majesty shall not be burthened by the payment of this money, for I deserve to lose it for my confidence. He is no Covenanter, and hath solemnly sworn to me, to lose his life before he quit it.

As for Dunbritton, the way is easy to put as many men there as you please, with victual and ammunition; from Ireland they must come, and at the castle they must land; 100 men will be sufficient, provided with ammunition and victual for three months; and the sooner this be done the better.

Thus, Sir, your Majesty hath the humble opinion of what I conceive of the affairs of the kingdom. What I have said, I humbly submit to your Majesty.

I have now only this one suit to your Majesty, that if my sons live, they may be bred in England, and made happy by service in the court; and if they prove not loyal to the crown, my curse be on them.

I wish my daughters be never married in Scotland. I humbly recommend my brother to your favour.

Thus, with my hearty prayers to God, that he will bless you with a long and happy life, and crown all your intentions with a wished success; which I hope to live and see effected, notwithstanding of all the threats that is used to

Your Majesty’s, &c. 

27th November, 1638.

97. The Supplication and humble Remonstrance of the Ministers of the Church of Scotland, presented to his Majesties High Commissioner and Generall Assemblie held at Glasgow in November, 1638.125

May it please your Grace,

And you right Noble, Right Worshipfull, and you most Reverend brethren, conveened by his Majeties Proclamation in this venerable nationall Assembly, to consult upon the most convenient wayes, and to enact such Ecclesiasticall Lawes, as to your wisdomes seemes most expedient, for preserving of peace and truth in this Church, for which ends wee from the bottome of our hearts (as feeling members of the same) earnestly intreat him, who hath promised to be with his owne to the end of the world, by his spirit and grace, so to direct and assist your wisedomes, that by this long expected meeting, glory may redound to his ever glorious Name, and peace to this rent Church, which all the members thereof, with most earnest wishes, expect at your hands. For the present, we thought it our duty, as those whom it doth most clearly concerne (our great Shepheard having committed to our charge a part of that Flock which he hath redeemed with his precious bloud) to present unto you our just feares which arise from the sudden incroaching of the Laick (now called Ruling) Elders, in divers Presbyteries of this Kingdome, having chiefe hand in chusing of Commissioners there, lest they, with Commissioners thus elected, may bring upon the neck of the Ministery and Church here, the heavie yoke of overruling Elders in all times comming, to the no small hurt of us and our successors in the Gospel, except timely remedy be provided.

Our humble supplication therefore to your Grace, and Members of this present Assembly, is, that all these Commissioners thus chosen by the voyce of Laick Elders, and in whose Commissions they have had hand, may be removed, as men to whose voyces and judgements we cannot submit our selves in matter of Church government, for the just feares above exprest, they being justly suspect Judges not to be admitted, and their elections and Commissions void for reasons following: First, there is no Law in this Kingdome whereby Laick Elders have any voyce in chusing Commissioners to Generall Assemblies; the chusers therefore having no legall power to elect, those that are chosen by such, can have no place nor voyce in this Assembly. Secondly, albeit there have beene heretofore, and before Churches were fully planted, a custome that Laick-Elders did sit in Presbyteries, yet that custome hath beene these 35. yeeres by-past, universally (and above forty yeeres in most Presbyteries) interrupted; which prescription is sufficient to make voyd any such custome: so that it can to no sufficient warrant for them to sit and voyce in Presbyteries now, much lesse to intrude themselves (as they have done in many Presbyteries) contrarie to the minds and publicke protestation of the Ministerie. Thirdly, when Laick-Elders had place in Presbyteries, yet it was ordained that the voyces should not be equall in number, with the voyces of the Ministerie, as is to be seene in the ____________ booke of discipline ____________ Chapter. But in this election, their number were not onely equall, but in most parts more, because out of every Parish there was a Laick-Elder, and so at least equall in number; and in election of these Commissioners, against whose election we except, there was put upon the list six in some places, and in others foure of the Ministers, who being removed, in their absence the choyce was made when the Laick-Elders by six or foure at the least exceeded the Ministers in number of voyces, yea in some Presbyteries the Laick-Elders were twice so many in number; so that these Commissioners are mainly chosen by the Laitie, and not by the Ministers, neither can wee acknowledge them for ours. Fourthly, these Laick-Elders did of old onely assist in Discipline, not medling with points of Doctrine (suffering the spirit of the Prophets to be subject to the Prophets, according to the Apostolicall rule;) but now they intrude themselves to sit and voice in the Presbyteries in matters of Doctrine, and have given Commission to those whom we except against, to voyce in this venerable Assembly, in Doctrine as well as in matters of Discipline; which Commissions are null, as proceeding à non habente potestatem.116 For these and other most weighty causes, the election of such Commissioners, and their place in this Assembly being so dangerous to the Church, threaten the same with the most intolerable yoak of bondage to be laid upon the neck of the Presbyteries by Laick over-ruling-Elders, to the prejudice of the liberties of the said Presbyteries, and whole Discipline of this Church. We could not, out of conscience to God, our callings, and flocks, but make humble remonstrance of the same to your Grace and members of this grave Assembly: withall protesting, both in our own names, and in name of all the Ministerie and body of this Church that will adhere to this present supplication, that all sentences, conclusions, Canons, Statutes, and Ordinances, which shall be made in that Assembly wherein the foresaid Commissioners shall have determinative voyce, to be voyd, null, and of no effect to oblige us or any of us to the obedience of the same: But if this our just supplication be not admitted (which we hope and earnestly pray may be graciously accepted) then this our protestation may be of force against such Lawes and proceedings that may follow thereupon. Thus hoping for your charitable construction of this our necessarie duty in so eminent a danger of the Church, and humbly intreating these presents may be put upon Record, We rest.

1638.—November 29.
98, 99. Speech of Hamilton at dissolving the Assembly, and his Reply to Moderator.126

I find this day great contrarieties of Humours in my self, first, cause of Joy; next, cause of Sorrow: cause of Joy, in making good what hath been promised by His Majesty; cause of Sorrow, in that I cannot make further known his Majesties Pious Intentions.

You have called for a Free General Assembly: His Majesty hath granted you one, most Free on his part, and in his intentions; but as you have handled and marred the matter, let God and the World judge, whether the least shadow or footstep of Freedom can be discerned in this Assembly, by any man who hath not given a Bill of Divorce both to his Understanding and Conscience. With what wresting and wringing your last Protestation charges His Majesties last Gracious Proclamation in the point of Prelimitations, is both known and misliked by many even of your own pretended Covenant; but whether your Courses, especially in the Elections of the Members of this Assembly, be not onely Prelimitations of it, but strong Bars against the Freedom of it, nay utterly destructive both of the Name and Nature of a Free Assembly, and unavoidably inducing upon it many and main Nullities, will be made manifest to the whole World.

But his Majesties Sincere Intentions being to perform in a lawful Assembly all he hath promised in his Gracious Proclamation, if you find out a way how these things may pass, and be performed even in this Assembly, such as it is, and yet His Majesty not made to approve any way the Illegalities and Nullities of it, for satisfying all His Majesties good Subjects of the Reality of his Meaning; I am by His Majesties special Command ready to doe it, and content to advise with you how it may be done.

[And after this he caused read his Majesties Concessions, as they had been before proclaimed: upon which he took instruments, that by producing and signing of them, first his Majesties Intentions were made known: next, that in the producing and delivering of them, the Lawfullness of the Assembly was not acknowledged. After that he went on, and discoursed against the Constitution of the Assembly in the following words,]

But now I am sorry I can go on with you no more, for the sad part is yet behind, about Ruling-elders; for neither Ruling-elders, nor any Minister chosen Commissioner by Ruling-elders, can have voice here, because no such election is warranted, either by the Laws of this Church or Kingdom, or by the practice or custom of either: for even that little which appeareth to make for those Elders in the Book of Discipline, hath at this time been broken by you, there being more Lay-elders giving votes at every one of those Elections, than there were Ministers, contrary to the Book of Discipline; as in Lanerick but eight Ministers and eighteen or nineteen Lay-elders; and so in divers other Presbyteries: and in every Presbytery, when the Ministers upon the List were removed, the remaining Elders exceeded far the remaining Ministers. But say there were Law for those Lay-elders, the interruption of the execution of that Law, for above 40 years, makes so strong a Prescription against it, that without a new reviving of that Law by some new Order from the General Assembly, it ought not again be put in practice; for if His Majesty should put in practice, and take the Penalties of any disused Laws without new intimations of them from Authority, it would be thought by your selves very hard dealing.

To say nothing of that Office of Lay-elders, it being unknown to the Scripture or Church of Christ for above 1500 years, let the World judge whether those Laymen be fit to give Votes in inflicting the Censures of the Church, especially that great and highest Censure of Excommunication, none having power to cast out of the Church by that Censure, but those who have power to admit into the Church by Baptism: and whether all the Lay-elders here present at this Assembly be fit to judge of the high and deep Mysteries of Predestination, of the Universality of Redemption, of the Sufficiency of Grace given, or not given to all men, of the Resistibility of Grace, of total and final Perseverance, or Apostasie of the Saints, of the Antilapsarian or Postlapsarian Opinion, of Election and Reprobation; all which they mean to ventilate, if they do determine against the Arminian, as they give out they will.

In many Presbyteries these Lay-elders disagreed in their Elections wholly, or for the most part, from the Ministers, and carried it from them by number of Votes, though in all reason the Ministers themselves should best know the abilities and fitness of their Brethren: and this was done in the Presbyteries of Chirnside, Linlithgow, Aberdeen, and divers more.

How can these men now elected be thought fit to be Ruling-elders, who were never Elders before, all or most part of them being chosen since the Indiction of the Assembly, some of them but the very day before the Election of their Commissioners; which demonstrates plainly that they were chosen onely to serve their Associates turn at this Assembly?

Since the Institution of Lay-elders by your own Principles is to watch over the Manners of the People in the Parish in which they live, how can any man be chosen a Ruling-elder from a Presbytery, who is not an inhabitant within any Parish of that Presbytery, as hath been done in divers Elections, against all Law, Sense, or Reason?

By what Law or Practice was it ever heard, that117 young Noblemen, or Gentlemen, or others, should be chosen Rulers of the Church, being yet Minors, and in all Construction of Law thought unfit to manage their own private Estates, unless you will grant that men of meaner Abilities may be thought fit to rule the Church, which is the House of God, than are fit to rule their own private Houses, Families, and Fortunes?

By what Law can any Ruling-elder be sent to a Presbytery to Vote in anything, especially in chusing Commissioners for the General Assembly, who is not chosen for that purpose by the Session of that Parish in which he is a Ruling-elder? And who gave power to the Minister of every Parish, to bring with him to the Presbytery for that purpose any Ruling-elder of his Parish whom he pleased?

But it is well-known, that divers Elders gave Votes in these Presbyteries to the Elections of some Commissioners here, who were not chosen by the Sessions of their several Parishes to give Votes in those Presbyteries; and therefore such Commissioners as were chosen by such Lay-elders can have no Vote here.

By what Law or Practice have the several Parishes or Presbyteries chosen Assessors to their Ruling-elders, without whose consent some of the Commissioners here present are sworn not to vote to any thing?

This introducing of Ruling-elders is a burthen so grievous to the Brethren of the Ministry, that many of the Presbyteries have protested against it for the time to come, some for the present, as shall appear by divers Protestations and Supplications ready to be here exhibited.

For the Ministers chosen Commissioners hither, besides that the fittest are passed by, and some chosen who were never Commissioners of any Assembly before, that so they might not stand for their own Liberty in an Assembly of the nature whereof they are utterly ignorant, choice hath been also made of some who are under the Censure of the Church, of some who are deprived by the Church, of some who have been banished and put out of the University of Glasgow, for teaching their Scholars that Monarchies were unlawful, some banished out of this Kingdom for their Seditious Sermons and Behaviour, and some for the like Offences banished out of another of His Majesties Kingdoms, Ireland, some lying under the fearful Sentence of Excommunication, some having no Ordination nor Imposition of Hands, some admitted to the Ministry contrary to the standing Laws of this Church and Kingdom, all of them chosen by Lay-elders; what a Scandal were it to the Reformed Churches to allow this to be a lawful Assembly, consisting of such Members, and so unlawfully chosen?

Of this Assembly divers who are chosen are at the Horn, and so by the Laws of this Kingdom are uncapable of sitting as Judges in any Judicatory.

Three Oaths are to be administered to every Member of this Assembly, the Oath for the Confession of Faith, lately renewed by His Majesties Commandment, the Oaths of Allegeance and Supremacy; and whosoever shall refuse any of these, cannot be a Judge in any Judicatory of this Kingdom: and therefore resolve presently whether you will take them or not.

You have cited the Reverend Prelats of this land to appear before you by a way unheard-of, not only in this Kingdom, but in the whole Christian World, their Citations being read in the Pulpits, which is not usual in this Church; nay, and many of them were read in the Pulpits after they had been delivered into the Bishops own hands. How can His Majesty deny unto them, being His Subjects, the benefit of His Laws, in declining all those to be their Judges, who by their Covenant do hold the principal thing in question, to wit, Episcopacy to be abjured, as many of you do? or any of you to be their Judges, who do adhere to your last Protestation, wherein you declare, that it is an Office not known to this Kingdom, although at this present it stand established both by Acts of Parliaments, and Acts of General Assemblies? Who ever heard of such Judges as have sworn themselves Parties? And if it shall be objected, that the Orthodox Bishops in the first four and other General Councils could not be denied to be competent Judges of the Hereticks, though beforehand they had declared their Judgments against their Heresies: it is easily answered, that in matters of Heresie no man must be patient, since in Fundamental points of Faith a man cannot be indifferent without the hazard of his Salvation, and therefore must declare himself to be on Christs side, or else he is against him; but in matters of Church-government and Policy, which by the Judgment of this Church in the 21ᵗʰ Article of our Confession is alterable at the will of the Church, it is not necessary for any man who means to be a Judge, to declare himself, especially against that Government which stands established by Law at the time of his Declaration, being not onely not necessary, but likewise not lawful for him at that time so to doe; now this Declaration all you who adhere to the last Protestation have made, even since you meaned to be the Bishops Judges. Besides, even those Orthodox Fathers never did declare themselves against the Hereticks, their Persons or Callings, by Oaths and Protestations, as you have done; for that had been a prejudging in them, and this prejudging in you makes you now to be incompetent Judges.

Upon the whole matter then there are but two things left for me to say: first, you your selves have so proceeded in the business of this Assembly that it is impossible the fruits so much wished and prayed for can be obtained in it; because standing as it does, it will make this Church ridiculous to all the Adversaries of our Religion, it will grieve and wound all our Neighbour Reformed Churches who hear of it; it will make His Majesties Justice to be traduced throughout the whole Christian World, if he should suffer His Subjects in that which concerns their Callings, their Reputations and their Fortunes, to be judged by their sworn Enemies. If therefore you will dissolve your selves, and amend all these errours in a new Election, I will with all convenient speed address my self to His Majesty, and use the utmost of my Intercession with His Sacred Majesty for the Indiction of a new Assembly, before the meeting whereof all these things now challenged may be amended: if you shall refuse this Offer, His Majesty will then declare to the whole World, that you are disturbers of the Peace of this Church and State, both by introducing of Lay-elders against the Laws and Practices of this Church and Kingdom, and by going about to abolish Episcopal Government, which at this present stands established by both the said Laws: two points (I daresay) and you must swear it, if your Consciences be appealed to, (as was well observed by that Reverend Gentleman we heard preach the last Sunday) which these you drew into your Covenant were never made acquainted with at their entering into it; much less could they suspect, that these two should be made the issue of this business, and the two stumbling-blocks to make them fall off from their Natural Obedience to their Soveraign.


The Commissioner’s Reply to the Moderator.127

As for your pretence of your unlimited Freedom, you indeed refused so much as to hear from His Majesties Commissioner, of any precedent Treaty for the preparing and right-ordering of things before the Assembly; alledging, that it could not be a free Assembly where there was any Prelimitation either of the Choosers, or of those to be chosen, or of things to be treated of in the Assembly, but that all things must be discussed upon the place, else the Assembly could not be free: but whether you your selves have not violated that which you call Freedom, let any man judge; for besides these Instructions, which it may be are not come to our knowledge, we have seen, and offer now to produce, four several Papers of Instructions sent from them, (whom you call the Tables) containing all of them Prelimitations, and such as are not onely repugnant to that which you call the Freedom, but to that which is indeed the Freedom of an Assembly. Two of these Papers were such as you were contented should be communicated to all your Associates, to wit, that larger Paper sent abroad to all Presbyteries, immediately after His Majesties Indiction of the Assembly, and that lesser Paper for your meeting first at Edinburgh, then at Glasgow, some days before the Assembly; which Paper gave order for chusing of Assessors, and divers other particulars: but your other two Papers of Secret Instructions were directed, one of them onely to one Minister of every Presbytery, to be communicated by him as he should see cause, but to be quite concealed from the rest of the Ministers; the other Paper was directed onely to one Lay-elder of every Presbytery, and to be communicated by him as he should see cause, but to be quite concealed from all others: in both which Papers are contained such Directions, which being followed, as they were, have quite banished all Freedom from this Assembly; as shall appear by reading the Papers themselves.

[These he caused read, but they were disowned by the Members of the Assembly; and they said, they might have been the private Opinions of some, but did infer no Prelimitation on the Assembly: to which the Marquis answered]—

That all the Elections being ordered according to these, was a clear proof, they were sent by an Authority which all feared to disobey. And after that he told, That for many moneths the Orders of the Table had been obeyed by all; but he would now make a trial what Obedience they would give to the Kings Command: and protested, that one of the chief Reasons that moved him to dissolve this Assembly, was to deliver the Ministers from the Tyranny of Lay-elders, who (if not suppressed) would (as they were now designing the ruine of Episcopal Power) prove not onely Ruling, but Over-ruling-elders.

1638.—November 29.
100. Royal Proclamation anent the Assembly.128

Charles by the grace of God, King of Scotland, England, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith. To Our Lovits _______________________________ Heraulds, Pursevants, Our Sheriffes in that part conjunctly & severally specially constitute, greeting. Forsameikle as out of the royall & fatherly care which We have had of the good & peace of this Our ancient and native Kingdome, having taken to Our serious consideration all such things as might have given contentment to Our good & loyall subjects: And to this end had discharged by Our Proclamation the Service Booke, Booke of Canons, and high Commission, freed and liberate all men from the practising of the five Articles, made all Our subjects both ecclesiasticall & civill liable to the censure of Parliament, generall Assembly, or any other Iudicatorie competent, according to the nature and qualitie of the offence; and for the free entrie of Ministers, that no other oath be administrate unto them then that which is contained in the Act of Parliament: had declared all by-gone disorders absolutely forgotten & forgiven: and for the more full and cleare extirpating all ground & occasion of feares of innovation of Religion, We had commanded the confession of faith, and band for maintenance thereof, and of authoritie in defence of the same, subscribed by Our deare Father, and his household, in anno 1580. to bee renewed and subscribed againe by Our subjects here: Likeas for settling of a perfect peace in the Church and Commonwealth of this Kingdome, We caused indict a free generall Assembly to bee holden at Glasgow the 21. of this instant, and thereafter a Parliament in May 1639. By which clement dealing, We looked assuredly to have reduced Our subjects to their former quiet behaviour & dutifull carriage, whereto they are bound by the Word of God, and Lawes both nationall and municipall, to Us their native and Soveraigne Prince. And albeit the wished effects did not follow, but by the contrary, by Our so gracious procedure they were rather emboldened, not onely to continue in their stubborne and unlawfull waies, but also daily adde to their former procedures acts of neglect, & contempt of authority, as evidently appeared by open opposing of Our just & religious pleasure and command, exprest in Our last Proclamation anent the discharge of the Service Booke, Booke of Canons, high Commission, &c. protesting against the same, and striving by many indirect meanes to withdraw the hearts of Our good people, not onely from a hearty acknowledgement of Our gracious dealing with them, but also from the due obedience to those Our just and religious commands, notwithstanding We had been formerly so oft petitioned by themselves for the same. By their daily and hourely guarding and watching about Our Castle of Edinburgh, suffering nothing to be imported therein, but at their discretion, And openly stopping and impeding any importation of ammunition, or other necessaries whatsoever to any other of Our houses within that Kingdome: Denying to Us their Soveraign Lord that libertie and freedome, which the meanest of them assume to themselves, (an act without precedent or example in the Christian world,) By making of Convocations and Councell Tables of Nobility, Gentry, Burrowes and Ministers within the Citie of Edinburgh, where not regarding the Lawes of the Kingdome, they, without warrant of authoritie, conveene, assemble, and treat upon matters, as well ecclesiasticall as civill, send their injunctions and directions throughout the country to their subordinate Tables, and other under-ministers appointed by them for that effect. And under colour & pretext of religion exercing an unwarranted & unbounded libertie, require obedience to their illegall and unlawfull procedures and directions, to the great & seen prejudice of Authority, and lawfull Monarchicall government. And notwithstanding it was evidently manifest by the illegall & unformall course taken in the election of their Commissioners for the Assembly, whereof some are under the censure of this Church, some under the censure of the Church119 of Ireland, and some long since banished for open and avowed teaching against Monarchie, others of them suspended, and some admitted to the Ministerie contrary to the forme prescribed by the Lawes of this Kingdome, others of them a long time since denounced Rebels and put to the Horne, who by all law and unviolable custome and practique of this Kingdome, are, and ever have been incapable, either to pursue, or defend before any Iudicatorie, far lesse to be Iudges themselves: some of them confined, and all of them by oath and subscription bound to the overthrow of Episcopacie. And by this and other their under-hand working, and private informations and perswasions, have given just ground of suspicion of their partiality herein, & so made themselves unfit Iudges of what concerneth Episcopacie. And also it was sufficiently cleared by the peremptorie and illegall procedures of the Presbyteries, who at their own hand by order of law, & without due forme of processe, thrust out the Moderatours lawfully established, & placed others, whom they found most inclinable to their turbulent humours; associate to themselves for the choosing of the said Comissioners for the Assembly, a Laick-Elder out of each Paroch, who being in most places equall, if not moe in number then the Ministerie, made choice both of the Ministers, who should be Commissioners from the Presbyteries, as also of a Ruling-Elder; being directed more therein by the warrants from the foresaid pretended Tables, then by their owne judgements, as appeares by the severall private instructions sent from them, farre contrary to the Lawes of the Countrey, and lowable custome of the Church: by which doings it is too manifest, that no calme nor peaceable procedure or course could have been expected from this Assembly, for settling of the present disorders and distractions: Yet We were pleased herein in some sort to blindfold Our own judgement, and overlooke the said disorders, and patiently to attend the meeting of the said Assembly, still hoping that when they were met together, by Our Commissioner his presence, and assistance of such other well disposed subjects who were to be there, and by their owne seeing the reall performance of all that was promised by Our last Proclamation, they should have been induced to returne to their due obedience of subjects: But perceiving that their seditious disposition still increases, by their repairing to the said Assembly with great bands and troupes of men, all boddin in feare of warre, with guns and pistolets, contrary to the lawes of this Kingdome, custome observed in all Assemblies, and in high contempt of Our last Proclamation at Edinburgh the 16. of this instant: As also by their peremptory refusing of Our Assessors, authorized by Vs (although fewer in number then Our dearest Father was in use to have at divers Assemblies) the power of voting in this Assembly, as formerly they have done in other Assemblies; and by their partiall, unjust, and unchristian refusing, and not suffering to be read the reasons and arguments given in by the Bishops, and their adherents, to Our Commissioner, why the Assembly ought not to proceed to the election of a Moderatour without them, neither yet to the admitting of any of the Commissions of the saids Commissioners from Presbyteries, before they were heard object against the same, though earnestly required by our Commissioner in our name. And notwithstanding that our Commissioner under his hand, by warrant from us, gave in a sufficient declaration of all that was contained in our late proclamation and declaration, the same bearing likewise our pleasure of the registration of the same in the books of assembly for the full assurance of the true religion to all our good subjects; And yet not resting satisfied therewith, lest the continuance of their meeting together might produce other the like dangerous acts, derogatory to royall authoritie, we have thought good, for preveening thereof, and for the whole causes and reasons above-mentioned, and divers others importing the true monarchicall government of this estate, to dissolve and breake up the said Assembly. And therefore OVR will is, and we doe discharge and inhibit all and whatsoever pretended Commissioners, and other members of the said pretended assembly, of all further meeting and conveening, treating and concluding any thing belonging to the said assembly, under the pain of treason, declaring all and whatsoever that they shall happen to doe in any pretended meeting thereafter, to be null, of no strength, force nor effect, with all that may follow thereupon: Prohibiting and discharging all our lieges to give obedience thereto, and declaring them, and every one of them, free and exempt from the same, and of all hazzard that may ensue for not obeying thereof. And for this effect we command and charge all the foresaids pretended commissioners, and other members of the said assembly, to depart forth of this city of Glasgow, within the space of xxiiii houres after the publication hereof, and to repair home to their own houses, or that they goe about their own private affaires in a quiet manner. With speciall provision alwayes, that the foresaid declaration, given in under our Commissioners hand, with all therein contained, shall notwithstanding hereof, stand full, firm and sure to all our good subjects in all time coming, for the full assurance to them of the true religion. And our will is, and we command and charge, that incontinent these our letters seen, ye passe, and make publication hereof by open proclamation at the market crosse of Glasgow, and other places needfull, wherethrough none pretend ignorance of the same. Given under our signet at Glasgow the 29. of November, and of our reign the fourteenth year. 1638.

Sic Subscribitur.

Traquaire, Roxburgh, Murray, Linlithgow, Perth, Kingorne, Tullibardin, Hadingtoun, Galloway, Annandaill, Lauderdaill, Kinnoull, Dumfreis, Southesk, Belhaven, Angus, Dalyell, J. Hay, W. Elphinstoun, Ja. Carmichael, J. Hamiltoun.

1638.—November 28 and 29.
101. The Protestation of the generall Assembly of the Church of Scotland, &c. Made in the high Kirk, and at the Market Crosse of Glasgow, Novemb. 28. and 29. An. 1638.129

Wee Commissioners from Presbyteries, Burghes, and Vniversities, now conveened in a full and free Assembly of the Church of Scotland, indicted by his Majestie, and gathered together in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ the only Head, and Monarch of his own Church, And we Noblemen, Barons, Gentlemen, Ministers, Burgesses and Commons, Subscribers of the Confession of Faith, Make it knowne that where We His Majesties loyall Subjects of all degrees, considering and taking to heart the many and great innovations and corruptions lately by the Prelates and their adherents intruded into the doctrine, worship, and discipline of this Church, which had been before in great purity to our unspeakable120 comfort established amongst us, were moved to present many earnest desires and humble supplications to his sacred Majestie, for granting a free generall Assemblie, as the only legall and ready meane to try these innovations, to purge out the corruptions, and settle the order of the church, for the good of Religion, the honour of the King, and the comfort and peace of the Kirk and Kingdome: It pleased his gracious Majestie, out of his Royall bountie, to direct unto this Kingdome, the Noble and Potent Lord, James Marques of Hammiltoun, with Commission to hear and redresse the just grievances of the good Subjects, who by many petitions, and frequent conferences, being fully informed of the absolute necessity of a free generall Assemblie, as the only Iudicatorie which had power to remedie those evils, was pleased to undergoe the paines of a voyage to England, for presenting the pittifull condition of our Church to his sacred Majestie; And the said Commissioner his Grace returned againe in August last, with power to indict an Assemblie, but with the condition of such limitations, as did both destroy the freedome of an Assembly, and could no wayes cure the present diseases of this Church; which was made so clearly apparent to his Grace, that for satisfying the reasonable desire of the Subiects, groaning under the wearinesse and prejudices of longsome attendance. He was againe pleased to undertake another journey to his Majestie, and promised to indeavour to obtain a free Generall Assemblie, without any prelimitation, either of the constitution and members, or matters to be treated, or manner, and order of proceeding; so that if any question should arise concerning these particulars, the same should be cognosced, judged, and determined by the Assembly, as the onely Iudge competent: And accordingly by warrant from our Sacred Soveraigne, returned to this Kingdome, and in September last, caused indict a free Generall Assemblie to be holden at Glasgow, the 21. of November instant, to the unspeakable ioy of all good Subiects and Christian hearts, who thereby did expect the perfect satisfaction of their long expectations; and the finall remedie of their pressing grievances: But these hopes were soone blasted: for albeit the Assemblie did meet and begin at the appointed day, and hath hitherto continued, still assisted with His Graces personall presence, yet His Grace hath never allowed any freedome to the Assemblie, competent to it by the Word of God, acts and practices of this Church, and his Majesties Indiction, but hath laboured to restraine the same, by protesting against all the acts made therein, and against the constitution thereof by such members, as by all law reason and custome of this Church were ever admitted in our free Assemblies, and by denying his approbation to the things proponed and concluded, though most cleare, customable, and uncontraverted.

And now since his Grace after the presenting and reading of his owne commission from our sacred Soveraigne, and after his seeing all our commissions from Presbyteries and Burghes produced and examined, and the Assembly constitute of all the members by unanimous consent, doth now to our greater griefe, without any just cause or occasion offered by us, unexpectedly depart and discharge any further meeting, or proceeding in this assemblie, under the paine of treason: and after seven dayes sitting, declare all Acts made, or hereafter to be made in this Assemblie, to be of no force nor strength; and that for such causes as are either expressed in his Maiesties former proclamations, (and so are answered in our former protestations) or set downe in the declinatour and protestation presented in name of the Prelats, (which are fully cleared in our answer made thereto) or else were long since proponed by the Commissioner his Grace in his eleven articles or demands sent unto us, before the indiction of the Assembly (and so were satisfied by our answers, which his Grace acknowledged, by promising after the recept thereof to procure a free generall Assembly, with power to determine upon all questions, anent the members, manner, and matters thereof) all which for avoiding tediousnesse we cease to repeat: Or otherwise the said causes alleadged by the Commissioner, were proponed by His Grace, in the Assemblie; such as first, that the Assemblie refused to reade the Declinatour and Protestation exhibited by the Prelats, which neverthelesse was publickly read and considered by the assemblie, immediately after the election of a Moderatour and constitution of the Members, before the which, there was no assemblie established, to whom the same could have been read: Next, that ruling Elders were permitted to have voice in the election of commissioners from Presbyteries, which was knowne to His Grace, before the indiction and meeting of the assembly, and is so agreeable to the acts and practice of this Church, inviolably observed before the late times of corruption, that not one of the assembly doubted thereof, to whom by the indiction and promise of a free assembly, the determination of that question, anent the members constituent propertie belonged.

And last, that the voices of the six Assessors, who did sit with His Grace, were not asked and numbered, which we could not conceive to be any just cause of offence, since after 39. Nationall assemblies of this reformed church, where neither the Kings Majestie, nor any in his name was present, at the humble and earnest desire of the assembly, His Majestie graciously vouchsafed His presence either in His owne Royall Person, or by a Commissioner, not for voting or multiplying of voices, but as Princes and Emperours of old, in a Princely manner to countenance that meeting, and to preside in it for externall order; and if Wee had been honoured with His Majesties Personall presence, His Majestie (according to the practice of King James of blessed memorie) would have onely given his owne Judgement in voting of matters, and would not have called others who had not been clothed with commission from the church to carry things by pluralitie of voices.

Therefore in conscience of our duty to God and his truth, the King and his honour, the Church and her liberties, this Kingdome and her peace, this Assemblie and her freedome, to our selves and our safety, to our Posterity, Persons and Estates, We professe with sorrowfull and heavie, but loyall hearts, That We cannot dissolve this Assemblie, for the reasons following.

1. For the reasons already printed anent the necessity of conveening a Generall Assemblie, which are now more strong in this case, seeing the Assemblie was already indicted by his Majesties authority, did conveene, and is fully constitute in all the members thereof, according to the Word of God, and discipline of this church, in the presence and audience of his Majesties Commissioner; who hath really acknowledged the same, by assisting therein seven dayes, and exhibition of His Majesties Royall Declaration, to be registrate in the Bookes of this Assemblie, which accordingly is done.

2. For the reasons contained in the former Protestations made in name of the Noblemen, Barons, Burgesses, Ministers, and Commons, whereunto We doe now iudicially adhere, as also unto the Confession121 of Faith & covenant, subscribed and sworn by the Body of this Kingdome.

3. Because as We are obliged by the application and explication subioyned necessarily to the Confession of Faith subscribed by Vs; so the Kings Majestie, and his Commissioner, and Privie Councell, have urged many of this Kingdome to subscribe the Confession of Faith made in an. 1580. and 1590. and so to returne to the doctrine and discipline of this Church, as it was then professed: But it is cleare by the doctrine and discipline of this Church, contained in the book of Policie then registrate in the books of Assemblie, & subscribed by the Presbyteries of this Church; That it was most unlawfull in it selfe, and preiudiciall to these privileges which Christ in his Word hath left to his Church, to dissolve or breake up the Assemblie of this Church, or to stop and stay their proceedings in constitution of Acts for the welfare of the Church, or execution of discipline against offenders; and so to make it appeare, that Religion and Church government should depend absolutely upon the pleasure of the Prince.

4. Because there is no ground of pretence either by Act of Assemblie, or Parliament, or any preceding practice, whereby the Kings Maiestie may lawfully dissolve the Generall Assemblie of the Church of Scotland, far lesse His Maiesties Commissioner, who by his commission hath power to indict and keep it, secundum legem & praxim: But upon the contrarie, His Majesties prerogative Royall, is declared by Act of Parliament, to be no wayes preiudiciall to the priviledges and liberties, which God hath granted to the spirituall office-bearers, and meetings of this Church; which are most frequently ratified in Parliaments, and especially in the last Parliament holden by His Maiestie himself: which priviledges and liberties of the Church, his Maiestie will never diminish or infringe, being bound to maintain the same in integritie by solemn oath given at his Royal Coronation in this Kingdome.

5. The Assemblies of this Church have still inioyed this freedome of uninterrupted sitting, without or notwithstanding any contramand, as is evident by all the Records thereof; and in speciall by the generall Assembly holden in anno 1582. which being charged with letters of Horning by the Kings Majestie his Commissioner and Councell, to stay their processe against Master Robert Montgomerie, pretended Bishop of Glasgow, or otherwise to dissolve and rise, did notwithstanding shew their liberty and freedome, by continuing and sitting still, and without any stay, going on in that processe against the said Master Robert, to the finall end thereof: And thereafter by letter to his Maiesty, did shew clearly, how far his Maiesty had been uninformed, and upon misinformation, preiudged the prerogative of Jesus Christ, and the liberties of this Church, and did inact and ordain, that none should procure any such warrant or charge under the pain of excommunication.

6. Because now to dissolve, after so many supplications and complaints, after so many reiterated promises, after our long attendance and expectation, after so many references of processes from Presbyteries, after the publick indiction of the Assembly, and the solemn Fast appointed for the same, after frequent Convention, formall constitution of the Assembly in all the members thereof, and seven dayes sitting, were by this act to offend God, contemne the Subjects petitions, deceive many of their conceived hopes of redresse of the calamities of the Church and Kingdome, multiply the combustions of this Church, and make every man despair hereafter ever to see Religion established, Innovations removed, the Subiects complaint respected, or the offenders punished with consent of authority, and so by casting the Church loose and desolate, would abandon both to ruine.

7. It is most necessary to continue this Assembly for preveening the prejudices which may ensue upon the pretence of two Covenants, whereas indeed there is but one, That first subscribed in 1580. and 1590. being a Nationall covenant and oath to God; which is lately renewed by Vs, with that necessary explanation, which the corruptions introduced since that time contrary to the same, inforced: which is also acknowledged by the Act of councell in September last, declaring the same to be subscribed, as it was meaned the time of the first subscription; And therefore for removing that shame, and all prejudices which may follow upon the show of two different covenants & confessions of Faith in one Nation, The Assemblie cannot dissolve, before it trie, finde and determine, that both these covenants, are but one and the self same covenant: The latter renewed by us, agreeing to the true genuine sense and meaning of the first, as it was subscribed in Anno 1580.

For these and many other reasons, We the Members of this assemblie, in our owne name, and in the name of the Kirk of Scotland, whom We represent; and We Noblemen, Barons, Gentlemen, Ministers, Burgesses, and Commons before mentioned, doe solemnly declare in the presence of the everliving God, and before all men; And protest,

1. That our thoughts are not guilty of anything which is not incumbent to us, as good Christians towards God, and loyall Subjects towards our sacred Soveraigne.

2. That all the Protestations generall or particular, proponed or to be proponed by the commissioner his Grace, or the Prelats and their adherents, may be presently discussed before this generall Assemblie, being the highest Ecclesiasticall judicatorie of this Kingdome: and that his Grace depart not till the same be done.

3. That the Lord commissioner depart not, till this Assemblie doe fully settle the solide peace of this church, cognoscing and examining the corruptions introduced upon the doctrine and discipline thereof: and for attaining hereof, and removing all just exceptions which may be taken at our proceedings, we attest GOD the searcher of all hearts, that our intentions, and whole proceedings in this present assemblie, have beene, are, and shall be according to the word of GOD, the lawes and constitutions of this church, the confession of faith; our nationall oath, and that measure of light, which GOD the father of light shall grant us, and that in the sincerity of our hearts, without any preoccupation or passion.

4. That if the Commissioner his Grace depart, and leave this church and kingdome in this present disorder, and discharge this assemblie, that it is both lawfull and necessary for Vs to sit still and continue in keeping this present Assemblie, indicted by His Majestie, till we have tryed, judged, censured all the bygone evils, and the introductors, and provided a solide course for continuing Gods truth in this land with purity and liberty, according to his Word, our oath and Confession of Faith, and the lawfull constitutions of this Church; and that with the grace of God, We and every one of Vs adhering hereunto, shall sit still and continue in this Assembly, till after the finall setling and conclusion of all matters, it be dissolved by common consent of all the members thereof.

5. That this Assemblie is and should be esteemed and obeyed, as a most lawfull, full and free generall122 Assembly of this Kingdome: And that all acts, sentences, constitutions, censures and proceedings of this Assemblie, are in the selfe, and should be reputed, obeyed, and observed by all the Subjects of this Kingdome and members of this Church, as the actions, sentences, constitutions, censures, and proceedings of a full and free generall assembly of this Church of Scotland, and to have all ready execution, under the Ecclesiasticall paines contained, or to bee contained therein, and conforme thereto in all points.

6. That whatsoever inconvenience fall out, by impeding, molesting, or staying the free meeting, sitting, reasoning, or concluding of this present assembly, in matters belonging to their judicatorie, by the word of God, lawes and practice of this Church, and the Confession of Faith, or in the observing and obeying the acts, ordinances and conclusions thereof, or execution to follow thereupon, That the same be not imputed unto us, or any of us, who most ardently desired the concurrence of his Majesties Commissioner to this lawfull assembly; But upon the contrary, that the Prelats and their adherents, who have protested and declined this present assemblie, in conscience of their owne guiltinesse, not daring to abide any legall tryall, and by their misinformation have moved the Commissioner his Grace to depart and discharge this assemblie, be esteemed, repute, and holden the disturbers of the peace, and overthrowers of the liberties of the Church, and guiltie of all the evils which shall follow hereupon, and condignely censured according to the greatnesse of their fault, and Acts of the Church and Realme: And to this end, Wee againe and again doe by these presents cite and summon them, and everie one of them, to compeere before this present generall assembly, to answer to the premises, and to give in their reasons, defences, and answers against the complaints given in, or to bee given in against them, and to heare probation led, and sentence pronounced against them, and conforme to our former cytations, and according to Iustice, with certification as effeirs; Like as by these presents We summon and cyte all those of his Majesties Councell, or any other, who have procured, consented, subscribed, or ratified this present Proclamation to be responsable to his Majesty and three Estates of Parliament, for their counsell given in this matter, so highly importing his Majestie, and the whole Realme, conforme to the 12. act. King James 4. Parliament 2. And protest for remedy of law against them, and every one of them.

7. And lastly wee protest, that as we adhere to the former protestations all and every one of them, made in the name of the Noblemen, Barons, Gentlemen, Ministers, Burghes, and Commons; So seeing wee are surprised by the Commissioner his Graces sudden departing, farre contrary to his Majesties indiction, and our expectation, we may extend this our protestation, and adde more reasons thereunto in greater length and number, whereby wee may fully cleare before God and man the equitie of our intentions, and lawfulnesse of our proceedings: And upon the whole premises the foresaid persons for themselves and in name aforesaid, asked Instruments. This was done in the high Church of Glasgow in publike audience of the Assembly, begunne in presence of the Commissioner his Grace, who removed and refused to heare the same to the end, the twenty eighth day of November: and upon the Mercate Crosse of Glasgow, the twentie ninth day of the said Moneth, the yeere of God 1638. respective.

1638.—November 30.
102. Letter from Traquair to Hamilton.130

Falkirk, Nov. 30th.  

I could not find the Earl of Argyle yesterday at his own house; and being unwilling to go from Glasgow before I saw him, I came to the Lord Boyde’s lodging, where I was told he was, with the Lord Loudon and some others. He resolves to stay still in Glasgow, some time at least; and during his abode there, will haunt the assembly, and be careful to make them go on in such a way as shall be justifiable.

The Service-book will be condemned in general, as repugnant to the tenets of this church; episcopal government, as not agreeable to the government thereof; and presently all the bishops of this kingdom are condemned, and presently excommunicate.

The Lord Loudoun acknowledges one of the papers, your Grace produced in the assembly, but the certificate refused; the same was required of me, which at the kirk-yard entry I acknowledged and declared to be such as became an honest man; for truly, if I should say otherwise, I should deny truth and my own judgment. And if I should subscribe any covenant or confession, which, in my judgment, excluded episcopacy or episcopal government, I behoved to subscribe against the light of my own conscience; and this I declared publicly, as I shall do while I breathe.

This morning the Lairds Carberry, Nidrie, and Colintone, with John Smith of Edinburgh, parted from this, about four in the morning, to attend my coming to Edinburgh, for protesting against the proclamation; which they expect at the cross of Edinburgh.

As your Grace shall be pleased to honour me with any of your commandments, I shall not be wanting with the uttermost of my power; and without consideration either of life or fortune, shall witness myself to be

Your, &c.

Traquair  .

1638.—December 3.
103. Letter from the Archbishop of Canterbury (Laud) to Hamilton.131

My very good Lord,

I received your Lordships Letters of Novemb. 27ᵗʰ, they came safe to me on Decemb. 2ᵈ, after 8 at night. I was glad to see them short; but their shortness is abundantly supplied by the length of two Letters, one from the Lord Ross, and the other from the Dean. They have between them made their word good to your Lordship, for they have sent me all the passages from the beginning of the Assembly to the time of the Date of their Letters: and this I will be bold to say, never were there more gross absurdities, nor half so many, in so short a time, committed in any Publick Meeting; and for a Nationall Assembly never did the Church of Christ see the like.

Besides His Majesties Service in general, that Church is much beholding to you, and so are the Bishops in their Persons and Callings: and heartily sorry I am, that the People are so beyond your expression furious, that you think it fit to send the two Bishops from Glasgow to Hamilton; and much more that you should doubt your own safety. My123 Lord, God bless your Grace with Life and Health to see this Business at a good end, for certainly, as I see the face of things now, there will very much depend upon it, and more than I think fit to express in Letters; nay perhaps, more than I can well express if I would.

I am as sorry as your Grace can be that the Kings Preparations can make no more haste. I hope you think (for truth it is) I have called upon His Majesty, and by His Command upon some others, to hasten all that may be, and more than this I cannot doe; but I am glad to read in your Letters that you have written at length to His Majesty, that you may receive from himself a punctual Answer to all necessary particulars: and I am presently going to him to persuade him to write largely to you, that you may not be in the dark for any thing.

But (my Lord) to meet with it again in your Letters, that you cannot tell whether this may be your Last Letter, and that therefore you have disclosed the very thoughts of your Heart, doth mightily trouble me: but I trust in God, he will preserve you, and by your great Patience, Wisdom, and Industry, set His Majesties Affairs (to your great Honour) in a right posture once again; which if I might live to see, I would be glad to sing my Nunc dimittis.

I pray (my Lord) accept my thanks for the poor Clergie there, and particularly for the Bishop of Ross, who protests himself most infinitely obliged to you.

I heartily pray your Lordship to thank both the Bishop of Ross and the Dean for their kind Letters, and the full account they have given me; but there is no particular that requires an Answer in either of them, saving that I find in the Deans Letter, that Mr Alex. Henderson, who went all this while for a quiet and calm-spirited man, hath shewed himself a most violent and passionate man, and a Moderator without Moderation. Truly (my Lord) never did I see any man of that humour yet, but he was deep-dyed in some violence or other, and it would have been a wonder to me if Henderson had held free. Good my Lord, since you are good in the active part, in the commixture of Wisdom and Patience, hold it out till the People may see the Violence and Injustice of them that would be their Leaders, and suffer not a Rupture till there be no Remedy. God bless you in all your ways, which is the daily prayer of

Your Lordships most faithful Friend,
and humble Servant, 
W. Cant. 

Lambeth, 3 Decemb. 1638.

1638.—December 7.
104. Letter from the King to Hamilton.132


I never expected other than that you would have too just grounds to dissolve this Assembly; and certainly I were very unjust if I did not approve you therein, since not onely your Instructions warrant you the same, but even the Council hath testified to me the Necessity of it. And now I shall lay before you some Considerations; in the first place to take care, that your coming away do not cast things so loose, that the honest men of my Party do believe that you leave them as in a case desperate, or at least, that by your Absence they be denuded of Advice and Protection: therefore I hope before you come up you will take so good order, that your Absence do neither dishearten, nor prejudice my Party. As for my Preparations, I doubt not but ere this you have had a full account by your Cousin Sir James, whereby you find that I shall not be able to shew my self like my self before February or March; wherefore I lay it to your Consideration, whether it were not fit to give hopes that the Parliament shall hold, (notwithstanding all the impertinencies of this last Assembly) so that their Follies break not out into open Acts of Rebellious Violences: and really I will not say, but (that things may be so prepared) it may be fitting that it should hold. To conclude, I hope you do not conceive, that the Date of your Commissionership is out; wherefore I expect that (if you find cause) you send out Commissions of Lieutenantries to Huntley for the North, and to Traquair or Roxburgh, either joyntly or severally, (as you shall find most fit) for the South: yet all as subaltern to you. This I confess is not to be done but upon great necessity, of which I leave you (as upon the place) to be Judge, (being abundantly satisfied of your zeal and dexterity to serve me) as I do of all that I have now written: and so I rest

Your assured constant Friend, 
Charles R.

7 Dec. 1638.

1638.—December 7.
105. Letter from the Archbishop of Canterbury to Hamilton.133

My very good Lord,

I received your Letters of the second of December upon the sixth of the same at night, and could not speak with His Majesty till this day. This day I did, and shewed him your Letters and the Deans; and I read to him more than the later half of all the long Discourse which the Dean wrote unto me, for his Majesty was very desirous to know what occasion you took to dissolve the Synod, and how you prosecuted it; in both which that Paper gave him great satisfaction.

With your Letters I have received three other Papers, that which shews you have keeped within your Instructions, the Copy of the Proclamation which dissolves the Assembly, and a Copy of the Councils Letter to the King; both which His Majesty takes to be very good Service done for him, and commands me to give your Grace thanks in his Name, which I am very glad to doe, and I doe it heartily.

For the Earl of Argyle I can say no more than I have already, though now I know him more perfectly than I did. Your Resolution was to put him from the Council-Table, if he refused the Kings Covenant; he hath now deserved it more, but whether it be a fit time as yet to proceed so far, I dare not determine here. This I am sure of, if he do now publickly adhere to the Covenant and the Assembly, nay be the professed Head of the Covenant, (as the Dean calls him,) yet he will have much ado to look right upon that, who ever looked asquint upon the Kings business.

Concerning your coming up to Court, I am glad I find His Majesty in that Opinion which I cannot chuse but be of, that is, to leave it to your self, and your own Judgment upon the place, whether it be fitter for you to come or stay: for the truth is, my Lord, in my poor Judgment the King must124 needs leave this to your self, or discern himself; for if he bids you come, you will not stay; and if he would have you stay, you will not come: but whether it be fittest to come or stay cannot be prudently judged here, therefore (my Lord) doe that which shall be best approved there for His Majesties Service. And as much as I desire to see you, I will be bold to adde this, that I hope you will not stir to come thence, till you have so settled the Country, or at least the Kings Party there, as that you may be sure they may be safe, till farther course for Security may be taken: for I do not know how much it may dishearten them if your Grace come away from them too soon.

In tender care of His Majesties both Safety and Honour, I have done and do daily call upon him for his Preparations. He protests he makes all the haste he can, and I believe him; but the jealousies of giving the Covenanters umbrage too soon, have made Preparations here so late. I doe all I can here with trouble and sorrow enough.

Here is News that three Ships-full more of Arms are come to Leith from Poland; whence have they money to buy all this? If this be true, the King of Poland hath watched a shrewd opportunity to quit the King for the late neglect of his Ambassadour. And that which troubles me not a little is, that the Kings Party there (I doubt) is not half so well provided of Arms as the Covenanters are.

For the Money you mention, I wish with all my heart you had received it, for at the rising of the Assembly most miserable will be the Condition of them who have faithfully served God and the King. I have now again put it to the King, and he sees enough, but cannot well tell how to help it; yet this he said, If he could possibly scrape so much together, it should be had.

I pray be pleased to thank the Dean for his great pains, though it cost me the sitting up some part of the night to read it. His Letter, beside that Discourse, contains but two things, The necessity of a present shew of Force against the rising of the Assembly, before men be urged to new Confederacies, and Subscriptions to all things determined in this Assembly; The other, that some care may be had for the poor Ministers, who will be put to the greatest sufferings, and all for God and the King. And to these two I have said as much as I can, and shall daily labour with the King to doe all that may be done for them. I pray God bless your Lordship, but I am infinitely sorry so much Grace and Goodness of the Kings should be no better received. To Gods blessed Protection I leave you, and all your Endeavours, and shall ever shew my self

Your Graces most faithful Friend,
and humble Servant, 
W. Cant. 

Whitehall, Decemb. 7. 1638.

1638.—December 8.
106. Proclamation by the King.134

Charles, By the grace of GOD, King of Scotland, England, France, and Ireland, Defender of the FAYTH, To Our Lovits, _______________ Herauldes, Pursevantes: Our Shyreffs in that part, conjunctlie, and severallie, speciallie constitute, Greeting. WHERE-AS, for the removing of the Disorders, which haue happened of late within this Kingdome; And, for settling of a perfect Peace in the Church, and Common-wealth there-of, WEE were pleased, to call and indict A FREE GENERALL ASSEMBLIE to bee holden at Glasgow, the xxj day of November last; And for Our Subjects their better content and assurance, that they should bee freed of such thinges as by their Petitions and Supplications given in to the Lordes of Our Privie Councell, they seemed to be grieved at, WEE, in some sort, prevented the Assemblie, by discharging, by Our Proclamation, the Service-Booke, Booke of Canons, and High Commission, freed and liberate all Our Subjectes, from practising of the fiue Articles, exeemed all Ministers at their entrie, from giving anie other Oath, than that which is contayned in the Act of Parliament; Made all persons, both Ecclesiasticall and Civill, lyable to the Censure of Parliament, Generall Assemblie, or anie other Iudicatorie competent, according to the nature of their Offence; Had declared all by-gone Disorders absolutelie forgotten, and forgiven: And last; For securing to all Posteritie, the Trueth, and Libertie of RELIGION, did command the Confession of Fayth, and Band for mayntenance thereof, and of Authoritie in defence of the same, subscrybed by Our deare Father, and his Householde, in Anno 1580, to bee renewed, and subscrybed agayne by Our Subjectes heere. And, albeit that this Our Gracious and Pious Commaund, instead of Obedience and Submission, rancountred open and publicke Opposition and Protestation agaynst the same; And that they continued their daylie and hourlie guarding and watching our Castle of Edinburgh, suffering nothing to bee imported there-in, but at their discretion: stopping and impeding anie importation of Ammunition, or other Necessaries what-so-ever, to anie of Our Houses within this Kingdome: Denying to Us their Soveraygne Lord, that Libertie and Freedome, which the meanest of them assumed to themselues, (an Act without precedent or example in the Christian World:) Lyke as they spared not, boldlie and openlie to continue their Conventions, and Councell-Tables, of Nobilitie, Gentrie, Ministers, and Burgesses, within the Citie of Edinburgh: Where, not regarding the Lawes of the Kingdome, without warrand of Authoritie, they conveaned, assembled, and treated vpon Matters as well Ecclesiasticall as Civill, Sent their Injunctions and Directions throughout the Countrey, to their subordinate Tables, and other vnder Ministers appoynted by them for that effect: And, vnder colour and pretext of Religion, exercising an vnwarranded Libertie, requyred obedience to their vnlawfull and illegall Directions, to the seene prejudice of Authoritie, and lawfull Monarchicall Governament. And not-with-standing it was evidentlie manifest, by the illegall and vnformall Course taken in the Election of the Commissioners for the Assemblie; whereof some of them were vnder the Censure of this Church, some vnder the Censure of the Church of Ireland, some long since banished, for avowed teaching agaynst Monarchie: others of them suspended, and some admitted to the Ministerie, contrarie to the forme prescrybed by the Lawes of this Kingdome: others of them Rebells, and at the Horne: some of them confined, and all of them by Oath and Subscription, bound to the overthrowe of Episcopall Government. And by this, and others their Under-hand-working, and private Informations, and perswasions, had given just ground of Suspicion of their Partialitie; and so made themselues vnfit Iudges of what concerneth Episcopacie. And als, albeit it was sufficientlie cleared, by the peremptorie and illegall Procedures of the Presbyteries, who at their owne hand, and by order of Lawe, and without due forme of125 Processe, thrust out Moderators lawfullie established, and placed others, whome they found moste inclynable to their turbulent Humoures, associate to themselues, for choosing of the Commissioners to the Assemblie, a Laicke Elder out of each Parioch; who beeing in moste places equall, if not moe in number than the Ministerie, made choyse both of the Ministers who should bee Commissioners, from the Presbyteries, as also of a Laicke Elder, (which in tyme will proue to bee a dangerous Consequence, and import an heavie Burden to the Libertie of the Church, and Church-men) beeing more directed therein, by the Warandes of the foresayde pretended Tables, than by their owne judgementes; as appeared by the severall Instructions sent from them, (farre contrarie to the Lawes of this Countrey, and lowable custome of this Church) some whereof were produced, and exhibit by Our Commissioner, and publicklie read: One whereof directed to the Noble-men and Barons of each Presbyterie, doeth amongst manie other odde passages, require Diligence; lest (say they) by our owne Sillinesse and Treacherie, wee lose so fayre an occasion of our Libertie, both Christian and Civill. A strange phrase, to proceede from duetifull or loyall-hearted Subjectes! The other, to the Moderators of severall Presbyteries, vnder the Title of Private Instructions, August 27, contayning, first, That these Private Instructions shall bee discovered to none, but to Brethren well-affected to the Cause. 2. Order must be taken, that none be chosen Ruling-Elders, but Covenanters, and these well-affected to the Businesse. 3. That where the Minister is not well-affected, the Ruling Elder bee chosen by the Commissioners of the Shyre, and spoken vnto particularlie for that effect. 4. That they bee carefull, that no Chappell-men, Chapter-men, or a Minister Iustice of Peace bee chosen, although Covenanters, except they haue publicklie renounced or declared the vnlawfullnesse of their Places. 5. That the Ruling Elders, come from everie Church, in equall number with the Ministers. And if the Minister oppose, to put themselues in possession, notwithstanding of anie opposition. 6. That the Commissioner of the Shyre, cause conveane before him the Ruling Elder of everie Church, chosen before the day of the Election, and injoyne them, vpon their Oath, That they giue voyce to none, but to those who are named alreadie at the Meeting of Edinburgh. 7. That where there is a Noble-man in the boundes of the Presbyterie, hee bee chosen: and where there is none, there bee chosen a Baron, or one of the best Qualitie; and he only a Covenanter. 8. That the ablest man in everie Presbyterie bee provided to dispute, De potestate supremi Magistratus in Ecclesiasticis præsertim inconvocandis Conciliis, &c. Whereby it is moste evident, what Prelimitations, and indirect and partiall Courses, and dangerous Propositions, haue bene vsed in the Preparations and Elections to this pretended Assemblie. By which vnlawfull doinges, altho Wee had sufficient reason, to haue discharged the Meeting of the Assemblie, yet We pleased patientlie to attende the same: Still hoping, that when they were met together, by the presence of Our Commissioner, and assistance of some well-affected Subjectes, who were to bee there, and by their owne seeing the reall performance of what was promised by Our Proclamation, they should haue beene moved to returne to the due obedience of Subjects. But when Wee perceaved, that ther turbulent Dispositions did increase, as was manifest by their repairing to the sayde pretended Assemblie, with great Troups and Bands of Men, all boden in feare of Warre, with Gunnes and Pistolls, contrarie to the Laws of this Kingdome, and in high contempt of Our Proclamation at Edinburgh, the xvj of November last. As also by their peremptorie refusing to the Assessoures authorized by US, (altho fewer in number than our dearest Father was in vse to haue) the power of Voting in this Assemblie, as formerlie they had done in all others: openlie averring, That Wee nor Our Commissioner had no farther power there, than the meanest Commissioner of their number: and by their partiall and vnjust refusing, and not suffering to bee read, the Reasons and Argumentes given in by the Bishops, and their Adherentes, to Our Commissioner, why they ought not to proceede to the Election of a Moderator, neyther yet to the trying and admitting of the Commissioners, before they were heard, tho in Our Name they were earnestly requested therevnto by Our Commissioner. And not-with-standing that Our Commissioner, by Warrand from Us, gaue in vnder his hand, a sufficient Declaration of all that was contayned in Our late Proclamation: Bearing lykewyse Our Pleasure, of the Registration of the same in the Bookes of Assemblie, for full assurance of the Trueth and Libertie of Religion, to all Our good Subjectes; as doeth clearlie appeare by the Declaration it selfe, where-of the Tenour followeth: THE KING’S MAIESTIE beeing informed, That manie of his good Subjectes haue apprehended, that by the introducing of the Service-Booke, and Booke of Canons, the inbringing of Superstition hath beene intended, hath beene graciouslie pleased to discharge; Lyke as by These hee doeth discharge the Service Booke, and Booke of Canons, and the practise of them, and eyther of them; and annulleth and rescindeth all Actes of Councell, Proclamations, and other Actes and Deedes whatsoever that haue beene made, or published, for establishing of them, or eyther of them; and declareth the same to bee null, and to haue no force, nor effect, in tyme comming. THE KING’S MAIESTIE, as hee conceaved for the ease and benefite of the Subjects, established the High Commission, that thereby Iustice might bee administrate, and the faultes and erroures of such persons as are made lyable therevnto, taken order with, and punished, with the more conveniencie, and lesse trouble to the people: But finding his gracious intention therein to bee mistaken, hath beene pleased to discharge, Lyke as by These hee doeth discharge the same, and all Actes and Deedes whatsoever made for establishing thereof. AND, The King’s Majestie beeing informed, That the vrging of the fiue Articles of Pearth Assemblie, hath bred Distraction in the CHURCH and ESTATE, hath beene graciouslie pleased, to take the same to his Royall Consideration; and, for the Quyet and Peace of his Countrey, hath not onlie dispensed with the practise of the saydes Articles; But also discharged all and whatsoever persons, from vrging the practise thereof, vpon eyther Laicke or Ecclesiaticall person whatsoever; And hath fred all his Subjectes, from all Censures and Paynes, whether Ecclesiasticall or Secular, for not vrging, practising, or obeying them, or anie of them, notwithstanding of aniething contayned in the Actes of Parliament, or Generall Assemblie, to the contrarie. AND, His Majestie is farther contented, That the Assemblie take the same so farre to their Consideration, as to represent it vnto the next Parliament; there to bee ratified, as the Estates shall bee found fitting. AND, Because it hath beene pretended, That Oathes haue beene administrated different from that which is set downe126 in the Actes of Parliament, his Majesty is pleased to declare by mee, That no other Oath shall be required of anie Minister at his Entrie, than that which is set downe in the Act of Parliament. AND, That it may appeare howe carefull his Majestie is, that no Corruption, or Innovation, shall creepe into this Church, nether yet anie Scandall, Vyce, or Fault, of anie person whatsoever, censurable or punishable by the Assemblie, goe long vnpunished. HIS MAIESTIE is content to declare by mee; and assure all his good People, That Generall Assemblies shall bee kept so oft, and alse oft, as the Effayres of this Church shall requyre. AND, That none of his good Subjectes may haue cause of Grievances agaynst the Proceedinges of the Prelates, HIS MAIESTIE is contented, That all and everie one of the present Bishops, and their Successoures, shall bee aunawerable, and accordinglie from tyme to tyme, censurable, according to their merites, by the Generall Assemblie. AND, To giue all his Majestie’s good People full assurance, that hee never intended to admit anie Alteration, or Change, in the True Religion, professed within this Kingdome; AND, That they may bee truelie and fullie satisfied, of the Realitie of His Intentions, and integritie of the same, His Majestie hath beene pleased, to requyre and commaund all his good Subjectes, to subscrybe the Confession of Fayth, and Band for mayntenance there-of, and Of His Majestie’s Person, and Authoritie, formerlie signed by his deare Father, in Anno 1580; And nowe also requyreth all these of this present Assemblie, to subscrybe the same. AND, It is His Majesties will, That this bee insert and registrat in the Books of Assemblie, as a Testimoniall to Posteritie, not onelie of the sinceritie of his Intentions to the sayd True Religion, but also of His Resolution, to mayntayne and defend the same, and His Subjectes, in the Profession there-of. Which Declaration was by Our speciall Commaund and Direction given in, and subscrybed by Our Commissioner, vpon Protestation made by him, That his assenting to the registrating heere-of, should bee no Approbation of the lawfulnesse of this Assemblie, nor of anie of the Actes or Deedes done or to bee done therein. And finding them in lyke sort, nowayes to be satisfied therewith, and that nothing else was able to giue them content, except at their owne pleasure they were permitted to overthrowe all Episcopall Government in the Church, and thereby to abrogate Our publicke Lawes standing in vigour, by the space of manie yeares by-gone, and to alter the fundamentall Governament of this Kingdome, in taking away one of three Estates, contrarie expresse Actes of Parliament. And lest the continuance of their meetings, might haue produced other the lyke dangerous Actes so derogatorie to Royall Authoritie; Wee were forced for preveaning thereof, and for the causes and reasons aboue mentioned, and dyverse others importing true Monarchicall Governament, to dissolue and breake vp the sayde pretended Assemblie, and to discharge them of all farther meeting, treating, or concluding of anie thing therein: And yet in that calme and peaceable way, as our Commissioner before his removing desired their pretended Moderator for that tyme, to haue sayde Prayer, and so concluded that dayes Session; that so they might haue had tyme to thinke vpon the just reasons of his refusing, to assist or bee anie longer present at the sayde pretended Assemblie; and of the causes moving Us to the dissolving thereof. And notwithstanding his earnest vrging the same, and being willing to returne the next Morne to heare their Answere, in place of all other satisfaction to his so reasonable and moderate desires, was refused, and met with a Protestation, of an high and extraordinarie strayne: Thereby presuming to sute and call our Counsell in question, for their duetifull assistance, and obedience vnto Us, and Our Commissioner. And finding their disobedience thus to increasse, Wee were constrayed to discharge them anewe agayne the next day thereafter, by publicke Proclamation, vnder the Payne of Treason. And albeit that their continuance is such, as hath not beene heard in former tymes yet they shall never moue Us, to alter the least poynt or Article of what Wee haue alredie declared by Proclamation, or Declaration vnder Our Commissioner’s hand: All which was publicklie read, and by our Commissioner requyred to bee insert and registrated in the Bookes of Assemblie, therein to remayne as a Testimonie to Posteritie; not onlie of the sinceritie of Our Intentions to the true Religion; but also of Our Resolution, to mayntayne and defende the same, and Our Subjectes, in the Profession thereof. AND perceaving lykewyse, That in contempt of OUR PROCLAMATION at GLASGOW, the xxix of November last, they goe still on, to conveane, meete, and to make illegall and vnwarrandable Actes, WEE haue conceaved it fitting, to forewarne all Our good Subjectes, of the Daunger that they may incurre, by beeing insnared by these their vnlawfull Procedures: And, to this purpose, doe not onelie liberate and free them, from all obedience to anie of the pretended Actes made, or to bee made, at the sayde pretended Assemblie, or Committees direct therefrae: but also doe free them from all Payne and Censure which the sayde pretended Assemblie shall inflict vpon them, or anie of them: AND, THEREFORE, Doe discharge, and prohibite, all Our Subjectes, That they, nor none of them, acknowledge, or gieue obedience, to anie pretended Actes, or Constitutions, made, or to bee made, at the sayd pretended Meetinges, vnder all highest Paynes. AND, WEE commaund, charge, and inhibite, all Presbyteries, Sessions of Churches, and Ministers, within this Realme, That none of them presume, nor take vpon hand, privatelie, nor publicklie, in their Sessions and Meetings, nor in their Conferences, Sermones, nor none other manner of waye, to authorize, approue, justifie, or allowe, the sayde vnlawfull Meeting, or Assemblie, at GLASGOW, nor yet to make anie Act thereupon, nor to doe any other thing, private, or publicke, which may seeme to countenance the sayde vnlawfull Assemblie, vnder the Payne, to bee holden, reputed, and esteemed, and persued, as guiltie of that vnlawfull Meeting, and to bee punished for the same, with all Rigour. AND SUCH-LYKE, WEE commaund all and sundrie Noble-men, Barrons, Gentle-men, and Magistrates, and all others, Our Liedges, who shall happen to bee present, and heare anie Ministers, eyther in publicke or private Conferences and Speeches, or in their Sermones, to approue, and allowe, the sayde vnlawfull Assemblie, to rayle, or vtter anie speaches agaynst Our Royall Commandementes, or Proceedinges of Us, or our Counsell, for punishing or suppressing such enormities; That they make relation, and report thereof, vnto Our Counsell, and furnish probation; to the effect the same may bee accordinglie punished; as they will aunswere to US thereupon: Certifying them, who shall heare, and conceale the sayde speaches, that they shall bee esteemed as Allowers of the same, and shall accordinglie bee taken order with, and punished therefore, without favour. AND, To this effect, WEE lykewyse straytlie charge, and commaund, all Iudges127 whatsoever within this Realme, Clerks, and Wryters, not to graunt or passe anie Bill, Summonds, or Letters, or anie other Execution whatsoever, vpon anie Act or Deed proceeding from the sayde pretended Assemblie; AND all Keepers of the SIGNET, from signetting thereof, & that vnder all highest Paynes. AND, Because Wee gaue Order and Commaund, to Our Commissioner, to make open Proclamation, not onlie of Our Sense, but even of the true meaning of the Confession of Fayth in Anno 1580; by which it may clearlie appeare, That as Wee never intended thereby to exclude EPISCOPACIE; So by no right construction can it bee other wayes interpreted; as is more than evident by the Reasons contayned in the sayde Declaration, and manie moe, which for brevitie (the thing in it selfe beeing so cleare) are omitted. HEREFORE, WEE doe not onelie prohibite, and discharge, all Our Subjectes, from subscrybing anie band, or giving anie Writ, Subscription, or Oath, to or vpon anie Act or Deed, that proceedeth from the sayde pretended Assemblie: but also doe requyre them, Not to subscrybe nor sweare the sayd Confession, in no other sense, than which is contayned in the sayd Declaration, manifested and emitted by Our Commissioner, vnder all highest Paynes. AND, That none of Our good Subjectes, who in their duetie and bound obedience to US, shall refuse to acknowledge the sayd pretended Assemblie, or anie of the pretended Actes, Constitutions, Warrandes, or Directions, proceeding therefrae, may haue just ground of feare of danger or harme by doing hereof, WEE doe by These promise, AND, UPON THE WORD OF A KING, Obliedge Our Selues, By all the Roall Authoritie and Power wherewith GOD hath endewed US, To protect and defend them, and everie one of them, in their Persons, Fortunes, and Goods, agaynst all and whatsoever person or persons, who shall dare or presume, to call in question, trouble, or anie wayes molest them, or anie of them, therefore. AND, OUR WILL IS, And WEE commaund, and charge, That incontinent, these Our Letters seene, yee passe, and make publication heereof, by open Proclamation, at the Mercat Crosse of EDINBVRGH, and others places needfull; Where-through none pretend ignorance of the same. Given from Our Court at WHYTE-HALL, the viij day of December, and of Our Reygne the fourteenth yeare, 1638.

1638.—December 20.
107. A Letter from the Generall Assembly at Glasgow to the Marques of Hamilton.135

Most Noble Lord,

Having beene witnesses of the loyall and regall proceedings at the last assembly at Glasgow, qʳ we know a humble supplication was appointed to be sent to his graceous Ma., in thankfull acknowledgement of the benefites qᶜʰ, by the indiction of that Generall Assembly, from his Ma. pietie and justice, doth redound to all his subjects, and for humble supplicating his Ma. to continow in his gracious resolution to performe his royall promise, in holding the Parliament indicted, from his owne bountie and goodnes, for ratifieing the acts and constitutions of that Assembly; as the same hath comfortablie refresched his Ma. loyall subjects, so will they be able to justifie themselves to any impartiall reader. Therefore we are bold to intreat your Lo. that, by your favour, our petition may have accesse to his Ma. royall hands, and unfolding your Lo. judgement, impartiallie to receave the simple trueth, his Ma. may have better seasoned informations of his loyall and faithfull subjects’ proceedings, then can be expected from the enemies of this Church and State, among quhom we shall be verie sorie to reckon your Lo., tho’ we have too good reason to suspect your Lo. carriage here, in opposing the most reasonable motions, and justest actions, qᶜʰ did proceed from ws, quhensoever your Lo. perceaved any of our just demands in the least measure to be any waves dissonant from his Ma. pleasure. But quhen we remember your Lo. best arguments ever to have beene more for satisfieing of his Ma. desires, (oft tymes proceeding from the Sinistrous information and Calumnies of our enemies, for their owne ends,) then any other ground or reason quhilk we could find, we are confident, as your Lordship loves both his Majesties honour, persone, and authoritie, that yow give reall proofe of it at this tyme, both by your Lordships meanes, who hes taken so great and insatiable paines in this bussinesse, his Ma. may know the trueth of our proceedings, that neither of these may run hazard in our sufferings. We acknowledge it not to be the leist of our evills, indeed, that our graceous Soveraigne lives at such distance; for, be the fountaine never so pure, the streames may, and oft tymes are, corrupted, before they can run so farr, if the channell be not verie cleane, qwhich, to our great greefe and prejudice, hes beene wanting to our actions this long tyme; and if it be not supplied tymouslie by your Lo., both out of your duetie to our King and Countrie, we may, by interposition of our adversaries malice and power, as ecclipsed from the beames of128 his Ma. favour, be the first sufferers. But his Ma. cannot but find his owne losse, by sympathising with his loyall subjects in the so much threatned ruine of this his native and antient Kingdome; and we will never beleive that such thought can possesse the heart of so gracious a King, But are confident, when the trueth of all out actions shall, without any by respect, (as we take God to witnesse, we had no other end but for his divine glory, and the honour of our King,) be made knowne, and pondered in the ballance of his Ma. righteous judgement, our fidelitie and loyaltie shall appeare; and his Ma. gracious dealing, in adding the Sanction of his royall auctoritie and Civill law, by Parliament, for corroborating the religious constitutions of that late and most lawfull nationall Assembly of this Kirk, will be a most evident demonstration of his Majesties pietie and justice to the discoverie of his secrete enemies, the comfort of all his loyall subjects, and his Majesties never dieing glorie; for all quhich ends, and for expressing our duetie and obedient respect to his Majestie, we could excogitat nothing more conduceable then, by that humble supplication, heartilie to acknowledge our thankfulnes for the effects of his foregone favour and bountie, and humblie to crave that his Majestie may, for establishment of religion, joyne the authoritie of Civill law, as the strongest bond of our obedience; and we hope that your Lordships affection to religion, your countrie, and your respect to his Majesties honour, and the equitie of our desires in a bussines deserving the greatest, and beseeming the best affected, instruments, will be sufficient motives to make your Lordship contribute your best endeavours for settling such a solide peace in this Kirke and Kingdome, as may preserve that love and heartie obedience dew to his Majestie; qᶜʰ is and shall be the sincear and earnest desire of

Your Lordships humble Servants.

Report of Proceedings

Having, in the foregoing pages, given an account of the occurrences which preceded this memorable Assembly, and reprinted front the authentic edition, the principal Acts which it passed; and, having superadded thereto, an abstract of various proceedings not embraced in any copies of those Acts hitherto published, as well as an ample collection of historical documents therewith connected, we shall further add to these particulars, a detailed Report of the whole of the discussions that took place from the first meeting on 21st November to the dissolution of it on 20th December 1638.

For the valuable MS. whence this Report is taken, we are indebted to the politeness and liberality of Mr J. Smith, youngest, of Glasgow. It forms a portion of a volume of MS.S. belonging to Stirling’s Library in that city, which also contains a similar report of the proceedings in the subsequent Assembly of 1639, and various other curious documents relative to that period of the Church’s history. The hand-writing may be referred to the period of the Assembly, or the middle of the seventeenth century; and from several markings on the volume, in the handwriting of Wodrow, which is well known, it appears to have at one time formed a part of his valuable collection of historical and ecclesiastical records. The volume may be referred to as “The Folio Manuscript.” Of its subsequent history we have no information; but from all its characteristics we consider ourselves warranted to assume that it possesses a high degree of authenticity. The volume referred to is marked “Stirling’s Public Library, c. i. 11,” and in the index prefixed there are the following items:—

Imprimis—a Collection of Petitions, Remonstrances, Narrationes, Speeches, and other peapers, published in the beginning of our troubles in 1636, out of which may be gathered a perfect historie, yʳ of—from folio 1 to 94.”

Item—the Sessions, Actings, and Canons of the 2 Genˡˡ Assemblies holden att Glasgow & Edinburgh, the one in 1638, yᵉ oyʳ in 1639, containing att great length everie thinge that past, ather spoken or done yʳ in: This takes up till folio 312.”

It is from the record thus described that the following report is extracted.

Before the MS. which we have adopted had come into our hands, Mr David Laing, librarian of the Writers to the Signet, had kindly communicated another and similar report, but wanting several leaves both at the beginning and end; and we were in hopes ere now to have had also in our possession a third MS. belonging to Mr Simpson, schoolmaster of Corstorphine, from which Dr Aiton states he took his account of the Assembly 1638, that is given in his Life of Henderson. Circumstances, however, have occurred to prevent this; but we are enabled, on the authority of Professor Fleming, of Glasgow College, who has collated these MS.S., to say that it coincides entirely with the Stirling’s Library Copy. Mr Laing’s copy seems to have at one time belonged to Dr Boog of Paisley: Mr Simpson’s was found in the repositories of a deceased brother, who was a preacher of the Secession communion; but we have not been able to learn any further particulars than those now mentioned, with respect to the several MS.S. referred to. The one which we subjoin, however, and the other documents that we have collected, will, we trust, render the present, on the whole, the most complete account of the Glasgow Assembly which has ever yet been published.

In addition to the documents contained in the “Large Declaration,” “Burnet’s Memoires of the House of Hamilton,” and “Balfour’s Annales,” we have to acknowledge the accession which we have obtained of some of the earlier edicts of Charles I. and the Scotch Privy Council, derived from the original record—an obligation which we owe to Mr A. M‘Donald of the Register House, and which we prize the more, because these documents have been suppressed in the various works to which we refer. To the Rev. Mr M‘Crie, too, we are indebted for the use of a Collection of Documents which129 belonged to his distinguished father, from whence we have gleaned several important writs, the authenticity of which is established by the duplicates attested under the hand of Archibald Johnston, the Clerk of the Assembly 1638, still in the repositories of the Church.

[November 21, 1638.]

The first day, the Commissioners from the King and Kirke being conveined, after prayer be Mr John Bell, Moderatour, agried upon till a moderatour was chosen, The King’s Commission to the Marqueis was [read], next the Commissions from 66 severall presbitries wer given into the Clerkes sone of the former Assembly, together with the Commissions from townes and colledges, and the names of the Commissioners red.

Sess. 1.136

After in calling vpon the name of God, The Kings Commissioner requyred that the Commissions might be examined before a Moderatour should be chosen, least some men should voit in chooseing a Moderatour, who wer not instructed with a sufficient Commission.

It was answered be the Earle of Rothes, Lord Loudoun, Mr Alexʳ Henrysone, Mr David Dick, and Mr Wᵐ Livingstoun, that a Moderatour behoved first to be chosen, before the Commissions could be examined, for thir reasons:—A Ecclesiasticall Moderatour should be chosen by the suffrage of such as have given in their Commissions for the Kirke and Burghes before particulars can be tryed—first, becaus this is the order and practise of the Kirke of Scotland. 2 reason, It is agrieable to reason, that the Assembly should descend by degries to the constitution from a promiscuous convention, to a number instructed with commissions from the severall Kirkes of the kingdome, vnto whose commission that much respect is due, that they may be presumed to be, for the most pairt, valide and worthie, at the least [to] have a voice in choyseing of a Moderator to themselves, by whose meanes everie commission may be more exactlie tryed. 3 reason, It is one of the poynts of the freedome of the Assembly, that the Commissioners from the Kirkes and burghes choyse their owne Moderatour, incontinent after the exhibition of the Commission, least any thing which concernes them be done inordourly or without the consent in the meeting where they are present. 4 reason, The Tryell of the Commissions is one of the worthiest matters of the Assembly, and never were there any discussion of the validitie of them before a Moderatour was chosen, and the judicatorie brought to a frame, so farre as the whole might judge of everie pairt; nor can they be discussed till the propper judicatorie be ance sett in a tollerable maner, which be the lawes hes authoritie to judge thereof. 5 reason, It was required in all the supplications for a free Assembly, that the questions belonging the maner and matter of Assemblies, should be referred to the Assembly it selfe; and, now a free Assembly is granted and indicted, therefore a formall Assembly must ance be made before any ecclesiastick question belonging to the Assembly can be rightlie discussed, which cannot be done till a Moderatour be chosen by common consent of the Kirke conveened. 6 reason, Seeing it is certaine, that these who are come doe represent the Kirkes from which they are come, and are instructed so well as they could be their knowledge, it were wrong done to the Kirkes conveened, not to suffer them to begin their owne incorporation, and to draw their oune Members to some ordourlie frame that at the first entrie they may proceed ordourlie. 7 Reason, Whatsomever reason can be alleadgit why the Commissions cannot be postponed to the chooseing of the Moderatour, will be more valide to prove that they cannot be discussed before the chooseing of a Moderatour. 8 Reason, Progressus erit in infinitum.

My Lord Comʳ his Grace gave way to the chooseing of a Moderatour, provyding it shall no wayes import his Graces acknowledgement of the votters, or such as shall be meit, or any of them, to be lawfull Members of this Assembly. But it shall be lawfull to his Grace, or any other at convenient tyme, to say they cannot be lawfull Members thereof; whereupon his Grace took acts and Instruments, as likewayes protested in name of the Archbishops and Bishops of this Kingdome, that no nomination or election of a Moderatour, Commissioner, or other Member of the said Assembly, made or to be made, nor the receaving, admitting, or allowing of any pretendit nomination, election, or Commission, before, to, or at the said Assembly, past or to be past in favours of or in the behalfe of any Member thereof, shall prejudge them or any of them in their place, voit, office, jurisdiction, dignitie, or priviliedge belonging to them or any of them, be whatsomever laufull right or custome, but that the same shall remaine to them, and everie ane of them, safe and inviolable, notwithstanding of anything done or to be done at the said Assembly; whairupon the said Commissioner his Grace tooke acts and Instruments. Farther craved ane other paper presented be Doctor Hamilton, in name of the Bishops, to be read publictlie, quhilk being refuised, the said Commissioners Grace protested, tooke acts and Instruments: farder, the said Commissioners Grace declaired that his Majestie had appoynted six noblemen, his Assessours, to repair to Glasgow, and to have voit in the said Assembly; and for that effect his Majesties Letters, directed to them, was produced; and accordinglie his Grace desired that, before any voting of the Moderatour, it should be condiscended that the foresaid Assessours should have voit, conforme to his Majesties Letters, which being refuised, his Grace protested and tooke acts and Instruments.

Farder protested that the Bishops, who were authorized be act of Parliament, are called pretendit Bishops.

The Protestation of the Commissioners fra Presbitries, Burghes, and Universities, and of the Complaints against Prelats.

We Commissioners of Presbitries, Ministers, and Elders, Commissioners of Burghes, and Universities, in our owne name, and in the name of the whole Church of Scotland, whom we represent, That whereas his Majesties Commissioner protested that he gave way to the chooseing of ane Moderatour, without acknowledging of the voits of any of them to be lawfull members of this Assembly; but that it be lawfull to him or any other to say, at convenient tyme, why they cannot be lawfull members;

We protest that this protestation made be my130 Lord Commissioner his Grace, be no wayes prejudiciall to the lawfull commissions produced be Ministers, Elders, and Commissioners of burghes and vniversities, qˡᵏ shall be allowed unto this Assembly, nor unto the freedome thereof, nor be any ground of quarrelling this Assembly and the proceedings thereof, in any time comeing; but, on the contrare, seeing we offer to heare all objections in a competent Assembly, at the discussing of the particular commissions.

We protest that this Assembly, now fenced in the name of the Sone of God, be esteemed and reputed a free Generall Assembly in all tyme comeing, and that it shall be lawfull to us to extend this our protestation, and insert the reasons thereof, in any tyme before the dissolving of this Assembly; whereupon we tooke instruments.

Lykeas we Commissioners of Presbitries, Burghes, and Universities in manner foresaid, That qʳas his Majesties Commissioner, in name of the Archbishops and bishops of this Kingdome, protested that no nominatione or election of Moderatour, no allowance of any pretendit commission in favours of any Members of this Assembly, nothing done or to be done in this Assembly, past or to be past, shall prejudge them in their voit, office, jurisdictione or dignitie belonging to them, be whatsomever law or custome: We Protest against this protestation of his Majesties Commissioner made in favours of the pretendit bishops and their pretendit priviledges in this kingdome, untill they and yʳ rights and priviledges now complained upon be the most pairt of this Kingdome in yʳ summonds, as usurpations, contrare to the word of God, Confession of faith, doctrine and discipline of this Kirke, to be tryed and allowed or disallowed in this Assembly, and that the determination yʳof therein, according to the word of God and Confession of faith, be esteemed and observed, and most just and lawfull; and we protest in favours of the liberties, priviledges, and discipline of this reformed church, and freedome of this Assembly in all ecclesiasticall matters, conforme to the Confession of faith and Covenant of this Kingdome, renued with the Lord, and for libertie to extend this protestation, and the reasons thereof, before the dissolving of the Assembly; qʳupon we tooke Instruments.

Lykeas We Noblemen, barrones, Ministers, burgesses, and Commouns, subscribers of the Covenant and persuers in the Commoun Complaints and Summonds against bishops, Protest that the Commissioner his Graces nomination of them, the Lords of the Clergie, and protestation in favours of yʳ calling, voits, dignitie, priviledges, be no wayes prejudiciall to the Covenant subscryved be us, to the policie of the Kirke, nor to our Summonds and Complaints against these our pretendit dignities, titles, and callinges, as contrare to the Confession of faith and word of God, nor to the freedome of this Assembly in their trying and discussing of our said Complaints; and we protest for libertie to extend this protestation; qʳupon we take acts and Instruments.

Lykeas, We Commissioners for Presbitries, burghes, and Universities, That qʳas his Majesties Commissioner having craved ane paper, presented be Doctor Hamilton in name of the Bishops, to be red publictlie, being refuised, did protest and take Instruments, We protest that before ane Assembly was constitut, and the Moderatour chosen, we would heare no supplications, billes, nor protestationes, but after the constitutione of the Assembly we should heare the same and give them an answer, and protested that they might be there personallie present for to answer to the Summonds and Complaints against them, with libertie to adde yʳupon and tooke Instruments.

Lykeas, quhensoever his Majesties Commissioner protested against our protestations, both the Commissioners from burghes and universities on the ane pairt, and the persewars and the Complainers on this, have renued their protestation against the Commissioners protestations: We Commissioners from Presbitries, Burghes, and Universities, That quhereas his Majesties Commissioner produced his Majesties Letter to Six Noblemen for to be his Assessours, and accordinglie desired that the foresaid assessours should have voit according to his Majesties Letter, and protested upon the present refusall of it before the election of a Moderatour, we protested, that seeing his Grace was his Majesties sole Comʳ, that none should have voit but the Commissioners from Presbitries, Burghes, and Universities, for thir reasons, qˡᵏˢ we are readie to shaw, for thir reasons to the Assembly being constitut after the election of a Moderatour, and protested for libertie to extend their owne protestation, and insert the reasons thereof any tyme before the dissolution of this Assembly: qʳupon we tooke Instruments, and yʳafter gave in the reasons following.

Concerning the voiting of his Majesties Assessours in the Generall Assembly.

With that respect which we ought to his Majesties Commission, and to the persons and places of the pryme Noblemen and Counsellours, his Grace his Assessours, for the preservation of the libertie of the Kirke of Jesus Christ, in this his Majesties Kingdome of Scotland, we the Commissioners from particular Presbitries, Universities, and burghes, here solemnlie assembled, in all humilitie, doe remonstrat that his Majesties Commissioner and Assessours can have but ane voit, in all matters treated and reasoned in the Assembly, for the reasons following:

1. Becaus the Generall Assemblies, in the matter of it, is ane ecclesiasticall meeting of persons ecclesiasticall, Ministers and Elders, representing the whole particular persons and presbitries quhilk collectivelie cannot convenientlie or possiblie conveine, and the Christian Magistrat doth not so much multiply voits for himselfe, as by his power, auctoritie, and command, and provyde that every particular Commissioners voit be asked and heard in order and quyetnes, that thereby the judgement of the Assembly, in everie poynt presented to their consideration, may be knowne.

2. We have had 39 Assemblies of this Kirke, without the presence of the Kings Majestie or any Commissioner sitting in the Assembly in his Majesties place.

3. It is not to be supposed that his Majesties Comʳ should have moe voits in his Ma. personall absence, then if he were in sacred persone present, since, jure representationis, they are all but ane, and ought to voit as ane.

4. This might prove contrare to his Ma. graceous intention, very prejudiciall to the libertie of the Kirke, there being no determination of the number of voits, for thus his M. affirmative voice might be turned in a negative; neither doth this Kirke want experience of this great danger.

5. As assessours sent from particular presbitries for assisting, thir Commissioners have no place to voit, so it is to be supposed that these assessours, appointed to attend his Majesties Comʳ, are only to give their advice and assistance unto his Grace in the great affaires of the Assembly, that all matters may be orderlie and peaceablie disposed.131 6. Although we doe not pry narrowlie into his Majesties Commission, yet since we perceave it is granted to the Marqueis of Hamiltoun as his Majesties sole Commissioner, we cannot admitt that any be equall to his Grace in voiting in the Assembly.

7. As the Ecclesiasticall Moderatour, be the Acts and practise of this Kirke, hath some Members of the Assembly joyned to him to be assessours, who yet thereby have no further power granted to them than they had before be their Commission, so it is with preses politicus.

And whereas, his Majesties Commissioner protested that the bishops who were authorised be Acts of Parliament were called pretendit bishops, the complainers against bishops protested that such they were and such they should be esteemed and called, conforme to the summonds; and the Commissioners from presbitries, burghes, and universities, protested, that they should be so called till the complaints against them for the samen should be discussed, with libertie to adde; whereupon they tooke instruments.

The Moderatour for the tyme having declaired that the constitution of a Moderatour must be the first act, and goe before the act of examination of the Commissions, he puts upon the leitts Mr John Ker, Mr John Row, Mr James Bonar, Mr Wᵐ Livingston, and Mr Alexʳ Hendersone: the leitts being approven, and Mr Alexander Hendersone was chosen Moderatour be the voits of all the voits, not ane contrare except his oune.

Sess. 2.
[November 22.]

After in calling upon the name of God,

The Moderatour craved that a list might be given for chuseing of a Clerk.

The Comʳ asked why a clerk should be elected, seeing there was a clerk there present, and what could be said against him why he should not execut the office in his fathers lifetyme?

The Moderatour answered—Please your Grace, the clerks sone could not be called the clerk.

The Commissioner required that the young man might have libertie to speake for himselfe, who, being permitted to speak, alledgit that his father was provydit to the office by the dimission of Mr Thomas Nicolsone, and hath served in the office after his dimission, and hath keeped the Registers, and hath given out extracts of the Acts and conclusions of the Assembly; and now being infirme and sicke, and not able to serve at the tyme, has surrogat me his sone in his place.

The Moderatour answered—Albeit Mr Thomas Nicolsone had the office and had demitted to his father, yet was not his Father elected by the Assembly; albeit, he had now possessed the office by the space of 20 yeares, yet I see not how the office can goe by deputation.

The young man answered—That beside the office of Mr Thomas Nicolsone, his father had the office by election in anno 1616.

The Moderatour answered—That he was not chosen by the voits of a free Assembly; and whether it was so or not, it matters not now, seeing he was become old, infirm, and sicke, and so unable to attend frequent Assemblies, which now we expect be the mercie of God, and with his Majesties favour and allowance; yet if there be any question in the matter, I shall ask the voits of the brether; but in my judgement, Edinburgh being the centure of the Kingdome, quhereunto all subjects have greatest resort, it is expedient, yea necessar and good, that the clerk should reside att Edinburgh. I grant the Clerk received no detriment be his fathers function, becaus his employment was but small.

The Earle of Rothes answered—Albeit his father had undoubted right to the office, yet the office is not transmissible: whereupon the young man remitted his interest in the office to the consideration of the Assembly.

The Commissioner answered—By what power the young man could demitt his ffathers right?

The young man answered—That he did not demitt his Fathers office, but onlie submitted his interest in it to the Assembly.

The Commissioner said—That he did not call in question the power of the Assembly concerning the election of a Clerk, but he desired to know how Mr Thomas Nicolsone having demitted his right in favours of the young man his father, and how his Father having enjoyed the office to this day, how ane other clerk should be elected, he being yet alive?

My Lord Lowdoun answered—That his father being absent, old, and sicke, could not now supplie the place, and yʳ the Assembly, now conveened, behooved to see to it, and surrogat ane other in his place—a man of skill and judgement—seeing he was civiliter mortuus—unable to come hither; yet I speake not this to prejudge his sones benefice, for the Assembly may consider of it; but if he hes a power from his father, he may submitt that to the judgement of the Assembly, and the Assembly may choose ane other without doing wrong to the young man.

The Commissioner answered—If, by reason of Gods hand on the man, they would yet macke [him] further to be a sufferer and a loaser, seeing he hath done the pairt of ane honest man, and his gift of office here doeth bear deputation, why will ye not suffer him to depute his sone in his place as others have done before? For albeit he be old, infirme, and sicke, that may not take away his place, if sicknes be on him by Gods hand, and againe throw time he shall be frustrat of the meanes to mentaine his life in his old age.

Lord Lowdoun answered—It is charitablie and justlie pleaded, and I think he should not be prejudgit the meanes of his life in his old age; but seeing there are here two prejudices in hand—ane to the Generall Assembly and other personall to the man—the lateis prejudice must yield to the former, and the Assembly must be served, and the man in his age and sicknesse supplied ane other way. As for deputation ane other in his place, we know he hes no power of it.

My Lord Rothes said—That the strenth of his fathers right to the office was not from Mr Thomas Nicolsones admission, but of that which the Assembly gave unto him; and what right the young man craved by deputation, he hath now put it in the hands of the Assembly.

The Moderatour asked—If the clerks place was not vacant for the tyme, and if it be not vacant, how shall the Assembly be provydit for a clerk for the tyme?

My Lord Rothes said—The Assembly calls for a clerk, and his father compeirs not; how is it furnished?

My Lord Lowdoun answered—Let the young man who craves the right adhere to it, and let it be decydit by the Assembly, or els submitted to the Assembly, or els choose your oune Clerk.

Whereupon the young man submitted himselfe to the Assembly.

The Moderatour craved that a lite might be given in for chooseing of a Clerk, and so a lite of four was132 given in: Mr Thomas Sandilands, sone to the clerk, Alexʳ Blair, John Nicoll, and Mr Archibald Johnstone; and it was requyred that these men that shall be elected shall be obliged to reside at Edinʳ.

The Moderatour asked the Comʳ which of these four his Grace would voit into?

The Comʳ answered—That he knew not any of them, neither would he voit to any of them, becaus he had not as yet seene a lawfull dimission of the present Clerk.

The Moderatour replyed—Then your Grace will be a non liquet.

The Comʳ answered—I desire that the voits of the Assessours nominat by his Majestie might be asked in a nomination of a Clerk.

The Moderatour said—Seeing your Graces assessours get no voit in chooseing a Moderatour, being a superiour office, it was not fitt to trouble them with asking their voit anent the election of a Clerk, being an inferiour office.

The Comʳ craved that the protestation made yesterday might be read over againe the day, anent the Kings power in appointing of assessours; which protestation being red,

The Comʳ craved that my Lord Argyle, Traquair, Southesk, Lauderdaill, might voit according to his Majesties command, given in severall letters; which Letters being sein and red,

Traquair craved that these assessours appoynted be his Majestie might have voit, as the custome was in King James, of worthie memorie, his tyme; and declaired, according to his Majesties command, he was readie to assist and give his voit.

The Moderatour answered—That it was not want of due respect to their Lordships that moved them to refuise your Lordships voits in this, but onlie to mentaine the Kings libertie—quherfor your Lordship had als goed reason to be als zealous as any in the house.

Traquair replyed—The imployment of this particular was of such small moment, that except it were in obedience to his Majesties command, he would never clame it. As to the Kirks liberties, that they should be preserved; yet why should any in the Kirk debarr the Kings Majestie from that libertie which to this day he never wanted in any Assembly? If the Kings Majestie be standing in a particular possession of assessours to treat, reason, and voit, who should his Majestie be dispossessed now?

The Moderatour answered—That they should either condiscend to that his Lordship craved, or else satisffie him in reason; and said, he would not deny but his Majestie had, in sundrie late Assemblies, moe asseasours then his one Commissioner, and yet there were also many Assemblies that neither King, Commissioner, nor assessours were present: which late Assemblies he wished this present Assembly had no reason to put them to the tryall.

Traquair asked—If, becaus the King is not present now, as he was not present in ane other Assembly, if they would exclude him and these nominat be him to voit in this Assembly?

Moderatour answered—There was no intention to exclude his Majestie, but rather wished his Majestie were present to be ane eye witnesse to all thir proceedings, and that he hoped for great favour from his Majestie if he were present, and that full satisfaction should be given to his Majestie, by Gods grace, to everie thing.

Sir Lues Stewart said—Seeing it hath beene in use that his Majestie hath appoynted assessours, Commissioners, and all perteining to the Generall Assembly, why not now also?

Lowdoun answered—There were sufficient reasons why it should not be so, and these reasons were put in the hand of the Moderatour to be red.

Thir reasons being red, why the King only should have ane voit,

Traquair said—Not out of any affection of imployment, but of love to the obedience of so gracious a prince, doe I take upon me to answer these reasons; neither yet am I of such sharpness, capacitie, and quickness of witt, to make answer to everie ane of these particular reasons; yet seeing we are tryed to make answer, we crave ane copie thereof that we may give our answer thereto, and desires that this matter of election of a Clerk may not be put to voiting till our reasons be heard.

The Moderatour said—It is good reason to be so, and all of us hes alse good reason to be zealous of the Kings honour, authoritie, and priviledge, as any, yet his Lordship had alse good reason to see to the Kirkes weill and libertie—the Mother of us all; and when we perceave that the Kings Majestie, or any in his name, would urge that which may encroach upon the liberties of the Kirke, they would labour to satisfie them in reason.

Traquair said—If I knew any thing would conduce more to the preservation and priviledge of the Kirkes liberties, then that his Majesties wonted authoritie should continue in the former vigour, I would condiscend unto it.

The Commissioner said—I render my protestation, made in name of my assessours appoynted be his Majestie.

My Lord Rothes said—And we also adhere to the protestation made be us.

Traquair craved that his assessours might eik to his Graces protestation, which was granted.

Then the Voits of the whole Assembly wer craved anent the election of a Clerk ad vitam, and Mr Archbald Johnston was chosen and admitted unto all the rights, fies, and priviledges, perteining to ane Clerk of before, to be extractit at large; who, after the acknowledgement of the weightiness of the charge, and his insufficiencie for it, embraced it as having a calling from God, and the honourable Assembly.

The Moderatour desired to be informed if any more was requisite for his admission but a solemne oath of his fidelitie and diligence?

Mr John Row answered—Nothing further, but that he should bring foorth, keepe, and preserve the Registers of the Church; at least so many as shall come in his hands, seeing pitifull experience could show how these Registers had been marred in former tymes.

Then Mr Archbald gave ane solemne oath of his fidelitie and diligence, and conscious keeping, and use making of all Registers and documents, was taken of his acceptance and admission.

The Moderatour said—The Bookes and Acts of all former Assemblies should be produced, and put in Mr Archbalds hands.

Mr Thomas Sandilands answered—That he had receaved no Registers from his father, but only two books, conteining some acts from the yeare 1590, till the Assemblie at Aberdein, holden 1616. which therein is only begunne with the Minuts of the Acts of the said Assembly of Aberdein, in a paper-apairt with the Minuts of St Androwes following 1617, with the acts of the Assembly at Perth, subscribed be Mr James Sandilands, and delivered the samen to the Assembly: And, being posed for the rest of the registers, answered, in his fathers name, that he had gotten these two from the Bishop of St Androwes, and had never receaved any moe, neither from him, nor from the Assembly, nor from any uther.


The Moderatour craved that all the Registers might be had and brought foorth from the hand of any Clerk or haver of them, affirming that these bookes had in them matters of greater weight then all uther evidents of land; for they wer the Kirke of Scotlands Magna Carta, contayning all her priviledges since the reformation. He wished also that this Assembly should not be deprived of so powerfull a meane of information for proceeding in matters to be handled there.

The former Clerks sone affirmed that he had destroyed none of these bookes.

The Moderatour urged the production of these bookes, and desired the Commissoner to take course for it.

The Commissioner answered—That he was willing to use any good meane that could be used for production of these bookes, if any could show in whose hands they were; for (said he) I desire not that any register should be absent, but, above all, the Kirkes Registers.

My Lord Rothes said—That, by a warrant from King James, the bookes wer taken from Mr Thomas Nicolsone and the last Clerk, and put in the hands of the pretendit bishop of St Androwes, and so of neid, force and course must be taken for getting of these bookes from the Bishop.

Mr Archbald Johnston said—That, by Gods providence, als many bookes were come in his hands, as should be able to make up a perfite register of the whole affaires of the Kirke, from the Reformation until this day, which Bookes he produced on the table, and declared by whom and what meanes they wer come to his hands—To witt, Mr Robert Winrahame, Depute-clerk under Mr Thomas Nicolsone, and from him to Alexʳ Blair; of quhich bookes there are fyve volumes in folio. But Mr Patrick Adamsone, Bishop of St Androwes, rent ane of them, and yet there are four to the foir of them, written be Mr James Richie and Mr Thomas Nicolsone, qʳof the first two containes the acts of Assembly from the year 1560 to 1572, subscribed by John Gray, Clerk to the Assembly; and the third volume, fra 1586, till 1590, written and subscrived in the margine be Mr James Richie, Clerk to the said Assembly—the first Booke being ane great volume of the Acts of the Assembly, fra the year 1560 to 1590, (whereof he had but ane len from ane minister,) whereof, the first four volumes the said Mr Archbald declared he had receaved them from Alexʳ Blair, wreater, who was servant, and succedit in the place of modifications of Stipends to Mr Robert Winrahame, who had a deputation from Mr Thomas Nicolsone, Clerk to the Generall Assembly.

The Moderatour said—These are good and comfortable newis unto the Church of Scotland—that a perfect Register of the Acts of the Assemblies are yet to the foir, and that it was neidfull that course be taken for tryell of these bookes, whether they be these same bookes written be the Clerks, or be their deputs, or Copies only of these bookes.

It was answered be the Clerk, That they are the same, written and subscryved be the Clerkis oune hand, and the leaves riven out of ane of them be the bishop from the 22 to the 27 leafe, may yet be knewen be the marked number of the leafes. The first Clerk, Mr John Gray, who subscribed everie Assembly with his hand. The next is also subscribed; and ane Memorandum on the first leaf of it, where Mr Archbald Huntar past to the Chancelour Maitland and receavet that Volume, and this uther, and the halfe of that which was rent by Bishop Adamsone, is marked in the next booke. The third booke, and the first act of it, is the election of Mr James Richie, Clerk; which booke is all of ane hand write. The ane booke is from the 60 to the 70 year; the next from the 79 wherein the bishop of St Androwes is censured and excommunicat; and now, in God’s Providence, there is now in the present Clerks hands a perfyte Register from the 70 year to this last Assembly, for which all of us have reason to praise God.

The Commissioner said—See that we build on ane suir foundation, and try weill that these bookes be authenticks.

The Moderatour craved that some judicious men, and skilled in dignoscing hand writtes, might be nominat for tryell of these bookes; and intreated the Earles Lawderdaill, Southesk, and Argyle to take inspection of the Bookes.

Argyle objected his youth and unskilfulness for so weightie a charge, yet, at command of the Commissioner, declaired his willingnes to assist the work.

The Comʳ said, that if his aune paines could contribute any thing to the furtherance of the worke, he would be readie to sit up day and night, but would not lay the burthen on his assessours; for, he said, seeing it is refuised that they should be Members of the Assembly, he said he saw not how they could be appoynted for trying of these Registers.

The Moderatour answered—We are hopefull that their Lordships will not refuse to further the good of this Assembly, seeing it is said heir, it is not for want of due respect we owe to their Lordships, but only for preservation of the Kirkes liberties, as said is.

The Comʳ said—I cannot see how these that are not granted to be Members of the Assembly, can cognosce bookes containing matters of so great weight.

The Moderatour answered, that they can best judge.

The Commissioner said—But I cannot consent unto it. Therefor

The Moderatour said—Let the skilfullest of the Clerks of Session, Counsell, and burrow Clerks, with the Ministers, such as the Laird of Durie, the Clerk of Dundie, Mr Alexʳ Pearsone, with their Assessours to help them of the Ministrie.

Mr James Bonar. Mr John Row.
Mr John Livingstone. Mr Andrew Ramsay.

[The Moderator called upon] Mr John Row.

Mr John Row answered—That he had yett in his hands the booke of the Kirke Policie subscribed be Mr James Richie, Clerk, which will serve to dignosce the hand writt.

Mr Archbald Johnston said he had the principall Booke of Policie, written in lumbard paper, in his hand, which also would conduce to that end.

This being judged to be the fittest way for tryell of the Registers of the Kirk, and makeing them to be authentick,

The Moderatour desyred that the Commissioner would proceed to try the Members of the Assembly and the Commissions, that soe the Assembly might be fullie constitut.

The Commissioner answered—That he who yesterday presentit a written paper from the Lords of the Clergie, desires that his bill or paper might be first read for information giving, anent the Members of the Assembly to be constitut; and becaus the reading of it yesterday was denyit before a Moderatour was chosen; now ane Moderatour and Clerk also being chosen, I desire this paper to be read; seeing the objections qᶜʰ were proponed yesterday134 are now removed, and that Doctor Robert Hamilton may be called to produce the paper, written in name of the Lords of the Clergie and their adherents; who being called, compeired and presented his paper to the Commissioner, desiring he would give charge to read it.

The Moderatour said—Some parte of the Impediments of reading it in publict are removed, but not all; for the Assembly is not as yet constitut fullie. But, so soone as the Assembly is constitut, it shall be read before any other bill or paper qwhatsoever.

The Commissioner urged still the reading of it before the Members of the Assembly were agried upon and constitut, becaus the paper contained many thinges neidfull to be knowen before the Members of the Assembly be constitut.

My Lord Lowdoun answered—That the reasons proponed yesterday for not reading of it, are yet standing in force; and as it was inexpedient yesterday that it should not be read till a Moderatour was chosen, so it is yet inexpedient till all the Members of the Assembly be fullie constitut; for, (said he,) there is no Assembly constitut till the Commissions of the Commissioners to the Assembly be tryed.

The Commissioner replyed—It is a hard cause, that a man cited before the Assembly should not be heard to object against the Members of the Assembly who were to be there judges. Who ever heard that a man accused as guiltie of a fault, was refused to be heard to object against his judge?

My Lord Lowdoun answered—If the objection wer now against the whole Assembly, it could not be read before the Assembly wer constitut to be judges. But if the objections wer against any particular Member of the Assembly, it were only fitt tyme to object when that mans Commission were in reading.

My Lord Rothes said—Let objections be given in against a particular Member and it may be heard, but cannot be heard against the whole Assembly before it be constitut; and

The Moderatour eiked—If that paper should open your eyes to give further light after constitution of the Assembly, that the errour of not reading it before shall be repented in dew time; for no sooner shall the Assembly be constitut but it shall be first read.

My Lord Commissioner said—I take instruments of your refusall to read it.

My Lord Lowdoun answered—It cannot be said that the Assembly hes refuised till it be ane Assembly constitut. Neither yet is the paper presented to the Assembly, but to your Grace.

The Commissioner replied—Because ye have refuised I took it; and I crave it might be read.

My Lord Lowdoun answered—So soon as it is an Assembly, it shall be read.

The Moderatour said—Then let us proceed to the tryell of the Commissions, that the Assembly might be constitut, and then it shall be read.

The Commissioner said—I am content, so be my Lords of Clergie receave no hurt nor prejudice; and before yee proceed, 1 ask documents that nothing be done in tryell of Commissions, and constituting the said Members of Assembly, to the prejudice of the said Lords of Clergie; and I desyre that the newlie constitut Clerk may pen ane act for this effect and give out ane extract of it.

The Clerk answered—I can neither make nor give out Acts without a warrand from the Assembly; and the Assembly cannot give warrand till it be constitut.

Then (said the Commissioner) I will take instruments in the hands of the Lord Register, seeing the Clerk of the Assembly refuses to write.

The Clerk said—I shall write it quhen the Moderatour gives direction; yea, I shall write it presentlie, but cannot give ane extract of it till the Assembly be constitut.

The Commissioner said—If ye be Clerk to all, why not to me? Shall I make a Clerk for myselfe? I did protest before, that niother the Lords of Clergie nor their adherents should be prejudged in their dignities or priviledges, by their refuseing to read their paper, presented by Dr Robert Hamiltoun; which paper containes reasones against election of the Members of Assembly.

My Lord Traquair said—It is very hard that these reasons against the election of such and such Members of the Assembly should not be heard.

The Moderatour said—When the Assembly is fullie constitut, then the Member complained of shall be removed.

The Commissioner said—I still will protest in name of the Lords of Clergie and their adherents, that they receave no prejudice by your not reading of their paper before the Assembly proceed to the examination of Commissions.

My Lord Traquair said—The protestation is upon your refusall to read it.

My Lord Lowdoun answered—Their refusall is no longer then till the Assembly be constitut; their reading of it is only deleyed till then.

The Commissioner said—But for my securitie I will take instruments of all in my Lord Registers hand, till that promise he performed; for, albeit I be his Majesties Commissioner, yet am I a poor subject, and must answer for my service.

The Moderatour said—I will judge reverentlie of your Graces proceedings; yet I may say there is a too too burning haste in these men for whom your Grace pleads, that they will have their bill read before the Assembly be constitut.

The Comʳ answered—They have reason to look to themselves, seeing it stands them now on their reputation, dearer to them nor their life; and, therefore, thinkes it only now fitt tyme to use their best defences: for what weight will their reasons have when their parties are constitut their judges? If myselfe were to be constitut judge, I would not refuise to heare reasons why I shᵈ not be such a mans judge; therefore, I requeist the Moderatour to state the question, and ask the Assembly what they think of it?

Then the Moderatour said—There is a motion made anent the reading of a paper, given in be the pretendit Archbishops and Bishops, and their adherents, for clearing of yʳ mynds who are present, concerning the election of the members of this Assembly, and ye did formerlie refuse it till the Assembly was constitut. Now, it is urged againe; and, therefore, I ask, whether it be convenient to read it now, or to delay it to the Assembly be constitut, and the commissions tryed?

My Lord Traquair said—If my Lords of Clergies information be not read before the voit and judgment of the Assembly be given, and before a judicatorie be constitut, it shall be to no purpose thereafter; therefore, it is only craved that then information may be heard, and no answer shall be craved till the Assembly be fullie constitut.

The Moderatour said—An absolute judgement of the Assembly shall not be given without reservation.

My Lord Traquair said—Instruments should be taken before they give out their judgements, that it prejudge not my Lords of Clergie.


My Lord Lowdoun answered—Ye cannot crave the judges Sentence in this matter before the judge be constitut.

The Comʳ said—We only crave to informe these who should be judges, and that reasons should be heard wherefore they cannot be judges.

My Lord Lowdoun replyed—It is no wayes competent to this Assemblie to heare that information as a judge, before yʳ be a judge, seeing that information shall be alse valide after the Assembly is constitut as now.

My Lord Traquair said—What if it can be showen by good reason, that such ane election of the members of this Assembly as ye are about, cannot be; and if this be, how shall it be tymeous to show it after the election is made?

My Lord Lowdoun answered—The judicatorie being constitut, it shall then be judged.

The Moderatour said—Whether should our owne or externall instruments be first heard?

My Lord Traquair answered—When a judicatorie is to be sett, whether is it more propper to except against those who are to be judges, before or efter the judicatorie is established?

The Moderatour answered—They shall be heard; but ourselves must be first heard.

My Lord Argyle said—I compare these here conveined to be ane assise nominat, but not yet sworne why may not then we, ane pairtie accused, informe the assise before it be sworne?

The Moderatour answered—We doe verilie perceave great sufficiencie in the Commissioners Grace, who only should speake here unto us; and if your Lo. have any information to give in, doe it in a convenient tyme; and it is not fitt your Lo. should speake here as a Commissioner; and it will be hard to us to make answer to every difficultie that such a number of wittie noblemen can propone.

My Lord Lowdoun said—My Lord Argyles instance is verie fitt, if these men who desires their information to be read would come in here as men pannelled before ane assise.

My Lord Argyle answered—There is a sort of acknowledgement be them of a judicatorie here, when they desire such a information to be read before it.

The Moderatour said—They shall be judged in nothing here till they have gotten libertie to speak, and except against any Commissioner here present.

The Comʳ said—If this be ane free Generall Assembly, why may not any propone their doubts? How can this be refuised to my Lord Argyle and others, they being Peires of the land, which cannot be denyed to Scottismen?

After sundrie speaches uttered be my Lord Argyle, Traquair, and answers given thereto be the Shirreff of Teviotdaill and my Lord Lowdoun, anent the comparisone taken from assise, it was concluded that the paper given be Doctor Robert Hamilton, in name of the Lords of Clergie and their adherents, should not be read till the Assembly was fully constitut.

Sess. 4.
November 24, 1638.

The fourth day, be reason of the Commissioners delay in not comeing at his appoynted houre, the Moderatour desired that matters to be handled might goe one in his Grace his absence, and a promise that a full narration of thinges handled should be made knowne unto his Grace at his first incomeing, which the Comʳ refuised, seeing he was bound to give particular accompt to the Kings Majestie of everie thing done, therefore behoved to be ane witnesse of everie thing that should be done.

The Moderatour said—We left at the examination of Commissions, which serves for the constitution of the Assembly; and we crave that we may now proceed in the examination of Commissions; and the Commission given in for the Presbitrie of Dunce, was first read; next, the Commission for the Presbitrie of Chirnaide.

The Moderatour said—We need not to crave the voits of the Assembly anent every Commission; but, if none speake against a Commission, after it is read, we will hold silence for a consent and approbation of the commission.

The Commissioner answered—If ye appoynt that silence shall be taken pro confesso that the Commission is valide, I protest that my silence be not so exponed, but that I may have libertie to object against any Commission or Commissioner, in my owne tyme, becaus for the present, I am not instructed with objections which I have and will make hereafter; and to this protestation, the Moderatour, in name of the Assembly, assented; and so the Clerk went on to the reading of the rest of the Commissions, and red the third from the Presbitrie of Kelso; the 4 from Jedburgh; the 5 from toune of it; the 6 from Ersiltoun; the 7 from Lawder; the 8 from Selkirk; the 9 from the toune of it; the 10 from Dumbar; the ij from the toune of it; the 12 from Northberwick toune; the 13 from Hadingtoun; the 14 from Dalkeeth; the 15 from the Presbitrie of Hadingtoun; the 16 from Edinburgh; the 17 from the Colledge of it; the 18 from Linlithgow; the 19 from the toune of it; the 22 from the Presbitrie of Peibles, and a Protestation given in against it be Mr Robert Ellot, as a Commission purchased be indirect meanes used be the Lord Traquair.

My Lord Traquair, hearing his name called in question, thought himself much wronged, being calumnat be such a man, whom he would prove to be both a bryber and ambitious; and that he should be by him brought upon the stage before so reverent and grave ane auditour; and complained to the Commissioner of the Ingiver of the Protestation as ane infamous lybeller against ane officer of Estate, and Counsellour of his Majestie; and the Comʳ promised that the ingiver should be censured according to justice, in tyme and place convenient: therefore, both the Commission and the protestation was layd by till the fitt tyme of tryell.

The 23 commission was then read frome the toune of Peibles; the 24 from Middlebie; the 25 from Lochmaben; the 26 from the toune of it; the 27 from Mentoun; the 28 from Penpont; the 29 from Drumfreis; the 30 from the toune of it; the 31 from Kircudbright; the 32 from the toune of it; the 33 from New Gallaway toune; the 34 from the Sanquar toune; the 35 from Wigtoun toune; the 36 from Wigtoun Presb.; the 37 from Stranrawer; the 38 from the toune of it; the 39 from Air; the 40 from the toune of it; the 41 from Irving; the 42 from the toune of it; the 43 from Rosay; the 44 from Argyle; the 45 from Dumbartoun; the 46 from the toune of it; the 47 from Paisley; the 48 from Renfrew toune; the 49 from Glasgow; the 50 from the toune of it; the 51 from the colledge of it.

It was asked, why the Colledge of Glasgow put in 4 in their Commission, when uther Colledges hes but ane, and it was layd by to be examined.

The 52 [Com.] from Rutherglen toune; the 53 from Hamilton; the 54 from Lanerk; the 55 from the toune of it; the 56 from St Androwes; the 57 from the toune of it; the 58 from the Colledge of136 it; the 59 from the toune of Creall; the 60 from Kilreny toune; the 61 from Anstruther Easter; the 62 from Anstruther Wester; the 63 from Pittinweeme; the 64 from Coupar; the 65 from the toune of it; the 66 from Kirkcaldie; the 67 from the toune of it; the 68 from Dysert; the 69 from Kinghorne; the 70 from Bruntyland; the 71 from Dumfermling; the 72 from the toune of it; the 73 from Culros; the 74 from Innerkeithing; the 75 from Dumblane; the 76 from Auchterardour; the 77 frome Perth toune; the 78 from Dunkell; the 76 from Megle; 80 from Dundie; 81 from the toune of it; 82 from Forfor toune; 83 from Brechen, on the back of which Commission there was yʳ a declaration written in favours of the Laird of Din, Commissioner, subscryved be ane number of barons, and some noblemen to it, beside these insert in the Commission it selfe, who gave consent to the Commission. This writ, on the backsyde of the Commission, was for clearing the sufficiencie of it, in respect that ane vther Commission was granted be the same Presbitrie of Brechen, appointing my Lord Carnagie, ruleing elder, for ane Commissioner; ane copie of which Commission, with ane declaration upon the back thereof was craved be the Commissioner, vnder the Clerks hand, that he might thereby be the better instructed for objecting against any vther Commissions, and might have his mynd cleared in sundrie particulars which might conduce for the furtherance of his Majesties service.

The Moderatour answered, That his Grace should have ane copie of the Commission itselfe, but not of that which is written on the back of it, seeing it is not given as a parte of the Commission, but only a privat thing written by the ingiver, for clearing of his Commission.

The Commissioner said, Seeing that which is written on the backsyde of it may serve to further my masters service, why should a copie of it be denyed to me, seeing my desyre is reasonable? I cannot compell to give it, but, if it be denyed, what can I say but I am vsed in that as in the vther things?

My Lord Rothes said—The pairtie ingiver hes yet in his power to retreat and draw back both the Commission and all that is written upon it; and therefore the Clerk can give no copie nor extract of it till the Commision be authorized and made lawfull in judgement; for, till that, as it is only a privat paper which the ingiver may doe now if he have not a mynd to stand to it.

No, said my Lord Traquair, he may not draw it back, if it may contribute to the furtherance of the Kings service.

My Lord Lowdoun said he may not only draw it back, but ryve it.

No, said my Lord Traquair, seeing it is now produced in judgment; and the

Commissioner eikit—Not only is it produced in judgement, but hes at it the subscriptiones of a number of Noblemen barrons, who we hope will stand to it.

My Lord Montrois said—We will not passe from a jote of that which may serve for the clearing of the Commission.

Therefore, said the Commissioner, that which is written on the backsyde of the Commission, serves to prove the legalitie of the election of the Commissioner, and is used as ane argument to prove the illegalitie of ane uther Commission from the same Presbitrie. Why then should I not have a copie of that which is written on the backsyde of the Commission, seeing I find it serve much for the furtherance of my Masters service? My Lord Yester answered—It is not propper for the Clerk to give ane copie of extract of that which is not insert in the records of Assembly; and only the Commission will be registrat in the bookes of Assembly, when it is approven, but not that which is on the back of it.

The Moderatour eikit—Only that which is given to the Assembly for a Commission, may be craved of the Assembly; but that which is on the back of it is not given for a Commission, or any parte thereof, but only written on the back of the Commission given in accidentallie, and may be obliterat.

The Commissioner asked, how that could be called accidentall which had at it the subscription of 40 hand writtes, and produced in judgement to be read?

The Moderatour said—That on the back of the Commission is only accidentall, and I shall cleir it by ane supposition. There is ane evident given in before the Lords of Session, and on the back thereof there is ane compt written on some privat bussineese of the owner of it. Shall the Lords of Session, or the Clerk, be obliged to give out ane extract of the mans compt? No more can the Assembly or Clerk give out ane extract of that which no wayes belongs to them.

My Lord Forbes said—The ingiver hes power to eike, paire, or draw back at his pleasure, and such Commissions that are contravened are referred to ane vther day.

Mr David Dick said, Let the Ingiver of the Commission be asked, whether that on the back of it serves for approvation of his Commission or not? for, if it be only a probation of it, then that which is on the back should not be read till the time of probation, and for the tyme, only a copy of the Commission may be craved.

The Comʳ asked the voits of the Assembly whether or not a copie of all should be granted.

My Lord Lowdoun answered, that there could be no voiting till the Assembly be established; but so soone as it shall be established, it shall be granted.

Then, said the Comʳ, I take Instruments that such a Commission was given in to be read, on the back whereof there is a written declaration of the lawfulness of the election of the Commissioners of Brechin, and desires it may be keeped in the Clerks hands.

The Moderatour regrated much that the weightie and grave matters of the Assembly should be thus deleyed, and said that it had been better to have wanted all the Commissioners from Brechin; quhereat

Southeske cappit and unreverentlie replyed to the Moderatour, that he wronged them that wronged not him, and whom he had no reason to wrong.

The Moderatour answered—That what he did speake was within the bounds of reason, and he would be answerable for it to the Assembly; neither would [he] have expected from his Lordship such an undeserved censure.

Lowdoun answered—That it was ane great wrong that the Moderatour should be upbraided by any for preferring the publict weill, and the effaires of the Assembly to any mans particular.

Mr David Dick said, That God will trouble the impeaders of his owne work.

This was like to have drawen to a great heat if the Commissioner had not prevented it by commanding them to silence.

The 84 Commission from Ruthentoun was read; 85 from Arbroath; 86 from Montrois; 87 from Arbroth toune; 88 from Mernes; 89 from Aberdeine;137 90 from the Colledge of it; 91 from the toune of it; 92 from Die; 93 ________________________; 94 from Ellon; 95 from Turreff; 96 from Kincardine.

Sess. 5.
[November 25.]

After in calling vpon the name of God,

The Clerk went forward in reading the rest of the Commissions; and the 97 Commission, Garrioch, was first read, and billes of Complaint given in against the Commissioner, containing reasons why he should not be receaved as Commissioner, and was referred to tryell. The 98 from Fordice; 99 from Bamff toune; 100 from Elgin toune; 101 from Strabogie; 102 from Forres; 103 from Forres toune; 104 from Innernes; 105 from Innernes toune; 106 from Chanrie of Ross, and a protestation against it by Sir John MᶜKenzie; 107 from Tayne; 108 from the Toune of it; 109 from Dingwall; 110 from Sutherland; 111 from Cathnes; 112 from Orkney, from Patrick Smyth of Braco,137 and it was castin, being found nather from a Presbitrie, burgh, nor subscriving Minister.

The Moderatour said—Now the whole Commissions are read; and of all there are onlie 13 contravertit; and we have now reason to praise God, that, be the silence of all that are present, the rest of the Commissions are approven, and that, in Gods singular favour, we have place and power to voit and treat of all matters that shall come before us. As for these controverted Commissions, it is now tyme we should examine them.

The Commissioner said—If ye proceed to examination, I shall adhere to my former protestation of libertie to object against any Commission in my owne tyme.

My Lord Rothes answered—It is now fittest tyme.

The Commissioner answered—I find not yet my fitt tyme to make any objections, but seeing tyme reserved to me I will choose it.

Then the Moderatour said—Let the Commissions which are in question be discussed, and begin at the Presbitrie of Peibles, given, October first, to Mr James Bennet, and Laird of Posso, subscryved be the Clerk.

The Commission was read, and a protestation against it, alleadging that that election was not free, for many reasons.

My Lord Traquair craved libertie to speake in defence of that Commission: and

The Moderatour required that he should speake of the Minister who gave in the protestation, with a respect due to a Minister of Jesus Christ, till he was declared infamous.

My Lord Traquair answered—That he had no purpose to reckon for the tyme, but would referre the challenge against him to the Presbitrie; only craved libertie to regrat that so unjustlie he was brought upon the stage, seeing he did attest all the witnesses that were present at the outgiving of that Commission, that he did carry himself humblie and modestlie, as became a good Christian, intending nothing but a free and peaceable election; and that he did not utter any crosse word, or a word smelling of passion or discontent; and he attested God that the matter was as he said. Then he declaired that there was a formall process [extract] of that election in the hands of the Clerk of the Presbitrie, which, being produced, would make it cleare how unjustlie he was accused; which process he promised to produce the next day.

The Moderatour answered—If the process come from ane honest hand, and be clearlie and formallie deduced, it shall have faith; and, if the pairtie protester against the Commission can prove the contrare be sufficient witnesse, he also must be heard.

Mr Lord Traquair answered—It is hard to heare witnesses agᵗ a eldar, and formal process given in by a famous Clerk in writt.

The Moderatour asked at Mr Robert Ellot, (who gave in the protestation,) what he could say? He answered, That it was a vyld imputation layd to his charge, that he should be ane vnjust accuser of such a nobleman; but, sayth he, if I have done no evil, why am I called a basse, ambitious, brybbish boddie, in the hearing of this reverend assembly? But I passe it, seeing my Lord was called a Carpenter, a wine bibber, and ane enemie to Cæsar, and that he had a divel; yet I have said nothing as a libeller against my Lord Traquair, for I was readie to spend my life in his service; and I judged that he should have lyked the better of me, that I should have protested against any thing which seemed to prejudge this Assembly.

The Moderatour asked if the protestation made against that election was made in a Clerks hearing before witnesses, and if it was written and marked?

Mr Robert Ellot answered—That he protested openlie, and desired to be so heard, but it was refused.

My Lord Traquair answered—The process in the Clerks hand will clear all which is ordained to be produced; and if, after tryell, I be proven not to have been ane intruder of my selfe, or ane indirect dealler, seeing I walked so circumspectlie, I crave the wrong done to me may be redressed; for, before God, there is not a circumstance of that which is alleadged true.

The Commissioner answered—If he should continue in his office, he should have the wrong redressed: if not that, he should deale with any to occupy his place.

To that end, my Lord Rothes said—If there be wrong on his parte, the censure of it is competent to this Assembly.

The Commissioner said—I intend not to derogat any thing from the authoritie of this Assembly, but rather would contribut unto it, and preserve it in its oune integritie. But I would not that the Royall authoritie should so suffer that ane officer of Estate, being accused unjustlie, and so wronged, should not be repaired according to Justice.

My Lord Rothes said, that the tryell of this alledged wrong is only competent to this Assembly.

The Commissioner answered—I doubt not but the Assembly will doe to my Lord Traquair what is right; but I speake of the King’s right, and I know the Assembly may only judge in ecclesiasticall matters.

My Lord Traquair said—I declyne not the Assembly as judges in this matter; for I am content to subscryve ane blank paper, to be filled up by the Assembly; yea, I darre remitt the tryell of it to any Member of the Assembly.

The next Commission that was examined was from the Colledge of Glasgow as singular, containing four Commissioners, when other Colledges hath but ane, according to the act of Assembly.

The Principall, Doctor John Strong, craved the production of the Act; and after that the Act was considered, it was found that Colledges could have no privilidges above a Kirk, and therefore, ane act138 was sett downe, that ane colledge should have but ane voit in ane Assembly.

The 3d Commission from the Colledge of Glasgow was layd by till the Commissioner should find a fitt tyme to object against it.

The 4 from the Presbitrie of Ross. It was objected against it that it was onlie ane parte of the Presbitrie of Irwing, and it was acknowledged to be so of old, but was now disunited by the Bishop of Iles, as was alledged; but becaus it was not clearlie instructed, neither yet had beene in use to send Commissioners to former Assemblies as a presbitrie constitut, It is ordained that the Commissioners now sent shall have no voit in this Assembly; and becaus of ane large distance of place, and sea betwixt it and Irwing, it was thought fitt that hereafter it shall contribut a presbitrie of itselfe.

The 5 Contraverted Commission from the Presbitrie of Brechin, which after reasoning much too and fro, the tryell of it was referred to a particular committee—

Masters Andrew Ramsay, Robert Douglas,
  David Dalgleesh, John Robertsone,
  James Bonar, Alexʳ Somervell,

with power to them to take the oathes and deposition of the thrie Ministers Commissioners for clearing the matter, and reporte the diligence to the Assembly.

The 6 Commission, from Kincarden presbitrie, was examined; and being found that the Commissioners were not elected in the ordinar Meeting place, nor in the ordinar tyme, but only by the Bishop in ane uther place, and ane uther tyme, and without the consent of elders, and without the knowledge of particular Kirks, therefore it was rejected.

The 7 Commission, from the Presbitrie of Aberdein, after tryell, was approven, and Mr James Harvie and Doctor Barrons was rejected, as done nather in place nor face of a Presbitrie, without any advertisement to the congregations, and being only subscrived at that tyme by themselves, who wer Commissioners, and by thrie uther Ministers thereafter, in their owne houses.

8. Anent the Commissioner of Garrioch, Mr Androw Logie, sundrie complaints being given in against him, wer remitted to a Committee—viz., Mr Andrew Cant, Mr James Martine, Mr Thomas Mitchell, and Dr Guild.

9. The two Commissions given in from the Chanrie of Ross. The Laird of Tarbet produced ane Instrument against Mr Thomas MᶜKenyies Commission, and assured the uther lawfull Commissions were comeing. The said Mr Thomas being rejected, produced a protestation against the Constitution of this Assembly of Ministers and elders.

My Lord Rothes asked instruments, and protested that such a Complaint and protestation was given in by the said Mr Thomas. The Commissioner also tooke instruments of the production of it.

Mr Andrew Ramsay offered presently to prove from Scripture, antiquitie, consent of uther reformed Kirkes, standing practices of our aune Kirke, and bookes of Assemblies, that ruling Elders are lawful and necessar Members of ane Assembly.

The Commissioner, acknowledging his owne weaknes for disputeing of that question, promised, in a convenient tyme, to bring foorth some who would dispute against ruleing Members, as no lawfull Members of ane Assembly.

The last question, about the Commission from Orkney was declared null, having no consent of Presbitrie, nor subscription of ane Minister, toune, nor colledge.

The Moderatour answered—Now the whole Commissions are examined, and found good, except some few. It is now expedient that the sufficiencie of the Kirke Registers be cleared, that they may be declaired authentick.

The Commissioner answered—It is a good work; but I have some scruples not yet removed.

Then, said the Moderatour, Let some be appoynted for tryell of the Registers; for the Assembly being now fullie constitut, after the examination of all contraverted Commissions, may give their Commission for tryell of the Registers, and let their testimonie anent the perfection of the bookes be given in the morne.

Masters Masters
Andrew Ramsay, John Adamsone,
John Row, James Bonar,
Robert Murray,
Alexʳ Gibsone, yoʳ of Durie,
Alexʳ Wedderburne, Clerk of Dundie,

Alexʳ Pearsone, Advocat; with such uthers as they please to joyne with themselves.

Sess. 6.
[November 26.]

After in calling upon the name of God,

The Moderatour said—Let us begin where we left, at the tryell of the record of Assemblies. There was a Committie appoynted yesternight to give in their testimonie anent the authentickness of the Registers. If it please your Grace, let their answer be heard.

The Commissioner having assented,

The Moderatour called upon these who wer appoynted for the examination of the Registers, to report their testimonie.

Durie said—Please your Grace and this reverend Assembly, We shall either give in our reasons be word or writt.

The Commissioner said—I desire to heare them give them in any way ye please.

Then the reasons of the authentickness of the Registers were given in be writt, and read by the Clerk.

The Moderatour said—Please your Grace, here is the testimonie of these that have skill in trying the Registers better nor any here present can relate. Hes your Grace gottine satisfaction?

The Commissioner answered—Verillie it is a matter of verie great importance, and there shall be no man more glad nor I, to see the Registers of the Kirke found reall, and proven to be authentick. I am far from contradicting anything these worthie gentlemen hath done; for it were impertinent so to doe. I can say nothing at the first hearing of a paper read; but it may be, that many scruples come in my mynd concerning them; yea, I have alreadie, whereof I am not resolved. This is the first tyme that ever I heard it read, and, therefore, I cannot give my judgment of it. I must confess my ignorance in thir things; and, therefore, I must be verie loath to give my assent or approbation to anything wherein I am not both clear and persuaded.

The Moderatour said—Hes your Grace any scruples to propone for the present?

The Commissioner said—I must think upon all before I propone them.

The Moderatour said—I would desire this reverend Assembly, that if there be any here, noblemen, gentlemen, ministers, that if they have any thing to say agˢᵗ this information concerning the authoritie of the Registers, that they would propone them, either now by word, or in a short tyme by writt,139 that this Assembly may make a declaration that they are authentick; and, if no objection be made against them, we will take your silence for an approbation of their authoritie. If ye have any thing to say, bring it foorth presentlie; if not, produce it in writt against the morne.

The Commissioner said—I am verie confident that there is not the Regents hand writt.

Durie answered—If it was not his hand writt it wᵈ have sic subscribitur, as all uther copies uses to have. I will not affirme that everie reason given for proving the authoritie of the bookes is unquestionallie good; but que non prosunt singula, multa juvant. I daresay this farre: all the Registers of Sessioun, Counsell, and pryme judicatories of this kingdome, are alse farr short of the Registers of the Kirke, as these Registers are short of these things treated here.

The Commissioner said—Truely, sir, I cannot but acknowledge these reasons hath cleared verie much, and verillie they have removed many scruples that myself had before the hearing of them; so that I will not contradict them: but I still doubt if that subscription be the Regents hand.

Moderatour said—If there be any brother that has any copie of James Richie, or John Gray, clerk to the Assembly, their hand writt, let them produce, to give farder information to confirme this information; for, possiblie, some minister or uther that hes some record that may give testimony and approbation to this hand writt.

Then Mr John Row produced ane copie of severall acts of the booke of Policie, written be the said Mr James Richie, and subscryved with his hand; ane uther brother of the Presbitrie, which he had keeped himself now 52 yeares; and the hand writt of the Assembly Booke and the Copies being compared, and seene be the Commissioner himself, they were acknowledged to be ane hand writt.

The Moderatour said—If any man have any thing to oppose against these bookes, let him now bring it foorth, that ane Act may be made; for, if no man produce anything, they will be acknowledged be the Assembly to be authentick hereafter.

Then the Moderatour, professing his owne insufficiencie for so weightie a charge as was now layd upon him, craved that some assessours might be nominat to joyne with him in a privat conference for ordering of matters to be proponed in Assembly.

The Commissioner answered, that he would not oppose any laudable custome of former Assemblies; but let the Clerk and Lord Register mark that my assent be no wayes prejudiciall to my masters right.

Mr David Dalgleish said—I have seen Assemblies of old, and such pryme conferences, according to my poore observation, hath wrought great prejudice to the Kirk; therefore, I would wishe that all were done by a voluntar consent, and by the concurrance of the whole Assembly.

Moderatour answered—Please you, the advice of the Privat Conference has done harme to the Assembly, but not the use and institution; for, of its inowne nature, [it] is very helpfull. They aught, deed, to keepe themselves within their owne bounds, and doe nothing that may be prejudiciall to the Assembly; but doe yee think it is possible for a man to propone matters for so great a meeting without assessours?

The Assembly declaired, there needed no Act be made for assessours, but that the Moderatour may choose at his owne discretion, some few to assist him in the ordering and proposition of matters; whereupon the Moderatour nominat—

Mr Hary Pollock, Minister at Edinburgh.
Mr John Adamsone, Principall of the Colledge thereof.
Mr David Dick, Minister at Irwing.
Mr David Dalgleische, Minister at Coupar.
The Earles of Rothes and Montrois.
The Lords Lindsay, Lowdoun, and Balmerino.
Sir William Douglas of Cavers.
The Laird of Keir.
The Laird of Haughton.
James Cochrane, burges of Edinburgh.
James Fletcher, Provest of Dundie.
Mr Robert Barclay, Provest of Irwing.

My Lord Lowdoun said—Please your Grace, these assessours are only to advise what is to be done first, and what next, for greater expedition and acclerating of buseinesse.

The Commissioner said—I have alwayes bene carefull to eschue the speaking of any thing that might impede this great and good worke, and so shall I still be; yet must I be carefull that my silence be not prejudiciall to my gracious Master and Soveraigne; and, I hope neither your disposition, nor any here present, intends any wrong be what they say or doe, to auctoritie. But I have bein told that the overtures and proponing of matters doe principallie belong to his Majestie, what he thinks fitt to be agitat in the first place, in the midle, and in the last place; therefore I cannot passe by my just protestation, that this prove no wayes prejudiciall to my Masters service, and I receave no imputation by saying nothing. Whereupon his Grace tooke protestation.

The Moderatour said—Your Grace needed not to have protested, seeing the Assembly was content that everie thing done in the Assembly should be done with his Graces consent.

My Lord Rothes protested that the ordering and proponing of matters pertained only to the Moderatour.

The Commisioner said—Indeed I am well pleased to heare that from yow; but I must be carefull of my Masters right; and I hope it shall be seene to future ages that I have bein ane honest and trustie servant to my good and gracious Master.

The Moderatour desired his Grace to condiscend upon an houre for the Meeting of the Assessours formerlie nominat, and said it was the custome to meit in the Morning before Sermon.

The Commissioner said—I am told that the tyme and place uses to be appoynted be his Majestie or his Commissioner, who was alwayes present at these privie conferences; and therefore I protest that I be present at them all.

The Moderatour said—We shall be verie glad of your Graces presence and assistance; for we hope your Grace will be a helpe and not a hinderance unto us. Therefore lett us know the tyme and place which seemes to be most convenient, that the tyme be conforme to the dyet of this Assembly.

The Commissioner said—When my leasure can serve, I shall be readie to give attendance.

The Moderatour asked the opinion of some of the brethren. Mr Robert Douglas, Mr James Bonar, Mr Andrew Cant, Mr John Bell, said, that the tyme might be appoynted by the Moderatour; but it must be advertit that nothing be determined in these privie conferences, nor any thing prejudiceall to this free Assembly; but only that matters be ordered and digested be them, that soe things might be rightlie proponed in the Assembly.

The Moderatour said—I was present at these Conferences, at ane Assembly in Aberdein In 1616,140 and they tooke very much upon them, for all matters were concluded and determined; that the privie Conferences satt 3 or 4 houres, and the Assembly satt but ane houre, and intimation was only made in the Assembly of their Conclusions, and the Assembly was asked if they had any thing to say against it; but I hope they shall hold themselves within their bounds.

The Moderatour said—There uses some to be naimed for receaving of papers and billes that are to be given in, becaus it will not be convenient that the whole Assembly be troubled with everie particular complaint; therefore let some be nominat for vieuing of the Billes, that hes best skill in matters of this kynd, that they may report to the Assembly, what is pertinent to be handlit here, and what not.

The Commissioner said—There is nothing that hes bein the order and custome of Assemblies but I shall heartillie consent unto it.

The Assembly appoynted for receiving of Billes, &c.

The Moderatour desyred that the rest of the Commissions that were not cleared and approven, might now be examined; and first he desyred to hear the report of these that were on the Commission for Brechin. They answered that they were not sufficientlie instructed.

The next was Commission from Peibles.

My Lord Traquair said—For clearing of the sufficiencie of this Commission, ye may see the whole process under Mr Patrick Purdies hand, Clerk to the Presbitrie, who is here present.

Mr John Bennet said—We, the Commissioners of Peibles, have hitherto been silent; now we desyre to be heard, and that this reverend Assembly would take this matter to their Consultation; for here is ane whole Elderschip accused by ane man, whereas the Scripture sayes—“Accuse not ane elder but under the testimonie of two or three witnesses;” and this Man, ane of our bowells, of whom we expected better things, hes now brought us on the stage, and spitted on our face, and brought us in suspition, by surmizing speaches, and open challenges; and this he hath done under pretence of zeale for the freedome of this Assembly, quhilk God forbid we should prejudge. We are heir, Men, haters of vyce and lovers of veritie, willing to give all our concurrance to everie good worke.

The Moderatour said—It is not an accusation, but ane Protestation; and it will appeare by the determination of the Assembly, whether he hath done wrong or not.

My Lord Traquair said—I know certainly they have a Commission most warrantable; but since now it is contradicted, I submit myself to the judgement of the Assembly; and I crave that the whole proces may be read to the Assembly, that it may be knowne on whose parte the fault is; and if it doe not clearlie improve what Master Ellot hes said, and make good what I have said for myselfe, or if there be a syllable or circumstance of that quhilk he alledges true, or if ever I have a thought in that kynd, I were not worthie to come amongst Christians, let be to come here; for it is impertinent, if not impudent, for a man to intrude himselfe in such an action as that which is against all conscience and dignitie. But I propose not now to use any recriminations.

Mr Robert Ellot said—My Protestation is not accusation or challenge against any mans persone, but agᵗ the informalitie of the election of the Commissioners, least this Assembly should be challenged afterward for admitting such a voice in matters as was not instructed with sufficient Commissions. Alway I am sorry that my Lord Thesaurer should be offendit. I thought his Lordship should not have been offendit; for, God is my witnesse, I neither intendit, neither have I given any occasion of offence.

My Lord Traquair said—I submitt to the judgement of this honourable company, if this be not rather an accusation nor a protestation, and that in a high streame, challenging me for intruding myselfe in that bussines after so unjust a way; but neither this assertion nor myne can take away ane judiciall act. I hope both our partes shall be cleared be the Proces quhich must have faith, except ye will offer to improve the writt, and prove the Clerk to be false.

The Moderatour said—It is possible he may give some information for himselfe, which will not contradict but may subsist with the proces.

Then the proces was given to the Clerk and read.

Traquair said—I doe not say but my judgement may differ from Mr Ellots or any other mans; but if thare hes been any illegall way usit by me, I am readie to answer according to law and reason; but if his judgement doeth not goe alongst with me, I hope this will be no reason to condemn myne for it; and when this honourable meeting hes considered this proces, if they be not satisfied, I will submitt myselfe to their judgement.

Moderatour said—That Mr Ellot had nothing to say against the proces; quherupon the Thesaurer tooke Instruments, that Mr Ellot acquiesced to the trueth of the proces.

My Lord Yester requyred that these who were present might be asked concerning that quhilk Mr Robert had alleadged; for he sayes nothing contrare to the proces, but something more nor is in the proces. And he hath given in a protestation only, and not ane accusation; and when I posed him straitlie, what moved him to give in the protestation, he tooke God to witnesse that he did it out of conscience and love to the good of the Cause.

Traquair said—My Lord, let me speake as good friends and Christian subjects ane to another.

Yester answered—I desire earnestlie it may be so; but it may be I cannot speake so pleasantlie to your Lordship as I would, be reason of this throng about.

Traquair said—I take it to be a clame and accusation against the formalitie of the election; and what is in the proces, I remitt it to the judgement of the Assembly, and if any thing be called in question which the proces cannot cleare, I shall justifie ane uther way.

Sess. 7. 29 Novʳ 1638.

After in calling upon the name of God,

The Moderatour said—We left at the testimonie which was given by skilled men who wer appoynted for trying of the Kirk Registers, and their testimonie was read in your hearing; and we requested all to bring in this day, their objections and scruples concerning these registers: now we crave that ane who pleases would object; for if no man object, an act or record will be insert in the bookes of the Assembly, declairing that these bookes are authentick.

The Commissioner said—No man here shall have greater joy nor I, to heare the registers of the Kirk perfyte, and no man shall contrubut more to it then I, being a matter of so great importance or weight; for upon the acts set doune in these bookes very much depends. But becaus ye have heard [objections] be the Lords of Clergie made, and their adherents, against the legallitie of the proceedings141 of this Assembly, I am tyed yet to say somewhat; and I am sorrie that I must protest against that in word which my heart desires not. Sore greeved I have reason to be to protest against so good a work as is the restoreing to the Kirk of her records; yet considering many causes which now I will not expresse, I am forced to protest against it: ffor albeit these bookes may be found authentick be the consent of this Assembly, yet may I doe nothing which may import either his Majesties assent to it or myne; and therefore heir I make protestation against.

The Moderatour said—We only crave the Assemblys approbation; and if the pretendit Bishops or any uther will take upon them to improve these bookes, or any parte of them, they shall be heard. It is pittiful there should be such a rent in our Church, so fearful, and that any point of the cause of it shall be imputed to authoritie, if we consider what a sweete unitie was ance in this Kirk. To clear this unitie, I will read a testimonie out of the preface of the booke called “The Harmony of the Confession of the Reformed Kirkes.” After the reading of it in Latine, he exponed it, shawing the rare priviledges of the Kirk of Scotland beyond other Kirkes; that for the space of 54 yeares it remained in puritie of doctrine and discipline, without any errour or schisme, and gave a reason of it; becaus the Kirk of Scotland was reformed in doctrine and discipline according to the word of God: so it is clear, the Kirk ance had unitie, and it is clear also by what meanes and Instruments schisme hes come in.

The Commissioner said—I pray God the Kirk may enjoy this puritie 40,000 yeares more, if the world should endure so long; yet I must protest, in more pathetic words, against the authoritie of these bookes (for I did it in modestie before); albeit, I would give my estate and venture my life in furthering the Church to be restoired to her registers; but becaus of the manyfold exceptions I have against the way of the meeting of this Assembly, and against sundrie persons which are Members of it, I protest heir, that neither the Kings Majestie nor the bishops be wronged be any act in these bookes, and that they are not obleist be the acts of any booke, which is not subscryved be the Clerk of Aberdein.

My Lord Rothes said—Your Grace promised to propone some scruples against these bookes, wherin your Grace was not yet satisfied, which we desyre to heare; for they are found, of all who have tryed them, comparatively authentick, and utherwayes also.

Moderatour said—We are sure if his Grace had perused these bookes, he would approve them also.

The Roll being called be the Clerk, the Moderatour asked if the brethren did approve the registers? Who answered that they did; and desyres that reasons of the approbation might also be insert in the bookes of the Assembly, and that there was not any protestation made be his Majesties Commissioner. They desyred also that the Bishop of Sᵗ Andrews might be summonded for the production of these bookes which are wanting.

The Moderatour said—Ye heard of a declinatour given in be the pretendit Bishops and Archbishops, containing many divers crymes and challenges agᵗ the Members of this Assembly; therefore it is desyred that some paper may be read containing some answers to many pointes of their declinatour, and not a full answer, such as shall be given in hereafter; only this shall serve to give some answer, &c.: which two papers being read be the Clerk,

The Commissioner said—I did not expect an answer to the Bishops declinatour and protestations, seeing the declinatour was only presented to me, wherefore ane answer from the Assembly was needless.

The Moderatour answered—The inscription of the Declinatour sayth, “A Declinatour to be red before the Assembly,” and therefore ane answer must be given be the Assembly.

Rothes said—There is no more pertinent matter to be handlit in the Assembly then that declinatour, which in it hath so many criminations against the Members of it, and alleadges wronges in the Constitutions of it.

Mr Andrew Ramsay said—Your Grace hes als good reason to answer and object against the bishops declinatour as any in this house; becaus in it they declyned the Kings Grace and his Commissioner, be thrie testimonies cited be them, and will not suffer him or any other King or Emperour to hold voice in Assembly, saying, “Nemo preter Episcopos debet se ecclesiasticis protractibus immiscere.”

The Commissioner said—I thinke they have no intention to declyne the Kings Majestie as judge, seeing sundrie pairtes of their paper declaires their reverend subscription to his Majestie. But I will not wrong these reverend Lords be my disputing of their cause, who am so insufficient for it; but if I thought they intendit any prejudice against my Master and soveragne, I would protest als soone agᵗ them as any.

Then the Clerk was desyred to read some answers made to the Prelats and some Ministers objections in their declinatour and protestations against ruleing elders had any voice in the sentence of excommunication.

The Moderatour answered this—The Presbitrie hes it, and they as members of the Presbitrie. Further, he said, these papers being unperfyte, and not having fully exped all that is to be answered to be the bishops declinatour and protestation agᵗ Elders, there is the more to be expected; and in the meanetyme we are obleist to God that the lyke declinatour and objections wer given in be the remonstrances against the Synod of Dort; so that we neid no uther answer to the bishops objections then these the Synod of Dort made to these remonstrances.

Then the Moderatour red the answer out of the booke of the Synod of Dort, and said, this is Judicium Theologorum magne Britanniæ.

The Commissioner answered—Heir is a man by me, who desires to make answer of that which ye have red from the Synod of Dort.

Balcanquell asked libertie to speake, seeing he was not a Member of the Assembly; pleading so farre, of the caice of the remonstrances and our bishops was different in two maine respects—therefore the same answer could not serve the bishops declinatour, which was most valide agᵗ the remonstrances:—first, becaus the matter of the remonstrances accusations was anent points fundamentall, such as election upon foirseene faith,—universalitie of Christs death, and co-operation of Gods Grace with our will—resistabilitie of Grace,—the finall apostacie of the saintes: in which pointes, and uthers of that nature, are all bound, under the paine of damnation, to betake them to the one syde; and therefore the remonstrances could not justlie declyne the Church of the Low Countries in questions of that nature, though they had before that Synod, cleared themselves to the contrarie; for if any such exceptions are of force to declyne a Nationall Assembly, of necessitie they142 behoved to be referred to the judgement of strangers; but the questiones in the Church of Scotland were not anent fundamental poynts of religion, which, by our Confession, are declaired to be eternal and unchangeable, but anent matters of policie and order, which the twenty first article of our Confession shawes to be alterable. Secondly, he excepted that the Kirke of the Low Countries had not before that Synod, bund themselves by oath and subscriptioun, against the doctrine of the remonstrances, as we in the Kirke of Scotland had done against the bishops, and the causes depending betwixt us and them.

The Moderatour said that it was a questione of great difficultie, to decerne what pointes are fundamentall and what not; and, if this whole Assembly were sett to it, it would take them to the morrow at this tyme. Secondly, That Synod of Dort did not pronounce these pointes controverted betwixt them and the remonstrances to be hereticall, but only to be erroneous. Thirdly, Doctor Feild, and uthers, distinguishes errours in two fundamentall poynts about the foundations of these that are more remote, and preter fundamenta. In the first sort, meir ignorance was damnable, but, in the third, obstinacie, as Doctor Feild instances Pauls cloake, what became of it, or whether Onesimus was Pauls Servand now. Now the Moderatour assumed that Dr Balcanquell would not affirme that sinne ignorance of these pointes of Arminianisme was of the selfe damnable. Fourthlie, Our Church holds, that all the maine poyntes of her discipline ordour, were warrantable by the word of God; and that, be God’s grace, we are able to prove it to be so; for the second article of our Confession, declareing Ceremonies to be alterable, it is to be exponed only of the circumstances of the tyme and place.

Mr David Dalgleish addit two answers farder:—1, Antient Counsell had proceedit, and finds themselfes competent judges, even when matters of inferior degree are questioned, as in the questions of Novatus and Danatus. 2, That the Bishops wer indytit for poyntes of heresie, such as the Doctor acknowledged to be fundamentall poynts—to witt, poynts of Poperie and Arminianisme.

Then the Moderatour said—Seeing, in Gods providence, this Contestation is tymeouslie fallen in, it is fitt that this Assembly should voice, whether they find themselves competent judges to the pretendit Bishops, notwithstanding of the Declinatour and Protestation?

The Commissioner said—I find in myselfe a great contrarietie—causes of joy, but greater causes of grieff; causes of joy, that I am able, before God and all that heares me, to make good all the whole offeris his Majestie hes made to this Kingdome, be severall proclamations and declarations, and more also. But I have sorrow that I cannot goe on so as to bring matters in hand to such ane peaceable end as I would; therefore, before ye proceid further, I will renew all my protestations, made in name of my Master, and Lords of Clergie, here. I will present unto yow his Majesties gracious pleasure, signed with my owne hand by his warrand.

Then the Clerk tooke and red it, and it containes a discharging of the Service Booke, Booke of Cannons, High Commission; ordaines the 5 articles of Perth to be no more urged, and gives libertie to the present Assembly to represent their judgment of these articles to the next ensueing Parliament; and that no oath be taken of ministers but that which is insert in the Act of Parliament. It promises Generall Assemblies to be indicted als oft as shall be found expedient. It showes that his Majestie is content that the bishops be censured be the Generall Assembly, and that he intends no change of Religion. It hath a command to subscryve the Covenant and band made 1580 and repeited 1589. After the reading of it,

The Commissioner said—Now, I hope all these to all aspersions, anent change of religion, are declared to be unjust; so, if any change of religion had bein intendit, this Assembly had never been granted, nor yet these offers made unto yow. I am entrusted with a full commission for the preservation of religion, punishing of vyce, and to consider of all the just exceptions against the Bishops and Episcopacie, and have power to rectifie all the abuses of that office, so farr as that sort of government may still remaine in the Kirk, as government not contrare to the word of God; and anent the practice of this and uther churches, I have power to limite it so, that it shall not be able to wrong the church; and, if they wrong it, they shall be punished: yet, my commission is more ample than I will expresse. But, seeing I have not found that respect dew to ane Commissioner, and know what prejudicat opinion these here hes of me present, and, when I consider what directions were sent from the Tables of Conveiners of Meetings at Edinburgh to presbitries, be noblemen, gentlemen, ministers, and uthers, it gives me just occasion to declair, that I can give no consent to any thing that is heir done; and to cleare what I have said, I present heir two uther papers, ane sent from the Table at Edinburgh to presbitries, the uther from persons to their friends, and I desyre they may be red. I cannot designe the men who sent these papers; but sure I am these papers are sent, dispersed through the kingdome, and that mens proceedings are according to the directions of these papers; for there is not a Commissioner chosen but Covenanters, or, if any uther be, there is a protestation against him, or else they are chosen becaus none other could be found. I find, also, ane absolut resolution to mentaine the lawfulnes of the election of ley Elders, to voit here, and the election of ministers by ley Elders, and everie thing in this Assembly going on contrare to the practice of all former tymes and positive lawes of this kingdome: Therefore, I can acknowledge nothing to be heir done by the voit of such men. In the meane tyme, I desyre that this declaration of the Kings will, may be insert in the Bookes of the Assembly, as ane testimonie of his Majesties sinceritie in religion, and that he hath no intention of any change in Religion, and is readie to perform all that is here promised, and what further may conduce for the peace of the land, and especiallie, that Assemblies shall be indicted als oft as the affares of the Church shall requyre.

The Moderatour his Speach to the Commissioner his Grace.

It weell beseemeth us, his Majesties Subjects, conveened in this honorable Assembly, with all thankfullnes, to receave so ample a testimonie of his Majesties goodnes, and not to disesteeme of the smallest crumbes of comfort that falles unto us of his Majesties liberalitie. With our hearts doe we acknowledge before God, and with our mouth do we desyre to testifie to the world, how farr we think ourselves obleist to our dread Soveraigne; wishing that the secrete thoughts of our hearts, and the way wherein we have walked this tyme past, wer made manifest. It hath bein the glorie of the reformed Churches, and we accompt it our glorie after a speciall maner, to give unto Kings and Christian Magistrats, what belongs unto their places; and as143 we know the fifth command of the law to be a precept of the second table, so doe we acknowledge it to be the first of that kynd; and that nixt to pietie towards God, we are obleist unto loyaltie and obedience to our King. There is nothing due unto Kings and Princes, in matters ecclesiasticall, which, I trust, by this Assembly, shall be denyed unto our King: ffor, beside auctoritie and power in matters civill, to a Christian King belongeth, first, inspection over the affaires of the Kirk, et debet invigilare not only super ecclesiasticis sed super ecclesiastica: He watcheth not only over Kirkmen, but over Kirk matters. Secondly, The vindication of Religion doth also belong unto the King, for whom it is most propper, be his Majestie, to vindicat Religion from contempt and all abuses, he being keiper also of the first table of the law. Thirdlie, The functions, also, are in his Majesties hand, to confirme, be his royall auctoritie, the Constitutions of the Kirke, and to give them the strenth of a law. Fourth, His Majestie also hath the power of Correction: he both may and aught compell Kirkemen in the performance of their dueties which God requires of them. Fifthly, The Correction, also, must be from the Prince, who hath power from God to coerce and restraine them to his terrour and auctoritie, from what beseemeth not their places and callings. Sixth, The Christian Magistrat, also, hath power to convocat Assemblies, when they find that the urgent affaires of the Kirk doe call for them: and in Assemblies when [they] are conveened, his power is great, and his power aught to be heard—first, as he is a Christian, having the judgment of discretion in all matters debateable and contraverted; next, as he is King or Magistrat, he must have the judgment of his eminent place and high vocation, to discerne what concernes the Spirituall weill and Salvation of his Subjects: and, third, as a Magistrat singularlie gifted with more then ordinarlie, gifts of knowledge and auctoritie; and we heartilie acknowledge that your Grace, as his Majesties high Commissioner, and representing his Majesties Royall persone, hes a cheefe place in this reverend and honorable Assemblie—first, as a good Christian; next, as ye are his Majesties great Commissioner, and third, as ane endued with singular graces, and after a speciall manner, fittest for this employment. Far be it from us to deny any thing that is done to these who are in supreme auctoritie, or to such as are subordinat unto them and delegat be them. When Alexʳ the Great came to Jerusalem, he desyred that [an] Image might be sett up in the temple, which the Jewis modestlie refuised as inconsistent with the law, which was the law of God, but libertie offered in their power, and more honourable for the King, that they would begin the reckonings of the tymes from his coming to Jerusalem, and would call all the first borne sons be his name. What is Cæsars or what is ours, let it be given to Cæsar, but [let] the God by whom Kings reigne, have his owne place and prerogative—be whose grace our King reigneth and we pray may long and prosperouslie reigne over us.

The Commissioner said—Sir, ye have spoken as a good Christian and duetifull subject.

The Moderatour said—Indeed we take this to be a free assembly indicted be his Majesty, and we trust that all thinges in it shall be so moderat, that the word of God and reason shall seeme to proceed in everie thing, and that we shall not goe forward ane steppe, but as a clear light shall be holden out before us; and we trust to make it evident to all men that we cannot not darre not walke in ane uther way, and we are hopefull, that such a righteous King as ours is, needs nothing but to have a clear trueth pointed out before him, and when he sies it, he shall fall in love with it.

The Commissioner said—I am hopefull that ye will proceed so as ye are obledged by your oath of alleadgence, and I trust that all his commands shall be found to agrie with Gods commands.

The Moderatour said—It is our heartie wishe it be so; and we rander to his Majestie heartie thankes for this Assembly, and we trust that, be Gods assistance, in nothing shall we pas the bounds of a free Assembly.

My Lord Lowdoun eikit and said—As your Grace hath declaired his Majesties graceous pleasure, to the contentment of all the hearers, in condiscending to many points of the petitions of his subjects, for the which we heir rander, as the Moderatour hath said, heartie thankes; and we humblie desyre ane copy of the Prelats paper, conteining so many criminations against us, opposing this lawfull constitut Assembly, that we may consider it and censure it, and thereafter the giving of it, according to the word of God and Constitution of this Kirke, may cleare ourselves of all the imputations layd to our charge.

The Commissioner said—It hath a claus in it, as I remember, bearing registration; therefore ye may get it.

My Lord Lowdoun said—But we crave that we may have ane copie of it, with your Graces allowance, out of the Clerks hands.

The Commissioner said—I will not hinder yow to cleare yourself of any imputation layd to your charge; but I will not suffer yow to goe on in censureing the prelats as I wishe I might.

My Lord Lowdoun said—We trust that all our proceedings against them shall be found frie of partialitie.

The Moderatour said—As before I asked if the bookes and Acts were the rule whereby their faults should be censured, Sir, now I ask if this Assembly finds themselves competent judges to the Prelats?

The Commissioner answered—If they proceed in the censure of their persones and offices, I must remove myselfe.

The Moderatour said—A thousand tymes I wishe the contrare; and I intreat your Grace to heare the voites of this Assembly in this matter, seeing it belongs to the Assembly to be judge of their Constitutions.

The Commissioner said—I must not wrong myselfe, and much more the great bussinesse I am entrusted with, if I should argue the question with such a learned man as yow are; but I thinke it strange, notwithstanding the exceptions, documents, protestations, and declinatours usit be me in name of my Master and Lords of the Clergie, that they can take this matter to the consideration of the Assembly. Surely it is not the Bishops but the King ye have adoe with?

The Moderatour said—I must yet ask if this Assembly finds themselves competent Judges?

The Commissioner said—I wish that question mar be deferred this tyme.

The Moderatour said—It is only the fitt tyme to propone this, after the reading of the declinatour; and I am only a servand to this Assembly, and can doe nothing at myne owne hand.

The Commissioner said—I can tax your carriage in nothing you have done, as a wise and discreit Gentleman; but I see now that this Assembly hes determined to go on for all that can be said; therefore I may no longer keepe silence, but oppose myselfe unto it.


Rothes said—It seemes that the Commissioners Grace hath exceptiounes against this Assembly—for two reasons—first, becaus too many ruleing Elders have voice in it; to which I answer, there are no more nor are warrandit be the word of God, practice of uther Kirkes, and positive law of this Kirke; and if that any yet thinke that Elders should not have voice in this Assembly, alse free as any in former tymes, let them cleare it be good reason, for we are yet readie to dispute the matter. The uther exceptioun his Grace seemes to have against this Assembly is, that he thinkes partialitie will be used heir, and that matters are determined by us before hand, as his Grace hath laboured to cleare be his two papers that are red, which are said to come from the Tables at Edinburgh; but we deny these papers to be ours; and heir I produce the two verie true papers which came from us, which have no thing in them so absurd as is said to be.

The Commissioner said—I excepted not agᵗ your privat, but against your publict papers.

Rothes answered—There came no papers from ws but these two be me produced; and if any uthers there be, they are only the advice of privat men to their privat friends; and if any thing be worth the challenging in these papers, let the author of them answer for it. And now we crave and humblie entreat your Grace if there be any exceptiounes against our former proceedings, that they be declared; for we are verie hopefull to justifie all we have done to the full, and that we shall be able to defend all as warrantable: for we never intendit but to proceed according to the word of God and lawes of this Church and Kingdome.

The Commissioner said—Your refuiseing to give voit in this Assembly to the Kings Assessours, is enough to prove the contrare, if there were no more.

Rothes answered—Their voits is contrare to the Constitutions and liberties of this Kirke, and therefore our refuiseing must not be taken in evil pairt.

The Commissioner said—That the Kings Majestie hath bruiked the priviledge of having assessours to voit in Assembly these 50 yeares past, and why not in this Assembly, seeing our King hes showen such myldnes and benignes, and hath not uttered any angrie word since I came to this Kingdome?

Rothes replyed—As we acknowledge that he hath beene a good and graceous King, so whatsomever is competent to be done to such a King, shall be done by us, to witt, at his willing, obedience heartilie prayes and wishes that he may lang and prosperouslie reigne over us; and if we doe not so, let not Gods blessing be upon us. But we must so proceed as this free Assembly be not prejudged, nor the liberties of this Kirk impaired, seeing we must make answer to ane higher judge. If the privilege craved were in matters that were in our power, we would soone have yealded; but seeing they are not, I thinke we should be excused.

The Commissioner said—Seeing ye will not give to our King what was given be our predecessours, I cannot thinke ye will have that obedience ye speake of.

Rothes answered—Obey we will, in everie thing dew to his Majestie, be the word of God and lawes of this Kirk, and shall be readie to thrust out of doores all such as will be utherwayes. But if that which is now craved was given in former tymes, not by a right law but by a corrupt practice, and matters were caried utherwayes in his Majesties absence then they should when many moe corruptions, as now to be redressed, why not that amongst the rest?

The Commissioner said—It is enough for us to prove that he had Assessours.

My Lord Rothes said—Let your Grace say that he had be right, and we shall agrie to it.

Moderatour said—Thinkes your Grace of these worthie and Noble Lords that sitt by yow, that this is refuised out of any disobedience to our King, or disrespect to these Nobles, but from a respect to God and his Kirke, and these Commissions may verie weill agrie?

The Commissioner said—No man may thinke but our graceous King will mentaine the liberties of his Kirk in all heartie and sincere wayes as any of his predecessours, and thinke he nowayes intends to incrotche vpon the liberties of the Kirk at this tyme, but only to defend it from the oppression of over-ruleing Elders; and yet I tax no man—for I have no charge to that end; and if I had, I thinke I have a heart to execute my Masters Command as ane other Man. But our King, intending only the maintenance of the puritie of religion in a quyet maner; and, therefore, I desyre that nothing be put in practice in this Assembly by ley Elders, which hath beene so long out of practice. If these Elders should have beene pleased that this Assembly should have beene constitut, after the late ordinar maner, and than have comed in and claimed their right to sitt and voit here in a fair way, I thinke it would have beene granted; for what could conduce more to further a Kings end, and strengthen his auctoritie in ane Assembly, than that a number of wyse and learned laymen should have voit in it? But becaus he intendeth only the preservation of the puritie of religion, he cannot consent that ane Assembly should consist of such a great number of ignorant men, wanting abilitie to judge matters to be handlit heir, but desyred only that this Assembly may consist of the Churches owne pure Members, that so she may receave no prejudice heir.

Lowdoun said—I perceave the maine objection against the voiting of the Ruleing Elders is yet urged, and their ignorance to judge in matters that are to be handlit heir;