A. D. M.D.LXVI.
The General Assemblie of the kirk, haldin in Edinburgh, within the
counsell house therof, the 25 day of Junij 1566. In the whilk
were present Erles, Lords, Barons of the Privie Counsell, viz.
Erle of Huntlie, chancellar, and Erle of Argyle, Alexander of
Galloway, Adam of Orknay, ane of the sessioun, Johne, commendator of Lindoiris, Johne Balfour of Pettindreich, knycht, with the
Superintendents, Ministers, and Commissioners for townes and
particular kirks. The invocatioun of the name of God made be
Mr John Craig, minister of Edinburgh.
First, for eschewing confusioun in reasoning, and to the effect that every
brother speake with sick modestie and measure as becomes the ministers of
Gods word to doe, with the assent of the whole Assemblie, Johne Erskine
of Dun, knycht, Superintendent of Angus and Mernes, was continuat moderator, who was content for the present to use the office.
[In the tryall of superintendents, the Superintendent of Fife consessed
his own inabilitie to discharge the office, and desired the Assemblie to
denude him of it.
Mr Johne Douglas rector of the Universitie of Sanct Andrews, Mr
George Hay minister of Ruthven, Mr George Buchanan, Mr Robert
Pont and Mr Robert Hamiltoun, were appointed to sit apart at set times,
to receave and decide questions, and to report the decisions to the
Ordaines that some of the brethren, in name of the haill kirk, make
supplicatioun to the Secreit Counsell and Sessioun of Justice, that no excommunicat person have any proces befor their honours unto the tyme they
be reconcileit to the kirk, cheislie when it is notour and objectit agains.
Anent the supplicatioun presentit be this Assemblie, in name of Robert,
comendator of Halierudehouse, shawand in effect how it was not unknawin
to there wisdoms, that he had diverse godlie and learned men of his awin
place of Halyrudehous, sick as Alexander Forrester and Peter Blackwood,
who are men of good conversation and literature, were received and admittit be the kirk in the ministrie, and how he had diverse kirks pertaining
to the said kirk, as the kirks of Tranent and St Cuthbert, and alledgit that
most decent and convenient it were that his saids kirks sould be servit be
the servants of the said abbay: Heirfor requeistit most earnestlie that the
kirk presentlie assemblit sould transport Mr Thomas Cranstoun and William
Harlaw, now ministers of his saids kirks, and place them at some uther
kirk as sould be thoght good be the haill Assemblie to appoint them, and
to place his saids servants at his saids kirks as ministers, there to be servit
be them in tyme comeing, as in the said requeist at lenth was conteinit.
The kirk having rypelie considderit the said supplicatioun, and advyseit
therupon, causit call befor them some of the elders of the saids parochines,
and diligentlie inquyred if they had any fault to lay against there ministers,
or if they wald be content that they sould be transportit fra them? Ansuer
was givin, that they had no cryme nor fault to there ministers, but that
they were better contentit with them then they wald be with any other
who could be presentit to them, and attour on naway wald be content
that any of them sould be transportit from them. Therfor the kirk presentlie assemblit, on naway could condiscend to the transportatioun of any
of them, for the respects befor reshearsit; bot brotherlie requeistit the said
Lord Comendator to provyde for some uther godlie ministers for some
uthers of his kirks whilks are altogether destitute of the preaching of the
true word of God, the speciall foode of ther soules, whilk they doubt not
but his Lordship will doe for discharge of his awin conscience.
[It was ordained that a request be written, and sent to the noblemen in
whose bounds some popish preists haunted and remained, and abused the
sacraments, and celebrated marriages for lucre. C.]
Sess. 2da. 26 Junij 1566.
The haill Assemblie, in respect of the perrills and dangers wherwith the
kirk of God is assaulted, and that be the mightie enemies, concludit a
generall fast to be publishied throughout this realme in all the kirks
[A publick fast was appointed to be holden on the two last Sabbaths of
Julie nixt, and the communion to be ministred upon the saids Lords days,
if it may be done convenientlie. C.]
Anent the supplicatioun givin in be Paul Methven, makeand ane lang
rehearsall of his miserable estate, the supplicatioun presentit in his name
to the Generall Assemblie haldin in Edinburgh in December 1564; of the
estate of the ansuer therto from the said Assemblie; of his long and tedious
journey out of Ingland to Scotland, and impediments that chanced him
by the way. Finallie, requeists for ane of thir twa, that is, either to
suspend excommunicating of the kirk for a tyme, and receive him in the
fellowship of the same, as ane poore sheip, upon ane conditioun, wher evir
he chances to be, upon halse a ȝeirs warning, he salbe bund to returne
againe at command of the kirk, and obey sick injunctiouns as they wold
command him to doe. Or if the kirk pleasit not this petitioun, then to
committ his ansuer to sick as the kirk sould please appoint, whose judgement and determinatioun (as his bodie micht beir) he promised be Gods
grace most humblie to obey. Finallie, all counsell that have followit heirtofoir, and himselfe he most humblie submittit to the judgement of the
present Assemblie, as in the said supplicatioun at length was conteinit.
Last of all, it was ordainit that he present himselfe personallie befor the
Assemblie; and being entrit, prostrate himself befor the whole brethren,
with weiping and houleing; and commandit to ryse, might not expresse
farder his requeist, being as appearit so sore troublit with anguish of heart,
was desyrit to be of good confort, and depart to his ludging, whill ordour
were tane anent his requeist.
And forsameikle as in the said Assemblie, haldin in December 1564, it
was concludit to receive him to repentance, now restit to conclude upon
the maner therof what he sould doe, when and wher; and for that purpose
was appointed the Superintendent of Fyffe, Mr Johne Dowglas rector of
St Androes, David Forrest, Mr George Hay minister of Ruthven, Mr
Johne Craig minister of Edinburgh, Johne Row of St Jonstoun, William
Chrystesone of Dundie, and Adame Heriot of Aberdeine, ministers, that
they sevin or sixe of them sould conveine the morne, at sevin houres befor noone, and appoint and take ordour in the premisses; and whatsumevir they doe heiranent, to signifie the same to the superintendent of Lauthiane and session of the kirk of Edinburgh; and ordaines them to put the
commissioners ordinance to execution; and als ordaines that the said Paul
Methven obey the same according to ther directiouns; and ordaines that
the said superintendent and kirk of Edinburgh, delyver the said ordinance
to the scribe of the Generall Assemblie, that he may insert the same among
uthers acts of the Generall Assemblie, for ane remembrance to the posteritie.
Questions and ther Ansuers.
First, It is asked, if any man contract mariage with ane woman once
maried, and her husband departing fra her to uther countreyes, and being
absent ix or x ȝeirs together, the woman having no testimoniall of his
death or not?
Answerit, The woman desyreing to marie, aught to seik, or cause to seik,
whither her first husband be dead or not, and to report ane sufficient testimoniall of his death or ever scho may joyne herselfe to another husband.
Whidder, if any person seikand donatioun or confirmation of benefices at
the Popes kirk, may be admittit to minister in the kirk of God?
Answerit, That sick a person aught not to be admittit to the ministrie, as
the question is conceivit.
[Whether a minister may enjoy a benefice sufficient for his sustentation,
where he travelleth not in the preaching of the word? It was answered,
That he ought to travell in the word where he receaveth his sustentation,
unles the kirk appoint otherwise. C.]
The commissioners appointit be the Generall Assemblie for ordouring of
Paul Methven his repentance, [reported the same to Mr John Gray scribe
of the Assemblie, in the tenour as followeth. C.] In consideratioun of the
said Pauls lamentable supplicatioun to the kirk, humble submissioun of himselfe to the same, and his absence out of this realme the space of two ȝeirs or
mair; Ordaines the ministrie of Edinburgh, that he upon ane Sonday after
sermoun notisie unto the peiple the said Paul his supplicatioun, and how the
General Assemblie hes ordainit to receive him to repentance with the conditions underwryten: And therfor to admonish all faithfull brethren that they,
within the nixt aucht dayes, notifie to the said minister of Edinburgh, if any
of them hes any knowledge, or are surelie informit of the said Paul his conversatioun and behaviour since his departure forth of this realme, whilk
might imped his receiving to repentance; whilk salbe on this maner, viz.
The said Paul, upon the said two preaching dayes betuixt the Sondayes,
sall come to the kirk doore of Edinburgh, when the second bell rings, clad
in sackcloath, baireheidit and bairefoottit, and there remaine whill he be
brocht into the sermoun, and placeit in the publick spectakill above the
peiple in tyme of every sermon dureing the said two dayes, and in the nixt
Sonday therafter sall compeir in lykemaner, and in the end of the sermoun
sall declare signes of his inward repentance to the peiple, humblie requyreing the kirks forgivenes; whilk done, he salbe cled in his awin apparrell,
and receivit in the society of the kirk, as ane lyvelie member thereof; and
this same ordour to be observit in Dundie and Jedbrucht, alwayes secluding
him fra any functioun of the ministrie of the kirk, and also from participatioun of the table of the Lord Jesus, unto the 25 of December nixt to
come, when the Generall Assemblie of the kirk conveines, unto the whilk
they ordaine the said Paul to resort, bringand with him sufficient testimoniall from autentique persons, of these places where he in the meane tyme
sall chance to remaine, reportand his conversatioun and behaviour; at the
whilk tyme the kirk fall take farder ordour what sall be done anent him.
[Mr John Craig, minister of Edinburgh, desired that John Carnes, who
had read prayers and exhorted four ȝeirs and more in Edinburgh, and had
weill profited, so that he was now able to be admitted to the ministrie,
might be joyned with him as collegue in the kirk of Edinburgh, in respect
he was alone: The Assemblie ordained the kirk of Edinburgh, with the
assistance of the superintendent of Louthian, to confider whether he were
fit and sufficient for that place, or some other. C.]