The principal acts of the general assembly, holden and begun at Edinburgh, March 6, 1702.
Sess. 1, Edinburgh, March 6, 1702.—The Recording of his Majesty's Commission to
Patrick Earl of Marchmont, Lord High Chancellor of this Kingdom, for Representing
his Majesty's Royal Person in this Assembly.
This day, the General Assembly of the ministers and elders of this National
Church being convened and constituted, there was produced to them by Patrick Earl
of Marchmont, Lord High Chancellor of this kingdom, his Majesty's Commission,
under the Great and Privy Seals thereof, making and constituting him his Majesty's
High Commissioner and Representative in this National Assembly, which Commission being publicly read with all due honour and respect, the General Assembly
did, and hereby do, appoint the same to be recorded in the registers of this Assembly, therein to remain ad futuram rei memoriam, whereof the tenor follows:—"Gulielmus," &c.
Eadem Sessione.—His Majesty's gracious Letter to the General Assembly.
The said day, his Majesty's High Commissioner presented his Majesty's most
gracious Letter directed to this General Assembly, which was publicly read with
all due honour and respect, and is appointed to be recorded in the registers of this
Assembly, the tenor whereof follows:—
Right Reverend and well-beloved,
We greet you well. The full satisfaction we have had from the proceedings of
the former Assemblies does very much encourage us to countenance your meeting at
this time, and as we take this occasion to renew to you the assurances we have often
given you of our resolutions to maintain the government of the Church as it is now
established, so we recommend to you calmness and unanimity in your proceedings,
and that you will carefully avoid such disputes as may in this juncture be improven
to the disturbance of the peace of Church and State, especially after the late
attempt that has been made towards the subversion of both, of which we know you have
the same sense with our other good subjects, which has sufficiently appeared in the
several addresses presented to us.
We have appointed our right trusty and right entirely beloved cousin and councillor, Patrick Earl of Marchmont, our Chancellor, to represent our royal person in
this Assembly; his experience and fidelity, which have appeared in the several eminent
trusts discharged by him, as they have made us choose him, so we doubt not but they
will render him acceptable to you. We have instructed him fully with our mind in
every thing needful, and, therefore, recommending to you to give him entire trust
and credit, we bid you heartily farewell.
Given at our Court at Kensington, the 23d day of February 1701–2, and
of our reign the thirteenth year.
By his Majesty's command,
Direct.—To the Right Reverend and well-beloved, the Moderator,
Ministers, and Elders, of the General Assembly of the Church
Sess. 3, March 9, 1702.—Act anent the Production of Synod Books to the General
The General Assembly appoints that all the Synod books not as yet produced be
brought to the next meeting, and that in time coming all Synod books be punctually
brought in, and presented to the General Assembly yearly, in the beginning thereof,
according to the ancient laudable custom.
Sess. 5, March 11, 1702.—Appointment of the General Assembly anent a Commission,
and drawing Instructions thereto.
His Majesty's High Commissioner having represented to the General Assembly
the sad and melancholy news he had received from Court this morning, of the indisposition and dangerous state of health of the King's Majesty, his master, our gracious
Sovereign, was under, and how inconvenient it might prove if any sudden account
of his Majesty's death (which God avert) should happen to come during the sitting
of this Assembly, and that, therefore, it was his Grace's opinion and desire (though it
was resolved this Assembly should have had due time to go through their affairs deliberately and with leisure) that now they should with all expedition dispatch such
necessary business as was in dependence before them, and likewise fall upon some
method to keep a public and established course of discipline and order in the Church,
whatever might fall out. The General Assembly, taking into their serious consideration what was thus represented by his Majesty's High Commissioner, and being convinced of the inconveniences that may arise, if, during the sitting of this General
Assembly, and at this juncture, any such account of the King's death (which the Lord,
in mercy, prevent) should come to hand, and yet how necessary it is that there be a public and established course of discipline and order kept up in this Church by a judicatory,
consisting of such members as may make up an equal representation thereof, whatever,
at the pleasure of Almighty God, may fall out; do, therefore, nominate and appoint
these following, viz., Mr Charles Gordon at Askirk, Mr John Stirling, Principal of
the College of Glasgow, Mr William Crichton at Edinburgh, Mr James Brown at
Glasgow, Mr John Anderson, jun. at St Andrews, Mr Thomas Blackwell at Aberdeen, Mr Alexander King at Elgin, and Mr Thomas Wilkie at Canongate, Ministers;
the Lord Advocate and Laird of Megginch, Ruling Elders; to be a committee to retire
instantly for nominating ministers and elders to be members of a Commission of this
Assembly and National Church, and also for drawing up of instructions to the said
Commission, and report to this Assembly so soon as possible: And it is recommended
to the said committee to nominate, in the first place, all those old and experienced
ministers yet alive that were ministers in the year 1661; and, next, all those of most
experience and ability, with a just proportion and representation from the several
Presbyteries of this Church, and bring in the draught of a Commission, and instructions, accordingly.
Eadem Sessione.—Act and Recommendation anent Ministers' Stipends, &c.
There being brought in to the General Assembly the following overture from the
committee for overtures, the same was voted and approven, and the General Assembly did, and hereby do, recommend and appoint according thereto; the tenor whereof
Overtured that recommendation be made by the General Assembly to the Commission of Parliament for Plantation of Kirks, &c., for giving due dispatch and encouragement to all processes for modification and locality of stipends, that so mini
sters may have a suitable maintenance and a competency for communion elements,
and ready access thereto; and that it be recommended to the several Presbyteries to
send in an account to the Clerk of the General Assembly, or Agent for the Kirk, of
such parishes in their bounds as either want legal stipends, or want decreets for their
stipends and communion elements, and to send therewith an account of the state of
such parishes, and of the church, manse, and glebe thereof; and, likewise, it is overtured to the General Assembly, that in all transportations in time coming, previous
inquiry be made if there be a legal stipend, and a decreet therefor, in the parish
craving the transportation.
Sess. 5, March 11, 1702, post meridiem.—The General Assembly's Answer to
His Majesty's gracious Letter.
May it please your Majesty,
Your royal letter, expressing your full satisfaction with the proceedings of our former Assemblies, and the renewed assurances your Majesty is pleased to give us of
your resolution to maintain the government of the Church as now established, are accepted by us with all thankfulness, and lay upon us the deepest obligations to use our
best endeavours to perpetuate to this Church so great a blessing.
We have hitherto, through the favour of God, behaved with all possible calmness
and unanimity, and do hope, through the same Divine grace and assistance, and with
that due respect we owe your Majesty, to avoid everything that may be improven to
the least disturbance, or give any advantage to your Majesty's and our adversaries.
The great concern of the Protestant religion, now in such visible hazard from the
attempts of common enemies, doth certainly oblige us not only to be aware of all unseasonable diversions, but also to give your Majesty, whom God hath so eminently
raised up to be its great protector, as well as our gracious deliverer, all the assurances
of our most hearty and dutiful concurrence and service.
The Lord High Chancellor, whom your Majesty hath been pleased to appoint to
represent your royal person in this Assembly, hath not only approven himself to your
Majesty, by his fidelity in discharging these eminent trusts wherewith he hath been
so deservedly honoured; but was so constant and faithful a partaker in our late sufferings, and hath ever since appeared so true a friend to this Church, that your Majesty's choice is to us most acceptable: and we are hopeful, through the blessing of
God, and the countenance your Majesty is pleased to give us, to dispatch the affairs
of this Assembly to your Majesty's entire satisfaction.
But, while we are dispatching this return, we have the surprising and most afflicting news of your Majesty's dangerous condition, by reason of sickness, which not only
prevents the design we had of an humble address of duty and affection to your Majesty, for adhering to and maintaining your Majesty and your most rightful government over us against all adversaries, but obliges us to betake ourselves wholly to
most earnest supplication to God for your Majesty's preservation; and that it may
please Him, of his infinite mercy, to this and all the churches of Christ, to restore you
to perfect health, and yet to bless us with your long and prosperous reign, for the
good of all your dominions.
May it please your Majesty, your Majesty's most faithful, most obedient, and most humble subjects, the Ministers and Elders, met
in this National Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
Signed in our presence, in our name, and at our appointment, by
D. Williamson, Moderator.
Eadem Sessione.—Commission to some Ministers and Elders for Planting Vacant
Kirks, and other Affairs remitted to them.
The General Assembly, considering that there are yet some vacant churches on
the North side of Tay, as likewise several weighty affairs which this Assembly cannot overtake, doth, therefore, find it needful that there be a commission granted to
some ministers and elders for planting these vacant churches, and doing what other
affairs shall be referred to them; and for that end, do hereby nominate, commissionate,
and appoint, Mr William Mitchell, minister at Dundee, &c. &c., to be commissioners
of this General Assembly, to the effect in Act IV., and before and after mentioned;
with full power to the said persons, or their quorum, which is hereby declared to be
any fifteen of the said commissioners, whereof nine are always to be ministers, to meet
and convene within the Assembly-House at Edinburgh the first day after the dissolution of this Assembly, at ten hours in the forenoon, and afterwards to meet the first
Wednesdays of June, September, December, and March, and oftener when and where
they shall think needful and convenient; with full power to the said Commission to
choose their own moderator. And suchlike, the General Assembly fully empowers
and authorises their said commissioners, or their quorum, to receive, consider, cognosce,
and finally determine, as they shall see cause, in everything contained in and conform
to the instructions given by the General Assembly, held in the year 1701, to their
Commission, which are hereby renewed and holden as expressed; and this Commission
is appointed to proceed according thereto, as fully and freely as if the said instructions
were in these presents at full length inserted and set down; and farther, they are by
these presents empowered to cognosce upon, and determine in all references and
appeals made to this Assembly from any inferior judicatory of this Church, and particularly, in such references as were made to this Assembly by the late Commission of
the General Assembly, 1701, of the affairs that were by them left undiscussed, and
such other particulars as have been tabled before this Assembly, and not as yet determined; and to be careful to send some to supply vacant churches in the North;
and, generally, with power to the said Commission to advert unto the interest of the
Church on every occasion, and that the Church do not suffer or sustain any prejudice
which belongs to them to prevent, as they will be answerable to the next General
Assembly. And they are hereby strictly prohibited and discharged to meddle in any
other matters than what is herein contained. Declaring also, that in and for all their
actings they shall be accountable to and censurable by the next ensuing General Assembly of this Church. And, lastly, declares, that this Commission shall continue
until the meeting of the next General Assembly.
VIII. The next General Assembly of this National Church is to be held at Edinburgh
the tenth day of March, in the year 1703.
This Assembly being closed, the members were dismissed with prayer, singing the
46th psalm, from the beginning to the 6th verse, and pronouncing of the blessing.
Collected and extracted from the Records of the General Assembly, by
Dav. Dundas, Cls.
Address to the queen on her accession to the throne by the commission of the general assembly, Edinburgh, march 13, 1702.
May it please your Majesty,
As we were greatly afflicted with the sad account we had of the death of our late
Sovereign, King William, of ever blessed and glorious memory, by whom and under
whose happy government, through the favour of God, we enjoyed many signal blessings, so we desire heartily to bless God for his having set your Majesty, a true Protestant Queen, upon the throne to rule over us.
And we humbly tender your Majesty our hearty thanks for the early and full assurance which your Majesty is pleased to give in your gracious letter to your Privy
Council, of your firm resolution during the whole course of your reign, to protect all
your people of this kingdom, not only in their laws and liberties, but also in their religion, and in the established government of this Church, both which we are persuaded
are founded upon the Word of God, and, therefore, most dear and precious to us.
We farther presume to assure your Majesty, that we do own and acknowledge your
Majesty's title to the crown as most undoubtedly lawful and rightful; and that in our
places and stations we will assert and maintain the same to the utmost of our power,
against all pretenders whomsoever, and will use our best endeavours with the people
committed to our charge, to keep and preserve them in their duty and loyalty to your
Our constant and servant prayer to God shall be, that he may preserve and bless
your royal person and government, guide and direct all your counsels, and still more
and more endue your Majesty with all Christian and royal gifts and graces, that so
your reign may be long and every way happy and prosperous over us, and your
people, under you, may enjoy peace and truth, the greatest of blessings, to the glory
of God, and your Majesty's entire satisfaction.
Signed in our presence, in our name, and at our appointment, by
D. Williamson, Moderator.