In respecte the tyme of this nationall assembley and synod of Glasgow, wich sate from the 21 of Nouember, wntill the 21 of December this zeire, 1638, so maney bussines wer handled of heighe concernment, I will heir, for the readers memorey, onlie sett doune a diarey of the most important and memorable thinges and passages, that hapned in this so much longed for generall assembley.
21 Nouember, Sessio 1.
Vednesday, a sermon preached by Mr Johne Bell, minister of Glasgow.
The rolles of euery presbiterey called, and ther commissions deliuered.
22 Nouember, Sessio 2.
Thursday, after much adoe, Mr Alexander Hendersone, of the presbiterey of St. Andrewes, and minister of Leuchers, was elected, with applausse of the haill assembley, moderater.
23 of Nouember, Sessio 3.
Friday, Mr Archibald Ihonston wes elected clercke. He produces the bookes, and registers of the generall assembley, wich wer thought ather to haue beine destroyed by the prælats or lost. They wer deliuered to sundrie learnid ministers and lawyers, to be perwsed and adwysed if they be authenticke.
24 Nouember, Sessio 4.
Saterday, the walidity of the commissions wer trayed.
26 Nouember, Sessio 5.
Monday, Mr Thomas Mackenzie, minister, commissioner for the Chanrey of Rosse, presented a protestatione aganist reulinge elders; and being requyred if he wold adhere to it, he stole from it in the end, being conuinced by Mr Androw Ramsay.
27 Nouember, Sessio 6.
The registers of the assembley approuen as authenticke.
Fyfteine ioyned with the moderator, for ordering of business that wer to be proponed to the assembley.
A priuey conference, proposed by the moderator, anent bussinesse, and alloued by his Maiesties Commissioner, one condition it should not wronge the Kinges intrest; altogidder reiected by the assembley, onlie it was left arbitratrey to the moderator to call for aney of the ministers of the assembley, to assist and consulte with him.
Protestatione in name of the archischops and bischopes, &c. and ther adherents, presented by Doctor Hamilton, the preceding day, read at the Commissioners earnist desyre; the Lord Montgomerey and young Durie tooke instruments (wpon the production of this protestation, and declinator,) that they refused to compeire, and protested quhat passed aganist them, should be als walide and pouerfull as if they wer present, they being lawfully sumond; and that Doctor Hamilton should attend. The Commissioner protested, in ther name, aganist euery particular, and that they should suffer no preiudice.
Resons read by the clercke for reuling elders.
28 Nouember, Sessio 7.
Vedinsday, the Commissioner caussed read his Maiesties commissions, discharging the seruice booke, booke of canons, heighe commissione, 5 artickells of Perth, wnlawful othes at the entrey of ministers, &c. and all actes establishing the same; as also allouing the assemblies, so ofte as the kirke shall requyre, and that bischopes shall be layable to ther censure; he lykwayes requyred all present at the assembley, that they should subscriue the old Confession of Faith and Band of Mantinence.
The Lord Commissioner said, that the assembley was not free, as he instanced from tua papers, directed from the tables at Edinbrughe, (wich wer read,) and so he could not giue ather consent, ore assent to the conclusions of the same, and threttnid that he wald depairt from the assembley.
The Commissioner mainlie opposes aganist the ouer-ruling pouer of reuling elders, (as he called it,) quho hauing beine out of possesion for maney zeires, and now intrudit themselues, wich should not haue beine, without suplicatting his Maiestie befor ther repossesion; then he arraysses from his seatt, and in the Kinges name discharges the courte, and protests that nothing done therin should preiudyce or be aney wayes obligatorey to the subiects, nor præiudiciall to his Maiestie.
The assemblie caussed read ther protestation by the clercke, one the contrarey; and therafter directed some of the young noblemen and wthers complainers, quho wer not members of the assembley, to the mercat crosse to reid that protestation, wich was accordingly done; and so his Maiesties Commissioner departed.
After the Lord Commissioners departure, all except foure or fyue members, did acknouledge the lawfullnes of the assembley, and did adheare to ther protestation made; and acknouledged the assembley to be competent iudge to the prælats and ther adherents, notwithstanding of ther protestation and declinator.
The Lord Erskyne subscriues the couenant in face of the assembley, with tears.
29 Nouember, Sessio 8.
Thursday, the ministers quho wer excepted aganist the bischopes declinator, as being wnder the censure of the kirke in Irland, gaue in ther reassons for cleiring ther innocencey, and shewed the Irishe bischopes proceidings aganist them. They wer approuen and accepted as members of the assembley.
Ther was something said aganist Mr Robert Blare in the proclamation, viz. that he was ane enimey to monarchicall gouerniment, wich had beine the reasson quhay he was remoued out of Glasgow colledge; bot he cleired himselue, and was admitted as a member of the assembley.
Mr Dauid Dicksone, Mr Samuell Rutherfurd, and Gordon, Laird of Earleston, in Galloway, being excepted aganist, as wnder the censure of the heigh commission, cleired the iniustices of the proceidinges aganist them, and ther auen innocencey, and wer acknouledged to be members of the assembley.
Some ministers, with thre noblemen, 3 barons and three burgesses, wer appoynted for sighting the actes of the assembley, for cleiring and exponding the couenants, and to report in wreat ther diligence to the assembley.
Mr Thomas Touers,
Mr Johne Watsone,
Mr Thomas Brodie,
Dor: Johne Strange,
Mr Patrick Macgill, and
Sr Jo: Carnegey of Ethie,
quho the preceiding day had takin to adwysse wither they wold assist the assembley, notwithstanding the Commissioners deperture; and wither they thought the assembley a competent judge for the bischopes, notwithstanding ther declinator; being called wpone, wer all of them.
The Lord Montgomerey, in his auen name, and in name of the remanent compleiners, gaue in and produced the Bischope of Gallowayes accusatione, wich was read in the assembley; he being called, compeired not.
A committee of some of eurey presbeterey wer appoynted by the assembley to tray the sumonds giuen in aganist the bischopes.
Doctor Hamilton, the bischopes procurator, was thrysse called, bot compeired not.
A committee ordanid for examinatione of the seruice booke, bookes of canons and ordinatione, and heighe commissione.
30 Nouember, Sessio 9.
Fryday, the clercke was desyred to take notice that the Lord Theasurer, Traquaire, was present and assisted at the election of Peiblis; and consequently allowed the reuleing elders, altho he did opposse the same in face of the assembley.
The sumonds aganist the bischopes was read, and the caueatts quherto they wer bound, wich they had brokin notoriouslie, and it was thought expedient that they should be prowin, for cleiring the assembley, and all that should heire of it; wich caueatts they pretendit a freedome fra.
Some ther present did auerre, that Lindesay, Bischope of Edinbrughe, should haue said, that a letter assembley had freed them from suche caueatts.
And Archbischope Spotswood, of St. Andrewes, opinly did say and professe, that they had neuer a mynd to keepe one of them; and that they wer onlie made for the fashon, and to giue contentment to some turbulent and contentious heides.
Reasons wer also read for the nullities of the assemblies of Linlithgow, Ao 1606 and 1608, Glasgow 1610, Aberdeine 1616, St. Andrewes and Perthe 1617, and a comittee appoynted to reuisse and report the nixt day. Sundrie brethreen declared the wnlawfullnes of Perths assembley, by the woycing of them that had no commissione, and out putting of them that had commission; at wich assembley the Archbischope of St. Andrewes forbad them to woyce aganist kneeling in receauing the sacrament of the Lordes supper.
1 December, Sessio 10.
Saterday, the Archdeane of St. Andrewes, Mr Dauid Michell, and Mr Patrick Panters processe wer giuen in and read in assembley. The Archdeans accusatione was drunkennesse, sacraleidge in detaining 600 libs. wich was collected for support of the dewynes of the Palatinat, &c. He wssed the crosse in baptisme, and did forgett his text through drunkennesse.
3 December, Sessio 11.
Monday, lybellit crymes aganist Mr Dauid Michell, minister of Edinbrughe, wer sufficiently prowin, and he, by the ioynt woyces of the assembley, depriued, wich sentence the moderator pronunced aganist him.
4 December, Sessio 12.
Vpon complaint of the commissioners of Edinbrughe, ther past ane acte of assembley, finding Mr Alexander Thomsone, Mr James Hannay and Mr Dauid Fletcher, to deserue depositione for ther declinator and protestatione aganist the assembley, and wther waighty crymes, &c. Commissione giuen after the ryssing of the assembley to 12 ministers and 12 reuling elders, noblemen, barons and burgesses, to conweine at Edinbrughe, and pronounce sentence of depositione aganist them.
The Archbischope of St. Andrewes proces prowen, and he, by the wnanimous woyces of the assembley, deposed. The crymes alledgit aganist him wer breache of the caueatts, adulteries, breache of the Sabothe, drunkennesse, incest, &c.
They that wer vpone the nullities of the lait assemblies gaue in ther report in wreat, wich beinng read and considered, the assembley, after full deliberation, all in one woyce did find the same assemblies null, for the reassons by them cleirlie seine and wnderstood.
5 December, Sessio 13.
Vedinsday, Mr Johne Crightone, minister at Pasley, being found by witnesse that he was ane professed Arminiane, and popeische champtone; him the assembley, all in one woyce, deposed.
6 December, Sessio 14.
The comittee for the bookes of seruice, canons and ordinatione, and heighe commissione, makes ther report in wreat, wich being read, the saids bookes, by full consent of the assembley, wer reiected and condemned as popesche, erronius and altogider destructiue to the discipline established in the churche of Scotland, and wthers of the best reformed churches of Europe.
7 December, Sessio 15.
Mr Thomas Sydserffe, Bischope of Galloway, for poprrie, deposed by all the woyces of the assembley, and excommunicat.
The complaint aganist Mr Walter Whytefurd, Mr Dauid Lindesay, Bischope of Brechin, and probatione therof, was read, and all in one woyce did ordaine him to be deposed and excommunicat.
8 December, Sessio 16.
Saterday, after much reiding of papers and dispute anent the lawfullnes of Episcopacey in this churche, at last the questione 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 aganist 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 the 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 publickly 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 of 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 trayell 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, 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 therin, 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.