Act 4
Act regarding the admission of ministers to those kirks which belonged to bishoprics

The estates of parliament, presently convened by his majesty's special authority, considering that the right of patronage and power of presenting of ministers to diverse kirks within this realm has been acclaimed and possessed by the sometime pretended bishops and archbishops within this kingdom, by virtue of the second act of parliament in 1606 regarding the restitution of the estate of bishops or by some other right or pretence of right, to the very great grief and prejudice of this kirk, her just liberty and possession since the reformation by superintendents and the commissioners of the kirk before the erection of presbyteries, and since by presbyteries themselves, who have been respectively in possession for providing and planting of all kirks within this kingdom belonging to the bishoprics, and that even since their annexation in 1587, upon the suit and calling of the congregations and parishes where the ministers were to serve in the function of the ministry, which is most evident by the 7th act of the 1st parliament of [King James VI], our dearest father, in the year 1567, and by the assignation to ministers of stipends out of the third of benefices and letters of horning constantly used to be directed by deliverance of the lords of session upon the provisions and admissions of ministers to the said stipends out of the thirds of benefices by superintendents, commissioners of the kirk and presbyteries respectively, without any presentation at all, both before and since the act of annexation of 1587, whereby the ministers so provided and admitted did possess and enjoy the fruits and rents assigned and their stipends during their lifetime, and many of them yet living do still possess and enjoy the same, and also the foresaid privilege and the right of the kirk is evident by diverse acts of her general assemblies made relating thereto, and by her frequent grievances against the usurpation of prelates and others upon her possession, and especially by her protestation against the foresaid two acts of parliament of King James VI, his majesty's late dearest father, held in the year 1606, whereby the prelates pretended right of patronages and advocations of kirks, and defrauded the kirk thereof. And now seeing the said act of that parliament in the year 1606 is rescinded, made void and annulled in this present parliament, and it is most reasonable that the kirk be restored now after the abolition of the estate of bishops to the wonted rights, privileges and liberties which she had and was in possession of before the restitution of bishops, therefore the said estates of parliament convened as said is decree, statute and ordain that according to the said 7th act of the 1st parliament of the king's majesty's late dearest father, the full power of providing of all ministers to kirks, which the said pretended bishops have been in use to provide since the said act of their restitution in 1606, shall hereafter belong and appertain to the kirk and that in all time coming presbyteries (who are now in place of superintendents and commissioners of the kirk) within their separate jurisdictions shall provide and admit ministers to all those vacant kirks which before were acclaimed by the foresaid bishops by the said act of restitution of 1606, to the fruits and stipends thereof, without prejudice always to any patronages of kirks which belong either to the king's majesty or to any lay patron or to any nobleman, baron or burgess by right and possession before these late troubles, and without prejudice of the interest of the parishes according to the acts and practice of the kirk since the reformation; and declare that the said provision and admission, with collation and institution following thereupon, shall be a sufficient right and title for the entrant to enjoy and possess the whole fruits, rents and stipends whatsoever belonging to the kirk, and to the ministers serving the cure thereat, and ordain the lords of session and all other judges competent to give out decreets and sentences, letters accordingly, horning, inhibition and all other executorials upon the said provision and admission of ministers by presbyteries, collation and institution following thereupon, likewise as they are in use to do upon collation and institution following upon presentations from lawful patrons.

Act 5
Regarding the Large Declaration or manifesto

The estates of parliament, convened by his majesty's special authority, considering that the supplication of the late general assembly to his majesty's commissioner against a book called A Large Declaration, as follows, was presented to us by the commissioners of the kirk and recommended to his majesty's commissioner for obtaining from his majesty's justice and goodness the desire thereof, and as the said book was examined by the appointment of the assembly and found to be dishonourable to God and his true religion, to this kirk and kingdom, to the king's majesty and to [James Hamilton], marquis of Hamilton, then his majesty's commissioner, and diverse other persons therein, and to be full of lies in averring known untruths, in wilfully concealing and perverting many truths, in wresting of intentions, words and actions, as is particularly contained in the censure of the book registered in the registers of assembly, so they having re-examined the same, declare their judgment to be the same relating thereto, and therefore ordain the authors and spreaders thereof to be most severely punished according to the laws of this kingdom against leasing makers between the king's majesty and his subjects, slanderers of the king and kingdom, and raisers of sedition and discord between them, that all others may be deterred from such dangerous courses, God's honour may be vindicated, the innocency of this kirk and kingdom and his majesty's justice and goodness may appear not only in censuring such malefactors but in discouraging all such underminers of his majesty's throne and abusers of his royal name by prefixing the same to such scandalous and dishonourable treatises.

  1. NAS, PA2/22, f.16r-16v.
  2. NAS, PA2/22, f.17r.