Act 19
Anent the ratificatione of the actes of the assemblie

The estates of parliament, presentlie conveened by his majesties speciall authoritie, ratifies, approves and perpetually confirmes the act of the general assembly holdine at Edinburghe in the moneth of August last bypast, mad wpon the seaveenteenth day of the said moneth and in the eight sessione of the said assembly, intituled, 'Anent the sex causes of our bygone evillis', wherof the tennour falloues: The kingis majestie, haveing graciouslie declaired that it is his royall will and pleasoure that all questiones about religion and matteris ecclesiasticall be determined by assemblyes of the kirke, haveing also by publicke proclamation indicted this free nationell assembly for setling the present distractiones of this kirke and for establishing of a perfyte peace against such divisiones and disorderis as have beene sore displeasing to his majestie and greivous to all his good subjectis, and now his majesties commissioner Johne, erle of Traquair, instructed and authoreized with a full commissione, being present and siting in this assembly now fullie conveened and orderly constitute in all the memberis thairof, according to the order of this kirke, haveing at large declaired his majesties zeale to the reformed religioun and his royall cair and tender affectione to this kirke, where his majestie had both his birth and baptisme, his great displeasour at the manifold distractions and divisiones of this kirke and kingdome, and his desyres to have all our woundis perfytlie cured with a fair and fatherlie hand; and, althought in the way approvine be this kirke tryell heath beene takine in former assemblyes befor from the kirke registeris to our full satisfactione, yit the commissioneris grace makeing particulare inquirie from the memberis of the assembly now solemnlie conveend, concerneing the reall and true causes of so mony and great evillis at this tyme past had so sore troubled the peace of this kirke and kingdome, it was represented to his majesties commissioner by this assembly that, besyde many other, the maine and most materiell causes were first the pressing of this kirke by the prelatis with a service booke or booke of commoun prayer, without warrand or directione from the kirke, and conteyneing besyd the popish frame thairof diverse popishe errouris and ceremonies and the seedis of manifold and grosse superstitiones and idolatrie, with a booke of cannones, without warrand or directione from the generall assembly, establishing a tirannicall power over the kirke in the persones of the beshopis, and overthroweing the whole discipline and governement of the kirke by assemblyes with a booke of consecratione and ordinatione, without warrand of authoritie, civill or ecclesiasticall, appoynting offices in the house of God which are not warranted by the word of God and repugnant to the discipline and actes of our kirke, and with the highe commissione erected without the consent of this kirke, subverting the jurisdictione and ordinarie judicatoris of this kirke, and giveing to persones meerlie ecclesiasticall the power of both suordis and to persones merlie civill the power of the keyes and kirke censures. A second cause wes the articles of Pearth, viz: the observatione of festivall dayes, kneeling at the communione, confirmatione, administratione of the sacramentis in privat places, which ware brought in by a null assembly and are contrary to the Confessione of Faith as it was meanit and subscryveit anno 1580 and diverse tymes since, and to the order and constitutione of this kirke. Thirdlie, the change of the governement of the kirke from the assemblies of the kirke to the persones of some kirkemen, usurping prioritie and power over thair brethrine by the way and wnder the name of episcopall governement, against the Confessione of Faith, 1580, againest the order set doune in the booke of policy and against the intentione and constitutione of this kirke from the begining. Fourthlie, civill places and power of kirkmen, thair siting in sessioun, counsell and exchekker, thair ryding, siting and voyting in parliament and thair sitting in the bench as justices of peace, which, according to the constitutiones of this kirke, are incompatible with thair spirituall functioun, lifte them wpe in worldlie pompe above there brethrine and doe tend to the hindrence of the ministrie. Fyftlie, the keeping and authoreizing of corrupt assemblies at Linlithgow 1606, 1608, at Glasgow 1610, at Aberdeene 1616, at Sanct Androwis 1617, at Pearth 1618, which are null and wnlaufall as being called and constitut quit contrarie to the order and constitutiones of this kirke received and practeised evir since the reformatione of religioun, and withall labouring to introduce novationes into this kirke against the order and religioun established. A sixt cause is the want of lauchfull frie generall assemblyes, rightlie constitute of pastoris, doctouris and elderis yearlie or oftiner pro re nata, according to the libertie of this kirke expressed in the booke of policy and acknowledged in the act of parliament 1592. After the which, the whole assembly in one heart and voyce did declaire that these and such other proceeding from the neglect and breach of the Nationell Covenant of this kirke and kingdome made anno 1580 have beene the true and maine causes of all our evillis and distractiones, and therfor ordeane, according to the constitutiones of the generall assemblies of this kirke and wpoun the groundis respective above specified, that the foirsaid service booke, bookis of cannones and ordinatione and the highe commissione be still rejected, that the articles of Pearth be no more practeised, that episcopall governement, the civill places and power of kirkemen be holdine still as wnlaufall in this kirke, that the abovenamed pretendit assemblies at Linlithgow 1606, 1608, at Glasgow 1610, at Aberdeene 1616, at Sanct Androwis 1617, at Pearth 1618, bee heirafter accompted as null and of none effect, and that for preservatione of religione and preventing all such evillis in tymecomeing generall assemblyes rightlie constitute as the proper and competent judge of all materis ecclesiasticall heirefter be keeped yeirlie and oftiner pro re nata, as occasioune and necessitie shall requyre (the necessitie of these occasioneall assemblies being first remonstrat to his majestie by humble supplicatione); as also that kirke sessionis, presbetries and synodell assemblyes be constitut and observed according to the order of this kirke. Which act, with all and sindrie the particular headis, clauss & articles thairinconteaned, the estates now conveend by his majesties indictione, warrand and authoritie foirsaid ratifies, approves and confirmes in all poyntes, in maner as the same proportis, and gives thairwnto the strenth of a lawe and act of parliament, and ordeanes executione to pas there upoun as effeires; and rescindis, cass and anullis all actes and decrees of parliament and counsell formerlie mad contrair and in prejudice of the said act or any pairt thereof.

Act 20
Act rescissorie

The estates of parliament, presentlie conveend by his majesties speciall authoritie, considering that the office of beshopis and archbeshopis and all other prelates, the civill places and pouer of kirkemen, as ther voyceing and ryding in parliament, are condemned by the assemblyes of this kirke, and considering the severall actes and complaintes of this kirke unto parliamentes from tyme to tyme against any persones, especiallie of prelatis thair attempting to voyce or doe any thinge in name of the kirke without either beiring office in the kirke or having commissione from the kirke, with hir frequent supplicationes to the parliament for dissolveing of all prelacies; considering also the petition of the commissioneris of the late generall assembly humbly craveing the resscissione of all actes of parliament which grantes to the kirke or kirkemen of whatsoever sort, allowed or disallowed, as representing hir or in hir name the privieledge of ryding and voycing in parliament as prejudiciall to hir liberties and incompatible with hir spiritual nature, declaires that the sole and only poure and jurisdictione within this kirke standis in the kirke of God as it is now reformed, and in the generall, provinciall, presbiteriall assemblies of the kirke, with the sessiones thairof, established by act of parliament in June 1592, cap. 114, which act the saidis estates, now conveened by his majesties speciall indictione, warrant and authoritie, revives and renewes in the haill headis, poyntes and articles therof (with this express declaratione: that according to the last clause in the act of the lat generall assembly of the 17 of August the necessitie of occasionall assemblyes be first remonstrat to his majestie by humble supplicatione), to stand in full strenth as a perpetuall law in all tymecomeing, notwithstanding of whatsoevir actes and statutis mad in the contrair therof in whole or in pairt, which the estates conveend as said is cass and annullis in all tymecomeing. And declaires that it is and shalbe laufull to the presbyteries of this kirke to exact and receive frome subjects of all qualityes thair oath of the Confessione of Faith and covenant, with the subscriptione therof, to examene pedegogues of the sones of noblemen passing out of the cuntrie, to give them testimoniellis according to former actes of parliament, to give and direct admonitionis privat or publicke to persones joyned in mariage for adherence, to designe manse and gleibes to ministeris, to appoynt stent maisteris for reparatione of kirke and kirkyairdis and for mentinance of the maisteris of schoolles, and to stent the parochineris conforme to the act of parliament, admit ministeris upon the presentationes from the laufull patrons or jure devoluto which shall happine heirefter or wnto kirkis which fall not wnder patronages suchlyke and als frielie as they did or might have done of before, and to doe all and whatsoevir thingis which befor perteened to presbetries and ware usurped by the prelatis. And that notwithstanding of whatsoevir acts or statutes mad in the contrair in favouris of beshopis, archbeshopis or other prelatis, which the estates authoreized in maner foirsaid cass and annullis, and speciallie the estates foirsaids cass and annullis [the 231st act]31597 anent the kirke and speciall persones and prelates voyceing in parliament and representing the third estat; the 2 act 1606, anent the restitutione of the state of beshopes and thair representing the third estat; the 8 Act 1607, anent the chapter of Sanct Androwes; the 6 act 1609, anent the commissariotis and jurisdictione givine to beshopis and archbeshopis; the first act 1612, anent the ratificatione of the pretendit actes of the assembly at Glasgow 1610; the first and second actis 1617, anent the electione of beshopis and restitutione of chapters, without prejudice allwayes to the ministeris serveing the cure of any emolumentis allowed to them in pairt of there stipend; the first act 1621, anent the ratificatione of the articles of the pretendit assembly holdine at Pearth; and finally the estates foirsaid conveend by authoritie reshindis and annullis all and whatsoevir actes of parliament, lawes and constitutiones in so farr as they derogat and are prejudiciall to the spirituall nature, jurisdictione, discipline and priviledges of this kirke or of hir generall, provinciall, presbiteriall assemblies and kirke sessiones, and so fare as they are conceived in favouris of archbeshopis, beshopis, abbotis, pryoris and others prelates or kirkemen, whatsoevir thair dignity, tytle, pouer, jurisdictione and estat in this kirke and kingdome, or in favouris of the civill places and pouer of kirkemen of quhatsoevir sort, alloued or disallowed, for thair ryding, siting and voyceing in parliament, either as kirkemen or the clergie or in name of the kirke or as representing the kirke either in regaird of there ecclesiasticall tytles, offices, places and dignities, or in regaird of the temporality or spirituality of there ecclesiasticall benefices or other pretext whatsoevir, with all actes and constitutiones of convention, counsell or sessione or other judicatorie whatsoevir, and all practeiss and customes whatsoevir introduced in favouris of the saidis offices, tytles, benefices or persones provydit therto. And declaires all persones civill or ecclesiasticall censured, deprived, confined or banished by vertue of whatsoevir actes, decreets or sentances givine and pronunced by the saidis archbeshopis and beshopis or otheris, there collegues and associatis in thair ecclesiasticall courtes holdine by vertue of the actes foirsaidis, or by any of them, or by vertue of the pretendit highe commissione and all actes interponed thairto against the persones forsaidis for not obedience of the foirsaids actis, or any of theme which are now repealed as said is, or for not acknowledging thair saidis courtes or for there pretendit contumacy and not compeirance to ansuer befor theme, to be null and of none availl, force nor effect, and the foirsaidis persones to be restored and reponit against the same, such lyke as if the samene had never givine nor pronunced.

Act 21
Act anent the choosing of committies out of everie estate

The estates of parliament, presentlie conveend by vertue of his majesties speciall authoritie, considering that there have diverse questiones arisine in this present parliament anent the freedome of the parliament either to choose or not to choose committies for articles, and when they resolve to choose, anent the maner of electioun of them and their use and power by reasone the same is not yit determined nor set doune by any acts of former parliamentes, for removeing wherof and avoyding the great prejudice which by experience they find will heerby redound to this kingdome and to the libertie, friedom and dignitie of the supreme courtes of parliament, they have thought it necessary that a solid order be sett doune, asweell declairing the libertie of the parliament in the maner of thair proceedingis by themselves alone or by committies for articles as prescrybing the forme and maner of the electione of these committies for articles5and desyneing thair use, power and maner of there proceedingis to be observed in all tymes comeing; and therfore have statute and declaired that, according to the libertie of all frie judicatories anent thair owne preparatorie committies, all subsequent parliamentis may, according to the importance of effaires for the tyme, either choose or not choose severall committies for articles as they shall thinke expedient, and that any subsequent parliamentes makeing electioun of committies for articles to prepair materis for them shall proceed in maner falloweing, to wit: that these of the noblemen shalbe named and choosine by the noblemen themselves out of thair nomber, and by the barrones, commissioneris of shyres, by themselves out of ther nomber, and the burgess, commissioneris of burrous, by themselves out of there nomber, the names of the which persones so named and choosine out of everie estate (not exceeding for every committie the nomber prescryveit by the act of parliament 1587) being openlie red and mad knowne to the whole estatis sitting in plaine parliament, the said estates haveing received any propositiones (which are evir first to be represented to themselves) by ane act shall authoreize the said persones with power to treat, reason or consult wpoun the expediencie or inexpediencie of such articles allenerlie as shall be commited and recommendit unto them be the estates and to set doune such reasones and motives as they can devyse wherby to enforce either the passing or rejecting of the samene in parliament, to be reported with the said articles to the remanent of the said estates assembled in parliament, that they may deliberat and advyse therwpon; and that efter discussing of the reasones givine in either for or against the samene, the said estates may ordeene suche of the saidis articles as they find to desserve consideratione to be formed and past as articles to be voyted in plaine parliament. And incaise it shall happine them to omit or forget to make report to the estates as said is of any of the saidis articles, with thair reasones for or against the same, it shall be laufull in that caise to the ingiveris of the saidis articles to propone the samene againe in plaine parliament that they may there be determined and decydit. And farder, to the effect that the saidis estates may be in reddines to receave all articles which shall be givine in and presented to the parliament and ather to give ansuer therwnto themselves if they shall thinke it expedient or wtherwayes recommend the same to the said committie to be digested by them and reported as said is, it is thought fitt and declaired that the rest of the estates by and besyd these of the severall committies of the articles shall be holdine continowally to sit for receiving, advysing and discussing of all articles, propositions, overtures, and materes shall be presented to them from the begining of the parliament to the cloosure therof, and such lyke after all the saidis articles are past and discussed by the saidis estates in maner foirsaid, that they shall take suche a competent tyme as they shall think requisit, according to the nomber and importance of the effaires in hand, to reveise and consider the samen againe befor the day of voyceing, that they may be weell and ryplie advysed thairanent.

  1. NAS, PA2/22, f.30r-31v.
  2. NAS, PA2/22, f.31v-32v.
  3. APS interpolation. However, the printed act states 'the 23 act', The Acts made in the Second Parliament of our most high and dread sovereign Charles, by the grace of God, King of Scotland, England, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c. Holden at Edinburgh in the severall Sessions thereof, according to the dates therein mentioned (Edinburgh, 1641), p.21.
  4. NAS, PA2/22, f.32v-33v.
  5. The words 'as prescrybing the forme and maner of the electione of these committies for articles' are repeated in the manuscript.