Act against blasphemy

Our sovereign lord, with advice and consent of the estates of parliament, does hereby ratify and approve and confirm the 21st act of the first session of the first parliament of King Charles II, entitled, act against the crime of blasphemy, in the whole heads, clauses and articles thereof, and ordains the same to be put to due and punctual execution. And further, his majesty, with advice and consent foresaid, statutes and ordains that whoever hereafter shall in their writing or discourse, deny, impugn or quarrel, argue or reason, against the being of God, or any of the persons of the blessed trinity, or the authority of the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, or the providence of God in the government of the world, shall for the first fault be punished with imprisonment, until they give public satisfaction in sackcloth to the congregation, within which the scandal was committed. And for the second fault, the delinquent shall be fined in a year's valued rent of his real estate, and the twentieth part of his free personal estate (the equal half of which fines are to be applied to the use of the poor of that parish within which the crime shall happen to be committed, and the other half to the party informer) besides his being imprisoned, until he makes again satisfaction as above. And for the third fault, he shall be punished by death as an obstinate blasphemer. Likewise his majesty, with advice and consent foresaid, hereby authorises and strictly requires and enjoins all magistrates and ministers of the law, and judges within this kingdom, to put this present act into execution as to the first fault. And does hereby empower and require all sheriffs, stewarts, bailies of bailiaries and regalities and their deputes, and magistrates of burghs, to put this act in execution as to the second fault. And as to the third fault, his majesty, with advice and consent foresaid, remits the execution of this present act to the lords of his majesty's justiciary.

  1. NAS. PA2/36, f.37.