« PreviousContinue »
their members, prevented from freely choosing commissioners to the said Assembly, whereby the freedom of such Assembly, and the liberty of election thereto, has been forcibly obstructed and taken away;
AND FARTHER CONSIDERING, that, in these circumstances, a free Assembly of the Church of Scotland, by law established, cannot at this time be holden, and that an Assembly, in accordance with the fundamental principles of the Church, cannot be constituted in connection with the State without violating the conditions which must now, since the rejection by the Legislature of the Church's Claim of Right, be held to be the conditions of the Establishment;
AND CONSIDERING that, while heretofore, as, members of Church judicatories ratified by law and recognised by the constitution of the kingdom, we held ourselves entitled and bound to exercise and maintain the jurisdiction vested in these judicatories with the sanction of the Constitution, notwithstanding the decrees as to matters spiritual and ecclesiastical of the Civil Courts, because we could not see that the State had required submission thereto as a condition of the Establishment, but, on the contrary, were satisfied that the State, by the acts of the Parliament of Scotland, for ever and unalterably secured to this
on by the Treaty of Un had repudiated any power in the Civil Courts to pronounce such decrees, we are now constrained to acknowledge it to be the mind and will of the State, as recently declared, that such submission should and does form a condition of the Establishment, and of the possession of the benefits thereof; and that as we cannot, without committing what we believe to be sin—in opposition to God's law-in disregard of the honour and authority of Christ's crown, and in violation of our own solemn vows-comply with this condition, we cannot in conscience continue connected with it, and retain the benefits of an Establishment to which such condition is attached.
WE, THEREFORE, the Ministers and Elders foresaid, on this the first occasion, since the rejection by the Legislature of the Church's Claim of Right, when the commissioners chosen from throughout the bounds of the Church to the General Assembly appointed to have been this day holden are convened together, DO PROTEST, that the conditions foresaid, while we deem them contrary to and subversive of the settlement of church government effected at the Revolution, and solemnly guaranteed by the Act of Security and Treaty of Union, are also at variance with God's Word, in opposition to the doctrines and fundamental principles of the Church of Scotland, inconsistent with the freedom essential to the right constitution of a Church of Christ, and incompatible with the government which He, as the Head of his Church, hath therein appointed distinct from the civil magistrate.
And we farther PROTEST, that any Assembly constituted in submission to the conditions now declared to be law, and under the civil coercion which has been brought to bear on the election of commissioners to the Assembly this day appointed to have been holden, and on the commissioners chosen thereto, is not, and shall not be deemed, a lawful and free Assembly of the Church of Scotland, according to the original and fundamental principles thereof; and that the Claim, Declaration, and Protest, of the General Assembly which convened at Edinburgh in May 1842, as the act of a free and lawful Assembly of
the said Church, shall be holden as setting forth the true constitution of the said Church; and that the said Claim, along with the laws of the Church now subsisting, shall in nowise be affected by whatsoever acts and proceedings of any Assembly constituted under the conditions now declared to be the law, and in submission to the coercion now imposed on the Establishment.
And, finally, while firmly asserting the right and duty of the civil magistrate to maintain and support an establishment of religion in accordance with God's Word, and reserving to ourselves and our successors to strive by all lawful means, as opportunity shall in God's good providence be offered, to secure the performance of this duty agreeably to the Scriptures, and in implement of the statutes of the kingdom of Scotland, and the obligations of the Treaty of Union as understood by us and our ancestors, but acknowledging that we do not hold ourselves at liberty to retain the benefits of the Establishment while we cannot comply with the conditions now to be deemed thereto attached—WE PROTEST, that in the circumstances in which we are placed, it is and shall be lawful for us, and such other commissioners chosen to the Assembly appointed to have been this day holden as may concur with us, to withdraw to a separate place of meeting, for the purpose of taking steps for ourselves and all who adhere to usmaintaining with us the Confession of Faith and standards of the Church of Scotland, as heretofore understood—for separating in an orderly way from the Establishment; and thereupon adopting such measures as may be competent to us, in humble dependence on God's grace and the aid of the Holy Spirit, for the advancement of his glory, the extension of the gospel of our Lord and Saviour, and the administration of the affairs of Christ's house, according to his holy Word; and we do now, for the purpose foresaid, withdraw accordingly, humbly and solemnly acknowledging the hand of the Lord in the things which have come upon us, because of our manifold sins, and the sins of this Church and nation; but, at the same time, with an assured conviction, that we are not responsible for any consequences that
may follow from this our enforced separation from an Establishment which we loved and prized-through interference with conscience, the dishonour done to Christ's crown, and the rejection of his sole and supreme authority as King in his Church.
(Signed) David Welsh, m. Geo. Hastie, m.
Robert Smith, m. Thomas Chalmers, m. Henry Duncan, m.
Duncan Macfarlan, m. Henry Grey, m. P. Maxwell, e.
J. Macnaughton, m.
Alex. Renfrew, e.
Thomas Carlisle, e.
Jas. Smith, m.
Jas. Drummond, m.
Rob. Buchanan, m.
John Forbes, m.
John Thomson, m.
Al. N. Somerville, m. Pat. Fairbairn, m.
Matthew Kirkland, m. Wm. Burns, m.
John Smyth, m.
Andrew King, m.
Thos. Brown, m.
Wal. MacGillivray, m.
Wm. Collins, e.
Patrick M'Farlan, m. Geo. Fulton Knight, m. P. B. Mure Macredie, e. Henry Dunlop, e.
(Signed) Wm. Wilson, e.
Alex, Spence, m. Alex. Bryce, e.
Alex. Thom, e. John Wright, e.
Thos. Shepherd, e. Peter M'Adam, e.
R. J. Brown, m. Alex. Campbell of Monzie, e. Wm. Anderson, m. Joseph Stark, m.
David Scott Fergusson, m. Duncan M‘Lean, m.
James M'Gowan, m. John Grant, e.
Wm. Henderson, e. Archd. M‘Indoe, e.
James Forrest, e. James Pearson, m.
Hugh Gordon, m. Alex. Cameron, m.
Wm. Garden Blaikie, m. Wm. Fraser, m.
Neil Smith, jun., e. Michael Stirling, m.
George Innes, m. John Mackenzie, m.
Fra. W. Grant, m. Wm. Grant, m.
Ludovic Stewart, e. Jno. Murray, e.
Duncan Grant, m. John Bonar, m.
George M.Kay, m. George Cupples, m.
William Barclay, m. Alex. Beith, m.
John Mattheson, m. W. Mackenzie, m.
Thos. Maclauchlin, m. Wm. Watt, m.
Wm. Stothert, e. James Sievewright, m.
Geo. Mackay, e. John Alexander, m.
Alex. Stewart, m. Alex. Hutchison, e.
Henry Paul, e. Andw. Melville, m.
John Macrae, m. Jno. Macfarlane, m.
Maurice Lothian, e. Adam Cairns, m.
C. R. Matheson, m. D. Maitland Makgill Crich- John Munro, e. ton, e.
Hector Allan, m. Robt, Brown, m.
G. Smyttan, e. Chas. Nairn, m.
John M‘Donald, m. Jas. Millar, m.
Alex. Flyter, m. Geo. Lewis, m.
James Begbie, e. D. B. Mellis, m.
G. M. Torrance, e. William Stewart, m.
John M‘Millan, m. James Ewing, m.
Thos. Davidson, m. Tho. Wilson, m.
Colin Mackenzie, m. Thomas Dymock, m.
Dond. M.Rae, m. William Wilson, m.
A. Dunlop, e. Wm. Andson, e.
Rob. Finlayson, m. Ja. Brewster, m.
John Finlayson, m. William Nixon, m.
Cha. Gordon, m. J. G. Wood, e.
Geo. R. Kennedy, m. Alex. L. R. Foote, m.
James Bridges, e. P. Dalmahoy, e.
James Blackadder, e. John Murray, m.
John Monro, m. James Foote, m.
W. Ross Taylor, m. James Stewart, m.
Peter Petrie, m. Robert Forbes, m.
John Cadell, e.
W. S. Hay, m.
4.-ACT OF SEPARATION
AND DEED OF DEMISSION BY MINISTERS.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY 1843.-IV.
23d May 1843. The General Assembly having approved of and adopted the draft of an
Act and Deed to be subscribed by Ministers adhering to the Protest, renouncing and demitting their status, rights, and privileges,
held by virtue of the Establishment, and the said Act and Deed * This Act and Deed of Demission is segistered in the Books of Council and Session, of
date 8th June 1843.
having thereafter been extended in due and proper form, and sub
scribed by the parties, was ordered to be recorded. The Ministers and Elders subscribing the Protest made on Thursday, the 18th of this instant May, at the meeting of the Commissioners chosen to the General Assembly appointed to have been that day holden, against the freedom and lawfulness of any Assembly which might then be constituted, and against the subversion recently effected in the constitution of the Church of Scotland, together with the ministers and elders adhering to the said Protest, in this their General Assembly convened, did, in prosecution of the said Protest, and of the Claim of Right adopted by the General Assembly which met at Edinburgh in May 1842 years, and on the grounds therein set forth, and hereby do, for themselves, and all who adhere to them, separate from, and abandon the present subsisting Ecclesiastical Establishment in Scotland, and did, and hereby do, abdicate and renounce the status and privileges derived to them, or any of them, as parochial ministers or elders, from the said Establishment, through its connection with the State, and all rights and emoluments pertaining to them, or any of them, by virtue thereof: Declaring, that they hereby in no degree abandon or impair the rights belonging to them as ministers of Christ's gospel, and pastors and elders of particular congregations, to perform freely and fully the functions of their offices towards their respective congregations, or such portions thereof as may adhere to them; and that they are and shall be free to exercise government and discipline in their several judicatories, separate from the Establishment, according to God's Word, and the constitution and standards of the Church of Scotland, as heretofore understood; and that henceforth they are not, and shall not be, subject in any respect to the ecclesiastical judicatories established in Scotland by law; Reserving always the rights and benefits accruing to them, or any of them, under the provisions of the statutes respecting the Ministers' Widows' Fund: And farther declaring, that this present act shall noways be held as a renunciation on the part of such of the ministers foresaid as are ministers of churches built by private contribution, and not provided or endowed by the State, of any rights which may be found to belong to them, or their congregations, in regard to the same, by virtue of the intentions and destination of the contributors to the erection of the said churches, or otherwise according to law; all which are fully reserved to the ministers foresaid and their congregations : And farther, the said ministers and elders, in this their General Assembly convened, while they refuse to acknowledge the supreme ecclesiastical judicatory established by law in Scotland, and now holding its sittings in Edinburgh, to be a free Assembly of the Church of Scotland, or a lawful Assembly of the said Church, according to the true and original constitution thereof, and disclaim its authority as to matters spiritual, yet in respect of the recognition given to it by the State, and the powers, in consequence of such recognition, belonging to it, with reference to the temporalities of the Establishment, and the rights derived thereto from the State, hereby appoint a duplicate of this Act to be subscribed by their Moderator, and also by the several ministers, members of this' Assembly, now present in
Edinburgh, for their individual interests, to be transmitted to the clerk of the said ecclesiastical judicatory by law established, for the purpose of certiorating them that the benefices held by such of the said ministers, or others adhering to this Assembly, as were incumbents of benefices, are now vacant; and the said parties consent that the said benefices shall be dealt with as such. And they authorize the Rev. Thomas Pitcairn, and the Rev. Patrick Clason, conjunct clerks to this their General Assembly, to subscribe the joinings of the several sheets hereof, and they consent to the registration hereof in the books of Council and Session, or others competent, therein to remain for preservation; and for that purpose constitute
their procurators, &c. IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, these presents, written upon stamped paper by William Petrie Couper, clerk to James Crawford, junior, Writer to the Signet, are, with a duplicate thereof, subscribed by the whole parties in General Meeting assembled, and the joinings of the several sheets by the saids Rev. Thomas Pitcairn and Rev. Patrick Clason, as authorized as aforesaid, all at Edinburgh, the 23d day of May 1843 years, before these witnesses—Mr John Hamilton, advocate; William Fraser, Writer to the Signet; John Hunter, junior, Writer to the Signet; and the Rev. John Jaffray, preacher of the gospel, and Secretary to the Provisional Committee, Edinburgh. (Signed) THOMAS CHALMERS, Moderator.
George Muirhead, minister at Cramond.