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Assembly at EDINBURGH, August 19. 1643. Sess. 14.
Commission of the General Assembly to some Ministers and Ruling Elders, for repairing to the Kingdom of England.
THE General Assembly of the Church of Scotland find
ing it necessary to send some godly and learned of this Kirk to the kingdom of England, to the effect underwritten; therefore gives full power and commission to Mr. Alexander Henderson, Mr. Robert Douglas, Mr. Samuel Rutherford, Mr. Robert Baillie, and Mr. George Gillespie, Ministers, John Earl of Cassilis, John Lord Maitland, and Sir Archibald Johnstoun of Waristoun, Elders, or any three of them, whereof two shall be Ministers, to repair to the kingdom of England, and there to deliver the declaration sent unto the Parliament of England, and the letter sent unto the Assembly of Divines now sitting in that kingdom; and to propone, consult, treat, and conclude with that Assembly, or any Commissioners deputed by them, or any Committees or Commissioners deputed by the Houses of Parliament, in all matters which may further the union of this Island in one Form of Kirk-government, one Confession of Faith, one Catechism, one Directory for the worship of God, according to the instructions which they have received from the Assembly, or shall receive from time to time hereafter from the Commissioners of the Assembly deputed for that effect: with power also to them to convey to His Majesty the humble answer sent from this Assembly to His Majesty's letter, by such occasion as they shall think convenient; and sicklike, to deliver the Assembly's answer to the letter sent from some well-affected brethren of the ministry there; and generally authorises them to do all things which may further the so much desired union, and nearest conjunction of the two Churches of Scotland and England, conform to their instructions aforesaid.
Many of the persons who were called by the foresaid Ordinance of the Lords and Commons (in that broken state of the Church) to attend the Assembly appeared not; whereupon the whole work lay on the hands of the persons hereafter mentioned.
The Promise and Vow taken by every Member admitted to sit in the Assembly.
A. B. do seriously promise and vow, in the presence of Almighty Gon, That in this Assembly, whereof I am a member, I will maintain nothing in point of doctrine, but what I believe to be most agreeable to the word of God; nor in point of discipline, but what may make most for God's glory, and the peace and good of this Church.
A LIST of the DIVINES who met in the Assembly at Westminster.
Dr. William Gouge of Blackfriars,
Robert Harris of Hanwell, B. D.
Gower of Brampton
Dr. Humphrey Chambers of Cla
Thomas Micklethwait of Cherryburton,
John Guibon of Waltham,
Christopher Tesdale of Uphus- Arthur Sallaway of Seavernestock,
John Ley of Budworth,
George Walker, B. D.
Charles Herle of Winwick, prolo
cutor after Dr. Twisse,
Herbert Palmer, B. D. of Ashwel,
Dr. Francis Cheynel of Oxen,
Obadiah Sedgwick, B. D. of Cogshal,
Edward Corbist of Marton College,
Samuel Gibson of Burley,
John Maynard of Mayfield,
William Price of Paul's Church in Covent Garden,
John Whincop of St. Martins in the
William Bridge of Yarmouth,
William Mew, B. D. of Eslington,
Jasper Hicks of Lawrick or Lanrake,
Henry Hall, B. D. of Norwich, Thomas Ford of London, afterwards of Exeter,
Thomas Thorowgood of Massing. ham,
Peter Clark of Kerby Underhill,
John Foxcroft of Cotham,
Richard Byfield of Long-Ditton,
John Jackson of Marske.
Assembly at EDINBURGH, August 27. 1647. Sess. 23.
Act approving the CONFESSION of FAITH.
A CONFESSION of Faith for the Kirks of God, in the three kingdoms, being the chiefest part of that uniformity in religion, which, by the Solemn League and Covenant, we are bound to endeavour: And there being accordingly a Confession of Faith agreed upon by the Assembly of Divines sitting at Westminster, with the assistance of Commissioners from the Kirk of Scotland; which Confession was sent from our Commissioners at London to the Commissioners of the Kirk met at Edinburgh in January last, and hath been in this Assembly twice publickly read over, examined, and considered; copies thereof being also printed, that it might be particularly perused by all the members of this Assembly, unto whom frequent intimation was publickly made, to put in their doubts and objections, if they had any: And the said Confession being, upon due examination thereof, found by the Assembly to be most agreeable to the word of God, and in nothing contrary to the received doctrine, worship, discipline, and government of this Kirk. And, lastly, It being so necessary, and so much longed for, that the said Confession be, with all possible diligence and expedition, approved and established in both kingdoms, as a principal part of the intended uniformity in religion, and as a special means for the more effectual suppressing of the many dangerous errors and heresies of these times; the General Assembly doth therefore, after mature deliberation, agree unto, and approve the said Confession, as to the truth of the matter; (judging it to be most orthodox, and grounded upon the word of God;) and also, as to the point of uniformity, agreeing for our part, that it be a common Confession of Faith for the three kingdoms. The Assembly doth also bless the Lord, and thankfully acknowledge his great mercy, in that so excellent a Confession of Faith is prepared, and thus far agreed upon in both kingdoms; which we look upon as a great strengthening of the true reformed religion against the common enemies thereof. But, lest our intention and meaning be in some particulars misunderstood,
misunderstood, it is hereby expressly declared and provided, That the not mentioning in this Confession the several sorts of ecclesiastical officers and assemblies, shall be no prejudice to the truth of Christ in these particulars, to be expressed fully in the Directory of Government. It is further declared, That the Assembly understandeth some parts of the second article of the thirty-one chapter only of kirks not settled, or constituted in point of government: And that although, in such kirks, a synod of Ministers, and other fit persons; may be called by the Magistrate's authority and nomination, without any other call, to consult and advise with about matters of religion; and although, likewise, the Ministers of Christ, without delegation from their churches, may of themselves, and by virtue of their office, meet together synodically in such kirks not yet constituted, yet neither of these ought to be done in kirks constituted and settled; it being always free to the Magistrate to advise with synods of ministers and ruling elders, meeting upon delegation from their churches, either ordinarily, or, being indicted by his authority, occasionally, and pro re nata; it being also free to assemble together synodically, as well pro re nata as at the ordinary times, upon delegation from the churches, by the intrinsical power received from Christ, as often as it is necessary for the good of the Church so to assemble, in case the Magistrate, to the detriment of the Church, withhold or deny his consent; the necessity of occasional assemblies being first remonstrate unto him by humble supplication.