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We think it very expedient that Prayers be had daily in private Houses, at Morning and at Night, for the Comfort and Inftruction of others; and this to be done by the most grave and difcreet Perfons of the House.

IV. The Exercise.

'N Towns where learn'd Men are, the Exercise of the Scriptures fhould be weekly. In this Exercife Three only fhall speak to the opening of the Text, and edifying of the People. This Exercife fhall be upon fome Places of Scripture, and openly, that all that will; may hear, and speak their Judgment, to the edifying of the Kirk. In this Kind of Exercife, the Text is only opened without any Digreffing or Exhortation, following the File and Dependence of the Text, confuting all Errors, as Occafion fhall be given. No Man fhould move a Question, the which himself is not able to folve.

The Exercife being ended, the Minifters and Elders prefent fhould conveen apart, and correct the Things that have been done or spoken without Order, and not to the Edifying of the Kirk. In this publick Exercife, all Affectation and vain Curiofity must be above all Things efchewed, left for edifying we should slander the Kirk of God.

Ministers within fix Miles about, fhould come in willingly; and alfo, Readers that would profit, fhould come, both to teach others, and to learn: Other learned Men, to whom God has given the Gift of Interpre tation, should be charged to join themselves.

XV. Schools.


Ecaufe Schools are the Seed of the Miniftry, diligent Care fhould be taken over them, that they be ordered in Religion and Converfation, according to the Word. Every Town fhall have a School-mafter; and in Landwart, the Minifter or Reader fhould teach the Children that come to them. Men fhould be compelled by the Kirk and Magiftrates to fend their Bairns to the Schools; poor Mens Children fhould be helped.

XVI. Universities.


He Universities should be erected in this Realm, St. Andrews, Glasgow, and Aberdeen. Their Order of Proceeding, Provision and Degrees, with their Readers and Officers, are at length declared in the Book of Difcipline; how many Colledges, how many Claffes in in every Colledge, and what should be taught in every Clafs, is there expreffed.

A Contribution fhall be made at the Entry of the Students, for the upholding of the Place, and a fufficient Stipend is ordained for every Member of the Univerfity, according to their Degree.

XVII. Rents of the Kirk.


He whole Rents of the Kirk, abused in Papistry, fhall be referred again to the Kirk, that thereby the Ministry, Schools and the Poor may be maintained within this Realm, according to their first Institution.

Every Man should be fuffered to lead and use his own Tithes, and no Man should lead another Man's Tithes. The uppermoft Cloth, the Cors-prefent, the Clerkmail, the Pafch-offerings, Tithe-ale, and all other fuch Things should be discharged.

The Deacons fhould take up the whole Rents of the Kirk, difponing them to the Ministry, the Schools, and Poor within their Bounds, according to the Appoint ment of the Kirk.

All Friaries, Nunneries, Chantries, Chaplainries, Annualrents, and all Things doted* to the Hofpitality, fhall be reduced to the Help of the Kirk. Merchants and Craftsmen in Burgh, fhould contribute to the Support of the Kirk.

XVIII. Burial.


7E defire, that Burial be fo honourably handled, that the Hope of our Refurrection may be nou rifhed; and all Kind of Superftition, Idolatry, and what fomever Thing proceedeth of the falfe Opinion, may be avoided....


* Gifted.

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At the Burial, neither finging of Pfalms; nor Read. ing fhall be used, left the People should be nourished thereby in that old Superftition of praying for the Dead: But this we remit to the Judgment of the particular Kirks,,with Advice of the Minifters All Superftition being removed, Ministers shall not be burdened with Funeral Sermons ;, seeing that daily Sermons are fufficient enough for miniftring of the Living. Burial fhould be without the Kirk, in a fine Air, and Place walled, and kept honourably.

XIX. Repairing of Kirks.

He Kirk does crave most earnestly the Lords their Affiftance, for hafty repairing of all Parish Kirks, where the People fhould conveen for the hearing of the Word, and receiving of the Sacraments: This Reparation should not only be in the Walls and Fabrick, but alfo in all Things needful within, for the People, and Decencies of the Place appointed for God's Service.


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XX, Punishment of Profaners of the Sacraments. E defire strict Laws to be made, for Punishment of them that abufe the Sacraments, as Minifters as Readers. The holy Sacraments are abused, when the Minister is not lawfully called, or when they are given to open Injurers of the Truth, or to profane Livers; or when they are miniftred in a private Place, without the Word preached.

The Examples of Scripture do plainly declare, that the Abufers of the Sacraments, and Contemners of the Word, are worthy of Death.

This our Judgment, for Reformation of the Kirk, fhall bear Witnefs both before God and Man, what we have craved of the Nobility, and how they have obeyed our loving Admonitions.

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Thus far out of the Book of Difcipline, which was fubfcribed by the Kirk and Lords.





Heads and Conclufions



Agreed upon in the General Affembly 1578; Inferted in the Registers of Affembly 1581; Sworn to in the National Covenant; Revived and Ratified by the Affembly 1638, and by many other Acts of Affembly: And according to which the ChurchGovernment is established by Law, Ann. 1592 and 1640.

I Cor. xiv. 40.
Let all Things be done decently, and in order.

Printed in the Year 1764.

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Act of the General Affembly, concerning the Book of Policy.

April 1581. Self, 9..


Orafmuch as Travels have been taken in the Framing of the Policy of the Kirk, and divers Suits have been made to the Magiftrate for the Approbation thereof, which yet hath not taken the happy Effect that good Men would with; Yet, that the Pofterity may judge well of this present Age, and of the Meaning of the Kirk, the Affembly hath concluded, that the Book of Policy, agreed to in divers Affemblies before, fhould be registred in the Acts of the Kirk, and remain there ad perpetuam rei memoriam, and the Copies thereof to be taken by every Presbytery. Of which Book the Tenor followeth.


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