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due observation of the Sabbath, the licensing of probationers, and the orderly calling of ministers, came all under the consideration of this assembly, and were treated suitably to their great importance. The scripture songs, with the remarks
what is incumbent to them in the public congregation, to take special care and inspection of the particular persons and families under their oversight and charge; in order to which, it hath been the laudable custom of this church, at least once a year, if the largeness of the parish, bodily inability in the minister, or other such like causes, do not hinder, for ministers to visit all the families in their parish, and oftener, if the parish be small, and they be able to set about it.
For the more uniform and successful management of which work, although, in regard of the different circumstances of some parishes, families, and persons, much of this work, and the management thereof, must be left to the discretion and prudence of ministers, in their respective oversights; yet these following advices are offered and overtured as helps in the management thereof, that it may not be done in a slight and overly manner.
1st, First of all, it seems needful that ere a minister set out to this work, he should labour to have his own heart in a suitable frame for it, by exciting in himself the love of God, and the desire of the salvation of his people's souls, and the sense of the weight of the charge given him to watch for souls, as one who must give an account, and of the difficulty of this part of his work in particular; for, perhaps, it may be found no less difficult to apply to particular families and persons therein, teaching and warning every one, than it is to dispense the word in common in the public congregation.
2d, That such a time in the year be chosen for such ministerial visitation as the families whom he visits may be best at leisure to meet with him, when they may be expected at home, and least encumbered with affairs; and it were fit, that when a minister designs to visit any part of his parish, intimation thereof should be made, either in public from the pulpit, or some other way, that they may order their affairs so that he may have opportunity to meet with them at home.
3d, It's fit, when a minister designs to visit any part of the parish, that he be accompanied with the elder of the bounds; and that, before they go forth to the work, they may confer together concerning the state and condition of the persons and families of these bounds, that the minister may be able to speak the more suitably to their condition, and as may be most for edification.
4th, When they enter a house or family, after a short account of the design of the visit, and expression of their wishes and desires for the blessing of God upon the family, and that above all their souls may prosper ; it were fit to take an account of the names of the family, parents, children, and servants, and to inquire for testificates from them who are lately come to the parish, and to mark them in their book or roll for catechising, and to take notice who can read, and of the age of children when capable to be catechised.
5th, After the minister has got an account of the persons dwelling in the family, he may speak to them all in general, of the necessity of regeneration,
of presbyteries upon them, were referred to the commission, which “ was empowered to conclude and establish that ver. sion, and to publish and emit it for the public use of the church, as was formerly done on the like occasion, and when ,
and the advantages of serious religion and godliness, of piety towards God, and justice and charity towards man.
6th, And next, more particularly, to the servants, of their duty to fear and serve God, and to be dutiful, faithful, and obedient servants, and of the promises made to such, commending to them the reading of the scriptures as they can, and prayer in secret, and love and concord among themselves; and, in particular, a holy care of sanctifying the Lord's day.
7th, The minister may apply his discourse to the children, as they are capable, with affectionate seriousness, showing them the advantage of knowing, loving, seeking, and serving God, and remembering their Creator and Redeemer in the days of their youth, and honouring their parents; and to mind them how they were dedicate to God in baptism; and when of age and fit, and after due instruction of the nature of the covenant of grace, and the seals thereof, to excite them to engage themselves personally to the Lord, and to desire, and prepare for, and take the first opportunity they can, of partaking of the Lord's Supper; to be especially careful how they communicate at first, much depending thereon; (and such of the servants as are young are to be exhorted hereto in like manner) exciting them also to daily reading of the scriptures, and to secret prayer, and sanctifying the Lord's day.
8th, After the minister has spoken to servants and children, he should speak privately to the master and mistress of the family, about their personal duty toward God, and the care of their own soul's salvation, and their obligation to promote religion and the worship of God in their family, and to restrain and punish vice, and encourage piety, and to be careful that they and their house serve the Lord, and sanctify the Lord's day, and after this, it may be fit to exhort masters to take care that God be worshipped daily in the family by prayer and praise, and reading of the scriptures. Secundo, Concerning the behaviour and conversation of the servants, and their duty towards God and man, and how they attend the worship of God in the family, how they attend the public worship on the Lord's day, and how they bebave after sermons; if any of them be piously inclined, if they make conscience of secret prayer and reading the scripture. Tertio, If there be catechising and instructing the ignorant and weak; if due care be taken in educating the children, and particularly, if they be put timeously to school, and how they profit thereat, and how the Lord's day is spent after sermons in the family, and in secret; in all which, the minister may mix in suitable directions, encouragements, and admonitions, as he shall see cause, and most for edification.
9th, It may be useful to inquire who have bibles, and to encourage them who are able to get a bible of their own, and to make diligent and religious use thereof, and to commend to parents and masters of families, to have the Confession of Faith, catechisms, and other good books for instruction. in faith and manners.
our version of the Psalms was published, in the year 1649. And seeing there are many copies of the said version lying on the author's hands, it is recommended to ministers and others to buy the same for private use in the mean time." After appointing their next meeting to be holden at Edinburgh upon the second Thursday of April, 1709, the assembly, on the twenty-seventh of April, was dissolved with the usual formalities, having conducted themselves with so much prudence as to dissipate, in some degree, the fears of the wise, and to disappoint the expectations of the disloyal, who were still watching for a subject which they might improve for inflaming the public mind, and goading on the unthinking to deeds of violence and disorder.
10th, If any be tarnished with errors, or given to vice, they should be particularly dealt with, and spoken to, either privately or before others, as may be most for edification, and all are to be exhorted that are in the family to watch and edify one another, and to carry toward any that walk disorderly, according to the rule. Matth. xviii. 15.
11th, As the minister is to exhort all in the family to peace and love among themselves and their neighbours, so if there be any difference or division either in the family, or with the neighbours, the minister should endeavour to remove the same, and to make peace, and to excite to follow it with all men, as far as possible.
12th, It may also be inquired at those who received tokens to communicate the last season for it, whether they have made use of them or not, and those who have communicate, may be inquired privately, how they have profited thereby, and excited to remember and pay their vows to the Lord.
13th, If there be any in the parish who keep not church communion with us, whatever their motives be, ministers ought to deal with God for them, and with themselves in such a way as may be most proper to gain them, and exoner our own consciences before God and his people, waiting if God peradventure will prevail with them: Who can tell but our making them sensible of our tender love and affection to their persons, especially to their souls, giving all due respect, and doing them all the good we can, yet still discountenancing their sin; may, in the end, be blessed of God for their good ? Jude, 22, 23. 2 Timothy, ii. 24, 25.
Seeing there is need for all this, of much prudence, zeal for God, and love to souls, and affectionate seriousness; all this should be carried on with dependance on God, and fervent prayer to him, both before a minister set forth for such work, and with the visited, as there shall be access to, and opportunity for it.
• Notwithstanding of this, these songs were not authorized for many years after this.
Increase and activity of Jacobite alarmists among the English Tories-Dr. Sacheveral,
his trial and sentenco-Revolution in the British Cabinet-Proceedings of the General Assembly of the Scotish Church-Designs against her independency-Meeting of Parliament --Party struggle-Duke of Marlborough-Duke of Argyle in SpainGeneral Hill-Ineffectual attempts to improve Scotish commerce, General Assembly -Attempts in favour of Episcopacy-Mr. Greenshields-Medal of the Chevalier Rejected by the Faculty of Advocates-Jacobites opply to the king of France-Lesly's Memorial-Chevalier's letter to the Queen-Secret negotiations with France-The duke of Hamilton refused a seat in the house of lords— Twelve new peers. Jealousy between the lords Mar and Ilay-Act tolerating Episcopacy in Scotland, and imposing the oath of abjuration-Restoring lay patronages-Restoring holidays-Schism bill revived under a new name-General Assembly-Queen's letter to the Assembly-Assembly solicits a redress of grievances-Results of the oath of Abjuration–Successful erertions of the Papists and nonjuring Episcopalians-Covenants renewed at Auchensaugh by the societies of Old Dissenters—Mysterious procedure of these societies In vain attempt to erect a Presbytery-Exultation of the Jocobites Perplexity of the Queen-Bolingbroke sent to Paris-Duke of Hamilton and lord Mohun-Character of the duke of Hamilton—The duke of Shrewsbury sent to France-De Aumont arrives in England-Peace concluded Scotish Addresses-Alarm for the Protestant interest-Act of Assembly respecting the oath of Abjuration-Malt tar extended to Scotland-Attempt to dissolve the Union-Act for securing the purity of Scotish elections-Parliamentary Address respecting the residence of the Pretender-Activity of the Jacobites in the Scotish Elections—The new Parliament–PamphleteersEfforts of the Scotish Jacobites in the House of Commons—Dissensions among them
-Queen offers a reward for apprehending the Pretender-Difficulties of the Scotish Church— Whig commanders dismissed from the army-Men enlisted for the Pretender -Seditious meetings in Scotland-Hanover Club-Disunion in the Cabinet-Bolingbroke and Oxford, their characters-Resignation of the latter-Death and character of the Queen.
About this time the English tories, in conjunction with the papists and nonjuring episcopalians, began to exert themselves with more than ordinary vigour, to increase their numbers, and to manifest themselves to be violent Jacobites. In pursuance of their seditious designs, clubs were formed in every quarter of the kingdom, by means of which, they maintained
a close correspondence with one another, were enabled to propagate insidious surmises simultaneously over the whole kingdom, and to give fatal effect to the most wild and improbable falsehoods.*
The danger of the church had long been a fruitful topic of declamation with the demagogues of this faction, and now they asserted that the crisis had arrived, when, without the aid of all her friends and the special interposition of heaven, her fall behoved to be immediate, and her ruin irretrievable. That the real originators of this alarm knew it to be false, and wished only that it had been true, there cannot be a doubt, for they were, some of them at least, avowed enemies to the whole system of revealed religion; and that the rabble, the great and little vulgar of the English nation, cared not whether it was true or false, may be assumed as equally certain; but it served for a pretext to the ebulitions of discontent and envy, those unhappy inmates which impatience of authority has a natural tendency to generate in vulgar bosoms. It was likewise a subject upon which ignorant fury could pass itself off as exalted and generous enthusiasm, and fanatic groanings could easily be mistaken for the breathings of piety. The party found also, most opportunely, a tool eminently qualified for their purposes in Dr. Henry Sacheveral, rector of St. Saviour's in Southwark, a man endowed with a very small portion of either learning or common sense, but possessed of fiery zeal, great pomposity, considerable plausibility of manner, and entirely devoted to what he supposed the interests of his order--episcopal dignity, founded on the divine and illimitable power of kings. Hating the dissenters, and affecting horror at the whigs, whose liberal maxims of government tended to moderate the rigour of high church tyranny, he seized every opportunity of vilifying both the one and the other. This liberty he particularly assumed in a sermon before the assize at Derby, in the month of August this year, and in another preached in St. Paul's, on the fifth of November, the anniversary of the gunpowder treason, in both of
* Rae's History of the Rebellion, pp. 4, 5. Supplement to the History of the reign of queen Anne, p. 56.