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Act 4, 1705 (IV) – Act concerning the Method and Form of Procedure of Judicatories of the Church against Scandalous Persons. 4th April 1705.

With respect to scandals, the grossness whereof makes it necessary to bring the persons guilty oftener than once before the congregation, the General Assembly does hereby appoint and ordain, that after such persons are convicted before the Session, it be judicially declared to them, that they have rendered themselves incapable of communion with the people of God in sealing ordinances, and that they be appointed to appear in public to be rebuked for their sin, whether they appear penitent or not, conform to the institution, 1 Tim, v. 20. And it is hereby referred to the respective judicatories of the Church concerned, to determine how often such delinquents shall appear in public, as they shall find it to tend most for edification; and the Ge neral Assembly ordains, that after a public rebuke, the ministers and elders be at farther pains in instructing the minds of the scandalous persons, if ignorant, in endeavouring to convince their consciences, and to bring them to a due sense of their sin, and to an engagement and serious resolution against all known sin, and to the performance of all known duty; and that the Session, upon satisfaction with their knowledge and sense of their sin, do admit them to the public profession of their repentance, in order to absolution; but if, after taking pains on them for some competent time for their instruction and conviction, they still remain grossly ignorant, insensible, and unreformed, the ministers and elders are to advise with the Presbytery of the bounds, and if the Presbytery shall see cause, that then the sentence of lesser excommunication be publicly pronounced against them in face of the congregation, from which they are not to be relaxed, nor admitted to make public profession of their repentance in order thereto, till the Session be satisfied with their knowledge, seriousness, and reformation. And, lastly, the General Assembly ordains, that the names of such as are under the foresaid censure of lesser excommunication be publicly read out the Lord’s day immediately preceding that upon which the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper is to be administered.