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Act 8, 1853 (VIII) – Act anent Standing Orders. 30th May 1853. (As amended by Act 9, 1863 (IX) – Act anent Form of Commissions and Certificates to Ruling Elders)

The General Assembly, on the Report of their Committee appointed to collect, revise, and classify, the existing Standing Orders, and to suggest such other Orders as might appear to be necessary, did, and hereby do, ORDER,—

A. As to COMMISSIONS to General Assembly.

  1. That all Commissions transmitted to the Clerks of Assembly, shall be revised by them, in so far as regards the regularity of said Commissions in point of form; and that the Clerks shall prepare and submit a Report on the subject to the Committee appointed by the Assembly for the revising of Commissions.
  2. That the Clerks of Assembly shall furnish all Presbytery Clerks with printed copies of the form of Commission to Representatives hitherto in use and hereto appended* and also of the bona fide Certificates to be used by Kirk-sessions, according to Act of Assembly 1840, for certifying Elders, who are chosen to be Commissioners to the General Assembly, a copy of which is likewise annexed.*

Commission[1] to Representatives

At __________the __________ day of __________ one thousand eight hundred and __________ years.—The which day the Free Church Presbytery of ______________________________ being convened betwixt the hours of one and eight o’clock in the evening, in order to elect their Representatives to the ensuing Assembly, pursuant to a resolution entered their minutes on the __________ day of __________ did, and hereby do, nominate and appoint __________
Minister  at __________ and __________
Minister  at __________ and __________
Minister  at __________ and __________

with ______________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Ruling Elders,[2] their Commissioners to the next General Assembly of the Free Church Scotland, indicted to meet at Edinburgh the            __________day of May next to come when and where it shall happen to sit, willing them to repair thereto, and to attend all the diets of the same, and there to consult, vote, and determine in all matters that come before them, to the glory of God and the good of His Church, according to the Word of God, the Confession of Faith, and agreeable to the constitution of this Church, as they will be answerable ; and that they report their diligence therein at their return therefrom. And the said Presbytery do hereby testify and declare, That all the ministers above named have signed the Formula, And further, That the said elders are of unblemished character, circumspect in their walk, regular in giving attendance on the ordinances of Divine Institution, and behave in other respects agreeable to their office. All which the Presbytery have hereby attested on proper information.

Attested by

_________Moderator.

_________Clerk.

 

AFTER-ELECTION OF A MINISTER.

At __________ the __________ day of __________ one thousand eight hundred and __________ years.—The which day the Free Church Presbytery of ____________________being convened betwixt the hours of one and eight o’clock in the

evening, and*____________________did, and hereby do, nominate and appoint in __________ place, ____________________ their Commissioner to the next General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland; and do hereby testify and declare, that __________ signed the Formula.; which the Presbytery hereby attest upon proper information.

Attested by

_________Moderator.

_________Clerk.

 

AFTER-ELECTION OF AN ELDER.

 

At __________ the __________ day of __________ one thousand eight hundred and __________ years.—The which day the Free Church Presbytery of ____________________being convened betwixt the hours of one and eight o’clock in the

evening, and[3]____________________did, and hereby do, nominate and appoint in __________ place, ____________________ their Commissioner to the next General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland; and do hereby testify and declare, that he is in all respects qualified in the same manner as their Commissioner, in whose room he is chosen; which the Presbytery hereby attest upon proper information.

Attested by

_________Moderator.

_________Clerk.

 

CERTIFICATE TO BE USED BY KIRK-SESSIONS.

At _______________the _______day of ___________years.

Which day the Kirk-session of the Free Church Congregation of __________ being met and constituted, —Sederunt, The Rev. _____________Moderator, and (naming them) Elders,—The said Session did, and hereby do, certify and declare, that A. B. (designing him), Ruling Elder and member of the said Session, is bona fide an acting elder of their Congregation and that he has signed the formula.

(Signed)           ____________ Moderator.

_______________Clerk.

[1] [The following note is recommended to the notice of Presbyteries, for their guidance in the electing  of

Representatives and preparing of Commissions :—

It is desirable that the Printed Forms of Commissions should be always used.

Ministers must be designated by the localities of their particular Congregations ; and this must be attended

to in an after-election as well as in the original one.

It is to be carefully noticed, that ten free days must intervene between the resolution to elect and the

election; and that with the exception of the Northern and Western Islands, the election must take place not

less than forty, and not more than seventy, days before the meeting of the Assembly, see Act IV. 1768, re-enacted

Act X. 1783. An after-election may take place at any time before the meeting of the Assembly, upon the

resignation of the person originally elected. It is competent for Presbyteries in the Northern and Western

Mode to elect their Commissioners at any time before the 1st day of May, due notice of the intention to elect having been given fifteen days preceding, see Act XI. 1838.

The XIIth Act of the General Assembly (Glasgow, 24th October 1843), enacts :-

  1. That Presbyteries return Ministers and Elders in equal numbers.
  2. That the proportion of Ministers and Elders to be returned by each Presbytery, shall be as follows, viz :

-” Where a Presbytery has six Ministers and under, it shall return two Ministers and two Elders, when it

has above six, and not exceeding  twelve, three Ministers and three Elders;  when it has above twelve, and not

exceeding eighteen, four ministers and four Elders;  and so on increasing in the same proportion.”

It must be kept in view by Presbyteries and their Representatives, that if the above directions are not

carefully observed, and the Commission be not in all respects agreeable to the form here given, it must be

rejected by the General Assembly.]

[2] The Names and Designations of the Elders to be given at length

[3] Here narrate the occasion of the New Election