The General Assembly, being deeply affected with the great decay of Christian piety amongst all ranks, and the abounding of vice and immorality, the neglect of public ordinances, and profanation of the Lord’s Day ; and considering that slackness and partiality in the exercise of discipline, and untenderness in the walk and conversation of the office-bearers of this Church, cannot but greatly contribute to the increase of these evils ; therefore, the General Assembly do earnestly beseech, exhort, and require all ministers to take heed to themselves and to their doctrine, and to be exemplary to their people in sobriety, righteousness, and holiness, abstaining from all appearance of evil ; and, in like manner, the General Assembly do earnestly beseech, exhort, and require elders and deacons to be faithful in the discharge of their respective offices, tender and circumspect in their walk, and punctual in their attending upon ordinances, and strict in their observation of the Lord’s Day, and in regularly keeping up the worship of God in their families ; and the General Assembly appoints the judicatures of the Church to take good heed that none be admitted to or continued in these offices, but such as are found qualified, and do behave themselves as above required ; and appoints Kirk-sessions, Presbyteries, and Synods, strictly and impartially, without respect of persons, to observe this and former acts of Assembly, relative to office-bearers in this Church ; and appoints Presbyteries, at their privy censures, to inquire into the behaviour of their members, and of all the elders and deacons in their bounds, with respect to the premises; and appoints Synods to inquire into the conduct of Presbyteries ; and both Synods and Presbyteries to record their diligence herein, that the same may be reported to General Assemblies by the visitors of Synod books. And, lastly, the General Assembly appoints this Act to be read in all parish churches, on or before the first Sabbath of August next, and for that end, ordains copies thereof to be printed, and timeously transmitted.
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