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Act of 1582. (Session 12 April 1582).

In respect of many inconveniences and disorder flowing forth from the ambition, covetousness, and indirect dealing of sundry, who seek to enter into the ministry and, having entered, use unlawful means to decline all correction and punishment their offences: the whole assembly, with one consent, has voted and concluded, conforming to the word of God and to the most godly acts of ancient councils, that no man claims ecclesiastical function, office, [promotion,] or benefice, by any absolute gift, collation, or admission by the civil magistrate or patron, by letters of homing, and whatever means other than is established by the word of God and the acts of the general Kirk and hitherto ordinarily used within the reformed Kirk of Scotland; and likewise that none, being received into an ecclesiastical office or benefice, seek in any way, by the civil power, to exempt and withdraw themselves from the jurisdiction of the Kirk, nor procure, obtain, or use any letters or charges, either by themselves or any others in their name or at their command or instance, to impair, hurt, or stay the said jurisdiction, discipline, correction of manners, or punishment for their offences and enormities; nor make any appellation from the general assembly to stop the discipline and order of ecclesiastical policy and jurisdiction granted by God’s word to the officebearers within the said Kirk under the pain of excommunication, summarily, and without any process or admonitions, to be pronounced by the judgment of the eldership, by minister or ministers, to be appointed by them thereto, as soon as it is known that any one of the said heads is transgressed.

And this act in no wise is to be prejudicial to lay patrons and their presentations, until the time the laws be reformed according to the word of God.