Whereas irregularities have crept into the Church with respect to the ordination of elders, the General Assembly, with the consent of a majority of the Presbyteries of this Church, did, and hereby do, enact and ordain,
That, hereafter, no person shall be set apart to the office of an elder, unless he hath attained the age of twenty-one years complete, and produce a certificate to that effect, to remain in retentis ; and unless he is a communicant.
That no person be ordained an elder who is not an inhabitant of the parish, or who does not reside therein at least six weeks annually, or who is not an heritor in that Parish, liable to pay stipend and other parochial burdens, or who is not the apparent heir of an heritor of that description in the parish.
That when any person who does not generally reside, but only occasionally, as aforesaid, shall be proposed to the kirk-session to be ordained an elder, there shall be produced a certificate, under the hands of the minister and kirk-session of the parish where he generally resides, that he is of unblemished character, and regular in giving attendance on the public ordinances of religion.
And further, it is enacted. That if any elder be ordained in future, without being qualified as above, he shall not be held as entitled to any of the privileges of that office.
But in any city or town where there are more congregations than one, that they shall be held as one parish, in as far as this Act is concerned.