The Commission of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland 1690-1735

Green, Ralph E (1969) The Commission of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland 1690-1735. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

Chapter one of this thesis is rather a lengthy introduction that traces the genesis of the Commission back to the years just after the Reformation in Scotland. The development thereafter is followed to the re-introduction of a hierarchical system of Church government in the early 1600s which made the appointment of a Commission of the Assembly unnecessary. The stony is taken up again in 1638 after the Glasgow General Assembly which ousted the Bishops and re-established Presbyterianism in Scotland. A long discussion follows about the appointment of Commissions which attempts to show the reasons for its appointment and the responsibilities given to it. Since the Commissions of Assembly of this period served as the model for those to be established after the Revolution some time is taken showing the various things that the Commission was able to do, and its relationship to the Scottish government. The conclusion of this chapter is a discussion of how the Presbyterianism of the Covenanting days came to its ruin, and how the Commission of Assembly became involved at that time, Chapter two begins the main part of this research and takes up an interesting period of time. Because of the turmoil of the times many of the records of this period are lost, and unfortunately the Records of the Commission of the General Assembly from this time were lost in a fire in Edinburgh in 1701. The research of this chapter is an attempt to show what in fact the Commission of Assembly did in this period just after the Revolution, using the best available sources that are left. The Commission appointed in 1690 is investigated, why no Commission was appointed in 1692 is taken up, and the work of the 1694 Commission of Assembly is fully discussed. Chapter three deals with a period in which the Commission was used to try and stabilise the position of the Church in the country. These were especially trying years for Scotland economically and politically. This chapter, which deals with many things of a mundane character, helps to show the part the Commission played in re-establishing itself in the north of Scotland, and the part it played in defending the Church against the intrigues of the Church rivals. In this time we also become aware of some of the discontent in the Church about the Commission, and its regulation which took place in 1705 is discussed. Chapter four is about a subject that holds a great deal of interest for most historians of Scotland in that it is involved with the Union of the Parliaments of Scotland and England. Here an attempt is made to show the very important part played in those negotiations by the Church as it was represented by the Commission of Assembly. Chapter five covers the period of time just after the Union until the end of the reign of Queen Anne. This involves us with a discussion of how the Church tried to cope with the Union. Later in the chapter The Commission becomes involved in a struggle to maintain some unity in the Church as the new Parliament of Great Britain passes into law a bill for Toleration of the Episcopalians in Scotland and a bill to re-establish patronage. In this period the Toleration was considered the most destructive to the interests of the Church particularly since it involved the Church in having to subscribe an oath of Abjuration, The two opinions that had existed in the Church of Scotland for over a century finally developed into two distinct camps or parties, and the story of the Church over the next two decades is about this conflict within that had been forced from without. Chapter six is about the period from the beginning of the reign of George until the year 1724. In this period the Commission of the Assembly begins to take on a different character dictated by the growing feeling in the Church of Scotland between the two main streams of opinion. In this period the Church becomes embroiled in a doctrinal dispute, finally comes to some resolve about the abjuration, and is entangled in difficulties associated with patronage. This 41, chapter ends with major attempt at a regulation of the Commission which failed. Chapter seven is a particularly vital chapter in this thesis which tries to show the complexity of the Commission's task in trying to restore a kind of unity to the Church. Here the major issue is patronage, the rights of a congregation in a Presbyterian Church with regard to calling a minister and the limits allowed for ministers to exercise the right of dissent and the right to speak about what they believe are defections in the Church. (Abstract shortened by ProQuest.).

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Adviser: Ian A Muirhead
Keywords: Religious history
Date of Award: 1969
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1969-72962
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2019 11:06
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2019 11:06
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/72962

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