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Amen. Likeas many Acts of Parliament, not only in general do abrogate, annul, and rescind all laws, statutes, acts, constitutions, canons civil or municipal, with all other ordinances, and practique penalties whatsoever, made in prejudice of the true religion, and professors thereof; or of the true Kirk, discipline, jurisdiction, and freedom thereof; or in favours of idolatry and superstition, or of the Papistical kirk: As Act 3, Act 31, Parl. 1; Act 23, Parl. 11; Act 114, Parl. 12, of King James VI. That Papistry and superstition may be utterly suppressed, according to the intention of the Acts of Parliament, repeated in the 5th Act, Parl. 20, King James VI. And to that end they ordain all Papists and Priests to be punished with manifold civil and ecclesiastical pains, as adversaries to God's true religion preached, and by law established, within this realm, Act 24, Parl. 11, King James VI.; as common enemies to all Christian government, Act 18, Parl. 16, King James VI.; as rebellers and gainstanders of our Sovereign Lord's authority, Act 47, Parl. 3, King James VI.; and as idolaters, Act 104, Parl. 7, King James VI. But also in particular, by and attour the Confession of Faith, do abolish and condemn the Pope's authority and jurisdiction out of this land, and ordains the maintainers thereof to be punished, Act 2, Parl. 1; Act 51, Parl. 3; Act 106, Parl. 7; Act 114, Parl. 12, King James VI.: do condemn the Pope's erroneous doctrine, or any other erroneous doctrine repugnant to any of the articles of the true and Christian religion, publicly preached, and by law established in this realm; and ordains the spreaders and makers of books or libels, or letters or writs of that nature to be punished, Act 46, Parl. 3; Act 106, Parl. 7; Act 24, Parl. 11, King James VI.: do condemn all baptism conform to the Pope's kirk, and the idolatry of the mass; and ordains all sayers, wilful hearers and concealers of the mass, the maintainers and resetters of the priests, Jesuits, trafficking Papists, to be punished without any exception or restriction, Act 5, Parl. 1; Act 120, Parl. 12; Act 164, Parl. 13; Act 193, Parl. 14; Act 1, Parl. 19; Act 5, Parl. 20, King James VI.: do condemn all erroneous books and writs containing erroneous doctrine against the religion presently professed, or containing superstitious rites and ceremonies Papistical, whereby the people are greatly abused, and ordains the home-bringers of them to be punished, Act 25, Parl.
For the suppressing and preventing of which for the time to come, his majesty, with advice and consent of his estates of parliament, hath thought fit to statute and enact, likeas they do hereby statute and command, that no outed ministers who are not licensed by the council, and no other persons not authorized, or tolerate by the bishop of the diocese, presume to preach, expound scripture, or pray in any meeting, except in their own houses, and to those of their own family; and that none be present at any meeting, without the family to which they belong, where any not licensed, authorized, nor tolerate as said is, shall preach, expound scripture, or pray: declaring hereby, all such who shall do in the contrary, to be guilty of keeping of conventicles; and that he, or they, who shall so preach, expound, or pray, within any house, shall be seized upon and imprisoned, till they find caution, under the pain of five thousand merks, not to do the like thereafter, or else enact themselves to remove out of the kingdom, and never return without his majesty's license; and that every person who shall be found to have been present at any such meetings, shall be toties quoties, fined according to their qualities, in the respective sums following, and imprisoned until they pay their fines, and further, during the council's pleasure, viz., each man or woman, having land in heritage, life-rent, or proper wadset, to be lined in a fourth part of his or her valued yearly rent; each tenant labouring land, in twenty-five pounds Scots; each cottar, in twelve pounds Scots, and each serving man, in a fourth part of his yearly fee: and where merchants or tradesmen do not belong to, or reside within burghs royal, that each merchant or chief tradesman be fined as a tenant, and each inferior tradesman as a cottar: and if any of the persons above-mentioned shall have their wives, or any of their children living in family with them, present at any such meeting, they are therefore to be fined in the half of the respective fines aforesaid, consideration being had to their several qualities and conditions.
Likeas all lieges are bound to maintain the King's Majesty's royal person, and authority, the authority of Parliaments, without the which neither any laws, or lawful judicatories can be established, Act 130, Act 131, Parl. 8, K. James VI. and the subjects' liberties, who ought only to live and be governed by the King's laws, the common laws of this realm allenarly, Act 48, Parl. 3, K. James I. Act 79, Parl. 6, K. James IV. repeated in the Act 131, Parl. 8, K. James VI. Which, if they be innovated or prejudged, the commission anent the union of the two kingdoms of Scotland and England, which is the sole Act of the 17 Parl. of K. James VI. declares such confusion would ensue, as this realm could be no more a free monarchy, because by the fundamental laws, ancient privileges, offices and liberties of this kingdom, not only the princely authority of his Majesty's royal descent hath been these many ages maintained, but also the people's security of their lands, livings, rights, offices, liberties, and dignities preserved, and therefore for the preservation of the said true religion, laws and liberties of this kingdom, it is statute by the 8 Act, Parl. 1, repeated in the 99 Act, Parl. 7, ratified in the 23 Act, Parl. 11, and 114 Act, Parl. 12, of K. James VI. and 4 Act K. Charles I. That all kings and princes at their coronation and reception of their princely authority, shall make their faithful promise by their solemn oath in the presence of the eternal God, that enduring the whole time of their lives; they shall serve the same eternal God to the uttermost of their power, according as he hath required in his most holy word, contained in the Old and New Testaments.