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Protestant Religion and Presbyterian Church Act 1707

Act for Securing the Protestant Religion and Presbyterian Church Government 1707 c 6

Our sovereign lady and the estates of parliament, considering that by the late act of parliament for a treaty with England for a union of both kingdoms it is provided that the commissioners for that treaty should not treat of or concerning any alteration of the worship, discipline and government of the church of this kingdom, as now by law established, which treaty, being now reported to the parliament, and it being reasonable and necessary that the true Protestant religion as presently professed within this kingdom, with the worship, discipline and government of this church, should be effectually and unalterably secured, therefore, her majesty, with advice and consent of the said estates of parliament, does hereby establish and confirm the said true Protestant religion and the worship, discipline and government of this church, to continue without any alteration to the people of this land, in all succeeding generations.

And more especially, her majesty, with advice and consent foresaid, ratifies, approves and forever confirms the fifth act of the first parliament of King William and Queen Mary entitled, act ratifying the Confession of Faith and settling presbyterian church government, with the whole other acts of parliament relating thereto in prosecution of the declaration of the estates of this kingdom, containing the Claim of Right, bearing date 11 April 1689.

And her majesty, with advice and consent foresaid, expressly provides and declares that the foresaid true Protestant religion contained in the above-mentioned Confession of Faith, with the form and purity of worship presently in use within this church, and its presbyterian church government and discipline, that is to say the government of the church by kirk sessions, presbyteries, provincial synods and general assemblies, all established by the foresaid acts of parliament pursuant to the Claim of Right, shall remain and continue unalterable, and that the said presbyterian government shall be the only government of the church within the kingdom of Scotland.

And further, for the greater security of the foresaid Protestant religion and of the worship, discipline and government of this church as above established, her majesty, with advice and consent foresaid, statutes and ordains that the universities and colleges of St Andrews, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh, as now established by law, shall continue within this kingdom forever, and that, in all time coming, no professors, principals, regents, masters or others bearing office in any university, college or school within this kingdom be capable, or be admitted or allowed to continue in the exercise of their said functions, but such as shall own and acknowledge the civil government in manner prescribed, or to be prescribed by the acts of parliament. As also, that before or at their admissions, they do and shall acknowledge and profess and shall subscribe to the foresaid Confession of Faith as the confession of their faith, and that they will practise and conform themselves to the worship presently in use in this church, and submit themselves to the government and discipline thereof, and never endeavour, directly or indirectly, the prejudice or subversion of the same, and that before the respective presbyteries of their bounds by whatsoever gift, presentation or provision they may be thereto provided.

And further, her majesty, with advice foresaid, expressly declares and statutes that none of the subjects of this kingdom shall be liable to, but all and every one of them forever free of, any oath, test or subscription within this kingdom contrary to or inconsistent with the foresaid true Protestant religion and presbyterian church government, worship and discipline as above established, and that the same within the bounds of this church and kingdom shall never be imposed upon or required of them in any sort.

And lastly that, after the decease of her present majesty, whom God long preserve, the sovereign succeeding to her in the royal government of the kingdom of Great Britain shall, in all time coming, at his or her accession to the crown, swear and subscribe that they shall inviolably maintain and preserve the foresaid settlement of the true Protestant religion with the government, worship, discipline, right and privileges of this church as above established by the laws of this kingdom, in prosecution of the Claim of Right.

And it is hereby statute and ordained that this act of parliament, with the establishment therein-contained, shall be held and observed, in all time coming, as a fundamental and essential condition of any treaty or union to be concluded between the two kingdoms, without any alteration thereof or derogation thereto in any sort forever. As also, that this act of parliament and settlement therein-contained shall be inserted and repeated in any act of parliament that shall pass for agreeing and concluding the foresaid treaty or union between the two kingdoms, and that the same shall be therein expressly declared to be a fundamental and essential condition of the said treaty or union in all time coming.

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