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Agreed upon by the

Affembly of Divines



With the Affiftance of



Church of Scotland,


A Part of the Covenanted Uniformity in Religion betwixt the Churches of CHRIST in the Kingdoms of Scotland England and Ireland.


An Act of the General Affembly, and Act of Parliament, both in Anno 1645, Approving and Establishing the faid DIRECTORY.

1 Cor. xiv. 46. Let all things be done decently, and in Order.

Ver. 26.

Let all things be done to Edifying.

Printed in the Year M,DCC,LV,

Charles I. Parl. 3. Seff. 5.

An ACT of the Parliament of the Kingdom of Scotland, Approving and Efiablishing the Directory for Public Worship.


At Edinburgh, February 6, 1646.

HE eftates of parliament now conveened, in the fecond feffion of this first triennial parliament, by vertue of the last act of the last parliament, holden by his majesty and the three eftates, in anno 1641; after public reading, and ferious confideration of the act under-written of the General Affembly approving the following Directory for the public worthip of God in the three kingdoms, lately united by the Solemn League and Covenant, together with the ordinance of the parliament of Eng. land establishing the aid Directory itself; do heartily and chearfully agree to the faid Directory, according to the act of the general affembly approving the fame. Which act, together with the Directory itself, the eitates of parliament do, without a contrary voice, ratify and approve in all the heads and articles thereof; and do interpone and add the authority of parliament to the faid act of the general affembly. And do ordain the fame to have the firength and force of the law and act of par liament, and execution to pass thereupon, for obferving the faid Directory, according to the faid act of the general affembly in all points. Alex. Gibfon Cler. Registri.

Affembly at Edinburgh, February 3, 1645. Seff. 10.

ACT of the General Assembly of the Kirk of Scotland, for the Eftablishing and patting in Execution of the Directory for the public Worship of God.

7HEREAS an happy unity, and uniformity in religion amongst the reign, having been long and earnefly wished for, by the godly and wellaffected among us, was propounded as a main article of the large treaty, without which band and bulwark, no fafe, well-grounded and lasting peace could be expected; and afterward, with greater ftrength and maturity, revived in the Solemn League and Covenant of the three kingdoms whereby they ftand fraitly obliged to endeavour the nearest uniformity in one form of Church Government, Directory of Worship, Con feffion of Faith, and form of Catechifing: which hath alfo before, and fince our entering into that covenant, been the matter of many fupplications and remonfirances, and fending commiffioners to the king's ma jefly, of declarations to the honourable houfes of the parliament of England. and of letters to the reverend affembly of divines, and others of the miniftry of the kirk of England; being alfo the end of our fending commiffioners, as was defired, from this kirk, with commiffion to treat of uniformity in the four particulars afore-mentioned, with fuch committees as should be appointed by both houses of parliament of Eng


land, and by the affembly of divines fitting at Weftminfter: and befide all this, it being, in point of confcience, the chief motive and end of our adventuring upon manifold and great hazards, for quenching the devouring flame of the prefent unnatural and bloody war in England, though to the weakening of this kingdom within itself, and the advantage of the enemy which have invaded it, accounting nothing too dear to us, fo that this our joy be fulfilled. And now this great work being fo iar advanced, that a Directory for the public worship of God in all the three kingdoms, being agreed upon by the honourable houses of the parlia ment of England, after confultation with the divines of both kingdoms there affembled, and fent to us for our approbation, that, being alio agreed upon by this kirk and kingdom of Scotland, it may be in the name of both kingdoms prefented to the king, for his royal confent and ratification; The general affembly having moft seriously confidered, revised, and examined the Directory afore-mentioned, after feveral public readings of it, after much deliberation, both publicly and in private committees, after full liberty given to all to object against it, and earnest invitations of all who have any fcruples about it, to make known the fame that they might be fatisfied; doth unanimoufly, and without a contrary voice, agree to, and approve the following Directory, in all the heads thereof, together with the preface fet before it: and doth require, decern, and ordain, That, according to the plain tener and meaning thereof, and the intent of the preface, it be carefully and uniformly obferved and practised by all the minifters and others within this kingdom, whom is doth concern ; which practice fhall be begun, upon intimation given to the feveral prefbyteri, from the commiffioners of this general asembly, who shall alfo take fpecial care for timeous printing of this Directory, that a printed copy of it be provided and kept for the use of every kirk in this kingdom; Alfo, that each prefbytery have a printed copy thereaf in every congregation within their bounds, and make known the fame to the provincial or general affembly, as there thall be caufe. Provided always, that the claufe in the Directory, of the adminiftration of the LORD's fupper, which mentioneth the communicant's fitting about the table, or at it, be not interpreted, as if, in the judgment of this kirk, it were indifferent, and free for any of the communicants, not to come to, and receive at the table; or, as if we did approve the diftributing of the elements by the minister to each communicant, and not by the com municants among themselves. It is alfo provided, That this fhall be no prejudice to the order and practice of this kirk, in fuch particulars as are appointed by the books of discipline, and acts of general affemblies, and are not otherwife ordered and appointed in the Directory.

Finally, The affembly doth, with much joy and thankfulness, acknow ledge the rich bleffing and invaluable mercy of God, in bringing the fo much wifhed-for uniformity in religion to fuch a happy period, that the! kingdoms once at fo great a distance in the form of worship, are now by the bleffing of God brought to a neater uniformity than any other reformed kirks: which is unto us the return of our prayers, and lightening of our eyes, and reviving of our hearts in the midit of our

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many forrows and fufferings; a taking away, in a great measure, the reproach of the people of God, to the ftopping of the mouths of malig. nant and difaffected perfons; and an opening unto us a door of hope, that God hath yet thoughts of peace towards us, and not of evil, to give us an expected end: In the expectation and confidence whereot, we do rejoice; befeeching the Lord to preserve these kingdoms from herefies, fchifms, offences, profanenefs, and whatfoever is contrary to found doctrine, and the power of gedlinefs; and to continue with us, and the generations following, thefe his pure and purged ordinances, together with an increase of the power and life thereof, to the glory of his great name, the enlargement of the kingdom of his Son, the corroboration of peace and love between the kingdoms, the unity and comfort of all his people, and our edifying one another in love.



THE Preface.

Of the Affembling of the Congregation.
Of Public Reading of the Holy Scriptures.
Of Public Prayer before the Sermon.
Of Preaching of the Word.

Of Prayer after Sermon.

Of the Sacrament of Baptifm.

Of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper.

Of the Sanctification of the Lord's Day.

Of the Solemnization of Marriage.

Of the Vifitation of the Sick.

Of Burial of the Dead.

Of Public Solemn Fafting.

Of the Obfervation of Days of Public Thanksgiving.

Of Singing of Pfalms.

An Appendix touching Days and Places of Public Worship.


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Agreed upon by the Affembly of Divines at Westminster;
examined and approved, Anno 1645, by the GENERAL
ASSEMBLY of the Church of Scotland; and ratified by
Act of Parliament the fame Year.

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N the beginning of the bleffed reformation, our wife and pious ancestors took care to fet forth an order for redrefs of many things, which they then, by the word, difcovered to be vain, erroneous, fuperftitious, and idolatrous, in the public worship of God. This occafioned many godly and learned men to rejoice much in the book of common-prayer, at that time fet forth; because the mafs and the reft of the Latin fervice being removed, the public worship was celebrated in our own tongue: Many of the common people also received benefit by hearing the fcriptures read in their own language, which formerly, were unto them as a book that is fealed.

Howbeit, long and fad experience hath made it manifest, that the liturgy used in the church of England (notwithstanding all the pains and religious intentions of the compilers of it) hath proved an offence, not only to many of the godly at home, but alfo to the reformed churches abread. For, not to fpeak of urging the reading of all the prayers, which very greatly increased the burden of it; the many unprofitable and burdenfome ceremonies contained in it, have occafioned much mischief, as well by difquieting the confciences of many godly minifters and people, who could not yield unto them, as by depriving them of the ordinances of God, which they might not enjoy without conforming or fubfcribing to thofe ceremonies. Sundry good Chriftians have been. by means thereof, kept from the Lord's table; and divers able and faithful minifters debarred from the exercise of their miniftry (to the endangering of many thousand fouls, in a time of



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