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DIRECTORY

FOR THE

PUBLIC WORSHIP of GOD, ,

Agreed upon by the

Assembly of Divines

A T

W E S T M IN S T E R,

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AS A Part of the Covenanted Uniformity in Religion betwixt

the Churches of Christ in the Kingdoms of Scotland England and Ireland.

WITH An Ad of the General Affembly, and Ad 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.DCCLV.

Charles I. Parl. g. Selis.

An AG T of the Parliament of the Kingdom of Scotland, Appreving and

Establishing the Directory for Public Worship.

THE

At Edinburgh, February 6, 1646. HE eftates of parliament now conveeoed, in the second session of

this first triennial parliament, by vertue of the last act of the last parliament, holden by his majesty and the three estatęs, in anno 1641; after public reading, and serious consideration of the act under-written of the General Affembly approving the following Directory for the public worship of God in the three kingdoms, lately united by the Solemn League and Covenant, together with the ordinance of the parliament of Eng. land eftablishing the said Directory itself; do heartily and chearfully agree to the said Directory, according to the act of the general assembly 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 said act of the general allembly. And do ordain the same to have the strength and force of the law and a& of par. liament, and execution to pass thereupon, for observing the laid Directory, according to the said act of the general assembly in all points.

Alex. Gibson Cler. Registri.

Assembly at Edinburgh, February 3, 1645. Sej. 10. ACT of the General Asembly of the Kirk of Scotland, for the Etablish

ing and patting in Execution of the Directory for tbe public Worsbip

of God

THEREAS an happy unity, and uniformity ia religion amongst the

, reign, having been long and earnefly wished for, by the godly and well. affected among us, was propounded as a main article of the large treaty, without which band and bulwark, no lafe, well-grounded and last. ing peace could be expected ; and afterward, with greater strength and maturity, revived in the solemn League and Covenant of the three king doms : whereby they stand Rraitly obliged to endeavour the nearest uni. formity in one form of Church Government, Directory of Worship, Con. feffion of Faith, and form of Catechising: wbich bath alfo before, and since our entering into that covenant, been the matter of many fopplications and remonfrances, and sending commissioners to the king's majelly, of declarations to the honourable houses of the parliament of Eng. land, and of letters to the reverend affembly of divines, and others of the ministry of the kirk of England; being also the end of our sending commissioners, as was desired, from this kirk, with commission to treat of uniformity in the four particulars afore-mentioned, with such committees as should be appointed by both houses of parliament of Eng.

land,

land, and by the assembly of divines Gitting at Weftminster : and belide all this, it being, in paiot of conscience, the chief motive and end of @ur adventuring upon manifold and great hazards, for quenching the devouring fame of the present undatural 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, so that this our joy be'fulfilled. And now this great work being so 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 parliament of England, after confultation with the divines of both kingdoms there assembled, and sent to us for our approbation, that, being alío agreed upon by this kirk and kingdom of Scotland, it may be in the name of both kingdoms presented to the king, for his royal consent and ratification; The general allembly baving most seriously considered, revised, and examined the Directory afore-mentioned, after seperal public reada ings 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 scruples about it, to make known the same that they might be satisfied ; doth unanimously, and without a contrary voice, agree to, and approve the following Directory, in all the heads thereof, together with the preface ser before it: and doth require, decern, and ordain, That, according to the plain tenor and meaning thereof, and the intent of the preface, it be carefully and uniformly observed and practised by all the ministers and others within this kingdom, whom is doth concern; which pradice fhall be begun, upon intimation given to the several presbyterico, from the commissioners of this general assembly, who shall also take special 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 ; Also, that cach presbytery have a printed copy thereaf in every congregation within their bounds, and make known the fame to the provincial or general assembly, as there thall be cause. Provided always, that the claule in the Directory, of the administration 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 'c: 12municants among themselves. It is also provided, That this shall be no prejudice to the order and practice of this kirk, in such particulars as are appointed by the books of discipline, and acts of general assemblies, and are not otherwise ordered and appointed in the Directory.

Finally, the assembly doth, with much joy and thankfulness, acknowa ledge the rich bleffing and invaluable mercy of God, in bringing the fue much wished for uniformity in religion to fuch a happy period, that the! kingdoms once at fo great a distance in the form of worship, are noi by the blefling of God brought to a neater uniformity than any other reformed kirks: which is unto us the return of our prayers, and it lightening of our eyes, and reviving of our hearts in the midit of our H b 2

7

many forrows and sufferings; a taking away, in a great measure, the reproach of the people of God, to the stopping of the mouths of malig. pant aod disaffected persons; 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; beseeching the Lord to preserve these kingdoms from herefies, schisms, offences, profaneness, and whatsoever is contrary to found do&rine, and the power of godliness; and to continue with us, and the generations following, these his pare 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

C Ο Ν Τ Ε Ν Τ S.

THE Preface.

Of the Alembling 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 Baptism. Of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper. Of the Sanctification of the Lord's Day. Of the Solemnization of Marriage. Of the Visitation of the Sick. Of Burial of the Dead. Of Public Solemn Fasting. Of the Observation of Days of Public Thanksgiving. Of Singing of Psalms. An Appendix touching Days and Places of Public Worship.

TAŁ

THE

DIRECTOR Y

FOR THE

PUBLIC WORSHIP of GOD, ,

Agreed upon by the Assembly of Divines at Westminster; examined and approved, Anno 1645, by the GENERAL AS SEMBLY of the Church of Scotland; and ratified by Act of Parliament the same Year.

The PREFACE:

IN N the begiading of the blessed reformation, our wise and pious

ancestors took care to set forth an order for redress of many things, which they then, by the word, discovered 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 set forth; because the mass and the rest of the Latin service being removed, the public worship was celebrated in our own tongue : Many of the common people allo received benefit by hearing the scriptures read in their own language, which formerly, were unto them as a book that is sealed.

Howbeit, long and fad experience hath made it manifelt, that the liturgy used in the church of England (notwithstanding all the pains and religious intentions of the compilers of it) bath proved an offence, pot only to many of the godly at home, but also to the reformed churches abroad. For, not to speak of urging the reading of all the prayers, which very greatly increased the burden of it; the many unprofitable and burdensome ceremonies contained in it, have occasioned much mischiet, as well by disquieting the conscicaces of many godly ministers 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 tubscribing to those ceremonies. Sundry good Chriltians have been. by means thereof, kept from the Lord's table; and divers able and faithful ministers debarred from the exercise of their ministry (to the endangering of many thousand souls, in a time of

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