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PUBLIC WORSHIP of GOD,
Agreed upon by the
Assembly of Divines
W E S T M IN S T E R,
the Churches of Christ in the Kingdoms of Scotland
1645, Approving and Establishing the faid DIRECTORY,
Cor. xiv. 46. Let all things be done decently, and in Order.
Printed in the Year M.DCCLV.
Charles I. Parl. 3. Sef. s.
An AG T of the Parliament of the Kingdom of Scotland, Appreving and
Efiablishing the Directory for Public Worship.
At Edinburgh, February 6, 1646. HE eftates of parliament now conveened, in the second fesfion of
this first triennial parliament, by vertue of the last act of the last parliament, holden by his majetty and the three estatęs, in anno 1641; aiter public reading, and serious consideration 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 said Directory itself; do heartily and cheartully agree to the said Directory, according to the aở 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 au. thority of parliament to the said act of the general assembly. And do ordain the same to have the strength and force of the law and ad of pare liament, and execution to pass thereupon, for observing the said Directory, according to the said ad of the general afsembly in all points.
Alex. Gibson Cler. Registri.
Asembly at Edinburgh, February 3, 1645. Sej. 10. AGT of the General Assembly of the Kirk of Scotland, for the Etablisb
ing and patting in Execution of the Directory for tbe public Worsbip
THEREAS an happy unity, and uniformity in religion amongst the
kirks of Christ, in these three kingdoms, united under one fove. reign, having been long and earnekly 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 lafe, well-grounded and lasting peace could be expected ; and afterward, with greater strength and maturity, revived in the solemn League and Covenant of the three kingo doms : whereby they stand fraitly 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 hath alfo before, and since our entering into that covenant, been the matter of many fopplications and remonfrances, and fending 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 commishon 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, and by the assembly of divines fitting at Westminster : and beside all this, it being, in point of conscience, the chief motive and end of our adventuring upon manifold and great hazards, for quenching the devouring fame of the present 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, so that this our joy be' fulfilled. And now this great work being so far 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 Eogland, after confultation with the divines of both kingdoms there assembled, and sent to us for our approbation, that, being also 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 assembly having most seriously confidered, revised, and examined the Directory afore-mentioned, after several 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 earneft invitations of all who have any scruples about it, to make known the same that they might be satisfied ; doth unanimoufly, and without a contrary voice, agree to, and approve the following Directory, in all the heads thereof, together with the preface set before it: and duch 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 practice Ahall be begun, upon intimation given to the several presbyteris, from the commiffioners of this general adembly, 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 each presbytery have a printed copy thereaf in every congregation within their bounds, and make known the same to the provincial or general assembly, as there thall be cause. Provided always, that the clause in the Directory, of the adminiftration of the LORD's fupper, which meotioneth the communicant's String 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 diftriburing of the elements by the minister to each communicant, and not by the comic municants 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 assenıblies, and are not otherwise ordered and appointed in the Directorý.
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 such a happy period, that these kingdoms once at fo great a distance in the form of worship, are noi by the blesling of God brought to a nearer uniformity than any other reformed kirks: which is upto us the return of our prayers, and it lightening of our eyes, and reviving of our hearts in the midit of our нь з
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 sound 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 cdifying one another in love.
C O N T E N T S.
Ν Τ Ε Ν
Of the Asembling 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.
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 P R E F A CE:
1 N the begianing 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, superstitious, 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 also received beocfit 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) hath proved an offence, not 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 grcatly increaled the burden of it; the many unprofitable and burdeplome ceremonies contained in it, have occasioned much mischiet, as well by disquieting the consciences 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 Chrilijans have been. by means thereof, kept from the Lord's table; aud divers able and faithful minifters debarred from the exercise of their ministry (to the endangering of many thousand souls, in a time of
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