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Such scarcity of faithful pastors) and spoiled of their livelihood, to the undoing of them and their families. Prelates and their faction have Jaboured to raise the eslimation of it to fuch an height, as if there were po other worship, or way of worship of GOD, amongst us, but only the service-book ; to the great hinderance of the preaching of the word, and in some places, especially of late) to the justling of it out, as unneceffary; or (at belt) as far inferior to the reading of common-pray. er, which was made no better than an idol by many ignorant and fu. perstitious people, who pleafing themselves in their presence at that service, and their lip-labour as bearing a part in it, have thereby hardened themselves in their ignorance and carelesfuels of saving knowledge and true piety.
In the mean time, Papists boasted that the book was a compliance with them in a great part of their service; and fo were not a little coa. firmed in their fuperftition and idolatry, expecting rather our return to them, than endeavouring the reformation of themlelves; in which expectation they were of late very much encouraged, when, upon the pretended warrantableness of imposing of the former ceremonies, new ones were daily obưruded upon the church.
Add hereunto (which was not foreleen, but since hath come to pas) that the liturgy hath been a great means, as on the one hand to make and increase an idle and unedifying ministry, which contented ittelf with set forms made to their hands by others, without putting forth themtelves to exercise the gift of prayer, with which our Lord Jesus Chrift pleaserh to furnish all his fervants whom he calls to that office: fo, on the other side, it hath been (and ever would be, if continued) a matter of endless strife and contention in the church, and a foare both to many godly and faithful ministers, who have been perfecuted and filenced upon that occasion, and to others of hopeful parts, many of which have been, and more fill would be, diverted from all thoughts of the ministry to other studies; especially in these latter times, where in God vouchiafeth to his people more and better means for the disco very of error and superstition, and for attaining of knowledge in the myfteries of godliness, and gifts in preaching and prayer.
Upon these, and many the lite weighty considerations in reference to the whole book in general, and because of divers particulars con tained in it; not from any love to novelty, or intention to disparage our firft reformers (of whom we are perfuaded, that, were they now alive, they would join with us in this work, and whom we ackoo. Jedge as excellent instruments, raised by God, to begin the purging and building of his houle, and desire they may be had of us and pofte rity in everlasting remembrance, with thankfulders and honour;) but that we may, in fome measure, answer the gracious providence of God, which at this time calleth upon us for further reformation, and may fatisfy our own consciences, and antwer the expectation of other rcformed churches, and the defies of mary of the godiy among our
selves, and withal give fome public testimony of our endeavours for uniformity in divine worship, wbich we have promised in our Solemn League and Covenant : we have, after earnest and frequent calling upon the name of God, and after much consultation, not with flesh and blood, but with his holy word, resolved to lay aside the former liturgy, with the many rites and ceremonies formerly used in the worship of God; and have agreed upon this following Directory for all the parts of public worship, at ordinary and extraordinary times.
Wherein our care hath been, to hold forth such things as are of divine institntion in every ordinance; and other things we have endea. voured to fet forth according to the rules of Christian prudence, agreeable to the general rules of the word of God: our meaning therein being only, that the general heads, the sense and scope of the prayers, and other parts of public worship, being known to all, there may be a consent of all the churches in those things that contain the substance of the service and worship of God; and the ministers may be hereby directed, in their administrations, to keep like foundness in doctrine and prayer, and máy, if need be, have fone help and furniture, and yet so as they become not hereby Nothful and negligent in stirring up the gifts of Christ in theñ ; but that each one, by meditation, by taking heed to himself and the flock of God committed to him, and by wise observing the ways of divine providence, may be careful to furnish his heart and tongue with further or other materials of prayer and exhortation as shall be needful upon all occafions.
of the Affembling of the Congregation, and their Behaviour in the public
Wor/bip of God.
THEN the congregation is to meet for public worship, the people
(having before prepared their hearts thereunto) ought ali to come, and join therein ; not abfenting themselves from the public ordinances through negligence, or upon pretence of private meetings.
Let all enter the assembly, not irreverently, but in a grave acd seemly manner, takiog their seats or places without adoration, or bowing themseives towards one place or other.
The congregation being assembled, the minister, after folemn calling on them to the worshipping of the great name of God, is to begin with prayer.
. To all reverence and humility acknowledging the incomprehensible ' greatness and majesty of the Lord, (in whose presence they do thea . in a special manner appear) and their own vilepels and unworthiness 'to approach fo near him, with their utter inability of themselves
to fo great a work; and humbly beleeching him for paadou, asti(tance, and acceptance in the whole service then to be performed : and
* for a blefling on that particular portion of his word then to be read and all in the name and mediation of the Lord Jesus Christ.'
The public worship being begun, the people are wholly to attend upon it, forbearing to read any thing, except what the minister is then seadiog or citing; and abstaining much more from all private whil perings, conferences, falutations, or doing reverence to any person prefent, or coming in ; as also from all gazing, sleeping, and other indecent behaviour, which may disturb the minister or people, or bioda themselves or others in the service of God.
It any, through necessity, be hindered from being present at the be ginning, they ought not, when they come into the congregation, to betake themselves to their private devotions, but reverently to compose themselves to join with the assembly, in that ordinance of God which is then in hand.
Of Public Reading of the Holy Scriptures.
public worship of God, (wherein we acknowledge our depeadence upon him, and subjection to him) and one means fanctified by him for the edifying of his people, is to be performed by the pastors and teachers.
Howbeit, such as intend the ministry, may occasionally both read the word, and exercise their gift in preaching in the congregation, if allowed by the presbytery thereunto.
All the canonical books of the Old and New Testament (but none of those which commonly are called apocrypha) shall be publicly read in the yulgar tongue, out of the best allowed translation, distinctly, that all may hear and understand.
How large a portion shall be read at once, is left to the wisdom of the minister; but it is convenient, that ordinarily one chapter of each Testament be read at every meeting: and sometimes more, where the chapters be Thort, or the coherence of matter requireth it.
It is requisite that all the canonical books be read over in order, that the people may be better acquainted with the whole body of the scriptures; ordinarily, where the reading in either Teftament endeth on ode Lord's day, it is to begin the next.
We commend also the more frequent reading of such scriptures, as he that readeth shall think best for edification of his hearers, as the book of Psalms, and such like.
When the minister, who readeth, shall judge it neceffary to exponnd any part of what is read, let it not be done, until the whole chapter or plaim be ended : and regard is always to be bad unto the time, that peither preaching, oor oiber ordinance, be straiteaed, or rendered to dious. Which rule is to be observed in all other public performances. Belide public reading of the holy fçriptures, every person that can
read, is to be exhorted to read the scriptures privately, (and all others that cannot read, if not disabled by age, or otherwise, are likewise to be exhorted to learn to read) and to have a Bible.
of public Prayer before the Sermon.
FTER reading of the Word, and singing of the Psalm) the
minister who is to preach, is to codeavour to get his own and his hearers hearts to be rightly affected with their fins that they may all mourn in fense thereof before the Lord, and hunger and thirst after the grace of God in Jesus Christ, by proceeding to a more full confeffion of lin, with shame and holy confusion of face, and to call upon the Lord to this effect.
• To acknowledge our great finfulness, Firft, by reason of original • fin, which (beside the guilt that makes us liable to everlasting dam
nation) is the seed of all other fins, hath depraved and poisoned all • the faculties and powers of soul and body, doth defile our best acti
ons, (and were it not restrained, or our hearts renewed by grace) • would break forth into innumerable transgressions, and greatest re• bellions agaiaft the Lord that ever were committed by the vilest of • the sons of men. And, next, by reason of actual fins, our own • fios, the fins of magiftrates, of ministers, and of the whole nation, • unto which we are many ways accessory: Which fins of ours receive • many fearful aggravations, we having broken all the commandments • of the holy, just and good law of God, doing that which is forbid. • den, and leaving undone what is injoined; and that not only out of • igoorance and infirmity, but also more presumptuously, agaiost the • light of our minds, checks of our consciences, and motions of his
own holy Spirit to the contrary, so that we have no cloke for our • fios; yea, not only despising the riches of God's goodness, forbear
ance, and long-suffering, but standing out against maoy invitations • and offers of grace in the gospel; not endeavouring, as we ought, to • receive Chrif into our hearts by faith, or to walk worthy of him in • our lives.
• To bewail our blindness of mind, hardness of heart, unbelief, im • penitency, security, lukewarmpels, barrcanels; our not endeavouring • after mortification and newness of life; oor after the exercise of god• liness in the power thereof, and that the best of us have not so Ited· faftly walked with God, kept our garments so uospotted, oor been • fo zealous of his glory, and the good of others, as we ought: And • 10 moura over such other fins as the congregation is particularly
guilty of, potwithstanding the manifold and great mercies of our · God, the love of Christ, the light of the golpel, and reformation of ' religion, our own purposes, promises, vows, folemo covenant, and other special obligations to the contrary. I To acknowledge and confess, that, as we are convinced of our
guilt, so, out of a deep sense thereof, we judge ourselves voworthy
of the smallest benefits, moft worthy of God's fiereeft wrath, and • of all the curses of the law, and heaviest judgmenns inficted upon the • most rebellious sinners; and that he might most juftly take his king
dom and gospel from us, plague us with all sorts of spiritual and tem• poral judgments in this life, and after cast us into utter darkness, in the • jake that burneth with fire and brimstone, where is weeping and goashing of teeth for evermore.
Notwithstanding all which, to draw near to the throne of grace, encouraging ourselves with hope of a gracious answer of our prayers, • in the riches and all-fufficiency of that only one oblation, the satisfac
tion and intercession of the Lord Jesus Christ, at the right-hand of « his father, and our Father, and in confidence of the exceeding great ' and precious promiles of mercy and grace in the new covenant, thro' 'the fame Mediator thereof, to deprecate the heavy wrath and curfe of "God, which we are not able to avoid, or bear; and humbly and ear. nestly to supplicate for mercy in the free and full remission of all our ' fios, and that only for the bitter fufferings and precious merits of that
our only Saviour Jesus Christ.
" That the Lord would vouchfafe to shed abroad his love in our hearts • by the Holy Ghost; real unto us, by the fame spirit of adoption, the « full assurance of our pardon and reconciliation; comfort all that mourn • in Zion, speak peace to the wounded and troubled fpirit, and bind op
the broken hearted: and as for fecure and presumptuous fingers, that
he would open their eyes, convince their consciences, and turn then • from darkness apto light, and from the power of Satan unto God, • that they also may receive forgiveness of so, and an inheritance among • them that are fanctified by faith in Christ Jesus.
• With remiffion of fins through the blood of Christ, to pray for . fanctification by his Spirit; the mortification of fin dwelling ia and • many times tyrannizing over us; the quickning of our dead spirits, ' with the life of God in Chrift; grace to fit and enable us for all doories of conversation and callings towards God and men, strength a
gainst temptations, the fanctified use of blessings and crosses, and per« leverance io faith and obedience unto the end.
• To pray for the propagation of the gospel and kingdom of Christ " to all nations; for the conversion of the Jews, the fulnets of the Gen
tiles, the fall of Anti-christ, and the haltening of the second coming • of our Lord; for the deliverance of the distrelied churches abroad • from the tyranny of the anti-chrillian faction, and from the cruel op• pressions and blasphemies of the Turk; for the blessing of God upon
all the reformed churches, especially upon the churches and king doms of Scotland, England, and Ireland, now more strictly and reli
giously united in the Solemn National League and Covenant; and ' for our plantations in the remote parts of the world; more particularly for that church and kingdom whereof we are members, that
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