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for God's assistance and blessing, (as at other conventions for publick worship,) according to the particular occasion of their meeting.
Let him then make some pithy narration of the deliverance obtained, or mercy received, or of whatever hath occasioned that assembling of the congregation, that all may better understand it, or be minded of it, and more affected with it.
And, because singing of psalms is of all other the most proper ordinance for expressing of joy and thanksgiving, let some pertinent psalm or psalms be sung for that purpose, before or after the reading of some portion of the word suitable to the present business.
Then let the minister, who is to preach, proceed to further exhortation and prayer before his sermon, with special reference to the present work: after which, let him preach upon some text of scripture pertinent to the occasion.
The sermon ended, let him not only pray, as at other times after preaching is directed, with remembrance of the necessities of the Church, King, and State, (if before the sermon they were omitted,) but enlarge himself in due and solemn thanksgiving for former mercies and deliverances; but more especially for that which at the present calls them together to give thanks; with humble petition for the continuance and renewing of God's wonted mercies, as need shall be, and for sanctifying grace to make a right use thereof. And so, having sung another psalm, suitable to the mercy, let him dismiss the congregation with a blessing, that they may have some convenient time for their repast and refreshing.
But the minister (before their dismission) is solemnly to admonish them to beware of all excess and riot, tending to gluttony or drunkenness, and much more of these sins themselves, in their eating and refreshing; and to take care that their mirth and rejoicing be not carnal, but spiritual, which may make God's praise to be glorious, and themselves humble and sober; and that both their feeding and rejoicing may render them more cheerful and enlarged, further to celebrate his praises in the midst of the congregation, when they return unto it in the remaining part of that day.
When the congregation shall be again assembled, the like course in pray, ing, reading, preaching, singing of psalms, and offering up of more praise and thanksgiving, that is before directed for the morning, is to be renewed and continued, so far as the time will give leave.
At one or both of the publick meetings that day, a collection is to be made for the poor, (and in the like manner upon the day of publick humiliation,) that their loins may bless us, and rejoice the more with us. And the people are to be exhorted, at the end of the latter meeting, to spend the residue of that day in holy duties, and testifications of Christian love and charity one towards another, and of rejoicing more and more in the Lord; as becometb those who make the joy of the Lord their strength.
Of Singing of Psalms. IT
is the duty of Christians to praise God publickly, by singing of psalms
together in the congregation, and also privately in the family In singing of psalms, the voice is to be tunably and gravely ordered; but the chief care must be to sing with understanding, and with grace in the heart, making melody unto the Lord.
That the whole congregation may join herein, every one that can read is to have a psalm book; and all others, not disabled by age or otherwise, are to be exhorted to learn to read. But for the present, where many in the congregation cannot read, it is convenient that the minister, or some other fit person appointed by him and the other ruling officers, do read the psalm, linė by line, before the singing thereof.
AN APPENDIX, Touching Days and Places for Publick Worship. THERE is no day commanded in scripture to be kept holy under the gospel
Festival days, vulgarly called Holy-days, having no warrant in the word of God, are not to be continued.
Nevertheless, it is lawful and necessary, upon special emergent occasions, to separate a day or days for publick fasting or thanksgiving, as the several eminent and extraordinary dispensations of God's providence shall administer cause and opportunity to his people.
As no place is capable of any holiness, under pretence of whatsoever dedi. cation or consecration; so neither is it subject to such pollution by any superstition formerly used, and
now laid aside, as may render it unlawful or inconvenient for Christians to meet together therein for the publick worship of God. And therefore we hold it requisite, that the places of publick assembling for worship among us should be continued and employed to that
AGREED UPON BY THE ASSEMBLY OF DIVINES AT WESTMINSTER, WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF COMMISSIONERS FROM THE CHURCH OF SCOTLAND,
AS A PART OF THE COVENANTED UNIFORMITY IN RELIGION
BETWLXT THE CHURCHES OF CHRIST IN THE KINGDOMS
OF SCOTLAND, ENGLAND, AND IRELAND:
AN ACT OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY, ANNO 1645, APPROVING
EZEK. xliil. 11. -And if they be ashamed of all that they have done, shew them the forız The Preface.
of the house, and the fashion thereof, and the goings out thereof, and the comings is thereof, and all the forms thereof,--and all the laws thereof: and write it in the sight, that they may keep the whole form thereof, and all the ordinances thereo! and do them.
Of Congregational Assemblies, that Of the Church.
Meeting of the ruling Officers Of the Officers of the Church.
of a particular Congregation, for Pastors.
the government thereof. Other Church-governors.
Of Classical Assemblies. Deacons.
Of Synodical Assemblies. Of particular Congregations. Of Ordination of Ministers. Of the Officers of a particular Con- Touching the Doctrine of Ordinagregation,
tion. Of the Ordinances in a particular Touching the Power of Ordina. Congregation.
tion. Of Church-government, and the seve- Concerning the
Doctrinal Part of the ral sorts of Assemblies for the same. Ordination of Ministers. Of the power in common of all these The Directory for the Ordination of Assemblies.
ASSEMBLY AT EDINBURGH, February 10, 1645. Sess. 16 Act of the GENERAL ASSEMBLY of the KIRK of SCOTLAND, approving the Propa
sitions concerning Kirk-government, and Ordination of Ministers. HE General Assembly being most desirous and solicitous, not only of the establishment and preservation of the Form of Kirk-government
in this kingdom, according to the word of God, books of Discipline, acts of General Assemblies, and National Covenant, but also of an uniformity in Kirk, government betwixt these kingdoms, now more straitly and strongly united by the
late Solemn League and Covenant; and considering, that as in former times there did, so hereafter there may arise, through the nearness of con. tagion, manifold mischiefs to this kirk from a corrupt form of government in the kirk of England: likeas the precious opportunity of bringing the kirke of Christ in all the three kingdoms to an uniformity in Kirk-government being the happiness of the present times above the former; which may also, by the blessing of God, prove an effectual mean, and a good foundation to prepare for a safe and well-grounded pacification, by removing the cause from which the present pressures and bloody wars did originally proceed : and now the Assembly having thrice read, and diligently examined, the propositions (hereunto annexed) concerning the officers, assemblies, and government of the kirk, and concerning the ordination of ministers, brought unto us, as the results of the long and learned debates of the Assembly of Divines sitting at Westminster, and of the treaty of uniformity with the Commissioners of this kirk there residing; after mature deliberation, and after timeous calling upon, and warning of all, who have any exceptions against the same, to wake them known, that they might receive satisfaction; doth agree to and approve the propositions afore-mentioned, touching Kirk-government and Ordinstion; and doth hereby authorize the Commissioners of this Assembly, who are to meet at Edinburgh, to agree to and conclude in the name of this Assembly, an uniformity betwixt the kirks in both kingdoms, in the aforementioned particulars, so soon as the same shall be ratified, without any substantial alteration, by an ordinance of the honourable Houses of the Par. liament of England; which ratification shall be timely intimate and made known by the Commissioners of this kirk residing at London. Provided always, That this act be no ways prejudicial to the further discussion and examination of that article which holds forth, That the doctor or teacher hath power of the administration of the sacraments, as well as the pastor; as also of the distinct rights and interests of presbyteries and people in the calling of ministers; but that it shall be free to debate and discuss these points, as God shall be pleased to give further light.