« AnteriorContinua »
fore 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 serinon 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 conti, nuance and renewing of God's wonted mercies, as need shall
be, and for sanctifying grace to make a right use thereof. Hi 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 them
selves, in their eating and refreshing; and to take care that in their mirth and rejoicing be not carnal, but spiritual, which bilmay make God's praise to be glorious, and themselves hum
ble 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 praying, 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
A a 3
more and more in the Lord; as becometh those who make the joy of the Lord their strength,
Of Singing of Psalnis.
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, line by line, before the singing thereof
Touching Days and Places for Publick Worship.
THERE is no day commanded in scripture to be kept holy under the
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 dedication or consecration; so neither is it subject to such pollution by any supersticion formerly used, and now laid aside, as may render it unlawful or inconvenient for Christians to nieet 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
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 Assembly, Anno 1645, approving the same.
Ezek. xliii. 11. And if they be ashamed of all that they have done, shew them the form of the house, and the fashion thereof, and the goings out thereof, and the comings in thereof, and all the forms thereof; and all the laws thereof; and write it in their sight, that they may keep the whole form thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and do them.
Assembly at Edinburgh, February 10. 1645. Sess. 16.
Act of the General Assembly of the Kirk of ScotLAND, approving the Propositions concerning Kirk
government, and Ordination of Ministers. THE General Assembly being most desirous and solicit
ous, not only of the establishment and preservation of the Form of Kirk-governınent in this kingdom, according to the word of God, books of Discipline, acts of General Assemblies, and National Covenant, but also of an uni, formity 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 contagion, manifold mischiefs to this kirk from a corrupt form of government in the kirk of England: likeas the precious opportunity of bringing the kirks of Christ in all the three kingdoms to an uniformity in Kirkgovernment 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 into us, as the results of the long and learned debates of the Assembly of Divines sit. ting 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 make them known, that they might receive satisfaction; doth agree to and approve the propositions afore-mentions ed, touching Kirk-government and Ordination, and doik hereby authorise the Commissioners of this Assembly, who
A a 5