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Agreed upon by the

Affembly of DIVINES



With the affiftance of



Church of SCOTLAND,

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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 affembly, and act of Parliament, both in Anno 1645. Approving and establishing the faid D IRECTORY.

I Cor. xiv. 40. Let all things be done decently, and in order.
Ver. 26. Let all things be done to edifying.


Printed by JAMES KNOX,


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An Act of the Parliament of the Kingdom of Scotland, approv ing and establishing the directory for public worship.

At Edinburgh, February 6. 1645,

CHE eftates of Parliament now conveened, in the fecond feffion

Tof this first triennial parliament, by virtue of the laft act of the lalt Parliament, holden by his majefty and the three eftates, in Anno 1641; after public reading,and ferious confideration 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 folemn league and covenant, together with the ordinance of the Parliament of England establishing the faid directory, and the directory itself do heartly and cheerfully agree to the faid directory, according to the act of the general affembly approving the fame. Which act, together with the directory itself, the eftates of Parliament do, without a contrary voice,ratify and approve all the heads and articles thereof; and do interpone and add the authority of Parliament to the faid act of the general affembly. And do ordain the fame to have the ftrength and force of a law and act of Parliament, and excecution to pafs thereupon, for obferving the faid directory, according to the faid act of the general affembly in all points.

Alex. Gibson Cler. Regiftri,

Affembly at Edinburgh, February 3, 1635. Sess. 10.

Acts of the general affembly of the kirk of Scotland, for the eftablishing and putting in execution of the directory for the public worship of God.

Hereas an happy unity, and uniformity in religion amongst the kirks of Chrift, in these three kingdoms, united under one fovereign, having been long and earnestly wifhed for, by the Godly and well-affected amongst us, was propounded as a main article of the large treaty, without which band and bulwark, no fafe, well-grounded and falting pease could be expected and afterward, with greater ftrength and maturity, revived in the folemn league and covenant of the three kingdoms; whereby they ftand Itraitly obliged to endeavour the nearest uniformity in one form of Church-government directory of worship, confeffion of faith, and form of catechifing: which hath alfo before,and fince our entring into that covenant, been the matter of many fupplications and remonftrances, and fending commiffioners to the king's majefty, of declarations to the honourable houfes of the Parliament: of England, and of letters to the reverend aflembly of divines, and others of the miniftry of the kirk of England: being alfo the end of our fending commiffioners, as was defired from this

kirk, with commiffion to treat of uniformity in the four particulars afore-mentioned, with fuch committees as fhould be appointed by both houfes of Parliament of England, and by the affembly of divines fitting at Westminster; And befides all this, it being, in point of confcience, the chief motive and end of our adventuring upon manifold and great hazards, for quenching the devouring flame of the prefent unatural and bloody war in England,tho' to the weakning of this kingdom within itself, and the advantage of the enemy which hath invaded it, accounting nothing too dear to us, fo that this our joy be fulfilled. And now this great work being fo far advanced,that ta directory for the public worship of God in all the three kingdoms, being agreed upon by the honourable houfes of the Parliament of England after confultation with the divines of both kingdoms there affembled, and fent to us for our approbation, that, being alfo agreed upon by this kirk and kingdom of Scotland,it may be in the name of both kingdoms prefented to the king, for his royal confent and ratification; The general affembly having moft feriously confidered, reviled, and examined the directory afore-mentioned, after feveral public readings 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 fcruples about it, to make known the fame that they might be fatisfied,doth unanimously, and without a contrary voice, agree to, and approve the following directory, in all the heads thereof, together with the preface, fet 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 obferved and practifed by all the minifters and others within this kingdom, whom it doth concern; which practice fhall be begun, upon intimation given to the feveral prefbyteries, from the commiflioners of this general affembly, who fhall alfo take fpecial care for the timeous printing of this directory,that a printed copy of it be provided and kept for the use of every kirk in this kingdom; Alfo, that each prefbytery have a printed copy thereof for their use, and take special notice of the obfervation or neglect thereof in every congregation within their bounds, and make known the fame to the provincial or general affembly, as there fhall be caufe. Provided always, that the claufe in the directory, of the adminiftration of the LORD's fupper, which mentioneth the communicants 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 minifter to each communicant,and not by the communicants among themfelves. It is alfo provided, That this fhall be no prejudice to the order and practice of this kirk, in fuch particulars as are appointed by the books of difcipline, and acts of general affemblies, and are not otherwife ordered and appointed in the directory.

Finally, The aflembly doth, with much joy and thankfulnefs, acknowledge the rich bleffing and invaluable mercy of God, in bringing the fo much wifhed-for uniformity in religion to fuch a happy period, that thefe kingdoms, once at fo great a diftance in the form of worThip, are now by the bleffing of God brought to a nearer uniformity then any other reformed kirks; which is unto us the return of our prayers, and a lightning of our eyes and reviving of our hearts in

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the midft of our many forrows and fufferings; a taking away, great measure, the reproach of the people of God, to the ftopping of the mouths of malignant and difaffected perfons; 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 whereof we do rejoice; befeeching the Lord to preserve thefe kingdoms from herefies, Schifins, offences, profanenefs, and whatfoever is contrary to found doctrine and the power of Godliness: and to continue with us and the generations following, these his pure and purged ordinances, together with an increase of the power and life thereof, to the glory of his great name, the enlargment 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 antoher in love.


THE Preface.

Of the affembly of the Congregation
Of Publick reading of the holy Scripture.
of Publick prayer before the fermon.
Of preaching of the word.

Of prayer after fermon.

Of the Sacrament of baptifm.

Of the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper.
Of the fanctifiation of the Lord's day.
Of the folemnization of marriage.

Of the vifitation of the fick.

Of burial of the dead.

Of public folemn fafting.

Of the obfervation of days of public thankfgiving.

Offinging of pfalms.

An Appendix touching days and places of publick Worship.






Agreed upon by the affembly of DIVINES at Weftminifter; examined and approved, Anno 1645, by the GENERAL ASSEMBLY of the CHURCH of SCOTLAND; and ratified by act of parliament the fame Year.



N the begining of the bleffed reformation, our wife and pious ancestors took care to fet forth an order for redrefs of many things, which they then, by the word difcovered to be vain, erroneous, fuperftitious, and idolatrous, and in the public worship of God. This occa fioned many Godly and learned men to rejoice much in the book of common prayer, at that time fet forth; because the mafs and the rest of the Latin fervice being removed, the public worship was celebrated in our own tongue, many of the common people alfo received benefit by hearing the Scriptures read in their own language, which formerly were unto them as a book that is fealed.

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Howbeit, long and fad experience hath made it manifest that the liturgy ufed in the church of England (notwithtanding 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 alfo to the reformed churches Abroad, For, not to fpeak of urging the reading of all the prayers, which very greatly increafed the burden of it: the many unprofitable and burdenfom ceremonies contained in it, have oc cafioned much mischief, as well by difquieting the confcience


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