Page images
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

it is requisite that at no time he convene a part of the family for worship, secluding the rest, except in singular cases, especially concerning these parties, which in Christian prudence) need not, or ought not, to be imparted to others.

V. 'Let no idler who hath no particular calling, or vagrant person under a pretence of a calling, be suffered to perform worship in families, to or for the same; seeing persons tainted with errors, or aiming at division, may be ready (after that manner) to creep into houses, and lead captive silly and unstable souls.

VI. At family-worship, a special care is to be had that each family keep by themselves ; neither requiring, inviting, nor admitting persons from divers families, unless it be those who are lodged with them, or at meals, or otherwise with them upon some lawful occasion.

VII. Whatsoever have been the effects and fruits of meet. ings of persons of divers families in the times of corruption or trouble, (in which cases many things are commendable, which otherwise are not tolerable,) yet, when God hath blessed us with peace and purity of the gospel

, such meetings of

persons of divers families (except in cases mentioned in these Directions) are to be disapproved, as tending to the hinderance of the religious exercise of each family by itself, to the prejudice of the publick ministry, to the rending of the families of particular congregations, and (in progress of time) of the whole kirk. Besides many offences which may come thereby, to the hardening of the hearts of carnal men, and grief of the godly.

VIII. On the Lord's day, after every one of the family apart; and the whole family together, have sought the Lord (in whose hands the preparation of men's hearts are) to fit them for the publick worship, and to bless to them the publick ordinances, the master of the family ought to take care that all within his charge repair to the publick worship, that he and they may join with the rest of the congregation: and the publick'worship being finished, after prayer,

he should take an account what they have heard ; and thereafter, to spend the rest of the time which they may spare in catechising, and in spiritual conferences upon the word of God: or else (going apart) they ought to apply themselves to reading, meditas

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]



[ocr errors]

their neighbour those that are e * The prayer 1 God may be

that themselves

X. These exerc

and profane men

hath exercised us

"mily ; accusing, judging, and condemning themselves and thanksgivin " for them, till they bring their souls to some measure of when the Lord 6 godly; and that they may serve God with joy and de- profanity abol

tion, and secret prayer, that they may confirm and increase “congregation to their communion with God: that so the profit which they found in the publick ordinances may be cherished and promoved, and they more edified unto eternal life.

IX. So many as can conceive prayer, ought to make use of that gift of God; albeit those who are rude and weaker his Son, and may begin at a set form of prayer, but so as they be not sluggish in stirring up in themselves (according to their daily according to hi necessities) the spirit of prayer, which is given to all the chil

. dren of God in some measure: to which effect, they ought to niy

; without dela be more fervent and frequent in secret prayer to God, for nessorhinderance enabling of their hearts to conceive, and their tongues to express, convenient desires to God for their family. And, this land, and of in the mean time, for their greater encouragement,

let these materials of prayer be meditated upon, and made use and all elders of of, as followeth:

“ Let them confess to God how unworthy they are to come in his presence, and how unfit to worshiphis Majesty; “ and therefore earnestly ask of God the spirit of prayer.

They are to confess their sins, and the sins of the fa“ true humiliation.

“ They are to pour out their souls to God, in the name “ of Christ, by the Spirit, for forgiveness of sins; for grace “ to repent, to believe, and to live soberly, righteously, and light, walking before him.

" They are to give thanks to God for his many mercies “to his people, and to themselves, and especially for his “ love in Christ, and for the light of the gospel.

“ They are to pray for such particular benefits, spiri"tual and temporal, as they stand in need of for the time, “ (whether it be morning or evening,) as anent health or “ sickness, prosperity or adversity. “ They ought to pray for the kirk of Christ in general

, “ for all the reformed kirks, and for this kirk in particular

, 66 and for all that suffer for the name of Christ; for all our “superiors, the king's majesty, the queen, and their children; “ for the magistrates, ministers, and whole body of the


" congregation

selves and famil

effectually, that i and charge, the

XI: Besides above mentione

publick, calley

XII. Seeing consider one al therefore, at

Justs, think it same excess stir up theme nification, one another podliness an righteously, minded, an


respy sions offere

any calami

is sought; admonitio

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

« God may

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

their team

[ocr errors]


« congregation whereof they are members, as well for
“ their neighbours absent in their lawful affairs, as for
56 those that are at home.
“ The prayer may be closed with an earnest desire that

be glorified in the coming of the kingdom of poht

« his Son; and in doing of his will, and with assurance " that themselves are accepted, and what they have asked

according to his will shall be done.”

X. These exercises ought to be performed in great sincea rity, without delay, laying aside all exercises of worldly business or hinderances, notwithstanding the mockings of atheists and profane men; in respect of the great mercies of God to

this land, and of his severe corrections wherewith lately he ir lie hath exercised us. And, to this effect, persons of eminency

(and all elders of the kirk) not only ought to stir up them . selves and families to diligence herein, but also to concur effectually, that in all other families, where they have power and charge, the said exercises be conscionably performed.

XI: Besides the ordinary duties in families, which are above mentioned, extraordinary duties, both of humiliation and thanksgiving, are to be carefully performed in families; when the Lord, by extraordinary occasions, (private or publick,) calleth for them.

XII. Seeing the word of God requireth, that we should consider one another to provoke unto love and good works; therefore, at all times, and especially in this time, wherein

profanity abounds, and mockers, walking after their own ch perá lusts, think it strange that others run not with them to the

same excess of riot; every member of this kirk ought to stir up themselves, and one another, to the duties of mutual edification, by instruction, admonition, rebuke; exhorting one another to manifest the grace of God, in denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, and in living godly, soberly, and righteously, in this present world; by comforting the feebleminded, and praying with or for one another. Which duties respectively are to be performed upon special occasions offered by divine Providence; as namely, when under any calamity, cross, or great difficulty, counsel or comfort is sought; or when an offender is to be reclaimed by private admonition, and if that be not effectual, by joining one or


ning this me

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

they ought to walk with God, and not neglect the duties ACCEPTANCE.

two more in the admonition, according to the rule of Christ ; that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

XIII. And, because it is not given to every one to speak a word in season to a wearied or distressed conscience, it is expedient, that a person in that case) finding no ease, 10f the chief M after the use of all ordinary means, private and publick, have their address to their own pastor, or some experienced Christian : but if the person troubled in con Cam signifies the science be of that condition, or of that sex, that discretion

, denotes the ch modesty, or fear of scandal, requireth a godly, grave, and secret friend to be present with them in their said address, it is expedient that such a friend be present.

XIV. When persons of divers families are brought together by divine Providence, being abroad upon their par ticular vocations, or any necessary occasions; as they would have the Lord their God with them whithersoever they go,


Cat. signifies the

the numbers of


of believers ar

of prayer and thanksgiving, but take care that the same be righteous in the sing
performed by such as the company shall judge fittest. And
that they likewise take heed that no corrupt communication
proceed out of their mouths, but that which is good, to the

of edifying, that it may minister grace to the hearers.

The drift and scope of all these Directions is no other, but that, upon the one part, the power and practice of godliness, amongst all the ministers and members of this kirk, according to their several places and vocations, may be cherished and advanced, and all impiety and mocking of religious exercises suppressed: and, upon the other part, that, under the name and pretext of religious exercises

, no such meetings or practices be allowed, as are apt to breed error, scandal, schism, contempt, or misregard of the publick ordinances and ministers, or neglect of the duties of particular callings, or such other evils as are the works, not of the Spirit, but of the flesh, and are contrary to truth

for the obedience
of Christ, con.
Which is imputed
God, and received
xi. 1. cat. 70, 71,
good works are ac
con. xvi, 6. Accel
through Christ all

cat, 180.
Accese. No access

of God without
sus Christ, con.
181. Who ha
believers under
greater boldnes!

throne of grad under the law take of, con. We Actions. God all the actions his most wise according to knowledge con. , lcat.

and peace.



Actual sins prod

nal corruptio

sat, 25. See




TABLE f comes indies of the chief Matters contained in the CONFESSION


oubleli Con. signifies the Confession of Faith. The first number that es denotes the Chapter, the following figures denote the Ir , qua Paragraphs. Cat. signifies the Larger Catechism, and the figures denote

the numbers of the Questions.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

lect the at they hittest

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

cat. 180.

[ocr errors]

The persons

Admonition of the church, con. XXX. 4.

of believers are accepted as Adoption, the nature and privileges righteous in the sight of God only of it, son. xii. cat. 74. for the obedience and satisfaction Adultery, a just ground of divorce, of Christ, con. xi. 1. cat. 70. con. xxiv. 5, 6. Which is imputed to them by Aggravations of sin, cat. 151. God, and received by faith, con. Amen, the meaning of it, cat. 196. xi. 1. cat. 70, 71, 72. How their Angels, God's decree concerning good works are accepted in Christ, them, con. fi. 3, 4. cas. 13. How con. xvi. 6. Acceptance in prayer created, cat. 16.

God's provithrough Christ and his mediation, dence towards them, cat, 19. They

are all employed at his pleasure in Access. No access unto the presence

the administration of his power, of God without the Mediator Je. mercy, and justice, ib. Not to be sus Christ, con. xii. cat. 39, 55, worshipped, con. xxi. 2. cat. 105. 181. Who hath purchased for Antichrist, what, con. xxv. 6. The believers under the gospel, a Pope is Antichrist, ib. greater boldness of access to the Antiquity, no pretence for using the throne of grace, than believers devices of men in the worship of under the law did ordinarily par God, cat. 109. take of, con. XX. 1.

Anxiety about the things of this life
Actions. God orders and governo sinful, cat, 105, 136, 142.

all the actions of his creatures by The Apocrypha, not being of divine
his most wise and holy providence, inspiration, is of no authority in
according to his infallible fore. the church, can. i. 3.
knowledge and immutable decree, Immodest Apparel forbidden, cat.

con. V, 1, cat. 18. See Providence, 139,
Actual sins proceed from the origi- Ascension of Christ, com. viit. 4. cat.

nal corruption of nature, con. vi. 4. 53
sat, 25. See Sin.

Assembly. See Councils.


[ocr errors]


« PreviousContinue »