Session 12, August 15, 1643.— Act for preparing the Directory for the Public Worship of God

The Assembly, considering how convenient it is that all the ministers of the particular kirks within this kingdom, in their administration keep unity and uniformity in the substance and right ordering of all the parts of the publick worship of God, and that all the particular kirks, by the same unity and uniformity, testify their unanimous consent against all schism and division, unto which these times, through the working of Satan and his instruments against the propagation of the Gospel of peace, are so inalienable; doth ordain that a Directory for Divine Worship, with all convenient diligence, be framed and made ready, in all the parts thereof, against the next General Assembly, to be held in the year 1644. And for this end, that such as shall be nominate by this Assembly shall, immediately after the rising of the Assembly, set themselves apart (so far as may be) from their particular callings, and with all diligence and speed go about this so public, so pious, and so profitable a work. And when they have brought their endeavours and labours about this Directory to an end, that it be put into the hands of the commissioners of the General Assembly to be revised, and thereafter by them sent in several copies to all the particular Synods, to be held in April and May, that the same being reported with their consent, or with their observations, notes, and animadversions to the General Assembly, it may in end, after their full trial and approbation, by order and authority from them, be received and practised by all the ministers and particular kirks. And for preserving of peace and brotherly unity in the mean while, till the directory, by universal  consent of the whole Kirk, be framed, finished, and concluded, the Assembly forbiddeth, under the pain of the censures of the Kirk, all disputation by word or writing, in private or public, about different practices in such things as have not been formerly determined by this Kirk, and all condemning one of another in such lawful things as have been universally received, and by perpetual custom practised by the most faithful ministers of the Gospel, and opposers of corruptions in this Kirk, since the first beginning of reformation to these times; and doth exhort and command that all endeavour to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, that all beginnings of separation, all scandal and division, be by all means avoided; and that against envying, and strife, and faction, and glorying in men, every one go before another in the duties of love, and so fulfill the law of Christ; that continuing in one spirit and one mind, and fighting together through the faith of the Gospel, we may mutually aide, strengthen, and comfort one another, in all pastoral and Christian employments, better resist the common adversaries, edify one another in the knowledge and fear of God, and the more acceptably, and with the greater blessing, serve the Lord, who hath done so great things for us.




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