Thursday, January 03, 2008

On this day in history, 3rd January 1645

The House of Commons passed the first completed production from the Westminster Assembly, the Directory for Public Worship. Upon publication it officially replaced the Book of Common Prayer.

Here is some of the wise advice on what to say about heresies from the pulpit:

In confutation of false doctrines, he (the preacher) is neither to raise an old heresy from the grave, nor to mention a blasphemous opinion unnecessarily: but, if the people be in danger of an error, he is to confute it soundly, and endeavour to satisfy their judgements and consciences against all objections...

There was also guidance on the prayer before the sermon, including the need to seek God's blessing so that listening to his Word being expounded would not be unprofitable:
And because we have been unprofitable hearers in times past, and now cannot of ourselves receive, as we should, the deep things of God, the mysteries of Jesus Christ, which require a spiritual discerning; to pray, that the Lord, who teacheth to profit, would graciously please to pour out the Spirit of grace, together with the outward means thereof, causing us to attain such a measure of the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord, and, in him, of the things which belong to our peace, that we may account all things but as dross in comparison of him; and that we, tasting the first-fruits of the glory that is to be revealed, may long for a more full and perfect communion with him, that where he is, we may be also, and enjoy the fulness of those joys and pleasures which are at his right hand for evermore.
It is available online here.

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