Page images
PDF
EPUB

at the next meeting: which meeting fl.all not be fooner than ten days after such citation.

6. Ai the next meeting of the presbytery, the charges must be read to him, and his answers heard. If it appear necessary to proceed farther, the presbytery ought to labour to bring him to 'confellion. And if he confess, and the matter be base and flagitious; such as drunkenness, uncleanness, or crimes of a higher nature, however penitent he may appear, to the satisfaction of all, the presbytery must, without delay, fuspend him from the 'exercise of his office, or depore him from the ministry; and appoint him a due time to confess publicly before the congregation offended, and to profess his repentance.

7. The prosecutor shall be previously warned, that, if he fail to prove the charges, he must himself be cenfured, as a fanderer of the gospel ninifry, in proportion to the malignity, or rashness, that shall appear in the prosecution.

8. If a minifter, accused of atrocious crimes, bcing twice duly cited, fhall refuse to attend the presbytery, he must be immediately sus. pended And if, after another citation, he ftill refuse to attend, he shall be deposed as contumacious.

9. If the minister, when he appears, will not confess; but denies the facts alledged against him; if, on hearing the witnefles, the charges appear impor.ant and well supported, the presbytery

must, nevertheless, censure him; and fuspend or depose him, according to the nature of the offence.

10. Heresy and schism may be of such a nature as to infer deposition : but errors ought to be carefully considered ; whether they itrike at the vitals of religion, and are industriously spread; or whether they arise from the weakness of the human understanding, and are not likely to do much hurt.

11. A minifter, under process for herefy or schism, should be treated with christian and brotherly tenderness. Frequent conferences ought to be held with him, and proper admonitions administered. Yet, for some more dangerous errors, suspension becomes necessary. But a fynod Mhould be consulted in such cases.

12. If the presbytery find, on trial, that the matter complained of amounts to no more than such acts of infirmity as may be amendest, and the people fatisfied; fo as little or nothing remains to hinder his usefulness; they shall take all prudent measures to remove the oifence.

13. A minister, deposed for scandalous conduct, may not be restored, even on his deepest sorrow for fin, without some time of eminent and exemplary, humble, and edifying conversation, to heal the wound made by his scandal.

14. As soon as a minister is deposed, his congregation thall be declared vacant.

THE

DIRECTORY

FOR THE WORSHIP OF GOD IN THE

PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN

THE UNITED STATES

OF AMERICA.

снАР
c H A P. L

IT

Of the Sanctification of the Lord's Day. Sect. I. IT is the duty of every person to .

remember the Lord's day; and to prepare for it, before its approach. All worldly business should be so ordered, and seasonably laid aside, as that we may not be hindered thereby from fanétifying the fabbath, as the hoJy scriptures require.'

Sect. II. The whole day is to be kept holy to the Lord; and to be employed in the public and private exercises of religion. Therefore, it

The fcripture-warrant for what is specified in the various articles of this directory, will be found at large in the Confeffion of Faith and Catechisms, in the places where the fame fubjects are treated in a doctrinal form.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

is requisite, that there be an holy resting, all the day, from unnecessary labours; and an abstaining from those recreations, which may be law.

. ful on other days; and also, as much as possibles, from worldly thoughts and conversation.

Sect. III. Let the provisions, for the support: of the family on that day, be so ordered, that fervants or others be not improperly detained

from the public worship of God;, nor hindered. from sanctifying the fabbath..

Sect. IV. Let every person and family, in the morning, by secret and private prayer, for themselves and others, especially for the allilance of God to their minister, and for a blessing upon his ministry, by reading the scriptures, and by holy meditation, prepare for communion with God in his public ordinances.

Sect. V. Let the people be careful to assemble at the appointed time ; that, being all present at the beginning, they may unite, with one hearty, in all the parts of public worship: and let none : unnecessarily depart, till after.the blesling be pro, nounced.

Sect. VI. Let the time after the folemn services of the congregation in public are over, .be spent in reading; meditation ; repeating of fermons catechising ; religious conversation ;. prayer for a blessing upon the public ordinances; the singing of psalms, hymas, or spiritual songs ; visiting the: fick; relieving the poor, and in performing such like duties of piety, charity and mercy.

:

[blocks in formation]

Of the Assembling of the Congregation, and their

Behaviour during Divine Service.

[ocr errors]

is

Sect. I. HEN the time appointed for publie worship come,

let he people enter the church, and take their feats, yin adecent, grave, and reverent manner.

Sect. II. In time of public worship, let all the people attend with gravity and reverence ; forbearing to read any thing, except what the minister is then reading or citing ; abstaining from all whisperings; from falutations of persons present, or coming in; and from gazing about, sleeping, smiling, and all other indecent behaviour,

CHAP

III.

Of the public Reading of the Holy Scriptures.

[ocr errors]

Sect. I. THE reading of the holy fcrip- .

tures, in the congregation, is a part of the public worship of God, and ought to be performed by the ministers and teachers.

Sect. II. The holy fcriptures, of the Old and New Testament, thall be publicly read, from

« PreviousContinue »