Thursday, February 1, 2007

On A Neglected Document (1)

For some relaxation, I've recently read a moving article by Iain Murray: “The Directory for Public Worship” (in John L. Carson and David W. Hall, eds. A Commemoration of the Westminster Assembly, pp. 169-191).

The opening paragraph raises an important question which I believe is worth pondering at length:

“The meetings of the Westminster Assembly were held in the midst of a Civil War and at a time of great unrest in almost all parts of Britain. That being so, it is perhaps surprising that one of its first concerns was with the subject of the worship of God – dedicating over seventy sessions to this matter – and that its first publication was The Directory for the Public Worship of God. I am inclined to believe that the Directory is now one of the least read of the documents bound up with the Confession of Faith. Indeed many may wonder why it ever achieved such attention and priority in the critical years 1643-44. How was it that, with cities under siege and men dying on battlefields, so many of the land’s spiritual leaders could be engaged in discussing how God is to be worshipped?”

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