Westminster Directory for Public Worship & the BCP Westminster edition...?

Discussion in 'Church Order' started by Schaefers, Aug 7, 2013.

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  1. Schaefers

    Schaefers Puritan Board Freshman

    Can someone clear something up for me...?

    It is my understanding from reading the Westminster Directory that the Westminster divines were moving England away from high church liturgy and particularly the idolatrous way that many were regarding the Book of Common Prayer of the time, and this is why they had a directory, and not a liturgy. Am I oversimplifying this?

    Also, why is it then that later the Westminster divines revised the BCP so that it would be fit for use in Presbyterian churches? And did it ever catch on, this Westminster revised version? It appears out of print, but is entirely available online.
     
  2. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    That is basically correct.

    This is a different set of "Westminster divines," although composed of some of the Westminster Assembly which formulated the Directory. This was an attempt at accommodation to all parties. It turned out to be fruitless. Some of these divines conformed; others chose nonconformity and were ejected.
     
  3. Schaefers

    Schaefers Puritan Board Freshman

    I see now. Where can I read about this "ejection"? When did this happen? Thank you!

    Are you telling me that if the ministers in england chose to follow the directory and refused the westminster modified BCP they were kicked out?
     
  4. Schaefers

    Schaefers Puritan Board Freshman

    And what is the consensus today on this Wesminster-update BCP? I have heard of many using the original 1662 to enrich devotional life. "Prayer book presbyterians" they're often called. Surely this modified version is even better? Is it possible to use the Westminster-update BCP liturgy in a presbyterian church and still follow the regulative principle?

    Thank you.
     
  5. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    It is the great ejection of 1662. Any general history of Puritanism will cover it. I can particularly recommend the account by Thomas M'Crie (the Younger), Annals of English Presbytery (it should be online at archive.org).

    There are differences of opinion on the effects of the accommodation. I would agree with those who say the accommodation ultimately weakened the Presbyterian cause.

    Concerning present relevance, there really is none. Why? The biblical reason is that there is no regulative principle warrant for this kind of liturgical service. Historically, Presbyterian churches trace their descent through Scotland, and the implementation of the Directory was a part of the terms of the Solemn League and Covenant. A number of movements in the 19th century brought liturgical influences into the Presbyterian church but quite contrary to its constitutional spirit.
     
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