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Presbyterian Worship Its Spirit, Method and History   By:

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PRESBYTERIAN WORSHIP

ITS SPIRIT

METHOD AND

HISTORY

BY

ROBERT JOHNSTON, D.D.,

London.

TORONTO;

THE PUBLISHERS' SYNDICATE, LIMITED.

1901

INTRODUCTION.

The worship of the sanctuary is a living subject of discussion and practice in the Presbyterian Churches of the world at large, and, within late years, in that of the Canadian Dominion. Many earnest minds are approaching the study of the subject from various standpoints, each worthy of attentive consideration. One regards it from the dogmatic position of scriptural precedent, or from the larger one of Christian principle; the aesthetic mind comes to it with visions of order and beauty; the practical, with his view of the Church's needs in mission fields and in mixed congregations. There is room in the discussion for the largest statement of lawful opinion, founded on conviction of absolute right, and on Christian expediency, and for the exercise of abundant charity.

Dr. Johnston gives no uncertain sound on the subject. To his mind the duty of the Church, first and last, is to preserve spirituality of worship, and to discountenance everything that may tend to interfere with the same. But, while this spirit pervades his work, his method is historical, and thus preeminently fair and impartial in statement. The presentation of the argument in concrete or historical form invests it with an interest which could hardly be commanded by either dogmatic or practical methods, while it excludes neither.

Dr. Johnston brings to his task ripe scholarship, including extensive knowledge of Church history and ecclesiology, his proficiency in which he has recently vindicated in such a manner as to leave no room for doubt. To this he adds the teaching of pastoral experience in mission fields, prior to his ordination, and, since then, in large and influential congregations; and, to crown the whole, heartfelt devotion to the Church of his fathers, and unswerving personal loyalty to its King and Head.

With adoring thanks to the great Teacher of us all, who rewards professors in their declining years with the affectionate regard of their whilom best students, now become wise and strong men in the Church's service, I cordially commend to all who may read these words, this outcome of Dr. Johnston's Christian erudition and conscientious literary labor.

(signature of John Campbell)

PRESBYTERIAN COLLEGE,

MONTREAL, March, 1901.

TO ONE WHO LOVED

THE HOUSE OF GOD ON EARTH,

AND WORSHIPS NOW

IN THE CITY WHEREIN IS NO TEMPLE

MY MOTHER.

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I.

THE LAW AND THE LIBERTY OF PRESBYTERIAN WORSHIP

CHAPTER II.

THE AGE OF KNOX: THE FORMATIVE PERIOD OF PRESBYTERIAN WORSHIP

CHAPTER III.

KNOX'S BOOK OF COMMON ORDER.

CHAPTER IV.

A DIET OF PUBLIC WORSHIP IN THE TIME OF KNOX

CHAPTER V.

THE PERIOD OF CONTROVERSY

CHAPTER VI.

THE WESTMINSTER ASSEMBLY AND THE DIRECTORY OF WORSHIP

CHAPTER VII.

LEGISLATION CONCERNING PUBLIC WORSHIP IN THE PERIOD SUBSEQUENT TO THE REVOLUTION

CHAPTER VIII.

PRESBYTERIAN WORSHIP OUTSIDE OF THE ESTABLISHED CHURCH OF SCOTLAND

CHAPTER IX.

MODERN MOVEMENTS IN PRESBYTERIAN CHURCHES RESPECTING PUBLIC WORSHIP

CHAPTER X.

CONCLUSION

"Inward truth of heart alone, is what the Lord requires. Exercises superadded are to be approved, so far as they are subservient to Truth, useful incitements, or marks of profession to attest our faith to men. Nor do we reject things tending to the preservation of Order and Discipline. But when consciences are put under fetters, and bound by religious obligations, in matters in which God willed them to be free, then must we boldly protest in order that the worship of God be not vitiated by human fictions." CALVIN.

PREFATORY NOTE.

The purpose in the following pages is a simple one. It is to discover the trend of thought in connection with Public Worship within the Presbyterian Church, particularly in Scotland, during the course of her history since the Reformation. The spirit of the Church in her stirring and formative periods, especially if that spirit is a constant one, is pregnant with instruction... Continue reading book >>




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