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PUBLISHED BY AUTHORITY OF THE GENERAL
CHURCH IN THE UNITED
STATES OF AMERICA
For Voluntary Use in the Churches
THE PRESBYTERIAN BOARD OF PUBLICATION
COPYRIGHT 1905, 1906, BY THE TRUSTEES OF THE PRESBYTERIAN
BOARD OF PUBLICATION AND SABBATH-SCHOOL WORK.
JUN 22 1912
AMONG those Churches of the Lord Jesus Christ which follow the Presbyterian rule and order, Liberty of Worship has been esteemed a most precious privilege and inheritance; and while they have been both fearless and faithful to uphold it, against the intrusion of superstitious and burdensome ceremonies, they have also been diligent to seek, in the Public Services of Religion, the golden mean between a too great laxity and a tyrannical uniformity. Such things as are of Divine Institution they have observed in every Ordinance; and other things they have endeavoured to set forth “ according to the Rules of Christian, Prudence, agreeable to the general Rules of the Word of God."
Although the Books of Common Order, which were prepared for the Reformed Churches, at the beginning, in all countries, contained both prayers and other forms, yet were those books not so much imposed by way of inflexible regulation, as they were offered and accepted as profitable Aids to Worship; and they not only permitted but encouraged the exercise of Free Prayer. In a like spirit the Directory for Worship, adopted at a later time by the Church of Scotland, for the sake of unity with their brethren in the Church of England, so far from establishing an invariable form of Public Worship, expressly provided for a liberty of variation; and it did not in any way prohibit the use of prepared orders and prayers, conformable to the general directions given therein.
The same wise and blessed liberty is maintained in the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America even to this day. Accordingly it seemed good to the General