The Holy Spirit and the Calvinistic Westminster Confession

Thus: "The reading of the Scriptures…; the sound preaching and conscionable hearing of the Word in obedience unto God with understanding….; the singing of psalms…instituted by Christ — are all parts of the ordinary religious worship of God." This is quite "besides religious…thanksgivings upon special occasions (Ps. 107 & Est. 9:22) — which are, in their several times and seasons, to be used!" W.C.F. 21:5. For example, at the Acts 1:7 "times" and "seasons" of annual Whitsuntides — alias the Feast of Pentecost, year after year. Acts 1:13-14; 2:1-4; 18:21; 20:16; I Cor. 16:8-9.

Hence: "God is to be worshipped everywhere, in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24); as in private families daily, and in secret each one by himself. So, more solemnly in the publick assemblies — which are not carelessly or wilfully to be neglected or forsaken when God by His Word or providence calleth thereunto." W.C.F. 21:6.

The word "solemnly" here implies — "with understanding and "in a known tongue." W.C.F. 21:3m, with 21:6i. This means: not "praying or speaking in a strange language." Thus the 1580-1651 National Covenant or Confession of Faith of the Scottish Presbyterian General Assembly etc. Indeed, "the public worship being begun, the people are wholly to attend upon it…, abstaining much more from all private whisperings…and other indecent behaviour which may disturb the minister or people." So too the minister is to preach God’s Word "in demonstration of the Spirit and of power…, abstaining also from an unprofitable use of unknown tongues, strange phrases, and cadences of sounds and words." Thus the Westminster Assembly's 1645 Directory for the Publick Worship of God.

Last. The 'baptism of the Spirit' in Acts 2:38f & I Cor. 12:13 refers not to any subsequent blessing later in life, but to what occurs when even the infant child of the covenant is engrafted into Christ's Church. W.C.F. 25:2bc, 27:1-3h, & 28:1b — cf. too Westminster Larger Catechism 62wx, 161s, 162ab, 165klm, 167pqy, 177s, etc.   Indeed, this is the very basis for the need to show 'tender loving care' in the Church — alias the "Communion of the Saints."   W.C.F., ch. 26!


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