Reasons Against Festival Days (David Calderwood)

David Calderwood

Reasons Against Festival Days1

Copyright © 1997 Naphtali Press

[Taken from David Calderwood’s (1575-1651) Perth Assembly (1619).]

From the beginning of the Reformation to this present year of our Lord 1618, the Kirk of Scotland has diverse ways condemned the observation of all holy days, the Lord’s Day only excepted. In the first chapter of the First Book of Discipline penned anno 1560, the observation of holy days to Saints, the feast of Christmass, Circumcision, Epiphany, Purification, and other fond feasts of our Lady are ranked amongst the abominations of the Roman religion, as having neither commandment nor assurance in the word. It is further affirmed that the obstinate maintainers and teachers of such abomination should not escape the punishment of the civil magistrate. The book aforesaid was subscribed by the Lord’s of secret Council.

In the General Assembly held at Edinburgh anno 1566, the latter confession of Helvetica was approved, but with special exception against some holy days dedicated to Christ: these same very days that now are urged. In the Assembly held anno 1575, complaint was made against the Ministers and Readers beside Aberdeen, because they assembled the people to prayer and preaching upon certain patron and festival days. Complaint likewise was ordained to be made to the Regent upon the town of Drumfreis for urging and convoying a Reader to the kirk with Tabret and Whistle to read the prayers all the holy days of Yule, or Christmass, upon the refusal of their own Reader. Item, an article was formed to be presented to the Regent, craving that all days heretofore kept holy in time of Papistry beside the Lord’s Day, such as Yule day, Saint’s days, and other like feasts, may be abolished, a civil punishment appointed against the observers of the said days. Banqueting, playing, feasting, and such other vanities upon the days foresaid is condemned…

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