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of hope is not to be waited for. The degrees of evidence vary much in different Christians.
Q. 12. In what manner should the Lord's Supper be received?
A. With penitence, faith, humility, gratitude, hope, joy, and brotherly love.
Q. 13. What is required of communicants, that they may worthily partake of the Lord's Supper?
A. That they examine themselves, and endeavor to have their Christian graces in lively exercise. It is proper, that there should be suitable meditations not only before partaking of the Supper, but at and after the time of partaking of it. (g)
Q. 14. Have the Churches, generally, adopted any method for the purpose of assisting Christians in the discharge of the important duty of commemorating the sufferings and death of Christ?
A. They have. A lecture preparatory to partaking of the Sacrament is established. This appointment is wise, judicious, and according to the spirit of the Scriptures. And it ought, if possible, to be attended always by Church members. To neglect it, ordinarily, argues a disrelish for this important duty, and is an evidence against one's piety.
Q. 15. What is meant by eating and drinking unworthily?
A. It means either the not possessing at the Lord's table right views of the person, character and offices of Christ, or of the nature and design of the Lord's
(g) 1 Cor. x. 21. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils; ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils.-1 Cor. v. 7, 8. Purge out, therefore, the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.-1 Cor. xi. 28. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup.-2 Cor. xiii. 5. Examine yourselves whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?-Matt. v. 16. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father, which
is in heaven.
Supper; or else the not possessing, at the time, right feelings respecting sin, the Saviour, or this Christian duty and privilege
Q. 16. What will be the consequence of eating and drinking the Lord's Supper unworthily?
A. The disapprobation of Christ, the great Master of the feast, and exposure to the judgments of Heaven. The sin, however, is not unpardonable, if repented of, though of great magnitude. The phrase in Scripture, he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself,' means, he that eateth and drinketh in an irreverent, profane, and unworthy manner, exposes himself to the judgments of God. He incurs those temporal judgments, with which God chastises His offending people, and he will, if he remain impenitent, subject himself to final condemnation. The Greek word, rendered in this passage of Scripture damnation, might with propriety have been rendered judgment. (h)
Q. 17. Who are proper persons to administer the sacrament of the Supper?
A. The regularly constituted Ministers of the gospel; and, in performing this service, they act in the name of Christ, and in their official capacity. Q. 18. What are the religious services to be observed in the administration of the Lord's Supper, as warranted by the Scripture?
A. 1. Consecrating the bread by prayer, and breaking and distributing it to all the communicants; 2. Consecrating the wine by prayer, and pouring it out, and giving it to all the communicants ;* and, 3. Sing
(h) 1 Cor. vi. 27. 29, 30. 34. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home, that ye come not together unto condemnation.
* Denying the cup to the laity or the common people, and giving it to the clergy only, as do the Papists, is wholly contrary to Scrip ture, and a great sin.
ing a hymn. It seems proper for the administrator of the ordinance to pronounce a benediction at the close of the service, though there is no special direction respecting it in the Scriptures. (i)
Q. 19. In what posture is the Lord's Supper to be received?
A. The posture is of itself indifferent. Sitting is the most convenient attitude. The Roman Catholics kneel in adoration of the element; Protestant Christians who use this posture of course associate with it no such idolatry.
Q. 20. At what time in the day should the Lord's Supper be celebrated?
A. The time is not material. The Scriptures lay no stress on this point. Convenience may determine. To say it must be administered in the evening, or towards sunsetting, because it was at that time first administered, is to argue that the Sacrament must also be always administered in an upper room, and to twelve persons only, for this was really the fact when the Sacrament was first observed. There is as much reason for observing the latter circumstance, as the former circumstance. No evidence that the evening is the time for observing the Sacrament, is to be derived from its being called Supper. The ancients had but two meals in a day, and supper was their principal meal, as dinner is ours. The Lord's Supper may, therefore, be lawfully administered at noon, in the evening, or at any other time.
Q. 21. How often is the Sacrament to be administered?
A. The Scriptures are not particular and definite on this subject. It seems to be left to the discretion
(i) Matt. xxvi. 26-30. And as they were eating, Jesus took bread and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom. And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives
of the Churches. The Sacrament appears to have been administered weekly by the Apostles. This probably arose from the fact that they were just introducing Christianity, establishing churches, and journeying from place to place. Perhaps, in the present day, in Christian countries, the celebration of the Lord's Supper should not be oftener than once a month, or once in two months. (j)
Church Government and Discipline.
Q. 1. What is meant by Church government and discipline?
A. The form and order in which the Church manages its spiritual concerns.
Q. 2. Where are these prescribed ?
A. In a general view they are prescribed in the Sacred Scriptures. Ecclesiastical polity is not of human, but of Divine origin. Civil and political laws are not at all to be regarded in ecclesiastical affairs. The exact form of ecclesiastical government and discipline, in all particulars, is to be determined by Christians from the general rules and principles established in the word of God, and from considerations of expedience. (a)
Q. 3. What are the proper officers of a Church? A. A Pastor and Deacons. These may be called the ordinary officers of the Church, as Prophets and Apostles were called extraordinary. The latter officers ended with the primitive age of the Christian
(j) Acts xx. 7. And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them.
(a) Ezek. xliii. 11. And if they be ashamed of all that they have done, show them the form of the house, and the fashion thereof, and the goings out thereof, and the comings in thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the laws thereof; and write it in their sight, that they may keep the whole form thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and do them.-Matt. xvi. 19. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Church; but the former will continue to the close of time. (b)
Q. 4. Has a Church the right, power, and privilege to choose its own officers, and govern all its concerns? A. It undoubtedly has. (c)
Q. 5. Whence does a Church derive this right, power, and privilege?
A. From Christ its Lawgiver and King. (d)
Q. 6. Can a Church with propriety surrender its right, power, and privilege to choose its own officers, and manage all its concerns?
A. It cannot, without disloyalty to Christ, its Lawgiver and King.
Q. 7. What constitutes a person a Pastor of a Church?
A. Election to the pastoral office by the Church, of which he is to be Pastor, and his acceptance of, and investiture with, said office.
Q. 8. In what way, and by whom, is this investiture with the pastoral office made?
A. By ordination, or by prayer and imposition of hands by regular Ministers of the gospel. (e)
Q. 9. Why is the Pastor of a Church called by different names in the Scriptures, as Bishop, Pastor,
(b) Philip. i. 1. Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons.—Eph. iv. 11. And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.
(c) See reference (a).
(d) Is. ix. 6, 7. For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end; upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice, from henceforth even forever.-Is. xxxiii. 22. For the Lord is our Judge, the Lord is our Lawgiver, the Lord is our King, he will save us.
(e) 1 Tim. iv. 14. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.-Acts xiii. 2, 3. As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Paul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.