Puslapio vaizdai

temporal judgments, with which God chastises His offending people, and 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 warrantable by Scripture?

A. Consecrating the bread by prayer, and breaking and distributing it to all the communicants;* consecrating the wine by prayer, and pouring it out and giving it to all the communicants; and singing 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.(1)

(h) 1 Cor. 11. 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.

(i) Matt. 26. 26-30. And as they were eating, Jesus took bread and blessed it, and break 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.

*Denying the cup to the laity or the common people, and giving to the clergy only, as do the Papists, is wholly contrary to Scripture, and a great sin.

Q. 19. In what posture is the Lord's Supper to be received?

A. Sitting is the most proper posture, and the one used at meals in the present day, and most like the posture, probably, of Christ and His disciples, when the Sacrament was at first observed. The ancient mode of eating was that of reclining. Kneeling, at the time of receiving the Sacrament, as do the Roman Catholicks, is a species of worship paid to the elements, and is, therefore, virtually idolatry, and should never be practised.

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 suppose it must be administered in the evening, because it was at that time first administered, is also to argue, that the Sacrament must always be administered in an upper room, and to twelve persons only, for this was really the case when the Sacrament was first observed. There is as much reason for observing the latter circumstances, 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 chief 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 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.(3)

(j) Acts 20.7. And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them.


Church Government and Discipline.

Q. 1. What is meant by Church government and discipline?

A. The form and order of the government of the Church.

Q. 2. Where are these prescribed? A. 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.(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, Apostles, and Evangelists were called extraordinary. The latter officers ended with the primitive age of the Christian Church; but the former will continue to the close of time.(1)

(a) Ezek. 43. 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. 16. 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.

(b) Philip. 1. 1. Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi,

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 the Church derive this right, power, and privilege?

A. From Christ its Lawgiver and King.(a)

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. Church?

What constitutes a person a Pastor of a

A. Election to the pastoral office by the Church, of which he is to be Pastor, and his acceptance and investiture of said office.

Q. 8. In what way, and by whom, is this investiture of the pastoral office made?

A. By prayer and imposition of hands by Pastors, delegated from other churches for this particular purpose at the request of the Church, which is to receive a Pastor.(e)

with the bishops and deacons. Eph. 4. 11. And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.

(c) See reference (a).

(d) Isa. 9. 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. Isa. 33. 22. For the Lord is our Judge; the Lord is our Lawgiver, the Lord is our King, he will save us.

(e) 1 Tim. 4. 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 13.2, 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.

« AnkstesnisTęsti »