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What is required to make fit and worthy communicants of the LORD'S SUPPER?
What are the considerations that now move you to ask an admission to the TABLE of the LORD?
FORM OF ADMISSION.
The candidate having taken his place before the Communion Table, the minister offers up a brief prayer, after which he says :
You have presented yourself before God and this assembly, to confess your religious faith, and enter publicly into solemn covenant with God and his church. With the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
You will first attend to the
CONFESSION OF FAITH.
You believe that there is but one God, the FATHER, Son, and Holy Ghost; a Being of perfect and adorable attributes, the Creator, Preserver, and Governor of the universe.
You believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were given by inspiration of God, and are the only perfect rule of faith and practice.
You believe that man was originally holy; that he sinned and fell from that state; that, in consequence of the fall, all mankind, in their natural state, are sinners and destitute of holiness; that Jesus Christ, by his sufferings and death, has made an atonement sufficient for the redemption of all mankind;
that pardon and eternal life are sincerely offered to all, upon condition of repentance and faith in Christ, and that there is salvation in no other way; that mankind do of their own accord refuse to comply with these terms of mercy, and continue alienated from God, until their hearts, renewed by the influences of the Holy Spirit, are freely given to the Saviour; and that God from eternity purposed to secure the repentance and final salvation of a great multitude whom no man can number.
You do also believe in the resurrection of the dead, and a day of judgment, when every one must give to Christ an account of the deeds done in the body; that the righteous will then enter into life, and the wicked will go away into punishment, both of which will be without end.
Moreover, you believe that in this world the Lord Jesus Christ has a visible church, the terms of admission to which are a public profession of faith in Christ, sustained by credible evidence; that Baptism and the Lord's Supper are ordinances to be observed in the church to the end of the world ; that none but the members of the visible church, in regular standing, have a right to partake of the Lord's Supper; and that only they and their households are proper subjects for the ordinance of Baptism.
All these things you truly profess and heartily believe ?
Here the ordinance of baptism is to be administered, unless the candidate was baptized in infancy.
THE MINISTER THEN SAYS:
You will now enter into covenant with God and with this church.
This do you
In the presence of God, and before his holy angels and this assembly, you do now profess to give up yourself to God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, in an everlasting covenant, solemnly avouching him to be your God, cheerfully consecrating all your powers and faculties to his service and glory, and promising to love and obey him for ever. promise?
You also promise to walk with this church of Christ in a due submission to, and attendance upon, all the orders and ordinances of the gospel. More particularly, you promise that you will strive earnestly for its peace, edification and purity, cherish a lively interest in its concerns, conscientiously devote your gifts, graces, and abilities, in an orderly and modest way, to its service, cordially submit to its rules of government and discipline, and aim to adorn your profession by a holy, blameless and fruitful life. This do
you promise ?
[Here the members of the church rise.] In consequence of these professions and promises, we affectionately receive you to our communion, and in the name of Christ declare you entitled to all its privileges. We welcome you to this fellowship with us in the blessings of the gospel, and on our part pledge you our confidence, sympathy and prayers. We will henceforth regard you as brought up with us in the fellowship of the saints. We will watch over you, not for your halting, but for your edification. We will counsel, reprove, comfort and exhort you, as your circumstances and our acquaintance with them shall require.
And now, beloved, you are no more a stranger and foreigner, but a fellow-citizen of the saints, and of the household of God, and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone. In him, may this building, fitly framed together, grow into an holy temple in the Lord; and in it, may you be builded for a habitation of God, through the Spirit. Amen.
THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE LORD'S SUPPER.
The Supper is celebrated at the close of the usual afternoon exercises, —which on that occasion are made preparatory to the solemn service. The rest of the assembly being dismissed, the communicants now seat themselves together in the body of the house. The minister descends from the pulpit to the Table, which stands already furnished with the sacred elements, and begins the service with addressing a few words to the communicants.
Then he reads the words of the institution, saying :
Our Lord Jesus Christ, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread; and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and gave it unto his disciples, saying, Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you: do this in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the
cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me; for as oft as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come.—1 Cor. 11: 23–26.
The minister then takes the bread, and
Our Lord Jesus, before breaking the bread, gave thanks. Let us also, through faith in his merits and mediation, bless God and give thanks.
Here the minister offers up a brief prayer; after which he takes the bread, and breaks it in the sight of the communicants, saying:
The bread which we break, is the communion of the body of Christ.
Scripture sentences (one or more) to be read or repeated while breaking the bread.
COME unto me, all ye that labor, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.—Matt. 11: 28.
God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.—John 3: 17.
Christ our passover is sacrificed for us.-1 Cor. 5: 7.
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth : he was brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth.—Is. 53: 7.
Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world !John 1: 29.
Once in the end of the world hath Christ appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.--Heb. 9: 26.
God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have eternal life.—John 3: 16.
This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.-1 Tim. 1: 15.
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15: 13.
Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Whom God has set forth to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.—Rom. 3: 24, 25.
For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet, peradventure, for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.—Rom. 5: 7, 8.
If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.--1 John 2: 1, 2.