Regulative and Normative

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Samuel Waldron gives us the following in his Exposition of the 1689:

“Mr Anglican must use the materials of the Word of God, but has no blueprint and may use other materials. Mr. Puritan must use only materials of the Word of God and has a blueprint. It takes no special genius to discern which will be more pleasing to God.”

Mr. Anglican represents the Normative Principle of Worship (NPW) and Mr. Puritan represents the Regulative Principle (RPW), but is it accurate? Is there really a set blueprint or pattern that we must follow? Are believers allowed to worship God in ways that are not commanded in scripture? I’ve been thinking a lot about this over the last year and have come to the conclusion both positions are honestly trying to “do things biblically,” but the big difference is how each view allows culture and tradition to influence them.

What’s the Difference

Some RPW proponents are against instruments being used and are Psalms only, others contend instruments are fine and songs used on Sunday do not have to be from the Psalter. Those who allow instruments tend to prefer pianos and other “traditional” instruments. Some NPW proponents believe smoke machines, TV screens and drum solos are God glorifying, others, are strongly against all of it. Some believe it’s important to have drama and lights, turning morning worship into a show and creating an emotional response in the people to bring glory to God.

Both the RPW and the NPW folks believe they are within the biblical bounds of God honouring worship.

No matter what position taken on this issue both are really based on preference and that preference is influenced by culture. Some NPW folks would allow the use electric guitars on Sunday morning. Some might not. Within the groups holding to RPW some would never be caught dead singing anything but the Psalter. What’s the difference between these two groups? I’m guessing it’s personal taste and culture.

The traditional position held before RPW and NPW were expressed during the Reformation accepts the traditions of the past, within the bounds of scriptural commands and prohibitions. Overtime local congregations allowed for some elements of culture to be used within their own worship services and liturgies, some gaining approval and others being discarded. The pre-Reformation view allowed for things such as a church calendar, prayer beads, kneeling when receiving communion, a Lord’s Table set apart, crossing oneself, raised pulpit, etc. to enter into the church and liturgy. Over time these traditions gain approval of God’s Ministers and His people and carrying on for future generations.

Learning from Christ’s Example:

Many RPW folks believe we should not use a church calendar to regulate our seasons of worship because it is not commended in holy scripture so I ask that you consider the example set by Jesus Christ Himself.

We read in John 10:

“And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch.”

As many of my readers know the “Feast of the Dedication” is today called Hanukkah or the “Feast of Lights” and was not given by commend to the Jews but rather grew out of the intertestamental period – the Maccabean Revolt.

1 Maccabees 4:

“52 Early in the morning on the twenty-fifth day of the ninth month, which is the month of Chislev, in the one hundred and forty-eighth year, 53 they rose and offered sacrifice, as the law directs, on the new altar of burnt offering which they had built. 54 At the very season and on the very day that the Gentiles had profaned it, it was dedicated with songs and harps and lutes and cymbals. 55 All the people fell on their faces and worshiped and blessed Heaven, who had prospered them. 56 So they celebrated the dedication of the altar for eight days, and offered burnt offerings with gladness; they offered a sacrifice of deliverance and praise. 57 They decorated the front of the temple with golden crowns and small shields; they restored the gates and the chambers for the priests, and furnished them with doors. 58 There was very great gladness among the people, and the reproach of the Gentiles was removed. 59 Then Judas and his brothers and all the assembly of Israel determined that every year at that season the days of dedication of the altar should be observed with gladness and joy for eight days, beginning with the twenty-fifth day of the month of Chislev.”

According to The Pulpit Commentary, Hanukkah “occupied eight days, was distinguished by illumination of the city and temple and of other places throughout the land, and hence was called the ‘Feast of Lights.'” The prominent Dr. John Gill also recognizes the lack of a positive command when he commented on the verse from John, “there were no annual feasts appointed in commemoration…”

It would seem rather odd that Jesus would attend the Temple during Hanukkah if He had a problem with it. It would also seem odd that if Jesus had a problem with Hanukkah it went unmentioned, but instead we see Jesus in a different passage instructing us:

“The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.” Mat 23:2-3

I guess we have to use some common sense on this one, as a “good” Jew of His time Christ would have kept the Feast of Lights or been accused of not following the traditions of the Elders…after all, the very Son of God commanded that, “whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do…”

Confessions of Faith

As I pointed out above I don’t really see a big difference between the two Protestant positions if both are seeking to glorify God.

From the 39 Articles of Religion found in every Book of Common Prayer:

The Church hath power to decree Rites or Ceremonies, and authority- in Controversies of Faith: And yet it is not lawful for the Church to ordain any thing that is contrary to God’s Word written, neither may it so expound one place of Scripture, that it be repugnant to another.”

The 1689 London Baptist Confession reads:

“God concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down or necessarily contained in the Holy Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added”

and the Westminster:

“The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men.”

Anglicans and Lutherans believe the church should decide how worship is to be conducted using scripture as well as traditions from church history. The Reformed wing of the Reformation uses a sliding scale of degrees when they introduce, “good and necessary consequences…” I’ve never really paid attention to, “good and necessary consequences” in relation to worship before but it seems one could use “good and necessary consequence” to conclude that (1) since Jesus kept a church calendar and (2) God has always regulated the year using feasts and fast, the practice should continue.

Some say, “Psalms only” others claim, “any song on a scriptural theme will do.” Both can be said in a confessionally Reformed church. Whatever one can feel justified in allowing during the Lord’s Day worship service seems to be acceptable. The biggest issue I now have is why have most Protestants ignored 2,000 years of continuous church tradition for a modern culture?

Again, it seems to me, that people reject tradition for the sake of rejecting tradition replacing it with modern cultural trappings in accordance with their own personal tastes. So why not use a Reformed liturgy? Another question to consider is, how do you remain RPW if Jesus kept Hanukkah and Hanukkah isn’t commanded by scripture? As I continue to learn and reform, I’m beginning to see nothing wrong with traditional forms of worship such as liturgy.

Just a few wild theological thoughts and ramblings from an insomniac.

Yours in the Lord,

jm

Nicene Creed with References

-The modern cry 'less creed and more liberty' is the degeneration from the vertebrate to the jelly fish, and means less unity and less morality, and it means more heresy.- (1)

I believe in One God, (Deuteronomy 6:4; Mark 12:29, 12:32; Ephesians 4:6; 1 Corinthians 8:6) The Father Almighty (Genesis 17:1-8; Exodus 6:3; Matthew 6:9; Ephesians 4:6; 2 Corinthians 6:18)
Maker of heaven and earth (Genesis 1:1; Job 38:1-30)
And of all things visible and invisible (Colossians 1:15-16; John 1:3; Hebrews 11:3; Revelation 4:11)

And in one Lord, Jesus Christ (John 20:28; Acts 11:17, 16:31; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 4:5)
The Son of God, the Only-Begotten (Matthew 3:17, 14:33, 16:16; John 1:14, 3:16)
Begotten of the Father before all worlds (Psalm 2:7; John 1:1-2)
Light of Light (John 1:4, 1:9, 8:12; Psalm 27:1; Matthew 17:2, 5; 2 Corinthians 4:6; Hebrews 1:3; 1 John 1:5)
Very God of Very God (John 1:1-2, 17:1-5; 1 John 5:20)
Begotten, not made (John 1:1-2, 16:28, 1:18)
Of one essence with the Father (John 10:30)
By Whom all things were made (Hebrews 1:1-2, 10; John 1:3, 1:10; Colossians 1:16; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Romans 11:36)
Who for us men and for our salvation (I Timothy 2:4-5; Matthew 1:21; 1 Thessalonians 5:9; Colossians 1:13-14)
Came down from heaven (John 3:13, 3:31, 6:33-35, 38)
And was incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary (Luke 1:34-35)

And became man (John 1:14; Hebrews 2:14)
And was crucified for us (Mark 15:25; I Corinthians 15:3; 1 Peter 2:24) under Pontius Pilate (Mark 15:15)
and suffered (Mark 8: 31; Matthew 27:50) and was buried (Luke 23:53; 1 Corinthians 15:4; Matthew 27:59-60)
And He rose again on the third day (Mark 9:31, 16:9; Acts 10:40; 1 Corinthians 15:4)
According to the Scriptures (Luke 24:1, 45-46; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4)
And ascended into heaven (Luke 24:51; Acts 1:9-10; Mark 16:19)
And sitteth at the right hand of the Father (Mark 16:19; Acts 7:55; Luke 22:69)
And He will come again with glory (Matthew 24:27; Mark 13:26; John 14:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:17)
to judge the living and the dead (Acts 10:42; 2 Timothy 4:1; Matthew 16:27; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 Peter 4:5)
His kingdom shall have no end (2 Peter 1:11; Hebrews 1:8)

And I believe in the Holy Spirit (John 14:26; Acts 1:8)
the Lord and Giver of life (Acts 5: 3-4; Genesis 1:2; John 6:63; 2 Corinthians 3:6)
Who proceeds from the Father (John 15:26) and the Son, (John 16:7)
Who together with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified (Matthew 3:16-17)
Who spoke through the prophets (I Samuel 19:20; Ezekiel 11:5; 1 Peter 1:10-11; Ephesians 3:5)

And I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church (Matthew 16:18, 28:19; 1 Peter 2:5,9; Ephesians 1:4, 2:19-22, 4:4, 5:27; Acts 1:8, 2:42; Mark 16:15; Romans 12:4- 5; 1 Corinthians 10:17)

I acknowledge one baptism (Ephesians 4:5; Galatians 3:27; 1 Corinthians 12:13) for the remission of sins (Colossians 2:12-13; Acts 22:16)

I look forward to the resurrection of the dead (John 11:24; 1 Corinthians 15:12-49; Romans 6:4-5; 1 Thessalonians 4:16)

And the life of the world to come. (Mark 10:29-30; 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1)

Amen. (Psalm 106:48)

Toleration Act 1689

1689
The TolerationAct 1689 (1 Will & Mary c 18), also referred to as the Act of Toleration,[3] was an Act of the Parliament of England, which received the royal assent on 24 May 1689.[4][5]

The Act allowed freedom of worship to nonconformists who had pledged to the oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy and rejected transubstantiation, i.e., Protestants who dissented from the Church of England such as Baptists and Congregationalists but not to Catholics. Nonconformists were allowed their own places of worship and their own teachers, if they accepted certain oaths of allegiance.

It purposely did not apply to Catholics, nontrinitarians[6] and atheists.[7] The Act continued the existing social and political disabilities for Dissenters, including their exclusion from political office and also from universities.

Dissenters were required to register their meeting locations and were forbidden from meeting in private homes. Any preachers who dissented had to be licensed.

Between 1772 and 1774, Reverend Doctor Edward Pickard gathered together dissenting ministers in order that the terms of the Toleration Act for dissenting clergy could be modified. Under his leadership, Parliament twice considered bills to modify the law. Both were unsuccessful and it was not until Pickard and many had lost interest that a new attempt was made in 1779.[8]

The Act was amended (1779) by substituting belief in Scripture for belief in the Anglican (doctrinal) articles, but penalties on property remained.

Penalties against Unitarians were finally removed in the Doctrine of the Trinity Act 1813.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Reaffirming the Faith

Theological positions: Independent Particular Baptist, Predestinarian.trinitarian bible003

Soteriological Position: What theologians call “Calvinistic” (Supralapsarian)

Eschatological Position: Amillennial Historicist

Covenantal Position: 1689 Federalism

Creeds and Confessions: London Baptist Confession of 1689

(Some questions I had to fill out on a forum that I thought I would include.)

Are some men elected to salvation?

Yes.

Are some men elected to damnation?

Yes.

Is salvation by works?

No.

Jesus died for all men?

No.

God loves all men?

No.

Christ experienced sin in His person?

No.

Was sin imputed or imparted to Christ?

Imputed.

Is righteousness imputed or imparted to believers?

Imputed.

God predestines all things, including sin?

Yes.

God wanted Adam to fall into sin?

Yes, it was decreed.

God has how many wills?

One. (His decretive will of purpose is His will of pleasure)

Do you believe in Justification from Eternity?

Yes.

What point in time is righteousness imputed to the elect based upon?

The entire life of Christ culminating in His death.

Baptism is required for salvation?

No.

Baptism is the sign of the new covenant?
No.

THE CARTER LANE DECLARATION OF 1757 with some adjustments

(Those words in red have been added or indicate change to the DECLARATION in light of personal belief and for clarity of position. The plural “we” and “our”, etc has been changed to reflect a singular statement of belief.)

  1. I believe, That the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the Words of God, and the only rule of faith and practice. The Holy Scriptures, composed of the thirty-nine books of the Old Testament and the twenty-seven books of the New Testament, are the verbally inspired Word and Revelation of God. The Bible is inerrant and infallible. Divine inspiration of the original autographs extends to the divine preservation of a pure text to this day. The preserved Word of God is found in the Hebrew Masoretic Text and the Greek Textus Receptus.
  1. I believe, That there is but one only living and true God; that there three Persons in the Godhead, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, Who are equal in nature, power, and glory; and that the Son and the Holy Ghost are as truly and properly God as the Father. These three Divine Persons are distinguished from each other by peculiar relative properties. The distinguishing character and relative property of the First Person is begetting; He has begotten a Son of the same nature with Him, and Who is the express image of His Person; and therefore is with great propriety called the Father. The distinguishing character and relative property of the Second Person is that He is begotten, and He is called the Only Begotten of the Father, and His own proper Son; not a Son by creation as angels and men are, nor by adoption as saints are, nor by office as civil magistrates are, but by nature, by the Father’s eternal generation of Him in the divine nature; and therefore He is truly called the Son. The distinguishing character and relative property of the third person is to be breathed by the Father and the Son, and to proceed from Both, and is very properly called the Spirit or Breath of both. These three distinct Divine Persons, we profess to reverence, serve and worship as the one true God.
  1. I believe, That before the world began, God did elect a certain number of men unto everlasting salvation leaving other men in their sin; those whom He did predestinate to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ of His own free grace, and according to the good pleasure of His will; and that in pursuance of this gracious design by means of secondary and direct causes that work to accomplish His eternal plan and purpose, He did contrive and make a covenant of grace and peace with His son Jesus Christ, on behalf of those persons, with all their grace and glory, were put into the hands of Christ, and made His care and charge.
  1. I believe, That God created the first man Adam, after His image, and in His likeness, an upright, holy, innocent creature, capable of serving and glorifying Him, but he sinning, all his posterity sinned in him, and came short of the glory of God; the guilt of whose sin is imputed; and a corrupt nature derived to all his off-spring descending from him by ordinary and natural generation; that they are by their first birth carnal and unclean; averse to all that is good, incapable of doing any in the sight of God, and prone to every sin; and are also by nature children of wrath and under sentence of condemnation, and so are subject, not only to a corporal death, and involved in a moral one, commonly called spiritual, but are also liable to an eternal death, as considered in the first Adam, fallen and sinners; from all which there is no deliverance, but by Christ the second Adam.
  1. I believe, That the Lord Jesus Christ, being set up from everlasting as mediator of the covenant, and He having engaged to be surety of His people did in the fullness of time really assume human nature, and not before neither in whole nor in part; His human soul being a creature, existed not from eternity, but was created and formed in His body by Him that formed the spirit of man within Him, when He was conceived in the womb of the virgin; and so His human nature consists of a true body and a reasonable soul, both which, together, and at once the Son of God assumed into union with His Divine Person, when made of a woman and not before, in which He really suffered and died as the substitute of His people, in their room and stead; whereby He made all that satisfaction for their sins which the law and justice of God could require, as well as made way for all those blessings which are needful for them both for time and eternity.
  1. I believe, That the eternal Redemption which Christ has obtained by the shedding of His blood is special and particular, that is to say that it was only intentionally designed for the Elect of God, and Sheep of Christ, who only share the special and peculiar blessings of it.
  1. I believe, That the justification of God’s Elect is only by the righteousness of Christ imputed to them, without the consideration of any works of righteousness done by them;and that the full and free pardon of all their sins and transgressions, past, present and to come, is only through the blood of Christ according to the riches of his grace.
  1. I believe, That the work of regeneration, conversion, sanctification and faith is not an act of man’s free will and power, but of the mighty, efficacious and irresistiblegrace of God.
  1. I believe, That all those who are chosen by the Father, redeemed by the Son, and sanctified by the Spirit are sealed unto the day of redemption, these shall certainly persevere, so that not one of them shall ever perish but shall have everlasting life.
  1. I believe, in the true, literal reign of Christ mentioned in Revelation 20. It is a literal reign, but the 1000 years mentioned are symbolic of the entire period of time between Christ’s first and His second coming.
  1. I believe, That Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are ordinances of Christ, to be continued until His second coming; and that the former is absolutely requisite to the latter; that is to say, that those only are admitted into the communion of the church, and to participate of all the ordinances in it, who upon profession of their faith, have been baptised by immersion, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
  1. I believe, That singing of Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs vocally is an ordinance of the Gospel to be performed by believers, but that as to time, place, and manner, everyone ought to be left to their liberty in using it.

Yours in the Lord,

jm

Easter

THERE is no day commanded in scripture to be kept holy under the gospel but the Lord’s day, which is the Christian Sabbath. Festival days, vulgarly called Holy-days, having no warrant in the word of God, are not to be continued. Nevertheless, it is lawful and necessary, upon special emergent occasions, to separate a day or days for publick fasting or thanksgiving, as the several eminent and extraordinary dispensations of God’s providence shall administer cause and opportunity to his people.

As no place is capable of any holiness, under pretence of whatsoever dedication or consecration; so neither is it subject to such pollution by any superstition formerly used, and now laid aside, as may render it unlawful or inconvenient for Christians to meet together therein for the publick worship of God. And therefore we hold it requisite, that the places of publick assembling for worship among us should be continued and employed to that use. – Directory of Publick Worship

Evangelical Grace

London Baptist Confession of Faith:

This saving repentance is an evangelical grace, whereby a person, being by the Holy Spirit made sensible of the manifold evils of his sin, doth, by faith in Christ, humble himself for it with godly sorrow, detestation of it, and self-abhorrency, praying for pardon and strength of grace, with a purpose and endeavour, by supplies of the Spirit, to walk before God unto all well-pleasing in all things. ( Zechariah 12:10; Acts 11:18; Ezekiel 36:31; 2 Corinthians 7:11; Psalms 119:6; Psalms 119:128 ) chp. 15.3

John Gill:

Special faith in Christ is of the operation of the Spirit of God:
he produces it by his mighty power in the soul;
he enlightens the mind,
reveals the object,
brings near Christ, his righteousness and salvation, and
enables the sensible sinner to look unto him,
lay hold on him,
and receive his as his Savior and Redeemer;
hence he is called the Spirit of faith (2 Cor. 4:13);
because he is the author of it, who begins and carries on, and
will perform the work of faith with power:
the principal use of which grace is to receive all from Christ, and
give him the glory.

God has put this honor upon it, to constitute and appoint it to be the receiver-general of all the blessings of grace.

It receives Christ himself as the Father’s free-gift;
it receives out of the fulness of Christ,
even grace for grace,
or and abundance of it;
it receives the blessing of righteousness from the Lord of justification;
it receives the remission of sins through his blood, according to the gospel-declaration;
it receives the adoption of children,
in consequence of the way being opened for it through the redemption which is in Christ;
it receives the inheritance among them that are sanctified,
the right unto it, and the claim upon it; and to this post it is advanced,
that all the glory might redound to the grace of God; it is of faith, that it might be by grace (Rom. 4:16).

(FAITH IN GOD AND HIS WORD: HE ESTABLISHMENT AND PROSPERITY OF HIS PEOPLE: A Sermon, Preached at a Wednesday’s Evening Lecture, in GREAT EAST-CHEAP, Dec. 27, 1753.)

Again, The London Baptist Confession of 1689 reads;

ch.14

The grace of faith, whereby the elect are enabled to believe to the saving of their souls, is the work of the Spirit of Christ in their hearts,”

“By this faith a Christian believeth to be true whatsoever is revealed in the Word for the authority of God himself”

“and so is enabled to cast his soul upon the truth thus believed”

ch.15
“This saving repentance is an evangelical grace, whereby a person, being by the Holy Spirit made sensible of the manifold evils of his sin”

The idea that all men everywhere must repent is biblical, BUT, the repentance required of the reprobate is legal. All men are guilty of breaking God’s law and therefore must repent of their deeds and they never do. Sure, unsaved people feel guilt or regret over their sins but they still rage against the holy and living God. Only the elect are given the “evangelical grace” of repentance and faith that leads to eternal life.

John Gill’s comments on Acts 20.21 are useful in understanding this subject and so, I post them below.

Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks,…. To the Jews first in their synagogue, and then to both Jews and Greeks, or Gentiles, in the school of Tyrannus; opening and explaining to both the nature and use, urging and insisting upon, and proving by undeniable testimonies the necessity,

of repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ: the former of these is not a legal repentance, but an evangelical one; which flows from a sense of the love of God, and an application of pardoning grace and mercy, and is always attended with hope, at least of interest in it, and as here with faith in Christ Jesus:

it lies in a true sight and sense of sin, as exceeding sinful, being contrary to the nature and law of God, and a deformation of the image of God in man, as well as followed with dreadful and pernicious consequences; and in a godly sorrow for it, as it is committed against a God of infinite purity and holiness, and of love, grace, and mercy; and it shows itself in shame for sin, and blushing at it, and in an ingenious confession of it, and forsaking it: and the latter of these is not an historical faith, or an assent of the mind to whatsoever is true concerning the person, office, and grace of Christ; but is a spiritual act of the soul upon him;

it is a looking and going out to him, a laying hold and leaning on him, and trusting in him, for grace, righteousness, peace, pardon, life, and salvation. Now these two were the sum of the apostle’s ministry; this is a breviary or compendium of it; a form of sound words held fast and published by him: and as these two go together as doctrines in the ministry of the word, they go together as graces in the experience of the saints; where the one is, there the other is; they are wrought in the soul at one and the same time, by one and the same hand;

the one is not before the other in order of time, however it may be in order of working, or as to visible observation; repentance is mentioned before faith, not that it precedes it, though it may be discerned in its outward acts before it; yet faith as to its inward exercise on Christ is full as early, if not earlier; souls first look to Christ by faith, and then they mourn in tears of evangelical repentance, Zec 12:10 though the order of the Gospel ministry is very fitly here expressed, which is first to lay before sinners the evil of sin, and their danger by it, in order to convince of it, and bring to repentance for it; and then to direct and encourage them to faith in Christ Jesus, as in the case of the jailer, Ac 16:29 and this is, generally speaking, the order and method in which the Holy Spirit proceeds;

he is first a spirit of conviction and illumination, he shows to souls the exceeding sinfulness of sin, causes them to loath it and themselves for it, and humbles them under a sense of it; and then he is a spirit of faith, he reveals Christ unto them as God’s way or salvation, and works faith in them to believe in him. Moreover, these two, repentance and faith, were the two parts of Christ’s ministry, Mr 1:15 and are what, he would have published and insisted on, in the preaching of the word, Lu 24:47 so that the ministry of the apostle was very conformable to the mind and will of Christ. [end quote]

Yours in the Lord,

jm

The Lord’s Supper

The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is preached through the sacraments or ordinances as well as the preaching of the word. Grace is conveyed in the same manner in baptism and the Lord’s Supper as it is conveyed in the preaching of the word of God. Not in the means (like Calvin) or the work performed (Roman Catholic), they convey the Gospel just like preaching of the word conveys the Gospel.

1689leatherFrom the London Baptist Confession of Faith, 1689:

“…for the perpetual remembrance, and shewing forth the sacrifice of himself in his death, confirmation of the faith of believers in all the benefits thereof, their spiritual nourishment, and growth in him, their further engagement in, and to all duties which they owe to him…” 30.1

“…Worthy receivers, outwardly partaking of the visible elements in this ordinance, do then also inwardly by faith, really and indeed…”

“…spiritually receive, and feed upon Christ crucified, and all the benefits of his death; the body and blood of Christ being then not corporally or carnally, but spiritually present to the faith of believers…” 30.7

This is what, if I’m not mistaken, Bullinger taught and has been largely forgotten.

A Baptist Catechism:

Q. 95. What are the outward and ordinary means whereby Christ communicates to us the benefits of redemption?

A. The outward and ordinary means whereby Christ communicates to us the benefits of redemption are His ordinances, especially the Word, Baptism, the Lord’s Supper and Prayer; all which are made effectual to the elect for salvation. (Rom. 10:17; James 1:18; 1 Cor. 3:5; Acts 14:1; 2:41,42)

Q. 98. How do Baptism and the Lord’s Supper become effectual means of salvation?

A. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper become effectual means of salvation, not from any virtue in them or in him that administers them, but only by the blessing of Christ and the working of His Spirit in them that by faith receive them. (1 Peter 3:21; 1 Cor. 3:6,7; 1 Cor. 12:13)

Q. 107. What is the Lord’s Supper?

A. The Lord’s Supper is a holy ordinance, wherein, by giving and receiving bread and wine, according to Christ’s appointment, His death is showed forth, and the worthy receivers are, not after a corporeal and carnal manner, but by faith, made partakers of His body and blood, with all His benefits, to their spiritual nourishment, and growth in grace. (1 Cor. 11:23-26; 10:16)

Q. 108. What is required to the worthy receiving of the Lord’s Supper?

A. It is required of them that would worthily (that is, suitably) partake of the Lord’s Supper, that they examine themselves, of their knowledge to discern the Lord’s body; of their faith to feed upon Him; of their repentance, love, and new obedience: lest, coming unworthily, they eat and drink judgment to themselves. (1 Cor. 11:27-31; 1 Cor. 5:8; 2 Cor. 13:5)

May the Lord bless you as you feed, spiritually, upon Him.

jm

The Sabbath in Puritan New England, 1891

Interestingly biased history of Sabbath keeping in the New World. Hosted by The Reformed Reader.

The Vermont “Blue Book” contained equally sharp “Sunday laws.” Whoever was guilty of any rude, profane, or unlawful conduct on the Lord’s Day, in words or action, by clamorous discourses, shouting, hallooing, screaming, running, riding, dancing, jumping, was to be fined forty shillings and whipped upon the naked back not to exceed ten stripes. The New Haven code of laws, more severe still, ordered that “Profanation of the Lord’s Day shall be punished by fine, imprisonment, or corporeal punishment; and if proudly, and with a high hand against the authority of God–with death.”

by Alice Morse Earle, Seventh Edition, To the Memory of my Mother Mother
Contents.

I. The New England Meeting-House

II. The Church Militant

III. By Drum and Horn and Shell

IV. The Old-Fashioned Pews

V. Seating the Meeting

VI. The Tithingman and the Sleepers

VII. The Length of the Service

VIII. The Icy Temperature of the Meeting-House

IX. The Noon-House

X. The Deacon’s Office

XI. The Psalm-Book of the Pilgrims

XII. The Bay Psalm-Book

XIII. Sternhold and Hopkins’ Version of the Psalms

XIV. Other Old Psalm-Books

XV. The Church Music

XVI. The Interruptions of the Services

XVII. The Observance of the Day

XVIII. The Authority of the Church and the Ministers

XIX. The Ordination of the Minister

XX. The Ministers

XXI. The Ministers’ Pay

XXII. The Plain-Speaking Puritan Pulpit

XXIII. The Early Congregations