Thursday, 23 June 2016

Further Thoughts on the Scottish Communion Season
”The Scottish Presbyterians, and their descendants in America, have, as we cannot but think, fallen into a serious error, in adding to the length and the number of the services connected with the Lord’s Supper. Not only is there an undue protraction of the exercises on the Sabbath, but it has been customary to set apart a day for fasting, in preparation for the ordinance, and a day of thanksgiving after it. Against these appendages, the late Dr. Mason wrote very ably; arguing that they have no warrant in the book of God; that they are contrary to the judgment of almost the whole Christian church; and that they are attended with great and serious evils. He maintains, that they establish a term of religious communion which has no scriptural sanction; that they are almost impracticable, without the aid of other pastors; that they banish both the principle and practice of scriptural fasting and thanksgiving; and that they create a pernicious distinction between the sacraments. And he dwells particularly on the point, that the multiplicity of our week-day services is incompatible with such a frequency of communion as is our indispensable duty. “Had it not been for them,” says Dr. Mason, “communions would have been much more frequent, both in the church of Scotland and the denominations which have sprung from it.” We may add, that the argument has a wider application than to merely week-day services: all services which render the celebration of the Lord’s Supper protracted or wearisome, and all instructions and ceremonies which invest it with an unscriptural mystery or awfulness, have a necessary tendency to infrequent communion. Instead of being an attractive and delightful ordinance, it thus becomes fearful and repulsive.”

The Biblical Repertory and Princeton Review, Vol. 12, no. 1 (1840)

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