William Jeyes Styles was a Strict and Particular Baptist pastor who ministered in several churches at the turn of the 20th century. In 1902, he published “A Guide to Church Fellowship, as Maintained by Primitive or Strict and Particular Baptists.” This article is the first of seven parts to his chapter on Restricted Communion.

“Strict,” is here simply an abbreviation of “restricted” (re-strict-ed), and is applied to the practice of such as welcome to the Lord’s Table those only for whom they judge it is scripturally spread.

A Christian or a Church Ordinance?

The Lord’s Supper is commonly regarded as a general recognition of religion; and a declaration of the unity and sympathy which exist among true Christians. Thus, on “Communion Sundays,” in most chapels, Ministers invite those who love Jesus to remain and join in this act of worship, and assure them that all Christians are welcome. It is also common to conclude the Sessions of religious Societies with United Communion Services, at which Ministers of all Denominations assist.

Such brethren regard the Lord’s Supper as a Christian Ordinance, and conceive it to be the duty and privilege of all professed Christians – whether baptized or not – and whatever their religious convictions (if they have any,) thus to assemble, when opportunity serves, to show their affection towards the Lord and each other.

The text they adduce to support this is – “Do this in emembrance” (not of your having been baptized – not of your holding certain dogmas, or belonging to a particular Denomination, but) “of Me.” (1 Corinthians 11:24,25)

This the above Article opposes, insisting it to be a Church Ordinance, and rightly observed by non but the members of a Church of the New Testament Faith and Order, assembled for this purpose, and others who, for the time being, are worshipping with them.

Baptism by Immersion is often thought to be all we require as a prerequisite to the Lord’s Supper – some inadequate Confessions of our Faith countenancing the idea. Our real conviction is, that not Baptism only, but Membership with a Baptised Church, and what this expresses and involves, should always precede and be conjoined with this act of devotion.



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