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.

This Position has been proved from the plain and positive teachings of the Scriptures. Our Position is further substantiated by these considerations;-

(1) “The Lord’s Supper is a social and not, like Baptism, an individual act. (2) It does not lie, like Baptism, between the giver and the receiver, or between the Pastor, and the Church. (3) It is not, like Baptism, an individual testimony to the Truth; but the collective testimony of the Church. (4) It was designed for the Church, and not, like Baptism, for individual believers. At Jerusalem we find the Church observing it (Acts 2:42) At Troas, upon the evening of the first day of the week, the Disciples (or the Church) came together to break bread (Acts 20:7)·

At Corinth, the Christians “came together to eat” (1 Corinthians 1:2, and 11:33) as a Church.”

The sin of the schismatics who split up their Assembly into parties, when convened for the Lord’s Supper, is described as “despising the church of God’ or treating the solemn Assembly with contempt (1 Corinthians 11:18,22) a further proof that it was a Church act.” – William Palmer, “Free Communion,” page 47.

The case of the Eunuch is also in point (Acts 8:27-39). To him, Philip preached Jesus, demonstrating that His character and life answered to what the Prophet wrote concerning the Christ or Messiah. He must also have given a compendium of the Master’s commands – as he explained and enforced Baptism. It’s sister Ordinance must also have claimed notice. To the first, prompt obedience was yielded; what, then, was more appropriate than that they should at once attend to the second Rite of the Gospel? Such a traveller must have been provided with bread and wine. The occasion was important. They might never meet on earth again. But no. To prevent the possibility of surmising what did not occur, we are told that when (as soon as, see Luke 15:30) they were come up out of the water, the Spirit caught away Philip, etc. (verse 39)

The Ordinance which is incumbent on Members of Churches only, would here have been incongruous and unscriptural. The Eunuch, therefore, went his way – a baptised believer – doubtless to connect himself in due course with an organised Christian Community.

The accumulated testimony of the passages we have cited surely amounts to absolute demonstration of our position.


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