ADVENTISM AND THE SABBATH: When the Truth Started as a Lie. Part 3

full moonOverWater[As we have observed in our first post, the problem is when the Sabbath is calculated by the original Biblical calendar does not fall on Saturday because the weekly cycle of the luni-solar calendar does not align with the weekly cycle of the Gregorian calendar, which is a solar calendar. Furthermore, this can be proven by the fact that if the 2300 day/year time period started in 457 BC as taught by both the Millerites and the SDA Church, the year AD 31 is pinpointed as the year of the crucifixion. When the luni-solar calendar for AD 31 is overlaid the Julian calendar for the same year, Passover, the sixth day of the week, also does not fall on Friday. This was the problem facing the Study Committee of 1995. To acknowledge that the Church’s sole, unique contribution to Protestant theology was based upon a different method of time-keeping, was to open the floodgates to a problem they did not wish to deal with: i.e., the problem that the Biblical Sabbath is not Saturday!

As also mentioned in our first post, much of the source materials used herein came from a friend who obtained them from “BibleTruthers.org,” who, for whatever reason, now appears to be inactive. Having said that, the thrust of this post is to further examine the basis of Adventist Sabbatarianism.

Here are some questions you may want to ask yourself as you read this THIRD post on the subject:.

  1. If the Seventh-day Adventist Church is knowingly teaching a “Sabbath” other than the true Sabbath, are they, by their own Biblical definition, a “False Prophet?
  2. By their own Biblical definition, are they a part of Babylon? Are they an “Apostate Church”?
  3. What is the reasonable thing for you to do?
  4. What would you do if you were in the Adventist leadership position?  Why?  What would Jesus say?]

Despite the clear understanding the Millerites had of the luni-solar foundation for an October 22 Day of Atonement, the young Seventh-day Adventist Church quickly forgot the foundation on which this hallmark doctrine had been built.

Barely 50 years later, (evidence suggests sometime in the 1890s), a young minister by the name of J. H. Wierts was shocked to learn through his Hebrew teachers, rabbis, that October 22 had not been Yom Kippur in 1844, but, according to them, September 23 had been.

Wierts immediately saw the ramifications of what he had discovered. If October 22 truly had not been the Day of Atonement for 1844, it opened up the church for attack by its detractors on a number of points. Years later, in a letter to L. E. Froom, dated June 29, 1945, Wierts recalled:

In contact with Jewish Rabbis my Hebrew Teachers, I discovered many years ago from their Hebrew records, that the Rabbinical Jewish day of Atonement in 1844 fell on Monday, September 23. I then determined to make a careful investigation on this important point.

Because of my aquaintance [sic.] with Dr. Eichelberger at the U. S. Naval Observatory, Washington, D.C. I had access to any astronomical record at the Observatory. By those astronomical records I discovered and worked out the Biblical, Chronological, Calendrical, astronomical facts relative to 457 B.C., 27 A.D., 31 A.D. and October 22, 1844, A.D. and found that all that important data in “Great Controversy” was correct even to the day.

His meticulous research finally culminated in a manuscript of 283 pages in length. “Knowing also that sooner or later our adversaries would challenge us on all that important data,” Wierts began in 1932 to appeal to various General Conference officials for the church to conduct an official investigation into the subject. His efforts appear to have met with little success for most of six years.

Finally, on November 1, 1938, the GC officials voted:

To authorize E. D. Dick to confer with M. E. Kern and bring to the officers the suggestion of a committee for a conference with J. H. Wierts regarding the position of the denomination in respect to the date October 22, 1844 and the day of the crucifixion. (Council of GC Officers with J. H. Wierts, OM, Nov. 1, 1938, emphasis supplied.)

It is important to note that, from the first, the focus covered, not only the true date for Day of Atonement in 1844, but also the correct day for the crucifixion. The two are inseparably entwined because when the principles of luni-solar calendation (used to determine Day of Atonement for 1844) are applied to the year of the crucifixion, it is undeniable that there is a problem. Specifically, the crucifixion, which occurred on the sixth day of the Biblical week, did not fall on Friday of the Julian week. This was the dilemma for which, in the end, they could not find a resolution without admitting that Saturday is not the Biblical seventh-day Sabbath.

On November 7, 1938, a committee was formed to study the subject. Initially called the Advent Research Committee, it consisted of Adventist luminaries, well-respected for their theological knowledge. Dr. Leroy Froom was elected to chair the committee. Dr. Lynn Harper Wood served as secretary. The other members were Dr. M. L. Andreasen, Professor M. E. Kern, Professor W. Homer Teesdale, Professor Albert W. Werline and Elder F. C. Gilbert.

In reporting on their initial research to the GC officers, Dr. Froom

Stated that as chairman of the committee he wanted to present certain problems they had met on which they desired counsel. The contention has been raised by some of our detractors that the Jews celebrated the Passover on September 23, of the year 1844, and that the denomination therefore had the date wrong. It has been proven, however, that September 23 was celebrated only by the Rabbinical Jews, but that the Orthodox Karaite Jews held to the correct date and had to this day. We must ascertain the reasons back of the choosing of October 22, 1844, which we have followed all these years. Some of our men also seem not to be sure of the date on which the crucifixion occurred . . . . (Minutes, Officers Meeting, December 18, 1939, emphasis supplied.)

The result of this initial report had far-reaching consequences – a new member was added to the committee:

Brother Froom stated further that we needed astronomical and chronological data to establish these dates beyond question . . . They also are united in the judgment that Miss Grace Amadon who has studied the astronomical aspects of these dates for a number of years, contacted astronomers and astronomical authorities to considerable extent, could offer the committee some real assistance if she could be present here in person and study the matter through with them under their guidance . . .

L. E. Froom stated that Grace Amadon has done enough work on the astronomical aspects of October 22, 1844, to be of value to the committee, that if she comes she would work under supervision to assist the special group of the committee dealing with that particular phase of the study. We might need her for four or five weeks and she might do some things that the members of the committee are not qualified to do. (Ibid.)

It seemed a logical choice to invite Miss Amadon to join the committee. She was the granddaughter of Adventist pioneer John Byington. She had received her education at Battle Creek and was fluent in a number of languages, including Greek and Latin. She excelled in mathematics and after doing a stint in the mission field from 1893-1899, she worked for a college in Chicago where she worked as a bacteriologist, teaching a number of science classes. She was also a skilled writer with several articles she had written on chronology being published in scholarly journals.

imagesE5J16NW2The work done by Amadon and the Research Committee was extensive. Their work has, for the most part, been preserved in the Grace Amadon Collection, housed at the Center for Adventist Research at Andrews University. The research they did, explaining precisely how the Millerites arrived at October 22 for Day of Atonement, as well as the broad outlines of luni-solar calendation, is very good and provides a solid foundation for understanding these issues. However, when they attempted to fit the Passover crucifixion on Abib 14 of the Biblical calendar to Friday on the Julian calendar, they ran into irreconcilable facts.

The first is the simple fact, easily established by history, that the Julian calendar in the time of Jesus had an eight-day week, designated by the days A through H. This fragment of an early Julian calendar, called the Fasti Prænestini, was constructed AD 4 – 10. To the left is a list of days spanning parts of two weeks: G, H, A, B, C, D, E, and F. The words to the right indicate what sort of business could be conducted on those particular days of the week.

In 1944, the Review & Herald Publishing Association published a book for the Ministerial Association of Seventh-day Adventists. The book, Sunday in Roman Paganism, was subtitled: “A history of the planetary week and its “day of the Sun” in the heathenism of the Roman world during the early centuries of the Christian Era.” It openly admitted that the seven-day planetary week in use today was not standardized into general use until the Council of Nicæa in the fourth century AD.

But that was not the only problem. If one assumes that the modern week has come down uninterrupted from Creation, then, by counting in continuous weeks backward, one should be able to align Abib 14 with Friday in the year of the crucifixion (AD 31, as understood by SDAs from the prophecies of Daniel). However, when this is done, you arrive at Wednesday, (at the very latest, Thursday), for the Abib 14 Passover crucifixion. You cannot place Abib 14 on Friday.

The fact that this problem was clearly understood by the committee is seen in their discussions, as preserved in committee minutes and various correspondences between Research Committee members and others, as well as the questions they asked in the voluminous letters preserved in the Grace Amadon Collection. For example:

Though William Miller fixed the date as 1844 he still put the cross at the end instead of the middle of the prophetic week. We have never gone to the bottom of the matter. Our task now is a major one of showing why we insist on the 70 years and the 2300 years beginning at the same time. Some of the old writers confirm the beginning of 457 BC but do not define the “midst of the week. . . . L. E. Froom stated that we could easily supply facts on what was done in 1844 but we must get the facts back of what led to the choice of the date October 22, 1844. It is the same with the date of the crucifixion.” (Minutes, Officers Meeting, December 18, 1939, emphasis supplied.)

The doctrine of the cleansing of the sanctuary as taught by Seventh-day Adventists, is inseparably bound with October 22, 1844, and an AD 31 crucifixion date. They stand together as a united whole, or they fall by the same measure because the calendar used to establish those dates reveals that the weekly cycle of the modern Gregorian week does not align with the weekly cycle of the Biblical week in use at the time of Jesus.

These are legitimate issues and for too long the church has not had a resolution for them. But refusing to address the subject does not make it go away.

Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.

–John 9:41

Keeping Your Heart With All Diligence

Taken from, “On Keeping the Heart”
Written by John Flavel, Puritan, 1679.

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“Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”

–Proverbs 4:23
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The heart of man is his worst part before it is regenerated…

…and the best afterward. It is the seat of principles, and the fountain of actions. The eye of God is fixed upon it—and the eye of the Christian ought to be principally fixed upon it.

The MATTER of the duty?  

Keep your heart!

By heart, in a metaphor, the Scripture sometimes represents some particular noble faculty of the soul. In Rom. 1:21, it is put for the understanding; their foolish heart, that is, their foolish understanding was darkened. Psalm 119:11, it is put for the memory; “Your word have I hid in my heart:” and 1 John 3:10, it is put for the conscience, which includes both the light of the understanding and the recognitions of the memory; if our heart condemns us, that is, if our conscience, whose proper office it is to condemn.

But in the text we are to take it more generally, for the whole soul, or inner man. What the heart is to the body—that the soul is to the man. What health is to the heart—that holiness is to the soul. The state of the whole body depends upon the soundness and vigor of the heart—and the everlasting state of the whole man upon the good or ill condition of the soul.

By keeping the heart, we mean the diligent and constant use of all holy means to preserve the soul from sin, and maintaining its sweet and free communion with God. I say constant, for the reason added in the text extends the duty to all the states and conditions of a Christian’s life, and makes it binding always. If the heart must be kept, because out of it are the issues of life, then as long as these issues of life do flow out of it, we are obliged to keep it.

Commentators on the text will have the word taken from a besieged garrison, beset by many enemies without, and in danger of being betrayed by treacherous citizens within, in which danger the soldiers, upon pain of death, are commanded to watch; and though the expression, Keep your heart, seems to put it upon us as our work, yet it does not imply a sufficiency in us to do it. We are as able to stop the sun in its course, or to make the rivers run backward—as by our own will and power to rule and order our hearts. We may as well be our own saviors as our own keepers; and yet Solomon speaks properly enough when he says, “Keep your heart,” because the duty is ours, though the power is of God; what power we have depends upon the exciting and assisting strength of Christ. Grace within us is beholden to grace outside us. “Without me you can do nothing.” So much for the matter of the duty.

The MANNER of performing it, is with all diligence.

The Hebrew is very emphatic; keep with all keeping, or, “keep, keep”—set double guards. This vehemence of expression with which the duty is urged, plainly implies how difficult it is to keep our hearts, how dangerous to neglect them!

The MOTIVE to this duty is very forcible and weighty…

“For out of the heart are the issues of life.” That is, the heart is the source of all vital operations; it is the spring and original of both good and evil, as the spring in a watch that sets all the wheels in motion. The heart is the treasury, the hand and tongue but the shops; what is in these, comes from that; the hand and tongue always begin where the heart ends. The heart contrives, and the members execute: “a good man, out of the good treasure of his heart, brings forth that which is good; and an evil man, out of the evil treasure of his heart, brings forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” So then, if the heart errors in its work, these must miscarry in theirs; for heart errors are like the errors of the first concoction, which cannot be rectified afterward; or like the misplacing and inverting of the stamps and letters in the press, which must cause so many errata in all the copies that are printed. O then how important a duty is that which is contained in the following.

PROPOSITION— The keeping and right managing of the heart in every condition, is one great business of a Christian’s life.

What the philosopher says of water, is as properly applicable to hearts; it is hard to keep them within any bounds. God has set limits to our hearts, yet how frequently do they transgress not only the bounds of grace and religion, but even of reason and common honesty? This is that which affords the Christian matter of labor and watchfulness, to his dying day. It is not the cleaning of the hand that makes the Christian, for many a hypocrite can show as fair a hand as he; but the purifying watching, and right ordering of the heart! This is the thing that provokes so many sad complaints and costs so many deep groans and tears. It was the pride of Hezekiah’s heart that made him lie in the dust, mourning before the Lord. It was the fear of hypocrisy’s invading the heart that made David cry, “Let my heart be sound in your statutes, that I be not ashamed.” It was the sad experience he had of the divisions and distractions of his own heart in the service of God that made him pour out the prayer, “Unite my heart to fear your name.”

Jenny Geddes War: The Prayers of an Army, and the Glorious Commitment of a Nation. Pt. 2

(c) City of Edinburgh Council; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

THE events which immediately followed the tumult in St Giles’ Church are well known to all students and lovers of Scottish history.

A Parliament was summoned by the popular will alone, and it sat down in four “Tables,” as they were called, to discuss the affairs of the country, and to offer a serious remonstrance to the King. The famous Covenant was drawn up, and carried to the Greyfriars’ Churchyard, where it was signed by thousands of people amid a scene of the greatest enthusiasm. The nation and the Church now began to realize their power, and in a kind of fierce emotional transport many opened their veins, and signed that league against Prelacy, Popery, and the Prerogative with their blood.

In 1638 the first Free Assembly held for a generation in Scotland gathered in Glasgow. Here the Bishops were impeached, their Order declared null and void, and several of their number deposed and excommunicated. They had indeed been men of loose and evil lives, and had done much by the scandal of their immoralities to make Episcopacy unpopular with many who knew no other objection to it. We may here note, as a matter more particularly concerning this history, that the first man to give his vote upon these great questions was the minister of Polwarth, Mr Alexander Cass, whose remarks on that occasion are said to have been very pointed and witty, so much so, indeed, as to give great offense to those who bewailed the great changes now on foot.

Lest it should be supposed, however, that the ministers of the Merse were not cut of the same cloth as that of Polwarth, we may here allude to a circumstance very creditable to our county which had happened some five years before. In 1634 the Bishop of Edinburgh wrote to the different presbyteries of his diocese, requiring the ministers to observe carefully the Articles of Perth, and the Canons of the Church, and in particular,to see that they failed not to minister Holy Communion in their congregations on Easter Sunday, nor to prepare their flocks for that occasion by “preaching the Passion” on Good Friday. To this the Presbytery of Duns sent a stout refusal by the pen of their Moderator, Mr David Hume of Greenlaw, who ventured to tell the Bishop that the wrath of God would certainly come upon him if he persisted in urging obedience in matters not commanded in Holy Scripture. Mr David Hume died in the month of April 1637, only a very little before his fearless words were fulfilled to the letter.

The King, who deeply resented the revolt of the Scottish Church and country, came with his army to the Border, and here the forces of the Covenanters met him, making such a warlike appearance “they were 20,000 strong” that without a blow being struck, articles of peace very favourable to their interests were concluded.

General Leslie, who was in command of that force, consented to disband it, but on the condition of a Free General Assembly being summoned to meet, and a free Parliament to sit thereafter for the ratification of the Assembly’s Acts. The Covenanters’ camp had been set on Duns Law, a circumstance which gave rise to the jest that the Scottish Bishops had been deposed, neither by civil, nor by canon law, but by Duns Law. Thus the first appeal to arms in that long constitutional struggle which issued in our modem liberties was made in the cause of the Covenant, and it was the Merse which had the honour of being chosen as the seat of this righteous resistance and signal victory.

The army of Duns Law was, in some ways, the most remarkable that Scotland has ever seen.

The wonderful unity in which the nation here stood to the defense of her civil and ecclesiastical liberties appeared in the number of noblemen then commanding, and of gentlemen who served in the ranks. The officers had their quarters in the Castle of Duns, where a copy of the Covenant is still preserved, bearing the names of many who subscribed it at that time. Lord Cassilis’ troop was quartered in the following year at Choicelee wood, between Langton and Polwarth. They carried with them as their chaplain was none other than the famous preacher, Mr John Livingston.

In his Memoirs, Livingston tells us that having made known from his pulpit at Stranraer that he was appointed to go to the army, a woman in his congregation came to him with eight gold pieces for the good cause, saying that she had kept them as a marriage portion for her daughter; but since God had been pleased to take the child to Himself, He should have her money too, –a touching proof that the country regarded the cause of the Covenant as that of the Lord, and the expedition sent to the Merse as a solemn appeal to the God of Battles.

It was indeed their piety no less than their gentility and culture which distinguished the soldiers of the Covenant. In the camp at Duns Law and Choicelee was heard every night the sound of praise and prayer from the huts and among the guards. Every Sabbath able and devout ministers from many parts of Scotland gathered to the army and drew with them crowds of the neighboring country people. The religious exercises of Cromwell’s Ironsides would seem to have been borrowed hence, and when, in the next generation, the Covenanters were driven to the fields that they might there worship God according to their conscience, those of our shire could make choice of many a place which had been hallowed in that way before.

The success of the Covenanting army was eagerly watched by the leaders of the Parliamentary party in England. The long struggle for constitutional freedom called the Civil War was just commencing; and very shortly the popular party in the south, whose interests were so closely joined with those of our Covenanters, entered into the Solemn League and Covenant with them, a union of hearts which was presently cemented when the Westminster Assembly sat, uniting in its councils both Presbyterians and Puritans together.

As the close of the conflict drew near, the King, hard pressed by the Parliamentary forces, took refuge with the Scottish army, then at Newcastle. This expedition had been sent under the new alliance to help the cause of the Parliament, and Scotland gave a somewhat extreme proof of confidence in her allies by rendering the person of the king to their mercy. This surrender made way for a series of events which ended in a situation of the utmost consequence for the Covenanters.

His Majesty, as is well known, was soon brought to the scaffold at Whitehall, and the royal family passed to their exile abroad. Scotland, however, had always been loyal. It was with little apprehension of the dread event that their army had surrendered the person of the King, and the execution of Charles began a strong reaction there in favor of the monarchy, a new current of feeling which acted strongly upon many of the Covenanters.

An embassy was soon sent to Holland, one of whom was John Livingston, and in their company the young King returned to his native land in 1650. He signed the Covenant in his ship at the mouth of Spey before he was suffered to land, and renewed the same solemn act at his coronation, which took place a few days later. Under this engagement he was now welcomed by the nation as their lawful sovereign. It is easy to see how these events began to open a division between Scotland with her Covenanted King and the Parliamentary party in England.

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Thoughts and excerpts taken and adapted from, “The Covenanters of the Merse”
Written by, James Wood Brown

Learning From the Master Fisherman: “The Art of Man- Fishing.” Part 5.

Taken and adapted from, A Soliloquy on The Art of Man- Fishing
Written by Thomas Boston, 1699
Edited for thought and sense.

Fisherman.-Marion-McNay.-Oil-on-cardboard.-1950

“The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green…”   –Psalm 92: 12-14

 Growth and motion is an evidence of life…

I move forward towards heaven, my affections are going out after Christ, and endeavoring to make progress in a Christian walk. I think I discern a growth of these graces in me.

1.   Of knowledge and acquaintance with Christ, 2 Peter 3:18. I am more acquainted with Christ and his ways than before. Though I have not such up takings of Christ as I ought to have, yet I have more than I have had in this respect sometimes before.

2.   A growth of love. If my heart deceive me not, I have found love to Christ within this month more lively and vigorous than before, my soul more affected with his absence from ordinances than ever.

3.   A growth of faith. I can, I think, trust God more now than before. I have had more experience of his goodness and knowledge of his name; and therefore think I can cast my burden on the Lord better than before. But it is easy swimming when the head is held up. Lord, increase my faith. I believe, Lord, help mine unbelief.

4.   A growth of watchfulness. I have felt the sad effects of unwatchfulness over my heart in times past. I feel the good of watchfulness now; my soul is habitually more watchful than before; neither dare I give such liberty to my heart as sometimes I gave. Yet for all this the Lord may well complain of me, that he is broken with my wanton heart. But, Lord, you knows it is also breaking to myself that it is so. The Lord seal these things to me.

5.   A growth of contempt of the world, which, blessed, be God, is on the increase with me.

Following Christ implies a knowledge of the way that Christ took.

No man can follow the example of another as such, unless he know what way he lived. So neither can any man follow Christ with respect to the catching of men in particular, unless he know Christ’s way of catching souls, that is, so far as it may be followed by us. Acquaint then thyself, O my soul, with the history of the gospel wherein this appears, and take special notice of these things, that you may follow Christ. What a sad case must they be in that are not acquainted with this!

Following Christ supposes sense of weakness, and the need of a guide.

A man that knows a way, and can do well enough without a guide, needs not follow another. And surely the want of this is the reason why many run before Christ, and go farther than his example ever called them; and others take a way altogether different from Christ’s way, which is the product of their own conceited hearts and airy heads. But you, O my soul, acknowledge thyself as a child in these matters that cannot go unless it be led; as a stranger in a desert place that cannot keep the right way without a guide.

Acknowledge and be affected with thine own weakness and emptiness, which you may well be persuaded of. And for this end reflect seriously,

1.   On the word, 2 Corinthians 2:16. Who is sufficient for these things? No man is of himself sufficient; even the greatest of men come short of sufficiency. This may make thee then to be affected with insufficiency, who are so far below these men, as shrubs are below the tall cedars; and yet they cannot teach it of themselves.

2.   Consider the weight of the work, even of preaching, which is all that you hast to do now. It is the concern of souls. By the foolishness of preaching it pleases the Lord to save them that believe, and as you thought yesterday [Jan. 22, 1699], before you went to the pulpit, it may seal the salvation of some, and the damnation of others. To preach in the Spirit, in the power and demonstration thereof, is no easy matter. Thy pitiful gifts will not fit thee for this.

3.   Reflect on what you are when God is pleased to desert you; how then you tug and row, but it will not do, either in studying or delivering sermons. I think you hast had as much of this as may teach thee to beware of taking thy burden on thy own soul, but to cast it on the Lord.

4.   Consider what a small portion you know of God, when you are at your best, and when you are in thy meridian, yet how low are you? And how far short you are of what you should be at. Lastly, consider that though you had gifts like an angel, yet you canst not convert a soul unless Christ be with thee to do the work. Therefore acknowledge thyself a weak creature, insufficient for the work ; and go not out in thy own strength, but in the name of the Lord; and so although you be but as a stripling, you may be helped to cast down the great Goliaths that defy the armies of the living God.

Following Christ implies a renouncing of our own wisdom.

Our own wisdom must not be the guide that we must follow, Matthew 16: 24. Paul would not preach with wisdom of words, 1 Corinthians 1:17; he did not follow the rules of carnal wisdom. Therefore, O my soul, renounce thine own wisdom. Seek the wisdom that is from above; seek to preach the words of the living God, and not thine own.

Since you was most set to renounce your wisdom, and prayed most that you might not preach that which might be the product of you own wisdom and natural reason, but that which might be given thee of the Holy Ghost, you have found that God hath signally countenanced thee. Take not the way of natural wisdom, follow not the rules of carnal wisdom. Its language will always be, ‘Master, spare thyself; have a care of thy credit and reputation among men.’ If you speak freely, they will call thee a railer, and thy preaching reflections; every parish will scare at thee as a monster of men, and one that would preach them all to hell; and so you shalt not be settled. For great and important men, that have a great influence in a parish, will never like thee. They will say that that way of preaching is not the way to gain people; that startles them at the very first. You may bring them on by little and little, by being somewhat smooth, at least at the first: for this generation is not able to abide such doctrine as that you preach.

But hear you and follow the rules of the wisdom that is from above: for the wisdom of the world is foolishness with God; that which is in high esteem among men, is nothing in the sight of God. The wisdom that is from above will tell thee, that you must be denied to thy credit and reputation, etc., Matthew 16: 24; Luke 14:26. It will tell thee, Let them call thee what they will, that you must cry aloud, and spare not; lift up thy voice like a trumpet, etc., Isaiah 43: 1. It will tell thee, that God has appointed the bounds of men’s habitation, Acts 17: 26. It will tell thee, that not many wise, not many mighty, not many noble, are called, etc., 1 Corinthians 1:29. Whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, you shalt speak God’s words unto them, Ezekiel 2: 7. It will shew thee rules quite contrary to those of carnal wisdom.

Calvin’s Manner of Celebrating the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper

Taken and adapted  from, “Preces Ecclesiastics”
This particular piece of liturgy came from John Calvin, with the exception of the ‘Consecrating Prayer,’ which came from the Liturgy of Geneva; and ‘The Manner of setting apart the Elements,’ which came from the Directory of Worship.

 communion03

THE

MANNER OF CELEBRATING

THE

Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper

The service may be introduced by the singing of a Sacramental Hymn, followed by these prayers.

The Lord’s Prayer.

Our Father which art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil : For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Invocation.

Most Gracious God! whose well-beloved Son hath once offered up His body and blood upon the Cross for the remission of our sins, and doth vouchsafe them for our meat and drink unto life eternal: Grant us grace, with sincere hearts and fervent desires,to accept this great blessing at Thy hands. May we by lively faith partake of His body and blood, yea, of Himself, true God and man, that only bread from heaven, that giveth life unto our souls. Suffer us no more to live unto ourselves, according to a corrupt and sinful nature; but may He live in us, and lead us to the life that is holy, blessed, and unchangeable for ever. Thus may we be partakers of the new and everlasting Testament, which is the Covenant of grace. And thus assure us of Thy willingness ever to be our gracious Father ; not imputing to us our sins,but as Thy beloved heirs and children, providing us with all things needful for our good, that both by our works and words we may magnify Thy Name. Fit us, O heavenly Father! at this time so to celebrate the blessed remembrance of Thy beloved Son. Enable us profitably to contemplate His love,and shew forth the benefits of His death ; That receiving fresh increase of strength in Thy faith and in all good works,we may with more confidence call Thee our Father,and evermore rejoice in Thee: Through  Jesus Christ our Redeemer. Amen.

Let us now make profession of our faith in the doctrine of the Christian religion, wherein we do all purpose, by the grace of God, to live and to die.

The Creed.

I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth: and in Jesus Christ His only Son our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; He descended into hell ; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven,and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost; the Holy Catholic Church,the Communion of Saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting.
Amen.

Then follows the Exhortation; prefaced with the words of the institution, from 1 Corinthians 11:23-30.

Exhortation.

Attend to the words of the institution of the Holy Supper of our Lord Jesus Christ,as they are delivered by the Apostle Paul.

For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus,the same night in which He was betrayed, took bread: and when He had given thanks, He brake it, and said, Take, eat; this is my body, which is broken for you: this do 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 often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till He come.’ Wherefore, whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord ,unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread,and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.

We have heard, brethren, in what manner our Lord celebrated the Supper among His disciples; whence we see that those who are not of the company of the faithful, may not approach it. Wherefore, in obedience to this rule, in the Name and by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, I warn all idolaters, blasphemers, despisers of God, heretics, all that are rebellious against fathers and mothers,all that are seditious, contentious, injurious, and all that lead corrupt and wicked lives: that they abstain from this Table, lest they pollute the sacred food which our Lord giveth only to His faithful servants. Let each of you then, according to St. Paul’s exhortations examine and prove his own conscience, to know whether he have true repentance, and sorrow for his sins; whether he desires henceforth to lead a holy and godly life; above all things, whether he puts his whole trust in God’s mercy, and seeks his whole salvation in Jesus Christ; and renouncing all enmity and malice, doth truly and honestly purpose to live in harmony and brotherly love with his neighbour.

If we have this testimony in our hearts before God, we may not doubt that He adopts us for His children, and that our Lord Jesus addresses to us His word, admitting us to His Table, and presenting us with this holy Sacrament, which He bestows upon His followers. And notwithstanding that we feel many infirmities and miseries in ourselves as, namely, that we have not perfect faith, and that we have not given ourselves to serve God with such zeal as we are bound to do, but have daily to battle with the lusts of our flesh: Yet since the Lord hath been graciously pleased to print His Gospel upon our hearts, and hath enabled us to withstand all unbelief; and hath given us this earnest desire to renounce our own thoughts and follow His righteousness and His holy commandments: Therefore we rest assured,that remaining sins and imperfections do not prevent us from being received of God, and made worthy partakers of this spiritual food. For we come not to this Supper to testify hereby that we are perfect and righteous in ourselves: but on the contrary, seeking our life in Jesus Christ, we acknowledge that we lie in the midst of death. Let us then look upon this Sacrament as a medicine for those who are spiritually sick ; and consider that all the worthiness our Lord requires is, that we truly know ourselves to be sorry for our sins, and find our pleasure, joy, and satisfaction in Him above.

First, then, we must believe these promises that Jesus Christ, who is Infallible Truth, hath pronounced with His own lips: That He is truly willing to make us partakers of His body and of His blood, in order that we may wholly possess Him, that He may live in us, and we in Him. And although we see here only the Bread and Wine, let us not doubt that He will accomplish spiritually in your souls all that He outwardly exhibits by these visible signs: He will shew Himself to be the heavenly Bread, to feed and nourish us unto life eternal. Let us not be unthankful to the infinite goodness of our Lord,who displays all His riches at this Table, to distribute them among us. For in giving Himself to us, He testifies that all He hath is ours. Also let us receive this Sacrament as a pledge, that the virtue of His death and passion is imputed unto us for righteousness; even as though we had suffered in our own persons. Let no man perversely draw back, when Jesus doth gently invite him by His Word. But considering the dignity  of His precious gift, let us present ourselves to Him with an ardent zeal,that He may make us capable of receiving it.

And now to this end lift up your minds and hearts on high, where Christ abideth in the glory of His Father, whence we expect His coming at our redemption. Dwell not on these earthly and corruptible elements, which we see present to our eyes, and feel with our hands,to seek Him in them,as though He were inclosed in the bread or in the wine. Be satisfied to have this bread and this wine for witnesses and signs; seeking spiritually the truth where God’s Word hath promised that we shall find it. For then only shall our souls be disposed to crave food and life from His substance, when they shall thus be lifted above all worldly things, even unto heaven, and enter into the kingdom of God, where He dwells.

The Consecrating Prayer.

Lord God! The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! Thou that art infinite goodness and perfect love! We bring Thee the sacrifice of our praise and the offering up of our thanks, for Thine inestimable gift in sending Thy Son into the world; for delivering Him up to die for us all; and for inviting us to participate in the fruits of His atonement, at the Table of this holy feast. Lord ! what are we, to receive such priceless benefits at Thy hand? or how shall we worthily shew forth our gratitude to Thee? The heavens and the earth, O Lord ! are full of the tokens of Thy bounty: but especially doest Thou manifest Thy love,in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Accept, O Lord our God ! the homage of Thine adoring people. And grant that we, partaking of this holy Sacrament, to which we are welcomed by Thy grace, may now join ourselves by the bonds of living faith and true holiness to our Saviour: so that we shall not henceforth live unto ourselves, but that He may live in us, to lead us to that blessed life that shall have no end.

Father of Mercies! who didst not spare Thine only-begotten Son, but deliveredst Him to death for us all; and hast brought us into His fellowship that we may obtain everlasting life: We Thy servants,with a lively sense of Thy precious gift, do now consecrate ourselves entirely unto Thee. We present to Thee our bodies, and our souls, in a living, and holy sacrifice. And since Thou hast loved us so much, we acknowledge ourselves constrained to love one another. Impress our hearts, O God! with these holy inclinations: that so celebrating the remembrance of Thy dear Son, our faith may grow strong, our charity  increase, our sanctification advance and be made complete, until we be meet for the inheritance of Thy saints in light everlasting. Hear us, O Father of Mercies! we ask all in the Name of Thy well-beloved Son Jesus Christ our Lord: unto Whom, as unto Thee, and the Holy Ghost, one God, be honor, praise, and glory, now, henceforth, and for ever.
Amen.

Then the Minister is to take the Bread and break it, in the view of the people, saying:

Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the same night in which He was betrayed, having taken bread,and blessed and broken it, gave it to His disciples; as I, ministering in His Name, give this bread unto you: saying, [here the bread is to be distributed] take, eat: this is My body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of Me.

After having given the Bread, he shall take the Cup, and say:

After the same manner our Saviour also took the cup; and having given thanks, as hath been done in His Name, He gave it to the disciples; saying, [here the cup is to be given,] This cup is the new testament in My blood, which is shed for many, for the remission of sins: drink ye all of it. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till He come.

The Minister himself is to communicate, at such time as may appear to him most convenient.
Then let a eucharistic hymn be sung.
The collection for the poor may be made after this.
Then the Minister is to pray, and give thanks to God.

Thanksgiving.

Heavenly Father! we give Thee immortal praise and thanks that upon us poor sinners Thou hast conferred so rich a benefit, as to bring us into the communion of Thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Him having delivered up to death for us, Thou hast given for our food and nourishment unto eternal life. Now also grant us grace, that we may never be unmindful of these things; but carrying them about engraven on our hearts, may we advance and grow in that faith which is effectual unto every good work. Thus may the rest of our lives be ordered and followed out to Thy glory and the good of our fellow men: Through Jesus Christ our Lord: Who with Thee, O Father! and the Holy Ghost,liveth and reigneth in the unity of the Godhead, world without end.
Amen.

Benediction.

Now the God of Peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus,that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do His will,working in you that which is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to Whom be glory for ever and ever.
Amen.