Paedocommunion

“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…  For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.

1 Cor. 11:28-32

“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”

1 Cor. 13:11

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Order of Contents

Articles
Westminster Assembly
History of Paedocommunion
.    Articles
.    Quotes

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Articles

Bacon, Richard – ‘What Mean Ye by this service?: Paedocommunion in light of the Passover’  1996  8 chapters

Schwertley, Brian – ‘Paedocommunion: a Biblical Examination’  2008  17 pp.

Pipa, Joey – ‘Paedocommunion: Wrong View of Membership and Sacrament’  2013  5 paragraphs

Pipa is the president of Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

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The Westminster Assembly

Westminster Assembly – ‘On the Conditions for Partaking of the Lord’s Supper’  April 17, 1645

Keister, Lane – ‘Exceptions Required to be Taken by Paedo-Communion Adherents’  2009, 13 exceptions, 16 paragraphs

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The History of Paedocommunion

Waterland, Daniel – ‘An Inquiry Concerning the Antiquity of the Practice of Infant-Communion as Founded on its Notion of its Strict Necessity’  †1740  in Appendix, pp. 75-135 in Sermons, vol. 2

Waterland (1683–1740) was an Anglican who held sacramentalist views, though here he ably surveys the history of paedocommunion.

Winzer, Matthew – The True History of Paedo-Communion  from the Confessional Presbyterian #3 (2007), p. 27-36

Winzer demonstrates that Paedo-Communion was an abnormal and sliver of a minority view in the early Church.

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Historical Quotes

The First Book of Discipline [of the Church of Scotland], 1560

The Fifth Head, The Necessity of Schools

“…the childrenprovided always, that first they have the form of knowledge of Christian religion: to wit, the knowledge of God’s law and commandments; the use and office of the same; the chief articles of our belief; the right form to pray unto God, the number, use, and effect of the sacraments; the true knowledge of Christ Jesus, of his office and natures, and such other [points] as without the knowledge whereof, neither deserves [any] man to be named Christian, neither ought any to be admitted to the participation of the Lord’s Table.  And therefore, these principles ought and must be learned in the youth.”

 

The Ninth Head, Concerning the Policy of the Church

All ministers must be admonished to be more careful to instruct the ignorant than ready to satisfy their appetites; and more sharp in examination than indulgent, in admitting to that great mystery such as are ignorant of the use and virtue of the same.  And therefore we think that the administration of the Table ought never to be without that examination pass before, especially of those whose knowledge is suspect.  We think that none are apt to be admitted to that mystery who cannot formally say the Lord’s Prayer, the articles of the belief, and declare the sum of the law

Every master of household must be commanded either to instruct, or else cause [to] be instructed, his children, servants, and family, in the principles of the Christian religion; without the knowledge whereof ought none to be admitted to the Table of the Lord Jesus.  For such as are so dull and so ignorant, that they can neither try themselves, neither yet know the dignity and mystery of that action, cannot eat and drink of that Table worthily.  And therefore of necessity we judge it, that every year at least, public examination be had by the ministers and elders of the knowledge of every person within the church: to wit, that every master and mistress of household come themselves, and their family (so many as are come to maturity), before the ministers and elders, to give confession of their faith, and to answer to such chief points of religion as the ministers shall demand.  Such as are ignorant in the articles of their faith; understand not, nor cannot rehearse the commandments of God; know not how to pray, neither whereinto their righteousness consists, ought not to be admitted to the Lord’s Table.”

 

David Calderwood

The Perth Assembly, 1560, p. 89 

The Reformed churches observe the same order in admitting to the Lord’s table, either the children of Christians, or strangers from other parts: they admit them not but with prayers and after due examination of their knowledge, and personal profession of the known truth.  The Church of Scotland at the first reformation [A.D. 1560] ordained that children should be examined for the first time at the ninth year of their age; for the second, at the twelfth, for the third at the fourteenth, and since has practiced continual examination in the Catechetical doctrine with prayers reiterate, for their growth in knowledge and sanctification; and without sufficient trial they were not admitted to the Lord’s Table.” 

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“For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.  What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.  Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?  For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified.”

1 Cor. 14:14-17

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Related Pages

Lord’s Supper

The Administration of the Lord’s Supper

Intinction