Unfinished Introductions

Order of Contents

Recreations on Lord’s Day
Local Church Membership is Not Necessary to Partake of the Sacraments
Christ’s Merit



Recreations on Lord’s Day

Find who drafted ch. 21 on worship and the Lord’s Day.

Gataker, Thomas Case and Burroughs were on the Committee for the Catechism: This committee was responsible for drafting the Larger and Shorter Catechisms, which became part of the Westminster Standards. Thomas Case was appointed to this committee on July 12, 1647.

Gataker and Gouge to prepare and arrange the main propositions, Gillespie, p. 26.

Get Burroughs quotes on spiritual recreations, and find which committees he was on.



Local Church Membership is Not Necessary to Partake of the Sacraments

History of

That Ministers can give the Sacraments to those outside of their congregations, from the nature of their office, Eph. 4 etc.

That they can give sacraments to those outside of their proper jurisdictions

That their responsibility in preventing scandal in this matter is limited

If the Pastor by his office’s nature, the end of his pastoral acts terminates on the visible Church as such, then Christians of the visible Church, so qualified to the sacrament, receive it in that capacity, if there is no further restriction.  The restriction is of the gathered Church, but never of a particular local church.  The unity is with the body, but the body is not defined simply as a particular local church only, could be regional or presbyterial, etc. that is those within a the vicinity, to all Christians.


Lord’s Supper

Old Testament Circumcision, Gen. 17

Old Testament Passover & Communion Meals

Example of Apostles baptizing

That this was not due to their extraordinary office, but of their ordinary functions, prove

That this was not due simply to extraordinary circumstances of an unconstituted Church area, but even in regular circumstances.

No instance of barring non-particular-church-members from Baptism or Supper in NT (or Bible)

No clear evidence, or warrant, that Corinth was a particular congregation, but was a presbytery with persons under it, and yet had the Supper

No clear instance of local Church eldership in the NT, per Gillespie, but rather by inference as an ideal

Ministers partake of the Supper, but are not members of a local congregation (but of the presbytery), and the Supper may be held in the presbytery.

1 Cor. 3:20-21

Nicodemus, “Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth?” (Jn. 7:51)

They are either culpable or not-culpable


Live too far away to be a regular member, but visit on ocassion

In between memberships, as had to leave previous congregation and not to stay a member

Looking for one to join

Skeptical of joining that particular congregation due to the elders, but demand to partake of the sacrament

If culpable:

Ignorant of church membership

Don’t believe in Church membership, or full Church membership

Not disciplinable till second time, after they know, they might not know, no one told them, etc.

Have they had a trial?

Not guilty until proven innocent, but innocent until proven guilty

If they are in fault, is such worthy of debarring from the Table, or lesser-excommunication?

Grounds of Sacrament: partaking of the spiritual promise (and nothing else), prove

Sacrament, power of order, more foundational and more intrisically worship than an eldership and church membership.

Sacrament a positive good, more foundational than barring, a disciplinary action, a secondary and consequent principle

Verbal warnings by minister are sufficient when further oversight is not possible in providence

Administration of benefits and food is wider than that which is able to be disciplined.

Better to feed with some scandal, than to not feed the innocent, with no scandal.

Deal with the issue that the minister can bar the scandalous, per WLC.

The 7,000 believers remaining, unknown to Elijah, in the hills of Northern Israel, were they capable of partaking in the three yearly communion feasts at the Temple in Jerusalem?  According to Scripture, yes, as Scripture gives no requirements for local synagogue membership or being under local elders, are a member of a local synagogue assembly, but only that they be circumcised Israelites, not unclean, etc.

Though the sacraments are a power and function of the church political, i.e. of pastors, yet they are given for the visible Church to seal the promises of salvation to the visible church and not the political church (see Rutherford’s distinctions on the visible church).  Explain why, and why not vice versa.

Argument from pastors exercising other pastoral acts over Christians not under a congregation, such as preaching.  There is a Christian fellowship and authority and subjection in this.  And the pastor does not know if that Christian is scandalous or not.  Objection: but the unbelievers hear the Word.  Because this is the nature of the preaching of the Word, but not so with the Supper, which is only to those outwardly in the Covenant of Grace.

In congregational prayer there is a pastoral authority being exercised and a Christian fellowship in it, prove from Scripture, and Christians of no other congregation are included in this.  Practice of the Church of Scotland to escort the excommunicated out at congregational prayers, though they heard, and ought to hear the preached Word.  And yet pastors do not know if Christians of no congregation are scandalous, and yet they partake of the visible Christian fellowship of congregational prayers.  If one may do this with prayer, then so may one do it for visible Christians with the Supper.  If one ought not to do it for the Supper, then one ought not to allow such persons to remain for congregational prayers.

Find the practice of the Church of Scotland, Pardovan, etc.



Christ’s Merit

The Reformation

A primary

No real practical matter, as He did in fact attain it, whatever the cause or grounds of it be.

All the scripture passage are arguably ambiguous

Vain curiosity, yet makes one plummet the depths of theological principles.

The strength of one side, is the seeming worthiness of his human action.  However, the other side reminds us that Christ was God to begin with, to whom all things are owed.  Searching the depth of this makes the answer much less obvious.

Some see Christ judging the world as a fruit flowing out of his work and atonement, something merited, therefore they understand a general aspect to his atonement, in paying for their sins, as the way in which He earned the right to be their Judge as Mediator.  Yet He also judges angels, yet paid for no sins of angels.

Most of the No’s were early, CoR later, focus on the promise of the Father to Christ, if admit of the CoR how can one deny merited in an improper sense by fulfilling the terms, and so it owed to Him (voluntarily entered into) by Covenant, to be graciously rewarded.  Not strictly merited by creatureliness, nature or the innateness of the work (argue against Moek), nor a scheer consequence of gracious blessing, but by Covenant, for the good of his people to be at the right hand of God (which cannot be merited in anyway by a creature’s actions), and a revelation of his right by nature and free love from Father.

Creature cannot make God owe anything, because a servant (Owen).  Doesn’t matter if an act of God via Jesus, as acts of God cannot indebt God to be rewarded, except by a gracious condescension of his will, by CoR.  Though his actions are innately good, and perfectly so.

Despite hypostatic union giving infinite value, yet it gives infinite value to all his actions, post exaltation for which there is no reward, and the reward, in fact, is finite.

If less was given Him, in circumstances or otherwise, would it impugne God’s justice?  Not by nature, but yes by Covenant as agreed.

Was it aimed at by Christ for Christ?  For the Church to save in love, for the ultimate glory of God, and for the good of Christ as human?  His Person need it not, but it is a lawful and necessary good duty of the creature to seek its own good in some way, as a subordinate motive.

Conclusion: both and, by his person being owed all, and human nature meriting by way of covenant.