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Lord’s Supper

James Dodson

A Scottish sacramental observance.

A Scottish sacramental observance.


“III. The outward matter thereof, or Signes, are Bread and Wine. 
IV. The Supper is lame, without both Signes; and to rob the people of the Cup, is Sacrilege. 
V. The inward matter is Christ, with all his satisfaction and merit. 
VI. As it is Jewish superstition, to use unleavened Bread; so the Popish Penny-wafers are superstitious reliques. 
VII. Its outward form consists in Actions and Words. 
VIII. The Actions are the breaking of Bread, and powring out of Wine; the distribution of both Signes, and the receiving thereof with the hand and mouth. 
IX. The word is, the whole Institution, containing the Eucharist, the command, and the promise; but the promise chiefly.”—John Wollebius, The Abridgment of Christian Divinitie, (1650). 



A Brief Catechetical Exposition of Christian Doctrine.-1632-William Twisse.-A treatise containing four catechism. The first designed to explain and distinguish the sacraments; the second treats the Lord’s prayer; the third expounds the Ten Commandments; and the fourth unfolds the articles of the Apostles’ Creed. This is a good example of many early Reformed catechisms written specifically for helping communicants prepare for a right reception of the Lord’s supper.

Of the use of a Table in the Lord’s Supper. And of the communicants their coming to, and receiving at the Table.-1649-George Gillespie.-In this essay, Gillespie explains and defends the use of a table in the celebration of the Lord’s supper. This is an authoritative exposition of this subject.

Danger of Being Over Wise:-1835-William B. Sprague (1795-1876).-This is the sermon in which Sprague first attacks the temperance movement and its fanatical adherents who sought the removal of wine from the Lord’s supper.

Dr. Sprague’s Reply to Professor Stuart’s Letter addressed to him through the American Temperance Intelligencer of August, 1835.-1835-William B. Sprague (1795-1876).-In this letter, Sprague responds to Moses Stuart, a professor at Andover Seminary, who objected to his sermon on religious fanaticism which demanded the use of wine, not grape juice, be retained in the Lord’s supper. Sprague attacks the fanatical impulse and its undermining of the sacrament.

The Holy Communion. An Address Before Administering the Lord’s Supper.-1844-John Brown, of Edinburgh (1784-1858).-This address was given at the celebration of the Lord's supper for the edification of the communicants. In it, Brown explains the two dimensions of fellowship, or communion, involved in the right reception of the sacrament.

Debarring and Inviting Service.-1871-Samuel Bowden (1822-1894).-This address, from Reformed Presbyterian minister, gives an example of the warnings proper to the administration of the Lord's supper complete with debarring and inviting of would be communicants.

The Bible Wine Question.-1881-Dunlop Moore (1830-1905).-The first of two articles examining the claims of Temperance advocates that there are two kinds of wine in Scripture-one unfermented and the other fermented. He notes the novelty of those who advance this view and dissects their flawed logic with the precision of a skilled surgeon. He also shows their lack of honesty in scholarship on the question. The only wine known to the Bible has the potential to intoxicate and that has implications for Christian practice, especially with respect to the Lord's supper.

Sacramental Wine.-1882-Dunlop Moore (1830-1905).-The second article on the issue of Bible wines in which the author vigorously defends the use of wine (not grape juice) in the sacrament of the Lord's supper. Having defended the intoxicating nature of Biblical wine, he is forward to press the claims of its use in the sacramental observance. Once more, he lays waste to the dishonesty and poor scholarship amongst the promoters of total abstinence.

The Lord’s Supper According to the Directory for Worship of the Presbyterian Church in the United States. Maintained as the True Scriptural Form for its Observance, both against Present Attempts to Change it, and also against Modifications in Use by Others.-1888-Samuel T. Lowrie (1835-1924).-An often acerbic look at the Temperance fanatics who wished to remove wine from the Lord's supper. This small volume also contains many other interesting observations and admonitions to keep to the traditional sacramental usages of Reformed Protestantism. There is also a helpful discussion of why we use leavened rather than unleavened bread in Reformed churches. It contains an appendix by Dunlop Moore on Biblical wine that condenses his arguments.

The Use of Tokens in Our Covenanter Communions.-1908-Robert James George (1844-1911).-The first of two articles written by George, this one chronicles the decline of the use of communion tokens amongst 19th century Reformed Presbyterians in America with observations concerning the result of their disuse. This was the first step toward introducing open communion.

The Use of Tokens an Appropriate, Instructive and Impressive Service.-1908-Robert James George (1844-1911).-This second article gives a number of reasons for the continued use of communion tokens with appreciation for their conduciveness to a more orderly administration of the sacrament.