Written by Elder H.C. Ker
The Delaware River Old School Baptist Association, in session with the Southampton Old School Baptist Church, at Southampton, Bucks Co., Pa., May 28th, 29th and 30th, 1924, to the churches composing the same.
BELOVED BRETHREN: - According to our long accustomed order it becomes our pleasant privilege to again address you in our annual Circular Letter. The subject to which we shall call your attention at this time is “communion,” and as a text we name the following: As ofts as ye do it, do it in remembrance of me. In establishing the ordinances of the house of God the Savior instituted this one, together with all others, to be observed while time lasts. No ordinance of the church is more significant and no ordinance is more solemn, as it sets forth the Lord's death till he come. The communion supper was different from any other supper or feast that preceded it, and during the existence of the militant church no change shall ever be made in it, nor shall it cease to be observed in remembrance of the Lamb of God.
When the Lord's purpose in Israel being in Egypt four hundred years was accomplished, he, according to his promise to Abraham, delivered them. He had his own way of making Pharaoh let the Israelites leave the land of bondage, and the night before they were to leave that country enroute for their own land, Canaan, they had what was called the passover supper. Every family of the Israelites was commanded to kill a lamb or a kid, the blood of which was to be sprinkled upon the doorposts of their homes; they were to eat the flesh of the lamb, or kid, with bitter herbs. Every man was commanded to have his loins girded about and a staff in his hand and shoes upon his feet, ready for the journey before them. The Lord's way to make Pharaoh willing to let his people go was to send death into every house of the Egyptians, that the firstborn of both man and beast should die in the one night. Because of this the blood of the lamb, slain by each family of the Israelites, was commanded to be put upon the doorposts of their homes as a sign of salvation when the destroying angel should pass over the land to bring death to all the firstborn of the Egyptians. Thus the blood of the paschal lamb in Egypt meant salvation to the Israelites when the destroying angel passed over them. That supper, called the passover, was celebrated at regular seasons by the Israelites during their history, as a nation, in remembrance of their deliverance from Egyptian bondage. When Christ came to fulfill the law and put an end to all types and shadows he, in the night in which he was betrayed to be slain for the everlasting deliverance of his chosen people, said it was with desire that he had desired to eat that supper with his disciples. This was the real passover supper, the real Paschal Lamb, the blood of the everlasting covenant, the bread of heaven. The Paschal Lamb took the bread and blessed it and gave to his disciples, saying, This is my body which is broken for sin. After the supper he also took the cup, and when he had blessed it, said, This is the new testament in my blood which is shed for the remission of sins, this do in remembrance of me. No more was the passover in Egypt to be celebrated, no more remembrance of the blood of the lambs slain there. The end of all shadows had passed away with the coming of the Lamb of God, who, by his own blood, took away the sin of the world.
We as a denomination have been censured always because we neither unite nor allow any except our own people to the Lord's table, being called close communionists. But in reality the church of God has no more control over communion than over love, faith and fellowship. In the absence of fellowship there is no union, and in the absence of union there is no such thing as communion. The partaking of the blood and wine, in our faith the body and blood of the Son of God, is an open act evidencing communion with one another. Should the table never be spread, should the heaven-born children of God never partake of the bread and wine, it would in no sense affect their communion one with another. On the other hand, should all other denominations partake with them of the bread and wine, there would be absolutely no communion between the house of God and them, for the reason of no fellowship, no oneness, no equality. John said, “Our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ,” hence communion with God, with his Son and with all the saints. We are told in this Scriptures that the brethren continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship. May the Delaware River Association, by the grace of God, be steadfast in the doctrine, ordinances and order of his house, the pillar and ground of the truth.
Finally, brethren, farewell; be of one heart and one mind; live in peace and the God of peace shall be with you. Amen.
H.C. Ker, Moderator
D.M. Voorhees, Clerk
Signs of the Times
Volume 92, No. 14
July 15, 1924