Dear Brother Baker, — The Baptists are perpetually goaded with holding close communion; but I think it is open communion and "close baptism." Now, other denominations do not hold baptism very closely. They have at least very loose views on the subject. When Paul speaks of "one baptism," they fly off to the baptism of the Holy Ghost as if that is the baptism the apostle means to establish.
"You Baptists, would have a greater accession to your churches, if it were not for your "close communion," says, the pedo baptist. "You are so uncharitable in your practice, in this matter, that warm-hearted Christians cannot unite with you — you pronounce all others ‘no christians at all’ by not communing with them." Now it is a fact that there is not a chapter nor verse, in the New Testament, that says the sacrament of the Lord's Supper was instituted by Christ as a medium through which christians even of the same church, might show their Christian fellowship towards each other.
I am afraid that there are hundreds yea, thousands of Baptists, who have imbibed thoughtlessly this absurd notion. Can't Dr. Mercer nor Dr. Howell cure them?
I have never seen in so short a compass, so many good and sensible things on this subject as are found in Dr. Mercer's Essay on the Lord's Supper, found in the "Georgia Pulpit." There is a short paragraph on the 61st page, that sets this subject perfectly before the honest inquirer. Every Baptist in the United States should read the above mentioned essay, and particularly the paragraph above referred to.
Dr. R. B. C. Howell, of Nashville, has written a book on Sacramental Communion at the Lord's Table, which is setting the people right on this subject. If I were rich enough, I would give every Baptist in the world, (who has not got it,) a copy of his work; but as I am poor, I will only give them my advice to buy the book and read it. This is the best I can do for them at present. If this don't cure them of their errors, (if they hold any,) on the subject, I am no doctor.
Yours, truly, VERISIMILIS. Christian Index.
Jessee Mercer on the Lord's supper
[From The Tennessee Baptist, 1848, Volume V, October 26, 1848, p. 1. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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