The Lord’s Supper – Samuel Rutherford (1600–1661)

The following essay has been slightly edited from its original by using modern English rendering of some words, along with reformatting of biblical references. Taken from a Peaceable and Temperate Plea

  • This Sacrament requires a self-examination going before, 1 Cor 11:28. Therefore a Sermon of preparation is preached the day before, even as Christ prepared and dieted his guests with heavenly Sermons preceding the action, as is clear, Luke 22:14, 15; Mark 14:18-20; Matt 26:21-23; John 13:13-16.
  • A Table is covered, not an altar erected, as in Luke 22:21; John 13:28.
  • A Sermon for the purpose in hand is preached before, as Christ doth, John 13:18, 19 20; Matt 26:22, 23 (as a sermon goes before Baptism, Acts 8:35, 39; Acts 19:4-6).
  • The banqueters sit down at [the] Table, even as Jesus sat down with the twelve disciples, as in Matt 26:20, 28; Mark 14:18, 22, the Lord honouring them with Table-honour with himself, as is clear, Luke 22:21; John 13:24, 28.
  • The pastor takes the bread, and before he break it, he gives thanks, and prays for the blessing of the Elements, to the end and use appointed by Christ, even as Christ did, Matt 26:26, and thereafter takes the bread, rehearses the words of the institution, and breaks the bread, and gives to the banqueters, and they divide it amongst them, at Christs commandment, as also he takes the cup, and says, drink ye all of this, this is the New Testament; etc. as Christ did, Matt 26:26, 27; Mark 14:22, 23; Luke 22:19, 20.
  • In the meantime, while the people are eating and drinking, the pastor is speaking of Christ’s love in dying for man, of the Lord’s death, of faith required in announcing the Lord’s death till he come again, even as Christ all the while entertained his guests with heavenly sermons, as is clear, Matt 26:28, 29; Mark 14:25; Luke 22:21, 22; John 13.
  • And having done, they sing a psalm, as Christ and his Disciples did, Matt 6:28; Mar 14:26.
  • All the while elders, in reverend and decent manner, attend the service of the Table as the banquet requires; for that some serve at that Supper is gathered from Matt 26:19; Mark 14:15, where mention is made of a large upper room furnished and prepared, which is a clear warrant for a large Table, a clean and fair Table-cloth, basins, cups, and vessels decent and comely for that service, and from Christ his girding himself with a towel, and washing their feet, and standing as a servant, John 13:4-6; Luke 22:27.
  • The nature of the Sacrament requires thanksgiving, and therefore afternoon a Sermon of thanksgiving is preached, which is also warranted from Matt 26:30.