The Philadelphia Confession, 1742
The supper of the Lord Jesus, was
instituted by Him, the same night wherein He was betrayed, to be observed in His churches
unto the end of the world, for the perpetual remembrance, and showing forth the sacrifice
of Himself in His death,1 confirmation of the faith of
believers in all the benefits thereof, their spiritual nourishment and growth in Him,
their further engagement in and to all duties which they owe unto Him; and to be a bond
and pledge of their communion with Him, and with each other.2
In this ordinance, Christ is not
offered up to His Father, nor any real sacrifice made at all for remission of sin, of the
quick or dead, but only a memorial of that one offering up of Himself by Himself, upon the
cross, once for all;3 and a spiritual oblation of all possible
praise unto God for the same.4 So that the popish sacrifice of
the mass, as they call it, is most abominable, injurious to Christ's own only sacrifice
the alone propitiation for all the sins of the elect.
The Lord Jesus hath in this ordinance,
appointed His ministers to pray, and bless the elements of bread and wine, and thereby to
set them apart from a common to a holy use, and to take and break the bread; to take the
cup, and they communicating also themselves, to give both to the communicants.5
The denial of the cup to the people,
worshipping the elements, the lifting them up or carrying them about for adoration, and
reserving them for any pretended religious use, are all contrary to the nature of this
ordinance, and to the institution of Christ.6
The outward elements in this ordinance,
duly set apart to the use ordained by Christ, have such relation to Him crucified, as that
truly, although in terms used figuratively, they are sometimes called by the names of the
things they represent, to wit, the body and blood of Christ,7
albeit in substance and nature, they still remain truly and only bread and wine, as they
That doctrine which maintains a change
of the substance of bread and wine, into the substance of Christ's body and blood,
commonly called transubstantiation, by consecration of a priest, or by any other way, is
repugnant not to Scripture alone,9 but even to common sense and
reason, overthroweth the nature of the ordinance, and hath been, and is the cause of
manifold superstitions, yea, of gross idolatries.10
Worthy receivers outwardly partaking of
the visible elements in this ordinance, do them also inwardly by faith, really and indeed,
yet not carnally and corporally, but spiritually receive, and feed upon Christ crucified
and all the benefits of His death: the body and blood of Christ being then not corporally,
or carnally, but spiritually present to the faith of believers in that ordinance, as the
elements themselves are to their outward senses.11
All ignorant and ungodly persons, as they are unfit to enjoy communion with Christ, so are they unworthy of the Lord's table, and cannot, without great sin against Him, while they remain such, partake of these holy mysteries, or be admitted thereunto:12 yea, whosoever shall receive unworthily, are guilty of the body and blood of the Lord, eating and drinking judgment to themselves.13
1. 1Co 11:23-26.
2. 1Co 10:16-17,21.
3. Heb 9:25-26,28.
4. 1Co 11:24; Mt 26:26-27.
5. 1Co 11:23-26.
6. Mt 26:26-28; 15:9; Ex 20:4-5.
7. 1Co 11:27.
8. 1Co 11:26-28.
9. Ac 3:21; Lk 24:6,39.
10. 1Co 11:24-25.
11. 1Co 10:16; 11:23-26.
12. 2Co 6:14-15.
13. 1Co 11:29; Mt 7:6.
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