Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

Reception Unsectarian


J. B. Stoney

My statement was, that if a godly clergyman presented himself for communion I should receive him, and though he returned to system, yet I should receive him again as I had received him before, not as if he were in fellowship, but as one desiring to break bread; but I added, he is now subject to discipline, and if he did anything in doctrine or practice to compromise the holiness of God's house, he would be dealt with accordingly and publicly.  Now this is very different from the mode of action of those who assume open ground.  They receive every Christian who is sound in faith and morals, that is their avowed terms of communion.  They take no notice of where (as to association) they come from.  They make no difference between saints in the Establishment or sects, and brethren.  They do not see that Newton's heresy sprung up in the midst of brethren who assume to be on the ground of the church of God intelligently — hence there is a great difference as to moral standing between a saint in the Establishment or the sects and one from any company which is under discipline.  All we ask for is jealousy for Christ in His own house.  We receive a believer from the Establishment or the sects when assured that such an one is sound in faith and morals, while we do not receive one from [Open] "Brethren" (so called) unless he has absolutely cleared himself of all association with the defiled company.

...  But the moment a Christian is received in the fellowship of the Lord's supper he is identified with all the privileges and responsibilities of the assembly, and therefore he is amenable to discipline.  If a clergyman were received this Sunday, and returned to his church the following Sunday, the assembly could take no notice, but if he in any way in doctrine or by practice dishonours the Lord, even though he may have withdrawn from fellowship, yet as he was once in the fellowship he must now be put away as unfit for it.

From Letters from J. B. Stoney, volume 1, page 66.

Reception Unsectarian