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The Historical Development of the PCA Book of Church Order

Chapter 4 : The Particular Church

Paragraph 4 : Of the Ordinances

4-4. The ordinances established by Christ, the Head, in His Church are prayer; singing praises; reading, expounding and preaching the Word of God; administering the Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper; public solemn fasting and thanksgiving; catechizing; making offerings for the relief of the poor and for other pious uses; and exercising discipline; the taking of solemn vows, and the ordination to sacred office.

[Historical Summary : The current form of this paragraph of the PCA BCO dates to _______.]

Background and Comparison :
1.PCA 1973, 4-4, Adopted text, as printed in the Minutes of General Assembly, p. 129
2. Continuing Presbyterian Church 1973, 4-5, Proposed text, p. 6
3. PCUS 1933, V, § 24
4. PCUS 1925, V, § 24

The ordinances established by Christ, the Head, in His Church, are prayer; singing praises; reading, expounding and preaching the Word of God; administering the Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper; public solemn fasting and thanksgiving; catechising; making offerings for the relief of the poor and for other pious uses; and exercising discipline.

PCUS 1879, II-4-5
The ordinances established by Christ, the Head, in His Church, are prayer; singing praises; reading, expounding and preaching the Word of God; administering the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's Supper; public solemn fasting and thanksgiving; catechising; making offerings for the relief of the poor and for other pious uses; exercising discipline; and blessing the people.

PCUS 1869 draft, II-4-5

The ordinances established by Christ, the Head, in the Congregation, are prayer; singing praises; reading, expounding, and preach-
ing the Word of God; administering the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper; public solemn fasting and thanksgiving; catechizing; making offerings for the relief of the poor, and for other pious uses; exercising discipline; and blessing the people.

PCUS 1867 draft, II-4-5
The ordinances established by Christ, the Head, in the congregation, are prayer; singing praises; reading, expounding, and preaching the word of God; administering the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper; public solemn fasting and thanksgiving; catechizing; making oblations for the relief of the poor, and for other pious uses; exercising discipline; and blessing the people.

COMMENTARY :
F.P. Ramsay, Exposition of the Book of Church Order
(1898, pp. 34-35), on II-4-5 :
24.--V. The ordinances established by Christ, the Head, in His Church, are
nine in number :
1. prayer;
a form of worship in which all are to engage either audibly or silently ;
2. singing praises;
which differs from prayer more in the manner of the expression than in the matter of it, though petition is the prevalent element in prayer, and praise in song, and in which those that cannot sing with the voice may yet join in attention and consent ;
3. reading, expounding and preaching the Word of God;
in which not only the reader, expounder, or preacher worships, but also the hearer, if he listens to it not as the word of men, but as the word of God ;
4. administering the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's Supper;
in which not only the administrator and the immediate participants worship, but any spectator that reverences God and his will as set forth in these ordinances ;
5. public solemn fasting and thanksgiving;
in which all may immediately participate, as well as through attention and consent ;
6. catechising;
which is a form of instruction helpful to all that listen, and a form of worship to all that even listen with consent ;
7. making offerings for the relief of the poor and for other pious uses;
in which all should join according to their several ability, or, if unable to make an outward offering, with their consent and desire, and which is worship if done in expression of reverence toward God ;
8. exercising discipline;
which is worship to all who act in it or witness it with reverence for God as thus manifesting his will and authority ;
9. and blessing the people.
which is worship to him that pronounces the blessing, and to him that accepts it in reverence for God thus declaring his mind. All these are parts of worship, and of joint worship ; and this and godly living are what the members of a particular church are associated together for. These are all to be done in the assembled church, but only as acts of worship ; and only these are to be done.
The election of officers by the people lying back of the exercise of all official functions in the church's ordinances is included in them, and the term discipline is to be understood here in its broadest sense, as indeed all these terms.



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Chapter Index [links to Par. 1 of each chapter]:
FoG..
1
2
3.
4
5.
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
I. King & Head of Church
.§1.
§4
§5
RoD
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
II. Preliminary Principles
§1
§2
§3
§4
§5
§6
§7
§8
DfW
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
[FoG = Form of Government ; RoD = Rules of Discipline ; DfW = Directory for Worship]