TODAY (Nov. 14) is the Feast Day (in the Anglican Communion) of Samuel Seabury.
Samuel Seabury (November 30, 1729 – February 25, 1796) was the first American Episcopal bishop, the second Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America, and the first Bishop of Connecticut. He was a leading Loyalist in New York City during the American Revolution and a known rival of Alexander Hamilton.
In honor of the occasion, we re-publish Seabury’s incisive tract, An Earnest Persuasive to Frequent Communion.
An Earnest Persuasive
to Frequent Communion
Addressed to those Professors of the
Church of England,
who neglect that
Published New Haven, CT
Brethren, beloved in Christ,
The title has informed you, that my design is to address you on the subject of frequent Communion in the Holy Eucharist, or Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ, commonly called, The Lord’s-Supper. The subject is an important one, and claims your serious attention: And the great neglect of the duty requires plainness of speech, and freedom of admonition on my part. I have, therefore, to request, that you will carefully read and consider what is here addressed to you: and bear patiently that plain dealing which proceeds only from a desire to stir you up to the practice of a duty which I suppose an indispensable one, and in the neglect of which you live in a constant state of sin against your God.
“Sin” said the apostle, “is the transgression of the law.” The will of God, when made known to us, is His law to us, and binds us in all cases whatsoever. Nothing is sinful any further than it is contrary to God’s will; and everything is sinful in the same degree that it is contrary to His will: For to contradict the will of God constitutes the nature and essence of sin.
The will of God is made known to us by Revelation, and is declared in the Holy Bible, which is intended by God to be the standard of our faith and practice, that we may know at all times what He requires us to believe and do.