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church or state ; all perjured persons; all those who are disobedient to their parents and superiors; all murderers, contentious persons, and those who live in hatred and envy against their neighbours ; all adulterers, whoremongers, drunkards, thieves, usurers, robbers, gamesters, covetous, and all who lead offensive lives.
All these, while they continue in such sins, shall abstain from this meat, (which Christ hath ordained only for the faithful) lest their judgment and condemnation be made the heavier. But this is not designed (dearly beloved brethren and sisters in the Lord) to deject the contrite hearts of the faithful, as if none might corne to the supper of the Lord, but those who are without sin; for we do not come to this supper, to testify thereby that we are perfect and righteous in ourselves; but on the contrary, considering that we seek our life out of ourselves in Jesus Christ, we acknowledge that we lie in the midst of death. Therefore, notwithstanding we feel many infirmities and miseries in ourselves, as namely, that we have not perfect faith, and that we do not give ourselves to serve God with that zeal as we are bound, but have daily to strive with the weakness of our faith, and the evil lusts of our flesh; yet since we are (by the grace of the Holy Ghost) sorry for these weaknesses, and earnestly desirous to fight against our unbelief, and to live according to all the commandments of God; therefore we rest assured that no sin or infirmity, which still remaineth against our will, in us, can binder us from being received of God in mercy, and from being made worthy partakers of this heavenly meat and drink.
Secondly. Let us now also consider, to what end the Lord hath instituted his supper, namely, that we do it in remembrance of him: Now after this manner are we to remember him by it.
First. That we are confidently persuaded in our
hearts, that our Lord Jesus Christ (according to the promises made to our forefathers in the old testament) was sent of the Father into the world : that he assumed our flesh and blood ; that he bore for us the wrath of God (under which we should have perished everlastingly) from the beginning of his incarnation, to the end of his life upon earth, and that he hath fulfilled for us, all obedience to the divine law, and righteousness; especially when the weight of our sins and the wrath of God pressed out of him the bloody sweat in the garden, where he was bound that we might be freed from our sins; that he afterward suffered innumerable reproaches, that we might never be confounded. That he Was innocently condemned to death, that we might be acquitted at the judgment-seat of God: yea, that he suffered his blessed body to be nailed on the cross, that he might fix thereon the hand-writing of our sins: and hath also taken upon himself the curse due to us, that he might fill us with his blessings; and hath humbled himself unto the deepest reproach and pains of hell, both in body and soul, on the tree of the cross, when he cried out with a loud voice, My God! my God! why hast thou forsaken me ? That we might be accepted of God, and never be forsaken of him. And finally hath confirmed with his death and shedding of his blood, the new and eternal testament, that covenant of grace and reconciliation, when he said, It is finished.
And that we might firmly believe that we belong to this covenant of grace, the Lord Jesus Christ, in his last supper, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and gave it to his disciples and said, Take, eat, this is my body which is broken for you, this do in remembrance of me ; in like manner also after supper he took the cup, gave thanks and said, Drink ye all of it, this cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you and for many, for the remission of sins ;
this do ye as often as ye drink it in remembrance of me: that is, as often as ye eat of this bread, and drink. of this cup, you shall thereby, as by a sure remembrance and pledge, be admonished and assured of this my hearty love and faithfulness towards you ; that whereas you should otherwise have suffered eternal death, I have given my body to the death of the cross, and shed my blood for you ; and as certainly feed and nourish your hungry and thirsty soul with crucified body, and shed blood to everlasting life, as this bread is broken before your eyes, and this cup is given to you, and you eat and drink the same with your mouth, in remembrance of me.
From this institution of the holy supper of our Lord Jesus Christ, we see that he directs our faith and trust to his perfect sacrifice (once offered on the cross) as to the only ground and foundation of our salvation; wherein he is become to our hungry and thirsty souls, the true meat and drink of life eternal. For by his death he hath taken away the cause of our eternal death and misery, namely, sin; and obtained for us the quickenening Spirit, that we by the same (which dwelleth in Christ as in the head, and in us as his members) might have true communion with him, and be made partakers of all his blessings, of life eternal, righteousness and glory.
Besides, that we by the same Spirit may also be united as members of one body in true brotherly love, as the holy Apostle saith, For we being many are one bread and one body; for we are all partakers of that one bread. For as out of many grains one meal is ground, and one bread baked, and out of many berries being pressed together, one wine floweth and mixeth itself together; so shall we all, who by a trne faith are ingrafted into Christ, be altogether one body, through brotherly love, for Christ's sake, our beloved Saviour, who
hath so exceedingly loved us : and not only shew this in word, but also in very deed towards one another.
Hereto assist us, the Almighty God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, through his holy Spirit. Amen.
[That we may obtain all this, let us humble ourselves before God, and with true faith implore his grace.] O
MOST merciful God and Father, we beseech thee, that thou wilt
be pleased in this supper (in which we celebrate the glorious remembrance of the bitter death of thy beloved Son Jesus Christ) to work in our hearts through thy holy Spirit, that we may daily more and more with true confidence, give ourselves up unto thy Son Jesus Christ, that our afflicted and contrite hearts, through the power of the Holy Ghost, may be fed and comforted with his true body and blood; yea, with him, true God and man, that only heavenly bread: and that we may no longer live in our sins, but he in us, and we in hiin, and thus truly be made partakers of the new and everlasting testament, and of the covenant of grace. That we may not doubt but thou wil for ever be our gracious Father, never more imputing our sins unto us, and providing us with all things necessary as well for the body as the soul, as thy beloved children and heirs ; grant us also thy grace, that we may take upon us our cross cheerfully, deny ourselves, confess our Saviour, and in all tribulations with uplifted heads expect our Lord Jesus Christ from heaven, where he will make our mortal bodies like unto his most glorious body, and take us unto himself in eternity. Amen. Our Father, &c.
Strengthen us also by this holy supper in the Catholic undoubted Christian faith, whereof we make consession with our mouths and hearts, saying,
BELIEVE in God the Father Almighty, Maker of
gotten Son our Lord : who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried : he descended into hell: the third day he rose again from the dead: he ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty : from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost : the Holy Catholic church : the communion of saints : the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body ; and the life everlasting. Amen.
That we may be now fed with the true heavenly bread Christ Jesus, let us not cleave with our hearts unto the external bread and wine, but list them up on high in heaven, where Christ Jesus is our advocate at the right hand of his heavenly Father, (whither also the articles of our faith lead us;) not doubting but we shall as certainly be fed and refreshed in our souls through the working of the Holy Ghost with his body and blood, as we receive the holy bread and wine in remembrance of him.
[In breaking and distributing the bread, the Minister shall say,]
The bread which we eak, is the communion of the body of Christ.
[And when he giveth the cup,] The cup of blessing, which we bless, is the communion of the blood of Christ. [During the communion, there shall or may be devoutly sung a psalne,
or some chapter read, in remembrance of the death of Christ; as the 53d chapter of Isaialı, the 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18th chapters of John, or the like.]
(After the communion, the Minister shall say,] Beloved in the Lord, since the Lord hath now fed our souls at his table, let us therefore jointly praise his holy name with thanksgiving, and every onc say in his heart,
Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.
Who forgivėth all thine iniquities ; who healeth all thy diseases.