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so excused, but counted unworthy of the heavenly feast. I, for my part, shall be ready; and, according to mine Office, I bid you in the Name of God, I call you in Christ's behalf, I exhort you, as ye love your own salvation, that ye will be partakers of this holy Communion. And as the Son of God did vouchsafe to yield up his soul by death upon the Cross for your salvation; so it is your duty to receive the Communion in remembrance of the sacrifice of his death, as he himself hath commanded; which if ye shall neglect to do, consider with yourselves how great injury you do unto God, and how sore punishment hangeth over your heads for the same; when ye wilfully abstain from the Lord's Table, and separate from your brethren, who come to feed on the banquet of that most heavenly food.
These things if ye earnestly consider, ye will by God's grace return to a better mind : for the obtaining whereof we shall not cease to make our humble petitions unto Almighty God our heavenly Father.
At the time of the celebration of the Communion, the Communicants being conveniently placed for the receiving of the holy
Sacrament, the Priest shall say this Exhortation. DEARLY beloved in the Lord, ye that mind to
come to the holy Communion of the Body and Blood of our Saviour Christ, must consider how Saint Paul exhorteth all persons diligently to try and examine themselves, before they presume to eat of that Bread, and drink of that Cup. For as the benefit is great, if with a true penitent heart and lively faith we receive that holy Sacrament; (for then we spiritually eat the flesh of Christ, and drink his blood; then we dwell in Christ, and Christ in us; we are one with Christ, and Christ with us ;) so is the danger great, if we receive the same unworthily. For then we are guilty of the Body and Blood of Christ our Saviour; we eat and drink our own damnation, not considering the Lord's Body; we kindle God's wrath against us ; we provoke him to plague us with divers diseases, and sundry kinds of death. Judge therefore yourselves, brethren, that ye be not judged of the Lord; repent you truly for your sins past; have a lively and stedfast faith in Christ our Saviour; amend your lives, and be in perfect charity with all men; so shall ye be meet partakers of those holy mysteries. And above all things ye must give most humble and hearty thanks to God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, for the redemption of the world by the death and passion of our Saviour Christ, both God and man; who did humble himself, even to the death upon the Cross, for us, miserable sinners, who lay in darkness and the shadow of death; that he might make us the children of God, and exalt us to everlasting life. And to the end that we should alway remember the exceeding great love of our Master, and only Saviour, Jesus Christ, thus dying for us, and the innumerable benefits which by his precious blood-shedding he hath obtained to us; he hath instituted and ordained holy mysteries, as pledges of his love, and for a continual remembrance of his death, to our great and endless comfort. To him therefore, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, let us give (as we are most bounden) continual thanks; submitting ourselves wholly to his holy will and pleasure, and studying to serve him in true holiness and righteousness all the days of our life. Amen.
THE CHURCH'S TEACHING RESPECTING THE
Blessed Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ.
(a) FROM THE CATECHISM. Q. How many Sacraments hath Christ ordained in his Church?
A. Two only, as generally necessary to salvation, that is to say, Baptism, and the Supper of the Lord.
Q. What meanest thou by this word Sacrament?
A. I mean an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace given unto us, ordained by Christ himself, as a means whereby we receive the same, and a pledge to assure us thereof.
Q. How many parts are there in a Sacrament?
A. Two; the outward visible sign, and the inward spiritual grace.
Q. Why was the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper ordained ?
A. For the continual remembrance of the sacrifice of the death of Christ, and of the benefits we receive thereby
Q. What is the outward part or sign of the Lord's Supper?
A. Bread and Wine, which the Lord hath commanded to be received.
Q. What is the inward part, or thing signified ?
Ā. The Body and Blood of Christ, which are verily and indeed taken and received by the faithful in the Lord's Supper.
Q. What are the benefits whereof we are partakers thereby ?
A. The strengthening and refreshing of our souls by the Body and Blood of Christ, as our bodies are by the Bread and Wine.
Q. What is required of them who come to the Lord's Supper?
A. To examine themselves, whether they repent them truly of their former sins, stedfastly purposing to lead a new life; have a lively faith in God's mercy through Christ, with a thankful remembrance of his death; and be in charity with all men.
(B) FROM THE ARTICLES.
ART. XXV. Sacraments ordained of Christ be not only badges or tokens of Christian men's profession, but rather they be certain sure witnesses, and effectual signs of grace, and God's good will towards us, by the which he doth work invisibly in us, and doth not only quicken, but also strengthen and confirm our Faith in him.
There are two Sacraments ordained of Christ our Lord in the Gospel, that is to say, Baptism, and the Supper of the Lord.
The Sacraments were not ordained of Christ to be gazed upon, or to be carried about, but that we should duly use them. And in such only as worthily receive the same they have a wholesome effect or operation : but they that receive them unworthily, purchase to themselves damnation, as Saint Paul saith.
Art. XXVI. The unworthiness of the Ministers hinders not the effect of the Sacraments.
Art. XXVIII. The Supper of the Lord is not only a sign of the love that Christians ought to have among themselves one to another; but rather it is a Sacrament of our Redemption by Christ's death : insomuch that to such as rightly, worthily, and with faith, receive the same, the Bread which we break is a partaking of the Body of Christ; and likewise the Cup of Blessing is a partaking of the Blood of Christ.
Transubstantiation (or the change of the substance of Bread and Wine) in the Supper of the Lord, cannot be proved by Holy Writ; but it is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a Sacrament, and hath given occasion to many superstitions.
The Body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten, in the Supper, only after an heavenly and spiritual manner. And the mean whereby the Body of Christ is received and eaten in the Supper is Faith.
The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper was not by Christ's ordinance reserved, carried about, lifted up, or worshipped.
Art. XXIX. The wicked, and such as be void of a lively faith, although they do carnally and visibly press with their teeth (as Saint Augustine saith) the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ, yet in no wise are they partakers of Christ : but rather, to their condemnation, do eat and drink the sign or Sacrament of so great a thing.