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this his exceding great benefyte, and that we seke not for remyssion of synnes, by any other wayes or meanes, then by fayth in Christe.
Nowe when we preache the death of the Lord, and shewe that he hathe redemed vs thereby, we ought also to call this to our remembraunce, that he dyed not for vs onely, but for all men that beleue in him. And forasmuche as Christe loued al men so entierely, that he dyed for theym, we ought for Christes sake to loue our neyghbours, for whom Christe hathe dyed. For Christ sayeth. All men shall knowe by this token, that ye be Joh. xiii. d. my disciples, if one of you loue another. And this is it, and iii. b. that saincte Paule sayeth. All we that be partakers of 1 Corin. x. one breade, are one bodye and one breade.
As often therefore good children, as you shal come to the Lordes table (whiche ye shall vse to do, when ye shall come to further yeares of discretion) you shal seke the comforte of your consciences, and do as sainct Paule saieth in these wordes. Let a man examine himselfe, and so let him eat of the breade and drynke of the cuppe. For he that eateth or drinketh vnworthely, eateth and drinketh his awne damnation, because he maketh no dyfference of the Lordes bodye. And when ye shal haue examined your selues, ye shal fynde that ye are synners, and that ye haue nede, that Christ should giue his bodye for you, and shede hys bloude for you. And this to do, is truly to examine and trye youre selues. For sainct Paule saieth. Yf we wolde iudge our selues, we should not be judged of the Lord. But when we are iudged of the Lorde, we are chasticed, that we shoulde not be dampned with the worlde. For him that doth not acknowlege his faute, God dothe iudge and chastice with dyuerse afflictions, that at the length he maye cause hym therby to confesse his fautes, and repente him, that his synnes may be forgyuen him. Ye shal also examine yourselues, whether ye be able to do, that Christ com
I Joh. ii. a.
maundeth, and to beleue, that Christ saith. Further-
in the vyne, and so be ful of sappe and bryng forth good fruit.
And this is the meanynge and playne vnderstandynge, of the wordes of the Lordes supper. Wherefore learne them dilygently I pray you, that when ye be asked, what is the Communion or the Lordes supper? ye maye answer. Yt is the trew body and true bloude of our Lorde Jesus Christe, whiche was ordeyned by Christ him selfe, to be eaten and dronken of vs Christen people, vnder the forme of breade and wyne. Furthermore yf any man wil aske ye, wher is this writen? ye shall answer. These be the wordes which the holy Euangelistes Mathewe, Marke, Luke, and the Apostle Paule do writ. Our Lorde Jesus Christ the same nyght that he was betrayed, toke breade, and gyuyng thankes brake it, and gaue it to his disciples, and sayd. Take, eate. This is my bodye, whiche is gyuen for you. Do this in remembraunce of me. Lykewyse he toke the cup, after he had supped, and gyuynge thankes gaue it to them, and sayed. Drynke of this all ye. This is my bloude of the new testament, which is shed for you and for manye, for the forgyuenes of synnes. Do this as often as ye dryncke, in remembraunce of me. Furthermore yf any man aske ye, what auayleth it, thus to eate and drynke? ye shall answer. These wordes do declare what profit we receaue thereby, my bodye whiche is giuen for you, my bloude which is shed for you, for the forgyuenes of synnes. By the whiche wordes Christe declareth, that by this sacrament and wordes of promyse, are gyuen to vs, remission of synnes, lyfe and saluation. For whereas forgyuenes of synne is, ther is also lyfe and saluation. Againe yf a man wil go further with you, and aske you. How can bodily eatyng and drynkynge haue so greate strength and operation? ye shall answer. To eate and to drynke, doth not worke so great thynges, but this worde and promyse of God, my bodye whiche was gyuen for you, my bloude whiche was shede for you,
for the remission of sinnes. This worde of God is added to the outwarde sygnes, as the chiefe thing in this sacraHe that beleueth these wordes, he hath that thing, whiche the wordes do promyse, that is to saye, forgyuenes of his synnes.
Besydes this, yf a man aske of you, who be they, that do worthely receaue this sacrament? ye shal answere. That fastyng, abstinence and suche other lyke, do perteyne and are profitable for an outward discypline or chasticement of the bodye. But he receaueth the sacrament worthely, that hath faith to beleue these wordes. My bodye whiche was gyuen for you, my bloude whiche was shed for you, for the remission of synnes. But he that beleueth not these wordes, or doubteth of them, he receaueth the Lordes supper vnworthely. For this worde, for you, doth require a faithful and beleuyng
So good children, ye haue the trew vnderstanding of the wordes of Christe, and the trew vse of the holy supper of the Lorde. Learne all these lessons dilygently (I pray you) that ye also in tyme to come, maye worthely receaue this sacrament, and from daye to daye sticke and cleaue more stedfastlye to the wordes of our Lord Jesus Christ, and so continewyng in Christ, may bryng forth good fruyt. And yf you do so, then youre heauenly Father wil purge and prune you (as the husbande man dothe the braunches of his vyne) that ye may dayly floryshe more and more, and bring forth fruit more plenteouslye, that God may be glorified by you, and your fruyt maye abyde contynually. And so at the length, ye shall receaue lyfe and euerlastynge saluation and glorye, with our Sauiour Jesus Christe, the whiche God graunt vs all. Amen.