YEa certainlie. But we make it also through the ex∣ercise of the Sacraments in greater force and e∣difieng.
Shew the reason.
Bicause they are annexed to the preaching and promises of the Gospell, to mooue our soules and bo∣dies to praise God with greater confirmation of our faith and loue.
Understandest thou not, that there is one like sal∣uation by preaching, and by the Sacraments offered vnto all, as well to the faithfull, as to the vnfaithfull?
Yea: but the vnfaithfull, in respecting this salua∣tion, receiue nothing but the word & outward signes to their condemnation.
Neuerthelesse, the Sacraments doo not signifie and represent lesse to one than to the other.
It is certaine. For God is alwaie true, and vseth not to teach lies.
The Lord then hath ioined the Sacraments with the preaching and promises of the Gospell, as the seales are ioined with the letters and instruments which they confirme.
Yea, to print & seale them the more in our soules & bodies, & to mooue all our senses vnto this confession.
The Sacraments then are vnto vs great succor and comfort.
Yea, in our infirmities, disquietnesse, and tempta∣tions, which come dailie vnto vs, as well from the di∣uell and the world, as from our owne flesh.
Which are the Sacraments that the Lord Ie∣sus hath instituted in his Church?
Baptisme and the Supper, putting end vnto Cir∣cumcision, and to the Paschall Lambe.
How is it that he himselfe hath authorised and sanctified them?
In that he would receiue Baptisme in his owne bodie, and to be the first administrator of the Supper.
Where is it yt the Lord commandeth Baptisme?
In S. Matthew the last Chapter: And Iesus came and spake vnto them, saieng: All power is giuen vnto me in heauen and in earth. Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Sonne, and of the holie Ghost, tea∣ching them to keepe all those things that I haue com∣manded you.
Is Baptisme a washing of bodilie filthinesse?
No. For so little water can doo nothing to vs.
From what filthinesse then are we there washed?
From spirituall filthinesse, which are our sinnes.
We come then into the world all filthie and cor∣rupt.
If we were not conceiued in sinne, and borne in Page 242 iniquitie, we should not haue to doo with baptisme.
In whose name be we baptised?
In the name of the Father, and of the Sonne, and of the holie Ghost, who is our onlie and verie true God in three persons.
And with what water are we washed and rege∣nerated?
With the water of life, which is the holie spirit, in the bloud of Iesus Christ.
Baptisme then representeth vnto vs, & assureth vs of the full remission of our sinnes, and exchanging of our wicked nature.
Yea, and by the same both we and our children are receiued into the Church, as partakers of the coue∣nant of the Lord, as well as Abraham and his seed by circumcision.
Seeing that by baptisme we are borne, clothed, washed, and regenerated in the house of God, which is the Church: with what meat, and with what drinke are we nourished and fed?
Euen with himselfe, who hath begotten vs. For as he is our washing and clothing: so is he vnto vs meate and drinke.
Is this bicause he is the word of God, which is the true food of our soules?
Yea, and we must go further: seeing that his word became flesh, whereof it commeth that we are nouri∣shed with his flesh, & with his bloud into life eternall.
And how is it that his bodie was made meate or heauenlie bread, and his bloud drinke vnto vs?
By his death and passion, as he declareth in his holie Supper.
Where shall we find the institution of the holie Supper?
In three Euangelists, and verie largelie declared in the first to the Corinthians the xi. Chapter.
Reade the place.
I receiued of the Lord, that which I haue giuen vnto you; namelie, that the Lord Iesus, in the same night that he was be traied, tooke bread; and when he had giuen thanks, hee brake it, and said: Take, eate, this is my bodie, which is broken for you: doo this in remembrance of me. Likewise, after supper he tooke the cup, saieng: This cup is the new testament in my bloud: doo this as often as you shall drinke it in the re∣membrance of me. For as often as you shall eat of this bread, and drink of this cup, ye shall declare the Lords death vntill he come. Wherefore, whosoeuer shall eate of this bread, or drinke of this cup vnwoorthilie, shall be guiltie of the bodie and bloud of the Lord. But let a man examine himselfe, and so let him eat of this bread, and drinke of this cup. For whosoeuer eateth and drin∣keth vnwoorthilie, eateth and drinketh his owne dam∣nation, making no difference of the Lords bodie, (or not discerning the bodie of the Lord.)
Did not the Lord then minister vnto all equallie, one bread and one wine in his Supper?
Yea, as indifferentlie as he died for all, and com∣manded to take, eate, and drinke.
What signifieth then the bread of the Supper?
The pretious bodie of Iesus, which he gaue vnto the death of the Crosse for vs.
And what signifieth the wine?
His pretious bloud, which he shed vpon the Crosse for vs.
This bread and wine being called the bodie and bloud of the Lord, doo they change their substance and nature?
No: but as we corporallie eate the bread, & drinke the wine; so spirituallie we eate the bodie, and drinke the bloud of the Lord.
And how may we ascend vp to heauen (where he Page 244 is) to eate his flesh, and to drinke his bloud?
By loue, and liuelie faith; seeing that alreadie we haue there our conuersation, and that the words of the Lord are spirit and life.
And he being in heauen, how is it that he com∣municateth vnto vs his bodie and his bloud; we being heere belowe vpon the earth?
By the vertue of his holie spirit, by whome he ioi∣neth vs vnto himselfe, and maketh vs partakers of himselfe in true holinesse of soule and bodie.
The Infidels, may they eate the bodie, and drinke the bloud of the Lord?
Naie: for through their infidelitie, they receiue it to their condemnation, as did Iudas.
How must we prepare our selues, before we come to this holie Table?
Euerie one must proue himselfe, whether he come with true faith and repentance, and with Christian charitie, as he witnesseth.
The true preparation then, and worthinesse con∣sisteth not in this, that our faith & charitie be so great as it ought to be.
No: for though we ought continuallie to tend therevnto, yet shall we neuer be able to come at it.
How is it then, that our faith, so little and vnper∣fect, saueth vs, and maketh vs worthie to receiue that which is offered vnto vs by the Gospell, and the Sa∣craments?
In that, that it soundeth vs, and maketh vs who∣lie to rest in the righteousnesse, dignitie, and perfection of Iesus, vnto whome onlie the father hath regard.
Must all they be receiued, that present them∣selues to the Supper?
Yea, all those whom we knowe to be disciples, and members of Iesus, willing to liue and die in this faith and doctrine thereof.