Throughout the preceding pages the author makes such pointed reference to the statements of the Directory of Public Worslnp in the Dutch Reformed Church that bear on preparation for the Lord’s Supper, and also to the relevant questions of the Heidelberg Catechism, that it has been thought of advantage to the reader to have these passages before him.

I. Self-Examanation

True proving of ourselves consists of three parts:

1. In the first place, let everyone in his own heart reflect on his sin and condemnation, in order that he may loathe himself and humble himself before God: seeing that the wrath of God against sin is so great that, rather than suffer it to remain unpunished, He punished it in His dear Son Jesus Christ, in the bitter and ignominous death of the Cross.

2. In the second place, let everyone examine his heart as to whether he also believes this sure promise of God, that only on the ground of the suffering and death of Jesus Christ all his sins are forgiven him, and the perfect righteousness of Christ is bestowed upon him and imputed to him as his own: yea, as completely as if he himself in his own person had atoned for all his sins and performed all righteousness.

3. In the third place, let everyone examine his conscience as to whether he is prepared, henceforth and with his whole life, to manifest true thankfulness toward God the Lord, and to walk uprightly in God’s sight.

All who are so disposed, God will assuredly receive into His favor, and regard as worthy communicants at the table of His Son Jesus Christ. On the other hand, those that have no such testimony in their hearts, eat and drink judgment to themselves.”

II. Christ in the Supper

Question 76. What is meant by eating the crucified body and drinking the shed blood of Christ?

Answer. It is not only to receive with a believing heart the whole suffering and dying of Christ, and thereby to obtain the forgiveness of sins and life eternal, but moreover, also, to be so united more and more to His sacred body by the Holy Ghost, who dwells both in Christ and in us, that although He is in Heaven and we are upon the earth, we are nevertheless flesh of His flesh and bone of His bones, and live and are governed forever by One Spirit, as the members of one body are by one soul.

Question 79. Why, then, doth Christ call the bread His body and the cup His blood, or the New Testament in His blood; and St. Paul, the communion of the body and blood of Christ?

Answer. Christ speaks thus not without great cause, namely, not only that He may thereby teach us that like as bread and wine sustain this temporal life, so also His crucified body and shed blood are the true meat and drink of our souls unto eternal life; but, much more that by this visible sign and pledge He may assure us that we are as really partakers of His true body and blood, through the working of the Holy Spirit, as with the bodily mouth we receive these holy tokens in remembrance of Him; and that all His suffering and obedience are as surely our own as if we ourselves in our own person had suffered all and done enough.”