Matthew Henry: A Short Catechism about the Lord's Supper
A short catechism for the instruction of those who are to be admitted to the Lord's Supper.
- Q. 1. What is the Lord's Supper?
A. It is a sacrament of the New Testament.
- Q. 2. Who ordained this sacrament?
A. Our Lord Jesus, in the night wherein he was betrayed.
- Q. 3. What are the outward signs in this sacrament?
A. Giving and receiving bread and wine, and eating and drinking of them in a solemn and religious manner.
- Q. 4. What does the bread broken signify and represent to us?
A. The broken body of our Lord Jesus, which was crucified for us.
- Q. 5. What does the wine signify?
A. The precious blood of Christ, which was shed for us upon the cross.
- Q. 6. What does the minister's giving the bread and wine signify?
A. The gracious offer that is made us in the gospel of Christ and all his benefits, upon the terms of faith, and repentance, and new obedience.
- Q. 7. What does the receiving of the bread and wine signify?
A. Our hearty acceptance of Christ as he is offered to us in the gospel, and our compliance with the terms of that offer.
- Q. 8. What does the eating of the bread and drinking of the wine signify?
A. The satisfaction we take in Christ and his gospel, and the nourishment of our souls thereby through faith.
- Q. 9. Why did Christ ordain this sacrament?
A. To be a memorial of his death till he come; for he said, Do this in remembrance of me.
- Q. 10. What more is there in this sacrament?
A. It is a seal of the covenant of grace, strongly assuring us, that God is willing in Christ to be to us a God, and strongly engaging us to be to him a people.
- Q. 11. Why would you be admitted to this solemn ordinance?
A. Because I desire to take the covenant of my baptism upon myself, and to make it mine own act and deed, to join myself unto the Lord.
- Q. 12. What do you think of that covenant which is there sealed?
A. I think it is well ordered in all things, and sure; and I do heartily consent to it, and venture my soul and my salvation upon it.
- Q. 13. What do you think of Christ, who is there set before you?
A. I think he is a gracious and all-sufficient Saviour, and I accept of him as my Lord and my God.
- Q. 14. What do you think of sin?
A. I think sin to be the words of evils; and I do heartily repent of my own sin, and turn from it to God.
- Q. 15. What do you think of this world?
A. I think it is vanity and vexation of spirit, and I will never set my heart upon it.
- Q. 16. What do you think of the other world?
A. I think the things of another world are real, and great, and very near, and I would therefore give all diligence to prepare for that world.
- Q. 17. What do you think of a religious life?
A. I think that a holy heavenly life, spent in the service of God, and in communion with him, is the most pleasant and comfortable life a man can live in this world.
- Q. 18. Will you then live such a life?
A. By the grace of God, I will, and with purpose of heart, will cleave to the Lord.
- Q. 19. What communion do you desire to have with the Church of Christ?
A. By faith, hope, and love, I desire to maintain a spiritual communion with all that in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.
- Q. 20. What must you do in your preparation for the Lord's Supper?
A. I must examine myself.
- Q. 21. How must you examine yourself about your spiritual state?
A. I must seriously inquire whether I do in sincerity consent to the covenant of grace, and whether I be indeed born again.
- Q. 22. What will be an evidence, that your spiritual state is bad?
A. If I live a vain and careless life, loving the world more than God, and minding the things of the flesh more than the things of the Spirit, and allowing myself in any known sin, I have reason to conclude, that whatever profession I make, my spiritual state is bad.
- Q. 23. What will be an evidence that your spiritual state is good?
A. If I be heartily concerned about my soul and eternity, and carefully seek the favour of God through Christ; if I strive against sin, make conscience of my words and ways, and have respect to all God's commandments, I have reason to hope, that notwithstanding my daily infirmities, my spiritual state is good.
- Q. 24. How must you examine your conscience about your particular actions?
A. I must solemnly reflect upon what I have done amiss in thought, word, and deed, and I must humbly confess it before God, and judge myself for it.
- Q. 25. What else must you do in your preparation for the Lord's Supper?
A. I must earnestly pray to God for his Spirit and grace: I must meditate much upon the love of Christ in dying for me; and I must be in charity with all men.
- Q. 26. After what manner must you receive this sacrament?
A. With humble reverence and seriousness; with sorrow for sin, and hatred of it; with faith in Christ, and the lively workings of pious and devout affection towards him.
- Q. 27. What must you do after you have received this sacrament?
A. I must walk cheerfully with God in all holy conversation, and never return again to folly.
- Q. 28. Who are they that receive this sacrament unworthily?
A. They who continue in love and league with sin while they pretend to covenant with God.
- Q. 29. What is the misery those who do so?
A. They eat and drink judgment to themselves, not discerning the Lord's body.
- Q. 30. Who shall be welcome to this ordinance?
A. They who by faith cordially consent to the covenant of grace, and do honour to their Redeemer, by shewing forth his death.
- Q. 31. What benefits do they receive by it that duly improve it?
A. Their faith is hereby strengthened, their resolutions are confirmed, their comforts are increased, and they have an earnest of the everlasting feast.
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