526. Can there be anything better known in the Christian world than that man ought to examine himself? For everywhere in empires and kingdoms, whether in those adhering to the Roman Catholic or to the Evangelical religion, before approaching the holy supper, men are taught and admonished to examine themselves, to recognize and acknowledge their sins, and to live a new and different life. In the English dominions this exhortation is accompanied with fearful threatenings, where, from the address preceding the communion, the following is read and proclaimed by the priest from the altar:
"The way and means" to become a worthy partaker of the holy supper, "is first to examine the deeds and conversations of your life by the rule of God's commandments, and whereinever ye shall perceive yourselves to have offended, either by will, word, or deed, there to bewail your own sinful nature, and to confess yourselves to Almighty God, with full purpose of amendment of life. And if ye shall perceive your offences to be such as are not only against God but also against your neighbor, then ye shall reconcile yourselves unto him, being ready to make restitution and satisfaction, according to the uttermost of your powers, for all injuries and wrongs done by you to any other, and being likewise ready to forgive others that have offended you, as ye would have forgiveness of your offences at God's hand; for otherwise the receiving of the holy communion does nothing else but increase your damnation. Therefore if any of you be a blasphemer of God, a hinderer or slanderer of His Word, an adulterer, or be in malice or envy, or in any other grievous crime, repent ye of your sin, or else come not to that holy table, lest after the taking of that holy sacrament, the devil enter into you as he entered into Judas, and fill you full of all iniquity, and bring you to destruction both of body and soul."