Profiting from the Lord’s Supper
by Guilelmus Saldenus

Extracted & Abridged from Guilelmus Saldenus & Wilhelmus à Brakel, 
In Remembrance of Him: Profiting from the Lord’s Supper, trans. J. A. De Jong; ed., B. Elshout 
(Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage Books, 2012), 47-58.


Hopefully I have achieved my objective [in the previous chapter] by sufficiently addressing the pathway one is to pursue in deriving comfort and spiritual joy from the Lord’s Supper. It now follows that we also proceed to say something about the manner in which sanctification can be stimulated by partaking of the Lord’s Supper.…

It is common knowledge that sanctification has two branches. It either focuses on the lamenting, hating, and fleeing from evil, or on the longing for and seeking of that which is good. Partaking of the Lord’s Supper can wonderfully influence the stimulation of both aspects of sanctification. By God’s grace, I shall use general propositions to demonstrate this in a variety of ways. I will also show you how to make use of them by identifying several special and noteworthy characteristics of the Lord’s Supper.

Proposition #1: To partake of the Lord’s Supper is a work of extraordinary necessity. This necessity is twofold: (1) It is a duty required by God; (2) It is a suitable and moral means to stimulate the grace of sanctification in us (Mt 26:1; 1 Cor 10:16–17; 11:24).

This identifies the error of those who

(1) believe that it is a matter of indifference to partake of the Lord’s Supper and that we are at liberty either to partake or to abstain.…

(2) do indeed partake of the Lord’s Supper, but do so purely as a duty and without considering it as a means to advance in sanctification.…

Christians, how remiss we are in this regard! …Who would plant a vineyard without investigating the fruit it produces? Who would take medication without observing its effect? Who would use a means unto sanctification, which the Lord’s Supper is, without discerning the benefits derived from it?

Proposition #2: The Lord’s Supper is an excellent, glorious, and heavenly matter, as we have previously demonstrated. Its author is heavenly; the matter symbolized is heavenly; the partakers are heavenly; the promises are heavenly; and the fruits are heavenly. Yes, everything is heavenly!

Therefore, they err grievously

(1) who greatly minimise this supper; who readily neglect its use; and who often abstain for the least defilement from the world, for the slightest obstacle, for an unpleasant encounter, or even for uttering harsh words. …

(2) who are so ungrateful for such heavenly grace.…

Proposition #3: The Lord’s Supper does not consist of elaborate procedures, but rather is a very simple transaction.

Consider all the accessories of this institution: they are visible, tangible, tasteful, and common things. There is no elaborate slaying of a lamb at any specific time or place—a lamb that is entirely free of blemish or of a specific age, or which is to be eaten with certain sauces as was done at the Passover. Instead, there is simply bread and common wine, items that are as familiar to us as our daily food.

It will therefore be evident that they err

(1) who make such an elaborate and outward show when they come to the Lord’s Table.…

(2) who despise the Lord’s Table because of such simplicity of arrangement.

Proposition #4: The partaking of the Lord’s Supper itself is neither complicated nor difficult, but rather, it is something that can be very easily observed.

It is not like the sacrament of circumcision, which was accompanied with much pain and grief. It involves no loss of either time or money, and as far as external matters are concerned, it can be very easily and readily partaken.…

From this it can be concluded

(1) how misguided such persons are who, by imagining it to be difficult and problematic, allow themselves to be discouraged from engaging in this holy activity. …

(2) how foolish and irrational they are who for purely carnal convenience refuse to partake of the Lord’s Supper, doing this especially because they would then have to break fully with sin and the world.…

Proposition #5: In and by the lawful use of the Lord’s Supper, the sealing of grace will progress to its highest degree and will be certain and infallibly secure. (Mt 26:26; 1 Cor 10:16–17; Ps 93:5).

It is therefore erroneous

(1) that some, because they are so weak in the faith and have so little assurance of their salvation, at times abstain from partaking of the Lord’s Supper.…

(2) when others are so suspicious of an assurance derived from the Lord’s Supper, for they are of the opinion that this may not be relied upon too much.

By such reasoning, one truly brings dishonour upon the Lord’s Supper and Him who instituted it. What sort of argument is this? Because there are those who deceive themselves, it does not mean that no one can rightfully assure himself. …

However, if one partakes of the Lord’s Supper with a sanctified heart, leaning solely upon God’s promise annexed to it, how can a person then deceive himself? Then God Himself would be deceiving us. I maintain that if someone partakes of the Lord’s Supper lawfully, he may indeed assure himself that Christ and all His benefits are his portion, doing so as surely as the person himself is a man and as surely as God is God. It would indeed be possible that God should be no God, if upon promising His communion to someone, the contrary proved to be true.