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Library of Anglo-Catholic Theology

A Short and Plain Instruction for the Better Understanding of the Lord's Supper
by Thomas Wilson, D.D.

Oxford: John Henry Parker, 1851.

transcribed by the Reverend Walter Hannam
AD 2003


Concerning the Purposes you are to make, of leading a New, that is, a Christian Life.

IN the first place, take especial notice, that God accepts of our repentance on this condition only, that we may afterwards glorify Him by an holy Christian life.

And as He delivered the people of Israel from bondage, not that they might do what was right in their own eyes, but that, becoming an holy nation, they might be an honour to their Deliverer (Deut. xiv. 2); even so, Christ has redeemed us from the bondage of sin and Satan, that He might redeem us from this present evil world, and purify unto Himself a people zealous of good works.

And as the former perished, that is, all such as did not answer the end of their deliverance, so most surely shall we do, if we do not obey our Redeemer.

Your duty to God, your neighbour, and yourself, you have known from a child; be assured of it, you will meet with temptations from the devil, the world, and your own corrupt heart, both to neglect and transgress the commands of God.

It will be absolutely necessary, therefore, that you arm yourself betimes, both with holy resolutions, and with this holy Ordinance, which you are preparing to go to, that you may be able, through the grace of God, to go on in the way of salvation.

NOW YOUR DUTY TO GOD is, To believe in Him, to fear, and to love Him, with all your heart and soul; forasmuch as you stand indebted to Him for all you have, or value, or hope for, in this or the next life.

[353] Do but consider how you would behave yourself, if you were but half so much obliged to any man on earth; How dearly you would love him: How often would you think of him! How would you strive to please him! How would you be grieved if you should be so unhappy as to offend him! How soon and how earnestly would you beg his pardon, to be restored to his favour.

Now, if you thus love God, it will appear in such instances as these: you will have a very great regard for every thing that belongs to Him: you will not use His name to any idle or wicked purpose: you will religiously observe the day consecrated to His honour and service: you will carefully attend the house and worship of God: and behave yourself with reverence and devotion while you are in His presence. You will hear His word with attention, and have a great regard for His ordinances, and for the persons whom He hath appointed to administer them.

If you truly fear God, you will part with any thing as dear as a right hand, or a right eye, rather than provoke Him who can destroy both body and soul in hell.

If you believe Him to be the fountain of all good, you will pray to Him daily. And if you put your whole trust in God, as it is your duty to do, you will endeavour to be pleased with all His dealings with you, you will never murmur at the ways of His providence, not suffer your heart to fret against the Lord. And especially you will never attempt to better or secure your condition by evil ways: believing assuredly, that God can and will make you full amends in the next life, for what you want or suffer in this in submission to His will.

Lastly, you duty is to be thankful to God. The way to be so is, to look upon every mercy you receive as the gift of God; every danger you escape, as owing to His care and providence; every good thought, every good purpose, every occasion of doing good, as the effect of His good Spirit.

Think, and act, and purpose thus; and it will be as natural to thank God for all the dispensations of His providence, as it is for you to beg any blessing from Him, which you stand most in need of.

Stop awhile, until you have considered these things, and [354] until you have expressed your sense of them in this following Prayer.


THIS is indeed the first and great command, to love Thee, O God, with all our heart: for on this depends our salvation. But even this must be the gift of Thy grace: for this grace I now apply to Thee, to make my love and fear of Thee the governing principle of my whole life; that I may always do what I believe will please Thee; that I may carefully avoid what I know will offend Thee; and that I may live as having Thee the constant witness of my thoughts, words, and actions.

Give me a steadfast faith in Thy word and promise; a firm trust in Thy power. Let the fear of Thy justice keep me from presumption, and a sense of Thy goodness from despair. Defend me from all those bewitching snares which destroy our love of Thee: from worldly cares; from all sensual and sinful pleasures; from evil company; from foolish diversions; and from every thing that may make me forget, that Thou alone art worthy to be feared and loved. Grant me these mercies for Thy Son Jesus Christ His sake; whose love and death we are going to commemorate. Amen.

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