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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


Your Duty to your Neighbour and Yourself.

THIS is the second great command, and will require the most solemn resolutions you can make, before you go to the Lord's Supper.

Consider therefore whether you can sincerely resolve as follows:

I dare not, I will not be indifferent how I lead my life. I know what God has commanded me, and I purpose sincerely to do it.

I will, in the first place, be obedient to the lawful commands [355] of my superiors, and to those who watch for my soul. I do sincerely purpose in all my dealing to remember the command given by my Saviour, THOU SHALT LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR AS THYSELF: and therefore I will make a conscience of doing the least wrong to any man; of using any deceit, or fraud, or oppression; or of taking advantage of the ignorance, mistakes, or necessity, of my neighbour; knowing assuredly, that he who wrongs his neighbour does the greatest injury to himself. And if at any time I am convinced that I have done him any wrong, I will make him satisfaction as far as I am able, without being forced by law to do unto others what I would they should do unto me.

To this end, I will endeavour to live peaceably and charitably with all people; avoiding all malice and revenge, and evil-speaking and contention, as much as I possibly can. And I will speak the truth at all times, and especially when I am called to my oath, whether it be for or against my worldly interest.

AS TO THE DUTY I OWE TO MYSELF--I am convinced, that my first and great concern ought to be, to take care of my own soul.

I do therefore steadfastly purpose to lead a serious life, as one under the sentence of death ought to do; to be sober, temperate, and chaste; that, when I die, I may be admitted into the paradise of God, where no unclean thing must enter.

To this end, I resolve to keep a watch over myself, that I may avoid all such company, such pleasure and diversions, as may make me lose my remembrance of death, and the account I must give. I will endeavour to be content with my condition, not coveting what is another man's, neither envying the prosperity, nor taking pleasure in the calamities, of my neighbour.

And forasmuch as a life of idleness and luxury is hateful to God, I will strive to do my duty in the state of life in which His providence has placed me; not flattering myself that I do no evil, when I do no good in my generation; lest the sentence upon the unfruitful tree be passed upon me, Cut it down, why cumbereth it the ground?

These duties I will endeavour to perform as a proof of the love and reverence I bear to God, who is so good as to accept [356] of my repentance, and a sincere though imperfect obedience. And if, through weakness, temptation, or sudden surprise, I shall be so unhappy as to forget any of these resolutions, and fall into sin, I will, as soon as I perceive it, beg God's pardon, and be more careful for the time to come.

Now, if your conscience can witness for you that you piously purpose to live after this manner, you may safely go to the Lord's table, and the blessing of God will go along with you.

Go no further till you have considered there purposes again; for they are to be the purposes of you whole life, and of every day of your life. And then address yourself to God, that through His gracious assistance, they may make the more lasting impression upon your mind.


GRACIOUS GOD, who hast given us precepts, and an example to walk by, let the remembrance of them be always seasonably present with me. Give me grace to practice them conscientiously; to reverence my betters, and all that are in authority, and especially such as are ordained to pray for, and to bless us in Thy name. Let my love for Thee and for my neighbour keep me from all acts of injustice, or injury, to his body or good name: let me never wilfully vex or trouble him; never covet what is his, or envy his prosperity. May I ever be ready to help and comfort all such as are in distress! Give me grace to be faithful in all things committed to my trust; that I may never pervert truth and justice; never propagate slander, or raise evil reports, nor ever tempt others to sin. Give me the spirit of temperance and chastity, and grant I may never provoke Thee, by any instance of uncleanness, to shut me out of Heaven, where no unclean thing can enter. Give me grace so to order my conversation, that I may encourage others to live as becomes the Gospel of Jesus Christ; for whose sake I beg to be heard. Amen.

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