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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


The next thing you are to enquire into is, Whether you have a
lively faith in God's mercy through Christ

NOW, because so very much depends upon our having such a faith, the Holy Ghost has given us all the arguments, all the assurance, that our hearts can desire. God so loved the world, that He spared not His own Son, (saith the Apostle,) but gave Him up for us all (Rom. viii. 32.). Can there be a greater, a surer pledge of the love of God for His poor creatures? He made Him to be sin (that is, a sin-offering): He delivered Him to death in our stead. Can we, after this, doubt of, or distrust, the mercy of God?

Observe the method St. Paul takes to confirm our faith, by giving us the strongest proofs of our acceptance with God. "God," saith he, "commended His love to us, in that while we were enemies we were reconciled to Him by the death of His son: much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life (Rom. v. 10)." What may we not, after this, hope for from God?

In short, Jesus Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law. Through Him we have peace with God (Rom. v. 1). This is the only foundation of our faith, our hope, and confidence. He is our Sacrifice, our Mediator, our Advocate; the knowledge of which ought to remove all occasions of despair and fear, from the displeasure of God.

Indeed, if we should attempt to go to God without an interest in Christ, we could hope for nothing but to be rejected; but when we go to Him as redeemed by His own Son; and represent to Him, as we do in this holy Sacrament, what He has done and suffered for us, we approach Him as entirely reconciled to us.

But then you must remember, that He gave Himself for us, and hath redeemed us from the power of the devil, for this end, that He may purify unto Himself a people consecrated for His service. Consecrate therefore yourself to Jesus [358] Christ, and with faithful Abraham stagger not at the promises of God; but go to this Sacrament with a full assurance of faith, that God will pardon your sins, and give you all the graces you stand in need of. Only remember, that this faith itself is the gift of God, and must be prayed for, for Christ's sake: which you may do after this manner:


I BESEECH Thee, O God, by that love which moved Thee to give Thy Son for lost mankind; give me a faith in Thy promises for His sake, as firm as Thy word, on which my faith is grounded; and let me never presume upon Thy gracious promises, without sincerely endeavouring to perform the conditions on which they were made, and without being zealous of good works, for which we were redeemed. May the remembrance of my Saviour's love, and of Thy great mercy, be ever seasonably present with me, to keep me from despair! And may my faith in Thy promises support me in the hour of death! May my Redeemer be my refuge, His blood and merit plead for me, that I may have my lot and portion with those whom He hath purchased with His most precious blood. Amen.

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