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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 last enquiry you are to make is, Whether you are in
Charity with all the World.

CONCERNING which, take especial notice, that the two great ends of this Ordinance mentioned in Scripture, are: The first, To keep up the remembrance of Christ's death, till His coming again; The second, To be a solemn token of our communion with Jesus Christ, and of our Union and charity with all His family.

To this end He has ordained, that as all Christians, high and low, rich and poor, shall make up one body, of which He is the Head; and one family of which He is the Master; so they should all eat at one table, of one bread, as a sign of [361] that love, and peace, and friendship, and readiness to help one another, as occasion shall require, and as members of the same body will naturally do.

And indeed your acceptance with God will very much depend upon your hearty good-will for every Christian, and for all mankind.

Therefore you must take especial care, lest there be any person with whom you are not at peace; whom you cannot forgive, and pray for, and do him all the good that can in reason be expected from you: that you be disposed to make satisfaction to any person that has been injured by you, or who may have taken just offence at your words or actions; this being a duty which Jesus Christ Himself has commanded (Matt. v. 23). And that you be ready to forgive every person who may have injured you, as you expect forgiveness of God: remembering the dreadful sentence mentioned in Matt. xviii., "Thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all thy debt: shouldest not thou have had compassion on thy fellow-servant, even as I had pity on thee? And the lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors."

And lastly, you are to take care that you love, not in word only, but in deed, and in truth; that is, that you do good, as well as give good works; and relieve Jesus Christ in His poor members.

And believe it for a certain truth, that a charitable and forgiving temper is not near so beneficial to any body as to him that hath it; it being more blessed to give, than to receive; and to forgive, than to insist upon satisfaction for injuries and wrongs done to us (Acts xx. 35).

This being so necessary a grace, you will not fail to beg of God most earnestly to vouchsafe it to you.


This is my commandment, that ye love one another as I have loved you. Hear, O my soul, what thy Saviour has commanded thee: He who loved us, and gave Himself an offering and a sacrifice to God for us.

May this Thy love, O Jesus, be the motive and pattern of my love and charity for all mankind! Where this hath not [362] been my practice, I implore Thy gracious pardon; and beseech Thee to fortify my soul against all the suggestions of Satan, or my corrupt nature and blind passions; that I may always be prepared to go to Thine altar with the same charitable dispositions with which I desire and hope to die.

Thou, O Jesus, madest Thine enemies Thy friends, by laying down Thy life for them. Be Thou my advocate with God for grace to follow Thy heavenly charity and example, that I may overcome evil with good; that I, and all the members of Thy family, may love as brethren: that we may always meet at Thy table as sincere friends, and part with true love and affection, as becomes Thy disciples. Amen.

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