A Meditation To Prepare For The Lord’s Supper

John Willison (1680–1750)
Sacramental Meditations (1747)
Meditation II.

I was entered into covenant with God by baptism, and was then brought under strong engagements to be the Lord’s. But O! I have broken my covenant and backslidden from Christ. If I were under the law or a covenant of works, I would be utterly undone. But, blessed be God, I am under the tenders of a covenant of grace that admits of repentance and a surety for the guilty criminal, and graciously promises pardon to the penitent believer—nay, it promises repentance to the hard-hearted and faith to the unbelieving, and pressingly invites backsliding children to return to God through a Mediator.

I do here take hold of this gracious and well-ordered covenant; Lord, seal it to me at thy table. What shall I render to the Lord for instituting this ordinance, for leaving this precious legacy and token of love to his church, for preserving it to this age and continuing it in this land, and particularly for sparing and allowing me to come unto it? Glory to God that I see the seal of this covenant, that I see this welcome rainbow, appearing in the clouds of wrath as a sign and token of God confirming his covenant to believers and securing them against a destroying deluge.

Blessed be God that I am neither among Jews not pagans upon earth, nor devils or damned souls in hell. I thank the Lord of heaven and earth that the things which were hid from the wise and prudent are now revealed unto babes, and that my eyes see and ears hear that which many prophets and kings desired to see and hear, and yet might not, and that now life and immortality are brought to light by the gospel.

O what would fallen angels and damned spirits give for such a day and such a prospect as I have? Lo, fire and brimstone from heaven are rained upon them, while manna is rained upon me. O that the solemn day I have in view may indeed be a day of the Son of man, a day of his power, and a day in his courts, better and sweeter to me than a thousand!

O that the holy table I am going to may be richly furnished by the great Master of the feast! O that he may grace it with his own presence and abundantly bless the provision, that by it the starving creature may be fed, the needy beggar may be satisfied, the hard heart may be softened, the cold affections warmed, the cloudy soul brightened, the straitened heart enlarged, the dim eye enlightened, the wandering mind fixed, and the doubting soul resolved! O that it may be a feast of fat things full of marrow, a meal signally blessed from heaven to me, that it may prove life to my soul, death to my sins, strength to my grace and poison to my lusts! Lord, let my heart begin to burn when I see the elements. Let my bands be loosed when I touch them. Let mine eyes be enlightened when I taste them. And let my whole soul be strengthened when I partake of them.

O that in receiving the bread and wine I may be enabled to receive Jesus Christ into my heart and may thereby get true and real infeftment [right to ownership] of all Christ’s purchase and a valid and unquestionable title to the everlasting inheritance sealed and confirmed to me!

Lord, make thyself known to me in the breaking of bread. Manifest thyself to me, as thou dost not do unto the world. O bring me into the banqueting house and let thy banner over me be love! Lord, come to the feast, for it will be a dead and heartless feast if thou be absent. Sit thou at the head of the table, carve everyone their portion, and give me a Benjamin’s mess (if it be thy will), that my soul may be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth may praise thee with joyful lips. And when the King sits at his table, let my spikenard send forth the smell thereof. “Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits” (Song 4:16). O let my well-beloved come and feed among the lilies till the day break and the shadows flee away!


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