This meditation in preparation for the Lord’s Supper is from Thomas Watson’s short book, The Holy Eucharist, published in 1665. It has been reprinted by Banner of Truth as The Lord’s Supper. The following is from his preface to the reader. May it stir our souls and aid us as we prepare for the Lord’s Supper this week.
When I contemplate the holiness and solemnity of the blessed sacrament, I cannot but have some awe upon my spirit, and think myself bound to hold this mystery in the highest veneration. The elements of bread and wine are in themselves common, but under the symbolical representation lie hid divine excellencies. Behold here the best of dainties, God is in his cheer. Here is the apple of the Tree of Life, here is the house of wine where the banner of free grace is gloriously displayed (Song of Sol. 2:4).
In the sacrament we see Christ broken before us, and his broken body is the only comfort for a broken heart. While we sit at this table, Christ’s precious spikenard of merit and grace sends forth its smell. The sacrament is both a healing and a sealing ordinance. Here our Savior leads his people up the Mount of Transfiguration, and gives them a glimpse of Paradise. How welcome should this jubilee of the soul be, wherein Christ appears in the splendor of his beauty, and draws golden lines of his love to the center of a believer’s heart.
Oh what flames of devotion should burn in our breasts! How agile and nimble should we be, mounting up as on wings of cherubim, when we are to meet the Prince of Glory, who brings the olive-branch of peace in his mouth, and whose kisses leave a print of Heaven upon the soul. The scope of this ensuing discourse is to raise a high value and appreciation of the sacrament, to excite holy ardours of soul in such as intend to partake of it.
Think not that it is enough to be outwardly devout at God’s table, drawing near to him with the lips, when the heart is far from him (Isa. 29:13-14). What is this but with Ephraim to compass God with lies (Hos. 11:12)? They who put off God with bare shows, he will put them off with bare signs. They who give God only the skin of duty shall carry away only the shell of comfort. Spirituality is the life of worship. If we come to the sacrament in due order (1 Cor. 11:28), we shall see him whom our souls love.
The Lord will give us a foretaste here, and reserve the after-taste of Glory for the Kingdom of Heaven. That this may be affected is my earnest prayer.