A Meditation for the Lord’s Supper.
See, O my soul, thy condescending Savior has spread a table for thee in the midst of this howling wilderness – thy great Melchisedec brings forth bread and wine to regale thee, and this is the language of his heart, “Eat, O my friend, drink, yea drink abundantly, O beloved, and as often as thou doest this, do it in remembrance of me.” My Savior, my Lord, and my God, I would fain obey thy gracious command, I would fain remember thee, but ah! thou knowest the stupidity of my heart, how apt it is to forgot thee; Lord, it is dead, Oh breathe upon it the breath of life: it is insensible, Oh! quicken it by the almighty agency of thy good Spirit; lead me to Gethsemane, lead me to Calvary, there open to my view, the heights and depths, the lengths and breadths of thine inexpressible, inconceivable love; there let me sit at thy feet, O thou whom my soul loveth, and remember with unutterable joy, with heart-felt delight, with the deepest contrition and humiliation, let me remember that I have redemption in the blood of Jesus, the forgiveness of my sins.
“Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah?” Lord, I remember thee, thou art the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of peace; thou art the self-existent Jehovah, the God whom angels and archangels adore; they bow at thy footstool, they fly at thy bidding; universal nature depends upon thee, thou art the Creator and Preserver of all things; thou art my God, I fall at thy feet, and remember with astonishment that thou hast so loved me, as to become for my sake a man, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief! I see thee born in a stable, laid in a manger, growing up to a mature age in poverty and obscurity, under the deep disguise of a carpenter’s son. O ye angels of God, ye bright etherial sons of the morning, how did your seraphic bosoms swell with astonishment, for ye beheld him – you acknowledged him for your sovereign, though the world knew him not.
I see thee, O Immanuel, my King and my God, prostrate in Gethsemane; there I remember thy soul was sorrowful, sorrowful even unto death: I see thee silent at Pilate’s bar, and groaning out thy spirit upon Calvary’s Cross; and I remember that in all this, thou stoodest forth as my faithful Surety and Bondsman, bound by thy own solemn engagement to pay to divine justice, the infinite debt I had contracted; and now I see thee inviolably faithful to thy covenant, clearing off my long arrears, with groans, with blood, with agony, and death. Lord, I remember thy dying love, and blush that I have ever forgot it; – be ashamed, O my soul, that thou art so little mindful of thy Savior; be ashamed that thou canst think of any thing else but him. O thou bleeding lover of my soul, I am amazed and cofounded, I am covered with self-abasement, at the vileness, the base ingratitude, and stupidity of my heart, which after all thou hast done, after all thou hast suffered is so awfully prone to wander from, and forget thee, the fountain of all blessedness. Thou hast set me as a seal upon thy heart; thou hast graven me upon the palms of thine hands, and though thou art exalted upon a throne of glory, yet thou wilt not for a moment forget me, thy watchful eye is continually upon me for good; thine ear is continually open to my prayer, and thine hand is every moment stretched out to bless me; thy heart is now glowing with the same ineffable, unbounded love to me, which constrained thee to die for my sake; all the waters of my ingratitude, all the floods of my forgetfulness of thee has not been able to quench that infinite flame. O my God, here is my happiness, thou wilt, thou dost love me still: surely then thou deservest all the affections of my soul. Thou sayest, “My son, my daughter, give me thine heart.” O take it, by the omnipotent power of thy Holy Spirit; set thyself as a seal upon my heart, I would offer it as a thank-offering unto thee, do thou bind the sacrifice to the horns of the altar; by the sweet silken cords of love divine, stamp thy own holy image upon this ungrateful, forgetful heart; and as thou dost pardon its vileness and baseness, O hold it so fast in thine Almighty hand, that it may never wander from, never forget thee more, thou God of my salvation.
Midst the solemn shades of night,
Let my soul remember thee,
Midst the noontide blaze of light,
Thou, my sun, shine bright on me:
Ever present be thy grace,
Be thy power ever nigh,
Till I see thy smiling face,
In the realms above the sky.
Text: Divine Poems and Essays, 1791, pp. 197-200.