Prepare to meet thy God, O Israel.
C. H. MACKINTOSH (1820-1896): It may be asked, Is there no preparation necessary? Are we to sit down at the table of the Lord with as much indifference as if we were sitting down to any ordinary supper table? Surely not.
C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): I believe there ought to be a preparation before the Lord’s Supper. I do not believe in Mrs. Toogood’s preparation, who spent a week in preparing, and then finding it was not the Ordinance Sunday, she said she had lost all the week. I do not believe in that kind of preparation, but I do believe in a holy preparation for the Lord’s Supper: when we can on a Saturday if possible, spend an hour in quiet meditation on Christ, and the passion of Jesus.
MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714): Self-examination is necessary to a right attendance at this holy ordinance.
JOHN FLAVEL (1630-1691): Prepare with all diligence―Take pains with thy dull heart; cleanse thy polluted heart; compose thy vain heart; remember how great a presence thou art approaching.
RICHARD SIBBES (1577-1635): And even if we are not so prepared as we should be, yet let us pray as Hezekiah did: “The good LORD pardon every one that prepareth his heart to seek God, the LORD God of his fathers, though he be not cleansed according to the purifications of the sanctuary,” II Chronicles 30:18,19. Then we come comfortably to this holy sacrament, and with much fruit. This should carry us through all duties with much cheerfulness, that, if we hate our corruptions and strive against them, they shall not be counted ours.
JOHN CALVIN (1509-1564): Here is a method that is easy to learn. If you want to make right use of the benefits Christ bestows, bring faith and repentance to the Supper. The test of whether you are truly prepared is found in these two things.
J. C. RYLE (1816-1900): A man’s repentance may be very imperfect. Never mind! Is it real? Does he truly repent at all? His faith in Christ may be very weak. Never mind! Is it real?
ROBERT MURRAY M’CHEYNE (1813-1843): Some seem to think that we are to find peace at first by looking to Christ, and afterwards by seeing the life of God advancing in your own soul.
MARY WINSLOW (1774-1854): In the Acts of the Apostles, you will find that they invariably stated to sinners the things concerning Jesus, and when they heard they believed and rejoiced. You do not find that they looked into their own hearts for evidences when they were called to believe.
C. H. SPURGEON: “I feel as if I were coming to the communion table quite unfit to come.” Is that what you say?
D. L. MOODY (1837-1899): A great many are saying, “Do you feel this and that? Do you feel, do you feel, do you feel?” God does not want you to feel: He tells you to believe. He says, “When I see the blood I will pass over you;” and, if you are sheltered behind the blood, you are perfectly safe and secure. Suppose I say to a man, “Do you feel that you own this piece of land?” He looks at me a moment, and thinks I must be crazy. He says, “Feel? Why, feeling has nothing to do with it. I look at the title: that is all I want.” Do you see? all you have to do with is the title.
MARTYN LLOYD-JONES (1899-1981): There is nothing of any value in any of us, and if you are looking to yourself in any sense you are in the hands of the devil, he has defeated you with his wiles. You must see clearly that, as you are, if you are looking to Christ, and relying only upon His perfect work on your behalf, you are saved. He saves you by the work He completed on your behalf, and by that alone. That is the answer!
JOHANN VON STAUPITZ (1460-1534): Why torment thyself with all these speculations and high thoughts? Look to the wounds of Jesus Christ, to the blood which He has shed for thee: then thou shalt see the grace of God. Instead of making a martyr of thyself for thy faults, throw thyself into the arms of the Redeemer.
C. H. SPURGEON: When you look within, it should be to see with grief what the filthiness is; but to get rid of that filthiness you must look beyond yourself. I remember D. L. Moody saying that a looking-glass was a capital thing to show you the spots on your face; but you could not wash in a looking-glass. You want something very different when you would make your face clean. So let your eyes look right on—“To the full atonement made, to the utmost ransom paid.” Forget yourself, and think only of Christ.
MARY WINSLOW: Precious friend, look full at Jesus. Look no longer to your own weak, sinful heart…All your trouble arises from your looking for evidences within; and when Satan blinds your eye, and you cannot find them directly you think you have no part or lot in this matter. Your salvation does not hinge in the slightest degree upon what is done in you or by you, but what Christ has done for sinners.
ROBERT MURRAY M’CHEYNE: Clear away all dimness. Look ever on the sinless One, in Whom alone you stand.
R. C. CHAPMAN (1803-1902): Let us not be discouraged by any humiliating discoveries we may make of the evils of our hearts. God knows them all, and has provided the blood of Jesus Christ His Son to cleanse us from all sin.
J. C. RYLE (1816-1900): A sense of our own utter unworthiness is the best worthiness we can bring. A deep feeling of our own entire indebtedness to Christ for all we have and hope for, is the best feeling we can bring with us.
JOHN CALVIN: If humbled by a knowledge of your misery, you lean wholly on Christ’s grace and rest upon it, then be assured that you are a guest worthy to approach that table.
MARTIN LUTHER (1483-1546): Never are men more unfit, than when they think themselves most fit, and best prepared for their duty; never more fit, than when most humbled and ashamed, in a sense of their own unfitness.
RALPH ERSKINE (1685-1752): Are there any here, who, under a sense of sin, see their absolute need of this sacrifice of Christ; who, under a sense of their unworthiness, are fearing and trembling to approach the Lord’s table, and yet would give all the world for a share of the saving and healing virtue of this glorious sacrifice; and see nothing in all the world so fit for them as Christ? I invite them to the Lord’s table.