The Lord’s Supper has been and continues to be a focal point of discussion for Christians. While this Puritan author does not discuss the issue of paedocommunion, the frequency of observing the Supper, or the manner of Christ’s presence in the sacrament, Thomas Watson, instead, turns the reader’s attention to Christ. The majority of the book consists of meditations drawn from Matthew 26:22–28 and 1 Corinthians 11:28. In these and other passages he remarks on the importance of the believer recalling Christ’s work on behalf of sinners and seeing the sacrament as a means of grace.
In brief chapters he examines the benefits of the Supper, the value and virtue of Christ’s blood being shed for sinners, and the preparation for coming to the Table. He stresses that the virtue of the Supper rests in Christ, not in the depth of one’s faith. His writing and Biblical counsel encourage the weak Christian to come and partake of the elements rather than hold back. Watson devotes a whole chapter to answering objections Christians may give when not partaking of the Supper. Of course, he does not counsel those who are holding on to sin to come to the table. He concludes with a chapter devoted to comfort for believers and warnings for the unsaved.
I thoroughly enjoy reading Watson’s writings. They speak to the heart. His wordcraft is timeless. A couple of examples: “We write in our letters, ‘Your friend until death!’ But Christ wrote in another style, ‘Your friend after death!’”(p. 25) and “Christ died once but loves ever,” (p. 25). In another place he states, “Kings’ crowns are only crosses, but the cross of Christ is the only crown” (p. 38).
As Christians we need to take every thought captive for Christ. Reading widely, including books on history, theology, government, science, etc., will broaden our understanding of the world. This short volume, though limited in scope, provides much valuable insight into the importance of the Lord’s Supper. It is a valuable book to use in preparing to partake of the Supper. It points us to Christ’s finished work and encourages us to sup with Christ, looking toward the full realization of our fellowship with Him in eternity.
This volume can be useful in instructing those ignorant of the meaning and purpose of the Supper. The brief chapters can be read randomly. Each chapter communicates with clarity and profoundness.
- Byron Snapp
Byron Snapp is a graduate of King College (B.A.) and Reformed Theological Seminary (M.Div.). He was Associate Pastor at Calvary Reformed Presbyterian Church, Hampton, Virginia, from 1994 until his retirement in December 2014. He is a native of Marion, Virginia. He has had pastorates in Leakesville, Mississippi, and Gaffney, South Carolina. He served as Assistant Pastor in Cedar Bluff, Virginia prior to his ministry at Calvary Reformed. He has served as editor of the Presbyterian Witness and was a contributor to A Comprehensive Faith and Election Day Sermons. He is currently a member of Westminster Presbytery in the PCA. He and his wife Janey have 3 children and several grandchildren.