Preparing for the Lord’s Supper, Part 2

Yesterday I posted some searching questions from the pen of James Alexander. The rest of the questions are below, but before I copy them I want to copy Alexander’s counsel to those who in answering these questions are tempted to despair: “Realize that you are looking for the reality and not the perfection, or even eminence of piety. Life exists in the infant as well as the robust man. Remember that all graces are not always developed in the same degree. Do not be misled by the experience of others. There is infinite diversity in the operations of the Spirit. Do not yield to alarm because you do not have the feelings which others have, or any certain order of exercises; but let the sure Word of God alone be your scales, standard, and touchstone.”

Here are the rest of Alexander’s questions, taken from his book, published by the Banner of Truth, Remember Him:

Do I conscientiously offer secret prayer daily? Do I ever experience delight in it? Have I a set time, and place, and order of exercise for performing this duty? Is it my purpose, as the head of a household, to maintain the worship of God in my family? Do I read a portion of the Holy Scriptures every day, and in a devout manner? Do I love the Bible? Do I ever perceive a sweetness in its truths? Do I find them suited to my necessities, and do I at times see a wonderful beauty, excellence, and glory in God’s Word? Do I take it as the ‘man of my counsel’ (Ps. 119:24), and endeavor to have both heart and life conformed to its demands?

Have I given myself away to God, solemnly and irrevocably, hoping for acceptance through Christ alone, and taking God in Christ, as the covenant God and satisfying portion of my soul? Does the glory of God appear to me the first, greatest, and best of all objects?

Have I such a love for mankind as was unknown to me before? Have I a great desire that the souls of men should be saved, by being brought to the Redeemer? Do I feel a peculiar love to God’s people, because they bear their Savior’s image? Am I at peace with every fellow Christian? If not, have I made the endeavors to be reconciled? Do I, from the heart forgive all who have wronged me? Do I desire and endeavor to grow in grace and in the knowledge of Christ my Savior, more and more? Am I willing to sit at his feet as a little child, and to submit my understanding implicitly to his teaching, imploring his Spirit to guide me into all necessary truth, to save me from all fatal errors, to enable me to receive the truth in the love of it, and to transform me more and more into a likeness of himself?

Do I love the Lord Jesus Christ? Do I especially love him as dying for my sins? Do I desire to remember him, in this his dying love, at his table? Am I sufficiently acquainted with the nature and design of this sacrament? Have I carefully considered the history of our Lord’s sufferings, in the four Gospels? Have I diligently read the accounts of this institution, in the New Testament? Am I ready, as a sinner redeemed by this blood, to go to this ordinance? Am I desirous of communion in it with Christ’s people? Am I willing to submit myself to the government and discipline of the Church? Do I feel it to be important to adorn Christian profession by a holy, exemplary, amiable, and blameless walk? Do I fear to bring a reproach on the cause of Christ? Am I afraid of backsliding, and of being left to return to a state of carelessness and indifference in religion? Have I any sufficient reason for withholding the profession of my faith? And what is my duty, in consideration of the possibility that I may be summoned into eternity before another communion service?


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