Lord's Supper

Alexander Campbell wrote an article, “Weekly Communion,” in 1834 concerning the Lord’s Supper. Campbell stated,

“The whole gospel is first pronounced in words; then fully exhibited in Christian immersion, in the Lord’s day, and in the Lord’s supper. We hear it in words; we see it in ordinances and we exhibit it in works. Our death to sin, our burial with Christ, our resurrection to a new life are shown in immersion; our reconciliation to God, through the sacrifices of the Messiah, is set forth in the supper, and our joint interest and fellowship in him as members of his body, appear in the participation of one loaf. The Lord’s day not only commemorates the resurrection of Jesus, but anticipates the morning of the resurrection in which we shall enter into the rest which remains for the people of God.

Something was also said upon the conspicuity which this institution deserves in the weekly meetings of the family of God. The weekly meeting of the family of God, without any Lord’s table or Lord’s supper, is one of the poorest and most meagre things in creation. Miserably poor is that family, which, when assembled on some important occasion, has nothing to eat–not even a table in the house. Yet so poor is the family of God, if the numerous sects in our land give a fair representation of it. We cannot believe it. The disciples of Jesus always assembled on the Lord’s day to commemorate the Lord’s death and resurrection so long as the Christian religion continued pure and uncontaminated. It was shown that spiritual health, like physical health, requires not only wholesome food, but at proper and regular intervals. Therefore, a person may as reasonably say that he can enjoy good animal health on one meal in four days, as that he can be healthy in the Lord on one Lord’s supper in four weeks. And if it be so, that “frequent communion,” as it is called, diminishes its value or solemnity, then the seldomer, the better. Once in a lifetime, on that principle, is enough. Where there is no law there is no transgression. Where there is no precedent there is no error; and if it be left to every man’s own sense of propriety, there can be no fault in only commemorating the Lord’s death once in a lifetime. But if it be said that it is left to our own sense of propriety, then unless it can be shown that a whole church has one and the same sense of propriety, there can be no communion; for if it should seem fit to ninety in the hundred to commune monthly or quarterly, and not to ten, then there is a schism in the church, or no communion. The first disciples met on the first day of the week to break bread, as Paul argues.”