The Lord's Table - Extract
Charles Henry Mackintosh
The following extracts are taken from CHM’s article ‘Thoughts on the Lord's Supper; Designed for the help of Christians in this day of difficulty’.
They very helpfully bring out the meaning of this term 'The Lord's table' – so often misunderstood today.
We hope you find these helpful. We would encourage you to read the entire article and look at these extracts in their context (as well as the remainder of the article). Here is a .link to the full article.
It can only be the Lord's Supper, where the body is fully recognized; if the body be not recognized, it is pure sectarianism. The Lord Himself must be excluded. If the table be spread upon any narrower principle than that which would embrace the whole body of Christ, it is not the Lord's table, nor has it any claim upon the hearts of the faithful.
Suppose, then, I find myself in a place where two or more tables have been spread, what am I to do? I believe I am to inquire into the origin of these various tables — to see how it became needful to have more than one table. If, for example, a number of Christians meeting together, have admitted and retained amongst them any unsound principles, affecting the Person of the Son of God — or subversive of the unity of the Church of God on earth; if I say, such principles be admitted and retained in the assembly, or if persons who hold and teach them be received and acknowledged by the assembly; under such painful and humiliating circumstances, the table ceases to be the Lord's table. Why? Because I cannot take my place at it without identifying myself with manifestly unchristian principles. The same remark, of course, applies, if the case be that of corrupt conduct unjudged by the assembly. And then, if the table ceases to be the Lord's, it has no more claim on the Christian, who desires to keep himself pure, than any other sectarian table.
the table of the Lord, in any given locality, should be the exhibition of the unity of the whole Church, and where it is not this, it is not the Lord's table.
I must believe as the gospel commands me to believe, that ALL my sins are FOR EVER put away, ere I can take my place, with any measure of spiritual intelligence, at the Lord's table. If the matter be not viewed in this light, the Lord's Supper can only be regarded as a kind of step to the altar of God, and we are told, in the law, that we are not to go up by steps to God's altar, lest our nakedness be discovered. (Ex. 20:26.) The meaning of which is, that all human efforts to approach God must issue in the discovery of human nakedness.