Dr. Robert Richardson, medical doctor, professor, and biographer of Alexander Campbell, was the foremost advocate of the Spiritual life in the 19th-century Stone-Campbell movement. Nowhere is his vision of that life more powerful and eloquent than in the many communion meditations he delivered to the Bethany Church of Christ in the 1840s and 50s.
J. W. McGarvey was a student at Bethany College in 1847-48 and heard many of them. "The richest service of all," he later wrote, "was when they had a sermon by Mr. Campbell followed by Dr. Richardson in a five- or ten-minute talk at the Lord's table." These talks were gems of beauty, he said.
Later, at the urging of McGarvey and others, Richardson collected 24 of them into a small book. It remains today the first and greatest of the devotional books written in the Stone-Campbell movement. Its message is as powerful and relevant today as it was in the mid-1800s.