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ADVICE concerning Spiritual
S there are many Places, especially in
very seldom administered: And as it may happen that sometimes the best Christians are by Sickness, and other warrantable Impediments, hindered from partaking of it when it is ; fome pious Divines * have advised in these Cases a Spiritual Communion to supply in some Sort the Want of facramental. To this purpose they advise us to set apart the fame Portion of Time, and to use the same Meditations and Prayers (changing only such Expressions as relate to actual Participation) as if we were to receive the Sacrament. As this is Matter of Advice only, and not of divine Commandment, every Man may do herein as he is disposed in his Heart. But no doubt such a spiritual Communion cannot fail of having a very good Effect: By it, the Refolutions we make at the Lord's Table will be constantly renewed, and will not be liable to be easily forgotten, which is too often the Case, when Communions are at a great Diftance from each other : By this we may always preserve a lively Sense of God's Mercies, an absolute Hatred against Sin, and a fervent Charity
* See Bishop Taylor's Worthy Communicant, p. 386; Jobnson's Unbloody Sacrifice, Part I, p: 349, 350 ; 2d Part, p. 261; Bishop Patrick's Advice to a Friend, p. 181; BiTop Wilson's Instruction for the Lord's Suprer, p. 173 ; Spiritual Combat, p. 246.
towards towards all Men: By this we shall keep up our "Love to our Saviour, and be alway prepared to present ourselves at his Table, whenfoever we have an opportunity; and in the mean while we fhall comfort ourselves, that whilst “ we do 1 truly repent of our Sins, and ftedfastly be“ lieve that Jesus Christ hath suffered Death “ upon the Cross for us, and shed his Blood “ for our Redemption, earnestly remembering “ the Benefits we have thereby, and giving him '" hearty Thanks therefore, we do eat and
“drink the Body and Blood of our Saviour “ profitably to our Soul's Health, altho' we “ do not receive the Sacrament with our « Mouth *.”
Nay, the spiritual Communion may be of good Use to those scrupulous Persons who are afraid
to partake of the Lord's Supper unless they : have had a grcat deal of Time beforehand for
attual Preparation. I do not praise them for their over Nicety (if I may so express it ;) nay, I think them, blameable therein, as I have shewed in the foregoing Tract; but yet such a fpiritual Communion will be useful to them, to bring to their Minds a Remembrance of what otherwise they would not have thought of; and by thus keeping themselves in a continual Preparation, they may in Time be brought to a Refolution of Partaking of the blessed Sacracrament whenever they have Opportunity.
As to the Devotions fit to be used on such Occasions, most of the foregoing ones may ferve without any Alteration, and the others with
very little. The penitent Confesion of Sins, >>. Gornmunion of obe Sick.
Advice concerning fpiritual Communion. 75 p. 11; The Prayer for the Grace of Thankfulnefs, p. 14; The commemorative Meditation on our Saviour's Sufferings, p. 25; The Scripture Palages, p. 38; The Meditations on our Saviour's Offices, p. 36--55, may be used withdut'any Alteration.
The Prayer for Charity, p. 15; at the Offering of our Alms, p. 18; the Meditation on the Words, do this in Remembrance of me, p. 20; the Ejaculations at the Lord's Table; p. 31, 32, may also serve with some flight Variation: The Communion Service too, may be very properly used, making the necessary Alterations t. You may begin your Devations, by fome Sucha
Prayer as this: Almighty God and moft merciful Father, who art every where, and more especially nigh unto all that call upon thee in Truth, I proftrate myself before thy divine Majefty with the deepest Humility of Soul and Body, to implore thy Grace at this Time, that by it I may be enabled to perform an acceptable Sacrifice unto thee.
It is’ a great Comfort to me to think that << unto thee all Hearts be open, all Desires 66 known, and from thee no Secrets are hid;" for thou knowest the Desire of my Heart to be to the facramental Bread and Cup, to commemorate in an especial Manner the Salvation of God, in the Congregation of thy People. I lament
+ This is already done in some Measure by Bishop Pem trick, in a private Prayer for the Ufe of those who want the Opportunity of receiving the holy Communion, or are any Ways disabled from going to it, at tbe usual Times of its publick Ada miniftration, printed fingly, and in his Advice to a Friend, p. 188. Allo in Hele's select Offices of private Devotion, p.410.
my want of Opportunity, acknowledging it my bounden Duty to join in this solemn Act of public Worship whenfoever proper Opportunity is afforded me: Pardon, good Lord, all my careless Omiffions of this Duty; my Want of Devotion when I performed it, and my Want of Improvement by it.
Accept, O Lord, of my Will and Defire, at this Time that I cannot outwardly communicate'; 'let thy gracious Presence be with me, since tho' I am ablent froin thy chosen People
, who now joyfully attend on thy holy Ordinances, yet I am present in Spirit, and heartily join with them in magnifying thine inestimable « Love in the Redemption of the World by
our Lord Jesus Christ," and in pleading the Merits of his all-sufficient Sacrifice for the Pardon of my Sins, and those of all sincere Penitents; and for the obtaining of all fuch Graces as
are necessary to further thine Elect in the Way to eternal Life.----0 whilft I am deprived of the external Elements of this blessed Sacrament, be thou pleased to grant me the spiritual Comforts and unspeakable Advantages they were intended to convey to all true Believers, which I noft humbly beg to be made Partaker of,
thro’ the Mediation of thy blessed Son my Redeemer. Amen.