« AnteriorContinuar »
ASSISTANT TO FAMILY RELIGION..
RESOLUTIONS, AND QUESTIONS OF SELF-EXAMINATION."
Resolution 1. I will be grateful for the Light of nature, which makes known the existence and most of the perfections of God, and the present condition and many of the duties of man; and, though I must consider it but a partial and imperfect guide in truth and duty, yet I will endeavour to act according to its dictates.
Question of self-examination. Do I study the works of God to learn His character, and my duty?
R. 2. I will be grateful for the Holy Scriptures, which contain a full and perfect revelation of the Divine mind and will, and are substantiated as of heavenly origin by the most convincing and abundant evidence; and I will take them for the rule of my faith and practice, study much to understand their sacred contents, and test all my religious principles and conduct by them.
Q. Do I, especially when infidelity is prevalent, and errours are published, daily resort to the Bible as my
* It is to be understood and remembered, that all resolutions should be made in dependance on the grace of God, and not in one's own strength. It may be useful to read these resolutions, and questions of self-examination, frequently, and statedly, as at the close of every day, week, month, and year.
only sure standard? and do l exercise gratitude for this heavenly guide?
R. 3. I will love, and rejoice in, the adorable, amiable, perfect, and glorious character of God, natural and moral, as clearly revealed in the Sacred Oracles, and will endeavour to conform to it in all things conformable by me.
Q. Do I possess the moral likeness of God? and ilo 1 exhibit it in my daily deportment?
R. 4. I will consider the doctrine of the Trinity in the Godhead, as a doctrine most clearly revealed in the Bible, though highly mysterious in respect to the manner, in which the three Divine Persons subsist in the Divine essence, and as most important, because laying a glorious foundation for the grand economy of man's salvation as published in the gospel; and I will receive the doctrine with profound reverence, deep humility, firm faith, and exercise due homage and gratitude to the different Persons, for the part they severally take in the plan of redemption.
Q. Do I receive the doctrine of the Trinity with reverence, humility, faith, and gratitude? and is my communion with God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost?
R. 5. I will view the doctrine of divine purposes as clearly taught by reason and revelation, and as demanding the full assent and consent of every intelligent and moral creature in the universe, because most holy in nature and design. and as a subject of holy admiration, support, and thanksgiving
Q. Do I believe, and rejoice, in, the supreme and universal dominion of God, whose counsel stands forever?
R. 6. I will contemplate upon the works of creation with wonder and delight, and endeavour to see the character of God illustriously unfolded in them, and holiness and happiness promoted by them, and
feel that the Author of them is worthy of the supreme love and homage of all intelligent creatures.
Q. Am I pleased with the design, which God had in view in His works of creation? and do I render unto Him, the great Author of all things, that homage and love which are justly His due?
R. 7. I will meditate upon the providence of God as general and particular, extending as well to the minutest as to the greatest events which take place; and I will rejoice that it is so comprehensive, so wise, so benevolent, and so righteous, and affords a ground for the highest consolation of all holy creatures, and that, while it extends to revolving worlds, I am not overlooked in the great system of things.
Q. Do I rejoice in the providence of God? Do Ł acknowledge his hand in all events? Do I feel that my own heart is ever open to His view?
R. 8. "I will view the existence of angels, holy and apostate, as a reality, and love the holy angels, the noblest and brightest of creatures, for their holiness, exercise gratitude for their benevolent exertions in guiding, protecting, and ministering to them, who shall be heirs of salvation, respect them for their dignity and worth, and imitate their holy example; and I will detest the character and conduct of unholy angels or. devils, fear their evil devices, resist their wicked temptations, and avoid an imitation of their unhallowed example.
Q. Do I. resemble the holy or the apostate angels? and am I preparing for the endless society of the former, or the latter? · R. 9. I will regard man as 'noble and exalted in his nature, holy in his primitive state as coming from the hands of his Maker, capable of most desirable attainments in knowledge, holiness and happiness, lord of this lower creation, responsible in all his feelings and conduct, and destined to an endless state of glory and felicity, or of shame and
wretchedness, according to the moral character, which he shall form while in probation.
Q. Does the thought often rise in my mind, that I am a rational and responsible creature of God, and that my eternal happiness or misery is suspended on my probationary conduct?
R. 10. I will consider the moral law, which God has given to man for the rule of his conduct, as immutable and spriritual, and as extending in its requisitions to all the thoughts, affections, words, and actions, and as holy, just, and good in its precept and penalty, and, therefore, as worthy of universal, perpetual, and personal obedience, and that every transgression of it is sin, and exposes to endless misery
Q. Is not my understanding convinced, that the law of God is holy? and does not my conscience condemn me is a transgressor? Do I then fåll under the sentence of ihat law, whose penalty is eternal death?
R. 11. I will reflect much upon the apostacy, depravity, and ruin of mankind, and deplore their awful condition and wretchedness by sin.
Q. Is my heart awake to the prevalence of sin, suffering, and death among mankind? and is it my frequent prayer, Lord! have mercy on me, and all men, for we are sinners?
R. 12. I will contemplate much upon the scheme of salvation by Christ, and rejoice and give thanks, that by Him a complete atonement for sin has been made, so that now a way is opened for the free and consistent exercise of mercy to man, in the method which God has seen fit to adopt.
Q. Do I cordially approve the character and mediatorial work of Christ and have 1 a good hope of pardon and salvation through His death?
R. 13. I will meditate much upon the declaration of Christ, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God," and strive to have just views of the nature, necessity, and evidences of
the new birth, and if, upon examination, I find myself to be a subject of the special influences of the Holy Spirit, I will ascribe all the glory to Him, who has made me to differ.
Q. Have I been born of the Spirit? Am I a new creature in Christ Jesus? Are the evidences of my good estate clear and increasing?
R. 14. I will consider true holy love as most excellent and amiable in its nature and effects, and as constituting the true glory of Jehovah, the true glory of angels, and the true glory of man; and I will endeavour to exercise this love at all times the love of benevolence towards all beings, susceptible of happiness and misery, and the love of complacency towards all holy beings.
Q. Do I possess this holy love, which is the sum of all moral virtue and excellence? and does it control and sanctify my whole nature?
R. 15. I will consider repentance as man's immediate duty, and will endeavour to exercise at all times, that godly sorrow for sin, which is unto salvation.
Q. Do I possess true evangelical repentance? and do I bring forth fruits, meet for repentance?
R. 16. I will endeavour to understand the nature of true gospel faith, and to believe all the Divine testimony concerning Christ and the way of salvation by Him, and to place implicit confidence in Him as the Redeemer of sinners, and to demonstrate my faith by my works.
Q. Am I a believer or an infidel? Is my faith speculative or practical? Have I seen the excellence of the gospel? and do I entrust my soul to Christ as an almighty Saviour?
R. 17. I will adore the grace of God in the justification of the believer, whereby the sinner is absolved from his sins, accounted righteous, and treated as though he had never sinned, and I will consider the doctrine of justification by faith as a