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as a merchant does in keeping accounts of his gains and losses, and making an accurate estimate of the true state of his affairs. Having given these general directions, we will proceed to give more particular hints for helping in this important duty.
Let us always begin it with prayer.
A SHORT PRAYER BEFORE SELF-EXAMINATION.
Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who art of purer eyes than to behold iniquity, who searchest the heart and triest the innermost thoughts, I beseech thee now to assist me in looking into my own heart, and my own life. Feeling and acknowledging that my heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, I beseech thee to shew me to myself. Enable me to try myself by the standard of thy holy word, and discover the true state of my soul; give me repentance for all my past sins, lively faith in Jesus Christ, the only Saviour from sin, deep humility before thee, and such tempers and dispositions as are meet for those who assemble round the table of our gracious Redeemer. These things I ask for his name's sake.
Let us now proceed to compare our hearts and lives with God's holy law: the following forms of selfexamination are added for this purpose.
SPECIMENS OF QUESTIONS FOR SELF
No. I.--THE HOLY LAW OF GOD. Mark xii, 30, 31.
Do I love the Lord my God with all my heart, with
all my mind, with all my soul, and with all my strength?
Do I know any thing of his glorious perfections, and the bless
ings which he has bestowed? Do I desire his favour, and fear his displeasure above every
thing? With what feelings do I regard his word, his house, hís day,
his ordinances, his people? Is my mind in general alienated from God, and forgetful of
him? Do I think much and frequently of him, and am I zealous for
his glory? Do I enjoy communion with him when I pray to him, or desire
this? Do I strive to become like him? Are all the faculties of my soul engaged to render him affec
tionate, intelligent, sincere, and resolute service?
Do I love my neighbour as myself? Do I know that all mankind are entitled to my benevolence
and love? Am I free from all malice, ill will, and enmity, to every human
being ? Do I forbear doing to them what I should dislike to have
done to me, whether it be fraud, evil speaking, conterapt, or
the like? Am I actively desiring, and seeking the good of all around me,
even as I desire and seek my own? Is my love to others like that of Christ to me? Do I love, not in word only, but in deed, and in truth?What do I do for the relief of the needy and destitute? Am I seeking the salvation of my fellow creatures? Have I such a knowledge of the law as to see that one failure
exposes me to its penalty ?
Has the law taught me my sinfulness, and as a schoolmaster led
me to Christ? And does the knowledge of Christ make me constantly en
deavour to fulfil the law ?
No. II.—THE GOSPEL. Rom. i, 16, 17. Have I deeply felt my corruption and guilt before God? Have I seen my own helplessness as to salvation? Do I know and believe that the Gospel is the appointed and
only and complete way of salvation ? Do I expect the aid of divine power in a cordial reception of it? Am I so believing in Jesus as to rely upon him as my Saviour ? Do I know that God accounts men righteous through faith in
him ? Am I seeking righteousness in this way? Is my life, as it regards spiritual things, pot a life of sight and
sense, but of faith? Am I truly grateful to God for his great salvation ? Am I evidencing this by a care to please him in all things ?
No. III.-REPENTANCE AND FAITH. Acts xx, 21.
Do I repent of my iniquities? Am I acquainted with, and do I love, the strictness of God's
holy law? Have I any knowledge of the Divine purity, justice, and good
ness? Have these things led me to see my own exceeding sinfulness ? Have I in consequence felt grieved for sin ? Have I determined to forsake all sin, however dear to me? Have I acknowledged my sinfulness before God? Have I aciually turned from my sins?
Do I believe in Jesus Christ as my only Saviour? Have I seen my danger on acconnt of sin? Do I know what the Scriptures say of Christ as able to save? Have I seen that he is full of grace and truth? Do I rely on him for pardon, and for strength to serve him? Do I make use of him, in all his offices, as Prophet, Priest, and
No. IV.THE BEATITUDES. Matt. v, 3--10.
Do I feel that I am unable to help myself?
Do I mourn for sin ?
Do I see what dreadful evil sin has produced?
with godly sorrow ?
Have I Christian meekness ? Do I contend with my proud and unholy tempers? Am I patient under crosses, trials, and injuries, and willing to
suffer reproach for Christ's sake ? Do I quietly submit to God's painful dispensations? Do I endeavour to unite ardent zeal with patient meekness?
Do I hunger and thirst after righteousness? Am I deeply sensible of my want of righteousness? Do I earnestly desire to obtain that righteousness which is
through the faith of Christ? Do I supremely desire to be wholly free from the dominion,
pollution, and power, as well as from the guilt of sin?
Ám I merciful?
Have the miseries of others called forth compassion and efforts
to relieve them ? Have I sought to find out the poor and the afflicted ? Have I manifested a merciful disposition towards all under me?
Am I pure in heart? Do the sins of my heart grieve me? Do I avoid all those occasions which I have found to be temp
tations to impurity ? Is my eye single, and my heart one for God? Are all carnal, sensual, and sinful desires mortified ?
Am I a peace-maker? Is my own conduct such as not to excite contention and dis. putes, but to diffuse harmony and love?
Have I, as much I could, promoted brotherly affection and
union in my family? Do I seek to unite together those that have quarrelled ? Am I labouring to spread the Gospel of peace ?
Do I suffer persecution for righteousness' sake? Is my religion contrary to the course of this world? Is all the occasion of offence I give, my holy and righteous
conduct ? Do the ungodly laugh at, revile, or oppose my religion? Have I ever suffered any loss for conscience-sake?
No. V.-THE FLESH AND THE SPIRIT. Am I sensible that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good
thing? Have I learned to distinguish between the motions of the flesh
and of the Spirit? Am I striving to live under the influence of the good Spirit? Do I experience an inward conflict between the flesh and the
Spirit? Have I crucified the flesh with its affections and lusts? Particularly do I yield to any of the following sins, in thought,
word, or deed? Adultery,
Emulations, Murders, Lasciviousness,
Or the like? Do I cultivate and seek to manifest all holy dispositions and
affections, and especially do I bring forth the fruit of the
Spirit as here enumerated ? Love,
Long-suffering, Faith, Joy,
No. VI.- CHRISTIAN GRACES. 2 Pet. i, 4.-7.
Do I receive the promises of the Bible as altogether sure ?
world through Inst?