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النشر الإلكتروني

Does not the scripture say, "A man must be born again, if he would enter into the kingdom of heaven?" John iii. 3, 5. What is this being born again, or regeneration?

Here perhaps, this may be described by other expressions and metaphors of scripture, such as "being converted unto God, being new created in Christ Jesus unto good works, being raised again from the dead, or dying to sin and living to righteousness;" all which denote a great and general change. made in the soul.

What evidences have I that I am born again, or that I have had such a change wrought upon me? What difference can I find between what I once was, and what I now am ? Whether my thoughts and desires, my chief hopes, wishes and delights, are the same that ever they were? Or whether I find any change in the temper of my mind from sin to holiness? Note here, Such a change will commonly be less apparent in those, who have enjoyed a religious education from their childhood.

What are my present chief desires, and purposes, and holy resolutions? Or what is, and shall be the chief aim, end and design of my life?

Have I a settled bent and bias of soul, to hate and avoid every sin, and to follow after God and godliness, according to the rules of the gospel?

Note, This is a better evidence of true conversion, than any passionate effects or sensations, either of love, grief or joy. Am I able of myself to fulfil these purposes, and to persevere in them, or how shall I be made able?

What is my duty then in order to this happy end?

Here watchfulness, and prayer to God, trust and dependence on Christ, or the holy Spirit, will come in.

Have I, in any instances, been enabled to suppress my sinful inclinations, my irregular passions, and to resist the temptations of sin, which I have met with in the world?

In all these religious exercises, in secret and in public, what help have I had from any particular incidents of life, from any providences of God, toward myself, or towards others?

Have any particular sermons, occasional discourses, texts of scripture, viz. commands, threatenings, promises, reproofs, examples, &c. been of any special use to me? and what are those texts of scripture, that have been made so useful to my own special occasions?

What have been the evident good effects, and particular influences of any of these things upon me? And have I endeavoured to preserve and improve them? JIave they been vanishing or lasting?

VI. Questions relating to Baptism, the Lord's-Supper, and Fellowship with a Christian Church.

HAVE I been baptized in my infancy?

What is the design of baptism in infancy?

What blessings are represented by this washing with water, in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost?

What solemn engagements do I lie under hereby ?

Am I now willing, humbly, to confirm what was done in my infancy that is, do I give myself up to be saved in this way, by the grace and mercy of God the Father, by the mediation and atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ his Son, and by the aids or operations of the blessed Spirit, to profess this religion.

Do I humbly lay hold of these promised blessings of the covenant of grace for myself? And do I lay myself under these engagements to practise the christian duties, through the assistance of divine grace?

Or, if I have not been baptised in my infancy, am I now desirous of christian baptism?

Do I humbly desire the benefits, or blessings, that are represented thereby ?

Am I willing to devote myself to God, in this appointed seal of his covenant?

Am I willing to lay myself under solemn engagements to fulfil the duties of christianity to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, trusting in the aids of divine grace?

What is the Lord's-Supper?

What doth the bread and wine in it signify?

What does my eating the bread and drinking the wine, mean and design?

What are the special benefits which are hereby represented, and do I humbly and thankfully accept them?

And what are the christian duties to which I am hereby engaged and do I desire, and will I endeavour to fulfil them?

What is church fellowship, or joining in the communion of a christian church?

What are the benefits or advantages that I may hope for, or obtain hereby?

What are the christian duties that I oblige myself to, by joining myself to such a society of christians?

Are my desires and designs sincere in all these enquiries, and in my engagements to walk with God, according to the rule of his gospel, till he shall please to call me by death, to a better world?

Edward Baines, Printer, Leeds.


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