several sets of questions, from which you may derive
some aid in the performance of this duty. By
sitting down in your closet, after finishing the duties
of the day, and seriously and prayerfully engaging
in this exercise, you may try your conduct and feelings
by the rules laid down in the Word of God. You
may thus bring to remembrance the exercises of your
heart, as well as your actions; and be reminded of
neglected duty, and of those great practical truths,
which ought ever to be kept before your mind.
You may bring up your sins, and set them in order
before you; and discover your easily besetting sins.
You may be led to exercise penitential sorrow of heart,
and be driven anew to the cross of Christ for pardon,
and for strength to subdue indwelling corruption.
Whenever you discover that you have exercised any correct
feeling, or that your conduct has in any respect been
conformed to the word of God, acknowledge with gratitude
his grace in it, and give him the glory. Wherein
you find you have been deficient, confess your sin
before God, and apply afresh to the blood of Christ,
which “cleanseth from all sin.” But
be cautious that you do not put your feelings of regret,
your tears and sorrows, in the place of the great sacrifice.
Remember that no degree of sorrow can atone for sin;
and that only is godly sorrow
which leads to
the blood of Jesus. Any peace of conscience,
obtained from any other source, must be false peace.
It is in believing
, only, that we can have
joy and peace
You will find advantage from varying this exercise.
When we frequently repeat anything in the same form,
we are in danger of acquiring a careless habit, so
that it will lose its effect. Sometimes take the
ten commandments, and examine your actions and motives
by them. And, in doing this, you will find great
help from the explanation of the commandments contained
in the Assembly’s Shorter Catechism. This
shows their spirituality, and brings them home to
the heart. Again, you may take some portion of
Scripture, which contains precepts for the regulation
of our conduct, and compare the actions of the day
with them. Or, you may take the life of Christ
as a pattern, compare your conduct and motives with
it, and see whether in all things you have manifested
But do not be satisfied till the exercise, however
performed, has taken hold of the heart, and led to
penitence for sin, and a sense of pardon through the
blood of Christ, which accompanies true contrition;
for “the Lord is nigh unto them that are of
a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite
I have inserted several sets of questions for every
day in the week, differing in length, to prevent monotony,
and to accommodate those occasions when you have more
or less time.