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important, that the meeting should macies of a private society of friends by open with the reading of a portion alluding to names, places, or events; of the Scriptures, and solemn prayer or by stating what might justly be said, for the blessing of God upon its de- for the encouragement of similar inliberations.
stitutions, of the spirit of love and We have now lying before us joy and peace, the absence of conmore than a thousand questions dis- troversy, display, or party-spirit, the cussed at the meetings of a society simplicity and godly sincerity, and constructed very much upon the the mutual consolation and instrucabove plan, and which for many tion, which by the blessing of God years has been found a source of have characterised this Christian asgreat spiritual benefit to its mem- sociation; or the projects of religious bers; and we have thought that benevolence and utility which have it would not be unacceptable to grown out of it: but many of the our readers to insert a considerable following questions for discussion portion of them in our pages. They appear to us too valuable to be will suggest many useful theses, not lost, and we therefore feel much only for clerical meetings, but for pleasure in presenting them to our sermons, social discussions, and pri- readers. vate meditation. We at first intended to make a selection, omitting What is the proper idea of growth some of the less important, or those in grace ; and what are the best eviof local or temporary reference, or dences, both to ourselves and others, those which are nearly duplicates of that we really grow in grace ? others ; but, upon re-consideration, How shall we best distinguish we have thought it better to copy that reception of the truth which them just as they occur,—it being may be, and sometimes is, in them understood that a few which may that perish, from that which God appear peculiar had respect to some vouchsafes only to those who shall question that happened to excite in- be saved ? quiry at the moment, or on which Were the Ten Commandments some member wished for advice or designed as a complete summary of information; and that the discuss the law of God to man; or was there sion, whatever the topic, was always not an especial regard to the state intended to be conducive to religious of Israel, in the law being delivered edification. The occasional iteration to them in that form? of nearly the same question will How far is it the duty of a Chrisserve to shew the importance of the tian minister to accommodate himself topic in the practical habits of the to his hearers ? Christian and clerical character, or What influence has natural temthe recurring phases of popular reli- perament on religion ? gious discussion and controversy. To How far is retirement from the prevent misconception, it may be world a Christian duty ? requisite to add, that the questions What is the peculiar province of do not refer to any recent matters ; reason in matters of religion ? all of those in our present Number, How far is it expedient for Chrisfor example, being of some forty tians to communicate their expeyears' standing, and propounded and riences ? discussed by men who have since How shall we best distinguish the been gathered to their fathers. Of workings of human depravity from many of them, of their writings and the temptations of Satan? their lives, of their love to God and How far is a Christian warranted their usefulness to man, of their hal. by Scripture to pray for and expect lowed converse and bright example, the particular and immediate guidwe might say much; but we forbear. ance of Providence in the personal It is not for us to invade the inti- and ordinary concernments of life?
What is meant by knowing the What is true liberality of mind? world; and how far is this knowledge What are we to understand by useful to a Christian?
doing all things to the glory of How are we to form a right judg- God? ment of the particular duties in- Wherein consists the art of being cumbent on us from the situation in useful in conversation ? which the Lord has placed us, and What is the nature of superstition, the talents he has bestowed upon us? and its cure ?
What is the best method of know. What is the best rule to be obing what God would have us to do, served in almsgiving ? when the matter is not determined How are God's promises to be in Scripture, though to us of great reconciled with his providence ? importance ?
What advantages may be derived What special instruction may be from human authors, in theological derived from the phenomena of study ? dreaming ?
What are we to understand by How are we affected by Adam's judgments, individual or national ? transgression?
What are the snares of prosperity How shall a minister best improve and the temptations of adversity ? his time?
What is it religiously to manage What is truth?
worldly business In what sense is the obedience of What are the advantages and disChrist imputed to believers ? advantages of superior talents ?
Wherein does the nature of true What are the marks of that bro. godliness consist?
therly love which our Lord comHow shall we distinguish between mands as a characteristic of his disthe exercise of gifts and grace in the ciples ? work of the ministry?
What are the nature, evidences, · Upon what evidence may a man and cure of a covetous disposijudge himself to be in a justified state? tion ? Which is the best method of pro
What is meant by the communion moting religion?
of saints ? How can it be proved that God's What is the nature of self-denial ? favour is gratuitous, when he does How shall a man know the real not pardon sin without full satisfac- principle of his actions ? tion to his vindictive justice ?
Are the torments of hell strictly How far is the natural a designed eternal ? type of the moral world ?
Wherein lies the criminality of The just idea of a scrupulous con- being so blinded by the god of this science, and its cure.
world, as not to see the glory of the How shall we distinguish between Gospel ? laudable ambition and sinful pride? What are the characters of truth?
How are prejudices to be discover- The evils of dogmatism and sceped and removed ?
ticism? What is the nature of enthusiasm, What are the evidences of the and its cure ?
ministerial office in the Christian What is the best method of form. church? ing an able minister of the New How far is the duty of fasting Testament?
obligatory on Christians of the preHow is humility to be known and sent day? cultivated ?
What are the best methods of How far is wit allowable in the preaching ? pulpit, or out of it?
How far may that which is agreeWhat improvement might be able to nature be made subservient made in the present methods of to religion ? education ?
What is true politeness?
What is the nature and excellency of life; and how far such influence of a broken and contrite heart? may consist with the freedom of the
How far is an explicit knowledge human will. of Christ necessary to salvation ? In what sense, and to what degree
What are the particular excellen- may our prayers be said to prevail cies of the several denominations of with God to do the things we ask of Christians ?
him? What proofs have we that we are What are the snares to which surrounded by an invisible agency ? professors of religion in the present
What is genius, and its use in day are particularly exposed ? religion?
What advantage to religion may What is the boundary between be derived from history? the highest attainment of natural What are the methods to make powers and the lowest effects of true this Society most useful?
What are the peculiar excellencies What are the undeceiving cha- of the Christian religion ? racters of sincere inquiry after truth? What is a good conscience ?
What is religious gossipping—its By what views is the mind best evils and cures ?
supported against temptation? What are the uses and abuses of What are the usual causes and lay preaching?
signs of decline in the spiritual How to maintain a connexion be- life? tween truth and peace ?
How may we best choose and imWhat are ministerial talents ?
prove our friendships ? What are the best means of plant- How may a person know when he ing and propagating the Gospel in is led by the Holy Spirit ? Botany Bay (1786, with reference What improvements may be made to the inquiries of a clergyman then of offences ? going out to that station.)
What is the best mode of studyWhat use should a minister make ing the Scripture ? of the doctrine of election ?
What are the chief causes of the What does the Scripture express different sentiments concerning reof the person, attributes, and influ- ligion between those who acknowences of Satan?
ledge the same revelation ? With what reflections may we be- How are we to conduct ourselves gin the new year most profitably? towards those who differ from us in
How may we best redeem time? religious sentiments ?
What are the nature, sin, and cure What are the culpable causes of of curiosity in matters of religion? the little success in preaching the
How are we to understand that Gospel as to ministers? Scripture, I will have mercy, and What are the conveniences and not sacrifice ?”
inconveniencies of religious sysWhat are the scriptural qualifi- tems? cations for receiving the Lord's How shall we distinguish between Supper?
the actings of faith and those of a How far is a minister authorised warm imagination ? to expect an attention to his preach
What advantage to religion may ing, as to the word of God?
be derived from philosophy? What amusements are inconsist- Were the blessings of the land of ent with the Christian character ? Canaan intended to exhibit and lead
What are the use and abuse of al- the people to those which are spirilegorizing Scripture?
tual and heavenly What are the nature and extent of What are the chief dangers to Christian perfection?
which a minister is exposed from How far Divine Providence influ. popularity, and how may they be ences men in the common concerns best obviated ?
What religious improvement may
How far is St. Paul to be underbe derived from travelling?
stood literally when he says, “ Let What are the advantages and dis- every man abide in the same calling advantages of a Christian's engaging wherein he is called?” I Cor. vii. 20. in public life?
How shall we best discover and Of what service are church esta- rectify our own peculiar defects ? blishments to the cause of Christia- The nature and obligation of connity ?
jugal duties. What are the distinguishing cha- The duties of parents and children. racters of a party-spirit in religion? The duties of masters and servants.
How are we to know when we The duties of ministers and people. are under the leadings of Provi- The duties of magistrates and dence ?
people. What are the best means of pro- How may we best discover and moting unity of spirit ?
improve our particular duties in the What is the true idea of magna- exercise of the ministry? nimity?
Has Jesus Christ prescribed any What is the use of rhetoric in re- particular rules for the government ligion?
of the New Testament church? Why was the order of the Old- What are they? and how far are Testament church more accurately they binding upon us ? described than the New ?
What are the most trying times What are we to understand by in a believer's experience ? Gospel simplicity ?
What doctrines of Christianity are, What are, and what are not, dis- or are not, essential to salvation? tinguishing and essential characters What are the reasons which will of a gracious operation of the Holy justify a minister in removing from Spirit on the soul?
his present sphere of service to anWhat is to be understood by the other? plenary inspiration of the Holy Scrip- What cases among Christians may tures?
lawfully be determined by lot? How far may error be considered What rules should a minister obas innocent or criminal ?
serve in accepting gifts ? What advantages may arise from What are the advantages and disa minister's determining the cha- advantages of a social disposition ? racter of men by marks, &c.; and The subserviency of music to dewhich is the best method of doing it? votion.
What is the due observance of the The general benefits of the SacraChristian Sabbath ? and are Sunday ment of Baptism. Schools likely to militate against it? How far will our protest in public (This was soon after the introduction excuse our silence in private ? of those invaluable institutions.)
What is the best method of introWhat is the most likely method ducing the Gospel ? of succeeding with the Pharisees and What are the leading characters Sadducees of the day?
of our Lord's preaching? How are we to use the world How far should a minister be exwithout abusing it?
plicit in reproving the particular sins What is the use, abuse, and cure of his congregation ? of religious Shibboleths.
What is the scriptural idea of What is the most useful style and hypocrisy ? manner of public addresses ?
What is the nature of pride, and What are the advantages and dis- wherein does the guilt of it consist ? advantages of Religious Societies? What are the Lord's usual methods
To what extent is a Christian to mortify pride in his people, and bound to be zealous for God, in sup- especially his ministers? pressing and reproving outwarcin? What are the causes, obligations, engagements, and cure, of an erro- What is the best method for a neous conscience ?
young minister to study divinity? In what sense are we to under- What is the best method for a stand the expression of God's doing minister to take in a place where all for his own glory?
there are smugglers ? What are the use and abuse of How to journey profitably. the passions in religion?
How shall we best convince a How shall we distinguish between good man of his particular infatuaa useful and speculative knowledge tions? in religious matters ?
In what sense are we “ to walk What is the proper treatment of in wisdom towards them that are serious, and apparently conscientious without ?” men, who have embraced doctrinal or The true nature of Christian canpractical errors?
dour. What are the distinguishing cha- What are the causes, doctrinal racters of a vain-glorious spirit and and practical, of the present laxity conduct, and what the means of in religious profession? cure?
How far is it true that errors in What is the distinction between doctrine and practice produce each flattery and being scripturally cour- other? teous; and what is the proper mode What are the distinguishing chaof rebuking the flatterer?
racteristics of a work of God: What use may we make of our Are there any means which mienemies?
nisters in this day may use to proWhat is the best method of pro- mote true religion which they do pagating the Gospel in the East not now employ? Indies?
What is flattery? On what ground has a sinner a The evil, origin, and cure, of a right to the title of Saint?
late attendance on public worship. What are the chief critical times What are the causes of the diverin the experience of Christians and sity of experiences in Christians ? ministers?
The characters of true and false What is the Scripture idea of be- zeal? ing “ crucified to the world, and the How should a minister conduct world to us ?”
himself towards suspicious characWhat may, and must, a Christian ters? do more than others ?
How far are the Scriptures reWhat is the scriptural idea of ducible to a system ? self-denial ?
What are the best means of preWhat are those worldly concerns venting apostasy? with which a minister should not What forms the principal offences entangle himself ?
of the Gospel in this day? What is the difference between What is the meetness for the inthe Moral Orthodox clergy, and the heritance of the saints in light? Evangelical Orthodox clergy? What may be the good or bad
What is the nature of covetous- consequences of being influenced by ness, and wherein does the guilt of impressions ? it consist?
When is grace or sin exercised in In what sense are we to become taking notice of other men's faults ? “ all things to all men ?”
The ground, nature, and tendency, How shall we best oppose Anti- of assurance. nomianism, without encouraging se- What are those talents which God cret self-righteousness?
commits to men, and how are they Are threatenings a part of the accountable ? Gospel, and what is their particular What is the scriptural sense of use ?
the word " covenant?"