|Anne Dutton - Wikipedia|
By Anne Dutton - Posted at Grace Gems:
Grace unto you and peace be multiplied. . . .
I hear you say, "I greatly want to know whether I am one of those who are born again." There are two ways whereby a soul comes to know that it is born again. The first is by the revelation of the Spirit bearing witness to the soul in some word or other where this truth is declared. The second is by His enabling the soul to discern its own acts in Divine light, and to draw conclusions from its discerned acts of grace that it has the principle; and in both these ways the Lord can give you satisfaction in an instant if it pleases Him. But, generally speaking, it is some time before a child of God can draw steady conclusions of its being new-born from its own feelings of the new life; and therefore you may be new-born though you do not know it!
A living infant, you know, when first born into the world has life, but it does not know it. It had a secret life from its first quickening in the womb, and from thence a secret motion; but as soon as it is born it begins to live visibly to others, but yet the child itself knows nothing of the matter. It cries, desires the breast, tastes the milk, and is satisfied, sees the light and feels the heat with pleasure, all of which are visible demonstrations of its life to bystanders, but the child knows nothing of it, because it is not capable of self-reflection.
And thus it is with a newborn soul; there is a secret work of God upon all the heart, a principle of life given, and from thence some secret motions and faint stirrings now and then, under begun convictions, before it is brought forth into the visible life of grace, which discovers itself as soon as ever the soul is born again, in the breath or cry of the new creature, its desires, its discernings, and its enjoyments, which, when communicated to grown Christians, they know such a soul is one of Christ's new-born babes, although this child itself is not yet capable so to reflect upon its own acts as to conclude its life from thence.
And if this be your case, that you can not pass a judgment from what you have experienced that you have the life of grace, or are newborn, then tell me, as a rational creature, how it is with you, for as such you can tell what the feelings of the soul have been, although as a new creature you may not yet be come to such an exercise of your spiritual senses as to know those feelings to be feelings of grace, and a certain demonstration of your being born again.