Mere decency of external behaviour, with a freedom from gross sins, is no evidence of regeneration, for these things may be found in many whose spirit is proud and self- righteous and entirely opposite to the religion of Christ; and we know that outward regularity and sobriety may be produced by the restraints of a religious education and good example, where there are found none of the internal characteristics of genuine piety. Suppose, then, that in a certain case grace has been communicated at so early a period that its first exercises cannot be remembered— what will be the evidences which we should expect to find of its existence? Surely, we ought not to look for the wisdom, judgment and stability of adult years, even in a pious child. We should expect, if I may say so, a childish piety— a simple, devout, and tender state of heart.
Thoughts on Religious Experience
Archibald Alexander, 1844