Many things make it hard to continue in the way of their duty, by their being of an adhering nature, and having a tendency to entice persons to sin, or by their tendency to take off restraints, and embolden them in iniquity. For this, I am thankful I read it. Pages May have Highlighting, And or Markings In Some Instances. Without emotion, the Word of God does not change our behavior or create anything of substance in our life. And the apostles do mention Christian practice as the principal ground of their esteem of persons as true Christians. There is no doubt about that. Thus for persons solemnly to profess, that, in a full conviction of their own utter sinfulness, misery, and impotence, and totally undone state as in themselves, and their just desert of God's utter rejection and eternal wrath, and the utter insufficiency of their own righteousness, or anything in them, to satisfy divine justice, or recommend them to God's favor; they do entirely depend on the Lord Jesus Christ, and his satisfaction and righteousness; that they do with all their hearts believe the truth of the gospel of Christ: and that in a full conviction of his sufficiency and perfect excellency as a Savior, as exhibited in the gospel, they do with their whole souls cleave to him, and acquiesce in him, as the refuge and rest of their souls, and fountain of their comfort; that they repent of their sins, and utterly renounce all sin, and give up themselves wholly to Christ, willingly subjecting themselves to him as their King; that they give him their hearts and their whole man; and are willing and resolved to have God for their whole and everlasting portion; and in a dependence on his promises of a future eternal enjoyment of him in heaven, to renounce all the enjoyments of this vain world, selling all for this great treasure and future inheritance, and to comply with every command of God, even the most difficult and self-denying, and devote their whole lives to God's service; and that in forgiveness of those that have injured them, and a general benevolence to mankind, their hearts are united to the people of Jesus Christ as their people, to cleave to them and love them as their brethren, and worship and serve God, and follow Christ in union and fellowship with them, being willing and resolved to perform all those duties that belong to them, as members of the same family of God and mystical body of Christ: I say, for persons solemnly to profess such things as these, as in the presence of God, is the same thing as to profess that they are conscious to, or do experience such things in their hearts.
I detect a straw man. It was written to guide the average Christian in a time of revival and incredible confusion on the role of feelings, emotions, and true Christianity. They may appear to be universal in the performance of the duties of the first table, manifesting the fear and love of God; and also universal in fulfilling rules of love to men, love to saints, and love to enemies: rules of meekness and forgiveness rules of mercy and charity, and looking not only at our own things but also at the things of others; rules of doing good to men's souls and bodies, to particular persons and to the public; rules of temperance and mortification, and of a humble conversation; rules of bridling the tongue, and improving it to glorify God and bless men, showing that in their tongues is the law of kindness. Hence we may undoubtedly infer, that men's works taken in the sense that has been explained are the highest evidences by which they ought to try themselves. The outline of the book shows it quite clearly. Perhaps, no one has dealt more thoroughly and with more exquisite wisdom in the essence of this debate than Jonathan Edwards 1703—1758 , in his extensive treatise Religious Affections.
My friend and I decided to give one of his sermons a try to understand his popularity during his lifetime and increase our spiritual growth. Once again, we must be careful not to mistrust a person just because they are fluent and fervent in talking about religion. Three outcomes mark a person as holy. After reading the main of his major works now, I stand in awe of his thoughts, logic, illustrations and analogies, and the conclusions he persuasively makes, rooted both in philosophy and the Bible. This edition helped me to more fully understand the background of Religious Affections in a way that I otherwise would have missed. Psalm 146:5 — happy is the one who hopes in the Lord. A healthy spiritual taste and appetite leads us to loving actions, which is how the Spirit leads, and which is why the Pharisees were judged for demanding a sign, Luke 12:57.
Without this spiritual light, we have no knowledge at all, only a shadow of knowledge, and we are in essence blind, deaf, senseless. Satan can influence a man into feelings of false security or false love. The notion of the freeness of the grace of God to sinners, as that is revealed and taught in the gospel, is not that no holy and amiable qualifications or actions in us shall be a fruit, and so a sign of that grace; but that it is not the worthiness or loveliness of any qualification or action of ours which recommends us to that grace; that kindness is shown to the unworthy and unlovely; that there is great excellency in the benefit bestowed and no excellency in the subject as the price of it; that goodness goes forth and flows out, from the fullness of God's nature, the fullness of the fountain of good, without any amiableness in the object to draw it. There is such a thing as true assurance, and we should pray for it — but a man may be sure that he is saved, and yet not be. The Holy Ghost himself has been pleased to put that matter out of doubt, by representing his church by such a golden candlestick, with seven lamps, in the fourth chapter of Zechariah, and representing the seven churches of Asia by seven golden candlesticks, in the first chapter of the Revelation. By pureness, by knowledge, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned; by the power of God. Part 3: Showing what are distinguishing signs of truly gracious and holy affections.
Yea, it is the very end of the redemption of Christ: Tit. Again, the very same thing is represented by Christ, in his description of his spouse, Cant. But I look back and wonder if the book may have been tilted a bit too much toward the cerebral, needing more mention of affection. The banner, navigation menu, return links, and screen viewing instructions are removed. The great doctrines of the gospel cease to be any longer doubtful things or matters of opinion, which, though probably, are yet disputable; but with them, they are points settled and determined, as undoubted and indisputable; so that they are not afraid to venture their all upon their truth. The burden of proof lay heavy.
They have their exercise and fruit in Christian practice 1. These inward exercises are not the less a part of Christian experience, because they have outward behavior immediately connected with them. Our emotions should help us to grow in our spiritual relationship to God. I suspect that non-Christians like to hold up that particular sermon as a caricature of what it means to be a Christian. For, that experience, which is in these exercises of grace, that are found and prove effectual at the very point of trial, wherein God proves, which we will actually cleave to, whether Christ or our lusts, is, as has been shown already, the proper experiment of the truth and power of our godliness; wherein its victorious power and efficacy, in producing its proper effect, and reaching its end, is found by experience.
Jonathan Edwards was the most eminent American philosopher-theologian of his time, and a key figure in what has come to be called the First Great Awakening of the 1730s and 1740s. We need a majestic picture of the Lord from texts like Job 38—41; Isaiah 45—46; and Ezekiel 1. Such effective exercises of grace as these that I have now described, many of the Martyrs have experienced in a high degree. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not; whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. So it is represented in Jer. The swine may be washed and appear clean for a little while, but yet, without a change of nature, he will still wallow in the mire.
But that perseverance in obedience, which is chiefly insisted on in the Scripture, as a special note of the truth of grace, is the continuance of professors in the practice of their duty, and being steadfast in a holy walk, through the various trials that they meet with. Thus, we see the truth and become witnesses of it, John 1:34; 3:11; I John 4:14; Acts 22:14,15; Hebrews 11:1; 12:1. It is flowery and verbose, which meant spending plenty of time trying to unpack the meaning of the phrase, paragraph, or section. The reason why gracious affections have such a tendency and effect appears from many things that have already been observed, in the preceding parts of this discourse. In such a manner is Christian practice the most proper evidence of a saving value of the pearl of great price, and treasure hid in the field. It is foretold, that all nations shall be brought publicly to make this profession, Isa.
Actually, our passions may not have outward expression, depending on how busy our life might be, but they are necessary to a healthy spiritual life, and proper intellectual understanding should produce emotion. Grace turns a heart of stone into a heart of flesh. This is plain in the manner of expression from time to time. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in the truth. But I gained tremendously from Edwards' deep insights of true religious affections. Whatsoever is essential in Christianity itself, the profession of that is essential in the profession of Christianity.