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vigour. We see the world of mankind exceedingly busy and active; and their affections are the springs of motion: take away all love and hatred, all hope and fear, all anger, zeal, and affectionate desire, and the world would be, in a great measure, motionless and dead: there would be no such thing as activity amongst mankind, or any earnest pursuit whatsoever. It is affection that engages the covetous man, and him that is greedy of worldly profits; it is by the affections that the ambitious man is put forward in his pursuit of worldly glory; and the affections also actuate the voluptuous man, in his pleasure and sensual delights. The world continues, from age to age, in a
, continual commotion and agitation, in pursuit of these things; but take away affection, and the spring of all this motion would
gone; the motion itself would cease. And as in worldly things, worldly affections are very much the spring of men's motion and action; so in religious matters, the spring of their actions are very much religious affections: he that has doctrinal knowledge and speculation only, without affection, never is engaged in the business of religion.
3. Nothing is more manifest in fact, than that the things of religion take hold of men's souls no further than they affect them. There are multitudes who often hear the word of God, things infinitely great and important, and which most nearly concern them, yet all seems to be wholly ineffectual upon them, and to make no alteration in their disposition or behaviour; the reason is, they are not affected with what they hear. There are many who often hear of the glorious perfections of God, his almighty power, boundless wisdom, infinite majesty, and that holiness by which he is of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on iniquity; together with his infinite goodness and mercy. They hear of the great works of God's wisdom, power and goodness, wherein there appear the admirable manifestations of these perfections. They hear particularly of the unspeakable love of God and Christ, and what Christ has done and suffered. They hear of the great things of another world, of eternal misery, in bearing the fierceness and wrath of almighty God; and of endless blessedness and glory in the presence of God, and the enjoyment of his love. They also hear the peremptory commands of God, his gracious counsels and warnings, and the sweet invitations of the gospel. Yet they remain as before, with no sensible alteration, either in heart or practice, because they are not affected with what they hear.
I am bold to assert, that there never was any considerable change wrought in the mind or conversation of any person, by any thing of a religious nature that ever he read, heard or saw, who had not his affections moved. Never was a natural man engaged earnestly to
. seek his salvation; never were any such brought to cry after wisdom, and lift up their voice for understanding, and to wrestle with God in prayer for mercy; and never was one humbled, and brought to the foot of God, from any thing that ever he heard or imagined of his own unworthiness and deservings of God's displeasure; nor was ever one induced to fly for refuge unto Christ, while his heart remained unaffected. Nor was there ever a saint awakened out of a cold, lifeless frame, or recovered from a declining state in religion, and brought back from a lamentable departure from God, without having his heart affected. And, in a word, there never was any thing considerable brought to pass in the heart or life of any man living, by the things of religion, that had not his heart deeply affected by those things.
4. The holy scriptures every where place religion very much in the affections, such as fear, hope, love, hatred, desire, joy, sorrow, gratitude, compassion, and zeal.
The scriptures place much of religion in godly fear; insomuch that an experience of it is often spoken of as the character of those who are truly religious persons. They tremble at God's word, they fear before him, their flesh trembles for fear of him, they are afraid of his judgments, his excellency makes them afraid, and his dread falls upon them, &c. An appellation commonly given the saints in scripture, is, fearers of God, or they that fear the Lord. And because this is a great part of true godliness, hence true godliness in general is very commonly called the fear of God,
So hope in God, and in the promises of his word, is often spoken of in the scripture, as a very considerable part of true religion. It is mentioned as one of the three great things of which religion consists, 1 Cor. xiii. 13. Hope in the Lord is also frequently mentioned as the character of the saints : Psal. cxlvi. 5. Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose HOPE is in the Lord his God. Jer. xvii. 7. Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. Psal. xxxi. 24. Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that Hope in the Lord. And the like in places. Religious fear and hope are, once and again, joined together, as jointly constituting the character of the true saints; Psal. xxxiii. 18. Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that Fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy. Psal. cxlvii. 11. The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy. Hope is so great a part of true religion, that the apostle says we are saved by HOPE, Rom. viii. 24. And this is spoken of as the helmet of the Christian soldier, 1 Thess. v. 8. And for an helmet, the Hope of salvation ; and the sure and stedfast anchor of the soul, which preserves it from being cast away by the storms of this evil world, Heb. vi. 19. Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the vail. It is spoken of as a great benefit which true saints receive by Christ's resurrection, i Pet, i. 3. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which, according to his abundant mercy, hath begotten us again unto a lively hope, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
The scriptures place religion very much in the affection of love ; love to God, and the Lord Jesus Christ; love to the people of God, and to mankind. The texts in which this is manifest, both in the Old Testament and New, are innumerable. But of this more afterwards. The contrary affection of hatred also, as having sin for its object, is spoken of in scripture as no inconsiderable part of true religion. It is spoken of as that by which true religion may be known and distinguished. Prov. viii . 13. The fear of the Lord is to HATE
epile ingly, the saints are called upon to give evidence of their sincerity by this, Psal. xcvii. 10. Ye that love the Lord. HATE evil. And the psalmist often mentions it as an evidence of his sincerity; Psal. ci. 2, 3. I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. I will sèt no wicked thing before mine eyes : I HATE the work of them that turn aside. Psal. cxix. 104. I HATE every false way. So ver. 128. Again Psal. cxxxix. 21. Do I not HATE them, O Lord, that hate thee?
So holy desire, exercised in longings, hungerings, and thirstings after God and holiness, is often mentioned in scripture as an important part of true religion ; Is. xxvi. 8. The DESIRE of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee. Psal. xxvii. 4. One thing have I DESIRED of the Lord, and that will I seek after, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life; to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple. Psal. xlii. 1, 2. As the hart panteth after the water-brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God, my soul THIRSTETH for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? Psal. Ixiii. ', 2. My soul THIRSTETH for thee, my flesh LONGETH for thee, in a dry and VOL. IV.
thirsty land where no water is : to see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. Psal. Ixxxiv. 1, 2. Howo amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts! My soul LONGETH, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord : my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God. Psal. cxix. 20. My soul breaketh for the LONGING that it hath unto thy judgments at all times *Such a holy desire, or thirst of soul, denotes à man truly blessed, Matth. v. 6. Blessed are they that do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. And this holy thirst is connected with the blessings of eternal life. Rev. xxi. 6. I will give unto him that is ATHIRST, of the fountain of the water of life freely.
The scriptures speak of holy joy, as a great part of true religion. So it is represented in the text. And as an important part of religion, it is often pressed with great 'earnestness; Psal. xxxvii. 4. Delight thyself in the Lord, and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Psal. xcvii. 12. REJOICE in the Lord ye righteous. Só Psal. xxxiij. 1. Rejoice in the Lord, Oye righteous. Matth. v. 12. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad. Phil. j. 1. Finally, brethren, REJOICE in the Lord. And chap. iv. 4. Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, REJOICE. i Thess. v. 16. Rejoice everinore. Psal. cxlix. 2. Let Israel REJoice in him that made him : let the children of Zion be joyFUL in their King. This is mentioned among the principal fruits of the Spirit of grace, Gal. v. 22. The fruit of the Spirit îs love, joy, &c.—The psalmist mentions his holy joy, as an evidence of his sincerity, Psal. cxix. 14. 1 'have Rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches.
Religious sorrow, mourning, and brokenness of heart, are also frequently spoken of as a great part of true religion. These things are often mentioned as distinguishing qualities of the true saints, and a great part of their character; Matth. y. 4. Blessed are they that MOURN: for they shall be comforted. Psal. xxxiv. 18. The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a BROKEN HEART: and saveth such as be of a CONTRITE spirit. Is. Ixi. 1, 2. The Lord hath anointed me—to bind up the BROKEN HEARTED,- to comfort all that MOURN.
This godly sorrow and brokenness of heart is often spoken of, not only as a distinguishing character of the saints, but as that in them, which is peculiarly acceptable and pleasing to God; Psal. li. 17. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit : a broken and
# So Psal. lxxiii. 95, and cxliii. 6, 7. and cxxx. 6. Cant. üi. 1, 2. and vi. 3.
a contrite heart, O God, thou will not despise. Is. Ivii. 15. Thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is holy, I dwell in the high and holy place ; with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. Chap. Ixvi. 2. To this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of 4 contrite spirit.
Another affection often mentioned, as that in the exercise of which, much of true religion appears, is gratitude ; especially as exercised in thankfulness and praise to God. This being so much spoken of in the book of Psalms, and other parts of the holy scriptures, I need not mention particular texts.
Again, the holy scriptures frequently speak of compassion or mercy, as a very great and essential thing in true religion ; insomuch that a merciful man, and a good man, are equivalent terms in scripture ; Is. lvii. 1. The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart; and MERCIFUL MEN are taken away. And the scripture chooses out this quality, as that by which, in a peculiar manner, a righteous man is decyphered; Psal. xxxvii. 21. The righteous sheweth MERCY, and giveth ; and ver. 26. He is ever MERCIFUL, and lendeth. And Prov. xiv. 31. He that honoureth the Lord, hath MERCY on the poor. And Col. iii. 12. Put ye on, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, Bowels OF MERCIES, &c. This is one of those great things, by which the truly blessed are described by our Saviour, Matth. v. 7, Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. And
. this Christ also speaks of, as one of the weightier matters of the law, Matth. xxiii. 23. Wo unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites ; for ye pay tithe of mint, and anise, and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, MERCY, and faith. To the like purpose is Mic. vi. 8. He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good ; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justice, and love MERCY, and walk humbly with thy God? And also Hos. vi. 6. For I desired Mercy, and not sacrifice; a text much delighted in by our Saviour, it seems, by his manner of citing it once and again. (Matth. ix. 13. and xii. 7.)
Zeal is also spoken of, as a very essential part of the religion of true saints. This was a great thing which Christ had in view, in giving himself for our redemption, Tit. ii. 14. Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto hirrself a peculiar people, zealous of