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and grief, when he was sore amazed, and his soul was exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.
He also appeared to be full of affection, in the course of his life. We read of his great seal, fulfilling that expression in the 69th Psalm, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up, John ii. 17. We read of his grief for the sins of men, Mark iii. 5. He looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts; and his breaking forth in tears and exclamations, from the consideration of the sin and misery of ungodly men, and on the sight of the city of Jerusalem, which was full of such inhabitants, Luke xix. 41. 42. And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from
With chap. xiii. 34. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee : how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not? We read of Christ's earnest desire, Luke xxii. 15. With desire have I desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer. We often read of the affection of pity or compassion in Christ, (Matth. xv. 32. and xviii. 34. Luke vii. 13.) and of his being moved with compassion, (Matth. ix. 36. and xiv. 14. and Mark vi. 34.) And how tender did his heart appear to be, on occasion of Mary's and Martha's mourning for their brother, and coming to him with their complaints and tears? Their tears soon drew tears from his eyes; he was affected with their grief, and wept with them; though he knew their sorrow should so soon be turned into joy, by their brother being raised from the dead; see John xi. And how ineffably affectionate was that last and dying discourse, which Jesus had with his eleven disciples the evening before he was crucified; when be told them he was going away, and foretold them the great difficulties and sufferings they should meet with in the world, when he was gone; and comforted and counselled them, as his dear little children; and bequeathed to them his Holy Spirit, and therein his peace, his comfort and joy, as it were in his last will and testament, in the 13th, 14th, 15th, and 16th chapters of John; and concluded the whole with that affectionate intercessory prayer for them, and his whole church, in chap. xvii. Of all the discourses ever penned or uttered by the mouth of any man, this seems to be the most affectionate, and affecting.
8. The religion of heaven consists very much in affection. There is doubtless true religion in heaven, and true religion Vol. IV.
in its utinost purity and perfection. But according to the scripture representation of the heavenly state, the religion of heaven consists chiefly in holy and mighty love and joy, and the expression of these in most fervent and exalted praises. So that the religion of the saints in heaven, consists in the same things with that religion of the saints on earth, which is spoken of in our text, viz. love, and joy unspeakable, and full of glory. Now, it would be very foolish to pretend, that because the saints in heaven are not united to flesh and blood, and have no animal fluids to be moved (through the laws of union of soul and body) with those great emotions of their souls, that therefore their exceeding love and joy are no affections. We are not speaking of the affections of the body, but those of the soul, the chief of which are love and joy. When these are in the soul, whether that be in the body or out of it, the soul is affected and moved. And when they are in the soul, in that strength in which they are in the saints in heaven, it is mightily affected and moved, or, which is the same thing, has great affections. It is true, we do not experimentally know what love and joy are in a soul out of a body, or in a glorified body; i. e. we have not bad experience of love and joy in a soul in these circumstances; but the saints on earth do know what divine love and joy in the soul are, and they know that love and joy are of the same kind with the love and joy which are in heaven, in separate souls there. The love and joy of the saints on earth, is the beginning and dawning of the light, life, and blessedness of heaven, and is like their love and joy there; or rather, the same in nature, though not the same in degree and circumstances.* It is unreasonable therefore to suppose, that the love and joy of the saints in heaven differ not only in degree and circumstances, from the holy love and joy of the saints on earth, but also in nature, so that they are no affections; and merely because they have no blood and animal spirits to be set in motion by them. The. motion of the blood and animal spirits is not of the essence of these affections, in men on the earth, but the effect of them; although by their reaction they may make some circumstantial difference in the sensation of the mind. There is a sensation of the mind which loves and rejoices, antecedent to any effects on the fluids of the body; and therefore, does not depend on these motions in the body, and so may be in the soul without the body. And wherever there are the exercises of love and
* This is evident by mauy scriptures, as Prov. iv. 18. Joha iv. 14. and chap, vi. 40. 47. 50. 51. 54. 58. I Jobo iil. 15. I Cor. xiii. 8.-19.
joy, there is that sensation of the mind, whether it be in the body or out; and that inward sensation, or kind of spiritual feeling, is what is called affection. The soul, when it is thus moved, is said to be affected, and especially when this inward sensation and motion are to a very high degree, as they are in the saints in heaven. If we can learn any thing of the state of heaven from the scripture, the love and joy that the saints hare there, is exceeding great and vigorous; impressing the heart with the strongest and most lively sensation of inexpressible sweetness, mightily moving, animating, and engaging them, making them like to a flame of fire. And if such love and joy be not affections, then the word affection is of no use in language.-Will any say, that the saints in heaven, in beholding the face of their Father and the glory of their Redeemer, in contemplating his wonderful works, and particularly his laying down his life for them, have their hearts nothing moved and affected by all which they behold or consider ?
Hence, therefore, the religion of heaven, being full of holy love and joy, consists very much in affection: and therefore, undoubtedly, true religion consists very much in affection. The way to learn the true nature of any thing, is to go where that thing is to be found in its purity and perfection. If we would know the nature of true gold, we must view it, not in the ore, but when it is refined. If we would learn what true religion is, we must go where there is true religion, and nothing but true religion, and in its highest perfection, without any defect or mixture. All who are truly religious are not of this world, they are strangers here, and belong to heaven; they are born from above, heaven is their native country, and the nature which they receive by this heavenly birth, is an heavenly nature, they receive an anointing from above ; that principle of true religion which is in them, is a communication of the religion of heaven; their grace is the dawn of glory; and God fits them for that world by conforming them to it.
9. This appears froin the nature and design of the ordinances and duties, which God hath appointed, as means and expressions of true religion.
To instance in the duty of prayer: It is manifest, we are not appointed, in this duty, to declare God's perfections, bis majesty, holiness, goodness, and all-sufficiency; our own meanness, emptiness, dependence and unworthiness, our wants and desires, in order to inform God of these things, or to incline his heart, and prevail with him to be willing to shew us mercy; but rather suitably to affect our own hearts with the
things we espress, and so to prepare us to receive tbe blessings we ask. And such gestures and manner of external behaviour in the worship of God, which custom has made to be significations of humility and reverence, can be of no further use, than as they have some tendency to affect our own hearts, or the hearts of others.
And the duty of singing praises to God, seems to be appointed wholly to excite and express religious affections. No other reason can be assigned, why we should express ourselves to God in verse, rather than in prose, and do it with music, but only, that such is our nature and frame that these things have a tendency to move our affections.
The same thing appears in the nature and design of the sacraments, which God hath appointed. God, considering our frame, hath not only appointed that we should be told of the great things of the gospel and the redemption of Christ, and be instructed in them by his word; but also that they should be, as it were, exhibited to our view in sensible representations, the more to affect us with them.
And the impressing of divine things on the hearts and affections of men, is evidently one great end for which God has ordained, that his word delivered in the holy scriptures, should be opened, applied, and set home upon men, in preaching. And therefore it does not answer the aim which God bad in this institution, merely for men to have good commentaries and expositions on the scripture, and other good books of divi. nity; because, although these may tend, as well as preaching, to give a good doctrinal or speculative understanding of the word of God, yet they have not an equal tendency to impress them on men's hearts and affections. God hath appointed a particular and lively application of his word, in the preaching of it, as a fit means to affect sinners with the importance of religion, their own misery, the necessity of a remedy, and the glory and sufficiency of a remedy provided; to stir up the pure minds of the saints, quicken their affections by often bringing the great things of religion to their remembrance, and setting them in their proper colours, though they know them, and have been fully instructed in them already, 2 Pet. i. 12. 13. And particularly, to proinote those two affections in them, which are spoken of in the text, love and joy : Christ gave some apostles, and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; that the body of Christ might be edified in love, Eph. iv. 11, 12, 16. The apostle, in instructing and counselling Timothy, concerning the work of the ministry, informs him, that the great end of that word which a minister
is to preach, is love or charity, 1 Tim. i. 3-5. And God has appointed preaching as a means to promote in the saints joy: therefore ininisters are called helpers of their joy, 2 Cor. i. 24.
10. It is an evidence that true religion lies very much in the affections, that the scriptures place, the sin of the heart very much in hardness of heart. It was hardness of heart, which excited grief and displeasure in Christ towards the Jews, Mark ji. 5. He looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts. It is from men's having such a heart as this, that they treasure up wrath for themselves; Rom. ii. 5. After thy hardness and impenitent heart, treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath, and revelation of the righteous judgment of God. The reason given why the house of Israel would not obey God, was, that they were hard-hearted; Ezek. jii. 7. But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee ; for they will not hearken unto me; for all the house of Israel are impudent and hard-hearted. The wickedness of that perverse rebellious generation in the wilderness, is ascribed to the hardness of their hearts; Psal. xcv. 7-10. To-day if ye will hear my voice, harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of templation in the wilderness ; when your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work : forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, &c.— This is spoken of as what prevented Zedekiah's turning to the Lord, 2 Chron. xxxvi, 13. He stiffened his neck, and hardenened his heart from turning to the Lord God of Israel. This principle is that from whence men are without the fear of God, and depart from his ways: Is. Isiii. 17. O Lord, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways? and hardened our heart froin thy fear ? And men rejecting Christ, and opposing Christianity, are charged with this principle; Acts xix. 9. But divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude.--God's leaving men to the power of the sin and corruption of the heart, is often expressed by his bardening their hearts; Rom. ix. 18. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. John xii. 40. Ile hath blinded their minds, and hardened their hearts. And the apostle seems to speak of an evil heart, that departs from the living God, and a hard heart, as the same thing, Heb, iii. 8. Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, &c. verse 12, 13. Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God : but exhort one another daily while it is called, To-day ; lest any