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and their natures exalted and perfected. It was a most wor: thy, noble rejoicing, that did not corrupt and debase the mind, as marry carnal joys do ; but did greatly beautify and dignify it; it was a prelibation of the joy of heaven, that raised their minds to a degree of heavenly blessedness; it filled their minds with the light of God's glory, and made themselves to shine with some communication of that glory.
Hence the proposition or doctrinc, that I would raise from these words, is this :
DOCTRINE. Trye religion, in great part, consists in holy affections.
We see that the apostle, in observing and remarking the operations and exercises of religion in the Christians he wrote to, wherein their religion appeared to be true and of the right kind, when it had its greatest trial of what sort it was, being tried by persecution as gold is tried in the fire, and when their religion not only proved true, but was most pure, and cleansed from its dross and mixtures of that which was not true, and when religion appeared in them most in its genuine excellency and native beauty, and was found to praise, and honor, and glory; he singles out the religious affections of love and jay, that were then in exercise in them : These are the exercises of religion he takes notice of, wherein their religion did thus appear true and pure, and in its proper glory:
Here I would, 1. Shew what is intended by the affections.
2. Observe some things which make it evident, that a great part of true religion lies in the affections.
1. It may be inquired, what the affections of the mind are ?
I answer.... The affections are no other than the more vigorous and sensible exercises of the inclination and will of the soul.
God has enducd the soul with two faculties : One is that by which it is capable of perception and speculation, or by which it discerns, and views, and judges of things; which is called the understanding. The other faculty is that by which the soul does not merely perceive and view things, but is some way inclined with respect to the things it views or con, siders ; either is inclined to them, or is disinclined and averse from them ; or is the faculty by which the soul does not behold things, as an indifferent unaffected spectator, but either as liking or disliking, pleased or displeased, approving or rejecting. This faculty is called by various names ; it is sometimes called the inclination : And, as it has respect to the actions that are determined and governed by it, is called the will : And the mind, with regard to the exercises of this faculty, is often called the heart.
The exercise of this faculty are of two sorts ; either those by which the soul is carried out towards the things that are in view, in approving of them, being pleased with them, and inclined to them ; or those in which the soul opposes the things that are in view, in disapproving them, and in being displeased with them, averse from them, and rejecting them.
And as the exercises of the inclination and will of the soul arc various in their kinds, so they are much more various in their degrees. There are some exercises of pleasedness or displeasedness, inclination or disinclination, wherein the soul is carried but a little beyond a state of perfect indifference..... And there are other degrees above this, wherein the approbation or dislike, pleasedness or aversion, are stronger, wherein we may rise higher and higher, 'till the soul comes to act vigorously and sensibly, and the actings of the soul are with that strength, that (through the laws of the union which the Creator has fixed between the soul and body) the motion, of the blood and animal spirits begins to be sensibly altered ; whence oftentimes arises some bodily sensation, especially about the heart and vitals, that are ihe fountain of the fluids of the body : From whence it comes to pass, that the mind, with regard to the exercises of this faculty, perhaps in all nations and ages, is called the heart. And, it is to be noted, that they are these more vigorous and sensible exercises of this faculty that are called the affections.
The will, and the affections of the soul, are not two facul. ties ; the affections are not essentially distinct from the will, nor do they differ from the mere actings of the will, and in,
clination of the soul, but only in the liveliness and sensible. ness of exercise.
It must be confessed, that language is here somewhat imperfect, and the meaning of words in a considerable meas. ure loose and unfixed, and not precisely limited by custom, which governs the use of language. In some sense, the affection of the soul differs nothing at all from the will and inclination, and the will never is in any exercise any further than it is affected; it is not moved out of a state of perfect indifference, any otherwise than as it is affected one way or other, and acts nothing any further. But yet there are many actings of the will and inclination, that are not so commonly called affections : In every thing we do, wherein we act voluntarily, there is an exercise of the will and inclination, it is our inclination that governs us in our actions ; but all the actings of the inclination and will, in all our common actions of life, are not ordinarily called affections. Yet, what are commonly called affections are not essentially different from them, but only in the degree and manner of exercise. In ev, ery act of the will whatsoever, the soul either likes or dislikes is either inclined or disinclined to what is in view : These are not essentially different from those affections of love and hatred : That liking or inclination of the soul to a thing, if it be in a high degree, and be vigorous and lively, is the very same thing with the affection of love ; and that disliking and disinclining, if in a greater degree, is the very same with ha. tred. · In every act of the will for, or towards something not present, the soul is in some degree inclined to that thing; and that inclination, if in a considerable degree, is the very same with the affection of desire. And in every degree of the act of the will, wherein the soul approves of something present, there is a degree of pleasedness ; and that pleasedness, if it be in a considerable degree, is the very same with the affec, tion of joy or delight. And if the will disapproves of wliat is present, the soul is in some degree displeased, and if that displeasedness be great, it is the very same with the affection of grief or sorrow.
Such seems to be our nature and such the laws of the union of soul and body, that there never is, in any case whatsoever, any lively and vigorous exercise of the will or inciination of the soul, without some effect upon the body, in some alteration of the motion of its fluids, and especially of the animal spirits. And, on the other hand, froin the same laws of the union of soul and body, the constitution of the body, and the motion of its fluids, may promote the exercise of the affections. But yet it is not the body, but the mind only, that is the proper seat of the affections. The body of man is no more capable of being really the subject of love or hatred, joy or sorrow, fear or hope, than the body of a tree, or than the same body of man is capable of thinking and understanding. As it is the soul only that has ideas, so it is the soul only that is pleased or displeased with its ideas. As it is the soul only that thinks, so it is the soul only that loves or hates, rejoices or is grieved at what it thinks of. Nor are these motions of the animal spirits, and fluids of the body, any thing properly belonging to the nature of the affections, though they always accompany them, in the present state ; but are only effects or concomitants of the affections that are entirely distinct from the affections themselves, and no way essential to them; so that an unbodied spirit may be as capable of love and hatred, joy or sorrow, hope or fear, of other affections, as one that is anited to a body.
The affections and passions are frequently spoken of as the same ; and yet in the more common use of speech, there is in some respect a difference ; and affection is a word, that in its ordinary signification, seems to be something more extensive than passion, being used for all vigorous lively actings of the will or inclination ; but passion for those that are more sudden, and whose effects on the animal spirits are more vi. olent, and the mind more overpowered, and less in its own command.
As all the exercises of the inclination and will, are either in approving and liking, or disapproving and rejecting ; so the affections are of two sorts ; they are those by which the soul is carried out to what is in view, cleaving to it, or seeking it ; or those by which it is averse from it, and opposes it.
Of the former sort, are love, desire, hope, joy, gratitude, complacence. Of the latter kind, are hatred, fear, anger, grief, and such like ; which it is needless now to stand particularly to define.
And there are some affections wherein there is a composition of each of the aforementioned kinds of actings of the will; as in the affection of pity, there is something of the former kind, towards the person suffering, and something of the latter towards what he suffers. And so in zeal, there is in it high approbation of some person or thing, together with vigorous opposition to what is conceived to be contrary
There are other mixed affections that might be also men-" tioned, but I hasten to,
II. The second thing proposed, which was, to observe some things that render it evident, that true religion, in great part consists in the affections. And here,
1. What has been said of the nature of the affections makes this evident, and may be sufficient, without adding any thing further, to put this matter out of doubt ; for who will deny that true religion consists in a great measure, in vigorous and lively actings of the inclination and will of the soul, or the fervent exercises of the heart ?
That religion which God requires, and will accept, does not consist in weak, dull, and lifeless wouldings, raising us but a little above a state of indifference : God, in his word, greatly insists upon it, that we be good in earnest, « fervent in spirit," and our hearts vigorously engaged in religion : Rom. xii. 11. “Be ye fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” Deut. x. 12. And now “ Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all, his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul?” And chap. vi. 4, 5. 6 Hcar, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord : And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.” It is such a fervent, vig.