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“ I hate every
may be known and distinguished, Prov. viii. 13. « The fear of the Lord is to hate evil.” And accordingly 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 Psalm-' ist 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 set no wicked thing before mine eyes ; I hate the work of them that turn aside." Psal. cxix. 104. false way.” So ver. 128. Again, Psal. cxxxix. 21. « Do I not hate them, O Lord, that hate thee?"
So holy desire, exercised in Jongings, hungerings, and thirstings after God and holiness, is often mentioned in scripture as an important part of true religion ; Isa. 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 seck 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 pantcth my soul after thee, O God; my soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: When shall I come and appear before God ?” Psal. Jxiii. 1, 2. « My soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and 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. “ How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts! My soul longeth, yea, cven sainteth 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." So Psal. lxxiii. 25, and cxliii, 6, 7, and cxxx. 6. Cant. iii. 1, 2, and vi. S. Such a holy desire and thirst of soul is mentioned, as one thing which renders or denotes a man truly blessed, in the beginning of Christ's sermon on the mount, Mat. v. 6. & Blessed are they that do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled.” And this holy thirst is spoken of, as a great thing in the condition of a participation of the blessings of eternal lise, Rev. xxi. 6. “ I will give
uinto him that is athirst, of the fountain of the water of lifo fieely."
The scriptures speak of holy joy, as a great part of truo religion. So it is represented in the text. And as an imporiant part of religion, it is often exhorted to, and 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.” So Psal. xxxiii. 1. « Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous.” Mat. v. 12. “ Rejoice, and be exceeding glad.” Phil. iii. 1. “ Finally, brethren, rejoice in the Lord.” And chap. iv. 4. “ Rejoice in the Lord alway; and again, I say, Rejoice." i Thes. v. 16. “ Rejoice evermore.” 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 is love, joy,” &c. The Psalmist mentions his holy joy, as an evidence of his sincerity. Psal. cxix. 14. “I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches."
Religious sorrow, mourning, and brokenness of hcart, 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; Mat. v. 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.” Isa. Ixi. 1, 2. “ The Lord hath anointed me....to bind the broken heartci, to comfort all that mourn." This godly sorrow and brokenness of heart is often spoken of, not only as a great thing in the distisguishing character of the saints, but that in their, which is peculiarly acceptable and pleasing to God; Psal. li. 17. “ The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: A broken and a coatrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” Isa. Ivii. 15. " 'Thus saith the high and lolty 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 ths humble,
and to revive the freart of the contrite ones." Chap. Ixvi. 9. “ To this man will I look, even to him that is poor, and of a 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 dò fréquently speak of compassion or mercy, as a very great and essential thing in true religion ; insomuch that good men are in scripture denominated from hence; and a merciful man, and a good man, are equiv alent terms in scripture, Isa. lvii. I. “ The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart ; and merciful men are taken
And the scripture chooses out this quality, as that by which, in a peculiar manner, a righteous man' is decya phered ; Psal. xxxvii. 21. « The righteous sheveth mercy, and giveth ;” and ver. 26. “ He is ever merciful, and lendeth.” And Prov. xiv. 31. « Hc that honóreth the Lord, hath mercy on the poor.” And Col. iii. 12. Put ye on, as tlre elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies,” &c. This is one of those great things by which those who are truly blessed are described by our Saviour, Mat. 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, Matr xxiii. 23. 6 Woe unto yoú, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, for yé 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 that, Mic, vi. 8. « He hath shewed hée, Oman, 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 that, Hos. vi. 6. « For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice.” Whicly seems to have been a text much delighted in by our Saviour, by his manner of civing it once and again, Mat.ix. 13, and xii. 7.
Zeal is also spoken of, as a very essential part of the religion of frus saints. It is spoken of as a great thing 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 himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” And this is spoken of, as the great thing wanting in the lukewarm Laodiceans, Rev. iii. 15, 16, 19.
I have mentioned but a few texts, out of an innumerable multitude, all over the scripture, which place religion very much in the affections. But what has been observed, may be sufficient to shew that they who would deny that much of true religion lies in the affections, and maintain the contrary, must throw away what we have been wont to own for our Bible, and get some other rule, by which to judge of the nature of religion.
5. The scriptures do represent true religion, as being summarily comprehended in love, the chief of the affections, and fountain of all other affections.
So our blessed Saviour represents the matter, in answer to the lawyer, who asked him, which was the great commandment of the law, Mat. xxii. 37.....40. 6 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great. commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Which last words signify as much, as that these two commandments comprehend all the duty prescribed, and the religion taught in the law and the prophets. And the apostle Paul does from time to time make the same representation of the matter ; as in Rom. xii. 8. “ He that loveth another, hath fulfilled the law.” And ver. 10.“ Love is the fulfilling of the law.” And Gal. v. 14. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this, “ Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” So likewise in 1 Tim.
6 Now the end of the commandment is charity, out of a pure heart,” &c. So the same apostle speaks of love, as the greatest thing in religion, and as the vitals, essence and soul of it ; without which, the greatest knowledge and gifts, and the most glaring profession, and every thing else which apVOL.IV.
pertains to religion, are vain and worthless; and represents it as the fountain from whence proceeds all that is good, in 1 Cor. xiii. throughout ; for that which is there rendered charily, in the original is eyann, the proper English of which is love.
Now, although it be true, that the love thus spoken of includes the whole of a sincerely benevolent propensity of the soul towards God and man ; yet it niay be considered, that it is evident from what has been before observed, that this propensity or inclination of the soul, when in sensible and vigorous exercise, becomes affection, and is no other than affectionate love. And surely it is such vigorous and fervent love which Christ speaks of, as the sum of all religion, when he speaks of loving God with all our hearts, with all our souls, and with all our minds, and our neighbor as ourselves, as the sum of all that was taught and prescribed in the law and the prophets.
Indeed it cannot be supposed, when this affection of love is here, and in other scriptures, spoken of as the sum of all religion, that hereby is meant the act, exclusive of the habit, or that the exercise of the understanding is excluded, which is implied in all reasonable affection. But it is doubtless true, and evident from these scriptures, that the essence of all true religion lies in holy love ; and that in this divine affection, and an habitual disposition to it, and that light which is the foundation of it, and those things which are the fruits of it, consists the whole of religion.
From hence it clearly and certainly appears, that great part of true religion consists in the affections. For love is not only one of the affections, but it is the first and chief of the affections, and the fountain of all the affections. From love arises hatred of those things which are contrary to what we love, or which oppose and thwart us in those things that we delight in : And from the various exercises of love and hatred, according to the circumstances of the objects of these affections, as present or abscnt, certain or uncertain, probable or improbable, arise all those other affections of desire, hope, fear, joy, grief, gratitude, anger, &c. From a vigorous, affectionate,