By Jonathan 1703-1758 Edwards

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Additional resources for A treatise concerning religious affections : in three parts

Sample text

By this means he brings in even the friends of religion, insensibly to themselves, to do the work of enemies, by destroying religion in a far more effectual manner than open enemies can do, under a notion of advancing it. By this means the devil scatters the flock of Christ, and sets them one against another, and that with great heat of spirit, under a nation of zeal for God; and religion, by degrees degenerates into vain jangling; and during the strife, Satan leads both parties far out of the right way, driving each to great extremes, one on the right hand, and the other on the left, according as he finds they are most inclined, or most easily moved and swayed, till the right path in the middle is almost wholly neglected.

Hence true religion is called the power of godliness, in distinction from the external appearances of it, that are the form of it, 2 Tim. " The Spirit of God, in those that have sound and solid religion, is a spirit of powerful holy affection; and therefore, God is said "to have given the Spirit of power, and of love, and of a sound mind," 2 Tim. 1:7. And such, when they receive the Spirit of God, in his sanctifying and saving influences, are said to be "baptized with the Holy Ghost, and with fire;" by reason of the power and fervor of those exercises the Spirit of God excites in their hearts, whereby their hearts, when grace is in exercise, may be said to "burn within them;" as is said of the disciples, Luke 24:32.

5:14, 15. And his epistles are full of expressions of an overpowering affection towards the people of Christ. He speaks of his dear love to them, 2 Cor. 12:19, Phil. 4:1, 2 Tim. 1:2; of his "abundant love," 2 Cor. 2:4; and of his "affectionate and tender love," as of a nurse towards her children, 1 Thess. " So also he speaks of his "bowels of love," Phil. 1:8, Philem. 5, 12, and 20. So he speaks of his "earnest care" for others, 2 Cor. 8:16, and of his "bowels of pity, or mercy towards them, Phil.

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