Stevie's Reviews > The Religious Affections

The Religious Affections by Jonathan Edwards
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Jan 07, 08

really liked it
bookshelves: spiritual-kog, books-owned
Read in January, 2008

As was about a 1/3 of the way through the book when it hit me that I was reading an abridged and modernized text. I was quite frustrated and felt like I was not even reading Edwards' actual words. Despite this I was thoroughly roughed up in my soul by his words. The whole book is about how we need to examine our own sense of salvation. He argues that the surest sign of inward salvation is outward Christian obedience and character.

Poignant Excerpts:

"So it is God's way of dealing with mankind to lead them into a wilderness before He speaks comfortably to them. The principle that is many times demonstrated in Scripture is this: God will bring people into distress in order to make them see their own utter helplessness and absolute dependence upon His power and grace before He appears to work any great deliverance for them (Deut. 32:36,37)

"But what indecent self-exultation and arrogance it is when poor, fallible, and ignorant mortals pretend that they can determine and know who are really sincere and upright before God and who are not!"

"...perhaps God's goodness depends upon what they themselves define to be good. On false grounds such as these, men may love a god of their own imagination and be far removed from loving the true God who reigns in heaven."

"It is not primarily that they first see that God loves them and therefore He is to be loved, but rather that they first see that God Himself is lovely. Christ appears so glorious and excellent that their hearts are enraptured by Him alone. This then is what really motivates their true love of God."

"So a true saint is so wrapped up in the enjoyment of the true discoveries of the sweet glory of God and Christ that he never sees himself and his own attainments...he never wants to take his eye off the ravishing object of God."

"Holiness comprehends all the true virtues of a good man such as his love to God, his gracious love to men, his justice, his charity, his mercy, his gracious meekness and gentleness, and all the other true Christian virtues that he has"

"the test of affections, particularly love and joy, lies in whether or not holiness is the foundation of the affections."

"...spiritual understanding consists in: 'a sense of the heart for the supreme beauty and sweetness of the holiness of moral perfection of divine things, as well as all the discernment and knowledge of things of religion that depends on and flows from such a sense."

"Yet how small is the love of the most eminent saint in comparison to what God deserves!"

"All gracious affections that are a sweet perfume to Christ and that fill the soul of a Christian with a heavenly sweetness and fragrance are brokenhearted affections."

"...a true Christian can delight in religious fellowship and conversation, yet he also delights to retire from all fellow men and converse with God in solitude."

"To them the realities revealed in the Word of God are so great and so infinitely more important than anything else, that if a person believes in them it is inconsistent with human nature that he should not be influenced by them in practice."

"Trials and temptations are the vital proofs by which to determine truly whether men have the right disposition of heart to cleave to God or not."

APPLICATION: Pray daily for a week to see God more clearly in all his Holiness and Beauty.
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