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The Religious Affections The Religious Affections by Jonathan Edwards
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“Godliness is more easily feigned in words than in actions”
Jonathan Edwards, The Religious Affections
“A truly Christian love, either to God or men, is a humble broken-hearted love. The desires of the saints, however earnest, are humble desires. Their hope is a humble hope; and their joy, even when it is unspeakable and full of glory, is a humble broken-hearted joy, and leaves the Christian more poor in spirit, and more like a little child, and more disposed to a universal lowliness of behaviour.”
Jonathan Edwards, The Religious Affections
“True Christian fortitude consists in strength of mind, through grace, exerted in two things; in ruling and suppressing the evil and unruly passions and affections of the mind; and in steadfastly and freely exerting and following good affections and dispositions, without being hindered by sinful fear or the opposition of enemies... Though Christian fortitude appears in withstanding and counteracting the enemies that are without us; yet it much more appears in resisting and suppressing the enemies that are within us; because they are our worst and strongest enemies and have greatest advantage against us. The strength of the good soldier of Jesus Christ appears in nothing more than in steadfastly maintaining the holy calm, meekness, sweetness, and benevolence of his mind, amidst all the storms, injuries, strange behaviour, and surprising acts and events of this evil and unreasonable world.”
Jonathan Edwards, The Religious Affections
“The deceitfulness of the heart of man appears in no one thing so much as this of spiritual pride and self-righteousness. The subtlety of Satan appears in its height, in his managing persons with respect to this sin. And perhaps one reason may be that here he has most experience; he knows the way of its coming in; he is acquainted with the secret springs of it: it was his own sin. Experience gives vast advantage in leading souls, either in good or evil.”
Jonathan Edwards, The Religious Affections
“True virtue never appears so lovely as when it is most oppressed; and the divine excellency of real Christianity is never exhibited with such advantage as when under the greatest trials; then it is that true faith appears much more precious than gold, and upon this account is "found to praise and honour and glory.”
Jonathan Edwards, The Religious Affections
“Grace is the seed of glory, the dawning of glory in the heart, and therefore grace is the earnest of the future inheritance.”
Jonathan Edwards, The Religious Affections
tags: grace
“Men will trust in God no further than they know Him; and they cannot be in the exercise of faith in Him one ace further than they have a sight of His fulness and faithfulness in exercise.”
Jonathan Edwards, The Religious Affections
“The spirit of bondage works by fear for the slave fears the rod: but love cries, Abba, Father; it disposes us to go to God, and behave ourselves towards God as children; and it gives us clear evidence of our union to God as His children, and so casts out fear. So that it appears that the witness of the Spirit the apostle speaks of, is far from being any whisper, or immediate suggestion or revelation; but that gracious holy effect of the Spirit of God in the hearts of the saints, the disposition and temper of children, appearing in sweet childlike love to God, which casts out fear or a spirit of a slave.”
Jonathan Edwards, The Religious Affections
“So that it must be only by the imagination that Satan has access to the soul, to tempt and delude it, or suggest anything to it. And this seems to be the reason why persons that are under the disease of melancholy are commonly so visibly and remarkably subject to the suggestions and temptations of Satan... Innumerable are the ways by which the mind may be led on to all kind of evil thoughts, by the exciting of external ideas in the imagination.”
Jonathan Edwards, The Religious Affections
“A poor man is not disposed to quick and high resentment when he is among the rich: he is apt to yield to others, for he knows others are above him: he is not stiff and self-willed; he is patient with hard fare; he expects no other than to be despised, and takes it patiently; he does not take it heinously that he overlooked and but little regarded; he is prepared to be in a lowly place; he readily honours his superiors; he takes reproofs quietly; he readily honours others as above him; he easily yields to be taught, and does not claim much to his understanding and judgment; he is not over nice or humoursome, and has his spirit subdued to hard things; he is not assuming, nor apt to take much upon him, but it is natural for him to be subject to others. Thus it is with the humble Christian.”
Jonathan Edwards, The Religious Affections
“For when God is said by these things to try men and prove them, to see what is in their hearts and whether they will keep His commandments or no, we are not to understand, that it is for His own information, or that He may obtain evidence Himself of their sincerity (for he needs no trials for His information); but chiefly for their conviction, and to exhibit evidence to their consciences...
So when God tempted or tried Abraham with that difficult command of offering up his son, it was not for His satisfaction, whether he feared God or no, but for Abraham's own greater satisfaction and comfort, and the more clear manifestation of the favour of God to him.”
Jonathan Edwards, The Religious Affections
“We should get into the way of appearing lively in religion, more by being lively in the service of God and our generation than by the liveliness and forwardness of our tongues, and making a business of proclaiming on the house tops with our mouths the holy and eminent acts and exercises of our own hearts. Christians that are intimate friends would talk together of their experiences and comforts in a manner better becoming Christian humility and modesty, and more to each other's profit: their tongues not running before, but rather going behind their hands and feet, after the prudent example of the blessed apostle, 2 Cor. xii. 6. Many occasions of spiritual pride would thus be cut off, and so a great door shut against the devil. A great many of the main stumbling-blocks against experimental and powerful religion would be removed, and religion would be declared and manifested in such a way that, instead of hardening spectators, and exceedingly promoting infidelity and atheism, it would, above all things, tend to convince men that there is a reality in religion, and greatly awaken them, and win them, by convincing their consciences of the importance and excellency of religion. Thus the light of professors would so shine before men, that others, seeing their good works, would glorify their Father which is in heaven.”
Jonathan Edwards, The Religious Affections
“But that is the nature of true grace and spiritual light, that it opens to a person's view the infinite reason there is that he should be holy in a high degree. And the more grace he has, and the more this is opened to view, the greater sense he has of the infinite excellency and glory of the divine Being, and of the infinite dignity of the person of Christ, and the boundless length and breadth and depth and height of the love of Christ to sinners. And as grace increases, the field opens more and more to a distant view, until the soul is swallowed up with the vastness of the object, and the person is astonished to think how much it becomes him to love this God and this glorious Redeemer that has so loved man, and how little he does love. And so the more he apprehends, the more the smallness of his grace and love appears strange and wonderful: and therefore he is more ready to think that others are beyond him.”
Jonathan Edwards, The Religious Affections
“Since holiness is the main thing that excites, draws, and governs all gracious affections, it is no wonder that all such affections tend to holiness. That which men love, they desire to have and to be united to, and possessed of. That beauty which men delight in, they desire to be adorned with. Those acts which men delight in, they necessarily incline to do.”
Jonathan Edwards, The Religious Affections
“But it is doubtless true, and evident from [the] 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.”
Jonathan Edwards, The Religious Affections
“True gratitude or thankfulness to God for his kindness to us, arises from a foundation laid before, of love to God for what he is in himself; whereas a natural gratitude has no such antecedent foundation. The gracious stirrings of grateful affection to God, for kindness received, always are from a stock of love already in the heart, established in the first place on other grounds, viz. God's own excellency.”
Jonathan Edwards, The Religious Affections
“The ingenerating of a principle of grace in the soul seems in Scripture to be compared to the conceiving of Christ in the womb... And the conception of Christ in the womb of the blessed virgin by the power of the Holy Ghost, seems to be a designed resemblance of the conception of Christ in the soul of a believer by the power of the same Holy Ghost.”
Jonathan Edwards, The Religious Affections
“Unless men may come to a reasonable, solid persuasion and conviction of the truth of the gospel, by the internal evidences of it, . . . by a sight of its glory; it is impossible that those who are illiterate, and unacquainted with history, should have any thorough and effectual conviction of it at all. They may without this, see a great deal of probability of it; it may be reasonable for them to give much credit to what learned men and historians tell them. . . . But to have a conviction, so clear, and evident, and assuring, as to be sufficient to induce them, with boldness to sell all, confidently and fearlessly to run the venture of the loss of all things, and of enduring the most exquisite and long continued torments, and to trample the world under foot, and count all things but dung for Christ, the evidence they can have from history, cannot be sufficient.”
Jonathan Edwards, The Religious Affections
“But yet it is evident that religion consists so much in affection, as that without holy affection there is no true religion; and no light in the understanding is good which does not produce holy affection in the heart: no habit or principle in the heart is good which has no such exercise; and no external fruit is good which does not proceed from such exercises.”
Jonathan Edwards, The Religious Affections
“Take away all the moral beauty and sweetness in the Word, and the Bible is left wholly a dead letter, a dry, lifeless, tasteless thing. By this is seen the true foundation of our duty, the worthiness of God to be so esteemed, honoured, loved, submitted to, and served, as He requires of us, and the amiableness of the duties themselves that are required of us. And by this is seen the true evil of sin; for he who sees the beauty of holiness must necessarily see the hatefulness of sin, its contrary. By this men understand the true glory of heaven, which consists in the beauty and happiness that is in holiness. By this is seen the amiableness and happiness of both saints and angels. He that sees beauty of holiness, or true moral good, sees the greatest and most important thing in the world, which is the fulness of all things, without which all the world is empty, no better than nothing, yea, worse than nothing. Unless this is seen, nothing is seen that is worth the seeing; for there is no other true excellency or beauty. Unless this be understood, nothing is understood that is worthy of the exercise of the noble faculty of understanding. This is the beauty of the Godhead, and the divinity of Divinity (if I may so speak), the good of the infinite Fountain of good; without which, God Himself (if that were possible) would be an infinite evil; without which we ourselves had better never have been; and without which there had better have been no being.”
Jonathan Edwards, The Religious Affections
“In the soul where Christ savingly is, there He lives. He not only lives without it, so as violently to actuate it, but He lives in it, so that the soul also is alive. Grace in the soul is as much from Christ, as the light in a glass, held out in the sunbeams, is from the sun. But this represents the manner of the communication of grace to the soul only in part; because the glass remains as it was, the nature of it not being at all changed; it is as much without any lightsomeness in its nature as ever. But the soul of a saint receives light from the Sun of Righteousness, in such a manner that its nature is changed, and it becomes properly a luminous thing; not only does the sun shine in the saints, but they also become little suns, partaking of the nature of the Fountain of their light. In this respect, the manner of their derivation of light is like that of the lamps in the tabernacle, rather than that of a reflecting glass; which, though they were lit up by fire from heaven, yet thereby became themselves burning shining things.”
Jonathan Edwards, The Religious Affections
“As it is with spiritual discoveries and affections given at first conversion, so it is in all subsequent illuminations and affections of that kind; they are all transforming. There is a like divine power and energy in them as in the first discoveries; they still reach the bottom of the heart, and affect and alter the very nature of the soul, in proportion to the degree in which they are given. And a transformation of nature is continued and carried on by them to the end of life, until it is brought to perfection in glory.”
Jonathan Edwards, The Religious Affections
“Religion consists much in holy affection; but those exercises of affection which are most distinguishing of true religion are these practical exercises. Friendship between earthly friends consists much in affection; but those strong exercises of affection that actually carry them through fire and water for each other are the highest evidences of true friendship.”
Jonathan Edwards, The Religious Affections
“Divines are generally agreed that sin radically and fundamentally consists in what is negative, or privative, having its root and foundation in a privation or want of holiness. And therefore undoubtedly, if it be so that sin does very much consist in hardness of heart, and so in the want of pious affections of heart, holiness does consist very much in those pious affections.”
Jonathan Edwards, The Religious Affections
“But saints and angels behold that glory of God which consists in the beauty of His holiness; and it is this sight only that will melt and humble the hearts of men, wean them from the world, draw them to God, and effectually change them. A sight of the awful greatness of God may overpower men's strength, and be more than they can endure; but if the moral beauty of God be hid, the enmity of the heart will remain in its full strength. No love will be enkindled; the will, instead of being effectually gained, will remain inflexible. But the first glimpse of the moral and spiritual glory of God shining into the heart produces all these effects as it were with omnipotent power, which nothing can withstand.”
Jonathan Edwards, The Religious Affections
“He who has no religious affection, is in a state of spiritual death, and is wholly destitute of the powerful, quickening, saving influences of the Spirit of God upon his heart.”
Jonathan Edwards, Religious Affections
“True virtue never looks so lovely as when it is most oppressed, and the divine excellence of real Christianity is never demonstrated as clearly as when it faces trials.”
Jonathan Edwards, Religious Affections: True Faith Shows Itself in the Fruit of the Spirit and Christlike Living
“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. 3, 4, 5.”
Jonathan Edwards, The Religious Affections
“How great therefore may the resemblance be, as to all outward expressions and appearances, between a hypocrite and a true saint!”
Jonathan Edwards, The Religious Affections
“appear. But”
Jonathan Edwards, Religious Affections

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