Jonathan Edwards.

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Religious AfFedions,

In Three Parts;

Part I. Concerning the Nature of the AffeBions^
and their Importance in Religion,

Part II. Shewing what are no certain Signs that reli-
gious Affe^ions arc gracious^ or that they are not.

Part III. Shewing what are diftinguijhing Signs of
truly gracious and i?oly Affe5fions,

By Jonathan Kdwards^ a. ivi.

And Paftor of the /^r/? Church in Northampton,

Levit. ix. ult. and x. i, 2. ^W there came a Fire out from before the

Lordy upon the Altar', njjhich ivhen all the Peotie fanjo, they

Jheuted and fell on their Faces, And Nadab a.nd Abihu offered

f range Fire before the Lord, fwhich he commanded them not : And
there <went out a Fire from the Lord, and de^voured them, and they
died before the Lord.

Cant. ii. 12, 13. The Floivers appear on the Earth, the Tin:" of the
Singing ef Birds is come, and the Voice of the Turtle is heard in our
Land', the Fig-tree putteth forth her green Figs, and the Vines nvith
the tender Grape, gi-ve a good S?nell. Ver. i ^ . Take us the Foxes,
the little Foxes, ^which fpail the Vines ; for our Vines ha<ve tender
Grapes. '

The Second Edition.

BOSTON Printed:

New-York; Re-printed by J. Parker, for Garrat Nosl,
near the Merchant's Coftee-Houfe. 1763.


P R E F A C E.

HERE is no Queftion whatfoever, that is of
greater Importance to Mankind, and that it more
concerns every individual Perfon to be v/ell refol-
ved in, than this. What are the dijlinguijloing
Salifications of ihofe that are in Fa^vour ^jith Gca\
and entitled to his eternal Renvards ? Or, which
comes to tlie fame Thing, What is the Nature of
true Religion ? and n,vherein do lie the difinguijhing
Virtue and Holinefsy that is acceptable in the Sight of

Notes of that

God. But tho^it be of fuch Importance, and tho' we have clear and
abundant Light in the Word of God, to direct us in this Matter,
yet there is no one Point, wherein profelling Chrillians do more
diner one from another. It would be endlefs to reckon up the Va-
riety of Opinions in this Point, that divide the Chriftian World ;
making manifcfl the Truth of that of our Saviour, Strait is the Gate,
and narronxj is the Way, that leads to Life, and fe^vj there be that find it ^

The Confidcration of thefe Things has long engaged me to attend
to this Matter, with the utmoft Diligence and Care, and Exaftnefs of
Search and Enquiry, that I have been capable of: It is a Subjeft on
which my Mind has been peculiarly intent, ever fmcc I firft entred on
the Study of Divinity. — But as to the Succefs of my Enquiries, it muft
be left to the Judgment of the Reader of the following Treatife.

lam fenfibleitij much more difficult to judge impartially of that
which is the Subjeft of this Difcourfe, in the midft of the Duit and
Smoke of fuch a State of Controverfy, as this Land is now in, about
Things of this Nature : As it is more difFxult to write impartially, fo
it is more difficult to read impartially. — ^Many v/ill probably be- hurt
vsi their Spirits, to find fo much that appertains to religious Affeflions,


ii The P R E F A C E.

here condemned : And perhaps Indignation afld Contempt will be ex-
cited in others, by finding fo much here juftificd and appro^^d. And
it may be, fome will be ready to charge me with Inconfiflence witk
myfclf, in fo much approving fome Things, and fo much condemning
others; as I have found, this has always been objeded to me by fome»
ever fince the Beginning of our late Controverfies about Religion.
'Tis a hard Thing to be a hearty zealous Friend of what has been
good and glorious, in the late extraordinary Appearances, and to re-
joice much in it ; and at the iajne Time, to fee the evil and pernici-
ous Tendency of what has been bad^ and earneftly to oppofe that.
But yet, I am humbly, but fully perfwaded, we fhall never be in the
Way of Truth, nor go on in a Way acceptable to God, and teading to
the Advancement of ChriiFs Kingdom, 'till we do fo. There is indeed
fomethin^ very myfterious in it, that fo mu<:h Good and fo much
Bad, fhould be mix'd together in the Church of God: As 'tis a myfte-
rious Thing, and what has puzzled and amazed many a good Chri-
Hian, that there ihould be that which is fo divine and precious, as the
faving Grace of God, and the new and divine Nature, dwelling m
the fame Heart, with fo much Corruption, Hypocrify and Iniquity,
in a particular Saint. Yet neither of thefe, is more myilerious than
real. And neither of 'em is a new or rare Thing. 'Tis no new
Thing, that much falfe Religion Ihould prevail, at a Time of great
reviving of true Religion; and that at iucJi a Time, Multitudes of
Hypocrites fliould fpring up among true Saints. It was fo in that
great Reformation, and Revival of Religion, that was in Jofiah\
Time; as appears by Jer. iii. \o, and iv. 3, 4. andalfo by the great
Apollacy that there was in the Land, £0 foon after his Reign. So it
was in that great Out-pouring of the Spirit upon the Je^.vsj that was
in the Days of Joht the Baptifl\ as appears by the great Apollacy of
that People, fo foon after fo general an Awakening, and the tempo-
rary religious Comforts and Joys of many; John \\ '}^^, Te moere
'willing, for a Seafon, to rejoice in his Light, So it was in thofe great
Commotions that were among the Multitude, occafion'd by the
Preaching of Jefus Chrift : Of the many that nvere then called, but fenx>
'were chofen ; of the Multitude that were roufed and affected by his
Preaching, and at one Time or other appeared mightily engaged, full
of Admiration of Chrift, and elevated with Joy, but few were true
Difciples, that Hood the Shock of the great Trials that came after-
wards, and endured to the End: Many were like the flony Ground,
or thorny Ground; and but few, comparatively, like thegood Ground:
Of the whole Heap that was gathered, great Part was Chaff, that the
Wind afterv^ards drove away; and the Heap of Wheat that was left,
was comparatively fmall ; as appears abundantly, by the Hillory of
the New Teftament,. So it was in that great Out-pouring of the
Spirit that was in the ApolHe's Days ; as appears by Matth. 24, 10,
II, 12, 13. Gal, 3, I. and 4, 11, 15. Phil. 2, 21, and 3, 18,.
19. And the two Epillles of xht Corinthians,, and many other Parts
•f the nev/ Teliameut. And fo it was in the great Reformation front


The F R E F A C E. Vh

Popery.' It appears plainly to have been in the vifible Church of

God, in Times of great reviving of Religion, from Time to Time,
as it is with the Fruit Trees in the Spring ; there are a Multitude of
Blofibms; all v/hich appear fair and beautiful, and there is a promi-
{ing Appearance of young Fruits ; but many of them are butof Ihort
Continuance, they ibon fail off, and never come to Maturity.

Not that it is to be fuppofed, that it will always be fo : For tho* there
never will, in this World, be an entire Purity ; cither in particular
Saints, in a perfed Freedom from Mixtures of Corruption; or in
the Church of God, without any Mixture of Hypocrites with Saints,
and counterfeit Religion, and falfe Appearances of Grace, with
true Religion and real Holinefs : Yet, 'tis evident, that there will
come a Time of much greater Purity in the Church of God, than has
been in Ages pall ; it is plain by thofe Texts of Scriptures, Ijii. lii. i.
Szei.^l. 6, 7, 9. Joel 3, 17. Zech. 14, 21. ffaX 69, 32, 35, 36.
J/ai. 35, 8, 10. C/pa/>. 4, 3, 4. EzeL 20, 38. Fjizl. 37, 9, 10, II,
29. And one great Reafon of it will be, th?,t at that Time,
God will give much greater Light to his People, £0 diiHnguifh between
true Religion and its Counterfeits ; Mai. iii. 3. y^n(^ he jhallfit as a.
Rejiner and Purifier of Silver', and he jh all purify the Sons of Levi, and
purge them as Gold and Sil'ver \ that they may offer to the Lord an Offer-
ing in Right eoufiefs. With Verfe 18, which is a Continuation of the
Prophecy of the fame happy Times; then Jhall ye return, and difcern
betiveen the Righteous and the Wichd^ hetnjoeen him that fer-vcth God,
and him that ferret h him not.

'Tis by the Mixture of coijntcrfeit Religion with true, not difcern *d
,^nd dillinguifhed, that the Devil has had his greateft Advantage
.againft the Caufe and Kingdom of Chrift, all along, hitherto. 'Tis
plainly by this Means, principally, that he has prevail'd againil all
Revivings of Religion, that ever have been, fmce the firll founding
of theChrilHan Church. By this, he hurt the Caufe of Chriftianity,
in, and after the apoftolic Age, much more than by all the Perfecu-
tions of both Jevus and Heathens : The Apoftles in all their Epiilles,
ihew themfelves much more concerned at the former A4ifchief, than
the latter. By this, Satan prevail'd againft the Reformation, begun
by Luther, Zuinglius, Sec, to put a Stop to its Progrefs, and brin?
it into Difgr^ce ; ten Times more than by all thofe bloody, cruel, ana
before unheard of Perfecutions of the Church of Rome. By this
principally, has he prevailed againft Revivals of Religion, that have
been in our Nation fmce the Reformation. By this he prevail'd
againft Ne^-England, to quench the Love, and fpoil the Joy of her
Efpoufals, about an hundred Years ago. And I think, I have had
Opportunity enough to fee plainly, that by this, the Devil has pre-
vail'd againft the late great Revival of Religion in Ne^vo-Englands
fo happy and promifmg in its Beginning : Here moft evidently has
'been the main Advantage Satan has had againft us j b^ this he has


IV The P R E F A C E.

foird us ; 'tis by this Means that the Daughter of Zion in this Land,
now lies on tlie Ground, in fuch piteous Circumftances, as we now
behold her; with her Garments rent, her Face disfigur'd, her Naked-
nefs expos'd, her Limbs broken, and weltering in the Blood of her
own Wounds, and in no wife able to arife; and this, fo quickly after
her late great Joys and Hope: Lam. i, 17. Zion fpreadeth forth her
Hands, and there is none to comfort her : The Lord hath commanded co7i^
cerning Jacob, that his Ad-verfaries Jhall he round about him : Jerufalem
is as a menjiruous Woman a7nong them. I have obferv'd the Devil prevail
the fame Way, againfl two great Revivings of Religion in this Coun-
try. — Satan goes en with Mankind, as he began witli them: He pre-
vail'd againit our iirlt Parents, and call: 'em out of Paradife, andfud-
denly brought all their Happinefs and Glory to an End, by appearing
to be a Friend to their happy Paradifaic State, and pretending to
advance it to higher Degrees. So the fame cunning Serpent, that
beguiled E've thro' his Subtilty, by perverting us from the Simplicity
that is in Chrift, hath fuddenly prevail'd to deprive us of that fair
Profpeft, we had a little while ago, of ^ Kind of paradifaic State of
the Church of God in Neivr-England*

After Religion has revived in the Church of God, and Enemies
appear, People that are engaged to defend its Caufe, are commonly
moft expofed, where they are lead fenfible of Danger. While they
tTQ wholy iutent upon the Oppofition that appears openly before 'em,
to make Head againll that, and do negle6l carefully to look all round
'em, the Devil comes behind 'em, and gives a fatal Stab unfeen; and
has Opportunity to give a more home Stroke, and wound the deeper,
becaufe he llrikes at his Leifure, and according to his Pleafure,
being obllrud:ed by no Guard or Refiftance.

Andfolt is likely ever to be in the Church, whenever Religion
revives remarkably, 'till we have learned v/ell to diftinguifh between
true and falfe Religion, between faving AfFedions and Experiences,
and thofe manifold fair Shews, and glittering Appearances, by which
they are counterfeited ; the Confequences of which, when they are
not diilinguiflied, are often inexpreffibly dreadful. By this Means,
the Devil gratifies himfelf, by bringing it to pafs, that That Ihould be
offered to God, by Multitudes, under a Notion of a pleafing accept-
able Sacrifice to him, that is indeed above all Things abominable to
him. By this Means, he deceives great Multitudes about the State
of their Souls ; making them think they are fomething, when they
are nothing ; and fo eternally undoes them : And not only fo, but
eftabiilhes many in a ftrong Confidence of their eminent Holinefs,
who are in God's Sight fome of the vilefl of Hypocrites. By this Means
he many Ways damps and wounds Religion in the Hearts of the
Saints, obfcures and deforms it by corrupt Mixtures, caufes their reli-r
gious AfFed\ions wofuUy to degenerate, and fometimes for a confide-
r^ble Time, to be like the Manna, that bred worms and flank ; and



dreadfully cnfnares and confounds the Minds of others of the Sdnts»
and brings 'em into great Difficulties and Temptations, and entangles
'em in a Wildernefs, out of which they can by no Means extricate
themfelves. By this Means, Satan mightily encourages the Hearts of
open Enemies of Religion, and flrengthens their Hands, and fills them
with Weapons, and. makes llrong their FortrefTes ; when at the fame
Time, Religion and the Church of God lieexpofed to '«m, as a City
without Walls. By this Means, he brings it to pafs, that Men work
Wickednefs under a Notion of doing God Service, and fo fin with-
out Reftraint, yea with earneil Forwardnefs and Zeal, and with all
their Might. By this Means, he brings in, even the Friends of Reli-
gion, infenfibly to themfelves, x6 do the Work of Enemies, by deftroy-
ing Religion in a far more effeftual Manner, than open Enemies can
do, under a Notion of advancing it. By this Means, the Devil
fcatters the Flock of Chrift, and fets 'em one againft: another, and
that with great Heat of Spirit, under a Notion 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 moll inclined, or moft eafily moved
and fway'd, 'till the right Path in the Middle, is almoft wholly neg-
ledled. And in the midll of this Confulion, the Devil has great
Opportunity to advance his own Intercft, and make it Urong in Ways
innumerable, and get the Government of all into his own Hands,
and work his own Will. And b,y what is feen of the terrible Confe-
quences of this counterfeit Religion, when not diftinguilhed from
true Religion, God's People in general have their Minds unhinged
and unfettled in Things of Religion, and know not v/herc to fet their
Foot, or what to think or do; and many are brought into Doubts,
whether there be any Thing at all in Religion ; and Herefy, and
Infidelity and Atheifm greatly prevail.

Therefore, it greatly concerns us to ufe our utmofl Endeavours,
clearly to difcern, and have it well fettled and eftabliflied, wherein,
true Religion does confill. 'Till this be done, it may be expeded
that great Revivings of Religion will be but of fhort Continuance :
'Till this be done, there is but little Good to be expe6led, of all our
warm Debates, in Converfation and from the Prefs, not knowing
clearly and difiindly, what we ought to contend for.

My Defign is to contribute my Mite, and to ufe my beft (however
feeble) Endeavours to this End, in the enfuing Treatife : Wherein it
mull be noted, that my Defign is fomewhat diverfe from the Defign
of what I have formerly publilhed, which was to ihcv/the dijii?iguijhing
Marks of a Work of the Spirit of God, including both his common,
and faving Operations ; but what I aim at now, is. to Ihew the Nature
and Signs of the gracious Operations of God's Spirit, by which they
are to be dillinguilhed from all Things whatfoever, that the Minds of


vl 7he P R E F A C E.

Men are the Subje6ls of, which arc not of a faving Nature. If I have
Tfucceeded in this my Aim, in any tolerable Mcafure, I hope it will
tend to promote the Intereft of Religion. And whether I have fuc-
ceeded to bring any Light to this Subjedl, or no, and however my
Attempt may be reproach'd, in thcfc captious, cenforious Times, I
hope in the Mercy of a gracious and righteous God, for the Accep-
tance of the Sincerity of my Endeavours, and hope alfo, for the
Candor and Prayers of the true Followers of the meek and charitable
Lamb of God.







-"^ ■ ^ .^ :t














Concerning the Nature of the AfFedions,
and their Importance in Religion,

I PETER i. 8.

Whom having not Jeen^ ye love : In whom^ though
now ye fee htm not^ yet believing^ ye rejoice with
Joy un/peakabity and full of Gtory^

N thefe Words, the Apoflle repre-
W. fents the State of the Minds of the
Chriftians he wrote to, under the Per-
fecutions they were then the Subjeds
of. Thefe Perfecutions are what he
has Refpe6l to, in the two preceeding
Verfes, when he fpeaks of the T^rial of
their Faith ^ and of their being in Heavinefs through ma-
Tiifold temptations.

Such Trials are of threefold Benefit to true Religion :
Hereby the Truth of it is manifefted, and it appears
to be indeed true Religion: They, above all other
Things, have a Tendency to diftinguifh between true
Religion and falfe, and to caufe the Difference between
them evidently to appear. Hence they are called by


2 ^be Nature and Importance Part I.

the Name of Trials^ in the Verfc nextly prececding the
Text, and in innumerable other Places: They try the
Faith and Religion of Profeflbrs, of what Sort it is,
as apparent Gold is tried in the Fire, and manifefted,
whether it be true Gold or no. And the F^ith of true
Chriflians being thus tried and proved to be true, is
found to Praife^ and Honour^ and Glory ; as in that pre-
ceeding Verfc.

And then, Thefe Trials are of further Benefit to
true K eiigion ; they not only manifeft xh^ Truth of it,
but they make it's genuine Beauty and Amiabknefs re-
markably to appear. True Virtue never appears fo
lovely, as when it is mod oppreiTed: And the divine
Excellency of re^l Chriftianity, is never exhibited with
fuch Advantage, as when under the greateft Trials:
Then it is that true Faith appears much more precious
than Gold-, and upon this Account, is found to Praife^ '
and Honour^ and Glory,

And again, Another Benefit that fuch Trials are of
to true Religion, is, that they purify and increafe it.
They not only manifeft it to be true, but alfo tend to
refine it, and deliver it from thofe Mixtures of that
which is falfe, which incumber and impede it; that
rothing may be left but that which is true. They
tend to caufe the Amiablenefs of true Religion to appear
to the beft Advantage, as v;as before obferved-, and
not only fo, but they tend to increafe it's Beauty, by
eilabliihing and confirming it, and making it more
lively apd vigorous, and purifying it from thofe Things
that obfcured it's Luftrc and Glory. As Gold that is
tried in the Fire, is purged from it's Alloy, and all
Remainders of Drofs, and comes forth more folid and
beautiful-, fo true Faith being tried as Gold is tried in the
Fire, becomes more precious; and thus alfo is found
unto Pnilfe^ and Honour^ and Glory, The Apoftle feems
to have Reipe6l to each of thefe Benefits, that Perfc-
cutions are of to true Religion, in the Verfe preceeding

the Text. ' •


PAr^T I. of religious Jlffe5fic?7s, j

And in the Text, the Apoftle obferves how true
Religion operated in the ChrifVians he wrote to, under
their PerfecudoRs, whereby thefe Benefits of Perfecu-
tion appeared in them; or what manner of Operation
of true Religion, in them, it v/as, vJnereby their Reli-
gion, under Perfecutior^, was manifeiLed to be true
Religion, and eminently appeared in the genuine Beauty
and Amiablcnefs of true Rciigion, and alio appeared to
be increafed and purified^ and fo was like to be found
unto Praife^ and Hcncur^ and Glory^ at the Appearing
of Jefus Chrift. And there were two Kinds of Opera-
tion, or Exercife of true Religion in them, under
their Sufferings, that the Apoftle takes Notice of in
the Text, wherein thefe Benefits appeared.

1. Love to Ckrift\ Whom having not feen^ ye love.
The World was ready to wonder, what irrange Prin-
ciple it was, that infiuenc'd them to expofe themfeives
to fo great Sufi^erings, to forfake the Things that were
feen, and renounce all that was dear and pleafant,
which was the Objedl of Sene: They feem'd to the
Men of the World about them, as thoiicrh they were
befide themfeives, and to zCz as tho' they hated .them-
feives; there v/as nothing in their View, that could
induce them thus to fufier, and fupport them under,
and carry them, thro' fuch Trials. But altho' there was
nothing that was feen, nothing that the Vv^orld faw, or
that the Chriftians themfeives ever faw with their bodily
Eyes, that thus infiuenced and fupported 'em ; yet
they had a fupernaturai Principle of Love to fomething
unfeen\ they loved Jefus Chriii; for they faw him
fpiritually, v/hom the World faw nor, and v/hom thev
themfeives had never feen with bodilv Eves.

2. Joy in Chrijl, Tho' their outward SulTerings v/ere
very grievous, yet their inv/ard fp'ritual Joys v/ere
greater tlian their Sufferings, and thefe fupported them,
and enabled them to fuffer with Chearfulnefs.


4 The Nature of Part I.

There are two Things which the ApoAle takes Notice
of in the Text concerning this Joy. i. The Manner
in which it rifes, the Way in which Chrift, tho' unfeen,
is the Foundation of it, viz. By Faith ^ which is the
Evidence of Things notfeen-, Inwhom^ though now ye
fee him not^ yet believing, ye rejoice — . 2. The Nature
of this Joy ; unfpeakable^ and full of Glory, Unfpeakable
in the Kind of itj very different from worldly Joys, and
carnal Delights; of a vaftly more pure, fublime and
heavenly Nature, being fomcthing fupernatural, and
truly divine, and fo ineffably excellent; the Sublimity
and exquifite Sv/eetnefs of which, there were no Words
to fet forth. Unfpeakable alfo in Degree-^ it pleafmg
God to give 'em this holy Joy, with a liberal H^and, and
in larcre Meafure, in their State of Perfecution.

Their Joy was full of Glory : Altho' the Joy was un-
fpeakable, and no Words were fufficient to defcribe it;
yetfomething might be faid of it, and no Words more
fit to reprefent it's Excellency, than thefe, that it was
full of Glory -, or. as it is in the Original, glorified Joy,
In rejoicing with this Joy, their Minds were filled, as
it were, with a glorious Brightnefs, and their Natures
exalted and perfected : It was a moft worthy, noble Re-
joicing, that did not corrupt and debafe the Mind, as
many carnal Joys do -, but did greatly beautify and dig-
nify it: It was a Prelibation of the Joy of Heaven, that
railed their Minds to a Degree of heavenly Blefiednefs :
It fili'd their Minds with the Light of God's Glory,
and made 'em themfelves to fliine with fome Communi-
cation of that Glory.

Hence the Propofition or Dodrine, that I would raife
from thefe Words is this,

DOCT. True Religion, in great Part, conjijis in holy

We fee that the Apoftle, in obferving and remarking
the Operations and Exercifes of Religion, in the Chri-
Itians he wjote to, wherein their Religion appeared to


Part I. the AffeBions. 5

be true and of the right Kind, when it had it's greateft
Trial of what Sort it was, being tried by Perfecution
as Gold is tried in the Fire, and when their Religion
not only proved true, but was moft pure, and clcanfed
from it's Drofs and Mixtures of that which was not true,
and when Religion appeared in them moft in it's genuine
Excellency and native Beauty, and was found to Praife,
and Honour, and Glory; he fingles out the religious
Affedlions of hove and Joy^ that were then in exercife
in them : Thefe are the Exercifes of Religion he takes
Notice of, wherein their Religion did thus appear true
and pure, and in it's proper Glory.

Here I would,

I. Shew what is intended by the AffeEiions,

II. Obferve fome Things which make it evident, that
i great Part of true Religion lies in the AfFedions.

I. It may be enquired, what the AiFedlions of the
Mind are?

I anfwer. The AfFe61;ions are no other, than the more
vigorous and fenfible Exercifes of the Inclination and
Will of the Soul.

God has endued the Soul with two Faculties : One i^
thaf by which it is capable of Perception and Specula-

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