Wednesday, 16 July 2008

The Religious Affections - 1

Book Cover of The Religious Affections
In the preface of The Religious Affections, Jonathan Edwards writes:
It is a hard thing to be a hearty zealous friend of what has been good and glorious in the late extraordinary appearances, and to rejoice much in it; and at the same time to see the evil and pernicious tendency of what has been bad, and earnestly to oppose that. But yet, I am humbly but fully persuaded, we shall never be in the way of truth, nor go on in a way acceptable to God and tending to the advancement of Christ's kingdom, till we do so.

I am also persuaded and challenged by what he says here, but he continues:
There is indeed something very mysterious in it, that so much good, and so much bad, should be mixed together in the church of God; just as it is a mysterious thing which has puzzled and amazed many a good Christian, that there should be that which is so divine and precious, viz.: the saving grace of God, and the new and divine nature, dwelling with so much corruption, hypocrisy, and iniquity, in the heart of the same saint. Yet neither of these is more mysterious than real. And neither of them is a new or rare thing. It is no new thing, that much false religion should prevail, at a time of great reviving of true religion; and that at such a time multitudes of hypocrites should spring up among true saints.

Now, this is comforting and encouraging too. I needed to hear this lately. Pray for me that I do not despair, but continue to fight the good fight.

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