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Yea, it is questionable whether an imbodied soul ever so much as thinks one thought, or has any exercise at all, but that there is some corresponding motion or alteration of motion, in some degree, of the fluids, in some part of the body. But universal experience shews, that the exercise of the affections have in a special manner a tendency to some sensible effect upon the body. And if this be so, that all affections have some effect on the body, we may then well suppose, the greater those affections be, and the more vigorous their exercise (other circumstances being equal) the greater will be the effect on the body. Hence it is not to be wondered at, that very great and strong exercises of the affections should have great effects on the body. And therefore, seeing there are very great affections, both common and spiritual; hence it is not to be wondered at, that great effects on the body should arise from both these kinds of affections. And consequently these effects are no signs, that the affections they arise from, are of one kind or the other. dom

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Great effects on the body certainly are no sure evidences that affections are spiritual; for we see that such effects of tentimes arise from great affections about temporal things, and when religion is no way concerned in them. And if great affections about secular things, that are purely nat ural, may have these effects, I know not by what rule we should determine that high affections about religious things, which arise in like manner from nature, cannot have the like effect.....


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Nor, on the other hand, do I know of any rule any have to determine, that gracious and holy affections, when raised as high as any natural affections, and have equally strong and vigorous exercises, cannot have a great effect on the body. No such rule can be drawn from reason I know of no reason, why a being affected with a view of God's glory should not cause the body to faint, as well as being affected with a view of Solomon's glory. And no such rule has as yet been produced from the scripture; none has ever been found in all the late controversies which have been about things of this nature. There is a great power in spiritual affections: We read

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of the power which worketh in Christians,* and of the Spirit of God being in them as the Spirit of power, and of the effectual working of his power in them, yea, of the working of God's mighty power in them. But man's nature is weak: Flesh and blood are represented in scripture as exceeding weak ; and particularly with respect to its unfitness for great spiritual and heavenly operations and exercises, Mat. xxvi. 41. 1 Cor. xv. 43, and 50. The text we are upon speaks of " joy unspeakable, and full of glory." And who that considers what man's nature is, and what the nature of the affections is, can reasonably doubt but that such unut-> erable and glorious joys, may be too great and mighty for weak dust and ashes, so as to be considerably overbearing to it? It is evident by the scripture, that true divine discoveries, or ideas of God's glory, when given in a great degree, have a tendency, by affecting the mind, to overbear the body; because the scripture teaches us often, that if these ideas or views should be given to such a degree, as they are given in heaven, the weak frame of the body could not subsist under it, and that no man can in that manner, see God and live. The knowledge which the saints have of God's beauty and glory in this world, and those holy affections that arise from it, are of the same nature and kind with what the saints are the subjects of in heaven, differing only in degree and circumstances: What God gives them here, is a foretaste of heavenly happiness, and an earnest of their future inheritance. And who shall limit God in his giving this earnest, or say he shall give so much of the inheritance, such a part of the future reward, as an earnest of the whole, and no more? And seeing God has taught us in his word, that the whole reward is such, that it would at once destroy the body, is it not too bold a thing for us, so to set bounds to the sovereign God, as to say, that in giving the earnest of this reward in this world, he shall never give so much of it, as in the least to diminish the strength of the body, when God has no where thus limited himself?

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The Psalmist, speaking of the vehement religious affections he had, speaks of an effect in his flesh or body, besides what was


Eph, iii. 7. + 2 Tim. i. 7. Eph. iii. 7, 20. | Eph. i, 19.

in his soul, expressly distinguishing one from the other, once and again, Psal. lxxxiv. 2. "My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: My heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God." Here is a plain distinction between the heart and the flesh, as being each affected. So Psal. lxiii. 1. "My soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee, in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is." Here also is an evident designed distinction between the soul and the flesh.

The prophet Habakkuk speaks of his body's being overborn by a sense of the majesty of God, Hab. iii. 16. « When I heard, my belly trembled: My lips quivered at the voice: Rottenness entered into my bones, and I trembled in myself." So the Psalmist speaks expressly of his flesh trembling, Psal. cxix. 120. "My flesh trembleth for fear of thee."

That such ideas of God's glory as are sometimes given in this world, have a tendency to overbear the body, is evident, because the scripture gives us an account, that this has sometimes actually been the effect of those external manifestations God has made of himself to some of the saints which were made to that end, viz. to give them an idea of God's majesty and glory. Such instances we have in the prophet Daniel, and the apostle John. Daniel giving an account of an external representation of the glory of Christ, says, Dan. x. 8. "And there remained no strength in me; for my comeliness was turned into corruption, and I retained no strength." And the apostle John giving an account of a like manifestation made to him, says, Rev. i. 17. "And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead." It is in vain to say here, these were only external manifestations or symbols of the glory of Christ, which these saints beheld: For though it be true, that they were outward representations of Christ's glory, which they beheld with their bodily eyes; yet the end and use of these external symbols or representations, was to give to these prophets an idea of the thing represented, and that was the true divine glory and majesty of Christ, which is his spiritual glory; they were made use of only as significations of this spiritual glory, and thus undoubtedly they received them, and

improved them, and were affected by them. According to the end for which God intended these outward signs, they received by them a great and lively apprehension of the real glory and majesty of God's nature, which they were signs of; and thus were greatly affected, their souls swallowed up, and their bodies overborn. And I think they are very bold and daring, who will say God cannot, or shall not give the like clear and affecting ideas and apprehensions of the same real glory and majesty of his nature, to any of his saints, without the intervention of any such external shadows of it.

Before I leave this head, I would farther observe, that it is plain the scripture often makes use of bodily effects, to express the strength of holy and spiritual affections; such as trembling, groaning,t being sick, crying out, panting, and fainting. Now if it be supposed, that these are only figurative expressions, to represent the degree of affection: Yet I hope all will allow, that they are fit and suitable figures to represent the high degree of those spiritual affections, which the Spirit of God makes use of them to represent; which I do not see how they would be, if those spiritual affections, let them be in never so high a degree, have no tendency to any such things; but that on the contrary, they are the proper effects and sad tokens of false affections, and the delusion of the devil. I cannot think, God would commonly make use of things which are very alien from spiritual affections, and are shrewd marks of the hand of Satan, and smell strong of the bottomless pit, as beautiful figures, to represent the high degree of holy and heavenly affections.

III. It is no sign that affections are truly gracious affections, or that they are not, that they cause those who have them to be fluent, fervent, and abundant, in talking of the things of religion.

There are many persons, who, if they see this in others, are greatly prejudiced against them. Their being so full of talk, is with them a sufficient ground to condemn them, as Phari

Psal, cxix. 120. Ezra ix. 4. Isa, Ixvi. 2, 5. Hab. iri. 16. Rom. viii. 26. Cant. ii, 5, and v. 8. | Psal. Ixxxiv. 2. Psal. xxxvÍÏY, 10, and xlii. 1, and cxix. 131, ++ Psal. lxxxiv. 2, and cxix. 8110)

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sees, and ostentatious hypocrites. On the other hand, there are many, who if they see this effect in any, are very igno rantly and imprudently forward, at once to determine that they are the true children of God, and are under the saving influences of his Spirit, and speak of it as a great evidence of a new creature; they say, "such an one's mouth is now opened: He used to be slow to speak; but now he is full and free: He is free now to open his heart, and tell his experiences, and declare the praises of God; it comes from him, as free as water from a fountain ;" and the like. especially are they captivated into a confident and undoubting persuasion, that they are savingly wrought upon, if they are not only free and abundant, but very affectionate and earnest in their talk.


But this is the fruit of but little judgment, a scanty and short experience; as events do abundantly shew: And is a mistake persons often run into, through their trusting to their own wisdom and discerning, and making their own notions their rule, instead of the holy scripture. Though the scripture be full of rules, both how we should judge of our own state, and also how we should be conducted in our opinion of others; yet we have no where any rule, by which to judge ourselves or others to be in a good estate, from any such effect: For this is but the religion of the mouth and of the tongue, and what is in the scripture represented by the leaves of a tree, which, though the tree ought not to be without them, yet are no where given as an evidence of the goodness of the tree.

That persons are disposed to be abundant in talking of things of religion, may be from a good cause, and it may be from a bad one. It may be because their hearts are very full of holy affections; "for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh :" And it may be because persons' hearts are very full of religious affection which is not holy; for still out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. It is very much the nature of the affections, of whatever kind they be, and whatever objects they are exercised about, if they are strong, to dispose persons to be very much in speaking of that

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