A Treatise concerning the Religious Affections by Jonathan Edwards is an excellent book for helping with self-examination.
Edwards lived in the time of the First Great Awakening in America (1725-50) and saw revival on a great scale. In God’s providence, America’s foremost theologian was on hand to witness and analyse these events. He saw many lives changed but also he saw many spiritual still-births which came to nothing Hosea 13:13. He analysed the true and the counterfeit in religion and the result is The Religious Affections.
This book teases apart what is purely natural from what is purely spiritual – what is uniquely from the Spirit of God. There are many things in religion which arise simply from our own natural psychology, which the Holy Spirit may use, and which men and the devil may abuse. Edwards searches for those marks of grace which can be attributed only to the Spirit of God. In this way, one can determine whether or not anyone is born again of the Spirit of God Jn 3:6. Thus Edwards helps us with the Christian duty of self-examination: “Examine yourselves, whether you are in the faith; prove yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, unless you are unqualified to judge?” 2Cor 13:5.
Let Jonathan Edwards guide you into this wonderful world of the Holy Spirit’s new creation in the heart of a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.
“If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”2Corinthians 5:17
18 Feb 2012: self-examination.
One thought on “The Religious Affections”
The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland was debating a particular matter of Church Governance which proved to divide the membership almost 50-50.
At the Assembly meeting, the Moderator presided over a division of 277-276.
The victors were joyous at such a win and jumped up from their seats, the Moderator ordered them to sit down. They sang hymns, the Moderator ordered them to silence. All manners of celebrations they attempted only to be stopped.
The moderator reminded them that they were only “Winners in the Hand of an Angry Mod!”
Edwards made a very great contribution and most of what I read of his is particularly strong stuff. That you encourage it to be read means that I will have to ask my pal Jay to do a favour and lend me a copy.