The Importance Of Religious Affections

Sep 01, 2016
Jonathon Edwards

We read in 1 Peter 1:8, “Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable, and full of glory.”
In these words, the apostle represents the state of the minds of the Christians he wrote to, under the persecutions they were then the subjects of. And there were two kinds of operation, or exercise, of true religion in them under their sufferings that the apostle takes notice of in our text, wherein these benefits appeared.
First, Love to Christ. “Whom having not seen, ye love.” The world was ready to wonder what strange principle it was that influenced them to expose themselves to so great sufferings, to forsake the things that were seen, and renounce all that was dear and pleasant which was the object of sense. They had a principle of love to something unseen; they loved Jesus Christ, for they saw Him spiritually, whom the world saw not, and whom they themselves had never seen with bodily eyes.
And Second, Joy in Christ. Their joy was full of glory. Although the joy was unspeakable, no words were more fit to represent it’s excellency than these, 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 brightness, and their natures exalted and perfected. It was a foretaste of the joy of heaven; it filled their minds with the light of God’s glory, and made them to shine with some communication of that glory.

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