Name and Place for Tuesday, 20 January 2015
Jonathan Edwards is a theologian that was just as concerned with the practical application of his theology as he was with the intellectual assent to theology.
In his book Religious Affections, he reminds us of our eternal destination and the importance of understanding what that is.
If we can learn anything of the state of heaven from the Scripture, the love and joy that the saints have there is exceeding great and vigorous; impressing the heart with the strongest and most lively sensation of inexpressible sweetness, mightily moving, animating, and engaging them, making them like a flame of fire. And if such love and joy be not affections, then the word affection is of no use in language. Will any say that the saints in heaven, in beholding the face of their Father and the glory of their Redeemer, and contemplating His wonderful works, and particularly His laying down His life for them, have their hearts nothing moved and affected by all which they behold or consider?
Hence, therefore, the religion of heaven, consisting chiefly in holy love and joy, consists very much in affection; and therefore, undoubtedly, true religion consists very much in affection. The way to learn the true nature of anything is to go to where that thing is to be found in its purity and perfection. If we would know the nature of true gold we must view it, not in the ore, but when it is refined. If we would learn what true religion is, we must go where there is true religion, and nothing but true religion, and in its highest perfection, without any defect or mixture. All who are truly religious are not of this world; they are strangers here and belong to heaven; they are born from above, heaven is their native country, and the nature which they receive by this heavenly birth, is a heavenly nature, they receive an anointing from above; that the principle of true religion which is in them is a communication of the religion of heaven; their grace is the dawn of glory; and God fits them for that world by conforming them to it (43).