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they had followed him so long as to be esteemed his disciples; ver. 66.
I say, therefore, whensoever men's affections are not renewed, whatever other change may have been wrought upon them, as they have no true delight in any spiritual things, or truths, for themselves and in their own nature, so there are some instances wherein they will maintain their natural enmity and aversation unto them. This is the first difference between affections spiritually renewed, and those which from any other causes may have some kind of change wrought in them.
The second difference between affections spiritually renewed and those who have been only changed by light and conviction. Grounds and reasons of men's delight in duties of divine worship, and of their diligence in their performance whose minds are not spiritually minded.
THE second difference lieth herein, That there may be a change in the affections, wherein men may have delight in the duties of religious worship, and diligence in their observance; but it is the spiritual renovation of the affections that gives delight in God through Christ, in any duty of religious worship whatever.
Where the truth of the gospel is known and publicly professed, there is great variety in the minds, ways, and practices of men about the duties of religious worship. Many are profane in their minds and lives, who, practically at least, despise, or wholly neglect the observance of them. These are stout hearted, and far from righteousness; Tit. i. 16. Some attend unto them formally and cursorily, from the principles of their education, and, it may be, out of some convictions they have of their necessity. But many there are who, in the way they choose and are pleased withal, are diligent in their observance, and that with great delight, who yet give no evidence of the spiritual renovation of their minds. Yea, the way whereby some express their devotion in them, being superstitious and idolatrous, is inconsistent with that or any other saving grace. This, therefore, we
must diligently inquire into, or search into the grounds and reasons of men's delight in divine worship, according unto their convictions of the way of it, and yet continue in their minds altogether unrenewed. And,
1. Men may be greatly affected with the outward part of divine worship, and the manner of the performance thereof, who have no delight in what is internal, real, and spiritual therein; John v. 35. He was a burning and a shining light; and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in this light.' So many were delighted in the preaching of Ezekiel, because of his eloquence and elegancy of his parables; chap. xxxiii. 31, 32. This gave them both delight and diligence in hearing, whereon they call themselves the people of God, though they continued to live in sin; their hearts went after covetousness. The same may befall many at present, with reference unto the spiritual gifts of those by whom the word of God is dispensed. I deny not but that men may be more delighted, more satisfied with the gifts, the preaching, of one than another, and yet be sincere in their delight in the dispensation of the word; for they may find more spiritual advantage thereby, than in the gifts of others, and things so prepared as to be suited unto their edification more than elsewhere. But that which at present we insist on, hath respect only unto some outward circumstances pleasing the minds of men; 2 Tim. 2-4.
This was principally evident under the Old Testament, whilst they had carnal ordinances and a worldly sanctuary. Ofttimes under that dispensation the people were given up unto all sorts of idolatry and superstition. And when they were not so, yet were the body of them carnal and unholy, as is evident from the whole tract of God's dealing with them by his prophets, and in his providences. Yet had they great delight in the outward solemnities of their worship, placing all their trust of acceptance with God therein. They who did really and truly believe, looked through them all unto Christ, whom they did foresignify; without which, the things were a yoke unto them, and a burden almost insupportable; Acts xv. But those who were carnal delighted in the things themselves, and for their sakes rejected him who was the life and substance of them all. And this proved the great means of the apostacy of the Christian church, also.
For to maintain some appearance of spiritual affections, men introduced carnal incitations of them into evangelical worship; such as singing with music and pompous ceremonies. For they find such things needful to reconcile the worship of God unto their minds and affections, and through them they appear to have great delight therein. Could some men but in their thoughts separate divine service from that outward order, those methods of variety, show, and melody, wherewith they are affected, they would have no delight in it, but look upon it as a thing that must be endured. How can it be otherwise conceived of among the Papists? they will with much earnestness, many evidences of devotion, sometimes with difficulty and danger, repair unto their solemn worship, and when they are present, understand not one word whereby their minds might be excited unto the real actings of faith, love, and delight in God. Only order, ceremony, music, and other incentives of carnal affections, make great impression on them. Affections spiritually renewed are not concerned in those things. Yea, if those in whom they are should be engaged in the use of them, they would find them means of diverting their minds from the proper work of divine worship, rather than an advantage therein. It will also appear so unto themselves, unless they are content to lose their spiritual affections, acting themselves in faith and love, embracing in their stead a carnal imaginary devotion. Hence, two persons may at the same time attend unto the same ordinances of divine worship with equal delight, on very distinct principles; as if two men should come into the same garden planted and adorned with a variety of herbs and flowers, one ignorant of the nature of them, the other a skilful herbalist. Both may be equally delighted; the one with the colours and smell of the flowers, the other with the consideration of their various natures, their uses in physical remedies, or the like. So may it be in the hearing of the word. For instance, one may be delighted with the outward administration, another with its spiritual efficacy, at the same time. Hence Austin tells us, that singing in the church was laid aside by Athanasius at Alexandria; not the people's singing of psalms, but a kind of singing in the reading of the Scripture and some offices of worship, which began then to be introduced in the church. And the reason
he gave why he did it was, that the modulation of the voice and musical tune might not divert the minds of men from that spiritual affection which is required of them in sacred duties. What there is of real order in the worship of God, as there is that order which is an effect of divine wisdom, it is suited and useful unto spiritual affections, because proceeding from the same Spirit whereby they are internally renewed: 'Beholding your order;' Col. ii. 5. Every thing of God's appointment is both helpful and delightful unto them. None can say with higher raptures of admiration, 'How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord!' Psal. lxxxiv. 1,2. than they whose affections are renewed. Yet is not their delight terminated on them, as we shall see immediately.
2. Men may be delighted in the performance of outward duties of divine worship, because in them they comply with, and give some kind of satisfaction unto, their convictions. When conscience is awakened unto a sense of the necessities of such duties, namely, of those wherein divine worship doth consist, it will give the mind no rest or peace in the neglect of them. Let them be attended unto in the seasons which light, conviction, and custom call for; it will be so far satisfied as that the mind shall find present ease and refreshment in it. And when the soul is wonted unto this relief, it will not only be diligent in the performance of such duties, it will not only not omit them, but it will delight in them, as those which bring them in great advantage. Hence many will not omit the duty of prayer every morning, who upon the matter are resolved to live in sin all the day long. And there are but few who sedulously endeavour to live and walk in the frame of their hearts and ways answerable unto their own prayers; yet all that is in our prayers, beyond our endeavours to answer it in a conformity of heart and life, is but the exercise of gifts in answer to convictions. Others find an allay of troubles in them, like that which sick persons may find by drinking cold water in a fever, whose flames are assuaged for a season by it. They make them as an antidote against the poison and sting of sin, which allayeth its rage, but cannot expel its venom.
Or these duties are unto them like the sacrifices for sin under the law. They gave a guilty person present ease. But,
as the apostle speaks, they made not men perfect. They took not away utterly a conscience condemning for sin. Presently, on the first omission of duty, a sense of sin again returned on them, and that not only as the fact, but as the person himself was condemned by the law. Then were the sacrifices to be repeated for a renewed propitiation. This gave that carnal people such delight and satisfaction in those sacrifices, that they trusted unto them for righteousness, life, and salvation. So it is with persons who are constant in spiritual duties merely from conviction. The performance of those duties gives them a present relief and ease; though it heal not their wound, it assuageth their pain, and dispelleth their present fears. Hence are they frequent in them, and that ofttimes not without delight, because they find ease thereby. And their condition is somewhat dangerous, who upon the sense of the guilt of any sin, do betake themselves for relief unto their prayers; which having discharged, they are much at ease in their minds and consciences, although they have obtained no real sense of the pardon of sin, nor any strength against it.
It will be said, Do not all men, the best of men, perform all spiritual duties out of a conviction of their necessity? do not they know it would be their sin to omit them, and so find satisfaction in their minds upon their performance? I say they do but it is one thing to perform a duty out of conviction of a necessity, as it is God's ordinance, which conviction respects only the duty itself; another thing to perform it to give satisfaction unto convictions of other sins, or to quiet conscience under its trouble about them, which latter we speak unto. This begins and ends in self; self-satisfaction is the sole design of it. By it men aim at some rest and quietness in their own minds, which otherwise they cannot attain. But in the performance of duties in faith, from a conviction of their necessity as God's ordinance, and their use in the way of his grace, the soul begins and ends in God. It seeks no satisfaction in them, nor finds it from them, but in and from God alone by them.
3. The principal reason why men whose affections are only changed, not spiritually renewed, do delight in holy duties of divine worship, is, because they place their righ