Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Chief of Our Affections

"Affection. This is part of the glory we give to God, who counts Himself glorified when He is loved. Deut. vi 5. "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul." There is a twofold love: (1.) Amor concupiscentiae, a love of concupiscence, which is self-love; as when we love another, because he does us a good turn. A wicked man may be said to love God, because He has given him a good harvest, or filled his cup with wine. This is rather to love God's blessing than to love God. (2.) Amor amicitiae, a love of delight, as a man takes delight in a friend. This is to love God indeed; the heart is set upon God, as a man's heart is set upon his treasure. This love is exuberant, not a few drops, but a stream. It is superlative; we give God the best of our love, the cream of it. Cant. viii 2. "i would cause thee to drink of spiced wine of the juice of my pomegranate." If the spouse had a cup more juicy and spiced, Christ must drink it. It is intense and ardent. True saints are seraphims, burning in holy love to God. The spouse was amore perculsa, in fainting fits, "sick of love." Cant. ii 5. Thus to love God is to glorify Him. He who is the chief of our happiness has the chief of our affections."

-Thomas Watson, A Body of Divinity, pg. 8.

I have said in my preceding post that biblical orthodoxy is a crucial preamble to proper divine worship, and many have surely departed from this truth; especially with movements like the emergent church, postmodernity, and pluralism. But, respectively, is there any hidden danger in the affirmation of orthodoxy? Yes, when the right apprehension of the doctrines of God and His glory becomes the ultimate end, instead of worship, we become paralized and remain expressionless in our joy, if indeed we have had real knowledge of Him. It may be said that our orthodoxy is "dead" when we do not express it in worship and affections. It may also be argued that those who affirm biblical orthodoxy with absent affections do not have knowledge of the truth, but a superficial one; knowledge and affections go together. One cannot love someone, or something, that he knows nothing of. What glory we give to Him when all our affections are stirred by the very thought of Him. To have God as the chief of our affections is to honor Him of His due worth, for we find in Him the greatest of all treasures!

No comments: