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OF CARNAL AND SPIRITUAL AFFECTIONS, AND THEIR
As both the carnal and spiritual Affections will come under consideration, it should be remarked, that Affections
be similar as to name, and yet, on account of their Source, Object, End, Subjects, Adjuncts, &c. be essentially different. By means of some definite properties or characteristics, they can, however, be readily distinguished.
Characteristics of Spiritual Affections.
1. A Spiritual Affection has for its Source, the Holy Spirit, and is the fruit of His influence.
2. A spiritual Affection tends to a holy End.
3. A spiritual Affection is engaged on Objects that are divine, eternal, spiritual, and invisible.
4. A spiritual Affection, when engaged on sensible Objects, is not employed on them as sucb; but only so far as they have relation to those which are unseen.
5. A spiritual Affection, is grounded on Faith and Love. When these do not operate, Affections cease to be spiritual.
6. A spiritual Affection influences the Subject of it, to seek, not himself nor his personal convenience, as such, but God and His Glory.
7. A spiritual, overcomes a carnal Affection, though the latter be otherwise
violent. 8. A spiritual Affection is always connected with Humility. The instant the mind is elated, Affections become carnal.
9. A spiritual Affection excites no perturbation in the mind, nor does it leave behind it
bitterness. It rather assists in the regulation of the soul, receiving every dispensation with complacency, and acquiescing in God with joy.
10. A spiritual Affection tends to the amelioration of nature, the increase of grace, and the edification of mankind; having no object but the glory of God.
Characteristics of Carnal Affections. 1. A carnal Affection, as it is opposed to those which are spiritual, so, it has Nature for its Source, and is destitute of Grace.
2. A Carnal Affection has for its End, the temporal preservation and amendment of nature, or, it re
fers all things to pleasure; and, particularly, seeks such pleasure not in mental peace, but personal convenience; and this, often under a pretext of duty.
3. A carnal Affection is engaged on Objects that are corporeal, local, temporal, and sensitive.
4. A carnal Affection, if engaged upon spiritual Objects, does not dwell on them as such; neither, with righteous views, nor in a consistent manner; but only so far as they have Relation to private gratification or convenience.
5. A carnal Affection receives its existence and support from
perverse self-love. 6. A carnal Affection gives the preference to things naturally pleasing, though others may approximate more nearly to real excellence.
7. A carnal Affection gradually disturbs the mind when it is at all indulged, rendering it incapable of investigating truth, or of performing righteous actions; and it leaves a degree of bitterness in the mind, proportioned to the strength of the Affection. Cicero justly used to term them perturbationes animi?-(the perturbations of the mind.)
8. A carnal Affection has always a degree of pride (avbadelce) in it, though it is often very subtile. As long as this has place in the mind, carnal Affections are not put off.
9. A carnal Affection often induces a visible change of the body.
The Characteristics we have enumerated, are by no means all; but they are the more general ones; those which are most consonant with our present object; and which may afford matter whence to derive others of a more special kind. If the reader apply himself to do this, his labour will not be unprofitable.
The object of the Characteristics which have been adduced, is to develope with more facility, the Affections of the Inspired Writers. Other authors, who have written on this subject, propose to themselves widely different views; as Scipio Claramontius, the Italian, who published a work on this subject, in quarto, with a preface by Conringius (Helmstadt.) De la Chambre also composed four books, “ Des Charactèrés des Passions;" and Cardinal Bona has another, more worthy the notice of Christians, entitled “Manuductio ad Cælum, &c.” (a)
Although the carnal Affections are, by these Characteristics, separated from the spiritual Affections, we are not thence to conclude, that they are so separated in the heart of a renewed person, as that the former never mingle with the latter. On the contrary, the believer's daily strife is to be more and more delivered from the sinful Affections of carnal nature. It is according to the reigning Affection, that a man is denominated carnal or spiritual. To suppose, however, that renewed and unrenewed men have the same perception of the Affections of the Sacred Writers,