I was gripped most by the section in the Affections “Gracious affections soften the heart, and are attended with a christian tenderness of spirit.” The comparison between a broken heart and the child-likeness of believers is wonderfully done. Here are some excerpts for your daily reading / meditations:

“Gracious affections are of a quite contrary tendency [than false affections]; they turn a heart of stone more and more into a heart of flesh. Holy love and hope are principles vastly more efficacious upon the heart, to make it tender, and to fill it with a dread of sin, or whatever might displease and offend God; and to engage it to watchfulness, and care, and strictness, than a slavish fear of hell. Gracious affections, as was observed before, flow out of a contrite heart, or (as the word signifies) a bruised heart, bruised and broken with godly sorrow; which makes the heart tender, as bruised flesh is tender, and easily hurt. Godly sorrow has much greater influence to make the heart tender, than mere legal sorrow from selfish principles.
“The tenderness of the heart of a true Christian, is elegantly signified by our Saviour, in his comparing such a one to a little child… A little child has his heart easily moved, wrought upon, and bowed: so is a Christian in spiritual things. A little child is apt to be affected with sympathy, to weep with them that weep, and cannot well bear to see others in distress: so it is with a Christian; John 11:35, Romans 12:15, I Corinthians 12:26. A little child is easily won by kindness: so is a Christian. A little child is easily affected with grief at temporal evils, or any thing that threatens its hurt: so is a Christian apt to be alarmed at the appearance of moral evil, and any thing that threatens the hurt of the soul. A little child when it meets enemies, or fierce beasts, is not apt to trust its own strength, but flies to its parents: for refuge so a saint is not self-confident in engaging spiritual enemies, but flies to Christ. A little child is apt to be suspicious of evil in places of danger, afraid in the dark, afraid when left solitary, or far from home: so is a saint apt to be sensible of his spiritual dangers, jealous of himself, full of fear when he cannot see his way plain before him, afraid to be left alone, and to be at a distance from God…”

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