"NECESSITY OF SPIRITUAL AFFECTIONS. "
"It is this view which I now wish you to consider—that while the gospel insists on the practice of the ordinary moral virtues, it demands, also, the highest cultivation of the heart.
1. We are commanded as expressly in the gospel to acquire and maintain dispositions of humility, devotion, heavenly-mindedness, as we are to practise the most necessary duties of active life. The obligation is equal in respect to both. We are no more at liberty to neglect one branch of commands, than the other...
2. The moral habits of justice, fidelity, and honorable usefulness, are duties relating directly to men only; but there are dispositions and duties enjoined, of which God and his Son are the direct and immediate objects—reverence, fervent gratitude, trust, affection, a sense of accountability, constant reference to the divine will, and all-controlling desires of the divine approbation.
3. No disposition is more strictly condemned than that of conformity to the world; none urged with more frequency and force, than that whose desires and affections rest supremely on heaven. That practical love of Christ which leads to effort, to vigilance, to self-denial, is ever preferred to the most praiseworthy of human affections.
4. Christianity is indeed something more than a code of moral rules for the regulation of the practice, to which appropriate sanctions are annexed. It is even more conversant with dispositions, principles, and habits of mind. It is peculiarly a religion of the affections. Its seat is in the heart. It operates not merely by the simplicity of its practical rules, and the solemnity of its final retributions ; but would elevate and sanctify all the sentiments, desires, and feelings of the human soul, by the influence of its revelations, by the lofty views it discloses of the character and government of God, and the moral relations and final destiny of man...The gospel calls us to act upon higher and purer motives. It is where the practical virtues of ordinary life spring from principles and feelings which Christianity has formed and sanctified, where they are the manifestations of a sound piety burning deeply in the heart, where they are intimately connected with the pure and elevated graces of a devout and humble spirit, that we can consider them as the sure and adequate evidences of christian character."