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Joe Rigney & Douglas Wilson: Jonathan Edwards - Personal Piety

A PDF to Edward's work Religious Affections. Here are the 12 false & true signs of conversion as found in the book. I'm pretty sure on need to do a series on these. I'm pretty sure I need to purchase this book as well.


I. It is no sign one way or the other, that religious affections are very great, or raised very high.

II. It is no sign that affections have the nature of true religion, or that they have not, that they have great effects on the body.

III. It is no sign that affections are truly gracious affections, or that they are not, that they cause those who have them to be fluent, fervent, and abundant, in talking of the things of religion.

IV. It is no sign that affections are gracious, or that they are otherwise, that persons did not make them themselves, or excite them of their own contrivance and by their own strength.

V. It is no sign that religious affections are truly holy and spiritual, or that they are not, that they come with texts of Scripture, remarkably brought to the mind.

VI. It is no evidence that religious affections are saving, or that they are otherwise, that there is an appearance of love in them.

VII. Persons having religious affections of many kinds, accompanying one another, is not sufficient to determine whether they have any gracious affections or no.

VIII. Nothing can certainly be determined concerning the nature of the affections,  by this, that comforts and joys seem to follow awakenings and convictions of conscience, in a certain order.

IX. It is no certain sign that the religious affections which persons have are such as have in them the nature of true religion, or that they have not, that they dispose persons to spend much time in religion, and to be zealously engaged in the external duties of worship.

X. Nothing can be certainly known of the nature of religious affections by this, that they much dispose persons with their mouths to praise and glorify God.

XI. It is no sign that affections are right, or that they are wrong, that they make persons that have them exceeding confident that what they experience is divine, and that they are in a good estate.

XII. Nothing can be certainly concluded concerning the nature of religious affections, that any are the subjects of, from this, that the outward manifestations of them, and the relation persons give of them, are very affecting and pleasing to the truly godly, and such as greatly gain their charity, and win their hearts.


I. Affections that are truly spiritual and gracious, do arise from those influences and operations on the heart, which are spiritual, supernatural and divine.

II. The first objective ground of gracious affections, is the transcendently excellent and amiable nature of divine things as they are themselves; and not any conceived relation they bear to self, or self-interest.

III. Those affections that are truly holy, are primarily founded on the loveliness of the moral excellency of divine things.

IV. Gracious affections do arise from the mind's being enlightened, richly and spiritually to understand or apprehend divine things.

V. Truly gracious affections are attended with a reasonable and spiritual conviction of the judgment, of the reality and certainty of divine things.

VI. Gracious affections are attended with evangelical humiliation.

VII. Another thing, wherein gracious affections are distinguished from others, is, that they are attended with a change of nature.

VIII. Truly gracious affections differ from those affections that are false and delusive, in that they tend to, and are attended with the lamblike, dovelike spirit and temper of Jesus Christ.

IX. Gracious affections soften the heart, and are attended and followed with a Christian tenderness of spirit.

X. Another thing wherein those affections that are truly gracious and holy, differ from those that are false, is beautiful symmetry and proportion.

XI. Another great and very distinguishing difference between gracious affections and others is, that gracious affections, the higher they are raised, the more is a spiritual appetite and longing of soul after spiritual attainments increased.

XII. Gracious and holy affections have their exercise and fruit in Christian practice.

@1:18: I haven't studied these enough to comment but upon an initial reading I could affirm the false signs. I'm not sure about the positive/true signs though.

@3:00-7:15: I'm not a huge fan of checking for signs of conversion. However I do think there are obvious signs that point to a lack of conversion. And I like where Doug goes throughout his answer to this question. Morbid introspection is a devastating pastoral concern. It is never a theological worry. But it remains even today the great plague upon pastoral ministry. Too many members worry about their salvation. And not enough members are concerned with using Biblical definitions to confirm it.

 @8:00: This is a major issue today. I personally believe it is strong derivative of existentialism: "what is experienced is true". But apparently the truth must always be experienced to maintain a confirmation of faith. But this is just twisted.

@13:02 : Certainly not using the modern definition of "lose time". But that is still crazy! Good resolution but that is tough.

  @14:14-14:26: Think often of your own death. Check. This one is legit in my opinion. Doug adds some great stuff too.

@16:18:  Electronic devices perhaps...Yeah I need to adopt this one. Stupid electronic devices...

@17:26:  I understand the basis of this. But I struggle with lifting the day up in a detriment of the soul of the believer. No sinfulness is permitted but the refreshment of the soul is the purpose of the Lord's Sabbath. It was meant for us and for us to uplift others through gospel and life.

Analyzing the Atonement: Penal Substitution Theory

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