And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;
~ Romans 2:3-5
Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
~ Hebrews 3:12
Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
~ 1 Peter 1:6
Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?
~ Song of Solomon 1:7
Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
~ Habakkuk 3:17-18
And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.
~ Acts 16:34
And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.
~ John 16:22
And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
~ 1 Peter 5:4
Concerning the Nature of the Affections and their Importance in Religion, by Jonathan Edwards. The following contains an excerpt from Part One of his work, “A Treatise Concerning Religious Affections, in Three Parts”.
1 Peter 1:8: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.
10. It is an evidence that true religion, or holiness of heart, lies very much in the affection of the heart, that the Scriptures place the sin of the heart very much in hardness of heart. Thus the Scriptures do everywhere. It was hardness of heart which excited grief and displeasure in Christ towards the Jews, Mark 3:5: “He looked round about on then, with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts.” It is from men’s having such a heart as this, that they treasure up wrath for themselves: Rom. 2:5, “After thy hardness and impenitent heart, treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath, and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.” The reason given why the house of Israel would not obey God, was, that they were hardhearted: Ezekiel 3:7, “But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me: for all the house of Israel are impudent and hard-hearted.” The wickedness of that perverse rebellious generation in the wilderness, is ascribed to the hardness of their hearts: Psal. 95:7-10, “To-day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness; when your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work: forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart,” &c. This is spoken of as what prevented Zedekiah’s turning to the Lord: 2 Chron. 36:13, “He stiffened his neck, and hardened his heart from turning to the Lord God of Israel.” This principle is spoken of, as that from whence men are without the fear of God, and depart from God’s ways: Isa. 63:17, “O Lord, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways and hardened our heart from thy fear?” And men’s rejecting Christ, and opposing Christianity, is laid to this principle: Acts 19:9, “But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude.” God’s leaving men to the power of the sin and corruption of the heart is often expressed by God’s hardening their hearts: Rom. 9:18, “Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.” John 12:40, “He hath blinded their minds, and hardened their hearts.” And the apostle seems to speak of “an evil heart that departs from the living God, and a hard heart,” as the same thing: Heb. 3:8, “Harden not your heart, as in the provocation,” &c.; ver. 12, 13, “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God: but exhort one another daily, while it is called to-day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” And that great work of God in conversion, which consists in delivering a person from the power of sin, and mortifying corruption, is expressed, once and again, by God’s “taking away the heart of stone, and giving a heart of flesh,” Ezek. 11:19, and chap. 36:26.
Now by a hard heart, is plainly meant an unaffected heart, or a heart not easy to be moved with virtuous affections, like a stone, insensible, stupid, unmoved, and hard to be impressed. Hence the hard heart is called a stony heart, and is opposed to a heart of flesh, that has feeling, and is sensibly touched and moved. We read in Scripture of a hard heart, and a tender heart; and doubtless we are to understand these, as contrary the one to the other. But what is a tender heart, but a heart which is easily impressed with what ought to affect it? God commends Josiah, because his heart was tender; and it is evident by those things which are mentioned as expressions and evidences of this tenderness of heart, that by his heart being tender is meant, his heart being easily moved with religious and pious affection: 2 Kings 22:19, “Because thine heart was tender, and thou hast humbled thyself before the Lord, when thou heardest what I spake against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and hast rent thy clothes, and wept before me, I also have heard thee, saith the Lord.” And this is one thing, wherein it is necessary we should “become as little children, in order to our entering into the kingdom of God,” even that we should have our hearts tender, and easily affected and moved in spiritual and divine things, as little children have in other things.
It is very plain in some places, in the texts themselves, that by hardness of heart is meant a heart void of affection. So, to signify the ostrich’s being without natural affection to her young, it is said, Job 39:16, “She hardeneth her heart against her young ones, as though they were not hers.” So a person having a heart unaffected in time of danger, is expressed by his hardening his heart: Prov. 28:14, “Happy is the man that feareth alway; but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief.”
Now, therefore, since it is so plain, that by a hard heart, in Scripture, is meant a heart destitute of pious affections, and since also the Scriptures do so frequently place the sin and corruption of the heart in hardness of heart; it is evident, that the grace and holiness of the heart, on the contrary, must, in a great measure, consist in its having pious affections, and being easily susceptive of such affection. Divines are generally agreed, that sin radically and fundamentally consist in what is negative, or privative, having its root and foundation in a privation or want of holiness. And therefore undoubtedly, if it be so that sin does very much consist in hardness of hearts and so in the want of pious affections of heart, holiness does consist very much in those pious affections.I am far from supposing that all affections do show a tender heart: hatred, anger, vainglory, and other selfish and self-exalting affections, may greatly prevail in the hardest heart. But yet it is evident, that hardness of heart and tenderness of heart, are expressions that relate to the affection of the heart, and denote the heart’s being susceptible of, or shut up against certain affections; of which I shall have occasion to speak more afterwards.
Upon the whole, I think it clearly and abundantly evident, that true religion lies very much in the affections. Not that I think these arguments prove, that religion in the hearts of the truly godly, is ever in exact proportion to the degree of affection, and present emotion of the mind: for undoubtedly, there is much affection in the true saints which is not spiritual; their religious affections are often mixed; all is not from grace, but much from nature. And though the affections have not their seat in the body; yet the constitution of the body may very much contribute to the present emotion of the mind. And the degree of religion is rather to be judged of by the fixedness and strength of the habit that is exercised in affection, whereby holy affection is habitual, than by the degree of the present exercise; and the strength of that habit is not always in proportion to outward effects and manifestations, or inward effects, in the hurry and vehemence, and sudden changes of the course of the thoughts of the mind. But yet it is evident, that religion consists so much in affection, as that without holy affection there is no true religion; and no light in the understanding is good, which does not produce holy affection in the heart: no habit or principle in the heart is good, which has no such exercise; and no external fruit is good, which does not proceed from such exercises.