A False Hatred and Zeal Against Sin

A true hatred and zeal against sin, is against sin in general

As to hatred and zeal [against sin], when these are from right principles, they are against sin in general, in some proportion to the degree of sinfulness (cf. Ps 119:104, “I hate every false way”).

But a false hatred and zeal against sin, is against some particular sin only.

Thus some seem to be very zealous against profaneness, and pride in apparel, who themselves are notorious for covetousness, closeness, and it may be backbiting, envy towards superiors, turbulency of spirit towards rulers, and rooted ill-will to those who have injured them.

False zeal is against the sins of others; while he that has true zeal, exercises it chiefly against his own sins;

though he shows also a proper zeal against prevailing and dangerous iniquity in others.

—Jonathan Edwards
The Works of Jonathan Edwards, 1:311


Unfeigned Love to God

To love God without zeal, is not to love him, because it is not a loving him as God

The nature of holy objects are such, so great and excellent, so transcendent and of unspeakable consequence, that we cannot be sincere in our estimation and seeking of them, without zeal.

If it were about riches or honours, a cold desire and a dull pursuit might serve the turn, and well beseem us; but about God, and Christ, and heaven, such cold desires and endeavours are but a contempt.

—Richard Baxter, 1615-1691

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