Visited and preached to my people from Acts xx. 18, 19. "And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day," &c. and endeavoured to rectify their notions about religious affections; showing them, on the one hand, the desirableness of religious affection, tenderness, and fervent engagement in the worship and service of God, when such affection flows from a true spiritual discovery of divine glories, from a justly affecting sense of the transcendent excellency and perfections of the blessed God, - a view of the glory and loveliness of the great Redeemer: and that such views of divine things will naturally excite us to "serve the Lord with many tears," with much affection and fervency, and yet "with all humility of mind:" - And, on the other hand, observing the sinfulness of seeking after high affections immediately, and for their own sakes, that is, of making them the object of our eye and heart, is nextly and principally set upon, when the glory of God ought to be so. Showed them that if the heart be directly and chiefly fixed on God, and the soul engaged to glorify him, some degree of religious affection will be the effect and attendant of it. But to seek after affection directly and chiefly, to have the heart principally set upon that, is to place it in the room of God and his glory. If it be sought, that others may take notice and admire us for our spirituality and forwardness in religion, it is then abominable pride: if for the sake of feeling the pleasure of being affected, it is then idolatry and self-gratification. - Laboured also to expose the disagreeableness of those affections that are sometimes wrought up in persons by the power of fancy and their own attempts for that purpose, while I still endeavoured to recommend to them that religious affection, fervency, and devotion which ought to attend all our religious exercises, and without which religion will be but an empty name and lifeless carcass.
This appeared to be a seasonable discourse, and proved very satisfactory to some of the religious people, who before were exercised with some difficulties relating to this point. - Afterwards took care of, and gave my people directions about, their worldly affairs.