Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/416

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THE CHURCH.

 

The Church Universal.

The church of the Lord is scattered over the whole terrestrial globe, and thus is universal. All they are in it who have lived in the good of charity according to their religious belief. (H. H. n. 328.)

As regards the Lord's spiritual church, it should be known that it is throughout the whole terrestrial globe. For it is not limited to those that have the Word, and from this have obtained a knowledge of the Lord, and some truths of faith; but it is also with those who have not the Word, and are therefore entirely ignorant of the Lord, and consequently do not know any truths of faith (for all truths of faith refer to the Lord); that is, with the Gentiles remote from the church. For there are many among them who from rational light have come to know that there is one God; that He created all things, and that He preserves all things; as well as that all good, consequently all truth is from Him, and that similitude with Him makes man blessed; and who live, moreover, according to their religious belief, in love to God and in charity towards the neighbour; who from an affection for good do the works of charity, and from an affection for truth worship the Supreme. It is those that are of such a character among the Gentiles who are in the Lord's spiritual church. And although ignorant of the Lord while they are in the world, yet they have within them the worship and tacit acknowledgment of Him, when they are in good; for in all good the Lord is present. (A. C. n. 3263.)

 

The Specific Church, and its relation to the Church Universal.

It is called the church where the Lord is acknowledged and where the Word is. For the essentials of the church are love and faith in the Lord from the Lord; and the Word teaches how a man must live in order that he may receive love and faith from the Lord. (H. D. n. 242.)