Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/448

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THE THIRD OR ISRAELITISH CHURCH.


The third church was the Israelitish. It was begun by the promulgation of the Decalogue upon Mount Sinai; was continued through the Word written by Moses and the Prophets; and was consummated, or ended, by the profanation of the Word. The fulness of this profanation was at the time when the Lord came into the world; wherefore He who was the Word was crucified. (T. C. R n. 760.)

The Israelitish Church worshipped Jehovah, who in Himself is an invisible God (Exod. xxxiii. 18-23), but under a human form, which Jehovah God put on by means of an angel; in which form He appeared to Moses, Abraham, Sarah, Hagar, Gideon, eloshua, and sometimes to the Prophets. This human form was representative of the Lord who was to come; and because this was representative, each and all things of their church also were made representative. It is known that the sacrifices and other things of their worship represented the Lord who was to come, and that when He came they were abrogated, {ih. n. 786.)

 

This was not a true Church, but merely representative, or the Representative of a Church.

A church merely representative is the resemblance of a church; it is not a church. (A. C. n. 3480.)

The church instituted among the Jews, as regards them, was not a church, but only the representative of a church; for, that there may be a church there must be in the man of the church faith in the Lord, and also love to Him, as well as love towards the neighbour. These constitute the church. But these were not in the people who were called Jacob. For they did not acknowledge the Lord, and therefore were not willing to hear of faith in Him,—still less of love towards Him; and not even of love towards the neighbour. For they were in, self-love, and in the love of the world; which loves are entirely opposite to love to the Lord and love towards the neighbour. Such a character