Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/505

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THE NEW CHRISTIAN CHURCH.

the loves of self and the world. A second reason is, that the doctrine of that Church cannot be acknowledged, and hence cannot be received, except by those who have not confirmed themselves, in doctrine and at the same time in life, in faith alone. If confirmed only in doctrine it does not prevent; but if they have confirmed themselves at the same time in life it prevents; for then they neither know nor wish to know what love to God and charity towards the neighbour are. A third reason is, that the New Church on earth increases according to its increase in the world of spirits; for spirits from thence are with men, and are from those who were in the faith of their church while they lived in the world; and no others of them receive the doctrine but those that have been in an affection for spiritual truth. They alone are conjoined with heaven, where that doctrine is, and conjoin heaven with man. Their number in the world of spirits now daily increases; and therefore, according to their increase, this church which is called the New Jerusalem increases on earth. These too were the reasons why the Christian church increased so slowly in the European world after the Lord left the earth, and did not come to its fulness (ad plenum) until after an age had elapsed. (A. E. n. 732.)

It is said that "The woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God;" and afterwards that "she received the wings of an eagle and flew to her own place,"—which signifies that the church which is called the New Jerusalem will abide among those who are in the doctrine of faith separate [from charity] while it increases to a full [state] ) (in plenum), until it is provided for among a larger number. But in that church are the dragons, who separate faith from good works not in doctrine only but also in life; others however in the same church, who live the life of faith, which is charity, are not dragons although among them. . . . The church consisting of those who are not dragons is meant (ver. 16) by the earth which helped the woman, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. . . . By these the New Church which is called the holy Jerusalem is helped, and also increases, (ib. n. 764.)

 

The Doctrine of the New Church is from Heaven, because from the Spiritual Sense of the Word.

The doctrine of the New Church is from heaven, because it is from the spiritual sense of the Word, and the spiritual sense of the Word is the same as the doctrine which is in heaven.[1] (H. D. n. 7.)

  1. This might seem at variance with the author's very explicit teaching elsewhere (see p. 117), that "The doctrine of the Church should be drawn from the
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