2982. In the land of Canaan. That this signifies which church is one in the Lord's kingdom, is evident from the representation of the "land of Canaan," as being the kingdom of the Lord (see n. 1413, 1437, 1585, 1607). With the churches of the Lord, the case is this: In ancient times there were many churches at the same time; and there were as at this day distinctions among them in regard to doctrinal matters; but still they made a one in the fact that they acknowledged love to the Lord and charity toward the neighbor as the principal and very essential thing; and therefore that the purpose of doctrinal things was not to teach them how to think, but how to live. And when with each and all, love to the Lord and charity toward the neighbor-that is, the good of life-is the essential thing; then churches, however numerous they may be, make one church, all then being one in the Lord's kingdom. Such also is heaven; there are innumerable societies there, all distinct; but still they constitute one heaven, because in all there is love to the Lord and charity toward the neighbor.
 But the case is wholly different with churches that call faith the essential of the church; supposing that if they know this and think this they are saved, no matter what their life may be. In this case the several churches do not make one church, nor indeed are they churches. The good of faith, that is, the very life of love and of charity according to the things of faith, is that which makes the church. Doctrinal matters are for the sake of life. Everyone may know this: what are doctrinal matters except for the sake of all end? and what is the end but life? or that a man may become such as those doctrinal things teach?
It is indeed said that the very faith itself which saves is confidence; but this confidence is quite impossible except in the good of life. Without the good of life there is no reception, and where there is no reception there is no confidence, except at times a certain apparent confidence, in suffering conditions of mind or body, when the cupidities of the love of self and of the world are at rest. But with those who are in evil of life, when this crisis passes or the condition is changed, such fallacious confidence altogether vanishes; for a confidence is found even with the wicked. But whoever desires to know the quality of his confidence, let him examine in himself the affections and ends, as well as the practices of his life.