(AC) - A Disclosure of the Hidden Treasures of Heaven Contained in the Holy Scripture or Word of the Lord, Together with Amazing Things Seen in the World of Spirits and in the Heaven of Angels

AC 4672

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4672. And he was a boy. That this signifies at first, is evident from the signification of a "boy," when predicated of a new church, as being what is at first, or its first state; for the church is as an infant, a boy, a man, and at last an old man, for it passes through its several ages like a man. The church also in general is like a man, and is so called. Moreover, in the church which from its age is called a "boy," and is such as quickly to turn away, the Lord is at first present, both with those who teach and with those who learn; but afterwards He is sent away by them, as is represented by Joseph's being cast by his brethren into a pit and sold.
[2] Such is every church which begins from faith, but very different is the church which begins from charity. The church which begins from faith has nothing to direct it but the understanding, and the understanding nothing but what is hereditary in man, that is to say, the love of self and of the world. These persuade the understanding to search for things from the Word that will confirm them, and to explain away what is not confirmatory. It is otherwise with the church which begins from charity: good is its director, and in good the Lord; for between the Lord and faith there intervenes the good of charity and of love, and without this intervention there can be no spiritual communication, for there is no influx without an intermediate. If evil is in the place of good, it drives away the Lord, and either rejects or perverts all things that are of Him, thus all that are of faith, for faith is from Him through good.


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