6269. And Israel put forth his right hand, and put it upon Ephraim's head. That this signifies that he accounted truth as being in the first place, is evident from the signification of "putting forth his right hand," as being to account in the first place (that the "right hand" denotes in the first place, is manifest); and from the representation of Ephraim, as being the intellectual, thus also the truth of faith, for this dwells in man's intellectual part when there is sight there from the light of heaven, thus spiritual sight (see n. 6222). It is set forth in this verse, and also in verses 17-19, that Israel put his right hand on Ephraim's head, and his left hand on Manasseh's head; and by this is signified that he accounted the truth of faith as being in the first place, and the good of charity in the second. The reason was that until he has been regenerated, the spiritual man, who is represented by Israel (n. 4286, 6256), supposes no otherwise; for he has a sensible apprehension of what the truth of faith is, but not what the good of charity is; because the latter flows in by an interior way, but the former, by an exterior way, just as does memory-knowledge.
 But they who are not being regenerated say absolutely that faith is in the first place, that is to say, that it is the essential of the church, because in this way they can live as they desire, and still say that they have hope of salvation. Hence also at this day charity has so disappeared that the nature of it is known to scarcely anyone, and consequently so has faith, for the one is not possible without the other. If charity were in the first place, and faith in the second, the aspect of the church would be different; for then no others would be called Christians than those who live a life according to the truth of faith, that is, a life of charity; and they would then also know what charity is. Then too they would not make a number of churches by making a distinction among them according to opinions about the truths of faith; but they would say that there is one church, in which are all who are in the good of life, not only those within the region where the churches are, but also those who are outside of it. In this manner the church would be an illustration about such things as belong to the Lord's kingdom; for charity enlightens, and never faith without charity; and the errors that are brought in by means of faith separated would be clearly seen.
 Hence it is evident how different an aspect the church would have if the good of charity were in the first place, that is, were the essential, and the truth of faith in the second, that is, its formal. The aspect of the church would then be like that of the Ancient Church, which made the church consist in charity, and had no other doctrinals of the church than those of charity: from this they had wisdom from the Lord. The quality of that church is described in these words in Moses:
Jehovah led him about, He instructed him, He guarded him as the pupil of His eye. As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, He took him, He bare him upon His wings; Jehovah alone did lead him, neither was there any strange god with him. He made him ride on the high places of the earth, and fed him with the increase of the fields; He made him suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flint of the rock; butter of the herd, and milk of the flock, with fat of lambs, and of rams the sons of Bashan, and of he-goats, with the fat of kidneys of wheat; and of the blood of the grape thou drinkest pure wine (Deut. 32:10-14).
Wherefore they who were of that church are in heaven, and in all happiness and glory there.