(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 8762

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8762. Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and declare to the sons of Israel. That this signifies the salvation of those who are of the external and internal spiritual church, is evident from the signification of "saying," and "declaring," as here being salvation, for the things which are now said and declared by Jehovah through Moses involve salvation; and from the signification of "the house of Jacob," and "the sons of Israel," as being the external and internal church (see n. 3305, 4286). What is meant by the external church and the internal church has been already stated in several places, namely, that the external of the Ancient Church was all that which represented the internal, and that the internal of the church was that which was represented by the externals. As for example, they who made Divine worship consist in sacrifices, and in rites and statutes, which represented spiritual and heavenly things of the Lord's kingdom, were in externals; but they who made Divine worship consist at the same time in the celestial and spiritual things which were represented, were in internals. In like manner at this day, they who make Divine worship consist in frequenting temples, hearing preachings, attending the Holy Supper, and who do these things with devotion, without thinking any further about them than that they ought to be frequented because they are instituted and commanded, these are of the external church; whereas they who at the same time believe that such things are to be attended to, but that still the essential of worship is the life of faith, that is, charity toward the neighbor and love to the Lord, these are of the internal church. Consequently also they are of the external church who do what is good to the neighbor and worship the Lord merely from the obedience of faith; whereas they are of the internal church who do what is good to the neighbor and worship the Lord from love. So in all other cases.
[2] Nevertheless with everyone who is of the church there must be both, namely, an external and an internal. If there are not both there is no spiritual life with him, for the internal is like a soul, and the external is like the body of the soul. But they who are of the external church are clearly in its externals and obscurely in its internals, whereas they who are of the internal church are clearly in internals and obscurely in externals. But those who are in externals and not at the same time in internals are not of the church. All those are in both who are in the good of life according to the teachings of their church; but those are in externals without internals who are in worship and not at the same time in the good of life according to the teachings of the church. There are few who know this, and the reason why few know it, is that they make all worship, and thereby all salvation, consist in faith, and not at all in charity. From this also it is that they who think about eternal salvation make it consist in a life of piety, and not at all in a life of charity (on which see n. 8252-8257).


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