(BE) - A Brief Exposition of the Teachings for the New Church Meant by the New Jerusalem in the Book of Revelation

BE 103

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The reason why the faith of the New Church cannot by any means be together with the faith of the former or present church, is, because they do not agree together in one third, no, nor even in one tenth part. The faith of the former church is described in Revelation (chap. 12) by "the dragon," but the faith of the New Church by "the woman encompassed with the sun, having upon her head a crown of twelve stars, whom the dragon pursued, and at whom he cast water as a flood, that he might swallow her up," see above (n. 87-90). These two cannot be together in one city, much less in one house, consequently they cannot be together in one mind; and if they should be together, the unavoidable consequence must be, that the woman would be continually exposed to the anger and insanity of the dragon, and in fear lest he should devour her son; for it is said in Revelation, that:
The dragon stood before the woman who was ready to be delivered, in order to devour her offspring, and the woman, after she had brought forth, fled into the wilderness (Rev. 12:1, 4, 6, 14-17).
The faith of the former church is a faith of the night, for human reason has no perception of it; wherefore it is also said, that the understanding must be kept in obedience thereto; yea, it is not known whether it be within man or without him, because nothing of man's will and reason enters into it, no, nor charity, good works, repentance, the Law of the Decalogue, with many other things which really exist in the mind of man. That this is the case, may be seen above (n. 79, 80, 96-98). But the faith of the New Church enters into a conjugial covenant with all these, and conjoins itself to them; and because it is thus in the heat of heaven, it is also in the light thereof, and is a faith of light. Now a faith of night and a faith of light cannot be together any more than an owl and a dove in one nest. For in such case the owl would lay her eggs, and the dove hers, and after sitting, the young of both would be hatched, and then the owl would tear in pieces the young of the dove, and would give them to her own young for food; for the owl is a bird of prey. There is a further reason why the faith of the former church and the faith of the New Church cannot possibly be together, and that is, because they are heterogeneous; for the faith of the former church springs from an idea of three gods, see n. 30-38, but the faith of the New Church from the idea of one God; and as there hence arises a heterogeneity between them, there must inevitably, if they are together, be such a collision and conflict, that everything of the church would perish; that is, man would either fall into a delirium or into a swoon, as to spiritual things, until at length he would scarcely know what the church is, or whether there be any church. From what has been said, it follows, that they who have confirmed themselves in the faith of the old church, cannot, without endangering their spiritual life, embrace the faith of the New Church, until they first have disproved its particulars, and thus have extirpated the former faith, together with its offspring or eggs, that is, its dogmas; the nature of which has been already shown in the foregoing pages, particularly at n. 64-69.


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