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

BE 96

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"He that sat upon the throne," that is, the Lord, said these things to John, when he saw "the New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven." That by "the New Jerusalem" is meant the New Church, will be shown in the following chapter. The reason why the falsities of the dogmas of the faith of the present church must first be opened and rejected, before the truths of the dogmas of the New Church can be revealed and received, is, because they do not agree together, no not in one single point or particular; for the dogmas of the present church are founded upon a faith, in which it is unknown whether there be any essential of the church, or not. The essentials of the church, which conjoin themselves with a faith in one God, are charity, good works, repentance, and a life according to the Divine laws; and because these together with faith affect and move the will and thought of man, they conjoin man with the Lord, and the Lord with man. Since, therefore, none of these essentials enter into the faith of the present church at its first approach, which is called the act of justification, it cannot possibly be known whether this faith be in man, or not, consequently whether it be anything, or whether it be only an idea; for it is said, that man in that act is like a stock or a stone, and that he can neither will, think, cooperate, no, nor even apply or accommodate himself to the reception thereof in the smallest degree, see above [n. 15 (c) (d)]. Since, therefore, the case is such, that no one can guess, much less know, whether that faith be in him, and thus whether it be in him like a painted flower, or like a flower of the field in him; or whether it be like a bird flying by him, or like a bird that has built her nest in him; I ask by what tokens or signs is this to be known? If it be answered, that it is to be known from charity, good works, repentance, and exercises of the law, which follow after this faith, and yet have no connection with it; I leave it to men of sagacity to determine, whether things that have no connection with faith, can possibly be signs testifying thereof. For this faith of theirs, they say, is neither preserved nor retained by the things above mentioned, see above [n. 12 (m) (n)]. From what has been said we may draw the following conclusion, that in the faith of the present day there is nothing of the church, and thus that it is not anything, but only an idea of something. Since then this faith is of such a nature, it is deservedly to be rejected, yea, it rejects itself, as that of which nothing of the church can be predicated.


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