(TCR) - True Christian Religion: Containing the Whole Theology of the New Church Predicted by the Lord in Daniel 7:13-14 and Revelation 21:1-2

TCR 336

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336. CHAPTER 6
From the wisdom of the ancients came forth this tenet, that the universe and each and all things therein relate to good and truth; and thus that all things pertaining to the church relate to love or charity and faith, since everything that flows forth from love or charity is called good, and everything that flows forth from faith is called true. Since then charity and faith are distinguishably two, and yet make one in man, that he may be a man of the church, that is, that the church may be in him, it was a matter of controversy and dispute among the ancients, which one of the two should be first, and which therefore is by right to be called the firstborn. Some of them said that truth is first and consequently faith; and some good, and consequently charity. For they saw that immediately after birth man learns to talk and think, and is thereby perfected in understanding, which is done by means of knowledges, and by this means he learns and understands what is true; and afterwards by means of this he learns and understands what is good; consequently, that he first learns what faith is, and afterward what charity is. Those who so comprehended this subject, supposed that the truth of faith was the firstborn, and that good of charity was born afterwards; for which reason they gave to faith the eminence and prerogative of primogeniture. But those who so reasoned overwhelmed their own understandings with such a multitude of arguments in favor of faith, as not to see that faith is not faith unless it is conjoined with charity, and that charity is not charity unless conjoined with faith, and thus that they make one, and if not so conjoined, neither of them is anything in the church. That they do completely make one, will be shown in what follows.
[2] But in these prefatory remarks I will show briefly how or in what respect they make one; for this is important as throwing some light on what follows. Faith, by which is also meant truth, is first in time; while charity, by which is also meant good, is first in end; and that which is first in end, is actually first, because it is primary, therefore also it is the firstborn, while that which is first in time, is not actually first, but only apparently so. But to make this understood, it shall be illustrated by comparisons with the building of a temple, and of a house, the laying out of a garden, and the preparation of a field. In the building of a temple, the first thing in time is to lay the foundation, erect the walls and put on the roof; then to put in the altar and rear the pulpit; while the first thing in end is the worship of God therein, for the sake of which the preceding work is done. In the building of a house, the first thing in time is to build its outside parts, and also to furnish it with various articles of necessity; while the first thing in end is a suitable dwelling for the man and the others who are to constitute his household. In the laying out of a garden, the first thing in time is to level the ground, prepare the soil, and plant trees in it and sow in it the seeds of such things as will be of use; while the first thing in end is the use of its products. In the preparation of a field, the first thing in time is to smooth, plough and harrow it, and then to sow it; while the first thing in end is the crop; thus again, use. From these comparisons anyone may conclude what is essentially first. Does not everyone who wishes to build a temple or a house, or to lay out a garden, or cultivate a field, first intend some use? And does he not continually keep this in his mind and meditate upon it while he is procuring the means to it? We therefore conclude that the truth of faith is first in time, but that the good of charity is first in end; and that this latter, because it is primary, is actually the firstborn in the mind.
[3] But it is necessary to know what faith is, what charity is, each in its essence; and this cannot be known unless each is divided into separate propositions - faith into its own, and charity into its own. Faith shall therefore be treated under the following heads:
1. Saving faith is faith in the Lord God the Savior, Jesus Christ.
2. The sum of faith is that he who lives well and believes rightly, is saved by the Lord.
3. Man acquires faith by going to the Lord, learning truths from the Word, and living according to them.
4. An abundance of truths cohering as if in a bundle, exalts and perfects faith.
5. Faith without charity is not faith, and charity without faith is not charity, and neither has life except from the Lord.
6. The Lord, charity, and faith make one, like life, will, and understanding in man; and if they are divided, each perishes, like a pearl reduced to powder.
7. The Lord is charity and faith in man, and man is charity and faith in the Lord.
8. Charity and faith are together in good works.
9. There is a true faith, a spurious faith, and a hypocritical faith.
10. In the evil there is no faith.
These shall now be explained separately.


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