343. III. MAN ACQUIRES FAITH BY GOING TO THE LORD, LEARNING TRUTHS FROM THE WORD, AND LIVING ACCORDING TO THEM.
Before proceeding to show how faith originates, namely, by going to the Lord, learning truths from the Word, and living according to them, it is necessary first to set forth the summaries of faith, from which may be gained the general idea that runs through the several parts; for thus what is taught not only in this chapter on Faith, but also in those on Charity, Free Will, Repentance, Reformation, and Regeneration, and on Imputation, will be more clearly comprehended; for faith enters into all parts and each part of a system of theology, as blood flows into the members of the body and vivifies them. What the present church teaches respecting faith is known in the Christian world generally, and particularly in its ecclesiastical class; for the books treating solely of faith and faith alone fill the libraries of the doctors of the church, and almost nothing beyond this is regarded as properly theological at the present day. But before what the present church teaches respecting its faith is taken up, considered and examined (which will be done in an Appendix), the general principles which the New Church teaches respecting its faith shall be presented. They are the following: