(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 666

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666. All these declarations made by the four assemblies were heard by the angels who were above us, and they said to each other, "We see that there is no one in Christendom who knows what conscience is; we will therefore send down from us one who will instruct them."
And immediately there stood in their midst an angel in white clothing, around whose head appeared a bright band in which there were little stars. This angel addressing the four assemblies said, "We have heard in heaven that you have presented in succession your opinions about conscience, and that you have all regarded it as some mental pain which infests the head with heaviness, and from that the body, or infests the body and from that the head. But conscience viewed in itself is not a pain, but a spiritual desire to act in accordance with whatever pertains to religion and faith. Hence it is that those who feel delight in conscience are in the tranquillity of peace and interior blessedness when they are acting in accordance with their conscience, and in a kind of perturbation when they are acting contrary to it. But the mental pain which you have believed to be conscience, is not conscience but temptation, which is a conflict of the spirit with the flesh; and this conflict, when it is spiritual, has its origin in conscience; but if it is natural merely, it has its origin in those diseases which the physicians have just recounted."
[2] "But what conscience is may be illustrated by examples; A priest who has a spiritual desire to teach truths in order that his flock may be saved, has conscience; but he who has any other end in view, does not have conscience. A judge who regards justice exclusively, and executes it with judgment, has conscience; but a judge who looks primarily to reward, friendship, or favor, has not conscience. Again, a man who has in his possession the property of another, the other not knowing it, and who is thus able without fear of the law or loss of honor and reputation, to keep it as his own, and yet, because it is not his, restores it to the other, has conscience, since he does what is just for the sake of what is just. So again, one who can obtain an office but who knows that another who is also seeking it would be more useful to society, and yields the place to him for the sake of the good of society, has a good conscience. So in other things. [3] All who have conscience say whatever they say from the heart, and do whatever they do from the heart; for not having a divided mind they speak and act according to what they understand and believe to be true and good. From all this it follows that a more perfect conscience may exist with those who have more of the truths of faith than others, and who have a clearer perception than others, than is possible with those who are less enlightened and whose perception is obscure. A true conscience is the seat of man's spiritual life itself, for there his faith is conjoined with charity; therefore when such act from conscience they act from their spiritual life, but when they act contrary to conscience they act contrary to that life. Moreover, does not everyone know from common speech what conscience is? When it is said of anyone: 'He has conscience,' does not that also mean that he is a just man? But on the other hand, when it is said of anyone, 'He has no conscience' does it not mean that he is also unjust?"
[4] When the angel had said this he was immediately taken up into heaven; and the four assemblies came together as one; but when they had conversed together some time about the remarks of the angel, behold, they were again divided into four assemblies, but different from the former. One contained those who comprehended the words of the angels and assented to them; a second those who did not comprehend but still favored them; a third those who did not wish to comprehend them, saying, "What have we to do with conscience?" and a fourth those who laughed at what was said, saying, "What is conscience but a breath of wind?" And I saw the four bodies separating from one another, the two former passing to the right and the two latter to the left, these going downward, but the others upward.


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