(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 722

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That God, charity, and faith are the three universals of the church, because they are the universal means of salvation, is known, acknowledged, and perceived by every Christian who studies the Word. That God must be acknowledged in order that one may have religion, or that anything of the church may be in him, is declared by reason itself when there is anything spiritual in it; consequently, if one comes to the holy supper without acknowledging God, he profanes it; for he sees the bread and wine with the eye and tastes them with the tongue, while the thought of the mind is, "What is this but a useless ceremony, and how do this bread and wine differ from that on my own table? Nevertheless I partake of them, lest I be charged by the priesthood, and so also by the common people, with the infamy of being an atheist."
[2] That after the acknowledgment of God, charity is the second means which enables one to come to the holy supper worthily is evident both from the Word and from the exhortations read before approaching the communion in the whole Christian world It is evident from the Word in this:
That the first command or precept is to love God above all things, and the neighbor as oneself (Matt. 22:34-39; Luke 10:25-28).
Again in Paul:
That there are three things that contribute to salvation, and the greatest of these is charity (1 Cor. 13:13).
Also from these passages:
We know that God heareth not sinners; but if any man is a worshiper of God and doeth His will, him He heareth (John 9:31).
Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire (Matt. 7:19, 20; Luke 3:8, 9).
[3] It appears also from the exhortations read throughout the whole Christian world before coming to the holy supper. Everywhere men are thus earnestly admonished to be in charity by reconciliation and repentance. From these I will only quote the following passage from the exhortation read to communicants in England:
"The way and means" to be worthy partakers of the holy supper "is, first to examine your lives and conversations by the rule of God's commandments; and whereinsoever ye shall perceive yourselves to have offended, either by will, word, or deed, there to bewail your own sinfulness, and to confess yourselves to Almighty God, with full purpose of amendment of life. And if ye shall perceive your offences to be such as are not only against God but also against your neighbors, then ye shall reconcile yourselves unto them, being ready to make restitution and satisfaction, according to the uttermost of your powers, for all injuries and wrongs done by you to any other; and being likewise ready to forgive others who have offended you, as ye would have forgiveness of your offences at God's hand; for otherwise the receiving of the holy communion doth nothing else but increase your damnation. Therefore if any of you be a blasphemer of God, a hinderer or slanderer of His Word, an adulterer, or be in malice, or envy, or in any other grievous crime, repent ye of your sins, or else come not to that holy table; lest, after the taking of that holy sacrament, the devil enter into you as he entered into Judas, and fill you full of all iniquities, and bring you to destruction both of body and soul."
[4] Faith in the Lord is the third means of worthily enjoying the holy supper, because charity and faith make one, like heat and light in spring, from which two conjoined every tree is born anew; so from spiritual heat, which is charity, and from spiritual light, which is the truth of faith, every man has life. That faith in the Lord effects this is evident from the following passages:
he that believeth in Me shall never die, but shall live (John 11:26, 26).
This is the will of the Father that everyone that believeth on the Son shall have eternal life (John 6:40).
God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should have eternal life (John 3:15, 16).
He that believeth on the Son hath eternal life but he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him (John 3:36).
We are in the truth, in the Son of God, Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life (1 John 5:20).


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