(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 796

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796. LUTHER, MELANCTHON, AND CALVIN IN THE SPIRITUAL WORLD.
Having frequently talked with these three leaders, reformers of the Christian church, I have thus learned what the state of their life has been from its beginning in that world up to the present time. As for Luther, from the time that he entered the spiritual world he was a most vehement propagator and defender of his dogmas, and his zeal for them grew as the number of those from the earth who agreed with him and favored him increased. A house was given him there like the one he had at Eisleben while he lived in the body. In the center of this house he erected a sort of throne, somewhat elevated, where he sat; and through the open door he admitted hearers, and arranged them in classes, admitting to the class nearest to himself those who were the more favorable to him, and placing behind them those less favorable, and then he made set speeches to them, occasionally permitting questions in order that he might from some point resume the thread of his discourse. [2] In consequence of this general approval he at length acquired a power of persuasion which is so efficacious in the spiritual world that no one is able to resist it or speak against what is said. But as this was a kind of incantation used by the ancients, he was strictly forbidden to speak any more from that power of persuasion; and thereafter he taught, as he had done before, from the memory and understanding together. This power of persuasion, which is a kind of incantation, flows from the love of self; and on this account it finally becomes of such a nature that when anyone contradicts, not only is the subject in question attacked, but also, the person himself. [3] Such was the state of Luther's life up to the time of the last judgement, which took place in the spiritual world in the year 1757. But a year after that, he was removed from his first house to another, and at the same time underwent a change of state. And then, having heard that I, while still in the natural world, could speak with those in the spiritual world, he among others came to me; and after some questions and answers, he saw that there is at this day an end of the former church and the beginning of a new church, respecting which Daniel prophesied, and which was predicted by the Lord Himself in the Gospels. He also saw that it is this new church that is meant by the New Jerusalem in the Apocalypse, and by "the eternal gospel" which the angel flying in the midst of heaven proclaimed unto them that dwell upon the earth (Rev. 14:6). At this he became very angry and railed. But as he observed the increase of the new heaven (which was formed and is still forming of those who acknowledge the Lord alone as the God of heaven and earth, according to His word in Matthew (28:18), and also that the number of his own congregations was daily diminishing, he ceased his railing, and then came nearer to me, and began to talk with me more familiarly. And when he had been convinced that he had got his chief dogma of justification by faith alone from his own intelligence and not from the Word, he suffered himself to be instructed respecting the Lord, charity, true faith, freedom of choice, and also respecting redemption, and this solely from the Word. [4] And finally when he had been convinced, he began to favor those truths out of which the New Church is built up, and finally to confirm himself in them more and more. At this time he was with me daily; and then, as often as he brought those truths together, he began to laugh at his former dogmas as things diametrically opposed to the Word; and I heard him say, "Do not wonder at my seizing upon justification by faith alone, excluding charity from its spiritual essence, and thus taking away from men all freedom of choice in things spiritual, and affirming other things that depend on faith alone once accepted, as links on a chain, since my object was to break away from the Roman Catholics, and this object I could compass and attain in no other way. I therefore do not wonder at my own errors, but I do wonder that one crazy man could make so many others crazy; so that they failed to see what is said in the Sacred Scriptures on the other side, although it is very manifest;" and as he said this he looked askance at certain dogmatic writers, men of celebrity in his time, faithful followers of his doctrine. [5] I was told by the examining angels that the reason why this leader was more nearly in a state of conversion than many others who had confirmed themselves in the doctrine of justification by faith alone, was that in his childhood, before he entered upon the Reformation, he had been imbued with the dogma of the preeminence of charity; and for this reason his teaching respecting charity was so excellent, both in his writings and in his preaching; and as a consequence, justifying faith with him was merely implanted in his external-natural man, and had not taken root in his internal-spiritual man. It is otherwise with those who in their childhood confirm themselves against the spirituality of charity; and this comes of itself when justification by faith alone is established by confirmations. I have talked with the prince of Saxony, with whom Luther had been associated in the world, and he told me that he had often reproved Luther, especially for separating charity from faith and declaring faith to be saving and charity not saving, when not only does Sacred Scripture join together these two universal means of salvation, but Paul even sets charity before faith, when he says,
That there are three, faith, hope, charity, and that the greater of these is charity (1 Cor. 13:13).
But he said that Luther as often replied that he could not do otherwise, because of the Roman Catholics. This prince is among the blessed.

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