(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 797

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797. As to the lot of Melancthon when he first entered the spiritual world, and what it was afterward, I have been permitted to learn many things not only from angels but also from himself, for I have talked with him repeatedly, yet not so often nor so intimately as with Luther. The reason why I have not talked with him so often or so intimately is that he could not approach me as Luther did, because he had given his attention so fully to justification by faith alone, and not to charity; and I was surrounded by angelic spirits who were in charity, and who were a hindrance to his approaching me. [2] I have heard that when he first entered the spiritual world, a house was prepared for him like that in which he had dwelt in the world. This is done for most of the newcomers there, and for this reason they do not know but that they are still in the natural world, and the time that has passed since their death seems to them merely as a sleep. Also everything in his room was like what he formerly had; a similar table, a similar desk with compartments, and a similar library; so that as soon as he came there, as if he had just awakened from a sleep, he seated himself at the table and continued his writing, and that, too, on the subject of justification by faith alone, and so, on for several days, writing nothing whatever about charity. The angels perceiving this, asked him through messengers why he did not write about charity also. He replied that there is nothing of the church in charity, for if charity were to be received as in any way an essential attribute of the church, man would ascribe to himself the merit of justification and consequently of salvation, and thus he would rob faith of its spiritual essence. [3] When the angels who were over his head perceived this, and when the angels who were associated with him when he was outside of his house heard it (for angels are associated with every newcomer at the beginning), they all withdrew. A few weeks after this occurred, the things that he used in his room began to be obscured and at length to disappear, until at last there was nothing left there but the table, paper, and ink stand; and, moreover, the walls of his room seemed to be plastered with lime, and the floor to be covered with a yellowish, brick-like material, and he himself to be in coarser clothing. Wondering at this, he asked of those about him why it was so, and was told that it was because he had separated charity from the church, which was, nevertheless, its heart. But as he repeatedly contradicted this, and went on writing about faith as the one only essential of the church and the means of salvation, and separated charity more and more, he suddenly seemed to himself to be under ground in a sort of workhouse, where there were others like him. And when he wished to go out he was detained, and it was announced to him that no other lot awaits those who thrust charity and good works outside of the doors of the church. But as he had been one of the Reformers of the church, he was released by the Lord's command, and sent back to his former room, where there was nothing but the table, paper, and ink stand. Nevertheless, because of his confirmed ideas, he continued to besmear the paper with the same error, so that he could not be kept from being alternately sent down to his captive fellows and sent back again. When sent back, he appeared in a garment made of a hairy skin, because faith without charity is cold. [4] He himself told me that there was another room adjoining his own in the rear, in which there were three tables, at which sat men like himself, who had likewise exiled charity, and that sometimes a fourth table appeared there, on which were seen monstrous things in various forms, but they were not frightened thereby from their work. He said that he conferred with these, and was confirmed by them daily. Nevertheless, after a time, he was smitten with fear, and began to write something about charity; but what he wrote on the paper one day he did not see the next day, for this is what happens to everyone there when he commits anything to paper from the external man only, and not also from the internal, thus from compulsion and not from freedom. The writing is obliterated of itself. [5] But after the beginning of the establishment of the new heaven by the Lord, he began to think from the light from that heaven that he might possibly be in error; and in consequence, because of anxiety about his lot, he felt impressed upon him some interior ideas respecting charity. In this state he consulted the Word, and then his eyes were opened, and he saw that it was filled throughout with love to God and love towards the neighbor, so that it was, as the Lord says, that on these two commandments hang the law and the prophets, that is, the whole Word. From this time he was interiorly conveyed into the southern quarter towards the west, and thus to another house, and there he talked with me, saying that his writings on charity did not then vanish as formerly, but appeared obscurely the next day. [6] One thing I wondered at, that when he walked, his steps had a clanking sound, like those of a man walking with iron heels on a stone pavement. To this must be added, that when any novitiate from the world entered his room to talk with him or see him, he would summon a spirit from among those given to magic, who by fantasy could call up various beautiful shapes, and who then adorned his chamber with ornaments and flowered tapestry, and also with the appearance of a library in the center. But as soon as the visitors were gone those shapes vanished, and the former plastering and emptiness returned. But this was when he was in his former state.


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