(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 810

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810. I afterward heard many reasons why those preachers were deprived of their office. I was told that the chief reason is, that they did not prepare their sermons from the Word and thus from the Spirit of God, but from their own rational light, and thus from their own spirit. They begin, indeed, as a prelude, with a text from the Word; but this they merely touch with their lips, and then abandon as tasteless, immediately selecting something savory from their own intelligence, which they roll about in their mouths and turn over upon their tongues as something delicious. Such is their teaching. It was said that as a consequence there was no more spirituality in their sermons than in the songs of birds, and that they were merely allegorical adornments, like wigs beautifully curled and powdered on bald heads. The mysteries of their discourses on justification by faith alone were likened to the quails brought up from the sea and strewn about the camps of the children of Israel (Num. 11), because of which several thousand persons died; while the theology of charity and faith together were likened to the manna from heaven. I once heard their preachers talking together about faith alone; and I saw a kind of image formed by them, which represented their faith alone. In their light, which was the light of hallucination, this appeared like a great giant; but when light from heaven was let in upon it, it appeared like a monster above and a serpent below. Seeing this, they withdrew, and the bystanders threw the image into a pond.


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