(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 815

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815. From this state of theirs many things proceed, and among them this, that they keep the spiritual things of the church inscribed upon the memory, and seldom elevate them into the higher understanding, but admit them only into the lower, from which they reason about them, which is doing wholly differently from free nations. Such nations, as regards the spiritual things of the church called theological, are like eagles which rise to whatever height they please; while nations that are not free are like swans in a river. Again, free nations are like the larger deer with lofty horns, that roam the fields, groves, and forests at perfect liberty; while nations that are not free are like the deer kept in parks to please a prince. And still again, free peoples are like the winged horse which the ancients called Pegasus, that flew not only over the seas, but over the so called Parnassian hills, and also over the hills of the Muses beneath them; while a people not freed are like noble horses handsomely caparisoned in kings' stables. There are like differences in their judgments regarding the mysterious matters of theology. The clergy of the Germans, while they are students, write out from the mouths of their teachers in the colleges certain dicta, and these they guard as the authoritative utterances of erudition; and when they are inaugurated into the priesthood, or made lecturers in the schools, they, for the most part, draw their official utterances in the desk or in the pulpit from those dicta. Such of their priests as do not teach in accordance with orthodoxy usually preach about the Holy Spirit and its wonderful workings and excitations of holiness in men's hearts. But those who teach about faith according to the orthodoxy of the present day, appear to the angels as if decorated with wreaths of oak leaves; while those who teach from the Word about charity and its works appear to the angels to be adorned with wreaths of odoriferous leaves of laurel. Those there who are called Evangelical, in their disputes with the Reformed about truths, appear to be rending their garments, because garments signify truths.


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