(AC) - A Disclosure of the Hidden Treasures of Heaven Contained in the Holy Scripture or Word of the Lord, Together with Amazing Things Seen in the World of Spirits and in the Heaven of Angels

AC 337

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As this chapter treats of the degeneration of the Most Ancient Church, or the falsification of its doctrine, and consequently of its heresies and sects, under the names of Cain and his descendants, it is to be observed that there is no possibility of understanding how doctrine was falsified, or what was the nature of the heresies and sects of that church, unless the nature of the true church be rightly understood. Enough has been said above concerning the Most Ancient Church, showing that it was a celestial man, and that it acknowledged no other faith than that which was of love to the Lord and toward the neighbor. Through this love they had faith from the Lord, or a perception of all the things that belonged to faith, and for this reason they were unwilling to mention faith, lest it should be separated from love, as was shown above (n. 200, 203).
[2] Such is the celestial man, and such he is described by representatives in David, where the Lord is spoken of as the king, and the celestial man as the king's son:
Give the king Thy judgments, and Thy righteousness to the king's son. The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the hills in righteousness. They shall fear Thee with the sun, and toward the faces of the moon, generation of generations. In his days shall the righteous flourish, and abundance of peace, until there be no moon (Ps. 72:1, 3, 5, 7).
By the "sun" is signified love; by the "moon" faith; by "mountains" and "hills" the Most Ancient Church; by "generation of generations" the churches after the flood; "until there be no moon" is said because faith shall be love. (See also what is said in Isaiah 30:26.)
[3] Such was the Most Ancient Church, and such was its doctrine. But the case is far different at this day, for now faith takes precedence over charity, but still through faith charity is given by the Lord, and then charity becomes the principal. It follows from this that in the most ancient time doctrine was falsified when they made confession of faith, and thus separated it from love. Those who falsified doctrine in this way, or separated faith from love, or made confession of faith alone, were then called "Cain;" and such a thing was then regarded as an enormity.


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