(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 393

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393. Before we proceed to elucidate the internal sense of the words before us, it is necessary to know how the case is with faith. The Most Ancient Church was of such a character as to acknowledge no faith except that which is of love, insomuch that they were unwilling even to mention faith, for through love from the Lord they perceived all things that belong to faith. Such also are the celestial angels of whom we have spoken above. But as it was foreseen that the human race could not be of this character, but would separate faith from love to the Lord, and would make of faith a doctrine by itself, it was provided that they should indeed be separated, but in such a way that through faith, that is, through the knowledges of faith, men might receive from the Lord charity, so that knowledge [cognitio] or hearing should come first, and then through knowledge or hearing, charity, that is, love toward the neighbor, and mercy, might be given by the Lord, which charity should not only be inseparable from faith, but should also constitute the principal of faith. And then instead of the perception they had in the Most Ancient Church, there succeeded conscience, acquired through faith joined to charity, which dictated not what is true, but that it is true, and this because the Lord has so said in the Word. The churches after the flood were for the most part of this character, as also was the primitive or first church after the Lord's advent, and by this the spiritual angels are distinguished from the celestial.


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