(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 4683

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4683. And he told it to his brethren. That this signifies in the presence of those who are of faith separate, is evident from the representation of Joseph's brethren, as being the church which turns away from charity to faith, or in the abstract sense the things of faith, as above (n. 4665, 4671, 4679); here, those who are of faith separate from charity, because it follows that "they added yet to hate him," by which words are signified still greater contempt and aversion. For as regards this church the fact is that at its beginning charity is preached, but merely as a matter of doctrine, and thus of memory-knowledge, but not from charity itself, thus not from affection, or from the heart. In course of time, as charity and affection are obliterated in the heart, faith is preached; and at last when there is no longer any charity, faith alone, and this is said to be saving without works; then also works are no longer called works of charity, but works of faith, and are called the fruits of faith.
[2] In this way men do indeed conjoin charity and faith, but from doctrine merely, not from life. And because they vest nothing of salvation in a life of faith, or in good, but only in faith (although they know very well from the Word, and also from their own intelligence, that doctrine is nothing without life, or that faith is nothing without fruits), they vest the saving power of faith in confidence, that in this way they may also get away from fruits; not knowing that all confidence derives its being from the life's purpose, and that genuine confidence is impossible except in good, but that a spurious and false confidence is possible even in evil. And in order that they may still further separate faith from charity, they also insist that the confidence of a single moment will save, even life's last moments, no matter what the previous life has been; although they know that everyone's life remains with him after death, and that everyone will be judged according to the works of his life. From these few words it may be seen what is the quality of faith separate from charity, and consequently what the church is that makes faith, and not a life of faith, the essential. The falsities which flow thence as from their fountainhead will of the Lord's Divine mercy be spoken of in the following pages.


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