(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 809

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809. That was upon the faces of the ground. That this signifies the posterity of the Most Ancient Church, is evident from the signification of "ground" (of which before) as being the church, and therefore what is of the church. Here, as "every substance that was upon the faces of the ground" is said to be "destroyed" the meaning is that they who were of the Most Ancient Church, and were of such a character, were destroyed. Here it is said, "ground" though in the twenty-first verse it is said, "earth" for the reason that the church is never predicated of things of the understanding, but of things of the will. Religious knowledge and its attendant rational convictions [scientificum et rationale fidei] by no means constitute the church or man of the church, but charity, which is of the will. All that is essential comes from the will; and consequently neither does what is doctrinal make the church, unless both in general and in particular it looks to charity, for then charity becomes the end. From the end it is evident what kind of doctrine it is, and whether it is of the church or not. The church of the Lord, like the kingdom of the Lord in the heavens, consists of nothing but love and charity.


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