(BE) - A Brief Exposition of the Teachings for the New Church Meant by the New Jerusalem in the Book of Revelation

BE 79

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79. That, according to the above prediction, there is at this day such thick darkness throughout the Christian churches, that the sun gives no light by day, nor the moon and stars any light by night, is occasioned solely by the doctrine of justification by faith alone; for it teaches faith as the only means of salvation; of the influx, progress, indwelling, operation, and efficacy of which no one has hitherto seen any sign; and into which neither the Law of the Decalogue, nor charity, nor good works, nor repentance, nor striving after a new life, have any entrance, or are in the smallest degree connected with it; for it is asserted, that they spontaneously follow, without being of any use either to contain faith or to procure salvation. The above doctrine likewise teaches, that faith alone imparts to the regenerate, or those who are possessed of it, full liberty, so as to be no longer under the law; moreover that Christ covers over their sins before God the Father, who forgives them as though they were not seen, and crowns them with renovation, sanctity, and eternal life. These and many other things of a like nature are the interiors of that doctrine; the exteriors, which do not gain admission, are valuable sayings concerning charity, good works, acts of repentance, and exercises of the law; yet these are accounted by them merely as slaves and drudges, which follow their mistress, faith, without contiguity. But because they know that the laity account these things as equally necessary to salvation with faith, they carefully subjoin them in their sermons and discourses, and pretend to conjoin them with and insert them into justification. This, however, they do merely to tickle the ears of the common people, and to defend their oracles, that they may not appear mere riddles, or like the vain responses of soothsayers.


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