(TCR) - True Christian Religion: Containing the Whole Theology of the New Church Predicted by the Lord in Daniel 7:13-14 and Revelation 21:1-2

TCR 245

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245. It is known that the church is in accordance with its doctrine, and that doctrine is from the Word; nevertheless it is not doctrine but soundness and purity of doctrine, consequently the understanding of the Word, that establishes the church. Neither is it doctrine, but a faith and life in accordance with doctrine, that establishes and constitutes the special church in the individual man. So too it is not the Word that establishes and constitutes the church in particular in man, but a faith according to the truths, and a life according to the goods, which man derives from the Word, and applies to himself. The Word is like a mine containing in its depths gold and silver in great abundance, and like a mine which at greater and greater depths conceals stones more and more precious; these mines are opened in the measure of man's understanding of the Word. The Word such as it is in itself, in its bosom, and in its depth, when not understood, would no more form a church in man than mines in Asia would make a European rich; although it would be otherwise if he were one of the owners and workers of the mine. The Word with those who search in it for truths of faith and goods of life, is like the treasuries of the king of Persia, or of the emperor of the Moguls or of China, and men of the church are like officers placed over them, who are permitted to take for their use as much as they please. But those who merely have possession of the Word and read it, but do not try to get from it genuine truths for their faith or genuine goods for their life, are like those who know by hearsay that there are such great treasures there, but do not receive a penny from them. Those who have the Word, but do not gain from it any understanding of genuine truth, or any will for genuine good, are like those who think themselves rich for having money borrowed from others, or like those who hold estates, houses, and merchandise belonging to others. This, as everyone can see, is mere hallucination. They are also like those who go about magnificently clothed, and are driven about in gilded carriages, with attendants behind and beside them, and couriers ahead, and yet none of this is their own property.


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