(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 283

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The commandments of the Decalogue were the first fruits of the Word and therefore the firstfruits of the church about to be established with the Israelitish nation, and as they were in a brief summary the complex of all things of religion, whereby there is a conjunction of God with man and of man with God, they were so holy that nothing could be holier. That they were most holy is clearly manifest from the following facts: That Jehovah Himself, the Lord, descended upon Mount Sinai in fire, accompanied by angels, and promulgated these laws therefrom by a living voice [and that the people were three days preparing themselves to see and hear], and that bounds were set round about the mountain, lest anyone should approach and die; and that neither the priests nor the elders drew near, but Moses only. That these commandments were written by the finger of God on two tables of stone. That when Moses brought those tables down the second time his face shone. That the tables were afterward deposited in the ark, and the ark was placed in the inmost of the tabernacle, and over it was placed the mercy-seat, and over this the golden cherubs; and that this inmost in the tabernacle, where the ark was, was called the holy of holies. That outside the veil, within which was the ark, various things were arranged representing the holy things of heaven and the church, namely, the table overlaid with gold on which was the bread of faces, the golden altar for incense, the golden lampstand with seven lamps, also the curtains round about, made of fine linen, purple and scarlet. The holiness of the whole tabernacle was from no other source than the law which was in the ark. On account of the holiness of the tabernacle from the law in the ark, the whole Israelitish people by command encamped around it in order according to their tribes, and marched in order after it; and there was then a cloud over it by day and a fire by night. On account of the holiness of that law, and the presence of Jehovah therein, Jehovah talked with Moses above the mercy-seat between the cherubs; and the ark was called "Jehovah there." That Aaron was not permitted to enter within the veil except with sacrifices and incense, lest he die. Also on account of the presence of Jehovah in and about the law, miracles were wrought by means of the ark which contained the law; as that the waters of Jordan were divided, and so long as the ark rested in the midst of the river the people passed over on dry ground; the walls of Jericho fell by the carrying of the ark around them; Dagon the god of the Philistines first fell on his face before it, and afterward lay upon the threshold of the temple with his head and the palms of his hands cut off. Because of the ark the Bethshemites were smitten to the number of several thousands; and Uzzah died because he touched it. The ark was brought by David into Zion with sacrifice and jubilation, and afterwards by Solomon into the temple at Jerusalem, of which it constituted the sanctuary; besides many other things. From all this it is clear that in the Israelitish church the Decalogue was holiness itself.


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