(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 367

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367. (4) But the man who divides the Lord, charity, and faith, is not a form that receives but a form that destroys them. For he who separates the Lord from charity and faith, separates life from them, and when this is done, charity and faith either cease to exist or are abortions. That the Lord is life itself may be seen above (n. 358). He who acknowledges the Lord and sets charity aside, acknowledges Him with the lips only; his acknowledgment and confession is purely cold; within which there is no faith; for it lacks spiritual essence, since the essence of faith is charity. But he who practises charity and does not acknowledge the Lord as the God of heaven and earth, one with the Father (as He Himself teaches), practises merely natural charity in which there is no eternal life. The man of the church knows that all good that is good in itself is from God, consequently from the Lord, who is "the true God and eternal life" (1 John 5:20); so also with charity, because good and charity are one. [2] Faith separate from charity is not faith, because faith is the light of man's life and charity is its heat; therefore the separation of charity from faith is like the separation of heat from light; man's state then becomes like that of the world in winter, when everything on the earth dies. For charity to be charity and faith to be faith they can no more be separated than the will and the understanding; if these are separated the understanding comes to nothing, and presently the will also. It is the same with charity and faith, because charity resides in the will, and faith in the understanding. [3] Separating charity from faith is like separating essence from form. In the learned world it is known that essence without form, or form without essence, is nothing; for essence has no quality except from form, nor is form a subsistent entity except from essence; consequently nothing can be predicated of either separate from the other. Charity is the essence of faith, and faith is the form of charity just as good (as said above) is the essence of truth, and truth is the form of good. [4] As there are these two, namely, good and truth, in each thing and in all things that have essential existence, so there are charity and faith, charity because it belongs to good, and faith because it belongs to truth. This may be illustrated by comparisons with many things in the human body, and with many things on the earth. They maybe fitly compared with the respiration of the lungs and the systolic motion of the heart; since charity can no more be separated from faith than the heart from the lungs; for when the pulsation of the heart ceases, immediately the respiration of the lungs ceases; and when the respiration of the lungs ceases, all senses faint, all the muscles are deprived of motion, and in a short time the heart stops also and the life is wholly gone. This is a proper comparison, because the heart corresponds to the will and thus to charity, and the respiration of the lungs to the understanding, and thus to faith; for (as said above) charity resides in the will, and faith in the understanding; and this is what "heart" and "breath" mean in the Word. [5] Again there is a parallel between the separation of charity and faith and the separation of blood and flesh; for the blood separated from the flesh is gore, and becomes corruption, while the flesh separated from the blood gradually becomes putrid and breeds worms. So too, in the spiritual sense, "blood" signifies the truth of wisdom and faith, and "flesh" the good of love and charity. That this is the significance of "blood" may be seen in the Apocalypse Revealed (n. 379), and of "flesh" (n. 382). [6] For charity and faith to be anything, they can no more be separated than food and water or bread and wine with man; for food or bread taken without water or wine, merely distends the stomach, and like an undigested mass destroys it and becomes like putrid filth. So does water or wine without food or bread distend the stomach, and likewise the vessels and pores, which being thus deprived of nutrition, emaciate the body even to death. This is also a proper comparison, since "food" and "bread" in the spiritual sense signify the good of love and charity, and "water" and "wine" the truth of wisdom and faith, as may be seen in the Apocalypse Revealed (n. 50, 316, 778, 932). [7] Charity conjoined with faith, and faith in its turn with charity, may be likened to the face of a handsome virgin beautiful from the intermingling of red and white. This again is a proper comparison, since love and charity therefrom in the spiritual world are red from the fire of the sun there, while truth and faith therefrom are white from the light of that sun; and therefore charity separate from faith may be likened to a face inflamed with pimples, and faith separate from charity to the pallid face of a corpse. Faith separate from charity may also be likened to a paralysis of one side, which is called hemiplegia, from which, when it increases, the man dies. It may also be compared to St. Vitus' dance, or to the dance of St. Guy, which is caused by the bite of the tarantula. The rational faculty becomes like a man so bitten; like him it dances furiously and so deems itself alive, when yet it can no more collect various reasons into one, and think about spiritual truths, than one can when asleep in bed oppressed with a nightmare. This will suffice to demonstrate the two points of this chapter: first, That faith without charity is not faith, and that charity without faith is not charity, and that neither has life except from the Lord; secondly, That the Lord, charity, and faith make one, like life, will, and understanding in man; and if they are divided each perishes, like a pearl reduced to powder.


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