(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 390

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390. Sixth Memorable Relation:
In the northern quarter of the spiritual world I heard, as it were, a noise of waters; and I went toward it; and as I drew near the noise ceased, and I heard a sound like the hum of a multitude. Then there was seen a house full of holes, surrounded by a wall, from which the sound was heard. I went to it, and asked a doorkeeper who was there, "Who are here?"
He said, "The wisest of the wise, who together form conclusions about supernatural things." This he said from his simple faith.
I asked whether I could enter.
He said, "You can, provided you say nothing; for I have leave to admit gentiles to stand in the doorway with me."
So I entered, and behold, it was an amphitheater, and in the center of it was a pulpit, and a company of so-called wise men discussing the mysteries of their faith. The matter or proposition then under discussion was, Whether or not the good that a man does in a state of justification by faith, or in its progress after the act, is the good of religion. They declared unanimously, that good of religion means good that contributes to salvation.
[2] There was a sharp discussion; but those prevailed who said that the good that a man does in the state or progress of faith is only moral good, which is conducive to worldly prosperity, but contributes nothing to salvation; faith only does that. This they confirmed as follows: "How can any voluntary good of man's be conjoined with what is free; and is not salvation free? How can any good from man be conjoined with the merit of Christ? Is not salvation through this alone? And how can man's operation be conjoined with the operation of the Holy Spirit? Does not that do all things without the aid of man? And are not these three things alone saving in the act of justification by faith, and do not the same three continue to be alone saving in its state or progress? Therefore, accessory good, which is from man, can by no means be called the good of religion, which, as before said, contributes to salvation; and if anyone does this good for the sake of salvation, since there is then the will of man in it, which cannot but look upon such good as a merit, it ought rather to be called an evil of religion."
[3] Two gentiles were standing beside the doorkeeper in the vestibule, and when they heard all this they said to each other, "These men have no religion. Who does not see that to do good to the neighbor for God's sake thus with and from God, is what is called religion?" And the other said, "Their faith has infatuated them."
They then asked the doorkeeper who the men were. He answered, "They are wise Christians."
They replied, "You are prating; you are speaking falsely; they are play-actors; they talk like them."
So I went away. It was of the Divine auspices of the Lord that I went to that house, and that they then deliberated on those subjects, and that everything occurred as described.


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