(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 669

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669. The two sacraments, baptism and the holy supper, are in the Christian church like two gems in the scepter of a king; but if their uses are unknown are merely like two figures of ebony on a staff. These two sacraments in the Christian church may also be likened to two rubies or carbuncles on the robe of an emperor, but if their uses are unknown they are like two carnelians or crystals on a cloak. Without a revelation by means of the spiritual sense of the uses of these two sacraments, there would be nothing but scattered conjectures about them, like the conjectures of those who practice divination by the stars, or even of those who in old times drew auguries from entrails or the flight of birds. The uses of these two sacraments may be likened to a temple, which by reason of its antiquity has sunk into the ground, and lies buried in the surrounding rubbish even to the roof, over which old and young walk and ride in carriages or on horses, not knowing that such a temple is hidden beneath their feet, in which are altars of gold, walls inlaid with silver, and decorations of precious stones. And these treasures can be dug up and brought to light only by means of the spiritual sense, which is now disclosed for the New Church, for its use in the worship of the Lord. Again, these sacraments may be likened to a double temple, one below, the other above. In the lower one the gospel of the Lord's new coming and of regeneration and consequent salvation by Him is preached; and from this temple, near the altar, there is a way of ascent to the higher temple, where the holy supper is celebrated; and from it is the passage into heaven, where those ascending are received by the Lord. Again, they may be likened to a tabernacle, in which after entering there are seen the table on which the bread of faces is arranged in its order, also the golden altar for incense, and between these the candlestick with its lighted lamps, by which all these things are made visible; and at length, for those who suffer themselves to be illuminated, the veil is opened to the holy of holies, where, instead of the ark, which formerly contained the Decalogue, the Word is placed, over which is the mercy seat with the golden cherubs. These things are representations of the two sacraments and their uses.


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