(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 673

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673. From all this it follows that neither washings nor baptisms, unless man's internal is purified from evils and falsities, has any more efficacy than the washing of cups and platters by the Jews, or (as follows in that same passage) than the whitening of sepulchres, which appear beautiful without, but within are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness (Matt. 23:25-28); and this is further evident from the fact that the hells are full of satans who were once men, baptized as well as unbaptized. But what baptism does accomplish will appear in what follows. So without its uses and fruits, baptism contributes no more to salvation than the triple miter on the pope's head or the sign of the cross on his shoes contributes to his pontifical supereminence; no more than the purple robe on a cardinal contributes to his dignity, or the pallium of a bishop to the proper discharge of his ministerial duties; no more than the throne, crown, scepter, and royal robe of a king to his regal power, or the silken cap on the head of a laureled doctor to his intelligence; or than the standards carried before troops of cavalry to their bravery in war; and it may even be said, that a man is no more purified by baptism than a sheep or a lamb is by being washed before shearing, for the natural man separate from the spiritual is a mere animal, and indeed, as before shown, is more of a wild beast than a wild beast of the forest, so that were you to be washed with the water of rain or dew, or of most excellent fountains, or, as the prophets say, if you were to be cleansed daily with niter, hyssop, or soap, you can be purified from your iniquities only by means of regeneration. These means have been treated of in the chapters on Repentance, and on Reformation and Regeneration.


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