(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 701

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701. Without the opened spiritual sense of the Word, or what is the same, without a revelation of the correspondence of natural with spiritual things, the holiness of the sacrament here treated of can no more be interiorly recognized than the existence of a treasure hidden in a field. Such a field is no more highly valued than any common field; but when it is discovered that there is a treasure in it, the field is valued at a great price, and the purchaser enriches himself from it; still more must it be so when it is known to contain a treasure more precious than all gold. [2] Without the spiritual sense this sacrament is like a closed house full of jewels and treasures that is passed by like any other house on the street, except that the gaze of those passing is attracted to it, to view it and praise it and estimate its value, because the clergy have built its walls of marble and covered its roof with plates of gold. It is otherwise when the house has been opened, and everyone is given leave to enter, and from it the custodian supplies to some a loan, and to others presents a gift, to each according to his rank. It is said, a gift from it, because the valuables there are inexhaustible, and are continually supplied. This is true of the Word with its spiritual contents, and the sacraments with their celestial contents. [3] The sacrament here treated of, without a revelation of its holiness, which lies concealed within it, appears like the sand of a river containing scarcely visible grains of gold in great abundance; but when its holiness has been revealed, it is like the gold collected from the sand, melted into a mass, and wrought into beautiful forms. This sacrament, when its holiness has not been disclosed and seen, is like a box or casket made of beech or poplar, containing diamonds, rubies, and many other precious stones, arranged in order in compartments. Who does not value such a box or casket, when he knows that such things are concealed within it, and still more when they are seen and are offered for free distribution? This sacrament, when its correspondences with heaven are not revealed, and the heavenly things to which it corresponds are not seen, is like an angel appearing in the world in common clothing, who is honored only according to his clothing; but it is wholly different when he is known to be an angel, and what is angelic is heard from his lips, and marvelous things are seen in his deeds. [4] The difference between a holiness that is merely declared to belong to anything and a holiness that is seen, may be illustrated by an instance which was seen and heard in the spiritual world. An epistle written by Paul while he dwelt in the world, but not published, was read, no one knowing that it was by Paul. The hearers at first thought little of it; but when it was discovered to be one of Paul's epistles, it was received with joy, and each and everything in it was adored. This makes clear how the mere attribution of holiness to the Word and the sacraments, when made by the higher orders of the clergy, does indeed give them a stamp of holiness; but it is quite different when the holiness itself is disclosed, and presented visibly to the eye, which is done by a revelation of the spiritual sense. When this is done the external holiness becomes internal, and the attribution of holiness becomes an acknowledgment of it. It is the same with the holiness of the sacrament of the Lord's supper.


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