(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 721

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721. That baptism is introduction into the church has been shown in the chapter on Baptism; that the holy supper is introduction into heaven is clear from what has been said above when it is perceived. These two sacraments, baptism and the holy supper, are like two gates to eternal life. By baptism, which is the first gate, every Christian is let into and introduced into what the church teaches from the Word respecting the other life, all of which teaching forms the means whereby man can be prepared for and led to heaven. The second gate is the holy supper, by which every man who allows himself to be prepared and led by the Lord is admitted into and introduced into heaven. There are no other universal gates. These two sacraments may be likened to what occurs with a prince who is born heir to a kingdom, in that he is first introduced into a knowledge of the business of government, and in the second place is crowned and governs. They may be likened also to a son born to a great inheritance, in that he first learns and is imbued with such things as pertain to the proper management of possessions and riches, and secondly takes possession and control; also to the building of a house and dwelling in it; also to the course of a man's instruction from childhood until the period when he becomes independent and exercises his own judgment, and his subsequent rational and spiritual life. One period must needs precede, that the second may be attained; for without the former the latter is impossible. These illustrations make clear that baptism and the holy supper are like two gates through which man is introduced to eternal life; and that beyond the first gate there is a plain which he must pass over; and that the second is the goal where lies the prize to which he has directed his course. For the palm is not bestowed until after the struggle, nor the reward until the contest is decided.


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