(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 819

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819. The Papists have a sort of place of council in the southern quarter toward the east, where their leaders assemble and deliberate about various matters pertaining to their religion, especially about how to keep the common people in blind obedience and how to enlarge their own dominion. But no one who had been a pope in the world is admitted to this assembly, because a semblance of Divine authority is fixed in the minds of such, on account of their having arrogated to themselves the Lord's power in the world. Neither are any cardinals permitted to enter that council, because of their sense of pre-eminence. Nevertheless these latter assemble together in a spacious room beneath the others, but after staying there a few days are taken away, I was not permitted to know where. There is also another place of meeting in the southern quarter towards the west, where the business is to introduce the credulous common people into heaven. There they arrange round about themselves several societies which provide for various external delights; in some there are dances, in some musical concerts, in some processions, in some theaters and scenic amusements; in some there are persons who by hallucination produce various forms of magnificence; in some there is merely clownish acting and jesting; in some again there is friendly conversation, here about religious matters, there about civil affairs, and elsewhere they even talk lasciviously; and so on. Into some of these societies they introduce the credulous, each one according to the kind of pleasure he prefers, and this they call heaven. But when they have been there a day or two they all become weary and go away, because those delights are external and not internal. In this way also many are led away from the folly of their belief about the power to admit into heaven. As to the particulars of their worship, it is nearly the same as their worship in the world, consisting in like manner of masses which are conducted in a language not common to spirits but composed of high-sounding words which inspire external sanctity and trembling, but which the hearers do not at all understand.


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