Extracts

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Church

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[1 of 2] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Church" (search under Outer Life/Religions, Ways)": source "Arcana Coelestia, vol.11": detail "Section 9276"
The Church Universal, in the Lord's sight, is as a man; for the Lord's heaven with which the Church acts as one is before Him as one man. The case with the member of the Church in particular is similar, for the member of the Church in particular is a heaven, a Church, and a kingdom of the Lord, in the least effigy. The Church is further constituted like man in this respect, that there are with him two sources of life, the Heart and the Lungs. It is well known that the first principle of his life is the heart, and the second principle of his life the lungs, and that each and all things in man live from these two fountains of life.
 The Heart of the Grand Man, that is to say, of Heaven and the Church, is constituted by those who are in the love to the Lord and in charity towards the neighbour; therefore, abstractedly from persons, by the love of the Lord and the love of the neighbour. But the Lungs in the Grand Man, that is, in heaven and the Church, are constituted by those who from the Lord are in charity towards the neighbour, and from this in faith; thus abstractedly from persons, by charity and faith from the Lord. The remaining viscera and members, however, in that Grand Man are constituted by those who are in external goods and truths; thus, abstractedly from persons, by external goods and truths through which internal goods and truths may be introduced.
 Now, inasmuch as the heart first flows into the lungs, and then into the viscera and members of the body, so also the Lord through the good of love flows into internal truths, and through these into external truths and goods. From this it may appear that there must absolutely be a Church on earth, and that apart from it the human race would perish; for the case would be as with a man when he dies, at which time the lungs and heart cease to be moved. On this ground also it is provided by the Lord, that there shall always be a Church on earth in which the Lord has been revealed through the Divine Truth which is from Him. This Divine Truth on our earth is the Word (Bible). That this is so, scarcely any one believes at this day, because he does not believe that the all of a man's life is through heaven from the Lord; for he supposes that life is in himself, and that it can subsist apart from any connection with heaven, that is, through heaven from the Lord; when, nevertheless, this opinion is utterly false.


[2 of 2] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Church, representative" (search under Outer Life/Religions, Ways)": source "Arcana Coelestia, vol.6": detail "Section 4288"
It is a representative church when there is internal worship in external; and it is a representative of a church when there is no internal worship, but nevertheless external worship. In both there are nearly similar external rituals, that is, similar statutes, similar laws, and similar precepts. But in a representative church the externals correspond with internals, so as to make one with them; whereas in a representative of a church there is no correspondence, because the externals are either devoid of internals, or are at variance with them. In a representative church celestial and spiritual love is the chief thing, but in a representative of a church corporeal and worldly love is the chief. Celestial and spiritual love is itself the internal; but where there is no celestial and spiritual love, but only corporeal and worldly love, the external is devoid of an internal.
 The Ancient Church, which was after the flood, was a representative church; but that which was instituted with the posterity of Jacob was only a representative of a church. To make this evident let the distinction be illustrated by examples. In the representative church Divine worship took place on mountains, because mountains signified celestial love, and, in the highest sense, the Lord; and when they were holding worship on mountains, they were in their holiness, because they were then at the same time in celestial love. In the representative church Divine worship took place also in groves, because groves signified spiritual love, and, in the highest sense, the Lord as to this love; and when they were holding worship in groves, they were in their holiness, because then at the same time in spiritual love. In the representative church when they were holding Divine worship, they turned their faces to the rising of the sun, because by the rising sun was also signified celestial love. When, also, they looked at the moon they were similarly affected with a certain holy reverence, because the moon signified spiritual love. It was similar when they looked at the starry heaven, because this signified the angelic heaven or the Lord's kingdom. In the representative church they had tents or tabernacles, and Divine worship in them, and this, holy worship: because tents or tabernacles signified the holiness of love and of worship; and so in innumerable other things.
 In the representative of a church there was indeed, in the beginning, in like manner Divine worship upon mountains, and also in groves, and there was also a looking towards the rising of the sun, and a contemplation of the moon and the stars, and likewise worship in tents or tabernacles. But they were in external worship without internal, or in corporeal and worldly love, but not in celestial and spiritual love, and thus worshipped the mountains and groves themselves, and also the sun, moon, and stars, as also their tents and tabernacles, and thus made the rituals idolatrous which in the Ancient Church were holy.