April 29, 2015

The Universal Doctrine of Faith

From Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
They who have separated faith from love do not even know what faith is. When thinking of faith, some imagine it to be mere thought, some that it is thought directed toward the Lord, few that it is the doctrine of faith.

But faith is not only a knowledge and acknowledgment of all things that the doctrine of faith comprises, but especially is it an obedience to all things that the doctrine of faith teaches.

The primary point that it teaches, and that which men should obey, is love to the Lord, and love toward the neighbor, for if a man is not in this, he is not in faith. This the Lord teaches so plainly as to leave no doubt concerning it, in Mark:
The foremost of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord; therefore thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the foremost commandment; and the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself; there is none other commandment greater than these (Mark 12:29-31).
In Matthew, the Lord calls the former of these the "first and great commandment" and says that "on these commandments hang all the law and the Prophets" (Matt. 22:37-41). The "law and the Prophets" are the universal doctrine of faith, and the whole Word.
(Arcana Coelestia 36)