July 31, 2017

Evils of Life Rule When Spiritual Life Is Extinct

Excerpt for Apocalypse Explained ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
Where there is no spiritual life there life is merely natural, and natural life apart from the spiritual is full of lusts from the love of self and the world, thus is infernal....

Moreover, in respect to the evil life ... such may be the life as well with those who lead a good moral life, if they have no spiritual life; for such do good and speak truth and practice sincerity and justice but only because of reputation, honor, gain, and the laws, thus for the sake of appearance, that they may emulate those who are spiritual, while inwardly they have no will of good and no thought of truth, and laugh at sincerity and justice, unless for the causes mentioned above; consequently they are infernal within. This is also clearly manifest when such persons become spirits, which takes place immediately after death; then the external bonds mentioned above are taken away from them, and they then rush without restraint into evils of every kind. But it is otherwise with those who have led a good moral life from a spiritual origin.

This has been said to make known what is meant by an evil life, namely, that it is not the external life that pertains to the body and has reference to the world where men are, which is called the natural world, but is the internal life that pertains to the spirit and has reference to the world where angels are, which is called the spiritual world. For in respect to his body, its gestures and speech, man is in the natural world, but in respect to his spirit, that is, in respect to thought and affection, man is in the spiritual world; in fact, as the bodily sight has extension into the natural world and sweeps about there, so the sight of the spirit, which is thought from affection, has extension into the spiritual world and sweeps about there. That this is so is known to few; and it is therefore supposed that thinking evil and willing evil is of no consequence if only one does not do evil and speak evil; and yet every thought and volition affects the spirit of man and makes up his life after death.

(Apocalypse Explained 388:2)

July 30, 2017

The Letter of the Word Lives Because of It's Internal Sense

Selection from Arcana Cœlestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
if thou move a tool upon the altar thou wilt profane it — that which is from self-intelligence is in itself void of life, nay, is spiritually dead, for man's own is nothing but evil; and therefore if Divine worship is performed from it [self-intelligence], this worship is nothing else than the worship of an idol, graven or molten, wherein there is no spirit, that is, no life. But that which is from the Word is alone serviceable for Divine worship, because it is in itself alive. For within everything of the Word there is a spiritual sense, which treats of the Lord's kingdom; and within this sense is the Divine, because the Word in its inmost sense treats of the Lord alone; from this is the sanctity and the life of the Word, and not from any other source.

The Word is like a Divine man; the literal sense is as it were his body, but the internal sense is as it were his soul; which shows that the literal sense has life through the internal sense. It appears as if the literal sense vanishes or dies through the internal sense; but on the contrary it does not vanish, still less dies; but through the internal sense it lives. From all this it is now evident that worship truly Divine has its existence from those things which are of the Word, and in no case from those things which are of self-intelligence.

Hence it is that by "if thou move a tool upon the altar thou wilt profane it," is signified, if thou devise not from the Word, but from self-intelligence such things as must be of Divine worship, there is no worship.

(Arcana Cœlestia 8943)

July 28, 2017

Gaining a Right Interpretation of the Literal Sense of the Word

Selection from Arcana Cœlestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
And if men strive together, and one smite another with a stone, or with his fist, and he die not, but keepeth his bed: If he rise again, and walk abroad upon his staff, then shall he that smote him be quit: only he shall pay for the loss of his time, and shall cause him to be throughly healed.   Exodus 21:18-19    KJV.

And healing he shall heal him. That this signifies restoration, namely, by means of interpretation, is evident.  For if the things which are in the literal sense of the Word are looked at interiorly, they all agree together. This is circumstanced like that which is said in the Word about the sun, that it rises and sets, when yet it does not rise or set; but such an appearance is presented to the inhabitants of the earth, because the earth rotates every day around its axis. This natural truth lies hidden in the former, which is according to the appearance to the external sight.  If it had been said in the Word contrary to this appearance, the common people would not apprehend it, and what the common people do not apprehend they do not believe.

The case is similar with the Sun of heaven, which is the Lord, concerning which it is also said that it "rises," but in hearts, when man is being regenerated; and also when he is in the good of love and faith; and that it "sets" when man is in evil and in the consequent falsity. And yet the Lord is continually in His rising, from which also He is called the "Sunrise," or "East," and He is never in any setting; nor does He turn Himself away from man, but man turns himself away from Him.  From this arises the appearance that the Lord turns away His face and also brings evil; and therefore it is also so said in the Word. This likewise is the truth, but apparent truth, thus it is not in conflict with the former. From all this it can now be seen what is meant in the internal sense by healing he shall heal,  namely, the restoration of spiritual truth, which is effected by means of a right interpretation of the memory-truth, or that of the literal sense of the Word.

The case is similar with every truth of the literal sense, for in the natural light, which is that of the sensuous man, this appears just as it is expressed in the Word, because the literal sense is natural, and is for the sensuous man.  But when the same is presented in the light of heaven, it then appears according to the internal sense; for this sense is spiritual, and is for the heavenly man, because those things which are of natural light vanish away in the light of heaven; for natural light is like shade or cloud, and heavenly light is like the glory and the brightness when the cloud is taken away. And therefore also the literal sense of the Word is called "a cloud," and the internal sense "glory."

By healing he shall heal is signified in the spiritual sense to restore, because disease and sickness signify the infirmity of the internal man, which infirmity exists when he is sick in respect to his life, which is the spiritual life; thus when he turns aside from truth to falsity, and from good to evil.  When this is the case, the spiritual life sickens; and when he wholly turns himself away from truth and good, it dies; but this death is called "spiritual death," which is damnation.  As this is the case with the life of the internal man, therefore such things as relate to diseases and death in the natural world are said in the Word of the diseases of the spiritual life, and of its death. So also the cures of diseases, or healings, as in Isaiah:

Jehovah smiteth Egypt, smiting and healing; whence he turneth himself unto Jehovah, and He shall be entreated for them, and shall heal them (Isa. 19:22).

Surely He was pierced for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and in His wound we are healed (Isa. 53:5);

speaking of the Lord.

In Jeremiah:

Return, ye perverse sons, I will heal your backslidings (Jer. 3:22).

Behold, I will cause to come up to it cure and healing, and I will heal them; and I will reveal to them abundance of peace and truth (Jer. 33:6).

Go up to Gilead, and take balm, O virgin daughter of Egypt; in vain hast thou multiplied medicines; there is no healing for thee (Jer. 46:11).

And in Ezekiel:

By the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that, cometh up the tree for food, whose leaf falleth not, neither is the fruit consumed; it springeth up again in its months, because the waters thereof go forth out of the sanctuary; therefore the fruit thereof shall be for food, and the leaf thereof for medicines (Ezek. 47:12).

"The fruit which shall be for food" denotes the good of love and charity which is for the nourishment of the spiritual life; "the leaf which shall be for medicine" denotes the truths of faith which are for the refreshment and restoration of that life. ...

As diseases and sicknesses, and also healings and medicines, are not said in the Word of the natural life, but of another life which is distinct from the natural life; it is therefore plain to him who gives some consideration to the matter, that man has another life, which is that of his internal man. They who have gross thoughts with respect to the life of man, believe that he has no other life than that of the body, which is the life of the external or natural man. They wonder what the life of the internal man may be, and even what the internal man is.  If they are told that that life is the life of faith and charity, and that the internal man is man's spirit, which lives after death, and which is essentially the man himself, they wonder still more.  And such of them as live only for the body, and not for the soul, thus who are merely natural men, have no apprehension whatever of what is said about the life of faith and charity, and about the internal man, because their thought is merely from natural light, and not at all from spiritual light.  Wherefore also after death they remain gross in respect to thought, and live in the shadow of death, that is, in falsities from evil; and they are wholly in thick darkness, and blind to the light of heaven.

(Arcana Cœlestia 9031)

July 26, 2017

Everyone Becomes Imbued With The End He Has In View

Selection from True Christian Religion ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
Actual repentance is to examine oneself, to recognize one's sins, to confess them before God, and thus to begin a new life.

To the Reformed Christian world, this repentance is a very difficult task. This is because some are unwilling and some are afraid to practice it; and continued neglect establishes a habit, induces unwillingness, and at length gains the endorsement of the reasoning intellect, and this with some produces sadness, dread, and terror at the thought of repentance.

Actual repentance is so extremely difficult in the Reformed Christian world chiefly because of their belief that repentance and charity contribute nothing to salvation, but faith alone, from the imputation of which forgiveness of sins, justification, renovation, regeneration, sanctification, and eternal salvation follow. Moreover, their dogmatic writers say that man's cooperation of himself, or as if of himself, is useless, is an obstacle to Christ's merit, and is repugnant and injurious to it.  And this idea is implanted in the minds of the common people, although they are ignorant of the mysteries of that faith, merely by the sayings, that "faith alone saves," and who can possibly do good of himself?"  For this reason: repentance among the Reformed is like a nest of young birds deprived of the parent birds, which have been captured and killed by the fowler.

To this another reason may be added, that a so-called Reformed Christian is associated in the spiritual world as to his spirit, only with such as are like himself, who introduce such things into the ideas of his thought, and lead him away from the very first step toward self-inspection and self-examination. ...

Habit is a second nature — what is easy for one is difficult for another; and this is true of self-examination and a confession of what is thereby discovered.
What is easier for a hired laborer, a porter, or a farmer, than to work with his hands from morning till evening, while a gentleman or a delicate person could not do the same work for half an hour without fatigue and sweating? ... Every mechanic who is attentive to his task goes through it easily and willingly, and when he leaves it, longs to return; while another, who understands the same trade, but is indolent, can scarcely be driven to work. The same is true of everyone, whatever may be his office or pursuit.

To one diligent in piety, what is easier than to pray to God? while to one who is a slave to impiety, what is more difficult, and vice versa? What priest, preaching before a king for the first time, does not feel timid? but after doing it frequently he goes through boldly.  What is easier for an angelic man than to raise his eyes to heaven, or for a devilish man than to cast them down toward hell? But if the latter becomes a hypocrite, he too can look up to heaven, but his heart is turned away. Everyone becomes imbued with the end he has in view and the habit arising therefrom.

(True Christian Religion 561,563)

July 15, 2017

The Lord — The Essential Prophet

Selections from True Christian Religion ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
The Lord was willing to be tempted even to the passion of the cross, because He was the essential Prophet.

Prophets formerly signified the doctrine of the church from the Word, and therefore the state of the church was represented by them in various ways, some of which were unjust, grievous, and abominable, and these representations were enjoined upon them by God. But because the Lord was the Word itself, He, as the essential Prophet, represented in the passion of the cross the Jewish church in its ways of profaning the Word.

To this reason another may be added, namely, that thereby He might be acknowledged in the heavens as the Savior of both worlds; for all things pertaining to His passion signified things pertaining to the profanation of the Word; and while men of the church understand these naturally the angels understand them spiritually.

That the Lord was the essential Prophet is evident from the following passages:
The Lord said, A prophet is not without honor save in his own country and in his own house (Matt 13:57; Mark 6:4; Luke 4:24).

Jesus said, It is not meet that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem (Luke 13:33).

Fear took hold on all, praising God, and saying that a great prophet is risen up among us (Luke 7:16).

They said of Jesus, This is the prophet of Nazareth (Matt. 21:11; John 7:40, 41).

That a prophet was to be raised up from the midst of the brethren to whose words they should hearken (Deut. 18:15-16).

Surely He hath born our griefs and carried our sorrows Jehovah hath laid on Him the iniquities of us all by His knowledge He hath justified many, in that He hath borne their iniquities (Isa. 53:4, 6, 11).  This whole chapter treats of the Lord's passion.

That the Lord as the essential Prophet represented the state of the Jewish church with regard to the Word is evident from the particulars of His passion; as that He was betrayed by Judas: was seized and condemned by the chief priests and elders; that they buffeted Him; smote Him on the head with a reed; put a crown of thorns on His head, divided His garments, and cast lots for His vesture; crucified Him; gave Him vinegar to drink and pierced His side; that He was buried; and that He rose again the third day.

His betrayal by Judas signified — He was betrayed by the Jewish nation, which then possessed the Word (for Judas represented that nation); His seizure and condemnation by the chief priests and elders signified — this was done by the whole Jewish church; their buffeting Him, spitting in His face, scourging Him, and smiting Him on the head with a reed, signified — they did like things to the Word in respect to its Divine truths; their putting a crown of thorns upon His head signified — they falsified and adulterated those truths; their dividing His garments and casting lots upon His vesture signified — they dispersed all the truths of the Word, but not its spiritual sense, the Lord's vesture signifying that sense; their crucifying Him signified — they destroyed and profaned the whole Word; their offering Him vinegar to drink signified — the truths they had were wholly falsified, and therefore He did not drink the vinegar; their piercing His side signified — they wholly extinguished everything true and good in the Word; His burial signified the rejection of everything — was left in Him from the mother; His resurrection on the third day signified  — His glorification, or the union of His Human with the Divine of the Father.

Evidently, then, "bearing iniquities" does not mean taking them away, but it means representing the profanation of the truths of the Word.

(True Christian Religion 129, 130)

July 14, 2017

Illustrations of Redemption

Passage from True Christian Religion ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
The subjugation of the hells, the restoration of order in the heavens, and the institution afterwards of a church, is a work that may be illustrated by various similitudes.

It may be illustrated by comparison with an army of robbers or rebels who invade a kingdom or a city, and set fire to its dwellings, plunder its inhabitants, divide the spoil among themselves, and then rejoice and exult — while redemption itself may be compared to the lawful king who advances against these rebels with his army, puts some to the sword, and some in prison, recovers the booty, and restores it to his subjects, thereafter establishing order in his kingdom, and rendering it secure against like assaults.

It may also be illustrated by comparison with a troop of wild beasts issuing from a forest, attacking flocks and herds and even human beings, so that nobody dares to go outside of the walls of his city to till the ground, and therefore the fields become deserts, and the townsmen are threatened with starvation — while redemption may be compared to the slaughtering and scattering of these wild beasts, and the protection of the fields from any such irruption thereafter.

It may be likened also to locusts consuming every green thing of the ground, and to the means to prevent their further progress; and again, to worms in early summer, which strip the trees of their foliage and thus of their fruit, so that they stand bare as in midwinter, and to the extermination of the worms, and the consequent restoration of the garden to its state of bloom and fruitfulness.

Thus would it be with the church, if the Lord had not by redemption separated the good from the evil, casting the evil into hell and raising the good to heaven.

What would become of an empire or kingdom if by the exercise of justice and judgment the evil were not separated from the good, and the good protected from violence, so that everyone might dwell safely in his own home, or, as is said in the Word, sit in peace under his own vine and fig tree?

(True Christian Religion 117)

July 13, 2017

Faith Leads to Charity

Extract from Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
Faith leads to charity, because it teaches what charity is, and charity receives its quality from the truths of faith; but the truths of faith receive their essence and their life from charity...
(Arcana Coelestia 4060)

July 12, 2017

Why in the Sense of the Letter, 'God Appears As Three'

Selection from Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
Jehovah the God of heaven is the Lord's Divine Itself; for by "Jehovah," so often named in the Word of the Old Testament, is meant the Lord alone; for all things therein in general and particular treat of Him in the internal sense; and all and each of the rites of the church represented Him; and that the men of the most ancient times, who were of the celestial church, understood by Jehovah no other than the Lord.

In the sense of the letter — the appearance is that another, who is higher, is meant by "Jehovah;" but the sense of the letter is such as to separate what the internal sense unites; and this for the reason that the man who is to be instructed from the sense of the letter cannot have an idea of a one, unless he first has an idea of more than one; for a one with man is formed from many; or what is the same, from successive things is formed that which is simultaneous.

There are many things in the Lord, and all are Jehovah. This is the reason why the sense of the letter makes a distinction, while heaven by no means does so; but acknowledges one God in a simple idea, and no other than the Lord.

(Arcana Coelestia 3035)

July 10, 2017

Media of Regeneration

Selection from Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
When a man is being regenerated, he is kept by the Lord in a kind of mediate good. This good serves for introducing genuine goods and truths; but after these have been introduced, it is separated from them.

Everyone who has learned anything about regeneration and about the new man, can understand that the new man is altogether different from the old; for the new man is in the affection of spiritual and heavenly things, and these produce its delights and pleasantnesses; whereas the old man is in the affections of worldly and earthly things, and these produce its delights and pleasantnesses. Consequently the new man has regard to ends in heaven, but the old man to ends in the world. From this it is manifest that the new man is altogether different and diverse from the old.

In order that a man may be brought from the state of the old man into that of the new, the concupiscences of the world must be put off, and the affections of heaven must be put on. This is effected by innumerable means, which are known to the Lord alone, and many of which have also been made known by the Lord to angels; but few if any to man. Nevertheless all of them both in general and particular have been made manifest in the internal sense of the Word.

When therefore a man, from being the old man is made a new one (that is, when he is being regenerated), it is not done in a moment, as some believe, but through a course of years; nay, during the man's whole life, even to its end; for his concupiscences have to be extirpated, and heavenly affections have to be insinuated; and the man has to be gifted with a life which he had not before, and of which indeed he knew scarcely anything. Seeing therefore that the man's states of life have to be so greatly changed, it must needs be that he is long kept in a kind of mediate good — in a good which partakes both of the affections of the world, and of the affections of heaven; and unless he is kept in this mediate good, he in no wise admits heavenly goods and truths.

... But man is kept in this middle good no longer than until it has served this use; but this having been served, it is separated. ... That there is an intermediate good, and that it is separated after it has subserved its use, may be illustrated by the changes of state which every man undergoes from infancy even to old age.

It is known that a man's state is of one kind in infancy, of another in childhood, another in youth, another in adult age, and another in old age. It is also known that a man puts off his state of infancy with its toys when he passes into the state of youth; that he puts off his state of youth when he passes into the state of young manhood; and this again when he passes into the state of mature age; and at last this state when he passes into that of old age.  And if one will consider he may also know that every age has its delights, and that by these he is introduced by successive steps into those of the age next following; and that these delights had served the purpose of bringing him thereto; and finally to the delight of intelligence and wisdom in old age.

From all this it is manifest that former things are always left behind when a new state of life is put on. But this comparison can serve only to show that delights are means, and that these are left behind when the man enters into the state next following; whereas during man's regeneration his state becomes altogether different from his former one; and he is led to it, not in any natural manner, but by the Lord in a supernatural manner; nor does anyone arrive at this state except by the means or media of regeneration, which are provided by the Lord alone, and thus by the mediate good of which we have been speaking.  And when the man has been brought to that state in which he has no longer worldly, earthly, and corporeal things as his end, but those which are of heaven, then this mediate good is separated. To have anything as the end is to love it more than anything else.

(Arcana Coelestia 4063:2-5)

July 8, 2017

The Divine Providence is Unceasingly in the Work of Saving Men

Selection from Divine Providence ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
The operation of the Divine providence for the salvation of man is said to begin at his birth and to continue unto the end of his life. To understand this it must be known that the Lord sees what man is, and foresees what he wills to be, thus what he will be; and that he may be a man and therefore immortal the freedom of his will must not be taken away. ...

Consequently the Lord foresees man's state after death, and provides for it from his birth until the end of his life. With the evil the Lord provides by permitting evils and continually withdrawing them from evils; while with the good He provides by leading to good. Thus the Divine providence is unceasingly in the work of saving men.

But no more can be saved than are willing to be saved, and those are willing to be saved who acknowledge God and are led by Him;
and those are unwilling who do not acknowledge God and who lead themselves; for such do not think about eternal life or about salvation, while the others do. This the Lord sees and still He leads them, and leads them in accordance with the laws of His Divine providence, contrary to which laws He cannot act, since to act contrary to them would be to act contrary to His Divine love and contrary to His Divine wisdom, which is to act contrary to Himself.

Since, then, the Lord foresees the states of all after death, and also foresees the places in hell of those who are not willing to be saved, and the places in heaven of those who are willing to be saved, it follows that — for the evil — the Lord provides their places by permitting and by withdrawing — and for the good — by leading; and unless this were done unceasingly from every one's birth until the end of his life neither heaven nor hell would continue to exist, for without that foresight and providence together neither heaven nor hell would be anything but confusion. ...

This may be illustrated by this comparison. If an archer or a marksman should aim at a mark, and behind the mark a straight line were drawn for a mile, and if he should err only by a finger's breadth in his aim, his missile or ball keeping on to the end of the mile would depart very far from the line. So would it be if the Lord did not every moment — even every least fraction of a moment — regard the eternal in His foreseeing and providing every one's place after death. But this the Lord does because the entire future is present to Him and the entire present is to Him the eternal. ...

It is also said that the operation of the Divine providence will continue to eternity, since every angel is perfecting in wisdom to eternity, but each according to the degree of that affection for good and truth in which he was when he left the world. It is this degree that is being perfected to eternity. Anything beyond this degree is outside of the angel and not within him, and that which is outside of him cannot be perfected within him. This is meant by the

Good measure, pressed down and shaken together and running over, that shall be given into the bosom of those who forgive and give to others (Luke 6:37, 38),

that is, who are in good of charity.

(Divine Providence 333,334)

July 6, 2017

Opening the Mouth of the Well

Passages from Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
The Word is said to be closed when it is understood solely as to the sense of the letter, and when all that is in this sense is taken for doctrine.  And it is still more closed when those things are acknowledged as doctrinal things which favor the cupidities of the love of self and of the world; for these especially roll a great stone upon the mouth of the well, that is, close up the Word; and then mankind do not know, neither do they desire to know, that there is any interior sense in the Word, when yet they may see this from many passages where the sense of the letter is unfolded as to the interior sense; and also from the doctrinal things received in the church, to which by various explications they refer all the sense of the letter of the Word.
For insofar as a man is immersed in loves of self and of the world, and in the cupidities of these loves, so far the Word is closed to him; for these loves have self as their end, which end kindles a natural lumen, but extinguishes heavenly light, so that men sharply see the things of self and the world, but not at all those of the Lord and His kingdom; and when this is the case, they may indeed read the Word, but it is with the end of acquiring honors and riches, or for the sake of appearance, or from the love and consequent habit of it, or from piety, and yet not from a purpose of amending the life. To such persons the Word is in various ways closed; to some so much that by no means are they willing to know anything but what their doctrinal things dictate, whatever these may be.

For example: should anyone say that the power of opening and shutting heaven was not given to Peter, but to the faith of love, which faith is signified by Peter's keys, inasmuch as the love of self and of the world opposes this, they will by no means acknowledge it. And should anyone say that saints ought not to be worshiped, but the Lord alone, neither do they receive this. Or if anyone should say that by the bread and wine in the Holy Supper is meant the Lord's love toward the universal human race, and the reciprocal love of man to the Lord, this they do not believe. Or should anyone assert that faith is of no avail unless it is the good of faith, that is, charity, this they explain inversely; and so with everything else. They who are of this character cannot see one whit of the truth that is in the Word, nor are they willing to see it, but abide obstinately in their own dogma; and are not even willing to hear that there is an internal sense wherein is the sanctity and glory of the Word, and even when they are told that it is so, from their aversion thereto they loathe the bare mention of it. Thus has the Word been closed, when yet it is of such a nature as to lie open even into heaven, and through heaven to the Lord, and it is closed solely in relation to man, insofar as he is in the evils of the love of self and of the world in respect to his ends of life, and in the consequent principles of falsity. ...

As regards the Word being opened to the churches, and being afterwards closed, the case is this: in the beginning of the setting up of any church, the Word is at first closed to the men of it, and is afterwards opened, the Lord so providing; and thus they learn that all doctrine is founded on the two commandments-that the Lord is to be loved above all things, and the neighbor as themselves.
The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:  And 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 first commandment.  And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.  Mark 12:29-31
When these two commandments are regarded as the end, the Word is opened; for all the Law and the Prophets, that is, the whole Word, so depend on these commandments that all things are derived from them and therefore all have reference to them. And whereas the men of the church are then in the principles of truth and good, they are enlightened in everything they see in the Word; for the Lord is then present with them by means of angels, and teaches them (although they are unaware of this), and also leads them into the life of truth and good.

This may be seen also from the case of all churches, in that they were such in their infancy, and worshiped the Lord from love, and loved the neighbor from the heart. But in process of time churches withdraw from these two commandments, and turn aside from the good of love and charity to the so—called things of faith, thus from life to doctrine; and insofar as they do this, so far the Word is closed. ...

(Arcana Coelestia 3769; 3773)