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644. The reason why the leaders of the church and their dependants interpreted the imputation mentioned in the Word to mean an imputation of faith, on which the righteousness and merit of Christ are inscribed, and so ascribed to man, is, because during a period of fourteen centuries, that is, since the council of Nice, they have had no wish to become acquainted with any other faith; and the consequence has been, that this faith has alone become fixed in their memories, and thence in their minds, as an organized existence, which from that time has borrowed a light, such as proceeds from a fire in the night-time; and by this light it bears the semblance of the most essential theological truth, on which all things else depend in a concatenated series, and which must needs fall to pieces, supposing that head, or that pillar, to be removed. Hence, were they to think of any other than that imputative faith whilst they read the Word, that light, together with all their theology, would be extinguished, and such darkness would arise, that the whole Christian church would be lost and disappear; wherefore that faith is left "as a stump of roots in the earth, when the tree is cut down and destroyed, until seven times pass over it," Dan. iv. 20. What leader of the church at the present day, if he be confirmed in that faith, does not stop his ears as with cotton, when it is objected to and opposed, lest he should hear any thing which might contradict and lessen its authority? But do you, my reader, open your ears, and read the Word, and you will perceive plainly a different kind of faith and imputation from what you had before persuaded yourself to be true.

645. It is astonishing, that notwithstanding the Word from beginning to end is full of proofs and confirmations that his own good or evil is imputed to every one, yet the teachers of religion in Christendom have closed up their ears as with wax, and have anointed their eyes as with eyesalve, so that they have not heard or seen, nor do they now

hear or see, any other imputation than that of their own particular faith above mentioned; and yet that faith may be rightly compared with the disease of the eye called GUTTA SERENA, and may with justice be called so: for as this is an absolute blindness of the eye, arising from an obstruction of the optic nerve, when yet the eye still appears as if it saw perfectly, so, in like manner, such as are in that faith, walk as with their eyes open, and appear to others as if they saw all things, when yet they see nothing: for man knows nothing of this faith at the time of its entrance into him, he being like a stock or a stone, nor doth he know afterwards whether it be in him or no, or what its contents are, or whether in reality it contain any thing or nothing; yet in process of time he seems clearly to see that faith bringing forth and producing the noble offspring of justification, namely, remission of sins, vivification, renovation, regeneration, sanctification, and yet he neither has seen, nor can see, any sign or token of those graces.

646. That good, which is charity, and evil, which is iniquity, are imputed after death, is a fact which has been evinced to me by all my experience of the condition of those who pass from this world into the other. Every one, after some days abode in the world of spirits, is examined as to his nature and quality, particularly his quality in the former world as to religion; which done, the examiners make their report in heaven, and then he is translated to his like, consequently to his own companions; and in this consists his imputation. That there is an imputation of good to all who are in heaven, and an imputation of evil to all who are in hell, was evidenced to me in the orderly arrangement of each by the Lord: the universal heaven is arranged into societies according to all the varieties of the love of good, and the universal hell according to all the varieties of the love of evil. In like manner the church on earth, as corresponding with heaven, is arranged in order by the Lord;

good constitutes its religion. Moreover, inquire of any one in any quarter of the globe, endued with religion and at the same time with reason, what kind of people he believes will go to heaven, and what kind to hell; surely he will agree with you in declaring, that such as do good will go to heaven, and such as do evil will go to hell. Besides, how plain is it to see, that every man who is truly such, loveth another person, or society of persons, or a state, or a kingdom, for the good that is in them! indeed, he not only loveth men according to this rule, but also beasts, and even inanimate things, as houses, possessions, fields, gardens, trees, woods, and lands; nay more, he loves even metals and stones for their goodness and use, because goodness and use are one. How much more then, for their goodness, must the Lord love an individual man and the church!



647. The reason why the faith and imputation of the New Church cannot be together with the faith and imputation of the former or present church, is, because they do not agree together in one third, no, nor in one tenth part of their doctrines for the faith of the former church teaches, that there have been three divine persons from eternity, each of whom singly, or by himself, is God, as so many creators; but the faith of the New Church teaches, that there is only one Divine Person, consequently only one God, from eternity, and that beside Him there is no other God. The faith of the former church has therefore maintained that the Divine Trinity is divided into three persons; but the faith of the New Church maintains that the Divine Trinity is

united in one Person. The faith of the former church was directed towards a God invisible, unapproachable, with whom there could be no conjunction, and the idea formed of whom was as of a spirit, which was supposed to be like æther or wind; but the faith of the New Church is directed towards a God visible, approachable, and with whom there is a possibility of conjunction, in whom is the invisible and unapproachable God, as the soul in the body, and the idea formed of whom is that of a Man, because the one God, who was from eternity, was made Man in time. The faith of the former church attributes all power to the invisible God, and denies it to the visible, for it holds that God the Father imputeth faith, and thereby conferreth eternal life, but that the visible God only intercedes, and that they both give, or according to the Greek church, God the Father alone gives, to the Holy Ghost, (who is also a God by Himself, the third in order,) all power of operating the effects of that faith; but the faith of the New Church attributes to the visible God, in whom is the invisible, all power of imputing, and also of operating the effects of salvation. The faith of the former church is directed principally towards God as Creator, and not towards Him as Redeemer and Saviour at the same time; but the faith of the New Church is directed towards one God, who is at once Creator, Redeemer, and Saviour. The faith of the former church insisteth, that when faith is once given and imputed, repentance, remission of sins, renovation, regeneration, sanctification, and salvation, follow of themselves, without any thing of man being mixed or conjoined with them; but the faith of the New Church teaches repentance, reformation, regeneration, and thus the remission of sins, by man's co-operation. The faith of the former church asserteth the imputation of Christ's merit, as included in the faith so conferred; but the faith of the New Church teaches an imputation of good and of evil, and of faith at the same time; and that this imputation is agreeable

to the Holy Scripture, but the other contrary to it. The former church maintains the gift of faith, including the merit of Christ, whilst man is as a stock or a stone; it also asserteth a total impotence in spiritual things; but the New Church teaches a faith altogether different, not a faith in the merit of Christ, but in Jesus Christ Himself as God, as Redeemer and Saviour, asserting a freedom of will in man, both to apply himself to reception, and to co-operate with it. The former church adjoineth charity to its faith as an appendage, but not as possessing any saving efficacy, and thus it forms its religion; but the New Church conjoineth faith in the Lord and charity towards one's neighbour as two inseparable things, and so forms its religion: not to mention several other points of disagreement.

648. From this brief enumeration of the discordances and disagreements between them, it is plain that the faith and imputation of the New Church cannot possibly be together with the faith and imputation of the former or present church. Such and so great are the discord and disagreement between the faith and imputation of the two churches, that they are entirely heterogeneous, so that supposing them to be together in the mind of man, such a collision and conflict would ensue, as to prove fatal to every principle of the church; and in spiritual things man would fall either into a delirium, or into a swoon, in which case he would neither know what the church is, nor whether there be any such thing as a church; what then would he know of God, of faith, or of charity? The faith of the former church, in consequence of excluding all light from reason, may be likened to an owl; but the faith of the New Church may be likened to a dove, which flies in the day-time, and sees by the light of heaven; so that their conjunction in one mind would be like the conjunction of an owl and a dove in one nest, where each should lay its eggs, and after sitting should hatch its young, when the owl would tear in pieces the

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