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The nature and quality of that sense may be seen, not only in that chapter, but in the chapter on the DECALOGUE, which was explained according to that sense. Had it not been for the opening of that sense, every one must needs have formed his opinion of those two sacraments, baptism and the holy supper, according to the natural sense only, which is that of the letter, and so must needs have been in his own mind a prey to doubts and scruples, whispering to him "What is baptism but the pouring of water on the head of an infant, and what has this to do with salvation? Also, what is the holy supper but the taking of bread and wine, and what again has this to do with salvation? Besides, where is the sanctity contained in these institutions, except what arises from this circumstance, that they are received and enjoined by church-authority as holy and divine, while in themselves they are nothing but mere ceremonies, of which the churches say, that during the approach of God's Word to these elements, they become sacraments?" I appeal both to laymen and clergymen, whether in spirit and heart they have had any other perception of those two sacraments than this, and whether they have not held them in reverence as divine for various causes and reasons; when yet those two sacraments, considered in their spiritual sense, are the most holy solemnities of worship, as will appear presently when we come to treat of their use. But as the uses of those sacraments cannot possibly enter into any one's mind, unless the spiritual sense discover and unfold them, it follows, that without that sense none can know, but that they
numerable are the laws of the spiritual world to us unknown, many of which most probably, were we acquainted with them, would appear equally unaccountable and strange to our finite conceptions, which at present see only in part, and through a glass darkly. With the candid reader, we doubt not, the author's authority alone will be sufficient to determine such a point in a full and satisfactory manner; and we would recommend to readers of a contrary spirit, rather to seek for the real benefits and blessings of the sacrament, than to cavil at a matter which does not concern their salvation.
are mere ceremonies, which receive their sanctity merely from the authority by which they were instituted.
668. That baptism is of divine institution, is very evident from John's baptizing in the river Jordan, to which all Judea and Jerusalem were assembled, Matt. iii. 5, 6, Mark i. 4, 5 also from this circumstance, that the Lord our Saviour was himself baptized by John, Matt. iii. 13 to 17; and moreover, commanded his disciples to baptize all nations, Matt. xxviii. 19. Who does not see, if he be disposed to see, that in this institution there is a something divine, which has heretofore lain hid, because the spiritual sense of the Word was never before revealed? That sense however is revealed at this day, because the Christian church, such as it is in itself, or its true nature, is now commencing, the former church being Christian in name only, but not in essence and reality*.
Concerning the Christian church now commencing, more may be seen in the last chapter of this work, which treats of the CONSUMMATION OF THE AGE, OF THE COMING OF THE LORD, AND OF THE NEW HEAVEN, AND THE NEW CHURCH. That the present church is Christian in name only, and not in essence and reality, cannot be known except by those who have attentively considered in what the essence and reality of a Christian church consist.Every collective body of men, which acknowledges a God, the Creator of the universe, and lives in mutual love and charity, may be called a church; thus Jews, Mahometans, Pagans, and people of all religions, that fear God, and serve him faithfully according to the light they have received from him, form so many distinct churches, differing nevertheless in essence and reality, according to the different nature and purity of their respective worship. It is the kind of worship then which constituteth the essence and reality of a church; the name only is of no signification, whether it be Christian, Jewish, Mahometan, or Pagan. Now the worship truly characteristic of the Christian church, in respect to its object, is a worship directed towards the Lord God the Saviour Jesus Christ, that is, towards a God manifest in the flesh, and dwelling in that Humanity which he assumed here in the world, and made Divine; by this was the Christian church intended to be especially distinguished from all other churches of whatsoever denomination, and in this distinction respecting the object of its worship its peculiar essence and reality consist. If then Christtians, heretofore so called, bave not immediately approached and worshipped
669. The two sacraments, baptism and the holy supper, are in the Christian church like the two symbols on the sceptre of a king, but, supposing their uses unknown, they are only like two figures of ebony on a common walkingstick. Those two sacraments in the Christian church may also be compared with the two rubies or carbuncles in the robe of an emperor, but, supposing their uses unknown, they are only like two cornelians or crystals in any ordinary garment. Unless the uses of those two sacraments were made manifest by their spiritual sense, the world would be filled with random conjectures about them, such as are formed by those who practise divination by the stars, or indeed like those of old, which were formed by auguries from the flight of birds, or from the entrails of beasts. The uses of those two sacraments may be compared with a temple sunk into the ground by reason of its antiquity, and buried in dirt and rubbish up to its roof, over which both young and old walk, ride, or drive their coaches, not knowing that any such temple is under their feet, and hidden from their sight, containing in it altars of gold, walls covered on the inside with silver, and ornaments of precious stone; and they cannot possibly be dug up and brought forth to light, except by means of the spiritual sense, which is at this day discovered for the New Church, on account of its use in the worship of the Lord. Those two sacraments may also be compared with a double temple, one of which is below and the other above; in the lower the Gospel of the Lord's new advent is preached, and also regeneration and consequent salvation by Him; from this temple, near the
the Lord Jesus Christ as the one only God of heaven and earth, as the Creator, Redeemer, and Regenerator of men, as that one Divine Person in whom there is a Divine Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; or in other words, in whom there is the Divine Itself, the Divine-Human, and the Divine-Proceeding; it is plain they have been Christians in name only, not in essence and reality. The subject is of deep concernment, and demands the reader's serious attention.
altar, is an ascent to the upper temple, where the holy supper is celebrated; and from thence is a passage into heaven, where the worshippers are received by the Lord. They may also be compared with the tabernacle, wherein, behind the entrance, the table appeared on which the shew-bread was placed in order, also the golden altar for incense, and the candlestick in the midst with its branches lighted, so that all those objects are rendered visible; and at length for those who suffer themselves to be enlightened, the vail is opened to the holy of holies, where, instead of the ark which contained the decalogue, the Word is deposited, over which is the mercy-seat with the golden cherubim. These things are representations of those two sacraments with their uses.
II. THAT BY THE WASHING, WHICH IS CALLED BAPTISM, SPIRITUAL WASHING IS MEANT, WHICH IS A PURIFICATION FROM EVILS AND FALSES, AND THUS REGENERATION.
670. That washings were enjoined the children of Israel, is known from the statutes enacted by Moses; as that Aaron should wash himself before he put on the garments of his ministration, Levit. xvi. 4, 24; and before he approached the altar to minister, Exod. xxx. 18 to 21, chap. xl. 30, 31; in like manner the Levites, Numb. viii. 6, 7; and also others who became unclean by sins: and that they are said to be sanctified by washings, Exod. xix. 14, chap xl. 12, Levit viii. 6. Wherefore for the purpose of washing, a molten sea and several basons were placed near the temple, 1 Kings vii. 23 to 39; nay, they were enjoined to wash vessels and utensils, as tables, chairs, beds, dishes, and cups, Lev. xi 32, chap, xiv. 8, 9, chap. xv. 5 to 12, chap. xvii. 15, 16, Mark vii. 4. But washings, and several ordinances of a like nature, were enjoined and commanded the children of Israel, because the church established among them was a representative church, which was of such a nature
as to prefigure the Christian church that was to come; on which account, when the Lord came into the world, he abrogated the representatives, which were all external, and instituted a church in which all things were to be internal; thus the Lord put away figures, and revealed their true antetypes, just as when a person removes a vail, or opens a door, and thus affords the means not only of seeing the things within, but of approaching them. Of all those representatives the Lord retained but two, which were to contain in one complex whatever related to the internal church; these two are baptism instead of washings, and the holy supper instead of the lamb which was sacrificed every day, and particularly at the feast of the passover.
671. That the above-mentioned washings figured and shadowed forth, that is, represented, spiritual washings, consisting in purifications from evils and falses, is very evident from the following passages: "When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof, by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of expurgation," Isaiah iv. 4: "Though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, still thine iniquity will retain its spots," Jer. ii. 22, Job ix. 30, 31: "Wash me from mine iniquity, and I shall be whiter than snow," Psalm li. 4, 7: "O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved," Jer. iv. 14: "Wash
ye, make you clean, put away the evil of your doings from before Mine eyes, cease to do evil," Isaiah i. 16. That the washing of man's spirit is meant by the washing of his body, and that the internal things of the church were represented by such external rites as belonged to the Israelitish church, is very clear from these words of the Lord: "The Pharisees and scribes seeing that His disciples ate bread with unwashed hands, found fault; for the Pharisees and all the Jews, except they wash their hands, eat not; and many other things there be,