Arcana Coelestia (Elliott) n. 2982

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2982. 'In the land of Canaan' means which was a united whole in the Lord's kingdom. This is clear from the representation of 'the land of Canaan' as the Lord's kingdom, dealt with in 1413, 1437, 1585, 1607. With the Lord's Churches the position is that in ancient times many existed simultaneously. These differed from one another, as Churches do today, on matters of doctrine, but they still made one in that they acknowledged love to the Lord and charity towards the neighbour as the chief and most essential thing. And so to them matters of doctrine existed not so much to guide their thought as to direct their lives. And when in every single respect love to the Lord and charity towards the neighbour, that is, the good of life, is the essential thing, then no matter how many Churches there are they all make one, and each is a united whole in the Lord's kingdom. The same is also true of heaven. Although there are countless communities there, and each one is distinct and separate from the rest, they nevertheless all constitute one heaven because every one is moved by love to the Lord and charity towards the neighbour.

[2] But the situation is altogether different in the case of Churches which say that faith is the essential thing of the Church, for they imagine that if they know this and think it, they are saved irrespective of whatever kind of life they lead. When this is the situation many Churches existing simultaneously do not make one Church; they are not even Churches. The good of faith is what makes the Church, that is, the life of love and charity in accordance with matters of faith make it. It is for the sake of life that matters of doctrine exist. This anyone may know, for why does any doctrine exist if not for some end in view? And what else is that end but life, that is, that a person may become as such doctrine teaches? Those Churches do indeed speak of saving faith as being trust, but that trust cannot possibly exist except within the good of life. Without the latter there is no receptivity, and when there is no receptivity there is no trust, except on occasions when the mind or body is sick and the desires that belong to self-love and love of the world are dormant. But with those who are leading an evil life, when this crisis is over or takes a different turn, that spurious trust disappears altogether; for trust can exist even with those who are evil. But if a person wishes to know what kind of trust he has, let him examine his affections and ends in view, and also the kind of life his actions reveal.

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