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to man, man must actually receive Him, not indeed as He hung on the cross, but as He now is in His glorified Humanity, in which He is present; and the body of this Humanity is divine good, and its blood is divine truth, which are given to man, and by which he is regenerated, and is in the Lord, and the Lord in him; for, as was shewn above, eating and drinking, as acts performed at the holy supper, are of a spiritual nature. From a right perception of these truths it is very apparent, that the holy supper is a signature and seal, that the worthy receivers are the sons of God.
729. Such, however, as die in their infancy or childhood, and so do not arrive at an age capable of approaching the holy supper worthily, are introduced into heaven by the Lord through baptism: for, as was shewn in the chapter on baptism, baptism is an introduction into the Christian Church, and at the same time an insertion amongst Christians in the spiritual world; and the church and heaven in the spiritual world are one, wherefore an introduction into the church in that world is also an introduction into heaven; and such as have died in infancy or childhood, being educated under the Lord's auspices, are regenerated, and become His sons, more and more, for they know no other Father. But such infants and children as are born out of the Christian Church, are, after the reception of faith in the Lord, introduced by another medium into the heaven set apart for those of their own religion, for they are not mixed with those who are in the Christian heaven. Indeed there is no nation throughout the whole world, which may not be saved, if they acknowledge a God, and live good lives; for the Lord redeemed them all, and all mankind are born alike with spiritual faculties, so as to be capable of receiving the bene
is placed, both as to his internal and external, more immediately under the divine guidance, so as to become more receptive and sensible of the divine influx, and of his near relationship to, and fellowship with, the Infinite Father of Spirits.
fits of redemption, They who receive the Lord, that is, who have faith in Him, and are not in evils of life, are called SONS OF GOD, and BORN OF GOD, John i. 12, 13, chap. xi. 52; and also THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM, Matt. xiii. 38; and likewise INHERITORS OR HEIRS, Matt. xix. 29, chap. xxv. 34. The LORD'S DISCIPLES are also called sons, Matt. ix. 15; and so likewise are ALL ANGELS, Job i. 6, chap. ii. 1.
730. It is with the holy supper as with a covenant, which, after settling the articles of agreement, is drawn up, and then signed and sealed. That the Lord's blood is a covenant, He Himself teaches, for when He took the cup, and gave it to His disciples, He said, "Drink ye all of this, for this is My blood, the (blood) of the New Testament," Matt. xxvi. Mark xiv. Luke xxii. The New Testament is the New Covenant; it is on this account that the Word written by the prophets before the Lord's coming is called the Old Testament or Covenant, and the Word written by the evangelists and apostles after His coming is called the New Testament or Covenant. That the divine truth of the Word is meant by blood, and also by wine, may be seen above, n. 706, 708; and the Word is the real and very covenant which the Lord makes with man, and man with the Lord; for the Lord came down as the Word, that is, as Divine Truth; and since this is His blood, therefore blood, in the Israelitish church, which was representative of the Christian Church, was called the BLOOD OF THE COVENANT, Exod. xxiv. 7, 8, Zech. ix. 11; and the Lord, the COVENANT OF THE PEOPLE, Isaiah xlii. 6, Jerem. xxxi. 31 to 34, Psalm cxi. 9. It is besides according to the order observed in the world, that the covenant, to be secure and binding, should receive the signature of the parties, which is affixed after the terms are agreed to; for of what consequence is a commission, or a will, unless it be signed? Of what validity is a sentence of judicature, unless the judg
TRUE CHRISTIAN RELIGION.
459 ment be ratified by a signature to the instrument? What is a high office of administration in a state, without the writ or commission? What signifies promotion to any post of honour, unless it be confirmed by proper authority? What is the possession of a house, without purchase or hire, and agreement with the owner? What avails progression to any end, or a race to any goal, to claim the prize, if there be no end or goal, where the prize may be awarded, according to the terms which had been previously settled by a proper officer? These instances are adduced only for illustration, and that simple minds may comprehend, how the holy supper is a signing, sealing, certifying, and witnessing, even before the angels, that the worthy receivers are the sons of God, and moreover as a key to a house in heaven, where they are to dwell to eternity.
731.* On a time there appeared to me an angel flying beneath the eastern heaven, with a trumpet in his hand,
* The reader is earnestly requested for his own sake to peruse this Memorable Relation with attention and seriousness. Its contents are truly interesting to every one that is a candidate for eternal blessedness, as they tend to shew, in the clearest and most convincing manner, in what the essence of that blessedness consists, and what must be the necessary preparation in order to partake of it. The notion of an immediate mercy on God's part, as being alone sufficient to qualify the spirit of man for heavenly bliss, without any previous preparation in the way of repentance and regeneration on his part, has long deluded, and, it is to be feared, destroyed many Christians. In opposition to so false and fatal a notion, our author here shews by many examples, as well as by much deep and sound reasoning, that the bliss of heaven, with such subjects as are unprepared to receive it, is so far from being any bliss to them, that it causes them to endure the most dreadful sensations of pain and agony, in consequence of the opposition between their wills and the essence of that bliss. The latter part of the Relation, by which it appears that the endearments of conjugial love are enjoyed in heaven, may occasion surprize to those persons who entertain impure ideas on such subjects, and so cannot distinguish between the chastity and innocence of love truly conjugial, and the uncleanness of scortatory connexions: but let this too, which is all along insisted on throughout the whole relation, concerning the external joys of heaven, be
which he held to his mouth, and sounded towards the north, towards the west and towards the south: he was clad in a robe, which waved behind him as he flew along, and he was girt around the waist with a band which seemed as it were on fire and radiant with carbuncles and sapphires: he flew with his body in a horizontal posture, and gently alighted on the ground, near where I was standing. As soon as he had touched the earth with his feet, he stood erect, and walked to and fro; but on seeing me, he immediately directed his steps towards me. I was in the spirit, and was standing in that state on a hill in the southern quarter of the spiritual world; and when he approached near, I spoke with him, and asked him the occasion of his coming, telling him that I had heard the sound of his trumpet and had observed his descent through the air. "My commission," he replied, "is to call together such of the inhabitants of this part of the spiritual world, as have come hither from the various kingdoms of Christendom, and have been most distinguished for their learning, for their acute talents, and who have been most eminent for their wisdom, that they may assemble on this bill where thou art now standing, and freely open their minds, and declare what they had thought and understood, and how far they had been wise, whilst in the natural world, on the
well considered; that they are only accessory to such as are internal, and are not joys at all when separated from their essences. These essences are love and charity, love towards the Lord, and charity towards our neighbour, operating in all good and useful works, and disposing the soul, from spiritual and not from selfish ends, to a faithful discharge of all social and relative duties. There is therefore no delusion nor danger to be apprehended from the idea that the bliss of marriage constitutes one among the enjoyments of heaven, whilst the qualification to enter into those enjoyments is made to consist in pure love towards God and man; and the reader must be wilfully deluded not to see from the relation here given, that the only way to the kingdom of heaven lies still through repentance and regeneration, since there is no other way for the human spirit to be delivered from worldly and selfish love, and made perfect in the love of the Lord, and of its neighbour.
subject of HEAVENLY JOY AND ETERNAL The cause of my being sent with such a commission is this: Several who have lately come from the natural world, and have been admitted into our heavenly society, which is in the east, have informed us, that there is not a single person throughout the whole Christian world who is acquainted with the true nature of heavenly joy and eternal happiness; consequently, that not a single person is acquainted with the nature of heaven: this information greatly surprised my brethren and companions, and they said unto me, 'Go thou down, call together and assemble those that are most eminent for wisdom in the world of spirits, (whither all men are first collected after their departure out of the natural world,) to the intent that we may know of a certainty, from the declaration of many, whether it be really true that such thick darkness, or dense ignorance, concerning a future life, prevails among Christians.'" The angel then said to me, "Wait a while, and thou wilt see several companies of the wise flocking together to this place, and the Lord will prepare for them a house of assembly." I waited, and lo! in the space of half an hour I saw two companies from the north, two from the west, and two from the south, and as they came near they were introduced by the angel who blew the trumpet into the house of assembly prepared for them, where they took their places in order, according to the quarter from whence they came. There were six troops or companies, and a seventh from the east, which, from the splendour of the light that encompassed it, was not visible to the rest. When they were all assembled, the angel opened to them the reason of their being called together, desiring that each company in order would shew what wisdom they possessed on the subject of HEAVENLY JOY AND ETERNAL HAPPINESS. Then each company collected themselves together in a ring, with their faces turned one towards another, that they might re-call the ideas which they had entertained