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universal, consisting of all who lelieve in a God and live in charity with one another." Hea. & Hell. Also A. C. 3263.
In a sense less general the word means the different societies into which the whole people of God are: divided, thus there are the Church of Confucius, the Church of Mahomet, the Church of Moses, and, above all the rest, the Church of CHRIST, which there is every reason to believe is as much superior to the others as the breast is superior to the lower members of the body.
In order that we may ascertain what constitutes the true Church, or religious assembly, we have only to enquire what it is which constitutes true religion; for, if we clearly see in what true religion consists, we shall see with equal clearness in what consists that Church or assembly whom true religion consociates.
Now, generally speaking, true religion consists in the presence of the LORD by his Holy Spirit, as without this spirit a man's religion is vain, as it is written «If any man hath not the Spirit of Christ he is none of his.” It is the presence of the LORD, therefore, as effected by his Holy Spirit, which constitutes the Church. Therefore our Author says, “ Where the LORD is, there is the Church." A. C. 3379. “Men are of the Church by reason of the divine principle which they receive from the Lord." A. E. 10151. But it may be useful to descend to particulars.
Speaking more particularly, then, true religión consists in whatever is produced by the spirit of the LORD as operating in man's mind; and reason teacheth us that there are three things produced thereby, viz. the light of truth, the life of goodness, and works according thereto.
In the first place true religion consists in the light of truth in the understanding, for the Spirt of the Lord is the Spirit of Truth; this then is one fundamental constituent of the true Church. Our author therefore says, “ The Church is only amongst those who acknowledge in heart the divinity of the Lord, and learn truths from the Lord by means of the Word.” A. E. 388. Church is not where the celestial Joseph is not, i.e. the LORD as to Divine Truth; especially as to this Divine Truth that the Lord's Human is Divine, and charity essential to the Church.” A. C. 4766. Also Theol. 243. A. E. 730.
True religion also consists in the life of goodness in the will, for the spirit of the Lord is a spirit of love. This, then, is a second essential constituent of the true Church; therefore our author says, 6. The Church is a Church by virtue of the reception of the Divine Good of the LORD in the Divine Truths which are of him." A. R. 797. “ The Lord's kingdom in the earths consisteth of all those who are principled in good." A. C. 2853. “ The Church is from the good of love." A. R.. 132.
Lastly, Lastly, True religion further consists in good works, The spirit of the LORD is an operative and active spirit. These, therefore, viz. good works (meaning thereby such works as are according to truth and originate in good) are a third constituent of the true Church. Therefore our author says, “ The Church is good of life grounded in charity and faith.” A. R. 5. “ It is good of faith which constitutes the Church ; i. e. a real life of love and charity, according to those things which faith teaches." A. C. 2982. “ These three things constitute the Church, viz. truth of doctrine, good of love, and worship proceeding from both." A. R. 486. “Unless the spiritual mind flow into the natural and terminate there, it is as the prior without the posterior, as the cause without the effect, and as the active without the passive, which would be as a bird perpetually flying in the air without any seat on the earth. There is no Church, therefore, unless the internal be spiritual and the external natural. A Church merely spiritual is not given any more than a Church merely natural.” Appendix 19. “No one becomes a man of the Church until the internal or spiritual man be opened, and this is conjoined with the external or natural man." A. E. 149.
From what has now been said it is plain that the true Church consists of all those truly religious persons who possess
the spirit of the LORD as manifested in the light of the understanding, the life of the will, and in good
works, especially in the good work of worshipping the LORD from a principle of love, and in agreement with the truth. On the other hand it is equally plain, that if there be any whose understanding be darkened with error, whose will is evii, and whose works of every kind, and especially whose worship be filled with such evil, or be in agreement with such error, these are not of the true Church, seeing that, in proportion as they are deficient of any of these things they are proportionately destitute of that in which it's essential constituent consists. Manchester,
H. B. P. Nov, 12, 1800.
FOR THE AURORA.
(Continued, from p. 234.)
But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where
he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion
(on him). Luke x. 33. BY the Samaritan here is signified the Lord, with respect to the good of his divine love, is plain from the following verses, for he came to the man who had fallen among the thieves, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him.
" As he journeyed"—to journey signifies to go forward in good
and truth; journeying and going involve progression, and it is highly worthy of our `notice how divinity shines in the blessed Word, for it is said both of the man and the priest, and the same is implied in respect to the Levite, that they went down or descended; but it is not so said of the Samaritan, but as he journeyed, which signifies progression in good and truth,' Gen. xxxiii. 12; Arc. 4374, 4375. “ Came where he was” to come where any one is, in the language of scripture, and particularly when applied to the Lord, signia fies to come into the person's state, and this the Lord Jehovah Jesus has not only done in his first advent, to mankind in general, when he took upon him all the states and degrees of fallen nature that mankind had, did then, or ever could to eternity labor under; and subdued, removed, and purged out from himself, by his own power, by the means of temptation combats, all those evil and false principles, and thus glorified his humanity: but doth now, and will to eternity, accommodate himself, or come into the states of all his dependant creatures in particular; and more especially so far as they are, or can be brought forward in reformation and regeneration.--Thus we find in John xx. 27, the love of our good Lord to Thomas, when he had declared to the rest of the disciples, that he would not believe that the Lord was risen, except he had his finger in the print of the nails, and his hand in his side. The blessed Lord for the further regeneration of Tho