True Christian Religion (Chadwick) n. 721

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721. The chapter on baptism showed that it was an introduction to the church; and what has been said so far, if grasped, proves that the Holy Supper is an introduction to heaven. The two sacraments, baptism and the Holy Supper, are as it were two gates leading to everlasting life. Every Christian is by baptism, the first gate, admitted and introduced to the church's teachings drawn from the Word about the other life. All of these are the means by which a person is prepared and can be guided to heaven. The second gate is the Holy Supper. By it everyone, who has allowed himself to be prepared and guided by the Lord, is admitted and introduced into heaven. There are no other universal gates.

These two stages can be compared with the case of a prince who is born to be king; he is first introduced to the knowledge which will enable him to govern; the second stage is his coronation and reign. Another comparison is with a son born to a great inheritance, who first learns and absorbs the sorts of things which are relevant to the proper management of estates and wealth; the second stage is when he comes into possession and administers his inheritance. Another comparison is with building a house and living in it; also with the way a person is brought up from childhood until he comes of an age to make his own decisions and judgments, and with his rational and spiritual life after this. One period must inevitably precede in order to achieve the second, since the second is impossible without the first. These illustrations show that baptism and the Holy Supper are as it were two gates, through which a person is introduced to everlasting life; and after the first gate there is an open space to be covered. The second gate is the goal, where the prize is which he set out to win; for the victory comes only after the encounter, and the prize only after the contest.

This page is part of the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg

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