(Continued pt. 16)
(3) According to the Abundance and Coherence of Truths — Faith is perfected.
This follows from the preceding statements (in previous articles), and is evident to everyone who collects reasons, and observes carefully what multiplied series of them effect when they cohere as a unit; for then one series strengthens and confirms another, and together they constitute a form which when put in action is manifested as a single act. Since then faith in its essence is truth, it follows, that according to the abundance and coherence of truths it becomes more and more perfectly spiritual, therefore less and less sensual-natural; for it is raised up into a higher region of the mind, from which it sees beneath it troops of confirmations or itself in the nature of the world.
True faith by an abundance of truths cohering as if in a bundle also becomes more lustrous, more perceptible, more evident, and clearer; and, becomes also more capable of conjunction with the goods of charity, consequently more capable of alienation from evils, and gradually more removed from the allurements of the eye and the lusts of the flesh, therefore in itself happier. Especially does it become more powerful against evils and falsities, and thus more and more living and saving.
It has been said above, that-
in heaven every truth gives forth light, and therefore that faith in its essence is truth giving forth light
consequently the beauty and comeliness of faith caused by that glow, when truths of faith are multiplied, may be compared to various forms, objects, and pictures, formed by different colors harmoniously combined; also to the precious stones of various colors in the breastplate of Aaron, which together were called the Urim and Thummim; in like manner to the precious stones of which the foundations of the wall of the New Jerusalem are to be built (see Rev. 21). It may also be compared to the precious stones of many colors in a king’s crown. Indeed, precious stones signify truths of faith. It may also be compared to the beauty of the rainbow, of a field of flowers, or of a blooming garden in early spring.
The light and glory of faith from an abundance of concordant truths fitly arranged in it may be compared to the illumination of churches by numerous candelabra, or of houses by chandeliers, or of streets by lamps.
The exaltation of faith by an abundance of truths, may be illustrated by comparison with the increase of sound and also of melody, arising from many musical instruments played in concert; and with the increase of fragrance arising from a collection of sweetly-exhaling flowers; and so on.
The power of a faith formed from a multiplicity of truths, as opposed to falsities and evils, may be compared to the firmness of a church built of stones properly laid, with columns built into its walls, and under its fretted ceiling; it may also be compared to a battalion formed in square, where the soldiers stand side by side, and thus form and act as one force; it may also be compared to the muscles of which the whole body is interwoven, which although so numerous and so differently located, still in action constitute one power; and so on.
To be continued…