Charity and Good Works (pt. 35)

Selection from True Christian Religion ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
Charity and Good Works (pt. 35)
v Doctrinal Series v
XI. THE DIVERSIONS OF CHARITY ARE DINNERS, SUPPERS, AND SOCIAL GATHERINGS

It is known that dinners and suppers are everywhere customary, and are given for various purposes, and that with most they are given for the sake of friendship, relationship, enjoyment, gain, and remuneration; also that they are employed for corrupting men and drawing them over to certain parties; and that among the great they are given for the sake of honor, and in kings’ palaces for splendor. But dinners and suppers of charity are given only among those who are in mutual love from similarity of faith.

With the Christians of the primitive church dinners and suppers had no other object; they were called Feasts, and were given both in order that they might heartily enjoy themselves, and at the same time be drawn together.

In the first state of the establishment of the church suppers signified consociation and conjunction, because evening, when they took place, signified that state. But in the second state, when the church had been established, there were dinners, for morning and day signified that state. At table they conversed on various subjects, both domestic and civil, but especially on such as pertained to the church. And because they were feasts of charity, whatever subject they talked about, charity with its delights and joys was in their speech.

The spiritual sphere that prevailed at those feasts was a sphere of love to the Lord and love towards the neighbor, which cheered the mind of everyone, softened the tone of every voice, and from the heart communicated festivity to all the senses. For there emanates from every man a spiritual sphere, which is a sphere of his love’s affection and its thought therefrom, and this interiorly affects his associates, especially at feasts. This sphere emanates both through the face and through the respiration. It is because dinners and suppers, or feasts, signified such association of minds that they are so frequently mentioned in the Word, and nothing else is there meant by them in the spiritual sense; and the same is meant in the highest sense by the paschal supper among the children of Israel, also by their banquet at other festivities, and by their eating together of the sacrifices near the tabernacle. Conjunction itself was then represented by the breaking and distribution of bread, and by drinking from the same cup and handing it to another.

(True Christian Religion 433)
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About mike

The Lord is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last, and from the human race, an angelic heaven would be formed. The reason for my creation was to perform Divine uses - The Divine Providence looks to eternal ends. My gain, honor or reputation no longer could be the focal point of what drives the engine. One day I will lay aside this material body and will wake up in the spiritual world never to return; there will be a continuation of life, and my ruling love will be what guides me to my final situation. 'Where a tree falls, there will it lay' (Ecc 11:3) We only have a few years in these bodies compared to eternity. What is fossilized on our souls in this short period is important to how we spend eternity. We are not left to blind faith, The Lord has come in His Word to reveal rationally how we can be made 'a vessel of honor, able for the master's use.' I truly hope the post create a thirst. If I can be of service, please do not hesitate to email me. --Mike
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