“These things I have spoken to you in parables, but the hour is coming when I will no more speak to you in proverbs, but will announce to you plainly concerning the Father.” - John 16:25
Kempton New Church

Week 4
Day 6

    Listen:

The Uses of Occupations

Every man who looks to the Lord and shuns evils as sin, if he sincerely, justly, and faithfully does the work of his office and employment, becomes a form of charity. —Charity 158

Charity in Worship and with Priests

Psalm 95:6-7. O come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before Jehovah our Maker. For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, And the flock of His hand.

Charity 173. The signs of charity are all things that pertain to worship. All things of charity have regard to looking to the Lord and shunning evils as sins, and doing the goods of use that pertain to one’s calling. But all things of worship are externals, of the body and of the mind. The externals of the body are performed by acts and by words; and the externals of the mind are those that are performed by the will and the thought, which cohere with the externals of the body.

Charity 174. The externals of the body which pertain to worship are: (1) Frequenting temples. (2) Listening to sermons. (3) Singing devoutly, and praying on the knees. (4) Partaking of the Sacrament of the Supper. And at home: (1) Prayer morning and evening, and at dinners and suppers. (2) Conversing with others about charity and faith, and about God, heaven, eternal life, and salvation. (3) And in the case of priests, preaching, and also private instruction. (4) And with everyone, the instruction of children and servants in such matters. (5) Reading the Word, and books of instruction and of piety.

Charity 175. The externals of the mind which pertain to worship are: (1) Thought and meditation concerning God, and concerning heaven, eternal life, and salvation. (2) Reflection upon one’s thoughts and intentions, as to whether they are evil or good, and that the evil are from the devil, and the good from God. (3) Aversion of one’s mind from impious, obscene, and filthy language. (4) Besides thoughts, there are also affections which come to the sight and sense of a man.

Charity 177. That such things are externals of worship, and that the externals of worship are signs of charity, will be seen in the following order:

(I.) Charity itself is in the internal man, and its sign is in the external.

(II.) When charity is in the internal man, and constitutes it, then all the acts of worship that are performed in externals are signs of it.

(III.) Worship in the external man proceeding from charity in the internal, appears to the angels as a standard bearer with a banner in his hand. But worship in the external man not proceeding from charity in the internal, appears to the angels as an actor with a firebrand in his hand.

Charity 160. Charity in the Priest. If he looks to the Lord and shuns evils as sins, and sincerely, justly, and faithfully performs the work of the ministry enjoined upon him, he does the good of use continually, and becomes charity in form. And he does the good of use or the work of the ministry sincerely, justly, and faithfully, when he is affected with a desire for the salvation of souls. And in proportion as he is so affected, he is affected by truths, because by means of them he leads souls to heaven; and he leads souls to heaven by means of truths when he leads them to the Lord. It is, then, his love diligently to teach truths from the Word; because when he teaches them from the Word he teaches them from the Lord. For the Lord not only is the “Word” (John 1:1, 2, 14), but is also “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6), and is the “door.” He therefore that entereth in by the Lord as the “door” into the sheepfold is a good shepherd. And he that entereth not by the Lord as the “door” into the sheepfold is an evil shepherd, who is called a thief and a robber [John 10:1-9].

Questions and Comments
  1. How are going to church, listening to sermons, singing, praying and taking Holy Supper signs of charity? (n. 174)
  2. Are any of the signs of charity (n. 174) harder to do than others?
  3. At home, do we pray in the morning and evening, discuss matters of religion, instruct children in matters of religion and read the Word? (n. 175)
  4. How are the externals of the mind that pertain to worship signs of charity? (n. 175)
  5. Based on Charity 174 and 160, what seems to be the primary role of a priest in the New Church?
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