“The Church is... where the Lord is acknowledged, and where the Word is.” - The New Jerusalem and Its Heavenly Doctrine §242
Kempton New Church


“Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh”

And when they had opened their treasures, they offered to Him gifts: gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. (Matthew 2:11)

That a “present” signifies initiation, is because it was given to gain good will and favor; for in old times … they gave presents to kings and priests on approaching them … This was a holy ritual, signifying initiation, so too the wise men from the east also, who came to Jesus just after His birth, brought presents. (Arcana Coelestia 4262.2‒3)

External gifts signifi internal or spiritual gifts, namely, such as go forth from the heart, and thence are of the affection and faith; and as by these conjunction is effected, in the spiritual sense “gifts” in reference to God signify conjunction, and in reference to men consociation. (Apocalypse Explained 661)

The gifts that were offered to Jehovah signified such things as are offered by man from the heart unto the Lord, and are accepted by the Lord. Gifts are like all man’s deeds, which in themselves are nothing but gestures, and regarded apart from the will are merely movements that are fashioned in various ways, and as it were jointed, not unlike the motions of a machine, and thus devoid of life. But man’s deeds regarded along with his will are not such motions, but are forms of the will shown before the eyes; for deeds are nothing else than testifications of such things as belong to the will; and they also have their soul or life from the will. (Arcana Coelestia 9293.1)

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