“The Church is only a true Church to the extent that the Lord is the All in all things of the love, the faith, the life and the Doctrine of the Church and of the individuals who are in the Church. The Lord must so order the Church and the men and women of the Church that He can dwell with them and rule their lives
If you see and feel what is here meant, you will see and feel what a great repentance is necessary if the Church is to be really a Church. All things of politics, ambition, pride, vanity, all looking out for one’s self and one’s own importance in the Church must be shunned as something horrible and from hell.
The genuine, the true, or the real Church is in the Human form out of, or from, the Divine Human of the Lord. In the true Church every one has his true place or state in this human form of the Church.
In so far as a man wishes to be led by the Lord to his own place and use in the human form of the Church, so far the Lord can instaurate or establish the Church. But in so far as men want to have a place in the Church not from the Lord but from themselves, so far the Church is a false church.”
(from the address to the Natives of South Africa by Rev. Theodore Pitcairn)
“In the Word much is spoken about uses. Because many have the word use on their lips, when yet their uses are dead, for they look solely to the uses of the world or to reward in heaven, some have come to despise uses particularly natural uses. Yet natural uses are the only basis for spiritual uses. If a man does not perform, or strive to perform, the use of his occupation in the world sincerely, justly and faithfully, his so called interior things are but a castle in the air, or a house without a foundation. If a man does not strictly respect the moral and civil things of his work or occupation, he lives in an imaginary heaven. Indeed the moral and civil things of his occupation should not be the end; for the end, for the sake of which he works, is the Lord’s Kingdom; yet those who do their work in this world sincerely, justly, and faithfully, who regard the neighbor, in the world, and who shun all those things which are insincere and unethical in a simple way, with little thought beyond, are far better than those who elevated their minds to spiritual uses to doctrinal things, and neglect the civil and moral foundation.
The basis of spiritual life must be a sincere, just, and faithful performance of one’s occupation from a genuine natural love of the neighbor, in which, one places the welfare of the community above ones love of self, and the love of the reward which ones work brings. This is a well known truth, but is a truth that is seldom a matter of life. The world speaks much of service end the desire to serve, while, in the New Church generally, use is on every ones lips. Because this is so common, and is so seldom genuine, there is the danger that we come to despise, the very foundation of life. Now a man’s first duty in time is to work in order that he can support himself and his family. If a man does not do this he is of little use to himself, to the community, or to any one else. But when he has done this he must come to place the love of his occupation, for the sake of the community, above the love of his occupation for the sake of himself; this is the all important inversion, that seldom takes place. Yet if this inversion does not take place, where is the foundation upon which some thing higher can be built? It is true that if the man of the Church remains in the love of his occupation for the sake of society in this world and does not look higher, he remains merely natural and in time loses even this foundation; all sincere love of one’s natural occupation for the sake of society must be looked upon not as an end, but as a means and basis for a love of uses in the Kingdom of God. But while it must be looked upon as a means, and not as an end, it is a means that can never be skipped over.”
(from the sermon “Thou shalt not steal” by Rev. Theodore Pitcairn)
“… It is the nature of a man who has not been born again to long for power and influence, to long to be able to command and domineer over others. In churches the leaders who have such ambitions invent teachings which add to their power and authority. Examples of this in the Christian Church are claims involving the power to admit or not to admit into heaven; also, the idea that one has been called by the Lord to the ministry, when frequently the call was an imaginary response to a personal ambition. Every doctrinal position taken by a church or congregation for the sake of influence or popularity, every political attitude which does not humbly submit to the Word of the Lord, no matter what the consequences, but strives for the prosperity of this world or the increase of membership or wealth, becomes a city and tower of Babel.”
(from the book My Lord and My God by Rev. Theodore Pitcairn)
“Would we rather see the Church with very few, and in a few genuine goods and truths, while it remained despised by men; or, would we rather see it prosperous, successful, gaining the respect of all, and yet being in less purity of Doctrine and life? In which of these would we find our greatest joy?”
(from the sermon on Heaven and Hell №480,481 by Rev. Theodore Pitcairn)
” Those who study what the Lord teaches in order that they may be led in the genuine order, and those who (do) not study what He teaches for that end, cannot study together effectually. To eat with those who seek to be led in the genuine order, is an abomination to those who do not seek.” (“Notes on Groeneveld” by Anton Zelling )