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New Church

While some people use "New Church" to refer to a religion, I use it in the broader sense of a dualist or theistic science.   Swedenborg uses "church" (with a small c) to refer to the mind or spirit, especially, the thoughts and feelings working together to accommodate our wants and needs. The expression "new church" is taken from the Bible (e.g., the Prophets, Revelations).

I often use the expression "New Church people" to refer to those who accept and understand the world view presented in Swedenborg's Writings. I also use "New Church mentality" to refer to the outlook on life found in Swedenborg's Writings.  This meaning is applied specifically to Religious Psychology.

"The Spiritual World: June 19th, 1770" by Rev. Ormond Odhner in New Church Life 1954;74: 276-285

"The 19th of June is celebrated as the birthday of the New Church because the Writings teach that the church on earth descends from the church in heaven, and because they teach also that in the year 1770 the Lord called together in the spiritual world the twelve disciples who had followed Him on earth, instructed them in the Heavenly Doctrine of the New Jerusalem, and sent them out to preach that doctrine throughout the spiritual world. This He did on the 19th day of June.

At the end of the True Christian Religion, the last theological work published by Swedenborg, we read: "After this work was finished, the Lord called together His twelve disciples, who followed Him in the world; and the next day He sent them all out into the whole spiritual world, to preach the Gospel that the Lord God Jesus Christ reigns, whose reign will be for ages of ages, according to the prediction in Daniel . . . and in Revelation; . . . and that they are blessed who come to the marriage supper of the Lamb. This was done on the 19th day of June, in the year 1770" (TCR 791).

Apparently this took place after the completion of the first draft of the True Christian Religion, for references to it are found in two other places in the published work. Thus, at number 4, we read: "It is a noteworthy fact that some months ago the Lord called together His twelve disciples, now angels, and sent them forth throughout the spiritual world with the command to preach the Gospel there anew, since the church that was established by the Lord through them has at this day become so far consummated that scarcely a remnant of it survives." And at number 108, we read: "To show that the Divine Trinity is united in the Lord is the chief object of this work . . . some months ago the twelve disciples were called together by the Lord, and were sent forth through the whole spiritual world, as they formerly were through the natural world, with the command to preach this Gospel; and to each apostle was assigned a particular province; and this command they are executing with great zeal and industry."

The apostles, then, were sent out by the Lord to promulgate the true theology and religion of the New Church throughout the spiritual world, on June 19th, 1770; and since the church on earth is said to descend from the church in heaven, we celebrate the 19th of June as the natal day of our Church.

(...)

Why, then, did the Lord choose these twelve rather simple men to evangelize the universal spiritual world to His second advent? Although they were simple and not yet fully regenerate, they had been very helpful to Swedenborg when he was writing the Heavenly Doctrine. He met them often, and they affirmed that the Lord he wrote of was the same Lord and Savior they had seen, followed, and believed here on earth. Again, they affirmed that the truths Swedenborg was writing were one with the genuine doctrine the Lord Himself taught on earth. But undoubtedly the main reason they were chosen as the spiritual evangelists of the new revelation was that they on earth had seen and believed in the Lord Jesus Christ - because they on earth had accepted His teachings, albeit in the simple way alone possible to them, and hence their faith was founded in the very ultimates of their brains.

Many have theorized over the reasons that they, individually, have been brought into the Lord's New Church, why they have been so chosen out of many. To avoid falling into conceit, it has been commonly concluded that we are in the New Church because, intrinsically, we are worse than others, and could not be saved without the truths of the Heavenly Doctrine. There may be some truth in this, although it does seem strange that the Lord would choose the worst people on earth to found the church among men. There may, however, be some truth in it; but it must be tempered with the understanding that no one from any of all the earths in the universe can now be saved without the truths of the Heavenly Doctrine. If they do not accept them on earth, they must accept them after death, before they can enter heaven.

This suggests that there may be another reason why the Lord has brought us into the New Church. The apostles were chosen to evangelize the spiritual world on that June 19th, 1770, because they on earth had accepted the Lord. A faith accepted on earth has more firmness, more strength, than a faith accepted after death, though both lead to salvation. This is indicated by the teaching that those who die as infants enter heaven equally as those who die as adults, but must always depend on those who die as adults for certain basic sense-impressions which they lack. And it is confirmed by the teaching that that which a man really believes on earth actually changes the form of his brain and thus of the limbus, which for evermore contains his spirit. And it is easy to imagine that such a change was wrought in the disciples when, on earth, they at length realized that they were seeing the one and only God.

If, then, the disciples were chosen because they had accepted the Lord on earth; and if a faith acquired on earth is firmer than a faith acquired after death, it may follow that the Lord has chosen us to receive His new revelation on earth because we are of a genius peculiarly adapted to spreading this doctrine to others after death. Is not such strength and firmness necessary that one may be a good teacher? Why else would a geography teacher wish to see with his own eyes the lands concerning which he teaches?

The New Church, we are taught, will increase on earth according to its increase in the world of spirits. (Note that it is said "in the world of spirits," not "in heaven.") In that world today there are still millions waiting to be given the Heavenly Doctrine, waiting for teachers to teach them these truths, that they may enter the New Heaven.

Is it not possible that the Lord has chosen us for this use? We may not go about as active preachers and teachers, but each of us in his own individual way can help others to come into possession of these truths through which alone they can enter the New Heaven that is founded on the belief that the Lord is the one only God of heaven and earth, and that those go to heaven who shun evils as sins against Him.

But if this is the use for which the Lord has chosen us, and it seems more than likely, then our duty is clear. That one may be an apostle, he must first be a disciple. That one may be a teacher, he must first be a student. To lead others to the truths of the New Church we must first know what those truths are. We must know the particular tenets of faith involved in those two teachings of the twelve apostles on that 19th day of June in 1770, that the Lord God Jesus Christ doth reign, whose kingdom shall be for ages of ages, and that those are blessed who are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.

original article found here

"As New Church people we accept two foundations of truth: the physical world which God created and revelation which God authored (see SD 5709)." Rev. Alfred Action, II See this article.

Quoting Swedenborg on his special mission about the New Church:


CL 1. I anticipate that many who read the following descriptions and the accounts at the ends of the succeeding chapters will believe they are figments of my imagination. I swear in truth, however, that they are not inventions, but actual occurrences to which I was witness. Nor were they witnessed in any condition of unconsciousness but in a state of full wakefulness. For it has pleased the Lord to manifest Himself to me and send me to teach the doctrines that will be doctrines of the New Church, the church meant by the New Jerusalem in the book of Revelation. To this end He has opened the inner faculties of my mind and spirit. As a result, it has been made possible for me to be in the spiritual world with angels and at the same time in the natural world with men, and this now for twenty-five years.* * From Conjugial Love published in the year 1768.

True Christian Religion

TCR 647. VII. THE FAITH AND IMPUTATION OF THE NEW CHURCH CAN BY NO MEANS EXIST TOGETHER WITH THE FAITH AND IMPUTATION OF THE FORMER CHURCH; AND IF THEY ARE TOGETHER, SUCH A COLLISION AND CONFLICT RESULT THAT EVERYTHING PERTAINING TO THE CHURCH IN MAN PERISHES.

The faith and imputation of the New Church cannot exist together with the faith and imputation of the former or still-existing church because they do not agree in one-third part, not even in one-tenth part; for the faith of the former church teaches that three Divine persons have existed from eternity, each one of whom is singly or by Himself God, also three Creators. But the faith of the New Church is that there has been but one Divine Person, thus one God, from eternity, and that beside Him there is no God. Thus the faith of the former church has taught a Divine Trinity divided into three Persons, while the faith of the New Church teaches a Divine Trinity united in one Person.

[2] The faith of the former church has been a faith in a God invisible, inaccessible, and incapable of conjunction with man; and its idea of God has been like its idea of spirit, which is like that of ether or air. But the faith of the New Church is a faith in a God who is visible, accessible, and capable of conjunction with man, in whom, like the soul in the body, is God invisible, inaccessible, and incapable of conjunction; and its idea of this God is that He is a Man, because the one God who was from eternity became Man in time.

[3] The faith of the former church attributes all power to the invisible God, and takes it from the visible; for it teaches that God the Father imputes faith, and through it bestows eternal life, and that the visible God merely intercedes; while they both give (or according to the Greek church, God the Father gives) to the Holy Spirit, who is by Himself the third God in order, all power to work out the effects of that faith. But the faith of the New Church attributes to the visible God, in whom is the invisible, the omnipotence to impute and also to work out the effects of salvation.

[4] The faith of the former church is primarily a faith in God the Creator, and not at the same time a faith in Him as Redeemer and Savior; while the faith of the New Church is a faith in one God, who is at once Creator, Redeemer and Savior.

[5] The faith of the former church is that repentance, forgiveness of sins, renewal, regeneration, sanctification and salvation follow of themselves faith given and imputed, with nothing pertaining to man mingled or joined with these. But the faith of the New Church teaches that man co-operates in repentance, reformation and regeneration, and thus in the forgiveness of sins.

[6] The faith of the former church teaches the Imputation of Christ's merit, which imputation is embraced in the faith bestowed; while the faith of the New Church teaches the imputation of good and evil, and also of faith, and that this imputation is in accordance with Sacred Scripture, while the other is contrary to it.

[7] The former church teaches that faith, which includes the merit of Christ, is given when man is like a stock or a stone; and it also teaches man's utter impotence in spiritual things; but the New Church teaches a wholly different faith, which is not a faith in the merit of Christ, but in Jesus Christ Himself, God, Redeemer and Savior, and a freedom of choice that both fits man to receive and also to co-operate.

[8] The former church adds charity to its faith as an appendage, but not as anything saving, and thus it constitutes its religion; but the New Church conjoins faith in the Lord and charity toward the neighbor as two inseparable things, and thus constitutes its religion There are also many other differences.


TCR 768. V. THE LORD'S COMING IS NOT HIS COMING TO DESTROY THE VISIBLE HEAVEN AND THE HABITABLE EARTH, AND TO CREATE A NEW HEAVEN AND A NEW EARTH, AS MANY, FROM NOT UNDERSTANDING THE SPIRITUAL SENSE OF THE WORD, HAVE HITHERTO SUPPOSED.

The prevailing opinion in the churches at the present day is, that when the Lord shall come for the last judgment, He will appear in the clouds of heaven with angels and the sound of trumpets; will gather together all who still dwell on the earth, together with all who have died; will separate the wicked from the good, as a shepherd separates the goats from the sheep; will then cast the wicked or the goats into hell, and will raise the good or the sheep into heaven; and at the same time will create a new visible heaven and a new habitable earth, and will send down upon that earth the city called the New Jerusalem, built according to the description of it in the Apocalypse (chap. 21), that is, of jasper and gold, and the foundations of its wall of every precious stone, while its height, breadth, and length will be equal, each twelve thousand furlongs; also that into that city will be gathered all the elect, both those who are still alive and those who have died since the beginning of the world; that these will then return into their bodies, and in that magnificent city, as their heaven, will enjoy eternal blessedness. This is the prevailing opinion in the Christian churches of today respecting the Lord's coming and the last judgment.


 TCR 769. In respect to the state of souls after death, the belief universally and in each instance is that human souls after death are airy things (some cherishing the idea that they are like a puff of wind), and being such, they are reserved until the day of the last judgment either in the center of the earth, where their abode is, or in the limbus of the fathers. But on these points they differ, some holding that souls are ethereal or aerial forms and thus are like phantoms and specters, some of them dwelling in the air, some in the forests, some in the waters; others holding that the souls of the dead are transferred to the planets or to the stars, and have habitations given to them there; and some believe that after a thousand years they will return into their bodies; but the majority believe that they are reserved for the time when the entire firmament together with the terraqueous globe will be destroyed, which will be done by fire breaking forth from the center of the earth or hurled down like universal lightning from heaven; that then the graves will be opened, and the reserved souls will be clothed again with their bodies, and transported to that holy city, Jerusalem, and so will dwell together on another earth in lustrous bodies, some lower down in that city, some higher up; for the height of it, like its breadth and length, will be twelve thousand furlongs (Apoc. 21:16).


TCR  770. When a clergyman or a layman is asked whether he firmly believes all these things, as that the antediluvians together with Adam and Eve, and the postdiluvians together with Noah and his sons, and Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, together with all the prophets and apostles, as well as the souls of all other men, are still reserved in the bowels of the earth or are flying about in the ether or air; as also whether he believes that souls will be re-clothed with their bodies or be reunited with them, when yet these dead bodies have been eaten up by worms and mice and fishes, and Egyptian bodies as mummies have been eaten up by men, and others are mere skeletons dried up in the sun and crumbled to dust; also whether he believes that the stars of heaven will then fall upon the earth, which, however, is smaller than a single one of them; and whether these things are not absurdities which reason itself dissipates, as it does anything contradictory; to these things some will make no reply; some will say, "These things are matters of faith, to which we keep the understanding in obedience;" some that not only these but many other matters that are above reason belong to the Divine omnipotence. And when they mention faith and omnipotence, reason is exiled, and sound reason either disappears and becomes as nothing, or becomes as a specter, and is called insane. They add, "Are not these things in accordance with the Word? Must not everyone think and speak from that?"


 TCR 771. It has been shown in the chapter on the Sacred Scripture that the Word in the letter was written by appearances and correspondences, consequently in all its particulars there is a spiritual sense, and in that sense the truth is in its own light while the sense of the letter is in shade. In order therefore that the man of the New Church may not wander about, like the man of the old, in the shade that obscures the sense of the letter of the Word, especially in respect to heaven and hell and man's life after death, and here in respect to the Lord's coming, it has pleased the Lord to open the sight of my spirit, and thus introduce me into the spiritual world, and permit me not only to talk with spirits and angels, relatives and friends, and even with kings and princes who have finished their course in the natural world, but also to see the wonders of heaven and the miseries of hell, and thus to learn that man does not abide in some indefinite place in the earth, nor fly about blind and dumb in the air or in vacancy, but lives as a man in a substantial body in a much more perfect state (if he is among the blessed), than that in which he formerly lived when in the material body. In order therefore, that man from ignorance may not immerse himself still more deeply in this opinion respecting the destruction of the visible heaven and habitable earth, and in respect also to the spiritual world (because of which ignorance naturalism together with atheism, which among the learned has begun to take root in the interior rational mind, is spreading more widely, like mortification in the flesh, even extending to the external mind from which man speaks), I have been commanded by the Lord to make known various things that I have seen and heard respecting Heaven and Hell and respecting the Last judgment, and also to explain the Apocalypse, which treats of the Lord's coming the former heaven, the new heaven, and the holy Jerusalem. From these, when they have been read and understood, anyone can see what is meant by the Lord's coming, the new heaven, and the New Jerusalem.


TCR  774. The Lord's presence is unceasing with every man, both the evil and the good, for without His presence no man lives; but His Coming is only to those who receive Him, who are such as believe on Him and keep His commandments. The Lord's unceasing presence causes man to become rational, and gives him the ability to become spiritual. This is effected by the light that goes forth from the Lord as the sun in the spiritual world, and that man receives in his understanding; that light is truth, and by means of it man has rationality. But the Lord's coming is to him who joins heat with that light, that is, love with truth; for the heat that goes forth from that same sun is love to God and love toward the neighbor. The mere presence of the Lord, and the consequent enlightenment of the understanding, may be likened to presence of solar light in the world; unless this light is joined with heat all things on earth become desolate. But the coming of the Lord may be likened to the coming of heat, which takes place in spring; because heat then joins itself with light, the earth is softened, and seeds sprout and bring forth fruit. Such is the parallelism between the spiritual things which are the environment of man's spirit, and the natural things which are the environment of his body.


TCR 775. The same is true of the man of the church in the composite or collective sense as of the individual or single man. Man in the collective or composite sense is the church among many, while the individual or single man is the church in anyone of those many. It is according to Divine order that there should be what is general and what is particular, and that both should be together in every single thing, and that otherwise particulars cannot have existence and permanence; just as there are no particulars within man without generals by which they are surrounded. The particulars in man are the viscera and their parts, and the generals are the coverings which surround not only the whole man, but also everyone of the viscera, and every single part thereof.

The same is true of every beast, bird, and worm; also every tree, shrub, and seed; nor can a tone be produced by a stringed instrument or the breath, unless there is a most general from which each least particular of the modulation derives its general, in order to exist. The same is true of every bodily sense, as sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch; and also of all the internal senses, which belong to the mind. All this has been said by way of illustration, to make clear that in the church also there is what is general and what is particular, also what is most general; and that this is why there have been four preceding churches in order, from which progression what is most general in the church has arisen, and in succession the general and the particular of each church. In man also there are two most general things from which all the generals and the several particulars derive their existence. In his body these two most general things are the heart and lungs; in his spirit they are the will and understanding. On these four depend all things pertaining to his life, both in general and in particular, all of which without them would fall asunder and die. And so would it be with the whole angelic heaven, and with the whole human race, and even with the whole created universe, if they did not all in general, and each in particular depend on God, on His love and His wisdom.


TCR 778. Every man is his own love and his own intelligence, and whatever proceeds from him derives its essence from those two essentials or properties of his life. Therefore the angels, from a brief interaction with a man, recognize what he is essentially; they know his love from the tone of his voice, and his intelligence from his speech.

This is because there are two universals of life belonging to every man, the will and the understanding. The will is the receptacle and abode of his love, and the understanding the receptacle and abode of his intelligence. Therefore all things whatever, whether action or speech, that proceed from man, constitute the man and are the man himself. In like manner, but in a preeminent degree the Lord is Divine love and Divine wisdom, or what is the same thing, Divine good and Divine truth; for His will is of the Divine love and the Divine love is of His will, while His understanding is of the Divine wisdom and the Divine wisdom is of His understanding; the Human form is their containant. From this some idea may be formed of how the Lord is the Word. But on the contrary, he who is antagonistic to the Word, that is, to the Divine truth therein, consequently, to the Lord and His church, is his own evil and his own falsity, both in reference to his mind and in reference to the effects thereof, relating to actions and words, which proceed from the body.


TCR 779. VIII. THIS SECOND COMING OF THE LORD IS EFFECTED BY MEANS OF A MAN TO WHOM THE LORD HAS MANIFESTED HIMSELF IN PERSON, AND WHOM HE HAS FILLED WITH HIS SPIRIT, THAT HE MAY TEACH THE DOCTRINES OF THE NEW CHURCH FROM THE LORD BY MEANS OF THE WORD.

Since the Lord cannot manifest Himself in Person, as shown just above, and nevertheless has foretold that He was to come and establish a new church, which is the New Jerusalem, it follows that He will do this by means of a man, who is able not only to receive these doctrines in his understanding but also to publish them by the press. That the Lord manifested Himself before me, His servant, and sent me to this office, that He afterward opened the eyes of my spirit and thus introduced me into the spiritual world and granted me to see the heavens and the hells, and to talk with angels and spirits, and this now continuously for several years, I affirm in truth; as also that from the first day of that call I have not received anything whatever pertaining to the doctrines of that church from any angel, but from the Lord alone while I have read the Word.


TCR 780. In order that the Lord might be continuously present with me He has unfolded to me the spiritual sense of His Word, wherein is Divine truth in its very light, and it is in this light that He is continually present. For His presence in the Word is by means of the spiritual sense and in so other way; through the light of this sense He passes into the obscurity of the literal sense, which is like what takes place when the light of the sun in day-time is passing through an interposing cloud. That the sense of the letter of the Word is like a cloud, and the spiritual sense is the glory, the Lord Himself being the sun from which the light comes, and that thus the Lord is the Word, has been shown above. That "the glory" in which He is to come (Matt. 24:30), signifies Divine truth in its light, in which light the spiritual sense of the Word is, can be clearly seen from the following passages:

The voice of one crying in the desert, prepare ye the way of Jehovah; the glory of Jehovah shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it (Isa. 40:3, 5).

Shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of Jehovah is risen upon thee (Isa. 40:1 to the end).

I will give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles, and My glory will I not give to another (Isa. 42:6, 8; 48:11).

Thy light shall break forth as the morning; the glory of Jehovah shall gather thee up (Isa. 48:8).

All the earth shall be filled with the glory of Jehovah (Num. 14:21; Isa. 6:1-3; 46:18).

In the beginning was the Word; in Him was life, and the life was the light of men. That was the true Light. And the Word was made flesh, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father (John 1:1, 4, 9, 14).

The heavens declare the glory of God (Ps. 19:1).

The glory of God will lighten the Holy Jerusalem, and the Lamb is the light thereof, and the nations that are saved shall walk in the light of it (Apoc. 21:23, 24).

Besides in many other places. "Glory" signifies Divine truth its fullness, because all that is magnificent in heaven is from the light that goes forth from the Lord, and the light going forth from Him as the sun there, is in its essence Divine truth.


TCR 781. IX. THIS IS WHAT IS MEANT IN THE APOCALYPSE BY "THE NEW HEAVEN AND THE NEW EARTH," AND "THE NEW JERUSALEM" DESCENDING THEREFROM.

We read in the Apocalypse:

I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away. And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband (Rev. 21:1-2).

Something like this is also written in Isaiah:

Behold, I create a new heaven and a new earth; be ye glad and rejoice forever; and behold, I will create Jerusalem a rejoicing and her people a joy (Rev. 65:17-18).

It has been made known previously in this chapter that the Lord is at this day forming a new heaven from such Christians as acknowledged in the world, or after their departure from the world were able to acknowledge, that He is the God of heaven and earth, according to His words in Matthew (28:18).


TCR 782. By the New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven (Rev. 21), a new church is meant for the reason that Jerusalem was the metropolis in the land of Canaan, and the temple and altar were there, and the sacrifices were offered there, thus the Divine worship itself, to which every male of the whole land was commanded to go three times a year, was celebrated there; and also for the reason that the Lord was in Jerusalem, and taught in its temple, and afterward glorified His Human there. This is why "Jerusalem" signifies the church. That "Jerusalem" means the church can be clearly seen from the prophecies in the Old Testament respecting the new church to be established by the Lord, in that it is there called "Jerusalem." [2] Those passages only shall be here cited from which anyone endowed with interior reason can see that "Jerusalem" there means the church. These are the following:

Behold, I create a new heaven and a new earth, and the former shall not be remembered. Behold, I will create Jerusalem a rejoicing and her people a gladness; that I may rejoice over Jerusalem and be glad over My people. Then the wolf and the lamb shall feed together; they shall not do evil in the whole mountain of My holiness (Isa. 65:17-19, 25).

For Zion's sake will I not be silent, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and her salvation as a lamp burneth. Then the nations shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory, and thou shalt be called by a new name which the mouth of Jehovah shall utter. And thou shalt also be a crown of beauty in the hand of Jehovah, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. Jehovah delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married. Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, His reward is with Him; and they shall call them the people of holiness, the redeemed of Jehovah; and thou shalt be called a city sought out, not forsaken (Isa. 62:1-4, 11-12).

[3] Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on the garments of thy beauty, O Jerusalem, the holy city; for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean. Shake thyself from the dust; arise, sit down, O Jerusalem. My people shall know My name in that day, for I am He that doth speak; behold, it is I. Jehovah hath comforted His people; He hath redeemed Jerusalem (Isa. 52:1, 2, 6, 9).

Sing for joy, O daughter of Zion; be glad with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem; the king of Israel is in the midst of thee; thou shall not fear evil any more; He will rejoice over thee with joy; He will rest in thy love; He will joy over thee with singing; I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth (Zeph. 3:14-17, 20).

Thus said Jehovah thy Redeemer, saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited (Isa. 44:24, 26).

Thus saith Jehovah: I will return unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem; whence Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth, and the mountain of Jehovah of Hosts the holy mountain (Zech. 8:3, 20-23).

Then shall ye know that I am Jehovah your God dwelling in Zion, the mountain of holiness, and Jerusalem shall be holiness; and it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk. And Jerusalem shall abide to generation and generation (Joel 3:17-21).

[4] In that day shall the shoot of Jehovah be for beauty and glory, and it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy everyone that is written unto life in Jerusalem (Isa. 4:2, 3).

In the end of days it shall be that the mountain of the house of Jehovah shall be established as the head of the mountains; for out of Zion shall go forth doctrine, and the Word of Jehovah from Jerusalem (Micah 4:1, 2, 8).

At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of Jehovah and all nations shall be gathered unto it, because of the name of Jehovah at Jerusalem; neither shall they walk any more after the stubbornness of their evil heart (Jer. 3:17).

Look upon Zion, the city of our set feast; let thine eye see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down; the stakes thereof shall never be removed; and the cords thereof shall not be broken (Isa. 33:20).

(So also elsewhere, as in Isa. 24:23; 37:32; 66:10-14; Zech 12:3, 6-10; 14:8, 11, 12, 21; Mal. 3:4; Ps. 122:1-7; 137:4-6).

[5] That "Jerusalem" means here a church about to be established by the Lord, and not the Jerusalem inhabited by the Jews, is evident from the particulars of its description in the passages quoted; as that Jehovah God was to create a new heaven and a new earth, and after that Jerusalem; and that she should be a crown of glory and a royal diadem; that she should be called holiness, a city of truth, the throne of Jehovah, a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that should not be taken down; that there the wolf and the lamb are to feed together; that the mountains there will drop down new wine, and the hills flow with milk, and Jerusalem shall abide to generation and generation, with many other things. It is also said of the people there that they are holy, that they are all written unto life, and shall be called the redeemed of Jehovah. All these passages, moreover, treat of the Lord's coming, especially of His second coming, when Jerusalem is to be such as is there described; for until then she was not married, that is, made the bride and wife of the Lamb, as the New Jerusalem is said to be in the Apocalypse. [6] The former church (that is, the existing church), is meant by "Jerusalem" in Daniel, and its beginning is there described as follows:

Know and perceive, that from the going forth of the Word, even to the restoration and building of Jerusalem, even to the Messiah the prince shall be seven weeks. After the threescore and two weeks it shall be restored and built with street and moat, but in straitness of times (Dan. 9:25).

But its end is there described by the following:

At last upon the bird of abominations shall be desolation; and even to the consummation and decision shall it drop upon the devastation (Dan. 9:27).

This last passage is referred to by the Lord's words in Matthew:

When ye shall see the abomination of desolation predicted by Daniel the prophet standing in the holy place let him that readeth note it well (Matt. 24:15).

That "Jerusalem" in the foregoing passages does not mean the Jerusalem inhabited by the Jews can be seen from those passages in the Word where the latter is said to be utterly lost, and destined to be destroyed (as in Jer. 5:1; 6:6, 7; 7:17-34; 8:6-22; 9:10-22; 13:9, 10, 14; 14:16; Lam. 1:8, 9, 17; Ezek. 4; 5:9-17; 12:8, 19; 15:6-8; 16; 23; Matt. 23:37, 38; Luke 19:41-44; 21:20- 22; 23:28-30; besides many other passages); as also from the passages where it is called "Sodom" (Isa. 3:9; Jer. 23:14; Ezek. 16:46, 48; and elsewhere).

787. This new church is the crown of all the churches which have up to now existed upon earth, because it will worship one visible God, in whom is the invisible God, as the soul is in the body. In this way and no other is God's link with man possible, because man is natural and so thinks in a natural fashion; and linking must take place in his thinking and so in the affection of his love, and this happens when a person thinks of God as man. Linking with an invisible God is like linking the sight of the eye with the expanse of the universe, the bounds of which are not to be seen. Or it is like looking out in the middle of an ocean, when the gaze falls on air and sea and is frustrated. But linking with a visible God is like seeing a man in the air or the sea opening his arms and inviting you into his embrace. For any linking of God with man must also be a reciprocal linking of man with God; and this second reciprocity is only possible with a visible God.

[2] The Lord too Himself teaches in John that God was not visible before He took on the Human:

You have never heard the Father's voice, nor have you seen His appearance. John 5:37.

And in the books of Moses it says that no one can see God and live (Exod. 33:22). He shows in John that He can be seen by means of His Human:

No one has ever seen God; His only-begotten Son, who is in the Father's bosom, He has revealed Him. John 1:18.

In the same book:

Jesus said, I am the way, truth and life. No one comes to the Father except through me. He who knows me, knows the Father, and he who sees me sees the Father. John 14:6, 7, 9.

The Lord teaches that linking takes place with the invisible God by means of Him who is visible, that is, by means of the Lord, in these passages:

Jesus said, Remain in me and I in you. He who remains in me and I in him, he it is who bears much fruit. John 15:4, 5.

On that day you will know that I am in the Father, and you are in me and I in you. John 14:20.

I have given them the glory which you gave me, so that they might be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, so that the love you loved me with might be in them, and I in them. John 17:21-23, 26; also 6:56.

He also teaches that the Father and He are one; and that we should believe in Him to have everlasting life. Salvation is dependent upon linking with God, as has been shown at length above.


TCR 791. NOTE. - After this work was finished the Lord called together His twelve disciples who followed Him in the world; and the next day He sent them all forth throughout the whole spiritual world to preach the Gospel that THE LORD GOD JESUS CHRIST reigns, whose kingdom shall be for ages and ages, according to the prediction in Daniel (7:13, 14), and in Revelation (11:15).

Also that blessed are those that come to the marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19:9).

This took place on the nineteenth day of June, 1770. This is what is meant by these words of the Lord:

He shall send His angels and they shall gather together His elect, from the end of the heavens to the end thereof (Matt. 24:31).


6. Letter to Oetinger, November 11, 1766

Reply. Nowadays there are no signs and miracles because they compel outwardly but do not persuade inwardly. What did the miracles in Egypt, and Jehovah's alighting upon Mount Sinai accomplish among the Israelitish nation! Did they not one month later nevertheless make a golden calf for themselves to worship as Jehovah! What did the Lord's miracles among the Jewish nation accomplish? Did they not nevertheless crucify Him! It would be the same today if the Lord were to appear in the clouds together with angels and their trumpets; see Luke xvi 29-31. Nowadays enlightenment will be the sign, and from this will come recognition and acceptance of the truths of the New Church. Among some it will also be an enlightenment that speaks, and that is more than a sign. But perhaps some sign will still be given.

2. Whether I have spoken with the Apostles?

Reply. I have spoken with Paul for a whole year, and even about what he wrote in Romans iii 28. I have spoken on three occasions with John, once with Moses, and a hundred times with Luther, who confessed to having adopted faith alone, contrary to the advice of an angel, for the sole purpose of being separated from the Papists. But with angels I have spoken for 22 years now, and I do so daily; it is with them that the Lord has connected me. There has been no need to mention these matters in the books I have published. Who would believe them? Who would not say, Give me a sign that I may believe? This everyone would say who does not see it.

3. Why I, from being a man of learning, was chosen?

Reply. It was in order that men may be taught and understand naturally and rationally the spiritual things that are being revealed at this day, for spiritual truths have their correspondence with natural truths, for spiritual truths are based on natural truths and owe their continued existence to them. That there is a correspondence of all spiritual things with all things in man, and also with all things on earth, see the work HEAVEN AND HELL n. 87-102, 103-15. I was therefore introduced by the Lord first of all to the natural sciences; in this way was I prepared, from 1710 to 1744, in which year heaven was opened to me. Everyone else as well is led by means of natural towards spiritual things, for man is by birth natural, by upbringing moral, and afterwards by being born from the Lord spiritual. In addition the Lord has granted me to love truths spiritually, that is, not for the sake of reputation nor for gain, but truths for their own sake; for the man who loves truths for their own sake has his sight of them from the Lord, the Lord being the Way and the Truth, John xiv 6; but the man who loves them for the sake of reputation or gain has his sight of them from himself, and seeing them from self is seeing falsities. Falsehoods that have been confirmed have shut the Church, and therefore truths confirmed rationally will open it. Who otherwise is able to understand, recognise, and receive spiritual things that are transcendent! The dogma handed down by the Papists and accepted by the Reformed that in theological matters the understanding must be kept in obedience to faith has again shut the Church. What then is going to open it but an understanding enlightened by the Lord? For these matters, see APOCALYPSE REVEALED n. 914.

4. I am sorry you have suffered on account of your translation of the book HEAVEN AND HELL, yet what suffers more nowadays than truth itself! How many are they who see it, or indeed wish to see it! Do not therefore become weary; you are a defender of the truth.

I am etc.

Yours most sincerely

Eman. Swedenborg

Stockholm

11 November 1766

* During the interval between the dispatch of Oetinger's two letters mentioned above and Swedenborg's receipt of them, Swedenborgs und Anderer Irrdische und Himmlische Philosophie was declared heretical by the government in Wurtemburg. After brief references to having now read the remainder of Swedenborg's works he had received and to having suffered personally on account of his government's declaration of heresy, Oetinger then wrote:

'In your letter you bear solemn witness that the Lord Himself appeared to you, and Himself sent you to do what you are doing. I believe that your sight has been opened like that of Gehazi, to see things that are without parallel. I believe that you, being a renowned philosopher, have become a prophet and seer such as lived in primitive times. But since the spirits of prophets who speak through the spirit are subject to the prophets who are able to speak according to the spirit (I Cor. xii 1), you will readily submit to being put to the proof.'

And later on Oetinger declares:

'Give us a sign that your doctrine of the New Jerusalem is true. God cannot say anything that is opposed to His spirit. I pray you therefore that you beg of the Lord who has appeared to you, that you may talk with John himself as to whether he says yes to your exposition. You may boldly pray to talk with the twelve Apostles, more than with Enoch, and to speak with Paul, whose epistles you do not quote. Would you have yourself believed more than Paul? more than John! Did not Paul say, Let another gospel be to them an open curse? Why is it that we cannot find in your writings that you have talked with the twelve Apostles or the twenty-four elders? Could it not happen, as Paul said, that a feigned angel of light who is opposed to the literal sense of John has concluded and said, I will be a lying spirit in Swedenborg (2 Chron. xviii 21)?'

The primary source of Swedenborg's reply of 11 November is found on pages 211-12 of H. W. Clemm's book mentioned above. Item 3 however, the question 'Why from being a philosopher I was chosen?' is apparently misplaced as it is clearly occasioned by the request coming at the end of Oetinger's letter of 4 December:

'One thing more I ask - that you write an account of your life; how, and by what interior incidents it came about that from a philosopher you became a revelator.'


CL 28. (1) A person lives as a person after death. It has not been known in the world till now that a person lives as a person after death, for the reasons just mentioned above. And what is remarkable, it has not been known even in the Christian world, where people have the Word and therefore enlightenment regarding eternal life on account of the Word, in which the Lord Himself teaches that the dead all rise again, and that God is not God of the dead, but of the living (Matthew 22:31,32, Luke 20:37,38).

Moreover, in respect to the affections and thoughts of his mind a person is in the midst of angels and spirits and is so associated with them that he could not be severed from them without dying. It is still more remarkable that this, too, is not known, even though every person who has died from the beginning of creation, after death has gone and continues to go to his own, or, as the Word says, has been gathered and is gathered to his people.*

In addition, people also have a general perception (which is the same thing as saying an influx of heaven into the inner faculties of their minds), which causes them to perceive truths inwardly in themselves and, in a way, to see them, and especially this truth, that one lives as a person after death, happily if he has lived well, and unhappily if he has lived ill. For who does not have this thought when he elevates his mind a little from the body and from the thinking nearest his senses, as happens when he is inwardly in a state of Divine worship, or when he lies dying in his bed and is awaiting the end. Likewise when he is told about the deceased and their lot.

I have reported thousands of things about the dead, as for example, what the lot of certain people's brothers, married partners, and friends was like. I have written as well about the lot of Englishmen, Dutchmen, Roman Catholics, Jews, and gentiles, and also about the lot of Luther, Calvin and Melanchthon. And I have never yet heard anyone say, "How can that be their lot when they have not yet risen from their graves, seeing that the Last Judgment has not yet taken place! Are they not in the meantime souls that are bits of breath, existing in some limbo or other?"

I have heard no one say anything like that yet. And from this I have been able to conclude that everyone has an inner perception that one lives as a person after death.

What man who has loved his married partner and his infants and children, does not say to himself when they are dying or dead, if he is in a state of thought raised above the sensory things of the body, that they are in the hand of God, and that following his own death he will see them again and join with them once more in a life of love and joy?

CL 29. Who cannot see in accord with reason, if he is willing to see, that a person after death is not a bit of breath, of which he has no other idea than that it is like a puff of wind, or like air or ether, which is or in which is the person's soul, longing and waiting for union with its body so that it may enjoy sensations and the pleasures of the senses as it did before in the world? Who cannot see that if this were the case with a person after death, his condition would be worse than the condition of fishes, birds and animals of the earth, whose souls do not live on and so do not exist in a state of such anxious suspense from longing and waiting?

If a person after death were such a bit of breath and thus a puff of wind, either he would then be flitting around the universe, or, according to the traditions of some, he would be kept in some sort of nether world, or as the church fathers call it, in limbo, until the Last Judgment.

Who using his reason cannot conclude accordingly that people who have lived from the beginning of creation - a period reckoned at six thousand years - would still be in the same state of suspense, and in a progressively more anxious state of suspense, since all waiting with desire produces anxious suspense and with the passage of time increases it. And would not one conclude accordingly that they either must still be flitting around the universe or are being kept shut up in limbo, and so are in extreme misery? This would include Adam and his wife, likewise Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and likewise all the rest from that time.

According to this line of thinking, nothing would be more lamentable than to be born a human being.

But the opposite has been provided by the Lord, who is Jehovah from eternity and the Creator of the universe. He has provided that the condition of a person who conjoins himself with Him by living according to His commandments be more blessed and happy after death than his condition before it in the world, and that it be more blessed and happy for the reason that the person is then spiritual, and a spiritual person feels and experiences spiritual delight, which is superior to natural delight, because it exceeds it a thousand times.

Apocalypse Revealed (Whitehead) 532. 532. Revelation 12

1. And a great sign was seen in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars. 2. And being with child, she cried, travailing and pained to bring forth. 3. And another sign was seen in heaven; and behold, a great red dragon, having seven heads, and ten horns, and upon his heads seven diadems. 4. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth; and the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bring forth, that after she had brought forth, he might devour her offspring. 5. And she brought forth a son, a male, who was to tend all nations with a rod of iron; and her offspring was caught up unto God and His throne. 6. And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared by God, that they may nourish her there a thousand two hundred and sixty days. 7. And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels fought with the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels. 8. And they prevailed not, and their place was not found any more in heaven. 9. And that great dragon was cast out, that old serpent called the Devil and Satan, that seduceth the whole world; he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. 10. And I heard a great voice in heaven saying, Now is come the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Christ; for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, that accused them before our God day and night. 11. And they overcame him through the blood of the Lamb, and through the word of their testimony; and they loved not their soul even unto death. 12. For this rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to those that inhabit the earth and the sea, for the Devil is come down unto you, having great anger, knowing that he hath but a short time. 13. And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman that brought forth the son. 14. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time [and times],* and half a time, from the face of the serpent. 15. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a river after the woman, that he might cause her to be swallowed up by the river. 16. And the earth helped the woman; and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the river which the dragon cast out of his mouth. 17. And the dragon was angry with the woman, and went away to make war with the rest of her seed, that keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. 18.** And I stood upon the sand of the sea. * The original Latin omits "and times," but it is in the explanation below. ** [English Bible 13:1.]

THE SPIRITUAL SENSE

The contents of the whole chapter

It treats here of the New Church and its doctrine: by "the woman" is here meant the New Church, and by "the offspring" which she brought forth, its doctrine: and it also treats of those in the present church, who from doctrine believe in a Trinity of Persons, and in the duality of the Person of Christ, likewise in justification by faith alone; these are meant by "the dragon." Then it treats of the persecution of the New Church by these, on account of its doctrine, and its protection by the Lord, until from a few it increases among many.

The contents of each verse

Verse 1. "And a great sign was seen in heaven," signifies revelation from the Lord concerning His New Church in the heavens and on earth, and concerning the difficult reception of and resistance to its doctrine (n. 532). "A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet," signifies the Lord's New Church in the heavens, which is the New Heaven, and the Lord's New Church about to be upon earth, which is the New Jerusalem (n. 533). "And upon the head a crown of twelve stars," signifies its wisdom and intelligence from the knowledges of Divine good and Divine truth from the Word (n. 534). Verse 2. "And being with child, she cried travailing and pained to bring forth," signifies the doctrine of the New Church about to come forth, and its difficult reception on account of the resistance by those who are meant by the dragon (n. 535).

Verse 3. "And another sign was seen in heaven," signifies revelation from the Lord concerning those who are against the New Church and its doctrine (n. 536). "And behold a great red dragon," signifies those in the Church of the Reformed who make God three and the Lord two, and who separate charity from faith, and make faith saving, and not charity at the same time (n. 537). "Having seven heads," signifies insanity from the truths of the Word falsified and profaned (n. 538). "And ten horns," signifies much power (n. 539). "And upon his heads seven diadems," signifies all the truths of the Word falsified and profaned (n. 540).

Verse 4. "And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth," signifies that by falsifications of the truths of the Word they have alienated all spiritual knowledges of good and truth from the church, and by applications to falsities have entirely destroyed them (n. 541). "And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bring forth, that after she had brought forth, he might devour her offspring," signifies that they who are meant by "the dragon" will endeavor to extinguish the doctrine of the New Church at its first appearance (n. 542).

Verse 5. "And she brought forth a son, a male," signifies the doctrine of the New Church (n. 543). "Who was to tend all nations with a rod of iron," signifies which, by truths from the literal sense of the Word, and, at the same time, by rational things from natural light will convince all who are in dead worship from faith separated from charity, that are willing to be convinced (n. 544). "And her offspring was caught up unto God and His throne," signifies the protection of the doctrine by the Lord, and its being guarded by the angels of heaven (n. 545).

Verse 6. "And the woman fled into the wilderness," signifies the church at first among a few (n. 546). "Where she hath a place prepared by God, that they may nourish her there a thousand two hundred and sixty days," signifies the state of that church then, that meanwhile provision is making for its increase among many until it arrives at its full growth (n. 547).

Verse 7. "And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels fought with the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels," signifies the falsities of the former church fighting against the truths of the New Church (n. 548). Verse 8. "And they prevailed not, and their place was not found any more in heaven;" signifies that they were convinced of being in falsities and evils, but still they remained in them, and that therefore they were torn away from conjunction with heaven and cast down (n. 549).

Verse 9. "And that great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil and Satan," signifies this turning from the Lord to themselves, and from heaven to the world, and thence coming into the evils of their lusts and into falsities (n. 550). "That seduceth the whole world," signifies that they pervert all things of the church (n. 551). "He was cast out into the earth, and his angels* with him," signifies into the world of spirits, which is intermediate between heaven and hell, from whence there is immediate conjunction with men upon earth (n. 552).

Verse 10. "And I heard a great voice in heaven saying, Now is come the salvation and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ," signifies the joy of the angels of heaven, because the Lord alone now reigns in heaven and in the church, and that they are saved who believe in him (n. 553). "For the accuser of our brethren is cast down, that accused them before our God day and night," signifies that by the Last Judgment they are removed who opposed the doctrine of the New Church (n. 554).

Verse 11. "And they overcame him through the blood of the Lamb, and through the word of their testimony," signifies victory by the Divine truth of the Word, and by the acknowledgment of the Lord (n. 555). "And they loved not their soul even unto death," signifies who did not love themselves more than the Lord (n. 556). Verse 12. "For this rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them," signifies a new state of heaven, that they are in the Lord and the Lord in them (n. 557). "Woe to those that inhabit the earth and the sea! for the Devil is come down unto you, having great anger," signifies lamentation over those in the church who are in the falsities of faith, and thence in evils of life, because they are in conjunction with the dragon (n. 558). "Knowing that he hath but a short time," signifies, because he knows that the New Heaven is formed, and that thus there is about to be the New Church upon earth, and that then he with his like will be cast into hell (n. 559).

Verse 13. "And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman that brought forth the son," signifies that the dragonists in the world of spirits, immediately upon their being thrust down, began to infest the New Church on account of its doctrine (n. 560). Verse 14. "And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place," signifies the Divine circumspection over that church, and its protection, while as yet confined to a few (n. 561). "Where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent," signifies that by reason of the craftiness of seducers, provision is made with circumspection that its numbers may increase until it comes to its full growth (n. 562).

Verse 15. "And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a river after the woman, that he might cause her to be swallowed up by the river," signifies reasonings from falsities in abundance to destroy the church (n. 563). Verse 16. "And the earth helped the woman; and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the river which the dragon cast out of his mouth," signifies that those reasonings in all their abundance fall to nothing before the spiritual truths rationally understood, which the Michaels, of whom the New Church consists, bring forward (n. 564). Verse 17. "And the dragon was angry with the woman, and went away to make war with the rest of her seed, that keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ," signifies hatred kindled in those who think themselves wise from their confirmations of the mystical union of the Divine and the Human in the Lord, and of justification by faith alone, against those who acknowledge the Lord alone as the God of heaven and earth, and that the Decalogue is the law of life; and their assaults on novitiates with intent to seduce them (n. 565a). Verse 18. [English Bible 13:1]. "And I stood upon the sand of the sea," signifies his state now spiritual-natural (n. 565). * The original Latin omits "were cast out."

THE EXPLANATION.

Verse 1. And a great sign was seen in heaven, signifies revelation from the Lord concerning His New Church in the heavens and on earth, and concerning the difficult reception and resistance to its doctrine. By "a sign from heaven" is here meant a revelation concerning things to come; and by "a great sign seen in heaven" is meant a revelation concerning the New Church, for "the woman clothed with the sun," which is the subject treated of in this chapter, signifies that church. "The male" which she brought forth signifies its doctrine; her being pained to bring forth signifies its difficult reception; "the dragon desiring to devour the male" and afterward "he persecuted the woman," signifies the resistance it meets with. These things are meant by "a great sign was seen in heaven." "A sign" is mentioned in the Word of things to come, and then it is revelation; it is also spoken of truth, and then it is testification; and it is also spoken of the quality of any state or thing, and then it is manifestation. "A sign" is spoken of things to come, and then it is revelation, in the following passages:

They shall tell you what shall happen, that we may know their end, or make you hear things to come; show signs of the future (Isa. 41:22-23). The disciples said unto Jesus, What shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the consummation of the age? (Matt. 24:3; Mark 13:4; Luke 21:7). There shall be signs from heaven, and signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars (Luke 21:11, 25). And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man (Matt. 24:30). It was said unto king Hezekiah, This shall be a sign unto thee that Jehovah will do this thing, the shadow on the degrees of Ahaz shall be brought back. Afterwards Hezekiah said, What is the sign that I shall go up into the house of Jehovah? (Isa. 38:7-8, 22; and in other places). That "a sign" is said of truth, and then it is testification, and also it is said of the quality of any state, and then it is manifestation, is evident from other passages in the Word.

Coronis (Whitehead) 0. 0. Sketch of the Coronis, or Appendix, to True Christian Religion

I. The Consummation of the Age II. The Last Judgment III. The Coming of the Lord IV. Restoration, and the New Church: Its Quality 1. The Appearing of the Lord Jehovih 2. The Morning, or Rise 3. The Day, or Progression 4. The Evening, or Vastation 5. The Night, or Consummation 6. The Coming of the Lord 7. The Last Judgment 8. The New Heaven 9. The New Church 10. Redemption 11. Miracles

Summary

I. There have been four churches on this earth from the day of the creation: the First, which is to be called the Adamic; the Second, the Noachian; the Third, the Isrealitish; and the Fourth, the Christian. II. There have been four periods, or successive states, of each church, which in the Word are meant by "morning," "day," "evening," and "night." III. In each church there have been four successive changes of states; the first of which was the appearing of the Lord Jehovih and redemption, and then its morning or rise; the second was its instruction and then its mid-day or progression; the fourth was its end, and then its night, or consummation.

After its end or consummation the Lord Jehovih appears and executes a judgment on the men of the former church, and separates the good from the evil, and elevates the good to Himself into heaven, and removes the evil from Himself into hell.

After these things, from good elevated to Himself, He founds a new heaven, and from the evil removed from Himself, a new hell; and in both He establishes order, so that they may stand under His auspices and under obedience to Him to eternity; and then through this new heaven He successively inaugurates and establishes a new church on earth.

From this new heaven, the Lord Jehovih derives and produces a new church on earth; which is effected by a revelation from His mouth, or from His Word, and by inspiration. IV. These periodical changes of state, which occurred in succession in the first or Most Ancient Church, which was the Adamic, are described by Moses in the first chapters of Genesis; but by heavenly representatives, and by other things, belonging to the world, to which spiritual things correspond.

V. The periodical changes of state, which occurred in succession in the second or Ancient Church, which was the Noachian, area also described in Genesis, and here and there in the four remaining books of Moses.

VI. The periodical changes of state which occurred in the succession in the third church, which was the Israelitish, are also described in Moses, and afterwards in Joshua, in the books of Judges, Samuel, and Kings, and also in the Prophets.

VII. The periodical changes which occurred in succession in the fourth church, which is the Christian, are described in the Word of both Testaments; its rise, or morning, in particular, in the Evangelists, and in the Acts and Writings of the Apostles; its progression toward noon-day, in the ecclesiastical histories of the first three centuries; its decline, or evening, by the histories of the centuries immediately following; and its vastation even to consummation, which is its night, in the Apocalypse.

VIII. After these four churches, a new one is to arise, which will be truly Christian foretold in Daniel and in the Apocalypse, and by the Lord Himself in the Evangelists, and expected by the Apostles. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * IX. The church successively declines from the truths of faith and goods of charity, and it declines in the same proportion also from the spiritual understanding and genuine sense of the Word. X. Consequently, the church departs in the same proportion from the Lord and removes Him from itself.

XI. In proportion as this is effected, it approaches its end.

XII. The end of the church is when there no longer remains any truth of faith and genuine good of charity.

XIII. The church is ten in falsities and the evils therefrom, and in evils and the falsities therefrom.

XIV. Hence hell increases from those who have departed from the world, so that it raises itself up towards heaven, and interposes itself between heaven and the church, like a black cloud between the sun and the earth.

XV. Through this interposition, it is brought about that no truth of faith, and hence no genuine good of charity penetrates to the men of the church; but, instead of the, falsified truth, which in itself is falsity, and adulterated good, which in itself is not good.

XVI. Then naturalism and atheism rush in together.

XVII. This state of the church is meant and described in the Word, by "vastation," "desolation," and "consummation." * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * XVIII. While the vastation lasts, and before the consummation supervenes, the Lord's Coming is announced, also redemption by the Lord, and after this, a new church.

XIX. These three, while the Israelitish Church still continued were announced in many passages of the Word in the Prophets.

XX. The Coming of the Lord.

XXI. Redemption.

XXII. A new church.

Almost everywhere in the prophetic Word it treats of vastation and consummation, the Last Judgment, the Lord's Coming, a new church, and redemption. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * XXIII. As regards redemption in particular, through which alone salvation is effected, it was accomplished by Jehovah God incarnate, who is our Lord Jesus Christ.

XXIV. The first part of redemption was a total subjugation of the hells.

XXV. The second part of redemption was the separation of the evil from the good, and the casting down of the evil into hell, and the raising of the good into heaven.

XXVI. And, lastly, there is the arrangement in order of all in hell, and the arrangement in order of all in heaven.

XXVII. And then, at the same time, instruction concerning the truths which are to be of faith, and the good which are to be of charity.

XXVIII. And thus the establishment of a new church.

XXIX. The final and efficient cause of redemption was the regeneration, and thereby the salvation, of man.

XXX. The Lord, because He is the only Redeemer, is therefore the only Regenerator, and thus the only Savior. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * XXXI. By His First Coming and the redemption then wrought, the Lord could not form a new heaven of Christians, and from that a new church, because there were no Christians as yet, but they became Christians gradually through the preachings and writings of the Apostles.

XXXII. Neither could He afterwards, since from the beginning so many heresies broke forth, that scarcely any doctrine of faith could appear in is own light.

XXXIII. And at length the Apostolic doctrine, in process of time, was torn, rent asunder, and adulterated by atrocious heresies.

XXXIV. This is meant by "the abomination of desolation," and by "the affliction such as was not, neither shall be," and by "the darkening of the sun, moon, and stars," in the Evangelists, in Daniel, and also in the Prophets; likewise by "the dragon," and many things, in he Apocalypse.

XXXV. Because the Lord foresaw these things, therefore, owing to its necessity in order that man might be saved, He promised He would come again into the world, and would accomplish a redemption, and would establish the New Church, which would be a truly Christian Church.

XXXVI. The Lord Himself foretold His Second Coming, and the Apostles frequently prophesied respecting it, and John openly so in the Apocalypse.

XXXVII. In like manner respecting the New Church, which is meant by the "New Jerusalem" in the Apocalypse.

XXXVIII. This second redemption was effected in the same way as the first (of which above, from n. xxiii. To xxx.).

XXXIX. And, also, for the sake of the regeneration and hence the salvation of the men of the church, as its final and efficient cause. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * XL. The falsities which have hitherto desolated, and have at length consummated, the Christian Church, were chiefly the following:

XLI. They receded from the worship of the Lord preached b the Apostles, and from faith in Him. They severed the Divine Trinity from the Lord, and transferred it to three Divine Persons from eternity, consequently to three Gods.

XLII. They divided saving faith among these three Persons.

XLIII. They separated charity and good works from that faith, as not at the same time saving.

XLIV. They deduced justification, that is, remission of sins, regeneration, and salvation, from that faith alone, apart from man's cooperation.

XLV. They denied to man free-will in spiritual things, thus asserting that God alone operates in man, and on the other hand that man does nothing.

XLVI. From this necessarily flowed forth predestination, by which religion is abolished.

XLVII. They make the passion of the cross to be redemption.

XLVIII. From these heresies, falsities burst forth in such abundance that there does not remain any genuine truth which is not falsified, consequently, neither any genuine good which is not adulterated.

XLIX. The church knows nothing at all about this, its desolation and consummation, nor can it know, until the Divine truths revealed by the Lord in the work entitled, The True Christian Religion, are seen in light and acknowledged.

The Word has been so obscured and darkened,* that not a single truth any longer appears in it. L. For many reasons this New Christian Church is not being established through any miracles as the former was.

LI. But, instead of the, the spiritual sense of the Word is revealed, and the spiritual world disclosed, and the nature of both heaven and hell manifested; also, that man lives a man after death; which things surpass all miracles. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * LII. This New Church, truly Christian, which at this day is being established by the Lord, will endure to eternity, as is proved from the Word of both Testaments; also it was foreseen from the creation of the world; and it will be the crown of the four preceding churches, because it will have true faith and true charity.

LIII. In this New Church there will be spiritual peace, glory, and internal blessedness of life, as is also proved from the Word of both Testaments.

LIV. These things will be in this New Church, for the sake of the conjunction with the Lord, and through Him with God the Father.

LV. An invitation to the whole Christian world to enter this church; and an exhortation to worthily receive the Lord, who has Himself foretold that He would come into the world for the sake of this church and to it. * * * * * * * * * *

LASTLY, ABOUT MIRACLES I. Miracles were done in the church before the Lord's Coming because, at that time, men were external or natural, who could not be led to their representative worship except by miracles.

The miracles done in Egypt, in the wilderness, and in the land of Canaan, even to the present time, are to be recounted.

And nevertheless they never affect men.

II. After the Lord's Coming, when man from external became internal, and when the faculty of being able to know was imparted to man, miracles were prohibited. Also, if that faculty were impeded, man would become more external than before.

III. Miracles would abolish worship truly Divine, and introduce the former idolatrous worship; as also has been done for very many centuries back. Nevertheless, the latter have not been Divine miracles, but such as were wrought by the magicians of old.

IV. In place of miracles, there has, at this day, taken place a manifestation of the Lord Himself, an intromission into the spiritual world, and enlightenment there by immediately light from the Lord, in such things as are interior things of the church. But chiefly, the opening of the spiritual sense in the Word, in which the Lord is in His own Divine light.

V. These revelations are not miracles; since every man is in the spiritual world as to his spirit, without separation from his body in the natural world; I, however, with a certain separation, though only as to the intellectual part of my mind, but not as to the voluntary; and, as to the spiritual sense, the Lord through it is with all who in faith approach Him in that light, and through that are in its natural light.


Letters (Acton) 11. 11. [Reply to Ekebom, April 15, 1769]

Reply to the Opinion of the Reverend Doctor and Dean Olof Ekebom presented in the Consistory in Gothenburg on March 22, 1769:

There has been communicated to me the Opinion of the Doctor and Dean presented in the Consistory concerning the doctrine of the New Church which, by Jesus Christ our Savior, has been given forth to the world by me His servant, in Doctrina Novae Hierosolymae and the Apocalypsis Revelata. And as I find that the Dean's Opinion is full of accusations, and also here and there of untruths, I deem it too prolix to answer it in detail, especially as I see that it is written as by one who does not have a bridle on his tongue, nor eyes in front to see that what is found therein is in accordance with the Word of God and with enlightened understanding. Such are they whom the Lord Himself describes in Matthew, chapter 13:13, 14, 15.*

I shall take up from the Opinion only the words, that that Doctrine is in the highest degree heretical, in the most essential points Socinian. That doctrine cannot be called heretical because therein is acknowledged and confirmed:

I. The Divine Trinity; see Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Lord, no. 55 seq., and Apocalypse Revealed, nos. 961-62.

II. The holiness of the Sacred Scripture, especially as to the sense of the letter; see Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Sacred Scripture, no. 7 seq., no. 37, no. 50 seq., and Apocalypse Revealed, nos. 200, 898, 911.

III. The Christian life; see the Doctrine of Life for the New Jerusalem from the Precepts of the Decalogue, from beginning to end.

IV. The Conjunction between Faith and Charity; see Apocalypse Revealed in many places.

V. That Faith in God ought to be founded upon our Savior, according to His own words, John 3:15-16; 6:40; 11:25-26; chap. 20, the last verse, and especially John 3:35-36 and Coloss. 2:9.

It is seen also from the Formula Concordiae** that in Jesus Christ Man is God and God Man, pp. 607, 762, 763, 765, 840 seq. That His Human Nature was exalted to Divine Majesty and Power, pp. 337*** seq., 607, 608 seq., 774, 834 [?843] seq., 844, 847, 852, 861, 863, 869. That Jesus Christ has all power in heaven and on earth, pp. 775, 776, 790, 833. That as to His Human Nature He rules all things, being most closely present, pp. [?] 337, 375,**** 600, 608, 611, [?] 738, 768, 783, 784, 785, 786. Appendix pp. 149, 150, besides much else; see the edition printed in Leipzig 1756.*****

On the strength of all this, and from obedience to that which the Lord Himself teaches (John 14:6-11), faith in God, according to the Doctrine of the New Church, is based upon the Savior Himself. From this alone it can be seen that that Doctrine is undeservedly and shamelessly attacked with abusive words, and that by no sound soul can it be said to be full of the most intolerable fundamental errors, corrupting, heretical, offensive, and in the highest degree to be rejected. These invectives are poured out, although in his Declaration, Art. 2, the Dean admits in the following words that he has not read my writings: I am not acquainted with Assessor Swedenborg's religious system, neither is it likely that I shall trouble myself to become acquainted with it. It has been told me that it must be gathered mainly from his published works The New Jerusalem, Charity and Faith, The Lord, etc., works which I have neither possessed, read, nor seen.

Is this not being blind in front and having eyes in the back, and these covered over with a veil, and in this way seeing and judging a man's writings? Can any civil and spiritual judge regard an outburst in such terms otherwise than as criminal?

The Doctrine of which the Dean makes mention is to be found in Gothenburg, and had he chosen he could have seen it. The Dean likewise blasphemes the spiritual sense of the Word which our Savior has now caused to be revealed, as if this spiritual sense would prevent the Sacred Scripture from becoming the source for the learning of faith, religion and revealed theology, according to his own words; and yet in the Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Sacred Scripture, it is fully proved and demonstrated:

I. That the sense of the letter of the Word is the basis, containant, and firmament of its spiritual sense, nos. 27-36;

II. That in the sense of the letter of the Word, the Divine Truth is in its fullness, its holiness, and its power, nos. 37-49;

III. That the doctrine of the Church is to be drawn from the sense of the letter of the Word, and to be confirmed thereby, nos. 50-61;

IV. That by the sense of the letter of the Word is conjunction with the Lord and consociation with angels, nos. 62-68, etc.; concerning the spiritual sense of the Word and its inestimable use, nos. 5-26 ibid.; see also Apocalypse Revealed, nos. 200, 898, 911, and a thousand other places.

With regard to the second point, the calling of that Doctrine Socinian is an accursed blasphemy and lie, for Socinianism means the denial of the Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and yet it is His Divinity that is principally affirmed and proved in this New Church Doctrine, and that the Savior has wholly made satisfaction for men and redeemed them, yea, has so wrought, that without His coming, no one would have been saved; see Apocalypse Revealed, no. 67, and many other passages. Wherefore, I regard the word Socinian as a mockery and devilish contumely.

This, together with all else in the Opinion, one may take as being what is meant by the flood, which the dragon cast out of its mouth on the woman, to drown her when she was yet in the wilderness, Apoc. 12:15; and it may be that what follows immediately afterwards may also come to pass-that the dragon was wroth with the woman and went to make war with the remnant of her seed who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ, verse 17. That the New Jerusalem signifies the New Church which will be the bride and wife of the Lamb, see Apocalypse Revealed, nos. 880-81; and that it will surely come, because the Lord Himself has predicted it, Apocalypse, chapter 21:21 (see also Zechar. 14:7, 8, 9) ; and in the last chapter, these words: I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright and morning star. And the spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely, Apoc. 22:16, 17.

Amsterdam, April 15, 1769 by

Eman. Swedenborg

I request that this be laid before the Venerable Consistory, as also that a copy of it be sent to the Reverend Doctor and Bishop. * "Therefore they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not," etc. ** The quotations from the Formula Concordiae are in Latin. *** Later corrected to 737. **** Later corrected to 775. ***** Swedenborg erroneously wrote 1765.

True Christian Religion (Chadwick) 182. 182. (viii) FURTHER, UNLESS A NEW HEAVEN AND A NEW CHURCH ARE FOUNDED BY THE LORD, NO FLESH CAN BE SAVED.

We read in Matthew:

Then there shall be great affliction, such as never was from the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will be. Indeed, unless those days were cut short, no flesh would be saved. Matt. 24:21, 22.

That chapter deals with the completion of the age, by which is meant the end of the present-day church. Therefore 'cutting short those days' means bringing it to an end and setting up a new one. Is there anyone who does not know that if the Lord had not come into the world and carried out the redemption, no flesh could have been saved? Carrying out redemption means founding a new heaven and a new church. The Lord predicted in the Gospels that He would come into the world again (Matt. 24:30, 31; Mark 13:26; Luke 12:40; 21:27), and also in Revelation, especially in the last chapter. I have shown above in the section on Redemption [114-137], that the Lord is carrying out redemption to-day too, founding a new heaven and starting a new church, for the sake of man's salvation.

[2] The great secret about no flesh being able to be saved, if the Lord had not started a new church, is this. So long as the dragon with his crew stays in the world of spirits, into which he was thrown, no Divine truth united with Divine good can get through to people on earth without being perverted and falsified or being destroyed. This is what is meant by this passage in Revelation:

The dragon was cast down to earth, and his angels were cast down with him. Woe to those that live on the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to them having great wrath. Rev. 12:9, 12, 13.

But after the dragon was cast into hell (20:10), then John saw a new heaven and a new earth, and the New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven (21:1, 2). The dragon means those who hold the faith of the present-day church.

[3] I have several times in the spiritual world talked with those who believe that man is justified by faith alone, and I have told them that their doctrine is wrong and also absurd; it induces carelessness, blindness, sleep and darkness in spiritual matters, leading to the death of the soul. I have pleaded with them to abandon it. But I got the answer: 'Abandon it? Surely this is the one thing upon which the superiority of the clergy's learning over that of laymen depends.' I replied that in that case the salvation of souls was no part of their purpose, but only the superiority of their reputations. Because they had used the truths of the Word to support their false principles, thus adulterating them, they were angels of the abyss, those called Abaddons and Apollyons* (Rev. 9: 11), by whom are meant those who destroy the church by totally falsifying the Word. 'What do you mean?' they replied; 'our knowledge makes us oracles of the mysteries of that faith, and we give its replies as if from a shrine. So we are not Apollyons, but Apollos.' This made me cross and I said: 'If you are Apollos, you are also leviathans, your first rank twisted leviathans, the second elongated leviathans, whom God will visit with His hard and mighty sword (Isa. 27: 1). But at this they laughed.


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