DOCTRINE OF THE NEW CHURCH
THE NEW JERUSALEM IN THE APOCALYPSE
As several works and tracts have been published by me during the past few years concerning the NEW JERUSALEM, by which is meant a New Church to be established by the Lord, and as the Apocalypse has now been revealed*, I have decided to bring to light the Doctrine of that Church in its fulness, thus as a whole. This, however, is a work which will take some years to complete wherefore I have thought it advisable to produce some sort of a sketch of it, in order that a general idea of this Church and its Doctrine may first be obtained. For, when general things precede, then each and everything stands out clearly in the light; for particulars enter into generals as things homogeneous into their own receptacles. This brief exposition, however, is not designed for critical examination, but is only offered to the world for information; its contents will be fully proved in the major work itself. Yet the doctrinal tenets of to-day concerning Justification are to be set forth first, on account of what follows concerning the disagreement between the doctrines of the present Church and those of the New Church.
* See the work entitled THE APOCALYPSE REVEALED, published in Amsterdam in 1766.
In the bull of Pope Pius IV, dated 13th November, 1564, are the following words: “I embrace and receive everything, in general and particular, which the most holy Council of Trent has determined and declared concerning Original Sin and Justification.”
(a) Adam, by his transgression, was wholly changed for the worse, both in body and soul. This transgression proved injurious not only to Adam but to his offspring. It not only transmitted death and bodily sufferings to the whole human race, but also sin which is the death of the soul: Sess. V, 1, 2.
(b) This sin of Adam, which in origin was a single transgression, but which has been transmitted by propagation, not by imitation, is implanted in everyone as his own, and cannot be removed by any other remedy than the Merit of our Lord Jesus Christ, the only Saviour, Who has reconciled us to God by His blood, being made for us righteousness, sanctification and redemption: Sess. V, 3.
(c) By Adam’s transgression all men lost their innocence and became unclean, and by nature children of wrath: Sess. VI, chap. 1.
(a) The heavenly Father, Father of mercies, sent Christ Jesus, His Son, to men, when the blessed fulness of time arrived, in order to redeem both the Jews who were under the law and the Gentiles who followed not after righteousness, so that they might lay hold of righteousness, and all receive adoption as sons*. God offered Him to be a propitiation for sin through faith in His blood, and this, not only for our sins but also for the sins of the whole world: Sess. VI, chap. 2.
(b) Yet all do not receive the benefit of His death, but only those to whom the merit of His passion is communicated; wherefore, unless they are born again in Christ, they will never be justified: Sess. VI, chap. 3.
(c) The origin of justification is to be derived from the prevenient grace of God through Christ Jesus, that is, from His call: Sess. VI, chap. 5.
(d) Men are disposed to righteousness when, being stirred by divine grace, and acquiring faith by hearing, they are freely moved towards God, believing those things to be true which sire divinely revealed and promised and especially this, that the ungodly are justified by God by His grace, by the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; and when they realise that they are sinners, from fear of divine justice, by which they are profitably disquieted, they are raised to hope, trusting that God, for Christ’s sake, will be well-disposed towards them: Sess. VI, chap. 6.
(e) The consequence of this disposition and preparation is actual justification, which is not only a remission of sins but also a sanctification and renewal of the interior man by the reception of grace and gifts, whereby man, from being unrighteous, becomes righteous, and from being an enemy becomes a friend, so as to be an heir according to the hope of eternal life: Sess. VI, chap. 7.
(f) The final cause of justification is the glory of God and of Christ, and life eternal. The efficient cause is God Who freely cleanses and sanctifies. The meriting cause is the most dearly beloved and only-begotten of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, Who, although we were enemies, on account of the exceeding great love wherewith He loved us, and by His most holy passion upon the cross, earned justification for us, and made satisfaction on our behalf to God the Father. The instrumental cause is the sacrament of baptism, which is a sacrament of faith without which no one can ever be justified. The formal cause is the sole righteousness of God; not that whereby He is righteous Himself, but that whereby He makes us righteous, with which, that is, we, being gifted by Him, are renewed in the spirit of our mind. Moreover, we are not only reputed righteous but truly called righteous; being so in reality, each according to that measure which the Holy Spirit imparts to everyone just as it pleases Him: Sess. VI, chap. 7, par. 2.
(g) Justification is a transference from that state in which man is born a son of the first Adam into a state of grace and adoption among the sons of God through the second Adam, our Saviour Jesus Christ: Sess. VI, chap. 4.
* In the Decree of the Council of Trent the following sentence appears
Quo factum est ut coelestis Pater, Pater misericordiarum et Deus totius consolationis, Christum Jesum filium suum, et ante legem, et legis tempore, multis sanctis patribus declaratum ac promissum, cum venit beata illa plenitudo temporis, ad homines miserat; ut et Judaeos qui sub lege erant redimeret; et gentes, quae non sectabantur justitiam, justitiam apprehenderent atque omnes adoptionem filioruna reciperent.
In the Summaria Expositio (Brief Exposition) this is quoted in an abbreviated form as follows:
Quod Caelestis Pater, Pater misericordiarum, Christum Jesum, Filium suum, cum venit beata plenitudo temporis, ad homines miserit, ut et ad Judaeos, qui sub lege erant, et ad Gentes, quae non sectabantur justitiam….
This presents some difficulty in translation, and the text has been modified by adding redimeret after erant and omitting ad before Judaeos and before Gentes, in accordance with the wording of the original.
(a) When the Apostle declares that man is justified by faith, and freely, these words are to be understood in the sense in which, by general consent, the Catholic Church has always held and expressed them; to wit, that we are said to be justified by faith because faith is the beginning of man’s salvation, and the foundation and root of all justification, without which it is impossible to satisfy God and attain to the fellowship of His children. Moreover, we are said to be justified freely because none of those things which precede justification, whether faith or works, merit the actual grace of justification; for if it be grace, it does not arise from works, otherwise grace would not be grace: Sess. VI, chap. 8.
(b) Although no one can be righteous except those to whom the merit of the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ is communicated, nevertheless this communication is effected in justification when, by the Merit of the same most holy passion, the love of God is infused by the Holy Ghost into the hearts of those who are justified, and abides in them. Whence, in the act of justification, man receives, together with the remission of sins, all these things infused into him at once by Jesus Christ, in Whom he is ingrafted by faith, hope and charity. For faith, unless charity be added to it, neither unites perfectly to Christ, nor constitutes man a living member of His body: Sess. VI, chap. 7, par. 3.
(c) Christ is not only the Redeemer in Whom they are to have faith, but also a Lawgiver Whom they must obey: Sess. VI, chap. 16, can. 21.
(d) Faith without works is dead and vain, because in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but faith which works by charity for faith without hope and charity cannot avail unto eternal life; wherefore they hearken at once to the word of Christ: “If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” Thus, being reborn instantly, and receiving true Christian righteousness, they are bidden to preserve it white and unspotted, as their principal robe given them by Jesus Christ in place of that which Adam lost for himself and us by his disobedience, that they may present it before the judgment-seat of our Lord Jesus Christ and have eternal life: Sess. VI, chap. 7, par. 4.
(e) There is a continual influx of power from Jesus Christ Himself into those who are justified, as from the head into the parts of the body, and from the vine into its branches. This power always precedes, accompanies and follows their good works, and without it these could not by any means be acceptable and meritorious in the sight of God. Wherefore, it is to be believed that nothing more is wanting for those who are justified than that they be adjudged to have fully deserved eternal life, which will be bestowed on them in due time, by virtue of those works which were wrought in God Sess. VI, chap. 16.
(f) When we speak of our own righteousness, this is not said as though it were our own from ourselves; for that which is called our righteousness is the righteousness of God, because it is infused into us by God through Christ’s merit. Far be it, therefore, from any Christian man to trust or glory in himself, and not in the Lord, Whose goodness towards us men is so great that He wills to regard those things as our deserts, which are His own gifts: Sess. VI, chap. 16.
(g) For of ourselves, as from ourselves, we can do nothing; but with Him, Who strengthens us, co-operating, we can do all things. Thus man has not anything in which he may glory. All our glory is in Christ, in Whom we live, in Whom we have merit, in Whom we make satisfaction, bringing forth fruits worthy of repentance, which have their efficacy from Him, are offered unto the Father by Him, and are accepted by the Father through Him Sess. XIV, chap. 8.
(h) If anyone shall say that man may be justified in the sight of God by his own works, which are done either through the powers of human nature or through the teaching of the law, without divine grace through Christ Jesus, let him be accursed Sess. VI, can. 1.
(i) If anyone shall say that man may believe, hope and love (that is, have faith, hope and charity), as is necessary in order that the grace of justification may be conferred upon him without the prevenient inspiration of the Holy Spirit and His assistance, let him be accursed: Sess. VI, can. 2.
(k) If anyone shall say that man is justified without the righteousness of Christ, whereby He has acquired merit for us, let him be accursed Sess. VI, can. 10.
And many other passages there are which are not mentioned here, principally relating to the conjunction of faith with charity or good works, and condemning their separation.
(a) Free-will is by no means destroyed by Adam’s sin, although it is impaired and warped thereby Sess. VI, chap. 1.
(b) If anyone shall say that man’s free-will, when moved and aroused by God, cannot at all cooperate by concurring with God Who stirs and calls it, so that man may dispose and prepare himself to receive the grace of justification; or that he cannot dissent if he wishes, but like something inanimate is merely passive and can do nothing, let him be accursed: Sess. VI, can. 4.
The sin of Adam is transfused into the whole human race, whereupon his state and from him the state of all men became perverted and alienated from God, and thus they became enemies and children of wrath. Therefore, God the Father graciously sent His Son to reconcile, expiate, propitiate, make satisfaction, and thus to redeem (mankind), and that by these works He became righteousness. Christ accomplished and fulfilled all this by offering up Himself upon the cross as a sacrifice to God the Father, thus by His passion and His blood. Christ alone has acquired merit, and this, His merit, from grace, is imputed, attributed, applied and transferred to the man who is a recipient thereof, by God the Father through the Holy Spirit; in this way the sin of Adam is removed from man, concupiscence, however, still remaining in him as the kindling point of sin.
Justification is the remission of sins, from which a renewal of the interior man takes place, whereby man, from being an enemy, becomes a friend, and from being a child of wrath becomes a child of grace; thus, union with Christ is effected, and the regenerate person becomes a living member of His body.
Justification is brought about by faith, hope and charity, and unless faith is accompanied by hope and charity, it is not living but dead, and incapable of effecting union with Christ. It is man’s duty to co-operate; he has the power to approach and withdraw. Otherwise, nothing could be given to him, for he would be like an inanimate body.
Inasmuch as the reception of justification renews man, and as this is effected by the application to him of Christ’s merit with man’s co-operation, it follows that works are meritorious. But since they are done from grace, and by the Holy Spirit, and as Christ alone has merit, therefore God makes His own gifts in man as meritorious whence it follows that no one ought to attribute anything of merit to himself.
9. THE DOCTRINALS OF THE PROTESTANTS CONCERNING JUSTIFICATION: FROM THE Formula Concordiae.
This book from which the following extracts are collected is called the Formula Concordiae.
It was written by men who took part in the Augsburg Confession. As the pages will be indicated where the quotations are to be found, I may say that I have made use of the edition printed at Leipzig in the year 1756.
10. From the Formula Concordiae, concerning Original Sin.
(a) Since the fall of Adam, all men, being descended from him according to nature, are born in sin, which brings damnation and eternal death on those who are not reborn. The merit of Christ is the only means whereby they are reborn; consequently, the only remedy whereby they are restored. Pages 9, 10, 52, 53, 55, 317, 641, 644 also Appendix, pages 138, 139.
(b) Original sin is such a deep corruption of nature that there is no spiritual soundness in man’s body or soul, or in his energies. Page 574.
(c) It is the source of all actual sins. Pages 317, 577, 639, 640, 642. Appendix, page 139.
(d) It is the total absence or deprivation of the image of God. Page 640.
(e) We ought to distinguish between our nature such as God created it, and original sin which dwells in our nature. Page 645.
(f) Moreover, original sin is there called the work of the devil, spiritual poison, the root of all evils, an accident* and a quality; whereas our nature is there called the work and creature of God, the personality of man, a substance and an essence and the difference between them is the same as the difference between a man infected with a disease and the disease itself.
* Latin “accidens” i.e., an accident in the philosophical sense of a non-essential property not in the sense of a mishap.
11. Concerning Justification by Faith. The general heads are these:-
(a) By the Word and the Sacraments the Holy Spirit is given, Who produces faith whenever and wherever it appears, in those who hear the gospel.
(b) Contrition, Justification by faith, Renewal and Good Works, follow in order; they are to be carefully distinguished from each other. Contrition and good works contribute nothing towards salvation; faith alone avails.
(c) Justification by faith alone is remission of sins, deliverance from damnation, reconciliation on the part of the Father, and adoption as sons. It is effected by the imputation of Christ’s merit or righteousness.
(d) Hence faith is that very righteousness whereby we are accounted righteous before God, and it is trust in grace and reliance on it.
(e) Renewal, which follows, is vivification, regeneration and sanctification.
(f) This renewal is followed by good works which are the fruits of faith, being in themselves works of the Spirit.
(g) This faith may be lost by grievous sins.
THE GENERAL HEADS CONCERNING THE LAW AND THE GOSPELS ARE THESE
(h) We must carefully distinguish between the Law and the Gospel, and between works of the Law and works of the Spirit, which are the fruits of faith.
(i) The Law is doctrine which shows that man is in sin, and therefore in damnation, and in the wrath of God; thus exciting terror. But the Gospel is doctrine concerning atonement for sin through Christ, and deliverance from damnation; it is thus a doctrine of consolation.
(k) There are three uses of the Law: to restrain the wicked, to bring to men an acknowledgment of their sins, and to teach the reborn the rules of life.
(l) The reborn are in the Law, yet not under the Law, but under Grace.
(m) It is the duty of the reborn to exercise themselves in the Law because, while they live in the world, they are prompted to sin by the flesh, but they become pure and perfect after death.
(n) The reborn are also reproved by the Holy Spirit, and undergo various struggles; nevertheless, they keep the Law willingly; thus, being the children of God, they live in the Law.
(o) With those who are not reborn, the veil of Moses still remains before their eyes, and the old Adam bears rule; but with the reborn the veil of
Moses is taken away, and the old Adam is mortified.
12. Particulars from the Formula Concordiae concerning Justification by Faith without the Works of the Law.
(a) Faith is imputed for righteousness without works on account of Christ’s merit, which is laid hold of by faith. Pages 78, 79, 80, 584, 689.
(b) Charity follows the faith that justifies, but faith does not justify to the extent that it has been formed by charity, as the Papists allege. Pages 81, 89, 94, 117, 688, 691. Appendix, page 169.
(c) Neither the contrition which precedes faith, nor the renewal and sanctification which follow it, nor the good works then performed, have anything to do with the righteousness of faith. Pages 688, 689.
(d) It is foolish to imagine that the works of the second table of the Decalogue justify before God, for by that table we regulate our relations with men, not properly with God; and in justification everything must be done in relation to God, and to appease His wrath. Page 102.
(e) If, therefore, anyone believes that remission of sins is obtained because he has charity, he brings a reproach on Christ, for this is an impious and vain confidence in his own righteousness. Pages 87, 89.
(f) Good works are to be utterly excluded in treating of justification and eternal life. Page 589.
(g) Good works are not necessary as a meritorious cause of salvation, and they do not enter into the act of justification. Pages 589, 590, 702, 704. Appendix, page 173.
(h) The position that good works are necessary for salvation is to be rejected, because it takes away the consolation of the Gospel, gives occasion for doubt concerning the grace of God, and instils a conceit of one’s own righteousness; also because good works are accepted by the Papists in support of a bad cause. Page 704.
(i) The expression that good works are necessary for salvation is rejected and condemned. Page 591.
(k) Expressions concerning good works as being necessary for salvation ought not to be taught and defended; they should be derided and rejected by the churches as false. Page 705.
(l) Works which do not proceed from a true faith are in reality sins in the sight of God; that is, they are defiled with sin because a corrupt tree cannot bring forth good fruit. Page 700.
(m) Faith and salvation are neither preserved nor retained by good works, because they are only evidences that the Holy Spirit is present and dwells in us. Pages 590, 705. Appendix, page 174.
(n) The decree of the Council of Trent that good works preserve salvation, or that either the acquired righteousness of faith or faith itself is maintained or preserved, either in whole or at least in part, by our works, must rightly be rejected. Page 707
13. Particulars from the Formula Concordiae concerning the Fruits of Faith.
(a) A difference is to be observed between works of the Law and works of the Spirit. The works which a reborn person performs with a free and willing spirit are not works of the Law, but works of the Spirit which are the fruits of faith. This is because those who are reborn are not under the Law, but under Grace. Pages 589, 590, 721, 722.
(b) Good works are the fruits of repentance. Page 12.
(c) The reborn receive by faith a new life, new affections and new works; these are from faith in the course of repentance. Page 134.
(d) After conversion and justification, man begins to be renewed in his mind, and at length in his understanding; then his will is not idle in the daily exercise of repentance. Pages 582, 673, 700.
(e) We ought to repent on account of original sin as well as on account of actual sins. Page 321. Appendix, page 159.
(f) With Christians repentance continues until death, because they have to wrestle with sin remaining in the flesh as long as they live. Page 327.
(g) We must enter upon, and advance more and more in, the practice of the law of the Decalogue. Pages 85, 86.
(h) Although the reborn are delivered from the curse of the Law, they ought still to continue observing the Divine Law. Page 718.
(i) The reborn are not outside the Law, though not under the Law, for they live according to the law of the Lord. Page 722.
(k) To the reborn the Law ought to be a rule of religion. Pages 596, 717. Appendix, page 156.
(l) The reborn do good works of their own accord and freely, not by constraint, as though they had received no command, had heard of no threatenings, and expected no reward. Pages 596, 701.
(m) With them, faith is always employed in deeds, and he who does not thus perform good works is destitute of true faith; for where there is faith there will also be good works. Page 701.
(n) Charity and good fruits follow upon faith and regeneration. Pages 121, 122, 171, 188, 692.
(o) Faith and works agree well together and are inseparably connected; but faith alone lays hold of the blessing without works, and yet it is not alone; hence it is that faith without works is dead. Pages 692, 693.
(p) After man is justified by faith, his faith, being true and living, becomes effective through charity; for good works always follow the faith that justifies, and are most certainly found with it. Thus, faith is never alone, but is always accompanied by hope and charity. Page 586.
(q) We grant that where good works do not follow faith, it is a false and not a true faith. Page 336.
(r) It is as impossible to separate good works from faith as it is to separate heat and light from fire. Page 701.
(s) Because the old Adam is always inherent in our very nature, the reborn have continual need of the admonition, doctrine, threatenings, and even the chastisements of the Law; for they are reproved and corrected by the Holy Spirit through the Law. Pages 719, 720, 721.
(t) The reborn must wrestle with the old Adam, and the flesh must be subdued by exhortations, threatenings and stripes, because renewal of life by faith is begun only in the present life. Pages 595, 596, 724.
(u) With the elect and truly reborn there remains a perpetual wrestling between the flesh and the spirit. Pages 675, 679.
(x) The reason Christ promises remission of sins for good works is because they follow reconciliation, and also because good fruits must necessarily follow, and because they are the signs of promise. Pages 116, 117.
(y) Saving faith is not in those who have no charity, for charity is the fruit which inevitably and necessarily follows true faith. Page 688.
(z) Good works are necessary for many reasons, but not as a cause of merit. Pages 11, 17, 64, 95, 133, 589, 590, 702. Appendix, page 172.
(aa) The reborn ought to co-operate with the Holy Spirit by the new gifts and powers which they have received, but in the right way. Pages 582, 583, 674, 675. Appendix, page 114.
(bb) In the Confession of the Churches in the Low Countries, which was received in the Synod of Dort,* we read as follows: “Holy faith cannot be inactive in man, for it is a faith working through charity, and works which proceed from a good root of faith are good and acceptable before God, like the fruits of a good tree for we are under obligation to God to do good works. But God is no debtor unto us, inasmuch as it is God Who does them in us.”
* An Assembly of the Reformed Dutch Church held at Dort (present name Dordrecht) in Holland, in the years 1618 and 1619, to refute the tenets of the Armenians.
14. From the Formula Concordiae concerning Merit.
(a) It is false to suppose that our works merit remission of sins; false, also, that men are accounted righteous by the righteousness of reason and false to suppose that reason of its own power is capable of loving God above all things and of keeping the law of God. Page 64.
(b) Faith does not justify because it is in itself so good a work and so excellent a virtue, but because it lays hold of Christ’s merit in the promise of the Gospel. Pages 76, 684.
(c) The promise of remission of sins and justification for Christ’s sake does not involve any condition of merit, because it is freely offered. Page 67.
(d) Man, a sinner, is justified before God, or absolved from his sins and from the most just sentence of damnation, and adopted into the number of the children of God, by pure grace, without any merit of his own, and without any works of his own, whether past, present or future and this purely on account of the sole merit of Christ which is imputed to him for righteousness. Page 684.
(e) Good works follow faith, remission of sins and regeneration, and whatever pollution or imperfection is in them is not accounted sinful or defective; and this for Christ’s sake. Thus the whole man, both as to his person and works, is rendered and pronounced righteous and holy from Christ’s pure grace and mercy shed, displayed and increased, upon us; wherefore we cannot glory on account of merit. Pages 74, 92, 93, 336.
(f) Whoever trusts in works as being meritorious to himself, despises the merit and grace of Christ, and seeks a way to heaven by human power without Christ. Pages 16-19.
(g) Works are not only unprofitable but even harmful to such as desire to mingle good works with the doctrine of justification, and by them to merit the grace of God. Page 708.
(h) The works of the Decalogue are specified, and other necessary works, which God honours with rewards. Pages 176, 198.
(i) We teach that good works are meritorious, not indeed as regards remission of sins, grace and justification, but as regards other bodily rewards, as also spiritual rewards in this life and after this life; for Paul says that everyone will receive a reward according to his work, and Christ says that great will be your reward in heaven. Moreover, it is frequently said that to everyone will be rendered according to his works. Wherefore we acknowledge eternal life to be a reward, because it is our due according to the promise, and because God crowns his own gifts, but not on account of our merit. Pages 96, 133-138.
(k) When the good works of believers are done for right reasons and directed to right ends, such as God requires from the reborn, they are signs of eternal salvation; and God the Father accounts them acceptable and pleasing for Christ’s sake, and promises them excellent rewards in this life and in the life to come. Page 708.
(l) Although good works merit rewards, yet neither by their worthiness nor fitness do they merit remission of sins or the glory of eternal life. Pages 96, 135, 139, etc. Appendix, page 174.
(m) At the last judgment Christ will pass sentence on good and evil works as being the proper effects and evidences of men’s faith. Page 134.
Appendix, page 187.
(n) God rewards good works, but it is of grace that He crowns His own gifts: this is asserted in the Confession of the Churches in the Low Countries.
15. Concerning Free-will: from the Formula Concordiae.
(a) Man is altogether impotent in spiritual things. Pages 15, 18, 219, 318, 579, 656, etc. Appendix, page 141.
(b) By the fall of his first parents, man has become so totally corrupt as to be by nature blind with respect to spiritual things which relate to conversion and salvation, and so accounts the Word of God as a foolish thing. He is, and continues to be, an enemy to God until by the power of the Holy Spirit, through the preaching and hearing of the Word, he is converted, gifted with faith, regenerated and renewed by pure grace without any co-operation on his part. Pages 656, 657.
(c) Man is altogether corrupt and dead to what is good, so that in the nature of man since the fall and before regeneration there is not so much as a spark of spiritual vigour subsisting or remaining whereby he can prepare himself for the grace of God, or lay hold of it when offered, or of and by himself be capable of receiving it, or understand, believe, embrace, think, will, begin, perfect, act, operate or co-operate in spiritual things, or apply or accommodate himself to grace, or contribute anything towards his conversion, either in the whole, the half, or the least part. Pages 656, 658.
(d) In spiritual and Divine things which regard the soul’s salvation, man is like the pillar of salt into which Lot’s wife was turned, and like a stock or a stone without life and having neither the use of eyes, mouth, nor any of the senses. Pages 661, 662.
(e) Still, man has the power of movement and can govern his external members, attend public worship and hear the Word of God and the Gospel but in his private thoughts he despises all this as something foolish, and in this respect he is worse than a stock unless the Holy Spirit becomes effective in him. Pages 662, 671, 672, 673.
(f) Still, man’s conversion is not just like the formation of a statue from stone, or the stamping of an impression on wax, which have neither knowledge, sense nor will. Pages 662, 681.
(g) In his conversion, man is a merely passive subject, not an active one. Pages 662, 681.
(h) In his conversion, man does not at all cooperate with the Holy Spirit. Pages 219, 579, 583, 672, 676. Appendix, pages 143, 144.
(i) Since the fall, man retains and possesses the faculty of knowing natural things, also free-will in some measure to choose natural and civil good. Pages 14, 218, 641, 664. Appendix, page 142.
(k) The assertions of certain of the Fathers and modern Doctors that God draws man, though with his consent, are not in agreement with Holy Scripture. Pages 582, 583.
(l) When man is born again by the power of the Holy Spirit, he co-operates, though very feebly, by means of the new powers and gifts which the Holy Spirit began to operate in him at his conversion, not indeed forcibly, but freely. Pages 582, etc., 673-5. Appendix, page 144.
(m) Not only the gifts of God, but also Christ Himself, dwell by faith in the reborn, as in His temples. Pages 695, 697, 698. Appendix, page 130.
(n) There is a vast difference between baptized persons and those not baptized; for it is according to the doctrine of Paul that all who have been baptized have put on Christ and are truly regenerate, these having thereby acquired freedom of will, that is, made free again, as Christ testifies. Wherefore, they not only hear the Word of God but are in truth also enabled, though very feebly, to assent to and embrace it by faith. Page 675.
It should be observed that the foregoing extracts are taken from a book called Formula Concordiae, which was written by men of the Augsburg Confession. Nevertheless, the same doctrines concerning Justification by Faith Alone are maintained and taught by the members of the Reformed Church in England and Holland; wherefore the following treatise is intended for all. See also below, paragraphs 17 and 18.
Now follows a brief Exposition of the Doctrine of the New Church, meant by the New Jerusalem in the Revelation, chapters xxi and xxii. This Doctrine, which is not only a matter of faith but also of life, will be divided in the major work* into three parts.
THE FIRST PART will treat of:
(1) The Lord God the Saviour, and the Divine Trinity in Him.
(2) The Sacred Scripture and its two senses, the Natural and the Spiritual, and its holiness thence.
(3) Love to God and love towards the neighbour, and the agreement of these loves with each other.
(4) Faith, and its conjunction with those two loves.
(5) The Doctrine of Life, from the Commandments of the Decalogue.
(6) Reformation and Regeneration.
(7) Free-will, and man’s co-operation with the Lord by its means.
(9) The Holy Supper.
(10) Heaven and Hell.
(11) The conjunction of men therewith, and the state of their life after death according to that conjunction.
(12) Eternal life.
THE SECOND PART will treat of:
(1) The Consummation of the of Age, or end of the present Church.
(2) The Coming of the Lord.
(3) The Last Judgment.
(4) The New Church, which New Jerusalem.
THE THIRD PART will point out the disagreements between the tenets of the present Church and those of the New Church. But we will dwell a little upon these now, because it is believed both by the clergy and the laity that the present Church is in the very light of the Gospel and its truths, which cannot possibly be disproved, overturned or assailed, not even by an angel, if one should descend from heaven. Neither does the present Church see otherwise, because it has withdrawn the understanding from faith, and yet has confirmed its tenets by a kind of sight beneath the understanding; for in that sight falsities can be confirmed until they appear as truths, and falsities there confirmed acquire a fallacious light in which the light of truth appears as thick darkness. For this reason, we shall here dwell a little upon this subject, mentioning the disagreements and illustrating them by brief remarks, so that those whose understanding has not been closed by blind faith may see these differences in a kind of twilight, afterwards as in morning light, and at length, in the major work, as in full daylight. The disagreements in general are as follows:-
* The work alluded to is THE TRUE CHRISTIAN RELIGION, published two years after the present work. In writing the larger work, the author adheres in the main to the plan laid down here, yet more as regards the substance than the form.
The Churches which separated themselves at the Reformation from the Roman Catholic Church dissent in various points, but they all agree on the Articles concerning a Trinity of Persons in the Godhead, Original Sin from Adam, the Imputation of Christ’s Merit, and Justification by Faith Alone.
The Churches which separated themselves at the Reformation from the Roman Catholic Church are composed of those who call themselves Evangelicals and Reformed, likewise Protestants or, from their leaders, Lutherans and Calvinists. Among these the Church of England holds a middle place. We shall say nothing here concerning the Greek Church which was separated long ago from the Roman Catholic Church.
That the Protestant Churches dissent in various points, particularly concerning the Holy Supper, Baptism, Election, and the Person of Christ, is well known to many people, but it is not generally known that they all agree on the Articles concerning a Trinity of Persons in the Godhead, Original Sin, the Imputation of Christ’s Merit, and Justification by Faith Alone. This is because few people apply themselves to exploring the differences of the tenets maintained by the different Churches consequently, neither do they inquire into those points on which they agree. Only the clergy study the tenets of their Church; the laity rarely understand them interiorly, and so are unacquainted with their differences. Nevertheless, they agree on the four Articles above-mentioned, both as regards the general affirmation and as regards most of the particulars therein. This appears evident from their books, if they are consulted, and from their sermons, if they are heard. This, however, is premised for information on account of what follows.
The Roman Catholics held exactly the same beliefs before the Reformation as the Reformed Church did after it concerning the four Articles mentioned above, namely, a Trinity of Persons in the Godhead, Original Sin, the Imputation of Christ’s Merit, and Justification by Faith therein: with the sole difference that they united that Faith with Charity or Good Works.
That there is such a conformity between the Roman Catholics and the Protestants regarding these four articles so that there is scarcely any important difference between them, except that the former conjoin faith and charity while the latter separate them, is scarcely known to anyone indeed, it is so generally unknown that the learned themselves will be astonished at this assertion. The reason for this ignorance is that the Roman Catholics rarely approach God our Saviour; instead of Him they look to the Pope as His vicar, and to the saints. Hence they have deeply buried in oblivion their tenets concerning the imputation of Christ’s merit and justification by faith. Nevertheless, such tenets are received and acknowledged by them, as clearly appears from the Decrees of the Council of Trent quoted above, nos. 3-8, and confirmed by Pope Pius IV, n. 2. If these be compared with the tenets advanced above from the Augsburg Confession and from the Formula Concordiae derived therefrom, nos. 9-12, the differences between them will be found to consist more in words than in substance. The Doctors of the Church may indeed see some conformity between them by reading and comparing the above passages together, but still only obscurely. However, in order that they, as well as those who are less learned, and also the laity, may see this agreement, some illustrations will now be added.
The leading Reformers, Luther, Melanchthon and Calvin, retained all the dogmas concerning a Trinity of Persons in the Godhead, Original Sin, the Imputation of Christ’s Merit, and Justification by Faith, just as they were and had been with the Roman Catholics, but they separated Charity or Good Works from that Faith, and declared that they were not conjointly saving, in order that they might be completely severed from the Roman Catholics as to the very essentials of the Church, which are Faith and Charity.
The four articles mentioned above, as at present taught in the Reformed Churches, were not new, nor were they first hatched by those three leaders, but were handed down from the time of the Council of Nicaea, and by writers after that period, and preserved from that time in the Roman Catholic Church, as is clear from books on Ecclesiastical History. Why the Roman Catholics and the Reformed agree regarding the article on the Trinity of Persons in the Godhead is because they both acknowledge the three creeds, the Apostles’, the Nicene and the Athanasian, in which a Trinity is taught. That they agree on the article concerning the Imputation of Christ’s merit, is plain from the extracts from the Council of Trent, nos. 3-8, compared with those from the Formula Concordiae, nos. 10-15. That they also agree on the article concerning Justification shall now be shown.
23. Concerning Justification by Faith, the Council of Trent declares as follows “It has always been the agreed opinion of the Catholic Church that faith is the beginning of human salvation, the foundation and root of all justification, without which it is impossible to please God and to come into the fellowship of His children” see above, n. 5 (a). Also it is said that “faith comes by hearing the Word of God,” n. 4 (d). Moreover, the aforesaid Roman Catholic Council conjoined faith and charity, or faith and good works, as may be clearly seen from the above quotations, nos. 4, 5, 7, 8. But the Reformed Churches, following their own leaders, have separated them, making salvation to consist in faith, and not at the same time in charity or good works, to the end that they might be totally severed from the Roman Catholics as to the very essentials of the Church, which are faith and charity; this I have frequently heard from the aforesaid leaders themselves.
I have also heard that they established this separation by the following considerations: that no one can do any good which avails for salvation of himself, nor can anyone fulfil the law; nor, again, can any merit of man’s enter into faith. From these principles, and in view of the end stated above, they excluded the goods of charity from faith, and thereby from salvation. This is evident from the quotations given above from the Formula Concordiae, n. 12, among which are these: “Faith, to the extent that it is formed by charity, does not justify as the Papists allege, 12 (b). The position that good works are necessary for salvation is to be rejected on many accounts and also because they are accepted by the Papists in support of a bad cause, 12 (h). The decree of the Council of Trent that good works preserve and retain salvation must rightly be rejected,” 12 (n); besides many other points there stated. However, the Reformed still conjoin faith and charity into one for salvation, with the sole difference as to the quality of the works, as will be shown in the following article.
Nevertheless, the leading Reformers adjoined Good Works, and even conjoined them, to their Faith, but in man as a passive subject; whereas the Roman Catholics did so in man as an active subject; and yet there is actually a conformity between the latter and the former as to Faith, Works and Merit.
Although the leading Reformers separated faith and charity, they still adjoined and at length conjoined them but they did not wish them to be regarded as one, or as conjointly necessary for salvation as is evident from their books, sermons and declarations. For, after they have separated them they conjoin them, and even express this union in decisive terms, not in ambiguous expressions. Note, for instance, the following Faith following on justification is never alone, but is always accompanied by charity or good works and if not, then such faith is not a living but a dead faith see above n. 13 (o, p, q, r, y, bb), Indeed, good works necessarily follow faith, n. 13 (x, y, z). The reborn person co-operates with the Holy Spirit by new powers and gifts, n. 13 (aa). That the Roman Catholics teach exactly the same is clear from the passages collected from the Council of Trent nos. 4-8.
27. Comparing the one position with the other, it appears at first sight as though they were in entire agreement. Lest, however, this should be so, the Reformers distinguished between works of the Law proceeding from man’s purpose and will, and works of the Spirit proceeding from faith as from a free and spontaneous disposition. The latter good works they called the fruits of faith, as may be seen above, n. 11 (h, l) and n. 13 (a, i, l) and n. 15 (l). From this penetrating examination and comparison there does not appear to be any difference in the works themselves, but only in their quality; thus, in that the latter sort proceed from man as a passive subject, but the former as from an active subject. Consequently, the latter are spontaneous since they proceed from man’s understanding and not at the same time from his will. This is said because man cannot be unaware when he is doing them, because he is doing them, and awareness is from the understanding. Nevertheless, as the Reformed also preach the exercises of repentance and wrestlings with the flesh, n. 13 (d, e, f, g, h, k), and these cannot be done by man except from his purpose and will, and thus by him as from himself, it follows that there is still an actual agreement.
29. From all this, then, the truth of what is asserted in nos. 19 and 21 appears namely, that the Reformers derived their tenets concerning a Trinity of Persons in the Godhead, Original Sin, the Imputation of Christ’s merit, and Justification by Faith, from the Roman Catholics. These things have been advanced in order to show the origin of their tenets, especially of the separation of faith from good works, or the doctrine of faith alone, and to show that this was done with no other aim than to be severed from the Roman Catholics and to show that, after all, their disagreement is more in words than in reality. From the above passages, it clearly appears upon what foundation the faith of the Reformed Churches has been erected, and from what inspiration it arose.
The whole theology of the Christian World at this day is founded on the idea of three Gods, arising from the doctrine of a Trinity of Persons.
Something shall first be said concerning the source from which the idea of a Trinity of Persons in the Godhead, thus of three Gods, has proceeded. There are three creeds, called the Apostles’, the Nicene and the Athanasian, which specifically teach the Trinity. The Apostles’ and the Nicene teach just the Trinity, whilst the Athanasian teaches a Trinity of Persons. These three creeds appear in many of the Books of Worship (Libris Psalmorum); the Apostles’ Creed as a psalm which is sung, the Nicene after the Decalogue, and the Athanasian apart by itself. The Apostles’ Creed was written after the time of the Apostles. The Nicene Creed was composed at the Council of Nicaea, a city of Bithynia, to which all the bishops in Asia, Africa and Europe were summoned by the Emperor Constantine in the year AD. 325. The Athanasian Creed was composed after that Council by some person or persons in order utterly to overthrow the Arians, and was afterwards received by the churches as oecumenical. From the first two creeds the confession of a Trinity clearly appeared, but from the third or Athanasian Creed proceeded the profession of a Trinity of Persons. That hence arose the idea of three Gods will be seen from what now follows.
32. That there is a Divine Trinity is manifest from the Lord’s words in Matthew:
Jesus said, Go ye therefore, make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Matt. xxviii 19.
Also from these words in the same Evangelist:
When Jesus was baptized, . . . lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and He saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove and alighting upon Him and 10, a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased. Matt. iii 16, 17.
The reason the Lord sent His disciples to baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit was because in Him, then glorified, was the Divine Trinity; for in the preceding verse, n. 18 (Matt. xxviii), He says:
All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.
and in the 20th verse:
Lo, I am with you all the days, even unto the consummation of the age.
Thus, He spoke of Himself alone, and not of three. Again, it is written in John:
The Holy Spirit was not yet, because Jesus was not yet glorified. John vii 39
The former words He spoke after His glorification, and His glorification was His complete union with His Father, Who was the Divine Itself in Him from conception; and the Holy Spirit was the Divine proceeding from Him after His glorification see John xx 22.
33. The reason the idea of three Gods proceeded chiefly from the Athanasian Creed, where a Trinity of Persons is taught, is because the word “person” begets such an idea. Moreover, this idea is further implanted by these words in the Creed “There is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost” and later “The Father is God and Lord, the Son is God and Lord, and the Holy Ghost is God and Lord” but especially by these words in the Creed “For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord, so we are forbidden by the Catholic Religion to say there are three Gods or three Lords.” The import of these words is that by the Christian verity we are bound to confess and acknowledge three Gods and three Lords, but by the Catholic religion we are not allowed to say, or to mention, three Gods and three Lords; consequently, we may have an idea of three Gods and three Lords, but we are not to make oral confession thereof. Nevertheless, the doctrine of the Trinity in the Athanasian Creed agrees with the truth if only there is substituted for a Trinity of Persons a Trinity of Person which is in God the Saviour Jesus Christ, as may be seen in THE DOCTRINE OF THE NEW JERUSALEM CONCERNING THE LORD, published at Amsterdam in the year 1763, nos. 55-61.
34. It is to be observed that in the Apostles’ Creed it is said ” I believe in God the Father. . . in Jesus Christ. . . and in the Holy Ghost,” and in the Nicene Creed: “I believe in one God, the Father. . . in one Lord Jesus Christ… and in the Holy Ghost”; thus, only in one God. But in the Athanasian Creed it is said: “In God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost”; thus, in three Gods. Yet because the authors and favourers of this creed saw clearly that an idea of three Gods would inevitably result from the expressions used therein, in order that this might be remedied, they asserted that one substance or essence belongs to the three. But, in truth, from these expressions no other idea arises than that there are three Gods of one mind and agreeing together. For when one indivisible substance or essence is attributed to the Three, it does not remove the idea of three, but confuses it. This is because the expression is a metaphysical one, and metaphysics with all its ingenuity cannot make one out of three Persons, each of Whom is God. It may, indeed, make a unity of them in utterance, but never in the idea.
35. That the whole Christian theology at this day is founded on the idea of three Gods, clearly appears from the doctrine of justification, which is the principal doctrine of the Church among Christians, both Roman Catholics and Protestants. This doctrine asserts that God the Father sent His Son to redeem and save mankind, and gives the Holy Spirit to perform this. Everyone who hears, reads, or repeats this cannot but divide God into three in his thought, that is, in his idea, and suppose that one God sent another and operates by a third. That the same notion of a Divine Trinity distinguished into three Persons, each of Whom is God, is continued throughout the rest of the doctrinal tenets of the present Church, as from a head into its body, will be demonstrated in the proper place. In the meantime, consider what has already been set forth concerning justification, consult theology in general and particular, and, at the same time, notice while in church listening to sermons, or while praying at home, whether you have any other perception and thought than of three Gods; especially when you are praying or singing separately to one, and then separately to the other two, as is the common practice. From these considerations the truth of the proposition is established that the universal theology in the Christian world at this day is founded on the idea of three Gods.
36. That a trinity of Gods is contrary to Holy Scripture is well known, for it is written:
Am not I Jehovah? and there is no God else besides Me a just God and a Saviour there is none besides Me. Isa. xlv 21, 22.
I, Jehovah, am thy God . . . and thou shalt acknowledge no God besides Me for there is no Saviour besides Me. Hosea xiii 4.
Thus saith Jehovah the King of Israel, and His Redeemer, Jehovah Zebaoth I am the First and I am the Last, and besides Me there is no God. Isa. xliv 6.
Jehovah Zebaoth is His Name, and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel the God of the whole earth shall He be called. Isa. liv 5.
In that day . . . Jehovah shall be King over all the earth; in that day there shall be one Jehovah and His Name One. Zech. xiv 9.
There are also many more such passages.
37. That a trinity of Gods is contrary to enlightened reason may appear from these considerations. What man of sound reason can bear to hear that three Gods created the world, or can bear to hear that creation and preservation, redemption and salvation, reformation and regeneration are the work of three Gods, not of One? On the other hand, what man of sound reason is unwilling to hear that the same God Who created us also redeemed us and regenerates and saves us? As the latter idea and not the former accords with reason, there is, therefore, no nation upon the whole earth, possessed of religion and sound reason, which does not acknowledge one God. As is well known, the Mohammedans, also certain nations in Asia and Africa, abhor Christianity, because they believe there is in it the worship of three Gods; and the only answer of the Christians to the charge is that for the three there is one essence, thus one God. I can affirm, from the faculty of reason which has been given me, that I can clearly see that neither the world, nor the angelic heaven, nor the church, nor anything therein, could have come into existence or could subsist but from one God.
38. To what has been said shall be added the following from the Confession of the Churches in the Low Countries, received at the Synod of Dort: “I believe in one God, Who is one essence wherein are three Persons in communicable properties, truly and really distinct from eternity namely, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Father is the cause, origin and beginning of all things visible and invisible; the Son is the Word, Wisdom and Image of the Father; the Holy Spirit is the eternal Virtue and Power proceeding from the Father and the Son. However, it must be allowed that this doctrine far exceeds the comprehension of the human mind; in fact, we await a perfect knowledge of this in heaven.”
The dogmas of the aforesaid theology are seen to be erroneous after the idea of a Trinity of Persons, hence of three Gods, has been rejected, and the idea of one God, in Whom is the Divine Trinity, received instead.
The reason why the dogmas of the present Church, which are based upon the idea of three Gods, derived from the doctrine of a Trinity of Persons, literally understood, are seen to be erroneous after the idea of one God in Whom is the Divine Trinity has been received instead, is because it is not possible to see what is erroneous before this has been done. For it is like one who in the night, by the light of a few stars, sees various objects, especially statues, and believes them to be living men; or, like one who in the twilight before sunrise, as he lies in bed, beholds, as it were, spectres in the air, and believes them to be angels or, again, like one who sees many things in the foolish light of phantasy, and believes them to be real. Such things, as is well known, do not appear for what they really are, and are not perceived as such, until the man comes into the light of day; that is, until his understanding is wide awake. It is similar with the spiritual things of the Church, which have been erroneously and falsely perceived and confirmed, when genuine truths are presented to view in their own light, which is the light of heaven.
Who cannot understand that all dogmas founded on the idea of three Gods are erroneous and false. from within? I say, from within, because the idea of God enters into all things of the Church, of religion and of worship; also because theological matters reside higher than all others in the human mind, and among these the idea of God is supreme. Wherefore, if this is false, all things that follow from this initial falsity from which they flow are false or are falsified. For what is supreme, being also the inmost, constitutes the very essence of all that is derived from it; and the essence, like a soul, forms them into a body after its own image; and when, in its descent, it comes upon truths, it even infects them with its own blemish and error. The idea of three Gods in theology may be compared to a disorder seated in the heart or in the lungs, when yet the invalid fancies himself to be in health, because his physician, not knowing his disease, persuades him that he is so. But if the physician knows of the disease, and still persuades the patient that he is healthy, he deserves to be charged with excessive malignity.
Then truly saving Faith, which is Faith in one God united with Good Works, is acknowledged and received.
The reason why this faith, which is a faith in one God, is acknowledged and received as truly saving when the former faith in three Gods is rejected is because, until this is done, a faith in one God cannot be seen in its proper aspect. For the faith of the present day is preached as the only saving faith, because it is a faith in one God, and in a Saviour. But there are two aspects to this present day faith, one internal, the other external. The internal is formed from the perception of three Gods; for who perceives or thinks otherwise? Let everyone examine himself. But the external is formed from the confession of one God. Again, who acknowledges or says otherwise? Let everyone examine himself. These two aspects are altogether discordant with each other, so that the external is not acknowledged by the internal; nor is the internal known by the external. Because of this discord and discrepancy when the one is compared with the other, a confused idea of the means of salvation has been conceived and brought forth in the Church.
It is otherwise when the internal and external aspects agree, and when they mutually regard and acknowledge each other as a concordant unity. That this is the case when one God in Whom is a Divine Trinity is not only perceived by the mind but also acknowledged by the mouth, is self-evident. Then the dogma concerning the alienation of the Father from the human race is abolished, together with that of His reconciliation, and quite another doctrine results concerning imputation, remission of sins, regeneration and thence salvation. This will be clearly seen in the major work, in the light of reason illuminated by divine truths from the Sacred Scripture. This faith is called a faith united with good works, because without this union it is impossible to have faith in one God.
This Faith is Faith in God the Saviour Jesus Christ, which in its simplest form is as follows:
(1) THERE IS ONE GOD IN WHOM IS THE DIVINE TRINITY, AND HE IS THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.
(2) A SAVING FAITH IS TO BELIEVE ON HIM.
(3) EVIL ACTIONS OUGHT TO BE SHUNNED BECAUSE THEY ARE OF THE DEVIL AND FROM THE DEVIL.
(4) GOOD ACTIONS OUGHT TO BE DONE BECAUSE THEY ARE OF GOD AND FROM GOD.
(5) AND THESE SHOULD BE DONE BY MAN AS OF HIMSELF, YET IT OUGHT TO BE BELIEVED THAT THEY ARE FROM THE LORD, WITH HIM AND THROUGH HIM.
This is the Faith of the New Church in simple form. It will appear more fully in the Appendix, and in still greater fulness in the first part of the major work, treating of the Lord God the Saviour, and of the Trinity in Him; of love to God and love towards the neighbour; of faith, and its conjunction with those two loves. This faith will also he treated of in the remaining parts of that work, which will follow in their proper order there. But it is important that this preliminary account of the above-mentioned faith should be shown here to some extent.
The first Article, viz., that there is one God in Whom is the Divine Trinity, and that He is the Lord Jesus Christ, is shown by the following summary. It is a sure and abiding truth that God is one, that His essence is indivisible, and that there is a Trinity. Since, therefore, God is one, and His essence is indivisible, it follows that God is one Person; and that, since He is one Person, the Trinity is in that Person. That this Person is the Lord Jesus Christ is evident from the following statements: He was conceived of God the Father, Luke i, 34, 35: thus, as to His soul and essential life, He is God. Therefore, as He Himself said, the Father and He are one, John x 30. He is in the Father, and the Father in Him, John xiv 10, 11. He who sees Him and knows Him, sees and knows the Father, John xiv 7, 9. No one sees and knows the Father except He Who is in the bosom of the Father, John i 18. All things of the Father are His, John iii 35 and xvi 15. He is the way, the truth and the life, and no one comes to the Father but through Him, John xiv 6; consequently by Him, because He is in Him, thus is He Himself. According to Paul, in Him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, Colossians ii 9; and according to Isaiah,
Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, Whose name is God, Father of eternity. Isa. ix 6.
Further, He has power over all flesh, John xvii 2 whence it follows that He is the God of heaven and earth.
The second Article, viz., that a saving faith is to believe on Him, is shown by these sayings:
Jesus said . . . He that believeth on Me shall never die, but shall live. John xi 25, 26.
This is the will of My Father, that everyone who believes on the Son may have eternal life. John vi 40.
God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John iii 16.
He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life, but he that believeth not on the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him. John iii 36.
There is no need to illustrate and prove the remaining Articles, which are that evils ought to be shunned because they are of the devil and from the devil, that good actions ought to be done because they are of God and from God, yet that man ought to believe that they are from the Lord with him and through him; for the whole Sacred Scripture from beginning to end confirms them and, in short, teaches nothing else than shunning evils and doing goods, and believing on the Lord God. Besides, without these three things there is not any religion, for religion belongs to life, and life is to shun evils and do goods; and man cannot do the one or the other except as of himself. Wherefore, if you remove these three things from the Church, you remove the Sacred Scripture, and religion also in which case the Church ceases to be a Church.
For a further account of the Faith of the New Church in its universal and particular forms, see below, nos. 116 and 117. All this will be demonstrated in the major work.
The Faith of the present day has separated religion from the Church: for religion consists in the acknowledgment of One God, and in the worship of Him from the Faith of Charity.
What nation is there upon the earth, possessed of religion and sound reason, that does not know and believe that there is one God; that to do evil is contrary to Him, and that to do good is to be in accord with Him; also that man must do good from his soul, his heart, and his strength, although good inflows from God; and that religion consists in this? Who, therefore, does not see that to confess three Persons in the Divine, and to assert that in good works there is nothing of salvation, is to separate religion from the Church? For it is declared that in those works there is nothing of salvation, as in these statements “Faith justifies without good works,” n. 12 (a, b). “Works are not necessary for salvation, nor for faith, because salvation and faith are neither preserved nor retained by good works,” n. 12 (g, h, m, n). Consequently, there is no bond of conjunction of faith with good works. If it is afterwards said that good works nevertheless follow faith spontaneously, as fruit from a tree, n. 13 (l, n), who then does them; nay, who thinks of them, or who is spontaneously led to them, while he knows and believes that they contribute nothing to salvation, and, further, that no one can do any good of salvation from himself? and so on.
It may be said that, nevertheless, they have conjoined faith with good works. We reply that this conjunction, when closely inspected, is not conjunction, but mere adjunction; and this only like a superfluous appendage that neither coheres nor adheres in any other manner than as a dark background to a portrait which serves to give it more of the appearance of life. Moreover, because religion belongs to life, and this consists in good works according to the truths of faith, it is clear that religion itself is the portrait and not an appendage. Indeed, with many, religion is as a horse’s tail which, because it is of little value, may be cut off at pleasure. Who can rationally conclude otherwise while he understands such expressions as the following according to their obvious meaning? “It is folly to imagine that the works of the second table of the Decalogue justify in the sight of God,” n. 12 (d). “If anyone believes he will necessarily obtain salvation because he has charity, he brings a reproach upon Christ,” n. 12(e). “Good works are to be utterly excluded in treating of justification and eternal life,” n. 12 (f): besides many other statements there. Who, therefore, when he reads afterwards that good works necessarily follow faith, and that, if they do not follow, the faith is false and not true, n. 13 (p, q, v), with more to the same effect, attends to these sayings or, if he attends to them, does so with any perception? Yet the good which proceeds from man without perception has no more life in it than if it came from a statue.
But, if we enquire more deeply into the grounds of this doctrine, it will appear that the leaders of the Church first laid down faith alone as their ruling principle, in order that they might be severed from the Roman Catholics, as mentioned above, nos. 21-23, and afterwards adjoined works of charity lest their principle should be contrary to Sacred Scripture, and so that it might appear to be religious and sound.
The Faith of the present Church cannot be united with Charity, or produce any fruits which are Good Works.
Before this proposition is demonstrated, we will first explain the derivation and nature of charity, of faith, and of good works which are called fruits. Faith is truth; wherefore the doctrine of faith is the doctrine of truth, and the doctrine of truth is in the understanding, thence in the thought, thence in the speech. Wherefore, it teaches what should be willed and what should be done; thus, that evils are to be shunned, and which evils in particular; and that good actions are to be done, and which in particular. When man does good from faith, goods unite themselves with truths, because the will is then united with the understanding; for good belongs to the will and truth to the understanding. From this conjunction arises the affection of good, which in its essence is charity, and the affection of truth, which in its essence is faith; and these two united make a marriage. From this marriage good works are produced as fruits from a tree; whence they become the fruits of good and the fruits of truth. The latter are signified in the Word by grapes, the former by olives.
49. From this derivation of good works, it is evident that faith alone cannot possibly produce or beget any works which are called fruits, any more than a woman can produce of herself any offspring without the man. Wherefore, the expression “fruits of faith “is mere words, devoid of meaning. Besides, throughout the whole world nothing ever was or is produced save from a marriage union in which one part has relation to good and the other to truth; or, in the case of the opposite kind, one part has relation to evil, the other to what is false. Consequently, no works can be conceived, much less born, save from such a marriage union; good works from the marriage of good and truth, evil works from the marriage of evil and falsity.
50. The reason why charity cannot be united with the faith of the present Church, and why no good works can be born from any such marriage, is because imputation supplies everything, remits sins, justifies, regenerates, sanctifies, and imparts the life of heaven, thus salvation; and all this freely, without any works of man. In such a case, what is charity, whose union should be with faith, but something superfluous and vain, an accessory and token of imputation and justification, which, however, avails nothing? Besides, a faith founded on the idea of three Gods is erroneous, as has been shown above, nos. 39, 40; and with an erroneous faith charity that in itself is charity cannot be united.
It is believed that there is no bond of union between the above-mentioned faith and charity for two reasons; one, because the leaders of the Church make this faith spiritual, but charity they make natural-moral, imagining that there can be no union between what is spiritual and what is natural. The other reason is, lest anything from man, and so anything of merit, should flow into their faith, which alone they regard as saving. Moreover, no bond of charity is possible with that faith; but there is a bond with the new faith, as may be seen below, nos. 116, 117.
From the Faith of the present Church there flows forth a worship of the mouth and not of the life; when yet the worship of the mouth is accepted by the Lord only so far as it accords with worship which is of the life.
This is shown by experience. How many are there at this day who live according to the precepts of the Decalogue, and the other precepts of the Lord, from a religious principle? And how many are there at this day who desire to look their own evils in the face and perform actual repentance, and thus enter upon worship which is of the life? Or who, among those who practise piety, perform any other repentance than that of the mouth and speech, confessing themselves to be sinners, and praying from the doctrine of the Church that God the Father, Who from compassion on account of the Son Who suffered upon the cross for their sins, took away their damnation and atoned for them with His blood, would mercifully forgive their transgressions so that they might stand unspotted before His judgment-seat? Who does not see that this worship is of the lungs only, not of the heart thus, external, not internal? For in such worship a man prays for remission of sins, and yet is not conscious of a single sin in himself; and if he should know of any, he would envelop it with favour and indulgence, or with a faith supposedly purifying and absolving, without any works on his part. But this may be compared to a servant who, approaching his master with his face and clothes bedaubed with soot and filth, should say to him:
“Master, wash me.” Would not his master say to him: “Thou foolish servant, what are you saying? See, there is water, soap and a towel. Have you not hands, and can you not use them? Wash yourself.” So also, would not the Lord God say: “There are from Me the means of purification; from Me also you have will and power. Wherefore, use these gifts of Mine and these talents of your own, and you will be purified.”
Consider also another example by way of illustration. Suppose you should pray a thousand times at home and in church that God the Father, for the sake of His Son, would preserve you from the devil, and yet you did not keep yourself from evil and so from the devil by that freedom of will in which you are perpetually kept by the Lord, you could not then be preserved even by legions of angels sent by the Lord. For the Lord cannot act contrary to His own Divine order, which is that a man should examine himself, discover his evils and resist them, and this as of himself, although from the Lord. This, indeed, does not appear at this day to be the gospel; nevertheless, it is so; for the gospel is that we are saved by the Lord.
The reason why the worship of the mouth is accepted by the Lord only so far as it accords with worship which is of the life, is because man’s speech before God and before His angels sounds from the affection of his love and faith, and these two are in man according to his life. Wherefore, if the love of God and faith in Him are in your life, the sound of your voice will be like that of a dove. But if self-love and self-confidence are in your life, the sound of your voice will be like that of an owl, however you may attempt to imitate the turtle-dove. The spiritual quality, which is within the sound, effects this.
The doctrine of the present Church is bound together by many paradoxes which are to be embraced by faith; therefore its dogmas enter the memory only, and not into any part of the understanding above the memory, but merely into confirmations below it.
The prelates of the Church insist that the understanding is to be kept under obedience to faith; nay, they say that a faith in what is unknown, which is a blind or nocturnal faith, is properly faith. This is the first paradox. For faith belongs to truth, and truth to faith; and, in order that truth may belong to faith, it must be in its own light and be seen in that light; otherwise, what is false could be believed.
The paradoxes proceeding from such a faith are many; as, that God the Father begat a Son from eternity, and the Holy Spirit proceeds from both, and each of these three is a Person by Himself and is God; that the Lord was from the mother both as to His soul and body; that these three Persons, thus three Gods, created the universe that one of them descended and assumed the Human in order to reconcile the Father, and thus to save mankind; that those who by grace obtain faith and believe these paradoxes are saved by the imputation, application and transfer of His justice to themselves; that a man, at his first reception of this faith, is like a statue, stock or stone, and that faith flows in by the mere hearing of the Word; that faith alone is the means of salvation without the works of the law, and that it is not formed from charity; that it produces remission of sins without previous repentance; that from remission of sins alone an impenitent man is justified, regenerated and sanctified; that afterwards charity, good works and renewal follow spontaneously besides many similar things which, like offspring generated from an illegitimate bed, have all issued from the doctrine founded on the idea of three Gods.
55. What wise man does not see that such things enter the memory only, and not into the understanding above the memory, even though they may be confirmed by reasonings from appearances and fallacies below it? For the human intellect has two lights, one from heaven, the other from the world. The light from heaven, which is spiritual, flows into the human mind above the memory but the light from the world, which is natural, flows in below the memory. From this latter light, man can confirm whatever he pleases, falsities equally as well as truths; and after confirmation he sees falsities altogether as truths, as has been shown in a memorable narrative inserted in the work recently published concerning CONJUGIAL LOVE, par. 233.
56. To the above shall be added this arcanum from heaven. All the aforesaid paradoxes, according to their confirmations, inhere in human minds, bound together as into one bundle, or joined together as into one ball of thread; and they enter at the same time into every individual utterance from the doctrine of the Church, and so into whatever is stated concerning faith, charity or repentance; and still more when imputation or justification are mentioned. The man himself does not see this accumulation or conglomeration of those paradoxes, but the angels who are with man are aware of it; and they call it Malua*, that is, confusion and thick darkness.
* For other examples of angelic speech, see Spiritual Diary 6090.
57. I foresee that very many people at this day, imbued with the paradoxes of this faith, will say, “How can theological matters be perceived by the understanding? Are they not spiritual things which transcend it? Explain, therefore, if you can, the mystery of redemption and justification, so that reason may view it and acquiesce therein.” This mystery shall therefore be disclosed as follows.
Who does not know that God is one, and that beside Him there is no other God; that God is Love itself and Wisdom itself, or that He is Good itself and Truth itself; that the self-same God descended as to Divine Truth, which is the Word, and assumed the Human in order to remove hell, thus damnation from man; that He accomplished this by combats with, and victories over, the devil, that is, over the hells which at that time were infesting and spiritually slaying every man coming into the world; that afterwards He glorified His Human by uniting in it Divine Truth with Divine Good and thus returned to the Father from Whom He came forth? When these things are perceived the following passage in John can be understood:
The Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . and the Word was made flesh. John i 1, 14.
Also this passage in the same Evangelist can then be understood:
I came forth from the Father and am come into the world again I leave the world and go to the Father. John xvi 28.
From these statements it is evident that, without the Advent of the Lord into the world, no mortal could have been saved, and that they are saved who believe on Him and live well. This view of faith appears clearly as in the day to the sight enlightened by the Word; and this is the form of the Faith of the New Church, as may be seen below, nos. 116, 117, where the Faith of the New Heaven and of the New Church in its universal and particular forms is given.
The dogmas of the present Church cannot be learned without great difficulty, nor retained, since they slip from the memory, neither can they be preached nor taught without using great care and caution lest their nakedness appear, because sound reason neither perceives nor receives them.
The assertion that the understanding is to be kept under obedience to faith is a declaration set before the dogmas of the present Church to denote that interiorly these dogmas are mysteries or secrets (arcana) which, because they transcend the understanding, cannot enter into the upper region of the mind and be perceived there this may be seen above, n. 54. Those ministers of the Church who affect to excel in wisdom, and who wish to be trusted as oracles in spiritual matters, imbibe and absorb in the schools of theology such things especially as surpass the comprehension of others. They do this with avidity, yet with difficulty. And because they are then reputed to be wise, and those who distinguish and enrich themselves from such hidden stores of wisdom are honoured with doctoral hats and episcopal robes, they revolve in their thoughts and teach from their pulpits scarcely anything else than the mysteries concerning justification by faith alone, and good works as the humble attendants thereof. And from their learning on both points they sometimes separate and sometimes conjoin them in a wonderful manner; comparatively as if they held faith unadorned in one hand, and the works of charity in the other, at one time extending their arms and so separating them, at another time bringing their hands together and so conjoining them. But this shall be illustrated by examples.
They teach that good works are not necessary for salvation because they are meritorious if done by man; at the same time they also teach that good works necessarily follow faith, which for them is one with salvation. They teach that faith without good works, being alive, justifies; at the same time they teach that faith without good works, being dead, does not justify. They teach that faith is neither retained nor preserved by good works, and at the same time that good works proceed from faith as fruit from a tree, light from the sun, and heat from fire. They teach that good works make faith perfect when they are adjoined to it they also teach that, being conjoined as in a marriage, or in one form, good works deprive faith of its saving essence. They teach that a Christian is not under the Law, and at the same time that he must be in the daily practice of the law. They teach that good works are hurtful if they are mixed with the business of salvation by faith, as in the remission of sins, justification, regeneration, vivification and salvation; but if they are not so mixed, they are profitable. They teach that God crowns His own gifts, which are good works, with rewards, even with spiritual benefits, but not with salvation and eternal life; for with salvation and eternal life He crowns faith without works. They teach that this faith is like a queen who walks in a stately manner with good works as her train of attendants behind her but if these attendants join themselves to her in front and kiss her, she is cast from her throne and called an adulteress. In particular, when they teach faith and good works at the same time, they view merit on the one hand and the absence of merit on the other, making a choice of expressions and using them alternately; in one sense for the laity and in the other sense for the clergy; for the laity in order that the nakedness of faith alone may not appear, and for the clergy in order that it may appear.
Consider now whether anyone hearing such things can draw from them any doctrine leading to salvation, or whether he will not rather become blind from the manifest contradictions therein, and afterwards grope for the objects of salvation like a person walking in the night. Who in this case can tell from the evidence of works whether he has any faith or not, and whether it is better to do good works with the risk of claiming merit, or to omit them with the risk of losing faith. But, my friend, tear yourself away from such teaching; shun evils as sins and do good works, believing on the Lord, and saving justification will be given to you.
The doctrine of the Faith of the present Church ascribes to God human properties, as that He viewed man from anger, that He required to be reconciled, that He is reconciled through His love to the Son and by intercession, that He required to be appeased by the sight of His Son’s misery, and thus to be brought back to mercy, that He imputes the righteousness of His Son to the unrighteous man who supplicates it from faith alone; and that thus from being an enemy He makes him into a friend, and from a son of wrath into a son of grace.
Who does not know that God is Mercy itself and Clemency, because He is Love itself and Good itself, and that these are His Being (Esse) or Essence? And who does not see from this that it is a contradiction to say that Mercy itself, or Good itself, can view man from anger, become His enemy, turn Himself away from him and determine his damnation, and still remain the same Divine Being (Esse) or God. Such acts can scarcely be attributed to an upright man, but only to a wicked person; nor to an angel of heaven, but only to an angel of hell; wherefore it is abominable to ascribe them to God. That they have been ascribed to Him is evident from the declaration of many of the Fathers, Councils, and thereafter the assemblies of the Christian Church, from the first period to the present day. It is evident also from the inferences which followed of necessity from the first principle into the derivatives, or from the cause into the effects, as from the head into the other parts of the body; such as, that He required to be reconciled; that He is reconciled through His love to the Son, and by intercession or mediation that He required to be appeased by the sight of the extreme misery of His Son, and so to be brought back and, as it were, constrained to mercy, in order that from being an enemy He might become a friend, and adopt the sons of wrath as sons of grace. To impute the justice and merit of His Son to an unjust man, who supplicated it from faith alone, is also a merely human notion, as will be seen in the last analysis in this little work.
62. Those who have perceived that merely human properties are unworthy of God, though these are attributed to Him, have said, in order to defend the system of justification, once it was conceived, and to cover it over with an appearance of rectitude, that anger, revenge, damnation and the like are predicated of His justice, and are therefore mentioned in several places in the Word, and so are thus appropriated to God. But in the Word, the anger of God signifies evil in man which is called the anger of God because it is contrary to God. Thus, it is not that God is angry with man, but that man, from the evil in him, is angry with God; and, as evil carries with it its own punishment, as good does its own reward, therefore, while evil punishes the evil-doer, it appears to him as though he were being punished by God. The case is like that of a criminal who attributes his punishment to the law, or like a person who blames the fire for burning him when he puts his hand into it, or like one who blames a drawn sword in the hand of a man who is defending himself for wounding him when he rushes upon its point. Such is the justice of God.
But more of this may be seen in THE APOCALYPSE REVEALED, where it treats of justice and judgment in God and from God, n. 668. That anger is ascribed to Him may be seen in n. 635; likewise revenge, n. 658. But this is only in the literal sense, because that sense is written according to appearances and correspondences; it is not so in the spiritual sense where truth is in its own light. I can affirm that whenever the angels hear anyone say that God determined in anger the damnation of the human race, and, as an enemy, was reconciled by His Son, as by another God begotten from Himself, they are affected in a manner similar to those who, from a disturbance in their bowels and stomach, are reduced to vomiting; and they exclaim: “What insanity to be able to say such things about God!”
63. The reason human properties have been ascribed to God is that all spiritual perception and illumination is from the Lord alone. For the Lord is the Word or Divine Truth,
the true Light which lighteth every man. John i 1, 9.
He also says:
I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on Me should not abide in darkness. John xii 46.
This light, with the perception thence derived, flows only into those who acknowledge the Lord as the God of heaven and earth, and approach Him alone; it does not flow into those who entertain an idea of three Gods, as has been the case from the time the Christian Church began to be established. Being merely natural, this idea is receptive of no other light than natural light; it cannot be opened to admit and receive spiritual light. This is the reason men have seen no other properties in God than such as are natural. Moreover, had they seen how incongruous these human properties are with the Divine Essence, and if they had removed them from the article concerning justification, they would then have departed entirely from their religion, which from the beginning was founded on the worship of three Gods, before the time appointed for the New Church, when there would be a fulness and restoration of truth.
From the Faith of the present Church monstrous births have been produced, and may still be produced, such as, Instantaneous Salvation from Direct Mercy, Predestination, the notion that God does not attend to man’s actions, but only to Faith, that there is no bond between Charity and Faith, that in conversion man is as a stock, with many other such enormities likewise concerning the Sacraments of Baptism and the Holy Supper, as to the principles of reason drawn from the doctrine of Justification by Faith Alone respecting the benefits they confer also as regards the Person of Christ. The heresies from the first period to the present day have flowed from no other source than the doctrine founded upon the idea of three Gods.
That no other salvation than that which is instantaneous from immediate mercy is believed in at this day is evident from this, that faith alone, which is of the mouth only, along with an assurance of the breath, unaccompanied by charity from which the faith of the mouth becomes real and the assurance of the breath becomes faith of the heart, is supposed to complete the whole work of salvation. For, if the co-operation which is effected through the exercise of charity by man as of himself is taken away, the spontaneous co-operation which is said to follow faith of itself becomes passive action. But this is frivolous talk. For what, then, is the need for more than this momentary and direct appeal: “Save me, O God, on account of the suffering of Thy Son, who has washed me from my sins in His own blood, and presents me pure, just and holy, before Thy throne”? And this utterance of the mouth, it is said, avails as a seed of justification even in the last hour of death, if it has not done so sooner. Instantaneous salvation from direct mercy is, however, at this day, a fiery flying serpent in the Church, and because of it religion is abolished, a false sense of security introduced, and damnation imputed to the Lord as may be seen in n. 340 of the work on THE DIVINE PROVIDENCE, published at Amsterdam, in the year 1764.
66. Predestination is an offspring of the faith of the present Church because it is produced from a faith in instantaneous salvation from direct mercy, and from a belief in man’s utter impotence and lack of free-will in spiritual affairs; concerning which, see below, n. 68. Predestination follows from these dogmas as one fiery serpent from another, or as one spider from another, as may be seen above. It follows also from the false notion that man is as it were inanimate in the act of conversion, that he is like a stock, and that afterwards he is unaware whether or not he is a stock made alive by grace. For it is said that God gives faith through the hearing of the Word when and where He wills, see n. 11(a); consequently of His good pleasure; likewise that election is solely from the grace of God, independently of any action by man, whether such activity proceeds from natural power or from grace Formula Concordiae, page 821; Appendix, page 182. The works which follow faith as evidences thereof appear on reflection like works of the flesh, while the spirit which performs them does not reveal their origin, but makes them to be, like faith, from grace and thus from good pleasure.
 From these considerations it is plain that the dogma of predestination has sprung from the faith of the present Church as a shoot from its root, and I can affirm that it has followed as the almost inevitable conclusion of such a faith. This dogma was first fashioned by the Predestinarians, then by Gottschalk, afterwards by Calvin and his followers, and was at last firmly established by the Synod of Dort, from whence it was conveyed by the Supra and Infra Lapsarians into their own church as the Palladium of religion; or, rather, as the head of Gorgon or Medusa engraved on the shield of Pallas.
 Now, what more detestable notion could have been hatched, and what more cruel idea of God believed, than that any part of the human race has been damned as the result of predestination? For it would be a horrible belief that the Lord, Who is Love itself and Mercy itself, willed that a great number of mankind should be born for hell, or that myriads of myriads should be born doomed to destruction; that is, born to be devils and satans; also that out of His Divine Wisdom, which is infinite, He has not and does not make any provision for those who live well and acknowledge God, whereby they might escape everlasting fire and torment; when yet the Lord is the Creator and Saviour of all, and He alone leads everyone, and wills no one’s death. What, then, more monstrous could be believed or thought than that a host of nations and peoples, under His direction and oversight, should be delivered by predestination to the devil as his prey, to glut his insatiable appetite? Yet this idea is an offspring of the present Church, which the faith of the New Church abhors as monstrous.
67. That God does not attend to man’s actions, but only to his faith, is a new heresy which has sprung from the two former, and concerning which mention has already been made above, nos. 64, 65 and, what is wonderful, when deeply examined and unravelled, as has been done by the shrewdest theologians of this age, it is seen to be a third offspring derived from faith alone out of that she-wolf, predestination, as a mother. Since, however, this heresy is insane, impious and Machiavellian, it has hitherto been kept enclosed, as it were, in the uterine coats, or after-birth, slipped forth from the mother after parturition, lest its hideousness should appear. But, in truth, its madness and impiety may be seen described and dispersed in THE APOCALYPSE REVEALED, n 463.
68. That there is not any connection between charity and faith in their doctrine of justification, follows from these passages. Faith is imputed for righteousness without works, n. 12 (a). Faith does not justify in so far as it is formed from charity, n. 12 (b). Good works are to be utterly excluded in treating of justification and eternal life, n. 12 (f). Good works are not necessary for salvation, and the assertion of their necessity ought to be totally rejected by the Church, n. 12 (g, h, i, k). Salvation and faith are neither preserved nor retained by charity and its works, n. 12 (m, n). Good works, when mixed with the business of justification, are pernicious, n. 14 (g). Works of the spirit, or of grace, which follow faith as its fruits, contribute nothing to salvation, n. 14 (d) and elsewhere.
From all this it inevitably follows that this faith of theirs has no connection with charity; and that, if it had, it would bring about the ruin of salvation, because it would destroy faith which would then no longer be the only means of salvation. That no connection can actually be brought about between charity and such a faith has been shown above, nos. 47-50; wherefore it may be said that it was providentially ordained that the Reformers should reject charity and good works so completely from their faith. For had they conjoined them, it would have been like coupling a leopard with a sheep, a wolf with a lamb, or a hawk with a dove. That this faith is also described in the Revelation by a leopard, may be seen in chap. xiii 2, and in the explanation thereof, n. 572. But what is a church without faith, and what is faith without charity; consequently, what is a church without the marriage of faith and charity? (See n. 48). This marriage constitutes the Church itself, and it constitutes the New Church which is now being established by the Lord.
69. That man, in his conversion, is like a stock, is acknowledged by the faith of the present Church as its own offspring in these definite words. Man is altogether impotent in spiritual things, n. 15 (a, b, c). In conversion, man is like a stock, stone or statue, and he cannot so much as accommodate and apply himself to receive grace, but is like something that has not the use of any of the senses, n. 15 (c, d). Man has only the power of motion whereby he is capable of going to church to hear the Word and the Gospel, n. 15 (e); yet a person who is regenerated by the power of the Holy Spirit does co-operate to a certain extent by means of the new powers and gifts which he has received, n. 15 (k); besides many other statements. This description of man in his conversion, and during his repentance from evil works, is also an offspring produced from the aforesaid egg or womb; that is, from justification by faith alone; to the intent that man’s works may be totally abolished and may not unite themselves with faith by the least contact.
 But because these notions are repugnant to the common perception of all men concerning man’s conversion and repentance, this statement has been added: “There is a wide difference between persons baptized and persons unbaptized; for it is the doctrine of Paul that all who are baptized have put on Christ, and are truly reborn. They are then endowed with freedom of will whereby they not only hear the Word of God, but can also truly assent to the same, and embrace it by faith,” n. 15 (m); also in the Formula Concordiae, p. 675, I appeal to the wise to consider whether this passage is at all consistent with the preceding ones, and whether it is not a contradiction to say that any Christian in a state of conversion is like a stock or a stone, so that he is not able so much as to accommodate himself to the reception of grace, when yet every Christian has been baptized, and by baptism has the power of not only hearing the Word of God but also of assenting to it and embracing it in faith. Wherefore, the comparison of a Christian to a stock or a stone should be banished from all Christian churches, and dispersed as a phantom appearing to a man is dispersed when he awakens from sleep; for what is more repugnant to reason than this idea?
 But, in order to elucidate what the New Church teaches concerning man’s conversion, I will transcribe the following passage from one of the memorable experiences in the APOCALYPSE REVEALED*.
Who does not see that every man has liberty to think about God, or not to think about Him; thus, that every man has the same liberty in spiritual matters as he has in civil and moral affairs? The Lord gives this liberty continually to everyone, wherefore man becomes a culprit and is guilty according to the way he thinks. Man is man by virtue of this ability, whereas a beast is a beast from lack of it. Wherefore, man is able to reform and regenerate himself as of himself, provided only that he acknowledges in his heart that it is done from the Lord. Everyone who does the work of repentance is reformed and regenerated. Man must accomplish each of these works as of himself, but this as of himself’ is also from the Lord because the Lord gives both the will and the ability, never taking them away from anyone. It is true that man cannot contribute anything thereto; nevertheless, he is not created a statue, but a man who is to do the work of repentance from the Lord as of himself. This is the only return of love and faith, and of conjunction thereby, which the Lord constantly wills to be made to Himself by man. In a word, act from yourselves and believe that it is from the Lord, for in this way you act as if of yourselves.
But, in truth, to act thus was not imparted to man by creation, because to act of oneself belongs to the Lord alone; but it is given to man continually. And then, in so far as man does good and learns truth as of himself, he is an angel of heaven; but in so far as he does evil and confirms falsity, which also is done as of himself, to that extent he is a spirit of hell. That this latter conduct is also as of himself’ is evident from his prayers that he may be preserved from the devil, lest he should seduce him and bring his own evils upon him. Everyone, however, who believes that he does either good or evil of himself incurs guilt; but he is not guilty who believes that he acts as of himself. For whatever a man believes he does of himself, he appropriates to himself; if he does good from this belief, he appropriates it to himself and makes it his own, when yet it is of God and from God; if it is evil that he does under this belief, he appropriates this to himself and makes it his own, when yet it is of the devil and from the devil.
I refrain from demonstrating in this epitome that there are many other false tenets, especially concerning the sacraments of baptism and the holy supper as to the principles of reason drawn from the doctrine of justification by faith alone respecting the benefits they confer, also as regards the Person of Christ; and that heresies from the first period of the Christian Church down to the present day, have flowed from the doctrine founded on the notion of three Gods. These points will be brought forward and demonstrated in the major work.
* n. 224
The last state of the present Church, when it is at an end, is meant by the Consummation of the Age and the Advent of the Lord at that time. Matt. xxiv 3.
We read in Matthew:
The disciples came to Jesus and showed Him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said to them . . . Verily I say unto you. There shall not be left here one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down . . . And the disciples said to Him, Tell us when shall these things be, and especially what shall be the sign of Thy coming and of the consummation of the age. Matt. xxiv 1, 2, 3.
At this day, the learned clergy and the educated laity understand by the destruction of the temple its destruction by Vespasian; and by the coming of the Lord and the consummation of the age they understand the end and destruction of the world. But it should be known that by the destruction of the temple is meant, not only its destruction by the Romans, but also the destruction of the present Church; further, that by the consummation of the age and, then, the coming of the Lord is meant the end of this Church and the institution of a New Church by the Lord. That these things are meant there is evident from the whole of that chapter from beginning to end, treating, as it does, solely of the successive stages of decline and corruption of the Christian Church, even to its destruction, when it comes to its end. In a limited sense, by the temple is meant the temple at Jerusalem; in an extended sense, the Church of the Lord; in a still more extended sense, the angelic heaven and in the highest sense, the Lord as to His Human; as may be seen in THE APOCALYPSE REVEALED, n. 529.
That by the consummation of the age is meant the end of the Church, which comes to pass when there remains no truth of doctrine from the Word which has not been falsified, and thus consummated, is shown in nos. 658, 676, 750 of the above-mentioned work. That by the coming of the Lord is meant His coming in the Word, and the inauguration of a new Church in place of the former consummated one, appears from His own words in the aforesaid chapter, verses 30-34; likewise from the last two chapters of the Revelation, xxi and xxii, where these words occur:
I, Jesus,… 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. . . . Yea, I come quickly, Amen. Even so come, Lord Jesus. Rev. xxii 16, 17, 20.
72. It is self-evident that the Church is at an end when there are no longer any truths of faith, and so no goods of charity. Falsities of faith extinguish truths of doctrine, and evils of life consume goods of charity; for wherever there are falsities of faith, there, likewise, are evils of life also wherever there are evils of life, there, likewise, are falsities of faith. These points will be demonstrated separately in their proper place.
The reason it has hitherto been unknown that by the consummation of the age is meant the end of the Church is that, when falsities are taught, and when the doctrine from them is believed and honoured as orthodox, it cannot possibly be known that the Church is to be brought to a consummation. For falsities are regarded as truths, and truths as falsities; and then falsity rejects truth and blackens it, as ink blackens clear water, or as soot blackens white paper. For it is believed and proclaimed by the most learned men of this age that they are in the clearest light of the Gospel, although they are in thick darkness as to its entire meaning; thus, a white spot has covered the pupils of their eyes.
73. That the 24th chapter of Matthew, the 13th chapter of Mark, and the 21st chapter of Luke, where similar words occur, do not describe the destruction of the temple and of Jerusalem, but that the successive changes of state in the Christian Church are there foretold in their order, even to its last state, when it comes to its end, will be seen in the major work where those chapters will be explained. In the meantime let it appear from these statements in the above-mentioned Evangelists.
Then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man, and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and glory. And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from one end of the heavens to the other end thereof. Matt. xxiv 30, 31; Mark xiii 26, 27; Luke xxi 27.
It is well known that such happenings were neither seen nor heard at the destruction of Jerusalem, and that it is believed at this day that they will come to pass in the time of the Last Judgment. Similar statements are to be found in the Revelation which, from beginning to end, treats solely of the last state of the Church, where these words occur:
Behold (Jesus Christ) cometh in the clouds, . . . and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him. Rev. i 7.
The particular explanation of these words may be seen in THE APOCALYPSE REVEALED, nos. 24-28; also what is signified by kindreds of the earth, and by their wailing, in nos. 27, 348, 349.
Infestation by falsities, thence the consummation of all truth, or desolation, in the Christian Churches at this day, is what is meant by the Great Affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the world, nor shall be. Matt. xxiv 21.
It was seen above, n. 73, that the successive stages of decline and corruption of the Christian Church are foretold and described by the Lord in the 24th chapter of Matthew. There, also, after having spoken of false prophets that should arise, and of the abomination of desolation wrought by them, verses 11 and 15, He says:
Then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. Matt. xxiv 21.
From this it is evident that by great affliction, in this and in other places in the Word, is meant the infestation of truth by falsities until there remains no genuine truth drawn from the Word which is not falsified, and so consummated. This has come to pass because the Churches have not acknowledged the Unity of God in the Trinity, and His Trinity in Unity, in one Person, but in three; hence they have founded a Church in the mind upon the idea of three Gods, and in the mouth upon the confession of one God. By so doing they have separated themselves from the Lord, and at length to such a degree that they have no idea left of the Divinity in His Human Nature (see THE APOCALYPSE REVEALED, n. 249); when yet the Lord, as to His Human, is Divine Truth itself, and Divine Light itself, as He abundantly teaches in His Word. From this comes the great affliction so prevalent at this day; which, as will be seen in the following pages, has been brought about principally by the doctrine of justification and of imputation through the medium of faith alone.
The angel put forth his sickle . . . and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God; and the winepress was trodden. . . and blood came out . . . even to the horses’ bridles, for the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs. Rev. xiv 19, 20.
Blood signifies truth falsified. Many other things besides are meant in those seven chapters. But consult, if you will, the expositions, and the memorabilia at the end, of those chapters.
That neither Love, nor Faith, nor the Cognitions of Good and Truth, exist in the last period of the Christian Church when it draws to its end, is meant by these words in the aforesaid chapter of Matthew:
After the tribulation of those days, shall the sun be darkened and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. Matt. xxiv 29.
In the prophetic parts of the Word, statements similar to the one in Matthew xxiv 29, occur concerning the sun, moon and stars. Thus it is written in Isaiah:
Behold the cruel day of Jehovah cometh . . . the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light; the sun shall be darkened at his rising and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. Isa. xiii 9, 10.
When I shall extinguish thee, I will cover the heavens and darken the stars thereof; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give her light; and I will set darkness upon thy land. Ezek. xxxii 7, 8.
The day of Jehovah cometh, … a day of darkness, the sun and moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. Joel ii 1, 2, 10.
The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the great and the terrible day of Jehovah cometh. Joel ii 31.
The day of Jehovah is near in the valley of decision, the sun and moon shall be darkened. Joel iii 14, 15.
In the Revelation:
The fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars, . . . and the day shone not for a third part of it. Rev. viii 12.
The sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood. Rev. vi 12.
All these passages treat of the last time of the Jewish Church, when the Lord came into the world. The meaning here is similar in Matthew and the Revelation, but they refer to the last time of the Christian Church, when the Lord would come again in the Word which is Himself, and in which He is. Wherefore, immediately after those words in Matthew xxiv 29, it is said:
And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man coming in the clouds of the heavens. Matt. xxiv 30.
By the sun in the above passages is meant love, by the moon faith, and by the stars the cognitions of good and truth. By the powers of the heavens are meant those three essentials as the supports and foundations of the heavens where the angels are, and of the Churches where men are. Therefore, by the foregoing passages collected into one idea is meant that neither love nor faith, nor any cognitions of good and truth remain in the Christian Church, in the last time thereof when it draws to its end. That the sun signifies love has been shown in THE APOCALYPSE REVEALED, nos. 53, 54, 413, 796, 831, 961; that the moon signifies faith, nos. 53, 332, 413, 423, 533; and that stars signify cognitions of good and truth, nos. 51, 74, 333, 408, 419, 954.
79. It is due solely to the Doctrine of Justification by Faith Alone that, in accordance with the above prediction, there is at this day such thick darkness in the Christian Churches that there is no light from the sun by day nor from the moon and stars by night. For this doctrine teaches that the only means of salvation is faith; the influx, progress, indwelling, operation and efficacy of which no one has hitherto seen any sign, and into which neither the Law of the Decalogue, nor repentance, nor concern for newness of life, nor charity, nor good works, enter; nor are they in any way connected with it. For it is asserted that these things follow spontaneously, without being of any use either for preserving faith or for procuring salvation. Further, this doctrine teaches that faith alone confers on the reborn, that is, on those who have acquired this faith, the badge of liberty, so that they are not subject to the law. In addition, it is taught that Christ covers over their sins in the presence of God the Father, Who remits them as though they were not seen, and crowns the reborn with renewal, holiness and eternal life. These and many other points of a similar nature are the inner things of that doctrine; whilst the outward things, which do not enter into those interior matters, are the precious things of charity, good works, acts of repentance, and exercises of the law. For these are accounted by the upholders of the aforesaid doctrine as merely slaves and drudges who follow their mistress, faith, without being permitted to come near her. But, as these leaders know that the laity esteem the things of charity as saving equally with faith, they carefully include them in their sermons and conversation, and pretend to join them with, and insert them into, justification. However, they do this only that they may soothe the ears of the common people and safeguard their oracles, lest these should appear like enigmas or the utterances of soothsayers.
80. In order to confirm the above assertions I will cite the following passages from the Formula Concordiae (concerning which, see n. 9), lest anyone should think that these charges have been unjustly made.
The works of the second table of the Decalogue are civil duties, and they belong to external worship which man is able to do of himself; and it is foolish to imagine that such works can justify pages 84, 85, 102.
Good works are to be utterly excluded from the business of justification by faith; pages 589, 590, 591, 704-8.
Good works do not in any way enter into justification; pages 589, 702; Appendix, pages 62, 173.
Good works do not preserve either salvation or faith; pages 590, 705; Appendix, page 174.
Neither does repentance enter into justification by faith; pages 165, 320 Appendix, page 158.
Repentance consists merely in praying to God, acknowledging the Gospel, giving thanks, being obedient to the government, and following one’s calling pages 12, 198; Appendix, pages 158, 159, 172, 266.
Renewal of life has likewise nothing to do with justification pages 585, 685, 688, 689; Appendix, page 170.
Zeal for the new life of obedience neither enters into faith nor justifies pages 90, 91, 690; Appendix, page 167.
The reborn are not under the Law, but are delivered from its bondage they are only in the Law and under grace page 722 and elsewhere.
The sins of the reborn are covered over by the merit of Christ pages 641, 686, 687, 719, 720. There are many other similar passages besides these. It is to be observed that all Protestants, Evangelical as well as Reformed, likewise teach justification by faith alone as may be seen above, nos. 17, 18.
Those who hold to the present belief in Justification by Faith Alone are meant by the he-goats in Daniel and Matthew.
It is written in Daniel:
I saw in a vision… a ram which had two horns that were high . . . but the higher came up last and the horn pushed westward and northward and southward . . . and made itself great. . . . Then I saw a he-goat coming from the west over the face of the whole earth… with a horn between his eyes. And he ran to the ram in the fury of his strength… and broke his two horns… and cast him down to the earth and stamped upon him…. But the great horn of the he-goat was broken, and instead of it there came up four horns. . . . And out of one of them came forth a little horn which waxed exceeding great towards the south, towards the east, and towards glory . . . and even to the host of the heavens; and it cast down those of the host and of the stars to the earth, and stamped upon them. Yea, he raised himself as high as the Prince of the host, and took from him the daily sacrifice, and cast away the dwelling place of his sanctuary . . . and he cast down truth to the earth. Then I heard one of the saints saying . . . How long shall this vision be, the daily sacrifice and the desolating transgression, to give the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? And he said, Even to the evening and the morning; then shall the sanctuary be justified. Dan. viii 2-14.
It is clearly evident that this vision predicts the future states of the Church, for it is said that the daily sacrifice was taken away from the Prince of the host, the dwelling place of his sanctuary was cast down, and that the he-goat cast down truth to the earth further, that a saint said, How long shall this vision be, that it should be given to the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? And that this should be even to the evening and the morning, when the sanctuary shall be justified. For, by the evening and the morning is meant the end of the Old Church, when a New Church commences.
84. In Matthew we read these words:
Then shall the Son of Man say to the he-goats on the left hand, Depart from me. . . for I was hungry, and ye gave Me no meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave Me no drink; I was a stranger, and ye took Me not in; naked, and ye clothed Me not; sick and in prison, and ye visited Me not. . . . And these shall go away into ever lasting punishment. Matt. xxv 41-43, 46.
It is evident that the same persons are here meant by the he-goats and sheep as the he-goats and ram in Daniel. By he-goats are meant those who are in the present day belief in justification by faith alone, as appears from this, that works of charity are specified in connection with the sheep, and it is said that they did them; and that the same works of charity are mentioned to the he-goats, but it is said that they did them not, and that therefore they are condemned. For those who are in the present day belief in justification by faith alone neglect works, because they deny that there is anything of salvation, or of the Church in them. When charity is thus removed, good works which proceed from charity are forgotten, and even obliterated, so that they are no longer remembered, nor is any effort made to recall them to mind from the Law of the Decalogue.
It is a general rule in religion that so far as anyone does not will good actions, and so does not do them, to that extent he wills evil actions, and so does them. On the other hand, so far as anyone does not will evil actions, and so does not commit them, to that extent he wills good actions, and so does them. The latter are the sheep, the former the he-goats. If every evil person had been meant there by the he-goats, the evils which they had done would have been specified instead of the works of charity which they had not done.
86. The same persons are meant by the he-goats in Zechariah:
Mine anger was kindled against the shepherds, and I will visit the he-goats. Zech. x 3.
And in Ezekiel:
Behold, I judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the he-goats. Seemeth it a small thing unto you that ye have eaten up the good pasture, but ye must tread down with your feet also the residue of the pastures?.. . Ye thrust all the infirm sheep with your horns, until ye have dispersed them; therefore will I save My flock, that it may be no more a prey. Ezek. xxxiv 17, 18, 21, 22, and the following verses.
Those who have confirmed themselves in the present belief in Justification by Faith Alone are meant in the Revelation by the Dragon, his two Beasts, and the Locusts: and this Faith, when confirmed, is meant there by the Great City, which is spiritually called Sodom and Egypt, where the Two Witnesses were slain also by the Pit of the Abyss from which the Locusts came forth.
That seven chapters of the Revelation treat of the perverted state of the Church among the Reformed, and two chapters of the perverted state of the Church among the Roman Catholics, and that the states of both Churches as existing at the present day are condemned, has been shown in the exposition of this book in a work entitled THE APOCALYPSE REVEALED; and this, not by uncertain conjectures, but with full proofs. By the dragon, treated of in the twelfth chapter, are meant those in the Reformed Churches who make God into three and the Lord into two, and who separate charity from faith by making faith spiritual and saving, not charity; see nos. 532-565, and the memorable experience adjoined, n. 566. They are further described by the two beasts, one rising out of the sea and the other out of the earth, as related in chap. xiii; see nos. 567-610, and the memorable experience, n. 611. They are further described by the locusts which came forth out of the pit of the abyss, as mentioned in chap. ix; see nos. 419-442. This same faith, when confirmed, is meant by the great city which is spiritually called Sodom and Egypt, where the two faithful witnesses were slain, as related in chap. xi; see nos. 485-530, particularly nos. 500-503, and the memorable experience, n. 531. They are also meant by the pit of the abyss out of which issued smoke as from a furnace, and the sun and the air were darkened, and then locusts came forth, as described in chap. ix; see nos. 421-424.
89. That I might be assured and fully convinced that by the pit of the abyss nothing else is meant than that dragonish faith, which is a faith hatched from the idea of three Gods, and from no idea of the Divinity of Christ’s Human Nature, and which is called faith alone as justifying, regenerating, quickening, sanctifying and saving, I was allowed to look into that abyss, to speak with those who are therein, also to see the locusts which came out thence; from which personal observation I have described that pit, together with the abyss, in THE APOCALYPSE REVEALED. And, because a description from personal observation may be relied on, the following passage is transcribed from that work where this description occurs*.
This pit, which is like the opening of a furnace, appears in the southern quarter, and the abyss beneath it is of great extent towards the east. They have light in there, but if light from heaven is let in, darkness ensues; wherefore, the pit is closed up at the top. In the abyss appear huts roofed as if with bricks. These huts are divided into separate compartments, in each of which is a table whereon lie papers with some books. There sit those, each at his own table, who in this world had confirmed justification and salvation by faith alone, by making charity a merely natural-moral act, and its works only those of civil life, from which men may reap rewards in the world. But if men should do works for the sake of salvation, these inhabitants of the abyss condemn those works, some with vehemence, because human reason and will are in them.
All who are in this abyss were accomplished and learned men in the world, and among them are some metaphysicians and scholars who are there esteemed above the rest. But actually their lot is this: When they are first let down thither they sit down in the first chambers; but, as they confirm faith by excluding works of charity, they leave the first seats and enter rooms nearer the east, and this successively until they come towards the last, where are those who confirm these dogmas from the Word. And, because then they cannot but falsify the Word, their huts vanish and they see themselves in a desert. There is also an abyss beneath that abyss, where are those who in like manner have confirmed justification and salvation by faith alone, but who, in their spirit, have denied the existence of God, and in their heart have laughed at the holy things of the Church. There they do nothing but quarrel, tear their garments, climb upon the tables, stamp with their feet, and assail one another with abusive language; and, because they are not permitted to hurt anyone, they use threatening words and shake their fists at each other.
* n. 421.
90. In order that I might also be assured and convinced that those who have confirmed themselves in the present-day belief in justification by faith alone are also meant by the dragon, I was allowed to see many thousands of them assembled together, and then they appeared at a distance like a dragon with a long tail, seemingly full of spikes like thorns, signifying falsities. Once also there appeared a still greater dragon which, with raised back, lifted his tail even towards heaven, in the effort to draw down the stars from thence. The stars there signify truths.
Unless a New Church is established* by the Lord, no one can be saved: this is meant by these words:
Except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved. Matt. xxiv 22.
* See the work entitled THE APOCALYPSE REVEALED, published in Amsterdam in 1766.
By shortening those days is meant putting an end to the present Church and establishing a new one; for, as was said above, the 24th chapter of Matthew treats of the successive periods of decline and perversion of the Christian Church, even to its consummation and end, and of the advent of the Lord at that time. The reason no flesh could be saved unless those days were shortened is that the faith of the present Church is founded on the idea of three Gods, and no one having this idea can enter heaven; so neither can they with that faith, for that idea is in every single part of it. Moreover, in that faith there is no life from works of charity. That this faith cannot be united with charity and produce any fruits which are good works, was shown above, nos. 47-50.
There are two things which establish heaven in man, the truths of faith and the goods of charity. Truths of faith bring about the presence of the Lord and show the way to heaven, whilst goods of charity effect conjunction with the Lord and introduce into heaven; and everyone who is introduced is in light there according to his affection for truth, and in heat according to his affection for good. That the affection for truth is faith in its own essence, and the affection for good is charity in its own essence, and that the marriage of these constitutes the Church, may be seen above, n. 48. The Church and heaven make one. That these three are not in the Churches at this day, which are built upon faith alone, has been fully shown in the preceding pages.
n. 440, and the memorable experience, n. 566. But they answered: What of that? Are we not oracles on account of our knowledge of the mysteries of that doctrine? And from that doctrine do we not give answers as from a shrine? Wherefore, we are not Apollyons, but Apollos. I was indignant at these words and said If you are Apollos, you are also Leviathans. The chief among you are crooked Leviathans, the lesser are piercing Leviathans, whom God will visit with His hard and great sword; Isaiah xxvii 1. But they laughed at this. What is signified by being visited, and by perishing by the sword, may be seen in THE APOCALYPSE REVEALED, n. 52.
94. The great mystery why no flesh could be saved unless a New Church is established by the Lord is this: As long as the dragon with his crew stays in the world of spirits, into which he was cast down from heaven, so long no Divine truth united with Divine good can pass through from the Lord to men on earth without being either annihilated or perverted; and this renders salvation impossible. This is what is meant in the Revelation by these words:
And the dragon… was cast into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. . . . Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and of the sea For the devil is come down to you, having great wrath. . .. And he persecuted the woman who had brought forth a son. Rev. xii 9, 12, 13.
But after the dragon had been cast into hell, chap. xx 10, John saw a new heaven and a new earth; he saw also the holy New Jerusalem descending from God out of heaven. Rev. xxi 1, 2, etc. What is meant by the dragon, and who are dragons, may be seen above, n. 87.
The exposure and rejection of the dogmas of the Faith of the present Church, and the revelation and reception of the dogmas of the Faith of the New Church, is meant by these words in the Revelation:
He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And He said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. Rev. xxi 5.
He that sat upon the throne, that is, the Lord, said these words to John, when John saw the New Jerusalem descending from God out of heaven. That by the New Jerusalem is meant a New Church, will be shown in the following chapter. The reason why the falsities of the dogmas of the faith of the present Church must first be exposed and rejected, before the truths of the dogmas of the New Church are revealed and received, is because they do not agree in any one point or particular for the dogmas of the present Church are founded upon a faith in which it is unknown whether there is any essential of the Church or not.
The essentials of the Church, which unite themselves with a faith in one God, are charity, good works, repentance, and a life according to Divine laws; and since these, together with faith, affect and move man’s will and thought, they unite man to the Lord and the Lord to man. As, therefore, none of these essentials enters into the faith of the present Church in its first reception, which they call the act of justification, it cannot possibly be known whether this faith is in a man or not; consequently, whether it is anything, or only an idea. For it is said that a man in the act of justification is like a stock or stone, and that with respect to its reception he can neither will, think nor co-operate; no, nor even apply or accommodate himself in the smallest degree: see above, n. 15 (c, d). Since, therefore, no one can guess, much less know, whether that faith is in him; thus, whether it is like a painted flower with him, or like a flower of the field in him; or whether it is like a bird flying past him, or like a bird that has built her nest in him; by what tokens or signs will he know? If it be answered that it is to be known by the charity, good works, repentance, and conformity with the law, which result from this faith, when yet they maintain that there is no bond between these things and that faith, I leave it to men of sense to enquire whether anything which has no connection with faith can be a sign testifying to faith. For this faith of theirs is neither preserved nor retained by the above-mentioned works of charity, as may be seen above, n. 12 (m, n).
From what has been said this conclusion is to be drawn, that in the faith of the present Church there is nothing of the Church; consequently it is not anything, but only an idea that it is something. Since, then, this faith is such, it deserves to be rejected; yea, it rejects itself, as that for which there is nothing worthy of commendation by the Church.
He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And He said unto me, Write, for these words are true and faithful. Rev. xxi 5.
I am the light of the world. John viii 12; ix, 5.
And in another place He says,
While ye have the light, believe in the light, that ye may be sons of light . . . I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on Me should not abide in darkness. John xii 36, 46.
In the Revelation we read:
I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last. . . and the bright and morning Star. Rev. xxii 13, 16.
And in Matthew it is written:
When Jesus was transfigured . . . His face shone as the sun, and His raiment became as the light. Matt. xvii 2.
Hence it is clear from what cause this imaginary faith came into the world; manifestly, because men have not approached the Lord. Now, from all my experience, and thence by testimony from heaven, I can declare for certain that it is impossible to derive a single theological truth, which is genuine, from any other source than from the Lord alone and that to derive such truth from any other source is as impossible as it is to sail from England or Holland to the Pleiades, or to ride on horseback from Germany to Orion in the sky.
The New Church about to be established by the Lord is the New Jerusalem treated of in the Revelation, chaps. xxi and xxii, which is there called the Bride and Wife of the Lamb.
The reason the New Church is meant by the New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven, Rev. xxi, is that Jerusalem was the metropolis of the land of Canaan. The temple and the altar were there; there also sacrifices were offered. Thus, Divine worship itself was performed there, and every male throughout the land was commanded to come to this worship three times a year. A further reason is that the Lord was in Jerusalem and taught in its temple; afterwards glorifying His Human there; thence it is that Jerusalem signifies the Church. That the Church is meant by Jerusalem is clearly evident from the prophecies in the Old Testament concerning a New Church to be established by the Lord, and which is there called Jerusalem.
sRef Micah@4 @8 S2′ sRef Isa@62 @12 S2′ sRef Isa@65 @25 S2′ sRef Isa@62 @4 S2′ sRef Jer@3 @17 S2′ sRef Isa@4 @2 S2′ sRef Micah@4 @2 S2′ sRef Isa@62 @3 S2′ sRef Isa@52 @9 S2′ sRef Isa@62 @11 S2′ sRef Micah@4 @1 S2′ sRef Isa@44 @25 S2′ sRef Isa@44 @26 S2′ sRef Isa@52 @6 S2′ sRef Isa@44 @24 S2′ sRef Isa@4 @3 S2′ sRef Zeph@3 @15 S2′ sRef Isa@65 @18 S2′ sRef Isa@65 @19 S2′ sRef Joel@3 @19 S2′ sRef Joel@3 @18 S2′ sRef Joel@3 @19 S2′ sRef Joel@3 @18 S2′ sRef Joel@3 @17 S2′ sRef Joel@3 @20 S2′ sRef Joel@3 @21 S2′ sRef Isa@52 @2 S2′ sRef Isa@62 @2 S2′ sRef Isa@65 @17 S2′ sRef Zech@8 @3 S2′ sRef Isa@52 @1 S2′ sRef Zech@8 @23 S2′ sRef Zech@8 @22 S2′ sRef Isa@62 @1 S2′ sRef Zeph@3 @16 S2′ sRef Joel@3 @20 S2′ sRef Zech@8 @21 S2′ sRef Zeph@3 @20 S2′ sRef Zeph@3 @14 S2′ sRef Zech@8 @20 S2′ sRef Zeph@3 @17 S2′ sRef Isa@33 @20 S2′  The following passages only shall be cited, from which anyone possessed of interior reason may see that by Jerusalem is there meant the Church. Let these passages alone be taken from the prophets:
Behold, I create a new heaven and a new earth, and the former shall not be remembered. . . . I wilt create Jerusalem a rejoicing and her people a joy; that I may rejoice over Jerusalem and be joyful over My people. Then the wolf and the lamb shall feed together. . . they shall do no evil in all the mountain of My holiness. Isa. lxv 17, 18, 19, 25.
For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof goes forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. Then the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory; and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of Jehovah shall name. And thou shalt be a crown of beauty.. . and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God… Jehovah shall be well pleased in thee, and thy land shall be married . . . Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, His reward is with Him . . . and they shall call them, The holy people, the redeemed of Jehovah and thou shalt be called, sought out, a city not forsaken.
Isa. lxii 1-4, 11, 12
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 . . . The people shalt 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. lii 1, 2, 6, 9.
Shout with joy, O daughter of Zion; be glad with all thy heart, O daughter of Jerusalem. . .. The King of Israelis in the midst of thee; fear not evil any more . . . He will be glad over thee with joy He will rest in thy love; He will exult over thee with joyful shouting. . . will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth. Zeph. iii 14-17, 20.
Thus saith Jehovah, thy Redeemer . . . saying to Jerusalem, thou shalt be inhabited. Isa. xliv 24, 26.
Thus saith Jehovah, I am returned to Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem; whence Jerusalem shall be called the city of truth, and the mountain of Jehovah Zebaoth, the mountain of holiness. Zech. viii 3.
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 new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk… and Jerusalem shall abide from generation to generation. Joel iii 17, 18, 20.
In that day shall the branch of Jehovah be 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. iv 2, 3.
In the last days the mountain of the house of Jehovah shall be established in the head of the mountains … for out of Zion shall go forth doctrine, and the word of Jehovah from Jerusalem. Micah iv. 1, 2.
At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of Jehovah, and all nations shall be gathered to Jerusalem because of the name of Jehovah; neither shall they go any more after the confirmation of their own evil heart. Jer. iii 17.
Look upon Zion, the city of our appointed feasts; let thine eyes 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. xxxiii 20.
Other passages are: Isaiah xxiv 23; xxxvii 32 lxvi 10-14; Zechariah xii 3, 6-10; xiv 8, 11, 12, 21; Malachi iii 2, 4; Psalms cxxii 1-7; cxxxvii 4, 5, 6.
 That by Jerusalem in the above passages is meant a Church to be established by the Lord, and not the Jerusalem inhabited by the Jews, is plain from every detail of its description therein; as that Jehovah God was about to create a new heaven and a new earth, and Jerusalem also at the same time; that this Jerusalem would be a crown of beauty, and a royal diadem; that it is to be called holiness, and the city of truth, the throne of Jehovah, a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down; that the wolf and the lamb shall feed together there; that there the mountains shall drop with new wine, and the hills flow with milk; that it should abide from generation to generation; besides many other things respecting the people therein, that they should be holy, all written unto life, and should be called the redeemed of Jehovah. sRef Dan@9 @25 S4′ sRef Dan@9 @27 S4′ sRef Matt@24 @15 S4′  Moreover, all those passages treat of the Lord’s Advent, particularly of His Second Advent, when Jerusalem shall be such as is there described. For before this she was not married, that is, made the bride and wife of the Lamb, as the New Jerusalem is said to be in the Revelation.
The former, or present-day Church, is meant by Jerusalem in Daniel, and its commencement is described there in these words:
Know, therefore, and understand that from the going forth of the Word unto the restoring and building of Jerusalem, even unto Messiah the Prince, shall be seven weeks; afterwards in sixty and two weeks it shall be restored, and the street and the ditch shall be built but in distress of times. Dan. ix 25.
But its end is described by these words:
At length upon the bird of abominations shall be desolation, and even to the consummation and decision it shall drop upon the devastation. Dan. ix 27.
This last passage is alluded to in the following words spoken by the Lord in Matthew:
When ye shall see the abomination of desolation foretold by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place, let him that readeth note it well. Matt. xxiv 15.
That by Jerusalem in the above passages is not meant the Jerusalem inhabited by the Jews, appears from those places in the Word where it is said of that city that it entirely perished, and that it was to be destroyed; as in Jeremiah v 1; vi 6, 7; vii 17, 18, etc.; viii 6, 7, 8, etc.; ix 10, 11, 13, etc.; xiii 9, 10, 14; xiv 16; Lamentations i 8, 9, 17 Ezekiel iv 1-end v 9-end; xii 18, 19; xv 6, 7, 8; xvi 1-63; xxiii 1-40; Matthew xxiii 37, 38; Luke xix 41-44; xxi 20-22; xxiii 28-30 besides many other such passages; also where it is called Sodom, as in Isaiah iii 9; Jeremiah xxiii 14 Ezekiel xvi 46, 48; and in other places.
101. That the Church is the Lord’s, and that on account of the spiritual marriage, which is the marriage of good and truth, the Lord is called the Bridegroom and Husband, and the Church, the bride and wife, is known among Christians from the Word, particularly from the following passages. John said of the Lord:
He that hath the bride is the bridegroom, but the friend of the bridegroom is he who stands and hears him, and rejoices because of the bridegroom’s voice. John iii 29. Jesus said, While the bridegroom is with them, the sons of the marriage cannot fast. Matt. ix 15; Mark ii 19, 20; Luke v 34, 35.
I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Rev. xxi 2.
The angel said to John, Come and I will show thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife (and from a mountain he showed him the holy city Jerusalem). Rev. xxi 9, 10.
The time of the marriage of the Iamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready . . . blessed are they who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb. Rev. xix 7, 9.
I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and 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. Rev. xxii 16, 17.
The Faith of the New Church cannot possibly be together with the Faith of the former Church for, if they were together, such a collision and conflict would ensue that everything of the Church with man would perish.
The reason why the faith of the New Church cannot possibly be together with the faith of the former, that is, the present Church, is because they do not agree in one third, no, nor even in one tenth part. The faith of the former Church is described in the Revelation, chap. xii, by the dragon, but the faith of the New Church by the woman clothed with the sun, having upon her head a crown of twelve stars, whom the dragon persecuted, and at whom he cast water as a flood that he might swallow her up; as may be seen above, nos. 87-90. These two cannot be together in one city, still less in one house, consequently not in one mind, at the same time. Should they be together, it could not be otherwise than that the woman would be continually exposed to the rage and insanity of the dragon, and in fear lest he should devour her son. For it is said in the Revelation, chap. xii, that the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to be delivered, to devour her child, and that the woman, after she had brought forth the man-child, fled into the wilderness; verses 1, 4, 6, 14-17.
The faith of the former Church is that of night, for human reason perceives nothing respecting it wherefore, it is also said that the understanding should be kept in obedience to it. Nay, it is not even known whether it is within man or outside of him, since nothing of man’s will and reason enters into it; no, nor charity, good works, repentance, the Law of the Decalogue, with many other things, which actually exist in man’s mind. That this is so may be seen above, nos. 79, 80, 96, 97, 98. But the faith of the New Church enters into a marriage covenant with all those essentials just mentioned, and unites itself with them; and because, for this reason, it is in the heat of heaven it is also in the light thereof, and is an enlightened faith. Now a darkened faith and an enlightened faith can no more be together than an owl and a dove can be in one nest; for in such a case the owl may lay her eggs, and the dove hers, and, after sitting, the young of both would be hatched, and then the owl would tear in pieces the young of the dove, and give them to her own young for food; for the owl is a bird of prey.
A further reason why the faith of the former Church and the faith of the New Church cannot possibly be together is that they are heterogeneous. For the faith of the former Church is derived from the idea of three Gods, as may be seen in nos. 30-38; whereas the faith of the New Church is from the idea of one God. From this fact there is disagreement between them, so that, should they be together, there must inevitably arise such a collision and conflict that everything of the Church would perish; that is, man would either fall into a delirium or into a state of insensibility where spiritual things are concerned, until at length he would scarcely know what the Church is, or whether there is any Church at all. From what has been said it follows that those who have confirmed themselves in the faith of the old Church cannot embrace the faith of the New Church without danger to their spiritual life, unless they have first rejected and thus rooted out one by one all the points of their former faith, together with its young or eggs, that is, its dogmas, the nature of which have already been shown in the foregoing pages, particularly pars. 64-69.
Roman Catholics at this day know nothing of the Imputation of Christ’s Merit, or of Justification by Faith therein, into which Faith their Church has been initiated, because this lies entirely concealed under their external forms of worship, which are numerous. Wherefore, if they recede even in part from the externals of their worship, and approach God the Saviour Jesus Christ direct, and also receive the Holy Eucharist in both elements, they may be brought into the New Jerusalem, that, is into the Lord’s New Church, before the Reformed.
That the primates and rulers of the Church of Rome, on being consecrated to their office, swear to observe the decrees of the Council of Trent, appears from the bull of Pope Pius LV, where are these words in the form of the oath of their profession of faith dated November, 1564:
In firm faith I believe and profess each and everything contained in the creed used by the Holy Church of Rome, and I receive without any doubts all such things as are maintained and declared in her holy canons and oecumenical councils, especially by the most holy Council of Trent, so help me God.
That they also bind themselves by an oath to believe and profess what the council of Trent has ordained concerning the imputation of Christ’s merit, and justification by faith therein, is evident from these words in the same bull:
I embrace and receive each and everything which has been determined and declared in the most holy Council of Trent concerning original sin and justification.
What these are may be seen from the extracts taken above from that Council, nos. 3-8.
From those articles, which have been established as principles at that Council, the following conclusions have been drawn:
That the Roman Catholics held exactly the same beliefs before the Reformation as the Reformed Church did after it concerning . . . the imputation of Christ’s merit and justification by faith therein; with the sole difference that they united that faith with charity or good works. See above, nos. 19, 20.
That the leading Reformers, Luther, Melanchthon and Calvin, retained all the dogmas concerning . . . the imputation of Christ’s merit and justification by faith, just as they were and had been with the Roman Catholics; but they separated charity or good works from that faith, and declared that they were not together saving, in order that they might be completely severed from the Roman Catholics as to the very essentials of the Church, which are faith and charity. See above, nos. 21-23.
That nevertheless the leading Reformers adjoined good works, and even conjoined them, to their faith, but in man as a passive subject whereas the Roman Catholics did so in man as an active subject; and yet there is actually a conformity between the latter and the former as to faith, works and merit. See above, nos. 24-29.
From what has been shown it is also evident that the aforesaid faith is one which the Roman Catholics swear to observe equally with the Reformed.
109. The idea of the imputation of Christ’s righteousness or merit enters as its soul into the whole theology of the Reformed Christian world. It is from imputation that faith, which is accounted in the Church as the only medium of salvation, is affirmed to be righteousness before God; as may be seen above, n. 11(d); and it is from imputation that man is said to be clothed by this faith with the gifts of righteousness, just as a king, when elected, is clothed with the insignia of royalty. Nevertheless, imputation effects nothing from the mere assertion that a man is righteous, for it enters only into the ears, and does not operate in man, unless the imputation of righteousness be also the application of righteousness by communication and so bestowal. This follows from its effects, which are said to be remission of sins, regeneration, renewal, sanctification, and so salvation. It is asserted further that Christ dwells in man through that faith and that the Holy Spirit operates in him, wherefore they are not only called righteous but are righteous. That not only the gifts of God, but also Christ Himself, yea, all the Holy Trinity, dwell in the regenerate through faith, as in their own temple, may be seen above, n. 15 (1); and that man, both as regards person and works, is righteous, and is pronounced to be so; see above, n. 14 (e). From these things it clearly follows that by the imputation of Christ’s righteousness is meant its application, and thereby its bestowal, by virtue of which man is made a partaker thereof.
Now, as imputation is the root, the beginning and the foundation of faith with all its operations towards salvation, and hence is as the sanctuary and shrine in the Christian Churches at this day, it is necessary to append something here concerning imputation by way of corollary. But this shall be set forth under headings in this order:
A. To everyone after death is imputed the evil in which he is, and in like manner the good.
B. The transference of the good of one person to another is impossible.
C. A faith in the imputation or application of Christ’s righteousness or merit is an imaginary faith because it is impossible.
* The Latin word Proprium means “what is one’s own,” Swedenborg uses it in a special sense involving “what is of the self.”
110. A. To everyone after death is imputed the evil in which he is, and in like manner the good.
In order that this may appear in some measure evident, it shall be set forth as follows:
1. Everyone has a life peculiar to himself.
2. Everyone’s own life remains with him after death.
3. To the wicked is then imputed the evil of their life, and to the good the good of their life.
First.-That everyone has a life peculiar to himself, thus distinct from that of another’s, is well known. For there is perpetual variety; no two things are the same. Hence it is that everyone has his own proprium.* This appears clearly from people’s faces; no one face is exactly like another’s, nor ever can be to eternity, because there do not exist two minds alike, and the face is according to the mind. For the face, as is said, is an image of the mind, and the mind derives its origin and form from the life. Unless a man had his own life, just as he has his own mind and face, he would not have any life after death distinct from another’s; nay, heaven could not exist. For heaven consists of a perpetual variety of others its form proceeds solely from the variety of souls and minds disposed into such an order that they make a unity; and they make a unity from that One Whose life is in each and everything there, as the soul is in man. Unless this were so, heaven would be dispersed, because its form would be dissolved. The ONE from Whom the life of each and everyone proceeds, and from Whom that form coheres, is the Lord.
sRef Matt@16 @27 S2′ sRef Rev@20 @13 S2′ sRef Rom@2 @6 S2′ sRef Rev@20 @12 S2′  Second.-That everyone’s own life remains with him after death is known in the Church from the Word, and from these statements therein:
The Son of Man shall come. . . and then He shall reward every man according to his works. Matt. xvi 27.
I saw the books opened . . . and all were judged according to their works. Rev. xx 12, 13.
In the day of judgment God will render to everyone according to his works. Rom. ii 6; 2 Cor. v 10.
The works according to which everyone will be recompensed are the life; for the life performs the works, and these are according to the life.
Since it has been granted me for many years to associate with angels and to speak with newcomers from the world, I can testify for certain that everyone there is examined as to the quality of his past life, and that the life which he has contracted in the world remains with him to eternity. I have spoken with those who lived many ages ago, whose life was known to me from history, and I have found them to be similar to the way they had been described. I have also heard from angels that no one’s life can be changed after death because it is organised according to his love and faith, hence according to his works; and that if it were changed the organisation would be disrupted; but this can never be done. I have also been told that a change of organisation can take place only when in the material body, and by no means when in the spiritual body, after the former has been laid aside.
 Third.-To the wicked is then imputed the evil of their life, and to the good the good of their life. The imputation of evil after death is not accusation, blame, censure, or passing judgment as in the world, but evil itself does this. For the wicked of their own freedom separate themselves from the good, because they cannot be together. The delights of the love of evil are averse to the delights of the love of good, and delights exhale from everyone there as odours from every plant on earth. For delights are not absorbed and concealed by the material body as before, but flow forth freely from their loves into the spiritual atmosphere. And because evil is there sensed, as it were, in its own odour, it is this which accuses, blames, finds guilty and judges, not before any particular judge, but in the presence of everyone who is in good; this is what is meant by imputation. The imputation of good is similar, and takes place with those who in the world had acknowledged that all the good in them was and is from the Lord, and none from themselves. These, after they have been prepared, are let into the interior delights of their own good, and then a way is opened for them into heaven, to the society where the delights are akin to their own. This is done by the Lord.
* The Latin word Proprium means “what is one’s own,” Swedenborg uses it in a special sense involving “what is of the self.”
111. B. The transference of the good of one person to another is impossible.
The evidence for this may also appear from the following points in their order:
1. Everyone is born in evil.
2. Man is led into good through regeneration by the Lord.
3. This is effected by faith in the Lord, and by a life according to His commandments.
4. Wherefore, the good of one person cannot be transferred by application to another, and so imputed.
First.-That everyone is born in evil is known in the Church. This evil is said to be hereditary from Adam, but it is from parents, from whom everyone derives his natural disposition, which is inclination. Experience and reason clearly prove that this is so; for the likeness of parents and their children and grandchildren, as to face, character and manners, is conspicuous. Hence it is that families are recognised by many, and the quality of their minds is assessed. Wherefore, the evils which parents themselves have contracted are transmitted by propagation to their posterity, and manifest themselves by a certain inclination towards them. From this source are the evils into which people are born.
Second.-Man is led into good through regeneration by the Lord. That there is regeneration, and that unless regenerated no one can enter into heaven, appears clearly from the Lord’s words in John iii 3, 5. That regeneration is purification from evils, thus renewal of life, cannot be unknown in the Christian world, for reason also sees this and acknowledges that everyone is born in evil, and that evil cannot be washed and wiped away, like filth by soap and water, except by repentance.
Third.-This is effected by faith in the Lord, and by a life according to His commandments. There are five precepts of regeneration, as may be seen above, nos. 43, 44; among which are these That evils ought to be shunned because they are of the devil and from the devil. That good actions ought to be done because they are of God and from God. That the Lord ought to be approached in order that He may lead man to act in this way. Let everyone consult with himself and consider whether man can be in good in any other way, and note that if he is not in good he cannot be saved.
Fourth.-Wherefore, the good of one person cannot be transferred by application to another, and so imputed. From what has been said above it follows that man by regeneration is renewed as to his spirit, and that this is done by faith in the Lord and at the same time by a life according to His commandments. Who does not see that this renewal can only be effected from time to time, scarcely otherwise than as a tree takes root and grows successively from a seed and is perfected? Those who conceive regeneration and renewal in any other way know nothing of the state of man, nor anything about evil and good, as that they are altogether opposite to each other, and that good cannot be implanted except in so far as evil is removed; neither do they know that so long as anyone is in evil he is averse to good which is good in itself. Wherefore, if the good of one person were to be attached to, and so transferred to, another who is in evil, it would be like casting a lamb to a wolf, or fastening a pearl to a hog’s snout. From these considerations it is evident that transferring the good of one person to another is impossible.
112. C. A faith in the imputation or application of Christ’s righteousness or merit is an imaginary faith because it is impossible.
It was shown above that to everyone is imputed the evil in which he is, and likewise the good, n. 110. Hence it is evident that imputation, if it means the application and thereby the transference of the good of one person to another, is an illusion. In the world, favours may be transferred, as it were, by man. Thus, benefits may be conferred upon children on account of their parents, or upon the friends of some client from good-will towards him. Yet the good of merit cannot be inscribed on their souls; it can only be adjoined from outside. No such transference can take place with men as to their spiritual life, for this, as was shown above, must be implanted; and if it is not implanted by a life according to the aforesaid precepts of the Lord, man remains in the evil in which he was born. Until this is done it is not possible for any good to affect him; or, if it does affect him it is instantly repelled, so that it rebounds like an elastic ball falling on a stone, or else it is absorbed like a diamond thrown into a swamp. The man who is not reformed is, as to his spirit, like a panther or an owl, and may be compared to a thorn or a nettle. But the man who is regenerated is like a sheep or a dove, and may be compared to an olive-tree or a vine. Consider, then, I entreat you, if you will, how can a man who is like a panther be converted into one who is like a sheep, or how can an owl be changed into a dove, or a thorn into an olive-tree, or a nettle into a vine, by any imputation, if by this is meant transference? In order that conversion may take place, must not the ferocious nature of the panther and the owl, and the noxious properties of the thorn and the nettle, be first removed, and thus what is truly human and inoffensive be implanted? How this is effected the Lord also teaches in John xv 1-7.
 The same principle applies to those who are in good from the Lord. If they abstain of their own will and understanding, thus from set purpose and confirmation, from one evil because it is a sin, they abstain from all. Still more is this so if they abstain from several evils. For as soon as anyone abstains from any evil from set purpose and confirmation because it is a sin, he is kept by the Lord in the purpose of abstaining from the rest. Wherefore, if he commits an evil through ignorance or some predominant lust of the body, still it is not imputed to him, because he did not intend it of himself, neither does he confirm it in himself. A man comes into this kind of purpose if he examines himself once or twice a year, and repents of the evil he discovers in himself. It is otherwise with the man who never examines himself.
 I am allowed to confirm these observations by the following account. I have met several people in the spiritual world who have lived like others in the natural world, dressing well, feasting sumptuously, engaging in business like others for profit, going to the theatre, joking as if lasciviously on love topics, with other things of a similar nature; and yet the angels denounced such things as sinful evils with some, whilst not imputing them as evils with others, declaring the latter to be innocent and the former guilty. On being asked why they made this distinction when yet both parties had done similar things, they replied that they regard everyone according to their purpose, intention and end, and distinguish them accordingly. Therefore they excuse or condemn those whom the end excuses or condemns, inasmuch as good is the end with everyone in heaven, and evil is the end with everyone in hell. From all this it now plainly appears to whom sin is imputed and to whom it is not imputed.
The first is as follows.* I was once suddenly seized with an almost deadly disease. My whole head was oppressed, for a pestilential smoke had been let in from the great city which is spiritually called Sodom and Egypt, Rev. xi 8. Half-dead with severe anguish, I expected the end. I lay like this in bed for three and a half days, so greatly was my spirit affected, and from this my body. Then I heard around me the voices of people saying, “Lo he who preached repentance for the remission of sins, and the man Christ alone, lies dead in the street of our city.” And they asked several of the clergy whether he was worthy of burial, as was said of the two witnesses slain in that city. Rev. xi
8-10. And they answered, “No, let him lie for a spectacle.” And they passed to and fro, and mocked. All this truly happened to me when this chapter of the Revelation was being explained. Then grievous sayings were heard from them, especially these: “How can repentance be performed without faith? And how can Christ, a man, be adored as God? Whilst we are freely saved without any merit of our own, what need is there of anything apart from faith alone; the faith that God the Father sent the Son to take away the damnation of the law, so that He might impute His merit to us, and so justify us in His sight, and absolve us from our sins, and then give the Holy Spirit to operate every good work in us? Are not these things agreeable to Scripture and to reason?” The crowd standing by applauded these speeches.
 I heard all this, but could not reply, because I lay almost dead. But, after three and a half days my spirit revived, and I went forth in the spirit from the street into the city, and again I said “Repent, and believe on Christ, and your sins will be remitted, and you will be saved; if you do not do this, you will perish. Did not the Lord Himself preach repentance for the remission of sins, and that men should believe on Him? Did He not command His disciples to preach the same? Does not a complete disregard as to how life should be lived follow from the dogma of your faith?” But they said, “What idle talk Has not the Son made satisfaction? And has not the Father imputed this, and justified us who have believed this? As we are thus led by the spirit of grace, what sin is there, then, in us, and what power has death over us? Dost thou comprehend this gospel, thou preacher of sin and repentance?” But then a voice came forth from heaven saying, “What is the faith of the impenitent but a dead faith? The end is come, the end is come upon you that are secure and blameless in your own eyes, justified by your own faith, you who are devils.” And suddenly a deep gulf opened in the middle of the city, spreading itself far and wide; and house fell upon house, and they were swallowed up. And presently water bubbled up from a large whirlpool and overflowed the waste.
 When they were thus overwhelmed, and to all appearance drowned, I desired to know their condition in the abyss, and I was told from heaven, “You shall see and hear.” And immediately the waters wherein they seemed to be drowned disappeared before my eyes; for waters in the spiritual world are correspondences, and consequently appear to surround those who are in falsities. And then they appeared to me to be in a sandy bottom where there were large heaps of stones, among which they ran, lamenting that they were cast out of their great city. And they called out, crying, “Why has this happened to us? Are we not clean, pure, just and holy, through our faith?” Others exclaimed, ” Are we not cleansed, purified, justified and sanctified, through our faith?” And others cried, “Are we not through our faith made such that we are reputed and seen to be clean, pure, just and holy in the sight of God the Father, and before the whole Trinity? And are we not declared to be such in the presence of the angels? Are we not reconciled, propitiated, expiated, and thereby absolved, washed and cleansed from sins? And has not the damnation of the Law been taken away by Christ? Why, then, are we cast down hither as damned? We have been told by a bold preacher of sin in our great city, `Believe on Christ, and do the work of repentance.’ Have we not believed on Christ whilst we believed on His merit? And did we not do the work of repentance when we confessed ourselves sinners? Why, then, has all this befallen us?” sRef Luke@13 @26 S4′ sRef Luke@13 @27 S4′  But then a voice from near-by said to them, “Do you know any single sin of which you are guilty? Have you ever examined yourselves? Have you in consequence thereof shunned any evil as a sin against God? Yet whoever does not shun evil remains in it. Is not sin the devil? Wherefore, you are those of whom the Lord said:
Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in Thy presence, and Thou hast taught in our streets. But He shall say, I tell you, I know you not, whence ye are depart from Me all ye workers of iniquity. Luke xiii 26, 27 Matt. vii 22, 23.
“Depart, therefore, everyone to his own place. You see the openings into the caverns; enter therein, and work shall be given each of you to do, and afterwards food in proportion to your work. If you do not obey, hunger will at length compel you to enter.”
 Afterwards there came a voice from heaven to some on that territory who were outside that great city, and who are also described in the Revelation, chap. xi 13, crying aloud, “Take heed to yourselves, take care lest you associate with people like them. Can you not understand that evils, which are called sins and iniquities, render man unclean and impure? How can man be cleansed and purified from them save by actual repentance and faith in the Lord God the Saviour? Actual repentance is to examine oneself, to know and acknowledge one’s sins, to hold oneself guilty, to confess them before the Lord, to implore help and power to resist them, and thus to desist from them and lead a new life; and to do all this as of oneself. Practise this once or twice a year, when you approach the Holy Communion; and afterwards, when the sins whereof you accounted yourselves guilty recur, then say to yourselves, `We will not entertain them because they are sins against God’; this is actual repentance.  Who cannot understand that if a man does not examine himself and see his sins, he remains in them? For all evil is delightful to man from his birth. It is delightful to take revenge, to commit whoredom, to defraud, to blaspheme. And does not this delight blind you to the nature of these evils? Moreover, if perchance it is said that they are sins, do you not excuse them on account of that delight? Nay, do you not confirm them by false reasonings, and persuade yourselves that they are not sins? And so you remain in them, and commit them afterwards more than before; and this even till you do not know what sin is, or whether there is such a thing as sin. It is otherwise with everyone who actually practises repentance. He calls his evils, which he knows and acknowledges, sins; wherefore he begins to shun and detest them, and to feel their delights as undelightful. And in proportion as he does this he sees and loves what is good, and at length feels the delights of good, which are the delights of heaven. In a word, so far as anyone casts the devil behind him, so far he is adopted by the Lord, and taught and guided by Him, and withheld from evils and held in good. This is the way, and there is no other, from hell to heaven.”
 It is remarkable that among the Reformed there is a certain deep-rooted opposition to, refusal of, and aversion for actual repentance, which is so great that they cannot force themselves to examine themselves and to see their sins, and to confess them before God. It is as if they are seized with horror whenever they consider doing this. I have enquired of very many of them in the spiritual world concerning actual repentance, and they have all said that it is beyond their power. When they heard that Papists do as much as this; that is, that they examine themselves and confess their sins openly in the presence of a monk, they were greatly astonished, and wondered also why the Reformed cannot do the same in private before God, when it is just as much enjoined on them before they approach the Holy Supper. Some of those who were there enquired into the reason for this, and they found that faith alone induced just such a state of impenitence and state of heart and then it was given them to see that those Papists who approach and adore Christ, and do not adore, but only honour, the primates and priests of their Church, are saved.
 After this there was heard a sound like thunder, and a voice speaking from heaven, saying, “We are amazed. Say to the assemblage of the Reformed, ‘Believe on Christ and do the work of repentance, and you will be saved.'” And I said so, and added, “Is not baptism a sacrament of repentance, and thereby an introduction into the Church? What else do the sponsors promise for the one who is to be baptized but that he will renounce the devil and his works? Is not the Holy Supper a sacrament of repentance, and thereby an introduction into heaven? Is it not declared to the communicants that they must certainly do the work of repentance before they come to the table? Is not the Decalogue, which teaches repentance, the doctrine of the whole Christian Church? Is it not said there, in the six precepts of the second table, Thou shalt not do this and that evil; and not said, Thou shalt do this and that good? Wherefore you may know that so far as anyone shuns evils, so far he loves good; and that before this he does not know what good or evil are.”
* n. 531.
115. The other memorable experience is as follows:* An angel once said to me, “You wish to see clearly what faith and charity are, and thus what faith is when separate from charity, and what it is when united with charity; I will demonstrate it to the sight.” I replied, “Do so.” And he said, “Instead of faith and charity, think of light and heat, and you will see this matter clearly. For faith in its own essence is the truth of wisdom, and charity in its own essence is the affection of love; and the truth of wisdom in heaven is light, and the affection of love in heaven is heat. The light and heat in which the angels dwell are nothing else. From this you can clearly see what faith is when separate from charity, and what it is when united with charity. Faith separate from charity is like the light of winter, and faith united with charity is like the light of spring. The light of winter, which is light separate from heat, because it is combined with cold, utterly strips the trees of all their leaves, kills the grass, hardens the ground, and freezes the water. But the light of spring, which is light combined with heat, causes the trees to vegetate, first into leaves, then into blossoms, and lastly into fruits. It opens and softens the ground that it may produce grass, herbs, flowers and fruits; and also dissolves the ice so that the waters flow from their sources. It is exactly similar with faith and charity. Faith separate from charity deadens all things, and faith combined with charity vivifies all things. This vivifying and deadening may be seen to the life in our spiritual world, because here faith is light, and charity is heat. For where faith is united with charity there are paradisaical gardens, flower-beds and shrubberies, delightful according to the union. But where faith is separate from charity there is not even grass, and what green there is, is from thorns and briars.” Not far from us at that time were some of the clergy whom the angel called justifiers and sanctifiers of men by faith alone, also dealers in mysteries. We related the same things to them, giving them clear proof so that they might see that such was the case. Yet when we asked them whether it was not so, they turned away, saying, “We did not hear you.” But we called out to them, saying, “Then hear us further.” They then placed both hands over their ears, and cried out, “We will not hear.”
* APOCALYPSE REVEALED: n. 875.
From Jeremiah, chap. vii 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11.
Stand in the gate of the house of Jehovah, and proclaim there this word. . Thus saith Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel: Amend your ways and your doings . . . trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of Jehovah, the temple of Jehovah, the temple of Jehovah is here (that is, the church). Will ye steal, murder, commit adultery, and swear falsely. . . and after that come and stand before Me in this house, which is called by My name, and say, We are delivered: whilst ye do all these abominations? Is not this house become a den of robbers?… Even I, behold, I have seen, saith Jehovah.
(serving as a fitting conclusion)
The Faith of the New Heaven and the New Church in its universal form is this: The Lord from eternity, Who is JEHOVAH, came into the world that He might subjugate the hells and glorify His Human; without this Coming no mortal could have been saved, and those are saved who believe on Him.
 It is said, “in its universal form,” because this is the universal form of faith; and the universal form of faith will be in each and every particular part thereof. It is a universal point of faith that God is one in essence and Person, in Whom is the Trinity, and that the Lord God, the Saviour Jesus Christ, is this God. It is a universal point of faith that no mortal could have been saved unless the Lord had come into the world. It is a universal point of faith that He came into the world to remove hell from man, and that He removed it by combats against it, and victories over it; whereby He subjugated it and reduced it to order under obedience to Himself. It is a universal point of faith that He came into the world to glorify the Human which He assumed in the world; that is, to unite it with the Divine of which it was begotten; and that, having thus subjugated hell by His own power, He keeps it eternally in order and under obedience to Himself. Inasmuch as both these tasks could be effected only by means of temptations admitted into His Human, even to the last, which was the passion of the cross, therefore He endured this also. These are the universal points of faith concerning the Lord.
 The universal point of the Christian faith on man’s part is that he should believe on the Lord, for by believing on Him he has conjunction with Him, and thus salvation. To believe on Him is to have confidence that He saves; and because no one can have this confidence unless he lives well, therefore living a good life is also meant by believing on Him.
117. The Faith of the New Heaven and the New Church in its particular form is this: Jehovah God is Love itself and Wisdom itself, or Good itself and Truth itself. As to Divine Truth which is the Word, and which was God with God, He came down and assumed the Human in order that He might bring into order all things in heaven and all things in hell, and all things in the Church; since, at that time, the power of the devil, that is, of hell, prevailed over the power of heaven; and on earth the power of evil prevailed over the power of good; in consequence of which a total damnation was at hand, threatening every creature.
sRef John@1 @1 S2′
sRef John@16 @28 S2′
sRef John@1 @14 S2′
 This impending damnation Jehovah God removed by His Human, which was Divine Truth, and thus He redeemed angels and men. Afterwards He united Divine Truth with Divine Good in His Human, and thus returned into His Divine, in which He was from eternity, together with His glorified Human. This is meant by these words in John:
The Word was with God, and the Word was God . . . and the Word was made flesh. John i 1, 14.
And by these words:
I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world again I leave the world and go to the Father. John xvi 28.
From these considerations it is manifest that without the advent of the Lord into the world, no one could have been saved. It is the same at this day; wherefore, unless the Lord comes again into the world in Divine Truth, which is the Word, no one can be saved.
 The particulars of faith on man’s part are as follows
1. There is One God, in Whom is the Divine Trinity, and He is the Lord God the Saviour Jesus Christ.
2. A saving faith is to believe on Him.
3. Evil actions ought to be shunned because they are of the devil and from the devil.
4. Good actions ought to be done because they are of God and from God.
5. And these should be done by man as of himself, yet it ought to be believed that they are from the Lord, with him and through him.
The first two are matters of faith; the next two of charity. The fifth concerns the conjunction of charity and faith, thus of the Lord and man. See also concerning these at n. 44 above.
118. HERE FOLLOW THREE MEMORABLE EXPERIENCES TAKEN FROM THE APOCALYPSE REVEALED
The first Memorable Experience.* When I was engaged on the explanation of chapter xx of the Revelation, and was meditating on the dragon, the beast and the false prophet, a certain angelic spirit appeared before me and asked, “What are you thinking about?” I replied, “About the false prophet.” Then he said, “I will lead you to the place where are those who are meant by the false prophet.” He said that they are the same as those who are meant in chapter xiii by the beast out of the earth, which had two horns like a lamb, and spoke like a dragon. I followed him, and lo? I saw a crowd in the midst of which were prelates of the Church who taught that nothing else saves man but faith in Christ’s merit; and that works are good, but not for salvation; yet that they are to be taught from the Word in order that the laity, especially the simple, may be kept more strictly in the bonds of obedience to the magistrates, and be constrained to exercise moral charity as if from religion, thus interiorly.
 Then one of them, seeing me, said, “Do you wish to see our place of worship in which is an image representative of our faith?” I approached and saw it; and behold, it was magnificent. And in the middle of it was the image of a woman clothed in a scarlet robe, and holding a gold coin in her right hand and a string of pearls in her left hand. But both the image and the temple were produced by phantasy; for infernal spirits can display magnificent objects by phantasies, by closing the interiors of the mind and opening only its exteriors. When, however, I perceived that such things were illusions, I prayed to the Lord, and suddenly the interiors of my mind were opened; and then, instead of a magnificent temple, I saw a house full of chinks from the roof to the foundations, in which nothing was connected. And, instead of a woman, I saw hanging up in that house an image, the head of which was like a dragon’s, the body like a leopard’s, the feet like a bear’s, and the mouth like a lion’s; thus, exactly like the beast out of the sea, described in the Revelation, chap. xiii. And, instead of a floor, there was a marsh in which lay a multitude of frogs; and I was informed that beneath the marsh was a large hewn stone under which the Word lay entirely hidden.
 On seeing this I said to the illusionist, “Is this your place of worship?” He replied, “It is.” Then suddenly his interior sight was opened also, so that he saw the same things that I did; whereupon he uttered a great cry, saying, “What and whence is this?” And I said, “This is from the light out of heaven which uncovers the quality of every form, and here is discovered the quality of your faith separate from spiritual charity.” Then an east wind blew there and carried away the place of worship with the image, and also dried up the marsh, and so exposed the stone under which lay the Word. Afterwards there exhaled, as it were, a vernal warmth from heaven, and behold, in the same place there appeared a tent, simple in its outward form. And the angels who were with me said, “Behold the tent of Abraham such as it was when the three angels came to him and announced the birth of Isaac. It appears simple to the eye, nevertheless it becomes more and more magnificent according to the influx of light from heaven.” And they were permitted to open the heaven which is the abode of spiritual angels who excel in wisdom; and then, from the light flowing in from there, the tent appeared like a temple similar to the one at Jerusalem. Then, on looking into it, I saw that the foundation stone under which the Word had been placed was set around with precious stones from which rays like lightning shot forth upon the walls, upon which were the forms of cherubs, beautifully variegating them with colours.
sRef Rev@21 @22 S4′ sRef Rev@21 @3 S4′  As I was admiring these things, the angels said, “You shall see something still more wonderful.” And they were allowed to open the third heaven which is the abode of celestial angels who excel in love; then, from the light flowing in from there, the whole of that temple disappeared, and in its place was seen the Lord alone, standing on a foundation stone which was the Word, in a form similar to that in which He appeared before John (Rev., chap. i). But as the interiors of the minds of the angels were then filled with holiness, by which they were impelled to fall prostrate upon their faces, suddenly the way of the light from the third heaven was closed by the Lord, and the way of the light from the second heaven was opened again, so that the former appearance of the temple returned, also of the tent, but within the temple. By this was portrayed the meaning of these words in the Revelation:
Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them. Rev. xxi 3.
And of these words:
And I saw no temple (in the New Jerusalem), for the Lord God omnipotent and the Lamb are the temple of it. Rev. xxi 22.
* n. 926.
 They said that the Divine Being (Esse) is One, the Same, the Very Self, and Indivisible; that so also is the Divine Essence, because the Divine Being (Esse) is the Divine Essence; that so, likewise, is God, because the Divine Essence, which is also the Divine Being (Esse), is God. They illustrated this by spiritual ideas, saying that the Divine Being (Esse) cannot possibly become several, in each of which is the Divine Being (Esse) and yet remain One, the Same, the Very Self, and Indivisible; for then each would think from His own Esse, out of and by Himself. If then each thought also from the Others and by the Others unanimously, and at the same time, they would then be several unanimous Gods, not one God. For unanimity, being the agreement of several and at the same time of each One from Himself and by Himself, does not agree with the unity of God, but implies plurality. They did not say a plurality of Gods because they could not for the light of heaven from which they thought, and in which their words were spoken, prevented it. They also said that when they wished to pronounce the word” Gods” and to speak of each as a Person by Himself, the effort of utterance was immediately turned into the expression “One God,” yea, “The Only God.”  To this they added that the Divine Being (Esse) is the Divine Being (Esse) in Itself, not from Itself, because “from Itself” postulates a Being (Esse) in Itself from another thus it supposes a God from a God, which is impossible. What is from God is not called God, but the Divine. For what is God from God, or what is God born of God from eternity, and what is God from God proceeding through a God born from eternity, but mere words in which there is not the least light from heaven? They said further that the Divine Being (Esse), which in Itself is God, is THE SAME; not the Same simply but infinitely; that is, the Same from eternity to eternity that it is the Same everywhere, and with everyone and in everyone, but that all variation and change are in the recipient, and are caused by the state of the recipient.
 That the Divine Being (Esse), which is God in Himself, is the Very Self, they illustrated in this way. God is the Very Self because He is Love itself and Wisdom itself; or, what is the same, because He is Good itself and Truth itself, thence Life itself. Unless these were the Very Self in God, they would not be anything in heaven or the world, since there would be nothing in them having relation to the Very Self. For every quality draws its nature from this, that there is the Very Self from which it is, and to which it has relation in order that it may be what it is. This Very Self, which is the Divine Being (Esse), is not in place, but is with those and in those who are in place according to reception. For neither place nor progression from one place to another can be asserted of Love and Wisdom, or of Good and Truth, or of Life thence, which are the Very Self in God, yea, God Himself; these are without place, hence their omnipresence. Wherefore the Lord says that He is in the midst of them, and that He is in them and they in Him. sRef John@14 @6 S5′ sRef John@5 @26 S5′  But, as He cannot be received by anyone such as He is in Himself, He appears as He is in Himself as a sun above the angelic heaven, and that which proceeds from it as light is Himself as to wisdom, and that which proceeds as heat is Himself as to love. He Himself is not that sun but the Divine Love and the Divine Wisdom in their immediate emanation from Him appear round about Himself as a sun before the angels. He Himself, within the sun, is a Man, our Lord Jesus Christ, both as to the Originating Divine and as to the Divine Human; inasmuch as the Very Self, which is Love itself and Wisdom itself, was His soul from the Father; thus Divine Life which is Life in itself. It is otherwise with every man for in man the soul is not life, but a recipient of life. This the Lord also teaches when He says,
I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; John xiv 6.
And in another place,
As the Father has life in Himself, so has He given to the Son to have life in Himself. John v 26.
Life in Himself is God. The angels added that those who are in any spiritual light may see plainly from these things that the Divine Esse, which is also the Divine Essence, because it is One, the Same, the Very Self, and thence indivisible, cannot possibly exist in more than one and that, if it should be said that it does so, manifest contradictions would follow.
 After hearing these things, the angels perceived my thought the usual ideas of the Christian Church respecting God as a trinity of Persons in unity, and their unity in trinity; also of the birth of a Son of God from eternity. Whereupon they said to me, “What are you thinking about? Are you thinking of those things from natural light, with which our spiritual light does not agree? Unless you remove those ideas from your thoughts we must close heaven against you and go away.” Then I said to them, “Enter, I beseech you, more deeply into my thought, and perchance you will find agreement.” And they did so, and saw that by three Persons I mean three proceeding Divine attributes, which are Creation, Redemption and Regeneration, and that those attributes belong to the One God; also that by the birth of a Son of God from eternity, I understand His birth foreseen from eternity and provided in time. I then told them that my natural thought concerning a trinity and unity of persons, and of the birth of a Son of God from eternity, was derived from the doctrine of faith in the Church named after Athanasius, and that this doctrine is correct if, instead of a trinity of Persons, there is substituted a trinity of Person existing solely in the Lord Jesus Christ and if, instead of the birth of a Son of God from eternity, His birth foreseen from eternity and provided in time is understood; because, as to the Human which He assumed, He is expressly called the Son of God.  Then the angels said, “That is good.” And they asked me to say on their testimony that if anyone does not approach the Lord as the God of heaven and earth, he cannot come into heaven; because heaven is heaven from this One and Only God; and that this God is Jesus Christ, who is Jehovah Lord, the Creator from eternity, the Redeemer in time, and the Regenerator to eternity; thus, Who is at once Father, Son and Holy Spirit; and that this is the Gospel which is to be preached. After this the heavenly light which I had seen before returned, and by degrees descended and filled the interiors of my mind and enlightened my ideas concerning the unity and trinity of God. And then I saw that the ideas which I had first had on the trinity, and which were merely natural, were separated as chaff is separated from the wheat by winnowing, and were carried away as by a wind to the northern part of heaven, and there dispersed.
* n. 961.
The first question to be considered was Who assumed the Human in the Virgin Mary? And the angel standing at the table on which was the Word read these words from Luke in their presence:
The angel said to Mary, Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb and bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called The Son of the Highest…. And Mary said to the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answering said, The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore, also, that Holy Thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. Luke i 31, 32, 34, 35.
Then he also read from the first chapter of Matthew, verses 20-25, and when he came to the 25th verse he read it with a loud voice. In addition he read many passages from the Evangelists, as Matt. iii 17 xvii 5; John xx 31; with other statements where the Lord as to His Human is called the Son of God, and where, from His Human, He calls Jehovah His Father. Further, he read from the Prophets, where it is foretold that Jehovah Himself was about to come into the world; among them were these passages from Isaiah:
It shall be said in that day, Lo This is our God, for Whom we have waited to deliver us; this is Jehovah, for Whom we have waited; let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation. Isa. xxv 9.
The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of Jehovah; make level in the desert a pathway for our God…. And the glory of Jehovah shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.. . . Behold, the Lord Jehovah cometh in strength. . . . He shall feed His flock like a shepherd. Isa. xl 3, 5, 10, 11.
sRef Isa@45 @14 S3′ sRef Isa@43 @11 S3′ sRef Isa@45 @21 S3′ sRef Jer@23 @6 S3′ sRef Hos@13 @4 S3′ sRef Isa@45 @15 S3′ sRef Isa@45 @22 S3′ sRef Jer@23 @5 S3′ sRef Isa@54 @5 S3′ sRef Isa@63 @16 S3′ sRef Isa@44 @24 S3′ sRef Isa@49 @26 S3′ sRef Isa@47 @4 S3′ sRef Isa@44 @6 S3′ sRef Ps@19 @14 S3′ sRef Zech@14 @9 S3′ sRef Isa@48 @17 S3′  Then the angel said, “As Jehovah Himself came into the world and assumed a Human, and by it has redeemed and saved mankind, therefore He is called by the Prophets the Saviour and the Redeemer. And then he read to them the following passages:
Surely God is in thee, and there is no God else. Verily Thou art a hidden God, O God of Israel the Saviour. Isa. xlv 14, 15.
Am not I Jehovah, and there is no God else besides Me? A just God and there is no Saviour besides Me? Isa. xlv 21.
I am Jehovah, and besides me there is no Saviour. Isa. xliii 11.
I am Jehovah thy God.., and thou shalt acknowledge no God besides Me; and there is no Saviour besides Me. Hosea xiii 4.
That all flesh may know that I Jehovah am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer. Isa. xlix 26; lx 16.
As for our Redeemer, Jehovah of hosts is His name. Isa. xlvii 4.
Their Redeemer, the mighty Jehovah of Hosts is His name. Jer. l 34.
Jehovah, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm xix 14.
Thus saith Jehovah thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, I am Jehovah thy God. Isa. xlviii 17; xliii 14; xlix 7; liv 8.
Thou, Jehovah, art our Father; our Redeemer from of old is Thy name. Isa. lxiii 16.
Thus saith Jehovah thy Redeemer. . . I am Jehovah that maketh all things. . . and by Myself alone. Isa. xliv 24.
Thus saith Jehovah, the king of Israel, and His Redeemer, Jehovah of Hosts; I am the First and the Last, and besides Me there is no God. Isa. xliv 6.
Jehovah of Hosts is His name, and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; the God of the whole earth shall He be called. Isa. liv 5.
Behold, the days come when I will raise unto David a righteous Branch Who shall reign a king . . . and this is His name, Jehovah our Righteousness. Jer. xxiii 5, 6; xxxiii 15, 16.
In that day Jehovah shall be King over all the earth in that day there shall be one Jehovah, and His name One. Zech. xiv 9.
 From all these passages, those who sat on the seats were convinced, and unanimously declared, that Jehovah Himself assumed the Human to redeem and save mankind. But then a voice was heard from the Roman Catholics who had hidden themselves behind the altar, saying, “How could Jehovah, the Father, become a man? Is He not the Creator of the universe?” And one of those who sat on the second row of seats turned round and said, “Who was it, then?” Then the one from behind the altar, advancing to its side, replied, “The Son from eternity.” But he was answered: “Is not the Son from eternity, according to your own confession, also the Creator of the universe? And what is a Son, or a God, born from eternity? And how is it possible for the Divine Essence, which is one and indivisible, to be separated, and for one part to descend and not at the same time the whole?”
 The other matter of enquiry concerning the Lord was: Whether the Father and He are One, as the soul and the body are one? They said that this follows of necessity because the soul is from the father. Then one of those who sat on the third row of seats read out of the Confession of Faith, called the Athanasian Creed, the following passage:
Although our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man. . . yet they are not two, but one Christ. . . one altogether … by unity of Person. For as the soul and body are one man, so God and man is one Christ.
“This faith,” said the reader, “is received throughout the whole Christian world, even by the Roman Catholics.” Then they said, “What need have we of further proof? God the Father and He are one, as the soul and body are one.” And they continued, “Because this is so, we perceive that the Lord’s Human is Divine, for it is the Human of Jehovah also that the Lord ought to be approached as to His Divine Human, and that thus and not otherwise can the Divine, which is called the Father, be approached.” sRef John@14 @10 S6′ sRef John@14 @9 S6′ sRef John@14 @11 S6′ sRef Isa@9 @6 S6′ sRef John@12 @45 S6′ sRef John@16 @15 S6′ sRef John@14 @6 S6′ sRef John@12 @44 S6′ sRef Isa@63 @16 S6′ sRef Isa@63 @1 S6′ sRef Isa@63 @6 S6′ sRef John@14 @8 S6′ sRef John@10 @30 S6′  This conclusion of theirs the angel confirmed by many passages from the Word, among them were these from Isaiah:
Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given . . . Whose name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, God, Hero, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace. Isa. ix 6.
Abraham knows us not, and Israel does not acknowledge us. Thou, Jehovah, art our Father, our Redeemer from of old is Thy name. Isa. lxiii 1.6
And in John:
Jesus said, He that believeth on Me . . . believeth on Him that sent Me. And he that seeth Me, seeth him that sent Me. John xii 44, 45.
Philip said to Jesus, Show us the Father . . . Jesus said to him, He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father how sayest thou then, Show us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me. John xiv 8-11.
Jesus said, I and the Father are one. John x 30.
All things that the Father hath are Mine . . . and all Mine are the Father’s. John xvi 15; xvii 10.
Jesus said, I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no one cometh to the Father, but by Me. John xiv 6.
When they had heard these statements, they all declared with one voice and heart that the Lord’s Human is Divine, and that this should be approached in order that the Father may be approached; since Jehovah God, Who is the Lord from eternity, sent Himself by this means into the world, and made Himself visible to men’s eyes, and thus accessible. Likewise, He made Himself visible and thus accessible to men of olden times in a human form, but then by means of an angel.
 After this followed a discussion concerning the Holy Spirit. First the idea held by many people regarding God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit was disclosed, which was this; that God the Father sat on high, with the Son at His right hand, and that they sent forth the Holy Spirit from themselves to enlighten and instruct mankind. But then a voice was heard from heaven saying, “We cannot endure such an idea. Who does not know that Jehovah God is omnipresent? And whoever knows and acknowledges this, should also acknowledge that it is He Himself who enlightens and instructs, and that there is not a mediating God distinct from Him, much less from two, as one person is distinct from another. Wherefore, let the former idea which is false be removed, and let this other idea which is sound be received, and then you will see this clearly.”
 But then a voice was heard again from the Roman Catholics who had concealed themselves behind the altar of the temple, saying, “What then is the Holy Spirit, who is mentioned in the Word by the Evangelists and Paul, and by whom so many of the learned among the clergy, particularly of our Church, profess to be led? Who in the Christian world at this day denies the Holy Spirit and His operations?” Upon this, one of those who were sitting on the second row of seats turned round and said, “You say that the Holy Spirit is a Person by Himself, and a God by Himself. But what is a person going forth and proceeding from a person but operation going forth and proceeding? One person cannot go forth and proceed from another by another, but operation can. Or what is a God going forth and proceeding from a God but the Divine going forth and proceeding? One God cannot go forth and proceed from another by another, but the Divine can. Is not the Divine Essence one and indivisible? And since the Divine Essence, or the Divine Esse, is God, is not God therefore one and indivisible?”  On hearing these words, those who sat on the seats concluded unanimously that the Holy Spirit is not a Person by Himself, thus not a God by Himself, but that it is the Holy Divine going forth and proceeding from the one and only omnipotent God, Who is the Lord. To this the angels who stood at the golden table on which lay the Word said, “Good; for it is nowhere written in any part of the Old Testament that the prophets spake the Word from the Holy Spirit, but from Jehovah, the Lord; and wherever the Holy Spirit is mentioned in the New Testament it signifies the Divine Proceeding, which enlightens, instructs, vivifies, reforms and regenerates.
sRef Isa@11 @2 S10′ sRef John@14 @26 S10′ sRef John@16 @14 S10′ sRef John@16 @7 S10′ sRef Rev@15 @4 S10′ sRef John@15 @26 S10′ sRef Isa@42 @1 S10′ sRef John@3 @34 S10′ sRef John@20 @22 S10′ sRef John@3 @35 S10′ sRef John@16 @15 S10′ sRef Isa@11 @1 S10′ sRef John@7 @39 S10′  After this another subject of enquiry respecting the Holy Spirit was raised, viz., From Whom proceeds the Divine which is called the Holy Spirit, from the Divine which is called the Father or from the Divine Human which is the Son? Whilst they discussed this, a light shone from heaven, whereby they saw that the Holy Divine, meant by the Holy Spirit, proceeds from the Divine in the Lord through His glorified Human, which is the Divine Human, comparatively as all activity with man proceeds from the soul through the body. This truth the angel who stood by the table confirmed by these passages:
He Whom the Father hath sent speaketh the words of God; He hath not given the spirit by measure unto Him. The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into His hand. John iii 34, 35.
There shall come forth a Rod out of the stem of Jesse. . . the Spirit of Jehovah shall rest upon Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might. Isa. xi 1, 2.
The Spirit of Jehovah was put upon Him, and was in Him. Isa. xlii 1; lix 19, 24; lxi 1; Luke iv 18.
When the Holy Spirit shall have come, whom I am about to send unto you from the Father. John xv 26.
He shall glorify Me, for He shall receive of Mine, and shall declare it unto you. All things that the Father hath are Mine; wherefore I said, He is about to receive of Mine and to declare it unto you. John xvi 14, 15.
If I go away I will send the Comforter unto you. John xvi 7.
The Comforter is the Holy Spirit. John xiv 26.
The Holy Spirit was not yet, because Jesus was not yet glorified. John vii 39.
But after the glorification:
Jesus breathed on His disciples and said, Receive ye the Holy Spirit. John xx 22.
And in the Revelation.
Who shall not glorify Thy name, O Lord, for Thou only art holy. Rev. xv 4.
sRef John@14 @20 S11′ sRef John@14 @18 S11′ sRef Matt@28 @20 S11′ sRef John@14 @28 S11′  Inasmuch as the Divine operation of the Lord from His Divine Omnipresence is meant by the Holy Spirit, therefore when He spoke to His disciples concerning the Holy Spirit, which He was about to send from God the Father, He also said:
I will not leave you orphans. . . I go away. . . and come to you. . . . In that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in Me, and I in you. John xiv 18, 28, 20.
And just before His departure out of the world He said:
Lo I am with you all the days, even to the consummation of the age. Matt. xxviii 20.
Having read these words in their presence, the angel said, “From these and many other passages from the Word it is evident that the Divine which is called the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Divine in the Lord through His Divine Human. To this those who sat on the seats exclaimed, “This is Divine truth.”
sRef Colo@2 @9 S12′  Lastly, this decision was made: From what has been deliberated in this council we clearly see, and therefore acknowledge as holy truth, that in the Lord God, the Saviour Jesus Christ, there is a Divine Trinity which is the Originating Divine, called the Father, the Divine Human which is the Son, and the Divine Proceeding which is the Holy Spirit. Then they exclaimed together:
In Jesus Christ dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. Cols. ii 9.
Thus, there is One God in the Church.
sRef Zech@14 @9 S13′ sRef Zech@14 @8 S13′ sRef Zech@14 @7 S13′  After these things were concluded in that magnificent council, they arose, and the angel-custodian of the wardrobe came and brought to each of those who had sat on the seats splendid garments interwoven here and there with threads of gold; and he said, “Receive ye these wedding garments.” They were then conducted in glory to the New Christian Heaven, with which the Lord’s Church on earth, which is the New Jerusalem, will be united.
ZECHARIAH xiv 7, 8, 9.
There shall be one day which is known to Jehovah, nor day nor night…for about evening-time it shall be light. It shall come to pass in that day, living waters shall go out from Jerusalem… and Jehovah shall be King over all the earth in that day there shall be one Jehovah, and His name one.