On the Athanasian Creed #2

By Emanuel Swedenborg
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2. It is the doctrine of the Church that the above passage treats of the Coming of the Lord. Thence it is that there have been opened, by the Lord, arcana 1 concerning heaven and hell, man's life after death, the Word and the last judgment. All these things have been written down in the Latin language and sent to all the Archbishops and Bishops of this kingdom [of Great Britain] and to the Nobility. So far, not a voice has been heard. This is a sign that the things which pertain to heaven and the Church do not affect them interiorly. It also shows that it is now the very end of the Church and indeed that the Church no longer exists. For the Church exists where the Lord is worshipped and the Word is read with enlightenment. 2 . . . Summaries of the truth presented in the little works referred to may be seen at the end of this work.


1. Secret; hidden things: from Latin, arcanum (plural, arcana).

2. Similar passages in the Writings referring to the Church being "where the Lord is worshipped and the Word is read" are to be found, for example in:

Arcana Coelestia 10761: "That is called the Church where the Lord is acknowledged and where the Word is."

Apocalypse Explained 252:2: "The Church specificially is where the Word is and where the Lord is known through the Word."

The Last Judgment 55: "... for the Church exists where the Lord is worshipped and the Word is read."

The meaning of the last phrase in the Latin text, however, is obscure. It may have been a note written by Swedenborg to remind himself of a point to be amplified when he came to write the work in full, perhaps a reference to the need for self-examination as the fundamental of actual repentance (True Christian Religion 528), repentance being the first thing of the Church with man (True Christian Religion 510), and the need for regular self-examination (Conjugial Love 529 and Apocalypse Revealed 224:6). - Tr.

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Thanks to the Swedenborg Society for the permission to use this translation.