A Brief Exposition of New Church Doctrine #0

     
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CONTENTS

Introduction - 1

The Doctrinals of the Roman Catholics concerning Justification: from the Council of Trent. - 2-8

The Doctrinals of the Protestants Concerning Justification: From the Formula Concordiae. - 9-15

A Sketch of the Doctrinals of the New Church - 16

I. 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. - 17-18

II. 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. - 19-20

III. 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. - 21-23

IV. 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. - 24-29

V. 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. - 30-38

VI. 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. - 39-40

VII. Then truly saving Faith, which is Faith in one God united with Good Works, is acknowledged and received. - 41-42

VIII. 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. - 43-44

IX. 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. - 45-46

X. The Faith of the present Church cannot be united with Charity, or produce any fruits which are Good Works. - 47-50

XI. 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. - 51-52

XII. 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. - 53-57

XIII. 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. - 58-59

XIV. 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. - 60-63

XV. 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. - 64-69

XVI. 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. (Matthew 24:3). - 70-73

XVII. 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. (Matthew 24:21). - 74-76

XVIII. 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. (Matthew 24:29). - 77-81

XIX. Those who hold to the present belief in Justification by Faith Alone are meant by the he-goats in Daniel and Matthew. - 82-86

XX. 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. - 87-90

XXI. Unless a New Church is established 1 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. (Matthew 24:22). - 91-94

XXII. 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. (Revelation 21:5). - 95-98

XXIII. The New Church about to be established by the Lord is the New Jerusalem treated of in the Revelation, chapters 21 and 22, which is there called the Bride and Wife of the Lamb. - 99-101

XXIV. 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. - 102-104

XXV. 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. - 105-108

About Imputation. - 109-113

Memorable experiences taken from The Apocalypse Revealed. - 114-115

APPENDIX.

The Faith of the New Heaven and the New Church in its universal form. - 116

The Faith of the New Heaven and the New Church in its particular form. - 117

Three memorable experiences taken from The Apocalypse Revealed. - 118-120

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


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