Index - Formulae Concordia #1

By Emanuel Swedenborg
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ADAM, see Sin, Free-will, Baptism

From the Formula Concordiae:

- After Adam's fall all men are born in sin, which condemns and brings eternal death to those who are not born again by baptism and the Holy Spirit, pp. 9, 10.

- The cause of sin is the will of the wicked, that is, of the devil and ungodly men, p. 15.


FREE-WILL, see also Adam

From the Formula Concordiae:

- Man's will has some liberty to work a civil righteousness and to choose such things as reason can reach unto; but it has no power to work the righteousness of God without the Spirit of God.

- Various works of the reason wherein man has some liberty are cited, p 15.

- The external man is able to withhold the hands from theft and murder, yet it cannot work the inward motions, p. 15.

BAPTISM, see Sacraments and Adam

From the Formula Concordiae:

- Baptism is necessary to salvation, and by it the grace of God is offered, p. 12.


- In the Churches it is not necessary that human traditions, rites, or ceremonies should be alike, p. 11. Various matters about ceremonies, pp. 13, 14

CHARITY, see Works, Justification, Faith


From the Formula Concordiae:

- One reads in the Apostles' Creed: I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, Born of the Virgin Mary; And in the Holy Ghost, p. 1.

From the Nicene Creed:

I believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, Begotten of his Father before all worlds, God of God, Being of one substance with the Father, Who came down from heaven, And was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary; And in the Holy Ghost, The Lord and giver of life, Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son, pp. 1, 2.

From the Athanasian Creed: I believe in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost: there are three Persons, and each is God and Lord; and these three are consubstantial, that is, of one substance. The Son is begotten from eternity: and in Him God and Man, Divine and Human, are one Person, as soul and body are one in man, pp. 2-4. 2

Observation: From the quotations given above it is clear that in the Apostles' Creed a Son of God begotten in time and not from eternity is spoken of and thus acknowledged. Not so in the two creeds that follow. Moreover in the Apostles' Creed the Holy Spirit is named without any addition; He is not called God nor Lord. From this it is obvious that in the faith of the early church God was One, and from His Own Spirit or essence our Lord Jesus Christ had been conceived and the Son of God had been begotten in the world or in time, according to the writers of the Gospels.

The Word, that is, the Son of God, took unto Him man's nature, so that two natures, the Divine and the Human, were inseparably joined together in Christ, p. 10.

The incarnation took place so that He might reconcile the Father, and become a sacrifice for both original guilt and for actual sins, besides much else from the Creeds, p. 10.

Christ is Mediator, Propitiatory, High-priest, and Intercessor. This Christ is to be invoked, for He has promised that He will hear our prayers, and likes this worship especially, to wit, that He be invoked in all afflictions, p. 19.

HEAVEN, see Resurrection

LORD'S SUPPER, see Sacraments

From the Formula Concordiae:

- In the Holy Supper the body and blood of Christ are truly present, and are communicated to those that eat, p. 12.

It is not known when and by what authority both kinds were divided among the Papists: yet certain of the Fathers testify to the blood also being given to the people; and Pope Gelasius commands that the Sacrament be not divided (Dist. 2 de Consecratione), p. 21.


DECALOGUE, see Works, Charity, Repentance, Faith, Justification

GOD, see Christ and Trinity

Concerning God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, in the three creeds, the Apostles', Nicene, and Athanasian, see Christ.


From the Formula Concordiae:

- The Church is the congregation of saints in which the Gospel is rightly taught, and the Sacraments rightly administered, p. 11.

- The Word and the Sacraments are effectual even when they are administered by evil men, contrary to the opinion of the Donatists, p. 12.

ELECTION, see Predestination

GOSPEL, see Justification, Faith, Charity, Works, Decalogue

FAITH, see Justification, Charity, Works, Adam

From the Formula Concordiae:

- By the Word and Sacraments, as by instruments, the Holy Spirit is given Who works faith, where and when it pleases God, in those that hear the Gospel, p. 11.

- We obtain justification, forgiveness, grace, and righteousness not by works but by faith alone, believing that we are received into favour for Christ's sake, Who alone is appointed the Mediator and Propitiatory, by Whom the Father is reconciled, pp. 16-19. Because the Holy Spirit is received by faith, our hearts are renewed and so put on new affections that we are able to bring forth good works; for thus said Ambrose: Faith is the begetter of a good will and of good action, p. 18.

- Faith is not such a knowledge as is in the wicked, but a trust which comforts and lifts up disquieted minds, from Augustine, p. 18.


From the Formula Concordiae:

- Samosatenes set up one Person, and craftily and wickedly trifled, after the manner of rhetoricians, about the Word and the Holy Spirit, p. 9.

- Some things about Anabaptists, pp. 11-14.

- About Donatists, p. 12.

- Novatians, p. 13.

- Pelagians, p. 15.


LAST JUDGMENT, see Resurrection

HELL, see Resurrection

JUSTIFICATION, see Faith, Repentance, Charity, Works

From the Formula Concordiae

- Men cannot be justified before God by their own powers, merits, or works, but are justified freely for Christ's sake through faith, when they believe that they are received into favour and their sins forgiven for Christ's sake, Who by His death has satisfied for our sins. This faith God imputes for righteousness before Him, Romans 3 and 4, pp. 10, 11.

- Justification and remission of sins is apprehended by faith, etc., p. 11.

LAW, see Works, Decalogue

FREE-WILL, see Free-will, Adam

WORKS, see Justification, Faith, Charity, Repentance, Decalogue, Law

From the Formula Concordiae

- Our works cannot reconcile God, or deserve remission of sins, grace, and justification, but this we obtain by faith only. He therefore that trusts by his own works to merit grace, despises the merit of Christ, and seeks by his own power to come into heaven, p. 16; see Faith.

- Consciences cannot be quieted by any works, but by faith alone, when they believe assuredly, that they have a God Who is propitiated for Christ's sake, p. 17.

- It is necessary to do good works, not that we may trust that we deserve grace by them, but because it is the will of God. For man's powers without the Holy Spirit are full of wicked affections, and are too weak to perform good deeds before God; for they are in the devil's power, who etc. p. 18.

- The doctrine of faith teaches how we must do good works; for without faith the nature of man can by no means perform the works of the first or second commandment. Without faith it cannot call upon God but seeks help from man and trusts in man's help, pp. 18, 19.

PAPACY, see Pontiff

SIN, see Adam, Baptism, Free-will


- There is one Divine essence which is called God, and yet there are three persons of the same essence and power who are also co-eternal, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, p. 9.

- Person signifies not a Part or quality in another but that which properly subsists, p. 9; each subsists by himself apart from another.

REPENTANCE, see Works and Decalogue

From the Formula Concordiae

- Private absolution is to be retained, though enumeration of all offences is not necessary in confession, p. 12.

- Repentance consists of these two parts: 1. Contrition or terror upon the acknowledgment of sin. 2. Faith which is conceived as the result of the Gospel, or absolution which sets free [the conscience from terrors]. Then should follow good works, which are fruits of repentance, p. 12.

- Many believe that confession before the Sacrament, especially absolution is like a voice sounding from heaven, and that faith then acquires forgiveness of sins, pp. 27, 28.

- The enumeration of sins is not necessary, nor are consciences to be burdened with all of them, in as much as it is impossible [to recount all sins]; according to Chrysostom they are to be revealed and confessed before God in prayer; they are to be pronounced not with the tongue but with the memory of one's conscience, pp. 27, 28.


From the Formula Concordiae:

- Formerly the Papists taught the needless works which are named, but afterwards they began to conjoin faith and works; this doctrine is more tolerable than the former, p. 16.

- Of both Kinds in the Eucharist, p. 21.

- Of the Marriage of Priests, pp. 21-3.

- Of the Worship of Saints, p. 19.

- Of the Mass, pp. 23-6.

- Of the Distinction of Meats, pp. 28-32.

- Of Monastic Vows, pp. 32-7.

- Of Ecclesiastical Power, pp. 37-44.



From the Formula Concordiae:

RITES, see Ceremonies

SACRAMENTS, see Baptism, Lord's Supper

From the Formula Concordiae:

- The Sacraments are signs and testimonies of the will of God, to stir up and confirm faith; they are thus for the sake of faith, p. 13.

SACRIFICE, see Sacrament

SALVATION, see Resurrection


HOLY SPIRIT, see Christ

CREEDS, see Council

From the Formula Concordiae

- The three Creeds, the Apostles', the Nicene, and the Athanasian, are set out word for word, pp. 1-4.

- Concerning God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, in those three Creeds, see Christ

TRINITY, see also Christ

- Concerning God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, in the three Creeds, the Apostles', the Nicene, and the Athanasian, see Christ.

- Concerning one divine essence which is God, and three persons in Him, p. 9; see Person.



1. [NCBSP: THE FORMULA CONCORDIAE was a Lutheran statement of faith, adopted in 1577. Swedenborgian theology differs from it in many ways, but Swedenborg refers to it fairly often, often to make a contrasting point. He developed this index for his use in making such references. The FORMULA CONCORDIAE may be found online.]

2.  The editor has adopted here the forms of these three Creeds as they are found in the Book of Common Prayer.

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