Justification #0

Justification (Duckworth translation)      

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Preliminary Notes

[Most of these preliminary notes became the titles of sections in the material that follows.]

Justification and good works with the Roman Catholics - summarised on p. 3 of Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent, and dealt with more fully in matters set out on pp. 3-6.

The faith that prevails nowadays among the Reformed was acquired from the Roman Catholics, p. 201.

The Person of Christ with Calvin and his adherents was taken from the Athanasian Creed, p. 7.

The Trinity of Persons with Calvin and his adherents was taken from the Athanasian Creed, p. 8,

--something about Calvin, p. 8e.

The clergy of the Reformed Church on justification, p. 8.

The forgiveness of sins, Canon p. 101.

[This first short section would seem to consist of Swedenborg's general summary of the teaching concerning Justification and Good Works as contained in the Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent.]


[1.] 1 Adam's sin was transmitted to the entire human race, by which his state, and the consequent state of all men, became perverse and estranged from God, and so men became enemies and children of wrath. Therefore God the Father graciously sent His Son that He should reconcile, expiate, atone, make satisfaction, and thus redeem; and He did these things by becoming justice. Christ accomplished this by offering Himself to God the Father as a sacrifice upon the tree of the cross, thus by His passion and His blood.

[2.] 2 The Lord Jesus Christ alone had merit. This merit of His is imputed, attributed, and applied to man, and transferred to him, by God the Father through the Holy Spirit; and so Adam's sin is taken away from man, though lust remains as the incitement for sin. This is effected first by baptism, and afterwards by the Sacrament of Penance.

[3.] 3 Justification is effected by faith, hope, and charity. Then comes a renewal of the inner man, by which he ceases to be an enemy and becomes a friend, and ceases to be a child of wrath and becomes a child of God. It is done by God the Father through His Son's merit by the action of the Holy Spirit, from grace; and it is a union with Christ, because the man becomes a living member of His body, and, as it were, a branch in the vine.

[4.] 4 Since these things are done from grace, are freely given, and are thus gifts, and since Christ Jesus alone had merit, no one can attribute any merit to himself.

[5.] 5 Because the reception of justification renews man, and this is done by a transference of Christ's merit to him, it follows that his works are merits; and that one who is justified and sanctified is not simply just and holy by repute, but becomes just and holy.

[6.] 6 Faith comes from what man gives heed to when he believes that things Divinely revealed are true. This is the commencement of justification; but it operates by charity, because faith without works is dead.

[7.] 7 Free-will is not destroyed, and man ought to co-operate [with God]. He has the ability to approach and retire; if it were not so, nothing could be given to him and he would be like a lifeless body.

[8.] 8 Man makes satisfaction by penances of satisfaction imposed upon him by a minister, and this takes nothing away from the satisfaction made by Christ, since we ought to suffer with Him.

[9.] 9 Something on Predestination.

(References: Daniel 1:1; John 1:13-14, 1:34; Luke 9:35; Mark 9:7; Matthew 1:1, 3:17, 17:5; Revelation 1:1, 6:13, 21:2, 21:9)

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