True Christian Religion #687

True Christian Religion (Chadwick translation)      

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687. Moreover, baptism as representing regeneration is evidenced by many things in heaven and in the world. In heaven, as just said, by white and purple clothing, and besides by the wedding of the church with the Lord; also by the new heaven and the new earth, and the New Jerusalem coming down from there, of which He who sits upon the throne said:

Behold, I shall make all things new, Revelation 21:1-5.

It is also meant by the river of water of life 1 which issues from the throne of God and the Lamb (Revelation 22:1-2); and also by the five wise virgins who had lamps and oil, and went in with the bridegroom to the wedding (Matthew 25:1-2, 10). One who is baptised, that is, regenerated, is meant by every creature (Mark 16:15; Romans 8:19-21) and by a new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15); for creature is derived from being created, which also means being regenerated (see Apocalypse Revealed 254).

(References: Apocalypse Revealed 254)


[2] In the world there are various representations of regeneration, such as the way all the earth's products flower in springtime, and then stage by stage develop until they bear fruit; and likewise by the way any tree, shrub or flower grows from the first month of warm weather until the last. Another representation is the stages by which all fruits gradually ripen from the first rudiments to the full development. Then again it is represented by early morning and late evening showers, and by dew, which when it falls makes flowers open, and the shades of night make them close again; or again by the fragrant smells from gardens and fields. Another representation is by the rainbow in the cloud (Genesis 9:14-17), as well as by the glorious colours of sunrise. In general it is represented by the way everything in the body is continually renewed by means of the chyle and animal spirit, and so by the blood, which perpetually undergoes purification from exhausted matter, and is so renewed and, so to speak, regenerated.

[3] If we turn our attention to the humblest creatures on earth, there is a wonderful picture of regeneration presented by the way silk-worms and many caterpillars are transformed into nymphs and butterflies, and other insects which as time goes on are adorned with wings. To these examples even more trivial ones can be added, such as the fondness of certain birds for plunging in water in order to wash and cleanse themselves, after which they revert to their role as song-birds. In short, the whole world from first to last is full of representations and models of regeneration.

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Footnotes:

1. Reading vitae for vivae in accordance with the Greek; so also in AR.

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Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library at the New Church Vineyard website.


 Becoming an Angel Book or Mural
Nature provides us with many illustrations of regeneration or spiritual rebirth. Let children make pictures of these illustrations, then display as a mural or book.
Project | Ages 4 - 14

 Becoming an Angel (sheet music)
Song | Ages 4 - 14


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


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