New Church


[1 of 2] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Church, New" (search under Outer Life/Religions, Ways)": source "True Christian Religion": detail "Section 647"
The faith of the former church insists that when faith is once given and imputed, repentance, remission of sins, renovation, regeneration, sanctification, and salvation follow of themselves, without any thing of man being mixed or conjoined with them; but the faith of the New Church teaches repentance, reformation, regeneration, and thus the remission of sins, by man's co-operation.
 The faith of the former church asserts the imputation of Christ's merit, as included in the faith so conferred; but the faith of the New Church teaches an imputation of good and of evil, and at the same time of faith; and that this imputation is agreeable to the Holy Scripture, but the other contrary to it.
 The former church maintains the gift of faith, including the merit of Christ, while man is as a stock or a stone; it also asserts a total impotence in spiritual things; but the New Church teaches a faith altogether different, not a faith in the merit of Christ, but in Jesus Christ himself as God, the Redeemer and Savior, asserting a freedom of will in man both to apply himself to reception and to co-operate with it.
 The former church adjoins charity to its faith as an appendage, but not as possessing any saving efficacy, and thus it forms its religion; but the New Church conjoins faith in the Lord and charity towards the neighbor as two inseparable things, and so forms its religion; not to mention several other points of disagreement.

[2 of 2] Swedenborg (1688-1772, Sweden): primary subject "Church, New" (search under Outer Life/Religions, Ways)": source "True Christian Religion": detail "Section 787"
The reason why this New Church is the crown of all the churches which have been to this time on the terrestrial globe is, because it will worship one visible God, in whom is the invisible God, as the soul is in the body; for thus, and no otherwise, can conjunction be effected between God and man; the reason of which is, because man is natural, and consequently thinks naturally, and the conjunction must be effected in his thought, and so in the affection of his love, and such conjunction is produced when a man thinks of God as a Man.
 Conjunction with an invisible God is like the conjunction of ocular sight with the expanse of the universe, of which it sees no end; it is also like sight in the midst of the ocean, which falls on air and water, and is lost in their immensity: but conjunction with a visible God is like the visible appearance of a man in the air or on the sea, stretching forth his hands and inviting to his embraces; for all conjunction of God with man must be likewise reciprocal on the part of man with God; and this reciprocity on man's part is not possible but with a visible God. That God was not visible before he assumed the Humanity, the Lord himself teaches in John: “Ye have neither heard the voice of the Father, nor seen his shape" (v. 37).