Brief Exposition, by Emanuel Swedenborg, , tr. by John Whitehead  at sacred-texts.com
Several works and tracts having been published by me, during some years past, concerning the New Jerusalem, by which is meant the New Church about to be established by the Lord; and the book of Revelation having been revealed, I have come to a determination to bring to light the entire doctrine of that church in its fullness. But, as this is a work of some years, I have thought it advisable to draw up some sketch thereof, in order that a general idea may first be formed of that church and its doctrine; because when general principles precede, each and every thing will afterwards appear extant in its breadth in light, for these enter into generals, as things homogenous into their receptacles. This compendium, however, is not designed for critical examination, but is only offered to the world by way of information, as its contents will be fully demonstrated in the work itself. But the doctrinals at present maintained concerning justification shall be prefixed, that the following contrast between the doctrines of the present church, and those of the New Church, may be clearly understood.2.
THE DOCTRINALS OF THE ROMAN CATHOLICS CONCERNING JUSTIFICATION, FROM THE COUNCIL OF TRENT. In the bull of Pope Pius IV., dated 13th November, 1564, are the following words: "I embrace and receive each and everything which the most holy council of Trent hath determined and declared concerning Original Sin and Justification."3.
From the Council of Trent, concerning Original Sin. (a) That Adam, by the offense of his transgression, experienced an entire change and depravation of nature, both in body and soul; and that the ill effects of Adam's transgression were not confined to himself, but also extended to his posterity; and that it not only transmitted death and corporal sufferings upon all mankind, but likewise sin, which is the death of the soul (Sess. v. 1, 2). (b) That this sin of Adam, which originally was a single transgression, and has been transmitted by propagation, and not by imitation, is so implanted in the proprium of every man, and cannot be taken away by any other means than by the merit of the only Saviour our Lord Jesus Christ, who has reconciled us to God by His blood, being made unto us justice, sanctification, and redemption (Sess. v. 3). (c) That by the transgression of Adam, all men lost their innocence, and became unclean, and by nature the sons of wrath (Sess. vi. chap. 1).4.
Concerning Justification. (a) That our heavenly Father, the Father of mercies, sent Christ Jesus His Son to men, in the blessed fulness of time, as well to the Jews who were under the law, as to the Gentiles who followed not justice, that they might all lay hold of justice, and all receive the adoption of sons. Him God offered to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, not only for our sins, but likewise for the sins of the whole world (Sess. vi. chap. 3). (b) Nevertheless all do not receive the benefit of His death, but only they to whom the merit of His passion is communicated; so that unless they are born again in Christ, they can never be justified (Sess. vi. chap. 3). (c) That the beginning of justification is to be derived from the preventing grace of God through Christ Jesus, that is, from His call (Sess. vi. chap. 5). (c) That men are disposed to justice, when being stirred up by Divine grace, and conceiving faith from hearing, they are freely moved towards God, believing those things to be true which are Divinely revealed and promised; and especially this, that the ungodly are justified by God through His grace, through redemption, which is by Christ Jesus; and when, being convinced of sin from the fear of Divine justice, by which they are profitably disquieted, they are encouraged in hope, trusting that God, for Christ's sake, will be propitious to them (Sess. vi. chap. 6). (d) That the consequence of this disposition and preparation is actual justification, which is not only a remission of sins, but likewise a sanctification and renovation of the interior man by the reception of Divine grace and gifts, whereby man from being unjust, becomes just, and from being an enemy becomes a friend, so as to be an heir according to the hope of eternal life (Sess. vi. chap. 7). (e) The final cause of justification is the glory of God and of Christ, and life eternal. The efficient cause is God, who freely cleanses and sanctifies. The meritorious cause is the Dearly-Beloved and Only-Begotten of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, who when we were enemies, through the great charity wherewith He loved us, by His most holy passion upon the wood of the cross, merited for us justification, and made satisfaction for us to God the Father. The instrumental cause is the sacrament of baptism which is a sacrament of faith, without which no one can ever reach justification. The formal cause is the sole justice of God; not that whereby He is just Himself, but that whereby He makes us just, with which being gifted by Him, we are renewed in the spirit of our mind; and are not only reputed just, but are truly called and are just, each according to his own measure, which the Holy Spirit imparts to everyone as it pleases Him (Sess. vi. chap. 7, 2). (f) That justification is a translation from that state, wherein man is born a son of the first Adam, into a state of grace and adoption of the sons of God by the second Adam, our Saviour Jesus christ (Sess. vi. chap. 4).5.
Concerning Faith, Charity, Good Works and Merits. (a) When the apostle says, that man is justified by faith and freely, these words are to be understood in the sense wherein the Catholic church has uniformly held and expressed them; namely, that we are said to be justified by faith, because faith is the commencement of man's salvation, the foundation and root of all justification, without which it is impossible to please God, and attain to the fellowship of His sons. But we are said to be justified freely, because none of those things which precede justification, whether faith or works, merit the actual grace of justification; for if it be grace, it is not from works, otherwise grace would not be grace (Sess. vi. chap. 8). (b) Although no one can be just, but they to whom the merits of the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ are communicated, nevertheless that is effected in justification, when by the merit of the same most holy passion, the charity of God is infused by the Holy Spirit into the hearts of those who are justified, and abides in them. Hence in the act of justification, man receives, together with the remission of his sins, all these things infused into him at once by Jesus Christ, in whom he is ingrafted by faith, hope, and charity. For faith, unless charity be added to it, neither unites perfectly with Christ, nor constitutes a living member of His body (Sess. vi. chap. 7, 3). (c) That Christ is not only the Redeemer in whom they have faith, but also a Lawgiver, whom they obey (Sess. vi. chap. 16, Can. 21). (d) That faith without works is dead and vain, because in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but faith which worketh through charity. For faith without hope and charity cannot avail unto eternal life; wherefore also they hearken to the word of Christ, "If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments." Thus they who are born again, receiving true Christian justice, are commanded to keep it white and unspotted, as their first robe, given them by Jesus Christ, instead of that which Adam lost both for himself and us by his disobedience, that they may present it before the tribunal of our Lord Jesus Christ, and obtain eternal life (Sess. vi. chap. 7). (e) That there is a continual influx of power from Jesus Christ Himself into those who are justified, as from a head into the members, and from a vine into the branches; which power always precedes, accompanies, and follows their good works, and without which they could not by any means be acceptable and meritorious in the sight of God; wherefore we are to believe, that nothing more is wanting to those who are justified, but they may be fully assured, that by those works which have been wrought in God, they have merited eternal life, which will be bestowed upon them in due time (Sess. vi. chap. 16). (f) We do not mean our own justice, as though it were our own from ourselves; for that which is termed our justice, is the justice of God, because it is infused into us by God through the merit of Christ. Far be it, therefore, from any Christian man either to trust or glory in himself, and not in the Lord, whose goodness towards us men is so great, that He vouchsafes to regard those things as our merits, which are His own gifts (Sess. vi. chap. 16). (g) For of ourselves, as of ourselves, we can do nothing; but by His cooperation, who strengthens us, we can do all things. Thus man has not whereof to glory, but all our glory is in Christ, in whom we live, in whom we merit, in whom we make satisfaction, bringing forth fruits worthy of repentance, which have their efficacy from Him, are offered unto the Father by Him, and are accepted by the Father through Him (Sess. xiv. chap. 8). (h) Whosoever shall say that man may be justified in the sight of God, by his own works, which are done either through the powers of human nature, or through the teaching of the law, without Divine grace through Christ Jesus, let him be accursed (Sess. vi. can. 1). (i) Whosoever shall say that man may believe, hope, and love (that is, have faith, hope, and charity), as is necessary in order that the grace of justification may be conferred upon him, without the preventing inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and its assistance, let him be accursed (Sess. vi. Can. 2). (k) Whosoever shall say that man is justified without the justice of christ, whereby He has merited for us, let him be accursed (Sess. vi. Can. 10). Not to mention many more passages, principally relating to the conjunction of faith with charity or good works, and the condemnation of their separation.6.
Concerning Free-will. (a) That free-will is by no means destroyed by Adam's sin, although it is debilitated and warped thereby (Sess. vi. chap. 1). (b) Whosoever shall say that the free-will of man, when moved and stirred up by God, cannot at all cooperate by concurring with God, who stirs it up and calls it, whereby man may dispose and prepare himself to receive the grace of justification; or that he cannot dissent if he will, but that, like a thing inanimate, he can do nothing at all, and is merely passive, let him be accursed (Sess. vi. Can. 4).7.
The Doctrinals of the Roman Catholics concerning Justification, collected from the Decrees of the Council of Trent may be summed up and arranged in a series thus. That the sin of Adam was transfused into the whole human race, whereby his state, and likewise the state of all men, became perverted, and alienated from God, and thus they were made enemies and sons of wrath; that therefore God the Father graciously sent His Son to reconcile, expiate, atone, satisfy, and thus redeem, and this by His being made justice. That Christ accomplished and fulfilled all this, by offering up Himself a sacrifice to God the Father upon the wood of the cross, thus by His passion and blood. That Christ alone has merited, and that this His merit is graciously imputed, attributed, applied, and transferred to the man who is recipient thereof, by God the Father through the Holy Spirit; and that thus the sin of Adam is removed from man; lust, however, still remaining in him as an incentive to sin. That justification is the remission of sins, and that from thence a renovation of the interior man takes place, whereby man from an enemy becomes a friend, and from being a son of wrath, a son of grace; and that thus union with Christ is effected, and being reborn he becomes a living member in His body.8.
That faith comes by hearing, when a man believes those things to be true which are Divinely revealed, and believes in the promises of God. That faith is the beginning of man's salvation, the foundation and root of all justification, without which it is impossible to please God, and enter into the fellowship of His children. That justification is effected by faith, hope, and charity; and that unless faith be accompanied by hope and charity, it is not living but dead, which cannot unite with Christ. That man ought to cooperate; that he has the power to approach and recede, otherwise nothing could be given unto him, for he would be like an inanimate body. That inasmuch as the reception of justification renews man, and as this is effected by the application of the merit of Christ, during man's cooperation, it follows that works are meritorious; but inasmuch as they are done from grace, and by the Holy Spirit, and as Christ alone has merited, therefore God considers His own gifts in man as meritorious; whence it follows, that no one ought to attribute anything of merit to himself.9.
THE DOCTRINALS OF THE PROTESTANTS CONCERNING JUSTIFICATION, FROM THE FORMULA CONCORDIAE. The book from which the following extracts are collected, is called the Formula Concordiae, and was composed by men attached to the Augsburg Confession; and as the pages will be cited where the quotations are to be met with, it is proper to observe, that I have made use of the edition printed at Leipzig in the year 1756.10.
From the Formula Concordiae, concerning original sin. (a) That since the fall of Adam, all men naturally descended from him are born with sin, which condemns, and brings eternal death upon those who are not born again, and that the merit of Christ is the only means whereby they are regenerated, consequently the only remedy whereby they are healed (pp. 9, 10, 52, 53, 55, 317, 641, 644, and Appendix, pp. 138, 139). (b) That original sin is such a total corruption of nature, that there is no spiritual soundness in the powers of man either as to his soul or body (p. 574). (c) That it is the source of all actual sins (pp. 317, 577, 639, 640, 942; Appendix, p. 139). (d) That it is a total absence or privation of the image of God (p. 640). (e) That we ought to distinguish between our nature, such as God created it, and original sin which dwells in our nature (p. 645). (f) Moreover, original sin is there called the work of the devil, spiritual poison, the root of all evils, an accident and a quality; whereas our nature is there called the work and creature of God, the personality of man, a substance, and an essence; and that the difference between them is the same as the difference between a man infected with a disease and the disease itself.11.
Concerning justification by faith. The general principles are these. (a) That by the Word and the sacraments the Holy Spirit is given, who effects faith when and where He pleases, in those who hear the Gospel. (b) That contrition, justification by faith, renovation, and good works, follow in order; that they are to be properly distinguished; and that contrition and good works contribute nothing to salvation, but faith alone. (c) That justification by faith alone, is remission of sins, deliverance from damnation, reconciliation with the Father, adoption as sons, and is effected by the imputation of the merit or justice of Christ. (d) That hence faith is that justice itself, whereby we are accounted just before God, and that it is a trust and confidence in grace. (e) That renovation, which follows, is vivification, regeneration, and sanctification. (f) That good works, which are the fruits of faith, being in themselves works of the Spirit, follow that renovation. (g) That this faith may be lost by grievous evils. The general principles concerning the Law and the Gospel are these. (h) That we must carefully distinguish between the Law and the Gospel, and between the works of the Law and the works of the Spirit, which are the truths of faith. (i) That the Law is doctrine which shows that man is in sins, and therefore in condemnation and the wrath of God, thus exciting terror; but that the Gospel is doctrine which teaches atonement for sins, and the deliverance from damnation by Christ, and thus of consolation. (k) That there are three uses of the Law, namely, to keep the wicked within bounds, to bring men to acknowledgment of their sins, and to teach the regenerate a rule of life. (l) That the regenerate are in the Law, but not under the Law, for they are under grace. (m) That it is the duty of the regenerate to exercise themselves in the Law, because, during their life in the world, they are prompted to sin by the flesh; but that they become pure and perfect after death. (n) That the regenerate are also reproved by the Holy Spirit, and endure various afflictions, but that nevertheless they do the Law spontaneously, and thus being the sons of God, they live in the Law. (o) That with those who are not regenerated, the veil of Moses still remains before their eyes, and the old Adam bears rule; but that with the regenerate the veil of Moses is taken away, and the old Adam is put to death.12.
Particulars from the Formula Concordiae, concerning justification by faith without the works of the Law. (a) That faith is imputed for justice without works, on account of the merit of Christ which is laid hold of by faith (pp. 78, 79, 80, 584, 689). (b) That charity follows justifying faith, but that faith does not justify as being formed by charity, as the Papists say (pp. 81, 89, 94, 117, 688, 691; Appendix, p. 169). (c) That neither the contrition which precedes faith, nor the renovation and sanctification which follow after it, nor the good works then performed, have anything to do with justification by faith (pp. 688, 689). (d) That it is folly to dream that the works of the second table of the Decalogue justify before God, for with that table we act with men, and not properly with God; and in justification we act with God and appease His wrath (p. 102). (e) If any one, therefore, believes he can obtain the remission of his sins, because he has charity, he brings a reproach on Christ; because he has an impious and vain confidence in his own justice (pp. 87, 89). (f) That good works are utterly to be excluded, in treating of justification and eternal life (p. 589). (g) That good works are not necessary as a meritorious cause of salvation, and that they do not enter into the act of justification (pp. 589, 590, 702, 704; Appendix, p. 173). (h) That the position, that good works are necessary to salvation, is to be rejected, because it takes away the consolation of the gospel, gives occasion to doubt of the grace of God, instills an opinion of one's own justice, and because they are accepted by the Papists to support a bad cause (p. 704). (i) The expression that good works are necessary to salvation, is rejected and condemned (p. 591). (k) That expressions implying that works are necessary unto salvation, ought not to be taught and defended, but rather exploded and rejected by the churches as false (p. 705). (I) That works which do not proceed from a true faith, are regarded as sins before God, that is, they are defiled with sin, because an evil tree cannot bring forth good fruit (p. 700). (m) That faith and salvation are neither preserved nor retained by good works, because these are only evidences that the Holy Spirit is present, and dwells in us (pp. 590, 705; Appendix, p. 174). (n) That the decree of the Council of Trent is deservedly to be rejected, which affirms that good works preserve salvation, or that justification by faith, or even faith itself, is maintained and preserved, either in the whole, or in the least part, by our works (p. 707).13.
Particulars from Formula Concordiae, Concerning the fruits of faith. (a) That a difference is to be observed between the works of the Law, and the works of the Spirit, and that the works which a regenerate person performs with a free and willing mind are not works of the Law, but works of the Spirit, which are the fruits of faith; because they who are born again are not under the Law, but under grace (pp. 589, 590, 721, 722). (b) That good works are the fruits of repentance (p. 12). (c) That the regenerate receive by faith a new life, new affections, and new works, and that these are from faith in repentance (p. 134). (d) That man after conversion and justification begins to be renewed in his mind, and at length in his understanding, and that then his will is not inactive in performing daily exercises of repentance (pp. 582, 673, 700). (e) That we ought to repent as well on account of original sin, as on account of actual sins (p. 321; Appendix, p. 159). (f) That repentance with Christians continues until death, because they have to wrestle with the remains of sin in the flesh throughout life (p. 327). (g) That we must enter upon, and advance more and more in the practice of the Law of the Decalogue (pp. 85, 86). (h) That the regenerate, although delivered from the curse of the Law, ought nevertheless still to exercise themselves in the Divine Law (p. 718). (i) That the regenerate are not without the Law, though not under the Law, for they live according to the Law of the Lord (p. 722). (k) That the Law ought to be considered by the regenerate as a rule of religion (pp. 596, 717; Appendix, p. 156). (l) That the regenerate do good works; not by compulsion, but spontaneously and freely, as though they had received no command, had heard of no threats, and expected no reward (pp. 596, 701). (m) That with them faith is always occupied in some good work, and he who does not thus perform good works, is destitute of true faith, for where there is faith, there are good works (p. 701). (n) That charity and good fruits follow faith and regeneration (pp. 121, 122, 171, 188, 692). (o) Faith and works agree well together, and are inseparably connected; but faith alone lays hold of the blessing without works, and yet it is not alone; hence it is that faith without works is dead (pp. 692, 693). (p) That after man is justified by faith, his faith being then true and alive is operative by charity, for good works always follow justifying faith, and are most certainly discovered with it; thus faith is never alone, but is always accompanied by hope and charity (p. 586). (y) We confess that where good works do not follow faith, in such case it is a false and not a true faith (p. 336). (r) That it is as impossible to separate good works from faith, as heat and light from fire (p. 701). (s) That as the old Adam is always inherent in our very nature, the regenerate have continual need of admonition, doctrine, threatenings, and even of chastisements of the Law, for they are reproved and corrected by the Holy Spirit through the Law (pp. 719, 720, 721). (t) That the regenerate must wrestle with the old Adam, and that the flesh must be kept under by exhortations, threatenings, and stripes, because renovation of life by faith is only begun in the present life (pp. 595, 596, 724). (u) That there remains a perpetual wrestling between the flesh and the spirit, in the elect and truly regenerate (pp. 675, 679). (z) That the reason why Christ promises remission of sins to good works, is, because they follow reconciliation, and also because good fruits must necessarily follow, and because they are the signs of the promise(pp. 116, 117). (y) That saving faith is not in those who have not charity, for charity is the fruit which certainly and necessarily follows true faith (p. 688). (z) That good works are necessary on many accounts, but not as a meritorious cause (pp. 11, 17, 64, 95, 133, 589, 590, 702; Appendix, p. 172). (aa) That a regenerate person ought to cooperate with the Holy Spirit, by the new powers and gifts which he has received, but in a certain way (pp. 582, 583, 674, 675; Appendix, p. 144). (bb) In the Confession of the Churches in the Low Countries, which was received in the Synod of Dort, we read as follows: "Holy faith cannot be inactive in man, for it is a faith working by charity; and works, which proceed from a good root of faith, are good and acceptable before God, like fruits of a good tree; for we are bound by God to good works, but not God to us, inasmuch as it is God that doeth them in us."14.
Concerning merits, from the Formula Concordiae. (a) That it is false that our works merit remission of sins; false, that men are accounted just by the justice of reason; and false, that reason of its own strength can love God above all things, and do the law of God (p. 64). (b) That faith does not justify because it is in itself so good a work, and so excellent a virtue, but because it lays hold of the merit of Christ in the promise of the gospel (pp. 76, 684). (c) That the promise of remission of sins, and justification for Christ's sake, does not involve any condition of merit, because it is freely offered (p. 67). (d) That a sinner is justified before God, or absolved from his sins, and from the most just sentence of damnation, and adopted into the number of the sons of God, without any merit of his own, and without any works of his own, whether past, present, or future, of mere grace, and only on account of the sole merit of Christ, which is imputed to him for justice (p. 684). (e) That good works follow faith, remission of sins, and regeneration; and whatever of pollution or imperfection is in them, is not accounted sinful or defective, and that for Christ's sake; and thus that the whole man, both as to his person and his works, is rendered and pronounced just and holy, out of mere grace and mercy in Christ, shed abroad, displayed, and magnified towards us; wherefore we cannot glory on account of merit (pp. 74, 92, 93, 336). (f) He who trusts in works, thinking he can merit anything thereby, despises the merit and grace of Christ, and seeks a way to heaven without Christ, by human strength (pp. 16, 17, 18, 19). (g) Whosoever desires to ascribe something to good works in the article of justification, and to merit the grace of God thereby, to such a man works are not only useless, but even pernicious (p. 708). (h) The works of the Decalogue are enumerated, and other necessary works, which God vouchsafes to reward (pp. 176, 198). (i) We teach that good works are meritorious, not indeed of remission of sins, grace, and justification, but of other temporal rewards, and even spiritual rewards in this life, and after this life, because Paul says, "Every one shall receive a reward according to his labor"; and Christ says, "Great will be your reward in the heavens"; and it is often said, that "it shall be rendered unto every one according to his works"; wherefore we acknowledge eternal life to be a reward, because it is our due according to promise, and because God crowns His own gifts, but not on account of our merits (pp. 96, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138). (k) That the good works of believers, when they are performed on account of true causes, and directed to right ends, such as God requires from the regenerate, are signs of eternal salvation; and that God the Father accounts them acceptable and pleasing for Christ's sake, and promises to them excellent rewards of the present life, and of that which is to come (p. 708). (That although good works merit rewards, yet neither from their worthiness nor fitness do they merit the remission of sins, or the glory of eternal life (pp. 96, 135, 139, seq.; Appendix, p. 174). (m) That Christ at the Last Judgment will pass sentence on good and evil works, as the proper effects and evidences of men's faith (p. 134; Appendix, p. 187). (n) That God rewards good works, but that it is of grace that He crowns His own gifts, is asserted in the Confession of the Churches in the Low Countries.15.
Concerning free-will, from the Formula Concordiae. (a) That man has plenary impotence in spiritual things (pp. 15, 18, 219, 318, 579, 656, seq.; Appendix, p. 141). (b) That man by the fall of his first parents is become so totally corrupt, that he is by nature blind with respect to spiritual things which relate to conversion and salvation, and judges the Word of God to be a foolish thing; and that he is and continues to be an enemy to God, until by the power of the Holy Spirit, through preaching and hearing of the Word, he is of mere grace, without any the least cooperation on his part, converted, gifted with faith, regenerated and renewed (pp. 656, 657). (e) That man is altogether corrupt and dead to what is good, so that in the nature of man, since the fall, and before regeneration, there is not so much as a spark of spiritual strength subsisting or remaining, whereby he can prepare himself for the grace of God, or apprehend it when offered, or of and by himself be capable of receiving it, or understand, believe, embrace, think, will, begin, perfect, act, operate, cooperate in spiritual things, or apply or accommodate himself to grace, or contribute anything towards his conversion, either in the whole, the half, or the least part (pp. 656, 658). (d) That man in spiritual and Divine things, which regard salvation, is like the statue of salt into which Lot's wife was turned, and like a stock or a stone without life, which have neither the use of eyes, mouth, nor any of the senses (pp. 661, 662). (c) That still man has a locomotive power, by virtue whereof he can govern his outward members, attend public assemblies, and hear the Word and the Gospel; but that in his private thoughts he despises it as a foolish thing; and in this respect is worse than a stock, unless the Holy Spirit is efficacious in him (pp. 662, 671, 672, 673). (f) That still it is not with man in his conversion, as in the forming of a stone into a statue, or the stamping of an impression upon wax, which have neither knowledge, sense, nor will (pp. 662, 681). (g) That man in his conversion is a merely passive subject, and not an active one (pp. 662, 681). (h) That man in his conversion does not at all cooperate with the Holy Spirit (pp. 219, 579, 583, 672, 676; Appendix, pp. 143, 144). (i) That man since the fall retains and possesses the faculty of knowing natural things, as also free-will in some measure to choose natural and civil good (pp. 14, 218, 641, 664; Appendix, p. 142). (j) That the assertions of certain fathers, and modern doctors, that God draws man, but draws him in a manner consistent with his will, are not consonant with Holy Scripture (pp. 582-583). (k) That man, when he is born again by the power of the Holy Spirit, cooperates, though in much weakness, from the new powers and gifts, which the Holy Spirit has begun to operate in him at his conversion, not indeed forcibly, but spontaneously (pp. 582, seq., 673-675); Appendix, p. 144). (l) That in the regenerate, not only the gifts of God, but likewise Christ Himself dwells by faith, as in His temples (pp. 695, 697, 698; Appendix, p. 130). (m) There is an immense difference between baptized and not baptized men; for it is the doctrine of Paul, that all who have been baptized, have put on Christ, and are truly regenerate, having thereby acquired a freedom of will, that is to say, being again made free, as Christ testifies, whence they not only hear the Word of God, but are likewise enabled, though in much weakness, to assent to it and embrace it by faith (p. 675). It is proper to observe, that the foregoing extracts are taken from a book called Formula Concordiae, which was composed by men attached to the Augsburg Confession; but that nevertheless the like doctrines concerning justification by faith alone are maintained and taught by the Reformed in England and Holland; wherefore the following treatise is intended for all; see below (n. 17, 18).16.
A SKETCH OF THE DOCTRINALS OF THE NEW CHURCH. There now follows a brief Exposition of the Doctrine of the New Church, which is meant by the New Jerusalem in Revelation (chaps. 21 and 22). This doctrine, which is not only a doctrine of faith, but also of life, will be divided in the work itself into three parts. THE FIRST PART will treat: I. Of the Lord God the Saviour, and of the Divine Trinity in Him. II. Of the Sacred Scripture, and its Two Senses, the Natural and the Spiritual, and of its Holiness thence derived. III. Of Love to God, and Love towards our Neighbor, and of their Agreement. IV. Of Faith, and its Conjunction with those Two Loves. V. The Doctrine of Life from the Commandments of the Decalogue. VI. Of Reformation and Regeneration. VII. Of Free-Will, and Man's Co-operation with the Lord thereby. VIII. Of Baptism. IX. Of the Holy Supper. X. Of Heaven and Hell. XI. Of Man's Conjunction therewith, and of the State of Man's Life after Death according to that Conjunction. XII. Of Eternal Life. THE SECOND PART will treat: I. Of the Consummation of the Age, or End of the present Church. II. Of the Coming of the Lord. III. Of the Last Judgment. IV. Of the New Church, which is the New Jerusalem. THE THIRD PART will point out the Disagreements between the dogmas of the present church, and those of the New Church. But we will dwell a little upon these now, because it is believed both by the clergy and laity, that the present church is in the light itself of the Gospel and in its truths, which cannot possibly be disproved, overturned, or controverted, not even by an angel if one should descend from heaven: neither does the present church see any otherwise, because it has withdrawn the understanding from faith, and yet has confirmed its dogmas by a kind of sight beneath the understanding, for falsities may there be confirmed even so as to appear like truths; and falsities there confirmed acquire a fallacious light, before which the light of truth appears as thick darkness. For this reason we shall here dwell a little upon this subject, mentioning the disagreements, and illustrating them by brief remarks, that such as have not their understanding closed by a blind faith, may see them as at first in twilight, and afterwards as in morning light, and at length, in the work itself, as in the light of day. The disagreements in general are as follows.17.
I. The churches which by the Reformation separated themselves from the Roman Catholic Church, differ in various things; but they all agree in the articles concerning a Trinity of Persons in the Divinity, original sin from Adam, imputation of the merit of Christ, and justification by faith alone.18.
BRIEF ANALYSIS. The churches which by the Reformation separated themselves from the Roman Catholic Church, are from those who call themselves Evangelical and Reformed, likewise Protestants, or from the names of their leaders, Lutherans and Calvinists, among which the church of England holds the middle place. We shall say nothing here of the Greek church, which long ago separated from the Roman Catholic church. That the Protestant churches differ in various things, particularly concerning the Holy Supper, Baptism, election, and the Person of Christ, is known to many; but that they all agree in the articles of a Trinity of Persons in the Divinity, original sin, imputation of the merit of Christ, and justification by faith alone, is not universally known. The reason of this is, because few study into the differences of dogmas among the churches, and consequently the agreements. It is only the clergy that study the dogmas of their church, while the laity rarely enter deeply into them, and consequently into their differences. That nevertheless they agree in the four articles above mentioned, both in their general principles, and in most of the particulars, will appear evident to anyone if he will consult their books, or attend to their sermons. This, however, is premised and brought to the attention, on account of what follows.19.
II. The Roman Catholics, before the Reformation, taught exactly the same things as the Reformed did after it, concerning the four articles above mentioned, namely, a Trinity of Persons in the Divinity, original sin, the imputation of the merit of Christ, and justification by faith therein, only with this difference, that they conjoined that faith with charity or good works.20.
BRIEF ANALYSIS. That there is such a conformity between the Roman Catholics and the Protestants in these four articles, so that there is scarcely any important difference, except that the former conjoin faith and charity, while the latter divide between them, is scarcely known to anyone, and indeed is so unknown, that the learned themselves will wonder at the assertion. The reason of this ignorance is, because the Roman Catholics rarely approach God our Saviour, but instead of Him, the Pope as His vicar, and likewise the saints; hence they have deeply buried in oblivion their dogmas concerning the imputation of the merit of Christ, and justification by faith. Nevertheless that these dogmas are received and acknowledged by them, evidently appears from the decrees of the Council of Trent, quoted above (n. 3-8) and confirmed by Pope Pius IV. (n. 2). If these be compared with the dogmas extracted from the Augsburg Confession, and from the Formula Concordiae thence derived (n. 9-12), the difference between them will be found to be more verbal than real. The doctors of the church, by reading and comparing the above passages together, may indeed see some conformity between them, but still rather obscurely; that these, therefore, as well as those who are less learned, and also the laity, may see this, the subject shall be more clearly illustrated in what follows.21.
III. The leading reformers, Luther, Melancthon, and Calvin, retained all the dogmas concerning a Trinity of Persons in the Divinity, original sin, imputation of the merit of Christ, 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 at the same time saving, with a view to be totally severed from the Roman Catholics as to the very essentials of the church, which are faith and charity.22.
BRIEF ANALYSIS. That the four articles above mentioned, as at present taught in the churches of the Reformed were not new, and first broached by those three leaders, but were handed down from the time of the Council of Nice, and taught by the writers after that period, and thus preserved in the Roman Catholic church, is evident from the books of ecclesiastical history. The reason why the Roman Catholics and the Reformed agree in the article of a Trinity of Persons in the Divinity, is, because they both acknowledge the three creeds, the Apostles', the Nicene, and the Athanasian, in which a Trinity is taught That they agree in the article of the imputation of the merit of Christ, is evident from the extracts from the Council of Trent (n. 3-8) compared with those from The Formula Concordiae (n. 10-15). Their agreement in the article of justification shall now be the subject of discussion.23.
The Council of Trent delivers this concerning justifying faith: "It has always been the consensus of the Catholic church, that faith is the beginning of man's salvation, the foundation and root of all justification, without which it is impossible to please God, and attain to the fellowship of His sons," see above (n. 5). (a) Also, "That faith comes by hearing the Word of God" (n. 4). (c) Moreover that Roman Catholic council joined faith and charity, or faith and good works, may clearly be seen from the quotations above (n. 4, 5, 7, 8). But that the Reformed churches, from their leaders, have separated them, declaring salvation to consist in faith, and not at the same time in charity or works, to the intent that they might be totally severed from the Roman Catholics, as to the very essentials of the church, which are faith and charity, I have frequently heard from the above mentioned leaders themselves. As also, that they established such separation by the following considerations, namely, "that no one can do good which confers salvation of himself, nor can he fulfil the law"; and moreover, lest thereby any merit in man should enter into faith. That from these principles, and with this view, they excluded the goods of charity from faith, and thereby also from salvation, is plain from the quotations from The Formula Concordiae above (n. 12); among which are these: "That faith does not justify, as being formed by charity, as the Papists allege (n. 12). (b) That the position, that good works are necessary to salvation, ought to be rejected for many reasons, and among others, because they are accepted by the Papists to support an evil cause (n. 12). (h) That the decree of the Council of Trent that good works preserve and retain salvation and faith, is deservedly to be rejected" [n. 12 (n)]; besides many other things there. That still, however, the Reformed conjoin faith and charity into one at the same time saving, and only differ from the Roman Catholics respecting the quality of the works, will be shown in the following article.24.
IV. Nevertheless the leading reformers adjoined good works, and also conjoined them, to their faith, but in man as a passive subject: whereas the Roman Catholics conjoin them in man as an active subject; and that notwithstanding this, there is actually a conformity between the one and the other as to faith, works, and merits.25.
BRIEF ANALYSIS. That the leading reformers, although they separated faith and charity, still adjoined and even conjoined them, but would not admit of their being united into one, so as to be both together saving, is evident from their books, sermons, and declarations; for after they have separated them, they conjoin them, and even express this conjunction in clear terms, and not in such as admit of two senses; as for instance in the following. That faith after justification is never alone, but is accompanied by charity or good works, and if not, that faith is not living but dead, see above [n. 13 (o) (p) (q) (r) (y) (bb)]. Yea that good works necessarily follow faith [n. 13 (x) (y) (z)]. Then that the regenerate person, by new powers and gifts, cooperates with the Holy Spirit [n. 13 (aa)]. That the Roman Catholics teach exactly the same is plain from the passages collected from the Council of Trent (n. 4-8).26.
That the reformers profess nearly the same things with the Roman Catholics concerning the merits of works, is evident from the following quotations from The Formula Concordiae That good works are rewarded by virtue of the promise and by grace, and that from thence they merit rewards both temporal and spiritual [n. 14 (i) (k) (l) (n)]. And that God crowns His own gifts with a reward [n. 14 (n)]. The like is asserted in the Council of Trent, namely, That God of His grace makes His own gifts to be merits [n. 5 (f)]. And moreover, that salvation is not of works, but of promise and grace, because God operates them by the Holy Spirit [n. 5 (e) (f) (g) (h) (i) (k)].27.
From comparing the one and the other, it appears at the first view, as though there was an entire conformity between them; but lest this should be the case, the reformers distinguished between the works of the law proceeding from man's purpose and will, and works of the spirit proceeding from faith as from a free and spontaneous source, which latter they called the fruits of faith, as may be seen above [n. 11. (h) (I)], and [n. 13 (a) (i) (I)], and [n. 15 (k)]. Hence, on an accurate examination and comparison, there does not appear to be any difference in the works themselves, but only in the quality of them, namely, that the latter sort proceed from man as from a passive subject, but the former as from an active subject; consequently they are spontaneous when they proceed from man's understanding, and not at the same time from his will. This is said, because man, while he does good works, cannot but be conscious that he is doing them, and consciousness is from the understanding. Nevertheless, as the Reformed likewise preach the exercise of repentance, and wrestlings with the flesh [n. 13 (d) (p) (f) (g) (h) (k)], and these cannot be done by man but from his purpose and will, and thus by him as from himself, it follows, that there is still an actual conformity.28.
As regards free-will in conversion, or in the act of justification, it appears as if their dogmas were entirely opposite to each other; but that they still agree, may be seen if we duly consider and compare the passages transcribed from the Council of Trent [n. 6 (a) (b)], with those from The Formula Concordiae [n. 15 (m)]; for in Christian countries all are baptized, and from thence are in a state of free-will, so as to be enabled not only to hear the Word of God, but likewise to assent to the same, and embrace it by faith; consequently no one in the Christian world is like a stock.29.
Hence then appears the truth of what is asserted (n. 19 and n. 21), namely, that the reformers derived their opinions concerning a Trinity of Persons in the Divinity, original sin, the imputation of the merit of Christ, and justification by faith, from the Roman Catholics. These things have been advanced, in order to point out the origin of their dogmas, especially the origin of the separation of faith from good works, or the doctrine of faith alone, and to show that it was with no other view than to be severed from the Roman Catholics, and that, after all, their disagreement is more in words than in reality. From the passages above adduced, it evidently appears upon what foundation the faith of the Reformed churches has been erected and from what inspiration it took its rise.30.
V. The whole system of Theology in the Christian world, at this day, is founded on an idea of Three Gods, arising from the doctrine of a Trinity of Persons.31.
BRIEF ANALYSIS. We will first say something concerning the origin or source from whence the idea of a Trinity of Persons in the Divinity, and thereby of three Gods, proceeded. There are three Creeds, which are called the Apostles', the Nicene, and the Athanasian, which specifically teach a Trinity: the Apostles' and the Nicene assert simply a Trinity, but the Athanasian a Trinity of Persons. These three Creeds are to be met with in many Psalters, the Apostles' Creed next the Psalm which is sung, the Nicene after the Decalogue, and the Athanasian apart by itself. 31-1 The Apostles' Creed was written after the times of the Apostles; the Nicene Creed at the Council of Nice, a city of Bithynia, to which all the bishops in Asia, Africa, and Europe, were summoned by the Emperor Constantine, in the year 325 31-2; but the Athanasian Creed was composed since that council by one or more persons, with an intent utterly to overthrow the Arians and was afterwards received by the churches as oecumenical. In the two former creeds the confession of a Trinity was evident, but from the third or Athanasian Creed the profession of a Trinity of Persons was spread abroad: that hence arose the idea of three Gods, shall now be shown.32.
That there is a Divine Trinity, is manifest from the Lord's words in Matthew: Jesus said, go make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit (chap. 28:19). And from these words in the same: When Jesus was baptized, lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and He saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove, and coming upon Him, and lo, a voice from heaven, this is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased (chap. 3:16, 17). The reason why the Lord sent His disciples to baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, was, because in Him then glorified there was the Divine Trinity; for in the preceding verse 18, He says: All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. And in the 20th verse following: Lo, I am with you all the days, even unto the consummation of the age. Thus He spoke of Himself alone, and not of three. And in John: The Holy Spirit was not yet, because Jesus was not yet glorified (chap. 7:39). The former words He uttered after His glorification, and His glorification was His complete unition with His Father, Who was the Divine itself in Him from conception; and the Holy Spirit was the Divine proceeding from Him glorified (John 20:22).33.
The reason why the idea of three Gods has principally arisen from the Athanasian Creed, where a Trinity of Persons is taught, is, because the word Person begets such an idea, which is further implanted in the mind by the following words in the same Creed: "There is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit"; and afterwards: The Father is God and Lord, the Son is God and Lord, and the Holy Spirit is God and Lord"; but more especially by these: "For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by Himself to be God and Lord, so are we forbidden by the Catholic religion to say there be three Gods or three Lords"; the result of which words is this, that by the Christian verity we are bound to confess and acknowledge three Gods and three Lords, but by the Catholic religion we are not allowed to say, or to name three Gods and Lords; consequently we may have an idea of three Gods and Lords, but not an oral confession of them. Nevertheless, that the doctrine of the Trinity in the Athanasian Creed is agreeable to the truth, if only instead of a Trinity of Persons there be substituted a Trinity of Person, which Trinity is in God the Saviour Jesus Christ, may be seen in The Doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Lord, published at Amsterdam, in the year 1763 (n. 55-61.)34.
It is to be observed, that in the Apostles' Creed it is said, "I believe in God the Father, in Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Spirit"; in the Nicene Creed, "I believe in one God, the Father, in one Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Spirit," thus only in one God; but in the Athanasian Creed it is, "In God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit," thus in three Gods. But whereas the authors and favorers of this creed clearly saw that an idea of three Gods would unavoidably result from the expressions therein used, therefore, in order to remedy this, they asserted that one substance or essence belongs to the three; but still there arises from thence no other idea, than that there are three Gods unanimous and agreeing together: for when it is said of the three that their substance or essence is one and indivisible, it does not remove the idea of three, but confounds it, because the expression is a metaphysical one, and the science of metaphysics, with all its ingenuity, cannot of three Persons, each whereof is God, make one; it may indeed make of them one in the mouth, but never in the idea.35.
That the whole Christian theology at this day is founded on an idea of three Gods, is evident from the doctrine of justification, which is the head of the doctrines of the church with Christians, both among Roman Catholics and Protestants. That doctrine sets forth that God the Father sent His Son to redeem and save men, and give the Holy Spirit to operate the same; every man who hears, reads, or repeats this, cannot but in his thought, that is, in his idea, divide God into three, and perceive that one God sent another, and operates by a third. That the same thought of a Divine Trinity distinguished into three Persons, each whereof is God, is continued throughout the rest of the doctrinals of the present church, as from a head into its body, will be demonstrated in its proper place. In the meantime consult what has been premised concerning justification, consult theology in general and in particular, and at the same time, consult yourself, while listening to preachings in temples, or while praying at home, whether you have any other perception and thought thence resulting than of three Gods; and especially while you are praying or singing first to one, and then to the other two separately, as is often done. Hence is established the truth of the proposition, that the whole theology in the Christian world at this day, is founded on an idea of three Gods.36.
That a trinity of Gods is contrary to the Sacred Scripture, is known, for we read: Am not I Jehovah, and there is no God else beside Me, a just God and a Saviour, there is none beside Me (Isa. 45:21, 22). I Jehovah am thy God, and thou shalt acknowledge no God beside Me, and there is no Saviour beside Me (Hos. 13:4). Thus said Jehovah the King of Israel and his Redeemer, Jehovah of Hosts, I am the First and the Last, and beside Me there is no God (Isa. 46:6). Jehovah of Hosts is His name, and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel, the God of the whole earth shall He be called (Isa. 54:5). In that day Jehovah shall be King over the whole earth; in that day there shall be one Jehovah, and His name One (Zech. 14:9). Beside many more passages elsewhere.37.
That a trinity of Gods is contrary to enlightened reason, may appear from many considerations. What man of sound reason can bear to hear that three Gods created the world; or that creation and preservation, redemption and salvation, together with reformation and regeneration, are the work of three Gods, and not of one God? And on the other hand, what man of sound reason is not willing to hear that the same God who created us, redeemed us, and regenerates and saves us? As the latter sentiment, and not the former, enters into the reason, there is therefore no nation upon the face of the whole earth, possessed of religion and sound reason, but what acknowledges one God. That the Mohammedans, and certain nations in Asia and Africa, abhor Christianity, because they believe that it worships three Gods, is known; and the only answer of the Christians is, that the three have one essence, and thus are one God. I can affirm, that from the reason which has been given me, I can clearly see, that neither the world, nor the angelic heaven, nor the church, nor anything therein, could have existed, nor can subsist, but from one God.38.
Here I will add something from the Confession of the Dutch Churches received at the Synod of Dort, which is this: "I believe in one God, who is one essence, in which are three Persons, truly and really distinct, incommunicable properties from eternity, namely, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; the Father is of all things, both visible and invisible, the cause, origin, and beginning; the Son is the Word, wisdom, and image of the Father; the Holy Spirit is the eternal virtue and power proceeding from the Father and the Son. However, it must be confessed, that this doctrine far exceeds the comprehension of the human mind; we must therefore wait till we come to heaven for a perfect knowledge thereof."39.
VI. The dogmas of that theology appear to be erroneous, after the idea of a Trinity of Persons, and thence of three Gods, has been rejected, and the idea of One God, in whom is the Divine Trinity, is received in its stead.40.
BRIEF ANALYSIS. The reason why the dogmas of the present church, which are founded upon the idea of three Gods, derived from the doctrine of a Trinity of Persons literally understood, appear erroneous, after the idea of one God, in whom is the Divine Trinity, has been received in its stead, is, because, till this truth is received, we cannot see what is erroneous. The case herein is like a person, who in the night time, by the light of some stars only, sees various objects, especially images, and believes them to be living men; or like one, who in the twilight before sunrise, as he lies in his bed, fancies he sees specters in the air, and believes them to be angels; or like a person, who sees many things in the delusive light of fantasy, and believes them to be real; such things, it is known, do not appear according to their true qualities, until the person comes into the light of the day, that is, until he comes into the light of the understanding awake. The case is the same with the spiritual things of the church, which have been erroneously and falsely perceived, and also confirmed, when genuine truths also present themselves to be seen in their own light, which is the light of heaven. Who is there that cannot understand, that all dogmas founded on the idea of three Gods, must be interiorly erroneous and false? I say interiorly, because the idea of God enters into all things of the church, religion, and worship; and theological matters have their residence above all others in the human mind, and the idea of God is in the supreme place there; wherefore if this be false, all beneath it, in consequence of the principle from whence they flow, must likewise be false or falsified; for that which is supreme, being also the inmost, constitutes the very essence of all that is derived from it; and the essence, like a soul, forms them into a body, after its own image; and when in its descent it lights upon truths, it even infects them with its own blemish and error. The idea of three Gods in theology may be compared to a disease seated in the heart or lungs, in which the patient fancies himself to be in health, because his physician, not knowing his disease, persuades him that he is so; but if the physician knows it, and still persuades, he may justly be charged with deep malignity.41.
VII. Then truly saving faith, which is faith in one God, united, with good works, is acknowledged and received.42.
BRIEF ANALYSIS. The reason why this faith, which is a faith in one God, is acknowledged and received as truly saving, when the former faith, which is a faith in three gods, is rejected, is because till this is the case it cannot be seen in its own form; for the faith of the present day is set forth as the only saving faith, because it is a faith in one God, and a faith in the Savior; but still there are two faces of that faith, the one internal and the other external; its internal face is formed from the perception of three Gods, for who perceives or thinks otherwise? let every one consult himself; but its external face is formed from the confession of one God, for who confesses or speaks otherwise? let every one consult himself. These two faces are altogether discordant with each other; so that the external is not acknowledged by the internal, nor is the internal known by the external. From this disagreement, and the vanishing of the one out of sight of the other, a confused idea of things pertaining to salvation has been conceived and brought forth in the church. It is otherwise when the internal and external faces agree together, and mutually regard and acknowledge each other as one unanimous thing; that this is the case, when one God, in whom is the Divine Trinity, is not only perceived by the mind, but is likewise acknowledged by the mouth, is self-evident. That the dogma of the Father's being alienated from mankind, is then abolished, and thence also that of His reconciliation; and that an altogether different doctrine goes forth concerning imputation, remission of sins, regeneration, and salvation thence derived, will clearly be seen in the work itself, in the light of reason illustrated by Divine truths from the Sacred Scripture. This faith is called a faith united with good works, because faith in one God without union with good works is not given.43.
VIII. And this faith is in God the Savior Jesus Christ which in its simple form is as follows: I. That there is One God in Whom is the Divine Trinity, and He is the Lord Jesus Christ. II. Saving Faith is to believe in Him. III. Evils ought to be shunned, because they are of the devil, and from the devil. IV. Goods ought to be done, because they are of God, and from God. V. And they ought to be done by man as of himself, but it is to be believed that they are from the Lord, with him and through him.44.
BRIEF ANALYSIS. This is the faith of the New Church in its simple form, which will appear more fully in the Appendix, and in its full form in the work itself, in its First Part; where we shall treat of the Lord God the Saviour, and of the Trinity in Him; of love to God, and love towards the neighbor; of faith and its conjunction with those two loves; and also in the other parts, which will follow in order there. But it is necessary that this preliminary concerning that faith should here be briefly illustrated. Its first, namely, That there is one God, in whom there is the Divine Trinity, and He is the Lord Jesus Christ, is summarily illustrated in the following manner. It is a certain and established truth, that God is one, and His essence is indivisible, and that there is a Trinity; since, therefore, God is One, and His essence is indivisible, it follows, that God is one Person, and when He is one Person, that the Trinity is in that Person. That this is the Lord Jesus Christ, appears from this, that He was conceived from God the Father (Luke 1:34, 35); and thus as to His soul and life itself He is God; and therefore, as He Himself said, that: The Father and He are One (John 10:30). He is in the Father, and the Father in Him (John 14:10, 11). He who seeth Him and knoweth Him, seeth and knoweth the Father (John 14:7, 9). No one seeth and knoweth the Father, but He who is in the bosom of the Father (John 1:18). All things of the Father are His (John 3:35; 16:15). He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and no one cometh unto the Father but by Him (John 14:6); thus from Him, because He is in Him, and thus is He Himself; and according to Paul that: All the fulness of the Divinity dwells in Him bodily (Col. 2:9). And according to Isaiah: Unto us a Boy is born, unto us a Son is given, whose name is God, Father of Eternity (9:5). And again, that: He hath power over all flesh (John 17:2). And: He hath all power in heaven and on earth (Matt. 28:18). Thence it follows that He is the God of heaven and earth. Second, That saving faith is to believe in Him, is illustrated by these: Jesus said, he that believeth in Me, shall not die to eternity, but shall live (John 11:25, 26). This is the will of the Father, that everyone who believeth in the Son may have eternal life (John 6:40). God so loved the world, that He gave His Only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:15, 16). He that believeth in the Son, hath eternal life, but he that believeth not the Son, shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him (John 3:36). The three remaining propositions, namely, That evils ought to be shunned, because they are of the devil and from the devil; and that goods ought to be done, because they are of God and from God; but that it is to be believed that they are from the Lord, with him and through him. There is no need to illustrate and demonstrate these; for the whole Sacred Scripture, from beginning to end, proves them, and, in short, teaches nothing else but to shun evils, and do goods, and to believe in the Lord God. Besides, without these three there is not any religion, for religion is of the life; and life is to shun evils and do goods, and man cannot do goods and shun evils except as of himself. Wherefore if these three are removed from the church, the Sacred Scripture, together with religion, is likewise removed at the same time: which being removed the church is not a church. For a further account of the faith of the New Church, in its universal and particular form, see below (n. 116, 117); all which will be demonstrated in the work itself.45.
IX. The faith of the present day has separated religion from the church, since religion consists in the acknowledgment of One God, and in the worship of Him from the faith of charity.46.
BRIEF ANALYSIS. What nation is there in the whole world, which has religion and sound reason, that does not know and believe, that there is one God, and that to do evils is contrary to Him, and that to do goods is with Him, and that man must do this from his soul, from his heart, and from his strength, although they inflow from God, and that herein religion consists? Who therefore does not see, that to confess three Persons in the Divinity, and to declare that in good works there is nothing of salvation, is to separate religion from the church? For it is declared that in good works there is not salvation, in these words: That faith justifies without good works [n. 12 (a) (b)]; that works are not necessary to salvation, nor to faith, because salvation and faith are neither preserved nor retained by good works [n. 12 (g) (h) (m) (n)]; consequently, that there is no bond of conjunction between faith and good works. It is indeed said afterwards, that good works nevertheless spontaneously follow faith, as fruit is produced from a tree [n. 13 (i) (n)]. But then who does them, yea, who thinks of them, or who is spontaneously led to perform them, while he knows and believes that they contribute nothing to salvation, and also, that no one can do any good thing towards salvation of himself, and so on? If it is said, that still they have conjoined faith with good works; we reply, this conjunction when closely inspected, is not conjunction, but it is mere adjunction, and this only like a superfluous appendage, that neither coheres nor adheres in any other manner than as a dark background to a picture, from which the picture appears more living. And because religion is of the life, and this consists in good works according to the truths of faith, it is evident that religion is the picture itself, and not the mere appendage; yea, with many it is like the tail of a horse, which because it avails nothing, may be cut off at pleasure. Who can rationally conclude otherwise, while he perceives such expressions as these according to their obvious meaning: That it is a folly to dream that the works of the second table of the Decalogue justify before God [n. 12 (d)]; and these: That if any one believes he shall therefore obtain salvation, because he hath charity, he brings reproach upon Christ [n. 12 (e)]; as also these: That good works are utterly to be excluded, in treating of justification and eternal life [n. 12 (f)]; with more to the same purpose? Who, therefore, when he reads afterwards, that good works necessarily follow faith, and that if they do not follow, the faith is a false and not a true faith [n. 13 (p) (q) (y)], with more to the same purpose, attends to it? or if he attends to it, understands whether such good works are attended with any perception? Yet good flowing forth from man without perception is inanimate as if from a statue. But if we inquire more deeply into the rise of this doctrine, it will appear as though the leading reformers first laid down faith alone as their rule, in order that they might be severed from the Roman Catholics, as mentioned above (n. 21, 22, 23); and that afterwards they adjoined thereto the works of charity, that it might not appear to contradict the Sacred Scripture, but have the semblance of religion, and thus be healed.47.
X. The faith of the present church cannot be conjoined with charity, and produce any fruits, which are good works.48.
BRIEF ANALYSIS. Before this is demonstrated, we shall first explain the origin and nature of charity, and the origin and nature of faith, and thus the origin and nature of good works, which are called fruits. Faith is truth, wherefore the doctrine of faith is the doctrine of truth; and the doctrine of truth is of the understanding, and thence of the thought, and from this of the speech; wherefore it teaches what we are to will and do, thud that evils and what evils are to be shunned, and that goods and what goods are to be done. When man does goods then goods thence conjoin themselves with truths, because the will is conjoined with the understanding, for good is of the will, and truth is of the understanding; from this conjunction the affection of good exists, which in its essence is charity, and the affection of truth, which in its essence is faith, and these two united together constitute a marriage. From this marriage good works are produced, as fruits from a tree; and hence they are the fruits of good, and the fruits of truth; the latter are signified in the Word by grapes, but the former by olives.49.
From this generation of good works, it is evident, that faith alone cannot possibly produce or beget any works, that are called fruits, any more than a woman alone without a man can produce any offspring; wherefore the fruits of faith is an empty expression and word. Besides, in the whole world nothing ever was or can be produced, but from a marriage, one of which has relation to good, and the other to truth, or in the opposite sense, one to evil, and the other to falsity; consequently no works can be conceived, much less be born but from such marriage, good works from the marriage of good and truth, and evil works from the marriage of evil and falsity.50.
The reason why charity cannot be conjoined with the faith of the present church, and consequently why good works cannot be born from any marriage, is because imputation supplies everything, remits guilt, justifies, regenerates, sanctifies, imparts the life of heaven and thus salvation, and all this freely, without any works of man; what then is charity, which ought to be united with faith, but something superfluous and vain, and a mere addition and supplement to imputation and justification, to which nevertheless it is of no avail? Besides, a faith founded on the idea of three Gods is erroneous, as has been shown above (n. 39, 40); and with an erroneous faith, charity, that in itself is charity, cannot be conjoined. There are two reasons given for believing that there is no bond of union between that faith and charity; the one is, because they make their faith spiritual, but charity natural moral, thinking that there is not given any conjunction of the spiritual with the natural; the other reason is, lest anything of man, and so anything of merit, should inflow into their faith alone, as saving. Furthermore, between charity and that faith there is no bond, but there is with the new faith, which may be seen below (n. 116, 117).
31-1 This relates to the Protestant churches on the continent of Europe.
31-2 The original Latin has "anno 318," in the year 318. There were 318 bishops in attendance; the Council met in the year 325.