True Christianity

572 Pages · 2011 · 1.92 MB · English

  • True Christianity


    R U E


    H R I S T I A N I T Y T

    R U E


    H R I S T I A N I T Y

    The Portable New Century Edition


    Volume 1

    Translated from the Latin by Jonathan S. Rose

    S W E D E N B O R G F O U N D AT I O N

    West Chester, Pennsylvania Originally published in Latin as Vera Christiana Religio, Continens Universam Theologiam Novae

    Ecclesiae a Domino apud Danielem Cap. VII:13–14, et in Apocalypsi Cap. XXI:1, 2 Praedictae

    © Copyright 2010by the Swedenborg Foundation, Inc.

    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or

    by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information

    storage or retrieval system, without prior permission from the publisher.

    Printed in the United States of America

    ISBN (library) Volume 1: 978-0-87785-484-5

    Volume 2: 978-0-87785-501-9

    ISBN (paperback) Volume 1: 978-0-87785-485-2

    Volume 2: 978-0-87785-502-6

    ISBN (slipcase set) Volumes 1 & 2: 978-0-87785-506-4

    ISBN (portable) Volume 1: 978-0-87785-407-4

    Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

    Swedenborg, Emanuel, 1688-1772.

    [Vera Christiana religio. English]

    True Christianity / author, Emanuel Swedenborg ; translator, Jonathan S.

    Rose. — Portable ed.

    p. cm.

    ISBN 978-0-87785-400-5

    1. New Jerusalem Church—Doctrines. 2. Theology, Doctrinal. I. Rose,

    Jonathan S. II. Title.

    BX8712.T8 2008



    Senior Copyeditor, Alicia L. Dole

    Text designed by Joanna V. Hill

    Ornaments from the first Latin edition, 1771

    Typesetting by Alicia L. Dole

    Cover designed by Karen Connor

    For information contact:

    Swedenborg Foundation

    320North Church Street

    West Chester, PA 19380USA

    Tel: 800-355-3222

    web: www.swedenborg.com


    email: info@swedenborg.com Contents

    Conventions Used in This Work vii

    Volume 1

    The Faith of the New Heaven and the New Church 3

    Chapter 1: God the Creator 5

    The Oneness of God 6

    The Underlying Divine Reality or Jehovah 26

    The Infinity of God: His Immensity and Eternity 37

    The Essence of God: Divine Love and Wisdom 54

    God’s Omnipotence, Omniscience, and Omnipresence 74

    The Creation of the Universe 100

    Chapter 2: The Lord the Redeemer 116

    Redemption 164

    Chapter 3: The Holy Spirit and the Divine Action 201

    The Divine Trinity 236

    Chapter 4: Sacred Scripture, the Word of the Lord 270

    Chapter 5: The Catechism, or Ten Commandments, Explained in Both

    Its Outer and Its Inner Meanings 352

    Chapter 6: Faith 402

    Chapter 7: Goodwill (or Loving Our Neighbor) and Good Actions 483


    Biographical Note 563

    v Conventions Used in This Work


    LTHOUGH True Christianity was originally published as a single

    volume, in this edition it has been broken into two volumes.

    Following a practice common in his time, Swedenborg divided his

    published theological works into sections numbered in sequence from

    beginning to end. His original section numbers have been preserved in

    this edition; they appear in boxes in the outside margins. Because many

    sections throughout Swedenborg’s works are too long for precise cross-

    referencing, Swedenborgian scholar John F. Potts (1838–1923) further

    divided them into subsections; these have since become standard. They

    are indicated by bracketed arabic numbers that appear in the text itself:

    [2], [3], and so on. Since the beginning of the first subsection coincides

    with the beginning of the section, it is not labeled in the text.

    As is common in Swedenborgian studies, text citations of Swedenborg’s

    works refer not to page numbers but to section numbers, which are uni-

    form in most editions. Thus “Secrets of Heaven29” refers to section 29(§29)

    of Swedenborg’s Secrets of Heaven. Subsection numbers are given after a

    colon; a reference such as “29:2” indicates subsection 2of section 29.

    Biblical citations in this edition follow the accepted standard: a semi-

    colon is used between book references and between chapter references, and

    a comma between verse references. Therefore “Matthew 5:11, 12; 6:1; 10:41,

    42; Luke 6:23, 35” refers to Matthew chapter 5, verses 11 and 12; Matthew

    chapter 6, verse 1; Matthew chapter 10, verses 41and 42; and Luke chapter

    6, verses 23and 35.

    Swedenborg refers to the Hebrew Scriptures as the Old Testament

    and to the Greek Scriptures as the New Testament; his terminology has

    been adopted in this edition. As was the custom in his day, he refers to

    the Pentateuch (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteron-

    omy) as the books of Moses, or simply as “Moses”; for example, in §218

    he writes “in Moses we read the following” and then quotes a passage

    from Exodus. Similarly, in sentences or phrases introducing quotations

    he sometimes refers to the Psalms as “David,” and to both the Gospel


    and the Epistles of John as simply “John”; references given in parentheses

    after the quotations specify their sources.

    Some features of the original Latin text of True Christianityhave been

    modernized in this edition. For example, Swedenborg’s first edition relies

    on context or italics rather than quotation marks to indicate passages

    taken from the Bible or from his other works. The manner in which

    these conventions are used in the original suggests that Swedenborg did

    not belabor the distinction between direct quotation and paraphrase;

    neither did he mark his omissions from or changes to material, whether

    biblical or his own. This edition follows Swedenborg’s practice of not

    marking omissions or changes in quotations; but it reserves the use of

    either block quotes or quotation marks for directly quoted material, and

    presents paraphrased material instead as regular text. Words in italics in

    the biblical quotations of this edition reflect a similar emphasis in the

    first edition. In passages of dialog as well, quotation marks have been

    introduced that were not present as such in the original.

    This translation is based on the first Latin edition, published by

    Swedenborg himself. It incorporates the silent emendation of minor

    errors, not only in the text proper but in Bible verse references and in

    section references to Swedenborg’s other published theological works.

    The text has also been changed without notice where the verse number-

    ing of the Latin Bible cited by Swedenborg differs from that of modern

    English Bibles. Biblical references that occur in parentheses in passages

    of dialog are present in the first edition. In these passages and elsewhere

    throughout the translation, references or cross-references that were

    implied but not stated have been inserted in square brackets []. Occa-

    sionally such brackets represent an insertion of material that was not

    present in the first edition, but no note is made of this use in this

    portable edition. True Christianity

    By Emanuel Swedenborg

    Servant of the Lord Jesus Christ

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