Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all things shall be added unto you (Matt. 6:33)

The Principles of 1949

Summary of the Development of the Principles of the Church in the Meetings of the Provisional International Council of Priests
July 25th to August 2nd 1949

1. The question on which the deliberations of the Council were centered was the way in which the Church must go for its development.

2. By virtue of His Second Coming in the Third Testament the Lord in His Divine Human is present inmostly in the mind of every man, and in the Third Testament His Divine Human is present outwardly. Between the Divine Human within man and the Divine Human outside of man all development of the Church takes place. For the Christian Church the Two Commandments were given in the New Testament, on which all things depended for them. For the New Church there are two corresponding essentials on which all development of the Church depends. The first is the acknowledgment of the Divine Human of the Lord. The second is the shunning of evils as sins against Him. In these two essentials of the Church are seen the two universals for the development of the Church. In the first lie all things of the interior development, in the second all things of the exterior development of the Church. In the first there is the ever more interior advance in the Doctrine of the Church, for the inmost of every development is ever a more interior seeing of the Divine Human of the Lord in the internal sense of the Word. In the second there is the ever more interior removal of the proprial will of man which opens the way for an ever more interior seeing of the Divine Human. These are the two universals by which the Church will come always into a more interior conjunction with the Lord.

3. The Lord has glorified His Human and has come again in His Divine Human to the end that man may come into the image and likeness of Him. When man acknowledges that the Lord Jesus Christ is the God of heaven and earth, and that He has come again in His Third Testament, he receives an inmost feeling and idea of the Divine Human. This inmost feeling and idea becomes substantial and real only in the measure that in it there is the acknowledgment of the emptiness and voidness of the human of man and the longing that the man may become the image and likeness of the Lord. This inmost feeling and idea of the Divine Human is the very seed of the Lord in man which is to be formed in him. The forming and developing of this seed is the development of the Church in man.

4. The forming of the seed of the Lord present in the inmost of the mind depends wholly upon the seeing and removing of the evils and falsities in the natural mind itself. Everyone has a mind from heredity and environment, the mind of the daily life. In this mind lie all the evils and falsities that prevent the forming of the seed of the Lord in man. This is the old human, the void and empty earth on which we stand. The Lord operates from inmosts through ultimates. When the ultimate is wholly in disorder the Lord cannot operate to the formation of the interiors. Even as it is said that no angel was created from the beginning, but that all angels are from the human race, formed as such by life in this world, so also with the seed of the Lord in man, there can be no formation of it whatsoever except in the measure that the ultimate mind is formed in him as a world in which the seed can have its ground. There must be a new external mind to act as the matrix for all development of the seed.

5. This is a principle of all formation: that there is no reception in the inmost and therefore also not in the outmost except on the basis of change and repentance in the ultimate natural mind.

6. Of the natural mind, of its nature and quality, the Church is still ignorant, since the importance of this mind has not yet been realized. Although we live in it continuously, we have scarcely seen its importance with reference to the development of the Church. If this mind is not seen, and if the real order into which it must come is not seen, the Church will lack the ground for its development.

7. Man thinks that because he sees spiritual and celestial things in the Word and in the Doctrine of the Church, these things are in him and that he is in those things. He looks to heaven and imagines that the earth will take care of itself and is unaware of its importance in relation to heaven. To look to the Lord and to heaven in such a way, while at the same time skipping over and ignoring the natural mind in which a real human is to be formed, is to look to the Lord above the heavens only. It is to place the Divine Human above the heavens only, and not to direct the mind to the Divine Human in the heavens and in the Church. This, in the New Church, involves a similar separation of the Divine and the Human of the Lord as in the Protestant and Catholic Churches. Such an idea of the Lord lacks all real substance. With this idea the two universals of the Church are deprived of their essence in thought and in life.

8. Of the two universals for its development the Church has centered its attention on the first and not on the second. And yet we know that it was on the book “Summary Exposition of the Doctrine of the New Church which is Meant by Nova Hierosolyma in the Apocalypse,” in which the evils and falsities of the former Churches are described, that Swedenborg was commanded to write the words, “Hic Liber est Adventus Domini?’ This book, seen from within, reveals the nature of the evils and falsities which will arise from the old human every time the New Church comes into a new state for its development. If these evils and falsities are not shunned, the Church will not come into the new plane for its development.

9. When the Church does not acknowledge that the Divine Human is to be in the human of man, there can be no operation of the Divine Human in the Church. If man then shuns evils, he will shun them not out of himself from the Lord, that is, for the sake of the formation of the seed, for the Coming of the Lord in him, but for the sake of the appearing life only, which is from his old human, his proprium. As a consequence he will take the things of the Word and will put them directly outermost in his appearing life, and thus in the external man; and thus he will leave intact the essence of the old human, his proprium, which is his internal man. Outwardly he will have heaven, but inwardly there will be hell, even as is described of the insincere and unjust man in the Arcana Coelestia no. 9283, that with him the external is an image of heaven and the internal an image of hell. Such a heaven is an imaginary heaven. The devil itself wants nothing more than to have such a heaven in which he can rule, posing therein as an angel of light.

10. The Church must center its attention also on the second universal because otherwise the natural will be overlooked and the Church will remain ignorant of what the natural mind must be. In the Word itself, in the Third Testament, are described the truths of the natural mind. But how are these truths to be born in the Church? They are not seen by the activity of the reasoning in doctrinal things. Such activity skips over every essential natural thing. Nor are they seen by a mere taking up of the Sense of the Letter of the Word. In the inmost of the new substance of the Divine Human of the Lord, which substance the Church has received by the Doctrine of the Church as being spiritual out of celestial origin, there is a love, as a new end, which longs to have its conjunction with the natural. Therefore the doctrinals want to order the natural. But the Church in its struggle for that ordering will be led by the Lord to see that the new end can only be in its own in the natural. Then the Word again will be the only basis for the development of the Church, which basis by means of the doctrinals of the Church has become of an interior natural quality. As the Lord works from firsts through lasts in man, the genuine truths of the natural mind will become visible in the measure that the evils and falsities are shunned in the external man and the internal man is formed and opened by the Lord. Man works as if from himself by his external obedience to the internal influx out of the soul and by means of his internal obedience to the external objective Esse and Exisiere of the Word.