Essentials of the Church
of The Lord's New Church Which Is Nova Hierosolyma
1. The acknowledgment of the Lord Jesus Christ in His Divine Human as the one only God of Heaven and Earth, in Whom is the Divine Trinity.
2. The acknowledgment of the Word of the Lord in its three Testaments, the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, which are the Third Testament. In this Third Testament the Lord has fulfilled His Second Coming, and all the Divine Truth of His Divine Human from firsts to lasts is present therein in fullness, holiness and power. What is said in this Testament concerning the Sacred Scripture or Word applies also to itself.
3. The life of faith, charity and love into the Lord that is of Heaven, being the Divine essence of eternal life in man and in the Church.
(Issued in their final form by the International Interior Council in the Meetings held during May and June 1958)
(Handbook Of The Lord's New Church Which Is Nova Hierosolyma, Page 11, and again on pages 43 - 44)
Teachings out of The Third Testament
Concerning "Essentials of the Church"
» Divine Providence 259.
"259. 6. The merely natural man (h)* confirms himself against the Divine Providence by the fact that there have been and still are so many heresies in the Christian world, such as Quakerism, Moravianism, Anabaptism, and others.
For he may think to himself, If the Divine Providence were universal in the most individual things, and had as its end the salvation of all, it would have brought it about that there should be one true religion throughout the whole world, and that one not divided, still less torn into heresies. However, reason the matter out and, if you can, give it closer consideration.
Can a man (h) be saved unless he be first reformed?
For he is born into the love of self and of the world; and as these loves do not bear within themselves any love to God and towards the neighbour, except for the sake of self, he is born also into evils of every kind.
Is there any love or mercy in these loves?
Does he regard it of any moment to defraud another, to defame him, to hate him even to death, to commit adultery with his wife, to act cruelly to him when moved by revenge, while he cherishes in his mind (animus) the desire to be supreme over all, thus regarding others compared with himself as insignificant and worthless?
In order that such a [man] may be saved must he not first be led away from these evils, and so be reformed?
It has been shown above in many places that this can only be effected in accordance with several laws, which are laws of the Divine Providence (leges Divinae Providentiae).
These laws are for the most part unknown; and yet they are laws of the Divine Wisdom and at the same time of the Divine Love; and the Lord cannot act contrary to them, for to do so would be to destroy man (h), not to save him.
 You will see this if you read through and compare the laws that have been set forth. Since, then, it is in accordance with these laws that there is no immediate influx from heaven, but only mediate influx through the Word, doctrine and preaching; and since the Word to be Divine could only have been written throughout wholly by correspondences, it follows that dissensions and heresies are inevitable, and that the permission of these is also in accordance with the laws of the Divine Providence.
Moreover, when the Church itself has assumed as its essentials things which belong to the understanding only, that is, to doctrine, and not things which belong to the will, that is, to the life; and when those things which belong to the life are not made essentials of the Church (non essentialia ecclesiae), then man (h) from his understanding is in complete darkness and wanders about like a blind man, everywhere running up against things and falling into pits.
For the will must see (videbit) in the understanding, and not the understanding in the will; or what is the same, the life and its love must lead the understanding to think, speak and act, and not the reverse. If the reverse were the case the understanding, from an evil, indeed a diabolical love, might seize upon whatever presents itself through the senses and insist upon the will doing it.
From these considerations it may be seen how dissensions and heresies arise.
 Yet it has been provided that everyone, no matter in what heresy he may be with respect to his understanding, may still be reformed and saved, if only he shuns evils as sins and does not confirm heretical falsities in himself.
For by shunning evils as sins the will is reformed, and through the will the understanding, which then first emerges out of darkness into light (lucem).
There are three essentials of the Church (tria essentialia ecclesiae):
 an acknowledgment of the Divinity of the Lord (agnitio Divini Domini),
 an acknowledgment of the holiness of the Word (agnitio sanctitatis Verbi),
 and the life that is called charity (et vita quae vocatur charitas).
According to the life, which is charity, is every man's (h) faith; from the Word he has a rational-perception (cognitio) of what the life should be; and from the Lord he has reformation and salvation.
Had these three been held as essentials of the Church (essentialia ecclesiae) intellectual dissensions would not have divided but would have merely varied it, as light (lux) varies colours in beautiful objects, and as the various emblems of royalty constitute the beauty of a kingly crown."
( Divine Providence 259 )
*NOTE: The use of "(h)" in the text above after the word "man" indicates that the original Latin Text in the Third Testament uses a form of the Latin word "homo," which means "human being," both male and female, and NOT just to a male human being.
The Latin word "homo" (human being) should not be confused with the Greek word "homo," which means "same."
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