Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Online Archive of Ornaments in Swedenborg's Theological Works (read more about it here) has a blog called New Church History Fun Facts. Back in May they published a post titled "Ornaments in the Theological First Editions of Emanuel Swedenborg".

I finally got around to reading it and discovered that has an article by Jonathan Rose on it about the ornaments titled "The Ornaments in Swedenborg's Theological First Editions". He wrote the article in 1998 and, in addition to including lots of interesting original research, the article also includes good quality images of all of the ornaments used in Swedenborg's theological first editions. For example, here are all of the Title Page Ornaments. And don't be deceived by the display size of the images; if you click on them you can download nice big versions of them. (Note: the Fun Fact says that the images can be downloaded for educational purposes so don't go selling them for millions of dollars.)

I don't know, maybe this is only cool to me but I'm pretty excited about figuring out somewhere to use these cool images.

While we're on the topic of stuff from Swedenborg's first editions, I should mention that, in addition to some other pretty cool resources, has scans of all of Swedenborg's first editions available for download. The files are mostly just dumped there so you have to hunt around to find a specific passage but it's a great resource to know about. (If you're lucky enough to have a copy of Kempton Project that's not too old and if you can get a copy of the first edition files on CD, then you might be able to use Kempton Project to jump directly to the relevant image for a specific passage.)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Listen to Bishop Louis King's Service Online

Bishop Louis Blair King passed into the Spiritual World on June 21st, shortly before 6am. There's going to be a resurrection service for him tomorrow, June 23rd at 7pm EST at the Bryn Athyn Cathedral.

If you want to listen to the service online, you can try going to the Listen Live page on but, because they're anticipating a lot of people wanting to listen, they've also made it so that you can listen by using GoToMeeting. Click on this link to register: and then after registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the online service.

In memory of Bishop King you might want to listen to one of the 758 recordings of him on Or you might want to read the sweet, short article that Louis wrote for New Church Connection a while ago about marriage continuing after death.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

My Statement of Faith and Purpose

I got inaugurated into the first degree of the priesthood a couple of Sundays ago. In the service each of the people getting inaugurated made a statement of faith and purpose. You can listen to the service online but I also wanted to post a text version of my statement of faith and purpose here.

Before I get to that I want to mention a couple of other things. One is that I thought that the sermon that Bishop Tom Kline gave after the ordinations was really good. He used the Lord's example to illustrate the principle that priests should lead people but not compel them. I also want to mention that the Sunday after I got ordained there was another ordination service for Thane Glenn and Jay Barry and after their ordinations Thane preached a good sermon about what to do when we feel spiritually hopeless.

The final thing I want to tell you is that you can find other statements of faith and purpose in New Church Life. Every time a General Church minister gets ordained he makes a statement of faith and it eventually gets published in New Church Life. This means that you can find your favorite ministers' statements of faith and purpose on Select "New_Church_Life" and "all of the words" and in the search box put "declaration* of faith and purpose" [minister's name]. (Don't include the [] but do include the quotation marks.) If you don't find what you're looking for you could try "statement* of faith and purpose" [minister's name]. In either case the * is important because sometimes multiple declarations or statements of faith are published together.

Anyway I hope you enjoy reading a couple statements of faith and listening to some ordination services. Here's my statement of faith and purpose:
I believe in the Lord—Jesus Christ—the Savior of the world.1 He is my Lord and my God.2 He is God with us3—the infinite and Divine made visible4—Jehovah and Jesus—the Word made flesh who dwelt among us.5

I believe that He came into the world to subdue the hells and to glorify His Human and that without this no mortal could have been saved, and all people who believe in God and live according to what He teaches are saved.6

I believe that the Lord teaches people most clearly and completely in the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the heavenly teachings of the New Church. I believe that the first and great commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. And the second is like it: to love your neighbor as yourself. And that on these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.7 I believe that the Lord has shown us what is good and what He requires of us: to first shun evils as sins against Him8 that we may do judgment, love mercy, and humble ourselves to walk with our God.9

I believe that, of ourselves, we are poor, broken, imprisoned, blind, and oppressed. I believe that the Lord is present with each person, urging and pressing to be received.10 And that He has come to preach the gospel to the poor; to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; and to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.11

I believe that good priests teach truths and lead people by means of them to the good of life and so to the Lord.12 I pray that I may cooperate with the Lord in this work and be a good shepherd of His sheep.13

1 Arcana Coelestia 14
2 John 20:28
3 Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23
4 True Christian Religion 787
5 John 1:14
6 True Christian Religion 2; Divine Providence 330:5-6
7 Matthew 22:37-40
8 True Christian Religion 435-438; Doctrine of Life 24, 108
9 Micah 6:8
10 True Christian Religion 766
11 Luke 4:18-19; Isaiah 61:1-2
12 Arcana Coelestia 10794; New Jerusalem and Its Heavenly Doctrine 315
13 John 10:1-18