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What Is The Church of the New Jerusalem?

"What is the Church of the New Jerusalem, and why is it called by that name?" The answer which I shall give in this chapter will be general in character, and will endeavor to explain what the Church of the New Jerusalem is, and why it is called by that name. The name stems directly from the twenty-first chapter of Revelation, where it is recorded that John saw "the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven." (Rev. 21:2) John was on the Isle of Patmos, which is a tiny island in the Aegean Sea. On the Lord's day, he tells us, he received the vision of the New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

The question is: What did John really see? First he says he saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, and he tells us that this city was prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. The description is remarkable! Why should he liken a city to a woman at the most ecstatic moment in her life, the moment when, of all times, she looks most radiantly beautiful? Yet, that is the language of Revelation. These are the very words that must be used to describe this city, New Jerusalem, because what John really saw was neither a city, nor a bride. What he actually saw was the harmony of truth that forms the doctrines of the Church of the New Jerusalem. He saw these doctrines in a condensed form so that they gave the definite picture to his mind of a new holy city; a city of God, so beautiful that it could only be likened to a bride adorned for her husband.

Historic Significance of the New Jerusalem

Why was the city called the New Jerusalem? It was because the Old Jerusalem had come to a complete and total end. The Old Jerusalem, years before John's vision, had been completely destroyed by the Roman Emperor Titus. The Lord's words, "Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down," (Mark 13:2) had been literally fulfilled so far as the Old Jerusalem was concerned. Titus had left not one stone standing upon another. Jerusalem was a heap of rubble, and it had perished.

But the Old Jerusalem in its day had stood for a vital truth in the history of the world. Under the Divine Providence the Old Jerusalem had held to the worship of one only God. Of all the cities in the world the Lord had said that He had chosen Jerusalem to put his name in. Jerusalem was a city that was set on an hill. The Psalmist said, "Whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord." (Psalm 122:4) The reason that David had thus spoken was that all Israel was commanded to journey to Jerusalem four times each year to renew their vows of monotheism, that is, the worship of one God. It was because Jerusalem stood for the worship of one God in one person that Daniel, in far-off Babylon, opened his window toward Jerusalem and offered his prayer to Jehovah three times a day. This he did in spite of the command of Darius that no one should worship any god but him for thirty days. Daniel believed that the one only God resided in Jerusalem, and that prayers addressed to that ancient city would surely be heard.

It was for the purpose of maintaining on this earth the worship of one God that the ark of the covenant had been the center of Jewish worship for fifteen hundred years before the Lord came into this world. Finally it was placed in Solomon's Temple at Jerusalem. That was the part Jerusalem had played in history, but now, at the time when John wrote on the Isle of Patmos, the Old Jerusalem had perished. It was no more.

Then John saw a vision which prophesied the history and course of the First Christian Church which supplanted the Jewish Church. He was shown in his vision that the Christian Church would one day lose its central idea of one God in one Person. He was shown that the time would come when the Church Fathers would sit down at the Council of Nicea and write a creed which read: "The Father is God; the Son is God; the Holy Spirit is God, yet there be not three Gods but one God . . . and that whereas by Christian verity we are compelled to acknowledge each one separately as God and Lord, we are forbidden by the Holy Catholic Church to say three Gods and three Lords." (Athanasian Creed A.E. 1091)

A New Jerusalem

Only 325 years after the Lord came on earth the vision of monotheism, which the Old Jerusalem had stood for, had again been lost, and a vague and mysterious tripersonal God had been set up as the center of Christian theology. To John in his vision on Patmos it was given to see that the time would come when a new vision of monotheism, of God in one Person, would be given to the world. This new vision of one God was symbolized by a New Jerusalem, a new Jerusalem not built by human hands but coming down from God out of heaven, and beautiful as only a bride can be beautiful when she is adorned for her husband. This spiritual beauty we find in the truths revealed by the Lord to Emanuel Swedenborg during the twenty-seven years when his spiritual eyes were opened and he wrote at the Lord's command many books, which contain the doctrines of the New Church. These books, inspired by the Lord, we call the Writings.

It is a fact that whenever we search for the truth and finally find it, it appears before our minds in exquisite beauty. "Seek and ye shall find" the Lord said in the Gospel (Matt. 7:7), and in the Writings He says, "Follow the light and ye shall find." (C.L. 56)

Well do I remember an old gentleman up in the Canadian Northwest, who has now passed on into the spiritual world, and how he described to me the beauty which suddenly burst forth before his eyes from the pages of the Writings when he saw the truth of One God in One Person, who is the Lord Jesus Christ. He had been raised a Mennonite, and as such he had been taught to believe the doctrine of God in three persons. This triune God puzzled him. How could there possibly be unity in the universe if there were three separate persons at the center of the creation? How could three Divine Persons make one God? These discordant ideas tortured him. Night and day he sought for an answer, and while he was in this perplexed state, while he was searching for the truth, there fell into his hands a copy of Swedenborg's True Christian Religion. Before long his eye fell upon the chapter entitled "The Trinity." Eagerly he read it. The light dawned. Not three persons, but one personone Person whose soul was the Father, whose body was the Son, and whose Divine inspiration and work among men was the Holy Spiritwas what it taught.

"Never again," he said to himself, "can I picture God in three persons!" The beautiful expression that spread over his face, as he told me this, is still present with me. He had seen the "New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven prepared as a bride adorned for her husband."

A young man whom I met in my travels told me that his talk with me on the Trinity, and his reading of the chapter on the Trinity in the True Christian Religion had so changed his mind that never again could he conceive of God as being three separate Divine Persons, who in some mysterious way make One God. When he saw for the first time the idea of one God in one Person, the Lord Jesus Christ, the beautiful light of truth filled his mind. It was the thought that God is just oneone Person! It is the beauty that is meant by John's words: "Prepared as a bride adorned for her husband."

The Walls of Doctrine

The New Jerusalem that John saw was not only beautiful, it was also strong. He saw great walls surrounding it. The walls that protect a spiritual city are the doctrines that make it distinctive, the doctrines which protect it from assault from without.

Perhaps, when I use the word "doctrines" I enter a field of technical theological language which is not too well understood. Let me see if I can make that word quite clear. In the first place, a doctrine is something that you learn. It comes from a Latin word meaning: "The things that we have learned." Usage has made it mean a much more specific thing. Today it denotes a set of principles which govern our actions. Every man has a doctrine that governs his life, whether he knows it or not. What he believes in respect to any particular subject is his doctrine. His doctrine of religion is his belief concerning how the world came into being, and how we should live. An atheist, who denies God, has a doctrine. He believes that there is no God; that the world always was; and that maybe man gradually evolved from chemical particles. Whatever a man believes from conviction, that is his doctrine. In it his mind dwells. It is the city of his refuge. Let us, then, examine the New Jerusalem, which is protected by these great and high walls of doctrine. Some people feel that trying to make a society in this world of people who believe and practice the doctrines of the New Jerusalem will create an exclusive sort of community which uses its walls in order to keep people out instead of using them to protect itself. But the walls of the New Jerusalem are never meant to be used for snobbish purposes. They are walls erected great and high to protect the things that we hold most sacred, and that we most deeply cherish. We call these walls, the walls of distinctiveness, the distinctiveness of the Church of the New Jerusalem. Over the years we have come to believe that we have a bounden duty to give our children a distinctive New Church education based upon the doctrines of the Church of the New Jerusalem. We want our children to learn about geography at the same time that they learn about the God who created geography. We want our children to learn of history from the knowledge that there is a God above history whose Divine Providence continually overrules man's petty desires in order that the Grand Man of Heaven may forever be upbuilded. We want our children to see in their study of mathematics the order, the law, and the firmness of all the truth that emanates from God. And so, in order to give our children these things that we think are so vitally important, we have distinctive New Church education, requiring of all of our teachers and pupils baptism into the faith of the Church of the New Jerusalem. So the walls of the New Jerusalem, great and high, are protective walls; they are erected to preserve our distinctiveness as a New Church.

We likewise strive to maintain distinctive New Church social life that in actual association with each other we may put into practice the ideals that we cherish, that by constant striving we may be able to put away the love of self and be filled with the love of the neighbor, that we may love him as the Lord has loved us. That is our ideal, but we have much regenerating to do.

The Twelve Gates

In order to show you that there is no element of exclusiveness involved in these walls of the New Jerusalem, let me remind you of the fact that in each wall, East, North, South, and West there are three gates, and it is said that these gates are open all day, and that there is no night there. From that statement I take it that the opportunity to enter into the New Jerusalem is universal, and that the door of entrance into the Church is always open.

The meaning of the four walls is the accommodation of the doctrines to various forms of mind. Men view things from different angles. If four of us were to view some beautiful building, and if one of us looked at it from the east, another from the north, another from the south, and the fourth from the west, and if each of us was to describe what he saw, our descriptions would have certain points that would agree, and other points that would be quite different. We find this difference in the account of the story of the Lord's life. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John have all told the story from a different angle. Some events they have described almost alike. Thus all four Gospels substantially agree in the particulars of the feeding of the five thousand with five barley loaves and two small fishes. However, if we want to learn of the Lord's discourse before he went to Gethsemane, we must go to John; but if we want to learn of the prayer in Gethsemane, we must go to the synoptic Gospels, for they alone record it. Both Matthew and Luke mention the Lord's Prayer, but slightly differently, while John and Mark are silent on the subject. Luke and Matthew alone record the birth story, while John traces the incarnation to the "Word that was in the beginning with God, and was God, . . . and was made flesh and dwelt among us." (John 1:1 and 14) All of this is to show us why the New Jerusalem has four walls. In a universal sense the four walls represent every possible viewpoint on life. If we could imagine that we were all standing outside of the New Jerusalem, and watching it descend from God out of heaven, each one of us would see a different entrance through which he would want to come into that Holy City.

One thing is very clear; each of us would want to enter through a gate into the city, for the Lord said: "He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber." (John 10:1) Therefore, no matter from what angle we view the New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven, we may be sure that there is some gate prepared by the Lord which will just minister to our particular state; a gate through which we may enter into the Holy City, if that is our desire.

In subsequent chapters I am going to take up in detail the meaning of these various gates, but for the present I will just discuss some of them, and speak of some of the people that have entered into the New Jerusalem by them. Of course, the most central, and the most important of all the doctrines is to know the truth about God. This is so important that it enters into each of the twelve gates, for each was made of one pearl, and the pearl of great price is the true knowledge of God. Many people have entered into the New Church by this gate, for the New Church teaching concerning God has made the idea of one God in one Person, who is the Lord Jesus Christ, as clear as crystal to their minds.

There are many things in the letter of the Word, which, when not analyzed carefully, might make one think that perhaps there are three Divine Persons, for surely the letter does speak of the Father, and it speaks of the Son, and it speaks of sending the Holy Spirit, and doesn't that mean that there are Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, three persons who in some mysterious way form one God? Certainly, the Old Christian Church has puzzled over that problem until it has drawn out the creed which is held by all the orthodox Christian Churches such as the Catholic, Episcopal, Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist, and the like. It is not held, of course, by such sects as the Unitarians, or the Christian Scientists, who deny the Virgin birth and who make the divinity in Christ no different in kind than the spark of life in each one of us. But all of the great sects of the modern Christian Church believe in one God in three Persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. When a person becomes disturbed on the question of a tripersonal God, when it no longer seems logical to him to think of God as existing in three Persons, then it is that he begins the search which in the end will lead him to one or another of the gates of the New Jerusalem. From the doctrines of the New Church, as he studies them, it will become more and more clear that the soul of the Lord Jesus Christ was the Father, just as the soul of each one of us is the father of his body. Just as I have my soul which is the father of my body, so the Lord had His soul which was the Divine Father, and which created His body within the womb of Mary. And as the human soul is always within its body, shaping the destiny of our body, maintaining its health, preserving the faculties of all the senses, so the Divine Father was never withdrawn from the Son, He was always the soul of our Lord.

Our spirit, our influence among people, what we do in the world, this exactly corresponds to the Holy Spirit which some have confused with a third person in the Trinity. After the Lord had risen from the sepulchre, He appeared to his disciples. "Then said Jesus unto them, Peace be unto you: as My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you. And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Spirit." (John 20:21, 22) His breath! That was the Holy Spirit. Certainly it was not another person. Why should anyone think that His breath should be a third person? Since the Lord is Holy, the spirit that goes forth from Him could only be the Holy Spirit. There. fore, the New Churchman sees that God is just One, and when this One God manifested Himself on earth in bodily form He was the Lord Jesus Christ. The infinite soul of that body was the Father, and the influence among men from that body and soul was the Holy Spirit. Many persons have had the mystery of the trinity solved by entering into this New Church understanding of it, thus they have entered in through the gate into the Holy City.

Understanding Death

The understanding of death is another one of these gates into the New Jerusalem. It is particularly vivid before my mind, for only recently I was called upon to speak at the funeral of a boy of twelve who had died very suddenly of polio. He had been sick only one week! The comfort that the doctrines of the New Church gave to the parents in their grief- stricken condition was a beautiful thing to behold, for our doctrines teach us that the Heavenly Father marks even the fall of a sparrow, and the Lord says that the very hairs of our head arc all numbered, and of a God who knows even the number of our hairs, and who marks the fall of a sparrow, it is quite impossible to believe that His Providence permits accidents. We cannot believe that anyone is called to the spiritual world unless it is God's will. 'When we come to study the Writings of Swedenborg, we find that very definite reasons are given why people die when they do, why some people live to be old and enter the spiritual world full of years, while others die in infancy and still others in the full tide of manhood.

The Grand Man of Heaven, that is, heaven looked at as one great society, is not composed of parts that are alike, but of many parts that are different. In this heavenly society men and women, now angels, perform the uses of all the organs and viscera of the human body. There are all the delicate membranes and the fluid which make possible the sight of the eye, and all the subtle tissues that make up the substance of the brain. All of these uses for the Grand Man of Heaven are performed by angels after death.

In this world there are angels who are present with every mother when a child is born, deeply innocent angels. We are taught that children who die in infancy or childhood bring this gift of innocence into the heavens. They have never experienced anything but innocence in this world and so they take with them into the spiritual world none of the smirch and dirt of this life. They go into that world bearing the gift of innocence, and the Lord uses them to perform uses which involve innocence such as being with mothers when their children are born, or with young couples during the first states of marriage wherein the vision of conjugial love is given.

A thousand particulars about the life after death have been revealed to the New Church. We are told how the angels live, what they do, what they wear, how they are governed, and many more interesting things. When someone has lost a friend that is dear to him the New Church is able to give to him in his hour of need a teaching that is soul-satisfying. It seems that frequently people are led into the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, through the gate of the understanding of death.

The Bible Restored

Let me mention one or two other gates that are very important. The time was when the Bible was revered and honored by all Christians, but that time has passed. Many of you have been born since the time of its real veneration. Many of you have met since youth people who have derided it. I remember reading about one man who later became an American Consul in France. John Bigelow was his name. He was brought up at his mother's knee with a tremendous love for the Bible. Then he went off to Harvard for his university training, and it was just at the time when higher criticism was beginning to come to the fore, and the critics were seeking in every way possible to undermine the common faith in the Bible. They pointed out that the world could

not have been created in six days, more likely six million years and they showed that the Bible had many contradictions in it. For instance, after the Lord created Adam and Eve He told them that if they ate of the forbidden tree they would surely die. Time came when they did eat of it, but they did not die; they were merely expelled from the garden of Eden. After Cain slew Abel he is said to have married a wife and built a city when there was no one else on earth. Again, when the Children of Israel made a golden calf in the wilderness and the Lord would have destroyed them for their wickedness, and Moses prayed for them, we read:

"And the Lord repented the evil which He thought to do unto them." (Exodus 32:14)

It is said that God repented that He had made man, seeing that his wickedness had proceeded to such an extremity. (Genesis 6:6) It is elsewhere said that He repented at having made Saul king over Israel (I Samuel 15: 11), but in another place it is stated that "The Lord hath sworn and will not repent." (Psalm 110:4) and "I am the Lord, I change not." (Malachi 3:6)

These higher critics said that the Bible was full of contradictions, and this young man of whom I am speaking had the Bible which he loved torn from him because he thought that these professors were right, and they were night as far as the facts upon which they based their conclusions were concerned. Therefore he lost the Bible, and it was not until some years later, under very interesting circumstances, that he found a volume by Swedenborg entitled Arcana Coelestia. This book restored his faith in the Bible. From it he learned that all human freedom would be removed if God revealed scientific truth by revelation. He learned that the discovery of the truth of science is left to the free play of man's rational mind. Nature presents a challenge to his mind to learn her secrets. But revelation has another purpose. It tells man what he cannot learn from his own investigations; that is, it tells him about God, the life after death, and the life of regeneration. These truths man cannot discover for himself.

Revelation must never be so compelling that it forces man to believe it, because then, at once, man would become a slave and not a human being. As Bigelow read further in the Arcana he learned that the seven days of creation did not refer to the creation of the physical world, but they treated of the seven states of man's regeneration, or preparation for heaven. This is a vastly more vital subject to each one of us than is the manner of the creation of the physical world, for who of us is so stupid that he does not see that this physical body which he has, will within a hundred short years have passed from this earth? His body will be disintegrated; it was nothing real; it was just the means which the Lord gave him whereby he might live in this world, and so be able to choose in absolute freedom the type of life he wants to live to eternity. That is what our bodies are for, nothing more. Bigelow found in this Arcana Coelestia words of wisdom that dealt not with the natural body, which is cast off at death, but with the spiritual body which we retain to eternity. Having seen how, in the early chapters of Genesis, this allegory of man's spiritual journey to heaven revolutionized his idea of the Bible, that book which for him had been lost was now found.

Having seen the solution to the problem of creation in seven days, he went on to some other arguments that had been leveled against the Bible. For example: the claim that the Bible teaches that God is a God of wrath. It is not hard to find passages in the literal sense that say that God was angry, but we also find passages that say that He is a God of love. For example: "Let thy wrathful anger take hold of them." (Psalm 69:24) "We are consumed by thine anger." (Psalm 90:7) "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 3:16) He studied passages like these in the light of the new truths which he was reading and he found that if we view God's action to man from man's standpoint, there are times when it does appear that God is angry. Just as a child who is punished by its parent thinks that the parent is angry, and is acting from anger. If a parent has punished a child justly, then frequently that punishment is the dearest sign of love, because the parent who does not correct his child does not really love the child, but loves his own ease. And so our friend began to see harmony among those apparent contradictions. When he viewed them from the standpoint of a man looking at God, then there was the appearance of anger, but whenever God is looking down at man, the Bible is perfectly consistent that He is a God of love; that He is never angry; and that anger can never possibly be predicated of Him. Then there are other difficulties. For instance: the lies that Jacob told, the way he put fur on his hands so as to deceive his blind old father Isaac and make him think that he was Esau. "I am thy first-born Esau," he said. "The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau," (Genesis 27:19 & 22) Isaac replied.

The true meaning of this deceit, and this blessing, is all unfolded in the Arcana Coelestia. Esau represents good. He represents the end for which we strive, while Jacob represents the truth. Esau was first born, as good is the end of all living; Jacob was second born, but for a time he had to take first place, just as we have to learn how to do something before we can do it. We have got to teach the child what is right and what is wrong before he can do what is right, but the end which we had in mind in teaching him the truth was that he might learn to do good. In the end of the story Esau was triumphant. Jacob came back from Padan Aram, whither he had fled from the wrath of his brother; he came back after many years and offered a rich present to his brother, and bowed the knee before him, thus showing that truth is always the servant of good, and although it looks as if truth came first, that is a deception which man must not confirm with himself; otherwise, he will be led into faith alone.

The Arcana solved problem after problem for John Bigelow and he entered into the New Jerusalem through the gate which may be called: "The Bible that was lost and is found."

Life and Salvation

Another gate of entrance is the doctrine concerning salvation. In the New Church we teach that there is no easy way of approach to the throne of God. There is no place for sermons which create great emotional stresses. No one is ever brought into the New Church in a moment by an act of contrition, or by death-bed repentance. The New Church scheme of salvation is, however, Scriptural, and it is logical beyond every other scheme that has been taught or believed. What we hold is: that such as a man is at the moment of his death, such he will be when he enters the spiritual world. The things that he loves when he dies will be the things that he will love when he wakes up in the life hereafter. Here and now is his chance to change those loves while he is still living in this world. If you observe the nature of love you will see that it cannot be changed by the will of another; only by self- compulsion can man's loves be changed. Love can only operate in freedom; therefore, the Lord gives us freedom in this world so that we can learn to love in freedom the things that the angels love.

This precious gift of freedom is manifest to us in a thousand different ways. It can be observed from the fact that all revelation is outside of man. That is, it does not force itself upon us by an internal way against our desire. The Bible, for example, is outside of us; there it is on the table. It may stay there unopened; one may never go near it; one can pass it by every day. The only force that will make one read it is himself. If he wants to, he can go to it. He can read its message, and in perfect freedom he can learn to love it. That is where revelation is put by the Lord, outside of us, so that we can act in freedom if we are to make it a part of ourselves.

We might compare the spiritual progress of a man to a mass of clay which the sculptor moulds. When he goes to bed and leaves his work of art he knows full well, that when he awakens in the morning it will be just where he left it, no better, no worse. It is only as he works on it and fashions it little by little that it becomes a work of beauty. The Writings tell us that that is how man's character is formed, just a little bit at a time, and the fundamental principle in the formation of character is to pick out some evil and shun it as a sin against God, and when that is done God will give us the opposite virtue. He who shuns hatred learns to love, and he who shuns lying thirsts for the truth, and he who is not covetous develops a generous spirit. Thus little by little we learn to love the things that the angels love, and when we wake up in the spiritual world we will want to associate with those who love the things we love and with no one else. That is our way of salvation. There is no easy way, no climbing up some other way into the sheepfold, but we must enter through the door of character into our eternal place in heaven.

Marriage and Conjugial Love

Entrance into the New Jerusalem through the doctrine of Conjugial Love is the final gate about which I would speak. Because the New Church has a different teaching about marriage, we have a new word to express the new ideal. The word is "conjugial". The common word for marriage love is "conjugal", but in Providence Swedenborg was led to use a new word, placing an "i" before the "a" in the last syllable of conjugal, thus making it "conjugial". This word embodies a union of soul, a union of minds, and a union of bodies which transcends any idea of marriage hitherto given to the world.

I remember a man in my first pastorate, when I was a very young minister. He was not baptized into the Church, and sometimes he was drawn to the Church and sometimes he said he could not believe it. We had many long talks together, but he would always end by saying; "I may not be able to see the truth of some of the books, but that book, Conjugial Love, that's a heavenly book; that's Divine Revelation!" This man was very happily married and the pages of Conjugial Love shone before his mind. To him they were like the bride adorned for her husband. In the process of time, gradually, little by little, he came to see the other doctrines of the New Jerusalem as just as beautiful as the doctrine concerning conjugial love, but it was through that gate that he finally entered into the New Jerusalem.

The Writings tell us concerning conjugial love that it is scarcely known that it exists in the world, and not at all what it is, and yet to the New Church a whole book has been written about it. This book describes every particular and gives us principles upon which we can base our married life, and by means of which we can draw success in this most important of human relationships. These principles enrich the marriage covenant. It is a love which has its origin in the marriage of good and truth in heaven, a love which corresponds to the marriage of the Lord and the Church. It does not originate with the love of the sex, but the love of the sex is as a matrix in which is set the precious jewel of conjugial love.

Conjugial love descends from the Lord. He stands at the top of a great triangle. At the bottom, at either vertex, stands the husband and his wife. As they each draw nearer to the Lord they come closer to one another.


So the New Jerusalem has high walls of doctrine about it to protect the life of the church within, but it also has gates that are never shut, gates which afford entrance to every possible variety of disposition of men and women who are sincerely seeking the truth and the heavenly kingdom. But let us just peep into the New Jerusalem through one of these gates. What will we see? 'We will see a river clear as crystal truth, truth that is clear, that is, truth that we can understand.

We will behold streets paved with gold, gold which corresponds to love, streets of love that lead from house to house in heaven even as they do in this world, for it is love that takes one friend to his neighbor's house in this world and so it will be in heaven. There too, we will see the tree of life bearing twelve manner of fruit, and the leaves of that tree will be for the healing of the nations.

That is the New Jerusalem which John saw coming down from God out of heaven, and that is why our church is called the Church of the New Jerusalem, because its endeavor is continually to bring that vision down to earth. These gates of entrance into that city which I have hastily sketched in this first chapter will form the subject for the more detailed study which follows.

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