“The Church is... where the Lord is acknowledged, and where the Word is.” - The New Jerusalem and Its Heavenly Doctrine §242
Kempton New Church


Closer to Purity

And to Elizabeth was fulfilled the time that she should bring forth; and she gave birth to a son. And her neighbors and kinsfolk heard that the Lord had magnified His mercy with her, and they rejoiced with her. And it came to pass that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the young child, and they called him by the name of his father, Zacharias. And his mother answered and said, Not so, but he shall be called John. And they said to her, There is no one of thy kinsfolk who is called by this name. And they beckoned to his father, what he willed to have him called. And he asked for a tablet, and wrote, saying, John is his name; and they all marveled. And immediately his mouth was opened, and his tongue, and he spoke, blessing God. And fear came on all who dwelt around them; and all these sayings were talked of in all the hill-country of Judea. And all who heard put them in their hearts, saying, Who then shall this little child be? And the hand of the Lord was with him. (Luke 1:57-66)

And a son of eight days. That this signifies any beginning of purification whatever...so "the eighth day" signified that this ought to be effected at all times, and thus always, as from a new beginning. (Arcana Coelestia 2044)

That repentance is the first thing of the church, is very evident from the Word. John the Baptist, who was sent beforehand to prepare men for the church which the Lord was about to establish, when he baptized preached at the same time repentance; and therefore his baptism was called the baptism of repentance, for the reason that baptism signified spiritual washing, which is a cleansing from sin. The Lord Himself also preached repentance for the forgiveness of sins, teaching thereby that repentance is the first thing of the church, and that so far as man repents his sins are put away, and so far as they are put away, they are forgiven. (True Christian Religion 510)

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