New Jerusalem, the name applied in Rev. xxi. 2 to the city which John saw coming down from God out of heaven. Emanuel Sweden-borg interprets this symbol as signifying the new church whose doctrines he was commissioned to teach. Hence the ecclesiastical organizations of his followers call themselves societies, etc, "of the New Jerusalem," or " of the New Church signified by the New Jerusalem." (For an account of their doctrines see Swedenborg, Emanuel.) Swedenborg himself seems not to have contemplated the formation of such organizations, and gave no instructions for the purpose. In 1788, 16 years after his death, Robert Hindmarsh and others hired a chapel in London, and established public worship and preaching according to his doctrines. Their example was followed in other places, and about the beginning of the present century a general conference was formed of Swedenbor-gians in Great Britain, which in 1873 embraced 58 societies, containing altogether 4,019 members and 26 ministers; 24 of these societies, containing 2,147 members, were in Lancashire and the neighboring counties.
The first Swedenborgian church in this country was formed in Baltimore in 1702; and in 1817 a general convention was called, which has met annually ever since, and in 1873 had connected with it 74 ministers and 93 societies, with 4,408 members, of whom 1,320 were in Massachusetts. There are besides a number of independent societies in the United States and on the continent of Europe, with an aggregate membership of perhaps 1,000. The denomination has no uniform liturgy or discipline, each society being left to itself, very much on the congregational system. Baptism (of infants as well as adults) and the Lord's supper are observed, and the worship and preaching resemble those of Protestants generally.