A Compendium of the Theological Writings of
Importance of a Just Idea of God
The idea of God enters into all things of the Church, of religion, and of worship. Not only do theological subjects reside above all [others] in the human mind, but supreme therein is the idea of God. If this therefore be false all things which follow derive from the beginning whence they flow, that they are false, or falsified. For the supreme, which also is the inmost, constitutes the very essence of the sequences; and the essence, as a soul, forms them into a body after its own image; and when in its descent it lights upon truths, it infects them also with its own blemish and error. (BE n. 40)
Upon a just idea of God the universal heaven and the Church universal on earth, and in general the whole of religion, are founded; for through this there is conjunction, and through conjunction light, wisdom, and eternal happiness. (Pref. to AR)
Of how great importance it is to have a just idea of God may appear from the consideration, that the idea of God forms the inmost of thought with all who have any religion; for all things of religion and all things of worship have relation to God; and as God is in all things of religion and of worship universally and particularly, therefore unless there be a just idea of God there cannot be any communication with the heavens: Hence it is that in the spiritual world every nation is assigned a place according to its conception of God as a Man; for in this, and in no other, there is an idea of the Lord. That man's state of life after death is according to the idea of God confirmed within him clearly appears from its opposite, that the denial of God constitutes hell,—and in Christendom, the denial of the Lord's Divinity. (DLW n. 13)
God is One
All the principles of human reason unite and as it were concentre in this, that there is one God, the Creator of the universe. A man who has reason, therefore, from a common attribute of his understanding, does not and cannot think otherwise. Say to any one of sound reason that there are two Creators of the universe, and you will find an aversion to you on account of it—and perhaps from the bare sound of the words in the ear. It is evident from this that all the principles of human reason unite and as it were concentre in the idea that God is one. There are two reasons why this is so. First, because the very faculty of thinking rationally, in itself considered, is not man's but is God's in him; upon that faculty human reason, as to the common attribute, depends; and this common attribute causes it to see this, as of itself. Second, because by means of that faculty man either is in the light of heaven, or derives thence the common principle of his thought; and the universal principle of the light of heaven is, that God is one. It is otherwise if by that faculty a man has perverted the lower principles of the understanding; he, it is true, has ability by that faculty, but through the intorsion of the lower principles, he turns it in another direction, whereby his reason becomes unsound. (DLW n. 23)
Who that has sound reason does not perceive that the Divine is not divisible, and that there is not a plurality of Infinite, Uncreate, Omnipotent beings,—and thus, Gods? If another, who has no reason, shall say that several Infinite, Uncreate, Omnipotent beings—therefore Gods,—are possible, if. only they have one and the same essence; and that through this there is one Infinite, Uncreate, Omnipotent being and God:—Is not one and the same essence, the same one? and the same one cannot be several. If it shall be said that one is from the other:—Then he that is from the other is not God in himself; and yet God, from whom all things ark is God in Himself. (ibid. n. 27)
He who in faith acknowledges and in heart worships one God is in the communion of saints on earth, and in the communion of angels in the heavens. They are called communions, and are so, because they are in one God and one God is in them. They are also in conjunction with the whole angelic heaven, and I might venture to affirm with all and each of the angels there; for they all are as the children and descendants of one father, whose minds, manners, and faces are resemblant, so that they mutually recognize each other. The angelic heaven is harmoniously arranged in societies, according to all the varieties of the love of good; which varieties all tend to one most universal love, which is love to God. From this love they who in faith acknowledge and in heart worship one God, the Creator of the universe, and at the same time the Redeemer and Regenerator, are all propagated. (TCR n. 15)
God is very Man
In all the heavens there is no other idea of God than of a Man. The reason is, that heaven is a Man in form, in whole and in part, and the Divine which is with the angels constitutes heaven, and thought proceeds according to the form of heaven. It is therefore impossible for the angels to think otherwise of God. Hence it is that all those in the world who are in conjunction with heaven think of God in like manner, when they think interiorly within themselves, or in their spirit. It is from the fact that God is Man that all angels and all spirits are men in perfect form. The form of heaven effects this, which in its greatest and in its least parts is like itself. It is known from Gen. i. 26, 27, that men were created after the image and likeness of God; and also that God was seen as a Man by Abraham and others. (DLW n. 11)
If any one thinks of the very Divine without the idea of a Divine Man, he thinks indeterminately,—and an indeterminate idea is no idea,— or he forms a conception of the Divine from the visible universe without end, or with an end in darkness, which conception conjoins itself with that of the worshippers of nature,— even falls into nature, and so becomes no conception. [of God]. It is evident that thence there would be no conjunction with the Divine, by faith nor by love. All conjunction requires an object; and the conjunction is according to the character of the object. Hence it is that the Lord as to the Divine Human is called the Mediator, and the Intercessor; but He mediates and intercedes with Himself. It is evident from the Lord's words in John that the very Divine cannot by any conception be apprehended:—"No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath manifested Him" (i. 18); and again, "Ye have neither heard the Father's voice al any time, nor seen His shape" (v. 37). Yet, which is remarkable, all who think of God from themselves, or from the flesh, think of Him indeterminately, that is, without any definite idea; but those who think of God not from themselves, nor from the flesh, but from the spirit, think of Him determinately; that is, they present to themselves a conception of the Divine under the human form. The angels in heaven thus think of the Divine; and thus the wise Ancients thought, to whom when the very Divine appeared He appeared as a Divine Man. (AC n. 8705)
God is not in Space
That God, and the Divine which immediately proceeds from Him, is not in space, although He is omnipresent,—even with every man in the world, with every angel in heaven, and with every spirit under heaven,—cannot be comprehended by a merely natural conception; but it can be in some measure by a spiritual conception. The reason why it cannot be comprehended by a merely natural conception, is that in this there is space; for it is formed from such things as are in the world, in all and each of which, that appear before the eyes, there is space. Every idea of great and small, in the world, is according to space; all length, breadth, and height,—in a word, every measure, figure, and form therein, is of space. But yet a man may comprehend it by natural thought if only he admits into it something of spiritual light. Something shall therefore first be said concerning a spiritual conception and thought thence. A spiritual conception derives nothing from space, but derives its all from state. State is predicated of love, of life, of wisdom, of affections, ant of the joys from these; in general, of good and of truth. A truly spiritual conception of these has nothing in common with space. It is higher, and sees conceptions derived from space below itself, as heaven looks down upon the earth. But as angels and spirits equally with men see with their eyes, and objects cannot be seen except in space, therefore in the spiritual world, where spirits and angels dwell, spaces appear similar to the spaces on earth. And yet they are not spaces, but appearances; for they are not fixed and stated as on earth, but may be lengthened and shortened, may be changed and varied. Now because they thus cannot be determined by measurement, they cannot there be comprehended by any natural conception, but only by a spiritual conception; which conception of distances in space is no other than as of distances of good, or distances of truth, which are affinities and likenesses according to their states. It is evident from these considerations that by a merely natural conception a man cannot comprehend that the Divine is everywhere, and yet not in space; and that angels and spirits comprehend it clearly: consequently, that man also can do so, if only he admit something of spiritual light into his thought. The reason that man can comprehend it is because it is not his body that thinks but his spirit, thus not his natural but his spiritual. And the reason why many do not comprehend it is that they love the natural, and are therefore not willing to elevate the thoughts of their understanding above it into spiritual light; and they who will not cannot think even of God except from space, and to think of God from space is to think of the expanse of nature. (DLW n. 7-9)
An angel of heaven can by no means think otherwise, when he thinks of the divine omnipresence, than that the Divine fills all things without space. What an angel thinks is truth, because the light which enlightens his understanding is divine wisdom. This thought concerning God is fundamental; for without it what is to be said of the creation of the universe from God Man, and of His providence, omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience, though it should be understood cannot be retained. Because the merely natural man, when he understands them, relapses yet into his life's love, which is of his will; and this love dissipates, and immerses them in space, in which what he calls his rational light is,—not knowing that in proportion as he denies those things he is irrational. (DLW n. 71, 72)
The very Divine Essence is Love and Wisdom
No one can deny that in God love, and at the same time wisdom, is in its very essence; for He loves all from love in Himself, and leads all from wisdom in Himself. The created universe too, viewed in relation to its order, is so full of wisdom from love, that it may be said all things in the complex are wisdom itself; for things innumerable are in such order, successive and simultaneous, that together they constitute one. It is from this, and no otherwise, that they can be held together and perpetually preserved.
It is because the very Divine essence is love and wisdom that man has two faculties of life, from one of which he has his understanding, and from the other his will. The faculty from which he has his understanding derives all that it has from the influx of wisdom from God; and the faculty from which he has his will derives all that it has from the influx of love from God. That man is not justly wise, and does not exercise his love justly, does not take away the faculties, but inwardly closes them. (DLW n. 29, 30)
The Divine Love and the Divine Wisdom are Substance and Form
The common idea of men, concerning love and wisdom, is that of a something volatile, and floating in subtle air or ether; or of an exhalation from something of the kind; scarcely any one thinks that they are really and actually substance and form. Those who see that they are substance and form, yet perceive love and wisdom out of their subject, as issuing from it; and that which they perceive out of the subject, as issuing from it, though it is perceived as a something volatile and floating, they also call substance and form; not knowing that love and wisdom are the subject itself, and that what is perceived as a something volatile and floating without it is only an appearance of the state of the subject within itself. The reasons why this has not heretofore been seen are several: one is, that appearances are the first things from which the human mind forms its understanding, and that it cannot shake them off but by an investigation of the cause; and if the cause lies very deep, it cannot investigate it without keeping the understanding, for some time, in spiritual light, in which it cannot keep it long, by reason of the natural light which continually draws it down. The truth however is, that love and wisdom are very and actual substance and form, and constitute the subject itself.
But as this is contrary to appearance, it may seem not to merit belief unless it be shown, and it cannot be shown, except by such things as a man can perceive by his bodily senses; wherefore it shall be shown by them. A man has five senses, which are called feeling, taste, smell, hearing, and sight. The subject of feeling is the skin, with which a man is encompassed, the substance and form of the skin causing it to feel what is applied; the sense of feeling is not in the things which are applied, but in the substance and form of the skin, which is the subject; the sense is only an affection thereof, from the things applied. It is the same with the taste; this sense is only an affection of the substance and form of the tongue; the tongue is the subject. So with the smell; it is well known that odours affect the nose, and are in the nose, and that there is an affection thereof from odoriferous substances touching it. So with the hearing; it appears as if the hearing were in the place where the sound begins; but the hearing is in the ear, and is an affection of its substance and form; that the hearing is at a distance from the ear is an appearance. So also with the sight; it appears, when a man sees objects at a distance, as if the sight were there, but yet it is in the eye, which is the subject, and is, in like manner, an affection thereof; the distance is only from the judgment forming its conclusions of space from intermediate objects, or from the diminution and consequent obscuration of the object, the a image of which is produced within the eye according to the angle of incidence. It hence appears that the sight does not go from the eye to the object, but that the image of the object enters the eye, and affects its substance and form. For it is the same with the sight, as with the hearing; the hearing does not go out of the ear to catch the sound, but the sound enters the ear and affects it. It thus appears that the affection of a substance and form, which constitutes sense, is not a thing separate from the subject, but only causes a change in it, the subject remaining the subject then, as before, and after. Hence it follows that sight, hearing, smell, taste, and feeling, are not a something volatile flawing from those organs, but that they are the organs themselves, considered in their substance and form, and that whilst they are affected the sense is produced.
It is the same with love and wisdom, with this only difference, that the substances and forms which are love and wisdom are not extant before the eyes, like the organs of the external senses. But still no one can deny that those things of wisdom and love which are called thoughts, perceptions, and affections, are substances and forms, and that they are not volatile entities flowing from nothing, or abstract from that real and actual substance and form which is the subject. For in the brain there are innumerable substances and forms, in which every interior sense that has relation to the understanding and the will, resides. The affections, perceptions, and thoughts there are not all exhalations from the substances, but are actually and really the subjects, which do not emit anything from themselves, but only undergo changes, according to the influences which affect them, as may evidently appear from what has been said above concerning the senses.
Hence it may first be seen that the Divine love and the Divine wisdom in themselves are substance and form, for they are very Being and Existing; and if they were not such a Being and Existing as that they are substance and form, they would be a mere creature of reason which in itself is not anything. (DLW n. 40-43)
God is Love itself and Life Itself
If one can but think from reason elevated above the sensualities of the body, how plain it is to see that life is not creatable! For what is life but the inmost activity of love and wisdom, which are in God and which are God; which life inlay also be called the very essential living force. (TCR n. 471)
The Nature of the Divine Love
There are two things which constitute the essence of God—love and wisdom. And there are three which constitute the essence of His love—to love others out of Himself; to desire to be one with them; and to make them happy from Himself. The same three constitute the essence of His wisdom; because love and wisdom in God make one, and love wills these things, and wisdom accomplishes them. The first essential—to love others out of Himself—is acknowledged to be in God, from His love towards the whole human race. And on their account God loves all things that He has created, because they are means; for whoever loves an end loves also the means. All persons and all things in the universe are out of God, because they are finite and God is infinite. The love of God reaches and extends, not only to men and things that are good, but also to men and things that are evil; consequently, not only to men and things in heaven, but to men and things also in hell; thus not to Michael and Gabriel only, but to the Devil and Satan also. For God is everywhere, and from eternity to eternity the same. He Himself also says, that "He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth His rain on the just and on the unjust" (Matt. v. 45). But the reason why evil men and things are still evil, is in the subjects and objects themselves, in that they do not receive the love of God as it is, and as it is inmostly within them, but according to their own qualities or states, as the thorn and the nettle receive the heat of the sun and the rain of heaven. The second essential—to desire to be one with others—is also acknowledged, from His conjunction with the angelic heaven, with the Church on earth, with every individual therein, and with every good and truth in man and in the Church. Love indeed in itself regarded is nothing else than an endeavour towards conjunction. Therefore, in order that this essential of love might take effect, God created man in His image and likeness, that thus He might have conjunction with Him. That the Divine love continually intends such conjunction is evident from the Lord's words, expressing His desire That they may be one, He in, them, and they in Him, and that the love of God may be in them (John xvii. 21-23, 26). The third essential of God's love—to make others happy from Himself—is acknowledged, from the gift of eternal life, which is blessedness, satisfaction, and happiness, without end. These He gives to those who receive His love in themselves. For God, as He is love itself, is also blessedness itself; and as all love breathes forth delight from itself, so Divine love breathes forth very blessedness, satisfaction, and happiness to all eternity. Thus God makes angels, and also men after death, happy from Himself; which is effected by conjunction with, them.
That such is the nature of the Divine love is apparent from its sphere, which pervades the universe, and affects every one according to his state. This sphere especially affects parents, inspiring them with a tender love for their children, who are out of or without them, and with a desire to be one with them, and to make them happy from themselves. It affects even the evil as well as the good; and not only man, but beasts and birds of every kind. For what is the object of a mother's thoughts when she brings forth her child, but to unite herself, as it were, with it, and to provide for its good? What is a bird's concern when she has hatched her young, but to cherish them under her wings, and with every mark of endearment to feed and nourish them? It is a well-known fact that even serpents and vipers love their offspring. This universal sphere of Divine love affects in a particular manner those who receive within themselves the love of God, as they all do who believe in God and love their neighbour; the charity that reigns within them being the image of that love. Even what is called friendship among men of the world puts on the semblance of that love; for every one when he invites a friend to his table gives him the best that his house affords, receives him with kindness, takes him by the hand, and makes him offers of service. This love is also the cause and only origin of all the sympathies and tendencies of congenial and similar minds towards union with each other. Nay, the same Divine sphere operates even upon the inanimate parts of the creation, as trees and plants. But then it acts through the instrumentality of the natural sun, and its heat and light; for the heat entering into them from without conjoins itself with them, and causes them to bud, and blossom, and bear fruit—which operations may be called their state of bliss. And this is effected by the sun's heat, because it corresponds with spiritual heat, which is love. Representations of the operation of this love are manifested also in various subjects of the mineral kingdom, and their types may be seen in the uses and consequent value to which each is exalted. (TCR n. 43, 44)
The Infinity and Eternity of God
The immensity of God has relation to spaces, and His eternity to times. His infinity comprehends both immensity and eternity. But as infinity transcends what is finite, and the knowledge of it, the finite mind, in order to attain some degree of perception of the subject, it must be considered after the following series:-1. God is infinite because He is and exists in Himself, and all things in the universe are and exist from Him. 2. God is infinite because He was before the world, consequently before spaces and times had birth. 3. God, since the world was made, is in space without space, and in time without time. 4. Infinity in relation to spaces is called immensity, and in relation to times eternity; and yet, notwithstanding these relations, there is nothing of space in God's immensity, and nothing of time in His eternity. 5. From very many objects in the world enlightened reason may discover the infinity of God the Creator. 6. Every created thing is finite; and the infinite is in finite things as in its receptacles, and in man as in its images. (TCR n. 27)
Men cannot but confound the Divine Infinity with infinity of space; and as they cannot conceive of the infinity of space as other than a mere nothing, as it really is, they disbelieve the Divine Infinity. The case is similar in respect to eternity, which men can only conceive of as eternity of time, it being presented to the mind under the idea of time with those who are in time. The true idea of the Divine Infinity is insinuated into the angels by this: that in an instant they are present under the Lord's view, without any intervention of space or time, even from the farthest extremity of the universe. The true idea of the Divine Eternity is insinuated into them bythis: that thousands of years do not appear to them as time, but scarcely otherwise than as if they had only lived a minute. Both ideas are insinuated into them by this: that in. their NOW they have at once things past and future. Hence they have no solicitude about things to come; nor have they ever any idea of death, but only. of life. Thus in all their NOW there is the Eternity and Infinity of the Lord. (AC n. 1382)
The Omnipotence of God
God is omnipotent because He has all power from Himself, and all others from Him. His power and will are one; and because He wills nothing but what is good, therefore He can do nothing but what is good. In the spiritual world no one can do anything contrary to his own will. This they there derive from God, whose power and will are one. God also is Good itself; while therefore He does good He is in Himself, and He cannot go out of Himself. Hence it appears that His omnipotence proceeds and operates within the sphere of the extension of good, which is infinite. For this sphere, from the inmost, fills the universe and all and everything therein; and from the inmost it governs those things which are without, as far as they conjoin themselves according to their order. And if they do not conjoin themselves, still it sustains them, and with all effort labours to bring them into order, according to the universal order in which God is in His omnipotence; and If this is not effected, they are cast out from Him, where, nevertheless, He sustains them from the inmost. (TCR n. 56)
The Omniscience of God
God perceives, sees, and knows all things, even to the most minute, that are done according to order; because order is universal from things the most single. For the single things taken together are denominated the universal; as the particulars taken together are denominated a general. The universal together with its most single things is a work cohering as one, insomuch that one part cannot be touched and affected without some sense of it being communicated to all the rest. It is from this quality of order in the universe that there is something similar in all created things in the world. But this shall be illustrated by comparisons taken from things that are visible. In the whole man there are things general and particular, and the general things there include the particulars, and adjust themselves by such a connection that one thing is of another. This is effected by the fact that there is a common covering about every member of the body, and that this insinuates itself into the single parts therein, so that they make one in every office and use. For example, the covering of every muscle enters into the single moving fibres therein, and clothes them from itself; in like manner the coverings of the liver, the pancreas, and the spleen, enter into the single things of them that are within; so the covering of the lungs, which is called the pleura, enters into their interiors; likewise the pericardium enters into all and the single things of the heart; and generally the peritomum, by anastomoses with the coverings of all the viscera; so also the meninges of the brain; these, by fibrils emitted from them, enter into all the glands below, and through these into all the fibres, and through these into all parts of the body. Thence it is that the head, from the brains, governs all and the single things subordinate to itself. These things are adduced merely in order that, from visible things, some idea may be formed as to how God perceives, sees, and knows all things, even to the most minute, which are done according to order.
God, from those things which are according to order, perceives, knows, and sees all and single things, even to the most minute, that are done contrary to order; because God does not hold man in evil, but withholds him from evil; thus does not lead him [in evil] but strives with him. From that perpetual striving, struggling, resistance, repugnance, and reaction of the evil and the false against His good and truth, thus against Himself, He perceives both their quantity and quality. This follows from the omnipresence of God in all and the single things of His order; and at the same time from His omniscience of all and the single things therein; comparatively, as one whose ear is in harmony and accord exactly detects every discordant and inharmonious sound, how much and in what manner it is discordant, as soon as it enters. (TCR n. 60, 61)
The Omnipresence of God
The Divine omnipresence may be illustrated by the wonderful presence of angels and spirits in the spiritual world. In that world, because there is no space, but only the appearance of space, an angel or a spirit may, in a moment, become present to another, if only he comes into a similar affection of love, and thought from this; for these two cause the appearance of space. That such is the presence of all there, was manifest to me from the fact that I could see Africans and Hindoos there very near me, although they are so many miles distant upon earth; nay, that I could become present to those who are in other planets of this system, and also to those who are in the planets in other systems beyond this solar system. By virtue of this presence, not of place, but of the appearance of place, I have conversed with the Apostles, with departed popes, emperors, and kings; with the founders of the present church—Luther, Calvin, and Melancthon—and with others from different countries. Since such is the presence of angels and spirits, what limits can be set to the Divine presence, which is infinite, in the universe! The reason that angels and spirits have such presence is, because every affection of love, and every thought of the understanding from this, is in space without space, and in time without time. For any one can think of a brother, relation, or friend in the Indies, and have him then as it were present to him; in like manner, he may be affected by their love, from the remembrance of them. By these things, because they are familiar to every one, the Divine omnipresence may, in some degree, be illustrated; and also by human thought, in that when any one recalls to mind what he has seen in traveling in various places, he is as it were present in them. Nay, the sight of the body emulates the same presence. The eye does not perceive distances, except by intermediate objects, which as it were measure them. The sun itself would be near the eye, nay, in the eye, unless intermediate objects discovered that it is so distant. That it is so writers on optics have also observed in their books. Each sight of man, both the intellectual and corporeal, has such presence, because his spirit sees through his eyes. But no beast has similar presence, because they have no spiritual sight. From these things it is evident that God is omnipresent, from the first to the last things of His order. (TCR n. 64)
Knowledge respecting God only possible by Revelation
As to the nature and character of the one God, nations and peoples have strayed and are still straying into diverse opinions; for many reasons. The first is, that there can be no knowledge respecting God, and consequent acknowledgment of God, except by revelation; and no knowledge and consequent acknowledgment of the Lord, that in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, except from the Word, which is the crown of revelations. But by revelation given man can approach and receive influx from God, and so from natural become spiritual; and a primeval revelation pervaded the whole world. But the natural man perverted it, in many ways; whence the differences, dissensions, heresies, and schisms of religions.... Human reason, however, if it will, may perceive or conclude that there is a God, and that He is one. This truth it can confirm by innumerable things in the visible world. For the universe is as a theatre on which the testimony that there is a God, and that He is one, is continually set forth. (TCR n. 11, 12)
God created the Universe from Himself, not out of Nothing
Every one who thinks with clear reason sees that the universe is not created from, nothing, because he sees that it is impossible for anything to be made out of nothing. For nothing is nothing, and to make anything out of nothing is contradictory, and what is contradictory is contrary to the light of truth, which is from the Divine wisdom; and whatever is not from the Divine wisdom is not from the Divine omnipotence. Every one who thinks from clear reason sees also that all things were created of substance which is substance in itself; for this is the very Being from which all things that are can exist. And as God alone is substance in itself, and hence the very Being, it is evident that the existence of things is from no other source. Many have seen this, for reason gives to see it, but have not dared to confirm it; fearing that thereby they might come to think that the created universe is God, because it is from God; or that nature exists from itself, and thus that its inmost is what is called God. Hence, although many have seen that the existence of all things is from no other source than from God and from His Being, yet they dared not proceed beyond the first thought on the subject, lest they should entangle their understanding in a Gordian knot, as it is called, from whence they might not afterwards be able to extricate it. The reason why they might not have been able to extricate their understanding is, that they thought of God, and of the creation of the universe by God, from time and space, which are peculiar to nature; and no one can perceive God and the creation of the universe from nature, but every one whose understanding is in any degree of interior light, may perceive nature and its creation from God, because God is not in time and space. (DLW n. 283)
All Things in the Universe were created from the Divine Love and the Divine Wisdom of God-Man
The universe in its greatest and least parts, as well as in its first and last principles, is so full of Divine love and Divine wisdom that it may be said to be Divine love and Divine wisdom in an image. That this is so is manifest from the correspondence of all things in the universe with all things in man. Each and all things that exist in the created universe have such correspondence with each and all things of man that it may be said that man also is a kind of universe. There is a correspondence of his affections and of his thoughts from them with all things of the animal kingdom; a correspondence of his will, and of his understanding from this, with all things of the vegetable kingdom; and a correspondence of his ultimate life with all things of the mineral kingdom. It does not appear to any one in the natural world that there is such a correspondence, but it appears to every one who attends to it in the spiritual world. In that world are all things that exist in the natural world, in its three kingdoms; and they are the correspondences of the affections and thoughts—of the affections of the will and the thoughts of the understanding,—as also of the ultimates of the life, of those who dwell there. They appear around them with an aspect like that of the created universe, with the difference that they are in lesser form. From this it is manifest to the angels that the created universe is an image representative of God Man; and it is His love and wisdom that are manifested in the universe in an image. Not that the created universe is God Man, but that it is from Him. For nothing whatever in the created universe is a substance and form in itself, or life in itself, or love and wisdom in itself; yea, neither is man a man in himself; but all is from God, who is Man, wisdom and love, and form and substance, in Himself. That which Is, in itself, is uncreate and infinite; but that which is from this, having nothing about it which is, in itself, is created and finite. And this represents the image of Him from whom it is and exists. (DLW n. 52)
Two Worlds, the Spiritual and the Natural
There are two worlds, the spiritual and the natural; and the spiritual world derives nothing from the natural world, nor the natural world from the spiritual world. They are altogether distinct, and communicate only by correspondences. (DLW n. 83)
Two Suns, by means of which all Things in the two Worlds were created
There are two suns by which all things were created from the Lord, the sun of the spiritual world and the sun of the natural world. All things were created from the Lord by the sun of the spiritual world, but not by the sun of the natural world; for the latter is far below the former, and in a middle distance. The spiritual world is above and the natural world is beneath it; and the sun of the natural world was created to act as a medium or substitute. (DLW n. 153)
Spiritual things cannot proceed from any other source than from love; and love cannot proceed from any other source than from Jehovah God, who is love itself. The sun of the spiritual world therefore, from which all spiritual things issue as from their fountain, is pure love, proceeding from Jehovah God, who is in the midst of it. That sun itself is not God, but is from God, and is the proximate sphere about Him from Him. Through this sun the universe was created by Jehovah God. By the universe all the worlds [systems] in one complex are understood, which are as many as the stars in the expanse of our heaven. (Influx, n. 5)
The centre and the expanse of nature are derived from the centre and expanse of life, and not the contrary. Above the angelic heaven there is a sun, which is pure love, of a fiery appearance like the sun of the world. From the heat proceeding from that sun angels and men derive will and love; and from its light, understanding and wisdom. All things derived from that sun are called spiritual; and all things proceeding from the world's sun are containants or receptacles of life, and are called natural. The expanse of the centre of life is called the spiritual world, which subsists from its sun; and the expanse of the centre of nature is called the natural world, which subsists from its sun. Now, as spaces and times cannot be predicated of love and wisdom, but instead of them states are predicated, it follows that the expanse around the sun of the angelic heaven is not an extense; and yet it is in the extense of the natural sun, and is present there with all living subjects according to their reception; and their reception is according to their forms and states. The fire of the sun of the world is derived from the sun of the angelic heaven; which is not fire, but the Divine love proximately proceeding from God, who is in the midst of it. Love in its essence is spiritual fire hence fire in the Word, or Holy Scripture, according to its spiritual sense, signifies love. This is the reason why priests, when officiating in the temple, pray that heavenly fire may fill the hearts of those who worship; by which they mean heavenly love. (TCR n. 35)
The sun of the natural world is pure fire, [In another place the author states, more definitely, that—" The sun of this world consists of created substances the activity of which produces fire." (TCR n. 472)] and therefore dead; and since nature derives its origin from that sun, it also is dead. Creation itself cannot in the least be ascribed to the sun of the natural world, but all to the sun of the spiritual world, because the sun of the natural world is wholly dead; but the sun of the spiritual world is alive, being the first proceeding of the Divine love and the Divine wisdom; and what is dead does not act from itself, but is acted on. Therefore to ascribe to it anything of creation would be like ascribing the work of the artificer to the instrument with which the hand of the artificer operates..... The actuality of the sun of the natural world is not from itself, but from the living power proceeding from the sun of the spiritual world. If therefore the living power of the latter sun were withdrawn or taken away the former sun would perish. Hence it is that the worship of the sun is the lowest of all kinds of worship of a God; for it is as dead as the sun itself. And therefore in the Word it is called an abomination. (DLW n. 157)
Atmospheres, Waters, and Earths, in the Spiritual and Natural Worlds
The spiritual world and the natural world are similar, with the only difference that each and everything in the spiritual world is spiritual, and each and everything in the natural world is natural. These two worlds being alike, therefore in both there are atmospheres, waters, and earths, which are the generals by and from which each and everything exists with infinite variety.
The atmospheres, which are called ethers and air, in the spiritual and natural worlds are alike, only that those in the spiritual world are spiritual and those in the natural world are natural. The former are spiritual because they exist from the sun which is the first proceeding of the Divine love and Divine wisdom of the Lord; and from Him they receive within them Divine fire, which is love, and Divine light, which is wisdom, and convey these two to the heavens, where the angels dwell, and cause the presence of that sun in the greatest and least things there. The spiritual atmospheres are discrete substances, or most minute forms, originating from the sun. And as they severally receive the sun, hence its fire—being divided into so many substances or forms, and as it were covered or enclosed in them, and tempered by these coverings—becomes heat, proportioned finally to the love of the angels in heaven and of spirits under heaven. The same may be said of the light of the sun. The natural atmospheres are similar to the spiritual atmospheres, in being also discrete substances of very minute form, originating from the sun of the natural world. Which sun also they each of them receive; and they treasure up in them its fire, and temper, and convey it as heat to the earth, which is the dwelling-place of men. And in like manner the light.
The difference between the spiritual atmospheres and the natural is, that the spiritual atmospheres are receptacles of Divine fire and Divine light, thus of love and wisdom, for they contain these within them; while the natural atmospheres are not receptacles of Divine fire and Divine light, but of the fire and light of their own sun, which in itself is devoid of life (as was shown above); and therefore they contain nothing from the sun of the spiritual world, but still are surrounded by spiritual atmospheres which come from that sun. That this is the difference between the spiritual atmospheres and the natural is learned from the wisdom of the angels.
The existence of atmospheres in the spiritual world as well as in the natural, is evident from the fact that angels and spirits breathe, speak, and hear equally with men in the natural world; and respiration, speech, and hearing are effected by means of the air or ultimate atmosphere. Also from the fact that angels and spirits see equally with men in the natural world; and sight is not possible but by means of an atmosphere purer than air. From this also, that angels and spirits think and are affected equally with men in the natural world; and thought and affection do not exist but by means of still purer atmospheres. And lastly from the fact, that all things belonging to the bodies of angels and spirits, as well external as internal, are held n proper connection by atmospheres; their externals by an aerial atmosphere, and their internals by ethereal atmospheres. Were it not for the circumpressure and action of these atmospheres, it is evident that the interior and exterior forms of the body would be dissolved. Since the angels are spiritual, and each and all things of their bodies are held in their connection, form, and order, by atmospheres, it follows that those atmospheres also are spiritual; and they are spiritual because they originate from the spiritual sun, which is the first going forth of the Divine love and Divine wisdom of the Lord. (DLW n. 174-176)
The Origin of Matter
That substances or matters, such as are on the earth, were produced from the sun by its atmospheres, is affirmed by all who think that there are perpetual mediations from the first to the last; and that nothing can exist but from a prior self, and at length from the First. And the First is the sun of the spiritual world; and the First of that sun is God Man, or the Lord. Now as the atmospheres are the prior things by which that sun presents itself in ultimates, and as those prior things continually decrease in activity and expansion to ultimates, it follows that when their activity and expansion cease in the ultimates they become substances and matters such as are on the earth; which retain from the atmospheres, whence they originated, an effort and endeavour to produce uses. Those who do not evolve the creation of the universe and all things therein by continual mediations from the First, cannot but build hypotheses that are incoherent and disconnected from their causes, which, when examined by a mind that looks interiorly into things, appear not as houses but as heaps of rubbish. (DLW n. 303)
The origin of earths, treated of in the preceding article, may show that in the substances and matters of which they consist there is nothing of the Divine in itself, but that they are deprived of all that is Divine in itself; being, as was there said, the ends and terminations of the atmospheres, whose heat has ended in cold, whose light in darkness, and whose activity in inertness. But still they have brought with them, by continuation from the substance of the spiritual sun, that which was there from the Divine, which was the sphere surrounding God Man or the Lord. From this sphere, by continuation from the sun, proceeded, by means of the atmospheres, the substances and matters of which the earths consist. (DLW n. 305)
The Divine Object in the Creation of the Universe
The end of the creation of the universe is, that there may be an angelic heaven; and as the angelic heaven is the end, so also is man or the human race, because heaven consists of the human race. Hence all things that are created are mediate ends and uses, in the order, degree, and respect that they have relation to man, and by man to the Lord. (DLW n. 329)
The universal end, which is the end of all things in creation, is, that there may be an eternal conjunction of the Creator with the created universe; and this is impossible unless there be subjects in which His Divine may be, as in Himself, thus in which it may dwell and remain. Such subjects, in order that they may be His habitations and mansions, must be recipients of His love and wisdom as of themselves. They must therefore be such as can, as of themselves, elevate themselves to the Creator, and conjoin themselves with Him. Without this reciprocation no conjunction can be effected. These subjects are men who can, as of themselves, elevate and join themselves. By this conjunction the Lord is present in every work created from Himself; for every created thing is finally for the sake of man. Therefore the uses of all things that are created ascend by degrees from ultimates to man, and through man to God the Creator, from whom they originate.
Creation is in continual progression to this ultimate end, by the three [gradations], end, cause and effect; for these three exist in God the Creator, and the Divine is in all space without space, and is the same in the greatest and least things. Hence it is evident that the created universe, in its general progression to its ultimate end, is relatively the mediate end; for forms of uses are continually raised from the earth by the Lord the Creator, in their order up to man, who as to his body is likewise from the earth. Next, man is elevated by the reception of love and wisdom from the Lord; and all means are provided that he may receive them; and he is made such that he can receive them if he will. (DLW n. 170, 171)
All Things of the Created Universe viewed from Uses, represent Man in an Image
Man was called a microcosm by the ancients, because he resembled the macrocosm, which is the universe in the whole complex. But at this day it is not known why man was so called by the ancients; for there appears in him nothing more of the universe or the macrocosm than that he is nourished and lives, as to his body, from its animal and vegetable kingdoms, and that he is kept in a living state by its heat, sees by its light, and hears and breathes by its atmospheres. These, however, do not make man a microcosm, as the universe with all things therein is a macrocosm. The ancients called man a microcosm, or little universe, from the knowledge of correspondences which the most ancient people possessed, and from their communication with the angels of heaven; for the angels of heaven know, from the visible things about them, that all things in the universe, viewed as to uses, represent man in an image.
But that man is a microcosm, or little universe, because the created universe viewed as to uses is man in an image, cannot enter the thought and knowledge of any one, except from an idea of the universe as seen in the spiritual world. It cannot therefore be shown but by some angel in the spiritual world, or by some one to whom it has been granted to be in that world, and to see the things therein. As this has been granted to me, I am enabled, by what I have seen there, to reveal this arcanum.
Be it known that the spiritual world, in external appearance, is altogether similar to the natural world. Lands, mountains, hills, valleys, plains, fields, lakes, rivers and fountains appear there, consequently all things of the mineral kingdom; also paradises, gardens, groves, woods, with trees and shrubs of all kinds, fruits and seeds, also plants, flowers, herbs and grasses, thus all things of the vegetable kingdom and animals, birds, and fishes of all kinds, thus all things of the animal kingdom appear there. Man, there, is an angel and a spirit. This is premised that it may be known that the universe of the spiritual world is altogether similar to the universe of the natural world; only that things there are not fixed and stationary, like those in the natural world, because in the spiritual world nothing is natural, but everything is spiritual.
That the universe of that world resembles a man in image, may be clearly seen from the fact that all the things just mentioned appear to the life, and exist about an angel and about angelic societies, as produced or created from them; they remain about them, and do not go away. That they are as things produced or created from them, is evident from the fact that when an angel goes away, or a society departs to another place, they no longer appear; also, that when other angels come in their place, the face of all things about them changes; the paradises change as to trees and fruits, the gardens as to flowers and seeds, the fields as to herbs and grasses; and the kinds of animals and birds likewise change. Such things exist and so change because all these exist according to the affections and derivative thoughts of the angels; for they are correspondences. And as things which correspond make one with him to whom they correspond, therefore they are a representative image of him. The image does not indeed appear when all these are seen in their forms, but only when they are seen in their uses. It has been given me to see, that the angels, when their eyes have been opened by the Lord, and they have beheld these things from the correspondence of uses, have acknowledged and seen themselves in them.
Now, as the things that exist about the angels according to their affections and thoughts resemble a kind of universe, in the fact that there are earths, vegetables and animals, and these form a representative image of an angel, it is clear whence it was that the ancients called man a microcosm. (DLW n. 319-323)
Creation began from the highest or inmost, because from the Divine, and went forth to the ultimates or extremes and then first subsisted. The ultimate of the creation is the natural universe; and in it the terraqueous globe and all things thereon. When these were completed man was created, and into him were gathered all things of Divine order, from the first to the last. In his inmost parts were gathered those things which are in the first [degrees] of that order, and in his ultimates those which are in the last. So that man was made Divine order in form. (LJ n. 9)
What Man is
Man is so created as to be, at the same time, in the spiritual world and in the natural. The spiritual world is the abode of angels, and the natural of men; and being so created, he is endowed with an internal and an external—the internal being that by which he is in the spiritual world, and the external that by which he is in the natural world. His internal is what is called the internal man, and his external is what is called the external man. (TCR n. 401)
Man is not life, but a recipient of life from God. It is generally believed that life is in man, and is his own; consequently that he is not merely a recipient of life, but actually is life. This general belief is founded upon the appearance; for man lives—that is, he feels, thinks, speaks, and acts altogether as of himself.... But how is it possible, according to any rational conception, for the Infinite to create anything but what is finite? Can a man, therefore, being finite, be reasonably conceived to be anything but a form, which the Infinite may vivify from the life which He possesses in Himself? (ibid . 470)
Man is an organ of life, and God alone is life. God infuses His life into the organ and all its parts, as the sun infuses its heat into a tree and all its parts. And God grants man a sense that the life in himself is as if it were his own; and is desirous that he should have such a sense of it, to the intent that he may live, as of himself, according to the laws of order—which are as many in number as the precepts of the Word—and may thus dispose himself to receive the love of God. Yet God continually, as it were, with His finger holds the perpendicular tongue that is over the balance, to moderate it; but still He never violates free determination by compulsion..... Man's free determination results from the fact that he has a sense that the life he enjoys is his own. (ibid . n. 504)
What the Internal and External Man are
Few, if any, at the present day know what the internal and the external man are. It is generally supposed that they are one and the same; and the reason of this is, that most persons believe that they do good and think truth of themselves, or from their proprium; this being a necessary consequence of submission to its influence. . . . The internal man is as distinct from the external as heaven from earth. Both the learned and the unlearned, when reflecting on the subject, have no other conception of the internal man than that it consists of thought, because it is within; and they believe that the external man is the body, with its sensual and voluptuous principle, because they are without. But thought, which is thus ascribed to the internal man, does not, in fact, belong to it; for in the internal man there are nothing but goods and truths derived from the Lord, conscience being implanted in the interior man by the Lord. For example, the wicked, yea, the very worst of men, and even those who are destitute of conscience, have a principle of thought; from which it is evident that the faculty of thought does not belong to the internal, but to the external man. That the material body, with its sensual and voluptuous principle, does not constitute the external man, is manifest from the consideration that spirits, who have no material bodies, have an external man as well as men on earth. . . . The internal man is formed of what is celestial and spiritual; and the external man of what is sensual—not belonging to the body, but derived from corporeal things; and this is not only so with man, but also with spirits. (AC n. 978)
The very Inmost of Man
With every angel, and likewise with every man, there is an inmost or supreme degree, or a something inmost and supreme, into which the Divine of the Lord first or proximately flows, and from which it disposes the other interior things in the angel or man, which succeed, according to the degrees of order. This inmost or supreme may be called the Lord's entrance to the angel and to man, and His veriest dwelling-place with them. By virtue of this inmost or supreme man is man, and is distinguished from brute animals; for these have it not. Hence it is that man, different from animals, as to all the interiors which are of his mind [mens] and mind [animus] can be elevated by the Lord to Himself, can believe in Him, be affected with love to Him, and thus see Him; and that he can receive intelligence and wisdom, and speak from reason. Hence also it is that he lives to eternity. But what is disposed and provided by the Lord in that inmost does not flow manifestly into the perception of any angel, because it is above his thought, and exceeds his wisdom. (HH n. 39, see also "The use of the Lord's Tempations)
The Life of Man
The very life of man is his love; and such as the love is such is the life, and even such is the whole man. But this is to be understood only of the ruling or governing love; for it is this that determines the quality of the man. This love has many others subordinate to it, which are its derivatives. (TCR n. 399)
Man knows of the existence, but not the nature, of love. He is aware of its existence from the use of the word in common speech, as when it is said one loves me; the king loves his subjects, and the subjects love their king; the husband loves his wife, and the mother her children, and vice versa; or when it is said that one loves his country, his fellow-citizens, or his neighbour; so when it is said of things abstract from person, that we love this or that thing. Yet, though the word love is so universally in the mouths of men, scarcely any one knows what love is. While meditating upon it, since he can form no idea of thought concerning it, one says either that it is nothing real, or that it is merely something that flows in by sight, hearing, feeling, and conversation, and so affects him. Man is quite ignorant of the fact that it is his very life, not merely the common life of his whole body, and the common life of all his thoughts, but the life also of all their particulars. A wise man may perceive this from the following queries: If you take away the affection, which is of love, can you think on any subject? or can you do anything? In proportion as the affection, which is of love, grows cold, do not thought, speech, and action grow cold also? and in proportion as it is warmed, are they not also warmed? But this the wise perceive, not from knowledge that love is the life of man, but from experience of this fact. (DLW n. 1)
The Origin of Vital Heat
It is well known that there is vital heat in man, and in every animal, but its origin is not known. Every one speaks of it from conjecture. Those, therefore, who have no knowledge of the correspondence of natural things with spiritual, have ascribed it either to the heat of the sun, or to the activity of particles, or to life itself; but as they did not know what life is, they proceeded no further than barely to say this. But he who knows that there is a correspondence of love and its affections with the heart and its derivations, may know that love is the origin of vital heat. Love proceeds as heat from the spiritual sun, where the Lord is, and is also felt as heat by the angels. This spiritual heat, which in its essence is love, flows by correspondence into the heart and the blood, and imparts heat to it, and at the same time vivifies it. That a man is heated, and as it were fired, according to his love, and its degree, and grows torpid and cold according to its decrease, is well known, for it is felt and seen; it is felt from the heat of the whole body, and is seen in the redness of the face. And, on the other hand, its extinction is felt from the coldness of the body, and seen from the paleness of the face. (ibid. n. 379)
The Primitive Condition of Man
That man was created a form of Divine order follows from his being created in the image and likeness of God; for since God is order itself, man was therefore created the image and likeness of order. There are two origins from which order exists, and by which it subsists—Divine love and Divine wisdom; and man was created a receptacle of them both. Consequently he was created in, the order according to which these two operate in the universe; and particularly into that according to which they operate in the angelic heaven; for by virtue of such operation the whole heaven is a form of Divine order in its largest portraiture, and appears in the sight of God as a single man. (TCR n. 65)
In the first ages of the world men acknowledged in heart and soul that they received all the good of love, and hence all the truth of wisdom, from God. They were, therefore, called images of God, sons of God, and born of God. (ibid. n. 692)
I have been informed that the men of the Most Ancient Church were of so heavenly a character that they conversed with angels, and that they had the power of holding such converse by means of correspondences. From this the state of their wisdom became such that when they looked upon any of the objects of this world they not only thought of them naturally, but also spiritually, thus in conjunction with the angels of heaven. (ibid. n. 202)
The Nature of the Fall
"But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil thou shalt not eat of it; for in the clay that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." These words, together with those just explained, signify that it is allowable to obtain a knowledge of what is true and good by means of every perception derived from the Lord, but not from self and the world; or, that it is unlawful to inquire into the mysteries of faith by means of things of sense and knowledge, by which means his celestial quality is destroyed.
A desire to investigate the mysteries of faith by means of things sensuous and known, was not only the cause of the fall or decline of the Most Ancient Church, in the succeeding generation, 'but it is the cause of the fall or decline of every church; for hence come not merely false opinions, but evils of life also.
The worldly and corporeal man says in his heart, "If I am not instructed by the senses concerning faith, and the things relating to it, so that I may see them, or by means of knowledge, so that I may understand them, I will not believe;" and he confirms himself in his incredulity by the fact that natural things cannot be contrary to spiritual. Thus he would be instructed in heavenly and Divine subjects by the experience of his senses; which is as impossible as for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. For the more he would grow wise by such a process, the more he blinds himself, till at length he comes to believe nothing, not even the reality of spiritual existences, or of eternal life. This is a necessary consequence of the principle which he lays down. This is to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; of which the more a man eats the more dead he becomes. But he who would grow wise by wisdom derived from the Lord, and not from the world, says within himself that he ought to believe the Lord, that is, the things which the Lord has spoken in the Word, because they are truths; and according to this principle he regulates his thoughts. Such a person confirms himself in his belief by things of reason and knowledge, sensual and natural; and things which do not confirm he rejects. (AC n. 126-128)
The evil of the Most Ancient Church, which existed before the flood, as well as of the Ancient church founded after that event, of the Jewish church, and subsequently of the new church or church of the Gentiles after the coming of the Lord, and also the evil of the church of the present day is, that instead of believing the Lord, or the Word, they trusted to themselves and the evidence of their senses. Hence faith became annihilated, and when there was no faith there was no love to the neighbour, so that all was evil and falsity.
At this day, however, the evil is much greater than in former times, because men can now confirm the incredulity of the senses by knowledges of which the ancients were ignorant, which have given birth to indescribable darkness, at which mankind would be astonished did they but know how great it is. (ibid. n. 231, 232)
Loss of Internal Perception by the Fall
The Most Ancient Church had a perception of what was good and true; the Ancient church had no perception, but in the place of it a different kind of internal dictate, which may be called conscience. But, what has hitherto been unknown to the world, and will perhaps appear incredible, the man of the Most Ancient Church had internal respiration, and none that was externally perceptible. They therefore did not converse so much by words as afterwards, and at the present day, but like the angels, by ideas which they were able to express by innumerable variations of the looks and countenance, and especially of the lips. For in the lips there are innumerable series of muscular fibres which at the present day are not developed, but which, being then unloosed, served so perfectly to set forth, signify, and represent their ideas, that in a minute they could relate what it would now require an hour to express by articulate sounds or words; and that more fully and evidently to the apprehension and understanding of those present, than can ever be by words, and series of combined sounds. This is perhaps incredible, but nevertheless it is true. There are also many others, not inhabitants of this earth, who have conversed and at this day converse in a similar manner. I have, moreover, been informed as to the nature of this internal respiration, and how in the progress of time it became changed. As they breathed like the angels—for they respire in a similar manner—so also they were in profound ideas of thought, and were capable of enjoying such perception as cannot be described; and indeed, were it done the description would be rejected as incredible, because it could not be understood. Among their posterity, however, this internal respiration gradually ceased, and with those who were occupied with direful persuasions and fantasies, it became so changed that they could no longer visibly express any but the most deformed idea of thought; the effect of which was that they could not survive, and therefore became extinct. (AC n. 607)
The Image of God not actually destroyed in Man
The image of God and the likeness of God are not destroyed with man, but are as if destroyed; for they remain implanted. in his two faculties that are called rationality and liberty. They became as destroyed when man made the receptacle of the Divine love, which is his will, the receptacle of the love of self, and the receptacle of the Divine wisdom, which is his understanding, the receptacle of his own intelligence. Thereby he inverted the image and likeness of God; for he turned away those two receptacles from God, and turned them round to himself. Hence it is that they are closed above and open below, or that they are closed before and open behind, when yet by creation they were open before and closed behind; and when they are opened and closed thus inversely, then the receptacle of love or the will receives influx from hell or from its proprium; in like manner the receptacle of wisdom or the understanding. Hence arose in the churches the worship of men in place of the worship of God, and worship from the doctrines of falsity in place of worship from the doctrines of truth; the latter from their own intelligence, and the former from the love of self. From these things it is manifest, that religion in process of time decreases and is consummated by the inversion of the image of God with man. (DP n. 328)
External Respiration, and the Origin of Verbal Language by the Fall
As internal respiration ceased, external respiration almost like that of the present day succeeded; and with this came the language of words, or the determination of the ideas of thought into articulate sounds. Thus the state of man became entirely changed, and he became such that he was unable any longer to have that perception enjoyed by the Most Ancient Church. But instead of perception, he had another kind of dictate, which, as it resembled so it may be called conscience, although it was intermediate in nature between perception and the conscience known to some in the present day. When the ideas of thought became thus determined into verbal expressions, the capacity of being instructed through the internal man, possessed by the most ancient people, ceased, and the external became the inlet to knowledge. Then, therefore, doctrinals succeeded to the revelations of the Most Ancient Church; which being first apprehended by the external senses were afterwards formed into the material ideas of the memory, and thence into the ideas of thought, by which and according to which they were instructed. Hence it was that this church, which succeeded to the Most Ancient, was of an entirely different genius; and unless the Lord had brought the human race to this genius or state, no man could ever have been saved. (AC n. 608)
The Most Ancient Church, above all churches in the whole world, was from the Divine; for it was in the good of love to the Lord. Their voluntary and intellectual faculties made one, thus one mind. They therefore had a perception of truth from good; for the Lord flowed in, through an internal way, into the good of their will, and through this into the good of the understanding or truth. Hence it is that that church in preference to the others was called Man. But when that generation expired, another succeeded of a totally different character. Instead of discerning truth by good, or estimating the relations of faith by love, they acquired a knowledge of what is good by means of truth, and of love by the knowledges of faith; and with many among them mere knowledge was the desideratum. Such was the change made after the flood, to prevent the destruction of the world. (ibid. n. 4454, 200)
The Fall was Gradual and Successive
From what is here stated respecting the first man, it is manifest that all the hereditary evil existing at the present day was not derived from him, as is commonly but erroneously supposed.... With respect to hereditary evil the case is this: Every one who commits actual sin acquires a nature conformable to it, whence evil is implanted in his children, and becomes hereditary. Consequently it is derived from each particular parent, from his father, his grandfather, his great-grandfather, and their ancestors; and is thus multiplied and augmented in each descending generation. And it remains with each, and is increased in each by actual sin; nor does it ever become dissipated or lose its baneful influence except in those who are regenerated by the Lord. Every attentive observer may see evidence of this truth in the fact that the evil inclinations of parents visibly remain in their children; so that a family, yea, an entire race, may be thereby distinguished from every other. (AC n. 313)
The Nature and Extent of Hereditary Evil
Hereditary evil from the father is interior; and hereditary evil from the mother is exterior. The former cannot easily be eradicated, but the latter can be. When man is regenerated, the hereditary evil inrooted from the next parents is extirpated; but it remains with those who are not regenerated, or not capable of being regenerated. This then is hereditary evil. This is evident to every one who reflects; and further, from the fact that every family has some peculiar evil or good by which it is distinguished from other families; and it is known that this is from parents and ancestors. It is so in regard to the Jewish nation which remains at this day; which it is very manifest is distinct and may be known from other nations, not only by their peculiar genius, but also by their manners, speech, and countenance. But few know what hereditary evil is. It is believed to consist in doing evil; but it consists in willing and thence thinking evil. Hereditary evil is in the will itself, and thence in the thought, and is the very tendency which is within it; and even adjoins itself when a man does good. It is known by the delight which arises when evil befalls another. That root lies deeply hidden, for the very interior form recipient of good and truth from heaven, or through heaven from the Lord, is depraved, and so to speak, detorted; so that when good and truth flow in from the Lord they are either turned aside, perverted, or suffocated. Hence it is that there is no perception of good and truth at this day, but instead of it the regenerate conscience, which acknowledges as good and true what is learned from parents and masters. It is of hereditary evil to love self in preference to another; to will evil to another if he does not honour self; to perceive delight in revenge; also to love the world, and all the lusts or evil affections thence derived, more than heaven. Man does not know that such things are in him; and still less that such things are opposite to heavenly affections. But yet in the other life it is manifestly shown how much of hereditary evil every one has attracted to himself by actual life; also how much he has removed himself from heaven by evil affections from it. (AC n. 4317)
Every man is born, of his parents, into the evils of the love of self and of the world. Every evil which by habit has as it were contracted a nature, is derived into the offspring; thus successively from parents, from grandfathers, and from great-grandfathers, in a long series backward. Hence the derivation of evil is at length become so great that all man's own life is nothing else but evil. This continued derived [evil] is not broken and altered except by a life of faith and charity from the Lord. (ibid, n. 8550)
["By "the Lord," in the Writings of Swedenborg, the Lord Jesus Christ is always meant, or God incarnate, afterwards glorified. (AC n. 14)]
The Divine Human from Eternity
In heaven the Divine Human of the Lord is all; the reason is, because no one there, not even an angel of the inmost or third heaven, can have any conception of the Divine itself; according to the Lord's words in John, "No man hath seen God at any time" (i. 18). "Ye have neither heard the voice of the Father at any time, nor seen His shape" (v. 37). For the angels are finite, and what is finite can have no conception of the infinite. In heaven therefore, if they had not an idea of God in the human shape, they would have no idea, or an unbecoming one; and thus they could not be conjoined with the Divine either by faith or love. This being so, therefore in heaven they perceive the Divine in the human form. Hence it is that in the heavens the Divine Human is the all in their intuitions concerning the Divine; and is thus the all in their faith and love; whence comes conjunction, and by conjunction salvation. (AC n. 7211)
That Jehovah appearing means the appearing of the Lord's Divine in His Human, is evident from this, that. His Divine cannot appear to any man, nor even to any angel, except by the Divine Human; and the Divine Human cannot appear but by the Divine Truth which proceeds from Him. (ibid. n. 6945)
When Jehovah appeared before the coming of the Lord into the world He appeared in the form of an angel; for when He passed through heaven He clothed Himself with that form, which was the human form. For the universal heaven, by virtue of the Divine there, is as one man, called the Greatest Man. Hence then is the Divine Human; and as Jehovah appeared in the human form as an angel, it is evident that it was still Jehovah himself; and that very form was also His, because it was His Divine in heaven. This was the Lord from eternity. (ibid. n. 10,579)
When the Lord made His Human Divine He did this from the Divine, by transflux through heaven. Not that heaven contributed anything of itself, but that the very Divine might flow into the human it flowed in through heaven. This transflux was the Divine Human before the coming of the Lord, and was Jehovah Himself in the heavens, or the Lord. (ibid. n. 6720)
The Lord's Appearance on Earth before the Incarnation, as an Angel
The angel of Jehovah is often mentioned in the Word, and everywhere, when in a good sense, he represents and signifies some essential appertaining to the Lord, and proceeding from Him. But what is particularly represented and signified may be seen from the series of things treated of. There were angels who were sent to men, and also who spake by the prophets; but what they spake was not from the angels, but by them; for the state they were then in was such that they did not know but they were Jehovah, that is, the Lord. Yet when they had done speaking, they presently returned into their former state, and spake as from themselves. This was the case with the angels who spake the Lord's Word; which it has been given me to know by much similar experience at this day, in the other life. This is the reason why the angels were sometimes called Jehovah, as is very evident from the angel who appeared to Moses in the bush, of whom it is thus written: "The angel of Jehovah, appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of the bush.... And when Jehovah saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush.... God said unto Moses, I am that I am.... And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel: Jehovah God of your fathers, hath sent me unto you" (Exod. iii. 2, 4, 14, 15). From these words it is evident that it was an angel who appeared to Moses as a flame in the bush; and that he spake as Jehovah because the Lord, or Jehovah, spake by him. For in order that man may be addressed by vocal expressions, which are articulate sounds in the ultimates of nature, the Lord uses the ministry of angels, by filling them with the Divine spirit or influence, and laying asleep what is of their proprium, so that they do not know but that they are Jehovah. Thus the Divine spirit or influence of Jehovah, which is in the highest or inmost, descends into the lowest or outermost things of nature, in which man is as to sight and hearing. It was so with the angel who spake with Gideon, of whom it is thus written in the book of Judges: "The angel of Jehovah appeared unto him, and said unto him, Jehovah is with thee, thou mighty man of valour. And Gideon said unto him, O my Lord! why hath all this befallen us? . . . And Jehovah looked at him and said, Go in this thy might. . . . And Jehovah said unto him, Surely I will be with thee" (vi. 12, 13, 16); and afterwards, "When Gideon perceived that he was an angel of Jehovah, Gideon said, Alas, O Lord Jehovih! for because I have seen an angel of Jehovah face to face. And Jehovah said unto him, Peace be unto thee; fear not" (ver. 22, 23). Here, in like manner, it was an angel who appeared to Gideon, but in such a state that he knew not but that he was Jehovah, or the Lord. So again in the book of Judges: "The angel of Jehovah came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, 1 made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you into the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said I will never break my covenant with you" (ii. 1); where, in like manner, the angel spake in the name of Jehovah, saying, that he had brought them up out of the land of Egypt; when yet the angel did not bring them up, but Jehovah, as it is frequently said in other places. From this it may be seen how the angels spake by the prophets, viz., that the Lord Himself spake, though by angels, and that the angels did not speak at all from themselves. That the Word is from the Lord appears from many passages; as from this in Matthew: "That it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a Son" (i. 22, 23); not to mention other passages. It is because the Lord spake by angels when He spake with man, that throughout the Word He is called an angel; and in such cases, as observed above, some essential is signified appertaining to the Lord, and proceeding from the Lord. (AC n. 1925)
The Israelitish church worshipped Jehovah, who in Himself is the invisible God, but under a human form, which Jehovah God put on by means of an angel; and in this form He was seen by Abraham, Sarah, Moses, Hagar, Gideon, Joshua, and sometimes by the prophets; which human form was representative of the Lord who was to come. (TCR n. 786)
The very Infinite cannot be manifested otherwise than by the Divine Human
The very Infinite, which is above all the heavens and above the inmost things in man, cannot be manifested except by the Divine Human, which exists with the Lord alone. The communication of the Infinite with the finite is in no other way possible; which is also the reason why Jehovah, when He appeared to the men of the Most Ancient Church, and afterwards to those of the Ancient church after the Flood, and also in succeeding times to Abraham and the prophets, was manifested to them as a man. Hence it may appear that the Infinite Esse never could have been manifested to man except by the Human Essence, consequently by the Lord. (AC 1990)
What proceeds immediately from the very Divine, not even the angels in the inmost heaven can comprehend. The reason is, because it is infinite and thus transcends all, even angelic comprehension. But what proceeds from the Lord's Divine Human, this they can comprehend, for it exhibits God as a Divine Man, of whom some conception can be formed from the Human. (AC n. 5321)
In the Christian churches at this day, it is believed that God, the Creator of the universe, begat a Son from eternity and that this Son descended and assumed the Human, to redeem and save men. But this is erroneous, and falls of itself to the ground, when it is considered that God is one, and that it is more than fabulous in the eye of reason, that the one God should have begotten a Son from eternity, and also that God the Father, together with the Son and the Holy Ghost, each of whom singly is God, should be one God. This fabulous representation is entirely dissipated when it is shewn from the Word, that Jehovah God Himself descended and became MAN, and became also the Redeemer. As regards the first—That Jehovah God Himself descended and became Man, is evident from these passages: "Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bring forth a Son, who shall be called God with us" (Isaiah vii. 14 Matt. i. 22, 23). "Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful, God, Hero, the Father of Eternity, the Prince of Peace" (Isaiah ix. 6). "It shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God, whom we have waited for to deliver us; this is Jehovah, whom we have waited for: let us be glad and rejoice in His salvation" (xxv. 9). "The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare a way for Jehovah make smooth in the desert a way for our God; . . . and all flesh shall see together" (xl. 3, 5). "Behold, the Lord Jehovah is coming in the mighty one, and His arm shall rule for Him; behold, His reward is with Him, .. . and He shall feed His flock like a shepherd" (xl. 10, 11). "Jehovah said, Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion; behold, I am coming to dwell in the midst of thee; then many nations shall cleave to Jehovah in that day" (Zech. ii. 10, 11). "I Jehovah have called thee in righteousness, . . . and I will give thee for a covenant of the people; . . . I am Jehovah; that is My name, and My glory will I not give to another" (Isaiah xlii. 6, 8). "Behold, the days come, when I will raise unto David a righteous branch, who shall reign king, . . . and execute judgment and justice in the earth; and this is His name, . . . Jehovah our Righteousness" (Jerem. xxiii. 5, 6; xxxiii. 15, 16): besides other passages, where the coming of the Lord is called the day of Jehovah, as Isaiah xiii. 6, 9, 13, 22; Ezek. xxxi. 15; Joel i. 15; ii. 1, 2, 11; iii. 2, 4; iv. 1, 4, 18; Amos v. 13, 18, 20; Zeph. i. 7-18; Zech. xiv. 1, 4-21; and other places. That Jehovah Himself descended and assumed the Human, is very evident in Luke, where are these words: "Mary said to the angel, How shall this be, since I know not a man?" To whom the angel replied, "The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee; therefore that Holy Thing that is born of thee, shall be called the Son of God" (i. 34, 35). And in Matthew: The angel said to Joseph, the bridegroom of Mary, in a dream, "That which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; . . . and Joseph knew her not, until she brought forth a Son, and he called His name Jesus" (i. 20, 25). That by the Holy Spirit is meant the Divine which proceeds from Jehovah, will be seen in the third chapter of this work. Who does not know that the child has its soul and life from the father, and that the body is from the soul? What therefore is said more plainly, than that the Lord had his soul and life from Jehovah God? And since the Divine cannot be divided, that the Divine itself was His soul and life? Therefore the Lord so often called Jehovah God His Father, and Jehovah God called him His Son. What then can be heard more preposterous, than that the soul of our Lord was from the mother Mary, as both the Roman Catholics and the Reformed at this day dream, not having as yet been awaked by the Word.
That a Son born from eternity descended and assumed the Human, evidently falls and is dissipated as an error, by the passages in the Word in which Jehovah Himself says that He is the Saviour and the Redeemer; which are the following: "Am not 1 Jehovah? and there is no God else besides life; a just God and a Saviour; there is none besides Me" (Isaiah xlv. 21, 22). "I am, Jehovah, and besides Me there is no Saviour" (xliii. 11). "I am Jehovah thy God, and thou shalt acknowledge no God but Me: there is no Saviour besides Me" (Hosea xiii. 4). "That all flesh may know that I Jehovah am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer" (Isaiah xlix. 26; lx. 16). "As for our Redeemer, Jehovah of Hosts is His name" (xlvii. 4). "Their Redeemer is mighty; Jehovah of Hosts is His name" (Jerem. 1. 34). "O Jehovah, my rock and my Redeemer" (Psalm xix. 14). "Thus saith Jehovah, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, I am Jehovah thy God" (Isaiah xlviii. 17; xliii. 14; xlix. 7). "Thus saith Jehovah thy Redeemer, . . . I am Jehovah, that maketh all things . . . even alone by Myself" (xliv. 24). "Thus saith Jehovah the King of Israel, and His Redeemer, Jehovah of Hosts, I am the First and the Last, and beside Me there is no God" (xliv. 6). "Thou, O Jehovah, our Father, our Redeemer from eternity is Thy name" (lxiii. 16). "With the mercy of eternity I will have mercy, thus saith Jehovah thy Redeemer" (liv. 8). Thou hast redeemed Me, O Jehovah, God of truth" (Psalm xxxi. 5). "Let Israel hope in Jehovah, because in Jehovah is mercy, and with Him is plenteous Redemption, and He will redeem Israel from all his iniquities" (cxxx. 7, 8). "Jehovah God, and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel, the God of the whole earth shall He be called" (Isaiah liv. 5). From these passages and very many others, every man who has eyes and a mind opened by means of them, may see that God, who is one, descended and became Man, for the purpose of accomplishing the work' of redemption. Who cannot see this as in the morning light, when he gives attention to these the very Divine declarations which have been adduced? But those who are in the shade of night, by being confirmed in favour of the birth of another God from eternity, and of His descent and redemption, close their eyes at these Divine declarations; and in that state think how they may apply them to their falsities, and pervert them. (TCR n. 82, 83)
Jehovah God descended as to Divine Truth, and was said to be Born Yet did not separate the Divine Good
Truth is the form of good; that is, when good is formed so that it can be intellectually perceived, then it is called truth. (AC n. 3049)
There are two things which make the essence of God, the Divine Love and the Divine Wisdom; or what is the same the Divine Good and the Divine Truth. These two in the Word are meant also by Jehovah God; by Jehovah, the Divine Love or Divine Good, and by God, the Divine Wisdom or Divine Truth. Thence it is that in the Word they are distinguished in various ways, . and sometimes only Jehovah is named, and sometimes only God. For where it treats of the Divine Good, there it says Jehovah, and where of the Divine Truth, God, and where of both, Jehovah God. That Jehovah God descended as the Divine Truth, which is the Word, is evident in John, where are these words: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made. . . . And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us" (i. 1, 3, 14). (TCR n. 85)
In the Word the Lord is called Jehovah as to Divine Good; for Divine Good is the very Divine. And the Lord is called the Son of God as to Divine Truth; for Divine Truth proceeds from Divine Good, as a son from a father, and also is said to be born. (AC n. 7499)
Yet did not separate the Divine Good
Divine Good can in nowise be and exist without Divine Truth, nor Divine Truth without Divine Good, but one in the other, mutually and reciprocally.... The Divine Good is the Father, and the Divine Truth the Son. (AC n. 2803)
That God, although He descended as the Divine Truth, still did not separate the Divine Good, is evident from the conception, concerning which we read, that The virtue of the Most High overshadowed Mary (Luke i. 35); and by the virtue of the Most High is meant the Divine Good. The same is evident from the passages where He says, that the Father is in Him, and He in the Father; that all things of the Father are His; and that the Father and He are one; besides many other things. By the Father is meant the Divine Good. (TCR n. 88)
[Note.—To assist the reader to the rationality of the above conception, it may be briefly stated that, as the Divine Good and Truth from eternity were not separated, so in the Lord Jesus Christ; although He descended, or came out from infinity and eternity as Divine Truth, yet this is spoken of in reference to manifestation, as He is also called the Son of God in reference to His Divine Humanity, which only can be seen. Good, when it is formed, or brought forth so that it can be intellectually perceived, is called Truth; for there is but one Divine Essence, which is Love or Good, of which Wisdom or Truth is the bodily form. But although the Lord was Divine Good, because He was Jehovah Himself, yet that whole Good and Truth appearing, is called Divine Truth. Hence may be comprehended the rationality of the explanation, that, although He descended as to the Divine Truth, yet he did not separate the Divine Good.— Fernald.]
Reasons for the Incarnation
After all the celestial in man, that is, all love to God was lost, so that there remained no longer any will to what was good, the human race was separated from the Divine, for nothing conjoins them but love, and when there was no love disjunction took place, the consequence of which is destruction and extirpation. A promise, therefore, was then made concerning the coming of the Lord into the world, who should unite the Human to the Divine, and through this union should effect conjunction of the human race in Himself, by a faith grounded in love and charity. From the time of the first promise (concerning which see Gen. iii. 25), faith grounded in love to the Lord who was to come was effective of conjunction but when there was no longer any such faith remaining throughout the earth, then the Lord came, and united the Human Essence to the Divine, so that they became entirely one, as He Himself expressly declares. He at the same time taught the way of truth, showing that every one who should believe on Him—that is, should love Him and the things appertaining to Him, and who should be in His love, which is extended towards the whole human race—should be conjoined with Him, and be saved. When the Human was made Divine, and the Divine Human, in the Lord, then the influx of the Infinite or Supreme Divine took place with man, which could never otherwise have come to pass. Hence, also, there was a dispersion of the direful persuasions of falsity, and of the direful lusts of evil, with which the world of spirits was filled and was continually being filled, by souls continually flowing in from the world and they who were in those evils and falsities were cast into the hells, and thus were separated. Unless such a dispersion had been effected, mankind must have totally perished, for they are governed of the Lord by means of spirits. Nor was there any other method of effecting such dispersion since there could be no operation of the Divine upon man's internal sensual [principles] through the rational, this being far beneath the Supreme Divine not thus united with the Human. (AC n. 2034)
The reason why it pleased the Lord to be born a man was, that He might actually put on the Human, and might make this Divine, to save the human race. Know, therefore, that the Lord is Jehovah Himself or the Father in a human form. This also the Lord Himself teaches in John, "1 and the Father are one" (x. 30) again, "Jesus said, Henceforth ye have known and seen the Father.... He that hath seen, Me hath seen the Father.... Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me" (xiv. 7, 9, 11) and again, "All Mine are thine, and all thine are Mine" (xvii. 10). This great mystery is described in John in these words: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word; the same was in the beginning with God; all things were made by Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made.... And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father.... No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He hath,brought Him forth, to view" (i. 1-3, 14, 18). The Word is the Divine truth which has been revealed to men; and because this could not be revealed except from Jehovah as Man, that is, except from Jehovah in the human form, thus from the Lord, therefore it is said, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word." It is known in the church that by the Word the Lord is meant. It is therefore openly said, "The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father." That the Divine truth could not be revealed to men except from Jehovah in the human form, is also clearly stated: "No one hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He hath brought Rim, forth to view." From this it is evident that the Lord from eternity was Jehovah or the Father in a human form, but not yet in the flesh; for an angel has not flesh. And as Jehovah, or the Father, willed to put do all the human, for the sake of the salvation of the human race, therefore He also assumed flesh; wherefore it is said, "God was the Word, . . . and the Word was made flesh;" and in Luke, "Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; handle Me and see, for cc spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see He have" (xxiv. 39). By these words the Lord taught that He was no longer Jehovah under the form of an angel, but that He was Jehovah Man; which also is meant by these words of the Lord, "I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world; again I leave the world, and go to the Father" (John xvi. 28). (AC n. 9315)
Man is so natural and sensual that he is quite incapable of any idea of thought concerning things abstract,unless he adjoins something natural which had entered from the world through the sensuals, for without such his thought perishes as in an abyss, and is dissipated. Therefore, lest the Divine should perish with man, entirely immersed in corporeal and earthly things, and in those with whom it remained should be defiled by an impure idea, and with it everything celestial and spiritual from the Divine, it pleased Jehovah to present Himself actually as He is, and as He appears in heaven,—namely, as a Divine Man. For every part of heaven conspires to the human form; as may be seen from what has been shown at the close of the chapters, concerning the correspondence of all things of man with the Greatest Man, which is heaven. This Divine, or this [presence] of Jehovah in heaven is the Lord from eternity. The same also the Lord took upon Him when He glorified or made Divine the human in Himself; which also is very manifest from the form in which He appeared before Peter, James, and John, when He was transfigured (Matt. xvii. 1, 2); and in which He also occasionally appeared to the prophets. Hence it is that now every one is able to think of the very Divine as of a Man, and then of the Lord, in whom is all the Divine, and the perfect Trine. For in the Lord the very Divine is the Father; that Divine in heaven is the Son; and the Divine thence proceeding is the Holy Spirit. And that they are one, as He Himself teaches, is therefore manifest. (AC n. 5110)
Before the coming of the Lord into the world, there was with men and with spirits influx of life from Jehovah or the Lord through the celestial kingdom, that is, through the angels who were in that kingdom; hence they then had power. But when the Lord came into the world, and thereby made the human in Himself Divine, He put on that itself which was with the angels of the celestial kingdom, thus that power; for the Divine transflux through that heaven had before been the Human Divine; it also was the Divine Man which was presented when Jehovah so appeared. But this Human Divine ceased when the Lord Himself made the Human in Himself Divine. (AC n. 6371)
The very Divine in heaven, or in the Greatest Man, was the Divine Human, and was Jehovah Himself thus clothed with the human. But when mankind became such that the very Divine clothed as the Divine Human could no longer affect them,—that is, when Jehovah could no longer come to man, because he had so far removed himself,—then Jehovah, who is the Lord as to the Divine Essence, descended and took upon Him a human by conception Divine, and by birth from a virgin like that of another man. But this He expelled, and by Divine means He made Divine the Human that was born, from which all the Holy proceeds. Thus the Divine Human exists, an Essence by itself, which fills the universal heaven, and effects that those should be saved who before could not be saved. This now is the Lord, who, as to the Divine Human, alone is Man, and from whom man derives that he is man. (AC n. 3061)
Let it be well understood that all the correspondence there is with heaven is with the Divine Human of the Lord; since heaven is from Him and He is heaven. For unless the Divine Human flowed into all things of heaven, and according to correspondences into all things of the world, neither angel nor man would exist. From this again it is manifest why the Lord became Man, and clothed His Divine with the Human from first to last; that it was because the Divine Human from which heaven existed before the coming of the Lord, was no longer sufficient to sustain all things; because man, who is the basis of the heavens, subverted and destroyed order. (HH n. 101)
It has been told me from heaven, that in the Lord from eternity, who is Jehovah, before the assumption of the Human in the world, there were the two prior degrees actually, and the third degree in potency, as they are also with the angels; but that after His assumption of the Human in the world He put on also the third or natural degree, and thereby became Man, similar to a man in the world,—save that in Him this degree, like the two prior, is infinite and uncreate, while in angels and men these degrees are finite and created. For the Divine, which filled all space without space, penetrated also to the ultimates of nature. But before the assumption of the Human, the Divine influx into the natural degree was mediate through the angelic heavens; but after the assumption it was immediate from Himself. This is the reason why all the churches in the world before His advent were representative of spiritual and celestial things, but after His coming became spiritual and celestial-natural, and representative worship was abolished; also why the sun of the angelic heaven—which is the proximate proceeding of His Divine love and Divine wisdom—after His assumption of the Human shone with more eminent effulgence and splendour than before the assumption. This is meant by the words of Isaiah: "In that day, the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven clays" (xxx. 26); which is spoken of the state of heaven and the church, after the Lord's coining into the world. And in the Apocalypse: "The countenance of the Son of Man was as the sun shineth in his strength" (i. 16); and elsewhere, as in Isaiah lx. 20; 2 Sam. xxiii. 3, 4; Matt. xvii. 1, 2. The mediate enlightenment of men through the angelic heaven, which there was before the Lord's coming, may be compared to the light of the moon, which is the mediate light of the sun; and because this was made immediate after His coming it is said in Isaiah, "That the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun;" and in David, "In His days shall the righteous flourish, and abundance of peace, until there is no longer any moon" (lxxii. 7). This also is spoken of the Lord.
The Lord from eternity or Jehovah put on this third degree, by the assumption of the Human in the world, because He could not enter into this degree except by a nature similar to the human nature; therefore only by conception from His Divine, and by nativity from a virgin. (DLW n. 233, 234)
It should be known that the Lord is present with men in His Divine natural with the angels of His spiritual kingdom in His Divine spiritual; and with the angels of His celestial kingdom in His Divine celestial yet He is not divided, but appears to every one according to his quality. (AR n. 466)
"Until Shiloh come." That this signifies the coming of the Lord, and the tranquility of peace then, appears from the signification of Shiloh, which is the Lord,—who is called Shiloh from the fact that He calmed and tranquillized all things; for in the original tongue Shiloh is derived from a word which signifies tranquility. Why the Lord is here called Shiloh is evident from what was said just above concerning the celestial kingdom and its power; for when the Divine was manifested through that kingdom there was intranquility; because the things which are in heaven, and those which are in hell, could not be reduced by it to order—inasmuch as the Divine which flowed through that kingdom could not be pure, because heaven is not pure. That kingdom therefore was not so strong that by it all things might be kept in order; on which account infernal and diabolical spirits even issued forth from the hells, and domineered over the souls which came from the world. From which it came to pass that no others than the celestial could thus be saved; and at length scarcely they, if the Lord had not assumed the human, and thereby made it in Himself Divine. By this the Lord reduced all things to order; first the things which are in heaven, next those that are in the hells. From this is the tranquility of peace. (AC n. 6373)
All the churches that existed before His advent were representative churches, which could not see Divine truth, save as it were in the shade; but after the advent of the Lord into the world a church was instituted by Him which saw Divine truth, or rather which could see it, in the light. The difference is as that between evening and morning. The state of the church before the Lord's advent is also called evening; and the state of the church after His advent is called morning. The Lord was indeed present with the men of the church before His coming into the world, but mediately through angels who represented Him; but since His advent in the world, He is immediately present with the men of the church. For in the world He put on also the Divine Natural, in which He is present with men. (TCR n. 109)
It is frequently said in the Word concerning the Lord, that He was sent by the Father, as also it is said here (Gen. xix. 13), "Jehovah hath sent us;" and everywhere, to be sent, signifies in the internal sense, to go forth; as in John: "They have received and have known, surely, that I came forth from, Thee, and have believed that Thou hast sent Me" (xvii. 8). So in other places; as in the same Evangelist: "God sent not His Son into the world, to judge the world, but that the world through Him might be saved" (iii. 17). Again: "He that honoureth, not the Son, honoureth not the Father who sent Him" (v. 23); besides many other passages. In like manner it is said of the Holy of the Spirit, that it is sent; that is, that it goeth forth from the Divine of the Lord; as in John: "Jesus said, When the Comforter shall come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth, which goeth forth from the Father, He shall testify of Me" (xv. 26). Again: " If I go away I will send the Comforter unto you" (xvi. 7). Hence the Prophets were called the Sent, because the words which they spake went forth from the Holy of the Spirit of the Lord. And because all Divine Truth goes forth from Divine Good, the expression, to be sent, is properly predicated of Divine Truth. And what it is to go forth is also evident, namely, that he who goes forth, or that which goes forth, is of him from whom it goes forth. (AC n. 2397)
Why it is said that Jesus proceeded forth and came from God, and was sent
In the spiritual sense to go forth or to proceed is to present one's self before another in a form accommodated to him, thus to present one's self the same only in another form. In this sense going forth is predicated of the Lord in John: "Jesus said of Himself, I proceeded forth and came from God" (viii. 42). "The Father loveth you, because ye have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God:I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world; again I leave the world, and go to the Father. The disciples said, . . . We believe that thou earnest forth from God" (xvi. 27, 28, 30). "They have known truly that I came foith from God" (xvii. 8). To illustrate what is meant by going forth or proceeding, take the following examples:—It is said of truth, that it goes forth or proceeds from good when truth is the form of good, or when truth is good in a form which the understanding can apprehend. It may also be said of the understanding that it goes forth or proceeds from the will, when the understanding is the will formed, or when it is the will in a form apperceivable to the internalsight. In like manner of thought which is of the understanding, it may be said to go forth or proceed when it becomes speech; and of the will, when it becomes action. Thought clothes itself in another form when it becomes speech, but it is still the thought which so goes forth or proceeds, for the words and sounds which are put on are nothing but adjuncts, which by accommodation cause the thought to be apperceived. So the will assumes another form when it becomes action, but it is still the will which is presented in such form; the gestures and motions that are put on are nothing but adjuncts, which by accommodation make the will appear and affect the external man. Also it may be said that it goes forth or proceeds from the internal, yea, substantially, because the external man is nothing else than the internal so formed that it may act suitably in the world wherein it is. From all this it may be seen what, to go forth, or proceed, is in the spiritual sense; namely, when predicated of the Lord, that it is the Divine formed as Man, thus accommodated to the perception of the believing; yet both are one. (AC n. 5337)
The Lord's Hereditary Evil
One may be surprised that it is said there was hereditary evil from the mother with the Lord; but as it is here (Gen. xiii. 7) so manifestly declared, and the internal sense is concerning, the Lord, it cannot be doubted that it was so. It is quite impossible for any man to be born of a human parent and not thence derive evil. But there is a difference between hereditary evil which is derived from the father, and that which is derived from the mother. Hereditary evil from the father is more interior, and remains to eternity, for it can never be eradicated. The Lord had no such evil, since He was born of Jehovah as His Father, and thus as to internals was Divine, or Jehovah. But hereditary evil from the mother pertains to the external man: this was with the Lord. Thus the Lord was born as another man, and had infirmities as another man. That He derived hereditary evil from the mother evidently appears from the fact that He suffered temptations; for it is impossible that any one should be tempted who has no evil, evil being that in man which tempts and by which he is tempted. That the Lord was tempted, and that He suffered temptations a thousand times more grievous than any man can ever sustain, and that He endured them alone, and by His own power overcame evil, or the devil and all hell, is also evident.... An angel can never be tempted of the devil, because, being in the Lord, evil spirits cannot approach him even distantly. They would instantly be seized with terror and fright. Much less could hell approach to the Lord if He had been born Divine, that is, without an adherence of evil from the mother. That the Lord bore the iniquities and evils of mankind, is a form of speaking common with preachers; but for Him to take upon Himself iniquities and evils otherwise than in the hereditary way, was impossible. The Divine Nature is not susceptible of evil. Wherefore, that He might overcome evil by His own strength, which no man ever could or can do, and might thus alone become righteousness, He was willing to be born as another man. Otherwise there would have been no need that He should be born; for He might have assumed the Human Essence without nativity, as sometimes He had formerly done, when He appeared to those of the Most Ancient Church, and likewise to the prophets. But in order that He might also put on evil, to fight against and conquer it, and might thus at the same time join together in Himself the Divine Essence and the Human Essence, He came into the world. The Lord, however, had no actual evil, or evil that was His own, as He Himself declares in John: "Which of you convicteth Me of sin?" (viii. 46) (AC n. 1573)
The Lord made His Human Divine by His own Might
It is known that the Lord was born as another man, that when an infant He learned to talk as another infant, and that then He grew in knowledge, and in intelligence, and in wisdom. It is evident from this that His human was not Divine from nativity, but that He made it Divine by His own power. It was by His own power, because He was conceived of Jehovah; and hence the inmost of His life was Jehovah Himself. For the inmost of the life of every man, which is called the soul, is from the father; and what that inmost puts on, which is called the body, is from the mother. That the ,inmost of life, which is from the father, is continually flowing in and operating upon the external which is from the mother, and endeavouring to make this like itself, even in the womb, can be seen from children, in that they are born into the natural qualities of the father; and sometimes grandsons and great-grandsons into the natural qualities of the grandfather and great-grandfather, because the soul, which is from the father, continually wills to make the external, which is from the mother, like itself. Since this is so with man, it is evident that it must have been especially the case with the Lord. His inmost was the very Divine, for it was Jehovah Himself; for He was His only begotten Son. And as the inmost was the very Divine, could not this, more than in the case of any man, make the external which was from the mother an image of itself, that is, like to itself, thus make Divine the human which was external and from the mother? And this by His own power, because the Divine, which was inmost, from which He operated into the human, was His; as the soul of man, which is the inmost, is his. And as the Lord advanced according to Divine order, His Human when He was in the world He made Divine Truth, and afterwards when He was fully glorified He made it Divine Good, thus one with Jehovah. (AC n. 6716)
The Lord successively and continually, even to the last of His life when He was glorified, separated from Himself and put off what was merely human, namely, that which He derived from the mother; until at length He was no longer her Son, but the Son of God, as well in respect to nativity as conception, and was one with the Father, and was Himself Jehovah. (AC n. 2649)
The external man is nothing else than a something instrumental or organic, having no life in itself, but receiving life from the internal man; from which the external man appears to have life of itself. With the Lord, however, after He had expelled the hereditary evil, and thus had purified the organic substances or vessels of the human essence, these also received life; so that as the Lord was life with respect to the internal man, He became life also as to the external man. This is what is signified by glorification in John: "Jesus said, Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him. If God be glorified in Him, God shall also glorify Him in Himself, and shall straightway glorify Him" (xiii. 31, 32). And again: "Father, the hour is come; glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee.... And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own self, with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was" (xvii. 1, 5). And again: Jesus said, "Father, glorify Thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I both have glorified it, and will glorify it again" (xii. 28). (ibid. n. 1603)
The Lord, by the most grievous temptation combats, reduced all things in Himself into Divine order; insomuch that there remained nothing at all of the human which He had derived from the mother. So that He was not made new as another man, but altogether Divine. For the man who is made new by regeneration still retains within him an inclination to evil, yea, evil itself, but is withheld from evil by an inflowing of the life of the Lord's love,—and this by exceedingly strong power; but the Lord entirely cast out every evil which was hereditary to Him from the mother, and made Himself Divine even as to the vessels, that is, as to truths. This is what in the Word is called glorification. (ibid. n. 3318)
The union of the Lord's Human Essence with His Divine was not effected at once, but successively through the whole course of His life, from infancy to the end of His life in the world. He thus ascended continually to glorification, that is, to union. This is what is said in John: "Jesus said, Father, glorify Thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I both have glorified it, and will glorify it again" (xii. 28). (ibid. n. 2033)
The Glorification was fully completed by the Passion of the Cross
The reason why the union itself was fully effected by the passion of the cross, is because that was the last temptation which the Lord suffered in the world, and conjunction is effected by temptations. For in temptations man, to appearance, is left to himself alone; and yet he is not left, for God is then most present in His inmost parts, and supports him. When therefore any one conquers in temptation, he is in inmost conjunction with God; and the Lord was then in inmost union with God His Father. That in the passion of the cross the Lord was left to Himself, is evident from this His exclamation upon the cross: "O God, why bast Thou forsaken Me?" and also from these words of the Lord: "No man taketh life from Me, but I lay it down of Myself; I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again; this commandment have I received from My Father" (John x. 18). From these passages, now, it is evident that the Lord did not suffer as to the Divine, but as to the Human; and that then an inmost and thus a complete union was effected. (TCR n. 126)
Of the GLORIFICATION, by which is meant the unition of the Divine Human of the Lord with the Divine of the Father, which was fully completed by the passion of the cross, the Lord thus speaks: "After Judas went out, Jesus said, Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in Him; if God be glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and will straightway glorify Him" (John xiii. 31, 32). Here glorification is predicated both of God the Father and of the Son; for it is said, "God is glorified in Him, and God will glorify Him in Himself." That this is to be united is plain. "Father, the hour is come, glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee" (xvii. 1, 5). It is thus said because the unition was reciprocal; and so it is said, "The Father was in Him and He in the Father." "How My soul is troubled; . . . and He said, Father, glorify Thy name; and a voice came out of heaven, I both have glorified, and will glorify again" (xii. 27, 28). This was said because the unition was effected successively. "Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory?" (Luke xxiv. 26) Glory, in the Word, when it is predicated of the Lord, signifies Divine Truth united to Divine Good. From these passages it is very manifest that the Human of the Lord is Divine. (ibid. n. 128)
The Lord, in Glorification, did not transmute or change His Human Nature into Divine, but put off the Human and put on the Divine
That the Lord had a Divine and a Human, the Divine from Jehovah as the Father, and the Human from the Virgin Mary, is known. Hence it is that He was God and Man, and so had the very Divine essence and a Human nature, the Divine essence from the Father, and the Human nature from the mother; and therefore He was equal to the Father as to the Divine, and less than the Father as to the Human. But then He did not transmute this Human nature from the mother into the Divine essence, nor commix it therewith, as the doctrine of faith called the Athanasian Creed teaches; for the Human nature cannot be transmuted into the Divine essence, nor can it be commixed with it. And yet it is from the same doctrine, that the Divine assumed the Human, that is united itself to it as a soul to its body, so that they were not two but one person. From this it follows, that He put off the Human taken from the mother,—which in itself was like the human of another man, and thus material,—and put on a Human from the Father; which in itself was like His Divine, and thus substantial, by which means the Human also was made Divine. (L. n. 35)
The Lord did not acknowledge Mary as His Mother, because He put off the Human derived from her
It is believed that the Lord, as to the Human, not only was but also is the Son of Mary; but in this the Christian world is under a delusion. That He was the Son of Mary is true; but that He is so still is not true; for by acts of redemption He put off the Human from the mother, and put on a Human from the Father. Hence it is that the Human of the Lord is Divine, and that in Him God is Man and Man God. That He put off the Human from the mother, and put on a Human from the Father, which is the Divine Human, may be seen from the fact that He never called Mary His mother, as appears from these passages: "The mother of Jesus saith unto Him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? Mine hour is not yet come" (John ii. 3, 4); and in another place: From the cross "Jesus saw His mother and the disciple standing by whom He loved, and saith to His mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith He to the disciple, Behold thy mother!" (xix. 26, 27): And from the fact that once He did not acknowledge her: "It was told Jesus by some, saying, Thy mother and Thy brethren are standing without, and desire to see Thee. Jesus answering, said, My mother and My brethren are these who hear the Word of God, and do it" (Luke viii. 20, 21; Matt. xii. 46-49; Mark iii. 31-35). Thus the Lord did not call her "mother," but "woman," and. gave her as a mother to John. In other places she is called His. mother, but not by His own mouth. This also is confirmed by the fact that He did not acknowledge Himself to be the Son of David; for it is said in the Evangelists, "Jesus asked the Pharisees, saying, What think ye of Christ? Whose Son is He? They say unto Him, David's. He saith unto them, How then doth David, in spirit, call Him his Lord, saying, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit Thou on My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool. If, then, David calleth Him Lord, how is He his Son? And no man was able to answer Him a word" (Matt. xxii. 41-46; Mark xii. 35-37; Luke xx. 41-44; Psalm cx. 1). To the above I shall add this new thing: It was once granted me to speak with Mary the mother. She passed by at one time, and appeared, in heaven above my head, in white raiment, as of silk; and then, pausing a little, she said that she had been the mother of the Lord, who was born of her; but that having become God He put off all the Human derived from her, and she therefore worships Him as her God, and did not wish any one to acknowledge Him as her Son, because all in Him is Divine. From all these things there shines forth this truth: That thus Jehovah is Man, as in first things, so also in the last, according to these words:
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the Ending, He who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty" (Rev. i. 8, 11). When John saw the Son of Man in the midst of the seven candlesticks, he fell at His feet as dead; and He. laid His hand upon him, saying, . . . "I am the First and the Last" (Rev. i. 13, 17; xxi. 6). "Behold, I come quickly, . . . that I may give to every one according to his work. I ant the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last" (xxii.12, 13). And in Isaiah: "Thus said Jehovah, the King of Israel, and His Redeemer, Jehovah of Hosts, I am the First and the Last" (xliv. 6; xlviii. 12). (TCR n. 102)
The Lord's Whole Life was a Continual Temptation and Victory
That the life of the Lord, from His earliest childhood even to the last hour of His life in the world, was a continual temptation and continual victory, appears from many passages in the Word of the Old Testament. And that it did not cease with the temptation in the wilderness is evident from these words in Luke, "When the Devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from Him for a season" (iv. 13); also from the fact that He was tempted even to the death of the cross, thus to the last hour of His life in the world. Hence it appears that the Lord's whole life in the world, from His earliest childhood, was a continual temptation and continual victory. The last was when on the cross He prayed for His enemies, thus for all on the face of the whole earth. In the Word of the life of the Lord by the Evangelists, there is no mention of any but His temptation in the wilderness, except the last. Others were not disclosed to the disciples. Those which were disclosed appear, according to the literal sense, so light as scarcely to be any temptation; for so to speak and so to answer is no temptation. And yet it was more grievous than any human mind can ever conceive or believe. No one can know what temptation is unless he has been in it. The temptation which is related in Matt. iv. 1-11, Mark i. 12, Luke iv. 1-13, contains the temptations in a summary; namely, that out of love towards the whole human race, the Lord fought against the loves of self and of the world, with which the hells were filled. All temptation is against the love in which a man is; and the degree of temptation is according to that of the love. If not against the love it is no temptation. To destroy one's love is to destroy his very life, for love is life. The Lord's life was love towards the whole human race; and it was so great, and of such a nature, as to be nothing but pure love. Against this, His life, continual temptations were admitted, as was said, from His earliest childhood to His last hour in the world.... In brief, from His earliest childhood to the last hour of His life in the world the Lord was assaulted by all the hells, which were continually overcome, subjugated, and conquered by Him; and this solely out of love to wards the human race. And because this love was not human, but Divine, and temptation is great in proportion as the love is great, it is evident how grievous were His combats, and how great the ferocity on the part of the hells. That these things were so I know of a certainty. (AC n. 1690)
That the Lord suffered and sustained the most grievous temptations, or more grievous than all in the universe, is not so fully known from the [letter of the] Word where it is only mentioned that He was in the wilderness forty days, and was tempted of the Devil. The temptations themselves which He then had are not described except in a few words; yet these few involve all. As for example it is mentioned in Mark (i. 12, 13), that He was with the beasts, by which are signified the worst of the infernal crew; and elsewhere it is related that He was led by the Devil upon a pinnacle of the Temple, and upon a high mountain, which are nothing else than representatives of most grievous temptations which nothing suffered in the wilderness. (ibid. n. 1663)
The Lord was Tempted even by Angels
That the Lord at the last fought in temptations with the angels themselves, yea, with the whole angelic heaven, is an arcanum which has not until now been revealed. But the case is this:— The angels are indeed in the highest wisdom and intelligence, but all their wisdom and intelligence is from the Lord's Divine. Of themselves, or from what is their own, they have nothing of wisdom and intelligence; so far therefore as they are in truths and goods from the Lord's Divine they are wise and intelligent. The angels themselves openly confess that they have nothing of wisdom and intelligence from themselves; yea, are even indignant if one attributes to them anything of wisdom and intelligence. For they know and perceive that this would be to derogate from the Divine that which is Divine, and to claim for themselves what is not their own, thus to incur the crime of spiritual theft. The angels also say, that all their proprium is evil and false, both from what is hereditary and from actual life in the world when they were men; and that what is evil and false is not separated or wiped away from them, and they thus justified, but that it all remains with them; and that they are withheld from what is evil and false, and kept in good and truth by the Lord. These things all angels confess nor is any one admitted into heaven unless he knows and believes them; for otherwise they cannot be in the light of wisdom and intelligence which is from the Lord, and therefore not in good and truth. Hence also it may be known how it is to be understood, that heaven is not pure in the eyes of God, as in Job xv. 15. Because it is so, in order that the Lord might restore the universal heaven to heavenly order, He even admitted into Himself temptations from the angels who in so far as they were in what is their own were not in good and truth. These temptations are the inmost of all; for they act only upon ends, and with such subtlety as to escape all observation. But in so far as the angels are not in what is their own they are in good and truth, and cannot tempt. Moreover the angels are continually being perfected by the Lord, and yet can by no means, to eternity, be so far perfected that their wisdom and intelligence can be compared to the Divine wisdom and intelligence of the Lord; for they are finite, and the Lord is infinite, and there is no comparison of the finite with the infinite. (AC n. 4295)
How the Lord bore the Iniquities of All
It is known in the Church that it is said of the Lord that He carried sins for the human race, but it is yet unknown what is meant by carrying iniquities and sins. By some it is believed it means, that He took upon Himself the sins of the human race, and suffered Himself to be condemned even to the death of the cross and that thus, because damnation for sins was cast upon Him, mortals were liberated from damnation; and also that damnation was taken away by the Lord through the fulfilling of the law, since the law would have condemned every one who did not fulfill it. But these things are not meant by carrying iniquity, since every man's deeds remain with him after death, and he is then judged either to life or death according to their quality; and they therefore cannot be taken away by transfer to another who carries them. Hence it is evident that something else is meant by carrying iniquities. And what is meant may be seen from the carrying itself of iniquities or of sins by the Lord; for the Lord carries them when He fights for man against the hells. For man of himself cannot fight against them; but this the Lora alone does, even continually for every man, —but with a difference according to the reception of Divine good and Divine truth. When the Lord was in the world He fought against all the hells, and entirely subdued them. Hence He was also made Justice. He thus redeemed from damnation those who receive Divine good and truth from Him. If this had not been done by the Lord no flesh could have been saved; for the hells are continually with man, and so far as the Lord does not remove them they have dominion over him; and He removes them in proportion as man desists from evils. He who once conquers the hells conquers them to eternity; and that this might be accomplished by the Lord He made His Human Divine. He therefore who alone fights for man against the hells,—or what is the same, against evils and falsities, for these are from the hells,—is said to carry sins, for He alone sustains that burden. By carrying sins is also signified the removal of evils and falsities from those who are in good; because this is a consequence. For so far as the hells are removed from man evils and falsities are removed; for both, as was said, are from the hells. Evils and falsities are sins and iniquities.... That by carrying diseases, griefs, and iniquities, and by being thrust through and bruised by them, a state of temptation is signified is evident; for in temptation there are griefs of mind, straitness, and despair, which cause anguish. Such things are induced by the hells; for in temptations they assault the love itself of him against whom they fight. The love of every one is the inmost of his life. The Lord's love was the love of saving the human race; which love was the Being of His life, for the Divine in Himself was that love. It is so described too in Isaiah, where the Lord's combats are spoken of in these words: "He said, Surely they are My people; .. . therefore He became a Saviour to them; in, all their affliction He was afflicted; ... in His love and His clemency He redeemed them, and took them, and carried them all the days of eternity" (lxiii. 8, 9). That the Lord endured such temptations when He was in the world, is described in few places in the Evangelists, but in many places in the Prophets, and especially in the Psalms of David. In the Evangelists it is only said that He was led away into the wilderness, and afterwards was tempted of the Devil; and that He was there forty days, and was with the beasts (Mark i. 12, 13; Matt. iv. 1). But that He was in temptations, that is in combats with the hells, from earliest childhood to the end of His life in the world, He did not reveal,—according to these words in Isaiah: "He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He is led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth" (liii. 7). His last temptation was in Gethsemane (Matt. xxvi.; Mark xiv), and afterwards the passion of the cross. That by this He fully subdued the hells He Himself teaches in John: "Father, deliver Me from this hour; but for this [cause] came I to this hour; Father, glorify Thy name. There came a voice from heaven, [saying] I have both glorified and will glorify [it]."Then Jesus said, "Now is the judgment of this world; now shall the prince of this world be cast out" (xii. 27, 28, 31). The prince of this world is the Devil, thus all hell; to glorify is to make the Human Divine. The reason why only the temptation after forty days in the wilderness is mentioned is, that forty days signify and involve temptations to the full, thus of many years; the wilderness signifies hell; and the beasts with which He fought there, the diabolical crew. (AC n. 9937)
The Use of the Lord's Temptations
Good cannot be conjoined with truth in the natural man without combats, or what is the same without temptations. But that it may be known how the case is in respect to man, it must be briefly stated:—Man is nothing but an organ, or vessel, which receives life from the Lord; for man does not live of himself. The life which flows in with man from the Lord is from His Divine love. This love, or the life thence, flows in and applies itself to the vessels which are in man's rational [part], and which are in his natural. These vessels in man are in a contrary position with respect to the influent life, in consequence of the hereditary evil into which man is born, and of the actual evil which he himself acquires. But as far as the influent life can dispose the vessels to receive it it does so dispose them.... Good itself, which has life from the Lord, or which is life, is what flows in and disposes. When therefore these vessels, which are variable as to forms, are as was said in a contrary position and direction in respect to this life, it is evident that they must be reduced to a position in accordance with the life, or in compliance with it. This can in no wise be effected so long as man is in the state into which he is born and into which he has reduced himself; for the vessels do not yield, because they are obstinately resistant and opposed to heavenly order, according to which the life acts. For the good that moves them, and to which they are compliant, is of the love of self and the world; which good, from the gross heat that is in it, makes them such. Therefore, before they can be rendered compliant, and be made fit to receive anything of the life of the Lord's love, they must be softened. This softening is effected by no other means than by temptations; for temptations remove those things which are of self-love, and contempt of others in comparison with one's self, consequently which are of self-glory, as well as of hatred and revenge on account of them. When therefore the vessels are somewhat tempered and subdued by temptations, they begin to become yielding to and compliant with the life of the Lord's love, which continually flows into man. Hence it is that good now begins to be conjoined to truths, first in the rational man, and afterwards in the natural.... This is the reason why man is regenerated, that is made new, by temptations, or what is the same, by spiritual combats, and that he is afterwards gifted with another disposition, being made mild, humble, simple, and contrite in heart. From these considerations it may now be seen what use temptations effect; namely, that good from the Lord can not only flow in, but also dispose the vessels to obedience, and so conjoin itself with them.... But as regards the Lord, He, by the most grievous combats in temptation, reduced all things in Himself to Divine order, even until there remained nothing at all of the human which He had derived from the mother; so that He was made, not new as another man but altogether Divine. For a man who is made new by regeneration still retains in himself an inclination to evil, yea, evil itself, but is withheld from the evil by an influx of the life of the Lord's love, and this by exceedingly strong power. But the Lord entirely cast out every evil which was hereditary to Him from the mother,. and made Himself Divine even as to the vessels, that is as to truths. That is what in the Word is called glorification. (AC n. 3318)
As the Lord from the beginning had a human from the mother,, and successively put this off, therefore during His abode in the world He passed through two states, one a state of humiliation, or exinanition, and the other a state of glorification, or union with the Divine, which is called the Father. The state of humiliation was at the time and in the degree that He was in the human from the mother; and the state of glorification was at the time and in the degree that He was in the Human from the Father. In the state of humiliation He prayed unto the Father as to one different from Himself; but in the state of glorification He spake with the Father as with Himself. In this latter state He said that the Father was in Him, and He in the Father, and that the Father and He were one; but in the state of humiliation He endured temptations, and suffered the cross, and prayed to the Father that He would not forsake Him. For the Divine could not be tempted; much less could it suffer the cross. From all this, then, it appears that by temptations, and at the same time continual victories, and by the passion of the cross which was the last of the temptations, He entirely conquered the hells and fully glorified the human, as was shown above. That the Lord put off the human from the mother, and put on a Human from the very Divine, which is called the Father, appears also from the fact that so often as the Lord spake by His own mouth unto the mother, He did not call her "mother," but "woman." (L, n. 35)
It is known from the Word by the Evangelists, that the Lord adored and prayed to Jehovah His Father; and this as from Himself to another, although Jehovah was in Him. But the state in which the Lord then was was His state of humiliation, the nature of which has been described; namely, that He was then in the infirm human derived from the mother. But in the degree that He put off that human and put on the Divine He was in a different state, which is called His state of glorification. In the former state He adored Jehovah as one different from Himself, although He was in Him; for, as stated above, His internal was Jehovah. But in the latter state, namely, the state of glorification, He spake with Jehovah as with Himself, for He was Himself Jehovah. But how these things are cannot be apprehended unless it be known what the internal is, and how the internal acts upon the external; and, further, how the internal and external are distinct from each other, and yet conjoined. This however may be illustrated by its like, namely, by the internal in man, and its influx into and operation upon his external The internal of man is that by which man is man, and by which he is distinguished from the unreasoning animals. By means of this internal he lives after death, and to eternity; and by this he is capable of being elevated by the Lord among the angels. It is the very first form by virtue of which he becomes and is a man. Through this internal the Lord is united to man. The very heaven nearest to the Lord is of these human internals. This however is above the inmost angelic heaven, wherefore these belong to the Lord Himself.... These internals of men have not life in themselves, but are forms recipient of the life of the Lord. In proportion then as the man is in evil, whether actual or hereditary, he is as it were separated from this internal which is of the Lord and with the Lord, and therefore in that degree is separated from the Lord; for although this internal is adjoined to man and is inseparable from him, yet, in so far as man recedes from the Lord he as it were separates himself from it. This separation however is not evulsion from it, for then man could no longer live after death; but it is disagreement and dissent from it of his faculties that are beneath it, that is of his rational and external man. In the degree that there is dissent and disagreement he is disjoined; and in the degree that there is not dissent and disagreement he is conjoined by the internal to the Lord. This takes place in proportion as he is in love and charity; for love and charity conjoin. Thus it is in respect to man. But the internal of the Lord, since He was conceived of Jehovah, was Jehovah Himself, who cannot be divided and become another's as in the case of a son conceived of a human father; for the Divine is not like the human divisible, but is and remains one and the same. With this internal the Lord united the Human essence. And because the internal of the Lord was Jehovah it was not a form recipient of life, like the internal of man, but was life itself. His human essence also, by union, in like manner became life. Therefore the Lord so often says that He is life; as in John,—"As the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself" (v. 26); besides other passages in the same Evangelist, as i. 4; v. 21; vi. 33, 35, 48; xi. 25. In proportion therefore as the Lord was in the human which He received hereditarily from the mother, He appeared distinct from Jehovah, and adored Jehovah as one different from Himself; but in proportion as He put off this human the Lord was not distinct from Jehovah, but one with Him. The former state, as has been said, was the Lord's state of humiliation, but this was His state of glorification. (AC n. 1999)
The Lord's Glorification is imaged in Man's Regeneration
The state of the Lord's glorification may in some manner be apprehended from the state of the regeneration of man; for the regeneration of man is an image of the Lord's glorification. When man is regenerated he is made new, and becomes entirely another man. Therefore when he is regenerated he is said also to be born again, and created anew. Then, although he has a similar face and similar speech yet his mind is not similar. When he is regenerated his mind is open towards heaven, and therein dwell love to the Lord and charity towards the neighbour, with faith. It is the mind which makes him another and a new man. Change of state cannot be apperceived in the body of man, but in his spirit. The body is only the covering of his spirit; and when it is put off his spirit appears, and this in quite another form when he is regenerated. For then it has the form of love and charity, in inexpressible beauty, instead of its previous form, which was that of hatred and cruelty, with a deformity also inexpressible. From this then it may appear what the regenerate man is, or one who is born again or created anew,—that he is in truth quite another and a new man. From this image it may in some measure be conceived what the glorification of the Lord was. He was not as man is regenerated, but was made Divine; and this from the veriest Divine love, for He became Divine Love itself. What His form then was He made visible to Peter, James, and John, when it was given them to see Him, not with the eyes of the body but with the eyes of the spirit; namely, that "His face did shine as the sun" (Matt. xvii. 2). And that this was His Divine Human is clear from the voice which then came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My beloved Son" (ver. 5). (AC 3212)
Since the Human of the Lord was glorified, that is was made Divine, therefore after death He rose again on the third day with His whole body; which does not take place with any man, for man rises again only as to the spirit, but not as to the body. That man might know, and no one should doubt, that the Lord rose again with His whole body, He not only said this by the angels who were in the sepulchre, but He even showed Himself in His human body to the disciples, saying to them, when they believed that they saw a spirit, "Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; handle Me, and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see Me have. .And when. He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet" (Luke xxiv. 39, 40; John xx. 20). And further: "Jesus said to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold My hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into My side, and be not faithless ,but believing. Then said Thomas, My Lord and my God" (John xx. 27, 28). That the Lord might more fully prove to them that He was not a spirit, but a Man, He said to the disciples, "Have ye here any meat? And they gave Him a piece of broiled fish and of an honeycomb, which He took and ate before them" (Luke xxiv. 41-43). Since His body now was not material, but substantial and Divine, therefore He came in to the disciples while the doors were shut (John xx. 19, 26). And after He had been seen "He became invisible" (Luke xxiv. 31). Such now the Lord was taken up and sat at the right hand of God; for it is said in Luke, "It came to pass while Jesus was blessing the disciples, He departed from them, and was carried up into heaven" (xxiv. 51). And in Mark: "After He had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat at the right hand of God" (xvi. 19). To sit at the right hand of God signifies Divine Omnipotence. (L. n. 35)
The Lord made the very corporeal in Himself Divine, both its sensuals and their recipients. He therefore rose again from the sepulchre even with His body, and also after the resurrection said to the disciples, "Behold My hands and My feet, that it is 1 Myself; handle Me and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see Me have" (Luke xxiv. 39). Very many at this day who are of the Church believe that every one will rise again at the last day, and then with the body. This opinion is so universal that scarcely any one from doctrine believes otherwise. But the opinion has prevailed on account of the fact that the natural man supposes it is the body alone which lives; unless therefore he should believe that the body is to receive life again he would entirely deny the resurrection. But the case is this:—Man rises again immediately after death; and then appears to himself to be in the body, precisely as in the world, with such a face, with such members, arms, hands, feet, breast, belly, loins; yea, when he sees and touches himself, he also says that he is a man, as in the world. But it is not his external which he carried about in the world that he sees and touches, but the internal, which constitutes that very human that lives, and which had about itself, or outside of the single things of itself, an external whereby it could be in the world, and fitly act and perform its functions there. The earthly corporeal itself is no longer of any use to him. He is in another world, where there are other functions and other capabilities and powers, to which such a body as he has there is adapted. This. body he sees with his eyes; not with the eyes that he had in the world, but those which he has there, which are the eyes of his internal man, and with which, through the eyes of the body, he had before seen worldly and terrestrial things. He also feels it with the touch; not with the hands or sense of touch that he enjoyed in the world, but with the hands and sense of touch which he there enjoys,—which is that from which sprang his sense of touch in the world. Every sense there is also more exquisite and perfect, because it is the sense of man's internal set loose from the external; for the internal is in a more perfect state, inasmuch as it gives the power of sensation to the external. But when it acts in the external, as it does in the world, the sensation is dulled and obscured; besides, it is the internal which sensates the internal, and the external which sensates the external. Hence it is that men see each other after death, and are together in society, according to their interior [states]. That I might be certain of these things it has even been given me to touch spirits themselves, and frequently to talk with them on this subject. Men after death,—who are then called spirits, and those that have lived in good, angels,—are greatly surprised that the man of the Church should believe that he is not to see eternal life until a last day when the world is to perish; and that then he will be clothed again with the dust that has been rejected,—when yet the man of the Church knows that he rises again after death. For when a man dies, who does not say afterwards that his soul or spirit is in heaven or in hell? And who does not say of his own infants who are dead, that they are in heaven? And who does not comfort the sick, or one condemned to death, by the assurance that he will shortly come into another life? And he who is in the agony of death, and is prepared, believes no otherwise. Yea, from that belief also many claim to themselves power to deliver from places of damnation, and to introduce into heaven, and to celebrate masses for them. Who does not know what the Lord said to the thief—"Today shalt thou be with Me in paradise" (Luke xxiii. 43); and what He said concerning the rich man and Lazarus, that the former was carried into hell, but the latter by angels into heaven? (Luke xvi. 22, 23) And who is not acquainted with what the Lord taught concerning the resurrection, that "He is not the God of the dead, but of the living?" (Luke xx. 38) Man is acquainted with these things; and he so thinks and speaks too when he thinks and speaks from the spirit. But when he speaks from doctrinals he says quite the contrary; namely, that he is not to rise again till the last day,—when yet it is the last day with every one when he dies; and then also is his judgment, as many also say. These things are said in order that it may be known that no man rises again in the body with which he was clothed in the world; but that the Lord so arose, and this because He glorified or made His body Divine while He was in the world. (AC n. 5078)
Redemption itself was the Subjugation of the Hells, and the establishment of Order in the Heavens, and preparation thereby for a new spiritual church. (TCR n. 115)
That the Lord while He was in the world fought against the hells, and conquered and subjugated them, and thus brought them under obedience to Him, is evident from many passages in the Word, of which I shall select these few:—In Isaiah: "Who is this that cometh from Edom, besprinkled as to His garments from Bozrah? this [that is] honourable in His apparel, travelling in the multitude of His strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art Thou red in Thine apparel, and Thy garment as one that treadeth in the wine-press? I have trodden the wine press alone; and of the people [there was] not a man with Me; therefore I trod them in Mine anger, and trampled them in My wrath; thence their victory is sprinkled upon My garments; .. for the day of vengeance is in, Mine heart, and the year of My redeemed is come: ... Mine arm brought salvation to Me; ... I made their victory descend to the earth.... He said, Behold My people, they are children; therefore He became to them a Saviour; ... in His love and in His pity He redeemed them" (lxiii. 1-9). These things are said of the Lord's conflict against the hells. By the garment in which He was honourable and which was red the Word is meant, to which violence was offered by the Jewish people. The conflict itself against the hells and the victory over them is described by the saying that He trod them in His anger, and trampled them in His wrath. That He fought alone and of His own power is described by the words: "Of the people [there was] not a man with Me; ... Mine arm brought salvation to Me; I made their victory descend to the earth." That thereby He saved and redeemed is meant by these: "Therefore He became to them a Saviour; in His love and in His pity He redeemed them. "That this was the cause of His coming is meant by the words: "The day of vengeance is in Mine heart, and the year of My redeemed is come." Again in Isaiah: "He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor; therefore His arm brought salvation unto Him, and His righteousness it sustained Him; and He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and the helmet of salvation upon His head; and He put on, the garments of vengeance, and covered Himself with zeal as with a cloak.... Then cometh the Redeemer to Zion" (lix. 16, 17, 20). In Jeremiah: "They were dismayed, ... their mighty ones were beaten down; they fled apace; they looked not back; this day is to the Lord Jehovah of Hosts a day of vengeance, that He may take vengeance on His enemies; the sword shall devour and be satiated" (xlvi. 5, 10). Both of these passages relate to the Lord's conflict against the hells, and victory over them. In David: "Gird Thy sword upon Thy thigh, O Mighty; ... Thine arrows are sharp; the people shall fall under Thee, from the heart of the King's enemies; Thy throne ... is for ever and ever.... Thou hast loved righteousness, therefore God hath anointed Thee" (Psa. xlv. 3-7); also in many other places. Since the Lord alone conquered the hells, without help from any angel, therefore He is called a Hero and a Man of Wars (Isa. xliv. 15; ix. 6); The King of Glory, Jehovah the Mighty, the Hero of War (Psa. xiv. 8, 10) "The Mighty One of Jacob (cxxxii. 2); and in many places Jehovah Sabaoth, that is, Jehovah of Hosts. And also His advent is called the day of Jehovah, terrible, cruel, a day of indignation, of wrath, of anger, of vengeance, of ruin, of war, of a trumpet, of a loud noise, of tumult. In the Evangelists it is said: "Now is the judgment of this world: the prince of this world shall be cast out" (John 31); "The prince of this world is. judged" (xvi. 11); "Be assured I have overcome the world" (xvi. 33); "I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven" (Luke x. 18). By the world, the prince of the world, Satan, and the Devil, is meant hell. (TCR n. 116)
It is known in the Church that the Lord is the Saviour and Redeemer of the human race; but how this is to be understood is known by few. They who are in the externals of the Church believe that the Lord redeemed the world, that is the human race, by His blood, by which they understand the passion of the Cross. But those that are in the internal [truths] of the Church know that no one is saved by the Lord's blood, but by a life according to the precepts of faith and charity from the Lord's Word. Those who are in the inmost [truths] of the Church, understand by the Lord's blood the Divine Truth proceeding from Him, and by the passion of the cross they understand the last of the Lord's temptation, by which He entirely subjugated the hells, and at the same time glorified His Human, that is made it Divine; and that thereby He redeemed and saved all who suffer themselves to be regenerated, by a life according to the precepts of faith and charity from His Word. By the Lord's blood also in the internal sense, according to which the angels in the heavens perceive the Word, Divine Truth is meant proceeding from the Lord. But how man was saved and redeemed by the Divine, through the subjugation of the hells and the glorification of His Human, no one can know , unless He knows that with every man there are angels from heaven, and spirits from hell, and unless these are present with man continually he cannot think anything, or will anything; and that thus as to his interiors man is either under the dominion of spirits who are from hell, or under the dominion of angels from heaven. When this is first known, then it may be known that unless the Lord had entirely subdued the hells, and reduced all things both there and in the heavens to order, no man could have been saved. So, unless the Lord had made His Human Divine, and had thereby won over the hells and over the heavens to eternity. or without Divine power neither the hells nor the heavens can be kept in order; since the power by which anything exists must be perpetual in order that it may subsist, for subsistence is perpetual existence. The very Divine, which is called the Father, without the Divine Human, which is called the Son, could not effect this; inasmuch as the very Divine without the Divine Human cannot reach to man, nor even to an angel, when the human race have altogether removed themselves from the Divine,—as was the case in the end of times, when there was no longer any faith nor any charity. For this reason the Lord then came into the world and restored all things, and this by virtue of His Human, and thus saved and redeemed man through faith and love to the Lord from the Lord. For those [that have this faith and love] the Lord can withhold from the hells and from eternal damnation; but not those who reject faith and love from Him to Him, for these reject salvation and redemption. (AC n. 10, 152)
The Lord thus redeemed not only Man, but the Angels
At the time of the first coming of the Lord, the hells had increased to such a height that they filled all the world of spirits, —which is intermediate between heaven and hell,—and thus not only disordered the heaven which is called the last or lowest, but also assaulted the middle heaven; which they infested in a thousand ways, and which would have gone to destruction if the Lord had not withstood them. Such an insurrection of the hells is meant by the tower built in the land of Shinar, the head of which was to reach even unto heaven; but the design of the builders was frustrated by the confusion of tongues, and they were dispersed, and the city was called Babel (Gen, xi. 1-9). What is there meant by the tower, and the confusion of tongues, is explained in the Arcana Coelestia, published in London. The reason why the hells had grown to such a height was, that at the time when the Lord came into the world the whole earth had completely alienated itself from God, by idolatry and magic; and the church which had existed among the children of Israel, and afterwards among the Jews, was utterly destroyed through the falsification and adulteration of the Word. And both the former and the latter after death flocked into the world of spirits, where at length they so increased and multiplied, that they could not be expelled but by the descent of God Himself, and then by the strength of His Divine arm. How this was done is described in a little work on the Last Judgment, published at London in the year 1758. This was accomplished by the Lord when He was in the world. A similar judgment has also been accomplished by the Lord at this day, for, as was said above, now is His second coming, which is foretold everywhere in the Apocalypse; and in Matt. xxiv. 3, 30; in Mark xiii. 26; in Luke xxi. 27; also in the Acts of the Apostles i. 11; and in other places. The difference is that at His first coming the hells had so increased by idolaters, magicians, and falsifiers of the Word; but at this second coming by so-called Christians, both those who are steeped in naturalism, and also those who have falsified the Word, by confirmations of their fabulous faith concerning three Divine Persons from eternity, and concerning the passion of the Lord, that it was redemption itself; for it is these who are meant by the dragon and his two beasts in the Revelation xii. and xiii. (TCR n. 121)
The reason why the angels could not have subsisted in a state of integrity if redemption had not been wrought by the Lord, is that the whole angelic heaven, together with the church on earth, before the Lord is as one man, whose internal constitutes the angelic heaven, and whose external constitutes the church; or more particularly, whose head constitutes the highest heaven, whose breasts and middle region of the body constitute the second and the ultimate heaven, and whose loins and feet constitute the church on earth; and the Lord Himself is the soul and life of this whole man. If therefore the Lord had not wrought redemption this man would have been destroyed,—as to the feet and loins, by the defection of the church on earth; as to the gastric region, by the defection of the lowest heaven; as to the breast, by the defection of the second heaven; and then the head, having no correspondence with the body, would fall into a swoon. (TCR n. 119)
Without Redemption Wickedness would spread throughout all Christendom in both Worlds
There are many reasons why without redemption by the Lord iniquity and wickedness would spread through all Christendom, both in the natural and the spiritual worlds; one of which is this:—Every man after death comes into the world of spirits, and then is precisely like himself,—of the same character as before; and upon entrance there no one can be restrained from conversation with departed parents, brothers, relations, and friends; every husband then first seeks his wife, and every wife her husband; and they are introduced by each other into various companies of such as appear like lambs outwardly, but inwardly are as wolves; and even those who have striven after piety are corrupted by them. From this cause, and from abominable arts unknown in the natural world, the world of spirits is as full of the malicious as a green and stagnant pool, of the spawn of frogs. That association with the wicked there produces this result may be rendered obvious by these illustrations:—It is as if one should associate with robbers or pirates,-at length he becomes like them or as if one should live with adulterers and harlots,—at length he thinks nothing of adulteries; or as if one should mingle with the rebellious,—at length he thinks nothing of doing violence to any one. For all evils are contagious, and may be compared to a pestilence, which an infected person communicates by the breath or by exhalation; or to a cancer or gangrene, which spreads and corrupts the nearer and by degrees the remoter parts, until the whole body perishes. The delights, of evil into which every one is born are the cause. From all this then it is evident, that without redemption by the Lord no one could be saved; nor could the angels subsist in a state of integrity. The only refuge from destruction for any one is in the Lord; for He says, "Abide in Me and I in you; as the branch. cannot bear fruit of itself except it abide in the vine, no more can, ye except ye abide in Me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth, in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without Me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth and is withered, and is cast into the fire and burned" (John xv. 4-6). (TCR n. 120)
Redemption could not be effected but by God Incarnate
The reason why redemption could not have been wrought' but by God incarnate, that is made Man, is that Jehovah God as He is in His infinite essence cannot approach hell, much less enter into it; for He is in purest and first [principles]. Wherefore if Jehovah God, such in Himself, should but breathe upon those who are in hell, it would kill them instantly; for He said to Moses, when he wished to see Him, "Thou cant not see My face, there shall no man see Me and live" (Exod. xxxiii. 20). Since therefore Moses could not, still less could those who are in hell, where all are in the last and grossest [things], and thus in the most remote; for they are in the lowest degree natural. For this reason, if Jehovah God had not assumed the Human, and thus clothed Himself with a body which is in lowest [principles], it would have been in vain for him to enter upon any work of redemption.... It should be known that the conflict of the Lord with the hells was not an oral conflict, as between reasoners and disputants. Such a conflict effects nothing at all in such a case. But it was a spiritual conflict, which is that of Divine truth from Divine good, which is the very vital of the Lord. The influx of this truth by means of sight no one in hell can resist. There is such power in it that the infernal genii flee at the mere perception of it, cast themselves down into the deep, and creep into caves that they may hide themselves. This is what is described in Isaiah: "They shall go into the caves of the rocks, and into clefts of the dust, for fear of Jehovah ... when He shall arise to terrify the earth" (ii. 19); and in the Revelation: "All hid themselves in the dens of the rocks, and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and to the rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth /upon the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb" (vi. 15-17). (TCR n. 124)
False Views of the Atonement
It is believed in the church that the Lord was sent by the Father to make an atonement for the human race, and that this was done by the fulfilling of the law and the passion of the cross; and that thus He took away damnation, and made satisfaction; and that without that atonement, satisfaction, and propitiation the human race would have perished in eternal death, —and this from justice, which by some is also called vindictive. (L. n. 18)
What at this day more fills and crams the books of the orthodox, or what is more zealously taught and inculcated in the schools, and more frequently preached and proclaimed from the pulpits, than that God the Father, being enraged against mankind, not only separated them from Himself, but also sentenced them to universal damnation, and thus excommunicated them; but that because He is gracious, He persuaded or excited His Son to descend and take upon Himself the determined damnation, and thus appease the anger of His Father; and that thus, and not otherwise, He could look upon man with some favour? Then that this was even done by the Son; so that in taking upon Himself the damnation of the human race, He suffered Himself to be scourged by the Jews, to be spit upon in the face, and afterwards to be crucified as one accursed of God (Deut. xxi. 23); and that after this was done the Father became propitious, and from love towards His Son cancelled the sentence of damnation,—but only in respect to those for whom He should intercede; and that He thus became a Mediator in the presence of His Father for ever. These and similar ideas at this day sound forth in temples and are reverberated from the walls as an echo from the woods, and fill the ears of all there. But cannot any one whose reason is enlightened and made sound by the Word see that God is Mercy and Pity itself, because He is Love itself and Good itself, and that these are His essence; and therefore that it is a contradiction to say that Mercy itself, or Good itself, can look upon man with anger, and decree his damnation, and yet continue to be His own Divine essence? Such things are scarcely ascribed to an upright man, but rather to one who is not upright; nor to an angel of heaven, but rather to a spirit of hell. It is therefore shocking to attribute them to God! But if one inquires into the cause, it is this:—That men have taken the passion of the cross for redemption itself. From this have these opinions flowed, as from one falsity falsities flow in a continued series. (TCR n. 132)
The True Meaning of Mediation, Intercession, Atonement, and Propitiation
There are four terms expressive of the grace of the one only God in His Humanity. God the Father can never be approached, nor can He come to any man; because He is infinite, and dwells in His own being, which is Jehovah; from which being if He should come to man He would consume or decompose him, as fire consumes wood when it reduces it to ashes. This is evident from what He said to Moses, who desired to see Him:—"No man shall see Me and live" (Exod. xxiii. 20). And the Lord says, "No man hath seen God at any time, save the Son which is in the bosom of the Father" (John i. 18; Matt. xi. 27); also that no one hath heard the voice of the Father, nor seen His shape (John v. 27). It is indeed written that Moses saw Jehovah face to face, and talked with Him, as one man with another; but this was through the medium of an angel, as was also the case with Abraham and Gideon. Now since such is God the Father in Himself, therefore He was pleased to assume the Humanity, and in this Humanity to admit mankind to Himself, and so to hear and to talk with them; and it is this Humanity which is called the Son of God, and which mediates, intercedes, propitiates, and atones. MEDIATION signifies that the Humanity is the medium by which man may come to God the Father, and God the Father to him; and thus be his teacher and guide unto salvation. INTERCESSION signifies perpetual mediation; for love itself, the qualities of which are mercy, clemency, and grace, perpetually intercedes, that is mediates, for those that do His commandments, and who are thus the objects of His love. ATONEMENT signifies the removal of sins,—into which a man would rush headlong if, in supplication, he were to approach the unveiled Jehovah. PROPITIATION signifies the operation of clemency and grace, to prevent man from falling into damnation by sin, and at the same time to guard against the profanation of what is holy. This was signified by the propitiatory, or mercy-seat, over the ark in the tabernacle. It is acknowledged that God spake in His Word according to appearances; as when it is said that He is angry, that He avenges, that He tempts, that He punishes, that He casts into hell, that He condemns, yea, that He does evil; while the truth is that God is never angry with any one, that He never avenges, tempts, punishes, casts into hell, or condemns. Such things are as far from God, nay infinitely farther, than hell is from heaven. They are forms of speech then, used only according to the appearances. So also, but in a different sense, are the terms atonement, propitiation, intercession, and mediation; for these are forms of speech expressive of the approach which is opened to God by means of His Humanity. These terms being misunderstood men have divided God into three; and upon that division they have grounded all the doctrine of the church, and so have falsified the Word. Hence has arisen THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION, foretold by the Lord in Daniel, and again in Matt. xxiv. (TCR n. 135)
Mediation and intercession is of Divine truth, because this is next to Divine good, which is the Lord Himself. That Divine truth is next to Divine good, which is the Lord, is because it immediately proceeds from Him. Since occasion is given, it shall here be shown how the case is with the Lord's mediation and intercession. They that believe from the literal sense of the Word, that there are three persons who constitute the Divine, and together are called one God, have no other idea of mediation and intercession, than that the Lord sits at the right hand of His Father, and speaks with Him as man with man, brings the supplications of men to the Father, and entreats that for His sake, because He endured the cross for the human race, He will pardon them and be merciful. Such is the idea of intercession and mediation which the simple derive from the literal sense of the Word. But it should be known that the literal sense is adapted to the apprehension of simple men, that they may be introduced into the interior truths themselves; for the simple cannot form any different idea of the heavenly kingdom than such as they have of an earthly kingdom, nor any different idea of the Father than as of a king on earth, nor of the Lord, than as of the son of a king, who is heir of the kingdom.... But he who knows the interior [truths] of the Word has an entirely different notion of the Lord's mediation, and of His intercession; namely, that He does not intercede as a son with a father king on earth, but as the Lord of the universe with Himself, and of Himself as God; for the Father and He are not two, but One, as He teaches in John xiv. 8-11. He is called the Mediator and Intercessor because the Son means Divine truth, and the Father Divine good, and mediation is effected by Divine truth, for by it access is given to Divine good. For Divine good cannot be approached, because it is as the fire of the sun; but Divine truth can be, because this is as the light from it which gives passage and approach to man's sight, which is from faith. It can be seen from this what is to be understood by mediation and intercession. Further, it should be stated why it is that the Lord Himself, who is the very Divine good and the very Sun of heaven, is called the Mediator and Intercessor with the Father. The Lord when He was in the world, before He was fully glorified, was Divine truth; for this reason there then was mediation, and He interceded with the Father, that is, with the very Divine good' (John xiv. 16, 17; xvii. 9, 15, 17). And after He was glorified as to the Human, He is called the Mediator and Intercessor from the fact that no one can think of the very Divine unless he sets before himself the idea of a Divine Man; still less can any one be conjoined by love to the very Divine except by means of such an idea.... It is for this reason that the Lord as to the Divine Human is called the Mediator and Intercessor; but He mediates and intercedes with Himself. (AC n. 8705)
How the Lord fulfilled the whole Law
It is believed by many at this day that when it is said of the Lord that He fulfilled the law it is meant that He fulfilled all the commandments of the Decalogue, and that thus He became righteousness, and also justified mankind through faith in this. This however is not what is meant, but that He fulfilled all things which are written of Him in the Law and the Prophets, that is in the whole sacred Scripture; for this treats of Him alone. The reason why many have believed otherwise is, that they have not searched the Scriptures and seen what is there meant by the Law. By the Law there, in a strict sense, the Ten Commandments of the Decalogue are meant; in a wider sense, all that was written by Moses in his five books; and in the widest sense, all the Word. (L. n. 8)
That the Lord fulfilled all things of the Law means that He fulfilled all things of the Word, is manifest from the passages where it is said that by Him the Scripture was fulfilled, and that all things were finished. As from these: "Jesus went into the synagogue, ... and stood up to read. There was delivered unto Him the book of the prophet Isaiah; and when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the bound, and sight to the blind; ... to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. And He closed the book and said, This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears" (Luke iv. 16-21). "Ye search the Scriptures, and they testify of Me" (John v. 39). "That the Scripture might be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with Me hath lifted up his heel upon Me" (John xiii. 18). "None of them is lost but the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled" (John xvii. 12). "That the saying might be fulfilled which He spake, Of those whom thou gayest Me I have not lost one" (John xviii. 9). "Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into its place; ... how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be? ... But all this was done, that the Scriptures of the Prophets might be fulfilled" (Matt. xxvi. 52, 54, 56). "The Son of Man indeed goeth as it is written of Him; . . that the Scriptures may be fulfilled" (Mark xiv. 21, 49). "Thus the Scripture was fulfilled which saith, He was numbered with the wicked" (Mark xv. 28; Luke xxii. 37). "That the Scripture might be fulfilled, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots" (John xix. 24). "After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now consummated, that the Scripture might be fulfilled" (John xix. 28). "When Jesus had received the vinegar, He said, It is finished," that is, "it is fulfilled" (John xix. 30). "These things were done that the Scripture might be fulfilled, A bone of Him shall not be broken,. And again another Scripture saith, They shall look on Him whom they pierced" (John xix. 36, 37). Besides these, in other places passages of the Prophets are adduced where it is not at the same time said that the Law or the Scripture was fulfilled. That the whole Word was written concerning Him, and that He came into the world to fulfil it, He also taught His disciples before He departed, in these words: "Jesus said to them, O fools and slow of heart to believe all that the Prophets have spoken. Ought not Christ to have suffered this, and to enter into His glory? And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself" (Luke xxiv. 25-27). Afterwards, Jesus said to His disciples, "These are the words which I spake unto you whilst I was yet with you, That all things must be fulfilled which were written, in the Law of Moses, and in the Prophets, and in the Psalms concerning Me" (Luke xxiv. 44). That the Lord in the world fulfilled all things of the Word, even to its minutest particulars, is evident from these His words: "Verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the Law till all be fulfilled" (Matt. v. 18). From these now one may clearly see that by the Lord's fulfilling all things of the Law it is not meant that He fulfilled all the commandments of the Decalogue, but all things of the Word. (L. n. 11)
All Power in the Heavens and on Earth given to the Lord
The Lord Himself says, "All power is given unto Me, in heaven and on earth" (Matt. xxviii. 18).... In respect to all power being given to the Son of Man, both in the heavens and on earth, it should be known that the Lord had power over all things in the heavens and on earth before He came into the world; for He was God from eternity, and Jehovah,—as He Himself plainly says in John: "And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own self, with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was" (xvii. 5); and again: "Verily, verily I say unto you, Before Abraham was I am" (viii. 58). For He was Jehovah and God to the Most Ancient church which was before the flood, and appeared to the men of that church; He was also Jehovah and God to the Ancient church which was after the flood; and He it was whom all the rites of the Jewish church represented, and whom the members of that church worshipped. And the reason why He says that all power was given unto Him in Heaven and on earth, as if it were then first given, is, that by the Son of Man His Human essence is meant, which when united to the Divine was also Jehovah, and at the same time power was given unto Him; which could not be done before He was glorified, that is, before His Human essence by unition with the Divine had life also in itself, and had thus in like manner become Divine, and Jehovah; as He Himself says in John: "As the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself" (v. 26). (AC n. 1607)
Meaning of the phrases Son of God and Son of Man
He who knows what in the Lord the Sou of God signifies, and what in Him the Son of Man signifies, can see many secrets of the Word; for the Lord calls Himself sometimes the Son of God, and sometimes the Son of Man—always according to the subject treated of. When His Divinity is treated of, His unity with the Father, His Divine power, faith in Him, and life from Him, He calls Himself the Son, and the Son of God,—as in John v. 17-26, and elsewhere; but where His passion, the judgment, His coming, and in general, redemption, salvation, reformation, and regeneration are treated of, He calls Himself the Son of Man. (L. n. 22)
Various Names of the Lord
That the profoundest mysteries lie hidden in the internal sense of the Word very manifestly appears from the internal sense of the two names of our Lord, JESUS CHRIST. Few have any other idea, when these names are mentioned, than that they are proper names, and almost like the names of another man, but more holy. The more learned indeed know that Jesus signifies Saviour, and Christ, the Anointed, and hence conceive a somewhat more interior idea. But yet these are not the things which the angels in heaven perceive from those names; they are still more Divine. By the name Jesus, when pronounced by man in reading the Word, they perceive the Divine good; and by the name Christ, the Divine truth; and by both, the Divine marriage of good and truth, and of truth and good. (AC n. 3004)
Practical Use of a correct Idea of the Lord
The first and chief thing of a church is to know and acknowledge its God; for without that knowledge and acknowledgment there is no conjunction; thus there is none in the church without the acknowledgment of the Lord. (HD n. 296)
The very essential of the church is the acknowledgment of the union of the very Divine in the Human of the Lord, and this must be in each and all things of worship. The reason why this is the essential of the church, and hence the essential of worship, is because the salvation of the human race depends solely on that union. (AC n. 10370)
In the whole heaven no other one is acknowledged as the God of heaven than the Lord alone. They say there, as He Himself taught, that He is one with the Father; that the Father is in Him, and He in the Father; and he that seeth Him seeth the Father; and that everything holy proeeedeth, from Him (John x. 30, 38; xiv. 10, 11; xvi. 13-15). I have often talked with angels on this subject, and they have constantly said that in heaven they cannot distinguish the Divine into three, since they know and perceive that the Divine is one, and that it is one in the Lord. They said also that those who came from the world, out of the church, with whom there is an idea of three Divine [persons], cannot be admitted into heaven, since their thought wanders from one to another; and one may not there think three and say one, because in heaven every one speaks from the thought, for speech there is cogitative, or thought speaking. Wherefore those who in the world have distinguished the Divine into three, and have acquired a different conception of each, and have not concentrated and made it one in the Lord, cannot be received; for there is communication of all thoughts in heaven. If therefore any one should come thither who thinks three and says one he would immediately be discovered and rejected. But it should be known that all who have not separated truth from good, or faith from love, when instructed in the other life, receive the heavenly idea of the Lord, that He is God of the universe. It is otherwise however with those who have separated faith from life, that is who have not lived according to the precepts of true faith. (HH n. 2)
Jehovah Himself, in His Divine Human, is the only Savior
"Thus saith Jehovah thy Creator, O Jacob, and thy Former, O Israel; ... for I have redeemed thee.... I am Jehovah, thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour" (Isaiah xliii. 1, 3). "Surely God is in Thee, and there is no God else. Verily Thou art a God that hidest Thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour" (xlv. 14, 15).... "Thus saith Jehovah, the King of Israel, and His Redeemer, Jehovah of Hosts, ... Beside Me there is no God" (xliv. 6). "I am Jehovah, and beside Me there is no Saviour" (xliii. 11). "Am not I Jehovah, and there is no other besides Me; ... and a Saviour, there is none beside Me" (xlv. 21). "I am Jehovah thy God, ... thou shalt know no God but Me, for there is no Saviour beside Me" (Hosea xiii. 4). "Look unto Me, that ye may be saved, all ye ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else" (Isaiah xlv. 22). "Jehovah of Hosts is His name, and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, the God of the whole earth shall He be called" (liv. 5). From these passages it may be seen that the Divine of the Lord,—which is called the Father, and here Jehovah, and God,—and the Divine Human,—which is called the Son, and here the Redeemer, and Saviour, also the Former, that is the Reformer and Regenerator,—are not two, but one. For not only is it said Jehovah God and the Holy One of Israel is the Redeemer and Saviour, but it is also said that Jehovah is the Redeemer and Saviour; yea, it is even said, "I Jehovah am thy Saviour, and there is none beside Me." From which it is very clear that the Divine and Human in the Lord are one person, and that even the Human is Divine; for the Redeemer and Saviour of the world is no other than the Lord as to the Divine Human, which is called the Son. Redemption and salvation, in fact, are the peculiar attribute of His Human which is called merit, and righteousness; for His Human suffered temptations and the passion of the cross, and therefore by the Human He redeemed and saved. (L. n. 34)
Why Jehovah is nowhere named in the Word of the New Testament, but the Lord instead
In the Word of the New Testament by the Evangelists, and in the Apocalypse, Jehovah is nowhere named, but for Jehovah it says Lord, and this for hidden reasons, of which presently. That the Word of the New Testament says Lord instead of Jehovah is very evident in Mark: "Jesus said, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel! the Lord our God is one Lord; therefore thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength" (xii. 29, 30). The same in Moses reads thus: "Hear, O Israel! Jehovah our God is one Jehovah, and thou shalt love Jehovah thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength" (Deut. vi. 4, 5). Here it is plain that the name Lord is used for Jehovah. So in John: "I saw, ... and behold a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne;.... and round about the throne were four animals, full of eyes before and behind; ... each of them had six wings round about, and within full of eyes;....and they said, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty" (Apoc. iv. 2, 6, 8). This in Isaiah is thus expressed: "I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne high and lifted up; .... the seraphim standing above it; each one had six wings; ... and one cried unto another, Holy, holy, holy, Jehovah of Hosts" (vi 1, 3, 5, 8). Here the name Lord is used for Jehovah, and Lord God Almighty for Jehovah of Hosts. That the four animals are seraphim or cherubim is plain from Ezekiel i. 5, 13-15, 19; x. 15. From many other passages also it appears that in the New Testament the Lord is Jehovah; as in Luke: "The angel of the Lord appeared to Zacharias" (i. 11). The angel of the Lord stands for the angel of Jehovah. In the same Evangelist the angel said to Zacharias concerning his son: "Many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God" (i. 1 6 ); to the Lord their God, for to Jehovah God. Again: the angel said to Mary concerning Jesus: "He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest, and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of ... David" (i. 32); the Lord God for Jehovah God. Again: "Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced over God my Saviour" (i. 46, 47). Here also the Lord is put for Jehovah. Again: "Zacharias ... prophesied, saying, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel" (i. 67, 68). Here the Lord God, for Jehovah God. Again: "The angel of the Lord stood near the shepherds, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them" (ii. 9). The angel of the Lord, and the glory of the Lord, for the angel of Jehovah, and the glory of Jehovah. In Matthew: "Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord" (xxi. 9; xxiii. 39; Luke xiii. 35; John xii. 13). In the name of the Lord, for in the name of Jehovah. There are also, many other passages, as Luke i. 28; 15,22-24, '29, 38, 39; v. 17; Mark xii. 10, 11. Among the hidden reasons why they called Jehovah Lord were also these: because if it had been declared at that time that the Lord was the Jehovah so often mentioned in the Old Testament, it would not have been received, for it would not have been believed; and because the Lord was not made Jehovah even as to His Human until He had entirely united the Divine Essence to the Human, and the Human to the Divine. The plenary unition was effected after the last temptation, which was that of the cross; wherefore, after the resurrection, the disciples always called Him Lord (John xx. 2, 13, 15, 18, 20, 25; xxi. 7, 12, 15-17, 20; Mark xvi. 19, 20); and Thomas said, "My Lord and my God" (John xx. 28). And because the Lord was Jehovah, who is so often mentioned in the Old Testament, therefore also He said to the disciples, "Ye call Me Master and Lord, and ye say well; for I am" (John xiii. 13, 14, 16); by which words it is signified that He was Jehovah God.... That the Lord was Jehovah is meant also by the words of the angel to the shepherds: "Unto you is born this day ... a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord" (Luke ii. 11); Christ is put for the Messiah, the Anointed, the King, and Lord for Jehovah. They who examine the Word without much attention cannot know this, believing that our Saviour, like others, was called Lord merely from a common form of expressing reverence; but He was so called because He was Jehovah. (AC n. 2921)
That Jehovah in thee Old Testament is called the Lord in the New appears from these passages: It is said in Moses, "Hear, O Israel! Jehovah our God is one Jehovah; and thou shalt love Jehovah thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul" (Deut. vi. 4, 5); but in Mark: "The Lord our God is one Lord; and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul" (xii. 29, 30). Then in Isaiah: "Prepare ye the way for Jehovah; make straight in the desert a path for our God" (xl. 3); but in Luke: "Thou shalt go before the face of the Lord, to prepare the way for Him" (i. 76); and elsewhere. And also the Lord commanded His disciples to call Him Lord; and therefore He was so called by the Apostles in their Epistles; and afterwards by the Apostolic Church, as appears from its creed, which is called the Apostles' Creed. The reason was that the Jews did not dare to speak the name Jehovah, on account of its sanctity; and also that by Jehovah is meant the Divine Esse, which was from eternity, and the Human which He assumed in time was not that Esse. (TCR n. 81)
The Reason why these Things concerning the Lord are now first publicly made known
The reason why these things respecting the Lord are now for the first time divulged is, that it is foretold in the Revelation (xxi. and xxii) that a new church would be instituted by the Lord at the end of the former one, in which this should be the primary truth. This church is there meant by the New Jerusalem; into which none can enter but those who acknowledge the Lord alone as the God of heaven and earth. And this I am able to proclaim, that the universal heaven acknowledges the Lord alone; and that whoever does not acknowledge Him is not admitted into heaven. For heaven is heaven, from the Lord. This very acknowledgment, from love and faith, causes all there to be in the Lord and the Lord in them; as the Lord Himself teaches in John: "In that day ye shall know, that I am in My Father, and ye in Me, and I in you" (xiv. 20). And again: "Abide in Me, and I in you.... I am the vine, ye are the branches; he that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without Me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in Me, he is cast out" (xv. 4-6; xvii. 22, 23). This has not been seen before from the Word, because if seen before it would not have been received. For the last judgment had not yet been accomplished, and before that the power of hell prevailed over the power of heaven, and man is in the midst between heaven and hell; if therefore this doctrine had been seen before, the devil, that is hell, would have plucked it from the hearts of men, nay more, would have profaned it. This state of the power of hell was entirely crushed by the last judgment which has now been accomplished; since that event, that is now, every man who will may become enlightened and wise. (L. 61)
Why the Lord was Born on this Earth
There are many reasons why it pleased the Lord to be born and to assume the Human on our earth and not on another, concerning which I have been informed from heaven.
The principal reason was for the sake of the Word, that this might be written in our earth, and being written might be published throughout the whole earth, and once published might be preserved to all posterity; and that thus it might be made manifest, even to all in the other life, that God was made Man.
That the principal reason was for the sake of the Word, was because the Word is the very Divine truth, which teaches man that there is a God, that there is a heaven, that there is a hell, that there is a life after death; and teaches moreover how he ought to live and believe that he may come into heaven and thus be happy to eternity. All these things without revelation, —thus on this earth without the Word,—would have been entirely unknown; and yet man is so created that as to his internal man he cannot die.
The Word could be written on our earth, because from a very ancient time the art of writing has existed here, first on tablets of wood, then on parchments, afterwards on paper, and finally, [writing came] to be published by types. This was provided of the Lord for the sake of the Word.
The Word could then be published through all this earth, because here there is communication of all nations by land and by water with all parts of the globe. The Word once written could therefore be conveyed from one nation to another, and be everywhere taught. That there should be such communication was also provided of the Lord for the sake of the Word.
The Word once written could be preserved to all posterity, even for thousands and thousands of years; and it is known that it has been so preserved.
It could thus be made known that God became Man; for this is the first and most essential thing for which the Word was given. For no one can believe in a God, and love a God, whom he cannot have a conception of under some form; wherefore they who acknowledge what is incomprehensible glide in thought into nature, and so believe in no God. For this reason it pleased the Lord to be born here, and to make this evident by the Word; in order not only that it might be made known on this globe, but also that thereby it might be made manifest to all in the universe who from any other earth whatsoever come into heaven; for in heaven there is a communication of all things.
It should be known that the Word on our earth, given through heaven by the Lord, is the union of heaven and the world,—for which end there is a correspondence of all things in the letter of the Word with Divine things in heaven; and that the Word in its highest and inmost sense treats of the Lord, of His kingdom in the heavens and on the earths, and of love and faith from Him and in Him, therefore of life from Him and in Him. Such things are presented to the angels in heaven, from whatsoever earth they are, when the Word of our earth is read and preached.
In every other earth truth Divine is made known by word of mouth, through spirits and angels, ... but this is done within families. For in most of the earths mankind dwell apart according to families; and therefore the Divine truth, thus revealed by spirits and angels, is not conveyed far beyond the families; and unless a new revelation constantly succeeds it is either perverted or lost. It is otherwise on our earth, where truth Divine, which is the Word, remains for ever in its integrity.
It should be known that the Lord acknowledges and receives all, from whatsoever earth they are, who acknowledge and worship God under the Human form; since God under the Human form is the Lord. And as the Lord appears to the inhabitants of the earths in an angelic form, which is the human form, therefore when spirits and angels from those earths hear from the spirits and angels of our earth that God is actually Man, they receive that Word, acknowledge it, and rejoice that it is so.
To the reasons which have been already adduced it may be added, that the inhabitants, the spirits, and the angels of our earth relate to the external and corporeal sense in the Greatest Man; and the external and corporeal sense is the ultimate, in which the interiors of life end, and in which they rest, as in their common [receptacle]. So is truth Divine [in its ultimates] in the letter which is called the Word; and on this account too it was given on this earth and not on another. And because the Lord is the Word, and its first and last, that all things might exist according to order He was willing also to be born on this earth, and to become the Word,—according to these words in John: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word. The same was in the beginning with God: all things were made by Him, and without him was not anything made that was made.... And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father.... No man hath seen God at any time; the only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He hath brought Him forth to view" (i. 1-3, 14, 18). The Word here is Divine truth. But this is a mystery which will be intelligible only to a few. (AC n. 9350-9360)