May 31, 2017

What Precedes and What Follows

From Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
Jesus said about Himself, I went out and am come from God (John 8:42).

The Father loveth you, because ye have loved Me, and have believed that I went out from God. I went out from the Father, and am come into the world; again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.His disciples said, We believe that thou wentest out from God (John 16:27-30).

For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.(John 17:8)
To illustrate what is meant by "going out" or proceeding, let us take the following examples. Truth is said to "go out" or proceed from good, when truth is the form of good, or when truth is good in a form that the understanding can apprehend. The understanding also may be said to "go out" or proceed from the will, when the understanding is the will formed, or when it is the will in a form perceivable by the internal sight.

So in regard to the thought of the understanding, this may be said to "go out" or proceed when it becomes speech; and of the will, that it "goes out" when it becomes action. Thought clothes itself with another form when it becomes speech, but still it is the thought that so goes out or proceeds; for the words and tones with which it is clothed are mere additions that cause the thought to be appropriately perceived.

In like manner the will becomes of another form when it becomes action, but still it is the will that is presented in such a form; the gestures and movements that are put on are merely additions that cause the will to appear and affect the beholder appropriately.

So also it may be said of the external man, that it "goes out" or proceeds from the internal man, nay, that it does so substantially, because the external man is nothing else than the internal man so formed that it may act suitably in the world in which it is.

From all this it is evident what "to go out" or proceed is in the spiritual sense, namely, that when predicated of the Lord it is the Divine formed as a Man and thereby accommodated to the perception of those who believe; nevertheless both of these are one.

(Arcana Coelestia 5337)

May 30, 2017

Two Fountains of the Universe

Selection from Apocalypse Explained ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
The whole world, with each and every thing in it, came into existence and continues to exist from the Lord the Creator of the universe. There are two suns, the sun of the spiritual world and the sun of the natural world. The sun of the spiritual world is the Lord's Divine love, the sun of the natural world is pure fire. From the sun that is the Divine love every work of creation has begun, and by means of the sun that is fire it has been carried to completion.

Everything that proceeds from the sun that is the Divine love is called spiritual, and everything that proceeds from the sun that is fire is called natural. The spiritual from its origin has life in itself, but the natural from its origin has nothing of life in itself. And because from these two fountains of the universe all things that are in both worlds have come into existence and continue to exist, it follows that there is in every created thing in this world a spiritual and a natural, a spiritual as its soul and a natural as its body, or a spiritual as its internal and a natural as its external; or a spiritual as the cause and a natural as the effect. That these two in any particular thing cannot be separated every wise person knows, for if you separate cause from effect or the internal from the external, the effect or the external goes to pieces, as when the soul is separated from the body.

That there is such a conjunction in the particular and even in the most particular things of nature has not yet been known. It has not been known because of the existing ignorance respecting the spiritual world, the sun there, and heat and light there, and because of the insanity of sensual men in ascribing all things to nature, and rarely anything to God except creation in general; and yet not the least thing is possible or can be possible in nature in which there is not a spiritual.

(Apocalypse Explained 1196)

May 29, 2017

The Primary Thing of the Church, by which There is Conjunction

From Apocalypse Explained ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
For Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood ... Rev 5:9
... the signification of "thou didst redeem us to God in Thy blood," as being that He conjoined us to the Divine by the acknowledgment of Him, and by the reception of Divine truth from Him; for "to redeem" signifies to liberate from hell, and thereby to appropriate men to Himself, and thus enjoin them to the Divine .... The "blood of the Lord" signifies Divine truth proceeding from Him; and because man by the reception of Divine truth from the Lord is liberated from hell and conjoined to Him, therefore "Thou didst redeem us to God in Thy blood" signifies conjunction with the Divine by the reception of the Divine truth from the Lord.

...the angels who are with men have no perception of these things according to that sense [of the letter], but according to the spiritual sense, for they are spiritual and therefore think spiritually and not naturally. To angels, "redeeming man in His blood" means liberating man from hell, and thus claiming and conjoining man to Himself by the acknowledgment of Him, and by the reception of Divine truth from Him. Moreover, the church may know that this is so; for it may know that no one is conjoined to the Divine by blood, but by the reception of the Divine truth, and the application of it to the life.

Liberation from hell by the Lord was accomplished by His assuming the Human, and through it subjugating the hells, and reducing to order all things in the heavens, which could have been done in no way except by the Human; for the Divine operates from firsts through ultimates, thus from Himself through the things that are from Himself in ultimates, which are in the Human. This is the operation of Divine power in heaven and in the world.

Liberation from hell by the Lord was also accomplished by His glorifying His Human, that is, making it Divine; for thus and not otherwise could He hold the hells in subjection forever; and as the subjugation of the hells and the glorification of His Human was accomplished by means of temptations admitted into his Human, His passion of the cross was His last temptation and complete victory. That "He bore the sins of all" signifies that He admitted into Himself all the hells when He was tempted, for from the hells all sins or evils ascend, and enter into man and are in him; therefore the Lord's "bearing sins" signifies that He admitted the hells into Himself when tempted; and His "taking away sins" means that He subjugated the hells, in order that evils may no more rise up from them, with those who acknowledge the Lord and receive Him, that is, who receive in faith and life the Divine truth proceeding from Him, and who are thus conjoined to the Lord.

It was said that "Thou didst redeem us to God in Thy blood" signifies conjunction with the Divine by the acknowledgment of the Lord, and the reception of Divine truth from Him; and as the church is founded on this, I will state briefly how conjunction is thereby effected:

The primary thing is to acknowledge the Lord, to acknowledge His Divine in the Human, and His omnipotence to save the human race; for by that acknowledgment man is conjoined to the Divine, since there is no Divine except in Him; for the Father is there; for the Father is in Him, and He in the Father, as the Lord Himself teaches; consequently they who look to another Divine near Him, or at His side, as those are wont to do who pray to the Father to have mercy for the sake of the Son, turn aside from the way and worship a Divine elsewhere than in Him.

Moreover, they then give no thought to the Divine of the Lord, but only to the Human, when yet these cannot be separated; for the Divine and the Human are not two, but a single person, conjoined like soul and body, according to the doctrine received by the churches from the Athanasian Creed.

Therefore to acknowledge the Divine in the Lord's Human, or the Divine Human, is the primary thing of the church, by which there is conjunction; and because it is the primary it is also the first thing of the church. It is because this is the first thing of the church, that the Lord, when He was in the world, so often said to those whom He healed, "Believest thou that I can do this?" and when they answered that they believed, He said, "Be it done according to thy faith." This He so often said that they might believe, in the first place, that from His Divine Human He had Divine omnipotence, for without that belief the church could not be begun, and without that belief they could not have been conjoined with the Divine, but must have been separated from it, and thus would not have been able to receive anything good from him.
Afterwards the Lord taught how they were to be saved, namely, by receiving Divine truth from Him - Truth is received when it is applied to the life and implanted in it by doing it; therefore the Lord so often said that they should do His words. From this it can be seen that these two things, namely, believing in the Lord and doing His words, make one, and can by no means be separated; for he who does not do the Lord's words does not believe in Him; so also he who thinks that he believes in Him and does not do His words does not believe in Him, for the Lord is in His words, that is, in His truths, and by them He gives faith to man.

From these few things it can be known that conjunction with the Divine is effected through the acknowledgment of the Lord and the reception of Divine truth from Him. This, therefore, is what is signified by "the Lamb redeeming us to God in His blood."

(A portion of Apocalypse Explained 328:2, 4-7)

May 24, 2017

Use is The Neighbor

Selection from Apocalypse Explained ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
The uses through which men and angels have wisdom
To love uses is nothing else than to love the neighbor, for use in the spiritual sense is the neighbor. This can be seen from the fact that everyone loves another not because of his face and body, but from his will and understanding; he loves one who has a good will and a good understanding, and does not love one with a good will and a bad understanding, or with a good understanding and a bad will.  And as a man is loved or not loved for these reasons, it follows that the neighbor is that from which everyone is a man, and that is his spiritual.  Place ten men before your eyes that you may choose one of them to be your associate in any duty or business; will you first find out about them and choose the one who comes nearest to your use?  Therefore he is your neighbor, and is loved more than the others.  Or become acquainted with ten maidens with the purpose of choosing one of them for your wife; do you not at first ascertain the character of each one, and if she consents betroth to you the one that you love?  That one is more your neighbor than the others.  If you should say to yourself, "Every man is my neighbor, and is therefore to be loved without distinction," a devil-man and an angel-man or a harlot and a virgin might be equally loved. Use is the neighbor, because every man is valued and loved not for his will and understanding alone, but for the uses he performs or is able to perform from these. Therefore a man of use is a man according to his use; and a man not of use is a man not a man, for of such a man it is said that he is not useful for anything; and although in this world he may be tolerated in a community so long as he lives from what is his own, after death when he becomes a spirit he is cast out into a desert.

Man, therefore, is such as his use is. But uses are manifold; in general they are heavenly or infernal.

Heavenly uses are those that are serviceable more or less, or more nearly or remotely, to the church, to the country, to society, and to a fellow-citizen, for the sake of these as ends;
...but infernal uses are those that are serviceable only to the man himself and those dependent on him; and if serviceable to the church, to the country, to society, or to a fellow citizen, it is not for the sake of these as ends, but for the sake of self as the end.
And yet everyone ought from love, though not from self-love, to provide the necessaries and requisites of life for himself and those dependent on him.

When man loves uses by doing them in the first place, and loves the world and self in the second place, the former constitutes his spiritual and the latter his natural; and the spiritual rules, and the natural serves. This makes evident what the spiritual is, and what the natural is. This is the meaning of the Lord's words in Matthew:

Seek ye first the kingdom of the heavens* and its justice, and all things shall be added unto you (Matt. 6:33).
"The kingdom of the heavens" means the Lord and His church, and "justice" means spiritual, moral, and civil good; and every good that is done from the love of these is a use. Then "all things shall be added," because when use is in the first place, the Lord, from whom is all good, is in the first place and rules, and gives whatever contributes to eternal life and happiness; for, as has been said, all things of the Lord's Divine providence pertaining to man look to what is eternal. "All things that shall be added" refer to food and raiment, because food means everything internal that nourishes the soul, and raiment everything external that like the body clothes it. Everything internal has reference to love and wisdom, and everything external to wealth and eminence. All this makes clear what is meant by loving uses for the sake of uses, and what the uses are from which man has wisdom, from which and according to which wisdom everyone has eminence and wealth in heaven.
(Apocalypse Explained 1193)

* Photolithograph has "kingdom of the heavens." Schmidius also has it. The Greek is "Kingdom of God."

May 19, 2017

The State of a Vastated Church

Selection from Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
Scarcely anyone knows how the case is with the rejection of an old church and the adoption of a new church. He who does not know man's interiors and their states, and consequently man's states after death, cannot but infer that those who are of the old church, and in whom good and truth have been laid waste, that is, are no longer at heart acknowledged, are to perish, either as the antediluvians perished by the flood, or as did the Jews by expulsion from their land, or in some other way. But when the church has been laid waste, that is, when it is no longer in any good of faith, it perishes chiefly in respect to the states of its interiors, thus in respect to its states in the other life. Heaven then removes itself away from them - and consequently the Lord - and transfers itself to others, who are adopted in their stead; for without a church somewhere on the earth there is no communication of heaven with man; for the church is like the heart and lungs of the Grand Man on the earth.

They who are then of the old church, and thus are removed from heaven, are in a kind of *inundation as to their interiors, and in fact in an inundation over the head. This inundation the man himself does not observe while he lives in the body, but he comes into it after death. In the other life this inundation plainly appears like a thick cloud by which they are encompassed and separated from heaven. The state of those who are in this thick cloud is that they cannot possibly see what the truth of faith is, and still less what is its good; for the light of heaven, in which is intelligence and wisdom, cannot penetrate into this cloud. This is the state of a vastated church.

(Arcana Coelestia 4423)
[*inundate - to cover with a flood]

May 14, 2017

In Six Days Jehovah Made Heaven and Earth and the Sea

Selection from Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:  But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. (Exodus 20:8-11)

For in six days Jehovah made heaven and earth and the sea. That this signifies the regeneration and vivification of those things which are in the internal and in the external man, is evident from the signification of "six days," as being states of combat, and when predicated of Jehovah, that is, the Lord, they signify His labor with man before he is regenerated; and from the signification of "heaven and earth," as being the church or kingdom of the Lord in man, "heaven" in the internal man, and "earth" in the external man, thus the regenerate man, that is, one who has found the new life and has thus been made alive; and from the signification of "the sea," as being the sensuous of man adhering to the corporeal.

In this verse the subject treated of is the hallowing of the seventh day, or the institution of the Sabbath, and it is described by the words, In six days Jehovah made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested in the seventh day; wherefore Jehovah blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it. They who do not think beyond the sense of the letter cannot believe otherwise than that the creation which is described in the first and second chapters of Genesis, is the creation of the universe, and that there were six days within which were created the heaven, the earth, the sea and all things which are therein, and finally man in the likeness of God.  But who that takes into consideration the particulars of the description cannot see that the creation of the universe is not there meant; for such things are there described as may be known from common sense not to have been so; as that there were days before the sun and the moon, as well as light and darkness, and that herbage and trees sprang up; and yet that the light was furnished by these luminaries, and a distinction was made between the light and the darkness, and thus days were made.

In what follows in the history there are also like things, which are hardly acknowledged to be possible by anyone who thinks interiorly, as that the woman was built from the rib of the man; also that two trees were set in paradise, of the fruit of one of which it was forbidden to eat; and that a serpent from one of them spoke with the wife of the man who had been the wisest of mortal creatures, and by his speech, which was from the mouth of the serpent, deceived them both; and that the whole human race, composed of so many millions, was in consequence condemned to hell.  The moment that these and other such things in that history are thought of, they must needs appear paradoxical to those who entertain any doubt concerning the holiness of the Word, and must afterward lead them to deny the Divine therein.  Nevertheless be it known that each and all things in that history, down to the smallest iota, are Divine, and contain within them arcana which before the angels in the heavens are plain as in clear day. The reason of this is that the angels do not see the sense of the Word according to the letter, but according to what is within, namely, what is spiritual and celestial, and within these, things Divine.  When the first chapter of Genesis is read, the angels do not perceive any other creation than the new creation of man, which is called regeneration. This regeneration is described in that history; by paradise the wisdom of the man who has been created anew; by the two trees in the midst thereof, the two faculties of that man, namely, the will of good by the tree of life, and the understanding of truth by the tree of knowledge.  And that it was forbidden to eat of this latter tree, was because the man who is regenerated, or created anew, must no longer be led by the understanding of truth, but by the will of good, and if otherwise, the new life within him perishes. Consequently by Adam, or man, and by Eve his wife, was there meant a new church, and by the eating of the tree of knowledge, the fall of that church from good to truth, consequently from love to the Lord and toward the neighbor to faith without these loves, and this by reasoning from their own intellectual, which reasoning is the serpent.

From all this it is evident that the historic narrative of the creation and the first man, and of paradise, is a history so framed as to contain within it heavenly and Divine things, and this according to the received method in the Ancient Churches. This method of writing extended thence also to many who were outside of that Church, who in like manner devised histories and wrapped up arcana within them, as is plain from the writers of the most ancient times. For in the Ancient Churches it was known what such things as are in the world signified in heaven, nor to those people were events of so much importance as to be described; but the things which were of heaven. These latter things occupied their minds, for the reason that they thought more interiorly than men at this day, and thus had communication with angels, and therefore it was delightful to them to connect such things together. But they were led by the Lord to those things which should be held sacred in the churches, consequently such things were composed as were in full correspondence.

From all this it can be seen what is meant by "heaven and earth" in the first verse of the first chapter of Genesis, namely, the church internal and external.  That these are signified by "heaven and earth" is evident also from passages in the prophets, where mention is made of "a new heaven and a new earth," by which a new church is meant.  From all this it is now plain that by, "In six days Jehovah made heaven and earth and the sea," is signified the regeneration and vivification of those things which are in the internal and in the external man.

(Arcana Coelestia 8891)

May 13, 2017

Two Essentials of All Things of Man's Life

Selection from Divine Love and Wisdom ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
The Divine Essence Itself Is Love And Wisdom
Sum up all things you know and submit them to careful inspection, and in some elevation of spirit search for the universal of all things, and you cannot conclude otherwise than that it is Love and Wisdom. For these are the two essentials of all things of man's life; everything of that life, civil, moral, and spiritual, hinges upon these two, and apart from these two is nothing. It is the same with all things of the life of the composite Man, which is ... a society, larger or smaller, a kingdom, an empire, a church, and also the angelic heaven. Take away love and wisdom from these, and consider whether they be anything, and you will find that apart from love and wisdom as their origin they are nothing.

Love together with wisdom in its very essence is in God. This no one can deny; for God loves every one from love in Himself, and leads every one from wisdom in Himself. The created universe, too, viewed in relation to its order, is so full of wisdom coming forth from love that all things in the aggregate may be said to be wisdom itself. For things limitless are in such order, successively and simultaneously, that taken together they make a one. It is from this, and this alone, that they can be held together and continually preserved.

It is because the Divine Essence itself is Love and Wisdom that man has two capacities for life - from one of these he has understanding, from the other will. The capacity from which he has understanding derives everything it has from the influx of wisdom from God, and the capacity from which he has will derives everything it has from the influx of love from God. Man's not being truly wise and not loving rightly does not take away these capacities, but merely closes them up; and so long as they are closed up, although the understanding is still called understanding and the will is called will, they are not such in essence. If these two capacities, therefore, were to be taken away, all that is human would perish; for the human is to think and to speak from thought, and to will and to act from will.

From this it is clear that the Divine has its seat in man in these two capacities, the capacity to be wise and the capacity to love (that is, that one may be wise and may love). That in man there is a possibility of loving [and of being wise], even when he is not wise as he might be and does not love as he might....

(Divine Love and Wisdom 28-30)

May 10, 2017

To Live in the Lord

From Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
Blessed be God Most High. 

In the Ancient Church, Jehovah was called "God Most High" for the reason that "height" represented and therefore signified what is internal, and thus "the Most High" signified what is inmost. Hence the worship of the Ancient Church was upon high places, mountains, and hills. The inmost also has the same relation to the exterior and the outermost, as the highest bears to the lower and the lowest. The Most High or the Inmost is the Celestial of Love, or Love, itself. Jehovah, or the Lord's internal man, was the very Celestial of Love, that is, Love itself, to which no other attributes are fitting than those of pure Love, thus of pure Mercy toward the whole human race which is such that it wills to save all and make them happy to eternity, and to bestow on them all that it has; thus out of pure mercy to draw all who are willing to follow, to heaven, that is, to itself, by the strong force of love. This Love itself is Jehovah.

Of nothing can Am or Is be predicated except of Love. From this Love - because in Love, or of Love itself - is the very Being [Esse] of all life, that is, Life itself; and because Jehovah alone is Being of life, or Life itself, as He alone is Love, each and all things have thence their being and their life; nor can anyone be and live of himself except Jehovah alone, that is, the Lord alone; and as no one can be and live of himself except the Lord alone, it is a fallacy of sense that men seem to themselves to live of themselves. The angels plainly perceive that they do not live of themselves, but from the Lord, since they live in the very being of the Lord's life, because in His love. But yet to them above all others there is given the appearance as of living from themselves, together with ineffable happiness. This therefore is to live in the Lord, which is never possible unless we live in His love, that is, in charity toward the neighbor.

(Arcana Coelestia 1735)

May 5, 2017

If I do good, do I avoid evil?

Selection from Last Judgment [Posthumous] ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
To do goods and not to fight against evils is to do goods from self and not from the Lord.

It is believed by many that they will be saved because they have done goods, as that they have given to the poor, benefitted their neighbor, acted sincerely and justly in their duty and work, and yet have never fought against the evils opposed to their goods; believing that thus evils are removed. It appears to them, moreover, as if goods removed evils; saying in heart, "If I do good then I shall avoid evil." Nevertheless the case is as follows:

that such a one does good from obedience to the precepts of the Lord, yet not from the Lord but from himself, thus not from any spiritual law except only apparently, but from a moral and civil law actually.
In this case his evils nevertheless remain; for although he does not do them, yet he is not averse to them. Consequently when the love of evil with its delight returns, he does not resist the evil, but either excuses it and does it, or omits doing it on account of himself and the world; moreover, he does not then know that it is evil.

The case is otherwise when he fights against evil from the spiritual law; for, insofar as he does this, he censures evil, and he then loves good and its truth; and in proportion as he does good from the Lord and not from himself, in the same proportion the Lord, by the good and truth in the man, removes his evils.

(Last Judgment Posthumous 349 [342])

May 4, 2017

The Church - The Home for Love and Wisdom in Use

Selection from Divine Love and Wisdom ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
In the Lord the three degrees of height are infinite and uncreate, but in man the three degrees are finite and created.

In the Lord the three degrees of height are infinite and uncreate, because the Lord is Love itself and Wisdom itself; and because the Lord is Love itself and Wisdom itself, He is also Use itself. For love has use for its end, and brings forth use by means of wisdom; for without use, love and wisdom have no boundary or end, that is, no home of their own, consequently they cannot be said to have being and have form unless there be use in which they may be. These three constitute the three degrees of height in subjects of life.  These three are like first end, middle end which is called cause, and last end which is called effect.

In man there are these three degrees can be seen from the elevation of his mind even to the degrees of love and wisdom in which angels of the second and third heavens are; for all angels were born men; and man, as regards the interiors pertaining to his mind, is a heaven in least form; therefore there are in man, by creation, as many degrees of height as there are heavens. Moreover, man is an image and likeness of God; consequently these three degrees have been inscribed on man, because they are in God-Man, that is, in the Lord. That in the Lord these degrees are infinite and uncreate, and in man finite and created - that the Lord is Love and Wisdom in Himself; and that man is a recipient of love and wisdom from the Lord; also, that of the Lord nothing but what is infinite can be predicated, and of man nothing but what is finite.

These three degrees with the angels are called Celestial, Spiritual, and Natural; and for them the celestial degree is the degree of love, the spiritual the degree of wisdom, and the natural the degree of uses. These degrees are so called because the heavens are divided into two kingdoms, one called the celestial, the other the spiritual, to which is added a third kingdom wherein are men in the world, and this is the natural kingdom. Moreover, the angels of whom the celestial kingdom consists are in love; the angels, of whom the spiritual kingdom consists are in wisdom; while men in the world are in uses; therefore these kingdoms are conjoined.

(Divine Love and Wisdom 230-232)

May 3, 2017

Five Precepts Doctrinal Ideas of the Faith and Charity of the New Church

From Conjugial Love ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
The doctrinal ideas of the Church which is meant by the 'New Jerusalem' are as follows:
  • (1) There is one God, in whom is the Divine Trinity, and He is the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • (2) Saving faith is to believe in Him.
  • (3) Evils are to be shunned as sins, because they are of the devil and from the devil.
  • (4) Goods are to be done, because they are of God and from God.
  • (5) They are to be done by a man as of himself; yet he must believe that they are from the Lord with him and through him.
'That there is one God, in whom is the Divine Trinity, and that He is the Lord Jesus Christ' - Is not God one and indivisible? Is there not a Trinity? If God is one and indivisible, is He not one person? If one person, is not the Trinity in that person? That He is the Lord Jesus Christ:-
  • He was conceived of God the Father (Luke 1:34, 35);
so that as to the soul He is God, and hence, as He Himself says:-
  • The Father and He are one (John 10:30)
  • He is in the Father and the Father in Him (John xiv. 10, 11)
  • He who sees Him and knows Him, sees and knows the Father (John 14:7, 9)
  • No one sees and knows the Father but He who is in the bosom of the Father (John 1:18)
  • All things of the Father are His (John 3:35; 16:15)
  • He is the way, the truth, and the life, and no man comes to the Father but by Him (John 14:6)
Thus He is from Him because He is in Him; and, according to Paul:-
  • In him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily (Colossians 2:9)
  • He has power over all flesh (John 17:2)
  • He has all power in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18)
It follows that He is the God of heaven and earth.

'That saving faith is to believe in Him.'

  • This is the will of the Father, that every one who believes in the Son shall have everlasting life (John 6:40).
  • God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).
  • He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; but he who believes not the Son shall not see life, but the anger of God abides on him (John 3:36).
'Evils are to be shunned as sins, because they are of the devil and from the devil.'

'Goods are to be done, because they are of God and from God.'

'They are to be done by a man as of himself; yet he must believe that they are from the Lord with him and through him.'

What need is there to prove that 'evils are to be shunned because they are of the devil and from the devil'?  And that 'goods are to be done because they are of God and from God'? And that 'these things ought to be done by man as if of himself, yet that he ought to believe that they are done from the Lord with him and through him'?

Sacred Scripture from beginning to end confirms the truth of these three doctrines. What else does it contain in summary but admonition to shun evils and do goods and to believe in the Lord God?  Without these three, moreover, there is no religion. Is not religion a matter of life?  And what is life but shunning evils and doing goods?  And how can a man do and believe these things except as of himself? Therefore if you take these doctrines away from the Church you take away the Sacred Scriptures from it, and you also take religion away from it, and when that is removed from it, the Church is not a Church.

(Conjugial Love 82)

May 1, 2017

Man Is Not Life, But A Receptacle Of Life From God

From True Christian Religion ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
Who does not see, when he is able to think from reason elevated above the sensual things of the body, that life is not creatable? For what is life but the inmost activity of the love and wisdom that are in God and are God, which life, indeed, may be called the essential living force? He who sees this can also see that this life cannot be transferred into any man, except in connection with love and wisdom. Who denies or can deny that every good of love and every truth of wisdom is solely from God, and that so far as man receives these from God he lives from God, and is said to be born of God, that is, regenerated? On the other hand, so far as one does not receive love and wisdom, or what is the same, charity and faith, he does not receive from God the life that is life in itself, but life from hell, and this is no other than inverted life which is called spiritual death.

From the foregoing it can be perceived and concluded that the following things are not creatable, namely:

    (1) The infinite is not.
    (2) Love and wisdom are not.
    (3) Consequently life is not.
    (4) Light and heat are not.
    (5) Even activity itself viewed in itself is not.
But organs receptive of these are creatable and have been created.
These statements may be illustrated by the following comparisons:
    Light is not creatable, but its organ, the eye, is
    Sound, which is an activity of the atmosphere, is not creatable, but its organ, the ear
    Heat, which is the primary active principle, for the reception of which all things in the three kingdoms of nature have been created, and according to this reception are acted upon, but do not act
It is from the order of creation, that wherever there are actives there are also passives, and that these two should join themselves together as a one. If actives were creatable as passives are there would have been no need of the sun, and heat and light from it, but all created things would have permanent existence without these. But if these should be taken away the created universe would lapse into chaos.

The sun itself of this world consists of created substances, the activity of which produces fire. These things are presented for the sake of illustration. It would be the same with man, if spiritual light, which in its essence is wisdom, and spiritual heat, which in its essence is love, did not flow into man and were not received by him. The entire man is nothing but a form organized to receive light and heat, both from the natural world and from the spiritual world, for these two worlds correspond to each other. If it were denied that man is a form receptive of love and wisdom from God, influx would also be denied, and thus that all good is from God. Conjunction with God would also be denied, and consequently, that man can be an abode and temple of God would be an expression devoid of meaning.

(True Christian Religion 471,472)