June 8, 2015

For the Sake of Man's Apprehension

Selections from a passage in Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
... As in heaven, and with man, and even in universal nature, all things both in general and in particular have relation to good and truth, therefore also the Lord's Divine is distinguished into Divine good and Divine truth, and the Lord's Divine good is called "father," and his Divine truth "son"; but the Lord's Divine is nothing else than good; yea, good itself; and Divine truth is the Lord's Divine good so appearing in heaven; that is, before the angels. The case herein is the same as with the sun; in its essence the sun itself is nothing but fire, and the light which is thence seen is not in the sun, but from the sun.

... Thus the Lord in His essence is nothing else than Divine good, and this as to both the Divine Itself and the Divine Human; but Divine truth is not in Divine good, but from Divine good, for as before said so does Divine good appear in heaven. And as Divine good comes to appearance as Divine truth, therefore for the sake of man's apprehension the Lord's Divine is distinguished into Divine good and Divine truth, and Divine good is that which in the Word is called "Father," and Divine truth is that which is called "Son." This is the arcanum which lies concealed in the fact that the Lord Himself so often speaks of His Father as distinct, and as if another than Himself; and yet in other places asserts that He is one with Himself.

... it is the Lord who in the Word of the Old Testament is called "Jehovah," ... and that He is there also called "Father" is evident from the following passage. In Isaiah:
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, Counselor, God, Hero, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6);
where it is very evident that the "Child born" and the "Son given unto us" is the Lord; thus it is the Lord who is called the "Father of Eternity."

... in the other life, and therefore in heaven they call no other Father than the Lord, and perceive no other as meant by "Father" in the Word of the Evangelists. When being initiated into the good of love and its truth, all little children are there taught to acknowledge the Lord alone as their Father; nay, even novitiates who come into heaven are taught with solicitous care that there is one God; and they who have been born within the church are taught that the whole Trinity is in the Lord; for almost all who come from the Christian world bring with them an idea of three gods, although with their lips they had said that there is but one God; for to think of one, when the idea of three has before entered, and when each of these is called God, and also is distinguished from the others as to attributes and offices, and likewise is separately worshiped, is humanly impossible; consequently the worship of three gods is in the heart, while the worship of one only is in the mouth.

That the whole Trinity is in the Lord is known in the Christian world, and yet among these in the other life the Lord is little thought of; nay, His Human is a stumbling-block to many, because they distinguish the Human from the Divine, neither do they believe it to be Divine; and a man will call himself justified, and thus made pure and almost holy; but these people do not think that the Lord was glorified, that is, that His Human was made Divine; when yet He was conceived from Jehovah Himself; and moreover no one can be justified, much less sanctified, except from the Divine, and indeed from the Lord's Divine Human, which is represented and signified in the Holy Supper, where it is expressly said that the bread is His body and the wine His blood. That the Lord is one with the Father, and that He is from eternity, and that He rules the universe, consequently that He is Divine good and Divine truth itself, is very evident from the Word.

That HE IS ONE WITH THE FATHER, is evident from these words in John:  No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father (John 1:18).

The Jews sought the more to kill Jesus because He had also said that God was His own Father, making Himself equal with God. Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do; for what things soever He doeth, these doeth the Son likewise. As the Father raiseth the dead and quickeneth them, even so the Son also quickeneth whom He will. Neither doth the Father judge any man, but He hath given all judgment unto the Son; that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. For as the Father hath life in Himself, even so hath He given to the Son also to have life in Himself. The Father who hath sent Me hath Himself borne witness of Me; ye have neither heard His voice at any time nor seen His shape. Search the Scriptures, for these are they which bear witness of Me (John 5:18, etc.).

By "Father" is here meant, as was said, Divine good; and by "Son," Divine truth, both in the Lord. From Divine good which is the "Father," nothing can proceed or go forth but what is Divine, and that which proceeds or goes forth is Divine truth, which is the "Son."

Everyone that hath heard from the Father, and hath learned, cometh unto Me. Not that any man hath seen the Father, save He that is with the Father, He hath seen the Father (John 6:45-46).

They said therefore unto Him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me nor My Father; if ye knew Me ye would know My Father also (John 8:19).

I and the Father are one: though ye believe not Me, believe the works; that ye may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father (John 10:30, 38).

Jesus said, He that believeth in Me, believeth not in Me, but in Him that sent Me; and he that seeth Me, seeth Him that sent Me. I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth in Me may not abide in darkness (John 12:44-46).

By "the Father sending Him" is signified, in the internal sense, that He proceeds from the Father; and the same is signified in other passages where the Lord says that the Father "sent" Him. That the "light" is Divine truth may be seen above.

I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one cometh unto the Father but by Me. If ye had known Me ye would have known My Father also; and from henceforth ye know Him, and have seen Him. Philip saith unto Him, Lord, show us the Father. Jesus saith unto him, Am I so long time with you, and hast thou not known Me, Philip? He that seeth Me, seeth the Father; how then sayest thou, Show us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak unto you, I speak not from Myself; but the Father that abideth in Me, He doeth the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me. And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son (John 14:6-13).

He that hath My commandments, and doeth them, he it is that loveth Me; and he that loveth Me shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him, and will manifest Myself unto him. If a man love Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him and make Our abode with him (John 14:21, 23).

They who are in Divine truth are they who "have His commandments and do them"; and they who are in Divine good are they who "love Him;" of whom it is therefore said that He "shall be loved of the Father," and "We will come unto him and make Our abode with him"; that is, Divine good and Divine truth will do so; and therefore it is said in the same Evangelist: In that day ye shall know that I am in My Father, and ye in Me (John 14:20).
Holy Father, keep them in Thy name; that they may be one, even as We are
(John 17:11).

From these passages it is evident that the Lord speaks of the "Father" from the Divine good that He Himself had, and of the "Son" from the Divine truth which is from the Divine good; thus that the "Father" and "Son" are not two, but one. The reason why the Lord so spoke, was that the Word might be received as well on earth as in heaven; and also because, before the Lord was glorified, He was the Divine truth that is from Divine good; but when He had been glorified, He was Divine good itself as to each essence, and from Him is all Divine good and Divine truth.

THAT THE LORD WAS FROM ETERNITY may be seen from the fact that it is the Lord who spoke by the Prophets; and that for this reason, and also because from Him was Divine truth, He was called the "Word"; concerning which 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. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we held His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father (John 1:1-4, 14).

The "Word" denotes all truth in the heavens and on earth that is from the Divine.

That the Lord was from eternity He plainly teaches elsewhere in John: John said, This was He of whom I said, He that cometh after me was before me, for He was prior to me. In the midst of you there standeth One whom ye know not; He it is who is to come after me, who was before me (John 1:15, 26-27, 30).

If ye should see the Son of man ascending where He was before (John 6:62).

Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am (John 8:58).

Jesus knowing that He came forth from God, and went to God (John 13:3).

The Father Himself loveth you, because ye have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from the Father. I came out from the Father, and came into the world; again I leave the world, and go unto the Father (John 16:27-28).

I have glorified Thee on the earth, I have accomplished the work which Thou gavest Me to do. And now O Father glorify Me with Thine own self, with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was; that they may behold My glory which Thou hast given Me, for Thou lovedst Me before the foundation of the world (John 17:4-5, 24).

In Isaiah:
Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, God, Hero, Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6).

THAT THE LORD RULES THE UNIVERSE is evident in Matthew:  All things have been delivered unto Me of My Father (Matt. 11:27).

Jesus said to His disciples, All power is given unto Me in heaven and on earth (Matt. 28:18).

In John:
The Father loveth the Son and hath given all things into His hand; he that believeth in the Son hath eternal life (John 3:35-36).

The Father judgeth no man, but hath given all judgment unto the Son (John 5:22).

Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into His hand (John 13:3).

All things whatsoever that the Father hath are Mine (John 16:15).

Jesus said, Glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee; even as Thou hast given Him authority over all flesh (John 17:1-2).

All things that are Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine; and I am glorified in them. And I am no more in the world, for I come to Thee (John 17:10-11).

In Luke:
All things have been delivered unto Me of My Father (Luke 10:22).

From the above passages it is therefore evident that Divine good is that which is called the "Father"; and Divine truth that which is called the "Son"; and that the Lord from Divine good by Divine truth rules all things in the universe, in both general and particular. This being so, and it being so evident from the Word, it is astonishing that in the Christian world, men do not, as in heaven, acknowledge and adore the Lord alone, and thus the one God; for they know and teach that the whole Trinity is in the Lord. That the Holy Spirit, who also is worshiped as a God distinct from the Son and the Father, is the Holy of the spirit, or the Holy which through spirits or angels proceeds from the Lord, that is, from His Divine good through His Divine truth, will of the Lord's Divine mercy be shown elsewhere.

(Arcana Coelestia 3704)