September 29, 2015

God Blessed - The Presence and Grace of the Lord

From Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
That "God blessed" signifies the presence and grace of the Lord, is evident from the signification of "to bless."

"To bless" in the Word, in the external sense signifies to enrich with every earthly and corporeal good, according to the explanation of the Word given by those who abide in the external sense - as the ancient and modern Jews, and also Christians, especially at the present day - wherefore they have made the Divine blessing to consist in riches, in an abundance of all things, and in self-glory.

But in the internal sense, "to bless" is to enrich with all spiritual and celestial good, which blessing is and never can be given except by the Lord, and on this account it signifies His presence and grace, which necessarily bring with them such spiritual and celestial good. It is said presence, because the Lord is present solely in charity, .... The Lord is indeed present with every man, but in proportion as a man is distant from charity, in the same proportion the presence of the Lord is - so to speak - more absent, that is, the Lord is more remote.

The reason why grace is mentioned, and not mercy, is for the reason - which as I conjecture, has been hitherto unknown - that celestial men do not speak of grace, but of mercy, while spiritual men do not speak of mercy, but of grace. This mode of speaking is grounded in the circumstance that those who are celestial acknowledge the human race to be nothing but filthiness, and as being in itself excrementitious and infernal; wherefore they implore the mercy of the Lord, for mercy is predicated of such a condition. Those, however, who are spiritual, although they know the human race to be of such a nature, yet they do not acknowledge it, because they remain in their Own, which they love, and therefore they speak with difficulty of mercy, but easily of grace. This difference in language results from the difference in the humiliation. In proportion as anyone loves himself, and thinks that he can do good of himself, and thus merit salvation, the less capable is he of imploring the Lord's mercy. The reason why some can implore grace is that it has become a customary form of speaking, in which there is but little of the Lord and much of self, as anyone may discover in himself while he names the grace of the Lord.
(Arcana Coelestia 981)