March 28, 2016

The Conjunction of the Lord with Those Who Believe in Him

From Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
When speaking of His union with the Father, the Lord speaks immediately and without a break of His conjunction with the human race; because this was the cause of the union, as is evident in John:
That they all may be one, as Thou Father art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in us; the glory which Thou hast given Me I have given them, that they may be one, even as we are one, I in them, and Thou in Me, for I have made known unto them Thy name, and will make it known, that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them (John 17:21, 22, 26)
which it is evident that in the union of Himself with the Father the Lord had in view the conjunction of Himself with the human race, and that He had this at heart, because it was His love; for all conjunction is effected by means of love, love being conjunction itself.
Again in the same gospel:
Because I live, ye shall live also in that day ye shall know that I am in the Father, and ye in Me, and I in you; he that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me (John 14:19-21)
from which in like manner it is evident that in the union of His Human Essence with His Divine Essence the Lord had in view the conjunction of Himself with the human race, and that this was His end, and this His love, which was such that the salvation of the human race, as held in the union of Himself with His Father, was to Him the inmost joy. There is also here described that which unites, namely, to have and to do His commandments, and thereby to love the Lord.


Father, glorify Thy name; there came therefore a voice from heaven, I have both glorified and will glorify it again. Jesus said, This voice hath not come for My sake, but for your sakes. But I, when I shall be lifted up from the earth, will draw all after Me (John 12:28, 30, 32)
by "glorification" is meant union, as before said; and that in the union of Himself with the Father He regarded the conjunction of Himself with the human race, is openly said in the words, "when I shall be lifted up, I will draw all after Me."

That conjunction of the Infinite or Supreme Divine with the human race was effected through the Lord's Human made Divine, and that this conjunction was the cause of the Lord's coming into the world, is an arcanum into which many inquire in their own minds, and because they do not comprehend, they do not believe it; and as they do not believe for the reason that they do not comprehend, it becomes a scandal or stumbling-block to them. ... Very many of these - almost the greater part of those who had been men of talent in the world - when they merely think that the Lord became a man, and in external form was like other men, that He suffered, and that nevertheless He rules the universe, at once fill the sphere with scandals ... in the other life the interiors are open, and are made manifest by the sphere diffused from them. ...

Seeing that such is the case, it may be well to explain the matter a little further. After all the celestial in man had perished, that is, all love to God, so that there was no longer any will of good, the human race had then been separated from the Divine; for nothing effects conjunction except love, and when this had been annihilated, there was disjunction; and when there is disjunction, then destruction and extirpation follow. Therefore the promise was then made respecting the Lord's coming into the world, who should unite the Human to the Divine, and by this union should effect in Himself the conjunction of the human race by means of the faith of love and of charity.

From the time of the first promise (spoken of in Gen. 3:15) the faith of love in the Lord who was to come effected conjunction. But when there was no longer any faith of love remaining in the whole world, then the Lord came and united the Human Essence to the Divine Essence, so that they were altogether one, as He Himself clearly says; and at the same time He taught the way of truth, that everyone who should believe in Him - that is, who should love Him and the things that are His, and who should be in His love which is love toward the universal human race, thus in love toward the neighbor-should be conjoined and saved.

When, in the Lord, the Human was made Divine, and the Divine Human, the result was an influx of the Infinite or Supreme Divine with man that otherwise could not possibly have existed; and an additional result was the dispersion of the direful persuasions of falsity and the direful cupidities of evil with which the world of spirits was brimful, and with which it was continually being filled full from the souls arriving from the world; and they who were in those persuasions and cupidities were cast into hell, and thereby were separated. Unless this had been done, the human race would have perished, for the Lord rules the human race by means of spirits. Nor could they have been dispersed in any other way, for no operation of the Divine was possible through man's rational things into those of internal sense, because these are far below the Supreme Divine when not so united; not to mention still deeper arcana that cannot be explained to the apprehension of any man. ...

(Arcana Coelestia 2034:2-8)

March 27, 2016

Nine Questions - Nine Answers

Addendum to the Doctrine of the Lord ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
In what sense did the Lord call Himself the SON OF MAN, if He took only flesh from the mother, and not a rational soul? Has the human sonship regard solely to the human flesh?

The Lord called Himself the Son of man because He was the Word or Divine truth even as to the Human; for in the spiritual sense "Son of man" signifies the truth of the church from the Word. The same was signified by "prophet," because the prophets taught truths from the Word; and therefore the Lord, who was a Prophet in a pre-eminent degree, and also the Word, and therefore the Divine truth, called Himself, as to the Human, the Son of man. This is why, in the Prophets and Psalms passim where the vastation of truth in the church is treated of, it is said that the Son of man abides not there; and this also is why the prophets themselves were called sons of man, as Ezekiel in Ezek. 2:1, 3, 6, 8; 3:1, 3-4, 10, 17, 25; and very frequently in the succeeding chapters; and also Daniel. That such is the case has been shown from many passages quoted in the Angelic Wisdom concerning the Lord, which consult if at hand.

Had the Lord a rational soul from Jehovah the Father, to which was united the Divine Esse, whence He became very God and very Man?

The Lord from eternity (that is, Jehovah) was Divine love and Divine wisdom, and He then had a Divine Celestial and a Divine Spiritual; but not, before He assumed the Human, a Divine Natural. And as the Rational is predicated solely of the celestial and spiritual Natural, it follows that by the assumption of the Human, Jehovah the Lord did also put on the Divine Rational. He had a Divine Rational before the assumption of the Human, but by means of influx into the angelic heaven; and when He had manifested Himself in this world, He did so by means of an angel whom He filled with His Divinity. For the purely Divine Essence (which as just said was purely Divine celestial and Divine spiritual) transcends both the angelic and the human Rational. But that Divine Rational existed by means of influx. Its nature may be inferred from what is said below on the sixth point. Luther and Melanchthon teach that in Christ Man is God and God is Man, which also is according to Holy Scripture, as may be seen in the True Christian Religion, n. 137. But Calvin denied it, and merely affirmed that Christ is God and Man.

Was there not always a Trinity in the Divine nature, to be understood in this way: the Divine Love, the Divine Wisdom, and the quickening Spirit, or Holy proceeding?

The Divine Trinity in one Person is to be understood as soul, body, and proceeding operation, which together constitute one essence, for the one is from the other, and therefore the one belongs to the other. In the same way there is a trinity in each man, which taken together constitutes one person, to wit, the soul, the body, and the operation that goes forth. But in man this trinity is finite, because man is only an organ of life; whereas in the Lord the Trinity is infinite and thus Divine, because the Lord is life itself even in respect to the Human, as He Himself teaches in John 5:26; 14:6; and also elsewhere.

Does not the Son, by whom Jehovah is said to have created the worlds (Heb. 1:2; 11:3), signify the same as the Divine wisdom in Jer. 10:12; 51:15; so that the essential Wisdom or Logos of God in first principles, is now become the Truth or Logos of God in ultimates?

That the Lord (that is, the Word or Divine truth through which all things were made that were made, and through which the world was created, John 1:3, 10) was the Divine wisdom which together with the Divine love constitutes one Divine Essence, and thus one and the same God, follows of course; for the Divine wisdom is also the Divine truth, because all things of wisdom are truths, and wisdom produces nothing but truths, for it is their containant, exactly in accordance with Jer. 10:12; 51:15. The same is understood also by the statement that is made in Ps.33:6. The "spirit (or "breath") of Jehovah's mouth" also is wisdom; and the "word" there mentioned is the Divine love and the Divine wisdom together, for it is said, "And God was the Word" (John 1:1).

Is not the "Holy Spirit" in the New Testament the same as the "Spirit of God" in the Old Testament, with the sole difference that before the Lord's incarnation it proceeded either immediately from the Divine Esse or Jehovah, or mediately through angels, and after the incarnation through the Son or Divine Human? Is not the Holy Spirit the same as the sphere of God?

The Spirit of God and the Holy Spirit are two distinct things. The Spirit of God neither did nor could operate on man except imperceptibly; whereas the Holy Spirit, which proceeds solely from the Lord, operates on man perceptibly, and enables him to comprehend spiritual truths in a natural way; for the Lord has united the Divine Natural to the Divine Celestial and the Divine Spiritual, and He operates from these two through that. Besides, "Holy" in the Word is predicated solely of Divine truth, thus of the Lord, who is Divine truth not only in the celestial and spiritual but also in the natural sense; and therefore it is said in the Revelation that the Lord alone is Holy (15:3, 4). (See also the Apocalypse Revealed, n. 173.) It is also said in John: "The Holy Spirit was not yet, because Jesus was not yet glorified" (7:39).

The Holy Spirit is the same as the Divine sphere if by this is meant the Divine love and Divine wisdom, which two proceed from Jehovah the Lord from the sun of the angelic heaven, as do heat and light from the sun of the natural world and constitute its sphere. For in its essence the heat of the sun of the angelic heaven is love, and the light wisdom. And to these two the heat and light of the sun of this world correspond.
Was the Divine Human of Jehovah, before the incarnation, a Person subsisting per se, as the Manifestation [existere], Form, or Body of God? Or was it an angelic form assumed on occasion for the sake of manifestation? Does it not follow that the Divine Human before the incarnation was different from the Divine Human which now is since the incarnation, seeing that the Divine Trinity is in the Lord's Person?

Before the incarnation there was not any Divine Human except a representative one by means of some angel whom Jehovah the Lord filled with His Spirit, as has been said above. And as that was representative, all things of the church at that time were representative, and like shadows; but after the incarnation the representatives ceased, like the shades of evening or night at the rising of the sun. That representative Human in which Jehovah then presented Himself in this world before His actual advent, was not of such efficacy as to be able spiritually to enlighten men, and therefore enlightenment was then effected solely by means of types and figures.

May not the Most Holy Trinity be properly said to be one and the same Lord in three characters, distinctions of offices, or relations toward men, as Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; Divine Esse, Divine Human, and Holy proceeding: not as three Persons, out of which there would necessarily be made three Gods?

The Most Holy Trinity in one Person is to be apprehended as the Divine Esse, the Divine Human, and the Divine proceeding; thus as soul, body, and derivative power [virtus] and operation, precisely as given in the Memorable Relation inserted in the work entitled The True Christian Religion, n. 188. As productions from these there follow in order creation, redemption, and regeneration; for creation is an attribute of the Divine Esse, redemption of the Divine Human from the Divine Esse, and regeneration of the Holy Spirit, which is the primary power [virtus], or operation, by the Divine Human from the Divine Esse, according to what has been advanced in the True Christian Religion, n. 153-155.

It is said in 1 Cor. 15:45, "The first man Adam was made a living soul;" and in the genealogy in Luke 3, he is placed as the first after God, and it is said, "who was the son of God." Does not the regarding of Adam as a church contradict this?

In the genealogy in Luke it is said that Adam was "of God, "that is, created by God, and not the son of God.

If there was no individual called Noah, how comes it to be said in Ezek. 14:14: "Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job," etc.? I lay no great stress on these matters [says Mr. Hartley], but I had a mind to propose them.

The reason Noah is mentioned in Ezek. 14:14 is that he had been mentioned in Genesis, and consequently the same is signified in the Prophet as in Moses, namely, that the man with his three sons was significative of a subsequent church, on which subject see what has been delivered in the Arcana Coelestia.
(Nine Questions)

March 23, 2016

Man is Regenerated (Made New) By Temptations

From Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
Good cannot be conjoined with truth in the natural man without combats, or what is the same, without temptations.
Man is nothing but an organ, or vessel, which receives life from the Lord; for man does not live from himself.
The life which inflows with man from the Lord is from His Divine love. This love, or the life thence derived, inflows and applies itself to the vessels which are in man's rational, and to those which are in his natural. In consequence of the hereditary evil into which man is born, and of the actual evil which he acquires, these vessels are in a contrary position within him relatively to the inflowing life, yet insofar as the life which flows in can dispose the vessels to receive it, it does so dispose them. These vessels in the rational man, and in the natural, are what are called truths, but in themselves they are merely perceptions of the variations of form of these vessels, and of the changes of state according to which in divers ways these variations come forth, being effected in the most subtle substances, by methods inexpressible. Good itself, which has life from the Lord, or which is life, is that which flows in and disposes.

When therefore these vessels, which are to be varied as to forms, are as before said in a contrary position and direction in respect to the life, it is evident that they must be reduced to a position in accordance with the life, or into compliance with it. This cannot possibly be effected so long as the man is in that state into which he is born, and to which he has reduced himself; for the vessels are not obedient, being obstinately resistant, and hardening themselves against the heavenly order according to which the life acts; for the good which moves them, and with which they comply, is of the love of self and of the world; which good, from the gross heat that is in it, causes them to be of such a quality; and therefore before they can be rendered compliant and 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 temptations; for temptations remove all that is of the love of self and of contempt for others in comparison with self, consequently all that is of self-glory, and also of hatred and revenge on this account. When therefore the vessels have been 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 in with man.

Hence then it is that good begins to be conjoined with truths; first in the rational man, and afterwards in the natural; for as before said truths are nothing else than perceptions of the variations of form according to states that are continually being changed; and these perceptions are from the life which flows in. 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 nature; being made mild, humble, simple, and contrite in heart. From these considerations it may now be seen what use temptations promote, namely, that good from the Lord may not only flow in, but may also dispose the vessels to obedience, and thus conjoin itself with them. ... ...

But as regards the Lord ... He 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 are other men, but altogether Divine. For the man who is made new by regeneration still retains in himself an inclination to evil, and even evil itself; but is withheld from evil by an influx of the life of the Lord's love, and this with a force exceeding great; whereas the Lord utterly cast out all the evil that was hereditary to Him from the mother, and made Himself Divine, even as to the vessels, that is, as to truths. This is that which in the Word is called "GLORIFICATION."

(Arcana Coelestia 3318)

March 22, 2016

The Perfection of Life Consists in the Perception of Truth from the Light of Truth

From True Christian Religion ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
There are three degrees of love and wisdom, and consequently three degrees of life, and that the human mind is formed into regions, as it were, in accordance with these degrees;

In the highest region life is in its highest degree, in the second region in a less degree, and in the outmost region in the lowest degree. These regions are opened in men successively -

  • the outmost region, where there is life in the lowest degree, from infancy to childhood; and this is done by means of knowledges:
  • the second region, where there is life in a larger degree, from childhood to youth; and this is done by means of thought from knowledges:
  • and the highest region, where there is life in the highest degree, from youth to early manhood and onward; and this is done by means of perceptions of moral and spiritual truths.
It must be further understood that it is not in thought that the perfection of life consists, but in the perception of truth from the light of truth. From this it may be inferred what the differences of life are in men; for there are some who the moment they hear a truth perceive that it is true; and these in the spiritual world are represented by eagles. There are others who have no perception of truth, but reach conclusions by means of confirmations from appearances; and these are represented by singing birds. Others believe a thing to be true because it has been asserted by a man of authority; these are represented by magpies.

Finally, there are some who have no desire and no ability to perceive what is true, but only what is false, for the reason that they are in a delusive light, in which falsity appears to be true, and what is true seems either like something overhead concealed in a dense cloud, or like a meteor, or like something false. The thoughts of these are represented by birds of night, and their speech by screech owls. Of this class those that have confirmed their falsities cannot bear to hear truths, and the moment any truth strikes the ear they repel it with aversion, as a stomach overcharged with bile from nausea vomits its food.

(True Christian Religion 42)

March 21, 2016

Higher Things Being in the Ultimate of Order as in Their House

From Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
Such an order has been instituted by the Lord that higher things inflow into lower ones, and therein present an image of themselves in general, and consequently are together therein in a certain general form, and thus are in order from the Highest, that is, from the Lord.

From this it is that the proximate image of the Lord is the inmost heaven, which is the heaven of innocence and peace, where those who are celestial dwell; which heaven, because nearest to the Lord, is called His "likeness."

The next heaven, namely, that which succeeds and is in a lower degree, is an "image" of the Lord, because in this heaven, as in something general, there are simultaneously presented the things which are in the higher heaven.

The ultimate heaven, which succeeds this again, is similarly circumstanced, for the particulars and singulars of the heaven next higher inflow into this heaven, and are therein presented in general, and in a correspondent form.

The case is similar with man, for he has been created and formed to be an image of the three heavens.

In man that which is inmost inflows in like manner into that which is lower; and this in like manner into that which is lowest or last. The natural and corporeal consists of such an influx and concourse into those things which are beneath, and finally into those which are last. In this way there is a connection of the last or ultimate things with the first, without which connection that which is last in order would not subsist a single moment.

Thus it is manifest what is meant by higher things being in the ultimate of order as in their house. Whether we speak of things higher and lower, or interior and exterior, it is the same; for to man's view things interior appear as higher; and for this reason man places heaven on high, when yet it is in what is internal.

(Arcana Coelestia 3739)

March 20, 2016

From Things External Seeing Things Internal

Passage from Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
The Sight of the Interior Man which from Things External Sees Things Internal

Things internal are led forth, when with the eyes of the body a man contemplates the starry heaven, and thence thinks of the Lord's kingdom. Whenever a man sees anything with his eyes, and sees the things that he looks upon as if he saw them not, but from them sees or thinks of the things which are of the church or of heaven, then his interior sight, or that of his spirit or soul, is "led forth abroad." The eye itself is properly nothing but the sight of his spirit led forth abroad, and this especially to the end that he may see internal things from external; that is, that he may, from the objects in the world, reflect continually upon those which are in the other life; for this is the life for the sake of which he lives in the world. Such was the sight in the Most Ancient Church; such is the sight of the angels who are with man; and such was the Lord's sight.

  • A Representation of the Lord's Kingdom in a Mental View of the Universe
"Heaven" in the Word, in the internal sense, does not signify the heavens which appear to the eyes; but the Lord's kingdom, universally and particularly. When a man who is looking at internal things from external sees the heavens, he does not think at all of the starry heaven, but of the angelic heaven; and when he sees the sun, he does not think of the sun, but of the Lord, as being the Sun of heaven. So too when he sees the moon, and the stars also; and when he sees the immensity of the heavens, he does not think of their immensity, but of the immeasurable and infinite power of the Lord. It is the same when he sees all other things, for there is nothing that is not representative.

In like manner as regards the things on the earth; as when he beholds the dawning of the day he does not think of the dawn, but of the arising of all things from the Lord, and of progression into the day of wisdom. So when he sees gardens, groves, and flower-beds, his eye remains not fixed on any tree, its blossom, leaf, and fruit; but on the heavenly things which these represent; nor on any flower, and its beauty and pleasantness; but on what they represent in the other life. For there is nothing beautiful and delightful in the skies or on the earth, which is not in some way representative of the Lord's kingdom....

The reason why all things in the sky and on earth are representative, is that they have come forth and do continually come forth, that is, subsist, from the influx of the Lord through heaven. It is with these things as it is with the human body, which comes forth and subsists by means of the soul; on which account all things in the body both in general and in particular are representative of the soul. The soul is in the use and the end; but the body is in the performance of them. All effects, whatever they may be, are in like manner representatives of the uses which are the causes; and the uses are representative of the ends which belong to the first principles.

They who are in Divine ideas never come to a stand in the objects of the external sight; but from them and in them constantly see internal things. The veriest internal things themselves are those which are of the Lord's kingdom, thus those which are in the veriest end itself. It is the same with the Word of the Lord; he who is in Divine things never regards the Lord's Word from the letter; but regards the letter and the literal sense as being representative and significative of the celestial and spiritual things of the church and of the Lord's kingdom. To him the literal sense is merely an instrumental means for thinking of these....

(Arcana Coelestia 1806, 1807)

March 19, 2016

Upon This Rock

Selection from  Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
How greatly they are deluded who remain in the sense of the letter alone, and do not search out the internal sense from other passages in the Word in which it is explained, is very evident from the many heresies, every one of which proves its dogmas from the literal sense of the Word; especially is this manifest from that great heresy which the insane and infernal love of self and the world has drawn from the Lord's words to Peter:
I say unto thee that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it; and I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of the heavens, and whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth shall be bound in the heavens, and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth shall be loosed in the heavens (Matt. 16:15-19).
They who press the sense of the letter think that these things were said of Peter, and that power so great was given him; although they are fully aware that Peter was a very simple man, and that he by no means exercised such power; and that to exercise it is contrary to the Divine. Nevertheless, as owing to the insane and infernal love of self and the world they desire to arrogate to themselves the highest power on earth and in heaven, and to make themselves gods, they explain this according to the letter, and vehemently defend it; whereas the internal sense of these words is, that Faith itself in the Lord, which exists solely with those who are in love to the Lord and in charity toward the neighbor, has that power; and yet not faith, but the Lord from whom faith is. By "Peter" there is meant that faith, as everywhere else in the Word. Upon this is the Church built, and against it the gates of hell do not prevail. This faith has the keys of the kingdom of the heavens, and it shuts heaven lest evils and falsities should enter in, and opens heaven for goods and truths. This is the internal sense of these words.

The twelve apostles, like the twelve tribes of Israel, represented nothing else than all the things of such faith. Peter represented faith itself, James charity, and John the goods of charity; in like manner as did Reuben, Simeon, and Levi, the firstborn sons of Jacob, in the representative Jewish and Israelitish Church, which is plain from a thousand passages in the Word. And as Peter represented faith, the words in question were said to him.

From this it is manifest into what darkness those cast themselves, and others with them, who explain all things according to the letter; as those who so explain these words to Peter, by which they derogate from the Lord and arrogate to themselves the power of saving the human race.

 [Preface to volume 3 of the original Latin]

March 18, 2016

Preparation for the Passion

From Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
By a "garment" in general is signified all that which clothes something else, thus whatever is relatively exterior. Consequently the external or natural man is called a "garment" relatively to the internal or spiritual man. In like manner truth is called a "garment" relatively to good, because truth clothes good; so likewise is memory-truth relatively to the truth of faith, which is of the internal man. The sensuous, which is the ultimate of life with man, is a "garment" relatively to memory-truth. ("garments" denote lower things which cover higher ones, or what is the same, exterior things which cover interior ones - in general that they denote truths - they denote memory-truths, also sensuous truths; and the sensuous is the ultimate of life with man and is in fallacies)

That "garments" denote truths, originates from the representatives in the other life, where angels and spirits appear clothed in garments according to the states of faith or of truth in which they are; and their garments vary according to the changes of this state. Those who are in genuine truth appear clothed in white garments, and those who are in truths derived from good in shining garments; but those who are solely in good, as are the angels of the inmost heaven, who are called celestial, appear without clothing. From this then it is that garments denote truths, and that by "garments" in the Word are signified truths -

When Jesus drew nigh unto Jerusalem they brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their garments, and set Him thereon. And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; but others cut branches from the trees, and strewed them in the way (Matt. 21:1, 7, 8);
to ride on an ass and her colt was a representative of the highest judge and king, as is also evident from what goes before in verse 5:
Tell ye the daughter of Zion, Behold thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass and upon a colt, the son of a beast of burden (Matt. 21:5; see also Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-40; John 12:12-15).
In Zechariah 9:9 it is said of the Lord that He "was riding upon an ass, even upon a young ass, the son of she-asses," and He is there called a "King;" and it is added that "His dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth." That the highest judge rode upon a she-ass, and his sons upon young asses, maybe seen in Judges 5:9, 10; 10:3, 4; 12:14; and that the king rode upon a she-mule, and the sons of the king upon mules, in 1 Kings 1:33, 38, 44, 45, and in 2 Sam. 13:29.

By the disciples putting their garments on the ass and her colt, was represented that truths in the whole complex were submitted to the Lord as the Highest Judge and King; for the disciples represented the church of the Lord in respect to its truths and goods, and their garments represented the truths themselves.  The like was represented by the multitude strewing their garments in the way, and also branches of trees. The reason why they strewed them in the way was that by "a way" is signified the truth whereby the man of the church is led. The reason why they strewed branches of trees, was that trees signified the perceptions and also the knowledges of truth and good, consequently "the branches" denote the truths themselves. This was done also in conformity with a customary rite; for when the highest judges and kings rode in their solemn procession, the princes of the people then put their garments on the asses and mules, and the people themselves strewed their garments on the way, or in their place the branches of trees; for the judicial function in heaven is the Divine truth from the Divine good, and the regal one is the Divine truth.

... in every detail there was an internal sense, to the intent that by means of the Word heaven might be conjoined with the world; for without the Word there is no conjunction, that is, without revealed Divine truth; and if there is no conjunction, the human race perishes.

(Arcana Coelestia 9212:2,3;5,6;8)

March 14, 2016

Jacob's Well - The Doctrine of Truth Signified Therefrom

A Portion from Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
    Israel dwelt securely alone at the fountain of Jacob, in a land of corn and new wine; yea, his heavens drop down dew (Deut. 33:28).
The "fountain of Jacob" denotes the Word and the doctrine of truth therefrom. Because the "fountain of Jacob" signified the Word and the doctrine of truth therefrom, when the Lord came to the fountain of Jacob, He spoke with the woman of Samaria, and taught what is signified by a "fountain" and by "water," as described in John:
    Jesus came to a city of Samaria called Sychar, and Jacob's fountain was there; Jesus therefore being wearied with His journey, sat thus by the fountain. There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus saith unto her, Give Me to drink: Jesus said, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith unto thee, Give Me to drink, thou wouldst ask of Him that He should give thee living water. Everyone that drinketh of this water shall thirst again; but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst, but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a fountain of water springing up unto eternal life (John 4:5-7, 10, 13-14).
As "Jacob's fountain" signified the Word, the "water" truth, and " Samaria" the spiritual church (as is frequently the case in the Word), the Lord spoke with the woman of Samaria, and taught that the doctrine of truth is from Him; and that when it is from Him, or what is the same, from His Word, it is a fountain of water springing up unto eternal life; and that truth itself is living water.

    Jesus said, If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink; whosoever believeth in Me, as the Scripture saith, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water (John 7:37-38).
And in the Apocalypse:
    The Lamb that is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of water; and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes (Rev. 7:17).
In the same:
    I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely (Rev. 21:6);
"rivers of living water," and "living fountains of waters," denote truths that are from the Lord, or from His Word; for the Lord is the Word. The good of love and of charity, which is solely from the Lord, is the life of truth. He is said to be "athirst" who is in the love and affection of truth; no other can "thirst."

These truths are also called "fountains of salvation" in Isaiah:

    With joy shall ye draw waters out of the fountains of salvation; and in that day shall ye say, Confess to Jehovah, call upon His name (Isa. 12:3-4).
That a "fountain" is the Word, or doctrine from it, is plain also in Joel:

    It shall come to pass in that day that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the streams of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall go forth out of the house of Jehovah, and shall water the stream of Shittim (Joel 3:18);
where "waters" denote truths; and a "fountain out of the house of Jehovah," the Lord's Word.
(Arcana Coelestia 2702:5-7)

March 13, 2016

Those Who Can and Those Who Cannot

Passages from Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
To those who are not being regenerated it makes no difference whether they know the truth, or do not; nor whether what they do know be truth or not, provided they can palm a thing off for truth.

But they who are being regenerated think much about doctrine and life, because they think much about eternal salvation; and therefore if truth be deficient with them, as it is the subject of their thought and affection, they grieve at heart.

The state of the one and of the other may be seen from this: While a man is in the body he is living as to his spirit in heaven, and as to his body in the world; for he is born into both, and has been so created that as to his spirit he can be actually with the angels, and at the same time with men by means of what is of the body. But as there are few who believe that they have a spirit which is to live after death, there are few who are being regenerated. To those who believe it, the other life is the whole of their thought and affection, and the world is nothing in comparison; but to those who do not believe it, the world is the whole of their thought and affection, and the other life is in comparison nothing. The former are they who can be regenerated, but the latter are they who cannot.

... ... ... ... ... ...
Those who cannot be reformed do not at all know what it is to grieve on account of being deprived of truths; for they suppose that no one can feel in the least anxious about such a thing. The only anxiety they believe to be possible is on account of being deprived of the goods of the body and the world; such as health, honors, reputation, wealth, and life. But they who can be reformed believe altogether differently: these are kept by the Lord in the affection of good and in the thought of truth; and therefore they come into anxiety when deprived of this thought and affection.

It is known that all anxiety and grief arise from being deprived of the things with which we are affected, or which we love. They who are affected only with corporeal and worldly things, or who love such things only, grieve when they are deprived of them; but they who are affected with spiritual goods and truths and love them, grieve when they are deprived of them. Everyone's life is nothing but affection or love. Hence it is evident what is the state of those who are desolated as to the goods and truths with which they are affected, or which they love, namely, that their state of grief is more severe, because more internal; and in the deprivation of good and truth they do not regard the death of the body, for which they do not care, but eternal death. It is their state which is here described.

That it may be known who those are that can be kept by the Lord in the affection of good and truth, and thus be reformed and become spiritual, and who those are that cannot, we will briefly state that during childhood, while being for the first time imbued with goods and truths, everyone is kept by the Lord in the affirmative idea that what he is told and taught by his parents and masters is true. With those who can become spiritual men this affirmative is confirmed by means of knowledges [scientifica et cognitiones]; for whatever they afterwards learn that has an affinity with it, insinuates itself into this affirmative, and corroborates it; and this more and more, even to affection. These are they who become spiritual men in accordance with the essence of the truth in which they have faith, and who conquer in temptations.

But it is otherwise with those who cannot become spiritual men. Although during their childhood these are in the affirmative, yet in the age that follows they admit doubts, and thus trench upon the affirmative of good and truth; and when they come to adult age, they admit negatives, even to the affection of falsity. If these should be brought into temptations, they would wholly yield; and on this account they are exempted from them.

But the real cause of their admitting doubts, and afterwards negatives, is to be found in their life of evil. They who are in a life of evil cannot possibly do otherwise; for as before said the life of everyone is his affection or love; and such as is the affection or love, such is the thought. The affection of evil and the thought of truth never conjoin themselves together.

With those in whom there is an appearance of this conjunction, there is really no such conjunction, but only the thought of truth without the affection of it; and therefore with such persons truth is not truth, but only something of sound, or of the mouth, from which the heart is absent. Such truth even the worst can know, and sometimes better than others. With some also there is found a persuasion of truth, of such a nature that no one can know but that it is genuine; and yet it is not so if there is no life of good: it is an affection of the love of self or of the world, which induces such a persuasion that they defend it even with the vehemence of apparent zeal; nay, they will even go so far as to condemn those who do not receive it, or believe in the same way. But this truth is of such a quality as is the principle with each person from which it starts, being strong in proportion as the love of self or of the world is strong. It indeed attaches itself to evil, but does not conjoin itself with it, and is therefore extirpated in the other life.

Very different is it with those who are in the life of good. With these truth itself has its own ground and heart, and has its life from the Lord.

(Arcana Coelestia 2682:3; 2689)

March 10, 2016

When Evils Are Not Shunned From A Religious Principle

Passages from Divine Providence ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
Evils in the external man can be put away only by man's instrumentality, because it is of the Lord's Divine providence that whatever man hears, sees, thinks, wills, speaks, and does, seems to him to be wholly his own. Without this appearance there could be in man no reception of Divine truth, no determination towards doing good, no appropriation of love and wisdom or of charity and faith, and therefore no conjunction with the Lord, consequently no reformation and regeneration and thus salvation. Without this appearance repentance from sins, and faith even, are evidently impossible. It is also evident that without this appearance a man would not be a man, but would be devoid of natural life like a beast. Let any one who will consult his reason and see, when a man thinks about good and truth, spiritual, moral, or civil, whether there is any other appearance than that he thinks from himself; let him then accept this doctrinal, that everything good and true is from the Lord and nothing from man; and will he not acknowledge this consequence, that man must do good and think truth as if of himself, and yet must acknowledge that he does it from the Lord; and furthermore, that man must put away evils as if of himself and yet must acknowledge that he does it from the Lord?

Many are not aware that they are in evils, inasmuch as they do not do them outwardly because they fear the civil laws and the loss of reputation, and thus from custom and habit fall into the way of shunning evils as detrimental to their honor and profit. But when evils are not shunned from a religious principle, on the ground that they are sins and antagonistic to God, the lusts of evil with their enjoyments still remain, like impure waters confined and stagnant. Let such examine their thoughts and intentions, and they will find these lusts, provided they know what sins are.

This is the state of many who have confirmed themselves in faith separate from charity, who, believing that the law does not condemn them, do not even think about sins; and some question whether there are any sins in them, or if there are, whether they are sins before God, since they have been pardoned. In a like state also are natural moralists, who believe that civil and moral life with its prudence accomplishes everything and Divine providence nothing. Such also are those who strive with great eagerness after a reputation and name for honesty and sincerity for the sake of honor or gain. But those who are of this character, and who have also despised religion, become after death spirits of lusts, appearing to themselves as if they were men, but to others at a distance like treacherous forms (priapi); and like birds of night they see in the dark and not in the light.

(Divine Providence 116 - 117)

March 9, 2016

Intellectual Faith vs Spiritual Faith

Passages from Doctrine of Life ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
  • Intellectual Faith - Dead Faith
The faith of an evil man is an intellectual faith, in which there is nothing of good from the will. Thus it is a dead faith, which is like the breathing of the lungs without there being any life or soul in it from the heart. Moreover the understanding corresponds to the lungs, and the will to the heart.

Such faith is also like a good-looking harlot dressed up in crimson and gold, but full of disease and corruption. A harlot also corresponds to the falsification of truth, and therefore in the Word signifies it.

Such faith is also like a tree luxuriant in foliage but barren of fruit, which the gardener cuts down. A tree moreover signifies a man, its leaves and blossoms signify the truths of faith, and its fruit the good of love.

But very different is that faith in the understanding which has in it good from the will. This faith is living, and is like a breathing of the lungs in which there is life and soul from the heart. It is also like a lovely wife whose chastity endears her to her husband. It is also like a tree that bears fruit.

There are many things that appear to be mere matters of faith, such as that there is a God; that the Lord, who is God, is the Redeemer and Saviour; that there is a heaven and a hell; that there is a life after death; and many other things of which it is not said that they are to be done, but that they are to be believed. These things of faith also are dead with a man who is in evil, but are living with a man who is in good. The reason is that a man who is in good not only acts aright from the will but also thinks aright from the understanding, and this not only before the world but also before himself when he is alone. Not so a man who is in evil.

We have said that these things appear to be mere matters of faith. But the thought of the understanding derives its coming into manifest being [trahit suum existere] from the love of the will, which is the inmost being [qui est esse] of the thought in the understanding, ... For whatever anyone wills from love, he wills to do, he wills to think, he wills to understand, and he wills to speak; or, what is the same, whatever anyone loves from the will, he loves to do, he loves to think, he loves to understand, and he loves to speak. To this is also to be added, that when a man shuns what is evil as a sin, he is in the Lord, ... and the Lord then works everything. And therefore to those who asked Him what they should do that they might work the works of God, He said:

This is the work of God, that ye believe in Him whom He hath sent (John 6:28-29).
To "believe in the Lord" is not only to think that He is, but also to do His words, as He teaches elsewhere.

That those who are in evils have no faith, no matter how much they may suppose themselves to have it, has been shown in the spiritual world in the case of persons of this character. They were brought into a heavenly society, which caused the spiritual sphere of faith as existing with the angels to enter into the interiors of their faith, and the result was that the angels perceived that those persons possessed only what is natural or external of faith, and not what is spiritual or internal of it, and therefore those persons themselves confessed that they had nothing whatever of faith, and that in the world they had persuaded themselves that to believe or have faith consists in thinking a thing to be true, no matter what the ground for so thinking. Very different was perceived to be the faith of those who had not been in evil.

  • Spiritual Faith - Saving Faith
From all this it may be seen what spiritual faith is; and also what is faith not spiritual. Spiritual faith exists with those who do not commit sins, for those who do not commit sins do things that are good, not from themselves but from the Lord, and through faith become spiritual. Faith with these is the truth. This the Lord teaches in John:
This is the judgment, that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light, because their works were evil. For everyone that doeth evil hateth the light, and cometh not to the light, lest his works should be reproved. But he that doeth the truth cometh to the light, that his works may be made manifest, that they have been wrought in God (John 3:19-21).
All the foregoing is confirmed by the following passages in the Word:

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil, for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh (Luke 6:45; Matt. 12:35).

The "heart" in the Word means man's will, and as man thinks and speaks from this, it is said: "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh."

Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth the man; but that which goeth out of the heart, this defileth the man (Matt. 15:11, 18).

The "heart" here too means the will. Jesus said of the woman who anointed His feet with ointment:

Her sins are forgiven for she loved much; thy faith hath saved thee (Luke 7:47, 50);

from which it is evident that when sins have been remitted or forgiven, thus when they exist no longer, faith saves. That those are called "sons of God" and "born of God" who are not in the Own of their will, and consequently are not in the Own of their understanding; that is to say, who are not in evil and from this in falsity; and that these are they who believe in the Lord, He Himself teaches in John 1:12, 13, which passage may be seen explained above in n. 17, at the end.

From these premises there follows this conclusion: - That no man has in him a grain of truth more than he has of good; thus that he has not a grain of faith more than he has of life. In the understanding indeed there may exist the thought that such or such a thing is true, but not the acknowledgment which is faith, unless there is consent thereto in the will. Thus do faith and life keep step as they walk. From all this it is now evident that in proportion as anyone shuns evils as sins, in the same proportion he has faith and is spiritual.

(Life 46 - 52)

March 8, 2016


Passages from Doctrine of Life ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
Faith and life are distinct from each other in the same way as are thinking and doing; and as thinking is of the understanding and doing is of the will, it follows that faith and life are distinct from each other in the same way as are the understanding and the will. He who knows the distinction between the two latter knows that between the two former; and he who knows the conjunction of the two latter knows that of the two former. ...

Man possesses two faculties, one of which is called the Will, and the other the Understanding. They are distinct from each other, but are so created that they may be a one, and when they are a one they are called the Mind, so that the human mind consists of these two faculties, and the whole of man's life is in them. ...  It is of the utmost importance to know how the will and the understanding make one mind. They do so in the same way that good and truth make a one, for there is a like marriage between the will and the understanding to that which exists between good and truth. ... 

... just as good is the very being [esse] of a thing, and truth is its derivative manifestation [existere], so the will in man is the very being of his life, and the understanding is its derivative manifestation, for the good that is of the will shapes itself forth in the understanding, and presents itself to view within fixed and settled outlines [certo modo].

... it is the province of faith to know and to think, and still more to understand, that a thing is true, a man may well believe that he has faith and yet not have it.  The reason why he has it not, is that he is in evil of life, and evil of life and truth of faith cannot possibly act as a one. The evil of life destroys the truth of faith, because the evil of life is of the will and the truth of faith is of the understanding, and the will leads the understanding and makes it act as a one with itself, so that if there is anything in the understanding that is not in accord with the will, and the man is left to himself, and thinks from his own evil and the love of it, he then either casts out the truth that is in the understanding, or else by falsifying it forces it into oneness.

Quite different is it with those who are in the good of life: such when left to themselves think from what is good, and love the truth that is in the understanding because it is in accord. In this way there takes place a conjunction of faith and life such as is that of truth and good, and both these conjunctions are like that of the understanding and the will.

From all this then it follows that just insofar as a man shuns evils as sins, just so far has he faith, because just so far is he in good, as shown above. This is confirmed also by its contrary: that he who does not shun evils as sins, has not faith because he is in evil, and evil inwardly hates truth. Outwardly indeed he may act as a friend to truth, and suffer it to be in the understanding, may even love to have it there; but when what is outward is put off, as is done after death, he first casts out truth his friend in this world, then denies that it is truth, and finally feels aversion for it.

(Life 42 - 45)

March 5, 2016

From What Source is the Action?

From Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
What is meant by good and truth natural not spiritual
and good and truth spiritual natural

Good in man is from a twofold source - from what is hereditary and hence additional, and also from the doctrine of faith and of charity, or with the Gentiles from their religiosity.

Good from the former origin is good natural not spiritual, while good from the latter origin is good spiritual natural. From a like origin is truth, because all good has its own truth adjoined to it.

Good natural from the former origin, that is, from what is hereditary and hence adventitious*, has much that is akin to good natural from the second origin, that is, from the doctrine of faith and charity, or from some religiosity, but only in the external form, being entirely different in the internal form.

Good natural from the former origin may be compared to the good that exists with gentle animals; but good natural from the second origin is proper to the man who acts from reason, and consequently knows how to dispense what is good in various ways in accordance with uses. This dispensing of what is good is taught by the doctrine of what is just and fair, and in a higher degree by the doctrine of faith and charity, and with those who are truly rational is also confirmed in many ways by reason.

They who do good from the former origin [good natural], are borne blindly along as it were by instinct into the exercise of charity; but they who perform what is good from the second origin [good spiritual natural] are borne along by an internal obligation, and as it were with their eyes open.

In a word, they who do what is good from the former origin [good natural], do it from no conscience of what is just and fair, still less from any conscience of spiritual truth and good; whereas they who do what is good from the second origin [good spiritual natural], do it from conscience.

But how the case is with these things can by no means be explained to the apprehension; for everyone who is not spiritual, or who has not been regenerated, sees good from its external form, and this for the reason that he does not know what charity is, or what the neighbor is; and the reason why he does not know these things is that he has no doctrinals of charity. In the light of heaven these things appear most distinctly, and hence they appear distinctly also with the spiritual or regenerate, because these are in the light of heaven.

(Arcana Coelestia 4988)
[*adventitious - coming from another source and not inherent or innate]

March 4, 2016

The Very Being of a Thing

From Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
The very being of a thing is good,
and all good is of love, which is spiritual conjunction or unition.

Hence in the supreme sense the Lord is called being or Jehovah, because from Him is all the good which is of love or of spiritual conjunction. As heaven makes a one through love from Him and the reciprocal love to Him through reception, and through mutual love, it is therefore called a marriage, through which it is. It would be similar with the church, if love and charity were the being of it.

Therefore where there is no conjunction or union, there is no being; for unless there is something to bring to a one or to unite, there must be dissolution and extinction.
Thus in a civil society, where everyone is for himself and no one for another except for the sake of himself, unless there were laws to unite, and fears of the loss of gain, honor, fame, and life, the society would be utterly dissipated; so that the being of such a society is also conjunction or unition, but only in externals, while in respect to internals there is no being in it. For this reason also such persons in the other life are kept in hell, and are in like manner held together there by external bonds, especially by fears; but whenever these bonds are relaxed, one rushes to compass the destruction of another, and desires nothing more than to put him out of existence. It is otherwise in heaven, where there is internal conjunction through love to the Lord and the derivative mutual love. When external bonds are relaxed there, they are more closely conjoined together; and because they are thus brought nearer to the Divine being which is from the Lord, they are more interiorly in affection and thence in freedom, consequently in blessedness, happiness, and joy.
(Arcana Coelestia 5002)

March 3, 2016

Their Works Follow With Them

From Apocalypse Revealed ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
  • In the day of judgment God will render to every man according to his works (Rom. 2:6).
  • We must all appear before the tribunal of Christ, that each one may give account of the things which he hath done by the body, whether good or evil (2 Cor. 5:10).
  • The Son of man will come in the glory of His Father, and then shall He render to everyone according to his works (Matt. 16:27).
  • They that have done good shall come forth unto the resurrection of life, but they that have done evil unto the resurrection of judgment (John 5:29).
  • They were judged according to those things which were written in the books, all according to their works (Rev. 20:12-13).
  • Behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give to everyone according to his works (Rev. 22:12).
  • I will give to everyone of you according to his works (Rev. 2:23).
  • I know thy works (Rev. 2:1-2, 4, 9, 13, 19, 26; 3:1-3, 7-8, 14-15, 19).
  • I will recompense them according to their work, and according to the deed of their hands (Jer. 25:14).
  • Jehovah doeth with us according to our ways and according to our works (Zech. 1:6; and in many other places).
By "the works which follow with them" are signified all things which remain with man after death. It is known, that the externals, which appear before men, derive their essence, soul, and life from the internals, which do not appear before men, but which appear before the Lord and the angels; the latter and the former, or the externals and the internals taken together, are works; good works, if the internals are in love and faith, and the externals act and speak from them; but evil works, if the internals are not in love and faith, and the externals act and speak from them. If the externals act and speak as if from love and faith, those works are either hypocritical or meritorious. Ten persons may do works which are similar in externals, but still they are dissimilar, because the internals from which the externals proceed are dissimilar.

Who does not see that there is an internal and an external, and that these two make one? For who does not see that the understanding and will are the internal of man, and speech and action his external? For who can speak and act without the understanding and the will? And since everyone sees this, he may also see that works are external and internal at the same time; and because the external derives its essence, soul, and life from its internal, as was said above, it follows that the external is such as is its internal; consequently, that "the works which follow with them" are according as they have loved and believed, and thence have done and spoken. ... good works are charity and faith, ... the internal of man or the internal man does not consist in understanding without willing, but in willing and thence understanding, consequently that it does not consist in believing without loving, but in loving and thence believing; and that the doing these things is the external of man, or the external man,.... From these things it is evident, that by "the works that follow with them" is signified according as they have loved and believed, and thence have done and spoken.
(Apocalypse Revealed 641)

March 2, 2016

The Lord Visible to Man

Selection from Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
No man in the whole world has seen Jehovah, the Father of the Lord; but the Lord alone saw Him, as He Himself has said in John:

No one hath seen God at any time the Only-Begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He hath set Him forth (John 1:18).


Ye have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His shape (John 5:37).

And again:

Not that anyone hath seen the Father save He that is with the Father; He hath seen the Father (John 6:46).

The Infinite Itself, which is above all the heavens, and is over the inmost things that appertain to man, cannot be made manifest, except through the Divine Human which appertains to the Lord alone. No communication of the Infinite with those who are finite is possible from any other source, and this is also the reason that when Jehovah appeared to the men of the Most Ancient Church, and afterwards to the Ancient Church that was after the flood, and then again to Abraham and the prophets, He was manifested to them as a man. That this was the Lord, He teaches openly in John:

Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it, and was glad; verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am (John 8:56, 58).

Also in the Prophets, as in Daniel, by whom He was seen as the Son of man (Dan. 7:13).

From these passages it may be seen that the Infinite Esse, which is Jehovah, could not possibly be manifested to man except through the Human Essence, thus except through the Lord; and therefore that it has been manifested to no one save the Lord alone. That He might also be present and be conjoined with man, after man had completely removed himself from the Divine, and had immersed himself in foul cupidities, and thereby in mere bodily and earthly things, He assumed in actuality the Human Essence itself by birth, that so He might still adjoin the Infinite Divine to man now so far removed; otherwise men would have perished to eternity with the death of the damned.
(Arcana Coelestia 1990)