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)