June 20, 2018

A State of Temptation Which One Overcomes

Selection from Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
Temptations are attended with doubt in regard to the Lord's presence and mercy, and also in regard to salvation. The evil spirits who are then with the man and induce the temptation strongly inspire negation, but the good spirits and angels from the Lord in every possible way dispel this state of doubt, and keep the man in a state of hope, and at last confirm him in what is affirmative. The result is that -
a man who is in temptation hangs between what is negative and what is affirmative.
One who yields in temptation remains in a state of doubt, and falls into what is negative; but one who overcomes is indeed in doubt, but still, if he suffers himself to be cheered by hope, he stands fast in what is affirmative. As during this conflict the man seems to urge the Lord, especially by prayers, to be present, to have mercy, to give aid, and to deliver from damnation ...
(Arcana Coelestia 2338)

June 19, 2018

The State of the Church Changed When the Word was Made Flesh

Selection from Sacred Scriptures ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
  • The Lord came into the world to fulfill all things of the Word, and thereby to become Divine Truth or the Word even as to ultimates
  • The Lord came into the world to fulfill all things of the Word
  • He thereby became Divine truth or the Word even in ultimates is meant by these words in John:
The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the Only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth  (John 1:14).
To "become flesh" is to become the Word in ultimates. What the Lord was as the Word in ultimates He showed His disciples when He was transfigured (Matt. 17:2, etc.; Mark 9:2, etc.; Luke 9:28, etc.); and it is there said that Moses and Elias were seen in glory. (By "Moses and Elias" is meant the Word)

The Lord, as the Word in ultimates, is also described by John in Rev. 1:13-16, where all things in the description of him signify ultimate things of Divine truth or of the Word. The Lord had indeed been the Word before, but only in first principles, for it is said:
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  (John 1:1, 2);
but when the Word became flesh, then the Lord became the Word in ultimates also. It is from this that He is called,
The First and the Last  (Rev. 1:8, 11, 17; 2:8; 21:6; 22:13).
The state of the church was completely changed by the Lord's becoming the Word in ultimates. All the churches that had existed before His advent were representative churches and could see Divine truth in the shade only; but after the Lord's coming into the world a church was instituted by Him that saw Divine truth in the light. The difference is like that between evening and morning, and the state of the church before his advent is also called "the evening," and that of the church after it "the morning."

Before his coming into the world the Lord was indeed present with the men of the church, but mediately through heaven, whereas since His coming into the world He is present with them immediately, for in the world He put on the Divine Natural, in which He is present with men. The glorification of the Lord is the glorification of His Human that He assumed in the world, and the Lord's glorified Human is the Divine Natural.

Few understand how the Lord is the Word, for they think that the Lord may indeed enlighten and teach men by means of the Word without His being on that account called the Word.

Be it known however that every man is his own love, and consequently his own good and his own truth. It is solely from this that a man is a man, and there is nothing else in him that is man. It is from the fact that a man is his own good and his own truth that angels and spirits are men, for all the good and truth that proceeds from the Lord is in its form a man. And as the Lord is Divine good and Divine truth itself, He is the Man, from whom every man is a man....
(Doctrine of Sacred Scriptures 98 - 100)

June 18, 2018

The Divine Human Serves the Divine for Mankind's Salvation

Selection from Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
And Jehovah appeared to him in that night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father; fear not, for I am with thee, and I will bless thee, and will multiply thy seed, for the sake of Abraham My servant. And he builded an altar there, and called upon the name of Jehovah, and pitched his tent there, and there the servants of Isaac digged out a well.   Genesis 26:24, 25
That this signifies from the Lord's Divine Human is evident from the representation of Abraham, as being the Lord's Divine, and also the Divine Human; and from the signification of "my servant," when predicated of the Lord, as being the Divine Human;
Not that the Divine Human is a servant, because this also is Jehovah, but because the Lord by this serves the human race; for by this man is saved, inasmuch as unless the Lord had united the Human to the Divine, so that man might be enabled with his mind to look upon and adore the Human of the Lord and thus have access to the Divine, he could not possibly have been saved.
The conjunction of man with the Divine itself which is called the "Father" is through the Divine Human which is called the "Son"; thus through the Lord, by whom the spiritual man understands the Human, but the celestial man the Divine Itself. Hence it is evident why the Divine Human is called a "servant," namely, because it serves the Divine, in order that man may have access thereto, and because it serves mankind for their salvation.

This then is what is signified by "Abraham my servant" as also in David:
Remember his marvelous works that He hath done, his wonders and the judgments of His mouth, O ye seed of Abraham His servant, ye sons of Jacob, His chosen ones. He sent Moses His servant, Aaron whom He hath chosen. He remembered the word of His holiness with Abraham His servant (Ps. 105:5-6, 26, 42);
where by "Abraham his servant" is meant the Lord as to the Divine Human. In like manner also the Lord as to the Divine Human is meant in the supreme sense by "Israel his servant," by "Jacob his servant," and by "David his servant"; by Israel his servant, in Isaiah:
Thou Israel my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham My friend; thou whom I have taken hold of from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the wings thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art My servant, I have chosen thee (Isa. 41:8-9);
where "Israel my servant" in the supreme sense is the Lord in respect to the internal things of the spiritual church; and "Jacob" as to the external things of this church. Again:
He said unto me, Thou art My servant Israel, in whom I will be glorified. It is a light thing that thou shouldest be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to bring back the preserved of Israel; and I have given thee for a light of the Gentiles, that thou mayest be My salvation unto the end of the earth (Isa. 49:3, 6);
where "Israel, in whom I will be glorified," manifestly represents the Lord's Divine Human. That he is called "servant" from serving is manifest, for it is said, "that thou shouldest be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to bring back the preserved of Israel."

That the Lord as to His Divine Human is meant also by "Jacob my servant" is evident in the following passage from Isaiah:
I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, for Jacob My servant's sake, and Israel My chosen (Isa. 45:3, 4);
where by "Jacob My servant, and Israel My chosen" is meant the Lord, "Jacob My servant" having respect to the external things of the church, and "Israel My chosen" to the internal things of the church.

The same is also signified by "David my servant" in Ezekiel:
I will gather the sons of Israel from every side. My servant David shall be king over them; there shall be to them all one shepherd. They shall dwell upon the land which I have given unto Jacob My servant, and they shall dwell therein, they and their sons and their sons' sons even forever; and David My servant shall be their prince forever (Ezek. 37:21, 24-25).
"David My servant" plainly denotes the Lord's Divine Human, and this from Divine truth, which is signified by "king," and here by "David."

That truth itself also is relatively a servant, may be seen above (n. 3409); and because it is so, the Lord Himself calls Himself one that serveth" or "ministereth," in Mark:
Whosoever would become great among you shall be your minister; and whosoever would be first among you shall be servant of all. For the Son of man also came not to be ministered unto, but to minister (Mark 10:43-45; Matt. 20:26-28).
And in Luke:
Which is the greater, he that reclineth at meat, or he that ministereth? Is not he that reclineth at meat? But I am in the midst of you as he that ministereth (Luke 22:27).
(Arcana Coelestia 3441)

June 17, 2018

The Lord Fully Glorified His Human

Selection from Apocalypse Explained ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
Jesus cried with a great voice, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink.  He that believeth on Me, as the Scripture saith, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. This He saith of the spirit which they that believe on Him were to receive; the Holy Spirit was not yet, because Jesus was not yet glorified   (John 7:37-39).
It is clear from this that the Holy Spirit is Divine truth, proceeding from the Lord, which flows in with man, both immediately from the Lord Himself and mediately through angels and spirits; for the Lord says first, that he who believes on Him, out of His belly shall flow rivers of living water, and then that He spake this of the spirit which they were to receive; for "water" in the spiritual sense, signifies truth, and "rivers of living water," Divine truth from the Lord in abundance; the like is therefore meant by "the spirit which they were to receive." ...
And as Divine truth proceeds from the glorified Human of the Lord and not immediately from the Divine Itself, for this was glorified in Itself from eternity, so it is here said, the Holy Spirit was not yet, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
That to "glorify" is to make Divine -The Lord fully glorified His Human, that is, made it Divine by His last temptation and victory on the cross

It is greatly wondered at in heaven that the man of the church does not know that the Holy Spirit, which is Divine truth, proceeds from the Lord's Human, and not immediately from His Divine, when yet the doctrine received in the whole Christian world teaches that:
As is the Father so also is the Son, uncreate, infinite, eternal, omnipotent, God, Lord; neither of them first or last, nor greatest or least. Christ is God and man: God from the nature of the Father, and man from the nature of the mother; but although He is God and man, yet they are not two, but one Christ; He is one, but not by changing the Divine into the Human but the Divine took the Human to Itself. He is altogether one, not by a mingling of two natures, but He is a single person, because as body and soul are one man, so God and man is one Christ. (This from the Creed of Athanasius).
Now as the Divine and the Human of the Lord are not two, but a single person, and are united as soul and body, it may be known that the Divine which is called the Holy Spirit goes out and proceeds from His Divine through the Human, thus from the Divine Human - for nothing whatever can go forth from the body except from the soul through the body, since all the life of the body is from its soul.

And since "As is the Father so is the Son, uncreate, infinite, eternal, omnipotent, God and Lord, and neither of them is first or last, nor greatest nor least," it follows that -
The proceeding Divine, which is called the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Divine Itself of the Lord through His Human, and not from another Divine that is called the Father;
for the Lord teaches that the Father and He are one, and that the Father is in Him and He in the Father.  But the reason why most of those in the Christian world think otherwise in their hearts, and thence believe otherwise, is, the angels said, because they think of the Lord's Human as separate from His Divine, although this is contrary to the doctrine which teaches that -
the Divine and the Human of the Lord are not two persons, but a single person, united as soul and body.
That this should be the doctrine of the whole Christian world was provided by the Lord, because it is the essential of the church, and the essential of the salvation of all. But they have divided the Divine and the Human of the Lord into two natures, and have said that the Lord is God from the nature of the Father, and man from the nature of the mother, because they do not know that when the Lord fully glorified His Human He put off the human from the mother, and put on a Human from the Father....
(Apocalypse Explained 183:10, 11)

June 16, 2018

The Confession of the Faith of the Church in General

Selections from Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
Faith in the understanding or doctrine, which is the first thing of regeneration
The complex the truth of doctrine by which the good of life can be attained

The church which begins from faith would cease to be a church unless this Divine truth remained in it - that the Lord's Human is Divine, for this is the supreme or inmost truth of the church.

This supreme or inmost truth, that the Lord's Human is Divine, is denied by those in the church who are in faith alone; and yet because they know from the Word that in the Lord there is the Divine, and do not apprehend how the Human can be Divine, they therefore attribute both to the Lord, making a distinction between His Divine nature and His Human nature.

Those however who are in a life of faith, or in charity, adore the Lord as their God and Savior; and when in adoration, they think of the Lord's Divine without separating it from the Human, and thus at heart acknowledge all in the Lord to be Divine. But when they think from doctrine, because they likewise cannot comprehend how the Human can be Divine, they speak according to their doctrine.
***
That acknowledgment and adoration of the Lord's Divine Human is the life of religion...

Men are of such a nature as to desire to worship that of which they can have some perception and thought, and sensuous men even that which they can perceive by some sense, nor are they willing to worship unless the Divine is therein. This is common to the human race.

For this reason Gentiles worship idols in which they believe there is the Divine, and others worship men after their death whom they believe to be either gods or saints. For nothing can be called forth in man unless there is something to affect his senses.

Those who say that they acknowledge a Supreme Being, of whom they have no idea of perception, for the most part acknowledge no God, but nature instead, because they comprehend this. Very many of the learned among Christians are such, and this also because they do not believe the Human of the Lord to be Divine.

Lest therefore men who have removed themselves so far from the Divine, and have become so far corporeal, should worship wood and stones; and lest they should worship some man after his death, and thus under him some devil, and not God Himself, because they could not in any way perceive Him, and thus everything of the church should perish, and with the church the human race, the Divine Itself willed to assume the Human and to make it Divine. Let the learned take heed therefore, lest they think of the Lord's Human and do not at the same time believe it to be Divine, for in so doing they make for themselves a stumbling block, and at last believe nothing.
(Arcana Coelestia 4731; 4733)

June 15, 2018

Those Who Climb Up Some Other Way

Selection from True Christian Religion ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
Spurious faith is all faith that departs from the true faith, which is the one only faith, and this is the faith that is held by those who climb up some other way, and regard the Lord not as God but as a mere man.

That spurious faith is all faith that departs from the true faith, which is the one only faith, is self evident; for if the one only faith is the truth, it follows that what departs from it is not truth.
Every good and truth of the church is propagated by the marriage of the Lord and the church; thus everything that is essentially charity and that is essentially faith is from that marriage; and on the other hand, whatever of charity and faith is not from that marriage, is not from a legitimate but an illegitimate bed, thus from a polygamic bed or marriage, or from adultery.
All faith that acknowledges the Lord but adopts the falsities of heresy is from a polygamic bed, and the faith that acknowledges three Lords of one church is from adultery. For this may be likened to a harlot or a woman married to one man and spending her nights with two others, calling each one her husband while sleeping with him. Therefore such faith is called spurious; and in many places the Lord calls those holding such a faith "adulterers," and they are also meant by "thieves and robbers" in John:
Verily I say unto you, he that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber; I am the door; by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved  (10:1, 9).
Entering into the sheepfold is entering into the church, and also into heaven. It is entering also into heaven because heaven and the church make one, and nothing makes heaven except the church that is in it; consequently as the Lord is the bridegroom and husband of the church, so is He also the bridegroom and husband of heaven.

It may be inquired into and may be known whether faith is a legitimate or a spurious offspring by the three indications ... namely-
    Acknowledgment of the Lord as the Son of God
    Acknowledgment of Him as the God of heaven and earth
    Acknowledgment that He is one with the Father.
Therefore, so far as any faith departs from these its essentials, it is spurious.

Faith is both spurious and adulterous with those who regard the Lord not as God but merely as a man. The truth of this is very evident from the two abominable heresies, Arianism and Socinianism, which have been anathematized in and excommunicated from the Christian church, and this because they deny the Lord's Divinity, and climb up some other way. But I fear that those abominations lie concealed at this day in the general spirit of the men of the church.
It is remarkable that the more anyone deems himself to be superior to others in learning and judgment, the more prone he is to seize upon and appropriate to himself the idea that the Lord is a man and not God, and that because He is a man He cannot be God; and whoever appropriates to himself these ideas, introduces himself into companionship with Arians and Socinians, who in the spiritual world are in hell.
Such is the general spirit of the men of the church at the present day, because with every man there is an associate spirit; for without this man would be unable to think analytically, rationally, and spiritually, and thus would not be a man but a brute. Moreover, every man attaches to himself a spirit in harmony with the affection of his own will and consequent perception of his understanding.
To the man who introduces himself into good affections by means of truths from the Word and a life according to them, an angel from heaven is adjoined; while he who introduces himself into evil affections by the confirmation of falsities and a wicked life adjoins himself to a spirit from hell, and when this is done the man enters more and more, as it were, into fraternity with satans, and confirms himself more and more in falsities contrary to the truths in the Word, and in Arian and Socinian abominations against the Lord.
This is because no satan can bear to hear any truth from the Word or to hear Jesus named; and if they hear these they become like furies, and run about and blaspheme; and then if light from heaven flows in they throw themselves headlong into caverns and into their own thick darkness, in which there is light to them, as there is to owls in the dark, or to cats in cellars watching for mice. Such do all those become after death, who in heart and faith deny the Divinity of the Lord and the holiness of the Word. Their internal man is of this nature, however much the external may play the mimic and feign to be Christian. That this is true I know, because I have seen and heard it.

Of all who honor the Lord as the Redeemer and Savior with the mouth and lips only, while in heart and spirit they regard Him as a mere man, it may be said, when they are speaking of these things and teaching them, that their cheeks are like a bag of honey, and their heart like a bag of gall; their words are like cakes of sugar, while their thoughts are like emulsions of aconite; they are also like rolls of pastry containing snakes. If such persons are priests, they are like pirates on the sea who hoist the flag of a peaceful nation, but when a ship sailing near hails them as friends, they raise a piratical flag in place of the other, seize the ship, and carry away those on board into captivity. They are also like serpents of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, that approach like angels of light, carrying in their hands apples from that tree painted with golden colors, as if plucked from the tree of life; and they offer them, saying:
God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil (Gen. 3:5).
And when these have eaten, they follow the serpent into the lower world, and there they dwell together. Round about that world are the satans who have eaten of the apples of Arius and Socinus. Such as these are meant also by the man,
Who came to the marriage without a wedding garment, and was cast into outer darkness (Matt. 22:11-13);
"the wedding garment" meaning faith in the Lord as the Son of God, the God of heaven and earth, and one with the Father. Those who honor the Lord with the mouth and lips only, but in heart and spirit regard Him as a mere man, if they declare their thoughts and persuade others, are spiritual murderers, and the worst of them are spiritual cannibals -
For a man's life is from love to the Lord and faith in Him; and if this essential element of faith and love — that the Lord is God-Man and Man-God — is taken away, man's life becomes death; thus in this way man is killed and devoured as a kid by a wolf.
(True Christian Religion  380)

June 14, 2018

Men Who Speak from Themselves

Selection from Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
That man's Own is nothing but evil and falsity has been made evident to me from the fact that whatever spirits have at any time said from themselves has been so evil and false that whenever it was made known to me that they spoke from themselves I at once knew that it was false, even though while speaking they were themselves so thoroughly persuaded of the truth of what they said as to have no doubt about it.

The case is the same with men who speak from themselves.

And in the same way, whenever any persons have begun to reason concerning the things of spiritual and celestial life, or those of faith, I could perceive that they doubted, and even denied, for to reason concerning faith is to doubt and deny. And as it is all from self or their Own, they sink into mere falsities, consequently into an abyss of thick darkness, that is, of falsities, and
  When they are in this abyss the smallest objection prevails over a thousand truths, just as a minute particle of dust in contact with the pupil of the eye shuts out the universe and everything it contains.
Of such persons the Lord says in Isaiah:
Woe unto those who are wise in their own eyes, and intelligent before their own faces (Isa. 5:21).
And again:
Thy wisdom and thy knowledge, it hath turned thee away, and thou hast said in thine heart, I, and none else besides me; and evil shall come upon thee, thou shalt not know from whence it riseth, and mischief shall fall upon thee, which thou shalt not be able to expiate, and vastation shall come upon thee suddenly, of which thou art not aware (Isa. 47:10-11).
In Jeremiah:
Every man is made stupid by knowledge [scientia], every founder is confounded by the graven image, for his molten image is falsehood, neither is there breath in them (Jer. 51:17).
A "graven image" is the falsity, and a "molten image" the evil, of man's Own.
(Arcana Coelestia 215)

June 12, 2018

Those Who Incline to Their 'Own'

Selection from Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
And Jehovah God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help as with him. And Jehovah God formed out of the ground every beast of the field, and every fowl of the heavens, and brought it to the man to see what he would call it; and whatsoever the man called every living soul, that was the name thereof. And the man gave names to every beast, and to the fowl of the heavens, and to every wild animal of the field; but for the man there was not found a help as with him.  Genesis 2:18 - 20
• By "alone" is signified that he was not content to be led by the Lord, but desired to be led by self and the world

• By a "help as with him" is signified man's Own, which is subsequently called a "rib built into a woman."

• By "beasts" are signified celestial affections, and by "fowls of the heavens" spiritual affections; that is to say, by "beasts" are signified things of the will, and by "fowls" things of the understanding.

• To "bring them to the man to see what he would call them" is to enable him to know their quality, and his "giving them names" signifies that he knew it.

But notwithstanding that he knew the quality of the affections of good and of the knowledges of truth that were given him by the Lord, still he inclined to his Own, which is expressed in the same terms as before - that "there was not found a help as with him."

In verse 18 it is said, "It is not good that the man should be alone, I will make him a help as with him" and presently "beasts" and "birds" are spoken of, which nevertheless had been treated of before, and immediately it is repeated that "for the man there was not found a help as with him" which denotes that
Although he was permitted to know his quality as to the affections of good, and knowledges of truth, still he inclined to his Own; for those who are such as to desire what is their own, begin to despise the things of the Lord, however plainly they may be represented and shown to them.
(Arcana Coelestia 138; 142; 146)

June 11, 2018

Affections, Both Good and Evil

Selection from Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens the man and his wife; and of the beast that is not clean by twos, the man and his wife. Genesis 7:2
By "every clean beast" are signified affections of good
  • By "sevens" is signified that they are holy
     • By "man and his wife" that the truths were conjoined with goods.

By the "beast not clean" are signified evil affections
  • By "two" that they are relatively profane
    • By "man and wife" falsities conjoined with evils.

That affections of good are signified by "every clean beast"...

The reason why affections are thus signified is that man in himself, and regarded in what is his own, is nothing but a beast. He has very similar senses, appetites, desires; and all his affections are very similar. His good, nay, even his best loves, are very similar - as the love for companions of his own kind, the love of his children, and of his wife; so that they do not at all differ.

But his being man, and more than beast, consists in his having an interior life, which beasts never have nor can have. This life is the life of faith and love from the Lord. And if this life were not within everything that he has in common with beasts, he would not be anything else.

Take only one example-love toward companions: if he should love them only for the sake of himself, and there were nothing more heavenly or Divine in his love, he could not from this be called a man, because it is the same with beasts. And so with all the rest.
If therefore there were not the life of love from the Lord in his will, and the life of faith from the Lord in his understanding, he would not be a man.
By virtue of the life which he has from the Lord he lives after death; because the Lord adjoins him to Himself. And thus he can be in His heaven with the angels, and live to eternity.

Even if a man lives as a wild beast, and loves nothing whatever but himself and what regards himself, yet so great is the Lord's mercy - for it is Divine and Infinite - that He does not leave him, but continually breathes into him His own life, through the angels; and even supposing that he receives it no otherwise, it still causes him to be able to think, to reflect, to understand whether a thing is good or evil - in relation to what is moral, civil, worldly, or corporeal - and therefore whether it is true or false.

As the most ancient people knew, and when they were in self-humiliation acknowledged, that they were nothing but beasts and wild beasts, and were men solely by virtue of what they had from the Lord, therefore whatever pertained to themselves they not only likened to but called beasts and birds

• things of the will they compared to beasts, and called beasts
• things of the understanding they compared to and called birds.

But they distinguished between good affections and evil affections. Good affections they compared to lambs, sheep, kids, she-goats, he-goats, rams, heifers, oxen-for the reason that they were good and gentle, and serviceable to life, since they could be eaten, and their skins and wool could furnish clothing. These are the principal clean beasts. But those which are evil and fierce, and not serviceable to life, are unclean beasts.
(Arcana Coelestia 713 - 715)

June 10, 2018

The General Meaning of Beast in the Scripture

Selection from Arcana Coelestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
And Jehovah God formed out of the ground every beast of the field, and every fowl of the heavens, and brought it to the man to see what he would call it; and whatsoever the man called every living soul, that was the name thereof. And the man gave names to every beast, and to the fowl of the heavens, and to every wild animal of the field; but for the man there was not found a help as with him. Genesis 2:19, 20
By "beasts" are signified celestial affections, and by "fowls of the heavens" spiritual affections; that is to say, by "beasts" are signified things of the will, and by "fowls" things of the understanding.

To "bring them to the man to see what he would call them" is to enable him to know their quality, and his "giving them names" signifies that he knew it. But notwithstanding that he knew the quality of the affections of good and of the knowledges of truth that were given him by the Lord, still he inclined to his Own*, which is expressed in the same terms as before - that "there was not found a help as with him."   (Arcana Coelestia 142)
*Innumerable things might be said about man's Own in describing its nature with the corporeal and worldly man, with the spiritual man, and with the celestial man.

• With the corporeal and worldly man, his Own is his all - he knows of nothing else than his Own, and imagines ... that if he were to lose this Own he would perish.

• With the spiritual man also his Own has a similar appearance, for although he knows that the Lord is the life of all, and gives wisdom and understanding, and consequently the power to think and to act, yet this knowledge is rather the profession of his lips than the belief of his heart.

• But the celestial man discerns that the Lord is the life of all and gives the power to think and to act, for he perceives that it is really so. He never desires his Own, nevertheless an Own is given him by the Lord, which is conjoined with all perception of what is good and true, and with all happiness. The angels are in such an Own, and are at the same time in the highest peace and tranquility, for in their Own are those things which are the Lord's, who governs their Own, or them by means of their Own. This Own is the veriest celestial itself, whereas that of the corporeal man is infernal."   (Arcana Coelestia 140)
That by "beasts" and "animals" were anciently signified affections and like things in man, may appear strange at the present day; but as the men of those times were in a celestial idea, and as such things are represented in the world of spirits by animals, and in fact by such animals as they are like, therefore when they spoke in that way they meant nothing else. Nor is anything else meant in the Word in those places where beasts are mentioned either generally or specifically. The whole prophetic Word is full of such things, and therefore -
One who does not know what each beast specifically signifies, cannot possibly understand what the Word contains in the internal sense.
 But, as before observed, beasts are of two kinds - evil or noxious beasts, and good or harmless ones -and by the good beasts are signified good affections, as for instance by sheep, lambs, and doves; and as it is the celestial, or the celestial spiritual man, who is treated of, such are here meant.   (Arcana Coelestia 143)

June 9, 2018

The Lord as A Householder

Selection from Arcana Cœlestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country: (Matthew 21:33)
It is permitted him [the celestial man] to enjoy all these things, but not to possess them as his own, because they are the Lord's.

• The celestial man acknowledges, because he perceives, that all things both in general and in particular are the Lord's.
• The spiritual man does indeed acknowledge the same, but with the mouth, because he has learned it from the Word.
• The worldly and corporeal man neither acknowledges nor admits it; but whatever he has he calls his own, and imagines that were he to lose it, he would altogether perish.

That wisdom, intelligence, reason, and knowledge [scientia] are not of man, but of the Lord, is very evident from all that the Lord taught; as in Matthew, where the Lord compares Himself to a householder, who planted a vineyard, and hedged it round, and let it out to husbandmen (21:33); and in John:
The Spirit of truth shall guide you into all truth; for He shall not speak of Himself, but what things soever He shall hear, He shall speak; He shall glorify Me, for He shall receive of Mine, and shall declare it unto you (John 16:13-14).
And in another place:
A man can receive nothing except it be given him from heaven (John 3:27).
That this is really so is known to everyone who is acquainted with even a few of the arcana of heaven.
(Arcana Cœlestia 122 - 124)

June 8, 2018

What are not from Love and Faith, and Thus from the Lord...

Selection from Arcana Cœlestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
Be it known ... that there is no wisdom which is not from love, thus from the Lord; nor any intelligence except from faith, thus also from the Lord; and that there is no good except from love, thus from the Lord; and no truth except from faith, thus from the Lord. What are not from love and faith, and thus from the Lord, are indeed called by these names, but they are spurious.
(Arcana Cœlestia 112)

June 7, 2018

Where There is Little Good, There is Little Truth

Selection from Arcana Cœlestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
They who are in the affection of truth have little truth in comparison with those who are in the affection of good, this is evident from the fact that it is from the meager and obscure good appertaining to them that they regard truth.
The truth in a man is exactly according to the good that is in him.
Where there is little good, there is little truth. They are in a like ratio and in a like degree, or, as we say, they march with even step. This indeed may seem a paradox, but still the case is so.
Good is the very essence of truth, and truth without its essence is not truth, although it appears as if it were; it is merely a sounding brass, and is like an empty vessel.
In order that anyone may have truth in himself, he must not only know it, but also acknowledge it, and have faith in it; he then for the first time has truth, because it then affects him, and remains. It is otherwise when he only knows truth, and does not acknowledge it, and have faith in it; for in this case he has not the truth in himself. This is the case with many who are in evil: they are able to know truths, sometimes more than other men; but still they have not the truth; nay, they have it so much the less, because at heart they deny it.
(Arcana Cœlestia 2429:2, 3)

June 6, 2018

Loving the Lord's Kingdom

Selection from Arcana Cœlestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
The Lord's kingdom is the neighbor in a higher degree than the church in which one is born; for the Lord's kingdom consists of all who are in good, both on earth and in the heavens — thus the Lord's kingdom is good with every quality of it in the complex; and when this good is loved, everyone who is in good is loved. Thus the whole, which is all good in the complex, is the neighbor in the first degree, and is that Grand Man ... which Man is a representative image of the Lord Himself. This Man, that is, the Lord's kingdom, is loved, when from inmost affection those are benefited who are men through that man from the Lord, thus with whom is the Lord's kingdom.
(Arcana Cœlestia 6823)

June 5, 2018

A Man is Our Neighbor According to the Love in which He Is

Extracts from Arcana Cœlestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
There are two affections, namely, the affection of good, and the affection of truth. The affection of good is to do what is good from the love of good, and the affection of truth is to do what is good from the love of truth. At the first view these two affections appear to be the same; but in reality they are distinct from each other both as to essence and as to origin. The affection of good, or doing what is good from the love of good, is properly of the will; but the affection of truth, or doing what is good from the love of truth, is properly of the understanding. Thus these two affections are distinct from each other in the same way as are the will and the understanding. The affection of good is from celestial love, but the affection of truth is from spiritual love.
***
Within the affection of truth of those who are in this affection, there is the affection of good, but so obscurely that they do not perceive, thus do not know, what the affection of good is, and what genuine charity is. They do suppose that they know, but it is from truth, thus from memory-knowledge, and not from good itself. Nevertheless they do the goods of charity, not in order to merit anything thereby, but from obedience; and this insofar as they apprehend that it is the truth.
For they suffer themselves to be led by the Lord out of their obscurity of good by means of the truth which appears to them to be truth.
For example: being ignorant what the neighbor is, they do good to everyone whom they suppose to be the neighbor; especially to the poor, because these call themselves poor on account of being destitute of worldly wealth; to orphans and widows, because they are so termed; to strangers, because they are such; and so on with all the rest and this they do -
so long as they are ignorant what is signified by the poor, by orphans, widows, strangers, and others.
Nevertheless seeing that in their affection of apparent truth there lies in obscurity the affection of good, by which the Lord leads them to such action, they are at the same time in good as to their interiors, and in this good the angels are present with them, and are delighted there with their appearances of truth by which such persons are affected.

But they who are in the good of charity, and from this in the affection of truth, do all things with discrimination, for they are in light; since the light of truth is from no other source than good, because the Lord flows in by means of good.
These persons do not do good to the poor, to orphans, to widows, and to strangers, for the mere reason that they are so termed;
for they know that those who are good, whether poor or rich, are neighbors more than all others;
since by the good, good is done to others; and therefore insofar as these persons do good to the good, they do it to others through them. They also know how to make distinctions among goods, and so among good men.
They call the general good itself their neighbor in a greater degree, for in this there is regarded the good of still greater numbers. As still more their neighbor to whom charity is to be done they acknowledge the Lord's kingdom on earth, which is the church; and the Lord's kingdom itself in the heavens even still more. But they who set the Lord before all these - who adore Him alone and love Him above all things - derive the neighbor in all these degrees from Him; for the Lord alone is the neighbor in the highest sense, thus all good is the neighbor insofar as it is from Him.

But they who are in the opposite derive the degrees of the neighbor from themselves, and acknowledge only those as neighbor who favor and serve them - calling no others brethren and friends - and this with a distinction, accordingly as they make one with them.

All this shows what the neighbor is, namely, that a man is our neighbor according to the love in which he is; and that he is truly the neighbor who is in love to the Lord and in charity toward his neighbor, and this with every possible difference; thus it is the good itself with everyone that determines the point in question.
(Arcana Cœlestia 1997; 2425)

May 31, 2018

God Assumed the Human in Accordance with His Divine Order

Selection from True Christian Religion ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
God assumed the Human in accordance with His Divine Order.
God introduced order into the universe and into each and all things of it at the time of their creation, and therefore His omnipotence in the universe and in each and all things of it, proceeds and operates in accordance with the laws of His order. ... Since, then, it was God who descended, and since He is Order itself, it was necessary, if He was to become man actually, that He should be conceived, carried in the womb, born, educated, acquire knowledges gradually, and thereby be introduced into intelligence and wisdom. In respect to His Human He was, for this reason, an infant like other infants, a boy like other boys, and so on; with the sole difference that this development was accomplished in Him more quickly, more fully, and more perfectly than in others. That this development was in accordance with order is evident from these words in Luke:
And the child Jesus grew and waxed strong in spirit. And Jesus advanced in wisdom, and in the stages of life, and in favor with God and man (Luke 2:40, 52).
That this was done more quickly, more fully, and more perfectly than with others is evident from what is said of Him in the same Gospel, that-
When He was twelve years old He sat in the temple in the midst of the doctors and taught them and that all that heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers (Luke 2:46, 47; and afterwards, 4:16-22, 32).
This took place because Divine order requires that man should prepare himself for the reception of God; and in proportion as he prepares himself, God enters into him as into His dwelling-place and home; and this preparation is effected by means of knowledges respecting God and the spiritual things pertaining to the church, and thus by means of intelligence and wisdom. For it is a law of order that in proportion as man approaches and gets near to God (which he must do wholly as if of himself) does God approach and get near to man, and conjoin Himself with man in man's interiors. It was in accordance with this order that the Lord progressed even to a oneness with His Father.
(True Christian Religion 89)

May 30, 2018

The Lord Provided a Medium of Conjunction

Selection from Heaven and Hell ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
Man is so created as to have a conjunction and connection with the Lord, but with the angels of heaven only an affiliation. Man has affiliation with the angels, but not conjunction, because in respect to the interiors of his mind man is by creation like an angel, having a like will and a like understanding.
Consequently if a man has lived in accordance with the Divine order he becomes after death an angel, with the same wisdom as an angel.
Therefore when the conjunction of man with heaven is spoken of his conjunction with the Lord and affiliation with the angels is meant; for heaven is heaven from the Lord's Divine, and not from what is strictly the angels' own [proprium]. ...

But man has, beyond what the angels have, that he is not only in respect to his interiors in the spiritual world, but also at the same time in respect to his exteriors in the natural world. His exteriors which are in the natural world are all things of his natural or external memory and of his thought and imagination therefrom — in general, knowledges and sciences with their delights and pleasures so far as they savor of the world, also many pleasures belonging to the senses of the body, together with his senses themselves, his speech, and his actions.

All these are the outmosts in which the Lord's Divine influx terminates; for that influx does not stop midway, but goes on to its outmosts. All this shows that-
The outmost of Divine order is in man; and being the outmost it is also the base and foundation.
As the Lord's Divine influx does not stop midway but goes on to its outmosts, as has been said, and as this middle part through which it passes is the angelic heaven, while the outmost is in man, and as nothing can exist unconnected, it follows that the connection and conjunction of heaven with the human race is such that one has its permanent existence from the other, and that the human race apart from heaven would be like a chain without a hook; and heaven without the human race would be like a house without a foundation.

But man has severed this connection with heaven by turning his exteriors away from heaven, and turning them to the world and to self by means of his love of self and of the world, thereby so withdrawing himself that-
He no longer serves as a basis and foundation for heaven; therefore the Lord has provided a medium to serve in place of this base and foundation for heaven, and also for the conjunction of heaven with man. This medium is the Word.
I have been told from heaven that the most ancient people, because their interiors were turned heavenwards, had immediate revelation, and by this means there was at that time a conjunction of the Lord with the human race.

After their times, however, there was no such immediate revelation, but there was a mediate revelation by means of correspondences, inasmuch as all their Divine worship was maintained by correspondences, and for this reason the Churches of that time were called representative Churches.
For it was then known what correspondence is and what representation is, and that all things on the earth correspond to spiritual things in heaven and in the Church, or what is the same, represent them.
Therefore the natural things that constituted the externals of their worship served them as media for thinking spiritually, that is, thinking with the angels.
When the knowledge of correspondences and representations had been blotted out of remembrance then the Word was written, in which all the words and their meanings are correspondences, and thus contain a spiritual or internal sense, in which are the angels.
In consequence, when a man reads the Word and perceives it according to the sense of the letter or the external sense, the angels perceive it according to the internal or spiritual sense; for all the thought of angels is spiritual while the thought of man is natural. These two kinds of thought appear diverse; nevertheless they are one because they correspond. Thus it was that after man separated himself from heaven and severed the bond, the Lord provided a medium of conjunction of heaven with man by means of the Word.
(Heaven and Hell 304 - 306)

May 29, 2018

Thou Shalt Not Make to Thee Other 'gods'

Selection from Apocalypse Explained ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
And God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.  Exodus 20:1 - 3
Thou shalt not make to thee other gods includes not loving self and the world above all things-
For that which one loves above all things is his god.
There are two directly opposite loves, love of self and love to God, also love of the world and love of heaven.

He who loves himself loves his own [proprium]; and as a man's own [proprium] is nothing but evil he also loves evil in its whole complex; and he who loves evil hates good, and thus hates God.

He who loves himself above all things sinks his affections and thoughts in the body, and thus in his own [proprium], and from this he cannot be raised up by the Lord; and when one is sunk in the body and in his own [proprium] he is in corporeal ideas and in pleasures that pertain solely to the body, and thus in thick darkness as to higher things; while he who is raised up by the Lord is in light.

He who is not in the light of heaven but in thick darkness, since he sees nothing of God, denies God and acknowledges as god either nature or some man, or some idol, and even aspires to be himself worshiped as a god.

From this it follows-
that he who loves himself above all things worships other gods.
The same is true, but in a less degree, of one who loves the world; for there cannot be so great a love of the world as of one's own [proprium]; therefore the world is loved because of one's own, and for the sake of one's own, because it is serviceable to it.

The love of self means especially the love of domineering over others from the mere delight in ruling and for the sake of eminence, and not from the delight in uses and for the sake of the public good; while the love of the world means especially the love of possessing goods in the world from the mere delight in possession and for the sake of riches, and not from the delight in uses from these and for the sake of the good therefrom.

These loves are both of them without limit, and rush on to infinity so far as opportunity is given.
(Apocalypse Explained 950:3)

May 27, 2018

Why There Can Be Only 'One God'

Selection from True Christian Religion ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
there is in all the world no nation possessing religion and sound reason that does not acknowledge a God, and that God is One. As a consequence of the Divine influx into the souls of men, treated of just above, there is in every man an internal dictate that there is a God and that He is One. And yet there are some who deny God, and some who acknowledge nature as god, and some who acknowledge more gods than one, and some who worship images as gods; which is possible because such have blocked up the interiors of their reason or understanding with worldly and corporeal things. thereby obliterating their first or childhood idea respecting God, and at the same time rejecting religion from their breasts and casting it behind their backs. Christians acknowledge One God; but in what manner is evident from their established [Athanasian] creed, which is as follows:
The Catholic faith is this: That we worship One God in trinity, and trinity in unity. There are three Divine persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and yet there are not three Gods, but there is One God. There is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit, and their divinity is one, their glory equal, and their majesty coeternal. Thus the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. But like as we are compelled by Christian verity to confess each person singly to be God and Lord, so we are forbidden by the Catholic religion to say there be three Gods or three Lords.
Such is the Christian faith respecting the unity of God. But that the trinity of God and the unity of God in that creed are inconsistent with each other....

The other nations in the world possessing a religion and sound reason agree in acknowledging that God is One; all the Mohammedans in their empires; the Africans in many kingdoms of that continent; the Asiatics in their many kingdoms; and finally the Jews to this day. Of the most ancient people in the golden age, such as had any religion worshiped One God, whom they called Jehovah.
The same is true of the ancient people in the succeeding age, until monarchical governments were established, when worldly and afterwards corporeal loves began to close up the higher regions of the understanding, which previously had been open, and had been like temples and sacred recesses for the worship of One God.
In order to reopen these and thus restore the worship of One God, the Lord God instituted a church among the posterity of Jacob, and made this the first of all the commandments of their religion:
Thou shalt have no other gods before Me (Exod. 20:3).
Moreover, the name Jehovah, which He at this time restored, signifies the supreme and Only Being, the Source of everything that is or exists in the universe. Jove, a name derived possibly from Jehovah, was worshiped as a supreme god by the ancient heathen; and many other gods who composed his court they also clothed with divinity; while in the following age wise men, like Plato and Aristotle, confessed that these were not gods, but were so many properties, qualities, and attributes of the One God, being called gods because there was something Divine in each of them.

All sound reason, even when it is not religious, sees that every composite thing would of itself fall to pieces unless it depended upon some one thing; as in the case of man, composed of so many members, viscera, and organs of sensation and motion, unless they all depended on one soul; or the body itself, unless it depended on one heart. The same is true of a kingdom unless it depends on one king; a household, unless on one master; and every office, of which there are many kinds in every kingdom, unless on one officer. What would an army avail against the enemy unless it had a leader having supreme power, and officers subordinate to him, each of them having his proper command over the soldiers? So would it be with the church if it did not acknowledge One God, or with the angelic heaven, which is like a head to the church on earth, in both of which the Lord is the very soul. This is why heaven and the church are called His body; and when these do not acknowledge One God they are like a dead body, which being useless is carried away and buried.
(True Christian Religion 9, 10)

May 26, 2018

There is a God and He is One

Selection from True Christian Religion ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
There is a universal influx from God into the souls of men of the truth that-
There is a God, and that He is one.
That there is an influx from God into man is evident from the universal confession that-
all good that is in itself good, and that exists in man and is done by him, is from God; in like manner every thing of charity and every thing of faith
for we read:
A man can take nothing except it be given him from heaven  (John 3:27);
and Jesus said:
Without Me ye are unable to do anything  (John 15:5);
that is, anything that pertains to charity and faith.

This influx is into the souls of men because the soul is the inmost and highest part of man, and the influx from God enters into that, and descends therefrom into the things that are below, and vivifies them in accordance with reception.

The truths that are to constitute belief flow in, it is true, through the hearing, and are thus implanted in the mind, that is, below the soul. But by means of such truths man is simply made ready to receive the influx from God through the soul — such as this preparation is, such is the reception, and such the transformation of natural faith into spiritual faith.

There is such an influx from God into the souls of men of the truth that God is one, because everything Divine, regarded most generally as well as most particularly, is God. And as the entire Divine coheres as one, it cannot fail to inspire in man the idea of One God; and this idea is strengthened daily as man is elevated by God into the light of heaven. For the angels in their light cannot force themselves to utter the word "gods." Even their speech closes at the end of every sentence in a oneness of cadence; and there is no other cause of this than the influx into their souls of the truth that God is One.

In spite of this influx into the souls of men of the truth that God is One, there are many who think that the Divinity of God is divided into several possessing the same essence; and the reason of this is that when the influx descends it falls into forms not correspondent, and influx is varied by the form that receives it, as takes place in all the subjects of the three kingdoms of nature. It is the same God who vivifies man and who vivifies every beast; but the recipient form is what causes the beast to be a beast and man to be a man. The same is true of man when he induces on his mind the form of a beast. There is the same influx from the sun into every kind of tree, but the influx differs in accordance with the form of each; that which flows into the vine is the same as that which flows into the thorn; but if a thorn were to be engrafted upon a vine the influx would be inverted and go forth in accordance with the form of the thorn.
For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.  Hebrews 6:7, 8
The same is true of the subjects of the mineral kingdom; the same light flows into limestone and into the diamond; but in the diamond it is transmitted, while in the limestone it is quenched.
In human minds these differences are in accordance with the forms of the mind, which become inwardly spiritual in accordance with faith in God, together with life from God, such forms being made translucent and angelic by a faith in one God, and on the contrary, made dark and bestial by a faith in more than one God, which differs but little from a faith in no God.
(True Christian Religion 8)

May 25, 2018

The Faith of The New Heaven and of The New Church in a 'Particular Form'

Selection from True Christian Religion ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
The faith of the New Heaven and of the New Church in a particular form is as follows:
Jehovah God is love itself and wisdom itself, or is good itself and truth itself.
In respect to Divine truth, which is the Word, and which was God with God, He came down and took on the Human for the purpose of reducing to order all things that were in heaven, and all things in hell, and all things in the church — because at that time the power of hell prevailed over the power of heaven, and upon the earth the power of evil over the power of good, and in consequence a total damnation stood threatening at the door.
This impending damnation Jehovah God removed by means of His Human, which was Divine truth, and thus He redeemed angels and men, and thereupon He united, in His Human, Divine truth with Divine good or Divine wisdom with Divine love; and so, with and in His glorified Human, He returned into His Divine in which He was from eternity.
All this is meant by these words in John:
The Word was with God, and God was the Word. And the Word became flesh  (1:1, 14)
and in the same:
I came out from the Father and am come into the world; again I leave the world and go unto the Father  (16:28);
and also by these words:
We know that the Son of God is come, and has given us understanding that we may know the True; and we are in the True, in His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and life eternal  (1 John 5:20).
From these words it is clear that without the Lord's coming into the world no one could have been saved. It is the same today; and therefore without the Lord's coming again into the world in Divine truth, which is the Word, no one can be saved.

The particulars of faith on man's part are:
(1) God is one, in whom is a Divine trinity, and the Lord God the Savior Jesus Christ is that one.
(2) Saving faith is to believe in Him.
(3) Evils should not be done, because they are of the devil and from the devil.
(4) Goods should be done, because they are of God and from God.
(5) These should be done by man as if by himself; but it should be believed that they are done by the Lord in man and through man.
The first two are matters of faith, the next two of charity, and the fifth of the conjunction of charity and faith, thus of the conjunction of the Lord and man.
(True Christian Religion 3)

May 24, 2018

The Faith of The New Heaven and of The New Church in its Universal Form

Selection from True Christian Religion ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
The faith of The New Heaven and of The New Church in its universal form is as follows:
The Lord from eternity, who is Jehovah, came into the world to subjugate the hells and to glorify His Human; and without this no mortal could have been saved; and those are saved who believe in Him.
This is called the faith in its universal form, because this is the universal principle of faith:
  • The universal principle of faith must be in each thing and in all things of it.
  • It is a universal principle of faith that God is ONE in essence and in person, in whom is a Divine trinity, and that He is the Lord God the Savior Jesus Christ.
  • It is a universal principle of faith that no mortal could have been saved unless the Lord had come into the world.
  • It is a universal principle of faith that He came into the world to remove hell from man, and that He did remove it by means of contests with it and victories over it, and thereby He subdued it and reduced it to order and made it obedient to Himself.
  • It is a universal principle of faith that He came into the world to glorify His Human which He took on in the world, that is, to unite it with the Divine from which [are all things], and thereby He eternally holds hell in order and under obedience to Himself. As this could be accomplished only by means of temptations admitted into His Human, even to the last of them, which was the passion of the cross, He endured even that.
These are the universal principles of faith relating to the Lord.

The universal principle of faith on man's part is that he should believe in the Lord; for by believing in Him there is conjunction with Him and thereby salvation. To believe in the Lord is to have confidence that He saves; and as only those who live rightly can have this confidence, this, too, is meant by believing in Him. And this the Lord teaches in John:
This is the Father's will, that everyone that believeth in the Son may have eternal life (John 6:40)
and again:
He that believeth in the Son hath eternal life; but he that believeth not in the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him (John 3:36).
(True Christian Religion 2)

May 23, 2018

Called the Lord Because He was Jehovah

Selections from Arcana Cœlestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
By the name Lord is meant the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ, and Him only; and He is called "the Lord" without the addition of other names. Throughout the universal heaven He it is who is acknowledged and adored as Lord, because He has all sovereign power in the heavens and on earth. He also commanded His disciples so to call Him, saying, Ye call Me Lord, and ye say well, for I am  (John 13:13).  And after His resurrection His disciples called Him "the Lord."  (Arcana Cœlestia 14)

Among the hidden causes of their calling Jehovah "the Lord" were the following. If at that time it had been said that the Lord was the Jehovah so often named in the Old Testament, men would not have accepted it, for they would not have believed it; and moreover -
The Lord did not become Jehovah as to the Human also until He had completely united the Divine Essence to the Human Essence, and the Human to the Divine.
The full unition was accomplished after the last temptation, which was that of the cross; and for this reason, after the resurrection the disciples always called Him "the Lord" (John 20:2, 13, 15, 18, 20, 25; 21:7, 12, 15-17, 20; Mark 16:19, 20); and Thomas said, My Lord and my God  (John 20:28).
And because the Lord was the Jehovah so often named in the Old Testament, He therefore also said to the disciples:
Ye call Me Master and Lord, and ye say well, for I am (John 13:13-14, 16)
and these words signify that He was Jehovah God; for He is here called "Lord" as to good, and "Master" as to truth. That the Lord was Jehovah is also meant by the words of the angel to the shepherds:
Unto you is born this day a Saviour who is Christ the Lord (Luke 2:11)
He is called "Christ" as the Messiah, the Anointed, King; and "Lord" as Jehovah; "Christ" in respect to truth, and "Lord" in respect to good. One who does not closely study the Word could not know this, for he would think that our Savior was called Lord, like others, from the common title of reverence; when yet He was so called because He was Jehovah.  (Arcana Cœlestia 2921:6)
And he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and behold three men standing over him; and he saw them, and ran to meet them from the door of the tent, and bowed himself toward the earth.   (Genesis 18:2)
That this signifies the Divine Itself, the Divine Human, and the Holy proceeding, may be seen without explication; for it is known to everyone that there is a Trine, and that this Trine is a One.  (Arcana Cœlestia 2149)
And he said, My Lord, if I pray I have found grace in Thine eyes, pass not I pray from Thy servant.  (Genesis 18:3)
My Lord. That this signifies the Trine in a One, namely, the Divine Itself, the Divine Human, and the Holy proceeding, which Trine is in a One, is evident from its being here said "Lord," in the singular number. ... Hence it is evident that the three men (that is, the Divine Itself, the Divine Human, and the Holy proceeding), are the same as the Lord, and the Lord the same as Jehovah.

In the Christian Faith, called the Creed, the same is acknowledged, where it is said in plain words, -
"There are not three Uncreate, nor three Infinite, nor three Eternal, nor three Almighty, nor three Lords, but One."
There are none who separate this Trine which is in a One except those who say that they acknowledge one Supreme Existence [Ens], the Creator of the Universe; which is forgiven those who are outside of the church.  But they who are within the church, and say this, although they say it and sometimes think it, do not in fact acknowledge any God; still less do they acknowledge the Lord.        (Arcana Cœlestia 2156)

May 22, 2018

When Truth is Received as a Principle and Confirmed

Selection from Arcana Cœlestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
Not to See Any Truth that would Lead to Good
Such do those become, especially in the last times, who by ratiocination hatch doctrinal things, and believe nothing unless they first apprehend it; for in this case the life of evil continually inflows into their rational, and a kind of fallacious light pours in from the fire of the affections of evil, and causes them to see falsities as truths; as are wont to do those who see phantoms in nocturnal light. These same things are then confirmed in many ways, and become matters of doctrine, such as are the doctrinal tenets of those who say that the life (which is of the affection) is of no efficacy, but only the faith (which is of the thought).

That every principle whatever, even if falsity itself, when once taken up, can be confirmed by innumerable things, and be presented in the outward form as if it were truth itself, may be known to everyone. Hence come heresies; from which, when once confirmed, the man never recedes. Yet from a false principle nothing but falsities can flow; and even if truths are interlarded among them, they became truths falsified when used to confirm a false principle, because they are contaminated by its essence.

Very different is the case when truth itself is received as a principle, and this is confirmed, as for example that:-
Love to the Lord and charity toward the neighbor are that on which hangs all the Law, and of which all the Prophets speak, and that they are therefore the essentials of all doctrine and worship
for in this case the mind would be illuminated by innumerable things in the Word, that otherwise lie hidden in the obscurity of a false principle. Nay, in such a case heresies would be dissipated, and one church would arise out of many, no matter how greatly the doctrinal and ritual matters that flowed from or led to it might differ.

Such was the ancient Church, which extended through many kingdoms, namely, Assyria, Mesopotamia, Syria, Ethiopia, Arabia, Libya, Egypt, Philistia as far as Tyre and Sidon, and through the land of Canaan on both sides the Jordan. Among these the doctrinal and ritual matters differed-
but still the church was one, because to them charity was the essential thing.
Then was there the Lord's kingdom on earth as in the heavens, for such is heaven. If it were so now, all would be governed by the Lord as one man; for they would be as the members and organs of one body, which, although not of similar form, nor of similar function, yet all have relation to one heart, on which depend all and each in their several forms, that are everywhere varied. Then would each person say, in whatever doctrine and in whatever outward worship he might be, This is my brother, I see that he worships the Lord, and is a good man.
(Arcana Cœlestia 2385:2-5)

May 21, 2018

They Who are in Falsity are Called the "Blind"

Selection from Arcana Cœlestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
In the Word "blindness" is predicated of those who are in falsity, and also of those who are in ignorance of truth. Both are called the "blind;" but which are meant in any special instance can be seen from the series or connection, especially in the internal sense. That they who are in falsity are called the "blind," is evident from the following passages.

In Isaiah:
His watchmen are blind, they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark  (Isa. 56:10).
"Blind watchmen," denotes those who from reasoning are in falsity.

Again:
We look for light, and behold darkness; for brightness, but we walk in thick darkness; we grope for the wall like the blind  (Isa. 59:9-10).
In Jeremiah:
They have wandered as the blind in the streets; they have polluted themselves with blood; what they cannot pollute, they touch with their garments  (Lam. 4:14);
meaning that all truths have been polluted; the "streets" denoting the truths wherein they have gone astray.

In Zechariah:
In that day I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness; every horse of the peoples will I smite with blindness  (Zech. 12:4).
Here and elsewhere in the Word a "horse" denotes the understanding; hence it is said that the "horse should be smitten with astonishment," and that the "horse of the peoples should be smitten with blindness," that is, should be filled with falsities.

In John:
For judgment am I come into the world, that they that see not may see, and that they that see may become blind. They of the Pharisees heard these things, and said, Are we also blind? Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye would not have sin; but now ye say, We see, therefore your sin remaineth  (John 9:39-41).
Here the "blind" in both senses are spoken of, namely, those who are in falsity, and those who are in ignorance of truth. With those who are within the church and know what the truth is, "blindness" is falsity; but with those who do not know what the truth is (as is the case with those who are outside the church), "blindness" is ignorance of the truth, and these are blameless.

Again:
He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart, that they may not see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and I should heal them  (John 12:40; Isa. 6:9-11)
meaning that it would be better for them to be in falsities than to be in truths, because they are in a life of evil, and if they were instructed in truths, they would not only still falsify them, but would also defile them with evils; for the like reason that the men of Sodom were smitten with blindness, that is, the doctrinal things were filled with falsities....

As what is blind signified what is false, therefore in the representative Jewish Church it was forbidden to sacrifice anything that was blind (Lev. 22:22; Deut. 15:21; Mal. 1:8).  It was also forbidden that any one of the priests who was blind should draw near to offer upon the altar (Lev. 21:18, 21).

That "blindness" is predicated of ignorance of truth, such as prevails with the Gentiles, is evident in Isaiah:
In that day shall the deaf hear the words of the Book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of thick darkness and out of darkness  (Isa. 29:18).
Here the "blind" denotes those who are in ignorance of truth, being chiefly those outside the church.

Again:
Bring forth the blind people and they shall have eyes; and the deaf and they shall have ears (Isa. 43:8)
where the church of the Gentiles is spoken of.

Again:
I will lead the blind in a way that they have not known; I will make darkness light before them  (Isa. 42:16).
And again:
I will give Thee for a light of the people, to open the blind eyes, to bring out the bound from the dungeon, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house  (Isa. 42:6-7)
where the Lord's advent is treated of, in that they who are in ignorance of truth should then be instructed; for those who are in falsity do not suffer themselves to be so instructed, because they are acquainted with the truth and have confirmed themselves against it, and have turned the light into darkness, which cannot be dispelled.

In Luke:
The master of the house said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the lame, and the blind  (Luke 14:21)
where the Lord's kingdom is treated of, and it is evident that the poor, maimed, lame, and blind are not meant, but those who are such in the spiritual sense.

Again:
Jesus said that they should tell John that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and to the poor the gospel is preached (Luke 7:22).
According to the sense of the letter, by the "blind," the "lame," the "lepers," the "deaf," the "dead," the "poor," only these are meant; because it was actually the case that the blind received sight, the deaf hearing, the lepers health, the dead life.

But yet in the internal sense the same are meant as in Isaiah:
Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped, and the lame shall leap as the hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing  (Isa. 35:5-6)
where the Lord's advent is treated of, and the new church at that time, which is called that of the Gentiles; of whom it is declared that they were "blind," "deaf," "lame," and "dumb;" being so called in respect to doctrine and to life.
For be it known that all the miracles performed by the Lord always involved, and thence signified, such things as are meant in the internal sense by the healing of the blind, of the lame, of the lepers, the deaf, the dead, and the poor. For this reason the Lord's miracles were Divine, as also were those performed in Egypt and in the wilderness, as well as all the other miracles that are treated of in the Word. This is an arcanum.
(Arcana Cœlestia 2383)

May 20, 2018

The Conjunction of the Infinite with the Human Race

Selection from Arcana Cœlestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations.  Genesis 17:9
The subject here treated of is the conjunction of the Lord with those who believe in Him, and therefore there is a repetition of the word "thou;" for it is said, Thou shalt keep My covenant, thou and thy seed; and from this repetition of the words in connection with "seed" it is evident that in the internal sense conjunction is signified, and in fact with those who are the seed, by which is signified the faith of charity...

Moreover 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)
from 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.

Again:
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. That this is so, I have learned from much experience from those who come into the other life. 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, because this had been a scandal or stumbling-block to them in the life of the body; although at that time they had divulged nothing about it, and had adored Him with outward sanctity. For in the other life the interiors are open, and are made manifest by the sphere diffused from them ....  In this way it is plainly perceived of what faith they had been, and what they had thought concerning the Lord.

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 Cœlestia 2034)

May 19, 2018

The Divine Essence Itself is Love And Wisdom

Selection from Divine Love and Wisdom ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
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 - 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...
It is because the Divine Essence itself is Love and Wisdom, that all things in the universe have relation to good and truth; for everything that proceeds from love is called good, and everything that proceeds from wisdom is called truth. ...

It is because the Divine Essence itself is Love and Wisdom, that the universe and all things in it - alive and not alive - have unceasing existence from heat and light; for heat corresponds to love, and light corresponds to wisdom; and therefore spiritual heat is love and spiritual light is wisdom. ...
From Divine Love and from Divine Wisdom, which make the very Essence that is God, all affections and thoughts with man have their rise - affections from Divine Love, and thoughts from Divine Wisdom - and each and all things of man are nothing but affection and thought; these two are like fountains of all things of man's life.
All the enjoyments and pleasantnesses of his life are from these - enjoyments from the affection of his love, and pleasantnesses from the thought therefrom. Now since man was created to be a recipient, and is a recipient in the degree in which he loves God and from love to God is wise, in other words, in the degree in which he is affected by those things which are from God and thinks from that affection, it follows that the Divine Essence, which is the Creator, is Divine Love and Divine Wisdom.
(Divine Love and Wisdom 28 - 33)

May 18, 2018

The Salvation of the Faithful, and The Condemnation of the Unfaithful

Excerpts from Arcana Cœlestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
Judgment belongs to the Lord's Divine Human and Holy proceeding
That it belongs to the Divine Human see in John:  The Father judgeth not anyone, but hath given all judgment unto the Son   (John 5:22); by the "Son" is meant the Divine Human.

That Judgment belongs to the Holy that proceeds from the Lord's Divine Human, see also in John:  If I go away, I will send the Comforter unto you; and when He is come, He shall reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment; of sin, because they believe not on Me; of righteousness, because I go unto My Father, and ye shall see Me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged (John 16:7-11)

"Sin" here denotes all unfaithfulness. His "reproving in regard to righteousness" means in regard to all that is against good, when yet the Lord united the Human to the Divine to save the world - which is the meaning of I go unto My Father and ye shall see Me no more.

His "reproving in regard to judgment" means in regard to all that is against truth, when yet evils were cast down into their hells so as no longer to be able to inflict injury - which is meant by the prince of the world being judged.

In general, His "reproving in regard to sin, righteousness, and judgment," means that it was in regard to all unfaithfulness against good and truth; and thus that there was no charity and faith; for in ancient times by righteousness and judgment were understood, as regards the Lord, all mercy and grace; and as regards man, all charity and faith.     (Arcana Cœlestia 2235:6)

[T]hat the Holy proceeds from the Lord, see in the same:  He shall not speak from Himself but shall take of Mine, and shall declare it  (John 16:13, 15); and this when the Human was made Divine, that is, when the Lord had been glorified, see in the same:  The Holy Spirit was not yet, because Jesus was not yet glorified  (John 7:39).

The human race could no longer have been saved unless the Lord had come into the world and had united the Divine Essence to the Human Essence; for without the Lord's Human made Divine salvation could no longer have reached to man.
The Holy Itself that proceeds from the Lord's Divine Human is that which separates the evil from the good
for the evil so fear and shudder at the Lord's Holy that they cannot approach it, but flee far away from it into their hells, each one according to the profaneness that is in him.
(Arcana Cœlestia 2320-2321)

May 17, 2018

Good Cannot Die, Because Evil Can Be Separated From It

Selection from Arcana Cœlestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg
to "cause the righteous to die with the wicked," is to make good die with evil
As this ought not to be done, and causes horror to think of, it is removed in the internal sense, and then there is presented this: that good cannot die, because evil can be separated from it.

Be it known that all the good a man has thought and done from infancy even to the last of his life, remains; in like manner all the evil, so that not the least of it completely perishes. Both are inscribed on his book of life (that is, on each of his memories [interior and exterior]), and on his nature (that is, his native disposition and genius). From these he has formed for himself a life, and so to speak a soul, which after death is of a corresponding quality.
But goods are never so commingled with evils, nor evils with goods, that they cannot be separated; for if they should be commingled, the man would eternally perish.
In relation to this the Lord exercises His providence, and when a man comes into the other life, if he has lived in the good of love and of charity, the Lord then separates his evils, and by what is good with him elevates him into heaven. But if he has lived in evils, that is, in things contrary to love and charity, the Lord then separates from him what is good, and his evils bring him into hell. Such is the lot of everyone after death; but it is a separation, and in no wise a complete removal.

Moreover, as the will of man, which is the one part of his life, has been utterly destroyed, the Lord separates this destroyed part from the other which is his intellectual part, and in those who are being regenerated, implants in this intellectual part the good of charity, and through this a new will — these are they who have conscience. Thus also, speaking generally, the Lord separates evil from good. These are the arcana which are meant in the internal sense by the statement that good cannot die, because evil can be separated from it.
(Arcana Cœlestia 2256)