Brief Exposition, by Emanuel Swedenborg, , tr. by John Whitehead  at sacred-texts.com
That the church is the Lord's, and that from the spiritual marriage, which is that of good and truth, the Lord is called "the bridegroom" and "the Husband," and the church "the Bride" and "the Wife," is known to Christians from the Word, particularly from the following passages: John said of the Lord: He that hath the Bride is the Bridegroom, but the friend of the Bridegroom is he who standeth and heareth Him, and rejoiceth because of the Bridegroom's voice (John 3:29). Jesus said, while the Bridegroom is with them, the sons of the marriage cannot fast (Matt. 9:15; Mark 2:19, 20; Luke 5:34, 35). I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a Bride adorned for her Husband (Apoc. 21:2). The angel said unto John, Come, and I will show thee the Bride, the Lamb's Wife; and from a mountain he showed him the holy city Jerusalem (Apoc. 21:9). The time of the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His Wife hath made herself ready; happy are they who are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb (Apoc. 19:7, 9). I am the Root and Offspring of David, the bright and morning Star. The Spirit and the Bride say, Come; and let him who beareth say, Come; and him that thirsteth let him come: and whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely (Apoc. 22:16, 17).102.
XXIV. The faith of the New Church cannot by any means be together with the faith of the former church, and if they are together, such a collision and conflict will take place that everything of the Church with man will perish.103.
BRIEF ANALYSIS. The reason why the faith of the New Church cannot by any means be together with the faith of the former or present church, is, because they do not agree together in one third, no, nor even in one tenth part. The faith of the former church is described in Revelation (chap. 12) by "the dragon," but the faith of the New Church by "the woman encompassed with the sun, having upon her head a crown of twelve stars, whom the dragon pursued, and at whom he cast water as a flood, that he might swallow her up," see above (n. 87-90). These two cannot be together in one city, much less in one house, consequently they cannot be together in one mind; and if they should be together, the unavoidable consequence must be, that the woman would be continually exposed to the anger and insanity of the dragon, and in fear lest he should devour her son; for it is said in Revelation, that: The dragon stood before the woman who was ready to be delivered, in order to devour her offspring, and the woman, after she had brought forth, fled into the wilderness (Rev. 12:1, 4, 6, 14-17). The faith of the former church is a faith of the night, for human reason has no perception of it; wherefore it is also said, that the understanding must be kept in obedience thereto; yea, it is not known whether it be within man or without him, because nothing of man's will and reason enters into it, no, nor charity, good works, repentance, the Law of the Decalogue, with many other things which really exist in the mind of man. That this is the case, may be seen above (n. 79, 80, 96-98). But the faith of the New Church enters into a conjugial covenant with all these, and conjoins itself to them; and because it is thus in the heat of heaven, it is also in the light thereof, and is a faith of light. Now a faith of night and a faith of light cannot be together any more than an owl and a dove in one nest. For in such case the owl would lay her eggs, and the dove hers, and after sitting, the young of both would be hatched, and then the owl would tear in pieces the young of the dove, and would give them to her own young for food; for the owl is a bird of prey. There is a further reason why the faith of the former church and the faith of the New Church cannot possibly be together, and that is, because they are heterogeneous; for the faith of the former church springs from an idea of three gods, see n. 30-38, but the faith of the New Church from the idea of one God; and as there hence arises a heterogeneity between them, there must inevitably, if they are together, be such a collision and conflict, that everything of the church would perish; that is, man would either fall into a delirium or into a swoon, as to spiritual things, until at length he would scarcely know what the church is, or whether there be any church. From what has been said, it follows, that they who have confirmed themselves in the faith of the old church, cannot, without endangering their spiritual life, embrace the faith of the New Church, until they first have disproved its particulars, and thus have extirpated the former faith, together with its offspring or eggs, that is, its dogmas; the nature of which has been already shown in the foregoing pages, particularly at n. 64-69.104.
The like would happen if anyone should embrace the faith of the New Church, and retain the faith of the old church concerning the imputation of the justice or merit of the Lord; for from this, as from their root, all its dogmas, like so many offshoots, have sprung forth. If this should be the case, it would comparatively be like anyone extricating himself from three heads of the dragon, and becoming entangled in his four remaining ones; or like one who fled from a leopard, and met a lion; or like one escaping out of a pit where there is no water, and falling into a pit full of water, and being drowned. That this is the case, will be seen after the exposition of the following proposition, where something will be advanced concerning imputation.105.
XXV. The Roman Catholics at this day know nothing of the imputation of the merit of Christ, and of justification by faith therein, into which their church was formerly initiated, because it is entirely concealed under their externals of worship, which are many; for which reason, therefore, if they recede but in part from their externals of worship, and immediately approach God the Savior Jesus Christ, and administer the Holy Eucharist in both kinds, they may be brought into the New Jerusalem, that is, into the New Church of the Lord, more easily than the Reformed.106.
BRIEF ANALYSIS. That the primates and leaders of the Romish church, at their inauguration into the ministry, swear to observe the decrees of the Council of Trent, appears from the bull of the Roman pontiff Pius IV, where, in the form of the oath of their profession of faith, dated the 18th of November, 1564, we find these words: "I firmly believe and profess all and every thing contained in the creed used by the holy church of Rome; and I receive, without any doubt, all such things as are maintained and declared in her holy canons, and general councils, and especially by the most holy Council of Trent; so help me God." That they also bind themselves by an oath to believe and profess what the Council of Trent has established, concerning the imputation of the merit of Christ, and justification by faith therein, is evident from these words in the same bull: "I embrace and receive each and all things, which have been determined and declared in the most holy Council of Trent, concerning original sin and justification." What these are, may be seen from the extracts taken from that council, see above (n. 3-8). From these principles established in that council, the following consequences have been drawn, namely, "That the Roman Catholics, before the Reformation, held precisely the same doctrines as the Reformed have done after it, with respect to the imputation of the merit of Christ, and justification by faith therein, only with this difference, that they conjoined the same faith with charity and good works," see above (n. 19-20). Also, "That the leading reformers, Luther, Melancthon, and Calvin, retained all the dogmas concerning the imputation of the merit of Christ, and justification by faith, just as they then were and had been with the Roman Catholics; but that they separated charity and good works from that faith, and declared them to have no saving efficacy, to the intent that they might be severed from the Roman Catholics, as to the very essentials of the church, which are faith and charity," see above (n. 21-23). Moreover, "That nevertheless the aforesaid reformers adjoined good works, and even conjoined them, to their faith, but in man as a passive subject; but the Roman Catholics conjoin them in him as an active subject; and that nevertheless there actually is a conformity of sentiment between both the one and the other, as to faith, works, and merits," see above (n. 24-29). From what has been shown, then, it is evident, that this faith is a faith which the Roman Catholics swear to observe, equally as well as the Reformed.107.
Nevertheless this faith is so far obliterated with the Roman Catholics at this day, that they scarcely know a jot about it; not that it has been reprobated by any papal decree, but because it has been concealed by the externals of worship, which are in general the adoration of Christ's vicar, the invocation of saints, the veneration of images; and moreover by such things as, from being accounted holy, affect the senses, as masses in an unknown tongue, garments, lights, incense, the pomp of processions; also mysteries respecting the Eucharist. By these things, and others of a like nature, faith justifying by the imputation of the merit of Christ, although a primitive tenet of the Roman church, has been so removed out of sight, and withdrawn from the memory, that it is like something buried in the earth, and covered over with a stone, which the monks have set a watch over, to prevent its being dug up and recalled; for were it recalled, the belief of their possessing a supernatural power of forgiving sins, and thus of justifying, sanctifying, and saving, would cease, and therewith all their sanctity, pre-eminence, and prodigious gains.108.
The first reason why the Roman Catholics may be brought into the New Jerusalem, or the New Church, more easily than the Reformed, is because the faith of justification by the imputation of the merit of Christ, which is an erroneous faith, and cannot be together with the faith of the New Church (n. 102-104), is with them obliterated, yea, is to be altogether obliterated; but it is as it were engraven upon the Reformed, inasmuch as it is the principal tenet of their church. The second reason is, because the Roman Catholics entertain an idea of Divine majesty in the Human of the Lord, more than there is with the Reformed, as is evident from their most devout veneration of the host. The third reason is, because they hold charity, good works, repentance, and attention to amendment of life, to be essentials of salvation, and these are also the essentials of the New Church; but the case is otherwise with the Reformed, who are confirmed in faith alone; with these the above are neither regarded as essentials nor formalities belonging to faith, and consequently they contribute nothing to salvation. These are three reasons, why the Roman Catholics, if they approach God the Savior Himself, not mediately but immediately, and likewise administer the Holy Eucharist in both kinds, may more easily than the Reformed receive a living faith in the place of a dead faith, and be conducted by angels from the Lord to the gates of the New Jerusalem or the New Church, and be introduced therein with joy and shouting.109.
The imputation of the justice or merits of Christ, enters at this day like a soul into the whole system of theology throughout the Reformed Christian world. It is from imputation that faith, which is therein accounted the only means of salvation, is affirmed to be justice before God, see above [n. 11 (d)]; and it is from imputation that man, by means of that faith, is said to be clothed with the gifts of justice, as a king when elected is invested with the insignia of royalty. But nevertheless imputation, from the mere assertion that a man is just, effects nothing, for it passes only into the ears, and does not operate in man, unless the imputation of justice be also the application of justice by its being communicated and so induced. This follows from its effects, which are said to be the remission of sins, regeneration, renovation, sanctification, and thus salvation. It is asserted further, that by means of that faith Christ dwells in man, and the Holy Spirit operates in him, and that hence the regenerate are not only called just, but they also are just. That not only the gifts of God, but likewise Christ Himself, yea, all the Holy Trinity, dwells by faith in the regenerate, as in their temples, see above [n. 15 (l)]; and that man both as to person and works, is just, and is called so, see above [n. 14 (e)]. From which it clearly follows, that by the imputation of the justice of Christ is meant its application, and thereby its being induced, from which man is made partaker thereof. Now, because imputation is the root, the beginning, and the foundation of faith, and all its operations towards salvation, and hence is as it were the sanctuary or sacred recess in the Christian temples at this day, it is necessary to subjoin here something concerning Imputation by way of corollary; but this shall be distinctly arranged in articles in the following order: I. That to everyone after death is imputed the evil in which he is, and in like manner the good. II. That the induction of the good of one into another, is impossible. III. That a faith of the imputation or application of the justice or merits of Christ, because it is impossible, is an imaginary faith.110.
I. That to every one, after death, is imputed the evil in which he is, and in like manner the good. In order to illustrate this with some degree of evidence, it shall be considered under the following distinctions. 1. That every one has his own life. 2. That his own life remains with everyone after death. 3. That to the evil is then imputed the evil of his life, and that to the good is imputed his good. 1. That everyone has his own life, thus a life distinct from that of another, is known. For there is a perpetual variety, and no two things are alike; hence it is that everyone has his own. This manifestly appears from the faces of men, there is not given one face exactly like that of another, nor ever can be to eternity, because there do not exist two minds alike, and the face is from the mind, for it is, as is said, the type of the mind, and the mind derives its origin and form from the life. Unless a man had his own life as he has a mind and face of his own, he would not have any life after death distinct from that of another; nay, heaven could not exist, for this consists of perpetual varieties; the form of this is solely from the varieties of souls and minds disposed into such an order, as to make one; and they constitute one from that One whose life is in the whole and every particular there, as the soul is in man. Unless this were the case, heaven would be dispersed, because its form would be dissolved. The One from whom the life of all and everyone proceeds, and from whom that form coheres together, is the Lord. 2. That the life of everyone remains with him after death, is known in the church from the Word, and particularly from the following passages: The Son of man shall come, and then He shall render unto everyone according to his deeds (Matt. 16:27). I saw the books opened, and all were judged according to their works (Rev. 20:12, 13). In the day of judgment God will render unto everyone according to his works (Rom. 2:6; 2 Cor. 5:10). The works, according to which it shall be rendered unto everyone, are the life, for the life effects them, and they are according to the life. Forasmuch as it has been granted me for many years to be with angels, and to speak with newcomers from the world, I can testify as a matter of certainty, that everyone is there explored as to the quality of his past life, and that the life which he had contracted in the world, abides with him to eternity. I have spoken with those who lived many ages ago, whose life was known to me from history, and I found them similar to the description. I have also heard from the angels, that no one's life can be changed after death, because it is organized according to his love and faith, and hence according to his works; and that if the life were changed, the organization would be destroyed, which never can be done. They further added, that a change of organization can only take place in the material body, and by no means in the spiritual body, after the former is rejected. 3. That to the evil is then imputed the evil of his life, and that to the good is imputed his good. The imputation of evil after death, does not consist in accusation, blame, censure, or in passing judgment, as in the world; but the evil itself effects this. For the evil of their own accord separate themselves from the good, because they cannot be together; the delights of the love of evil are averse to the delights of the love of good, and delights exhale from everyone, as odors from every vegetable on earth; for they are no longer absorbed and concealed by the material body as before, but freely flow forth into the spiritual atmosphere from their loves; and inasmuch as evil is there perceived as it were in its odor, it is this which accuses, blames, inculpates, and judges; not before any judge, but before everyone who is in good; and this is what is meant by imputation. The imputation of good is effected in the same manner; this takes place with those who in the world had acknowledged that every good in them was and is from the Lord, and nothing thereof from themselves. These, after they have been prepared, are let into the interior delights of their own good, and then a way is opened for them towards a society in heaven, whose delights are homogeneous. This is done by the Lord.111.
II. That the induction of the good of one person into another, is impossible. The proof hereof may also appear from the following observations in their order: l. That every man is born in evil. 2. That man is led into good through regeneration by the Lord. 3. That this is effected by faith in the Lord, and by a life according to His commandments. 4. Wherefore the good of one cannot by application be transferred to another, and so imputed. 1. That every man is born in evil, is known in the church. This evil is said to be hereditary from Adam; but it is from parents, from whom everyone derives his disposition or inclination. That it is so experience and reason proves; for the likenesses of parents may be traced in the faces, characters, and manners of their children, and their posterity. Hence families are distinguished by many, and their propensities are also judged of: wherefore, the evils which parents have contracted, are transmitted by propagation to their posterity, under a species of inclination towards them; hence are derived the evils into which men are born. 2. That man is led into good through regeneration by the Lord. That there is regeneration, and that unless one is regenerated, he cannot enter into heaven, is very evident from the Lord's words in John 3:3, 5. That regeneration is purification from evils, and thus renovation of life, cannot lie hidden in the Christian world, for reason also sees this, whilst it acknowledges that everyone is born in evil, and that evil cannot be washed and wiped away, like filth by soap and water, but by repentance. 3. That this is effected by faith in the Lord, and by a life according to His commandments. The precepts of regeneration are five, as may be seen above (n. 43, 44); among which are these. That evils ought to be shunned, because they are of the devil and from the devil; that goods ought to be done, because they are of God and from God; and that the Lord is to be approached, that He may lead us so to do. Let everyone consider and weigh with himself, whether good can be derived to man from any other source; and if he has not good he cannot be saved. 4. Wherefore the good of one cannot by application be transferred to another, and so imputed. From what has been said above, it follows, that man by regeneration is renewed as to his spirit, and that this is effected by faith in the Lord, and at the same time by a life according to His commandments. Who does not see, that this renewal can only be effected from time to time, nearly in like manner as a tree takes root, and grows successively from a seed, and is perfected? They who have a different notion of regeneration and renovation, know nothing of the state of man, nor anything about evil and good, as that they are diametrically opposite to each other, and that good cannot be implanted but in proportion as evil is removed; neither do they know, that so long as anyone is in evil, he is averse to good which in itself is really good; wherefore if the good of one were to be applied and so induced into another who is in evil, it would be like casting a lamb to a wolf, or fastening a pearl to a hog's snout. From what has been said it is evident, that the induction of the good of one into another is impossible.112.
III. That the faith of imputation, or application of the justice or merit of Christ, inasmuch as such imputation or application is impossible, is an imaginary faith. That to everyone is imputed the evil in which he is, and in like manner the good, was demonstrated above (n. 110). Hence it is evident, that if by imputation is meant the application and thence the induction of the good of one into another, it is an imaginary thought. In the world, merits may be as it were transcribed by men, that is, benefits may be conferred on children for the sake of their parents, or on the friends of any adherent from favoritism; yet the good of merit cannot be inscribed on their souls, but only externally adjoined. The like cannot take place with men in respect to their spiritual life. This, as was shown above, must be implanted, and if not implanted by a life according to the above-mentioned precepts of the Lord, man remains in the evil in which he was born. Until this is done, no good can approach him, or if it does, it is instantly repelled, and rebounds like an elastic ball falling on a rock, or is absorbed like a diamond thrown into a swamp. An unreformed man is, as to his spirit, like a panther or an owl, and may be compared to a thorn or a nettle; but a regenerate man is like a sheep or a dove, and may be compared to an olive tree or a vine. Consider then, I pray, if thou art disposed, how can a man a panther be converted into a man a sheep, or an owl into a dove, or a thorn into an olive tree, or a nettle into a vine, by any imputation, if thereby is meant transcription? In order that conversion may take place, must not the ferocious nature of the panther and the owl, and the noxious properties of the thorn and the nettle, be first removed, and thus the truly human and inoffensive properties be implanted? How this is effected, the Lord also teaches in John (15:1-7).113.
To the above shall be added the following observations. It is said in the church, that no one can fulfill the law, especially since whosoever offends against one commandment of the Decalogue, offends against all. This form of speaking, however, is not such as it sounds; for this is to be understood in this manner, that whosoever from purpose or from confirmation acts against one commandment, acts against all the rest, since to act thus from purpose or from confirmation is to deny altogether that it is a sin, and he who denies it to be sin, makes light of acting against all the rest of the commandments. Who does not know, that he who is a fornicator is not therefore a murderer, a thief, or a false witness, nor even willing to be such? But he who is an adulterer from purpose and confirmation, makes light of all things relating to religion, and consequently pays no regard to murders, thefts, and false witness, not abstaining from them because they are sins, but for fear of the law or loss of reputation. The case is similar, if anyone from purpose or confirmation acts against any other commandment of the Decalogue; he then also offends against the rest, because he does not account anything a sin. It is very similar with those who are in good from the Lord. These, if from the will and understanding, or from purpose and confirmation, they abstain from one evil because it is a sin, abstain from all, and still more if they abstain from many; for whenever anyone abstains, from purpose and confirmation, from any evil, because it is a sin, he is kept by the Lord in the purpose of abstaining from the rest; wherefore if through ignorance, or any predominant lust of the body, he does an evil, it nevertheless is not imputed to him, because he did not purpose it to himself, nor confirm it with himself. A man comes into this kind of purpose, if he examines himself once or twice a year, and repents of the evil he discovers in himself. It is otherwise with him who never examines himself. It is permitted to confirm this by the following. I have met with many in the spiritual world, who have lived like other people in the natural world, feasting sumptuously, being splendidly clothed, making interest by trade like others, frequenting play houses, joking on amatory affairs as if from lust, with other things of a similar nature, and yet the angels charged such things as evils of sin in some, and did not impute them as evils in others, declaring the latter innocent, and the former guilty. On being asked the reason of such distinction, when both had indulged in like practices, they replied, that they consider all according to their purpose, intention, and end, and distinguish them accordingly; and therefore that they excuse and condemn those whom the end excuses or condemns, inasmuch as good is the end that influences all who are in heaven, and evil is the end that influences all who are in hell. From what has been said it now plainly appears, to whom sin is imputed, and to whom it is not imputed.114.
To the above shall be added two Relations taken from The Apocalypse Revealed. The First is this: I was seized suddenly with a disease almost deadly. My whole head was oppressed with pain; a pestilential smoke was let in from the great city which is spiritually called Sodom and Egypt (Rev. 11:8). I was half dead with severe anguish, I expected the end. Thus I lay in bed through three days and a half; my spirit became such, and from it my body. Then I heard about me voices saying, "Lo! he lieth dead in the street of our city, who preached repentance for the remission of sins, and Christ the man as the only God." And they asked some of the clergy, whether he was worthy of burial, as was said concerning the two witnesses slain in that city (Rev. 11:8-10). And they answered, "No, let him lie, let him be looked at"; and they passed to and fro, and mocked. All this befell me of a truth, when that chapter of Revelation was being explained. Then there were heard severe speeches from them, such as the following: "How can repentance be performed without faith? And how can Christ, the man, be adored as God? Whilst we are saved freely without any merit of our own, what need is there of anything besides faith alone, that God the Father sent the Son to take away the damnation of the law, to impute His merit to us, and so to justify us in His sight, and absolve us from our sins, and then to give the Holy Spirit to operate all good in us? Are not these things agreeable to Scripture, and to reason also?" The crowd standing by applauded these things. I heard all this without any power to reply, being almost dead. But after three days and a half my spirit recovered, and as to the spirit I went forth from the street into the city, and again said, "Repent, and believe in Christ, and your sins will be remitted, and you will be saved, but otherwise you will perish. Did not the Lord Himself preach repentance for the remission of sins, and that men should believe in Him? Did He not command His disciples to preach the same? Does not a full security of life follow the dogma of your faith?" But they said, "What idle talk! Has not the Son made satisfaction? And does not the Father impute it to us, and justify us who have believed this? Thus we are led by the spirit of grace, then what sin is in us, what death is with us? Dost thou comprehend this gospel, thou preacher of sin and repentance?" But then a voice went forth from heaven, saying, "What is the faith of an impenitent man, but a dead faith? The end is come, the end is come upon you that are secure, unblamable in your own eyes, justified in your own faith, devils." And suddenly a deep gulf was then opened in the midst of that city, which spread itself far and wide, and the houses fell one upon another, and were swallowed up; and presently water began to bubble up from a large whirlpool, and overflowed the waste. When they were thus submerged, and seemed inundated, I desired to know their lot in the deep; and it was said to me from heaven, "Thou shalt see and hear." And immediately the waters wherein they seemed to be inundated disappeared, for waters in the spiritual world are correspondences, and consequently appear around those who are in falsities; and then they appeared to me in a sandy bottom, where were large heaps of stones, among which they ran, and lamented that they were cast out of their great city: and they shouted and cried, "Why has all this befallen us? Are we not, through our faith, clean, pure, just, and holy?" Others exclaimed, "Are we not, through our faith, cleansed, purified, justified, and sanctified?" And others cried, "Are we not, through our faith, rendered worthy to be reputed and esteemed clean, pure, just, and holy, before God the Father, and before the whole Trinity, and to be declared such before the angels? Are not we reconciled, atoned for, expiated, and thereby absolved, washed and cleansed from sins? And is not the curse of the law taken away by Christ? Why then are we cast down hither like the condemned? We have heard from an audacious preacher of sin in our great city, Believe in Christ, and do the work of repentance. Have we not believed in Christ, whilst we believed in His merit? And have we not done the work of repentance, whilst we confessed ourselves sinners? Why then has all this befallen us?" But then a voice from one side said to them, "Do you know any one sin in which you are? Have you ever examined yourselves? Have you in consequence thereof shunned any evil as sin against God? And whosoever does not shun it, remains in it. Is not sin the devil? Wherefore you are they of whom the Lord says: Then shall ye begin to say, we have eaten and drunk in Thy presence, and Thou hast taught in our streets; but He shall answer, I say unto you, I know you not, whence ye are; depart from Me all ye workers of iniquity (Luke 13:26, 27; Matt. 7:22, 23). Depart therefore every one to his place; you see the openings into those caverns, enter therein, and work shall be given each of you to do, and afterwards food in proportion to your work; but if not, still presently you will be compelled by hunger to enter. Afterwards there came a voice from heaven to some on that land, who were without the great city, and who are also described in the Apocalypse (11:13), crying aloud, "Take heed to yourselves, take heed how you associate yourselves with such persons. Cannot you understand, that evils, which are called sins and iniquities, render man unclean and impure? How can man be cleansed and purified from them, but by actual repentance, and faith in the Lord God the Savior? Actual repentance consists in a man's examining himself, in knowing and acknowledging his sins, in making himself guilty, in confessing them before the Lord, in imploring help and power to resist them, and thus in desisting from them, and leading a new life, and doing all these things as of himself. Do this once or twice in a year, when you come to the Holy Communion; and afterwards when the sins, whereof you made yourselves guilty, recur, then say to yourselves, we will not consent to them, because they are sins against God; this is actual repentance. Who cannot understand, that he who does not examine himself and see his sins, remains in them? For all evil is delightful to a man from his birth; it is a delight to revenge, to commit whoredom, to defraud and to blaspheme; does not the delight cause them not to be seen? And, if perchance it is said that they are sins, do you not on account of that delight excuse them? "Yea, do you not by falsities confirm them, and persuade yourselves that they are not sins, and so remain in them, and afterwards do them more than before; even till you do not know what sin is, or whether there be any sin? But the case is otherwise with everyone who performs actual repentance; the evils which he has known and acknowledged he calls sins, and therefore he begins to shun and be averse to them, and to feel their delight as undelightful; and in proportion as this is the case, so far he sees and loves goods, and at length feels the delights of these, which are the delights of heaven. In a word, so far as anyone rejects the devil to the back, so far he is adopted by the Lord, and by Him is taught, led, withheld from evils, and held in goods. This is the way, and there is no other from hell to heaven." This is wonderful, that there is in the Reformed a certain deep-rooted opposition and aversion to actual repentance, which is so great, that they cannot force themselves to self-examination, and to see their sins, and to confess them before God; they are seized as it were with horror when they intend it. I have inquired of many in the spiritual world concerning this, and they all said, that it is above their power. When they heard that the papists practice such duties, namely, that they examine themselves, and confess their sins openly before a monk, they greatly wondered, and likewise that the Reformed cannot do the same in private before God, although it is alike enjoined them previous to their approaching the Holy Supper. Some have examined into the cause of this, and found, that faith alone induces such an impenitent state and such a heart; and then it was given them to see, that such of the papists as approach and adore Christ, and do not adore, but only honor, the primates and leaders of their church are saved. After the above admonition, was heard as it were thunder, and a voice speaking from heaven, saying, "We are amazed; say unto the assembly of the Reformed, believe in Christ, and do the work of repentance, and you shall be saved." And I told them; and added further, "Is not baptism a sacrament of repentance, and thereby an introduction into the church? What else do the sponsors promise for the person to be baptized, but that he will renounce the devil and his works? Is not the Sacred Supper a sacrament of repentance, and thereby an introduction into heaven? Is it not declared to the communicants, that they must altogether do the work of repentance before they approach? Is not the Decalogue, which teaches repentance, the doctrine of the whole Christian Church? Is it not there said, in the six commandments of the second table, thou shalt not do this and that evil, and not said, thou shalt do this and that good? Hence you may know, that in proportion as anyone shuns evil, in the same proportion he loves good, and that before this, he does not know either what good is, nor what evil is."115.
The Second Relation is this. An angel once said to me, "You wish to see clearly what faith and charity are, and thereby what faith is when separate from charity, and what it is when conjoined with charity; I will also demonstrate it to the eye." I replied, "Show it to me." And he said, "Instead of faith and charity, think of light and heat, and you will see clearly. For faith in its essence is the truth of wisdom, and charity in its essence is the affection of love, and the truth of wisdom in heaven is light, and the affection of love in heaven is heat; the light and heat which the angels have, are nothing else. Hence you can see clearly what faith is when separate from charity, and what it is when conjoined with charity. "Faith separate from charity is like the light in winter, and faith conjoined with charity is like the light in spring; the light in winter, which is light separate from heat, and in consequence thereof conjoined with cold, strips the trees of all their leaves, kills the grass, hardens the earth and freezes the water; but the light in spring, which is light conjoined with heat, causes the trees to vegetate, first into leaves, then into blossoms, and lastly into fruits; it opens and softens the earth whereby it yields grass, herbs, flowers, and fruits; and it also dissolves the ice, so that the waters flow from their fountains. Exactly similar is the case with faith and charity; faith separate from charity deadens all things, and faith conjoined with charity vivifies all things. "The nature of such deadening and vivifying may be seen to the life in our spiritual world, because here faith is light, and charity, heat; for where faith is conjoined with charity, there are paradisal gardens, flower beds, and lawns, in their pleasantness according to conjunction. But where faith is separate from charity, there does not grow even grass, nor any green thing, except it be on thorns and briers." There were then not far from us some of the clergy, whom the angel called justifiers and sanctifiers of men by faith alone, and also arcanists; we said to them the same things and likewise demonstrated them even so that they saw it to be so. But when we asked them whether it was so, they turned themselves away, and said, "We did not hear;" whereupon we cried aloud to them saying, "Hear us now, then;" but immediately they stopped their ears with both hands, and exclaimed, "We do not wish to hear." CONCLUSION. From Jeremiah (7:2-4, 9-11). Stand in the gate of the house of Jehovah, and proclaim there this word: Thus saith Jehovah of Hosts, the God of Israel: Render good your ways and your words; trust ye not upon the words of a lie, saying, the temple of Jehovah, the temple of Jehovah, the temple of Jehovah is here [that is, the church]. Will ye steal, kill, commit adultery, and swear falsely, and after that come and stand before Me in this house, whereon My name is called, and say, we are delivered, whilst ye do all these abominations? Is not this house become a den of robbers? Even I behold, I have seen, saith Jehovah.116.
APPENDIX. THE FAITH OF THE NEW HEAVEN AND THE NEW CHURCH IN ITS UNIVERSAL FORM, is this: That the Lord from eternity who is Jehovah, came into the world that He might subdue the hells, and glorify His Human; and that without this no mortal could have been saved; and that they are saved who believe in Him. It is said in the universal form, because this is the universal of faith, and the universal of faith is what must enter into each and all things. It is a universal of faith, that God is one in essence and Person, in whom is the Trinity, and that the Lord God the Savior Jesus Christ is He. It is a universal of faith, that no mortal could have been saved, unless the Lord had come into the world. It is a universal of faith, that He came into the world to remove hell from man, and He removed it by combats against it, and by victories over it; thus He subdued it, and reduced it to order, and under obedience to Himself. It is a universal of faith, that He came into the world to glorify the Human which He assumed in the world, that is, to unite it with the Divine from which it was; thus, having subdued hell, He keeps it in order and under obedience to Himself to eternity. Inasmuch as both these could only be effected by means of temptations admitted into His Human, even to the last, which was the passion of the cross, therefore He endured that. These are the universals of faith concerning the Lord. The universal of Christian faith on man's part is, that he should believe in the Lord, for by believing in Him conjunction with Him is effected, and by conjunction salvation. To believe in Him, is to have confidence that He will save; and because none can have such confidence but he who lives well, therefore this is also meant by believing in Him.117.
THE FAITH OF THE NEW HEAVEN AND THE NEW CHURCH, IN ITS PARTICULAR FORM, is this: That Jehovah God is love itself and wisdom itself, or that He is good itself and truth itself; and that as to the Divine truth itself, which is the Word, and which was God with God, He came down and assumed the Human, for the purpose of restoring to order all things which were in heaven, and all things which were in hell, and all things which were in the church; inasmuch as at that time, the power of the devil, that is, of hell, prevailed over the power of heaven, and on earth the power of evil over the power of good; and thence a total damnation stood before the door and threatened. This impending damnation Jehovah God removed by His Human, which was the Divine truth, and thus He redeemed both angels and men; and afterwards He united in His Human the Divine truth to the Divine good, and thus He returned into His Divine, in which He was from eternity, together with His glorified Human. This is signified by these words in John: The Word was with God, and God was the Word; and the Word became flesh (John 1:1, 14). And by this in the same: I went forth from the Father, and am come into the world; again I leave the world, and go to the Father (John 16:28). Hence it appears, that without the coming of the Lord into the world, no one could have been saved. The case is similar at this day; wherefore, unless the Lord come again into the world in Divine truth, which is the Word, no one can be saved. The particulars of faith on the part of man are these:-I. That God is one, in whom is the Divine Trinity, and that He is the Lord God the Savior Jesus Christ. II. That saving faith is to believe in Him. III. That evils ought to be shunned, because they are of the devil and from the devil. IV. That goods ought to be done, because they are of God and from God. V. And that they should be done by man as of himself, but that he must believe that they are from the Lord with him and through him. The first two have relation to faith; the next two to charity; and the fifth respects the conjunction of charity and faith, and thereby of the Lord and man: see also what has been said above on these subjects (n. 44).118.
THE THREE FOLLOWING RELATIONS ARE TAKEN FROM THE APOCALYPSE REVEALED. The First Relation. When I was engaged in the explanation of chapter 20 of Revelation, and was meditating about the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet, an angelic spirit appeared to me, and asked, "What do you meditate about?" I answered, "About the false prophet." Then he said, "I will lead you to the place where they are who are meant by the false prophet; and who are the same that are meant in chapter 13 by the beast out of the earth, which had two horns like a lamb, and spoke like a dragon." I followed him, and lo, I saw a multitude, in the midst of which there were leaders of the church, who taught that nothing saves man but faith in the merit of Christ, and that works are good, but not for salvation, and that still they are to be taught from the Word, in order that the laity, especially the simple, may be kept more strictly within the bond of obedience to the magistracy, and forced, as if from religion, therefore interiorly, to exercise moral charity. Then one of them observing me, said, "Do you wish to see our shrine, wherein is an image representative of our faith?" I approached and saw it, and lo, it was magnificent. In the midst of it there was the image of a woman clothed in a scarlet robe, and holding in her right hand a gold coin and in her left a string of pearls. But both the image and the shrine were induced by fantasy; for infernal spirits can by fantasies represent magnificent objects, by closing the interiors of the mind, and opening only its exteriors. When I perceived, however, that they were such sorceries, I prayed to the Lord, and suddenly the interiors of my mind were opened, and then, instead of a magnificent shrine, I saw a house full of clefts from the roof to the bottom, in which nothing cohered together; and instead of the woman I saw hanging up in that house an image, the head of which was like a dragon's, the body like a leopard's, and the feet like a bear's, and a mouth like a lion's; thus altogether like the beast out of the sea which is described (Rev. 13:2); and instead of a floor there was a swamp containing a multitude of frogs; and I was informed, that beneath the swamp was a large hewn stone, under which the Word lay deeply hidden. On seeing this, I said to the juggler, "Is this your shrine?" and he said, "It is"; but then suddenly his interior sight was opened also, and he saw the same things that I did; whereupon he cried with a great cry, and said, "What and whence is this?" And I said, "This is from light from heaven, which discloses the quality of every form, and thus the quality of your faith separate from spiritual charity." Then immediately an east wind blew, and carried away that shrine with the image, and also dried up the swamp, and thereby exposed the stone under which lay the Word; and afterwards there breathed as it were a vernal warmth from heaven, and lo, then in the same place, there appeared a tabernacle, as to its outward form simple. And the angels who were with me said, "Behold, the tabernacle of Abraham, such as it was when the three angels came to him and announced the future birth of Isaac. It appears indeed simple to the eye, but nevertheless according to the influx of light from heaven it becomes more and more magnificent." And they were permitted to open the heaven, in which were the spiritual angels who excel in wisdom, and then from the influx of light from heaven thence, the Tabernacle appeared as a temple resembling that of Jerusalem; and on looking into it, I saw that the stone in the floor, under which the Word was deposited, was set with precious stones, from which there issued forth bright rays as of lightning that shone upon the walls, and caused beautiful variegations of color on certain cherubic forms that were sculptured on them. As I was admiring these things, the angels said, "Thou shalt yet see something still more wonderful." And it was permitted them to open the third heaven, in which were the celestial angels who are in love, and then from the light thence inflowing that whole temple disappeared, and in its stead was seen the Lord alone, standing on the foundation stone, which was the Word, in the same form that He appeared to John (Rev. 1). But because holiness then filled the interiors of the minds of the angels, occasioning in them an inclination to fall on their faces, suddenly the way of light from the third heaven was closed by the Lord, and the way from the second heaven opened; in consequence of which the former appearance of the temple returned, and also of the tabernacle, but this was in the temple. Hereby was illustrated the meaning of these words in Chap. 21 of Revelation: Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them (Rev. 21:3). And by these: And I saw no temple in the New Jerusalem, for the Lord God Omnipotent and the Lamb are the temple of it (Rev. 21:22).119.
The Second Relation from The Apocalypse Revealed. Once on waking from sleep, I fell into a profound meditation concerning God; and when I looked up, I saw above me in heaven a very bright light in an oval form; and when I fixed my attention on that light, it receded to the sides, and entered into the circumference. And then behold, heaven was opened to me, and I saw some magnificent things, and angels standing in the form of a circle on the southern side of the opening, speaking with one another. And because I was enkindled with the desire of hearing what they were saying, it was therefore given me first to hear the sound, which was full of heavenly love, and afterwards their speech, which was full of wisdom from that love. They were talking with one another of the One God, of Conjunction with Him, and of Salvation thence. They spoke ineffable things, the most of which cannot be expressed by any natural language. But as I had many times been in consociation with angels in heaven itself, and then in similar speech with them, because in a similar state, I could therefore now understand them, and gather some things from their discourse, which can be expressed rationally in the words of natural language. They said that the Divine Esse is One, the Same, the Itself, and Indivisible; thus also the Divine Essence, because the Divine Esse is the Divine Essence; and thus also God, because the Divine Essence, which is also the Divine Esse, is God. They illustrated this by spiritual ideas, saying that the Divine Esse cannot fall into many, every one of which has the Divine Esse, and yet be One, the Same, Itself, and Indivisible; for each would think from his Esse from himself and by himself; if he should at the same time also think from the others and by the others unanimously, there would be many unanimous gods, and not one God. For unanimity, as it is the consent of many, and at the same time of each one from himself, and by himself, does not agree with the unity of God, but with a plurality; they did not say of Gods, because they could not; for the light of heaven, from which was their thought, and in which their discourse proceeded, resisted. They also said, that when they wished to pronounce the word Gods, and each as a Person by himself, the effort of utterance immediately fell of itself into One, yea, into the Only God. To this they added that the Divine Esse is the Divine Esse in Itself, not from Itself; because from Itself supposes an Esse in Itself from another, and thus supposes a God from God, which is not given. That which is from God is not called God, but is called the Divine; for what is a God from God; and thus what is a God from God born from eternity; and what is a God from God proceeding through a God born from eternity, but words in which there is not the least light from heaven? They said further, that the Divine Esse, which in itself is God, is the Same: not the Same simply, but Infinite; that is, the Same from eternity to eternity: it is the Same everywhere, and the Same with every one and in everyone; but that all the variety and variableness is in the recipient; the state of the recipient does this. That the Divine Esse, which is God in Himself, is the Itself, they illustrated thus. God is the Itself, because He is Love Itself, Wisdom Itself, or what is the same, He is Good Itself, and Truth Itself, and thence Life Itself; which unless they were the Itself in God, would not be anything in heaven and in the world; because there would not be anything of them having relation to the Itself. Every quality derives its quality from this, that there is an Itself from which it is, and to which it has relation, that it may be such. This Itself, which is the Divine Esse, is not in place, but is with those and in those who are in place, according to reception; since of love and wisdom, and of good and truth, and thence of life, which are the Itself in God, yea, are God Himself, place cannot be predicated, or progression from place to place, but without place, whence is omnipresence. Wherefore the Lord says, that "He is in the midst of them"; also "He in them, and they in Him." But because He cannot be received by anyone as He is in Himself, He appears as He is in Himself as the sun above the angelic heavens, the proceeding from which as light is Himself as to wisdom, and as heat is Himself as to love. He Himself is not the sun; but the Divine love and Divine wisdom, going forth from Himself proximately, round about Himself, appear before the angels as the sun. He Himself in the sun is a Man, He is our Lord Jesus Christ both as to the Divine from which, and as to the Divine Human: since the Itself, which is Love Itself and Wisdom Itself, was His soul from the Father, and thus the Divine Life, which is Life in itself. It is otherwise in every man: in him the soul is not life, but a recipient of life. The Lord also teaches this, saying: I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; and again: As the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself. Life in Himself is God. They added to this, that he who is in any spiritual light, can perceive that the Divine Esse, which is also the Divine Essence, because it is One, the Same, the Itself, and thence Indivisible, cannot be given in many; and that if it were said to be given, manifest contradictions would follow. After hearing these things, the angels perceived in my thought the common ideas of the Christian Church concerning a Trinity of Persons in Unity and their Unity in Trinity, respecting God, as also concerning the birth of a Son of God from eternity: and they then said, "What are you thinking of? Are you not thinking those things from natural light, with which our spiritual light does not agree? Wherefore, unless you remove the ideas of that thought, we close heaven to you, and go away." But I then said to them, "Enter, I pray, more deeply into my thought and perhaps you will see agreement." And they did so, and saw that by three Persons I understand three proceeding Divine Attributes, which are Creation, Salvation, and Reformation; and that these Attributes are of the one God: and that by the birth of a Son of God from eternity I understand His birth foreseen from eternity and provided in time. And I then related that my natural thought concerning a Trinity and Unity of Persons, and concerning the birth of a Son of God from eternity, I received from the doctrine of faith of the church, which has its name from Athanasias; and that that doctrine is just and right, provided that instead of a Trinity of Persons there be there understood a Trinity of Person, which is given only in the Lord Jesus Christ; and instead of the birth of a Son of God there be understood His birth foreseen from eternity and provided in time; because as to the Human, which He took to Himself in time, He is called openly the Son of God. The angels then said, "Well, well," and they requested that I would say from their mouth, that if any one does not go to the God of heaven and earth Himself, he cannot come into heaven; because heaven is heaven from that Only God; and that this God is Jesus Christ, who is Jehovah the Lord, Creator from eternity, Redeemer in time, and to eternity Regenerator; thus who is at the same time the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; and that this is the Gospel which is to be preached. After this the heavenly light before seen above the opening returned and gradually descended, and filled the interiors of my mind, and enlightened my natural ideas of the Unity and Trinity of God: and then the ideas received about them in the beginning, which were merely natural, I saw separated, as the chaff is separated from the wheat by the motion of a fan, and carried away as by a wind into the north of heaven, and dispersed.120.
The Third Relation from The Apocalypse Revealed. Since it has been given me by the Lord to see the wonderful things which are in the heavens and below the heavens, I must, from command, relate what has been seen. There appeared a magnificent palace, and in its inmost a temple. In the midst of the latter was a table of gold, upon which was the Word, beside which two angels were standing. Around it were seats in three rows: the seats of the first row were covered with silken cloth of a purple color; the seats of the second row, with silken cloth, of a blue color; and the seats of the third row, with white cloth. Under the roof, high above the table, there appeared a widespread canopy, shining with precious stones, from the splendor of which there shone forth as it were a rainbow, as when heaven clears up after a shower. There then suddenly appeared a number of the clergy, occupying all the seats, clothed in the garments of their priestly office. At one side was a wardrobe, where an angel keeper stood; and within there lay splendid garments in beautiful order. It was a Council convoked by the Lord; and I heard a voice from heaven, saying, "Deliberate." But they said, "Upon what?" It was said, "Concerning the Lord the Savior and concerning the Holy Spirit." But when they thought upon these subjects, they were not in enlightenment; wherefore they supplicated, and then light descended from heaven, which first illumined the back part of their heads, and afterwards their temples, and at length their faces: and then they began; and, as it was commanded, first, concerning the Lord the Savior. The first question proposed and discussed was, "Who assumed the Human in the Virgin Mary," And an angel standing at the table upon which was the Word, read before them these words in Luke: The angel said to Mary, Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a Son, and shalt call His name Jesus; He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High. And Mary said to the angel, How shall this be, since I know not a man? And the angel answering said, The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee; and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee; whence the Holy One that is born of thee shall be called the Son of God (Luke 1:31, 32, 34, 35). As also what is in Matt. 1:20-25; and what is in verse 25 there he read emphatically. Besides these, he read many things from the Evangelists, as Matt. 3:17; and Matt. 17:5, John 20:31; and elsewhere, where the Lord as to His Human is called "the Son of God," and the Lord as to His Human is called "the Son of God," and where He from His Human calls Jehovah His "Father," as also from the Prophets, where it is foretold that Jehovah Himself would come into the world; among which also are these two in Isaiah: It shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God, whom we have waited for, that He may free us; this is Jehovah, whom we have waited for; let us exult and rejoice in His salvation (25:9). The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, prepare ye the way for Jehovah, make straight in the desert a highway for our God: for the glory of Jehovah shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: Behold the Lord Jehovih cometh in strength; He shall feed His flock as a shepherd (Isa. 40:3, 5, 10, 11). And the angel said, "Since Jehovah Himself came into the world, and assumed the Human, and thereby saved and redeemed men, He is therefore called `the Saviour' and `the Redeemer' in the prophets." And then he read before them these passages following: Surely God is in thee, and there is no God besides; verily Thou art a hidden God, O God of Israel the Saviour (Isa. 45:14, 15). Am not I Jehovah? and there is no God else besides Me, a just God and a Saviour, there is none besides Me (Isa. 45:21, 22). I am Jehovah, and besides Me there is no Saviour (Isa. 43:11). I Jehovah am thy God, and thou shalt acknowledge no God beside Me, and there is no Saviour besides Me (Hos. 13:4). That all flesh may know that I Jehovah am thy Saviour, and thy Redeemer (Isa. 49:26; 60:16). As for our Redeemer, Jehovah of Hosts in His name (Isa. 47:4). Their Redeemer is strong, Jehovah of Hosts is His name (Jer. 50:34). O Jehovah my Rock and my Redeemer (Ps. 19:14). Thus said Jehovah thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, I Jehovah am thy God (Isa. 48:17; 43:14; 49:7; 54:8). Thou O Jehovah art our Father, our Redeemer, Thy name is from an age (Isa. 63:16). Thus said Jehovah thy Redeemer, I am Jehovah that maketh all things, and alone by Myself (Isa. 44:24). This said Jehovah King of Israel, and His Redeemer Jehovah of Hosts, I am the First and the Last, and besides Me there is no God (Isa. 44:6). Jehovah of Hosts is His name, and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, the God of the whole earth shall He be called (Isa. 54:5). Behold, the days come, that I will raise up unto David a just Branch who shall reign King, and this is His name, Jehovah our Justice (Jer. 23:5, 6; 33:15, 16). In that day shall Jehovah he King over all the earth; in that day shall Jehovah be one; and His name One (Zech. 14:9). Being confirmed from all these passages, those that sat upon the seats said unanimously that Jehovah Himself assumed the Human to redeem and save men. But there was then heard a voice from the Roman Catholics, who had hid themselves behind the altar, saying, "How can Jehovah the Father become Man? is He not the Creator of the universe?" And one of them that sat upon the seats of the second row turned himself, and said, "Who then?" And he behind the altar answered, "The Son from eternity." But he received for answer, "Is not the Son from eternity, according to your confession, the Creator of the universe also? And what is a Son or a God born from eternity? And how can the Divine essence, which is one and indivisible, be separated, and some of it descend and take on the Human, and not at the same time the whole?" The second discussion concerning the Lord was, whether God the Father and He thus are one, as the soul and the body are one? They said that this is a consequence, because the soul is from the Father. And then one of those who sat upon the seats in the thud row, read from the Creed which is called Athanasian these words: "Although our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man, still they are not two, but one Christ; yea, He is altogether one, He is one Person; since as the soul and the body make one man, so God and Man are one Christ." The reader said that this faith is received in the whole Christian world, even by the Roman Catholics. And they then said, "What need is there of more? God the Father and He are one, as the soul and the body are one." And they said, "As it is so, we see that the Lord's Human is Divine, because it is the Human of Jehovah; then that the Lord as to the Divine Human is to be approached; and that thus and not otherwise can the Divine which is called the Father be approached." This conclusion of theirs the angel confirmed by many more passages from the Word, among which were these in Isaiah: Unto us a Boy is born, unto us a Son is given, whose name is Wonderful, Counsellor, God, Hero, the Father of eternity, the Prince of peace (9:6). In the same: Abraham hath not known us, and Israel doth not acknowledge us; Thou, O Jehovah, art our Father, our Redeemer, from everlasting is Thy name (63:16). And in John: Jesus said, He that believeth in Me, believeth in Him that sent Me, and He that seeth Me seeth Him who sent Me (12:44, 45). Philip said unto Jesus, Show us the Father; Jesus saith unto him, He that seeth Me seeth the Father; how sayest thou then, show us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me (John 14:8-11). Jesus said, I and the Father are one (John 10:30). Then: All things which the Father hath are Mine, and all Mine are the Father's (John 16:15; 17:10). And lastly this: Jesus said, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one cometh to the Father but by Me (John 14:6). On hearing these, they all said with one voice and heart, that the Lord's Human is Divine, and that this is to be approached that the Father may be approached; since Jehovah God, who is the Lord from eternity, through it sent Himself into the world, and made Himself visible to the eyes of men, and thus accessible. Likewise He made Himself visible to the eyes of men, and thus accessible in the human form to the ancients, but then through an angel. After this followed the deliberation concerning the Holy Spirit. And first was disclosed the idea of many respecting God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, which was as if God the Father was sitting on high, and the Son at His right hand, and they were sending forth the Holy Spirit from them, to enlighten and teach men. But a voice was then heard from heaven, saying, "We cannot endure that idea of thought. Who does not know that Jehovah God is omnipresent? He who knows and acknowledges this, will also acknowledge that He Himself enlightens and teaches; and that there is not an intermediate God, distinct from Him, and still less from two, as one person from another. Therefore let the former idea, which is vain, be removed; and let this which is just be received; and you will see this clearly." But a voice was then heard again from the Roman Catholics, who had hid themselves behind the altar of the temple, saying, "What then is the Holy Spirit, who is named in the Word in the Evangelists and in Paul, by whom so many of the learned men from the clergy, especially from ours, say that they are led? Who in the Christian world at this day denies the Holy Spirit and its operation?" At this one of those who were sitting upon the second row of seats, turned himself and said, "You say that the Holy Spirit is a Person by Himself and a God by Himself. But what is a person going forth and proceeding from a person, but operation going forth and proceeding? One person cannot go forth and proceed from another through a third, but operation can. Or what is a God going forth and proceeding from a God, but the Divine going forth and proceeding? One God cannot go forth and proceed from another through a third, but the Divine can. Is not the Divine Essence one and indivisible? And as the Divine Essence or the Divine Esse is God, is not God one and indivisible?" On hearing these things, they who sat upon the seats concluded unanimously that the Holy Spirit is not a Person by itself, nor a God by itself; but that it is the Holy Divine going forth and proceeding from the Only Omnipresent God, who is the Lord. At this the angels that stood by the golden table upon which was the Word, said, "It is well. We do not anywhere read in the Old Testament, that the prophets spoke the Word from the Holy Spirit, but from Jehovah the Lord; and where `the Holy Spirit' is mentioned in the New Testament, the proceeding Divine is meant, which is the Divine enlightening, teaching, vivifying, reforming, and regenerating." After this there followed another discussion concerning the Holy Spirit, which was, From whom does the Divine which is called the Holy Spirit proceed? is it from the Divine which is called the Father, or from the Divine Human which is called the Son? And when they were discussing this, the light shone on them from heaven, from which they saw that the Holy Divine, which is meant by the Holy Spirit, proceeds from the Divine in the Lord through His glorified Human, which is the Divine Human, comparatively as all activity proceeds from the soul through the body with man. This the angel standing at the table confirmed from the Word by these passages: He whom the Father hath sent, speaketh the words of God; He hath not given the Spirit by measure unto Him; the Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into His hand (John 3:34, 35). There shall come forth a Rod out of the stem of Jesse, the Spirit of Jehovah shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and Intelligence, the Spirit of counsel and might (Isa. 11:1, 2). That the Spirit of Jehovah was given upon Him, and that it was in Him (Isa. 42:1; 59:19, 20; 61:1; Luke 4:18). When the Holy Spirit shall come, which I will send unto you from the Father (John 15:26). He shall glorify Me, for He shall receive of mine, and announce it unto you: all things that the Father hath are mine; therefore I said that He shall receive of mine, and announce it unto you (John 16:14, 15). If I go away, I will send the Comforter unto you (John 16:7). The Comforter is the Holy Spirit (John 14:26). The Holy Spirit was not yet, because Jesus was not yet glorified (John 7:39). After the glorification, Jesus breathed on them, and said to the disciples, Receive ye the Holy Spirit (John 20:22). And in the Apocalypse: Who shall not glorify Thy name, O Lord? for Thou alone art holy (15:4). Since the Lord's Divine operation from His Divine omnipresence is meant by the Holy Spirit, therefore when He spoke to the disciples concerning the Holy Spirit which He would send from God the Father, He also said: I will not leave you orphans; I go away, and come unto you: and in that day ye shall know that I am in My Father, and ye in Me, and I in you (John 14:18, 20, 28). And just before His departure out of the world, He said: Lo, I am with you all the days until the consummation of the age (Matt. 28:20). Having read these words before them, the angel said, "From these and many other passages in the Word, it is manifest that the Divine which is called the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Divine in the Lord through His Divine Human." To this they that sat upon the seats said, "This is the Divine truth." At length this decision was made, "That from the deliberations in this Council we have clearly seen, and thence acknowledge as the holy truth, that in the Lord God the Saviour Jesus Christ there is a Divine Trinity, which is the Divine from which, that is called the Father; the Divine Human, which is the Son; and the proceeding Divine, which is the Holy Spirit, crying out, That in Jesus Christ dwelleth all the fullness of the Divinity bodily (Col. 2:9). Thus there is one God in the church." After these things were concluded in that magnificent Council, they rose up: and the angel keeper of the wardrobe came and brought to each of those who sat upon the seats, splendid garments interwoven here and there with threads of gold, and said, "Receive these wedding garments." And they were conducted in glory into the New Christian Heaven, with which the Lord's church on earth, which is the New Jerusalem, will be conjoined. There shall be one day which is known to Jehovah, not day nor night, but about the time of evening it shall be light. It shall come to pass in that day that living waters shall go forth from Jerusalem. And Jehovah shall be King over all the earth; in that day Jehovah shall be one, and His name one (Zech. 14:7-9). THE END.