True Christian Religion, by Emanuel Swedenborg, , tr. by John C. Ager  at sacred-texts.com
THE FAITH OF THE NEW HEAVEN AND OF THE NEW CHURCH This faith is first set forth in a universal and in a particular form, that it may serve as a preface set before the work that follows, also as a gate giving entrance to a temple, and as a summary, containing in their own mode the particulars that succeed. It is called the faith of the New Heaven and of the New Church because heaven which is the abode of angels, and the church which is made up of men, act as a one, like the internal and the external man; consequently the man of the church who is in the good of love from the truths of faith and in the truths of faith from the good of love, is, in respect to the interiors of his mind, an angel of heaven; and being such he after death enters heaven and there enjoys happiness in proportion to the state of conjunction of his love and faith. Let it be known that in the New Heaven, which the Lord is now establishing, this faith is its preface, gate, and summary.2.
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; and 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).3.
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; and 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.4.
CHAPTER 1. GOD THE CREATOR. Since the Lord's time the Christian Church has passed through the several stages from infancy to extreme old age. Its infancy was in the lifetime of the apostles, when they preached throughout the world repentance and faith in the Lord God the Savior. That this is what they preached is evident from these words in the Acts of the Apostles: Paul testified, both to the Jews and to the Greeks, repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21). It is a noteworthy fact that some months ago the Lord called together His twelve disciples, now angels, and sent them forth throughout the spiritual world, with the command to preach the gospel there anew, since the church that was established by the Lord through them has at this day become so far consummated that scarcely a remnant of it survives; and this has come to pass, because the Divine trinity has been divided into three persons, each one of whom is God and Lord.  Because of this a sort of frenzy has invaded not only all theology, but also the church that from the Lord's name is called- Christian. It is called a frenzy because men's minds have been made so demented by it as not to know whether there is one God or three. On the lips there is one God; but in the thought of the mind there are three; consequently the mind and lips, that is, the thought and speech, are at variance; and the result of this variance is that there is no God at all. The naturalism that prevails at this day is from no other source. Consider, if you will, with the lips speaking of one and the mind thinking of three, whether one of these statements does not, when they meet within, cancel the other. Consequently when a man thinks about God, if he thinks at all it is nothing more than thought from the mere name God, unaccompanied by any sense of the meaning of the name that involves any knowledge of God.  The idea of God, with all conception of Him, having been thus rent asunder, it is my purpose to treat, in their order, of God the Creator, of the Lord the Redeemer, and of the Holy Spirit the Operator, and lastly of the Divine trinity, to the end that what has been rent asunder may be again made whole; which is done when the reason of man is convinced by the Word and by light therefrom that there is a Divine trinity, and that the trinity is in the Lord God the Savior Jesus Christ, like the soul, the body, and what goes forth from these, in man; and that thus this article in the Athanasian Creed is true: In Christ God and man, or the Divine and the Human, are not two, but are in one person; and as the rational soul and the flesh are one man, so God and man are one Christ.5.
THE UNITY OF GOD. As the acknowledgment of God from a knowledge of God is the very essence and soul of the entire contents of theology, it is necessary that the unity of God should be the first thing treated of. This shall be set forth in order in the following sections: (1) The entire Holy Scripture, and the doctrines therefrom of the churches in the Christian world, teach that God is one. (2) 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. (3) For this reason there is in all the world no nation possessing religion and sound reason that does not acknowledge a God, and that God is one. (4) Respecting what the one God is, nations and peoples have differed and still differ, from many causes. (5) Human reason can, if it will, perceive and be convinced, from many things in the world, that there is a God, and that He is one. (6) If God were not one, the universe could not have been created and preserved. (7) Whoever does not acknowledge a God is excommunicated from the church and condemned. (8) With the man who acknowledges several Gods instead of one, there is no coherence in the things relating to the church. These propositions shall be unfolded one by one.6.
(1) The entire Holy Scripture, and all the doctrines therefrom of the churches in the Christian world, teach that there is a God and that He is one. The entire Holy Scripture teaches that there is a God, because in its inmosts it is nothing but God, that is, it is nothing but the Divine that goes forth from God; for it was dictated by God; and from God nothing can go forth except what is God and is called Divine. This the Holy Scripture is in its inmosts. But in its derivatives, which are below and from these inmosts, the Holy Scripture is adapted to the perception of angels and men. The Divine is likewise in these derivatives, but in another form, in which it is called the celestial, spiritual, and natural Divine. These are simply the draperies of God; for God Himself, such as He is in the inmosts of the Word, cannot be seen by any creature. For He said to Moses, when Moses prayed that he might see the glory of Jehovah, that no one can see God and live. This is equally true of the inmosts of the Word, where God is in His very Being and Essence.  Nevertheless, the Divine, which forms the inmost and is draped by things adapted to the perceptions of angels and men, beams forth like light through crystalline forms, although variously in accordance with the state of mind that man has formed for himself; either from God or from himself. Before everyone who has formed the state of his mind from God the Holy Scripture stands like a mirror wherein he sees God; but everyone in his own way. This mirror is made up of those truths that man learns from the Word, and that he appropriates by living in accordance with them. From all this it is evident, in the first place, that the Holy Scripture is the fullness of God.  That the Holy Scripture teaches not only that there is a God, but also that God is one, can be seen from the truths which, as before stated, compose that mirror, in that they form a coherent whole and make it impossible for man to think of God except as one. In consequence of this, every person whose reason is imbued with any sanctity from the Word knows, as if from himself, that God is one, and feels it to be a sort of insanity to say that there are more. The angels are unable to open their lips to utter the word "gods," for the heavenly aura in which they live resists it. That God is one the Holy Scripture teaches, not only thus universally, as has been said, but also in many particular passages, as in the following: Hear, O Israel, Jehovah our God is one Jehovah (Deut. 6:4; also Mark 12:29). Surely God is in thee, and beside Me there is no god (Isa. 45:14). Am not I Jehovah? and there is no god besides me? (Isa. 45:21). I am Jehovah thy God and thou shalt acknowledge no god beside Me (Hosea 13:4). Thus saith Jehovah, the king of Israel, I am the First and the Last, and beside Me there is no god (Isa. 44:6). In that day Jehovah shall be king over all the earth; in that day Jehovah shall be one and His name one (Zech. 14:9).7.
It is known that the doctrines of the churches in the Christian world teach that God is one. This they teach because all their doctrines are from the Word, and so far as one God is acknowledged both with the lips and the heart these doctrines are consistent. To those who confess one God with the lips only, but in heart accept three, as is true of many at this day in Christendom, God is nothing but a word on the lips; and all their theology is a mere idol of gold enclosed in a shrine, the key to which the priests alone hold; and when such read the Word they perceive no light in it or from it, not even that God is one. To such the Word appears blurred with blots, and in regard to the unity of God entirely covered with them. It is these who are described by the Lord in Matthew: In hearing ye shall hear and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see and not discern. Their eyes they have closed, lest haply they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart, and should turn themselves and I should heal them (Matt. 13:14, 15). All these are like men shunning the light, and entering chambers without windows, and groping about the walls, searching for food or money, and at length acquiring a vision like that of birds of the night, seeing in darkness. They are like a woman having several husbands, who is not a wife but a lascivious courtesan; or they are like a virgin who accepts rings from several suitors, and after the nuptials bestows her favors not upon one only, but also upon the others.8.
(2) 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; and 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.  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.9.
(3) For this reason, 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 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 will be shown in the chapter on the Divine trinity.  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.10.
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.11.
(4) Respecting what the one God is, nations and peoples have differed and still differ, from many causes. The first cause is that knowledge and consequent acknowledgment of God are not possible without revelation; nor are a knowledge of the Lord, and a consequent acknowledgment that "in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily" possible except from the Word, which is the crown of revelations; for it is by the revelation given to man that he is able to approach God and to receive influx, and thereby from being natural to become spiritual. The primeval revelation extended throughout the world; but it was perverted by the natural man in many ways, which was the origin of religious disputes, dissensions, heresies, and schisms. The second cause is that the natural man is not capable of any perception of God, but only of the world and adapting this to himself. Consequently it is among the canons of the Christian Church that the natural man is opposed to the spiritual, and that they contend against each other. This explains why those who have learned from the Word or other revelation that there is a God have differed and still differ respecting the nature and the unity of God.  For this reason those whose mental sight depended on the bodily senses, but who nevertheless had a desire to see God, formed for themselves images of gold, silver, stone, and wood, under which as visible objects they might worship God; while others who discarded idols from their religion found for themselves representations of God in the sun and moon, in the stars, and in various objects on the earth. But those who thought themselves wiser than the common people, and yet remained natural, from the immensity and omnipresence of God in creating the world acknowledged nature as God, some of them nature in its inmosts, some in its outmosts; while others, that they might separate God from nature, conceived an idea of something most universal, which they called the Being of the universe [Ens universi]; and because such have no further knowledge of God this Being becomes to them mere rational abstraction [ens rationis] which has no meaning.  Everyone can see that a man's knowledge of God is his mirror of God, and that those who know nothing about God do not see God in a mirror with its face toward them, but in a mirror with its back toward them; and as this is covered with quicksilver, or some dark paste, it does not reflect the image but extinguishes it. Faith in God enters into man through a prior way, which is from the soul into the higher parts of the understanding; while knowledges about God enter through a posterior way, because they are drawn from the revealed Word by the understanding, through the bodily senses; and these inflowings meet midway in the understanding; and there natural faith, which is merely persuasion, becomes spiritual, which is real acknowledgment. Thus the human understanding is like a refining vessel, in which this transmutation is effected.12.
(5) Human reason can, if it will, perceive and be convinced, from many things in the world, that there is a God, and that He is one. This truth may be confirmed by innumerable things in the visible world; for the universe is like a stage, upon which evidences that there is a God and that He is one are continually exhibited. To illustrate this I will cite this Memorable Relation from the spiritual world: Once while I was talking with angels, certain spirits that had recently arrived from the natural world were present. Seeing them, I bade them welcome, and told them many things they had not known before about the spiritual world. After this I asked them what knowledge about God and about nature they had brought with them from the world. "This," they said, "that nature is the operative power in all things that are done in the created universe; and that God, after creation, endowed nature with and impressed upon it that capability and power; and that God merely sustains and preserves that power lest it perish; consequently, all things that spring forth or are produced and reproduced upon the earth are now ascribed to nature." But I replied that in nothing is nature of itself the operative power, but God through nature. And when they asked for proof I said, "Those who believe the Divine operation to be in every least thing of nature find in very many things they see in the world much more evidence in favor of a God than in favor of nature.  For those who find evidences in favor of the Divine operation in every least thing of nature observe attentively the wonderful things that are seen in the production of plants and of animals. In the Production of Plants, they observe that from a little seed sown in the ground there goes forth a root, and from the root a stem, and successively branches, buds, leaves, flowers, and fruits, even to new seeds, just as if the seed knew the order of succession or development by which to renew itself. What rational person can imagine that the sun, which is pure fire, knows this, or that it can impart to its heat and light the power to produce such effects and to have such uses in view? Any man whose reason looks upward, when he sees these things and properly considers them, must needs conclude that they are from one whose wisdom is infinite, that is, from God. In this conclusion those who recognize a Divine operation in all the particulars of nature confirm themselves when they observe these things. On the other hand, those who do not recognize such an operation in nature behold these things with the eyes of their reason in the back of the head, and not in the front. These are such as derive all the ideas of their thought from the bodily senses, and confirm the fallacies of the senses, saying, 'Do you not see the sun accomplishing all these things by means of its heat and light? Is that which you do not see of any account?'  Those who confirm themselves in favor of the Divine carefully observe the wonderful things they see in the Production of Animals; as in regard to eggs (speaking first of these), the chick in its seminal state lies concealed in them With every thing requisite for its formation, and also for its entire development after it is hatched until it becomes a bird in the form of the parent. Moreover, to any mind that thinks deeply, things which excite wonder are presented whenever winged creatures in general are observed; as that both the smallest and largest of them, both the invisible and the visible, that is, both minute insects and great birds and beasts, possess organs of sense, namely, sight, smell, taste, and touch; also organs of motion, which are muscles, for they fly and walk; also viscera connected with the heart and lungs which are moved by the brains. All these things are seen also by those who ascribe everything to nature; but such merely notice their existence, and claim that they are products of nature. This they claim because they have turned away their minds from all thoughts of the Divine; and those who have done this, when they behold the wonderful things in nature, are unable to think about them rationally, still less spiritually; but they think sensually and materially; thus they think in nature from nature, and not above nature; and such differ from beasts only in being endowed with rationality, that is, only in an ability to understand if they wish to.  Those who have turned themselves away from all thought of a Divine, and have thereby become corporeal-sensual, never consider that the sight of the eye is so gross and material that it sees many small insects as a single obscure object; and yet each one of these is organized for sensation and motion, and is consequently endowed with fibers and vessels, with a minute heart and pulmonic tubes, with minute viscera and with brains; and these are composed of nature's purest elements, these textures corresponding to life in its lowest degree whereby their least parts are severally actuated. Considering the grossness of our bodily vision, to which many such insects, with the innumerable parts in each, appear as a single minute indistinct object, while yet it is from this vision that sensual men think and draw conclusions, it is evident how gross their minds must be, and in what darkness they must be respecting spiritual things.  "Any man is able, if he will, to find evidences in favor of a Divine in the visible things of nature; and this he does whenever he thinks of God and of His omnipotence in the creation of the universe, and of His omnipresence in the preservation of it; as, for instance, when he sees that among the birds of heaven each species knows its own food and where to find it, recognizes its companions by sight and sound, and among other species knows which are friends and which enemies; that they know how to mate, to form marriages, construct their nests skillfully, place their eggs in them and hatch them, also the period of incubation; and when the young have been hatched they love them most tenderly, shelter them beneath their wings, feed and nourish them, and this until they are able to provide for themselves and to perform like offices. If anyone is willing to think about a Divine influx through the spiritual world into the natural he can see it in these creatures; and can also, if he will, say from his heart that the sun through its heat and light cannot be the source of such knowledge, for the sun from which nature has its rise and essence is pure fire, and consequently its effluent heat and light must be utterly dead; and thus he may reach the conclusion that these knowledges are from a Divine influx through the spiritual world into the outmosts of nature.  "Anyone can find evidences in favor of a Divine in the visible things of nature when he observes those worms which are moved by the joy of a peculiar love to aspire after a change of their earthly state into one somewhat analogous to a heavenly state. For this purpose they crawl into suitable places, enclose themselves in a covering, and thus place themselves in a womb from which to be born again; and there they become chrysalids, aureliae, nymphs, and finally butterflies; and having undergone this transformation and been decked with beautiful wings according to their species, they fly forth into the air as into their heaven, and there disport themselves merrily, marrying, laying eggs, and providing for themselves a posterity, meanwhile nourishing themselves with sweet and pleasant food from flowers. Who that sees evidences in favor of a Divine in the visible things of nature can help seeing in these as worms an image of man's earthly state, and in these as butterflies an image of his heavenly state? Those who have confirmed themselves in favor of nature behold the same things, but having rejected man's heavenly state from their thought they call them mere operations of nature.  "Anyone can find evidences in favor of a Divine in the visible things in nature when he gives thought to what is known of bees, their knowing how to collect wax from roses and blossoms, to suck out honey, to build cells like little houses, to arrange them like a city, with streets for going in and out; their smelling from a distance the flowers and herbs from which they collect wax for their houses and honey for food, being loaded with which they fly back straight to their hive. Thus they provide themselves with food for the coming winter as if they foresaw it. They also appoint a mistress over themselves as queen, and through her they propagate a posterity; and for her they build a sort of palace above themselves, and place guards around it. When the time for propagation arrives, accompanied by her guards, which are called drones, she goes from cell to cell, and lays her eggs, which her retinue seal up lest they be injured by the air. Thus a new generation is born; and when this generation has reached the proper age to be able to repeat the process it is expelled from the hive, and the new swarm, after gathering into a body to prevent separation, flies forth to find itself a home. About the time of autumn, as the drones have added nothing to the supply of wax or honey, they are led out and deprived of their wings to prevent their returning and consuming the food on which they had spent no labor. From this and other facts it can be seen that on account of the use they perform for the human race these insects receive by influx from the spiritual world a form of government similar to that which is formed among men on the earth, and even among the angels in the heavens.  What man of sound reason does not see that the natural world cannot be the source of all this? What has the sun, from which nature springs, in common with a government which so vies with and closely resembles heavenly government? From these and like facts exhibited among animals, one who acknowledges and worships nature confirms himself in favor of nature; while he who acknowledges and worships God confirms himself from the same facts in favor of God; for the spiritual man sees in them spiritual things, and the natural man sees in them natural things, thus each in accord with his character. For my own part, such things have been to me evidences that from God there is an influx of the spiritual world into the natural. Consider, moreover, whether you are able to think analytically of any form of government, of any civil law, or any moral virtue, or any spiritual truth, except on the supposition that there is an inflow of the Divine from its own wisdom through the spiritual world. As to myself, I am not able to do so, and never have been. I have now for twenty-six years continually observed that influx perceptibly and sensibly; I therefore speak from what I know.  "Can nature pursue use as an end, and arrange uses in order and in forms? Only a wise being is able to do this; and God alone, whose wisdom is infinite, is able so to order and form the universe. Who else can foresee and provide food and clothing for man-food from the products of the field, from the fruits of the earth, and from animals; and clothing from the same sources? It is among these marvelous facts that those petty worms called silkworms clothe with silk and magnificently adorn both women and men, from queens and kings even to maidservants and menservants; and that a petty insect like the bee supplies the wax for the tapers that make temples and palaces brilliant. All these and more are conclusive proofs that God from Himself through the spiritual world operates all things that take place in nature.  "To all this let me add the fact that I have seen in the spiritual world those who from things visible in the natural world had confirmed themselves in favor of nature until they had become atheists; and that in spiritual light the understanding of such appeared to be open below, but closed above, for the reason that in their thought they had looked down toward the earth, and not up toward heaven. Above their sensual faculties, which form the lowest part of the understanding, a kind of covering flashing with infernal fire was seen, in some cases like soot, and in others livid like a corpse. Let everyone therefore beware of these confirmations in favor of nature; and let him confirm himself in favor of God; there is no lack of means. "13.
(6) If God were not one, the universe could not have been created and preserved. The unity of God may be inferred from the creation of the universe, because the universe is a work coherent as a unit from things first to things last, and dependent upon one God as a body upon its soul. The universe was so created that God might be omnipresent, and hold each and all of its parts under His direction, and keep its parts together as one body perpetually, which is to preserve it. Moreover, because of this Jehovah God declares: That He is the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and Omega (Isa. 44:6; Rev. 1:8, 17). And elsewhere: That He maketh all things, spreadeth forth the heavens above, and stretcheth forth the earth by Himself (Isa. 44:24). This vast system which is called the universe is a work coherent as a unit from things first to things last, because in creating it God had a single end in view, which was an angelic heaven from the human race; and all things of which the world consists are means to that end; since he who seeks an end seeks also the means.  Consequently, whoever regards the world as a work containing means to that end is able to look upon the created universe as a work coherent as a unit, and to see that the world is a complex of uses, existing in a successive order, looking to the human race (from which is the angelic heaven) as its end. The Divine love can be intent upon no other end than the eternal blessedness of men, having its source in the Divine; and its Divine wisdom can bring forth nothing but uses that are means to that end. Surveying the world from this most general idea, every wise man can comprehend that the Creator of the universe is a One, and that His essence is love and wisdom; consequently there can not be in it the smallest particular in which there does not lie hidden some use, more or less remote, for man-food from the fruits of the earth and from animals, and clothing from the same sources.  How wonderful it is that the insignificant silkworm should clothe with silk and magnificently adorn both women and men, from queens and kings to maidservants and menservants; and that a petty insect like the bee should supply wax for the tapers which make temples and palaces brilliant. Those who study in minute detail a few things in the world, and not all things in their most general relations, including ends, mediate cases, and effects, and who, furthermore, do not deduce creation from Divine love through the Divine wisdom, are unable to see that the universe is the workmanship of one God, and that He dwells in every particular use because He dwells in the end. For in every case one who is in an end must be in the means also, since the end is inmostly in all the means, actuating and directing them.  Those who do not regard the universe as the workmanship of God and the dwelling-place of His love and wisdom, but as the workmanship of nature and the dwelling-place of the sun's heat and light, close the higher regions of their mind against God, and open its lower regions for the devil, and consequently put off their human nature and put on a bestial nature, and not only think themselves to be like the beasts but actually become so. For they become foxes in cunning, wolves in fierceness, panthers in treachery, tigers in cruelty, and crocodiles, serpents, owls, and other birds of night, in the several characteristics of these. Moreover, in the spiritual world those who are such do at a distance actually appear like these wild beasts. Thus does their love of evil portray itself.14.
(7) Whoever does not acknowledge a God is excommunicated from the church and condemned. Whoever does not acknowledge a God is excommunicated from the church, because God is the all of the church; and Divine things which are called theological are what constitute the church; consequently a denial of God is a denial of all things pertaining to the church; and this denial is what excommunicates the man; thus he is excommunicated not by God, but by himself. And he stands condemned because he who is excommunicated from the church is also excommunicated from heaven; since the church on earth and the angelic heaven make one, like the internal and the external or the spiritual and the natural in man; and man was so created by God that in respect to his internal he might be in the spiritual world and in respect to his external in the natural world; consequently he was created a native of both worlds, in order that the spiritual which belongs to heaven might be implanted in the natural, which belongs to the world, just as seed is planted in the ground; and that man might thus become fixed and endure to eternity.  The man who has excommunicated himself from the church and thus from heaven by a denial of God has closed up in himself his internal man in respect to his will and its genial love; for man's will is the receptacle of his love, and becomes its dwelling-place. But he cannot close up his internal man in respect to its understanding, for if he could and did he would be man no longer. Nevertheless, his will's love infatuates with falsities the higher faculties of the understanding; and in consequence the understanding becomes closed to the truths pertaining to faith and the goods pertaining to charity; thus more and more against God, and also against the spiritual things of the church. Thus man is shut out from communion with the angels of heaven, and when so shut out he enters into communion with the satans of hell, and thinks as they think; and all satans deny God, and think foolishly about God and the spiritual things of the church; and in the same way does the man think who is conjoined with them.  When such a man is in his spirit, as he is when left privately to himself, he suffers his thoughts to be led by the delights of evil and falsity which he has conceived and brought forth in himself; and he then thinks that God has no existence, but is merely a word uttered from the pulpit to hold the common people in obedience to the laws of justice, which are, the laws of society. He also thinks the Word, from which ministers proclaim a God, to be a mass of missionary tales, which have been made holy by authority, and the Decalogue or catechism to be merely a little book to be thrown aside when it has been well worn by the hands of little boys, since it teaches that parents ought to be honored, forbids murder, adultery, theft, and false witness; and who does not learn the same things from civil law? He thinks of the church as an assembly of simple, credulous, and weak-minded people, who see what they see not. He thinks of man, and of himself as a man, as being like a beast, and of life after death as of the life of a beast after death.  Thus does his internal man think, however differently his external man may speak. For, as just said, every man has an internal and an external; and it is the internal that makes the man, that is, the spirit, which is what lives after death; while the external, in which by a semblance of morality he plays the hypocrite, is laid in the grave; and on account of his denial of God the man then stands condemned. In respect to his spirit every man is associated in the spiritual world with his like, and becomes as one of them. It has frequently been granted me to see there in societies the spirits of men still living, some in angelic and some in infernal societies, and also to converse with them for days; and I have wondered how the man himself while still living in the body could be wholly ignorant of this. Thus was it made clear that he who denies God is even now among the damned, and that after death he is gathered to his own.15.
(8) With men who acknowledge several Gods instead of one there is no coherence in the things relating to the church. He who in his belief acknowledges and in his heart worships one God is both in the communion of the saints on earth and in the communion of the angels in heaven. These are called "communions," and are communions, because such are in the one God and the one God is in them. Moreover, they are in conjunction with the entire angelic heaven, and, I might venture to say, with all and each of its inhabitants, for they are all like the children and descendants of one father, whose dispositions, manners, and features are similar, whereby they recognize each other. The angelic heaven is harmoniously arranged in societies in accordance with all the varieties of the love of good, and these varieties center in one universal love, which is love to God; from which love all are born who in belief acknowledge and in heart worship the one God, who is both the Creator of the universe and the Redeemer and Regenerator.  But it is a wholly different matter with those who approach and worship several gods instead of one, and with those who talk of one and think of three, as do those in the church at this day who divide God into three persons, and declare that each person by himself is God, and attribute to each one special qualities or properties that do not belong to the others. From this arises a disintegration not only of the unity of God but of theology itself, and still further of human thought, to which theology belongs. And what can follow from this but perplexity and incoherency in things of the church? That such is the state of the church at this day will be shown in the Appendix to this work. The truth is that the division of God, or of the Divine essence, into three persons, each one of whom by Himself or singly is God, induces a denial of God. It is as if a man should enter a temple to worship, and see painted on a tablet over the altar one God as the Ancient of days, another as the great High Priest, and the third as a flying Aeolus, with the inscription: "These three are one God;" or like seeing there the unity and trinity depicted as a man with three heads on one body, of three bodies under one head, which would be monstrosities. If anyone should enter heaven with such an idea he would certainly be cast out headlong, even if he should declare that the head or heads mean the essence, and the body or bodies its different properties.16.
To this I will add the following Memorable Relation: I saw some who had recently come from the natural world into the spiritual world talking together about three Divine persons from eternity. They were dignitaries of the church, and one of them was a bishop. They came up to me; and after some talk about the spiritual world, respecting which they had before known nothing, I said, "I heard you speaking of three Divine persons from eternity; I beseech you to disclose to me this great mystery according to the conception you had formed of it in the natural world from which you have lately come." Then the bishop, looking at me, said, "I see that you are a layman, therefore I will set forth my ideas on this great mystery, and will instruct you. My conception of the matter was, and still is, that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit sit in the center of heaven upon magnificent and lofty seats or thrones-God the Father on a throne of pure gold, with a scepter in His hand; God the Son at His right hand on a throne of the purest silver, with a crown on His head; and God the Holy Spirit near them, on a throne of dazzling crystal, holding a dove in His hand; and that round about them in triple order are hanging lamps glittering with precious stones; while at a distance from this circle stand innumerable angels, all worshiping and singing praises; and furthermore, that God the Father is continually talking with His Son about those who are to be justified, and they together judge and determine who on earth are worthy to be received by them among the angels, and crowned with eternal life; while God the Holy Spirit, on hearing the names of such, hastens to them throughout the earth, carrying with Him gifts of righteousness as so many tokens of salvation for the justified; and the instant He approaches and breathes upon them He disperses their sins, as a ventilator drives the smoke from a furnace and makes it white. He also takes away the stony hardness of their hearts, and imparts the tenderness of flesh, and at the same time renews their spirits or minds, and regenerates them, giving them infantile faces; and finally He seals them in the forehead with the sign of the cross, and calls them 'the elect' and 'sons of God. '" Having finished this speech the bishop said, "Thus did I in the world elucidate this great mystery; and as most of our order there applauded my utterances, I am persuaded that you also, who are a layman, will assent to them. "  When the bishop had ceased speaking I looked at him, and also at the dignitaries with him, and I noticed that they all gave full assent to what he had said. I therefore began to reply, and said, "I have given close attention to the statement of your belief, and from it I gather that you have conceived and cherish an idea of the triune God that is wholly natural, sensual, and even material, and that there inevitably follows from it the idea of three Gods. Is it not thinking sensually of God the Father to conceive of Him as seated on a throne with a scepter in His hand; and of the Son on His throne with a crown on His head; and of the Holy Spirit on His with a dove in His hand, and as hastening over the world in accordance with what He hears? And as such an idea results from your statements, I cannot assent to them; for from my childhood I have not been able to admit into my mind any other idea than that of one God; and since I have accepted and hold no other idea, all that you have said has no weight with me. I also saw that 'the throne' on which Jehovah is said in Scripture to sit means His kingdom, the 'scepter' and 'crown,' government and dominion; the 'sitting at the right hand,' God's omnipotence through His Humanity; also that by what is attributed to the Holy Spirit the operations of the Divine omnipresence are meant. Assume, sir, if you please, the idea of one God, and rightly dwell upon that in your reasonings, and you will at length clearly apprehend that this is so.  Furthermore, you admit that God is one, in that you make the essence of these three persons one and indivisible; while yet you do not allow anyone to say that this one God is one person, but he must say that there are three persons and this you do lest the idea of three Gods, such as you entertain, should be lost; also you ascribe to each person a property different from those of the others. In all this do you not divide your Divine essence? And this being so, how can you say and also think that God is one? I could excuse you if you had said that the Divine is one. How can anyone on hearing that 'The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, and singly each person is God, ' possibly think of God as one? Is it not a contradiction, to which assent is utterly impossible? That they cannot be said to be one God, but only to have a like Divinity, may be thus illustrated. A number of men forming one senate, assembly, or council, cannot be called one man; although when each and all have the same opinion they may be said to be one in thought. Neither can three diamonds of the same substance be called one diamond; although they may be called one in substance. Moreover, each diamond would differ from the others in value according to its weight, which would not be true if they were one instead of three.  But I perceive the reason why three persons, each one of whom is by Himself singly God, are called by you one God, and why you enjoin upon everyone in the church so to speak, namely, because all sound and enlightened reason in the world acknowledges God to be one, and in consequence you would be covered with shame if you too did not speak in like manner. And yet when you utter the words 'one God' while in your thoughts there are three, that shame does not prevent your giving utterance to both of these ideas." After this conversation the bishop with his clerical companions withdrew, and as he departed he turned and tried to say, "There is one God;" but he could not say it, because this thought restrained his tongue, and with open mouth he gasped out, "Three Gods!" At this strange sight the bystanders laughed derisively and departed.17.
Afterwards I asked where I could find those of the learned with the keenest minds who stood for a Divine trinity divided into three persons. Three of these presented themselves; and I said to them, "How can you divide the Divine trinity into three persons, and assert that each person, by Himself or singly, is God and Lord? Is not a confession of the mouth that God is one thus made as remote from the thought as the south from the north?" To this they replied, "It is not at all remote, since the three persons possess one essence, and the Divine essence is God. In the world we were guardians of a trinity of persons, and the ward under our charge was our faith; in that faith each Divine person had his office - God the Father to impute and bestow, God the Son to intercede and mediate, and God the Holy Spirit to carry out the work of imputation and mediation."  But I asked, "What do you mean by the 'Divine essence?'" They said, "We mean omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, immensity, eternity, and equality of majesty." I replied, "If that essence makes one God of several you might add more yet, for example: a fourth, mentioned by Moses, Ezekiel, and Job, under the name of 'God Schaddai.' Something of this kind was done in Greece and Italy by the ancients, who ascribed equal attributes and a like essence to their gods, for example, to Saturn, Jove, Neptune, Pluto, Apollo, Juno, Diana, Minerva, and even Mercury and Venus; although they could not say that all these were one God. Moreover, yourselves, who are three persons, and as I apprehend alike in learning and therefore in that respect of a similar essence, are not able to combine yourselves into one learned man." They laughed at this, and said, "You are joking. With the Divine essence it is different: it is not tripartite, but one; not divisible, but indivisible; partition and division do not apply to it. "  Hearing this I said, "Let us come down to this ground and discuss the matter." And I asked, "What do you mean by a 'person?' and what does the term signify?" They said, "The term 'person' signifies that which has no part or quality in another, but subsists by itself. Thus do all the heads of the church define it, and we agree with them." I said, "Is this the definition of 'person'?" They replied, "It is." To this I answered, "There is then no part of the Father in the Son, or of either in the Holy Spirit. From this it follows that each is at His own disposal, and possesses His own rights and powers, and therefore there is nothing that joins them together except the will, which is proper to each, and thus communicable at pleasure. Does not this make the three persons three distinct Gods? Listen again: You have also defined 'person' as that which subsists by itself; consequently there are three substances into which you divide the Divine essence; and yet you say that this is incapable of division, since it is one and indivisible. Furthermore, to each substance, that is, to each person, you attribute properties that do not exist in the others, and even cannot be communicated to the others, namely, imputation, mediation, and operation. What can follow from this except that the three 'persons' are three Gods?" At these remarks they withdrew, saying, "We will canvass these statements and then answer you."  There was present a wise man who, hearing the arguments, said, "I do not care to view this lofty subject through such fine network; but apart from these subtleties I see clearly that in your thought you have the idea of three Gods; but as you would incur disrepute by publishing this idea openly to all the world (for if you did so you would be called madmen and fools), it is expedient for you, in order to avoid that ignominy, to confess with your lips one God." But the three, tenacious of their opinions, paid no attention to this; and as they went away they muttered some terms culled from metaphysical lore: from which I saw that metaphysics was their tripod from which they wished to give responses.18.
THE DIVINE ESSE, WHICH IS JEHOVAH. Let us first consider the Divine Esse, and afterwards the Divine essence. In appearance the two are one and the same; but esse is more universal than essence; for essence implies esse, and is derived from esse. The Esse of God (or the Divine Esse) it is impossible to define, because it transcends every idea of human thought, since this can take in only what is created and finite, and not what is uncreate and infinite, and therefore not the Divine Esse. The Divine Esse is Esse itself, from which all things are, and which must be in all things in order that they may have being. A fuller conception of the Divine Esse may be gained by the following propositions: (1) The one God is called Jehovah from Esse, that is because He alone Is, Was, and Is To Be, and because He is the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and the Omega. (2) The one God is substance itself and Form itself, and angels and men are substances and forms from Him, and so far as they are in Him and He is in them are images and likenesses of Him. (3) The Divine Esse is at once Esse [Being] in itself and Existere [Manifestation] in itself. (4) It is impossible for the Divine Esse and Existere in itself to produce another Divine which is Esse and Existere in itself; therefore another God of the same Essence is impossible. (5) The doctrine of a plurality of gods, both in past ages and at the present day, sprang solely from a failure to understand the Divine Esse. But these propositions must be elucidated one by one.19.
(1) The one God is called Jehovah from Esse, that is, because He alone Is, Was, and Is To Be, and because He is the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and the Omega. It is known that "Jehovah" signifies I Am and To Be [Esse]; and that God has been so called from the most ancient times is clear from the Book of Creation, or Genesis, where in the first chapter He is called "God," and in the second and subsequent chapters "Jehovah God," and afterwards, when the children of Abraham through Jacob, during their long sojourn in Egypt, forgot the name of God, it was recalled to their remembrance; of which as follows: Moses said unto God, What is Thy name? God said unto Moses, I am who I Am, thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent Me unto you; and thou shalt say, Jehovah God of your fathers hath sent Me unto you: this is My name to eternity, and this is My memorial from generation to generation (Exod. 3:13-15). Since God alone is the I Am and Esse, or Jehovah, nothing can exist in the created universe that does not derive its esse from Him; but how will be seen below. The words: I am the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and the Omega (Isa. 44:6: Rev. 1:8, 11; 22:13), have the same meaning, signifying, Who is the Itself and the Only from things first to things last, the source of all things.  God is called "the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End," because Alpha is the first letter in the Greek alphabet and Omega the last; and therefore the two signify all things in the complex. This is because each letter in the alphabet in the spiritual world signifies a thing. And as the vowels furnish the tone, they signify something belonging to affection or love. This is the origin both of spiritual or angelic speech and of writing there. But it is an arcanum hitherto unknown; for there is a universal language which is the language of all angels and spirits, and which has nothing in common with any language of men in the world; into this language everyone comes after death, for it is inherent in every man from his creation; consequently in the spiritual world everyone can understand every other. I have frequently been permitted to hear that language; and I have compared it with languages in the world, and have found that in no respect whatever does it agree with any natural language on earth. It differs from them in its initial element, which is that each letter in each word has its special meaning. It is for this reason that God is called Alpha and Omega, which means that He is the Itself and the Only from things first to things last, the source of all things. But regarding this speech and form of writing, which flows from the spiritual thought of the angels, see the work on Conjugial Love (n. 326-329) also in the following pages.20.
(2) This One God is Substance itself and Form itself and angels and men are substances and forms from Him, and so far as they are in Him and He in them are images and likenesses of Him. As God is Esse He is also Substance; for unless Esse is substance it is a figment of the reason; for substance has subsistent being. Moreover, one who is a substance is also a form; for unless a substance is a form it is a figment of the reason. Wherefore both substance and form may be predicated of God, but in the sense that He is the only, the very, and the primal Substance and Form. That this Form is the verily Human Form, that is, that God is verily Man, infinite in every respect, has been shown in Angelic Wisdom concerning the Divine Love and Divine Wisdom, published at Amsterdam in 1763; where it is also shown that angels and men are substances and forms created and organized for receiving what is Divine flowing into them through heaven. For this reason they are called in the Book of Creation "images and likenesses of God" (Gen. 1:26, 27); and elsewhere "His sons," and "born of Him." In the course of this work it will be fully shown that so far as man lives under Divine direction, that is, suffers himself to be led by God, so far he becomes an image of God more and more interiorly. Unless an idea is formed of God as the primal Substance and Form, and of His Form as the verily Human Form, the human mind may easily involve itself in spectral fancies about God Himself, the origin of man, and the creation of the world. It would then have no other conception of God than as the nature of the universe in its first principles, that is, as its expanse, or else as emptiness or nothingness; nor any other conception of man's origin than as a flowing together of elements into that form by mere chance; nor of the creation of the world than that its substances and forms originated in points, and afterwards in geometrical lines, which are essentially nothing, because nothing can be predicated of them. In such minds everything belonging to the church is like the Styx or like Tartarean darkness.21.
(3) The Divine Esse is at once Esse [Being] in itself and Existere [Manifestation] in itself. Jehovah God is Esse in itself, because He is the I Am, the Only, and the First, from eternity to eternity, the source of everything that is, without whom it could not be. In this way and not otherwise He is the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last, the Alpha and Omega. It cannot be said that His Esse is from Itself, because the expression from itself implies something prior, and therefore time; and time is not applicable to the Infinite, which is called infinite from eternity; it also implies another God who is God in Himself, thus it implies God from God, or that God formed Himself; in which case He would neither be uncreate nor infinite, for He would thus have made Himself finite, either from Himself or from another. From the fact that God is Esse in itself it follows that He is Love in itself, Wisdom in itself, and Life in itself, and that He is the Itself, the source of all things, to which each thing must have relation in order to be anything. That God is God because He is Life in itself is evident from the Lord's words in John (5:26) and in Isaiah: I am Jehovah that maketh all things; that spreadeth forth the heavens alone that stretcheth forth the earth by Myself (44:21) and that He alone is God, and beside Him there is no God (Isa. 45:14, 15, 21, 22; Hos. 13:4). God is not only Esse [Being] in itself, but also Existere [Manifestation] in itself, because Esse without Existere is nothing, equally so Existere unless it is from Esse; therefore where the one is the other must needs be. The same is true of substance and form. Unless a substance is also a form nothing can be predicated of it, and for the reason that having no quality it is in itself nothing. The terms esse and existere are here used, and not essence and existence, because a distinction must be made between esse and essence, and between existere and existence, like that between the prior and the posterior, the prior being more universal than the posterior. To the Divine Esse infinity and eternity are applicable; while to the Divine Essence and Existence, Divine love and wisdom are applicable, and through these two omnipotence and omnipresence, which will be considered in their order.22.
That God is the Itself, the Only, and the First, which is called Esse and Existere in Itself, the source of all that has being and existence, the natural man is wholly unable to discover by his own reason; for by his own reason the natural man can apprehend only what belongs to nature, since that agrees with the essential nature of his reason, because from his infancy and childhood nothing else had entered into his reason. But because man was so created as to be spiritual as well as natural, since he is to continue to live after death, and then to live among those who are spiritual in their world, God has provided the Word-in which He has revealed not only Himself but also that there is a heaven and a hell, and that in one or the other of these every man is to live to eternity, in accordance both with his life and his faith. Moreover, God has revealed in the Word that He is the I Am or Esse and the Itself and Only, which in itself Is, and thus the First or Beginning, the source of all things.  By this revelation the natural man is enabled to raise himself above nature, thus above himself, and to see such things as pertain to God, yet only as if at a distance, although God is nigh to every man, for in His essence He is in man; and being in man He is very nigh to those who love Him; and those love Him who live according to His commandments and believe in Him; these as it were see Him. What is faith but to see spiritually that God is? And what is a life according to His commandments but an acknowledgment in act that from Him are salvation and eternal life? But those whose faith is not spiritual but natural, which is mere knowledge, and whose life is therefore natural, do indeed see God, but from afar off, and this only when they speak of Him. The difference between these two classes is like the difference between those who stand in a clear light and see men near by and touch them, and those who stand in a thick mist in which they are unable to distinguish between men and trees or stones.  Or it is like the difference between men on a high mountain on which there is a city, who are going about there having interaction with their fellow townsmen, and men looking down from the top of that mountain who are unable to tell whether the objects they see below are people, beasts, or statues. Or it is like the difference between men standing upon some planet and seeing those about them, and men on another planet looking at these through telescopes, and saying that they see people there, when in fact they see nothing but a most general outline of the land as lunar brightness, and the watery parts as spots. Such is the difference in seeing God and the Divine things in the mind that go forth from Him, between those who are both in faith and in a life of charity, and those who merely know about faith and charity; and such consequently is the difference between natural and spiritual men. But those who deny the Divine holiness of the Word, and yet carry their religion about as in a sack upon the back, do not see God at all, but only utter the word "God," almost like parrots.23.
(4) It is impossible for the Divine Esse and Existere in itself to produce another Divine which is Esse and Existere in itself; therefore another God of the same Essence is impossible. It has been shown already that the one God who is the Creator of the universe, is Esse and Existere in itself, that is, God in Himself; and from this it follows that God from God is impossible, because in such a being the verily essential Divine, which is Esse and Existere in itself, is impossible. It is the same whether you say "begotten of God" or "proceeding from God;" it means, in either case, produced by God, and this differs but little from being created. Therefore, to introduce into the church a belief in three Divine persons each of whom singly is God, and of the same essence, one of them born from eternity, and a third proceeding from eternity, is to destroy utterly the idea of God's unity, and with it every idea of Divinity, and so cause all the spirituality of reason to be driven into exile. Then man is man no longer; but is so wholly natural as to differ from a beast only in the power of speech, and is opposed to all the spiritual things of the church, for these the natural man calls foolishness. This is the source and only source from which have sprung the monstrous heresies concerning God; and thus the division of the Divine trinity into persons has introduced into the church not night alone but death as well.  That the identity of three Divine Essences is an offense to reason was made evident to me by angels, who said that they could not even utter the words "three equal divinities" and that if anyone should come into their presence wishing to utter these words he could not but turn himself away; and after uttering them he would become like the trunk of a man, and would be hurled downward; and would afterwards betake himself to those in hell who do not acknowledge any God. The truth is that to implant in the mind of a child or youth the idea of three Divine persons, to which inevitably the idea of three Gods clings, is to deprive it of all spiritual milk, and then of all spiritual food, and finally of all ability to reason spiritually, and to bring spiritual death upon those who confirm themselves in that idea. The difference between those who in faith and heart worship one God as the Creator of the universe, and those who worship Him as both the Redeemer and the Regenerator, is like the difference between the city of Zion in the time of David and the city of Jerusalem in the time of Solomon after the temple had been built; while a church that believes in three persons and in each as a distinct God, is like the city of Zion and Jerusalem after it had been overthrown by Vespasian and the temple burned. Furthermore, the man who worships one God in whom is a Divine trinity, and who is thus one Person, becomes more and more a living and angelic man; while he who confirms himself in a belief in a plurality of Gods from believing in a plurality of persons, gradually becomes like a statue with movable joints, within which Satan stands and speaks through its artificial mouth.24.
(5) The doctrine of a plurality of gods, both in past ages and at the present day, has sprung solely from a failure to understand the Divine Esse. It has been shown above (n. 8) that the unity of God is inmostly inscribed on the mind of every man, since it lies at the center of all that flows from God into the soul of man; and yet it has not descended therefrom into the human understanding, for the reason that the knowledges by which man must ascend to meet God have been lacking. For everyone must prepare the way for God, that is, must prepare himself for reception; and this is done by means of knowledges. The knowledges that have been lacking, and that enable the understanding to penetrate far enough to see that God is one, and that not more than one Divine Esse is possible, and that from Him is every thing in nature, are as follows:(1) Heretofore no one has known anything about the spiritual world, the abode of spirits and angels, which every man enters after death. (2) It is equally unknown that there is in that world a sun, which is pure love from Jehovah God, who is in the midst of it. (3) That from this sun a heat goes forth, which in its essence is love, and a light which in its essence is wisdom. (4) That in consequence all things in that world are spiritual, and affect the internal man, and constitute his will and understanding. (5) That Jehovah God from His sun has produced not only the spiritual world and all the spiritual things in it, which are innumerable and substantial, but also the natural world and all the natural things in it, which also are innumerable but are material. (6) Hitherto no one has known what the distinction is between the spiritual and the natural, nor even what the spiritual is in its essence. (7) Nor has anyone known that there are three degrees of love and wisdom, in accordance with which the angelic heavens are arranged. (8) Nor that the human mind is divided into that number of degrees, to the end that it may be raised after death into one of the three heavens, which takes place in accordance both with its life and its faith. (9) Finally, that not the least particle of any of these things could have had existence except from a Divine Esse which in itself is the Itself, and thus the First and the Beginning, the source of all things. Hitherto these knowledges have been lacking; and yet these are the means through which a man may rise to a knowledge of the Divine Esse.  It is said that the man rises; but the meaning is that he is raised up by God. For in acquiring knowledges for himself man exercises his freedom of choice; but as he acquires for himself knowledges from the Word by means of his understanding he prepares the way by which God comes down and raises him up. The knowledges by means of which the human understanding rises, God holding it in His hand and leading it, may be likened to the steps of the ladder seen by Jacob, which was set upon the earth with the top of it reaching to heaven, by which the angels ascended while Jehovah stood above it (Gen. 28:12, 13). It is wholly different when these knowledges are lacking, or when man despises them. In that case the elevation of the understanding might be likened to a ladder reaching from the ground to the windows in the first story of a magnificent palace which is a dwelling-place of men, and not to the windows of the second story which is a dwelling-place of spirits, and still less to the windows of the third story which is a dwelling-place of angels. The result of this is that man remains in the atmospheres and material things of nature only, and confines his eyes and ears and nostrils to these, and from these he derives no other ideas of heaven and of the Esse and Essence of God than such as pertain to the atmospheres and to matter. Thinking from such ideas man can form no conclusions about God, as to whether He is or is not, or whether He is one or many; still less what He is in respect to His Esse and Essence. This is the origin of the belief in the plurality of gods, both in past ages and at the present day.25.
To this I will add the following Memorable Relation: On one occasion, awaking from sleep I fell into a profound meditation about God; and looking up I saw above me in heaven an exceedingly bright light of oval form; and as I fixed my gaze upon it the light withdrew to the sides and formed a circle; and then, behold, heaven opened to me, and I saw magnificent scenes, and angels standing in a circle on the southern side of the opening talking together. As I greatly wished to hear what they were saying, I was permitted first to hear the sound of their voices, which was full of heavenly love, and afterwards what they said, which was full of wisdom from that love. They were talking together about the One God, and conjunction with Him, and salvation thereby. They uttered things ineffable, most of which could not possibly be expressed in any natural language. But at different times I had been in company with the angels in heaven itself, and at such times had been in a state like theirs and in a similar language, and consequently I was now able to understand them, and select from what they said some things that can be rationally expressed in the words of natural language.  They said that the Divine Esse is One, the Same, the Itself, and Indivisible. This they illustrated by spiritual ideas, saying that the Divine Esse could not separate itself into several, each of them possessing the Divine Esse, and still itself be One, the Same, and Indivisible; since each one from His own Esse would then think from Himself and by Himself separately and even if the Divine Esse could so separate itself, and all should think unanimously, each from the others, there would still be several unanimous Gods, and not one God. For unanimity, which means the agreement of several, each for himself and by himself, is not consistent with the unity, but only with the plurality of God. The angels did not say "of Gods," because they could not; for such an expression would be strenuously resisted by the light of heaven, which is the source of their thought, and by the aura in which their words are conveyed. They said furthermore, that when they wished to utter the word "Gods," meaning each one a person by himself, the effort to utter it fell at once into the expression "one God," and even "one only God." To this they added that the Divine Esse is Divine Esse in itself, not from itself; because the expression "from itself" implies esse in itself from another and prior Esse; and this implies a God from God, which is impossible. That which is from God is not called God, but is called Divine; for what is a God from God? Thus what is a God born from God from eternity? And is a God going forth from God through a God born from eternity anything else than words in which there is no light from heaven?  They said still further, that the Divine Esse, which is in itself God, is the Same; not the Same simply, but infinitely, that is, the Same from eternity to eternity; the Same every where and the Same with everyone and in everyone; and that all variableness and change are in the recipient, caused by the state of the recipient. That the Divine Esse which is God in Himself is the Itself, they illustrated thus: God is the Itself because He is love itself and wisdom itself, that is, He is good itself and truth itself, and therefore life itself. Unless these in God were love and wisdom itself and were good and truth itself and therefore life itself, they would not be anything in heaven and in the world, because there would be nothing in them related to the Itself. Every quality is what it is from the fact that there is an Itself in which it originates, and to which it must be related in order to be what it is. This Itself, which is the Divine Esse, is not in place; but it is present with and in those who are in place in accordance with their reception of it, since place, or progress from place to place, cannot be predicated of love and wisdom nor of good and truth, nor of life therefrom, which are Itself in God, and are even God Himself. On this rests His omnipotence. So the Lord says that He is in the midst of them, and that He is in them and they in Him.  But as He can be received by no one as He is in Himself, what He is in His essence is made manifest as a sun above the angelic heavens, and what goes forth from that sun as light is Himself in respect to wisdom, and what goes forth as heat is Himself in respect to love. That sun is not God Himself; but the Divine love and Divine wisdom as they most nearly proceed from Him, all about Him are seen by the angels as a sun. He Himself within the sun is a Man. He is our Lord Jesus Christ, in regard both to the Divine from which [He is] and to the Divine Human, because the Itself which is love itself and wisdom itself was His soul from the Father, that is, the Divine life, or life in itself. It is not thus in any man. In man the soul is not life, but is a recipient of life. This the Lord teaches, saying: I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). And again: As the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself (John 5:26) "life in Himself" meaning God. To this they added, that those who are in any spiritual light are able to perceive from these statements that the Divine Esse, because it is One, the Same, the Itself, and Indivisible, cannot exist in several; and if the opposite is asserted manifest contradictions must result.26.
When I had heard this the angels perceived in my thought those ideas of God that prevail in the Christian Church respecting a trinity of persons in unity and a unity of persons in a trinity; also respecting a birth of the Son of God from eternity; and they said, "What is your thought? Are you not thinking from natural light, which is not in accord with our spiritual light? Unless, therefore, you dismiss these ideas we must shut up heaven against you and depart." But I said, "Enter, I pray you, more deeply into my thought, and you will see, perhaps, that there is an agreement between us." This they did; and they saw that by three persons I understood three Divine attributes going forth, Creation, Redemption, and Regeneration, and that these are attributes of one God; also that by the birth of the Son of God from eternity I understood His birth foreseen from eternity and provided in time; (also that to think of the Son born of God from eternity would, to me, be not above nature and reason but contrary to nature and reason; while to think of the Son born of God in time through the virgin Mary as the only Son of God, and the only-begotten, is very different; and to believe otherwise than this would be a monstrous error. I then told them that the source of my natural thought about a trinity and unity of persons, and the birth of a Son of God from eternity, was the doctrine of faith in the church which has its name from Athanasius. Then the angels said, "Very well," and asked me to say from them that only those who approach the very God of heaven and earth can enter heaven, because heaven is heaven from that only God, and that this God is Jesus Christ, who is the Lord Jehovah, from eternity the Creator, in time the Redeemer, and to eternity the Regenerator, thus who is at once Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; and this, they said, is the gospel to be preached. After this the heavenly light which had been seen before over the opening returned, and gradually descended and filled the interiors of my mind, and enlightened my ideas on the trinity and unity of God; and the ideas which I had first formed on these subjects, and which had been merely natural, I then saw separated as chaff is separated from wheat by winnowing, and carried away as by a wind to the north of heaven, and scattered27.
THE INFINITE OF GOD OR HIS IMMENSITY AND ETERNITY There are two properties of the natural world which cause all things of it to be finite; one is space, and the other time. And as the natural world was created by God, and space and time were created together with it and render it finite, it is necessary to treat of the two origins of these properties, namely, Immensity and Eternity; for the immensity of God relates to spaces and His eternity to times; while both immensity and eternity are included in Infinity. But because the infinite transcends the finite, and because a knowledge of the infinite transcends the finite mind, to render it in some measure conceivable it shall be carefully considered in the following order: (1) God is Infinite because He is Being and Existence in Himself, and because all things in the universe have their being and existence from Him. (2) God is Infinite because He was before the world was, thus before spaces and times arose. (3) Since the creation of the world God is in space without space, and in time without time. (4) In relation to spaces Gods Infinity is called Immensity, while in relation to times it is called Eternity; but although they are so related there is nothing of space in His Immensity and nothing of time in His Eternity. (5) The Infinity of God can be seen by enlightened reason in very many things in the world. (6) Every created thing is finite, and the Infinite is in finite things as in its receptacles, and is in men as in its images. These propositions shall be explained one by one.28.
(1) God is Infinite because He is Being and Existence in Himself, and because all things in the universe have their being and existence from Him. It has been already shown that God is One, that He is the Itself, that He is the primal Esse of all things, and that all things in the universe that have being, existence, and subsistence, are from Him, and consequently that He is infinite. That human reason is able from very many things in the created universe to recognize this will be made clear hereafter. But although the human mind is able from all this to acknowledge that the primal Being or primal Esse is infinite, it is nevertheless unable to comprehend what that Being is, and therefore can only define it as the infinite All and the Self-subsistent, and hence as the very and the only substance; and since nothing can be predicated of substance unless it has form, it is the very and only Form. But what does this mean? It does not make clear what the infinite is; for the human mind itself, even when in the highest degree analytical and exalted, is finite; and its finiteness is inseparable from it; and for this reason the human mind is wholly incapable of seeing the infinity of God as it is in Itself thus of seeing God; although it can from behind see God obscurely, as was said to Moses when he prayed to see God: That he should be placed in a cleft of the rock, and should see His back parts (Exod. 33:20-23); "the back parts of God" meaning what is visible in the world, and especially what is perceptible in the Word. All this shows how vain it is to wish to comprehend what God is in His Esse, or in His substance; and that it is sufficient to acknowledge Him from finite things, that is, from things created, in which He is infinitely. The man who is not content with this may be likened to a fish out of water, or to a bird under an air pump, which, as the air is withdrawn, gasps and finally dies. Or he may be likened to a vessel which, overcome by a storm and failing to obey its helm, is carried upon rocks and quicksands. So it is with those who wish to comprehend from within the infinity of God, and are not content with being able to acknowledge it in its manifest indications from without. It is related of a certain philosopher among the ancients that not being able to see or comprehend the eternity of the world in the light of his own mind he threw himself into the sea. What if he had wished to see or comprehend the infinity of God!29.
(2) God is Infinite because He was before the world was, thus before spaces and times arose. In the natural world there are spaces and times; but in the spiritual world these exist only apparently, and not actually. Time and space were introduced into these worlds for the purpose of distinguishing one thing from another, the great from the small, the many from the few, thus quantity from quantity, and so quality from quality; also to enable the bodily senses to distinguish between their objects, and the mental senses between theirs, and thereby to be affected, and to think and choose. In the natural world times were established by the rotation of the earth on its axis, and by the progression of these rotations from point to point along the zodiac, these movements being made apparently by the sun, from which the whole terraqueous globe derives its heat and light. From this come the divisions of the day, morning, noon, evening, and night; and the seasons of the year, spring, summer, autumn, and winter-the divisions of the day according to light and darkness, and the seasons of the year according to heat and cold. In the natural world spaces were established by earth's being formed into a globe, and filled with various kinds of matter; with its parts distinguished one from another, and also extended. But in the spiritual world there are no material spaces with corresponding times; but there are appearances of time and space; and these appearances vary according to differences of state in the minds of the spirits and angels there; thus times and spaces there conform to the affections of their wills, and the consequent thoughts of their understandings. But these appearances are real in that they are constant according to these states.  The common opinion about the state of souls after death, and therefore also about angels and spirits, is that they do not occupy any extension, and consequently are not in space and time. Owing to this idea souls after death are said to be in an indefinite somewhere, and spirits and angels are said to be mere puffs of air, which can be thought of only as ether, air, breath, or wind is thought of; when in fact they are substantial men, and like men in the natural world live together in spaces and in times, which, as just said, are determined in accordance with the states of their minds. If it were otherwise, that is, if they were without space and time, that universe into which souls are flowing, and in which angels and spirits dwell, might be passed through the eye of a needle, or be concentrated upon the end of a single hair. This would be possible if there were no substantial extension there; but as there is, angels dwell together as separately and distinctly as men who dwell in material extension, and even more distinctly. Nevertheless, times there are not divided into days, weeks, months, and years, since there the spiritual sun does not appear to rise and set, nor to move from east to west, but remains stationary in the east at a point midway between the zenith and the horizon. There are spaces there, because all things in that world are substantial which in the natural world are material. But this point will be further considered in the section of this chapter where Creation is treated of.  From all this it can be comprehended how spaces and times render each thing and all things in both worlds finite; and therefore men are finite not only in body but also in soul, and likewise angels and spirits. The conclusion to be drawn from all this is that God is infinite, that is, not finite; since He Himself, as the Creator, Former, and Maker of the universe, gave finiteness to all things; and this He did by means of His sun, in the midst of which He is, and which is constituted of the Divine essence that goes forth from Him as a sphere. There, and from that, is the first of the finiting process, and its progress reaches even to the outmost things of the world's nature; consequently in Himself God is infinite because He is uncreated. To man, nevertheless, because he is finite, and thinks from things finite, the infinite seems to be nothing; and therefore he feels that if the finite which adheres to his thought should be taken away, what would be left would amount to nothing. And yet the truth is that God is infinitely all; and man of himself in comparison is nothing.30.
(3) Since the creation of the world God is in space without space and in time without time. That God, with the Divine that goes forth directly from Him, is not in space, although He is omnipresent, and is present with every man in the world, and with every angel in heaven and every spirit under heaven, is beyond the comprehension of merely natural thought, but may in some measure be comprehended by spiritual thought. It cannot be comprehended by merely natural thought because natural thought has space in it, being formed out of such things as are in this world, in each and all things of which that the eye rests upon, space is involved. Here everything that is great and small, every thing that has length, breadth, and height, in a word every dimension, figure, and form, pertains to space. And yet this can be comprehended in some measure by natural thought, provided something of spiritual light is admitted into it. But first something must be said about spiritual thought. This derives nothing from space, but every thing from state. State is predicated of love, of life, of wisdom, of affections, of joys, and in general, of good and truth. A truly spiritual idea about these things has in it nothing in common with space; it is superior to ideas of space, and looks down upon them as heaven looks down upon the earth.  God is present in space without space, and in time without time, because He is always the same, from eternity to eternity; thus He is the same since the world was created as before; and as before creation there were in God and in His sight no spaces and no times, but only since, and as He is always the same, so is He in space without space and in time without time. In consequence of this, nature is separate from Him, and yet He is omnipresent in nature; almost as life is present in every substantial and material part of man, and yet does not mingle itself with it; or it may be compared to light in the eye, or sound in the ear, taste in the tongue, or to the ether that pervades all solid and liquid matters, and holds the terraqueous globe together, and causes motion, and so on. If these agencies were withdrawn these substantialized and materialized forms would instantly collapse or fall asunder. Even the human mind, if God were not everywhere and always present in it, would burst like a bubble in the air, and both brains, in which the mind acts from first principles, would go off into froth, and thus every thing human would become dust of the earth, or an odor floating in the air.  As God is in all time without time so in His Word He speaks in the present tense of the past and the future, as in Isaiah: Unto us a Child is born, a Son is given; and His name shall be called Mighty, the Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6); and in David: I will declare the decree; Jehovah hath said unto Me, Thou art My Son; this day have I begotten Thee (Ps. 2:7). This is said of the Lord who was to come; wherefore it is also said: A thousand years in Thy sight are but as yesterday (Ps. 90:4). That God is everywhere present in the whole world, and yet there is in him nothing proper to the world, that is, nothing pertaining to space and time, can be clearly seen from many passages in the word by those who look with watchful eyes, as from this passage in Jeremiah: Am I a God at hand, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in the secret places that I shall not see him? Do I not fill heaven and earth? (Jer. 23:23-24).31.
(4) In relation to spaces God's Infinity is called Immensity, while in relation to times it is called Eternity; but although they are so related, there is nothing of space in His Immensity, and nothing of time in His Eternity. In relation to spaces God's infinity is called immensity, because "immense" is a term applied to what is great and large, and to extension and its spaciousness. But in relation to times God's infinity is called eternity, because "to eternity" is an expression applied to what is progressive, which is measured by time without limit. For example: Of the terraqueous globe, as such, things pertaining to space are predicated; while of its rotation and progression things pertaining to time are predicated. In fact, the latter are what make times, and the former are what make spaces, and in this way they are presented through the senses to the perception of reflecting minds. But in God, as has just been shown, there is nothing of space and time; nevertheless, the beginnings of these are from God; and from this it follows that by immensity His infinity in relation to space is meant, and by eternity His infinity in relation to times.  But to the angels in heaven the immensity of God means His Divinity in respect to His Esse, and His eternity His Divinity in respect to His Existere. Also immensity means His Divinity in respect to love, and eternity His Divinity in respect to wisdom. This is because angels abstract space and time from Divinity, and such conceptions then follow. But as man can think only from ideas drawn from such things as belong to space and time, he is unable to form any conception of God's immensity antecedent to space, or His eternity antecedent to time; and when he seeks to do this it is as if his mind were falling into a swoon, almost like a shipwrecked man in the water, or like one who is about to be swallowed up in an earthquake; and if one persists in penetrating further into the subject, he may easily fall into a delirium, and from this be led into a denial of God.  I was once myself in such a state, thinking about what God was from eternity, what He did before the world was created, whether He deliberated about creation, and thought out the order to be pursued; whether deliberative thought would be possible in a vacuum; with other vain things. But lest I should be driven to madness by much speculations I was raised up by the Lord into the sphere and light in which the interior angels dwell; and when the idea Of space and time in which my thought was dwelling had been somewhat removed, it was given me to comprehend that the eternity of God is not an eternity of time; and as there was no time before the world was created, it is utterly vain to think about God in any such way. Moreover, as the Divine from eternity, that is, abstracted from all time, does not involve days, years, or ages, but to God all these are present, I concluded that God did not create the world in time, but that times were introduced by God with creation.  To all this I will add this memorable fact: At one extremity of the spiritual world there are seen two statues in monstrous human form, with open mouths and gaping throats, and those who indulge in useless and senseless thoughts about God from eternity seem to themselves to be swallowed up by these; but they are the hallucinations into which those cast themselves who cherish absurd and improper thoughts about God before the creation of the world.32.
(5) The Infinity of God can be seen by enlightened reason in very many things in the world. Some things shall be enumerated in which human reason can see the infinity of God: (1) In the created universe no two things can be found that are identical. That no such identity can be found among things simultaneous has been rationally seen and proved by human learning, although the substantial and material objects of the universe, viewed singly, are infinite in number. And that no two effects can be found that are identical among things successive in the world may be inferred from the earth's revolution, in that the nutation of its poles forever prevents a return to any former position. This is also clearly evident in human faces, in that throughout the entire world there can be found no one face that is precisely like or the same as another, nor ever can be to eternity. This infinite variety would be impossible except from an infinity in God the Creator.  (2) No one person's disposition is precisely like that of another; from which comes the saying, "Many men, many minds;" and so no one's mind, that is, his will and understanding, is exactly like or the same as another's and in consequence the tone of any man's speech, or the thought in which it originates, or any act in regard either to movement or affection. Is never exactly like another's; from which infinite variety again can be seen as in a mirror the infinity of God the Creator.  (3) In all seed, both of animals and vegetables, there is inherent a certain immensity and eternity-an immensity in its capacity to be multiplied to infinity, and an eternity in the continuance of this multiplication uninterrupted from the creation of the world until now, and its still unceasing continuance. In the animal kingdom take, for example, the fishes of the sea; if these were to multiply according to the abundance of their spawn they would in twenty or thirty years so fill the ocean that it would wholly consist of fishes, and in consequence its water would overflow and destroy all the land. But this does not happen, since God has provided that fish shall be food for each other. It would be the same with the seeds of plants. If as many seeds should be planted as one plant produces each year, in twenty or thirty years the surface not of one earth only, but even of many, would be covered. For there are shrubs, every seed of which produces others by hundreds and thousands. Try to calculate this, reckoning this product of one seed in a series of twenty or thirty terms, and you will see. In all these examples the Divine immensity and eternity become evident in a certain general aspect, an image of which must needs come forth.  (4) Enlightened reason can also see God's infinity in the possible infinite increase of all knowledge, and consequently of everyone's intelligence and wisdom, both of which are capable of growing as a tree from seed, and as forests and gardens from trees, to which there is no limit. The soil of intelligence and wisdom is the memory of man, his understanding is where they germinate; and his will where they fructify. And these two capacities, understanding and will, are such that they may be cultivated and perfected in this world to the end of life, and afterwards to eternity.  (5) The infinity of God the Creator can also be seen in the infinite number of the stars, which are so many suns, and therefore so many systems. That there are other earths in the starry heavens upon which men, beasts, birds, and plants exist is shown in a little work describing things seen  (6) The infinity of God has been made still more evident to me both from the angelic heaven and from hell, in that these are ordered and arranged in innumerable societies or congregated bodies in accordance with all the varieties of the love of good or evil, each individual being allotted a place is accordance with his love; for there the whole human race from the creation of the world is gathered together, and to ages of ages will be gathered. And although each one has his own place or abode there, yet all are so joined together that the entire angelic heaven represents one Divine man, and the entire hell one monstrous devil. From these two, with the infinite marvels they contain, both the immensity and the omnipotence of God are clearly presented to view.  (7) Who is not able to understand, if he will elevate a little the reasoning faculty of his mind, that an eternal life, which is the lot of every man after death, can be granted only by an eternal God?  (8) In addition to all this there is a certain infinity in many things that fall within the range of the natural light and spiritual light in man. It is within the range of his natural light that there are various series in geometry which go on to infinity; that there is a progression to infinity in the three degrees of height, in that the first degree, which is called the natural degree, cannot be perfected and elevated to the perfection of the second, which is called the spiritual degree; nor this to the perfection of the third, which is called the celestial degree. It is the same with end, cause, and effect, in that the effect cannot be so perfected as to become like the cause, nor the cause so perfected as to become like its end. This may be illustrated by the atmospheres, of which there are three degrees. There is a supreme aura, under this the ether, and below this the air; and no quality of the air can be raised up to any quality of the ether, nor any quality of the ether to that of the aura; and yet in each there is an ascent of perfections to infinity. It is within the range of man's spiritual light that no natural love, which is an animal love, can be raised up to spiritual love, with which from creation man has been endowed. The same is true of the natural intelligence of the animal in relation to the spiritual intelligence of man. But as these things have been hitherto unknown they will be explained elsewhere. From all this it can be seen that the most general contents of the world are constant types of the infinity of God the Creator; but how the particular contents emulate the general, and represent the infinity of God, is an abyss or an ocean which the human mind may sail, as it were, but it must beware of a puff of wind that may arise from the natural man, which striking from aft, where he stands self-confident, may swamp the ship with its masts and sails standing.33.
(6) Every created thing is finite; and the Infinite is in finite things as in its receptacles, and is in men as in its images. Every created thing is finite because all things are from Jehovah God through the sun of the spiritual world, which most nearly encompasses Him; and that sun is composed of the substance that has gone forth from Him, the essence of which is love. From the sun, by means of its heat and light, the universe has been created from its firsts to its lasts. But this is not the proper place to set forth in order the process of creation, an outline of which will be given in subsequent pages. All that is important now is to know that one thing was formed from another, and thus degrees were constituted, three in the spiritual world and three corresponding to them in the natural world, and the same number in the passive materials of which the terraqueous globe is composed. The origin and nature of these degrees has been fully explained in the Angelic Wisdom concerning the Divine Love and the Divine Wisdom (published at Amsterdam in 1763), and a small work on The Interaction of the Soul and the Body (published at London in 1769). Through these degrees all things posterior are made receptacles of things prior, and these again of things still prior, and so in succession receptacles of the primitive elements which constitute the sun of the angelic heaven; and thus have things finite been made receptacles of the infinite. This is in agreement with the wisdom of the ancients, according to which each thing and all things are divisible to infinity. It is a common idea that, because the finite cannot grasp the infinite, things finite cannot be receptacles of the infinite; but in what has been set forth in my works respecting creation it has been shown that God first rendered His infinity finite by means of substances emitted from Himself, from which His nearest surrounding sphere, which constitutes the sun of the spiritual world, came into existence; and that then through that sun He perfected the other surrounding spheres, even to the outmost, which consists of passive materials; and in this manner, by means of degrees, He rendered the world more and more finite. This much has been said to satisfy human reason, which never rests until it perceives a cause.34.
That the infinite Divine is in men as in its images is evident from the Word, where we read: And God said, Let us make man in Our image, after Our likeness. So God created man into His own image, into the image of God created He him (Gen. 1:26, 27). From this it follows that man is an organic form recipient of God, and is an organic form that is in accordance with the kind of reception. The human mind, which makes man to be man, and in accordance with which man is man, is formed into three regions in accordance with the three degrees; in the first degree, in which also are the angels of the highest heaven, the mind is celestial; in the second degree, in which are the angels of the middle heaven, it is spiritual; and in the third degree, in which are the angels of the lowest heaven, it is natural.  The human mind, organized in accordance with these three degrees, is a receptacle of Divine influx; nevertheless, the Divine flows into it no further than man prepares the way or opens the door. If man does this as far as to the highest or celestial degree he becomes truly an image of God, and after death an angel of the highest heaven; but if he prepares the way or opens the door only to the middle or spiritual degree, he becomes an image of God, but not in the same perfection; and after death he becomes an angel of the middle heaven. But if man prepares the way or opens the door only to the lowest or natural degree, in case he acknowledges God and worships Him with actual piety he becomes an image of God in the lowest degree, and after death an angel of the lowest heaven. But if man does not acknowledge God and does not worship Him with actual piety he puts off the image of God and becomes like some animal, except that he enjoys the faculty of understanding, and consequently of speech; and if he then closes up the highest natural degree, which corresponds to the highest celestial, he becomes as to his loves like a beast of the earth; and if he closes up the middle natural degree, which corresponds to the middle spiritual degree, he becomes in his love like a fox, and in his Intellectual Vision like a bird of night; while if he also closes up the lowest natural degree in its relation to his spiritual he becomes in his love like a wild beast, and in his understanding of truth like a fish  The Divine life that actuates man by means of the influx from the sun of the angelic heaven may be compared to light from the world's sun and its influx into a transparent object-the reception of life in the highest degree to the influx of light into a diamond; the reception of life in the second degree to the influx of light into a crystal; and the reception of life in the lowest degree to the influx of light into glass or a transparent membrane; but when this degree in relation to his spiritual is wholly closed up, which is the case when God is denied and Satan is worshiped, the reception of life from God may be compared to the influx of light into the opaque things of the earth, as rotten wood, or marshy ground, or dung, and so on, for the man then becomes a spiritual corpse.35.
To this I will add this Memorable Relation: At one time I was in a state of amazement at the vast multitude of men who ascribe creation, and consequently every thing that is under the sun and every thing above the sun, to nature, saying with a hearty acknowledgment, when they see anything, "Is not this from nature?" And when asked why they say it is from nature and not from God, although they often say, in common with others, that God created nature, and might therefore just as well say that what they see is from God as that it is from nature, they answer with an inner tone that is scarcely audible, "What is God but nature?" All such, from this persuasion that nature created the universe, and from this insanity that appears like wisdom, seem to be elated to such a degree that they look down upon all those who acknowledge the creation of the universe by God as ants that creep upon the ground and keep the beaten track, and upon some as butterflies flying in the air; and the opinions of such they call dreams, because they see what they do not see; and they say, "Who has seen God, and who does not see nature?"  While I was wondering greatly at the multitude of such, an angel stood at my side and said to me, "What are you meditating about?" I replied, "About the great number of those who believe that nature exists of itself, and is thus the creator of the universe." And the angel said to me, "All hell consists of such, and those who are there are called satans and devils-satans those who have confirmed themselves in favor of nature, and in consequence have denied God; devils those who have lived wickedly and have thus cast out from their hearts all acknowledgment of God. But I will conduct you to the schools which are in the southwest quarter, where those are who are not yet in hell." He took me by the hand and led me away; and I saw small houses in which were the schools, and in the midst of them a building which served as headquarters for the rest. This was built of pitch-black stones overlaid with little glass-like plates, sparkling as it were with gold and silver, like what are called selenites, or like mica, with glittering shells here and there interspersed.  We approached this building and knocked, and immediately a person opened the door and said, "Welcome." And he ran to a table and brought four books, and said, "These books are the wisdom that is at this day applauded by many kingdoms; this book or wisdom is applauded by many in France; this by many in Germany; this by some in Holland; this by some in Britain." He said also, "If you wish to see it I will cause these four books to shine before your eyes." And he poured forth the glory of his fame round about; and immediately the books beamed as if with light; but this light quickly vanished from our sight. We then asked what he was now writing; and he answered that he was bringing out from his treasures and setting forth matters pertaining to the deepest wisdom, which in general are these: (1) Whether nature is a property of life, or life of nature? (2) Whether the center is from the expanse, or the expanse from the center? (3) Respecting the center of the expanse and of life.  After these remarks he seated himself at the table, while we walked about the building, which was spacious. He had a candle on his table, because there was no light of the sun there, but only the nocturnal light of the moon; and what seemed wonderful, the candle seemed to be carried round and round, and to give light; but not having been snuffed it gave but little light. While he wrote we saw images of various forms flying from the table to the walls, which appeared in the nocturnal moonlight there like beautiful eastern birds; but as soon as we opened the door these appeared in the light of day like those birds of night that have membranous wings; for they were resemblances of truth which through confirmations had become fallacies, and had been ingeniously woven by him into a series.  After seeing this, we approached the table and asked him what he was then writing about. He said about the first question, Whether nature is a property of life, or life of nature? And he said he could prove both sides of this and make them true; but as there was something lurking within that he feared, he dared only to prove that nature is a property of life, in other words, is from life, and not that life is a property of nature, in other words, is from nature. We asked courteously what it was lurking within that he feared. He replied that he was afraid of being called a naturalist, and thus an atheist, by the clergy, and a man of unsound reason by the laity, since both of these either believe from a blind faith or see only from the views of those who confirm that faith.  Then with some heat of zeal for the truth we addressed him, saying, "Friend, you are very much deceived; you have been misled by your wisdom, which is a certain talent for writing, and you have been led by the glory of fame into proving what you do not believe. Do you not know that the human mind is capable of being raised above things sensual, which enter into the thought from the bodily senses; and that when the mind has been thus raised up it sees what is from life as above, and what is from nature as beneath? What is life but love and wisdom? And what is nature but the receptacle of these, by means of which they accomplish their effects or uses? Can life and nature be one except as the principal and the instrumental? Can light be one with the eye, or sound with the ear? Are not the sensations of these derived from life, and their forms from nature? What is the human body but an organ of life? Are not all things and each thing therein organically formed for the production of what the love wills and the understanding thinks? Are not the bodily organs from nature, and love and thought from life? And are not these perfectly distinct from each other? Raise the keenness of your intellect a little higher still, and you will see that to be moved by affection and to think belong to life-the former belonging to love and the latter to wisdom and both love and wisdom belong to life; for, as before said, love and wisdom are life. If you will lift your capacity to understand a little higher, you will see that love and wisdom could have no existence without having somewhere an origin, and that that origin is love itself and wisdom itself, and therefore life itself, and these are God, from whom nature is."  Afterwards we talked with him upon the second point, Whether the center is from the expanse or the expanse from the center? asking why he canvassed this. He answered that he did so in order to form a conclusion about the center and the expanse of nature and of life, and so about the origin of each. And when we asked his opinion, he replied, the same as before, that he could prove either of these, but from fear of loss of reputation he would prove that the expanse is of the center, that is, from the center, "although I know," he said, "that there must have been something before there was a sun, and this throughout the whole expanse, and that this of itself flowed together into order, thus towards a center."  We then addressed him again with indignant zeal, and said, "Friend, you are insane." Hearing this he drew his seat from the table, and looked at us timidly, and then gave us his attention, but with laughter. We went on to say, "What can be more insane than to say that the center is from the expanse? By your center we understand the sun, and by your expanse the universe; thus are you not contending that the universe came into existence without the sun? Does not the sun produce nature and all its properties, and do not these depend solely on the light and heat from the sun through the atmospheres? Where, then, could these have been previously? But the origin of these we will discuss hereafter. Are not the atmospheres and all things on the earth like surfaces, of which the sun is the center? What would all these be without the sun? Could they subsist for one moment? What, then, could they have been before the sun was formed? Could they have had any existence? Is not subsistence perpetual existence? As the subsistence, then, of all things of nature is from the sun, it follows that their existence is from the same source. This everyone sees, and from the evidence of his own eyes acknowledges.  Does not the posterior have both its existence and its subsistence from the prior? If the surface were the prior and the center the posterior, would not the prior subsist from the posterior, and would not that be contrary to the laws of order? How can the posterior produce the prior, or the exterior the interior, or the grosser the purer? How then can the surface things which constitute the expanse produce the center? Who does not see that this is contrary to the laws of nature? We have presented these evidences from rational analysis to prove that the expanse has its existence from the center, and not the reverse, although everyone who thinks rightly can see this without these evidences. You have said that the expanse of itself flowed together towards the center. Was it by chance that it did this in such a marvelous and amazing order that one thing is for the sake of another, and each and all things for the sake of man and his eternal life? Is nature, from any love through any wisdom, capable of premeditating ends, contemplating causes, and thus providing effects, that such things may exist in their order? Or is nature capable of converting men into angels, of making a heaven of these, and causing those who are there to live forever? Put these things together and reflect, and your idea of nature's existence from nature will fall to the ground."  After this we asked him what he had thought and what he still thought about the third question, On the center and the expanse of nature and of life; whether he believed the center and the expanse of life to be the same with the center and expanse of nature? He said that he was perplexed; that he had formerly believed life to be an interior activity of nature, and that this was the source of love and wisdom, which essentially constitute man's life, and that this activity is produced by the sun's fire, through its heat and light, by means of the atmospheres; but now from what he had heard of the life of men after death he was in doubt; and this doubt carried his mind sometimes upwards and sometimes downwards; and when upwards he acknowledged a center of which he had formerly known nothing; and when downwards he saw the center which he had supposed to be the only one; and he believed life to be from the center of which he had before known nothing, and nature to be from the center which he had formerly supposed to be the only one, each center having an expanse round about it.  This, we said, would answer if he would look from the center and expanse of life to the center and expanse of nature, and not the reverse. And we informed him that above the angelic heaven there is a sun which is pure love, in appearance fiery, like the sun of the world; and that from the heat going forth from that sun angels and men have their will and love, and from its light their understanding and wisdom; and whatever is from that sun is called spiritual; while whatever proceeds from the sun of the world is a containant or receptacle of life, and is called natural; thus the expanse pertaining to the center of life is called the spiritual world, having its subsistence from its own sun, while the expanse pertaining to the center of nature is called the natural world, having its subsistence from its sun. Since, then, spaces and times cannot be predicated of love and wisdom, and since states take the place there of spaces and times, it follows that there is no extension in the expanse about the sun of the angelic heaven although this expanse is in the extension of the natural sun, and in the living subjects there in accordance with their reception, while their reception is in accordance with forms and states.  Then he asked, "What is the origin of the fire of the sun of the world or of nature?" We answered that it is from the sun of the angelic heaven, which is not fire, but the Divine love that most nearly goes forth from God, who is in the midst of that sun. As he seemed surprised at this we set it forth in this way: "Love in its essence is spiritual fire; and for this reason in the Word, in its spiritual sense, fire signifies love; and it is on this account that priests in churches pray that heavenly fire, by which they mean love, may fill the hearts of men. The fire of the altar and the fire of the candlestick in the tabernacle represented among the Israelites no other than the Divine love. The heat of the blood, or the vital heat of men and of animals in general, is from no other source than the love that constitutes their life. Therefore man is enkindled, grows warm, and is inflamed when his love is exalted to zeal or excited to anger and passion. Since, then, spiritual heat, which is love, produces in men natural heat, even so far as to enkindle and inflame their faces and limbs, it is clear that the fire of the natural sun sprang from no other source than the fire of the spiritual sun which is the Divine love.  And since, furthermore, the expanse, as has just been said, originates in the center, and not the reverse, and the center of life, which is the sun of the angelic heaven, is the Divine love most nearly going forth from God, who is in the midst of that sun; and since the expanse of that center, which is called the spiritual world, is from that origin; and since from that spiritual sun the sun of the world sprang, and from it its expanse, which is called the natural world, it is plain that the universe was created by God." After this we departed; and he accompanied us out of the hall of his school, and talked with us about heaven and hell and the Divine auspices with a new intellectual sagacity.36.
THE DIVINE ESSENCE, WHICH IS DIVINE LOVE AND DIVINE WISDOM. A distinction has been made between the Esse of God and the essence of God, because there is a distinction between the infinity of God and the love of God, infinity being applicable to the Esse of God, and love to the essence of God, since the Esse of God, as has just been said, is more universal than His essence; just as the infinity of God is more universal than His love; and for this reason the word infinite is an adjective that is applicable to the essentials and attributes of God, which are all called infinite; as we say of the Divine love that it is infinite, of the Divine wisdom that it is infinite, also of the Divine power; not because of any pre-existence of the Esse of God, but because it enters into the essence as joined to it, cohering with it, determining and forming and also exalting it. But this section of this chapter, like the previous ones, shall be presented under the following divisions: (1) God is Love itself and Wisdom itself, and these two constitute His Essence. (2) God is Good itself and Truth itself, because Good is of Love and Truth is of Wisdom. (3) Love itself and wisdom itself are Life itself, which is Life in itself. (4) Love and Wisdom in God make one. (5) It is the essence of Love to love others outside of one-self, to desire to be one with them, and to render them blessed from oneself. (6) These essentials of the Divine Love were the cause of the universe, and are the cause of its preservation. But of these separately.37.
(1) God is Love itself and Wisdom itself, and these two constitute His Essence. In the earliest ages it was seen that love and wisdom are the two essentials to which all the infinite things that are in God and proceed from God have reference; but succeeding ages, as they withdrew their minds from heaven and immersed them in things worldly and corporeal, gradually became unable to see this, for they gradually ceased to know what love is in its essence, and thus what wisdom is in its essence, not knowing that love abstracted from a form is impossible, and that love operates in a form and through a form. Since, then, God is the Itself and the Only, and thus the first substance and form, the essence of which is love and wisdom, and since from Him were made all things that were made, it follows that He created the universe with each thing and all things of it from love by means of wisdom; consequently the Divine love, together with the Divine wisdom, is in each and all created subjects. Love, moreover, is not merely the essence that forms all things, it is also that which unites and conjoins them, and thus, when they are formed, holds them in connection.  All this may be illustrated by innumerable things in the world; as by the heat and light from the sun, which are the two essentials and universals by means of which each thing and all things on the earth have their existence and subsistence. Heat and light are there because they correspond to the Divine love and Divine wisdom; for the heat that goes forth from the sun of the spiritual world is in its essence love, and the light from it is in its essence wisdom. This, again, may be illustrated by the two essentials and universals, namely, the will and the understanding, by means of which human minds have their existence and subsistence; for of these two everyone's mind consists, and they are in, and operate in, each thing and all things of the mind. This is because the will is the receptacle and habitation of love, as the understanding is of wisdom; and for this reason these two correspond to the Divine love and the Divine wisdom in which they originated. The same truth may be illustrated further by the two essentials and universals by means of which the human body has its existence and subsistence, namely, the heart and lungs, or the contraction and dilatation of the heart and the respiration of the lungs. It is known that these two are operative in each and all things in the body; and for the reason that the heart corresponds to love, and the lungs to wisdom; which correspondence is fully demonstrated in the Angelic Wisdom concerning the Divine Love and the Divine Wisdom, published at Amsterdam.  That love as a bridegroom and husband produces or begets all forms, yet only by wisdom as a bride and wife, can be proved by things innumerable in both the spiritual world and in the natural world, provided only it is kept in mind that the entire angelic heaven is arranged in its form, and kept in it, from the Divine love through the Divine wisdom. Those who deduce the creation of the world from any other source than the Divine love through the Divine wisdom, not knowing that these two constitute the Divine Essence, descend from reason's sight to eyesight, and bestow kisses on nature as the creator of the universe; and thereby conceive chimeras and bring forth specters. They devise fallacies, and reason from them; and their conclusions are eggs that contain birds of night. Such should not be called minds, but eyes and ears without understanding, or thoughts without soul. They talk of colors as if these existed without light; of trees as if they existed without seed; and of all things in the world as existing without the sun; for they make derivatives to be first principles and things caused to be causes; thus they turn all things upside down, lull their reason to sleep, and the things they see are dreams.38.
(2) God is Good itself and Truth itself, because Good is of Love and Truth is of Wisdom. It is universally known that all things have reference to good and truth; which is proof that all things sprang from love and wisdom; for everything that proceeds from love is called good, for this is what is felt, and the delight by which the love becomes manifest is to everyone good; while every thing that proceeds from wisdom is called truth, since wisdom consists solely of truths, and affects its objects with the pleasantness of light; and this pleasantness, when it is perceived, is truth from good. Love is therefore the complex of all varieties of goodness, and wisdom the complex of all varieties of truth; but both the latter and the former are from God, who is love itself and thus good itself, and is wisdom itself and thus truth itself. It is from this that in the church there are two essentials, called charity and faith; and of these each thing and all things of the church consist, and these must be in each and all things of it; and for the reason that every good of the church pertains to charity, and is called charity; and every truth of the church pertains to faith, and is called faith. It is the delights of love, which are also the delights of charity, that cause what is delightful to be called good; and it is the pleasantness of wisdom, which is also the pleasantness of faith, that causes what is true to be called true; for delights and pleasantnesses are what give life to good and truth; and without life from these, goods and truths are like something inanimate, and are also barren.  But the delights of love are of two kinds; so, too, are the pleasantnesses that seem to pertain to wisdom, namely, delights of the love of good and delights of the love of evil, and in consequence, the pleasantnesses of faith in what is true and of faith in what is false. In the subjects in which they exist, both of these kinds of delights, because of the feeling they produce, are called goods, and both of these kinds of pleasantness of faith, because of the perception they cause, are also called good; but as these are in the understanding they are in reality truths. Nevertheless, the two kinds are opposites, the good of one love being good, and the good of the other being evil, and the truth of one faith true, and that of the other false. The love whose delight is essentially good is like the sun's heat in its work of fructifying, vivifying, and operating upon fertile soil, and useful trees and fields of grain; and where it operates the place becomes like a paradise, a garden of Jehovah, and like the land of Canaan; while the pleasantness of the truth of that love is like the sun's light in spring, or like light flowing into a crystalline vase containing beautiful flowers, from which, when opened, a delightful odor goes forth. But the delight of the love of evil is like the sun's heat when it parches and destroys, or when it operates upon barren soil or upon noxious growths, as thorns and brambles; and where it operates the place becomes an Arabian desert where there are water snakes and venomous snakes; and the pleasantness of its falsity is like the sun's light in winter, or like light flowing into a bottle containing worms swimming in vinegar, and reptiles of offensive smell.  It must be understood that every kind of good gives itself form by means of truths, and clothes itself about with truths, and thus distinguishes itself from every other good; also that the various kinds of good belonging to the same family bind themselves into bundles, and swathe these about, and thus distinguish themselves from other families. That they are formed in this way is shown in each and all things in the human body; and as there is an invariable correspondence of all things of the mind with all things of the body the human mind is evidently formed in like ways. And from this it follows that the human mind is organized inwardly of spiritual substances, and outwardly of natural substances, and lastly of material substances. The mind whose love's delights are good is formed inwardly of such spiritual substances as exist in heaven; while the mind whose love's delights are evil is formed inwardly of such spiritual substances as exist in hell; and its evils are bound into bundles by falsities, while the goods in the former mind are bound into bundles by truths. Because of such bindings of good and of evil into bundles the Lord says: That the tares must be gathered together into bundles to be burned, as well as all things that offend (Matt. 13:30, 40-41; John 15:6).39.
(3) Because God is Love itself and Wisdom itself He is Life itself, which is Life in itself. It is said in John: The Word was with God, and God was the Word. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men (John 1:1, 4). By "God" here the Divine love is meant, and by "the Word" the Divine wisdom; and strictly speaking "life" means the Divine wisdom, and the life strictly is the light that goes forth from the sun of the spiritual world, in the midst of which sun is Jehovah God. As fire forms light so does the Divine love form life. In fire there are two properties, burning and shining; from its burning property heat proceeds, and from its shining property, light. There are two like properties in love, one to which the burning property of fire corresponds, which is a something that inmostly affects the will of man, and another to which the shining property of fire corresponds, which is a something that inmostly affects the understanding of man. This is the source of man's love and intelligence; for, as repeatedly said before, from the sun of the spiritual world a heat goes forth that in its essence is love, and a light that in its essence is wisdom. These two flow into all things and each thing in the universe, and inmostly affect them, and with men these flow into their will and their understanding, for these two were created to be receptacles of influx-the will a receptacle of love, and the understanding a receptacle of wisdom. Thus it is manifest that the life of man dwells in his understanding, and is such as his wisdom is; and that it is modified by the love of the will.40.
We also read in John: As the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son also to have life in Himself (5:26), which means that just as the Divine Itself, which was from eternity, has life in itself, so the Human, which He took on in time, has life in itself. Life in itself is the very and only life, from which all angels and men have life. This can be seen by human reason from the light that goes forth from the sun of the natural world, in that this light is not creatable, but that forms for receiving it have been created. For example, the eyes are forms for receiving this light, and light flowing in from the sun is what makes them to see. The same is true of life which (as has been said) is the light that goes forth from the sun of the spiritual world, in that it is not creatable, but flows in unceasingly, and as it illuminates it also vivifies man's understanding. So in consequence, as sight and life and wisdom are one, wisdom is not creatable, neither is faith, nor truth, nor love, nor charity, nor good; but forms for receiving these have been created; and these forms are human and angelic minds. Therefore let everyone beware of persuading himself that he lives from himself, or that he is wise, believes, loves, perceives truth, and wills and does good, from himself. For so far as anyone is so persuaded he casts his mind down from heaven to earth, and from being spiritual becomes natural, sensual, and corporeal; for he shuts up the higher regions of his mind, and thus makes himself blind in regard to every thing relating to God, heaven, and the church; and then all that he happens to think, reason, and say about these things is done in darkness and consequently in foolishness; while at the same time he adopts a confidence that it all belongs to wisdom. For when the higher regions of the mind, where the true light of life resides, are closed up, the region of the mind below these opens, into which the light of the world only is admitted; and when this light is separated from the light of the higher regions it is a delusive light, in which what is false seems true and what is true seems false, and reasoning from what is false appears to be wisdom, and from what is true to be folly. Then man believes himself to be endowed with the keen vision of an eagle, although he sees what belongs to wisdom no better than a bat sees in the light of day.41.
(4) Love and Wisdom in God make one. Every wise man in the church knows that every good of love and charity is from God, also every truth of wisdom and faith; and human reason is able to see this when it knows that the origin of love and wisdom is the sun of the spiritual world, in the midst of which is Jehovah God, or what is the same thing, that they are from Jehovah God through the sun which is round about Him; for the heat that goes forth from that sun is in its essence love, and the light that goes forth from it is in its essence wisdom. It is therefore as plain as the open day that in that origin love and wisdom are one, consequently are one in God, from whom that sun has its origin. This may be illustrated by the sun of the natural world, which is pure fire, in that from its fire heat goes forth, and from the shining of its fire light goes forth; thus the two in their origin are one.  But that these are separated in their going forth becomes evident from their subjects, some of which receive more of heat and others more of light. This is especially true of men in whom the light of life which is intelligence and the heat of life which is love, are separated; and this is done because man needs to be reformed and regenerated, which is impossible unless he is taught by the light of life, which is intelligence, what ought to be willed and loved. It must be understood, however, that God is continually working to conjoin love and wisdom in man; while man, unless he looks to God and believes in him, is continually working to separate them; so far, therefore, as these two, the good of love or charity, and the truth of wisdom or faith, are conjoined in man, so far he becomes an image of God, and is raised up towards and into heaven where angels are; and on the other hand, so far as these two are separated by man he becomes an image of Lucifer and the dragon, and is cast down from heaven to earth, and finally below the earth into hell. From the conjunction of these two, man's state becomes like that of a tree in spring, when heat and light in equal measure are conjoined, whereby the tree buds, blooms, and bears fruit; but on the other hand, by the separation of these two, man's state becomes like that of a tree in winter, when the heat withdraws from the light, whereby the tree is stripped and made bare of all its foliage and verdure.  When spiritual heat, which is love, separates itself from spiritual light, which is wisdom, or, what is the same thing, when charity separates itself from faith, man becomes like sour or rotting soil in which worms are bred; and if it brings forth plants their leaves become covered with lice, and are eaten up. For the allurements of the love of evil, which in themselves are lusts, break forth, not being subdued and restrained by intelligence, but loved, fostered, and nourished by it. In a word, to separate love and wisdom, or charity and faith, which two things God constantly strives to bring together, is like depriving the face of its ruddiness, which leaves a death-like pallor, or like taking away the whiteness from the ruddiness, which makes the face like a burning torch. It is also like dissolving the marriage bond between two persons, making the wife a harlot and the husband an adulterer. For love or charity is like a husband, and wisdom or faith is like a wife: and when the two are separated, spiritual idolatry and whoredom follow, which are the falsification of truth and the adulteration of good.42.
Furthermore, it must be understood that there are three degrees of love and wisdom, and consequently three degrees of life, and that the human mind is formed into regions, as it were, in accordance with these degrees; and that in the highest region life is in its highest degree, in the second region in a less degree, and in the outmost region in the lowest degree. These regions are opened in men successively-the outmost region, where there is life in the lowest degree, from infancy to childhood; and this is done by means of knowledges: the second region, where there is life in a larger degree, from childhood to youth; and this is done by means of thought from knowledges: and the highest region, where there is life in the highest degree, from youth to early manhood and onward; and this is done by means of perceptions of moral and spiritual truths. It must be further understood that it is not in thought that the perfection of life consists, but in the perception of truth from the light of truth. From this it may be inferred what the differences of life are in men; for there are some who the moment they hear a truth perceive that it is true; and these in the spiritual world are represented by eagles. There are others who have no perception of truth, but reach conclusions by means of confirmations from appearances; and these are represented by singing birds. Others believe a thing to be true because it has been asserted by a man of authority; these are represented by magpies. Finally, there are some who have no desire and no ability to perceive what is true, but only what is false, for the reason that they are in a delusive light, in which falsity appears to be true, and what is true seems either like something overhead concealed in a dense cloud, or like a meteor, or like something false. The thoughts of these are represented by birds of night, and their speech by screech owls. Of this class those that have confirmed their falsities cannot bear to hear truths, and the moment any truth strikes the ear they repel it with aversion, as a stomach overcharged with bile from nausea vomits its food.43.
(5) It is the essence of Love to love others outside of one self, to desire to be one with them, and to render them blessed from oneself. The essence of God consists of two things, love and wisdom; while the essence of His love consists of three things, namely, to love others outside of Himself, to desire to be one with them, and from Himself to render them blessed. And because love and wisdom in God make one, as has been shown above, the same three things constitute the essence of His wisdom; and love desires these three things, and wisdom brings them forth.  The first essential, which is to love others outside of one's self, is recognized in God's love for the whole human race; and for its sake God loves all things that He has created because they are means; for when the end is loved the means also are loved. All men and things in the universe are outside of God, because they are finite and God is infinite. The love of God goes forth and extends not only to good men and good things, but also to evil men and evil things; consequently not only to the men and things in heaven but also in hell, thus not only to Michael and Gabriel but also to the devil and satan; for God is everywhere, and is from eternity to eternity the same. He says also: That He makes the sun to rise on the good and on the evil, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust (Matt. 5:45). But the reason why evil men continue to be evil, and evil things continue to be evil, lies in the subjects and objects themselves, in that they do not receive the love of God as it is, and as it is inmostly in them, but as they themselves are; in the same way as thorns and thistles receive the heat of the sun and the rain of heaven.  The second essential of the love of God, which is a desire to be one with others, is recognized in His conjunction with the angelic heaven, with the church on earth, with everyone there, and with every thing good and true that enters into and constitutes man and the church. Moreover, love viewed in itself is nothing but an endeavor towards conjunction; therefore that this aim of the essence of love might be realized man was created by God into His own image and likeness, with which a conjunction is possible. That the Divine love continually seeks conjunction is evident from the Lord's own words: That He wishes them to be one, He in them and they in Him, and that the love of God might be in them (John 17:21-23, 26).  The third essential of the love of God, which is to render others blessed from Himself, is recognized in eternal life, which is the endless blessedness, happiness, and felicity that God gives to those who receive into themselves His love. For as God is love itself, so is He blessedness itself; for all love breathes forth delight from itself, and the Divine love breathes forth blessedness itself, happiness, and felicity to eternity. Thus God from Himself renders the angels blessed, and men after death; and this He does by conjunction with them.44.
That such is the nature of the Divine love is known from its sphere, which pervades the universe, and affects everyone in accordance with his state. It especially affects parents, and is the source of their tender love for their children (who are outside of themselves), and their desire to be one with them, and to render them blessed from themselves. This sphere of Divine love affects not only the good, but also the evil, and not only men but also birds and beasts of every kind. What else does a mother think about when she has brought forth her child than uniting herself with it, as it were, and providing for its good? What other concern has a bird, when she has hatched her young from the egg, than to cherish them under her wings, and through their little mouths put food into their throats? It is known that even serpents and vipers love their offspring. This universal sphere especially affects those who receive within themselves this love of God, who are such as believe in God and love their neighbor. Charity with such is an image of that love. With those who are not good, friendship simulates that love; for at his table a man gives his friend the better things, kisses him, caresses and holds his hand, and proffers him useful offices. This love is also the sole origin of the sympathies and endeavors after union of those who are homogeneous or similar. This same Divine sphere is also operative in things inanimate, as trees and plants, but by means of the sun of the world, and its heat and light; for its heat enters them from without and unites with them, causing them to germinate, bloom, and bear fruit; and these resemble blessedness in things animate. The sun's heat does this because it corresponds to spiritual heat, which is love. Representations of the operation of this love are also found in the various subjects of the mineral kingdom. Types of this are presented in the exaltation to use of these, and their consequent preciousness.45.
From this description of the essence of the Divine love the essential nature of diabolical love can be seen. This can be seen as being an opposite. Diabolical love is the love of self. That is called love, although viewed in itself it is hatred; for it loves no one outside of itself; neither does it desire to be joined with others in order to benefit them, but only to benefit itself. From its inmost it continuously aspires to rule over all and to possess the goods of all, and finally to be worshiped as God. This is why those who are in hell do not acknowledge God, but acknowledge as gods those who surpass others in power; thus they acknowledge lower and higher, or lesser and greater gods, according to the extent of their power. And as this is what everyone there has at heart, everyone burns with hatred against his own god, and this latter against those who are under his sway, regarding them as vile slaves, to whom he speaks courteously so long as they worship him, but he rages as if with fire against all others, and also inwardly, or in his heart, against his own vassals. For the love of self is the same as that of robbers; who kiss each other so long as they are engaged in robberies, but afterwards burn with a desire to kill each other, in order to take all the plunder. In hell: where it rules, this love causes its lusts to appear at a distance like various kinds of wild beasts, some like foxes and leopards, some like wolves and tigers, and some like crocodiles and poisonous serpents; it causes the deserts, which are places of abode there, to consist of nothing but heaps of stones or bare gravel, with bogs interspersed in which frogs croak; and it causes doleful birds to fly and screech above their huts. Such are "the doleful creatures (ochim)," "the wild beasts of the desert (tziim)," and "the wild beasts of the islands (ijim)," mentioned in the prophetic parts of the Word, where the love of rule from self-love is treated of (Isa. 13:21; Jer. 50:39; Ps. 74:14).46.
(6) These essentials of the Divine Love were the cause of the creation of the universe, and are the cause of its preservation. That these three essentials were the cause of creation can be clearly seen by a careful investigation of them. That the first, which is to love others outside of oneself, was a cause, is seen in the universe in that it is outside of God, as the world is outside of the sun, and in that He is thus able to extend His love to it, and exercise His love upon it, and thus rest in it. So we read that after God had created the heavens and the earth He rested, and that this was why the Sabbath day was instituted (Gen. 2:2, 3). That the second essential, which is a desire to be one with others, was also a cause, is seen in the creation of man in the image and likeness of God, which means that man was made a form for receiving love and wisdom from God, thus a being with whom God could unite Himself, and also for man's sake with each thing and all things in the universe, which are nothing but means; for conjunction with a final cause is also conjunction with mediate causes. That all things were created for the sake of man is plain also from the Book of Creation, or Genesis (1:28-30). That the third essential, which is to render others blessed from oneself, is a cause, is seen in the angelic heaven, which is provided for every man who receives the love of God, and in which the blessedness of all comes from God alone. These three essentials of the love of God are also the cause of the preservation of the universe, since preservation is perpetual creation, as subsistence is perpetual existence; and the Divine love is the same from eternity to eternity, that is, such as it was in creating the world, such it is and continues to be in the world when created.47.
From these things when rightly understood it can be seen that the universe is a coherent work from first things to last, because it is a work that includes ends, causes, and effects in an indissoluble connection. And because in every love there is an end, in all wisdom there is a promotion of an end by means of mediate causes, and through these causes effects, which are uses, are attained, it follows that the universe is a work that includes Divine love, Divine wisdom, and uses, and is thus in every respect a word coherent from things first to last. That the universe consists of perpetual uses, brought forth by wisdom but initiated by love, every wise man can observe as in a mirror, as soon as he acquires a general conception of the creation of the universe, and from that observes the particulars; for particulars adapt themselves to their own general, and the general arranges them in a form in which they are in harmony. The truth of this will be illustrated in many ways in what follows.48.
To this I will add this Memorable Relation: I was once talking with two angels, one from the eastern and the other from the southern heaven. When they perceived that I was meditating upon the arcana of wisdom respecting love, they said, "Do you know anything about the schools of wisdom in our world?" I answered, "Not yet." They said that there were many such, and that those who love truths from spiritual affection, or because they are truths, and because by means of them wisdom is acquired, come together at a given signal and discuss and settle those questions that spring from a deeper understanding. They then took me by the hand, saying, "Follow us, and you shall see and hear; the signal has been given for a meeting today." I was led over a plain to a hill; and behold, at the foot of the hill was an arcade of palms reaching to its very top. This we entered and ascended; and on the top or summit of the hill a grove was seen, and among its trees the raised ground formed a kind of theater, within which was a level spot paved with little stones of various colors. Around this in quadrangular form seats were placed upon which lovers of wisdom were sitting; and in the middle of the theater there was a table, upon which was laid a paper sealed with a seal.  Those who were seated invited us to the still vacant seats; but I answered, "I have been brought here by two angels to see and hear, not to sit." Then the two angels went to the table in the middle of the level spot, and broke the seal of the paper, and read to those seated the arcana of wisdom written on the paper, which they were now to discuss and unfold. These arcana were written by angels of the third heaven, and let down upon the table. There were three: First, What is "the image of God," and what is "the likeness of God," into which man was created? Second, Why is man not born into the knowledge proper to any love, when even beasts and birds, both the noble and the ignoble, are born into the knowledges proper to all their loves? Third, What does "the tree of life" and what does "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" signify, and what is signified by "eating" of them? Underneath was written, "Unite the answers to these three in one opinion. Write it on a fresh paper, and place it on this table, and we shall see. If the opinion seems well-balanced and correct, each one of you shall receive the prize for wisdom." Having read this the two angels withdrew, and were taken up into their heavens. Then those sitting upon the seats began to discuss and unfold the arcana proposed to them, speaking in this order, first those, who sat on the north side, then those on the west, next those on the south, and lastly those on the east. And they took up the first subject of discussion, which was, What is "the image of God" and what is "the likeness of God" into which man was created? In the first place there was read to all of them these words from the Book of Creation God said, Let us make man into Our image, after Our likeness. So God created man into His own image, into the likeness of God made He him (Gen. 1:26, 27). In the day that God created man, into the likeness of God made He him (Gen. 5:1).  Those who sat on the north spoke first, saying that an image of God and a likeness of God are the two lives breathed into man by God, which are the life of the will and the life of the understanding; for we read: Jehovah God breathed into the nostrils [of Adam] the breath of lives, and man was made into a living soul (Gen. 2:7). This seems to mean that there was breathed into him the will of good and the perception of truth, thus the soul of lives. And inasmuch as life from God was breathed into him, image and likeness signify integrity in him from love and wisdom, and from righteousness and judgment." To this those sitting on the west assented, adding, however, that the state of integrity breathed into Adam from God is continually breathed into every man after him; but in man it is as into a receptacle; and man is an image and likeness of God in proportion as he becomes a receptacle.  Afterwards the third in order, who were those seated at the south, said, "An image of God and a likeness of God are two distinct things but in man they are united by creation; and we see as if from some interior light that while the image of God may be destroyed by man, the likeness of God cannot. This we see as through a network, in that Adam retained the likeness of God after he had lost the image of God; for after the curse we read: Behold the man has become as one of us, knowing good and evil (Gen. 3:22) and after this he was called a likeness of God, but not an image of God (Gen. 5:1). But let us leave to our companions who sit at the east, and are therefore in superior light, to say what is properly an image of God, and what is properly a likeness of God. "  Then after a period of silence, those seated towards the east arose from their seats and looked up to the Lord, and again took their seats, and said that an image of God is a receptacle of God; and as God is love itself and wisdom itself, an image of God is the reception in that receptacle of love and wisdom from God; while a likeness of God is a perfect likeness and full appearance that love and wisdom are in man, and are therefore entirely his. For man has no other feeling than that he loves from himself and is wise from himself, or that he wills what is good and understands truth from himself; nevertheless, this is not from himself in the least degree, but from God. God alone loves from Himself and is wise from Himself, because He is love itself and wisdom itself. The likeness or appearance that love and wisdom, or good and truth, are in man as his own, is what makes man to be man, and makes him capable of conjunction with God, and thus of living to eternity; from which it follows that man is man from his being able to will what is good and understand truth wholly as if from himself, and yet with the ability to know and believe that he does so from God; for as man knows and believes this, God puts His image in man; but not so if man believes that he does this from himself, and not from God.  When this had been said there came upon them a zeal arising from a love for the truth, from which they spoke as follows: "How can man receive anything of love and wisdom, and retain it and reproduce it, unless he feels it to be his own? And how is any conjunction with God by means of love and wisdom possible unless there has been given to man something by which he may reciprocate the conjunction? For without a reciprocal no conjunction is possible. And the reciprocal of conjunction is man's loving God and doing what is of God as if from himself, and yet believing that it is from God. Moreover, how can man live to eternity unless he is joined to the eternal God? Consequently, how can man be man without that likeness in him?"  These remarks were approved by all, and they said, "Let us form a conclusion from all this." This was done as follows: "Man is a receptacle of God, and a receptacle of God is an image of God; and as God is love itself and wisdom itself, man is a receptacle of these; and the receptacle becomes an image of God in the measure in which it receives. And man is a likeness of God from his feeling that the things that are from God are in him as his own; and yet from that likeness he is only so far an image of God as he acknowledges that love and wisdom, or good and truth, are not his own in him, and are not from him, but are solely in God, and consequently from God."  After this they took up the second subject of discussion, Why is man not born into the knowledge proper to any love, when even beasts and birds, both the noble and the ignoble, are born into the knowledges proper to all their loves? They first confirmed the truth of the proposition by various arguments, as, that man is born into no knowledge, not even into a knowledge of marriage love. They inquired and learned from investigators the fact that an infant from connate knowledge does not even know its mother's breast, but learns of it from the mother or nurse by being put to the breast; that it merely knows how to suck, and this it has acquired from continual suction in the mother's womb; that subsequently it does not know how to walk, or to articulate sound into any human word, and not even to express by sounds its love's affections as beasts do; furthermore, that it does not know what food is suitable for it, as beasts do, but seizes upon whatever comes in its way, clean or unclean, and puts it in its mouth. The investigators said that man without instruction knows nothing whatever of the modes of loving the sex, virgins and youths even knowing nothing about it until they have been taught by others. In a word, man is born a purely corporeal thing, like a worm, and so continues unless he acquires knowledge, understanding, and wisdom from others.  After this they confirmed the fact that both noble and ignoble animals, as the beasts of the earth, the birds of heaven, reptiles, fishes, and the smaller creatures called insects, are born into all the knowledges proper to their life's loves, as into all things pertaining to nutrition, to their habitations, to sexual love and prolification, and all things pertaining to the rearing of their offspring. All this they confirmed by wonderful facts which they recalled to memory from what they had seen, heard, and read in the natural world, where they had formerly lived, and where the animals are real and not representative. When the truth of the proposition had been thus established, they applied their minds to the investigation and discovery of the reasons by means of which this arcanum might be unfolded and made clear. And they all said that these things could spring only from the Divine wisdom, to the end that man might be man, and beast might be beast; and thus man's imperfection at birth becomes his perfection, and the beast's perfection at birth is its imperfection.  Then those on the north began to express their views; and they said that man is born without knowledges in order that he may be able to receive all knowledges; while if he were born into knowledges he would not be capable of receiving other knowledges beyond those into which he had been born, nor would he be capable of making any knowledge his own. This they illustrated by the comparison that man at birth is like ground in which no seed has been sown, but which nevertheless is capable of receiving all seeds and of causing them to grow and bear fruit; while a beast is like ground already sown, and full of grasses and herbs, which can receive no other seeds than those already sown, or if it did, would choke them. For this reason man is many years in coming to maturity, during which he can be cultivated, like soil, and bring forth, as it were, all kinds of crops, flowers, and trees, while the beast matures in a few years, during which it is capable of improvement only in the things into which it was born.  Afterwards those on the west spoke, and said, "Man is not, as a beast is, born a knowledge, but is born a faculty and inclination-a faculty for knowing and an inclination for loving. Moreover, he is born a faculty for loving both what pertains to self and the world and what pertains to God and heaven. Consequently, man at birth is merely an organ, living only an obscure life through the external senses, and with no internal senses, to the end that his life may develop step by step, and he may become first a natural man, then a rational man, and finally a spiritual man; and this he could not become if he were born into knowledges and loves as beasts are. For that development is limited by connate knowledges and affections of love, while mere connate faculties and inclinations do not limit it. This is what gives man the ability to be perfected to eternity in knowledges, intelligence, and wisdom.  Those on the south followed, and pronounced their opinion, saying that it is impossible for man to derive any knowledge from himself, and since he has no connate knowledge he can only gain it from others. "And as man can acquire no knowledge from himself, neither can he any love, since where knowledge is not love is not. Knowledge and love are inseparable companions, as inseparable as will and understanding, or as affection and thought, or even as essence and form. Therefore as man acquires knowledge from others, love unites with it as a companion. The most general love that unites itself is the love of knowing, and afterwards the love of understanding and of being wise. No beast has these loves, but man only; and they flow in from God.  We agree with our fellow-members on the west that man is not born into any love, and consequently not into any knowledge, but is born merely into an inclination for loving and thus into a faculty for receiving knowledge, not from himself but from others, that is, through others. We say through others, because neither do these receive anything from themselves, but originally from God. We agree also with our fellow-members on the north, that man at his birth is like soil in which no seeds have been planted, but in which all seeds, both noble and ignoble, may be planted. This is why man was called homo [man], from humus [soil], and Adam [Hebrew for man], from adamah, which means soil. To this we add that beasts are born into natural loves, and from these into knowledges corresponding thereto; and yet they have no ability to learn or to think or to understand or to be wise from knowledges; but are impelled to these by their loves, much as the blind are conducted through the streets by dogs (for beasts are blind so far as understanding is concerned; or rather, beasts are like persons walking in sleep, who do whatever they do from blind knowledge, their understanding being asleep)."  Finally those on the east spoke and said, "We assent to what our brethren have said, that man derives no knowledge from himself, but only from and through others, in order that he may recognize and acknowledge that all his knowledge, understanding, and wisdom are from God; also that man can in no other way be born and begotten of God, and become His image and likeness. For man becomes an image of God by acknowledging and believing that he has received and continues to receive from God every good of charity and every truth of wisdom and faith, and none whatever from himself; while he is a likeness of God by his feeling these goods and truths to be in himself as if they were from himself. This he feels because he is not born into knowledges but acquires them; and what he requires seems to him to be from himself. Moreover to so feel is bestowed upon man by God in order that he may be a man and not a beast, since it is through man's willing, thinking, loving, understanding, and being wise as if from himself, that he receives knowledges, and exalts them to intelligence, and, by using them, to wisdom; thus God conjoins man to Himself, and man conjoins himself to God. All this could not be done unless it had been provided by God that man should be born in total ignorance."  After this had been said it was the desire of all that a conclusion be drawn from the points discussed, and this was done as follows: "Man is born into no knowledge that he may be capable of entering into all knowledge and progressing into intelligence, and through this into wisdom; and he is born into no love that he may be capable of entering, into all love by the application of knowledges from intelligence, and into love to God through love of the neighbor, and thus of being conjoined to God, and thereby becoming man and living forever."  After this they took up the paper and read the third subject of discussion, which was, What is signified by "the tree of life," and by "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil," and by "eating" of them? They all requested that those in the east should unfold this arcanum, because it was a matter of deeper understanding, and because those from the east were in flaming light, that is, in the wisdom of love, and this wisdom is meant by "the garden of Eden," in which those two trees were placed. They replied, "We will speak; but as man receives nothing from himself, but everything from God, we will speak from Him, and yet from ourselves as if from ourselves." And they said, "A tree signifies man, and its fruit the good of life therefore 'the tree of life' signifies man living from God; and as love and wisdom, or charity and faith, or good and truth, constitute the life of God in man, 'the tree of life' signifies a man who has these within him from God, and in consequence, eternal life. The tree of life of which it shall be given to eat (mentioned in Apoc. 2:7; 22:2, 14) has the same signification.  'The tree of the knowledge of good and evil' signifies a man who believes that he lives from himself and not from God; thus that love and wisdom, or charity and faith, that is, good and truth, are not God's in man, but his own, the reason for this belief being that man thinks and wills and speaks and acts in all likeness and appearance as if from himself; and as man thereby persuades himself that he is himself a god, the serpent said God doth know that in the day ye eat of the fruit of that tree your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil (Gen. 3:5).  "'Eating' of these trees signifies reception and appropriation, 'eating of the tree of life' reception of eternal life, and 'eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil' the reception of damnation. 'The serpent' means the devil in respect to the love of self and the conceit of one's own intelligence; this love is the possessor of that tree, and the men who are in the conceit derived from that love are such trees. It is therefore a monstrous error to believe that Adam was wise and did good from himself, and that this was his state of integrity; when in fact Adam was himself cursed on account of that belief; for this is what is meant by his 'eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil;' and this was why he then fell from his state of integrity, which had been his possession because of his believing that he was wise and did good from God, and in no respect from himself, which is what is meant by his 'eating of the tree of life.' The Lord alone when He was in the world was wise from Himself and did good from Himself, because the Divine Itself was in Him, and was His from His birth; therefore by His own power He became the Redeemer and Savior."  From all this they formed this conclusion: "'The tree of life, ' 'the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,' and 'eating' therefrom, mean that man's life is God in him, and when God is in him he has heaven and eternal life; while the death of man is the persuasion and belief that his life is not God, but himself, and this belief leads to hell and eternal death, which is damnation."  After this they looked at the paper left by the angels on the table, and saw written upon it, "Bring these three together in one opinion;" and bringing them together they saw that the three formed one coherent series, and the series or opinion was as follows: "Man was so created as to be capable of receiving love and wisdom from God, and yet in all likeness as if from himself, and this for the sake of reception and conjunction; and this is why man is not born into any love, nor into any knowledge, nor even into any power to love and be wise from himself. Therefore when he attributes every good of love and every truth of faith to God he becomes a living man; but when he attributes them to himself he becomes a dead man." This they wrote on a fresh paper, and placed it on the table; and behold, immediately angels came in, a bright cloud and carried the paper away to heaven. And when it had been read there, those sitting upon the seats heard from heaven the words, "Well done, well done, well done." And presently one from heaven was seen flying as it were with what appeared like two wings on his feet and two on his temples, bringing rewards, which were robes, caps, and laurel wreaths. He descended and gave to those sitting at the north robes of an opaline color; to those at the west robes of scarlet; to those at the south caps with borders ornamented with bands of gold and pearls, and with their tops on the left side adorned with diamonds cut in the form of flowers; while to those on the east he gave wreaths of laurel in which were rubies and sapphires. And all, decorated with these rewards, went home from the school of wisdom with joy.49.
THE OMNIPOTENCE, OMNISCIENCE, AND OMNIPRESENCE OF GOD. We have treated of the Divine love and wisdom, and have shown that these two are the Divine essence. The omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence of God will now be considered; because these three proceed from the Divine love and Divine wisdom in much the same way as the power and presence of the sun are present in this world and in each and all things thereof, by means of its heat and light. Moreover, heat from the sun of the spiritual world, in the midst of which is Jehovah God, is in its essence Divine love, and the light from it is in its essence Divine wisdom. Evidently, then, as infinity, immensity, and eternity pertain to the Divine Esse, so omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence pertain to the Divine essence. But as these three most general predicates of the Divine essence have hitherto not been understood, because their progression in accordance with their modes, which are the laws of order, has been unknown, they must be elucidated in separate sections, as follows: (1) Omnipotence, Omniscience, and Omnipresence pertain to the Divine wisdom from the Divine love. (2) The Omnipotence, Omniscience, and Omnipresence of God can be clearly understood only when it is known what order is, and when it is known that God is order, and that He introduced order, both into the universe and into each and all things of it, at the time of their creation. (3) God's Omnipotence in the universe and in each and all things of it, proceeds and operates in accordance with the laws of His order. (4) God is omniscient, that is, He perceives, sees, and knows each thing and all things, even to the most minute, that take place according to order, and from these the things also that take place contrary to order. (5) God is omnipresent from the firsts to the lasts of His order. (6) Man was created a form of Divine order. (7) From the Divine Omnipotence man has power over evil and falsity, and from the Divine Omniscience has wisdom respecting what is good and true, and from the Divine Omnipresence is in God, just to the extent that he lives in accordance with Divine order. But these propositions shall be unfolded one by one.50.
(1) Omnipotence, Omniscience, and Omnipresence pertain to the Divine wisdom from the Divine love. That omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence, pertain to the Divine wisdom from the Divine love, but not to the Divine love through the Divine wisdom, is an arcanum from heaven that has not yet dawned upon the understanding of anyone, because it has not yet been known what love is in its essence, and what wisdom therefrom is in its essence, and still less how one flows into the other; namely, that love, with each and all things of love, flows into wisdom and dwells in it, as a king in his kingdom, or as a master in his house, leaving all the administration of justice to the judgment of wisdom; and as justice pertains to love, and judgment to wisdom, love leaves all the administration of love to its own wisdom. But this arcanum will borrow light from what follows; meanwhile let it serve as a canon. That god is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent through the wisdom of His love is meant by the words in John: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the world was made by Him. And the Word was made flesh (John 1:1, 3-4, 10, 14); "the Word" here meaning the Divine truth, or, what amounts to the same thing, the Divine wisdom; and for this reason it is called "life" and "light," "life" and "light" being nothing else than wisdom.