Sacred Texts  Swedenborg  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

True Christian Religion, by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1771], tr. by John C. Ager [1906] at

True Christian Religion


Since in the Word justice [or righteousness] is predicated of love, and judgment of wisdom, I will cite some passages to show that it is by means of these two that God's government is carried on in the world: Righteousness and judgment are the support of Thy Throne (Ps. 89:14). Let him that glorieth glory in this, that Jehovah doeth judgment and righteousness in the earth (Jer. 9:24). Let Jehovah be exalted, for He hath filled the land [Hebrew, Zion] with judgment and righteousness (Isa. 33:5). Judgment shall flow as water, and righteousness as a mighty stream (Amos 5:24). O Jehovah, Thy righteousness is like the mountains of God Thy judgments are a great deep (Ps. 36:6). Jehovah shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday (Ps. 37:6). Jehovah shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgment (Ps. 72:2). When I shall have learned the judgments of Thy righteousness seven times a day do I praise Thee because of the judgments of Thy righteousness (Ps. 119:7, 164). I will betroth Me unto thee [Hebrew, thee unto Me] in righteousness and in judgment (Hos. 2:19). Zion shall be redeemed in judgment and those that are brought back in righteousness (Isa. 1:27). He shall sit upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to establish it in judgment and in righteousness (Isa. 9:7). I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and He shall reign as King, and shall do judgment and righteousness in the land (Jer. 23:5). Elsewhere it is said that judgment and righteousness ought to be done, as in Isa. 1:21; 5:16; 58:2; Jer. 4:2; 22:3, 13, 15; Ezek. 18:5; 33:14, 16, 19; Amos 6:12; Micah 7:9; Deut. 33:21; John 16:8, 10, 11).


(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. How many and how great absurdities have crept into the minds of men, and thus into the church, through the heads of reformers, from their not understanding the order in which God created the universe and each and all things in it, will be seen from the mere recital of them in the following pages. But we will now begin an explanation of order with a general definition of it, as follows: Order is the quality of the arrangement, determination, and activity, of the parts, substances, or elements, which constitute a form; from which is its state; and its perfection is produced by wisdom from its love, or its imperfection is the outcome of unsoundness of reason from cupidity. In this definition substance, form, and state are mentioned, and by substance form also is meant, because every substance is a form, and the quality of the form is the state of it, while perfection or imperfection of state is a result of the order. All this must needs be obscure because it is metaphysical; but the obscurity will be dispelled in what follows by the use of examples which will illustrate the subject.


God is order because He is substance itself and form itself. He is substance because all things that subsist have come forth and continue to come forth from Him. He is form because every quality of substances has sprung and continues to spring from Him, quality having no other source than form. As God, then, is the very, the only, and the first substance and form, and at the same time the very and only love and the very and only wisdom, and as wisdom from love is what constitutes form, and its state and quality are in accordance with the order that is in it, it follows that God is order itself; consequently that God from Himself introduced order both into the whole universe and into all things and each thing in it; also that He introduced a most perfect order, because every thing that He created was good, as we read in the Book of Creation. In its proper place it will be shown that evil things sprang up together with hell, thus after creation. But now let us consider things that more readily enter the understanding, more clearly enlighten it, and more gently affect it.


It would require many pages to explain the nature of the order into which the universe was created. A sketch of it will be given in a following section on the Creation [n. 75]. It must be borne in mind that each and all things in the universe, that they might subsist by themselves, were created each into its own order, and in the beginning were so created as to conjoin themselves with the order of the whole universe, to the end that each particular order might have subsistence in the universal, and thus all might make one. But to refer to some examples-Man was created into his own order, and every part of him into its own order; as the head into its order, the body into its order; the heart, lungs, liver, pancreas, and stomach, each into its order; every organ of motion, called a muscle, into its order; and every organ of sense, as the eye, the ear, the tongue, into its order; nor does there exist any least artery or fiber there that has not its own order; and yet these innumerable parts join themselves with the common body, and so insert themselves in it that all together make one. The same is true of other things, the mere mention of which will suffice for illustration. Every beast of the earth, every bird of heaven, every fish of the sea, every reptile, and every worm, even to the moth, has been created into its own order; equally so every forest tree and fruit tree, every shrub and plant; and still further every stone, every mineral, down to every grain of dust, into its order.


Who does not see that there cannot be found an empire, kingdom, dukedom, republic, state, or household, that is not established by laws which constitute its order and thus the form of its government? In each one of them the laws of justice are in the highest place, political laws in the second, and economical laws in the third; or in comparison with a man, the laws of justice constitute the head, political laws the body, and economic laws the garments; and thus these last, like garments, may be changed. But in respect to the order in which the church has been established by God, it is this: That God must be in each thing and all things of it, and the neighbor also towards whom order must be practiced. The laws of that order are as many as the truths in the Word, the laws relating to God constituting its head, the laws relating to the neighbor constituting its body, and ceremonies its garments; for unless there were these last to hold the former together in their order it would be as if the body were naked and exposed to the heat in summer and the cold in winter; or as if the walls and ceilings of a temple were taken away, and its sanctuary and altar and pulpit should thus stand unsheltered and exposed to many kinds of violence.


(3) God's Omnipotence in the universe, with each and all things of it, proceeds and operates in accordance with the laws of His order. God is omnipotent because He has from Himself all power; while all others have power only from Him. His power and His will are one; and as He wills only what is good He can do nothing but what is good. In the spiritual world no one is able to do anything contrary to his will; and this is derived from God, because His power and will are one. Moreover, God is good itself, therefore in His doing good He is in Himself, and to go out of is impossible. Evidently, then, God's omnipotence must go forth and operate within the sphere of extension of the good; and this sphere is infinite. For this sphere, [going forth] from the inmost, fills the universe and each and all things in it; and from the inmost rules the things which are without so far as they conjoin themselves with it in accordance with the laws of their own order; and if they do not conjoin themselves with it, it still sustains them, and by every endeavor labors to restore them to an order that is harmonious with the universal order, in which God Himself is in His omnipotence, and in accordance with which He acts. And when this is not accomplished they are cast out from Him; but even then He none the less sustains them from the inmost. From this it is clear that the Divine omnipotence cannot by any means go forth from itself to a contact with any thing evil, or from itself promote any thing evil; for evil turns itself away, and in consequence evil is wholly separated from Him and is cast into hell, between which and heaven, where He is, there is a great gulf. From these few statements it can be seen how deluded those are who think, and still more those who believe, and still more those who teach, that God can damn anyone, curse anyone, send anyone to hell, predestine any soul to eternal death, avenge wrongs, be angry, or punish. He cannot even turn Himself away from man, nor look upon him with a stern countenance. These and like things are contrary to His essence; and what is contrary to His essence is contrary to His very Self.


It is a prevailing opinion at this day that God's omnipotence is like the absolute power of a king in the world, who can at his pleasure do whatever he will, pardon or condemn whom he will, make the guilty innocent, declare the unfaithful faithful, exalt the unworthy and undeserving above the worthy and deserving, and even take away the property of his subjects under any pretext whatsoever, and condemn them to death, and so on. From this absurd opinion, belief, and doctrine respecting the Divine omnipotence, as many falsities, fallacies, and chimeras have flooded the church as there are changes, distinctions, and generations of faith in it; and the number that may yet flow in may equal the number of urns that might be filled from a great lake, or the number of serpents that might creep from their holes and bask in the sunshine in the desert of Arabia. What need is there except to pronounce these two words, omnipotence and faith, and then circulate among the common people conjectures and fables and nonsense such as will appeal to the bodily senses? For these two words banish reason; and when reason has been banished what better is man's thought than the reason of the birds that fly over his head? Or what then is the spirituality that man possesses over and above the beasts but like the stench in the dens of beasts, which to them indeed is agreeable, but not to a man unless he is like them? If the Divine omnipotence were so extended as to do evil as well as good, what difference would there be between God and the devil? Would there be any but such as that between two monarchs, one of whom is both a king and a tyrant, while the other is a tyrant whose power is so restrained that he cannot be called a king; or such as that between a shepherd who is allowed to lead the sheep and also to act the wolf, and one who is not? Who cannot see that good and evil are opposites, and that if God from His omnipotence had the power to will both, and from will to do both, He would be able to will and do nothing at all? Thus He would have no power, much less all power. It would be like two wheels acting against each other by turning in opposite directions, by which opposition both wheels would be stopped and be perfectly at rest; or like a vessel in a rushing stream driving it contrary to its course, so that if not held by the anchor it would be carried away and destroyed; or like a man with two opposing wills, one of which must needs be quiescent when the other is acting, for if both should act at the same time delirium or giddiness would invade his mind.


If, in accordance with existing belief, God's omnipotence were absolute both to do evil and to do good, would it not be possible and even easy for God to elevate all hell to heaven, and to convert the devils and satans into angels, and to cleanse in an instant every impious man on earth from sin; to renew, sanctify, and regenerate him, and from a child of wrath make him a child of grace, that is, to justify him, which would be done by simply ascribing and imputing to him the righteousness of His Son? but God's omnipotence does not enable Him to do this, for the reason that it would be contrary to the laws of His order in the universe, and at the same time contrary to the laws of order enjoined upon every man, these laws requiring that the conjunction between God and man shall be mutual. This will be made clear in the following pages of this work. From this absurd opinion and belief concerning God's omnipotence it would follow that God could convert every goat nature among men into a sheep, and at His good pleasure could transfer men from His left hand to His right; that He could at His good pleasure transform the spirits of the dragon into angels of Michael; and that a man with an understanding like that of a mole could be endowed with the vision of an eagle; in a word, that out of a man like an owl He could make a man like a dove. These things God cannot do, for the reason that they are contrary to the laws of His order; and yet He unceasingly wills and endeavors to effect them. If He could have done such things He would not have permitted Adam to listen to the serpent, and to pluck fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and put it to his mouth. If He could have done this He would not have permitted Cain to kill his brother, or David to number the people, or Solomon to build temples for idols, or the kings of Judah and Israel to profane the temple, which they often did. In fact, if He could have done this He would have saved the entire human race, without exception, through the redemption wrought by His Son, and have extirpated all hell. The ancient heathen ascribed omnipotence to their gods and goddesses and this gave rise to their fables, as that Deucalion and Pyrrha threw stones behind them which became men; that Apollo changed Daphne into a laurel; that Diana changed a hunter into a stag; and that another of their gods changed the virgins of Parnassus into magpies. There is at this day a like belief respecting the Divine omnipotence, and it is the source of the many superstitions and consequent heresies that have been introduced into the world in every country where there is any religion.


(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. God is omniscient, that is, perceives, sees, and knows all things, because He is wisdom itself and light itself; and wisdom itself perceives all things, and light itself sees all things. That God is wisdom itself has been shown above; He is light itself because He is the sun of the angelic heaven, which enlightens the understandings of all, both angels and men. For just as the eye is illuminated by the light of the natural sun, so is the understanding illuminated by the light of the spiritual sun nor is it illuminated merely, it is filled with intelligence in accordance with the love of receiving that light, for that light in its essence is wisdom. There fore it is said in David: That God dwells in the light inaccessible (Ps. 104:2 comp. 1 Tim. 6:16); and in the Apocalypse: That in the New Jerusalem they need no candle, for the Lord God giveth them light (22:5); and in John: That the Word, which was with God and was God, is the light that enlighteneth every man that cometh into the world (1:1, 9) the "Word" meaning the Divine wisdom. For this reason, so far as the angels are in wisdom they are in clearness of light, and for the same reason, whenever light is mentioned in the Word it means wisdom.


God perceives, sees, and knows all things, even to the most minute, that take place according to order, because order, from being in the smallest particulars, is universal, for these smallest particulars taken together are called the universal, as the particulars taken together are called the general. The universal, including its smallest particulars, is a work coherent as a unit, to the extent that no one part can be touched and affected without some sense of it overflowing to all the rest. Such being the nature of the order of the universe there is a likeness of it in all created things in the world. But this shall be illustrated by comparisons taken from things visible. In man as a whole there are generals and particulars, the generals including the particulars, with all harmoniously arranged in such connection that each belongs to the other. This is effected by means of a common covering surrounding every member of the body, and insinuating itself into every particular therein, so that they act as one in every function and use. For example, the covering of each muscle enters into the particular motor fibers and clothes them from itself. So the coverings of the liver, the pancreas, and the spleen enter into the interior parts of these organs; and the covering of the lungs, which is called the pleura, enters into their interiors; in like manner the pericardium enters into each and all parts of the heart; and in general the peritoneum enters all parts by anastomoses with the coverings of all the viscera. So again, the meninges of the brain, by threads drawn from them, enter into all the underlying glands, and through these into all the fibers, and through these again into all parts of the body. And it is in this way that the head by means of the brain rules each and all things subject to it. These facts are cited simply that by means of visible things some idea may be formed of how God perceives, sees, and knows all things, even to the most minute, which take place according to order.


That from the things that are according to order God perceives, knows, and sees each and all things even to the most minute that take place contrary to order, is because He does not keep man in evil, but withholds him from evil; thus He does not lead him on, but strives with him. From this perpetual striving, struggling, resistance, repugnance, and reaction of evil and falsity against His good and truth, thus against Himself, God perceives both their quantity and their quality. This follows from God's omnipresence in all things and in each thing of His order, and also from His perfect knowledge of each thing and all things of it, comparatively as one with an ear for harmony and consonance notices accurately what is inharmonious and dissonant, when it comes in, also the extent and character of the discord; or as one whose feelings are occupied with what is delightful detects the intrusion of what is undelightful; or as one whose eye is occupied with what is beautiful notices it with more precision when anything unshapely is beside it; for which reason it is customary for painters to place an ugly face beside a beautiful one. It is the same with good and truth when evil and falsity are striving against them; since from good and truth evil and falsity are distinctly perceived. For everyone who is in good can perceive evil; and he who is in truth can see falsity. And the reason is that good is in the heat of heaven, and truth is in its light; while evil is in the cold of hell, and falsity in its darkness. This may be illustrated by the fact that the angels of heaven can see whatever is done in hell, and what kind of monsters exist there; while, on the other hand, the spirits of hell can see nothing whatever that is going on in heaven; they can no more see the angels than if they were blind, or were gazing into the empty air or ether. Those whose understandings are in light from wisdom are like men who at midday are standing upon a mountain and seeing clearly all that is below; while those who are in still superior light are comparatively like men who see, through telescopes, outlying and lower objects as if they were near at hand. But those who are in the false light of hell, through the confirmation of falsities, are like men standing upon the same mountain at night with lanterns in their hands, who see only the objects nearest to them, and these with forms indistinct and colors confused. A man who is in some light of truth, although in evil of life, while he finds delight in his love of evil, sees truths at first much as a bat sees linen hanging in a garden, to which it flies as to a place of refuge. Afterwards he becomes like a bird of night, and at length like a screech-owl. Then he becomes like a chimney-sweep sticking fast in the gloom of a chimney, and seeing, when he looks upward, the sky through smoke, and when downward the hearth from which the smoke comes.


It must be remembered that the perception of opposites is different from the perception of relatives; for opposites are things without, and are opposed to things within. An opposite has its beginning where one thing wholly ceases to be anything, and another then arises with an effort to act against the former, as when a wheel acts against another wheel, or a current against another current. But relatives pertain to the arrangement of many and various parts in an order that is concordant and harmonious, like precious stones of various colors in the stomacher of a queen, or like flowers of different colors arranged in a garland to give pleasure to the sight. Therefore in both of these opposites there are relatives, that is, in what is good as well as in what is evil, in what is true as well as in what is false, thus both in heaven and in hell, all the relatives in hell being the opposites of the relatives in heaven. Since, then, from the order in which He is, God perceives and sees and is cognizant of all things relative in heaven, and thereby perceives, sees, and is cognizant of all the opposite relatives in hell (as follows from what has been said), it is clear that God is omniscient in hell as well as in heaven, and in like manner with men in the world; thus that He perceives, sees, and is cognizant of their evils and falsities from the good and truth in which He Himself is, and which in their essence are Himself; for we read: If I ascend up into heaven, Thou art there; if I make my bed in hell, behold Thou art there (Ps. 139:8); and again: Though they dig into hell, thence shall My hand take them (Amos 9:2).


(5) God is omnipresent from the firsts to the lasts of His order. God is omnipresent from the firsts to the lasts of His order by means of the heat and light of the spiritual sun, in the midst of which He is. It was by means of that sun that order was produced; and from it He sends forth a heat and a light which pervade the universe from firsts to lasts, and produce the life that is in man and in every animal, and also the vegetative soul that is in every germ upon the earth; and these two flow into each thing and all things, and cause every subject to live and grow according to the order implanted in it by creation. And as God, though not extended, fills every extense in the universe, He is omnipresent. It has been shown elsewhere that God is in all space without space, and in all time without time, and consequently that the universe in its essence and order is the plenitude of God; and this being so, by His omnipresence He perceives all things, by His omniscience He provides all things, and by His omnipotence He effects all things. From this it is clear that omnipresence, omniscience, and omnipotence make one, or that one implies the others; and thus that they cannot be separated.


The Divine omnipresence may be illustrated by the wonderful way in which angels and spirits become present to each other in the spiritual world. Because there is no space in that world, but only an appearance of space, an angel or spirit may instantly become present with another whenever he comes into a like affection and consequent thought; for it is these two that cause the appearance of space. That such is the nature of presence with all there, has been made evident to me by having seen Africans and Asiatics there near together, although on the earth they are so many miles apart; and that I could even become present with those on the planets of our solar system, and also with those on planets belonging to other systems. Owing to this presence, not in space but in appearance of space, I have spoken with apostles, with departed popes, with emperors and kings, with the modern reformers of the church-Luther, Calvin, Melancthon, -and with others from widely separated countries. Such being the presence of angels and spirits, what limit is there to the Divine presence, which is infinite, in the universe? Angels and spirits are thus present, because every affection of love and every consequent thought of the understanding is in space without space, and in time without time. For anyone can think of a brother, relative, or friend who is in the Indies, and then have him as if present; in like manner he may, by remembrance, be moved by their love. From these facts, as they are known to man, the Divine omnipresence may in some measure be made clear; so, too, from human thought-as when anyone calls to mind what he has seen while traveling in various places, it is just as if he were present in those places again. Even bodily vision emulates this same kind of presence; it notices distance only by means of intermediate things, by which, as it were, the distance is measured. The sun itself would be near the eye, even as if in the eye, if intermediate objects did not reveal the fact of its being so distant. That this is so, optical writers have noted in their writings. This kind of presence pertains both to man's intellectual sight and to his bodily sight, because what sees is his spirit looking through his eyes; but such is not the case with any animal, because animals have no spiritual sight. All this enables us to see that God is omnipresent from the firsts to the lasts of His order. That He is also omnipresent in hell has been shown in a former section.


(6) Man was created a form of Divine order. Man was created a form of Divine order because he was created an image and likeness of God; and as God is order itself, he was created an image and likeness of order. There are two things which are the source of order and which give it permanence, namely, the Divine love and the Divine wisdom; and man was created a receptacle of these, and was therefore created also into the order in accordance with which these two act in the universe, and especially in accordance with which they act in the angelic heaven; consequently that the entire heaven is in its largest effigy a form of Divine order, and is in the sight of God like one man. Moreover, there is a plenary correspondence between that heaven and man; for there is not a society in heaven that does not correspond to some one of the members, viscera, or organs in man; and therefore it is there said that such a society is in the province of the liver, or of the pancreas, or of the spleen, or of the stomach, the eye, the ear, or the tongue, and so on. Furthermore, the angels themselves know in what region of any part of man they dwell. That this is so I have been permitted to learn by living experience. I have seen as a single man a society consisting of some thousands of angels; and thus it was made clear that heaven in its complex is an image of God; and an image of God is a form of Divine order.


It must be understood that all things that proceed from the sun of the spiritual world, in the midst of which is Jehovah God, have relation to man; and therefore whatever things come forth in that world conspire towards the human form, and exhibit that form in their inmosts; thus all objects there that are presented to the sight are representative of man. Animals of all kinds are seen there, and they are likenesses of the affections of love and consequent thoughts of the angels; and the same is true of the trees, flowers, and green fields there; and what affection this or that object represents the angels are permitted to know; and what is wonderful, when their inmost sight is opened, they recognize their own image in them; and this takes place because every man is his own love and his own thought therefrom. And because in every man affections and thoughts therefrom are various and manifold, some of them relating to the affection of one animal and some to that of another, the images of these affections become manifest in this way. But of this more will be seen in the section on Creation [n. 75]. From all this the truth is seen that the end of creation was an angelic heaven from the human race, and consequently man, in whom God can dwell as in His receptacle; and this is the reason why man was created a form of Divine order.


Previous to creation God was love itself and wisdom itself and the union of these two in the effort to accomplish uses; for love and wisdom apart from use are only fleeting matters of reason, which fly away if not applied to use. The first two separated from the third are like birds flying above a great ocean, which are at length exhausted by flying, and fall down and are drowned. Evidently, therefore, the universe was created by God to give existence to uses; and for this reason the universe may be called a theater of uses. And as man is the chief end of creation, it follows that each and all things were created for the sake of man; and therefore each and all things belonging to order were brought together and concentrated in him, to the end that through him God might accomplish primary uses. Love and wisdom apart from their third, which is use, may be likened to the sun's heat and light; which, if they did not operate upon men, animals, and vegetables, would be worthless things; but by influx into and operation upon these they become real. For there are three things that follow each other in order, namely, end, cause, and effect; and it is known in the learned world that the end is nothing unless it regards the effecting cause, and that the end and this cause are nothing unless an effect is produced. The end and cause may indeed be contemplated abstractly in the mind, but still only on account of some effect which the end purposes and the cause secures. It is the same with love, wisdom, and use; use is the end which love purposes, and through the cause accomplishes; and when use is accomplished love and wisdom have a real existence; and in the use they make for themselves a habitation and foundation where they rest as in their home. It is the same with the man who has in him the love and wisdom of God when he is performing uses; and to enable him to perform Divine uses he was created an image and likeness of God, that is, 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. It is from the Divine omnipotence that man has power over evil and falsity just to the extent that he lives in accordance with Divine order, for the reason that no one but God can resist evils and their falsities. For all evils and their falsities are from hell; and in hell they cohere as a unit, the same as all goods and their truths do in heaven. For, as has been said above, before God all heaven is like a single man; and on the other hand, all hell is like a single gigantic monster; consequently, to act against a single evil and its falsity is to act against that gigantic monster or hell; and this no one is able to do except God, because He is omnipotent. From this it is clear that unless man approaches the omnipotent God he has from himself no more power against evil and its falsity than a fish has against the ocean, than a flea against a whale, or than a grain of dust against a falling mountain; and much less than a locust has against an elephant, or a fly against a camel. Moreover, man has all the less power against evil and its falsity because he is born into evil; and evil cannot act against itself. From all this it follows that unless man lives in accordance with order, that is, unless he acknowledges God and his omnipotence, and the resulting protection against hell, and also on his part fights with evil in himself (for order requires both of these), he cannot but be immersed and overwhelmed in hell, and there be driven about by evils, one after another, as a skiff at sea is driven by the storms.


From the Divine omniscience man has wisdom respecting what is good and true to the extent that he lives in accordance with the Divine order, because all love of good and all wisdom of truth, or all good of love and all truth of wisdom, are from God. That this is so is in accordance with the confession of all the churches in the Christian world. From this it follows that man cannot be interiorly in any truth of wisdom except from God, since God has omniscience, that is infinite wisdom. The human mind, like the angelic heaven, is divided into three degrees, and may therefore be lifted up into a higher and still higher degree or be let down into a lower and still lower degree; but so far as it is lifted up into the higher degrees it is lifted up into wisdom, because into the light of heaven; and this God only can do. Moreover, so far as the mind is thus lifted up it becomes a man; while so far as it is let down into the lower degrees it enters the delusive light of hell, and is not man but a beast. This is why man stands erect upon his feet and turns his face heavenward, and can raise it to the zenith, while a beast stands upon its feet in a position parallel with the earth, and turns its whole face in that direction; nor can it without difficulty raise its face heavenward. [2] The man who lifts his mind to God and acknowledges that all the truth of wisdom is from God, and at the same time lives in accordance with order, is like one who stands upon a lofty tower and sees beneath him a populous city and all that is being done in its streets. But the man who confirms in himself the belief that all truth of wisdom is from the natural light in himself, that is, is from himself, is like one who remains in a cavern beneath that tower and looks through holes at the same city, seeing nothing but the wall of a single house in that city, and how its bricks are joined. Again, the man who derives wisdom from God is like a bird flying aloft, which looks around upon all things in the gardens, woods, and fields, and flies to those things that are of use to it; while the man who derives such things as pertain to wisdom from himself, with no added belief that they are from God, is like a hornet flying near the ground, which, seeing a dunghill, settles upon it and finds enjoyment in its stench. Every man, so long as he is living in the world, walks midway between heaven and hell, and is thereby in equilibrium, and thus in freedom of choice either to look upwards to God or downwards to hell. If he looks upwards to God he acknowledges that all wisdom is from God, and in spirit he is actually with the angels in heaven; while he who looks downward (as everyone does who is in falsities from evil) is in spirit actually with the devils in hell.


From the Divine omnipresence man is in God to the extent that he lives in accordance with order, for the reason that God is omnipresent; and where God is in His Divine order, there He is as in Himself, because He is order, as has been shown above. Since, then, man was created a form of Divine order, God is in him-fully in him-to the extent that he is living in accordance with Divine order. Nevertheless, God is in him if he is not living in accordance with Divine order, but only in the highest regions in him, thereby giving him the ability to understand what is true and to will what is good; that is, giving him the faculty of understanding and the inclination to love. But so far as man lives contrary to order he shuts up the lower regions of his mind or spirit, and thus prevents God's descending and filling these lower regions with His presence; consequently, while God is in him he is not in God. It is a general canon in heaven that God is in every man, the evil and the good alike; but that man is not in God unless he lives in accordance with order; for the Lord says: That it is His will that man should be in Him and He in man (John 15:4). [2] Man is in God by means of a life in accordance with order, because God is omnipresent in the universe and in each and all things of it in their inmosts, for these inmosts are in order. But in those things that are contrary to order (which are solely those that are outside of the inmosts) God is omnipresent by a continual striving with them, and by a continual effort to bring them back to order. Thus it is that so far as man permits himself to be brought back to order, God is omnipresent in the whole of him, and consequently to the same extent God is in him and he is in God. The absence of God from man is no more possible than the absence of the sun from the earth through its heat and light. But earthly objects are affected by the sun's power only so far as they receive the heat and light that go forth from that sun, as in spring time and summer time. [3] This is applicable to the Divine omnipresence in this way, that so far as man is in order he is in spiritual heat and also in spiritual light; that is, in the good of love and the truth of wisdom. But spiritual heat and light are unlike natural heat and light, in that natural heat recedes from the earth and its objects in winter, and natural light at night; and this takes place because the earth by its diurnal and annual motions produces these periods. But with spiritual heat and light it is not so; since God through His sun is present with both heat and light, and does not undergo changes, as the sun of the world apparently does. Man turns himself away comparatively as the earth turns away from the sun; and when he turns away from the truths of wisdom he is like the earth when turned from its sun at night; and when he turns away from the goods of love he is like the earth when turned from its sun in winter. Such is the correspondence between the effects and uses from the sun of the spiritual world, and the effects and uses from the sun of the natural world.


To this shall be added three Memorable Relations. First: I once heard beneath me something like the roaring of the sea; and I asked what it was; and one said to me that it was a tumult among those assembled in the lower earth, which is just above hell. And presently the ground that formed a roof over them opened, and behold, birds of night flew forth through the opening in flocks, and spread themselves towards the left; and immediately after them there swarmed forth locusts, which leaped upon the grass and made a desert everywhere; and a little after I heard from those nocturnal birds a succession of screeches, and on one side a confused clamor, as if from specters in the woods. After this I saw beautiful birds from heaven, which spread themselves towards the right. These birds were distinguished by gold-like wings with silvery streaks and specks interspersed; and on the heads of some of them there were crests in the form of crowns. When I saw and wondered at these things there rose up suddenly from the lower earth, where the tumult was, a spirit who could take the form of an angel of light; and he cried out, "Where is he who talks and writes about the order to which the Omnipotent has bound Himself respecting man? This we have been hearing below through the roof." Once above ground he ran along a paved way and came to me, and instantly feigned himself an angel of heaven, and speaking in a tone not his own, said, "Are you the one who thinks and talks about order? Tell me briefly what order is, and some of the things pertaining to it." [2] I replied, "I will give you the summaries of order, but not its particulars, because you would not understand them." And I said, "(1) God is order itself. (2) He created man from order, in order, and into order. (3) He created man's rational mind in accordance with the order of the whole spiritual world, and his body in accordance with the order of the whole natural world; and this is why man was called by the ancients a little heaven and a little cosmos. (4) Therefore it is a law of order that man from his little heaven or his little spiritual world should govern his little cosmos or little natural world, just as God from His great heaven or spiritual world governs the great cosmos or natural world in each thing and all things of it. (5) It is a resulting law of order that it is needful for man to lead himself into faith by means of truths from the Word, and into charity by means of good works, and so reform and regenerate himself. (6) It is a law of order that man by his own exertion and power should purify himself from sins, and not stand still, believing in his own impotency, and expecting God to wash his sins away in a moment. (7) It is also a law of order that man should love God with his whole soul and with his whole heart, and his neighbor as himself, and should not wait and expect that God will in an instant put these loves into his mind and heart, as bread from a baker may be put into his mouth." These with other like things. [3] Having heard this, that satan with a soft voice within which there was craft, resumed, "What is that you say? That man must by his own power lead himself into order by keeping these laws of order? Do you not know that man is not under the law, but under grace; that all things are given him freely, and that he can receive only what is given him from heaven; and that in spiritual matters man has no more power to act from himself than the statue of Lot's wife, or than Dagon, the idol of the Philistines in Ekron; and that it is therefore impossible for man to justify himself; but this must be done by faith and charity?" To this I merely replied, "It is also a law of order that man by his own exertion and power ought to acquire faith by means of truths from the Word, and yet believe that not a grain of truth is from himself, but from God only; moreover, that man by his own exertion and power ought to justify himself, and yet believe that not a single point of justification is from himself, but from God only. Is not man commanded to believe in God, and to love God with all his strength, and his neighbor as himself? Consider and say how this could have been commanded by God if man possessed no power to obey and do it." [4] When the satan had heard this his countenance, from being bright at first, turned ghastly, and then black, and thus speaking from his own mouth he said, "You have uttered paradoxes on paradoxes;" and then instantly he sank down to his companions and was no more seen. The birds on the left, together with the specters, uttered strange cries and threw themselves into the sea, which is there called Safe; and the locusts leaped in after them; the air was cleansed, and the earth was cleansed of those wild creatures; the tumult below ceased, and all, became tranquil and serene.


Second Memorable Relation: I once heard a strange murmur at a distance, and following in spirit the direction of the sound I drew nearer. When I came to where it began, behold, it was a crowd of spirits arguing about Imputation and Predestination. They were Dutch and British, with some from other kingdoms intermingled, and these at the end of each argument exclaimed, "Wonderful! wonderful!" The subject discussed was, "Why does not God impute the merit and righteousness of His Son to every man and all men created by Him and subsequently redeemed? Is He not omnipotent? Can He not, if He will, make archangels of Lucifer, the dragon, and all the goats? Is He not omnipotent? Why does He permit the unrighteousness and impiety of the devil to triumph over the righteousness of His Son, and over the piety of those who worship God? To God what could be easier than to deem all worthy of faith, and thus of salvation? What need of more than a little word to do this? And if He does it not, does He not act contrary to His words, which are that He desires the salvation of all and the death of none? Say, then, from whom and in whom is the cause of the damnation of those who are lost?" And then a supralpasarian-predestinarian from the Dutch said, "Does not this belong to the good pleasure of the Almighty? Shall the clay complain to the potter that he has made of it a vessel of dishonor?" And another said, "The salvation of everyone is in His hand as a balance in the hand of a weigher." [2] There stood at the sides those who were simple in faith and upright in heart, and some with inflamed eyes, some who looked stupefied, some as if drunken, and some as if suffocated, muttering to one another, "What are these ravings to us? These men have been made foolish by their faith, which is, that God the Father imputes the righteousness of His Son to whom He will and when He will, and sends His Holy Spirit to give assurances of that righteousness; and lest any man should claim for himself the least share in the work of his salvation, he must be altogether like a stone in the matter of justification, and like a stock in things spiritual." And one of these then thrust himself into the crowd, and said in a loud voice, "O madman! you are arguing about goat's hair. You are wholly ignorant that the omnipotent God is order itself; and that the laws of order are numberless, as many as there are truths in the Word; and that God cannot act contrary to these laws, because to act contrary to them would be to act contrary to Himself, and thus not only contrary to righteousness but contrary to His own omnipotence." [3] And seeing on his right, at some distance, the semblance of a sheep, a lamb, and a flying dove, on his left the semblance of a goat, a wolf, and a vulture, -he said, "Do you believe that God by His omnipotence can change that goat into the sheep, that wolf into the lamb, or that vulture into the dove, or the reverse? By no means; for it is contrary to the laws of His order, of which, according to His words not a jot can fall to the ground. How then can He impart the righteousness of His Son's redemption to anyone who resists the laws of His righteousness? How can righteousness itself do what is unrighteous, and predestine anyone to hell, and cast him into a fire, beside which the devil stands with torches in his hand to keep it burning? O madmen! empty in spirit! your faith has led you astray. Is it not in your hands like a snare for catching doves?" Having heard this, a magician made of that faith a kind of snare, and put it upon a tree, saying, "You shall see me catch that dove." And presently a hawk flew towards it and thrust its neck into the snare and hung there; while the dove, seeing the hawk, flew away. The bystanders were astonished, and exclaimed, "Even this sport is a display of justice."


The next day some came to me from this crowd who had believed in predestination and imputation; and they said, "We feel as if we were drunk, not with wine, but from what was said yesterday by that man. He talked about omnipotence and also about order; and he concluded that as omnipotence is Divine so order is Divine, and even that God Himself is order; and he said that there are as many laws of order as there are truths in the Word, which are not only thousands, but myriads of myriads; and that God is tied up to His own laws in the Word, and man to his. What then is the Divine omnipotence, if it is bound by laws? For thus every thing absolute is withdrawn from omnipotence. Thus has not God less power than a worldly king who is a despot, and who can as easily change the laws of justice as he can turn his hands, and can act without restriction, like Octavius Augustus or like Nero? When we had thought about omnipotence being tied up to laws, we felt as if we were drunk, or ready to swoon unless we quickly got some remedy; for in accordance with our faith we have been accustomed to pray to God the Father to have mercy on us for the sake of His Son; and we have believed that He could have mercy on whom He chose, and forgive the sins of anyone He pleased, and could save whom He would; and we dared not take away the least iota from His omnipotence. We therefore regard it as impious to bind God in the chains of some of His own laws, because that would be contradictory to His omnipotence." [2] Having said this, they looked at me and I at them; and I saw that they were bewildered, and I said, "I will pray to the Lord, and thence bring a remedy lay an inflow of light on this subject; but at present only by examples." And I said, "The omnipotent God created the world from the order within Him, that is, into the order in which He is, and in accordance with which He rules; and He impressed upon the universe and each and all things of it its own order, upon man his order, upon the beast its order, upon bird and fish and worm, and every tree and even every blade of grass, upon each its own order. But to illustrate by examples, I will mention briefly the following. The laws of order enjoined upon man are, that he should acquire for himself truths from the Word, and reflect upon them naturally, and as far as he can, rationally, and thus acquire for himself a natural faith. The laws of order on the part of God then are, that He will draw near and fill these truths with His Divine light, and thus fill the man's natural faith (which is mere knowledge and persuasion) with a Divine essence. In this and in no other way can faith become saving. It is the same with charity. But some particulars shall be briefly mentioned. God, in accordance with His laws, is able to remit sins to any man only so far as the man, in accordance with his laws, refrains from them. God able to regenerate a man spiritually only so far as the man, accordance with his laws, regenerates himself naturally. God is in an unceasing endeavor to regenerate man, and thus save him; but this He is unable to accomplish except as man prepares himself as a receptacle, and thus levels the way and opens the door for God. A bridegroom cannot enter the chamber of a virgin till she becomes his bride; for she shuts the door and keeps the key to herself within; but when the virgin has become a bride she gives the key to the bridegroom. [3] God could not by His omnipotence have redeemed men unless He had become Man; neither could He have made His Human Divine unless that Human had first been like the human of a babe, and then like that of a boy; and unless afterwards the Human had formed itself into a receptacle and habitation, into which its Father might enter; which was done by His fulfilling all things in the Word, that is, all the laws of order therein; and so far as He accomplished this He united Himself to the Father, and the Father united Himself to Him. These are a few things, presented for the sake of illustration, to enable you to see that the Divine omnipotence is in order, and that its government, which is called Providence, is in accordance with order, and that it acts continually and to eternity in accordance with the laws of its order; nor can it act against them or change them one iota, because order, with all its laws, is Himself." [4] When this had been said a brilliant light of golden color flowed in through the roof and formed flying cherubs in the air; and with some of those present a glow therefrom was seen on the temples towards the back part of the head, but not yet on the front part, for they murmured, "We do not yet know what omnipotence is." And I said, "That will be revealed when what has been already said to you has become somewhat clear."


Third Memorable Relation: I saw at a distance a number of persons gathered together with caps on their heads, some with caps bound around with silk - these had belonged to the ecclesiastical order; others had caps with borders ornamented with golden bands - these were civilians; they were all learned and accomplished. I also saw others with turbans; these were not learned. I drew near, and heard them talking together about the Divine power, as being unlimited, and saying that if it were to proceed according to any established laws of order it would not be unlimited, but limited; and would thus be a power, but not omnipotence. "But who does not see," they said, "that there can be no coercion of law that would compel omnipotence to do thus and so and not otherwise? Certainly, when we think of omnipotence, and at the same time of laws of order in accordance with which it is obliged to proceed, our preconceived ideas of omnipotence fall like a hand when its staff has been broken." [2] When they saw me near, some of them ran up, and said with some vehemence, "Are you the man who has circumscribed God by laws, as by chains? How insolent! Thus also you have torn to pieces our faith, upon which our salvation is based, in the center of which we place the righteousness of the Redeemer, and over this the omnipotence of God the Father, and add as an appendix the operation of the Holy Spirit, with its efficacy depending upon the absolute impotence of man in things spiritual; so that he only needs to speak of the fullness of justification which is in that faith by virtue of God's omnipotence. But we have heard that you see in our faith nothing but emptiness, because you see in it nothing of Divine order on the part of man." Having heard this, I opened my mouth, and speaking with a loud voice, said, "Learn the laws of Divine order, and then lay open that faith and you will see a vast desert, and in it the long and crooked Leviathan, and round about it nets tangled in an inextricable knot. But do as it is said Alexander did when he saw the Gordian knot, that he drew his sword and cut it apart and thus loosed its entanglements, and then dashing it upon the ground trampled its strands under foot." [3] At these words those assembled bit their tongues, wishing to sharpen them for invectives; but they did not venture, for they saw heaven opened above me, and heard from it a voice saying, "In the first place, control yourselves and listen to what the order is, according to the laws of which the omnipotent God acts." And [the voice] said, "God, from Himself as order, created the universe in order and for order; and in like manner He created man, in whom He established the laws of His order, by virtue of which laws man was made an image and likeness of God; which laws, in brief, are, that "man should believe in God and love his neighbor, and to the extent that he does these two things from his natural powers he constitutes himself a receptacle of the Divine omnipotence, and God conjoins Himself to man, and man to Himself. Thence man's belief becomes a living and saving belief, and his doing becomes charity, which is also living and saving. But it must be understood that God is unceasingly present, and continually striving and acting in man, even touching his freedom of will, but in no way violating it. For if God should violate man's freedom of will man's dwelling-place in God would be destroyed, and there would remain only God's dwelling-place in man; which dwelling-place is in all who are on earth and who are in the heavens, and even in those who are in the hells; and this is the source of their power, their will, and their understanding. But there is no reciprocal dwelling-place of man in God except in those who live in accordance with the laws of order set forth in the Word; and such become images and likenesses of God, and to them paradise is given as a possession, and the fruit of the tree of life for food; while the rest gather themselves about the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and there talk with the serpent, and eat; but these afterwards are driven from paradise. Nevertheless, God does not forsake them, but they forsake God." [4] Those with caps understood all this, and assented to it; but those with turbans denied, saying, "Is not omnipotence thus limited? and a limited omnipotence is a contradiction." But I answered, "There is no contradiction in acting omnipotently according to the laws of justice with judgment, or according to the laws inscribed on love from wisdom; but there is a contradiction in claiming that God can act in opposition to the laws of His justice and love, which would be to act from what is not judgment or wisdom. Such a contradiction is implied in your faith, which is that from mere grace God can justify an unjust man, and can endow him with all the gifts of salvation and rewards of life. But I will state briefly what God's omnipotence is. From His omnipotence God created the universe, and at the same time introduced order into each thing and all things in it. From His omnipotence God also preserves the universe, and unceasingly watches over the order of it with its laws; and when anything falls from order He brings it back and makes it whole again. Furthermore, from His omnipotence God instituted the church and revealed the laws of its order in the Word; and when it fell from order He restored it; and when it wholly fell away He Himself came down into the world, and putting on omnipotence by means of the Human then assumed, He re-established it. [5] From His omnipotence and omniscience God searches every man after death, and prepares the righteous, or the sheep, for their places in heaven, and establishes a heaven from them; while He prepares the unrighteous, or the goats, for their places in hell, and establishes a hell from them. Both of these He arranges into societies or congregated bodies in accordance with all the varieties of their love, which in heaven are as many as the stars in the natural firmament; and He joins in one the societies of heaven that they may be as one man before Him. In like manner He brings together the congregated bodies of hell that they may be as one devil; and He separates the latter from the former by a gulf, that hell may not do violence to heaven or heaven torment hell; for those who are in hell are tormented in the degree that heaven flows in. If God from His omnipotence did not do this every instant, a savage nature would enter into men to such an extent that they could no longer be restrained by the laws of any order; and thus the human race would perish. These and other such things would happen unless God were order, and omnipotent in order. " Having heard this, those who wore caps went away with their caps under their arms, praising God; for in that world the intelligent wear caps. But not so those who wore turbans, for such are bald, and baldness signifies stupidity. The latter went away to the left, and the former to the right.


THE CREATION OF THE UNIVERSE. As the subject of this first chapter is God the Creator, the creation of the universe by Him must also be considered; as in the next chapter on the Lord the Redeemer, redemption will also be treated of. But no one can gain a right idea of the creation of the universe until his understanding is brought into a state of perception by some most general knowledges previously recognized, which are as follows. [2] (1) There are two worlds, a spiritual world where angels and spirits are, and a natural world where men are. (2) In each world there is a sun. The sun of the spiritual world is nothing but love from Jehovah God who is in the midst of it. From that sun heat and light go forth; the heat that goes forth therefrom in its essence is love, and the light that goes forth in its essence is wisdom; and these two affect the will and understanding of man-the heat his will and the light his understanding. But the sun of the natural world is nothing but fire, and therefore its heat is dead, also its light; and these serve as a covering and auxiliary to spiritual heat and light, to enable them to pass over to man. [3] (3) Again, these two which go forth from the sun of the spiritual world, and in consequence all things that have existence in that world by means of them, are substantial, and are called spiritual; while the two like things that go forth from the sun of the natural world, and in consequence all things here that have existence by means of them, are material, and are called natural. [4] (4) In each world there are three degrees, called degrees of height, and in consequence three regions; and in accordance with these the three angelic heavens are arranged, and also in accordance with them human minds are arranged, which thus correspond to those three angelic heavens; and the same is true of every thing else in both worlds. [5] (5) There is a correspondence between those things that are in the spiritual world and those in the natural world. [6] (6) There is an order in which each thing and all things belonging to both worlds were created. [7] (7) It is necessary that an idea of these things should first be gained, for unless this is done the human mind from mere ignorance of these things easily falls into a notion of a creation of the universe by nature; while on mere ecclesiastical authority it asserts that nature was created by God; and yet, because it does not know how creation was effected, as soon as it begins to look interiorly into the matter, it plunges headlong into the naturalism that denies God. But it would be truly the work of a large volume to explain and demonstrate these statements properly one by one; moreover, the matter does not properly enter into the theological system of this book as a theme or argument therefore I will merely relate some memorable occurrences from which an idea of the creation of the universe by God may be conceived, and from such a conception some offspring that will represent it may be born.


First Memorable Relation: One day I was meditating upon the creation of the universe; and this being perceived by the angels above me on the right side, where were some who from time to time meditated and reasoned on this subject, one of them descended and invited me to join them; and coming into the spirit I went with him; and having joined them I was taken to the prince, in whose palace I saw some hundreds assembled, with the prince in the midst. Then one of them said, "We perceived here that you were meditating upon the creation of the universe; and we too have sometimes indulged in like meditation; but we have never been able to reach a conclusion, because there clung to our thoughts the idea of a chaos, as having been the great egg, as it were, out of which each thing and all things in the universe in their order were hatched; whereas we now perceive that so great a universe could not have been so brought forth. Then there also clung to our minds another idea, namely, that all things were created by God out of nothing; but we are now able to see that out of nothing nothing comes. From these two ideas we have never yet been able to extricate our minds, and to see with any degree of clearness how creation was accomplished. Therefore we have called you from the place where you were, that you might set forth your mediation on this subject. " [2] Having heard this I replied, "I will do so." And I said, "I have meditated on this subject for a long time, but to no purpose. But since I have been introduced by the Lord into your world I have perceived how idle it would be to try to form a conclusion about the creation of the universe without first knowing that there are two worlds, one in which angels are, and the other in which men are; and that men through death pass from their world to the other. I then also saw that there are two suns, one from which all spiritual things flow, and the other from which all natural things flow; and that the sun from which all spiritual things flow is nothing but love from Jehovah God, who is in its midst, and that the sun from which all natural things flow is nothing but fire. Having learned these facts, at one time when in a state of enlightenment I was permitted to perceive that the universe was created by Jehovah God by means of the sun in the midst of which He is; and as there can be no love apart from wisdom, that the universe was created by Jehovah God from His love by means of His wisdom. The truth of this is evinced by all things and each thing I have seen in the world where you are, and in the-world where I am in the body. [3] It would take too much space to explain how creation progressed from its primordial state; but when I have been in a state of enlightenment I have perceived that by means of the heat and light from the sun of your world spiritual atmospheres, which are in themselves substantial, were created one from another. As there were three of these atmospheres, and consequently three degrees of them, three heavens were made; one for the angels who are in the highest degree of love and wisdom, a second for those who are in the second degree, and a third for those who are in the lowest degree. But as this spiritual universe cannot exist without a natural universe wherein it can work out its effects and uses, so at the same time a sun was created from which all natural things proceed, and through which in like manner, by means of heat and light, three atmospheres were created, encompassing the three former as a shell its kernel, or as bark its wood; and finally by means of these atmospheres the terraqueous globe was created where men, beasts, fishes, trees, shrubs, and herbs were formed of earthly substances, composed of soil, stones, and minerals. [4] This is a very general outline of creation and its progress. It would require many volumes to explain the particular and most particular things of it; yet all things point to the conclusion that God did not create the universe out of nothing, for as you have said, out of nothing nothing comes, but that He created it by means of the sun of the angelic heaven, which is from His very Esse, and is therefore nothing but love joined with wisdom. That the universe, by which is meant both the spiritual world and the natural world, was created from the Divine love by means of the Divine wisdom is attested and proved by each thing and all things in it; and this, if you will consider these things in their order and connection, you will be able to see clearly in the light that illuminates the perceptions of your understanding. But it must be kept in mind that the love and wisdom which make one in God are not love and wisdom in an abstract sense, but are in Him as substance; for God is the Very, the Only, and thus the primal Substance and Essence, which has Being and Subsistence in itself. [5] That it was from the Divine love and the Divine wisdom that each and all things were created is meant by these words in John: The Word was with God, and God was the Word. All things were made by Him, and the world was made by Him (John 1:1, 3, 10), 'God' signifying here the Divine love, and the 'Word' the truth or Divine wisdom; therefore in the same passage the Word is called 'Light', and in relation to God 'Light' means the Divine wisdom." When I had finished and was bidding them adieu, some rays of light from the sun there descended through the angelic heavens into their eyes, and through these into the abodes of their minds; and when thus enlightened they assented to what I had said, and afterwards followed me into the hall; and my former companion took me to the house where he had found me, and from there he reascended to his own society.


Second Memorable Relation: One morning when I awoke from sleep and was meditating in the serene morning light before I was fully awake, I saw through the window something like a flash of lightning, and presently heard something like a crash of thunder. While I wondered where this was from, I heard from heaven that there were some spirits near me disputing sharply about God and nature; and that the flash of light like lightning and the crashing sound like thunder were correspondences and consequent manifestations of the conflict and collision of arguments on the one side in favor of God, and on the other in favor of nature. The origin of this spiritual contest was this: There were certain satans in hell who said to one another, "O that we might be permitted to talk with the angels of heaven! We would completely and fully demonstrate that what they call God, the origin of all things, is nature; therefore that God, unless nature is meant by it, is a mere word." And as these satans believed this with all their hearts and souls, and wished to talk with the angels of heaven, they were permitted to ascend from the mire and darkness of hell, and converse with two angels then descending from heaven. [2] These were in the world of spirits, which is midway between heaven and hell. The satans seeing the angels there, ran to them quickly, and cried out in a furious voice, "Are you the angels of heaven whom we are permitted to meet in argument about God and nature? You are called wise because you acknowledge God; but O how simple you are! Who has ever seen God? Who understands what God is? Who can comprehend that God rules, or is able to rule, the universe and each and all things in it? Who but the multitude and the rabble profess what they do not see nor understand? What is more obvious than that nature is the all-in-all? Who with his eye has ever seen anything but nature? Who with his ear has ever heard anything but nature? Who with his nostrils has ever smelt anything but nature? Who with his tongue has ever tasted anything but nature? Who by any touch of hand or body has ever felt anything but nature? Are not our bodily senses the witnesses of what is true? From their evidences cannot one swear that a thing is so? Does not the respiration by which our bodies live testify to this? What else do we breathe but nature? Are not our heads and yours in nature? Whence comes the influx into the thoughts of the head if not from nature? If nature were to be taken away could you think any thing?" And much more in the same strain. [3] When the angels had heard this they replied, "You talk in this way because you are merely sensual; for all who are in hell have the ideas of their thoughts immersed in the bodily senses, and are unable to raise their minds above the senses. We therefore excuse you. A life of evil and a consequent belief in what is false have so far closed the interiors of your minds that with you any elevation above sensual things is impossible unless in a state remote from your evils of life and falsities of belief. For although a satan can understand truth when he hears it just as well as an angel, he does not retain it, because evil blots out truth and introduces falsity. But we perceive that you are now in a state remote from evil, and can therefore understand the truth we are presenting; therefore give attention to what we shall say." And they said, "You were in the natural world; but you died there and are now in the spiritual world. Did you ever till now know anything about a life after death? Have you not heretofore denied it, and made yourselves the equals of beasts? Have you heretofore known anything about heaven and hell, or about the light of this world? Or have you known that you are no longer within the sphere of nature, but are above it? For this world and all things of it are spiritual; and spiritual things are so far above natural things that not the least thing of nature, in which you were, can flow into this world. But because you have believed nature to be a god or a goddess you also believe that the light and heat of this world are the light and heat of the natural world; and yet it is not so at all; for here natural light is darkness and natural heat is cold. Have you known any thing about the sun of this world, from which our light and our heat proceed? Have you known that this sun is nothing but love, while the sun of the natural world is nothing but fire; and that it is the sun of the natural world, which is nothing but fire, from which nature derives its existence and subsistence; while it is the sun of heaven, which is nothing but love, from which life itself, which is love joined with wisdom, has its existence and subsistence, and thus that nature, which you make to be a god or a goddess, is manifestly dead. [4] You, if a guard were given you, could ascend with us into heaven; and if a guard were given us we could descend with you into hell. In heaven you would see things magnificent and splendid; while in hell you see things vile and unclean. The reason of these differences is that all in heaven worship God, and all in hell worship nature; and the magnificent and splendid things in the heavens are correspondences of affections of the love of what is good and true; while the vile and unclean things in the hells are correspondences of affections of the love of what is evil and false. Decide now from all this whether God or nature is the all-in-all." To this the satans replied, "In the state in which we now are we are able to conclude from what we have heard that there is a God; and yet when the delight of evil fills our minds we see nothing but nature." [5] I saw the two angels and the satans, and heard what they said, because they were standing not far from me; and behold, I saw around them many who had been celebrated for learning in the natural world; and I wondered why the learned stood sometimes near the angels and sometimes near the satans, and why they favored those near whom they stood; and it was said to me, "Their changes of position are changes in the state of their minds, favoring first one side and then the other; for in faith they are like Vertumni from [Vertumnus, the Etruscan god of change]. And we will tell you a secret: We have looked down upon those celebrated for learning on the earth, and we have found six hundred out of a thousand in favor of nature, and the rest in favor of God; and those in favor of God were so not from any understanding of the matter, but only because they had heard that nature is from God, and had often talked about it; and frequent speaking about a matter from memory and recollection, even when it is not also a matter of thought and understanding, begets a kind of belief." [6] After this a guard was given to the satans, and they ascended with the two angels into heaven; and they saw things magnificent and splendid; and as they were then in a state of enlightenment from the light of heaven they acknowledged that there is a God, and that nature was created to be subservient to the life that is from God; and that nature in itself is dead, and therefore does nothing of itself, but is acted upon by life. Having seen and perceived all this they descended; and as they descended the love of evil returned and closed their understandings above and opened them below; and then there appeared above them a kind of shadow, flashing with infernal fire. And the moment their feet touched the earth the ground gaped beneath them and they sunk to their own.


Third Memorable Relation The next day an angel came to me from another society and said, "We have heard in our society that on account of your meditations about the creation of the universe you were summoned to a society near ours, and there told things about creation which the society then assented to, and have since remembered with pleasure. I will now show you how all kinds of animals and vegetables were produced by God." He led me away to a broad green field and said, "Look around." And I looked around, and saw birds of most beautiful colors, some flying, some perched upon the trees, and some scattered over the field plucking little leaves from roses. Among the birds were doves and swans. After these had disappeared from my sight I saw not far from me flocks of sheep with lambs, and of kids and she-goats; and round about these flocks I saw herds of cattle, young and old, also of camels and mules, and in a kind of grove, deer with high horns, and also unicorns. When I had beheld these things the angel said, "Turn your face towards the east." And I saw a garden containing fruit trees, as orange trees, lemon trees, olive trees, vines, fig-trees, pomegranates, and also shrubs bearing berries. The angel then said, "Look now towards the south." And I saw fields of various kinds of grain, as wheat, millet, barley, and beans, and round about them flower beds containing roses of beautifully varied colors; but toward the north I saw thick groves of chestnut trees, palms, lindens, plane trees, and other trees with rich foliage. [2] When I had seen these things the angel said, "All these things that you have seen are correspondences of affections of the love of the angels who are near." And he told me to what affection each particular thing corresponded; and moreover, that not these only, but also all other things that presented themselves to their sight were correspondences, as houses, the articles of furniture in them, the tables and food, the clothing, and even the gold and silver coins, as also the diamonds and other precious stones with which wives and virgins in the heavens are adorned. "From all these things," he said, "the character of every person in respect to love and wisdom is perceived by us. The things in our houses that are of use remain there permanently; while to the sight of those who wander from one society to another these things change as their associations change. [3] These things have been shown to enable you to see, in a special example, the entire creation. For God is love itself and wisdom itself; the affections of His love are infinite, and the perceptions of His wisdom are infinite; and of these each thing and all things that appear on earth are correspondences. This is the origin of birds and beasts, forest trees, fruit trees, crops and harvests, herbs and grasses. For God is not extended, and yet He is present throughout all extension, thus throughout the universe from its firsts to its lasts; and He being thus omnipresent, there are these correspondences of the affections of His love and wisdom in the whole natural world; while in our world, which is called the spiritual world, there are like correspondences with those who are receiving affections and perceptions from God. The difference is that in our world such things are created by God from moment to moment in accordance with the affections of the angels. In your world they were created in like manner in the beginning; but it was provided that they should be renewed unceasingly by the propagation of one from another, and creation be thus continued. [4] In our world creation is from moment to moment, and in yours continued by propagation, because the atmospheres and earths of our world are spiritual, and the atmospheres and earths of your world natural; and natural things were created to clothe spiritual things as skin clothes the bodies of men and animals, as outer and inner barks clothe the trunks and branches of trees, the several membranes clothe the brain, tunics the nerves, and the inner coats their fibers, and so on. This is why all things in your world are constant, and are renewed constantly from year to year." To this the angel added, "Go and tell the inhabitants of your world what you have seen and heard, for hitherto they have been in complete ignorance about the spiritual world; and without some knowledge about it no one can know, nor even guess, that in our world creation is a continuous process, and that it was the same in yours while the universe was being created by God." [5] After this we talked about various matters; and at length about hell, that no such things are seen there as are seen in heaven, but only their opposites; since the affections of the love of those there, which are lusts of evil, are opposites of the affections of love in which angels of heaven are. Thus with those in hell, and in general in their deserts, there are seen birds of night, such as bats and owls; also wolves, panthers, tigers, and rats and mice; also venomous serpents of every kind, dragons and crocodiles; and (where there is any herbage) brambles, nettles, thorns, and thistles, and some poisonous plants grow: and at times these disappear, and then nothing is seen but heaps of stones, and bogs in which frogs croak. All of these things are correspondences; but as has been said, they are correspondences of the affections of the love of those in hell, which affections are lusts of evil. Notwithstanding these things are not created there by God; nor were they created by Him in the natural world, where like things exist. For all things that God has created and does create were and are good; while such things on the earth sprang up along with hell, and hell originated in men, who by turning away from God became after death satans and devils. But as these terrible things began to be painful to our ears, we turned our thoughts from them and recalled to mind what we had seen in heaven.


Fourth Memorable Relation: Once when I was reflecting upon the creation of the universe, some spirits from the Christian world approached, who had been in their time among the most celebrated philosophers, and had been regarded as wiser than all others; and they said, "We perceive that you are thinking about creation; tell us what your idea is about it." But I replied, "Tell me your own first." And one of them said, "It is my opinion that creation is from nature, and thus that nature created itself, and that it has existed from eternity; for there is no vacuum, and there can be none. In fact, what else do we see with our eyes, hear with our ears, smell with our nostrils, and breathe with our breasts, but nature, which being outside of us must be also within us?" [2] Another having heard this, said, "You speak of nature and make her the creator of the universe; but as you do not know how nature operated in producing the universe I will tell you. Nature infolded herself in vortices, which dashed together like clouds, or like houses when overthrown by an earthquake; and by such collision the grosser materials brought themselves together into one mass which formed the land; and the more fluid portions separated themselves from these and brought themselves together into one body which formed the seas; and again the still lighter parts separated themselves from these, forming the ether and air; and finally from the lightest of these the sun was formed. Have you not seen that when oil, water, and the dust of the earth are mixed together they freely separate themselves, and arrange themselves in order one above another?" [3] Then another, hearing this, said, "Both of you are talking from mere fancy. Who does not know that the first origin of all things was chaos, which in magnitude had filled a fourth part of the universe; that at the center of it was fire; round about this ether, and round this matter; that this chaos opened in fissures, through which the fire broke forth, as from Aetna and Vesuvius, and formed the sun; after this the ether issued forth and poured itself about, and formed the atmosphere; and finally the remaining matter solidified into a globe and formed the earth? As to the stars, they are only luminaries in the expanse of the universe, which sprang from the sun and its heat and light; for at first the sun was like a fiery ocean; but, that it might not burn up the earth, it sent off from itself small masses of bright Same, which locating themselves in surrounding space, completed the universe, forming its firmament. " [4] But there stood one among them who said, "You are mistaken. You seem to yourselves to be wise, and I seem to you to be simple; and yet in my simplicity I have believed and continue to believe that the universe was created by God; and as nature pertains to the universe, that universal nature was then simultaneously created. If nature created herself must she not have existed from eternity? But O what madness!" And then one of the so-called wise men ran up closer and closer to the speaker, and put his left ear near to the speaker's mouth-for his right ear had been filled with something like cotton-and asked him what he had said; and the statements were repeated. Then he who had come up looked around to see if any priest were present, and seeing one at the side of the speaker he replied, "I also confess that universal nature is from God; but-" Then he went off and whispered to his companions, saying, "I said that because there was a priest near; you and I know that nature is from nature; but as this makes nature to be God, I said that universal nature is from God; but-" [5] The priest hearing their whispers, said, "Your wisdom, which is purely philosophical, has misled you, and has so closed the interiors of your minds that no light can flow into them from God and His heaven and enlighten you; you have extinguished this light." And he said, "Consider, therefore, he state in which yourselves where your souls, which are immortal originated-whether in nature or whether they also were in included in that great chaos." Having heard this the former went to his companions and asked them to join him in the solution of this knotty question. And they came to the conclusion that the human soul is nothing but ether, and thought nothing but a modification of ether by the sun's light, and ether a property of nature. And they said, "Who does not know that we speak by means of the air? And what is thought but speech in a purer air, which is called the ether? Therefore thought and speech make one. Who cannot see this in man during his infancy? He first learns to talk, then he gradually learns to talk with himself-and that is thinking. What, then, is thought but a modification of the ether? And what is the sound of the voice but a modulation of that? From which we conclude that the soul which thinks is a property of nature." [6] But some of them-not exactly dissenting, but to make the matter clear-said that souls came into existence when the ether separated itself from that great chaos, the ether then dividing itself in the highest region into innumerable individual forms, which pour themselves into men when they begin to think from the purer air; and these are then called souls. Another, having heard this, said, "I admit that there were innumerable individual forms formed out of the ether in the higher region; nevertheless there have been a still greater number of men born since the creation of the world; how then could there have been enough of these ethereal forms? Therefore I have thought to myself, that souls departing from the mouths of men when they die, return to them again after some thousands of years, and enter upon and pass through a life similar to their former life. That many of the wise believe in something like this, and in metempsychosis, is known. " Other conjectures beside these were broached by the rest; but as they were mer them by. [7] In a short time the priest returned, and then the one who had before spoken about the creation of the universe by God told of their conclusions about the soul; having heard which the priest said to them, "You have spoken precisely as you thought in the world, not knowing that you are not in that world, but in another, which is called the spiritual world. All those who have become corporeal-sensual by confirming themselves in favor of nature are unaware that they are not in the same world in which they were born and brought up. This is because they there had material bodies, while here they have substantial bodies; and a substantial man sees himself and his companions about him precisely as a material man sees himself and his companions; for the substantial is the primitive of the material. And you believe that the same nature exists here, for the reason that you think, see, smell, taste, and talk in the same way as you did in the natural world; when in fact the nature of this world is as different and distinct from the nature of that world as the substantial is from the material, or the spiritual from the natural, or the prior from the posterior. And as the nature of the world where you formerly lived is comparatively dead, so have you, by confirming yourselves in its favor, become as it were dead, that is, in respect to what pertains to God, to heaven, and to the church, and also in this matter which relates to your souls. And yet every man, the bad and the good alike, may in understanding be elevated even into the light in which the angels of heaven are; and then they are able to see that there is a God and a life after death, and that man's soul is not ethereal, and therefore not of the nature of that world, but is spiritual, and therefore will live to eternity. The understanding may be in such angelic light, provided those natural loves are set aside which are derived from the world, and which favor it and its nature, and which are derived from the body and favor it and what belongs to it." [8] Then instantly these loves were taken away from them by the Lord, and they were permitted to speak with angels, from whose conversation they in that state perceived that there is a God, and that they were living after death in another world; wherefore they were covered with shame, and exclaimed, "We were mad! we were mad." But as this was not their own proper state, and as after a few minutes it became tiresome and unpleasant, they turned away from the priest and were unwilling to listen to him any longer; so they returned to their former loves, which were merely natural, worldly, and corporeal, and they went away toward the left, passing from one society to another; and finally they came to a path, where the delights of their own loves breathed upon them, and they said, "Let us go this way;" and they went; and descending, they came at length to those who were in the delights of similar loves; and they went on. And as their delight was a delight in doing evil, and as they did evil to many on the way, they were imprisoned and became demons. And then their delight was changed to undelight, because by punishments and fears of punishment they were curbed and restrained from their former delight which constituted their nature. And they asked those who were in the same prison if they were to live in that way for ever; and some answered, "We have been here for some ages, and are to remain for ages of ages, because the nature that we contracted in the world cannot be changed, nor can it be expelled by punishments; for whenever it is so expelled, after a short lapse of time it returns."


Fifth Memorable Relation: Once by permission a satan and a woman with him, ascended from hell, and came to the house where I was. Seeing them I closed the window, but talked with them through it. I asked the satan where he came from; and he said from his own companions. And I asked where the woman came from; and he made the same answer. She was from a crowd of sirens, such as are skilled in assuming by means of fantasies all the modes and forms of beauty and adornment, now putting on the beauty of Venus, and now the chaste features of Parnassian nymphs; and again decking themselves out like queens with crowns and royal robes, and walking majestically leaning on silver canes. Such in the world of spirits are harlots, and study fantasies. Fantasy arises from sensual thought when the ideas springing from any interior thought have been excluded. I asked the satan if she was his wife. He replied, "What is a wife? I do not know and my society does not; she is my harlot." Then she inspired him with lascivious desire, which sirens can do with great skill; and on receiving it he kissed her, and said, "Ah my Adonis!" [2] But to proceed to serious things. I asked the satan what his occupation was; and he said, "My occupation is the pursuit of learning; do you not see the laurel on my head?" This his Adonis had created by her art, and put on him from behind. And I said, "Since you come from a society where learning prevails, tell me what you and your companions believe in regard to God." He replied, "To us God is the universe, which we also call nature, and which the more simple of our people call the atmosphere, by which they mean the air, but the wise mean by it the ether. God, heaven, angels and the like, about which many in this world have much to say, are empty terms, and fictions taken from the meteors which here play before the eyes of many people. Are not all things that are visible on the earth created by the sun? At its approach every spring are not winged and creeping insects brought forth; and do not birds, moved by its heat, love each other and propagate their species; and does not the earth when warmed by its heat make seeds to sprout and finally yield fruit as offspring? Is not the universe then a god, and nature a goddess; and does she not, as the spouse of the universe, conceive, bear, bring up, and nourish these offspring?" [3] I asked further what he and his society believed about religion. He replied, "To us, who are more learned than the masses, religion is nothing but a bewitchment of the common people, which encompasses, like an aura, the sensitive and imaginative powers of their minds; and in that aura notions of piety fly about like butterflies in the air; and their faith, which connects these ideas, as it were, in a chain, is like a silkworm in his cocoon, from which he comes forth as king of the butterflies. For the unlearned masses, from a desire to fly, love to imagine things above their bodily senses and their thought therefrom, in this way making wings for themselves, with which they may soar like eagles and cry boastfully to those on the ground, 'Look at me!' But we believe what we see, and we love what we touch." With that he touched his harlot and said, "This is something I believe in because I see and touch it. But we throw that other nonsense out of our windows, and blow it away with a breath of laughter." [4] I then asked what he and his companions believed about heaven and hell. He replied with a loud laugh, "What is heaven but the ethereal firmament above? And what are its angels but spots wandering about the sun? And what are archangels but comets with long tails, upon which a crowd of them dwell? And what is hell but bogs where, in their imagination, frogs and crocodiles are the devils? Everything beyond these ideas of heaven and hell is mere trumpery brought forth by some prelate for the purpose of winning glory from the ignorant multitude." All this he said precisely as he had thought upon these subjects in the world, not knowing that he was then living after death, and having forgotten all that he had heard when he first entered the spiritual world. So again he replied to a question about a life after death, that it was a thing of the imagination; and that perchance some effluvium arising from a buried corpse in the shape of a man, or a thing called a ghost, about which some tell stories, had introduced such a notion among men's fancies. When I heard this I could no longer keep from laughing; and I said, "Satan, you are raving mad. What are you now? Are you not now in the form of a man? Do you not talk, see, hear, walk? Recall to mind that you have lived in another world which you have forgotten, and that you are now living after death, and that you were even now talking just as you formerly did." And recollection was given him, and he remembered and was ashamed; and he cried out, "I am mad! I saw heaven above, and I heard angels there uttering things ineffable; but that was when I first came here. I will now keep this in mind to tell to my companions from whom I came; and perhaps they too will be ashamed as I am." And he kept repeating that he would call them madmen; but as he descended forgetfulness expelled remembrance; and when he reached his companions he was as mad as they, and said that what he had heard from me was madness. In this way do satans think and talk after death. Those are called satans who have confirmed in themselves falsities until they believe them; and those are called devils who have confirmed in themselves evils by their life.


CHAPTER 2 THE LORD THE REDEEMER. In the preceding chapter God the Creator, together with Creation, has been treated of. This chapter will treat of the Lord the Redeemer, together with Redemption; and the next chapter of the Holy Spirit, together with the Divine Operation. By the Lord the Redeemer we mean Jehovah in the Human; for in what follows it will be shown that Jehovah Himself descended and assumed a Human in order that He might effect redemption. The name Lord is used and not Jehovah, because the Jehovah of the Old Testament is called the Lord in the New, as is shown in the following passages. In Moses: Hear, O Israel, Jehovah our God is one Jehovah; and thou shalt love Jehovah God with all thy heart and with all thy soul (Deut. 6:4, 5); and in Mark: The Lord our God is one Lord; and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul (Mark 12:29, 30). Again, in Isaiah: Prepare ye the way of Jehovah, make level in the wilderness a highway for our God (Isa. 40:3); and in Luke: Thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare His way 1:76); besides other passages. Moreover, the Lord commanded His disciples to call Him Lord, and this is why He was so called by the Apostles in their Epistles, and afterwards by the Apostolic Church, as appears from its creed, which is called the Apostles' Creed. The reason of this was that the Jews durst not utter the name Jehovah on account of its holiness; also that "Jehovah" means the Divine Esse which was from eternity; and the Human that He assumed in time was not that Esse. What the Divine Esse or Jehovah is, has been shown in the preceding chapter (n. 18-26, 27-35). For this reason, by the Lord, here and in the following pages, Jehovah in His Human is meant. And since a knowledge of the Lord surpasses in excellence all other knowledges in the church, and even in heaven, the subject shall be so arranged in order as to bring this knowledge out into clear light. It will be considered in the following order: (1) Jehovah the Creator of the universe descended and assumed a Human that He might redeem men and save them. (2) He descended as Divine Truth, which is the Word, although He did not separate from it the Divine Good. (3) He assumed the Human in accordance with His Divine Order. (4) The Human whereby He sent Himself into the world is what is called the Son of God. (5) Through the acts of Redemption the Lord made Himself Righteousness. (6) Through the same acts He united Himself to the Father, and the Father united Himself to Him, also in accordance with the Divine Order. (7) Thus God became Man, and Man became God, in one Person. (8) The progress towards union was His state of Exinanation [emptying Himself]; and the union itself is His state of Glorification. (9) Hereafter no one from among Christians enters heaven unless he believes in the Lord God the Savior, and approaches Him alone. But these statements shall be explained separately.


(1) Jehovah God descended and assumed a Human that He might redeem men and save them. In the Christian churches at this day it is believed that God the Creator of the universe begat a Son from eternity, and that this Son descended and assumed a Human in order to redeem and save men. But this is an error, and of itself falls to the ground as soon as it is considered that God is one, and that it is worse than incredible in the sight of reason to say that the one God begat a Son from eternity, and that God the Father, together with the Son and Holy Spirit, each one of whom singly is God, is one God. This incredible notion is wholly dissipated, like a falling star in midair, when it is shown from the Word that Jehovah God Himself descended and became Man and also Redeemer. [2] The first statement, that it was Jehovah God Himself who descended and became Man, is made clear in the following passages: Behold, a virgin shall conceive and shall bear a Son, who shall be called God-with-us (Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:22, 23). Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall be called Wonderful, God, Mighty, Father of Eternity, the Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6). It shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him that He may deliver us; this is Jehovah; we have waited for Him; let us exult and be glad in His salvation (Isa. 25:9). The voice of one crying in the desert, Prepare ye the way of Jehovah; make level in the wilderness a highway for our God, and all flesh shall see it together (Isa. 40:3, 5). Behold, the Lord Jehovah cometh in strength, and His arm shall rule for Him behold, His reward is with Him. He shall feed His flock like a shepherd (Isa. 40:10, 11). Jehovah said, Sing for joy and be glad, O daughter of Zion; for lo, I come to dwell in the midst of thee. Then many nations shall cleave to Jehovah in that day (Zech. 2:10, 11). I, Jehovah, have called thee in righteousness, and I will give thee for a covenant of the people. I am Jehovah; this is My name; My glory will I not give to another (Isa. 42:6-8). Behold, the days come, that I will raise up unto David a righteous Branch and He shall reign as King, and He shall execute judgment and righteousness in the earth, and this is His name, Jehovah our righteousness (Jer. 23:5, 6; 33:15, 16). See also the places where the Lord's coming is called "the day of Jehovah" (as in Isa. 13:6, 9, 13, 22; Ezek. 31:15; Joel 1:15; 2:1, 2, 11; 3:1, 14, 18; Amos 5:13, 18, 20; Zeph. 1:7-18; Zech. 14:1, 4-21; and elsewhere). [3] That it was Jehovah Himself who descended and assumed the Human is especially evident in Luke, where it is said: Mary said to the angel, How shall this come to pass, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered her, The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee; therefore also that holy thing that is born of thee shall be called the Son of God (Luke 1:34, 35). And in Matthew: The angel said to Joseph, the bridegroom of Mary, in a dream, that that which was begotten in her was of the Holy Spirit. And Joseph knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son, and he called His name Jesus (Matt. 1:20, 25). It will be shown in the third chapter of this work that the Divine that goes forth from Jehovah God is what is meant by the Holy Spirit. Who does not know that the offspring has its soul and life from the father, and that the body is from the soul? Can anything, then, be more plainly declared than that the Lord had His soul and life from Jehovah God; and as the Divine cannot be divided, that the very Divine of the Father was His soul and life? This is why the Lord so often called Jehovah God His Father, and why Jehovah God called Him His Son. Can there be anything, then, more absurd than to say that the soul of the Lord was from His mother Mary? as is at this day dreamed by both the Roman Catholics and the Reformed, they not having yet been awakened by the Word.


That a Son born from eternity descended and assumed the Human is a total error which falls to the ground and is dissipated in the light of those passages in the Word where Jehovah Himself says that He Himself is the Savior and Redeemer, as in the following: Am I not Jehovah, and there is no God else beside Me? A just God and a Savior, there is none beside Me (Isa. 45:21, 22). I am Jehovah; and beside Me there is no Savior (Isa. 43:11). I am Jehovah thy God, and thou shalt acknowledge no God beside Me and there is no Savior beside Me (Hos. 13:4). That all flesh may know that I Jehovah am thy Savior and thy Redeemer (Isa. 49:26; 60:16). As for our Redeemer, Jehovah of Hosts is His name (Isa. 47:4). Their Redeemer is strong; Jehovah of Hosts is His name (Jer. 1:34). O Jehovah, my Rock and my Redeemer (Ps. 19:14). Thus said Jehovah, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, I am Jehovah thy God (Isa. 48:17; 43:14; 49:7). Thus said Jehovah, thy Redeemer, I am Jehovah that maketh all things, even alone by Myself (Isa. 44:24). Thus said Jehovah, the King of Israel, and His Redeemer, Jehovah of Hosts, I am the First and I am the Last; and beside Me there is no God (Isa. 44:6). Thou, O Jehovah, art our Father, our Redeemer; from everlasting is Thy name (Isa. 68:16). With everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, said Jehovah, Thy Redeemer (Isa. 54:8). Thou hast redeemed me, O Jehovah of truth (Ps. 31:5). Let Israel hope in Jehovah; for with Jehovah there is mercy, and with Him is plenteous redemption. And He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities (Ps. 103:7, 8). Jehovah of Hosts is His name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; the God of the whole earth shall He be called (Isa. 54:5). From these and many other passages it can be seen by every man who has eyes, and a mind that has been opened by means of them, that God, who is one, descended and became Man, in order to effect redemption. Who cannot see this as in the light of morning when he gives any attention to these Divine declarations themselves which have been presented? But those who are in the shades of night, owing to a confirmed belief in the birth of another God from eternity, and in His descent and work of redemption, shut their eyes to these Divine declarations, and in that state study how to apply them to their own falsities and pervert them.


There are many reasons why God could redeem men, that is, could deliver them from damnation and hell, only by means of an assumed Human; which reasons shall be set forth in the following pages. Redemption consisted in subjugating the hells, restoring the heavens to order, and after this reestablishing the church; and this redemption God with His omnipotence could effect only by means of the Human; as it is only by means of an arm that one can work-in the Word (Isa. 40:10; 53:1) this Human of the Lord is called "the arm of Jehovah"-or as one can attack a fortified town and destroy the temples of idols therein only by means of intervening agencies. That it was by means of His Human that God had omnipotence in this Divine work, is also evident from the Word. For in no other way would it be possible for God who is in the inmost and thus in the purest things, to pass over to outmost things, in which the hells are, and in which the men of that time were; just as the soul can do nothing without a body, or as no one can conquer an enemy without coming in sight of him, or approaching and getting near to him with proper equipments, such as spears, shields, or muskets. It was as impossible for God to effect redemption without the Human as it would be for men to conquer the Indies without transporting soldiers there by means of ships, or as it would be to make trees grow by heat and light if the air through which these pass, or the soil from which the trees spring, had never been created; as impossible, in fact, as to catch fish by spreading nets in the air instead of in the water. For it is impossible for Jehovah, such as He is in Himself, by His omnipotence to get in contact with any devil in hell or any devil upon the earth, and restrain him and his fury and tame his violence, unless He be in things last as He is in things first. Because He is in things last in His Human, He is called in the Word "the First and the Last," "the Alpha and the Omega," "the Beginning and the End."


(2) Jehovah God descended as Divine Truth, which is the Word, although He did not separate from it the Divine Good. There are two things that constitute the essence of God, the Divine love and the Divine wisdom, or what is the same, Divine good and Divine truth. That these two are the essence of God has been shown above (n. 36-48). Moreover these two are what are meant in the Word by the name "Jehovah God," "Jehovah" meaning the Divine love or Divine good, and "God" the Divine wisdom or Divine truth; and for this reason these two names are distinguished in the Word in various ways; sometimes the name "Jehovah" alone is used, and sometimes the name "God" alone-the name "Jehovah" when the Divine good is treated of, and the name "God" when the Divine truth is treated of; and the name "Jehovah God" when both are treated of. That Jehovah God descended as the Divine truth, which is the Word, is shown in John as follows: 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 any thing made that was made. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among, us (John 1:1, 3, 14). By "the Word" here the Divine truth is meant; because the Word, which is in the church, is Divine truth itself, for it was dictated by Jehovah Himself; and what is dictated by Jehovah is nothing but Divine truth, and can be nothing else. [2] But inasmuch as the Divine truth passed down through the heavens even to the world, it became adapted to angels in heaven and also to men in the world. For this reason there is in the Word a spiritual sense in which the Divine truth is seen in clear light, and a natural sense in which it is seen obscurely. Thus it is the Divine truth in our Word that is here meant in John. This is made still clearer by the fact that the Lord came into the world to fulfill all things of the Word; and this is why it is so often said that this or that was done to Him "that the Scripture might be fulfilled." Nor is anything but the Divine truth meant by "the Messiah" or "the Christ," or "the Son of man," or "the Holy Spirit the Comforter," which the Lord sent after His departure. In the chapter on the Sacred Scripture it will be shown that in His transfiguration before the three disciples on the mount (Matt. 17; Mark 9; Luke 9), and also before John in the Apocalypse (1:12-16), the Lord represented Himself as that Word. [3] That the Lord in the world was the Divine truth is evident from His own words: I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6); also from these words: We know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding that we may know the True; and we are in the True, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life (1 John 5:20); and still further by His being called "the Light," as in the following passages: There was the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world (John 1:4, 9). Jesus said, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, that darkness overtake you not. While ye have the light believe in the light, that ye may be sons of light (John 12:35, 36, 46). I am the light of the world (John 9:5). Simeon said, For mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, a light for revelation to the Gentiles (Luke 2:30-32). And this is the judgment, that light is come into the world; he that doeth the truth cometh to the light (John 3:19, 21); besides other places. "Light" means the Divine truth.


Jehovah God came down into the world as Divine truth, in order that He might work redemption; and redemption consisted in subjugating the hells, restoring the heavens to order, and after this establishing a church. This Divine good is inadequate to effect; it can be done only by the Divine truth from the Divine good. The Divine good, viewed in itself, is like the round hilt of a sword, or a blunt piece of wood, or a bow without arrows; while Divine truth from Divine good is like a sharp sword, or wood in the form of a spear, or a bow with its arrows, all which are effective against an enemy. (In the spiritual sense of the Word "swords," "spears," and "bows" mean truths combating, as may be seen in the Apocalypse Revealed, n. 52, 299, 436, where this is shown. ) The falsities and evils in which all hell was and always is, could have been assaulted, conquered, and subjugated in no other way than by means of Divine truth from the Word; nor could the new heaven that was then constituted have been built up, formed, and arranged in order by any other means; nor could a new church on the earth have been established by any other means. Moreover all the strength, energy, and power of God belong to Divine truth from the Divine good. This explains why Jehovah God came down as Divine truth, which is the Word. Therefore it is said in David: Gird Thy sword upon Thy thigh, O mighty One, and in Thy majesty mount up; ride upon the Word of truth; Thy right hand shall teach Thee wonderful things. Thine arrows are sharp, Thine enemies shall fall under Thee (Ps. 45:3-5). This is said of the Lord, of His conflicts with the hells, and of His victories over them.


What good is, apart from truth, and what truth is, apart from good, can be seen clearly in man. All good in man has its seat in his will, and all truth in his understanding; and the will from its good can do nothing whatever except by means of the understanding; it cannot work, it cannot speak, it cannot feel; all of its virtue and power is by means of the understanding, consequently by means of truth; for the understanding is the receptacle and abode of truth. It is with these precisely as with the action of the heart and lungs in the body. Without the respiration of the lungs not a motion or a sensation is produced by the heart; but both motion and sensation are produced from the heart by the respiration of the lungs, as is evident in the swooning of persons who have been suffocated or have fallen into the water, whose respiration ceases, although the systolic activity of the heart still continues. That such persons have neither motion nor sensation is known. It is the same with the embryo in the mother's womb. This is because the heart corresponds to the will and its various kinds of good, and the lungs to the understanding and its truths. In the spiritual world the power of truth is especially conspicuous. An angel who is in Divine truths from the Lord, although in body as weak as an infant, can nevertheless put to flight a troop of infernal spirits that look like Anakim and Nephilim, that is, like giants, and can pursue them to hell, and thrust them into their caverns there; and when they emerge therefrom they dare not come near the angel. Those who are in Divine truths from the Lord are in that world like lions, although in body they have no more strength than sheep. Men who are in Divine truths from the Lord have a like power against evils and falsities, and consequently against cohorts of devils, who, regarded in their essence, are nothing but evils and falsities. There is such strength in Divine truth because God is good itself and truth itself; and it was by means of Divine truth that He created the universe; and all the laws of order by means of which He preserves the universe are truths. Therefore it is said in John: That all things were made by the Word, and without Him was nothing thing made that was made (1:3, 10). And in David: By the Word of Jehovah were the heavens made; and all the hosts of them by the breath of His mouth (Ps. 33:6).


That God, although He descended as Divine truth, did not separate therefrom the Divine good, is evident from the conception; of which it is said: That the power of the Most High overshadowed Mary (Luke 1:35), "the power of the Most High" meaning the Divine good. This is evident also from the passages where He says that the Father is in Him and He in the Father, that all things that the Father hath are His, and that the Father and He are one; also from other passages. By "the Father" the Divine good is meant.


(3) God assumed the Human in accordance with His Divine Order. In the section that treats of the Divine omnipotence and omniscience it has been shown that God introduced order into the universe and into each and all things of it at the time of their creation, and therefore His omnipotence in the universe and in each and all things of it, proceeds and operates in accordance with the laws of His order. (This has already been treated of consecutively, n. 49-74.) Since, then, it was God who descended, and since (as is there shown) He is Order itself, it was necessary, if He was to become man actually, that He should be conceived, carried in the womb, born, educated, acquire knowledges gradually, and thereby be introduced into intelligence and wisdom. In respect to His Human He was, for this reason, an infant like other infants, a boy like other boys, and so on; with the sole difference that this development was accomplished in Him more quickly, more fully, and more perfectly than in others. That this development was in accordance with order is evident from these words in Luke: And the child Jesus grew and waxed strong in spirit. And Jesus advanced in wisdom, and in the stages of life, and in favor with God and man (Luke 2:40, 52). That this was done more quickly, more fully, and more perfectly than with others is evident from what is said of Him in the same Gospel, that When He was twelve years old He sat in the temple in the midst of the doctors and taught them and that all that heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers (Luke 2:46, 47; and afterwards, 4:16-22, 32). This took place because Divine order requires that man should prepare himself for the reception of God; and in proportion as he prepares himself, God enters into him as into His dwelling-place and home; and this preparation is effected by means of knowledges respecting God and the spiritual things pertaining to the church, and thus by means of intelligence and wisdom. For it is a law of order that in proportion as man approaches and gets near to God (which he must do wholly as if of himself) does God approach and get near to man, and conjoin Himself with man in man's interiors. It was in accordance with this order that the Lord progressed even to a oneness with His Father, as will be further shown in what follows.


Those who do not know that the Divine omnipotence proceeds and operates in accordance with order, may hatch from their fancies many things that are opposed to and in conflict with sound reason; as why God did not assume the Human immediately without such stages of development; why He did not create or bring together a body for Himself out of elements drawn from the four quarters of the world, and thus exhibit Himself as the God-Man to the bodily vision of the Jewish people, and even of the whole world; or if He wished to be born, why He did not infuse His entire Divinity into the embryo itself, or into the infant itself; or why He did not, after His birth, at once raise Himself up to the stature of manhood, and speak from Divine wisdom. Those who think of the Divine omnipotence as being apart from order may conceive and bring forth these and like things, and thus fill the church with absurdities and trifles, as has indeed been done; for example, that God could beget a Son from eternity, and then cause a third God to proceed from Himself and the Son; again, that He could be angry at the human race, and devote it to destruction, and be willing to be brought back to mercy by the Son, and this by intercession and through remembrance of His cross; and again, that He could put into man the righteousness of His Son, and insert it in man's heart, like the "simple substance" of Wolff, which contains, as that author himself says, all things belonging to the merit of the Son, but which cannot be divided, for if it were divided it would become naught; still again, that He is able to remit sins to whomsoever He will, as if by a papal bull, or cleanse the most impious person from his black evils, and thus make a man who is as black as a devil as white as an angel of light, without the man's moving himself any more than a stone, or while he is standing still like a statue or an idol; with many other insane notions which those who maintain that the Divine power is absolute, with no recognition or acknowledgment of any order therein, may scatter abroad as a fanning machine blows chaff into the air. In spiritual matters, which pertain to heaven and the church, and thus to eternal life, such may wander away from Divine truths like a blind man in the woods, who now falls over stones, now strikes his forehead against a tree, and now entangles his hair in its branches.


Moreover, the Divine miracles have been wrought in accordance with Divine order, but in accordance with the order of an influx of the spiritual world into the natural world; about which order nothing has been known heretofore, because heretofore no one has known anything about the spiritual world. But what that order is will be made clear at the proper time, when we come to treat of Divine Miracles and Magical Miracles.


(4) The Human whereby God sent Himself into the world is the Son of God. The Lord frequently says that the Father sent Him, and that He was sent by the Father (as in Matt 10:40; 15:24; John 3:17, 34; 5:23, 24, 36-38; 6:29, 39, 40, 44, 57; 7:16, 18, 28, 29; 8:16, 18, 29, 42; 9:4; and in many other places); and this He says, because "being sent into the world" means to descend and come among men; and this was done by means of a human which He took on through the virgin Mary. Moreover, the Human is actually the Son of God, because it was conceived from Jehovah God as its Father (according to Luke 1:32, 35). He is called "the Son of God," "the Son of man," and "the son of Mary;" "the Son of God" meaning Jehovah God in His Human; "the Son of man" the Lord in respect to the Word; while "the son of Mary" means strictly the human He took on. That this is the meaning of "Son of God" and "Son of man" will be shown in what follows. That "the son of Mary" means the mere human is clearly seen in the generation of man, in that the soul is from the father and the body from the mother; for the soul is contained in the semen of the father and is clothed with a body in the mother; or what is the same thing, all the spiritual that man has is from the father and all the material from the mother. In regard to the Lord, the Divine that He had was from Jehovah the Father, and the human from the mother. These two united are the Son of God. This is evident from the account of the Lord's birth, as given in Luke: The angel Gabriel said to Mary, The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee therefore the Holy thing that shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God (Luke 1:35). The Lord also called Himself "one sent by the Father," for the reason that sent and angel have the same meaning, angel meaning in the original one sent. For it is said in Isaiah: The angel of the faces of Jehovah delivered them; in His love and in His pity He redeemed them (63:9); and in Malachi: And the Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in (Mal. 3:1; also elsewhere). That the Divine Trinity-God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit-is in the Lord, and that the Father in Him is the Divine from which, the Son the Divine Human, and the Holy Spirit the Divine going forth, will be seen in the third chapter of this work where the Divine Trinity is treated of.


Since the angel Gabriel said to Mary, "The Holy thing that shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God," it will be shown by the following passages from the Word that the Lord in respect to His Human is called the Holy One of Israel: I saw in visions and, behold, a Watcher and an Holy One came down from heaven (Dan. 4:13, 23). God cometh from Teman, and the Holy One from Mount Paran (Hab. 3:3). I am Jehovah, the Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your Holy One (Isa 43:14, 15). Thus said Jehovah, the Redeemer of Israel, His Holy One (Isa. 49:7). I am Jehovah thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Savior (Isa. 43:1, 3). As for our Redeemer, Jehovah of Hosts is His name, the Holy One of Israel (Isa. 47:4). Thus said Jehovah, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel (Isa. 43:14; 48:17). Jehovah of Hosts is His name, and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel (Isa. 54:5). They tempted God and the Holy One of Israel (Ps. 78:41). They have forsaken Jehovah, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel (Isa. 1:4). They said, Cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us. Wherefore thus said the Holy One of Israel (Isa. 30:11, 12). Who say, Let Him hasten His work that we may see; and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw nigh and come (Isa. 5:19). In that day they shall stay upon Jehovah, the Holy One of Israel, in truth (Isa. 10:20). Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee (Isa. 7:6). The God of Israel said, In that day His eyes shall look to the Holy One of Israel (Isa. 17:6, 7). The poor of men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel (Isa. 29:19; 41:16). The land is full of guilt against the Holy One of Israel (Jer. 51:5). (See also Isa. 55:5; 50:9; and elsewhere.) Thus "the Holy One of Israel" means the Lord in respect to His Divine Human, since the angel said to Mary: The Holy thing that shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God (Luke 1:35). That Jehovah and the holy one of Israel are one, although the names are different, is also made clear by the passages here quoted which state that Jehovah is that holy one of Israel. It is also made evident from numerous passages that the Lord is called the God of Israel (as Isa. 17:6; 21:10, 17; 24:15; 29:23; Jer. 7:3; 9:15; 11:3; 13:12; 16:9; 19:3, 15; 23:2; 24:5; 25:15, 27; 29:4, 8, 21, 25; 30:2; 31:23; 32:14, 15, 36; 33:4; 34:2, 13; 35:13, 17, 18, 19; 37:7; 38:17; 39:16; 42:9, 15, 18; 43:10; 44:2, 7, 11, 25; 48:1; 50:18; 51:33; Ezek. 8:4; 9:3; 10:19, 20; 11:22; 43:2; 44:2; Zeph. 2:9; Ps. 41:13; 59:5; 68:8).


In the Christian churches of the present day it is customary to call the Lord our Savior the son of Mary, and rarely the Son of God, except when a Son of God born from eternity is meant. This is because the Roman Catholics have made Mary the mother more holy than all others, and have exalted her as a goddess or queen over all their saints. When, however, the Lord glorified His Human He put off everything belonging to His mother, and put on everything belonging to His Father. This shall be fully shown in subsequent pages of this work. From this saying, so common with all, that the Lord is the son of Mary, many enormities have flowed into the church; especially with those who have not taken into consideration what is said of the Lord in the Word; as that the Father and He are one, that He is in the Father and the Father in Him, that all things of the Father are His, that He called Jehovah His Father, and that Jehovah the Father called Him His Son. These enormities that have flowed into the church as a result of His being called the son of Mary, and not the Son of God, are, that the idea of Divinity in respect to the Lord perishes, and with it all that is said of Him in the Word as the Son of God; also that through this, Judaism, Arianism, Socinianism, Calvinism, as it was at its beginning, gain entrance, and at length Naturalism, and with it the insane notion that He was the son of Mary by Joseph, and that His soul was from the mother; and therefore that He is not the Son of God, al. though He is so called. Let everyone, whether clergyman or layman, question himself whether he has conceived and cherishes any other idea of the Lord as the son of Mary than that He was merely man. Because even in the third century, when Arianism arose, such an idea had begun to prevail among Christians, the Nicene Council, for the purpose of maintaining the Divinity of the Lord, fabricated a Son of God born from eternity. By this fiction the Human of the Lord was then exalted, and with many is still exalted, to Divinity; but it is not so exalted with those who by the hypostatic union understand a union like that between two beings, one of whom is superior and the other inferior. Yet what else results from this than the destruction of the entire Christian church, which was founded solely upon the worship of Jehovah in the Human, consequently upon the God-Man? That no one can see the Father, or can know Him, or come to Him, or believe in Him, except through His Human, the Lord declares in many places. If He is not thus approached all the noble seed of the church is changed into ignoble, the seed of the olive into the seed of the pine, the seed of the orange, lemon, apple, and pear, into the seed of the willow, the elm, the linden, and the oak; the vine into the bulrush of the swamp, wheat and barley into chaff; in fact, all spiritual food becomes like dust on which serpents feed; for the spiritual light in man then becomes natural, and at length sensual-corporeal, which viewed in itself is a delusive light; man then becomes even like a bird that while flying on high, being deprived of its wings, falls to the ground, and walking there sees around it only what lies at its feet; and he then thinks about the spiritual things of the church, which should make for life eternal, no otherwise than as a soothsayer thinks. Such are the results, when man regards the Lord God, the Redeemer and Savior, as a mere son of Mary, that is, as a mere man.


(5) Through the acts of Redemption the Lord made Himself Righteousness. It is said and believed in Christian churches at this day that the Lord alone has merit and righteousness through the obedience which He rendered to God the Father while in the world, and especially through the passion of the cross. But it is asserted that the essential act of redemption was the passion of the cross. This, however, was not an act of redemption, but an act of the glorification of His Human, a subject that will be considered in the succeeding chapter on Redemption. The acts of redemption whereby the Lord made Himself righteousness were as follows: He executed the final judgment, which took place in the spiritual world; at that time He separated the evil from the good and the goats from the sheep; He expelled from heaven those who made one with the beasts of the dragon; He formed out of the worthy a new heaven, and out of the unworthy a hell; in both heaven and hell He gradually restored all things to order; and to crown all, He established a new church. These acts were the acts of redemption whereby the Lord made Himself righteousness. For righteousness is doing all things in accordance with Divine order, and restoring to order whatever has fallen from order; since righteousness is Divine order itself. This is what is meant by these words of the Lord: It becometh Me to fulfill all the righteousness of God (Matt. 3:15); and by these words in the Old Testament: Behold, the days come when I will raise up unto David a righteous Branch and He shall reign as King, and shall execute righteousness in the land. And this is His name, Jehovah our Righteousness (Jer. 23:5, 6; 33:15, 16) I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save (Isa. 63:1). He shall sit upon the throne of David, to establish it in judgment and righteousness (Isa. 9:7). Zion shall be redeemed in righteousness (Isa. 1:27).


But quite otherwise do those who bear rule in the church in our time describe the Lord's righteousness; they also make their faith a saving faith by the inscription of His righteousness upon man; when the truth is that the Lord's righteousness, being such in its nature and origin, and being in itself purely Divine, cannot be conjoined to any man, and thus cannot effect salvation any otherwise than as the Divine life can, which is Divine love and Divine wisdom. With these the Lord enters into every man; but unless man is living in accordance with order, that life, although it is in him, contributes nothing whatever to his salvation; it imparts merely an ability to understand truth and do good. To live according to order is to live according to God's commandments; and when man so lives and so does, he acquires for himself righteousness-not the righteousness of the Lord's redemption, but the Lord Himself as righteousness. Such are described in these words: Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees ye shall not enter into the kingdom of the heavens (Matt. 5:19-20). Blessed are they who endure persecution for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of the heavens (Matt. 5:10). At the end of the age the angels shall go forth and separate the wicked from the midst of the righteous (Matt. 13:49); and elsewhere. In the Word by "the righteous" those are meant who have lived in accordance with Divine order, since the Divine order is righteousness. The righteousness itself which the Lord became through the acts of redemption can be ascribed to man, inscribed upon man, adapted and conjoined to man, only as can light to the eye, sound to the ear, will to the muscles in action, thought to the lips in speaking, air to the lungs in breathing, heat to the blood, and so on; and everyone perceives of himself that these flow in and adjoin and conjoin themselves. Righteousness is acquired only so far as man practices righteousness; and this he does so far as he acts towards the neighbor from a love of what is righteous and true; and righteousness has its abode in the good itself or use itself which he performs. For the Lord says that every tree is known by its fruit. Does not everyone know another from his works, if he attends to them with reference to the end and purpose of his will, and the intention and reason from which they are done? To these things all angels direct their attention, as well as all in our own world who are wise. In general, every product and growth from the earth is known by its flower and seed and by its use; every metal by its excellence; every stone by its character; every field, every kind of food, every beast of the earth, and every bird of the air, each by its quality-and why not man? But in the chapter on Faith the source of the quality of man's works shall be explained.


(6) Through the same acts the Lord united Himself to the Father and the Father united Himself to Him. This union was effected by the acts of redemption, because the Lord performed these acts from His Human, and as He did this, the Divine which is meant by the Father drew nearer, and aided, and cooperated, and finally they so conjoined themselves as to be not two but one; which union is the glorification which will be treated of in what follows.


That the Father and the Son, that is, the Divine and the Human, became united in the Lord like soul and body, is in agreement with the belief of the church at this day and also with the Word; and yet scarcely five in a hundred, or fifty in a thousand, know it. This is because of the doctrine of justification by faith alone, to which most of the clergy who are seeking a reputation for learning with a view to honor or wealth, devote themselves with great zeal, until at present their whole mind has become seized and possessed by that doctrine. And because that doctrine, like the vinous spirit called alcohol, has intoxicated their thoughts, they, like drunken men, have failed to see this most essential truth of the church, that it was Jehovah God who descended and assumed a Human; and yet it is only by means of this union that a conjunction of man with God is possible, and by conjunction, salvation. That salvation depends upon a knowledge and acknowledgment of God, can be seen by anyone who reflects that God is the All in all things of heaven, and therefore the All in all things of the church, consequently the All in all things of theology. But first it shall here be shown that the union of the Father and Son, that is, of the Divine and the Human in the Lord, is like the union of soul and body, and afterwards that this union is reciprocal. A union like that of soul and body is established in the Athanasian Creed, which is accepted in the whole Christian world as the doctrine respecting God. We there read: "Our Lord Jesus Christ is God and Man; and although He is God and Man, yet they are not two, but one Christ. He is one because the Divine took to Itself a Human. He is indeed wholly one, and is one Person; for as soul and body are one man, so is God and Man one Christ." What they understand by this is, that there is such a union between a Son of God from eternity and a Son born in time; but as God is one and not three, when we understand a union between the one God from eternity and the Son born in time, this doctrine agrees with the Word. In the Word it is said: That He was conceived of Jehovah the Father (Luke 1:34, 35); this was the source of His soul and life; therefore He says: That He and the Father are one (John 10:30); That he that seeth and knoweth Him seeth and knoweth the Father (John 14:9); If ye knew Me ye would know My Father also (John 8:19); He that receiveth Me receiveth Him that sent Me (John 13:20); That He is in the bosom of the Father (John 1:18); That all things whatsoever the Father hath are His (John 16:15); That He is called the Father of Eternity (Isa. 9:6); That therefore He has power over all flesh (John 17:2); And all power in heaven and on earth (Matt. 28:18). From these and many other passages in the Word it can be clearly seen that the union of the Father and Himself is like the union of soul and body. Therefore in the Old Testament also He is frequently called "Jehovah," "Jehovah of Hosts," and "Jehovah the Redeemer" (see above, n. 83).


That this union is reciprocal is clearly evident from the following passages in the Word: Philip, believest thou not that I am in the Father and the Father in Me? Believe Me, that I am in the Father and the Father in Me (John 14:10, 11). That ye may know and believe that the Father is in Me and I in the Father (John 10:36, 38). That they all may be one, as Thou, Father, art in Me and I in Thee (John 17:21). Father, all things that are Mine are Thine, and all things that are Thine are Mine (John 17:10). The union is reciprocal, because no union or conjunction between two persons is possible unless each in turn approached the other. In the whole heaven, and in the whole world, and in the entire man, all conjunction has its source in the reciprocal approach of one to another, each then willing in oneness with the other. From this comes homogeneity and sympathy, also unanimity and concord, in every particular of each. In every man there is such a reciprocal conjunction of soul and body; such is the conjunction of the spirit of man with the sensory and motor organs of his body; such is the conjunction of the heart and the lungs; such is the conjunction of the will and the understanding; such is the conjunction in man of all the members and viscera in themselves and with each other; the minds of all who interiorly love each other are so conjoined, for this conjunction is inscribed upon all love and friendship; since love desires to love and be loved. Of all things in the world that are fully conjoined one to the other there is a reciprocal conjunction. There is a like conjunction of the sun's heat with the heat of wood and mineral, of vital heat with the heat of all the fibers of animate things, of the soil with the root, through the root with the tree, and through the tree with the fruit; a like conjunction of the magnet with iron; and so on. Unless conjunction is effected by the reciprocal and mutual approach of one to another, no internal but only external conjunction is effected, and this in time is dissolved by mutual consent, sometimes even so far that they no longer recognize each other.


Since then, no conjunction that is a conjunction is possible unless it is effected reciprocally and mutually, so the conjunction of the Lord and man is such, as may be clearly seen from these passages: He that eateth My flesh and drinketh My blood dwelleth in Me and I in him (John 6:56). Abide in Me and I in you. He that abideth in Me and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit (John 15:4, 5). If anyone open the door I will come in to him, and will sup with him and he with Me (Apoc. 3:20); and elsewhere. This conjunction is effected by man's approaching the Lord, and the Lord's approaching him, for it is a sure and immutable law, that so far as man approaches the Lord so far does the Lord approach man. But more will be seen on this subject in the chapters on Charity and Faith.

Next: 101-150