Sacred Texts  Swedenborg  Index  Previous  Next 

Invitation to the New Church, by Emanuel Swedenborg, [1771], tr. by John Whitehead [1914] at

Invitation to the New Church


That in Christ Jesus Man is God, and God Man, appears evidently from the Lord's words to His Father: All Thine are Mine, and all Mine are Thine (John 17:10). From the expression "all Mine are Thine," it is evident that the Man is God; and from the expression, "all Thine are Mine," that God is Man.


During man's regeneration, the light of heaven is instilled into natural light, and at the same time the heat of heaven; these two constitute, as it were, the new soul, through which man is formed by the Lord. This light and heat are instilled through the higher mind, which is called the spiritual mind. By virtue of this instilling, or insertion, man becomes a new creature, and becomes more enlightened and more intelligent in matters of the church, and consequently in the reading of the Word. This also is the new understanding and the new will. Afterwards the man is led by the Lord through the above light and through the above heat, and from natural becomes spiritual.


There is a still higher or more interior light and heat, which is called celestial. This is inserted and instilled into the former spiritual. The angels of the third heaven who are called celestial, are in this light and heat.


This insertion may be explained by a comparison; namely, by the grafting and inoculation of trees; where the grafted slips receive [the sap] interiorly in themselves, according to their form, etc.


It is to be clearly shown that without the Lord's Advent, no man could have been regenerated, and hence saved; and that this is meant by "the Lamb taking away the sins of the world." This may be evident from the state of the spiritual world before the Lord's Coming; which was such that not a single truth of faith, nor any good of charity, could pass from the Lord to man. (This is to be illustrated by the influx of truth and good into evil spirits, into the back part of their heads, etc.)


Miracles close the internal man, and deprive man of all that free will, through which and in which man is regenerated. Free will really belongs to the internal man; and when this is closed up, the man becomes external and natural; and such a man does not see any spiritual truth. Miracles also are like veils and bars lest anything might enter. This bar, or this obstruction, however, is gradually broken, and [then] all truths become dispersed.


It is said by the church at this day, following Paul, that faith enters through the hearing of the Word; and some add to this, through a certain meditation from the Word. This, however, is to be understood thus, that truths ought to be drawn from the Word, and that man ought to live according to them. In this case, the man approaches the Lord, who is the Word, and the Truth, and receives faith; for each and all truths are from the Word, which is spiritual light. Thus faith is acquired; because faith belongs to truth, and truth belongs to faith; and nothing ought to be believed except the truth.


That there are numberless evils interiorly in man; yea, that there are numberless evils in every lust. Every lust of which man becomes conscious, is a mass and a heap of many things. These things the man does not see, but only the one mass. When, therefore, the man by repentance removes this, the Lord, who sees the interior and inmost things of man, removes them. Unless, therefore, a man approaches the Lord, he labors in vain to render himself free from sin. The case herein is as with those things which were written in a Relation concerning turtles [see True Christian Religion 462].


That a man who has altogether confirmed himself in the faith and doctrine of the present church, makes no account of repentance, of the law of the Decalogue, and of works and charity. For he can say, "I cannot do goods from myself; they are contained in faith, whence they come forth of their own accord; I can only know them," and so forth. This is the source of the naturalism which prevails at the present time.


By the "fulness of time" is signified consummation and desolation; because "time" signifies the state of the church (see Rev. 10:6, and Ezek. 30:3). The same also is signified by "Time, times, and half a time" (see Rev. 12:14; Dan. 7:25; 12:7). The times in the world are spring, summer, autumn; the fullness of these times is winter. The times as to light are morning, noon, evening; and their fullness is the night, etc., etc. This is meant by the Lord's coming in "the fullness of the time," or of "times"; that is, when there is no longer any truth of faith, and good of charity left. (Concerning "the fullness of the time," see Rom. 11:12, 25; Gal. 4:4; and especially, Eph. 1:9, 10; Gen. 15:16.)


That the Lord's love is present with those who are in faith in Him. This may be clearly seen from this circumstance, that place cannot be predicated of love, nor of faith; for both are spiritual. That the Lord Himself is present appears from this consideration, that spiritual love also is not confined to place. It was not in my own case, whenever I was in the spiritual idea. In a word, presence in the spiritual world is according to love. Wherefore, [the Lord] is omnipresent; He does not move about; He is in place, but not through place; He is thus in space and in what is extended, but not through space, and through what is extended.


The desolation of the truth of the church may be compared with consummations on the earth; heat, namely, and all the above [times or seasons] are consummated by winter, and then spring [comes]; and light on earth is consummated by the night, when the morning comes. Wherefore, the Lord in Revelation said to those under the altar (Rev. 6:9-11). [See quotation.] A number of passages are to be quoted from Revelation, showing that the church has been laid waste, even to its ultimate.


That at the present day nothing is known concerning the union of soul and body, is proved by the hypotheses of the learned concerning the soul; especially by that of Descartes and others, [who maintain] that the soul is a substance separated from the body, in some place or other; when yet the soul is the inmost man; consequently, is the man from the head to the foot. Thence it is, according to the ancients, that the soul is in the whole, and in every part thereof; and that in whatever part the soul does not dwell inmostly, there man has no life. From this union it is, that all things of the soul belong to the body, and all things of the body belong to the soul; as the Lord said concerning His Father, that all His things are the Father's, and that all things of the Father are His (John 17:10). Thence it is that the Lord is God, even as to the flesh (Rom. 9:5; Col. 2:9); and that [He said], "the Father is in Me," and "I am in the Father" [John 14:10, 11]. Thus they are one.


The human mind is of three degrees, which are the celestial, spiritual, and natural. In the first degree is the soul, in the second, is the spirit or the mind, and in the third, is the body. It is the same thing, whether we say that a man's mind is of three degrees, or whether we say that the man himself is. For that of the body which is in principles thus where its first is, is called mind. The remaining parts are derived thence, and are continuations. What is the mind, if it is only to the head, except something that is separated or divorced, in which the mind does not exist through continuation? Let autopsy settle this: The origins of the fibers are the glands of the so-called cortical substance; thence proceed the fibers; and after they are bundled together into nerves, they descend and pass through the whole body, weaving it together and constructing it. The celestial degree, in which is the soul, that is, the inmost man, is a semblance of love; the spiritual degree, in which is the mind, that is, the spirit, which is the mediate man, is a semblance of wisdom from love; and the third degree, in which is the body, which is the ultimate man, is the containant of both; without this third degree, the two higher degrees would not subsist. These things can be further demonstrated from the three heavens, the celestial, spiritual, and natural-where such men are. Wherefore the angels of the higher heavens are invisible to the angels of the lower heavens, if the latter approach the former from their own heavens.


Thence it may be seen in light that as a tree exists from its seed, so also the body exists through the soul. Hence also it is that the tree derives its quality from the seed. From this, however, it follows that inasmuch as the soul of Christ was from the Divine essence, His body also must be derived thence.


All theologians, when preaching, know nothing of the falsities of their religion. For they preach that God is one; that the Saviour ought to be adored; that man, therefore, ought to believe in the Word and in preachings; that he ought to exercise charity, and practise repentance, so as to desist from evils. While preaching thus, they remember nothing concerning three Gods, concerning their mystical faith, concerning impotence in spiritual matters, and concerning all the remaining dogmas. But let them know, that the falsities which they have imbibed in the schools, are clinging to them interiorly; and other things are merely in the mouth; and that after death they come into the interior things of the spirit; wherefore, these falsities ought by all means to be rooted out. Then also the things that are merely in the mouth, are as the beard on the chin, which afterwards, as is usually the case, is cut off, and he becomes beardless.


When orthodoxy enters and explains all those things which priests preach from the Word concerning faith that we ought to believe in God, concerning charity towards the neighbor, conversion, repentance, and the life of piety and spiritual life, they fall as it were into a bucket; then they are overthrown, as when one destroys a dwelling or a house, even so that nothing but ruins remain. The preachers say that these things are not true, unless you believe thus. What does charity, repentance, etc., effect? The very Word then falls, and so forth. It is as if someone undermines a wall, by digging ditches under it. All things are overthrown.


Bring an example, where someone preaches devoutly on the above subjects from the Word; and when orthodoxy is brought to bear upon his preaching, you will see that what I saw and declared, is true. (The example will illustrate this. . . .) Thus they affirm, and then deny, if orthodoxy is in the internal man, and the subjects that are preached are in the external man. In this case that which then remains in the external man is regarded as of no account and becomes like froth. It is swept away, like an earthquake, or like a ship broken below by water.


An example, also, may be brought from genuine orthodoxy on the subject of faith, charity, and free will. From this example will appear plainly the absurdity of [false orthodoxy].


That the spiritual things of heaven flow into the whole man, and that [natural things] flow in through the world, is confirmed in light thus: that spiritual and natural things flow in conjointly, but that the evil man inverts the two. That which is within he places outwardly in his mind; and that which is outmost he places within; so that the world is above heaven, that is, heaven below the world. But the devout and good man receives both in the order in which they flow in; the spiritual things which flow in through heaven, he places in the mind above, and the natural things which flow in through the world, he places below. This man stands on his feet erect; but the former is, as it were, inverted.


The whole of theology at the present day is nothing but the Divine omnipotence. It is said: (1) That God gives faith where and to whom He pleases. (2) That He remits sins. (3) That He regenerates. (4) That He sanctifies. (5) That He imputes and saves. (6) That He will raise the dead bodies from the graves; that He will cause the skeletons to be alive, and will put into them their former souls. (7) That He will destroy the world, with the sun, the stars, the planets, the earths, and will create it anew. (8) Since omnipotence is everything, and since it constitutes the order which is God, and which is from God, in the whole world, it follows that the man of the church can imagine whatever he pleases; that he can raise himself beyond the ethers, that is, above reason; and that, wherever he pleases, he can go counter to reason, and say that "reason is to be held under obedience to our faith. For is not God omnipotent? And who can, and who dares to reason in opposition to His omnipotence?" Such are all things of faith at this day.


That man cannot discover a single Divine truth, except by approaching the Lord immediately, is due to this, that the Lord alone is the Word, and that He is the Light and the Truth itself; and man does not become spiritual except from the Lord alone, but remains natural; and the natural man, in spiritual things, sees everything in inverted order; that this is so, is known from Paul. This is the reason why not a single truth has remained in the church, so that now is the consummation, the desolation, the decision, and the fullness [of time]. But still because the Lord is not dead, therefore, according to Daniel, there still remains "a root in the earth"; while, according to Revelation, "man indeed is willing to die, but yet he cannot." That which "remains" is the faculty of being able to understand the truth, and of being able to will good. This is "the root that remains."


The students of modern orthodoxy object, that faith, charity, good works, repentance, remission of sins, etc., cannot be given with a man, before he has received the Holy Spirit. But, as has been shown, the Holy Spirit is the Divine which proceeds from the Lord; and the Lord is perpetually present with every man, the evil as well as the good. Without His presence, no one can live; and the Lord constantly acts, urges, and strives to be received; wherefore, the presence of the Holy Spirit is perpetual. For the sake of confirmation, this was proved in the spiritual world, in the case of a certain devil, by the removal from him of the Lord's presence. And the devil lay dead, exactly like a corpse. Thousands from among the spirits and the clergy saw this, and were thunderstruck. From the Lord's perpetual presence, man has the faculty of thinking, understanding, and willing. These faculties are solely from the influx of life from the Lord. Both Melancthon and Luther were present, and they could not open their lips.


The only cause why the Reformation was effected, was that the Word which lay buried, might be restored to the world. For many centuries it had been in the world, but at last it was entombed by the Roman Catholics, and not a single truth of the church could then be laid open from it. The Lord thus could not become known, but the Pope was worshipped as God, in the Lord's place. But after the Word had been drawn forth out of its tomb, the Lord could be made known, truth could be derived from it, and conjunction with heaven could be given. For this purpose the Lord raised up simultaneously so many men who contended. He raised up Sweden, Denmark, Holland, England that they might receive; and lest [the Word] should be blotted out in Germany through the Pope, He raised up Gustavus Adolphus, who stood for the Reformation, and rose up against [the Pope].


Unless the present little work is added to the preceding work, the church cannot be healed. For it would be a mere palliative cure; a wound in which the corrupt matter remains, and which vitiates the neighboring parts. Orthodoxy is this corrupt matter itself, and the doctrine of the New Church indeed brings a healing, but only exteriorly.


The origins of all errors in the church have been this: that they have believed that man lives from himself, or from his own life, and that life has been created in him; when yet man is only an organ of life, and is kept in the middle between heaven and hell, and thus in equilibrium or free will.


No one is able to see the desolation of truth in the church, before truths from the Word come into light. What heretic, indeed, knows otherwise than that all that he has are truths? Everyone can swear to his own. He is in deceptive light arising from confirmations. In such a light is the natural man, when the spiritual man illumines it. Yea the naturalistic atheist can swear that there is no God; and that the existence of God is a mere vain imagination of the common people; wherefore, at heart he scoffs at the doctors of the church.


It is known in the church, that the church is the Body of Christ; but how this is has not been known hitherto. Hence it is that the whole heaven is as one man before the Lord; and this man is distinguished into societies, each of which has reference to one member, or organ and viscus in man. In this man or body, the Lord is the soul or life. For the Lord inspires men; and when He is present, He is present through the heavens, as the soul is present through its body. The same is the case with the church on earth; for this is the external man. Wherefore, everyone through death is gathered to his own in that body, etc.


The things which are stated in the sequel are not miracles, but they are testimonies that I have been introduced by the Lord into the spiritual world for the sake of the ends which . . . The causes why no miracles are done at the present time . . . (Further, from the Lord's words in Matt. 24.) Concerning the miracles of Anthony of Padua, and of most of those who are worshipped as saints; of whose miracles the monasteries are full. Of the miracles of Paris, concerning which there are two volumes in quarto.


That the Lord would come in the fullness of time and judge, is meant by His words in Matthew: When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, He shall sit on the throne of His glory; and there shall be gathered before Him all nations; and He shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the he-goats (Matt. 25:31-32). This coming of the Lord is meant by the following words concerning Jesus Christ, in the Apostles' Creed: He ascended into the heavens, He sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. And also by these words concerning the Lord Jesus Christ in the Nicene Creed: He ascended into the heavens, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again in glory to judge the living and the dead; of whose kingdom there shall be no end.


And also in the Athanasian Creed: He ascended into the heavens; He sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. . . . And they shall give account for their own deeds. And they that have done good shall enter into eternal life; and they that have done evil into eternal fire. (Formula Concordiae [Leipsic, 1756], pp. 1, 2, 4.) Besides, the articles of Schmalkalden teach the same thing as the Apostles', the Nicene, and the Athanasian creeds, namely: Jesus Christ ascended into the heavens, He sitteth on the right hand of God, He shall come to judge the living and the dead. Luther in his Lesser Catechism (p. 371) teaches the same thing (Augsburg Confession, pp. 10, 14); and our Catechism [the one used in Sweden] teaches the same (p. 303). From the Augsburg Confession we quote in like manner: He ascended into the heavens, that He might sit on the right hand of the Father, and reign forever, and rule over all creatures. The same Christ will openly come again to judge the living and the dead, according to the Apostles' Creed (Augsburg Confession, p. 10).


That the Lord will not come to judgment, to destroy heaven and earth, appears from many passages in the Word, where His coming is treated of; as for instance where it is said in Luke: When the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth? (Luke 18:8). Besides many more passages which are quoted in True Christian Religion (n. 765); further, that He will not come to destroy the visible heaven and the habitable earth (ibid., n. 768 seq.); but to separate the evil from the good (ibid., n. 772 seq.); and many more passages besides. The same also is declared in the Credal Faith which is inserted in every Book of Psalms in the whole Christian world, where the Apostles' Creed only is set forth. The same is introduced thence into the Psalms. By the "living," in the above places, are meant those who are in charity and faith, and who by the Lord are called "sheep"; but by the "dead" are meant those who are not in charity and faith, and who by the Lord are called "he-goats." (Add here Rev. 11:18; and 20:12.)


Title:- THE CONSUMMATION OF THE AGE, AND THE ABOMINATION OF THE DESOLATION THEN. There is to be adduced what the Lord says, (1) Concerning the "abomination of the desolation"; (2) What He says [of vastation]; (3) What the Lord says concerning the "affliction"; (4) That "no flesh can be saved"; (5) Concerning the "darkening of the sun and moon"; (6) The things which are declared in Revelation: Behold, I am He that liveth, and was dead; and behold I am He that liveth unto the ages of the ages (Rev. 1:18; also 2:8; and 5:6). And again, what the Lord said in John: The night cometh when no man can work (John 9:4). In that night there shall be two men in one bed (Luke 17:34). Further, what the Lord said in John (21:18), concerning Peter; also, what Paul said concerning the last times (1 Tim. 4:1-3; 2 Tim. 3:1-7; 4:3, 4). There shall be explained what the Lord says (Matt. 24:27), that this took place on the day of the Last Judgment; also, what He says (Matt. 24:30-31). That this actually has taken place, see True Christian Religion, n. 791.


The Lord's Coming is according to order in this respect, that the spring does not come until after the winter; nor the morning, until after the night; that the travailing woman has comfort and joy, only after pain; that states of comfort are after temptations; and that there is genuine life after undergoing death; even as the Lord says, "Unless the grain . . . die," etc. (John 12:24). The Lord exhibited the type of this order, when He suffered Himself to be crucified and to die, and when afterwards He rose again; this type signifies the state of the church. . . . The above also is involved in the image which appeared to Nebuchadnezzar, where the Stone at last became a great Rock; it is further involved in the four beasts that came out of the sea; and in what is related there concerning that fearful nation (which is to be explained). It is likewise involved in the four ages known to the ancients, the golden, silver, brazen, and iron ages; further, in the ages through which every man passes, from infancy to old age; then is the end of the life of the body, and then comes the life of the spirit, which is the life of all those who have lived well. The same also is involved in the heaven which has first to pass away (Rev. 21:1, 2). The case with the church is the same.


The keys of the kingdom of the heavens were given to Peter, because he represented the Lord as to the Divine Truth; and this is what is meant by "a rock," throughout the whole of the Sacred Scripture. On this account [it is said], "On this rock," that is, on this Divine Truth, "I will build My church," namely, on this that the Lord is "THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD." It shall be shown from the Word, that such is the signification of a "rock." (The "rock" is spoken of in the Word [in the following passages]: Exod. 17:6; 33:21, 22; Num. 20:8-11; Deut. 8:15; 32:4-37; 1 Sam. 2:2; 2 Sam. 22:2, 3, 32, 47; 23:3; Ps. 18:2, 31, 46; 28:1; 31:2, 3; 40:2; 42:9; 62:2, 7; 78:16, 20, 35; 89:26; 92:15; 94:22; 95:1; 105:41; Isa. 2:10; 22:16; 42:11; 51:1; 1 Cor. 10:4.) The "fissures of the rock" mean falsified truths (Rev. 6:15, 16; Isa. 21:19; Jer. 16:16; Song of Sol. 2:14; Isa. 48:21; Jer. 23:29; 49:16; Obad. verse 3; besides in the Evangelists). In this wise also some of the Fathers explained this passage (see Formula Concordiae, p. 345).


When the Son alone became Man, and not the whole Trinity, was not then the Divine Essence which is a one and an indivisible trine, separated, that is, disunited or divided?


That the whole of the Lord's Prayer, from beginning to end, has respect to this time; that is, to the time when God, the Father will be worshipped in the Human Form. This appears when this prayer is rightly explained.


That the churches after the times of the Apostles fell away into so many heresies, and that at the present day there are none other than false churches, is because they have not approached the Lord, when yet the Lord is the Word, and the very Light which enlighteneth the whole world. And yet for them it is as impossible to see one single genuine truth from the Word, except what is encompassed with and steeped in falsities, and coheres with falsities, as it is to sail to the Pleiades, or to dig out the gold which is in the center of the earth. Wherefore, in order that true Christian religion might be manifested, it was absolutely necessary that someone should be introduced into the spiritual world, and derive from the mouth of the Lord genuine truths out of the Word. The Lord cannot enlighten anyone with His light, unless He is approached immediately, and acknowledged as the God of heaven.


That miracles are not done at this day, is on account of the reasons which are stated in True Christian Religion (n. 501); wherefore, the Lord said that they would seduce (Matt. 24:24). Again, what is more common with the Roman Catholics than filling the tombs of the saints, and the walls of monasteries with miracles? How many plates of gold and silver are there not in the tomb of Anthony of Padua? How many are there not where the three wise men are said to be buried? And how many are there not at Prague? And in other places? What else than illusions can be derived thence? The fact that I converse in the spiritual world with angels and spirits, that I have described the states of heaven and hell, and the life after death; and further, the fact that there has been disclosed to me the spiritual sense of the Word - besides many other things - is worth more than all these miracles. Such communication, as far as I know, has not been granted by the Lord to anyone before. These are evidences that this has been granted for the sake of the New Church, which is the crown of all the churches, and which will endure forever. Being in the spiritual world, seeing the wonderful things of heaven, and the miserable things of hell; and being there in the very light of the Lord in which are the angels, surpasses all miracles. Evidences that I am there, may be seen in abundance in my books.


The sole cause why the church has immersed itself into so many falsities, that not a single truth has remained in it, and why it is like a ship that has suffered shipwreck, of which the top of the mast only protrudes, is this: that hitherto they have not approached the Lord immediately; and so long as the Lord is not approached immediately, not a single truth can appear in its own light. The reason of this is, that the Lord is the Word, that is, the all of Divine truth in the Word, and that He alone is the Light which enlighteneth all, as He Himself teaches; and further, that every truth of the Word shines from no other source, than from the Lord alone. This light is what is meant by the spiritual; when, therefore, this light is not present, there is nothing spiritual in man's understanding, but what is merely natural; and all things which contain the spiritual, the natural man sees only invertedly; he sees falsity instead of the truth. On reading the Word, therefore, he bends all things towards his own falsities, and thus falsifies truths; and he takes delight in them. For the natural human mind is in such things as belong to the world and to self; it is delighted solely by such things; wherefore, unless in the above things there is spiritual light, the natural man transfers them to those things which belong to the world and to self, and he puts these in the first place. He thus not only shuns spiritual things, and hides them away, but he also scoffs at them. Faith is spiritual from no other source, that is, it cannot be called spiritual, except from the truths which it contains, and thus by virtue of light from the Lord. Unless faith is from this source, it is natural faith which does not conjoin, and which is not saving.


That in the spiritual world no one knows another from his name only, but from the idea of his quality. This idea causes that the other becomes present and is known. Thus, and not otherwise, parents are known by their children; children by their parents; and relations, connections by marriage, and friends, by their relations, connections, and friends. In like manner the learned are known from their writings, and from the reputation of their learning; great men and rulers by the fame of their deeds; in like manner kings, emperors, and popes. All are known by these things alone. It was granted to me to converse with such; but with others it is not possible. A spirit himself also is nothing else than his own quality; on this account everyone in that world drops his baptismal name, and the name of his family, and is named according to his quality. Hence it is that "name" in the Word does not signify name, but quality. As the Lord says in Revelation: Thou hast a few names in Sardis (Rev. 3:4); and again: I know thee by name (Exod. 33:7). Besides, a thousand other places, where "name" is mentioned. From all this, then, it appears, that no one has the Lord present with himself, unless he knows His quality. This quality the truths of the Word make manifest; for, as many truths as there are in the Word, there are just so many mirrors and ideas of the Lord; for He is the Word itself and He is the Truth itself, as He Himself says. Qualities are of two kinds: one kind belongs to the knowledge concerning the Lord Himself, that He is the God of heaven and earth, the Son of God the Father, One with the Father, that all things of the Father are in Him, in a word, that He is the Human of God the Father. The other kind belongs to the knowledges of those things that proceed from Him; and the things that proceed from Him, are Himself; as, for instance, those things which He teaches concerning charity, freedom, will, repentance, regeneration, the sacraments, and very many other things. These things also make up the idea of the Lord, because they are from Him.


It is an arcanum from the spiritual world, that he who does not approach the Lord directly and immediately with the idea concerning Him, presence is not effected, and still less can he become a recipient of any communication. It is as if someone stands at the side, and appears in the dark. In like manner, no one can converse with another, unless he looks directly at him; communication is then granted when each reciprocally looks at the other. Thus, and not otherwise, do ideas enter into another; and if at the same time there is love, conjunction is effected. If anyone, therefore, approaches the Father immediately, He stands as it were at the side; and hence is unable to grant and to impart redemption; that is, He is unable to regenerate, and afterwards to save him.


The manifestation of the Lord in Person, and the introduction by the Lord into the spiritual world, both as to sight and as to hearing and speech, surpasses all miracles; for we do not read anywhere in history that such interaction with angels and spirits has been granted from the creation of the world. For I am daily with angels there, even as I am in the world with men; and now for twenty-seven years. Evidences of this interaction are the books which I have published concerning Heaven and Hell, and also the Relations in my last work entitled True Christian Religion; further, what has been stated there concerning Luther, Melancthon, Calvin, and concerning the inhabitants of many kingdoms; besides, the various evidences which are known in the world, and many other evidences besides which are not known. Say, who has ever before known anything concerning heaven and hell? Who has known anything concerning man's state after death? Who has known anything concerning spirits and angels, etc., etc.?


In addition to these most manifest evidences, there is the fact that the spiritual sense of the Word has been disclosed by the Lord through me; which has never before been revealed since the Word was written with the sons of Israel; and this sense is the very sanctuary of the Word; the Lord Himself is in this sense with His Divine, and in the natural sense with His Human. Not a single iota in this sense can be opened except by the Lord alone. This surpasses all the revelations that have hitherto been made since the creation of the world. Through this revelation a communication has been opened between men and the angels of heaven, and the conjunction of the two worlds has been effected; because when man is in the natural sense the angels are in the spiritual sense. See what has been written concerning this sense in the chapter on the Sacred Scripture [in True Christian Religion].


The correspondences by which the Word as to each and all of its parts has been written, possess such power and strength, that it may be called the power and strength of the Divine Omnipotence; for through these correspondences the natural acts conjointly with the spiritual, and the spiritual with the natural; thus the all of heaven with the all of the world. Thence it is that the two sacraments are correspondences of spiritual with natural things; thence is their strength and power.


What are miracles over against these things? Miracles are not done at this day, because they seduce men, and make them natural. They close the interiors of their minds, wherein faith ought to be rooted; wherefore mere falsities proceed thence (see Matt. 24:24). What did the miracles effect which were done in Egypt with the sons of Israel? What did those miracles effect which were done before them in the desert? What those miracles when they entered into the land of Canaan? What the miracles which were wrought by Elijah and Elisha? What those which the Lord Himself wrought? Was anyone ever made spiritual by their means? What has been the use of miracles among the Roman Catholics? and of those of Anthony at Padua? and of the three wise men at Cologne? And what has been the use of the countless miracles in the monasteries, whose walls are fitted with pictures, plates, and gifts? Has anyone ever been made spiritual thereby? Have they not become natural thereby, so that there is scarcely any truth of the Word among them, but only the external things of worship, which have their origin from men and traditions?


That in Christ God is Man, and Man God, is confirmed three times in the Formula Concordiae; and also in the Athanasian Creed, where it treats of the "assumption of the Human into God;" from the Word (Rom. 14:11; Coloss. 2:9; 1 John 5:20, 21), as well as by the declaration of the Lord Himself, that "the Father and Himself are one;" that "the Father is in Him, and He in the Father;" that "all things of the Father are His;" that "He has Life in Himself;" that "He is the God of heaven and earth"; etc.


The soul is the inmost man, and thence according to the ancients it is in the whole and in every part of the body, because the beginning of life resides in the soul; that part of the body in which the soul does not inmostly reside, does not live. Wherefore there is a reciprocal union; and hence the body acts from the soul, but not the soul through the body. Whatever proceeds from God partakes of the human form, because God is Himself the Man; this is especially the case with the soul, which is the first of man.


Nothing is more common in the whole heaven and in the whole world, than for one thing to be within another; thus there is an inmost, a middle, and an outmost; and these three intercommunicate, and the power of the middle and outmost are derived from the inmost. That there are three things, one within the other, appears from each and all things in the human body. Around the brain there are three tunics, which are called the dura mater, the pia mater, and the arachnoid; and over these is the skull. Around the whole body there are tunics, one within the other, which taken all together are called the skin. Around each artery and vein there are three tunics; likewise around each muscle and fiber; in like manner around all the rest which are there. In the vegetable kingdom the case is the same. How these parts intercommunicate, and how the inmost enters the middle, and the middle the ultimate, is shown by anatomy, etc. Thence it follows that the same is the case with light; that spiritual light which in its essence is truth, is interiorly in natural light; likewise that spiritual heat which in its essence is love, is in natural heat. By natural heat is meant natural love, because that love becomes warm; and this is clothed with the heat of the blood.


All things which people speak concerning the Holy Spirit fall to the ground, as soon as it is believed that man is not life, but only an organ of life; and thus that God is constantly in man, and that He strives, acts, and urges that those things which belong to religion, and consequently those which belong to the church, to heaven and salvation, shall be received. Therefore it is wrong to say that the Holy Spirit is given, or that it is lost. For the Holy Spirit is nothing else than the Divine which proceeds out of the Lord from the Father, and this Divine causes a man's life, and also his understanding and his love; and the presence of this Divine is perpetual. Without the presence of the Lord or the Holy Spirit, man would be nothing but a kind of beast; yea he would not have any more life, than salt, a stone, or a stock. The reason of this is, that man is not born with instinct, like a beast; wherefore a pullet one day old knows the order of its life better than an infant.

Next: 51-100