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TCR 4. Since the Lord's time the Christian Church has passed through the several stages from infancy to extreme old age. Its infancy was in the lifetime of the apostles, when they preached throughout the world repentance and faith in the Lord God the Saviour. That this is what they preached is evident from these words in the Acts of the Apostles:--

Paul testified, both to the Jews and to the Greeks, repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21).

It is a noteworthy fact that some months ago the Lord called together His twelve disciples, now angels, and sent them forth throughout the spiritual world, with the command to preach the gospel there anew, since the church that was established by the Lord through them has at this day become so far consummated that scarcely a remnant of it survives; and this has come to pass, because the Divine trinity has been divided into three persons, each one of whom is God and Lord.

[2] Because of this a sort of frenzy has invaded not only all theology, but also the church that from the Lord's name is called Christian. It is called a frenzy because men's minds have been made so demented by it as not to know whether there is one God or three. On the lips there is one God; but in the thought of the mind there are three; consequently the mind and lips, that is, the thought and speech, are at variance; and the result of this variance is that there is no God at all. The naturalism that prevails at this day is from no other source. Consider, if you will, with the lips speaking of one and the mind thinking of three, whether one of these statements does not, when they meet within, cancel the other. Consequently when a man thinks about God, if he thinks at all it is nothing more than thought from the mere name God, unaccompanied by any sense of the meaning of the name that involves any knowledge of God.

[3] The idea of God, with all conception of Him, having been thus rent asunder, it is my purpose to treat, in their order, of God the Creator, of the Lord the Redeemer, and of the Holy Spirit the Operator, and lastly of the Divine trinity, to the end that what has been rent asunder may be again made whole; which is done when the reason of man is convinced by the Word and by light therefrom that there is a Divine trinity, and that the trinity is in the Lord God the Saviour Jesus Christ, like the soul, the body, and what goes forth from these, in man; and that thus this article in the Athanasian Creed is true:-

In Christ God and man, or the Divine and the Human, are not two, but are in one person; and as the rational soul and the flesh are one man, so God and man are one Christ.


TCR 5. As the acknowledgment of God from a knowledge of God is the very essence and soul of the entire contents of theology, it is necessary that the unity of God should be the first thing treated of. This shall be set forth in order in the following sections:-

1. The entire Holy Scripture, and the doctrines therefrom of the churches in the Christian world, teach that God is one.

2. There is a universal influx (from God) into the souls of men of the truth that there is a God, and that He is one.

3. For this reason there is in all the world no nation possessing religion and sound reason that does not acknowledge a God, and that God is one.

4. Respecting what the one God is, nations and peoples have differed and still differ, from many causes.

5. Human reason can, if it will, perceive and be convinced, from many things in the world, that there is a God, and that He is one.

6. If God were not one, the universe could not have been created and preserved.

7. Whoever does not acknowledge a God is excommunicated from the church and condemned.

8. With the man who acknowledges several Gods instead of one, there is no coherence in the things relating to the church.

These propositions shall be unfolded one by one.

TCR 6. (1) The entire Holy Scripture, and all the doctrines therefrom of the churches in the Christian world, teach that there is a God and that He is one. The entire Holy Scripture teaches that there is a God, because in its inmosts it is nothing but God, that is, it is nothing but the Divine that goes forth from God; for it was dictated by God; and from God nothing can go forth except what is God and is called Divine. This the Holy Scripture is in its inmosts. But in its derivatives, which are below and from these inmosts, the Holy Scripture is adapted to the perception of angels and men. The Divine is likewise in these derivatives, but in another form, in which it is called the celestial, spiritual, and natural Divine. These are simply the draperies of God; for God Himself, such as He is in the inmosts of the Word, cannot be seen by any creature. For He said to Moses, when Moses prayed that he might see the glory of Jehovah, that no one can see God and live. This is equally true of the inmosts of the Word, where God is in His very Being and Essence.

[2] Nevertheless, the Divine, which forms the inmost and is draped by things adapted to the perceptions of angels and men, beams forth like light through crystalline forms, although variously in accordance with the state of mind that man has formed for himself; either from God or from himself. Before everyone who has formed the state of his mind from God the Holy Scripture stands like a mirror wherein he sees God; but everyone in his own way. This mirror is made up of those truths that man learns from the Word, and that he appropriates by living in accordance with them. From all this it is evident, in the first place, that the Holy Scripture is the fullness of God.

[3] That the Holy Scripture teaches not only that there is a God, but also that God is one, can be seen from the truths which, as before stated, compose that mirror, in that they form a coherent whole and make it impossible for man to think of God except as one. In consequence of this, every person whose reason is imbued with any sanctity from the Word knows, as if from himself, that God is one, and feels it to be a sort of insanity to say that there are more. The angels are unable to open their lips to utter the word Gods, for the heavenly aura in which they live resists it. That God is one the Holy Scripture teaches, not only thus universally, as has been said, but also in many particular passages, as in the following:--

Hear, O Israel, Jehovah our God is one Jehovah (Deut. 6:4; Mark 12:29).

Surely God is in thee, and beside Me there is no god (Isa. 45:14).

Am not I Jehovah? and there is no god else beside Me (Isa. 45:21).

I am Jehovah thy God and thou shalt acknowledge no god beside Me (Hosea 13:4).

Thus saith Jehovah, the king of Israel, I am the First and the Last, and beside Me there is no god (Isa. 44:6).

In that day Jehovah shall be king over all the earth; in that day Jehovah shall be one and His name one (Zech. 14:9).

TCR 7. It is known that the doctrines of the churches in the Christian world teach that God is one. This they teach because all their doctrines are from the Word, and so far as one God is acknowledged both with the lips and the heart these doctrines are consistent. To those who confess one God with the lips only, but in heart accept three, as is true of many at this day in Christendom, God is nothing but a word on the lips; and all their theology is a mere idol of gold enclosed in a shrine, the key to which the priests alone hold; and when such read the Word they perceive no light in it or from it, not even that God is one. To such the Word appears blurred with blots, and in regard to the unity of God entirely covered with them. It is these who are described by the Lord in Matthew:--

In hearing ye shall hear and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see and not discern. Their eyes they have closed, lest haply they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart, and should turn themselves and I should heal them (Matthew 13:14, 15).

All these are like men shunning the light, and entering chambers without windows, and groping about the walls, searching for food or money, and at length acquiring a vision like that of birds of the night, seeing in darkness. They are like a woman having several husbands, who is not a wife but a lascivious courtesan; or they are like a virgin who accepts rings from several suitors, and after the nuptials bestows her favors not upon one only, but also upon the others.

TCR 8. (2) There is a universal influx from God into the souls of men of the truth that there is a God, and that He is one. That there is an influx from God into man is evident from the universal confession that all good that is in itself good, and that exists in man and is done by him, is from God; in like manner everything of charity and everything of faith; for we read:--

A man can take nothing except it be given him from heaven (John 3:27);

and Jesus said:--

Without Me ye are unable to do anything (John 15:5);

that is, anything that pertains to charity and faith. This influx is into the souls of men because the soul is the inmost and highest part of man, and the influx from God enters into that, and descends therefrom into the things that are below, and vivifies them in accordance with reception. The truths that are to constitute belief flow in, it is true, through the hearing, and are thus implanted in the mind, that is, below the soul. But by means of such truths man is simply made ready to receive the influx from God through the soul; and such as this preparation is, such is the reception, and such the transformation of natural faith into spiritual faith.

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

[3] In spite of this influx into the souls of men of the truth that God is one, there are many who think that the Divinity of God is divided into several possessing the same essence; and the reason of this is that when the influx descends it falls into forms not correspondent, and influx is varied by the form that receives it, as takes place in all the subjects of the three kingdoms of nature. It is the same God who vivifies man and who vivifies every beast; but the recipient form is what causes the beast to be a beast and man to be a man. The same is true of man when he induces on his mind the form of a beast. There is the same influx from the sun into every kind of tree, but the influx differs in accordance with the form of each; that which flows into the vine is the same as that which flows into the thorn; but if a thorn were to be engrafted upon a vine the influx would be inverted and go forth in accordance with the form of the thorn.

[4] The same is true of the subjects of the mineral kingdom; the same light flows into limestone and into the diamond; but in the diamond it is transmitted, while in the limestone it is quenched. In human minds these differences are in accordance with the forms of the mind, which become inwardly spiritual in accordance with faith in God, together with life from God, such forms being made translucent and angelic by a faith in one God, and on the contrary, made dark and bestial by a faith in more than one God, which differs but little from a faith in no God.

TCR 9. (3) For this reason, there is in all the world no nation possessing religion and sound reason that does not acknowledge a God, and that God is one. As a consequence of the Divine influx into the souls of men, treated of just above, there is in every man an internal dictate that there is a God and that He is one. And yet there are some who deny God, and some who acknowledge nature as god, and some who acknowledge more gods than one, and some who worship images as gods; which is possible because such have blocked up the interiors of their reason or understanding with worldly and corporeal things, thereby obliterating their first or childhood idea respecting God, and at the same time rejecting religion from their breasts and casting it behind their backs. Christians acknowledge one God; but in what manner is evident from their established creed, which is as follows:-

The Catholic faith is this: That we worship one God in trinity, and trinity in unity. There are three Divine persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and yet there are not three Gods, but there is one God. There is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit, and their divinity is one, their glory equal, and their majesty coeternal. Thus the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. But like as we are compelled by Christian verity to confess each person singly to be God and Lord, so we are forbidden by the Catholic religion to say there be three Gods or three Lords.

Such is the Christian faith respecting the unity of God. But that the trinity of God and the unity of God in that creed are inconsistent with each other will be shown in the chapter on the Divine trinity.

[2] The other nations in the world possessing a religion and sound reason agree in acknowledging that God is one; all the Mohammedans in their empires; the Africans in many kingdoms of that continent; the Asiatics in their many kingdoms; and finally the Jews to this day. Of the most ancient people in the golden age, such as had any religion worshiped one God, whom they called Jehovah. The same is true of the ancient people in the succeeding age, until monarchical governments were established, when worldly and afterwards corporeal loves began to close up the higher regions of the understanding, which previously had been open, and had been like temples and sacred recesses for the worship of one God. In order to reopen these and thus restore the worship of one God, the Lord God instituted a church among the posterity of Jacob, and made this the first of all the commandments of their religion:--

Thou shalt have no other gods before Me (Exod. 20:3).

[3] Moreover, the name Jehovah, which He at this time restored, signifies the supreme and only Being, the Source of everything that is or exists in the universe. Jove, a name derived possibly from Jehovah, was worshiped as a supreme god by the ancient heathen; and many other gods who composed his court they also clothed with divinity; while in the following age wise men, like Plato and Aristotle, confessed that these were not gods, but were so many properties, qualities, and attributes of the one God, being called gods because there was something Divine in each of them.

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

TCR 11. (4) Respecting what the one God is, nations and peoples have differed and still differ, from many causes. The first cause is that knowledge and consequent acknowledgment of God are not possible without revelation; nor are a knowledge of the Lord, and a consequent acknowledgment that "in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily" possible except from the Word, which is the crown of revelations; for it is by the revelation given to man that he is able to approach God and to receive influx, and thereby from being natural to become spiritual. The primeval revelation extended throughout the world; but it was perverted by the natural man in many ways, which was the origin of religious disputes, dissensions, heresies, and schisms. The second cause is that the natural man is not capable of any perception of God, but only of the world and adapting this to himself. Consequently it is among the canons of the Christian Church that the natural man is opposed to the spiritual, and that they contend against each other. This explains why those who have learned from the Word or other revelation that there is a God have differed and still differ respecting the nature and the unity of God.

[2] For this reason those whose mental sight depended on the bodily senses, but who nevertheless had a desire to see God, formed for themselves images of gold, silver, stone, and wood, under which as visible objects they might worship God; while others who discarded idols from their religion found for themselves representations of God in the sun and moon, in the stars, and in various objects on the earth. But those who thought themselves wiser than the common people, and yet remained natural, from the immensity and omnipresence of God in creating the world acknowledged nature as God, some of them nature in its inmosts, some in its outmosts; while others, that they might separate God from nature, conceived an idea of something most universal, which they called the Being of the universe (Ens universi); and because such have no further knowledge of God this Being becomes to them mere rational abstraction (ens rationis) which has no meaning.

[3] everyone can see that a man's knowledge of God is his mirror of God, and that those who know nothing about God do not see God in a mirror with its face toward them, but in a mirror with its back toward them; and as this is covered with quicksilver, or some dark paste, it does not reflect the image but extinguishes it. Faith in God enters into man through a prior way, which is from the soul into the higher parts of the understanding; while knowledges about God enter through a posterior way, because they are drawn from the revealed Word by the understanding, through the bodily senses; and these inflowings meet midway in the understanding; and there natural faith, which is merely persuasion, becomes spiritual, which is real acknowledgment. Thus the human understanding is like a refining vessel, in which this transmutation is effected.

TCR 12. (5) Human reason can, if it will, perceive and be convinced, from many things in the world, that there is a God, and that He is one. This truth may be confirmed by innumerable things in the visible world; for the universe is like a stage, upon which evidences that there is a God and that He is one are continually exhibited. To illustrate this I will cite this Memorable Relation from the spiritual world:-

Once while I was talking with angels, certain spirits that had recently arrived from the natural world were present. Seeing them, I bade them welcome, and told them many things they had not known before about the spiritual world.

After this I asked them what knowledge about God and about nature they had brought with them from the world.

"This," they said, "that nature is the operative power in all things that are done in the created universe; and that God, after creation, endowed nature with and impressed upon it that capability and power; and that God merely sustains and preserves that power lest it perish; consequently, all things that spring forth or are produced and reproduced upon the earth are now ascribed to nature."

But I replied that in nothing is nature of itself the operative power, but God through nature. And when they asked for proof I said, "Those who believe the Divine operation to be in every least thing of nature find in very many things they see in the world much more evidence in favor of a God than in favor of nature.

[2] For those who find evidences in favor of the Divine operation in every least thing of nature observe attentively the wonderful things that are seen in the production of plants and of animals. In the Production of Plants, they observe that from a little seed sown in the ground there goes forth a root, and from the root a stem, and successively branches, buds, leaves, flowers, and fruits, even to new seeds, just as if the seed knew the order of succession or development by which to renew itself. What rational person can imagine that the sun, which is pure fire, knows this, or that it can impart to its heat and light the power to produce such effects and to have such uses in view? Any man whose reason looks upward, when he sees these things and properly considers them, must needs conclude that they are from one whose wisdom is infinite, that is, from God. In this conclusion those who recognize a Divine operation in all the particulars of nature confirm themselves when they observe these things. On the other hand, those who do not recognize such an operation in nature behold these things with the eyes of their reason in the back of the head, and not in the front. These are such as derive all the ideas of their thought from the bodily senses, and confirm the fallacies of the senses, saying, `Do you not see the sun accomplishing all these things by means of its heat and light? Is that which you do not see of any account?'

[3] Those who confirm themselves in favor of the Divine carefully observe the wonderful things they see in the Production of Animals; as in regard to eggs (speaking first of these), the chick in its seminal state lies concealed in them with everything requisite for its formation, and also for its entire development after it is hatched until it becomes a bird in the form of the parent. Moreover, to any mind that thinks deeply, things which excite wonder are presented whenever winged creatures in general are observed; as that both the smallest and largest of them, both the invisible and the visible, that is, both minute insects and great birds and beasts, possess organs of sense, namely, sight, smell, taste, and touch; also organs of motion, which are muscles, for they fly and walk; also viscera connected with the heart and lungs which are moved by the brains. All these things are seen also by those who ascribe everything to nature; but such merely notice their existence, and claim that they are products of nature. This they claim because they have turned away their minds from all thoughts of the Divine; and those who have done this, when they behold the wonderful things in nature, are unable to think about them rationally, still less spiritually; but they think sensually and materially; thus they think in nature from nature, and not above nature; and such differ from beasts only in being endowed with rationality, that is, only in an ability to understand if they wish to.

[4] Those who have turned themselves away from all thought of a Divine, and have thereby become corporeal-sensual, never consider that the sight of the eye is so gross and material that it sees many small insects as a single obscure object; and yet each one of these is organized for sensation and motion, and is consequently endowed with fibers and vessels, with a minute heart and pulmonic tubes, with minute viscera and with brains; and these are composed of nature's purest elements, these textures corresponding to life in its lowest degree whereby their least parts are severally actuated. Considering the grossness of our bodily vision, to which many such insects, with the innumerable parts in each, appear as a single minute indistinct object, while yet it is from this vision that sensual men think and draw conclusions, it is evident how gross their minds must be, and in what darkness they must be respecting spiritual things.

[5] "Any man is able, if he will, to find evidences in favor of a Divine in the visible things of nature; and this he does whenever he thinks of God and of His omnipotence in the creation of the universe, and of His omnipresence in the preservation of it; as, for instance, when he sees that among the birds of heaven each species knows its own food and where to find it, recognizes its companions by sight and sound, and among other species knows which are friends and which enemies; that they know how to mate, to form marriages, construct their nests skillfully, place their eggs in them and hatch them, also the period of incubation; and when the young have been hatched they love them most tenderly, shelter them beneath their wings, feed and nourish them, and this until they are able to provide for themselves and to perform like offices. If anyone is willing to think about a Divine influx through the spiritual world into the natural he can see it in these creatures; and can also, if he will, say from his heart that the sun through its heat and light cannot be the source of such knowledge, for the sun from which nature has its rise and essence is pure fire, and consequently its effluent heat and light must be utterly dead; and thus he may reach the conclusion that these knowledges are from a Divine influx through the spiritual world into the outmosts of nature.

[6] "Any one can find evidences in favor of a Divine in the visible things of nature when he observes those worms which are moved by the joy of a peculiar love to aspire after a change of their earthly state into one somewhat analogous to a heavenly state. For this purpose they crawl into suitable places, enclose themselves in a covering, and thus place themselves in a womb from which to be born again; and there they become chrysalids, aureliae, nymphs, and finally butterflies; and having undergone this transformation and been decked with beautiful wings according to their species, they fly forth into the air as into their heaven, and there disport themselves merrily, marrying, laying eggs, and providing for themselves a posterity, meanwhile nourishing themselves with sweet and pleasant food from flowers. Who that sees evidences in favor of a Divine in the visible things of nature can help seeing in these as worms an image of man's earthly state, and in these as butterflies an image of his heavenly state? Those who have confirmed themselves in favor of nature behold the same things, but having rejected man's heavenly state from their thought they call them mere operations of nature.

[7] "Any one can find evidences in favor of a Divine in the visible things in nature when he gives thought to what is known of bees, their knowing how to collect wax from roses and blossoms, to suck out honey, to build cells like little houses, to arrange them like a city, with streets for going in and out; their smelling from a distance the flowers and herbs from which they collect wax for their houses and honey for food, being loaded with which they fly back straight to their hive. Thus they provide themselves with food for the coming winter as if they foresaw it. They also appoint a mistress over themselves as queen, and through her they propagate a posterity; and for her they build a sort of palace above themselves, and place guards around it. When the time for propagation arrives, accompanied by her guards, which are called drones, she goes from cell to cell, and lays her eggs, which her retinue seal up lest they be injured by the air. Thus a new generation is born; and when this generation has reached the proper age to be able to repeat the process it is expelled from the hive, and the new swarm, after gathering into a body to prevent separation, flies forth to find itself a home. About the time of autumn, as the drones have added nothing to the supply of wax or honey, they are led out and deprived of their wings to prevent their returning and consuming the food on which they had spent no labor. From this and other facts it can be seen that on account of the use they perform for the human race these insects receive by influx from the spiritual world a form of government similar to that which is formed among men on the earth, and even among the angels in the heavens.

[8] What man of sound reason does not see that the natural world cannot be the source of all this? What has the sun, from which nature springs, in common with a government which so vies with and closely resembles heavenly government? From these and like facts exhibited among animals, one who acknowledges and worships nature confirms himself in favor of nature; while he who acknowledges and worships God confirms himself from the same facts in favor of God; for the spiritual man sees in them spiritual things, and the natural man sees in them natural things, thus each in accord with his character. For my own part, such things have been to me evidences that from God there is an influx of the spiritual world into the natural. Consider, moreover, whether you are able to think analytically of any form of government, of any civil law, or any moral virtue, or any spiritual truth, except on the supposition that there is an inflow of the Divine from its own wisdom through the spiritual world. As to myself, I am not able to do so, and never have been. I have now for twenty-six years continually observed that influx perceptibly and sensibly; I therefore speak from what I know.

[9] "Can nature pursue use as an end, and arrange uses in order and in forms? Only a wise being is able to do this; and God alone, whose wisdom is infinite, is able so to order and form the universe. Who else can foresee and provide food and clothing for man-food from the products of the field, from the fruits of the earth, and from animals; and clothing from the same sources? It is among these marvelous facts that those petty worms called silkworms clothe with silk and magnificently adorn both women and men, from queens and kings even to maidservants and menservants; and that a petty insect like the bee supplies the wax for the tapers that make temples and palaces brilliant. All these and more are conclusive proofs that God from Himself through the spiritual world operates all things that take place in nature.

[10] "To all this let me add the fact that I have seen in the spiritual world those who from things visible in the natural world had confirmed themselves in favor of nature until they had become atheists; and that in spiritual light the understanding of such appeared to be open below, but closed above, for the reason that in their thought they had looked down toward the earth, and not up toward heaven. Above their sensual faculties, which form the lowest part of the understanding, a kind of covering flashing with infernal fire was seen, in some cases like soot, and in others livid like a corpse. Let everyone therefore beware of these confirmations in favor of nature; and let him confirm himself in favor of God; there is no lack of means."

TCR 13. (6) If God were not one, the universe could not have been created and preserved. The unity of God may be inferred from the creation of the universe, because the universe is a work coherent as a unit from things first to things last, and dependent upon one God as a body upon its soul. The universe was so created that God might be omnipresent, and hold each and all of its parts under His direction, and keep its parts together as one body perpetually, which is to preserve it. Moreover, because of this Jehovah God declares:--

That He is the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and Omega (Isa. 44:6; Rev. 1:8, 17).

And elsewhere:--

That He maketh all things, spreadeth forth the heavens above, and stretcheth forth the earth by Himself (Isa. 44:24).

This vast system which is called the universe is a work coherent as a unit from things first to things last, because in creating it God had a single end in view, which was an angelic heaven from the human race; and all things of which the world consists are means to that end; since he who seeks an end seeks also the means.

[2] Consequently, whoever regards the world as a work containing means to that end is able to look upon the created universe as a work coherent as a unit, and to see that the world is a complex of uses, existing in a successive order, looking to the human race (from which is the angelic heaven) as its end. The Divine love can be intent upon no other end than the eternal blessedness of men, having its source in the Divine; and its Divine wisdom can bring forth nothing but uses that are means to that end. Surveying the world from this most general idea, every wise man can comprehend that the Creator of the universe is a One, and that His essence is love and wisdom; consequently there can not be in it the smallest particular in which there does not lie hidden some use, more or less remote, for man-food from the fruits of the earth and from animals, and clothing from the same sources.

[3] How wonderful it is that the insignificant silkworm should clothe with silk and magnificently adorn both women and men, from queens and kings to maidservants and menservants; and that a petty insect like the bee should supply wax for the tapers which make temples and palaces brilliant. Those who study in minute detail a few things in the world, and not all things in their most general relations, including ends, mediate cases, and effects, and who, furthermore, do not deduce creation from Divine love through the Divine wisdom, are unable to see that the universe is the workmanship of one God, and that He dwells in every particular use because He dwells in the end. For in every case one who is in an end must be in the means also, since the end is inmostly in all the means, actuating and directing them.

[4] Those who do not regard the universe as the workmanship of God and the dwelling-place of His love and wisdom, but as the workmanship of nature and the dwelling-place of the sun's heat and light, close the higher regions of their mind against God, and open its lower regions for the devil, and consequently put off their human nature and put on a bestial nature, and not only think themselves to be like the beasts but actually become so. For they become foxes in cunning, wolves in fierceness, panthers in treachery, tigers in cruelty, and crocodiles, serpents, owls, and other birds of night, in the several characteristics of these. Moreover, in the spiritual world those who are such do at a distance actually appear like these wild beasts. Thus does their love of evil portray itself.

TCR 14. (7) Whoever does not acknowledge a God is excommunicated from the church and condemned. Whoever does not acknowledge a God is excommunicated from the church, because God is the all of the church; and Divine things which are called theological are what constitute the church; consequently a denial of God is a denial of all things pertaining to the church; and this denial is what excommunicates the man; thus he is excommunicated not by God, but by himself. And he stands condemned because he who is excommunicated from the church is also excommunicated from heaven; since the church on earth and the angelic heaven make one, like the internal and the external or the spiritual and the natural in man; and man was so created by God that in respect to his internal he might be in the spiritual world and in respect to his external in the natural world; consequently he was created a native of both worlds, in order that the spiritual which belongs to heaven might be implanted in the natural, which belongs to the world, just as seed is planted in the ground; and that man might thus become fixed and endure to eternity.

[2] The man who has excommunicated himself from the church and thus from heaven by a denial of God has closed up in himself his internal man in respect to his will and its genial love; for man's will is the receptacle of his love, and becomes its dwelling-place. But he cannot close up his internal man in respect to its understanding, for if he could and did he would be man no longer. Nevertheless, his will's love infatuates with falsities the higher faculties of the understanding; and in consequence the understanding becomes closed to the truths pertaining to faith and the goods pertaining to charity; thus more and more against God, and also against the spiritual things of the church. Thus man is shut out from communion with the angels of heaven, and when so shut out he enters into communion with the satans of hell, and thinks as they think; and all satans deny God, and think foolishly about God and the spiritual things of the church; and in the same way does the man think who is conjoined with them.

[3] When such a man is in his spirit, as he is when left privately to himself, he suffers his thoughts to be led by the delights of evil and falsity which he has conceived and brought forth in himself; and he then thinks that God has no existence, but is merely a word uttered from the pulpit to hold the common people in obedience to the laws of justice, which are, the laws of society. He also thinks the Word, from which ministers proclaim a God, to be a mass of visionary tales, which have been made holy by authority, and the Decalogue or catechism to be merely a little book to be thrown aside when it has been well worn by the hands of little boys, since it teaches that parents ought to be honored, forbids murder, adultery, theft, and false witness; and who does not learn the same things from civil law? He thinks of the church as an assembly of simple, credulous, and weak-minded people, who see what they see not. He thinks of man, and of himself as a man, as being like a beast, and of life after death as of the life of a beast after death.

[4] Thus does his internal man think, however differently his external man may speak. For, as just said, every man has an internal and an external; and it is the internal that makes the man, that is, the spirit, which is what lives after death; while the external, in which by a semblance of morality he plays the hypocrite, is laid in the grave; and on account of his denial of God the man then stands condemned. In respect to his spirit every man is associated in the spiritual world with his like, and becomes as one of them. It has frequently been granted me to see there in societies the spirits of men still living, some in angelic and some in infernal societies,-and also to converse with them for days; and I have wondered how the man himself while still living in the body could be wholly ignorant of this. Thus was it made clear that he who denies God is even now among the damned, and that after death he is gathered to his own.

TCR 15. (8) With men who acknowledge several Gods instead of one there is no coherence in the things relating to the church. He who in his belief acknowledges and in his heart worships one God is both in the communion of the saints on earth and in the communion of the angels in heaven. These are called "communions," and are communions, because such are in the one God and the one God is in them. Moreover, they are in conjunction with the entire angelic heaven, and, I might venture to say, with all and each of its inhabitants, for they are all like the children and descendants of one father, whose dispositions, manners, and features are similar, whereby they recognize each other. The angelic heaven is harmoniously arranged in societies in accordance with all the varieties of the love of good, and these varieties center in one universal love, which is love to God; from which love all are born who in belief acknowledge and in heart worship the one God, who is both the Creator of the universe and the Redeemer and Regenerator.

[2] But it is a wholly different matter with those who approach and worship several gods instead of one, and with those who talk of one and think of three, as do those in the church at this day who divide God into three persons, and declare that each person by himself is God, and attribute to each one special qualities or properties that do not belong to the others. From this arises a disintegration not only of the unity of God but of theology itself, and still further of human thought, to which theology belongs. And what can follow from this but perplexity and incoherency in things of the church? That such is the state of the church at this day will be shown in the Appendix to this work. The truth is that the division of God, or of the Divine essence, into three persons, each one of whom by Himself or singly is God, induces a denial of God. It is as if a man should enter a temple to worship, and see painted on a tablet over the altar one God as the Ancient of days, another as the great High Priest, and the third as a flying Aeolus, with the inscription: "These three are one God;" or like seeing there the unity and trinity depicted as a man with three heads on one body, of three bodies under one head, which would be monstrosities. If anyone should enter heaven with such an idea he would certainly be cast out headlong, even if he should declare that the head or heads mean the essence, and the body or bodies its different properties.

TCR 16. To this I will add the following Memorable Relation:-I saw some who had recently come from the natural world into the spiritual world talking together about three Divine persons from eternity. They were dignitaries of the church, and one of them was a bishop.

They came up to me; and after some talk about the spiritual world, respecting which they had before known nothing, I said, "I heard you speaking of three Divine persons from eternity; I beseech you to disclose to me this great mystery according to the conception you had formed of it in the natural world from which you have lately come."

Then the bishop, looking at me, said, "I see that you are a layman, therefore I will set forth my ideas on this great mystery, and will instruct you. My conception of the matter was, and still is, that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit sit in the center of heaven upon magnificent and lofty seats or thrones-God the Father on a throne of pure gold, with a scepter in His hand; God the Son at His right hand on a throne of the purest silver, with a crown on His head; and God the Holy Spirit near them, on a throne of dazzling crystal, holding a dove in His hand; and that round about them in triple order are hanging lamps glittering with precious stones; while at a distance from this circle stand innumerable angels, all worshiping and singing praises; and furthermore, that God the Father is continually talking with His Son about those who are to be justified, and they together judge and determine who on earth are worthy to be received by them among the angels, and crowned with eternal life; while God the Holy Spirit, on hearing the names of such, hastens to them throughout the earth, carrying with Him gifts of righteousness as so many tokens of salvation for the justified; and the instant He approaches and breathes upon them He disperses their sins, as a ventilator drives the smoke from a furnace and makes it white. He also takes away the stony hardness of their hearts, and imparts the tenderness of flesh, and at the same time renews their spirits or minds, and regenerates them, giving them infantile faces; and finally He seals them in the forehead with the sign of the cross, and calls them `the elect' and `sons of God.'" Having finished this speech the bishop said, "Thus did I in the world elucidate this great mystery; and as most of our order there applauded my utterances, I am persuaded that you also, who are a layman, will assent to them."

[2] When the bishop had ceased speaking I looked at him, and also at the dignitaries with him, and I noticed that they all gave full assent to what he had said. I therefore began to reply, and said, "I have given close attention to the statement of your belief, and from it I gather that you have conceived and cherish an idea of the triune God that is wholly natural, sensual, and even material, and that there inevitably follows from it the idea of three Gods. Is it not thinking sensually of God the Father to conceive of Him as seated on a throne with a scepter in His hand; and of the Son on His throne with a crown on His head; and of the Holy Spirit on His with a dove in His hand, and as hastening over the world in accordance with what He hears? And as such an idea results from your statements, I cannot assent to them; for from my childhood I have not been able to admit into my mind any other idea than that of one God; and since I have accepted and hold no other idea, all that you have said has no weight with me. I also saw that `the throne' on which Jehovah is said in Scripture to sit means His kingdom, the `scepter' and `crown,' government and dominion; the sitting at the right hand,' God's omnipotence through His Humanity; also that by what is attributed to the Holy Spirit the operations of the Divine omnipresence are meant. Assume, sir, if you please, the idea of one God, and rightly dwell upon that in your reasonings, and you will at length clearly apprehend that this is so.

[3] Furthermore, you admit that God is one, in that you make the essence of these three persons one and indivisible; while yet you do not allow anyone to say that this one God is one person, but he must say that there are three persons; and this you do lest the idea of three Gods, such as you entertain, should be lost; also you ascribe to each person a property different from those of the others. In all this do you not divide your Divine essence? And this being so, how can you say and also think that God is one? I could excuse you if you had said that the Divine is one. How can anyone on hearing that `The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, and singly each person is God,' possibly think of God as one? Is it not a contradiction, to which assent is utterly impossible? That they cannot be said to be one God, but only to have a like Divinity, may be thus illustrated. A number of men forming one senate, assembly, or council, cannot be called one man; although when each and all have the same opinion they may be said to be one in thought. Neither can three diamonds of the same substance be called one diamond; although they may be called one in substance. Moreover, each diamond would differ from the others in value according to its weight, which would not be true if they were one instead of three.

[4] But I perceive the reason why three persons, each one of whom is by Himself singly God, are called by you one God, and why you enjoin upon everyone in the church so to speak, namely, because all sound and enlightened reason in the world acknowledges God to be one, and in consequence you would be covered with shame if you too did not speak in like manner. And yet when you utter the words `one God' while in your thoughts there are three, that shame does not prevent your giving utterance to both of these ideas."

After this conversation the bishop with his clerical companions withdrew, and as he departed he turned and tried to say, "There is one God;" but he could not say it, because this thought restrained his tongue, and with open mouth he gasped out, "Three Gods!" At this strange sight the bystanders laughed derisively and departed.

TCR 17. Afterwards I asked where I could find thee of the learned with the keenest minds who stood for a Divine trinity divided into three persons. Three of these presented themselves; and I said to them, "How can you divide the Divine trinity into three persons, and assert that each person, by Himself or singly, is God and Lord? Is not a confession of the mouth that God is one thus made as remote from the thought as the south from the north?"

To this they replied, " It is not at all remote, since the three persons possess one essence, and the Divine essence is God. In the world we were guardians of a trinity of persons, and the ward under our charge was our faith; in that faith each Divine person had his office-God the Father to impute and bestow, God the Son to intercede and mediate, and God the Holy Spirit to carry out the work of imputation and mediation."

[2] But I asked, "What do you mean by the `Divine essence?`"

They said, "We mean omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, immensity, eternity, and equality of majesty."

I replied, "If that essence makes one God of several you might add more yet, for example: a fourth, mentioned by Moses, Ezekiel, and Job, under the name of `God Schaddai.' Something of this kind was done in Greece and Italy by the ancients, who ascribed equal attributes and a like essence to their gods, for example, to Saturn, Jove, Neptune, Pluto, Apollo, Juno, Diana, Minerva, and even Mercury and Venus; although they could not say that all these were one God. Moreover, yourselves, who are three persons, and as I apprehend alike in learning and therefore in that respect of a similar essence, are not able to combine yourselves into one learned man."

They laughed at this, and said, "You are joking. With the Divine essence it is different: it is not tripartite, but one; not divisible, but indivisible; partition and division do not apply to it."

[3] Hearing this I said, "Let us come down to this ground and discuss the matter." And I asked, "What do you mean by a `person?' and what does the term signify?"

They said, "The term `person' signifies that which has no part or quality in another, but subsists by itself. Thus do all the heads of the church define it, and we agree with them."

I said, "Is this the definition of `person'?"

They replied, "It is."

To this I answered, "There is then no part of the Father in the Son, or of either in the Holy Spirit. From this it follows that each is at His own disposal, and possesses His own rights and powers, and therefore there is nothing that joins them together except the will, which is proper to each, and thus communicable at pleasure. Does not this make the three persons three distinct Gods? Listen again: You have also defined `person' as that which subsists by itself; consequently there are three substances into which you divide the Divine essence; and yet you say that this is incapable of division, since it is one and indivisible. Furthermore, to each substance, that is, to each person, you attribute properties that do not exist in the others, and even cannot be communicated to the others, namely, imputation, mediation, and operation. What can follow from this except that the three `persons' are three Gods?"

At these remarks they withdrew, saying, "We will canvass these statements and then answer you."

[4] There was present a wise man who, hearing the arguments, said, "I do not care to view this lofty subject through such fine network; but apart from these subtleties I see clearly that in your thought you have the idea of three Gods; but as you would incur disrepute by publishing this idea openly to all the world (for if you did so you would be called madmen and fools), it is expedient for you, in order to avoid that ignominy, to confess with your lips one God."

But the three, tenacious of their opinions, paid no attention to this; and as they went away they muttered some terms culled from metaphysical lore: from which I saw that metaphysics was their tripod from which they wished to give responses.


TCR 18. Let us first consider the Divine Esse, and afterwards the Divine essence. In appearance the two are one and the same; but esse is more universal than essence; for essence implies esse, and is derived from esse. The Esse of God (or the Divine Esse) it is impossible to define, because it transcends every idea of human thought, since this can take in only what is created and finite, and not what is uncreate and infinite, and therefore not the Divine Esse. The Divine Esse is Esse itself, from which all things are, and which must be in all things in order that they may have being. A fuller conception of the Divine Esse may be gained by the following propositions:-

1. The one God is called Jehovah from Esse, that is because He alone Is, Was, and Is To Be, and because He is the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and the Omega.

2. The one God is Substance itself and Form itself, and angels and men are substances and forms from Him, and so far as they are in Him and He is in them are images and likenesses of Him.

3. The Divine Esse is at once Esse (Being) in itself and Existere (Manifestation) in itself.

4. It is impossible for the Divine Esse and Existere in itself to produce another Divine which is Esse and Existere in itself; therefore another God of the same Essence is impossible.

5. The doctrine of a plurality of gods, both in past ages and at the present day, sprang solely from a failure to understand the Divine Esse.

But these propositions must be elucidated one by one.

TCR 19. (1) The one God is called Jehovah from Esse, that is, because He alone Is, Was, and Is To Be, and because He is the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and the Omega. It is known that "Jehovah" signifies I Am and To Be (Esse); and that God has been so called from the most ancient times is clear from the Book of Creation, or Genesis, where in the first chapter He is called "God," and in the second and subsequent chapters "Jehovah God," and afterwards, when the children of Abraham through Jacob, during their long sojourn in Egypt, forgot the name of God, it was recalled to their remembrance; of which as follows:--

Moses said unto God, What is Thy name? God said unto Moses, I am who I AM, thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent Me unto you; and thou shalt say, Jehovah God of your fathers hath sent Me unto you: this is My name to eternity, and this is My memorial from generation to generation (Exod. 3:13-15).

Since God alone is the I Am and Esse, or Jehovah, nothing can exist in the created universe that does not derive its esse from Him; but how will be seen below. The words:--

I am the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and the Omega (Isa. 44:6; Rev. 1:8, 11; 22:13),

have the same meaning, signifying, Who is the Itself and the Only from things first to things last, the source of all things.

[2] God is called "the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End," because Alpha is the first letter in the Greek alphabet and Omega the last; and therefore the two signify all things in the complex. This is because each letter in the alphabet in the spiritual world signifies a thing. And as the vowels furnish the tone, they signify something belonging to affection or love. This is the origin both of spiritual or angelic speech and of writing there. But it is an arcanum hitherto unknown; for there is a universal language which is the language of all angels and spirits, and which has nothing in common with any language of men in the world; into this language everyone comes after death, for it is inherent in every man from his creation; consequently in the spiritual world everyone can understand every other. I have frequently been permitted to hear that language; and I have compared it with languages in the world, and have found that in no respect whatever does it agree with any natural language on earth. It differs from them in its initial element, which is that each letter in each word has its special meaning. It is for this reason that God is called Alpha and Omega, which means that He is the Itself and the Only from things first to things last, the source of all things. But regarding this speech and form of writing, which flows from the spiritual thought of the angels, see the work on Conjugial Love (CL n. 326-329); also in the following pages.

TCR 20. (2) This One God is Substance itself and Form itself and angels and men are substances and forms from Him, and so far as they are in Him and He in them are images and likenesses of Him. As God is Esse He is also Substance; for unless Esse is substance it is a figment of the reason; for substance has subsistent being. Moreover, one who is a substance is also a form; for unless a substance is a form it is a figment of the reason. Wherefore both substance and form may be predicated of God, but in the sense that He is the only, the very, and the primal Substance and Form. That this Form is the verily Human Form, that is, that God is verily Man, infinite in every respect, has been shown in Angelic Wisdom concerning the Divine Love and Divine Wisdom; where it is also shown that angels and men are substances and forms created and organized for receiving what is Divine flowing into them through heaven. For this reason they are called in the Book of Creation "images and likenesses of God" (Gen. 1:26, 27); and elsewhere "His sons," and "born of Him." In the course of this work it will be fully shown that so far as man lives under Divine direction, that is, suffers himself to be led by God, so far he becomes an image of God more and more interiorly. Unless an idea is formed of God as the primal Substance and Form, and of His Form as the verily Human Form, the human mind may easily involve itself in spectral fancies about God Himself, the origin of man, and the creation of the world. It would then have no other conception of God than as the nature of the universe in its first principles, that is, as its expanse, or else as emptiness or nothingness; nor any other conception of man's origin than as a flowing together of elements into that form by mere chance; nor of the creation of the world than that its substances and forms originated in points, and afterwards in geometrical lines, which are essentially nothing, because nothing can be predicated of them. In such minds everything belonging to the church is like the Styx or like Tartarean darkness.

TCR 21. (3) The Divine Esse is at once Esse (Being) in itself and Existere (Manifestation) in itself. Jehovah God is Esse in itself, because He is the I Am, the Only, and the First, from eternity to eternity, the source of everything that is, without whom it could not be. In this way and not otherwise He is the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last, the Alpha and Omega. It cannot be said that His Esse is from Itself, because the expression from itself implies something prior, and therefore time; and time is not applicable to the Infinite, which is called infinite from eternity; it also implies another God who is God in Himself, thus it implies God from God, or that God formed Himself; in which case He would neither be uncreate nor infinite, for He would thus have made Himself finite, either from Himself or from another. From the fact that God is Esse in itself it follows that He is Love in itself, Wisdom in itself, and Life in itself, and that He is the Itself, the source of all things, to which each thing must have relation in order to be anything. That God is God because He is Life in itself is evident from the Lord's words in (John 5:26); and in Isaiah:--

I am Jehovah that maketh all things; that spreadeth forth the heavens alone; that stretcheth forth the earth by Myself (Isaiah 44:24);

and that He alone is God, and beside Him there is no God (Isa. 45:14, 15, 21, 22; Hos. 13:4).

God is not only Esse (Being) in itself, but also Existere (Manifestation) in itself, because Esse without Existere is nothing, equally so Existere unless it is from Esse; therefore where the one is the other must needs be. The same is true of substance and form. Unless a substance is also a form nothing can be predicated of it, and for the reason that having no quality it is in itself nothing. The terms esse and existere are here used, and not essence and existence, because a distinction must be made between esse and essence, and between existere and existence, like that between the prior and the posterior, the prior being more universal than the posterior. To the Divine Esse infinity and eternity are applicable; while to the Divine Essence and Existence, Divine love and wisdom are applicable, and through these two omnipotence and omnipresence, which will be considered in their order.

TCR 22. That God is the Itself, the Only, and the First, which is called Esse and Existere in Itself, the source of all that has being and existence, the natural man is wholly unable to discover by his own reason; for by his own reason the natural man can apprehend only what belongs to nature, since that agrees with the essential nature of his reason, because from his infancy and childhood nothing else had entered into his reason. But because man was so created as to be spiritual as well as natural, since he is to continue to live after death, and then to live among those who are spiritual in their world, God has provided the Word, in which He has revealed not only Himself but also that there is a heaven and a hell, and that in one or the other of these every man is to live to eternity, in accordance both with his life and his faith. Moreover, God has revealed in the Word that He is the I Am or Esse and the Itself and Only, which in itself Is, and thus the First or Beginning, the source of all things.

[2] By this revelation the natural man is enabled to raise himself above nature, thus above himself, and to see such things as pertain to God, yet only as if at a distance, although God is nigh to every man, for in His essence He is in man; and being in man He is very nigh to those who love Him; and those love Him who live according to His commandments and believe in Him; these as it were see Him. What is faith but to see spiritually that God is? And what is a life according to His commandments but an acknowledgment in act that from Him are salvation and eternal life? But those whose faith is not spiritual but natural, which is mere knowledge, and whose life is therefore natural, do indeed see God, but from afar off, and this only when they speak of Him. The difference between these two classes is like the difference between those who stand in a clear light and see men near by and touch them, and those who stand in a thick mist in which they are unable to distinguish between men and trees or stones.

[3] Or it is like the difference between men on a high mountain on which there is a city, who are going about there having intercourse with their fellow-townsmen, and men looking down from the top of that mountain who are unable to tell whether the objects they see below are people, beasts, or statues. Or it is like the difference between men standing upon some planet and seeing those about them, and men on another planet looking at these through telescopes, and saying that they see people there, when in fact they see nothing but a most general outline of the land as lunar brightness, and the watery parts as spots. Such is the difference in seeing God and the Divine things in the mind that go forth from Him, between those who are both in faith and in a life of charity, and those who merely know about faith and charity; and such consequently is the difference between natural and spiritual men. But those who deny the Divine holiness of the Word, and yet carry their religion about as in a sack upon the back, do not see God at all, but only utter the word "God," almost like parrots.

TCR 23. (4) It is impossible for the Divine Esse and Existere in itself to produce another Divine which is Esse and Existere in itself; therefore another God of the same Essence is impossible. It has been shown already that the one God who is the Creator of the universe, is Esse and Existere in itself, that is, God in Himself; and from this it follows that God from God is impossible, because in such a being the verily essential Divine, which is Esse and Existere in itself, is impossible. It is the same whether you say "begotten of God" or "proceeding from God;" it means, in either case, produced by God, and this differs but little from being created. Therefore, to introduce into the church a belief in three Divine persons each of whom singly is God, and of the same essence, one of them born from eternity, and a third proceeding from eternity, is to destroy utterly the idea of God's unity, and with it every idea of Divinity, and so cause all the spirituality of reason to be driven into exile. Then man is man no longer; but is so wholly natural as to differ from a beast only in the power of speech, and is opposed to all the spiritual things of the church, for these the natural man calls foolishness. This is the source and only source from which have sprung the monstrous heresies concerning God; and thus the division of the Divine trinity into persons has introduced into the church not night alone but death as well.

[2] That the identity of three Divine Essences is an offense to reason was made evident to me by angels, who said that they could not even utter the words "three equal divinities; and that if anyone should come into their presence wishing to utter these words he could not but turn himself away; and after uttering them he would become like the trunk of a man, and would be hurled downward; and would afterwards betake himself to those in hell who do not acknowledge any God. The truth is that to implant in the mind of a child or youth the idea of three Divine persons, to which inevitably the idea of three Gods clings, is to deprive it of all spiritual milk, and then of all spiritual food, and finally of all ability to reason spiritually, and to bring spiritual death upon those who confirm themselves in that idea. The difference between those who in faith and heart worship one God as the Creator of the universe, and those who worship Him as both the Redeemer and the Regenerator, is like the difference between the city of Zion in the time of David and the city of Jerusalem in the time of Solomon after the temple had been built; while a church that believes in three persons and in each as a distinct God, is like the city of Zion and Jerusalem after it had been overthrown by Vespasian and the temple burned. Furthermore, the man who worships one God in whom is a Divine trinity, and who is thus one Person, becomes more and more a living and angelic man; while he who confirms himself in a belief in a plurality of Gods from believing in a plurality of persons, gradually becomes like a statue with movable joints, within which Satan stands and speaks through its artificial mouth.

TCR 24. (5) The doctrine of a plurality of gods, both in past ages and at the present day, has sprung solely from a failure to understand the Divine Esse. It has been shown above (n. 8) that the unity of God is inmostly inscribed on the mind of every man, since it lies at the center of all that flows from God into the soul of man; and yet it has not descended therefrom into the human understanding, for the reason that the knowledges by which man must ascend to meet God have been lacking. For everyone must prepare the way for God, that is, must prepare himself for reception; and this is done by means of knowledges. The knowledges that have been lacking, and that enable the understanding to penetrate far enough to see that God is one, and that not more than one Divine Esse is possible, and that from Him is everything in nature, are as follows:-

1. Heretofore no one has known anything about the spiritual world, the abode of spirits and angels, which every man enters after death.

2. It is equally unknown that there is in that world a sun, which is pure love from Jehovah God, who is in the midst of it.

3. That from this sun a heat goes forth, which in its essence is love, and a light which in its essence is wisdom.

4. That in consequence all things in that world are spiritual, and affect the internal man, and constitute his will and understanding.

5. That Jehovah God from His sun has produced not only the spiritual world and all the spiritual things in it, which are innumerable and substantial, but also the natural world and all the natural things in it, which also are innumerable but are material.

6. Hitherto no one has known what the distinction is between the spiritual and the natural, nor even what the spiritual is in its essence.

7. Nor has anyone known that there are three degrees of love and wisdom, in accordance with which the angelic heavens are arranged.

8. Nor that the human mind is divided into that number of degrees, to the end that it may be raised after death into one of the three heavens, which takes place in accordance both with its life and its faith.

9. Finally, that not the least particle of any of these things could have had existence except from a Divine Esse which in itself is the Itself, and thus the First and the Beginning, the source of all things.

Hitherto these knowledges have been lacking; and yet these are the means through which a man may rise to a knowledge of the Divine Esse.

[2] It is said that the man rises; but the meaning is that he is raised up by God. For in acquiring knowledges for himself man exercises his freedom of choice; but as he acquires for himself knowledges from the Word by means of his understanding he prepares the way by which God comes down and raises him up. The knowledges by means of which the human understanding rises, God holding it in His hand and leading it, may be likened to the steps of the ladder seen by Jacob, which was set upon the earth with the top of it reaching to heaven, by which the angels ascended while Jehovah stood above it (Gen. 28:12, 13). It is wholly different when these knowledges are lacking, or when man despises them. In that case the elevation of the understanding might be likened to a ladder reaching from the ground to the windows in the first story of a magnificent palace which is a dwelling-place of men, and not to the windows of the second story which is a dwelling-place of spirits, and still less to the windows of the third story which is a dwelling-place of angels. The result of this is that man remains in the atmospheres and material things of nature only, and confines his eyes and ears and nostrils to these, and from these he derives no other ideas of heaven and of the Esse and Essence of God than such as pertain to the atmospheres and to matter. Thinking from such ideas man can form no conclusions about God, as to whether He is or is not, or whether He is one or many; still less what He is in respect to His Esse and Essence. This is the origin of the belief in the plurality of gods, both in past ages and at the present day.

TCR 25. To this I will add the following Memorable Relation;-

On one occasion, awaking from sleep I fell into a profound meditation about God; and looking up I saw above me in heaven an exceedingly bright light of oval form; and as I fixed my gaze upon it the light withdrew to the sides and formed a circle; and then, behold, heaven opened to me, and I saw magnificent scenes, and angels standing in a circle on the southern side of the opening talking together. As I greatly wished to hear what they were saying, I was permitted first to hear the sound of their voices, which was full of heavenly love, and afterwards what they said, which was full of wisdom from that love.

They were talking together about the One God, and conjunction with Him, and salvation thereby. They uttered things ineffable, most of which could not possibly be expressed in any natural language. But at different times I had been in company with the angels in heaven itself, and at such times had been in a state like theirs and in a similar language, and consequently I was now able to understand them, and select from what they said some things that can be rationally expressed in the words of natural language.

[2] They said that the Divine Esse is One, the Same, the Itself, and Indivisible. This they illustrated by spiritual ideas, saying that the Divine Esse could not separate itself into several, each of them possessing the Divine Esse, and still itself be One, the Same, and Indivisible; since each one from His own Esse would then think from Himself and by Himself separately; and even if the Divine Esse could so separate itself, and all should think unanimously, each from the others, there would still be several unanimous Gods, and not one God. For unanimity, which means the agreement of several, each for himself and by himself, is not consistent with the unity, but only with the plurality of God. The angels did not say "of Gods," because they could not; for such an expression would be strenuously resisted by the light of heaven, which is the source of their thought, and by the aura in which their words are conveyed.

They said furthermore, that when they wished to utter the word "Gods," meaning each one a person by himself, the effort to utter it fell at once into the expression "one God," and even "one only God." To this they added that the Divine Esse is Divine Esse in itself, not from itself; because the expression "from itself" implies esse in itself from another and prior Esse; and this implies a God from God, which is impossible. That which is from God is not called God, but is called Divine; for what is a God from God? Thus what is a God born from God from eternity? And is a God going forth from God through a God born from eternity anything else than words in which there is no light from heaven?

[3] They said still further, that the Divine Esse, which is in itself God, is the Same; not the Same simply, but infinitely, that is, the Same from eternity to eternity; the Same every where and the Same with everyone and in everyone; and that all variableness and change are in the recipient, caused by the state of the recipient.

That the Divine Esse which is God in Himself is the Itself, they illustrated thus:-God is the Itself because He is love itself and wisdom itself, that is, He is good itself and truth itself, and therefore life itself. Unless these in God were love and wisdom itself and were good and truth itself and therefore life itself, they would not be anything in heaven and in the world, because there would be nothing in them related to the Itself. Every quality is what it is from the fact that there is an Itself in which it originates, and to which it must be related in order to be what it is. This Itself, which is the Divine Esse, is not in place; but it is present with and in those who are in place in accordance with their reception of it, since place, or progress from place to place, cannot be predicated of love and wisdom nor of good and truth, nor of life therefrom, which are Itself in God, and are even God Himself. On this rests His omnipotence. So the Lord says that He is in the midst of them, and that He is in them and they in Him.

[4] But as He can be received by no one as He is in Himself, what He is in His essence is made manifest as a sun above the angelic heavens, and what goes forth from that sun as light is Himself in respect to wisdom, and what goes forth as heat is Himself in respect to love. That sun is not God Himself; but the Divine love and Divine wisdom as they most nearly proceed from Him, all about Him are seen by the angels as a sun. He Himself within the sun is a Man. He is our Lord Jesus Christ, in regard both to the Divine from which (He is) and to the Divine Human, because the Itself which is love itself and wisdom itself was His soul from the Father, that is, the Divine life, or life in itself. It is not thus in any man. In man the soul is not life, but is a recipient of life. This the Lord teaches, saying:--

I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6).

And again:--

As the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself (John 5:26);

"life in Himself" meaning God.

To this they added, that those who are in any spiritual light are able to perceive from these statements that the Divine Esse, because it is One, the Same, the Itself, and Indivisible, cannot exist in several; and if the opposite is asserted manifest contradictions must result.

TCR 26. When I had heard this the angels perceived in my thought those ideas of God that prevail in the Christian Church respecting a trinity of persons in unity and a unity of persons in a trinity; also respecting a birth of the Son of God from eternity; and they said, "What is your thought? Are you not thinking from natural light, which is not in accord with our spiritual light? Unless, therefore, you dismiss these ideas we must shut up heaven against you and depart."

But I said," Enter, I pray you, more deeply into my thought, and you will see, perhaps, that there is an agreement between us." This they did; and they saw that by three persons I understood three Divine attributes going forth, Creation, Redemption, and Regeneration, and that these are attributes of one God; also that by the birth of the Son of God from eternity I understood His birth foreseen from eternity and provided in time; also that to think of the Son born of God from eternity would, to me, be not above nature and reason but contrary to nature and reason; while to think of the Son born of God in time through the virgin Mary as the only Son of God, and the only-begotten, is very different; and to believe otherwise than this would be a monstrous error. I then told them that the source of my natural thought about a trinity and unity of persons, and the birth of a Son of God from eternity, was the doctrine of faith in the church which has its name from Athanasius.

Then the angels said, "Very well," and asked me to say from them that only those who approach the very God of heaven and earth can enter heaven, because heaven is heaven from that only God, and that this God is Jesus Christ, who is the Lord Jehovah, from eternity the Creator, in time the Redeemer, and to eternity the Regenerator, thus who is at once Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; and this, they said, is the gospel to be preached.

After this the heavenly light which had been seen before over the opening returned, and gradually descended and filled the interiors of my mind, and enlightened my ideas on the trinity and unity of God; and the ideas which I had first formed on these subjects, and which had been merely natural, I then saw separated as chaff is separated from wheat by winnowing, and carried away as by a wind to the north of heaven, and scattered


TCR 27. There are two properties of the natural world which cause all things of it to be finite; one is space, and the other time. And as the natural world was created by God, and space and time were created together with it and render it finite, it is necessary to treat of the two origins of these properties, namely, Immensity and Eternity; for the immensity of God relates to spaces and His eternity to times; while both immensity and eternity are included in Infinity. But because the infinite transcends the finite, and because a knowledge of the infinite transcends the finite mind, to render it in some measure conceivable it shall be carefully considered in the following order:-

1. God is Infinite because He is Being and Existence in Himself, and because all things in the universe have their being and existence from Him.

2. God is Infinite because He was before the world was, thus before spaces and times arose.

3. Since the creation of the world God is in space without space, and in time without time.

4. In relation to spaces Gods Infinity is called Immensity, while in relation to times it is called Eternity; but although they are so related there is nothing of space in His Immensity and nothing of time in His Eternity.

5. The Infinity of God can be seen by enlightened reason in very many things in the world.

6. Every created thing is finite, and the Infinite is in finite things as in its receptacles, and is in men as in its images.

These propositions shall be explained one by one.

TCR 28. (1) God is Infinite because He is Being and Existence in Himself, and because all things in the universe have their being and existence from Him. It has been already shown that God is One, that He is the Itself, that He is the primal Esse of all things, and that all things in the universe that have being, existence, and subsistence, are from Him, and consequently that He is infinite. That human reason is able from very many things in the created universe to recognize this will be made clear hereafter. But although the human mind is able from all this to acknowledge that the primal Being or primal Esse is infinite, it is nevertheless unable to comprehend what that Being is, and therefore can only define it as the infinite All and the Self-subsistent, and hence as the very and the only substance; and since nothing can be predicated of substance unless it has form, it is the very and only Form. But what does this mean? It does not make clear what the infinite is; for the human mind itself, even when in the highest degree analytical and exalted, is finite; and its finiteness is inseparable from it; and for this reason the human mind is wholly incapable of seeing the infinity of God as it is in Itself, thus of seeing God; although it can from behind see God obscurely, as was said to Moses when he prayed to see God:--

That he should be placed in a cleft of the rock, and should see His back parts (Exod. 33:20-23);

"the back parts of God" meaning what is visible in the world, and especially what is perceptible in the Word. All this shows how vain it is to wish to comprehend what God is in His Esse, or in His substance; and that it is sufficient to acknowledge Him from finite things, that is, from things created, in which He is infinitely. The man who is not content with this may be likened to a fish out of water, or to a bird under an airpump, which, as the air is withdrawn, gasps and finally dies. Or he may be likened to a vessel which, overcome by a storm and failing to obey its helm, is carried upon rocks and quicksands. So it is with those who wish to comprehend from within the infinity of God, and are not content with being able to acknowledge it in its manifest indications from without. It is related of a certain philosopher among the ancients that not being able to see or comprehend the eternity of the world in the light of his own mind he threw himself into the sea. What if he had wished to see or comprehend the infinity of God!

TCR 29. (2) God is Infinite because He was before the world was, thus before spaces and times arose. In the natural world there are spaces and times; but in the spiritual world these exist only apparently, and not actually. Time and space were introduced into these worlds for the purpose of distinguishing one thing from another, the great from the small, the many from the few, thus quantity from quantity, and so quality from quality; also to enable the bodily senses to distinguish between their objects, and the mental senses between theirs, and thereby to be affected, and to think and choose. In the natural world times were established by the rotation of the earth on its axis, and by the progression of these rotations from point to point along the zodiac, these movements being made apparently by the sun, from which the whole terraqueous globe derives its heat and light. From this come the divisions of the day, morning, noon, evening, and night; and the seasons of the year, spring, summer, autumn, and winter-the divisions of the day according to light and darkness, and the seasons of the year according to heat and cold. In the natural world spaces were established by earth's being formed into a globe, and filled with various kinds of matter; with its parts distinguished one from another, and also extended. But in the spiritual world there are no material spaces with corresponding times; but there are appearances of time and space; and these appearances vary according to differences of state in the minds of the spirits and angels there; thus times and spaces there conform to the affections of their wills, and the consequent thoughts of their understandings. But these appearances are real in that they are constant according to these states.

[2] The common opinion about the state of souls after death, and therefore also about angels and spirits, is that they do not occupy any extension, and consequently are not in space and time. Owing to this idea souls after death are said to be in an indefinite somewhere, and spirits and angels are said to be mere puffs of air, which can be thought of only as ether, air, breath, or wind is thought of; when in fact they are substantial men, and like men in the natural world live together in spaces and in times, which, as just said, are determined in accordance with the states of their minds. If it were otherwise, that is, if they were without space and time, that universe into which souls are flowing, and in which angels and spirits dwell, might be passed through the eye of a needle, or be concentrated upon the end of a single hair. This would be possible if there were no substantial extension there; but as there is, angels dwell together as separately and distinctly as men who dwell in material extension, and even more distinctly. Nevertheless, times there are not divided into days, weeks, months, and years, since there the spiritual sun does not appear to rise and set, nor to move from east to west, but remains stationary in the east at a point midway between the zenith and the horizon. There are spaces there, because all things in that world are substantial which in the natural world are material. But this point will be further considered in the section of this chapter where Creation is treated of.

[3] From all this it can be comprehended how spaces and times render each thing and all things in both worlds finite; and therefore men are finite not only in body but also in soul, and likewise angels and spirits. The conclusion to be drawn from all this is that God is infinite, that is, not finite; since He Himself, as the Creator, Former, and Maker of the universe, gave finiteness to all things; and this He did by means of His sun, in the midst of which He is, and which is constituted of the Divine essence that goes forth from Him as a sphere. There, and from that, is the first of the finiting process, and its progress reaches even to the outmost things of the world's nature; consequently in Himself God is infinite because He is uncreated. To man, nevertheless, because he is finite, and thinks from things finite, the infinite seems to be nothing; and therefore he feels that if the finite which adheres to his thought should be taken away, what would be left would amount to nothing. And yet the truth is that God is infinitely all; and man of himself in comparison is nothing.

TCR 30. (3) Since the creation of the world God is in space without space and in time without time. That God, with the Divine that goes forth directly from Him, is not in space, although He is omnipresent, and is present with every man in the world, and with every angel in heaven and every spirit under heaven, is beyond the comprehension of merely natural thought, but may in some measure be comprehended by spiritual thought. It cannot be comprehended by merely natural thought because natural thought has space in it, being formed out of such things as are in this world, in each and all things of which that the eye rests upon, space is involved. Here everything that is great and small, everything that has length, breadth, and height, in a word every dimension, figure, and form, pertains to space. And yet this can be comprehended in some measure by natural thought, provided something of spiritual light is admitted into it. But first something must be said about spiritual thought. This derives nothing from space, but everything from state. State is predicated of love, of life, of wisdom, of affections, of joys, and in general, of good and truth. A truly spiritual idea about these things has in it nothing in common with space; it is superior to ideas of space, and looks down upon them as heaven looks down upon the earth.

[2] God is present in space without space, and in time without time, because He is always the same, from eternity to eternity; thus He is the same since the world was created as before; and as before creation there were in God and in His sight no spaces no times, but only since, and as He is always the same, so is He in space without space and in time without time. In consequence of this, nature is separate from Him, and yet He is omnipresent in nature; almost as life is present in every substantial and material part of man, and yet does not mingle itself with it; or it may be compared to light in the eye, or sound in the ear, taste in the tongue, or to the ether that pervades all solid and liquid matters, and holds the terraqueous globe together, and causes motion, and so on. If these agencies were withdrawn these substantialized and materialized forms would instantly collapse or fall asunder. Even the human mind, if God were not everywhere and always present in it, would burst like a bubble in the air, and both brains, in which the mind acts from first principles, would go off into froth, and thus everything human would become dust of the earth, or an odor floating in the air.

[3] As God is in all time without time so in His Word He speaks in the present tense of the past and the future, as in Isaiah:--

Unto us a Child is born, a Son is given; and His name shall be called Mighty, the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6);

and in David:--

I will declare the decree; Jehovah hath said unto Me, Thou art My Son; this day have I begotten Thee (Ps. 2:7).

This is said of the Lord who was to come; wherefore it is also said:--

A thousand years in Thy sight are but as yesterday (Ps. 90:4).

That God is everywhere present in the whole world, and yet there is in Him nothing proper to the world, that is, nothing pertaining to space and time, can be clearly seen from many passages in the Word by those who look with watchful eyes, as from this passage in Jeremiah:--

Am I a God at hand, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in the secret places that I shall not see him? Do I not fill heaven and earth? (Jeremiah 23:23, 24).

TCR 31. (4) In relation to spaces God's Infinity is called Immensity, while in relation to times it is called Eternity; but although they are so related, there is nothing of space in His Immensity, and nothing of time in His Eternity. In relation to spaces God's infinity is called immensity, because "immense" is a term applied to what is great and large, and to extension and its spaciousness. But in relation to times God's infinity is called eternity, because "to eternity" is an expression applied to what is progressive, which is measured by time without limit. For example: Of the terraqueous globe, as such, things pertaining to space are predicated; while of its rotation and progression things pertaining to time are predicated. In fact, the latter are what make times, and the former are what make spaces, and in this way they are presented through the senses to the perception of reflecting minds. But in God, as has just been shown, there is nothing of space and time; nevertheless, the beginnings of these are from God; and from this it follows that by immensity His infinity in relation to space is meant, and by eternity His infinity in relation to times.

[2] But to the angels in heaven the immensity of God means His Divinity in respect to His Esse, and His eternity His Divinity in respect to His Existere. Also immensity means His Divinity in respect to love, and eternity His Divinity in respect to wisdom. This is because angels abstract space and time from Divinity, and such conceptions then follow. But as man can think only from ideas drawn from such things as belong to space and time, he is unable to form any conception of God's immensity antecedent to space, or His eternity antecedent to time; and when he seeks to do this it is as if his mind were falling into a swoon, almost like a shipwrecked man in the water, or like one who is about to be swallowed up in an earthquake; and if one persists in penetrating further into the subject, he may easily fall into a delirium, and from this be led into a denial of God.

[3] I was once myself in such a state, thinking about what God was from eternity, what He did before the world was created, whether He deliberated about creation, and thought out the order to be pursued; whether deliberative thought would be possible in a vacuum; with other vain things. But lest I should be driven to madness by much speculations I was raised up by the Lord into the sphere and light in which the interior angels dwell; and when the idea of space and time in which my thought was dwelling had been somewhat removed, it was given me to comprehend that the eternity of God is not an eternity of time; and as there was no time before the world was created, it is utterly vain to think about God in any such way. Moreover, as the Divine from eternity, that is, abstracted from all time, does not involve days, years, or ages, but to God all these are present, I concluded that God did not create the world in time, but that times were introduced by God with creation.

[4] To all this I will add this memorable fact:-

At one extremity of the spiritual world there are seen two statues in monstrous human form, with open mouths and gaping throats, and those who indulge in useless and senseless thoughts about God from eternity seem to themselves to be swallowed up by these; but they are the hallucinations into which those cast themselves who cherish absurd and improper thoughts about God before the creation of the world.

TCR 32. (5) The Infinity of God can be seen by enlightened reason in very many things in the world. Some things shall be enumerated in which human reason can see the infinity of God: (1) In the created universe no two things can be found that are identical. That no such identity can be found among things simultaneous has been rationally seen and proved by human learning, although the substantial and material objects of the universe, viewed singly, are infinite in number. And that no two effects can be found that are identical among things successive in the world may be inferred from the earth's revolution, in that the nutation of its poles forever prevents a return to any former position. This is also clearly evident in human faces, in that throughout the entire world there can be found no one face that is precisely like or the same as another, nor ever can be to eternity. This infinite variety would be impossible except from an infinity in God the Creator.

[2] (2) No one person's disposition is precisely like that of another; from which comes the saying, "Many men, many minds;" and so no one's mind, that is, his will and understanding, is exactly like or the same as another's and in consequence the tone of any man's speech, or the thought in which it originates, or any act in regard either to movement or affection, is never exactly like another's; from which infinite variety again can be seen as in a mirror the infinity of God the Creator.

[3] (3) In all seed, both of animals and vegetables, there is inherent a certain immensity and eternity-an immensity in its capacity to be multiplied to infinity, and an eternity in the continuance of this multiplication uninterrupted from the creation of the world until now, and its still unceasing continuance. In the animal kingdom take, for example, the fishes of the sea; if these were to multiply according to the abundance of their spawn they would in twenty or thirty years so fill the ocean that it would wholly consist of fishes, and in consequence its water would overflow and destroy all the land. But this does not happen, since God has provided that fish shall be food for each other. It would be the same with the seeds of plants. If as many seeds should be planted as one plant produces each year, in twenty or thirty years the surface not of one earth only, but even of many, would be covered. For there are shrubs, every seed of which produces others by hundreds and thousands. Try to calculate this, reckoning this product of one seed in a series of twenty or thirty terms, and you will see. In all these examples the Divine immensity and eternity become evident in a certain general aspect, an image of which must needs come forth.

[4] (4) Enlightened reason can also see God's infinity in the possible infinite increase of all knowledge, and consequently of everyone's intelligence and wisdom, both of which are capable of growing as a tree from seed, and as forests and gardens from trees, to which there is no limit. The soil of intelligence and wisdom is the memory of man, his understanding is where they germinate; and his will where they fructify. And these two capacities, understanding and will, are such that they may be cultivated and perfected in this world to the end of life, and afterwards to eternity.

[5] (5) The infinity of God the Creator can also be seen in the infinite number of the stars, which are so many suns, and therefore so many systems. That there are other earths in the starry heavens upon which men, beasts, birds, and plants exist is shown in a little work describing things seen.

[6] (6) The infinity of God has been made still more evident to me both from the angelic heaven and from hell, in that these are ordered and arranged in innumerable societies or congregated bodies in accordance with all the varieties of the love of good or evil, each individual being allotted a place is accordance with his love; for there the whole human race from the creation of the world is gathered together, and to ages of ages will be gathered. And although each one has his own place or abode there, yet all are so joined together that the entire angelic heaven represents one Divine man, and the entire hell one monstrous devil. From these two, with the infinite marvels they contain, both the immensity and the omnipotence of God are clearly presented to view.

[7] (7) Who is not able to understand, if he will elevate a little the reasoning faculty of his mind, that an eternal life, which is the lot of every man after death, can be granted only by an eternal God?

[8] (8) In addition to all this there is a certain infinity in many things that fall within the range of the natural light and spiritual light in man. It is within the range of his natural light that there are various series in geometry which go on to infinity; that there is a progression to infinity in the three degrees of height, in that the first degree, which is called the natural degree, cannot be perfected and elevated to the perfection of the second, which is called the spiritual degree; nor this to the per action of the third, which is called the celestial degree. It is the same with end, cause, and effect, in that the effect cannot be so perfected as to become like the cause, nor the cause so perfected as to become like its end. This may be illustrated by the atmospheres, of which there are three degrees. There is a supreme aura, under this the ether, and below this the air; and no quality of the air can be raised up to any quality of the ether, nor any quality of the ether to that of the aura; and yet in each there is an ascent of perfections to infinity. It is within the range of man's spiritual light that no natural love, which is an animal love, can be raised up to spiritual love, with which from creation man has been endowed. The same is true of the natural intelligence of the animal in relation to the spiritual intelligence of man. But as these things have been hitherto unknown they will be explained elsewhere. From all this it can be seen that the most general contents of the world are constant types of the infinity of God the Creator; but how the particular contents emulate the general, and represent the infinity of God, is an abyss or an ocean which the human mind may sail, as it were, but it must beware of a puff of wind that may arise from the natural man, which striking from aft, where he stands self-confident, may swamp the ship with its masts and sails standing.

TCR 33. (6) Every created thing is finite; and the Infinite is in finite things as in its receptacles, and is in men as in its images. Every created thing is finite because all things are from Jehovah God through the sun of the spiritual world, which most nearly encompasses Him; and that sun is composed of the substance that has gone forth from Him, the essence of which is love. From the sun, by means of its heat and light, the universe has been created from its firsts to its lasts. But this is not the proper place to set forth in order the process of creation, an outline of which will be given in subsequent pages. All that is important now is to know that one thing was formed from another, and thus degrees were constituted, three in the spiritual world and three corresponding to them in the natural world, and the same number in the passive materials of which the terraqueous globe is composed. The origin and nature of these degrees has been fully explained in the Angelic Wisdom concerning the Divine Love and the Divine Wisdom, and a small work on The Intercourse of the Soul and the Body. Through these degrees all things posterior are made receptacles of things prior, and these again of things still prior, and so in succession receptacles of the primitive elements which constitute the sun of the angelic heaven; and thus have things finite been made receptacles of the infinite. This is in agreement with the wisdom of the ancients, according to which each thing and all things are divisible to infinity. It is a common idea that, because the finite cannot grasp the infinite, things finite cannot be receptacles of the infinite; but in what has been set forth in my works respecting creation it has been shown that God first rendered His infinity finite by means of substances emitted from Himself, from which His nearest surrounding sphere, which constitutes the sun of the spiritual world, came into existence; and that then through that sun He perfected the other surrounding spheres, even to the outmost; which consists of passive materials; and in this manner, by means of degrees, He rendered the world more and more finite. This much has been said to satisfy human reason, which never rests until it perceives a cause.

TCR 34. That the infinite Divine is in men as in its images is evident from the Word, where we read:--

And God said, let us make man in Our image, after Our likeness. So God created man into His own image, into the image of God created He him (Gen. 1:26, 27).

From this it follows that man is an organic form recipient of God, and is an organic form that is in accordance with the kind of reception. The human mind, which makes man to be man, and in accordance with which man is man, is formed into three regions in accordance with the three degrees; in the first degree, in which also are the angels of the highest heaven, the mind is celestial; in the second degree, in which are the angels of the middle heaven, it is spiritual; and in the third degree, in which are the angels of the lowest heaven, it is natural.

[2] The human mind, organized in accordance with these three degrees, is a receptacle of Divine influx; nevertheless, the Divine flows into it no further than man prepares the way or opens the door. If man does this as far as to the highest or celestial degree he becomes truly an image of God, and after death an angel of the highest heaven; but if he prepares the way or opens the door only to the middle or spiritual degree, he becomes an image of God, but not in the same perfection; and after death he becomes an angel of the middle heaven. But if man prepares the way or opens the door only to the lowest or natural degree, in case he acknowledges God and worships Him with actual piety he becomes an image of God in the lowest degree, and after death an angel of the lowest heaven. But if man does not acknowledge God and does not worship Him with actual piety he puts off the image of God and becomes like some animal, except that he enjoys the faculty of understanding, and consequently of speech; and if he then closes up the highest natural degree, which corresponds to the highest celestial, he becomes as to his loves like a beast of the earth; and if he closes up the middle natural degree, which corresponds to the middle spiritual degree, he becomes in his love like a fox, and in his intellectual vision like a bird of night; while if he also closes up the lowest natural degree in its relation to his spiritual he becomes in his love like a wild beast, and in his understanding of truth like a fish.

[3] The Divine life that actuates man by means of the influx from the sun of the angelic heaven may be compared to light from the world's sun and its influx into a transparent object-the reception of life in the highest degree to the influx of light into a diamond; the reception of life in the second degree to the influx of light into a crystal; and the reception of life in the lowest degree to the influx of light into glass or a transparent membrane; but when this degree in relation to his spiritual is wholly closed up, which is the case when God is denied and Satan is worshiped, the reception of life from God may be compared to the influx of light into the opaque things of the earth, as rotten wood, or marshy ground, or dung, and so on, for the man then becomes a spiritual corpse.

TCR 35. To this I will add this Memorable Relation:-

At one time I was in a state of amazement at the vast multitude of men who ascribe creation, and consequently everything that is under the sun and everything above the sun, to nature, saying with a hearty acknowledgment, when they see anything, "Is not this from nature?" And when asked why they say it is from nature and not from God, although they often say, in common with others, that God created nature, and might therefore just as well say that what they see is from God as that it is from nature, they answer with an inner tone that is scarcely audible, "What is God but nature?" All such, from this persuasion that nature created the universe, and from this insanity that appears like wisdom, seem to be elated to such a degree that they look down upon all those who acknowledge the creation of the universe by God as ants that creep upon the ground and keep the beaten track, and upon some as butterflies flying in the air; and the opinions of such they call dreams, because they see what they do not see; and they say, "Who has seen God, and who does not see nature?"

[2] While I was wondering greatly at the multitude of such, an angel stood at my side and said to me, "What are you meditating about?"

I replied, "About the great number of those who believe that nature exists of itself, and is thus the creator of the universe."

And the angel said to me, "All hell consists of such, and those who are there are called satans and devils-satans those who have confirmed themselves in favor of nature, and in consequence have denied God; devils those who have lived wickedly and have thus cast out from their hearts all acknowledgment of God. But I will conduct you to the schools which are in the southwest quarter, where those are who are not yet in hell."

He took me by the hand and led me away; and I saw small houses in which were the schools, and in the midst of them a building which served as headquarters for the rest. This was built of pitch-black stones overlaid with little glass-like plates, sparkling as it were with gold and silver, like what are called selenites, or like mica, with glittering shells here and there interspersed.

[3] We approached this building and knocked, and immediately a person opened the door and said, "Welcome." And he ran to a table and brought four books, and said, "These books are the wisdom that is at this day applauded by many kingdoms: this book or wisdom is applauded by many in France; this by many in Germany; this by some in Holland; this by some in Britain." He said also, "If you wish to see it I will cause these four books to shine before your eyes." And he poured forth the glory of his fame round about; and immediately the books beamed as if with light; but this light quickly vanished from our sight.

We then asked what he was now writing; and he answered that he was bringing out from his treasures and setting forth matters pertaining to the deepest wisdom, which in general are these:

1. Whether nature is a property of life, or life of nature?

2. Whether the center is from the expanse, or the expanse from the center?

3. Respecting the center of the expanse and of life.

[4] After these remarks he seated himself at the table, while we walked about the building, which was spacious. He had a candle on his table, because there was no light of the sun there, but only the nocturnal light of the moon; and what seemed wonderful, the candle seemed to be carried round and round, and to give light; but not having been snuffed it gave but little light. While he wrote we saw images of various forms flying from the table to the walls, which appeared in the nocturnal moonlight there like beautiful eastern birds; but as soon as we opened the door these appeared in the light of day like those birds of night that have membranous wings; for they were resemblances of truth which through confirmations had become fallacies, and had been ingeniously woven by him into a series.

[5] After seeing this, we approached the table and asked him what he was then writing about.

He said about the first question, Whether nature is a property of life, or life of nature? And he said he could prove both sides of this and make them true; but as there was something lurking within that he feared, he dared only to prove that nature is a property of life, in other words, is from life, and not that life is a property of nature, in other words, is from nature.

We asked courteously what it was lurking within that he feared.

He replied that he was afraid of being called a naturalist, and thus an atheist, by the clergy, and a man of unsound reason by the laity, since both of these either believe from a blind faith or see only from the views of those who confirm that faith.

[6] Then with some heat of zeal for the truth we addressed him, saying, "Friend, you are very much deceived; you have been misled by your wisdom, which is a certain talent for writing, and you have been led by the glory of fame into proving what you do not believe. Do you not know that the human mind is capable of being raised above things sensual, which enter into the thought from the bodily senses; and that when the mind has been thus raised up it sees what is from life as above, and what is from nature as beneath? What is life but love and wisdom? And what is nature but the receptacle of these, by means of which they accomplish their effects or uses? Can life and nature be one except as the principal and the instrumental? Can light be one with the eye, or sound with the ear? Are not the sensations of these derived from life, and their forms from nature? What is the human body but an organ of life? Are not all things and each thing therein organically formed for the production of what the love wills and the understanding thinks? Are not the bodily organs from nature, and love and thought from life? And are not these perfectly distinct from each other? Raise the keenness of your intellect a little higher still, and you will see that to be moved by affection and to think belong to life-the former belonging to love and the latter to wisdom; and both love and wisdom belong to life; for, as before said, love and wisdom are life. If you will lift your capacity to understand a little higher, you will see that love and wisdom could have no existence without having somewhere an origin, and that that origin is love itself and wisdom itself, and therefore life itself, and these are God, from whom nature is."

[7] Afterwards we talked with him upon the second point, Whether the center is from the expanse or the expanse from the center? asking why he canvassed this. He answered that he did so in order to form a conclusion about the center and the expanse of nature and of life, and so about the origin of each. And when we asked his opinion, he replied, the same as before, that he could prove either of these, but from fear of loss of reputation he would prove that the expanse is of the center, that is, from the center, "although I know," he said, "that there must have been something before there was a sun, and this throughout the whole expanse, and that this of itself flowed together into order, thus towards a center."

[8] We then addressed him again with indignant zeal, and said, "Friend, you are insane." Hearing this he drew his seat from the table, and looked at us timidly, and then gave us his attention, but with laughter. We went on to say, "What can be more insane than to say that the center is from the expanse? By your center we understand the sun, and by your expanse the universe; thus are you not contending that the universe came into existence without the sun? Does not the sun produce nature and all its properties? and do not these depend solely on the light and heat from the sun through the atmospheres? Where, then, could these have been previously? But the origin of these we will discuss hereafter. Are not the atmospheres and all things on the earth like surfaces, of which the sun is the center? What would all these be without the sun? Could they subsist for one moment? What, then, could they have been before the sun was formed? Could they have had any existence? Is not subsistence perpetual existence? As the subsistence, then, of all things of nature is from the sun, it follows that their existence is from the same source. This everyone sees, and from the evidence of his own eyes acknowledges.

[9] Does not the posterior have both its existence and its subsistence from the prior? If the surface were the prior and the center the posterior, would not the prior subsist from the posterior, and would not that be contrary to the laws of order? How can the posterior produce the prior, or the exterior the interior, or the grosser the purer? How then can the surface things which constitute the expanse produce the center? Who does not see that this is contrary to the laws of nature? We have presented these evidences from rational analysis to prove that the expanse has its existence from the center, and not the reverse, although everyone who thinks rightly can see this without these evidences. You have said that the expanse of itself flowed together towards the center. Was it by chance that it did this in such a marvelous and amazing order that one thing is for the sake of another, and each and all things for the sake of man and his eternal life? Is nature, from any love through any wisdom, capable of premeditating ends, contemplating causes, and thus providing effects, that such things may exist in their order? Or is nature capable of converting men into angels, of making a heaven of these, and causing those who are there to live forever? Put these things together and reflect, and your idea of nature's existence from nature will fall to the ground."

[10] After this we asked him what he had thought and what he still thought about the third question, On the center and the expanse of nature and of life; whether he believed the center and the expanse of life to be the same with the center and expanse of nature?

He said that he was perplexed; that he had formerly believed life to be an interior activity of nature, and that this was the source of love and wisdom, which essentially constitute man's life, and that this activity is produced by the sun's fire, through its heat and light, by means of the atmospheres; but now from what he had heard of the life of men after death he was in doubt; and this doubt carried his mind sometimes upwards and sometimes downwards; and when upwards he acknowledged a center of which he had formerly known nothing; and when downwards he saw the center which he had supposed to be the only one; and he believed life to be from the center of which he had before known nothing, and nature to be from the center which he had formerly supposed to be the only one, each center having an expanse round about it.

[11] This, we said, would answer if he would look from the center and expanse of life to the center and expanse of nature, and not the reverse. And we informed him that above the angelic heaven there is a sun which is pure love, in appearance fiery, like the sun of the world; and that from the heat going forth from that sun angels and men have their will and love, and from its light their understanding and wisdom; and whatever is from that sun is called spiritual; while whatever proceeds from the sun of the world is a containant or receptacle of life, and is called natural; thus the expanse pertaining to the center of life is called the spiritual world, having its subsistence from its own sun, while the expanse pertaining to the center of nature is called the natural world, having its subsistence from its sun. Since, then, spaces and times cannot be predicated of love and wisdom, and since states take the place there of spaces and times, it follows that there is no extension in the expanse about the sun of the angelic heaven; although this expanse is in the extension of the natural sun, and in the living subjects there in accordance with their reception, while their reception is in accordance with forms and states.

[12] Then he asked, "What is the origin of the fire of the sun of the world or of nature?"

We answered that it is from the sun of the angelic heaven, which is not fire, but the Divine love that most nearly goes forth from God, who is in the midst of that sun. As he seemed surprised at this we set it forth in this way: "Love in its essence is spiritual fire; and for this reason in the Word, in its spiritual sense, fire signifies love; and it is on this account that priests in churches pray that heavenly fire, by which they mean love, may fill the hearts of men. The fire of the altar and the fire of the candlestick in the tabernacle represented among the Israelites no other than the Divine love. The heat of the blood, or the vital heat of men and of animals in general, is from no other source than the love that constitutes their life. Therefore man is enkindled, grows warm, and is inflamed when his love is exalted to zeal or excited to anger and passion. Since, then, spiritual heat, which is love, produces in men natural heat, even so far as to enkindle and inflame their faces and limbs, it is clear that the fire of the natural sun sprang from no other source than the fire of the spiritual sun which is the Divine love.

[13] And since, furthermore, the expanse, as has just been said, originates in the center, and not the reverse, and the center of life, which is the sun of the angelic heaven, is the Divine love most nearly going forth from God, who is in the midst of that sun; and since the expanse of that center, which is called the spiritual world, is from that origin; and since from that spiritual sun the sun of the world sprang, and from it its expanse, which is called the natural world, it is plain that the universe was created by God." After this we departed; and he accompanied us out of the hall of his school, and talked with us about heaven and hell and the Divine auspices with a new intellectual sagacity.


TCR 36. A distinction has been made between the Esse of God and the essence of God, because there is a distinction between the infinity of God and the love of God, infinity being applicable to the Esse of God, and love to the essence of God, since the Esse of God, as has just been said, is more universal than His essence; just as the infinity of God is more universal than His love; and for this reason the word infinite is an adjective that is applicable to the essentials and attributes of God, which are all called infinite; as we say of the Divine love that it is infinite, of the Divine wisdom that it is infinite, also of the Divine power; not because of any pre-existence of the Esse of God, but because it enters into the essence as joined to it, cohering with it, determining and forming and also exalting it. But this section of this chapter, like the previous ones, shall be presented under the following divisions:-

1. God is Love itself and Wisdom itself, and these two constitute His Essence.

2. God is Good itself and Truth itself, because Good is of Love and Truth is of Wisdom.

3. Love itself and wisdom itself are Life itself, which is Life in itself.

4. Love and Wisdom in God make one.

5. It is the essence of Love to love others outside of oneself, to desire to be one with them, and to render them blessed from oneself.

6. These essentials of the Divine Love were the cause of the universe, and are the cause of its preservation.

But of these separately.

TCR 37. (1) God is Love itself and Wisdom itself, and these two constitute His Essence. In the earliest ages it was seen that love and wisdom are the two essentials to which all the infinite things that are in God and proceed from God have reference; but succeeding ages, as they withdrew their minds from heaven and immersed them in things worldly and corporeal, gradually became unable to see this, for they gradually ceased to know what love is in its essence, and thus what wisdom is in its essence, not knowing that love abstracted from a form is impossible, and that love operates in a form and through a form. Since, then, God is the Itself and the Only, and thus the first substance and form, the essence of which is love and wisdom, and since from Him were made all things that were made, it follows that He created the universe with each thing and all things of it from love by means of wisdom; consequently the Divine love, together with the Divine wisdom, is in each and all created subjects. Love, moreover, is not merely the essence that forms all things, it is also that which unites and conjoins them, and thus, when they are formed, holds them in connection.

[2] All this may be illustrated by innumerable things in the world; as by the heat and light from the sun, which are the two essentials and universals by means of which each thing and all things on the earth have their existence and subsistence. Heat and light are there because they correspond to the Divine love and Divine wisdom; for the heat that goes forth from the sun of the spiritual world is in its essence love, and the light from it is in its essence wisdom. This, again, may be illustrated by the two essentials and universals, namely, the will and the understanding, by means of which human minds have their existence and subsistence; for of these two everyone's mind consists, and they are in, and operate in, each thing and all things of the mind. This is because the will is the receptacle and habitation of love, as the understanding is of wisdom; and for this reason these two correspond to the Divine love and the Divine wisdom in which they originated. The same truth may be illustrated further by the two essentials and universals by means of which the human body has its existence and subsistence, namely, the heart and lungs, or the contraction and dilatation of the heart and the respiration of the lungs. It is known that these two are operative in each and all things in the body; and for the reason that the heart corresponds to love, and the lungs to wisdom; which correspondence is fully demonstrated in the Angelic Wisdom concerning the Divine Love and the Divine Wisdom, published at Amsterdam.

[3] That love as a bridegroom and husband produces or begets all forms, yet only by wisdom as a bride and wife, can be proved by things innumerable in both the spiritual world and in the natural world, provided only it is kept in mind that the entire angelic heaven is arranged in its form, and kept in it, from the Divine love through the Divine wisdom. Those who deduce the creation of the world from any other source than the Divine love through the Divine wisdom, not knowing that these two constitute the Divine Essence, descend from reason's sight to eyesight, and bestow kisses on nature as the creator of the universe; and thereby conceive chimeras and bring forth specters. They devise fallacies, and reason from them; and their conclusions are eggs that contain birds of night. Such should not be called minds, but eyes and ears without understanding, or thoughts without soul. They talk of colors as if these existed without light; of trees as if they existed without seed; and of all things in the world as existing without the sun; for they make derivatives to be first principles and things caused to be causes; thus they turn all things upside down, lull their reason to sleep, and the things they see are dreams.

TCR 38. (2) God is Good itself and Truth itself, because Good is of Love and Truth is of Wisdom. It is universally known that all things have reference to good and truth; which is proof that all things sprang from love and wisdom; for everything that proceeds from love is called good, for this is what is felt, and the delight by which the love becomes manifest is to everyone good; while everything that proceeds from wisdom is called truth, since wisdom consists solely of truths, and affects its objects with the pleasantness of light; and this pleasantness, when it is perceived, is truth from good. Love is therefore the complex of all varieties of goodness, and wisdom the complex of all varieties of truth; but both the latter and the former are from God, who is love itself and thus good itself, and is wisdom itself and thus truth itself. It is from this that in the church there are two essentials, called charity and faith; and of these each thing and all things of the church consist, and these must be in each and all things of it; and for the reason that every good of the church pertains to charity, and is called charity; and every truth of the church pertains to faith, and is called faith. It is the delights of love, which are also the delights of charity, that cause what is delightful to be called good; and it is the pleasantness of wisdom, which is also the pleasantness of faith, that causes what is true to be called true; for delights and pleasantnesses are what give life to good and truth; and without life from these, goods and truths are like something inanimate, and are also barren.

[2] But the delights of love are of two kinds; so, too, are the pleasantnesses that seem to pertain to wisdom, namely, delights of the love of good and delights of the love of evil, and in consequence, the pleasantnesses of faith in what is true and of faith in what is false. In the subjects in which they exist, both of these kinds of delights, because of the feeling they produce, are called goods, and both of these kinds of pleasantness of faith, because of the perception they cause, are also called good; but as these are in the understanding they are in reality truths. Nevertheless, the two kinds are opposites, the good of one love being good, and the good of the other being evil, and the truth of one faith true, and that of the other false. The love whose delight is essentially good is like the sun's heat in its work of fructifying, vivifying, and operating upon fertile soil, and useful trees and fields of grain; and where it operates the place becomes like a paradise, a garden of Jehovah, and like the land of Canaan; while the pleasantness of the truth of that love is like the sun's light in spring, or like light flowing into a crystalline vase containing beautiful flowers, from which, when opened, a delightful odor goes forth. But the delight of the love of evil is like the sun's heat when it parches and destroys, or when it operates upon barren soil or upon noxious growths, as thorns and brambles; and where it operates the place becomes an Arabian desert where there are water snakes and venomous snakes; and the pleasantness of its falsity is like the sun's light in winter, or like light flowing into a bottle containing worms swimming in vinegar, and reptiles of offensive smell.

[3] It must be understood that every kind of good gives itself form by means of truths, and clothes itself about with truths, and thus distinguishes itself from every other good; also that the various kinds of good belonging to the same family bind themselves into bundles, and swathe these about, and thus distinguish themselves from other families. That they are formed in this way is shown in each and all things in the human body; and as there is an invariable correspondence of all things of the mind with all things of the body the human mind is evidently formed in like ways. And from this it follows that the human mind is organized inwardly of spiritual substances, and outwardly of natural substances, and lastly of material substances. The mind whose love's delights are good is formed inwardly of such spiritual substances as exist in heaven; while the mind whose love's delights are evil is formed inwardly of such spiritual substances as exist in hell; and its evils are bound into bundles by falsities, while the goods in the former mind are bound into bundles by truths. Because of such bindings of good and of evil into bundles the Lord says:--

That the tares must be gathered together into bundles to be burned, as well as all things that offend (Matt. 13:30, 40, 41; John 15:6).

TCR 39. (3) Because God is Love itself and Wisdom itself He is Life itself, which is Life in itself. It is said in John:--

The Word was with God, and God was the Word. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men (John 1:1, 4).

By "God" here the Divine love is meant, and by "the Word" the Divine wisdom; and strictly speaking "life" means the Divine wisdom, and the life strictly is the light that goes forth from the sun of the spiritual world, in the midst of which sun is Jehovah God. As fire forms light so does the Divine love form life. In fire there are two properties, burning and shining; from its burning property heat proceeds, and from its shining property light. There are two like properties in love, one to which the burning property of fire corresponds, which is a something that inmostly affects the will of man, and another to which the shining property of fire corresponds, which is a something that inmostly affects the understanding of man. This is the source of man's love and intelligence; for, as repeatedly said before, from the sun of the spiritual world a heat goes forth that in its essence is love, and a light that in its essence is wisdom. These two flow into all things and each thing in the universe, and inmostly affect them, and with men these flow into their will and their understanding, for these two were created to be receptacles of influx-the will a receptacle of love, and the understanding a receptacle of wisdom. Thus it is manifest that the life of man dwells in his understanding, and is such as his wisdom is; and that it is modified by the love of the will.

TCR 40. We also read in John:--

As the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son also to have life in Himself (John 5:26);

which means that just as the Divine Itself, which was from eternity, has life in itself, so the Human, which He took on in time, has life in itself. Life in itself is the very and only life, from which all angels and men have life. This can be seen by human reason from the light that goes forth from the sun of the natural world, in that this light is not creatable, but that forms for receiving it have been created. For example, the eyes are forms for receiving this light, and light flowing in from the sun is what makes them to see. The same is true of life which (as has been said) is the light that goes forth from the sun of the spiritual world, in that it is not creatable, but flows in unceasingly, and as it illuminates it also vivifies man's understanding. So in consequence, as sight and life and wisdom are one, wisdom is not creatable, neither is faith, nor truth, nor love, nor charity, nor good; but forms for receiving these have been created; and these forms are human and angelic minds. Therefore let everyone beware of persuading himself that he lives from himself, or that he is wise, believes, loves, perceives truth, and wills and does good, from himself. For so far as anyone is so persuaded he casts his mind down from heaven to earth, and from being spiritual becomes natural, sensual, and corporeal; for he shuts up the higher regions of his mind, and thus makes himself blind in regard to everything relating to God, heaven, and the church; and then all that he happens to think, reason, and say about these things is done in darkness and consequently in foolishness; while at the same time he adopts a confidence that it all belongs to wisdom. For when the higher regions of the mind, where the true light of life resides, are closed up, the region of the mind below these opens, into which the light of the world only is admitted; and when this light is separated from the light of the higher regions it is a delusive light, in which what is false seems true and what is true seems false, and reasoning from what is false appears to be wisdom, and from what is true to be folly. Then man believes himself to be endowed with the keen vision of an eagle, although he sees what belongs to wisdom no better than a bat sees in the light of day.

TCR 41.(4) Love and Wisdom in God make one. Every wise man in the church knows that every good of love and charity is from God, also every truth of wisdom and faith; and human reason is able to see this when it knows that the origin of love and wisdom is the sun of the spiritual world, in the midst of which is Jehovah God, or what is the same thing, that they are from Jehovah God through the sun which is round about Him; for the heat that goes forth from that sun is in its essence love, and the light that goes forth from it is in its essence wisdom. It is therefore as plain as the open day that in that origin love and wisdom are one, consequently are one in God, from whom that sun has its origin. This may be illustrated by the sun of the natural world, which is pure fire, in that from its fire heat goes forth, and from the shining of its fire light goes forth; thus the two in their origin are one.

[2] But that these are separated in their going forth becomes evident from their subjects, some of which receive more of heat and others more of light. This is especially true of men in whom the light of life which is intelligence and the heat of life which is love, are separated; and this is done because man needs to be reformed and regenerated, which is impossible unless he is taught by the light of life, which is intelligence, what ought to be willed and loved. It must be understood, however, that God is continually working to conjoin love and wisdom in man; while man, unless he looks to God and believes in him, is continually working to separate them; so far, therefore, as these two, the good of love or charity, and the truth of wisdom or faith, are conjoined in man, so far he becomes an image of God, and is raised up towards and into heaven where angels are; and on the other hand, so far as these two are separated by man he becomes an image of Lucifer and the dragon, and is cast down from heaven to earth, and finally below the earth into hell. From the conjunction of these two, man's state becomes like that of a tree in spring, when heat and light in equal measure are conjoined, whereby the tree buds, blooms, and bears fruit; but on the other hand, by the separation of these two, man's state becomes like that of a tree in winter, when the heat withdraws from the light, whereby the tree is stripped and made bare of all its foliage and verdure.

[3] When spiritual heat, which is love, separates itself from spiritual light, which is wisdom, or, what is the same thing, when charity separates itself from faith, man becomes like sour or rotting soil in which worms are bred; and if it brings forth plants their leaves become covered with lice, and are eaten up. For the allurements of the love of evil, which in themselves are lusts, break forth, not being subdued and restrained by intelligence, but loved, fostered, and nourished by it. In a word, to separate love and wisdom, or charity and faith, which two things God constantly strives to bring together, is like depriving the face of its ruddiness, which leaves a death-like pallor, or like taking away the whiteness from the ruddiness, which makes the face like a burning torch. It is also like dissolving the marriage bond between two persons, making the wife a harlot and the husband an adulterer. For love or charity is like a husband, and wisdom or faith is like a wife: and when the two are separated, spiritual idolatry and whoredom follow, which are the falsification of truth and the adulteration of good.

TCR 42. Furthermore, it must be understood that there are three degrees of love and wisdom, and consequently three degrees of life, and that the human mind is formed into regions, as it were, in accordance with these degrees; and that in the highest region life is in its highest degree, in the second region in a less degree, and in the outmost region in the lowest degree. These regions are opened in men successively-the outmost region, where there is life in the lowest degree, from infancy to childhood; and this is done by means of knowledges: the second region, where there is life in a larger degree, from childhood to youth; and this is done by means of thought from knowledges: and the highest region, where there is life in the highest degree, from youth to early manhood and onward; and this is done by means of perceptions of moral and spiritual truths. It must be further understood that it is not in thought that the perfection of life consists, but in the perception of truth from the light of truth. From this it may be inferred what the differences of life are in men; for there are some who the moment they hear a truth perceive that it is true; and these in the spiritual world are represented by eagles. There are others who have no perception of truth, but reach conclusions by means of confirmations from appearances; and these are represented by singing birds. Others believe a thing to be true because it has been asserted by a man of authority; these are represented by magpies. Finally, there are some who have no desire and no ability to perceive what is true, but only what is false, for the reason that they are in a delusive light, in which falsity appears to be true, and what is true seems either like something overhead concealed in a dense cloud, or like a meteor, or like something false. The thoughts of these are represented by birds of night, and their speech by screech owls. Of this class those that have confirmed their falsities cannot bear to hear truths, and the moment any truth strikes the ear they repel it with aversion, as a stomach overcharged with bile from nausea vomits its food.

TCR 43. (5) It is the essence of Love to love others outside of oneself, to desire to be one with them, and to render them blessed from oneself. The essence of God consists of two things, love and wisdom; while the essence of His love consists of three things, namely, to love others outside of Himself, to desire to be one with them, and from Himself to render them blessed. And because love and wisdom in God make one, as has been shown above, the same three things constitute the essence of His wisdom; and love desires these three things, and wisdom brings them forth.

[2] The first essential, which is to love others outside of one's self, is recognized in God's love for the whole human race; and for its sake God loves all things that He has created because they are means; for when the end is loved the means also are loved. All men and things in the universe are outside of God, because they are finite and God is infinite. The love of God goes forth and extends not only to good men and good things, but also to evil men and evil things; consequently not only to the men and things in heaven but also in hell, thus not only to Michael and Gabriel but also to the devil and satan; for God is everywhere, and is from eternity to eternity the same. He says also:--

That He makes His sun to rise on the good and on the evil, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust (Matt. 5:45).

But the reason why evil men continue to be evil, and evil things continue to be evil, lies in the subjects and objects themselves, in that they do not receive the love of God as it is, and as it is inmostly in them, but as they themselves are; in the same way as thorns and thistles receive the heat of the sun and the rain of heaven.

[3] The second essential of the love of God, which is a desire to be one with others, is recognized in His conjunction with the angelic heaven, with the church on earth, with everyone there, and with everything good and true that enters into and constitutes man and the church. Moreover, love viewed in itself is nothing but an endeavor towards conjunction; therefore that this aim of the essence of love might be realized man was created by God into His own image and likeness, with which a conjunction is possible. That the Divine love continually seeks conjunction is evident from the Lord's own words:--

That He wishes them to be one, He in them and they in Him, and that the love of God might be in them (John 17:21-23, 26).

[4] The third essential of the love of God, which is to render others blessed from Himself, is recognized in eternal life, which is the endless blessedness, happiness, and felicity that God gives to those who receive into themselves His love. For as God is love itself, so is He blessedness itself; for all love breathes forth delight from itself, and the Divine love breathes forth blessedness itself, happiness, and felicity to eternity. Thus God from Himself renders the angels blessed, and men after death; and this He does by conjunction with them.

TCR 44. That such is the nature of the Divine love is known from its sphere, which pervades the universe, and affects everyone in accordance with his state. It especially affects parents, and is the source of their tender love for their children (who are outside of themselves), and their desire to be one with them, and to render them blessed from themselves. This sphere of Divine love affects not only the good, but also the evil, and not only men but also birds and beasts of every kind. What else does a mother think about when she has brought forth her child than uniting herself with it, as it were, and providing for its good? What other concern has a bird, when she has hatched her young from the egg, than to cherish them under her wings, and through their little mouths put food into their throats? It is known that even serpents and vipers love their offspring. This universal sphere especially affects those who receive within themselves this love of God, who are such as believe in God and love their neighbor. Charity with such is an image of that love. With those who are not good, friendship simulates that love; for at his table a man gives his friend the better things, kisses him, caresses and holds his hand, and proffers him useful offices. This love is also the sole origin of the sympathies and endeavors after union of those who are homogeneous or similar. This same Divine sphere is also operative in things inanimate, as trees and plants, but by means of the sun of the world, and its heat and light; for its heat enters thee from without and unites with them, causing them to germinate, bloom, and bear fruit; and these resemble blessedness in things animate. The sun's heat does this because it corresponds to spiritual heat, which is love. Representations of the operation of this love are also found in the various subjects of the mineral kingdom. Types of this are presented in the exaltation to use of these, and their consequent preciousness.

TCR 45. From this description of the essence of the Divine love the essential nature of diabolical love can be seen. This can be seen as being an opposite. Diabolical love is the love of self. That is called love, although viewed in itself it is hatred; for it loves no one outside of itself; neither does it desire to be joined with others in order to benefit them, but only to benefit itself. From its inmost it continuously aspires to rule over all and to possess the goods of all, and finally to be worshiped as God. This is why those who are in hell do not acknowledge God, but acknowledge as gods those who surpass others in power; thus they acknowledge lower and higher, or lesser and greater gods, according to the extent of their power. And as this is what everyone there has at heart, everyone burns with hatred against his own god, and this latter against those who are under his sway, regarding them as vile slaves, to whom he speaks courteously so long as they worship him, but he rages as if with fire against all others, and also inwardly, or in his heart, against his own vassals. For the love of self is the same as that of robbers; who kiss each other so long as they are engaged in robberies, but afterwards burn with a desire to kill each other, in order to take all the plunder. In hell: where it rules, this love causes its lusts to appear at a distance like various kinds of wild beasts, some like foxes and leopards, some like wolves and tigers, and some like crocodiles and poisonous serpents; it causes the deserts, which are places of abode there, to consist of nothing but heaps of stones or bare gravel, with bogs interspersed in which frogs croak; and it causes doleful birds to fly and screech above their huts. Such are "the doleful creatures (ochim)," "the wild beasts of the desert (tziim)," and "the wild beasts of the islands (ijim)," mentioned in the prophetic parts of the Word, where the love of rule from self-love is treated of (Isa. 13:21; Jer. 50:39; Ps. 74:14).

TCR 46. (6) These essentials of the Divine Love were the cause of the creation of the universe, and are the cause of its preservation. That these three essentials were the cause of creation can he clearly seen by a careful investigation of them. That the first, which is to love others outside of oneself, was a cause, is seen in the universe in that it is outside of God, as the world is outside of the sun, and in that He is thus able to extend His love to it, and exercise His love upon it, and thus rest in it. So we read that after God had created the heavens and the earth He rested, and that this was why the Sabbath day was instituted (Gen. 2:2, 3). That the second essential, which is a desire to be one with others, was also a cause, is seen in the creation of man in the image and likeness of God, which means that man was made a form for receiving love and wisdom from God, thus a being with whom God could unite Himself, and also for man's sake with each thing and all things in the universe, which are nothing but means; for conjunction with a final cause is also conjunction with mediate causes. That all things were created for the sake of man is plain also from the Book of Creation (Genesis 1:28-30). That the third essential, which is to render others blessed from oneself, is a cause, is seen in the angelic heaven, which is provided for every man who receives the love of God, and in which the blessedness of all comes from God alone. These three essentials of the love of God are also the cause of the preservation of the universe, since preservation is perpetual creation, as subsistence is perpetual existence; and the Divine love is the same from eternity to eternity, that is, such as it was in creating the world, such it is and continues to be in the world when created.

TCR 47. From these things when rightly understood it can be seen that the universe is a coherent work from first things to last, because it is a work that includes ends, causes, and effects in an indissoluble connection. And because in every love there is an end, in all wisdom there is a promotion of an end by means of mediate causes, and through these causes effects, which are uses, are attained, it follows that the universe is a work that includes Divine love, Divine wisdom, and uses, and is thus in every respect a work coherent from things first to last. That the universe consists of perpetual uses, brought forth by wisdom but initiated by love, every wise man can observe as in a mirror, as soon as he acquires a general conception of the creation of the universe, and from that observes the particulars; for particulars adapt themselves to their own general, and the general arranges them in a form in which they are in harmony. The truth of this will be illustrated in many ways in what follows.

TCR 48. To this I will add this Memorable Relation:-

I was once talking with two angels, one from the eastern and the other from the southern heaven. When they perceived that I was meditating upon the arcana of wisdom respecting love, they said, "Do you know anything about the schools of wisdom in our world?"

I answered, "Not yet."

They said that there were many such, and that those who love truths from spiritual affection, or because they are truths, and because by means of them wisdom is acquired, come together at a given signal and discuss and settle those questions that spring from a deeper understanding.

They then took me by the hand, saying, "Follow us, and you shall see and hear; the signal has been given for a meeting today."

I was led over a plain to a hill; and behold, at the foot of the hill was an arcade of palms reaching to its very top. This we entered and ascended; and on the top or summit of the hill a grove was seen, and among its trees the raised ground formed a kind of theater, within which was a level spot paved with little stones of various colors. Around this in quadrangular form seats were placed upon which lovers of wisdom were sitting; and in the middle of the theater there was a table, upon which was laid a paper sealed with a seal.

[2] Those who were seated invited us to the still vacant seats; but I answered, "I have been brought here by two angels to see and hear, not to sit."

Then the two angels went to the table in the middle of the level spot, and broke the seal of the paper, and read to those seated the arcana of wisdom written on the paper, which they were now to discuss and unfold. These arcana were written by angels of the third heaven, and let down upon the table. There were three: First, What is "the image of God," and what is "the likeness of God," into which man was created? Second, Why is man not born into the knowledge proper to any love, when even beasts and birds, both the noble and the ignoble, are born into the knowledges proper to all their loves? Third, What does "the tree of life" and what does "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" signify, and what is signified by "eating" of them?

Underneath was written, "Unite the answers to these three in one opinion. Write it on a fresh paper, and place it on this table, and we shall see. If the opinion seems well-balanced and correct, each one of you shall receive the prize for wisdom." Having read this the two angels withdrew, and were taken up into their heavens.

Then those sitting upon the seats began to discuss and unfold the arcana proposed to them, speaking in this order, first those, who sat on the north side, then those on the west, next those on the south, and lastly those on the east. And they took up the first subject of discussion, which was, What is "the image of God" and what is "the likeness of God" into which man was created? In the first place there was read to all of them these words from the Book of Creation

God said, Let us make man into Our image, after Our likeness. So God created man into His own image, into the likeness of God made He him (Gen. 1:26, 27).

In the day that God created man, into the likeness of God made He him (Gen. 5:1).

[3] Those who sat on the north spoke first, saying that an image of God and a likeness of God are the two lives breathed into man by God, which are the life of the will and the life of the understanding; for we read:--

Jehovah God breathed into the nostrils (of Adam) the breath of lives, and man was made into a living soul (Gen. 2:7).

This seems to mean that there was breathed into him the will of good and the perception of truth, thus the soul of lives. And inasmuch as life from God was breathed into him, image and likeness signify integrity in him from love and wisdom, and from righteousness and judgment."

To this those sitting on the west assented, adding, however, that the state of integrity breathed into Adam from God is continually breathed into every man after him; but in man it is as into a receptacle; and man is an image and likeness of God in proportion as he becomes a receptacle.

[4] Afterwards the third in order, who were those seated at the south, said, "An image of God and a likeness of God are two distinct things but in man they are united by creation; and we see as if from some interior light that while the image of God may be destroyed by man, the likeness of God cannot. This we see as through a network, in that Adam retained the likeness of God after he had lost the image of God; for after the curse we read:--

Behold the man has become as one of us, knowing good and evil (Gen. 3:22);

and after this he was called a likeness of God, but not an image of God (Gen. 5:1). But let us leave to our companions who sit at the east, and are therefore in superior light, to say what is properly an image of God, and what is properly a likeness of God."

[5] Then after a period of silence, those seated towards the east arose from their seats and looked up to the Lord, and again took their seats, and said that an image of God is a receptacle of God; and as God is love itself and wisdom itself, an image of God is the reception in that receptacle of love and wisdom from God; while a likeness of God is a perfect likeness and full appearance that love and wisdom are in man, and are therefore entirely his. For man has no other feeling than that he loves from himself and is wise from himself, or that he wills what is good and understands truth from himself; nevertheless, this is not from himself in the least degree, but from God. God alone loves from Himself and is wise from Himself, because He is love itself and wisdom itself. The likeness or appearance that love and wisdom, or good and truth, are in man as his own, is what makes man to be man, and makes him capable of conjunction with God, and thus of living to eternity; from which it follows that man is man from his being able to will what is good and understand truth wholly as if from himself, and yet with the ability to know and believe that he does so from God; for as man knows and believes this, God puts His image in man; but not so if man believes that he does this from himself, and not from God.

[6] When this had been said there came upon them a zeal arising from a love for the truth, from which they spoke as follows: "How can man receive anything of love and wisdom, and retain it and reproduce it, unless he feels it to be his own? And how is any conjunction with God by means of love and wisdom possible unless there has been given to man something by which he may reciprocate the conjunction? For without a reciprocal no conjunction is possible. And the reciprocal of conjunction is man's loving God and doing what is of God and from himself, and yet believing that it is from God. Moreover, how can man live to eternity unless he is joined to the eternal God? Consequently, how can man be man without that likeness in him?'

[7] These remarks were approved by all, and they said, "Let us form a conclusion from all this." This was done as follows: "Man is a receptacle of God, and a receptacle of God is an image of God; and as God is love itself and wisdom itself, man is a receptacle of these; and the receptacle becomes an image of God in the measure in which it receives. And man is a likeness of God from his feeling that the things that are from God are in him as his own; and yet from that likeness he is only so far an image of God as he acknowledges that love and wisdom, or good and truth, are not his own in him, and are not from him, but are solely in God, and consequently from God."

[8] After this they took up the second subject of discussion, Why is man not born into the knowledge proper to any love, when even beasts and birds, both the noble and the ignoble, are born into the knowledges proper to all their loves? They first confirmed the truth of the proposition by various arguments, as, that man is born into no knowledge, not even into a knowledge of marriage love. They inquired and learned from investigators the fact that an infant from connate knowledge does not even know its mother's breast, but learns of it from the mother or nurse by being put to the breast; that it merely knows how to suck, and this it has acquired from continual suction in the mother's womb; that subsequently it does not know how to walk, or to articulate sound into any human word, and not even to express by sounds its love's affections as beasts do; furthermore, that it does not know what food is suitable for it, as beasts do, but seizes upon whatever comes in its way, clean or unclean, and puts it in its mouth. The investigators said that man without instruction knows nothing whatever of the modes of loving the sex, virgins and youths even knowing nothing about it until they have been taught by others. In a word, man is born a purely corporeal thing, like a worm, and so continues unless he acquires knowledge, understanding, and wisdom from others.

[9] After this they confirmed the fact that both noble and ignoble animals, as the beasts of the earth, the birds of heaven, reptiles, fishes, and the smaller creatures called insects, are born into all the knowledges proper to their life's loves, as into all things pertaining to nutrition, to their habitations, to sexual love and prolification, and all things pertaining to the rearing of their offspring. All this they confirmed by wonderful facts which they recalled to memory from what they had seen, heard, and read in the natural world, where they had formerly lived, and where the animals are real and not representative. When the truth of the proposition had been thus established, they applied their minds to the investigation and discovery of the reasons by means of which this arcanum might be unfolded and made clear. And they all said that these things could spring only from the Divine wisdom, to the end that man might be man, and beast might be beast; and thus man's imperfection at birth becomes his perfection, and the beast's perfection at birth is its imperfection.

[10] Then those on the north began to express their views; and they said that man is born without knowledges in order that he may be able to receive all knowledges; while if he were born into knowledges he would not be capable of receiving other knowledges beyond those into which he had been born, nor would he be capable of making any knowledge his own. This they illustrated by the comparison that man at birth is like ground in which no seed has been sown, but which nevertheless is capable of receiving all seeds and of causing them to grow and bear fruit; while a beast is like ground already sown, and full of grasses and herbs, which can receive no other seeds than those already sown, or if it did, would choke them. For this reason man is many years in coming to maturity, during which he can be cultivated, like soil, and bring forth, as it were, all kinds of crops, flowers, and trees, while the beast matures in a few years, during which it is capable of improvement only in the things into which it was born.

TCR 48a.

[11] Afterwards those on the west spoke, and said, "Man is not, as a beast is, born a knowledge, but is born a faculty and inclination-a faculty for knowing and an inclination for loving. Moreover, he is born a faculty for loving both what pertains to self and the world and what pertains to God and heaven. Consequently, man at birth is merely an organ, living only an obscure life through the external senses, and with no internal senses, to the end that his life may develop step by step, and he may become first a natural man, then a rational man, and finally a spiritual man; and this he could not become if he were born into knowledges and loves as beasts are. For that development is limited by connate knowledges and affections of love, while mere connate faculties and inclinations do not limit it. This is what gives man the ability to be perfected to eternity in knowledges, intelligence, and wisdom."

[12] Those on the south followed, and pronounced their opinion, saying that it is impossible for man to derive any knowledge from himself, and since he has no connate knowledge he can only gain it from others. "And as man can acquire no knowledge from himself, neither can he any love, since where knowledge is not love is not. Knowledge and love are inseparable companions, as inseparable as will and understanding, or as affection and thought, or even as essence and form. Therefore as man acquires knowledge from others, love unites with it as a companion. The most general love that unites itself is the love of knowing, and afterwards the love of understanding and of being wise. No beast has these loves, but man only; and they flow in from God.

[13] We agree with our fellow-members on the west that man is not born into any love, and consequently not into any knowledge, but is born merely into an inclination for loving and thus into a faculty for receiving knowledge, not from himself but from others, that is, through others. We say through others, because neither do these receive anything from themselves, but originally from God. We agree also with our fellow-members on the north, that man at his birth is like soil in which no seeds have been planted, but in which all seeds, both noble and ignoble, may be planted. This is why man was called homo (man), from humus (soil), and Adam (Hebr. for man), from adamah, which means soil. To this we add that beasts are born into natural loves, and from these into knowledges corresponding thereto; and yet they have no ability to learn or to think or to understand or to be wise from knowledges; but are impelled to these by their loves, much as the blind are conducted through the streets by dogs (for beasts are blind so far as understanding is concerned; or rather, beasts are like persons walking in sleep, who do whatever they do from blind knowledge, their understanding being asleep)."

[14] Finally those on the east spoke and said, "We assent to what our brethren have said, that man derives no knowledge from himself, but only from and through others, in order that he may recognize and acknowledge that all his knowledge, understanding, and wisdom are from God; also that man can in no other way be born and begotten of God, and become His image and likeness. For man becomes an image of God by acknowledging and believing that he has received and continues to receive from God every good of charity and every truth of wisdom and faith, and none whatever from himself; while he is a likeness of God by his feeling these goods and truths to be in himself as if they were from himself. This he feels because he is not born into knowledges but acquires them; and what he acquires seems to him to be from himself. Moreover to so feel is bestowed upon man by God in order that he may be a man and not a beast, since it is through man's willing, thinking, loving, understanding, and being wise as if from himself, that he receives knowledges, and exalts them to intelligence, and, by using them, to wisdom; thus God conjoins man to Himself, and man conjoins himself to God. All this could not be done unless it had been provided by God that man should be born in total ignorance."

[15] After this had been said it was the desire of all that a conclusion be drawn from the points discussed, and this was done as follows: "Man is born into no knowledge that he may be capable of entering into all knowledge and progressing into intelligence, and through this into wisdom; and he is born into no love that he may be capable of entering, into all love by the application of knowledges from intelligence, and into love to God through love of the neighbor, and thus of being conjoined to God, and thereby becoming man and living forever."

[16] After this they took up the paper and read the third subject of discussion, which was, What is signified by "the tree of life," and by "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil," and by "eating" of them? They all requested that those in the east should unfold this arcanum, because it was a matter of deeper understanding, and because those from the east were in flaming light, that is, in the wisdom of love, and this wisdom is meant by "the garden of Eden," in which those two trees were placed.

They replied, "We will speak; but as man receives nothing from himself, but everything from God, we will speak from Him, and yet from ourselves as if from ourselves." And they said, "A tree signifies man, and its fruit the good of life; therefore `the tree of life' signifies man living from God; and as love and wisdom, or charity and faith, or good and truth, constitute the life of God in man, `the tree of life' signifies a man who has these within him from God, and in consequence, eternal life. The tree of life of which it shall be given to eat, mentioned in (Apoc. 2:7; 22:2, 14) has the same signification.

[17] `The tree of the knowledge of good and evil' signifies a man who believes that he lives from himself and not from God; thus that love and wisdom, or charity and faith, that is, good and truth, are not God's in man, but his own, the reason for this belief being that man thinks and wills and speaks and acts in all likeness and appearance as if from himself; and as man thereby persuades himself that he is himself a god, the serpent said:--

God doth know that in the day ye eat of the fruit of that tree your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil (Gen. 3:5).

[18] "`Eating' of these trees signifies reception and appropriation, `eating of the tree of life' reception of eternal life, and `eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil' the reception of damnation. `The serpent' means the devil in respect to the love of self and the conceit of one's own intelligence; this love is the possessor of that tree, and the men who are in the conceit derived from that love are such trees. It is therefore a monstrous error to believe that Adam was wise and did good from himself, and that this was his state of integrity; when in fact Adam was himself cursed on account of that belief; for this is what is meant by his `eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil;' and this was why he then fell from his state of integrity, which had been his possession because of his believing that he was wise and did good from God, and in no respect from himself, which is what is meant by his `eating of the tree of life.' The Lord alone when He was in the world was wise from Himself and did good from Himself, because the Divine Itself was in Him, and was His from His birth; therefore by His own power He became the Redeemer and Saviour."

[19] From all this they formed this conclusion: "`The tree of life,' `the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,' and `eating' therefrom, mean that man's life is God in him, and when God is in him he has heaven and eternal life; while the death of man is the persuasion and belief that his life is not God, but himself, and this belief leads to hell and eternal death, which is damnation."

[20] After this they looked at the paper left by the angels on the table, and saw written upon it, "Bring these three together in one opinion;" and bringing them together they saw that the three formed one coherent series, and the series or opinion was as follows: "Man was so created as to be capable of receiving love and wisdom from God, and yet in all likeness as if from himself, and this for the sake of reception and conjunction; and this is why man is not born into any love, nor into any knowledge, nor even into any power to love and be wise from himself. Therefore when he attributes every good of love and every truth of faith to God he becomes a living man; but when he attributes them to himself he becomes a dead man."

This they wrote on a fresh paper, and placed it on the table; and behold, immediately angels came in a bright cloud and carried the paper away to heaven.

And when it had been read there, those sitting upon the seats heard from heaven the words, "Well done, well done, well done." And presently one from heaven was seen flying as it were with what appeared like two wings on his feet and two on his temples, bringing rewards, which were robes, caps, and laurel wreaths. He descended and gave to those sitting at the north robes of an opaline color; to those at the west robes of scarlet; to those at the south caps with borders ornamented with bands of gold and pearls, and with their tops on the left side adorned with diamonds cut in the form of flowers; while to those on the east he gave wreaths of laurel in which were rubies and sapphires. And all, decorated with these rewards, went home from the school of wisdom with joy.


TCR 49. We have treated of the Divine love and wisdom, and have shown that these two are the Divine essence. The omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence of God will now be considered; because these three proceed from the Divine love and Divine wisdom in much the same way as the power and presence of the sun are present in this world and in each and all things thereof, by means of its heat and light. Moreover, heat from the sun of the spiritual world, in the midst of which is Jehovah God, is in its essence Divine love, and the light from it is in its essence Divine wisdom. Evidently, then, as infinity, immensity, and eternity pertain to the Divine Esse, so omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence pertain to the Divine essence. But as these three most general predicates of the Divine essence have hitherto not been understood, because their progression in accordance with their modes, which are the laws of order, has been unknown, they must be elucidated in separate sections, as follows:--

1. Omnipotence, Omniscience, and Omnipresence pertain to the Divine wisdom from the Divine love.

2. The Omnipotence, Omniscience, and Omnipresence of God can be clearly understood only when it is known what order is, and when it is known that God is order, and that He introduced order, both into the universe and into each and all things of it, at the time of their creation.

3. God's Omnipotence in the universe and in each and all things of it, proceeds and operates in accordance with the laws of His order.

4. God is omniscient, that is, He perceives, sees, and knows each thing and all things, even to the most minute, that take place according to order, and from these the things also that take place contrary to order.

5. God is omnipresent from the firsts to the lasts of His order.

6. Man was created a form of Divine order.

7. From the Divine Omnipotence man has power over evil and falsity, and from the Divine Omniscience has wisdom respecting what is good and true, and from the Divine Omnipresence is in God, just to the extent that he lives in accordance with Divine order.

But these propositions shall be unfolded one by one.

TCR 50. (1) Omnipotence, Omniscience, and Omnipresence pertain to the Divine wisdom from the Divine love. That omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence, pertain to the Divine wisdom from the Divine love, but not to the Divine love through the Divine wisdom, is an arcanum from heaven that has not yet dawned upon the understanding of anyone, because it has not yet been known what love is in its essence, and what wisdom therefrom is in its essence, and still less how one flows into the other; namely, that love, with each and all things of love, flows into wisdom and dwells in it, as a king in his kingdom, or as a master in his house, leaving all the administration of justice to the judgment of wisdom; and as justice pertains to love, and judgment to wisdom, love leaves all the administration of love to its own wisdom. But this arcanum will borrow light from what follows; meanwhile let it serve as a canon. That god is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent through the wisdom of His love is meant by the words in John:--

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the world was made by Him. And the Word was made flesh (John 1:1, 3, 4, 10, 14);

"the Word" here meaning the Divine truth, or, what amounts to the same thing, the Divine wisdom; and for this reason it is called " life" and" light," "life" and "light" being nothing else than wisdom.

TCR 51. 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).

TCR 52. (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.

TCR 53. 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 everything 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.

TCR 54. 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.

TCR 55. 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 practised. 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.

TCR 56. (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 Himself 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 anything evil, or from itself promote anything 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.

TCR 57. 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.

TCR 58. 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.

TCR 59. (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. Therefore 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 (Apoc. 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 (John 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.

TCR 60. 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.

TCR 61. 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 mid-day 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.

TCR 62. 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 Mine hand take them (Amos 9:2).

TCR 63. (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.

TCR 64. 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.

TCR 65. (6) Man was created from 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.

TCR 66. 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. 78). 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.

TCR 67. 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.

TCR 68. (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.

TCR 69. 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.

TCR 70. 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.

TCR 71. 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, "(i.) God is order itself. (ii.) He created man from order, in order, and into order. (iii.) 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. (iv.) 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. (v.) 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. (vi.) 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. (vii.) 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 Suph; 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.

TCR 72. 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 he 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, and 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."

TCR 73. 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 everything 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 by 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."

TCR 74. 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.


TCR 75. 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] (i) There are two worlds, a spiritual world where angels and spirits are, and a natural world where men are. (ii.) 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] (iii) 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] (iv.) 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 everything else in both worlds.

[5] (v.) There is a correspondence between those things that are in the spiritual world and those in the natural world.

[6] (vi.) There is an order in which each thing and all things belonging to both worlds were created.

[7] (vii.) 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.

TCR 76. 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.

TCR 77. 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 anything?" 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 anything 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.

TCR 78. 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. Not withstanding 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.

TCR 79. 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 flame, 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, and decide among 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 mere ravings I pass 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 forever; 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."

TCR 80. 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 be 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.

True Christian Religion previous · next Author:  E. Swedenborg (1688-1772). www.BibleMeanings.info