This work, originally published in 1763, treats of the operation of Divine love and Divine wisdom in the creation of the universe, including man as the chief end of creation. It explains the trinal distinction that exists in all created things, from the trinity in God, and shows how this is manifested in man, who is the image of the Divine. It unfolds the doctrine of Degrees, and explains the three discrete degrees of the human mind, showing how these are opened, and what is effected thereby. It also explains the origin of evil uses, and the origin, design, and tendency of good uses. It sets forth fully and clearly the philosophical basis of these doctrines; and is a work that no student of philosophy can afford to overlook.
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Angelic Wisdom Concerning The Divine Love And The Divine Wisdom
Emanuel Swedenborg – A Biographical Primer
Angelic Wisdom Concerning The Divine Love And The Divine Wisdom
1. Part First.
83. Part Second.
173. Part Third.
282. Part Fourth.
358. Part Fifth.
Angelic Wisdom Concerning The Divine Love And The Divine Wisdom, E. Swedenborg
Jazzybee Verlag Jürgen Beck
86450 Altenmünster, Loschberg 9
By Thomas Hitchcock
Swedish philosopher, born in Stockholm, Jan. 29, 1688, died in London, England, March 29, 1772. He was the son of Jesper Swedberg, bishop of Skara, the name being changed to Swedenborg in 1719 on the occasion of the ennobling of the family. This advancement entitled him, as head of the family, to a seat in the house of nobles of the Swedish diet, but did not confer the title of baron, as has been supposed. Emanuel was educated at Upsal, completing his studies in 1709. After two years of travel in England, Holland, and France, he went to reside at Greifswald in Pomerania, then a Swedish town, and busied himself with scientific research. He also wrote some Latin fables, which were published under the title of Camena Borea. A collection of Latin poems, written by him during his travels, was also published about the same time in a volume entitled Ludus Heliconius. In 1716 he returned to Sweden and established a periodical called Dædalus Hyperboreus, devoted to mathematics and mechanics, which appeared irregularly for two years. During this time he had become intimate with Christopher Polhem, an eminent engineer, and Polhem introduced him to Charles XII., who appointed him assessor extraordinary of the college of mines, and associate engineer with Polhem. For two years Swedenborg maintained close personal relations with the king, and assisted him much in his military operations. During the siege of Frederickshald, at which Charles met his death, Swedenborg constructed, under Polhem's direction, the machines by which several vessels were transported overland from Strömstad to the Iddefiord, 14 miles. At the king's suggestion, it is said, Polhem betrothed his daughter to Swedenborg; but as the young lady preferred another man, Swedenborg relinquished his claim and never married. From 1717 to 1722 he published pamphlets on scientific subjects; among them one describing a method of determining longitude by means of the moon. In 1721 he made a short tour on the continent, visiting mines and smelting works. On his return in 1722 he was promoted to be full assessor of mines, and for the next 12 years he devoted himself to the duties of that office, refusing the professorship of mathematics at Upsal in 1724. In 1734 he published Opera Philosophica et Mineralia in three large folio volumes, illustrated with numerous plates, viz.: vol. i., Principia; vol. ii., De Ferro; vol. iii., De Cupro et Orichalco. In the same year also appeared his Prodromus de Infinito. In 1736 he began another tour of travel, which, with study and writing, occupied him for several years. In 1740-'41 he published his Œconomia Regni Animalis, in two parts, and in 1744-'5 his Regnum Animale, in three parts. Between 1729 and 1741 he was elected successively a member of the academy of sciences at Upsal, corresponding member of the imperial academy of sciences at St. Petersburg, and member of the academy of sciences at Stockholm. His series of scientific publications ended in 1745 with the treatise De Cultu et Amore Dei, &c., in which is set forth, under the form of a prose poem or allegory, his theory of the process of creation. Thereafter, as he says, he was called by God to the work of revealing to men a new system of religious truth. For that end he was permitted to converse with spirits and angels, and behold the wonders of the spiritual world. That he might be more free to perform his task, he resigned his assessorship, retaining half the salary by way of pension. He devoted himself first to the study of the Bible in the original, and then to the writing of books explanatory of his new doctrines, which were published entirely at his own expense. From 1749 to 1756 appeared the Arcana Cœlestia (8 vols. 4to), containing a commentary on Genesis and Exodus, interspersed with accounts of “wonderful things seen and heard in heaven and in hell.” This was followed in 1758 by the De Cœlo et Inferno, De Telluribus in Mundo, De Ultimo Judicio, De Nova Hierosolyma, and De Equo Albo. In 1763 were published the four doctrinal treatises: Doctrina Vitæ, De Fide, De Domino, and De Scriptura Sacra, with a Continuatio de Ultimo Judicio, and the treatise De Divino Amore et de Divina Sapientia. In 1764, the Divina Providentia appeared; in 1766, the Apocalypsis Revelata; in 1768, De Amore Conjugiali; in 1769, Summaria Expositio Doctrinæ and De Commercio Animæ et Corporis; and in 1771, the Vera Christiana Religio. Besides these, he left at his death an immense mass of manuscripts, of which the following have been since printed: Itinerarium, Clavis Hieroglyphica, Opuscula, Apocalypsis Explicata, Adversaria in Libros Veteris Testamenti, Diarium Spirituale, Index Biblicus, Sensus Internus Prophetarum et Psalmorum, Dicta Probantia, De Athanasio Symbolo, De Charitate, Canones, Coronis Veræ Christianæ Religionis, and Invitatio ad Novam Ecclesiam. Copies of a few of these manuscripts have recently been reproduced by the photolithographic process, by subscription, not so much for circulation as for the sake of preserving the contents of the originals from destruction by decay. — Swedenborg's manner of life was simple and modest. He spent much of his time, in later years, in Holland and England, for which countries he expressed great admiration on account of the freedom of speech and writing permitted there. He made no efforts to gain proselytes to his doctrines further than by printing and distributing his writings, and never referred to his intercourse with the spiritual world except when questioned. Several instances are reported of his obtaining information from departed souls respecting affairs unknown even to their families, and describing events in distant places in advance of news by the ordinary means of communication. It is related that, as he lay on his deathbed in London, Ferelius, a Swedish clergyman, solemnly adjured him to tell the truth in regard to his teachings. Swedenborg raised himself half upright in bed, and placing his hand on his breast said with emphasis: “As true as you see me before you, so true is everything I have written. I could have said more had I been permitted. When you come into eternity, you will see all things as I have stated and described them, and we shall have much to say concerning them to each other.” He then received the holy supper from Ferelius, and presented him with a copy of his Arcana Cœlestia. A day or two afterward he peacefully breathed his last. His body was buried in a vault of the Swedish church in Prince's square, a little east of the tower. A eulogium was pronounced upon him in the Swedish house of nobles in October, 1772, by Samuel Sandels, which accords him high praise, not merely for learning and talent, but also for uprightness and fidelity in the discharge of his duties as a public functionary. Several of his acquaintances have also left written testimony to his virtuous character. — Swedenborg's scientific works have long since ceased to be of practical value, but are still highly interesting as collections of facts, and as exhibiting their author's peculiar method of philosophizing. The system he followed was substantially that of Descartes, of whom he continued to the end of his life to speak with admiration, and this led him to conclusions resembling in some striking points those of Spinoza, who was likewise a Cartesian. His “Economy of the Animal Kingdom” is the best of his many productions anterior to his theological career. In it he attempts to deduce a knowledge of the soul from an anatomical and physiological knowledge of the body, and evolves many doctrines which he afterward elaborated in his theological works. Indeed, some of his disciples hold that his seership was the natural result of his intellectual and moral development, and by no means an abnormal condition of mind. According to his own account, it came upon him gradually, and neither astonished nor alarmed him, although in its early stages he was subject to great mental excitement, the phenomena of which may have given rise to exaggerated stories of his insanity. The works written by him subsequent to this change in his mind are quite as systematic and coherent as his earlier productions, and only his claim to a divine mission, and his frequent descriptions of what he saw and heard in the spiritual world, mark them as peculiar. They are consistent from first to last, and though they appeared at intervals during a period of 27 years, they nowhere deviate from the fundamental principles laid down at the outset. — The general features of Swedenborg's theology are presented in his treatise called the “True Christian Religion.” He teaches that God is one in essence and in person, and has been revealed to men as the Lord Jesus Christ. In the Lord is a trinity, not of persons but of principles, and it is these principles which are spoken of in the Scriptures as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. The Father is the divine love, the Son the divine wisdom, and the Holy Ghost the divine operation or energy acting upon the universe. The Lord is infinite, eternal, self-existent, omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent, and not only the creator but the sustainer of all creation, which without him would cease to exist. For the sake of redeeming mankind he assumed a natural body born of the Virgin Mary, and glorified it or made it divine, so that it is now invisible to men, and also usually to the angels except as the sun of heaven. Redemption consisted, not in suffering vicariously the punishment of men's sins (for that could not be done, and, if it could, would be useless), but in actual combats, by means of the assumed humanity, with the powers of hell, and overcoming them. This victory restored to man spiritual freedom, which had begun to be impaired by diabolic possessions as narrated in the Gospels, and enabled him to work out his salvation. This he does by looking to the Lord, with faith in him, by repentance, and above all by a life according to the commandments of the decalogue. The chief points that Swedenborg insists on in religion are faith in the Lord and the avoidance of evils as sins against him. Upon everything else, such as outward worship, prayer and meditation, and works of eleemosynary charity, he lays but little stress. The essence of charity is love to the neighbor and occupation in some useful employment. The Word, he says, is the divine truth itself, written to reveal the Lord to man and to serve as a medium of conjunction between earth and heaven. This Word consists of the books of Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Leviticus, Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, the Psalms, the prophecies, the four Gospels, and the Apocalypse. The other books bound up with these in our Bibles are not the Word, although good and useful to the church. The distinction between the two consists in this: that the Word contains an internal or spiritual sense, which the rest of the Bible has not. This spiritual sense is symbolical, and may be discerned by the application of the law of symbolism resulting from the universal correspondence of natural with spiritual things. Thus, the garden of Eden and all things mentioned as existing in it symbolize the human soul and its affections and thoughts; and the disobedience of Adam and Eve, the alienation of mankind at a remote period from their original state of innocence. Hence, too, the decalogue forbids not merely outward sins, but the inward spiritual sins corresponding to them, and the Psalms and prophecies relate not merely to David and the Jews, but to experiences of the human soul independent of dates and localities. At the same time the literal sense alone can be relied on as a basis of doctrine, and Swedenborg is careful to cite it profusely in support of his teachings. The reason he gives for his mission is that the knowledge of true doctrine had been lost and the church destroyed by a false theology and accompanying evils of life. By the promulgation of the truth revealed to him a new church has been established by the Lord, and thus the prophecies in the Apocalypse of the descent of the New Jerusalem have been fulfilled in their symbolical sense. The second coming of the Lord, predicted in Matt, xxiv., has also been accomplished in the same way, a last judgment having been effected in the spiritual world in the year 1757, so that we are now living under a new dispensation. The treatise on “Heaven and Hell” embodies Swedenborg's teachings on the nature of those two realms, and their relations to this world. They exist, he says, not in some other region of space, but within the natural world, as the soul of man exists within his body, being in fact in the souls of men and resting in them as our souls rest in our bodies. At death the body, which is the material envelope of the soul, is cast aside, never to be resumed, and consequently its resurrection is not to be looked for. The soul is the man himself, and is a perfect human being, with a spiritual body of its own, and rises into a conscious perception of the spiritual world, of which the man had previously been unconsciously an inhabitant. He sees and feels and possesses all the other senses, and retains all his personal characteristics. After a longer or shorter preparation in an intermediate state called the world of spirits, which lies between heaven and hell, he is drawn by his own elective affinity to the place where he belongs, and remains there to eternity. Both heaven and hell consist of innumerable societies, each composed of human beings of similar and concordant affections; and both are divided into three distinct regions, according to the degrees of perfection or depravity of their inhabitants. The Arcana Cœlestia, Swedenborg's largest work, is mainly an exposition of the internal or symbolical sense of Genesis and Exodus, with accounts of his experiences in the spiritual world, and various doctrinal teachings interspersed between the chapters. “The Apocalypse Revealed” and “The Apocalypse Explained” are similar expositions of the Apocalypse. In his “Conjugial Love” Swedenborg expounds his doctrine of the relations of the sexes. Males, he says, are masculine and females feminine in soul as well as in body. The masculine element is love clothed with wisdom, while the feminine is wisdom clothed with love. Hence the characteristic of man is wisdom or understanding, and that of woman love or affection. Marriage is the conjunction of two souls who complement each other, and by their union make one complete being, just as the will and the understanding make the individual. Hence the only true marriage is of one man and one woman, and it exists in the next world as well as in this. Polygamy is a degraded state, but not a sin with those whose religion permits it; but adultery is destructive of the life of the soul, and closes heaven against those who confirm themselves in it. The treatises on the “Divine Love and Wisdom” and the “Divine Providence” embody Swedenborg's spiritual philosophy, and exhibit the symmetrical relations of the various parts of his religious system. Love, he says, is the life of man. God alone is Love itself and Life itself, and angels and men are but recipients of life from him. He is very Man, and our humanity is derived from him, so that it is literally true that we are created in his image and likeness. His infinite love clothes itself with infinite wisdom and manifests itself in ceaseless operation, producing, maintaining, and reproducing the boundless universe, with all its innumerable parts and inhabitants. In like manner men, being made in the image of God, also have love or the will, and wisdom or the understanding, and the two produce in them their finite operation. It being the nature of love to desire objects upon which to exercise itself, God could not but create the universe. The creation of this and other solar systems, all of which are inhabited, was effected by a spiritual sun, which is the first emanation proceeding from God, and which is seen in the spiritual world as our sun is seen by us. By means of this spiritual sun natural suns were created, and from them atmospheres, waters, earths, plants, animals, and finally man. Angels, spirits, and devils are men who have been born and died on this or some similar planet. Hence, all things were created from God, and not out of nothing. The spiritual world is related to the natural as cause is to effect, and the supreme first cause of all is God himself. These three, end, cause, and effect, constitute three distinct or discrete degrees, which are repeated in various forms in all created things, and on a grand scale in the universe as a whole. Creation, being from God, is, like the individual man, an image of him, and hence is in the human form in its greatest and least parts, and with more or less approximation to perfection. As we are finitely men, because God is an infinite Man, so all animals, plants, and even minerals wear a resemblance to man, and throughout all nature there is an incessant effort to evolve the human form. In the sight of God and the angels, larger and smaller bodies of human beings and the societies of heaven and hell appear organized like men, and Swedenborg calls the universe the Grand Man (Maximus Homo). As infinite love was the end and infinite wisdom the cause of creation, so the divine life and power are constantly active in sustaining and directing it. This activity is the Divine Providence, and it reaches to every smallest particular of nature and humanity. Man has freedom, because without it he could not be an adequate recipient of the divine love, and by the abuse of his freedom he has introduced evil into the world. The Divine Providence seeks, without destroying this freedom, to lead man back to his original integrity. Hence all the wonderful dealings of God with man recorded in the Scriptures; hence the incarnation; and hence the various forms of religion which exist in the world, all of which embody more or less the essentials of salvation, namely, the worship of God and abstinence from evils as sins against him. The smaller treatises of Swedenborg are mostly extracts from his larger works, with amplifications and additions. — The fullest account of him and his writings is that of William White (2 vols., London, 1867, since republished in one volume). See, also, “Documents concerning Swedenborg,” by R. L. Tafel (London, 1875 et seq.). All of his theological and some of his scientific works have been translated into English. The theological works have also been reprinted in Latin by Dr. J. F. I. Tafel, of Tübingen, Germany, and partially translated and published in French, German, Italian, Danish, and Swedish. Societies for promoting their circulation are in operation both in the United States and in Europe. The principal writers who have undertaken the exposition of Swedenborg's doctrines in England are John Clowes, Robert Hindmarsh, C. A. Tulk, Samuel Noble, J. J. G. Wilkinson, and Jonathan Bayley; in France, E. Richer and J. F. Les Boys-des-Guays; and in the United States, George Bush, Theophilus Parsons, E. H. Sears, Henry James, B. F. Barrett, W. B. Hayden, and Chauncey Giles. For an account of the ecclesiastical organization based upon Swedenborg's doctrines.
LOVE IS THE LIFE OF MAN.
Man knows that there is such a thing as love, but he does not know what love is. He knows that there is such a thing as love from common speech, as when it is said, he loves me, a king loves his subjects, and subjects love their king, a husband loves his wife, a mother her children, and conversely; also, this or that one loves his country, his fellow citizens, his neighbor; and likewise of things abstracted from person, as when it is said, one loves this or that thing. But although the word love is so universally used, hardly anybody knows what love is. And because one is unable, when he reflects upon it, to form to himself any idea of thought about it, he says either that it is not anything, or that it is merely something flowing in from sight, hearing, touch, or interaction with others, and thus affecting him. He is wholly unaware that love is his very life; not only the general life of his whole body, and the general life of all his thoughts, but also the life of all their particulars. This a man of discernment can perceive when it is said: If you remove the affection which is from love, can you think anything, or do anything? Do not thought, speech, and action, grow cold in the measure in which the affection which is from love grows cold? And do they not grow warm in the measure in which this affection grows warm? But this a man of discernment perceives simply by observing that such is the case, and not from any knowledge that love is the life of man.
2. What the life of man is, no one knows unless he knows that it is love. If this is not known, one person may believe that man's life is nothing but perceiving with the senses and acting, and another that it is merely thinking; and yet thought is the first effect of life, and sensation and action are the second effect of life. Thought is here said to be the first effect of life, yet there is thought which is interior and more interior, also exterior and more exterior. What is actually the first effect of life is inmost thought, which is the perception of ends. But of all this hereafter, when the degrees of life are considered.
3. Some idea of love, as being the life of man, may be had from the sun's heat in the world. This heat is well known to be the common life, as it were, of all the vegetations of the earth. For by virtue of heat, coming forth in springtime, plants of every kind rise from the ground, deck themselves with leaves, then with blossoms, and finally with fruits, and thus, in a sense, live. But when, in the time of autumn and winter, heat withdraws, the plants are stripped of these signs of their life, and they wither. So it is with love in man; for heat and love mutually correspond. Therefore love also is warm.
4. GOD ALONE, CONSEQUENTLY THE LORD, IS LOVE ITSELF, BECAUSE HE IS LIFE ITSELF AND ANGELS AND MEN ARE RECIPIENTS OF LIFE.
This will be fully shown in treatises on Divine Providence and on Life; it is sufficient here to say that the Lord, who is the God of the universe, is uncreate and infinite, whereas man and angel are created and finite. And because the Lord is uncreate and infinite, He is Being [Esse] itself, which is called "Jehovah," and Life itself, or Life in itself. From the uncreate, the infinite, Being itself and Life itself, no one can be created immediately, because the Divine is one and indivisible; but their creation must be out of things created and finited, and so formed that the Divine can be in them. Because men and angels are such, they are recipients of life. Consequently, if any man suffers himself to be so far misled as to think that he is not a recipient of life but is Life, he cannot be withheld from the thought that he is God. A man's feeling as if he were life, and therefore believing himself to be so, arises from fallacy; for the principal cause is not perceived in the instrumental cause otherwise than as one with it. That the Lord is Life in Himself, He Himself teaches in John:
As the Father hath life in Himself, so also hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself (5:26) He declares also that He is Life itself (John 11:25; 14:6).
Now since life and love are one (as is apparent from what has been said above, n. 1, 2), it follows that the Lord, because He is Life itself, is Love itself.
5. But that this may reach the understanding, it must needs be known positively that the Lord, because He is Love in its very essence, that is, Divine Love, appears before the angels in heaven as a sun, and that from that sun heat and light go forth; the heat which goes forth therefrom being in its essence love, and the light which goes forth therefrom being in its essence wisdom; and that so far as the angels are recipients of that spiritual heat and of that spiritual light, they are loves and wisdoms; not loves and wisdoms from themselves, but from the Lord. That spiritual heat and that spiritual light not only flow into angels and affect them, but they also flow into men and affect them just to the extent that they become recipients; and they become recipients in the measure of their love to the Lord and love towards the neighbor. That sun itself, that is, the Divine Love, by its heat and its light, cannot create any one immediately from itself; for one so created would be Love in its essence, which Love is the Lord Himself; but it can create from substances and matters so formed as to be capable of receiving the very heat and the very light; comparatively as the sun of the world cannot by its heat and light produce germinations on the earth immediately, but only out of earthy matters in which it can be present by its heat and light, and cause vegetation. In the spiritual world the Divine Love of the Lord appears as a sun, and from it proceed the spiritual heat and the spiritual light from which the angels derive love and wisdom, as may be seen in the work on Heaven and Hell (n. 116-140).
6. Since, then, man is not life, but is a recipient of life, it follows that the conception of a man from his father is not a conception of life, but only a conception of the first and purest form capable of receiving life; and to this, as to a nucleus or starting-point in the womb, are successively added substances and matters in forms adapted to the reception of life, in their order and degree.
7. THE DIVINE IS NOT IN SPACE.
That the Divine, that is, God, is not in space, although omnipresent and with every man in the world, and with every angel in heaven, and with every spirit under heaven, cannot be comprehended by a merely natural idea, but it can by a spiritual idea. It cannot be comprehended by a natural idea, because in the natural idea there is space; since it is formed out of such things as are in the world, and in each and all of these, as seen by the eye, there is space. In the world, everything great and small is of space; everything long, broad, and high is of space; in short, every measure, figure and form is of space. This is why it has been said that it cannot be comprehended by a merely natural idea that the Divine is not in space, when it is said that the Divine is everywhere. Still, by natural thought, a man may comprehend this, if only he admit into it something of spiritual light. For this reason something shall first be said about spiritual idea, and thought therefrom. Spiritual idea derives nothing from space, but it derives its all from state. State is predicated of love, of life, of wisdom, of affections, of joys therefrom; in general, of good and of truth. An idea of these things which is truly spiritual has nothing in common with space; it is higher and looks down upon the ideas of space which are under it as heaven looks down upon the earth. But since angels and spirits see with eyes, just as men in the world do, and since objects cannot be seen except in space, therefore in the spiritual world where angels and spirits are, there appear to be spaces like the spaces on earth; yet they are not spaces, but appearances; since they are not fixed and constant, as spaces are on earth; for they can be lengthened or shortened; they can be changed or varied. Thus because they cannot be determined in that world by measure, they cannot be comprehended there by any natural idea, but only by a spiritual idea. The spiritual idea of distances of space is the same as of distances of good or distances of truth, which are affinities and likenesses according to states of goodness and truth.
8. From this it may be seen that man is unable, by a merely natural idea, to comprehend that the Divine is everywhere, and yet not in space; but that angels and spirits comprehend this clearly; consequently that a man also may, provided he admits into his thought something of spiritual light; and this for the reason that it is not his body that thinks, but his spirit, thus not his natural, but his spiritual.
9. But many fail to comprehend this because of their love of the natural, which makes them unwilling to raise the thoughts of their understanding above the natural into spiritual light; and those who are unwilling to do this can think only from space, even concerning God; and to think according to space concerning God is to think concerning the expanse of nature. This has to be premised, because without a knowledge and some perception that the Divine is not in space, nothing can be understood about the Divine Life, which is Love and Wisdom, of which subjects this volume treats; and hence little, if anything, about Divine Providence, Omnipresence, Omniscience, Omnipotence, Infinity and Eternity, which will be treated of in succession.
10. It has been said that in the spiritual world, just as in the natural world, there appear to be spaces, consequently also distances, but that these are appearances according to spiritual affinities which are of love and wisdom, or of good and truth. From this it is that the Lord, although everywhere in the heavens with angels, nevertheless appears high above them as a sun. Furthermore, since reception of love and wisdom causes affinity with the Lord, those heavens in which the angels are, from reception, in closer affinity with Him, appear nearer to Him than those in which the affinity is more remote. From this it is also that the heavens, of which there are three, are distinct from each other, likewise the societies of each heaven; and further, that the hells under them are remote according to their rejection of love and wisdom. The same is true of men, in whom and with whom the Lord is present throughout the whole earth; and this solely for the reason that the Lord is not in space.
11. GOD IS VERY MAN.
In all the heavens there is no other idea of God than that He is a Man. This is because heaven as a whole and in part is in form like a man, and because it is the Divine which is with the angels that constitutes heaven and inasmuch as thought proceeds according to the form of heaven, it is impossible for the angels to think of God in any other way. From this it is that all those in the world who are conjoined with heaven think of God in the same way when they think interiorly in themselves, that is, in their spirit. From this fact that God is a Man, all angels and all spirits, in their complete form, are men. This results from the form of heaven, which is like itself in its greatest and in its least parts. That heaven as a whole and in part is in form like a man may be seen in the work on Heaven and Hell (n. 59-87); and that thoughts proceed according to the form of heaven (n. 203, 204). It is known from Genesis (1:26, 27), that men were created after the image and likeness of God. God also appeared as a man to Abraham and to others. The ancients, from the wise even to the simple, thought of God no otherwise than as being a Man; and when at length they began to worship a plurality of gods, as at Athens and Rome, they worshiped them all as men. What is here said may be illustrated by the following extract from a small treatise already published:
The Gentiles, especially the Africans, who acknowledge and worship one God, the Creator of the universe, have concerning God the idea that He is a Man, and declare that no one can have any other idea of God. When they learn that there are many who cherish an idea of God as something cloud-like in the midst of things, they ask where such persons are; and on being told that they are among Christians, they declare it to be impossible. They are informed, however, that this idea arises from the fact that God in the Word is called "a Spirit," and of a spirit they have no other idea than of a bit of cloud, not knowing that every spirit and every angel is a man. An examination, nevertheless, was made, whether the spiritual idea of such persons was like their natural idea, and it was found not to be so with those who acknowledge the Lord interiorly as God of heaven and earth. I heard a certain elder from the Christians say that no one can have an idea of a Human Divine; and I saw him taken about to various Gentile nations, and successively to such as were more and more interior, and from them to their heavens, and finally to the Christian heaven; and everywhere their interior perception concerning God was communicated to him, and he observed that they had no other idea of God than that He is a man, which is the same as the idea of a Human Divine (C.L.J. n. 74).
12. The common people in Christendom have an idea that God is a Man, because God in the Athanasian doctrine of the Trinity is called a "Person." But those who are more learned than the common people pronounce God to be invisible; and this for the reason that they cannot comprehend how God, as a Man, could have created heaven and earth, and then fill the universe with His presence, and many things besides, which cannot enter the understanding so long as the truth that the Divine is not in space is ignored. Those, however, who go to the Lord alone think of a Human Divine, thus of God as a Man.
13. How important it is to have a correct idea of God can be known from the truth that the idea of God constitutes the inmost of thought with all who have religion, for all things of religion and all things of worship look to God. And since God, universally and in particular, is in all things of religion and of worship, without a proper idea of God no communication with the heavens is possible. From this it is that in the spiritual world every nation has its place allotted in accordance with its idea of God as a Man; for in this idea, and in no other, is the idea of the Lord. That man's state of life after death is according to the idea of God in which he has become confirmed, is manifest from the opposite of this, namely, that the denial of God, and, in the Christian world, the denial of the Divinity of the Lord, constitutes hell.
14. IN GOD-MAN ESSE AND EXISTERE* ARE ONE DISTINCTLY**
Where there is Esse [being] there is Existere [taking form]; one is not possible apart from the other. For Esse is by means of Existere, and not apart from it. This the rational mind comprehends when it thinks whether there can possibly be any Esse [being] which does not Exist [take form], and whether there can possibly be Existere except from Esse. And since one is possible with the other, and not apart from the other, it follows that they are one, but one distinctly. They are one distinctly, like Love and Wisdom; in fact, love is Esse, and wisdom is Existere; for there can be no love except in wisdom, nor can there be any wisdom except from love; consequently when love is in wisdom, then it EXISTS. These two are one in such a way that they may be distinguished in thought but not in operation, and because they may be distinguished in thought though not in operation, it is said that they are one distinctly.*** Esse and Existere in God-Man are also one distinctly like soul and body. There can be no soul apart from its body, nor body apart from its soul. The Divine soul of God-Man is what is meant by Divine Esse, and the Divine Body is what is meant by Divine Existere. That a soul can exist apart from a body, and can think and be wise, is an error springing from fallacies; for every man's soul is in a spiritual body after it has cast off the material coverings which it carried about in the world. * To be and to exist. Swedenborg seems to use this word "exist" nearly in the classical sense of springing or standing forth, becoming manifest, taking form. The distinction between esse and existere is essentially the same as between substance and form. ** For the meaning of this phrase. "distincte unum," see below in this paragraph, also n. 17, 22, 34, 223, and DP 4. *** It should be noticed that in Latin, distinctly is the adverb of the verb distinguish. If translated distinguishably, this would appear.
15. Esse is not Esse unless it Exists, because until then it is not in a form, and if not in a form it has no quality; and what has no quality is not anything. That which Exists from Esse, for the reason that it is from Esse, makes one with it. From this there is a uniting of the two into one; and from this each is the others mutually and interchangeably, and each is all in all things of the other as in itself.
16. From this it can be seen that God is a Man, and consequently He is God-Existing; not existing from Himself but in Himself. He who has existence in Himself is God from whom all things are.
17. IN GOD-MAN INFINITE THINGS ARE ONE DISTINCTLY.
That God is infinite is well known, for He is called the Infinite; and He is called the Infinite because He is infinite. He is infinite not from this alone, that He is very Esse and Existere in itself, but because in Him there are infinite things. An infinite without infinite things in it, is infinite in name only. The infinite things in Him cannot be called infinitely many, nor infinitely all, because of the natural idea of many and of all; for the natural idea of infinitely many is limited, and the natural idea of infinitely all, though not limited, is derived from limited things in the universe. Therefore man, because his ideas are natural, is unable by any refinement or approximation, to come into a perception of the infinite things in God; and an angel, while he is able, because he is in spiritual ideas, to rise by refinement and approximation above the degree of man, is still unable to attain to that perception.
18. That in God there are infinite things, any one may convince himself who believes that God is a Man; for, being a Man, He has a body and every thing pertaining to it, that is, a face, breast, abdomen, loins and feet; for without these He would not be a Man. And having these, He also has eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and tongue; also the parts within man, as the heart and lungs, and their dependencies, all of which, taken together, make man to be a man. In a created man these parts are many, and regarded in their details of structure are numberless; but in God-Man they are infinite, nothing whatever is lacking, and from this He has infinite perfection. This comparison holds between the uncreated Man who is God and created man, because God is a Man; and He Himself says that the man of this world was created after His image and into His likeness (Gen. 1:26, 27).
19. That in God there are infinite things, is still more evident to the angels from the heavens in which they dwell. The whole heaven, consisting of myriads of myriads of angels, in its universal form is like a man. So is each society of heaven, be it larger or smaller. From this, too, an angel is a man, for an angel is a heaven in least form. (This is shown in the work Heaven and Hell, n. 51-86.) Heaven as a whole, in part, and in the individual, is in that form by virtue of the Divine which angels receive; for in the measure in which an angel receives from the Divine is he in complete form a man. From this it is that angels are said to be in God, and God in them; also, that God is their all. How many things there are in heaven cannot be told; and because the Divine is what makes heaven, and consequently these unspeakably many things are from the Divine, it is clearly evident that there are infinite things in Very Man, who is God.
20. From the created universe a like conclusion may be drawn when it is regarded from uses and their correspondences. But before this can be understood some preliminary illustrations must be given.
21. Because in God-Man there are infinite things which appear in heaven, in angel, and in man, as in a mirror; and because God-Man is not in space (as was shown above, n. 7-10), it can, to some extent, be seen and comprehended how God can be Omnipresent, Omniscient, and All-providing; and how, as Man, He could create all things, and as Man can hold the things created by Himself in their order to eternity.
22. That in God-Man infinite things are one distinctly, can also be seen, as in a mirror, from man. In man there are many and numberless things, as said above; but still man feels them all as one. From sensation he knows nothing of his brains, of his heart and lungs, of his liver, spleen, and pancreas; or of the numberless things in his eyes, ears, tongue, stomach, generative organs, and the remaining parts; and because from sensation he has no knowledge of these things, he is to himself as a one. The reason is that all these are in such a form that not one can be lacking; for it is a form recipient of life from God-Man (as was shown above, n. 4-6). From the order and connection of all things in such a form there comes the feeling, and from that the idea, as if they were not many and numberless, but were one. From this it may be concluded that the many and numberless things which make in man a seeming one, a Very Man who is God, are one distinctly, yea, most distinctly.
23. THERE IS ONE GOD-MAN, FROM WHOM ALL THINGS COME.
All things of human wisdom unite, and as it were center in this, that there is one God, the Creator of the universe: consequently a man who has reason, from the general nature of his understanding, does not and cannot think otherwise. Say to any man of sound reason that there are two Creators of the universe, and you will be sensible of his repugnance, and this, perhaps, from the mere sound of the phrase in his ear; from which it appears that all things of human reason unite and center in this, that God is one. There are two reasons for this. First, the very capacity to think rationally, viewed in itself, is not man's, but is God's in man; upon this capacity human reason in its general nature depends, and this general nature of reason causes man to see as from himself that God is one. Secondly, by means of that capacity man either is in the light of heaven, or he derives the generals of his thought therefrom; and it is a universal of the light of heaven that God is one. It is otherwise when man by that capacity has perverted the lower parts of his understanding; such a man indeed is endowed with that capacity, but by the twist given to these lower parts, he turns it contrariwise, and thereby his reason becomes unsound.
24. Every man, even if unconsciously, thinks of a body of men as of one man; therefore he instantly perceives what is meant when it is said that a king is the head, and the subjects are the body, also that this or that person has such a place in the general body, that is, in the kingdom. As it is with the body politic, so is it with the body spiritual. The body spiritual is the church; its head is God-Man; and from this it is plain how the church thus viewed as a man would appear if instead of one God, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe, several were thought of. The church thus viewed would appear as one body with several heads; thus not as a man, but as a monster. If it be said that these heads have one essence, and that thus together they make one head, the only conception possible is either that of one head with several faces or of several heads with one face; thus making the church, viewed as a whole, appear deformed. But in truth, the one God is the head, and the church is the body, which acts under the command of the head, and not from itself; as is also the case in man; and from this it is that there can be only one king in a kingdom, for several kings would rend it asunder, but one is able to preserve its unity.
25. So would it be with the church scattered throughout the whole globe, which is called a communion, because it is as one body under one head. It is known that the head rules the body under it at will; for understanding and will have their seat in the head; and in conformity to the understanding and will the body is directed, even to the extent that the body is nothing but obedience. As the body can do nothing except from the understanding and will in the head, so the man of the church can do nothing except from God. The body seems to act of itself, as if the hands and feet in acting are moved of themselves; or the mouth and tongue in speaking vibrate of themselves, when, in fact, they do not in the slightest degree act of themselves, but only from an affection of the will and the consequent thought of the understanding in the head. Suppose, now, one body to have several heads and each head to be free to act from its own understanding and its own will, could such a body continue to exist? For among several heads singleness of purpose, such as results from one head would be impossible. As in the church, so in the heavens; heaven consists of myriads of myriads of angels, and unless these all and each looked to one God, they would fall away from one another and heaven would be broken up. Consequently, if an angel of heaven but thinks of a plurality of gods he is at once separated; for he is cast out into the outmost boundary of the heavens, and sinks downward.
26. Because the whole heaven and all things of heaven have relation to one God, angelic speech is such that by a certain unison flowing from the unison of heaven it closes in a single cadence - a proof that it is impossible for the angels to think otherwise than of one God; for speech is from thought.
27. Who that has sound reason can help seeing that the Divine is not divisible? also that a plurality of Infinites, of Uncreates, of Omnipotents, and of Gods, is impossible? Suppose one destitute of reason were to declare that a plurality of Infinites, of Uncreates, of Omnipotents, and of Gods is possible, if only they have one identical essence, and this would make of them one Infinite, Uncreate, Omnipotent, and God, would not the one identical essence be one identity? And one identity is not possible to several. If it should be said that one is from the other, the one who is from the other is not God in Himself; nevertheless, God in Himself is the God from whom all things are (see above, n. 16).
28. THE DIVINE ESSENCE ITSELF IS LOVE AND WISDOM
Sum up all things you know and submit them to careful inspection, and in some elevation of spirit search for the universal of all things, and you cannot conclude otherwise than that it is Love and Wisdom. For these are the two essentials of all things of man's life; everything of that life, civil, moral, and spiritual, hinges upon these two, and apart from these two is nothing. It is the same with all things of the life of the composite Man, which is, as was said above, a society, larger or smaller, a kingdom, an empire, a church, and also the angelic heaven. Take away love and wisdom from these, and consider whether they be anything, and you will find that apart from love and wisdom as their origin they are nothing.
29. Love together with wisdom in its very essence is in God. This no one can deny; for God loves every one from love in Himself, and leads every one from wisdom in Himself. The created universe, too, viewed in relation to its order, is so full of wisdom coming forth from love that all things in the aggregate may be said to be wisdom itself. For things limitless are in such order, successively and simultaneously, that taken together they make a one. It is from this, and this alone, that they can be held together and continually preserved.
30. It is because the Divine Essence itself is Love and Wisdom that man has two capacities for life; from one of these he has understanding, from the other will. The capacity from which he has understanding derives everything it has from the influx of wisdom from God, and the capacity from which he has will derives everything it has from the influx of love from God. Man's not being truly wise and not loving rightly does not take away these capacities, but merely closes them up; and so long as they are closed up, although the understanding is still called understanding and the will is called will, they are not such in essence. If these two capacities, therefore, were to be taken away, all that is human would perish; for the human is to think and to speak from thought, and to will and to act from will. From this it is clear that the Divine has its seat in man in these two capacities, the capacity to be wise and the capacity to love (that is, that one may be wise and may love). That in man there is a possibility of loving [and of being wise], even when he is not wise as he might be and does not love as he might, has been made known to me from much experience, and will be abundantly shown elsewhere.
31. It is because the Divine Essence itself is Love and Wisdom, that all things in the universe have relation to good and truth; for everything that proceeds from love is called good, and everything that proceeds from wisdom is called truth. But of this more hereafter.
32. It is because the Divine Essence itself is Love and Wisdom, that the universe and all things in it, alive and not alive, have unceasing existence from heat and light; for heat corresponds to love, and light corresponds to wisdom; and therefore spiritual heat is love and spiritual light is wisdom. But of this, also, more hereafter.
33. From Divine Love and from Divine Wisdom, which make the very Essence that is God, all affections and thoughts with man have their rise-affections from Divine Love, and thoughts from Divine Wisdom; and each and all things of man are nothing but affection and thought; these two are like fountains of all things of man's life. All the enjoyments and pleasantnesses of his life are from these-enjoyments from the affection of his love, and pleasantnesses from the thought therefrom. Now since man was created to be a recipient, and is a recipient in the degree in which he loves God and from love to God is wise, in other words, in the degree in which he is affected by those things which are from God and thinks from that affection, it follows that the Divine Essence, which is the Creator, is Divine Love and Divine Wisdom.
34. DIVINE LOVE IS OF DIVINE WISDOM, AND DIVINE WISDOM IS OF DIVINE LOVE.
In God-Man Divine Esse [Being] and Divine Existere [Taking Form] are one distinctly (as may be seen above, n. 14-16). And because Divine Esse is Divine Love, and Divine Existere is Divine Wisdom, these are likewise one distinctly. They are said to be one distinctly, because love and wisdom are two distinct things, yet so united that love is of wisdom, and wisdom is of love, for in wisdom love is, and in love wisdom Exists; and since wisdom derives its Existere from love (as was said above, n. 15), therefore Divine Wisdom also is Esse. From this it follows that love and wisdom taken together are the Divine Esse, but taken distinctly love is called Divine Esse, and wisdom Divine Existere. Such is the angelic idea of Divine Love and of Divine Wisdom.
35. Since there is such a union of love and wisdom and of wisdom and love in God-Man, there is one Divine Essence. For the Divine Essence is Divine Love because it is of Divine Wisdom and is Divine Wisdom, because it is of Divine Love. And since there is such a union of these, the Divine Life also is one. Life is the Divine essence. Divine Love and Divine Wisdom are a one because the union is reciprocal, and reciprocal union causes oneness. Of reciprocal union, however, more will be said elsewhere.
36. There is also a union of love and wisdom in every Divine work; from which it has perpetuity, yea, its everlasting duration. If there were more of Divine Love than of Divine Wisdom, or more of Divine Wisdom than of Divine Love, in any created work, it could have continued existence only in the measure in which the two were equally in it, anything in excess passing off.
37. The Divine Providence in the reforming, regenerating and saving of men, partakes equally of Divine Love and of Divine Wisdom. From more of Divine Love than of Divine Wisdom or from more of Divine Wisdom than of Divine Love, man cannot be reformed, regenerated and saved. Divine Love wills to save all, but it cam save only by means of Divine Wisdom; to Divine Wisdom belong all the laws through which salvation is effected; and these laws Love cannot transcend, because Divine Love and Divine Wisdom are one and act in unison.
38. In the Word, Divine Love and Divine Wisdom are meant by "righteousness" and "judgment," Divine Love by "righteousness," and Divine Wisdom by "judgment;" for this reason "righteousness" and "judgment" are predicated in the Word of God; as in David:
Righteousness and judgment are the support of Thy Throne (Ps. 89:14). Jehovah shall bring forth righteousness as the light, and judgment as the noonday (Ps. 37:6).
I will betroth thee unto Me for ever, in righteousness, and in judgment (2:18).
I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, who shall reign as King and shall execute judgment and righteousness in the earth (23:5).
He shall sit upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to establish it in judgment and in righteousness (9:7). Jehovah shall be exalted, because He hath filled the earth with judgment and righteousness (33:5).
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).
The same is meant by "life" and "light" in John:
In Him was life, and the life was the light of men (1:4).
By "life" in this passage is meant the Lord's Divine Love, and by "light" His Divine Wisdom. The same also is meant by "life" and "spirit" in John:
Jesus said, The words which I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life (6:63).
39. In man love and wisdom appear as two separate things, yet in themselves they are one distinctly, because with man wisdom is such as the love is, and love is such as the wisdom is. The wisdom that does not make one with its love appears to be wisdom, but it is not; and the love that does not make one with its wisdom appears to be the love of wisdom, but it is not; for the one must derive its essence and its life reciprocally from the other. With man love and wisdom appear as two separate things, because with him the capacity for understanding may be elevated into the light of heaven, but not the capacity for loving, except so far as he acts according to his understanding. Any apparent wisdom, therefore, which does not make one with the love of wisdom, sinks back into the love which does make one with it; and this may be a love of unwisdom, yea, of insanity. Thus a man may know from wisdom that he ought to do this or that, and yet he does not do it, because he does not love it. But so far as a man does from love what wisdom teaches, he is an image of God.
40. DIVINE LOVE AND DIVINE WISDOM ARE SUBSTANCE AND ARE FORM.
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