Tuesday, December 6, 2011
GOD THE LORD
“Believe in God: believe also in Me.”
_John_, XIV, 1
“My Lord, and my God!”
_John_, XX, 28
ONE AND INFINITE
God is One, and Infinite. The true quality of the Infinite does not appear; for the human mind, however highly analytical and exalted, is itself finite, and the finiteness in it cannot be laid aside. It is not fitted, therefore, to see the Infinity of God, and thus God, as He is in Himself, but can see God from behind in shadow; as it is said of Moses, when he asked to see God, that he was placed in a cleft of the rock, and saw His hinder side. It is enough to acknowledge God from things finite, that is, created, in which He is infinitely.
–_True Christian Religion, n._ 28
“INTO HIS MARVELLOUS LIGHT”
We read in the Word that Jehovah God dwells in light inaccessible. Who, then, could approach Him, unless He had come to dwell in accessible light, that is, unless He had descended and assumed a Humanity and in it had become the Light of the world? Who cannot see that to approach Jehovah the Father in His light is as impossible as to take the wings of the morning and to fly with them to the sun?
–_True Christian Religion, n._ 176
We ought to have faith in God the Saviour, Jesus Christ, because that is faith in the visible God in Whom is the Invisible; and faith in the visible God, Who is at once Man and God, enters into man. For while faith is spiritual in essence it is natural in form, for everything spiritual, in order to be anything with a man, is received by him in what is natural.
–_True Christian Religion, n._ 339
Man’s conjunction with the Lord is not with His supreme Divine Being itself, but with His Divine Humanity, and by this with the supreme Divine Being; for man can have no idea whatever of the supreme Divine Being of the Lord, utterly transcending his thought as it does; but of His Divine Human Being he can have an idea. Hence the Gospel according to John says that no one has at any time seen God except the only-begotten Son, and that there is no approach to the Father save by Him. For the same reason He is called a Mediator.
–_Arcana Coelestia, n._ 4211
In the Lord, God and Man are not two but one Person, yea, altogether one, as soul and body are. This is plain in many of the Lord’s own utterances; as that the Father and He are one; that all things of the Father are His, and all His the Father’s; that He is in the Father, and the Father in Him; that all things are given into His hand; that He has all power; that whosoever believes in Him has eternal life; that He is God of heaven and earth.
–_Doctrine Concerning the Lord, n._ 60
There is one God, and the Lord is He, His Divinity and Humanity being one Person.
–_Divine Providence, n._ 122
They who think of the Lord’s Humanity, and not at the same time of His Divinity, by no means allow the expression “Divine Humanity”; for they think of the Humanity by itself and of the Divinity by itself, which is like thinking of man apart from his soul or life, which, however, is no conception of man, still less of the Lord.
–_Apocalypse Explained, n._ 26
WHY HE CAME
The Lord from eternity, Who is Jehovah, came into the world to subdue the hells and to glorify His Humanity. Without Him no mortal could have been saved; and they are saved who believe in Him.
–_True Christian Religion, n._ 2
The Lord came into the world to save the human race which would otherwise have perished in eternal death. This salvation the Lord effected by subjugating the hells, which infested every man coming into the world and going out of the world, and by glorifying His Humanity; for so He can hold the hells subdued to eternity. The subjugation of the hells, and the glorification at the same time of His Humanity, were effected by temptations let into the Humanity He had from the mother, and by unbroken victories. His passion on the cross was the last temptation and complete victory.
–_Heavenly Doctrine, n._ 293
HOW HE CAME
Because, from His essence, God burned with the love of uniting Himself to man, it was necessary that He should cover Himself around with a body adapted to reception and conjunction. He therefore descended and assumed a human nature in pursuance of the order established by Him from the creation of the world. That is, He was to be conceived by a power produced from Himself; He was to be carried in the womb; He was to be born, and then to grow in wisdom and in love, and so was to approach to union with His Divine origin. Thus God became Man, and Man God.
–_True Christian Religion, n._ 838
THE LIFE ON EARTH
The Lord had at first a human nature from the mother, of which He gradually divested Himself while He was in the world. Accordingly He kept experiencing two states: a state of humiliation or privation, as long and as far as He was conscious in the human nature from the mother; and a state of glorification or union with the Divine, as long and as far as He was conscious in the Humanity received from the Father. In the state of humiliation He prayed to the Father as to One other than Himself; but in the state of glorification He spoke with the Father as with Himself. In this state He said that the Father was in Him, and He in the Father, and that the Father and He were one.
The Lord consecutively put off the human nature assumed from the mother, and put on a Humanity from the Divine in Himself, which is the Divine Humanity and the Son of God.
–_Doctrine Concerning the Lord, nn._ 29, 35
THE LOVE OF HIS LIFE
When the Lord was in the world, His life was altogether the life of a love for the whole human race, which He burned to save forever. That life was of the intensest love by which He united Himself to the Divine and the Divine to Himself. For being itself, or Jehovah, is pure mercy from love for the whole human race; and that life was one of sheer love, as it can never be with any man.
–_Arcana Coelestia, n._ 2253
“COME UNTO ME”
Do you, my friend, flee evil, and do good, and believe in the Lord with your whole heart and with your whole soul, and the Lord will love you, and give you love for doing, and faith for believing. Then will you do good from love, and from a faith which is confidence will you believe. If you persevere in this, a reciprocal conjunction will take place, and one that is perpetual, indeed is salvation itself, and everlasting life.
–_True, Christian Religion, n._ 484
THE TRINITY; THE FULNESS OF HIS BEING
They who are truly men of the Church, that is, who are in love to the Lord and in charity toward the neighbor, know and acknowledge a Trine. Still, they humble themselves before the Lord, and adore Him alone, inasmuch as they know that there is no approach to the Divine Itself, called the Father, but by the Son; and that all that is holy, and of the Holy Spirit, proceeds from Him. When they are in this idea, they adore no other than Him, by Whom and from Whom are all things; consequently they adore One.
–_Arcana Coelestia, n._ 2329
God is one in essence and in person. This God is the Lord. The Divinity itself, which is called Jehovah “the Father,” is the Lord from eternity. The Divine Humanity is “the Son” begotten from His Divine from eternity, and born in the world. The proceeding Divinity is “the Holy Spirit.”
–_Divine Providence, n._ 157
“Lord, what is man that Thou art mindful of him; And the son of man that Thou visitest him?”
_Psalm_, VIII, 4
GOD’S UNRELAXED EFFORT
The object of creation was an angelic heaven from the human race; in other words, mankind, in whom God might be able to dwell as in His residence. For this reason man was created a form of Divine order. God is in him, and as far as he lives according to Divine order, fully so; but if he does not live according to Divine order, still God is in him, but in his highest parts, endowing him with the ability to understand truth and to will what is good. But as far as man lives contrary to order, so far he shuts up the lower parts of his mind or spirit, and prevents God from descending and filling them with His presence. Then God is in him, but he is not in God.
–_True Christian Religion, nn._ 66, 70
AN INSTRUMENT OF LIFE
Man is an instrument of life, and God alone is life. God pours His life into His instrument and every part of him, as the sun pours its heat into a tree and every part of it. God also gives man to feel this life in himself as his own. God wills that he should do so, that man may live as of himself according to the laws of order, which are as many as there are precepts in the Word, and may dispose himself to receive the love of God. But still God perpetually holds with His finger the perpendicular above the scales, and regulates, but never violates by compulsion, man’s free decision. Man’s free will is from this: that he feels life in himself as his, and God leaves him so to feel, that reciprocal conjunction may take place between Him and man.
–_True Christian Religion, n._ 504
“ABIDE IN ME”
Man is so created that he can be more and more closely united to the Lord. He is so united not by knowledge alone, nor by intelligence alone, nor even by wisdom alone, but by a life in accordance with these. The more closely he is united to the Lord, the wiser and happier he becomes, the more distinctly he seems to himself to be his own, and the more clearly he perceives that he is the Lord’s.
–_Divine Providence, nn._ 32 _et al._
TWO MINDS: TWO WORLDS
Man is so created as to live simultaneously in the natural world and in the spiritual world. Thus he has an internal and an external nature or mind; by the former living in the spiritual world, by the latter in the natural world.
–_Heavenly Doctrine_, n. 36
There are in man from the Lord two capacities by which the human being is distinguished from the beasts. One capacity is the ability to understand what is true and what is good. It is called rationality, and is a capacity of his understanding. The other capacity is the ability to do the true and the good. It is called freedom, and is a power of the will. By virtue of his rationality, man can think what he pleases, as well against God as with Him, and with his neighbor or against his neighbor. He can also will and do what he thinks; and when he sees evil and fears punishment, by virtue of freedom he can refrain from doing. By these two capacities man is man and is distinguished from the beasts. Man has these twin powers from the Lord, and they are from Him every moment; nor are they ever taken away, for if they were, man’s humanity would perish. The Lord is in these two powers with every man, with the evil as well as the good. They are His abiding-place in the race. Thence it is that every human being, evil as well as good, lives to eternity.
–_Divine Love and Wisdom, n._ 240
THE DRAG OF HEREDITY
Man inclines to the nature he derives hereditarily, and lapses into it. Thus he strengthens any evil in it, and also adds others of himself. These evils are quite opposed to the spiritual life. They destroy it. Unless, therefore, a man receives new life from the Lord, which is spiritual life, he is condemned; for he wills nothing else and thinks nothing else than concerns him and the world.
–_Heavenly Doctrine, n._ 176
LOVES OF SELF AND THE WORLD
The reason why the love of self and the love of the world are infernal loves, and yet man has been able to come into them, and thus to ruin will and understanding in him, is as follows: By creation the love of self and the love of the world are heavenly loves; for they are loves of the natural man serving his spiritual loves, as a foundation does a house. From the love of self and the world, a man wishes well by his body, desires food, clothing and habitation, takes thought for his household, seeks occupation to be useful, wishes also for obedience’s sake to be honored according to the dignity of the thing he does, and to be delighted and recreated by the pleasures of the world;–yet all this for the sake of the end, which must be use. By this a man is in position to serve the Lord and to serve the neighbor. But when there is no love of serving the Lord and the neighbor, but only a love of serving oneself at the world’s hands, then from being heavenly that love becomes infernal, for it causes a man to sink mind and character in his _proprium_, or what is his own, which in itself is the whole of evil.
–_Divine Love and Wisdom, n._ 396
THE NEED FOR SELF-ACTION
No one can cleanse himself of evils by his own power and abilities; but neither can this be done without the power and abilities of the man, used as his own. If this strength were not to all appearance his own, no one would be able to fight against the flesh and its lusts, which, nevertheless, is enjoined upon all men. He would not think of combat. Because man is a rational being, he must resist evils from the power and the abilities given him by the Lord, which appear to him as his own; an appearance that is granted for the sake of regeneration, imputation, conjunction, and salvation.
–_True Christian Religion, n._ 438
THE WARFARE OF REGENERATION
“Blessed be the Lord my strength, Who teacheth my hands to war, And my fingers to fight: My goodness, and my fortress; My high tower and my deliverer; My shield, and He in whom I trust; Who subdueth my people under me.”
–_Psalm,_ CXLIV, 1, 2
“TO HIM THAT OVERCOMETH”
Because man is reformed by conflicts with the evils of his flesh and by victories over them, the Son of Man says to each of the seven Churches, that He will give gifts “to him that overcometh.”
–_True Christian Religion, n._ 610
Without moral struggle no one is regenerated, and many spiritual wrestlings succeed one after another. For, inasmuch as regeneration has for its end that the life of the old man may die and the new and heavenly life be implanted, there will unfailingly be combat. The life of the old man resists and is unwilling to be extinguished, and the life of the new man cannot enter, except where the life of the old has been extinguished. From this it is plain that there is combat, and ardent combat, because for life.
–_Arcana Coelestia, n._ 8403
REPENTANCE AND THE REMISSION OF SINS
He who would be saved, must confess his sins, and do repentance. To confess sins is to know evils, to see them in oneself, to acknowledge them, to make oneself guilty and condemn oneself on account of them. Done before God, this is to confess sins. To do repentance is to desist from sins after one has thus confessed them and from a humble heart has besought forgiveness, and then to live a new life according to the precepts of charity and faith.
He who merely acknowledges generally that he is a sinner, making himself guilty of all evils, without examining himself,–that is, without seeing his sins,–makes a confession but not the confession of repentance. Inasmuch as he does not know his evils, he lives as before.
One who lives the life of charity and faith does repentance daily. He reflects upon the evils in him, acknowledges them, guards against them, and beseeches the Lord for help. For of oneself one continually lapses toward evil; but he is continually raised up by the Lord and led to good.
Repentance of the mouth and not of the life is not repentance. Nor are sins pardoned on repentance of the mouth, but on repentance of the life. Sins are constantly pardoned man by the Lord, for He is mercy itself; but still they adhere to man, however he supposes they have been remitted. Nor are they removed from him save by a life according to the precepts of true faith. So far as he lives according to these precepts, sins are removed; and so far as they are removed, so far they are remitted.
–_Heavenly Doctrine, nn._ 159-165
TEMPTATION AND PRAYER
When a man shuns evils as sins, he flees them because they are contrary to the Lord and to His Divine laws; and then he prays to the Lord for help and for power to resist them–a power which is never denied when it is asked. By these two means a man is cleansed of evils. He cannot be cleansed of evils if he only looks to the Lord and prays; for then, after he has prayed, he believes that he is quite without sins, or that they have been forgiven, by which he understands that they are taken away. But then he still remains in them; and to remain in them is to increase them. Nor are evils removed only by shunning them; for then the man looks to himself, and thereby strengthens the origin of evil, which was that he turned himself back from the Lord and turned to himself.
–_The Doctrine Concerning Charity, n._ 146
THE GREAT ARENA
In temptations the hells fight against man, and the Lord for him. To every falsity which the hells inject, there is an answer from the Divine. The falsities inflow into the outward man, the answer into the inward man, coming to perception scarcely otherwise than as hope, and the resulting consolation, in which, however, there is a multitude of things of which the man is unaware.
–_Arcana Coelestia, n._ 8159
In temptations a man is left, to all appearance, to himself alone; yet he has not been left alone, for God is then most present in his inmost being, and upholds him. When anyone overcomes in temptation, therefore, he enters into closer union with God.
–_True Christian Religion, n._ 126
“BY LITTLE AND LITTLE”
When man is being regenerated, he is not regenerated speedily but slowly. The reason is that all things which he has thought, purposed and done since infancy, have added themselves to his life and have come to constitute it. They have also formed such a connection among themselves that no one thing can be removed unless all are at the same time. Regeneration, or the implantation of the life of heaven in man, begins in his infancy, and continues to the last of his life in the world, and is perfected to eternity.
–_Arcana Coelestia, n._ 9334
A NEW MAN
When a man is regenerated, he becomes altogether another, and a new, man. While his appearance and his speech are the same, yet his mind is not; for his mind is then open toward heaven, and there dwell in it love for the Lord, and charity toward the neighbor, together with faith. It is the mind which makes another and a new man. The change of state cannot be perceived in man’s body, but in his spirit. When it [the body] is put off then his spirit appears, and in altogether another form, too, when he has been regenerated; for it has then a form of love and charity with inexpressible beauty, in the place of the earlier form, which was one of hatred and cruelty with a deformity also inexpressible.
–_Arcana Coelestia, n._ 3212
“It is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.”
–_Matthew_, XVIII, 14
Never could a man live,–certainly not as a human being,–unless he had in himself something vital, that is, some innocence, neighborly love, and mercy. This a man receives from the Lord in infancy and childhood. What he receives then is treasured up in him, and is called in the Word the remnant or _remains_, which are of the Lord alone with him, and they make it possible for him truly to be a man on reaching adult age. These states are the elements of his regeneration, and he is led into them; for the Lord works by means of them. These remains are also called “the living soul” in all flesh.
–_Arcana Coelestia, n._ 1050
All states of innocence from infancy on, of love toward parents, brothers, teachers and friends; of charity to the neighbor, and also of mercy to the poor and needy; all states of goodness and truth, with their goods and truths, impressed on; the memory, are preserved in man by the Lord, and are stored up unconsciously to himself in his internal man, and are carefully kept from evils and falsities. They are all so preserved by the Lord that not the smallest of them is lost. Every state from infancy even to extreme old age not only remains in another life, but also returns. Returning, these states are such as they were during a man’s abode in the world. Not only the goods and truths, stored up in the memory, remain and return, but likewise all the states of innocence and charity; and when states of evil and the false, or of wickedness and phantasy recur, these latter states are attempered by the former through the Divine operation of the Lord.
–_Arcana Coelestia, n._ 561
“O Thou who hearest prayer; Unto Thee shall all flesh come.”
–_Psalm_, LXV, 2
Prayer, in itself considered, is speech with God. There is then some inward view of the objects of the prayer, and answering to that something like an influx into the perception or thought. Thus there is a kind of opening of the man’s interiors toward God, with a difference according to the man’s state and according to the nature of the object of the prayer. If one prays out of love and faith and only about and for things heavenly and spiritual, then there appears in the prayer something like revelation, which shows itself in the affection of the suppliant, in hope, solace, or an inner gladness.
–_Arcana Coelestia, n._ 2535
THE SERVICE OF WORSHIP
“I will come into Thy house in the multitude of Thy mercy; In Thy fear will I worship toward Thy holy temple.”
–_Psalm_, V, 7
One should not omit the practice of external worship. Things inward are excited by external worship; and outward things are kept in holiness by external worship, so that things inward can flow in. Moreover, a man is imbued in this way with knowledge, and prepared to receive celestial things, so as to be endowed with states of holiness, though he is unaware of it. These states of holiness the Lord preserves to him for the use of eternal life; for in the other life all one’s states of life recur.
–_Arcana Coelestia, n._ 1618
Baptism and the Holy Supper are the holiest acts of worship. Baptism and the Holy Supper are as it were two gates, through which a man is introduced into eternal life. After the first gate there is a plain, which he must traverse; and the second is the goal where the prize is, to which he directed his course; for the palm is not given until after the contest, nor the reward until after the combat.
–_True Christian Religion, nn._ 667, 721
Baptism was instituted for a sign that a man is of the Church and for a memorial that he is to be regenerated. For the washing of baptism is no other than spiritual washing, which is regeneration. All regeneration is effected by the Lord through truths of faith and a life according to them. Baptism, therefore, testifies that a man is of the Church and that he can be regenerated; for it is in the Church that the Lord is acknowledged, Who regenerates man, and there the Word is, where are truths of faith, by which is regeneration.
–_Heavenly Doctrine, nn._ 202, 203
The sign of the cross which a child receives on the forehead and breast at baptism is a sign of inauguration into the acknowledgment and worship of the Lord.
–_True Christian Religion, n._ 682
II. THE HOLY SUPPER
The Holy Supper was instituted that by means of it there might be conjunction of the Church with heaven, and thus with the Lord. When one takes the bread, which is the Body, one is conjoined with the Lord by the good of love to Him, from Him; and when one takes the wine, which is the Blood, one is conjoined to the Lord by the good of faith in Him, from Him.
–_Heavenly Doctrine, nn._ 210, 213
In the Holy Supper the Lord is fully present, both as to His glorified Humanity, and as to the Divine. And because He is fully present, therefore the whole of His redemption is; for where the Lord the Redeemer is, there redemption is. Therefore all who observe the Holy Communion worthily, become His redeemed, and receives the fruits of redemption, namely, liberation from hell, union with the Lord, and salvation.
–_True Christian Religion, nn._ 716, 717
THE RESPONSIBLE LIFE IN THE WORLD
“Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me.”
–_Matthew_, XI, 29
There are those who believe that it is difficult to live the life which leads to heaven, which is called the spiritual life, because they have heard that one must renounce the world, must divest himself of the lusts called the lusts of the body and the flesh, and must live spiritually. They take this to mean that they must cast away worldly things, which are especially riches and honors; that they must go continually in pious meditation on God, salvation, and eternal life; and must spend their life in prayers and in reading the Word and pious books. But those who renounce the world and live in the spirit in this manner acquire a melancholy life, unreceptive of heavenly joy. To receive the life of heaven a man must by all means live in the world and engage in its duties and affairs and by a moral and civil life receive the spiritual life.
That it is not so difficult to live the life of heaven, as some believe, may be seen from this: when a matter presents itself to a man which he knows to be dishonest and unjust, but to which he inclines, it is only necessary for him to think that it ought not to be done because it is opposed to the Divine precepts. If a man accustoms himself to think so, and from so doing establishes a habit of so thinking, he is gradually conjoined to heaven. So far as he is conjoined to heaven the higher regions of his mind are opened; and so far as these are opened he sees whatever is dishonest and unjust; and so far as he sees these evils they can be dispersed–for no evil can be dispersed until it is seen.
–_Heaven and Hell, nn._ 528, 533
“Come, let us join ourselves to the Lord in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten.”
–_Jeremiah_, L, 5
The conjunction of God with man, and of man with God, is taught in the two Tables which were written with the finger of God, called the Tables of the Covenant. These Tables obtain with all nations who have a religion. From the first Table they know that God is to be acknowledged, hallowed and worshipped. From the second Table they know that a man is not to steal, either openly or by trickery, nor to commit adultery, nor to kill, whether by blow or by hatred, nor to bear false witness in a court of justice, or before the world, and further that he ought not to will those evils. From this Table a man knows the evils which he must shun, and in the measure that he knows them and shuns them, God conjoins him to Himself, and in turn from His Table gives man to acknowledge, hallow and worship Him. So, also, He gives him not to meditate evils, and, in so far as he does not will them, to know truths freely.
–_Apocalypse Explained, n._ 1179
As one views the two tables, it is plain that they are so conjoined that God from His table looks to man, and that in turn man from his table looks to God. Thus the regard is reciprocal. God for His part never ceases to regard man, and to put in operation such things as are for his salvation; and if man receives and does the things in his table, reciprocal conjunction is effected, and the Lord’s words to the lawyer will have come to pass, “This do, and thou shalt live.”
–_True Christian Religion, n._ 287
“Jesus said: ‘Have ye not read that He who made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother and shall cleave to his wife; and they twain shall be one flesh. Wherefore they are no more twain but one flesh. What, therefore, God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.'”
–_Matthew_, XIX, 4, 5
A PRICELESS JEWEL
The conjugial inclination of one man to one wife is the jewel of human life and the depository of the Christian religion.
–_Conjugial Love, n._ 457
THE PROGRESSIVE CHASTITY OF MARRIAGE
The love in marriage is from its origin and correspondence heavenly, spiritual, holy, pure and clean above every other love which the angels of heaven or men of the Church have from the Lord. It is such from its origin, which is the marriage of good and truth; also from its correspondence with the marriage of the Lord and the Church. If it be received from its Author, Who is the Lord, sanctity from Him follows, which continually cleanses and purifies it. Then, if there be in man’s will a longing for it and an effort toward it, this love becomes continually cleaner and purer. All who are in such love shun extra-conjugial loves (which are conjunctions with others than their own conjugial partner) as they would shun the loss of the soul and the lakes of hell; and in the measure that married partners shun such conjunctions, even in respect of libidinous desires of the will and any intentions from them, so far love truly conjugial is purified with them, and becomes successively spiritual.
–_Conjugial Love, nn._ 64, 71
THE HEIGHT OF SERVICE
Conjugial love is the love at the foundation of all good loves, and is inscribed on all the least life of the human being. Its delights therefore surpass the delights of all other loves, and it also gives delight to other loves, in the measure of its presence and union with them. Into it all delights from first to last are collected, on account of the superior excellence of its use, which is the propagation of the human race, and from it of an angelic heaven. As this service was the supreme end of creation, all the beatitudes, satisfaction, delights, pleasantnesses and pleasures, which the Lord the Creator could possibly confer upon man, are gathered into this love.
–_Conjugial Love, n._ 68
ITS WHOLE ESTATE
The states of conjugial love are Innocence, Peace, Tranquillity, Inmost Friendship, full Confidence, and mutual desire of mind and heart to do each other every good. From all of these come blessedness, satisfaction, agreeableness and pleasure; and as the eternal fruition of them, heavenly happiness. These states can be realized only in the marriage of one man with one wife.
–_Conjugial Love, nn._ 180, 181
THE SACRED SCRIPTURES
“They testify of Me.”
–_John_, V, 39
In its inmosts the Sacred Scripture is no other than God, that is, the Divine which proceeds from God…. In its derivatives it is accommodated to the perception of angels and men. In these it is Divine likewise, but in another form, in which this Divine is called “Celestial,” “Spiritual,” and “Natural.” These are no other than coverings of God. Still the Divine, which is inmost, and is covered with such things as are accommodated to the perceptions of angels and men, shines forth like light through crystalline forms, but variously, according to the state of mind which a man has formed for himself, either from God or from self. In the sight of the man who has formed the state of his mind from God, the Sacred Scripture is like a mirror in which he sees God, each in his own way. The truths which he learns from the Word and which become a part of him by a life according to them, compose that mirror. The Sacred Scripture is the fulness of God.
–_True Christian Religion, n._ 6
IN ITS BOSOM SPIRITUAL
The Word in its bosom is spiritual. Descending from Jehovah the Lord, and passing through the angelic heavens, the Divine (in itself ineffable and imperceptible) became level with the perception of angels and finally the perception of man. Hence the Word has a spiritual sense, which is within the natural, just as the soul is in the body, or as thought is in speech, or volition in action.
–_True Christian Religion, n._ 193
THE LETTER OF THE WORD
The truths of the sense of the letter of the Word are in part appearances of truth, and are taken from things in nature, and thus accommodated and adapted to the grasp of the simple and also of little children. But being correspondences, they are receptacles and abodes of genuine truth; and are like enclosing and containing vessels. The naked truths themselves, which are enclosed and contained, are in the Word’s spiritual sense; and the naked goods in its celestial sense.
The doctrine of genuine truth can also be drawn in full from the literal sense of the Word; for the Word in this sense is like a man clothed, whose face and hands are bare. All that concerns man’s life, and so his salvation, is bare; the rest is clothed.
–_Doctrine Concerning the Sacred Scripture, nn._ 40, 55
The whole natural world corresponds to the spiritual world; not only generally, but in detail. Whatever comes forth in the natural world from the spiritual, is therefore called correspondent. The world of nature comes forth and subsists from the spiritual world, just as an effect does from its efficient cause.
–_Heaven and Hell, n._ 89
What is Divine presents itself in the world in what corresponds. The Word is therefore written wholly in correspondence. Therefore the Lord, too, speaking as He did from the Divine, spoke in correspondence.
–_True Christian Religion, n._ 201
“And behold a ladder set on the earth, and its head reaching to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And behold Jehovah standing above it.” The ladder set between earth and heaven, or between the lowest and the highest, signifies communication. In the original tongue the term ladder is derived from an expression which signifies a path or way, and a path or way is predicated of truth. By a ladder, therefore, one extremity of which is set on the earth, while the other reaches to heaven, is signified the communication of truth which is in the lowest place with truth which is in the highest, indeed with inmost good and truth, such as are in heaven, and from which heaven itself is an ascent as it were from what is lowest, and afterward when the order is inverted, a descent, and is the order of man’s regeneration. The arcanum which lies concealed in the internal sense of these words is, that all goods and truths descend from the Lord, and ascend to Him, for man is so created that the Divine things of the Lord may descend through him even to the ultimates of nature, and from the ultimates of nature may ascend to Him; so that man might be a medium uniting the Divine with the world of nature, and uniting the world of nature with the Divine, that thus, through man, as through the uniting medium, the very ultimate of nature might live from the Divine, which would be the case had man lived according to Divine order.
–_Arcana Coelestia, nn._ 3699-3702
Divine truth, in passing from the Lord through the three heavens to men in the world, is written and made the Word in each heaven. The Word, therefore, is the union of the heavens with one another, and of the heavens with the Church in the world. Hence there flows in from the Lord through the heavens a holy Divine with the man who acknowledges the Divine in the Lord and the holy in the Word, while he reads it. Such a man can be instructed and can draw wisdom from the Word as from the Lord Himself or from heaven itself, in the measure that he loves it, and thus can be nourished with the same food with which the angels themselves are fed, and in which there is life, according to these words of the Lord:
“The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”
“The water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”
“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word which proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”
–_Apocalypse Explained, n._ 1074
HOW TO USE IT
They who, in reading the Word, look to the Lord, by acknowledging that all truth and all good are from Him, and nothing from themselves,–they are enlightened, and see truth and perceive what is good from the Word. That enlightenment is from the light of heaven.
–_Arcana Coelestia, n._ 9405
ITS DISSEMINATION OF LIGHT
There cannot be any conjunction with heaven unless somewhere upon the earth there is a Church where the Word is and by it the Lord is known. It is sufficient that there be a Church where the Word is, even though it should consist of few relatively. The Lord is present by it, nevertheless, in the whole world. The light is greatest where those are who have the Word. Thence it extends itself as from a centre out to the last periphery. Thence comes the enlightenment of nations and peoples outside the Church, too, by the Word.
–_Doctrine concerning the Sacred Scripture, nn._ 104, 106
A CANON ON A NEW PRINCIPLE
The books of the Word are all those which have an internal sense. In the Old Testament they are the five books of Moses, the book of Joshua, the book of Judges, the two books of Samuel, the two books of Kings, the Psalms of David, the Prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zecharaiah, Malachi; and in the New Testament the four Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John; and the Apocalypse.
–_Arcana Coelestia, n._ 10,325
THE LIFE OF CHARITY AND FAITH
“He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.”
–_Micah,_ VI, 8
THE LAW OF CHARITY
Not to do evil to the neighbor is the first thing of charity, and to do good to him fills the second place…. That a man cannot do good which in itself is good before evil has been removed, the Lord teaches in many places: “Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit”–_Matt._ XVI, 18.
So in Isaiah: “Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before Mine eyes; cease to do evil; learn to do well” (I, 16,17).
–_True Christian Religion, n._ 445
GOOD IN ITS WHOLENESS
Before repentance good is not done from the Lord, but from the man. It has not, therefore, the essence of good within it, however it appears like good outwardly. Good after repentance is another thing altogether. It is a whole good, unobstructed from the Lord Himself. It is lovely; it is innocent; it is agreeable, and heavenly. The Lord is in it, and heaven. Good itself is in it. It is alive, fashioned of truths. Whatever is thus from good, in good, and toward good, is nothing less than a use to the neighbor, and hence it is a serving. It puts away self and what is one’s own, and thus evil, with every breath. Its form is like the form of a charming and beautifully colored flower, shining in the rays of the sun.
–_The Doctrine of Charity, n._ 150
THE MAN OF CHARITY
Every man who looks to the Lord and shuns evils as sins, if he sincerely, justly and faithfully performs the work which belongs to his office and employment, becomes an embodiment of charity.
–_The Doctrine of Charity_, VII
In common belief charity is nothing else than giving to the poor, succoring the needy, caring for widows and orphans, contributing to the building of hospitals, infirmaries, asylums, orphanages, and especially churches, and to their decoration and income. But most of these things are not the proper activities of charity, but extraneous to it. A distinction is to be made between the duties of charity, and its benefactions. By the duties of charity those exercises of it are meant, which proceed directly from charity itself. These have to do primarily with one’s occupation. By the benefactions those aids are meant which are given outside of, and over and above the duties.
–_True Christian Religion, n._ 425
THE ACTIVITY OF CHARITY
Charity is an inward affection, moving man to do what is good, and this without recompense. So to act is his life’s delight.
The life of charity is to will well and to do well by the neighbor; in all work, and in every employment, acting out of regard to what is just and equitable, good and true. In a word, the life of charity consists in the performance of uses.
–_Heavenly Doctrine, nn._ 106, 124
FAITH THE PARTNER OF CHARITY
Neither charity alone nor faith alone can produce good works, any more than a husband alone or a wife alone can have offspring. The truths of faith not only illuminate charity, but qualify it, too; and, moreover, they nourish it. A man, then, who has charity and not truths of faith, is like one walking in a garden in the night-time, snatching fruit from the trees without knowing whether it is of a good or evil use.
–_True Christian Religion, n. 377_
THE PATRIOTISM OF CHARITY
One’s country is the neighbor more than a society, for it consists of many societies, and consequently the love of it is a more extended and a higher love. Besides, to love one’s country is to love the public welfare. A man’s country is the neighbor because it is like a parent; for there he was born; it has nourished and still nourishes him; it has protected him from harm, and still protects him. From love for it he ought to do good to his country according to its needs, some of which are natural, and others spiritual. The country ought to be loved, not as a man loves himself, but more than himself. This is a law inscribed on the human heart. And from the law has issued the proposition, which has the assent of every true man, that if ruin threatens the country from an enemy or other source, it is illustrious to die for it, and glorious for a soldier to shed his blood for it. This is a common saying, because so much should one’s country be loved. Those who love their country, and from good will do good to it, after death love the Lord’s kingdom, for this is their country there; and they who love the Lord’s kingdom, love the Lord, for He is the All in all of His Kingdom.
–_True Christian Religion, n._ 414
FAITH AND DOUBT
There are those who are in doubt before they deny, and there are those who are in doubt before they affirm. Those in doubt before they deny, are men who incline to a life of evil. When that life sways them, they deny things spiritual and celestial to the extent that they think of them. But those in doubt before they affirm, are men who incline to a life of good. When they suffer themselves to be turned to this life by the Lord, they then affirm things spiritual and celestial to the extent that they think of them.
–_Arcana Coelestia, n._ 2568
THE FAITH OF THE FAITHFUL
It is one thing to know truths, another to acknowledge them, and yet another to have faith in them. Only the faithful can have faith.
–_Arcana Coelestia, n._ 896
The only faith that endures with man springs from heavenly love. Those without love have knowledge merely, or persuasion. Just to believe in truth and in the Word is not faith. Faith is to love truth, and to will and do it from inward affection for it.
–_Heaven and Hell, n._ 482
If a man thinks to himself or says to another, “Who can have that inward acknowledgment of truth which is faith? I cannot,” I will tell him how he may: “Shun evils as sins, and go to the Lord, and you will have as much as you desire.”
–_Doctrine Concerning Faith, n._ 12
Not only is the individual man the neighbor, but the collective man, too. A society, smaller or larger, is the neighbor; the Church is; the Kingdom of the Lord is; and above all the Lord Himself. These are the neighbor, to whom good is to be done from love. These are also the ascending degrees of the neighbor; for a society consisting of many is the neighbor in a higher degree than is the individual; one’s country in a still higher degree; the Church in a still higher degree than one’s country; in a degree higher still the Kingdom of the Lord; and in the highest degree the Lord Himself. These degrees of ascent are like the steps in a ladder, at the top of which is the Lord.
–_Heavenly Doctrine, n._ 91
There is an affection in every employment, which puts the mind upon the stretch and keeps it intent upon its work or study. If it is not relaxed, this becomes heavy, and its desire meaningless; as salt, when it loses its saltness, no longer stimulates, and as the bow on the stretch, unless it is unbent, loses the force it gets from its elasticity. Continuously intent upon its work, the mind wants rest; and dropping to the physical life, it seeks pleasures there that answer to its activities. As is the mind in them, such are the pleasures, pure or impure, spiritual or natural, heavenly or infernal. If it is the affection of charity which is in them, all diversions will recreate it–shows, games, instrumental and vocal music, the beauties of field and garden, social intercourse generally. There remains deep in them, being gradually renewed as it rests, the love of work and service. The longing to resume this work breaks in upon the diversions and puts an end to them. For the Lord flows into the diversions from heaven, and renews the man; and He gives the man an interior sense of pleasure in them, too, of which those know nothing who are not in the affection of charity.
–_Doctrine of Charity, nn._ 127, 128, 130
THE DIVINE PROVIDENCE
“He leadeth me.”
–_Psalm_, XXIII, 2
THE DIVINE PURPOSE
The Divine Providence has for an end a heaven which shall consist of men who have become angels or who are becoming angels, to whom the Lord can impart from Himself all the blessedness and felicity of love and wisdom.
–_Divine Providence, n._ 27
THE LAWFUL ORDER OF PROVIDENCE
In all that proceeds from the Lord the Divine Providence is first. Indeed, we may say that the Lord is Providence, as we say that God is Order; for the Divine Providence is Divine Order with regard above all to the salvation of man. As order is impossible without laws, it follows that as God is order so is He the Law of His order. And as the Lord is His Providence, He is also the Law of His Providence. The Lord cannot act contrary to the laws of His Providence, for to act contrary to them would be to act contrary to Himself.
–_Divine Providence, n._ 331
A WORLD-WIDE LEADING
The Lord provides that there shall be religion everywhere, and in each religion the two essentials of salvation, which are, to acknowledge God, and not to do evil because it is contrary to God. It is provided furthermore that all who have lived well and acknowledge God should be instructed by angels after death. Then, they who, in the world, were in the two essentials of religion, accept the truths of the Church, such as they are in the Word, and acknowledge the Lord as the God of heaven and the Church. It has also been provided by the Lord that all who die infants shall be saved, wherever they may have been born.
–_Divine Providence, n._ 328
THE DIVINE PERSEVERANCE
The Divine Providence differs from all other leading and guidance in this, that it continually regards what is eternal, and continually leads to salvation, and this through various states, now glad, now sad,–states which a man cannot understand at all, and yet they all conduce to his life to eternity.
–_Arcana Coelestia, n._ 8560
IN THE STREAM OF PROVIDENCE
The Divine Providence is universal, that is, in the leasts of all things. They who are in the stream of Providence are borne along continually to happiness, whatsoever the appearance of the means may be. They are in the stream of Providence, who put their trust in the Divine, and ascribe all things to Him. They are not in the stream of Providence who trust themselves alone and ascribe all things to themselves. As far as one is in the stream of Providence, so far one is in a state of peace. Such alone know and believe that the Divine Providence of the Lord is in each and all things, yea, in the leasts of all things.
–_Arcana Coelestia, n._ 8478
CARE FOR THE MORROW
It is not contrary to order to look out for one’s self and one’s dependents. Those have “care for the morrow” who are not content with their lot, who do not trust in the Divine but themselves, and who regard only worldly and earthly things and not heavenly. With such there prevails universally a solicitude about things future, a desire to possess everything, and to rule over all. They grieve if they do not get what they desire, and suffer torment when they lose what they have. Then they grow angry with the Divine, rejecting it together with everything of faith, and cursing themselves. Altogether different is it with those who trust in the Divine. Though they have care for the morrow, yet they have it not; for they do not think of the morrow with solicitude, still less with anxiety. Whether they get what they wish or not, they are composed, not lamenting over losses, but being content with their lot. If they become rich, they do not set their hearts upon riches. If they are exalted to honors, they do not look upon themselves as worthier than others. If they become poor, they are not cast down. If their condition be mean, they are not dejected. They know that with those who put their trust in the Divine, all things work toward a happy state to eternity.
–_Arcana Coelestia, n._ 8478
THE SUFFERANCE OF EVIL
The chief aim and effort of the Lord’s Divine Providence is that a man shall be in what is good and in what is true at the same time; for thereby man is man, since he is then an image of the Lord. But because, in his life in the world, he can be in what is good and in what is false at the same time, and also in what is evil and what is true at the same time, nay, even in evil and at the same time in good, and thus be a double man, as it were, and because this division destroys God’s image and so destroys the man, therefore the Lord’s Divine Providence in all its workings seeks to prevent this division. Furthermore, because it is better for man to be in what is evil and in the same time in what is false than to be in good and at the same time in evil, therefore the Lord permits it; not as one willing it, but as one unable to prevent it consistently with the end, which is salvation.
–_Divine Providence, n._ 16
DEATH AND THE RESURRECTION
“I laid me down and slept: I awaked: for the Lord sustained me.”
–_Psalm,_ III, 5
“Now that the dead are raised, even Moses showed at the bush, when he called the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob: for He is not a God of the dead, but of the living; for to Him all are living.”
–_Luke_, XX, 37, 38
IMMORTAL BY ENDOWMENT
Man has been so created that as to his inward being he cannot die; for he can believe in God, and also love God, and thus be united to God in faith and love; and to be united to God is to live to eternity.
–_Heavenly Doctrine, n._ 223
FROM WORLD TO WORLD
When the body is no longer able to perform its functions in the natural world, a man is said to die. Still the man does not die; he is only separated from the bodily part which was of use to him in the world. The man himself lives. He lives, because he is man by virtue, not of the body, but of the spirit; for it is the spirit in man which thinks; and thought together with affection makes the man. It is plain, then, that when a man dies, he only passes from one world into the other…. The spirit of man after separation remains awhile in the body, but not after the motion of the heart has entirely ceased. This takes place with a variation according to the diseased condition of which the man dies. As soon as the motion ceases, the man is resuscitated. This is done by the Lord alone.
–_Heaven and Hell, nn._ 445, 447
UNHURT BY DEATH
When a man passes from the natural world into the spiritual, he takes with him everything that belongs to him as a man except his earthly body. (This he leaves when he dies, nor does he ever resume it.[A]) He is in a body as he was in the natural world; and to all appearance there is no difference. But his body is spiritual, and is therefore separated or purified from things terrestrial. And when what is spiritual touches and sees what is spiritual, it is just the same as when what is natural touches and sees what is natural…. A human spirit also enjoys every sense, external and internal, which he enjoyed in the world. He sees as before, hears and speaks as before, smells and tastes as before, and feels when he is touched. He also longs, desires, craves, thinks, reflects, is stirred, loves, wills, as he did previously…. In a word, when a man passes from the one life into the other, or from the one world into the other, it is as though he had passed from one place to another; and he carries with him all that he possesses in himself as a man. It cannot, then, be said, that after death a man has lost anything that really belonged to him. He carries his natural memory with him, too; for he retains all things whatsoever which he has heard, seen, read, learned and thought in the world, from earliest infancy even to the last of life.
–_Heaven and Hell, n._ 461
[Footnote A: Heavenly Doctrine, n. 225.]
THE WORLD OF SPIRITS
Every man at death comes first into the world of spirits, which is midway between heaven and hell; and there he passes through his own states, and is prepared either for heaven or for hell according to his life…. It is to be observed that the world of spirits is one thing, and the spiritual world another. The spiritual world embraces the world of spirits and heaven and hell.
–_Divine Love and Wisdom, n._ 140
THE WAY OF ONE’S OWN LOVE
After death every one goes the way of his love–he who is in a good love, to heaven, and he who is in a wicked love, to hell. Nor does he rest until he is in that society where his ruling love is. What is wonderful, every one knows the way.
Every one’s state after death is spiritual, which is such that he cannot be anywhere but in the delight of his own love, which he has acquired for himself by his life in the natural world. From this it appears plainly that no one can be let into the delight of heaven who is in the delight of hell…. This may be still more certainly concluded from the fact that no one is forbidden after death to ascend to heaven. The way is shown him, opportunity is given him, and he is let in. But when one who is in the delight of evil comes into heaven, and breathes in its delight, he begins to be oppressed, and racked at heart, and to feel in a swoon, in which he writhes like a snake put near a fire; and with his face turned away from heaven and toward hell, he flees headlong, nor does he rest until he is in the society of his own love.
–_Divine Providence, nn._ 319, 338
It is an abiding truth that every man rises again after death into another life, and presents himself for judgment. This judgment, however, is circumstanced as follows: As soon as his bodily parts grow cold, which takes place after a few days, he is raised by the Lord at the hands of celestial angels who first are with him. If he is such that he cannot be with them, he is received by spiritual angels, and in turn afterwards by good spirits. For all who come into the other life, whoever they may be, are grateful and welcome new-comers. But as every one’s desires follow him, he who has led a bad life cannot remain long with angels or good spirits, but in turn separates himself from them, until at length he comes to spirits of a life conforming with the life he had in the world. Then it seems to him as if he were back in the life of the body; his present life being, in fact, a continuation of his past life. With this life his judgment commences. They who have led a bad life in process of time descend into hell; they who have led a good life, are by degrees raised by the Lord into heaven.
–_Arcana Coelestia, n._ 2119
THE FIRST THREE STATES AFTER DEATH
“He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he that is filthy, let him be filthy still; and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still; and he that is holy, let him be holy still.”
–Rev., XXII, 11
CONTINUATION OF THE OUTWARD LIFE
There are three states through which a man passes after death, before he enters either heaven or hell. The first state is that of his outward nature and life; the second, that of his inward nature and life; and the third, one of preparation. A man passes through these states in the world of spirits.
The first state of a man after death is like his state in the world, because he is then similarly in things outward. His appearance is similar, and so are his speech, his mental habit, and his moral and civil life. As a result he does not know but that he is still in the world, unless he pays attention to things that meet his eye, and to what the angels told him at his resuscitation, that now he is a spirit. Thus one life is carried on into the other, and death is only the transition.
–_Heaven and Hell, nn._ 491, 493
REVELATION OF THE INNER LIFE
After the first state is past, which is the state of the outward nature and life, a spirit is admitted into the state of his inward will and thought, in which, on being left to himself to think freely and unchecked, he had been in the world. He slips unawares into this state, just as he did in the world. When he is in this state, he is in himself, and in his very life; for to think freely from the affection properly one’s own, is the very life of man, and is the man.
When a spirit is in the state of his inward nature and life, it appears plainly what manner of man he was in the world; for then he acts from his very self. A man who was inwardly in good in the world, then acts rationally and wisely–more wisely, in fact, than he did in the world; for he has been loosed from connection with the body, and so with worldly things, which caused obscurity and, as it were, interposed a cloud. But a man who was in evil in the world, then acts foolishly and insanely–more insanely, in fact, than he did in the world, for now he is in freedom and not coerced. For when he lived in the world, he was sane in his outward life, for so he assumed the appearance of a rational man. When, therefore, his outward life is laid off, his insanities reveal themselves.
–_Heaven and Hell, nn._ 502, 505
INSTRUCTED FOR HEAVEN
The third state of a man after death is a state of instruction. This is a state in the experience of those who enter heaven and become angels.
Instruction in heaven differs from instruction on earth, in that knowledge is not committed to memory, but to life; for the memory of spirits is in their life, inasmuch as they receive and become imbued with everything that agrees with their life, and they do not receive, still less do they become imbued with, anything that disagrees with it; for spirits are affections, and are in a human form like their affections. Being such, they have inspired in them continually an affection for truth for the sake of the uses of life; for the Lord provides that every one may love the uses which suit his genius, a love that is exalted, too, by the hope of becoming an angel…. With every one, therefore, the affection of truth is united to the affection of use, so fully that they act as one. Thereby truth is planted in service, so much so that the truths which angelic spirits learn, are truths of use. Thus are they instructed and prepared for heaven.
–_Heaven and Hell, nn._ 512, 517
“Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life; and may enter in through the gates into the city.”
–Rev., XXII, 14
“Thou wilt show me the path of life; In Thy presence is fulness of joy; At Thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore.”
–_Psalm_, XVI, 11
“THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS WITHIN YOU”
Heaven is in a man; and they who have heaven within themselves, come into heaven. Heaven in a man is to acknowledge the Divine, and to be led by the Divine.
Every angel receives the heaven which is around him according to the heaven which is within him. Unless heaven is within a man, none of the heaven around him flows in and is received.
Love to the Lord is the love regnant in the heavens; for there the Lord is loved above all things. Thus the Lord is All in all there. He flows into all the angels, and into each of them. He disposes them; He induces a likeness of Himself on them, and causes Heaven to be where He is. Hence an angel is heaven in the least form; a society is heaven in a greater form; and all the societies together are heaven in the greatest form.
–_Heaven and Hell, nn._ 319, 54, 58
AN ACTUAL WORLD
In general, what appears in heaven, appears the same as it does in our material world of three kingdoms. Things appear before the eyes of angels just as objects of the three kingdoms do before the eyes of men in the world. Still there is this difference: the things which appear in heaven, have a spiritual origin, and those which appear in our world a material origin. Objects of a spiritual origin affect the senses of angels because these senses are spiritual, as those of a material origin affect the senses of men, inasmuch as their senses are material. Heavenly objects are said to have a spiritual origin, because they exist from the Divine which proceeds from the Lord as a Sun; and the Divine that proceeds from the Lord as a Sun is spiritual. For there the Sun is not fire, but Divine Love, appearing before the eyes of the angels as the sun of the world does before the eyes of men; and whatever proceeds from the Divine Love is Divine and is spiritual. Of this origin are all things which exist in the heavens, and they appear in forms like those in our world. It is due to the order of creation that they appear in such forms. According to that order, things which are of love and wisdom with the angels, on descending into the lower sphere in which angels are in respect of their bodies and of their sensation, present themselves in such forms and under such types. These are correspondences.
–_Apocalypse Explained, n._ 926
A WORLD OF ACTION
All heaven’s delights are united to uses and inhere in them, because uses are the goods of love and charity, in which the angels are. The angels find all their happiness in use, from use, and according to use. There is the highest freedom in this because it proceeds from interior affection, and is conjoined with ineffable delight. Uses exist in the heavens in all variety and diversity. Never is the use of one angel quite the same as that of another; nor the delight. What is more, the delights of any one person’s use are countless. These countless and various delights are nevertheless united in an order so that they mutually regard one another, as do the uses of every member, organ and inner part of the body. They are even more like the uses of each vessel and fibre in every member, organ and vital part; each and all of which are so related that they regard each of its own good in the other, and thus in all, and all in each. As a result of this general and several regard they act as one.
–_Heaven and Hell, nn._ 402, 403, 404, 405
OUR CHILDREN IN HEAVEN
Every little child, wheresoever born, whether within the Church or out of it, whether of pious parents or of impious, is received by the Lord at death; is educated in heaven; is taught and imbued with affections of good and by these with knowledges of truth; and then, as he is perfected in intelligence and wisdom, is introduced into heaven and becomes an angel.
When children die, they are still children in the other life. They have the same infantile mind, the same innocence in ignorance, and the same tenderness in all things. They have only the rudimentary capacity of becoming angels; for children are not yet angels, but are to become angels. The state of children in the other life far surpasses that of children in the world; for they are not clothed with an earthly body, but with a body like that of the angels. The earthly body is in itself heavy, and does not receive its first sensations and impulses from the interior or spiritual world, but from the exterior or natural world. In this world, therefore, infants must learn to walk, to control the body’s motions, and to talk. Even their senses, like sight and hearing, must be developed by use. It is quite otherwise with children in the other life. Being spirits, they act at once in expression of their inner being, walking without practice, and also talking, but at first from general affections not yet distinguished into ideas of thought. They are quickly initiated into these, too, however; and this for the reason that outer and inner are homogeneous with them.
The Lord flows into the ideas of children chiefly from their inmost soul, for nothing has closed their ideas, as with adults. No false principles have closed them to the understanding of truth, nor any evil life to the reception of good, nor to becoming wise.
–_Heaven and Hell, nn._ 416, 330, 331, 836
TOWARD THE MORNING OF LIFE
The Lord is present with every human being, urgent and instant to be received; and when a man receives Him, as he does when he acknowledges Him as his God, Creator, Redeemer and Saviour, then is His first Coming, which is called the dawn. From this time the man begins to be enlightened, as to understanding in things spiritual, and to advance into a more and more interior wisdom. As he receives this wisdom from the Lord, so he advances through morning into day, and this day lasts with him into old age, even to death; and after death he passes into heaven to the Lord Himself, and there, though he died an old man, he is restored to the morning of his life, and to eternity he develops the beginnings of the wisdom that was implanted in the natural world.
–_True Christian Religion, n._ 766
The people of heaven are continually advancing towards the spring-time of life; and the more thousands of years they live, the more delightful and happy is the spring to which they attain. Women who have died old and worn out with age, and have lived in faith in the Lord and in charity to the neighbor, come, with the succession of years, more and more into the flower of youth and early womanhood, and into a beauty exceeding every idea of beauty ever formed through the sight. In a word, to grow old in heaven is to grow young.
–_Heaven and Hell, n._ 414
“If I make my bed in hell; behold, Thou art there.”
–_Psalm_, CXXXIX, 8
EVIL IS HELL
Evil with man is hell with him; for it is the same thing whether we say evil or hell. And as a man is the cause of his own evil, therefore he, and not the Lord, also leads himself into hell. So far is the Lord from leading man into hell, that He delivers him from it as far as a man does not will and love to be in his own evil.
All a man’s will and love remains with him after death. He who wills and loves evil in the world, wills and loves the same evil in the other life; and then he no longer suffers himself to be withdrawn from it. This is the reason that a man who is in evil is bound fast to hell and is actually there, too, in spirit, and after death he desires nothing more than to be where his evil is. After death, therefore, a man casts himself into hell, and not the Lord.
–_Heaven and Hell, n._ 547
EVIL AND PUNISHMENT
All evil bears its punishment with it. Evil spirits are punished because the fear of punishment is the one means of subduing evils in this state. Exhortation no longer avails, nor instruction, nor fear of the law nor fear for one’s reputation; for now the spirit acts from a nature which cannot be coerced or broken except by punishment.
–_Heaven and Hell, n._ 509
It is a law in the other life that no one shall become worse than he had been in the world.
–_Arcana Coelestia, n._ 6559
GOD WILLS THE DAMNATION OF NONE
If men could be saved by immediate mercy, all would be saved, even those in hell; and indeed there would be no hell, because the Lord is mercy itself and good itself. Therefore it is contrary to His Divine Nature to say that He can save all immediately, and does not save them. We know from the Word that the Lord wills the salvation of all and the damnation of none.
–_Heaven and Hell, n._ 524
MASTER PASSIONS OF HELL
Love of self and love of the world rule in the hells and also constitute them. Love to the Lord and love toward the neighbor rule in the heavens and also constitute them. These loves are diametrically opposite. Love of self consists in wishing well to oneself alone, and not to others except for the sake of oneself, not even to the Church, to one’s country, or to any human society; also in doing good to them, but for the sake of one’s reputation, honor and glory. Unless he sees these in the services he renders them, he says in his heart, “Of what use is it? Why should I do it? Of what advantage will it be to me?”, and he leaves it undone. His delight is only that of self-love. And because the delight which springs from his love makes the life of a man, therefore his life is the life of self; and the life of self is life from man’s _proprium_; and the proprium of man, viewed in itself, is nothing but evil. Love of self is of such a quality, too, that, as far as the reins are given it, it rushes on until at length it desires to rule not only over the whole earth, but over the whole heaven, too, and over the Divine Himself.
–_Heaven and Hell, nn._ 554, 556, 559
“OUR NAME IS LEGION”
Men have believed hitherto that there is some one devil who is over the hells, and that he was created an angel of light; but that after he turned rebel, he was cast down with his crew into hell. Men have had this belief because the Devil is named in the Word, and Satan, and also Lucifer, and in these passages the Word has been understood according to the sense of the letter, when yet hell is meant in them by the Devil and Satan…. That there is no single Devil to whom the hells are subject, is also evident from this fact, that all who are in the hells, like all who are in the heavens, are from the human race; and that from the beginning of the creation to this time they amount to myriads of myriads, every one of whom is a devil of a sort according with his opposition to the Divine in the world.
–_Heaven and Hell, n._ 544
COMMUNICATION WITH THE SPIRITUAL WORLD
“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law doth he meditate day and night.”
–_Psalm_, I, 1, 2
ONE’S SPIRITUAL COMPANY
The mind of a man is his spirit which lives after death; and a man’s spirit is constantly in company with spirits like himself in the spiritual world. Man does not know that in respect to his mind he is in the midst of spirits because the spirits with whom he is in company in that world, think and speak spiritually. The spirit of man, however, while in the material body, thinks and speaks naturally; and spiritual thought and speech cannot be understood, nor perceived, by the natural human being; nor the reverse. Hence, too, it is that spirits cannot be seen. Yet when a man’s spirit is in society with spirits in their world, then he is in spiritual thought and speech with them, too, because his inner mind is spiritual, but the outer natural; wherefore by his inner nature he communicates with them, and by his outer being with men. By this communication a man perceives and thinks analytically. If there were no such communication, man would no more think than a beast, nor any differently from a beast. Indeed, were all commerce with spirits cut off, a man would instantly die.
–_True Christian Religion, n._ 475
“MINISTERS OF HIS, THAT DO HIS PLEASURE”
Man is quite ignorant that he is governed by the Lord through angels and spirits, and that there are at least two spirits with a man and two angels. Through the spirits a communication of the man with the world of spirits is effected; and through the angels, with heaven. As long as a man is not regenerated, he is governed quite otherwise than when he is regenerated. While unregenerated, there are evil spirits with him, who dominate him so fully that the angels, though present, can scarcely do more than guide him, so that he shall not hurl himself into the lowest evil, and bend him to some good–to some good by means of his own desires, indeed, and to some truth through even fallacies of sense. Then, through the spirits who are with him, he has communication with the world of spirits, but not so much with heaven, for the evil spirits rule with him, and the angels only avert their rule. When, however, a man is regenerated, then the angels rule and inspire in him all good and truth, and a horror and dread of evil and falsity. The angels lead the man indeed, but serve only as ministers, for it is the Lord alone, Who, by angels and spirits, governs man.
–_Arcana Coelestia, n._ 50
It is an office of the angels to inspire charity and faith in a man, to observe the direction his enjoyments take, and to restrain and bend them to good, as far as they can in man’s free choice. They are forbidden to act violently, and so to break a man’s cupidities and principles; but are bidden to act gently. It is also an office of theirs to govern evil spirits who are from hell. When evil spirits infuse evils and what is false, the angels instill what is true and good, by which they at least temper an evil. Infernal spirits are continually assaulting, and angels constantly giving protection. Especially do the angels call forth goods and truths which are with a man, and oppose them to the evils and falsities which the evil spirits excite. Hence a man is in the midst, nor does he apperceive the evil or the good; and being in the midst, is free to turn himself to the one or to the other. By such means angels from the Lord lead and protect a man, and this every moment, and every moment of a moment. For, should the angels intermit their care a single instant, man would be plunged into evil from which he could never afterward be led forth. These offices the angels do from a love which they have from the Lord; for they know nothing pleasanter and happier than to remove evils from a man, and to lead him to heaven. That this is their joy, see _Luke_, XV, 7. Scarcely any man believes that the Lord has such a care for man, and this continually, from the first thread of his life to the last, and on to eternity.
–_Arcana Coelestia, n._ 5992
WHOLESOME AND UNWHOLESOME COMMUNICATION
Many believe that a man can be taught by the Lord through spirits who speak with him. They who believe so, and will this communication, do not know, however, that it is attended with danger to their souls. While a man is living in the world, he is in the midst of spirits as to his spirit; nevertheless spirits do not know they are with man, nor a man that he is with spirits. But as soon as spirits begin to speak with a man, they come out of their spiritual state into the man’s natural state; and then they know that they are with man, and they unite themselves to the thoughts of his affection, and they speak with him from those thoughts. Thence it is that the spirit speaking is in the same principles as the man, whether these be true or false. These he stirs up, and through his affection, united to the man’s, strongly confirms them. All this shows the danger in which a man is who speaks with spirits, or who manifestly perceives their operation. Of the nature of his affection, good or bad, a man is ignorant, also with what others he is associated. If his is a pride of self-intelligence, the spirit favors every thought from that source. Likewise there is the favoring of principles which are inflamed from the fire which those have who are not in truths from any genuine affection for them. Whenever from a like affection a spirit favors a man’s thoughts or principles, then the former leads the latter, as the blind lead the blind, until both fall into the ditch.
It is otherwise with those whom the Lord leads. He leads those who love and will truths from Him. Such are enlightened when they read the Word, for there the Lord is, and He speaks with every one according to the latter’s apprehension. When these hear speech from spirits, as they do sometimes, they are not taught, but are led, and this so prudently that the man is still left to himself. For every man is led through the affections by the Lord, and he thinks from these freely as if of himself. Were it otherwise, a man could not be reformed, nor could he be enlightened.
–_Apocalypse Explained, nn._ 1182, 1183
AN UNBROKEN ASSOCIATION
Married partners, who have lived in truly conjugial love, are not separated in the death of one of them. For the spirit of the deceased partner lives continually with the spirit of the other, not yet deceased, and this even to the death of the other, when they meet again and reunite, and love each other more tenderly than before; for now they are in the spiritual world.
–_Conjugial Love, n._ 321
“Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God.”
–Rev., XXI, 3
THE CHURCH IN GOD’S SIGHT
The Church is in man, and not outside of him; and the Church at large consists of the men who have the Church in them.–The Church consists of those who from the heart acknowledge the Divine of the Lord, who learn truths from Him by the Word, and do them.–Every one who lives in the good of charity and of faith is a Church and a Kingdom of the Lord.–The Church in general is constituted of those who are severally Churches, however remote they are from one another.–The Church of the Lord is scattered throughout the whole world.
–_Heaven and Hell, n._ 57 –_Apocalypse Explained, n._ 388 –_Arcana Coelestia_, n. 6637; ib., n. 9256
A SUCCESSION OF CHURCHES
There have been four Churches on this earth since the day of creation; a first, to be called the Adamic, a second, to be called the Noachic; a third, the Israelitish; and a fourth, the Christian. After these four Churches, a new one will arise, which is to be truly Christian, foretold in Daniel and in the _Apocalypse_, and by the Lord Himself in the Evangelists, and looked for by the Apostles.
–_Coronis_, Summary, I, VIII
EARLY CHRISTIANITY AND ITS DECLINE
When a Church is raised up by the Lord, it is in the beginning blameless; and one then loves the other as his brother, as we know of the primitive Church after the Lord’s advent. At that time, all the sons of the Church lived together like brothers, and also called one another brother, and mutually loved each other. But in the course of time charity diminished, and vanished; and as it vanished, evils succeeded; and together with evils falsities insinuated themselves. Hence came schisms and heresies, which would never come to be, were charity regnant and alive.
–_Arcana Coelestia, n._ 1834
THE LORD’S SECOND COMING: WHEN? HOW?
Now is the Lord’s Second Coming, and a New Church is to be instituted. The Second Coming of the Lord is not a coming in Person, but in the Word, which is from Him, and is Himself. We read in many places that the Lord will come in the clouds of heaven. The “clouds of heaven” mean the Word in its natural sense, and “glory” the Word in its spiritual sense, and “power” the Lord’s power by means of the Word. So the Lord is now to appear in the Word. He is not to appear in Person because, since His ascension into heaven, He is in the Glorified Humanity, in which He cannot appear to any man, unless He opens the eyes of his spirit first, and this cannot be done with any one who is in evils and thence in falsities. It is vain, therefore, to believe that the Lord will appear in a cloud of heaven in Person; but He will appear in the Word, which is from Him, and so is Himself.
–_True Christian Religion, nn._ 115, 776, 777
What occurred at the end of the Jewish Church has occurred similarly now; for at the end of that Church, which was when the Lord came into the world, the Word was interiorly opened. Interior Divine truths were revealed by the Lord, which were to serve the New Church to be established by Him, and did serve it, too. To-day, again, for similar reasons, the Word has been interiorly opened, and divine truths still more interior have been revealed, which are to serve a New Church, which will be called the New Jerusalem.
–_Apocalypse Explained, n._ 948
A NEW CHURCH
It was foretold in the Apocalypse (XXI, XXII) that at the end of the former Church a New Church was to be instituted, in which this would be the chief teaching: that God is One in Person as well as in Essence, in Whom is the Trinity, and that that God is the Lord. This Church is what is there meant by the New Jerusalem, into which only he can enter who acknowledges the Lord alone as God of Heaven and earth.
–_Divine Providence, n._ 263
The descent of the New Jerusalem cannot take place in a moment, but becomes a fact as the falsities of the former Church are removed. For what is new cannot enter where falsities have previously been engendered, unless these are eradicated; which will take place with the clergy, and so with the laity.
–_True Christian Religion, n._ 784
THE ULTIMATE GOAL
Were it received as a principle, that love to the Lord and charity to the neighbor are what the whole Law hangs on and are what all the Prophets speak of, and thus are the essentials of all doctrine and worship, then the mind would be enlightened in innumerable things in the Word, which otherwise lie hidden in the obscurity of a false principle. In fact, heresies would be scattered then, and out of many one Church would come to be, however the doctrines flowing therefrom or leading thereto, and the rituals, might differ. Were the case so, all men would be governed as a single human being by the Lord; for all would be as members and organs of one body, which, dissimilar in form and function though they are, still have relation to one heart only, whereon they each and all depend. Then, in whatever doctrine or outward worship one might be, he would say of another, “This man is my brother. I see that he worships the Lord, and that he is a good man.”
–_Arcana Coelestia, n._ 2385
All religion has relation to life; and the life of religion is to do good.
Love in act is work and deed.
Heaven is a kingdom of uses.
No one who believes in God and lives well is condemned.
Shunning evils as sins is the mark of faith.
To resist one evil is to resist many; for every evil is united with countless evils.
If you wish to be led by the Divine Providence, employ prudence as a servant and attendant who faithfully dispenses his Lord’s goods.
Where men know doctrine and think according to it, there the Church _may be_; but where men act according to doctrine, there alone the Church is.
It is not the desire of an intelligent man to be able to confirm whatever he pleases; but to be able to see truth as truth, and falsity as falsity, and to confirm his insight, is the way of an intelligent man.
To reason only whether a thing is so or not, is like reasoning about the fit of a cap or a shoe without ever putting it on.
It is the essence of God’s love to love others outside Himself, to desire to be one with them, and from Himself to render them blessed.
The absence of God from man is no more possible than the absence of the sun from the earth through its heat and light.
Truths perish with those who do not desire good.
Peace has in it confidence in the Lord–that He governs all things, and provides all things, and leads to a good end.
The Lord powerfully influences the humble.
Innocence is willingness to be led by the Lord.
One’s distance from heaven is in proportion to the measure of one’s self-love.
Peace in the heavens is like spring in the world, gladdening all things.
No two things mutually love each other more than do truth and good.
Love consists in desiring to give our own to another and in feeling as our own his delight.
A wicked man may shun evils as _hurtful_; none but a Christian can shun them as sins.
If a man studies the neighbor and the Lord more than himself, he is in a state of regeneration.
The Lord acts mediately through heaven, not because he needs the aid of the angels, but that they may have functions and offices, life and happiness.
Good is like a little flame which gives light, and causes man to see, perceive and believe.
Evil itself is disunion.
To serve the Lord is to be free.