The Omnipresence of God

The Omnipresence of God

The Divine omnipresence may be illustrated by the wonderful presence of angels and spirits in the spiritual world. In that world, because there is no space, but only the appearance of space, an angel or a spirit may, in a moment, become present to another, if only he comes into a similar affection of love, and thought from this; for these two cause the appearance of space. That such is the presence of all there, was manifest to me from the fact that I could see Africans and Hindoos there very near me, although they are so many miles distant upon earth; nay, that I could become present to those who are in other planets of this system, and also to those who are in the planets in other systems beyond this solar system. By virtue of this presence, not of place, but of the appearance of place, I have conversed with the Apostles, with departed popes, emperors, and kings; with the founders of the present church—Luther, Calvin, and Melancthon—and with others from different countries. Since such is the presence of angels and spirits, what limits can be set to the Divine presence, which is infinite, in the universe! The reason that angels and spirits have such presence is, because every affection of love, and every thought of the understanding from this, is in space without space, and in time without time. For any one can think of a brother, relation, or friend in the Indies, and have him then as it were present to him; in like manner, he may be affected by their love, from the remembrance of them. By these things, because they are familiar to every one, the Divine omnipresence may, in some degree, be illustrated; and also by human thought, in that when any one recalls to mind what he has seen in traveling in various places, he is as it were present in them. Nay, the sight of the body emulates the same presence. The eye does not perceive distances, except by intermediate objects, which as it were measure them. The sun itself would be near the eye, nay, in the eye, unless intermediate objects discovered that it is so distant. That it is so writers on optics have also observed in their books. Each sight of man, both the intellectual and cor­poreal, has such presence, because his spirit sees through his eyes. But no beast has similar presence, because they have no spiritual sight. From these things it is evident that God is omnipresent, from the first to the last things of His order. (TCR n. 64)

The Omniscience of God

The Omniscience of God

God perceives, sees, and knows all things, even to the most minute, that are done according to order; because order is uni­versal from things the most single. For the single things taken together are denominated the universal; as the particulars taken together are denominated a general. The universal together with its most single things is a work cohering as one, insomuch that one part cannot be touched and affected without some sense of it being communicated to all the rest. It is from this quality of order in the universe that there is something similar in all created things in the world. But this shall be illustrated by comparisons taken from things that are visible. In the whole man there are things general and particular, and the general things there include the particulars, and adjust themselves by such a connection that one thing is of another. This is effected by the fact that there is a common covering about every member of the body, and that this insinuates itself into the single parts therein, so that they make one in every office and use. For example, the covering of every muscle enters into the single moving fibres therein, and clothes them from itself; in like manner the coverings of the liver, the pancreas, and the spleen, enter into the single things of them that are within; so the covering of the lungs, which is called the pleura, enters into their interiors; likewise the pericardium enters into all and the single things of the heart; and generally the peritomum, by anastomoses with the coverings of all the viscera; so also the meninges of the brain; these, by fibrils emitted from them, enter into all the glands below, and through these into all the fibres, and through these into all parts of the body. Thence it is that the head, from the brains, governs all and the single things subordinate to itself. These things are adduced merely in order that, from visible things, some idea may be formed as to how God perceives, sees, and knows all things, even to the most minute, which are done according to order.

God, from those things which are according to order, perceives, knows, and sees all and single things, even to the most minute, that are done contrary to order; because God does not hold man in evil, but withholds him from evil; thus does not lead him [in evil] but strives with him. From that perpetual striving, struggling, resistance, repugnance, and reaction of the evil and the false against His good and truth, thus against Himself, He perceives both their quantity and quality. This follows from the omnipresence of God in all and the single things of His order; and at the same time from His omniscience of all and the single things therein; comparatively, as one whose ear is in harmony and accord exactly detects every discordant and inharmonious sound, how much and in what manner it is discordant, as soon as it enters. (TCR n. 60, 61)

The Omnipotence of God

The Omnipotence of God

God is omnipotent because He has all power from Himself, and all others from Him. His power and will are one; and because He wills nothing but what is good, therefore He can do nothing but what is good. In the spiritual world no one can do anything contrary to his own will. This they there derive from God, whose power and will are one. God also is Good itself; while therefore He does good He is in Himself, and He cannot go out of Himself. Hence it appears that His omnipotence proceeds and operates within the sphere of the extension of good, which is infinite. For this sphere, from the inmost, fills the universe and all and everything therein; and from the inmost it governs those things which are without, as far as they conjoin themselves according to their order. And if they do not conjoin themselves, still it sustains them, and with all effort labours to bring them into order, according to the universal order in which God is in His omnipotence; and If this is not effected, they are cast out from Him, where, nevertheless, He sustains them from the inmost. (TCR n. 56)