The Mode of the Second Coming
by C. H.
…. The mode by which the Lord made [His] final coming is well known to all New Church men and women. He came, not in person, but in the Word; not in the flesh, but in and as the Spirit of truth. It is interesting to note, however, that the Lord initiated His second coming by appearing before Swedenborg in person, and that He appeared before him as God-Messiah; thus identifying the Divine Human with the Lord who had been born in Bethlehem, and the Lord so born with Jehovah. Thereafter the Lord revealed through Swedenborg the internal sense of the Word – first as drawn from the letter of Genesis and Exodus, and then as heavenly doctrine for the New Jerusalem – and inspired Swedenborg’s writing of what was thus revealed.
This, we are taught, was the second coming of the Lord. In thus making His advent the Lord came, as always, to the minds of men, and essentially by the same mode that He had used before, namely, by means of a man. The Old Testament Word had been given through Moses, the prophets and other inspired writers; the gospel had first been spoken by the Lord Himself as Divine Man on earth, and then written through the evangelists; the Apocalypse had been given through John; and in making His second advent the Lord has again given a Divine revelation through a man, His servant, Emanuel Swedenborg. The distinctions between the Lord’s two advents should not be blurred; but this consistency in and similarity of method may usefully be stressed in discussing Swedenborg’s claim as being unique but not without precedent.
–New Church Life 1959;79:328