(AC) - A Disclosure of the Hidden Treasures of Heaven Contained in the Holy Scripture or Word of the Lord, Together with Amazing Things Seen in the World of Spirits and in the Heaven of Angels

AC 1013

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1013. For in the image of God made He man. That this signifies charity, which is the "image of God" follows as a consequence. In the preceding verse charity was treated of, which was signified by "blood" and that it should not be extinguished was signified by "not shedding blood." Here now it follows that He made man into the image of God; from which it is evident that charity is the image of God. What the image of God is, hardly anyone knows at the present day. They say that the image of God was lost in the first man, whom they call Adam, and that it was a certain perfection* of the nature of which they are ignorant. And indeed there was perfection, for by "Adam" or "Man" is meant the Most Ancient Church" which was a celestial man, and had perception, such as had no church after it; by reason of which it was also a likeness of the Lord. A likeness of the Lord signifies love to Him.
[2] After this church perished in the course of time, the Lord created a new church, which was not a celestial but a spiritual church. This was not a likeness, but an image of the Lord. An "image" signifies spiritual love, that is, love to the neighbor, or charity, as has been shown before (n. 50-51). That this church was, from spiritual love, or charity, an image of the Lord, is evident from this verse; and that charity is itself an image of the Lord is evident from its being said, "for in the image of God made He man" that is to say, charity itself made him so. That charity is the "image of God" is most clearly evident from the very essence of love, or charity. Nothing else than love and charity can make an image and likeness of anyone. It is the essence of love and charity to make of two as it were one. When one person loves another as himself, and more than himself, he then sees the other in himself, and himself in the other. This may be known to everyone if he only directs his attention to love, or to those who love each other-the will of the one is the will of the other, they are interiorly as it were joined together, and only in body distinct the one from the other.
[3] Love to the Lord makes man one with the Lord, that is, a likeness of Him. So does charity, or love toward the neighbor, make him one with the Lord, but as an image. An image is not a likeness, but is according to or after a likeness [est ad similitudinem]. This oneness arising from love the Lord describes in John:
I pray that they all may be one; even as Thou Father art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us; and the glory which Thou hast given unto Me I have given unto them; that they may be one, even as We are one; I in them, and Thou in Me (John 17:21-23).
This "being one" is that mystical union which some think about, and which is by love alone. Again:
I live, and ye shall live; in that day ye shall know that I am in My Father, and ye in Me, and I in you; he that hath My commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me; if a man love Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him (John 14:19-23).
Hence it is evident that it is love which conjoins, and that the Lord has His abode with him who loves Him, and also with him who loves his neighbor, for this is love of the Lord. [4] This union, which makes a likeness and image, cannot be so well seen among men, but is seen in heaven, where from mutual love all the angels are as a one. Each society, which consists of many, constitutes as it were one man. And all the societies together-or the universal heaven-constitute one man, which is also called the Grand Man (see n. 457, 549). The universal heaven is a likeness of the Lord, for the Lord is the all in all who are therein. So also is each society a likeness, and so is each angel. The celestial angels are likenesses, the spiritual angels are images. Thus heaven consists of as many likenesses of the Lord as there are angels, and this solely through mutual love-one loving another more than himself (see n. 548, 549). For in order that the general or universal heaven may be a likeness, the parts, or individual angels, must be likenesses, or images that are according to likenesses. Unless the general consists of parts like itself, it is not a general that makes a one. From these things it may be seen as from an archetype, or pattern,** what makes a likeness and image of God, namely, love to the Lord and love toward the neighbor; consequently, that every regenerate spiritual man, from love or charity, which is from the Lord alone, is His image. And he who is in charity from the Lord, is in "perfection;" of which perfection, by the Divine mercy of the Lord hereafter.
* "Perfect" is used here in the sense of "whole," "entire." Swedenborg's word is integer. [Reviser.]
** Latin idea, which is evidently used here in its Platonic sense. See the Republic, Book X [Reviser].


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