(TCR) - True Christian Religion: Containing the Whole Theology of the New Church Predicted by the Lord in Daniel 7:13-14 and Revelation 21:1-2

TCR 110

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110. Let these Memorable Relations be added. First:
I once saw in the spiritual world an ignis fatuus in the air with a glow about it, falling toward the earth. It was a meteor, such as the common people call a dragon. I noted the place where it fell; but it disappeared in the twilight before sunrise, as every ignis fatuus does.
After dawn I went to the place where I had seen it fall in the night, and behold, the ground there was a mixture of sulfur, iron chips, and clay; and suddenly there appeared two tents, one directly over the place, and the other at one side towards the south; and looking upwards I saw a spirit fall like lightning from heaven, and he struck within the tent that stood directly over the place where the meteor fell; I myself being in the other that was near it towards the south, and as I stood in the door I saw the spirit standing in the entrance of the other tent.
Therefore I asked him why he had so fallen from heaven; and he answered that he had been cast down as an angel of the dragon by the angels of Michael, because he had said something about the faith in which he had confirmed himself while in the world; among other things, that God the Father and God the Son are not one but two; for at this day in the heavens all believe that these are one, like soul and body; and whatever contradicts this is like a pungent odor in their nostrils, or like an awl boring through their ears, which causes disturbance and pain; therefore anyone so contradicting is ordered to leave; and if he refuses is cast out.
[2] Hearing this I said to him, "Why did you not believe as they do?"
He replied that after leaving the world no one is able to believe anything different from what he had before impressed upon himself by confirmation; this remains fixed in him, and can not be removed, especially that which he has confirmed in himself respecting God, since in the heavens everyone has his place according to his idea of God.
I asked him further, by what means he had confirmed the notion that the Father and Son are two.
He said, "By the statements in the Word, that the Son prayed to the Father, both before and during the passion of the cross; also that He humiliated Himself before His Father: how then can they be one, as soul and body are one in man? Who prays as if to another and humiliates himself as if before another, when that other is in fact himself? No one does so, much less the Son of God. Moreover, in my time the entire Christian church divided the Godhead into persons; and each person is one by Himself, and is defined as being what is self-subsistent."
[3] Hearing this I replied, "From what you say I perceive that you do not know at all how God the Father and the Son are one; and not knowing this you have confirmed yourself in the falsities respecting God which the church still holds to. Do you not know that when the Lord was in the world He had a soul like every other man? Whence had He that soul, unless from God the Father? The truth of this is abundantly evident from the word of the Gospels. What then is that which is called the Son but a Human that was conceived from the Divine of the Father and born of the virgin Mary? The mother cannot conceive the soul. This would be totally opposed to the order in accordance with which every man is born. Neither could God the Father impart from Himself a soul and then withdraw from it, as is done by every father in the world, because God is His own Divine essence, and this is one and indivisible; and being indivisible, it is Himself. This is why the Lord declares that the Father and He are one, and that the Father is in Him and He in the Father, and other like things. The framers of the Athanasian creed saw this remotely, and therefore, after dividing God into three persons, they still maintained that in Christ, God and Man, that is, the Divine and the Human, are not two, but are one, like soul and body in man. [4] The Lord's praying to the Father as to another when He was in the world, and His humiliating Himself before the Father as before another, was in accordance with the order established at creation. That order is immutable, and in accordance therewith must be everyone's progress towards conjunction with God. That order is, that so far as man conjoins himself to God by a life in accordance with the laws of order, which are God's commandments, does God conjoin Himself to man, and change man from natural to spiritual. It was in this way that the Lord made Himself one with His Father, and God the Father made Himself one with Him. When the Lord was an infant was He not like any other infant, and when a boy like any other boy? Do we not read that He increased in wisdom and favor, and that afterwards He asked the Father to glorify His name, that is, His Human? To glorify is to make Divine by oneness with Himself. This makes clear why the Lord prayed to His Father whilst in His state of exinanition, which was the state of His progress towards union. [5] This same order is inscribed upon every man by his creation. In the precise degree in which man prepares his understanding by means of truths from the Word does he adapt his understanding to receive faith from God, and precisely as he prepares his will by means of works of charity does he fit his will for the reception of love from God, as when a workman cuts a diamond he fits it to receive and emit the glow of light; and so on. One prepares himself to receive God and to be conjoined with Him by living in accordance with the Divine order; and the laws of order are all the commandments of God. These the Lord fulfilled to every tittle, and so made Himself a receptacle of Divinity in all fullness. Therefore Paul says:
That in Jesus Christ dwells all the fullness of Divinity bodily (Col. 2:9).
And the Lord Himself says:
That all things that the Father hath are His (John 16:15).
[6] "Furthermore, it must be borne in mind that in man the Lord alone is active and man of himself is merely passive; and that it is by means of the influx of life from God that man is also active. It is because this influx from God is unceasing that it seems to man as if he were active from himself; and it is because of this appearance that man has free-will; and this is given him that he may prepare himself for receiving the Lord, and thus for conjunction with Him, which would not be possible unless the action were reciprocal; and it becomes reciprocal when man acts from his freedom, and yet from faith ascribes all his activity to the Lord."
[7] After this I asked him whether he, like the others his companions, confessed that God is one. He replied that he did. Then I said, "But I am afraid that the confession of your heart is that there is no God. Does not every word uttered by the mouth go forth from the thought of the mind? Must not, then, the lip-confession of God's oneness banish from the mind the thought that there are three; and on the other hand, must not this thought of the mind banish from the lips the confession that He is one; and what else can result from this than that there is no God? Is not the whole interval, from the thought to the lips, and back again from the lips to the thought, thus made a vacuum? And what conclusion can the mind then form about God than that nature is God; and about the Lord than that His soul was either from the mother or from Joseph? From these two ideas all the angels of heaven turn away as from things horrible and abominable."
All this having been said, that spirit was sent away into the abyss (spoken of in Rev. 9:2 and following verses), where the angels of the dragon discuss the mysteries of their faith.
[8] The next day, when I looked towards the same place, I saw instead of the tents two statues in the likeness of human beings, made of the dust of the earth that was a mixture of sulfur, iron, and clay. One statue seemed to have a scepter in its left hand, a crown on its head, a book in its right hand, and a stomacher with an oblique band tied across, set with precious stones, and behind a robe that spread towards the other statue. But these decorations of the statue were induced upon it by fantasy. A voice from some draconic spirit was then heard proceeding from it, saying, "This statue represents our faith as a queen, and the one behind it represents charity as her maidservant. This latter was made of a similar mixture of dust, and was placed at the extremity of the robe that spread out behind the queen, and it held in its hand a paper, on which was written, "Be careful not to come so near as to touch the robe." Then a sudden shower fell from heaven and penetrated both statues, which being made of a mixture of sulfur, iron, and clay, began to effervesce, as a mixture of those ingredients does when water is poured upon it; and so burning as it were with inward fire they melted into heaps, which afterwards stood out above the ground there like sepulchral mounds.


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