(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 32

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32. (5) The Infinity of God can be seen by enlightened reason in very many things in the world. Some things shall be enumerated in which human reason can see the infinity of God: (1) In the created universe no two things can be found that are identical. That no such identity can be found among things simultaneous has been rationally seen and proved by human learning, although the substantial and material objects of the universe, viewed singly, are infinite in number. And that no two effects can be found that are identical among things successive in the world may be inferred from the earth's revolution, in that the nutation of its poles forever prevents a return to any former position. This is also clearly evident in human faces, in that throughout the entire world there can be found no one face that is precisely like or the same as another, nor ever can be to eternity. This infinite variety would be impossible except from an infinity in God the Creator. [2] (2) No one person's disposition is precisely like that of another; from which comes the saying, "Many men, many minds;" and so no one's mind, that is, his will and understanding, is exactly like or the same as another's and in consequence the tone of any man's speech, or the thought in which it originates, or any act in regard either to movement or affection. Is never exactly like another's; from which infinite variety again can be seen as in a mirror the infinity of God the Creator. [3] (3) In all seed, both of animals and vegetables, there is inherent a certain immensity and eternity-an immensity in its capacity to be multiplied to infinity, and an eternity in the continuance of this multiplication uninterrupted from the creation of the world until now, and its still unceasing continuance. In the animal kingdom take, for example, the fishes of the sea; if these were to multiply according to the abundance of their spawn they would in twenty or thirty years so fill the ocean that it would wholly consist of fishes, and in consequence its water would overflow and destroy all the land. But this does not happen, since God has provided that fish shall be food for each other. It would be the same with the seeds of plants. If as many seeds should be planted as one plant produces each year, in twenty or thirty years the surface not of one earth only, but even of many, would be covered. For there are shrubs, every seed of which produces others by hundreds and thousands. Try to calculate this, reckoning this product of one seed in a series of twenty or thirty terms, and you will see. In all these examples the Divine immensity and eternity become evident in a certain general aspect, an image of which must needs come forth. [4] (4) Enlightened reason can also see God's infinity in the possible infinite increase of all knowledge, and consequently of everyone's intelligence and wisdom, both of which are capable of growing as a tree from seed, and as forests and gardens from trees, to which there is no limit. The soil of intelligence and wisdom is the memory of man, his understanding is where they germinate; and his will where they fructify. And these two capacities, understanding and will, are such that they may be cultivated and perfected in this world to the end of life, and afterwards to eternity. [5] (5) The infinity of God the Creator can also be seen in the infinite number of the stars, which are so many suns, and therefore so many systems. That there are other earths in the starry heavens upon which men, beasts, birds, and plants exist is shown in a little work describing things seen [6] (6) The infinity of God has been made still more evident to me both from the angelic heaven and from hell, in that these are ordered and arranged in innumerable societies or congregated bodies in accordance with all the varieties of the love of good or evil, each individual being allotted a place is accordance with his love; for there the whole human race from the creation of the world is gathered together, and to ages of ages will be gathered. And although each one has his own place or abode there, yet all are so joined together that the entire angelic heaven represents one Divine man, and the entire hell one monstrous devil. From these two, with the infinite marvels they contain, both the immensity and the omnipotence of God are clearly presented to view. [7] (7) Who is not able to understand, if he will elevate a little the reasoning faculty of his mind, that an eternal life, which is the lot of every man after death, can be granted only by an eternal God? [8] (8) In addition to all this there is a certain infinity in many things that fall within the range of the natural light and spiritual light in man. It is within the range of his natural light that there are various series in geometry which go on to infinity; that there is a progression to infinity in the three degrees of height, in that the first degree, which is called the natural degree, cannot be perfected and elevated to the perfection of the second, which is called the spiritual degree; nor this to the perfection of the third, which is called the celestial degree. It is the same with end, cause, and effect, in that the effect cannot be so perfected as to become like the cause, nor the cause so perfected as to become like its end.
This may be illustrated by the atmospheres, of which there are three degrees. There is a supreme aura, under this the ether, and below this the air; and no quality of the air can be raised up to any quality of the ether, nor any quality of the ether to that of the aura; and yet in each there is an ascent of perfections to infinity. It is within the range of man's spiritual light that no natural love, which is an animal love, can be raised up to spiritual love, with which from creation man has been endowed. The same is true of the natural intelligence of the animal in relation to the spiritual intelligence of man. But as these things have been hitherto unknown they will be explained elsewhere. From all this it can be seen that the most general contents of the world are constant types of the infinity of God the Creator; but how the particular contents emulate the general, and represent the infinity of God, is an abyss or an ocean which the human mind may sail, as it were, but it must beware of a puff of wind that may arise from the natural man, which striking from aft, where he stands self-confident, may swamp the ship with its masts and sails standing.


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