(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 73

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73. The next day some came to me from this crowd who had believed in predestination and imputation; and they said, "We feel as if we were drunk, not with wine, but from what was said yesterday by that man. He talked about omnipotence and also about order; and he concluded that as omnipotence is Divine so order is Divine, and even that God Himself is order; and he said that there are as many laws of order as there are truths in the Word, which are not only thousands, but myriads of myriads; and that God is tied up to His own laws in the Word, and man to his. What then is the Divine omnipotence, if it is bound by laws? For thus every thing absolute is withdrawn from omnipotence. Thus has not God less power than a worldly king who is a despot, and who can as easily change the laws of justice as he can turn his hands, and can act without restriction, like Octavius Augustus or like Nero? When we had thought about omnipotence being tied up to laws, we felt as if we were drunk, or ready to swoon unless we quickly got some remedy; for in accordance with our faith we have been accustomed to pray to God the Father to have mercy on us for the sake of His Son; and we have believed that He could have mercy on whom He chose, and forgive the sins of anyone He pleased, and could save whom He would; and we dared not take away the least iota from His omnipotence. We therefore regard it as impious to bind God in the chains of some of His own laws, because that would be contradictory to His omnipotence."
[2] Having said this, they looked at me and I at them; and I saw that they were bewildered, and I said, "I will pray to the Lord, and thence bring a remedy lay an inflow of light on this subject; but at present only by examples." And I said, "The omnipotent God created the world from the order within Him, that is, into the order in which He is, and in accordance with which He rules; and He impressed upon the universe and each and all things of it its own order, upon man his order, upon the beast its order, upon bird and fish and worm, and every tree and even every blade of grass, upon each its own order. But to illustrate by examples, I will mention briefly the following. The laws of order enjoined upon man are, that he should acquire for himself truths from the Word, and reflect upon them naturally, and as far as he can, rationally, and thus acquire for himself a natural faith. The laws of order on the part of God then are, that He will draw near and fill these truths with His Divine light, and thus fill the man's natural faith (which is mere knowledge and persuasion) with a Divine essence. In this and in no other way can faith become saving. It is the same with charity. But some particulars shall be briefly mentioned. God, in accordance with His laws, is able to remit sins to any man only so far as the man, in accordance with his laws, refrains from them. God able to regenerate a man spiritually only so far as the man, accordance with his laws, regenerates himself naturally. God is in an unceasing endeavor to regenerate man, and thus save him; but this He is unable to accomplish except as man prepares himself as a receptacle, and thus levels the way and opens the door for God. A bridegroom cannot enter the chamber of a virgin till she becomes his bride; for she shuts the door and keeps the key to herself within; but when the virgin has become a bride she gives the key to the bridegroom. [3] God could not by His omnipotence have redeemed men unless He had become Man; neither could He have made His Human Divine unless that Human had first been like the human of a babe, and then like that of a boy; and unless afterwards the Human had formed itself into a receptacle and habitation, into which its Father might enter; which was done by His fulfilling all things in the Word, that is, all the laws of order therein; and so far as He accomplished this He united Himself to the Father, and the Father united Himself to Him. These are a few things, presented for the sake of illustration, to enable you to see that the Divine omnipotence is in order, and that its government, which is called Providence, is in accordance with order, and that it acts continually and to eternity in accordance with the laws of its order; nor can it act against them or change them one iota, because order, with all its laws, is Himself."
[4] When this had been said a brilliant light of golden color flowed in through the roof and formed flying cherubs in the air; and with some of those present a glow therefrom was seen on the temples towards the back part of the head, but not yet on the front part, for they murmured, "We do not yet know what omnipotence is."
And I said, "That will be revealed when what has been already said to you has become somewhat clear."


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