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the Divine Esse, or the Infinitum in se, and the Divine-human, who is Infinitum a se in finitis; and for that purpose examine what Swedenborg says of the latter, with respect to the mode and condition of its manifestation. We trifle away our time, so long as we use the various words, which are expressive of the Divine Glorification, without a clear and definite meaning ; but we do worse, when we apply to them a meaning which is drawn from the fallacies of the senses, for then we defile the pure stream of truth, by stirring up the bed over which it flows.
Allow me then briefly to point out what, as it appears to me, is the cause of the error into which many have fallen, and afterward cite but one among a multitude of passages, where Swedenborg defines or explains what he means when he speaks of the Divine Body of God-man. The cause of the error lies in supposing that the term, Divine-human is meant to signify THE ABSOLUTE, and not THE RELATIVE, and in attributing to the former, that which rightly can only be attributed of the latter. In number 3869 of the Arcana Cælestia, our author concurs with the generally received position, that " Jehovah has neither ears nor eyes, as man has ;" adding that “the Attribute, predicable of the Divine Essence, which is signified by ear and eye, is Infinite Will and Infinite Intelligence,” and that “ these, in the supreme sense, are understood by the ear and eye, when they are attributed to Jehovah.” In more than one passage, he declares that no quality whatever can be attributed to the Divine Esse, for that strictly speaking we can say no more of Him than that He Is. On the other hand, the Divine-human, he says, is the quality of the Di. vine Esse; and to this Divine-human, or God-man, he attributes, as in the passage quoted by your correspondent, ears and eyes, along with the other senses, and organs of the body. This then is the first point to be considered, if we would follow Swedenborg, under the guidance and direction of the same light of spiritual truth which guided and directed him. He attributes a Divine Body to God-man, and not to an imaginary Incarnate God, any more than to the Absolute Divine Esse; and along with that Divine Body, celestial and spiritual qualities, which, when so attributed, he denominates the Divine-celestial and Divine-spiritual of the Lord.
Having reached this point, let us now examine how it be possible for the Divine Esse and the Divine-human to be one and the same Being, seeing that we are to attribute to the latter what is. expressly denied to the former ; that we are to represent the one to our minds as having not only angelic qualities, but those lowest faculties of humanity which are comprehended in the sensuous
organs, and with them the viscera and members of the body, while the other, the Divine Esse, is expressly denied them all. To see this great truth, stript of the mystery of actual and absolute coverings superinduced over the Divine Esse, which are supposed, like the integuments of the body, to veil the wonders of the Inmost Being, we have only to advert to Swedenborg's definition of God-man, whenever he shews, as he does in many places, the mode and condition of his manifestation. In number 11, of the Divine Love and Wisdom, but two pages before the passage quoted by your correspondent XANTHUS,--he says, “that in all the heavens, there is no other idea of God, than of a Man.” And why have they this idea ? “Because they can think only according to the general and particular form of heaven, and that form is the form of a man.” Hence it is that being internally in will and in. tellect of that form, and externally of a corresponding bodily form, all their conceptions of the Divine Essence must be in that form also; for it would be as impossible for them to think otherwise than according to the constitution of their own minds, as it would be to see with another's eyes or hear with another's ears.
It is on this account said that in heaven, every angel sees the Lord under a different aspect, for he sees Him, as the Divine-human, in the ground of his individual state. “Thought,” as our author observes, in harmony with the principles which pervade the doctrines of the New Jerusalem, "proceeds only according to the form of heaven, and this (the human form) being the form of heaven, they can think no otherwise.” The author here, as in other places, when he speaks of form, does not mean that symbolic representation only, which is usually called tbe bodily form, but the finite mind through its several degrees, in its state of reaction to the Divine Influx.
In this sense of relation to the ultimate faculties of angels and of men, are we to understand the expression Divine Body, when applied, not to an Incarnate God, but, to God-man. The Divine Body of God-man is the divine substance or support of all sensuous representations, but preeminently is the Divine Object which is manifested in and according to the state of the sensuous mind. There is no absolute Divine Body, for there is but ONE ABSOLUTE, THE DIVINE Esse, to whom no quality is attributable, and least of all, the qualities which are the products of the senses, and that, not from the absence of perfection, but simply because He is THE PERFECT, and THE ABSOLUTE, and therefore unapproachable, and incomprehensible: but in the finite ground of the angelic mind through its several degrees, down to the ultimate faculties of the human mind, He is, according to the respective states of those who receive Him, the Divine-celestial, the Divine-spiritual, the Divine-natural, sensual and corporeal, all of which are comprehended in the terms, God-man, the Divine-human, our Father, in, and not above the heavens.
Do I then deny a Divine Body to God-man? far from it: all that I deny is that gross mistake which gives a Divine Body to God Incarnate, which is the same thing as God in a finite and imperfect body, because such a view involves many and manifest contradictions, and I also deny it to the Divine Esse, as an actual covering, or absolute superiuduced something—nothing, which cannot be divine because it is human, nor human because it is divine, which yet by some strange mixture is imagined to partake of both; for by so doing I should indirectly oppose the whole, and directly the chief doctrine of the Lord's New Church, no less than reason itself, and the interior light of Revelation. For throughout the whole system this universal truth prevails: that every object, which the mind can contemplate, whether it be an object of the reason, of the understanding, or of the senses, is intirely dependent upon the state of the faculty for the mode and condition of its manifestation, and is actually generated by and according to the state of the mind in its reaction to the Divine Influx. Hence, though we must acknowledge the ONE ABSOLUTE, or Divine Esse, as the one only substance and life of every thing that exists and lives, we can only approach in worship the Divine-human, or, the Divine Esse manifested in the ground of our individual states. In this way, and in this way alone can we rationally see and acknowledge the Divine Esse and the Divine-human to be one and the same BEING. As the former we know that He Is, and no more, for there is no relation between the Infinite in Himself and the finite; but as the latter, the Infinite in the conscious ground of the finite, he can be known and worshipped by every Divine-human quality which the mind can embrace; all of which, though comprehended by a few terms, as the Divine Love, Wisdom, &c. are various and even different in every individual mind to whom they are presented.
The Lord Jesus Christ is the only object of worship, not because He is an Incarnate God, for in the New Church God is not now incarnate, but because, having put off every thing finite, He is Jehovah God in relation to the natural, sensual and corporeal degrees in man, and being the Divine-human in the ultimate faculties, or the Omega, He is, or should be, at the same time, with respect to
the inmost faculties, the Alpha also ; He is the Beginning and the í End, who is, who was, and who is to come, in all the progres•>- sive states of regeneration, both here and hereafter, the Almighty.
Such, gentlemen, is a brief statement of what I have learnt from Swedenborg of the doctrine of the Lord. In these observations, I do not presume to interpret his meaning, for in respect to this doctrine he requires no expositor. My task is merely to call the attention of your readers to the simple beauty of the doctrine as revealed by him, when contrasted with that confused and contradictory account, which has been unfortunately mistaken, by many sincere and enlightened men, for a faithful representation of his meaning. In this statement I trust I shall wound the feelings of no man; it has been my studious desire to avoid it, and yet vindicate the Lord's own truth, from that which' Swedenborg teaches me to be an error.
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ON KEEPING THE COMMANDMENTS. When our Lord came into the world, as had been predicted in the Scriptures, he instituted a new order of things and fulfilled in his own person all the types and shaddows of the Israelitish dispensation ; he also fulfilled the law of the ten commandments by a life in strict agreement with its most rigid demands. But in reflecting that Jesus Christ did all this, which includes every point of human obedience, some have fallen into the opinion that he has left nothing for his followers to do; all they are required to yield, being a belief and acknowledgement that their legal obligations have been performed by the Saviour, which secures to them the reward of holiness. As however the commandments cannot be entirely thrown aside, it is allowed that obedience to them is an ornament to the Christian, though not a saving condition, nor a means of justification, which is supposed to be effected by faith alone.
It becomes then a matter of vital importance for us to know, whether our Lord actually abolished the law by its fulfilment, or if it still remains binding, not only as a moral obligation, but as a religious duty, and whether obedience to it is or is not a condition of salvation. If we are to be guided by the Saviour himself, whom we must allow to be the best authority on the subject, we shall find ourselves, constrained to admit, that the commandments are still in force, and that even a purer and more strict obedience is required of the Christian than was ever demanded of the Jew. Our Lord is never found depreciating the law but exalting it, he is never found abrogating the law but explaining it, which he does largely in the fifth chapter of Matthew, where he shows, by a comment on several of the commandments, that they were to be regarded and observed
by Christians more 'interiorly than they had been by the Jews, being not only rules for governing the actions of the life, but principles for regulating the intentions of the heart. He does not however leave their validity to be infered, but gives positive testimony of it. In the same chapter he says, “ Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets : I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven : but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” When asked by one how salvation was to be attained, he answered, “If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” The assurance of heaven by the keeping of the commandments is here positive; but the Lord's testimony respecting salvation by faith is exceptive. “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” By those who say “Lord, Lord, our Saviour evidently means those who have faith ; for faith can say, but life only bears substantial testimony to our professions : life therefore we find is the test of our fitness for the kingdom, and without the testimony of a good life, we cannot be admitted. A good life is not possible without keeping the commandments; and if the one is a condition of salvation, so must the other, since they cannot be separated, even in idea. As. no one will say we can be saved without obedience to the commandments; so every one must perceive, that what we cannot be saved without is a condition of salvation. Our Lord distinctly teaches that obedience to the law is a condition of salvation; and if it were not so, it is reasonable to suppose, he not only would have refrained from teaching so, but would have taught the very contrary, he would have given some intimation of the abrogation of the law, more especially as himself was the very person in whom its reign is supposed to have terminated. But it may be said that the Lord virtually abrogated the law of the commandments by pronouncing them saved who had faith; as when he said to believing supplicants, “thy faith hath saved thee.” Admitting that the Lord on many occasions, pronounces salvation by faith, without mentioning works, it must also be admitted, that on many occasions he declares salvation to be by works, without mentioning faith. If we were disposed to · take only one side of a question, we might here argue for either side, and yet be in the right. One might select the instances where faith only is mentioned, and contend that faith only was required ; another might gather into one those parts of our Lord's teaching, where works only are spoken of, and insist that works only were