Two Distinct Things – Acting by Contiguity and Not Continuity

Selection from True Christian Religion ~ Emanuel Swedenborg

It is known that when the Apostles had received from the Lord the gift of the Holy Spirit they preached the gospel through a great part of the world, promulgating it both by speech and by writing; and this they did of themselves from the Lord. For Peter taught and wrote in one manner, James in another, John in another, and Paul in another, each according to his own intelligence. The Lord filled them all with His Spirit; but the measure in which each partook of it was in accordance with the character of his perceptions; and this was made use of in accordance with the character of his ability. The Lord fills all the angels in the heavens, for they are in the Lord and the Lord is in them; and yet each one speaks and acts in accordance with the state of his own mind, some with simplicity and some with wisdom, thus with infinite variety; nevertheless everyone speaks of himself from the Lord.

The same truth may be illustrated also by the evil derived from parents, which is called hereditary evil; this acts in and into man; in like manner good from the Lord acts, the good acting above or within, and the evil acting below or without. If the evil acted through man he would neither be capable of reformation nor be culpable; or if the good from the Lord acted through man he would be incapable of reformation; but as both good and evil depend on man’s free choice he becomes guilty when he acts of himself from evil, and is blameless when he acts of himself from good. And since evil is the devil, and good is the Lord, man becomes guilty when he acts from the devil, and is blameless when he acts from the Lord. It is from this free choice, which every man has, that man is capable of reformation.


It is the same with the entire internal and the entire external in man. These two are distinct, and yet are reciprocally united. The internal acts in and into the external, but not through it; for the internal meditates a thousand things, and from these the external chooses only such as are suited to its use. For in man’s internal (by which is meant his voluntary and perceptive mind) there are voluminous heaps of ideas, and if these were to flow forth through man’s mouth it would be like a blast from a bellows. As the internal deals with universals it may be compared to an ocean or flower bed or garden, from which the external selects just what is sufficient for its use. Again, the Word of the Lord is like an ocean or a flower bed or a garden, in that when it has place in man’s internal in any degree of fullness it does not act through man, but man speaks and acts of himself from the Word. The same is true of the Lord, because He is the Word, that is, the Divine truth and Divine good that are in it. The Lord acts from Himself or from the Word in and into man, and not through him, since man acts and speaks from the Lord freely when he acts and speaks from the Word.


But this may be illustrated more closely by the mutual interaction of the soul and body, which are two distinct things, and yet are reciprocally united. The soul acts in and into the body, not through it; the body acts of itself from the soul. The soul does not act through the body, for the two do not consult and deliberate each with the other, nor does the soul command or ask the body to do this or that, or to speak from its mouth; neither does the body demand or beg the soul to give or supply anything; for every thing that belongs to the soul belongs also to the body, mutually and interchangeably. It is the same with the Divine and the Human of the Lord, for the soul of His Human is the Divine of the Father, and the Human is His body; and the Human does not ask its own Divine to tell it what to say or do.


Therefore the Lord says:
In that day ye shall ask in My name; and I say not unto you that I will pray the Father for you, for the Father Himself loveth you because ye have loved Me (John 16:26, 27).
“In that day” means after His glorification, that is, after His perfect and absolute union with the Father. This arcanum is from the Lord Himself, given for those who will be of His new church.

(True Christian Religion 154)
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About mike

Finding out that the Lord is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last, and from the human race the angelic heaven would be formed, my entire focus on life changed. The reason for my creation was to perform Divine uses - The Divine Providence looks to eternal ends. My gain, honor or reputation no longer could be the focal point of what drives the engine. One day I will lay aside this material body and will wake up in the spiritual world never to return; there will be a continuation of life, and my ruling love will be what guides me to my final situation. 'Where a tree falls, there will it lay' (Ecc 11:3) We only have a few years in these bodies compared to eternity. What is fossilized on our souls in this short period is important to how we spend eternity. We are not left to blind faith, The Lord has come in His Word to reveal rationally how we can be made 'a vessel of honor, able for the master's use.' I truly hope the post create a thirst. If I can be of service, please do not hesitate to email me. --Mike
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