(Continued pt. 17)
(4) However numerous the truths of faith are, and however diverse they appear, they make one from the Lord, who is the Word, the God of heaven and earth, the God of all flesh, the God of the vineyard or church, the God of faith, light itself, the truth, and life eternal.
The truths of faith are various, and to man they seem diverse; some, for example, have relation to God the Creator, others to the Lord the Redeemer, others to the Holy Spirit and the Divine Operation, others to faith and charity, others to freedom of choice, repentance, reformation and regeneration, imputation, and so on; still in the Lord and in man from the Lord they make one, like many branches on one vine (John 15:1, seq.).
For the Lord unites scattered and separate truths into one form, as it were, in which they present one aspect and exhibit one action.
This may be illustrated by a comparison with the members, viscera and organs in one body; which although various, and in man’s sight diverse, are nevertheless felt by man, who is their general form, to be one, and when he is acting from them all he acts as if from one. It is the same with heaven, which, although divided into innumerable societies, still in the Lord’s sight appears as a one. (That heaven appears as one Man has been shown above (previous chapters in work entitled True Christian Religion*). It is the same again with a kingdom, which although divided into several governments, and also into provinces and cities, still makes one under a king who governs with justice and judgment. So do the truths of faith from which the church is a church make one from the Lord, because –
the Lord is the Word, the God of heaven and earth, the God of all flesh, the God of the vineyard or church, the God of faith, light itself, the truth, and life eternal.
That the Lord is the Word, and therefore all truth of heaven and the church, is evident from John:
The Word was with God, and God was the Word, and the Word became flesh (1:1, 14).
That the Lord is the God of heaven and earth is evident from Matthew:
Jesus said, All power hath been given unto Me in heaven and on earth (28:18).
That the Lord is the God of all flesh, can be seen from John
The Father gave to the Son power over all flesh (17:2).
That the Lord is the God of the vineyard or church, in Isaiah:
My well-beloved hath a vineyard (5:1);
and in John:
I am the Vine, ye are the branches (15:5).
That the Lord is the God of faith, Paul teaches:
Having the righteousness, which is from the faith of Christ, from the God of faith (Phil. 3:9).
That the Lord is light itself, appears from John:
There was the true Light, which lighteth every man coming into the world (1:9).
Jesus said, I come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth in Me may not abide in darkness (John 12:46).
That the Lord is the truth itself, appears from John:
Jesus said, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life (14:6).
That the Lord is life eternal, in John:
We know that the Son of God is come that we may know Him that is True, even His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life (1 John 5:20).
To this must be added, that owing to his worldly occupations man can acquire for himself only a few of the truths of faith; nevertheless if he goes to the Lord and worships Him alone, he acquires the power to gain a knowledge of all truths. Therefore every true worshiper of God, as soon as he hears any truth of faith which he has not known before, at once sees, acknowledges, and accepts it; and for the reason that the Lord is in him, and he in the Lord; and consequently the light of truth is in him, and he is in the light of truth; for as before said, the Lord is light itself, and truth itself.
This may be corroborated by the following experience:
A spirit appeared to me, who in the company of some others seemed simple, because he had acknowledged the Lord alone as the God of heaven and earth, and had strengthened this his faith by certain truths from the Word; this spirit was taken up into heaven among the wiser angels; and it was told me that there he was as wise as they; and that altogether as if from himself he spoke truths in great abundance, of which he had before known nothing.
In a like state will those be who come into the Lord’s New Church. This is the state that is described in Jeremiah:
This shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; after those days I will put my law in their inward parts, and upon their hearts I will write it and they shall teach no more every man his fellow, or every man his brother, saying, Know Jehovah; for they shall all know Me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them (31:33, 34).
It is such a state that is described in Isaiah:
There shall go forth a Shoot out of the stem of Jesse; truth shall be the girdle of His thighs. There the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid. The suckling shall play on the hole of the adder, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the basilisk’s den; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of Jehovah, as the waters cover the sea. In that day the nations shall seek a Root of Jesse, to it shall the Gentiles seek; and His rest shall be glory (11:1, 5, 6, 8, 10).
To be continued…