The Third Round: When Our Concept of the Lord Becomes the Lord in His Divine Human For Us

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From the work, Divine Providence 254.5

…there are many who worship idols and graven images, even in the Christian world. This is indeed idolatrous, and yet not with all; as there are some to whom graven images serve as a means of arousing thought concerning God; for it is by virtue of influx from heaven that those who acknowledge God desire to see Him; and as they are not able to raise their minds above sensual things, like the interiorly spiritual worshippers, their thought of God is aroused by the graven object or image. Those are saved who do this, and who do not worship the image itself as God, if they also live according to the precepts of the Decalogue from a principle of religion. [6] Hence it is clear that as the Lord desires the salvation of all He has also provided that everyone, if he lives well, may have some place in heaven. Before the Lord heaven is as one Man; thus heaven corresponds to all things in general and in particular that are in man;

From the work, Arcana Coelestia 2574.3

…there are angels who when they were men had conceived an idea of the Lord’s Human as of the human with another man, in order that in the other life these may be able to be with the celestial angels (for there ideas inspired by the affection of good conjoin), such things are dispersed by means of the spiritual sense of the Word, and in this way they are perfected. This shows how precious to the angels is that which is contained in the internal sense of the Word, although perchance it may appear as but of little consequence to man, who has so obscure an idea about such things that it is scarcely any idea at all.

From the work, Arcana Coelestia 6380

The Lord’s Divine Natural is said to be the good of truth when it is considered in relation to people who believe in and love the Lord; for members of the external Church are unable to go any higher in their thinking than the Lord’s Divine Natural, whereas the thinking of members of the internal Church goes above the natural to the Internal. For the idea of the Lord formed by anyone who believes in Him is conditioned by how far he can rise in his thinking. Those who are aware of what the internal is can have an idea of the internal; but those who are not aware of what the internal is have an idea of the external. This is why the Lord’s Divine Natural is said to be the good of truth, when in fact His entire Human is the Divine Good of Divine Love.

From the work, Arcana Coelestia 1832

[3] Take, for example, people who keep to the sense of the letter of the Word and imagine that it is the Lord who brings on temptation, that it is He who at such times tortures a person’s conscience, and who imagine that because He permits evil He is the author of evil, that He thrusts the wicked down into hell, and similar ideas. These are not truths, but apparent truths. And because they are not in themselves truths there is no parallelism and correspondence. Nevertheless the Lord leaves these things in man as they are and in a remarkable fashion adapts them by means of charity so that they may serve as vessels for celestial things. The same applies as well to the worship, the teachings, the practices, even the idols, of honest gentiles. In the same way the Lord leaves these things as they are, yet adapts them by means of charity so that they too may serve as vessels. The same was true of so many of the forms of ritual in the Ancient Church, and subsequently in the Jewish Church. In themselves they were nothing more than religious observances that contained no truth in them and which were tolerated and permitted, even prescribed, because they had been held sacred by parents, and so had been implanted in and impressed upon their minds as truths since they were children…[4] …the things that are once implanted in a man’s opinion, and are accounted as holy, the Lord leaves intact, provided they are not contrary to Divine order; and although there is no parallelism and correspondence, still He adapts them.

From the work, Apocalypse Explained 866

“they gave the Lord vinegar in a sponge and placed it upon hyssop” signified the kind of falsity there was among the upright Gentiles, which was falsity from ignorance of the truth, in which there was something good and useful; because this falsity is accepted by the Lord He drank this vinegar; the “hyssop” upon which they placed it signifies the purification of the falsity; that the Lord said “I thirst,” signifies Divine spiritual thirst, which is for Divine truth and good in the church, by which the human race is saved.

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Ian Arnold
Ian Arnold

Thanks, David, for some really useful insights and observations. And for the outstanding quotes accompanying each of the posts.Perhaps what most remains with me is what you said about mistaking the Existere for the Esse. Says it all. And yet even the angels cannot totally get away from a n idea of shape when it comes to the Lord. I find that most of the time I don;t need it, thinking on a natural, sensual, level. But sometimes I do. Thanks again. Very much. Ian

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