True Christian Religion - Additions #1

By Emanuel Swedenborg
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1. Additions to True Christian Religion 695

[The subject treated of in the published part of this memorable relation, is influx. Swedenborg states there, in an assembly of wise men in the spiritual world, that men at the present day know nothing of an influx from the spiritual into the natural world. Afterwards he called the attention of the angels to some of the wonders that are produced by this influx, and then continues in the unpublished manuscript as follows:]

Afterwards we discussed various other subjects, and I remarked in connection with hell, that none of all the things which are in heaven, are seen in hell; but that opposite things only appear there, because the affections of the love which prevails there, which are lusts of evil, are opposed to the affections of that love in which the angels of heaven are. In hell, therefore, there appear generally deserts, and in these, birds of night, dragons, owls, bats, and in addition, wolves, tigers, leopards, rats, and mice, and all kinds of poisonous serpents and crocodiles; and where there is an appearance of grass, it is found to consist of briars, thorns, thistles, and of some poisonous plants, which breathe a deadly odor into the air; and in another direction there are heaps of stones, and stagnant pools in which are croaking frogs. All these are likewise correspondences; but, as said above, they are correspondences of the affections of an evil love, and thus lusts. But these things are not created by God; nor are they created by Him in the natural world, where similar things exist; for all things created by God are good. On the earth they were created at the same time that hell was created; and this exists from men who, by averting themselves from God, became devils and satans. As these terrible things, however, wounded the ears, we turned our thoughts away from them, and directed them to those things which we had seen in heaven.

2. In respect to miracles I told them that all things which appear in the three kingdoms of nature are produced by an influx from the spiritual into the natural world, and, considered in themselves, are miracles, although, on account of their familiar aspect and their annual recurrence, they do not appear as such. I told them further that they should know that the miracles which are recorded in the Word likewise took place by an influx out of the prior into the posterior world, and that they were produced by an introduction of such things as are in the spiritual world into corresponding things in the natural world; for example, that the manna which every morning descended upon the camp of the children of Israel, was produced by bread from heaven being introduced into the recipient vessels of nature; that in like manner bread and fishes were thus introduced into the baskets of the apostles, which they distributed to so many thousands of men; again, that wine out of heaven was instilled into the water in the pots at the wedding where the Lord was present; further, that the fig-tree withered, because there was no longer any influx into it of spiritual nutriment, by which it was fed from the roots; and finally that such was the case with the other miracles, and that they were not produced, according to the insane notions of some of the learned in the present day, by causes summoned from all parts of nature. Miracles therefore are the effects of the Divine Omnipotence, and take place according to the influx of the spiritual into the natural world, with this difference only, that such things as actually exist in the spiritual world are actually introduced into such things in the natural world as correspond. And I finally concluded, that the cause of such things being done and being possible, is due to the Divine Omnipotence, which is meant by the finger of God, by which the Lord produced His miracles. After I had finished my explanation, the angels kissed me for what I told them, and said they would occasionally invite me to their assemblies. I thanked them, and promised to return, whenever the Lord would grant me permission to do so.

[3. On p. 4 of the manuscript we read:] All things of nature are like sheaths around spiritual things, and like tunics around muscular fibers. This is the cause of all the wonders and miracles in nature.

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Thanks to the Swedenborg Foundation for their permission to use this translation.