From Swedenborg's Works

 

True Christian Religion #132

True Christian Religion (Ager translation)      

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132. (7) The belief that the passion of the cross was redemption itself is the fundamental error of the church; and this error, together with the error respecting three Divine persons from eternity, has perverted the whole church to such an extent that there is nothing spiritual left in it. What at the present day more fills and crams the books of the orthodox, or what is more zealously taught and inculcated in the schools, or what is more frequently preached and proclaimed from the pulpit, than that God the Father, being angry with the human race, not only put it away from Himself, but also included it under a universal damnation, and thus excommunicated it; but being gracious, He persuaded or inspired His Son to descend and take upon Himself this determined damnation, and thus appease the anger of His Father; and that under no other conditions could the Father look with favor upon mankind? And further, that this was actually done by the Son; in that by taking upon Himself the damnation of the human race He suffered Himself to be scourged, to be spit upon, and finally crucified by the Jews as one "accursed of God" (Deuteronomy 21:23); and after this had been done the Father was propitiated, and from love for His Son canceled the damnation, but only on behalf of those for whom the Son might intercede, and that the Son thus became a Mediator perpetually before His Father.

[2] The churches of the present day resound with these and like ideas; they are reverberated from the walls like echoes from the forests, and fill the ears of all there. But cannot everyone whose reason has been enlightened and made sane by the Word see that God is mercy itself and pity itself, because He is love itself and good itself, and that these are His essence? It is therefore a contradiction to say that essential mercy or good can look upon man with anger and determine upon his damnation, and continue to be its own Divine Essence. Such things can hardly be ascribed to a good man, but only to a bad man, nor can they be ascribed to an angel of heaven, but only to a spirit of hell. It is therefore horrible to ascribe them to God.

[3] But if it is asked why this has been done the answer is, that the passion of the cross has been taken for redemption itself; and from this these ideas have flowed forth, as from one falsity falsities flow forth in a continuous series, or as from a cask of vinegar nothing but vinegar can flow, or from an insane mind nothing but insanity can flow. For from a single conclusion kindred principles flow; these lie hidden in the conclusion, and grow out of it one after another; and from the doctrine that the passion of the cross was redemption there may proceed or be drawn many other things that are scandalous and dishonoring to God, until the saying in Isaiah comes to pass:

The priest and the prophet err through strong drink; they stumble in judgment; for all tables are full of the vomit of filthiness (Isaiah 28:7-8).

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From Swedenborg's Works

Inbound References:

True Christian Religion 640


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Coronis (An Appendix to True Christian Religion) 21, 22


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

The Bible

 

Deuteronomy 21:23

English: King James Version         

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23 His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.

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Explanation of Deuteronomy 21      

By Alexander Payne

Verses 1-9. On the purification of the external man from the guilt of rejecting the Divine Influx when this has been done through ignorance.

Verses 10-14. On the adoption of natural affections by the spiritual man.

Verses 15-17. Things inferior are not to be put before others of more importance in the formation of the character because they are more pleasing to the natural disposition.

Verses 18-21. What stubbornly opposes good and truth in the soul is to be destroyed out of it.

Verses 22-23. Evils once seen and acknowledged to be destroyed there and then, and not suffered to remain in succeeding states.

From Swedenborg's Works

Explanations or references:

Arcana Coelestia 5156

Apocalypse Revealed 774

True Christian Religion 132, 134


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 655, 1145

Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Numbers 35:34

Deuteronomy 4:21, 25:19

Joshua 8:29, 10:26, 27

Mark 15:43

John 19:31

Galatians 3:13

Word/Phrase Explanations

body
The body (Matt. 6:22), signifies the man (homo). "His body shall not remain all night upon the tree" (Deut. 21:23), signifies lest it should be...

tree
In general, plants in the Bible represent facts, thoughts and ideas – intellectual things. This makes sense: Plants are rooted in place, but can grow...

day
"Day" describes a state in which we are turned toward the Lord, and are receiving light (which is truth) and heat (which is a desire...

hanged
'To hang,' as mentioned in Genesis 41:13, signifies rejecting. 'Hanging' represents the damnation of profanation.

accursed
The Lord is love itself, and his love for us never wavers and never changes. What does waver and change is the degree to which...

God
The Lord is love itself, expressed in the form of wisdom itself. Love, then, is His essence, His inmost. Wisdom - the loving understanding of...

the Lord
The Bible refers to the Lord in many different ways, which from the text seem indistinguishable and interchangeable. Understood in the internal sense, though, there...

lord
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...

giveth
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "give" in the Bible is affected by context: who is giving what to whom? In general, though, giving...

inheritance
In Biblical times, possessions passed from fathers to sons, a patriarchal system that would not be accepted in today's society – but one that is...


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