True Christian Religion #767

Door Emanuel Swedenborg

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767. The man who has faith in the Lord and charity toward the neighbor is a church in particular; and the church in general is composed of such. It is wonderful that every angel, in whatever direction he turns his body and face, sees the Lord in front of him; the Lord being the sun of the angelic heaven; and this appears before their eyes when they are engaged in spiritual meditation.

The same is true, in respect to the sight of his spirit, of any man in the world in whom the church is; but because this sight is veiled over by the natural sight, to which the other senses add their allurements, and because the objects of these senses are such things as pertain to the body and the world, this state of the man's spirit is unknown. This seeing the Lord in front, however one may turn, originates in this, that all truth (which is the source of wisdom and faith), and all good (through which love and charity exist), are from the Lord, and are the Lord's in man; consequently every truth of wisdom is like a mirror in which the Lord is seen, and every good of love is an image of the Lord. This is the cause of this wonderful appearance.

[2] But an evil spirit constantly turns away from the Lord, and looks continually to his own love, and this he does in whatever direction he turns his body and face. The cause of this is the same, but reversed; for every evil is an image, in a sort of form, of a man's ruling love, and falsity therefrom presents that image as in a mirror.

[3] That some such thing is also implanted in nature may be inferred from certain plants, in their striving to rise above the herbage that surrounds them, to look at the sun; and again from the fact that some of them turn towards the sun from his rising to the end of the day that they may ripen under his auspices. Nor do I doubt that there is a like endeavor and effort in all the twigs and branches of every tree; but not being elastic enough to bend and turn, the act is checked. Moreover, it is clear to anyone investigating the matter, that all the whirlpools either of inland or ocean waters spontaneously follow in their motion the general course of the sun.

[4] Why, then, should not man, who was created in the image of God, so turn, unless by means of his gift of freedom of choice he turns that endeavor and effort, implanted in him by the Creator, in another direction? This may also be likened to a bride's constantly keeping before the sight of her spirit something of the image of her betrothed, and seeing him in his gifts as in mirrors, longing for his coming, and when he comes receiving him with the joy in which her bosom's love finds its delight.

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