(BE) - A Brief Exposition of the Teachings for the New Church Meant by the New Jerusalem in the Book of Revelation

BE 119

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119. The Second Relation from The Apocalypse Revealed. Once on waking from sleep, I fell into a profound meditation concerning God; and when I looked up, I saw above me in heaven a very bright light in an oval form; and when I fixed my attention on that light, it receded to the sides, and entered into the circumference. And then behold, heaven was opened to me, and I saw some magnificent things, and angels standing in the form of a circle on the southern side of the opening, speaking with one another. And because I was enkindled with the desire of hearing what they were saying, it was therefore given me first to hear the sound, which was full of heavenly love, and afterwards their speech, which was full of wisdom from that love. They were talking with one another of the One God, of Conjunction with Him, and of Salvation thence. They spoke ineffable things, the most of which cannot be expressed by any natural language. But as I had many times been in consociation with angels in heaven itself, and then in similar speech with them, because in a similar state, I could therefore now understand them, and gather some things from their discourse, which can be expressed rationally in the words of natural language.
They said that the Divine Esse is One, the Same, the Itself, and Indivisible; thus also the Divine Essence, because the Divine Esse is the Divine Essence; and thus also God, because the Divine Essence, which is also the Divine Esse, is God. They illustrated this by spiritual ideas, saying that the Divine Esse cannot fall into many, every one of which has the Divine Esse, and yet be One, the Same, Itself, and Indivisible; for each would think from his Esse from himself and by himself; if he should at the same time also think from the others and by the others unanimously, there would be many unanimous gods, and not one God. For unanimity, as it is the consent of many, and at the same time of each one from himself, and by himself, does not agree with the unity of God, but with a plurality; they did not say of Gods, because they could not; for the light of heaven, from which was their thought, and in which their discourse proceeded, resisted.
They also said, that when they wished to pronounce the word Gods, and each as a Person by himself, the effort of utterance immediately fell of itself into One, yea, into the Only God. To this they added that the Divine Esse is the Divine Esse in Itself, not from Itself; because from Itself supposes an Esse in Itself from another, and thus supposes a God from God, which is not given. That which is from God is not called God, but is called the Divine; for what is a God from God; and thus what is a God from God born from eternity; and what is a God from God proceeding through a God born from eternity, but words in which there is not the least light from heaven?
They said further, that the Divine Esse, which in itself is God, is the Same: not the Same simply, but Infinite; that is, the Same from eternity to eternity: it is the Same everywhere, and the Same with every one and in everyone; but that all the variety and variableness is in the recipient; the state of the recipient does this. That the Divine Esse, which is God in Himself, is the Itself, they illustrated thus. God is the Itself, because He is Love Itself, Wisdom Itself, or what is the same, He is Good Itself, and Truth Itself, and thence Life Itself; which unless they were the Itself in God, would not be anything in heaven and in the world; because there would not be anything of them having relation to the Itself. Every quality derives its quality from this, that there is an Itself from which it is, and to which it has relation, that it may be such. This Itself, which is the Divine Esse, is not in place, but is with those and in those who are in place, according to reception; since of love and wisdom, and of good and truth, and thence of life, which are the Itself in God, yea, are God Himself, place cannot be predicated, or progression from place to place, but without place, whence is omnipresence. Wherefore the Lord says, that "He is in the midst of them"; also "He in them, and they in Him." But because He cannot be received by anyone as He is in Himself, He appears as He is in Himself as the sun above the angelic heavens, the proceeding from which as light is Himself as to wisdom, and as heat is Himself as to love. He Himself is not the sun; but the Divine love and Divine wisdom, going forth from Himself proximately, round about Himself, appear before the angels as the sun. He Himself in the sun is a Man, He is our Lord Jesus Christ both as to the Divine from which, and as to the Divine Human: since the Itself, which is Love Itself and Wisdom Itself, was His soul from the Father, and thus the Divine Life, which is Life in itself. It is otherwise in every man: in him the soul is not life, but a recipient of life. The Lord also teaches this, saying:
I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life;
and again:
As the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself.
Life in Himself is God. They added to this, that he who is in any spiritual light, can perceive that the Divine Esse, which is also the Divine Essence, because it is One, the Same, the Itself, and thence Indivisible, cannot be given in many; and that if it were said to be given, manifest contradictions would follow. After hearing these things, the angels perceived in my thought the common ideas of the Christian Church concerning a Trinity of Persons in Unity and their Unity in Trinity, respecting God, as also concerning the birth of a Son of God from eternity: and they then said, "What are you thinking of? Are you not thinking those things from natural light, with which our spiritual light does not agree? Wherefore, unless you remove the ideas of that thought, we close heaven to you, and go away." But I then said to them, "Enter, I pray, more deeply into my thought and perhaps you will see agreement." And they did so, and saw that by three Persons I understand three proceeding Divine Attributes, which are Creation, Salvation, and Reformation; and that these Attributes are of the one God: and that by the birth of a Son of God from eternity I understand His birth foreseen from eternity and provided in time. And I then related that my natural thought concerning a Trinity and Unity of Persons, and concerning the birth of a Son of God from eternity, I received from the doctrine of faith of the church, which has its name from Athanasias; and that that doctrine is just and right, provided that instead of a Trinity of Persons there be there understood a Trinity of Person, which is given only in the Lord Jesus Christ; and instead of the birth of a Son of God there be understood His birth foreseen from eternity and provided in time; because as to the Human, which He took to Himself in time, He is called openly the Son of God.
The angels then said, "Well, well," and they requested that I would say from their mouth, that if any one does not go to the God of heaven and earth Himself, he cannot come into heaven; because heaven is heaven from that Only God; and that this God is Jesus Christ, who is Jehovah the Lord, Creator from eternity, Redeemer in time, and to eternity Regenerator; thus who is at the same time the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; and that this is the Gospel which is to be preached. After this the heavenly light before seen above the opening returned and gradually descended, and filled the interiors of my mind, and enlightened my natural ideas of the Unity and Trinity of God: and then the ideas received about them in the beginning, which were merely natural, I saw separated, as the chaff is separated from the wheat by the motion of a fan, and carried away as by a wind into the north of heaven, and dispersed.


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