(TCR) - True Christian Religion: Containing the Whole Theology of the New Church Predicted by the Lord in Daniel 7:13-14 and Revelation 21:1-2

TCR 12

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12. (5) Human reason can, if it will, perceive and be convinced, from many things in the world, that there is a God, and that He is one. This truth may be confirmed by innumerable things in the visible world; for the universe is like a stage, upon which evidences that there is a God and that He is one are continually exhibited. To illustrate this I will cite this Memorable Relation from the spiritual world:
Once while I was talking with angels, certain spirits that had recently arrived from the natural world were present. Seeing them, I bade them welcome, and told them many things they had not known before about the spiritual world.
After this I asked them what knowledge about God and about nature they had brought with them from the world.
"This," they said, "that nature is the operative power in all things that are done in the created universe; and that God, after creation, endowed nature with and impressed upon it that capability and power; and that God merely sustains and preserves that power lest it perish; consequently, all things that spring forth or are produced and reproduced upon the earth are now ascribed to nature."
But I replied that in nothing is nature of itself the operative power, but God through nature. And when they asked for proof I said, "Those who believe the Divine operation to be in every least thing of nature find in very many things they see in the world much more evidence in favor of a God than in favor of nature. [2] For those who find evidences in favor of the Divine operation in every least thing of nature observe attentively the wonderful things that are seen in the production of plants and of animals. In the Production of Plants, they observe that from a little seed sown in the ground there goes forth a root, and from the root a stem, and successively branches, buds, leaves, flowers, and fruits, even to new seeds, just as if the seed knew the order of succession or development by which to renew itself. What rational person can imagine that the sun, which is pure fire, knows this, or that it can impart to its heat and light the power to produce such effects and to have such uses in view? Any man whose reason looks upward, when he sees these things and properly considers them, must needs conclude that they are from one whose wisdom is infinite, that is, from God. In this conclusion those who recognize a Divine operation in all the particulars of nature confirm themselves when they observe these things. On the other hand, those who do not recognize such an operation in nature behold these things with the eyes of their reason in the back of the head, and not in the front. These are such as derive all the ideas of their thought from the bodily senses, and confirm the fallacies of the senses, saying, 'Do you not see the sun accomplishing all these things by means of its heat and light? Is that which you do not see of any account?' [3] Those who confirm themselves in favor of the Divine carefully observe the wonderful things they see in the Production of Animals; as in regard to eggs (speaking first of these), the chick in its seminal state lies concealed in them With every thing requisite for its formation, and also for its entire development after it is hatched until it becomes a bird in the form of the parent. Moreover, to any mind that thinks deeply, things which excite wonder are presented whenever winged creatures in general are observed; as that both the smallest and largest of them, both the invisible and the visible, that is, both minute insects and great birds and beasts, possess organs of sense, namely, sight, smell, taste, and touch; also organs of motion, which are muscles, for they fly and walk; also viscera connected with the heart and lungs which are moved by the brains. All these things are seen also by those who ascribe everything to nature; but such merely notice their existence, and claim that they are products of nature. This they claim because they have turned away their minds from all thoughts of the Divine; and those who have done this, when they behold the wonderful things in nature, are unable to think about them rationally, still less spiritually; but they think sensually and materially; thus they think in nature from nature, and not above nature; and such differ from beasts only in being endowed with rationality, that is, only in an ability to understand if they wish to. [4] Those who have turned themselves away from all thought of a Divine, and have thereby become corporeal-sensual, never consider that the sight of the eye is so gross and material that it sees many small insects as a single obscure object; and yet each one of these is organized for sensation and motion, and is consequently endowed with fibers and vessels, with a minute heart and pulmonic tubes, with minute viscera and with brains; and these are composed of nature's purest elements, these textures corresponding to life in its lowest degree whereby their least parts are severally actuated. Considering the grossness of our bodily vision, to which many such insects, with the innumerable parts in each, appear as a single minute indistinct object, while yet it is from this vision that sensual men think and draw conclusions, it is evident how gross their minds must be, and in what darkness they must be respecting spiritual things.
[5] "Any man is able, if he will, to find evidences in favor of a Divine in the visible things of nature; and this he does whenever he thinks of God and of His omnipotence in the creation of the universe, and of His omnipresence in the preservation of it; as, for instance, when he sees that among the birds of heaven each species knows its own food and where to find it, recognizes its companions by sight and sound, and among other species knows which are friends and which enemies; that they know how to mate, to form marriages, construct their nests skillfully, place their eggs in them and hatch them, also the period of incubation; and when the young have been hatched they love them most tenderly, shelter them beneath their wings, feed and nourish them, and this until they are able to provide for themselves and to perform like offices. If anyone is willing to think about a Divine influx through the spiritual world into the natural he can see it in these creatures; and can also, if he will, say from his heart that the sun through its heat and light cannot be the source of such knowledge, for the sun from which nature has its rise and essence is pure fire, and consequently its effluent heat and light must be utterly dead; and thus he may reach the conclusion that these knowledges are from a Divine influx through the spiritual world into the outmosts of nature.
[6] "Anyone can find evidences in favor of a Divine in the visible things of nature when he observes those worms which are moved by the joy of a peculiar love to aspire after a change of their earthly state into one somewhat analogous to a heavenly state. For this purpose they crawl into suitable places, enclose themselves in a covering, and thus place themselves in a womb from which to be born again; and there they become chrysalids, aureliae, nymphs, and finally butterflies; and having undergone this transformation and been decked with beautiful wings according to their species, they fly forth into the air as into their heaven, and there disport themselves merrily, marrying, laying eggs, and providing for themselves a posterity, meanwhile nourishing themselves with sweet and pleasant food from flowers. Who that sees evidences in favor of a Divine in the visible things of nature can help seeing in these as worms an image of man's earthly state, and in these as butterflies an image of his heavenly state? Those who have confirmed themselves in favor of nature behold the same things, but having rejected man's heavenly state from their thought they call them mere operations of nature.
[7] "Anyone can find evidences in favor of a Divine in the visible things in nature when he gives thought to what is known of bees, their knowing how to collect wax from roses and blossoms, to suck out honey, to build cells like little houses, to arrange them like a city, with streets for going in and out; their smelling from a distance the flowers and herbs from which they collect wax for their houses and honey for food, being loaded with which they fly back straight to their hive. Thus they provide themselves with food for the coming winter as if they foresaw it. They also appoint a mistress over themselves as queen, and through her they propagate a posterity; and for her they build a sort of palace above themselves, and place guards around it. When the time for propagation arrives, accompanied by her guards, which are called drones, she goes from cell to cell, and lays her eggs, which her retinue seal up lest they be injured by the air. Thus a new generation is born; and when this generation has reached the proper age to be able to repeat the process it is expelled from the hive, and the new swarm, after gathering into a body to prevent separation, flies forth to find itself a home. About the time of autumn, as the drones have added nothing to the supply of wax or honey, they are led out and deprived of their wings to prevent their returning and consuming the food on which they had spent no labor. From this and other facts it can be seen that on account of the use they perform for the human race these insects receive by influx from the spiritual world a form of government similar to that which is formed among men on the earth, and even among the angels in the heavens. [8] What man of sound reason does not see that the natural world cannot be the source of all this? What has the sun, from which nature springs, in common with a government which so vies with and closely resembles heavenly government? From these and like facts exhibited among animals, one who acknowledges and worships nature confirms himself in favor of nature; while he who acknowledges and worships God confirms himself from the same facts in favor of God; for the spiritual man sees in them spiritual things, and the natural man sees in them natural things, thus each in accord with his character. For my own part, such things have been to me evidences that from God there is an influx of the spiritual world into the natural. Consider, moreover, whether you are able to think analytically of any form of government, of any civil law, or any moral virtue, or any spiritual truth, except on the supposition that there is an inflow of the Divine from its own wisdom through the spiritual world. As to myself, I am not able to do so, and never have been. I have now for twenty-six years continually observed that influx perceptibly and sensibly; I therefore speak from what I know.
[9] "Can nature pursue use as an end, and arrange uses in order and in forms? Only a wise being is able to do this; and God alone, whose wisdom is infinite, is able so to order and form the universe. Who else can foresee and provide food and clothing for man-food from the products of the field, from the fruits of the earth, and from animals; and clothing from the same sources? It is among these marvelous facts that those petty worms called silkworms clothe with silk and magnificently adorn both women and men, from queens and kings even to maidservants and menservants; and that a petty insect like the bee supplies the wax for the tapers that make temples and palaces brilliant. All these and more are conclusive proofs that God from Himself through the spiritual world operates all things that take place in nature.
[10] "To all this let me add the fact that I have seen in the spiritual world those who from things visible in the natural world had confirmed themselves in favor of nature until they had become atheists; and that in spiritual light the understanding of such appeared to be open below, but closed above, for the reason that in their thought they had looked down toward the earth, and not up toward heaven. Above their sensual faculties, which form the lowest part of the understanding, a kind of covering flashing with infernal fire was seen, in some cases like soot, and in others livid like a corpse. Let everyone therefore beware of these confirmations in favor of nature; and let him confirm himself in favor of God; there is no lack of means. "


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