(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 165

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165. But in what manner these passages are to be understood, whether as meaning that these are three Gods, who in essence and consequently in name are one God; or that they are three objects belonging to one subject, that is, merely qualities or attributes of one God which are so named; or in some other way, the reason left to itself is incapable of seeing. What then is to be done? There is no other way than for man to go to the Lord God the Savior, and under His auspices read the Word; for He is the God of the Word; and man will then be enlightened and will see truths which reason also will acknowledge. But on the other hand, if you do not approach the Lord, though you read the Word a thousand times, and see therein the Divine trinity and the unity also, you will never understand otherwise than that there are three Divine persons, each one of whom singly is God, and thus that there are three Gods. But because this is repugnant to the common perception of all men throughout the world, to escape reproaches men have invented the notion that although there are in truth three Gods, it is indispensable to faith that one God only, and not three, be named. Furthermore, lest they should be overwhelmed with censure it was determined that on this point especially the understanding should be imprisoned and held bound under obedience to faith; and that this should evermore be a sacred principle of Christian order in the Christian church [2] Such a paralytic birth resulted from their not reading the Word under the Lord's auspices; for everyone who does not read the Word under His auspices reads it under the auspices of his own intelligence, which is like an owl in such things as are in spiritual light, as all the essentials of the church are. And when one so reads in the Word what is said of the trinity, and from what he reads thinks that although there are three Gods they are still one, the matter appears to him like a response from a tripod, which, because he does not understand it he rolls about between his teeth; for if he should set it before his eyes it would become a riddle, which the more he tries to solve the more he involves himself in darkness, until finally he begins to think about it without understanding, which is like seeing without an eye. In short, those who read the Word under the auspices of one's own intelligence, as is done by all who do not acknowledge the Lord as the God of heaven and earth, and therefore approach and worship Him alone, may be likened to children at play, who tie a bandage over their eyes and try to walk in a straight line, and even think that they are going straight ahead, when yet they turn step by step to one side and finally go in the opposite direction, and strike against a stone and fall. [3] Such are also like mariners sailing without a compass, who run their vessel on the rocks and perish. They are also like a man walking over a wide plain in a thick fog, who seeing a scorpion takes it for a bird, and attempting to seize and pick it up with his hand receives a deadly wound. Such again are like a waterfowl or a hawk, which sees above the water a little of the back of a big fish, and darts down and fixes its beak in it, and is drawn under by the fish and drowned. Again they are like one entering a labyrinth without a guide or a cord, and the farther he goes in the more he loses sight of the way out. A man who reads the Word not under the Lord's auspices but under the auspices of his own intelligence, thinks himself a lynx and better sighted than Argus; and yet he inwardly sees not a shred of truth, but only what is false; and under self-persuasion this falsity seems to him like a polar star towards which he directs all the sails of his thought; and then he no more sees truths than a mole does, or if he sees them he bends them to favor his phantasies, and so perverts and falsifies the holy things of the Word.


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