296. All who acknowledge and worship any other God than the Lord the Savior, Jesus Christ, who is Jehovah God Himself in human form, sin against this first commandment. Those also sin against it who persuade themselves of the actual existence of three Divine persons from eternity. For as they confirm themselves in that error, they become more and more natural and corporeal, and at length are unable to comprehend interiorly any Divine truth; and if they listen to it and accept it, they still defile it and cover it up with fallacies. They may therefore be compared to those who dwell in the lowest story or the cellar of a house, and in consequence hear nothing of the conversation of those who are in the second and third stories, because the floor above their heads keeps the sound from penetrating to them.
 The human mind is like a house of three stories, in the lowest of which are those who have confirmed themselves in favor of three Gods from eternity, while in the second and third stories are those who acknowledge and believe in one God under a visible human form, and that the Lord God the Savior is He. As the sensual and corporeal man is merely natural, and viewed in himself is wholly animal, and differs from a brute animal only in being able to talk and reason, so he is like one living in a menagerie, where there are all kinds of wild beasts, and there he now acts the lion, now the bear, now the tiger, the leopard, or the wolf; and he may even act the lamb, but then in heart he laughs.
 The merely natural man thinks of Divine truths only from the things of the world, and thus from the fallacies of the senses, for he is unable to raise his mind above these. Therefore the doctrine that he believes may be compared to a pottage made of chaff, which he eats as a dainty. Or it is like the bread and cakes that Ezekiel the prophet was commanded to make by mixing wheat, barley, beans, lentils, and fitches, with cow's or human excrement, thus representing the church as it was with the Israelitish nation (Ezek. 4:9 seq.). So is it with the doctrine of a church that is founded and reared upon a belief in three Divine persons from eternity, each one of whom singly is God.
 Who would not see the monstrosity of that faith if it were presented as it is in itself in a picture before his eyes? For example, if the three were to stand in order beside each other, the first distinguished by a scepter and crown; the second holding a book, which is the Word, in his right hand, and in his left a golden cross spattered with blood; the third, encircled with wings, standing upon one foot, ready to fly forth and do his work, and above the three the inscription-these three persons, being so many Gods, are one God. What wise man seeing the picture would not say to himself, "Alas, what hallucination!" But he would say otherwise if he were to see a picture of one Divine Person with rays of heavenly light about His Head and with the inscription over it, This is our God, at once Creator, Redeemer, and Regenerator, and therefore the Savior. Would not that wise man kiss this picture, carry it home in his bosom, and by the sight of it gladden his own mind, and the minds of his wife and his children and servants?