(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 31

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31. (4) In relation to spaces God's Infinity is called Immensity, while in relation to times it is called Eternity; but although they are so related, there is nothing of space in His Immensity, and nothing of time in His Eternity. In relation to spaces God's infinity is called immensity, because "immense" is a term applied to what is great and large, and to extension and its spaciousness. But in relation to times God's infinity is called eternity, because "to eternity" is an expression applied to what is progressive, which is measured by time without limit. For example: Of the terraqueous globe, as such, things pertaining to space are predicated; while of its rotation and progression things pertaining to time are predicated. In fact, the latter are what make times, and the former are what make spaces, and in this way they are presented through the senses to the perception of reflecting minds. But in God, as has just been shown, there is nothing of space and time; nevertheless, the beginnings of these are from God; and from this it follows that by immensity His infinity in relation to space is meant, and by eternity His infinity in relation to times. [2] But to the angels in heaven the immensity of God means His Divinity in respect to His Esse, and His eternity His Divinity in respect to His Existere. Also immensity means His Divinity in respect to love, and eternity His Divinity in respect to wisdom. This is because angels abstract space and time from Divinity, and such conceptions then follow. But as man can think only from ideas drawn from such things as belong to space and time, he is unable to form any conception of God's immensity antecedent to space, or His eternity antecedent to time; and when he seeks to do this it is as if his mind were falling into a swoon, almost like a shipwrecked man in the water, or like one who is about to be swallowed up in an earthquake; and if one persists in penetrating further into the subject, he may easily fall into a delirium, and from this be led into a denial of God. [3] I was once myself in such a state, thinking about what God was from eternity, what He did before the world was created, whether He deliberated about creation, and thought out the order to be pursued; whether deliberative thought would be possible in a vacuum; with other vain things. But lest I should be driven to madness by much speculations I was raised up by the Lord into the sphere and light in which the interior angels dwell; and when the idea Of space and time in which my thought was dwelling had been somewhat removed, it was given me to comprehend that the eternity of God is not an eternity of time; and as there was no time before the world was created, it is utterly vain to think about God in any such way. Moreover, as the Divine from eternity, that is, abstracted from all time, does not involve days, years, or ages, but to God all these are present, I concluded that God did not create the world in time, but that times were introduced by God with creation. [4] To all this I will add this memorable fact:
At one extremity of the spiritual world there are seen two statues in monstrous human form, with open mouths and gaping throats, and those who indulge in useless and senseless thoughts about God from eternity seem to themselves to be swallowed up by these; but they are the hallucinations into which those cast themselves who cherish absurd and improper thoughts about God before the creation of the world.


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