(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 371

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371. (3) Conjunction with the Lord is a reciprocal conjunction, that is, that the Lord is in man and man in the Lord. That conjunction is reciprocal, Scripture teaches and reason also sees. As to His conjunction with His Father, the Lord teaches that it is reciprocal, for He says to Philip:
Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me (John 14:10, 11).
That ye may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father (John 10:38).
Jesus said, Father, the hour is come glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee (John 17:1).
Father, all things that are Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine (John 17:10).
The same is said by the Lord respecting His conjunction with man, namely, that it is reciprocal; for He says:
Abide in Me and I in you; he that abideth in Me and I in him, the same beareth much fruit (John 15:4, 6).
He that eateth My flesh and drinketh My blood, abideth in Me and I in him (John 6:66).
In that day ye shall know that I am in My Father, and ye in Me, and I in you (John 14:20).
He that keepeth the commandments of Christ abideth in Him, and He in him (1 John 3:24; 4:13).
Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God abideth in him, and he in God (1 John 4:15).
If anyone hear My voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me (Apoc. 3:20).
[2] From these plain statements it is clear that the conjunction of the Lord and man is reciprocal; and because it is reciprocal it necessarily follows, that man ought to conjoin himself to the Lord, in order that the Lord may conjoin himself to man; and that otherwise conjunction is not effected, but withdrawal and a consequent separation, yet not on the Lord's part, but on man's part. In order that such reciprocal conjunction may exist, there is granted to man freedom of choice, giving him the ability to walk in the way to heaven or in the way to hell. From this freedom that is given to man flows his ability to reciprocate, which enables him to conjoin himself with the Lord, and also with the devil. But this liberty, what it is and why it was given to man, will be illustrated hereafter, when Freedom of Choice, Repentance, Reformation and Regeneration, and Imputation are treated of. [3] It is to be lamented that the reciprocal conjunction of the Lord and man, although it stands out so clearly in the Word, is unknown in the Christian church. It is unknown because of certain hypotheses respecting faith and freedom of choice. The hypothesis respecting faith is that it is bestowed upon man without his contributing anything toward the acquisition of it, or adapting and applying himself, any more than a stock, to the reception of it. The hypothesis respecting freedom of choice is that man does not possess a single grain of freedom of choice in spiritual things. But that the reciprocal conjunction of the Lord and man, on which depends the salvation of the human race, may not remain longer unknown, necessity itself enjoins its disclosure, which may be best effected by examples, because they illustrate. [4] There are two kinds of reciprocation by which conjunction is effected: one is alternate and the other mutual. The alternate reciprocation by which conjunction is effected, may be illustrated by the action of the lungs in breathing. Man draws in the air and thereby expands the chest; then he expels the inhaled air and thereby contracts the chest. This inhalation and the consequent expansion is effected by means of the pressure of the air proportionate to its column; while the expulsion and the consequent contraction are effected by means of the ribs by the power of the muscles. Such is the reciprocal conjunction of the air and the lungs, and on it depends the life of all bodily sense and motion, for these swoon when respiration ceases. [5] Reciprocal conjunction, which is effected by alteration, may also be illustrated by the conjunction of the heart with the lungs and of the lungs with the heart. The heart from its right chamber pours the blood into the lungs, and the lungs pour it back again into the left chamber of the heart; thus is that reciprocal conjunction effected on which the life of the whole body is altogether dependent. There is a like conjunction of the blood with the heart, and vice versa. The blood of the whole body flows through the veins into the heart, and from the heart it flows out through the arteries into the whole body; action and reaction effect this conjunction. There is a like action and reaction (by which there is a constant conjunction) between the embryo and the mother's womb. [6] But there is no such reciprocal conjunction of the Lord and man. That is a mutual conjunction, which is effected not by action and reaction, but by cooperation. For the Lord acts, and from Him man receives action, and operates as if of himself, even by the Lord from himself. This operation of man from the Lord is imputed to him as his own, because he is held constantly by the Lord in freedom of choice. The freedom of choice resulting from this is the ability to will and to think from the Lord, that is, from the Word, and also the ability to will and to think from the devil, that is, contrary to the Lord and the Word. This freedom the Lord gives to man to enable him to conjoin himself reciprocally with the Lord, and by conjunction he gifted with eternal life and blessedness, since this, without reciprocal conjunction, would not be possible. [7] This reciprocal conjunction, which is mutual, may also be illustrated by various things in man and in the world. Such is the conjunction of soul and body in every man; such is the conjunction of will and action, also of thought and speech; such is the mutual conjunction of the two eyes, the two ears, and the two nostrils. That the mutual conjunction of the two eyes is in a manner reciprocal, is evident from the optic nerve, in which fibers from both hemispheres of the cerebrum are folded together, and thus folded together they extend to both eyes. It is the same with the ears and nostrils. [8] There exists a like reciprocal and mutual conjunction between light and the eye, between sound and the ear, odor and the nose, taste and the tongue, touch and the body; for the eye is in the light and the light in the eye, sound is in the ear and the ear in the sound, odor is in the nose and the nose in odor, taste is in the tongue and the tongue in taste, and touch is in the body and the body in touch. This reciprocal conjunction may also be compared to the conjunction of a horse and a carriage, an ox and a plough, a wheel and machinery, a sail and the wind, a musical pipe and the air; in short, such is the reciprocal conjunction of the end and the cause, and such also is that of the cause and the effect. But there is not time to explain all these examples one by one, for it would be a work of many pages.


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