787. This New Church is the crown of all the churches that have hitherto existed on the earth, because it is to worship one visible God in whom is the invisible like the soul in the body. Thus, and not otherwise, is a conjunction of God with man possible because man is natural, and therefore thinks naturally, and conjunction must exist in his thought, and thus in his love's affection, and this is the case when he thinks of God as a Man. Conjunction with an invisible God is like a conjunction of the eye's vision with the expanse of the universe, the limits of which are invisible; it is also like vision in mid-ocean, which reaches out into the air and upon the sea, and is lost. Conjunction with a visible God, on the other hand, is like beholding a man in the air or on the sea spreading forth his hands and inviting to his arms. For all conjunction of God with man must be also a reciprocal conjunction of man with God; and no such reciprocation is possible except with a visible God. That before the assumption of the Human, God was not visible, the Lord Himself also teaches in John:
Ye have neither heard the voice of the Father at any time, nor seen His form (5:37).
And in Moses:
That no one can see God and live (Ex. 33:20).
But that He is visible through His Humanity is stated in
No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He hath manifested Him (1:18).
And in the same:
Jesus said I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one cometh unto the Father but by Me. He that knoweth Me, knoweth the Father, and he that seeth Me seeth the Father (14:6, 7, 9).
That there is a conjunction with the invisible God through the visible, that is, through the Lord, He teaches in the following passages:
Jesus said, Abide in Me, and I in you; he that abideth in Me and I in him, the same beareth much fruit (John 15:4, 5).
In that day ye shall know that I am in the Father, and ye in Me and I in you (John 14:20).
The glory which thou hast given Me I have given them, that they may be one, even as we are one; I in them and Thou in Me: that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them (John 17:21-23, 26; also 6:56).
It is also taught that He and the Father are one, and that in order to have eternal life man must believe in Him. That salvation depends on conjunction with God has been frequently shown above.