38. THE DIVINE TRINITY
1.* The idea the common people have of the Divine Trinity is that God the Father is seated on high with His Son at His right hand, and that they send the Holy Spirit to men.
2. The idea the clergy have of the Divine Trinity is that there are three Persons, each one of Whom is God and Lord, and that these three have one and the same essence.
3. The idea the wise among the clergy have is that there are three communicable natures and qualities; it is however three natures and qualities not communicable that are meant by three Persons.
4. The existence of a Divine Trinity is demonstrable from Sacred Scripture and from reason.
5. From a trinity of persons there results inevitably a trinity of Gods.
6. If God is One, there is of necessity** a Trinity belonging to God, and thus a trinity of the Person.
7. God's Trinity, which is also a Trinity of the Person, is from God Incarnate: it is Jesus Christ .***
8. This is established from Sacred Scripture.
9. And from reason as well, in that there is a trinity in every man.
10. The Apostolic Church had never any thought of a Trinity of Persons: shown by their Creed.
11. A Trinity of Persons was first devised by the Nicene Council.
12. Thence it was spread into the Churches that have existed since, right up to the present time.
13. Before now it has not been possible for that doctrine to be corrected.
14. The "Trinity of Persons" has turned the whole Church upside down and falsified every single thing in it.
15. Everyone has declared it to be beyond comprehension, and that the understanding must be held down under obedience to faith. What is "a Son born from eternity"?
16. In the Lord there is one Trinity, and in the Trinity there is Unity.
* These statements, numbered but not set out in paragraphs, are found here before chapter i. A vertical line drawn down the margin of N. suggests that perhaps they may be annotations, but Worcester in the A.P. and P.S. Edition has supplied the title "Observanda" and printed them in the text. In Sk. nos. 8 and 9 are incorporated with the preceding number, and the subsequent paragraphs numbered accordingly.
** Sk. has recessoria, whereas N. had recessoria subsequently altered to necessaria, which is taken as correct.
*** N. has "sit a Dec incarnato, seu Jesus Christus", so underlined.
The Skara MS. has "in" instead of "a" Worcester reads "in Deo incarnato,
seu Jesu Christo", that is, "in God Incarnate, or Jesus Christ".
39. CHAPTER I
A DIVINE TRINITY EXISTS, NAMELY, FATHER, SON, AND HOLY SPIRIT
1. The Unity of God has been acknowledged and admitted everywhere in the world where there has been religion and sound reason. 2. It was not possible, therefore, for God's Trinity to be known. For if it had been known, indeed if it had only been mentioned, a man would have thought of God's Trinity as a plurality of Gods; and this both religion and sound reason abhor. 3. Knowledge of God's Trinity, therefore, could only be acquired from revelation, thus only from the Word, and it could not be admitted unless the Trinity was also the Unity of God, for otherwise there would be a contradiction, and this brings forth nothing real.
4. God's Trinity did not come forth into actual existence until the Son of God, the Saviour of the world, was born, nor, before then, did there exist a Unity in Trinity and a Trinity in Unity.
5. The salvation of the human race depends upon God's Trinity which is at the same time a Unity.
6. By God's Trinity which is at the same time a Unity is meant a Divine Trinity in One Person.
7. The Lord, the Saviour of the world, taught that there is a Divine Trinity, namely, Father, Son, and Spirit: for He commanded the disciples to baptize "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit". [Matt. xxviii 19.]
He said also that He would, from the Father,* send the Holy Spirit. [John xv 26.] Moreover, He frequently spoke of the Father, and of Himself as His Son, and He "breathed upon His disciples, saying, Receive ye the Holy Spirit". [John xx 22.]
Again, when Jesus was baptized in the Jordan, there came a voice from the Father saying, "This is My beloved Son", and the Spirit appeared above Him in the form of a dove. [Matt. iii 16, 17; Mark i 10, 11; Luke iii 22; John i 32, 33.] The angel Gabriel, too, told Mary, "The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee and the Power of the of Highest shall overshadow thee, and the Thing that is born of thee shall be called the Son of God"; the "Highest" is God the Father. [Luke i 35.] Many times, too, the apostles in their epistles mention the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; and John in his first epistle wrote, "There are three that bear witness in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit" [1 John v 7.]; etc.
* The words "from the Father" are omitted in Sk.
40. CHAPTER 11
THOSE THREE, FATHER, SON, AND HOLY SPIRIT, ARE THE THREE ESSENTIALS OF THE ONE GOD, BEING A ONE IN THE SAME WAY AS SOUL, BODY, AND ACTIVITY, WITH MAN ARE A ONE
1. The Divine Trinity, which is at the same time a Unity, cannot be comprehended by anyone in any other way than as being like soul, body, and activity, in the case of man; consequently in no other way than that the Divine Itself called the Father is the soul, the Human called the Son is the body of that soul, and the Holy Spirit is the activity proceeding.*
2. Everywhere in the Christian Church, therefore, there is acknowledgement that in Christ God and man, that is the Divine and the human, are One Person, as are soul and body in man. This acknowledgement is there due to the Athanasian Creed.
3. Anyone, therefore, who has an understanding of the union of soul and body, and the resulting activity, comprehends God's Trinity, and at the same time His Unity, in an obscure sort of way.
4. A rational man knows, or can know, that the soul of a son is from his father, and that the soul clothes itself with a body in the mother's womb, and that afterwards all activity proceeds from both.
5. Anyone who has a knowledge of the union of soul and body, also knows, or can know, that the life of the soul is in the body, and that the life of the body is thus the soul's life.
6. Consequently, that the soul lives, and accordingly feels and is active, in the body and from it, and the body lives, feels, and is active from itself, yet all the while from the soul.
7. This is so, because all things of the soul are the body's, and all things of the body are the soul's. It is due to this and to nothing else that there is union between them.
8. It is only an appearance that the soul acts separately of itself through the body, the fact being that it acts in the body and from the body.
9. From these things a rational man acquainted with the interaction between soul and body can grasp the meaning of these words of the Lord: that the Father and He are One; [John x 30] that all things of the Father are His, and all His are the Father's; [John xvi 15; xvii 10] that all things of the Father come to Him; [John vi 37] that the Father hath given all things into the Son's hand; [John xiii 3] that as the Father works, the Son works also [John v 17, 19] that he who sees and knows the Son, sees and knows the Father also; [John xiv 7, 9] that they who are one in the Son, are one in the Father; [John xvii 21] that no one hath seen the Father, save the Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, and who has brought Him forth to view; [John i 18; v 37; Matt. xi 27; Luke x 22] that the Father is in the Son and the Son in the Father; [John xvii 21] that no one cometh to the Father but by the Son [John xiv 6] that as the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself; [John v 26] that in Jesus Christ dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; [Col. ii 9] besides several other places. In these passages, by "the Son" is meant the Father's Human.
10. From these statements it follows that the Godhead and the soul of the Son of God, our Saviour, are not distinctly two, but are one and the same.
11.** That the "Son of God" is God the Father's Human has been fully shown above, for what else did the mother Mary give birth to but a Human in which was the Divine from God the Father? It is owing to this that from birth He was called "the Son of God"; for the angel Gabriel tells Mary, "the Holy thing that will be born of thee shall be called the Son of God" [Luke i 35.]; and the Holy thing that was born of Mary was a Human in which was the Divine from the Father.
* In N. the words ab utroque, "from both," are added here by another hand.
** In N. this paragraph is unnumbered. In Sk. it is no. 11.
41. CHAPTER III
BEFORE THE WORLD WAS CREATED GOD'S TRINITY DID NOT EXIST
1. That God is one, the Sacred Scripture teaches, and reason enlightened by the Lord sees this in Scripture and from it. But that God was triune before the world was created, Sacred Scripture does not teach, and reason enlightened from it does not see. What is said in David concerning the Son, "this day have I begotten Thee" [Ps. ii 7.], does not mean "from eternity" but "in the fullness of time", for in God what is to come is present, thus it is "this day", in the same way as this passage in Isaiah, "Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and His name God, Hero, Father of eternity" [Isa. ix 6].
2. What rational mind, hearing that before the world was created there were three Divine Persons named Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, has not said within himself when he thinks about them, What does it mean-a Son born from God the Father from eternity? And how could He be born? And then, what is a Holy Spirit proceeding from God the Father through the Son from eternity? And how could it proceed and become a God by itself? Or how could a person beget a person from eternity, and both produce a person? Isn't a person a person? How can three Persons, each one of whom is a God, be conjoined into One God, in any other way than by being conjoined into One Person? Yet this latter is contrary to Theology, though being conjoined into One God is in agreement with it. How can the Godhead be distinguished into three Persons, yet not into three Gods, when nevertheless each Person is God? How can the Divine Essence which is One, and the Same, and Indivisible, come under numerical consideration, consequently be either divided or multiplied? And how could three Divine Persons have been together and have held consultations with one another in the absence of extended space, as the case was before the world was created? How could three equal to Himself have been produced by Jehovah God, who is One, and consequently the Only, Infinite, Immeasurable, Eternal, Omnipotent? How is it possible to conceive of a trinity of persons in God's unity, or of God's unity in a trinity of persons? Apart from the fact that the idea of plurality destroys the idea of unity, and conversely. Perhaps too one might suppose that, if this were feasible, it would have been feasible for the Greeks and Romans also to combine all their Gods, many as they were, together into one God, merely by means of "identity of essence".
3. A rational mind, turning over in the thought and pondering upon a Trinity of Persons from eternity in the Godhead, could have considered, too, what was the use of a Son being born, and of a Holy Spirit going forth from the Father through the Son, before the world was created! Was there any need for the three to hold consultations as to how the universe should be created, and so, for the three to create it? When in fact the universe was created by the One God. Nor was there any need for the Son to redeem, when in fact redemption was effected in the fullness of time after the world was created. Nor for the Holy Spirit to sanctify, because as yet there was no man to be sanctified. So then, if those uses were in God's design (idea), still it was not before the world but after it that the design came forth into actual existence. From which it follows that a Trinity from eternity would not be a Trinity in reality but only in idea; and still more so, a Trinity of Persons.
4. Who is there in the Church able to understand the following, when he reads the Athanasian Creed, "it is according to Christian verity that each Person by Himself is God, nevertheless according to the Catholic religion it is not lawful to make mention of three Gods"? Is not "religion" to him thus something different from "verity"? And is it not according to verity that three Persons are three Gods, but according to religion they are one God?
5. A trinity of persons in the Godhead before the world was created did not enter the mind of anyone from the time of Adam to the Lord's Advent, as appears plainly from the Word of the Old Testament and from the accounts of the religion of the people of old. Nor did it enter the minds of the Apostles, as is evident from their writings in the Word. Nor did it enter the mind of anyone in the Apostolic Church which existed prior to the Nicene Council, as appears plainly from the Apostles' Creed, in which there is no mention of any Son from eternity, but of a Son born of the virgin Mary. A Trinity of Persons from eternity is not only beyond reason, it is contrary to reason. It is contrary to reason that three Persons have created the universe; that there were three Persons, each one of them God, and yet not three Gods but one; and again, that there were three Persons and not one Person. Will not the New Church that is to be pronounce the age of the Old Church a dark or barbarian age when people worshipped three Gods? Similarly irrational are the things that have come out of that Trinity.
6. A Trinity of Persons from eternity in the Godhead was first propounded by the Nicene Council, as is evident from two creeds, the Nicene and the Athanasian. After that, it was accepted as the chief dogma and as the fountain-head of their doctrines by the Churches that have existed since up to the present day. There were two reasons for that Trinity being propounded by the Nicene Council; one was that they knew no other way of dispelling the scandals of Arius, who denied the Divinity of the Lord; the other was that they did not understand what was written by John the Evangelist. [John i 1, 2, 10, 14; xvi 28; xvii 5.] How these statements are to be understood may be seen above.
7. This belief of the Nicene Council and of the Churches since, that the Godhead before the world was created was made up of three Persons, each one of whom was God, and that from the first Person was born the second, and from these two went forth the third, is not only beyond one's understanding, it is contrary to it as well, and is faith in a paradox, which is contrary to the understanding's reason; it is a faith that has in it nothing of the Church, but instead a persuasion of what is false, such as that which exists with those suffering from religious mania. Not that this-suffering from religious mania-is said as applying to those who, without seeing things to be contradictory or contrary to Sacred Scripture, put belief in them; and so it does not apply to the Nicene Council nor to the Churches derived from it since that time, inasmuch as they did not see.
42. CHAPTER IV
GOD'S TRINITY WAS PRODUCED AFTER THE WORLD WAS CREATED, AND CAME INTO ACTUAL EXISTENCE IN THE FULLNESS OF TIME, AND THEN DID SO IN GOD INCARNATE, WHO IS THE LORD, THE SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST
1. It has been shown above that God's Trinity did not exist before the world was created, and could not do so; further that there are in God Man three essentials of one Person, and it is from these that God's Trinity is spoken of.
2. That God as the Word came into the world and took to Himself a human in the virgin Mary, and that the "Holy thing" thereby born was called "the Son of the Highest", "the Son of God", "the Only-begotten Son" is well known from the Old Word, where it is prophesied, and from the New Word, where it is described.
3. Seeing then that the Most High God, who is the Father, by means of His Divine proceeding, which is the Holy Spirit, conceived the human in the virgin Mary, it follows that the human born from that conception is "the Son", and the Divine conceiving it is "the Father", and that both of them together are the Lord God the Saviour Jesus Christ, God and Man.
4. It follows, too, that the Divine Truth which is the Word, in which is the Divine Good from the Father, was the seed, from which the human was conceived. It is from the seed that the soul is, and by means of the soul that the body is.
5. For confirmation this arcanum will be mentioned: the spiritual origin of all human seed is truth from good, not however Divine Truth from Divine Good in its infinite and uncreated essence, as it is in the Lord, but in a finite and created form of it. See THE DELIGHTS OF WISDOM CONCERNING CONJUGIAL LOVE, nos. 220, 245.*
6. It is well known that the soul adjoins a body to itself to serve it for carrying out uses, and that afterwards it conjoins itself to the body as the latter is of service, and this goes on until the soul becomes 'the body's, and the body becomes the soul's; this is what the Lord says, That He is in the Father and the Father in Him [John x 38].
7. It follows from these things that God's Trinity was produced after the world was created, and then it was in God Incarnate, who is the Lord the Saviour Jesus Christ.
* These nos. are omitted in Sk.
43. CHAPTER V
A TRINITY OF PERSONS IN THE GODHEAD IS A PRODUCT OF THE NICENE COUNCIL, AND HAS BEEN DERIVED THEREFROM IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AND IN THE CHURCHES AFTER IT. IT SHOULD THEREFORE BE CALLED THE NICENE TRINITY, BUT A TRINITY OF GOD IN ONE PERSON, THE LORD GOD THE SAVIOUR, IS OF CHRIST HIMSELF, AND WAS THENCE IN THE APOSTOLIC CHURCH, AND SHOULD THEREFORE BE CALLED THE CHRISTIAN TRINITY. THIS TRINITY OF GOD IS THE NEW CHURCH'S TRINITY
1. There are three summaries of the Christian Church's doctrine concerning the Divine Trinity as well as Unity, which are called Creeds, the Apostolic, the Nicene, and the Athanasian. The Apostles' Creed was drawn up by men termed the Apostolic Fathers; the Nicene Creed by an assembly of bishops and priests summoned by Emperor Constantine to the city of Nicaea for the purpose of dispelling the scandals of Arius in regard to his having denied the Divinity of the Son of God; and the Athanasian Creed by some person or persons immediately* after that Council. These three Creeds have been acknowledged and accepted by the Christian Church as ecumenical and catholic, that is, as the universals of doctrine in regard to God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
2. The Apostles' Creed teaches thus:
I believe in God the Father Almighty, God** of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ His Son, our Lord, who was conceived from the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary ... I believe in the Holy Spirit, etc. The Nicene Creed teaches thus: I believe in One God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth .... And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only-begotten Son of God, begotten not made, of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made; who came down from heaven and was incarnate from the Holy Spirit out of the virgin Mary, and was made Man .... And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, who proceedeth from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the Prophets . . . . The Athanasian Creed teaches thus:
The Catholic Faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity. That there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit . . . That Father, Son, and Holy Spirit have one Godhead and coeternal majesty. That the Father is uncreate, immeasurable, eternal, almighty, God and Lord, in like manner the Son, and in like manner the Holy Spirit; nevertheless there are not three uncreates, immeasurables, eternals, almighties, gods and lords, but One. The Son is of the Father alone, not made nor created but begotten; the Holy Spirit is from the Father and the Son, not made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding. In this Trinity none is before or after another, none is greater or less than another, but the whole three Persons are co-eternal and co-equal. But since we are compelled by Christian verity to confess each Person by Himself to be God and Lord, so are we forbidden by the Catholic religion to say three Gods and three Lords. Furthermore, in regard to the Lord Jesus Christ, thus:
That although He is God and Man, yet He is not two but one Christ.
3. From the pronouncements in the three creeds it may be gathered how God's Trinity in Unity and Unity in Trinity is understood in each case. For the Apostles' Creed declares in regard to God the Father, that He is the Creator of the Universe; in regard to His Son, that He was conceived from the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary; and in regard to the Holy Spirit, that it exists. The Nicene Creed, on the other hand, declares in regard to God the Father, that He is the Creator of the Universe; in regard to the Son, that He was begotten before all ages and that He came down and was incarnate; and in regard to the Holy Spirit, that it proceeds from them both. Whereas the Athanasian Creed declares in regard to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, that they are three co- eternal and co-equal Persons, and that each one of them is God nevertheless there are not three Gods, but one and that although from Christian verity each Person by Himself is God, yet, from the Catholic religion, you may not say three Gods.
4. It is evident from these three Creeds that two Trinities have been handed down, one that came into existence before the world was created, the other that came into existence after that. A Trinity before the world was created is in the Nicene and Athanasian Creeds, whereas a Trinity after the world was created is in the Apostles' Creed. Consequently, the Apostolic Church knew nothing of a "Son from eternity", but only of a Son born in the world; and so it is this Son that it invoked, not one born from eternity. On the other hand, the Church after the Nicene Creed, just as though it was established afresh, acknowledged as God a Son from eternity, but not the Son born in the world.
5. Those two Trinities differ as much from each other as evening and morning, or rather as night and day; accordingly, both of them together cannot possibly be affirmed as true in a member of the Church, because with him religion might perish, and with religion, sound reason. This is because it is not possible from the Nicene and Athanasian Trinities to think of one God, but it is possible to do so in the case of the Apostolic Trinity; and one God may be thought of in the latter case, because this Trinity exists in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God born in the world.
6. That the Divine Trinity is in the Lord God the Saviour Jesus Christ,
He Himself teaches; for He says: that the Father and He are one [John x
30.] that He is in the Father, and the Father in Him [John xiv 10, 11.]
that all things of the Father are His [John iii 35; xvi 15.] that he who
sees Him sees the Father [John xiv 9.] also: that he who believes in Him,
believes in the Father [John xii 44.] and, according to Paul, In Him dwelleth
all the fullness of the Godhead bodily [Col. ii 9] according to John, He
is the true God and eternal life [1 John v 20.] and according to Isaiah,
He is the Father of Eternity [Isa. Ix 6.] and elsewhere in the same He
is "Jehovah the Redeemer", "the only God"***, and that, because of Redemption,
He is "Jehovah our Righteousness"****; and, where it treats of Him, that
He is "God, Father" [Isa. Ix 6; lxiii 16]; "His glory will He not give
to another" [Isa. xlii 8; xlviii 11]; then that "the Holy Spirit is from
Him" [John xx 22]. As, then, God is One and there is a Divine Trinity,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, according to the Lord's words, [Matt. xxviii
19], it follows that this Trinity is in one person, and that it is in the
Person of Him who was conceived from God the Father, and born of the virgin
Mary, and called, on that account, "Son of the Most High", "Son of God",
"Only-begotten Son" [Luke i 31-35; John i 18; xx 31; Matt. iii 17 xvi 16;
xvii 5]. It is obvious to both internal and external sight that in all
these places, and in those quoted above, there is not meant any Son from
eternity. Accordingly, with this Divine Trinity, which is indeed the "Fullness
of the Godhead, dwelling in Him bodily", [according to Paul],***** being
in the Lord God the Saviour Jesus Christ, it follows that He alone is to
be approached, to be appealed to for help, and to be worshipped; and that,
when this is done, the Father is being approached at the according to John,
same time, and [the man] receives the Holy Spirit; for He teaches that
He Himself is "the Way, the Truth, and the Life"; that no one cometh to
the Father except through Him; and that he that does not by Him as the
Door enter into the sheepfold (i.e. the Church), is not a shepherd, but
and a robber [John xiv 6; x 1-9]; then too, that they who believe on Him have eternal life, and they who do not believe, shall not see life, [John iii 15, 16, 36; vi 40; xi 25, 26; 1 John v 20].
7. The Divine Trinity, and with it the Divine Unity, being in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Redeemer and Saviour of the world, this Trinity is the Trinity of the New Church.
* The word statim (immediately) is not found in Sk.
** The word "God" is here in both MSS. Worcester alters it to "Creator", which agrees with the usual form of the Creed. See paragraph 3 of this chapter.
*** See Isa, xliii 10-14; xliv 6, 24; xiv 21, 22; etc.
**** See Jer. xxiii 6.
***** The words, "according to Paul", are found here in N. but not in Sk.
[Chapter VI and the first part of Chapter VII are missing. The two pages
of the original on which they were written could not be found when the
two existing copies were made.]
44. CHAPTER VII
6.* What its quality is, is depicted by the image Nebuchadnezzar saw, in respect of its feet, also by the last beast coming up out of the sea, in Daniel [vii], and by the dragon and its two beasts, in the Revelation [xii, xiii]. 7. Its quality is manifest moreover from the following arcanum that was revealed to me: Everyone is allotted a place in heaven, i.e. a place in the societies of heaven, in accordance with his idea of God; and everyone in the hells, in accordance with his denial of God; and further, within the ideas of those who have confirmed themselves in the Nicene** Trinity, there is present a denial of one God. 8. A true soul and life is in the man of the Church who acknowledges the Lord, the Son of God, as the God of heaven and earth. That He is God of heaven and earth, He Himself teaches in Matthew xxviii . That He is the True God and Eternal Life, is in John [1 John v 20]. That in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead, is according to Paul [Col. ii 9]; and that He is Jehovah, our Redeemer, the only God, indeed the Father of Eternity, is according to Isaiah. * From the "Index of General Subjects" it appears very probable that chapter VI dealt with "Discordant Ideas derived from the Nicene Trinity", and chapter VII explained how that Trinity had perverted the Church. In Sk. these three paragraphs are attached to the preceding chapter, and numbered 8, 9, 10 respectively. Instead of "What its quality is", it reads, "What the state of the Church is, perverted by the Nicene Trinity and by the falsification of the Word". It omits from the beginning of the next paragraph the words before the colon. ** So in Sk. N. has Apostolica scored out, and Athanasia added by another hand.
45. CHAPTER VIII*
THE CONFIRMING OF A TRINITY OF PERSONS, EACH OF WHOM IS A GOD FROM ETERNITY, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE NICENE AND ATHANASIAN CREEDS, HAS FALSIFIED THE WHOLE WORD
1. Every heretic is able to confirm his heresy, and does confirm it, by the Word, this having been written by means of appearances and correspondences. On this account the Word is said by some to be "the book of all the heresies".
2. A man, after confirming his dogmas, sees no otherwise than that they are true, even when they are false.
3. It is possible to confirm a plurality of Gods by many things from the Word; also to confirm a faith that is imputative of Christ's merit, in which faith three Gods have each their separate part; and, further, that works of charity contribute nothing towards faith, and so nothing towards salvation.
4. A plurality of Gods can be confirmed from the following: Trinity is mentioned by the Lord. Trinity made its appearance when the Lord was baptized. There are "three who bear witness in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit". [1 John v 7.] Jehovah God said, "Let us make man in our image and likeness". [Gen. i 26.] Before Abraham three angels, who are called Jehovah, made their appearance. [Gen. xvii 2, 3.] In the New Word, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are mentioned many times by the Lord in the Gospels, and by the Apostles in the Epistles, and this without its being said that they are One. Then, too, it can be confirmed that there is a faith by which there is imputation of Christ's merit, and that this faith is the only saving faith; also that the works of charity do not conduce to salvation. Let it be added that any reasoning mind can augment the above with contributions of its own, and strengthen them.
5. Not a single one of these can be seen to be false and so be dispelled, unless reason, enlightened by the Lord through the Word, confirm that God is One and that there is a conjunction of charity and faith.
6. When this is done, it is obvious that the theology based upon a Trinity of Persons, each one of whom is God, and upon a faith made applicable to each of them separately, and upon the worthlessness of charity for salvation, has falsified the whole Word; for the reason, chiefly, that these three, God, charity, and faith, are the universals of religion to which every single thing in the Word, and every single thing of heaven and the Church therefrom, has reference.
7 . The result, with him who has confirmed this enormity, is that, wherever he reads of the Father, or of the Son, or of the Holy Spirit, indeed wherever he reads of Jehovah and God, he thinks of three Gods because he is thinking of one out of the three; further, wherever he reads of faith, he thinks of no other faith than of one by which there is imputation of Christ's merit; and wherever he reads of charity, he thinks of it as not contributing anything towards salvation, or else he thinks of that faith in its stead, Confirmation once impressed carries this with it.
* In Sk. this chapter is numbered VI and the following chapters accordingly
in sequence, no notice being taken of the missing pages.
46. CHAPTER IX
FROM THIS HAS COME THE "AFFLICTION" AND "DESOLATION" IN THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH FORETOLD BY THE LORD IN THE GOSPELS AND IN DANIEL
1. Where the Lord is speaking with His disciples about the Consummation of the Age, and of His Coming, that is, about the end of the present Church and the commencement of a new one, He foretold these things: Then shall be great tribulation, such as was not from the beginning of the world to this time, nor shall be. [Matt. xxiv 21.] further that there would be the abomination of desolation foretold by Daniel the prophet . . . For after the tribulation of those days the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and ... the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. [Matt. xxiv 15, 29.]
2. That such tribulation and desolation exists in the Church is altogether unknown and unseen in the world, it being said in every part of the Church that they are in the very light of the Gospel; so that even if an angel were to descend from heaven and teach otherwise, he would not be believed. The Roman Catholic Church says it, the Greek Church says it, so does each of the three Reformed Churches named after their leaders, Luther, Melancthon, and Calvin, and so does every one of the numerous heretical sects.
3. The tribulation and desolation that was foretold, however, has become visible in clear light in the spiritual world,* inasmuch as all men come into that world after death and remain in the religion in which they were in the natural world; for the light there is spiritual light, which uncovers all things.
4. When members of the clergy are asked there about God, faith, and charity, the three essentials of the Church and consequently of salvation, they answer almost like blind people in pits. Concerning God, they answer, He is One and He is three who are in unanimity; and when they say that the three are one, they are told to express themselves in accordance with their thought; and then, because with those who are in the spiritual world thought and speech act as one, they say out aloud, "three Gods". Concerning faith, they reply that it is a faith in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, and that God the Father gives it, the Son mediates it, and the Holy Spirit operates it, thus it is a faith in three Gods in order. When they are questioned further about that faith-whether they know the sign of its entering and the sign of its being in anyone-they reply, What does knowing the sign of it mean? Is it not from good pleasure by the election of that one God, without anything from man being intermingled with it? When they are asked whether that faith-seeing that it is applied to three, and is thus a faith in three Gods, and that man is in complete ignorance about it-is anything, they reply that not only is it something, but it is the all of the Church and the all of salvation. If they are asked whether that is possible, they laugh at the question. Concerning charity, their reply is that charity exists where that faith is, and that it is both separate from it and not separate; thus it contributes to salvation and does not contribute to it.
5. When the laity are questioned about God, faith, and charity, they know practically nothing, except that a few of them are acquainted with some obscure sayings heard from the clergy, which they call matters of faith; and that these are in general, that God the Father has pity on account of His Son's passion, that He remits sins, and that He justifies.
6. When both the laity and the clergy are examined as to whether they have in themselves anything of God, of faith, or of charity, they are found to have nothing; consequently there is nothing of heaven and the Church or of salvation, except only with those who have done good deeds from religion, these being able in the spiritual world to receive faith in the Lord God the Saviour.
7. From the few things adduced above it is clear whence is the great "tribulation such as was not since the world began, nor shall be", and that "abomination of desolation", which the Lord foretold would come at the end of the Church, which is at this day.
8. The reason that there has not been such tribulation from the beginning of the world, nor will there be, is that neither the Gentiles nor the Jews themselves knew the Lord God the Saviour as the Fountain of salvation; and ignorance excuses; but it is otherwise with the Christians after His Coming, to whom this has been unfolded in the Word of both Testaments.
* Marginal Note:-And is now visible in the brightest light to me in London in the natural world.
47. CHAPTER X
UNLESS A NEW CHURCH COMES INTO EXISTENCE, ABOLISHING THE OLD CHURCH FAITH WHICH IS FAITH IN THREE GODS, AND DELIVERING A NEW ONE WHICH IS FAITH IN THE ONE GOD, THUS IN THE LORD GOD THE SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST, "THERE CAN BE NO FLESH SAVED", ACCORDING TO THE LORD'S WORDS
1. Where the Lord is speaking with the disciples about the consummation of the age and of His Coming, that is, about the end of the present-day Church and the beginning of a new Church, He tells them, after having described the "desolation" and the "tribulation", that: Except those days should be shortened, there would no flesh be preserved. [Matt. xxiv 21, 22;] that is, they would utterly perish in eternal death.
2. The reason no flesh would be preserved unless that "tribulation" and "desolation" were taken away, is because by means of the faith of the present-day Church there is no conjunction with God, and consequently no salvation, the latter being entirely dependent on conjunction with God; in fact it is that conjunction.
3. The reason there is no conjunction with God by means of the faith of the present-day Church is because that faith is faith in three Gods, and unless a faith is faith in the One God it does not conjoin; then also, because that faith is in God the Father, who is unapproachable, and also in a Son born from eternity, who would likewise be unapproachable, being of the same essence as the Father, and because it is at the same time a faith in the Holy Spirit, and because there is not any Son nor any Holy Spirit from eternity, faith in those two is a faith in no God. Add to this, that the present-day faith cannot be united with charity; and a faith not united to charity, thus faith alone, does not conjoin. It follows therefrom that unless a new Church be established by the Lord, which will abolish that faith, and teach a new one which is a faith in the One God, and united at the same time to charity, then no flesh could be preserved, that is, not any man could be saved.
4. That the present-day faith has destroyed the entire Church and falsified the whole Word was shown above. On that account unless a new Church, restoring both the Church and the Word to their integrity, is established by the Lord, no flesh can be preserved.
5. In THE APOCALYPSE REVEALED it is shown that those who are in the faith of the present-day Church are meant by the "dragon" and the "false prophet", and that the faith itself is meant by "the pit of the abyss" out of which the locusts came, as well as by "the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt" where the two witnesses were slain; and likewise it is shown that by "the New Jerusalem" there a new Church is meant. As it says there that after the dragon and the false prophet had been cast into hell the New Jerusalem came down from God out of heaven, it is clear that after the faith of the present-day Church is condemned, a new Church must come down out of a new Heaven from the Lord and be founded.
6. From these things it is clear that unless a new Church comes into existence abolishing faith in three Gods and recovering faith in one God, thus in the Lord Jesus Christ, conjoining this at the same time with charity into a single form, no flesh can be saved. 7. It may, too, be seen above, n. 31, that redemption could not have been effected, and salvation thereby given, except by God Incarnate, thus by none other than God the Redeemer Jesus Christ, for salvation is a perpetual redemption; further, it may also be seen that God, faith, and charity are the three essentials of the Church, and that upon them the whole of theology, and thus the Church, depends. Consequently where falsities in respect of those three are proclaimed and imbibed, a man has no salvation.
7. Conclusion. No one henceforth can come into heaven unless he is in the doctrine of the new Church in respect of faith and life; the reason for this is that the New Heaven now established by the Lord is in a faith and life in accordance with that doctrine.* * In N. the following, marked as annotations, are found here:
THE DIVINE TRINITY IS IN THE LORD GOD THE SAVIOUR; AND ACCORDINGLY THE LORD GOD THE SAVIOUR OUGHT ALONE TO BE APPROACHED THAT THERE MAY BE SALVATION OR ETERNAL LIFE
These things to be set forth according to what is contained in the following: Sacred Scripture n. 13, etc. From the doctrine of the present-day Church there results this, that the Lord has no power, for the Father alone imputes merit, He Himself interceding and praying the Father to do this; moreover they do not remember that He said that "all things of the Father are His", that "all things of the Father come to Him", and that He had "power over all flesh" and "all power over heaven and earth". The Lord is the Head of the Church, and the Church is His body consequently it is He who is its Head who ought to be approached by the body.
The word "Chapter" and the figure "XI" have been crossed out. In Sk.
the last of these "annotations" is altered slightly and appended to the
"Conclusion" of paragraph 7 above, reading, "Because the Lord is the Head
of the Church, etc." The second "annotation" is omitted in Sk.