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DLW 23. All things of human wisdom unite, and as it were center in this, that there is one God, the Creator of the universe: consequently a man who has reason, from the general nature of his understanding, does not and cannot think otherwise. Say to any man of sound reason that there are two Creators of the universe, and you will be sensible of his repugnance, and this, perhaps, from the mere sound of the phrase in his ear; from which it appears that all things of human reason unite and center in this, that God is one. There are two reasons for this. First, the very capacity to think rationally, viewed in itself, is not man's, but is God's in man; upon this capacity human reason in its general nature depends, and this general nature of reason causes man to see as from himself that God is one. Secondly, by means of that capacity man either is in the light of heaven, or he derives the generals of his thought therefrom; and it is a universal of the light of heaven that God is one. It is otherwise when man by that capacity has perverted the lower parts of his understanding; such a man indeed is endowed with that capacity, but by the twist given to these lower parts, he turns it contrariwise, and thereby his reason becomes unsound.

DLW 24. Every man, even if unconsciously, thinks of a body of men as of one man; therefore he instantly perceives what is meant when it is said that a king is the head, and the subjects are the body, also that this or that person has such a place in the general body, that is, in the kingdom. As it is with the body politic, so is it with the body spiritual. The body spiritual is the church; its head is God-Man; and from this it is plain how the church thus viewed as a man would appear if instead of one God, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe, several were thought of. The church thus viewed would appear as one body with several heads; thus not as a man, but as a monster. If it be said that these heads have one essence, and that thus together they make one head, the only conception possible is either that of one head with several faces or of several heads with one face; thus making the church, viewed as a whole, appear deformed. But in truth, the one God is the head, and the church is the body, which acts under the command of the head, and not from itself; as is also the case in man; and from this it is that there can be only one king in a kingdom, for several kings would rend it asunder, but one is able to preserve its unity.

DLW 25. So would it be with the church scattered throughout the whole globe, which is called a communion, because it is as one body under one head. It is known that the head rules the body under it at will; for understanding and will have their seat in the head; and in conformity to the understanding and will the body is directed, even to the extent that the body is nothing but obedience. As the body can do nothing except from the understanding and will in the head, so the man of the church can do nothing except from God. The body seems to act of itself, as if the hands and feet in acting are moved of themselves; or the mouth and tongue in speaking vibrate of themselves, when, in fact, they do not in the slightest degree act of themselves, but only from an affection of the will and the consequent thought of the understanding in the head. Suppose, now, one body to have several heads and each head to be free to act from its own understanding and its own will, could such a body continue to exist? For among several heads singleness of purpose, such as results from one head would be impossible. As in the church, so in the heavens; heaven consists of myriads of myriads of angels, and unless these all and each looked to one God, they would fall away from one another and heaven would be broken up. Consequently, if an angel of heaven but thinks of a plurality of gods he is at once separated; for he is cast out into the outmost boundary of the heavens, and sinks downward.

DLW 26. Because the whole heaven and all things of heaven have relation to one God, angelic speech is such that by a certain unison flowing from the unison of heaven it closes in a single cadence- a proof that it is impossible for the angels to think otherwise than of one God; for speech is from thought.

DLW 27. Who that has sound reason can help seeing that the Divine is not divisible? also that a plurality of Infinites, of Uncreates, of Omnipotents, and of Gods, is impossible? Suppose one destitute of reason were to declare that a plurality of Infinites, of Uncreates, of Omnipotents, and of Gods is possible, if only they have one identical essence, and this would make of them one Infinite, Uncreate, Omnipotent, and God, would not the one identical essence be one identity? And one identity is not possible to several. If it should be said that one is from the other, the one who is from the other is not God in Himself; nevertheless, God in Himself is the God from whom all things are, (n. 16).

Divine Love and Wisdom previous · next Author:  E. Swedenborg (1688-1772). www.TheisticScience.org