True Christian Religion (Chadwick) n. 139

Previous Number Next Number Next Translation See Latin 


The Holy Spirit means properly the Divine Truth, so also the Word; and in this sense the Lord is Himself also the Holy Spirit. But the present-day church uses the term 'Holy Spirit' to describe the way God works, that is, the actual process of making a person righteous, so this is the meaning given here to the Holy Spirit, and this will be the principal subject discussed. Another reason is that the activity of God takes place by means of the Divine Truth which proceeds from the Lord; and that which proceeds is of one and the same essence as He from whom it proceeds. This is like the trio of soul, body and what proceeds making up a single essence, which in the case of a human being is purely human, but in the case of the Lord is Divine and human at the same time, these essences after His glorification being united as what is prior is with what follows from it, or like essence and the appropriate form. So the three essentials called the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are one in the Lord.

[2] I showed before that the Lord is the Divine Truth itself or Divine Verity. The following passages will prove that the Holy Spirit is Divine Truth.

A shoot will come forth from the stock of Jesse. The spirit of Jehovah will rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and intelligence, the spirit of counsel and power. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. Righteousness will be the belt around his loins, and truth the belt around his thighs. Isa. 11:1, 2, 4, 5.

He shall come like a narrow stream, the spirit of Jehovah shall advance his standard against him, then shall the Redeemer come from Zion. Isa. 59:19, 20.

The spirit of the Lord Jehovih is upon me. Jehovah has anointed me. He has sent me to preach the gospel to the poor. Isa. 61:1; Luke 4:18. This is my covenant. My spirit which is upon you and my words shall not depart from your mouth from now on for ever. Isa. 59:21.

[3] Since the Lord is Truth itself, then everything that proceeds from Him is truth, and this is what is meant by the Comforter, who is also called the Spirit of Truth and the Holy Spirit. The following passages will prove this:

I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I should go away. For if I were not to go away, the Comforter will not come to you. But if I go away, I will send him to you. John 16:7.

When the Spirit of Truth comes, he will lead you to all truth. He will not speak of himself, but will say whatever he has heard. John 16:13.

He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and communicate it to you. All things that the Father has are mine. This is why I have said that he will take from what is mine and communicate it to you. John 16:14, 15.

I will ask the Father to give you another Comforter, the Spirit of truth, which the world cannot receive, because it neither sees nor knows him. But you know him, because he remains with you and will be in you. I shall not leave you bereft, I am coming to you and you will see me. John 14:16-19.

When the Comforter comes whom I shall send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, he will bear witness about me. John 15:26.

He is called the Holy Spirit. John 14:26.

[4] The Lord meant Himself by 'the Comforter' or 'the Holy Spirit', as is clear from His own saying about the world not yet knowing him, 'But you know Him'; 'I will not leave you bereft, I am coming to you'; 'You will see Me'; and elsewhere 'Behold I am with you every day until the ending of the age' (Matt. 28:20). This is further shown by the expression 'He will not speak of Himself, but that which He receives from me.'

This page is part of the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg

© 2000-2001 The Academy of the New Church