True Christian Religion (Chadwick) n. 4

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The Christian church has from the Lord's time passed through all the stages of life, from infancy to extreme old age. Its infancy was during the lifetime of the Apostles, who preached all over the world repentance and belief in the Lord God the Saviour. It is clear that these were their two main points from a passage in the Acts of the Apostles:

Paul proclaimed both to Jews and Greeks repentance towards God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Acts 20:21.

It is a notable fact that several months ago the Lord called together his twelve disciples who are now angels, and sent them out throughout the spiritual world with orders to preach the Gospel there anew, since the church the Lord established through their ministry is to-day so close to its end that hardly any remains survive. This has come about because the Divine Trinity has been divided into three persons, each of whom is God and Lord.

[2] As a result the whole of theology, and so the church which is named Christian after the Lord, has been pervaded by a kind of insanity. I say 'insanity' because it has driven people's minds to such a pitch of delirium that they do not know whether there is one God or three. One is what they say, three is what they think. So there is a conflict between the mind and the lips, the thought and its expression, and this conflict ends by their thinking that there is no God. This alone is the source of the nature-worship prevalent to-day. Pray consider whether, when the lips speak of one God and the mind thinks of three, each idea does not annihilate the other when they clash midway. Thus if anyone thinks of God at all, he does so as hardly anything but a bare title, with no feeling of knowing Him.

[3] Since the idea of God and all knowledge of Him has been so fragmented, I propose to discuss in turn God the Creator, the Lord the Redeemer, the Holy Spirit the Active Force, and finally the Divine Trinity, so that what has been broken into fragments may be put together again. This happens when a person's reason is convinced from the Word and the enlightenment it gives that there is a Divine Trinity, and that this is in the Lord God the Saviour Jesus Christ, just as the soul, the body and the activity coming from them form a trinity in man. This article in the Athanasian creed is therefore valid:

In Christ, God and Man, or the Divine and the Human, are not two, but in one person; as the rational soul and the flesh are one man, so too God and Man are one Christ.

This page is part of the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg

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