Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/119

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MAN.

 

What Man is.

All men, as to the interiors which belong to their minds, are spirits, clothed in the world with a material body, which is in every case subject to the thought of the spirit, and to the decision of its affection. For the mind, which is spirit, acts, and the body, which is matter, is acted upon. Every spirit, too, after the rejection of the material body, is a man, in a form similar to that which he had while he was a man in the world. (Ath. Cr. n. 41.)

Man is so created as to be, at the same time, in the spiritual world and in the natural. The spiritual world is the abode of angels, and the natural of men; and being so created, he is endowed with an internal and an external—the internal being that by which he is in the spiritual world, and the external that by which he is in the natural world. His internal is what is called the internal man, and his external is what is called the external man. (T. C. R n. 401.)

Man is not life, but a recipient of life from God. It is generally believed that life is in man, and is his own; consequently that he is not merely a recipient of life, but actually is life. This general belief is founded upon the appearance; for man lives—that is, he feels, thinks, speaks, and acts altogether as of himself. . . . But how is it possible, according to any rational conception, for the Infinite to create anything but what is finite? Can a man, therefore, being finite, be reasonably conceived to be anything but a form, which the Infinite may vivify from the life which He possesses in Himself? (ib. 470.)

Man is an organ of life, and God alone is life. God infuses His life into the organ and all its parts, as the sun infuses its heat into a tree and all its parts. And God grants man a sense that the life in himself is as if it were his own; and is desirous that he should have such a sense of it, to the intent that he may live, as of himself, according to the laws of order —which are as many in number as the precepts of the Word—and may thus dispose himself to receive the love of God. Yet God continually, as it were, with His finger holds the perpendicular tongue that