Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/188

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

visible and thus accessible in a human form to the ancients; but then by an angel. But because this form was representative of the Lord who was about to come, all things of the church with the ancients were representative."

After this a deliberation followed concerning the Holy Spirit. And there was first disclosed an idea of many concerning God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit—that God the Father sits on high, and the Son at His right hand, and that they send forth from them the Holy Spirit, to enlighten, teach, justify, and sanctify men. And then a voice was heard from heaven, saying, "That idea of thought we cannot endure. Who does not know that Jehovah God is omnipresent? Whoever knows and acknowledges this will acknowledge also that He Himself enlightens, teaches, justifies and saves; and that there is not a mediating God distinct from Him still less distinct from two, as person from person. Therefore let the former idea which is vain be put away, and let this which is just be received, and then you will see this subject clearly." But a voice was then heard from the Roman Catholics, who stood near the altar of the temple, saying, "What then is the Holy Spirit which is mentioned in the Word—in the Evangelists and in Paul—by which so many learned men among the clergy, and especially of our church, say that they are led? Who in the Christian world at this day denies the Holy Spirit and His operations?" At these words one of those who sat upon the second row of seats turned and said, "You say that the Holy Spirit is a person by Himself and a God by Himself. But what is a person going forth and proceeding from a person but an outgoing and proceeding operation? One person cannot go forth and proceed from another, but operation can. Or what is a God going forth and proceeding from God but the outgoing and proceeding Divine? One God cannot go forth and proceed from another, but the Divine from one God can." Having heard these things, those who sat upon the seats unanimously concluded that "The Holy Spirit is not a person by itself, nor therefore a god by itself, but is the Holy Divine going forth and proceeding from the one only omnipresent God, who is the Lord." To this the angels standing at the golden table upon which the Word was, said, "Well. We nowhere read in the Old Covenant that the prophets spoke the Word from the Holy Spirit, but from Jehovah; and where the Holy Spirit is mentioned in the New Testament it means the proceeding Divine, which is the Divine enlightening, teaching, vivifying, reforming, and regenerating." After this followed another inquiry respecting the Holy Spirit; which was,—From whom does the Divine which is meant by the Holy Spirit, proceed; from the Father or from the Lord? And while they were investigating