Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/110

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CONCERNING GOD.

others from different countries. Since such is the presence of angels and spirits, what limits can be set to the Divine presence, which is infinite, in the universe! The reason that angels and spirits have such presence is, because every affection of love, and every thought of the understanding from this, is in space without space, and in time without time. For anyone can think of a brother, relation, or friend in the Indies, and have him then as it were present to him; in like manner, he may be affected by their love, from the remembrance of them. By these things, because they are familiar to every one, the Divine omnipresence may, in some degree, be illustrated; and also by human thought, in that when any one recalls to mind what he has seen in travelling in various places, he is as it were present in them. Nay, the sight of the body emulates the same presence. The eye does not perceive distances, except by intermediate objects, which as it were measure them. The sun itself would be near the eye, nay, in the eye, unless intermediate objects discovered that it is so distant. That it is so writers on optics have also observed in their books. Each sight of man, both the intellectual and corporeal, has such presence, because his spirit sees through his eyes. But no beast has similar presence, because they have no spiritual sight. From these things it is evident that God is omnipresent, from the first to the last things of His order. (T. C. R. n. 64)

 

Knowledge Respecting God only possible by Revelation.

As to the nature and character of the one God, nations and peoples have strayed and are still straying into diverse opinions; for many reasons. The first is, that there can be no knowledge respecting God, and consequent acknowledgment of God, except by revelation; and no knowledge and consequent acknowledgement of the Lord, that in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, except from the Word, which is the crown of revelations. But by revelation given man can approach and receive influx from God, and so from natural become spiritual; and a primeval revelation pervaded the whole world. But the natural man perverted it, in many ways; whence the differences, dissensions, heresies, and schisms of religions. . . . . Human reason, however, if it will, may perceive or conclude that there is a God, and that He is one. This truth it can confirm by innumerable things in the visible world. For the universe is as a theatre on which the testimony that there is a God, and that He is one, is continually set forth. (T. C. R. n. 11, 12.)