Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/129

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THE DOCTRINE OF THE LORD.

the Divine, by transflux through heaven. Not that heaven contributed anything of itself, but that the very Divine might flow into the human it flowed in through heaven. This transflux was the Divine Human before the coming of the Lord, and was Jehovah Himself in the heavens, or the Lord. (ib. n. 6720.)

 

The Lord's Appearance on Earth before the Incarnation, as an Angel.

The angel of Jehovah is often mentioned in the Word, and everywhere, when in a good sense, he represents and signifies some essential appertaining to the Lord, and proceeding from Him. But what is particularly represented and signified may be seen from the series of things treated of. There were angels who were sent to men, and also who spake by the prophets; but what they spake was not from the angels, but by them; for the state they were then in was such that they did not know but they were Jehovah, that is, the Lord. Yet when they had done speaking, they presently returned into their former state, and spake as from themselves. This was the case with the angels who spake the Lord's Word; which it has been given me to know by much similar experience at this day, in the other life. This is the reason why the angels were sometimes called Jehovah, as is very evident from the angel who appeared to Moses in the bush, of whom it is thus written: "The angel of Jehovah appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of the bush. . . . And when Jehovah saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush. . . . God said unto Moses, I am that I am. . . . And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel: Jehovah God of your fathers, hath sent me unto you" (Exod. iii. 2, 4, 14, 15). From these words it is evident that it was an angel who appeared to Moses as a flame in the bush; and that he spake as Jehovah because the Lord, or Jehovah, spake by him. For in order that man may be addressed by vocal expressions, which are articulate sounds in the ultimates of nature, the Lord uses the ministry of angels, by filling them with the Divine spirit or influence, and laying asleep what is of their proprium, so that they do not know but that they are Jehovah. Thus the Divine spirit or influence of Jehovah, which is in the highest or inmost, descends into the lowest or outermost things of nature, in which man is as to sight and hearing. It was so with the angel who spake with Gideon, of whom it is thus written in the book of Judges: "The angel of Jehovah appeared unto him, and said unto him, Jehovah is with thee, thou mighty man of valour. And Gideon said unto him, my Lord! why hath all this befallen