Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/161

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THE DOCTRINE OF THE LORD.

 

Without Redemption Wickedness would spread throughout all Christendom in both Worlds.

There are many reasons why without redemption by the Lord iniquity and wickedness would spread through all Christendom, both in the natural and the spiritual worlds; one of which is this:—Every man after death comes into the world of spirits, and then is precisely like himself,—of the same character as before; and upon entrance there no one can be restrained from conversation with departed parents, brothers, relations, and friends; every husband then first seeks his wife, and every wife her husband; and they are introduced by each other into various companies of such as appear like lambs outwardly, but inwardly are as wolves; and even those who have striven after piety are corrupted by them. From this cause, and from abominable arts unknown in the natural world, the world of spirits is as full of the malicious as a green and stagnant pool of the spawn of frogs. That association with the wicked there produces this result may be rendered obvious by these illustrations:—It is as if one should associate with robbers or pirates,—at length he becomes like them; or as if one should live with adulterers and harlots,—at length he thinks nothing of adulteries; or as if one should mingle with the rebellious,—at length he thinks nothing of doing violence to any one. For all evils are contagious, and may be compared to a pestilence, which an infected person communicates by the breath or by exhalation; or to a cancer or gangrene, which spreads and corrupts the nearer and by degrees the remoter parts, until the whole body perishes. The delights of evil into which every one is born are the cause. From all this then it is evident, that without redemption by the Lord no one could be saved; nor could the angels subsist in a state of integrity. The only refuge from destruction for any one is in the Lord; for He says, "Abide in Me and I in you; as the branch cannot hear fruit of itself eoxept it abide in the vine, no more can ye except ye abide in Me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without Me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth and is withered, and is cast into the fire and burned" (John xv. 4-6). (T. C. R. n. 120.)

 

Redemption could not be effected but by God Incarnate.

The reason why redemption could not have been wrought but by God incarnate, that is made Man, is that Jehovah God as He is in His infinite essence cannot approach hell, much less enter