Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/162

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into it; for He is in purest and first [principles]. Wherefore if Jehovah God, such in Himself, should but breathe upon those who are in hell, it would kill them instantly; for He said to Moses, when he wished to see Him, "Thou canst not see My face; for there shall no man see Me and live" (Exod. xxxiii. 20). Since therefore Moses could not, still less could those who are in hell, where all are in the last and grossest [things], and thus in the most remote; for they are in the lowest degree natural. For this reason, if Jehovah God had not assumed the Human, and thus clothed Himself with a body which is in lowest [principles], it would have been in vain for him to enter upon any work of redemption. . . . It should be known that the conflict of the Lord with the hells was not an oral conflict, as between reasoners and disputants. Such a conflict effects nothing at all in such a case. But it was a spiritual conflict, which is that of Divine truth from Divine good, which is the very vital of the Lord. The influx of this truth by means of sight no one in hell can resist. There is such power in it that the infernal genii flee at the mere perception of it, cast themselves down into the deep, and creep into caves that they may hide themselves. This is what is described in Isaiah: "They shall go into the caves of the rocks, and into clefts of the dust, for fear of Jehovah . . . when He shall arise to terrify the earth" (ii. 19); and in the Revelation: "All hid themselves in the dens of the rocks, and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and to the rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth upon the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb" (vi. 15-17). (T. C. R. n. 124.)


False Views of the Atonement.

It is believed in the church that the Lord was sent by the Father to make an atonement for the human race, and that this was done by the fulfilling of the law and the passion of the cross; and that thus He took away damnation, and made satisfaction; and that without that atonement, satisfaction, and propitiation the human race would have perished in eternal death,—and this from justice, which by some is also called vindictive. (L. n. 18.)

What at this day more fills and crams the books of the orthodox, or what is more zealously taught and inculcated in the schools, and more frequently preached and proclaimed from the pulpits, than that God the Father, being enraged against mankind, not only separated them from Himself, but also sentenced them to universal damnation, and thus excommunicated them; but that because He is gracious. He persuaded or excited His