Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/163

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THE DOCTRINE OF THE LORD.

Son to descend and take upon Himself the determined damnation, and thus appease the anger of His Father; and that thus, and not otherwise, He could look upon man with some favour? Then that this was even done by the Son; so that in taking upon Himself the damnation of the human race, He suffered Himself to be scourged by the Jews, to be spit upon in the face, and afterwards to be crucified as one accursed of God (Deut. xxi 23); and that after this was done the Father became propitious, and from love towards His Son cancelled the sentence of damnation,—but only in respect to those for whom He should intercede; and that He thus became a Mediator in the presence of His Father for ever. These and similar ideas at this day sound forth in temples and are reverberated from the walls as an echo from the woods, and fill the ears of all there. But cannot any one whose reason is enlightened and made sound by the Word see that God is Mercy and Pity itself, because He is Love itselt and Good itself, and that these are His essence; and therefore that it is a contradiction to say that Mercy itself, or Good itself, can look upon man with anger, and decree his damnation, and yet continue to be His own Divine essence? Such things are scarcely ascribed to an upright man, but rather to one who is not upright; nor to an angel of heaven, but rather to a spirit of hell. It is therefore shocking to attribute them to God! But if one inquires into the cause, it is this:—That men have taken the passion of the cross for redemption itself. From this have these opinions flowed, as from one falsity falsities flow in a continued series. (T. C. R. n. 132.)

 

The true meaning of Mediation, Intercession, Atonement, and Propitiation.

There are four terms expressive of the grace of the one only God in His Humanity. God the Father can never be approached, nor can He come to any man; because He is infinite, and dwells in His own being, which is Jehovah; from which being if He should come to man He would consume or decompose him, as fire consumes wood when it reduces it to ashes. This is evident from what He said to Moses, who desired to see Him:—"No man shall see Me and live" (Exod. xxxiii.20). And the Lord says, "No man hath seen God at any time, save the Son which is in the bosom of the Father" (John i. 18; Matt. xi. 27); also that no one hath heard the voice of the Father, nor seen His shape (John v. 27). It is indeed written that Moses saw Jehovah face to face, and talked with Him, as one man with another; but this was through the medium of an angel, as was also the case with