Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/164

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

Abraham and Gideon. Now since such is God the Father in Himself, therefore He was pleased to assume the Humanity, and in this Humanity to admit mankind to Himself, and so to hear and to talk with them; and it is this Humanity which is called the Son of God, and which mediates, intercedes, propitiates, and atones. Mediation signities that the Humanity is the medium by which man may come to God the Father, and God the Father to him; and thus be his teacher and guide unto salvation. Intercession signifies perpetual mediation; for love itself, the qualities of which are mercy, clemency, and grace, perpetually intercedes, that is mediates, for those that do His commandments, and who are thus the objects of His love. Atonement signifies the removal of sins,—into which a man would rush headlong if, in supplication, he were to approach the unveiled Jehovah. Propitiation signifies the operation of clemency and grace, to prevent man from falling into damnation by sin, and at the same time to guard against the profanation of what is holy. This was signified by the propitiatory, or mercy-seat, over the ark in the tabernacle. It is acknowledged that God spake in His Word according to appearances; as when it is said that He is angry, that He avenges, that He tempts, that He punishes, that He casts into hell, that He condemns, yea, that He does evil; while the truth is that God is never angry with any one, that He never avenges, tempts, punishes, casts into hell, or condemns. Such things are as far from God, nay infinitely farther, than hell is from heaven. They are forms of speech then, used only according to the appearances. So also, but in a different sense, are the terms atonement, propitiation, intercession, and mediation; for these are forms of speech expressive of the approach which, is opened to God by means of His Humanity. These terms being misunderstood men have divided God into three; and upon that division they have grounded all the doctrine of the church, and so have falsified the Word. Hence has arisen The Abomination of Desolation, foretold by the Lord in Daniel, and again in Matt. xxiv. (T. C. R. n. 135.)

Mediation and intercession is of Divine truth, because this is next to Divine good, which is the Lord Himself. That Divine truth is next to Divine good, which is the Lord, is because it immediately proceeds from Him. Since occasion is given, it shall here be shown how the case is with the Lord's mediation and intercession. They that believe from the literal sense of the Word, that there are three persons who constitute the Divine, and together are called one God, have no other idea of mediation and intercession, than that the Lord sits at the right hand of His Father, and speaks with Him as man with man, brings the supplications of men to the Father, and entreats that for His sake,