Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/184

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the Son, and the Holy Spirit, does not say within itself while thinking on the subject, What is meant by a Son born of God the Father from eternity? How could He be born? And what is the Holy Spirit proceeding from God the Father through the Son from eternity? And how could He proceed and become God by Himself? Or how could a person beget a person from eternity? and both produce a person? Is not a person a person?

The rational mind, in revolving and reflecting upon a Trinity of persons in the Godhead from eternity, might also consider of what use was it for a Son to be born, and for the Holy Spirit to go forth from the Father through the Son, before the world was created? Was there need that three should consult how the universe should be created? And thus that three should create it, when yet the universe was created by one God? Nor was there then occasion that the Son should redeem, since redemption was effected after the world was created, in the fulness of time; nor that the Holy Spirit should sanctify, because as yet there were no men to be sanctified. If then those uses were in the idea of God, yet they did not actually exist before the world, but after it; from which it follows that the Trinity from eternity was not a real Trinity, but ideal; and still more a Trinity of persons.

A Trinity of persons in the Godhead before the world was created, never came into the mind of any one from the time of Adam down to the Lord's advent; as appears from the Word of the Old Testament, and from the histories of the religion of the ancients. Neither did it come into the minds of the Apostles, as is evident from their writings in the Word. And that it did not come into the mind of any one in the Apostolic Church prior to the Council of Nice, is clear from the Apostles' Creed, in which no Son from eternity is mentioned, but a Son born of the Virgin Mary.

The Trinity of God was formed after the world was created, and actually in the fulness of time, and then in God incarnate, who is the Lord the Saviour Jesus Christ. (Canons, pp. 35-37.)

A trinity of Divine persons from eternity or before the world was created is, in the ideas of thought, a trinity of Gods; and this cannot be expelled by an oral confession of one God. (T. C. R. n. 172.)

A Memorable Narration concerning the Divine Trinity.

Since it has been granted me by the Lord to see the wonderful things that are in the heavens and beneath the heavens, I must by command relate what has been seen. A magnificent palace was seen, and in the innermost part of it a temple; in the centre of this was a table of gold on which was the Word, at