Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/491

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THE NEW CHRISTIAN CHURCH.

 

The Tree of Life in the Midst of the City.

"In the midst of the street of it, and of the river on this side and on that, was the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits" (Rev. xxii. 2). This signifies that in the inmost of the truths of doctrine and thence of life in the New Church is the Lord in His Divine love, from whom flow all the goods that man does apparently as of himself. In the midst, signifies in the inmost and thence in all things around; by the street the truth of the doctrine of the church is signified; by a river is signified Divine truth in abundance. On either side, signifies on the right hand and on the left,—and the truth on the right hand is that which is in clearness, and on the left hand that which is in obscurity; for in heaven the south, by which truth in its clearness is signified, is on the right hand, and the north, by which truth in obscurity is signified, is on the left. By the tree of life the Lord as to the Divine love is signified; by fruits are signified the goods of love and charity, which are called good works; by twelve all are signified, and it is predicated of the goods and truths of the church. From these particulars collated into one sense it follows that, "In the midst of the street and of the river, on this side and on that, was the tree of life bearing twelve manner of fruits," signifies that in the inmost of the truths of doctrine and of life in the New Church is the Lord in His Divine love, from whom flow all the goods that man does apparently as from himself. This is the case with those who approach the Lord immediately, and shun evils because they are sins, thus who will be in the Lord's New Church, which is the New Jerusalem. For they that do not approach the Lord immediately cannot be conjoined with Him; nor therefore with the Father; and hence cannot be in the love which is from the Divine. For looking up to [Him] conjoins,—not intellectual looking alone, but intellectual looking from an affection of the will; and there is no affection of the will unless a man keeps His commandments. Therefore the Lord says, "He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me; and I will love him, and manifest Myself to him" (John xiv. 21-24). It is said, in the inmost of the truths of doctrine and thence of life in the New Church, because in spiritual things all exist and all proceed from the inmost, as from fire and light in the centre to the circumferences; or as from the sun, which in fact is the centre, heat and light proceed to all parts of the universe. It is thus the same in least things as in the greatest Because the inmost of all truth is signified, therefore it is said, "in the midst of the street and of the river," and not on either