Page:A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.djvu/507

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THE NEW CHRISTIAN CHURCH.

man, according to His Words in John xiv. 20; and xv. 4-6. (B. E. n. 96, 97.)

 

This Church is to be the Crown of all the Churches, and is to Endure for Ever.

This church is the crown of all the churches that have hitherto existed on the globe; because it will worship the one visible God, in whom is the invisible God as the soul is in the body. Thus and no otherwise can there be conjunction of God with man; because man is natural, and therefore thinks naturally, and conjunction must be in the thought, and so in the affection of his love; and this is effected when man thinks of God as a Man. Conjunction with an invisible God is like conjunction of the vision of the eye with the expanse of the universe, of which it sees no limit; and like sight in mid ocean, which falls into the air and into the sea and vanishes. But conjunction with a visible God is like seeing a man in the air or on the sea, spreading forth his hands and inviting to his arms. For all conjunction of God with man must also be a reciprocal conjunction of man with God; and there cannot be this latter reciprocation except with a visible God.

That this church is to succeed the churches which have (existed since the beginning of the world; that it is to endure for ages of ages [in sœcula sœculorum]; and thus is to be the crown of all the churches that have existed before, was prophesied by Daniel:—First, when he told and explained to Nebuchadnezzar his dream concerning the four kingdoms,—by which are meant the four churches represented by the image seen by him,—saying, "In their days the God of heaven shall cause to arise a kingdom, which for ages shall not be destroyed; . . . and it shall . . . consume all those kingdoms; and it shall stand for ages" (Dan. ii. 44); and this was to be done by "A stone which became a great rock, filling the whole earth" (ver. 35). By a rock in the Word the Lord as to Divine truth is meant. And elsewhere the same prophet says, "I saw in the visions of the night, and behold, with the clouds of heaven, as it were the Son of Man; . . . and there was given Him dominion and glory, and a kingdom; and all peoples, nations, and tongues shall worship Him. His dominion is the dominion of an age which will not pass away, and His kingdom one which shall not be destroyed" (vii. 13, 14). And this he says after he saw the four great beasts coming up out of the sea (ver. 3), which also represented the four former churches. That these things were prophesied by Daniel concerning the present time, is evident from his words in chap. xii. 4;. and from